Flu Shots Today

Finally, we were able to get Ian a flu shot without having to go to Public Health. Anyone under 9 has to have their shot administered at a Health unit by law in Alberta. Of course, Ian was 8 and couldn’t get one which led to multiple bouts of flus and illness last winter.

We went to Walmart on the pretext of getting 20 pumpkins for our school-wide carving activity next Monday (they were selling them for $3.47 each). Wouldn’t you know it…there were only a few scrungie ones left. I managed to get 1 for us. I’m not sure what we’re going to do for the school. Maybe they’ll be dirt cheap by Saturday. Right now most grocery stores have them marked down to 20 cents/pound. That’s still a bit pricey especially when only the big ones remain.

We were also hoping to get our flu shots done. They were made available yesterday and I thought maybe mid-afternoon would mean reduced crowds. It did. There was 1 guy ahead of us. According to the pharmacist, the gov’t has now allowed more stores and doctor’s offices to administer the shot now, so that has reduced the line-ups. I had a shot, Ian had a shot (because he was too stuffed up for the nasal one), and Miranda had the nasal spray. Hopefully this year we’ll all be a little more resistant.

Dad’s October Visit

Today is the last day of Dad’s first visit to Calgary. He flies back to Victoria around dinnertime today. It’s been good fun, and he’s already bought his plane tickets to return for Christmastime, so we’re looking forward to that. 🎄

He arrived Thursday afternoon. I worked from home, and when Ian got home from school, he and I got in the car and drove to the airport to pick Dad up. Dad’s plane was a little late, but only about 15 minutes. We met him coming out of the secure arrivals door. Stephanie had dropped him off at the airport in Victoria, and it was a good thing she did: the long-term parking was full.

Friday was shopping outings. I took the day off, and the kids had a half day of school, so Dad and I ran some errands to Superstore and Brentwood Business Supply, before coming back home and waiting for the kids. Then it was off to Market Mall for a walk around and lunch and then off to Chinook Centre, where we met Tammy. Dad wanted to see the Lego Store there. It’s not exactly Disneyland, but for someone who loves Lego like Dad, it was close. He chinwagged with one of the sales associates there, and found out about a new set that’s coming in January that will fit in with his village set.

Assembly Square

Assembly Square

We sort of overdid it with all the walking, so dinner was takeout Chinese food.

Saturday was our “Thanksgiving”. Tammy and I put together a turkey late lunch. (Okay, mostly Tammy) While things were simmering, we played a game of Settlers of Catan. Dad and Miranda were a team and they ended up winning the game.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan

Lunch was delicious, and in the end it wasn’t only the turkey that was stuffed. 🙂 Dessert was apple pie with ice cream, with an additional almond blondie that Tammy whipped up.

Ready to dig in

Ready to dig in

Ian’s chin band-aid was courtesy of him falling off the chair at the computer at breakfast time. We still have no idea what he was doing.

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Flashback to when Ian was 4

I was cleaning out the voice memos from iTunes (why are there 20 copies of every voice memo in there?) and I found this gem:

I don’t remember why I recorded it, but it’s funny to hear him so young. It fits in with our family picture theme, because when I put our new one in the frame, I laid out all of the previous ones in a row, back to December 2011, which is from the same time as this recording.

While Ian has changed a lot, it’s easy to overlook it in a still photo. The audio really brings it home.

Ian’s Turn

Last Thursday I took Ian to the orthodontist so they could make an impression of his upper palate in preparation for his expander. They also put in two small elastics between the teeth that would be used as the anchors for the device. One had fallen out by Saturday, but the other remained.

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Yesterday I took him back to get his expander installed. It went in without incident. He’s rather bummed about all the things he can’t eat and the fact that this device will be in for six months day and night. He figured it was a daytime thing and only for a few weeks. 😀 So now he has trouble speaking clearly and food keeps getting jammed in there. We go back in late November for a check up, hopefully not before. Until then we have twenty-one turns to make.

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He even got a neat-o kit bag to go with it:


White Thanksgiving

I don’t remember that song from Holiday Inn, but if Bing Crosby had lived in Calgary instead of Connecticut, I’m sure it would have been in there.

It started snowing on Friday, and it’s snowing again today. The weather pattern isn’t supposed to hold, but it is an interesting change of weather. There wasn’t any doubt that my cycling club ride was cancelled yesterday…

The snow has flown!

The snow has flown!

Yesterday, we went to Lesley’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. She is a teacher at GEOS and it’s her son who hosts the pig roast that we have attended twice. She invited us as well as the new IELTS Coordinator Anna-Lee and her partner Oscar.

Anna-Lee and Oscar

Anna-Lee and Oscar

We had a good time, with the meal spread out from appetizers at 1:30 to dessert near to 5:30. The kids had some toys, books and iDevices along to entertain them.

Miranda and Ian at the table

Miranda and Ian at the table

Lesley’s house has a good view of downtown. It’s only a block away from the route that the cycling club takes to and from Ed Worthy park.

