Monday, November 30, 2009

The news from Sunday's events

I seem to get slower and slower as I endeavour to keep up with my housework. I clean every day but living downtown has a real disadvantage as the street dirt blows in from the open windows. Of course, I could keep the windows closed but I happen to like fresh air!

Thus, I was too late to get to St. Paul's as I was busy with getting organized here. I then had to make a decision which wonderful event I would go to in the afternoon. The Advent Service where I would take notes and write it up for the church newsletter, or the Art Bar's event with some out of town poets reading.

I had forgotten the special service at 3 p.m. at St. John's until Rosie reminded me via e-mail in the morning and had already said I was going to the Art Bar event.

I would have loved to have gone to both but it was impossible and since I had already given my word that I would go, I went and I was glad, as the readers were from out of town and there were very few people in attendance.

It seems poetry is a dying art - it seems to be the same regular folk who come out to hear poets read.

It was pouring rain when we left the Art Bar and Jennifer offered James, me, and Jennifer T. a ride home which was much appreciated.

All in all, a very nice afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Some very sad news

I just got an e-mail from a friend. He was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is relatively young and active and a very good family man, churchman and friend.

He is fortunate to have a strong family group and be a much loved and respected person and so he will have people to turn to in this time of hardship.

May God's love and Mercy, kindness and care be extended to him and all the larger family.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

St. John's Bazaar

It was really well attended and new people were coming in after 1 p.m. We needed to make fresh coffee even. The cabbage rolls were a big hit. People even bought some to take home.

By 2 p.m. most of the crowd had gone and the worker bees cleaned up. It was a smashing success due to all the hard work of everybody involved.

Congratulations to Kathe, who spearheaded the whole event.

Several of my friends came as well, Anita and Jennifer and her friend Bonnie. I took my lunch break with Jennifer and Bonnie and enjoyed our time together. Anita was going on to another bazaar in another area of the city. She did enjoy herself very much and was very impressed with the friendliness of the congregation and the wonderful things to sell.

The hugh variety on the sweet table was incredible, all looking so delicious that it was almost impossible to choose.

I bought some to take home and enjoy for the next few days!

The jewellery table was a good success, two people wanted to buy my designed jewellry and one lady came up to me later and said she wanted it for the correct price of $60.00. She had been too busy at the cake table and she could not come over. She knew the value of it. It worked out all right though, as this same lady ordered one from me to be delivered later on. She specified what colours she is looking for to suit her clothing. I shall place an order with my supplier in Toronto very shortly. I love to design for specific people and to see their pleasure when they receive it.

However, it was a good lesson for me never to donate good jewellry at a church bazaar again. They charged so little (even though the price was on it) that it only covered the cost of the good chain! Such a shame, as it could have brought $60 more into the bazaar which helps people.

I had originally suggested months ago that they hold a raffle for it at $1 or $2 a raffle ticket and they would have raised better money for it.

I think they forgot.

Ah well, I am pleased that three ladies liked the design and after all, it was a donation by me for this event. It really should have fetched more money than it did. Didn't even cover the cost of the actual design and Swarkovski crystals! It is expensive to make and expensive to buy.

Another good thing came out of it as well, another lady wants to come and see my designs so she will come one day. She had not known about the business I was in. She was absolutely delighted. I had other ladies remark on my earings and my pendant that I was wearing, which, of course, was my own design.

I hope word of mouth will help my business grow. It is hard times now in Canada but people still need to buy gifts for special occasions.

My party was a big encouragement for me to continue with my designing as well as the three ladies at the bazaar who liked my donation is very encouraging. It went within ten minutes of being placed there! Whoever got it was one lucky person. In a regular jewellry store it would have cost about $125 plus tax.

Lesson learned for next year!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A day to analyze the party

Today, I plan to think about how I could have improved the party, what I could have done better, and what went well.

Although the party was a success, there is always something that can be improved.

It is also the E.L.W. meeting today so will go there as well.

All I can say is that my plan is to amalgamate my study of the party into my preparation folder and keep it for any future parties.

Once all that is done, then the party will be history and I shall move on to other things.

