a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Oct, 2008

weekend lowdown – long, rambly, with photos and lots of asides

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Misc. life|Ottawa

This weekend was totally jam-packed. It feels like it was a long weekend, maybe because the hubbub all started on Friday.

Friday morning

We were expecting guests for dinner (Veg Next Door and family!) and in the morning I was busy giving the house a last-minute hoover. But what I wasn’t really counting on was how much two other visitors were going to throw a wrench into my timing.

The first was a guy to come look at our basement. We’re finally getting quotes on getting it finished. He was great, but the whole thing took much longer than I expected. The second was a photographer from a local paper. He came over to take a photo of me for an article. (!) He arrived right on time, but you know what, I hadn’t even showered that day.  (It was the basement guy’s fault!) Lucky for me, the photographer was a very talented and patient fellow. He pulled my desk out from the wall (it’s on wheels), as well as the stand I have for my CPU and my printer, and hunkered down behind it to take my portrait. This was all well and good, but, sadly, my lacksadaisical housekeeping was revealed when a storm of dust bunnies came loose from underneath the furniture and threatened to swallow us both.

Anyway, I shouldn’t complain. He and I chatted while he snapped away, and although I like getting my photo taken about as much as I like catching the hairy centipedes that sometimes come running out of the kitchen drain he ACTUALLY made it quite enjoyable.

He sent me some sample pics, one of which I might actually like, but I’m still dwelling on it. I’m thinking of posting it here, but I’m not sure if (a) I really want to do that and (b) if I should do it before the publication of the article. I hate having photos taken. I never think they look like me, or they make me look totally goofy. As I told the photographer, I will never be a supermodel. I am too pointy and non-photogenic.

Since our little photoshoot I’ve been thinking about EXACTLY WHY I hate having my photo taken as much as I do, in addition to the reasons above, of course. It pretty much comes down to this: I like to think that in my real, day-to-day life, I am a normal-looking person. I think I’m okay looking, not gorgeous, but presentable, you know what I mean – gack, it’s so hard to be objective about this kind of thing. But to summarize and put a cap on this rambling, I think the vast majority of photos taken of me make me look like an idiot, which totally clashes with my theory that I walk around real life NOT looking like an idiot. Catch my drift?

ANYWAY, the photographer ever-so-kindly loaned me his lens baby. And I’ve been playing with this weekend. Pretty nice of him, huh?

Veg and her sweet little family came over at 5:00 p.m., right as I was chopping the last of the veggies for our dinner. We rolled our own pizzas, drank wine, and chatted. This is one of my favourite ways to spend an evening. Why don’t we do this more often? It’s so easy.

Emma convinced us to bring out the Wii, so there was some bowling, jogging and hula hooping. And before we knew it, it was time for everyone to go home.

After the girls went to bed Mark and I watched Vera Drake. What a great movie.


Saturday morning I had the interview for the article, the one that the photo was for.

I have a feeling I dragged the editor out of bed to do it. We met early, but there was no other time I could do it.  Earliness aside, our chat was easy and fun. I was happy that he asked me some thought-provoking questions, something other than, what is a blog? or What do you write about?  … which is what I usually get asked. We talked, I had coffee, and skipped home.

When I got home, Mark, the girls, and I drove our old paint cans and dead batteries to the hazardous waste depot on Carp Rd. where we idled in stop-and-go traffic for one very long hour. THEN we set out for Kilmarnock Orchard for some apple picking. We got lost along the way, backtracked, asked directions, got there, and found out they were closed for the season. This, despite the fact that their website explicitly stated they were open until November. Arrrgh!


But Sunday made up for it. We did our annual thing at Saunders Farm. If you’re thinking of going, heed my advice and GO EARLY. AS EARLY AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY GO. The place opens at 10:00 a.m. BRING COFFEE. AND TYLENOL. MAYBE EVEN MIDOL IF YOU NEED IT. Seriously, if you arrive later in the day you will get the massive crowds, long line ups, and screaming/crabby children …  a combination that never makes me happy. In fact, it makes me very very crabby.

I have a lot of good things to say about Saunders. I love how they’re a family farm. I love the mazes. I love how many people they employ from the community. I love that they love what they’re doing. I love that they rebuilt the hay-jumping and the tree house, but my goodness, could someone please fix up the haunted hayride? Have you been on it lately? A handful of the encounters weren’t even working this year. It was a bit disappointing after the amount of time we waited in line.

Here are a few pics from our outing:

Emma in the treehouse at Saunders Farm

Wall o' pumpkins at Saunders Farm

Kettle corn

children of the corn

maze at Saunders Farm

As well as one with the LensBaby (and yes, it’s supposed to look like that – !)

LensBaby experiment

After Saunders Farm we had dinner at Mark’s parents. Sarah and I took a walk down by the water to check out the action, where there were crowds of a different sort:

Canada Geese in Kanata

Canada Geese

And of course, we played on the swings:


… and played with the rocket ball:

The infamous rocketball

And that’s about the extent of it. Phew!

4 Responses to "weekend lowdown – long, rambly, with photos and lots of asides"

1 | Javamom

October 20th, 2008 at 3:03 pm



Everytime I think to myself that I love babies and toddlers sooooooooo much and I don’t know what I’m going to do when they’re bigger, older, I look at the photos you take of your gorgeous girls and the fun they’re having living life with you and yours, and I think to myself HEY, that’s something to look forward to!!

I enjoy my visits here. Happy fall!

2 | Chantal

October 20th, 2008 at 4:10 pm


someday we will run into each other at that park. :)

3 | Sharon

October 21st, 2008 at 1:28 pm


Are you recovered from a weekend like that? I tired just reading about it!

4 | Zhu

October 21st, 2008 at 9:23 pm


Wow, you take nice pictures! I love the portraits (your kids I assume…). Good focus and you captured the moment!

Can’t wait to another day of blue sky, I’m already sick of the rain!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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