A Return to Normal

I’ve been away for what feels like a very long time.

Entertaining my visitors from Holland and playing tourist became a full time job. Now that my cousin has returned home, I’m vaguely feeling a bit at loose-ends.

It’s time to reassemble my normal routine, however I’m not really sure what that means to me right now.  *Normal* over the past several weeks has been a mad flurry of daily activity.

From a wet, watery visit to Niagara Falls where I discovered my cousin’s delightfully wicked sense of humour …

Niagara Falls
I love this photo – it sums up so well how wet and wild it was at the foot of Niagara Falls

… a giggly shopping trip at Kensington Market …

Kensington Market

… to a step back in time at Black Creek Pioneer Village …

Black Creek Pioneer Village 2

… and the unhappy find of a very tiny baby bird slowly frying in the sun on the hot pavement.

baby bird
We gently moved it into the sheltered shade of some small shrubs (yes, that was a deliberate alliteration) … only to discover it gone a few hours later.

I have hundreds of photos that have captured the memories of our time together and the many new things that even I was experiencing for the first time.

As I look around me this morning, I see that my house needs cleaning and the weeds are running amok, appearing to have organized for a messy coup of the territory.

One thing I know for sure.  *Normal* will include a return to my small corner of WordPress.

While it is true that I got a HUGE amount of stuff done in the past 6 weeks without the distraction of blogging, I miss the sharing, the story-telling, and the interaction with people I think of as friends.

I’m back … although it might take a while to find *normal* again.


  1. Sounds like a great time, Joanne. On another note…..one big thing I’ve learned in the past couple years is that “normal” is never the norm! LOL. I look forward to your return on here….you have been missed!


      • We are…he’s officially “hooded” and now I call him my DocSon. It was an eventful trip to say the least! I may have to take your suggestion and write up a few episodes, but right now I find I’ve come home with a little over 2500 pix to sort through and edit….OMG.


  2. I totally understand the many, many photos to work through. I was only in Atlanta for 3 days and came home with 300 photos! Yikes!
    Glad you had such a great visit, and will look forward to hearing more about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • How cool. My ancestors are from the island of Texel. I went there a few years ago…it was like Roots, the book, me…going back to the origins. I can see why my ancestors left the place.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You made me laugh in your last comment. Of course I had to look it up. That’s pretty far up there. The write-ups about their long beautiful beaches likely don’t measure up to Bali though 😉


  3. I need a break from the Southern Aussie Winter to see you back here with Canadian Summer pics. No time for blogging atm, but time to check others. Italy 10 weeks away. Excited and nervous at the same time. Good to see you back.


  4. Welcome back, Joanne! I’m glad you had fun, quality time with family. It’s certainly more important than blogging, but I understand it’s a piece that’s hard to let go of for any length of time. I’m looking forward to the next post…in between the weeding and house cleaning.

    PS: What is normal? I have yet to find it, even though I keep calling its name. I’m pretty sure it’s hiding under the sea in Atlantis.


  5. Welcome back! Though, I’m giggling about the notion that being back in the WP spaces could make a person ‘normal.’ I’m actually on a bit of a blogging/social media break myself. That said, when your post popped into my inbox, I couldn’t at least pop in to say hello. I loved your stories and your photos. Thank you for sharing and for coming back. It’s not the same without you. Xo


    • Thank you! As this new day begins (I’m off to a slow start), my head is spinning from all the things I could and should be doing!! I guess I’m hitting the ground running.


  6. Good to hear you are glad to get back to blogging…. we have been away for a month, and I feel the same way…….I.enjoyed your photos……especially the Black Creek Pioneer Village, I don’t think we (in Australia) celebrate our history as well as you do.


    • Isn’t that funny … I don’t think we do a good job of celebrating our history at all. When I look at how Europe has carefully preserved their’s and how Americans have practically made their historical figures super-heros, we pale in comparison.

      On the other hand, I see something like this Pioneer Village that has been carefully preserved and informative, and it is a wow for me.

      Thanks so much for your welcome back. Already I’m starting to feel like I’m slipping into a comfortable groove 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is going to sound weird but I was kind of glad you were missing from WP for a while (given I knew you were busy with guests) because I’ve been a bit MIA myself and it made me feel better to not be the only one. 😛 Guess it will just be me from now on. Sigh. On the plus side, you won’t have much catch up reading to do in my case. 😉


    • Yes, it was apparent that life has been a bit turbulent for you lately too. I hope it has started to settle down and your back issues have been resolved.
      btw – mine haven’t and I’ll be back to the doctor today :/


      • Oh no. 😦 Did they relocate your kidney?

        My back pain went fairly quickly but the rib pain persists, darn it. I think it is slowly improving (I can now sleep on my side if I find the right spot) so I’ll see how things go.

        Hope you get some answers from the doctor today. xxx


    • Just to add to the day’s emotion, it would have also been my mom’s 92nd birthday and it was the day we buried her 5 years ago.

      Yes, yesterday was far from normal. Thanks for the hugs ❤


      • Oh my goodness Joanne why is it these things must happen on the same day? I hope this morning finds you with a bit of sunshine coming in the window. I’m carrying you around in my heart today. xo


        • In the doom and gloom of yesterday’s news, I wanted to share my son’s post today on FB …

          Jordan Simard
          9 hrs · Toronto ·
          During the subway ride home after Saturday’s training ride, a woman was chatting to Dempsey and I about the ride and asked if we still needed donations. Using our names from our licence plates, she looked us up and just donated $200. She is a total stranger that we likely never would have seen again. Amidst all the heaviness in the news and on Facebook, I thought it important to share that little ray of sunshine. ‪#‎lovenothate‬ ‪#‎f4lbr‬

          This made me smile 🙂 There is still goodness and kindness in the world after all ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Good to see you back. I thought of you the day before yesterday, wondering how things were going. In July, I’ll get a visitor … my first since I came here 🙂


    • There’s the initial excitement and anticipation of your guests arriving and then the mad dash of activity while they’re here.
      Now … there’s the funny void after it’s all over.

      I hope you have as much fun with your guests as I had with mine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know!! When I first retired, I thought my house would be always clean and spotless. HA! It’s never been messier … the best indication I can think of that I have more important things to do 😉


  9. Since moving and gaining a garden, then having visitors myself and more next week I don’t know what normal is any more! Blog time is reduced and I have even more things to blog about! Oh, well, I guess there will be plenty of indoor time come the winter months… nice to see you back Jo 🙂


    • Isn’t that the irony of it?! So much to talk about, but no time!
      You’re right, there will be plenty of quiet days ahead during the cold of winter. In meantime, there are more adventures ahead 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂 I’m embarrassed to say I had never been the Pioneer village before in spite of living here over 30 years.
      It was my cousin’s suggestion and although I had misgivings, I was enthralled! SO. MANY. PICTURES!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I join you in your sentiments about missing blogging friends. Happy to see “normal” is etching it’s way back into your life landscape. Those those Mad Days can be wearing, they do create lovely memories.

    I’m not quite back to normal yet, working on the last part of the chapter called “my sisters life”. Lots of learning and new discoveries but looking forward to a day when it’s finis.

    And why is it the weeds have to revolt so quickly when the grounds are left unattended? Is there no compassion for a girl who has other needs? Grrr!


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