Since I wrote this blog, I have had several suggestions (at my request), one of which is to shorten the time for each reader, another is to have musicians. I had wanted to have a musician, but he moved away and I didn't know anybody else to ask.

Shortening the reading time will be easy to do, should I ever do the party again. Perhaps in a few years, I will have made some friends who are musicians or otherwise I cannot fulfil that suggestions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wilma's Party

Chris, reading from his latest book - unfortunately the shot is a little too dark.

The shadow (Wally), Carmen and myself at the jewellery table before the show.

A nice view of some of the people who came to the party.

Me, reading from some of my published works.

Jennifer, reading from her published poems on cats, as well as an exerpt from her published story on snowflakes.

Jeff, reading from some of his published works.
A small corner of my display. Two of the childen there bought the teddy bears which I made the clothes for. They played with them all afternoon! The children present were really good and all dressed up for the occasion!

Our favourite Mexican dancer Carmen. performed! She is a real trooper and dances so very well. The guests just loved her and one even asked if she was scheduled to dance one more time!
Quite a compliment to her!
Ed Woods, reading from his new published book.
Asma, myself and Alyia.
Some of the Whitehern Gals who attended my party.
It is most unfortunate that the picture I took of the first reader, Eleanore did not turn out. She is both a poet and a photographer and her poetry was well received by the assembled guests.
Several people took pictures as well and Kevin made a DVD of the whole party and particularly of the Talent Show.
Further to this thought, Kevin brought the DVD over this morning and we watched it together while we munched on party goodies which were left over.
He did a real good job and it is a marvelous memory to have!
I worked all morning and up till 1 p.m. bringing things down to the party room. Fortunately I have several bags on wheels and this helped a lot.
Jennifer and Kevin came around one and I was so glad that they did, as the time was flying by and there still was a great deal of things to do!
Mohammad also brought his fresh falafels and makings for a salad early as well. I showed him how to make the punch and he carried on with that duty for the rest of the party, as it needed to be refilled several times.
Some of the guests came early and we were not quite ready due to an electrical problem in the kitchen. None of them worked! Difficult to make coffee without electricity! I called the emergency line but the superintendents did not know how to fix it either. We then tried to make the coffee on another plug within the room and it was working. Bless Ed, when he came he knew exactly what to do and fixed it. As it turned out, hardly anybody took coffee anyway as they all seemed to like the punch.
The superintendents had set up the phone in the party room just for the day as they trusted me. It seems when the phone was left there before, people would come in and use it to call long distance.
Jennifer manned the phone line, letting people in as they arrived.
When all the guests had arrived (about 35), food was served buffet style, then at a little before 3, the talent show started.
Everybody did very well and their work seemed to have been appreciated by the assembled people. I think the highlight of it was Carmen's Mexican dancing. It was amazing!
Such energy!
After the talent show, most people left. The two Jennifers, Kevin, Carmen and Wally, and Andrew and I stayed behind to clean up.
I would say that the party was a success.
I was so pleased to forward a cheque in the amount of $60.00 to Christian Horizons for their programme which helps small business people in third world countries start their own business.
All in all, a worthwhile endeavour.

I asked for honest opinions of what could have been improved from some people who came and got some valuable suggestions for the next time I throw a large party.
Among the suggestions was to either cut the amount of people performing or limit their time to five minutes each.
I doubt that people would want to perform just for five minutes, but perhaps a nice compromise of ten minutes each would please everybody.
This party was a learning experience for me and all in all, I was quite satisfied.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Big Day

Had a really good sleep last night and woke up raring to go! In spite of 16 cancellations, it will be a good time!

Food is all prepared and ready to be taken downstairs, jewellery just needs to be taken there also, plus decorations and music.

I am pretty calm about this as I feel quite prepared.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday - Santa Claus Parade and a bake-a-thone

It may be that this year I cannot attend the Santa Claus Parade as I still have plenty to do in the baking department for tomorrow.

However, I can see it from my window which will be almost as good!

I had to cancel two events, no actually three events today, to carry on with my preparations for tomorrow.

Andrew, my neighbour, took more baked goods downstairs to his apartment and will put them in the party room frig before he goes to church tomorrow.

Mohammad will come at 11 a.m. tomorrow and help me carry things downstairs and also help me set up.

