Share Your World – October 16, 2017

…… thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I think I would move to Italy, in the hills of Tuscany or Assisi. I loved the serenity while I was there but I might miss being close to water.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

I’ve lived with this horrible grey for so long and I agonized over what colour to replace it with.  I’ve purchased a rich cream colour but the thought of having to move everything to paint over this dreary grey has held me back.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  1. My husband and children and granddaughter
  2. My friends
  3. Making Art
  4. Taking photographs
  5. My cottage
  6. Talking to and visiting my sisters
  7. Travelling with my husband
  8. Baking for my father
  9. Reading a good book
  10. Listening to great music

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

I’ve appreciated the warm temperatures that we’ve experienced this past week. October  has had all kinds of weather but it’s been mostly warm. Even on overcast days I’ve been able to get out for my walks with the dog and take some great photos.

I got together with some friends last week. I think the one thing about being retired that I miss is the daily interaction with colleagues, so when I do get together with friends it’s extra special, even if it’s just to talk and do some errands together.

Every week I try to get to Hamilton to spend time with our granddaughter, Winnie, and give her mother a bit of a break. Last week she let me take her for a walk down her street   after the three of us shared a treat at the local coffee shop.

I always appreciate when my husband cooks dinner, which is most of the time but last week he made pizzas from scratch, which he hasn’t done for awhile. We weren’t sure how Dad would like the fig and mozzarella pizza so he made two different pizzas. Dad loved both of them.

 

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

….celebrating with a Southern flair

This year we substituted turkey and stuffing with deep fried chicken, BBQ ribs and macaroni and cheese. We started the meal with curried pumpkin soup, served in the pumpkin shell and freshly baked corn bread. Our daughter hosted the meal and because there were 14 of us we decided to share the work with a pot luck meal. I brought the soup and bread and plum cake. Gaelan and Brendan cooked the meats and the mac and cheese. Other contributions included roasted potatoes, pasta salad, coleslaw, wine and meat and cheese platters as appetizers.

As you can see from the photos our granddaughter loved the pumpkin but she loved the soup just as much. Even my Dad who normally dislikes pumpkin pie enjoyed this soup.

The recipe came from a cookbook that my friend Janice gave me as a gift last Christmas. Her church, St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, collected soup recipes from friends and members of the church and created the book It All Begins With Soup and sold the cookbook as a fundraiser. This recipe is dead simple.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

1 large can of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp curry paste (more if you like spicy)

1/4 tsp. coriander, salt and pepper (adjust seasoning to your taste)

3/4 cup coconut milk (1/4 cup for swirls in the serving bowls)

Saute the onions and garlic in the coconut oil. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, paste and seasonings. Stir and cook until boiling. Cover and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Cook for a final 5 minutes before you puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve warm with a swirl of coconut milk in a bowl.

  • if you are vegan you can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth
  • I doubled the recipe to serve 14 people – the bowls were small but some people had seconds
  • my pumpkin was way to big – the soup filled just over half the pumpkin

Share Your World – September 11, 2017

…..thank you Cee for bringing me back to Share Your World

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

I would want the smaller amount and invest it now. Who knows where I’ll be in a year? If I’m gone at least my family can enjoy the money.

Is it more important to love or be loved?

I think they go hand in hand. If you love others chances are you’ll be loved back and if you are loved you can’t help but give back that love. Having one without the other would be very disappointing or very frustrating.

List things that represent abundance to you.

