Category Archives: Life in Ontario

Goodbye 2016…Hello 2017!

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s December 31st… this year has flown by!  I must admit 2016 has been a year of ups and downs…so many great things happened.  So many great travels…Family weddings combined with a trip to Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore with my mum. Two weeks in Winnipeg visiting old friends.   2016 also had a lot of really great long weekend road trip visits: visiting cousins in Montreal for a weekend!  Going to Colorado and finally seeing first hand the beauty of that place. Visiting my friend in Trenton a few times!!!  Weekend trips to London to visit friends… so many memories and lots of fun and adventures.

Here are my top 9 liked posts from Instagram… made at https://2016bestnine.com/

I’m not going to lie and tell you the whole year was perfect…because it wasn’t. Part of me can’t wait to kick 2016 out the door and welcome 2017.  I think the thing I learned this year is that you sometimes can’t control circumstances or things that happen…but the one thing you can control is your reaction to them.  You can let that one ‘bad’ moment/circumstance/thing cloud the rest of that day…and then it might turn into a week and even a month…and before you know it you’ve had a bad year!

So as hard as it is sometimes the best thing is to let it go…and try to look for the positive… because every year has it’s ups and downs.  It’s the valley moments in life that make the mountain top view so much more memorable.

Counting my blessings and wishing you more. Hope you enjoy the New Year in store. Have a joyous New Year! 

Happy Halloween

This past weekend I had a blast in London, Ontario.  Every year my friend Jen throws a fantastic Halloween party the Saturday before Halloween.  This was the third year I was able to go…and was excited to visit Jen, her husband and girls! halloween-fun_0001

This year I decided to go as a Wind-Up Doll…I must admit I LOVE this costume.

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Jen wore these creepy contacts as part of her costume… halloween-fun_0010

Thanks for hosting a great party Jen…you are a fantastic friend!
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On the left there is: Barrel, Lock, Ghost vampire Elsa, Anna and on the right there is: a Wind-Up Doll…

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…just hanging out on the driveway! Such awesome weather for the party… halloween-fun_0013 halloween-fun_0015

…had to take some time to do some selfies with the costume!

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…had to sort out my camera’s flash and settings! (Apparently I had it all messed up—but eventually it was sorted so Jen took this photo of me…) halloween-fun_0014

And then Julie grabbed my camera to snap us taking a selfie… (iphone photo in top right corner)…thanks Julie! 🙂 halloween-fun_0009

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…there were so many cute kids at the party!
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There were kid games… like bobbing apples and eating donuts off a string…and there were some adult games too like shots of tequila! halloween-fun_0006

…first time putting on flash lashes, nailed it! Loved my take-a-way chip bag monster…
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Tonight I had to teach…because of the way the weeks worked it was a midterm…so I brought a wee bit of halloween magic… ie) candy for my students!

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Weekday Hike…

In May I was searching through Facebook one night and came across a group suggestion…it was a group of women that meet up and go for hikes. I thought to myself that sounded like a lot of fun, so I joined.  Then it didn’t work out with my work schedule to actually join a hike…and in the summer I was in Winnipeg and then in Lindsay.  Last week I saw that one of the hikes actually worked on a date and time I could attend….so I signed up. scotsdale-farm-_0002

The hike earlier this week was at Scotsdale Farm and had a 5:50 meet up–6pm start timing.  I got there right on time…paid my toonie and started to chat to some of the other women. Must admit felt a wee bit nervous…but trying new things is all about the butterflies and the unknowns.

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After all 19 of us were gathered…we started! It was a really cloudy night…and the air was crisp.  I was excited to get to wear one of my many winter hats…and felt ready to hit the trail. We did the 6km loop described here backwards…partly because we knew we would be ending the hike in the dark.  (oops! forgot my head lamp…good thing I have good night vision.)
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I started off the hike at the front of the pack…and had fun chatting with the women at the front…but then realized that I wouldn’t be able to stop and take photos as easy! scotsdale-farm-_0003

So I ended up at the back of the pack…bringing up the rear! Which was a-ok with me…

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Scotsdale Farm is such an awesome place…the property was bequeathed to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1982 by Stewart and Violet Bennett, owners of the farm for more than forty years. It’s left this awesome farm property and hiking trails that is open year round for people to hike, picnic and enjoy the outdoors. 

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Even though after the rain we had last week…the leaves were a wee bit past their peak but it was still gorgeous.  scotsdale-farm-_0008

The ground was littered with heaps of leaves…nothing like walking on a trail with the crunch of leaves under your feet. scotsdale-farm-_0009
“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow”.
~Henry David Thoreau

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Even at the back of the group…I still had some great conversations with some of the other women. scotsdale-farm-_0012

Winter is coming… scotsdale-farm-_0013

Half way through the hike it started to get darker an darker… scotsdale-farm-_0011

But the line of women had flashlights and some used their phones…. to help light up the trail! We also passed on messages…about ‘rocks’ under the leaves…in the rocky places so we wouldn’t trip. scotsdale-farm-_0014

The sky was so pretty…here the sun was just setting…but later the whole sky seemed to glow purple.
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Finally we ended back at the old farm…I need to go back in the daylight.  This was a really fun spot..and I can’t wait to go back and explore and take more photos. scotsdale-farm-_0016

One quick selfie with the help of my iPhone flashlight…all in all it was an awesome night! I had a lot of fun.  scotsdale-farm-_0017

Sometimes new things can be a good thing…and sometimes it only takes 6 months to join and move from a lurker online to a participant. Thanks for letting me join your hiking group.  I can’t wait to join for another hike in the future…and get to know more people as time goes on.

