Last Chance – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my readers.  Hope you’re enjoying Hump Day!  This week our lovely leader, Rochelle, chose Roger Bultot’s lovely picture.  His photo can only used for this prompt.

Should you wish to participate, and why don’t you?  Just click on the blue frog and add your link.  It’s easy, using Roger’s beautiful picture, come up with a 100-word story, not including the title, and not one more word, and add your link.  Ta-dah!  Easy-peasy.

 

Get the link for your blog

Last Chance

“Please, everyone, we need you all to take your seats before their Royal Highnesses arrive.  No lingering about.”

From their hidden alcove, Lianne and Anthony watched as the guests left the lobby and headed for the hall.

“We really must hurry, Tony.  They are expecting us!”

“Who cares?  We are the Prince and Princess-to-be.  They have no choice but to wait.”

“Yes, but, Sweetheart, we really sh—”

Anthony kissed her, silencing her protests.  He pulled her down to the chaise lounge, and lay beside her.

“Let ’em wait.  This is our last chance to be alone before we’re constantly guarded.”

 

Tell Me a Story, Mémère – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday Fictioneers Day, my Peeps!  This lovely photo by Fatima Fakir Deria brought to mind my beloved late grandmother, Noëlla, who also happened to be my godmother.  She was definitely my hero and how she managed to do what she did always amazed me.  So many stories told, and quite matter-of-factly.  She just did what she had to do.  I am very proud to say I inherited that from her.

How about you join in this week in telling a 100-word story based on this photo?  Rochelle will be more than happy to accept any newcomer!  She’s welcoming like that.  Click on the blue frog and add your link!

Click here to get the link for your blog

Tell Me a Story, Mémère

It was a perfect day to accompany her grandmother outside  for a stroll.

“How about we sit here in the shade, Mémère?”

“Looks like the perfect spot, Suzie.”

“Please, tell me some of your stories of how you managed to survive with six kids, living in the woods, with barely nothing.”

“Aren’t you tired of hearing them?”

“Not even close.  I want to record you so I can write them into a book.  Would you like that?”

“Silly girl, I’m just ordinary.”

“Au contraire, Mémère.  You are my hero.  You were way ahead of your time.”

“Hmmm… Where to start….”

***

Sadly, I never got around to recording her stories.  She died in 2009, at age 92, three months’ shy of her 93rd birthday

Idyll – What Pegman Saw

Good evening (or morning, depending on where on the globe you be) my Readers.   Pegman leaders Karen and Josh were busy basking in the sun last week and left us to our own devices for a week but are now back with a new challenge.  Thank you both for your efforts.

This week Pegman takes us to Yellowstone National Park in the US. You’ll find both streetview and photo spheres to inspire you. Choose any place within Yellowstone and write 150 words inspired by it. Once your piece is polished, you can share it with others at the link up below:

Idyll

Giselle felt the warmth of the sun through the roof of the tent.  She smiled dreamily as she reminisced on the previous night’s passions.

“You’re so beautiful when you smile like that, Gi.”

“You know, Dany, you saved me and gave me back my smile.”

“And I’ll make sure you never lose it again.  Wasn’t last night’s concert great?  The drum of the falls, the pop and fizz of the geysers…”

“Oh you!  Everything turns to music with you.”

“True dat!   I am a musician, after all.  Check this out…”  He slid the zipper of the tent.  Tzzzzzzzzip.

They laughed and together opened the tent flap, quickly falling silent as they saw the deer grazing right in front of them.

“Could this trip get any better?” whispered Giselle.

“It sure can.”  He nuzzled her neck, pulling her back inside.  “How about we take up where we left off last night?”

A Café of One’s Own – What Pegman Saw

I haven’t done a “Pegman” in a couple of weeks, and frankly, should be cooking as I am having my Tuscan feast for my sisters and their hubbies tonight but I “just took a peak at what the destination was”.  And then looked around to see if anything caught my eye and well, something obviously did because here I am!

This week Pegman is back in Europe, visiting the Czech Republic for the first time. You’re invited to stroll the city of Karlovy Vary and choose your own view. Take your inspiration and write no more 150 words. Once your poem, story, or essay is polished, share it with others at the link up below:

A Café of One’s Own

Monique looked around the room with satisfaction.  Her first visit to this place had charmed her, but never did she think she would one day own it!

