Sunday, August 30, 2009

Music - one of the loves of my life!

Ah today I heard a wonderful duet, of a cellist and a pianist in absolute harmony.

As I was listening to their work, I closed my eyes and a germ of an idea was born in my mind for a poem.

It is strange how ideas come into the mind. Had better get cracking before I forget the idea! Poetry groups are starting up again in September......

Am very happy today and really enjoyed the woman minister's topic. Very down to earth and sensible! I really like her style.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A day well spent in Kitchener

Another view from their lovely balcony.
A street view from their balcony.

Bill on his new balcony. It has a lovely view of a wooded area and is extremely quiet.

The dining area - set for a light supper. Their balcony runs the whole length of the sitting room/dining room. She will be able to grow plants and vegetables on it next year.
Their dining area.

A small section of the dining/living room. Anna resting on her big chair.

Had a lovely drive via Canada Coach to the bus terminal in Kitchener. My son-in-law Bill met me and brought me to their new place.

It was only a 7 minute drive on the city bus from the bus terminal and we caught the bus right away. Otherwise we would have had to wait 1/2 hour for the next bus.

Once they learn the bus schedule, they will know how to time themselves.

I loved the new area, lots of trees, three shopping centers, Central Library but the best part was their new apartment.

It is a low rise one, two buildings, A & B. Very clean, very quiet and has elevators and they have a huge balcony! I would not mind living there myself as it has lots of cupboards and closets.

We got to work immediately and started the unpacking and arranging things and by the time I got the 6:30 bus back to Hamilton, the apartment was beginning to shape up quite well.

I cooked supper for them and did up the dishes before Billy took me back downtown. He will pick me up for several more trips until I get used to the area.

All, in all, I am so thankful to God for their new environment and new beginnings.

I am one happy Mother!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The use of language

Today a friend of mine and I had a discussion of the use of language particularly when it applied to bodily functions.

Needless to say, we were on opposite sides. I personally preferred to use more genteel language as I was brought up that way. It is certainly not lady-like to use such terms as "s h t "now or ever was!

Another friend who was with us must have thought we had lost our minds, discussing such a messy topic!

I'm afraid this friend of mine and I must agree to disagree. I will continue to use genteel language as I am comfortable with that form of communication, while alas, he will probably continue to use his own method of communication!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A visit from my good friends from Toronto

A really nice picture of Sonia!

Margie & Rene - on the little train. We all loved the train.

A fine feathered friend!

At the Discovery Center - Sonia and her pal!

The birthday cake - it was delicious!

Rene and Marg

Sonia with the statue at Pier 8.

August 23/09

The weather was threatening but after trying for more than three weeks to get together for a picnic here in Hamilton, we all decided we would do it no matter what!

Rene, Sonia and Margie arrived at 1 p.m. and we decided to go where there was shelter which was Pier 8. We were lucky and got one of the three picnic tables under the awning near the cruise boat.

We have known each other for about 35 years now, if not more, and are very comfortable together. Sonia and Rene and their three children are from El Salvador originally. I met them when I was taken to their place by a Central American friend Rosa Maria, as they were having some difficulties and I was very involved, at that time, with refugee work. They are a wonderful couple, solid and dependable people whom I am proud to call "friend".

Sonia and Rene brought Chinese Food and a birthday cake for me so we finally got to celebrate my birthday.

After our picnic, we put everything in the car and took the little train around the whole waterfront. They just loved that. Even Margaret was impressed and enjoyed it. She is originally from Denmark and has celebrated her 89th birthday. In January, God Willing, we all will celebrate her 90th!

I took lots of pictures and will have some printed out for Margaret as well as send them via computer to Rene and Sonia. Eunice was ill so she could not come, unfortunately. She would have loved to have come and really was looking forward to it, but alas, she has some kind of bug and could not come.

All in all, a terrific day! Still have to look at my birthday presents which they so kindly brought for me.

How spoiled I am!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Excitement building up and up....

Ah, it has been more than 10 years since I have held a party. I used to do parties very often when I lived in Toronto.

I have booked the party room and paid my money down and now am in the planning stages.

I have a musician booked, a poet, and have put out feelers about other people participating in the entertainment part.

I have this really neat games book and shall do research into suitable games for a mixed crowd.

I already have 5 confirmed guests and I haven't even started inviting people yet.

I love a party!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My adventures at the Dundas Cactus Festival

I really should say, lack of adventure though! I waited till Sunday afternoon to start out on my trek to Dundas as the sun was not directly above and it should be a little cooler by then.

Needless to say, I waited and waited for the 52 Dundas bus which came at 4 p.m. The driver was really nice though and he let me out at Hatt Street and Main and pointed me in the right direction for the Festival. Otherwise, it would have been a very long walk for me.

He also told me to take the bus back on Main Street as they had been rerouted for this occasion only.

He was so very kind and I really appreciated it. I value kindness in people - it is one of the most wonderful traits that a human being can cultivate.

