Thursday, December 31, 2009
So, here is a photo of part of the Montreal skyline I took just this afternoon on a long walk whose purpose was to break in my shiny new camera. I had a great deal of fun and was out and about for over three and a half hours!
I hope you're all having wonderful Holidays and would like to take this opportunity to wish all a very happy, healthy and joy-filled 2010! See you all next week and remember to go and check out all the over lovely skies out there over here.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Over the Christmas holidays I...
...Gave some gifts that were very much appreciated, like this black-faced sheep I got my aunt. As you can see from the pot, she loves black faced sheep.
...ate a lot, below you can see the mussel soup we had as an entrée for Christmas dinner at my aunt's. I got leftovers of this and they didn't last me any more than a day, it was amazingly good stuff.
...had some serious fun with the new Canon EOS Rebel XSi my dad got for me, check out how bright and crisp this picture came out!!!
...was spoiled, very, very spoiled. Not all those presents were for me, by the way, but it gives you an idea of how big on gift giving my family is. The stuffed dog, by the way, is named Rumples, and he belongs to my aunt and uncle, he's a quintessential part of family gatherings.
...spent lots of time with my grandparents who were visiting us for Christmas from South Carolina. They are Canadians, but have been living in the US for 13 years now and have moved from California to Florida and just this past October, from Florida to South Carolina. They spend Christmas in Montreal once every two years and the other years spend it with our family in Toronto.
...read at a church service for the first time and quite enjoyed it.
...could have used an extra day off before going back to work, but that's okay, I get two more days off this week anyhow.
...had a panic attack out of the blue on Christmas morning that I really could have done without, especially since it hit after only four hours sleep. I have no idea why it happened, they only other panic attack I ever had was due to an allergic reaction to the birth control pill three years ago.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Hello to all my wonderful blog readers! I'd like wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I hope you all get to spend a lot of time with your loved ones this holiday season, and I hope that 2010 brings you all the best life has to offer: Health, happiness, love, and success in all your endeavors :o)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
...GOT MY WRAPPING DONE!!! After work of course. And trekking out to the store after work to get the stupid garbage can that, yes Gill, my picky pain in the butt landlord made me get. Should I tape the bill to his front door? Because believe me, I felt like doing just that!!!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Now, on with the show!
...went out to the West Island for a spa appointment.
...swung by the mall after my appointment and made it in and out in an hour. During that time I found a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding in February, bought gift tags for myself and my mother, had the battery changed in my watch, bought myself a smoothie because I got hungry and took this picture of some children meeting Santa :o)
...visited my mom and took these pictures of two of the creches she has at her place.
The second one is under her Christmas tree. I set the figurines back upright just for this picture because since she had three German Shepherds, they very rarely stay upright for more than 30 seconds at a time. Pretty creche though, isn't it?
...went to dinner at my grandparents' place for my Grandfather and my younger brother's birthdays. My brother turned 25 on the 17th and my grandfather turned 83 today. Here's a shot of their cake, which is actually a 'Bûche de Noël' or 'Christmas Log', a traditional French Canadian Christmas dessert.
Yes, it was as yummy as it looks :o)
...could have done with a bit more sleep this morning after my busy weekend. I was slow out of the starting gate and was convinced that I was going to be late to work, but I ended up being right on time!
...gave a tour to a group of immigrants learning french. They're some of my favorite groups to give tours to, this group was particularly interesting since I had students from all different religions in my group, but they were all very, very open-minded which was incredibly awesome.
...had a quiet afternoon after my morning tour.
