One Day… Soon – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday.  That means Friday Fictioneers and this week I almost had to play as there were more than a few requests for a follow up to my previous story.  I had not officially planned to but when I saw this image, well… how could I resist?  Should you desire, the first part can be found here.   This week our illustrious (or is it illustrated?) leader, Rochelle, has chosen an image from Roger Bultot.  Thank you to both of you!

©Roger Bultot

25+ Best Kermit Looking Out Window Memes |

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Her chin rested on her palm, elbow on the table, daydreaming. She occasionally took a sip of her coffee as she watched passersby on the other side of the window.  It had become her Friday morning ritual; a time to dream, breathe, read, write. It gave her a sense of grace and gratitude. Her gaze fell on him standing there, looking in. Again. Was he stalking her? Somehow, it didn’t feel menacing. What was he waiting for?  He took a step, stopped, shook his head, squared his shoulders and, with a determined step, made for the door.  Soon was now

If I Were….

Earlier this week, Ally Bean of the Spectacled Bean revisited a prompt she had first done in 2011.  Said 1/3 of her responses had remained the same but that time had given her a new perspective, if you will.   I figured why not?  Interesting subjects…

If I were a month I’d be October

If I were a day I’d be Sunday

If I were a time of day I’d be Twilight

If I were a font I’d be Georgia

If I were a sea animal I’d be a Dolphin

If I were a direction I’d be be Up

If I were a piece of furniture I’d be a Mirror

If I were a liquid I’d be Gin

If I were a gemstone I’d be an Emerald

If I were a tree I’d be a Weeping Willow

If I were a tool I’d be a Level

If I were a flower I’d be a Sunflower

If I were an element of weather I’d be a Light Breeze

If I were a musical instrument I’d be a Cello

If I were a colour I’d be Orange

If I were an emotion I’d be Joyful

If I were a fruit I’d be a Pear

If I were a sound I’d be a Bubbling Stream

If I were an element I’d be Fire

If I were a car I’d be a Comfortable Sedan

If I were a food I’d be Pasta

If I were a place I’d be a Cottage with a wrap-around porch

If I were material I’d be Cotton

If I were a taste I’d be Spicy

If I were a scent I’d be Petrichor

If I were a body part I’d be a Heart

If I were a song I’d be Jazz/Blues/Soft Rock Mix

If I were a bird I’d be a Chickadee

If I were a gift I’d be Just right

If I were a city I’d be Not too big, with lots of green spaces and farmer’s markets stalls

If I were a door I’d be Solid wood, painted bright red

If I were a pair of shoes I’d be Hiking boots

If I were a poem I’d be a Cadralor

 

Wonder if my answers would change in ten years’ time?  I think many probably would…

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #271 – Sibilance

When this prompt from Sammi came out in August, I knew not what to write, so I skipped it.  And then I started a new job in September.  I am slowly, desperately, quite possibly, going mad.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a way to survive.  Might seem drastic to you but to me?  I just cannot.  That said, I searched on Sammi’s site to find this prompt because I so knew what to write this time!!

wk 271 sibilance

I sit

kitty-corner from a

monologuing soliloquy

to the right

and

not-so-subtle sibilance

to the left

All day

I cannot tune them out

I fear I’ll go mad

Dylan’s face so perfectly represents my sentiments (thanks for letting me use it, J&A!)

 

No, seriously.  Is it not rude to think you are alone in your cubicle? Can you not shut the eff up?

Winging It – Quadrille from dVerse

I decided to play along today (well, started yesterday but you know how that can go…)  WhimsyGizmo hosted Quadrille Monday for dVerse and all we had to do was use the word “wing”, or some for of it, in a 44-word poem.  Why not, eh?

Like an actor in the wings

Suddenly called forth to perform

I must dazzle them with my brilliance

Or baffle them with my bullshit

And see what happens

 

Supposedly a far cry from

Winging it

According to MacGruber

 

Can be costly

According to me

When You’re Feeling Beyond “Meh”…

Even though the temps were ridiculously warm on this November 5th, 2022 – I mean, c’mon!  When was the last time it was 25℃ on this date?  (I always use the “feels like” rather than the posted – it was officially 23℃ but, whatever.)  My goodness.  I googled it and it happened – never!  Yesterday’s temps broke the previous record.  It was still 23℃ (yeah, yeah, yeah 21℃) at 5:30 pm, for goodness sakes!  And yet, I still needed to almost physically kick my butt out of the house.  Mind you, I DID go run for the first time in five weeks in the morning so it’s not like i had completely wasted the day!

