Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blessed Facebook

I have no idea why I called this post blessed Facebook, for I rarely go out to take a look at that world.

But Facebook is the place most of the people I met tonight had seen the invitation to meet for a small party hosted by Kerri Sing.  I sat by Michelle Nielsen, Larita Barfus and Miranda Johnson, as well as three others of Kerri's friends -- Jean (Kerri's adult playground friend) and at our table was also a lovely 6 month old baby girl named Hoona.

The whole table of women shared stories:  how we knew Kerri, how some of us had already become acquainted with the others at the table, whom else we knew in the room, and if people in our families have ever been breast cancer survivors.

Many of us will meet again on Kerri's new blog.  I told her that I am a dangerous invite, and that it will be alright if she blocks me.

Kerri took selfies with most of us as we left.

Now that is a party.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy 56th Birthday, Boyce

"Nice to see you eating better, Boyce."
I received an email saying that it would be Boyce's 56th birthday on March 31st, and that the day would be celebrated on the 30th with a party on Grant's floor at Seton Place.

Just turn left at the elevators on two.
"Yes, I know I am 56."

When we arrived Ramona had done it all. 

There were helium balloons.

Two tables were set with cloths and festive plates and napkins -- matching of course.

 Take-out Chinese food was there.
"How can you be 56 and your dad be 90?"
"Where did the time go?"

The birthday man was feted with stories of the past.

Bruce remembered that on his first date with Ramona, when he brought her home, Boyce came out to the car, got in, and the date extended while they went again so that Boyce could be part of the event.

Boyce has always had the good sense to tell me that I am his favourite aunt.

His eyes truly lit up when Jeni reminded him that he is her favourite brother-in-law.
In the phone call from Katherine, some little voice asked Jeni 
if she could come for another sleep-over. I would like to come
to that party as well.  I will bring the candy.  Lots of it.

I couldn't capture the picture of Boyce blowing out his two candles -- one a number five and the other a six.

That part of the evening lasted only a fraction of a second.

We all feasted on Chapman's Creamy Vanilla Ice-cream and/or Rainbow Sherbet.

"Hard to keep the glasses on the right place on my nose."

I think I have said enough to make everyone wish they had been there.

Catherine face timed in from Lethbridge and her little family sang Happy Birthday.

All of us are still amazed that technology will let us do that.
The right size of cake for 7 party people.

Boyce spent a long time reading his cards and looking at his gifts. I had the vanilla twice but showed restraint with the sherbet having it only once.

Besides wonderful cash Boyce received chocolate-covered almonds from England and a small box of mints, the top of the box carrying the face of John Wayne, and Jen reminding him of the saying, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."
One winter bear scoop for the ice-cream,
the other scooper for the sherbet.

I have been to many birthday parties, and initiated some of them.

But I think I have been to more of Boyce's parties, just as a guest, than any other person I know.

The theme is always Chinese food. 


Who loves babies?

"Richard?  Could I carry her around for a while?"
When the 5 second cousins were at MacDonalds I watched Audra with Theresa. 

She sat with her shoulder to shoulder, and then Audra had her arm right around Theresa's back, chatting with her and entertaining her while they were eating.

 Theresa is not able to do two things at once, and so no food goes into her at an event like this, but she is royally entertained.
"Here is a toy.  Want to come to me now?"

When we got back to our next venue, the Johnson's playground, Theresa was on her own and Audra picked up with Betty, serving her french fries, one with each hand, carrying her around on her hip, and slowly getting in Betty's good graces so that she would go to Audra. 

Quite cute, that girl, Audra.


Teatro alla Scala is on another planet

Click the title above for the best I could do for finding a review of La Scala which I saw will be coming to the big screen in Calgary, both Thursday and Sunday.

With very little hope of ever getting to Milan to see this magnificent structure and sit in its seats, I am going to take this film as my opportunity of finding out something about La Scala:  one hour and 38 minutes, I think the brochure said.