...got miffed when my landlord wrote to ask me to no longer use my garbage can in the garage to dispose of the used litter from my cats' litter box because it seemed to be causing an upswing in his allergy to cats. He imagines that the fumes from the can are getting to his car which he is parking in the garage for the winter, but I fail to see how this could be possible since A: his car is closed, how would he have these fumes get in? and B: the can doesn't smell!!! I asked him if I could move the can into the furnace room if we kept the door closed (which it always is anyhow), but he said no because the can gives off a bad smell! It SO does not, unless you're dumb enough to go and stick you nose right in it. So to avoid having to spend all winter freezing my butt off after scooping out the litter every day, I'm going to have to go out tomorrow after work and buy a sealed garbage can. Seems to me that if he's whining about this after I've been using the same can for over a year, he should be buying me the can.
...got even more miffed when I found that my cranky landlord had taken my Christmas Wreath off of my front door. I tripped over it while going to open the door to my friend, ARRGH!!! What gives??? Yes, the lock in the door sticks because of the wreath hanger, but it's MY door!!! If he has an issue with the lock sticking when he uses the hallway to get into the garage or into the laundry room, he can go through the garage until after Christmas, for crying out loud!!! He had now business taking down MY wreath with I paid for and which has been up on the door for two weeks now without telling me first!!! I put it back up there and it had darn well better stay there or I'm giving him an earful!!! You may note a hint of irritation here, and there is. I am becoming increasingly disgruntled with my landlord and cannot WAIT to tell him that I'm moving out this coming June.
...had a wonderful dinner with one of my good friends at our favorite restaurant: Maiko Sushi. This place has, I swear, the BEST sushi I have ever tasted. They have very original 'recipes', like pesto sushi, which is smoked salmon, cream cheese, asparagus and mushroom wrapped in rice which is basted in pesto sauce. Seriously yummy!!!
...started wrapping Christmas Presents. I got two done, it's not much, but it's a start!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
...was impressed with myself when I managed to wake up at 10:15 after getting home from that Christmas Party I didn't want to go to at 2:15 A.M. It was fun, there was a good band and I spent the evening chatting with my friend.
...finished my laundry and washed the dishes.
...went to get a few last minute Christmas presents and loved being around all the people in the malls.
...went to see 'The Young Victoria' and enjoyed it. The costumes were lovely and it was a beautiful love story, but it does twist the historical facts a bit.
...was happy to be treating myself to a movie with popcorn for the first time in ages!
I took this photo in Vancouver two years ago and I couldn't believe I hadn't shared it with you guys yet as it's one of my all time favorite shots :o)
Have a great weekend and be sure to check out other camera critters over here .
Friday, December 18, 2009
...was very disappointed by the lack of hits my blog and Skywatch post got. I commented on at least 4-5 peoples' blogs yesterday and only got one comment in return. Have my photos suddenly become lousy or my blog become incredibly boring or is this just because I was forced to change my link on the Skywatch page because they got cranky about having city names included?
...had a very busy day at work, 300 kids were visiting between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM, that's a a lot of kids.
...am going to a Christmas party later on, even though I am very tired after a busy week and would much rather just stay home.
...am waiting for my friend to call back to find out at what time we're going to the party so I can call my grandmother back. I only have one home phone line with no call waiting and I gave the number to my friend's mother since my cell phone's battery is dying. I have to keep the line free so she can get to me.
...am doing a load of laundry since I want to go out to the movies tomorrow and I know I won't have time to make if I have to do all my laundry. I'm busy all day Sunday, so starting tonight was my only option if I wanted clean clothes for next week.
...am looking forward to coming home from the party, going to bed and sleeping in tomorrow. Yup, I won't be staying at that Christmas party for long!
...had a 9:00 A.M. tour, which is always a bit brutal because I'm not in fully functioning tour guide mode yet at that hour. Understand that I do not drink coffee in the morning to wake up, I just do it on my own and I am not an early bird, I'm a night owl, so my 9:00 A.M. tours are always a bit sluggish.
...called my brother to wish him a happy birthday.
...had a wonderful time at the staff Christmas party, even if I didn't win any door prizes or, more disappointingly, a prize for my Christmas cookies. I knew that their not having seasonal shapes would be detrimental to me, all the winning cookies were star shaped, or candy cane shaped. Now I'll know what to do for next year, I'll shape them with my hands if I have to!!!
