Easter With the Family

This year we celebrated our Easter Sunday on Saturday. Our daughter and son-in-law in Hamilton invited us over for an Easter dinner of lamb ragu. We invited my niece who is working in Toronto and our oldest daughter and my daughter-in-law drove to our house, where we all jammed into one car and made the 40 minute drive to Hamilton. IMG_1668

The day started out very rainy but in the afternoon the sun came out and we experienced an early summer day. We spent a good deal of time outside without jackets and went for a nice walk to the park down the street. My niece had never been to G’s place and she enjoyed hearing stories of being pregnant and she saw first hand what it can be like raising a toddler. She’s due to have her first child in August.

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Our granddaughter is always a little shy around new people and even her grandparents who she hasn’t seen too much of this winter because of illness on both sides. It didn’t take long though before she warmed up to her cousin, once removed and they engaged in a game of peek-a-boo in the backyard.

For Easter this year I bought Winnie a garden set because she likes to help her father   clean and plant flowers in the the garden bed.  I knew she’d love the watering can because she loves anything to do with water. When I showed her how it worked she let out a shriek of joy and came running to her Oma. For the next hour or so she kept busy watering the garden and herself.

After spending some time in the garden and walking to the park we enjoyed a very nice dinner. Our son-in-law made the pasta from scratch and the ragu had cooked most of the day. We were in charge of dessert so my husband called up one of his favourite clients who works in an Italian bakery and asked her for advice on what dessert we should bring for an Easter dinner.

She quickly recommended a pastiera, a south Italian Easter tradition. It’s a wheat and ricotta pie flavoured with orange blossom water and adorned with a lattice top. Yum!IMG_1666

Today I’ll be spending time with a friend whose partner went into the hospital yesterday. He’ll be there for a few days as the doctors try to figure out what kind of treatment he will need.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Sunday. Lucky me, I get one more day off tomorrow. Time to get the snow tires off the car.

 

Share Your World 2016 – Week 13

….lucky week 13

Are you left or right handed?

I’m left handed but I’m able to do a lot of things with my right hand. I write and draw with my left hand. With my right hand I knit, play ukelele, bowl, bat, golf, throw a ball, play tennis and control the mouse and scroll bar on my computer. With both hands I can iron, use scissors, brush and blow dry my hair and use a saw.

If you had only one TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

We only have one TV and it’s in our TV room in the basement. We didn’t want it in the living room because we didn’t want it to be a distraction when we have company. Too often we’ve seen people go straight for the TV instead of sitting down and having a conversation. They might as well stay home. I also don’t like having a TV in the bedroom. When we were younger, we’d fall asleep and wake up to the white noise of the test pattern on the TV. I guess I’m aging myself. Today’s generation doesn’t even know what a test pattern is.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

When I was younger long distance walks for charity were all the rage. In high school I walked 32 miles around the city to raise money for a charity I don’t recall. I do remember collecting pledges for every mile walked and stopping at check points to verify that I’d walked that leg of the walk. We started early in the morning and I finished at city hall, and it was already dark. I remember there being hundreds of people waiting at the finish line and when I arrived the first thing my father did was hug me and step on feet. Ouch!

Four years ago I ran my first 5k run. I worked with a group of young girls at school and we participated in Girls on the Run. The first year I did this I had just started to lose weight and was down about 18 pounds but by the end of the run I thought I was going to die. I think I had a bit of a panic attack and couldn’t stop crying. The following year I did it again but this time I was down 30 pounds and I had been running more consistently. It felt great.

I’ve done one other running event after that, two years in a row. The Railpath Run in the Junction raises money for The Stop to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. This particular run I’ve done with my oldest daughter who lives in the community. It’s a lot of fun and both times I’ve done the community walk/run portion. This year I was only going to walk the course but once I started I couldn’t stop running. I’m not very fast but I’m consistent.IMG_6303

Complete this sentence: Love is… 

• a smile from my granddaughterIMG_7725

• flowers waiting for me when I arrive home from work for no special occasionIMG_6031

• when the whole family gets together

• the dog greeting me at the dog, her whole body gyrating… she’s so happy to see me

• my husband hugging me and playfully teasing me

• my husband’s home cooked meals

• my husband’s complete acceptance of all my flaws and imperfections

• my father’s weekly phone calls

• the pride I feel when I speak of my children’s accomplishments

• continuing to worry about your children’s well being even when they’re adults

• is get togethers with close cherished friends

• is supporting family and friends in good and bad times and in sickness and health

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for a short work week and a very long weekend. I was grateful for two days of beautiful weather and being able to get out for a long hike with my husband through High Park.

