Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Magpie Tales: # 74
photo by Tess Kincaid


I dare not face
You alone.

This amalgam face
created to scare
you and company.

Armored, this face
reinforces my courage,

Allowing me to face
My fears.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time Flies...............................

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Photo by Neal Fowler

It's hard to fathom that a month worth of days has come and gone.  More than that, a fifteen year old grand-daughter causes me to ponder where those years have gone.  In addition, two more grand-daughters have materialized from out of the ether, or the loins of their parents, which ever you prefer.  To decry the passage of time or the quickness with which good times  always seem to progress would be to deny the pleasures that follow in the ensuing days.

Each child has brought joy to us, each in her own way; no two the same.  They have touched our lives as we theirs, and in a positive way I like to think.  And so too with our children.  This past 30 days has been a continuous sequence of activity and idleness.  we watch with awe and wonder as a 20 month old establishes her place in the family tree; developing different relationships with everyone she meets.  Observing the studiousness of the oldest together with her mothering qualities as she interacts with her 20 month old cousin gives assurance of the woman she is becoming.  The 10 year old is witty, smart, and full of zest.  She is observant and inquisitive.  Keeping up with her quips would require a pencil and notebook in hand constantly.  One of the most refreshing qualities, exemplified in all three, is their total honesty; refreshing when compared to the political environment we are inundated with by the media on a daily basis.

As the gift of grand parenthood is opened I come closer to understanding  the adage: Luke 18:17 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

To help me realize that even though time seems to pass in the snap of one's fingers, we packed a ton of activity into those days:
Strawberry picking
Raspberry picking
walking, some times with a stroller
shopping at a farmer's market
shopping; clothes, roller skates
high Tea in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier
Montreal: food, language, heritage, and train rides
Cemetery visits and grave maintenance.
Driving lesson.
Helping grandma with cooking, baking and meal planning.
reading, reading to
counting in English, french and Spanish
hammock lying
camp fires
Renewing neighborly friendships
duck feeding
tenting; set up, sleep in
feeding the birds. watching an osprey catch a fish with it's "hands"
green heron watching and photographing
Hanging laundry on the line.
cementing cousinly relationships
enjoying aunts and uncles
ice cream making
there was even time to watch DVDs, TV, and stay current on Facebook
Oh, and Momma; all the home work was finished!
Flower picking from grandma's gardens
We even found time to sleep
restaurant dining at home and abroad

It's hard to believe that we fit all that and more into such a short time!

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

time for a blog update.  Past time actually, I have no excuses......

The weekend of June 25th, we took the girls to Montreal, Canada.  We boarded the Via Rail train in Brockville, Ca., (a thirty minute drive from the cottage).  The girls were disappointed at the port of entry to Canada that the custom and immigration inspectors wouldn't stamp their brand new, first ever passports.  We'll try again today when we go over to Brockville for fish and chips.

The train ride takes just shy of two hours and put us into centre ville station only a few block walk to Vieux Montreal.  Old Montreal was where we intended to spend our 2 days exposed to french speaking Canadiens.   We hoteled at the Le Westin, which was very nice.  the girls stay for "free"  in the suite.  By coincidence, our daughter and her husband were also in Montreal that weekend and also staying at the Westin.  they were there to see a friend, Max, & Nancy, of our son-in-law that he had met overseas. We met them briefly but for the most part we all did our own thing.

The weather for Saturday called for rain so before exiting the train station umbrellas were purchased and we were all glad of that later in the day.

After checking in at the hotel we walked down to a favorite restaurant, Marche de la Villette, on rue St. Paul and enjoyed a delicious repast.  The place was crowed and busy but our waiter payed special attention to the girls and they enjoyed the time spent there.

A block or so down the street from the bistro, some unseen hand un-zipped a dark rain cloud overhead and the rain poured out in a mini deluge.    Des parapluies were employed and offered protection for everything except shoes and pant legs.  Undeterred by the rain we did plenty of window shopping, souvenir buying, and food sampling.  Saturday night we made our way down to the waterfront to watch a spectacular fireworks display put on by the country of China.  Their theme for the display was, Kung Fu.
The girls were a little bummed due to the lateness of the hour and so didn't appreciate the show as much as they might have.  I was fatigued myself but was impressed by the 30 minute pyrotechnical extravaganza.

Sunday was spent doing additional shopping and sharing a single meal on the terrace of the Caberet du Roy.

We took the last train home and arrived back at the cottage around 2100 full and satisfied with our foray into the French-Canadien culture.

Let me not forget to mention the local restaurant we ate breakfast at in Brockville before catching the train to Montreal. It is just Katty-corner from the station and a busier establishment I've never set foot in; standing in line for a table seems to be  de rigueur.

The 4th of July weekend was enjoyed under perfect summer weather ( remember, as Dr. Jacobson used to say, we have two seasons up here: winter and the 4th of July). In addition to having our Texas grand daughters with us, their Uncle Jacob, aunt Kristy and 20 month old cousin Sophie made a whirl wind trip to enjoy the river and to enable Jay and Kristy to attend an impromptu class Reunion for Jay.  My sister Julie and her husband Dennis came up to visit by the river for 2 days and Auntie Michelle and Uncle Josh, aka "Uncle Shagworthy", stayed for the whole of the holiday weekend, returning to Albany on Tuesday.  And the Heiss' joined us for a picnic the evening of the 4th at the cottage.

There was plenty of beer drunk, BBQing, home-made ice cream eating, food et, swimming, kayaking, jart tossing, water balloon wars, Frisbee Kan-Jammin', book reading and parade and fireworks watching.  Really, it don't get much better than that!  Did I mention hammock swinging, sunbathing, and Limoncello sippin'.  Other assorted alcoholic beverages were imbibed by those who will remain unnamed.  Diane snuck in a baby shower at the neighbors.  Sister Julie actually immersed her body in the frigid St. Lawrence for the first time since her teen years.

All-in-all a 4th worth a post on one's blog.

Missing: Bob Jr.& Vanessa.  Jeff & Trish.

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