What Happens When You Procrastinate

Last Wednesday I spent the afternoon with my long-lost cousin, Sonya, and when he got home from work, her hubby, Gilles.  A mere one-hour drive and I was back in a winter wonderland.  Yes, granted, this is ski country but still.  It was a shock.  Sonya and Gilles live way out in the boonies but once you get there, one discovers a little slice of paradise.  Let’s face it, if one chooses to live here, one accepts the weather that comes with.  Somehow I did not take a decent picture of the humans so I have stolen this picture from my cousin’s FB page.

Lace, Eagle and Sonya on Lac Dominique

We hadn’t seen each other in fifteen years and honestly, I don’t know who was happier to reconnect.  So I’ll say it was in equal measure and now that we have refound each other, we are not letting this happen again.

We went for a walk on the lake, basically in her backyard, which turned out to be quite the adventure.  We learnt to walk where the snow was packed otherwise we sunk down (up?) past our knees!  The dogs had a blast chasing each other and getting their freak on.  Too bad the sun only occasional peeked out so, forgive me for the crap photos.  To give you an idea just how big these beasts are, below is Eagle just standing next to the kitchen counter…

I regaled them with my “Mick” stories and it was determined that I have a talent in telling stories – such a polite way of saying I hog the conversation, albeit at their urging, dontcha think?

Skip ahead a few days and it brings us to Saturday.  Sitting in my office, doing computer work, I spotted movement in my little tree/bush.  Managed to grab my camera and capture these two from my window before they flew off.  There was a party going on but opening my window scared most of ’em off.  As you can see, the female wasn’t so read to step out into the open, so to speak.  My knowledge of birds is extensive. Red bird, not a robin, female, not so colourful.

Sunday.  The day I was going to post but then did, whatever it was that I did, besides post.  Which means my post about the beautiful spring weather has become something else entirely.  Because, well, you’ll see.  Sunday was gorgeous!  I had no more snow on my front lawn (advantages to living on the sunny side of the street) and Zeke and I were going to take advantage of this 11ºC (52ºF) and go for a good walk.  I figured our usual destinations would be rather mucky so, where to go?  I decided on the Parc de la Freyère, completely forgetting that there was a birding thing going on.  On our way there, I passed by the streets in my old ‘hood and could hear a major loon partay going on.  What a ruckus!  We stopped and yep, there they were hanging out on the bit of ice still or swimming – Canada geese.  Trying to get Zeke to not scare them off, we made our way quietly.  I managed to snap a few pics but it didn’t take long.  They were on to us and took off like the hounds of Hades were after them.  I’m not what you would call a nature photographer but I tried.  They were quick and I just clicked away and prayed.

The damage done, we continued on our way to the park.  There were quite a few birders there with their big-ass telephoto lenses (I look kinda poor with my 75-300mm lens but hey, better than nothing!)

Now THAT’S how you get great shots…

But I did manage to capture a woodpecker – sure it has a formal name.

There were more Canada Geese raising hell but nothing to write home about.

And then came Monday.  Rain.  Freezing rain.  Electricity goes out at 8 am.  I start work at 9 am.  Thankfully I don’t need to blow-dry my hair and it’s bright enough, sorta, outside to do my face, what little I do, do.  First day of work.  Great. I have to scrape my car.  It is April friggen 8th!  Whatevs.  Get to work, meet the new peeps, do my day, all goes well and leave by 4 pm.  (By the way, electricity came back on at about 12:30, I’m told.)

Walk outside.  What?  I come out from work to see this?

OK, OK.  It’s April.  We know foolish things can happen in this month.

Then today happens.  Andrea and I decide to go for breakfast.  It’s chilly.  Back into the negatives.  Sigh. Put on a thicker coat and off we go.  Enjoying a nice breakfast with endless cups of coffee and look outside.  What in the name of all that is holy is that white shit falling like it was bloody Christmas Eve?  For realz?

Umm… April SHOWERS bring May flowers, my ass.

Sorry folks, apparently we are gonna skip that shit this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Know Why, But I Like It – Friday Fictioneers

What is today? Wednesday!  What does that mean? Friday Fictioneers!  Why is Friday Fictioneers on Wednesday?  To confuse you!

I received this lovely picture by Ronda Del Boccio, chosen by our lovely leader, Rochelle and cannot lie… I scratched my head.  There were a few ideas that came and went but everything I came up with felt like something I’d done before so I sent this pic over to my friend, Marc, for inspiration.  And he delivered!  Dunno that I did it justice or not, but hey, I did the best I are 😉 Let us just say I have gone outside of my norm and a tad more whimsical than usual.

