Train Tracks – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #20

Welcome to Crispina’s weekly challenge—open to all—just for FUN, FUN, FUN

Here’s how it works:

Every Wednesday she posts a photo (this week it’s that one below.)
You respond with something CREATIVE. Click here to see just how wide open this challenge is!

This week, a bit of nostalgia 🙂

Train Tracks

Growing up across the street from the railroad tracks, so to speak, watching the long freighter trains go by, feeling the rumble through my body, listening for the tooting of the horn; all these were part of a daily sensory adventure. Even my tastebuds were affected if I was close enough to get a mouthful of dust stirred up by those furiously turning rail wheels.

There were no fences back then. And no fears. And no rules.

And then one day, the the whistles were no longer allowed to blow in the middle of the night – not that we heard them anyway. And yet we missed them. Times change.

My sons don’t have the same freedom we did. They would have to go out of their way to walk the tracks. As a mother, I can’t help but feel relief that they can’t. I’ve fallen into the trap of over-protection.

Shades of Blue – That Make Me Happy

I sit in my own house, a stranger, as my agent takes over and shows it to potential buyers who are waltzing around opening cupboards and checking my stuff – I was going to leave but Serge (agent) told me there was no need.  I had already sent off the boys and Zeke so I made myself small in my office, yet available for any questions…

Most weeks I have a whole lotta nuthin’ on my agenda. One day goes into the next and nary a more exciting outing than a trip to Costco or the grocery store.  At other times? BOOM!  Not only do I have three days in a row of activities, the three times involve crossing the bridge into the City of Montréal.  Snow causes a mess as it takes at least eight days to clean up the city after one dumping.  A mess means traffic.  Traffic means short-tempered peeps.  Short-tempered peeps means frustration abounds.

Well, guess what?  Not this chica!  Sure there was traffic and it was, shall we say, interesting navigating the streets of Old Montreal and downtown (west) but hey, I did find parking in parking in lots, and twice underground.  I’m thinking I’ve scored freakin’ well, dontcha think?  No fusseration happening over here.

On the Thursday, I had a date with Edi, my new friend, made through my neighbours five houses down.  Turns out Edi is divorced and has no one to play with (when it comes to plays) so I told her that the next time a decent one came to town, did she want I should call her?  An emphatic YES was the response.  We-he-hell… I was good on my word.  The Centaur had a special “Valentine’s Day” Sale for any tickets purchased for the February 14th representation of “The Last Wife”  a play created by Kate Hennig about Catherine Parr, Henry the VIII’s sixth and last wife.  Told in today’s times, it was funny, brilliantly acted and the set decoration was truly creative.

BUT, to get to the Centaur, I had to drive along de la Commune Street in Old Montreal and I was struck by the colour of the sky.  I was able to pull over and get this picture of the Montreal Clock Tower – ok, I lied.  I was at a stop sign so I rolled down my window (really, Dale?  Rolled down your window?  More like pressed the automatic button…) and took a quick click – hence the blur.  But that blue!

Just before turning up on St-François-Xavier Street, across from the Montreal Science Centre, I noticed the blue was even deeper so did the same thing as earlier – managed a bit less blur…

Met up with Edi, we found a restaurant (Méchant Boeuf) that would seat us before the play – remember, it was Valentine’s – no easy task to find!!  We enjoyed our meal and made our way back to the Centaur in the slush and snowbanks and mess and enjoyed, as mentioned, a fabulous play.

On my way back to my car, I was struck by the purply-blue (dark periwinkle?) of the sky which really made the whitened-by-streetlamps old buildings pop (I did not play with any filters for any of these pictures, by the way!)

On Friday, I had a dinner and a movie date (Roasters, followed by “What Men Want” – total chick-flic and we laughed our heads off) with the girlfriends.  I also had a house visit scheduled for 4:30, which screwed up my timing to be in town at the Forum Movie Centre for 5.  My son assured me he would be home by that time and didn’t get here till almost 4:45.  That would be the day I was late!  Here I was pushing the ladies to be there for 5:00 so we’d have time to eat before the 6:50 movie and I’m the one who arrived at close to 5:45.  I won’t lie.  I may have cursed a bit lot before leaving, while I  was being redirected because of road work, etc.  That said, just before 4 pm, I was sitting at my desk when I looked up and was struck by yet another shade of blue!  Looks almost ominous, doesn’t it?  I loved the depth near the bottom, paling as it goes upward.

