#WeekendCoffeeShare – In Which I Played Tour Guide

Good evening my Blogger Friends!  It’s Sunday evening and I am in no mood for coffee.  Red wine for me!

First things first, however.  Thank you Emily from Nerd in the Brain for hosting our Coffee Talk!  For anyone wanting to join in on the fun, just click on the coffee cup above and you’ll be directed to her site where you can add your link or click on the link and read other stories.

Now, without further ado… My week.  Oy!  What a fantabulous week!  No, I shall not talk about my water woes other than to say that one issue has been fixed and one has been diagnosed – not in the manner in which I would prefer… Next subject!

If we were having coffee, or frankly, it is Sunday night, so, if you want that hot beverage spiked, just say so, I’ve got a lovely collection of liqueurs that could be added.  I might even be able to whip up some cream as a topping, should you wish!  I, on the other hand, shall go and get myself a nice glass of wine.  I also have white or rosé, should you prefer!

If we were sharing a nice beverage, I would tell you that I had a most wonderful week with Alison.  Who is Alison, you ask?  Would you imagine?  Last September, I went to Tuscany for almost three weeks.  The first week was a cooking week with Cook in Tuscany and where I met Alison.  I wrote part of my story  here.  (I’ve got a few posts still to go to bring it all up to speed – yeah, yeah, I know.  Way late!  Anyway.)  Well, as happens when you spend a full week with a group (we were 14 in all), friendships form.  We exchanged emails and quite a few of us are now Facebook friends.  Alison asked me if I was serious when I said, should you come to visit Montreal, let me know.  I responded absolutely!

She said cool… She’d be in Montreal from Tuesday, April 18th, till Saturday, April 22nd.  I offered my home for her to stay in but she is very allergic to cats and I’ve two of them.   She was very content to stay in an AirBnB in downtown Montreal and I was happy to go pick her up daily so we could do the tourist thing.

Alison really wanted to see our Montreal Symphony Orchestra and had asked me to look into buying tickets.  Then Punta Cana happened and I got all involved in the passport thing and the trip itself and…. When she texted me saying,  “So? Where are we sitting?”  I had to sheepishly admit I had failed at purchasing them.  I did manage to get us tickets for the first night but we’d not be sitting together.  She said what did it matter?  It’s not like we are going to talk while the music is playing… she had a point.  I had never been to our new Symphony House so I didn’t know what the seating was like.  There were some seats behind the musicians but I didn’t dare take them.  I should have.  It’s not like I could see the faces of anyone way up in the balcony!

Picked up Alison at the airport at 5pm, drove through the traffic to bring her to her apartment.  She changed and we made our way down to the “Quartier des Spectacles” in Montreal, parked and attempted to find something decent to eat.  Problem was it was also a hockey night so all restaurants were filled to the rim.  Ended up eating two steamies and greasy fries at Lafleur!  Sheesh.  Quite the beginning!

We made our way to the new (well, new to me, but open since 2011) MSO Symphony Hall to enjoy the concert Brel Symphonique.  Fans of Jacques Brel were treated to interpretation by mostly Québécois singers.  We were not disappointed.  Alison’s goal was to hear the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and she found the 81 members for this concert amazing.  I was not disappointed because I love Jacques Brel’s music and I found that the 10 artists did a wonderful job interpreting his songs along with the wonderful orchestration by the MSO.

As Alison had been up since very early, she was ready to hit the hay for the next day of adventures!

Wednesday morning, I picked her up and we made our way to St. Joseph’s Oratory.   We explored every floor, nook and cranny that we could.  Of course, once we were ready to go, it started to rain, so we didn’t take a picture of the oratory from the street!  Alison didn’t believe me when I told her that you could always find at least one person climbing the steps on their knees…

We worked up our hunger (it was near 2:00 pm!) so we made our way to Côte-des-Neiges Street and into McCarold’s Irish Pub for a delicious burger and fries.

