With a Little Help From My Friend – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Friday Fictioneers is here! And would you looky here… Rochelle is using our little trouble-maker, Omelette, for the prompt.  Sorry she is blurry. It was one of those “quick before she jumps” situations.  Can’t very well diss my own pic now, can I?  How about you click on the frogs below to check out the other 100-word stories, or, how about you add your own link?

Bookshelf Frogs | Etsy

Haha!  Cute!  Does she always hide inside the bookshelf?

Yep!  I’ve decided to start using her as a helper.

How so?

Ever watch The Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon uses cute puppies to choose the Super Bowl winner?

Actually, I have.

Well, my guy uses his cats in the same manner. ‘Course, this year he had a 50/50 chance as they each chose a different team. I thought they should be disqualified but hey, who am I to judge?

So what’s your point?

Sorry, Got carried away. She helps me choose my next book to read!

Hope she changes shelf sometimes…

Walking. With Stanley

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery… However (Stanley’s favourite word), I do so hope you don’t mind, David Kanigan, of Live & Learn, that I have usurped your style for this post. As I was considering writing what shall follow, I kept hearing in my head “Walking… With Stanley” and, well, I decided not to fight it. I’m inspired by you but will still add my own thing by bombarding inserting photos here and there.

I have been convinced into actually using my subscription to Audible by my fellow blogger and friend Janet. You see, she told me about Stanley Tucci’s new book, entitled “Taste: My Life Through Food“. and said she had listened to it, as read by the author himself, and found it wonderful. I said I didn’t listen to books and she said maybe I was like her sister who doesn’t like to be read to. I said I think it was more about my not liking to have continual sound in my ears. I can be up for most of the day, in total silence, before I turn on the TV (when at home). We exchanged back and forth and next thing I knew, I was on Audible, thrilled to find I had one credit and was able to get it for free.

Usually, when I walk, my movie is the view around me and the accompanying sounds of nature serve as soundtrack. I have to admit that when running, I am too busy trying to regulate my breathing and trying to convince myself that I am totally loving it (I’m actually starting to), to notice. I am, however (there it is again), getting a tad bored during my forced every-other-morning walks. (Gah! I cannot wait for this year-long challenge to end!) Anyway, why not try listening to a book? It might make the time go by faster or feel a tad less monotonous. There are only so many times I can be thrilled at the sight of “my” willow.

Okay, so how does it go, D.K.?

3ºC (37.4ºF), 6:44 a.m., Tuesday, November 2nd.

Boucherville, La Seigneurie neighbourhood. Day, I have no idea but day 364 will be on January 2.

Wind is negligible. I have a thick white (to be seen) sweatshirt over two layers of tops, my tuque (not tuk, David) and gloves. I don’t feel the cold at all.

I start my new book. And I walk. Not my usual path. I go right instead of left outside of my house, past Industrial Blvd.. I snap a pic as I’ve decided to take a daily record. It’s still very dark and I see the morning crescent moon. I’m half-tempted to go back and get my real camera but that defeats my walk with purpose. I’m already bad enough taking pics with my phone!

I decide I’m going to go to the second block and turn up de Nogent which will bring me, I am frankly not too sure where, but am not too worried. I’ve got lots of time and it’s not that complicated. I am enjoying listening to Stanley wax on about his youth and his love of food through memories of family meals and can now understand why David ends up buying both the Kindle and the Audible versions as I think, shit! I would’ve highlighted that part. Or, dammit! I want that recipe (coz he gives quite a few of them). Now what? No way in hell I am going to stop and mark the time and the chapter so I can go back to it. Hmm. Not sure now about this whole listening to a book thing. Still on the fence.

However, (yes, Stanley, your editor should have pointed out just how many times you say it), I continue listening and don’t fret as I cannot do much about it for now and before I know it, I find myself in the park that I usually go through first on my runs. I’ve not gotten lost after all. It’s still pretty dark. Already the ubiquitous hockey rink has been set up in preparation for the upcoming season of thwwack of a puck slapping the boards, the Ksssh-ksssh-ksssh of skates cutting into the ice and shouts of laughter.

A chapter ends and I notice the sky is starting to “orange up”.