I knew I wasn’t going to be productive in the house so, further to a loving nudge, I picked up my camera bag, filled my water bottle and out the door I went.  I hadn’t been to Michel Chartrand Park this year and, even though I knew it would be very “peoplely”, I went anyway.  Maybe there was still something to see and I could get out of these annoying doldrums.

The light was beautiful.  As for the colours, they were a mixture of pale yellows, beiges, browns with pops of bright here and there.  The muted beauty of November.

“The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.”
~Henry David Thoreau

My mood was steadily lifting as I made my way to a special section of the park (where I brought my mom and a friend at two different occasions) knowing that I would find me some chickadees.  What I found was a noisy young family that followed me from one section to the other, annoying me to no end.  I finally sat down on the bench and waited for them to leave.  It wasn’t too long, thankfully.

The chickadees, who had been invisible up to this point, sang their chickadee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee announcing their arrival.  It was the first time I had one land on my hand and just hang out, looking straight at me, then cocking its head from one side to the other, inquisitively.  Was very cool.

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Another family came by with three little kids.  They watched in awe as the birds came and left from my hand.  I asked them if they wanted to try, getting a nod from Mom, first.  I put a little pile of nuts in each tiny hand.  I told them they had to be really still, otherwise the birds would not come.  The youngest one was a little, shall we say, in the way, and scared off any chickadee brave enough to think about coming close.

I dunno… those little critters don’t look too trustworthy

The parents pulled him a little away and the older two patiently waited.  I asked the mom if I could take pictures and she acquiesced.  Just look at that face!

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Her brother was just as thrilled but he was behind his sister and turned his face and I couldn’t really capture it 🙂  The parents thanked me for sharing nuts and the experience and I left feeling a helluva lot lighter.

Which way to go next?  All the cool inside trails were closed because of the danger of falling dead trees so I was obligated to go along the regular road-like paths with all the other peoples.  This main path goes around the outside, making a full square.  Still, I held hope that some of the inner trails would be open and maybe I could spot a deer.  Nope.

What about me? What am I? Chicken liver?

I walked along, looking for colour, for something, clicking here and there: people walking, berries that popped, leaves still hanging on. and minding my own business, if you will.  However, I started hearing this insistent chirp.  I looked up and this nuthatch was basically giving me hell.  Or begging.  Maybe both!

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I continued towards my car, still thrilled that I was walking, dressed in shorts, on November 5th, and it was nearing five o’clock!  Crazy.  Snapped a few more photos and will leave you with these last ones.  I love how the little bit of colour really popped.

Thanks for hanging out with me.  Hope I didn’t keep you too long!

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #283 – Dunk

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.

I took a short trip down memory lane with this one… Okay, that’s not entirely true as I had this very lunch just last week…

wk 283 dunk

Comfort

Is an Aylmer’s cream of tomato soup with a side of sandwich.

The choice of sandwich is important.  Plain will work in a pinch, but toasted is always best.

Some will swear by baloney (bologna) – plain or fried, thin or thick.  Salami, ham, pressed chicken work

!  But oh! A grilled cheese? That’s the best!

The magic happens when you dunk your sammie into the soup and savour!

Add The Flintstones and you are ten years old again.

The Flintstones Coming to MeTV in Fall 2019; Lifetime Tackles The College  Admissions Scandal - SitcomsOnline.com News Blog

 

 

Walktober 2022 – Parc de la Freyère

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Taking the time to write has been most difficult. Taking the time to go out for a walk has been nary impossible. I exaggerate, of course, because we can always choose how to spend our time outside of work. It’s been a tiring time so the want was there but the energy was not.

And finally! Weather, time and energy were all in cahoots this past Tuesday (October 18th) giving me a week to put this together and link up to Robin’s annual Walktober fun. I have a weird schedule where one day I work 9-5:30 and the other 6:15-2:45. Tuesday was the early day and the weather was ridiculously perfect. I stopped off at home, did a few things, changed my clothes, grabbed my camera and off I went. Where would the colours still be beautiful? It had been a very long time since I went to the Parc de la Freyère, and even though I did go there for part of my 2018 walk, it was worth a return. I cannot see anyone complaining. Right? Right. I was out from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. and managed to take about 500 photos, give or take. While I joked that it was impossible to take a bad picture, I took more than a few that were immediately chucked as I uploaded.

