A Busy Weekend

……surrounded by family and friends

This weekend started on Friday when my husband and I drove up to Vaughn to buy a porchetta for our family dinner on Saturday. I really should have taken a photo but I didn’t. I find more and more that I’m just enjoying the moment without having to document everything with my camera.

On Saturday I continued to organize my studio and I started to put together the last piece of furniture from IKEA. At least everything is now in neat piles and I’m able to move around the studio without tripping over boxes and random bits of paper, frames and canvases.

Later in the afternoon I went to a surprise birthday party for a friend from my teaching days. It’s been a busy week for this lovely lady as she and her husband are getting ready to fly to Mexico for her son’s wedding. Her son and future daughter-in-law were in town for a few days so they were able to attend the party. They actually boarded a plane later that night and are now in Mexico to make final arrangements for the wedding.

When I got home around 5:30 my family were already at the house and my husband had prepared all the food for dinner. Again I didn’t take any photos. We had a very nice time and Winnie and I snuck off after dinner to give her parents a few moments to relax with the rest of the family. Winnie’s favourite TV show is Peppa Pig and she was mesmerized for about 15 minutes.

Today started off nice and sunny but quickly became very grey and overcast. Fortunately is was very mild so when Kevin and I went to visit a friend in the hospital we were able to park on the street a little ways from the hospital. We didn’t mind walking and I was able to get in about 4000 extra steps. After our visit we decided to walk up one of our favourite streets in Toronto, Roncesvalles, and look for a coffee shop.

When we got home tonight, Kevin made dinner again and afterwards I phoned my sister in Calgary and then my Dad and I played a game of cribbage. I haven’t yet painted today but the evening is still young and I tend to do my best work at night anyway.

Here are a few shots that I took on Friday when I went for my walk.

Action at the Hockey Arena

….you were where??????

Most of you know that both my husband and I are not huge hockey fans. Sometimes during the playoff season, if our home team are in the finals I might take in part of a game or at least watch the last 10 minutes. My Dad thinks that we’re both very un-Canadian because we don’t get excited about the hockey game.  None the less he tells us about every game that he watches and we listen politely.

Last weekend my daughter came over to help me put together a wall unit and I promised to drive her to a hockey game afterwards so that she could see Josie’s nephew play hockey. My husband agreed to come with us and we experienced first hand the hockey culture that so many Canadian families endure at least once a week if not more during hockey season. For some hockey season goes all year, with summer training camps and off season tournaments.

The arena that we drove to in northern Etobicoke has five rinks and parking can be challenging. The game was well under way when we arrived. I brought my telephoto lens with me and played around trying to get action shots, not an easy task when the boys are moving so quickly.

If you haven’t guessed, Josie’s nephew is number 00. Here’s our favourite shot of the day.

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Unfortunately, Dante’s team didn’t win that day but more importantly the boys played well and Dante’s family was out there supporting him.

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 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!

 

Share Your World – May 15, 2017

…..thanks Cee for four interesting questions for this week’s Share Your World

How many languages do you you speak?

I speak English, some German and very little French and even less Italian. I wish I was more fluent in other languages but that takes practice and commitment. When I travel I like to learn a few key phrases in the language of the country I’m visiting. Today so many people speak English that it’s made us somewhat lazy about learning a new language.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I like reading good literature. I’m a fan of historical fiction, mystery novels and humour. The last book I read was Stranger: A Novel by David Bergen. A great read.

Since our internet was down we watched a lot of Netflix. Riverdale  and  Medici: Masters of FlorenceThe first is based on the Archie comics but this murder mystery is nothing like the original comics even though the characters are the same. It was a little sappy but fun to watch. The second show was a riveting historical portrayal of the powerful Medici family. Having travelled to Florence this summer I found the scenery and the story line very compelling and we binge watched it over three days.

Tonight I had a bowl of soup from IKEA. We had to return some kitchen parts that didn’t work in the renovation. Earlier in the day we were treated to a luncheon put on the parents in our school community. There was so much food that we will probably feast of another couple of days. I tried not to eat too much but I certainly didn’t need another big meal later in the day.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

The last photo and a couple before that were of my husband. Each time we were out eating lunch or dinner. The last one was taken tonight at IKEA in the restaurant and in the first one we’re at the Feel Good, Buy Good show where he made a smoothie while peddling the bike.

What is your favorite time of day? 

This is a tough question. I think it depends on the time of year. In the summer I love early mornings and in the spring and autumn I love the light late in the afternoon. Sometimes I like late at night when everyone has gone to bed. I often get a lot done then and feel the most creative.

Optional 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 to have gotten our phone lines fixed and for being able to access the internet at home again. I’m also grateful for a wonderful weekend where I was able to spend time with my husband and my family.

This week I’m looking forward to our Forest of Reading Celebration. More than 50 students have qualified to attend the event. The food is being ordered, the author has been booked and the activities are coming together. That takes place on Thursday and on Friday the girls are playing in the soccer tournament scheduled to be hosted at our school. Every time one of these events takes place I  can’t help but think that this will be the last time I will be involved in organizing it. My retirement date is getting closer and closer.

Till next time, cheers!