All In One – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday! It’s a chilly one in my neck of the woods! But boy does the sun shine bright (all the better to fool you into going outside!) I had no idea where to go with this one.  Stumped I was. Then I asked Rochelle if it was what I thought it was and she said it was, and then some, and then I thought well I know where Imma go with this one then… confused yet? Thought so. Thanks to Roger Bultot for allowing us to use his head-scratching (for me) photo. And always, ALWAYS, a thank you to Rochelle for hosting this weekly party.

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All In One

“Here it is!”

“Here what is?”

“Our new building!”

“Is that Hebrew up there? Is it a synagogue? Can they just sell religious buildings like that? And what do you mean, ‘our new apartment building’? What have you done?”

“Yes to all that. I bought us a building. We can live upstairs and have our businesses on the ground floor. My wood workshop will be in the back with a window to your café in the front so people can have a coffee and snack while they watch me build stuff. Whaddaya think?”

“I think you’re nuts.  I love it!”

 

The Hands Have It

I’ve been binge-watching “Call the Midwife” – I swear, if you have not seen this one, check it out. It’s fantabulous. It starts in 1957, and takes place in East End London, more specifically in the town of Poplar. This is a very poor area of London and the residents count on the midwives of Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns and housing both the sisters and nurses, all of whom are midwives. It is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. For once, nuns are shown in a beautifully positive light. The relationship between the young nurses and the nuns is a lovely and symbiotic one.

Where am I going with this?  One of the characters, Sister Julienne, played by Jenny Agutter, has the kindest eyes, the gentlest voice and most beautiful and expressive hands.  Which got me to thinking…

I am a ‘hands’ person. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a fetish but I will notice if you bite your nails or not, if your nails are well-manicured or not. Too-long nails on a man turns me right off, even if they are buffed and polished or, heaven help me, filed just so. I have come to the conclusion that I could never date a guitarist who doesn’t use a pick.  With one long finger-nailed hand to pluck the strings and the other one “normal”, I find myself shuddering. Sorry to my guitarist friends in this situation. It’s not you, it’s me…

And, obviously, as I have begun this post, it’s not just about the men’s hands, though I will definitely go into detail just below 😉

Have you seen Jane Fonda’s hands? Her fingers are so long and slim and arthritic-bump-free considering her age. Yes, they are old hands but they are still elegant.

I have a friend whose hands fascinate me. They are smooth, blemish and bump free. They are beautifully shaped and I cannot lie, I am a tad jealous. She keeps her nails short and natural and are just as nice as one who spends a fortune on manicures. I, on the other hand, have sadly inherited my mother’s and my grandmother’s hands, though my fingers are much longer (for which I am grateful). I wanted to think the bumps and marks were from years of misuse but alas, they are aflicted with arthritic joints. My index fingers, mostly. Crept up on me unnoticed ’til the day I banged my finger against something hard and shooting pain had me blinking back tears. As if that is not enough, I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome which is basically an allergic reaction to the cold.  This, too, has been a slowly creeping thing. If I hold anything cold for too long, I can feel my fingers start tingling and am usually too late to stop it. I end up with a few of my fingers looking like they belong on a cadaver! Two to three fingers per hand are affected so don’t be surprised to see me driving with ski mitts come November. That steering wheel causes me serious grief. And is one of the main reasons I have not opened my own restaurant or worked in a kitchen.  I cut a large piece of cold fish and every few minutes, I needs must run my hands under warm water.

Now, that said, when it comes to male hands, I take special note 🙂 I like a big strong hand with long fingers (nails kept short – and not by chewing, please).  A nice ring with a wide band enhances as well.  Where does this come from?  I cannot say.  Or can I?

My father had wonderful hands. They were exactly as I’ve described above: big, strong, long-fingered, capable… He wore a size 12 on his ring finger!  Even when he was ill and becoming ever more frail his hands still held a certain strength and could engulf mind in his. Those hands could build things yet could be gentle. They were eloquent yet stern.  A finger pointed in your direction when you did wrong was one thing and I got one smack from them that I’ll never forget! And he regretted it the second he did it.

