A Colourful Monday Walk

“The World is divided in to two, One is vibrant with colours and the other is drab and colourless..”
Biju Karakkonam, Nature and Wildlife Photographer

There are days where nature is most gracious in sharing her colours.  Monday was one of those days.  Strange, really, as the sun was not shining and the skies were mostly grey.  Or maybe it was just me.  Searching for and finding colour to brighten the day.

Though my full-time days at the golf course came to an end October 30th, I feel I’ve been running around doing stuff yet getting nothing done.  Back and forth to hospitals for Yvon, my mother’s spouse; notary, financial adviser and bank to finally settle my  mandatary duties for my mother-in-law (still not completely done, but close); readying the house for visits – all for naught – bloody thing is still not sold and that mandate is up in three days.  Next!!  Time to take the time for these walks of mine.

On Monday, Zeke and I decided to go for one of our long walks.  He kills me.  I cannot say the word “walk” without him getting excited.  He sees me pick up my camera bag and he loses it.  Before doing any of that, all I said was:  “Do you wanna?”  and this is the look I got:

Then I picked up my camera bag…

We decided to go way over to the other side.  The weather was pretty decent.  I didn’t need my snowpants nor my big mitts so happy days!

Crossing the pedestrian shortcut we came face to face with this fella.  You can tell there are snow enthusiasts who will do what they can to create their own Frosty!

We got to my favourite willow tree in de Normandie Park.  I know, I know.  I take its picture every single time I see it.  Can’t help it as I’m a tad obsessed.

Ya gotta admit it’s pretty spectacular, eh?  And look how colour-coordinated Zeke is!

We moved on towards the Parc des Coutances and I was struck by these trees.  One marescent- not planning on losing any leaves this winter, one, that didn’t finish shedding theirs before the snows came and then the two different conifers.  Colours and textures.

“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”
Khalil Gibran

We moved on towards what I once called my dog park because way back before we lost Mick, I used to get up much earlier and would end up meeting up with the ladies and their dogs around 8:30 am.  Those days are gone!  Maybe I’ll get back into an early to bed, early to rise rhythm one day.  Just not yet.  Was amused to see the two seasons mixed together.  A carpet of leaves on a rug of snow.  Or is it the other way around?

On we went towards the Parc de Provence, leading to our secret (hey, I’ll call it secret if I want to!) woodland path.  Upon entering the path, I was struck by the white branches against the blue wall.  How strange!  I have been down this path many times and never did I see a pure white branch like these.

We kept walking towards the centre of the pathway and I, again, saw a series of colours.  One grouping after another

Cutting through, we returned to the Park des Provences from another entrance and there, again… an unexpected duo of colours

Back to Parc des Coutances and this time it was a pop of yellow that caught my eye.

The anemic sun that was, was slowly disappearing and I could feel a chill so we picked up the pace towards home.

“One should be a painter. As a writer, I feel the beauty, which is almost entirely colour, very subtle, very changeable, running over my pen, as if you poured a large jug of champagne over a hairpin.”
Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Six, 1936-1941

Before getting making it to Parc Marguerite-A.-Tellier and that much closer to home, the skies darkened.

No wonder I felt so cold suddenly.

Just before crossing the boulevard towards home, this pop of red shouted at me.  Another caught by the snow before it could lose it’s petals!

Zeke was quiet for the rest of the evening.  The boy was spent.  Maybe the walk was too long?  I’ll have to ease him in more gently.  The boy is now 9 and probably felt like I do when I overdo it!

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

 

Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Take Me In

I headed south, not north; was not running away from anything but towards; not planning to never return but stay for a few days… yet I still love this song and it resonates with me, so there.

