#WeekendCoffeeShare – Spring Walk, Paperwork, Breakfasts & More Snow?

Hello my friends and welcome.  Please do come in.  You’ll have to stamp your feet to remove the snow.  Yes. Curse, cuss, swear, sigh.  We got more snow last night.  Hello?  First day of Spring was Monday?  Remember, Ma Nature?  Oh well, welcome to Spring in Quebec!

So, if we were having coffee, or tea, or some other beverage, we would complain a bit about yesterday’s snowfall.  It is what one does when one is done with it.  I, for one, am done with it.  No, no, don’t try. You can’t convince me how pretty it is.  It really is, isn’t?  I don’t care.  Come back next Winter.

OK… getting ahead of myself.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what an absolutely beautifully, gorgeous day we had on Monday!  Oh my!  First day of spring and the sky was blue, the clouds were white, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the snow was melting!  Zeke and I were way overdue for one of our super long walks and man… oh man… did we ever take one!

That 10.9 km is 6.8 miles… just sayin’…

I had decided I wanted to make my way to the St. Lawrence River so we could watch the ice pieces float by and hopefully catch some wildlife.  We did so and we ended up all the way into the Old Boucherville section.  What a walk!  Leaving my house, we walked along Industrial Boulevard to Fort St-Louis.  Those who are on Instagram got pretty much a play-by-play of my walk!

And there were honest-to-goodness buds on the trees.  Really!  Considering last Wednesday’s snowstorm, who’d a thunk?

Crossing the tracks, we walked along a road that runs parallel to the highway until we reached the overpass to the river’s edge.  I always stop and admire this house.  It speaks to me!

We continued on, past the ever-present construction until we reached Marie-Victorin.  This street/boulevard goes through at least six towns (I will have to verify that one!) running the length of the St.Lawrence River.  Boucherville, Varennes, Verchères each have their special cachet that I shall have to share with you further!

From my home town, we get to see the various Boucherville Islands that are now a Provincial Park and we can access via mini ferry (holding bicycles and people only) during the summer season.

I started taking a bunch of pictures of many of the old houses and realised that I shall share them with you on another post.  They deserve to be front and centre!   However, I do think it worthwhile to share our big Paroisse Ste-Famille, where I was baptised many a moon ago…

We walked around the little streets, snapping pictures of old houses and I was struck by the gold of the hedge that seemed to pop out of nowhere.

By now I’m wishing I had someone I could call to pick us up and take us the rest of the way home!  We were both pooped and decided our evening was going to be one of vegging on the couch!

Tuesday was paperwork day.  I realised my passport was due to expire by June of this year and decided to bring it in directly to the passport office.  I mean, come on, what if someone comes into my life, sweeps me off my feet and wants to take my on a trip of a lifetime!  I must be ready!  Of course, reading all about Cady Luck Leedy’s story about HER passport woes is what really made me look at mine in the first place!  The whole sweeping off my feet thing is more of a, well, okay, I’ll admit it, a girl can dream, right?   I was shocked and pleasantly surprised that the whole thing took a mere one hour and fifteen minutes from beginning to end.  How do you like them apples?  To think I was going to set my alarm at stupid o’clock to wait in line for the doors to open at 7:30 am.  Pfft…. I got there at 11:30 and was in my car by 1:00 pm.  And that’s because I did some window-shopping on my way back to my car.  Pretty darn good, let me tell you!

As I had sold my car for scrap, I also had to go the S.A.A.Q. (DMV for ya’all) to register the transaction to no longer be liable for the hunk-a-junk.  And, lucky me, I got $165 back for the registration!  Woot!

