Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A non-productive day

What shall I write about today? Nothing much going on today. Did not feel like going out anywhere so stayed home and worked with my hands on making jewellery.

Had a nice long chat with my son and then another chat with my daughter but otherwise haven't heard from anybody today.

Perhaps I will call some of my Toronto friends to see how they are doing.

I did make one phone call today, my mistake. Ameen, my Jordanian "son" had called me earlier this week to tell me that his father had had a stroke and the poor boy was very upset.

Today I called him in Toronto and we spoke for quite a few minutes. He wants to fly home to be with his Dad. His parents have been married for 45 years he told me. He expects to be able to fly next week some time if all goes as planned.

In Jordan, in the Intensive Care, family members can only see the patient through a glass window. I like our system better. I asked him why, and Ameen told me that it is because Jordanians are very emotional people and they would cry and wail and it would disturb the patient. When he explained that, I understood and had to agree.

When I was in Intensive Care, I was so greatful to have people come in just to be there. Winston and Kathy came from Toronto even. Kenny could not get a flight back from France but eventually did and it was good to see him there as well. Dear Jody came as well.

Asma and Asher came but later on and I was so happy to see them as well. I had calls from Montreal on a regular basis and even from Cape Breton. I was so fortunate that friends came from Hamilton to visit as well. I think the one I enjoyed most as we debated many issues was Pastor Colin. I was always so glad to see him.

I shall never forget the prayers offered up by the hospital chaplain and Pastor Colin outside my hospital door, as the surgeon tried to get my heart started again. Of course, I did not know of the prayers until after the event.

I can feel the pain young Ameen is going through and will continue to pray for him and his family at this very difficult time.

He's a good boy, soon to become engaged in Jordan and I am so very happy about this. He is so lonely here and deserves a good person in his corner.

As is the custom in many Muslim countries, his parents have somebody in mind for him from among the distant relatives. It is a good system in many ways, as there will be no surprises that way. The background is known, the family unit is strong and the young people may or may not know each other. They will be emotionally supported by the family group as well.

I know a Canadian girl of Indian background, who married her first cousin and brought him here. Their marriage is going well and they have two beautiful children.

There is much to be said on both sides of the issue. Too much family can be a bad thing too!

I know when I was married in the Ecuadorian community, I needed much more space than what I was given and finally had to take a stand. Now my mother-in-law and I are on good terms but I had to stand up to her originally.

An interesting topic to be sure!

This started out with nothing to say, but ended up with plenty to say!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Tide at Gage Park

At Gage Park, before going to the Spring Bulb Show.

My friend Jennifer outside of the Greenhouse. Jennifer invited me out for a ride to the Mount Hope area and beyond to show me some sights that I may not have seen in Hamilton, which was extremely thoughtful of her. She picked me up at our usual spot and then we proceeded to drive back up the mountain where we journed to a bakery outlet called Oakrun Farm Bakery. It was extremely reasonable in price.

As I like sweets, I felt like I was in heaven! All joking aside, they had different types of breads, buns, pies, Danish pastries etc at a very good price. I bought some Danish pastry and some muffins plus some English muffins.

It was a huge operation and if I remember correctly, Jennifer told me that they employ 175 people at that site.

We drove along a scenic route with barns, and fields ready to plant in, and I even saw one horse on our drive. We decided to drop into the newish Denninger's on the mountain to pick up a few groceries as well and then to stop in at their nice coffee shop for coffee and a donut!

In the meantime, staff at Denningers were handing out little samples of various goodies and we had quite a few ourselves. The coffee at Denningers was just right and it was nice and clean. One could have had a nice meal there as well! What a delightful place to go to. They have products from many parts of the world and the variety is great there.

The little one at Jackson's Square is very small compared to it.

After that we drove down to the No Frills near Gage Park. It was a much nicer No Frills and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The No. 1 bus goes past it I noticed. I got a huge bag of all purpose flour and this will do me for quite some time. I also found the Mrs. Dash and a salt substitute. Jennifer did some of her grocery shopping as well.

Gage Park was having their Spring Tide Event and we went there. It was beautiful!

