Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa’

Visiting a Cat Cafe in Akihabara

Cat in a Santa Suit

Cat in a Santa Suit

Cat on Gilded Cage Perch

Cat on Gilded Cage Perch

Vanessa Petting Cat in a Santa Suit

Vanessa Petting Cat in a Santa Suit

Feeding Time at the Cat Cafe

Feeding Time at the Cat Cafe

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Pointe au Baril Islanders’ Club 2010 Junior Regatta

Had a fun time at the Ojibway Club, watching the kids compete in various events during the Pointe au Baril Islanders’ Club Junior Regatta.

I got some fun shots of the Canoe Tug-of-War (where two canoes are joined together by a length of rope, and, well, it’s a tug-of-war using paddle-power), and of the “Decades” race, where four people are in a canoe who were born during different decades. Lots of fun.

Here are the pics:

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Lions Toronto Easter Parade in The Beaches 2010

Another fun parade, this time with Vanessa helping out a friend by marching with a group of kids for “The Monkey Club”. In addition to the usual bands there was even a demo by a couple of members of the Harlem Globetrotters as well.

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Annie’s Piano Recital and Mega-Hopscotch

This afternoon Annie had her piano recital. She goes to Beach Music Studio where she takes piano and song.

I was wondering why she wanted to go dressed in one of her dress-like dressing gowns, but as her teacher explained at the start of the show, Annie was a “double-threat”.

Annie Playing her Piano Tune

Turns out she had arranged to do a song-and-dance routine with her music teacher, singing “Barbie Girl” with her.

Annie and Her Music Teacher Singing “Barbie Girl”

Despite a few duff notes here and it was a good show, and it was interesting to see other students showing improvement over previous performances.

Annie Posing for a Shot by the Piano

I walked the kids home and got them lunch at the local Licks restaurant while Erika went off for another trumpet performance downtown.

The kids started playing with the neighbours, and after a while Vanessa came in and asked me what the world-record was for hopscotch length. She and Devin from a couple of doors over had made a hopscotch path that led all the way up the block, and went up to 550 (which unfortunately is a fraction of the world’s largest). Still, they had fun with it, as did I in taking pics of Vanessa hopscotching up the sidewalk.

Vanessa Making Her Way Up the Mega-Hopscotch on the Sidewalk

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Visiting the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, Barbados Day #2

In the morning we headed off to the next major town south from the yacht, which was Holetown. We stopped off at a small place that sold arts and crafts to tourists. Annie used her allowance to buy herself a small mermaid doll, which was a real hit. I bought a hat to keep out the sun, and we saw this tree containing masses of huge, fleshy flowers, apparently called a “Cannonball Tree”.

A “cannonball” flower. We were told that the tree it came from was one of only three on the island of Barbados (turns out they originally come from South America. We were told this this example was one of only three on the whole island.

A view of the actual tree it comes from

An extended branch about to bud multiple flowers

Me with a new hat

Riding the bus on the road heading south towards Bridgetown

After a lengthy walk from our bus-stop in the hot mid-day sun, we made it to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery.

The sign outside the distillery

Our very animated (and good) tour guide

An old Pot Still from the original refinery, dating back to the 1760s.

A Coffey Still Rectifier, which is more typical of the modern distillation process.

Erika and Jennifer preparing themselves to smell the high proof rum

A moment later

Sampling various rum-based drinks at the conclusion of the tour

Vanessa enjoying a cold, non-alcoholic, drink at the Mount Gay bar

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Rehearsal

I went to pick up Vanessa after school today. She was still practicing with her group for their presentation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory they plan on presenting at the end of the school term. Shot this picture while I was waiting.

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The day after my return from China, there’s a dress rehearsal of Oklahoma happening at my eldest daughter’s school, Kew Beach Public School. Since I’m heading off on another business trip that will keep me out of town when the play is actually running. Vanessa didn’t get a part, but did manage to get into the chorus. She’s hoping that next year she’ll get a part on stage.

You can almost hear him singing “Oklahoma”!

I love the expression on the kids’ faces in this picture

The girls during one of the dance numbers

The left-hand chorus (including Vanessa) singing

The cast singing the finale number

The play’s director going over things with the kids

The girls in the cast listening to the director (with our neighbour Devon sitting to the far left)

Vanessa in the crowd of kids

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Vanessa’s Teeth Redux

Not the best day for Vanessa, as she had to have two more of her teeth pulled out in order to “make room” for her ongoing orthodontic treatment.

