When I saw this week’s Crimson Creative Challenge Prompt, I thought, hmmm… reminds me of another we had done, awhile ago. So I went searching and was surprised to find that the prompt, no. 108, was issued on December 3, 2020, and I responded, as I often do, the next day, so on the 4th. Exactly five months later, my boy Zeke was with the angels. And now? It is six months, to the day of his passing. I guess sometimes there is a numerical thing that goes on. This time with the number 4. Anyway. I digress and blather on. A little poem, for Zeke
I had planned to finish writing a prosery for dVerse today. Or maybe start a poem on the colour blue, also from dVerse. Instead, when I got home after walking home from work, I opened the mailbox (because the kids just don’t ever think of looking in that strange box beside the door) and found a card.
When I looked at the return address, I suspected I knew what it was. What I wasn’t prepare for was my reaction to opening this card.
I had called Mon Vet Privé (My Private Vet) to come and do the necessary to make Zeke’s trip over the Rainbow Bridge a calm and stress-free one. I will never regret that choice. The vet, Dr. Monette, and her assistant, Daphnée, were so gentle, respectful and solicitous.
Zeke greeted them at the door and allowed them to check him over, totally trusting them. They explained each step and it went over exactly as they said it would. Gently. They stepped away so we could officially say our good-byes and when we let them know we were done, they came back with a stretcher, a body bag and a blanket to cover him. We watched them drive away, hearts heavy but knowing we had let him go with grace and dignity.
It’s never easy to say good-bye to a furry member of the family and when the time comes, you want it to be as gentle as this was. So this card, I got?
Front of the card
Inside the card was a little baggie of his fur (not so sure I’ll keep that – as Iain said, it feels like something a serial killer keeps!) a print of his paw and nose… I never, ever was expecting that.
It says: In Memory of Zeke, from all the Team at Mon Vet Privé and the bottom says: we offer our most sincere sympathies on the passing of Zeke. Signed by most of the team.
I had heard some veterinary clinics sent condolence cards, but honestly? This was above and beyond I was so deeply touched, it confirmed I had made the right choice.
Crispina’s challenge had me going through my photos again. (I think she does it on purpose, now.) How to choose but one? I did manage. My old Zeke is 11 years old and things are a lot different now. Two years ago we could do much more. One must respect an elder’s pace.
While wishing Sam over at Tails Around the Ranch a happy 14th birthday, I realised that today is Zeke’s 10th! What a bad Mom I am!
I was gonna go on and on about what a fabulous member of the family he has been since that day we drove all the way to Sherbrooke to pick him up, only to have him barf in the car on the way home… and for the next year every friggen time we brought him on a car ride.
Thankfully, he outgrew that problem and enjoyed trips down to the Jersey shore and the Keys in Florida… And then, just to remind me that as we get older, we often regress, has started, once again, to puke in the car. To whit, today, he graced me with it twice. Once on our way to our destination and once just as we were approaching home. Getting older sucks for us all, it would seem.
So instead of telling you how over the years we have gone on miles and miles of walks, through sun and snow and rain and whatnot. How he probably misses my shower in the old house as that was his favourite place to sleep. How he has become a chicken-shit as soon as there is thunder and lightening. How he has always hated when there was yelling in the house. How he stops people as we walk because they just can’t believe how beautiful he is. And how he has been there for me since Mick passed… I just thought I’d share a few (or so) pics of him over the last ten years.
So… my buddy Marc and I have taken to challenging each other once per week with a Daily Fitbit Challenge. Two weeks ago, he must have been feeling lenient and giving this newbie a chance to beat him by 104 steps. Last Wednesday, despite my 19,217 steps, he whupped my butt by 5K+.
Circumstances were in our favour to do our challenge today rather than tomorrow. So, once my meeting with my mortgage broker ended some time around 2:00 pm, I started to get ready for my walk with Zeke. As usual, I open the door to let him out as he drives me nuts while I tie my boots, and lock it because I’ll go out via the garage so I don’t have to carry my keys.
