What a Great Saturday!

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.”
Charles E. Schaefer

As much as I went on about being “lazy” the other day’s post, Saturday I definitely took advantage of all that was offered to me.  To hell with house-work, garden-work, work-work.

Though I had gone to bed at 2 a.m. (thank you, Linda for keeping me up late regaling me with your fabulous three months in Italy – I would call you names in jealousy but I cannot as I am so happy for you to have done this trip all by yourself) and woke up at 4 a.m. with a sudden sneezing/runny nose fit (I swear, it felt like a bug had gone up my nose and planted a cold there, with no gentle warning signs), I was up and at ’em at 8:30-ish, though I had at least another half-hour before my alarm went off to prepare for a day of sailing with my friend, Jean-Louis.  He has a lovely 25′ sailboat that he keeps at Pointe-Claire Marina.   By the time I did the stuff I had to do, I ended up leaving the house by 9:50 instead of 9:30.  Texted him to let him know I was on slo-mo and got a response of “no problem”.  He lives a hop, step and a jump from the marina so no biggie for him.  Turns out it was a good thing as the little tender they offer to get you to your mooring doesn’t start until 10:30 anyway.

We gathered all our stuff and climbed aboard.  Lovely boat indeed.  I was suddenly brought back over twenty-five years ago on my father’s sailboat “Footloose”.  Many happy memories attached to that beautiful Bayfield.

I knew we were gonna have some fun when I noted the sign just inside the cockpit… and J-L poured his home-made sangria into these insane 32 oz thermal glasses…

So we left the marina in Pointe-Claire around11 a.m. and wanted to go all the way to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, which is the most western tip of Montreal Island.  Both towns are part of the area known as the West Island (or as I like to call it, the Waste Island 😉 )  The wind was not the best and since we had some time restraints, we decided to motor out, knowing we would be able to make our way back by sail.  We had to stop in Beaconsfield (half-way) for gas and then continued on our way.

Jean-Louis really knows this lake, called Lake Saint-Louis, pointing out various areas.  When we were across the way from Dany and Giselle’s hometown of Notre-Dame-de-l’ïle-Perrot, I texted them sending them a picture with a “Hey!  I’m in your back yard!

View of Île Perrot

Apologies for the crappy picture.  I stupidly did not bring my real camera and, as nice a pics are with my phone, they suck big time when it comes to zooming, not so fabulous.

We had to “drive” through a canal – the water is so very high right now…

And finding parking… who’d a thunk it would be such a bitch to find parking for a boat?

We went through, turned around, went towards one slot but didn’t like it as it was on the point of the bay and would have had a helluva time with the currents, realised a space had opened up and got a great spot!

Some peeps hang out in groups so they can raft up.

We had lunch in a new restaurant called Taverna, a blend of Greek and Italian cuisines.  Sitting on the terrace, we froze our buns off but the food was decent.

Heading back, we had a good wind right behind us, so Jean-Louis opted for his genoa sail.  We flew all the way home.

Many beautiful homes and St-Joachim Parish of Pointe-Claire – a church that actually faces the water instead of the street:  originally built in 1713, replaced in 1750-1755, a third church was added between 1868-1881, the whole thing destroyed by fire in 1881.  The one we see now, was consecrated in 1885.

I needed to be back at the marina by five o’clock, latest, so I could take a shower and make my way to St. Lazare where friends were meeting for pizza before a benefit concert at Bar Chez Maurice to raise funds for palliative care for a local organisation.  Four bands participated but we were most interested in Cinema V – friends of ours being members.

The other bands were CHESS, RUSTY (with Cinema V guitarist) and LIKWID (with Cinema V guitarist, bassist and singer).

Each band played a 45 minute set with a 30 minute break and set-up for the next one.

So… little history lesson… Dany (drummer) and I were prom dates waaaaay back in 1981! For those of us who have been following me for a while, you’ve seen pictures of Dany, his wife, Giselle, and a few more of us.  We’ve always kept in touch but, in the last three years, more effort has been made.

A few years after we dated, the band won a competition with the local rock station CHOM 97.7 and went to Japan… how cool is that?  Ya gotta love that ’80’s look…

Cinema V John, Marcello, Nigel, Dany, Radford

Now, all in their 50’s (just recently for you, Rad!) – all have aged rather well, if I do say so myself!

