Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A fun afternoon with friends

Hadi with Mr. Boots

Lani with Mr. Boots

Lani and Hadi downstairs near the big tree

The three of us posing at the building tree

Left to right - Mohammad, A Yi, Lanni, Hadi and me.  Picture taken by Tina

Posing near the brass rail between the two buildings.
Hadi & Lani

Mohammad       Wilma
The tea party went well.  Only one person did not show as she was unwell.

There was more than enough food and people got along very well even though their first languages are not English.  Chinese, Indonesian, Arabic, Urdu were the languages represented there.

It was worth the effort.  A friendly gathering, good food and good conversation.

A small section of the food available

Grape juice and gingerale punch

Asma drove all the way from Brampton to come to the party which I really appreciated.

My pal Asma

Best friends since 1994 or 95.

Sami had to leave around 4 p.m. and I hadn't started taking pictures by that time so missed taking one of him.

Sarah was unable to come as she felt unwell but I only found that out once I had time to check my emails after the guests had gone.

Mohammad, Tina and Wilma

Tina & A Yi (back row)
Hadi and Lanni (front row)

A Yi and Asma 

She is in the process of leaving as she has a long drive ahead of her to get home.

Thanks to A Yi and Tina for helping me so much to change the sitting room around so I could have Sami in his wheelchair there.  Looks great.

Next project in the little room.....

Thanks for dropping by and have a nice New Year's Eve and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A fun time with my Chinese friends

I planned to go up to Value Village just to look around and thought of my two friends who may not know of this store.

When I mentioned it, they were happy to come.  We had a ball.  I think they bought the store out, but I only bought one thing.  Fortunately, I brought my cart with me and they were able to put much of the things they bought into it.

We went out to Harvey's for a hamburger afterwards and then they came back to my place for a little visit.

They are such loving people that I enjoy being with them.  They are a good team, mother and daughter.

I will be sad when they return to China.  They are from the same city where my brother and his wife teach at the university.

Tina arranged this little cave for Mr. Boots

Mother and daughter - Tina and A Yi

Fans for Mr. Boots - Tina's nickname for Boots

What a great time we had together.  They want to come to the Carnegie Gallery Poetry book launch with me in January.

Thanks for dropping by and have a good day.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A scrumptious dinner with my son

I took the 4 p.m. bus to his place.  There were very few people on it, in fact I think there was only four or five people during the whole time.

I sure hope that they don't stop that service as it never is a full bus.

Ken had a few last minute details to finish for the meal he was preparing so I sat near the kitchen and we chatted as he worked.  His meal was wonderful and there was enough left overs for four full meals for him for work plus he sent me home with some turkey for turkey sandwiches.

I took a few pictures but saved them in Windows Live and now cannot access them onto the blog. I have no idea why.

I hope to figure it out one day and put the pictures on but thus far, cannot.

Thanks for dropping by.

Remembering 1960s Afghanistan, the photographs of Bill Podlich

Remembering 1960s Afghanistan, the photographs of Bill Podlich

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A meaningful and beauty service tonight

St. John's was packed to its fullest extent with more chairs being brought in.  I was lucky that there was a single seat with a young couple from Toronto.

There was some excitement before the service started.  A man passed out and an ambulance came and took him to the hospital.

I hope he will be all right.

As is usual, the 5 p.m. service was mostly families coming from far away to visit with their parents and grandparents.  The children were quite well behaved which I was happy about.  Christmas Eve is when German people celebrate Christmas.

It is such a special time.  The singing was robust, Pastor Thomas gave a very short message that God is always with us, no matter if it is in bad or good times and that we should remember that.

The choir outdid themselves.  I went downstairs after the service and socialized with several people.  A Yi and Tina walked me home.  I invited them to come upstairs but they were wanting to buy some Chinese vegetables and make a special supper tonight.  As far as I understood, they had hoped to come over to my place for a visit on Christmas Day but they did not let me know.   My son invited me to his place for dinner.

Their English is somewhat limited, especially the Mother but somehow we communicate.  I still plan to invite some friends from the immigrant community for tea and light refreshments at some point over the holidays.  It is very hard on people who are from elsewhere and don't have family here.

I really enjoyed this service.  

Thanks for dropping by.  If you celebrate Christmas, may you have a blessed Christmas and a happy new year.   If you don't, then enjoy the feeling of togetherness and good will which this season brings.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The party at Liz and Jeff's place

Liz had sent me an invitation and said that I could bring a friend so I brought Mohammad.  We took a taxi and had a very pleasant driver bring us.  The bus service for that area is only every hour after 6 p.m. so the best way to get there is to drive or take a taxi.