They were always warm and I cannot say how many times he took my hands in his hands and warmed them.  Why, even in the days when we would snowmobile, he would switch mittens with each of us, warming them up and returning them when done. How he managed to squeeze those paws into our children-sized mitts is beyond me, but he did.

If I’m to psychoanalyse myself, I guess there is a comfort in knowing that strong hands mean I will be taken care of.  It’s silly, really. I know plenty of man who were not endowed with large hands but who are strong and very much take care of their significant others. The size of the hand does not measure it’s strength.  But I’ll still

Maybe This no doubt has influenced how I judge men’s hands today. I used to work with a man whom I’d tease every time I got a chance. At a Christmas party I told his wife he had the most beautiful hands ever – she laughed and said “Don’t I know it!” Richard just pshawed us, blushed and walked away, muttering “You ladies are weird.”  We ladies looked at each other and smiled. We knew what we were talking about.

A funny thing happened after Mick passed away. I put his wedding ring next to my father’s. Exactly the same size.  Although his hand was a worker’s hand, strong and big, his fingers were not as long…go figure

Comparing Zeke’s paw to Mick’s hand

 

Keeping me safe

Where Has Our Collective Patience Gone?

I had a ten o’clock appointment this morning – a way overdue oil change and inspection for the special price of $57.45, which we KNOW will never cost just that because there will be this and the other.  A whole nother story.

I leave my house at 9:25, giving myself more than ample time to get there. I take the exit to get on Highway 132 to head west. This exit, like most, if not all, the ones in Quebec, is beyond annoying. It means peeps have to criss-cross each other to get to where they want to go.  Those coming out of the tunnel and wanting to go east must try to squeeze in by those coming from Hwy 20 (like me) who want to go west. There are three lanes going into two, the middle one being used for either east or west. Heaven forbid the guy going in the same direction as you actually lets you in. No, no, we don’t want that so we force them to slow down by turning towards them. It is quite the spectacle. Of course the two lanes leading west will merge into one so the ones on the right must find their way into the left before reaching the highway itself.  Again, fun stuff.

Once on the hightway, the speed limit is 100 km/h which most of us figure means minimum.  Ahem. And so we drive at 110-119 (because rumour has it the cops won’t waste their time before you hit 120). I am driving along, listening to my music and the traffic slows. The guy behind me is so far up my ass I figure he’d like me to pop the trunk so he could hitch a ride.  There are cars ahead of me and beside me. It is obvious I could not even try to move over and let him fly by. I raise my hand to him in a “what the fuck do you want from me?” manner and ignore him.  The reason the traffic had slowed? There was a truck in the right lane behind a tree that had just blown over INTO THE HIGHWAY! Did I forget to mention the wind is beyond fierce today?

We pass said situation and I can move over. “Honda-Casquette” – We call the young pups with their Hondas and their baseball caps (“casquette”) this endearing term – because they all have the same bad driving habits. My son is one though he doesn’t wear baseball caps.  Anyhoo… Honda-Casquette speeds past me, swerves in front of me and then, get this, slams on the brakes so he can take the same exit I am.  Dude. He is then stuck behind others making their way towards another highway (see merging scenario above).  Soon as he gets a chance, he once again swerves in front of me and takes off like a bat outta hell. I see him flying between cars ahead zipping in and out. I do not wish ill on these drivers because of karma. But if I did…

I pull into my dealer’s garage, greet my service guy, at 9:50, by the way, and regale him and his cohorts with my tale. He then tells me that this morning the peeps with appointments seemed to think the time given was just a “guideline” of sorts.

As if your 7:30 appointment means any time between 7:30 and 8:30.  Sigh. My one-hour appointment was going to be longer, I am afraid.  “No worries, J-F, I had planned on going for a leisurely breakfast and brought my book.”  And off I go, practically blown across the street. Of course it starts to rain and of course, I have no hood on my jacket but I make my way – a good, I dunno 1000 feet away? and arrive rather wet.  Get my booth and my coffee and am promptly forgotten by my waitress.