On Wednesday, I had breakfast with my youngest sister.  Always nice to break the fast with her.  Actually, am overdue for breakfast with second sister as well… Hmmm… will have to make arrangements.  My mom, Yvon and their grandson arrived at 1:00 pm to visit the apartment my sisters had found for them.  It was a big moment and we all (sisters) hoped that Mom and Yvon would fall in love with it (or at least in good like) and agree that it was the place to move to.  For those of you who read my Friday Fictioneers this week, you will note it was totally based on this happening!  They not only liked it, they signed the lease for June 1st!  Wonderful.  Now we will all be within 15 minutes of each other.  It will definitely take a load off my mother’s shoulders.  Of course now we have the lovely prospect of moving them from a house to a 3 1/2 apartment.  That will be so much fun.  Not.

Nothing much I feel the need to share for Thursday but Friday – yesterday.  Well.  We’ve come full circle to the beginning of this tale.  I must repeat.  What in the name of hell is up with Mother Nature?  Oh man!  That snow is pretty.  To be sure.  If it were elsewhere.  I will admit that Zeke and I enjoyed taking a walk in it and of course I had to take a couple of pictures.  Cool the different effects of no flash and flash and a little fun with PicMonkey…

I would have sent this out earlier but this afternoon we all went bowling for my niece’s volleyball team.  What is it about bowling that is so much fun?  Almost the whole family participated and a good laugh was had by all.  Now, I’m not one to toot my own horn but I did have to ask for a printout of my scores because man oh  man… I was on fire!

I think I have gone on long enough.  We must have gone from coffee to water to wine by now, eh?  I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Boucherville and my sharing of my week’s stuff.  Now, it’s your turn.  Tell me how your week was!

Thank you to our lovely hostess Emily of Nerd in the Brain for hosting this weekly coffee gig.  You can click on her name to make your way to her blog where you can find the link to add your coffee talk, should you like!  (I haven’t figure out yet how to get the link working on my blog as yet.  Mostly because I’ve not really tried!)

Have a marvellous week and see ya’all next week!

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!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook in Tuscany – To the Farm! Then Hunt For Truffles!

Apologies for the delay… Major problemos with my computer and I just couldn’t upload photos!  What’s the point of tormenting you with my trip if I can’t supply the photos, eh? 😀

Darn, with each new day came new adventures but also brought us closer to the end.  This day was a fun one, for sure!  We were off to Podere il Casale, a 100% organic, self-sufficient working farm where sheep and goats were raised to make the famous Pecorino cheese.  As well, the outdoor wood-burning stove was ideal for bread making.  Aww shucks.  We were going to learn all about cheese and how to make Tuscan bread and foccacia. How sad.  Broke my heart, really. 😀

The owners of the farm, a lovely couple named Sandra and Ulisse (originally from Switzerland) were wonderful hosts.  Ulisse is a self-taught cheese master and Sandra does hostess duties.

Allora, first things first.  As bread and foccacia need time to rise, first thing to do was to get the breads started.  Piero, our bread teacher was so very sweet and charming. Most of us were put on foccacia duty while four were put on Tuscan bread duty.  Mixing and kneading and resting – interesting note:  as salt was once so expensive it was used as currency, the Tuscans did not salt their bread.  They’ve kept up the practice.

While the dough was doing its magic, Sandra took us on a tour of the farm, introducing us to all the animals and showing us her impressive garden, then showing us where the cheese is made and stored to age.  The farm is fully functional and many young people were on hand doing their stages, learning all the inner-workings.

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We then hung out with the Cheese Doctor, Ulisse.  It was amazing to watch the cheese come to life before our eyes.  There is an obvious joy to his doing his craft.  To think he is self-taught and is now one of the top pecorino cheese guys in all of Tuscany!

Time to bake our foccacias! Piero showed us how to roll out our dough, prick it all over with a fork, pour olive oil over it and smooth it all over, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and salt… except Piero filled the salt bowl with sugar!  We couldn’t figure out why it was so sweet… That situation got rectified soon after amidst lots of laughter

So, of course, now that we have opened out appetites, it was time for lunch!  This ended up being a vegetarian meal, ending with a sampling of some 15 different cheeses!  Is there anything better than dining al fresco?

