WPC – Morning

….in Italy, mornings start with a coffee and a sweet

In Florence we found a famous baker from Vienna who made 20 different croissants every morning to serve to his customers. We first discovered his shop late one afternoon, just as they were about to close but they invited us in and made me a special ice coffee. Apparently ice coffee and coffee cream are two things that you don’t normally find in Italy.  I didn’t know this but the baker was more than happy to whip up his own version of ice coffee for me. I also tried to order cream for my husband’s Americano  and the baker was about to top it with whipped cream but I stopped him. It was then that he explained that coffee cream was a German and Viennese thing and in Italy only milk was used in coffee or served black.

That afternoon we enjoyed our beverages and some of the best pastries we’ve ever tasted. As we were leaving the owners of the cafe encouraged us to come back for breakfast so that we could try some of their special croissants.

A couple of days later we took them up on their offer and stopped for breakfast before heading out to the leather market down the street. Sure enough there were numerous croissants to choose from. I decided on the most unusual looking one. It was completely black because it was made from ash and it was filled with prunes. It was absolutely delicious and complemented my cappuccino. The only downside was that it left black flecks between my teeth that were difficult to remove.


For more ‘morning’ photos check out WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Stroke of Midnight

….where was I and would I have preferred to be somewhere else?

That is the question posed by the Daily Post today. First of all I have to admit that I have not been out for New Year’s celebrations for several years, preferring to stay at home and watch the ball drop from the comfort of my living room.

This New Year’s Eve I definitely would have preferred to be somewhere else. I wasn’t at home cuddled up on the couch. I was sitting in a dark waiting room at the hospital with my husband, watching a preselected channel on the television. At least it was the coverage of Times Square and the view from the room allowed us to see some of the fireworks that went off at the stroke of midnight.

For the last three days, I’ve been back and forth to the hospital waiting for our adult son to be wheeled down to surgery to repair a broken arm. It finally happened at 8:45 last night. The surgery was successful and at 1:15 when he was returned to his hospital room he was wide awake and chatty. Once I was assured that he was comfortable and had everything he needed at his fingertips I said my goodbyes and made my way home.

Definitely an unforgettable New Year’s Eve but one I’d prefer not to repeat.

Happy 2016 to the blogging world. Wishing everyone good health, happiness and peace in the world.


Daily Post: Three Wishes for Our New Prime Minister

…..today’s Daily Prompt is Generous Genies

Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

My three wishes go to our newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Even though he won a majority government he has his critics and many are watching and waiting for him to make a mistake.

  1. My first wish is that you keep your promise to bring 25 000 Syrian refugees to Canada. If you can’t keep your promise to have them here by the end of February I’m okay with that as long as they arrive no later than May.
  2. My second wish is that you stay cool and calm under difficult and stressful situations, because you will face many in your term as Prime Minister, and not make hasty or rash decisions when under pressure.
  3. My third wish for you is to maintain a normal and loving relationship with your wife and children while you are in office. I know there are times when you will be apart but make the best of the times when you’re together.



Places – The Beach, Hands Down

……the beach, mountains, forests or somewhere else entirely?

Today’s Daily Post asks us to choose where we would like to be.

I’m happy anywhere where I can relax, explore and learn. I worked for a summer in the Alps in southern Germany, skied in the Rockies and drove through the mountains in Yosemite and up Mount Washington. There is something magical about waking up in an area where you are surrounded by the majesty of these beautiful mountains but it can also be somewhat claustrophobic.

I love the coolness and freshness of being in the middle of a forest. I’ve hiked through the forests of Vermont and New Hampshire and camped in Quebec and Ontario. My cottage is nestled inside the forest but I’m only 100 steps from the beach and that is where I prefer to be.IMG_2350 P1040208

I seem to be naturally drawn to water. According to Chinese astrology I am a water dragon. My home in the city is only 50 metres from the shores of Lake Ontario and I feel blessed to be able to walk down to the park by the lake and look over the entire city. I love how it changes with the seasons. It’s always a little cooler here in the summer and slightly warmer in the winter. IMG_0975 IMG_3886

I’ve been on the beaches of Hawaii, the coast of Maine, the wharfs of San Francisco, and the east and west coasts of Ireland. I haven’t travelled extensively but the places I remember most fondly were bordered by an ocean or a Great Lake.

