Thursday, June 25, 2015

This and that

I am up well before the birds today.  It is now 3:56 a.m. and I have been up for a couple of hours.

Coffee tastes great at this hour, and it certainly is very quiet.  Nobody on the street, only a few taxis cruising around down town. No pedestrians scurrying across the road at the lights, no dogs barking, no people lounging about in the park.

In short, quality time with a good cup of coffee and peace and quiet!

For the last couple of evenings, I have been going to bed about 8 or 8:30 and catching up on my sleep from the weekend in the country.  I need to rest up a little bit before my guest comes from Peterborough to visit for four days.  It will seem strange to have to cook for somebody else.  My friend is diabetic so this will be somewhat of a challenge to figure out what to serve.

I have made a plan for the time here and my friend Mohammad will go with us to Burlington to explore since he knows the area well.  We plan to take the Burlington bus to get there, and  then take the Hamilton bus in Burlington to get home.  This way my friend will see more of Hamilton.  My grown up children are also coming on the Saturday and all of us will enjoy time at the waterfront.  My friend and I will go to church on Sunday and then I plan to go to the event at Whitehern as my friend will leave right after lunch to visit relatives in Toronto.

It will be a busy time and I am sure I will need a rest.  Summer time is the time to visit people, not in the dead of winter, with winter storms brewing and snow falling!  I tend to hibernate at that time, just going over to the mall near me and sending more time in my cosy little apartment. Thankfully in that mall is the main library and many shops where I can get anything I basically need.

Speaking of my cozy little apartment, I continue to try and downsize, and over the last few days I have made a new arrangement for the sitting room which I think will work out better.  With so little space and large furniture, it is difficult.  I am so thankful that I do not have carpets on the floor or otherwise it would be extremely difficult to move heavy furniture!

I sometimes think that I forget I am elderly and believe that I can do things the same way as I did when I was thirty or forty years of age!  Then I used to change my much larger sitting room in Toronto at least every two weeks.  I love doing that as it gives a fresh look each time.  Better than moving and much cheaper!

My cell phone died yesterday.  I thought my service had been cut off as I hadn't checked my account for at least a year but I called Telus and no, everything is fine, in fact I have a large credit.  The dear old phone is the most simple model and I was the third person owning it.  It has done really well.  Telus helped me to find another simple one (no smartphone for me - too complicated) and I plan to purchase it today.  I need it for safety reasons.  I often go where there are no phones available and I keep it for emergencies only.  That is why I have a big balance. I still have not completely mastered the tablet that my son gave me but that is because I haven't been anywhere where there is Wi Fi.  I will get it.

I also may go to Peterborough in August or September for a short visit to my friend, and I was thinking of taking the train to Montreal but that is very tentative. I probably won't have the energy to do both.

Another friend has invited me to visit him in Toronto and that is a possibility as well.  He lives in the High Park area.  I have always loved High Park, especially the chipmunks.  The children and I used to go almost every week there for a picnic in the summer - that or Center Island. I would just go for the day though as it is close enough to return home.  Perhaps his sister would come over as we are very good friends.  It would be so lovely to see her as well. They are originally from India.

Center Island meant we would have to take the Ferry boat across the water which was wonderful for both myself and the children and it was quite reasonable at that time.  I don't know the price any more. High Park, of course, is free.  I also loved going to Ward's Island which has people living there in houses.  They are cottages and remind me of a more gentle time where neighbours knew each other and looked out for each other.  I remember the children and I taking a picnic lunch there and a fellow on a bike came over and said he was hungry so we shared our food with him.  I was glad to share and thankful that I had brought enough food along.  Those were the days when I would go all out with a picnic, potato salad, green salad and fried chicken.  Dessert too, of course!  If there was no picnic table available, we would spread a blanket on the ground and eat our picnic lunch there.

Now if I tried that, even if I could get down on the ground, which is very debatable, I certainly could not get up again!

Lots of plans fermenting in my brain for this summer, mostly I will spend time reading at the waterfront and going with Sami and Mohammad there.  The little free bus to Pier 8 will start at the end of June I believe and that makes it much easier to get down there.  I am so thankful for Hamilton's waterfront, the free bus, good friends and quiet and reflective times by the water.

The Pan Am Games are coming to Hamilton and I would imagine the traffic will be bad.  I am glad that I don't have any plans for that time.  There will be music both at Gage Park and Gore Park, all free.
The music runs most of the summer.

What a blessing it is to live in a smaller area where it is easier to get around and people don't seem as rushed as in Toronto.

Thanks for dropping by.

Best shot I think of the sunrise

Another view of the sunrise
Sunrise and sunset are gorgeous in their beauty.  Today it is threatening rain so the sunrise is not as beautiful as it could be.  It is interesting though.

Another celebration - 60 years of St. John's.

Faith, Grace and Transfiguration Lutheran churches joined in to celebrate the 60th anniversary of St. John's.  The venue chosen to accommodate so many people was at Redeemer College University in Ancaster.

It was a very beautiful and meaningful service with the pastors of the four churches and Bishop Michael Pryse participating.

In order to accommodate the large congregation, Holy Communion was served in four different locations.

Luncheon was available for those who bought a ticket.  It was buffet style.

A nice way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of St. John's.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bibles and Bagels Retreat June 2015

A flower I liked

The greenery on the property
Waving goodbye to two of our friends 
Words really cannot explain what a wonderful weekend I had with the gals.  I shall try, though, to tell you about it with a combination of pictures and words so that you may share this great retreat we went on.

Once a year, our Bibles and Bagels group goes on a retreat to a cottage near Port Elgin and Southampton.  Three of our  members have cottages right on the lake.  The water stretches as far as the eye can see.