SAIT Buffet

Decoration in the lobby of SAIT
made out of candy
This was a moment when all of the stars lined up.  Wyona was able to get a booking for a table of seven at SAIT.  Tonia was off for Easter break.  Art was able to get away for lunch.  Greg had a new sports coat and looked smashing.

At SAIT it is always a toss up as to whether the salad buffet, the hot entrees or the desserts are the most attractive.  I can always count on Wyona going to the bread table as well, and taking a piece of each, and then sharing it with whomever sits to her left or right.

I got trapped with the kale salad:  kale, blueberries, walnuts and then a champagne vinaigrette.  I had to ask the creator of the salad what his trick was.  He said he couldn't give exact proportions, but there was mustard, shallots, champagne vinaigrette, an apple blended, ginger, garlic, salt and canola oil.

I would have been worn out just preparing the dressing.  He did use it to soak the kale before adding the other ingredients.

All that to say why those SAIT buffets are just the best.


Playing with Matrushkas

LtoR: Richard, Alice, Betty's head only barely behind Alice's neck, 
Kelvin, Catherine and Michael
Family photos have to be candids, and grabbed at the moment when someone has a camera in hand.

I could not get a picture without Catherine giving the beginning of a raspberry.  But to put the photo in context, here we are, just getting ready to go over to Richard's to have deer sausage.  But the last act of the day had to be putting away the matrushkas that the kids were playing with.  So piece by piece, the dolls went back together and then we shared a family meal together -- the best part of the day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Dirt Pile

back row: Theresa, Alice, Michael, Kalina
front row: Audra teaching Betty to play in the dirt
Today I was reminded of being at the beach on a summer day, 1/4 of a mile of beach and yet everyone swimming in the water or sitting on the beach within reach of each other .

Looking at the raised garden bed, all five of the cousins seemed to be able to find a spot in the same bed and within reach of each other.  A whole yard to play in, and everyone in the same spot.

There is a designated dirt pile at this home, but the garden is full of rich loam that was ready to be turned.  So that is where they were.

... sometimes tables need sweeping ...
Miranda had purchased new tools and together the five of them dug with shovels and small spades, raking, smashing the dirt balls and pulling out the quack grass.

There can't help but be dirt that flies in the wrong direction with so many willing hands.

But just so as it stayed within the frame, that seemed to be all that mattered to the care givers.
 ...Wyona joins the fun ...

There were lots of drinks on the table and chicken strips and fries.

 When the work seemed too onerous, someone would come and refresh themselves with food and then back to digging they went.
"This time I caught a big one, Grandma!"

The biggest prize was finding a small worm, which they showed to Wyona.

We sang the song for them, "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me / think I'll go eat worms... 

At that point Wyona pretended to eat the worm, so there were some shocked and others just in disbelief about what they imagined they had seen.

Alice's lesson on shaking the dirt out of the quack grass ...
The second garden bed got no action.

There are some raspberry bushes in it, and when someone would migrate to that bed, back they would come to the place where the earth was soft and the brambles, non-existant.

Some of the dried chive flowers were taken from that second bed and brought back to the first and planted.

Our first hope that Spring will bring blooms to everything that is stuck in the ground.


Michael's Backyard

... note the size of the bubble, lower right hand corner ...
"Take all you want!" 
... Kalina passing out the marshmallow ...
We invited ourselves back to Michael's backyard since there is room to run and lots of play equipment.

I wonder if the best toy of all isn't the bubble machine.

Richard got it filled.

Alice said she had a good idea and out of the house she came with all of the spoons her parents own, passing them out to everyone so that the game could be, catch the bubbles on a spoon as they land.
I could line them up, but not keep the sun out of their eyes.

I was thinking how important it is to have back-up bubbles, but they need to be bought by the litre.

Alice has two yard long bubble tubes, but when she takes out the plastic holder that carries the bubbles in one hand, she tips the other hand with the bubble holder tube and all of the bubbles end up on the sidewalk or the grass.