Two chapters and an empty cup later, my waitress sheepishly comes by and says, so sorry, we’re not busy, which ironically I understand as I now am in the bidness. We make more mistakes and forget more things when we have too much time on our hands. Good thing her colleague noticed me sitting there.  She takes my order, brings me another coffee and I’m happy.

By 11:45, I make my way back to the dealership and sit down, figuring my car should be ready.  I decide to get up to get the wifi password and can see into the garage where I note my car is up in the air. Groovy. I am so glad my book is good.

Jean-François comes to get me sometime close to one o’clock. Total bill? $161.58. A little of this and a little of that.

I had plans to go do some shopping and whatnot but frankly, I just wanted to get home. I drive out of the lot and some doofus has blocked an entrance to another business so the guy coming towards us cannot get in and is blocking his lane. I shake my head and wait for the light, let the guy pass and miss my own light. Fine.  The guy behind me starts honking because we are allowed to turn right on red after 9 am. However, I do not feel inclined to run over the pedestrian who is making his way across. Again my WTF hands go up. The man makes it to the curb so I turn onto my street.  Guy behind me drives to my right on the shoulder only to see there is a truck parked in the way so now he has to come back in. And is lucky the guy in front of me did coz no way in hell I would have.  I am laughing in my car all by myself, lemme tell you.  We pass the truck and the guy once again goes onto the shoulder to take the same exit as I am, which is a grand total of 25 feet (maybe, I may exaggerate) away.  Patience. Zilch.

 

Thoughts Become Things – Friday Fictioneers

I had a great idea for a story. Well, I had the beginnings of a great idea for a story.  Then I didn’t. But I did. But the words and my fingers had a fight. Irreconscilable differences, I’m afraid. So I fiddled and futzed and said fuggedaboutit.  And then pressed publish.

If your muse works like it should, then by all means, please click the frog below and add your story.  Rochelle, our lovely leader, is always thrilled when new peeps join in on the fun.

Clique Ze Frogue

Thoughts Become Things

Like speech bubbles, thoughts floated up, decorating the sky in glowing blue circles.

Those walking the street were oblivious to the goings-on above their heads, preoccupied with their own musings:  to-do lists, dreams and random thoughts.

Sharon sat in the doorway of her kiosk, looking, to anyone who bothered to even glance at her, like a simple kitschshop owner.  She could see their thoughts, and orchestrate them at will.  She swirled them around, bumped them together, made them trade places. She loved watching the bemusement cross their faces as aleatory thoughts popped suddenly into their head seemingly out of nowhere.

What’s Left – Friday Fictioneers

It’s a glorious Wednesday out there, I’m not working and I’m on slo-mo. Zeke is not pleased with me so before he decides I am no longer his buddy, I better send this out into the ether, grab his leash and get a move on before the sun disappears!  Thanks always to Rochelle for hosting this weekly party and thank you to Ted Strutz for sending most of us down memory lane. (I assume, which is not smart, but I never claimed to be.)

©Ted Strutz

Click me! Click me!

 

What’s Left

I’ve since gone digital, but I still prefer the old pictures. In all their glorious mess. You know what I mean, don’t you?

Most of us have them. Boxes of old photographs. I have Dad’s, with so few pictures of him as a kid. My aunt has my grandmother’s. Mom has “gifted’ me with hers, as she wants me to scan each one into digital form ~ I must start before it’s too late. And I have my own. Filled with memories, still to be sorted.

In all those boxes, dates and names are a scarcity.

And this is what’s left.

This, That, a Walk and a Shout Out To Bronx

Last week, in preparation to try and capture the Harvest Moon, I took a few pictures a couple nights before. The partial moon was bright and my hopes were high because I am limited with the lens I have plus I have no idea what the hell I am doing. I Googled how to go about it and managed to get this one. It’s not as good as so many out there, but it pleases me anywah. Especially since the damn Harvest Moon was behind clouds by the time I got home and wanted to get it!

