Monday, December 5, 2022

#MicroblogMondays: Odds & ends

(Not a "micro" post this week, but it's what I've got...!)  :) 
  • Friday morning, we drove with BIL & SIL to a nearby mall to meet up with Older Nephew, his wife and her mother, and watch Little Great-Nephew have his photo taken with Santa! I will admit I got a bit teary as I watched (while snapping photos madly with my own cellphone camera!) -- but I would not have missed it for the world!! Santa was just wonderful with him -- it was the same Santa LGN had his photo taken with when he was just a few weeks old, that last pre-pandemic Christmas (2019) -- and as we left, I heard him chuckling and saying "Isn't he cute?" to one of the elf assistants/photographers. ;) (Hey, he's Santa!  He should know, right??  lol)  
    • No, we didn't get our photo taken too, lol. LGN had an appointment, and there were other families waiting, so I didn't ask if they could squeeze us in too. It was LGN's day! Maybe another time!  :)  
    • We thought we arrived in plenty of time -- it was just before 10:30 a.m., and LGN's appointment was for 10:45. BIL told us that Santa was at the one end of the mall, so that's where we parked.  This was at the other end of the mall from where I knew Santa had always been, pre-pandemic -- but hey, a lot of things have changed since then, right?  
      • But then, as we were walking in, Older Nephew texted SIL that they -- and Santa -- were near Entrance #X... on the opposite end of the mall. (In other words, right where he's always been!  lol)  This is a HUGE mall -- the full circuit around it is 1.7 km, or 0.85 km from one end to the other. That's approximately half a mile -- and we had less than 15 minutes to get there!  We probably would have been better off going back to the car & driving around to the right entrance, but we wound up speed walking all the way there, arriving just in time!  (Dh, SIL & I were all wearing masks, too -- and none of us are spring chickens...!)  
    • Afterward, we walked back down to the other end of the mall again (near where we had parked) -- at a more leisurely pace this time, lol -- stopping in the Lego store along the way. "HOLY COW!"  exclaimed LGN, dazzled by all the Lego -- especially the models of the Star Wars Deathstar and Roman Coliseum on display!    
    • We all wound up going for lunch together at a restaurant within the mall before we headed back home.  
      • This was the first time dh & I ate in a restaurant since just before the pandemic was declared in March 2020! ( = 2 years, 8 months!)  
      • Not only that -- it was the EXACT SAME RESTAURANT where we'd had that last pre-pandemic dinner out -- with BIL, SIL, Older Nephew, his wife and LGN, who was then about 3-4 months old. How's that for symmetry??  
      • Thankfully, the restaurant was not too crowded (about half full, maybe less) and we were in a section with only two or three other tables nearby, near the door ( = at least some fresh air coming in now & then). I kept my mask on until our drinks arrived, and put it back on again after our plates were cleared. 
      • As mask-wearers, we were definitely in a small minority of people at the mall that morning -- although I was happy to see that it was (surprisingly, for a Friday, in December, 3 weeks from Christmas) not yet that crowded overall. 
  • I splurged (hmmm, seems like I've been doing a lot of that lately...!) and bought an Aranet4 CO2 air quality monitor which Turia recommended in her blog a few months ago.  (It was delivered while we were out at the mall on Friday -- too bad we didn't get it before, because it would have been interesting to have it on hand!)  I'm planning to take it with us on the airplane when we travel in a few weeks' time. Till then, it's sitting on the kitchen counter beside our little hygrometer (which reads the humidity levels -- although the Aranet tracks that too!).  :)  
    • Between the Aranet4 and the Dyson purifier/humidifier we got a few weeks ago, it's been fun monitoring all the data and watching the humidity and air quality numbers go up and down during the day, and how they change if, say, we run the bathroom fan or the essential oils diffuser, or make toast...!  (What can I say, I am my father's daughter -- my dad always did love a cool gadget...!  lol) 
      • Speaking of the Dyson, I am very happy we got one. I love using the app, I like how you can adjust the settings for the purifying fan speed and target humidity, I love getting notifications when the water tank runs out, and I love how easy it is to refill! (Cleaning also sounds pretty easy to do, although I haven't yet had to do that.)   
  • After almost a month of smooth sailing, Bloglovin' is out again this morning (eyeroll & SIGH...).  
  • I recently mentioned that Margaret Atwood is now writing on Substack! A couple of her recent posts have been absolutely priceless -- albeit perhaps best appreciated by citizens of Toronto and/or Ontario...!  ;)  She will also be writing about... writing! 
