Share Your World – October 16, 2017

…… thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I think I would move to Italy, in the hills of Tuscany or Assisi. I loved the serenity while I was there but I might miss being close to water.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

I’ve lived with this horrible grey for so long and I agonized over what colour to replace it with.  I’ve purchased a rich cream colour but the thought of having to move everything to paint over this dreary grey has held me back.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  1. My husband and children and granddaughter
  2. My friends
  3. Making Art
  4. Taking photographs
  5. My cottage
  6. Talking to and visiting my sisters
  7. Travelling with my husband
  8. Baking for my father
  9. Reading a good book
  10. Listening to great music

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I’ve appreciated the warm temperatures that we’ve experienced this past week. October  has had all kinds of weather but it’s been mostly warm. Even on overcast days I’ve been able to get out for my walks with the dog and take some great photos.

I got together with some friends last week. I think the one thing about being retired that I miss is the daily interaction with colleagues, so when I do get together with friends it’s extra special, even if it’s just to talk and do some errands together.

Every week I try to get to Hamilton to spend time with our granddaughter, Winnie, and give her mother a bit of a break. Last week she let me take her for a walk down her street   after the three of us shared a treat at the local coffee shop.

I always appreciate when my husband cooks dinner, which is most of the time but last week he made pizzas from scratch, which he hasn’t done for awhile. We weren’t sure how Dad would like the fig and mozzarella pizza so he made two different pizzas. Dad loved both of them.

 

Happy Birthday, Dad – 91 Years Young

….birthdays are a big deal for my Dad

It’s Saturday morning, October 7th, and we’re sitting around waiting for friends and family to call Dad and send him birthday wishes. These phone calls mean the world to him as do birthday cards. He was so disappointed yesterday that no cards came in the mail. My sister in Calgary never forgets but this year she was away, moving her son to B.C. and it completely slipped her mind. I’m sure more cards will arrive after the long weekend.

This afternoon we’re going to take his iPad over to Apple and see if we can get it fixed, otherwise, he’ll be buying himself a new one for his birthday. For dinner he requested that we go to Mamma Martino’s for his birthday dinner so he can order spaghetti and meatballs. Kevin and I always call that restaurant one of our ‘cheap and cheerful’ places to go.

Well I think we’ve waited long enough for phone calls. I’m sure more will come in this afternoon. So far he’s received seven calls. Three from old friends and four from family.

His one request for his birthday was for a German plum cake with streusel. I’ve got the plums. I just need to find the time to make it now. Wish me luck!

 

Dinosaur Park and a Pioneer Garden

….the park surrounding Dundurn Castle in Hamilton

My granddaughter loves parks and the park surrounding the castle is one of her favourites. She calls it the dinosaur park because the climber has pictures of dinosaurs on it. She’s a great climber and loves the slides and swings. She made sure that her Papa got on a swing as well.

In the far corner of the grounds at Dundurn Castle there lies a large, old fashion garden with flowers, fruit trees and vegetables. Some of the produce is used in the kitchen at the castle and the rest is donated to the city food bank. Much of the produce is true to what was grown in the 19th century. The gardeners were very knowledgeable and wonderful to talk to. I learned a great deal.

Fun at the Military Museum

….who knew?

Last Friday when we went to Dundurn Castle in Hamilton we never dreamt that the Military Museum would hold the attention of our almost two year old granddaughter.

The staff at the ticket office encouraged us to go to the museum because there were a lot of hands-on artefacts that Winnie would enjoy. We were somewhat sceptical but admission was very reasonable so I bought the tickets and we started to walk towards our destination. Unfortunately we ended up going in a circle and I went back inside to get directions again. We went right when we should have gone left.

When we got to the small museum we were greeted by a very nice young woman who reassured us that the museum was definitely hands-on. In the first room there were military costumes and hats to try on. I think the adults had more fun in this room.

The second floor definitely was a big hit with Winnie. In fact my daughter, Gaelan thought that this floor was better than the Children’s Museum (also in Hamilton). Winnie immediately went to the musical instruments and then entertained herself by emptying the cook pot of it artificial food and then filling it up again. She also enjoyed exploring the tent with her Papa.

When we had exhausted the novelty of this interesting place the rain had stopped and we headed back outside where Winnie headed for her favourite part of the park, the ‘dinosaur’ playground. More about that in a day or so.

Cheers!

Food at the C.N.E.

