Sunday Gratitude – September 13, 2015

I feel like I spent the whole week in front of the stove!  Not a lunch, not a dinner with friends all week!  I did a heck of a lot of cooking and grocery shopping and cooking and more grocery shopping, though.  Eesh.

Tina 50th Surprise

Tina 50th Surprise

Gratitude List

  1. Helped out at the school for picture day.  Always fun to see the boys’ friends and have them come over to chat/hug/joke around with

  2. Finally went for one of my walks with Zeke – sans camera (!).  It had been too long as the heat and humidity have been too high for both of us.

  3. Couldn’t have prepared Tina’s surprise birthday party feast without the help of Emma who was a HUGE help!  Thanks also to Michèle, Luch & Oli.  Every little bit helped.  (The guests enjoyed, too!)

  4. Had a great time at Tina’s surprise 50th party – yes, she was surprised – especially by some of her friends who came from afar!

  5. Had the house to myself most of the day so was able to cook in peace while watching my “chick flicks”!

  6. Really glad I decided to make those almond cupcakes with buttercream frosting and salted caramel drizzle at Emma’s suggestion.  Oh my….

Sunday Gratitude – September 6, 2015

September!  Though I am loathe to leave Summer behind, I always look forward to Autumn.  It is, after all, my favourite season.  I love how the circle keeps on turning:  come Spring, you just can’t wait to change the menu to the summer stuff of salads, barbecues (yes, I know, lots of people barbecue in the winter but it just ain’t the same, ya know?), lighter meals; by the time September comes along, I am ready for those casseroles and warming foods.  And so it goes. Though, to be honest, when it is 33°C with a humidex of 40°C, turning the oven on just does not appeal to me just yet!  Air-conditioning, or no!

How crazy is it that I went out for lunch every day this week!  I’ll say like my sister, at this rate, I’ll never be rich and I’ll never be skinny… (have to make some adjustments to that statement before the Universe catches on…)

You can’t appreciate the happy without experiencing the sad but in this here weekly post, I focus on the happy!

We had a battle of the “sticks” on Saturday (GoPro Cameras), so both of their group shots are here for comparison!

Gratitude List

  1. I was truly lucky to lunch with three fabulous ladies this week  All of them way overdue.  Michèle, Martine, and Caroline:  how nice to spend two, three and five (!) hours with each of you!

  2. Tracy, I’m not dissing you!  You are always fabulous and  I always enjoy our lunches; hadn’t had a Tournesol lemongrass soup in years!

  3. I was happy to introduce my boys to the Barbú restaurant for a lunch before the return to school… and the reality of lunch-making and alarm-ringing!

  4. So extremely lucky to have Daniel as a friend who counsels me with legal and financial stuff and makes me feel confident in my future.

  5. Martin.  Talk about the Host with the Most!  A small group from our Class of ’81 (Martin, Dany, Marc, Sylvie, Dominique and I), a couple, who just belonged in our group (Thierry & Sophie) and the spouses (Giselle, Caroline & Robin) were received like royalty:  a trimaran ride (merci, Paul! (Martin’s dad)), delicious food ~ we were 11 people:  I think Martin could have fed 25! great music and a little by-the-river send-off of Chinese lanterns, carrying our wishes off…  Seriously, not one thing could have be improved upon!

  6. I finally got to try the Argentinian recipe I had watched on Gusto TV ~ been waiting for weeks!  So excited to have everyone try it, I forgot to take a picture!  D’oh! As a result, I’m not even telling you that it was a delicious duck prosciutto, served with lemon curd, cured red onions and pears stolen from Martin’s neighbour…. shhhh!


Gratitude Sunday – August 16, 2015

So, without announcing anything and without truly planning it, I took a little two-week break from writing.  Why?  I cannot say.  I’d sit down at the computer and read all (OK, not ALL but many) of my favourite bloggers and left comments here and there so I didn’t disappear completely.  Just couldn’t seem to get my writer’s mojo going (not for lack of subjects, just for lack of oomph).

A certain pink pachyderm has wondered about me and let me know that I was missed so, well, here I am.  I couldn’t really stay away longer much than that anyway.  Unless some knight in shining armour whisks me up and takes me away to Tuscany where I shall have no time to write as I will be in some Nonna’s kitchen, learning the proper way to make pasta and, when not in her kitchen, will be visiting various vineyards learning about this and that grape and the process of making such delicious libations, and, when not there, maybe I’ll be in some olive grove, picking the perfectly ripe olives so that they may be cured or pressed into EVOO…. OK… I think you get the point.  I’m back and not going anywhere!