John, Marcello, Nigel, Dany, Radford

‘Course, I had to zoom in a bit on Dany…

As “groupie-wife”, Giselle, all sparkly-eyed, basked in her husband’s prowess… I kept trying to catch her as she watched Dany but I swear, that woman sees a camera, she instantly turns and smiles…

I figure I’ll end this little ramble with a snippet of one of Cinema V’s original songs…

To think they hadn’t played together in 26 years!

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

  1. Music concerts with friends
  2. Sunshine and wind on my face
  3. Sailing – had so missed it
  4. Taking the whole day to do stuff just for me
  5. Going to bed with ears still ringing from the musical night

 

 

 

 

Cheese and Crackers – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps! It is Friday Fictioneers time and this week we have a sorta special. Rochelle and I decided to link our stories, just for fun. So…if you haven’t already, you really should read hers first 😉 then mine… Our lovable clown, Russell, is the “hero” of our stories so… Russell, just know, we absolutely adore you!

If you want the rules and regs, well, you’ve already seen them on Rochelle’s blog, right? If you want to simply link your story, please click on the blue frog…

Get the code for yours

©The ever smiling, ever sweet, Connie Gayer

Cheese and Crackers

Shelley and Dale were hot and sweaty from their hike. Shelley said it would be nice to cool off in Gayer’s pond but worried, saying he was mean as they come.

“Looks harmless to me. Offer him a drawing.”

Shelly would have none of that as she felt he had no clue about art.

“Hey! Draw him with that clown nose he likes so much. Oh, and put that bloody invisible box he goes on and on about. Hey Farmer Gayer! How ’bout Shelley draw a picture of you in exchange for a swim?”

“Lemme guess, I’ll be all purple?”

Birthdays, Easter, Camp NaNo, Stuff

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”
Rick Riordan, The Sea of Monsters

Haven’t done a Sunday Gratitude or a weekly update in a while and figured, why not?

I can’t remember ever celebrating Easter on April Fool’s day – which makes sense because The Google told me the last time it happened was 1956.  Before my time.

So I got curious about how often it has fallen on MY birthday because I remember celebrating it when I turned ten – I remember because it was also the same year I had my First Communion (I wore the same dress 😉 ).   Matante Nicole shopped with me for it and brought me for the big shindig because my folks were off on some Caribbean holiday…

Turns out, it happened three times in 11 years:  the year before I was born, when I was four and, as mentioned, when I was 10.  The time before that was way back in 1895.  The next time it’s scheduled?  2047!  I’ll be an old lady of 83 by then.  Of course, when that time comes around, 80 will be the new 60, right?

I’m sure that has totally fascinated you, hasn’t it? 😀  Between that and that cute kid… I know, you can’t take it.   We’ll just table that into the “useless information file”…

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

On Saturday we suddenly remembered Sunday was Easter and had planned absolutely nothing. Got a call from Tracy that Sébastien was doing the ham, I offered to do the veg and, of course, as Iain’s birthday was the day before, I was bringing a key lime pie and Tracy said Sabrina (who turned 18 exactly one week before) wasn’t into lime, was into chocolate so I said, no problemo, I will bring something chocolate.  The Sachertorte.  Lisa was doing the potatoes and rice (because, just because) and the salad and supplying the “venue” so that was more than enough.  Mom was making break and her “pouding au chômeur” – which translates literally to “Poorman’s Pudding” which really is a white cake with a sugar bottom.  This stuff is to die for.  And if you’re really piggy about it, you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (especially when it’s cold) and if your sweet tooth wants an extra kick, you can do like Sébastien and pour maple syrup on top.  Ridonkulous.

Isn’t Iain’s key lime pie pretty?  Well guess what?  It’s a FROZEN key lime pie… so I told Shane to put it in the fridge instead of the freezer.  Why?  Sonofa….  It was more like key lime soup.  Taste was there and since this isn’t Iron Chef and we have no blast chiller… we ate key lime soup.  Sigh.

Took a couple pics of all the kids (9, including Willow, Aidans girlfriend) and realised Sabrina does not appear in them.  Dang.  She arrived a bit later and, when I took a pic of her brother and Iain (they are 2 months apart) I got just the top of her head.  That won’t do.  So pretend there is a beautiful blonde in the mix!