Open the door and see if the Zeke-Meister is there, and of course, he is!
Gather my stuff and out the garage I go. Close the garage by pressing the button and take a few steps. Hmmm… Methinks it might be colder than I thought, maybe I should get a light hat to protect my ears. Punch in the code and. Nothing. Punch it in again. Nothing. Shit. Try one last time and still. Nothing. Now I’m thinking that the other button mighta been pushed by accident, thereby blocking the keypad from working. Why didn’t I check before leaving? The green dot flashes when it’s locked. D’oh! number 1
Inside Garage Door Buttons
Start walking and text Aidan – “Locked out, blah blah… What time do you finish school?” Get the response: “last class is at six”.
Text Iain, who is also at school: same blah blah as to Aidan plus, “let me know when you can come unlock the door.” Get the response “bruh. I have a break at 6 and I don’t have my full set.”
Text my sister, “Any chance in hell you have my house key?” Get the response “I’m not home right now, and I’ll check but I doubt it”. So did I.
More exchanges with the boys. I keep walking because I might as well get my steps in since I can’t even get into the house. Have an ah-hah moment. Wait! I betcha Mick gave a key to Robert for ‘just in case’…. text Robert: “Hey you! Any chance in hell you have a key to my house?” Get the response: “I think yes”. He then calls me and tells me he will call me when he gets home to confirm.
With a much lighter bounce in my step, Zeke and I walk all the way past the Parc des Coutances to the strip of a trail behind the rue de Gascogne, happy that for once I did not drag my big camera. I am wondering why so many trees were cut down in that strip. It can’t be to make way for anything other than the pathway that is already there. Curious. But not enough to investigate.
Parc de Coutances
Stretch behind de Gascogne
On our return, I regretted not having my camera as there were cardinals calling out to each other. I did film a little snippet because for some strange reason, zooming in on a video gives better results than zooming in for a picure. Sadly, it just didn’t do them justice.
There were other birds as well but dang. Robert called to confirm he did have the key but since he was going to dinner at his parents, where did he want me to hide it? I told him where but just to make sure it was the right key.
He calls me back. “Um… your front door was not locked.” D’oh! Number 2.
Good grief. Really? I guess when I checked on Zeke’s position, I forgot to re-lock the door. Bravo. So Robert locked it for me.
By the time I got home, I figured… lemme check the keypad, just for the hell of it.
You guessed it. The garage door opened. Of course it did, Dummy. You were able to close the damn door with the extra button (the one that usually goes in your car if you could actually put a car in your garage, which you can’t because our stupid furnace is in there so we keep the button on a rack by the door). D’oh! Number 3.
On the plus side, with all this walking and stuff, I beat Marc by 431 steps. Mind you, he called it at 8 saying he was charging his Fitbit and putting his feet up. So, in solidarity, I removed mine 😉 Now, he’s gonna tell all a’ y’all that I was getting a lil cocky to which I replied “A lil bit.” I’m sure I could have gotten a couple more hundred steps in easy-peasy. Especially since I was behind by almost 900 at 7 so I danced while I prepared my supper 😀
I know full well that most days he has me beat so I’ll just bask in my lil moment for a bit.
“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 marcescent- 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.
White against blue
Leaning in – what is up?
Underside of some of the white
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
Red and Orange
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!
The deadline is nigh but I have made it! October was the busiest one at the golf club I have ever experienced. Totally nuts and I’ve the bruises and fatigue to show for it. When there was a day I could have gone for my official Walktober Walk, I ended up doing other stuff, or the rains came or… never mind. That’s all moot now, isn’t it, because I am here! Thank you, Robin, for hosting this fun challenge!
Between making salsa and apple jellies, baking a ham and doing laundry, yesterday afternoon, the sun decided to shine right into my face, basically yelling at me to get off my duff and out there into the “wild”. I had timed it to coincide with the sunset, to boot.
