Fun Family Day

….last weekend was a long weekend here in Ontario to celebrate Family Day

Family Day has become a tradition in our family where food takes centre stage. This year my husband and youngest daughter thought it would be fun to have a soup exchange. So in three households three different soups were prepared and ladled into containers for sharing.

Four of us drove to Hamilton where Gaelan had a lovely lunch of roast chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli ready to serve. Andrea and Josie brought a yummy salad and my husband volunteered to pick up the gourmet donuts from San Remo.


Winnie and I were the only two that won a prize in the Tim Horton’s Roll up the Rim contest. We both won a cup of coffee which we handed over to our hostess.

Happy Family Day Weekend

….in most of Canada we’re celebrating Family Day on Monday

What a wonderful way to start a long weekend  with a 6k walk. The weather was perfect. Sunny and mild. A great day to take photographs. Here are a few shots that I took this morning.


Happy Birthday, Valentine’s Day and Family Day

….for my friend Maria all the good stuff comes together in less than a week

This week my friend Maria celebrated her birthday and was finally well enough to have company. She recently had her hip replaced (her second one) and didn’t recover as quickly as with the first one; however, this week she was finally receiving visitors. In honour of her birthday I decided to bake her some cookies and bought her a nice new mug, some tea and candy. I also collected some of my favourite novels that I’ve read in the past year or so and put them in a bag for her to pull out and read at her leisure.

Over at Life in Between my blogging friend, Jodi posted a wonderful recipe for Amish Oatmeal Raisin cookies and I was very eager to try it. The instructions were easy to follow and the recipe made  four dozen very large cookies. My husband loves oatmeal raisin cookies and the only fault he found with these was that there weren’t enough raisins. Easy solution; just add more next time. I, however, found the amount to be perfect. This recipe is a little different from most oatmeal cookies because it has molasses in it and that’s why the colour is darker.

I packed a dozen cookies into a small disposable loaf pan and placed it inside a special translucent bag with hearts on the outside. I then placed them into a square basket that I had purchased and placed the other items (tea, mug, candy) next to the bag.

Before making my way to Maria’s house I decided to make her a card. I took some watercolour paper and watercolour markers and created a simple design to acknowledge her birthday, St. Valentine’s Day, Family Day and a speedy recovery.

In the end I had a very nice visit with my good friend. Her husband spoiled us with wine to start, a plate of cheese and then before I left he made us tea and we enjoyed some of the cookies that I had baked.

If the cookies interest you be sure to check out Jodi’s recipe over at Life in Between.

Cheers and have a wonder Valentine’s Day!

Share Your World 2015 – Week 7

……lucky 7

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

There is no money in my wallet at the moment. I’ve been using my debit card a lot lately. When I’m organizing money from school trips and fund raisers I do tend to organize the bills sequentially and all facing in the same direction.

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

My favourite dog is probably a Golden Retriever. I’ve owned two of them so I tend to have a soft spot in my heart for them. Having said that, however, I love all my dogs…. mutts and pure breads alike. IMGP0242 IMG_3908 IMG_3628

If money was not an issue, would you go on a cruise? If so where would you go?

I think I’d like to try a cruise at least once. A river cruise through Europe appeals to me. My sister went on one last fall and enjoyed it very much.

Would you dare to sleep in haunted house overnight?

No thank you. I do believe that ghosts exist and haunted houses tend to have ‘angry’ ghosts. There’d be no sleeping going on for me.

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 for a very special ‘Family Day’ get together at a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. Both my girls and their significant others were there and we videotaped a greeting to our son and his fiancé in England. My husband is healing up nicely and I’m over my tummy ailments that had me down for the count last Friday.

This week I’m looking forward to a cross country ski trip with a group of grade 4 and 5 students and on Friday our boys’ basketball team will be competing in a tournament against four other school teams. Wish us luck!

For more Share Your World fun check out Cee’s Photography.

