Shopping in the Rain – November 27, 2022

….thanks to Becky B for hosting Walking Squares

One of my favourite shopping neighbourhoods in Toronto is Bloor West Village. After I dropped my daughter off at her home, just east of this community I drove along Bloor Street and parked on one of the side streets. Even though it was raining I wanted to check out the green grocers and some of the dress stores.


Last Minute Shopping in London

….today was our last full day in London

Tomorrow morning an Uber driver will pick us up at 8:00 am and take us to the Heathrow Airport. All week I wanted to return to Liberty so that I could browse through this amazing but expensive department store.

Today we took the Victoria South train and headed towards Oxford Circus. When we got there I wasn’t disappointed. When you first arrive you are greeted by the most wonderful flower shop attached to the Liberty store.

As you enter the store your senses are accosted by the smell of perfume and the bright colours of the fashion display that is currently featured.

I was hoping to find a nice Liberty scarf for a friend’s birthday but the sticker shock may have sent the feint of heart back onto the street. I proceeded to the elevators and headed for the floor where the Liberty fabrics were on display. I knew that on this floor I would find something that fit into my budget. I wasn’t disappointed.

Kevin was walking around the floor while I went through a bin of fabric ends. When I selected a couple of pieces he assured me there was nothing else to see. When I peaked into the next room I found plenty of things that caught my eye. At the far end of the room there were some cosy chairs so Kevin settled in while I browsed some more. He quickly engaged in conversation with a couple of middle aged American women and I could hear them laughing half way through the store.

After making a few more purchases I picked Kevin up and we made our way to the basement where the men’s wear resides.

One of the things that Kevin has wanted for many years is a Barbour coat. Sure enough they had them there but unfortunately or perhaps fortunately they didn’t have one in his size. I say fortunately because we walked over to Carnaby Street and there was a store devoted to only Barbour clothing for men.

Not only did they have Kevin’s size they also had it in the blue colour that he really wanted, The best part, however, was that it was £90 cheaper than the same coat at Liberty.

We continued to walk through Carnaby Street and throughly enjoyed being tourists.

It was a great way to end our trip. After returning to our flat we started to pack up a few things and brought some of our leftovers over to our daughter-in-law, Azadeh, and we had a couple of new picture books for Sevin. Azadeh made us a wonderful farewell dinner. Unfortunately our son, Brendan had to work late tonight. He will drop by early tomorrow morning before our Uber arrives to take us to the airport.

Good-bye London. We had a great time and hopefully we’ll be back soon.

Instant Colour

….after a forced trip to Costco

I needed my winter tires taken off my car. I haven’t driven very much since this isolation started back in March. In fact I filled up just before this started and I was down to a quarter of a tank when I filled up again two days ago. That was 8 weeks between fill-ups.

Anyway I digress. I got an appointment at the Tire Centre at Costco very easily. I booked on-line and took the first appointment available. So on the 13th of May I drove to Costco at 9:30 in the morning. I walked straight into the warehouse past a huge line-up of people waiting to get into the store to shop.

After I dropped off the car I had an hour and a half wait so I decided I might as well join the line and pick up some flowers for the yard. It took about 30 minutes to get inside. Once inside I felt completely safe. There were very  few people in the building and the check out was very organized.8469-EFC0-1830-4949-A51-F-5-A1-F72-AC297-F

An hour is a long time so I ended up buying more than I had planned to but I did only purchase things that I needed or would need shortly.

When I got home I arranged the flowers in the front and back of the house. That blast of instant colour made my trip to Costco all the more worthwhile.


The One of a Kind Show 2018

…on the last day I ventured on my own to the show

I like to attend the One of a Kind Show every year but last year I missed it and I was desperate to go this year. I didn’t really want to go on my own but my family and friends were all busy or not interested or went on a day that I couldn’t do.

On Sunday I decided to go on my own and I quite enjoyed the experience. I was able to go at my own pace and take my time at booths that I found particularly interesting. I was able to speak to a number of the vendors and I actually got some Christmas shopping done. Here are a few photos of some of the amazing crafts made by very talented artists.