Saturday was a beautiful day!  I promised Zeke we would go out for a nice long walk, and long walk we did, breaking in my new FitBit proper-like – making my 10K steps.  While making our way to one Everything had a bluish tint…

Sunday morning, blessed with another beautiful blue day, I found myself driving along. Shaking my head, I am oh-so glad I have a driveway in which to park my car unlike these poor buggers on the left, parked willy-nilly as this side of the street has yet to be cleared…

I definitely must return to this spot (Ontario Street) to retake this beautiful mural of Alys Robi, a Québecois chanteuse, sans damn truck in the way.  I had to pull over because I was struck by this work of art.

“Let Her Sing Forever”

My house once again my own, I leave you with two Alys songs, first a young Alys doing a cover of “La vie en rose” and a more mature Alys, doing “Laissez-moi encore chanter” – because that’s what the mural represents, and this recording, awful as it is, was on my birthday!

I wish for you all, a most wonderful week!

 

A Colourful Monday Walk

“The World is divided in to two, One is vibrant with colours and the other is drab and colourless..”
Biju Karakkonam, Nature and Wildlife Photographer

There are days where nature is most gracious in sharing her colours.  Monday was one of those days.  Strange, really, as the sun was not shining and the skies were mostly grey.  Or maybe it was just me.  Searching for and finding colour to brighten the day.

Though my full-time days at the golf course came to an end October 30th, I feel I’ve been running around doing stuff yet getting nothing done.  Back and forth to hospitals for Yvon, my mother’s spouse; notary, financial adviser and bank to finally settle my  mandatary duties for my mother-in-law (still not completely done, but close); readying the house for visits – all for naught – bloody thing is still not sold and that mandate is up in three days.  Next!!  Time to take the time for these walks of mine.

On Monday, Zeke and I decided to go for one of our long walks.  He kills me.  I cannot say the word “walk” without him getting excited.  He sees me pick up my camera bag and he loses it.  Before doing any of that, all I said was:  “Do you wanna?”  and this is the look I got:

Then I picked up my camera bag…

We decided to go way over to the other side.  The weather was pretty decent.  I didn’t need my snowpants nor my big mitts so happy days!

Crossing the pedestrian shortcut we came face to face with this fella.  You can tell there are snow enthusiasts who will do what they can to create their own Frosty!

We got to my favourite willow tree in de Normandie Park.  I know, I know.  I take its picture every single time I see it.  Can’t help it as I’m a tad obsessed.

Ya gotta admit it’s pretty spectacular, eh?  And look how colour-coordinated Zeke is!

We moved on towards the Parc des Coutances and I was struck by these trees.  One marcescent- not planning on losing any leaves this winter, one, that didn’t finish shedding theirs before the snows came and then the two different conifers.  Colours and textures.

“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”
Khalil Gibran

We moved on towards what I once called my dog park because way back before we lost Mick, I used to get up much earlier and would end up meeting up with the ladies and their dogs around 8:30 am.  Those days are gone!  Maybe I’ll get back into an early to bed, early to rise rhythm one day.  Just not yet.  Was amused to see the two seasons mixed together.  A carpet of leaves on a rug of snow.  Or is it the other way around?

On we went towards the Parc de Provence, leading to our secret (hey, I’ll call it secret if I want to!) woodland path.  Upon entering the path, I was struck by the white branches against the blue wall.  How strange!  I have been down this path many times and never did I see a pure white branch like these.

We kept walking towards the centre of the pathway and I, again, saw a series of colours.  One grouping after another

Cutting through, we returned to the Park des Provences from another entrance and there, again… an unexpected duo of colours

Back to Parc des Coutances and this time it was a pop of yellow that caught my eye.

The anemic sun that was, was slowly disappearing and I could feel a chill so we picked up the pace towards home.