As if the day wasn’t already fabulous, we were off to truffle hunt with PierPaolo (not sure how he spells his name) and his interpretor, the lovely, Geraldine. When not giving a tour, PierPaolo takes all four dogs out with him but since he had all of us to worry about, he only brought two!  It was the funniest thing to see these dogs get all excited and not want to give up their truffles!

After such an exciting day, it was back “home” at La Costa for pizza and salads and frankly, I think we’d had quite a bit of excitement for the day!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – A Fresh New Year

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Thanks to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this weekly gatherers of coffee, tea or other beverage drinkers who love to share their weekly happenings.  Should you want to read other shares or, better yet, share with us, just click on the image above and you will be taken to Diana’s blog and can add your link, of course, after reading hers! Do join in, it’s a great way to share your story and, for me anyway, to show my gratitude for the previous week.

If we were having coffee, I’d say, please, do come in.  It’s a beautiful snowy Sunday morning (just barely can still call it morning) and I’ve made cappuccinos.  If you prefer regular drip or espresso or tea or hot chocolate, please don’t be shy.  My favourite thing to do is entertain and make my guests happy.  I would have to tell you that I don’t have much time to dilly-dally but that’s okay; while you are sipping your beverage, you can stick around and keep me company whilst I make my clients their first meals of 2016.   I have until the meat reaches room temperature to write this post so, no faffing for me!

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I don’t usually sweeten my coffee but I just love adding some Turbinado sugar along with some cinnamon on top of that lovely frothed milk.  The little crunch brings me happiness.

If we were having coffee, I would say that, like the general population, I cannot believe how fast 2015 flew by.  Though it was a year of “firsts” without Mick, it went pretty smoothly.  Of course we had our moments, and will have more in the future but I like to think that more often than not, the memories are accompanied by a smile.  I keep saying I will write our stories and started with NaNoWriMo but foolishly also started a job in the same month and well, that went to hell.  I did  manage to write two of them so it is encouraging that I will be sharing some in the following months!

If we were having coffee, I couldn’t help but mention how ironic it is that the snows came the day after Christmas and have basically not stopped coming!  We have a winter wonderland out there.  But it is that perfect-for-snowmen but what I call heart-attack-snow to shovel.  Speaking of Snowmen, check out these babies Zeke and I came across during yesterday’s walk!  They have a Baymax (from Big Hero 6) look to them, don’t you think?  I apologise for the quality of the image.  It was not an ideal photo-op day…

As we kept on walking, we came upon these two lovely little girls building their own masterpiece.  That snow was H – E- A – V – Y!

We continued on our walk and ran into a couple with their 12-year-old Australian Shepherd, Bally.  Once the “parents” felt comfortable, they finally let go of the leash and allowed the two to chase each other.  For an older dog, Bally sure had some spunk!  Always fun to make a new friend!

We continued on for a few more kilometres but methinks I need some new boots.  They are no longer waterproof so as we walked, the boots got heavier and heavier!  I figured I’d better turn around so that I could make it home before my feet got wet!  But, as per usual, just a few more shots (despite the horrid lighting) while having fun with PicMonkey, attempting to give some oomph to the photos.  Great, now I have the song “Willow Weep For Me” in my head…  just have to share it with you my favourite version by Dinah Washington!

My New Year Eve was spent in quiet reflection.  The boys were invited to their cousin’s for a party and I declined all offers.  I drew myself a hot bath, lit all the candles I have and just relaxed.  It was perfect – I did have to assure my family and friends that it was a choice and not a time to “woe is me”!

Steamy!

Steamy!

Now, I’ve talked your ear off and bombarded your visual senses.  I must go and cook!  On the menu:

  • Pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce and spicy roasted sweet potato wedges
  • Flank Steak with Emeril Lagasse’s Creole sauce
  • Lentil soup with corn bread
  • Pasta Frittata

It’s already quite late so I may just take my client’s offer and take my time to make it all for tomorrow.  We’ll see how it goes.  I shall torment you with images next week, if you’d like!

