Rules at Grandma’s House

On Friday, teachers in Ottawa are having a holiday  professional development day.

So tomorrow evening my daughter is going to pick me up on her way home from work, to I can spend Friday with her two children and their dog.

The last time there was a PA Day, they came to our house and we went out on the buses, which they loved, and went to Tim Horton’s, which they loved, and to A&W, which they loved, and came back here to play video games, which they absolutely loved! We had a great day.

I told them that at Grandma’s, there is a different set of rules.

  • You can eat what you want when you want to.
  • You can read Archie comics all day if you want to.
  • A visit to Tim Horton’s for hot chocolate is a must.
  • Cookies are in the jar and you can have as many as you want.
  • Our TV and Netflix can be accessed all day.
  • Video games can be played for as long as you like.
  • You can sit whereever you want to on the bus.
  • You can change seats as often as you like.

It’s a wonder my daughter and son-in-law still want us to watch the kids!!!

But on Friday it is going to be VERY cold and I don’t want to be outdoors at all, especially not waiting for a bus. So I am going there, and the rules are different. Can you believe it???

I am looking forward to spending the day with Owen and Brynn. And Chip, the dog. The very cute dog.

I am going to stay over into Saturday so that I can go to watch the Moms play hockey against the Daughters. It should be a close match. On the one hand, the girls have been honing their skills all season long, but on the other hand, the Moms have size on their side. The girls are strong skaters. The Moms CAN skate (at least most of them can). The girls are good at passing. The Moms will try to pass, if their sticks ever touch the puck. The girls have energy. The Moms have energy bars.

Owen is coaching his Mom and putting her through the drills he himself practices before a big game. Apparently he is very encouraging. Brynn has been getting secret coaching from her Dad. I think she is going to try to get a penalty!

I just hope there is no fighting during the game. I’d hate to see how that would turn out!

I’ll have a recap of the game highlights in my next post.

Thanks for visiting. Have a good weekend. – Maureen





What a Difference a Year Makes

It is a year today since we moved from the Toronto area (Oshawa) to the city of Ottawa, our nation’s capital.

What a year it’s been.

The biggest pluses for me? We are living in the same city as two of our four daughters and we are only two hours away from another one. The fourth is across the country, living on the west coast, in Vancouver, so it is still a plane ride away.

We live very close to seven of our eight grandchildren, and despite the fact that I love my daughters, this one should have been first because I just can’t get enough of those sweet children.

We have been getting reacquainted with Ottawa as we lived her for two years, forty years ago. We are using the “free Wednesday” buses to explore a new area of the city every week.  The bicycle trails have become a constant and ever-changing source of joy and wonder to us as well. Just outside our front door we have the Greenboro Trail, filled with trees and flowers. I just can’t explain how we are amazed every time we walk or bike on this system of trails.

One of my three sisters lives just outside Ottawa and we see her frequently. Another sister moved here in March, from Vancouver. We took an art class together which we love and are taking another after Christmas. My fourth sister lives in Bermuda, which is a good thing! I also have three brothers who live in Ottawa and we see them often.

My cousin, Ninette, whom I grew up with and went to school with, lives here and I see her once a week. My friend from university, Colleen, lives here and we just reconnected after 47 years! What a joy!

All the activity means that I am getting healthier and I am 15 pounds less than when we moved here. Isn’t that amazing!

I can tell you that every morning I wake up and am so happy I can hardly believe it. I love our little house and I especially love my bedroom which is bright and sunny even on cloudy days! LOL. God has blessed me indeed!

Today we put up our mini Christmas tree and decorations. We are sitting by our (fake) fire and I am sipping tea made by my very attentive husband.  Does it get any better that this?

YES! Our daughter, Lindi, is coming from Vancouver for Christmas with Emil our grandson who turned 8 last week. It will be the first time we will all have been together for Christmas in at least 30 years. I can hardly wait. They are arriving on Tuesday.

Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends!




Happy Fall

It has been ages since I have done a blog post and I almost forget what to do. There have been a number of reasons that I haven’t been posting in a while.

As many of you know, we moved to Ottawa last December. We knew that there was no air conditioning in our house but in December, who cares?  In early June, the weather was getting hotter and we started to talk about buying a portable AC. My husband thought that we could get by without one but when we saw a good deal at Future Shop, we went for it. Thank God for that.

Ottawa had its hottest, driest summer ever and we were nice and cool.

My husband is an electrical engineer and here’s where the problem arose. He calculated the number of watts or megawatts or megasomethings that the AC was going to use, per day, or per hour, multiplied by the number of words I was going to key in, or something, and the upshot of it all is that I was not to use the computer unless the AC was off. I think there would have been explosions or something.

I told you it was the hottest summer EVER, didn’t I? So the AC was never off.

By the time the weather grew cooler, I had pretty well forgotten how to post blogs, but now that I have started again, there will likely be no stopping me.

