Monday, December 25, 2017

White Christmas

   Today is Christmas Day and it was truly a white one. Since I took the photo of our deck we have had much more. Right now the sun is out but the next wave of storms is heading our way.
   I recall as a younster living in this area snow was very common during Christmas time. And my brother and I loved the holidays for that snow. It was always exciting. We had a choice of tobogganing in the Glen Manor Ravine or at Kew Beach Park. The ravine was steeper and gave a better thrill. We went mostly there and were glad our parents were home. They might have seen dangers and taken away our favorite spot.
   We also had the option of heading to the outdoor rink in the Kew Beach Park . The ice would be cleared throughout the cold spells by local guys. During the recreational skate time music would be piped out from somewhere. At evening it would be lit. And being so close to Lake Ontatio we could often hear waves crashing onto icy rocks. The air always had a fresh smell that we craved and loved. Playing out in the snow gave us cold hands and toes at times but the freedom to play for hours without parents kept us on the move outdoors until we were hungry. We knew to head home for a nice hot soup. And as we entered our tiny apartment it seems we always got complimented on our rosy cheeks. It was a happy time.

Please do see my photo blog as well since I post pictures more often there.
The link is right at the top of this blog. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thanks Kuhn Dietze and Genes

The people in the top photo are my maternal family.
My mother is the tall gal on the left. Her sister is on the right.
My grandparents are in the middle.
Heinrich Kuhn married Gertrud Gabel during WWI.
This photo dates back to about 1933.
It is the Kuhn side.


   This photo is the wedding of my parents in Prague in September '43.
 It is my father's family along with my mother and her sister top left.
  To the right of my father was his 15 year old sister. Seated are his 19 year old sister and my paternal grandfather Franz Frederich Dietze, an inventor and an electician from the city of Aussig after 1918. He married Helene Rast and my father was their first born in 1920.
Non of them remain alive now that Ursula has joined them.
    It is hard to think of the tough lives they once lived. Both of my parents had lost their moms before their wedding.  Then my Dad's youngest sister died of cancer at age 28. The next to pass was my Dad of a heart attack at age 42. His father folloed him at age 71. He had a stroke. Then my mother at 70 joined her beloved. She had cancer. That left us with two aunties. The 19 year old made it to 82. She never married. Ursula made it to 96. Ironically all used to believe she was a sickly one who would die young. She fooled them all.
    What is fascinating is I share genes with each of them and I have wondered often about their lives. The wars affected them all. They did share how they hated those days. They were peace loving but politics pushed them into a horrific situation.
    Kuhn will not be passed on as there were no sons.
    Dietze will not be passed on because my brother died  childless at age 30 in an accident. Only genes go on.
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and I am very thankful for the way my life is going. We spent a lovely sunny warm Sunday thankful to be fortunate for all we have and all we may share.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hannover Time