I look at my watch and see it’s 7:11 and think wow, only half an hour has passed? How fast have I been walking? Or was that loop a helluva lot shorter than I realised? I decide on a whim to make my way over to the overpass and hope the sunrise will be capturable. This is the only place I can even hope to do so. Where David has the best spot EVER to get it and does so spectacularly every morning, I have none. I have lots of options for the sunset, however ( 😉 ) so not all is lost. I make my way up to the top of the overpass and not only is the traffic so loud that I cannot hear Stanley, getting aggravated at the bombarding to my eardrums while I’m at it, the sunrise was totally not worth it and, as if that wasn’t enough, I screwed up and it’s blurry. C’est la vie.

As a result, have decided to only listen to the book when I am walking – far from traffic. Or when I am raking up 12 effing bags of leaves. The noise level was tolerable but not ideal. I have come to realise I prefer quiet streets or parks to do my listening.

And no. I do not want to get noise eliminating ear buds. I want to know if a car is coming and could run me over. And, imagine that, on today’s noon walk? I realised I had forgotten my buds but still could listen to the book through my phone in my pocket. As my guy would say, Win, meet Win! (And a reminder to leave a set at work!)

Weekend Writing Prompt #233- Vellichor

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  I so love when Sammi chooses a word I have to look up. How could I resist?  I couldn’t.

 

wk 233 vellichor

That Je Ne Sais Quoi

 

“The Book Nook”

Senses stimulated

Eyes see shelves and piles of books

Ears hear soft classical in the background

Fingers touch soft, used leather

Nose takes in that scent of musty

Together they make up a feeling

John Koenig calls it vellichor

Strange wistfulness

Sounds right to me

 

Boo Radley’s House – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning!  Say it like you mean it!  Today’s Friday Fictioneers came immediately and I just simply wrote it without thought. Gah… that always worries me. However, I am sticking with it!  Today’s photo is brought to us by Ted Strutz.  Excellent choice, Rochelle. I love the feel of this photo.  And thank you for hosting this weekly party.  If y’all wanna see what others wrote or, even better want to add your own, click on the frog below!

©Ted Strutz

Frog House Stock Illustrations – 610 Frog House Stock ...

Click me!

Boo Radley’s House

That house has a Boo Radley feel to it, don’t you think?

Are you thinking like a Finch or like the rest of the lot?

What do you mean?

Well, are you scared for no reason or do you have compassion for the man inside?

No need to get all uppity with me!

Seriously. Does the place spook you or are you curious and empathetic about who lives there?

I think we’re talking nonsense. The place looks abandoned.

Not nonsense.  I feel love coming from it.

You are so weird.

If you say so. I wonder if it’s for sale?

 

How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

I went to a French high school.  We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did?  Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat.  Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.

Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related.  How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?  Or a nothing to even waste my energies on?  I know I am far from alone.  Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing.  It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think.  Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.

I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,

Random shot of coffee

then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope.  Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling.  However, it is ironic that today’s says this:

07.30.2020

You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.

Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time.  Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used.  Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined.  Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  How are we spending this time?  Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule.  Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs.  A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow.  Many took up baking and cooking and gardening.  And reading. And writing.

Because flowers are pretty even when they are straggly

Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more.  My inbox overflowed.  (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)

I know I have a point to all this.  Oh yes. Prompts.  I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse.  I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either.  I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed.  Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed.  The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.)  That’s what blogging is.

The swirls of the clouds resemble my thoughts

So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs.  How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs?  I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day.  When can I sit on my ass and read a book?  Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.

That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things.  And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up.  I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate.  I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.

Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with:  “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”.  I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.

What would he say now?  He’d probably nod his head in agreement.

I have now seen the light.  I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.

Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

Movie Over Book – Friday Fictioneers

Lawsy I’m late!  I am just shy of midnight on this Wednesday evening. I admit I was a tad stumped on this one. Started and rejected more than a few.  Gave up and went to work. Didn’t have time to scribble any ideas before I left regular work to go help out a caterer for his first big shindig.  Came home, forced myself to walk around the block with Zeke despite my already 20K+ steps taken today.  Plopped myself down on the sofa and here is the result!

This week our leader Rochelle, chose a picture from c.e. ayr. Thanks to both! Click on the frog below to read other submissions or go crazy, and add your own!

Click me! Click me!

Movie Over Book

“Hey!”

“Hey.”

“Whatcha reading?”

“Life of Pi.”

