Share Your World 2016 – Week 3

….to share your world check out Cee’s blog

What is your favorite piece of art? (it doesn’t have to be famous)

That’s a hard question for me because I love so many different pieces. I’m a huge fan of Ray Cattell’s art and would love any one of his pieces. Here’s one that I’m fond of:


A Ray Cattell painting.

What made you smile today?

A photo of my new granddaughter always make me smile.


Which place do you recommend as a Must-See? Please state which country, state or providence.

Again I struggled with this question but after a discussion with my daughter I decided that Niagara Falls should be a must-see destination if you’re visiting this end of Canada or New York state in the USA. You can see the falls from either side of the border but I think the view from the Canadian side is spectacular.

Complete this sentence: When I was younger I used to….

…..sing in a German choir. I started at the age of 18 and sang with them for 27 years. I was always one of the youngest in the choir. Even when I left at the age of 45 most of the members were considerably older than me. I did enjoy it and I do miss singing in a choir and hearing German.

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

I’m grateful that my son has had his staples removed from his arm and that his arm is healing nicely. He’s back in England now and has found himself a doctor and is part of the National Health Service. Things are going well at school and boys’ basketball is well underway with early morning practices are happening three times a week. I’m especially grateful to one of our dads who is coming out each morning to help us coach the boys’ team.

This week I’m looking forward to a day off on Friday. It’s a report card writing day. I’m not thrilled about writing report cards but I am grateful for the time to work on them. I’m also looking forward to seeing Miss Winnie on the weekend. We didn’t get to see her last weekend and by all accounts from her mother she’s growing by leaps and bounds.

Here are a few photos from our walks through the park and the snow storm we had on Monday. Notice how tired Frances is. She had just stared down a coyote during that storm.

A Week of Highs and Lows

….I haven’t posted in days

My lows include not posting for a number of days. I had over 500 emails that I hadn’t opened and I tried to read as many as possible. I deleted many of them without reading them so I apologize if I missed an important message or one of your better posts. If I made a comment or ‘liked’ your post you know that I read it. I actually do read your posts and I feel unusually guilty if I have to pass them over. I’m trying to read my emails daily but there are over a hundred in my inbox again.

It’s been a tough week with the kids at school. I’m sure that it’s partly due to the time change. Everyone was tired and a bit cranky and with March Break in front of them many found it difficult to focus. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation for this holiday.

I also haven’t done any art for myself. Every day this week I planned to spend some time on my art and it didn’t happen. I’m planning on fixing that during my time off.

Now that March Break is here, I’ve come down with a head cold. Wouldn’t you know it! I’m not sick all year and on the first day of the break I have a scratchy throat and runny nose. Oh well, I have 9 days to rest.

On the high side I managed to get more of the books in the library labelled and shelved and I finally put in an order for supplies and more books. I know that may not seem like a high for some of you but I always feel good when I can get something accomplished.

Last Sunday I took my family to see Ray Cattell’s art show at the Arts and Letters Club. I’ve know Ray for over 25 years. His daughter, L and I work together and have been best friends for all those years. Ray is now in his 90s and it was nice to see the range of work that he has produced from the 1960s to the present day.

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The temperatures have finally warmed up and the snow has started to melt. In fact so much of the snow has melted that I’ve finally been able to go outside without my winter boots on. A few crazy people have also been seen wearing shorts in Toronto. Plus 4 is hardly warm enough to go outside without a coat never mind wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

IMG_4133 I also went to a concert this week. It was part of the Music in the Afternoon concert series put on by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. The concert featured Jens Lindemann on trumpet. I had no idea what to expect but it ended up being one my most favourite concerts to date. I’ll write more about this in my next post.

I also spent time with my friend CL who I hadn’t seen since Christmas. We had lunch together and then headed downtown for the concert. Afterwards we stopped for coffee and continued to catch up on what we’ve been doing for the last three months. As with most of my friends she asked about my retirement and gave me some food for thought as to what I might want to do when I finally take that step.

On Wednesday a group of us from school decided to have a bit of a staff social and we went bowling and then out for dinner. Most of us are not very good bowlers but it was a lot of fun and we vowed that we would plan another outing after March Break.

Last night my daughter and her husband came over for an impromptu dinner of homemade pizza and salad. My husband and I are very spontaneous and we love it when things like this just come together.

To top off my highs for the week my husband bought me another fresh bouquet of flowers.


Share Your World 2015 – Week 9

….March has finally arrived but winter doesn’t want to leave

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

It depends on the day. I feel at least 10 years younger than I am, most of the time. Last week when I had trouble standing up after falling while skiing I felt much older. If I have to put an age to it I’d say I feel like I’m in my late 40s or early 50s. Having said that there are days that I think I’m in better shape, physically and mentally than many people who are actually in this age range.

Are you left or right handed?

I’m left handed. I write, paint and eat with my left hand but I do much with my right hand. I bat with my right hand, play the ukelele and guitar with my right hand and knit with my right hand. When I golf and bowl I use my right hand. I iron and type with both hands.

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

I’m really struggling with this question. I’ve gone through the alphabet trying to pull up names that would suit me. I’ve tried thinking of people that I admire but my husband would leave me if I chose Meryl or Hilary. I’ve gone back to my German heritage but people can’t pronounce most German names and Heidi is just too cutesy. My name, Carol, comes from Charles so I thought I needed to find a more masculine name but Carla, Karen, Connie and Karine are too close to Carol. Then I turned to numerology and settled on a name with German roots and one that suits the number 8. My new name would be Erika.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

Everything goes into my bedroom. Don’t ask me for a tour of the upstairs of my house. I’d be too embarrassed.