Woodstock last July was a wonderful getaway so we decided to have another. Where to meet this time? Brooklyn became the number one choice and so it was booked. There were things on our list to do:  cross Brooklyn Bridge by foot, see Bohemian Rhapsody, eat authentic New York pizza pie, go out for a nice meal.  However, we didn’t have a firm schedule. Go with the flow is how we roll…

As I mentioned to David Kanigan, a little nod to his style (my favourites of his posts) is how I’m gonna go about this…

Heading south – Toll-Free on Taconic State Parkway

I set my car GPS to my destination AND my phone one too.  Because the one that comes with the car is a programme and not necessarily up to date – I know this cos I’ve taken Autoroute 30 West and when I hit the “new” part the highway, the GPS freaks out and thinks I’m in space…

As a result, I was amused when the two “argued” over which route to take, and I sided with the phone.  All good, the car one would recalculate. It kept trying to get me to change and I kept saying:  “Yo, give it up Car”.  Then I woke up. Shit!  I’ve driven to New York twice now and I had never taken this road… I dunno how but I had the “avoid tolls” button checked on the phone.  “Sonova…..” Taconic State Parkway is a lovely scenic route.  No use in being angry with myself at this point.  So I enjoyed the fact that the trees were still mighty colourful compared to back home and at my next gas stop, I texted my partner in crime to tell him I’d be later than planned…

It started to rain and finally, around 2:00 p.m., I was on the Brooklyn Bridge.  Woot!

(Shhhh I pointed and shot, hoping I’d catch something decent…was watching where I was going, not what I was shooting…)

We could not have access to our Airbnb until 5 pm instead of 3 (seriously??) so we looked for a place to have a late lunch.  Well, not true.  We didn’t look.  Said partner had had loads of time to scope out the area and we ended up in some nameless joint for forgettable chicken empañadas and shared a sorta Cuban sandwich we didn’t order.  No matter!  Groceries, parking, schlepping and settling in and a joint effort towards nachos, salsa and brewskies were on the menu.

Riding the Subway Trains R and A – Eventually Make it to Brooklyn Bridge

A late breakfast of coffee, bagels and frittata we made our way to the subway.  Before leaving, we did Google Map how to get there.  Problem is, neither of us is familiar with the subway system and while we consider ourselves relatively intelligent peeps, could not figure out exactly where to go.  So we asked a teller at the station.  Thought we got it straight.   Hopped onto the R train and realised we were going the wrong way!  Buddy could have told us to go on the other side to take it, no? Got off, hopped over to the other side and then continued on.  Then got off at the stop we were told to.  Could not see any connection to the A train.  Back to a teller who told us to go back on R, do two more stops and hop onto the A train and get off after three stops.  Sheesh.  Good thing we can laugh at ourselves… I was thinking, what would DK write? 🙂

Random Subway Station

Of course, they had called for rain.  But no matter.  We were going anyway. There is something about fall colours popping when the skies are grey.

There is something special about this bridge.  You see it in pictures, in countless movies and TV shows but it was still a thrill to walk it.  And I think I’ll do it again and again!  I must admit I fell in love with the Manhattan Bridge as well and am promising myself that on my next visit to New York, I shall try to get better pictures of both bridges!

It was later than we thought so we skipped the movie and opted for a small pie at Grimaldi’s Under the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was a short walk away and boy was it worth it!  We decided to get a small plain pie as we were planning on my chicken parm for dinner.  It was rather late.  Don’t ask me why… I forgot to take a picture of the pizza!!  The waiter delivered it and – in heavy Brooklyn accent, please, said:  “Sorry, I made a mistake and you got a large instead…”  We forced ourselves NOT to eat the last two slices.  But we coulda… easily.

Leftovers packed away and most generously given to me, we made our way to the subway and back “home” like a couple of pros who knew where they were going!

A Date with Freddie and a Steak in Coney Island

Wednesday brought beautiful blue skies and warmer weather.  So, of course, we decided to go to an afternoon viewing of Bohemian Rhapsody!  A shortish drive brought us to Cobble Hill Theater to enjoy this fabulous movie.  It doesn’t matter that timelines were played with and certain events were fudged.  Rami Malek inhabited Freddie Mercury’s spirit and a shy bravado that no one else could have mastered.  Everyone has been talking about Rami looking so much like Freddie…. Did anyone not notice how Gwilym Lee is the spitting image of Brian May?  Holy smokes…  (Roger Talyor, played by Ben Hardy and John Deacon, played by Joseph Mazzello were no slouches, either…)

Dinner was a most delicious steak on Coney Island at the lovely Atlas Steakhouse.

Time to go – But First, A Walk

All good things must come to an end and we had to leave the Airbnb by noon.  After a good breakfast using up all the leftovers we had, we packed up our cars and went for one last walk.  Down 52nd Street to 1st and then right towards about 40th, give or take (I wanna say direction North but frankly, my sense of direction there was zero).   We were hoping to find access to the water’s edge for some nice pics of Manhattan.  A bunch of warehouses of all sorts and no access.  We did go down towards the “Bush Terminal Piers Park” (have no clue what they do) and was able to take these pics.

