Showing posts from November, 2017

Winding Down

This morning I sat in bed and finished off a book, "Winter Range"; it was a page turner, and the first I had read by this author, Claire Davis. It wasn't a mystery kind of page turner, but just a beautifully written book, with long and exquisite descriptive sentences. It was a lovely way to start my day.

The day was a lazy one. I had a leisurely breakfast, enjoying the sun shining through the back windows, and reading the paper. I puttered around doing bits and pieces of various things... tidying up a bit, but nothing too strenuous, answering emails, and mostly annotating photos, as Gail was very anxious to see the birthday album. Susan kindly sent off all the photos she had taken, and I sorted them into the right places. I worked on them off and on throughout the day and evening.

I had a bowl of Bryn's pasta salad for my lunch, with a chopped hard boiled egg on top of it. Doug didn't like the bell peppers in it, so passed, but we both had a slice of my birthday …

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today I turned 60! Hard to imagine, but there I am and not at all unhappy about it. Many years ago, when the comedienne Gilda Radner was struggling with cancer, her wish was to live long enough to celebrate her 40th birthday. She didn't make it and from that time on I vowed that every birthday for me would be a true celebration. I am looking forward to turning 90.

Having said that I shall write about my perfect birthday. One of the many ways my Mom had of making us feel special (not easy with ten children in the house) was by not having us do one chore all day. No making our bed, no dishes (a huge plus as it was a long job!), no running errands, and of course a birthday dinner and homemade cake of our choice. All these years later I still feel entitled to this. Now that I have no small children in the house, it happens!

I had a phone call from the Doering/Ellis household as I was lying in bed reading. Susan wished me a very "happy birthday", Amelia wished me a "happ…

A Day At Home With Riku

Bryn dropped Riku off at 9 a.m. today. He was late to bed last night and up early this morning, so I knew he would be fading faster than usual today. I made up a big bowl of seven-grain cereal, with his favourite strawberries, and he ate it all up while sitting at the table while I ate my own breakfast. He did a little drawing and we went upstairs for a while too; at 10:30 he was sound asleep!

Riku napped for only an hour and a bit; he is having trouble sleeping longer in bed these days. I knew if I had put him in the car, or even in the stroller, he would have slept for another half hour or more, but I am so reluctant to give in to this. He settled down twice quickly after wakening before he finally got up, and was certainly cheerful. I can tell by how he wakened though that it wasn't as much sleep as he needed.

However, he was ready to eat again, and he helped me cook his breakfast... by cracking an egg, but saying "uh oh!" when some of the whites dripped, and he put t…

"Something Like That"

I was sound asleep at 7:30 this morning, dreaming about putting a big vase in the corner of a vestibule, and having it fall, when the phone rang and got me out of the fix I was in! It was Judith, calling from Delaware; I had told her I am always up by 7 a.m. and she took me at my word. Normally, that is a good rule of thumb...

Judith has been very busy travelling... out to Vancouver to attend a delayed wedding reception for her youngest son Daniel, and his wife, who were married in Mexico a few months ago. And she is on her way to Prague and the Swiss Alps soon, so it was a good time to catch up with all our news.

Riku arrived at 9:15, big smile in place, and he said "hello", answered "yes" very clearly to Judith's questions, and said a very nice "buh bye" to her too. It sure would be fun to share my grandson with all of my friends one day!

I hadn't showered, so we went right upstairs. "Riku help" make my bed, straightening the covers on…

A Quiet Sunday at Home … Mostly

I slept until 8:15 this morning! Reading until just before 1 a.m. helped I guess. Went down to check my email before showering, and found an email from Susan saying that Amelia had slept from her tuck-in at 8 p.m. until 5:30 this morning, a wonderful long nine hour stretch for Amelia! Susan thinks I am a miracle worker and wants me to come and tuck Amelia in every night for two weeks until she thinks that's how Amelia thinks her nights should go. What lovely news to waken to! Of course it might have been a fluke but at least Susan and Kevin had a good long stretch of sleep themselves.

