Friday, November 28, 2008

American Thanksgiving.ca

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the States. It was Thursday here in Canada. Just another Thursday....weird. All day I kept thinking about the rest of my family getting together at one house or another, planning and preparing the feast, smelling that turkey cooking in the oven, knowing that everyone else was doing the same thing at so many other houses. Here, it was just another work day with business as usual.
TJ flew in from Alberta and promised to take me to dinner, for our Thanksgiving feast. Well, we had the most unique dinner I think we've ever had on Thanksgiving. TJ had caribou and I had stuffed capon (with cranberries, very Thanksgivingish). Dinner was very nice but not even close to celebrating with our family.
One more note, Lucy, our 15 yr. old Brittney Spaniel, is not well. She has a tumor on her back paw and it seems to have gotten infected. In the morning she would not get out of bed or eat. The vet gave her some pain killers and an antibiotic but we think her days with us are few. It is so sad to see her limping around in obvious pain. She has had a long and good life but it is never easy to make the decision to end it. I don't think it will be long though. The tumor is inoperable so things may not get any better, and this is no life for her.
Like I said, a very weird Thanksgiving for sure. So glad we were able to be with family for the Canadian version in October. I would really be feeling cheated if we had not.
Let the Christmas shopping begin.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Wedding"

This past weekend we went down to Baton Rouge for TJ's sister, Meg's, wedding. We left the snow of Mississauga and freezing temps. and arrived in La. to sunny skies and temps in the 60's. Ahhhhh!
All of TJ's siblings, all 6, and their spouses and most of the cousins were at the wedding. All of our kids were there too. I think the last time our immediate family was all together was 2 years ago. What has this world come to? We live way too far apart and are too busy. It was great to see everyone.
Friday was the bridal luncheon and lingerie shower. I think I need to get remarried, just to reload on the pretty lingerie. The wedding was at 7 p.m. and was so nice. It was poignant to see Meg being escorted up the aisle by her two boys. They were so precious! I know that they will be so happy together with their new family. The priest did a wonderful job making the ceremony personal.
Then there was the reception. When you get all 7 Mahoneys in one room, provide them with music and drinks, watch out! We danced our feet off! Then some of us who did not want the night to end went to the hotel and continued the festivities. I went home kicking and screaming because I just did not want it to end. Yes, I paid for it the next morning when TJ woke me up at 7 to go see some of the family off. OUCH! 4 hours of sleep is just not enough to counteract so much dancing and drinking and talking. It wasn't pretty but I am glad I went for the sendoff. We just don't get to see everyone often enough so you just have to suck it up and get on with it.
I did manage a short nap in the afternoon before round 2.... big party at Meg and Jason's house, complete with jambalaya, gumbo and fried turkey. Welcome home. Another fun day with the family. This time we made it home at 11 and got a decent night sleep.
Highlight of the day was the 7 TJ Mahoneys trying to get a good family picture to document our together time and maybe use as a Christmas photo. It all started quite civilized and then all H...broke loose. We were being photographed by several family members when a cousin just popped his head into the group shot. Then there was laughter, some yelling, more laughter, more random people sticking their heads into the Mahoney family photo and the rest will remain in my memory forever. Definitely the most fun our family has ever had taking the Christmas picture. Who knows if we even got one worth reproducing. It was fun though.
So we left the sunny south yesterday and today could possibly be the ugliest day in Ontario. It is just above freezing and gray and raining and snowing and just gross! Will the sun ever shine up here? I am seriously beginning to wonder. I really don't think the cold will be that bad if only we could see the sun and some blue sky. I have heard that November is a really yucky month, I believe it! Hope December is better.
The Mahoney Family, minus 5!

Monday, November 3, 2008

God, Country and Notre Dame

Our little sock monkey at the ND tailgate.

Sunday morning with Grammy and Daniel.

This past weekend TJ and I went to Notre Dame and met up with Rachel, Matt and Daniel, the cute fellow in the photo. It was a wonderful fall weekend. The drive on Friday was beautiful and we arrived to an unseasonably warm fall evening. We enjoyed some wine and cheese outside before dinner and the guys went out while Rachel, Daniel (who was done for the day at that point) and I stayed home for dinner. It was a genius plan, no crying and fussing, and Daniel was happy too.


Saturday started early with the tailgate setup. What a huge undertaking....so glad it was done by seasoned veterans. Our hosts, the Murrys, picked up everything at 8:30 in the morning and the party started. Now, I need to say that if you have not ever been to a college football tailgate you are missing something. What a herculean effort! Our hosts put on a great feast and it was well attended. We even got to catch up with old Columbus friends who were also there for the weekend, visiting their daughter who is a sophomore. Just imagine this day; start at 8:30 setting up, cook, drink beer, entertain, visit, walk around campus, drink more, eat more and then off to the game at 2:30. Cheer with great enthusiasm and passion for the next 4 hours, or more if the game goes to 4 overtimes like this one did, and then go to Mass with about 15,000 other fans of Our Lady. Pray with full voice and heart and then at 8:30 at night, a mere 12 hours later, go home for dinner and the post game festivities. I think/know my favorite part of any ND game is at the end when the football team, win or lose, stands in front of the student section while the band plays the Alma Mater and everyone locks arms and sways back and forth and sings together. It is inspiring, win or lose, they are a family united at the end. AND then the exit and walk across campus to mass after the game. There are at least 3 masses around campus after the game and each one has standing room only. I like to think that everyone is as passionate about God as they are about football.
I am never disappointed with ND. Such a wonderful place to spend a weekend, or 4 years for some.
TJ and I drove home on Sunday again in wonderful fall weather. We are really being treated with a beautiful fall. Every time we leave and come back I feel more and more like I live here. It still feels a little weird being a citizen of one country and living in another. I have a whole new perspective for anyone who is a foreigner, as I sometimes feel I am.
In the country part, the election is tomorrow. I know the Canadians will be following it as closely as the Americans. I will be happy it is all over, it seems like this has gone on forever. Now what will we read about in the papers?
Here is an experiment, I took a video of Daniel and will try to post it here for anyone who is interested. He sure is a cutie!



video
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