Still Life – Friday Fictioneers

Welcome, Readers!  It is Wednesday and time to get away from the news for a few minutes. Yep, this week, Rochelle has challenged us with Jeff Arnold’s lovely image. One that she, by the way, turned into a beautiful painting.  Should you care to add your own 100-word story inspired by this image, click on the frog below and add your link. Easy peasy!  Wanna know the rules? Click on Rochelle’s name and get ’em while they’re hot!

Still Life

She placed her “Writer’s Life” items just so, hoping to create a lovely still life to photograph. Two of her three loves were photography and writing; cooking was the third. Why the hell did she place both a cup of coffee and a glass of wine? Right, silly.  Coffee for the morning writing session; wine for the afternoon-to-evening one.  Her subconscious mind seemed to understand all the elements.  She took her pictures then sat down at the desk, reaching for the glass of wine as she mulled over her life.  Could she make a living by combining her three loves?

 

Rainbows, Smiles and Sunday Everyday

My last day of quarantine was yesterday. Thank goodness because, much as I am quite creative in the kitchen, I was starting to worry that things would turn drab as I was running low on pretty much everything.  You see, my family and I were fortunate to go on a cruise together. (Post about it to follow soon as I kinda got distracted on my return, for some reason.)  Yes, there was talk but it was faint and precautions were taken upon boarding and we sanitized everywhere we went so we felt pretty outside of the situation. Till we hit New York. Waiting for our plane the drone overhead was relentless as were all the TV screens.  We thought, shit… what the eff is going on?

Took it easy on Tuesday (11th) and worked Wednesday through Friday, receiving the stink-eye from a couple of the cooks.  Sorry, mates. We were not told to self-quarantine.  Until we were.  On Saturday, my boss called me to ask me to stay home just as I was texting him to say I had to stay home for two weeks from the arrival date, meaning, until the 23rd. All good.

I try to go out daily with Zeke for a walk, choosing less populated streets of which there are many.  Distances are kept and every “hello” is not only received but returned with a smile, to boot.  No one tries to get in ayone else’s space and that is fabulous. There are a few “rainbows in windows” campaigns going on and I have seen the proof. It is precious and beautiful to see. Most are handmade and even if not, who cares? It’s a lovely way of uniting us.

Speaking of uniting, it’s a mixture of disconcerting and heartwarming to see all the cars parked in the driveways, making every day seem like a Sunday, with people walking about, cycling, playing hockey (I had to assume this was a family who lives together).  You can see the distance between groups or individuals – a good sign that rules are being respected.

This last image was taken shortly before the ambulance arrived. You can see a person sitting on the ground with one helping her while others look like they want to go close to help (or snoop) but don’t dare – a good thing at this time.  I hope it was nothing serious.

In some places, I have finally seen signs of spring flowers working their way out of the frozen ground!  Not at my house just yet, but still. And, I’m surprised this photo turned out as it was so bright outside, I could not see a darn thing!

Speaking of every day being like a Sunday, that includes Sunday meals en famille, of which we have not been able to partake in a dog’s age because we all work different shifts and most of the time are at work when it should be suppertime. Sundays especially.  Soooo… with my “Empty the fride/freezer/pantry” campaign, I was doing a bang-up job…

Which brings me back to my opening paragraph.  Now that I was allowed to go shop, I did.  All in one fell swoop as I do not want to have to go out and expose myself more than necessary until it is necessary.  I was pleased to see that Costco had organised the lines – and were counting how many they let in: one goes out, one allowed in, keeping the numbers at, well, I don’t know how many, but judging by the space in there, it was quite low.  However, as you can see below, the peeps in front of me were certainly NOT keeping six feet between them.  I did and let the guy behind me know when he was in my bubble.

Got my goods and the staff did no bagging so I figured, no big whup, once I get to my car, I’ll do it there.  However. DISASTER! My case of beer was on the cat food bag and, unbenownst to me, and slipped forward until CRASH! It fell to its side and made like the Caesar’s Palace Fountain Show only sans lights and music!  I got a good beer shower as I righted the damn thing and waited as it did its thing. A kind samaritan gave me a half roll of paper towels and said he hoped I was thirsty. Um… These cans are 500 ml (17 oz) each!  Even if all six, yes, SIX, of them emptied half-way, that represents 1.5 l (3 pints) of beer – Not saying I couldn’t if push came to shove but yanno… it was a “bit” much and plus, they were room temp. So. I put a couple in the fridge and drank them – they were flat by then. Blech. and the rest is put aside for more beer bread…

Victims, a sad state of affairs.

After the horror of putting all my stuff away into the car, I had two more stops to make.  Some fruit and herbs and stuff that I can’t get at Costo. And what up, peeps? Has everyone decided to bake their own bread?  Not an ounce of flour to be found at either store I went to. And fuggedabout yeast… Yep. Looks like I’ll be making more beer bread should I run out of the store bought one.

