This Little One Brings Sunshine into my Life

….even if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate

After a stressful morning on Tuesday my husband suggested that I drive to Hamilton to spend some time with the family. I had originally planned to go there on Thursday but my father’s CAT scan appointment came through and it turned out to be on the same day. On the weekend we didn’t see Gaelan, Brendan or Winnie because Gaelan came down with a stomach flu.

I was in desperate need of some ‘Winnie’ time so I quickly fed the neighbour’s cat (a story for another time), put the car seat back in the car (in case we decided to drive somewhere in Hamilton) and headed out for the highway.

Just before I reached the onramp for the QEW I remembered that I had left the dog outside and forgot to lock the front door. Back I went.

Eventually I did get to Hamilton and spent the day playing games and reading to Winnie. While I was there I noticed that the sun was trying to come out and it seemed to warm up. After much coaxing we finally convinced Winnie to go for a walk to the playground at Dundurn Castle.

We spent about an hour there and then we had a hard time convincing Winnie it was time to go home.

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Easter With the Cormiers

….celebrating a day early makes for a nice restful Easter Sunday

On Saturday I got up early to put the turkey in the oven. I made the stuffing the night before so that saved me some time and I hid a few eggs before I retired for the evening. Despite all the advanced prep work I still found myself working right up till the moment the first of my kids arrived but I must admit that it was considerably less stressful than other years. I did manage to get the table set and hide all the Easter eggs.P1070664
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My daughter and daughter-in-law took over the egg decorating job and my husband started up the BBQ where he cooked all the vegetables.P1070665
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Our granddaughter and her parents and other grandmother were the last to arrive and little Winnie didn’t waste any time looking for the treats that the Easter Bunny hid around the house.IMG-2081
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After dinner most of us decided we needed to get some fresh air and walk off some of the calories that we had consumed. Our son-in-law made us some wonderful cocktails to start the meal, Gaelan prepared a delicious cheesy cauliflower bake and Andrea and Josie made a decadent chocolate panna cotta for dessert. On top of the turkey and the rice stuffing I also made gluten free spring pasta salad. Luckily the rain had stopped so we headed to the park and continued to the playground a few blocks over.P1070669
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I hope all of you had as wonderful day as I did. Happy Easter everyone!

A Photo a Week Challenge – Fire

….thanks to Nancy Merrill for hosting theĀ Photo a Week Challenge

Every week I work with fire as we bake our bread for the inn and the Farmers’ Market in an outdoor bake oven. There’s also an old fireplace in the tearoom that we light when the weather is particularly cold. I couldn’t resist including the fire from my daughter’s birthday cake. I love how it illuminates our granddaughter’s face.IMG-4062
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A Surprise Visitor(s)

…this time last year we discovered a similar visitor in our backyard

Some of you may remember the racoon we found in our deck box last year. We managed to get a couple of photos before it scurried off and never returned. All spring we’ve had a heavy metal pan sitting on top of the box so we figured that would be enough of a deterrent to keep the racoons out of the box.

When our dog Frances started to get excited and agitated around the outside of the box this week my husband suspected that the racoon had returned. We took the dog back into the house and quickly the racoon escaped. When we opened the box we found another surprise.IMG-1981
The mama returned shortly after but she wasn’t sure what to do.IMG-1982
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We called Animal Control and they told us to make the area very uncomfortable by playing loud music, especially at night, and throwing in some dog fur into the box. The one thing not to do is add moth balls because they are too toxic for the babies. Apparently racoons have more than one den site so the theory is that the mother will take her babies somewhere else.

We were all set to do that but my husband didn’t want to wait until nightfall so he started by opening the box all the way. Again the mama racoon scurried away. It didn’t take long before she returned and one by one she removed her babies and waddled across the deck and the backyard, up the chain link fence and into the neighbours yard. We were afraid she was going to move into our old garage or crawl under our deck but I guess one of her other den sites is in someone else’s backyard.fullsizeoutput-7737
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Proud Mama

….yesterday my oldest daughter ran a 30k race in Hamilton

The Around the Bay Race in Hamilton celebrated its 125th anniversary. It is one of the oldest long distance races in North America, even older than the Boston Marathon. We woke up to snow yesterday but that didn’t stop thousands of runner from participating in this historic run.

I was looking forward to using my telephoto lens so I could capture Andrea coming around the bend towards the finish line. I practised on some random runners.P1070568
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Seeing this was the first time Andrea has run 30k she was aiming for a 2:35 finish. The runners in the photos above were all in the 2:15 to 2:20 time range. I knew that at 2:35 the runners would be more bunched together and my fear was that my 5’1″ daughter would get lost in a pack of runners. My fear came true and the camera completely missed her. It’s not like she was going to stop and pose for me. I was pretty upset. Anyway after the race I managed to get a couple of nice shots with her medal. Luckily my daughter-in-law positioned herself at the 27k mark and managed to get a couple of good shots as she passed her.

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Friendly Friday – Dreamy

….thanks to Snow for hostingĀ Friendly Friday this week

The task is to post at least one photo that depicts the concept of ‘dreamy’. For me, right now in the middle of winter here in Toronto, dreamy images are ones of warm waters, sandy beaches and sunshine. Let me take you back to summers at the cottage.IMG-3092
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