...did a happy dance in the office after opening my Christmas card from the rector and finding my Christmas bonus, my regular pay AND my vacation pay!!! Woohoo!!! I paid off my credit card bill and my cable bill and I haven't even had to touch my regular pay yet, I am SO getting myself a treat this weekend, I'm just not quite sure what yet lol
...had a nice relaxed afternoon with my colleagues. We were all feeling quite laid back and a bit drowsy after eating so much at the party.
...realized after shutting down my PC that I had forgotten to post this, so I'm cheating and doing it on the 18th in the morning :o)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
other wonderful Skywatch shots here
Have a great weekend and Happy Holidays!!!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
...had a quiet day at work, so really don't have much to post about :oJ
...had some 72% dark chocolate, yum...
...froze going to and coming home from work, the high was only -10 Celsius today and it's going to be even colder tomorrow.
...am waiting for my sweetheart on Skype, we haven't had a chance to talk since Sunday!
...am tired and am looking forward to my four day weekend next week.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
...went to get flowers for my boss. She came in for her farewell get-together and I was most proud of myself for making it through it without any tears.
...was very happy when she loved the flowers.
...had a great deal of fun at the farewell lunch where we all laughed and joked around, not caring if we were making a racket in the dining hall.
...showed my friend around the Oratory when she came to meet me there in anticipation of our girls' evening at my place.
...enjoyed grocery shopping for once since I was doing it with my friend.
...made my super yummy homemade macaroni and cheese for us and was thrilled when my friend loved it.
...had great fun chatting with her. We need to have girls' evenings more often :o)
Monday, December 14, 2009
...gave a very interesting tour, which included this exchange between myself and two 8 year-old boys (translated from french):
Little Boy No.1: But, ma'am, why did they put Jesus on the cross?
Me: Well, because Jesus was saying some things that were getting some people upset.
Little Boy No. 1, looking dismayed: But that's no reason to do something like that!
Little Boy No. 2 starts tapping me on the hand and I look down at him and he says: It may not have been a good reason, ma'am, but it sure makes the bible more interesting to read!
The teacher, the volunteer parents and I just about died laughing.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
...went Downtown for lunch and a movie with my mother and my brother. As you can see above, I went through one of my favorite places in all Montreal on my way there, Central Station, which is all decked out for the holidays.
...was early for once. Well actually, no, I wasn't. Mother and Brother were late. So, I wandered around the area of Central Station with my trusty camera and snapped this photo of one of the statues in Place du Canada, which is very nearby the station.
Yup, there's still loads of snow on the ground and more started falling just after we got to the restaurant. But, before making it to the restaurant, I snapped this photo of St. George's Anglican church, which is just across from Place du Canada and, incidentally, Montreal's Catholic Cathedral, Marie-Reine-du-Monde (Mary Queen of the World).
Looks kind of like it's out int he middle of the country somewhere, doesn't it? Or at least in a small town. Well, as you can see below, it's actually right smack dab in the middle of the business district, right next to the IBM tower.
It is right across from the old Windsor Station though, it matches perfectly with that building, far better than it does with the IBM tower and the Readers' Digest tower which is the one you can glimpse behind the church.
...we got to lunch late, then got to the theater late after making sure my mother got a good feel for the Underground City (Montreal's network of underground shopping centers and tunnels which allowed me, while I was at McGill, to get on the train in Pierrefonds, which is way out on the west end of the Island that is Montreal, take off my hat, coat, scarf and mitts and not put them back on again until I was done with class on some days because once on the train I didn't have to set a tow outside again until I got home. The train station was connected by tunnel to McGill's Language study building and oh, how I loved it.)
