….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)
My oldest daughter works at the University of Toronto School of Dentistry. She is a medical illustrator and specializes in computer animation. Every year her department at the school of dentistry participates in a friendly competition to see which department can come up with the best display for Hallowe’en. This year they turned the department into Frankensteins’ castle with props, lighting and sound effects. The staff all took on different roles and dressed up and applied make-up to look like their characters. My ‘quiet’ daughter is Igor. Check out those eyes.
Needless to say the department won the competition. It took about a day to put together.
If you’re interested in seeing some of my daughter’s work you can see it at the U of T School of Dentistry Chanel on YouTube. She created the video on Early Embryonic Facial Development
….a trip to the doctor, relief, enjoying the rest of the day
This morning my husband woke up with terrible pain in his foot. A quick trip to the clinic confirmed that he was suffering from gout probably brought on from the morphine he had been given after his surgery. Luckily the problem was quickly fixed with another medication.
We had planned, earlier in the week, to visit our daughter in Hamilton. K could feel the pills were starting to work so we took a chance and made the trip. It was raining when we left but by the time we drove into our daughter’s driveway the sun had come out. G suggested that we take a short drive to Dundas where we could walk along the quaint main street and take in some of the unique stores and enjoy a coffee in one of the popular cafes.
Dundas is a formerly independent town and now a constituent community in the city of Hamilton. It is home to about 27 000 people and is nicknamed the Valley Town because it is located at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment on the western edge of Lake Ontario.
We spent a couple of hours walking around the area and enjoyed a light lunch on a wonderful outdoor patio. Here are some photos of our day trip.
We headed back to Toronto during rush hour but traffic moved fairly well. After a simple dinner of sausage and a couple of salads that we purchased at the local butcher shop in Dundas I took Frances for a much needed walk. It was another beautiful evening and we walked through the Humber College grounds. Total steps for the day: 10 500.
….when things start to go missing you know it’s time to clean
The first official day of my summer holiday and it’s pouring rain. Luckily I got out for a bit of a walk this morning before the skies opened up. The boys came over early enough to cut the grass as well and I got a little bit of weeding done.
My daughter A and her partner J ran a 5km race today and I missed it. They also lucked out and finished before the rain started. My daughter finished her race in 27 minutes and J (her first race ever) completed it in 33 minutes. Very impressive!
Unfortunately we didn’t get out in time to take in the Farmers’ Market. By the time we got there it was teaming with rain and most of the vendors had already packed up and left. We headed back for home but stopped at the top of the street and had a coffee at the Portuguese Bakery. Our son texted us from Paris with a photo of him and his fiancé at an outdoor cafe so my husband took a photo of me with my latte and sent it back to him.
My husband’s caption: Enjoying a latte from our own Paris cafe in beautiful New Toronto.
Notice anything different about me in this photo? Well I’m not wearing my glasses and not because I’m vain (I am a little bit). Remember when I said that ‘when things go missing it’s time to clean’? Well it’s my glasses that I’ve lost. I know that I wore them home on Thursday because I drove home and I would never drive without them. I do have prescription sunglasses and I wore those yesterday and today when driving but I’m really stumped as to where I’ve placed my regular glasses.
Since we’ve been back I have been cleaning the kitchen, going through my school bags, turning things upside down and looking in the most unusual places and I still haven’t found them. I’m afraid I’m going to have to go on my hands and knees and start looking under things, like my bed, night table, living room couch, and bathroom vanity. The only reason I haven’t I haven’t done it yet is because I fell a few weeks ago and I injured my right knee. The only time I feel any pain is when I kneel on it. A few times I’ve forgotten about it, especially when I go to bed. I can’t crawl into bed because I get a searing pain in the knee so I have to sit on the bed and swing my legs over the edge.
Well there are still a lot of places to clean in my house so I guess I’d better get back to work. The rain still hasn’t let up. If you have any suggestions as to where my glasses might be drop m a line.
….it’s been a wonderful weekend and I can finally share my big news
1. Finally a beautiful weekend, weather-wise. Sunshine and warmer temperatures. I managed to get out on Saturday for a walk with the dog and took some photos of the neighbourhood.
2. Also on Saturday, my husband and I picked up our youngest daughter and her dog Lucy and brought them back to our house. G’s husband was on a business trip so she was looking for some company and she needed a break from packing boxes. This Friday they will be moving from their tiny apartment in uptown Toronto to a 4 bedroom Victorian semi in Hamilton. It’s a move they need to make because they needed more room to accommodate the new baby that they are expecting in October. Yeah!!!!!!!!! I’m finally going to be a grandmother. That’s my BIG news!
3. Today my friend DM invited me to a concert downtown. The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto hosted a live competition to present the Career Development Awards. The concert featured the three finalists who were chosen from a pool of 10 candidates chosen by CBC regional producers. Usually a jury of musical experts from across Canada rank all the entries based on written and audio materials and select a winner but because this was the tenth anniversary for the award (given every three years) a live competition was held. Prizes of $20 000., $10 000 and $5000 were awarded for first, second and third place.
All three competitors played magnificently. There were two pianists and one cello player. First prize went to Charles Richard-Hamelin on piano, second prize to Stéphane Tétreault on cello and third prize to Pierre-André Doucet on piano (my personal favourite).
I’ve found Pierre-André Doucet’s performance of Carl Vine’s Piano Sonata No. 1 on YouTube.
Stéphane was the youngest performer at 22 and played this beautiful arrangement of Hayden’s Divertimento in D Major.
I couldn’t find the exact piece that Charles Richard-Hamelin played today but here is a sample of Chopin.