First, before leaving the house, I was stopped by both my dried hydrangeas and my vivid burning bush – getting close to spectacular…
Zeke was beyond excited and when I opened the trunk of the SUV, realised we were going on a REAL adventure. Now, if only driving in a car did not make him puke…
We drove first to Marie-Victorin Park which has a decent view of Montreal and is right on the St.Lawrence River.
Start of the path
Gaggle of geese
View of the Big “Owe” Olympic stadium
It is sad that I missed all the bright reds of autumn but there were little snippets of red here and there…
Zeke, sitting pretty
Gold and blue = magic combo
Snippet of red
Zeke and I took a forbidden path – what? It was a path obviously taken often!! I was surprised to see a visible section of white across a bunch of birch trees. Does the water go that high at times? Seems rather much but, who knows? At the end of the path we arrived at what frankly looks like a swamp. Zeke, though tempted, refrained from jumping in the water. He did look at me once and figured it would not be a good idea…
Playing with the sun
Making our way back the light had become particularly beautiful. All became so soft and glowing. I took a bunch more pics of the geese and noticed this seemingly suspended branch. When I zoomed in, I could see a fishing hook twisted near the top… but felt this pic was more fun 😉
It was nearing five o’clock and sundown was at 5:53 so I decided to make my way to another park, closer to home. I figured I’d be able to get some great shots of the sunset from there. Back into the car and. Traffic. What the?? NOT an area where I was expecting any. I wasted a good 25 minutes where it should have taken but 10. Still. We did make it in time to Parc La Freyère, in Boucherville.
Bridge to the water
Family of ducks
The light was fading fast so apologies on the duck shot… I just couldn’t seem to get a clear shot… (my story and I’m sticking to it!)
Zeke – not minding a break
Playing with my camera
It seemed Mother Nature was NOT on my side as clouds refused to allow any spectacular sunset…
Because he’s so handsome
So, no sunset for me and my hands were frozen. Back into the car for our return trip. I decided to drive along Marie-Victorin street as it follows the river. Oh man! I had to stop, park in a side street and get out. Sorry, Zeke, you’re staying in the car. Back in a few!
I walked onto the warf for one last picture.
And called it a day.
Hope you enjoyed my Walktober walk from Longueuil to Boucherville!
I woke up this morning, at the ungodly hour (for me, as I work late and don’t get to bed till numpty o’clock) of 6:30 to a headache. And a queasy stomach. Decided to take Tylenol because they are not so harsh on the stomach and went back to bed. Slept(ish) until about 10:30 and felt this headache was more along the lines of a migraine. I don’t do migraines. My sister unfortunately does, my mother used to big time, as did my late husband. Me? Not so much. Popped two Advil Liquigels and lay down again. The rain was pelting against the window – I so love that sound. Plus it made my room extra dark. But, I gave up by 11-30-ish, got up and felt a slight bit better. At least the stomach was not so iffy.
I’m completely blaming last night’s event at work. I worked the wine bar, which was fine, then the end-of-evening bar, which was also fine. What was not so fine was the loudness of the music. It was ridonkulously LOUD. After the speeches and celebrations of X many years of working with the company, the party officially started. A party for 240 peeps, though there were less that showed and many who left after the awards…. There were also the flashing lights. I’m not usually so susceptible to such noise and lighting but maybe I’ve been tired. Or, maybe someone came to work with a gastro and passed the bug! No, no, I’m fairly certain it’s not that. When the last stragglers were still dancing about, I was able to snap a pic. It had been quite pretty with all the lit-up vases and such. Oh well. When working, there is no time for photography and I should have taken them before the guests arrived but there was much to do in little time.
So, back to the state of my stomach and head… Poor Aidan had made himself a nice big thermos of Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup to bring to school. There it was on the counter. Hours after he left. Sucks to be him. Great to be me. I poured some of the bouillon (broth, if you prefer) into a mug, sipped it. Perfection. Felt a thousand times better so I made myself a coffee. I know, I know, that was pushing it but all was good.
