Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A very delicate situation

An old friend of mine in Toronto has six months to live, if that. This gal and I used to push our baby sons in their respective strollers and we were neighbours for many, many years.

Cancer and smoking is claiming another life. My son and her son have remained good buddies over the years and I now have her phone number so I can call her. What a blessing it is that I have free long distance with Cogeco. I can listen for hours.

The only stipulation that her son had when giving out his Mom's phone number was that I did not suggest ways that she can beat the cancer.

It seems that her friends have been telling her of different ways to beat it. The doctor has definitely said this is the end. From what my son tells me, she has accepted this.

I see my role as a listener and as a friend to reminisce with when we all lived on Gulliver and the children were small. I hope to bring back many happy memories for her.

I am glad that Ricky is so protective of his Mom. He has been a marvelous friend to my son all these years. He will need emotional support once his Mom has gone.

I will be there for my friend for as long as she wants.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An uneasy day for me

I tried to visit my friend in the hospital but was turned away as she is in Intensive Care and only allowed immediate family members.

I thought she would be up in the ward by this time and able to receive company.

I have contacted her son Ron and will call her daughter as well to see how she is doing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A lovely summer afternoon spent with friends

My friend Rosie is going in for major surgery tomorrow so her daughter and her husband and I took her out for lunch to Williams Pub at Pier 8. We had a delightful time except for the wasps who seemed to take a delight in partaking of our food!

The restaurant was full and there were only spaces outside. The soups that three of them ordered were huge and looked very delicious and my scrambled eggs and toast were good too.

I might have the Penne sandwich next time as it is vegetarian and on very thin grilled toast.

While we were sitting out there, who did we see but my friend Mohammad. He had already gone bye when I saw him so I could not attract his attention to bring him over to sit with us.

We went for a short walk after we ate but he must have left as we did not see him.

We had a good time and it was such a delight to be in Denise and Lester's company. While we were there we bumped into two others friends as well.

Hamilton is a small town, in so many ways!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Saturday in the Fall Season

The leaves are starting to turn, the air has taken on a new briskness and people are walking faster in order to get to their destination. Not so many people sitting at Gore Park either.

Could it be that Fall has finally arrived?

"Fall" or more eloquently named "Autumn" means so many things which are wonderful. Cool crisp air at night better for sleeping; walks in parks or on nature trails, fallen leaves rustling under sensibly clad feet, jackets buttoned up to the chin, gloves on hands, necks wrapped in colorful scarves, walking stick in hand, what more wonderful way to spend time than this?

Apples straight from the farm, purchased at the Farmer's Market, their crisp and juicy interior something to be savoured and treasured, plums with their dark purple exterior and their yellow interior, sweet to the taste, their juice running down onto fingers and arms, freshly dug potatoes and yams from local farmer's fields, all these things bring such pleasure at this time of year.

Fall is my favourite season here in Canada. For those people who live in warmer climates, I have been told that folks from warmer places who immigrate here, that one of the most beautiful things they enjoy is the changing colours of our trees in this season. I recall my own Grandfather, an immigrant himself, remarking about the leaves when I was a young thing.

What more can one say about this beautiful season in Canada? For those lucky enough to be here, I would say, just enjoy it to the fullest and give thanks to the Creator who shows His love to all of His creation so many ways.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A nice day for me after all

The day started out badly but it has ended nicely. I am teaching myself how to crochet wire and wool together and am beginning to master it.

Have already made 3 wire necklaces, all different, all of them my prototypes. Wire work is a little hard on the fingers but it looks pretty nice and very, very different from what you can buy.

After my experimenting, I decided to take the bus to Princess Point and I had a wonderful time there just reading my book and watching the water. Water has a very calming effect on me and when I am upset, I try to go near the water which is very easy to do here in Hamilton.

Got an e-mail from a pal and we are going for a drive tonight which also will be very enjoyable.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Story Telling Event at Westfield Village

The schoolbuses from Jody's school which brought up to Westfield from the car park. Very, very well organized event~
My pal Jennifer at the covered bridge

Visualize a horse with blinkers on, trotting through this covered bridge. There were horse droppings there on the pathway as we trot our way onto the bridge.