We turned around and walked past 52nd towards 58th and discovered the Sunset Park/Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier.  Score!

Walking back to our cars, I had to snap a couple of streets.  I love the look of Brooklyn.  It actually has a similar feel to our Plateau Mont Royal area with the staircases.  Not the same as ours go up to second and third floors but still.

Driving on I-87 North – Homeward Bound

Now it was truly time to say good-bye and wish each other a safe trip home.  Set that GPS for home and oh my GAWD… It took me one and a half hours to get from 52nd street to and over the Brooklyn Bridge, to and over the George Washington Bridge!

Traffic not moving. Cool church

However, as soon as I hit the I-97 North, it was relatively smooth sailing.  Must say New Yorkers like to drive fast – and I have zero problems setting my cruise control to 130 km/hr (80 mph) to keep up!

Things were going great till I hit that dead zone in the Adirondacks where no radio stations come in.  Reminder again that my iPad was left on my bed!  Aaargh.  It’s 7:00 pm and I’ve got one station that is scratchy.  I press search and the numbers go all the way ’round.  Ain’t nothing coming in.  Turn off the radio.  Try again fifteen minutes later.  Same thing.  Try periodically.  Get some gospel station.  I ain’t that desperate.   Try again.  Talk, talk, talk, Trump, talk.  Ugh.  I’m not old enough to be into that stuff.  Try again.  Get some talk radio where a son and his mother are talking to the host, about the process of being transgender and how everyone deals with it.  Nope.

Signs for Whiteface Mountain but construction.  Ugh.  Down to 50 mph.  Good grief!  Spot a motorcycle ahead of me.  It’s 6 degrees Celsius! (43ºF)  The guy is wearing army-style pants, boots and a jacket.  His face is red from the cold as he has nothing protecting it and is holding the bike with one hand while the other is tucked into himself… I feel for the poor bugger.  I imagine he is riding a motorcycle at this time of the year because he has no other option.  Or he’s an idiot.

Sign says Montreal 98 miles.  Woot!  Try the radio again and I get Delilah!  Oh my goodness!   She is still on the air?  Not listening to her but now have options.  Get to the border around 8 pm-ish, sail on through and am home by 9.

Unpacked the car and was very pleased to see my gift had remained undamaged…

 

Woodstock – Fare Thee Well – You Rocked Us

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Last one in my little Woodstock series… Time to wrap it up and move on to the next adventure… Since I didn’t really share any pictures of the official town of Woodstock, I thought I would here as a fare thee well…

Thursday morning came way too soon.  The end of our little getaway-from-reality-and-live-in-the-moment escape was almost over.

We – okay, I – made one last breakfast using whatever leftovers from our little grocery expeditions:  smoked turkey, peppers, cheese, bread, and made a variation of a high-end grilled cheese.  B, of course, had a couple extra crêpes as well.  Any leftovers were going home with him and since I had made a ridiculous quantity, he was sure to have himself another breakfast back home; and, if his daughter was lucky, she might have some too!  (I did learn later that he did share…the pancakes but not the garden vodka!)

We had to pack up and be out of the Airbnb by 11 am so, after breakfast and a shower, we packed up and loaded our cars.  Then, loathe to part so soon, we took one last drive into the town proper, parked the car and strolled, while we chatted and I snapped pics.  We marvelled at how easy our three days had been.  We had become friends on line and our three days together just solidified that friendship.  We had found our beat and went with it.  A suggestion here, an idea there and we were in total cahoots. So very glad I can never say I shoulda, coulda, woulda.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

The town really does have a nice artsy vibe to it and shows how it has been, not just a hippie town (though, of course, it still is) but a town that welcomes artists of all kinds.  They still hold various festivals to this day.

You have the requisite head shops because, you know, Woodstock!

And there are lovely homes and buildings of all sorts.

As well as really funky joints and places to sit.

Though this sign explained the reason for the sad state of the flag, it was the car that drew me.  I had the feeling the car has been there as long as the flag has in memory of 9/11.

