Category Archives: Kitty Cats

Happy Birthday Eric! And the last of my mom’s visit

This week has been a bit nutso, so just a few things before it has been too long since my mom left and it is weird to talk about.

But first, happiest of 21st birthdays to my baby brother Eric!

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The first time I held him. He was a HUGE baby.

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21. 21 years have gone by since that cheeky cat was born. I can’t believe it. I remember when I was eagerly anticipating his arrival and drawing scary clowns to be posted on the walls of his nursery that said “TO BABY!” all over them (not kidding about that, my mom saved one of the clown posters that I drew and it is terrifying. Poor guy). I have a lot more to say on the subject of having a baby brother…I also found a speech that I wrote about little brothers when I was in Grade 6 and it does not paint Eric in the most flattering light (direct quote: “I like him when he is sleeping and when he is playing in his OWN room with his OWN toys. I do not like it when he comes into my room and gets into all my stuff. And forget about putting up a barricade because Eric will just smash through it.”) I think I will have to write more about that speech later…

Anyway, he did turn into a shining, respectable young man. So happy birthday Eric, I love you!

Last weekend when my mom was still here we did the rounds of visiting her old friends. And we dropped in to see my lovely Nana.

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I still cannot believe she is 100. And she is still so with it, asking my mom all the questions about what she has been up to. Nana is my dad’s mom, but my parents were married for 20 years so was obviously a big part of my mom’s life. Nana was just thrilled to see her. She is still calling me and raving about our visit and how happy she was to see my mom doing so well.

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She’s a sweetheart that Nana. Her annual Elvis impersonator barbecue is coming up and I cannot wait.

Aside from family and friends visiting, we ate a lot. My mom made her famous chicken soup that I love so much.

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My friend Melissa was telling me that the reason she loves soup so much to this day is because of my mom and the soups she used to make for us when we were growing up. I totally agree. I never thought about that before but I’m pretty sure that is why I love soup so much now too. I can always go for some soup.

Evan also made his delicious lentils and red curry chicken for my mom, and it was her first time eating anything like that.

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With spicy pickle and Evan’s cousin’s chutney and popadoms. My mom loved. I loved! I want to eat that every day!

Evan cooked for us a lot actually…

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I’m sorry but sausages are just not photogenic, no matter how you photograph them.

I was happy my mom got to experience Evan’s cooking, because it is dynamite.

Evan and I also took my mom to the flea market last Sunday so she could experience that randomness. And we went to amazing crazy food court with all the foods of the world, and what made the experience for me this time was this pork rice from the Columbian food stall.

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It is cooked inside sewed up pork skin and it was incredibly amazing. We all loved it. My mom and I also shared a quesadilla from the Mexican booth, but not even worth taking a picture of, I was too into that rice.

My mom hung out a lot with this little minx.

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My mom was Winnie’s first owner. I think Winnie remembered her! She slept with her every night and has definitely been missing her since she left. My mom could not believe how much she still acts like a spry young kitty, and she is turning 21 this October! I haven’t been posting a lot of pictures of Winnie since Bolt’s arrival, but rest assured she is and will always be my number one. She is my favourite.

Other than that, a lot of hanging around and chatting in the condo. Evan and my mom really like each other.

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Brotherman came over for dinner a few times and he and my mom really hit it off as well.

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I know she had a really great time. I was so sad to see her go. We are going to miss her around here. But I am very happy knowing that Eric (and Kenya and Dixon!) are taking such good care of her in BC.

Have a great weekend!

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THANKSGIVING!

This weekend is Thanksgiving! Canadian Thanksgiving! Ours is quite a lot earlier than the American holiday, which I am personally in favour of. I like having the two biggest eating holidays of the year spread out. I can’t imagine having Thanksgiving less than a month before Christmas. That wouldn’t even give me enough time to properly fit in my pants again. Someone should have thought of that when designating the American holidays (not like you guys have a lot to be overly thankful for right now anyway with all the BS going on in your country).

Anyway, I’m excited to eat a lot, and my stretchy pants are laid out and ready for the weekend. My Dad and Mona are in Florida right now, and my Mom and Eric live in BC, so I will be celebrating this Thanksgiving with Evan’s family. First time for a big holiday! It’s kinda like Meet The Parents (but I have already met the parents and the family). Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too badly. But I probably will. I can’t eat anything without getting it all over my face. Just ask Evan (I like to think he finds it endearing).

