Friday, 22 February 2013

Throwing rocks

The Brier is coming! The Brier is coming!

What’s the Brier? Don’t worry, I didn’t know either. But for the last couple of weeks, that’s all my Grandpa has been talking about. The Tim Horton’s Brier is an annual national curling championship, and this year it's in Edmonton. The match has actually been around since 1927. Huh. Who knew?

Apparently The Brier is a pretty big deal, because the winning team goes on to represent Canada at the World Championships.

I don’t know much about curling, but I do know a little something about competition. Grandpa says curling is more than just throwing a “rock” and chasing it with those funny looking brooms. He curls every Wednesday night – not at the professional level, of course – and he says the top players have to practice hard just like for any other sport.

I’ve never gone to watch Grandpa curl, which seems kind of rude since Grandpa is at every single one of my track meets, and even some of my practices. Maybe if I go to his next match, I’ll know what to watch for when we go to the Brier – I guess he scored some pretty sweet tickets.

Who knows, maybe I’ll want to give it a try sometime.

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 15 February 2013

Life's a box of chocolates

Mom bought my sister and I each a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

I know I shouldn’t eat them. I’ve been training so hard at the gym, trying to get in shape for the spring track and field season, and well, diabetes runs in my family so I like to watch how much sugar I eat.

But come on, I’m a kid!

The box was filled with those mixed chocolates. You know, the kind that has some cream filled chocolates, or nuts, or, my favourite, caramel. Well, I stuffed the box into my backpack so I could share with my friend Sophie, at school – and I forgot the piece of paper that describes the chocolates.

Every time Sophie and I picked one, it was a surprise. We never knew whether it would be filled with strawberry cream (yuck) or fudge or maybe even nuts. Sometimes we could guess. Like, we knew the squares probably had caramel in them, and the rounded chocolates were likely filled with orange or strawberry cream. I stayed away from those.

But then there were the surprises. The long skinny chocolate that wasn’t butterscotch, but some kind of fruit and nut bar. I’ve never had it before, and I admit, I was kind of nervous. But guess what? It was delicious!

I guess life really is like a box of chocolates. There’s the familiar stuff – like going to school, hanging out with family or even going to Grandpa’s farm. That’s the square caramel. Dependable.

And then, there’s the surprises, the person you meet on your way to school, a detour off the main running path that leads to adventure, or maybe learning something exciting and new in the classroom. Those are the fruit and nut bar moments. Yeah, I know, they’re not always delicious. But one thing’s for sure, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 8 February 2013

The year of the snake

This week at school we’ve been learning all about the Chinese New Year, which starts this Sunday. Boy, it’s sure a big deal in China. My social studies teacher says it’s actually the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.

Lucky for us, we’ve already started celebrating.

A couple of days ago, a professional chef came to our class and showed us how to make a traditional stir-fry (I helped Mom make one yesterday and it was delicious!), and in gym class, we learned a bit of tai chi and karate.

Today, we’re going to make lanterns in art class, and then the whole school will attend a special assembly. My friend Sophie is reciting a poem in Mandarin, and I heard there’s going to be shadow dancing and a dragon costume. I’m so excited!

2013 year of the Snake. I wonder if there’s going to be anything about snakes at the assembly. I kind of hope not… * shudder *

But I do think it’s cool that Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days. In most countries, like Canada, the New Year is over in a few hours. My parents said they didn’t even stay up until midnight this year. How boring.

Maybe this year we’ll get to study some of the other cultures in the country. I’d love to attend a real powwow, or go on a field trip to the Ukrainian Village. So many different things to learn – right in our own back yard! I guess that’s why Grandpa says Canada is considered a cultural mosaic. <grin>

Gotta jet! Happy Chinese New Year!

- Chase Superman Duffy

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Super weekend lined up

It’s Super Bowl weekend, and you know what that means? Party at the Duffy house!

Every year, my parents invite a few friends over to watch the big game. My teams don’t make the finals often, but this year, I’m cheering for the Ravens. Grandpa is, too. We’re hardly ever rooting for the same team, but he likes to cheer for the underdog.

Coach Taylor told me that the coaches for the Ravens and the 49ers are brothers. And it’s the first time sibling coaches have played against each other in the Super Bowl. It got me thinking about what I’d do if I had a brother who played sports, or worse, loved track and field as much as I do. What if we had to compete?

Lucky for me, I just have a sister – and she’s still into dolls, and stuff.

My parents have invited the usual suspects to the party, and like always, there will be a lot of food. But considering Grandpa’s diabetes, my training, and mom’s New Year’s Resolution for a healthy 2013, those Super Bowl snacks will be super healthy.

Mom’s put me in charge of popcorn. I know, boring, right? That’s what I thought, until I stumbled across this website. Chocolate popcorn? BBQ popcorn? A healthy homemade kettle corn recipe? Where has this been all my Super Bowl life?

Mom says I can make a few different batches. Perfect! But of course, I’ll make them ahead of time. I don’t want to miss out on any of those great Super Bowl commercials. Go Ravens!

Gotta jet!

- Chase Superman Duffy