One last one before I go…  A lovely stream goes through part of the town, so I had to capture it.

There was still much to see but no more time to do so.  B drove us back to my car, we hugged and kissed and went our separate ways, basking in the memories we created.

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again”
Jimi Hendrix

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

This, That and Whatnot – to NOT Call it a Week-end Share

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

It’s funny.  Every time I start something, it eventually falls through the cracks.   I guess it’s just the way I am.  I am blaming my Aries personality.  We are notoriously known for starting projects.  You want to get something going?  Get one of us involved.  You want to finish said project?  You better have back up because we will be off on a new project.

Squirrel!

or is it Shiny Object Syndrome?

Either way, I am guilty.

Last week I was doing the Costco thing – you know, where you have a list, you will absolutely abide by it and somehow end up spending $200 more than planned?  Anyhoo.  I came upon the flower section and saw pussy willows!  Do you remember when you could see those all over the place?  Why don’t I see them anywhere anymore?  So, of course, when I bought them, they looked like a bunch of sticks with only one or two pussies – don’t even!  I got mocked by the men in my life.  Whatevs.  I am a happy camper.  I should have taken a “before” pic but didn’t.  So trust me.  They did look like sad sticks.  However, lookit ’em now!

Totally unrelated and yet is.  Way back when, my mother had Nat King Cole records – you know, the vinyl kind – and on the back of the jacket of a double-album, was a lovely text about Nat and his “pussy-willow voice”.  I always thought that was the perfect description and it has stayed with me since.  Was hard to pick a favourite, but here you go.  Enjoy.

On Monday, Zeke and I went for a walk.  The sky was glorious, the sun was shining, it wasn’t “freeze-your-butt-off” cold… We made our way to “Teletubbie Park”.  We’ve been calling it that since we moved to the ‘hood and the boys went to elementary school right beside it.  Funny the things families do or create or say.

On Sunday I had made mussels – they are my “fast food” and I almost always make two flavours, which I did this time.  I then keep the left-over broth to make a soup.

Moday’s was a Thai-style shrimp and noodle

and Wednesday’s was a sorta chicken noodle with Fennel-Marinière base

They may look similar but were world’s apart flavour-wise.  I have to admit I was quite pleased.  Firstly, the Thai one got my Pepper-head’s (Iain) approval for spiciness and the Marinière was no basic chicken noodle soup!  Will I be able to repeat it?  Probably not.

I also had taken out chicken thighs for Wednesday – “no, Aidan, I cannot make Chicken Parm every time I take out chicken!!”  But I did made a casserole thingy with my left-over Frenched string beans (yeah, I parboiled, and split them apart by hand then sautéed them with some shallots and red peppers) and left-over boiled potatoes that I sliced and used as a topping with a sprinkling of cheese.  Not overly pretty to look at and simple, yet tasty.  I was surprised by a visit from François as I don’t usually see him during the week, lately.

As Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, I made the trek to visit my mother-in-law, bringing her a stuffed dog to cuddle, a small rose plant and some chocolate.  She loved the dog, decided to call him Harry (will see if she remembers next time I see her!)

Jean

On my way back, while stopped at a set of lights, I looked to my right and burst out laughing.  Apologies for the quality but I had no time to open the window and was being honked at!

My favourite British cussword and pretty much how I feel every time I return from a visit with Jean.

On Saturday Iain bought a car, thanks to help from Andre, Mick’s best friend.  He’s pretty pleased to have wheels again!

Iain agreed to be my date (after inviting himself) to Andre’s birthday celebration.  I was more than happy to have him take my place in the Vodka Shot Foolishness that takes place every year.  You see, it was always, Lorne, Bill, Andre and Me…. while the “girls” Dorothy, Phany, Tammy and Mick refrained.  After Mick died, I no longer had my D.D. so I would sleep over.  I have since lost the taste for vodka thanks to these over-indulgences.  I don’t care how much the bottle costs, it all tastes like rubbing alcohol to me now!  Iain, you may take over the mantle and play with the big boys in my stead!

I may not partake in the vodka shots (okay, maybe two) but I will always bring the cake.