“One should be a painter. As a writer, I feel the beauty, which is almost entirely colour, very subtle, very changeable, running over my pen, as if you poured a large jug of champagne over a hairpin.”
Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Six, 1936-1941

Before getting making it to Parc Marguerite-A.-Tellier and that much closer to home, the skies darkened.

No wonder I felt so cold suddenly.

Just before crossing the boulevard towards home, this pop of red shouted at me.  Another caught by the snow before it could lose it’s petals!

Zeke was quiet for the rest of the evening.  The boy was spent.  Maybe the walk was too long?  I’ll have to ease him in more gently.  The boy is now 9 and probably felt like I do when I overdo it!

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

 

Walktober 2018

The deadline is nigh but I have made it!  October was the busiest one at the golf club I have ever experienced.  Totally nuts and I’ve the bruises and fatigue to show for it.  When there was a day I could have gone for my official Walktober Walk, I ended up doing other stuff, or the rains came or… never mind.  That’s all moot now, isn’t it, because I am here!  Thank you, Robin, for hosting this fun challenge!

Between making salsa and apple jellies, baking a ham and doing laundry, yesterday afternoon, the sun decided to shine right into my face, basically yelling at me to get off my duff and out there into the “wild”.  I had timed it to coincide with the sunset, to boot.

First, before leaving the house, I was stopped by both my dried hydrangeas and my vivid burning bush – getting close to spectacular…

Zeke was beyond excited and when I opened the trunk of the SUV, realised we were going on a REAL adventure.  Now, if only driving in a car did not make him puke…

We drove first to Marie-Victorin Park which has a decent view of Montreal and is right on the St.Lawrence River.

It is sad that I missed all the bright reds of autumn but there were little snippets of red here and there…

Zeke and I took a forbidden path – what?  It was a path obviously taken often!!  I was surprised to see a visible section of white across a bunch of birch trees.  Does the water go that high at times?  Seems rather much but, who knows?  At the end of the path we arrived at what frankly looks like a swamp.  Zeke, though tempted, refrained from jumping in the water.  He did look at me once and figured it would not be a good idea…

Making our way back the light had become particularly beautiful.  All became so soft and glowing.  I took a bunch more pics of the geese and noticed this seemingly suspended branch.  When I zoomed in, I could see a fishing hook twisted near the top… but felt this pic was more fun 😉

 

It was nearing five o’clock and sundown was at 5:53 so I decided to make my way to another park, closer to home.  I figured I’d be able to get some great shots of the sunset from there.  Back into the car and.  Traffic.  What the??  NOT an area where I was expecting any.  I wasted a good 25 minutes where it should have taken but 10.  Still.  We did make it in time to Parc La Freyère, in Boucherville.

The light was fading fast so apologies on the duck shot… I just couldn’t  seem to get a clear shot… (my story and I’m sticking to it!)

It seemed Mother Nature was NOT on my side as clouds refused to allow any spectacular sunset…

So, no sunset for me and my hands were frozen.  Back into the car for our return trip.  I decided to drive along Marie-Victorin street as it follows the river.  Oh man!  I had to stop, park in a side street and get out.  Sorry, Zeke, you’re staying in the car.  Back in a few!

I walked onto the warf for one last picture.

And called it a day.

Hope you enjoyed my Walktober walk from Longueuil to Boucherville!

A Friday Falter

I woke up this morning, at the ungodly hour (for me, as I work late and don’t get to bed till numpty o’clock) of 6:30 to a headache.  And a queasy stomach.   Decided to take Tylenol because they are not so harsh on the stomach and went back to bed.  Slept(ish) until about 10:30 and felt this headache was more along the lines of a migraine.  I don’t do migraines.  My sister unfortunately does, my mother used to big time, as did my late husband.  Me?  Not so much.  Popped two Advil Liquigels and lay down again. The rain was pelting against the window – I so love that sound.  Plus it made my room extra dark. But, I gave up by 11-30-ish, got up and felt a slight bit better.  At least the stomach was not so iffy.

