#Weekend Coffee Share – Sunshine, Water Woes, Birthdays and Easter

Hello my friends!  Welcome to this weekend’s Coffee Share!  I did mention two weeks ago that I could not play with you last weekend as I was… sigh… “stuck” in Punta Cana! 😉

There was access to WiFi but, let’s face it, other than sharing my Instagram photos, there was no gathering of thoughts and such!

First, let me thank the lovely Emily for hosting this shindig!  Just click on the box above if you want to join along and add your link!

Without further ado…

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I had a most relaxing and wonderful time in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (I specify, because so many think this is in Mexico!)  The weather was perfect, the beaches wonderful, the food excellent.  Check-in was a nightmare and totally disorganised.  We got there for noon but didn’t get checked in until 12:50 where we were told our room would not be ready until 3:00 pm but to go ahead and eat and drink (now that we had our bracelets).  Check-in was so long the guy at the counter ordered us two beers while waiting!  Once checked in, we went to the dining room.  Which wasn’t open until 1:00.  10 minutes to wait.  Let’s just say not a grand debut to our week…  Things looked up immediately after, though!

Only thing I would complain about, and this pains me greatly to say, were the Russian guests.  Oh my gosh.  The rudest, most pushy and disagreeable sort they were in general.  I don’t like to generalise but here, I must.  There were constant looks of shock and disgust by all other guests every time one of them pushed their way into the food line.  If all were going in one direction, they inserted themselves and pushed in the opposite!  Every. Single. Time.  At one point, there was no one in front of me, I was making my way and two botox, bubble-lipped, boob-implanted-barbie dolls planted themselves in front of me, facing me.  Wrong direction.  I waited for them to move out of the way and nope.  They practically ploughed me over.  Ridiculous.  It does not give one the urge to go visit their country; as ambassadors, they suck!  On a positive note, here are a few pics!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the morning after I arrived home, I walked into my dining room and saw this:

I poked the hole and let out the water.  Then let out a wail.  This is my favourite room that Mick and I had redone the year he died.   Where was the water coming from?  I called my cousin Marc, who just happens to work in construction, to ask him if he was free in the next few days to come and assess the damage.  He said he would come the next day (Good Friday).

My son also advised me that he didn’t know what happened, but that he did not have an accident with my car while I was away…

He did use it to get to and from work as he was working two jobs.  In good faith, I am willing to admit that it does look like someone backed into the door.  Dammit.  Another thing to fix.

Good Friday came along.  Just so happens to be my birthday.  Oh no, no fuss, please!  I can’t handle more right now!  Marc came by before lunch and cut away at the ceiling, trying to find the source of the wet.  He determined it came from the boys’ bathroom shower.  Seems there is a joint that has been dripping for a good while.

I had also noticed that the carpet in the basement was wet.  It had been a bit before I left and I figured someone had spilled something.  However, now it was wet halfway across the room and on the other side!  Oh for Pete’s sake!  Stop already!

Trying to find the source

Marc determined that there must be a crack in my foundation.  Bloody hell.  On Monday I shall be calling my insurance company.  It appears there is work to be done before I can put this Mothaf*** for sale.

As I refuse to end this post on a negative note.  Just not my style, I tell you, I shall finish with this:

My sister, Lisa, made supper and my most favouritestiest spice cake for my birthday.  So nice!

Never too old

While having the last of our coffee (or really, should I not deserve something stronger by now?  I would tell you that Zeke and I took a nice walk yesterday and I was thrilled to see that I finally had a crocus!

Crocus!

And today, is Easter.  And I had to work.  It was the first official event of the new golf season for our members.  A lovely Easter brunch.  Everyone was in a grand mood.  It was nice to work with more of the regulars who didn’t work with me during the winter events.  After the event and the cleanup, we all sat down and ate a nice meal together and I got to take home a bouquet of tulips.

On that note, my friends, thank you for sharing some of your time with me (I promise I will be catching up on your Weekend Coffee Shares as well!)

Happy Easter!  Happy Passover!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xo

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Milestones, Letting Go and Fun Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tulips!

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

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

Not a speck, the moon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dale

xox

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

#Weekend Coffee Share – March 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Got home and bottled my lemon and orange nectar….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mon Ami on Ste.Catherine – their photo

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

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

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

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

Lotsa Love,

Dale

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Time I Write More!

