Joie de Vivre – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning!  Is it as HAWT and HUMID in your neck of the woods?  Lord love a duck… I know, I know… enough about the weather.  Still…  While thanking my lucky stars I have air conditioning and a pool (not that anyone but me wants to venture outside to use it…) I cannot help but feel for those who are melting away in their hot domiciles without it.

Oh!  And to all my American friends, Happy Independence Day!  Enjoy and stay safe!

Thanks as always to Rochelle for hosting this here party weekly (even when she has a houseful of guests!)  And thank you to J. Hardy Carroll for the use of his photo.

Come on, what do you see when you look at the picture?  Does a story come to mind?  Then by all means share it by clicking on the blue frog below!

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Joie de Vivre

Some people just can’t be contained.  Life throws them curve balls that would leave others rolled up in a ball crying on the bathroom floor.

Blair was such a guy.

He believed that life was an adventure filled with wonderful things.  Life was good and what you made of it was your choice.  You could focus on the negative, and no one was exempt, or focus on the good.

“One person’s lost leg is another person’s lost child is another person’s lost puppy,” he’d say. “No one can judge that one person’s pain is worth more than another’s.

“Let’s dance!”

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #61 – Quarantine

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend, hosted by Sammi Cox.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Quarantine

Challenge

Sweat snakes rivulets down my body

Try to take a deep breath, impossible

Energy is nil, movement is out of the question

I watch the heat waves undulate before me

The air dances but I cannot

Pull myself up

Stumble across the stones, legs heavy

The door is in sight

Last bit of strength

I quarantine myself from the heat

And shiver in pleasure

Air-conditioning wins

Sanctuary.

 

 

Canada Day in Quebec

I have a love/hate relationship with my province at times.  Especially on Canada Day.  I am blessed (thank you, Mom) to be perfectly bilingual.  I like to say I am what P.E. Trudeau wanted our whole country to be…as comfortable in English as I am in French.  Plus, look how much my father looked like him at a certain time of his life – in a handsomer way, of course…

I went to both English and French schools so I got different history lessons… History being that “unbiased” retelling of the past… I used to joke that I could not remember which were the “bad” Indians because I got both sides of the English/French history – just so I’m clear… there are NO bad Indians…  Who lost in the battle of The Plains of Abraham in Quebec?  Well, that depends on which side you were on… I can’t claim one or the other, frankly.  The English/French thing has been going on since… I’m a Square Head Frog, or a Bloke Pea Soup…

I get frustrated because St-Jean-Baptiste Day – exactly one week prior, is a Quebec holiday and everything under the sun is closed; come Canada Day, not so much.  St-Jean-Baptiste cannot be moved, Canada Day can – I mean for companies giving you the day off… if they fall on a week-day, St-Jean must be taken on that day but Canada Day can be moved to the Friday or Monday, whichever is closer.  Banks and such are closed but you may have to work.  I don’t agree with this.

My friend Joe shared this beautiful pic on Facebook yesterday, so I snagged it for my post.  Our parliament building beautifully lit up.  I apologise for not giving credit to the photographer (still waiting for Joe to tell me if he took it or he himself snagged it…)

I love where I live.  It’s a beautiful province within a beautiful country.  We have wild extremes when it comes to climate, which is normal, considering how vast a territory we have.  There are issues, yes.  I think pretty much every place has.  Here in Quebec the language issues and desire for separation from Canada drive me nuts.  The Separatists come and go and each time they try to rally the troops, they fail. (Thank God.)  It would break my heart if they ever did succeed.  While I don’t want this to be a political post, it kinda sorta is.

It’s Canada Day!

I thought I’d share a few little funnies with you… coz, that’s how I roll.

From 2010… so different Prime Minister but still same old story…

I have been trying, for three days now, to find a text I read a long time ago about a Quebecer on vacation.  When asked where he’s from, he says Quebec.  The other person says, “Oh, that’s a country?” To which he gets the reply of “no.”  So the first guys says, “Then why not say you’re from Canada?” And it goes on and on about trying to explain that the Quebecers like to call Quebec a Nation because they are distinct.  Sadly, I cannot find it to save my life.

And this little spoof from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” from 2014 – shows how this separation issue goes on and on…

And, of course, as many of you are Americans… must have a little funny between the ‘twixt of us… ‘coz ya know, we really do love you guys and we do share the longest undefended border…

So to all my Canadian peeps, I say:  Happy Canada Day, eh!

