Thursday, December 28, 2006

One year ago today... Saddness was overwhelming

One year ago today, was a very sad day indeed! December 28th, 2005, my Mother, Aleida Martha Limbertie died very suddenly at Mount Sinai Hospital. We all do miss her very much, and a big gapping hole is in our lives. She leaves behind many wonderful memories, and I hope now that this very difficult year of morning has now passed, that I can reflect on many more of the happy times, and not only her very tragic and ultra dramatic last weeks in the hospitals… Tonight I had a nice dinner with Ineke and Robert and the kids at a local French restaurant, and we toasted our glass of wine to mom, and her wonderful life!! We miss you mom !!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Jammin'

Caroline and I had a great time last night Jammin' away, me on keyboards and as you can see in the picture, Caro on Guitar... She is a great song writter, and she taught me some of the songs she is working on ... later on, of her friends dropped over... also on guitar, and she is really good.. a great teacher and mentor for Caroline! No doubt Caroline will become really good on guitar with a friend like that to hang out with... !!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas has come and gone...

Christmas Day I spent with Ineke in Toronto in the morning and Maya and her family in Kitchener in the evening.. it was a wonderful day! It is possible to have a happy and joyful Christmas even though the two people we spent our hole lifes with on Christmas Day were not there for the first time... of course I missed Mom and Dad... but thank god I have such great sisters.. so life does go on !!!

( Click here to see more pictures from this day)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas comes early...

Yesterday, Saturday December 23, we celebrated Christmas all together as a family at my place. Melinda and her family are leaving on Christmas day for vacation to Jamaica, so this was the only soulution to all get together. I had set up a really nice buffet and everyone arrived around 1:30pm.. and stayed till about 5:30pm... it was a great Limbertie traditional Christmas, reflecting on the fact that this was the first one ever without BOTH our parents !

On Monday, Christmas Day, I go to Ineke's for Christmas Brunch, and then in the afternoon drive to Kitchener, to spend Christmas dinner with Maya and her family. ( a shot from above, with the giant heep of wrapping paper in the middle of the room... )
Click here to see more pictures from this day..

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas in Niagara Falls...

This week I have been playing with the Niagara Symphony. I have been driving up and down to Niagara Falls ( 130km from Toronto) since Wednesday. I love playing with Niagara Symphony because I get to see and hang out with Valerie Sylvester. Valerie and I have been friends since we were 6 years old. We grew up going on long walks down in the valley in Don Mills, and going to Greenland Public school. Acually she hung out more with Melinda, but we have lots of home movies that dad made with us on our outside adventures! And later in life, we played for many years together in the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra... and now she is the Concert Master of the Niagara Symphony !

( in this picture I standing at the falls with Paul, one of the trumpet players of the orchestra, who grabbed a lift with me to Niagara Falls.. )

Last night before getting to the concert, I dropped by Niagara Falls to take a look. Yuup still there in all its glory ! It was very nice to see again !

( click on any photo to enlarge.. )

Its amazing that thousands of people fly, drive, bus for thousands of miles from all over the world to see Niagara Falls, and here is just in the back door step of Toronto. We have been playing an all Christmas program, and I sure am in the mood now! between playing the Christmas show with Holly Cole two weeks ago, till now with the Niagara Symphony...

I really need all this joy, as its a very hard time for me and my sisters... coming up the one year anniversary of my Mom's death... ( she died on December 28th.. )

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Last Minute Gig again !

Yesterday, Friday, I played with the Toronto Symphony again, in a performance with Jazz Singer - Holly Cole. It was great fun to play, and nice to hear a new artist.

Holly Cole is a great Jazz singer, and as it turns out has won several awards, including a JUNO for best Jazz artist... the program was a totally Jazzy Christmas one, and she performed to a totally sold out Roy Thompson Hall.

Boy these days are getting more surprizing lately... I wonder what will show up at the last minute next week ??????

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Donview Junior High 1973-1975

Yesterday I was in Barrie playing a gig with a local choir. I met two people in the choir that are a blast from the Past, one was a trombone player that was in the same band class as me in Junior High.. and the other was actually my
BAND TEACHER from Junior High - Mrs. Leonard ! ...
oh my god.. 35 years later I met up with her... this is the women that started me on the French Horn... !!!