Spending Family Day With the Dogs

….and my daughter and son-in-law

Today was another sunny but cold day in Toronto and it is Family Day. It is an official holiday in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. As the name implies it is a day to celebrate families.

Yesterday my husband and I went to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) with out oldest daughter, A and her partner, J and saw the show, The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910 – 1918. I loved it. It’s not a huge show but it featured some amazing artists from the past, such as, Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse, Chagall, Franz Marc, Kupka and Miro. There must have been at least 30 different artists whose works were on display. It was fascinating to see how this era of new technologies ( film, photography, planes, telephones, electricity, etc.) and the presence of World War I affected the art world. If you’re in Toronto the show goes till March 6, 2014. Unfortunately cameras were not allowed at this show so I don’t have any original photos to show you. The Great Upheaval.

After seeing the show we browsed through some of the other galleries at the AGO, where you are allowed to take photographs. Here are a few highlights of our morning.

Today, my husband, Frances and I arranged to meet our youngest daughter and her husband and Lucy at High Park. We took both dogs to the off leash area. We’ve had so much snow that all the paths are packed solid with snow and ice. Luckily K brought his cleats for his boots and our walk was relatively uneventful, falling that is. We did see a few people wipe out but no serious injuries happened.

Frances and Lucy had a great time, running and wrestling with each other. We got a good walk, as well, probably close to 4k. The humans got tired just watching those two dogs darting back and forth.

After looking at all this snow it’s hard to imagine that another storm is approaching us tonight and we’re expecting another 10 cm to fall. Sigh!

Cheers! Hope everyone had a great Family Day!

Happy Family Day!

…. to all my fellow bloggers who live in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Canada

This got me to thinking about how other people in the world might be celebrating today. Is it a normal work day or do you have the day off today as well. For years, we Canadians envied our U.S. neighbours who had an official day off at least once a month.  In the last decade or more our Ontario government officials toyed with the idea of creating an official holiday in February.

Here’s a little history of when Family Day came to be in Canada that I copied directly from:

Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. British Columbia observes Family Day as a statutory holiday for the first time in 2013. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period when there were no holidays from New Year’s Day until Good Friday.

Here are a few photos of my family taken in the last year or so.

My three 'girls'.

My three ‘girls’.

My son, home for a short visit before heading back to the Netherlands

My son, home for a short visit before heading back to the Netherlands.

So how is everyone celebrating today?  We had our official Family Day celebration yesterday. All the immediate family that live close by came to the house and we had a

My daughter and her husband.

My daughter and her husband.

family dinner. My husband made a great pasta and sausage bake, my oldest daughter and her partner brought a yummy Iranian quinoa rice and sweet potato salad and my youngest daughter and her husband made a decadent flour less  chocolate cake…..not exactly diet food. To top it off I got into one of my Martha Stewart moments and just had to bake chocolate spice cupcakes with pink buttercream icing in honour of Valentine’s Day.

The cupcakes and the leftover food were all packed up and divided amongst the girls and the freezer (except the cupcakes….all but two were given away).

My middle sister and her fiancé.

My middle sister and her fiancé.

My baby sister and her husband.

My baby sister and her husband.

A rare photo with all three sisters together, our father and his partner and my husband and my sister's son.

A rare photo with all three sisters together, our father and his partner and my husband and my sister’s son.

This morning I slept in till 8:30 and then caught up on some reading. I finally emerged from the bedroom at about 10:30, had a cup of coffee and then got ready to go for our morning walk. It snowed again here on Saturday night so the ice is covered with a pretty substantial layer of fresh snow. I brought along my camera as I always do but the sun was so bright that I had a hard time focusing on anything.

When we got back from our 3k walk, K made us a delicious omelet with lots of vegetables. I’m trying to convince him to go with me on a bit of a photo journaling expedition this afternoon. In the meantime I’ll finish writing this blog, read a bit more and probably work on some samples for my next art project at school.

I’d love to hear from you and how you’re spending the day. Drop me a line. Have a great day!