 ...a one bubble experiment and then the tube dropped to the ground ...
The biggest hit is a battery operated machine that throws the bubbles in the air. That machine can keep five children running around the yard, catching bubbles on a spoon.

"I just about caught it!"
I didn't know the day would come when I would see five little second cousins running around the yard. Pretty cute!

The day ended when the sun went down and we all had to put our jackets on and run around the yard, playing What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf, and Tag.

The first game is quite frightening to 2 year olds, so the three of them had to have grandmothers hold their hands as they marched along shouting out, "What time is it Mr. Wolf".  It was a good thing that the third grandmother, Joan Turnbull, had arrived by then, so it was one two-year old per grandmother.

The good thing about tag is that the quickest they can run is about the quickest the grandmothers can run, so in that respect, the players of the games were evenly matched.

And we play by a very loose set of rules:  run and scream.


A Play Date at the Golden Arches

... nothing like a short drive to put a person to sleep ...
Wyona was taking Audra, Theresa and Kalina to a play date, initiated by Theresa who asked her grandmother if they could do that again.

She was the first one in the car and sound asleep before Wyona had driven a couple of blocks to pick up the other kids.

Even with the best of maps, we got lost on the way to Bowness Park, though it is possible to wonder how that could happen.  That was the first part of our day going south.

We got to MacDonalds, and the kids into the play area, only to see a sign:  "Cleaning from 4:15 pm to 6:15 pm.  Sorry for the inconvenience."

No one was sorrier than we.

They played in the tunnels and slides for 9 minutes and then we ate and left.

First we were lost.  Then we had chosen the wrong MacDonalds if we were going to sit and watch the kids play.

Who would have thought to phone ahead to MacDonalds to find out their cleaning schedule.

You have been warned.

And then the third part of an event going south?  Wyona left her Ipad at MacDonalds.  To put this in perspective, at least it wasn't one of the kids we left.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Back to Basics of Good Health

From Bonnie Johnson:

... good food, good friends, good conversation ...
I just can't seem to make myself take those Omega 3 pills that Arta's west coast doctor told her she should take.

But we try to go back to basics on other food projects.

For dinner last night we made Tuna Quesidillas and a side dish of roasted vegetables.

I hear Leo can make the vegetables crispie that way.

... a little more whipping cream please ...
Ours were delicious but a little overdone.

David was responsible for whip cream topping. He liked how each squirting gave him a little spray on his hand to lick off.

Tonight's meal will be chicken stir fry and rice.

The carrots, red peppers and broccoli are already chopped.

A can if baby corn will be added (David's preference over celery).

The chicken is thawing in the fridge.

There is a Callebeault Chocolate Easter Bunny handmade in Armstrong for David for dessert (his request).

... tuna quesidilla's ...
Why wait till Easter to bring on the seasonal food?

For those needing fewer calories, Halo oranges will have to do.

The after dinner party will be dying of Easter Eggs.

David is practicing juggling with a new set of red, blue and yellow balls.

He is really good at the single throw (family record of 34 tosses before a drop).

He can toss a ball from one hand to the other in a perfect arc with his eyes closed.

He has mastered the two ball throw starting with his dominant hand, and is moving on to perfecting starting with his non-dominant hand.

... a perfect dessert ...
I wonder if he will try juggling Easter Eggs. 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Diary of Anne Frank

Audience:  LtoR - Audra, Sabrina Zach and Art
Eight of us went to see The Diary of Anne Frank tonight, a play by Albert Hacket & Frances Goodrich and presented by the theatre company, Act Theatre. 

Gabe plays the part of Peter Van Daan.

He did the matinee and the evening performance.

His evening guests you can see to the left.

Tonia, Lurene and others were at the matinee.

West Village Theatre is a small venue, 85 seats in the house, everyone as good as the next.

The theatre is just under the bridge at the junction of the Bow River and Crowchild Trail, and is in an alley.

I would not have found it without having specific instructions.
Audience:  LtoR - Marcia, Arta, Wyona and Greg

There can hardly be a more sobering play -- whether having read the book or not.

