Thursday, July 05, 2012

Like marshmallows on the bottom of my feet ...

Sabreena was over tonight to visit while Sharm and Trent went to the store so we had a great time visiting. She was using an app on her dad's iphone to make a smoothie. I told her that we could go to the kitchen and make a real one but she would have to lead me through the process by telling what to do. Here were her instructions:
  1. Well Nani, the first thing you do is take out your Vitamix from the cupboard. Then you have to add some milk (as she checks the phone app. for the next step).
  2. Then you add some flavour like vanilla or chocolate (she then suggested that the flavour be vanilla).
  3. Then you add some ice cream (I said that I only had frozen yogurt so she said that was fine)
  4. Then you add some strawberries that we picked together.
  5. Then you blend it (so I did)
  6. Then you have to pour into three glasses for me and you and Grandpa
  7. Then you have to give me a straw to drink it with.
  8. (Here comes the even more cute part) - Nani, do you know what the best thing about this is? It tastes good because I gave you the recipe and you added flavour and you used the strawberries that we picked. That's great. Thanks Nani.
So we had a lovely strawberry smoothie in the sunroom with her "pretend" recipe from the iPhone app. After that, I was giving her a foot massage and I asked if she wanted me to stop. She said no because my massage makes her foot feel like it has marshmallows on the bottom. How cute is that for a four year old?

I am enjoying this summer - especially that I do not have to have a book in one hand while I am trying to spend some free time soaking up summer. I hope you are enjoying summer as much as I am so far.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday Chead!

I was in Toronto for the July long weekend attending my friend Chead's 60th birthday. This birthday was more like a wedding.  Beatrice (we have been friends since 1965 when we started in Form 1 together) and Chead (he was in one form higher than us) looked like a bride and groom.  He looked very flashy and handsome with his wedding like kurta and her langa could outdo any bride's.

What was fabulous about the pooja was how many people attended whose relationship with both Beatrice and Chead date back to early childhood. There were many people who are originally from Cumming's Lodge (where we attended school) and Industry (the next village where there was really do dividing line). The other beautiful thing was that some of our classmates were there on Saturday - Joe, Mercedes, Racey, Georgie, Satyanand, and me of course. When you leave your country of birth and settle in another country, it can be years before you meet people you've spent the most impressionable years of your life with. So it's a rare and delightful treat to meet up with everyone. I feel blessed that after almost 5 decades, my friendship with all these people is as strong as ever. We don't see each other as often as I would like to but when we do, it's as if no time had passed. In the last six months I have been fortunate to meet Amna in Florida, and to see Joe, Bonny, Paul, Prak, Albert, Annie, Beatrice, Mercedes, Racey, Satyanand, Georgie in Toronto. Many of them live in the Toronto area but some had to travel from the US to be here.  

The picture below was one that was taken in April - 3 days after my exam so we were celebrating. These were my friends who knew me as an 11 year-old who loved to play sports and did not take school very seriously. I can now admit that I was so un-serious about school that I once got 3/100 in Latin. I think that was worse than 0. I can still conjugate the verb "amā́re" even though I can think of no use for it unless I was planning to go into the priesthood (impossible for a woman anyway). I could give that as a reason for doing so bad but the truth is that I had more interesting things to do at school - like visit with my friends, play on all the sports teams and be a social butterfly in general.

April 2012: L to R: Prak, Bonny, Paul, Albert, Joe, Beatrice, Annie, Savitree
July 2012: Beatrice, Chead and family

July 2012: L to R: Mercedes, Beatrice, Savitree

July 2012: Beatrice and Chead getting emotional

July 2012: L to R: Georgie, Savitree, Joe

As you can see, the reunion was a great success and the birthday party a greater success. It's wonderful to have lifelong friends that still care about each other. My love and sincerest thanks for making the effort to meet.


Monday, July 02, 2012

A beautiful day for picking strawberries
Last Sunday, we went picking the first Manitoba berries of the season with Sharm, Sahana and Sabreena. I have never gone berry picking before - preferring to go to the farm and buy the already-picked ones but this year I decided to go on the spur of the moment. Sahana has gone before with her other grandmother but Sabreena has never gone so the whole experience was a great adventure for her.
Grenkows-u-pick is about 20 minutes from my home south of the city. The farm apparently has been a u-pick farm for several years but I am only now hearing about it this year. Anyway, we went over to Sharm's house and she followed us in her vehicle to the farm which as partly on a gravel road and then on a small dirt road in the field. When we arrived, Sabreena announced that she had never driven on a dirt road and didn't think you could do that. We then got our pails and a couple of additional baskets and went off to the field. The girl at the table with the baskets asked if Hana and Breen were pickers in training and by the time they were done, I think Breen had graduated as not only a picker but an expert taster!

 The two of us took one row. Sharm and Hana picked two buckets very quickly and were surprised that we were still only on our first but when you are training a young picker, it takes time. I had to find the ripe ones and hold each one so she could pick it off the bush but in a short time she could distinguish which one was over-, under-, and just right. One of them was quite a big one so when she picked it, she held it lovingly in her hand. I told her to put it in the bucket but she stood there and repeated: "Put it in the bucket?" with a tone that said: DO I really have to put this luscious berry in the basket instead of my mouth? By the time I said she could eat it, half of it was already in her mouth being devoured with great delight!! So much so that the juices were all down the front of her shirt providing the later evidence to the seller that she must have had a feast in the field.


While we were halfway done, she stood up and looked around and announced: Nani this is a beautiful day for picking strawberries! I agreed with her wholeheartedly.  When we went back to the table to pay for the berries, Breen could not understand why we needed to pay for them because we were in a field picking our own berries. I said that this was like a giant strawberry store but that we could go and pick only the berries we wanted to eat. The girl at the table as her" Did you eat a few berries?” and all she could do was grin because the berry juice was down the front of her shirt and her mouth had bits of red juice all around.
It was indeed a good day made better because I was berry picking with my grandbabies.