I have decided to do Camp NaNo again this April.  Okay, okay… I have decided to not just add my name to the group and start for a day or two but actually work the whole month of April.  I’ve mentioned it before and this time I’m going to get even further in my “Dear Mick” book of short stories which are basically memories of our almost twenty years together.  I figure worse comes to worse, the boys will one day have a book to remind them of their dad.  Which they may even read.  One day.  So our cabin is called the Plot Bunnies – but since we were all joking around about wanting to live our jammies, we are also known as the “Camp Plot Jammies” but only ‘coz we’re JAMMING on our plots!  Woot.  Our band of merry writers are: Joy from Tales From Eneana  Gabriele from Flights of Fancy Lynn from Word Shamble Sammi from Sammi Cox Megan from Invisible World Crispina from Crimson Prose.  Should be fun to give and get encouragement to go-go-go!

Oh!  And on a final note, sometimes things happen for a reason.  The fridge guy was supposed to pass by on Thursday morning.  My ice machine in the fridge had decided that it would make ice until you can no longer open the door!  I had a quick appointment five minutes away so I told the company to have him call when he left his his current appointment as, should I needed to step out but would be five minutes away.  Well.  He called at 9:44.  His phone is a “private number”.  My cell phone rejects private numbers.  So I waited for the message to appear.  It ddn’t.  Shoot.  My appointment had five minutes left and I got home at 10:03 to find the fridge guy’s business card with 9:55 written on it.   Really?  Come ON!!!  I call the company and the receptionist says she’ll try to reach him.   She couldn’t.  I dunno… but if you are using a company cell phone, should you not be a “private number”?  She told me he also called the house line and there was no response (and no message).  Well duh.  I’m thinking there are more and more people who no longer have land lines.  That means, even if I had been home and gone to the bathroom, foolishly sans cell phone, I would have missed his call.  Yes, I would have been here when he “took the chance” to stop by as he did.  But still.  I took the trouble to tell the receptionist I had a 5-minute appointment.  They cannot guarantee what time they will pass so why cancel a five-minute appointment?  BECAUSE THIS CAN HAPPEN!

Well guess what?  I don’t need no stinking repair guy because my guy fixed the problemo…  So

I keep forgetting to add to my list!

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

41. Fellow NaNo Campers – encouraging each other to write
42. Not needing the fridge guy after all – saving big buckaroos
43. Easter – especially when the whole family is present
44. Birthday cakes – even when they don’t quite turn out, they can still taste good
45. Sense of humour – see number 44

Sunday Stuff and Gratitude- March 18, 2018

“Good morning.
Lead with gratitude.
The air in your lungs, the sky above you.
Proceed from there.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda

And so goes another week.

Tuesday I worked at the golf club for a small event.  A little four-hour shift.  I’m jiggy wid dat.   Got home and the boys were there as well.  Bad mother that I am, I was a willing participant in my sons’ impromptu vodka shots and chebureki (again!) night.  Aidan is on Spring break and so had his evenings free to hang out at home and things just happened.  Marie-Soleil, Iain’s non-girlfriend, girl friend came over and before we knew it, it was a party.  The “kids” were getting rowdy and Miss Marie Sun-Shine got ahold of my phone.  Needless to say there quite a few to go through!  So made this little “animation” to give an idea of the evening.   I’m not a “gif” fan but apparently that’s how this puppy downloads.  Sorry ’bout that!

Wednesday woke up to a winter-fricken wonderland.  Ugh.  I am SO done with this white stuff.  Only good thing was on our walk, Zeke and I came across this bizarre little igloo-maker thingamajig…   I tell ya, it was heart-attack snow to shovel as well.  Yeah, that’s right.  I have two adult sons who left for work and left me to shovel the shit.

Thursday morning, got a call from François L., my former boss but long-time friend, who suggested dinner at his place.  Well not “his” place as he is between domiciles at this time.  He is house-sitting for a friend and wanted to take advantage of his pied-à-terre.  He was going to call a few others to join but with it being beyond last-minute, we ended up just three of us.  I’m good with that!

