Ask For Directions – Friday Fictioneers

I am very happy to say I am typing this from a real computer, not an iPad, at my desk, surrounded by boxes and boxes and boxes… Seriously.  How many books and bobbles do I have, already?

Instead of “doing the right thing” and emptying said boxes and placing the books I shall be keeping into the bookshelves, I find myself much happier writing my little memoir and sharing it with you, lovely readers.  A huge thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this party, coming up with fabulous stories herself (sometimes two!) each and every week.  As well, we cannot do a photo prompt without a photo, so, shout out to Kent Bonham for this week’s pic.

To participate, just click on the blue frog and you will be brought to the lineup of a bunch of fabulous writers, each one give us a different story.  Try it, you’ll like it!

©Ken Bonham

Genre:  Humourous Memoir

Word count:  Toujours 100

Ask For Directions

 

“The stupid signs for the 417 have disappeared!  Now, where do we go?”

“Hang on, lemme see…”

“Dammit!  I’m stopping to ask for directions again.”

“We have stopped three times already.  I cannot believe we get lost every single time we drive through Ottawa!  This is ridiculous!”

 

I watched Mick wipe his brow with the back of his hand.  It was minus 37ºC, the car window was open and he was sweating like a horse.

 

“You are ridiculous, you know that?  We could never participate in Amazing Race!  Every time we’d get lost, you’d freak out!”

“I know, Rog, I know.

***

Mick could not stand being lost.  I teased him mercilessly about it.  Once, I went on a “by-myself-weekend”.  When I came back, I told him:  “Know what I did while I was out in the Townships?  I took a road that I had no clue where I would end up!”   Needless to say, he responded with a “hardy-har-har…”

Wait For Us! – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, dear Readers.  Hope your first day of Summer is filled with sunshine (for those of you in the northern hemisphere, that is) or at least, like me, with bits and spurts of sunshine between showers!  If you are in the southern hemisphere, hopefully your first day of winter is nice and mild.

We are once again gathered for a weekly 100-word story-telling session from folks all ’round the world.  Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.  And if you don’t, well that’s okay too.

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping all us ducks in a row and this week, thank you to Ted Strutz for a photo that brought me back a few years to an event that is quite a memorable one.  Sadly I can only give you bits and spurts but let me assure you, the longer version is a hoot and a half.  Hopefully this one still comes through as funny.

Should you wish to participate, then by all means, click on Rochelle’s name and get the hows and whys and if you just want to read more stories, then click on the blue frog.

Get the Code

Copyright © Ted Strutz

Genre:  Remembery (yes, I decided to call it that)

Word count:  100 – always

Wait For Us!

After spending the day in Sint Maarten, we gave ourselves 60 minutes to return the Jeeps and make our way to the cruise ship.

Traffic jam!  In “downtown” Philipsburg?  Really?  Over the walkie-talkie, Sébastien said,  “If I make a move, will you follow?”

“Right”, said Mick, “Follow!  You’re crazy! We’re not even moving!”

“Just follow me!”

Movie-like, Sébastien, shifted to the left onto the sidewalk and drove past the traffic jam, pedestrians scattering in all directions.

We three families followed, dropped off the Jeeps and ran like crazy up the pier.

“Wait for us!!!” we yelled before the ship pulled away.

The Inheritance – Friday Fictioneers

Good afternoon, dear readers!  Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Fictioneers.  A challenge, to be sure, to tell a whole tale in 100 words or less.  It is doable.  Truly.  I’ve been participating for over a year now.  It’s a lot of fun.  Our fearless leader Rochelle sends us a photo and man, you would not believe how many directions one image can take in the hands of all these diverse writers.  It’s great.  This week, we needs must acknowledge J. Hardy Carroll for supplying this image.

Should you wish to participate, click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs – truly, not complicated… A full story, beginning, middle and end in 100 words or LESS.  Acknowledge the photographer and Bob’s your uncle!

Now, still too shy to play?  Click on Ze bleu grenouille to check out other stories.  Ya never know, you just may be inspired to try it yourself!  G’head!  Give it a try!

Get zee inLinkz Code

Genre:  Fiction (Wishful Thinking?  A girl can dream, non?)

Word count:  Toujours 100 exactement

The Inheritance

The phone rang at 6:00 a.m.

“Bonjour, Monsieur Fred.  Zis eez Notaire Bluteau from France.  Your great oncle Tom ‘as passed away and you are ze sole beneficiary”.

“Me?  Uncle Tom lived in France?”

“Oui, oui, Monsieur.  Not only zat, ‘ee owned a vineyard in Provence and you are now ze propriétaire!  You must come to sign ze papers, as soon as possible.”

Excited beyond belief, Fred made his way to Châteaux Pompom in Arles to see his fabulous inheritance.

