Summer traditions may be on hold this year as we’re still not allowed to go to the cottage. Hopefully we’ll hear in the next few days when Christian Island opens up to lessee holders. When it does there will be quite a few restrictions, like no friends and only immediate family will be allowed on the ferry.
Having said that we’re still able to barbeque in the backyard and go for walks through the parks. Some of these photos are from years past.
….and Happy Birthday Onkel Günter, Winnie and Brendan
It’s been a busy weekend. Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Canada but we had four birthdays in the family on the same weekend. In fact in October we celebrate birthdays for my husband, my father, my granddaughter, my son-in-law and his brother, my father’s brother and my cousin. I’m sure I’ve missed someone.
This weekend our granddaughter turned four. Andrea, our oldest daughter volunteered to host Thanksgiving and the birthday party at her house. I was most grateful for that, especially after spending five hours in emergency with my husband on Friday. Before you become too concerned let me just say that he’s much better and gets better each day. Thankfully I had made my contribution to the dinner the day before.
The other thing that I did before going to Andrea’s for dinner was volunteer at the Inn to help with the outdoor oven for a workshop that was being put on by George Brown College. At the workshop the students were instructed in baking pizza in the wood fired oven. Everyone got to make two pizzas, one to eat and one to take home. I couldn’t stay for the whole event because I had to be at the dinner. After I left they also baked pita bread and a cranberry loaf. Dale manned the oven and took the pizzas out when they were ready.
Dinner at Andrea’s and Josie’s was spectacular but the highlight, especially for Winnie, was celebrating Winnie’s 4th birthday. Seeing all the presents was too much for her so we decided to let her open her gifts before dinner.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend, with way too much food and drink. I gained about six pounds but I’m determined to take it off as quickly as possible.
….turrets is what Winnie calls the playscape in High Park
Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my granddaughter so that her mom could spend some time with her father in the hospital. She was very excited when she found out that I was taking her to High Park.
The Jamie Bell Adventure Park was a community built playground and very popular with families. In March of 2012 the place was torched by a suspected arsonists. The community quickly rallied and raised enough money to rebuild the structures and the adventure park was reopened in August of the same year.
When Winnie and I arrived there were ‘hordes’ (the word used by Winnie) of children there enjoying the space. Even though Winnie is not yet four she didn’t let the crowds deter her from having a good time. I got quite the workout running after her so I wouldn’t lose sight of her.
The only way I could get her away from the turrets was to bribe her with ice-cream.
Afterwards we headed over to the zoo to see Fred the peacock. She calls all the peacocks Fred but unfortunately none of them were displaying their tail feathers. She did like this goat standing on the rocks overlooking his harem.
Like the goat Winnie wanted to sit up high above the rest of us and she convinced Oma to lift her up onto this massive stump on the walkway.
After a very long walk back to the car she collapsed onto the cool grass and had a wee rest.
These are the special moments that grandparents live for.
By the way, my husband was released from the hospital and is now resting at home.
This has been an extremely busy week. It started with a trip up north to visit our youngest daughter and her family at the camp where they are living for the summer. The next day I attended a garden party at the Women’s Art Association of Canada house in Downtown Toronto. Last year I volunteered to take over the position of library chairperson and in appreciation for the work that I did along with other new volunteers we were each presented with a rose.
The meal was outstanding and my only regret is the I didn’t take any photos of the event. The president, however, did take photos and she sent me one the same day. I thought that she was only taking a photo of the band but she managed to capture me next to the balloons where I stopped so I wouldn’t get in front of her shot.
….it seems that my granddaughter is going through a growth spurt
I was blessed this weekend to have my daughter and granddaughter stay with us for the weekend. On Friday they will be moving to the summer camp that my son-in-law is in charge of and unless I go up there during the summer there’s little chance of seeing them for the next two months. Hopefully I will find the time to drive up and spend a day or two, here and there over the summer months.
So this weekend was very special to me. We started the day with lunch on the deck and Winnie enjoyed a sandwich, juice and strawberries. She discovered that dipping strawberries into almond butter made for a tasty treat.
After lunch Mommy left to visit a friend for a couple of hours so Winnie and I walked up to the Lakeshore where a grilled cheese festival was taking place. Before we got there she was already declaring that she was hungry again so the first thing we did was purchase a grilled cheese sandwich. She didn’t eat it all but she did want to take it home (which she finished later). Then we went to the yarn store and the owner kindly offered both of us a drink of juice with ‘strawberries’ in it. Of course Winnie loved it.
When we left the yarn store Winnie once again said she was hungry so we headed towards the ice-cream store. She ordered a ‘strawberry’ cone and I had a cup of ‘sweet cream’. Her cone had a very generous scoop of ice-cream for a kiddie cone but she had no problem finishing the whole thing.