Share Your World – January 29, 2018

….thanks to Cee for posting more interesting questions on Share Your World

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

I would choose a store where I could buy a variety of items, like clothing, household items, accessories, toys, and make-up. Even though I’d have unlimited amounts of money (I’m assuming that’s what an unlimited shopping spree means) I still think of Marshall’s first. Maybe I should be adventurous and say Nordstrom’s.

What is the worst thing you ate recently?

I tend to avoid foods that I don’t like and there aren’t too many of those. I would have to choose something that was badly prepared or didn’t meet my expectations. The only thing I can think of is the oatmeal my father made and he wanted me to try it because he had some left over. Is it possible for something to be too salty and too sweet at the same time? Well it was and I politely declined to eat the rest. My Dad doesn’t read this blog so I’m not too worried that he’ll be offended.

Name five things you like watching…

  1. Watching my granddaughter playing
  2. A game of professional soccer, rugby or lacrosse
  3. The Olympic Games, summer and winter
  4. Live theatre
  5. On TV – Coronation Street, The View, Young Sheldon, Survivor, The Crown and most British detective stories

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This week I managed two visits to Hamilton to visit my daughter and granddaughter and my oldest daughter came over with her Frenchie, Olive on Sunday. Time with my family always makes me smile.


Photo credit goes to my daughter-in-law who took this photo back in November.

On Sunday Olive and Frances had a great time playing together and we were able to go for a nice long walk.

I’m also happy that I finally got my art studio in working order last week. I put together the last piece of furniture and started filling up the drawers. Even though I’ve been doing art almost every day since the beginning of the month, I can now do it in a neater and more organized space. fullsizeoutput_6c5b

In conclusion I need to thank my husband for taking me on one of his business trips this week. It was only up to Collingwood but I had an opportunity to take some photographs of the town and together we enjoyed a wonderful meal before heading home. We had such a nice time that we’re thinking of doing this once a week or at least twice a month. Any suggestions where we should go next? No more than two hours from Toronto, please.


Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping

….after our long walk this morning we decided to go out and buy food for the weekend

Not any old food, mind you. We were shopping for food for our family get together on Sunday. Four of us are driving to Hamilton to celebrate Family Day at G’s and B’s home (parents of Winnie). I suggested that we do a pot luck lunch and everyone quickly agreed.

Our contribution is going to be a charcuterie platter and then some smoked pork chops, German style (Kassler rippchen). To get all the ingredients we needed we drove out to Mississauga and went to the Brandt Meat store. What a treat for all the senses.

We left with 5 different meats and three cheeses for the platter, 8 smoked pork chops and meatloaf for tonight’s dinner. As we got back into the car we decided that potato salad would be a nice addition to the chops so I went back inside and bought a few containers of ready to eat salad.

Hard to imagine that I couldn’t find everything that we needed in this one amazing store but we did need milk, cream, fruit, vegetables and dog food so we made another stop at our go to No Frills grocery story just down the road from our home. I love the produce aisles in this store. It is so bright and colourful and everything is very fresh.

After we loaded up the car with more groceries than we had planned to buy my husband thought of another thing we forgot to pick up. Batteries. Instead of going back into the same store he suggested that I go over to the Dollarama which was next door.

Here’s another store that appeals to the eyes. Bright and colourful and kind on the pocketbook. The line-up was pretty long so I decided to take a quick look around and took a few more photos of some of the merchandise. You can tell that St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are just around the corner.

The teacher in me wanted to buy numerous items for my classes but I resisted temptation. Besides my husband was waiting in the car and if I had returned with anything but batteries he would have given me a questioning gaze.

As soon as we got home we put away the groceries and I started dinner. For those of you who know me well I did it voluntarily and without any coercion from my husband. Once in awhile I still like to cook.

Hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend. Mine is just beginning. Hopefully I’ll have more photos and stories about our Family Day get together tomorrow.