I wish for you a 2016 filled with all you desire!

xoxo

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – A Jumble of Things

weekendcoffeeshare

Thank you to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this wonderful group!

If we were having coffee, I’d be serving it in my brand-new café au lait bowl and pretend we were sitting in a Paris Café.  Since we were pretending, the horrors of last night would never have occurred and we would feel blissfully safe and unconcerned, watching the passersby go about their business.

Café au lait

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how pleased I am with my sons who helped to clean up the yard and put away all the backyard paraphernalia.  I’m sure Mick would have been pleased with the way we packed everything in the shed!  There are still a few things to take care of, but the majority of it is done!

There was only one walk worth mentioning, and that was with my sister and her two dogs in her hometown of Varennes.  I stupidly did not bring my camera and only took one photo with my phone!  It was such a gorgeous day and we finished the walk with breakfast prepared by sister herself.  Upon my return home, I noted the apple Fairy had passed again.  Still don’t know who they are from!!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I cannot believe that in November, my roses are still blooming… mayhaps not as wild and bright but blooming nonetheless!  And one day, a shrub is on fire with colour and a small windstorm later, denuded!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there are wonderful people out there, just willing to lend a hand or offer their time for no other reason than “just because”.  My eldest, Iain wants to join the military so my sister’s neighbour, Aldo, who has appeared in this blog before, and is military man himself,  offered to not only speak with Iain to explain the ins and outs of joining but also offered to bring him on a tour of our very small base in St.Hubert, so he could see and ask questions to the men and women on duty.  There was a bonus as we met for lunch first at a small market with a food court right near said base and where many military folk go for lunch.  As I was picking up my lunch, Iain and Aldo were chatting with a guy from the Air Force.  All of a sudden, Iain’s choices widened.  Will be interesting to see where this goes.  I am beyond grateful to Aldo for taking the time to do this and for following up and offering to help him prepare for the interviews and whatever else he will need in the near future.  Aldo, you are a prince amongst men!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I was pleasantly surprised by the Whitehorse concert on Thursday evening. This duo, made up of the husband and wife team of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClellan, were something else to watch.  Just the two of them, but with a few bells and whistles.  Luke would get on the drum, beat out some beats and the beatbox would take over so he could move over to his guitar.  Speaking of guitars, that last picture… shows, what I suspect, is his “baby”.  It has such a raw sound that both my date and I were totally enthralled with.

I was especially pleased to have discovered a new talent (to me, anyway) as the opening act.  Ms. Fiona Beven, a lovely English lass, has a voice that is a mixture of India.Arie and Corinne Bailey Rae.  Just her and her guitar or ukulele… wonderful.

2015-11-12 20.43.48 Whitehorse2015-11-12 22.25.46

If you are not tired of me yet, I would then add a few random things.  Anyone who sits and chats with me knows that I talk and talk and talk and subjects jump from one to another, to the point that, once I am alone, I wonder if the other person had a chance to talk and, did I finish any one subject?  As an example:  I just received my latest book purchase and cannot wait to start them. Assuming I shall find time to read!  And I grabbed the jar of roasted pumpkin seeds and am aghast at how few are left!  No matter how much I try to ration them, they will not last forever.  Iain and I are huge fans.  Truth be told, if Mick were here, there would be none.  I had to hide the jars from him!

Oh. Em. Gee.  In all my chattering, I totally forgot to mention that I started a new job yesterday!  At my friend Tina’s suggestion, I applied for a Christmas Season Job at Pier 1.  I figured it would get me out of the house and away from my stove and give me the opportunity to meet people and exchange, and, if I’m any good, sell them items!  I’ve always loved their store (MY store, now!) and fell in love with their Christmas commercials from a few years ago.  “Find what speaks to you”… what a brilliant slogan… This was one of them (hopefully the link works as all the others were made private).

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, so to speak, do tell me, how have you been?  What have you been up to this past week?  Truly, it’s my turn to listen, and I will gladly pour us another cup.  Please do share!