I’m completely blaming last night’s event at work.  I worked the wine bar, which was fine, then the end-of-evening bar, which was also fine.  What was not so fine was the loudness of the music. It was ridonkulously LOUD.  After the speeches and celebrations of X many years of working with the company, the party officially started.  A party for 240 peeps, though there were less that showed and many who left after the awards…. There were also the flashing lights.  I’m not usually so susceptible to such noise and lighting but maybe I’ve been tired.  Or, maybe someone came to work with a gastro and passed the bug!  No, no, I’m fairly certain it’s not that.  When the last stragglers were still dancing about, I was able to snap a pic.  It had been quite pretty with all the lit-up vases and such.  Oh well.  When working, there is no time for photography and I should have taken them before the guests arrived but there was much to do in little time.

So, back to the state of my stomach and head… Poor Aidan had made himself a nice big thermos of Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup to bring to school.  There it was on the counter.  Hours after he left.  Sucks to be him.  Great to be me.  I poured some of the bouillon (broth, if you prefer) into a mug, sipped it.  Perfection.  Felt a thousand times better so I made myself a coffee.  I know, I know, that was pushing it but all was good.

Sipped my caffè while catching up on FF stories.  I then ate the rest of the soup while watching the conclusion of MasterChef – so glad Gerron won.  Considered taking a nap but frankly felt good enough to take the Zeke-meister out for a walk.  Thing I had not done in eons, it feels like.

Off Zeke and I went, towards one of the many parks.  To say he was excited, is to put it mildly.  When he sees me grab my camera bag, he becomes a basket case!

We made our way across the boulevard and to the passageway leading towards the park.  I can’t help but take pics of these weeds… they are just so pretty!

This house, with it’s waterfall garden in the front always fascinates me.

We continue on our way, and I was reminded of the pictures I have taken of various fences and benches and entrances for an eventual post, still sitting in my “pending” folder since forever.  I’ll have to look for them!  So I took this weird little wanna be fence

We finally get to the park and there is no one so I can let Zeke run around.  It was so windy but so very warm.  Very un-September 21st-like, that is for sure!  There is a water fountain that Zeke can drink from and we did take a sip.  I then took a seat as I realised I still was not up to par…  Looks like we would not go as far as Zeke would like.

Waiting patiently

Still, it was nice to get out and get some air.  And there is always tomorrow!

Daisies look so happy…

Oh, and since this afternoon’s walk, I have learned that our capital city and neighbouring Gatineau were bombarded with a major tornado.  Thus explaning all the wind and rain we are getting here right now.  It is a mere two hours away.

There is much devastation as this link can show you… I have friends and family in that area, most of whom have marked themselves safe.  I so hope everyone who hasn’t is.

 

Gratitude on a Monday – March 12, 2018

“Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation, It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life – this I know for sure.”
Oprah Winfrey, What I Know for Sure

I used to do my Sunday Gratitude, which then changed  to Weekend Coffee Share, which then became an occasional Weekend Share (because I had stopped participating in the Coffee one and when wanted to do it again, I realised no one was hosting it.   Mix in all of that my lack of stick-to-it-iveness and just plain laziness or easily-side-tracked-ness and you get one of these.  A Sunday share I started too late to finish on Sunday.  So had to change the title.  Again. 🙂  Welcome to my world of DADD Dale’s Attention Deficit Disorder.

In my defense (okay, okay, call it an excuse), François left Sunday for a two-week, sun-filled vacation.  Alone.  It was an already planned thing but I still spent part of my day moping and feeling all woe-is-me.  Then I spent another part of the day trolling the vacation websites, because, why not?  Why not also go away for a week to resource myself?  Then, I changed my mind and decided no…  save the moolah and go back to Tuscany in October.  Yeah, Baby.  Now, we’re talking!  We’re cooking with gas!  We have a plan!  And not just knee-jerk reaction brought on by envy.

Friday was my day to get things done.  Went to see Raffi to bring him our (the boys and mine) income tax papers and he did them right there on the spot!  The best.  I then went to my mother-in-law’s to empty her mailbox and collect any tax papers to bring to her accountant.  Did that but saw this beauty on my way.  I’ll definitely have to go back and get a better picture.  You know, when I’m NOT in my car.  Though I was not driving, I promise!

