Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Without Wednesday - Remembering Gino

Today we are celebrating Gino's life with his friends, my friends and of course my family.  I would like to thank those who have sent their comforting messages on this special day. Thank you for all your support and friendship during those very sad days. I know that my son has a special place in our hearts and we will never forget him.

On a happier note, as you read this post, Dan and Katrina are awaiting the arrival of their second child, a baby girl.  Since my post is scheduled early today it is possible that she already have given birth really early this morning or she is still waiting.  I hope to update this post sometime today with more details including the name they have picked.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maybe Monday - Only one more week

How can the days go by so quickly?  How is it that time really flies when you are having so much fun?  How can I be in two or three places at the same time? Most of my BFF is suggesting that I re book my return flight and stay two or three more weeks.  Only problem is that Jeff's brother will be visiting during the first week of July and since we have not seen him since 2008, we only have one day to see him before he returns to his home state of Indiana.  

It has been a very rewarding vacation with many adventures, surprises and reconnecting with all my friends, BFFs, former co-workers and tennis/golf buddies.  I have one more week of lunches, dinners and special get together parties.  In case you are wondering why I am missing my daily posts, it's due to burning the candles on both ends and in the middle. The schedule gets more hectic each day I get closer to our departure as everyone tries to book a time to see me even for coffee.  All I hope is that no one gets upset if I did not get a chance to reconnect.  There's always a maybe! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friendly Friday - long time friends

Wondering what is happening to my blog? Whaaattt? I cannot believe I missed three days of blogging.  There are so many stories to do and not enough days to catch up but I will try to recall everything I did up to yesterday.  It might take a couple of post to cover all.

When I left Monday to spend time with my friend TL in Stratford, Ontario I thought I would be able to do my blog but we were so busy trying to catch up with our stories.  The drive to Stratford was very relaxing.  When we arrive at the home of TL's boyfriend, we sat in the backyard having tea and the Banana Bread I made.  We lost track of time and there was no time to cook because we wanted to watch a movie at 645pm.  The restaurant of choice was Annie's seafood.  The service was quick and the food was great and we were just a few minutes late for the movie (Bridesmaid).  We did not expect anything but really enjoyed it because it was very funny.  After the movie we had tea and continued with our stories and ended up going to bed late.  The next day we stop by a few stores and one of them was the Canadian Tire.  While  TL was checking out the patio furniture, I sat on one of the display chair shortly after two guys sat in the same section.  They started chatting with me and by the end of the conversation, I found out they are Justin Bieber's friends.  The evening ended with a great dinner at Rundle's.  By the way, it just happens that TL knows the Chef de Cuisine.  I will definitely do a review of this restaurant and post some photos sometime in July.

Before TL head back to Brampton, she was kind enough to drive me to London, Ontario to spend overnight with my very long time friend from Yellowknife, NT - Sister Esther.
During my visit, we stopped by to see the other family friends who was also residing in London.  It was a nice surprise to visit with Sister Mary Jo because it was the first time for us to see each other since I left Yellowknife in 1983.  I am amazed that they still all remember me after all these years and of course there was not enough time to catch up with our life's stories but we promised to reconnect through our email.

One quick very cute story.  While on the VIA train from London to Toronto, I met the cutest little girl named Alyssa.  She had the prettiest curls and the sweetest smile.  She and I enjoyed the train ride, playing with the games on my phone, singing children songs and playing with Smack Talk.  She could not pronounce her letter "L" so she calls me "Naughty".  I wish that I had give her mom Sarah my email so I can keep in touch. Oh bother.  Her favorite girl singer is Lady Gaga and her favorite boy singer is of course JB.  When my daughter saw me at the main station in Toronto, she was quite surprise to see me holding a little girl.  I am so glad I was able to take her photo.  Maybe someday when I visit London, I can look her up and see how much she was grown.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maybe Monday - Wimbledon has begun

This morning I was planning on doing a post about Justin B. as I will be travelling this afternoon to his hometown of Strathford, Ontario.  My girlfriend TL and I will spending some R&R at her summer home and will do so really easy going activities, like sitting in the park, having breakfast at an outdoor cafe, maybe watch the swan along the water.  During our stay there, I am hoping to bump into JB or not.  It will be nice to just get a glimpse but I can at least pass by the corner spot where he used to play his guitar as a young musician.