Time with loved onesIMG_3105

Solitary days at the cottageP1040501

Freedom to paint

Reading a good book

A beautiful garden to relax in

IMG_3133

Good food and drink with family and friendsIMG_3038

Exploring new destinations, short and long tripsfullsizeoutput_719f

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This past week I was inspired by the opening of a new store in my neighbourhood. It’s a wool shop with a lovely sitting area where customers are encouraged to bring their knitting and sit and share their knitting experiences and challenges. I’m very excited about this new store and wish them good success. I’ve been inspired to pick up my knitting needles and I purchased some beautiful yarn for a sweater for my granddaughter. The store is called Spin Me a Yarn. Check it out.

www.spinmeayarn

 

New Baby, an Anniversary, a Book Launch and a Pedicure with Dad

….what an exciting week

My middle sister became a grandmother for the first time. Her daughter had a little baby boy on August 15th. Mom, Dad and Baby Jale (pronounce Jah-lay) are all doing well. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll make the four hour drive to the farm to welcome the new little guy into our family.

On the 16th my husband and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary. We opted to celebrate with a special lunch. Being on a Wednesday we didn’t think that we’d need reservations but when we got to our first choice we couldn’t even find a place to park. We quickly decided to go to our second pick which was closer to home and luckily it wasn’t busy. We love this restaurant, Pulcinella, and the only reason it wasn’t our first choice was because we wanted something other than Italian food. In the end we decided that it was the perfect choice. We had wonderful service and the food was amazing.

The next day, quite by accident I discovered that a friend from long ago had written a book about the CNE and she was having a book launch in a bar just up the street from where I live. I was walking the dog at the time so I couldn’t go inside but I went home, dropped off the dog, grabbed my wallet and walked back up the street to support Lee. It was nice meeting some people that I had lost contact with and meeting some new people. One of the people that I met was a former editor of Canadian Living magazine. I knew of her and where she lived which surprised her. In the end we exchanged phone numbers and addresses and I should be getting a call in November to help with make-up for the Lakeshore Santa Claus parade. I guess this is how it starts. When people know you’re retired they quickly recruit you to do volunteer work.

Earlier that day Dad and I went to my favourite salon for nails and we both had pedicures done. It’s very interesting sitting next to your ninety year old father while having your feet worked on.  The owner of the salon worked on Dad and she was wonderful with him but we couldn’t convince him to paint his nails purple. Of course we were only teasing him. He laughed but firmly said no to colour.

A Day at the Spa, Two Days at the Cottage and Cleaning the House

….a busy week

Last Friday my good friend, Arlene and I went to the Elmwood Spa for our birthday lunches, water therapy and facials. My birthday isn’t until the end of August but we decided to have our birthday lunches at the same time. We enjoyed salads, a main course and dessert. The only thing we had to pay for was our wine and coffee.

When you have  a treatment for more than a $100 you can also do the water therapy at no extra charge. This includes the steam room, the whirlpool tub and the salt water pool. We did it all. After 30 laps of the pool I showered and then proceeded to to the rooms where the facials are done. What a relaxing afternoon. We left the spa feeling renewed and refreshed.

On Saturday my husband and I left for the cottage. This was Kevin’s first trip and my fourth. The weather wasn’t great but it was nice to get out of the city and just chill. Sunday was overcast but for the most part the rain held off and Kevin and the dog were able to go for a long walk through the woods. Frances loved the freedom to run and roll in every mud puddle she could find.

 

On Monday morning we left but not before Kevin made us a delicious breakfast that we affectionately call hopple popple. It’s a fry up of bacon, vegetables (usually onions, potatoes, mushrooms, etc.) and scrambled eggs.

For the rest of the week I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and reorganizing some of my art supplies and paintings. Our son and his wife are vacationing in Toronto and will be staying with us for a several days. I spent most of my time cleaning the spare room and framing and hanging some of my art work around the house. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to see some of my work hanging on the walls.

On Wednesday Kevin and I went out for dinner at Nodo on Dundas St. W.. The meal was so good that I didn’t get a photo of our meal until it was completely gone. IMG_2737

Our daughter-in-law and daughter were at the baseball game for Josie’s birthday and we agreed to stop by their house to check up on the dog, Olive. After our meal we made the short trip to their house and spent some time playing with the dog and catching the baseball game on their TV. The Blue Jays were behind 2-0 and in the top of the ninth they pulled it off and scored three runs.