Share Your World 2015 – Week 42

….thanks to Cee for four more great questions

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

It depends on the situation. For appointments I’m almost always on time or early. The only time I’m late happens if I get caught in traffic because of an accident. For parties or social events I’m sometimes ‘fashionably’ late. If I do arrive on time I find that I’m the first one there and end up waiting for others to arrive. If someone has made a reservation for a specific time I try to be there on time. For this blog post I’ve been late recently because of my circumstances in my personal life. Cee would probably say that I’ve posted this in the time frame given but when the next set of questions come out the next day I feel like I’m late.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?

I don’t know if I have the patience to write a novel. I would probably prefer a short story or a poem.

Where did you live at age ten? Is it the same place or town you live now?

When I turned ten I lived in Oakville, a small city between Toronto and Hamilton. We only lived there for four years and my father used to commute to work in Toronto every day. By today’s standards that’s not a very long commute but my father hated it and we moved back to Toronto when I started grade 5. I’ve lived here ever since.

Would you rather be able to fly or breathe under water?

I think I’d rather fly. Flying is faster than swimming and being underwater I think might be somewhat claustrophobic.

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 walks in this lovely crisp autumn weather. I love the colours. IMG_6523 IMG_6513 IMG_6552I’m grateful for a dinner and tickets to the opera, downtown, with my friend D who treated me for my birthday. My blogging friend Judith over at Curious to the Max says that after 50 you can celebrate your birthday season for as many days as you are old. So even though my birthday was in August I can still celebrate for six more days.

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I’m also grateful for a fun evening with friends and colleagues from school. We went to a great sample sale, where I bought gifts for Christmas, something for my daughter and a couple of things for myself. Afterwards we had a very nice dinner in a great Italian restaurant, Caffino, in Liberty Village.

As always, I’m grateful for time spent with my family. On Saturday, my husband and I picked up our daughter, A, and her partner, J and we all drove to Hamilton to visit G and her new baby girl. My sister, CJP, drove down from Chatham and her son came in on the Go Bus from Toronto to visit as well. It was like a mini reunion. IMG_6563 IMG_6564

Our little Miss Winifred is starting to show her true colours and was a little fussier than I’ve seen on previous visits but this morning after I checked in with my daughter via What’s App she reported that she was able to get more sleep last night than she’s had in awhile.

While we were in Hamilton we went for a walk and I discovered more wonderful shops. Everyone is so friendly and I spent quite a bit of time talking to the shop owners. One of the shop keepers ended up being a former student that I taught in middle school. She made the connection before I did. What a small world we live in. Shine is the name of her store.

Next week I’m looking forward to closing the cottage for the season and spending more time with Miss Winifred.


No More Excuses!

….well I can always find more excuses 

I’ve been looking forward to going to the cottage for months and I’ve been off school since Friday and I still haven’t made it up there. What’s wrong with me? Well nothing actually. I have some good reasons for not being there yet.

On Sunday my very good friend, AB, was having one last party at her house before she moves to her new condo. She’s been in that house for over 30 years and we’ve had many a celebration there. It was great seeing a lot of the old faces from past parties and we also celebrated AB’s birthday.

On Monday we had to wait for the guys from the appliance store to determine if our new washing machine should be replaced. They were there less than 5 minutes but it was at the end of the day. They delivered the new machine today.

Before the appliance guys arrived I did some shopping and I purchased flowers for my containers in the front and back yards. I don’t know why but I always leave my planting till well into June. Of course I couldn’t go to the cottage with that weighing on my conscience. I also renewed my membership for the concert series and mailed the cheque.

Today I filled up the car with gas. Tomorrow is a holiday in Canada so I wasn’t sure if the Costco gas station would be open. The store is closed for sure. I also filled one of our propane tanks to take with me and I purchased two large bottles of water and a few supplies that I will need for my trip.