Unhappily for me, the vendors and events were just packing up so really didn't see anything. I did look at one jewellery stand. I asked her if she made them and she said to me that she had tried twice to learn how to make jewelery but was unsuccessful.

I mainly went there just to see prices on jewellery at fairs so I did succeed in what I wanted to do.

Being the very practical persons that I am, I brought my shopping cart (which broke) and a stool to sit on plus my water bottle. I had to wait a very long time for the return bus but I managed to talk to a few people while sitting waiting at the bus stop. Saw some wonderful dogs and their owners and one of them was a St. Bernard. He was up to his owner's waist.

In spite of the heat and the very long wait for the buses, I did enjoy being out among people.

I was delighted to get home though to my nice cool apartment!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Widow/Widowers Group picnic at Gage Park

This little waterfall is inside the Greenhouse.
Wild roses - a thing of beauty. In Quebec they grew on country lanes and I am so glad to see them here in Hamilton as well.

My tree and I - I love trees and they will be here long after I am gone!

Some of the lovely roses at Gage Park.

Jen, James, Jeff, Carol and Gordon. Picture taken by me.
I am happy to say that it went very well and we had a nice variety of food. Everybody was very congenial and seemed to have a good time.

After we had our picnic lunch, we cleared it all away and then some of us went for a walk to see the flowers and also to the greenhouse. It was beastly hot in the greenhouse so we had to leave there.
Jeff picked me up and brought me home, right to my back door which was a huge help as I had two bundle buggies to carry all the picnic stuff.
He reminded me that it is also the Dundas Cactus Festival this weekend so perhaps I may go on
Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A delightful afternoon spent with a young friend

Designing women, that is what we are! For those who remember that T.V. programme, this sentence will bring back memories!

My young friend came back to my place after the Whitehern concert and we had a lovely time designing a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. It was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed having her here.

She chose some lovely beads and was very exact in how she designed her jewellery. I was really impressed with her dedication to "getting it right" and her choice of colours.

She also enjoyed opera music and being with the cats. I think I will adopt her as my "Granddaughter"....

I don't have any grandchildren and I would be proud to have her as a Granddaughter! That word alone is an interesting word, isn't it? Grand daughter - it says it all...

When one is raising children; especially by oneself, there are so many responsibilities, but when one is a grandparent, one can lighten up and just enjoy! An enviable position!

I hope that she would like to come again some time. I will also show her how to do crochet and also wire work on jewellery eventually.

I taught my daughter how to do those things and she also is enjoying these activities so why not my adopted Granddaughter?

What a blessing to be around young people. I know the cats were glad she was there also as they got played with and patted and they were very content.

Thank you, young lady, for your lovely company and the fun afternoon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A wonderful day spent at Center Island

A tiny section of Center Island - near the bridge
My two pals posing at a wonderful old tree.

Me, among the greenery at Center Island

Center Island Ferry

My pals, Nasima and Feeza - old friends from Toronto

Two of my pals, whom I have know for many years, met me yesterday when I went by Go Bus to Toronto. We have been planning this for some time and we finally got it done!

The weather was great up until 4 p.m. when the sky opened and buckets of rain fell.

We had a lovely picnic lunch which the girls brought and staff were giving out lots of little treats so we also had them which was very nice. We bought coffee and all in all, had a lovely conversation and we decided to take the tour along the islands. For $4.00 for seniors it was very worth it!

It was a 35 minute ride and went through the islands. I haven't seen Hanlan's Point for years and years, in fact, since Kenny was a small boy. Another friend and her son had come with us and the son took Kenny's little sailboat and floated it out too far and we could not get it back.

He was so upset. However, "Before you call, I will answer" came true and the next day Sister Camillia came with a sail boat for Kenny which was even nicer than the one he had before.Sister Camillia had no idea about the missing boat at all. God is good and does answer prayers.

Going in familiar places brings back so many memories. I saw the spot where Anna, Billy, Ken and myself had our first picnic on the day I introduced Billy to Anna. I had checked him out before hand and found him to be a decent person and so he was allowed to meet her. They have been married since 1988 and have a better life together than what they had alone.

I saw the area where Kenny was stung by a bee which also brought back memories, not good ones.

So many people came over to Center Island as it was one of the first nice days since it opened after the strike.

A wonderful day! The girls went with me to the Go Station and saw me off which was very nice.

We plan to do it next year as well, God willing. I can walk down from the Go Transit to the Ferry Docks so it only costs me the $9.o0 return Seniors ticket.

Such a delightful time, being with two dear, dear friends.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some of my more expensive jewellery

I shall be booking our party room in November and hold a showing of not only my jewellery but of other people's handiwork as well.

I shall have from the inexpensive to the expensive items to sell. People will be buying gifts for Hanuka, Christmas and Eid around that time.

I plan to feature Janet's beautiful art work, my jewellery and a lady here who does lovely crocheted work and perhaps include another artisan as well.

