Red – One Word Sunday

… thanks to The Photo Junkie for hosting One Word Sunday

Red is my all time favourite colour. I like to dress in red and I usually pick the red crayon first when I’m drawing with my granddaughter.IMG-6828
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Weekly Photo Challenge – Comfortable and Cozy

….thanks to Travelling at Wit’s End for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge

When thinking of comfortable and cozy I immediately think of a big puffy blanket or an oversize sweater. It can also be how a place makes you feel when walk into it or an oversized armchair or sofa that you can sink into. What makes you comfortable and cozy?

The Inn in Prince Edward County

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A Fire
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Reading with Papa
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Snuggling with Mom on the Hammock
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Cuddling Some of her Favourite Stuffs
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The Library at WAAC
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Comfort Food – Old Fashion Trifle
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Cozy Chair
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Pyjama Day at School
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All Good Things Must Come to an End

…..the weather that is

I’m not talking about the weather that we’re experiencing today but the weather that we had when we were in London, England back in October. Most people think of England as being foggy, cloudy and teaming with rain with a bit of sunshine here and there. Fortunately for us that was not the case. Out of the 14 days in London we only had one rainy day. That happened on Day 8.

Originally we planned to take the train to Brighton and enjoy the seaside. The relentless downpour that day changed our plans. Instead we took a bus to Brick Lane. Brick Lane is in the East End of London and is famous for its curry houses. Having said that I found it unusual that our son wanted us to try a deli where they serve salt beef sandwiches. I guess they’re pretty popular because there was a huge line-up to order one of these massive buns. The weather certainly didn’t keep people away. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the area because the rain was really lashing down.

After sampling the salt beef we ventured back outside and maneuvered our way down the street with umbrellas overhead. We made our way to the Whitechapel Gallery to see the Elmgreen and Dragset show. It was to say the least, a most unusual show. On the ground floor gallery they present the ghost of the Whitechapel Pool. IMG-9035
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Throughout the exhibition there are more sculptures, such as, a cash machine, in front of which a baby has been abandoned. This supposedly acts as an emotional precursor to sculptures in the rest of the galleries. These include a rifle on the wall, a judge’s wig, a pregnant maid and a frightened schoolboy.

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Later that evening, closer to our accommodations, we all went out for dinner together. It would be our last night together with all six of us. Andrea and Josie were heading for Scotland and my husband and I were moving to a hotel in South Kensington the following day. Our son picked his favourite Ramen restaurant, Kanada-Ya, Ramen Bar on Upper Street.

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Not only did the good weather come to an end but so did our time with our daughter and daughter-in-law. Luckily for us the good weather did return for the rest of our trip but Andrea and Josie had quite different weather farther north in Scotland.

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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Two Birthdays – One Here, Another in Uruguay


….my twins are 37 years old

Last Sunday my babies turned 37. Our son travelled to Uruguay this Christmas to spend time with his wife’s family. Her uncle rented a ranch house by the ocean and while we were enduring the cold here in Canada they were basking in the sun at the beach. My son was literally burning (at least his feet were).f52b354b-6e35-4a85-bfd1-285989d8a025
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For his pre-birthday dinner he was treated to a South American BBQ with lots of meat on the grill.
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Meanwhile back here in Canada we celebrated his twin sister’s birthday in her home. We decided on a Persian themed pot luck supper. My husband picked up some meat kabobs and eggplant dip from our local Persian restaurant and he made a pot of Gormeh Sabzi (Green Herb Stew). Our son-in-law made a Fesenjan (Pomegranate Walnut Stew) and a Jewelled Rice (rice with nuts and dried fruit). Andrea made a Cauliflower Kuku (cauliflower frittata made with eggs). Everything was delicious. I think Azadeh would have approved.

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Winnie insisted that Mom needed a birthday cake so Gaelan whipped up a cheesecake with a hazelnut base. It was outstanding.

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Of course it wouldn’t be a birthday without opening gifts. It turned out that some of us also got to open some Christmas presents from our friend who was unable to come to our house on Christmas Eve.IMG-9981
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All in all it was a great day.

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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