A view from the deck of one of the cottages

We have designated drivers and we share the expenses for the gas and the food costs.  Several of our group went a day earlier on Thursday but Janet, Christa and myself went at 1 p.m. Friday.  It worked out very well and everybody who needed a ride got one.  It was a smaller group this year due to sickness or other things that people had to do.  There still were nine of us who were there and we had a wonderful time.

Hanna and Waltraut were our hosts and we all managed to fit into their cottage for sleeping which was great.  Eight of us slept there and one of the gals went back to her own cottage which was very close by.

Two of our ladies amazed our group by going in swimming in the cold water.......  Needless to say, we all took pictures of that.  Here are some I took.  

Two very brave ladies in the water

After their swim

That was on our first day.  My hat is off to them!  It also was not a warm day out and the water was choppy but they enjoyed it.

Our swimmers - warming up by the wood stove

table set - ready to eat

For supper the first night I was there we had lovely lasagne  a yummy salad and garlic bread plus desert and herbal tea.

Yummy garlic bread

Much chatter, much laughter and good fellowship marked the whole weekend.  

Some of the ladies at supper

We had so much fun playing games, reading, and chatting that it was late before we got to bed.  The next day, I was in charge of the Bible Study and the group seemed to enjoy it.  After our study, we went in Southampton for lunch.  It was a very nice restaurant we went to.

At the restaurant in Southampton on the patio

After that we went shopping and we went to the bargain place and I got some new facecloths and a shower curtain, all good quality.

For supper, Hanna made some delicious grilled sandwiches which hit the spot.

Sunday morning, we went to Faith Lutheran Church in Port Elgin.  They are very friendly there and we go each year.

After a lunch of leftovers (planned overs actually), we departed for Hamilton and we got there about six p.m.  The traffic was light and we had no difficulty at all.

Here are some random shots I took.

This was our fun - waving two of our friends off to Hamilton.

A misty scene one of the morning - the sun came out and the weather warmed up.

All in all, a very happy time with good people, good food, and a spiritually uplifting event.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What a fabulous event I went to Friday night.

I was invited to go to a BBQ out in Binbrook and Kelly was kind enough to pick me up and bring me.
I have never been to  Binbrook before - it really is rural.

We were among the early arrivals as Kelly picked me up from work.  Chelsea (Greg's wife) and their three daughters were already there helping Linda prepare.  The young girls had gone swimming in the indoor pool and so they were refreshed.  They were so helpful to the guests.

The country side is very beautiful there.  I didn't take pictures of the people but rather some of the flowers and a gorgeous lamp from Turkey.

Linda's gorgeous flowers 
 There is a fountain there which is not presently hooked up but it must be very beautiful.
A close up of the same flowers

A view from the patio

The side walk up to the front door

The Turkish lamp

Linda and Rick did the BBQ as a thank you for the volunteers at the Mohawk Event which I went to a few weeks back.  They raised $80,000 up to this date.

I just loved their house.  I believe it was custom designed and was very spacious.

I was so thrilled to see some of the people I had sat with at that event and to have such a lovely chat with Olivia and to meet her special boyfriend.  I  really liked her young man and was glad that they care for each other. 

Lindsay, their other daughter,  brought her cute little puppy over - he was adorable and so tiny!

I forgot to take a picture of him - he was so tiny and cute.

We ate inside as the rain started to sprinkle but fortunately the BBQ work was almost done.

The guys did a very good job and the burgers were yummy.  

I am sure that nobody went away hungry from this event.

Greg drove me back to Hamilton and I got home a little before midnight.  

What a fabulous event it was and I enjoyed myself very much. Linda and Rick are great hosts and made everybody feel at home.

Thanks for dropping by.

I was fascinated by this lamp

A rural barn with corn growing.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A day full of contrasts

I was up bright and early this morning and managed to get some housework done before going on the bus for my two hospital appointments.   I hopped on the No. 23 as it came before the No. 24 this time.

That was a big mistake.  It went all over the mountain and I was miles from the hospital due to construction and road closures.  By this time, I was getting quite nervous as I don't know the mountain very well and although I had left plenty of time to arrive promptly for my appointments, this bus kept me on tender hooks wondering if I would ever find the hospital!

It turned out that the bus was not going near the hospital even though it used to and I would have to take a shuttle bus to connect with another bus which would take me there.  As you can imagine, with my very poor sense of direction and my problems with short term memory, I was in an agitated state by this time.  I considered staying on the bus and going back down town as I did not know where I was and then taking the Number 24 from down town and hope that it would take me to the hospital this time.

The bus driver was fabulous, he saw a regular passenger and asked him to show an older lady and myself where to get the shuttle bus.  The gentleman was so kind and somehow we both ended up where we needed to be.  I was lucky, the hospital took me for my two appointments in spite of my lateness.

I have to see my cardiologist at the hospital in two week's time but this time I will take DARTS as I will not go through that tension and stress again.  I hope that I will be lucky and get DARTS!

As you can imagine, I was so happy to get home and I went to bed for an hour or so, just to relax and calm my nerves down!

I got to the club for Martini night and most of our older group was there today so we all had a nice visit, then I joined my younger group where we were celebrating Olivia's birthday - 24 years of age.

What a joyful occasion that was.  I was so glad to be with them.  We had some nice food, some good conversation, some jokes and lots of laughter.  A perfect way to celebrate a young lady's birthday!

Greg was good enough to walk me home and he carried my bag for me plus a "going home" cupcake which I shall enjoy tomorrow.

An end to a day of real contrasts, from anxiety to joy, from uncertainty to enjoyment with a lovely group of people.

Tomorrow is the BBQ at Linda and Rick's place in the country and Kelly is so good to pick me up.

I am so spoiled and I appreciate all the kindness that people do.  I am blessed with good people in my life who make it like heaven on earth.

Thanks for dropping by.