Share Your World – August 27, 2018

….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.

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Share Your World – June 11, 2018

….thanks to Cee for hosting Share Your World

If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?

This is a tough question. The more I learn about famous people the more I realize that many of them were ruthless and unkind or so narcissistic that they would make terrible friends. I think I would have liked Eleanor Roosevelt. She was politically active and pretty much her own person.

60s, 70s, 80s, 90s: Which decade do you love the most and why?

Another tough question. I loved high school so the 60s hold fond memories of friends, parties and clubs. In the 70s I found my voice. I went to university, moved away from home, travelled to Germany, met my husband and got married. At the end of the 70s I had my first child. In the 80’s my family grew, I went back to teaching and started building our cottage. In the 90s I took on more leadership roles, explored new options in teaching and started to dabble in art. I can’t pick one decade.

When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as a kind, fun loving and creative person who helped others and inspired young people to grow up and be the best person possible.

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 had my first art showing at the WAAC gallery and met some wonderful artists. I also went to the museum and took in an exhibition on fashion design and architectural design.P1060127
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On Thursday I drove to Hamilton to visit with my daughter and granddaughter. We took a walk to the Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre. The building used to be the old Customs House where imports coming into Canada were processed before being released into the Canadian market.

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My granddaughter loved playing with all the levers, buttons and cranks and climbing up the old staircase.IMG_2538
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On Saturday I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party and on Sunday I met my friend Liz at the Trinity St. Paul United Church where we attended a concert of children’s choirs. As you can see it’s been a very busy and joyous week.IMG_2582
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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.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

….celebrating with a Southern flair

This year we substituted turkey and stuffing with deep fried chicken, BBQ ribs and macaroni and cheese. We started the meal with curried pumpkin soup, served in the pumpkin shell and freshly baked corn bread. Our daughter hosted the meal and because there were 14 of us we decided to share the work with a pot luck meal. I brought the soup and bread and plum cake. Gaelan and Brendan cooked the meats and the mac and cheese. Other contributions included roasted potatoes, pasta salad, coleslaw, wine and meat and cheese platters as appetizers.

As you can see from the photos our granddaughter loved the pumpkin but she loved the soup just as much. Even my Dad who normally dislikes pumpkin pie enjoyed this soup.

The recipe came from a cookbook that my friend Janice gave me as a gift last Christmas. Her church, St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, collected soup recipes from friends and members of the church and created the book It All Begins With Soup and sold the cookbook as a fundraiser. This recipe is dead simple.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

1 large can of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp curry paste (more if you like spicy)

1/4 tsp. coriander, salt and pepper (adjust seasoning to your taste)

3/4 cup coconut milk (1/4 cup for swirls in the serving bowls)

Saute the onions and garlic in the coconut oil. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, paste and seasonings. Stir and cook until boiling. Cover and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Cook for a final 5 minutes before you puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve warm with a swirl of coconut milk in a bowl.

  • if you are vegan you can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth
  • I doubled the recipe to serve 14 people – the bowls were small but some people had seconds
  • my pumpkin was way to big – the soup filled just over half the pumpkin

A Birthday Party and the Royal Botanical Gardens

….a busy week with the family

On Sunday, after returning from the cottage, Kevin, my father and I went to my daughter-in-law’s father’s 80th birthday party. I knew when we got to the party that my father would make a big deal about being the oldest person there. He quickly found the over 80 table and made himself comfortable and engaged in conversation with people he had never met before. That’s what my Dad has done his whole life and I remember as a kid being so embarrassed by how easily he would go up to perfect strangers and start talking.

The party was a huge success and the daughters actually pulled off surprising their father. The mostly Italian and some Argentinian guests thoroughly enjoyed the food and there was lots of laughter and lively discussions.

On Monday I drove to Hamilton to spend the day with my daughter, Gaelan and her daughter, Winnie. Brendan was working from home that day so he decided to join us for lunch at a great Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. Winnie has been introduced to a lot of different foods as soon as she started on solid foods and I was amazed at how much she enjoyed digging into the sushi.

After lunch it started to pour and we waited in the strip mall while Brendan ran home and brought the car back. I felt badly when he got back because the rain had almost completely died down. Thank goodness it had because Gaelan, Winnie and I decided to go the Royal Botanical Gardens. The part we went to had a lot of indoor displays but the rain was so light that we ventured outside and took Winnie to the children’s area where she could run around and play in the sandbox.

Just before we went back home we decided to go the Tea House for some refreshments. We had tea, coffee and scones. Winnie drank the milk they brought me for my tea.

A wonderful two days.

Cheers!