….every year the C.N.E. features some wildly delicious food

The food vendors get very creative every year at the Canadian National Exhibition. This year was no exception. The crazier the better just to get to get your food dollars. If you only attend the C.N.E. once you have to pick and choose carefully or you’ll end up with a massive tummy ache.

The first thing that my daughter, daughter-in-law and I did was venture into the Food building and make our menu choices. The girls had decided ahead of time to check out the Japanese Street Food booth. An order of Dirty Fries and a Samurai burger didn’t disappoint.

If there was one common and unusual ingredient this year it had to be activated charcoal. I chose a slice of pizza called Carbone. The crust was light and airy and delicious.IMG_2975

For dessert the girls lead me through the midway to find the vendor that sold a soft ice-cream made from grape and charcoal and served on a slice of watermelon; also very delicious. IMG_2977

Thanks Andrea and Josie for a great day!

Reflecting on this Past Year

…..today I’m officially a senior citizen

There has to be a better designation than senior citizen when you turn 65. I know there are many perks when you reach this age but it also comes with labels such as golden oldie, old fart, grandma, oldster, senior, geezer, geriatric, old-timer and blue hair. Even though I’m a proud grandmother to Winnie I don’t feel old.

 

I look back on this past year and am proud of what I’ve done and happy to have such amazing friends and a wonderful family. I knew that this was the year to retire from teaching. I still loved the job but there were days when I was just plain tired and sometimes I didn’t feel that I fit in anymore. I didn’t want to be one of those crotchety old teachers that criticized younger teachers for doing things differently.  Sometimes I didn’t like what went on but I wanted to leave on a happy note so I kept quiet for the most part. The only people I would share my views with were people closer to my age and those who were also retiring. I have to admit that some of my favourite teachers were those much younger than me. I loved their humour and zest for life.

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Of course the students are what kept me going as a teacher. They weren’t always easy to teach and over the years the job grew increasingly more difficult but in the end the love and gratitude I received in the form of cards, art work, letters of appreciation and countless hugs made it all worthwhile.

This past year I’ve seen my own children continue to grow into responsible and amazing adults. They are all married now and our one and only grandchild is growing like a weed. She is my pride and joy.  Last night she kept saying Oma birthday, Oma birthday while rolling around in her crib. She clearly knows everyone in the family now and can say everyone’s name. She picks up at least 10 new words every day and we have to be so careful what we say in front of her.

My retirement is not quite working out the way I thought it would. I was hoping to do more travelling but it is still early days. Last May my father moved into our house. At 90 he’s still very independent but we’re a little worried about leaving him for too long. So far the longest we’ve left him alone is four days. We’re hoping to travel to London, England in November to visit with our son before he leaves to live in New York City in the coming year. Someone recently asked me if Dad was coming with us. We’ve tried to convince him to make at least one more trip to Germany to visit his brother. It looks like that won’t happen for at least another year, God willing, and I’m not sure if a trip to London would be in the cards for him as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

So as I turn 65 today I can honestly say that I’ve had a wonderful life. Now I look forward to my next adventure and hopefully I’ve inherited my father’s genes so that I can enjoy the next 30 years of my life with the same joie de vivre.

A Day Trip to Hamilton

….Brendan wanted to spend the day with his twin sister and her family

My daughter-in-law hadn’t seen Gaelan’s place in Hamilton so we took another road trip on Wednesday (one day after Niagara Falls). Luckily it’s only a 40 minute drive when traffic isn’t too busy.

Gaelan’s husband Brendan had the BBQ going when we got there and we started our visit with a wonderful lunch of sausages and salads. Soon after we decided to go to the Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a gorgeous day and the Rock Garden provided us with shade and cooling waters from the fountains and the waterfall.

We walked through most of the grounds when a dark cloud quickly appeared over head. The same thing had happened the day before when we were in Niagara Falls so we decided we needed to run for cover. We arrived back at the entrance when the clouds opened up but now we had to get to our cars and mine was parked in a lot on the opposite side of the street. My son-in-law graciously offered to drive me over in his car but the moment I stepped out of the car it rained even harder and in that split second I was completely drenched. I drove back to pick up Brendan and Azadeh.

We all returned to Gaelan’s house to dry off and have a cup of coffee before we headed back to Toronto. The worst of the rain had stopped by then. Despite the rain we had a wonderful time. This summer we’ve had to make the best of what Mother Nature has thrown at us. I only remember one summer worse than this one and that was in 1992 when we were building our cottage and living in a tent trailer. It rained every single day that summer and at the end of the summer on my 40th birthday the canvas gave way and the water came in at the foot of our bed.

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Cheers!