For a moment, I was left wondering what to write about tonight. My first instinct is to go on ad nauseum, as I have been doing, about how busy I’ve been. But, I think that subject has been well and truly exhausted, and my lack of posts makes the point abundantly clear.

So, instead I’m going to be random, much like my mother, and throw subjects at you that don’t have anything in common, but for that they came from my life and mind.

You Make Your Own Yogurt?!

I’ve long since mastered the art of yogurt making, albeit with the help of a yogurt maker and Yogourmet. It wasn’t obvious at first, but I did manage to master the process, and have been making about a litre a week of consistently decent plain yogurt from our organic milk. I use it to make the lightest, fluffiest pancakes ever, and it’s essential for our now perfect family favourite Butter Chicken, or in my case Butter Tofu, curry marinade. It also packs well in the kid’s lunches. They were even on board with this homemade yogurt, as long as our supply of raspberry jam was around to sweeten it. Sadly, we ran out of the delicious jam a couple of months ago (Note to self: Make WAY more jam this summer!), and the kids ran out of enthusiasm for my yogurt with it.

I broke down last week, after Liam’s ear tube surgery, and bought some Island Farms Vanilla Plus yogurt for a treat. Both kids devoured them, but especially Liam, who has been less than enthusiastic about my yogurt, jam or no jam. He’s just not that into it.

So, not to be easily defeated, I did a little looking around for vanilla yogurt recipes, and found many. I’m going to experiment with this one, and put a little strawberry jam in as well. I sort of feel like I’m cheating with all the sugar, but I’m still not producing the plastic waste I would be if I was buying it at the store. Sometimes, you have to focus on the little victories.

The Camera Question

You may have noticed that there haven’t been a whole lot of photos included in recent posts. I am still trying to decide whether to repair the camera or give up on it, and buy a new one. This is the third time the lens on our Cannon PowerShot has failed. This time, the repair shop says we need a whole new optical unit. Not good news, much like we got yesterday from the service shop for our car…but there, we didn’t have much choice. The camera is nearly replaceable at the repair cost of a new optical unit, unlike the repairs on the car, while sickening, we can’t replace the car for the cost of the repair bill.

With the camera, I have had to battle with the idea of disposable technology. I don’t want to buy new, when I could repair the old one, although it is only a year and a half old. Still, in terms of technology, that means light years in advancements. But at what point do I give up on this model, and decide it’s just not working out for us? Maybe much like Liam and the homemade yogurt, we need to spend some time apart?

The Boy and a Birthday

And without a camera, I don’t have the snapshots to remind me of what went on these last few busy months. While much of it is vague, I can say that Liam had a birthday, and he’s now six. SIX! We had a backyard party with fifteen kids. We managed to keep them all busy for two hours, with some free play, painting on a huge roll of paper across the deck, snacks and a Pirate story, followed by a Treasure Hunt that took them all over the yard searching out clues, leading to Treasure of the candy variety.

Things went pretty smoothly, with only some slight panic. Half way through, all our planned activities were done, and Len turned to me and said, What do we do now? We have a whole hour left!” So, even though it wasn’t sweltering hot, we pulled out the water balloons and the ever popular Mt. Tiki Soki sprinkler that explodes water like a volcano, and let the kids play. That last hour went quickly, and culminated with an Incredible Hulk cake (I know. Green icing?! How appetizing!), that was actually 24 cupcakes covered in enough icing to make even the sweetest sweet-tooth slightly ill.

I refused to do goody bags for the party, and compromised with a helium balloon tied to a piece of sidewalk chalk for each child. All the kids seemed happy, and I was proud not to have caved to both the unnecessary waste produced, but also the ridiculous expense of dollar store plastic toys that end up almost immediately broken or discarded.

We also went with a Twoonie party again this year, where the kids all bring a Twoonie instead of a gift for Liam. This way there’s less pressure on parents to buy something appropriate for a child they don’t likely know well, they don’t have to shell out yet another $10 or $20 for a birthday party gift, and the birthday boy’s parents don’t end up with a big pile of presents that they don’t have room to store.

Liam gets to take his twoonies, in his case about $30, and buy a gift of his choice at the toy store. One gift to store in the playroom, instead of fifteen! And there’s the added benefit of the reduced environmental impact, less emphasis on the material aspect of the birthday, and a whole lot less financial waste and burden on everyone! More reasons to celebrate!

And celebrate we did…with the big party, angel food cupcakes with local, fresh strawberries and whipped cream at daycare, and then his favourite entrĂ©e (prawns fried in garlic butter), mountains of LEGO, and MORE cake with us on his actual birthday. Happy Birthday, my big boy!

liamsix.jpg

And so, there you have it. Likely the most random of all posts ever written here at chez Kirby. But, you know? I feel better, so it had to be worth it.