Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Happy Bonus Day!

Leap Day 2012Today is February 29th – you don’t get to say that very often, now do you? This year is going way too fast – as years seem to do – so I’m happy to have an extra day. And, since I’m 39, I’m especially glad that this year is a leap year, as it means I get an extra day to be a thirty-something! I also get an extra day to use my February transit pass (note to self: buy March transit pass.), which is nice because it’s annoying that the price of a February transit pass is the same as every other month despite it usually being 2 or 3 days shorter than the other months!

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish my cousin-once-removed, Samantha, a happy 6th birthday, despite the fact that she was born 24 years ago. I have a lot of cousins (14) and cousins-once-removed (10), and even cousins-twice-removed (4)1, so it’s hard to remember all those birthdays, but Sam’s is one I never forget ((I also remember by my cousin Kimberly’s birthday because she was born the day right after Samantha – I remember in early 1992 wondering if I was going to have two leap day babies in my family!)).

Image Credit: Posted by Dan Moyle on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Actually, now that I think of it, I have more cousins-once-removed and twice-removed, as these numbers only count those who are in the generations after me, but I also have cousins who are removed by a generation or two ahead of me, though I honestly have no idea how many people that would be! []

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I Have My Dad’s Cough

My Dad had a chronic cough, as far back as I can remember. To hear it, you would swear it was a smoker’s cough, though he never smoked a cigarette in his life1.

That sore throat I was complaining about decided to turn into a full on nasty cold late last week – I was all stuffed up and had a most disgusting phlegmy cough, which has now turned into a hard, dry cough that sounds exactly like my Dad’s used to. I don’t get sick all that often, but when I do, my phlegmy coughs generally turn into this cough and lasts a while and I find myself thinking “Am I going to have this cough forever, just like Dad did?” It also gets me to thinking – what is it, exactly, that I inherited that gives me that same cough as my Dad had? Is it something about the shape or physiology of my lungs? About the way my immune systems works? Did I just pick up his way of coughing as a behaviour?

It was four years ago today that my Dad took his last breath. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to hear that cough again.

I miss you, Daddy.

  1. I assume it was actually from working so much at the barn with the pigeons and the chickens and the various other birds and breathing in that barn air so much, but that’s just a theory. []

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Birthday Report

So I had a birthday. Apparently my cats knew it was my birthday, because they gave me a present: one of their toys was in the bag that I take to work when I got up on Monday morning. So thoughtful of them.

Kitties gave me this present for my birthday

At work, some of my coworkers took me out for lunch, which was very sweet of them! And that night a group of friends took me out for dinner to El Santo, a new Mexican restaurant in New West that everyone has been raving about. I completely forgot to get a photo of all of us at dinner, because I’m old and senile. But I did manage to get a shot of me with my birthday dessert – Potted Tres Leches – which the restaurant gave to me for free, what with it being my birthday and all. It was delicious!

Birthday dessert at El Santo

The next day I received a hard copy of the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, in which I have an article!

Hard copy of a journal article that I wrote

Then I didn’t really do anything birthday-related until Saturday, when I had my birthday party, by which point I’d kind of forgotten that it was even for my birthday, which seemed like eons ago. Before the party I told myself “I’m totally going to remember to take photos, because I never take photos when I have a party and I totally should.” And then I took zero photos. Cath took a photo of Watson smelling her sock, because he was smelling her sock for like 5 minutes1, but as far as I know that is the only photographic evidence of the event. I suppose this is actually a sign of a good party, as I was too busy actually chatting with all my guests2 to think about photography. Anyway, the Coles notes version of the party is that I had a blast – my friends are awesome and my cats were very entertaining – despite not going onto the very top platform of their new cat tree despite everyone’s attempts to get them to do so. Thanks to everyone who came, thanks for all the lovely gifts (which you totally didn’t need to bring), and special thanks to Michelle for making a delicious salted caramel chocolate cake and to my sister for sending an edible fruit arrangement3

I would also like to point out that since 2016 is a leap year, I get to have a whole extra day before I turn the big 4-0. I think this was an excellent choice on my part.

  1. Cath has two cats, so I’m betting Watson was picking up Google and Saba’s scent. []
  2. As well as mixing the occasional drink and putting out the way too much food that I made. []
  3. And she wasn’t even able to come to the party! []

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Adorable Things My Nephew Said

On my trip to visit my family for the holidays, I had the great pleasure of getting to spend lots of time with my niblings. And I want to capture some of the adorable things my nephew Thomas, who is 4, said while I was there. My blog has several funny comments from my niece when she was little too and I love when I look back at them and remember how hilarious she was (She’s still hilarious, but in a much more sophisticated way now, at age 11), so I want to capture some of Thomas’s hilarious comments so I can look back on them when he is older.

The thing I heard Thomas say more than anything else on this trip was “I think…” and “I’m not sure or not.” It’s like he never wants to commit to anything he’s saying. [Insert sexist joke about men never wanting to commit here]. A question like “Thomas, did you like your breakfast?” would be met with “I’m not sure or not”. But so would a question like “Are you wearing a blue shirt?”, which he could totally just look at and be sure.