But first I went for lunch with my friend Jean-Louis, who wanted to try out the Pavillon 67, “gourmet” buffet in the Montreal Casino.  Ironically, my sister has been a croupier (dealer) there for the past 22 years and I’ve never been.  No, not true, I went with her to change money before one of our cruises together as they had the best exchange rate – service they no longer provide.  I texted her, letting her know we were there and wouldn’t you know it?  She just happened to have a union meeting and was on her way there.  She stopped by for a hello and introduction and was off.  As for the food.  Meh.  I’ve seen better.  Hell, J-L and I saw better in Dominican Republic last year.  Gourmet is not the proper descriptive.  No matter, I was there to catch up with an old friend.  Next time I go through there, I’ll pick up a sammy at the sandwhich stand – they looked pretty good!

Got home, made a quick “Dad’s Wacky Cake” to bring to François’ and made it there for 5-ish.

“Dad’s Wacky Cake” remade for home

We were joined by William who was one of the line-cooks at the Club.  It’s fun to be able to get together with twenty-somethings as well as sixty-somethings.  We’re planning another next Monday.  But this time, we should be a good 8-10 peeps.  Ironically, François decided on a Chinese fondue as dinner!  Ya know, like I made on the previous Saturday!  Talk about all or nothing… Or never or often.  Waves, baby, things happen in waves!

Saturday was reserved for my niece’s vollyball team’s “bowl-a-thon”.  A yearly event.  What is up with this stupid “sport” that I always end up feeling for two days after?  Not only that, I pulled a muscle in my hip.  How in the name of all that is holy does one do that?  Anyway.  It’s a great occasion for the family to get-together and laugh together and at each other for our lack of prowess, for the most part, though some managed to score some big numbers, Chris in particular whupped all our butts big time!  I actually did decently on one game so, I was not in total despair.  Last year I did so well, I had them print out my sheet!  This place is always fun because of the neon lights and music.  It can’t help but put you way off your game.  Yes, our story and we’re sticking to it!

Aidan was the hero of the week.  He helped to clear out the basement – the carpeted side.  Last week you saw the new vinyl-floored side, this week it was the clean the disgusting carpet side.  This side had become the dumping ground after we had to clear out the dining room and office and, frankly, a lot of it remained piled up helter skelter.  Now it was time to clear it up, move and hopefully see a difference once Aidan’s friend’s father cleaned it.  Of course, this now means the vinyl side is stacked with boxes and stuff but we will now take the time to figure out what stays and what goes and what remains boxed until we move.

I must admit, I am quite pleased with the end result.  It was beyond gross, which Christopher, the cleaner, took pleasure in telling me.  More than once.   That will be for another post…

For now.  I am feeling like things are really moving forward.  I’ll be calling the real estate agent this week and see what more should be done before that “À Vendre” sign goes up!

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

36. Having fun with my boys – I cherish these moments most
37. Lunches with friends – catching up and just enjoying ourselves
38. Aidan – my hero for helping me clean the basement and his room
39. Clean carpet – a sign we are moving forward
40. Disco bowling – why the hell not?

 

 

Gratitude on a Monday – March 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This, That and Whatnot – to NOT Call it a Week-end Share

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

It’s funny.  Every time I start something, it eventually falls through the cracks.   I guess it’s just the way I am.  I am blaming my Aries personality.  We are notoriously known for starting projects.  You want to get something going?  Get one of us involved.  You want to finish said project?  You better have back up because we will be off on a new project.

Squirrel!

or is it Shiny Object Syndrome?

Either way, I am guilty.

Last week I was doing the Costco thing – you know, where you have a list, you will absolutely abide by it and somehow end up spending $200 more than planned?  Anyhoo.  I came upon the flower section and saw pussy willows!  Do you remember when you could see those all over the place?  Why don’t I see them anywhere anymore?  So, of course, when I bought them, they looked like a bunch of sticks with only one or two pussies – don’t even!  I got mocked by the men in my life.  Whatevs.  I am a happy camper.  I should have taken a “before” pic but didn’t.  So trust me.  They did look like sad sticks.  However, lookit ’em now!

Totally unrelated and yet is.  Way back when, my mother had Nat King Cole records – you know, the vinyl kind – and on the back of the jacket of a double-album, was a lovely text about Nat and his “pussy-willow voice”.  I always thought that was the perfect description and it has stayed with me since.  Was hard to pick a favourite, but here you go.  Enjoy.