   September brought about a new direction in my life. Hurricane Irma forced a Florida family wedding to be cancelled. It was to happened on September 15 and 16  off the mainland in North Captiva. But it seems a higher power had a different plan in mind for me. A few weeks earlier my 96 year old aunt took another tumble and this time she had several fractures needing surgery and later rehab. She was in hospital much of August once well enough to return to her seniors residence where all levels of care are available she returned and insisted she wanted only to live in her own apartment. So my sister arranged care for her as requested. After a week there auntie called my sister who is her POA for health bidding her to please come to Hannover asap. My sister had planned a fall visit but yielded and was with her beginning September 6.
During that week's visit  my aunt made it clear she wanted no further life. She wanted all to end. So my sister arranged for different level of care for her that would require hourly nurse visits in her own place and she arranged for a person to come twice daily for half hour stays.just for suppoort during that time. Auntie opted not to eat or drink anymore. The doctors told my sister how auntie would slowly decline. On September 11 sister flew back to Canada emotionally drained.
On September 12 I left Canada for Hannover. My daughter decided to join me. So I am typing this post from auntie's place. I hear her breathing still fairly strongly but she is semi concious now.
    Over the weekend my daughter from UK and her hubby and little one joined us. But since auntie is not fully  concious we took time out this Sunday afternoon to visit the Hannover Zoo as it seems to have a good reputation and the weather was fine. Grandbaby got a bit fussy now and again with molars coming in  but we all generally had a happy time.
   That is until I had a scare. You may know my vision is poor. My left eye has great pin hole vision but no periferal. That can lead to issues like bumping into object or even people. But today I was to experience a mini trauma. As I moved to my left from a fruit sampling station at a farmer's market at the farm animal part of the zoo somehow I managed to walk straight into a baby pram , losing my balance slighrly so that my face was next to baby's in the pram! The mother began to utter unkind words about not paying attention to where I was going and I in my shock muttered I'm soooo sorry but I cannot see well as I started to sob fearing my big body might have hurt baby. The baby was actually laughing while the mother was trying to console me. I really had a meltdown. But as one must, I pulled myself back together and searched for my family who had long moved on and missed the whole episode. Once reunited as I told them about my fright the father and pram rolled by and again they assured me all is well. I am glad they were so kind and understanding and no serious damage happened to anyone of us.
   I am staying in Hannover till September 19. UK family left 3 hours ago. Let us see what happens next
Church visit in Celle, Stadtkirche St.Marien on September 15. Maybe I'll photo blog about that ?

P.S. Auntie pssed away peacefully today early on September 18.
Visit my other blog and see.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Star Buddy

Buddy has for years asked to see 'The Phantom of the Opera', the original, so when we were in NY to visit family I was able to buy two tickets near the front for a matinee on his actual birthday on line. Relatives printed them and he got them at a family birthday party held days earlier so all could be there 
His adventure began with a taxi ride to the Majestic theatre area. There we walked around for a spot to eat brunch . We stuck with simple salad type food because after the show we wanted to celebrate with a birthday dinner. Service was prompt and we left satisfied. We strolled in and out of shops making sure we had water and a small  bit of candy for a stay in the theatre. Happy with our purchases we headed to the entrance area and waited with others for entry. There was a bit of a security check but nothing that stood out. Once inside we checked out the souvenir Buddy might pick and headed to our seats. 
We both commented on the ornate interior decor of the place. I took a few photos but opted not to post any. Soon the call to be seated was followed by the usual no photos, recording, etc. and the music began.
Buddy was thrilled and even I was pleased at being there with him.
At intermisson he bought his souvenir book and mask.
After the show we bought tickets for a tour bus ride around upper Manhattan and it allowed him to see parts of Cenral Park and some other highlights in the area. We stayed on the hop on bus all the way to the starting point. It also kept us busy till suppertime. On the tour we drove past the Hard Rock Cafe and I knew then exactly where to have our dinner. 
From the tour bus stop we walked along an area of Times Square that was fascinating and very busy. Buddy was amazed at all the big screens showing all sorts of media. It felt like a movie set he said.
Arriving at the cafe I anticipated a line up but we were lucky to be just between two popular times and were seatled on the spot. Buddy was over the moon that this was happening. Dinner service was good for us and when it was dessert time I mentioned that it was Buddy's birthday so he was allowed a dessert. Normally we opt out. He selected his chocolate thing and I asked if we could add vanilla ice to that and have two spoons.
Our server approached our table with the dessert set it down and lit a candle. As it glowed she burst out in a huge voice for all to stop and look her way and then she began a birthday chant. In that huge restaurant Buddy was suddenly noticed and it seemed that the whole place got into the act. Wow was Buddy:s reaction. And after the cheers and clapping stopped a few guests came over to shake his hand. He felt like a star and I felt happy for him. This was a memorable day for sure!
Afterwards were strolled a bit more in Times Square taking in all we could. By now it was dark out and all the screens were lit up the area. It was spectacular. 
But it had to end. 
Hailing a cab took some tim
e and effort but we managed.
Buddy had been a happy star on his special day.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