As I turns out.. teaching band at Donview was her very FIRST job ! just fresh out of teaching colleage, and she landed this job and at the very young age of 23 ! wow.. no wonder she always looked like she was going to have a nervous breakdown.. very brave of her to teach band to 12, 13 and 14 year olds.. she must have had major headachs at the end of each day.. ! not something I would do that's for sure... and now she looks great and relaxed, as she does not teach Band any more.. and that is also why she really doesn't look too old in this picture either.. she really wasn't much older than my self.. now and then !

WOW.. this world is so amazingly small ! who would think I would meet her in all places .. Barrie ! Pretty Neat I would say.. !

any way.. we had a fun time performing together, it was a nice program.. and we all had a swell time up north...

here is a picture by the lake in Barrie, I guess it's Georgian Bay, just before the rehearsal, with fellow colleagues that I rode up with , Hazel and Elizabeth.. on Oboe and Viola... I was really beautiful up there, and we got to see Barrie's Santa Claus parade as well, it was at night .. weird idea.. but pretty..

Monday, November 20, 2006

Santa Claus Parade 2006

Today Toronto celebrated it’s 102nd Santa Claus Parade. Me, Caroline and Ineke watched the whole thing today down on Front Street. Nicholas was also in the parade, with his
“ MedVent” group.. it was a cold day, but we stayed warm with all the wonderful holiday cheers ! We had a great time !

Click here to see all the pictures...

Click here for more info on the history of the parade...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Life is fun and full of unexpected surprises !

You know, I was just planning to get up and read the Saturday Star yesterday, but as I was working on the computer yesterday morning my phone rang... it was the personnel manager of the Toronto Symphony! " hello Wendy, are you busy?" I reply, no just sitting her, working on the computer this lazy Saturday morning. " oh, well can you please come RIGHT NOW, to the Roy Thompson hall ? ( picture is of Roy Thompson hall, and the Toronto Symphony ) and sit in with the Toronto Symphony, we are short our 2nd horn,and have 2 concerts today"... ah sure, I reply ... just let me get dressed.. I'll be there ASAP ! Hang up the phone... and SWOOOSHH you have never seen any one take and shower, drop the dog off at the neighbours and drive like the car could go into warp speed down to the Symphony...

as my title says... Life is fun and full of unexpected surprises !

I love my life !

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Haitink Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary

When I moved to Amsterdam on April 30, 1983 my first and wonderful experience with seeing and hearing Bernard Haitink for the first time was a concert I attended with my sister and brother-inlaw at the Concertgebouw to see the Concertgebouw horn section perform Schumann's Konzertstuck for 4 horns and orchestra, and Berlioz, Symphonie Fantatic.


What a hall, what an orchestra and what a fantastic conductor ! after living in Amsterdam for 18 years, you can imagine I have heard this orchestra its conductor hundreds of time since !

The biggest honour was playing as an extra in the orchestra with Bernard Haitink conducting Strauss's Alpine Symphonie.

"On Tuesday, 7 November, it has been exactly fifty years since Bernard Haitink, aged 27, first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The young conductor was called in to replace Carlo Maria Giulini, who had cancelled because of illness. Haitink made a stunning debut and was immediately invited to return the following season. Leading the orchestra on its first tour in 1959, he was appointed first conductor on 1 September that same year and became principal conductor in 1963. During his tenure, the orchestra developed significantly, as evidenced today by a series of legendary, award-winning recordings. He relinquished the post in 1988, going on to work with the world’s leading orchestras and opera houses. Haitink’s great importance to the RCO was further underscored in 1999, when he was appointed honorary conductor.This month, Haitink is leading the orchestra in a series of concerts featuring works by Webern, Richard Strauss and Mahler. A special anniversary concert was given on 7 November, during which he conducted Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde. The concert was televised partly at the Dutch television. Das Lied von der Erde will be broadcasted on Nederland 2 on Tuesday, 26 December at 1.10 p.m."