On Monday, Zeke and I went for a walk.  The sky was glorious, the sun was shining, it wasn’t “freeze-your-butt-off” cold… We made our way to “Teletubbie Park”.  We’ve been calling it that since we moved to the ‘hood and the boys went to elementary school right beside it.  Funny the things families do or create or say.

On Sunday I had made mussels – they are my “fast food” and I almost always make two flavours, which I did this time.  I then keep the left-over broth to make a soup.

Moday’s was a Thai-style shrimp and noodle

and Wednesday’s was a sorta chicken noodle with Fennel-Marinière base

They may look similar but were world’s apart flavour-wise.  I have to admit I was quite pleased.  Firstly, the Thai one got my Pepper-head’s (Iain) approval for spiciness and the Marinière was no basic chicken noodle soup!  Will I be able to repeat it?  Probably not.

I also had taken out chicken thighs for Wednesday – “no, Aidan, I cannot make Chicken Parm every time I take out chicken!!”  But I did made a casserole thingy with my left-over Frenched string beans (yeah, I parboiled, and split them apart by hand then sautéed them with some shallots and red peppers) and left-over boiled potatoes that I sliced and used as a topping with a sprinkling of cheese.  Not overly pretty to look at and simple, yet tasty.  I was surprised by a visit from François as I don’t usually see him during the week, lately.

As Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, I made the trek to visit my mother-in-law, bringing her a stuffed dog to cuddle, a small rose plant and some chocolate.  She loved the dog, decided to call him Harry (will see if she remembers next time I see her!)

Jean

On my way back, while stopped at a set of lights, I looked to my right and burst out laughing.  Apologies for the quality but I had no time to open the window and was being honked at!

My favourite British cussword and pretty much how I feel every time I return from a visit with Jean.

On Saturday Iain bought a car, thanks to help from Andre, Mick’s best friend.  He’s pretty pleased to have wheels again!

Iain agreed to be my date (after inviting himself) to Andre’s birthday celebration.  I was more than happy to have him take my place in the Vodka Shot Foolishness that takes place every year.  You see, it was always, Lorne, Bill, Andre and Me…. while the “girls” Dorothy, Phany, Tammy and Mick refrained.  After Mick died, I no longer had my D.D. so I would sleep over.  I have since lost the taste for vodka thanks to these over-indulgences.  I don’t care how much the bottle costs, it all tastes like rubbing alcohol to me now!  Iain, you may take over the mantle and play with the big boys in my stead!

I may not partake in the vodka shots (okay, maybe two) but I will always bring the cake.

Chocolate Mousse & Caramel

But before making said cake, I helped François collect my friend Andrea’s wood.  Ironically, after writing a Friday Fictioneer about the Emerald Ash Borer problem, she had three of her trees cut down.  Wood is wood is wood, and François’ mother heats her house with it so he was more than glad to help her get rid of it!  After it has properly dried, he’ll cut it down to size.  He figured he got a good three cords of wood out of what he took!  Talk about a savings…. going price is easily $125 per cord, if you’re lucky.

Some of the wood

Once François felt the truck could take no more, off he went back home; and I, to finish the cake, shower and, along with Iain, make it to Tammy and Andre’s for 5:30.

I’ll not embarrass my son by including a shot of him snoring on the couch and missing dessert… because that would be mean. I’ll save that for a more opportune time!  These boys – especially Lorne – are a tough crowd to keep up with.  The birthday boy himself was blinking his eyes for long periods of time at the table 😉

A slice, to see the inside

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but there was still more wood to collect; which we did, and once François returned from delivering it and returning the truck, we each had a different left-over, vegged on the couch and watched the Olympics.  Okay.  I watched, he snoozed!

I know it’s already Tuesday, but do have a fabulous week!  Maybe this weekend I’ll manage to post on Sunday.  Who knows?  I make no promises.

