Nov 2009


November 29, 2009
Merlin and I just had our morning snuggle.  We still do that every day.  The rain keeps falling.  I'll have to take him out in it today.  He can only go so many days stuck inside.  Yesterday we cut the monotony by making
Bliss Balls.  He really liked the dates.  I'll post the recipe on the website soon.

Here is the last of the autumn colour in the garden.


So when do pumpkins stop being pumpkins and become dirt? I don’t know, but I don’t think they will make for interesting photos any more. (Some would argue that they never did) So here are the last photos of the pumpkin graveyard.


Day to day

November 25, 2009
Sunday was a fun day.  We had friends over for dinner.  Merlin had a chance to play with his oldest friend,
Sasha.  He and Sasha used to play when they were months old and Kathy and I were still on maternity leave... While  the adults visited in the living room, we could hear them inventing stories about trains and castles in Merlin's room.
Yesterday morning was fun.  Everyone piled into the "bus" (that would be my Honda Civic) and we dropped Max at school, Merlin at preschool, Rob at work, and then I carried on to work.  Luckily, we both have employers that aren't too concerned with what time we show up.  Our morning commute together is kind of fun.

November 27, 2009
Yesterday at preschool Merlin welcomed back (from maternity leave - I can't help but point out how great it is that she was able to take a year off, and then return to her job.  It would have been a loss to the preschool, if she had had to resign to have a child.) his first Speech Language Pathologist.  She started working with Merlin when he was 6 months old and they have a strong bond.  I told him he would see her at school, and all morning he kept mentioning it, then in a very 4-year-old way, gave her the briefest of smiles and carried on playing when he saw her.  With preschoolers, it is very much the thought that counts.

Given the topic of todays message to the PM (about a publicly-funded child care program), I can't sign off without saying a big thanks for the support we have received from our family.  Dad and Jane provide our child care while I am at work.  On my work days, they pick up Merlin from preschool and Rob or I pick him up from their home after work.  While I know they enjoy being able to see Merlin every week (much to the envy of the other grandparents), it is no small commitment they have made, and they have made a real connection with Merlin's preschool as well, and always have messages about Merlin's day to pass on to us.  Without their help, I would not be able to hold a job, as there simply are not enough affordable child care spots in the lower mainland.


Daily blurb

November 21, 2009
Well, I guess the big news is that we survived that weather last night.  I've lived in the lower mainland for 20 years.  And I've never driven through anything quite like that before.  Luckily it seems that everyone had the good sense to slow down - you'd have been driving blind even with your wipers going at top speed if you didn't.  Merlin was very excited by thunder and lightening and wanted to go outside to be in it all. (ah my little gemini, I understand you so well)

Merlin slept through the night (well, until 5:30 anyway, which for him is still very acceptable) again tonight, so I'm feeling well rested and ready for brunch with Mom and Boo.  I told Merlin about seeing them tomorrow and he still went to bed well.

November 22, 2009
We had a fun day yesterday.  We had a morning visit from Mom and Boo.  Mom, Merlin and I made muffins.  He's getting to be quite helpful in the kitchen.  I've been waiting to be able to have him in the kitchen with me, following directions, etc...  we both really enjoy cooking together.  Rob taught Bruce some music theory and they played some of Bruce's choir songs together.
After they headed off to Marlow's, we went off to visit the Mallinson's.  Scott and Merlin were very happy to see each other and played with their Dad's and trains, etc... while Shelley and I went to a toy sale. It's always good to talk to other parents about glasses, CI's and shoes for braces too! Scott and Merlin are quite the matched pair together - and it goes beyond their gear.  They both share a love of trains, cars, swimming - and apparently, Lincoln logs.
Take out pasta mmmm for dinner, and home to bed.

And I know you are dying to see the state of the pumpkins

November Garden

I've always liked the fall. The anticipation of snowfall, Christmas and snowboarding.
But I'm enjoying it on a whole new level with the garden. Even though it is, without doubt the ugliest time for the garden. Most plants are dead, leaves rotting, the grass should have been mowed one more time, but now it's too late and it lies limp, flat and always sopping wet. But the few plants that are still pretty really shine this time of year. And there is something of a story of renewal in the rotting corpses of the past season of growth.

The Pumpkins rot away.
November 13, 2008:




Continuing saga of the Cucurbita sp. rotting in the back yard.
November 6, 2009:

The Canadian public health system is rotting too. Merlin and I would have had to stand for hours outside today to get an H1N1 shot. I know people who are not high risk at all that have gotten the shot already. Why has our medical system whipped everyone into such a frenzy that they are willing to wait in the November rain for hours for a vaccine?
Keeping in mind, the risk factors for developing complications are quite specific. I was surprised, for instance, to hear on the phone message from our public health authority that people over 65 qualified for the shot. Anyone over 65 has already been exposed to the 1950's and 1970's outbreaks of H1N1. In fact, chances are quite good that they've already HAD it once or twice during the previous outbreaks.

But ambulance paramedics aren't considered by the BC government to be health care workers, so they don't qualify.

And in the mean time, most anyone working for a health authority has been pulled from regular duties to help administer the shots. This means that anyone needing: breastfeeding assistance, prenatal education, pregnancy testing (pregnant women are a risk group, so this seems particularly twisted - how do you know if you are at risk if you can't get a pregnancy test?), tuberculin testing (tuberculosis IS actually an epidemic in Vancouver that has cost hundreds of lives in recent years), adult immunization, audiology, dental, nursing support services, speech-language pathology, health promotion, parent support etc... can just wait until the craziness is over. But when will that be? The pattern of H1N1 is that it sticks around for a few years. We don't know how long the vaccine stays effective for, so everyone will probably want a shot again next year.

It takes a fair amount of trust in the system to let them just poke me and mine with a needle full of magic serum. And all this really doesn't make one confident in the system.

Pumpkin Graveyard

Having done their duty on Hallowe'en, the pumpkins have been moved to the compost.
November 1, 2009:

Here, Spice inspects their progress.
November 4, 2009:


First we had to practice our bouncing...

Then we were off to our morning party at Deaf Children’s Society. We had a lot of fun visiting with families. Last year’s preschool graduates had been invited, so it was a chance to catch up with them as well. Merlin played “Ring around the Rosie”. His walking has improved enough, and his friends are now big enough to walk with him holding hands. It is really great to see him able to engage with his peers.
And the cake was nummy.


Then we came home and set out the pumpkin trail to the front door.


My favourite was the cat pumpkin.


Then it was time for trick or treating.


He wasn’t afraid of the witch, or her recipe for kiddie stew.


I think he would have gone all night, by the light of the full moon.
But eventually, Kanga had to call it quits.