Making the Best of It

There are those days when you want to throw your hands in the air and just say Fuck it!  Yesterday was one of those days.

As I prepared for my “date”, the skies were beautiful and so full of promise…

Why I don’t listen to my gut, is beyond me.  Must be that little naive bit of me that I refuse to let die.  Or maybe it’s the optimist that once and again shoves the realist out of the way because maybe, just maybe, you’ve got to give it a shot.

Well phooey! Gave it a shot.  Wasted my time.  Most of that time was spent idling in the insufferable traffic jam that is the island of Montreal.  For what?  To clean off my car in this sub-zero, digit-stealing, toe-numbing, nostril-freezing friggen blast of arctic cold we are going through this past week.  To thaw out in said car, heaters blasting, nose now running, fingers and toes now tingling, to sit through one log-jam to get onto the highway, to pass those who cannot seem to follow the speed-limit, to cross the bridge, then slow to a crawl to get to another highway, only to be redirected, to finally realise this has all been for naught.  To decide then and there to say Fuck It and to get off at my first chance.  (All this “Fuck It Attitude I am blaming on Grace and Frankie – gotta love this trailer, totally uncensored, by the way.)

To decide that this will not be a total waste of my time as I turn around and make my way to the Montreal Forum Cineplex and park inside where is is snow-free and warm. (Because really?  I am NOT gonna putz around looking for parking on the still-uncleaned streets from our latest dump of snow, only to actually find one and then have a snowplow (miraculously) completely box me in so that I now need to shovel to get out, after I have frozen my ass walking from the cinema).

Notre-Dame Street (Shhh… there was no one behind me and I stopped and snapped but still managed to have a blurry pic)

Driving up St. Marc Street, on my way to the Forum, I am struck by a beautiful mural (this is your fault, Resa McConaghy!) and wish I can pull over so I can take a proper picture but this street looks pretty much like the one above, plus I have someone right behind me.  Thankfully, I am stopped at a light and can open my window, brave the cold, and snap a quick pic.  I will definitely have to return to take some better shots without the bloody parking signs and do Resa proud 😉  I have to admit I’m surprised at just how nice and bright this did turn out.

I walk up to the main level of the forum, re-bundle up so I can then cross the street outside because, why is this the one non-underground connecting section of Montreal?  Fucks sake.  Or is there one and now I am even more of an eejit for not knowing it?  Goddamn! It’s cold.  The wind rendering my face instantly numb, I wait inside for the light to turn green, then hurriedly make my way to Roasters, a little BBQ Grill & Bar, because at this point, I’m gonna have me a Rickard’s Red with something decent to eat.  I have over half an hour before my movie starts and I am NOT having an A&W or McDonald’s burger after having wasted an hour and half to get here.

I am more than pleasantly surprised by my chicken wrap.

With almost ten minutes to spare, I re-bundled up just to cross the street.  I swear, this is not a day to leave your coat open and dash…  Upon Merril‘s recommendation, I purchased my ticket for “Cold War”, a beautiful 89-minute black and white escape into another world.

The movie is sent during the cold war in Poland, Wiktor and Irena are driving through Poland, recording various people singing old folk tunes.  They then want to create a choral ensemble to tour.  During these auditions, Zula appears.  Wiktor sees something in her and decides to accept her into the troupe.  They fall in love and so begins a most difficult relationship.  Can people be too in love with each other?  They go from bliss to separation, back together and apart.  Between all of these comings and goings is beautiful music and gorgeous cinematography.

I probably shouldn’t share this particular video with you but I really, REALLY wanted to share the whole choir singing “Two Hearts” because it is heart-breakingly beautiful.

Feeling warm and happy that my evening turned around, I got into my car and made my way home.  Of course the tunnel leading to the Jacques-Cartier bridge was closed.  Sigh.  Slowly forced to take an exit which is, of course, very slow going, and once I get up the hill, the bridge is not lit up in green or purple or whatever, as per usual.  I fear it might be closed I might be taking the long drive along Notre-Dame to the tunnel to get home but no.  Miracles of miracles, it was just a section of the tunnel being worked on which caused the redirect.  Through the thick snow I drive, across the bridge, onto properly moving traffic on the highway and back home before 10 pm.

I wash off my face, change into jammies, pour myself a glass of wine and I catch up on my blog readings.

That’s definitely what I call making the best of it.

#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

 

Gratitude Sunday – March 1, 2015

Oh thank GAWD!  February is OVER! Does that mean we’ll get warmer weather and a sign of spring?  I’m not asking for much… just maybe a little closer to zero Celsius would be nice.  Don’t want to be too demanding… They are predicting +1ºC on Wednesday.  I will not, however, get too excited.  Still, it would be a nice change from the nostril-sticking-together, to-the-bones, rather-stay-curled-up-in-flannel cold we’ve had during this past month.  All over the country (and our neighbours to the south of us) records were broken for cold.  Apparently, it was the coldest February in 115 years.  One hundred and fifteen years!  Seriously.  No wonder we were all bitching in harmony.

OK. I promise not to complain about the weather unless it truly forces me to.  I am a fairly tough broad and can handle pretty much anything but it was just getting a little ~ much.

