Early morning quietness



The view out of my bedroom window already promises a warmer, drier day as does the forecast.  Windsor is slowly waking up as the traffic going by makes its way to work after the week-end and the early morning flights from Bradley Airport have arrived and left.


Basketball, Bingo and Bed


Grandma has arrived in U.S.A.  and was delighted to be met by the whole family eager to give hugs, say hello and tell me how pleased they were to see me.  What a witness to my fellow travellers of a wonderful family!

An$d what glorious weather!!  Sun, heat and refreshing rain in the evening.  Everyone outside after school to play, run off the energy and get good and tired ready for bath and bed.

I quickly found out that my grandsons are practising their skills at basketball and are clever shooters.  They quickly found out that I am not.  However they graciously told me that; ” For a grandma you are pretty good”!  “You are old so it doesn’t matter” and in not so many words, “thank you for trying and playing with us.”

I also supervised some time on the neighbours trampoline, along with the neighbours older kids – which brought back many memories of days when I would entertain all the neighbourhood kids after school in the summer.  A world of: sidewalk chalk drawing, street hockey,  other ball games, going to the park, playing at the school playground, endless supplies of water, frozen juice sticks, bubbles, cars, sand, water, sprinklers and just enjoying the hot weather.

Last night, Friday night, I attended  ‘bingo night’ at the school.  Very noisy, very active and a delightful end to the working week.  Children and Parents received a set of bingo cards furthering chances to win from the impressive selection of toys given as prizes.

Mostly I was encouraged by the attitude of generosity and sharing promoted by the school;  multiple winners  soon  learned that it was fun also to win  prizes for  siblings, friends and others who had not yet won.  The atmosphere reflected the excitement of  playing and getting to call ‘bingo’ was the importance rather than the prize at the end.  No-one went away without a prize; everyone came away having had a pleasurable evening with family and friends in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.  Schooling is more than learning abc and 123 it is about growing, developing social skills and sharing time and I will always praise schools that work hard to maintain this ethos.

Home to bed which after such a pleasant and over exhilarating evening did not quite go to plan but good parenting skills ensured that all were settled and asleep by 21:00.  “Hopefully they will sleep later in the morning?”  (Grandmother experience “no chance!”)


What a shot!


It takes a lot of concentration!


best prize ever!


Good-bye St Kitt’s: Hello Niagara Falls


On the last day in St. Catharines I went for a ‘good-bye’ walk .


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I will miss St Catharines, just as I was getting used to finding my way around and exploring ‘the good bits’.  Definitely a place I would choose to live if there were an option to do so.

If anyone can identify the blue flowers for me I would appreciate it.

N.B. bird: I have a stupid fear of birds so I can’t get close at all, that’s why that photograph is very blurry – also photoshopped!

P.S. I would enjoy having a new camera.  Any ideas on best buy anyone?

What grandson did next

On to the new house

Slowly getting settled.  Re-decorating and getting boxes emptied and sorted.  Beautiful new kitchen with modern fittings.  Lovely basement with laundry area.  Internet finally connected – seamless rating ‘good’.

After debating what the feature ‘hole in the wall’ between kitchen and living area was about was finally settled by someone –

Many thanks to the family and friends who made the move easy.  Praying that the house and family will be blessed and enjoy making many new and happy memories.



So today is moving day for my daughter.  At present I am the only one up and all is quiet so am taking the time to write this; I maybe off line for a while depending on how efficient a ‘seamless’ transition of service they have.

Even though this is not my permanent apartment, I have visited here on my last trips and also having been here for a couple of weeks I have gotten to appreciate and enjoy St. Catharines and I will miss it and I know my daughter and family will also.

The area has the quietly getting on with daily life feel about it.  Trains rumble by on the track just across the not so busy street which provides that link to a world beyond.  I can accept it and imagine travelling to other places or I can reject it and stay cocooned  in this oasis of home and security.

The apartment itself is spacious with lots of storage, (necessary for a family) and has, best of all, a wonderful laundry area conveniently placed off the bathroom.  The discarded clothes left in a crumpled heap from children’s bath time are easily accommodated into the laundry basket.

The kitchen is spacious enough for family meals and has ample storage and work space and has a view of the garden at back.

Well I didn’t mean this to sound like a real estate advert.  Maybe I’m just fixing it into my memory so that I can move on with them and be prepared to enjoy the new house with new opportunities. Yes, this place was home but another house awaits to be made into a home where family are welcome.

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10 things to do at the bus stop


As a grandmother doing the ‘looking after grandson’ thing one of my delights is escorting him to the bus stop every school day.  Today’s post is a list of activities we have collected to do as we wait for the bus.