At least I know this time that his Grandma doesn’t like hugging, so I won’t go in for a huge one and get shafted. Unlike the first time I met her when I hugged her and her arms stayed stiffly at her sides the entire time. Not awkward at all. Evan whispered to me afterwards “I forgot to tell you Grandma’s not a hugger.” Thanks for the heads up!

We will be gone from Saturday until Monday. Brotherman is coming with us, and Ian will be away with his family, so this leaves Winnie. Poor little Winnie, all aloney on her owney. Coming with us would be no good for her as she HATES the car and going on a car ride for two hours would not be her dream (it would in fact be her nightmare). Normally leaving her alone for a few days is fine. If you’re not cat savvy maybe you are unaware of this, but cats are super easy. Throw down some extra food and water and they’re good for days (and this is why I have a cat and not a dog). However, because of Winnie’s recent health issues I have been iffy on leaving her, even though she will really only be on her own for one full day.

So Evan found this app that you can download on both your phone and your computer, and it is basically like a nanny cam, so you can watch what’s going on in your house when you’re not there, FROM YOUR PHONE. Pretty cool stuff. So we will be able to monitor Winnie while we’re away. Is that creepy? Apparently there is a motion sensor also, and you get a notification when something moves. Not that I want to be glued to my phone watching Winnie all weekend, but it will be nice to be able to check in (and see if she craps on the floor, which is what gave away her kidney issues in the first place).

I was touched that Evan suggested this AND I’m excited because I have always wanted to know what Winnie does when no one’s home. Probably just sleep, as usual. But I like to think she is throwing a cat party with all her friends (though she has no friends). Either way, we can keep an eye on her.

Maybe she will spend her time plotting how she is going to get her little paws on more ham. She is obsessed recently, and Evan and Brotherman joke that every time she meows she is actually saying “HAM!!!! HAM! HAAAAM!”

Anyway, this should be an interesting experiment.

Tonight is my friend Lisa’s birthday celebration at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant, so basically it’s like Thanksgiving has come early. I’ll just be eating all weekend long, which makes me happy.

Evan texted me yesterday afternoon and said he and Brotherman were toying with the idea of East Side Mario’s for dinner, but also that he took a chicken out earlier and the chicken would be the healthy choice, and what did I think? I thought about it for a moment before saying that the next day was all-you-can-eat sushi and Saturday and Sunday would be all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving dinner so…why wait to get started on the eating fest? Why have chicken when I can have unlimited salad, bread and pasta?

I chose East Side Marios.

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My pants and I will deal with the aftermath next week when this is all over.

Have a great weekend, and a great long weekend and HAPPY THANKSGIVING if you are Canadian!

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My Nana and My Cat: A Comparison

I have been thinking a lot lately about how similar my Nana and Winnie are. You are probably wondering how a grown woman can possibly be anything like a cat, and I feel you on that. I know it sounds crazy, but they are kindred spirits. I’ll tell you why.

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They’re both really old.

I’ll just state the obvious here and get that out of the way. They’re old. Winnie is 20 and my Nana is 99. There are differing opinions on cat years compared to human years, but Winnie is anywhere from 100 to 140 years old in human years, so really they’re about the same age.

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They are both social butterflies. 

When my Nana first moved into her nursing home she said what she missed the most about her freedom was going to the bank and going out to get her groceries. She just missed those regular, every day interactions with people. She will talk to anyone, and is basically in her element during any social event.

Winnie is the same. She lives for social interaction. She wants to be around people all the time, and she will meow at/snuggle with anyone. Anyone who enters the house. My bestie Lisa told me last time she was staying with me that she always thinks Winnie remembers her because she’s so affectionate towards her, and then she said “but then I remember that Winnie’s slutty with everyone.” And that’s true. She is.

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Especially Evan these days. She better watch herself.

They both are very food-oriented.

My Nana gained a bit of weight when she first moved into her nursing home because there was dessert served with every meal and she couldn’t resist it. So many of my memories of her involve food. Her freshly squeezed orange juice, her homemade perogies, cabbage rolls, lasagne, her Christmas cookies, her banana splits, her salads, pickled everything, her BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!! (best birthday cake I have ever had, ever), the list goes on and on.