After doing a bunch of chores at my daughter's home, I finally sat down and had lunch and turned on the TV.  I was surprised that they are covering the Wimbledon for almost 12 hours. So if I don't do a post every day, it's because I am glued to the TV watching great tennis matches. I will report later during the week with all the activities I have done or have not done during this vacation.  I'm sorry that I have not posted any photo as I am still learning and I am not using my own lap top. Now it's time to do my nails.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Soulful Sunday - Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads, Uncles, and Grandfathers.  It's too bad sometimes that there's only one day that people recognize their fathers.  If you are one of those ones that have a great relationship with your father, then you are very lucky.  For some who are missing that link, maybe someday you might get a chance to be a father and be lucky enough to have a special relationship with your children.

My father passed away in 1996 and one prayer that he always says is that is given a chance to see his grandchildren.  He did as much as he could and spent as much time as he could before he died. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, he was very protective and would drive me anywhere I go because he did not want me to walk during the winter weather as I might slip.  He made sure that he would be the first to see his grandchildren that he waited patiently in the hospital waiting area.  You should have seen the smile and excitement on his face as he saw my children being wheeled to the nursery.  He spoiled his grandchildren but I know that he was very happy that he got a chance to see them grow up.  My only regret is that he did not really enjoy his retirement because he became sick shortly after turning 60. I have a lot of great memories of my Dad- he was kind, caring, loving, thoughtful, patient and most of all, he enjoyed life.

If what they say is really true about after life,  I hope that he is having a special moment with my son in that place where there's no sadness just pure joy and happiness.  Here's a song that reminds me of my father.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Simply Saturday - Still golfing

Rockway Glen is the golf course we have decided to play.  It was be our regular foursome just like old times.  These are the same friends that I met in Scottsdale, AZ last April.  We decided we would stay overnight in Niagara Falls and have a nice dinner and maybe do a little something that is fun - slots.  Every time the 4 of us goes golfing, dinner or whatever activity we do, we always have a great laugh, great times and good workout.  This is one of the things that I really miss when I am in San Jose.  I have not met ladies of the same interest and similar or close to my age. I think this is because these ladies are still working.  For now I will just have to keep visiting them once a year or maybe meeting them half way, maybe Las Vegas.

Maybe we will get lucky in slots and simply win just like that.  But even if I don't win, it's still kinda like winning because I am with my special girlfriends who are Diva's in my book when it comes to friendship.

As for tonight's activity, I will be doing some cooking for my daughter. I will attempt to make some Jerk Pork and Butter Chicken. Both dishes will go well with steamed rice but we also bought some Naan to go with the Butter Chicken.  For a side dish, simple stir fry green beans.  I still have not figure out what to make for dessert but I am sure I'll come up with something by Sunday afternoon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

FITBF - Friday

For some Friday is a day that you really look forward to because you know the weekend has finally arrived.  For us retirees, every day could be Friday and every week could be a long weekend.  I cannot believe that I have been here for 10 days and there are still so many friends to see, places to go and chores to do.  I just finished reading my daughter's blog and I was going to follow the Fill in the blank Friday but I have more stories to share.

Last night I took my daughter with me to a local Brampton pub. This is the place we hang out after Thursday golf.  Since I have not seen the boys, my brother/friend suggested that we stop by and have dinner and drinks with them.  It was nice for my daughter to join us because she has not seen my friends since my retirement party.  We reminisce about the old times and realized that it has been almost 17 years that they have known me and my daughter.  One of our friends surprised us, we have not seen or heard from him for at least 15 years.  You remember the expression what goes around comes around, well he is back in the group and currently staying with another friend who was his roommate then.  By the way, if you want to have a great steak dinner and awesome wings, check out Oscar's pub in Brampton. 