A fashionable lady of that time. She has designed her own ensemble, including her hat.

Monique and I outside the General Store.

The family hearth - families would gather around this to tell stories, to sing and the enjoy each other's company on those cold, windy winter days.

Ah, domestic bliss in early Canada.

The Woman of the house and her sewing corner. How very cozy it looks!

In a child's bedroom at Westfield Village - note the wonderful little doll!
The day was a day in September to be remembered not only for the blue skies, the wispy white clouds, the wonderful weather, but for the happy faces which greeted us as we drove into the huge parking lot set aside for this event.

After parking the car, Jennifer, Monique and I went onto a yellow school bus which took us down dirt roads and through wonderful old trees which canopied the road.

Our excitement rose as we stepped through the gates of Westfield Village which is a restoration of life in early days in this country. It felt like we were transported into another century with the ladies in their very beautiful long gowns and pretty bonnets, the gentlemen all dressed as befitted their station in life. Even young children were represented as they also played out their roles in the human drama of village life.

It was a wonderful opportunity for young families to see life as it had been in yesteryear and to touch and feel different arts and crafts which were the normal way of life at that time.

Many events were scheduled, such as a poet singing his songs and also one could listen in to storytellers and visit the many wonderful buildings at this site.

My two friends had never been there before but this was my second visit and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the domestic life and had the pleasure of talking to the enactors and observing their wonderful skill at crafting beautiful garments on spinning wheels, sewing machines, and out of leather. It was very interesting to hear how the cobblers made shoes to last in those days!

My enjoyment was doubled when I saw the old fashioned telephone which I myself have used as a child and loved!

What more can one say about a perfect day with great company and fine weather?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An interesting but tiring day

I haven't slept well for the last two days but in spite of that, I went to the ladies breakfast meeting today. As usual, I had a nice time.

My friend Gordon picked me up and we had a nice visit at his place. He showed me his deceased wife's wonderful figures that she made and also her paintings and at the same time showed me his digital photos which are amazing.

We talked about two hours and found that we had quite abit in common which was very nice. He is a very respectable gentleman and is from Montreal like me. He drove me to the Westdale Library just in time for the poetry meeting.

We had a few new people this time which is good and two young people which is great. I found it interesting that Cathy came - it was quite a surprise. I did not know she was interested in poetry. My friend Irene came and she enjoyed being there so hopefully she will come again.

They made a few suggestions about my poem and generally they seemed to like it which is nice.

It was a little sad for me to be at Westdale since I can see where Kenny used to live from the front door. I am adjusting but still have my moments of sadness. Godon was extremely understanding of how I felt and very supportive which I really liked.

I think we could become good friends eventually as we have a lot in common.

Tomorrow I shall be going with Jennifer and Monique to a storytelling event at Westfield Village and it sounds very nice.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"To be or not to be, that is the question."

That is my feeling today. Should I go, or should I not?

There is a writing group that I go to once a month. Basically there are two people who always go, myself and a friend of mine. I don't want to discourage the one who runs it, but I am really not into doing writing exercises. That is not how I write at all.

My friend will not be going today and there is one other lady who has said "maybe" she will come, but she does that all the time, and never comes. This lady is just too busy.

Thus, it appears that I would be the only one going today and the lady who runs the group has to come from quite far away on the city buses.

I would prefer to stay at home today and continue with my "fall cleaning". There still is tons of work to be done here and I will be so busy this weekend starting tomorrow.

I took a bunch of things over to the Salvation Army Thrift shop yesterday afternoon so that is a good start.

I still have a pile of ironing to do from the winter clothes which I have taken out from the boxes and the weather seems to be getting a little cooler now.

Oh well, I think I will e-mail the lady and tell her that I am very doubtful that I will go. I don't want her to waste her time nor energy.

Mind you, I could kill two birds with one stone and go to Tundra and see Peter to see if he would be interested in obtaining chains for me. Avitar is no longer on Ottawa Street and the only other beading store is in Dundas. That is a little far during the winter months and the buses only run every half hour on the busy time. Donna, at Avitar, said that she may be opening up a smaller outlet in Stoney Creek, but that is just too far for me to go on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A nice day today

What a lovely time I had at St. John's today. It was a combined English/German service and lasted two hours. I brought an Egyptian friend with me and he enjoyed it very much.