I then decided to go and visit Jean as my timing was good.  Saw this at another stop light.

Now I know we Canucks are a tough lot, and we Quebeckers really like to take advantage of clement weather, and all that… However.  It was only 4°C (40°F)!  These two must have had the heater blasting!!  Again, I was stopped at a stoplight 😉

Spent an hour with Jean, and she was happy for the visit.  She is much nicer in person than on the phone.  Did not once give me shit for “putting her there”.   She’s gonna get lucky with a second visit on her birthday with the boys later this month.  As traffic was going to be a bitch, when I left her at 4:30 I hightailed it to the Forum AMC Theatre, hoping to catch the 4:45 viewing of “Lady Bird”.  Managed to park inside, run up, get my tickets and buy myself a child’s portion of popcorn and drink (came with a little canister of m&m’s) for the ridonkulous price of $8.25, get a seat at the back and only missed the commercials and maybe the firest preview.  Woot!

I loved the movie.  Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe were great in their roles as daughter and mother.  A coming of age story that takes place in “no-where” Sacramento, California in 2002, it deals with the insecurities of pre-adulthood, of social class, of wanting more yet not ralising we love what we have until it’s gone.  That love-hate relationship that girls and mothers can share is something I’ve more heard about than experienced as my mother was (is) a very “non-invasive, figure-it-out-by-yourself” kind of mom.  At least from what I remember!  Will have to ask her.  Maybe I remember it wrong.  No wonder I’ll never be that type of writer who can describe in great detail their lives.  I’m so in the moment, I move forward and let go of what was.  Dunno if that’s a good thing or not.

Got home at 7 and ate some left-overs.   Vegged on the couch watching stuff I’d taped till a couple of Iain’s peeps came over .  Don’t know what was so funny but they were laughing up a storm.

They began playing drinking games and after a few, hailed me over to join them.  Not every day your son wants you around so you have to grab it when it comes!  First was some pyramid game where 10 cards are placed, ya, in a pyramid.  The rest of the deck is dealt to the players.  First card is flipped over, anyone with a matching card places it on top and names a person who takes a shot (or beer sip glug).  If you have two and give them both, the person takes two glugs.  Second row, same thing, one card is flipped only now each card is worth two and so on, going down to four.  That game turned out not too bad and the boys didn’t all pick on me and I was able to dish out a few myself.

They then decided I was the next “bus driver”, but took pity on my and only lay down 7 cards.  First card is flipped and I have to say if the next card in the deck is higher or lower than that one.  Jeez.  If you’re wrong, you take a glug and start over.  If you are right, you move the the next flipped card and do the same.  All is well as you go down the line and get them right but as soon as you make a mistake, it’s time for a shot and you START OVER!!  I did my part and figured enough was enough by 1 am.  Saluted the boys and I attempted to go to sleep.  They were still going strong at 3 am and I couldn’t sleep so I got up and wrote my Pegman Story!

On Saturday I woke up to big, fluffy, Christmas-like snowflakes.  Really? F*&?%!  Enough already.  It was pretty, I cannot lie… but. No.

After coffee and breakfast, Zeke and I made our way for a nice walk.  Always a good day for a walk as far as he is concerned.  On our way, I noted the hockey rinks are done for the season.  I decided we would go as far as my favourite willow.  I had stuff to do before François showed up so I couldn’t take more than an hour or so.

On our way back, we met Gus, an 8-yr-old Great Dane and Lou-Lou, a young pug.  So funny.  Zeke and Gus were getting to know each other and Lou-Lou was tugging at her leash, wanting to play with the big boys!  What a day to NOT have my camera.  Sigh.  I thought I caught a good pic of Gus and Zeke so we could compare their sizes but sadly, no.  However, got a good one with Gus and Lou-Lou and their humans!

And, because I like to torment you with food pics, I made Aidan really happy by announcing we were having Chinese Fondue for supper.  That’s one way to guarantee they (the boys) sit at the table for more than 15 minutes…

I think I’ve kept you longer than I should have.  But may I show you my new flooring, installed just this morning?  I’m telling ya, this house will be on the market by the end of the month!

Thanks for sticking to the end.  I promise next one won’t be so long (though I may have made that promise before, eh?)