My son’s friend was coming to do some of the plumbing – no, we’re not talking about my water woes! – and I wanted to be there when he did so we made our way to my house.  A tour of the mess and then we just sat and chitchatted.  And eventually got hungry so I made a vegetable & tortellini “Stoup” and heated up a frozen baguette.  Voilà!  Supper is served.  Alison was my expert stirrer…

On Thursday, we drove around the different boroughs of Montreal so I could show Alison the “Stairs of Montreal” and we wound up in Little Italy and the Jean-Talon Market.  It is such a fabulous place in summer but does remain open year-round (maybe 1/5 to 1/4 of it?)  We then made our way to Outremont, which has a totally different vibe, drove up Mount Royal, walked around Beaver Lake then made our way to the Camilien Houde Promontory to see a view of Montreal.  Though not raining, it was sort of clear…  Oh!  And as I drove around to the front of the entrance of Mount Royal where there are statues and, in the summer, the Tam-Tam players, I kept wondering why there were so many cops!  I sent Alison out to take some pics while I stayed in the car, illegally parked, and she came back stating there was quite the scent around the place.  D’oh!  It was 420 – Weed Day!

All that walking around made us hungry, so we made our way to Old Montreal.  We had a show at the Notre Dame Basilica (Aura) at 6 pm so we figured we’d have time to walk around and admire the old buildings and whatnot after lunch.  We ate outside in a heated terrasse (yes, I spell it the French way because we say it the French way!)  I wanted to bring Alison to the Jardin Nelson but it was closed for the day. Grrr.  So we went to Le Fripon.  No regrets!  After a delicious pizza, we made our way to the Basilica and enjoyed the Aura light show.  Truly beautiful.  A tad pricey for the amount of time we spent there, I have to admit but there was still no regret at having watched the light show.

I had never seen these two statues and the plaque explaining them….  They are so representative of the English-French thing that we have going on in our province!

Not yet hungry, we decided to go have a drink.  I decided we should go to Crescent Street where there are so many happening places.  I was telling her about Winnie’s and Margo and how she was THE bartender for years, knowing many Montreal writers and such but that she had taken her retirement and… bloody hell!  Who is at Winnie’s?  Margo!  Unknowingly, it was the 50th anniversary of the club and it was Bartenders Alumni Night!  Score!  What a perfect ending to a perfect day.  We decided to stay and have a late supper.  Introduced Alison to poutine, to boot…

So now it is Friday.  Our last full day to do stuff.   And I’m expecting a plumber to come and check out the mess – but we’re not talking about that, right?  As well, I have an 80th birthday cake to make for a friend of mine so my time is kinda wack.  I pick up Alison at 10:30 and off we go to the Biodome or Biosphere.  This was originally the American pavilion during Expo 67.  It was a spectacular sight then and in 1976, the outside walls (or membrane) caught fire but the original structure remained intact.  The Biodome became a natural museum and is most interesting.  I figured it was close enough to my house so we would be able to get to my house quickly should said plumber call.  There are a few halls closed for preparation of Montreal’s 375 birthday celebration so price is cut in half.  I’m jiggy wid it…   We enter one of the rooms for a 360º presentation but 2/3 of the screens are blank.  Not good.  I go out and advise the people in charge and they come and fix it.  In the meantime, we go to see other interesting things on the planet, global warming and such and make our way back to the original hall for the next presentation in English.  Very interesting and as we leave, my phone rings and it’s my son telling me the plumber is there.  Sigh. So much for him calling first…

We decided to lunch on my leftover stoup and, once the plumbing done, made our way back to Montreal.  It was a bleary day.  (Seriously, Alison was so not lucky weather-wise!)  We decide to take in the Chagall exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Park the car, make our way there and I find it weird there is no one at the reception.  Wait in line at the VIP line only to be told that the museum closes at 5 pm.  It was 4:50.  Ugh.  Only on Wednesdays is the museum open until 9 PM.  Dammit.   A lovely woman tells us, hey, if you want to, across the street at the Bourgie Hall, you can have a concert and a private tour of the exhibition.  Well.   We immediately crossed over and paid the fee.  Oh my goodness!  What a score!  We had the most wonderful guide Elena (Elaina? Elayna?) who knew her stuff.  It was a speedy tour, to be sure, and just whetted my appetite to return before it is gone.

 

After that, we settled into our seats in the converted church and enjoyed – well, I cannot lie, I am not a fan of Stravinsky but still.  The first half was a Stravinsky piano piece for four hands and the second was a piano duet for two pianos by Francis Poulenc.  The pianists were James Anagnoson and Leslie Kinton, celebrating 40 years of playing together!

They did a bang-up job!  By the end of the concert, it was almost 8 PM so we were hungry and I brought Alison to the Gay Village and my most favourite restaurant, Mozza Pâtes et Passions.  There is no place like it.  I told Alison she must go to the bathroom.  And to bring her phone with her… 😉

Bathroom at Mozza

The next morning I had to go to a work meeting from 9:30 till 11:00, rush home to meet the foundation guy – no, we’re still not talking water woes – then finish the cake for my friend Martin B.  I picked up Alison around 1:30 and drove her to the airport.  Our five-day-extravaganza had come to an end already.