After the service, they had a BBQ but for those who cannot stand too long, they brought the food inside so that we could enjoy it too.

My friend did not stay for the BBQ as he had to go to Burlington to meet his bridge club friends.

Also, another great thing that happened today was that Ken called on his SKYPE phone and I could hear every word, which is terrific. He also sent me some pictures of his wonderful new apartment in an old house with a tourit. His roommate is of Pakistani-Polish descent but born in Canada and they both have similar educational backgrounds in Political Science.

The new place is only 15 minutes walk to his new job which starts tomorrow.

I think things are starting to turn around for him and that he had no choice but to move to another city to get work. May he prosper and be happy there.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jean's garden party

It was a wonderful afternoon and I met some people I knew which was great! Jean's son sang at the end of the afternoon which was very enjoyable.

The garden looked wonderful and the wasps were in full force unfortunately but aside from that, it was a great afternoon.

I was so happy to have been invited and enjoyed myself fully. I met more of Jean's family and I also liked that.

Linda, Jean's friend, who is also on the committee, drove Jennifer and I to my place and Jennifer came up for a short visit which was also very nice.

I saw some people I haven't seen in a very long time and that was great!

All in all, a great time!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labour Day

The fishing folk at Hamilton Harbour - Pier 8
My favourite places - under trees in the summer months! View of the fishing side of Pier 8.

What lovely weather it was this whole weekend. I think our summer has come in September rather than June, July and August!

I decided to go down to Pier 8 about 12 noon and I brought my thermos of coffee, nibbles, my book, and my comfortable chair and spent many hours there.

In fact, I did not get back until after 7 p.m.
The water was wonderful, lapping gently against the cement walls, sailboats with their sails flapping, people lying on the ground getting the sun, folks walking on the paved path. I love to people watch and it gives me ideas for writing as I observe life.

I enjoyed seeing a Chinese young couple with their mother dog and two pups and how well they treated them. You could see the devotion on both sides, human and animal.

About 3 p.m. I moved my chair into more shade again and saw Mohamed coming down the path from the Discover Center. What a nice pleasant surprise!

We spent the rest of the time together and he walked me to my door, even pulled my little cart for me! He certainly knows how to be a gentleman and is a very respectful person.

We went over to the side where people fish. There were some fair sized fish caught and from what I observed, they were let go back into the water for which I am most thankful.

One cannot eat the fish due to pollution so why not let them live?

What a lovely, relaxing way to spend the day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mustardfest in Hamilton

The last two days have been very busy with wonderful bands to listen to, excellent displays of wares to buy, and in general, just a feeling of good will prevailing all around.

While I was there, I did my favourite thing - people watched! I saw people I knew casually down there as well.

The weather was perfect, not too hot, not humid and it seemed that everybody was in a fabulous mood!

Smiles all around (mostly) - total strangers smiling and talking to each other. Wow, it was so great!

Naturally, Jeff was there. He never misses it to my knowledge. I invited Monique to go with me on Friday night and she even participated by dancing on the spot to a jive tune. She is fabulous dancer!

We met Mohammad and Olga down there, Carol and Rachel her daughter, Jenn and I think that is all the folk we knew. It was very nice.

Saturday was a busy day for me as I had to spend about 3 hours on the computer rebuffing a slanderous attack on a subject very dear to me. A friend had sent it to me for clarification and to see if it was true. Needless to say, it was a pack of lies, meant to scare people into hating one particular religion.

I decided to go for the 4 p.m. concert and planned to leave by 7, but friends came and we all sat together. I even bumped into Ian first and then later on Cindie! I left with Mohammad and Olga around ten and we took the bus, then they walked me to my door. They will come another time upstairs for a cup of coffee.

It was another fabulous time, group after group, all excellent. I particularly liked Jude Johnson and the All Stars from Toronto. Jude used to be Jeff's neighbour for about 15 years, can you imagine? What a small world! She was fabulous, and was able to get her audience to participate. One of her songs brought a tear to my eyes.

