Birthday Dinner

I swear, those two! Karen and Marc have done it again. This time they’ve dragged Frank in as well. Will be interesting if he plays with us this time. You see, Karen read an article, shared it with Marc, they extracted 11 words then emailed me, sending me a copy of the text that inspired this craziness (no, you cannot read it). Karen’s story is here. Marc’s is coming tomorrow, he said. Mine follows. And yes. It is my birthday today so, I went with that 😉

Birthday Dinner

She was invited to join her friends at the Clubhouse Bistro Bar to celebrate her birthday but declined, choosing to stay quietly at home, in her new comfy chair, with a TCM movie, a glass of wine and a burger picked up from the drive-thru. No cooking today. However, on her way out, she ran into that busybody Ethel with her passion for Jesus. What she would give to dunk that self-righteous Dinosaur‘s head in a bowl of Holy Water! Desperate to get away from Ethel, she quickly retraced her steps.

Sans burger, it looked like the Twinkies, sent by her friend, Marc, who was trying to bring her to the dark side after all their joking around about the merits of the “cake”, would be her meal. She couldn’t be cross with him now could she? She even gave him absolution now that she had nothing else to eat.

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Now, I know this was shortlived, however, it did traumatize certain, peeps…

I’m a Fire Sign Dammit – Stop Trying to Put Out My Flame!

“Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don’t have the wit to deal with the problems of life. ”
Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

OK. Universe.  We gotta talk.  I dunno what I said to:

  1. piss you off, or
  2. indicate I needed more water situations in my life to, I dunno, cool off?, or
  3. request a shit star, to continue to fly over me, sending me challenges

But it’s enough, okay?  I’m good.  I understand.  I got it.

Let us move on to another vibe because, quite frankly, I just may crack.

It was enough for me to come home from vacation last April, just before my birthday, to a leaky pipe in the boys’ bathroom leading to a bulging ceiling, leading to a ruined floor.  It was more than enough for me to go into the basement, walk halfway into the room and have my socks soaked because there was a crack in my foundation and my carpet was wet almost all the way across.

These two items have been fixed.  In August for the dining/office rooms thanks to insurance coverage, the other, mostly bone but still kinda a work in progress thanks to François’ hard work and my hard cash.

Excellent.  We good.  I call the real estate agent, he comes over, we sign the paperwork, he sends that little fiend to tell me how to make this place pretty and lifeless.  I tell him I am getting new a new couch (today, some time between now and 10:00 pm) and that I’ll call him so we can have the photographer come in.

However.  We NOT good.  Are we? No, no.  You see, we seemed to have some sort of blockage in the boys’ toilet.  So, François, ever the handyman, passed the fish through it, felt something go and thought, cool beanz, we good.   But we weren’t were we?

No. Still not flushing satisfactorily so I talk to my cousin Marc, also a clever handyman, who says, yanno, maybe there is something stuck in the toilet itself.  Alrighty then.  Off comes the toilet and we (royal “we”, I did nothing) check and find nothing.  However, the “lead” in the pipe is all wonky so François decides to fix it and gets all the necessary stuff.  Does what needs to be done and we good, right?  No. We not good.

As he was finishing up the basement, he notices it’s wet under my new vinyl floor.  Pulls it up and.  Shit.  This seems to be coming from the toilet all the way upstairs.  Cleans up basement, removes toilet.  Hmm… something does not look right.  He now feels we need to bring in a plumber.  He has one and calls the guy.  Two days, three days, four days.. OK… screw him.

I say, “OK, Bumstead.  Ya done what ya can… Time for ME to bring in the professionals…”  I’ll call the next morning.

Yesterday, (the next morning) I went downstairs to get something or other and notice there is paper on the bathroom floor.  Open up the toilet.  Really?  Could no one have advised me that they blocked the toilet before leaving for school/work/whatevs?  So I flush and plunge and get the stuff down but this baby is NOT flushing properly.  Bloody hell.

Call four different plumbers, leave three messages.  The last one actually had a receptionist/admin person who said I was in luck, she could send a guy right away as he just became free.