“Life of Pie? What kind? Blueberry, strawberry—”

“No, silly! Not pie with an ‘e’ but just P-I. The story is about a boy named Pi Patel.”

“Stupid name.”

“His full name is Piscine.”

“What? Like a pool?”

“Yep.”

“That’s awful. His parents were mean.”

“Maybe.”

“Tell me more?”

“He’s alone on a boat with a tiger.”

“A tiger? Woah!”

“Yep.”

“What else?”

“Why don’t you read it yourself?

“Ugh. Read a whole book? It’s too big! Did they make a movie?”

Sigh.  “Yes.”

“Cool. I’ll go see it, won’t have to read it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet With Happiness & Positivity!

Dawn Quyle Landau of Tales from the Motherland has issued the 5th annual “50 Happy Things/Attitude of Gratitude” challenge and I am more than pleased to join in once again.  For instructions on the “how-to”, please click here.  Once you’ve figured out how to do it and have been inspired to do it (Why not?  How much can it hurt to bring forth things that make you happy?) click here to add your link.

There is absolutely no order to my following list.  I have set the timer for 15 minutes and this is basically stream of consciousness stuff (i.e. as it comes, I type).  All embellishments are added after the clock has run out and I’ve spell-checked my list 😉

  1. My boys – they remind me that I am human
  2. My home – protects me from the elements
  3. My family – all the way down to second cousins thrice removed
  4. My sisters – despite whatever goes on in life, they are there for me
  5. Mom – without her, I would not be
  6. Friends who are the chosen family
  7. Blogosphere – a world I could not have imagined ten years ago
  8. The friends I’ve made on the blogosphere – I cherish the connections I’ve made
  9. Going to Old Montreal for New Year’s Eve with good friends
  10. Getting on the ferris wheel for the midnight fireworks
  11. Friday Fictioneers – for teaching me how to cut the fluff and get to the point
  12. B – for pushing me to be a better writer while becoming a close friend
  13. My ability and joy of cooking
  14. Sharing my food with those I love
  15. My boys when they help me before I have to ask
  16. My computer – as a tool to connect and write
  17. Internet – bringing the world to my fingertips
  18. Brothers-in-law who help out for stuff that I just cannot do on my own
  19. Girlfriends – to share those things that you just can’t with family
  20. Blogging community – I keep learning
  21. Rochelle for her friendship and for trusting me with her lateest WIP (and any other writings)
  22. Julie for being my “culture friend” and my trusted date for stuff no one else is interested in
  23. Feeling part of my close knit gang
  24. Food – the diversity, the sensuality
  25. My taste buds – which permit me to enjoy all the flavours out there
  26. Good wine
  27. fun work colleagues
  28. New colleagues who seemed to really appreciate me
  29. Clients who appreciate me
  30. My legs for allowing me to take my walks
  31. My big-ass bathtub for when I need to get away from it all
  32. Reading – opening my world to other realms
  33. Writing, which allows me to let go of stuff
  34. Writing prompts that push me to do better
  35. My bed, where I get the rest I need or at least pretend to
  36. My hands which are capable of so much more than I thought
  37. Heating which protects me from the cold
  38. My capacity to love no matter how many times my heart is broken
  39. Being appreciated for what I offer
  40. My wit and sense of humour – keeps me sane
  41. Travel – I need to do more; experience other cultures
  42. The communities I’ve built – virtual and real
  43. Connections I’ve made with people from around the world
  44. A cozy fire, to gaze into, to snuggle with someone
  45. Zeke – who is not getting as much love as he should but will
  46. Eyes – to appreciate the beauty around me
  47. My smile, which seems to be what people remember about me
  48. My camera, which helps me to look at things differently and record the memories
  49. Being able to express myself and be open to others’ opinions
  50. Widow’s pension, which helps to make ends meet
  51. EI which permits me to take the time to rest between jobs
  52. Working a seasonal job which allows me to take the other seasons off
  53. Sense of smell, without it, I would never appreciate food and cooking so much
  54. My body – it may be quite as I would like it to be, but it’s mine and it functions
  55. Dishwashers – because sometimes, doing the dishes just blows
  56. My car – I can go anywhere when I want
  57. My resilience – even though it’s a word that bugs the shit out of me, it is the right word for me
  58. The close friends who will always include me in their happenings
  59. My ability to adapt to whatever life throws my way
  60. My boys – I am so proud of them both for the young men they are becoming
  61. That Iain has decided to go back to school to get a diploma in electricity
  62. That Aidan has decided to pursue an education in animation (yeah, yeah, it has another title that I always forget)
  63. That I know I can count on my sisters for anything
  64. My lack of cynicism – despite the world we live in
  65. My charm that can be helpful when I screw up
  66. Dark chocolate
  67. Camaraderie – that can be found
  68. Facebook – say what you will, I have kept in contact with many because of it
  69. Book, books and more books
  70. Potential for love – I’ve not given up