Winnie loves food also. She can’t make me delicious things, but she will eat pretty much anything (except raw vegetables, and interestingly my Nana cannot have much “roughage” either). The other day we cooked ham for breakfast and Winnie stalked the kitchen table until it was unattended for a minute, jumped up onto it, stole a piece of Brotherman’s ham off his plate, ran away and ate it. So, yep. Food oriented.

They both love to snuggle.

When my cousins and I are visiting our Nana, we get right onto the bed with her and give her a snuggle.

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Winnie too lives to snuggle.

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She is sprawled out on Evan’s legs with her tail resting on mine as I type this.

My cousin Allie wrote a letter to our Nana once and listed all the things she remembers about her, and one of the things was “Going to sleep with you on the pull-out coach and never feeling you leave.”  Winnie stays with me in my arms nearly every night until I fall asleep, and I never feel her leave. I’ll just wake up later and find her on my feet.

They both have to be touching me at all times if they’re near me.

Kind of a continuation of the snuggling, but whenever I am sitting near my Nana, she must be touching me. I have always noticed and loved this about her. In all my pictures with her, she is always touching me. An example:

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Winnie is like this, but it’s the opposite. She wants someone touching her at all times. She lives to be touched. When you get home from work, or when you wake up in the morning, Winnie is waiting to greet you. She meows at you and immediately leads you over to the ottoman (ALWAYS the ottoman), where she lures you into petting her. If you are standing near her and you are not touching her she will look at you like “WHY AREN’T YOU TOUCHING ME?!”

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They both have had kidney issues.

My Nana had a kidney removed 20 years ago. Still spry. Winnie has been diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease. Still spry.

They both like to play.

My Nana goes around to all the games the nurses put on in her nursing home. She loves table bowling, BINGO and Mystery Word (Mystery Word is her favourite). She mostly goes to the games because the nurses are judged on attendance and she doesn’t want the nurses to get bad marks or feel bad if their attendance is low, but still, she likes to play.

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Winnie also likes to play. She cannot resist her ball on a string. Ever. No matter what she is doing if you dangle it in front of her she will immediately stop and grab for it with her little paws and her mouth. She is old, but she is speedy.

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I got this.

They both love their family and are fueled by love.

No explanation needed. Both my Nana and Winnie live for the love of their family.

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Well, Winnie lives for the love of anyone, really. But I like to think she loves me the most.

They both give me this incredible feeling of comfort just being around them.

Once again, no explanation needed. They both can instantly make any situation better and being in the presence of either of them makes me feel safe and warm. They both feel like home.

They both have the most positive attitude of anyone I know.

My Nana and Winnie are both rays of sunshine in my life. They are both incredibly happy and positive. After any sort of illness or setback, their positive attitude and strong will is what keeps them going. You may ask how I can tell that a cat has a positive attitude, and I am not exactly sure. But I know she does. And if you ask anyone who has met Winnie I know they would agree with me.

How do you think they have both lived for so long and are still so happy? They are both the prime example of positive thinking. They don’t sweat the small stuff. They live for the smallest joys in life.

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Like Winnie’s favourite alpine scratcher.

It is the little things that make them happy, and I think both of them are examples of how the quality and longevity of your life is directly related to your happiness.

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And that is how my Nana and my cat are the same.

Do any animals remind you of people you know?
I can’t be the only one!

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Poor Miss Winnie Kitty

I had a nice happy post planned for today about going to the apple orchard on Sunday, but then last night Winnie got really sick and it seemed inappropriate to put up.

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I may have jinxed Winnie in all my talk about how she was thriving and how well she was doing… But she really was thriving, and she was doing so well! This happened very suddenly. One minute she was fine, and the next she was lying on the floor, clearly in pain, alternating between throwing up and and having some serious issues from the other end. I won’t get into the gory details because it was pretty gross, but there was blood and something was obviously very wrong.

It happened around 7pm last night, and the vet that I have been taking her to recently was closed. So Evan and I packed her up in her carrier and took her to an emergency animal hospital near us that is open 24 hours. I was really impressed with the staff, and how caring and attentive they were with Winnie. The vet was especially concerned with not putting her through a lot of trauma because she had already stressed herself out to the point of exhaustion with everything going on in her body.