As an aside, while I was in the marketplace of the event, I saw about four stalls of jewellery and it was non-handcrafted but machine made. It would not be a good market for my jewellery as it looked mostly from China or a third world country. There were some pretty things though.

I am glad that I decided that it was too much money to put out without any concrete knowledge of getting a return!

All in all, a wonderful event and I shall go again next year, God Willing.

and the first day I took Monique and the next day she and her fiance, Ken came together and spent a little time with me at the Fest. I introduced Monique and Ken to Trudy and George and Jean, who was at the Bookband booth signing books. I hope she made some good sales.

They then went their seperate way, and I went for a walk

Friday, September 4, 2009

Widow and Widowers meeting at Pier 8

We had two new people in our group which means the group is growing! That is great!

The day was beautiful and the shuttlebus took most of us down there. It will end on Labour Day, unfortunately.

We are getting more cohesive all the time which is good. Olga happened to come down to the waterfront and so I invited her to come and sit with us.

Irene, Bozenna and another lady came into the patio side of Williams Coffee Shop and it was also great to see them. Both Irene and Bozenna will come to my party on the 15th of November. Jenna, her Mom, probably will not.

It seems that many Hamiltonians were really enjoying the summer type weather down at the waterfront!

Tonight is the Mustard Fest beginning at 4 p.m. and I plan to go for the 8 p.m. show. Jeff and Mohammad are going and Carol may go so there will be people to sit with.

All in all, a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The last Whitehern Concert Sept. 2,2009

Jeanette herself - on her last day at the Freeway with the Seniors Group.
Ah young love - they will miss each other while Jeanette is gone!

My two little lovebirds at the Freeway - Jeanette and Matt .Jen looking on.

The music was so good that this elderly couple got up and danced! How wonderful to see!

Jeff, James (standing) and Ed - three local poets

James, Wilma and Jeff - last concert at Whitehern for this summer.

We had a marvelous time with perfect weather. The garden looked heavenly, flowers in full bloom still. The only problem were the wasps which I am allergic to.

I never knew I was allergic to bees, wasps, hornets until I went to pick up my friend Mary from the hospital in Toronto and while I was waiting at the bus stop, the only wasp in Toronto targeted me! I think it was colourful flowered blouse that it zoomed in on.

By the time I got to the hospital to pick my friend up, I could not breathe and had to go into the emergency myself!

They phoned up to the ward and eventually we both went home to her place together, each one looking after the other!

That is how I found out that wasps, bees and hornets are not something I should get too close to!

In any event, we had a fun time at the Whitehern Concert, sharing what we brought to eat, buying delicious lemonade and in general, just treasuring our time together until we begin again next summer. I will write to the City and also to Whitehern to show our appreciation from the group, hopefully some time today or tomorrow.

Being a picture hound, naturally I brought my camera with me and took several shots. Lonnie, a member of the staff, brought a new person over to meet us and he was very congenial and we now have included him in the group. He is from Egypt and seems quite a cultured man.

Very interesting to talk too as well.

We brought him with us to the Freeway Seniors Group and there he met Jehan who is from Afghanistan and works for the Community so this is most helpful for him as he is pretty new here.

While I was at the Freeway, I was asked to submit some of my short stories and poetry to Monkeybiz and perhaps I will eventually. I suggested they get an ISSN number to make it more official and encourage more people to submit their work. They have promised to look into it. They were kind enough to ask me to be their first senior to be written up. I did it so that other seniors will see their own worth and get more involved in the community.

Anyway, have got to get organized for the day as I am taking this new person to get his seniors bus pass. He had never heard of that so it is good that he came to the garden.

It was Jeanette's last day at the Freeway before she goes to Bolivia. Took pictures of her and Matt together and also of her alone. She is such a dear girl and I am sure she will do a great job in Bolivia! The children will just love her, she is such a decent person and very friendly.

Now that the cooler weather has come, I shall go and sit again in the gardens when I have the time. I just love it there and would say that it is my favourite garden in Hamilton!
All in all, a wonderful day!