Done and Done and… What’s Next?

I am, in general, an excellent starter.  Finisher? Not so much.  Not that I don’t finish anything – each of my parents and my grandmother got a needlepoint I made for each of them.  My grandmother has one because she had the bright idea of taking up needlepoint but instead of buying herself a nice little 4″ X 6″ as a starter, bought a big-ass one (like 18″ X 24″ or is it 24″ X 36″). She figured her granddaughter (me) would teach her how to do it.  Easy-peasy. After doing one one-inch square (too tight, by the way), she gave it to me with a “I don’t have the patience for this!” So I did it and then gave it back to her for Mother’s day. My mother’s contribution was to pay for the framing.  She wrote on the back “To be returned to Dale upon my death”. Well, Mémère died twelve years ago and my aunt lives in the house now.  When she tried to give it back to me, I told her to keep it.  When she sells, we’ll determine what to do with it then.

As usual, I have detoured to China on my way to New York…

So. Back to the reason for this post. Today marks my 365th day, like, in a row (sorry, David, had to steal it!) of doing my 10,000 steps per day.  10K steps.  Every. Day.  The funny thing is, I didn’t decide when I started this on January 3, 2020, to do it for one year.  I actually decided to start it on a Sunday (simply to avoid starting it on the first of the year), and merged it with the 68-day challenge they do at work, which started on the Monday.  Two birds, one stone.  But then a funny thing happened.  The last day of the work challenge came and went and I was still on a mission.  I don’t know when hey, let me try to do this for a whole year came to be but suffice it to say, that it did. And I did it. I had my cheerleader and co-participant Marc, who actually had been doing 10K per day for months before I started and just joined in, determined to keep me company till the end. Thank gawd.  There were days where his “Go, Q, Go” was the difference between planting my butt on the sofa and getting out there.  I like to think there were days where I did the same for him.

I’ve gone from running in intervals of one minute run/one minute walk, for 10-16  sets to one 1:45 run, one minute walk, for 10-16 sets or plus.  I have also gone from doing increasing (by fifteen seconds) intervals starting at one minute run up to one two minutes and back with one minute walk in between each to 1:45 up to 2:45 and back with the one minute walk between each – that makes for a 47:15 total run/walk Pretty damn good as I was never a runner. 100 metre sprint? No problem. Run just to run? Not so much. So this gradual increase has been something I’m rather proud of.  I shall not be quitting any time soon and shall keep trying to increase my run times.

I’ve been chased by dogs and almost run over by absent-minded driver doing an “American stop”. I’ve run in the rain and on snow and in ridiculous heat and pretty frigid cold.  I’m still rather surprised at myself, that I did all that, tell you what.

I had a little minor surgery on my back to remove a chunk of fat called a lipoma on December 15th.  The surgeon asked me to not run for a few days.  Which turned into two weeks because the weather just wasn’t conducive to running – I don’t do slush/ice/snow which hides ice/ridiculous cold, etc.  So I walked outside and marched inside while watching episodes of shows.  Sometimes my steps went way over the goal and other times I just barely made it. I’ve had a few times where I prepare to go to bed, check my steps and gasp! Still have 1500 or so to go… March, march, march! Then sleep.

Saturday I was finally able to run, opting for the 1:45/1:00 X 14 sets for a total of 40 minutes 45 seconds (all my runs include a 15 sec prep and a two-minute cool-down.)  I also had to change routes as the only place I was pretty much guaranteed asphalt was on the main drags – not a pretty place to run.  Not a pretty day at all. We haven’t seen the sun in ages.

There was a lot of internal dialogue going on. A LOT.  The first set I thought, this is gonna be hell.  By set number five, I was convincing myself that I would go to six and turn around. 12 sets was nothing to be ashamed of.  By the sixth, I saw I was a ways from the overpass so why not go to seven as planned? It’s not like I would have to run up the damn thing. The photo does not do it justice. It’s the type of slope that even by bike, you want to speed up before the climb because by the top, your thighs are burning.  The voice in my head changed to Marc’s.  “You’ve got this, Q.  Last run day. FINISH STRONG.” I lost count for which set I was back on my return.  The Universe’s way of encouraging me to just keep on.  No point in quitting now.  When I hit the curve, I knew I’d soon be seeing my street. Yay! One more hurdle and done and done!