What a delightful time we had looking at the various plants and their explanations, and of course, seeing the turtle and the two parrots! To top off our splendid time, a group of young men, all dressed up regally in their tuxedos, came in while we were there and the photographer took their picture. She also took the picture above of Jennifer and I with my little camera.

These young men looked smashing!

I love to see a man dressed elegantly for special occasions. Men can look very nice if they dress appropriately for special occasions, as can women!

I really don't go for all this casual dressing like they do in Hamilton. I think it is the Montreal influence in me speaking out. I like to see a man dressed in a good suit, shirt and tie, hair neatly brushed and clean fingernails!! Shoes should be presentable, polished and clean as well!

In my opinion, how one dresses reflects how much pride one has in oneself!

After the young men had finished their photo shots, they piled into an elegant white stretch limosene and took off to parts un known.

Shortly after that, the bride and her three children arrived along with what looked like her maid of honour and perhaps her father. She was dressed in an off the shoulder long white gown with flounces on the bottom and her children were all young, two litle girls and a dear little boy, all dressed up in formal attire. Adoreable! The photographer took seperate shots of the children and then of the children and their mother before going inside the Greenhouse. After their photo shots, they left also and Jennifer and I decided it was time to go as well.

That venue was a great place to take pictures as it has a little bridge, lovely banks of plants etc. etc. It reminds me of picture taking in some of Toronto's parks. My friend Norma and I used to go to James Gardens to people watch and saw many a bride and groom having their pictures taken. It was fantastic.

It also was so pleasant just to sit there and enjoy the flowers, the water and each other's company.

All in all, a splendid day. My thanks to Jennifer for suggesting this outing. Also, my thanks for her help in lifting the heavy flour out of the car at my back door.

To top off the delightful day, my friend Andrew called and came up for a little visit and some herbal tea. We have some serious discussions sometimes and this was one of the times. It was great! Andrew put the flour for me into two big containers which I can lift myself when I need them.

I wish Andrew all the luck in the Around the Bay Race today!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Begging on the streets of Hamilton

I see him again. Obviously a senior, who has a scooter. He sits near the C.I.B.C. bank and has his empty coffee cup in his basket, waiting for people to drop in spare change.

This upsets me very much. As a senior, he gets the Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Suppliment, and whatever work pension he has contributed to over his working life. The Guarantee Income Supplement is only for seniors who are below a certain amount of money.

I know that the city will pay the 25% that the province does not pay for the scooter and that may be how he got his scooter.

It is probable that he also has subsidized housing which will be 30% of his income.

Even if he does not have subsidized housing, the rents are cheaper here in Hamilton.

It really bothers me to see him begging. He drives a car as well. If one is really poor, one does not have a car!

I hate this begging on the street. As my friend Rosie puts it, we were both single-again mothers bringing up children on what we earned, and we did without many of the necessities of life so that our children would have a roof over their heads and food in their stomach! Neither one of us begged, we made do!

That fellow is at least as old as we are and should not need to be begging at this stage of his life.

It is either a disgrace on him or a disgrace on society. Take your pick!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dreaming time

How very odd, this is the second time I have had a very vivid dream of my friend Betty in Montreal. This time, it was almost like a life review, from the time when we met when we were 18 years of age, her parents, her brother, her son as a baby and in different stages of his life, our boys together, my son's first step taken in her home on a visit to Montreal, her old home, things we did together and each was in detail.

It was as if I were living it all over again. It was fantastic and very comforting to see all this while I slept.

I'm wondering if it means anything? My friend has had a by-pass a few years back. I will call her to make sure she is okay. I did call her last week but she was not home so just left a message.

It made me realize that Betty and I go back almost 50 years. Her Mom and Dad were from Germany and I used to speak German to her Mom when we were young. After my head injury from the accident when I was 28, I lost some of my abilities and am currently trying to regain some of the German that I spoke.

This dream makes me remember thatI must cherish my dear friends and relatives more, as life terminates and how terrible it would be if I did not tell them how I feel about them! I remember when I was 30 years of age, I wrote a beautiful letter to my parents and told them what a good job they had done with raising us children and how much I appreciated them. I also did that for a minister friend of mine. He and his wife were good, solid friends and we still remain the same to this day. I also wrote how much I appreciated their friendship through all the difficult years of raising my children alone.