Funny how life works.  She always thought she would one day end up in Italy, working in a café in Venice, yet somehow ended up in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.  Love can do that to a person.  You meet someone, fall in love, he brings you to his hometown, and next thing you know, you are no longer just a tourist.  Life could not be any better.  Over the years, the streets along the canal have become your streets, the people, your people.   You have now mastered the language you never thought you could and you feel like you belong.

Then he tells you that he no longer loves you.

Monique admired her new café and smiled.  Life could not be any better.

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Christmas Holidays

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My thanks to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this weekly gig.  I’m so happy to have been introduced to it as it replaced my “Gratitude” posts because essentially, when I invite you in for coffee, I am sharing the things I love and am grateful for!  Should you want to read more stories, just click on the picture above and you will be brought to Diana’s post, below it, will be a little blue frog that you can click on to get more stories and, maybe, add your own!

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If we were having coffee, I would have forewarned you that today is a perfect Sunday to be a pyjama (or pajama, if you prefer) day.  So please, feel free to arrive in yours! We are having our first snowfall (no, I do not consider that pretend dusting we had way back in November as the first).  Not that much has fallen but there is enough to coat the rooftops and leave paw prints visible!

If we were comfortably settled on the sofa, coffee mug in hand, I would tell you that this past week has been a fun-filled one.  It all started when my friend Leonard invited me to the Comedy Nest in Montreal as Joey Elias was holding a #SupportLocal evening of comedy being held on Sunday evening.  The show started at 8:00 and Leonard’s best bud, Steve (also my comedy date twice now!) would arrive around 7:30.  I got there sometime around 7:45-ish and settled in for an hour and a half of laughter.  They delivered.  The host for the evening was Christ Venditto and he did a fine job.  First up was Leonard Yelle, a good friend of Mick’s and now one of mine!  He thought he was lacking, I thought he did fine (I may be biased), next up was Guido Durante – ohmygosh he was hilarious!  Without taking away anything from the other comics, he was hilarious!  He was followed by a funny Scot, Darren Henwood, then Emma Wilkie, the one brave woman comic (but don’t call her that!  She is a comic, no need to distinguish – hats off to her for that) and finally the headliner was Joey Elias himself.  I love how he just picks on the audience and builds his act upon that.  It is a quick wit he has to do so.  I can definitely see why he is one of Canada’s best and a regular at Montreal’s Just for Laughs!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I was truly touched by all the sweet, heartfelt comments I got for my letter to Mick on the first anniversary of his death.  As the boys had no exams on that day, thus no school, I ensured I would not work and be there for them.  We went Christmas shopping together, splitting up at the mall, then for dinner at one of his favourite restaurants, Le Barbù.  Turned into a nice mother and sons kind of day.

On Wednesday, Sophie and Charles came by to pick up their last meals for 2015 and gave me a lovely bottle of champagne!  How sweet are they?  So nice to have friends/clients who are so generous.

By the 24th, the boys and I finally finished decorating the house – as much as it was going to be this year.  I cannot believe how working just a few hours per week put me into a total disorganised state.  Oh well, all’s well, that ends well!  Mom and Yvon arrived, arms full of pies, meat pies and bread,  just in time to join Lisa and family for dinner at Del Frisco’s.  No one was in the mood to cook as as we all had no where to go, really, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner made by someone else!  Delicious!

Christmas morning came and we had our little gift exchange then prepared for the onslaught!  You see, since, um, geez, I don’t know how long ago, Mick made Christmas brunch for family and friends.  Whoever felt like dropping by for eggs, bacon, sausages, waffles, “Momosis” (Mick never called them Mimosas) and coffee, were welcome.  A tradition that we have continued.  Last year was obviously bust, but this year, Iain took up his father’s mantle at the stove.  He did a fabulous job and all left with very full bellies!  One of the fun things about this brunch is some arrive in their PJs, some dressed up, there is a rotating group at the couch and another at the dining table and the whole thing is quite cacophonous – there is nothing neat about it and that’s what I love!

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After a supposed rest, I made cranberry sauce and my infamous, already-full-of-booze eggnog and off we went to Lisa and Chris’ for Christmas dinner!  We had our fun gift exchange – where presents are not supposed to cost more than $25 each, we play a game where our names (twice) are put into a hat and we draw.  You have the choice between taking a new present or stealing.  Always fun when your name gets picked last!  There was a highly popular popcorn machine and my 64 oz flask did a couple of rounds too.  Laughs galore then more eats.  Lisa also made her annual Greek butter almond cookies “Kourabiedes” and we all went home with a tin!  Yeah!!  I forgot my camera and am extremely disappointed in my new cellphone’s camera (or, maybe I have simply not mastered it yet as it is supposedly a fabulous camera…) so apologies for the crappola pictures!

