An Evening Walk on the Beach

after arriving at the cottage we had a quick snack and then decided to explore the beach

Now that the days are getting shorter my daughter and I knew that we didn’t have a lot of time to walk on the beach before darkness set in. After sitting in the car for over three hours we needed to stretch our legs. We fuelled up on some tea and homemade apple cake and then headed down to the beach. We were pleasantly surprised to find the the water level had gone down somewhat since our last visit so walking on the beach was considerably easier than it was two weeks ago.

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My Morning Coffee

….mornings at the cottage

The first thing I do when I wake up at the cottage is fill the kettle and boil water for my morning coffee. I have no electricity so there is no coffee maker, Tassimo machine or Nespresso machine. When I grew up my parents always made filter coffee. People now call is pour over coffee and they pay a premium price for it at the coffee shop.

For more than 30 years I’ve made my coffee at the cottage this way. I put the kettle on the side burner of the BBQ and place the filter cone over our Coffee Butler. It’s a thermos that keeps the coffee hot for hours but when there’s more than two of us we often have to make a couple of pots if we want more than one cup.

This past weekend I went to the cottage with my daughter and daughter-in-law and this is how we started each morning. The night before we left for the cottage I made a large loaf of banana bread which I wrapped in foil and brought along. Heaven!

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Celebrating 45 Years of Love and Friendship

….our wedding day feels like it happened yesterday and not 45 years ago

This time last year we celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary in the hospital when Kevin was admitted for pneumonia. I was so pleased that his cough wasn’t COVID related or pneumonia and that he was well enough to go out for an early dinner today.

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Yesterday Kevin took me clothes shopping to buy a new dress for our anniversary dinner. He planned to take me to one our favourite restaurants along the Port Credit River but because of COVID he couldn’t make reservations and we had take our chances and hope we could get in. We decided on an early dinner but even at 4:00 there was a one hour wait. We decided to check out an Italian restaurant up the street.

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Our view from the patio, including the restaurant we couldn’t get into

Posta was open and readily accepted our request for a table for two on the patio. The service and the food were excellent and the view was fantastic. We now have a new favourite restaurant to frequent for special occasions.

This is What 100 Looks Like

….celebrating an old friend’s 100th birthday

Last week one of my father’s oldest friends celebrated his 100th birthday. Back in June Fred phoned us and told us that he wanted to do something special for his milestone birthday. I assumed he wanted a big party but he surprised us by saying that he didn’t want any presents and instead he was hoping we would pledge a dollar a day for 71 days until his birthday. Every day he went out with his walker and walked 800 m in front of his retirement home and he hoped that any money raised would go to Forests Ontario.

Fred has always loved being in nature and doing his bit to save our environment. When he saw Capt. Tom from England raise money for the health care workers by walking every day he figured he could do the same but put any money raised towards planting more trees in Ontario. We gladly sent him money and looked forward to following his progress.

About two week before his actual birthday his daughter, Hilde, phoned us and told us about the arrangements that were being planned for the big day. The local newspaper and TV station got wind of his challenge and featured him in their newsfeeds. COVID was creating its own challenges for bringing people together so the numbers had to be limited. The event was going to take place outdoors but there was very little shade and people had to bring their own chairs.

Fred on his birthday accepting a plaque from Forests Ontario

In the end we decided it would be better if Dad and Fred got together after the actual birthday so that they could spend time together without being interrupted by the media, politicians and numerous guests. Two days after the birthday Hilde picked up her father and drove him to her house in Wasaga Beach and I drove my Dad from Toronto to Hilde’s house.

We learned that Fred had managed to raise over $5000. for Forests Ontario. The two men talked about fond memories of their choir days together while Hilde and I got caught up on the last 45 years. After a lovely lunch and a walk down memory lane we said our goodbyes and Hilde drove her father back to Barrie and Dad and I returned to Toronto.

