Saturday, July 22, 2017

This Week

It’s Saturday? Okay, if you say so. One day just seems to blend into the next around here and I don’t even notice when the weekends roll in. This week has been very busy. And productive. Our playroom/TV room/exercise area/lower level has been stripped of carpet and we’ve painted the ceiling and walls. Today I am finishing the trim and doors, and this coming week flooring will be laid down. We are definitely over the halfway mark of cleaning and painting. After this we’ve got a small bedroom downstairs, the front room/living room and a tiny laundry room to wash and paint. That’s it. Next week I’ll be able to say that the majority of the indoor work is finished. Can you say overjoyed? That’s how I feel.

On Monday I was back in Montreal. This time the drive there and back was much better. My brother and I accompanied my mother to her doctor’s appointment. I wanted to attend, hear what he had to say and ask a couple of questions. She is still feeling ill since she fell and banged her head last month on the cement tiles in her garden. This accident, which the doctor confirmed to me may indeed have caused a concussion, has turned her cherished weekly routine topsy turvy and it’s really upsetting to her. He told her she will be fine but it will take time until things return to normal.  But she questions whether he’s just saying that to make her feel better, convinced that she’s never going to get better. I suspect that in addition to whatever symptoms the fall has brought on, she’s also dealing with fear and a lot of anxiety. Possibly health anxiety.

I talk to my cats all the time. They each respond differently and it’s rather amusing. Our black cat, Nacho, tries very hard to understand. She answers back sometimes and always listens attentively for any words that are familiar to her. And when she hears one she knows like “food” or “no” or “Nacho” or “down”, she’s thrilled and rubs up against me. Or rather, she jumps up against me. She is very excitable that way.

Our tabby cat, Mocha, on the other hand, stares at me with big, round eyes like I’ve just sprung a pop quiz on her. Occasionally she’ll make a faint meowing sound if I toss out a familiar word but mostly she looks horrified. What is she asking? What if I answer wrong? How much time do I have? This behaviour is adorable.

Okay, enough about cats or anything else for that matter. I’m sure you’ve all got better things to do. So I will stop right here and wish you all a beautiful rest of the weekend!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy new week, my friends! What's up? How's everyone? Is the weather nice where you live? You're probably as tired of hearing about it as I am mentioning it but the rain continues here. Does anyone have some sunshine to spare? I'll trade you some rain.

There is nothing going on and a lot going on at the same time. Does that make any sense? I'm sure some of you will understand. We are moving forward with the renovations on our home, albeit slowly. I've been taking pictures of all the changes along the way and eventually I will share the before and after of each room.

I don't have much else to say at the moment but will try to post again later this week. For now, here are a few images that I hope will make you laugh. Enjoy and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You Asked, I Answer (Perfect Day, Favourite Memory, Travel Bucket List)

It has taken what seems like forever to answer all the questions my blogging pals asked me in this year’s ‘Ask Me Anything ’ post I uploaded way back in February. What? Has it really been that long? I guess it has.

But this will come to an end today as I answer the last questions that were posed by a favourite, long-time blogging pal and fellow Canadian.

Away we go…


1) What's a perfect day for you?

Where do I start with this? Since I’m all about the simple things in life, my perfect day can be defined in many ways. It may include any of these:

  • Going for a long walk or bike ride with the most amazing man in the world. And stopping for ice cream along the way.
  • Visiting with one of my girls for mother-daughter time.
  • Getting together with my family. And talking and laughing and sharing stories and memories. Even debating with them can be fun.
  • Curling up with a good book on a rainy, snowy or bitterly cold day.
  • Spending the day cooking and baking enough food to last us a week. And inhaling the amazing scents each recipe brings with it.
  • Meeting up with my best friend who has been by my side since we were both four.
  • Receiving packages in the mail. This is always exciting no matter how old I get!
  • Photography. Photography. Photography.
  • Being near the water. Preferably a beach. But that doesn’t happen often, so I settle for a lake or a river or a pond. I’m happiest when I’m near water.
  • Gardening for hours. And listening to the chirping and scurrying and fluttering and buzzing of little critters around me.
  • Road trips! Can you ever go on enough of these?
  • Going out for dinner with friends or family. Or just with the most amazing man in the world.
  • Skyping with my daughter and listening to all she has to share about life and work and friends and her boyfriend. And of course, Obi; her sweet, newly-adopted cat.
And on and on it goes. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, which I consider to be a blessing. Because I have a lot of perfect days with minimal effort.