Monday, November 06, 2006

First Annual International Horn Day in Toronto

This evening I attend and participated in a GIANT horn fest at the Faculty of Music, U of T. Toronto's first of hopefully an annual event, International Horn Day.
It was lots of fun, and great to see some out of touch colleagues once again !!

There were performances from the Toronto Symphony Horn section- From the COC Horn sections, and from the National Ballet Orchestra Horn section, as well as students from the Glenn Gould School, the Faculty of Music and a huge high School student horn ensemble.
We all played together at the end and had a horn of a time ! ( crazy horn players !! )
I'm looking forward to next years event ...

( click on any image to enlarge view.. )

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Royal Winter Fair

Today I went to the Royal Winter Fair, held annually at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Here I am posing with the winning pumpkin.. yuup.. it’s real, and what the sign says over 900 pounds in weight ! that’s a lot of pumpkin pie !

I also saw the Horse show, and the jack Russell dog races.. which was good fun

Maya was chosen to make a butter Sculpture in the Gay Lea Butter exhibit. She made a sculpture that took her 8 hours to make, of the Grimms fairy tale repunzel .

She was inside a cooled down to 5 degrees box, for 8 hours, and was quite cold and STINKY ( of butter) at the end of the day… but Wow.. it turned out great… and I gave her 1st prize for her creation !

( thats her in the white coat inside the box... )

( you can click on any picture to enlarge the picture view)

This was the end result, and how it was desplayed in the cooler box...

Congraulations Maya !

Tonight I went to Maya's School to witness her recieve a special Arts Awards, for most oustanding artist in her class. I'm very proud of her, and she really deserves it! I'm so glad to see our family's tradition has continued with getting top honours for achievements in hard work and talent!

I'm so proud of you Maya! You made me one very proud Aunt!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


just wanted to wish my wonderful sister, Melinda a Happy Birthday!
I found this great picture taken in 1967... sorry Mel, I hope I'm not embarassing you? ( We are both by the way in Dutch Traditional costumes, hand made by our mom, from the province of Zeeland)

Halloween in Toronto

This was Toronto tonight.. some images from Church street just around the corner from my house...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pumpkin Patch

Look who I found in the Pumpkin Patch.. Jackie and Alex...
Happy Halloween guys !

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My wonderful neices and nephews

I took this picture of Jackie last weekend. I love being an aunt, and love my 5 neices and nephews so much! I feel very lucky and thankfull ! We spent Thanksgiving together in Kitchener, and had a wonderful time...

Friday, October 20, 2006

My NEW Blog look..

Hi all,

I thought it was time to give my blog a facelift! I have added some new links, and I experimenting with Google Ads. I saw this great story about a guy in Vancouver that put the Google Ads on his heavy traffic website, and recieved a handsome cheque from Google for more than a half a million dollars ! Well! I thought, I need to get on-board of this train and try too ! can't hurt.. after all we live in a Ad based society, so if you can't beat 'um... join UM ! (and yes, that's Lisa and Bart Simpson in Dutch Costums!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Barbara Streisand in Toronto!

OH MY GOD ! I had the most amazing night ever! I was sitting at home at 6pm watching the news , and thinking, gosh, tonight Barbara Streisand is performing here in Toronto, at the Air Canada Centre, and I just would love to see her. Listening and watching a newclip on the TV, they mentioned there are still tickets available. So I thought, well, why not try.. so I quickly got myself together, flew out the door, called Caroline if she would like to go and see Barbara, and off we went to the ACC. I went straight to the Box office, but having to fight my way through all the scalpers first, and at the Box office to my great surprise they still had tickets. But not any ticket did I want, this was Barbara! I wanted the best seat. So that I got... Caroline and I were sitting in row 8 ! yes eight rows from the front ! They were amazing seats..
and OH what an amazing show... my god she really is an icon and a real true star. She sang all my favorites, and was accompanied by a full 60 peice orchestra ( that tours with her ! ouch that's expensive! ) and IL DIVO sang 3 peices with her as well... I was crying many times this evening ! I remembered years ago, when I was studying with Eugene Rittich, my French Horn teacher, at 18, he said, "Wendy if you ever want to learn about perfect musical phrasing, you need to listen to Barbara Streisand, nobody does it better than her"... and after tonight, she shure is the best.. and at, what ? 60+ years old too... amazing!.. the best $1000 I ever spent ! ( yep thats what the tickets cost! of course 8th row from the front what did you expect !?)