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.”
Sarah Guillory, Reclaimed

On my way to the park, I had to stop and capture the three trees below. Could they more represent?

I decided to park on a side street, giving me the option to walk along Marie-Victorin Blvd which follows the St. Lawrence River through at least four towns – probably more but I’d have to check. That means walking by these gorgeous mansions with view spectacular.

As far as boulevards go, this one is rather intimate, shall we say…

Entering the park, I feared, Are the colours already over?

No, but we are definitely at the tail end, I should think.

I had to walk down this pier to see just what was frolicking in the water. Don’t those clouds look like a distant mountain range?

Herons and egrets and ducks and seagulls, oh my!

And a autumn walk would not be complete without some sumac – the first, along with vines – to show off their colours

“What the light looks like in the pear trees, in October, is a hundred teardrops of gold, the whole orchard weeping.”
Carole Maso, The Art Lover

There may be no pear trees here, but the light was just so beautiful.

I was not alone to take advantage of this autumnal perfection. This gentleman was flying his drone, surely taking breathtaking pictures, himself. Was a tad annoying when it flew above me like an oversized mosquito, though. (Hey, maybe he captured me capturing him!)

I had to include these for you, Crispina 😉

At this point, I figured I’d stick around and await the sunset, which was scheduled for 6:04. I continued walking around clicking away because it was all just so gorgeous. No editing is necessary because the light is just perfect!

The sun was starting to make its descent and the air chilled rather quickly. I did curse those clouds that were going to hide most of the sunset!

The sky was so soft (another for you, Crispina! 😉 )

I’m enjoying the quiet when I hear in the distance “Midnight Train to Georgia”. I film it, not knowing where it comes from (apologies – I thought I was going slow!) because for some strange reason, it just fits!

The culprit:

It’s starting to get rather cold so I decided to head back, but not before capturing this little seagull making his v-pattern.

The herons drying their wings and the egrets just relaxing caught my eye.

Suddenly the egrets took flight and were circling, trying to decide where to spend the night. Something was disturbing them so they would turn around and look again. It was getting harder and harder to focus and capture them.

As I also circled towards to road and my car, I watched them – all eight! – land in the trees and try to settle. My camera is not equipped for such low light and I had no tripod but I did manage to rest on a the bridge rail and sort of get a half-assed decent shot. Only by manipulating the photo can you see I managed to get 7 out of 8 in the shot. I, for one, am pretty pleased.

I declared myself done but as I got to the other side of that little pond, I figured, I’d try once more, this time leaning on a guard rail. And again, only by manipulating the photo can you see I got all eight. Joy!

I think I have more than abused your time for this year’s Walktober. I hope you enjoyed my walk as much as I did sharing it.

For Love Of Reading, Answering The Bookish A-Z Questions

I know I’ve not finished my Catskills series.  It requires fiddling with my fingers and trying to write it in a manner enjoyable to read.  I am smack-dab in the middle of my moving/demolition/renovation and cannot seem to sit down for long enough to do so.  Even though I quit my job, I still seem to have no hours to spare, except to take breaks and read a post or two, go back to work, etc.

So, when I landed on Ally, of The Spectacled Bean’s post, I found myself thinking up my own answers to the questions.  So, between schlepping boxes and clothes, et al, I come back here to answer another.  Why not, right? I have until Sunday night to be done with the house so… not much left to do (she tries to convince herself…)

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From: This was a toss-up and I had to google the number of books.  Maeve Binchy – at least 11; Jodi Picoult – at least 8.

Best Sequel:  Hmmm… hard to say. The Interview With a Vampire books were all enjoyable (the ones I read); and the series from The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes:  The Bastard, The Rebel, et al. were also good.  I cannot remember thinking, dang, they should have stopped at the previous one. Mind you, that was a bazillion years ago, so..

Currently Reading: LOTR, The Fellowship of the Ring in a reading group; we only read half a chapter per week, so I am also reading, I Am a Girl From Africa, by Elizabeth Nyamayaro on my Kindle (in bed) and Thérèse et Pierrette à l’école des Saint-Anges by Michel Tremblay, because I like to have a book-book for reading in my moments.  I like to read a French book every 4-5 books to keep my skillz up.