And, let’s take Rick Mercer’s advice… Go out there and visit this beautiful country!

Oh!  How could I forget to add this!!

Friday Without Plans

“A deliberate plan is not always necessary for the highest art; it emerges.”
Paul Johnson

I cannot remember the last time I had a day off and nothing scheduled.  Dye-job and a haircut, notwithstanding, I felt quite free to do whatever the hell I wanted.  Was really.  Really.  Nice.  Work has been busy enough… it’s rare that I work a forty-hour week and I think I was just shy of it by half an hour… Might not sound like much to office folk (one of which I was for over thirty years) but lemme tell you, schlepping tables and chairs, trays of food and drink, setting tables (who knew that by tale number 14, the shoulders would burn from putting tablecloths on?) walking to and fro and keeping that smile is not for sissies.  An eight-hour day is a LONG day in the service industry.

K,  no more bitching, I promise you.  So, like I said, the only thing on my agenda was my hair.  At 9-stupid-30 a.m.  On my day off.  Of course if I hadn’t chatted with a friend till 2:30 in the a.m., maybe 9:30 would not have been so stupid.  Whatevs.

I called my mother on my way back from the salon as she lives a hop, step and a jump away to invite myself over for a cup of coffee and ended up with a nice open-faced tomato cheese sandwich to boot!  Chatted with her and Yvon until his lift arrived at noonish (he goes for physiotherapy a few times per week).  Figured I’d leave Mom to watch her shows or relax or read or do whatever the hell she wants and made my way home.  After all, I had a no-agenda day to not plan!

Today was gorgeous.  Sun was shining, then there were some clouds to cool me off, then the sun popped out again.  Yep.  Was gonna take advantage of NOT having to wear black pants, three-quarter-sleeved-buttoned-up-to-my-chin shirt and strangling tie.  Put on my bathing suit, a spray of sunscreen and vacuumed my pool.  Then I jumped into said pool.  Wunderbar!

Zeke figured out how to keep cool…

As I’m having Tammy and Andre over tomorrow for dinner (Mick’s best friend and his wife), I took out some steaks, lamb and chicken.  We will be having a mixed grill…  Keep ya posted 😉

I have been on a mission to weed a bit every day or so and have made some mega progress.  It is starting to look quite lovely here.  The front is mostly weed-free and other than those little mother****s in my unistone driveway, walkway, backyard, things are looking good.  I will have to pull out all the stops to get rid of those suckers.  I can still see Mick cursing over the whole bidness.  Using a pressure washer to blast them away, then spreading sand and sealer over the whole thing to stop them from coming back… effort which, frankly, does not last long enough.  Note to self…. next house has NO unistone…

No, I shall not show you the drive-way per se because, well… it’s past midnight and I just realised I did not take any pics.  Just see above, same shit is my driveway.  Only WAY more intrusion…

So, I tackled some of the backyard, some of the front yard then got fed up and cleared out some of the roses and other flowers.  I am amazed at the sneakiness of weeds.  They try to meld right in, sometimes succeeding quite well…. can you spot the uninvited guest in the Black-Eyed Susans?  While the flowers are still not out, it’s even easier for those buggers to hide…

One of these things just doesn’t belong…

And others are just showing off, thinking they’ll be kept because they might be as beautiful as the flowers… And as penance for ripping them out anyway?  Say hello to scratched hands because they just know we are going to go as far down as we can to ensure we get their roots out and won’t notice those nasty thorns just waiting for unsuspecting hands (and even when we do suspect and are careful, there is always that one thorn hiding…

Come and get me, Bitch

But once cleared out, things are starting to shape up…

And, since we’re on the subject of lovely things…. we are, aren’t we?  The other day I took some pictures with my real camera and had not downloaded them until today.  So all pics taken the other day are still applicable to today because.  Because I said so and today there is no schedule, right?

Dragonfly outside my office window enticed me to go out with more than my phone camera.  I went very slowly to not scare it away and managed to get a few decent ones.

I shall end this with one last image.  On Friday’s, CBC Radio 2 does what they call a “Deep Dive”, with host Rich Terfry.  He plays a whole album – but not just any album – an album that has made an impact in one way or another – as one would have in the vinyl days (yes, I know, we can still do that today), meaning, each song will be played in the same order as on the record.  In between songs, he gives us tidbits on it’s creation, on the members of the band, on how it came to be, etc.  Tonight’s choice was The Band’s album Big Pink – 50 years old this year!