IMG_2747

A Birthday Party and the Royal Botanical Gardens

….a busy week with the family

On Sunday, after returning from the cottage, Kevin, my father and I went to my daughter-in-law’s father’s 80th birthday party. I knew when we got to the party that my father would make a big deal about being the oldest person there. He quickly found the over 80 table and made himself comfortable and engaged in conversation with people he had never met before. That’s what my Dad has done his whole life and I remember as a kid being so embarrassed by how easily he would go up to perfect strangers and start talking.

The party was a huge success and the daughters actually pulled off surprising their father. The mostly Italian and some Argentinian guests thoroughly enjoyed the food and there was lots of laughter and lively discussions.

On Monday I drove to Hamilton to spend the day with my daughter, Gaelan and her daughter, Winnie. Brendan was working from home that day so he decided to join us for lunch at a great Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. Winnie has been introduced to a lot of different foods as soon as she started on solid foods and I was amazed at how much she enjoyed digging into the sushi.

After lunch it started to pour and we waited in the strip mall while Brendan ran home and brought the car back. I felt badly when he got back because the rain had almost completely died down. Thank goodness it had because Gaelan, Winnie and I decided to go the Royal Botanical Gardens. The part we went to had a lot of indoor displays but the rain was so light that we ventured outside and took Winnie to the children’s area where she could run around and play in the sandbox.

Just before we went back home we decided to go the Tea House for some refreshments. We had tea, coffee and scones. Winnie drank the milk they brought me for my tea.

A wonderful two days.

Cheers!

Ten Days and Counting

…..retirement is close at hand

I don’t normally count down the days to the end of the school year but this year is different. I’m finally retiring from teaching after 35 years of service.

I know some teachers who when they know they are retiring start the  count down from the first day of school in September. This is not my style but as my last day approaches I’m starting to feel that my life is about to change. I’ve written three speeches for three different retirement parties that all took place in the space of one week. The first one was for my principal and good friend, M, the second one for my longtime friend, L and the third was for me.

All three parties were very different. The first one was a sit-down dinner in an Italian restaurant, the second in the nursing home where L’s dad lived and mine was also in an Italian restaurant but less formal with finger foods being served.  All were special in their own way and I loved them all.

M’s party was held at her favourite restaurant. The meal was excellent and the speeches were warm and personal. M’s family was there and both her youngest sister and her niece spoke. They were funny and touching at the same time. L and I gave our speech in the form of a report card, which the staff thoroughly enjoyed because it was a bit of a roast but in the end the message was more serious. When M spoke she talked about how and why she came to be a principal.

L really wanted her father to be able to attend her retirement party and for that reason she booked the ‘party’ room at the nursing home. There was a piano player who played the entire evening in very comfortable surroundings. There were couches and overstuffed chairs situated around the room where people could sit and talk and listen to the speeches. Friends manned the wine table and servers walked about the room with canapés. The highlight of the evening took place when L and her father sang together and at the end of the evening L sang a solo. Three former principals came to the party plus family, friends and colleagues from school. It was a very musical evening and the accolades about her teaching career, especially those about her choirs, were very fitting for a much loved music teacher.

My party was the last one, held on Wednesday of this week. It took place in a restaurant literally up the street from where I live. My husband and I had eaten there on a couple of occasions and thoroughly enjoyed the food. My family, including little Winnie, friends from years past who were now at other schools, retired friends, neighbourhood friends, life long friends and colleagues from school attended. I was especially honoured when my very first principal from 1976-79 arrived with his wife. I wanted the party to be casual and fun. The finger food was amazing, the aperol spritzes refreshing and the cake and desserts delicious. My friend P, was the MC for the evening and he kept everyone laughing. Three of my friends used the Wizard of Oz as their theme for the speech they gave about my time with them at the school where we all met and worked at for eight to ten years. There were so many wonderful speeches that it would take too long to talk about each and everyone of them. I had the best time and will never forget the thought and care people put into planning my special day.