Instant Colour

….after a forced trip to Costco

I needed my winter tires taken off my car. I haven’t driven very much since this isolation started back in March. In fact I filled up just before this started and I was down to a quarter of a tank when I filled up again two days ago. That was 8 weeks between fill-ups.

Anyway I digress. I got an appointment at the Tire Centre at Costco very easily. I booked on-line and took the first appointment available. So on the 13th of May I drove to Costco at 9:30 in the morning. I walked straight into the warehouse past a huge line-up of people waiting to get into the store to shop.

After I dropped off the car I had an hour and a half wait so I decided I might as well join the line and pick up some flowers for the yard. It took about 30 minutes to get inside. Once inside I felt completely safe. There were very  few people in the building and the check out was very organized.8469-EFC0-1830-4949-A51-F-5-A1-F72-AC297-F
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An hour is a long time so I ended up buying more than I had planned to but I did only purchase things that I needed or would need shortly.

When I got home I arranged the flowers in the front and back of the house. That blast of instant colour made my trip to Costco all the more worthwhile.

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Walking and More Baking During Covid-19

….at times the streets are empty and it’s an eerie feeling

Today, however, was a beautiful sunny day. The dog walkers were all out and mostly they were alone with their pet. A few people that were walking together were clearly couples who were probably cooped up all day together anyway.

Everyone was very respectful of the acceptable distance between people and when someone came down the street in my direction, either I or the other person stepped off the sidewalk and continued walking on the road. Funny how a few months ago this would have seemed anti-social and weird.D5-FAD72-E-F46-E-4-AF0-82-FE-F7771149-B69-A
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Even in the grocery store people go about their business quickly. People seem to know what they need and they spend as little time as possible in the store. In my local grocery store there are no empty shelves and there was a lot of toilet paper today. The cashiers are all separated from the customers by plexiglass shields at the cash and they all wore gloves. There was tape fixed to the floor with six feet between strips and people observed the social distancing rules.

As soon as I got home I washed my hands, something that I’ve always done but now I’m super diligent about it.

The other thing that both my husband and I have started doing again is bake. Today we started the dough for bread that we will bake tomorrow and while I was in the mood I made an almond cake. We had the cake for dessert tonight with some strawberries and cream. Being aware of the Corona 15 (the 15 pounds that many people will gain during this pandemic) we ate only one slice and then I froze the rest for another day.5-BFA4-CB1-2-CCD-4759-98-D4-5326-D41-ADCF7
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An Early Valentine Bouquet

….thank you Dad

My Dad was hinting at buying me chocolates for Valentine’s Day and I asked him not to. I also warned him that flowers are very expensive as well and it would be better to wait. On Sunday I took him to Costco with me because he loves to shop and there are things that he only likes to buy there. We usually split up and meet at the checkout. He was just ahead of me and I noticed that he had a bouquet of flowers in his basket. Thanks Dad.

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Six Deliveries in a Week

….my neighbours must have been wondering why the UPS and Canada Post trucks were stopping in my front of my home so often in such a short space of time

No it wasn’t because it was Christmas or someone’s birthday. I’ve decided to make more purchases through Amazon because the prices are good and shipping is free. Well it’s free for both my husband and me because we took advantage of the free Prime delivery service but forgot to cancel it after one month and now we’re paying for it. So it isn’t exactly free but we need to take advantage of the service or we will be paying for nothing. One of the advantages to having Prime is that we also get Prime TV shows and we’ve seen some good series and movies.

Anyway some of things that I’ve ordered are books and art supplies. A lot of these things were ordered on the same day but the delivery dates were random. One item I received within 12 hours and some took longer because the seller couldn’t guarantee faster service but I knew this when I ordered them. Everything arrived in pristine condition and was exactly as I expected. I’m one happy customer.

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Makes Me Think of Summer

…..today’s post for March Squares are squares within circles within a square

Thanks to Becky B from Life with B for hosting a month of March Squares.

Gingham patterns always make me think of summer. This cheery display of colourful dishes instantly made me think of picnics and warm summer days.

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Share Your World – January 29, 2018

….thanks to Cee for posting more interesting questions on Share Your World

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

I would choose a store where I could buy a variety of items, like clothing, household items, accessories, toys, and make-up. Even though I’d have unlimited amounts of money (I’m assuming that’s what an unlimited shopping spree means) I still think of Marshall’s first. Maybe I should be adventurous and say Nordstrom’s.

What is the worst thing you ate recently?

I tend to avoid foods that I don’t like and there aren’t too many of those. I would have to choose something that was badly prepared or didn’t meet my expectations. The only thing I can think of is the oatmeal my father made and he wanted me to try it because he had some left over. Is it possible for something to be too salty and too sweet at the same time? Well it was and I politely declined to eat the rest. My Dad doesn’t read this blog so I’m not too worried that he’ll be offended.

Name five things you like watching…

  1. Watching my granddaughter playing
  2. A game of professional soccer, rugby or lacrosse
  3. The Olympic Games, summer and winter
  4. Live theatre
  5. On TV – Coronation Street, The View, Young Sheldon, Survivor, The Crown and most British detective stories

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

This week I managed two visits to Hamilton to visit my daughter and granddaughter and my oldest daughter came over with her Frenchie, Olive on Sunday. Time with my family always makes me smile.

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Photo credit goes to my daughter-in-law who took this photo back in November.

On Sunday Olive and Frances had a great time playing together and we were able to go for a nice long walk.

