Friday, October 21, 2011


Seems I will be taking a bit of an impromptu blogging break for the next little while. Our computer hasn't been acting quite right the last few weeks and is in need of repair.

I'm doing this post from work, after hours, but that won't be happening again, I like to go home when my work day is done.

We hope to have it up and running again soon. Luckily we have a couple close friends who are good with these computer issues.

Til I write again....

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Mom and I posed special for this picture, for my brother, Jeff!

I spent the week of Thanksgiving in Nova Scotia dividing my time between staying with my Dad at the house, and with my Mom, close to the nursing home in New Glasgow. It was a bitter sweet trip, but I made the most of it. My Mom's brain cancer will eventually rob her or her memories, so I was just grateful that she knew who I was.

These brightly coloured chairs came to symbolize the people who work in the Manor to me as I walked to and from the building every day. It takes a special kind of person to work at a place like this.

I stayed at a motel within walking distance to the manor so I was able to spend all day with my Mom, and slip out now and again to give her time to rest.

On the bulletin board above Mom's bed are lots of cards, pictures and postcards to remind her of how loved she is.

The day I left the manor for the last time to go back to the house and spend more time with my Dad before flying back to Toronto was the hardest. I fell into one of the nurse's arms crying as I was leaving. I have a memory of looking back and seeing my Dad behind me, and my Mother following behind him in her wheelchair that I will never forget, ever.

My Dad, not one to show emotion, took the old highway home and talked the whole way about the old days, comforting me in his own way.

I spent the afternoon with Dad at the house and then went out for a late supper with friends. It was a much needed distraction.

King Lam egg rolls are simply the best, and I need a feed of them every time I am in Truro.

Friends from elementary, junior, and high school!

These girls were as great as the King Lam egg rolls we all chowed down on. They listened to me ramble on about everything from Mom to my great love of Harry Potter. I hope they are there for me again, when I make "that" trip back.

I had a great visit with my Mom and has hard as it was at times, I'm really glad I went.

I made my Mom laugh, a lot, and that will stay with me always.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Yesterday Rob and I went to see "The Big Year", a birding movie we had been anticipating since we first heard about it months ago.

It's based on a book of the same title and is about The Big Year birding competition, which is basically who can see the highest amount of species in one year. The movie story revolves around the lives of 3 men all out for a "big year".

I haven't read the book yet, but will, I actually wanted to see the movie first.

We enjoyed the movie immensely! I liked it more then I thought I would. I was worried there wouldn't be enough "birding", but I was wrong. There is a great balance between the birding and the stories of the men involved in the competition, all of them dealing with something different, that even non-birders would enjoy it.

Two "Feathers Up" from me!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Beautiful Fall Mums and Pumpkins.

Rob and I decided to go on a little road trip this morning as the weather was so nice. By afternoon it sure didn't feel like Fall, but Mother Nature was putting on a gorgeous Fall show with the changing leaves.

We headed over to the University of Guelph to check out their Arboretum for the first time. It's quite large and we did a few different trails. We saw quite a few birds, some returning winter visitors, like Dark-eyed Juncos reminded us that winter really is on it's way.

White chairs await the guests in a beautiful spot to "tie the knot".

We saw many of these cute little frogs around a large pond on the grounds.

I liked this iron statue outside the Arboretum building.

After leaving the Arboretum we went in search of a country market I found out about from a Facebook ad. Knapp's Country Market has a bakery, groceries, gifts, and a restaurant that over-looks a pond that hosts a family of Mute Swans.

We had a lovely lunch there. I had a turkey sandwich and pumpkin soup, while Rob tried the potato and leek soup and a turkey sandwich as well. I picked up a few things in the bakery and the grocery section. It's a great place to head out to for a day trip.

The front of the market decked out for the Fall season.

The restaurant over-looks this large pond. We enjoyed watching the swans while we ate.

Bottoms Up!

We had a wonderful Fall outing and will visit both places again.

Friday, October 7, 2011


This picture was taken on Dec. 23rd, 2010, my Mom didn't get diagnosed until four months later even though it was obvious to everyone that something was really wrong and had been for months.

On Sunday I will be embarking on the hardest trip I've had to take back home in the 22 years I've been living in Toronto.

My Mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer on April 22nd of this year after being sick and misdiagnosed for many, many months. When I flew down at that time so I could be with her before and after her surgery I was running on adrenaline and shock, and didn't really have time to process what was happening until I returned back to Toronto.

