Learning to Play Bridge

….a challenging game to be sure

Since I’ve retired my neighbours have wanted me to learn how to play bridge. To be honest with you I never even considered the possibility of playing this game. I always thought it was too serious a game and it didn’t look like a lot of fun to me. I’m quickly learning that the fun is in the challenge.

I signed up for a bridge class (Absolute Beginners) in September and for 2 1/2 hours every Monday I’ve been struggling to keep up with this game. So much to remember. I am definitely a hands on learner but I am coming away with a new rule or two every time I attend a class.

Luckily for me my neighbours have offered to let me join them for some bridge parties where I mostly watch to learn but they’ve also very kindly let me play some hands. The more I play I better I understand the game. I’m beginning to think that I could get into this game and I’ve signed up for the next level which starts in January.

Are there any other bridge players out there that can give me some tips for learning the bidding rules. Maybe you can suggest a good cheat sheet that you’ve found helpful.2b4cb07b556f8b0b11eff24c76281b7e

Thanks to Charles Schulz for these wonderful images.

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Share Your World – February 12, 2018

….thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

Are you a practical jokester?

I might take part in planning a practical joke but I’m not one to do it on my own. I’m all for a good laugh as long as no one gets hurt or no damage is done to property.

Who cuts your hair?  You, a friend, or professional.

I used to cut my children’s and my husband’s hair but I’ve always gone to a professional to get mine done. I’m very loyal when it comes to my hairdressers and I’m devastated when they leave the salon. If I know in advance where they are going I’ve been known to  go to the new salon even if it’s out of my way. Of course if they leave the profession I have to find someone new and it can take awhile before I find someone I like.

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

I don’t remember having a favourite stuffed animal as a child but my mother told me that I had a beautiful teddy bear. When I asked her what happened to it she said it ended up in the kiddie pool and she threw it away. My mother did that a lot. If we stopped playing with something it went in the trash. She hated clutter. I did have a favourite baby doll that I named Dorothy and I think I had her for quite a long time.

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 past week I went cross country skiing with a friend and her daughter. I had a great time and it felt good to be in the outdoors for such a long time. After two solid hours of skiing we went back to the chalet and had a late lunch. It started to rain so we pulled out a scrabble game and played for about 45 minutes. By that time the rain had subsided so we went for a short walk and then it was time to board the bus and return home.

Share Your World – January 15, 2018

…..thanks to Cee for hosting Share Your World

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….

….doing more painting and art projects. I’ve been reorganizing my studio space for the last few months and even though I’m still not finished I have started to work on small projects.

What is your favorite comfort snack food? 

My favourite comfort food is anything with carbs but I’m not suppose to eat them too often because when I start I can’t stop. My all time favourite comfort food is pasta.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I remember working in my parents’ milk store when I was 14. I did that till I was 16. When the store was held up for a second time and I was working that night my parents gave up the milk business and opened a fabric store.

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. 

This past week I spent time with a friend who is going through a tough time. I helped her check out nursing homes for her partner and I consoled her on the phone. It made me realize how quickly life can change and how important it is to live life to the fullest. I also spent time with a couple of other friends. With one we went out for lunch together at a really nice restaurant in a hotel and afterwards we walked downtown and browsed around in a few stores. With the second friend we drove to the mall and had lunch and did some shopping for a gift. Then we went to Costco and did our shopping together. We ran into another friend from our teaching days and quickly got caught up with what was happening in our lives. Each moment with all these friends was special in it’s own way.

On Sunday my sister came to visit with her daughter, son-in-law and her baby grandson. She lives about 3 1/2 hours away and she had to cancel a couple of times after Christmas because of weather. I knew that my husband and I had a funeral to attend on Sunday but I didn’t want my Dad to be disappointed again so I didn’t call her back to let her know we wouldn’t be there. Luckily they arrived before we had to leave so in the end we had a short but sweet visit and my father was able to finally take them out for lunch.

At the funeral we were able to reconnect with some of my husbands cousins, got caught up with up was happening in their lives, learned a few things about the family which we didn’t know and promised each other that we wouldn’t wait for the next funeral to get together.

