Thursday, August 30, 2007

Throwback Thursday #11



It's become a weekly ritual now to post Throwback Thursdays. I am so thankful that Sharon, Audrey and Jane initiated this project. It's so neat to take a walk down memory lane. It's also interesting to see other people's Throwback photos and read about their memories of childhood, adolescence and growing up.

After being back on the Island from a few days in Montreal with my family, I realize more and more just how homesick I am. I'm not homesick for the city. I just miss my family. I spent my childhood growing up with my cousins. Our houses were all walking distance (or biking distance) from each other. We spent our summer vacations together playing in the park, building forts, swimming, and getting into all sorts of trouble together. In the winter, we'd go skating, sledding, skiing and have snowball fights together. One winter, we built this massive ice fort in our frontyard. Dad even made a skating rink in our backyard for us. Good times!

My aunts and uncles were like parents to us. My grandparents were superheroes to us. They seemed so strong and invincible. They were immortal in our eyes. It just feels really nice to be part of such a close-knit family. This is why being so far away is sometimes difficult. I know that everyone has to grow up and have their own life though. Sooner or later, people move and have their own families.
Our childhood days now seem so innocent and carefree. Endless hours of playing in the streets until the sun set and going on little adventures on our bicycles unaccompanied by adults were not uncommon then. We rarely stayed inside the house or sat in front of the TV or computer for hours on end. We made our own fun and were never bored. There was always something to do.


The above photo is of Middle Brother, True Numperor, Hawaii Joe, P, Married Winkle and yours truly. I was the only girl for the longest time, so I grew up playing with the boys. Much to my mother's dismay, I hated wearing dresses and I hated wearing pink.

Here's a photo of P, Hawaii Joe, Middle Bro and me. We would spend hours outside in the snow! I don't know how we did it, because now I get cold even just cleaning the snow off of my vehicle in the winter!
This is an old photo of the eldest cousins (In this photo:True Numperor, Middle Bro, moi and Hawaii Joe). Back then, it was just the five of us. P is missing from this photo. Sleepovers were the norm for us back then. We loved spending as much time as possible with our cousins. We had a blast. I have nooooooooooo idea why I'm making that face, so don't ask! LOL!
I just realized that you can totally tell what decade this was from the furniture in this photo!!!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pure Sweetness





I luuuuuuuuv my little cuddle bunny! So sad Kingston is 9 hrs away from the Island! :(
Monday, August 27, 2007

He loves me!


Feeling slightly down, due to empty nest syndrome (I've been really missing my students and they only left three days ago), Hubby has been such a superstar at cheering me up. The students will begin their new school semester back in their country, but will hopefully return again within the next year. I totally got lucky and had amazing students. They were dream students and so very polite and respectful! I was blown away!

Since I've been sad that they are no longer with us, Hubby took it upon himself to do some really, truly sweet things for me. We went for a walk in the bush to open up a gate for the cattle and I enjoyed some quiet time amongst the trees with Hubby and our pup, Chance. It was a nice excursion.

On the weekend, we had some friends over from Ottawa and I needed to get the house cleaned after our whirlwind suitcase packing session with the students the night before. As I was cleaning the kitchen, dear Hubby shocked me by...cleaning the bathroom!!!

OMG! I have never ever seen the bathroom so sparkling clean! The chrome in the bathtub and sink was so shiny! Oh, and today, as I was going to prepare supper, Hubby came in early from work and made us some of these...



I just love, love, love open-faced toasted tomato sandwiches. Just toasted cracked wheat bread with a bit of mayo and three slices of tomato, sprinkled with salt and black pepper. Mmmmm...mmmm...good! I know it's really simple, but the way we've been eating with all our friends and family visiting and us still recovering from all the eating we did in Montreal, this simple supper is a welcomed treat!

One more super sweet thing Hubby did for me was that he bought me a new pair of earrings almost exactly the same as my favourite pair that I lost a few days ago! I was bummed that I couldn't find my earrings with my birthstone, and Hubby got me another pair! As soon as I tried on the new pair, I found my old pair! Ah well!

I just wanted to say (and I hope you are reading, Hubby! I know you've been too busy to read my blog lately) thank you, and I love you.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh, how we love thee



If you live on Manitoulin Island or are thinking about moving here, there are two people I think you should meet.