I am also very aware that this may very well be the last time I see my Mother on this side of the veil. That's a bitter pill to swallow, but it is what it is, and I am trying to deal with that. I haven't been very good emotionally since I returned, the stress and worry takes a toll. Other then work and nature outings with Rob, I haven't been going out much and keeping pretty much to myself.

My Mother hasn't been living at home since her diagnoses and is currently in a nursing home in New Glasgow, while she waits for a bed in Truro, closer to her friends and family. I will be staying at a motel within walking distance while I am there and also will be spending a couple days with my Dad in Truro. Never in my 42 years did I think I would be visiting my parents in different towns.

I'm trying to look at this trip to see Mom as a gift. Though she no longer has the use of her legs, and her memory is going, she still remembers her friends and family, something the disease will eventually take. A lot of people who lose someone always wish for "one more day", I'm getting that chance, getting to spend a few days with her one more time.

When I get back from this trip I'm really going to push myself to start living my life again, like I did before Mom got sick. It's taken me a while to sort out in my head that living my life, while my Mother loses her's isn't disrespectful to her, but a way to honour her. Yeah, the whole situation sucks, but me sitting around a depressed mess waiting for the inevitable isn't helping me or my Mother, and I don't want to do that anymore, that isn't the kind of daughter my Mother raised.

Oh, I know I will still have hard days, the hardest day yet to come, but I think surrounding myself with my friends here in Toronto, the people who care about me, will give me the strength I need to carry me through the hardest time in my life.

My Mother taught me a lot of lessons growing up, isn't it ironic that the greatest life lesson she's taught me comes at the end of hers; Life is precious and short, live it, no regrets.

I know what I will be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


"Our Tree" is along Highway 27, and we make a point to take a drive to see it every Fall.

This weekend we didn't have plans set in stone, so we just kinda "winged it".

Saturday morning we decided to head out for brunch to one of our favorite places, "Cora's".

I had one of their Fall specials, caramelized onion, spinach and cheddar eggs benedict.

I always have a side of fried bologna!

After we left Cora's we headed to Pine Farms, a place I found out about by reading another blog and wanted to visit.

They offer "pick your own" apples or you can buy them already picked. They also sell homemade baked goods, unique items for inside or outside your home and even a small quantity of wines from their own winery. I would go back there, as it's a nice little drive out of the city. I left with a baked apple pie, a bar of homemade lavender soap and a jar of Chipotle Lime Mustard.

Pine Farm located in King City, just outside of Toronto.

Meet "Elvis" and "Costello", a pair Muscovey Ducks that live at Pine Farm. These ducks are well known for their fly catching abilities.

After we left the farm we headed up the 400 highway a little way where we went to the Cookstown Outlet Mall. I bought one of my nieces an outfit for Christmas and something I've been thinking about buying for a while, a Coach purse.

My new purse!

After we left the mall we decided to take Highway 27 on the way home to see "our tree". It is a beautiful tree we noticed in the Fall of 2004, our first one together, and we try to go see it every Fall season.

Saturday night was a quiet evening in, sharing a bottle of wine and relaxing in front of the TV.

Sunday morning we had hopes of going birding but the weather didn't cooperate. We headed out in the morning anyway and ran a few errands after a quick breakfast at McDonald's. After returning home we had a little nap and "puttered" the afternoon away at home.

New rubber boots for both of us were purchased this morning, needed for birding!

Channeling my inner Martha Stewart while I decorate our home for the Fall season.

I've had a beef vegetable soup cooking in the slow cooker all day and the house smells delish. Curling up on the couch to watch "Bridesmaids", a highly recommended comedy is how we plan to end our weekend.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


My fellow "oyster snob", Anita.

Last night I met my friend Anita for my first visit to Oyster Boy, I had heard very good things about this restaurant and was not disappointed.

Two dozen to start, Malpeques, and the waitress gave us two Green Gables to try. Look at Anita's hand, she can't wait to dig in!

Best Onion Rings Ever!

Round Two! One dozen of Maleques and one dozen of Green Gables, we liked them.

Stompin Tom watched over us while we enjoyed the wonderful food and conversation.

Would you like a little horseradish or lemon on your oyster? I like mine with a little lemon.

For dessert I had "oyster stew", it was delicious, and very rich.

Anita was pretty stressed out from a bad day at work when she first arrived, but after a couple drinks and some oysters, all was well with the world again. We'll be back to Oyster Boy, but have a few more oyster places to check out first.