Sipped my caffè while catching up on FF stories. I then ate the rest of the soup while watching the conclusion of MasterChef – so glad Gerron won. Considered taking a nap but frankly felt good enough to take the Zeke-meister out for a walk. Thing I had not done in eons, it feels like.
Off Zeke and I went, towards one of the many parks. To say he was excited, is to put it mildly. When he sees me grab my camera bag, he becomes a basket case!
We made our way across the boulevard and to the passageway leading towards the park. I can’t help but take pics of these weeds… they are just so pretty!
Berries – not for consumption
Pretty yellow thing
This house, with it’s waterfall garden in the front always fascinates me.
We continue on our way, and I was reminded of the pictures I have taken of various fences and benches and entrances for an eventual post, still sitting in my “pending” folder since forever. I’ll have to look for them! So I took this weird little wanna be fence
Just to say there is a barrier
We finally get to the park and there is no one so I can let Zeke run around. It was so windy but so very warm. Very un-September 21st-like, that is for sure! There is a water fountain that Zeke can drink from and we did take a sip. I then took a seat as I realised I still was not up to par… Looks like we would not go as far as Zeke would like.
Still, it was nice to get out and get some air. And there is always tomorrow!
Daisies look so happy…
Oh, and since this afternoon’s walk, I have learned that our capital city and neighbouring Gatineau were bombarded with a major tornado. Thus explaning all the wind and rain we are getting here right now. It is a mere two hours away.
There is much devastation as this link can show you… I have friends and family in that area, most of whom have marked themselves safe. I so hope everyone who hasn’t is.
Started this post yesterday but got a surprise visit from François and, before I knew it, we were shopping for flooring for the damned basement, so I put this aside 😉 Now, having brought up the problem with the boys’ effing toilet, I write between being official helper to my handyman and cooking supper and seeing him off 😉
Woke up yesterday morning to a very drab day. Thought “ah man, really? Then, as I was pfaffing away on Facebook, the sun decided to make its appearance. We-hell now… Just the kick in the pants I needed to get off my arse. I was really feeling the need to go out and walk out my thoughts. I have so many things swirling around my brain, it keeps me up at night and I involuntarily stress about getting it all done. Meditation or purging of thought is needed! My type of meditation does not require contorted legs, sore back, numb bum and some mantra repeated endlessly. I’m way too ADHD for that shizzle. No… gimme a walk ouside in the fresh air towards no definitive destination or towards a potential woods, park, whatever, I care not. All I need is my dog, my camera (‘coz you just never know what you’ll see that you want to capture when you’re a wanna-be photographer and sometimes you want more than your phone camera), the proper clothes for the weather, and I will be one with the Universe.
Somehow, the things that are preoccupying me are replaced sometimes by a song that gets stuck in my head, sometimes words form into a Haiku – I’ll find myself randomly counting out my syllables. And if a good one does appear, I record it on my phone because sure as shit it’ll be gone by the time I get home! Sometimes I’ll get brilliant ideas for blog posts – most of which never see the light of day.
But sometimes, my mind goes blessedly blank. I hear the tweets and birdsongs, the traffic, the silence. I see the colours, the shapes, the birds and squirrels. I let Zeke go off leash once we reach a park and I’ve made sure no one else is present. Not that he would run off, but just in case they are scared of big beasts. He’s a big beast! Both of us alone together.
Once I hit the first park just off du Perche (never remember the name), I had to concentrate on the shimmy/slide/shuffle/sashay just to remain upright! The walkway was icy. No room for random thoughts when you are just trying to not end up landing hard on your hiney. But the air was a nice mixture of crisp and clear and the sky so blue and the colours of the abandoned playground just popped, that it made the efford worthwhile. I felt everything lift off my shoulders – at least for a while.