I cannot believe how many things we did in such a short time!  It was a blast and I was told I was a good tour guide.  Phew!

I hope I’ve not rambled on way too long.  It took me almost three days to write this thing as the weather has finally turned (doesn’t that figure, Alison?) so I did come in and out of the house between raking and stuff to write this!

Oh. My bad.  I almost forgot all the goodies Alison brought me as a thank you.  Sheesh.  She spoiled me with Louisiana hot sauces, an apron and a bottle of wine!  All products from her home State of Louisiana.  Spoiled rotten, I tell ya!

Thanks to any of you who stuck it out and read the whole shebang!

See you next week!  I can promise you it will be way less exciting!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xoxo

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Spring Walk, Paperwork, Breakfasts & More Snow?

Hello my friends and welcome.  Please do come in.  You’ll have to stamp your feet to remove the snow.  Yes. Curse, cuss, swear, sigh.  We got more snow last night.  Hello?  First day of Spring was Monday?  Remember, Ma Nature?  Oh well, welcome to Spring in Quebec!

So, if we were having coffee, or tea, or some other beverage, we would complain a bit about yesterday’s snowfall.  It is what one does when one is done with it.  I, for one, am done with it.  No, no, don’t try. You can’t convince me how pretty it is.  It really is, isn’t?  I don’t care.  Come back next Winter.

OK… getting ahead of myself.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what an absolutely beautifully, gorgeous day we had on Monday!  Oh my!  First day of spring and the sky was blue, the clouds were white, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the snow was melting!  Zeke and I were way overdue for one of our super long walks and man… oh man… did we ever take one!

That 10.9 km is 6.8 miles… just sayin’…

I had decided I wanted to make my way to the St. Lawrence River so we could watch the ice pieces float by and hopefully catch some wildlife.  We did so and we ended up all the way into the Old Boucherville section.  What a walk!  Leaving my house, we walked along Industrial Boulevard to Fort St-Louis.  Those who are on Instagram got pretty much a play-by-play of my walk!

And there were honest-to-goodness buds on the trees.  Really!  Considering last Wednesday’s snowstorm, who’d a thunk?

Crossing the tracks, we walked along a road that runs parallel to the highway until we reached the overpass to the river’s edge.  I always stop and admire this house.  It speaks to me!

We continued on, past the ever-present construction until we reached Marie-Victorin.  This street/boulevard goes through at least six towns (I will have to verify that one!) running the length of the St.Lawrence River.  Boucherville, Varennes, Verchères each have their special cachet that I shall have to share with you further!

From my home town, we get to see the various Boucherville Islands that are now a Provincial Park and we can access via mini ferry (holding bicycles and people only) during the summer season.

I started taking a bunch of pictures of many of the old houses and realised that I shall share them with you on another post.  They deserve to be front and centre!   However, I do think it worthwhile to share our big Paroisse Ste-Famille, where I was baptised many a moon ago…

We walked around the little streets, snapping pictures of old houses and I was struck by the gold of the hedge that seemed to pop out of nowhere.

By now I’m wishing I had someone I could call to pick us up and take us the rest of the way home!  We were both pooped and decided our evening was going to be one of vegging on the couch!

Tuesday was paperwork day.  I realised my passport was due to expire by June of this year and decided to bring it in directly to the passport office.  I mean, come on, what if someone comes into my life, sweeps me off my feet and wants to take my on a trip of a lifetime!  I must be ready!  Of course, reading all about Cady Luck Leedy’s story about HER passport woes is what really made me look at mine in the first place!  The whole sweeping off my feet thing is more of a, well, okay, I’ll admit it, a girl can dream, right?   I was shocked and pleasantly surprised that the whole thing took a mere one hour and fifteen minutes from beginning to end.  How do you like them apples?  To think I was going to set my alarm at stupid o’clock to wait in line for the doors to open at 7:30 am.  Pfft…. I got there at 11:30 and was in my car by 1:00 pm.  And that’s because I did some window-shopping on my way back to my car.  Pretty darn good, let me tell you!

As I had sold my car for scrap, I also had to go the S.A.A.Q. (DMV for ya’all) to register the transaction to no longer be liable for the hunk-a-junk.  And, lucky me, I got $165 back for the registration!  Woot!

