Answer me this: Home Sweet Home


“Answer me this” is a bloggy cocktail party hosted by the lovely Kendra from Catholic All Year. We get to answer 6 random questions and chat about it. This is my first stab at it. I have to admit that not having to come-up with a writing topic is oddly linerating. Here I go!

1. How long have you lived in your current home?

6 months.

Last December, we moved to the boonies of the sticks after designing and building our own large family home. (Edited to clarify: by “large family home”, I mean that the family is large. I’m not bragging about the size of my house. Got it?) Our little piece of Canadian Shield sits somewhere in the Ottawa Valley, in Ontario, Canada. We are still learning to unlearn our city ways. Our children’s reaction to the move has been — ahem — mixed, with the old and the new being very excited and the middle being ambivalent, bordering on P.O.’d. There’s never a good time to move a 15 year-old and since we’ll have a 15 year-old for the next 20 years, we figured now was as good a time as any. 

 

Specimen of a teenager not happy to live in the country, plied with ice cream .

Living on the outskirts of light pollution has given our oldest son plenty of opportunities to dabble in low light photography. Here is the Milky Way over our house:

Hat tip to our oldest son Colin IG: @colin_deg

2. How do you find out about news and current events?

Mostly through social media (Facebook and Twitter) and CBC Radio 1 in the car. When I don’t have to listen to Taylor Swift. 

   

“NOT THE NEWS!!!'”

 

My husband is a great consumer of news and current events, especially when it concerns food, water and energy issues, and the unravelling of the European Union. He often sends me email links to articles he found interesting.

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?

Right now? No because I ran out of cash this week. But usually yes, for either. Our family had a run-in with excessive debt a few years ago that spurred a series of changes to the way we manage our life and our money. Those changes eventually led to our move to the country. We now operate on a cash-only basis and use money envelopes, like 8 year-olds. I can usually make change for a $20 but now my envelopes are empty until tomorrow. Sorry.

4. What’s the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

I still don’t know! I think it was some kind of congee . We were traveling back from Niagara Falls and visiting the Toronto Zoo. We booked a hotel room in Markham and left the hotel to eat our evening meal. Everything was written in Chinese! All the strip mall signs. All the restaurants names. All the menus. We had no idea where to go and eat with our 6 children so we parked in the middle of a strip mall parking lot and kept our eyes peeled for a family going into a restaurant. As soon as we saw someone walk in a restaurant with a child, we made a beeline for the same restaurant. The menu was in Chinese and our waitress spoke as much English as we spoke Chinese. We were thrilled! We don’t really know what we ordered or how much but eventually the food started rolling-in and we started eating. At one point, we received this sort of gruel, wrapped in a large leaf and obviously containing some fish entrails and other delicacies. Even with our adventurous palate, we weren’t able to give it the honor it deserved. We had also ordered way too much food. There’s only so much chucking of unknown fishy gruel you can do on a very full stomach. 

Many years later, when my friend Johanne went to Viet-Nam to get her son Toan, he was so malnourished that getting food into his frail little body was a work of every instant. Johanne posted on her blog that Toan really liked congee and that the hotel chef was showing her how to make it for him. When I googled “congee” there it was!! My mystery dish! 

Sadly this was before phone cameras and Instagram and I don’t have a picture. Instead, here is a picture of Eve’s dish: blueberries and rice with Bragg’s. What??

  

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)

For a blogger, I have this thing about sharing medical information on social media. You can get my kids’ faces but not their medical histories. Because who knows? Who knows when their insurance company in 25 years will unhearth that blog post and say “Here your mom writes that you spent 2 days in NICU as a newborn and you had trouble breathing, so we’re not covering you for any lung-related illnesses”. Know what I mean? Same goes for me. I blame the graduate studies in biomedical ethics. 

What I can tell you is that I lost 9 placentas over the years. Does that count? 

umbilical cord for miles following one of our home births

6. What’s your favorite sport to watch on TV? 

We don’t have cable so that takes care of sports watching on TV. We do watch a lot of gymnastics competitions on YouTube and Dancing with the Stars if there is a gymnast in one of the teams. 

My husband and I are not snobs about many things but I have to sheepishly admit that sports watching on TV is one of those things. We just don’t get it. 

We prefer doing sports to watching it. Sometimes we do both.
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