Liz and Jeff are such welcoming hosts and I recognized some of the people from last year's party as well so that made it a little easier for a quiet person like me.  Liz's aunt Agnes sat beside me and we got along very well.  Near the end of the evening, her father Joe came and chatted with me.

As usual, Liz had done some fabulous baking.  I forgot to bring my camera so did not get any pictures.

I really love seeing all the children there, having a good time together and the different representations of age groups.

This year, several of the singing group were sick so we didn't have singing alas.  However, people mixed well and were very friendly.

Joe and Agnes offered us a ride home, dropping Mohammad off at his place and then dropping me off as well.

A lovely event.

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Another fabulous event at my club

Friday was the last day for the club to be open before the Christmas holidays and there were two events scheduled for that day. The staff must have been worn out by the end of the evening.  We are so fortunate to have such good people working there.

The first one was a well attended buffet in which business people were encouraged to bring their staff for a treat.  I noticed that there were quite a few people who did just that.  As is usual, I observe people and enjoy their reactions to the delicious food, the good company and the excellent service.

There was much happy chatter among the office groups.  Our little group had a table to ourselves in the corner of the main dining room.  While I was waiting for the others to turn up, I had the opportunity to people watch and I saw several people going towards the buffet line that I knew fairly well but they were seated elsewhere so we did not get a chance to chat.

Linda, Tijen, Ashley and I had a great time.  Linda has named us "The Book Group."  This is our second get together as a little group and I must say I really enjoy getting to know all of them.

We are hoping to get together once a month - time permitting.

I left the club around 3 p.m. and just vegetated the rest of the day.

That night, the club had a dance party which I did not attend but I am sure that the younger members and their friends participated fully in it.

Part of my evening was taken up with the tickets for Theatre Aquarius and my two Chinese friends.  One of my friends at the club could not attend Mary Poppins and asked me to give the tickets to my immigrant friends which I did.

Two young Chinese girls were given this gift.  I am anxious to hear if they enjoyed it. I probably will find out today.  There was a little mix-up due to the day and I offered to pay the rest but when I told the supervisor that it was a donation, she waived the $11.00 extra dollars.  I was very pleased by her decision and I let the donors know about it.

Theatre Aquarius was very helpful with directions on how to get there by bus as well. The lady who gave the directions did an excellent job pointing out landmarks so the girls would know they were on the right track.

On another note, it is party time again for me tonight.  Also, on Sunday evening a candlelight service which my friends Mohammad and AYi will attend with me.

So many wonderful things go on in the month of December but it can be quite tiring as well, so I try and moderate what I do.

Thanks for dropping by.  Have a great day.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tower Poetry Christmas party

What a grand affair it was to be sure!  It was pot luck and people brought varied dishes.  It was held in Stoney Creek and without a  car, it would have been too far to go.  Fortunately for me, Jennifer decided to go and both Jennifer T and I got a ride.

Norm called earlier today to ask if I had a ride which was very kind of him.

People with cars are so generous!

What a lovely area it was in.  Very rural and lovely homes out that way.

Here are some shots from the party.

In the entrance hall to this beautiful home

A sweeping staircase

Christmas tree in the sitting room

Lynn presenting our hostess Fran with a small gift (Fran in black)

The table was groaning with delicious treats such as crackers and cheese, a spiced fruit dish, rice cakes (home made) and delicious meat balls among others equally delightful.

On the desert side, there was a lovely cheese cake with blueberries, home made banana and also carrot cakes (bite size), ice box cookies and some scrumptious filled tarts.

There were non-alcoholic drinks as well as some wine I believe and water with lemons in it.  I found that refreshing myself.

Nobody went away hungry, that is for sure!

After a suitable time, we all gathered in the living room to enjoy reading of poetry.  I forgot about that and did not bring the Christmas poem I wrote a few years ago.  Perhaps next year?




Fran, our hostess


It was very nice to hear the poetry.  No critiquing was done - this event is strictly a party and not a workshop.

Jennifer T

Quite a few people from our usual group were missing due to illness which is too bad.  Winter weather seems to bring on colds and feelings of being unwell.

I think I must have reached my limit for putting on pictures unfortunately.  It was a lovely party, in a fantastic and welcoming home and a gracious hostess.

Thanks for dropping by.