Oddly, another thing he said a lot was very definitive: “Of course, I’m am!”

On Christmas Eve, he and I were sleeping in the attic, which has a skylight. He looked up through the skylight and declared, “I can see Santa!” So I said, “Oh no! Santa won’t come to the house because he can see that you are awake.” So he closes his eyes and says, “Now he’ll think I’m sleeping!”

He also has a few cute mispronunciations, like “Rice Creepies” instead of “Rice Krispies”, “Mickeldonald’s” instead of “McDonald’s”, and best of all, he refers to the superhero “Hawkeye” as “Hot Guy”.

We all went to the wedding of my sister’s best friend on New Year’s Eve, which was held in a deconsecrated church. All the stuff of the church is still in place, including a large statue of Jesus on a cross. Thomas saw this and declared, “Oh no! A zombie!”1

  1. My sister explained that it wasn’t actually a zombie, it was a guy named Jesus and the story goes that a bunch of people didn’t like what he was saying, so they killed him. Thomas had *a lot* of questions about this, so he was directed to my friend Sarah for further explanation. Apparently there was an Ironman analogy involved. []

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The Penultimate Night of the Year in Our Nation’s Capital

Spent the day driving to Ottawa with my family, as we are going to a friend’s wedding tomorrow night. The invitation says it’s a fancy-schmancy attire sort of occasion, so I’ve got a fancy dress, impractically tall shoes, and even some full length gloves for the occasion. My friends Sarah and Dave and their crew will also be in attendance, so it will be nice to ring in the new year with them. My niece baked the wedding cakes and I hear there’s a late night pierogie bar! Rock on!

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Christmas Baking 2015

For the official record1, the following baked goods were baked at the annual Snow family Christmas baking extravaganza 2015:

My Mom:

    • Tiger Cookies

Tiger cookies

    • Cranberry Nut Clusters

White Chocolate Nut Clusters

  • Fake Nanaimo Bars2

Fake Nanaimo Bars
Nancy (my sister):

    • brown sugar jam cookies

Jam sandwich cookies

  • cheese crackers

Daniel (Nancy’s friend):

  • lemon squares
  • almond crescent cookies

Beth:

  • shortbread cookies
  • amaretti
Ameretti

Amaretti dough

Ameretti

Amaretti cookies – pre-baking

Ameretti

Amaretti cookies – baked

Ameretti

Amaretti cookies – close up

  1. My blog is the official record. []
  2. Which I’ve been referring to as “Parksville Bars”. Parksville is the town next to Nanaimo. []

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Hello, It’s Me, I’ve Avoided You Forever While Consuming Calories

Whenever I visit my family, I get introduced to awesome new movies and videos1. Yesterday, my niece introduced me to this excellent parody of Adele’s Hello, which we have been walking around the house singing all day:

Given that I’m currently on a break from running (until the new year), the line “And the ice cream truck is the only reason I run anymore” really made me laugh!

P.S. I will post about Christmas Baking tomorrow – I have to upload all the photos and don’t have time right now as we are about to go out to watch a movie about combat among luminous spheres of plasma held together by their own gravity.

  1. See: Cats & Boots, Dumb Ways to Die, and Turbo, as just a few examples. []

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Tomorrow is Christmas Baking Day

My baking plans for tomorrow include:

  • shortbread cookies, the cookies that I’m legally obligated to make every Christmas
  • amaretti, which I’ve never made before but expect to be delicious!

I will report back once all the baking is complete!

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What recipe are you known for amongst your friends and family?

Here we go with using the Dec 2014 blogging prompts.

What recipe are you known for amongst your friends and family?

Shortbread cookiesI make the best shortbread in the world. I learned my Great Granny Snow’s secret recipe from my Aunt Wendy. Why Great Granny chose Aunt Wendy from among all her granddaughters to teach, and why Aunt Wendy chose me from among all her nieces to teach, is a mystery, but I believe it’s ‘cuz Aunty Wendy loved me the best! (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that, Aunt Wendy).

Now, there are two things about this recipe. One thing is that it is really all in the technique. I could give you the list of ingredients (even the super secret tip about one of the ingredients) and the instructions, but you wouldn’t be able to make these cookies. When my Aunt Wendy taught me this recipe, she showed me something about the dough that I have never told anyone and never written down. And it is the key to making the best shortbread in the world.

The second thing is – I don’t even like shortbread.

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OMG, it’s December tomorrow

So, it’s December tomorrow. How, exactly, did that happen? Wasn’t it January just like 5 minutes ago? Looking at my calendar for the next month, I see that December will also be flying by, because I have an insane amount of things in my calendar, including:

Plus a variety of other meet ups with people I haven’t seen in ages and, you know, Christmas and New Year’s! Let the festivities begin!

  1. This is how you can tell that the 12 Bars of Christmas crowd has gotten old. []
  2. Where DDG = Drinks/Dinner with Dr. Girls – where me and my PhD grad school buddies get together to catch up []