I may sound like the biggest groupie ever, but I cannot stress enough how amazing and talented Dylon at Current Thoughts is. Not only can Dylon make the most beautiful and unique jewelry, but he can also solve any of your computer problems! Dylon's also a writer and has published a number of books already. I get to buy fabulous jewelry and get my computer fixed! How lucky am I?

Thanks, D! Hubby was impressed! After you left, he got on the computer to check his e-mail and said that the computer is running twice as fast as it did before and we're not having any of the problems we did before. Yay!

Another person I think you should meet is the wonderful Wiky Lion at Our Manitoulin. He is the man to go to for info or resources on the Island. He has a website that showcases all of the Island businesses and events. The thing I applaud the most is that he does this all because he simply loves the Island and wants to share its beauty with all those interested. Oh, and if you need any Watkins products, he's the man to call!
Image by Wiky Lion.
Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is why I love my family


Here's a video of my zany brother and some of my cousins. At Edwin and Amy's wedding, guests were to dance in order for the couple to kiss. Here is their performance. They just love, love, love dancing to Britney Spears! LOL! Trust me...It's a really funny video!

PS. Does anyone know how to edit a video so that you can make it brighter? It's soooooo dark! Ah well!

Baby Bro, Ed3, RDP and True Numperor, you guys were hilarious! Thanks for the laughs! xo

Throwback Thursday #10



In keeping with the Pinks&Blues tradition, here is another walk down memory lane.

Once there lived a boy and a girl. They were brother and sister. The girl was a year and a half older than the boy, but many people now call him the older brother. Many years later (nine, to be exact), another little brother was born.

In the beginning, long before Baby Bro entered the world, Middle Brother (aka Older Brother) and the sister were joined at the hip. They were the best of friends, until they started to grow up and become adolescents. They did everything together, including brush their teeth together. They grew apart, but would do anything for each other because they are familia. I luv you, Bu!

Their family used to go on lots and lots of family vacations. Road trips to New York and Florida and camping trips to Algonquin, Gatineau, New Brunswick and Virginia were yearly adventures the family made together. They even traveled with their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and close family friends sometimes. Trips to the countryside in Quebec to go apple picking, strawberry picking and corn picking were memorable outings. They even went to the Drive-In movie theatre as a family.

But, alas! That was then...and this is now. My, where has the time gone? The sister is now married. Middle Brother is married and he has a five month old baby boy. Baby Bro is now twenty-one and finishing university. I don't know why, but this post makes me think of this song.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Affair to Remember


I come from a very closely-knit family. All of my cousins are like brothers and sisters to me. Naturally, being present at each other's weddings is a must. On Saturday, my little cousin got married. The happy couple exchanged their vows at a beautiful church located in Montreal. They had a traditional filipino wedding, which included the Ring Ceremony, Arrhae/Coin Ceremony, Veil Ceremony, Cord Ceremony, Candle Ceremony and the presence of the couple's sponsors (a bit like godfathers and godmothers). Two of the most remarkable things about this wedding were that a) my cousin, Jey sang at the wedding ceremony and b) the priest who baptized most of us and who has seen my family through nearly 20 something years, was the one who officiated the ceremony. It was a nice touch and very special. We joked that Jey is now officially dubbed The Wedding Singer since she sang at all her cousins' weddings so far. She's no Adam Sandler though! Hubby, Mom, and yours truly. You can't really see it clearly in the pic, but my mom's new hairdo looks just like Victoria Beckham's! Everyone kept telling her that she looks just like Posh Spice. Mom didn't know what everyone was talking about, so she had to Google "Posh Spice"!

I love this photo of Hubby and me. I think it's so funny how it looks like Jey has been digitally inserted into the photo! It looks like someone PhotoShopped her into the background!


Some of my cousins and their wonderful girlfriends!