We shall have some snacks, sweets and coffee and tea and hopefully will have lots of fun.

Both Carmen and Ken think this is a good idea. My apartment is too small for a comfortable gathering.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I should have stayed in bed today

The day started off very nicely, enjoyed my coffee, talked to both the kids and then took some clothes down which were now dry.

Wasn't sure whether or not my Toronto friends were coming so I called to make sure and they were not as rain was forecasted. I am beginning to think this picnic will not happen. We have tried almost every weekend since my birthday.

I also am concerned that I will not be able to go to Center Island with the girls on Monday as there is 80% chance of rain.

I decided to go down to Ottawa Street to Avitar and get some chains to attach to some of my necklace pieces I have made already.

On the way back, I went to see the Art Cellar and had a hard time finding it. It is at the back of an old house and there is no sign to say where it is. I wonder how many customers will come in?

In any event, even so it was supposed to be open until 4 p.m., there was nobody there.

I don't think that will be a suitable venue for my work if that is an idea of how they do business

I will try again another time. I now know exactly where it is, it basically is in the basement of an old house, and you have to go around to the back to get there. Not very good in the winter!

On the way home, I stopped off at the grocery store (Adams) and made a small order. They said they could not deliver as it was after 3 p.m. so they called me a cab. Before the cab even came, a young fellow stopped me on the street and told me that he was just in from London and needed some money to buy some food. He seemed quite sincere as he explained that he had a job to go to on Tuesday but had run out of money. I explained about the services available.

I would rather be made a fool of than pass a person who is truly in need, so I gave him $6.00.

He helped me put my groceries in the cab and was very pleasant and the cab took off. It was only a short ride but when I asked the driver to go around to the back of the building he said he could not and let me out on the other side of Jackson's Square.

I guess it looked quite funny, I used my cane as a holder for all those food parcels and limped along with my hurt foot. Low and behold, I heard a familiar voice and it was Kenny and he took the parcels and I was so happy about that. He looked at my foot and got an ice pack out and we did the 15 ice pack, 15 without for quite a while.

He doesn't think it is broken just bruised.

As I said, it looks like I should have stayed in bed today! I sure hope I can walk enough to do my regular activities this week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Festival of Friends

I joined two other friends at the Festival of Friends here in Hamilton. It was quite enjoyable as we were able to sit in the shade.

The booths for the vendors was in the sunshine which must have made it very hot for them.

There were quite a few people there and everybody seemed to be having a good time.

i had a nice chat with the Canadian Armed Forces people who had a booth there.

James, Jeff and myself get along pretty well so it was a nice time. Jeff drove me home which was very nice of him.

The Festival will continue for the whole weekend but I am expecting company for a picnic on Saturday. Sonia Rene and Margaret hopefully will be coming if the weather is good.

I was glad to come home though and just relax. Nice to go out but very nice to come home as well!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A funeral today

Today was a day to remember a good man who lived his life as son, husband, father, uncle, brother, business leader and staunch churchman.

Mr. Clifford John Whittington was born September 2, 1919 and lived until July 31, 2009. A good long life and time well spent on this earth.

His nephew spoke at length of his fond memories of his uncle, as a mentor for him. Others spoke of the kindness and respect he showed to all people who came in contact with him.

Mr. Congran, a former minister at St. Paul's, spoke movingly about his dealings with Cliff and Jessie, his wife.

Dorothy, Cliff's sister, who is well over 94, was able to attend and sat in a wheelchair near her daughter and daughter's husband. There were several generations of the family there, from the very elderly, middle aged and down to a young boy who sat so nicely in the front row.

The funeral was held at Marlatt Funeral Home on Main Street. It was a very nice atmosphere there and the chapel was lovely. The staff could not have been nicer.

Cliff was taken to the Hamilton Cementary to be buried after the service.

Although he and Jessie, has had to live their remaining years in a retirement long term care place far from Hamilton, so many people turned up out of love and respect for him that it was heart warming.

It was a pleasure to have known Cliff and now he has gone "home" to be with God.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A working weekend

I am so glad that the short stories are all judged and turned in to Arts Hamilton. It was interesting enough but very time consuming.

This is my third year of being on the Committee to judge other people's work. It is my least favourite thing to do as I know how much work goes into writing a story and how each author wants to win.

I take my time in order to be fair to each person. Usually each story is read by two people independently and judged independently. If the person has been picked as number one in that envelope, their story is put in with other number 1 stories of all the other envelopes. Each envelope can contain between 7-10 stories.

The final stage is the person who has been chosen by the Committee to make the decision of who the winner of the short story contest should be.

Of course, all this is blind judging, none of us knew who the authors were which makes it more fair.

While I was at Arts Hamilton turning in my assessments of the 7 envelopes I had to read, I asked how my jewellery sales were going and was told that I had sold 3 necklaces.

I am quite delighted about that as it shows me that people like my work.

That pleases me very much.

All in all, a good day.