One Final Get Together and Kite Flying With Opa

…..the family all came together to spend the day Brendan and Azadeh 

Last Saturday was the day that my son and daughter-in-law were flying back to London, England. The flight wasn’t until the evening so our son’s wish was to spend his last day in Canada with his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, niece and Opa.

We spent the morning shopping for and organizing the food. We prepared ribs, done two different ways, an Italian bread salad and bowtie pasta with homemade pesto sauce. IMG_2755

Winnie and Uncle Brendan mixing together the bread salad. It was yummy.

After our feast Opa wanted to show off his kite so the whole gang, minus my husband, made their way to the park down the street. Everyone had to take a turn flying the kite until the last person landed it in a tree. Fortunately we were able to rescue the pink beauty. Now Dad is talking about buying another kite, bigger and better than the one he has so that we can both go out together and each have our own kite. Hmmm!!!

A Day Trip to Hamilton

….Brendan wanted to spend the day with his twin sister and her family

My daughter-in-law hadn’t seen Gaelan’s place in Hamilton so we took another road trip on Wednesday (one day after Niagara Falls). Luckily it’s only a 40 minute drive when traffic isn’t too busy.

Gaelan’s husband Brendan had the BBQ going when we got there and we started our visit with a wonderful lunch of sausages and salads. Soon after we decided to go to the Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a gorgeous day and the Rock Garden provided us with shade and cooling waters from the fountains and the waterfall.

We walked through most of the grounds when a dark cloud quickly appeared over head. The same thing had happened the day before when we were in Niagara Falls so we decided we needed to run for cover. We arrived back at the entrance when the clouds opened up but now we had to get to our cars and mine was parked in a lot on the opposite side of the street. My son-in-law graciously offered to drive me over in his car but the moment I stepped out of the car it rained even harder and in that split second I was completely drenched. I drove back to pick up Brendan and Azadeh.

We all returned to Gaelan’s house to dry off and have a cup of coffee before we headed back to Toronto. The worst of the rain had stopped by then. Despite the rain we had a wonderful time. This summer we’ve had to make the best of what Mother Nature has thrown at us. I only remember one summer worse than this one and that was in 1992 when we were building our cottage and living in a tent trailer. It rained every single day that summer and at the end of the summer on my 40th birthday the canvas gave way and the water came in at the foot of our bed.

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Cheers!

The First Time

….a trip to the cottage with the baby

I was so excited to be going to the cottage with my granddaughter for the first time. Gaelan and Winnie stayed overnight on Friday here at the house. They were in town for Josie’s birthday party and it made no sense to go back to Hamilton and then come back the next day to Toronto.

Saturday morning we took our time and explored the garden and took a short walk over to the park.

After we packed up the car we headed out and Winnie had her nap while I drove. We made one stop to grab some lunch and arrived at the dock in time to catch the ferry. Once we were at the cottage Winnie explored her new surroundings, a little cautious at first but it didn’t take long before we had to run after her to make sure she stayed out of the poison ivy. She loved being chased.

We took her to the beach but she was a little wary of the waves and didn’t want anything to do with the water. In fact she was more interested in all the inflatable toys on the beach that didn’t belong to us. Even the sand toys that I bought for her didn’t hold her attention for more than a few minutes.

The next day the sun was shining and the wind had died down somewhat so the waves weren’t as high. After breakfast we took a walk along the beach. The water levels are very high this year so there isn’t much of a beach to walk on. Luckily no one minded getting wet as we walked. Winnie loved the waves today and when we got to the rocks she loved climbing over them.

It was a very long walk so Gaelan carried Winnie on the way back to the cottage and it wasn’t long before Winnie fell sound asleep in her mother’s arms. Later in the afternoon we went back down to the beach and this time she didn’t want to get out of the water even though she was shivering.

Monday morning Winnie woke up with a tummy ache and didn’t eat much breakfast. We prepared to go home and we were only in the car a few minutes before Winnie fell sound asleep. We decided to drive until Winnie woke up. When she did wake we pulled into the closest restaurant but even then she didn’t eat much.  She drank some milk and ate a bit of yogurt. Once we were back on the road it didn’t take long before we had to pull over. I forgot how road trips and car sickness go hand in hand with young children. Needless to say Winnie felt much better after she threw up her lunch but her mom and I were not exactly thrilled to be cleaning up vomit in a parking lot with only paper towels and bottled water which were quickly purchased from the variety store across the street.

Despite the unpleasant turn of events on our trip home my first weekend trip to the cottage with my granddaughter was a wonderful experience. I hope there will be many more to come and I look forward to our next adventure together.

Cheers!

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.

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Enjoying the Peace at the Cottage

…..so happy that I opened the cottage earlier in June

On my first trip to the cottage after opening it three weeks earlier, I was really looking forward to my stay. The only big thing that I still had to do was move the fridge outside, hook it up to the propane tank and fasten the tarp to the edge of the roof to keep the rain off the fridge. I managed to do most of this on my own and the only part that I needed help with was lighting the burner at the back of the fridge while I pushed the buttons on the front. Luckily my friend’s son had arrived the day before and was able to assist me with this final step.

For the most part the weather was very nice. I took several long walks along the beach that is mostly under water this year. When I wasn’t walking, cooking or cleaning I started and finished a book called The Last Days at Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan. A lovely summer read that gave me some insight into how the lives of Iranian citizens were affected by all the political and religious unrest that has taken place since the 1930s. The story centres around the owners and staff at Cafe Leila and the children who were sent to America after their mother was murdered by the police. When the daughter is separated from her estranged husband her father asks her to come home after being apart for more than 30 years.

