Category Archives: Fond Memories

Green Eggs + Green Ham = Green Poo!


Among the many different things I remember looking forward to with our new baby were things like new baby smell (it’s intoxicating… there’s nothing like it) and hospital ice (what? you’ve never tried it? well, go get injured or sick or something & go to the hospital and try some).

Honestly, though, to pinpoint the one thing I was looking forward to the most… well… it’s a bit awkward, a bit weird, and (most of all) quite disgusting. In fact, you may want to set down anything that you’re eating or change to a different blog if you’re one of those people with wimpy stomachs.

I, (yes, me) Andrew Plait of Southern Alberta, was especially looking forward to green poo.

Let me write that again, a little slower for the people who weren’t sure what they read: G – R – E – E – N – P – O – O.

Green poo is, without a doubt, the best part of the entire parenting experience. Never mind the crying or discontent from the baby (actually, there’s usually one of three things to do when a baby cries, but that’s another post on its own) – green poo is to die for.

Why this fascination with feces? Well, I’ll tell you.

In my un-medical slang experience, a new baby dispenses green slime from his/her bottom within the first few hours of it being alive. You see it once, twice if you’re lucky, and then it disappears forever (unless your baby has a health problem or is from outer space or subsists on a formula/breastmilk/spinach diet).

The stuff is tougher than the strongest epoxy and extremely rare. In fact, I snapped a pic of it while we were in the hospital (but had the decency not to post that sort of thing on the Internet… just yet).

That’s why I’m a fan of green poo. Look for the collectible T-shirts coming out later this summer. We’ll start a poo-volution! Who’s with me?

photo credit: nateOne via photopin cc


Family + TV = Quality Time


I’m married to a Catholic. Theoretically that means I’ve got a permanent “get-out-of-divorce-argument-free” card (ha! I wish!), but every now and then I get a firm reminder that the “husband-of-the-year” or “most loved man” award might be going in the trash post haste.

One of the first things I noticed when we were courting was that every media device her family owned would be turned on when we came to visit. This array of devices included: a big screen tv in the living room, a small stereo in the kitchen, a tv / stereo system in the basement and (sometimes) music routed to two loudspeakers on the deck.

Now, when I say they were turned on, I don’t mean quietly minding their own business somewhere off in the background… I mean that those suckers were cranked between half-to-full volume capacity.

Despite all the noise being made by these different home appliances, conversation is still a frequent occurrence at my in-laws. The sisters hang out in the kitchen prepping supper and telling stories, cracking jokes and cackling up a storm. The men are either watching sports on tv, playing with the kids on the grass or working magic by the barbecue. The kids are usually playing in the backyard, so long as the weather’s nice and their parents have hidden the video games.

Sadly, we’ve moved about six hours away from the nearest family member, so social visits are few and far between. So, what have we replaced quality family time with? Yep – watching movies or Netflix. Tv is the new quality family time.

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

Why am I paying for poop?


Oh manure, how I love thee… let me count the smelly ways…

I’m standing in the middle of our backyard next to a truckload of peat moss, hoisting a 10-kg. bag of sheep manure. My shirt is marked with dark stains. I’m not sure I want to keep it anymore, let alone even consider bring it inside our house.

As I look around, arms full of feces, I find myself trying to recall why I’ve allowed this marvelous, marvelous turn of events to take place.

The year was 2012. We’d just bought our first house, the one that my oldest daughter keeps referring to as “not our real house”.

The house was ancient, incredibly small (750 sq. feet after a large meal) and thoroughly lacking in any form of insulation. The main perk was that it came with a large backyard ripe for gardening and a little green space for the girls to play on.

We’d previously rented rooms in apartments and  fourplexes, and had never had a backyard of our own. We felt like we’d won the lottery.

My wife had a glow in her eye and a smile on her face. Her mother and sisters jetted off to the nearest nursery, beaming as they returned with bags and trays filled with treasures like seed potatoes, planting onions and a variety of other garden essentials.

Anyone who has spent time growing their own food knows that picking the food is the easy part.

An entire summer later, I’d spent countless hours turning soil, arranging plants, watering, weeding, thinning, telling my children not to eat the bugs, harvesting, asking my children to stop watering the plants, harvesting again, creating fresh salads and harvesting again-and-again-and-again (mostly tomatoes, in case you’re interested… seems one plant produces enough to feed a small country – you can imagine what ten of the buggers are capable of).

I’ve changed a lot of diapers, cleaned a lot of dirty bums, and wiped poop off of places you’d never even thought it could reach, so why, why, why am I standing here with a bag of sheep manure (that I paid good money for) only to spread it and mix it in with some dirt? Because I’m a food grower, that’s why, and a darn fine one.

All the best to my gardening friends and acquaintances this spring. Please feel free to keep the tips and tricks coming.

photo credit: USDAgov via photopin cc