On Wednesday, I had breakfast with my youngest sister.  Always nice to break the fast with her.  Actually, am overdue for breakfast with second sister as well… Hmmm… will have to make arrangements.  My mom, Yvon and their grandson arrived at 1:00 pm to visit the apartment my sisters had found for them.  It was a big moment and we all (sisters) hoped that Mom and Yvon would fall in love with it (or at least in good like) and agree that it was the place to move to.  For those of you who read my Friday Fictioneers this week, you will note it was totally based on this happening!  They not only liked it, they signed the lease for June 1st!  Wonderful.  Now we will all be within 15 minutes of each other.  It will definitely take a load off my mother’s shoulders.  Of course now we have the lovely prospect of moving them from a house to a 3 1/2 apartment.  That will be so much fun.  Not.

Nothing much I feel the need to share for Thursday but Friday – yesterday.  Well.  We’ve come full circle to the beginning of this tale.  I must repeat.  What in the name of hell is up with Mother Nature?  Oh man!  That snow is pretty.  To be sure.  If it were elsewhere.  I will admit that Zeke and I enjoyed taking a walk in it and of course I had to take a couple of pictures.  Cool the different effects of no flash and flash and a little fun with PicMonkey…

I would have sent this out earlier but this afternoon we all went bowling for my niece’s volleyball team.  What is it about bowling that is so much fun?  Almost the whole family participated and a good laugh was had by all.  Now, I’m not one to toot my own horn but I did have to ask for a printout of my scores because man oh  man… I was on fire!

I think I have gone on long enough.  We must have gone from coffee to water to wine by now, eh?  I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Boucherville and my sharing of my week’s stuff.  Now, it’s your turn.  Tell me how your week was!

Thank you to our lovely hostess Emily of Nerd in the Brain for hosting this weekly coffee gig.  You can click on her name to make your way to her blog where you can find the link to add your coffee talk, should you like!  (I haven’t figure out yet how to get the link working on my blog as yet.  Mostly because I’ve not really tried!)

Have a marvellous week and see ya’all next week!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xo

 

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Milestones, Letting Go and Fun Stuff

Good early afternoon!  I slept in this morning as my son had a party and I hung around with the (how cool that they even want me to?) last stragglers till 3:30 this morning!  Eldest basically tried to kick me out of my own house and, not to accommodate him but because it worked out for me, I went hung out with Tina, Liz & Peter (old friends of Tina’s), Emma and Luciano (Tina’s daughter and son-in-law).  It had been a while since our last get-together so was nice to catch up.  I brought a bottle of my aranciacello (orangecello) and that was a big enough hit, I may just have to sell some!

When I got home, the remaining four friends (and one girlfriend, sitting quietly by watching them) were playing a serious game of beer pong.  Let’s just say I was very happy no one was driving as they were feeling no pain whatsoever.  Nice guys, I have to say.  Very polite.  They think I’m “chill” so I’m “allowed” to stick around!  And when Iain told them I made booze… well!  My “chill points” went up!  I happened to have an already open bottle of limoncello so gave them each a small shot.  Now one of them wants me to teach him how to make it.

Needless to say, my coffee is strong this morning!  Care for a cup?  Would you prefer tea?  It’s bloody cold today:  -17ºC (1ºF), but with a windchill of -25ºC (-13ºF) so, I’m sure you want something hot!  Now that you’re all settled in, let me catch you up on my week.

I worked at the Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Was nice to see some of my coworkers.  On Tuesday we set up for Wednesday’s event.  I know I’m supposed to be a waitress but frankly, sometimes I feel like a mover!  Man do we schlep around tables and chairs!  I definitely could feel it in my muscles the next days!  Wednesday’s group was members of some landscaping companies.  A truly friendly sort which is so pleasant to deal with.  Would that they all were!

Tuesday morning, my son needed my car to pass his driver’s test.  Good thing his appointment was at 10:30 as I was only working at 12:30.  However.  We got to the DMV (SAAQ, for us Quebeckers) and I waited patiently.  For 10 minutes.  What?  Seems son forgot a paper proving he had passed his driver’s courses.  “But, it’s okay, Mom, they gave me an appointment for 1:30 so we’re good!”

Um. No, dear.  I am working at 12:30!  Now what?  Luckily Iain’s godfather, my brother-in-law, Sébastien, was on spring break!  I called my sister, asking for her hubby, and all was arranged.  We would drive over to their house, I would take one of their cars (Tracy was working at 1:00, otherwise she would have taken my place) and leave mine as Iain had practiced with my car and was allowed to use it for his test.  Sheesh.

