Thursday, December 26, 2013


What a beautiful day it was, with the snow falling gently from the sky, resting lightly on the tree branches, covering the waiting earth in a blanket of white. It all looks beautiful especially when it is freshly fallen.

I took the 2:01 Aberdeen bus to get there and had baked angel cookies.  I wrapped two of them up in waxed paper to give to the bus driver as he was working on Christmas day. I brought some more to Christmas dinner as well.  There still remains a few for my company coming on Friday.

Angel cookies are a very old recipe which was from my mother and I have cherished it all these years.  I remember going to her recipe box and copying out my favourite recipes as a young woman and have used them since that time. I am most grateful that I did that as they would have been lost and they are great and practical recipes. I have shared several with my dear sister-in-law and daughter and they have become treasured recipes for them as well.

Our host, Ken, served crackers and cheese, pida bread (not home made) and two different types of bought hummas.  While we nibbled away at these delectable treats, we had a lovely chat.  He is a very nice host.

Thanh arrived around 4 p.m. and the two fellows reminisced about Redeemer College-University and people that they know. They also talked about business as both of them are businessmen with their own businesses.  It is good that they reconnected after so many years.

Jody's wonderful Christmas tree

 Once dusk started, Ken switched on the lights for the tree and it looked so wonderful!  Jody has a way with decorations - she is very artistic in things like that.

We all had a nice time just chatting away, most of the talking was done by the two young men which was fine by me.

My son Ken (left) and Thanh (right)

Ken made a special kind of chicken which I have heard of but never tasted.  It was amazing to watch him how he prepared it and to taste the results.  I think it was called beer can chicken but instead of alcohol, he used a tin of chicken broth which made it extremely moist.

Ken and I
Thanh took these shots
Thanh's meal - ham and chicken
The chicken sitting on top of a tin of chicken brother which makes it moist as it cooks.


Ken used a marinade sauce, spread it all over the chicken, put the opened  tin of chicken broth in the cavity of the bird and stuffed the opening in the top of the bird with onions.  He then cooked it for an hour and a half I think.

I was concerned about the tin part of it but there was no danger whatsoever  from what he had learned.

It was quite an interesting experiment and the taste was wonderful.  Ken had some desert as well and of course, there were my angel cookies.

Thanh drove me home for which I was most grateful as the bus only runs every hour on holidays and it is now cold weather in Canada.

Thanks for dropping by.  Company coming on Friday for desert and coffee so had better get baking again!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A guest for lunch on Sunday

In spite of the freezing rain warnings, my guest Rosie is still planning to come for lunch tomorrow after church.

She sure is one brave lady!

I don't think I will venture out once the freezing rain comes.  It hasn't started yet but is due late this afternoon and will continue into Sunday.

I hope to go to St. Paul's candlelight service on Sunday night with Mohammed and Thanh but we will wait and see what the freezing rain does to the side walks.  I can walk there.

December sure is turning out to be a real winter month!

I heard that the grocery stores are packed due to the storm warnings.  I am glad I prepared beforehand as there was plenty of warning.

I remember the time in Montreal when the snow was higher than my window (basement apartment) and I couldn't get out to go home for Christmas.  It was a very sad Christmas that year, just George and I and the baby Anna.  We had not prepared for eating at home on Christmas day and thus, although we had some food at home, it definitely was not something special.

This life lesson taught me to always have extra food in for the winter months just in case one could not get out.  I still carry that memory and that lesson learned and am glad to say that I am 99% prepared for such a situation should it ever occur again.

Right now I am making homemade bread and some cookies for my guest.  The main course is already done.

I hope she enjoys it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas get together in our party room 2013

As usual, it was very nice.  Lynne, who is on the Board, organized yet another great together.

It even went over time which shows that people were having a good time.

Here are some shots.

Party room tree decorated by Marcel and Robert

The courner where the sweets and drinks were kept.

There were quite a few people who dropped in and I was able to chat with several people and enjoy their company.

