…thanks to Amanda for hosting this week’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge
…thanks to Cee for coming up with new questions for Share Your World
What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I really do not like cleaning the bathroom, any bathroom but I don’t like a dirty bathroom, either.
At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
I think I feel most passionate and alive when I’m doing things for other people and when I’m celebrating with friends and family. Last summer I never felt more alive when we travelled to Italy with the family to celebrate our son’s and daughter-in-law’s wedding.
How many times have you moved in the last ten years?
I have not moved once in the last ten years. In fact, I haven’t moved in over 38 years. I have, however, moved my father three times in the last two years.
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’m grateful for time spent with my friends, Liz and Michele, and my granddaughter, Winnie. I normally travel to Hamilton at least once a week to spend time with my daughter, Gaelan and granddaughter, Winnie. Last week our plans changed slightly and I ended bringing the two of them back to Toronto. We went for a long walk to the library and had dinner together here at the house.
As you know from my recent posts, I made an advent calendar for Winnie and her family. When I picked them up I dropped it off at their house and Gaelan has send me photos of Winnie with some of her gifts. I think it’s been a bit of a challenge for Gaelan to keep Winnie from opening all the gifts in one sitting.
Last week I also spent time with Michele. We met at Sherway Gardens where we did a bit of Christmas shopping together and then I treated Michele to lunch at the Keg to celebrate her birthday that took place earlier in the month. Later in the week, Liz and I drove downtown to the CBC to take part in Sounds of the Season. We lined up to see Tom Power (host of CBC’s Q) and were thrilled to hear Lydia Persaud, Ruth B and Whitehorse perform. After the show we walked over to The Canteen and had a great lunch.
This was also a very important week for our son. The project he has been working on for almost three years has finally come to fruition. In his own words:
Kaboom!!!! 3 years of work, a deep dive into the V&A’s collection of 2.5 million objects, 16 trips to China, working with the dream team of Sam Jacob Studio, with Fraser Muggeridge Studio and Alice Masters, and here it is: A glorious V&A Gallery in Shenzhen, full of strange and wonderful things, materials, and spaces.
….it’s been a wonderful weekend and I can finally share my big news
1. Finally a beautiful weekend, weather-wise. Sunshine and warmer temperatures. I managed to get out on Saturday for a walk with the dog and took some photos of the neighbourhood.
2. Also on Saturday, my husband and I picked up our youngest daughter and her dog Lucy and brought them back to our house. G’s husband was on a business trip so she was looking for some company and she needed a break from packing boxes. This Friday they will be moving from their tiny apartment in uptown Toronto to a 4 bedroom Victorian semi in Hamilton. It’s a move they need to make because they needed more room to accommodate the new baby that they are expecting in October. Yeah!!!!!!!!! I’m finally going to be a grandmother. That’s my BIG news!
3. Today my friend DM invited me to a concert downtown. The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto hosted a live competition to present the Career Development Awards. The concert featured the three finalists who were chosen from a pool of 10 candidates chosen by CBC regional producers. Usually a jury of musical experts from across Canada rank all the entries based on written and audio materials and select a winner but because this was the tenth anniversary for the award (given every three years) a live competition was held. Prizes of $20 000., $10 000 and $5000 were awarded for first, second and third place.
All three competitors played magnificently. There were two pianists and one cello player. First prize went to Charles Richard-Hamelin on piano, second prize to Stéphane Tétreault on cello and third prize to Pierre-André Doucet on piano (my personal favourite).
I’ve found Pierre-André Doucet’s performance of Carl Vine’s Piano Sonata No. 1 on YouTube.
Stéphane was the youngest performer at 22 and played this beautiful arrangement of Hayden’s Divertimento in D Major.
I couldn’t find the exact piece that Charles Richard-Hamelin played today but here is a sample of Chopin.
….am I crazy or just practical?
I suspect I’m doing this because it needs to be done
To Do List for April 12, 2014
rake front lawn
sprinkle bone meal on garden
take out garden furniture
clean out bird cage
do laundry – started
take out summer clothes and put away winter clothes
clean oven – started
write post – started
go for a walk
dust living room floor and shelves – floors done
vacuum carpets upstairs and down – started
As you can see I’ve already started some of these chores. I think I need to fill the gaps with some fun stuff.
My husband must be feeling my energy this morning because he’s started raking the back yard and he’s taken out our bikes and cleaned them off. Maybe we can get out for a ride this afternoon. Well, I’m off to start some work outside as well. Maybe by putting this out there for the world to see I might actually accomplish all of the things on my To Do List or at least get 90% of it done. Wish me luck. I’ll report later today to let you know how I successful I’ve been.
On the fitness and weight loss journey: I’m struggling. Up 3 and down 2. Today’s goal is to get out and move and drink at least 4 large glasses of water. One glass down and 3 to go.
I thought I posted this 2 hours ago. Apparently not. In the meantime I’m down 3 glasses of water, 2 loads of laundry, raked the front and the back yard, finished cleaning the oven, sprinkled bone meal on the garden, and took out the garden furniture. I also took down the Christmas lights, trimmed the yew and bagged 2 bags of yard waste. Now let’s see if I can get this thing posted…..an ongoing problem.
…..new goals for January
When I signed up for the Zero to Hero challenge I didn’t realize that it was meant for people just starting out on their blogging journeys. I’ve been blogging for almost two years but when I read the description I thought that I could learn something from this challenge so I signed up.
