Creating Art – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday!  It is time for Friday Fictioneers, where a bunch of us rush to post on Wednesday because Friday seems too far away.  This week our lovely leader, Rochelle, has gotten the rights to Jennifer Pendergast’s lovely photo.  Did an idea pop into your head upon seeing this lovely bit of children’s art?  Then by all means, do share by clicking on my Lego frog below and add the link to your 100-word story!

©Jennifer Pendergast

Lego Frog Building Instructions - Lego Classic 10698 "How To" - YouTube

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Hey babe, what are you up to?

I’m creating a collage.

It looks like a child made it.

Good, it’s supposed to.  I am calling it “Innocence at Play”.

No, seriously.  It looks like a three year old made it.

Right.  And like I said, that is good. It’s what I’m aiming for.

Are you telling me that you will get paid for this crap?

It is not crap. It is art. And yes, I will.

The shit you can get away with when you are a recognized artist.

Isn’t it grand? Plus, it pays the mortgage, so stop bitching.

 

 

Spooky Is As Spooky Does

On Monday, Frank J. Tassone hosted dVerse’s Haibun Monday.  He said:  “Let’s feel the spooky sensation of this coming Halloween/Samhain! Let’s celebrate that emotion of dread. Let’s write our haibun that states or references fear.”

Looking for a particular photo and some inspiration I went through my pictures.  I found a couple (though not the one I really wanted) and settled on this one.  Shall we?

Nicole was practically skipping as she made her way home, still feeling warm and fuzzy from the lovely evening she had had with her besties. Getting together for dinner and a movie was always so much fun.  In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, they had gone to see Halloween #27. (Seriously? When were they going to give it up already?)  She giggled as she thought of how ludicrous the whole thing was until she noticed how dark and quiet the woods seemed suddenly.  Where was the birdsong? The buzzing of insects?  She tripped over the roots of a tree, just managing to stay upright.  The willies crept in and she imagined the tree branches reaching towards her to grab her.  She stumbled forward, fear overtaking her reasoning as she hurried to get out of the now-scary woods and out into the clearing. What the hell was wrong with her anyway?

Fear courses through veins

Causing heart palpitations

None of it is real

Walktober 2021 St-Rémi d’Amherst & Brébeuf

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

― Nathaniel Hawthorne

I could not agree more, Nate!

This year I planned ahead for my Walktober, hosted by the lovely Robin at Breezes at Dawn.  Planned so far ahead, It’s been almost three weeks since I went for my walk and I’m only sharing now?  Life and all that.

For many years my sisters and our families would “go up north” to my mother’s for Thanksgiving (2nd weekend in October, in Canada).  Each time, I’d think, darn… we seem to be just a week too late to see the colours at their apogee.  This time, I thought, I’d not be fooled!

My cousin Sonya and I had been wanting to get together for awhile so we planned to meet at my aunt’s (formerly my grandmother’s) in Namur, in the Outaouais region of Quebec. My mother hitched a ride with me so I changed my plans only slightly in that, instead of going for my walk on Saturday, I’d go on Sunday, on my way home.

There are two ways to get to our destination, through the Laurentians (where the colours were sure to be spectacular) or through the Outaouais, which is always a tad behind. Though not the original plan, the latter is the route we ended up taking.  I forewarned my mother that I might be pulling over often!  This was the first stop, just before Fassett (I think!)

The colours are still to show off

It wasn’t long before I pulled over again, this time in the town of Fassett.  Whoa! I had to stop.  The Tragically Hip is a Canadian band close to our hearts, all the more so since the front man, Gord Downie passed away from brain cancer, October 17, 2017.  Someone painted this gorgeous mural on the side of their house.  (Bobcageon is a town in Ontario and the title of one of their songs.)

The colours got more the closer we got to my aunt’s.  From Montebello to Namur, you do not want to stop.  The curves and hills make it way too dangerous so I was looking forward to the next day’s walk.  But until then, there was an evening of good food, wine and lots of laughs in store.

We had a late breakfast, having gone to bed at an ungawdly hour the night before.  Salutations and I was out the door by noon.  This time I was taking the road towards the Laurentians, detouring wherever I got the urge. These following three are just a few of my stops.

About midway between my aunt’s and the highway there is a lovely village called St-Rémi d’Amherst.  My mother lived in an apartment there after my folks split up.  This permitted us to discover the water tower.

