…..the family all came together to spend the day Brendan and Azadeh
Last Saturday was the day that my son and daughter-in-law were flying back to London, England. The flight wasn’t until the evening so our son’s wish was to spend his last day in Canada with his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, niece and Opa.
We spent the morning shopping for and organizing the food. We prepared ribs, done two different ways, an Italian bread salad and bowtie pasta with homemade pesto sauce.
Winnie and Uncle Brendan mixing together the bread salad. It was yummy.
After our feast Opa wanted to show off his kite so the whole gang, minus my husband, made their way to the park down the street. Everyone had to take a turn flying the kite until the last person landed it in a tree. Fortunately we were able to rescue the pink beauty. Now Dad is talking about buying another kite, bigger and better than the one he has so that we can both go out together and each have our own kite. Hmmm!!!
I was so excited to be going to the cottage with my granddaughter for the first time. Gaelan and Winnie stayed overnight on Friday here at the house. They were in town for Josie’s birthday party and it made no sense to go back to Hamilton and then come back the next day to Toronto.
Saturday morning we took our time and explored the garden and took a short walk over to the park.
After we packed up the car we headed out and Winnie had her nap while I drove. We made one stop to grab some lunch and arrived at the dock in time to catch the ferry. Once we were at the cottage Winnie explored her new surroundings, a little cautious at first but it didn’t take long before we had to run after her to make sure she stayed out of the poison ivy. She loved being chased.
We took her to the beach but she was a little wary of the waves and didn’t want anything to do with the water. In fact she was more interested in all the inflatable toys on the beach that didn’t belong to us. Even the sand toys that I bought for her didn’t hold her attention for more than a few minutes.
The next day the sun was shining and the wind had died down somewhat so the waves weren’t as high. After breakfast we took a walk along the beach. The water levels are very high this year so there isn’t much of a beach to walk on. Luckily no one minded getting wet as we walked. Winnie loved the waves today and when we got to the rocks she loved climbing over them.
It was a very long walk so Gaelan carried Winnie on the way back to the cottage and it wasn’t long before Winnie fell sound asleep in her mother’s arms. Later in the afternoon we went back down to the beach and this time she didn’t want to get out of the water even though she was shivering.
Monday morning Winnie woke up with a tummy ache and didn’t eat much breakfast. We prepared to go home and we were only in the car a few minutes before Winnie fell sound asleep. We decided to drive until Winnie woke up. When she did wake we pulled into the closest restaurant but even then she didn’t eat much. She drank some milk and ate a bit of yogurt. Once we were back on the road it didn’t take long before we had to pull over. I forgot how road trips and car sickness go hand in hand with young children. Needless to say Winnie felt much better after she threw up her lunch but her mom and I were not exactly thrilled to be cleaning up vomit in a parking lot with only paper towels and bottled water which were quickly purchased from the variety store across the street.
Despite the unpleasant turn of events on our trip home my first weekend trip to the cottage with my granddaughter was a wonderful experience. I hope there will be many more to come and I look forward to our next adventure together.
…..I love travelling by train but I’m not so sure I would buy a rail pass again
Travelling by train can be very relaxing and is less stressful than driving a car throughout Italy. Our travel agent booked first class rail passes for six days for us ahead of time. Our first trip from Venice to Florence in first class was wonderful but half of our trips didn’t even have first class compartments. We probably could have saved a lot of money buying tickets as we needed them.
One of the things we learned about travelling by train is that you have to have your tickets validated at the station and you must fill in the dates you travel on the passes. My husband had been filling in the wrong portion of our passes and one kind conductor handed him a pen and instructed him to fill it in properly. He could have fined us each a 100 euro. On our last trip to Rome our son, his new bride and her parents didn’t know that the tickets that they purchased from a machine in Assisi had to be validated in another machine. Unfortunately the conductor on this train was not so forgiving and charged them. They tried to explain that they didn’t read Italian and no one told them about this extra step when purchasing tickets. He thought he was being generous when he reduced the fine to 33 euro but when my daughter-in-law was not happy with the compromise he became quite angry. In the end they paid the fine but we couldn’t help but think that the money was being pocketed by the conductor.
My life has been in a bit of a turmoil lately and I find it difficult to find time to work on my bigger art projects. Not having my space to work in doesn’t help either but I have managed to do some small daily drawing assignments in the last six days.
Lisa Congden is the artist who is challenging her followers to draw simple objects every day for 31 days. Lisa Congden from Creative Bug is a graphic and textile designer who hosts numerous on-line classes at this site. For a very small monthly fee you can access numerous how to videos for lots of DIY projects.
Here are some of the drawings from the first six days. I need to work on my sneaker skills.
Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?
My three wishes go to our newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Even though he won a majority government he has his critics and many are watching and waiting for him to make a mistake.
My first wish is that you keep your promise to bring 25 000 Syrian refugees to Canada. If you can’t keep your promise to have them here by the end of February I’m okay with that as long as they arrive no later than May.
My second wish is that you stay cool and calm under difficult and stressful situations, because you will face many in your term as Prime Minister, and not make hasty or rash decisions when under pressure.
My third wish for you is to maintain a normal and loving relationship with your wife and children while you are in office. I know there are times when you will be apart but make the best of the times when you’re together.
After months of hospital and then nursing home visits my sweet aunt passed away early this morning. She outlived her sister and my mother by 22 years. The matriarchs in my family are now all gone. My father’s only sister also passed away earlier this year.
My sisters, me and our Mom.
My Tante H was a beautiful and independent soul. She moved to this country 32 years ago, shortly after the death of her husband. Like her mother before her she had no interest in finding a new man. She continued to raise her two teenaged children, as a single mom, in a new land and lived off the proceeds of her husband’s company. Her son eventually married and made her a grandmother to two girls and one boy. Her daughter is currently single but blessed her mother with a grand-dog.
My Tante H and my two cousins as toddlers.
My gorgeous aunt and her husband, my Uncle G.
The last four months have been difficult but in a way I got to know another side of my aunt. During our visits she answered numerous questions I had about my family’s past but I think that there are many more secrets that have gone to the grave with her. It also gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my cousin. She lives in another city about 45 minutes away (on a good day). We’ve probably seen more of each other in the last four months than we have in our entire lives.
The entire experience has made me appreciate my own immediate family more. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Pick up the phone and call your loved ones. Answer that email that’s been sitting in your inbox. Take some time to visit an elderly relative. Tomorrow may be too late.
My 88 year old Dad and me. He’s still going strong.