Share Your World – October 16, 2017

…… thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I think I would move to Italy, in the hills of Tuscany or Assisi. I loved the serenity while I was there but I might miss being close to water.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

I’ve lived with this horrible grey for so long and I agonized over what colour to replace it with.  I’ve purchased a rich cream colour but the thought of having to move everything to paint over this dreary grey has held me back.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  1. My husband and children and granddaughter
  2. My friends
  3. Making Art
  4. Taking photographs
  5. My cottage
  6. Talking to and visiting my sisters
  7. Travelling with my husband
  8. Baking for my father
  9. Reading a good book
  10. Listening to great music

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I’ve appreciated the warm temperatures that we’ve experienced this past week. October  has had all kinds of weather but it’s been mostly warm. Even on overcast days I’ve been able to get out for my walks with the dog and take some great photos.

I got together with some friends last week. I think the one thing about being retired that I miss is the daily interaction with colleagues, so when I do get together with friends it’s extra special, even if it’s just to talk and do some errands together.

Every week I try to get to Hamilton to spend time with our granddaughter, Winnie, and give her mother a bit of a break. Last week she let me take her for a walk down her street   after the three of us shared a treat at the local coffee shop.

I always appreciate when my husband cooks dinner, which is most of the time but last week he made pizzas from scratch, which he hasn’t done for awhile. We weren’t sure how Dad would like the fig and mozzarella pizza so he made two different pizzas. Dad loved both of them.

 

Share Your World – Sept. 25, 2017

….thanks Cee for more thought provoking question on Share Your World

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I think that it would have to be walking where ever I happen to be, with or without my dog, but always with my camera or iPhone close by. Here are some photos I took on this morning’s walk.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

It really depends on who’s driving and where I’m going. When I’m with my 90 year old father I’d rather be driving because he’s too distracted when there’s someone else in the car. When I’m with my husband and on a long trip I like it when he drives but I don’t mind taking turns.

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?

#1 – I’d like to take off my excess weight and maintain that loss (is that 2 wishes?). I’ve been on a roller coaster diet all my life. I feel much better when I’m thinner, my clothes look better on me and I want to be able to enjoy my walks and time with my granddaughter without feeling the aches and pains in my feet and joints.

#2 – I’d like to have enough money to finish some projects around the house and still be able to take at least one trip a year overseas or across the country without worrying about how the bills are going to be paid.

#3 – I’d like to have more grandchildren but I guess that’s not really up to me.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

These past two weeks I appreciated spending time with friends in the middle of the week. When I was working this would have been out of the question. Two Tuesdays ago I went to the AGO (art gallery) with my life-long friend, Arlene. She’s been patiently waiting for me to retire so we could do this. The show we saw was called Every. Now. Then. Reframing Nationhood. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, it explores three urgent questions through the eyes of some of the country’s best emerging and established artists: where has Canada come from, what it is now, and where is it going?

Last Tuesday I spent the day with my daughter and granddaughter. We went to the mall together, had lunch and just hung out. I finished a hat for Winnie while I was there and apparently she didn’t take it off for two days. My daughter had to hide it from her. We’ve been experiencing a heat wave here and a wool cap is the last thing she needs on her head.

On Wednesday I drove to St. Catharines with my friend Diane to visit her father at the retirement home. We met her sister there and went for lunch at a great place close by. After that we got back in the car and drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake where we took in an afternoon show at the Old Courthouse. Walking through this town is always such a visual treat for me.

This week I was also inspired to finally reorganize my room so that I can start doing art again. Two of my friends gave me a timeline (end of September) to get my stuff sorted so that I can start putting shelves, a desk and a filing cabinet in my space. Hopefully I’ll really be able to organize my supplies and then get down to doing some serious art. At least now I’m not embarrassed when people go up to my bedroom. I can get to my bed now without stepping over stuff or having to worry about tripping on something in the dark. I’ll post photos when I have more ‘after’ shots.

Cheers!

Reflecting on this Past Year

…..today I’m officially a senior citizen

There has to be a better designation than senior citizen when you turn 65. I know there are many perks when you reach this age but it also comes with labels such as golden oldie, old fart, grandma, oldster, senior, geezer, geriatric, old-timer and blue hair. Even though I’m a proud grandmother to Winnie I don’t feel old.

 

I look back on this past year and am proud of what I’ve done and happy to have such amazing friends and a wonderful family. I knew that this was the year to retire from teaching. I still loved the job but there were days when I was just plain tired and sometimes I didn’t feel that I fit in anymore. I didn’t want to be one of those crotchety old teachers that criticized younger teachers for doing things differently.  Sometimes I didn’t like what went on but I wanted to leave on a happy note so I kept quiet for the most part. The only people I would share my views with were people closer to my age and those who were also retiring. I have to admit that some of my favourite teachers were those much younger than me. I loved their humour and zest for life.

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Of course the students are what kept me going as a teacher. They weren’t always easy to teach and over the years the job grew increasingly more difficult but in the end the love and gratitude I received in the form of cards, art work, letters of appreciation and countless hugs made it all worthwhile.

This past year I’ve seen my own children continue to grow into responsible and amazing adults. They are all married now and our one and only grandchild is growing like a weed. She is my pride and joy.  Last night she kept saying Oma birthday, Oma birthday while rolling around in her crib. She clearly knows everyone in the family now and can say everyone’s name. She picks up at least 10 new words every day and we have to be so careful what we say in front of her.

