#WeekendCoffeeShare – Milestones, Letting Go and Fun Stuff

Good early afternoon!  I slept in this morning as my son had a party and I hung around with the (how cool that they even want me to?) last stragglers till 3:30 this morning!  Eldest basically tried to kick me out of my own house and, not to accommodate him but because it worked out for me, I went hung out with Tina, Liz & Peter (old friends of Tina’s), Emma and Luciano (Tina’s daughter and son-in-law).  It had been a while since our last get-together so was nice to catch up.  I brought a bottle of my aranciacello (orangecello) and that was a big enough hit, I may just have to sell some!

When I got home, the remaining four friends (and one girlfriend, sitting quietly by watching them) were playing a serious game of beer pong.  Let’s just say I was very happy no one was driving as they were feeling no pain whatsoever.  Nice guys, I have to say.  Very polite.  They think I’m “chill” so I’m “allowed” to stick around!  And when Iain told them I made booze… well!  My “chill points” went up!  I happened to have an already open bottle of limoncello so gave them each a small shot.  Now one of them wants me to teach him how to make it.

Needless to say, my coffee is strong this morning!  Care for a cup?  Would you prefer tea?  It’s bloody cold today:  -17ºC (1ºF), but with a windchill of -25ºC (-13ºF) so, I’m sure you want something hot!  Now that you’re all settled in, let me catch you up on my week.

I worked at the Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Was nice to see some of my coworkers.  On Tuesday we set up for Wednesday’s event.  I know I’m supposed to be a waitress but frankly, sometimes I feel like a mover!  Man do we schlep around tables and chairs!  I definitely could feel it in my muscles the next days!  Wednesday’s group was members of some landscaping companies.  A truly friendly sort which is so pleasant to deal with.  Would that they all were!

Tuesday morning, my son needed my car to pass his driver’s test.  Good thing his appointment was at 10:30 as I was only working at 12:30.  However.  We got to the DMV (SAAQ, for us Quebeckers) and I waited patiently.  For 10 minutes.  What?  Seems son forgot a paper proving he had passed his driver’s courses.  “But, it’s okay, Mom, they gave me an appointment for 1:30 so we’re good!”

Um. No, dear.  I am working at 12:30!  Now what?  Luckily Iain’s godfather, my brother-in-law, Sébastien, was on spring break!  I called my sister, asking for her hubby, and all was arranged.  We would drive over to their house, I would take one of their cars (Tracy was working at 1:00, otherwise she would have taken my place) and leave mine as Iain had practiced with my car and was allowed to use it for his test.  Sheesh.

Off I go to work, waiting patiently and I get a text.  “I failed”.  Awwww… poor kid.  I’m feeling so bad for him and he doesn’t respond to my “what happened?”  Sébastien calls me to tell me he’s stopping by the club to change cars and says:  “By the way, your son passed.”  Little shit.  Not only did he pass, he got 91%!  So proud of him (after wanting to smack him…)

Wednesday was a glorious day.  It was 10ºC (50ºF).  I finished work at 3:30, got home, picked up my camera bag and Zeke went nuts.  Don’t even have to say the word “walk” – though that gets him going too!  Off we went.  On our way to what we call Teletubbie Park, I could see signs of life.  Yes!  All those folks over the pond in England and such showing off their snowdrops and such… so not fair!  OK… we don’t have much in our frigid clime but look!  I see tulips shooting up!  It’s the little things, ya know?


Towards the park. Nothing Zeke likes better than to be off leash and given the opportunity to sniff and run at will.   Once we got over one of the little hills, I could see the baseball diamond had three dogs running around.  Of course Zeke wanted to go play.  Being a mean mom, I said no.   I didn’t know the dogs and people and I was already having trouble choosing where to put my feet as the ground was very soft and wet.  I did not want to make my way there.

We turn to leave and I see, in the bluest of skies, the moon.  Tried my best!

Not a speck, the moon!

On Thursday morning, I got a little… ok, more than a little, emotional.  After Mick died, two years ago, I had to get rid of his beloved F-150 truck.  Much as it was really cool to drive it and get double-takes when other drivers realised a woman was driving it, it cost a fortune to run.  So I changed it for my Escape, which I love.  I kept my old Pontiac Sunfire for the boys.  They both would be driving soon – or so I thought.   For two years that car sat in my driveway.  In the beginning, Iain would ask me to go practice driving with him.  Then he didn’t.  Then, he didn’t seem to be in any rush to get his bloody permit.  What IS it with today’s youth?  I could not wait to get that puppy in my hands and be independent and drive all over!  Anyway.  I kept telling him to at least start it every couple of weeks.  Didn’t do it.  After paying for the registration and insurance for two years for nothing, I had had it.  I called an environment company that pays you for your junk and tows it away.  It was no longer safe to drive anyway.  When I think of how much I could have gotten for it had I sold it two years ago.  Whatever. Won’t go there.

