Category Archives: Family

FAMILY VISIT

Life has been busy.

Any down time is a rarity these days.  Those quiet moments that I try to do at night?  Non-existent because I’m so exhausted at night that I curl up in my bed and fall asleep, screw the cleansing and calming of my mind.  For now.

I think that’s why I’ve been writing less, and I’m not talking about this blog, I’m talking about my journal writing.  I’ve been missing it, yet cannot compel myself to put pen to paper.  My mind is just not focused right now.  And, I have a lot of things I need to sort out.  I need to get focused.  Soon.

I am looking forward to next week.  I have some random days off, meaning I have a couple of days off during the week but not in a row.  My cousin and her husband are driving up from South Carolina so I want to spend a day with her.  I originally was thinking of visiting her during the Civic day long weekend, funny enough, and I had a few other places that I was contemplating, but after some thinking (damn the thinking) decided to delay it.

My cousin comes into town every few years.  Generally, she comes to stuff her face with as much Chinese food as she can without exploding.  She also shops till she drops, stuffing her car with as many Asian delicacies as is possible to pack into her vehicle.  Its quite hilarious to watch.  I remember one year she came, I think it was about 15 years ago or so when Chinese food was rare in the South and she had packed her car with so much crap it was overflowing.  She even used “secret” compartments in the van she was driving at the time to hide her food from the Customs officer. She owns a Chinese restaurant so she buys the stuff half for the restaurant and half for herself.

It’ll be good to see her.  My nephews are excited to see her too, both for the first time, so I know there will be funny moments.  It should be lots of fun, and I need this break from the norm (i.e. craziness) right now, so its a welcome change.

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DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED

Late nights render me directionally challenged.

So, on Friday night I went out with my sister-in-law’s youngest and oldest sister (visiting from out of town).  We hit the Drake hotel, which has a lounge/restaurant on the ground level, a patio outside/upstairs and a little club down in the basement.  We tried to get into the patio, but that didn’t work after waiting for 45 minutes.  So, we went to the “Underground” in the basement where our names were on a list…I know, I felt really special.

The music was pumping.  I didn’t quite realize how pumping until I sat down about 8 feet from the speakers and my whole body started to shake from the bass.  I couldn’t hear myself think, and I had to shout when I talked. 

The music was great, we danced up a storm.  The DJ is a friend of the youngest sister, but it was just too loud and so we stayed for an hour and a half – we couldn’t take much more.  Once we left, we went down the street and stopped at a bar.  After the bar, we ended up at “Poutini’s House of Poutine” where we indulged in some, what else, poutine (for me, just fries and gravy hold the cheese) as our after 1am snack.

After eating we walked a bit and then we finally left for good.  I was pretty tired by then – haven’t had this much activity nor have I stayed up this late in a long time.  I’m used to quiet, chilled evenings with friends, this was not one of those nights.  Maybe this explains what happened next.

After dropping off one of the girls, I ended up..and I swear I drank only water….going the wrong direction on the Lakeshore trying to get onto the expressway.   That’s right – I went east on the westbound lanes.  A bit dangerous, but thankfully it was about 2am so there was no traffic (there was one car who graciously did not honk at me for being a dumbass)…otherwise I’m sure I’d be telling a different story.  I can only say in my defense that it was dark, it was late, I was tired, I only went a few meters east before realizing I was going the wrong way (I wasn’t that out of it) and I….was damn lucky there were no cops.

There is a reason why I don’t let myself out late at night. 😐

DEATH

I haven’t felt compelled to write lately.

My aunt, my mom’s oldest sister, and her husband, have both been in healthcare facilities in Hong Kong for over 15 years.  My aunt went first into the facility, having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 20 years ago.  My uncle became ill a few years after his wife and went into the same facility but in different rooms.

I never got a chance to visit either of them when they fell ill.  I regret that.  Before my aunt got sick, she always made a point to invite me to her home to see her when I was visiting.  I remember those visits vividly because my aunt was a loud character, always generous even though she didn’t have much.  She was a taller version of my mom.  My uncle, he was a gentle soul, always quiet and treated my aunt with great care, especially when she fell ill.  You could almost say he worshipped her.  They had 6 children together.

My mom called me last Friday morning to tell me that my aunt had died in her sleep overnight.  I was sad, but also relieved, because my aunt had suffered for a long time.  Then my mom called me about an hour later and told me that my uncle died as well…wow.  My mom told me that when one of the sons visited him (shortly after my aunt died), my uncle was teary, like he knew, even though they had not told him anything.  My uncle has been in a vegetative state for awhile, so the tears were unusual.  They think because he sensed my aunt had died, his will to live just dissipated.  He passed away while sleeping as well, I think shortly after the son visited.