...saw Disney's 'A Christmas Carol' in IMAX 3D. My brother and I loved it, but my mom found it wasn't up to snuff with her old fashioned version of the movie. She had also never seen an IMAX movie before so I think it was a bit much for her and the scenes where Scrooge was flying around made her kind of dizzy because she took of the 3D glasses once or twice. She did find it neat though. Oh, 'A Christmas Carol' may be a Disney movie, by the way, but it is not kid friendly, Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Present and Past will scare them silly. Stick with 'The Princess and the Frog', they'll like that better.
...got a ride home from my mom in the blinding snow, it was really coming down and the scrapers and salt trucks were coming out again.
...realized too late that I had forgotten to buy dry food for my kitties, they're getting all wet food tonight, not that they'll mind one bit.
...watched 'The Little Princess' on TV, I hadn't seen it in ages, but loved it just as much as the last time I watched it. The nasty headmistress of Sara Crewe's boarding school reminds me immensely of my horrible 6th grade teacher and I take great pleasure in watching her get soot dumped all over her by Sara and Becky :o)
...taste tested my Christmas cookies and found them to be even tastier than they were yesterday. They may be prize worthy after all :o) I'll try and get a picture of them all decked out in their Christmas box when they're heading into the competition at the Christmas party on Thursday, but they're staying in their air tight containers until then so they'll stay nice and fresh.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
...wrote to my sweetheart when I got up to wish him a happy birthday and to wish him good luck on his exam. I am now waiting to him to connect to Skype so I can wish him a happy birthday again and ask him how the exam went.
...did my laundry.
...made chocolate chip shortbread cookies. I wanted to give them nice Christmassy shapes and spent 13.75$ on plastic cookies cutters yesterday, but then saw while making the dough today that the cookie cutters would be far too big to use. Darn :o( Hopefully if I put the cookies in a nice Christmas box with appropriately colored tissue paper and the judges find them yummy enough I'll still have a shot at a prize in the contest on Thursday.
...pondered over whether to go to the movies with my mother and brother tomorrow or go to a carol sing-in at a church Downtown. I went to the carol sing two years ago with a friend and loved it and have been looking forward to it, but I'll probably end up going alone this time, which isn't quite as much fun. I only have one ticket left on my movie theater gift card though and I think I might want to save it for a movie I want to see more than Disney's 'A Christmas Carol'. I dunno, I guess I'll decide tomorrow.
So here are my camera critters for this week! This little family popped up on my screen saver last night for the first time in a while and I figured that I just had to share them with you guys :o) I snapped this picture in Kelowna a few years back because I found these guys absolutely irresistible, particularly since they're all sitting in different directions :o)
That's camera critters for this week, make sure you go and check out all the other lovely critters here and have a great weekend!
Friday, December 11, 2009
...had a very busy day with a new tour guide to take care of and a whole bunch of tours going on before and during the one I was give. With no boss to speak of and only one of us office employees still in the office, I had to handle coordination issues with less experienced tour guides while giving my tour. Good thing I'm so used to giving tours that I can run on autopilot and interrupt my tours to talk with someone over the walkie-talkie and then keep right on going without forgetting where I was! Oh, and for anyone wondering, we had four tours today which, due to the number of students in each group, required a total of eight tour guides, two of which we 'recycled' and used for one tour in the morning and a second one in the afternoon. If you think that's a lot, wait until next Friday when we're going to have twelve!!!
...saw my boss (who also happens to be my aunt, by the way, had I mentioned that before?) briefly before she left. It was her last day of work, she was there with my youngest cousin who is spending the night at her place since they're celebrating his older brother's birthday tonight when I left for my tour, but by the time I was done she they were gone and her office was empty. She's supposed to come back to the Oratory on Tuesday for a bit of a 'goodbye' party.
...was astonished by how much my cousin had grown since I last saw him, but he's at an age where they grow so fast they seem taller every time you blink.
...took ages to pick an appropriate card for us to give to my boss next Tuesday, but I think I made the right choice.