On the way home Greg told us that the title of Anne Frank's book is The Diary of a Young Girl.

 ...directed by Amanda Liz Cutting ...
I haven't read it, and only know the small bits that my kids used to do in speech performances, beginning with the line, "Look, Peter, the sky."

Gabe did some serious acting -- fight scenes, tripping scenes and a scene where he pulls a joke by pretending to have a cat under his jacket.

In the play, the character of Peter is in the same attic with a group of other people for a year and a half.

Gabe had the character development thoughtfully sketched out.

The play runs until next Saturday.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Michael came over to give me a 15 minute warning that pizza was about to come out of the oven. I wondered what I should do at that point – try to finish up 15 one minute jobs or one 15 minute job. Michael was of the same opinion though he was pointed in the direction of what he could explore in the 15 minutes we had together. He wanted to put cheese on toothpicks and put them on the hor’s d’ourves holder on the ledge of the china cabinet. He needed to drag the ladder to the sink and get closer to the new objects on the window sill. He needed to take a look at my new rain boots. He wanted to pull some luggage around the floor, since he had discovered that the luggage moves north and south, and also east and west. That was the point where I remembered that the suitcase belonged to his dad in the first place, so he bounced it up the stairs one bump at a time and rolled it back to their house.

As we ate our home made pizza Richard told me that his kids know how to sing “Put your Shoulder to the Wheel”. I told him that is a song not all of his second cousins will know. Yes, I checked it out. They can sing the tune, they know words, their bodies move with the rhythm and their faces display the fervor that can come with singing a song with religious fervor.

We all joined in for one chorus. Richard said that they learned it while doing the wash, since everyone helps with the wash at their house. The word of the day was “shirk”, just in case I wanted to know.

Yes. “Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along / Do your duty with a heart full of song / We all have work, let no one shirk / Put your shoulder to the wheel.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Before the "Taming of the Shrew"

Add caption
If Rebecca is going to The Taming of the Shrew tomorrow with her men, she will be busy looking at the internet, trying to find 10 famous quotes from the play.

As well there will be plot summaries posted on her living room door.

I go about my preparation in a different way.

Taming of the Shrew
Act III, Scene ii.
Illustration by Francis Wheatley, 1793.
Public domain.
I go out to read the reviews, this time two of them in the Globe and Mail, since this production was done at Stratford this year.  If that is your way to prepare for the play, then see either J. Kelly Nestruck's Globe and Mail review or Kate Taylor's review in the Globe and Mail on March 11th, 2016.

I looked for some of the famous quotes as well.  This one is easy to remember -- at least the general shape of it.

“You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate,
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;
Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,
Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.”

Looking foward to see how Stratford takes this play on.


Renoir: Revered and Reviled

La famille de l'artiste
I went to see the Exhibition on Screen Series which was called "Renoir: Revered and Reviled" last night – 1 ½ hours of painting from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

This set of paintings is unlikely to never tour, so I didn’t want to miss seeing what was there, and what the critics and curators of the collection had to say about it.

The camera spent a long time on “The Artist’s Family” (1896) for some think that Renoir was in the picture originally, in the open space, and then painted himself out. In the end, x-ray technology revealed that this is just not true – only a charming speculation.

A lovely evening.

My only critique is that the background music is soft and soothing and it is possible to slip off to sleep when hearing it. I know this from previous viewings, so I went last night, having had a long afternoon nap. It was either that or buy popcorn to munch on.

I was 20 minutes early so sat in my chair, half listening to the conversation behind me. A woman was describing her experience of learning about this series, and then telling her companion how many of the events she had seen. I related to many of them – one builds on another until I have a whole backpack of gallery experiences I would never have had any other way.

On the way out of the theatre I was half listening again, walking down the long corridor, hearing animated conversations between groups: “Didn’t you love the rosy cheeks on the children,”; “What did you think of his late-period painting technique?”; “Why do you think he broke with the impressionists in his later period?”: “Why did this later period of his work have such an impression on Monet and Piccasso?”.

