#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!

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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!

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©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.

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

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

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

OK… getting ahead of myself.

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

That 10.9 km is 6.8 miles… just sayin’…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lotsa love,

Dale

xo

 

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Milestones, Letting Go and Fun Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tulips!

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

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

Not a speck, the moon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dale

xox

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

#Weekend Coffee Share – March 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Got home and bottled my lemon and orange nectar….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mon Ami on Ste.Catherine – their photo

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

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

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

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

Lotsa Love,

Dale