  1. Be physically active.  Sometimes it’s cold waiting for the bus so to stay warm we invent running, jumping, hopping exercises.
  2. After a week-end of snow and ice; test the slipperiness of the top snow by jumping up and down: comes with a health warning, not advisable standing at the top of a short slope.
  3. Look for worms.  Especially effective in wetter weather, but when warm and dry you can rescue the worm by guiding it to a more comfortable worm hole in the grass.
  4. Listen to the sounds around you: cars, people, birds singing, radios, sirens. Are they happy sounds, peaceful sounds, “stressy” sounds.
  5. Look for interesting rocks.  The best ones are conglomerates such as flints that have interesting shapes, patterns and textures.
  6. On sunny days play shadow games; our favourite is two- becomes-one with more hands and legs doing funny dances and poses.
  7. Have interesting conversations about life, learning and different cultures.
  8. Splash in puddles, or after a frost touch the top layer of ice on a puddle to watch the water swirl and move underneath the ice.
  9. Sometimes it’s just nice to stand quiet in your own thoughts and ‘people watch’.
  10. Count cars: choose a colour count how many cars of that colour go past.


Lessons Learned

  1. He is young; I am older.
  2. Make sure your coat covers your butt otherwise you get wet….
  3. Grandma will tell you to be sure to wash your hands as soon as you get to school – even if you were wearing gloves.
  4. To be thankful we can hear all the different sounds.
  5. Even ‘man made’ rocks in a driveway can have unusual features and be interesting.
  6. Our favourite, but some people may think you’re a bit weird.
  7. Eight year old’s can have thought provoking philosophies and ideas.
  8. Only advisable when wearing boots.
  9. People are interesting, most everyone will respond to a greeting or a smile.
  10. There are more black cars than red ratio 17:3
  11. The bus comes quite quickly when you do fun things
  12. Always tell each other to have a good day and ‘I love you’.


Successes and Failures


Referring to my f.b agenda for today, I’m afraid there have been more things left undone than things done.

I did go to the mall and purchased things I needed to buy and also some I didn’t including two pairs of shoes (two for the price of just over one and still (possibly) cheaper than in England) and a pair of knee length shorts – just right for “Spring in Connecticut”.   The regular ‘Timmies’ visit; modified as it was lunch time the ‘donut’ being  replaced with a healthier (hopefully) raisin bran muffin – warm with butter with  the usual chai latte.    Then, feeling proud of myself for successfully finding the correct bus home I got home just ahead of the family back from a trip to IKEA.

As the weather did not co-operate, outside play was unavailable and grandma’s big idea of making a fort, using  the cardboard box which had housed an IKEA item,  did not appeal so we settled to playing top gear trump cards which evolved into making the stig lap time result board and recreating ‘races’ across the floor.

Supper, (habitant pea soup!) French Reading time, very impressive, and bath time, concludes the evening.

So here we are, perhaps a hum drum journal account of the day and only a few items crossed off the agenda.  Will walking around the mall and the short walk from the bus stop home replace ‘plank exercises’? Probably not, but to do them now would risk waking the boys as I do them to music – ahem a pretty poor excuse, Susan.

But wait; I read an inspiring section from a Daniel Pink post about how we view media and linking it to taking time to meditate.  I will probably use it in a later post.

Also I finally yielded to the fact that wordpress doesn’t really want to allow me to do pages as I want them, however I can just use the category button to sort my blogs.  Not ideal but less frustrating.   Please bear with me as I keep working on the appearance and functionality of my site.

So, actually, not too bad after all.

Farmer’s Market, Doughnuts, chalk drawings and bubbles.


The weather has warmed up and we all enjoyed outdoor activities.  After a lazy Saturday morning the sun beckoned us outdoors for another exploring adventure.

Accompanied by my grandson and granddaughter we walked into town, crossing the newly upgraded Burgoyne Bridge with certain jobs on the agenda: purchase greyhound tickets to travel to Connecticut, drop in the library, go to the farmer’s market, mail postcards and buy doughnuts.

St Catharines Farmers Market.

As soon as we entered the delicious aromas tantalised our taste buds and the food all laid out on stalls looked inviting, fresh and colourful.  Each stall had something different to offer and it was enjoyable walking round and ‘window shopping’.  As I am writing this I am enjoying a full glass of apple cider purchased at one of the stalls.  Highly recommended!

Last stop buying doughnuts at a much publicised, popular vegan doughnut store along the main street.  The store is well run and the long queue moved quickly along through the organised ordering system and we were kept entertained by the beautiful paintings which adorned the wall.   After placing our order we only had to wait a couple of minutes for them to be packed up and we were set.  Half a coconut creme doughnut will be my reward for completing this post!

The afternoon sun in the garden made the job of clearing out the shed fun.  Sets of pavement chalks were found and used to full effect making colourful patterns.  The assortment of outside toys, rackets, balls were sorted and placed in boxes.  Oh wait! Is that a bottle of bubbles?


