Tag Archives: Q

Donations to help animals and their helpers

Sometimes my kid kills me. He might test my patience from time to time but he is a kind and gentle and loving kid.

For the last two years, he and I have picked a charity for my monthly donation. (Toby always picks MSF so Q and I try to do something different).

In 2015 he wasn’t so into it but last year he really helped narrow down choices and in the end we did an organization (Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit – link) that trains dogs to help veterans with PTSD. Q called it “dogs for super heroes.”

He wanted to do animals again this year and we settled on WWF-Canada (same as his birthday charity). Then we saw the stuff about the adoptions you can do. Q insisted we each adopt an animal. Plus he wanted to chose a helper.

There were six options for the helpers – male and female for each of: polar researcher, wildlife ranger and marine biologist. I showed him the page with all of their pictures on it. None really looked like him but there are boys and girls and one has long blond hair and another has short brown hair and so on and it it turns out it just didn’t seem to matter to him at all what they looked like.

So, our African elephant (mine), polar bear (Toby’s choice), and giraffe (Q’s) are now being cared for by a “Female Wildlife Ranger” because that “sounds like a fun helping job” and she’s who he pointed at.

Our January 2017 WWF-Canada adoptions

In keeping with Q’s love of animals and his interest in helping them and the environment we’ve signed him up for a local camp on the next school break that focuses on our local critters and their habitats. I can’t wait until he goes!

Oh and one day I might write a post about Toby and bears and his name….

Q loves the Ontario Science Centre day camps

Q has been at Ontario Science Centre day camps this week. He has loved every one that he has done – he did a couple of PA day ones last year too. A bit odd that they insisted I register him as a 5-year-old when he is six on Friday (TOMORROW!!! uhm nope, not anymore TODAY) but there you go.

Tuesday – Super hero theme

Me: So, how was camp today?
Q: great!
Me: did you learn how to fly?
Q: No?
Me: shoot spider webs? or ice?
Q: no momma. This was REAL science.

Wednesday – circus theme

Me: I wonder what you’re going to do today when it’s a circus theme. Do you think you’ll become an elephant?
Q: No momma. (insert sigh) I told you. It’s real science that we do. And we get to play and our recess was in the space area and and and

Thursday – magic theme

Q hides in his room before bedtime

Me (to Toby): Ha! Finally! He learned how to disappear at the Science Centre magic camp!
Q (comes rushing out): No momma. We do real science!

So no surprise then when, at bed time, Toby says “Good night lovely boy. See you tomorrow when you will wake up 6.”
Me: Nope. Not until 1:23 p.m.
Q: what ?
Me: You were born at 1:23 in the afternoon. When you wake up in the morning you will still be 5. In the afternoon you’ll be 6.
Q: that’s not fair! the day doesn’t change. I am 6 the WHOLE DAY
Me: yes, you’re right. You are 6 from as soon as you wake up.
Q: You are too literal sometimes momma. The day is what counts.

I’ve got a cold so you get some babbling…

I think. A really really bad cold. It hurts to swallow (my neck is actually quite tender) and my sinuses are all plugged up. I am definitely not going to run a long run today so now I have to figure out what I’m going to do in Edmonton in a couple of weeks when I am supposed to run a 1/2 marathon. I’ve run every day – at least a mile – since February 13, 2016 but I haven’t had a run of more than 10-14 km in months. Seriously. I think it’ll be a game-day decision.

edmonton marathon medalsFrom the Edmonton marathon facebook page

I was so looking forward to that coffee on Friday and instead I’ve had nothing but tea and honey. Or whisky 😉

Tea from Victoria, BC:

And I stumbled across this on that “this day in history” thing on Facebook from two years ago. I still find it pretty funny.

Q: what’s that?
Me: blueberries
Q: no, that
Me: a plum
Q: no it’s not. Plums are purple.
Me: it’s a yellow plum
Q: plums are tricky

I’ll spend some time today planning out the week assuming that I’m better tomorrow…and maybe a version where I’m not better until Wednesday.

What’s making me happy this week

So what’s making me happy this week?

Civic Holiday

Well, it was a short week this week thanks to “civic holiday” Monday. So, I’m me. Hi! And I went off to find the law that makes the August civic holiday an actual civic holiday. You know what? IT ISN’T! What the heck?! I started looking at the Government of Canada – Justice Laws Website. There is a Holidays Act. It recognizes THREE holidays. THREE! Can you guess which (answer at the very bottom).

So then I go down the rabbit hole….Christmas isn’t there. Nor Labour Day or New Years Day or Thanskgiving or Boxing Day. Where do they come from? And where can I find the damn August Civic Holiday?