Enter Samuel.  Nice kid (well, dad of two younguns but still a kid to me ;-)) decides to work on the basement toilet first.  Yep… doesn’t like the way it flushes so he uses the fish.  Nothing comes out.  Fishes a couple of times until we decide to take the damn thing off and see if we can see something stuck.  He sees a plastic something and can’t reach it.  Using every tool he can think of, a piece comes out.  Dang.  I know EXACTLY what it is.  It is the cover forone of my wall heaters.  Or part of it anyway.  Sam looks at me and says, “I’m guessing there is a second piece.”  I nod yes and the search for the second piece begins.  He went to get his special camera and could see it stuck to the side.  No matter how much he shoved and prodded, it was not budging.  We brought the toilet outside, took out the hose and tried to use the water pressure.  Nope.  Sigh.  Finally, after putzing around, the second piece finally comes loose.

All this took a good two hours.  Crap. (Yeah, yeah, pun intended.)  Puts the toilet back on and it’s time to move upstairs for what I originally thought was the “big” job.  He takes one look at the hole and says… “Your pipe is cracked.”  WTF!!  He says he’s going to have to change the section of the pipe and, to not break the tile, will have to put a hole in my dining room wall.  He looks at the time and says, how about I come back tomorrow morning so you don’t have to pay over time.  Uh. Yeah!

Fast forward to this morning 10:30-ish.  Samuel comes in, brings his tools and gets to work.

The hole he had to make…

The pipe he cut out…

One of the cracks that were made by someone who worked really hard to remove the lead…

The hole where a screw was inserted – probably when the kitchen remodel was done in ’98, removed and the hole left untended…

And, newly fixed pipe.

Excellent.  We good?  No.  We not good.  The toilet has a crack in the base.  Ahhh  f&*?%!  He takes it off the seal (another wasted bit of cash) and we look to see if it’s only on the surface or on the inside.  Of course it’s on the inside too.

So.  Yay.  Call François, ask him if he feels comfortable installing the new toilet now that everything else is good and he says yes.  Sign and pay the bill and send Samuel off to his next client.

Now I have to buy a toilet.  Check on-line, find the best price is across the over-pass from my house and make my way out.  As I am looking at them, I realise they look kinda high in the back.  Call the house and ask Willow to measure the floor to the stupid shelf (no, I am NOT removing the shelf.  The bathroom was painted when previous problem was fixed.)  30 inches.  Every fricken toilet is 30 to 31 inches.  Really?  Are you shitting me?  (Again, pun intended.)

So, there is one.  Yes, count ’em.  One.  Only one toilet that stands at 27 inches.  Just so happens to be on sale to boot.  Sorry.  I lied.  There is another that stands at 28″ but it is $500 and you have to buy a seat. Doesn’t even come with a friggen seat!  What the hell is that all about?  Plus the base is only 10″ while all the others are 12″.  Bloody hell.

Get the “bathroom” guy to help me put it on the trolley and make my way to the cash.  Go buy groceries and come home.  Look at the box in my trunk and in the list of contents, I see nothing about the bloody seal.  Ah come ON!  I take no chances, drive over the overpass and spend an extra $3.

François arrives and gets to work.  Measure everything.  The toilet will fit… Yay.  Oh.  The tube connector doohickey is too long!  Samuel had installed a brand-new one.  François goes into Mick’s “Plumbing toolbox” and finds another the right length.  We good?  No.  We no good.  The connector itself is metal and the new throne is plastic.  Sigh.  Off he goes to the store to find another.

Looks to me like it may still be a tad too long but what do I know?  Is it supposed to curve like that?  Do we actually give a rat’s ass at this point?  No, we do not give a rat’s ass.

I think the new toilet looks just fabulous, don’t you?

There are still a few things to do to make this house chic and swell.  A new added job of closing up that new hole and painting it.  Thank you, Mick for being the best keeper of every-friggen-thing so I have a little jar of paint.  And maybe I have to thank you for your part in that, Universe.

