A few weeks ago, a relative of mine from Brazil contacted and visited my parents. My mother called me during his visit and put him on the phone: Rafael Perrella, is the grandson of my dad’s cousin in Brazil. (Actually, his grandmother is my dad’s cousin, but his grandfather is a Perrella too. His grandfather is a little more distantly related).


Rafael is an electrical engineer, and came to Canada for about 4 months to learn English. He spent his first few months in Vancouver, and came to Toronto for the last month or so. I’m so very glad he contacted my parents, although I wish he had done it sooner! He was scheduled to go back to Brazil in a couple of weeks.

Spending time with him was a pleasure. His English is amazingly good, considering he’s only been speaking for a few months. He understands a little Italian, but had to converse with my parents in English. It was a little odd, because it’s obvious he’s he’s latin, so using english, especially with my parents, felt strange.

Rafael with my parents

Rafael with my parents
Rafael with Aunt Mary

Rafael with Aunt Mary

All of us really enjoyed his sense of humour and for some reason, despite living so far away from us, he felt like family. He told us all about his family, and then explained that visiting my parents felt like home to him. They reminded him very much of his grandmother, who died more than 10 years ago. My parents actually went to Brazil in the 80’s, and he was very surprised to see their pictures of his family – some of which included him! He was young when they visited, and didn’t remember them at all.

I loved hearing all about Brazil. He finds Canadian drivers far too “polite” and I think it drives him a little crazy. I get the sense that drivers in Sao Paolo are much like the drivers in Rome. It would be too crazy for me, but I think Reid would feel right at home.

I just love the fact that I can connect with Perrellas in Australian, and now Brazil. Yay!

Under the grapes

Rafael, Eric, Michael, Tony, Ma and Papa – under the grape vines in Thorold
At Aunt Mary's

Tony, Nick, Eric, Aunt Mary, Rafael

Projects done

Finished my projects (a few weeks ago, actually). Didn’t post because we didn’t have pictures! I finished the mirror and hung it. My brother looked at it and said something about stripping the paint to see the wood, which made my day, because it’s all paint. I just tried to make it look like wood. Yay, I can do a faux wood effect! Isn’t it nice?

Window mirror

Painting the siding was hell, but well worth it. To clarify: I only did the back side of the house. The other 3 sides are in better shape. All 4 sides of the house would have been too much for me. I rented a power washer to get most of the flaking paint off, hoping I wouldn’t have to sand afterwards. But I had to sand afterwards anyway. I did all that when Reid was away.


Siding before

Siding after

Thank goodness I waited for Reid to come home before I painted. I had to rent scaffolding, and I needed his and Michael’s strength to put it up and take it down for me. I only used the scaffolding to paint near the pool area. I used the deck roof and a ladder to paint the rest. We got into a routine: I’d start with the scaffolding 10 feet high in the morning so I could paint the upper section. Then I’d get them to take it apart so it was 5 feet high at lunch time, and I would paint the lower section. Then I’d ask them to make it 10 feet high again so it was ready for the next morning. It took 3 days: one coat of primer, and 2 of paint.

Look out below!

Thank goodness that’s done. I’ve been agonizing over it for a few years now.

Gee, with my projects done and the kids back in school, I guess I have to get a job now. (No, wait!! Surely I can find other projects… let’s see. I know! I’ll refinish the basement…)