Gratitude List

  1. Had a wonderful time at Tammy and André’s for T’s birthday and was pleasantly surprised to find Phany & Bill as well as Dorothy & Lorne already there.  Happy my little something sweet to end the meal with was big enough…
  2. Will forever be grateful to Paul and Armen for bringing my boys fishing for the week-end in honour of their father, Mick.
  3. Since my boys were away… I had a choice:  Stay home and do whatever the hell I felt like (oh wait, I already do that) or I could finally accept Jeff’s nagging offer to go up to his cottage on Rice Lake for some R&R.  Other than a bit of rain, the weather was perfectomundo!  Plus, I didn’t have to cook a single meal… well, I did make a grilled corn salad.
  4. Zeke very kindly did not puke in my still-new car (I was a tad worried as he hasn’t been the best passenger for long rides lately!)
  5. I’ve managed to keep my pool sparkling clear for a whole two weeks!  Nary a sign of green anywhere (except the spotlight 😉 )
  6. Took my boys to see “Pixels” and of course that included a sushi dinner.  We enjoyed both.  Mick was a huge arcade guy so he would have loved the movie…


Gratitude Sunday – June 21, 2015

First day of Summer or Summer Solstice, Father’s Day.  Sunday!  So, to you, my Daddy readers, I wish you a most wonderful Happy Father’s Day!

These Sunday posts are all about gratitude but I must allow a little moment of sadness for my boys who are experiencing their first Father’s Day without their father, and for me, though it’s the second one without mine.  We were all blessed to have these men in our lives for the time we did!

Dad and Mick

Dad and Mick

So, on to business!  It was quite a busy week for me, cooking-wise but I did take time to enjoy life!  (But I will still tease you with some food images…)

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Gratitude List

  1. My two catering days went well, delivered on time and got some positive feedback.

  2. Was invited to Christina’s for wine, cheese and bread (uh… sorry WW, we won’t be doing a weigh-in this week!!) and great conversation.

  3. Had a most lovely evening with Tammy, André, Dorothy & Lorne; we (OK, I) made salmon tartare and André made a fabulous cedar-planked vodka/lemon salmon on the BBQ.

  4. The above folks were my guinea pigs for an upside-down rhubarb cake.  Oh, I will SO be making this again!!

  5. Had a long overdue get-together with Patti and we caught up on each other’s lives ~ always nice to share stuff you don’t share with family!

Gratitude Sunday – June 6, 2015

Was just about to hit the hay when I realised I didn’t do my Sunday Post!  What up wit dat?  This week my friend Joy was showing off her roses… so I showed her the status of mine!  I can’t really complain as my lilacs bloomed before hers…  Oh well!

Gratitude List

  1. I am so happy that I’ve remained in contact with friends from high school.  Actually, funny thing is, the ones I meet regularly-ish now are NOT the ones I used to hang around with!  Can’t explain.  Doesn’t matter.  Had a lovely lunch with Julie.  Definitely must do this more often!

  2. Robert, my neighbour, ensures that things are working OK, like the pool.  Comes in to make sure I’m putting the chlorine and whatnot. Gives his two cents’ worth (unsolicited, but always welcome!); and if that’s not enough, I get invited over for dinner!  Thanks neighbours!

  3. Getting together with a girlfriend where you can talk about anything, no holds barred is priceless.  Merci Marie-Claude! xoxo

  4. An unlikely friendship has built with a friend from elementary school.  We knew each other waaaaay back when, he moved to BC and somehow we reconnected years later and share all kinds of subjects via long email missives.  David C. you are a special friend.  (No worries, Laverne, he’s all yours!)

  5. Friends made through the blogosphere are a special lot.  Who’d a thunk, RRR, we’d have such lovely conversations via Skype!

As you can see, dear Readers, I have made it my mission to connect with people in person when possible, and when not, via Skype as we can at least see each others’ mugs.  This is my attempt at making my world even smaller and more intimate.   My dream is to one day meet some of you on your turf!  (The Portland fund is growing; the Ireland fund is next… just sayin’!)