So I beg of you, change my ju-ju.  Allow the rest of this journey to selling this house go super smoothly and we good.  OK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Weekend Share – On a Monday! – February 5, 2018

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
John F. Kennedy

Good Monday to you.  I hope you all had as nice a week as I did.  Well most of it, anyway.  Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday and normally, that means a whole lotta nothing to me.  Okay, always means a whole lotta nothing but I still watched it.  Yay Eagles!  Why?  Because the Patriots were favoured to win, so I took for the other team 😉

Monday was a mostly lazy day, I would say.  Doing paperwork and such but not too much – almost as bad as this cat

On Tuesday, Julie and I went to see “The Shape of Water”.   We were going to walk towards a Korean restaurant we enjoy but that would have meant getting cold.  And losing the time walking.  So we decided to go up to the fourth floor of the old Forum to eat crap instead.  By crap, I mean burgers and fries and beer 😉  Man that place is tired!  Still.  It gave us a chance to catch up and enjoy a good hour and a half before the movie.  Which we stupidly didn’t buy tickets for beforehand.  Why?  We still can’t figure out why we didn’t.  After waiting in two lines – first one to get to either the wicket with a human or the machine… was me.  We were surprised that the theatre was pretty full and were happy to get decent seats once one guy moved over.  We really enjoyed this sci-fi flick.  I didn’t think I would, frankly.  I was going to include the official trailer but frankly, now that I’ve seen the movie, I find the trailer gives too much.  Just go see it.  Everyone was fantastic.

On Thursday, just as I was about to close my drapes and hit the sack, I see THIS in my driveway!

Now I know it’s a random turn-around in my driveway but still… No way someone could do that on purpose!  😀

As we were sitting on my couch Saturday, François pointed to my painting by my friend Véronikah…

Hmmm… kinda funny. No?

Friday Zeke and I went for a walk to “my” river over at Parc des Brouages.  For some strange reason, I have been sleeping like shite lately, waking up really early – too early – and giving up on going back to bed, catching up on sleep, meanwhile hoping that by getting up early, I’ll fall asleep at night and stay asleep until morning.  Dreamer.  I’m nothing but a dreamer.

That said, and trying to look at the bright side.  I’ve been getting stuff done.  Sorta.  The good thing is we get to go out and get some frest air!  But first, before it disappears, Zeke next to my “hearts”!

And off we go, passing through the “des Iles Percées” park with its marescent trees.

And making our way to said park.  Perfect timing.  We walked along “my” river, snapped some pics, fell on my knees on the hard ice (ouch), and walked back just as the recess bells rang.  We made sure to be out before the school brats kids were released!

What’s this?  We are not alone… rabbit?

Two sides of “my” river

Hearts can be found anywhere you look…

Worth the banged up knee… Zeke actually came towards me when he heard my “ouch”.  I then sat back and listened to the relaxing sounds of the water.

Walking back towards home, we came upon these mega Christmas balls…

And a typically Canadian thing… toboggan next to the door!

Get home and I finally pick up the glove that has been on my snow removal stick, figuring that I shall finally chuck it as no one has claimed it.  Umm. It’s mine…

And with so much beautiful sunshine, despite the cold, the snow and ice have started to melt.  Houston, we have a problem.  The temporary fix did not last overly long!

Saturday, we were off to celebrate Dany’s birthday at La Porte Grecque. Of course I said I would make the cake!  What flavour?  Oh, chocolate-anything, was the response.  I said I knew exactly what I would make but just needed to know how many peeps we would be.  Final countdown, 15.  So, though my recipe says my 4-layer chocolate-banana cake in 8 1/2″ cake tin is for 14-16, I didn’t trust it… so I went with the 10″.

Birthday boy seemed to be quite happy…

How could I resist being the middle of these two handsome dudes, making a “sangweech” as Giselle called it!