Again, a lovely evening a 20 minute ride from my home.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

International Women's Day -- how to celebrate

Cupcakes of course.


And cake (which Naomi took to the church last night to share with her Achievers group: the 8-11 year old girls).

It was Naomi's design.  We had some old marshmallow fondant in the freezer, so we pulled it out and searched our cookie cutter box for letters and shapes.  I love what she decided to do.

Manon Lescaut - Afterward

Settling into the theatre to watch an opera is a surreal experience for me. The show is early in the day when I am fresh. The ride there only takes 10 minutes. The price of $27 is right. The event could only be better if I had some grandchildren with me, but my choices right now are a 4 year old and a 2 year old – too young yet.

Act III, Manon Lescaut
I have seen Massenet’s Manon, but never Puccini’s opera with the same story: Manon Lescaut. 

Rebecca’s teen-agers are always telling her that they don’t want any spoilers; in fact they don’t want any information – they just like the surprise.

Now that doesn’t stop her from setting the experiences up. Who could have possibly enjoyed As You Like It without knowing something about the tangle of characters and situations about to be seen?

I like that pre-performance set up as well. I carve out time to hear a few melodies and refresh myself with the plot. But I don’t that that is necessary with the opera. Just sitting there with the rich sound and sight would be enough. And we, who are addicted to HD Live, have come to expect live interviews with the performers, a trip to the rehearsal hall or to the place where costumes are created, or to listen to the creative director explaining why he made the choices he did. Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, was also interviewed.

I was idly listening to him and thought I noticed that he had the same frames for his glasses that I had. I took mine off to check. Too dark. But I could feel laughter peeling inside of me. I am wired to check details.

The opera was 213 minutes of sheer pleasure: the costuming, the film noire setting, the perfect acting and singing, the staging of the chorus, and the blocking of the action. There is a reason that I like to go back more than once to the same production. I learned that from a woman many years ago at the Crowfoot Cineplex. She would stay right to the end of the music, long past the credits, for in those days they would play the music of the opera until everyone was out of the theatre. She is the one who told me that it is OK to come back and hear the same production again. I believed her.

Butterfly is coming up soon. There are 3 showings, two days apart here. The last time Butterfly came it was to a sold out crowd. I am going to assure myself of having a ticket before I drive up to find I can’t get in. More Puccini. Yes!


One Voice Choir

I was early to the film Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger (Sam Foder, 2014), early enough to hear the LGBT One Voice Choir do their warm up. Their choirmaster is the music director for the Unitarian church on 16th Avenue, a music PhD and a fabulous musician, and so are the choir members. I listened to “Walk a Mile in your Neighbour’s Shoes”, “How Could Anyone Tell You, You were Less than Beautiful”, and “It Take a Whole Village to Raise Our Children ”. The scores were thick and rich and the singers, all of them talented musicians in their own right. I was the only one there for the warm-up as well as for the performance – double the pleasure.

Kate Bornstein (2012)
We saw the film which was followed by a QA. 

Kate Bornstein was there in person as the Mount Royal College 2016 Faculty of Arts Distinguished Speaker.

Ze has written Gender Outlaw, and Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and other Outlaws, among other titles.

I haven’t read any of her hir books, but I do intend to pick some up from the library.

She says of hirself, "I don't call myself a woman, and I know I'm not a man". Kate prefers the gender neutral pronoun"ze/hir" in place of "she/her" or "he/him".

I am behind on my Queer Theory, so when I came home I spent an hour or two out on the internet trying to get myself placed with more information. I haven’t taken a Women’s Studies Course for a long time.   Feels like an eternity, really.  Film is always on my mind, not that there isn’t Queer Film Theory, but I haven’t immersed myself in that either.

The choir was beautiful – professional. The film was full of close-ups and wonderful clips of dialogue. The Q&A period was lively and eventually brought to a close because there is a point at which the audience has to go home. The moderator, James Demers of Fairy Tales Presentation Society, told people that they could line up and ask questions but that it was time for those without those questions to go home.