I have had two times where my opportunity to tell people of my love for them was gone, and I have been granted an extension on my life for a little bit more time.

I express myself in writing better than in person. Perhaps this is the time to write to Betty and tell her how much I value her as a dear friend.

She is not on the computer so it will have to be snail mail!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some good news from a friend

I received some wonderful news from a friend, Jennifer Foster, that she won second prize in a contest put on by Perspectives Magazine.

I am so very happy for her! It is exciting to win contests and to have one's writing published!

Congratulations, Jennifer, for your winning!

May you have many more successes in the writing field!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jewellery display at Arts Hamilton

Observe the beautiful art work on the walls, the display of jewellery in the showcase, the hand crafted cards on top of the display case and the unusual bowl in blue!
Sitting in front of my display.

A snapshot taken by Paul Dickens of some of my work and myself behind the counter.

Sample of work (on the right) of local artists. More inside to choose from.

An explanation note of what I am selling under "Wilhelmina's Creations".

I spent a couple of hours at Arts Hamilton arranging my display today, taking pictures and just chatting with people there. I am quite happy with the result and hopefully people will look in the display case and may even purchase something!

I am sharing the top shelf with two other jewellery people, both of which do different work than I do. Their work is also very beautiful and I would encourage you to take a look.

Arts Hamilton is a good place to buy original, handcrafted items; poetry books, history of Hamilton books as well as beautiful wall hangings and paintings. It is located in the International Village on King Street, between Ferguson and Wellington.

Not only does purchasing from Arts Hamilton help the local artist/writer, it also helps support the work of Arts Hamilton which is a non-profit organization.

Hamilton's art's community is alive and flourishing and for an original piece of work, why not drop in to see them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

E.L.W. meeting today

It went very well and the ladies were quite receptive. Pastor Frank even came.

This was Rosie's first time at leading the meeting and she did very well. She really worked hard at it and attended nicely to details.

As for me, it was a piece of cake as all I had to do was write a topic and read two poems.

There were quite a few compliments on the afternoon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I have decided to go for it!

ARTS Hamilton will display my jewellery for me in a very nice cabinet. I am quite thrilled about that.

I think what I will do is use the leather straps for most of the designs to make it more economical for people to buy. I will put a note that they can use their own gold or silver chains if they wish.

I also will make sets to sell as they would make nice gifts for people to give.

This has opened up a new window of opportunity for me. I am so pleased about this as I don't have to exert a lot of energy to do this and can do it while at home.

If I sell any through ARTS Hamilton, I will then get the Vendor's license which is free. One is allowed to sell $100 worth before having to get the license.

This is a good way to test the waters.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Afternoon with Rosie

At Bayfront Park - notice the bare branches and the ice still on the Bay. Lovely day though!
Me, as a happy camper at Bayfront Park. I love trees and even though I have a winter jacket on, and the trees are bare, it is so nice to be there!

The ever present birds at Bayfront Park. Some ice still on the water

What a lovely day today was! My friend Rosie brought lunch over (yummy home made soup) and cold cuts and cheese and great coconut cake!

She didn't want me to do any cooking which I appreciate at this time.

We finalized the programme for Tuesday and then went down to Bayfront Park and walked around, sat and chatted, walked some more, and in general had a great time.

Bayfront Park is hard for me to get to as the hill to it makes it "too much" for me to handle going up. It also is quite far from the bus stop.

I am always so appreciative of the kindness of friends. We took some pictures, but Rosie does not want her picture on the blog so will respect her wishes. She took some of me so will put them on instead.

All in all, a very good day! I am tired now but happy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An afternoon with Tower Poets

How wonderful it was to be out of the hospital and among friends. We ran into a problem at the library as they had double booked our room and we lost out. Not quite fair as we book it for each month in advance and on a yearly basis. I don't like confrontation as it makes me feel under stress so I went to sit in a quiet area until the issue was settled. Our Editor-in-Chief is more assertive than I realized, but that is a good thing. He is braver than I am!