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

21. Mick’s friends – still keeping me in their group
22. Being able to include my son in this get-together
23. Blue skies, crisp air
24. Pussy Willows – just because
25. Being the official birthday cake supplier

Weekend Share – on a Monday, Again! – February 12, 2018

“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.”
Roy T. Bennett

So, I am late posting my weekend share again.  Can’t blame me.  It’s the Olympics!  And François decided to stay over Sunday night which would have been my posting time.  Since he’s been working full-time, we only see each other on week-ends, I’m not going to “diss” him by locking myself up in my office 😉

This past week was one of appointments and lunches, starting with Monday.   For those who don’t know, my mother-in-law, whom I inherited after the death of her only son, has been placed in a home for seniors – against her will – because she is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia and is physically unsteady on her feet.  It is too dangerous to leave her alone in her 3rd storey apartment, not that she’s buying it at all.

You see, she was found unconscious in her apartment on June 28th; spent two months in the hospital where they tested her and came to the dementia conclusion and would not release her.  She was brought to court to have her rights taken away and ended up being given one chance to return home (which I wanted, if only for one week, to be in her things).  She lasted 5 days before she had to be brought back to the hospital, looking dehydrated and sporting a black eye; and, after a couple of weeks, when a bed opened, to the home.  Her case ended up in social worker’s hands and then the curator’s where it was discovered that she had actually done a living will,  naming me her mandatory.  Well, me and her friend, who has refused the job (thank goodness).  There is so much bureaucracy and paperwork and back and forth.  It’s been a major headache.  I had two months to empty her apartment – major hoarder – and collect all important papers and some clothes for her and whatnot.  The rest was donated or shipped to the garbage or recycling.  All I can say is, François is a saint for helping me out with this most disconcerting task.

Some of the paperwork I need to go through

Monday’s appointment was with Jean’s (mother-in-law) financial advisor who will be helping me sort through it all as soon as the mandate is homolgated.  Thank goodness he’s been dealing with her for 20 years and knows the ins and outs of her stuff!  And her personality, which is not easy.

I then met my sister, Lisa, for lunch at Sesame around 12:30 for a yummy spicy salmon poké bowl, in my case, and Tonkinese Beef Soup, for her.  We sat and chatted till 3 o’clock!  Was simply wonderful.  We were beyond overdue for some one-on-one time.

Come Tuesday, it was time to pick up my mother and bring her for her appointment with a neurologist.  She’s been having a burning feeling inside her leg for years… Conveniently, Mom’s appointment was at 11:45 and was over by 12:30 – yep… just in time for lunch!

As Lisa had had a “soupe-repas”(soup as a meal) yesterday, I had a hankering for one, so suggested we go Vietnemese this time and brought  Mom to Le Petit Tournesol Doré where we each had the grilled chicken lemongrass soup.  Soooo good!

Wednesday.  My official day sans appointments.  It snowed. All. Friggen. Day.  Did I feel like going out there?  Nope and Nope and Nope.

Besides.  I had given myself a mission.  Clean up my desk.  Somehow, I totally lost control and didn’t seem capable of getting it back…

Not saying I have accomplished my task. Yet.

Thursday was my meeting with the Maîre d’ of the Golf Club to find out whether or not I am returning this coming golf season. I have tentatively said yes.  But it is still months away.  There is an upcoming event next week that I’ll work and any other events that pop up… but we’ll see.

I then met my sister, Tracy, for lunch.  Somehow, we ended up at Sesame… hmmm… like, where I went on Monday!  LOL… I figured, no big whup, there are lots of options.  What do I have?  Same thing as Monday.  It was that good!

Come Friday, I set the PVR for the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, had my breakfast and decided that Zeke and I were due for a walk towards my favourite willow tree and, if we felt up to it, further to the next park.  We felt up to it.  But we definitely avoided coming back through the thicker snow and chose the streets.  The sky was not particularly beautiful (the sun was extremely anaemic) for pictures but I took some anyway and amused myself with PicMonkey.

On our walk back – remember, “we” decided to take the roads back 😉 – I noticed that quite a few houses had “Widow’s Walks”.  Considering we are far from the river, never mind the sea, I wondered what possessed the builders to add them to the tops of these houses.  It’s not like they looked accessible (I may be totally wrong) or even attractive.  But hey, that’s my own humble opinion.  Not one, not two but three houses!  And the third one a good way away from the other two.  I figured they influenced each other but the third?

The next thing I noticed is how weird this particular ‘hood is.  On one side of the street you have the house on the left and directly across you have the other.