Martin, Moi, Dany

The whole gang together to celebrate.  Just think.  All of us with arrows pointed at our heads?  Besides Dany, who arrived in the 3rd year of high school, we’ve known each other since 1976… 42 years this year!  (Well, actually, Julie and I went to kindergarten and grade 1 together!  Nuts!!

Standing: François M., Julie, Michael, Me, Marc, François A., Tania Sitting: Dany, Giselle, Sophie, Thierry, Caroline, Martin Kneeling: Jean-Luc, Sonia

Oh yeah… The hearts were still in my driveway come Friday afternoon when François showed up.  So, upon returning from the restaurant, his answer was this:

Which, if I haven’t put you to sleep yet, brings us to Sunday!  Do nothing day.  Well, sorta.  Giselle sent me us a message thanking us for celebrating her man’s birthday and also to tease us with the fact they were having left-over cake for breakfast.   In retaliation, I made chocolate-banana pancakes and served the left-over white chocolate whipped cream (icing) on top!  This caused another flurry of exchanges… tee hee…

After stuffing himself, François slaved away painting in the basement and I did the preps for that night’s supper.  The Super Bowl and chicken parmesan – not quite a usual paring but it worked for us!

And, just sayin’  I called the Eagles’ win… 😀

It’s now so late it is almost Tuesday!  Sheesh!!!  Have a fabulous week, my lovies…

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

11. Friends – and get-togethers
12. Cake – who doesn’t love cake?
13. Sense of humour – gets me out of a funk every time
14. Comfy couch – to cuddle next to a loved one
15. Movies – to escape into another world

 

 

 

A Disney Birthday – Friday Fictioneers

Good Hump Day, my fabulous readers…. or to us in this wacky group, Happy Friday Fictioneer Day!  Our wonderful Rochelle keeps on keepin’ us on and we’re all the more grateful for it. This week, she chose J. Hardy Carroll‘s picture.  Love the vintage feel of it.  If you want to add your 100-word story, please do so, by clicking on the blue frog and adding your link.  It is a lot of fun, a great exercise in cutting out the unnecessary and teaches you how to get to the point!

A  Disney Birthday

“Disney!  Woo hoo!  We are going to Disney!  For my birthday!  This is gonna be the BEST one ever!”

His excitement could not be contained.

“Did you know they give you six fast passes for the best rides for any time you want to use them?”

He was positively fit to be tied.

“And then you get special name tags and you get a free picture and I wonder if they even feed the birthday boy?”

She could not help but smile at his enthusiasm.

“Yes, Dear.  You told me, many times.  You don’t turn 46 every year now, do you?”

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Yes, the biggest kid was the most enthusiastic!

Kondo vs McCartney – Friday Fictioneers

Good afternoon, my Peeps!  Hope all is well in your necks of the woods this fine, though dreary (in this part anyway) day.  You ‘Muricans prepared for your turkey and for the madness that is Black Friday?  I’ll just watch all a y’all from over here, if ya don’t mind.  We Canucks have already done the turkey-thing.  That shopping craze has crawled over our borders but I’ll skip it.  Unless I decide to partake of any supposed savings on-line, from the comfort of my office chair.  But then that would create more stuff.  Oh, what am I talking about?  Read on, my friends, read on…

But first, thanks to our fabulous leader Rochelle for herding us week after week and for this week’s photo!

Join in by clicking on the blue frog.  Remember 100 words or less (not including the title), that’s all you need to know!

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Or just add your link

Kondo vs McCartney

Today is the day she puts Marie Kondo’s words to the test.  Jennifer McCartney’s way had gotten her nowhere.  Yes, McCartney’s book was a spoof of Kondo’s, she knew that.  It was hilarious.  Her house was NOT a total disaster of stuff.  Everything was important.  She needed her stuff.  Really.

Yes.  Hold lonely slipper – I’m sure the other one is in the house somewhere – thank it for its service, then decide… keep it?  Or chuck it?   But what if she found the other one?  Then what?

This was so stupid.  Time to call a professional de-clutterer.  She obviously needed one.

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In all fairness, you may not have read the books I am referring to…