Way back (over 25 years ago) there were steps in various parts of the climb. The man who took care of them passed away and over the years they disappeared into the land. Makes it more challenging!  I had joked with my sister that I had had a sort of vision of me falling down the hill and no one was there to help me… feeling I had hexed myself, I thought I should not dare! However, after stopping by the little lake in the village, I couldn’t help but drive my car past the little church towards the entrance. Seeing a bunch of cars already parked, I figured I was safe!  LOL.

The walk up to the old water tower can take a good 30-45 minutes.  You have to walk down a path, to some stairs and a bridge to cross a little river (creek) and then the trek begins in earnest.

The trek, even when there were stairs here and there, was and is a good one. There are moments where you really have to stop and catch your breath.  I do remember once running up the whole way in 15 minutes.  Yeah. Not today!

The view from the top is quite spectacular. I don’t have the crazy gene to climb the tower, though!!

The way down permitted me to notice some fungi while feeling the burn in my thighs!

So glad I decided to risk it.  I continued on my way and remembered that I have promised myself over and over to stop in Brébeuf at the falls.  Oh my.  Such a beautiful place.  And, after my whole lifetime of passing by here, I finally learned they are called the Blueberry Falls (Chutes aux bleuets).

I seem to be unable to control myself when it comes to Walktober.  I tell myself I shall not bombard you with photos and, trust me, I held back!  I hope you enjoyed the walk!

As Far As Delicatessens Go… – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  It’s Friday Fictioneer’s time and Rochelle not only hosts, she even supplies this week’s wonderful art/inspiration.  After reading her story, I felt the need to add my two cents’ worth 😉  In all fairness, I’ve not been to Katz’s – yet.  So, this is all in jest, of course.  Maybe.  If you’ve a more original idea for a story, by all means, please click on the frog below and add your 100-word story link.

PEPE Jimmy John's Part 1 by DestinyWrites on DeviantArt

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As Far As Delicatessens Go…

This week Rochelle went on and on about Katz’s Deli.  Course, ‘Muricans know nothing ’bout smoked meat.  They are all about the pastrami – which ain’t a bad thing, just not the same thing.  Not trying to shit-disturb over here y’understand, just trying to enlighten.

Lemme tell you, if ever she manages to get her butt up to Montreal, Imma take ‘er to Schwartz’s Deli so’s she can see the difference betwixt smoked meat and pastrami.  Like night and day, I tell ya.

Next thing you know, Rochelle’s gonna try to tell me that New York bagels are better than Montreal’s!

*

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In the spirit of sharing, here’s a little video and link for ya about Schwartz’s.

Déjà Vu – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Thursday and I am late to the party.  Fashionably?  Truth is, I wasn’t even sure I would play this week but I am totally skipping class, so to speak.  I needed a break from the monotonous task that was leaving me brain-dead at work so I have snuck out for a few moments to get that grey matter working.  Shhh… don’t tell my boss.  Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this party and to Brenda Fox for bringing the party favours.  Should you want to play along, just click on my frog carousel below and add your link to your 100-word story.  K. Back to work. None the wiser…

©Brenda Cox

Mouse Fair: Leap Frog Carousel – Action Artwork Rental

Do you ever feel like you’ve been somewhere before even though you know you haven’t?  It’s like a strange familiarity wraps itself around you.

I am walking in the Charles-de-Gaulle Esplanade in Montpellier when I see a beautiful old carousel.  There’s that feeling of déjà vu I mention. As in “already seen”.  I have yet to set foot in France.

Not déjà vu after all.  In Florence, in the Piazza della Repubblica, they have an almost identical carousel situated in a square just like this one.

Must be a European thing, I can’t imagine this in Phillips Square in Montreal!

Itchin’ – Friday Fictioneers

I’d like to first offer my condolences to Liz on the loss of Don.  My deepest condolences to you. Sending much love your way.

Secondly, I must wish happy birthday to my sister Lisa… Happy birthday, Sis! I love you to bits!

And finally… welcome to Friday Fictioneers, a place where peeps gather round the fire tended by Rochelle every week.  Rochelle could not have made a better choice today (even if she didn’t know it at the time). I saw this and was immediately on a cruise in my mind… since we actually were on one, returning just before the shit officially hit the fan on Friday the thirteenth of March, 2020.  Lordy.  ‘Nuff of that. Click on the frog to play by adding the link to your 100-word story.  G’head. It’s a great way to learn how to trim the fat from your writing…

©Liz Young

Fall is here.

Yes, and it’s my favourite time of the year.

Mine, too.  The weather is perfect.  If it could only stay like this through till spring. Skip winter alltogether.

Not how it works in this neck, you know that.  Why bother harping on it?

Coz this is the time I start itchin’.

Itchin’?

Yeah. Itchin’ to book our next cruise for Spring Break. 