Wedding cupcakes.
The wedding reception took place at the beautiful Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Old Montreal. It was fitting that my cousin chose PaC as the wedding venue since it is the site of the foundation of the city of Montreal.
Wedding guests were treated to guided tours of Pointe-a-Calliere. I had been to the archaeological museum a few times before. The last time I visited PaC was when I was in high school and we went there for a field trip for our Quebec history class. It truly is like taking a trip into the past. What a wonderful way to celebrate the city we call our 'hometown' (even if we grew up in the 'burbs)!
I must hand it to my cousin for making this a memorable wedding. Not only did I discover what a romantic he is, he also reminded me of the richness of culture and history Montreal holds.
The supper was also held Pointe-a-Calliere. A delectable array of dishes was served. To start the five course meal off, there was a shrimp/scallop dish, served on top of goat cheese and rice. I wish I had taken a photo of this gorgeous work of art before we devoured it! Then there was a lovely soup (I can't remember off hand what it was, but it was delicious). For the main course, we were served Cornish hen, accompanied by vegetables. There were several desserts to choose from at the dessert table. I was quite partial to the mini Crème brûlée. Yes...Absolutely zero calories, no?

Introducing...the newlyweds!
Look at my proud grandma! She's wearing her traditional filipino dress. Now she has three out of twelve grandkids married off!

Mi familia!
The last one is a shot of all the cousins and their significant others! I'm sensing that there will be quite a few weddings coming up! Well, at least two in the next year or two!

Congrats again to the Bride & Groom! We love you both!
Monday, August 20, 2007

Home


We're back from a wonderful weekend away. Too bad the cattle didn't behave themselves while we were gone! Urgh. Sometime this week I'll be posting more about the wedding we attended in Montreal. All I can say is that it was one of the best weddings we had ever been to. The venue was perfect. My cousin, being the artsy, intellectual, unique guy that he is, chose to hold the reception in Old Montreal. This is perfect because my cousin just loves Montreal and this really expresses how he feels about the city we call 'home'. Okay, more about the wedding in my next post.

This post is yet another 'promo' for someone I hold in high esteem. Not only is my cousin, Jey a talented songstress, but she is also a wonderful make-up artist and hairstylist. I failed to mention that she's also a true fashionista. Everyone often jokes about how Clinton and Stacy from What Not to Wear need to watch out, or else Jey might steal their jobs from right under their feet!

I needed a new look for the wedding on the weekend. I have really fine, straight, uncooperative hair. Jey was able to work with my layers and add tons of volume and lift to my hair. She was also able to give me the illusion of having big eyes! I was amazed. Here are some photos of Jey's make-up and hair mastery. The make-up for the wedding was a bit more dramatic. You'll see photos in my next post.

In the meantime, if you are in the Montreal area and have an important event (wedding, anniversary, photo shoot, party) to attend, I highly recommend a session with Jey. She is amazing! *Note* She does not do haircuts. She's strictly make-up and hairstyling only. If you're lucky, she may sing to you while she does your hair! :)








Pssssssssssst! Don't forget: http://www.jeyflores.com/ !!!

Photos by Jey Flores- Montreal, Quebec

UPDATE: Urgh. Guess I should have checked whether the link was still working or not. I'm not sure if the link will be activated again, but you can leave a message for Jey in my comment box and she can get back to you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brief Hiatus


We're off to Montreal for a few days. Hubby and I don't get to leave the Island much because of the farm, so we're hoping to make the most of our little get-away. I can't wait to catch up with family and see some friends I have reconnected with via Facebook. Some friends and I have made plans to try to meet up while I'm back in Mtl. I'm so excited!

The primary reason for our trip to Montreal is this...
My wonderful cousin and his beautiful bride-to-be are getting married on Saturday. The wedding is to take place in Old Montreal, and by the sounds of things, it should be a memorable event! My cousin always does everything in syle! I love that guy!

Oh, and another reason for our visit...

I get to see my little Cuddle Bunny, Kenny! My, he's getting big! I love this pic! He's got that "Ohhhh...Life is tough!" look on his face!


Throwback Thursday #9
I'm posting my TT a day early, since I'll be en route to Mtl. tomorrow. This pic is of our high school grad back in '93. We look sooooooo young!!! Some of us have reconnected via Facebook and have been able to see pics of each other now. This photo was taken nearly 15 years ago and back then, we were fresh out of high school, ready (or not so ready!) to face the real world. Many of us went onto college and university. Life was just one big adventure waiting to happen. Everything was new, thrilling, and at times a little scary. Now, many of us have traveled, gotten established in a career, have a house, a spouse, and kids. It's funny how we all look almost exactly the same as we did back then, but only a little older now.
Saturday, August 11, 2007

There is Nothing in Life as Sweet


as this...