Think you have a better idea, or, let us not be negative, another idea?  Then do click on the blue frog below and add the link to your own 100-word story! Would love to read what you write (coz I do read them all…)

©Ronda del Boccio

      Click me!

Don’t Know Why, But I Like It

Enjoying the cover of night, Penny Quillo made her way along the forest edge, searching for berries.

A light appeared out of nowhere, blinding her. Cowering in fright, she froze upon hearing footsteps approach. She felt a pinch in her leg, and all went dark.

When she came to, Penny surveyed her surroundings and realised she was safely back deep in the forest, unharmed. She sensed, rather than saw, a blinking light behind her.

Twisting her head, Penny noticed a bunch of twinkle lights ‘decorating’ her quills.

“What? Who would do such a thing? It’s kinda pretty though…” she preened.

 

My D’oh! Moment, Times THREE

So… my buddy Marc and I have taken to challenging each other once per week with a Daily Fitbit Challenge.  Two weeks ago, he must have been feeling lenient and giving this newbie a chance to beat him by 104 steps.  Last Wednesday, despite my 19,217 steps, he whupped my butt by 5K+.

Circumstances were in our favour to do our challenge today rather than tomorrow.  So, once my meeting with my mortgage broker ended some time around 2:00 pm, I started to get ready for my walk with Zeke.  As usual, I open the door to let him out as he drives me nuts while I tie my boots, and lock it because I’ll go out via the garage so I don’t have to carry my keys.

Open the door and see if the Zeke-Meister is there, and of course, he is!

Gather my stuff and out the garage I go.  Close the garage by pressing the button and take a few steps.  Hmmm… Methinks it might be colder than I thought, maybe I should get a light hat to protect my ears.  Punch in the code and.  Nothing.  Punch it in again.  Nothing.  Shit.  Try one last time and still.  Nothing.  Now I’m thinking that the other button mighta been pushed by accident, thereby blocking the keypad from working.  Why didn’t I check before leaving?  The green dot flashes when it’s locked.   D’oh! number 1

Start walking and text Aidan – “Locked out, blah blah… What time do you finish school?”  Get the response:  “last class is at six”.

Text Iain, who is also at school:  same blah blah as to Aidan plus, “let me know when you can come unlock the door.” Get the response “bruh.  I have a break at 6 and I don’t  have my full set.”

Text my sister, “Any chance in hell you have my house key?”  Get the response “I’m not home right now, and I’ll check but I doubt it”.  So did I.

More exchanges with the boys.  I keep walking because I might as well get my steps in since I can’t even get into the house.  Have an ah-hah moment.  Wait!  I betcha Mick gave a key to Robert for ‘just in case’…. text Robert:  “Hey you!  Any chance in hell you have a key to my house?”  Get the response:  “I think yes”.  He then calls me and tells me he will call me when he gets home to confirm.

Hallelujah!

With a much lighter bounce in my step, Zeke and I walk all the way past the Parc des Coutances to the strip of a trail behind the rue de Gascogne, happy that for once I did not drag my big camera.  I am wondering why so many trees were cut down in that strip.  It can’t be to make way for anything other than the pathway that is already there.  Curious.  But not enough to investigate.

On our return, I regretted not having my camera as there were cardinals calling out to each other.  I did film a little snippet because for some strange reason, zooming in on a video gives better results than zooming in for a picure.  Sadly, it just didn’t do them justice.

There were other birds as well but dang.  Robert called to confirm he did have the key but since he was going to dinner at his parents, where did he want me to hide it?  I told him where but just to make sure it was the right key.

He calls me back.  “Um… your front door was not locked.”  D’oh! Number 2.

Good grief.  Really?  I guess when I checked on Zeke’s position, I forgot to re-lock the door.  Bravo.  So Robert locked it for me.

By the time I got home, I figured… lemme check the keypad, just for the hell of it.

You guessed it.  The garage door opened.  Of course it did, Dummy.  You were able to close the damn door with the extra button (the one that usually goes in your car if you could actually put a car in your garage, which you can’t because our stupid furnace is in there so we keep the button on a rack by the door).  D’oh! Number 3.