A good thing worked out of this situation, Jean, one of our oldest members offered up her home for our group and we all went there. I actually loved being their better than the library as it was more intimate and I could hear much better.

Mind you, I am a homebody type in many ways so perhaps that is why. I loved the intimate feeling.

I thought today's event went much more smoothly than usual - it was more orderly. I liked that.

I decided that I would bring my poem on Whitehern and the storm day as I haven't written any poetry since I got involved with jewellery making. I got some valuable suggestions and will see about incorporating some of them into the poem.

I brought my friend Jennifer with me or rather she brought me! Stella offered to pick me up but when Jennifer accepted the invitation finally to come to Tower, she offered to pick me up. This saved Stella an extra trip. Bless Stella for thinking of it though! Taking a bus to Westdale would have tired me out too much, especially if I had to wait for one for some time.

I was a lucky gal, I got a special hug today which made me happy.

My son Ken had gone grocery shopping for me near him and we picked it up on the way home. He was so kind to do that and it was very helpful as I am not allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds for a while.

Now I am set for a little while as the Farmer's Market where I shop will be closed for two weeks and there really is no reasonable priced grocery store near me.

I was so glad to have been able to attend the poetry meeting today and to be among people I care for.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Have been out of Commission for a few days!

For those who follow my little blog, my apologies for the silence. I went by ambulance to the Hamilton General Hospital on Monday at noon time and remained there until late Thursday afternoon.

Happily for me, I was admitted and tests were done and I am thankful for visitors such as Peter', Rosie, Jeff, and Monica, and of course, dear Irene who happened along just when I needed help. I felt bad that Jeff came all that way and I was not available. He was a dear man even to come to see me!

I find it amazing how God works things out in my life. John, my dear neighbour was home for lunch, heard the ambulance people in the hall, came out and told me he would care for the cats which was a real worry for me before. He is such a good man and I only have to call and he will come. What a real blessing that he is my next door neighbour!

My son Ken was amazing, he went to my place to get my suitcase and stayed with me in the Emergency ward until he had to pick up his friend Jody. He also brought me a book to read from Jody.

He also notified Anna and Billy in Kitchener. Anna kept in touch via my phone in the hospital so I was able to reassure them that I was fine.

My stay in the hospital was good except for the last test which was a little hard on me. It left me feeling ill and with a real bad headache. Am glad that one is done and over with!

I had just got up from a rather difficult test and they discharged me a few minutes later. I had no warning and my son did not have access to the car. Jody had it at school.

Thankfully, my pal Irene was there and she helped me pack and carried my suitcase for me. I am not allowed to lift anything over ten pounds for a little while. Happily, I have taxi script with me at all time, just in case of emergency.

I am so thankful to be home but will take it easy for a few more days and try and follow the doctor's orders.......

I did like the Hamilton General though so that is a positive. Since coming here to Hamilton, I have been the guest of MacMaster Hospital (pneumonia), Henderson (cardiac arrest) and now Hamilton General.

I am thankful that things worked out so well and that the outcome was positive. May God be praised and may He bless my friends who took their time to call or visit.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Practice hopefully will make perfect

Rosie gave me the jewellery jig that Gerhardt had made for me. I, in turn, gave her the jewellery set made for Hanna, his wife.

I have been trying all afternoon to master it but so far the jewellery jig is winning! Right now, I am using hardware wire which is cheaper and making things to hang in my windows.

For ornamentation, I just use beads which are not suitable for necklaces or earings as they are too small.

It's a good way to practice, to dress up my windows and to be creative!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A rainy day in Hamilton

I am glad that I don't need to go out today. I have started weeding out old things I no longer need and that is a good feeling. In between, I take a rest and watch DVD's brought back from Guyana, S.A. I have Guyanese friends both in Toronto and in Hamilton so it is good to learn more about their country.

My friend Andrew has lent them to me and they are amazing.

I wish I had seen them before I brought the topic on Guyana at the last World Day of Prayer. It was interesting enough just from the research I did, but it is so much better when you see a DVD on the country!