I know that when you are on holiday you tend to gain weight from all the lunch, dinners and maybe even breakfast.  I am hoping to get more tennis and golf this weekend so at least I won't feel guilty about all these great meals I am having.  The really nice part about this city is the variety of ethnic restaurants to choose from.  Lunch today will be Jamaican food, tonight could be Brazilian, tomorrow could be Filipino and Sunday will be Dim Sum (Chinese).

Time sure flies by when you are busy and this vacation is so filled with activities and great friends to hang out with.  It's good that I am staying with my daughter because even though she works during the day, we get to hang out after work and do silly things.  We are having so much fun and I truly miss her.  I know we have a couple more weeks to do stuff but it will be really tough to leave her again.  The amazing part is that she has the most caring, loving, patient and animated husband. He makes her smile when she's had a bad day, he makes her happy without spoiling her, but most of all he is very understanding and so I am not worried when I leave her.  Thank you so much Mike for taking care of my little girl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Truthful Thursday - still got it

This is a late post but since it is still Thursday I guess it's still considered today's post.  My daughter and I were hanging out today.  The first order of business is to stop by and visit my son's niche.  Not to make you feel sad but it was still painful and I ended up in tears.  We brought a different summer flower arrangement and a couple of little tiny toy which is part of my routine when I use to go every Sunday.  It has been almost 3 years and there's still that pain in my heart as well as the sadness seeing his photo and the rest of the items in the niche.  Today was the first time I have been there since I left 10 months ago.  There are so many memories here (Mississauga/Oakville) and they are just all coming back and it's truly sad.

My daughter and I decided to check out a few stores and now she has a new KOBO - an e book reader.  She was so happy to have it and I know she will be using it a lot specially on her commute to work and during her never ending trips/holidays.  We met her girlfriend with her 3 month old baby girl - we call her Bubbles.  She came over after and I serve a simple lunch.  While they were catching up with their stories, I held Bubbles as she was fussing a bit and this is the result.  I guess you will never lose the mother's touch.  Bubbles slept for almost an hour until it was time for her to go home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Women Wednesday - Retired Diva Pool Party

Who has a pool party during the day on a weekday?  Only people who are retired can do this.
So after 24 email messages back and forth, we finally agreed on one date.  We are getting together at Sue's place for lunch and maybe do a little swimming and lots of stories sharing.  There's 3 of us who retired last year - two weeks after each other.  Sue had been retired for at least a couple of years.  I suggested that I will be bring some take out food from Something Sweet - a filipino take out food in the area.  The weather is calling for sunny and warm and up to 27 C.  I am looking forward to this wonderful idea by Catnip.  She initiated the first email and after a few days we will finally reconnect.

After this lunch/pool party, then I am off again to visit another friend to have dinner.  We still have not decided what type of food we will try but I have a feeling that they will also be requesting Filipino food.  This place Something Sweet 4u has so many variety of food for lunch or dinner as well as awesome dessert treats.  If ever you will be in the Mississauga area, you must stop by at this store.

If the weather is really nice today, I will most likely be playing tennis with my friend Jessica.  We use to play a lot when I use to live in the area.  I am also looking forward to playing on Sunday with my old group Early Birds.  During the weekend we use to get to the courts very early in the morning - early meaning at sunrise.  They have been together for over 20 year and some players come and go but the original group still plays and their friendship has grown through the years.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Timely Tuesday - Terrific Friends

How exciting it is to see a lot of friends during my visit.  The past weekend I spend it with Lorna in Ottawa and we did the birthday weekend.  She hosted a little get together for some of my friends that lived in that area.  Most of them I have worked with and had transferred to Ottawa for work.  It was a very nice surprise to see a friend of mine who I have not seen for a very long time because of his line of work.  We have been friends for almost 20 years and we had so much catching up.  I am not sure when I will see Lorna again, but I hope she will get a chance to travel to sunny California in the near future.  We had such a great time together and were able to catch up with our life stories.  There was a bit of time left yesterday to help her organize her walk in closet - I just hope she is able to find the outfit for today.