Our first task is to write about me. Hmmm! What can I say that I haven’t already said. Well I’ll start with the fact that I’m not in my 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. I was 59 when I first started blogging and celebrated my 60th birthday and a 30 pound weight loss after documenting my journey for five months. Initially the blog was a platform to record my weight loss, the trials and tribulations of my journey and a way to keep me on the straight and narrow. I thought that if I put it out there for the whole world to see I would remain focused on the goal.
It worked for awhile. I’ve managed to maintain the weight loss but I haven’t been able to lose more. I quickly became interested in many different aspects of blogging. I started to experiment with my camera and loved posting photographs and taking part in photo challenges. I posted some recipes and the blog became a venue to post my art and the art that my students produce.
Occasionally I write about issues that I feel strongly about but I try not to make my blog too political, even though I’m very political and have been involved in numerous election campaigns, working on behalf of other people. This blog has also become a venue to record everyday and special events in my family. I have a son who lives overseas and a sister who lives across the country and I know that they check out my blog to see what I’m up to.
I’m learning so much through blogging and reading other people’s blogs. I’ve tried numerous recipes that have become favourites in our house. I’ve learned how to recycle old clothes and make them into new articles of clothing. I’ve been inspired by other people’s successes with weight loss and running. In the last 18 months I’ve run two 5k races, something I could never have imagined just 2 years ago. I started taking photographs and experimenting with different settings and posting my results. I’ve become a huge fan of the macro setting on my little camera. I just received a new iPhone for Christmas and I’m told I’ll never go back to my camera. I doubt that unless I can figure out how to take macro shots with it.
What do I hope to achieve by following this challenge? To be honest with you, I haven’t been moving very much in the last couple of months (partly due to the fact that I’m on this computer so much) and I never seem to get to things around the house that need to be done (also partly due to being on this computer so much). So I was hoping that my Zero to Hero challenge for the month of January would be to get out and move everyday. I love to walk so my main activity would be walking but it could take on the form of yoga or going back to the gym (I still have a membership that is woefully underused). By the end of the month I hope to be back in form to start running again.
I never seem to find time to do the extras around this house, like reorganizing cupboards, purging closets of old clothes, painting my bedroom, reading (except when I’m under pressure to get a book read for discussion), and working on my painting and drawing skills. Yesterday I made a list of things that I hope to get done. My goal is to work on one small ‘extra’ job everyday. By the end of January I hope this will become a habit and I can start feeling better about my environment. When I’m away I’m going to bring books and sketch books with me and take some time to work on my hobbies.
I actually started walking again yesterday. It was cold but I managed to walk 4k with the dog. Today, however, was another story. Both my husband and I bundled up and started on our walk with Frances (our dog). We could tell that this would be a challenge today. With the wind chill factor we were facing -30 celsius temperatures and the wind coming off the lake was pretty strong. The waves were high and because the water temperature was warmer than the air today a fog settled over the entire lake. The city skyline was completely non-existent today.
Half way through the walk I had to readjust my scarf to cover my mouth and nose but in doing that my glasses fogged over and I couldn’t see where I was going. After about 1k into the walk we decided to turn around and come home. It was just too cold today.
When I got home I decided to tackle cleaning out the refrigerator. We’ve had so much company over the holidays and prepared so many meals that we lost track of what we actually had in the fridge. When new items were bought some of the older items were pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about. Needless to say I found some pretty unsavoury and unrecognizable food items at the back of this ice box. After a couple of hours of throwing out spoiled or expired food items, washing out shelves and reorganizing the shelves I felt elated to have completed one task on my list.
One day down and 29 to go.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
I probably do everything but what I need to do. Here is a list of things I like to do:
Write a post or two for my blog, read a good book, watch a marathon of TV shows that I’ve missed or catch up on a series that’s new to me but is about to go into its second or third season, clean out the refrigerator or organize one or two kitchen cupboards (not my most favourite activity but gives me a lot of satisfaction when it’s done) and do something creative, like paint, knit or sew (something I don’t do often enough)
What is the weirdest or strangest thing you saw or heard or did this week?
It’s been a really a really busy week with family so nothing weird or strange stands out.
I’m appalled that after 10 days there are still 200 families without power in the city of Toronto because of last weeks ice storm. I think the weird part of this whole story is that the mayor didn’t think it was necessary to declare a state of emergency when 300 000 customers went without power and thousands sat in the dark and cold for days, not hours, DAYS.
What item, that you don’t have already, would you most like to own?
I would like to have (maybe not own) a housekeeper and a handyman to help me around the house. I tend to let things go until I know company is coming and then I’m a mad woman trying to get everything done before people arrive or I stay up late like I did last night pulling things off shelves and washing down everything. I would love to have a handyman to do the little things that my husband promises to do and then never gets to, especially things electrical and plumbing related.
How many times you have moved in the last ten years?
Homes – zero times. I’ve lived in the same house for over 35 years.
Work – zero times. I’ve been at the same school for over 14 years but I have moved classrooms in the last two years and that is a huge job, especially when you’ve accumulated 12 years of stuff for one grade. When I moved to the library I couldn’t give a lot of my stuff away because people just didn’t have room and I didn’t have space to store it. The teacher in my old room has kindly allowed to keep a lot of my ‘stuff’ in one of the cupboards and slowly I’m removing things as I find new owners or a use for it myself.