Hah! You just said fall is your favourite.  Enjoy it.  Why rush?

One word for you:  Planning ahead.

That’s two words.

Don’t be a smartass. Shall I call the sisters?

Duh! And don’t forget Mom!

 

Groovy is as Groovy Does

On Monday, for dVerse, it was Quadrille Monday (44 words, max), hosted by De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo.  We had to use the word “groove” or a version of it.  I’m way late to the party but on this morning’s walk to work, I encountered this lady and I suddenly felt like participating.  And like my title says, groovy is as groovy does 😉

I cannot help but think of Iris Apfel who, at 100 years of age, has said (Choosing just one was difficult; the proof being that I changed quotes three times!):

“When the fun goes out of dressing, you might as well be dead. You need to pursue your own fancy.”

Both of us on an exercise mission,

cross each other’s paths.

My hello returned with a smile

Your

mismatched olive hat,

purple-striped shirt

and orange scarf,

with wide-legged grey shorts,

black knee-high socks

joining turquoise running shoes

scream

“I’m groovy coz I say so!”

 

Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Inspired by David Kanigan, I thought I would write a “Walking” post. Because Lord knows I’ve walked in the past eight days! Of course, mine won’t be as sophisticated as his. I don’t have some cool reference to the latest book I’m reading, inspiring me. No, no. Mine is the Good Gawd Version.

It all started with a decision to go hang out with my fella… Justin opened up the border to the Yanks and I just had to wait until Joe did the same for us. But he didn’t. Damn him! So, arrangements were made to fly – destination Philadelphia followed by a short drive to Delaware, just for the hell of it.

I did the necessaries, i.e. get a proper Covid test (the US, while not open to us Canucks, are less demanding of which test was needed). Found me a drive-through and was planning on getting tested on the Saturday, August 21, on my way up to Yvon’s funeral. It only takes 15 minutes to get the results. However, I decided to follow my sister Tracy’s suggestion that I not wait till the last minute. So I went on Thursday after work, enduring traffic to and fro. But all good. Negatory, so I was set.

Why, pray tell, do we have to present ourselves at the airport three hours prior to boarding when there is no one officially working until 5:30? My flight was at 7:30… There was one woman who was asked to come in early so she dealt with as many as she could, including me, before the rest arrived… And then? Great, she checked us in but the security isn’t open until 6:30? What in the eff?

There is a screen between the cow chute and the agents…

Sunday morning, I was on my flight to, get this, ATLANTA, as a layover to Philadelphia. Nuts, I tells ya. Nuts. I have gone to Florida, to the Dominican Republic and my layover was IN Philadelphia. Now that it was my destination? No, no. we can’t have us no direct flight. Let’s send you for a ride!

Blue skies over fluffy white clouds – gonna be a great week!

I won’t complain too hardily as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a beautiful place. I mean, if you are to have a four-hour layover, this is a grand place to have it. I’d get my 10K steps easy-peasy! I arrived in Concourse A and walked around there, not quite knowing how to get to the other concourses. So I took the train to T and walked all the way back to E. And back. Wow.

Concourse T to A contains a series of Zimbabwean sculptures, each one so beautiful. I took ’em all but won’t torment you here!

Concourse A to B has a rain forest theme, including the sounds of tree frogs and other beasties. So cool.

Between Concourses B and C, you find a serious history lesson. Along the walls the images take you from 11,000 BC to today.

There was nothing special after that that. Was more straightforward.

My flight was on time and it was off to Delaware for a week of reconnection, rest and relaxation.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. I had a Covid Test to take. This time the PCR one. Thanks to my co-worker, I knew that Vybe Urgent Care took appointments and gave results in two hours. Woot! (Booked it on Monday,) Off we went, I took the test and then we walked around South Philly for a few hours. Picked up the results. All good. I was negative.

Friday afternoon, I receive an email from Air Canada telling me my flight next day’s was cancelled. For weather. What? What weather? There was nothing in Philadelphia. Nothing in Toronto (my connecting airport) and nothing in Montreal. What in the blessed eff? Sonova…. They give me my new flight for SUNDAY at 8:30, with a connection in Dulles, Washington. An eight-and-a-half hour layover. Oh. Em. Gee… No matter how much I searched, unless I was Croesus, which I am not, there was no way I could change this. Double Damn. Thankfully, we were able to stay at our joint for another night.

Saturday morning I wake up with a start. Aaaarrrggghhh! My Covid test is now no longer valid! I call Vybe and am told that “sorry, we cannot fit you in”. I call elsewhere and hit a wall. I call back the first Vybe – which is the closest in Ridley and basically beg. Successfully. We have to leave immediately, so off we go.