They got to the root of the problem (a very hard stool, the opposite problem Winnie had been having recently which prompted her bloodwork about three weeks ago and her kidney disease diagnosis), but are not sure what caused it. It’s possible she has a tumour or a polyp in her intestine, or she could just not be getting enough fluids.

Which brings me to options…what could we do for her? The vet gave us three options, basically.

1. Treat her symptoms. Give her three different shots (one painkiller, one anti-inflammatory, and one pepcid to help with the gas in her tummy). Also inject her with fluids because she was not eating or drinking during her symptoms and we were concerned she was dehydrated. Observe her overnight and bring her back if her situation worsened, or keep her there for observation overnight and go from there. Also give her three different antibiotic prescriptions of the same injections (in pill form though) twice a day for the next week.

2. Do option 1, plus an X-ray and a colonoscopy to see if we could find if there is an issue in her intestines causing the problem.

3. Put her down.

Winnie is 20-years-old. I have been a very lucky cat owner and she has had very few health problems until recently. She is also still extremely spry and happy, and genuinely loves her life. She is the nicest kitty I have ever had the pleasure of owning, and she has been known to turn even the most cold-hearted non-cat lover into a huge cat fan. I knew option 3 was coming and I would have to consider it, but frankly I am not ready to go there until I have exhausted other options. Her kidney disease is under control and she has been reacting very well to her new food. This seemed like an isolated issue.

However, she is 20-years-old. Not only do I not have over a thousand dollars to spend on tests and treatments for her (option 2), realistically I know that she cannot possibly live that much longer (though I say she is fueled by love like my Nana so will live forever). I can only do the treatments that are a) not too stressful for her, and b) financially within reason. And so we went with option 1. Keeping her overnight for observation was an extra $450 on top of all her prescriptions, and I thought she would be more comfortable with us anyway. So we got all her medications and brought her back home. This was really sad-funny because she was so doped up that she was totally out of it and just staring with her giant pupils not actually noticing anything while drooling all over the place.

Thankfully, the little muffin is doing really well. We put her in a contained area with her food, litter box and blankets, and when we checked on her throughout the night she seemed to be steadily improving (Evan got up at 5am to see how she was doing, bless his heart). I gave her some more pain meds this morning, as well as her other medications, and I am working from home today so I can continue to keep an eye on her. This is riveting, as she is mostly just sleeping.

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She isn’t quite back to normal, and is moving around a little slowly, but she is eating and not having any of her original symptoms and doesn’t seem to be in pain. So, fingers crossed. Now we just wait and see. I’m hoping all the antibiotics will take care of the issue and she will be good as new and I will not have to consider option 3 for a long while.

I am not sure why I wrote all this out, but I was feeling a little sad today and just worried about my little kitty so I wanted to talk about it.

So please send any extra prayers to my Miss Winnie Kitty! She has the most beautiful soul of anyone I’ve ever met (cat or human) and I know she has a lot of life left in her!

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Yes, we shall!

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My Beautiful 8-Year-Old Brain

My mom was going through some boxes a while ago and found my creative writing journal from when I was in Grade 4. She saved it all this time! She sent it along with Eric to bring to me when he was visiting.

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Well doesn’t this look like a party.

It’s pretty hilarious to read it now. Some of the things I wrote were just ridiculous. I seem to have had an obsession with spiders (nothing new), ghosts (haunted houses in particular), secret passageways (I blame the Babysitter’s Club and Mary-Anne’s secret passageway for that), and carnivals at that age, as that is what most of my stories are about.

Writing has always been my favourite, and some of my stories actually aren’t bad! Evan was dying laughing when he came across the speech that I wrote about my summer vacation, because it starts out “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! I went to British Columbia for my summer vacation.”

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My entire “speech” is basically just a running commentary of exactly what I did while in British Columbia. Every single mundane detail. If I have learned anything over the years, hopefully it is to be more succinct. I am still extremely impressed with my spelling and grammar at that age though.

And listening to music, reading and looking out the window are still my favourite things to do on a plane, FYI.

Anyway, I would like to share one of my stories with you. Please note I am not changing any of my original spelling or grammar. But I am going to add paragraphs.

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Professor Dino and his Greatest Discovery

Long ago in a desert in Italy (I am not sure why I chose Italy…) there was a dinosaur named Professor Dino. Professor Dino lived in a cave. As you might have guessed P.D. is a professor. He has a laboratory set up in his basement (because most caves have basements). All of P.D.’s friends call him P.D. for short.