B & B Christmas get together

What a busy day yesterday was!  With the storm the day before, I could not get out too easily and had to do some grocery shopping.  I did that yesterday and then a lady I know came and visited for about two hours and then we took the bus together up the mountain.

Alas, for me, I missed a phone call from one of our group offering me a ride. My friend and I went together on the Number 26 which was so packed that they had to leave people behind at every stop on the way.  Two young boys sat beside me,squirming and giggling their heads off.  In my youth, we always had to stand up and give our seats to older people.  It seems that those good manners have gone out the window, more of a pity.  The crowded bus makes me glad that I don't live on the mountain!  I love the seniors apartment complex where we were hosted but I would not be as active if I lived way up there, especially in the winter.

I just love living down town.

I arrived too early so sat on the bench in the foyer before ringing their bell.  I did this to be courteous to our host as they would be putting last minute touches on everything and I did not want to be in their way.

In the meantime, after I rang the bell, I could not remember which side they lived on and so I wandered lost for about 15 minutes.  I found a very nice lady who took me downstairs and Gerhardt was waiting for me wondering where I was!

It seems that there are two elevators to go to the second floor, and I was on the wrong one!

Once again, our hosts, Gerhardt and Hanna welcomed me into their lovely home.

Everybody got there in good time and our hostess had prepared some delicious snacks to eat before our Chinese food was to arrive.  For the last couple of years we have ordered in instead of going to a noisy restaurant.  For desert, Hanna had prepared a fantastic crumble cake served with either whipped cream or ice cream.  Tea and coffee ended the meal.

It was a great evening and the husbands all took off together and went out to the Germania Club.  They are good sports as we ladies can really let our hair down, so to speak, when there are no men present.
Girl talk is fun!

I was fortunate to get a ride home for which I was most grateful!  I would not like to stand waiting for a bus at 10:30 at night in such an isolated area.

Needless to say, my only thought last night was to climb into bed and rest.

What a great bunch of people - I am thankful to be part of this splendid group.  This is the group of gals I go away for a weekend each summer.  Fantastic ladies, good solid people.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas lunch for the Whitehern gals and guys - Club 2014

What a splendid time we had at my club.  The club set a large table out for us in the Morgan Room and Waldemar was our server.

We each ordered something different which was great and some of us nibbled from others plates just to taste what they had.

We met at 11:30 as planned.  Anita arrived just as I arrived at 11:22 and the rest of the group straggled in over the next few minutes.

Some people started out with tea and coffee as we had to wait for the stragglers and when everybody had arrived, we ordered.

I was very pleased how my guests were treated and the generous portions of the sandwiches, potato salad or green salad which went along with each sandwich.  I asked for fruit and they were kind enough to accommodate me.

After the luncheon, I took several of them on a tour of the club and they were most impressed.

Here are some shots from today.

Anita in front of the main Christmas tree

Wilma - same spot

Left to right - Mohammad, Andre, Ruby and Marisol

Anita and Jeff on my side of the table

Jeff in one of the rooms upstairs

Mariol - beside one of the decorations for Christmas
We were missing some of our group, Joanne (recuperating) Grace (recuperating)

They all said they were very impressed with the place and the good amount of food that was served and they all liked our server.  They would like to come again.  I suggested we make this our Christmas meeting place each year as it is so beautifully decorated.  They may want to come again at some point in the new year as well.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Brunch at the Club. Dec. 7/14

Each year I have come, it has been enjoyable.  Naturally, the food is A-1 but what I come for is to see the children with Santa Claus.

It is so adorable to see all the little ones with their parents and often times grandparents, interacting together in such a wonderful atmosphere. Both the boys and girls are all dressed up, the boys with bow-ties and little suit jackets and many of the little girls were dressed in sparkly dresses.

Most of the children are very well behaved and the young families there seem to be happy families.

Two of my Thursday night friends always bring their grandchildren and this year, they brought the boys Mom and Dad as well.

Another friend had her daughter and son-in-law and their children come plus her Mom from Winnipeg so that was also a delight to see.

Here are some shots.

Waiting patiently for children in the lounge

Santa and Wilma

A lull in between children

I took pictures of my friend's grandchildren but will not put them on the blog.

It was a lovely event and it was grand to see young families interacting together.

Everybody else had family there except one other gentleman who came late.  A friend of mine was supposed to come but she did not show up so I guess she changed her mind.

Everybody was friendly and it was a good event.

Thanks for dropping  by.