The short answer is – it’s not easy. And I’m a lawyer! How crazy is that? First off, it turns out that “August Civic Holiday” is a social convention. We all just made it up out of whole cloth and everyone just keeps the charade going. It’s definitely not a national holiday – it’s not a day off at all in Quebec, Newfoundland or Yukon. And it’s not a stat day in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario or PEI. Seriously. It’s only in 4 provinces and 2 territories that it’s an actual statutory holiday!

Anyway. Happy Simcoe Day! ‘Cause I’m in Toronto and that’s who we picked to honour. John Graves Simcoe. The first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and he who abolished slavery in 1793. That’s pretty cool.

Q

Second thing making me happy this week is Q. He’s awesome. He’s decided to grow his hair. He really wants a pony tail. He’s got this weird combo of my hair and Toby’s hair. It matches Toby’s colour now exactly and my thickness/curliness. When my hair is long, most of the time it’s in a pony tail. When my hair is short, well, it’s short. I remember nothing about growing my hair from one to the other but right now, Q’s hair is ridiculous. So I made an appointment for him to get his hair cut by the guy who cuts my hair.

Shampoo!

Shampoo!

Not the best before-after picture but Daniel cut a huge chunk of hair off the back of Q’s head. AND kept him entertained in the seat long enough for a decent hair cut. He cut lots off the back and left the top mostly long (except the bangs). As the top catches up to the bottom, well, then pony tails happen 😉

IMG_6730Coffee

Coffee. Oh sweet sweet….okay actually amazingly yummy and slightly bitter coffee. There is a long-standing joke in my family about the amount of caffeine I need to consume just to maintain sustenance levels. My folks have Q tonight and all I was thinking was “So happy they get time together AND I get to sleep in tomorrow and wake up to awesome coffee.” Except then I came home. And realised I was out of coffee beans. And then I checked the mail.

IMG_6765I am fortunate enough to have some pretty awesome sisters-in-law and one of them is the lady who married my brother. I adore her and she and I have a lot in common including a love of coffee. While we might differ on the whole temperature thing (she will drink it scalding hot while I add an ice cube or 3) we both like rich, full coffee. So for her birthday (and poor George’s too) I bought a 6-month subscription to a coffee-of-the-month thing from Toronto-based Birds and Beans. They only sell bird-friendly beans. My brother and SIL will get a pound of coffee a month for the next 6 months and I told the shop that she loves bold coffees so I’m hoping she gets loads of those. And I got my first one in today’s mail. The coffee maker is all ready for tomorrow. Beans in the top, filter in the filter. I’ll throw the water in before bed and just have to literally press “go” in the morning.

So. What’s making YOU happy this week?

ANSWER – The Holiday Act establishes the following days as legal holidays and observed as such throughout Canada: Canada Day (July 1), Remembrance Day (November 11) and Victoria Day (first Monday before May 25). And I still don’t know why December 25 is a holiday but I’m tired and will keep looking later.

Dogs for super heroes…

One of the more random things we do is to pick a different charity each year to donate to monthly for the next year. Toby and I have each picked a main charity (His is MSF. Mine, well, I don’t have one right now sigh) so this is in addition to that. CanadaHelps is the website we use to help with this. I can’t remember now how I first found it (although I probably could log in and see what my first donation there was) but it makes donating easy – they take your credit card info and send the donation where you direct it.

CanadaHelps takes <2% to help run everything and you get a tax receipt for the total amount AND if you donate to more than one charity through them you get a single, easy to use receipt for tax purposes. And no, I haven’t gotten anything from them to do this. I hope they’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out they’ve been mentioned on some random whisky/baking/mom blog!

Anyway, Toby and I thought it’d be interesting to let Q choose the charity this year. I read him the big categories – animals, arts & culture, education, environment, health, international, public benefit, and social services. (note there’s also religion, but hey, I’m me, he didn’t get that option)

He picked animals. Then we went and looked at what was listed there. We all decided that something local would be great. And we found this: the Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit. We explained to Q about how some people decide that serving their country – all of us – is the best thing they could do and they go and join the army or the navy or the air force (or help by being police officers or firefighters or EMS people) and that often it’s really hard if they have to go away and fight against other people and then come home. Sometimes the friends they went with don’t come back from fighting because it’s very dangerous and everything is just very different when they come home. And we explained that this charity helped to get trained dogs to veterans who came home and needed help.

Q was quiet but clearly thinking about something. Then he turned to us and said “super hero dogs? I want the money to go to the dogs for super heroes.”

So there we go. Money for dogs for super heroes

And happy holidays to you!