Drink Choice While Reading: Don’t really have one and depends on the time of day and my mood.  Could be coffee, tea or wine or an Aperol Spritz or….

E reader or physical book:  Both.  I prefer a physical book but when travelling or before bed (no night light needed), I’ll choose an E-reader.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:  Hmmm… None come to mind.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling (as if anyone doesn’t know this!). My sister kept telling me to read it. I would read the first few pages and meh… she pushed some more and then I devoured them all.

Hidden Gem:  Gosh. West With the Night, Beryl Markham.  I actually listened to this on Audible, read by the fabulous Julie Harris, which added a level of wow to the book.  I have recommended this book to anyone who will listen – and hey, Ernest Hemingway highly recommended her and he recommended no one!

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:  I cannot think of any one particular book.  So many have touched me deeply in one way or another.  However, having access to so many books at Boucherville Elementary School and reading all the Black Stallions and all the Chica D’Oro (about a palomino horse) books with my friend Lynne marks my true start of loving to read.

Just FinishedA Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman. It had been recommended to me by more than a few people so I finally succumbed.  I fell in love with this grouchy not-so-mean-as-he-wants-people-to-think Swede.

Kind of Books I Won’t Read (anymore):  I no longer can stand historical romance which I used to devour.  I tried one the other day.  Nope.

Longest Book You’ve ReadShogun, James Clavell.  All 1210 pages of it.  Texas, by James Michener came in close, though the version I read was in two volumes so doesn’t quite count, does it?  Anyone who had the single volume, got 1096 pages…

Major Book Hangover Because Of:  Does this mean that I didn’t want to end? Or that stayed with me for a long time?  Either way, it’s hard to say off the cuff.  I shall have to think long and hard on this one.

Number of Cases You Own: Four.  But there are books to be found all over the place.  I have a lamp with four glass “shelves”  There are books on three of them.

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times: I am not a re-reader, though I have read Pride and Prejudice twice and am re-reading the LOTR – because of the group thing I mentioned above.

Preferred Place to Read: Comfy chair in the living room, outside in the shade (still comfy chair, please) or in bed, with lots of pillows to support my back.

Quote That Inspires You, or Gives You All the Feels, From a Book You’ve Read:  I don’t really take notes (though I have started to highlight on my kindle) so, if I were to cheat, I’d have to go look at said notes.  Obviously didn’t leave that much of a mark if I have to look, right?

Reading Regret:  Going to a French high school, the required reading was not what we would call “the classics” (though I am sure my French teachers would protest).  I mean the Anglo classics.  So, determined to make up for the lack, I read a few For Whom the Bell Tolls – blow up the bridge already, you’re killing me and I don’t care anymore; and then Anna Karenina – hurry up and throw yourself in front of the train, I’m done with you, you simpering idiot… So, to say I am reticent about continuing my quest is an understatement.  I shall, however, try more!

Series You Started and Need to Finish: Haven’t read a series in forever.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:  This is too difficult a question.

Unapologetic Fanperson For:  Maeve Binchy. Alas, she passed away and there will be no more new stories; however, I’ve not read them all yet so I do have some to look foward to.  Oh, and Jodi Picoult, too, though I am long overdue for one of hers.

Very Excited For This Release (More than all the others):  None, in particular.  I read what I read when I read and am currently on a “no-buy” thing (failing miserably at it, but trying, nevertheless).

Worst Bookish Habit:  Finishing a book I don’t enjoy because, dammit, I started it… well, not true. I did manage to put aside a book for maybe later (which might never come).

X Marks the Spot—start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th bookSwimming Lessons, Claire Fuller. (I chose the 2nd book case as the first one has cook books 😉

Your Latest Book PurchaseThe Winding Road: A Journey of Survival, Miriam Hurdle, on a friend’s recommendation.

Zzz-Snatcher Book (the last book that kept you up late)The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides.

 

Let the Music Do Its Thing

As I approached the border, I couldn’t help but notice the exit called Montée Glass/Montée Guay.

Immediately, I was transported back to the uncountable times we took this highway and this exit to go to my father’s boat, docked at Rouse’s Point, on Lake Champlain. I could see the map in my head clearly: take the exit, turn, almost in a circle to drive along Montée Guay until we reached a road, the name of which I don’t think I ever knew, which would take us to the smaller (and often less busy) border crossing. Those days of sailing were great. It would have been fitting that I had been listening to “Come Sail Away” by Styx – which was, to my surprise, in my box of CDs. However, as I was still in Canada, my radio station was still nice and clear, and CDs far from my mind.

