Thanksgiving in Canada

11 Oct

kind of passed us by.  I felt that we should be making an effort because it was our first one, but it just didn’t go to plan.  We decided not to cook a turkey, because no-one really eats it, and the chicken fillets that I took out of the freezer turned into pork chops when they defrosted.  So, pork chops, carrots and the obligatory roasties, followed by a walk along the river with Kelly and June, two of the Irish girls.

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Funny moment when Michael was being slagged about being 48, and Kelly pipes up with “So is my Dad!”.  It turns out that we will be celebrating Eddie’s 30th (June’s fiance) and Michael’s 50th next year.  Should be fun.  I don’t think the Canadian Thanksgiving has the same oomph as the American one, but maybe next year we’ll be more organised.  I was wondering why Canada celebrates the day and this, apparently, is why:

“On Thursday, January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed a Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”

It snowed all day yesterday, much to the delight of the children and the horror of everyone else. I put on my new winter coat, which looks exactly like a duvet with a belt, and headed off with the ladies to the Midtown Plaza.  This is the second time we have attempted to shop there, and so far, it has just ended up with us sitting in the Food Court drinking Booster Juices, which are divine.  I think the fact that we’re not armed with our other halves’ credit cards is cramping our shopping style.  Not that I ever had much of one, but I had higher hopes of the rest of the ladies.  Lightweights.  Kelly needed a swimsuit, as she only possesses about 6 bikinis in different colours, and she was reluctant to go lane swimming in such skimpy attire.  We went to a really expensive shop called Swimco, and had the following conversation with the shop assistant.  “Hi, we need a swimsuit that’ll do for lane swimming”.  “Sure”, she smiled and headed towards the rails.  “It has to be cheap”.  “Oh, ok”, veering in the opposite direction. “The cheapest you have, actually”.  Slowing to a crawl.  “This one!”, she declared confidently.  $50, reduced from 2 squillion.  Kelly headed off reluctantly to try it on, knowing that trying to buy a swimsuit on the first day of snow was probably going to be a fruitless task unless she was willing to shell out.  June and I kept mooching, looking at all the gorgeous swimsuits, when she spotted another one, reduced to $20.  We threw it over the door of Kelly’s cubicle, and she emerged triumphantly a few minutes later.  “This one won’t last very long in a chlorinated pool”, said the shop assistant.  “It’ll be fine”, smiled Kelly thriftily.  “Do you want our special super-duper stop-the-swimsuit-surrendering-to-the-chlorine spray?”  “No thanks”, she beamed, and we departed as hardened bargain-hunters. This is our Wednesday Mall – http://www.midtownplaza.ca/

Most of the Irish contingent arrived at our house on Sunday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, and we all headed out to play baseball and a game of soccer.  It was like that Thanksgiving episode of Friends, when they played American football, but not as photogenic and definitely not as athletic.

It was a competition to see who was the unfittest, and the jury is still out.  The children ran rings around the men, and the men tried to keep up, and then they tried to show off their soccer skills, so it all got a bit messy….Most of them sat on the couch on Sunday night with aches in places they had forgotten about.

We had spent the previous Sunday in the zoo, which was amazing.  They have lions on temporary loan, and two GIGANTIC grizzly bears, which made me wonder exactly what type of bear Jo Ann had been warning us about that day on the lake.  There was no chance of scaring either of these mommas off.

We met James and Kelly for the first time, and I have to say that they’re both batshit crazy.  This is Kelly in Toys-r-Us, just before we got our hands on the last something in the shop that I needed for December, and beat off all other comers with our hurls:

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They’re in their early twenties, and the kids adored them.  We had hired a sort of go-cart thing to transport Rebecca, but by the time James had finished with it, they were all piled on top of each other in it, being hurtled at great speed up and down the paths, with the occasional wheelie thrown in. Eddie made the mistake of offering a piggyback, so James added to his load by hoisting the children up onto Eddie’s back, one by one.

James and Eddie with their cargo

There’s a beautiful park and picnic area, a fantastic playground, a fishing lake which we will go back to, and lots of forest walks. A great day out, particularly since it cost the seven of us $19.50, which was the same price as two adult admissions.  Happy days.

Rebecca started playschool last week and will be going every Wednesday.  She was thrilled, and didn’t give a hoot about leaving her bereft mother.  The bereft feeling was dispelled fairly quickly when I got into the car – on my own – to go shopping with the rest of the women.  I could get used to Wednesday mornings….

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And finally….

This Scottish bloke goes on a skiing holiday to Canada.

After a hard day on the slopes he retires to a bar at the bottom of the mountain.

After about five or six whiskeys, he looks up and notices a stuffed animal with antlers on the wall.

He asks the barman, “What the hell is that?”

The barman says, “It’s a Moose.”

The Scottish chap says, “F*”k me! How big are the cats?”

5 Responses to “Thanksgiving in Canada”

  1. Mel October 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    That’s brilliant Barbara and that picture of Rebecca at the end is really cute

  2. Anne-Marie Fitzpatrick October 12, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Looks like you are all settling in well, cant believe how big the children are getting, all grown up. So are you enjoying the snow then? College going well here, lots of studying (which is a downer) but good fun in the class room. Keep the stories and pictures coming.

  3. Angela Furlong October 17, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    Awh Babs! Love and miss you so much. xxxxx Fab story and as you can imagine the last joke went over my head the first time I read it!! So I put on my best scottish accent and read it again! Good one!!

  4. Helen October 22, 2012 at 4:49 am #

    Oh Barbara i laughed my ass off at that Joke. You are a really great writer and I am so enjoying reading your blog. You must be all having a blast. What great experiences the kids are having. Keep up the flow and our love to all. Helen & Mike

    • cibnr October 22, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Thanks Helen, lovely to hear from you! First really really cold morning here with a forecast of snow, so I’m wrapping the kids up like onions to go to school. Hope you’re all well and working away.

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