Tammy and Lesley in the kitchen

Tammy and Lesley in the kitchen


First Snow, Nochie’s Alright, New Haircut

Yesterday and today were fairly eventful, after so many days of just keeping on keeping on.

Friday started with Miranda’s parent-teacher meeting. It was only 10 minutes long, so it wasn’t exactly in depth, but Miranda is doing well, paying attention and doing her work. The one thing (and it’s always the thing) is she doesn’t speak up or volunteer information in class.

Then it started snowing. Not a lot, but it’s a warning. 🙂 Winter is coming.

Snow on the Bow River

Snow on the Bow River

That evening, we took Nochie to the vet, too. She’s getting thinner, having troubles with her insides, and we wanted to check with the vet. The conversation was pretty positive, so we’re happy about that.

Then today, Tammy and Miranda went to get their hair cut. Miranda wanted something a little different…

Miranda's new 'do

Miranda’s new ‘do

It looks good. The rest of her hair is long enough that the razored parts are really quite dramatic. I like it. It will take some maintenance, though.

Chasing Nana with her elastic bands

Unfortunately today was a day I have been not looking forward to for a while. Peanut was having so much trouble due to old age and a dormant virus (she has had since she was a baby) that activated itself because of her age. I finally had to come to the agonizing decision of putting her down. I took her back to the old vet and they were amazing. Gave her a relaxant so she would be seeing “pink elephants”. I was with her while she stoned out and it was really funny in a sense that she kept sticking her tongue out at me. Sassy right to the end, she is so much like me. I kept saying “I’m sorry and I love you” and I told her that Nana was waiting for her with a whole bunch of elastic bands to play with <3



Volunteering at a Cyclocross Race

I was lucky that today’s weather was nicer than yesterday’s grey and drizzle: I volunteered to help out at the Cadence Cross race at Canada Olympic Park. I was contacted through the cycling club, and I expected to be a course marshall. That would be standing around at a particular corner of the track for the day, making sure nothing went wrong.

Well, I got there before 7:00, and started helping to modify the course. Another race was run last night (The Dark Night MTB Race), but it needed to be repaired and modified somewhat for today’s ABA cyclocross race. We set about that, and were done on time.

The announcer's tent, ready to go

The announcer’s tent, ready to go

But then the group of volunteers was asked if anyone wanted to help with the timing. I thought I’d give it a try, so instead of standing on a corner, I was sitting in the timing booth, helping the commissars keep track of the race. This was mostly about writing down the numbers of each rider as they passed, but it also involved identifying who was getting lapped so that they could get pulled out of the race.

It was a much more intense day than I was expecting. When the numbers were flying by, the Chief Commissar, Helen, was reeling them off and Peter and I were scribbling them down. It was only later in the day that I got to watch a bit, as the more experienced riders were much less erratic and more uniform in their lap times. Tammy and the kids stopped by after lunch, and saw most of the Expert Men’s race and some of the Open Women’s.


Mark Fed, Bow Cyclists Club Prez

I’m home now, after having helped tear down the course. My face feels sunburnt after having been sitting at the timers’ table, which was facing the sun. I had fun.

I think Tammy wants to kill me. My impression after having walked the course this morning while getting it ready was: “No bloody way am I ever doing this. I’m having trouble walking it.” While Tammy’s reaction to watching the races was telling me: “You should do this.”

Visit from HO and Supper on Them

This past week we had Alexia (Director of Operations for NA) out from Toronto. She has been doing the tour of Canadian schools to make sure we’re all running the same way. Our manager, Israel, is off to Tijuana for 2 weeks promoting our school at an educational fair there. Thanks to our previous managers we’ve been doing our own thing here in Calgary. 😀 We’re now up to speed and have been shown the “correct” way to do things – we’ll see if make these changes or go back to our efficient old ways.
On Wednesday night I received a text from Alexia asking me if I was free Thursday night to go out for supper with the office staff from 5-8. Normally I finish at 2.30, so I would have to go back. Asked her a bunch of questions about when and where to meet. It turned out the next day I was at work until 6 anyway. Alexia suggested I just stay until 5 and then take Friday off. I wasn’t going to argue. Anytime the grand poobah offers you a day off you take it. It was also IELTS test result entry day which is why I was there working until 6.
After work we had a look at the apartment Alexia had booked through Air BnB (I tell you we may look at this as an option when we come to Vic next time!) before heading to the Hungarian restaurant. The place was a real hole-in-the-wall mom and pop deal.  Alexia and I shared the chicken paprika and cabbage rolls.  She downed a number of beers, the rest shared a bottle of white wine and a bottle of dessert wine.  Over the course of the evening I managed to get her to say we can charge up to $500 for Christmas party this year.  Plus we can follow in the footsteps of the TO office and have libations at lunch every 3rd Friday.  Contrary to our manager a few years ago we can pretty much wear what we want to and have our hair cut in any way we like – the idea is to express our personality through our wardrobe. Hmmm…🤔