The line-up for questions was half up up the theatre isle.

At one point Kate Bornstein told us hir age: 68 years old and then asked if there was anyone older than that in the audience. I did raise my hand. She looked out into the audience at me and said, “You old fart.”

Kate may have it right.

My only regret of the evening was hearing that Gloria Steinem had been in town the night before at the University of Calgary. Ouch to missing that.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Egg Decorating

From Wyona and Greg in Texas

The egg-blowing party begins.
After lunch we coloured eggs, 22 of them.

At one point Anneliese said, "Oh it broke.

That is how hard she can blow on an egg.

She had her whole hand in the dye pushing the egg down. The table us wet but she could not grab the eggs fast enough.

I put the strings in the eggs last night and this morning they were put on the tree. Now the children want to do 22 more that was fun?
... powerful cheek muscles ...

Ivan asked us every five minutes after 8 o'clock this morning if it was 10 o'clock yet so he could get ready for church.

Senya told us to get there early so we could get the soft seats.

She reported that Trent and she usually leave first and save seats for the rest of the family.

... the thrill of meaningful work ...
A hah! Well, we were not late but we did have to sit on the second row of the hard seats.

All was well until class time and then Anneliese was holding on to Senya.

She would not let go but Senya wanted to go to class.

So Senya sneaked away, Anneliese would have nothing to do with the nursery so I told Greg to drive us home. Now that made Anneliese lose her cool. But after hugging me in desperation at home she watched Baby Einstein on the computer with me quite happily.

I walked around the house doing jobs, getting lunch etc. but checked up on her often. At one point she was gone from the table and so was Greg's computer. I asked her where it was but by then the kids were coming in and lunch had to be served.

After lunch we made chocolate chip shot glasses. While making them Ivan and Senya asked if they could eat some dough. Of course! Eat all you want. Ezra and Anneliese were off doing something else until nearly the end when they came in for some dough. We made one batch, 12 glasses except we were short a little dough.

The boys were ready to eat them after supper but have to wait until tomorrow when they coat the insides with chocolate and then we will buy some chocolate milk and Sprite. What great grandparents!

Then it was time for videos. I was needing it. The three kids and Anneliese were running for the home computer but I looked for Greg's computer for Anneliese. I asked where it was and Anneliese brought it to me. She told me "it was not working, it is really broking" And I could not get it running so I used my Computer for her. Greg checked his and sure enough, it was dead. I guess that is why Anneliese shut it down earlier in the day. Anneliese watches Einstein, Nursery rhymes. songs while the others watch their computer. But when I say video off, the older three turn theirs off and crowd around Baby Einstein with Anneliese. She pushes them away. It is a tie between Anneliese and Theresa who is the most independent!!!

I saw seaweed in the panty so pushed it to the back of the cupboard as I choked up. Next thing I know Ivan's eyes lit up and he asked for seaweed. What@! Is that kid stupid! Then all the kids finished the one package. I did a Zoe taste test on one flake and knew I was right. The stuff is disgusting!

Last night Anneliese was feeling the pinch of no parents so she started to cry about 5:15 p.m. at dinnertime preparation. I made the comment that she is missing her mother and hungry. Next thing you know I cannot find Senya to help me. She is in the bathroom trying to hide her crying. Senya had asked me a number of times where he Mother and Dad were now. Now I have two girls crying. The boys just looked up as they were eating and said, "What are they crying for?" What, we don't miss our parents. They could not figure it out.

I learned that I cannot comment on the behaviour of Anneliese around Senya or I am in trouble.

2 days down, 7 to go. What fun!

Have to go out and buy white eggs and chocolate milk and white bread/buns for tomorrow. All these parents buy brown bread but I know it all tastes better for the grandchildren with white bread and I want to be a winner!

Looking for chocolate now! And I eat it by myself!


Soccer, Texas Style

From Wyona and Greg in Texas

... extreme grandparenting happens here ...
... a toast with our chocolate shot glasses ...
Saturday started with our soccer games.