I cannot lie.  I shed more than a tear.  Not for the car itself.  Matter of fact, I was pissed at Mick for convincing me to get it in the first place way back in 2003 because I wanted something else.  He was good at getting his way.  I did learn to love that thing and it was a little bomb that got me to wherever I needed to go.  But it is so weird.  I felt like it was yet another little piece of Mick gone from my life.

By Friday, I was more than ready to go for lunch with Michèle.  We share the gift of the gab, I tell you!  We sat in that Louis XIV restaurant in St. Bruno from 12:30 till 3:50!  Good grief!  It’s a lovely little bistro where you can bring your own wine.  Delicious.  We each had a tartare, her the salmon, me the beef.  Then we splurged on a piece of white cake with strawberry sauce on top.  Perfection.  I brought her a bottle of each of my ‘cellos – which she forgot at the restaurant!  She was beside herself.  Thankfully, she had left it on the floor beside her chair.  The restaurant was full of supper diners when she went back (because when she called, they said they did not see it).  All the tables but ours were full.  She walked up to her chair, bent down and voilà!  The bag was there!  Relief, you say?

So… I think I’ve been at this long enough.  Luch (Luciano) should be here any second now to pick up a bottle of each ‘cello, I really must take my shower and finish my strawberry crumble as my sister has invited me and our sister and hubs over for dinner.  Adults only – even though 5 out of the 8 kids are already adults.  And for those of you who read Friday Fictioneers… NO!!  Not THAT kind of adult party!

Oh!  And before I forget!  As promised, the recipe for the limoncello is this one!  I do the 40-day version and depending on the fruit (more limes, less grapefruit, a few less oranges) I’ll play with the sugar levels as well…

Have a great week, my friends!  I wish you much happiness, smiles, laughter and love!



Oh!  Before I forget!  Thank you, Emily, from Nerd in the Brain for hosting this weekly get-together!  If you want to play with us, just click on the here and add your link!

Out of Time – Friday Fictioneers

Had a little trouble getting this one going this week.  Thought I was going to come up totally blank but no, suddenly I knew where to go!

Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this thing through sleet and snow, through summer and winter, through the crazy time that is the holidays!

Thank you Shaktiti Sharma for making me scratch my head.. 😉

Happy 2017 to you all!  Hope it is a fabulous one for you and yours!

Click on the Froggy to add your link (why not give it a go?) and check out the other interpretations of this photo.


Genre:  Suspense

Word count: 100

Out of Time

Heart pounding, lungs burning, sweat beading, she raced towards the platform, slowing her pace just enough to look at the upper quadrant on her screen.  Her eyes widened in shock.

She skidded to a stop. Damn!  Time was running out!  She was almost half-way through the allotted time!  Where was that stupid train?  She could not run the whole way there and still make it in time.  What to do?

Wonders! There was the train.  Jumping on, she prayed she’d make it in time.

Running the rest of the way, up the stairs, the door flew open.

“Happy New Year!!”

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Get-Togethers and Food

Hello, my friends!  Here we are, Sunday night and just in time for the WeekendCoffeeShare.  Heaven forbid I manage to do this early in the morning…

Thanks again to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this.  Please click on the image below to get to her sight and find the links to other shares or, go ahead, you know you want to share…


If we were having coffee and as it is now past 7:00 pm, I would ask if you would you prefer a beer, glass of wine or tea?  I do have all available?  Have you eaten your supper?  We sometimes (mostly) eat rather late so, you are more than welcome to join us.  I always have some type of left-over!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my son’s thumb, though not pretty should heal fairly well.  He is convinced he will lose the tip and he is impatient for the stitches to melt so he can move on.  I think he more than takes after his father…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I have the best customers in the world as they were more than understanding that after spending the night at the hospital, I was not in the best shape to make them their meals and they most graciously accepted to have their meals ready for Monday.

I made them an authentic Julia Child Boeuf Bourguignon, Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parm (that I received as a mega hint from Sophie…), a stuffed pork loin with Pommes Anna (a less fat version of scalloped potatoes and a Bowtie pasta with chicken and cream sauce, using evaporated milk instead of a bechamel.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Zeke and I were lucky enough to get out on our good walks on both Tuesday and Wednesday!  Tuesday was not quite as long… the sun was shining, I got my camera, dressed warmly and stepped out.  To a grey, yucky day!  As a result, the walk was a shorter one to the Industrial part.