January 2, 2022, was my last day of my challenge.  I was awakened by the incessant sound of snowploughs going to and fro. First the streets, then the sidewalks, then my driveway, then the streets again…. I got the message and got out of bed!  A couple coffees, a late breakfast and I bundled up and headed out just as the snow was slowing down.

Almost as soon as I stepped out, I found myself in a snow globe.  What a perfect day to end my challenge!

What’s my next challenge?  Not sure yet. Will keep you posted!

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #238 – Familiar

Yesterday turned out to be way lazier than I had planned. Don’t you just love that?  Well, I do, anyway 🙂

So it may not be the weekend but hey, does it really matter?  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. Thank you, Sammi, for hosting!

 

wk 238 familiar

 

Why don’t you run on a different route? they ask. Aren’t you tired of the same-old, same-old? Don’t you want to see something different?

What they don’t understand is there is something special that happens when you choose the familiar.  Rather than not see what is there, you notice every little change.  There is a shift in light as the seasons morph from one to another and nothing looks the same. I  am in continuous awe of it all.

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 idea.  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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Those Perfect Moments

A random, everyday drive.  Nothing special.  Nine o’clock in the morning. On my way to the post office as I do every Thursday or so since lockdown to pick up the company mail before making my way to the office.  Only this morning, as I left the house CBC Music was playing a version of Debussy’s Claire de Lune by Janina Fialkowska.  So gorgeous.

As I drove down the street that runs along City Hall Park, I could see the two huge weeping willows (not mine that I am forever claiming) waving in the wind.  They seemed to sway in time with the music – the point in the music, about two or so minutes into it.  Perfection.  I had this feeling of peace settle over me in the most beautiful way.

I continued onto the post office but this music and that image were still with me, so before making my way to the office, I just had to stop at this park and walk along the path that winds through it,

then across the newly fallen snow so I could get the proper angle of one of the trees, still blowing in the chill morning air.

It truly is all about the simple things in life, isn’t it?

 

 

Le Trois Fait le Mois

Le trois fait le mois, si le cinq ne le défait pas

                                ~ old proverb

It means:  The third determines the month, if the fifth doesn’t reverse (or undo) it.

I can’t explain why they use this particular expression, especially in March, except that this is the craziest month of the year. Don’t try to talk me out of it!  It’s like a teenager with all their hormones outta wack.  Monday, March 1st, was a glorious day, here on the south shore of Montreal. Meltage was happening, mini lakes were forming, the temps were above freezing.  You could smell spring was in the air.  Of course, that also meant lots of muck! But it was a wonderful 4ºC (40ºF) – now, to some of you not used to this, you might think it’s cold. Nay. Not to us.

And then, that very same night, just as I was heading for bed, the winds picked up ferociously.  Things were banging on the roof, against the house – I was sure I was going to wake up to a yard full of debris.  Nope.  Just my shovels in the middle of my driveway.  But boy did that wind bring a bitter, go-to-your-bones cold.  What in the blessed fuck?  The type of cold that makes your jacket crinkle, your nostrils stick together and you wonder if you’ve been teleported to the South Pole. Or North Pole. Both – at the same time. (Yeah, I stole this from you, Marc 😉 ).  I dunno what happens to the human body.  You get a couple of mild days and suddenly you turn into a solid wimp when the temps dip down to -28ºC (-18ºF).

By the way, it was too damn cold to take a picture, so these will have to do!  (Friday’s moon)

Wednesday morning dawns (and this was the day this post was to go up because it was the third, but yanno… life and all that) and it’s snowing. But not just any snow. The snow globe kinda snow.  So Zeke and I took a morning before work walk.

