A Birthday Party and the Royal Botanical Gardens

….a busy week with the family

On Sunday, after returning from the cottage, Kevin, my father and I went to my daughter-in-law’s father’s 80th birthday party. I knew when we got to the party that my father would make a big deal about being the oldest person there. He quickly found the over 80 table and made himself comfortable and engaged in conversation with people he had never met before. That’s what my Dad has done his whole life and I remember as a kid being so embarrassed by how easily he would go up to perfect strangers and start talking.

The party was a huge success and the daughters actually pulled off surprising their father. The mostly Italian and some Argentinian guests thoroughly enjoyed the food and there was lots of laughter and lively discussions.

On Monday I drove to Hamilton to spend the day with my daughter, Gaelan and her daughter, Winnie. Brendan was working from home that day so he decided to join us for lunch at a great Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. Winnie has been introduced to a lot of different foods as soon as she started on solid foods and I was amazed at how much she enjoyed digging into the sushi.

After lunch it started to pour and we waited in the strip mall while Brendan ran home and brought the car back. I felt badly when he got back because the rain had almost completely died down. Thank goodness it had because Gaelan, Winnie and I decided to go the Royal Botanical Gardens. The part we went to had a lot of indoor displays but the rain was so light that we ventured outside and took Winnie to the children’s area where she could run around and play in the sandbox.

Just before we went back home we decided to go the Tea House for some refreshments. We had tea, coffee and scones. Winnie drank the milk they brought me for my tea.

A wonderful two days.

Cheers!

WPC – State of Mind

….our photos are a reflection of our mood at the precise moment we press the shutter button

This week’s challenge is to post photos that represent a state of mind. Here are some shots I have taken when I’m at peace, happy, sad and curious.

At Peace and in Awe – Early morning sunrise

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Happy – Taking joy in watching my children go canoeing for the first time

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Curious – patiently watching this little fellow and seeing how close I can get to him

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Sad/blue – on this rainy day

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How I Keep Warm on Cold Rainy Days

….last Tuesday it poured at the cottage and it was cool

There’s always plenty to do in the cottage but when it’s cold outside it does limit my choice of activities. Last week we had one of those days. Luckily the rain held off until noon so I was able to cook a nice warm breakfast on the BBQ. I should have gone out for a long walk but I didn’t so I didn’t reach my walking goal of 10 000 steps.

The inside of my cottage holds whatever heat there is fairly well and when the windows and doors are closed there are no drafts to worry about. I did a lot of reading on Tuesday and when I felt cool I put on an extra sweater and covered myself with a blanket.

Close to supper time the rain ceased but the temperatures remained cool. I walked over to CH’s cottage, four roads over, with D and we found her unpacking her car. She had just arrived from Toronto with her 10 year old granddaughter, from Norway. I stayed for a cup of tea and I was then invited for dinner. Wonderful!

CH’s cottage is small and has electricity so it was nice and cozy warm inside. When I returned to D’s cottage, however, it had cooled off even more. D turned the electric heater on but you had to sit right in front of it and then it felt like you were starting to bake. If you moved back a cool draft hit the rest of your body. There was only one solution to really warm up and that was go into the sauna.

Now this sauna is something else. As with most projects done up here it was over engineered but it works like a charm. D’s father did an amazing job with the finishing details. It’s big enough to seat 6 adults comfortably and right next door is an outdoor shower with hot and cold water. What a luxury! Not only did I warm up but I also washed my hair. Heavenly! It’s the things we take for granted that bring me so much joy up here!

Time for a Good Cleaning

….when things start to go missing you know it’s time to clean

The first official day of my summer holiday and it’s pouring rain. Luckily I got out for a bit of a walk this morning before the skies opened up. The boys came over early enough to cut the grass as well and I got a little bit of weeding done.

My daughter A and her partner J ran a 5km race today and I missed it. They also lucked out and finished before the rain started. My daughter finished her race in 27 minutes and J (her first  race ever) completed it in 33 minutes. Very impressive!

Unfortunately we didn’t get out in time to take in the Farmers’ Market. By the time we got there it was teaming with rain and most of the vendors had already packed up and left. We headed back for home but stopped at the top of the street and had a coffee at the Portuguese Bakery. Our son texted us from Paris with a photo of him and his fiancé at an outdoor cafe so my husband took a photo of me with my latte and sent it back to him.

My husband's caption: Enjoying a latte from our own Paris cafe in beautiful New Toronto.

My husband’s caption: Enjoying a latte from our own Paris cafe in beautiful New Toronto.

Notice anything different about me in this photo? Well I’m not wearing my glasses and not because I’m vain (I am a little bit). Remember when I said that ‘when things go missing it’s time to clean’? Well it’s my glasses that I’ve lost. I know that I wore them home on Thursday because I drove home and I would never drive without them. I do have prescription sunglasses and I wore those yesterday and today when driving but I’m really stumped as to where I’ve placed my regular glasses.

