Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Having spent much of yesterday evening hobbling about our yard, exclaiming praise at a bouncy young puppy named Liberty, it felt more like we were still celebrating February 3rd’s National Golden Retriever Day than anything new. But we did get into some fun stuff.

National Thank A Mail Carrier Day

Working a mail route, in particular when you service a region whose climate can be aggressive and snarly such as ours, is not an easy gig. It’s a lot of walking over ice, through unshoveled sludge, and you won’t get a lot of hugs and praise from the folks to whom you deliver cheques, bad news and medication.

These are the brave men, women, and otherwise who have to walk through those pockets of this town where the air mysteriously smells like sewer. They have to traverse those sidewalks every damn day. They’re the heroes of the modern retail / antiquated communications world. Which is why this day is a perfect fit for our little endeavour.

Canada Post does not make delivering praise for your mail carrier a smooth and obstacle-free activity. I searched their site for how to email feedback, and came up empty. I tried to make use of their web chat feature, but it wasn’t available for this. I called their number (above), and had to hit six digits to get through to a human. Fortunately, that particular human did me the kindness of taking down my compliment.

Our mail carriers have always been pleasant, but I’ve never sent out an acknowledgement before. A gift card is a kind (often holiday-themed) gesture, but I’m hopeful this will somehow appear on whatever record Canada Post keeps of its employees, and maybe serve as a helpful tick in the good-guy box to help him get a promotion or a raise, or whatever his next ladder-rung may be.

It doesn’t take long to compliment great service – less time than it takes to complain about rotten service. And it can do a lot.

National Homemade Soup Day

With my evening transit chauffeur depositing me at my bus stop around 6:00, that didn’t leave me with a lot of time to make soup. I don’t remember how I found it, but this recipe for sausage, potato and spinach soup was remarkably easy and deeply delicious. It also left us both with more than enough room for leftover heavenly hash, which is starting to overstay its welcome in our refrigerator.

This is our second soup day of this extended mission, and the first I’ve been able to enjoy (Jodie had dibs on the other one). It was a toasty and spicy treat, one with far fewer leftovers than I’d hoped.

Soup has been around since at least 20,000 BC, so people have been raising goblets, steins and blood-horns to this guest of honour for most of humankind’s run. Linguistically speaking, the most influential soup was a 16th century low-cost exhaustion cure sold by French street vendors known as “restaurant” (something restorative). When a Parisian thinker opened a shop that specialized in those soups, the term ‘restaurant’ was on its way into the language as something new.

There are a handful of other soup days (thankfully no eat-soup-by-the-handful day), but I doubt we’ll top this one.

Beat The Heat Month

This is another reminder to spay or neuter your pets, so another excuse to show off a photo of our two primary research assistants. They’re a little exhausted from trying to train the new girl. The new girl has a lot more energy than they do.

National Hemp Day

What can hemp do? It can make clothing, paper, jewelry, rope, biofuel, plastic-ish materials, food, milk, oil, cat litter, hamster bedding, furniture, shoes and home insulation. It’s an incredible plant, but unfortunately all we had on hand were hemp rolling papers to accompany some of its cousin-plant. A celebration is a celebration. That one capped off a savage day nicely.

So nicely in fact that I forgot to post about this one until this morning. Unfortunate side-effect of celebrating, I suppose.

Today we will still be spending most of our evening chasing around Little Miss February 3. But we’ll also find time for these:

  • National Read Aloud Day. We’ll each pick something to read at each other. We may make a video and introduce our research-assistant-in-training to the world.
  • National Weatherpersons Day. Let’s learn some meteorology!
  • Girls & Women In Sport Day. Jodie is surrounded by some talented girl athletes at school, so she’s in charge of this one.
  • National Chocolate Fondue Day. We have a fondue set but does it work? We’ll find out.
  • National Shower With A Friend Day. This might save time in the morning.
  • National Nutella Day. Nutella for breakfast!!!

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