Off I go to work, waiting patiently and I get a text.  “I failed”.  Awwww… poor kid.  I’m feeling so bad for him and he doesn’t respond to my “what happened?”  Sébastien calls me to tell me he’s stopping by the club to change cars and says:  “By the way, your son passed.”  Little shit.  Not only did he pass, he got 91%!  So proud of him (after wanting to smack him…)

Wednesday was a glorious day.  It was 10ºC (50ºF).  I finished work at 3:30, got home, picked up my camera bag and Zeke went nuts.  Don’t even have to say the word “walk” – though that gets him going too!  Off we went.  On our way to what we call Teletubbie Park, I could see signs of life.  Yes!  All those folks over the pond in England and such showing off their snowdrops and such… so not fair!  OK… we don’t have much in our frigid clime but look!  I see tulips shooting up!  It’s the little things, ya know?

Tulips!

Towards the park. Nothing Zeke likes better than to be off leash and given the opportunity to sniff and run at will.   Once we got over one of the little hills, I could see the baseball diamond had three dogs running around.  Of course Zeke wanted to go play.  Being a mean mom, I said no.   I didn’t know the dogs and people and I was already having trouble choosing where to put my feet as the ground was very soft and wet.  I did not want to make my way there.

We turn to leave and I see, in the bluest of skies, the moon.  Tried my best!

Not a speck, the moon!

On Thursday morning, I got a little… ok, more than a little, emotional.  After Mick died, two years ago, I had to get rid of his beloved F-150 truck.  Much as it was really cool to drive it and get double-takes when other drivers realised a woman was driving it, it cost a fortune to run.  So I changed it for my Escape, which I love.  I kept my old Pontiac Sunfire for the boys.  They both would be driving soon – or so I thought.   For two years that car sat in my driveway.  In the beginning, Iain would ask me to go practice driving with him.  Then he didn’t.  Then, he didn’t seem to be in any rush to get his bloody permit.  What IS it with today’s youth?  I could not wait to get that puppy in my hands and be independent and drive all over!  Anyway.  I kept telling him to at least start it every couple of weeks.  Didn’t do it.  After paying for the registration and insurance for two years for nothing, I had had it.  I called an environment company that pays you for your junk and tows it away.  It was no longer safe to drive anyway.  When I think of how much I could have gotten for it had I sold it two years ago.  Whatever. Won’t go there.

I cannot lie.  I shed more than a tear.  Not for the car itself.  Matter of fact, I was pissed at Mick for convincing me to get it in the first place way back in 2003 because I wanted something else.  He was good at getting his way.  I did learn to love that thing and it was a little bomb that got me to wherever I needed to go.  But it is so weird.  I felt like it was yet another little piece of Mick gone from my life.

By Friday, I was more than ready to go for lunch with Michèle.  We share the gift of the gab, I tell you!  We sat in that Louis XIV restaurant in St. Bruno from 12:30 till 3:50!  Good grief!  It’s a lovely little bistro where you can bring your own wine.  Delicious.  We each had a tartare, her the salmon, me the beef.  Then we splurged on a piece of white cake with strawberry sauce on top.  Perfection.  I brought her a bottle of each of my ‘cellos – which she forgot at the restaurant!  She was beside herself.  Thankfully, she had left it on the floor beside her chair.  The restaurant was full of supper diners when she went back (because when she called, they said they did not see it).  All the tables but ours were full.  She walked up to her chair, bent down and voilà!  The bag was there!  Relief, you say?

So… I think I’ve been at this long enough.  Luch (Luciano) should be here any second now to pick up a bottle of each ‘cello, I really must take my shower and finish my strawberry crumble as my sister has invited me and our sister and hubs over for dinner.  Adults only – even though 5 out of the 8 kids are already adults.  And for those of you who read Friday Fictioneers… NO!!  Not THAT kind of adult party!

Oh!  And before I forget!  As promised, the recipe for the limoncello is this one!  I do the 40-day version and depending on the fruit (more limes, less grapefruit, a few less oranges) I’ll play with the sugar levels as well…

Have a great week, my friends!  I wish you much happiness, smiles, laughter and love!

Dale

xox

Oh!  Before I forget!  Thank you, Emily, from Nerd in the Brain for hosting this weekly get-together!  If you want to play with us, just click on the here and add your link!