On Wednesday we got the gorgeous day we wanted.  This time we made our way to “my” river.  It is such a beautiful area that I am drawn to it over and over again.  However, with each walk for any length of time, I find myself with boots getting steadily heavier, knowing that if I don’t time my return correctly, my feet will get wet.  Problem is, I remember I need new boots only when this occurs!   Oh well!

Also on Wednesday, I started making meals for a new customer!  So very happy to be able help Anouk and her family with her meals.  Will be providing three meals weekly so that is great.

Thursday I worked at Pier 1 and have decided that I will keep two shifts per week just to get out and socialise.  Yeah, like I need to get out, right?  Miss Social Butterfly, Mick called me.  Well I sure felt like one starting Thursday evening!  Tina texted saying we were overdue for a get-together and I agreed.  Told her I just happened to have made Boeuf Bourguignon for myself and was she interested?  Conversation, wine and food.  What’s not to like?

Andrea and I decided that our coffee get-togethers were fine and dandy but next time we were going for martinis!  Friday came along and we took a nice walk to Barbù to sit at the bar and do just that!  Well, I’m not a fan of martinis so I had a nice Hendricks gin and soda/tonic.  Andrea was curious about this and decided to try it herself.  I told her Hendricks is truly a different flavour.  She just may have adopted it as well!  Was great to hang out for a couple of hours and on top of that, an old high school buddy, Jean, was sitting there.  I told him about our recent get-togethers and after pouting at not being invited, I have added him to the list for the future GTs!

If we were still having coffee, or if I have driven you to drink, I would tell you that Saturday, I had four lovely ladies over for brunch.  These same ladies are the ones with whom I rented a chalet for a week-end a few years ago.  We try to get-together a few times per year to brunch and decided this time it would be nice to do it at one of our homes.  I offered mine.  It was especially important for me to offer this as we had booked the same chalet for December 2014.  We were booked the very week-end Mick had his heart attack.  They had graciously refused to accept my attempts at paying for my portion, even though I could no longer attend.   Needless to say, there was no way hell they were pitching in on the cost of eggs and bacon!   They arrived between 10 and 10:30 and left at 3:30!  Mimosas, frittata, bacon, sausage, hash browns, chocolate-banana waffles, coffee.  It’s amazing just how long one can spend chatting and having brunch!

They even cleaned up my kitchen after!


I had an hour to get changed and cleaned up (I knew I’d work up a sweat creating the brunch!) before I made my way to Michèle and Michel’s (yes, they are a couple with the same name!) for dinner.  It was great to finally meet Michèle’s husband and their daughter, Dominique and grandson, Sebastian.  We had a great time and laughed a lot.  I just love meeting new people!  I ended up staying until 1:00 am!

And now, here I am, Sunday night, after having made four meals for Sophie:  Jamie Oliver’s Spaghetti and sausage meatballs, Chicken-bean-veg soup, pork tenderloin with apples, sweet potato purée and sugar snap peas and chicken souvlaki with Greek roasted potatoes.  It has taken me four hours to write this post because I ended up chatting with my cousin in Calgary, then a friend who is a long-haul driver (kept him awake!), nuking myself some leftover boeuf Bourguignon, cleaning up my disaster of a kitchen (in two shots!) and well, now I’m pooped!

I’m aiming for a quieter week.  I don’t think it will happen.   Will keep you posted.

And here I was thinking I was going to sit down with my book and a cup of tea and read… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


#WeekendCoffeeShare – The Waiting Game


If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what you preferred, as I have many options. As for me, I’ll be having something strong as I want to stay awake for our chat.  I shall explain in a bit.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you what was left of my week was nice and normal!

One walk worth mentioning with Zeke.

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Oh!  And I almost forgot.  My bad.  On Thursday I got a surprise in the mail.  Janet, sweetheart that she is, sent me this lovely bracelet as a gift!  Thank you so much, you shouldn’t have…. but I totally appreciate that you did!  How lucky am I?