...just about froze to bloody death walking down the hill after work, it's still incredibly windy here, or at least it was earlier and it's out of the north so it felt like -17 even though it was only actually -7. Brr!!!
...bought flour, chocolate chips and cookie cutters on the way home from work, I'm baking cookies for the Oratory's staff Christmas Lunch next Thursday this weekend. I'm entering them into a competition and am hoping to win a prize!
...found my Christmas tree lying on the floor when I came home...I don't know which of my feline monstrosities knocked it over, but I suspect it may have been a combined effort. I uttered a string of harsh expletives upon seeing it that would have made a sailor blush, but fortunately hardly any ornaments fell off and I hadn't put up any breakables so there was no real damage. Thank heaves the tree is artificial though, otherwise I shudder to imagine the watery mess I would have had to clean up.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
...was thrilled when it only took me the usual 20 minutes to get to work rather than a half-hour like yesterday. Not having had to deal with half-hour traffic jams to get to work every morning in over a year now, 10 minutes stuck on Queen Mary Road in the bus seems like forever.
...relished in the much more laid back atmosphere at the office today, we are feeling much more care-free than we have in a while, actually, but it really was like night and day compared to yesterday.
...gave a tour to some of the most interested 10th graders that I've ever seen at the Oratory.
...was mildly miffed when the organist started practicing in the Basilica AFTER I had started showing the kids around there. I have a powerful voice, but I cannot compete with an 8 story tall 5 811 pipe organ.
...Toor a picture of our big outdoor crèche before walking down the hill after work. It's mildly blurry, but keep in mind that I was trying to stand still against 60 km and hour winds while shooting this, it was the best shot I could get since I had no tripod.
...had a nice chat on Skype with my Sweetheart for the second time this week and loved to hear the smile in his voice as we spoke and the sound of his laughter as we teased each other and joked around.
...remembered I had to go and do some ironing if I want to have something decent to wear to work tomorrow. Better get to it, I had forgotten all about it again.
Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out skies from around the world here.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
...woke up still feeling numb and upset and not very rested because I hadn't slept well.
...got to work a bit late after spending a half hour in the bus because traffic was bad due to the snow storm here. You should see it coming down, it's pretty crazy!
...had a very tiring, emotionally draining day. The Funeral for Brother Parr who passed away last Friday was this morning. It was a beautiful, very moving service and I cried along with a lot of people. I didn't think I was going to though, so I went without Kleenexes. Oops! My colleagues and I were then very stressed out by the fact that out boss's boss wanted to see us all individually. We were all scared stiff and very tired because none of us had really slept well last night, but everything turned out just fine, it looks like all of us are going to keep out jobs and I will finally, finally be becoming permanent as of January! To be continued, but my family and friends' and I's prayers seem to finally be paying off!
...was mesmerized by the beauty of the falling snow, Christmas lights and 6 o'clock church bells ringing while I was walking to the bus stop to help my friend decorate her Christmas tree.
...had great fun decorating my friend's tree while we watched and listened to my Carols from King's DVD featuring the King's College Boys' Choir. So beautiful...
...am worn out and am going to feed my critters, brush my teeth and go curl up in bed with my book for a bit before zonking out.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
...had all the pictures for my time line plasticized, yay it's almost ready for use!!!
...gave a tour to a group of officers from the Canadian Forces Language school's French class and they loved it! How's that for a feel good tour :o)
...opened the back door of the museum and held it there for a half hour while a large group of elderly people in wheelchairs were loaded onto their bus. I darn near froze my ears off in the north wind that's blowing a huge snow storm (30-40 centimeters last I checked) our way, but it was worth it for the smiles the elderly people gave me as they went by.