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If we were having coffee, I would suggest you remain in your quarters and I in mine as I am suffering from quite the head cold.  I thought I had managed to avoid falling in the flu/cold trap, having stayed away from all who have succumbed, but apparently I didn’t need to be in an afflicted one’s presence to get it.  I cannot even blame my co-worker Jimmy as my sore throat started the day before we worked together on Thursday. Besides, Jimmy’s always coughing.  Oh well.   I will ride it out.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I so wish my eldest would get his friggen driver’s license (what is with today’s youth?)  so that I could send him off to the store to get me something to help me breathe instead of having to go out there – here’s where I wish I had a significant other who gave a damn… Again, oh well.  I am resilient, will go out there, bundled up, and get what needs getting.  Please note, I am not complaining.  Much.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how happy I am that Thursday’s banquet participants did NOT eat all the soup as we co-workers were able to bring home the left-overs.  Score!  What better to eat than soup (yeah, yeah, should be chicken noodle, but whatever) when one is ill?  There were six, I’ve already eaten one!

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As I haven’t written a coffee share in a little while, I shall cheat a tad and move back to last Thursday (February 2nd) and share what I’ve been up to.  On Thursday, I was very sad to have to attend my friend, Richard’s funeral.  He was a lovely man:  father, fiancé, 2-dan black-belt in karate (which is where I met him) and good buddy of Mick’s.  If there is a heaven, then the two of them are already sharing a beer and reminiscing about their time on earth.

On Friday, I participated in a Skype session with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Sarah Potter, two lovely ladies I have met in the Blogosphere.  Both published authors, both have become good friends.  One over in Belton, Missouri, the other, way over in East Sussex, England.  How cool is it that we can chat, and see each other when we are so far apart?  I’ve read all of their books and will read anything more they ever write.  They’ve both been a positive influence in my writing and my dream is to one day count myself one of them, as in, a published author.  Guess I better get writing, eh?

Saturday was long-time friend Dany’s birthday so, as they (Dany & Giselle) had to cancel their New Year’s Eve Party due to the lovely flu, they decided to celebrate Dany’s birthday with the same gang invited originally.  What a fun time we had.  Great to have a garage that is warm and clear enough to use!  I don’t usually like to repeat what foods I bring but I made an exception in this case.  Dany had so enjoyed it over a year and a half ago at Martin’s party that I remade it.  Duck carpaccio (I prefer prosciutto) with pear, topped with Meyer lemon curd and cured red onions.  Oh my. A symphony in the mouth – Dany’s words!

Then on Sunday, I was invited for dinner at the Hébert’s, my departed friend, Roxanne’s parents, Renée and Michel.  I was so happy her sister, Linda, and brother and sister-in-law, Michel and Christine joined.  I stupidly did not take a picture of the gang so I’ll just have to invite them over to my place for another get-together!  I hadn’t seen them since Roxie’s death – well, not Michel and Christine, these two I joined for the viewing of Purple Rain after Prince’s death.  I offered to bring dessert which was an “Old-Fashioned Silver Cake” that I served with warmed four-berry compote and a dusting of icing sugar.  ‘Twas a hit and such an easy-peasy cake to make that I shall definitely remake it!

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If we were having coffee, I’d say, I have to thank Janet for encouraging me to write more.  Janet is also a friend found in the blogosphere that I connected with.  She is a chef, writer, artist that I admire a LOT.  During this morning’s FB Messenger session, I was telling her about last Friday’s Skype session and that I was hoping that hanging around real published authors would rub off on me.  She said, maybe stop reading as much and give some time to writing.  Whaaaaat?  Of course.   I knew that.  I guess I have been thinking about it more than doing it.  So here I am.  After all my computer issues in November, my NaNoWriMo got cut short.  Nothing stopping me from going back to writing down my stories, right?

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So that’s it for today’s coffee share.  I am planning on participating more.  This week is hostess Diana’s (Part-Time Monster) last week hosting her baby.  I didn’t realise this has been going on since 2014!  To read more stories, click on the coffee cup above.  Starting next week, we will be found on Emily’s blog Nerd in the Brain (Don’t you just love that title?)

I have been slowly been feeling more and more stuffed up so I think I shall make myself a nice hot toddy with some lemon, honey, ginger and a shot of gin.  If nothing else, I will care less about feeling so miserable!