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, the actor, has written a children's book! Click on over -- you'll want to see the subject and why he wrote it. :)  Thank you, Jake!  Putting this on my to-buy list (for Little Great-Nephew -- and our new great-nephew or great-niece!) when it comes out next September (2023)! 
  • I was gutted when I heard about the death of Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac this past week.  :(  I couldn't believe she was 79!!  (In her 70s, yes -- but 79??)  Everyone raves about Stevie Nicks, and yes, she's great, but I always thought Christine McVie was amazing and never quite got her full dues by comparison (although the obituaries have been effusive).  
    • I bought "Rumours" when I was in high school (I think I paid something like $4.99 for it, at the Bay in Winnipeg)(and several other FMac albums after that) -- I played it constantly for years, and I still play it now & then (the CD version, now that Older Nephew has all my vinyl, lol). "Songbird," Christine's signature song, from that album, is one of my all-time favourite songs. (Mick Fleetwood has said he wants it played at his funeral.) I never got to see FMac in concert, but apparently it was the standard closing encore number -- just her and her piano, and that beautiful, crystalline voice. Sheer perfection. (Her maiden name was Christine Perfect, by the way...!)
    • And of course, she was "one of us" (Stevie Nicks too) -- i.e., childless, not entirely by choice. There's a quote that was circulating widely in the CNBC community this past week, in which she said, "There were never any children [for me]. There was always a career in the way. It was a case of one or the other, and Stevie would say the same. The lads went off and had children but for Stevie and I it was a bit difficult to do that. So that was never able to happen. And I never found the right man. Not through want of trying." 
  • About a week earlier, I was also sad to hear that Irene Cara died at the too-young age of 63 -- also apparently childless. I loved the movie "Fame" (which she starred in), and while I know most people remember her for the title song (as well as "What a Feeling" from "Flashdance"),  my personal favourite from that movie is "Out Here on My Own," which was written by the late, great (also childless) pop singer from the 1960s, Lesley Gore.  :)  
  • The New York Times had an article recently about the growing numbers of aging Americans (baby boomers & Gen-Xers = ME!  lol) who are living alone, and the mismatch between their needs and available housing. Some of the people in the article are parents, but some are not, and the issue of aging without children is specifically mentioned (albeit not elaborated on in any significant way). It's the first time I can remember reading about this issue in a mainstream North American publication! and it's nice to see it's getting some attention!  
  • And... a SECOND NYT article on the same subject!! (specifically focused on "kinless" seniors). (Someone please pinch me, lol.)  I think this one is even better than the one above, to be honest. As I said, SO nice to see this issue finally getting some attention!!  
  • Speaking of aging:  I listened in to a New Legacy Radio podcast recently, live, where Christine Erickson talked with Patricia (Trish) Faulks (of the blog "Just Me & Lilley") about "Embracing Solo Aging While Confronting Pronatalism and Ageism." You can listen in on the website and on most podcast platforms. (Christine has a new or repeat episode on a childless/free-related topic every Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern time.) 
  • Jody Day of Gateway Women appeared on a popular lunchtime program on BBC Radio 2 on Friday, Dec. 2nd to discuss Jennifer Aniston. unsuccessful fertility treatments and involuntary childlessness, followed by a call-in segment with some great callers. :)  She's the first guest, starting at about 1:06 into the program. You can listen via the link until the end of December. 
  • More Jennifer Aniston, including the voices of other IVF survivors who didn't get their "miracle babies": this time from the Huffington Post. Some great quotes here... and I particularly liked this observation in the narrative: 

If the perfect girl beamed into our televisions via nonstop syndication couldn’t have a baby, then, truly, it could happen to anyone. And if she picked up the pieces of that heartbreak and went on to have a successful career and a fulfilling life — what might that mean for the rest of us?

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here


  1. I'm laughing at the image of you, DH and SIL speed-walking across the mall! Well done on getting there in time!

    Thanks, as always, for the great list of reading and listening. I've caught up on some of it, but far from all of it!

  2. So much good stuff to read here! Thank you!!

  3. You are so good at finding the great things to read and listen to! The running through the mall sounds stressful, but I glad you made it and got to see the pics and get to hear HOLY COW! At the LEGO store. :) That made me chuckle! Great quote at the end about Jennifer Aniston.