How often we stopped at Sandy’s Deli to pick up sandwiches to go… Mmmm…. Hey, maybe I would snake across on my way back? The timing would be right and I would come home with supper all ready!

I was brought back to the present thanks to the fuzz of a disappearing station. I reached over into my box and what does my hand land on? Blues Traveler’s “Straight on Till Morning”. When putting my box together, I just had to take this one. It was one of Mick’s favourites for road trips. I often wonder at the Universe’s sense of humour. I mean, here I am driving towards my lover while my late husband keeps me company. And it wasn’t weird at all. It was an odd sort of right.

After that moment of nodding to the Universe, I burst out laughing when Canadian Rose came on because, well. Ironic. My American, however, isn’t ugly, and I live very far from Vancouver and we are not young and naïve and meeting in Burlington, but yanno, the spirit of it all…

And just as that high-pitched keyboard thing that is their signature sound was getting on my nerves, it also came at the end. What next?

The I-87 is not the most exciting of highways and one I have taken many a time. Pink Martini’s “Splendor in the Grass”, one of the two albums of theirs I did find (though not the ones I wanted) kept me company as I passed by all the familiar: Plattsburgh, where we occasionally went to the beach (I was never big on doing my Christmas shopping in the States, unlike many peeps I know), Lake Placid, remembering our climb up Whiteface in 2013. Our training for the following year when we did Mount Washington.

About two hours in, I need to make a pit stop and I ended up at the very lovely High Peaks Rest stop. Some of these places are worth visiting!

Necessaries done, I hit the road, passing by more familiar signs, Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Moreau, Lake George… Gosh, how old were we when we went to visit Frontier Town ans Ausable Chasm? I can still see our (my sister’s and me) jean jumpsuits with the STP logos on the front. Hah! When I hit the Twin Bridges (officially Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge), I knew I was approaching Albany and not all that much further to go.

The miles rolled by as the tunes kept me company. I was now on A.J. (son of Jim) Croce’s debut album that I’ve been listening to since it came into being way back in 1993. He was all of 22 when he recorded it, and sounded like an old black blues singer. I remember being in Sam the Record Man and this song was playing and I boogied and bopped my way to the cash to ask who this was and where to find a copy.

Much as the tunes were great, I was looking forward to getting off the I 87S and into more scenic territory…

Roadtrip

As I left the house, I came face-to-face with this note from my son stuck to the front door

I’m one of those peeps who has zero songs in her phone.  I know, I know, it’s ass-backwards in today’s world.  I just don’t listen to music on my walks or runs so why use up space?  Plus, I am weird (according to my kids) as I love listening to my CBC Radio.

So, what to do when you know a long drive is ahead of you in mountains where signals can be weak and all you get is fuzz in your ears and you watch the numbers scroll round the dial (so to speak), not landing on any station?  You go old school.  Yessiree.  I cannot believe I had the presence of mind to grab a bunch of CDs – some from my bookcase in my living room, some from one of the boxes yet unpacked since my move three years ago.  I know I have a second box somewhere hidden amongst the other yet-unpacked boxes but I was not gonna go foraging there, so I made do with what I could reach; and even then, I did not dig too deeply.  You must understand I have hundreds of them.  I could not find our handy little booky thingamagig where you slide in your CDs, so I just put them into a small box that sat on my passenger seat.

I don’t quite know how I managed to get the variety I did since my CDs were all organised by genre in their racks, ergo, in the same sort of order in the boxes.  It ended up being a selection of more bluesy-jazzy-crooner with an odd rock album or two.  Excellent.

I planned to leave the house by 7:15 and by Jove, I did!  I planned to drive through the car wash as well, and durned if I didn’t do that as well. I amaze me sometimes 😉

I got to the border by 8:10 then waited. And waited. It felt like ages but if I’m honest, it was just half an hour – forty-five minutes, maybe?  I was just impatient to be on my way and at my destination.

I hand over my passport.  “Where ya goin?”

“Prattsville.”

“Pratts– what?  Why?”

“It’s in the Catskills.  Meeting my guy. It’s the halfway point.”

With a sweet and goofy grin, he returned my passport and replied, “Well, you enjoy yourself.”

“Oh, I plan to…”

Not long after I cross the border, my station starts going AWOL so I reach over and grab the first CD.