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that come Saturday, it was the engagement celebration brunch of my lovely neighbour/former babysitter Aalia and her finacé, Fahad.  As a hip young couple, they have been dubbed Fahaalia – how cute is that?  An insanely gorgeous couple… The invitation said 10:30 am.  I set my alarm, got ready and was there for 10:30 a.m.  And realised that, besides the groom-to-be and a couple of friends helping with the set-up, I was ridiculously early.  Hmmm.  I received a text from Aalia’s sister, Fhameeda telling me:  Aalia says 11:30 is fine!!  Uh huh. Right.  My response was: Shit, shit, shit.  I rushed to get here.   Fhum (her nickname) apologised and invited me to join her at her home which is a mere 500-600 m away.  Not that far except, of course, I was wearing high-heeled boots.   And very not-friendly walking boots, I might add.  Give a great leg, though!   I wasn’t going to take my car (I had prime real estate in my parking, paid for – should have been my first clue that I was really early when I found a spot directly in front of the restaurant!)  So, I stayed.  While I waited, I sat at a table near the entrance, while enjoying a cappuccino.   And watched as one group after another arrived, knowing a whole lot of no one!  It was wonderful to watch all the lovely Indian and Pakistani women arrive in their beautiful saris and sparkly sandals – they are not fans of nylons or tights, no matter how cold it is!  Everyone was dressed to the nines.  So refreshing in today’s day to see people making an effort to dress really nicely.

Finally people I knew!  Parvin and Hussein, Aalia’s parents, her brother Na’eem with Abeille and their son, Zayne, and finally her sister Fhameeda, Mike and 3-week-old Sofia.  Phew!  I was officially introduced to some of Aalia’s co-workers and ended up sitting with them.  What fun we had getting to know each other!  The brunch was delicious and great fun was had by all.

I got home fairly late in the afternoon with a bunch of their gifts and such in my car as the grand-parents were bringing Zayne with them to babysit and didn’t have enough room.  When Aalia came to pick up her stuff she told me she was so sorry about my being there early.  She made me laugh as she said she would have to send out two invitations for the wedding itself.  One for the “brown” people and one for the “non-brown” members (her words, not mine)!  Apparently we don’t all have the same concept of time!  She said they are notorious for arriving a good hour late which is why the invitation said 10:30 instead of 11:30!!!  Now I know.  Won’t be making that mistake again!  All good.  As I said, it was fun to watch them all parade in.

Later on in the afternoon, I got started on some chicken parmigiana.  Just as I put the spaghetti into the boiling water, I got a phone call from Alex of Le Barbù, Iain’s place of work.  I knew there was a problem immediately.  Alex told me that Iain had cut himself quite badly.  I left instructions for Aidan and hightailed it out of there to pick up Iain.  It is a mere kilometre away so there was no wasting of time.  We had to come back for Iain’s wallet and made our way to the hospital.  I could gross you out and show you pictures – yeah, we’re weird like that and take pics of  these things, but I shall spare you.  Suffice it to say that he chopped a good chunk of his thumb, through the nail, but not all the way.  After SEVEN HOURS WAIT, we were finally seen by the doctor who decided to sew him up rather than just cut it off.  Blech.  Can I just say that my son is one tough cookie?  I think the worst part was the freezing of said thumb.  Dr. Vincent was very nice and Iain had him laughing – definitely his father’s son – with his comments and such.  We got home at 4:00 a.m.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve been on slo-mo all day and have been barely functional.  Thank goodness for leftovers!

I hope I didn’t cause your tummies to do too many flip-flops in the describing of my son’s injury!

I do wish you have a most wonderful week and thank you for stopping by.  You know you are always welcome.  There is nothing I like better than sitting and chatting with a friend.

Thank you to Diana at Part-Time Monster for hosting this every week.  If you would like to read about other shares, just click on the box at the top!


#WeekendCoffeeShare – On a Tuesday!


It’s the week-end!  That means it’s time for Diana’s Weekend Coffee Share!  Do join in.  No?  Well, do not be shy and come and visit us, we are a lovely group, truly we are!

Okay. I lied.  It is now Tuesday and I am finally sitting down to do this post!  All good if you are no longer in the mood!

If we were having coffee I would start off by showing off the fabulous food I mentioned last time.  Well some of it, anyway.   I was jealous of my client’s pasta frittata and just so happened to have just enough spaghetti to make my own!  Oh my.  To be repeated, for sure.  I totally forgot to take a picture of the flank steak with Emeril’s Creole Sauce.   My bad.  However, from the slice I stole, it was delicious, so guess what?  I’ll be making it for me too soo!

If we were having coffee, I’d remember my manners and ask you what you would like?  I have a whole slew of options, take your pick!  I would then apologise for my tardiness.  Seriously.  Sunday is late enough for a week-end post, Monday would be sort of acceptable, but Tuesday?  I think I’m pushing it!  I will, however, carry on in hopes that you’ve chosen to stick around anyway…maybe I could bribe you with treats?  I was about to make some nice chocolate-chip cookies.  Interested?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I had a lovely time with Patti on Tuesday evening, stuffing our faces with sushi and catching up on each other’s happenings.  This was our official Christmas get-together so we came bearing gifts.  Knowing she loves a good candlelit bath, I got her a selection of the new season’s scents; she likes to get me things she herself has discovered (lucky me!) so I got this wickedly-coloured lipstick and bronzer.  I love when someone else gets you a new colour that you probably wouldn’t have bought for yourself.  She calls it vampy!  I said I don’t know if it would attract or scare away…  Whaddaya think?