This past week there were plenty of moments to be grateful for.  It’s funny how this gratitude thing works.  I was thinking that I had spent the week curled up, miserable and sad but as I look back, there were mere moments.  This gratitude thing really does work.  You can’t help but feel better, more positive if you are focusing on the good instead of the bad.

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For our concert, the music started, Bryan took the microphone and turned it to the audience and we sang the whole first part… It was AH-MA-ZING!

Gratitude List

  1. Thank you Cathy for inviting me to be your date to the Bryan Adams concert – and for dinner at Ye Olde Orchard Pub!  What a fantastic evening: great show, super company and good food.

  2. I am so glad I remain friends with my ex-boyfriends – especially when they are in the legal field and know what I need to do, help me fill out what needs to be filled out, register what needs to be registered and transfer what needs to be transferred.  I cannot thank Daniel enough for his help these past two months and know he will be there for what still needs to be done.

  3. I finally got a chance to make the “high-heel cupcakes” that I’ve been dying to make ever since I saw a picture of some.  Fun stuff.  Thanks Anna & Yolanda for the orders!

  4. Is there anything better that a hot bath by candlelight?  What a way to warm your bones when nothing else seems to work!  I don’t indulge that often as I have a ridiculously huge tub (for 2) which completely empties the hot water tank of hot water before it is completely full!  Good thing too, because by the time it is full, only cold water is coming out and I would scald myself!  I know because I foolishly thought I would get in before it was full. Yeah. No.

  5. So happy for Patti & Georges that they got their house!  ‘Twas a nail-biting supper before our movie night (The Kingsmen) waiting for “the call” which finally came announcing that their offer was the winner.  Fun stuff!

A Question of Timing

There are times when you can be at the “right place at the right time” or “right place, wrong time” or “wrong place, wrong time”, or even “wrong place, right time”.  All a question of perspective, I guess.  Or is it more?

Meeting up with an old friend in a place neither of you usually frequents, getting that great photograph at the perfect moment, just missing your train/bus/plane, being splashed with slush by an driver who did or did not see you standing there not paying attention ~ these are some of those moments.

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Last night my boys and I decided to go into to town to the only movie theatre still playing the third part of The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies.  The movie started at 8:30 pm so we had to leave between 7:30 and 7:45 to give us time to get there, park and purchase our tickets.

Well, we leave at about 7:40 and make our way to the highway.  We drive for about 3-4 km and traffic stops.  I mean. Stops. Not slows down to a crawl. Total stop. Ah hell we all think and say.  What is going on?  Suddenly we hear sirens and see two police cars come up on the left shoulder; then two more on the right one followed by two fire trucks and finally an ambulance.  This is NOT a good sign.  Oh I hope it’s not too serious.

Iain cranes his neck and sees that the pedestrian overpass seems to be cut in half!  Holy Toledo!  This highway is divided by a median so we cannot just simply turn around and go back where we came from. Or can we?  Yes, we can!  Some fancy manoeuvering and we are turning around onto the shoulder and are now being directed by the police through a passageway created by them, which allows us to go up on the exit and over the highway so we can go home!

Read about the story here.

Needless to say, even though the boys were disappointed about the movie, I was super grateful that we had not left two minutes earlier…

 

Frittering Away the Day

In today’s world we are supposed to be busy, busy, busy.  That to sit around doing basically nothing is just not done!

Well, today I’ve broken that “cardinal” rule.  I basically did a whole lotta nuthin’.  I didn’t even get dressed!

I ate whatever was around that needed no attention – or just a bake in the oven (frozen pizza, anyone?).

I spent HOURS on Facebook and WordPress and Twitter.

Oh wait!  I did have a lovely five-minute Skype session with a friend – with the promise that we’d have a REALZ one soon!

But other than that? NOTHING.

Why am I admitting this?  Because it’s OK. Because it is not a regular practice (though I could so see how once you start, you could fall into such a pattern that it would be difficult to get out of!)  I haven’t really given myself permission to just be.  Since December 11th, I’ve been on auto-pilot and done what has to be done.

Today I was tired.  Not the need-a-nap kind of tire.  A need-to-just-do-nothing tired.

Though I did get a hankering to eat some chips ~ but not enough to actually get dressed and cross the street to the dépanneur (convenience store to you-non-Quebeckers) and buy some!  I actually took out three potatoes and hand-cut them into (too)thin slices and baked them.  Hah!  Sorry, picture is blurry, may have been weak with hunger…

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So I can say that I was not totally lazy ~ serious effort was needed to make these, no?

That said, I sat on my duff, watched some movies I had taped eons ago; one a lovely Canadian flick called Cloudburst about two old lesbians who escape from an old folks home to drive to Canada so they can get married after 31 years of living together.  The wonderful Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker played the couple.  The foul mouth on Olympia was enough to make me blush!  OK… not really, but still.. coming out of a 70-year-old woman it was something!

I then decided to finish watching “Always” that I had PVR’d on the morning of December 11th.  I only realised this when I clicked on it to watch it.  Needless to say, I was stunned to see it was the same morning that Mick had his heart attack.  I had been watching it at 8:00 am while eating my breakfast and decided to tape it to watch it later on… Was preparing to walk Zeke when I got that fateful phone call.

Lump in my throat, I decided to watch it anyway.  I do that.  Some might say, don’t watch it, it hits too close to home!  Which is incentive for me to watch it anyway!  Funny how the Universe seems to put things into our path at the right time.