As expected, it took less than five minutes. So I treated us to breakfast in a diner (meh) and we then walked around until the paperwork was ready. Yay. Negative again (like… of COURSE).

It was great to have an extra day of vacation but the running around necessary? Not so much. Plus, now I had to leave at 8:30 instead of 10:15 yet another early start!

So. Here I am. In Dulles. It ain’t no Atlanta, is all I’m saying. But now I have to distract myself for eight-and-a-half hours. After a lickety-split flight from PHL to ATL (arrived early, of course). I thought I’d be seeing this spaceship (please, take me away!) over and over again but no. I found other places to get my steps! Not too exciting.

I walk from one end to the other and back. I see there is a Bar Symon and I think, that will be a great supper. It’s in Gate B and I still don’t know where I am leaving from. By 10:30 my 4 a.m. bagel is no longer sustaining me so I decide to have a Five Guys burger – a small one. Thank goodness!

Walk some more and wish and wish I could find some place to lie down. All the damn benches have armrests! What is it with this well-maintained airport already? I could like on a wooden bench like some rubby (homeless Canadian drunk) – right the middle of the hallway…. or maybe this cushy one, also set up in full view. I keep walking and find this overpass between Gates A1-A5 and A6-A-whatever)… Dang. That would have worked

Too late. I sit down in my empty gate A5 and start to write this post. I realise, as I am looking for deets, that I cannot find my blue travel wallet. What the? Wait. Oh man. I think, when I took my laptop out of my bag at security in Philly, it fell out. Never saw it. It contained all my paper proof of vaccination, tests, etc. Thank God I had it all digitally but I knew it would make my life easier to have the paperwork. Could this day get any worse?

Why yes. Yes, it could! By 4:30 they call us to verify our vaccine situation and test and all that schmegegge and tell us… hey… by the way, let’s delay your flight by an hour! Sallamabeetz…

Papers verified, I look around. I am NOT taking the chance to walk over to Michael Symon’s joint and find a nearby pub called Firkin and Fox. Imma have me a Yuengling! And a “turkey” (pressed meat) avocado club sandwich. Was edible and quenched my thirst. All for the measly sum of $30. Gotta love airports, eh?

Return to my bench to finish my post and accidentally flush it. Had to start the whole damn thing over (I think this version is better, though still way too long!)

Oh… that a boarding call? Not quite yet as, well, there is something they need to look at…

Everyday Exotic Beauty

On Monday, Merril was hosting dVerse Prosery.  I love this challenge of using only 144 words to tell a story – not in poetry but in prose, using a phrase supplied.  Merril’s head must have been in the clouds because that is the theme for this one.  We must use the following:

“But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter

Against the blue cloth of the sky”

              –from “Clouds” by Constance Urdang

Do take the time to read her poem. It is wonderful! (Very short)

Anyway, how could I resist when I so love clouds?  I couldn’t.  That said, I am really late to the party so, without further ado:

Pastel hues greet me as I open my blinds, declaring that, beyond my field of vision, the sun has only just risen.  I dress and step out into the morning and am immediately shrink-wrapped in a second skin of humidity.  The air is thick and there is no breeze to be had.  Nevertheless I set off at a light run, on soundless feet (our karate Shihan taught us to run quietly – no heels! no thuds!)  I make my way along my now-familiar path, feeling I am one with the universe.  My soundscape consists of cawing crows and tweeting birds.  Pastels have given way to vibrant fire by the time I get to the park.   I look up and Oh! But these clouds are clearly foreign.  Such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky cannot ever be considered plain.  Everyday exotic beauty.

What Lies Beyond? – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #144 & #143

Good Thursday my peeps!  I feel like have not participated in a CCC in way too long.  Which really, has not been that long as it was less than a month ago. I can’t seem to get a handle on the time, lately.  Anyhoo, I had plans, big plans for CCC #143 and then did diddly-squat.  So this week, how perfect that Crispina chose a photo that I could not only matchy-matchy with but which I could put together with the previous week’s and again matchy-matchy!  It takes so little to please me…  And I am way short of the max of 150 words so I shouldn’t get in trouble.

 

What Lies Beyond?

 

What lies beyond this fence of grass?

Is it safe; can we see?

We cannot help but ask

 

To the left, lies the golden sea

After which you will find

A town, or rather a piggery

 

And to the right, don’t be surprised

Are two tall structures

Not meant for our kind

 

But straight ahead, do not be shy

Chances are, when all is calm

There will be ones like you and I