We had some stimulating conversations while we munched on so many good things to eat.

All in all, a lovely afternoon spent with compatible people.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow, snow, go away.....

Alas, there was a winter storm warning since last night and when I awoke this morning, the ground was covered in white.

It was our Tower Poetry Society Christmas party this afternoon and I fully intended to go.  I baked a cake for the pot luck and due to the snow, I decided to take a taxi.  I hung onto the taxi line for what seemed like ages, but when I finally got through, there was at the very least, a half an hour wait before a taxi could come.

At that point, I decided it was too risky to go out as I might not get a taxi home from the party as the snow was still coming down very heavily.

I called our hostess and explained what was happening and she had had so many cancellations.  One couple only had turned up from Stoney Creek.  They sure are brave!

Alas, all dressed up and nowhere to go!  Ah well, winter is like that.

Tonight Thanh has arranged for the gentleman, whose cat I look after when he goes away on business, to walk with  me over to the  gala event.  We are lucky that it is not too far and most of it will be indoors. Formally dressed and wading in high snow is not too easy, to say the least.

I am very grateful for that and appreciate Thanh's thoughtfulness.

I sure hope this winter storm will not keep people away but it continues to be really bad out there as of 3:26 p.m.

It is our building's party tomorrow afternoon so I don't need to go out at all tomorrow.

Thanks for reading this little blurb, keep safe in the whirling snow and if you are driving, drive very slowly!

A fantastic party last night

Hanna and Gerhard graciously opened their home to our ladies group.  There were ten or eleven of us who enjoyed their hospitality.

Gerhard went out with one of the other husbands so it was just the ladies.

I took a shot of Hanna's lovely set table and a few of her decorations for Christmas.

We all get along so well, it was a real pleasure to be there.

Hanna's Christmas table

I have always loved this 

Their window display

The advent krantz

We all chipped in to order Chinese food and it was lovely and more than enough for all of us.  Hanna made some wonderful desserts and served coffee and two types of tea.

I took the bus up there but was fortunate enough to be offered a ride home by two people.  I was grateful as it was becoming slippery outside by the time I walked to her place from the bus stop.

We all agreed that going to Hanna's place was much nicer than going to a restaurant for a meal and I think that this may become a tradition for our group.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Downtown Hamilton Christmas decorations 2013

Marcel and Robert have been very busy decorating our main entrance for Christmas.  They are so artistic and do such a good job.It looks fabulous.

It will be our annual Christmas get together soon in our party room.  I always look forward to that as well.

Since I had taken pictures of our building all decked out, the other day I decided to take a walk around Gore Park and take some snapshots.

It is very wonderful to see the decorations up again and to see people coming down town to view them. The old fashioned fire engineer clanged in with its fire bell going.  An old fashioned ambulance with its siren going also rushed into Gore Park.

Here are some of the pictures I took.

The Merry-go-round

Down further in the park

the manger scene

A special event in the park for Christmas

I especially love to see the children enjoying all the activities down town.  Jackson Square is all decked out as well so many people go and shop there after the activities in the park.

Thanks for dropping by and have a very good day.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another wonderful weekend!

I am so blessed with dear friends and have been blessed to have come to live in Hamilton which was my son's idea after my 3rd TIA.  I love the smaller community of people and have so many friends and also acquaintances now after living here almost 11 years this February 1st.  I was very happy to receive Liz's invitation.  I puzzled what I could add to the feast and Nonni and I put our heads together and came up with the following.

I made home made pida bread (without a bread machine) and put caraway seeds in it.  Nonni and I brought a combined item, she made her wonderful humus and I made my pita bread.  Both items went over very well.

Nonni picked me up and brought me home which was very good of her.  Liz had made so many wonderful things to eat and the house was packed to the gill.  Everybody was friendly and I knew some of the people there and met other new people.

Some beautiful ladies sang some carols and then a dear little girl read something.  She was really brave to do that in front of so many people.