Chocolate Mousse & Caramel

But before making said cake, I helped François collect my friend Andrea’s wood.  Ironically, after writing a Friday Fictioneer about the Emerald Ash Borer problem, she had three of her trees cut down.  Wood is wood is wood, and François’ mother heats her house with it so he was more than glad to help her get rid of it!  After it has properly dried, he’ll cut it down to size.  He figured he got a good three cords of wood out of what he took!  Talk about a savings…. going price is easily $125 per cord, if you’re lucky.

Some of the wood

Once François felt the truck could take no more, off he went back home; and I, to finish the cake, shower and, along with Iain, make it to Tammy and Andre’s for 5:30.

I’ll not embarrass my son by including a shot of him snoring on the couch and missing dessert… because that would be mean. I’ll save that for a more opportune time!  These boys – especially Lorne – are a tough crowd to keep up with.  The birthday boy himself was blinking his eyes for long periods of time at the table 😉

A slice, to see the inside

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but there was still more wood to collect; which we did, and once François returned from delivering it and returning the truck, we each had a different left-over, vegged on the couch and watched the Olympics.  Okay.  I watched, he snoozed!

I know it’s already Tuesday, but do have a fabulous week!  Maybe this weekend I’ll manage to post on Sunday.  Who knows?  I make no promises.

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

21. Mick’s friends – still keeping me in their group
22. Being able to include my son in this get-together
23. Blue skies, crisp air
24. Pussy Willows – just because
25. Being the official birthday cake supplier

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

 

 

 

Weekend Share – January 14, 2018

“Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Well now, I have not done one of these in ages.  Too long, methinks.  I miss writing more than a 100-word story for Friday Fictioneers – not that that will end any time soon!  I love it way too much to give it up.  However, I know there are one of two of you who enjoy my “Gratitude” or “Weekend Coffee Share” type posts and I kinda like doing them.  Helps to give me a perspective on what’s what in my life.  Plus, I promised myself I would write more in 2018, including continuing preparing my stories of Mick and our family to eventually turn them into a book of short stories.  Rochelle has been most convincing and I think I shall heed her noodge.

Till then, here’s a little recap of my past week.

On Tuesday, Zeke and I finally went on one of our long walks.  It has been so cold that I just couldn’t bring myself to bundle up and go out there.  We’re talking -25ºC (-13ºF) with a windchill of up to (down to?) -40ºC (-40ºF).  Nope.  I may have done it a few years ago, after Mick’s passing but since then have become such a wimp.  Wimp.  That’s a little harsh.  Let us just say I did not acclimatise my body to the redonkulous cold this year!  Tuesday it was a balmy +1ºC (34ºF)!  Come ON!  Woo hoo!  It was so warm, that I overdressed.  I was dying of heat and half the time, held my mittens in my hands and not covering them.  For a girl with Raynaud’s that is quite something…

We step out and I see my car.  Sigh.  I’ll have to take care of it later.  I had decided to park my car in front of my mother’s (oh when will it be towed away?) so that the guy could clear out my side.  What I hadn’t considered was the city passing and snowing me in.  Merde.

Zeke got most excited when we turned right at the end of the street as he knows this means a good looooong walk!

Of course, when we left the house the sun was shining brightly but not even half-way into our walk, it disappeared.  As a result, we didn’t go quite as far as I would have liked.  You see, all the pathways had not been cleared yet and man, that is a good workout!  But I did go past “my” favourite willow treet

We trudged along, resting here and there…

We didn’t make it all the way to the other side of Parc des Coutances, where we sometimes run into a bunch of other dogs and their mistresses.  Both Zeke and I were starting to feel enough was enough.

Of course, on our way back, the sun came out again. Hmph!

I didn’t manage my 10,000 steps, got to somewhere around 8,600 give or take, and it represented a good 5-6 km, and considering it was hard to walk in, I’m declaring it a full 10,000 step-effort!

On Wednesday, Aidan declared we needed to go to the barbershop as he had had enough.  Holy moly!

I swear he looks even taller than his 6’1″.  He’s happy, his girlfriend is happy but I think the happiest one is his brother, Iain.  Kept calling him a bum… Brothers…

Of course, everyone was so excited to get all that rain and watch our mountains of snow melt away.  And then we weren’t.  Starting Friday night and well into Saturday, we got bombarded with a ton, a TON, I tell you! Of snow.  I don’t know what the exact numbers were but my front steps disappeared!

There are steps – I swear!