I’m also happy that I finally got my art studio in working order last week. I put together the last piece of furniture and started filling up the drawers. Even though I’ve been doing art almost every day since the beginning of the month, I can now do it in a neater and more organized space. fullsizeoutput_6c5b

In conclusion I need to thank my husband for taking me on one of his business trips this week. It was only up to Collingwood but I had an opportunity to take some photographs of the town and together we enjoyed a wonderful meal before heading home. We had such a nice time that we’re thinking of doing this once a week or at least twice a month. Any suggestions where we should go next? No more than two hours from Toronto, please.

Cheers!

Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping

….after our long walk this morning we decided to go out and buy food for the weekend

Not any old food, mind you. We were shopping for food for our family get together on Sunday. Four of us are driving to Hamilton to celebrate Family Day at G’s and B’s home (parents of Winnie). I suggested that we do a pot luck lunch and everyone quickly agreed.

Our contribution is going to be a charcuterie platter and then some smoked pork chops, German style (Kassler rippchen). To get all the ingredients we needed we drove out to Mississauga and went to the Brandt Meat store. What a treat for all the senses.

We left with 5 different meats and three cheeses for the platter, 8 smoked pork chops and meatloaf for tonight’s dinner. As we got back into the car we decided that potato salad would be a nice addition to the chops so I went back inside and bought a few containers of ready to eat salad.

Hard to imagine that I couldn’t find everything that we needed in this one amazing store but we did need milk, cream, fruit, vegetables and dog food so we made another stop at our go to No Frills grocery story just down the road from our home. I love the produce aisles in this store. It is so bright and colourful and everything is very fresh.

After we loaded up the car with more groceries than we had planned to buy my husband thought of another thing we forgot to pick up. Batteries. Instead of going back into the same store he suggested that I go over to the Dollarama which was next door.

Here’s another store that appeals to the eyes. Bright and colourful and kind on the pocketbook. The line-up was pretty long so I decided to take a quick look around and took a few more photos of some of the merchandise. You can tell that St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are just around the corner.

The teacher in me wanted to buy numerous items for my classes but I resisted temptation. Besides my husband was waiting in the car and if I had returned with anything but batteries he would have given me a questioning gaze.

As soon as we got home we put away the groceries and I started dinner. For those of you who know me well I did it voluntarily and without any coercion from my husband. Once in awhile I still like to cook.

Hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend. Mine is just beginning. Hopefully I’ll have more photos and stories about our Family Day get together tomorrow.

Cheers!

Supercrawl in Hamilton, ON

….last weekend I went to my first art crawl

Since 2009, Hamilton has hosted an art supercrawl that now spreads over 16 city blocks and has gone from a one day event to an entire weekend. It celebrates the diverse art community in the James St. North community in Hamilton. This year it featured numerous art installations, hands on art demonstrations, live bands, street performers, dozens of food trucks, and hundreds of vendors selling jewellery, crafts, paintings, clothing, knitwear and handmade toys. Supercrawl 2016

 

Accommodations in Florence and Rome

…..in both Italian cities we used Airbnb and VRBO

Venice was the only place where we stayed in a hotel. Travelling with a baby required special needs and many homes listed on Airbnb and VRBO met the criteria for our daughter, her 9 month old daughter and for us, the grandparents.

In Florence we stayed in a lovely apartment above a garage. It was a gated property and there were no neighbours above, below or next to us. There were two bedrooms, a small living room and kitchen, a bath with a shower and an outdoor terrace. The place was air-conditioned and had all the amenities that we needed, including Wifi, a washing machine, a crib and a television.

The location was ideal as well. We were just outside the ring that surrounds the city centre which is closed off to traffic. It was about a twenty minute walk to the leather market and the farmer’s market and just beyond that were all the museums, churches and tourist attractions that Florence is famous for. We were also within walking distance to a small grocery store, numerous caffes and restaurants and a couple of parks.

More about our accommodations in Rome in a future post.

Ciao!

April Fools’ a Day Late

….clearly Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that April Fools’ Day was on the first

While visiting our daughter and her family in Hamilton yesterday we notice that a few snow flakes were coming down. We didn’t think too much of it as we donned our spring coats and headed outside for a walk. The temperature was hovering just at the freezing point so we didn’t bring scarves or hats.

Within minutes of starting our walk the snow started to fall in huge fluffy flakes. My daughter and I put up the hoods on our jackets. We walked through the neighbourhood commenting on how all winter we had seen very little snow and here it was April 2nd and we were experiencing a blizzard. We were headed to the market to pick up a few things and by the time we got there we were drenched from the snow that melted through our coats.

My granddaughter wasn’t at all disturbed by this sudden shift in the weather. She just didn’t like the cover that we kept putting over her stroller so that she wouldn’t get wet. After awhile it became a bit of a game as the cover constantly slipped away and she would give us one of her big grins every time she saw our faces. I guess we were quite the site with these mounds of snow collecting on our heads and shoulders.

After an hour we arrived back at the house and my husband and I decided we should drive back to Toronto. The visibility was bad so as soon as we could we got off the highway and took the Lakeshore all the way back to the city. It was slower but way less stressful.

This morning we woke up to clear blue skies and only a dusting of snow on the rooftops but it was much colder. We heard that another bout of snow was heading our way so we decided to go for our walk while it was still sunny. This time we bundled up in our warm parkas, scarves, hats and gloves. It turned into a great walk and on the way back with the wind at our backs it was even more enjoyable. We walked exactly 5 kilometres.

The forecast of more snow turned out to be true. As I write this the snow is coming down gently now but it was pretty stormy about an hour ago. April is fooling all of us. Winter is back….well at least for a little bit. How is spring in your neighbourhood?