   Both May and June were busy times for us as we decided to be culturally active by going to plays and concerts. May 2 had us attending the Performing Arts Centre to hear the opera Louis Riel and that was followed by another visit to the opera on May 9th to hear Tosca. Both events were spectacular.
   On May 12th we headed to Stratford ,Ontario where we booked into the Arden Hotel for a night. After an excellent repas of all freshly prepared food, we set off to experience the live performance of GUYS and DOLLS at the Festival Theatre. It was very uplifting. We topped the eve off with dessert in the hotel pub. I selected cherry pie because it has been years since I dared have a piece. I was  most delighted. 
   The following morning we slept in a bit and then had a nice brunch in our room, made up of goodies hubby brought from nearby. We packed up out overnight stuff , checked out and headed over to the Festival Theatre for the matinee of Twelfth Night. It was a stellar performance. Buddy always amazes me with his insights and observations.The trip home came too fast. We shall go again soon to see more.
   While at the Festival Theatre both Buddy and hubby bought some great DVD's of other performances that included The Tempest, King Lear, Hamlet along with Anthony and Cleopatre. We watched those over time. They just make us love the Festival productions even more.
   On May 27th we were at the symphony in the lovely glass hall to hear Beethoven's 7th symphony. It was a concert that led us into the city by subway and Buddy loves that mode of travel as a change. Of course the performance was outstanding.
   Check out my other blog to learn what we did in June.
   In July we hope to travel to N.Y to see family. It is a month of many birthdays for us both at home and away.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


In January hubby decided to join the Toronto Cricket Club and at first I was a bit upset at the expense of this but as he got a senior rate I calmed down and started looking for the benefits . Hubby used to be a very active Rotarian but his club closed down about 6 years ago when it was no loner possible to recruit new younger members. It seems service clubs are having this issue these days.
Joining the club has given him the ability to look forward to some social activities with a few friends and the ability to make some new acquaintances. Since he joined he has proudly taken us all for several nice meals. We watched some curling and I had both Buddy and hubby out on the ice showing them the weight of those rocks and how they move. I used to curl. Brian Orser coaches skaters here so watching skating in action created fun conversations.
A monthly newsletter of events comes out online and I have been designated to pick some events we might enjoy.
Last night we attended the club's production of a Mureder Mystery Dinner with actors being club members who have a hobby of creating a performance. I saw them rehearsing once a while back but ha no idea they would put on a great show a month later.
We arrived to find ourselves at table two with a number of members and guests from as far away as Ottawa. With papers about the murder event and the meal in hand we soon realized that each table was to actively chat about the events present in the play to solve it . We were soon engaged in conversations about the play, the meal and our personal backgrounds at the club and away so yes this was what was needed, social interactions with friendly people to lift our spirits and feel more connected again socially.
The play presented was Death by Doornail by Lee Mueller and the club producer injected two characters that were not in the original play thus adding another twist.The characters were a wanna be Tom Jones and his gal. He even sang some notes from a popular song "It's not Unusual...".
The three part play went perfectly with the three part meal. The chef collaborated with the players and set up a fitting feast for this crime  Even the bar set up a special "bloody" type beverage.
By the third act Buddy told us whom he thought wa the murderer.He chose Priscilla the daughter of the missing Albert Doornale. At our table lots of talk but the idea Buddy had was abandoned though I did feel hee had a valid point. The final group decision was that Tom Jones was the missing Albert in disguise so no one was murdered since no human body was found. WRONG!!!
Buddy was correct. It turned out the Albert that was murdered was a pet by that name and it was Priscilla the caused it's demise.

The evening ended on a high note for Buddy and we all had fun while having an excellent meal .

Have you ever enjoyed a Murder Mystery meal before? We have many years ago and we would go again for the fun of it.