Talking about excitement.  Last night my friend picked me up at the airport and we went directly to a pub in Oakville to meet the members of FFTC.  This is the pub that holds a Name that tune contest every Tuesday but recently have been moved to Monday night.  It was a nice surprise to see some of the friends of my son.  They knew I was going to be there so they can say hello and that meant a lot.  My friend who retired two weeks before me also came out to join us.  The group won a couple of rounds (highest score) and they also took care of the food for our table.  Unfortunately Vancouver lost, so I guess we will have to watch the 7th game on Wednesday.  

It was really good to see the group that my son  use to hang out on  Tuesday night and to know that he was in good company. He sure had terrific friends. It  feels good  being in the place where my son use to go to on Tuesdays but I feel a little sad that his friends are there and he is not.

Maybe Monday - Mississauga is so humid

Last week I arrived in Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport which is located in Mississauga, Ontario.  This was my first week back since I left in August 2010.  When I got out of the airport, the humidity was unbearable. I guess I have been acclimatized to the dry San Jose dry summer.  Anyway, I hoping the this week won't be as bad as last week.  I am sorry, I shouldn't complain, heat is better than freezing winter weather and I know what that is all about.

It has been a very busy schedule but I love seeing all my friends.  I've already golfed, played tennis, had lunch, had a day at the spa, a little get together party and of course a lot of catching up with all their stories and of course they want to hear all about my retired life in sunny California. 

Since I am just taking a little break from my busy schedule, I have to keep this short and get back to visiting with my daughter and her wonderful husband.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Soulful Sunday - So so painful

It has been 10 months since I left to move to the USA.  This is my first week back in Canada and as the plane is touching down there was a feeling of sadness and some pain in my heart.  It was bringing back a lot of memories and it was mostly about my son.  A few years ago when my flight was stuck in Chicago and the only flight left that night was to Rochester, NY I called my son to ask him if he wouldn't mind driving that evening to pick me up at that airport.  There was no hesitation and it was going to be along drive for him and it was getting very late.  I was so happy to see him that evening and we had a very nice and relaxing drive back to our home.

Today is one of those days and right now all I can say is that I miss him so much and it's too painful to be where there are so many memories of him.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shopping Saturday - just a little

What do you do when you get together with your BFF who you haven't seen for almost a year?
You go shopping, right.  Well at least I think that's what we will be doing.  What's interesting with me and Lorna is that even if we live in different cities, there has been so many occasion when she would buy a pair of shoes, a skirt, or a top, they would exactly the same.  One time I was looking for a top to borrow and I saw this particular top and ask her if I had left it there.  She told me that it was hers and that it meant we had exactly the same top.  When we get together and shop, we always buy something the same, either a pajama set, a top, or skirt.  You will have to wait for another post to see what we ended up buying for this year's get together.

Do you and your BFF have the same style of fashion?  Do you have the same size for clothes and shoes?  Do you like the same type of music?  Do you keep in touch if you live in different cities?

You can have many friends and might have a few BFF but Lorna and I are kindred spirits.
Happy Birthday Lorna, I am so glad that I am with you on this special day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

FITB Friday - Fill in the blank Friday

Finally, I am going to try to do another Fill in the blank Friday but it's a week late.  I did not have any idea for today so the easiest way to post a blog is follow someone else's.  Last week my daughter had this post.

1. I love vacationing  because it is a time where you don't do house chores and cooking. It's a time to see new places, try new food and enjoy the company of whoever you are vacationing with.

2.  A time that mama knew best was when she said that I have to remarry again, I have to find someone with KIND eyes, someone who will love me as me and someone who is understanding and patient.

3.  My first kiss went a little like has been a very very long time and honestly I cannot remember who and when I did it. It must have not been important then.

4.  My celebrity crush is Scotty McCreery - oops sorry he's only 16. How about Hines Ward or maybe .

5.  My splurge of choice is golf club, golf balls, golf ball marker,  golf gloves, golf shoes and golf outfit.

6.  My biggest accomplishment is retiring early and finding a young husband who lives in sunny California and who is able to support by golf habit.

7.  My dance jam of choice is I've got a feeling by BEP, it was the song they played at the beginning of my retirement party to get everyone on the dance floor.