After that, it was the programme:  “Marvin’s Room” with the hostess Amanda Parris.  A one-hour show featuring R&B in all its formats, old and new.  During these two shows, I washed and hung up my clothes, nuked some leftovers brought home from work, and ate. No way I was planning any food cooking.

By 8 p.m., Odario Williams came on with his show “After Dark”.  A cool mix of all sorts of genres of music but most of it on the easy listening tempo.

I was relaxing in my lounge chair when I realised there was a squirrel, just lying on the wires above my cedar hedge. I’m thinking he was enjoying the tunes, too!  That, and the neighbour’s kids screeching as they were playing in their pool…

Think I’ve kept you long enough with my rambling on…  A major heat wave is starting tomorrow in the Montreal area. We will be hitting some wicked temperatures for a good week… highs of up 35°C (95°F) with a humidex factor bringing it up to 45°C+ (115°F)!  NOT looking forward to working from Sunday to Thursday in that…  Till then, stay hydrated, don’t over-exert and enjoy… in no time at all we’ll be complaining about the cold…

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

61. Summer heat

62. Not working on a weekend

63. New haircuts, new look

64. Swimming pools

65. Left-overs made by someone else

 

 

 

 

Love Song – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday afternoon, ladies and gents!  The sun is shining beautifully here on the south shore of Montreal.  Tomorrow it is supposed to rain cats and dogs and then we are expecting a week-long heatwave starting Friday…  I’ll try to enjoy today as much as I can before work!  That said, before I go back out there and attack the weeds, I share with you this little 100-word story based on our hostess with the mostest’s own picture of her Luv’s music room.  Thank you, always, Rochelle, for not only being here week after week, encouraging us to write and up our game, but for always supplying your own fabulous take on the prompt.

As always, do join in by clicking on the blue frog below.  It’s a great challenge that teaches you how to choose your words carefully.  100 ain’t a whole lot to write a story!

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Jan’s Joint

Put your click to the link here

Love Song

“…. and this is my music room.”

“You play all these instruments?”

“Yep!  Wanna hear some?”

“Yes, please.  I’d love to.  What is your genre?”

“You tell me after you’ve heard me play.  How about that?”

She nodded yes, thrilled that he was going to play just for her.

He picked up his guitar and she marvelled as his fingers caressed the instrument.

The melody was beautiful, his voice a rich baritone.

“So? What say you?”

“I’d say a country-influenced crooner is what you are.  You must have loved her very much.”

A shadow crossed his face.  “With all my heart.”

Weekly Writing Prompt #60 – Weave

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments, right here.

Word Prompt

Weave

Challenge

You weave your way into my life

Resistance is futile

Through your magical words

You have created a beautiful motif

Like a master with his loom

 

Top of the Hill – What Pegman Saw

The weather’s iffy, I’m only working at 4 pm, I don’t feel like doing housework (like I ever really do, eh?) nor any garden work because, frankly, I shall be getting my workout in later and my back hurts already.  Wait!  It’s Saturday.  Lemme do a Pegman! 😉

This week Pegman takes us to Coniston Water, Lake District in England. This location was suggested by the talented Kelvin M Knight. Be sure to check out his blog where you’ll find articles, flash fiction and short stories. Thanks for the great suggestion, Kelvin!

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by your Google tour of the area. Feel free to use the image supplied with the prompt, or use own from your own virtual travels. Once your piece is polished, please share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun.

Thank you to both Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge. It is fun to choose our own pics, though I have a tendency to gravitate towards certain types.  Will go outside my comfort zone next week!

Top of the Hill

Shanna reached the top of the hill and took in her surroundings feeling like she was one with the clouds.  Not a soul in sight.  She inhaled, taking it all in.  As she exhaled slowly, she felt her heartbeat slow, her muscles relax and her mind clear.  She really needed to do this more often.

“Excuse me.  Ma’am?”

Heart in her throat, she spun around.

“Bloody hell!  You can’t just sneak up on a person like that.”

“So very sorry.  Didn’t mean to scare you.  I thought I was alone on this hill till I reached the top from the other side.”

“Are you from here?  Gosh, that sounds so corny!” she laughed.

He smiled, “I am.  My name’s Damian.  And you’re not from here.”

“Shanna, from Canada.” she blushed, “And, thank you.”

“Mind if I join you in your reveries?”

“Please do.  I’m done with being alone.”