Lunchtime came around and out I went again because steps to be had!  The sun was shining and the temperature was just right.  I made my way down to the Parc du Bois de Brouage to “my” river.  I stepped as close to the little bridge-like stone walkway as I felt was safe, and clicked away. And then it wasn’t.  Through the crust I went. Up to above my ankles… and I was wearing hiking boots – that go up to your ankles. Boot full of water. Cold water. Friggen cold water. Turns out it was time to turn back home anyway… a twenty-minute walk.  OY!

Not one to cry over things, I sloshed-stepped-sloshed-stepped my way home, changed my socks (amazed I could still feel my ankle) and made myself my lunch. I didn’t quite have my steps come five o’clock so closed up the work computer and back out I went! The sun was such a show-off and turned Zeke golden! He’s been loving the fact I bring him out twice per day for short walks.  Those hips are not getting any younger but his enthusiasm is still there. For short wslks, anyway.

What did Thursday bring?  More cold. More wind. Ugh. I did manage to get out there for a morning and after-work walk with Zeke and at lunch, it got cut short when I ran into a friend and we jibber-jabbered.  It wasn’t as horrible as Tuesday but far from lovely like Monday.

Yesterday? Cold. More cold. -7ºC – feels like -15ºC (19ºF feels like 5ºF). As a native Montrealer, this is not really that bad. But for some strange reason, after the mild that we had?  It feels so cold! Plus the wind was rather not fun and tried to pierce through – nothing like Tuesday.  Still, optimist that I am, I did enjoy the blue of the sky and captured the noon moon.

Which brings us to today.  March 5th.  Seems like we have a cold month ahead of us if we believe that old proverb mentioned at the top.  Went for my morning walk with Zeke. -11ºC feels like -20ºC (12ºF feels like -4ºF).   And it’ll only warm up by a couple of degrees come time for my noontime walk. Sigh.

Even Zeke is discouraged.

I hate March.  Only good thing about it, is the last day… coz that’s the day Iain came into the world.  The rest?  The cold, the muck, the cold, the major snowstorms – ever notice some of the major doozies happen in March?

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #156 – Home

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.

Wow. Congrats to Sammi for doing this prompt for three years already!  Looking forward to what’s to come!

There is always that one house on the block where people congregate. As kids, it is the meet-up or the hang-out place – if the mom says it is okay – and if she says ‘no’ today, it will not stop you from coming back tomorrow. There is nothing obviously special about this house. It is like everyone else’s in size and shape and number of rooms. And yet, the kids know. Here, they are welcome. Here, they can be kids, and whether related or not, will be yelled at if they get too much. Here, they feel like they belong, part of a family. Here, this is not a house. It is a home.

Mine.

 

 

I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

****

Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia

 

 

 

Rainbows, Smiles and Sunday Everyday

My last day of quarantine was yesterday. Thank goodness because, much as I am quite creative in the kitchen, I was starting to worry that things would turn drab as I was running low on pretty much everything.  You see, my family and I were fortunate to go on a cruise together. (Post about it to follow soon as I kinda got distracted on my return, for some reason.)  Yes, there was talk but it was faint and precautions were taken upon boarding and we sanitized everywhere we went so we felt pretty outside of the situation. Till we hit New York. Waiting for our plane the drone overhead was relentless as were all the TV screens.  We thought, shit… what the eff is going on?

Took it easy on Tuesday (11th) and worked Wednesday through Friday, receiving the stink-eye from a couple of the cooks.  Sorry, mates. We were not told to self-quarantine.  Until we were.  On Saturday, my boss called me to ask me to stay home just as I was texting him to say I had to stay home for two weeks from the arrival date, meaning, until the 23rd. All good.

I try to go out daily with Zeke for a walk, choosing less populated streets of which there are many.  Distances are kept and every “hello” is not only received but returned with a smile, to boot.  No one tries to get in ayone else’s space and that is fabulous. There are a few “rainbows in windows” campaigns going on and I have seen the proof. It is precious and beautiful to see. Most are handmade and even if not, who cares? It’s a lovely way of uniting us.

Speaking of uniting, it’s a mixture of disconcerting and heartwarming to see all the cars parked in the driveways, making every day seem like a Sunday, with people walking about, cycling, playing hockey (I had to assume this was a family who lives together).  You can see the distance between groups or individuals – a good sign that rules are being respected.

