….this year it was more about the pumpkins, decorations and squash
Usually the turkey is a big deal but when it’s just the two of us, we tend to keep things simpler. Leading up to Thanksgiving we stopped at some favourite places and picked up some gourds for decoration, lots of vegetables and yummy butter tarts.
Reviewing my day in Hamilton. Had I known that I was going to do this I would probably have taken more photos.
My daughter and daughter-in-law had appointments in Hamilton to get their hair done and the car isn’t very reliable anymore for long trips so I volunteered to drive them in my car. I haven’t been back to the downtown core of Hamilton since our daughter moved to New Brunswick.
The first thing I did was drop the girls off at the salon and then I drove to Denninger’s. It’s a German deli that has been in Hamilton since Rudolf Denninger immigrated to Canada from Germany with his wife. The family owned business has grown from the original store on King St. in Hamilton to 5 stores, a warehouse and a manufacturing facility, employing 300 people in southern Ontario. https://denningers.com/pages/about-us
The visit was bittersweet because so many things in the store reminded me of my father, who passed away almost two years ago. I picked up many things that had a special meaning for me. My father loved chocolates, herring and small oranges like clementines. The cashier asked me if I was all right because I had tears in my eyes. I told him they were happy tears. I spent way too much money.
After my shopping trip at the deli I drove back to Mulberry and MacNab because I knew that I could park there for free and I walked up James St. to the wool shop. I had some money left on a gift certificate from the Hand Knit Yarn Store. It wasn’t for a large amount but I thought I would check out the new merchandise. I haven’t been there since before COVID, over two years ago. Everyone was very friendly and using up the remainder of the gift card was no problem. Again I spent way too much money. https://handknityarnstudio.com/
After my purchase of yarns I walked around the corner to Arcana Salon https://www.arcanasalon.ca/ to check on the girls. Andrea had another 1 1/2 hours to go, so I walked back towards my car and my favourite coffee shop in Hamilton, Mulberry Coffeehouse https://www.mulberrycoffeehouse.com/. Along the way I stopped to take some photos of flowers and Interesting doors.
Once I was in the coffeehouse, I ordered a tea and a breakfast sandwich. It was very busy, as it always is and I was lucky to find a seat at a counter. I pulled out the book that I am currently reading but I didn’t get too far. Josie walked in with her new haircut and wanted to visit the Farmers’ Market which was within walking distance from the cafe. When I finished my tea we made the trek to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market and we were delighted to see that most of the vendors had survived the COVID restrictions and closures. I purchased two large bunches of basil and garlic after overhearing another customer talk about making pesto with his purchase. I thought it was a great idea. In the next post I’ll show you our busy day making and putting the pesto into jars.
Andrea met us at the market. We walked around a little bit more and I treated myself to a bunch of flowers. My Dad also enjoyed buying flowers for me and my husband used to do it weekly. We headed back to the car with our bags of produce in hand and then made our way back to Toronto.
That evening we shared a meal together and I cooked up the spaetzle that I bought earlier. Kevin had made a lovely beef stew that complimented the German noodles perfectly. To burn off some of the calories from our meal, the girls and I and Olive went for a long walk through the neighbourhood. What a perfect day!
On Monday, my daughter, Andrea and I drove up to Christian Island to close the cottage for the winter. I didn’t hold up much hope for good weather because the forecast called for rain. As we drove up in the afternoon we drove through some pretty heavy rainfall but the closer we got to the island the rain stopped and the sun came out. It ended up being a beautiful day.
Before starting to empty the shelves and put away the bedding we decided to take one last walk on the beach. There were all of six people on the entire beach and one brave soul in the water.
The east end of the beach is all rocks and boulders. I was wearing flip flops and just as my daughter said it would probably be best to walk in bare feet I slipped, lost my balance and went down on my side. I landed on the shin that I had hurt earlier in the summer when I slipped on our wet deck and slammed my leg unto the edge of the stairs. It took weeks for that to heal. I was holding my phone at the time and all I could think of was not to let it go or let it hit the rocks. I saved the phone but not before bruising my shin, my left arm and my ego.
The worst part was trying to get up again because the beach isn’t flat and my legs were higher than the rest of my body. I was able to turn over but I was afraid of putting any weight on the shin. After a few embarrassing moments I figured out how to navigate my legs without too much discomfort and pushed myself back up.
While I was down I decided I might as well take a photo of the beach from this low angle because I would never get down that low again. The first shot is the spot where I slipped and the second one was taken when I was down.
After our walk we made dinner and decided to do most of the heavy lifting the next morning. It was cooler in the evening but when we went to bed we actually found it very warm and kicked off the extra blankets that we thought we might need.