A Mindful Walk

The day was too beautiful to waste my time in a gym (and really, like I was going to go, eh?) or in the house, cleaning, so, why not go outside for one of our (Zeke and me) walks?  We were way overdue and hadn’t gone on one of our mega long walks in a long time.

I chose to go over to the other side the main drag (de Mortagne, for those of you in the know) which helps me get my 10,000 steps in.  Though Météo Média “told” me it was -9ºC, but felt like -18 ºC, I found myself overdressed.  I should learn to NOT to put on my thermal shirt under my coat unless the temps dip to -35ºC!!  Didn’t take long to remove the scarf and stuff it in my camera bag!  Taking pictures usually requires me to warm my hands between each shot but not today.  The sun made a huge difference.  That and the lack of wind!

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As I was walking, I started thinking of my blogger/Facebook friends and how amazing it is to have connected with people all over the world.  People I have yet to meet in person.  People who have touched my life in one way or another.  People who graciously and generously sent me love when I needed it and who encourage me to try new things and challenge myself.  This post has become a sort of thank you to a just a few of them!

It all started as I was taking pictures of trees.  Suddenly I thought of Phyllis, because she loves trees!  We met through an on-line photography class, and I’ve followed the tenuous arrival and amazing growth of her beloved grandchild, Madeline.  What an inspiration they all are in that family!

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I came upon some benches.  They were not the prettiest ones out there but benches make me think of Raye, a wonderful artist and writer, (though she doesn’t write much any more – much to my chagrin) that I met through another blogger, named John.  Raye’s writing grabbed me and next thing I knew, I was stalking her, reading every single one of her posts and leaving my two cents’ worth all over the place.  She played along and we found that we must have been separated at birth in one of our past lives.  We have been known to use another’s site for our bantering (right, John?) and have since become friends – by the way, RRR, we are WAY overdue for a Skype session, hmmm?

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Speaking of John, I wish I had one-third of his photographic talents.  I’m working on it!  This Irish guy has an eye for beauty in the simple things.  Here’s a little something for you.  I was playing with the shadows… At least the blue sky was my friend 😉

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Walking along, I came upon the little “bridge” in the middle of nowhere in Parc de Coutance.  Well, of course I though of Jean, another Irish blogger (methinks I may have met John through her, I could be wrong, but does it really matter?)  She is fascinated with all things bridge and not just the structural kind made of wood or metal or whatever but mostly the social kind between people, cultures, etc. No one, and I mean NO one loves her homeland as Jean does.  It just oozes through her words and pictures of her beloved Tramore County.

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I was starting to enjoy myself immensely because my walk suddenly had a new purpose.  Well, purpose, that’s a big word.  Let’s just say I had made a game of it. Exercise, fresh air, great company and now a game.  What fun!

Photography has been a part of my life ever since I got my first Kodak Instamatic.  Remember those?  With the flash cube you added on top?  Fun.  I took one lesson at Dawson College and truly enjoyed myself.  I’ve been the “Kid Kodak” in my family for a long time (still am) and have the boxes of negatives and photos to prove it.  That said, when Joy  showed up… (The how I met Joy is a four-blog-hop process!  So.. Thanks Jessica for getting the ball rolling!) …and offered on-line photo classes, I jumped in.  I learned a lot through her and – no worries, Joy, I WILL do my classwork on the last one I signed up for.  My timing was shot, my computers were shot, the light was shot and next thing I knew it was over and done with.  But I’ve kept my lessons and will do them.  Promise.  PicMonkey has become my new best friend for editing photos and having fun with my images!

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The clouds were making cool patterns and Janet, chef, teacher, artist, writer (another who needs to write more!) came to mind.  I would link to one of her blogs but, cannot. This link is a guest blog she did and truly gives a sense of who she is.  Her sarcastic humour is what got me at first and that was through her comment on another blog (please, do not ask me which one!)  Next thing I knew, I was once again a stalker.  We have since become friends as well and like to Skype for a good chin-wag when we can.  She is brilliant and I am lucky to count her in my circle.

I then was on a mission for the colour purple.  Figures. No matter where I looked, I could not find anything purple!  Ah come on!  How am I supposed to honour Rochelle? She’s the queen of purple.  Her blog is called Addicted to Purple!  I can’t use just any old image!  This woman has become my writing mentor and friend.  I was half-way home and thinking dang… I am going to have to play with the colours of something or other and make it purple!  And then… I burst out laughing!  Okay, I admit, I may be pushing it a bit but you gotta laugh, no?  Lucky for me, these little girls flocked to Zeke and one just so happened to be dressed in the appropriate colour.  So I used both.  Because.  It’s my blog.