I snuck in my camera and took these shots tonight !
This is how close Caroline and I were !

Friday, October 13, 2006


WOW, the first snow fall is early this year, last year it was November 18th !... global warming ? This picture is of Buffalo yesterday...this halloween setting got some extra white dusting to make it more spooky!... ha. ha.. luckly we only got flurries. Today the sun is shinning again, not a cloud in the sky and its a fresh 8 degrees.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Goodbye Audi

Car Crash!

Saying goodbye to a good old friend is hard to do. This year has been a year of saying goodbye to a lot of things. Now the latest my mom's pride and joy her Audi Station Wagon.

I had a bad accident on Wednesday, Sept. 13... I tried to turn left at an intersection as the light was turning red, and a car didn't see me, and rammed right into the side of the car.. a " t-Bone" crash. A lot of damage occurred, and unfortunately the car is a right-off !

A real pity !

Now I'm TTC'in it, bought a "Metro-Pass" and see what its like to live without a car. At least it will help the environment, but more importantly get me out and walking more, resulting in a healthier lifestyle !

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I completely forgot to talk about my aahumm… 30… something birthday on July 23rd. We, Network Winds, were hot into deep practicing that week, and this picture above was actually taken at Nadina’s house on the day of my birthday.

This was my first birthday EVER without my mom ! it was very sad for me, but I felt ok about it.. I do really miss her though!... she would always be the first one to call me first thing in the morning to wish me a Happy Birthday. Last summer she was still alive and we had a nice party at her place on Charles Street.

This year I spent the day surrounded by great friends, and that was a great support !!

Later that eveing a big party, BBQ at my place with about 20 friends and family !

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Toronto's newest show...

This weekend I have playing in the orchestra for the Toronto production of " SPAMALOT" .. a hilarious spoof on the Monty Pythons series.... it's been loads of fun, and the guys from the orchestra ( I'm the only women) have been just sweethearts, and the nicest bunch of musicans I have ever worked with.

Here I am with the star of the show " King Arthur" ....

In the pit with my stand partner Doug...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

My Quintet concert was a huge success !!

Network Winds, my new quintet performed its first concert on July 27, 2006 at the Glenn Gould studio, and it was a huge success ! we recieved a wonderful review in the Toronto Star... we are off to great start !

here's the review:

Quintet debuts with talent and taste

Jul. 28, 2006. 01:00 AM



One of the most compelling chamber concerts of the year turned out to be one of the most overlooked musical dates as well last night.

It was the debut of a new classical quintet, the Network Winds, at the Glenn Gould Studio. Made up of first-rank artists who either live in Toronto or have close ties to it, the small ensemble showed itself to be huge on talent, taste and intelligent programming.

Leslie Newman (on flute and piccolo), Kathy Halvorson (oboe and English horn), Micah Heilbrunn (clarinet), Nadina Mackie Jackson (bassoon) and Wendy Limbertie (French horn) — along with guest contrabassoon player Fraser Jackson — chose works from the 20th and 21st centuries that combined to show off the full spectrum of tonal colour and contrapuntal effect that their instruments can offer.

And, contrary to what most people think of music written in the past 80 or so years, everything on the program was easy and fulfilling listening.

The small audience knew it was in for something special when the five main players dug into the fabulous rhythmic romp that opens the Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet written in 1953 by recently deceased Hungarian composer Gy├Ârgy Ligeti.

That work's six movements are alive with contrasting textures and atmospheres. The writing also throws all kinds of difficulties at the performers.

It was a theme on the program that would repeat in the playful Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), the languorous Summer Music of Samuel Barber (1910-1981), which evokes the season as superbly as his bigger-scale Knoxville, Summer of 1916, and the Kvintet, Op. 43 of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931).

The program closed with a new work by Montreal bassoon virtuoso and teacher Mathieu Lussier, the Sextet for Wind Quintet and Contrabassoon. Firmly tonal and with a neo-classical structure, Lussier's work created a lush, common colour filled with playful passages.

The Network Winds have arrived in style. Long may they play together.