Stealing the Show

…..how toddlers and 90 year olds become the centre of attention

One of my fondest memories of my retirement party will be how my father hugged all the women and held court for much of  the evening and when he wasn’t the centre of attention my granddaughter took over by running throughout the restaurant with my retirement balloons flying behind her.

I’m glad that the evening had a very casual atmosphere. During the speeches my father came up behind some of the presenters and asked me, in his loud booming voice, if they were singing a song for me (they were actually reading from a story book). During one of the more serious moments Winnie made everyone laugh as she flew by with her balloons.

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Easter With the Family

This year we celebrated our Easter Sunday on Saturday. Our daughter and son-in-law in Hamilton invited us over for an Easter dinner of lamb ragu. We invited my niece who is working in Toronto and our oldest daughter and my daughter-in-law drove to our house, where we all jammed into one car and made the 40 minute drive to Hamilton. IMG_1668

The day started out very rainy but in the afternoon the sun came out and we experienced an early summer day. We spent a good deal of time outside without jackets and went for a nice walk to the park down the street. My niece had never been to G’s place and she enjoyed hearing stories of being pregnant and she saw first hand what it can be like raising a toddler. She’s due to have her first child in August.

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Our granddaughter is always a little shy around new people and even her grandparents who she hasn’t seen too much of this winter because of illness on both sides. It didn’t take long though before she warmed up to her cousin, once removed and they engaged in a game of peek-a-boo in the backyard.

For Easter this year I bought Winnie a garden set because she likes to help her father   clean and plant flowers in the the garden bed.  I knew she’d love the watering can because she loves anything to do with water. When I showed her how it worked she let out a shriek of joy and came running to her Oma. For the next hour or so she kept busy watering the garden and herself.

After spending some time in the garden and walking to the park we enjoyed a very nice dinner. Our son-in-law made the pasta from scratch and the ragu had cooked most of the day. We were in charge of dessert so my husband called up one of his favourite clients who works in an Italian bakery and asked her for advice on what dessert we should bring for an Easter dinner.

She quickly recommended a pastiera, a south Italian Easter tradition. It’s a wheat and ricotta pie flavoured with orange blossom water and adorned with a lattice top. Yum!IMG_1666

Today I’ll be spending time with a friend whose partner went into the hospital yesterday. He’ll be there for a few days as the doctors try to figure out what kind of treatment he will need.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Sunday. Lucky me, I get one more day off tomorrow. Time to get the snow tires off the car.

 

The Perfect Gift

…..besides being with family over tshe holidays

I know that in a previous post I declared that presents weren’t important to me and that family was everything. Despite that sincere sentiment I did have some very thoughtful and welcome gifts given to me this year.

Anything to do with art is always most appreciated. This Christmas my secret Santa gifted me a five drawer rolling organizer and a desktop marker organizer. Hopefully this will help me get my supplies neatly organized and free up my work table so that I can actually create some art. She also gave me a new set of Pigma pens and artist’s hand soap. My son in London sent me paper and a beautiful set of pencil crayons.

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Last year my husband gave me a very nice camera, a Panasonic Lumix, DMC-GF7 and for my birthday he gave me a macro lens to go with it. Unfortunately the camera has so many features that I frequently get lost trying to use it. My brother-in-law who  is very proficient with all types of cameras, confirmed that I had a very fine camera. When he was here in October he gave me a quick lesson on how to use some of the features. As soon as he left the camera malfunctioned. No one seemed to know what was wrong with the camera. When my brother-in-law returned in November he brought me one of his old zoom lenses that he no longer uses and that fit my camera. The problem with the camera, however, had not been resolved at that point so we couldn’t try it out.

Eventually we found someone who knew how to solve the problem. It turned out to be a quick fix.  Now I have a working camera with two amazing lenses and I still don’t know how to use them. Voila….the perfect present arrived. My husband enrolled me in two camera classes. The first class takes place in January and I will learn all about the ins and outs of my camera and the second class in February will teach me how to get the most out of my camera and how to use the camera in some creative ways. I can’t wait.

Since my husband and I are foodies the other gifts that are always most appreciated are items of food. This year I received homemade tomato sauce, chill sauce, relishes, jams and a variety of condiments and spices. Of course chocolates are always present in our stockings and under the tree. I love dark chocolate and anything filled with marzipan.p1020167

The last gift that was very special was a beautiful Pandora leather bracelet with a silver charm with our granddaughter’s initial. This was also from my husband.img_0793

As nice as all these things were I still find time with my loved ones the most precious gift of all. Today we travelled as a family to visit my father in Oshawa. Eleven of us went to his new apartment in the retirement home. His wife is very ill at the moment so he showed off his new place quickly and then gave us a tour of the facility. Everything is very new and beautifully decorated for the holidays. We ended up visiting in the library on the main floor. We were the only ones in there. It was the perfect spot where our granddaughter could run around, look at the fish tank and play with the soft decorations and remote controls. For the adults there were comfy chairs and a fire place where we could visit and talk. After opening a few gifts we headed over to the restaurant where we enjoyed a family meal together.

After describing all the fantastic gifts I received this Christmas I’d have to say that having  my granddaughter wiggle out of her mother’s arms to run over and hug me today was my most ‘perfect’ gift.

Did you have a perfect gift or a special moment to share this holiday season?

Share Your World 2016 – Week 46

….thanks Cee for Share Your World

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

After this summer I would say that I’m a traveller. I can’t stay put for too long. Even at the cottage I need to get off the island for a few hours and visit the town or explore the countryside.

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.

I like ‘feel good’ commercials. The one that comes to mind is the Subaru Forester commercial with the puppies where the one puppy is left behind (but not for long). It has wonderful scenery and great music and the message is subtle.

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Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

I’m creative, curious and conscientious.

List some fun things for a rainy day.

Here are a few things I like to do on a rainy day:

• read a good book

• bake cookies

• paint, draw or do some kind of art

• play board games with family and friends

• play cards

• play with my granddaughter

• do some kind of needlework (knitting, sewing, cross-stitch)

• talk on the phone to my sisters

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for a wonderful dinner at Mamma Martino’s with the boys that my husband coached this summer and fall. My daughter and daughter-in-law and the boys’ parents were also there.

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I was also grateful for two wonderful days spent with my granddaughter. It wasn’t planned. On Saturday my daughter asked if we could come over to babysit so that she could get some work done and on Sunday they came to the city because my daughter  had a lunch date with a close friend. At 13 months, Miss Winnie keeps us hopping. She runs everywhere and never seems to tire. I did discover that the best way to read to her is when she is sitting in her high chair. She’s more engaged when she’s strapped into her chair.

This week I’m looking forward to going out to dinner again with friends to celebrate a good friend’s 50th birthday. We’re also expecting a delegation from the Netherlands to come to our school to check the place out and observe some classes this week. The school looks pretty good and I’m curious to know what our visitors think of our education system. On Thursday night and on Friday we have parent interviews. I won’t be seeing too many parents, if any, and I’m hoping to get some work done in the library.

One Word Photo Challenge – Child

…..thanks to Jennifer Nicole Wells for this week’s theme Child

Travelling through Italy with our granddaughter was delightful. After Venice we took a train to Florence. Even at nine months she’s very inquisitive and it was fun watching her discover the world around her.

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In our apartment in Florence she helped us unpack the groceries.