Gratitude Sunday – May 31, 2015

Last day of May already?  Jeez Louise time does fly!  Time to take a deep breath and begin a new month.  What will it bring?  Feeling quite optimistic…

Every time I walk Zeke past Roxanne’s house (we often met each other whilst walking our dogs), I look to see if there is any movement.  You see, she was finally pregnant with twins, after many attempts, the last time I saw her in the fall.  She could no longer walk her beast, Porthos (Bouvier des Flandes), for fear he would inadvertently knock her over.  I kept hoping to see signs from her, wondering when she had her babies, if they were healthy, if all was good.  You see, we are merely walking buddies, not telephones exchanged buddies!  I never dared knocked on her door (mostly because I wasn’t positive it was her house!!!)

Well, on Tuesday, as we approached, her door flung open and in her arms was Logan!  She beckoned me over and in so I could also meet Laurent.  Two beautiful boys that she had at 28 weeks on September 1st, 2014, and yes, it was not an easy time.  They spent their first three months in the hospital and there are still some issues but now they are home and beautiful.

Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)

Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)

Gratitude List

  1. To go along with the above, I am beyond happy for Roxanne and Kevin and their little bundles of joy.

  2. I was thrilled that Roxanne was as happy to see me as I, her.

  3. Happy my neighbour Robert came to help with the pool.  There were issues I had no idea what to do with and he came in, knowing Mick’s “handyman” tricks and helped clear up a few things.

  4. Isabelle was in town for a few days and was able to meet me for breakfast.  Now that she lives two hours away, our visits are fewer but always welcome!

  5. I am happy Hélène was happy with my teapot cake and cupcakes (which I stupidly forgot to take pictures of as I was too busy catching up with her hubby, Guy (my old boss) and visiting their gorgeous home.  She is supposed to send me some pics tomorrow, so ya’all are just gonna have to wait!

Gratitude Sunday – April 19, 2015

(Oh. Em. Gee. This explains everything… nothing but crickets on this post because…I pressed “Save Draft” instead of “Publish”!)

Another lovely week has come and gone and, once again, much to be most thankful/grateful for.  If it weren’t for family and friends, I think I’d maybe go a tad nuts! No worries there, however as I am, as ever, well surrounded!

I was going to get my tires changed (here in Quebec, we must use winter tires from December 15 to April 15), then realised that there are no tires at the house!  They are at the shop so…. another time then!

Gratitude List

  1. Had a birthday and was spoiled with a lovely lunch with my friend, Daniel.

  2. Had dinner with Dominique and Susan, two girlfriends from high school that I hadn’t seen since our 25th reunion! We laughed and reminisced and just enjoyed ourselves.

  3. My lilacs are budding!  Woot, there will be flowers!

  4. My hero of the week is my brother-in-law, Sébastien, who came to my rescue twice this week!  First, to help me put my oven door back on.  I don’t know how I managed to remove it in the first place!  These gas ovens don’t work the same way good ole electric ones do!  Merci Sébas!

  5. Today, Sébastien came with reinforcements, in the name of Aldo, his neighbour and friend, to help Iain and me take down the Tempo.  (Aidan was working so he was excused.)  It definitely is a four-man job.  You maybe could get away with three, but who would want to?  That thing is huge and cumbersome!  The deadline to take it down was April 15… so happy to see I was not the only last-minute one.  Down the street, they were doing the same.  Merci, infiniment à Sébastien et Aldo.  Without you, it would have been quasi-impossible! XOXOXO

Sunday Gratitude – On a Monday – April 6, 2015

Well, I couldn’t exactly kick my mom and step-dad out of my guest room (where my computer is), so I’m a tad late on my Sunday Gratitude!  It was for a good cause and it was Easter Week-end, so I’ve a good excuse, no?

It felt like a busy/weird week, all in all!  I went to my first “real” Mary Kay meeting.  Oh. My. Lord.  I thought I had entered a real hen-house before the meeting started!  I thought to myself “What the hell am I doing here?”  There was a physical buzz in the room!  Walking up the street to the meeting, however, I was duly impressed by the pink Cadillacs, Ford Edges and others.  There were quite a few… must be quite the productive group.  So I decided to wait patiently until all started to see what this was all about.   It was quite interesting and very positive.  I will definitely be giving it a try.  What have I got to lose?  It’ll get me out of the house and meeting people and if I can make a few bucks, well, all the better!