Vines as far as the eye could see, totally overrun with weeds; a house, right, so, at least he had land!

#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

 

 

Dancing About – Friday Fictioneers

A little late for me this week.  Having fun playing tour guide with my friend Alison, from Louisiana, who is in town for a few days.  Trying to ensure I do a good job of it, trying to fix my water woes, dealing with fans that are rattling my house in their attempts to dry it out, and I’m supposed to write?  Of course!  I don’t like missing my weekly dose of Friday Fictioneers so here I am!  Thank you, always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple for herding us cats every week and keeping us in line.  And this weeks photo is brought to you by Magaly Guerrero.  Thank you Magaly!

Do join in this fun.  It is quite addictive!  Click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs, and, if you’re not yet ready to write but would like to read more interpretations, do click on the frog!

Get inLinkz code

Genre:  Fiction

Word count – 100 always!

DANCING ABOUT

You know I appreciate you, right?

Mmmhmm

And I never take you for granted, either.

Yup

You have skills that I find remarkable.

Uh-huh

No one does what you do any better, that’s for sure.

Right

And I think you’re worth way more than you give yourself credit for.

Okay

Seriously, I think you should–

Enough!  If you don’t stop dancing around the issue, whatever it is you want to ask me, the answer will be NO!  Spit it out already!

 

He stared at her, blinking, in shock.

 

I…., ahhh…. wanted to ask if you’d iron my shirt for me.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Sugar Shack, Taxes

Welcome dear friends, to another epsisode of Weekend Coffee Share or If we were having coffee… hosted by the lovely Emily over at Nerd in the Brain.  To join in on the fun, just click on the box above which will bring you to her site and the linkup!

If we were having coffee, cappuccino, lattè, tea or whatever your heart desires (we are quite accommodating over here at Casa Rogerson/MacIsaac) I would say, please do come in, make yourself comfortable and let’s get our chat on!

I would tell you my week started with a nice visit from Tonia who managed to get a weekend away from basic training (she started week 1o this week!)  Kudos to this woman who joined the military at age 50 and is whupping a lot of 20-somethings’ butts!!  Thank goodness for Facebook and me seeing her post Saturday night that she was waiting for one of her friends at the Starbucks – a whole two minutes from my house!  I, of course, messaged her and made arrangements to pick her up the next morning.  It was wonderful hearing about all her exploits of running with a bazillion pounds on her back and being considered one of the Bad Asses of Training!

I would tell you that following my coffee with Tonia, my friend Martin picked me up so we could join a bunch of his friends to partake in a fabulous Quebec tradition called the Sugar Shack or rather, Cabane à sucre, en français.  Yes, I know they do something sorta similar in Vermont and such but over here, it is a feast.  Not for the lettuce crowd is all I can say…   Over here, you get to sample the down-to-earth true Québécois fare.  Stick-to-your-gut eats made for the working man (and woman, of course!)  This is a traditional spring-time affair.  It’s time to celebrate when the sap from our sugar maples is flowing and maple syrup becomes the nectar of the gods (at least to us!)

The feast is basically the same, no matter which Shack you go to.  It is a very traditional meal.  Of course there are places like Le Pied de Cochon that are out-of-this-world-crazy and zero anything to do with tradition.  The waiting list is ridiculous to get in, and yes, one day I will try it!  But even there, the seating is always the same.  Long tables that you share with other groups or families.  Rustic decor – if there are no wooden seats, bare beams, wood walls… hightail it outta there!  It’s not authentic!  You do not want some place that is all shiny and white and pristine.  Oh, and expect mud.  Lots of mud outside.  These place are always set deep in the woods to be close to their trees and definitely do not include asphalt.

That said, there is nothing like having the standards.  We went to the Érablière Charbonneu, listed in the top five.   Do click on the link.  I stupidly didn’t take any pictures of the food.  D’oh!

They all start off with pickled beets and pickles (either sweet or salty) and coleslaw, cretons (a fatty, delicious pork spread) with hot bread, followed by delicious pea soup.  Then comes the smorgasbord of stuff:  fluffy plain omelette, ham (regular and/or smoked), sausages cooked in maple syrup, bacon, “oreilles de crisse” (deep-fried pork jowels), bacon, baked beans, meat pie, ragoût de boulettes (pork meatballs in brown gravy), roasted potatoes.  And all served with the Cabane’s own maple syrup – poured liberally over whatever one likes.  All very, ahem, “light” and “low-calorie” fare. NOT!  This is obviously a once-per-year treat… or in my case, it had been over ten years since my last visit.