Hosea will bring the extra chairs after 4 p.m. today and we will stack them in the party room until tomorrow. I have permission to do that.

I have had a few cancellations due to the Tiger Cat game tomorrow plus sickness and other things. So far, only one friend will be coming from Toronto after all and she will need to come a little earlier so I can take her up to the roof to park her car. I will only know today if Sonia and Rene are coming as Rene may have to work. In total, so far it is 15 cancellations.

Everything is going smoothly though and it should be great fun. Kevin will videotape the talent show which will be great!

So many details but attention to detail if essential to make things run smoothly!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just catching up with the blog

I haven't written anything for a while so thought I would catch up now.

My preparations are going very well for the party. Just have to pop over to the mall to get some divided trays again. I have found a marvelous use for those trays for not only the party, but for after the party in my daily life.

I shall use one of them to hold the float money. Prepared it all yesterday and all sorted out into plastic bags. I had saved a lot of money just by putting my spare change in bottles over the year and yesterday went to the bank near me to get some rolls of money to have on hand in case the small change is not enough. I think most people will give a cheque which is fine by me. They are all friends who are coming.

Alas, Mary and Joe are sick and cannot come from Toronto. She called yesterday and she sounded terrible. We hope to get together once they are well again.

Now back to the subject of the divided trays! Another one, I have used to keep my every day jewellery making things in it as they are very strong and there are compartments. It keeps everything handy and this way I can keep my tray free for lunch or supper!

Now onto another matter! Last night Alvaro picked me up at my back door and we went to the Poetry Center workshop. I have missed those folk as we have plenty of good laughs and they critique very nicely and very kindly. I think it is because many of them are used to doing that as they have their university students work to judge.

Liz was there and she told me why Whitehern was not open the night we all went as a group. It seems they gave it up as nobody showed up on the Wednesdays before that, and they just forgot to put a sign out to cancel the event.

At least we now know why...

I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night and took my poem "My child". Tony remembered it from before. I had forgotten that I had taken it. In any event, they gave me some good suggestions and when the party is over, I shall work on their suggestions. Speaking of poetry, the husband of the lady who did the self expression portrait of herself in Dundas, asked via the organizer if he could keep the framed copy once the artwalk show was finished. It seems that he was very touched with it. Naturally, I said yes. I am glad that he liked it.

What a nice evening I had at the Westdale Library with the group and how sweet Alvaro was to offer to pick me up and bring me home from the group each time. Since I had that scare near home, I won't go out at night by myself.

Now onto another matter. My friend Nor and I have been communicating via Facebook. she is in Japan right now giving a talk on cancer. Of course, we communicate via e-mail most of the time as she lives in Malaysia. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for the paper when I was Staff Reporter. Later on I interviewed two of her Malaysian colleagues as well - both lady doctors and very sweet and kind. They were at Sick Kids in Toronto at the time and had come as "fellows". Nor and I have been in contact ever since and have a very nice relationship.

I miss interviewing interesting people sometimes. I have interviewed politicians, professors, doctors and other fascinating people who are doing something in this world.

I don't miss the stress of deadlines though!

Had better sign off now and get on with the baking.....

Have a great day to all those faithful people who read my blog!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Zimbabwe Fund raising event

Project Zimbabwe Fundraising Concert - Nov. 7,2009. Held at Community Living Hamilton, 191 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario.

The evening opened with music by Paul Hogeterp. At 7 p.m., the Master of Ceremony, Scott Crawford, welcomed people and invited them to put bids on the many lovely articles set up attractively on tables. This was the silent auction and it closed at 9 p.m. The live auction started at 9:05 p.m. but unfortunately my friend wanted to leave.
Music was provided throughout the evening by Paul Hogeterp, Jason Pluim, Melissa & group, and Isobelle Gunn.
I particularly enjoyed the African group who sang and also the young girl and the gentleman (name unknown) who sang back up for her.

The African people "thrill" like the Middle Eastern people do when they are happy. I love to hear that. I believe it is only women who are capable of doing that.