A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful

31.  Giant snowflakes – even if they are in March
32. New flooring installed – one step closer
33. Being invited by my son to join him and his buddies
34. Fondue night – a time to chat while we cook our own food
35. Willow trees – they just make me happy

Disturbed to Centred

I am feeling disturbed.  Yes, I know, the video above is the Sound of Silence by Disturbed,  which is probably overplayed but I care not.  I love it.  And I also love the original. But today this is what I want. That type intensity that Simon and Garfunkel could never give.  They give me other stuff for another time.

I needed another walk today.  Had another sleepless night.  I swear, once all my mother-in-law shit is taken care of and my house has a “For Sale” sign, better yet, is SOLD, will I please, PLEASE sleep through the night?  I won’t be greedy… just a 6-hour stretch once in a blue moon without the need for any little sleeping or anti-anxiety pill.  Thank you, Universe.  I’m counting on you.

By the time I get my arse into gear, it is at least 1:30 pm.  No matter.  Time to get out!

Zeke and I made our way towards “my river”.  As we crossed the end of my street, less than a kilometre from home, we were hailed by Roxanne.  Lordy… When I saw her last summer, she was toting a little boy in a child’s seat on her bike.  A third son.  Today I found out the twins (I swear, born last year), Laurent and Logan are now 3 1/2 and Shawn (I didn’t ask the spelling) is going to be 2 on none other than my birthday!  How did that happen?  No, not my birthday date, the boys being so big so quickly.   We chatted, laughed with her mother (only 6 years older than me?  Wha??) who, I found out, has been divorced these past 5 years and thinks the dating life is over. Um. No.  Lady… get out there!  I told her she was the same age as my beau will be… Life is NOT over by a long-shot.  Gawd.  I hope I don’t get old before my time.

Kiss, kiss, and off to continue my walk.  I had been disturbed in my thought-process but not in a bad way nor by a long shot.  Was really nice to hook up with Roxanne.  Seriously.  She lives across the end of my street.  Life and all that.

I’m not yet feeling totally at one with the Universe when my cell rings.   Ugh.  Jean.  (Mother-in-law).

“Hello, Jean.”

“Is this Dale?”

“Yes, Jean, it is Dale.”

And then she starts.   “It’s your fault I’m in the hospital.”

“You’re not in the hospital, Jean, you’re in a home”

“Yes, it’s the third floor of the Jewish!”

“No, it’s the 3rd flo–”

“What did you do to make me come here?  I want to go home.  You have to get me out of here.  You put me here. You are so mean.”

I try to interject but frankly, she is not listening to me.  Doesn’t really matter what I say because she is totally convinced.

“The people here told me you put me in this place.”

I know she has dementia.  I know she is still in early stages so has moments of lucidity.  It doesn’t matter at all what I say because none of it will register.  Well, funnily enough, just like she was for the last 20 or so years, she registers what she wants to at times, I swear.  She was so aggressive, it took everything in my power not to tell her to take a long walk off a short pier.  Instead, I listened to her.  She complained I never visit.  I reminded her that I see her minimum twice per month whereas before we saw each other once per year.  Then her tone totally changed and she asked when I would come and visit her.  I said “tomorrow” and she said “ok”.   Tomorrow will be Monday because I can’t really tomorrow,  nor this week-end.  It won’t matter.  I’ll call her to say hello and she’ll ask me when I’ll come and visit her.  And I will say “tomorrow” and she will say “ok”.  I hang up and try to shake off the unpleasant feeling that has re-taken over my body.

We arrive at des Iles Percées park and I gaze at the marcescent oak trees.  There are two of them in this park.  Why do they keep their leaves in winter?  I’ve googled it more than once.  There is no official reason that can be proven but there are a lot of hypotheses.  Though other types do so also, it is more of an “oak thing”.  Year after year, these two oaks refuse to drop their leaves.  At this point, I’m thinking I will write a post linking my mother-in-law’s memory loss with these trees.  So manymemories are still stuck to her but others flutter to the ground with the slightest gust of wind.  It is so hard.  I can’t even imagine what she is going through.  I so hope I never do.  It is a scary thought as there is Alhzheimer’s in my family.  My great-grandmother and one of my great-aunts had/have it.  My uncles died too young to know if they would have, my aunt, who just passed at age 81 had no signs and my aunt and mother seem to be ok.  I’ll be exempt.  Right?