I decided that I was only going as far as my favourite willow tree because, frankly, the shimmy/slide/shuffle/sashay was a workout in itself. No need to do the full 10K to feel like a workout! Plus, the weather app said it was a balmy +4ºC (39ºF) with the windchill of 0ºC (32ºF) and I felt overdressed. The amount you sweat also helps measure the workout. Right?
How nice. Once we crossed de Normandie Street and onto the little roadway, there was no ice/snow. Till we reached the end of the road, of course! A rest, so to speak!
Approaching the mess
Not so dry
Arrived at destination
Windy – perfect for a brushing
My seat to brush Zeke
The wind was perfect for me to brush Zeke. He HATES being brushed. No, LOATHES it. So a whine here, a move over here, he finally, in an attempt to get me to stop, he lay down on his side, presenting me with his belly. He he he. Sucks to be you, Zeke! I got to remove MOUNTAINS of fur. The wind was great, I had fur flying all over the place: down the trail, over the rocks, all over my pants, in my mouth. Great. After I had removed the equivalent of a small wiff-waff (you know, a kickable, like a Pomeranian or a Shihtzu…) I put away the comb. I hurried to tie Zeke as a woman and her dog were coming towards us. The woman asked if it was okay for our dogs to meet and I confirmed that I had a big suck of a dog. Billie, her golden, was not impressed. At the tender age of two, she bared her teeth. Zeke, however, was not impressed nor afraid so he pursued her. His charms did not work overly well but he kept on checking. Small world that we live in, Billie’s owner had a voice that I recognised. When we introduced ourselves, we realised that we did know each other. Nancy’s son plays golf at the club where I work and while he plays, she whiles away her time in the restaurant/bar…
As you can see by the sky in the background, the sun was making itself scarce. Nancy though I was smart to wear snowpants and a tuque and decided she’d had enough. The wind had picked up and I had a decent trek home so we exchanged “See you at the golf clubs” and moved our separate ways.
Walking back, I became even more focused on the colours that popped out of the strangest places. Strange is probably a strong word but I felt like my senses were on alert. Or my eyeballs were!
Pop of “Vinaigrier” or Virginia Sumac
Boarded up cabin
The “vinaigrier” which literally translates to vinegar plant, but which I finallly decided to google and find out is really called a Virginia Sumac (though I can’t be certain and don’t really care) is basically an invasive bush that is boring in summer, outstanding in autumn and adds a pop of colour in winter. I love photographing it 3/4 of the year. On our way out of the park, I am always fascinated by this little cabin that looks like it belongs in some long-lost forest, is actually next to a boulevard! I loved the little bush with so many colours, like it thought it was still autumn, and wanted to stand out and finally, there were so many reflections in puddles and one in particular actually made me stop.
Did I solve any of my issues that have been bugging me? Not a one. Did I, for a couple of hours completely release all my worries. Oh yes. Completely.
I like to think that my two hour meditation did manage to liberate some space in my brain so that I may actually feel I’lle be able to accomplish some of that which needs attending to.
Or maybe I just took some time for me (and Zeke) to just be.
A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful
26. Enjoying the colours of winter
27. Running into acquaintances
28. Brushing Zeke
29. Reflections in puddles
30. Taking time for me
“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.”
― Roy T. Bennett
So, I am late posting my weekend share again. Can’t blame me. It’s the Olympics! And François decided to stay over Sunday night which would have been my posting time. Since he’s been working full-time, we only see each other on week-ends, I’m not going to “diss” him by locking myself up in my office 😉
This past week was one of appointments and lunches, starting with Monday. For those who don’t know, my mother-in-law, whom I inherited after the death of her only son, has been placed in a home for seniors – against her will – because she is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia and is physically unsteady on her feet. It is too dangerous to leave her alone in her 3rd storey apartment, not that she’s buying it at all.