On the plus side, with all this walking and stuff, I beat Marc by 431 steps.  Mind you, he called it at 8 saying he was charging his Fitbit and putting his feet up.  So, in solidarity, I removed mine 😉  Now, he’s gonna tell all a’ y’all that I was getting a lil cocky to which I replied “A lil bit.”  I’m sure I could have gotten a couple more hundred steps in easy-peasy.  Especially since I was behind by almost 900 at 7 so I danced while I prepared my supper 😀

I know full well that most days he has me beat so I’ll just bask in my lil moment for a bit.

 

 

 

Celebrating a Friend, Dancing with Leonard and Random Act of Kindness

This thing we have has been going on for a few years now.  I’m still in awe at how life’s cards get shuffled and played.  Julie has made a regular appearance on this here blog and today I feel like adding just how much I appreciate our friendship.  It’s funny.  We went to high school together but were never in the same class (she, with the brainiacs; me, with the troublemakers), didn’t do sports together or hang out together but were friendly without being friends per se.  A few years ago, I found out we were in the same kindergarten class!  Not that either of us remembers the other from then.

We had high school reunions and saw each other at those but I feel it was especially after the 150th anniversary of our school (September 11, 2005) that we really started to connect.  She, at the age of 40, had recently become a widow with two young boys, ages 2 and 3. Her story was so tragic.  Her husband was hit by a car in downtown Montreal.  It’s ironic to say now, but I couldn’t imagine what she was going through, then.

Julie and Martyne, Liette and me

Back in high school, Julie and Martyne were good friends, Martyne and Liette were, and still are, best friends and Liette and I were good friends and participants in sports – handball, basketball, volleyball.  Somehow, Julie and I have since become great friends.  I love her to bits.

After this particular get-together, we met for lunch and realised we had a lot in common.  Vive Facebook for keeping us connected.

I was shocked when she showed up at Mick’s funeral because we still weren’t where we are today.  But, having been through what I was going through, she felt compelled to come.  I can still see her walking towards me with her beautiful, warm smile and remember it taking me a few extra seconds to register who she was.  That whole unexpected/out-of-context thing.  From this point on, things changed.  We now had another thing in common. In the past couple of years we have become more than just “cultural chicks”.  (I think we just use those events as excuses to get-together because often times, the best part of our afternoon or evening is the connection we have by sharing stuff.)

Speaking of which.  This time Julie is the one who snagged a couple of tix for a show without knowing who would accompany her (yeah, right!)  Those tickets were for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM), Dance Me, music of Leonard Cohen.  After holding on to those tickets for one year, the night finally arrived.  We met upstairs from where I was supposed to park.  How in-synch are we?  Neither had her coat.  We both assumed we would eat at one of the restaurants in Complexe Desjardins (where I parked), which we did.  One of the many great things about Montreal is the possibility of making our way underground from one venue to another.  After a shared plate of calamari, our salads of ahi tuna and a glass of wine, we made our way back to Place des Arts.  What fantastic seats we had!  Row F, seats 1 and 2.

No zoom – pretty darn close

Of course, we had to do our usual “us” shot 😉

What. A. Show.  Especially since the last three ballets we saw were less than stellar.   BJM gets criticized for having no soul or emotion while being very energetic and athletic.  I beg to differ.  Obviously, the music was sublime.  The costumes were sobre, pantsuits in blacks and greys, long beige shirts and one in a burgundy dress.  Discussions were had with Leonard himself when the dance company secured the rights to use his songs and he requested they keep his personal life out of things and just focus on the music.  I think they did so brilliantly.  As in most dance creations, there are always little parts that make me wonder where the hell they got that idea from but that in the end, I care not because it is breathtaking to watch.

“Dance Me to the End of Love” had particularly frenetic movements that worked well.

At one point, one of the cast members sat on her knees, a guitarist stood behind her and she sang the sweetest rendition of “So Long Marianne”, not a dancer in sight.  So beautiful.

“Lover, Lover, Lover” was rather humourous.  One male dancing with one after another woman until he falls in exhaustion.  His fellow men come and help him as he regains his strength.

And what can I say of “Suzanne”?  It was sultry and evocative.  I was totaly entranced and was surprised to find myself with tears in my eyes.  I was a good girl and filmed nothing so all I can do is show you a snippet…   Just know that once he picked her up, her feet did not touch the ground until the end of the song.  Insane.

The did not only use Cohen’s older music.  They used three songs from his last album “You want it Darker” including “Steer Your Way” and “String Reprise Treaty” as well as the title song.