 

 

 

 

A Mindful Walk

The day was too beautiful to waste my time in a gym (and really, like I was going to go, eh?) or in the house, cleaning, so, why not go outside for one of our (Zeke and me) walks?  We were way overdue and hadn’t gone on one of our mega long walks in a long time.

I chose to go over to the other side the main drag (de Mortagne, for those of you in the know) which helps me get my 10,000 steps in.  Though Météo Média “told” me it was -9ºC, but felt like -18 ºC, I found myself overdressed.  I should learn to NOT to put on my thermal shirt under my coat unless the temps dip to -35ºC!!  Didn’t take long to remove the scarf and stuff it in my camera bag!  Taking pictures usually requires me to warm my hands between each shot but not today.  The sun made a huge difference.  That and the lack of wind!

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As I was walking, I started thinking of my blogger/Facebook friends and how amazing it is to have connected with people all over the world.  People I have yet to meet in person.  People who have touched my life in one way or another.  People who graciously and generously sent me love when I needed it and who encourage me to try new things and challenge myself.  This post has become a sort of thank you to a just a few of them!

It all started as I was taking pictures of trees.  Suddenly I thought of Phyllis, because she loves trees!  We met through an on-line photography class, and I’ve followed the tenuous arrival and amazing growth of her beloved grandchild, Madeline.  What an inspiration they all are in that family!

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I came upon some benches.  They were not the prettiest ones out there but benches make me think of Raye, a wonderful artist and writer, (though she doesn’t write much any more – much to my chagrin) that I met through another blogger, named John.  Raye’s writing grabbed me and next thing I knew, I was stalking her, reading every single one of her posts and leaving my two cents’ worth all over the place.  She played along and we found that we must have been separated at birth in one of our past lives.  We have been known to use another’s site for our bantering (right, John?) and have since become friends – by the way, RRR, we are WAY overdue for a Skype session, hmmm?

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Speaking of John, I wish I had one-third of his photographic talents.  I’m working on it!  This Irish guy has an eye for beauty in the simple things.  Here’s a little something for you.  I was playing with the shadows… At least the blue sky was my friend 😉

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Walking along, I came upon the little “bridge” in the middle of nowhere in Parc de Coutance.  Well, of course I though of Jean, another Irish blogger (methinks I may have met John through her, I could be wrong, but does it really matter?)  She is fascinated with all things bridge and not just the structural kind made of wood or metal or whatever but mostly the social kind between people, cultures, etc. No one, and I mean NO one loves her homeland as Jean does.  It just oozes through her words and pictures of her beloved Tramore County.

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I was starting to enjoy myself immensely because my walk suddenly had a new purpose.  Well, purpose, that’s a big word.  Let’s just say I had made a game of it. Exercise, fresh air, great company and now a game.  What fun!

Photography has been a part of my life ever since I got my first Kodak Instamatic.  Remember those?  With the flash cube you added on top?  Fun.  I took one lesson at Dawson College and truly enjoyed myself.  I’ve been the “Kid Kodak” in my family for a long time (still am) and have the boxes of negatives and photos to prove it.  That said, when Joy  showed up… (The how I met Joy is a four-blog-hop process!  So.. Thanks Jessica for getting the ball rolling!) …and offered on-line photo classes, I jumped in.  I learned a lot through her and – no worries, Joy, I WILL do my classwork on the last one I signed up for.  My timing was shot, my computers were shot, the light was shot and next thing I knew it was over and done with.  But I’ve kept my lessons and will do them.  Promise.  PicMonkey has become my new best friend for editing photos and having fun with my images!

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The clouds were making cool patterns and Janet, chef, teacher, artist, writer (another who needs to write more!) came to mind.  I would link to one of her blogs but, cannot. This link is a guest blog she did and truly gives a sense of who she is.  Her sarcastic humour is what got me at first and that was through her comment on another blog (please, do not ask me which one!)  Next thing I knew, I was once again a stalker.  We have since become friends as well and like to Skype for a good chin-wag when we can.  She is brilliant and I am lucky to count her in my circle.

I then was on a mission for the colour purple.  Figures. No matter where I looked, I could not find anything purple!  Ah come on!  How am I supposed to honour Rochelle? She’s the queen of purple.  Her blog is called Addicted to Purple!  I can’t use just any old image!  This woman has become my writing mentor and friend.  I was half-way home and thinking dang… I am going to have to play with the colours of something or other and make it purple!  And then… I burst out laughing!  Okay, I admit, I may be pushing it a bit but you gotta laugh, no?  Lucky for me, these little girls flocked to Zeke and one just so happened to be dressed in the appropriate colour.  So I used both.  Because.  It’s my blog.

