So I am up on the roof with my shovel and this guy walks by and yells out, "you better be careful. One hole in those shingles and its good-bye Charlie." Good bye Charlie. Asides from the obvious advice I really enjoyed the use of good-bye Charlie. The man had an Italian-Canadian accent and I would say he was in his 50s. He walks past our house all the time and this was the first time he ever started an exchange other than hello. Even though he was pointing out that shovelling off the roof is a bad idea, which it is in so many ways, I enjoyed that whole bystander taking an active role in my well being. Small towns do have their charms. He also mentioned I should buy a roof rake. Maybe next year. For now I will just live with icicles.
After the shovelling I started the fire down stairs with the last of the wood I had inside and then got to chopping. Six loads later and I was ready to start making this evenings chili. It was a mushroom, tofu vegetarian chili so I started by cutting the onions and mushrooms and crushing a couple of cloves of garlic. This was thrown in a pot which was placed on the now really hot wood burning stove. I went back up stairs, realised I was quite short on time (had to go referee some basketball) and got the wife to chop tofu, carrots, peppers and the rest of the veggies while I opened season on some can opening and spread some seasoning around inside a big bowl. This was then carried down stairs and poured over the now simmering/steaming onion/mushroom/ garlic combination. I put on the lid and had just enough time to eat some cereal (12:30 in the afternoon and I still hadn't had breakfast) and get out the door.
I came back to ice rink time in the backyard and a house bubbling with the scent of vegetarian tofu mushroom chili. After a bit of play time we came in and started putting rice and chili into bowls. I also whipped some of our home made bread into a little bit of garlic bread. The chili was very low on the spicy heat but nice and warm in the tummy on a cold winter evening. Counteracting this was this evenings dessert menu featuring Neapolitan ice cream from one of those four litre buckets. Nothing like bulk buying of ice cream. The kids put on some aprons to eat dinner, they are really into the whole cooking thing. They even helped me with doing the dishes before dinner (prep stuff and lunch). Now they are in the bath and we are getting ready to watch the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Roll on.
Speaking of Roll on it looks like Obama is going to be inaugurated on Tuesday. Is he the real deal? Can he make a difference? Are there heroes in this post post modern age. I want to believe but I just don't buy it. Time will tell.