Easter 2015

Gratitude List

  1. Re-connecting, in person, with a most special friend. No words.  Read about it here.

  2. Made it to the gym not once, but twice!  Woot… gonna beat that this week… 😉

  3. Attending my first official Mary Kay  Training and being welcomed into the group.

  4. Having lunch with old friends.  I’ve been on a mission to connect in person and so far, have been quite successful!

  5. Easter!  That means all the family getting together.  Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by family (especially when accompanied by food and wine!

  6. Merci Yvon et Sébastien!  I now have a handle on the main-floor bathroom!

Gratitude Sunday – March 8, 2015

Happy International Woman’s Day!  In honour of the day, I thought I’d share Maya Angelou’s most wonderful poem

Phenomenal Woman.


Such a great week with much to be grateful for!  I wanted to write so many posts this week but somehow, just, well, didn’t.  I figure it’s what I needed or didn’t need to do!  Or I’m just plain lazy.  Either way, it is what it is!

Gratitude List

  1. Yes! I finally signed up at the gym.   I’ve only been once but that’s OK. The ice is broken and I shall find my rhythm. It’s always nice to sign up with a buddy and Crystal, we may not always make it at the same time but a nudge and a bit of encouragement will get us moving!

  2. Supper at my sister’s is always nice.  And during Spring Break we can do it on week days.  Life is so busy with work and kids and schedules that a week off permits us to take the time just to sit and laugh and catch up.  Merci Tracy et Sébastien! xoxo

  3. Though I should have taken more time shopping and prepping for my catering job on Thursday, stopping to sit and lunch with my beautiful friend, Julie. on Wednesday was way more important.  Having both gone through the sudden loss of a husband with two boys to take care of (though in her case, they were much younger and needed her that much more) we had much to share.  Our mutual admiration society was on full swing, each of us considering the other strong.  Julie’s attention to me during the whole ordeal touched me most particularly. xoxo to you too!

  4. Yes I knew there was too much snow on our Tempo (ugly structure over one’s driveway, protecting the cars from inclement winter weather).  Yes, I knew some should be removed. It was never “my” job and so I forgot about it.  Needless to say, the frame started coming apart.  Definitely not good!  A huge thank you to Armen for removing the snow Iain and I were not able to remove and to Chris for coming to re-assemble what could be.

  5. A wonderful evening at a delicious restaurant with friends (Sandi, Armen, Donna and Mark), a good long Skype chat with a new friend (Janet), a note telling me my food was appreciated (Chantal).  All things that just make me feel warm and fuzzy!

  6. I don’t know if it’s because I am now fifty or if it’s just that I am more aware and more in search of getting closer to my own soul but I am grateful for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and her interviews with inspiring people that I want to learn more from:  Pema Chödrön, Buddhist teacher; Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Nun; Paolo Coelho, Brazilian novelist; Pico Iyer, British author to name a few,  ~ each one inspires me to look deeper and learn more.  Getting my Chai on!

Sunday Gratitude – February 22, 2015

It was a “Meh” kind of week!  Nothing overly exciting, and that’s OK.  We can’t be on the go all the time!  There has to be some time for reflection or just plain laziness (which was partly my case this past week!)  I had no oomph per se most of the week.  That said, it doesn’t mean I can’t find a bunch of things to be grateful for!  There is always room for positive acknowledgment.

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Gratitude List

  1. It was so fun to share Shrove Tuesday (Pancake for supper night) with our neighbours (who had no idea that this tradition existed!!

  2. I managed to do my 10,000+ steps twice this past week (which made Zeke very happy) and met a very lovely couple who completely feel in love with Zeke – even inviting me to stop by in the future for a coffee; but only if I brought him!!

  3. As nailcutting was Mick’s job, I am very happy Josée clipped Zeke’s nails for me when she picked up her meals.  No more “click, click clicking” as the beast walks back and forth and back again!

  4. Had a mild panick attack (OK, I may exaggerate just a tad, I’m not the panicking type!) when I could not find my keys after one of my walks. I did NOT feel like backtracking my steps to search for them. Lo and behold! There they were. In. The. Door.  Guess I should add that I’m totally grateful no one just turned said key and waltzed into my house!

  5. It was great to chat with Leslie tonight (and she only cried three times! 😉 It had been, what, 16-17 years since we last saw each other, worked together and simply chatted.  Must definitely do this more often!

  6. I am beyond happy that I have been connecting, either in person or on the phone or via Skype, with old and new friends instead of just sending each other emails or texts or Facebook messages.