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the rest of the week leading up to Saturday was just regular stuff and that’s okay because we can’t be on the go 24/7, right?  Besides, I more than made up for the tranquility on Saturday and Sunday!

Friday was the only day that Zeke and I had a chance to go for one of our good walks.  He just loves it when we go to “my” river because he can run free and occasionally play in the water. Thankfully he was smart enough this time to NOT go in!  He was hilarious when he walked on the ice and realised it wasn’t necessarily as solid as it seemed!  It was not the best day to take pictures  – though I did anyway!  Can’t help myself!

After my walk, and once Aidan got home, we went to Costco to get the ingredients I needed for my part of the Saturday Potluck taking place at my house as well as food for my customer.  As I was walking towards the fruits and veggies, I told myself that it would be beyond fantastic if there were Meyer lemons.  I swear, in this neck of the woods, Costco is the ONLY place that ever has them and they have a really short availability span!  Well guess what?  Happy dance!

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These lemons are just so delicious and I was so hoping to get them because one of the dishes I wanted to prepare for Saturday was my scallop carpaccio.  Yes, you can use regular lemons or even limes but the flavour you get from the Meyers… oh my! (See what I did there?  Such a playa!)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that one of the things that makes me the happiest is entertaining, having people over for dinner.  A full house gives me tremendous joy.  Getting together with high school friends?  No words.  We got together last summer a couple of times, first to see Al DiMeola at the Montreal Jazz Festival and then for a first (of many we all hope) potluck get-together at Martin’s.   On New Year’s Day, while on Facebook, faffing around, Sylvie suggested it was time we try to get together again.  I totally agreed and next thing you know, invitations were sent out for this coming Saturday (the 9th).  We figured those who could, great and those who couldn’t, then next time!  I’ve often found that the last minute get-togethers are amongst the most fun.  Well, a fun time was indeed had by all!

I did indeed make my carpaccio and the same lentil soup you see above.  For starters, Sylvie, who brought delicious meat pie and was the first to arrive, got put to work to help set the table then make the bocconcini-tomato skewers whilc I diced up tomatoes and stuff to make bruschetta.  The next to arrive was Isabelle, who brought this delicious multi-layered chocolate cake, was set to work slicing the baguette.  Chantal arrived next with her lovely fattoush salad.  Right behind her were Marc and Martin, bearing chimichurri shrimp and, as our resident pirate, a bottle of rum! Barely were their coats off when Dany and Giselle arrived with her wonderful canneloni and finally Julie arrived with her fabulous apple and endive salad.  Needless to say, pretty much all arrived with a bottle or two of wine, beer, and whatnot.  There was food for a small army, of course!  Not too many pictures of food were taken, sadly.

Once everyone had arrived and food placed in ovens, fridges, on top of whatever, we finally got ourselves ready for our Kir Royale toast!  I did suggest we get away from the back but they insisted this was representative.  All it looks like to me is I have a messy kitchen!

Gang kitchen

What a great-looking bunch, don’t you think?  We cannot have graduated together waaaay back in 1981!  We’re too young for that, aren’t we?

We laughed so much that evening, reminiscing, telling stories, joking around.  I just live for these…  After munching on the shrimp, bruschetta and skewers, we made our way to the dining room. Dany wanted to take a group shot with his camera, using his timer so voilà… La Gang en photo!  I didn’t get the memo that the dress code was black or navy blue… sheesh.

la gang

We ended up hanging out together until the wee hours of the morning – 4:30 in the morning!

Come Sunday, oh wait, we were already Sunday!  So… later in the day, I was lucky enough to spend the whole day with a friend, just enjoying each other’s company, no stresses, no agenda, no obligations.  We blunched (closer to lunch then breakfast), sat in the local dive – oh the characters you can meet! and had delicious Cambodian food for supper.  Another perfect day that stretched out into another late night!  Sheesh!