Our dog, Frances, was very ill ten days ago so I’m very grateful that she’s on the mend and pretty much back to her old self. I know she getting better because she actually wants to go outside and walk but the vet told us to not exercise her too much. That’s a hard thing to convey to a dog, especially one as active as Frances.

I’m also very grateful for time together with the whole family (not including our son in London) during the Easter weekend. We had a wonderful dinner here and our granddaughter provided us with a lot of laughter as she fed herself sweet potatoes and cauliflower.

This week I’m looking forward to another short week at school (4 days) and more success on the scale. I’ve lost 6 1/2 pounds this past week and look forward to more healthy eating and walking. My husband is doing this with me so it makes it so much easier. I’m starting to look at clothes for the wedding this summer and I’m hoping to lose another 20 pounds. I think that’s pretty doable in the next 13 weeks.

For more Share Your World posts check out Cee’s blog.

Share Your World – Week 14

…..join the fun and Share Your World with us

What type of music relaxes you the most or do you prefer silence?

Sometimes I need complete silence. Being surrounded by children all day can take it’s toll.  I do, however, love music. It can inspire me to paint and motivate me to move but if I need to relax I need, for lack of a better term, ‘spa music’. I know that there is a word for this type of music but i’m having a ‘_________’ moment. Maybe you can fill in the blank or come up with the name I’m looking for.

Show us a two of your favorites photographs? Explain why they are your favorite. If you are not a photographer, think of a two favorite scenes in your life and tell us about them.

This is hard because I’ve taken thousands of photos. I’d probably have to chose recent photos. One that stands out for me was the photo where I was able to capture a water drop coming from a faucet. It’s not a perfect shot but capturing that split second gave me quite a thrill.IMG_1929

Another photo that I like is one that I took yesterday. People were feeding the seagulls down by the lake and there was quite a feeding frenzy. I love being able to catch birds in flight and in this shot a seagull flew in front of my shot just at the right moment.

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What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

Our favourite family tradition is having everyone over on Christmas Eve. It’s a German tradition that my husband adopted when we were married and one he refuses to give up. My husband prepares food all day long. The menu varies from year to year. We often have mulled wine, a shrimp ring, and a cheese and meat platter. Those are standard items. Some years we’ve had a hearty homemade lentil soup made with a pork hock. One year my daughter brought over Chinese steamed buns and another time my husband made Jamaican roti and a Guiness punch. We nibble all night long and we slowly open gifts. Christmas Day is more low key. Some years when all our children are at the homes of their significant others  we order in Chinese food and go out for a movie.

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If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself? Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 50?

If I could go back to being 18 I would tell myself to listen to and learn from my elders and spend more time with them. I know that sometimes parents say the strangest things and I couldn’t wait to move away from home when I was 18. When I graduated from university I got married right away so I never did live at home again. I would also tell myself to put away a certain amount of money every month and never touch it until retirement. We started doing that but life doesn’t always go as planned and our nest egg disappeared. Luckily I have a very good pension fund as a teacher. I would also tell myself to pay off my credit cards in full every month. The last thing I would tell myself is to never count on an inheritance to feather your own nest. The unexpected can happen and generally people live longer.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the long Easter weekend and time spent with my family. My husband made a delicious pork roast and roasted vegetables and homemade cheese biscuits. My youngest daughter made a tasty Caprese salad with homemade mozzarella cheese and my oldest daughter baked a scrumptious plum cake that she served with homemade roibus tea ice-cream. I set the table and made the place setting cards.

IMG_4383 IMG_4381IMG_4382This week I’m looking forward to lunch with friends from high school. It will the first time that we’ve all gotten together since the passing of our dear friend Marcia last July. It was because of Marcia that we all reunited in the first place and we vowed that we would continue to see each other at least once a year, if not more often.