Easter With the Family

This year we celebrated our Easter Sunday on Saturday. Our daughter and son-in-law in Hamilton invited us over for an Easter dinner of lamb ragu. We invited my niece who is working in Toronto and our oldest daughter and my daughter-in-law drove to our house, where we all jammed into one car and made the 40 minute drive to Hamilton. IMG_1668

The day started out very rainy but in the afternoon the sun came out and we experienced an early summer day. We spent a good deal of time outside without jackets and went for a nice walk to the park down the street. My niece had never been to G’s place and she enjoyed hearing stories of being pregnant and she saw first hand what it can be like raising a toddler. She’s due to have her first child in August.

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Our granddaughter is always a little shy around new people and even her grandparents who she hasn’t seen too much of this winter because of illness on both sides. It didn’t take long though before she warmed up to her cousin, once removed and they engaged in a game of peek-a-boo in the backyard.

For Easter this year I bought Winnie a garden set because she likes to help her father   clean and plant flowers in the the garden bed.  I knew she’d love the watering can because she loves anything to do with water. When I showed her how it worked she let out a shriek of joy and came running to her Oma. For the next hour or so she kept busy watering the garden and herself.

After spending some time in the garden and walking to the park we enjoyed a very nice dinner. Our son-in-law made the pasta from scratch and the ragu had cooked most of the day. We were in charge of dessert so my husband called up one of his favourite clients who works in an Italian bakery and asked her for advice on what dessert we should bring for an Easter dinner.

She quickly recommended a pastiera, a south Italian Easter tradition. It’s a wheat and ricotta pie flavoured with orange blossom water and adorned with a lattice top. Yum!IMG_1666

Today I’ll be spending time with a friend whose partner went into the hospital yesterday. He’ll be there for a few days as the doctors try to figure out what kind of treatment he will need.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Sunday. Lucky me, I get one more day off tomorrow. Time to get the snow tires off the car.

 

Sunday Morning Walk

….an exceptionally beautiful day

I knew that I would be indoors for most of the day trying to clean-up the two rooms upstairs so I went out for my walk early today. Frances and I headed out towards Col. Sam Smith Park. It was a glorious morning and the runners, dog walkers, nature photographers and cyclists were out early as well. With my iPhone in hand I took as many photos as Frances would allow.

Another Bitter Cold Day

….but lovely enough for taking photos

My husband has been suffering all week with a miserable cold and sinus infection, so when the dog barked non-stop to go outside and no one moved from their cozy chair in front of the TV I knew that I would be the designated dog walker for the day.

If I had to go outside I might as well take my camera and make the best of it. I bundled up, knowing that the temperature had plummeted to well below freezing and I tucked my camera inside my coat.

Now taking photos with a dog at the end of a leash is not easy but I did manage to take a few interesting shots close to home. I’m still experimenting with my macro lens and sometimes it’s very hit or miss but with a digital camera it really doesn’t matter. There’s no waiting for film to be developed and you can see immediately if the shot worked or not. In the photos below it’s difficult to see but I started tracking a couple of geese but as I got closer they flew down to the water.

Later in the day I had to pick up a library book so I drove and left the dog at home. I decided to park the car by Sam Smith Park after getting my book in hopes of getting a few more shots.  The lake side was ice free but on the pond there was a thin sheet of ice across most of the pond. P1020948P1020951P1020952P1020969P1020971P1020972P1020981

After an hour or so of hunting around for interesting shots my fingers started to freeze. This is the one downside of taking photos on such a cold day. Wearing mittens is impractical and my leather gloves are fine when I’m moving a lot but they don’t do a very good job of keeping the cold out when you’re standing around, fiddling with dials on your camera. Keeping the camera inside my coat helped preserve the battery somewhat. Batteries don’t like the cold either.

Do you have any tips for taking photos on freezing cold days? I’d love to hear about them.

Playing With the Camera and Getting my Steps In

….losing the lens cap and having to retrace my steps helped my reach my walking goal 

Despite having the special attachment on my lens cap that fastens itself to the camera body I still managed to lose it. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, I didn’t notice that the cap was missing until I was almost all the way home. I started to retrace my steps but since I was close to the house I decided to pick up Frances and take her for her walk. At least this way I was multi-tasking and hopefully I could get in enough steps to make her happy and find my lens cap.

Luckily I did find the cap close to a park bench where I had taken a moment to try to figure out why my camera wasn’t working. I guess I was so excited when I was able to shoot some more photos that I didn’t notice that the cap was no longer attached to the camera body.

Frances seemed content to turn around and go back home at this point and I knew that I was going to be close to my 10 000 step goal for the day and it was still morning.

Here are a few of the shots I took yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny morning.

Happy Family Day Weekend

….in most of Canada we’re celebrating Family Day on Monday

What a wonderful way to start a long weekend  with a 6k walk. The weather was perfect. Sunny and mild. A great day to take photographs. Here are a few shots that I took this morning.

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