Mmmmm... Fresh Sweet Corn!

Ohhhh...okay. Maybe this...


Or this...


I don't know if you can see, but Fred is actually feeding her babies in this pic.





Hmmmm...Or maybe this!



Oh my darling! Oh, my darling! Oh, my darling Clementine!!!

Or this...



Hubby and Elie (our friends', Dina and Gavin's son). Honey, I "borrowed" this from your Facebook photos!

Oh, okay...maybe this!

Or this...



My little nephew, Kenny! I can't wait to see him in 5 days! I miss my little cuddle bunny!!!

Funny...because it's true!


Saw this on J's and MsMamma's blogs. Just had to try it!

You Are Cindy Brady

Warm hearted and sweet, you have a childlike innocence that lets you see the good in everyone.
But you're also a bit of a baby. You stick your nose where it doesn't belong... and cry when you get caught!


P.S. Happy Birthday to my Grandma! :)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Throwback Thursday #8


Thanks to the girls at PinksandBlues, Thursday has become my favourite day of the week! I know I'm posting my Throwback Thursday photos a day early, but I just know I won't be able to post them tomorrow. I'll be teaching all day and then our ESL students have baseball and one of them has a birthday tomorrow and I'm trying to orchestrate a surprise birthday party for him. I think it will be special for him to celebrate his birthday while in Canada, don't you?

Anyway, here is this week's installment of photos of yours truly.


I grew up with my cousins. We all lived a few minutes from each other and we were always together. I love having grown up in a big family because I always felt like I had tons of brothers and sisters (well, I have one female cousin on my mom's side and she's ten years younger than me). Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year and all the family suppers were always so much fun. We even went on family vacations together! *sigh* I miss the days of seemingly endless car rides from Montreal to Florida, goofing off with my brother and cousins in the backseat of my uncle's station wagon. Those 13 hr drives to Florida were so much fun and I remember listening to the same two 8-tracks over and over and over for the entire ride! I memorized the words to The Beatles' Yellow Submarine and Don McLean's American Pie. We were totally cool in that navy blue, silver-striped station wagon with our 8-tracks blasting. Yes, you have to remember that this was back in the day when parents let their kids ride in the back of the station wagon amidst all the luggage and coolers...without seatbelts! Yikes!

Don't you just love how ladylike I am in the first photo? Oh, so classy! Not!

The next set of pics (above) are of my cousins and moi. In the first pic of this set, you'll see my eldest cousin, Hawaii Joe and my youngest cousin, Jey. Fast forward a few years and a few new little ones have joined our clan. Baby Bro and Rusky Busky are now 21 and 18. I am shocked at how fast time flies. I remember changing both of their diapers! Look at me holding Jey in the above pic! She's the closest to a little sister that I have. I always asked Santa Claus for an older sister or a younger sister, and instead, I ended up with two younger brothers! :)

I threw in this last photo for good measure. Nah, I threw it in because...I finally figured out how to PhotoShop!!! Yes, I know. I am technologically challenged! I'm just tickled pink that I've figured out how to PhotoShop things! Yahooooo!!! (Yes, I know...total geek!)
Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Potter's Wheel



The children squealed with excitement at the thought of coming up with beautiful creations at the potter's wheel. They sat attentively as he talked about clay. "Clay has no worth", said the pottery teacher, as he slammed down a beautiful ceramic vase and let it shatter into pieces. "It comes from the earth. It's like mud. It's only valuable when someone makes something from it. That is when it becomes precious." The children sat in awe and wonderment. A bit startled that the pottery teacher smashed a perfectly good vase, their eyes opened and their ears perked up.


To the childrens' surprise, the pottery instructor took them for a ride and showed them many different types of soil and how to find clay. First, they saw top soil in the ditches along the highway. Then they saw another layer of "dirt" that was rocky. Still no clay. At the beach, they found sand with its coarseness and granular characteristics. Finally, along the sandy beach, they found some patches of clay.


"If it looks like it's cracked, you know that it's clay. That's one if its properties", said the teacher. The kids and the teacher eventually found a spot where there was some really good quality clay and they dug and dug, and loaded their pails with clay.