The snow started to fall ever so lightly during my last stop.  The boys helped me empty my car and put away the groceries. By then, forget about cooking. I was spent and it became leftover time. And we had a variety (see above).

I was settled into an evening of watching “Lion” when I got a text from Linda: “Yo, Outside your window.”  Took a peak and waved, then opened the door, shouted for her to hang on, I’d get redressed and join her – yes, yes, six feet apart – with Zeke.  It was a winter wonderland!

Neither of us was upset with the snowfall. We know that March snows never last.  This was just about the prettiest snowfall we had all winter!  Of course, it’s officially Spring, so that must be it.

Nothing lasts forever…

 

 

 

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

Artistic License – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #55

Alrighty then… Over time, this challenge has come to mean a way for me to get out some old (or not so old) photos and try to match them to Crispina‘s.  Then write a story to go with.  This one didn’t quite work out for me.  However, I have taken artistic license and since there are no rules besides not going past 150 words… A little silly never hurt anyone, right?

Artistic License

Didja get the plan I gave ya?

I shore did.

And, you think you are following it?

I shore am.

Really? Do you see a house in my picture?

No, but—

Do you see a fence in my picture?

No, but those posts look like an unfinished—

Do you think you are still following the plan?

Well, no. BUT.  I thought I’d use a little artistic license.

We cannot do our ritual in the place you have chosen.

Why not?

First off, the circle is unfinished.

I know, I was going to get to that before you arrived.

And that’s not how it’s done. It needs to have more of ‘henge’ feeling so not a fence, just the posts.

But this looks rustic, no?

Yeah, it’s lovely for a home.

I thought it rather nice.

Still, we can’t do our ritual here.

Why not?

We’ll wake the neighbours!

 

Once Upon a November Dreary…

What is it about November in the northern hemisphere above the, say, the 35th parallel north, that is so drab and dreary?

Just a touch of colour

Tell you what. The trees are bare, the snow is not yet arrived to brighten up the place (or what little of it there may be is little and dirty), it rains, we set back the clock an hour (coz we all love to have it dark at 4:00 pm)… need I say more?  My grandmother used to get so depressed during this month because there was nothing and no visitors found the need to visit “up north” as we used to call the two-hour drive to her place. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Then the next holiday is Christmas. So, November? Blahsville.

Today was the perfect day to represent the November of which I speak. I drove my mother and her partner up to Hawkesbury to meet with my aunt who would take them the rest of the way. It was drizzling and grey all the way until we hit the Ontario border. The sun was trying desperately to burn through the grey and finally did kinda-sorta peep through, almost necessitating the slipping on of the shades. Almost.

After a teen burger at A&W, I said goodbye to the folks.  I stopped to gas up, picked up the worst coffee in the world and made my way back home. Not smart to leave there after 2:00 pm as it meant I would arrive back in the Montreal area after 3:00 pm, or primetime traffic hour.

I swear, as soon as I crossed the border back into Quebec, the grey came back and the drizzle started up again. Really? Mother Nature pissed of at this part of Quebec, or something?

No matter. I was smart enough to take another way home, thereby avoiding the city completely. Why I hadn’t thought of it on my way up is beyond me.  Mind you, traffic was endurable so…

As I was about twenty minutes from home, I could see across the highway to the Saint Lawrence River and the monotone colour made me think of this here post. So I took an exit that I thought would bring me one place but did not.  It did, however, bring me to another spot that was perfect.  I parked the car and made my way across an apartment building’s yard to the water’s edge and snapped a few pics.

How nice that as I was snapping these pictures, the drizzle turned to a light snow. Maybe November isn’t all that bad…

 

Walktober – St. Helen’s Island and Marie-Victorin Park

It’s October and that means it is time for Robin’s Walktober!  I had plans. Big plans. Was gonna go to St. Helen’s Island on one day (okay, that part I did, but not as much as I wanted to) and the next day was going to go to Mount Royal in Montreal (which didn’t happen because I was just too damn lazy to get up and out of the house early enough). So instead of crossing the bridge and half the island of Montreal to get to Mount Royal, Zeke and I just went to the next town over as there is a lovely area by the St. Lawrence River in the town of Longueuil, called Marie-Victorin Park, we enjoy walking along.

Actually, I am totally going to cheat here. Yep. Imma combine THREE walks, adding in Parc de la Frayère in Boucherville because I got some amazing shots that I want to share with you. And this walk did take place in October.  I do hope you don’t mind…

On October 5th, Zeke and I went to the Parc de la Frayère (which means spawning ground park) for a sunset walk. For once the stars were aligned, or rather, the sky was clear and I was able to take advantage of the golden hour followed by the sunset.

