April 8th, 2017: Laundry, Groceries, Laundry, Neighbourhood chats, Laundry, family time – and did I say laundry (seriously – how much laundry can 2 little boys and one big one make??)
Do you know what your City Councillors does? Or more specifically what she does on a Saturday night at 10:30 pm? That’s right – blogging time.
(Before I start in earnest, I should tell you that after last night’s blog, I received a return phone call from one of our dedicated staff members. I had emailed them earlier that day asking them to call me – and they only got the message at 10:30 at night – thinking it was urgent, they wanted to get back to me. While it wasn’t urgent and we made plans to talk next week – I have to say, City of London staff really do embody “At your Service”.
I additionally spent another hour chatting with one of my council colleagues about an item coming up – we left the conversation with plans to talk more next week. Lastly, I made a few notes on things I would like to work into this blog over the coming month that I haven’t touched on yet. I think I made it to bed around 1 am!)
It is 10:29 pm, and I have a load of laundry in the washer, one in the dryer and about 8 piled on the guestroom bed waiting to be folded. Clearly, as much as everyone in my house can make laundry, no one in my house can fold laundry. Meh. I usually do it all on Sunday’s anyway – and I was successful at folding about a quarter of it through the day between other things today.
So, I got started blogging about 30 minutes later than I usually do – that’s because I’m fighting with Gmail right now – trying to send an email, and I think I’m overworking my computer or have too many windows on the go at the same time -my email is not keeping up with my typing. I decided I might as well take a break, and write this before I flip back to that email.
Today, I was able to sleep in – one of my favourite things to do. By nature, I am up at night – I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I get my energy at night and do some of my best work at night. But that usually means I stay up too late, and wake tired in the mornings. On weekends, I usually have the opportunity to sleep in, which I do when I can, and I love it! There’s nothing like waking up when your body feels rested, and not because there is an alarm ringing.
Mid-morning, Matt and Andrew left for the cottage. We haven’t been all winter, and need to start prepping it for the rental season. I have my first renters scheduled in May and am booked on and off until Labour Day so far. There will be at least a few more weekends of heading up there to make sure it’s in good shape for renters, but this weekend was getting the water on and checking for any winter damage. By all reports, it fared well this winter.
Once Matt and Drew were gone, Ben and I made our plans for the day – for me, I knew work was on the agenda, as well as housework, groceries, a few errands, and perhaps a special dinner out for Ben. Benjamin wanted computer time, time to scooter, and to get a gift for dad’s birthday.
We started out with a little work for me – and computer time for him. Once I got through the most pressing things – which was a frustrating process as the outlook web app for the city of London is not working well and disconnects from the server every 4 ish minutes, we decided we might as well head out. Our first stop was to pick up some dry cleaning. A colleague had been kind enough to lend me a formal dress for the 100th anniversary Vimy Ridge dinner last week, and I wanted to get it cleaned to return. We made it to the cleaners just before 2 pm, then went straight to the Western Fair Market.
We should have been to the market by about 2:15, but a train on Egerton delayed us by about 20 minutes.We arrived at the market around 2:30 and had a number of stops to make. We stopped first for some delicious Apple Fritters. I had been craving one for about 3 weeks and was glad they weren’t sold out. A fresh loaf of sourdough bread, and some candy for Ben. We bought grilled cheese sandwiches and fresh fruit to take home. I bought a local garlic for roasting and spreading on the sourdough bread. We took a quick wander around the second floor, but by this time everything was closing up, so took our goods home, and Ben went back to enjoy another computer game.
I thought I would try to get to some more emails, however, the computer was still not connecting properly, so I did some laundry and tidying up instead. Ben decided he wanted to go to the park – and today was a great day for it.
We went to our neighbourhood park and were surprised at just how many people were there. At least 15 kids, all enjoying the equipment. I chatted with some of the other parents and learned that the park off Elmgrove is still experiencing drainage issues – thus they came over to Village Green Park. Parents and I talked about speed zones, and safety measures, and a few other city hall events. We stayed at the park until dinner time, and then made our way home.
Ben has mastered the scooter – his favorite activity at the park is to use the trails where it is hilly to gain speed on the scooter.
After returning home, we tried to decide where to go for a special dinner. I was still full from the grilled cheese at lunch, and Benjamin was most interested in sushi. I normally like (read: LOVE) sushi, but the idea of All You Can Eat sushi on full stomach was just not appealing tonight. Saturday nights are usually more expensive, and I knew I wouldn’t be eating much. After some back and forth, he decided that what he actually wanted was Kraft Dinner. Perfect – we had to grab groceries anyway, so it worked out perfectly. We stopped at a shop along the way to grab supplies for the birthday gift for Matt, and did our shopping. This was also a good time to work in a brief financial conversation with Benjamin. We talked about making good choices with money, and how eating out can get expensive – so while it’s a nice treat, making the choice to get groceries tonight was a much better decision. We talked about how eating out would have cost us between $30.00-$50.00 – and after our shop, he noticed that our grocery bill was $70.00. Matt and I have always worked in conversations like this whenever a learning opportunity presents itself.
A few things to note about being a city councillor and being in the community. I’m no longer anonymous. I often get the corner-of-the-eye / double looks from people. That “I think I’ve seen her before look”. That, and I get the people who know exactly who I am and who want to chat. Today, I ran into one of my favourite constituents, a man who I hadn’t heard from in a while, and we spent a few minutes catching up in the produce section.
Ben and I finished our shopping and made it home with enough time for him to work on his gift, and me to make him Kraft Dinner. Then off to bed, for him, more laundry for me, and here we are.
I guess the question that really came up through today’s blog is when am I not ‘working’. When I’m at the grocery store, or at the park, I am not there as a part of my job, but I’m always on. I have to be prepared to answer questions, to be accountable for my decisions, and to engage with constituents. I have been known to take notes while pushing kids on the swing – so that I remember to follow up later. This is not a bad thing, and in no way do I want people to stop engaging with me. I love helping people and talking about what’s going on at city hall, and what changes people can expect.
Well – the dryer buzzer just went off, it’s now 11:19 pm and time to put more laundry through and to finish up a few more things before bed!
Tomorrow will be the rest of the housework and some personal/household correspondence and chequebook balancing; prepping for the school week; Matt and I working out our schedules for the week, and a few hours at City Hall Sunday night preparing for the work week ahead.