Fandango’s One Word Challenge – Natural

….thanks to Fandango for hosting FOWC

Since January I’ve experienced the death of 7 friends and family members. It’s only April and more people that I know have passed in the last three months than I’ve experienced in the last 10 years. Is that natural? Probably.

Is it natural to feel sorrow or surprise when you haven’t had contact with people for over  20 years and then find out that they’ve passed? Probably.

Is it natural to take pleasure from fond memories of people recently deceased? Probably.

People say that we’re at that age when this will happen more often. I suppose that is probably true but I’d rather not think about it. I still think of myself as being only in my 30s or 40s. Is that natural? Well for me it is.

As I look around I see beauty in the most unusual places, especially in nature. I love the look of dried leaves and isolated berries. For many it signifies ‘death’ but it’s just the natural part of the circle of life. I suppose it signifies that new growth or rebirth will soon happen.

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Signs that new life is about to rise up:

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Digging Out

….before the sun came up

Both my husband and my neighbour were outside before 7:00 this morning shovelling out the driveway and the sidewalk. It was garbage day today so they had to shovel a path to roll out the bins and make room for them on the sidewalk. It was also my dough making day today at the Inn so my husband knew that I had to leave the house around 9:00.IMG-0206
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You might be wondering why there are green markings on the snow. This is on the edge of our yard facing our other neighbour to the north of us. Actually it’s right on her driveway but she doesn’t drive her car anymore so only a path has been shovelled on one side to roll out her bins. The green markings were put there by city workers who will be coming back tomorrow. Our plumbing woes continue. More about that tomorrow.

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge – January 25, 2019

….thanks to Pull Up a Seat  for this fun photo challenge

From the Heathrow coffee shop in London to a cafe in Argentina (thanks to my son for the last photo) I submit my entry for the Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge. All these photos include family members except the two wax dummies in the last photo. Enjoy!

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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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Share Your World – August 27, 2018

….this will be Cee’s last Share Your World challenge…..thanks for all the great questions you’ve given us over the years

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

I love foods with nuts. If I’m not in a ‘peanut or nut free zone’ I always choose foods with nuts, such as hazelnut or almond dark chocolate, banana bread with walnuts, Thai food with peanuts, chunky peanut butter, and butter tarts with pecans. Yum!

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

I usually sleep with the doors open. Not sure why.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I try to be right on time but I’m frequently five to 10 minutes late for social events. I was rarely late when I was working and I was almost always on time for doctor’s and dentist appointments.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This week I celebrated my birthday with my family and I spent the weekend at the cottage with my daughter and granddaughter. I also got together with my retired teacher friends for lunch. All these things made me smile.

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Share Your World – July 2, 2018

….thanks to Cee for creating Share Your World

Tell us about your first bicycle or car?

I got my first bike when I was seven. I remember it well. It was second hand, black and designed for a woman and an adult woman at that. It was so big that I had to stand to ride it. I think it took a couple of years before I could sit on the seat. We lived in a new subdivision and there were no sidewalks. The roads were gravel and a few nasty falls resulted in some road rashes and scrapes that required digging out little bits of dirt and stones out of my knees. It didn’t keep me from riding while we lived in Oakville. When I turned 10 we moved back to Toronto and I don’t know what happened to that bike. If my mother had anything to do with it she probably threw it out.

What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

I can’t think of one fictional place I’d like to visit. There are too many non-fictional places that are on my to do list of places to see. For example, I’d like to go to the east coast of Canada, British Columbia, London, Scotland, and then return to some of the places I’ve already been to like Germany, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

If you could have someone follow you around all the time, like a personal assistant, what would you have them do?

I would like someone who is handy and likes to fix things and build new things.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This past week a number of things made me smile. First I met a friend from high school and we had lunch together downtown. We see each other at least two to three times a year. She’s still working but she’s getting her head around the notion of retiring in the next year.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I volunteer and bake bread at Montgomery’s Inn. On Thursday I drove to Hamilton and spent the afternoon with my granddaughter. We spent most of our time together at the Hamilton Toy Museum. I’ve mentioned it before but the first time I went there with Winnie the place was closed and we amused ourselves on the grounds.

This time the museum was opened and we took advantage of all they had to offer. The place is divided into theme rooms. The first was an old fashion kitchen with lots of authentic bits of equipment that young children can safely play with.IMG_2978
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The next room is a harbour theme with fish and poles, a boat deck and costumes you can try on.
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The third room is a garden with fabric plants you can pull to reveal carrots and beets and the fourth room is the activity room with arts and crafts and an aquarium with gold fish and turtles.IMG_3004
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On Friday we had dinner at our neighbours house along with a few other neighbours. It was the first time in awhile that my husband actually felt well enough to join us. On Saturday I went to the Canada Day BBQ at the Lawn Bowling Club and on Sunday we drove to Hamilton again and had lunch with daughter #2, her husband and Winnie.

As you can see it was a very busy week with lots of smiles and things to be grateful for.