...found out with my three colleagues at the end of the day that our boss is quitting her job in favor of an offer elsewhere. Things have been tense between her and the administration lately so it's not entirely unexpected, but after she got through a rough patch with them last week, we figured we were safe so it came as quite a shock. Her last day is next Friday unless the administration tells her to leave earlier, so we don't really know what to expect. We don't know if we're going to have another boss just for us or if we're going to be merged into another department and I don't know if they're going to keep me because I'm not even permanent yet (after working there for seven years...), they were working on it. God help us, we have no idea what's going to happen, but right now the four of us are just in shock and feel kind of like orphans for lack of a better way to explain the situation. Our boss was not always perfect, we have had rough patches with her because she can get rather emotional and carried away at times, but 95% of the time she is a breath of fresh air, incredibly approachable, encouraged us in all of our projects whether they were personal and professional, was a real joker and very protective of us. Things are not going to be the same in the office without her, it's going to feel very empty, very lonely and we are going to feel very vulnerable.
Monday, December 7, 2009
...had a busy morning and a quieter afternoon.
...had enough of a break in calls from teachers clamoring to book visits of their classes to the Oratory's Nativity Scene museum to print out the pictures and dates for my time line project. Now I just have to have them plasticized and put the Velcro on them in order for the activity to be ready for the first school groups! I can't wait to see how they like it :o)
...loved watching the snow fall.
...went to choir practice and was so happy to be back at it after missing out on it last week. My voice pretty much held out too, it should be back to normal tomorrow morning lol
Sunday, December 6, 2009
...needed some things for the pharmacy and the grocery store. Instead of just going to the closest ones, I decided to take the long way around, so I could take these pictures of the Christmas window at Ogilvy's which has been around for as long as I can remember and even longer. It never ceases to amuse me and is a little different every year. All the animals move, as do some of the parts of the buildings.
...also took these pictures of the huge Christmas tree at Place Montréal Trust, which also never ceases to amuse me.
...The elf holding that long Christmas list moves up and down...
...and the figures on the platforms move too.
...The size of the man standing down there puts the size of the tree into excellent perspective, doesn't it?
...got my errands done and came home.
...took some time at a few different moments during the day to remember the 14 women who were killed at École Polytechnique 20 years ago today. That's the same engineering school my boyfriend attended and I have been through the same hallways those women walked while visiting my boyfriend there dozens of times and have seen the classrooms and common rooms where some of the events that day too place, so it always hits kind of close to home for me. My boyfriend always wore a white ribbon that the student association at Polytechnique handed out to the students every year he studied there, sometimes on his backpack, sometimes on his coat.
...watched a movie :o)
Oh, and I will get a picture of my Christmas wreath up, I just was kind of in a hurry to catch my bus while leaving today so didn't manage to snap it then and by the time I got home, it was too dark for me to get a good shot of it.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
...gave yet another tour, the kids were really sweet, but I was more than ready for it to be the last one of the week. Four tours in three days is a lot, even though the kids can always bring a smile to my face :o)
...thought I had caught the flu, but thankfully hadn't.
...went to a friend's birthday party and had a good time, except that after two hours of hearing karaoke, I was kinda ready to move on to something else. I just can't stand karaoke :ox
...got home at 3:15 and to sleep at 3:30 and then slept until 11:30 this morning, That's why I missed out on posting yesterday, sorry :oJ
...got up way late!
...did my laundry.
...was very happy when my brother came to un-stick the plug from the drain of my bathroom sink.
...was even happier when he drove me over to a Christmas Tree lot so I could pick out a lovely Christmas wreath for my front door, it looks great! I'll be sure and take a picture of it so you can all see it :o)
So this little guy is one of the many, many squirrels that hang out in my aunt and uncle's backyard. They love it there because my aunt and uncle have lots of bird feeders and also put out peanuts for them and the blue jays. My uncle is a huge lover of critters, so it's always lots of fun when I go over to their place to watch how he interacts with them and also to see their new 'star' critters, since every once in a while one or two squirrels or birds will become quite trusting towards him and eat out of his hand.