My Year in Art – Part 3

….this is the last instalment for Daily Post Countdown to the Year 2014

September – back to school so lots of children’s art, especially Kindergarten art and a trip to the AGO to see the Alex Colville show

October – leaf art, colour bugs, friendly monsters, art at the farmers’ market and artistic pumpkins

November and December – more monsters, poppies, kindergarten art -‘drawing my body’ and Picasso portraits and another on-line course called ‘Table Top Drawing and Painting’

Looking forward to more art in 2015!

My Year of Art in Photos – Part 2

….continuing with the writing challenge

April & May – students creating masterpieces for the Fun Fair Silent Auction

June – Painting My Garden – an on-line course, my birch tree painting on wood and warm-up contour drawings for the first Summer Art Camp assignment

August – Summer Art Camp kept me very busy

Thanks to Word Press for this challenge. Stay tuned for part 3.



Life’s Too Short

…..fill in the blank “life’s too short to____________”

Today’s Daily Post on WordPress is very timely. Last Sunday my 88 year aunt passed away. Now some of you may say she lived a good long life and you would be correct. My realization was that I shouldn’t have waited so long to get to know her better.

We tend to put things off until tomorrow but sometimes tomorrow is too late. Case in point: One year ago a group of friends from high school had finally reconnected after 30 years. We all wondered about one friend who wasn’t at our reunion so we investigated and found her. A letter was sent and then a few weeks later we were informed that she had just died. She was 60. At the funeral we learned that she had received the letter and was looking forward to our next get together. It was a few days later that she learned she only had a couple of weeks to live.

This past summer another friend at the age of 61 also passed away. Her 7 year battle with cancer finally took her life. It was her serious health condition that brought all of us together in the first place and I feel blessed for having been able to get together when we did. When my friend L called me in June to tell me that our friend was no longer seeing people and preferred to receive mail I decided to write her a card. Unfortunately I put it off (only for a couple of weeks) and she died before I made that final communication.

I am grateful for the time I spent with my aunt when she was in the hospital and the nursing home. For the last four months I saw her at least two to three times a week. My only regret is that we didn’t spend more time together when she was healthier but as my husband said it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Communication is a two way street. My aunt was always happy to see us but we were always the ones to initiate the visits.

In conclusion I leave you with these important words…..life’s too short to waste, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Pace – Slow or Fast?

…..I immediately wanted to say slow but fast has some benefits as well

As I get older I want life to slow down but sitting in traffic is a drag. If I could put a fast forward on traffic congestion without losing precious minutes of my life I would love that. Besides people waste way too much time talking about how bad traffic is.

We all need to slow down, smell the roses, appreciate the beauty around us and not wish our lives away. I remember as a child wishing I was 16. Then I wanted to be 21 and be married. Then I couldn’t wait to have children.

Now I wish I could turn the clock back and relive those moments when my children were babies. My babies are now in their 30s and my son lives across the ‘pond’. He’s coming home on a business trip next week but only has one day to spend with us. We’re going to make the most of that day.

I want to savour each day I have left on this earth: spending time with my 88 year old Dad, visiting my sisters who live hours away, enjoying my husband’s company, sharing meals with my children and their significant others and enjoying time with old and new friends.

Thank you Daily Post for making me reflect on what’s important in life.


Ready, Set, Done – Off To the Vets We Go

…..today’s Daily Prompt

Today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

Three weeks ago we took our dog, Frances to the vet to have a couple of teeth removed. Two hours later and a bill for almost $800.00 we were informed that the x-ray showed a root floating around in her gums that our vet couldn’t remove so we were advised to see a vet that specialized in dental procedures.

The appointment was made, time off from work arranged and we drove to the hospital this morning. When we got there, in plenty of time for our appointment, we waited for almost an hour and a half before the vet could see us. She looked at the x-rays done by our vet and was a little concerned about the bone structure on the one side of Frances’ jaw but she couldn’t really tell what the problem was and could only make some educated guesses at this point.

When discussing our options, she said that if it were her dog she would probably wait and see and maybe start a course of antibiotics. She left us for a few minutes to write up the estimate if we chose to go the surgery route. When she returned she presented us with the estimate that ranged from $2000. to $2900. The option of going the medication route didn’t come up again.

We asked if we could have a few minutes to go over the numbers before making our decision. The dog wasn’t in any pain, there were no visible signs of stress or inflammation and she seemed content. What to do? $400. for meds or a possible $3000. for surgery?

The 10 minute buzzer just went off. I guess you’ll never know what we decided.

For more Daily Prompts check out Ready, Set, Done.