Bryn sent out an IM saying Riku was still asleep at 8:20! Maybe there was something in the air last night! Bryn thinks it may have had something to do with the fact that Akane was still in bed with him. We chatted for a bit and then Brynnie started a chat as well, and was so amusing; he made me laugh out loud several times. When I put up a self-portrait of his from Cambridge I asked if he knew where …

Thursday … Already!

My, how this week has flown by! I had the morning to continue on with my never-ending paper work, but didn't get much accomplished once again. Candy called and we had a nice long chat, catching up on news of Michael, and my notes from Japan, and our lives in general. Glenn called on Skype but I had a terrible time with my voice bouncing back at me, so gave up, leaving he and Doug to try to solve the problem.

I had two newspapers to read this morning as I dashed out yesterday morning before reading it. I enjoy this time with the paper but it does eat up my morning at times.

Doug came with me today to pick Riku up from school; we took a different route there to see if it was any shorter. It isn't, but it is faster, as there is less traffic. Riku was happy to see his Grandpa at the door! and came out dragging his little bag behind him.

He didn't want a bite to eat, didn't want anything to drink, didn't want to sing any songs, and despite my being in the back seat with…

Friday At Home

This was an unusual Friday as I spent the entire day at home. I had considered going off to the Kabuki and/or using my pedicure certificate from Susan, but I settled in at various and sundry jobs around the house and ended up sticking to them instead.

It felt good to just sit at the computer and annotate the Japanese photos; it's time they were done! and it has been a longer and slower job because of the incorrect dates on the photo files. Next time I will set the camera to the date of my destination and not leave it in SF mode! I didn't get them all finished but came within fifty before relaxing with a cup of tea and watching taped Oprah's... also stacking up.

I continued with the ironing as well. I think the pants are reproducing up there as I don't seem to be coming to the end of this darned laundry at all this week! Since coming back from our trip I feel I have done more ironing than anything else and it is not my favourite job... but... thank you Oprah for remindi…

Thursday … Feels Like Friday!

Slept in 'til 7:15 this morning; felt wonderful to roll over at 6 a.m. and drop off again! Out the door at 8:30 to pick Riku up for nursery school. He was pretty quiet on the way over and I thought me might drop off to sleep, even though Bryn told me he was still sleeping when he left the house at 7:30.

Riku walked willingly to the door of the school with me and then wanted up in my arms. The main teacher greeted him, took him from me and held him; we both pointed out the bags of coloured paper for each child and paper birds hanging from the rafters. Riku was distracted and I put his bag in his cubby, saying goodbye as I walked by. He started to cry with his hands over his eyes, but when I picked him up at 1 p.m. I was told that he had cried for just a few minutes.

It was a special Japanese holiday so Riku came home with the bag of coloured papers, and two large fronds from a plant of some kind. I sat in the back seat with him, fed him a large bowl of porridge with blueberries and…

A Wednesday With Riku

I thought I wouldn't be seeing Riku until later in the day today, if at all, so called Carol Woods at 7:30 to catch up with her; it has been a long time since we have chatted. At 9 a.m. we were still catching up! The doorbell rang and Riku was there, all big smiles, and ready to come and visit for the day. What a lovely surprise; Carol and I made plans to finish up our conversation next week.

Riku is still coughing a bit, and so we had a quiet day at home. He wasn't interested in going out to the garden, so we did just what he wanted to... I read books to him, "Small Pig" included as it has been a while since we read it. I was amazed at how many of the last few words of most pages he could fill in; he started doing this in Japan but we have been reading other books more frequently since then.

He wanted to "go upstairs, play with barn and chickens" so while he was busy moving the animals around and having the "grandma" clean up the barn (as in &quo…

Finally, The Ironing Is Done!

And yes, that is worth being the heading for this blog, as the ironing has been hanging around far too long. It had started to collect when I was in Japan, and continued to build up in the more than three weeks since my return. It is such a relief to have it caught up with and over, until the Monday wash!

I was tempted to go off to a double feature with Doug today, but had second thoughts when I realized how much housework there was to do, and a dinner party to arrange for Doug's birthday tomorrow. I resisted, and am so glad I did! I had time to read the paper, make Doug's cheesecake, iron for three hours!, clean both bathrooms thoroughly, and vacuum and dust upstairs. I did manage to do the main floor yesterday. The house feels like home again.