Now I am going to cheat here as there is another I would like to mention.  That would be Sarah.  It is all her fault that I write haikus and am now a member of Friday Fictioneers.  Last Friday, during our walk, I composed a couple of haikus in my head – then dictated them to my cell because, frankly, they would be lost otherwise –  but didn’t post them when I got home because I was invited out and just didn’t take the time.  Sooo. we’ll just pretend the following was from today, okay?

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And lastly, before you all fall asleep in boredom, I cannot write such a post and exclude Zeke now, can I?  He’s way more popular than I am!  How can he not be; such a handsome and faithful companion…

 

 

#Weekend Coffee Share – Overdue and Yet Timely

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It has been eons since my last coffee share (I’m even afraid to look, it’s been so long…) but let us not let that stop us, righty?  After all, it is the last day of 2016 and a brand-new, unblemished New Year starts at Midnight tonight!  Click on the image above to be taken to Diana’s blog “Part-Time Monster” for more weekend shares, and maybe add your own.  Thank you for accepting my contribution, Diana!

If we were having coffee, I’d suggest we splurge and add a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to it… Bailey’s? Grand Marnier?  Name it, I’ll add it.  Allow it to warm our tummies so we can feel all cozy and warm on the inside as well as the outside.  Don’t worry, I’ve lit the fire to keep us toasty warm.

If we were having coffee, I’d first say happy birthday to my friend Leslie Gadoury.  What a thing to have a birthday on the last day of the year!  It’s always a celebration in double!  I just wish we could see each other face-to-face sometime soon.  It’s been way too long, hasn’t it?  Thank goodness for Facebook (cuss it all you like, folks.  For me, it is one way of keeping in touch!)

If we were having coffee… oh, did you prefer tea?  Skip the caffeine and move right to wine or a cocktail?  Please, no worries!  I might even have a bit of eggnog left over!

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Anyway, I would tell you that Zeke got a good walk yesterday.  Also a first in a long time.  Somehow I was letting my lethargy take over and not going on our long jaunts of yore.  A situation to be remedied, I assure you!  Zeke and I were both very happy and the weather was perfect.  Almost too warm (or is it that my jacket and boots are just too efficient?).  We went to our favourite park des Brouages where “my” river flows…

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It felt so good to get out there and enjoy the fresh air.  Made me wonder why the heck I hadn’t been finding the time… oh yeah, between ice storms, rain, holidays… I may have been a tad busy!

If we were having coffee with a hint of spirits, I would say that I am ever so glad that I signed up at the gym at the same time as I did my son.  It was his Christmas gift but at two for one… why the heck not?  I have gotten my program from the very helpful Mathieu so will have no excuses on what to do and how (not that I really did, but you know, it had been a long time since my last subscription…whatever it takes to give me the oomph to go!)

We had a lovely Christmas between the sisters’ houses.  Always fun to end up at Tracy and Sébastien’s on Christmas Eve and play our silly game of steal the present.  There is always that one present that everyone covets… Plus Tracy introduced us to a fun Chinese gambling game that made us all run and laugh… Darn Stéphanie who one three out of four games!  Lucky her!  Everyone brought food, me my eggnog and a marzipan cake inspired by Sarah Potter – I’m positive hers was not dangerous to the teeth!  Next time I follow the recipe and use cherries and NOT dried fruit… sigh…)

The next morning, after opening our presents and me picking up my mother-in-law, it was brunch at my house where Iain, for the second year, has taken up his father’s position as head chef and omelette maker!  Basically the same crowd (save Sébastien’s sister and brother and family) and, normally I invite friends but somehow this year, that didn’t happen… Christmas, though arrives at every time, every year, somehow crept up on me…) Still, we stuffed ourselves big time on sausages, bacon, omelettes, croissants, chocolate-buttermilk pancakes, pâtés, etc.  Lisa brought her famous kourabiedes cookies (Greek butter, powder sugar cookies) – sooo delicious!

Time to relax/clean up/nap/do whatever we pleased to then find out way at Lisa and Chris’ for Christmas dinner.  Chris’ bird was delicious and we almost ate my salad that I brought – totally forgot it in the fridge!  That and my cranberry sauce… What up wit dat?  Like there wasn’t already enough food to fill our bellies with… It’s always a nice relaxed end of the holidays evening and we, though we were sure we would not be able to eat after Iain’s brunch, stuffed ourselves once more.