In between all the treats Winnie bounced around in the Bouncy Castle and played several games where she earned some coupons for a few small prizes. All in all it was a wonderful afternoon that I will always cherish.
….the temperatures go up and then they go down but surely Spring is in the air
On the weekend we attended a soccer (football) game. The tickets were gifted to us by our daughter and daughter-in-law who had other plans and couldn’t use them. The forecast wasn’t very promising but we decided to bundle up and bring along a stadium blanket to keep us warm.
The seats are very high up in the stadium but the view is spectacular.
I wish I could say that the game was exciting and that we were victorious but TFC was off its game and we were quite disappointed in how they played. In the second half my husband wasn’t feeling well and just couldn’t get warm. We left when the game was tied 1-1 and made our way to warm restaurant for a meal. There were TV screens all through the place and by the time we got there the game was over and Toronto lost 2-1.
On Sunday, the temperatures were up slightly but the best part was the sun and no wind. I took a walk through Col. Sam Smith Park and took a lot of wonderful shots of the lake, the beach and the trees and plants that are getting ready to erupt with colours of green, pink and yellow. You know when the weather is good because everybody and their dogs are out walking.
I have to admit that I purchased a card for my husband but for my Dad I made one. I took some of the transparency film that I printed and cut it into heart shapes and arranged them onto a folded piece of card stock. I added extra detail with white ink.
I gave it to my father this morning with a jar of hand and body cream that he likes and a small chocolate heart that I purchased at the farmers’ market yesterday. He was delighted and surprised. For one thing he was under the assumption that only men gave Valentine’s gifts to women so this gift was completely unexpected. Aren’t those the best kind? I think so.
This time last week our plumber came to check out our sewer drain because we had a bit of backup coming through the basement drain. After scoping the pipe and cleaning up the build up in the pipe he informed us that the break this time was on the city side and we had to give them a call. In the meantime we were probably okay to use the water sparingly.
On Monday we finally got through to the city and within a couple of hours workers appeared at our door. Again they scoped the pipe from inside our home and then decided they needed to do it from the outside. In the meantime, however, the storm of the season was upon us and despite efforts made on our behalf no one would be able to come until the snow was cleared the next day. A potential problem with the gas lines meant that the gas company had to make a trip and check first to see how close the sewer pipe was to the gas line.
On Tuesday the gas company arrived to determine where they had to drill and the next day, on Wednesday they came back with their massive trucks and started drilling into my neighbours driveway to see where the pipe was situated. The good news was that the gas lines were a good two feet away. Now the city could come and dig up the broken pipe and replace it with a new one.
On Thursday a city truck arrived and again the drain was scoped and the extent of the damage was determined. We were classified a number one priority and a crew would arrive within 12 to 24 hours. That meant that they could come in the middle of the night. Later that day they checked in on us to see if we could hold off until Friday morning. We had gone this long without a shower or doing laundry so we figured a few more hours wouldn’t make much difference.
Yesterday, the street was blocked off and the work began in earnest. It was fascinating to watch. We just kept reminding ourselves that they knew what they were doing and we need not worry but the pounding and drilling throughout the day was quite disconcerting.
When the weather improves the city will be back to repair my neighbour’s driveway, the sidewalk and the street in front of the house. For now I can get to a week’s worth of laundry. I just had a long hot shower and washed my hair. Heaven!
A few days ago I told you about our plumbing problems that occurred on Boxing Day. Well our plumber finally arrived early in the morning on New Year’s Eve and I mean early. At 7:00 a.m. I woke up to the sounds of a shovel hitting the asphalt on my neighbour’s driveway.
I knew that Joe the Plumber was going to start as early as 8:00 but my husband and I and our neighbour were surprised to see him out there digging up the dirt by hand an hour earlier than expected. The sun had barely risen and according to my husband his truck was in front of our house quite a bit before 7:00.
In case you had forgotten we had water backing up through the sewer pipe every time we used the washing machine, the dishwasher or took long showers. When the camera went down the pipe we were informed that the pipe at the Y junction had collapsed and needed to be replaced. Only small amounts of water got through and all the waste materials were building up in the pipe. The unfortunate part of all of this was that the break was under my neighbours driveway.
After about five hours of digging by hand the problem was resolved. The broken pipe was removed and replaced with a new piece and the hole refilled. In the spring we’ll have to repair the asphalt on our neighbour’s driveway but for now it looks neat and clean. It was a very costly but necessary repair. What a way to end 2018 but we’re grateful to guys like Joe who come out to do that kind of work all year long.