Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Break

The grandchildren are growing up and changing.  I was babysitting one morning while Mom and Dad were at work.  I was a little surprised when Jasmine greeted me perfectly groomed for a 10 year old and wearing a skirt!  I thought she would be dressed in outdoor play clothes.
I didn't comment as I knew it would only invoke "Oh Grandma!"  and eye-rolling.
Off to the park we went anyway. There were others around on play structures despite the residual piles of snow and huge puddles. I should not have been surprised, but I was as this young lady couldn't wait to skip into the deepest part of the frigid water just because. Just because she was still a little girl.
Eight-year-old Nathan had no qualms about jumping off this neglected planter and into the icy water.

"All right you two - I need a pic of both of you for Mom and Dad!" Can't wait until the really nice weather is here and we can properly play in the park.

In a few more years, they won't want to play on slides and swings and rock climbing structures, but for now I will spend as much time as I can while they're still children.

And as a grandparent, I am grateful to be part of it all; to sit back and watch the rich process of transformation, as they blossom into pre-teens some of the time, yet on other days they backslide into gleeful little ones playing in mud puddles and hugging teddy bears.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Nothing Special


 I liked this pic which was hanging in the gardens at the hotel in Key West.
She reminded me of Medusa with her snaky hair!

 Couldn't resist taking this bromeliad (I think) also in the gardens surrounding the swimming pool. I miss that warm, sunny climate: an early morning dip, the free feeling of peddling a bike wherever the wind chose to take me, inhaling the fragrance of a tropical breeze and feeling the sun on my face while standing on the shore, positively mesmerized by Mother Ocean.

But no matter where I go, I'm always glad to be back home again.
Six of my 11 grandchildren over on a Saturday afternoon to celebrate 3 of their birthdays (the other 5 children escaped the photo).
Soon we'll have a spring gathering to look forward to as there will be a whole slew of other birthdays to celebrate.
But one thing at a time.

Hope you're having a good winter, safe and snug with loved ones - or relaxing on vacation, or planning your spring garden.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blending with Energy


I spent a week in Key West, Florida recently to attend a Writer's Workshop.

It was my first time staying in Key West and I was totally in love with the calm, unhurried, laid-back energy where everything goes.

Good Morning!
Roosters run wild, pecking away  in yards, in parking lots. This smart one chose to be at the beach!


Egrets fishing in the early morning.






Even the pet dog gets to ride in a boat.
Yup, everything goes in Key West. 

I had a great time!  Learned a lot at the Conference, made some new friends and travelled everywhere on a bicycle. 

Oh the feeling of freedom! Jumping on the bike, peddling to the conference, to the beach, to the shops, greeting perfect strangers along the way, stopping to pick up a sandwich or bottle of water, weaving around random roosters pecking in the dirt - it was a nice relaxing way to get around, where no one is ever late for anything (well actually people showed up early for the conference part, which was just as well - you can get toooo laid-back).

One evening we were treated to a sunset sail. Drinks flow in Key West and as we boarded the boat I was handed a glass of wine. 
"Um, may I have water, please?" 
I'm not a drinker so the free-flowing booze was lost on me. But the good thing is that people here in Key West, whether on an excursion or in a restaurant are just - happy, not drunks (or at least I didn't run into any).  
The ocean felt a little too tranquil on the way out and I wondered if we'd ever arrive at our destination.  The crew were not concerned in the least and I should have remembered that all would be well, no worries, that everything goes in Key West.  
Breeze picked up on the way back and the rest of the evening was absolutely delightful, with the most glorious sunset!

I chuckled at some of the signs at The Eden House (my hotel) and thought I'd share with you. Doubt if these would be "allowed" back home where I live - too bad. :-(





Don't think anyone will leave their children unattended, do you?





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Changing The Energy





The doctor was late. A good 40 minutes according to my cell phone. Annoyed, I rattled my magazine (as if that would hurry things up).
Christmas was just days away and I had some serious shopping to do.

A man sitting next to me in this crowded waiting room seemed to be sleeping. His head lolled over to my side and I edged away from him as if he was contagious. 
With a snort he woke up, reached in his pocket for a hanky and loudly blew his nose. I held my breath (to avoid breathing in his germs) and squeezed myself as far away from him as I could go. 

A nurse entered the room, chart in hand, called a name; a woman stood up and followed her out. Then a different nurse called someone else. Yippee!  This claustrophobic room was emptying.
Now I could move away from Sneezy into a seat someone had just vacated.

A few more minutes passed.  People shifted about, sipping their coffee, turning pages, or getting up to use the washroom. No one spoke. Two others were called away and now there were just 3 of us. Sneezy (who'd fallen back to sleep), and a woman sitting across from me, her head buried in her cell phone.

Impatiently I checked the time again. It was almost an hour now! Then a thought popped into my head. I wonder if we were all waiting for the same doctor?
Well, if that's the case, then I'm going home!  I don't feel like sitting around all day! Besides I was getting a little nervous about the whole procedure. This appointment was for cosmetic skin care -  not medical and I didn't have to be here. 
What if the doctor made a mistake on my face? Maybe I should just go home. 

