Lain's Log

Hannukah, latkes, Ghost Daze and everything else!

December 9/12.

Happy Hannukah to my family and friends! - Especially to my Dad-in-law, Ben Bornstein, who kindly welcomed us to his condo at Lawrence & Bathurst, not only to celebrate the season, but also to allow us all to wish him an early happy birthday. (He is 86 on December 10th!)

Here he is, looking very happy with the gift we gave him - a big batch of "Poppycock-ish" sweet snack food made up of clusters of popcorn, almonds and pecans, covered in a candy glaze. (I mean, what's NOT to like??)

As many of us as were able to be in attendance, (total of 15), showed up for the bash. Always nice to see everyone for a happy occasion.

It was the first Hannukah without "Bubie", (my Mum-in-law), so there was sadness, to be sure. But my kids, Max & Kate, did their best to help make it a fun time, hauling in the fab deli food from Yitz's - (great take-out at Eglinton and Avenue Road).

On the menu? Bagels, hallah, rye bread, all kinds of deli meats, potato salad, cole slaw, tuna, egg salad, cream cheese, you name it! Delish!

And best of all? Home made potato latkes, (28 potatos, painstakingly grated by hand!), by my sister-in-law, Debbie and my niece, Robin, with help from Ben's generous and giving caretaker, Girlie. - Let's to describe this "side dish"? - SCRUMPTIOUS! And when Deb discovered she'd forgotten to bring the apple sauce and sour cream, (back in her fridge at home in Newmarket),

her kind (and very handsome) teen son, Justin, offered to race across the street to Metro at Lawrence Plaza to buy both items for the whole family to enjoy!

and when Justin wasn't busy shopping for everyone,

he lovingly lit the Hannukah candles in his Bubie's honour and memory.

My father-in-law looked proud and happy.

Meanwhile, (for those of whom have NEVER laid eyes on a photo of my husband on this blog, since he is so shy), you may be surprised to see, he was ecstatic too, to be part of this event! - (Sorry Sam, but if you are going to POSE for a pic like this, you have to KNOW I'm going to use it!) As you witness here, he thoroughly shocked his own fam - (on the right) - niece, Robin, his sister, Jan and bro-in-law, Arlen, who were taken aback to see their usually reticent relative - smiling and happy!

I was somewhere between happy and tearful to watch

candles being lit and smiles all around. - Sis, Deb, (who braved a burn on her arm while frying latkes), was delighted to see her beloved bro so involved in the Hannukah traditions!

Dad got a birthday cake, baked just for him by his daughter, Jan,

plus there were other delectable goodies including nuts, raisins, chocolate bark and an incredible array of home-baked cookies, made by talented sister-in-law, Carolyn, who took a full day to "whip up" a wild massive platter of unbelievable goodies! SO fab!

Carolyn and Neil also brought bags of sweets for everyone - (enough candy to send us all into sugar shock)!
Thank you, one and all, for making it a great occasion!

Flashback to the rest of the week now!

Paid a visit to the local Christmas tree outlet at No Frills (where else??) Every year, I swear I will buy a real tree, and every year, I end up with my teeny artificial ones in the house.

Maybe THIS year will be the one to get a genuine spruce or pine! Who knows??

For now, I'll just settle for coveting the pretty decorations out the front of our neighbours' house on Logan Avenue. Sherry and David - (Mum and step-Dad of Max's band singer, Emmett Webb), have such a pretty front decor, complete with moving lit-up reindeer! Love it.

Also this week, discovered the delightful restaurant, Christina's. The Friendly Greek is my usual haunt, but decided to wander in and try a new place. Turned out to be GREAT!! Took Kate here on Saturday to celebrate her completion of semester one at Ryerson. (after two exams, figured she deserved a nice reward!)

Lovely ambience. Christmas lights, garlands, sweet, subdued lighting,

unusual wall decorations,

wine bottles,

and more sparkly stuff outside at Danforth & Logan as the evening progressed.

Could I just LIVE here??

Unbelievable Greek salad - (and you can order the dressing and onions "on the side", if you're like me, and want to avoid garlic and onions)!

Din was super-delish. Kate had a glass of California Zinfandel. I had Ouzo on the rocks (OPA!). Kate enjoyed hummus with pita bread and a seared salmon with potatos, while I had the seafood souvlaki - shrimp, scallops and grilled kalamari. Outstanding! SO fun to share a meal and conversation with my beautiful daughter. A lot to talk about and look forward to. Go to this restaurant if you have the chance!

I was lucky enough to go TWICE this week, once with my old CFTR radio friend, Randy Maxwell, who took this shot just outside Christina's. It was a night to forget your troubles!

Among my errands this week? - a trip to the Bay Cat Hospital to pick up some new specialty food for our Devon Rex kitty, Tru.

While there, I had the pleasure of meeting Matrix, a beautifully groomed male cat, up for adoption and looking for a good home. Very sweet personality, purred the whole time I was there. I hope he finds a family who will welcome him in soon! What a cutie!

This week also marked Sam's company Christmas party! It was held at the old Capitol Theatre at Yonge & Eglinton - (now an event theatre).

Beforehand, I went in to I 'N I salon, (with "hat head"), to get done up by master stylist Paul Taylor.

As always, Paul managed to pull me together for the big night!

When I got home, my son, Max, jumped in front of me to steal my glory! Ha ha!

But cleared the path long enough to allow this pic to be taken at the (messy) house!

Then, it was like Cinderella, off to the absolutely gorgeous venue! (I clearly remember going to see tons of movies here, but the place looks NOTHING like it did back in the 70's)!

An excellent photog was brought in to snap pics of anyone and everyone,

with all kinds of fluffy, funny, funky props!

At the beginning of the evening, it was red drop cloths and fancy lighting.

Later on, dance floor pics with Santa hats and candy canes!
Happy holidays!
(hope to get some better, "high rez" pics from the National Christmas party next week! For now, these will have to do!)

While we were out partying, our son, Max, was recording a long-awaited, six-track EP with band mates Emmett Webb and Charles Wilson of Ghost Daze in the studio!

Producer Matt hopes to have the mix done soon.

Looking forward to the outcome! (I've listened to the rehearsals in our basement for weeks).
Ghost Daze rules! - (wait till you HEAR!!)

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