Yesss! We parked, went right to see if maybe, just maybe the heron was hanging about and he was. I did catch a little black duck but that photo is a tad dark as well.  So we turned around towards the little bridge when I spotted the moon between the trees

A half-pie slice of moon.  Crossing the bridge, we made our way towards the water’s edge and were rewarded by a woods tinged with gold.

Even Zeke took on a golden hue

The sun then put on a spectacular show and it was difficult to NOT inundate you with a bazillion pics…

Satisfied, Zeke and I climbed back into the car but I glimpsed a little marina on my return and had to stop. (Sorry, Zeke, you stay in the car for a minute or so…)

I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to share, so you get two.

October 8 was a Tuesday and the first of my two days off that week.  Into the car we went and off to St. Helen’s Island between the south shore and Montreal. There are so many things to see but we stayed within one little section.  It was a glorious day with the bluest of skies and brightest of colours all around.

Up the steps for a nice view.  I took this angle of the Tour de Lévis (built in the 1930’s, usually we have access to the steps inside bringing us to the top where we can have a spectacular view of Montreal and surroundings) but now gated shut for repairs

We walked along the lovely leaf-strewn trails (seriously? a construction cone? are there no construction-free zones in all of the province?) and then down a hill past this huge boulder. I loved how the moss draped over it.

We walked some more and whoa! I have been on this island countless times and have never ended up here. And if I did and don’t remember it then I must have been otherwise preoccupied. A little oasis in the middle of seemingly nowhere.

 

I let a friend know I was in his neighbourhood so we ended up going to his backyard to have a beer before heading home. The view from the communal backyard is lovely.

As mentioned at the start of this walk post, Wednesday was supposed to be a totally different walk but I hemmed and hawed and took my time – so much so that the idea of driving into Montreal no longer appealed to me. Plus the sky was not quite as blue so, I decided to go to another lovely park in the city of Longueuil. This is also along the St. Lawrence River so we had a chance of seeing geese, ducks or simply lovely trees.

The entrance of the park has this… thing. There are no signs and I have no clue what it is.

As I walked towards the official path, my eyes were drawn to this bright red…

And then the entrance to the park

There were a couple of ducks but the light was shite and they were far and I took ’em anyway. Thank goodness for PicMonkey to play with settings.

We walked along and I was struck the by colours… yellows, reds, sticking up out of nowhere.

We kept on walking and arrived at this easily walked into water… which Zeke, as per, did not hesitate to enter. Which is fine because I had arrived at a busy section with some sort of seagull (I think) and a heron.  While Zeke played in the water, he didn’t disturb the birds or me!

The seagull was busy fishing and every time he’d dive down to pick at a fish he’d caught, his wings would flap. I took so many photos but will not bore you with more than two 😉

And then Bob (for you, Mr. Paxson) was standing there waiting for me.  I took pictures as I got closer and closer with the intent – I know, I am mean – of hoping he would fly away and I could attempt to capture him in flight…. I got my desire.

I was pretty pleased with myself even though I felt a tad guilty.

There is a wonderful new overpass that has been rebuilt after an unfortunate accident – a dump truck with its dumper raised hit it and it smashed it.  My sons and I were on our way to the movies and never made it because we were stuck in the traffic it caused. I wrote about it here.

It is quite spectacular at night and I have promised myself to go there and cross it.  But till then, here is the view during the day.  It was built specifically for bicycles and pedestrians.  Zeke and I planned on going to  the top to see the view. Unfortunately, once we got to the second floor, the stairs were metal teeth-like things and poor Zeke tried the first four. I couldn’t let him go up so I told him to stay on the landing whilst I went up. I don’t usually get the willies but you can see through the stairs and my stomach did flip-flops. Since when am I such a wuss?

It was time to go home and the golden hour was arriving. Walking back I noticed there were crabapples and had I a sac, I would have filled it. (Thief that I am.)

I hope you enjoyed my walk and didn’t find it too long! I apologize. I got somewhat carried away.  Should you want to join in, the link is above on Robin’s name.

 

Steps – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #40

Good Thursday night… for twenty minutes, anyway!  I wasn’t sure I would participate in Crispina‘s challenge this week and then, I thought I would just supply a “reply photo” but then found two and couldn’t decide on which one to use and decided to use both, then thought: “I can’t just plop two photos!” So I thought I’d write a little story but then nothing came to me and, driving home from work, a haiku came to mind. Only to promptly disappear as I parked my car.  Sigh.  As I played with my pictures, other words came to mind so. Well. This is what you get!

Where do these steps go?

In the middle of no where

How can I resist?

Do I see a light?

This is an invitation

I cannot resist

More steps up ahead

A neverending journey

Makes life worth living