During the summer I worked on my “novel” which is set in my home province of Nova Scotia. It is a romance, with a little mystery thrown in to make it  interesting.

This fall I began an art course. This time I am learning how to paint in acrylics, which is a new medium for me. For the last twenty years, I have been working in watercolours.

I have enjoyed being visited by my grandchildren and am amazed at how they are growing. Have you ever kissed your grandson’s cheek and felt whiskers? The grandchildren range in age from 6 to 15 and are incredibly wonderful.

My husband and I continue to walk and bike the trails of Ottawa and I will shortly (as soon as my daughter, Carla, is able to help me) set up a new blog on the trails of Ottawa. It will be mostly pictures of the changing seasons and the changing light on the paths around Ottawa.

I’m happy to be back and look forward to many more posts in the coming days.

Thanks for reading and have a good day!


For These People I Am Thankful

The second Monday in October is Thanksgiving in Canada.  We pause for a moment to think about the things we are thankful for. 

I love this holiday because it is so uncommercialized.  It’s not about toys, or gifts, or cards.  It’s a time to express our gratitude for all that we have. 

In our family we say grace before meals and then each person at the table says what they are thankful for over the past year.  If you are the 17th person it’s a little difficult to not repeat what everyone else has already said.  

This year I have been thinking about the people who are and have been so important in my life.

  • My parents.  They brought eleven children into the world, took good care of us, educated us, and loved us. 
  • My 10 brothers and sisters.   No matter what was happening, no matter how bad we felt, there was always at least one ally to support us. 
  • Kathleen MacDonald, my grade eight teacher.  Her dedication to her job and her care for the girls in her classes inspired me.  It was then at age 13 that I decided to become a teacher, a job I held for 45 years.
  • My uncle Alex.  He never married.  I think he felt sometimes that he needed to help Mom and Dad to bring us up.  He never criticized my parents, or any of their decisions, but with an amazing sense of humor managed to support both them and me.
  • My childhood friend, Betty Ann.  She was funny and like a sister to me.  When I heard she had died a few years ago, my heart broke.
  • My in-laws.  A wonderful family.  Like my own sisters and brothers.  My mother-in-law is 90 years old and is greatly loved.
  • My husband.  ♥  He is the love of my life and we have been married for 45 years.  (I was just a baby!) 
  • Our four daughters. On my wedding day I said to one of the guests, “Mrs.  Warren, I hope I have four daughters just like you.”  I guess wedding day wishes really do come true.
  • Our four sons-in-law. They are true partners to our girls.  They love their children and treat us like royalty.
  • Our eight grandchildren. They are smart and beautiful.  They are kind and generous.
  • My very dear friends here in Oshawa.  I love you and appreciate you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

You Know You’re Old If…

This morning my husband and I had a discussion about age.  It went something like this:

Hubby:  We aren’t old yet, are we?

Me: We-ell…

Hubby: What would you say old is?  75?  80?

Me:  Maybe 70.

Hubby:  Well, I guess we’ll decide when we get there.

How can we tell if we’re old?  I mean the Government of Canada has given us cards that say we are.  These are the exact words:

The holder of this card receives a benefit under the Old Age Security Act.  The Government of Canada asks that you extend all possible privileges to the cardholder.

Yeah, right.  I’d like to see that happen!

You can tell you’re old…

  • if your idea of getting lucky is finding the last box of  bran on the grocery store shelf.
  • if your idea of a hot time is when your hot flashes begin to set off the smoke alarm.
  • if your legs are beginning to look like a Rand McNally Road Atlas map.
  • if the crow’s-feet around your eyes and the laugh lines around your mouth meet in the middle of your face.
  • if you stay out of certain stores because of the loud music.
  • if you go out to dinner before school is out in the afternoon.
  • if the car you drive is bigger than the PEI Ferry.
  • if your idea of a tailored outfit is tucking your shirt into the elastic waistband of your track suit.
  • if your idea of exercise is getting up four times during the night to use the washroom.

Of course I can’t relate to any of these, except maybe the one about…

I know from experience that retirement is a wonderful stage of life.  I love every day and try not to take any for granted.  They are filled with things to do but I can do them at a leisurely pace.  I take joy in discovering new things to do and new people to meet.  I am taking classes and reading books, painting pictures and listening to music. 

I take great delight in my eight grandchildren and love listening to their ideas of the world around them.  When Brynn says she loves when Grandma is silly, or Damiano keeps measuring himself to see if he is getting to be as tall as I am, or Emil tells me he is allowed to watch PG movies without his parents (he’s NOT allowed, by the way), when Enid tells me she is going to go to Japan to teach school, or Owen tells me he thinks I have a hearing problem, or Cameron and Enzo talk about their hockey games, I treasure each moment.  I would not be younger for anything. 

Well, maybe just a little younger!