Share Your World – November 6, 2017

….thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

Would you rather take a 2 week vacation with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

Sometimes I think I would like a two week vacation with an organized tour, especially in an exotic place where I don’t know the language. China and India come to mind. On the other hand, I’m far too spontaneous and I’m somewhat adventurous and I think I’d like to organize some of my itinerary. I see benefits to both ways of travelling.

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing?

I did like swings but I was wary of going too high. I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see children soar to the max.

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What is the most important thing that you ever learned ? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

In my 20s I learned that not everyone will like you and often the reasons are not clear. The hardest part is to except it and get on with your life. Focus on those who love you and don’t try to change for people who don’t.

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. 

Last week I went to a wedding and met up with old friends of the family. When we first came to Canada my parents knew few people but my father’s good friend and his wife, along with their 4 year old son arrived before us. As their family and ours grew we were almost like cousins. Carlo was my godfather and my father was godfather to their third boy.  In my family there were three girls and they had four boys.  On  the weekend the second son’s youngest boy married and we were invited. Everyone still calls my Dad, Onkel Heinz and they were thrilled to be able to finally introduce their children to us. It was so nice to put faces to all the names we’ve heard over the years.

The next day we celebrated my oldest daughter’s birthday. It was actually the day before but because of the wedding we delayed the celebration by a day. We met at Barque’s for brunch and then went back to Andrea’s and Josie’s place for cake.

On Monday my 91 year old father wanted relive some memories of his past by visiting the Royal Winter Fair. As a boy he grew up next to a farm and helped tend to some of the animals. Last year I went there with my youngest daughter, Gaelan and her daughter Winnie who was only one at the time.

It was wonderful seeing the joy my father got out of such a simple excursion. We started off watching the horse jumping competition and then walked through the barns where we saw cattle, sheep and pigs. We strolled amongst the prize winning vegetables and fruits and then we went to the food court and had some lunch.

After a meal of fish and chips we headed towards the President’s Choice Theatre to watch the Super Dogs show. We arrived a bit early so we also took in the Medieval Times presentation. My dad loved both shows and was so impressed that he felt that it should have been televised. I explained to him that the Royal wants you to go there. If it was on TV people wouldn’t need to attend.

A Day at the Spa, Two Days at the Cottage and Cleaning the House

….a busy week

Last Friday my good friend, Arlene and I went to the Elmwood Spa for our birthday lunches, water therapy and facials. My birthday isn’t until the end of August but we decided to have our birthday lunches at the same time. We enjoyed salads, a main course and dessert. The only thing we had to pay for was our wine and coffee.

When you have  a treatment for more than a $100 you can also do the water therapy at no extra charge. This includes the steam room, the whirlpool tub and the salt water pool. We did it all. After 30 laps of the pool I showered and then proceeded to to the rooms where the facials are done. What a relaxing afternoon. We left the spa feeling renewed and refreshed.

On Saturday my husband and I left for the cottage. This was Kevin’s first trip and my fourth. The weather wasn’t great but it was nice to get out of the city and just chill. Sunday was overcast but for the most part the rain held off and Kevin and the dog were able to go for a long walk through the woods. Frances loved the freedom to run and roll in every mud puddle she could find.

 

On Monday morning we left but not before Kevin made us a delicious breakfast that we affectionately call hopple popple. It’s a fry up of bacon, vegetables (usually onions, potatoes, mushrooms, etc.) and scrambled eggs.

For the rest of the week I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and reorganizing some of my art supplies and paintings. Our son and his wife are vacationing in Toronto and will be staying with us for a several days. I spent most of my time cleaning the spare room and framing and hanging some of my art work around the house. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to see some of my work hanging on the walls.

On Wednesday Kevin and I went out for dinner at Nodo on Dundas St. W.. The meal was so good that I didn’t get a photo of our meal until it was completely gone. IMG_2737

Our daughter-in-law and daughter were at the baseball game for Josie’s birthday and we agreed to stop by their house to check up on the dog, Olive. After our meal we made the short trip to their house and spent some time playing with the dog and catching the baseball game on their TV. The Blue Jays were behind 2-0 and in the top of the ninth they pulled it off and scored three runs.

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