#Weekend Coffee Share – March 4, 2017

weekend-coffee-share-nerd-in-the-brain-2

Well hello friends, do come in.  It is freezing outside today.  I swear, when Mother Nature has teased us with temps like 14°C, it is way not cool to, a few days later, drop down to -18°C but feels like -21°C!  Welcome to March in Montreal…

So, I should think a warm beverage is in order.  Would you like an espresso, cappuccino, lattè, good straight up filtered?  Maybe a little splash of somethin’, somethin’?  It’s Saturday, why not?  Of course, if you prefer tea I’ve quite the selection as well, Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, Breakfast, green and 5-6 herbals, should you prefer.  Please, it is no trouble.  The kettle goes on, voilà!

Alrighty, now that we are comfy on the couch, let’s chat.  How has your week been?  Busy? Relaxed? A little of both?

If we were having coffee, I’d say it has been mostly a nice week, starting with Sunday night at the Oscar’s – yes, in my home, on  my couch, alone.  But that was okay.   I actually enjoyed this year’s and apart from that Kimmel and the tourists bit, didn’t find it boring or too long.  The tourists… five minute would have been enough!  This year I only saw two of the movies.  I am promising myself – for realz this time, that next year, I will do better!  Mind you, the two that I did see were La La Land and Fences – for which Viola totally deserved her Oscar!

If we were having coffee, and you happened to be here last week, you know that I foolishly attempted to go shopping at Ikea.  On a Saturday afternoon.  Wrong!!  So… take two!  I went on Monday and bought 18 bottles!  And some candles.  All those baths I was taking when I was really sick put a serious dent in my candle inventory.  Oh, and of course, I did absolutely have to buy those bloody cinnamon raisin rolls that they ensure we sniff all through the store…  Decided to do a Costco/grocery/gas run and on my way through the back way was teased with a fabulous setting sun.  Parked my car, zipped out and snapped a few pictures.  Oh, where I was parked, I kinda blocked anyone from passing!  When I realised a woman was behind me, I smiled sheepishly (she smiled back) and hopped back into my car!

Got home and bottled my lemon and orange nectar….

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I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that my orangecello did not even have the slightest tint of orange.  Sigh.  Can only tell them apart by scent – HUGE difference – and by the labels I will be putting on them!

Iain and I had been talking about making grapefruit cello and I wanted to make some lime so, these fruit I picked up, along with the alcohol and now, two new batches are blending to do their thing!

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Think I’ll be making some sorbets or salads, or juicing them and freezing for later use.

While I was out gallivanting, I had a lovely blade roast cooking away with, of all things, pepperoncini.  (Thank you Facebook!)  It smelled so good when I got home!  Plain old potatoes to soak up the juices and some GI Joe Cabbage (brussels sprouts to the regular folk) sautéed with Serrano ham, shallots and apples.  Iain and I enjoyed immensely.

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So that brings us to Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras.  Pancake Day!  Only.  I had brined a chicken the night before so I really had to cook it.  But, come on, we’re supposed to have pancakes for supper!  Well, not wanting to disappoint anyone, I served both.  The option to use my fabulous gravy (no, really, you know when you make something and dang if it doesn’t surpass your expectations?  This was the case on Tuesday…) or maple syrup.  Made no never mind to me, ‘sall I can say!  There were sugar snap peas for that veggie element but… didn’t bother asking them to pose for the camera…

Wednesday, Wednesday… what did I do Wednesday.  Oh yes!  Wrote my Friday Fictioneers, went on a coffee date.  Determined after one coffee that it was lovely to meet you, but move along.  Ugh.  I hate this dating thing.  It’s exhausting.  I know I haven’t really told you anything at all but I was on some dating sites.  I am no longer.  It was fun for a while.  Now?  Not so much!