You see, she was found unconscious in her apartment on June 28th; spent two months in the hospital where they tested her and came to the dementia conclusion and would not release her. She was brought to court to have her rights taken away and ended up being given one chance to return home (which I wanted, if only for one week, to be in her things). She lasted 5 days before she had to be brought back to the hospital, looking dehydrated and sporting a black eye; and, after a couple of weeks, when a bed opened, to the home. Her case ended up in social worker’s hands and then the curator’s where it was discovered that she had actually done a living will, naming me her mandatory. Well, me and her friend, who has refused the job (thank goodness). There is so much bureaucracy and paperwork and back and forth. It’s been a major headache. I had two months to empty her apartment – major hoarder – and collect all important papers and some clothes for her and whatnot. The rest was donated or shipped to the garbage or recycling. All I can say is, François is a saint for helping me out with this most disconcerting task.
Some of the paperwork I need to go through
Monday’s appointment was with Jean’s (mother-in-law) financial advisor who will be helping me sort through it all as soon as the mandate is homolgated. Thank goodness he’s been dealing with her for 20 years and knows the ins and outs of her stuff! And her personality, which is not easy.
I then met my sister, Lisa, for lunch at Sesame around 12:30 for a yummy spicy salmon poké bowl, in my case, and Tonkinese Beef Soup, for her. We sat and chatted till 3 o’clock! Was simply wonderful. We were beyond overdue for some one-on-one time.
Come Tuesday, it was time to pick up my mother and bring her for her appointment with a neurologist. She’s been having a burning feeling inside her leg for years… Conveniently, Mom’s appointment was at 11:45 and was over by 12:30 – yep… just in time for lunch!
As Lisa had had a “soupe-repas”(soup as a meal) yesterday, I had a hankering for one, so suggested we go Vietnemese this time and brought Mom to Le Petit Tournesol Doré where we each had the grilled chicken lemongrass soup. Soooo good!
Wednesday. My official day sans appointments. It snowed. All. Friggen. Day. Did I feel like going out there? Nope and Nope and Nope.
Loves the snow
Besides. I had given myself a mission. Clean up my desk. Somehow, I totally lost control and didn’t seem capable of getting it back…
Not saying I have accomplished my task. Yet.
Thursday was my meeting with the Maîre d’ of the Golf Club to find out whether or not I am returning this coming golf season. I have tentatively said yes. But it is still months away. There is an upcoming event next week that I’ll work and any other events that pop up… but we’ll see.
I then met my sister, Tracy, for lunch. Somehow, we ended up at Sesame… hmmm… like, where I went on Monday! LOL… I figured, no big whup, there are lots of options. What do I have? Same thing as Monday. It was that good!
Come Friday, I set the PVR for the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, had my breakfast and decided that Zeke and I were due for a walk towards my favourite willow tree and, if we felt up to it, further to the next park. We felt up to it. But we definitely avoided coming back through the thicker snow and chose the streets. The sky was not particularly beautiful (the sun was extremely anaemic) for pictures but I took some anyway and amused myself with PicMonkey.
Ice rink is ready
Playing with the poor light
Patc des Coutances
One of many hockey rinks
Fun with branches
Rolling in the snow
On our walk back – remember, “we” decided to take the roads back 😉 – I noticed that quite a few houses had “Widow’s Walks”. Considering we are far from the river, never mind the sea, I wondered what possessed the builders to add them to the tops of these houses. It’s not like they looked accessible (I may be totally wrong) or even attractive. But hey, that’s my own humble opinion. Not one, not two but three houses! And the third one a good way away from the other two. I figured they influenced each other but the third?
Tow or are there three?
The next thing I noticed is how weird this particular ‘hood is. On one side of the street you have the house on the left and directly across you have the other.
I did my 10K steps though! Got home, took a shower and then left to pick up my mother as she and I had appointments with our new doctor for 3 pm. It is so annoying that geting a family doctor requires sitting on a waiting list or having friends with connections. For the past 10 years, I have been going to a private clinic where it cost me up to $110 just to say “hello”. I no longer work in a company offering benefits so I no longer have insurance. It has been three years since I’ve gone for a full physical.