I find these scientist and naturalists amazing people and really brave. In the interior of Guyana, the rivers have pirranna fish, caymans (a kind of crocodile) and other creatures which I would not care to come face to face with.

It makes me appreciate living in Canada and in a city!

The scenery in the Rain Forests of Guyana and the different species are really something to be amazed about and shows the diversity of flora and wildlife that this earth has.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a nice day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

World Day of Prayer - Hamilton, Ontario

This year it was held at St. Stephen's Hungarian R.C. church. Very beautiful church which is over 100 years old.

We practiced beforehand but I think it should have gone a little smoother. However, it was okay. I really liked Sister Rosanne, she brought the homily and I found her a beautiful lady and so kind and sweet. She is a very knowledgeable and caring person, in my opinion.

Next year, Katie and I will be organizing it on behalf of St. John's which is a big responsibility.

People with walkers could not go into the church hall where the meal was served so that was one major drawback.

There were a great many steps to navigate and we had to leave the church to go next door in the hall.

I felt very sorry to see the lady with the walker unable to attend the meal.

Happily, St. John's has an elevator so next year she will be able to join everybody for the meal.

It was an enjoyable event and although it was not as crowded as last year, there still were lots of people there. The weather could not have been better, warm and bright!

I particularly loved that they sang one of the songs in Hungarian. Everything else was in English.

I got a ride there and a ride back which made life easier for me.

Ken came over for another visit and Nina brought me some information on Ukranium lenten customs so that will help my upcoming topic for the ladies group.

Thanks for reading my blog and have a good day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Memories of my parents and budgeting

I was watching a good programme on T.V. which comes on right after the noon news here in Hamilton, Ontario.

It is about a woman financial expert who does housecalls to people having difficulty with credit cards and lines of credit and in general, who do not know how to manage on what they have, but live on money they don't have!

I just love this programme and when I am home, I watch it all the time.

It reminds me of my parents and how they were a good example to us children when we were young, putting us on a budget ourselves.

It went like this. More than 50 years ago, 50 cents a week was good money for an allowance. On that allowance, I had to budget for my stockings, church, and other things which I don't remember. I also cleaned the downstairs lavatory for $0.25 more.

They taught me how to put the money into envelopes and how to keep track of money.

I will always remember them sitting at their little desk, under the stairs, working on the household budget together. My father was, in many ways, a liberated man, especially for his generation. He and my Mom shared all the decisions together and my Father faithfully brought in the income and my Mother was like the captain of her little household, administering it well.

We never went without food or shelter, we were all educated and the church was an important part of our lives together. We always went to the country cottage each summer, which my father and my Grandfather built themselves. We also went down to Florida most summers as my Dad loved to travel. In their later years together, before my Mother died, they enjoyed many trips together.

He and my Mother, whose job it was to care for the family, used to manage the money available faithfully, never forgetting to give money to help others when they could.

How fortunate I was to have such a good example in my young life.

I was so blessed to have them as parents.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Busy with tools!

I have been doing a lot of wire wrapping lately and I find this very creative and fulfilling.

I also have been using leather cords to hang them from as they are very casual, fun and there is no nickle in them, which causes allergy in some people.

I am so delighted with my new hobby and believe that I will perhaps go for my selling license as three people who have seen my work, have expressed a desire to buy.
They make great gifts for women and eventually, I may branch out to make more masculine ones but not too many men in my age group wear jewellery except for rings, so I may not bother.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saturday night play

Last night I had the priviledge of going to see a play with a dear friend of mine. This play was well done and had a lot of good "life lessons" in it.

Twelve Angry Men told the story of 12 men who sat on a jury and who had to decide the fate of a sixteen year old boy who was alleged to have murdered his father.
This young man had a lot of strikes against him, from having a record, verbal skirmishes with his Dad, to living in a bad area

It showed how each person on the jury had their own set of preconceived notions and stereotype images and how it affected their judgement and their ability to give a fair decision.

In the end, after much in-fighting, a just decision was rendered.

I like going to plays and especially if they have life lessons woven into them.

We joined other friends for light refreshments in the gym at Phillpot Church after the play.

Congratulations to those fine actors and to Bryan Wyllie, who was the Stage Manager.