Like so many, I was shocked and saddened by David Bowie’s death.  It’s funny how an artist can affect so many different people.  I would not consider myself a die-hard fan though I did enjoy his music enough to have gone to one of his concerts way back when.  It’s strange.  I was driving to the store to get a few missing ingredients for my client (who was fabulous in allowing me to deliver a day late!) listening to Shift with Tom Allen on CBC Radio 2, and he was playing music that honoured or represented Bowie.  He then went on to say how Mozart’s Lacrimosa from his Requiem was a perfect piece to express Bowie’s theatricality and I couldn’t disagree with him.  I actually got tears in my eyes…

I wish for you a most fabulous week… even though it’s almost half-way done!

Thank you Diana for hosting this gig every week!








































#WeekendCoffeeShare – Drab Weather and Big Plans


Hello my pretties!  Another week has flown by and we’ve our hostess Diana to thank for grouping us all together to share.  Just click on the box above, and you will be brought directly to her site to read other shares and maybe add your own!  Do come in, we are a most sociable bunch!

If we were having coffee, I’d offer good old drip coffee from my Melitta cone, or a stronger espresso or latte or cappuccino from my Italian coffee machine.  It takes a little longer but oh my, the flavour is so much better!  The weather has been wet and grey and blech.   The all-powerful “They” say that we are dreaming in Technicolor if we think we’ll have a white Christmas this year.  I decided to Google to find out how many “Green Christmases in Montreal” there have been since at least my birth year (1964) and couldn’t find it.  Heard a “ping” from my Facebook, and there it was!  The Universe does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

green christmas

Wow, I cannot believe what I am seeing.  It was a green Christmas for my birth year, my sister Lisa’s, and my three boys!  Funny how we don’t remember these things.  All I could remember was being pregnant for Iain and the famous ice storm hit in 1998.  Mick and I had wanted to go visit Austin’s, our firstborn, grave as it was the first anniversary of his death on January 17th and the Mount Royal Cemetery was closed due to the detritus that were broken tree branches.  We ended up going up to the St. Joseph’s Oratory to light a candle for him.



If we were having a nice cup of coffee, I’d have to apologise to my youngest for not mentioning what a fabulous job he did on his aquarium last Sunday.  The filter was dead so no matter how often he tried to clean the tank, in no time, it was a box of green.  A new filter, a major scrub and voilà!  The fish can now see outside their home!

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it has been a rather quiet-ish week activity-wise.  There were a couple of outings, including a date with a very nice fellow who is not quite my type.  We had great conversation (mostly my motor-mouth) and a lovely meal but I’ll have to leave him to another lucky lady.  There was coffee with my friend Andrea who wanted to make sure I was okay as this is a bit of a difficult period.  So very sweet of her.

I, of course, am pretty much always in front of my stove or chopping board so will have to share a couple of meals I prepared…  The chicken, pasta and chickpea stew doesn’t look all that exciting but I really enjoyed the flavours (hope my client did too!)  The Italian sausage and veggie frittata, on the other hand, was most delicious.  I was jealous of my client having one, so I made one for me and the boys.  Neither of them came home for supper and I have been eating a quarter of it every day since Wednesday!  And I’d have it again tomorrow but there is none left.  Sigh.

Every Wednesday, (or Thursday or Friday), I participate in Friday Fictioneers.  There have been a few that were none too fictional as the image prompts had me writing more personal stories.  This past Wednesday, I found myself dreaming of Tuscany.  So much so, that I actually sent my application to Linda and George of Cook In Tuscany and booked my culinary stay for next September!  What Linda and George offer is exactly what I’ve been dreaming of doing for years.  I used to (and still do) warn my family that I was going to pull a Diane Lane and never come back!  Now I have to try and wait patiently for nine months!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am so very happy I got my hair done.  My bangs were driving me nuts and those roots?  They had to go! If I didn’t look so darn tired on the selfie I tried to take, I’d show you my new ‘do!

I was supposed to go help a new client cook at her place (another thing I’ve been wanting to do) but her guest list went from 20 to 9 so she decided to do it all herself.  She did, however, need help with dessert which I was more than happy to do!  A ridiculously rich brownie trifle!


Friday would have been Mick’s 52nd birthday and my Facebook page was filled with love and good wishes.  I am blessed indeed.

And now my customer has hauled off her dessert (yes, it is that heavy!), I’ve gobbled up my poached egg with avocado and tomato and my coffee to go is ready to go.

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Look at that!  The sun has come out full force for the first time in what feels like ages!

I wish for you all a most wonderful week leading up to Christmas and I hope you take the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the spirit of the holidays without too much frazzle!

Merry Christmas to those of you who do celebrate it and Happy Holidays to those of you who celebrate something else!