Now, that said, the BEST part – the reason Sugar Shacks came into existence, in the first place, was to boil down the sugar water until it becomes syrup.  Boil it down further and it becomes super thick… pour it onto snow and it hardens and becomes taffy.  Oh man… slurp!  Most Cabanes will have their taffy station set up outside with a roof to protect the pourers from the elements.  In this case, the taffy was in a separate little shack complete with fireplace.  Lucky for the employees!  I took a photo of my stick but didn’t realise it was totally out of focus… Must be a result of the overeating that you always promise yourself you will NOT do but cannot help yourself…

Monday’s coffee with Andrea turned into breakfast as neither one of us had eaten.  That was a nice treat!  We have determined that we are due for a girls’ get outta town something like a spa or a visit to Quebec City just for the day or whatever.  That will definitely be something we’ll be planning.

Tuesday I had to go visit the accountant.  Thank goodness for Raffi, my accountant.  For years I used to do my own taxes.  Then Mick started his company and things got too complicated for moi.  So, thanks to Armen (Mick’s business partner), he was introduced to Raffi.  And since he was doing Mick’s taxes, it was nothing to add mine.  Now the company is finally closed though there are still a few issues to iron out.   It is so long and complicated to close a company after death and I’m still getting invoices to pay taxes and stuff for Mick.  More than two years later!  Hopefully this is the last year to deal with this…

Wednesday and Thursday I worked at the golf club.  The banquets themselves went really well but I swear, I feel like a part-time mover sometimes!  We had to reorganise the room on Wednesday evening for Thursday’s event and then on Thursday, after the event, we had to move all the tables and chairs to line against the walls in the restaurant and all onto the dance floor in the banquet room.  Somehow I found the energy to make not one but two chicken thigh meals – oops… forgot to take pictures to torment you with 😉  Needless to say, I deserved a nice, hot bath by Wednesday evening…  A massage would have been nice but, alas…

Yesterday I managed to do all my laundry and vacuum the upper floor… the rest of the day, I must admit I pretty much faffed:  read Friday Fictioneer submissions and comments to my own story, chatted on-line with friends, watched some boob tube… and then… oy!  Besides, it was eldest’s 19th birthday party and he was expecting friends.  Why the hell should I bother cleaning the floor BEFORE they come in?  I escaped the house and caught the 10:10 viewing of Beauty and the Beast.  Needless to say, I have a variety of tunes totally stuck in my head since…   I figured if I caught the later showing, the party would have moved on to another venue by the time I got home.

Wrong.

It was in full swing at 12:30 a.m. And.  I came home to THIS.

Needless to say, I am not pleased.  I admit I may have snarled at him, grabbed myself a beer and gone up to my room, slamming the door (yes, I know, totally childish, but I figured it was better than taking a swing at him… 😉 ) to watch an episode of something on Netflix on my iPad…

After the quiet returned to my house, I’d say about 2:45 am or so, I also turned off my light and was asleep by 3-ish.  Up and at ’em today as I had an appointment to have my hair dyed and cut.  This short hair business is more work than when it’s long!!  Not bothering to share a photo.  First because, it’s basically the same thing, maybe a tad shorter than last time and second, because the picture I took, looks like shite!

I shan’t be playing with you next week as I shall be toasting my buns in the sun in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!  I’ll tell all a ya’all about it the following week!  Now, they said my passport would be delivered by Monday…. I am leaving on Wednesday….

Omigosh!  I have just realised it is April 1st!  Somehow I have to find a way to write as I’m participating in Camp Na No!  Oh Lordy…

I think I’ve kept you more than long enough, eh?  Time to turn the keyboard over to you!  Do tell me, how have you been?

Have a marvellous week and we’ll see ya soon!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xo

 

When Opportunity Strikes – Friday Fictioneers

‘Tis Wednesday, mes amis!  Yes, that means another round of Friday Fictioneers is here.  Wow!  There were 102 entries last week!  How amazing is that?  Doesn’t it make you want to try your hand?  It’s a challenge.  Only 100 words – or less, one full story with beginning, middle and end.  G’head, you know you wanna….

Thanks, as always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields from the blog Addicted to Purple for rounding us rowdy peeps up and choosing the photo from which our imagination must roam… This week a thank you goes to Fatima Fakier Deria for supplying this photo.  Looking forward to what others come up with.  Click on the Blue Frog to see for yourself!

Get the inLink Code

©Fatima Fakir Deria

Genre:  Fiction

When Opportunity Strikes

It was the opportunity of a lifetime.  Sail with a couple, help with the videography and editing before uploading.  His cost?  Time.  What an amazing year was in store for Martin.  They would leave the port of Venice, sail all around the Mediterranean then make their way to the Strait of Gibraltar then sail down along the coast of Africa.

Martin was worried that he would feel like a third wheel with Sasha and Frank.  He never did.

The sudden squall that sent Frank overboard, forever lost at sea couldn’t have been planned.

They mourned him and sailed on.