"Now, do we make pottery?" asked one of the students. "Not yet." The children never anticipated that their pottery instructor would be teaching them everything involved in making pottery. Pottery isn't just sitting at the wheel. The kids were thinking that they'd be given a slab of clay from a bag and they'd be able to watch the wheel turn and turn as they swirled the clay to form their creations. They never thought that they'd learn such valuable lessons like where the clay comes from, how to get clay from its natural environment, and how to clean, filter and prepare the clay. They were not aware that the process of making pottery was so involved. "Pottery is 80% preparation and 20% actual making", said their instructor.

Who would have thought that the children would be learning so much about the elements, the environment, the Earth, and so much more? The children sat with their sensei as he discussed methods and techniques. One bright pupil just absorbed all the information and when asked if she understood, she recanted the methods and techniques. She loved learning about pottery done on the wheel, freehand or free form, using a mould, and the coil method.

It's been nearly three weeks since the students began their pottery lessons, and they have learned so much. They haven't even begun the actual making of the pottery yet, but they already have a wealth of experience to take back with them when they return to their country in a few weeks. As a teacher myself, I am thrilled that the students are learning everything about pottery, including where the clay comes from and how to prepare their own clay. They are learning everything from step one. What a pleasant and unexpected surprise.


Photo from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/ucl-views/pottery
Monday, August 06, 2007

It's Just Another Manic Monday


I didn't think I was going to write another post tonight, but I just had to share this story with you.

Imagine yourself exhausted from the day and attempting to get some alone time by settling down and unwinding--just trying to watch an episode of Big Love. The students are all in their rooms, getting ready for bed. All of a sudden, the ESL students you are hosting for the summer decide to do their homework at the last minute. Bedtime is 10PM and it is 9:58. There's giggling and they're all happy and giddy, then all of a sudden there's screaming, screeching and CRYING!!!

"Oh goodness", I thought. "It's just a spider". The kids are deathly afraid of spiders and scream every time the see one. Truth be told, I am really scared of spiders too. I just pretend that I'm not scared because I know the students are more scared than I am. I pick the daddy long legs up by their legs and usher them outside. It's something I've learned that I have to do if the kids are more afraid than I am.

Anyway, I look over from the living room and see that the kids are all standing on top of the sofa screaming their heads off. One of them is bawling and the other two are half laughing and half screaming. It turns out that while doing their homework, one of the students brushed his foot against something and thought it was one of the kittens. He then realized it was a dead mouse. Yes, it was a mouse. It was dead.

I tried to maintain my composure and soothed the kids by telling them it was just a field mouse, but the screeching got louder and louder. My attempt at quelling their cries was futile. What began as being cool, calm and collected turned into:
"HUBBY!!! THERE'S A DEAD MOUSE UNDER THE DINING ROOM TABLE!!!"
"So?"
"THERE'S A DEAD MOUSE UNDER THE TABLE!"
"But it's so cute!" said Hubby, teasingly. Meanwhile, the one crying student was now in hysterics.
"HONEY!!!! GET IT OUT OF HERE! THE STUDENT IS CRYING!!!"
Hubby, like a super hero, dashes down the stairs in his towel (he was about to hop into the shower) and sweeps up the tiny little body by the tail and rushes it outside. Two of the students are now laughing, but one is still letting the waterworks go. I admit, I probably could have removed the poor little field mouse myself. I don't know why I didn't.
I calmed the one student down and explained that we are in the country and there are animals that live in the fields and forests that surround our home. One of the cats had killed the mouse and had brought it in as her prized trophy. She has done that with mice and little birds before, but she has always left her trophies on our front doorstep. She's never brought them in the house for us to see. I think that we resolved certain issues and I hope I offered the kids some comfort. Two of the students thought it was hilarious afterward, but the one that was crying still looked unsure and unsettled.
Now I know why one of the cats was being overly affectionate and attention seeking. She rolled all over our game of Monopoly and plopped herself down in the center, amidst the pile of Luxury Tax and Income Tax money. Now I realize that she was trying to show us that she had a present for us. *sigh* What are these kids going to write in their journals tonight? ;)
Ahhhhhh....Life in the country!

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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