At home I cleaned the bird cage, cleaned the debris off my lawn (branches and leaves that had fallen during Sunday’s rain storm), pulled a few weeds, and swept the porch, sidewalk and the street in front of our house. Actually I couldn’t believe that I was compelled to sweep the leaves off the street. It seems that I kept finding jobs to do that kept me from getting in the car and driving north.

After the new washing machine arrived today I did a couple of loads of washing. It seems to be working just fine. I went for a long walk with the dog, helped my husband make dinner and then watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup game.

Well I think I’ve run out of excuses to not go to the cottage. Except that my oldest daughter called tonight and thought I was driving her to the airport tomorrow night. She’s okay with me not doing it but I’m feeling a little guilty.

My husband won’t be coming with me tomorrow and I hate opening the cottage by myself. I have to take the board down over the main door, move the fridge and connect it to the propane tank and set up the BBQ. Then there’s checking all the rooms for evidence of rodents and possible water damage from all the rain. I have to clean out the water barrel and fill it up and put away the food, make the beds and sweep the floors.

Once this is all done I can relax, assuming that no problems are lying in wait for me to fix. Of course I could stay home and not go up until my husband is able to join me but that could take another week or more. I think I’ll have to chance it and go up on my own. Wish me luck. By the way, I have no electricity or wifi connection so it may be a few days before I can post another article.

A Busy Weekend – Art, a Movie, Walking, Shopping, Gardening and Lunch with Friends

….some of my followers have complained that I don’t post enough about my daily endeavours 

Well, truth be told, only one person has complained, so this is for her.

On Friday I treated my husband to dinner. As many of you know K usually cooks most of the meals, not because he has to but simply put, because he enjoys doing it. He wasn’t feeling up to going out so I ordered in. We tried a new Thai restaurant in the neighbourhood and it was excellent. For those of you close enough to check it out, it’s called Nimman Thai Cuisine and it’s located at 2451 Lakeshore Blvd. W. It wasn’t cheap but then many things worthwhile are a little more expensive. The service was pretty fast for a Friday night. They said that it would arrive in just under an hour and the knock on the door came about 40 minutes after the order was placed. I’ve discovered that ordering and paying on-line (including the tip) is painless and very convenient.

Friday night is one of two nights that I like to watch TV. After dinner we watched The Amazing Race together. I haven’t decided who I’d like to see win this season but I definitely have a couple of teams in mind that shouldn’t win. We’ll see.

On Saturday I decided to do a little bit of shopping. First I drove to Curry’s art supply store to buy some more brushes, paint and wooden boards so I could make more textured Gesso art with watercolours. I love the process so much that I want to create more pieces using this technique. Here are the first two pieces that I made earlier in the week.

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I still had some money left on my Marshall’s gift certificate from Christmas so I thought it was high time to treat myself to a couple pieces of clothes for spring. I tried on 10 items and found two tops that I really liked. Bonus!  My next stop was Lowe’s. I picked up two fluorescent bulbs for the kitchen, a gasket to repair the sink and yard waste bags so that I could start cleaning up the yard. I also made a stop at Tartistry (I’ve written about it here) to pick up a couple of tarts to have with tea after dinner. I would have liked to stay longer because they had the jazz band playing again. There were a lot more people there this time. I guess the snow storm really did keep people away the first time we went there.

Saturday evening K made an amazing dinner of proscutto, pesto and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts, pasta and fresh mixed vegetables. After dinner we went for a walk and we saw these funny faces up in the trees and one of the trees was wrapped in a blanket. I went back today to take some photos because it was getting a bit too dark on our walk.

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After our walk we treated ourselves to tea and tarts and then we watched the movie Big Eyes. The movie is based on the real life of Margaret Keane and her husband Walter Keane. Margaret is the artist who created the infamous ‘Big Eyes’ paintings in the 60s but her husband convinced her to let him take credit for her work because according to him women artists couldn’t make it in the art world.  He was an amazing salesman and promoter but he was also incredibly egotistical. Margaret worked around the clock producing her popular paintings while her husband took all the credit. They became incredibly rich, even though art critics hated the work. The lies and deceit wore on Margaret’s conscience. Eventually she left Walter and with the help of her daughter and friends she confessed the truth and took her husband to court.