How could I forget!  I finished reading “Swimming Lessons”, by Claire Fuller.  What a fabulous book.  So very original.  I definitely recommend it!  I have now started on “The Gift” by Louise Jensen, like Claire, this is her second book.  It it’s as good as her first one “The Sister”, I shall not be disappointed.

Thursday came along and I saw my friend (through Mick) Leonard was on-line so we chatted a bit.  I asked him when we were going to finally get together and have a beer and catch up on stuff.  He said he was meeting his buddy Steve (usually my “date” when we go see Leonard do stand-up) to watch the hockey game and that I was more than welcome to join them.  I asked him if he was sure I would not intrude on their “Guy-Time”!  Was told I would never…   We met at the Irish Embassy Pub on Bishop Street downtown.  Let me tell you, when there is a home game, ya gotta leave early because traffic is intense!  It ended up taking me a good 40 minutes, which was pretty darn good.  However.  Parking was a whole ‘nother kettle of fish!  After going around the blocks a few times, and just missing one – blast you, guy who cut in front of me!  May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your nether regions!  So, I gave up and decided to go to Mick’s old favourite inside parking three blocks over.  First time I ever end up on the top floor!  Eesh.   Hustle my way to join the gents.  See scads of empty parking spaces.  Pump fist up at the gods of parking but decide it’s a waste of time and keep walking.  Later find out that two streets over on the other side, there is indoor parking five bucks cheaper!  Sigh.  Had a great evening with these two jokers.  They tag-teamed against me occasionally.  Buggers!  Habs were losing 1-0 when Leonard decided he was done and left us.  Good thing too.  Not five minutes later, the Habs tied the game!  I told Steve, had we known all we had to do was get rid of Lenny, we would have sooner…  With six seconds left in the game, we beat Nashville and our beloved PK Subban.  Was kinda nice to see the fans cheering him on despite his wearing a different jersey.  His ex-teammates weren’t so enthused…

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A nice Irish stew and a couple of Kilkenny Pints and lots of great conversation.  It was one of the first times I had the chance to have such a great conversation with Steve.  He is a good man, lots of responsibilities but has the most wonderful mantra every morning:  Today I will try to be the best husband, father, brother, son, employer I can be.  Some days, no matter how hard you try, you do not succeed fully but come the next day, the slate is clean and you can start over.  I like that.

On Friday, I was very proud of my eldest son.  I drove him to the SAAQ  (DMV, for the Americans) so that he would not have to get up so early.  15 minute car ride vs. 1+ hour bus ride.  Came home and pfaffed around for a bit.  The whole gang was home for dinner – on a Friday night!!  I still had some chicken left-over with that fab gravy so I made us some hot-chicken sandwiches.  Went to the convenience store for some crappy McCain fries to bake and go with.   (I did not have a potato in the house.)  Seriously, those fries are the worst.  No matter how long I cooked them, they would not get crispy.  Note to self:  Don’t buy ’em again!

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So this Saturday, we were supposed to get a group of us together to participate in the Illuminart going on in Montreal.  Sadly, one of our gang hurt her leg and hip and could not walk for any distance.  That made it easier for one to decide to cocoon in his home all day.  That left Julie and me.  They were calling for “freeze-your-butt-off” temps and neither one of us was that enthusiastic to go in those conditions!  So we opted for dinner and a movie!

There is this great little Korean restaurant with amazingly reasonable prices and fantastic-tasting food.  Julie had never been and I’ve now been three times.  Mon Ami (My Friend) restaurant… How cute a name is that?  Their Bibimbap is delicious and they tell me their fried chicken is the bomb – maybe next time!  There was a line-up at 7:30 pm but we didn’t have to wait too long.  It was so hard to choose what to eat as everything looks good!  I’m hoping the next time I go, my dinner partner wants to join me in their BBQ platter that cooks on a hot plate in front of you…

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Mon Ami on Ste.Catherine – their photo

We had time to have a coffee before our movie.  We went to see “Hidden Figures”  and both of us loved it.

Oh my goodness.  We’re on our third cup already and I’ve totally gobbled up way too much of your time!  Thank you for sharing this time with me!  I hope I managed to keep you entertained and that I did not torment you too much with the food pics 😉  I wish for you a most fabulous Sunday and week ahead!