#WeekendCoffeeShare – Fun Stuff and Opportunities


If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you want yours?  Cappuccino? Latte? Regular? Decaf?  Maybe you would prefer tea.  All good as it would be my pleasure to offer you exactly what you want.  I would even offer you a little something sweet I baked.  How better to start the day?  I’d also tell you that I should probably be making a meal for my client instead of writing this but feel this is more of a must.  It may also be because I just read the most enlightening piece called “The Crossroads of Should and Must” which really resonated with me.  Worth the read when you have more than five minutes.  I really “should” start sharing blog posts on “Medium”!

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I had a fabulous and busy week!  I know at our last coffee talk I mentioned my new job at Pier 1, but now that I have worked a grand total of five shifts, well, actually, four shifts and one quarterly meeting, I can confirm that I am truly enjoying it.  The staff are great, the atmosphere is fun and comfortable though we never forget we are there to do our job, the boss is beyond pleasant and the customers are wonderful.  I mean, can you ever be unhappy inside a Pier 1 store?  I say nay.  I even made some sales on my very first time out on the floor!  I admit I was a bit nervous and worried I’d look the lost soul but I managed to pull it off and got positive feedback to boot.  I know it will get ever more hectic the closer we get to Christmas but I’m feeling the buildup will prepare me.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my good friend, David Croteau, full-time electrical engineer and part-time Farmer (his dream is to one day be full-time) at Domaine Britannia Mills, asked me to help him participate in a “Sweet and Spicy” event held by Mangeons Montréal/Let’s Eat Montreal at the SoupeSoup site in Old Montreal (apologies, the site is only in French).  He grew 53 types of hot peppers this year and sells them in various forms:  fresh (in season), dried, in mash form (basically ground up peppers in vinegar which chefs buy to create their own sauces), sauces and in powder form.  Let us just say that his chili powder is so not what you buy in the grocery store!  To help him show off said chili powders, I made five batches of sweet and spicy nuts in increasing heat.  We started with the Yellow Granada Seasoning, then Red Trinidad Seasoning, Chocolate Habañero, Chocolate Ghost and finally the T.S. Moruga.  These are the official names of said chili peppers and not some mixture of ingredients.  I made exactly the same recipe, just changing the type of chili.  It was fun to see the wimps versus the chili-heads.  Even the biggest amateurs of hot and spicy broke out into a sweat on the Moruga nuts!  There was something for everyone.  I also decided to bring some of my spicy apple jelly that we served on crackers with cream cheese – quite the hit as well.  People wanted to cool their mouths with the jelly only to find there was a zing to be had there as well!  I didn’t realise that I could have brought jars to sell.  D’oh!  Next event, I can guarantee I will be better prepared.  That is, if I get more than two days’ notice!

It was so much fun to participate in such an event which helped to showcase all sorts of yummy eats.  From “Bloody Mary Chocolates” to various jellies, to salsas, hot sauces, spicy PB & J, the coolest drinks ever (will sooo be making these at my next party!) and many more yummy treats.  It was an opportunity for both David and I (merci encore, David) to showcase our wares, share business cards and hopefully create opportunities for both of us.  We were a great team, truly complimenting each other.  I hope we get a chance to work again together in the near future.  Who knows?  Maybe one day our wares will be displayed in food shops around Montreal!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, once again, I have been blessed by Mick’s friends (and, of course, now mine).  Both Bill and André worked hard at sourcing the best snow tires at the best price for me.  André came through and not only purchased them for me, he also installed them AND made me supper.  I mean, come on.  Where else can you get such service?  I feel the very nice bottle of wine I brought was so not enough to thank him so I’ll be having him and Tammy over for dinner in the very near future.

If we were having coffee, I’d admit to a few things:  Firstly, I did not treat Zeke to any decent walks worth mentioning.  I can only blame the trying to better organise my time with the new job and still cooking for the clients.  I hope to do better in the following week.  Secondly, I am a tad mad at myself for putting myself in a less-than-desirable position.  I shall call it a life lesson and move forward, learning from my mistakes.  One must respect oneself at all times.

I think I’ve rambled enough and taken enough of your time.  I started this post yesterday (Friday) and it is now Sunday morning, 1:00 am!  Between cooking, working, laundry and reading – trying vainly to catch up on the blogs I follow, I wrote this in bursts and spurts!

I do wish you a most wonderful week ahead and will definitely be reading the other weekend coffee shares hosted by the lovely Diana of Part-Time Monster – you can click on that link or on the image above to check out her post and then click on the blue frog to check out the other participants’ stories.  And, should you be tempted, you can add your own two cents’ worth!

I do hope you enjoyed my ramblings…


On her way to bed, she sees that a friend liked her post and realises she totally forgot to mention a cool happening this past Wednesday!