I remember the posters of these big eyed children that were so popular in the 60s and 70s. Apparently Walter Keane was the first promoter to turn art into posters for sale. The movie was nominated for numerous awards last season and Amy Adams won the Golden Globe award for best actress.

After the movie I prepared the boards that I purchased earlier in the day with a coat of gesso. Now I just have to decide what it is I want to paint.

Today I started my day with toast made from K’s homemade batch bread that he also made yesterday. Bread is definitely my weakness, especially homemade bread. I’m glad that he froze half of it and gave some away to our daughter, G, today.


After breakfast I started getting ready for my lunch date with six friends from high school. We met at La Veranda Osteria at Royal York and Bloor. For lunch they have a prix fix menu for $15.99 which includes an appetizer and a main dish. None of us had ever been there and we weren’t disappointed. I was so caught up in the conversation that I didn’t take one photo of our reunion and we were there for 2 1/2 hours. As we were leaving we promised that we would get together again in a few months.

When I returned home I put on some gardening clothes and started to clean the yard. There are definitely signs of new growth but the seed heads and dried grasses still dominate the garden. It’ll be a few more weeks before we start to see real change.

After filling in the last yard waste bag I took a walk through the neighbourhood and noticed a lot of activity. People were out and about, enjoying the sun and the mild temperatures. It was also very evident that a lot of spring cleaning had taken place this weekend.

Of course now that the weekend is over all I can think of are the things that didn’t get done. I did get out for one more walk before dinner with the dog but I’m probably still shy about 1000 steps of my goal. Unfortunately it’s too late to do it now because it’s after 11:00 and I need to get to bed. As it is I’m not going to reach my goal of 8 hours of sleep tonight, either. Oh well, c’est la vie!


Share Your World 2015 – Week 5

…’s already February and week 5

Do you prefer shopping or going to a park?

Why do I have to pick? I like them both. I like a balance of activities. I love to walk and I need to do more. January has been a tough month on the exercise front. I also love to shop and I didn’t much of that either in January. Okay February, time to up my game on both fronts. P1010910IMG_0253

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

I’m all about comfort now. I love my new hiking shoes and my ‘Blundstone’ style boots. Both work well when I’m walking and the boots are versatile and are somewhat fashionable.

What’s the story behind a time when you got locked out?  

The last time I was locked out it happened at school. My swipe key was starting to break so the office administrator applied for a new one. Little did I know that the moment she applied for a new one the old one was declared null and void. That night I had to go back to school for a meeting and I couldn’t get back into the school. I walked to the front doors and they were locked so I walked around to the side entrance and then all the way through the school to get back to the library. It wouldn’t have been so bad but it was bitterly cold. The next morning I couldn’t get into the school again but when I finally did, the office had my new key ready for me.

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

I love nuts and any food that contains nuts. When a box of chocolate is presented to me I always look for the chocolate with the nuts first. I love marzipan, Italian almond cookies, M&M Chocolate Covered Peanuts and almond bark.

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

Last week my husband had his post op appointments with his doctors and the surgery was successful. He still has to have iodine radiation done but no more surgery for the time being. We walked to a restaurant close to the hospital that I’ve always wanted to try and we had a wonderful meal together.

I’m grateful for time spent with my children. We all got together to deliver a desk to my oldest daughter and her sister made homemade empanadas for us to enjoy for lunch. I’m also happy to have finished proofreading report cards.

I’m looking forward to printing up the final copies of the report cards for all the teachers on staff. I’m also looking forward to working on more art projects and receiving the next art assignment from Carla.

Here are a couple of warm-up doodles that I created for the class.

IMG_3848 IMG_3851Cheers and If you’d like to see more “Share Your World” posts head on over to Cee’s Photography and join in on the fun.