When I wasn’t reading I took time to go and explore and take photographs. A couple of times I had to drive to the dock to drop someone off or pick someone up from the boat; consequently, many of the photos are from that area. The rest were taken at the beach.

The shots from the beach were taken in the early evening just as the sun was setting.

The day after the previous pictures were taken the weather had become quite windy and very cool. For most of the day I wore my longer pants and sweat shirt.

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WPC – Evanescent

…..soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing:
“a shimmering evanescent bubble”

Last week the skyline was absolutely white. Something I’ve never seen in 38 years of living here. A few minutes after I took the shot the skyline went grey.

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This was a WordPress weekly photo challenge using the word evanescent

A Busy Week

….when it rains it pours

This past week was the week I dreaded the most because many of the events that I organize and other special events and meetings that I take part in took place in this one week. On Monday the parents organized a very special luncheon for the staff at our school. The library was pretty much closed so that they could decorate, set up the tables and put out the food. As always there was so much food that the staff didn’t have to bring lunch for the next three days.

On Tuesday we had a soccer practice after school and then I drove to the warehouse to pick up an order of paper that I needed for my book making workshop on Thursday. When I got back to school I had dinner with the principle and then we waited together for the parent council meeting to begin at 7:00. I’m the teacher rep for these meetings. Needless to say by the time I got home it was pretty late.

On Wednesday we had another soccer practice after school so I started to set up for my workshop earlier in the day. I cut enough paper for about 60 books and I typed out the names of the 60 students who would be attending the special Forest of Reading Celebration. I placed the lists in the attendance folders so that teachers would know which students needed to be released from class. I would have stayed later and put more things out but I was reminded earlier in the day that I had bought a ticket to see a stage production that one of my former colleagues and dear friend was the stage manager for. I went home to have dinner with my husband and then left shortly after to get to the church on time for the musical extravaganza. It was actually very good.

On Thursday the day started with a bit of a wrinkle in our plans. The photographer for the grade 5 year end photo had to be rescheduled and it happened to fall on the same morning as the Forest of Reading Celebration. Four of the six teachers that were running the workshops that morning also had to be in the photo. Luckily my right hand woman, MC, was able to call down the grade 3s and 4s and read to them for a few minutes and then got them started on the art activity of bookmaking.

After the photo was taken the grade 5s went to the gym where two of my friends and colleagues hosted a drama/dance workshop based on one of the books from the Forest of Reading that I had read to the entire school. The book was The Artist and Me. I wrote about it in an earlier post. I went straight to the library to help MC with the bookmaking. This year I chose three easy designs and the first group mostly chose to make the accordion book.

At lunch the participants in the activity day went to the gym where they were served pizza, juice and ice-cream bars. All the teacher expert readers were invited as well. After the food was devoured the children went outside for lunch recess and the teachers had a bit of a break.

In the afternoon our visiting author, Sue Irwin, arrived with her props and extra copies of her book Safety Stars. She talked about her love of hockey and how she came to write a children’s book about how hockey evolved over the years with new safety equipment. She also tried to talk about the process of writing but the children had questions mostly about hockey which she happily answered. 9781459408470

At the end of the day I handed out special awards to the students who had read the most books. The goal was 12 but the top students had read 30, 39 and 41. Every student who attended the celebration also received a gift bag with a pencil, pen, book mark and stickers and one book of their choice.

After school I had one more soccer practice with the girls before their tournament the following day. On the way home I took the car through the car wash.

On Friday the girls’ soccer tournament took place. There were only three schools participating on this day. Our team won their first game 7-0 and lost the second game 4-0. It was a really chilly day but I’d rather have that than a day sweltering with heat.  We’re not sure if we’re moving on. If we are it means more practices. I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday. On the way home tonight I went back to the car wash and complained about the dirty water that they used to rinse the car. I didn’t notice the spots all over the car until the next morning. They gave me another voucher for a car wash so I decided to use it right away.

Ah, finally the weekend but there is no rest for the wicked. On Saturday I did three loads of laundry, cleared more things from the basement, started to take out my summer wardrobe and put away more winter items. I cleaned bathrooms, tidied my father’s apartment and vacuumed and de-cluttered the living room. We drove to the mall to get some new keys cut and buy some light bulbs and batteries. I checked out Winners while we were there but it was late in the day so I didn’t have time to try anything on.

Today is grey, cool and it’s pouring down rain at the moment. We went out earlier and picked up some meat from the boys that my husband coaches. It was some kind of fundraiser for one of the many activities that they’re involved in. We spent a couple of hours relaxing over coffee and just talking. Now that we’re back home we’re resting up a bit before we head out again to do more errands, i.e., grocery shopping, garden shopping and checking out fences for our backyard.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Canada, Victoria Day. Traditionally it’s the weekend where  a lot of people head up north to open the cottage. I was hoping to do the same but I knew if it was cold and raining I wouldn’t be making the trip this weekend. Only once did I go up in May when the conditions weren’t optimal and I vowed I’d never do it again. My daughter and I froze and left early. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Perhaps we’ll visit a friend or drive to Hamilton or continue cleaning up around here and maybe we’ll start putting in our garden.

Cheers!