A lovely holiday season for sure and it is culminating tonight with a party at Linda and Nicola’s – they have an annual New Year’s Eve party and it is my first time attending.  I was blessed to be invited to three parties this year!  Three!  And me, who spent last NYE in my tub…

Giselle and Dany’s party had to be cancelled for flu.  I think they would benefit from one of my special coffees… or maybe some home-made chicken soup.  Shall  see what I can do for them!  Get well love birds!

I wish for you all a most wonderful 2017, filled with love, laughter, good health, general happiness, friendships and smiles for no reason… oh and of course, good fortune!

Lotsa love!

Dale

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flooding the Internet With Gratitude

50 Happy Things I’m Grateful For in 2016

I follow Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and her blog Addicted to Purple and she took on Dawn Landau from Tales of the Motherland’s challenge that she took on from… well, you get the picture.  Actually, it was originally a “50 Things That Make You Happy” that evolved into a “50 Things that Make you Grateful” because, as those of us Gratitude Practitioners know, being grateful brings happiness and vice-versa. As I write this… I realize that I participated in a happy challenge in 2015!  Seriously, Dude.. where is YOUR memory? (she says to herself…)

OK… Enough blah, blah!  If you want the official rules and regs, I would click on Dawn’s link as she gets into the nitty-gritty.  But basically, get ready, put a timer on for 15 minutes and write away 50 things for which you are grateful and/or that make you happy.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. (folks have trouble with this, but it’s not that hard. 4)Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. The inLinkz will be open until January 3, 2017

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50 Things I’m Thankful/Grateful For That Make me Happy, in no particular order…

  1. My children Iain and Aidanimg_2223
  2. Snow at Christmas
  3. Having a roof over my house
  4. My dog Zekeimg_2666
  5. Friday Fictioneers
  6. My sisters Lisa and Tracysisters
  7. The blogosphere and the friends that I have made.
  8. Mom, who is always there when we need hermom
  9. Running water
  10. Being able to drive to where I want to go
  11. Tuscany – and me finally getting to go there!2016-09-06-09-17-43
  12. Milena from L’Albero Gameli for making my first night in Tuscany so memorable20160904_104102-2
  13. Linda and George for creating Cook in Tuscany
  14. Facebook which has allowed me to not only find people but keep in touch with them
  15. Sunflowers!20160905_092511
  16. My almost 20 years with Mick which has given me so many stories to write aboutmick&dale
  17. Living in a place that enjoys all four seasons
  18. Summerimg_20160710_180901
  19. Springimg_2608
  20. Winterimg_1920
  21. Fallimg_20161102_144642
  22. My eyes, for allowing me to be able to read and see the world
  23. Running into an old friend in the middle of Montefollonico20160909_150608
  24. My job that I never thought I’d like, much less be good at
  25. The fact I don’t have to work this winter, unless I really want to
  26. Flannel sheets in winter
  27. Air conditioning in Summer
  28. Heating in Winter
  29. Boucherville – home town and where I find much blissimg_20161230_104959_451
  30. Frank – because he is going to ask me why is not on the list
  31. My smile – I have to accept it as good as it is always commented on!dale-2016
  32. The fact my boys are starting to do things on their own just because and not because I asked!
  33. My lack of allergies.
  34. My cooking skillsimg_20161106_173503
  35. Circle of friends
  36. Photography, which allows me to express myselfimg_20161230_104523_294
  37. Resilience – to overcome obstacles
  38. Laughter – the best sound ever
  39. My independence
  40. Coffeeimg_20161230_123709_669
  41. Brothers-in-law for all the ways they help me out
  42. Smell of fresh cut grass
  43. Scent of petrichor
  44. Summer rain
  45. Big fluffy snowfall any time in winterimg_20161230_101837_054
  46. Warm clothes to be able to play in the snow
  47. Pools and lakes and oceans in hot weather2016-03-08-13-21-30
  48. Good glass of wineEverything is better with wine
  49. Fireplaceimg_20161211_010246
  50. Love – the possibilities of it

Now, this is quite the random list, and that’s okay.  It’s what it is supposed to be!  I could have cheated and changed some of my answers but I followed the rules and added the pics later… days later.  I wanted this out before midnight and I’ve got three minutes to post!