My retirement is not quite working out the way I thought it would. I was hoping to do more travelling but it is still early days. Last May my father moved into our house. At 90 he’s still very independent but we’re a little worried about leaving him for too long. So far the longest we’ve left him alone is four days. We’re hoping to travel to London, England in November to visit with our son before he leaves to live in New York City in the coming year. Someone recently asked me if Dad was coming with us. We’ve tried to convince him to make at least one more trip to Germany to visit his brother. It looks like that won’t happen for at least another year, God willing, and I’m not sure if a trip to London would be in the cards for him as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

So as I turn 65 today I can honestly say that I’ve had a wonderful life. Now I look forward to my next adventure and hopefully I’ve inherited my father’s genes so that I can enjoy the next 30 years of my life with the same joie de vivre.

First of Many Retirement Parties

…..not sure why but this is the fourth time I’ve tried to write about this

As many of you know, I retired from teaching on June 30. Four of us all retired this year so there were many parties to attend. The first party was put on by the Toronto District School Board. I’ve been with this board for my entire career.

Back in May over 900 employees from the board were celebrated. That’s how many people retired this year. The highlight of the evening happened at the end of the evening when each of us was gifted a bronze school bell. At the countdown every recipient rung their bell at the same time. It was deafening. In the video below only three of us were ringing the bells.

Share Your World 2016 – Week 25

…..check out Cee’s Share Your World and join the fun

How many languages do you you speak?

Basically I speak two languages, English and German. German was my first language and I understand it very well but I am very hesitant to use it. Growing up I had to go to German school on Saturdays and I hated it. Whenever my parents or their friends spoke to me in German I would answer in English. When I turned 18 I sang in a German choir and did so for 27 years.

What are some words that just make you smile?

The first word that makes me smile is my granddaughter’s name – Winnie. I can’t help but smile when I think of her or hear someone utter her name. Come to think of it all the names of my loved ones make me smile. Other words that make me smile are love, art, summer vacation, cottage, puppy and party.

If you were the original architect of one existing building, which building would you select?

This is tough because there are lots of buildings that I would be proud to put my name on, even ones that have been somewhat controversial. I love old and new but I think the one that stands out for me at the moment is the AGO. It is a combination of old and new. Several years ago it underwent a renovation and I simply love the lines and all the wood on the inside. The architect is Frank Gehry.

Would you rather have telepathy or telekinesis? (Telepathy is the communication using your brain waves, telekinesis is channeling the energy onto physical objects to cause substantial, observable physical changes.)

I think I’d rather have telepathy. It would be neat to be able to send messages without opening my mouth.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for being able to check off more items from my to do list. As you know June is extremely busy for me at school. Every time I’m able to cross off another item it takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

Things that are done:

2 retirement parties- collected money and bought gift for one

Jump Rope for Heart – money collected and prizes distributed

Report cards written, proofread and printed

Timetables for next year organized

Father’s Day gift bought and BBQ with the family

Year end school concert

Rehearsals for grade five farewell

book club for June

finished paintings with the students for the stage

son’s wedding via the internet

city finals for girls’ soccer

taking 78 students to Jays’ baseball game to sing the national anthems

This week I’m looking forward to the grade 5 farewell assembly, play day, cleaning up my office in the library, the staff party and making final arrangements for our trip to Italy. Most of all I’m looking forward to getting on that plane next Saturday. Phew! I’m tired just thinking about it.

 

 

Four Years and Still Going Strong

….yesterday was my 4th anniversary with WordPress

If I didn’t check my notifications side bar today I would have missed it.

4 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

It’s hard to believe that four years ago I started this blog to help me lose weight and get healthy. Four years later I’m still trying to lose weight but I’m healthier than I was then. I’m thankful that I didn’t gain back all the weight that I had lost (32 pounds) but it was getting painfully close when I finally started back on my weight loss journey. So far it’s been easier because my husband is doing it with me. I’m down 10 pounds and my husband is down 11.

My blog quickly morphed into a eclectic mix of photography, art, memories, recipes, teaching moments and my life experiences with my friends and family. I’ve met more than 1000 people who now follow me. I’m sure some have fallen by the wayside but many have stuck with me and comment regularly. For that I am truly grateful.

In the last four years you’ve seen me and my family change, grow and experience the ups and downs of life. I ran my first 5k, lost 32 pounds, turned the big 60, stood by my husband as he battled one illness after another requiring 4 separate surgeries and then I shared my son’s accident with you just last December when he needed surgery. I also shared with you my aunt’s prolonged stay in the hospital before she passed and how my 89 year old father fell, not once but twice, but lived to talk about it. I’ve spent way too much time in the hospital.

Not all hospital visits were for sick people. Last October I became a grandmother for the first time. That was the best hospital visit ever. IMG_2885-2

When I started this blog only my youngest daughter was married. Since then our oldest daughter got married a couple of months ago and our son is getting married this summer. Needless to say it’s been and continues to be a busy year.

 

I’m still teaching. I thought this blog might help me prepare for retirement but I loved my work and my colleagues too much to even consider it.  Now, I can say for certain that retirement is just around the corner and I look forward to my last year of teaching starting next September.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my students’ art work on this blog and they love knowing that people really like what they’ve done and that they make comments about their work. I can always tell when my viewing numbers are really high that my students have found their way to my site.

One of the things that I’ve grown passionate about is photography since I’ve started this blog. I participate in a number of photography challenges and I take my camera everywhere I go. I’ve enjoyed sharing photos of our cottage and the beautiful parks in our neighbourhood and photos I’ve taken on our vacations.

Before I close I’d like to thank all of you who follow me and all those who pop by once in awhile for giving me a purpose to write. Knowing that people read my words and look at my photography gives me incentive to continue with this blog. Here’s to the next four years!

Cheers!