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

I’m grateful for a special day spent with my friend AB. We met when I first started teaching in 1976. Our rooms were next to each other. I was the Family Studies teacher and she was the art teacher. We had a special relationship right from the start. She is God mother to my children and we’ve stayed close all these years. She’s 11 years older than me and has been retired for awhile. She’s looking forward to the day I retire so that we can ‘play’ again.

On Saturday morning she called me to see if I wanted to look at a condo building with her. She has been preparing to sell her house and down size to a condominium. Both my husband and I thought we were just going to look this place and then walk away so that AB could think about this major purchase. We were blown away when she took out her cheque book and made a down payment on a unit. We were touched that she wanted us there to help her with this life changing investment. We love the location. In fact my husband and I lived in the same location for two years before we bought our own house.

IMG_4041 IMG_4045

The other thing I’m grateful for was being able to drive to Oshawa with my oldest daughter and her partner on Sunday and help my Dad pack up some dishes and clean the fridge before the mover came on Monday. We drove over to their new apartment and filled up the new fridge with food from the house. They were both very pleased with their new accommodations and I was happy to see the place first hand.

This week I’m looking forward to going to Kiwanis with the Grade one classes to hear them sing. My friend’s father, Ray Cattell is having a major art show at the Arts and Letters Club and the opening for the public is this Sunday. I’ve already had a sneak preview and it’s a wonderful show and I can’t wait to share it with my family. I’m also looking forward to a new on-line art assignment from Carla Sonheim this Thursday.


Share Your World – Week 40

… we go again…..thanks Cee

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on?

I think about this every time I play the lottery because in Canada a lottery win is tax free (for now). First I would pay off all my credit cards and then I would give each of my children about $50 000 to pay off school loans and any other debts that they have incurred. This would still leave me with $300 000 so I would probably fix all the unfinished projects around my house and cottage, take a trip or two (Europe and somewhere exotic)  and put some money away for our retirement.

What’s the finest education?

The finest education is the school of life. If you don’t or can’t learn from the hard knocks of life all the expensive education from Ivy League Schools schools is worthless.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

My favourite art is abstract art. I love colour, line and texture and some of my favourite artists are Ray Cattell, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro and Marc Chagall.

One of Ray's paintings in my sister's home.

One of Ray’s paintings.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

I hated memorizing poems or anything for that matter when I was in school. Having said that I have to admit that I know a lot of nursery rhymes and the national anthem.

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

I’m grateful that my husband’s surgery went well. He had half his thyroid removed and a very large, unattractive cyst in his neck was also removed. I’m also grateful that my son-in-law’s procedure on his heart also went well and any future problems with his birth defect has been eliminated.

After surgery, the next day

After surgery, the next day

Before Surgery

Before Surgery

Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with the family this Sunday. The kids are doing the bulk of the cooking. Bonus!


Share Your World – Week 31

….being at the cottage makes it difficult to keep up with some of these weekly challenges

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

There’s always one question that stumps me or makes me hesitate as to how I will answer. This is the one. After giving this some thought I think my three guests would be John F. Kennedy, Meryl Streep and Ray Cattell (my favourite contemporary artist and my girlfriend’s father).

One of Ray's paintings in my sister's home.

One of Ray’s paintings in my sister’s home.

What can you always be found with?

I always have my camera or iPhone with me.

What is the most fun thing you did in school?

It was probably in art class or home economics. I loved those two subjects in elementary school. In high school, however, the one thing that really stands out for me was our trip to Expo 67 in Montreal. I think it was a three day trip and it was probably my first experience away from home with a school group on an overnight trip.


What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

Writing a blog is something that I do that most of my friends and colleagues don’t do. Whenever I mention that I have a blog a lot of people are intrigued but very few of them actually try to create their own.

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

I’m grateful for the company that I have at my cottage. My neighbours are always so generous when it comes to sharing meals. This week my girlfriend’s adult son made me a lovely breakfast of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs and later in the day I invited him to my place and we shared BBQ chicken, grilled zucchini and sweet potatoes, steamed broad beans from my daughter’s garden and fresh strawberries and cheese for dessert.

Looking through the trees to my neighbour's cottage.

Looking through the trees to my neighbour’s cottage.

Later this week I’m looking forward to spending time with a couple of friends from the city at the cottage. One daughter is coming over for dinner on Friday and on Saturday the other daughter is coming to the house with her brother-in-law to help us clean out the garage and take all the garbage to the city dump.

For more Share Your World posts check out Cee’s site.

Painting at 91

…. Ray Cattell

Ray with his granddaughter and daughter.

Ray with his granddaughter and daughter.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to Ray Cattell’s opening for his latest group of paintings at the Moore Gallery in Toronto. I’ve known Ray for over 20 years and he never ceases to amaze me with his beautiful collection of paintings. He’s been displaying his work since the 1960’s.

We were all surprised that he wanted to do one more show. Most of the paintings are smaller than what he’s produced in years past but with his recent health issues it’s not surprising. He also recently won an award at a juried art show to add to his list of numerous awards granted to him in his lifetime. Some of his work can be found in the Vatican LIbrary, Windsor Castle and in the private collections of The Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth and Henry Ford II.

If you’re in Toronto between Dec 1 and Dec. 22 you can catch the show at the Moore Gallery on 80 Spadina Ave. For more details you can go to the website: Moore Gallery Ltd.