Clay Party

This time of year it’s always crazy busy time for me at work.  It’s about 1/2 way through the term…lots of marking!! What better way to de-stress and forget about work for a bit…than to go out with a group of co-workers.  We went to Snug Harbour Restaurant  for dinner…to start off our evening.  The food was amazing… East Coast Salmon + Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie = happy gal! Perfect start to the night… clay-mug-_0001

After dinner we headed just down the road to 4Cats Port Credit for a little bit of team building while we got our hands dirty and made a hand build clay mug! Such a fun bright amazing creative space…they offer all kinds of art & craft classes for kids, adults and families. clay-mug-_0002

It’s been a few years since I’ve had my hands in clay. The camp that I worked at when I was in my late teens and early 20s I spent a lot of time in the craft shop… where I made a few creations…mugs, candle lanterns, bowls, vases and a bunch of other gifts for family and friends! I was excited to get back at it and make another mug…and see if I still had it in me to make something.  clay-mug-_0003

Starting off…used a wire cutter to cut off a piece of clay off the slab…then had to drop it onto the canvas…from an over hand throw…to get any air bubbles out of it… clay-mug-_0004

Then it was time to roll out the clay…the trick is evenly spread out the clay evenly–if you don’t… you’ll have a thick edge of your mug…and a way too thin side! clay-mug-_0005

You need to ‘scratch’ and ‘slip’ your clay whenever you join up two pieces.  (If you don’t… when the clay dries…it shrinks and pulls apart.) Just make up a few scratches on each side that join… then add a bit of water…and press them together! clay-mug-_0006

The next step was to trace out a circle for the bottom of the mug…scratch and slip it, and press it into place! Then I pulled a handle for my mug…decided to go for a big one… clay-mug-_0007

…our teacher was great to explain all the steps and help out if we needed.  But mainly we did our own thing…and had a lot of fun! Isn’t that what team building nights are all about?

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The night was more than just making mugs…it was fun to share stories and laugh.  It was totally what I needed.  It also made me realize how happy I am when I’m making stuff… maybe I should look around for another class or something.

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…the last step was to paint our clay with glaze.  The colours are a wee bit muted, but once they are fired in the kiln they will get all shiny and a bit more bright.  All of our mugs & vases look so pretty and unique just like us!

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I work with a bunch of great people…this was not something new I learned last night.  I was glad to spend time with a few of these awesome people outside of the office..hanging out and playing with clay.

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I decided to leave the seam..but most others smoothed out the joint so they had a smooth mug. I free-handed a few stars to cut out and then add to my mug…. and then with the left over clay I had I made a small pinch pot, I figured I could use for a tea bag holder or hold some spare change!

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Can’t wait to see my mug in a few weeks once it’s all glazed…not sure that I’ll actually drink a tea out of it, but it will make a really fun pencil holder for my desk!

Adele

Last December I was able to get 4 tickets to go to see Adele on her 25 Tour…when she came to Toronto for 4 shows on October 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th!  I must admit the last year it was the LONGEST wait until this week arrived… and finally the time was here it was time to go see Adele Live in concert.

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So Party of 4…who came? Well the first choice was easy–as part of my Mum’s 60th Birthday celebration this year…I decided her big gift would be to see Adele live. The second choice was my friend Josefina….it was actually her birthday this past week as well…so for her birthday gift  she joined the party!  And last but not least I invited Sole (Josefina’s sister-in-law) and that  finished off our party of 4.  adele_0003

…just waiting for Adele to start.  Even though we were up high..in section 324….we had the BEST view of the stages and could enjoy the whole concert without people obstructing our view by standing in front of us! adele_0002The concert was everything I thought it would be and so much more.  Adele is so down-to-earth and her monologues and stories between her songs were amazing! Even though she’s a super star…she’s just so real and down to earth. (At one point told us all that the only reason she works out is to eat junk! Honestly, she’s so right…part of the only reason I work out.) It was so cool to hear Adele explain what she was thinking about when she wrote certain songs and the inspiration behind them. Everything from the stage design…and all the details large and small of the concert made it feel like it was held in a small venue, not a huge one like the ACC.

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She even made it rain in the ACC… when she set fire to the rain.  adele_0005

I did take a few video clips throughout the evening…but I have a few problems with sharing them.  One: I don’t know how to edit them…I wanted to string a bunch of the short clips into one video.  Two: I didn’t realize at the time of the concert that me singing would be so clear…LOL no one needs to hear my voice along with ADELE… so I suppose the videos will remain in the vault for now.  I really do need to figure out how to edit clips though…might have to ask a friend that has seemed to mastered sharing short video clips via their blog. Yahoo, for learning new technology right? adele_0006

The encore and last song of the evening was Rolling in the Deep…. where Adele encouraged us all to get on our feet and dance! So of course we did…Later via social media I found out that all of the confetti…had Adele lyrics printed on it!

It was such a fabulous concert,  the kind of night that you were totally in the moment… and the two hour seemed like two minutes.  Don’t worry though I enjoyed every minute of the two hours as Adele shared her stories and songs with us. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go to the concert and I could have picked three better people to share the experience with me.

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