Of course they did Hallelujah… This time sung by a male singer, with the same woman offering her sweet soprano for the Hallelujas…and the dancers slowly appeared.  Just sublime.

The set, the lighting effects, the dancers, the music.  Brilliant.  Honestly, one hour and twenty minutes of non-stop bliss.  For this show, we never doubted we got our money’s worth.   It has been playing for a couple of years now, touring all over, and if it comes to your neck of the woods, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

We made our way to the exits, still wrapped in the music and the movement, the chatter around us adding to the buzz. Julie insisted we must make a pitt stop.  We made our ways to the ladies’, sure the line-up would be atrocious, but it turned out not too bad.  And suddenly I got the most intense burn that went from my back to my chest, up to my throat.  This was a whole ‘nother level of heartburn.  Julie could see in my face that all was not well and concern immediately transformed her face.  “Are you okay?”

“Holy shit this is painful,” I grimace.  “Why, oh, why do I not carry ‘Tums’ in my purse?”  I am taking deep breaths, hoping the pain will subside but it is not working.  I scare the shit out of Julie when I say, “You know, women are more likely to feel major heartburn when they are having a heart attack.”  Of course I don’t really think I’m having a heart attack but… I bend over in pain then stand upright, trying in vain to will this agony away.

The lady in front of us in the line-up turned to me and said “I do.  I have some.”  She took a bottle out out of her purse and tapped out two tablets into my hand and then a grey capsule also came out. “Take this as well.  It is charcoal.”  And I know, from my grandmother’s preference for treathing anything naturally, that this is not a bad thing to take.

My gratitude to this generous stranger cannot be suitably expressed.  I gratefully accept her gift, dry-swallowing the charcoal capsule then crunching the two tablets and continue breathing.  By the time a stall liberates for me, I am feeling better.  The pain subsides ever more as Jules and I make our way to the exits.

In the lobby, there is a sculpture that fascinates me every time I go to this particular hall.  I cannot believe I had not photographed it before.  And what did I do this time?  Yes, I did.  BUT, I forgot to get the name of the artist and no amount of Googling at this late hour is helping.  I guess I’ll just have to return and get that info.

We went our separate ways and once settled into my car found that I felt pretty normal.  Got home and shortly thereafter received a text:  “Are you feeling any better Cara? You had me worried there.”

I responded that I had me worried there!

Got another text checking up on me this morning.

 

Part of the Plan – Friday Fictioneers

Good Friday on Wednesday, my peeps!  Yep.  Another week has flown by.  The sun is shining brightly but it is still cold here in Quebec.  I’m having trouble visualising spring, the snow is so high still.  If this house had been settled before yesterday, I would be on the beach with my sisters and mother!  Oh well, I’ll just have to book something after I move by May 1st.

Thank you, always to Rochelle for challenging us to write 100-word stories that hopefully entertain you!  This week she chose c.e. ayr’s photo which reminded me of Italy.

Join in on the fun, why don’t you?

Click me! Click me!

 

Part of the Plan

Whose Vespa is parked outside the door?

Mine, why?

Yours? Really? Since when are you the Vespa type?

There’s a type? Where the hell did you get that notion?

Of course there is. You watch the movies. Any time there is someone driving a Vespa, they are well-to-do types who live in Italy, have al fresco parties with good food and wine and—oh… I get it…

What?

I see what you’re doing. Taking this whole visualisation thing a bit far, no? Wouldn’t it be better to just go back and visit Italy?

But I don’t want to come back.

The Discussion Continues – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  Sun is shining but don’t be fooled ~  it’s a level of cold I just don’t feel like getting used to, today.  So, to warm us up, I decided to do something I never (at least I think I never) do… I have decided to dovetail on Rochelle’s “story” as well as the comments she has received thus far!  So, not that you have to, but what the hey, read hers first here and then mine.  Or don’t.  To add your own story, click on the blue frog below.  G’head, you know you wanna…

©Jean L. Hayes

Click me! CLick me!

The Discussion Continues

“I betcha there is a cigarette machine in there,” added Josh.

“You’re probably right,” added Linda.  “And why do WordPress and inLinkz keep changing things up?  I hate being told what to do. This is so annoying.”

“I like it and didn’t have a problem.  Even added the frog Rochelle forgot,” laughed Keith.

“Why are you guys focusing on WordPress and the frog?” griped Iain.  “We should respect Rochelle, and get back to the story!”

“I think this is fun,” added Trent.  “I could imagine this is how an informal gathering of all the usual Friday Fictioneer participants would go!”

