Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Electric

…thanks to Snow for hosting this week’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

Electric Guitar

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Electric Lights

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Distorted City Lights


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Electric Scooter


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Electrical Box


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Battery Operated Electric Lanterns


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Electric Car


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One More Christmas Celebration

….just when I thought I was done

I mentioned in one of my recent posts about Christmas that a very good friend of ours who almost always spends Christmas Eve with us couldn’t come over this past year. My daughter arranged for the three of us to get together last week for lunch.

I packed up all the gifts that I had for her, put them in my car and then headed out for Montgomery’s Inn where I volunteered to help put up an art show. I’ve never done a professional exhibit before and I found it exciting helping the artist decide where and how to hang her work. The artist’s name is Sharon McManus and I will probably share more about her work after the official opening this Saturday.IMG-0021
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When we finished hanging all the pieces I made my way to Arlene’s place. We met in her condo where she still had up all her Christmas decorations, including her white tree that she’s had since the 60s.

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Andrea arrived soon after and we all went down the street to the local Sushi restaurant. We toasted in the New Year with a little saki and warmed our tummies with a bowl of ramen.

When we went back to the condo and Arlene opened her gifts. She loves Henkel Trocken and it’s become a tradition to place a bottle in her Christmas stocking. IMG-0036
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Before we left she made us coffee and we shared a muffin and some cookies. Andrea also taught her how to use her camera on her phone so we played around posing for pictures.

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I think this is pretty much the end of our Christmas season, although my niece and her husband celebrated Orthodox Christmas a couple of days ago.

There are still a few remnants of Christmas around the neighbourhoods and some of the lights will stay up well past Valentine’s Day but for the most part the decorations are starting to come down and the greenery is starting to whither. Some people are sad that the holiday season is now over. As for me I’m looking forward to some rest and returning to a more normal routine of eating. How about you?IMG-0106
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The Third Day of Christmas Celebrations Amidst a Plumbing Disaster

…..on Boxing Day the sewer started backing up into the basement

Soon after doing the laundry we noticed that water was coming up through the sewer drain in the basement. Luckily it was only a large puddle around the drain and it was easily soaked up with rags but soon after when someone showered it happened again. We decided to carefully ration the water until we could get a plumber to the house. We called the next morning but because it wasn’t an immediate emergency we had to wait one more day before the plumber could get to our house.

On the 28th a camera and a plumbing snake were lowered into the drain. At 41 feet the camera came across the problem. The clay pipe at the Y junction had collapsed and only a small area was letting water get through. That meant that paper and some ‘matter’ was building up at the break and water was having a hard time passing through. Plumber Joe was able to clear the blockage but it was only a temporary fix. The pipe had to be removed and replaced. There was only one problem; the broken pipe was in the middle of my neighbour’s driveway and her car was sitting on top of it.

Now that might not seem like a huge problem but the car hadn’t been moved in almost two years and no amount of pushing would move it back the three feet we needed to get to the problem. We tried calling CAA but they didn’t show up and when I called they said that our coverage didn’t cover moving the neighbour’s car. Now what?

The next morning we figured out why we couldn’t put the car into neutral. Newer cars are all controlled by the electrical system and since the battery was completely dead we needed to give the car a boost. Eureka! We got the car started and backed it up the three feet that we needed. Unfortunately by the time we called our plumber back he was already on another job and couldn’t come till Monday, Dec. 31.

Our third day of Christmas was suppose to happen on the 28th but due to a miscommunication my sister’s family was planning on arriving on the 29th. At the time I thought the plumbing was going to be fixed on that day so I wasn’t too anxious about having eight adults and a baby in the house. When they arrived I explained the situation and asked them to use the bathroom sparingly. In the end we decided to go out for dinner instead of eating at home. Before we left we opened more gifts and phoned the restaurant to make sure that they could accommodate our large group.P1070339
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In the end it turned out that the restaurant was a good option all around. There were no dishes for me to wash (couldn’t run the dishwasher), everyone was able to order according to their dietary needs and likes,  we arrived after the rush, the service was great and we were able to spend time talking to one another without worrying about our plumbing problem. My sister and her family all live out of town and my nephew had flown in from California. If we hadn’t gotten together that day it probably wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for small blessings.

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Christmas Day Two

…..after Christmas Eve the festivities continue

Christmas Day this year was a very relaxed day. We opted to forgo the turkey dinner and order in Chinese food. After a bit of a lie in I convinced my father to go for a walk with me through the neighbourhood and check out the decorations. We donned our Santa hats and off we went.P1070333

Our daughter and daughter-in-law arrived later in the afternoon and we opened more presents. Everybody was on board with Chinese food, especially my father, and we ordered for a pick-up. I don’t know if you’re aware but Chinese food restaurants are very busy on Christmas Day. Eating at home was less hectic than eating out and much cheaper.

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After dinner clean-up was very easy. We packed up the leftovers and gave some to all the parties present. All of us had another meal the next day.

Later the girls and I dressed warmly and took the dogs for a walk and checked out the lights around the neighbourhood.IMG-9951
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Three Days of Christmas and Two Birthdays

….the holiday season is always busy

Now that my children have all grown up and moved out Christmas has become more complicated. This year we had three separate Christmas gatherings.

Christmas Eve is usually the day that we celebrate with the immediate family. Every other year our oldest daughter and her wife join the Italian side of the family and come to our place on Christmas Day. This was one of those years.

Our son didn’t join us this year. We were very fortunate to see him twice in the same year. The first time was in the summer when he was able to combine business with pleasure and in October we went to London where he lives. This Christmas they decided to visit Azadeh’s family in Iran in early December and then they were invited to join her uncle and his family in South America.3c3bb126-6c0f-41a0-a112-85ce0017246f
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On Christmas Eve our daughter, Gaelan and her husband, daughter and mother-in-law joined us for our traditional German Christmas. Platters of cookies, plates of cheese and meat, crackers and bread and a variety of nibbles were set out to graze on. My husband also made a pot of meatballs and a tourtière.

We always open our presents on Christmas Eve. My husband has always liked this German tradition and adopted it as soon as we were married. Having a three year at the party made this year’s

evening extra special. Winnie loved opening presents and helped hand out the Christmas stockings. When all the presents were opened she carefully packed all her gifts into a very large bag that I had purchased to wrap her art tray. The other kid at the party was my 92 year old father. He really got a kick out of his stocking this year.

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Day 2 to be continued ………