Since we’ve been back I have been cleaning the kitchen, going through my school bags, turning things upside down and looking in the most unusual places and I still haven’t found them. I’m afraid I’m going to have to go on my hands and knees and start looking under things, like my bed, night table, living room couch, and bathroom vanity. The only reason I haven’t I haven’t done it yet is because I fell a few weeks ago and I injured my right knee. The only time I feel  any pain is when I kneel on it. A few times I’ve forgotten about it, especially when I go to bed. I can’t crawl into bed because I get a searing pain in the knee so I have to sit on the bed and swing my legs over the edge.

Well there are still a lot of places to clean in my house so I guess I’d better get back to work. The rain still hasn’t let up.IMG_5376 If you have any suggestions as to where my glasses might be drop m a line.

Cheers

A Crazy Week

…..so much has happened at school this week and we’ve got more to go before signing off for the summer

If anyone tells you that nothing happens in the last month of school don’t believe them. This week alone (the last week of school) we’ve had rehearsals for the grade 5 farewell, the actual farewell assembly, the book club’s all day activity event for 50 students, field trips into the community, training for next years Peace Keepers, the kindergarten play day and final printing of the report cards.

Yesterday I emceed the farewell assembly for the grade 5s in the afternoon and then spent time after school getting the materials ready for today’s Forest of Reading Extravaganza. In the morning we split up the group of 50 children into two groups and sent one group to the drama workshop and the other group stayed with me for the book making workshop. After recess the boys and girls rotated to their second activity so that everyone had an opportunity to participate in both activities. After the morning activities we served them pizza, water and Freezies and the staff that helped us all year as expert readers joined us for lunch.

When lunch was over we had Allan Stratton who is the author of Curse of the Dream Witch come to the school for an hour to read to and talk to the children about being an author. The children asked him wonderful questions without any prompting from their teachers and he skillfully kept the children engaged with his many personal anecdotes about writing and how they could become writers.

After the last recess of the day some of the children returned to their classrooms but many stayed behind to finish their handmade books. There was a fair bit of cleaning that needed to be done but the grade 5s were more interested in getting their yearbooks signed. I’d put them off all day while the activities were going on so during the last period of the day I gave in and signed most of their books.

It’s been pouring rain since I’ve left school and it hasn’t stopped for over five hours. I’m afraid that it might affect tomorrow’s play day at school and the grade 5’s excursion to the pool and the park for lunch tomorrow. I’m not sure if I’m going to that but I think that the teachers who get prep from me tomorrow were given their time today. If all goes as planned we will go swimming in the morning, go to the park for a barbecue lunch and then head over to the golf course for a round of mini putt.

After school we have our staff party at the home of our gym teacher. It is usually our last day with the students but this year we all have to return to school on Friday. I suspect that many of the students won’t show up especially since they get their report cards on Thursday. On Friday we  have an assembly in the morning and in the afternoon teachers will be madly trying to straighten up their classes with their students present. It should be an interesting day.

I have a feeling that I will be going into school next week to tidy up the library. As much as the students want to help me it often ends up being more messy than when we started.

Cheers!

New Flower of the Day (June 25, 2014) – White Peony

….this one is from my garden

When I got home from work today it was pouring down rain. I was worried that my peony bush would be flattened if we got much more rain so when the weather let up a bit I went outside and took some pictures of the peonies that have finally opened up. There’s usually a bit more red in this plant. Maybe it will show up in another day or two.

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Rosestock or Rosethorn in the Rain

….aka Rosethorn in the Park

Almost every year since I started working at my school we’ve put on some kind of year-end show. For most of the 15 years that I’ve been at Rosethorn we’ve rented a portable stage and parked it outside on the school grounds by the hill. For a few years we booked the local high school auditorium when the cost of the stage became too prohibitive.

There was always something very special about putting on the show outside on a warm summer evening.IMG_1839 In all the years that we performed outside it never once rained during the show. Well the year we decided to bring back the show mobile we had rain. We were very optimistic and decided to go ahead with the show despite the forecast of potential showers. The sky was overcast for most of the day but the rain held off.

IMG_1836When we started the show there was no rain but after four classes had performed the rain began. When it looked like it wasn’t going to let up our principal gave the audience some options. Well actually she didn’t get past the first one which was to continue with the show. Everyone wanted to stay. The umbrellas came out and the children were pretty much dry under the roof of the stage anyway. Luckily the sound equipment and the operator were protected by a tent but our conductor/music teacher and the staff working with the children were exposed to the elements.

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It rained for about an hour and stopped for the last few acts. Despite the soggy conditions the show was a hit and no one complained about getting wet. The teachers were glad that we didn’t have to come back the next night to continue the show and I think a lot of the families were glad as well.