Thank you to Emily from Nerd in the Brain for hosting this shindig – I have to find out why I am not get notifications for the coffee shares but do for other posts… Hmmm…

If you’d like to join in, just click on the coffee share box at the top and you will be brought over to Emily’s blog.

Lotsa Love,

Dale

 

The Year in Books – January, 2016

Fresh new year to try and achieve my Good Reads goal of reading 20 books.  I failed last year and did not read 24 so yes, I did lower my standards a tad!  Once upon a time there was no Internet and no car, thus long bus rides.  A lot.  A LOT.  A LOT more books were read.  Then came children, house stuff, faffing on the Internet.  Next thing you know, reading one book a month is a challenge.  This needs to stop.  I have always loved reading.  Way back in elementary school, my friends Lynne and Kathy and I spent more time in the library than anywhere else.  I’d love to know just how many books we read in that itty-bitty Boucherville Elementary School library.  Lynne and I read every single Chica D’Oro book the school had (call them Nancy Drew on horseback, if you will) I had to look up some titles as they were long gone from my memory:  Linda Craig and the Palomino Mystery was the first.  The palomino in question was called Chica D’Oro.  And of course, we read all the Black Stallion books.  Okay, Lynne may have been the instigator of all books horse as she was MAD about horses.

Kathy and I quickly moved into Harlequin Romance stories (don’t even!).  That girl was the fastest reader I have ever known! I could never keep up with her rhythm. We would sit in her backyard and read away the day.

Eventually I moved into historical romance – to this day my favourites are still Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (The Wolf and the Dove, The Flame and the Flower, Shanna! These ladies were something else.  I swear, if I had had a daughter, her name was definitely going to be Shanna.), Bertrice Small (the Skye O’Malley series… yum), Rosemary Rogers (Sweet, Savage Love…oh my…) Yes, there were many of that sort, I canna lie!  I gobbled them up.  We shared books.  Books went the rounds: from my mother, to me, to my sisters, to my friends.

After a while, I grew tired of these types of books – though I am not adverse to reading one here or there – as they started feeling redundant.

I discovered James A. Michener and his sweeping tales, giving me a history lesson woven into a wonderful story:  Texas, Chesapeake, Tales of the South Pacific, to name but a few.  Too difficult to name a favourite.

Boyfriends and other friends introduced me to such books as Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, A Trilogy in Four Parts, books I would NEVER have thought of reading!

Since then, I have touched on many genres and loved, cried, laughed, sighed, hated so many along the way.  I am now open to reading almost anything, quite frankly.  Having gone to a French high school, I felt I missed out on the classics, so I decided to start reading some of them.  For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemmingway (totally hated it, by the way – I know, I know, heresy!) is one of them! The Brönte sisters, Jane Austin, etc.  I could go on and on.  Actually, I have gone on and on.  Apologies!

Now I have become part of this fabulous world in the Blogosphere.  I am constantly amased by the circles created.  You discover one blog, comment on it, read the other comments, check out the commenters blogs.  New circle formed.  Somehow, I cannot even tell you how, I have ended up in a circle of published authors.  Or rather, a few circles with published authors amongst them.  The first book I read by bloggers I followed – The Great Jollyhoombah (so sad they no longer blog) was The End of Wishing Our Days Away, by Tammy and CJ Renzi, a lovely, hilarious couple who shared in the blogging duties and co-wrote the book.  Was a most enjoyable read.

The second time I read a blogger’s book was Timesmudger, by Gillian Smellie.  I love young adult lit as much as anything else and I truly enjoyed this one.  A click on the link will bring you to my review of said book.

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This was the start of something!  Now that I’ve rambled on and on, allow me to introduce my reads for the month of January.  Yes, I am feeling very optimistic and will read not one but two books this month!  Both are women I met through my weekly Friday Fictioneers “Club”.  The first is Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days.  I’ve barely begun it and am already drawn in.  I think I’ll be gobbling this one up!

My second choice is the long-awaited (by me) sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields that I read back in JuneFrom Silt and Ashes is the continuing story of Havah, her husband, Arel and some family members as they flee the pogroms in Russia to the supposed liberty in United States.  I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this one!

Laura, over at Circle of Pine Trees is the hostess of this group of readers.  Unfortunately she no longer has the link up for our posts, but she can still be found here.