Now I am going to cheat here as there is another I would like to mention.  That would be Sarah.  It is all her fault that I write haikus and am now a member of Friday Fictioneers.  Last Friday, during our walk, I composed a couple of haikus in my head – then dictated them to my cell because, frankly, they would be lost otherwise –  but didn’t post them when I got home because I was invited out and just didn’t take the time.  Sooo. we’ll just pretend the following was from today, okay?

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And lastly, before you all fall asleep in boredom, I cannot write such a post and exclude Zeke now, can I?  He’s way more popular than I am!  How can he not be; such a handsome and faithful companion…

 

 

Fascination – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday already!  You know it.  Friday Fictioneers is here.  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple has chosen a photo from a fellow participant and wonderful writer himself, c.e. ayr of Sound Bite Fiction fame.  Thank you to you both for your part in this week’s fun.  I admit to feeling stumped at first.  Then a most wonderful memory came forth and I couldn’t go anywhere else.  So, sorry (not really 😉 ).  No fiction from me again this week.  I can’t help myself.

Click on the blue frog to read more stories or to add your own.  Want to know the how-to of Friday Fictioneers, click on Rochelle’s name!

Fascination

The boy was fascinated by trains.  Less than a hundred yards away, the train rumbled by several times per day, shaking the house, thrilling him.

Daddy would set up his old set from when he was a boy and they would lie on their tummies, watching it go round and round.

One day, Daddy said, “Let’s go on an adventure!”  The next thing the boy knew, he and his family were part of the rumble, watching the world whizz by.

How a one-hour ride each way could bring so much joy…

…what he wouldn’t give to go on one more trip.

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A little show and tell, if you will… Aidan with Mick and the old train set; Iain, Mick and Aidan waiting to board the train and Aidan transfixed.

So many moons ago.  This was in 2003.  Sweet memories indeed!

Friday Fictioneers – Music Maker

Welcome, welcome, my friends, to Friday Fictioneers.  Yes, yes, I know, it is Wednesday.  What can I say?  Some of us in this group like to confuse!

This week, Rochelle, our lovely host, has given us an image by her main squeeze, Jan W. Fields.  Oh the directions I could have gone with this.  ‘Twas hard to choose but sometimes, you just have to let the fingers do the talking!

Her story is fabulous as are the other participants’.  Please do go have a read and, should you be willing to try your hand at this 100-word craft-thing, please do.  Click on the blue frog for instructions and whatnot!

Get the inLinkz code

©Jan W. Fields

As you leave the house for your walk with your faithful dog, the hum of the highway drones on in the distance and you note your steps beating a rhythm, highlighted by the dog’s collar tinkling like the high notes of a piano.  Before long, the wind picks up and the denuded branches bang together adding a back beat.  You notice, as you near the park, the swish of the marcescent leaves like brushes on a drum.  Approaching the river, the steady flow beneath the ice replaces the hum of the highway, the birds’ chirping adding high notes.

Nature’s orchestra!

#WeekendCoffeeShare – My Feet and Knees Are Killing me!

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Well hello, my lovelies!  The end of the week-end is nigh!  I almost feel like I need another.  No, make that I know I feel I need another!

Before I get started on regaling you with my week’s happenings, please let me first thank Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this little gathering of story tellers.  If you click on the image above, you will be brought to her site where you can read her story and if you click on the blue frog, you can check out others and, if you are so inclined, to add your own!

If we were having coffee, I might suspect you would prefer decaf; it is after all past 9 pm.  Maybe you’d prefer a glass of wine or beer?  A cup of tea?  I want you to be happy, so please, don’t be shy…  I would tell you that my week was ridiculously tiring.  As mentioned in past posts, I started working at Pier 1 Imports and on Monday had my first 7-hour shift.  May I just say that I have a new respect for all those people who have been working in retail for years and years, standing on their feet all day?  I make sure I change shoes each shift but still end up with pained feet. To ensure I not only have sore feet, I ended up at the cash with no mat on the floor so my knees were not happy campers either. Yesterday I was kind enough (won’t be in the future) to help close up.  Yeah.  No.  Never again.  I have enough toilets in my own house to clean, will not be helping to close at the store again.  Blech.