At 5:30 I was making a grocery list for the dinner tomorrow, and at 6 p.m. we picked up Akane and Riku for a quick trip to Rainbow. Riku, unfortunately, is sick. His throat sounds rough and husky, he is feeling quite sensitive, his dad…

Happy Birthday, Beth!

Well, today my baby sister is 54 years old! Hmm, guess that means that I am getting up there too. Hard to imagine. I never did mind growing older, and I guess just when I was at the stage where I could see how it might be disconcerting, Gilda Radner was dying of cancer and all she wanted was to live to have her 40th birthday. That certainly put aging into perspective, and I truly do celebrate every birthday I am lucky enough to have!

Susan had a couple of appointments today which meant that Amelia and I got to spend the day together! Susan had intended to come here between appointments to feed Amelia her lunch and take her for a walk, but I suggested she instead take the time for herself... see an early movie, have a nice lunch out, or just put her feet up and relax. I was so happy she agreed to do this as it was a warm and sunny day and Amelia and I had lots to do to keep us busy.

Amelia and I spent some time in the garden, which she loves to do. She played with water, had some snack…

"Swimming, Swimming, In The Swimming Pool"

Riku was tapping at the door today at 9 a.m. I love to see his face light up as he spots me coming down the stairs; I especially love the big and joyous "Nana!" as though it has been months since we last saw each other.

Today was a big day and he was talking about it from the moment he came in. We're going swimming today! This was Riku's first time in a pool I believe, and I had hoped to have it be a class with Amelia. The class was full, however, and so we settled for a "free" swim hour from 2-3 p.m.

This worked well, as Riku had time for a leisurely lunch here at home with me after his morning nap, and playtime in the back yard with a squirt bottle and the collecting of stones for his big dump truck.

We left for the Herbst Pool just behind the zoo at 1 p.m. and arrived in time for a visit with Susan and Amelia, who were lunching on the grass after their noon hour class. Amelia was as happy to see us as we were to see her. It was lots of fun for both of th…

Saturday Market

This morning at 9:40 Doug and I picked up Akane and Riku for a trip to the Alemany Market just outside the city; Bryn was at his three hour Japanese language course.

Riku was in fine form, as he really enjoys wandering through the market, often wanting go solo (although this is often difficult as it is so busy there). He often reaches out to hold hands though, and occasionally wants to be lifted up. Mostly he enjoys stopping to pick up a big stalk of broccoli ("Yum! yum!", says Riku!), pat as many dogs as he is allowed to, or just stop and say a big "Hi!" to random people. They almost all respond to him at this market and with big smiles directed right back to him. Such a social butterfly is our Riku!

We bought mushrooms, kiwi, daikon radish, cheese curds, pecorino cheese, dates, oranges, raspberry jam, Yukon Gold potatoes, and a big bag of "kettle corn". I made the mistake of telling Riku he could have some popcorn and of course he wouldn't hear of e…

One Last Day In SF For This Year … And On I Go To Ontario!

Today was a busy day from the get-go, as someone says! I showered, checked my email, dressed, and got rolling... sugar cookies that is, and gingerbread men... a double batch of each. Doug came down and said that it sure smelled like Christmas and it does for sure. I took time out to read the paper and have my breakfast at one point but it was still almost noon by the time I finished the baking, cleaning up and packaging the cookies for delivery to Susan's and Kevin's, with two dozen tiny gingerbread ladies for Amelia (she's crazy about them!), and the rest to Hampshire Street, where I believe they are going to share the extras (if there are any) with Bryn's co-workers and some friends.

I phoned to talk to the children in Toronto and they sound as excited as I am feeling about my trip there; we plan to make some gingerbread on Tuesday morning and go to visit Santa that afternoon. Can't wait!

Doug finished wrapping the gifts while I did name tags and found some extra…

A Visit With Santa Claus

I was up early this morning, and immedaitely got busy rolling out the second double batch of gingerbread men and making a rice pudding, to use up a full container of milk. I called to see if Riku could come over this morning, so that he could get a morning nap in before going to visit Santa at Stonestown Mall today. Daddy came up for a warm cookie before going to work.