This last image was taken shortly before the ambulance arrived. You can see a person sitting on the ground with one helping her while others look like they want to go close to help (or snoop) but don’t dare – a good thing at this time.  I hope it was nothing serious.

In some places, I have finally seen signs of spring flowers working their way out of the frozen ground!  Not at my house just yet, but still. And, I’m surprised this photo turned out as it was so bright outside, I could not see a darn thing!

Speaking of every day being like a Sunday, that includes Sunday meals en famille, of which we have not been able to partake in a dog’s age because we all work different shifts and most of the time are at work when it should be suppertime. Sundays especially.  Soooo… with my “Empty the fride/freezer/pantry” campaign, I was doing a bang-up job…

Which brings me back to my opening paragraph.  Now that I was allowed to go shop, I did.  All in one fell swoop as I do not want to have to go out and expose myself more than necessary until it is necessary.  I was pleased to see that Costco had organised the lines – and were counting how many they let in: one goes out, one allowed in, keeping the numbers at, well, I don’t know how many, but judging by the space in there, it was quite low.  However, as you can see below, the peeps in front of me were certainly NOT keeping six feet between them.  I did and let the guy behind me know when he was in my bubble.

Got my goods and the staff did no bagging so I figured, no big whup, once I get to my car, I’ll do it there.  However. DISASTER! My case of beer was on the cat food bag and, unbenownst to me, and slipped forward until CRASH! It fell to its side and made like the Caesar’s Palace Fountain Show only sans lights and music!  I got a good beer shower as I righted the damn thing and waited as it did its thing. A kind samaritan gave me a half roll of paper towels and said he hoped I was thirsty. Um… These cans are 500 ml (17 oz) each!  Even if all six, yes, SIX, of them emptied half-way, that represents 1.5 l (3 pints) of beer – Not saying I couldn’t if push came to shove but yanno… it was a “bit” much and plus, they were room temp. So. I put a couple in the fridge and drank them – they were flat by then. Blech. and the rest is put aside for more beer bread…

Victims, a sad state of affairs.

After the horror of putting all my stuff away into the car, I had two more stops to make.  Some fruit and herbs and stuff that I can’t get at Costo. And what up, peeps? Has everyone decided to bake their own bread?  Not an ounce of flour to be found at either store I went to. And fuggedabout yeast… Yep. Looks like I’ll be making more beer bread should I run out of the store bought one.

The snow started to fall ever so lightly during my last stop.  The boys helped me empty my car and put away the groceries. By then, forget about cooking. I was spent and it became leftover time. And we had a variety (see above).

I was settled into an evening of watching “Lion” when I got a text from Linda: “Yo, Outside your window.”  Took a peak and waved, then opened the door, shouted for her to hang on, I’d get redressed and join her – yes, yes, six feet apart – with Zeke.  It was a winter wonderland!

Neither of us was upset with the snowfall. We know that March snows never last.  This was just about the prettiest snowfall we had all winter!  Of course, it’s officially Spring, so that must be it.

Nothing lasts forever…

 

 

 

Walktober – St. Helen’s Island and Marie-Victorin Park

It’s October and that means it is time for Robin’s Walktober!  I had plans. Big plans. Was gonna go to St. Helen’s Island on one day (okay, that part I did, but not as much as I wanted to) and the next day was going to go to Mount Royal in Montreal (which didn’t happen because I was just too damn lazy to get up and out of the house early enough). So instead of crossing the bridge and half the island of Montreal to get to Mount Royal, Zeke and I just went to the next town over as there is a lovely area by the St. Lawrence River in the town of Longueuil, called Marie-Victorin Park, we enjoy walking along.

Actually, I am totally going to cheat here. Yep. Imma combine THREE walks, adding in Parc de la Frayère in Boucherville because I got some amazing shots that I want to share with you. And this walk did take place in October.  I do hope you don’t mind…

On October 5th, Zeke and I went to the Parc de la Frayère (which means spawning ground park) for a sunset walk. For once the stars were aligned, or rather, the sky was clear and I was able to take advantage of the golden hour followed by the sunset.