The next morning we made coffee and oatmeal before we started to work. After a solid 4 hours of work we finally loaded the car, locked the doors and screwed a sheet of plywood over the door closest to the driveway. We brought the garbage and recycling to the bin at the top of our lane and drove into the village to catch the 1:00 ferry.
On the drive home we decided to treat ourselves to fish and chips from Perkey’s Trailer in Elmvale. Delicious!
….thank goodness for the beautiful weather we’ve had in November
The last two days have been more normal in terms of November weather but prior to this we’ve had the most glorious, warm and sunny days. Our eldest daughter celebrates her birthday in November so we were thankful that we were able to get together with the family and have a small celebration on the deck in the backyard.
Blowing out the candles has also taken on a new format. I lit the candles on the cake and then we removed them one at a time and my daughter blew them out individually away from the cake. Well that was the plan but it turned out that the candles had burned down too far so she tried to put the candles out by waving her hand over them.
That didn’t work very well so she tried to extinguish the candles by snuffing them out with popcorn. That worked somewhat but the popcorn caught fire.
In the end no one was harmed and the cake was delicious.
Even though Jez is ‘taking a break’ from hosting for awhile I thought I would share my love of walking. Whenever I get a chance to go for a walk or hike with my kids I jump at it, especially now. Up till now we’ve socially distanced ourselves, even on visits to our homes.
On the weekend, after our Father’s Day gathering with the family (in the backyard) my oldest daughter and I got in the car and drove to Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. It’s about a 1 1/2 hour drive north of the city. Andrea had to pick up some race materials from a store in Orangeville so we decided to make the most of the outing and go for a hike.
Everything took longer than we thought. The drive took longer, the hike took longer and getting the race materials was the last thing on our list of things to do. Andrea was hoping to be back in the city by 1:30 but we didn’t even leave Orangeville till 1:30.
None of it mattered though because we had a great walk, we managed to pick up the race materials and the plans in Toronto were somewhat delayed anyway so no one was put out.
Mono Cliffs is an area that I have visited many times, mostly with my students. I think I’ve been up at the Outdoor Education Centre at least ten times. The Provincial Park is right next door and we would often take the kids to the Lookout and the ponds that are situated there. Going in from the other side was new for me. At the end of the hike we walked at least 5K. What a great morning!
….yesterday my oldest daughter ran a 30k race in Hamilton
The Around the Bay Race in Hamilton celebrated its 125th anniversary. It is one of the oldest long distance races in North America, even older than the Boston Marathon. We woke up to snow yesterday but that didn’t stop thousands of runner from participating in this historic run.
I was looking forward to using my telephoto lens so I could capture Andrea coming around the bend towards the finish line. I practised on some random runners.
Seeing this was the first time Andrea has run 30k she was aiming for a 2:35 finish. The runners in the photos above were all in the 2:15 to 2:20 time range. I knew that at 2:35 the runners would be more bunched together and my fear was that my 5’1″ daughter would get lost in a pack of runners. My fear came true and the camera completely missed her. It’s not like she was going to stop and pose for me. I was pretty upset. Anyway after the race I managed to get a couple of nice shots with her medal. Luckily my daughter-in-law positioned herself at the 27k mark and managed to get a couple of good shots as she passed her.
When my husband was in his twenties to thirties he was considered an elite runner. He specialized in long distances, anywhere from 10k to marathons. As he got older he decided that in order to continue to improve it would mean making more sacrifices that would negatively affect our family. He made the decision to quit running because the sacrifice wasn’t worth it.
We never pushed our children into running but our son seemed to have a natural gift and in his early teens he pursued running until he started to suffer pain and he had to make a decision between a music career and being a runner. He chose his cello over his running shoes.
Our oldest daughter took an interest in running in her 30s. Over the years she has participated in numerous races, anywhere from 5k to half a marathon. Every year she steadily gets better. Her wife also started running with her.
Today we attended a race that holds special memories for my husband. The Spring Run-off is held every year in High Park and some 35 years ago or more Kevin ran in this race as a member of the Brooks Racing Team. The race then was known as the Brook’s Spring Run-off.
Today Andrea and Josie joined some 2600 runners to take part in this challenging 8k race. The challenge is in the hills that this race covers. Andrea was aiming to complete the race in 40 minutes and did it in 39 minutes and change. Out of 900 women participating today she placed 8th in her age category. She was delighted with her accomplishment.
As you can see the race attracts all ages. My daughter is the young lady on left in the above photo with the blue sunglasses. Here a few more of her throughout the race (one of Josie #1927)