They were together for over 60 years…..and I believe he wanted to be with his wife that’s why he died so quickly after she went.  I don’t care how sappy or unreal this sounds, but I believe it.  I feel so bad for my cousin, who now lives in Toronto and had just come back from a visit to Hong Kong only a week and a half ago – but at least he was able to see his parents one last time before they both passed away.

This reminds me, again, to never take anything for granted.

CLEAN SLATE

The new year to me always starts with a clean slate.  New year, new beginnings.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I host a dinner for my family every year, start the year off with family, food and nephews destroying my apartment.

New Year's Day Dinner

New Year's Day Dinner

So, the annual family dinner last night at my place went well (ok, with the exception of a few family moments that we all encounter), the food was good, too much, but good.  And, yes, I made everything you see in the photo above, except for the pork ribs.  I think for next year I’ll make less food.  It’ll be a lot less stressful for me.  And, less dishes for me to wash.  No, I don’t use my dishwasher, never have and probably never will.  Its good for storage. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2009 brings.  I always take a moment to think about how the previous year was and what I’m hoping for in the new year.  It helps me see where I’m at and where I want to be.  I’m not there yet, but I’m not worried, I’ll get there.

Happy New Year!

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

On my walk..look at the lovely snow

On my walk in the neighbourhood....look at the lovely snow

I love the holidays.  I admit it, I love all the food, the decorations, parties with friends and the family gatherings.  I even enjoy the snow…not driving in it, but I enjoy watching it fall and walking in it.  I look forward to the holidays every year no matter how stressful.  I’m more organized this year with the free time I have now.  Of course, I’m not a fan of the shopping, but I’m done.  And, it helps that there is a mall across the street from my place.  I just walk over if I need anything.

My family has a couple of holiday traditions.  Dinner on Christmas day and New Year’s day.  There’s always a ton of food, laughter and play time with my nephews.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s gathering.  It’ll be fun and my nephews are gonna love me, I bought them each a big truck.  Boys and their toys, I tell you, they love them.

Every year I have dinner at my place on New Year’s day, and this year is no different.  I like cooking for my family.  Although this year I’m changing my tradition of baking shortbread cookies and making fudge to something different.  I’m actually tired of the shortbread and fudge.  I’m going to do different cookies and make cupcakes again.  I figured my nephews would love the cupcakes and they are so easy to make.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  And, although the next few months will be a challenge, I’m not shying away from it.  I love a challenge.

Happy holidays to everyone!

CHILDREN’S CONCERT

My nephew had his first Christmas concert at school this week.  He’s growing up so fast, it makes me sad sometimes because I want him to be little forever.  I know, its crazy selfishness, but I can’t help it.  And then I’m reminded that my youngest nephew will be part of this concert next Christmas. 

The chaos you see in the photo below does not even begin to describe how crazy it became in the auditorium.  I enjoyed every moment of it, don’t get me wrong.  The performances were fabulous, but, damn, parents can get vicious when their view is blocked.  Note to self: always remember to not stand up in your excitement to take a picture of your nephew.  You may lose your life. 

chaos

CLUBBING

I remember the other reason I stopped clubbing – the sleazy guys.  Ahhhh…it all comes back after one night of clubbing.  Oh, and I can proudly say I didn’t fall asleep.

The party wasn’t what I was thought it would be, it was fun, but not what I imagined.  The night reminded me of why I like quiet nights, versus the pounding sound of music and many, many bodies dancing to it.  My claustrophobia kicked in big time.  

As for the sleazy guys, I could recall a few things that happened, but I’m not going to – they’re just worth a good chuckle now.  They weren’t all sleazy, but its the ones that are that make it bad for the good ones. 

I went to the club with my sister-in-law sister’s best friend W.  I dropped off my car at her house and met her younger brother who drove us to the club.  Watching these two was quite entertaining.  Her brother was a metrosexual type of guy.  He must have changed his shirt four or five times while I was waiting to leave, asking his sister and I what we thought.  He came down with one shirt and it was kinda short and he said “is this short, what do you think, is it short” while pulling at it.  W was hemming and hawing about it and then he looked over at me and I said “well, you keep pulling at it and if you’re doing that its too short for you” and that’s all I said and he went back upstairs to change again.  W was amused by my honesty, but I told her that if he was already fidgeting with it, then he’d be doing it all night and would be uncomfortable.

Human relationships always interest me.  I like seeing how people interact.  The club was a great example of that.  The dancing was great to watch, some not so good but funny and some really good.  All the grinding and dry humping, though, was a bit over the top but hilarious to watch. 

Remind me to never dry hump a boyfriend in public.  😉