Anyhoo, I dunno… Met with the doctor, he asked me why I was there. I said to get a physical because I don’t have a family doctor. He said OK. Asked me if my pressure was good. I answered it was last time I had it checked. He asked me when that was. I said three years ago. He asked if I used the machines in the pharmacy. I said no. He then asked me if there was anything in particular I needed attending. I said I have trouble sleeping. He said you want something? I said yes, I’d like x. He said how many and then wrote a script. He then filled in a paper for me to go for general blood tests and – ugh – am I that old already? – a stool sample – when I made a face he said: You prefer a camera? I said no, thanks. He said ok and if there were no issues, I’d not hear from him and showed me the door.
I left there thinking I need to make an appointment with my private clinic where he will weigh me (and give me shit for gaining a pound or ten), take my pressure, measure my waist, listen to my heart, etc. You know, give me a physical…
Friday evening, François came by. He surprised me with a lovely gift. He was supposed to get a price for me because a friend works in a sports store but instead said that no, I could not pay him as they were a gift. Call them a Christmas/Valentine’s Day/Whatever you want to call it, he said! I am now the proud owner of my own snowshoes. I had mentioned that I was considering buying myself a pair from Costco – not too expensive, perfect for a first-timer like me. He said that is fine and dandy but to hold off. He would get me a good price from a friend who works at a good sport store. That was weeks ago. After my last couple of walks with Zeke, I almost said to hell with it and was going to go buy them anyway!
After a lazy Saturday morning, we went to catch my niece, and goddaughter, Ariane, in her volleyball tournament. Oh the memories! I played in high school and college. I so vividly remember the tournaments. Game after game, time only for a light bite or if more time, trying not to overeat. Only in my day, parents never came to watch! There was a bus that picked us up from school and brought us to wherever it was and then back. Now, parents have to drive their kids all over the place! I didn’t think of bringing my camera and my phone is not the best for action shots so I took a very short video. Ariane is the one in the red shoes in the black and gold team on the right.
Sadly, they lost that game. Still, I managed to see her make some nice moves!
That night I made a potato/haddock casserole thingy. A layer of sliced potatoes, layer of sliced onion, another layer of sliced potatoes… cook those for a bit; add the haddock on top and then a sorta tomato/spinach/garlic “salad” and bake for 12 minutes. Definitely doing this one again!
And, finally! Sunday! François wanted to treat his mother to a Dalida impersonator named Joan Bluteau and invited me to join them. It was at a lovely hotel called the Manoir Rouville-Campbell. An intimate concert for about 100 people. I knew they held wedding receptions at this place but I never knew they held mini-concerts. She was quite good!
One of Dalida’s most famous songs was “Gigi l’Amoroso” of which I taped a little snippet…
At the end of the concert, Ms Bluteau generously allowed folks to take their picture with her. Mme. Martin was thrilled… and so, I suspect, was her son!
Mme. Martin, “Dalida”, François
I’ve included a video of the real Dalida. I could have used the Italian version of the song but Dalida did move to Paris and sang mostly in French – besides, to have a comparison 😉
We had not had lunch and it was nearly 5:00 pm so we decided to try out the restaurant in the hotel. They had a restricted “Pub” menu which ended up being fabulous.
François had “only” a duck confit sandwich, his mother a fish and chips plate and I had the trio of tartares. Included was a delicious cream of broccoli soup to start and a molten chocolate cake for dessert!
Duck confit sandwich
Beef, Salmon, Tuna Tartares
I apologize for going on and on like this. Goodness! If you are still with me, than I thank you!
A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy
16. Fhameeda – for getting me into her clinic
17. Finding the financial advisor who will help me with my mother-in-law’s stuff
18. My sisters – I cherish when we have a chance to sit one-on-one
19. New snowshoes – to share snow time with my sweetheart
20. The music of Dalida – I thought I knew none of it and found out I knew a few!
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