2) Tell us one of your favourite memories.

Once again, where do I start with this? It would take a book to document all of them but I’ll just reach into the ‘favourite memories’ database in my brain and pluck one out for you. Oh, here's one:

When I was four years old, my mother and I went to pick my brother up from school one afternoon. My mother kept reminding me to stay close but I got mixed up in the crowd and we lost sight of each other. She and my brother called out to me and I called out to them but our voices were drowned out by the noise level of the masses. My mother stayed calm for my brother’s sake; he was in a severe state of panic and did not fully comprehend what had happened, but he did understand that I was lost. Possibly forever. Devastated, he wailed “We’ve lost our girl. Where is she? What are we going to do? WE HAVE TO FIND HER! WHAT. ARE. WE. GOING. TO. DOOOOO?”

Because I’d been walking to and from the school with my mom every day for months to pick up my brother, I made my way home with the aid of an older student. When we arrived at my home, I said good-bye to the girl who walked me there, entered our building and planted myself on the steps in front of our apartment to wait for my mother and brother who weren’t there yet.

My mother and brother (he cried all the way home) arrived shortly after, and as soon as my brother spotted me, he raced up the stairs and we embraced each other tightly, both of us crying with joy. My mother who remembers that day very well says we were glued onto one another and she couldn’t pull us apart.

Of course, there is a scary element to this story that could have turned out very differently but since it has a happy ending, it remains a favourite. I remember clearly the extreme joy I felt reuniting with my best friend – my brother. We were only 11 months apart and unbelievably close. He died in 2011 and you can only imagine the impact it had on me. I miss him every day.

3) How about your travel vacation bucket list.

I am passionate about traveling and would be at a different place every month if I could (if only the lottery would come in). Here are ten places I would love to see in my lifetime.

1) Australia
2) Fiji Islands
3) Cross country Canadian tour
4) Cross country American tour
5) European tour (almost every place!)
6) Barbados (just one of many other Caribbean countries I’d love to go to)
7) Japan
8) India
9) China
10) New Zealand

There are many other places but I’ll stop here because we all have lives to lead.

And that is the end of this year’s answers to your questions. Thank you to everyone who participated and to everyone who has taken the time to read all this. It’s been a lot of fun putting these blog posts together.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. How are you all doing? Did you have a nice weekend? Did you do anything special? My dearest and oldest friend asked to get together this weekend, so we met for lunch in Montreal yesterday. It's always a joy to see her. It was a beautiful day until later in the afternoon when buckets of rain starting coming down. Then it stopped and the sun came out. Then the rain returned. Then the sun. And on and on it went, back and forth. It was the weirdest, most erratic day ever. Today it's raining again. Of. Course. It. Is.

Let's get to the funny stuff and give the day a happy boost!

Have a good one!

Friday, July 7, 2017

This Week

Is it Friday again? That’s what the calendar tells me. And so here’s this week’s post.

We spent Monday in Ottawa. It was my younger daughter’s 20th birthday and we wanted to spend some time with her. She and her boyfriend were both off from work, so we took them for lunch at a place called Pure Kitchen, a vegetarian food and juice bar. The food was really good and really filling. After lunch we all headed over to a place called The Ministry of Coffee; a cozy cafe with a laid back atmosphere, rustic look, very friendly staff, an assortment of tasty food options and desserts, and most importantly, great coffee. It’s the type of place you’d want to sit in and work on your novel. The conversation was fun and the company was great. My daughter’s boyfriend is a wonderful young man and they both seem very happy. A great visit all around on a warm and sunny day. It’s hard to believe that my younger child is no longer a teenager. It feels like only yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital. The grey hairs on my head say otherwise.