After breakfast, Riku had a great time playing with his cars in the kitchen, and then quietly going through his books alone in the living room, and whilst sitting on his red chair in the kitchen. At 11 a.m. Riku went down for an hour and a half nap! We picked Akane up and went off with a very excited little boy. He knew he was to visit Santa and we practiced his saying that he wanted "big truck".

There was a line-up for Santa but Susan and Amelia showed up soon after we arrived, which was lots of fun. We all took turns walking around the tree area with the children, and soon it was time for the big moment. Ame…

Home For The Holidays

Riku arrived on my doorstep at 9:45 this morning. I invited his parents upstairs for a minute before dashing off, to indulge in some freshly baked gingerbread cookies, made this morning and still warm. They went off with a couple of extras (Bryn took a couple for Brent too) and Riku enjoyed two of the little ones I had made for the two little ones in my life.

After waving goodbye to Akane and Bryn, Riku discovered the tiny wooden town set on the living room table (eight houses and a church), that had belonged to his Daddy. He quickly took them down, carrying them in two trips to the kitchen where he sat happily playing with them on the floor, while I finished off the cookies. Nap time after hot cereal and a thorough look through a British ABC book Doug had found for him ages ago; it seems to be a favourite right now and each time he looks at it he discovers something new.

After a forty minute nap Riku woke just in time for us to dash to the airport to pick up Doug. His flight was earl…

One Week Today …

I will be in Ontario with Kelly, Gregg, and the children. Hard to imagine as there is still so much to do here before leaving!

Today started out early with a 5 a.m. awakening from Doug for a trip to the airport. He is off to bitterly cold Detroit; I crawled back into bed at 6 a.m. with two warm "bed buddies" and managed to doze off until 7:30. Good thing, as the day was busier than usual.

Riku had his second year check-up today at 9:30 a.m. I was afraid that Riku would fall asleep for his morning nap on our way there, but instead he managed to stay awake looking at all the sights from the car window. I had done a little role playing with him about what the doctor would do to him; he is older and I thought might remember going to the doctor and having a needle. He sure doesn't like to see that long table covered with paper; Bryn said tonight it was because it doesn't come equipped with pens!... and this might be as that is one of his favourite activities right now... …

Au Revoir Riku, Akane, And Bryn

Today is my last day with Riku for nine days. He and his parents are off to Ontario for a visit with friends and family. I have been talking to Riku for over a week about his going on a plane with Mommy and Daddy and telling him no, that I won't be going and no, Grandpa won't be going either. Now he tells me "p'ane, Riku, Daddy, Mommy, not Nana, not Gandpa" so it's all clear to him now. I have also been showing him photos of some of the people he will be seeing. Yesterday and today he sat on my lap for the longest time at the computer while I showed him over and over... Auntie Kelly, Uncle Gregg, Myk', Bryn, Bryant, and Caillie... and Uncle Frank, Auntie Beth, and Manitou too! He repeated all the names after me and does a great job with all of them. It will be interesting to see how he does with them while he's there.

Akane put him in front of the TV this morning and cut his hair while he was distracted. When I picked him up at 10:30 he looked just ad…

Pudding? … And Good Night Amelia

I walked over to pick up Riku at 9:30 this morning and we had our usual leisurely stroll back to our house. Riku started giving his mom a two handed wave over the past couple of weeks; we stop to look up at Akane in the window, and they wave to each other with both hands. It's adorable; we stop twice before continuing on our way.

Now we also stop at Lily's, the dry cleaner, so that Riku can tap on the window and give her a big smile and blow her a kiss.

The fork lift truck was in action this morning and so we paused long enough to watch the driver pick up some big lengths of wood from the house building site and place it on the flat ground down on our street. The driver was so friendly, gave Riku a big smile and a wave as well. Riku is quite taken with big machinery these days, so the new house has been a source of much pleasure lately.

Usually when Riku walks in the house his first word is either "Grandpa?" or "cars?" He knows that Grandpa is not home this…