Light refreshments were provided throughout the evening.
Mr. Michael Alemu gave a very interesting speech outlining the work done by Christian Horizons in Zimbabwe, and stressed the need to continue building a dormitory for those students who are developmentally challenged so that they could live at the school. There was also a short video which, unfortunately, went too fast for me to catch everything. It was an excellent video aside from that point.
There are 2,2400 people supported by CH on an on-going basis as well as people given emergency assistance when needed.
Mr. Alemu stated that Zimbabwe used to be known as the 'bread basket" of Africa and he believes firmly that Zimbabwe will rise again.
Although I had to leave earlier, I do know from last year, that the live auction handled by Neil Cudney tends to be lots of fun as people get into the spirit of things. I also know that Joel van Arragon would do a bang up job of thanking the performers as well as the guests for coming.
On a personal note, I was delighted to see so many of St. John's people come out and pleased that they sat with my friend and I. That doubled the pleasure of the evening for me.
A nice evening for a very good cause - raising money to build a dormitory for children who are mentally challenged.
I have just learned that CH raised $2,600 for this project! Congratulations to the organizers!
Christian Horizons do excellent work both in this country and in the world.

Remembrance Day at St. Paul's

My shot is crooked, not the Cross.
Two young boys from the congregation, 8 and 10 years of age, who carried the flags.

As is usual, each Sunday before Remembrance Day, St. Paul's has a little service at the Iona Cross on the front lawn.

It was very well attended and very meaningful.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seeing oneself on a DVD

I found it quite interesting to see myself on the T.V. via a DVD.

This was the official launch of the Photoshoot at the Freeway Cafe in downtown Hamilton, Ontario.

The people who run "Monkeybiz" got a grant and several community groups were given a disposable camera to take pictures of what interested them and what they wanted to share with the rest of Hamilton.

I chose to go to Pier 8 as I spend a lot of my summer time down there. Some of the group chose other places, such as stone building landmarks, pictures of flowers etc. etc.

The Flamborough seniors group took pictures of themselves and some of their rural beauty. Their group is run out of a local church and there are six of them.

Younger people were also involved and they did some fabulous work as well. I was glad to see the work of the Women's group. This work was done by women who have been through extremely hard times, particularly with regards to their spouses. I believe it is run out of the Good Sheppard Center but am not sure about that.

I was extremely impressed by the excellent qualify and editing job done by the young man who took the video. It was all done very professionally.

It was a potluck for our little seniors group so I brought some of my surprise rolls and they seemed to go quite fast so I assume that people liked them.

For the main event, people came from all over to view the photos.

It was a great deal of work for the organizers but, in my view, it was great as it brought people together! They also had a lovely assortment of food to nibble on for the guests who came to see the photos.

Well done, photographers, organizers and participants!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preparations are underway

Time is running out and I am getting quite anxious about the food preparation for the party. Certain things I can only do on the same day as I don't have space to keep them, other things such as cakes, I can make ahead.

I have prepared tickets for the door prize last night. It is a donation from Carmen and I think that people will love it! She has wrapped it up so attractively!

I have decided to make open faced sandwiches, fruit trays, vegetable trays , cheese and crackers trays, homemade scones, preserves, cakes and sweet loaves. If I have time, I also will make cucumber sandwiches.

Mohammad will bring falafel, dip, and pida bread and a Middle Eastern salad.

I also plan to make a lovely non-alcoholic punch. Unfortunately, I no longer have a punch bowl but have two pitchers I can use instead. I can always use my large pot to make it in and keep that in the frig in the party room so the pitchers can be refilled.

I will go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and get the fruit, cold cuts and also cucumbers, the rest my shopper will be getting for me tomorrow.

Once that is all done, then I can concentrate on getting it done. I am expecting at least 50 people but the room has a capacity to hold 100 so it should be fine. Hosea will borrow some chairs from St. John's for me and be in charge of that.

I had to make up a little introduction for myself as well of my writing experiences. It was an interesting thing for me to do. I generally don't like to "blow my own horn", but I have done more than I realized. Once I saw it in black and white, I kept remembering more and putting it down on the introduction sheet.

I have to learn to be more assertive and put myself forward more. Mohammad said that to me, after my reading at Philpott!

It is hard for me to do though as I was not brought up that way.

If the party is not a success, it will not be for lack of effort but I am sure that it will go very well as I have invited some very nice people!