You’d think I’d had enough of traveling and socializing but nope, I was in Montreal the very next day. My 80-year-old mother called at 5:45 AM stating she felt really sick and wanted to go to the hospital. I’d just spoken to her the night before and she seemed fine, so this was a little unexpected, although not entirely surprising. You see, she tripped and fell in her garden about a month ago and banged her head on the cement tiles. My brother took her to the hospital and after being thoroughly examined, it was determined that she had suffered a mild concussion. The hospital doctors and her family doctor that she’s seen at least a couple of times since then have told her that it will take weeks, possibly months, before she feels like herself again. She is also suffering from low blood pressure lately that brings on other symptoms. All of this has disrupted her daily schedule and interfered with her independence. This makes her anxious, impatient, frustrated, confused and irritable. She wants to get back to normal...yesterday.

My mom usually calls upon my brother who lives in the downstairs apartment with his wife (my mom owns a duplex) to help her. This time she didn’t because she didn’t want to bother him. I didn’t either. I moved closer to be able to help now that our mother is getting older. So I splashed water on my face, fed the cats (cannot leave without doing this), got dressed, filled a thermos with coffee, grabbed a bagel and out the door I went. “It’ll be an easy drive this early in the morning”, I thought. Wrong. Shortly into my drive, I ran into heavy fog on the highway that lasted about 15 minutes. Then I ran into construction that slowed everyone down. Then heavy traffic. It seems everyone was heading east, too, that early in the morning. Instead of taking an hour to get there, which is what I expected, it took an hour and 45 minutes. And I even had trouble finding parking on her street. Because big city living. When I finally made it up to her place, she told me she was feeling better. We never did go to the hospital.

My brother and my sister-in-law were happy to see me but stunned that I’d driven all the way there when they’re right downstairs, always happy to help. I said that I didn’t mind. Perhaps she just needed a little support from me. She’s probably got health anxiety at this point, along with a lot of fear; a patient and understanding approach is needed, especially as she gets older. Although it was a tiring day, it was not totally wasted. I had a nice visit with my mom, and my brother and sister-in-law took me out for coffee and for lunch. I have the best family and it’s always nice to see them.

The next day the most amazing man in the world met up with an old friend of his and they spent the day together. I had the place to myself and you know what I did? Ab-so-lute-ly nothing. I slacked off the whole day, did a lot of reading and even took a long afternoon nap to catch up on some sleep. Sometimes you need a little of that.

Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you couldn’t shake it off once you woke up? This happened to me this morning. I dreamt that I was eating something that tasted really horrible. So horrible, in fact, that when I woke up I could still taste it. It took all morning before I could rid my mouth of that awful taste even though I’d polished off two cups of coffee, a bowl of cereal and an oatmeal cookie. I’m okay now but still feeling a little haunted by it.

Okay, this has gotten longer than I intended. I’ll finish off with the song “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars. The video showcases images of James Bowen and his cat Bob. There is a book and movie about these two; a heartwarming tale of a recovering addict and a stray cat finding each other and healing each other’s scars. And you know what else? Bob the cat plays himself in the feel-good film. *tears of joy*

Enjoy the song and happy weekend!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone! How are you all doing? Have you seen any interesting movies lately? Read any good books? Gone anywhere? Done anything fun or exciting or unusual? Do share in the comments below. We were invited for dinner at my best friend's and her husband's home on Friday evening. They live in Montreal. The food was great and the company even better. My friend and I have known each other since we were four. Isn't that amazing? Love it. And love her. Now that we live so much closer, we can see each other whenever we want. Love that, too.

I won't go on and on this morning because it's going to be a busy day. So here's some funny stuff to start the day off right. Enjoy!

Have a good one.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Our Home and Native Land

"We know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world who worship every faith, who belong to every
culture, who speak every language. We believe in our hearts that this country’s unique diversity is a blessing bestowed upon us
by previous generations of Canadians, Canadians who stared down prejudice and fought discrimination in all its forms."
(Justin Trudeau - 23rd and current Prime Minister of Canada)

So proud to be living in this amazing country.

Wishing you all a great day!