Nonni and I left at 9 p.m. I am so glad that I know both of these dear ladies as they have enriched my life and I hold both of them in esteem and with loving thoughts.

If that was not enough, it was my Club's Christmas brunch today (Sunday).  My reservation was for 10:30 and Thanh and I sat together in the lounge area.  There were several families there also which was nice as I prefer to be where I can see little ones.  The children were so well behaved and all dressed up for the occasion.

The brunch was up to the  Club's usual high standards and was superb.

Santa and I

A small sample of the many delicious deserts
The main course was very appetizing as well , from Omelettes individually made to order, egg benedict, turkey, ham, roast beef, roast potatoes and vegetables, noodle dishes, soups and you name it and it was there. I was amazed by the chef who prepared the omelettes, he made three pans full at a time.  He put plenty of olive oil on the bottom of the pan, then threw in whatever vegetables you wanted in it.  I chose onions so he sautéed them  then added the egg mixture and on top of that he added the grated cheese.  The gas flames were rising high but he was not disturbed by that.  He had many takers of his wonderful omelettes, each one different.  I wish my omelette's would turn out that well.  He used a heavy iron pan as well.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the children sit on Santa's lap and talk to him.  They were adorable!

All in all, a wonderful event and tomorrow evening is another event.  David Haskin's book launch.  On Saturday evening, it will be Thanh Campbell's book launch and I have an invitation for that.  It is a formal event, with evening clothes required.

My cup runneth over and I am most grateful for all my many blessings.

Thanks for dropping by and please come again when you have the time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A fantastic weekend!

A friend of mine, Rosie, was going up to Kitchener on Friday and was planning to return on Saturday afternoon.

I changed my plans to go on the Saturday and we went together.  This enabled me to spend Friday with the "kids" and bring their Christmas presents up to them.  I also was able to attend their building's Christmas party.  They have been most fortunate to find this wonderful building.  I don't believe in chances.  This was the hand of God how they found their place.

They had to move from another area of town where they had lived for many, many years as their landlady wanted to bring her mother in and thus needed their apartment as it was on the ground floor.

As it happens, they were at the Dairy Queen talking about needing to find another place to live and a lady they did not know and had never seen before, told them about this wonderful place.

I went on the internet and found it and talked to the manager there and we arranged for them to come and view an apartment.

We all are so thankful to the lady who spoke up and gave the name of the place.

It has been a far better place for them than the old place and much more accessible for both of them. What a blessing in disguise it was when they had to leave.

I think they have been there for four years now and are happy.

The building Christmas party was marvellous!  I have never seen so much food prepared by the manager and her daughters!  It all was delicious and the mood was festive.  There are many nice people in that building.  They made me feel very welcome.

The next day, Billy and I went to the Presbyterian Church bazaar down town. It was so crowded that we couldn't get near the tables to see what there was!  People just kept pouring in and pouring in.

Anna was to meet us down there but we missed each other.  We reconnected on the bus going back to their place which was good.

Rosie came to get me and had a short visit with Anna and Bill and we got back to Hamilton about 4:30. It was a lovely time in Kitchener.

Sunday I had all the washing to do as weekend is the most economical time for electricity and then Jennifer and I went to St. John's Advent Service which is a 41 year tradition.  It was heavenly.  A trumpet player, recorders, poetry, choir and a duet by a husband and wife team in their own language.

This year they had the words on the wall in big print for singing.  We all sang in German and in English and it was wonderful!  After this beautiful service, everybody was invited downstairs to the church hall for refreshments.

Plates of sandwiches, pizza and all kinds of fancy cakes were on offer.  This year, I invited my friend Jennifer to come with me and she seemed to enjoy it very much.  It would be a different experience for her as part of it was in German.

All in all, a fantastic weekend.  Today, I am continuing to decorate for Christmas and wash and put away my regular things for now.  It takes time, but it is a nice change.

Thanks for dropping by.