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Art Nurtures the Soul

….encouraging my husband to pick up a paint brush

When I met my husband he was an artist. He studied art at college and his first full time job was as a graphic designer. When computers started to take over his chosen profession he changed careers and he abandoned art in order to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. We both worked until I took five years off to raise the kids. When they were in school full time I went back to teaching and my husband became a financial planner.

Over the years I started to pick up paint brushes and drawing pencils and took many classes and on-line art classes to learn everything I could about art techniques and practices. I love it. I tried to encourage my husband to start his art journey again. He wanted to but he was hesitant to start.

Well he finally started last week and I can’t stop him. The only reason he didn’t make another painting today was because he ran out of canvases. In total he has already completed 15 paintings. He’s experimenting with colour and techniques of laying down paint. I can’t tell you how much this has lifted his spirit.  We’ve just finished renovating our garage so that he can use it as a summer studio to make larger works of art.

Here are a few of his completed pieces.
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Visiting From Afar

….every other week we drive to Hamilton for a procedure at McMaster Hospital and then we drive over to our daughter’s house and visit from a socially acceptable distance

This week our trip to Hamilton allowed us to see our granddaughter and daughter from the porch. Winnie proudly showed off her new bicycle. Fortunately is was a beautiful warm day and we were able to sit outside. We also brought her some new art materials and she promptly made us a picture in her new sketchbook.D76-E1156-982-A-4497-908-E-C17804788-EC9-1-201-a
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Soon after she finished her picture she politely excused herself because she had to get things ready for her tea party with her other grandmother, whom she was seeing later that day. At 4 1/2 she seems so mature. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was cradling her in my arms.

52 Week Smartphone Challenge – Week 21 Serenity

….thanks to Khürt for hosting the 52 Week Smartphone Challenge

Serenity definitely comes from being outdoors. I’ve spent a lot of time in the parks in Toronto that border on Lake Ontario. Even though I’ve been working to clear away the trash that has fallen between the rocks I can still take a moment to enjoy the view and take in the peace and quiet along the shoreline. This is one of the last photos I took on my  iPhone.

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A Cool and Blustery Day

….but the fight against litter continues

Originally we had decided that it would be too wet today to go trash hunting but there was a pause in the rain this morning so Trish and I decided to go and collect a few more bags of litter before the rain started up again. We went back to the park on Third Street where we’ve already been twice to clean up.

One thing that we’ve discovered is that a lot of garbage comes directly from the cars that are parked along the street. Instead of opening the door and walking 20 steps to the closest garbage can they simple toss their garbage next to the curb. We also noticed that someone who likes high end beer simple left six empty bottles among the rocks. Luckily none of them were broken but it would only have been a matter of time.

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I think this is what you call ‘jumping for joy’ when the job was done for the day.

Day 27 – Favourite Toy

…thanks to Leanne Cole for hosting the 30 Day at Home Challenge

All my favourite toys from childhood are gone. I once asked my mother what happened to our toys and she very matter of factly said that we weren’t playing with them anymore so she threw them away. I remember being somewhat shocked but on the other hand my mother did not like clutter and the decorations around the house were very minimal.

Decades ago I started collecting teddy bears. The collection grew very quickly when people learned of my new found hobby. Many of those bears have been put aside and only my favourite are now on display.

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Words of Hope and Love

A very good friend of mine who lives alone has started a project that involves all her friends. She recently asked us to all create ornaments with words of inspiration written on them that she could hang on her white Christmas tree. She still has the white lights on it and she thought it was the perfect back drop for her tree of Hope and Peace and Love.

Her original idea was to cover it with ornaments in the shape of moons, suns and stars. We were all given carte blanche and the only caveat was that they not be too big and that there were  personal messages written on them to send out to the world.

My whole family is getting involved but I think I’m the first to complete the task. I decided to show you my work in the form of a video with music in the background. I learned something new today as I have never done anything like this. Now I’m hoping I’m able to send it out to you.