 

 

 

Shades of Blue – That Make Me Happy

I sit in my own house, a stranger, as my agent takes over and shows it to potential buyers who are waltzing around opening cupboards and checking my stuff – I was going to leave but Serge (agent) told me there was no need.  I had already sent off the boys and Zeke so I made myself small in my office, yet available for any questions…

Most weeks I have a whole lotta nuthin’ on my agenda. One day goes into the next and nary a more exciting outing than a trip to Costco or the grocery store.  At other times? BOOM!  Not only do I have three days in a row of activities, the three times involve crossing the bridge into the City of Montréal.  Snow causes a mess as it takes at least eight days to clean up the city after one dumping.  A mess means traffic.  Traffic means short-tempered peeps.  Short-tempered peeps means frustration abounds.

Well, guess what?  Not this chica!  Sure there was traffic and it was, shall we say, interesting navigating the streets of Old Montreal and downtown (west) but hey, I did find parking in parking in lots, and twice underground.  I’m thinking I’ve scored freakin’ well, dontcha think?  No fusseration happening over here.

On the Thursday, I had a date with Edi, my new friend, made through my neighbours five houses down.  Turns out Edi is divorced and has no one to play with (when it comes to plays) so I told her that the next time a decent one came to town, did she want I should call her?  An emphatic YES was the response.  We-he-hell… I was good on my word.  The Centaur had a special “Valentine’s Day” Sale for any tickets purchased for the February 14th representation of “The Last Wife”  a play created by Kate Hennig about Catherine Parr, Henry the VIII’s sixth and last wife.  Told in today’s times, it was funny, brilliantly acted and the set decoration was truly creative.

BUT, to get to the Centaur, I had to drive along de la Commune Street in Old Montreal and I was struck by the colour of the sky.  I was able to pull over and get this picture of the Montreal Clock Tower – ok, I lied.  I was at a stop sign so I rolled down my window (really, Dale?  Rolled down your window?  More like pressed the automatic button…) and took a quick click – hence the blur.  But that blue!

Just before turning up on St-François-Xavier Street, across from the Montreal Science Centre, I noticed the blue was even deeper so did the same thing as earlier – managed a bit less blur…

Met up with Edi, we found a restaurant (Méchant Boeuf) that would seat us before the play – remember, it was Valentine’s – no easy task to find!!  We enjoyed our meal and made our way back to the Centaur in the slush and snowbanks and mess and enjoyed, as mentioned, a fabulous play.

On my way back to my car, I was struck by the purply-blue (dark periwinkle?) of the sky which really made the whitened-by-streetlamps old buildings pop (I did not play with any filters for any of these pictures, by the way!)

On Friday, I had a dinner and a movie date (Roasters, followed by “What Men Want” – total chick-flic and we laughed our heads off) with the girlfriends.  I also had a house visit scheduled for 4:30, which screwed up my timing to be in town at the Forum Movie Centre for 5.  My son assured me he would be home by that time and didn’t get here till almost 4:45.  That would be the day I was late!  Here I was pushing the ladies to be there for 5:00 so we’d have time to eat before the 6:50 movie and I’m the one who arrived at close to 5:45.  I won’t lie.  I may have cursed a bit lot before leaving, while I  was being redirected because of road work, etc.  That said, just before 4 pm, I was sitting at my desk when I looked up and was struck by yet another shade of blue!  Looks almost ominous, doesn’t it?  I loved the depth near the bottom, paling as it goes upward.

Saturday was a beautiful day!  I promised Zeke we would go out for a nice long walk, and long walk we did, breaking in my new FitBit proper-like – making my 10K steps.  While making our way to one Everything had a bluish tint…

Sunday morning, blessed with another beautiful blue day, I found myself driving along. Shaking my head, I am oh-so glad I have a driveway in which to park my car unlike these poor buggers on the left, parked willy-nilly as this side of the street has yet to be cleared…

I definitely must return to this spot (Ontario Street) to retake this beautiful mural of Alys Robi, a Québecois chanteuse, sans damn truck in the way.  I had to pull over because I was struck by this work of art.

“Let Her Sing Forever”

My house once again my own, I leave you with two Alys songs, first a young Alys doing a cover of “La vie en rose” and a more mature Alys, doing “Laissez-moi encore chanter” – because that’s what the mural represents, and this recording, awful as it is, was on my birthday!

I wish for you all, a most wonderful week!