I did my 10K steps though!  Got home, took a shower and then left to pick up my mother as she and I had appointments with our new doctor for 3 pm.  It is so annoying that geting a family doctor requires sitting on a waiting list or having friends with connections.  For the past 10 years, I have been going to a private clinic where it cost me up to $110 just to say “hello”.  I no longer work in a company offering benefits so I no longer have insurance.  It has been three years since I’ve gone for a full physical.

Anyhoo, I dunno… Met with the doctor, he asked me why I was there.  I said to get a physical because I don’t have a family doctor.  He said OK.  Asked me if my pressure was good.  I answered it was last time I had it checked.  He asked me when that was.  I said three years ago.  He asked if I used the machines in the pharmacy.  I said no.  He then asked me if there was anything in particular I needed attending.  I said I have trouble sleeping.  He said you want something?  I said yes, I’d like x.  He said how many and then wrote a script.  He then filled in a paper for me to go for general blood tests and – ugh – am I that old already? – a stool sample – when I made a face he said:  You prefer a camera?  I said no, thanks.  He said ok and if there were no issues, I’d not hear from him and showed me the door.

I left there thinking I need to make an appointment with my private clinic where he will weigh me (and give me shit for gaining a pound or ten), take my pressure, measure my waist, listen to my heart, etc.  You know, give me a physical…

Friday evening, François came by.  He surprised me with a lovely gift.  He was supposed to get a price for me because a friend works in a sports store but instead said that no, I could not pay him as they were a gift.  Call them a Christmas/Valentine’s Day/Whatever you want to call it, he said!  I am now the proud owner of my own snowshoes.  I had mentioned that I was considering buying myself a pair from Costco – not too expensive, perfect for a first-timer like me.  He said that is fine and dandy but to hold off.  He would get me a good price from a friend who works at a good sport store.  That was weeks ago.  After my last couple of walks with Zeke, I almost said to hell with it and was going to go buy them anyway!

After a lazy Saturday morning, we went to catch my niece, and goddaughter, Ariane, in her volleyball tournament.  Oh the memories!  I played in high school and college.  I so vividly remember the tournaments.  Game after game, time only for a light bite or if more time, trying not to overeat.   Only in my day, parents never came to watch!  There was a bus that picked us up from school and brought us to wherever it was and then back.  Now, parents have to drive their kids all over the place!  I didn’t think of bringing my camera and my phone is not the best for action shots so I took a very short video.  Ariane is the one in the red shoes in the black and gold team on the right.

Sadly, they lost that game.  Still, I managed to see her make some nice moves!

That night I made a potato/haddock casserole thingy.  A layer of sliced potatoes, layer of sliced onion, another layer of sliced potatoes… cook those for a bit; add the haddock on top and then a sorta tomato/spinach/garlic “salad” and bake for 12 minutes.   Definitely doing this one again!

And, finally!  Sunday!  François wanted to treat his mother to a Dalida impersonator named Joan Bluteau and invited me to join them.  It was at a lovely hotel called the Manoir Rouville-Campbell.  An intimate concert for about 100 people.  I knew they held wedding receptions at this place but I never knew they held mini-concerts.  She was quite good!

One of Dalida’s most famous songs was “Gigi l’Amoroso” of which I taped a little snippet…

At the end of the concert, Ms Bluteau generously allowed folks to take their picture with her.  Mme. Martin was thrilled… and so, I suspect, was her son!

Mme. Martin, “Dalida”, François

I’ve included a video of the real Dalida.  I could have used the Italian version of the song but Dalida did move to Paris and sang mostly in French – besides, to have a comparison 😉

We had not had lunch and it was nearly 5:00 pm so we decided to try out the restaurant in the hotel.  They had a restricted “Pub” menu which ended up being fabulous.

François had “only” a duck confit sandwich, his mother a fish and chips plate and I had the trio of tartares.  Included was a delicious cream of broccoli soup to start and a molten chocolate cake for dessert!

I apologize for going on and on like this.  Goodness!  If you are still with me, than I thank you!

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

16.  Fhameeda – for getting me into her clinic
17.  Finding the financial advisor who will help me with my mother-in-law’s stuff
18.  My sisters – I cherish when we have a chance to sit one-on-one
19.  New snowshoes – to share snow time with my sweetheart
20.  The music of Dalida – I thought I knew none of it and found out I knew a few!