I’d been given to understand that only one of the two teeth that needed taking out was to be done today, but the orthodontist had in fact left instructions that both were to come out at once. Not surprisingly Vanessa felt put upon, especially since the dentist also found a small cavity (Vanessa’s first) that needed filling.

After picking her up from her dentist I delivered her to her tutor, which I understand was done largely with non-verbal gestures and grunts of “yes” and “no” until her gums stopped bleeding.

Treated her and the whole family to a sushi dinner afterwards at a small hole-in-the-wall sushi joint that was nearby, and then literally next door for a healthy scoop from Ed’s Ice Cream.

She was smiling by the end of the evening, which made it all worthwhile.

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Keeping Kitten

Ever since we got “Dawn” last Saturday there’s been quite a bit of news relating to her.

First night there was a particularly stinky poop that a too-tired Vanessa woke up to and couldn’t find. It was in the catbox but she was too tired (she had been asleep) to look for it. It was disposed of quickly and the catbox soon moved to the kid’s third floor washroom.

Dawn has been exceedingly shy, primarily hiding under Vanessa’s bed or other bits of furniture providing cover.

In an attempt to coax her our Erika tried to pick up the cat from its hiding spot, and was bitten for her trouble. The area around the bite soon swelled, and by the evening she took herself to the local emergency to have the now-swollen hand looked to. Her hand was put in a splint and she was given antibiotics. Erika didn’t blame the kitten, but she began to wonder if it had been too attached to its foster “mom” and had too nervous a disposition. Thanks to the antibiotics by Thursday the swelling had gone down and Erika was able to take the splint off.

Vanessa hadn’t been having much luck with Dawn either, and was beginning to feel let down about having adopted a kitten who was too timid to come near her. There’s a seven-day return policy and we were all beginning to seriously consider the possibility of returning Dawn to her foster home.

On Wednesday night I managed to coax her out and take some pictures of her, using a piece of colourful yarn on a stick. Earlier in the day Erika had done the same thing (using her good hand) to get the kitten to appear, managing to get her to come close enough for a scratch behind the ears without incident. I tried the same and while I didn’t get her close enough to let me touch her, she certainly wanted to play.

Last night Vanessa did the same thing, her mother showing her how to lure the kitten out by being patient and gentle with her, while luring her with the piece of yarn. She let herself be petted by Vanessa, and by this point any talk about returning her came to an end.

Dawn is going to take some work in order to get her more comfortable around the family, but it seems as though we have started off in that direction.

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Another Addition to the Menagerie: Dawn the Kitten

One of the things that Vanessa has been constantly asking about has been about adopting a cat of her own. It is safe to say she is “cat mad”, constantly drawing pictures or making crafts involving “kitties”.

Finally, this last time that we had my Aunt Jane’s cat Nick over for cat-sitting we told Vanessa that if she looked after him (feeding and cleaning) we would seriously consider the prospect of getting her a kitten. Vanessa was successful at this, and a couple of weeks ago Erika managed to find a good candidate from a cat fostering group: a 5 month old tortoise-shell kitten named dawn. Erika called and made the arrangements and she and Vanessa went and picked her up today.

Apparently the foster mother was very sad to see her go, but was happy that she was going to a good home. Vanessa was beaming when she came through the door with the cat carrier in hand. She then took Dawn upstairs to her room and let her out of the cat carrier.

That was about the only time that I’ve had the chance to get a good look at her, as she has been hiding under various pieces of furniture ever since.

This isn’t too surprising really, as I remember stories about Erika’s late lamented cat Naomi that she was similarly exceedingly shy when she first got her, and turned out to be a very lovable, affectionate animal once she settled in.

Vanessa did manage to tease her out with a piece of colourful string on a small stick, a perfect kitten fishing rod. Got to see a playful paw extended from under a dresser at the proffered string, as well as a bright pair of eyes that looked straight at me when I came down to her level on the floor.

Vanessa told me around bedtime that she had found a nice hiding spot under her bed. She still hadn’t emerged, but there was a constant purring, so things are obviously not that bad from the kitten’s perspective.

A lucky little girl and an equally lucky kitten.

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