If we were still having coffee, and I hope I haven’t bored you to tears by now, I’d tell you that I worked my first ever Boxing Day yesterday.  Truth be told, it was a lot less insane than I thought it would be.  And on top of it I sold a rug and a papasan!  Last night, Gabriella came by to wish us a Merry Christmas as she didn’t come with her family for brunch.  She ended up staying for a bottle of wine, some Parmigiano Reggiano and we watched From Here to Eternity.  Not a bad end to a lovely week, I say!

I wish for you all a most Happy New Year, keep safe, surround yourselves with loved ones and take the time to just enjoy life!

xoxo

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Lunches and Love

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If we were having coffee, or tea, or wine or whatever you wish to drink, I would tell you I do not want to start this post with an “oh my gosh, I’ve been so busy” because that has become over-used in my vocabulary.  I used to loathe people who claimed to be so fricken “busy”.  Well.  Glass houses and all that.  I know that my busyness is based on my total lack of organisation and choice to occasionally sit at my computer and chat with friends from far away.  I could tell them no, I’m not available right now but I choose not to.  Then pay the price.  A price, by the way, I am most willing to pay as I shall always choose people over stuff and work.

By the way, as it is late (again, I’m posting late), I am having a nice “Nighttime Herbal Tea”.

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On Monday evening, my friend Mario stopped by for dinner and a great bottle of wine, or two.  I’m so glad I decided to make the port tenderloin with prune sauce! Went very well with the wine he brought!  Phone call to his wife and he was set up in the guest room.  No driving for him, that’s for sure! (Sorry… forgot to take a picture of the pork to tantalise you!)

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On Wednesday, I had lunch with my friend Michèle.  We rushed to go to her favourite little Asian place because it is always full by noon.  Hah!  Only about 5-6 tables ended up being filled… go figure!  Every time we get together we just laugh and laugh and laugh…  Okay, truth be told, I make her laugh.  She so reminds me of my dearly departed friend Roxanne who’s laugh just filled a room.  I really must tell her that…  My car was so filthy, I decided to take it to a car wash just around the corner from my house.  Between going up north where we park in the sand, bringing Zeke in the car, and just plain driving around, it was in dire need.  I am not a fan of washing my own car – I think it’s a “guy-thing” – plus it’s not the season so I think it was a most well-invested Nineteen bucks plus three bucks for tip!  Plus, while waiting, under the parasol, I ended up chatting with this really nice guy.  He looked at me and asked me point-blank what my name was as he was sure he knew me from some place.  Turns out he was right.  We went to the same high school!  He’s a year younger so, of course, he recognised me faster than I him! We were actually both gym rats and he played on the handball team.  What a small world.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I might have gone overboard on Thursday!  I went out for both lunch AND dinner that day.  Armen took me out for lunch and we went to one of Mick’s favourite places, Le Barbú, and talked about our guy.  You see, the next day, the 11th, was the first anniversary of our worlds being turned upside down – the day Mick had his heart attacks – a day that was just unbelievable.  I think it was quite cathartic for us to spend the afternoon reminiscing.  Later that evening, I met with another friend and we had dinner in the Gay Village of Montreal.  There’s this great little restaurant called Mozza, Pasta and Passion where you can bring your own wine and the whole menu is table d’hote – meaning each meal comes with the best Caesar’s Salad, the escargot du moment (snails “of the moment”) and a pasta of your choosing.  Crazy combos like brie and green apple or chocolate pasta and oka cheese or, if you are not too adventurous, the old stand-bys  like romanoff or alfredo.  We were very pleased that we had our waiter Raphaël as we knew he was leaving soon as a student exchange to Australia.  Such a sweetie-pie, he is.  This is the one restaurant where you really want to take a bathroom break!  There is a sign beside the door, on your way out that states:  When you have finished dancing, please make sure you close the door on your way out!

On Friday I received much love from family and friends via Facebook, texts, in person. Virtual hugs are as good as physical ones, I can assure you!