What should I do? Get up and walk away? Or just ask? 
Should I ask the lady which doctor she's waiting for?
No, that would be rude and nosy. Besides, she might ignore me. Or tell me to mind my own business.
What about Sneezy/Sleepy? 
Forget it.

I shifted about in my chair, got up to refill my water glass, gazed at the door willing a nurse to materialize and call someone in. 
Nothing happened. 
Then I made up my mind. Really, what did I have to lose?

"Excuse me, are you waiting for Dr. K?
She looked up from her iPhone and answered. 

"Oh yes, and she's always late! But worth it. I've been seeing her for years.  She's so compassionate and does a good job. She knows what she's doing and takes good care of you."
"Oh!" I felt better immediately. "Thank you for telling me that."

Just then Sneezy/Sleepy woke up. 
"I'm just waiting for my wife," he said in response to my questioning look.

Whew!  Well then, I guess it's not so bad, I could wait a bit longer. 
Ms. Cell phone and I began to chat - then something strange happened.  I felt good, I felt fine, I was not grouchy or impatient. 
We laughed.  Even Sneezy/Sleepy joined in.

Ms. Cell phone was called in for her appointment.
SS and I continued our conversation. Turns out he lives not far from my son.  And his children are attending university close by. My goodness we had something to chat about!  Then all of a sudden Ms. Cell phone was waving goodby as she passed the waiting room to head out. 
It was my turn!
But I was having fun - I wanted to stay and chat. 


Wow - who would have thought? Just the simple act of  reaching out and talking to someone had the power to change the whole situation. 
Changed the energy in that room.  A lesson? You could say that.
 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Switching the Old for the New

It's been a while  - and I've been busy.
Back in my "old" home, making it new.
It's been 16 months since my return.  A year and a bit of reacquainting myself with my home while enthusiastically discovering all the changes a neighbourhood naturally goes through in the 3 1/2 years, I'd been gone.
I told myself to wait a year.  A full year getting my bearings back, enjoying my space once again, before taking on any renovations.
Ha! That certainly didn't happen!

Two months after my return I hired an electrician to replace a faulty electrical panel. Then I found mice in my kitchen cupboards! Yuk! I immediately hired Skeddadle - a humane wildlife control company (not an exterminator).  Their way of fixing the problem was to seal up the outside of my house, so mice could not enter.  So far so good.

Then, come spring, I decided I'd had quite enough of my awful-looking grungy garage floor.
It was time to do something about it.
I called a local contractor to pop by for an estimate. He and his crew advised that the best course of action would be to break up the existing floor and pour a new concrete floor.

Mulling that over (did I really want the mess and noise and expense of that?  I thought they could just resurface the old one), I figured they knew what they were doing and since a cement truck would be here anyway, why not pour me a new front porch?

The old one was starting to crumble with age. And should really be extended right to the siding on the house. There was nothing but a patch of dirt (to the right of the door facing it), where nothing would grow because of lack of sunlight.

It was a huge project, as the stone front walk needed to be repaired. I also had a new pathway constructed around the side of the house.  Well, as long as the contractor was here, had the supplies, might as well get everything done at once!  This was back in May of this year.


Looks like summer now - and this is my new front porch.  With new wider front steps.
Oh, and did I mention that I thought I'd replace the front door?
The old one was made of wood - yes very sturdy but rattled in the wind and let in the cold air. I'd had several handy-men in to see if they could make it fit better, change the hardware, but nothing worked, so I did my research, got in a few estimates and made up my mind.

I hired a reputable "door and window" company to replace the double door with a single one and 2 side panels. Lots of glass for letting in light and the decorative metal for a bit of privacy (you have to really put your face to the glass to peek in) and to make it look fancy.

I'm very happy with the results!

Yes, there are still more renos to tackle, but for now, I'm just enjoying my comfy home.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Deep Freeze

We're in the middle of a deep freeze.  Minus 25 Celsius today. Yesterday I bought spring flowers to brighten up my windowsill and lift my spirits.  Spring will come, but not today.
Basking in the sunlight - at least the sun is bright today - tulips are happy!
Still sleeping
Wake up, Baby Daffodil and meet your family.
Already open and curious to see the world
"One day, you'll grow up to be just like me!"

Should be a little warmer by Monday.  Whew! What's it doing in your part of the world?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What do you see?

We've had an unseasonably warm winter this year.  But considering the severity and harshness of the past two, we were due for a mild, balmy winter.

I missed walking out on my back deck these last few years, but now I'm back  -  and even though it's winter,  the first thing I do early mornings, is step out, coffee cup in hand, breathe in the fresh air and have a look around.  

Anything new happen overnight in my backyard?  The neighbours? Not usually.  Unless it's early spring or summer - and then there's always something new in the garden! 



Yes, snow on the ground, but not much.  Icicles hanging, dripping from the roof. Everything quiet.  The quiet that comes with heavy clouds which seem to mute all sound.  
But what's that on my garden shed?


There is a Christmas wreath on the door, but what's that water mark?
I'd love to hear your comments.  And then I'll tell you what I thought it looked like!