It was an impressive accumulation, gusts obviously made it worse than it really was, but impressive nonetheless.  Once the snow was removed from my car, I found a nice layer of ice… sigh… why did I get rid of my Tempo last year?  Why???

Zeke was most helpful…

And I took a break looking up at the clouds.  They were moving so fast, it was hypnotic.

By the time we finished our big job, the sky had turned a beautiful shade of gold…

Didn’t torment any of you with pictures of food – this time – but suffice it to say that a nice pot roast was waiting for us after a job well done!

Have a most wonderful week and I think that I shall do like Robin over at Breezes at Dawn and start listing

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

  1. Golden light that I catch with my camera
  2. Zeke – for always being ready for a walk no matter how cold it is outside
  3. François – for coming into my life at the right time
  4. Heated house – when the temperatures dip as low as they have this month, it is more than appreciated
  5. Snow – it brightens up what would be a dreary season

 

 

 

 

50 Happy Things 2018

50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude

Somehow I seemed to have missed participating in this wonderful project last year.  Couldn’t understand why so I went to look at my past posts and realised that I participated two years ago without officially joining in.  Well this time, I am.  Thanks Dawn Quyle Landau for officially inviting me to play with you!  I think it is important to focus on what makes us happy and what fills our hearts with gratitude.  Happy is so much easier to attain when one actually focuses on it rather than on the negative and sad.

This is a 15-minute-timer exercise so the point is to simply start the timer and type without over-thinking it.  So, in no particular order and some seemingly simplistic things, here are the – would you look at that? – 60 things that make me happy and fill me with gratitude.

  1. My boys
  2. François
  3. Winter
  4. Warm clothes
  5. Zeke
  6. My sisters
  7. My family
  8. The closeness of my family
  9. Friends
  10. Having friends over and being received by them in return
  11. Holidays as an excuse to just have fun
  12. Cooking and Baking
  13. Boucherville, my home town
  14. Photography
  15. Writing
  16. Friday Fictioneers
  17. Walking Zeke, no matter the weather
  18. The golf club where I work – otherwise wouldn’t have met François!
  19. My co-workers
  20. My friend – François L. who offered me my job though I have zero experience
  21. Good neighbours
  22. My home
  23. My strength, not just physical but mental
  24. My resilience – seems to be everyone’s favourite word for me so I might as well embrace it
  25. My ability to see the bright side of any situation
  26. My ability to do what needs to be done
  27. My cooking skills
  28. Blogging Buddies
  29. Rochelle – our almost daily FB chats, occasional Skype sessions and her trusting me with her words
  30. My car – it permits me to go where I want
  31. Spring – new beginnings along with the stench 😉
  32. Music – all kinds
  33. Reading – so many genres
  34. My bed – so comfy!
  35. The possibilities awaiting me in the future
  36. Jean-Louis, for inviting me to keep him company in Punta Cana, no strings attached
  37. Facebook, for helping me keep in touch with far-away friends and family
  38. Cook in Tuscany experience, for making my dream come true and giving me new friends
  39. Being able to welcome far away friends to my home
  40. When my boys do what I ask after only one request!
  41. Warm clothes so I can enjoy our frigid winters
  42. Concerts – classical, rock, folk – I love ’em all
  43. Introducing François to English Canadian music
  44. Having a handy-man boyfriend who will help me fix this house to sell it
  45. My ability to easily adapt to various situations
  46. My bathtub for two – a luxury I must enjoy while I am still in this house!
  47. My gas stove/oven, which allows me to create my concoctions
  48. Mick’s organisational skills, which help me find and fix (or get fixed) things that need fixing, even though he’s been gone for 3 years
  49. My office space which allows me to comfortably create with words
  50. Even when Zeke doesn’t get to go on a long walk with me, he is still happy to see me.
  51. When my boys let me know they do care
  52. Autumn, for its crisp air and colours
  53. Snow in the winter, which keeps my world a bit brighter
  54. My sense of humour
  55. Delicious food at a wonderful restaurant with great company
  56. Netflix – for when there is really nothing on TV!
  57. Having my mother closer to us after years of being 2 hours away
  58. Employment insurance, which allows me to stay home until golf season starts up again
  59. François’ kids and mother, who accepted me on first contact
  60. The ability to feel love and gratitude

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