Yesss! We parked, went right to see if maybe, just maybe the heron was hanging about and he was. I did catch a little black duck but that photo is a tad dark as well.  So we turned around towards the little bridge when I spotted the moon between the trees

A half-pie slice of moon.  Crossing the bridge, we made our way towards the water’s edge and were rewarded by a woods tinged with gold.

Even Zeke took on a golden hue

The sun then put on a spectacular show and it was difficult to NOT inundate you with a bazillion pics…

Satisfied, Zeke and I climbed back into the car but I glimpsed a little marina on my return and had to stop. (Sorry, Zeke, you stay in the car for a minute or so…)

I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to share, so you get two.

October 8 was a Tuesday and the first of my two days off that week.  Into the car we went and off to St. Helen’s Island between the south shore and Montreal. There are so many things to see but we stayed within one little section.  It was a glorious day with the bluest of skies and brightest of colours all around.

Up the steps for a nice view.  I took this angle of the Tour de Lévis (built in the 1930’s, usually we have access to the steps inside bringing us to the top where we can have a spectacular view of Montreal and surroundings) but now gated shut for repairs

We walked along the lovely leaf-strewn trails (seriously? a construction cone? are there no construction-free zones in all of the province?) and then down a hill past this huge boulder. I loved how the moss draped over it.

We walked some more and whoa! I have been on this island countless times and have never ended up here. And if I did and don’t remember it then I must have been otherwise preoccupied. A little oasis in the middle of seemingly nowhere.

 

I let a friend know I was in his neighbourhood so we ended up going to his backyard to have a beer before heading home. The view from the communal backyard is lovely.

As mentioned at the start of this walk post, Wednesday was supposed to be a totally different walk but I hemmed and hawed and took my time – so much so that the idea of driving into Montreal no longer appealed to me. Plus the sky was not quite as blue so, I decided to go to another lovely park in the city of Longueuil. This is also along the St. Lawrence River so we had a chance of seeing geese, ducks or simply lovely trees.

The entrance of the park has this… thing. There are no signs and I have no clue what it is.

As I walked towards the official path, my eyes were drawn to this bright red…

And then the entrance to the park

There were a couple of ducks but the light was shite and they were far and I took ’em anyway. Thank goodness for PicMonkey to play with settings.

We walked along and I was struck the by colours… yellows, reds, sticking up out of nowhere.

We kept on walking and arrived at this easily walked into water… which Zeke, as per, did not hesitate to enter. Which is fine because I had arrived at a busy section with some sort of seagull (I think) and a heron.  While Zeke played in the water, he didn’t disturb the birds or me!

The seagull was busy fishing and every time he’d dive down to pick at a fish he’d caught, his wings would flap. I took so many photos but will not bore you with more than two 😉

And then Bob (for you, Mr. Paxson) was standing there waiting for me.  I took pictures as I got closer and closer with the intent – I know, I am mean – of hoping he would fly away and I could attempt to capture him in flight…. I got my desire.

I was pretty pleased with myself even though I felt a tad guilty.

There is a wonderful new overpass that has been rebuilt after an unfortunate accident – a dump truck with its dumper raised hit it and it smashed it.  My sons and I were on our way to the movies and never made it because we were stuck in the traffic it caused. I wrote about it here.

It is quite spectacular at night and I have promised myself to go there and cross it.  But till then, here is the view during the day.  It was built specifically for bicycles and pedestrians.  Zeke and I planned on going to  the top to see the view. Unfortunately, once we got to the second floor, the stairs were metal teeth-like things and poor Zeke tried the first four. I couldn’t let him go up so I told him to stay on the landing whilst I went up. I don’t usually get the willies but you can see through the stairs and my stomach did flip-flops. Since when am I such a wuss?

It was time to go home and the golden hour was arriving. Walking back I noticed there were crabapples and had I a sac, I would have filled it. (Thief that I am.)

I hope you enjoyed my walk and didn’t find it too long! I apologize. I got somewhat carried away.  Should you want to join in, the link is above on Robin’s name.

 

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.