One day when P.D. was taking a walk he found 2 dinosaur bones stuck together to make an X. X marks the spot thought P.D. He got down on his hands and knees and started digging. After a few hundred handfuls of sand and dirt Professor Dino felt something hard. He brushed away the sand and found that it was a chest. Luckily there was a rope tied to the chest. P.D. grasped the rope and pulled out the chest.

The chest was very heavy. P.D. had to open the chest right then and there.

Inside the chest was a very old golden book. P.D. brought the book home to read. When he got home he went downstairs (with the book). There was no title but he just turned the page anyway. The first page had nothing on it. The second page was the same as the first. 3rd page nothing 4th nothing 5th nothing. This went on until the 109th page (last page). Then it said P.D.

That was really strange because that was P.D’s initials!

WHAT A MISTERY!

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Can I just say how much I love my eight-year-old self?

Here is a beautiful poem that I wrote about my cat, Princess Missy (Winnie’s predecessor) also found in my creative writing journal:

I have a cat named Missy,
Her fur is white as snow,
And now I gotta go!

I didn’t say it was a good poem. Here is Princess Missy:

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And my nana!

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Anyway, I’m so glad my mom saved this because it is just a gem. If I ever have children I am saving EVERYTHING! And it’s all going on the fridge!

Did your parents save any of your stuff?!

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Food Talk Friday

I got a pretty disturbing comment about that Vietnamese soup I wrote about on Wednesday.

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Sounds like weird lunch meat was the least of my worries. I probably ate congealed blood and pig’s knuckles. There were a lot of weird mystery items in that soup. When I read this comment to Evan he said “Yeah, now that you mention it, I remember you struggling with some kind of cartilage-type thing.” Welp. Pig knuckles! A hoof, basically. I may have eaten a hoof.

I feel like if you are going to include weird ingredients in your menu items, those weird ingredients need to be listed on your menu. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know. Normally if I am at a restaurant that is outside of my culinary boundaries culturally, I just eat without asking questions because I am afraid of the answer. What’s in that sushi? Oh, octopus testicles? Fabulous. Didn’t need to know that.

I think those days may be over for me now. Now I feel like I need to know. If there’s blood in my soup (congealed  blood), I’d like to know. Ah well, all good, just a life experience.

Anyway, moving onto more delicious things. I went to Evan’s house after work on Wednesday and when I got there he was roasting a chicken for dinner.

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So for dinner we had an entire chicken, stuffing (stove top but I’ll take it), gravy, and Brotherman’s slaw. What is this, Thanksgiving?!

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Nope, just another day at their pad. This is not even for my benefit, I promise. They are constantly cooking these elaborate dinners. And breakfasts. This is what they made me for breakfast yesterday.

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A frittata with a bunch of vegetables, ham, and a chocolate chip waffle.

No lie, this is an every day thing. Here are two other breakfasts I have enjoyed there lately:

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STEAK and eggs.

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PEROGIES and eggs.

No one has ever cooked for me like this before. I don’t even know how to express my gratitude. I guess blog about it.

They also just got a juicer, so my breakfast yesterday was followed by juice with mango, orange, and grapefruit.

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It tasted like Florida!

On Wednesday evening I was talking to Dawn on the phone for a while in another room, and Evan came in and surprised me with a glass of carrot, apple, orange, and ginger juice, instructed me to take a giant sip of it, and then poured wine into it to top it off. I can’t even explain my reaction to that. I thought I was dreaming.

So anyway, don’t blame me if I move in there. Winnie cooks me jack squat over here.

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Yeah, but your love isn’t edible Winnie.

I am going away for the weekend, and though I am excited about leaving the city, I am a little bit sad because it’s a huge food weekend in Toronto and I am going to miss it.

First of all there’s the first annual Halal Food Festival at the International Centre, which according to the website is two days of food in seven festival areas and 60 food sampling stations. Oh, and there’s a cheese seminar. I’m really sad to miss that especially.

And Sunday is Burger Day. All-you-can-eat sliders, various kinds, from 67 restaurants, for $30. It’s at Artscape Wychwood Barns.

It’s a good weekend to be a Torontonian. If you go to either of those events, please tell me how they are. I want details!

Have a great weekend! Eat lots! But stay away from the pig knuckles. The congealed blood also.

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