I was thrilled to make my old chocolate-banana cake for my ex-sister-in-law.  I had teased her last year on her birthday by sending her a picture of her holding her cake that I had made for her about 25 years ago!  I baked the cake on Saturday after work so that all I had to do was make the icing this morning – a white chocolate and dark chocolate ganache topping.  It is decadent.  I had a devil of a time as my white chocolate ganache split!  I managed to get it back together but was not 100% pleased with myself.  I didn’t bother taking a picture of the cake this morning so I just went through my archives to find one.  Not the best picture but frankly, I need to get to bed before midnight!  That gives me 6 minutes so I better hustle!  Nicole sent me a picture of the cake – what’s left of it with a thank you.  Let’s just say her family were surprised when they opened the box, most of them recognising said cake from the past…

And, of course, I’ve not teased you enough with the food pictures, so here are the two meals I prepared today for my customers.  Just so happened I, for once, made myself one of the rigatoni pies too!

Hopefully I’ve not left your tummy rumbling too much!  I’m hoping I’ll be a tad more organised this coming week food-wise.  One of my families has taken a break from my services until the end of January, so I would like to believe I will be.   HAHAHAHAHAH!  Who am I kidding?

If we were having coffee, I would want to end this with something that totally inspired me.  I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Zainab Salbi – a most inspiring, beautiful, amasing woman and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that I managed to find the video of her reading her own poem, “What If I Am Not Sadness”.

Have a wonderful week, my fellow Blogging Buddies!

xoxo

My Loves/My Hates

This blogging world is pretty darn small sometimes… The other day, Amy over at the Bumble Files posted her love/hate list, and though she didn’t tag anyone, I was thinking that maybe I’d play along.  Well!  Sammy over at Bemuzin took it a step further and DID tag me!  What’s a girl to do when the Universe conspires?  Play along, that’s what!!  Before I get started, please note I hate the word hate and have been trying to remove it from my vocabulary.  It’s so huge.  And though my list will contain things I hate for realz, it will also contain some things I really, really, really dislike… 😉  OK, maybe I do hate them!

Yes I do love my family and my extended family; that goes without saying

The rules are simple:  list 10 things I love, 10 things I hate and enlist 10 others to do the same…

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My Loves

  1. Gatherings: small or large; with friends or family or both; preferably with good food and wine.
  2. Entertaining.  Feeding my guests with food I’ve created (and getting the oohs and aahs too!)
  3. A clean house.  One that smells like it’s been cleaned and sparkles and shines.  See H2 below.
  4. The smell of freshly mown lawn.  I took a walk today and every second house seemed to have the lawnmower going!
  5. Sitting in dappled sunlight, feeling the faintest of breezes, with no sounds other than the leaves rustling.
  6. Listening to my boys razz each other, laughing all the long.
  7. Getting caught in a summer rain, splashing in the warm puddles.
  8. Summer thunderstorms, when I am safe inside the house.
  9. Walking my dog, camera in hand, snapping whatever catches my eye.
  10. Sitting in a comfy chair on a covered porch, book in one hand, wine glass in the other, while the rain beats a soft tattoo.

My hates

  1. My backyard neighbours: the adults, the kids, the yapping dog ~ all of them ~ wish they were GONE.
  2. House cleaning.  There is nothing remotely enjoyable about passing a vacuum, mopping the floor, waxing furniture… no matter how nice it looks.  See L3 above.
  3. Being “flushed”.  We set a date, we marked our calendars.  That said, I know things happen and schedules can change.  By the way, I hate flushing as much as I hate being flushed.  I will be gracious about it, most times.  Some are unfortunately repeat offenders.
  4. Being pranked.  I have a sense of humour for many things ~ definitely not this one.  Mick is lucky he survived the one and only time he pulled one on me.  Not funny.
  5. Being ridiculed or laughed at.  I know it’s important to learn to let things slide off my back but I have a really hard time with this one.  I envy those who can laugh it off.
  6. Being ignored.
  7. When you step into a store and like vultures, all the sales people pounce on you.  It’s enough for me to hightail it and run!
  8. When you actually need help in a store and not a salesperson can be found!
  9. Lack of table manners:  chewing with an open mouth, biting the utensil (major shudder on this one), talking with the mouth full, elbows on the table…
  10. Always negative people; the ones who bitch and complain about everything.  I call these energy vampires and I release them from my presence!

It took me a few days to come up with this list, having so recently done the 50 things that make me happy.  I had an evening where everyone was breathing my air so I could not think of 10 Loves!  They would have been coloured by my bad mood (yes, occasionally, I do indulge!)  As I didn’t want that colouring my list, I abstained.  All is good now!

So, here’s the part where I should tag 10 people to do this but I won’t.  If you do want to play along, please do!  I look forward to getting to know you a little more.