Do they serve that at Dennys?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

This morning, I asked my 3 year old daughter what she would like for breakfast. It's a pretty safe bet since her response is usually "Goldilocks porridge" (oat bran with cinnamon) or "ice cream" (healthy homemade version made with banana, avocado, fruit and rice milk).

But today, she hit me with something entirely new.

Her request was (get ready for it), "Squash miracle garden yuck."

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't have an effing clue what squash miracle garden yuck is. Nor do I have any idea where she might have heard of such a delicacy. Is this kid sneaking out to roadside diners while I'm on Twitter sleeping? Perhaps Max & Ruby have been cooking on Netflix again. Why not? They've got no parents to feed them.

Either way, I was up for the challenge. And so, I served up this delectable treat.

Squash miracle garden yuck

I scooped some leftover butternut squash into a glass. It might have been a brandy glass. Because I'm classy like that. Then, I stuck a couple of Sociables and a pair of crackers-with-cheese-in-the-middle into the mush. An ice cream sundae spoon completed the meal.

Now that I look at it, this breakfast appears strikingly like Beaker from the Muppet Show -- if someone melted him into a glass. A brandy glass.

Am I wrong? You know I'm not wrong. Wow. And I wasn't even trying.

Doesn't matter. The point is that my daughter's breakfast contained everything she asked for. It had squash. The squash came from a garden and honestly, even I know it was dripping with yuck.

Then came the miracle.

Squash miracle garden yuck gone

She ate the entire freaking thing.

I win.

No, really.

Remarkably good penmanship - for a deer

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

From time to time, Geoff disappears on his mountain bike and heads off somewhere -  into the wilderness. I used to worry but now, truthfully? Meh. Nine lives. Maybe even ten.

Meanwhile, the major highway near us has been under construction for the summer. It's being twinned. Y'know to help folks who are passing through our province get out a little bit safer. And quicker. We're coming Nova Scotia! Ready the highland dancers and save us some scallops!

This highway business has put a damper on Geoff's exploration. Where once he was able to just "hop across" the road, has been barricaded with a long stretch of deer fence. Not that the engineers haven't planned this project out exceptionally well. They have. There are gates, leading to tunnels and pathways - all designed to let Bambi and his mother (and, I suspect - ATVs) travel safely. I think they may have even pumped in some ambient moose music. It's like freakin' Disneyland for cervidae. Yeah, I used the word cervidae in a sentence. Did you read that my ninth grade science teacher? Did you?

In any case, with all the careful development, the highway builders neglected to take into account the exact location where Geoff likes to cross the road. So, my husband decided to take matters into his own hands. So to speak. His initial plan of traveling with wire cutters and short lengths of chain was quickly shot down by someone. It might have been me. So instead, he tried a different approach.

On a day, just a day quite like any other, Geoff wrote a note on a piece of paper, sealed it in a plastic baggie and attached it to the deer fence with a zip tie.

The note read:

Deer gate here please.


A deer

And do you know what happened?

That son of a bitch got himself a deer gate, right where he asked for it.

Someone saw the note, read it, cut a hole in the fence and installed a gate. A gate!

This can only mean one thing. Either the folks working on our highway: A) Regularly communicate with one another by using notes like this; B) Have a tremendous sense of humor (and extra deer gates); or C) Think the wildlife around here are highly advanced and have decided not to question evolution.

Either way... mountain bike trails.

No, really.