Before COVID I belonged to a group of bakers. Every week, twice a week, we got together to make dough and bake bread in the wood burning oven at Montgomery’s Inn, one of Toronto’s Historical Museums. When COVID hit in March 2020 all volunteer jobs were eliminated and bread baking ceased to exist for almost three years. I loved belonging to this group of men and women who came together every week and I look forward to the day that we can once again get together to make bread.
I also belong to an organization of mostly women artists but also some men and that too has reduced it’s in person activities considerably since COVID hit. I love belonging to such a creative group that shares knowledge and ideas so freely and openly. It’s given me the confidence to pursue my art journey and I even hosted my first solo art show in 2022.
I also belong to a lawn bowling club and this past year we’ve been able to get together in person to play ‘normal’ games where we can have three people per side and use all the lanes at the same time. We were also able to celebrate Canada Day and we had a year end dinner. A great group of people that I’m happy to call friends.
The most precious of groups that I belong to is that of my family and friends. COVID has been difficult but thanks to ZOOM and WhatsApp, I’ve been able to stay connected. In the past year we’ve been able to travel again to visit family overseas and on the east coast and we’ve even gotten together for celebrations to acknowledge milestone birthdays.
Home is where the heart is and my home and heart have lived at the same address for over 44 years. My favourite part of my home is my backyard where we’ve entertained over the years with family gatherings, memorials and milestone birthdays.
I don’t feel a day over 50, until I put out my back lifting a towel out of the laundry basket or wrenching my wrist trying to collapse some cardboard packing materials. That said, I’ve recovered relatively quickly and had a great day at my special birthday party in the garden yesterday. I’m always happiest when I’m surrounded by friends and family and 35 of them showed up.
The weather was absolutely beautiful, if not a tad too warm but when the shade came over the deck and patio, sitting outside was very comfortable. I was showered with love, cards, wine and flowers. There was lots of food and drink and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
For the rest of the week I’m spending time with my daughter and granddaughter before they return to New Brunswick and to get my birthday present from them I have to visit them in Moncton to use my gift ( a day at a Nordic Spa). I see a flight in the near future.
Thanks to my husband for my new patio furniture and thanks to Andrea for helping me put it together so that we could enjoy it at the party.
…thanks to all my well wishers on Facebook and Instagram
Last Friday I celebrated my birthday with my husband. My kids live all over the place so we planned to celebrate on different days. The day before my birthday my son called me from London, England and we had a fun conversation with Sevin in the forefront. I love video calls because we were actually able to interact with our granddaughter, who is already seven months old. She was so engaged with what she saw on the phone. I remember Winnie was the same way at that age.
She also surprised everyone that same day because she started crawling.
On my birthday, my husband took me out for dinner. We tried to get into Snug Harbour again but once again the wait was over an hour. We walked up the street to Posta and enjoyed a lovely meal outside on the patio.
The next day on Saturday we planned to get together with Andrea, Josie, my Dad and my dear friend Arlene. Arlene and I have know each other since 1976. She was my first teacher friend but she’s more like family. She’s godmother to my children and she loves being called Aunt Beanie. This was the first time since February that we’ve seen each other. We’re all at that vulnerable age and some of us have compromised immune systems. COVID has kept us apart all this time. We feasted on a Japanese lunch in the backyard. Later in the afternoon another friend from across the road came over to share a glass of wine with us.
When it was time for birthday cake, it was extremely windy but then my daughter reminded us that during COVID it probably wasn’t a good idea to blow out candles over the cake. Instead she lit one candle and held it up to me to blow it out. Ah the things we do in the name of safety.
Our youngest daughter is still up at the children’s camp at Sparrow Lake (no children this year, just maintenance workers). I did get a phone call from her and also one from my sister in Calgary. Hopefully sometime next week we’ll be able to get together with daughter number two and her family and the celebration will continue. I love birthdays that continue for days and sometimes weeks.
….a wet night but that didn’t deter the trick or treaters
The weather for Hallowe’en was suppose to be so bad that there were parts of the country that were talking about postponing Hallowe’en night. Here in Toronto it was decided to leave Hallowe’en as is. We all have memories of going out on rainy and sometimes snowy nights to fill our bags with sugary treats. Back in the 50s crepe paper costumes were all the rage and I remember wearing one on a very wet night. Needless to say the costume fell apart and I was covered in dye that bled from the costume.
We never get a lot of children coming to our door. We are at the bottom of the street and many of our neighbours don’t turn on the lights or are purposely out for the evening. There are about five houses that always make an effort to decorate the yard and/or put out a Jack o Lantern. This year was no exception but it rained very heavily for most of the day and well into the evening. There were brief periods of time when the rain subsided but it kept returning and later in the evening the winds really started to kick up.
The surprise this evening was that the children and their parents came out in droves. Many carried umbrellas, some were driven from house to house but most of the children walked. At first it seemed like Hallowe’en night was going to be a bust but at about 6:45 small groups of kids of all ages started to appear at the door.
Normally we only get 15 to 25 visitors on Hallowe’en but tonight we had a record number of 62. I ran out of chips (56 bags) and only had 6 chocolate bars out of 120 left over. The only downside is that there is no candy to munch on for the next few days, especially since we don’t have any young children living at home any more. In hindsight it’s probably a good thing.
Here are a few photos of some of the decorations in the neighbourhood.
Our pumpkin this year was a happy fellow and some of the kids allowed me take their photos.
Our granddaughter is posing next to her father’s amazing pumpkin. She was suppose to dress up as Belle and that’s why the pumpkin was carved in the Beast’s likeness. As you can see Winnie had other ideas and wore her Owlette costume from last year. My theory is that because her father dressed up as Spiderman she also had to wear a super hero costume.
You can see that it also rained in Hamilton but that didn’t keep Winnie from bringing in this large haul of goodies.
….this will be Cee’s last Share Your World challenge…..thanks for all the great questions you’ve given us over the years
Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?
I love foods with nuts. If I’m not in a ‘peanut or nut free zone’ I always choose foods with nuts, such as hazelnut or almond dark chocolate, banana bread with walnuts, Thai food with peanuts, chunky peanut butter, and butter tarts with pecans. Yum!
Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
I usually sleep with the doors open. Not sure why.
Are you usually late, early, or right on time?
I try to be right on time but I’m frequently five to 10 minutes late for social events. I was rarely late when I was working and I was almost always on time for doctor’s and dentist appointments.
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 celebrated my birthday with my family and I spent the weekend at the cottage with my daughter and granddaughter. I also got together with my retired teacher friends for lunch. All these things made me smile.