Greg dropped four of us off and carried on to Ezra's game.

Senya knew to take the chairs and more.

What she did not know was that most of the stuff she took, she was going to have to carry because I cannot carry very much very far.

Anneliese had to carry her chair (only because I do it myself, not because we were not willing to help) which slowed us down.

Ivan ran ahead.

He was the 4th player on the team there and the coach was not there so a Dad pitched in.

By the end of the game there were 7 players there.

Anyone of the boys on the other team hustled more than anyone on Ivan's team. The other coach was amazing, telling his boys where to be and how to hustle with encouragement. The score was probably 25 to 2, not for us. One of the kids on the other team was short, black, fast and a great ball handler. He was everywhere all the time. Must have scored 15 of the goals.

Ivan had his water which he took. Then a banana, a bar, a grape juice box(which he said was not good but he still drank it) and some apples I think supplied by an appointed parent no doubt). Half way through the game, while it was on, he decided he was going to sit with us so ran across the field sat down on the blanket.

I said,"Ivan you cannot stay here, you must stay with your team". He told me he wanted to sit with us but I convinced him quickly to get off the blanket and go support his team. I saw Ivan kick the ball and it hit another player so Ivan stopped to say I'm sorry while the ball moved on without him. Funny! Ivan was quick on  but has not figured out that "Go for the ball all the time and push the other guy out of the way!! Fight, do not apologize!!!

 ... a rainbow in our Shuswap backyard ...
... a rainbow of fun in Texas ...
Greg took Ezra to his game. There were 5 players on the team. One kid was crying the whole time on the bench. The others were all complaining that they were too tired to play. Ezra and another kid took turns going in and out. The coach spent most of his time convincing the boys to play. Ezra was sad after the game because he did not kick a goal. He wanted someone to give him the ball and wait for him to line up the ball so he could kick a goal. He too needs to learn, "Go for the ball all the time and push the other guy out of the way!

I do not know where the parents are that they do not teach those two boys to plough through and get the ball at all costs.


Snap, Crackle and Pop
Battle Cree Michigan

The logo on Rebecca's T-shirt
My basement has been renovated.  Everything had to be taken out so that the downstairs could be gutted, new plumbing, a new furnace, a kitchen. I was sick so I received a lot of help. One of the last acts someone did was take Rebecca's laundry, which was folded and ready to go back home to Victoria with her, and store it in the garage, deep in the back where no one could get at it.

Now the process is being reversed, and I am trying to take everything in the garage and squeeze it back into my basement.

It just won't work.

And Rebecca's laundry?  I found it today.   Next up is to find her IPAD which is also stored in the garage.

It is not profitable to try to help someone and loose your favourite electronic device and your favourite t-shirt at the same time.


Fourth generation

Have you eaten cinnamon buns from this porch?
Photo: Moiya Wood, March 7, 2016
Tonight Miranda was making cinnamon buns for her family.

She has a new twist.

She lined the pan with parchment paper, and then just plucked it out of the pan, paper and all and let it rest on a rack. Michael touched the pan so he had his finger in a glass of ice water for a while. Alice had her bun on a fork and tried to eat the sticky top, so she had a cloth on her lips. Miranda thanked me for teaching her how to make the buns. I told her I had to thank my mother for teaching me, who in turn had to thank Aunt Erva. That makes four generations of people who have touched the bun when it was too hot, or pushed the pan before it was cool.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Manon Lescaut

Roberto Alagna and Kristine Opolais
One of the best things about my life is that I can wake up and think of where I will be going next, with regards to the theatre or the opera.

There is something new every week or two -- wondrous to me.

Puccini's Manon Lescaut is being presented on Saturday.

Rather than say too much here, it an all be read in the New York Times Review by Anthony Tommasini.  I do better at the opera when I have read the plot synopsis, have listened to some of the famous melodies, and read what the reviewers have to say.

Just love it!  Makes me feel as though I have done the opera twice.