Story writing with the grandson



Here is my Dragon

One day a dragon flew over the town.  He liked the town very much but he did not think the town liked him.  They were afraid of his long, spiky tail.  They could not survive his hot, hot fiery burps.  And the worst thing was his bad breath!

“What can I do?” he said  “I want to live in this  town, I want to go to the library and read the books.  I want to play in the park and eat ice-cream.  I want to go to school and learn how to do experiments and add 2 and 5 and play games and write my name.”

“But most of all I want to swim in the cool deep river and lay on the river bank and give rides to the children.”

Dragon thought and thought and then he had an idea.  It was a good idea.  It was a great idea.  It was the best idea of all.   He would do something brave and wonderful for the town so that they would know that he did not want to hurt them.  He just had to wait for the right time.


The boy on top of the volcano.

This volcano is big and is just on the edge of a town.  Usually the volcano is quiet and calm.  It is sleeping the children said.  The grownups thought, “it is dormant, but we never will trust the volcano”.

One day a boy decided to climb the volcano.  He wanted to get to the top to be the king of the castle.  He had a good breakfast and packed his lunch and set off.  He followed the road that led up the beginning of the volcano.  The road stopped at a little cafe selling hot chocolate, pancakes and small souvenirs of little working volcanoes and clockwork trains.  The boy drank a mug of hot chocolate then carried on up the side of the volcano following the small track.  Mountain goats jumped across the rocks on the mountain side and they asked the boy where he was going.  “I’m going to be king of the volcano and the castle.” he said. ” I am going to get to the top by dinner time and I will fly my flag and be king of the castle and the volcano and everyone will be happy because I am king.”

The goats admired the boy’s courage and tenacity but they did not trust the volcano.

The boy climbed and climbed past the track and the grass grew thinner and the path was covered in rocks and the ground shivered and shook.

The boy said,” I will soon be king of the castle and this volcano” and then the ground will stop shaking and shivering and it will be still.

But he began to feel afraid and he did not trust the volcano.

The people in the town missed the boy and saw that he had started to climb the volcano.  They were worried and afraid for the boy.  They did not trust the volcano at all and they did not want the boy to get hurt, but how could they get the boy down?  Who was brave enough to climb up the volcano?  NO-ONE.  Nobody trusted the volcano who rumbled and shivered and shook and did not want the boy to be king.

There was one thing that would save the boy?  Who was it?


The river flowed quiet and softly along the riverbank and the sun shone in the sky.  The water in the river was cool but the sun warmed the air and the grass on the bank.

A tall tree grew by the river, its roots going deep down into the soil, spreading along the bank.  It was solid and firm and aged and had the wisdom of time and knowledge of all things growing.

This was the favourite place for dragon to rest after his swim.  But today he was restless; the river had whispered and jostled him so that he climbed out onto the bank.  Under the tree, the roots of the tree felt uneasy and would not let him rest.  Dragon looked up to the volcano.  He saw a speck walking up the volcano.  Then Dragon knew what he had to do.

Slowly he stood.  He uncurled his long tail and groomed his scales so that they glimmered in the sun.  He breathed deeply and unfurled his wings.  They lifted in the air and cast shadows on the ground.  They were strong and mighty and released the dragon from the ground into the air.  He flew higher and faster and faster and higher until he was close to the volcano.  Now the speck became a dot, then the dot became a shape and the shape became recognisable as a boy and the boy looked scared and did not want to be king of the castle and the volcano anymore.  He wanted to go home and have hot buttered toast for tea and be with his family.

As he walked he felt a shadow over him.  He looked up and saw the dragon.  Could the dragon save him?  He waved to the dragon and the dragon circled around him and landed on the top of the volcano.

“Where are you going boy?” Dragon asked.

The boy explained his adventure; that he thought he could be king of the castle and the volcano, but that as he climbed he learned not to trust the volcano that shivered and shook and grumbled below his feet.

“That is well”, said the Dragon.  “Volcanoes are fiery and dreadful and can never be trusted even if they have slept for years and years.”

“Will you take me home, Dragon?” asked the boy.  “I think I can trust you. You look strong and brave and I like your tail that shines and your wings that cover the ground and your breath is warm and gentle.”

Dragon was happy and he taught the boy how to climb on his back without getting hurt on his sharp tail and he told him how to snuggle in the safe place on his back between his wings and he spread his wings and rose in the air and carried the boy back to his mother and father and his sister and baby brother.

All the town saw what the Dragon had done.  They heard about the boy and his adventure and they knew that they were right to not trust the volcano that shook and shivered and rumbled and one day may wake from its sleep.

But they learned that they were wrong to not trust the dragon because although he looked fierce and cross and fiery, he was gentle and good and just wanted to have a place to belong.







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