Omigosh!  How could I totally forget?  On Wednesday, I had lunch with Christina (childhood friend and neighbour) and Bobby Maruvada and his boys, Tal and Gil.  I had not seen Bobby since sixth grade!  Seriously. How can I possibly be old enough to say I haven’t seen someone in forty years?  I stupidly did not take any pictures of the five of us…thinking I would join them for dinner – but it ended up being the same night as the Sweet and Spicy event.  My feet did not permit me to go gallivanting around Montreal!  So… Bobby, I hope you don’t mind that I stole your selfie with your boys form your Facebook page!!  Was so fabulous hearing about all your adventures and the cool Hollywood life you lead!



#WeekendCoffeeShare – A Jumble of Things


Thank you to Diana from Part-Time Monster for hosting this wonderful group!

If we were having coffee, I’d be serving it in my brand-new café au lait bowl and pretend we were sitting in a Paris Café.  Since we were pretending, the horrors of last night would never have occurred and we would feel blissfully safe and unconcerned, watching the passersby go about their business.

Café au lait

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how pleased I am with my sons who helped to clean up the yard and put away all the backyard paraphernalia.  I’m sure Mick would have been pleased with the way we packed everything in the shed!  There are still a few things to take care of, but the majority of it is done!

There was only one walk worth mentioning, and that was with my sister and her two dogs in her hometown of Varennes.  I stupidly did not bring my camera and only took one photo with my phone!  It was such a gorgeous day and we finished the walk with breakfast prepared by sister herself.  Upon my return home, I noted the apple Fairy had passed again.  Still don’t know who they are from!!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I cannot believe that in November, my roses are still blooming… mayhaps not as wild and bright but blooming nonetheless!  And one day, a shrub is on fire with colour and a small windstorm later, denuded!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there are wonderful people out there, just willing to lend a hand or offer their time for no other reason than “just because”.  My eldest, Iain wants to join the military so my sister’s neighbour, Aldo, who has appeared in this blog before, and is military man himself,  offered to not only speak with Iain to explain the ins and outs of joining but also offered to bring him on a tour of our very small base in St.Hubert, so he could see and ask questions to the men and women on duty.  There was a bonus as we met for lunch first at a small market with a food court right near said base and where many military folk go for lunch.  As I was picking up my lunch, Iain and Aldo were chatting with a guy from the Air Force.  All of a sudden, Iain’s choices widened.  Will be interesting to see where this goes.  I am beyond grateful to Aldo for taking the time to do this and for following up and offering to help him prepare for the interviews and whatever else he will need in the near future.  Aldo, you are a prince amongst men!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I was pleasantly surprised by the Whitehorse concert on Thursday evening. This duo, made up of the husband and wife team of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClellan, were something else to watch.  Just the two of them, but with a few bells and whistles.  Luke would get on the drum, beat out some beats and the beatbox would take over so he could move over to his guitar.  Speaking of guitars, that last picture… shows, what I suspect, is his “baby”.  It has such a raw sound that both my date and I were totally enthralled with.

I was especially pleased to have discovered a new talent (to me, anyway) as the opening act.  Ms. Fiona Beven, a lovely English lass, has a voice that is a mixture of India.Arie and Corinne Bailey Rae.  Just her and her guitar or ukulele… wonderful.

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If you are not tired of me yet, I would then add a few random things.  Anyone who sits and chats with me knows that I talk and talk and talk and subjects jump from one to another, to the point that, once I am alone, I wonder if the other person had a chance to talk and, did I finish any one subject?  As an example:  I just received my latest book purchase and cannot wait to start them. Assuming I shall find time to read!  And I grabbed the jar of roasted pumpkin seeds and am aghast at how few are left!  No matter how much I try to ration them, they will not last forever.  Iain and I are huge fans.  Truth be told, if Mick were here, there would be none.  I had to hide the jars from him!

Oh. Em. Gee.  In all my chattering, I totally forgot to mention that I started a new job yesterday!  At my friend Tina’s suggestion, I applied for a Christmas Season Job at Pier 1.  I figured it would get me out of the house and away from my stove and give me the opportunity to meet people and exchange, and, if I’m any good, sell them items!  I’ve always loved their store (MY store, now!) and fell in love with their Christmas commercials from a few years ago.  “Find what speaks to you”… what a brilliant slogan… This was one of them (hopefully the link works as all the others were made private).

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, so to speak, do tell me, how have you been?  What have you been up to this past week?  Truly, it’s my turn to listen, and I will gladly pour us another cup.  Please do share!