As Zeke and I finally reach the park where I discovered “my” river, I’m feeling myself again.   The closer we get, the more I hear the kids yelling.  Dang.  It must be recess.  I choose to go to the west (I think!) bank of the river to avoid them.  Zeke loves kids and I don’t want to have to leash him.  Walking through the dirty  sno-cone-textured snow, I’m thinking I have the wrong boots.  Some of it makes its way in.  I let it melt.  I then, however, carefully place my feet in the already sunken steps taken by another (who hopefully had higher boots than I!)  I tried to capture the texture of the snow…sorry!  So hard to get a good pic on this sunless day!

I hear the bell as we approach the river and think, Yay, recess is over!  Nope. Somehow it was the official recess start bell so the rest of the kids came out.  We remained on the west side for a bit.  The sound of a river flowing is so soothing to me. I took a video (shared on Instagram) and this great pic of Zeke waiting patiently for me.

We walk all the way to the end and turn back.  The recess bell rings once again so we make our way across the little bridges and onto the east side.  Why do I insist on coming to this side?  Because it’s nicer!  I so enjoy taking pictures of this little river.  OK. OK!  It’s just a stream!  Still… It is called Ruisseau Sabrevois and goes through Parc Bois de Brouage, next to the de la Broquerie School.  But for all intents and purposes, I shall continue to call it “My river”, OK?  OK.  Where was I?  Yes, on the east side.  For some strange reason, the water sounds so much more thunderous on this side.  Drowns out any and all thoughts as I sit there, in that sno-cone snow, getting wetter and wetter (thank goodness for snowpants, is all I can say) and feeling freer and freer.

Before the wet seeps all the way through, I decide it’s time to make my way back.  By now I am feeling centred once again.  Leftover pici, a quick shower and a Skype chat with Rochelle and I sit down to write this post!  Iain announces he will make supper but “snacks” at 5:00 pm with a Kimchi bowl and a Ristorante pizza.  Right.  And what the hell time will he be ready for supper? (Really, Rog?  You had a bowl of pasta at like, 3:00 pm?  You can’t be in any rush to eat supper, can you?)

So, here I am, just before 7:00 pm, writing this post when my cell rings.  It’s my neighbour’s (ok, 5 houses down, neighbour) alarm company telling me they are dispatching a police cruiser as their alarm went off.  I tell them I shall go see what’s up and let them know.  Right.  Put on my boots and coat, grab their house key and off I go.  Waitaminute… is that wise?  What if there IS someone in the house?  Who am I to go snooping?  OK. Breathe.  This is CANADA.  I get there, the house is dark and silent.  I open the gate to the backyard, see no footprints towards the back door.  I call the company and tell them all is quiet and ask should I go in?  Get some inane, “Well, should we cancel the police?” answer.  How the fuck should I know?  I decide to put my on big-girl pants and open the door, turn off the alarm and go in.  All is quiet.  A walk around the main floor confirms there is nothing to worry about.  Hey, did the grandkids put all those stickers on the patio door?  Cute.  Gonna have to mention it to Parvin.  I tell the dispatcher to cancel the police, reset the alarm, lock up and leave.  False alarm.  I can breathe.

Get home and realise that Iain is too busy chilling with Luca so I make a quick pasta using his sauce.  Add some pancetta, chopped veg, his sauce and toss with pasta shells.  Voilà!  Supper at “l’heure des riches” (Rich people time) at 8:00 pm!

Come back to my post but end up chatting with my new buddy Marc(o) from Sorryless.   We have become fast friends (thank you, Frank!)  and chat about anything and everything.  He writes divinely and is very encouraging to me as well as being just the right amount of nudge.  Yes, I will find someone to tape my cooking videos!

The day has come to a close, it is almost midnight.  I don’t feel as disturbed and maybe I’m not fully centred but I am definitely working my way towards it.