I am now officially counting down the days till the golf club closes. It can’t happen soon enough. All of us employees are tired and just done with seeing and serving these members day after day – even if most are nice and sweet.

This is the last day of September – yay! Which means in two weeks, or mid-october, the restaurant will be open for dinner (or supper, if you prefer) only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wooooo hooooo! And the other days cannot be later than, say 6-7 pm. Bliss. My feet are already starting to celebrate.

I laugh because many members ask what I do once the golf club is closed. My usual answer is: A whole helluva lot of NOTHING! We recuperate for the first month (when many of get sick coz, yanno, the letting go of all the tiredness, stress, et al). Mind you, we still work the Christmas parties so that means we work some weekends till mid-December. Still. January will be here in the blink of an eye and by then, I shall be putting myself out there to find something else to earn a living.

Friday was a beautiful day so Zeke and I decided – OK, Zeke had no choice but it matters not, as long as we go somewhere, he is happy – to go to Parc de la Freyère at the other end of Boucherville and see if we couldn’t capture something interesting. As I finally found my battery charger for my camera in one of my still unpacked boxes, I was good to go.

Did I mention that in another life, Zeke must have been a water dog? Bloody guy just waits for me to be concentrated on photographing a bug or something to hop in where I had just told him no!

Can I go in Mom?

And while Mom is photographing this

Zeke is doing this

Noooooooo!!! Thankfully this is duckweed (thank you FB peeps who know stuff) and just fell off as we continued our walk.

Zeke and I ran into many a wildlife photographer with their big-ass lenses and tripods. I just moseyed along with mine, sans tripod, and figured I’d get what I could. Many of them said the birds were all in hiding. Ah well. I don’t have the patience to sit and wait, all hidden in the rushes so I just smiled and kept on.

Walking along the shore, we came upon a gaggle of geese.

Then came upon a dock

So Zeke and I lay down to just be in the moment (and dry off Zeke before I allowed him back into my car!) and whilst doing so, a magnificent turkey vulture flew above.

Happy with ourselves, we made our way back and crossed the little bridge and to my surprise, there was a magnificent heron.

I have another great image but you’ll have to go to Sorryless’ blog on Wednesday to see it 😉

And speaking of Sorryless… The owner of said blog, a certain Marc Anthony, or Marco or Bronx or B for short as I call him. Well, today is his birthday! No way I cannot NOT acknowledge this wonderful ‘Murican I had the luck of meeting over the blogosphere.

This guy has come into my life and given me so much. He’s got the greatest laugh, the wittiest brain, a wicked sense of humour and a taste for music that has me diving into new stuff daily.

He is snarky and loving and do not ever mess with anyone he holds dear because that Bronx will come out.

His writing is what captured my attention way back in February 2018. And since then it has only gotten better (or rather, I have just learned to truly appreciate his art). Thanks to him, and his encouragement, I have let my own writing wings open wide.

I cherish our friendship and know that he has my back just as I have his.

Happy birthday, B! I love you!

Crap! Forgot my video!!

This Way – Crimon’s Creative Challenge #46

Crispina‘s image reminded of me of a great trail we used to take up to the water tower near my mother’s former home. It was in St-Rémi d’Amherst, in Quebec. The trail was built, handrails added here and there but over time, the maintenance stopped and it became quite the challenge. Every time we went up north, we tried to fit in a walk up to the top. Fun times.

This is quite the trek you are taking me on. I hope it’s worth it at the end!

Stop your moaning!  Look at how far we have come.  We have done the easy bit, by the way.

What? It gets worse than what we have already done? We seem to have gone up and up and up for miles!

We have gone up and up and up for miles.  However, the next bit is more challenging. There are no more handrails.

Oh for heaven’s sake! Are you trying to kill me?

Don’t be silly. It’s a great workout and once we get to the very top the view is amazing.

It better be.

Trust me. Only the ones who don’t give up are blessed with a view they will never forget.

Okay then. Gimme another sip of water and let’s go.

There’s my girl…

View from the top

word count: 148 (including the added intro to the last photo)