a peek inside the fishbowl

26 Oct, 2021


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

So, yikes. It’s been awhile since I’ve updated here. My explanation for this is rather fuzzy and lame. I’m writing more than ever in my day job which leaves me without too many extra words to share. Plus, there are Life Things and sometimes Life Things also take up a lot of mental energy, if you know what I mean.

I was actually going to write about our Thanksgiving, but now it seems so far away. The stores are already decked out for Christmas! I will say this, the girls were here and it was very nice to be together.

Thanksgiving gets a total makeover when little kids grow up and become young adults. Honestly, my head is still spinning. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the youngest regaled us with a Thanksgiving poem she learned at school?

Turkey turkey,
Gobble gobble,
Eat too much and
Wobble wobble.

Although the youngest did NOT recite a poem this year, she did assemble a charcuterie platter that looked like something out of a magazine.

When adult children are on the scene it means there is grownup snacking and cocktail mixing, and 1000% less supervision. It is a delight.

On the Monday, the eldest and I went on a nature walk in the Hampton Park woods. She hooked me up with this really good app called Seek. Basically, you hover your camera over any living thing for a few seconds and the app comes back with identifying information: it’s name, taxonomy, range, and if it’s a mushroom, whether it’s edible or not. Suddenly this ordinary walk in the woods became a scavenger hunt, one with pretty cool results (that is, if you’re into mushrooms and other flora and fauna):

Violet-toothed Polypore

Funeral Bells

Bleeding Fairy Helmet mushrooms

One of my favourite things about this is the names of the actual specimens. Above is the Violet-Toothed Polpore, Funeral Bell, and Bleeding Fairy Helmet.

The app has fun challenges too. The “Arachnid Challenge” is one of them, but I’m not sure if I’ll be signing up for that one. (!)

We brought Piper on our mushroom hunt. Being the funny and smart dog that she is, Piper has learned that she’s likely to get a treat if she hops up on a log and turns up the cute factor so she does that all the time now. It’s quite comical.

Piper knows how to turn up the cute

I guess I did end up writing about Thanksgiving weekend, didn’t I? Next up: CHRISTMAS. I can hardly believe it.



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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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