And a Star to Steer Her By


This past week was one of two "free weeks" where the kids and I didn't have summer recreation camps, art camps, science camps, or trips to California. It was meant to be lazy, but we still got a lot of things done.

With the help of Rosemarie and Michael, we rearranged and redecorated the girls' rooms. Vivian got a new loft bed from Ikea, and I described the experience over here in my column for the Kitchener Post. I should also add that the purchase of the loft bed led pretty quickly to the purchase of a low-profile ceiling light to replace the old ceiling fan. Though the ceiling fan was not being used, it was still a disaster waiting to happen. So, I braved my fears of working with electricity (don't worry, I found the switch in the fuse box that turned off the power to Vivian's room) while standing on the ladder of the loft bed. It was hard work, but there's no sign of fire, and the new light looks good, even if I do say so myself.

Nora has new lights of her own, but they're much easier wall-mounted lights that plug in. Her bedroom looks good too.

On Friday, Pat and Eric took us to Toronto to cruise the city's harbour in a tall ship Kajama. Though it was a bit of a slog getting into the city, the kids quite enjoyed the ninety-minute ride, and seeing the views of the city from Lake Ontario. It was also a very pleasant day -- sunny and not too hot, with plenty of cool breezes from the lake.

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Moe Pancer's Original Delicatessen, recently re-opened under its original owners and menu. As we'd long lamented the death of some of Toronto's classic delis, Pancers had been filling a considerable gap. When it vanished, people went into mourning. After eating there for the first time since its re-opening, I can say that the food is as good as ever. My father and I had beef-tongue sandwiches, my mother had a latke, and the kids grilled cheese sandwiches. We managed to make a good dent in them, in spite of snaking somewhat unwisely during the afternoon.

Finally, on Saturday, the kids and I went over to our friends Ishta and Walker's place and had a sleep-over with their two kids. The kids had a great time, as did the adults (because the kids mostly left the adults alone). I talked writing with Ishta, and she, Walker and I played Cards Against Humanity. That's a game I'll definitely have to invest in, though I'll need to make sure to have more people around to play it.

We're home, now, and pretty tired out, eating leftovers and generally feeling good about the world. Erin is on her way home, and is now in Hong Kong, recuperating from her long trip to the wilds of western Mongolia. Ten days until she comes home.

Pictures of our cruise can be found here.


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