I managed to find time to clean my oh-so-disgusting oven.  I’ve been using it so much lately, I just couldn’t find an overnight time to do it.  I used to say I wish I had a self-cleaning oven and my sister Tracy would say: “You do!”  “What?  No I don’t!”  “Yes”. she’d say, “it’s Mick!”  How right she was.  I was spoiled by him.  He figured the least he could do for getting all his yummy meals was to clean it for me.  Sigh.  Another thing taken for granted!  But oh, my, look how she does sparkle!

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I tried a few recipes this week and surely hope my customers like them!  Jamaican Chicken Stew – lucky me, there was extra for us, Pork Chops with peppers (gasp!  Just realised I totally forgot to take pictures!) and made a few standards such as Blade Roast and Eggplant Parmesan (kinda wish I made myself one!)  I even made the boys some Pumpkin-Cranberry-Pecan cookies.

If we were having coffee, I’d let you know that I usually go out with a friend during the week but was frankly so tired, I elected to just stay home and relax.  Relaxing should mean sitting on my butt and reading a book or watching TV but no, I cleaned the top of my stove, made the cookies, cleaned two of my three outside lamps on my lamp post… third one has a stripped square head screw and I was unable to take the bloody thing apart.  Will need to use a special bit – which I am positive I have but have no friggen clue as to what it looks like.  Will be needing some neighbourly or brother-in-lawyly help!  One more light to go after that one.  The one at the front door that anyone over 6’2″ (David?) inevitably hits their head on…  It amases me just how so many bugs and whatnots get in there!  Next day off is this coming Wednesday. Weather permitting, it will be done.

If we were having coffee, or like I’m doing now, a glass of wine… I’d tell you just how much I appreciate my crock pot!  It was used in four of five meals for my clients.  But I did learn a valuable lesson.  Do NOT put it on overnight.  You see, I set it up in the garage, on a very conveniently placed counter so that is is not in the way.  The problem is, is my bedroom is directly above the garage.  How in the hell is a person supposed to sleep when delicious scents of pulled pork are teasing their nostrils?  2:30 in the morning I was sniffing it!  Not good.  Not good at all.  But lesson learnt!

I was asked to make a special cake for a new birth (Mia) and also to celebrate a bunch of December birthdays.  It was a challenge I was most up to and was a cute one to boot!  Nancy needed the cake for this Sunday morning between 10:00 and 11:00 am and so I told her I would deliver it as I needed to be able to work on it between my other job!  She was pretty pleased to not have to come and get it and she told me I’d be lucky enough to see the rest of her family that I happen to know and have vacationed with!  It was so fantastic to see Sophie and Karl and their kids Tommy and Naomie.  We’ve camped with them in Cape May and Florida as well as gone on a cruise with them.  It was lovely to see Karl’s brother Mario and his wife Marie-Eve and their daughters, having camped with them also in Cape May.  These people have to be the kindest, sweetest people ever.  They immediately asked how the boys and I are doing, realising that a difficult anniversary is coming up.  They all came for Mick so I left there a tad teary-eyed and feeling a mixture of love and sadness.

And, if we were having another coffee or glass of wine, I’d tell you that the reason I am so late in posting is because I was invited to dinner…at my house!  Paul Chow, special Mick friend was missing his buddy (as was his daughter, Thalia) and so he sent me an email saying how much he’d like to see me and the boys and invite us to dinner; however, his apartment was too small, so would I be willing to invite him over and he’d bring the food and wine!  How could I possibly resist authentic Chinese cuisine?  Unfortunately, Anik (Paul’s girlfriend) and Chloe (Paul’s eldest) could not come.  We were served a most delicious Crispy Skin Duck, Pork and tofu and Chinese Broccoli in Hoisin sauce.  I made some plain white rice to go with.  Can you say delicious?  Oh yum.   Just as we were patting our stomachs and deciding to wait for dessert (I made a “Dad’s Wacky Cake” and crème anglaise), Paul got a call that Anik had locked herself out of her apartment!  Well that cut the evening short.  Bummer.  Oh well, we did get a good three hours-worth of catching up so it was still a fabulous evening.  And to top it all off, Iain offered to do the dishes.  No complaints from Mom, that is for sure!

I hope I’ve not bored you to tears with my week’s happenings, or that you’ve fallen asleep from too much wine!  I truly enjoyed spending this time with you and it looks like another busy week is coming my way.  I shall hopefully set aside some time to just sit and be.

I wish you all well and hope your week is full of love, happiness, laughter and joy!