So that's Camera Critters for this week, have a great weekend and don't forget to go and see all the other wonderful critters out there by going here
Thursday, December 3, 2009
...gave tour number three for this week. It went well, but the kids were getting tired by the end of the day and so was I, particularly my voice. One more to go and then I get to rest my vocal cords until Monday. Hopefully they well appreciated and will allow me to enlist their services for choir practice on Monday night.
...found out, along with everyone else at work, that dear Brother Ubald Parr, a 98 year-old Holy Cross Brother who was integral part of the Oratory's musical fabric for 61 years passed away in his sleep early in the morning. It was a bit of a shock in spite of his age, I think we all had the feeling that he would always be around :o)
...had my last tai chi class. Taking tai chi was an okay experience, but not quite what I expected it to be. Maybe if the classes had been in a bigger, airier room that wasn't next to the skating rink and therefore freezing cold I would have enjoyed it more. I don't know. Maybe I'll give it a try again some day, but not this winter.
...wondered why in the heck a teacher could expect us to give a workshop on sacred objects used during mass without mentioning Christ??? Really sir, how would YOU explain a Communion wafer without mentioning Jesus? If you figure that one out, let me know...
Happy Skywtach Friday, have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to go and check out other beautiful skies here .
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
...had a bit of a fit when the photocopy and fax machine turned the cover page of the fax I was trying to send into a paper accordion. Fortunately I was able to salvage it from the machine and flatten it out enough to be able to send it anyways.
...was annoyed when my first tour group showed up 40 minutes early, but then ever so grateful when they agreed to wait for 40 minutes to start the tour until the second tour guide for their group was scheduled to arrive before starting. This is very appropriate tour group behavior and one that is oh, so appreciated especially on busy days like today was.
...was incredulous when my second tour group showed up an hour early because they had decided that they wanted to have time to visit the creche museum before heading back to Cornwall. They therefore demanded their tour within ten minutes of their arrival right smack dab in the middle of my lunch break. Oh, Hell...well, at least I had time to finish eating, but I made them wait while I brushed my teeth and they didn't even apologize for pulling me out of my lunch break when I explained to them why I was late. This is very inappropriate tour group behavior on both counts. Yes, the customer is always right and a change of schedule is fine and even half expected with all groups, but the appropriate way to go about changing your schedule is to call and run it by us first. Otherwise on a busy day like today I end up in Brother André's Museum with two other groups and darn near lose my voice trying to make sure my group can still hear me. Oh well...maybe tomorrow my tour group will be on time or late to compensate for today?
...remembered the mud patty.
...took my Skywatch photo on the way out of work, you'll have to wait until tomorrow night to see it.
...found out that I will be faced with rather a bothersome dilemma soon and am waiting to my significant other to connect to Skype so I can talk with him about it.
...learned about Via Rail's new contest. No photos this time, but I have to go and post my Christmas wish list on their blog in hopes of winning a 200$ travel credit with them on December 22nd. That would be a trip and a half to see my boyfriend, so here's hoping.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
...watched the gardeners put the huge wooden creche up in front of my office window and then anchor it to the building wall so it won't get knocked down in high winds.
...multi-tasked a lot.
...helped my colleague print out a project for her theology class and made sure she remembered how to do it herself for the next time, it was the second time she was shown how to do it today, but she's not very computer literate.
...stepped in a huge mud patty that has been sitting on the sidewalk near my apartment for about a month while walking home after forgetting it was there due to the fact that I was lugging my rather heavy grocery bags along with me. My shoe is now all dirty and I'll have to clean it before going to work tomorrow...yech!
Monday, November 30, 2009
...got to work very early (in my case, that's 10 minutes).
...thought I had found our rogue tour group booking, but it turned out to be a different booking for a group coming with the same person from the same school, but a different day. Darn...
...drank in the beauty of the first snow of the year that stuck.
...got a persistent cough, but it doesn't seem to be anything serious, I'm just mildly concerned that it might turn out to be laryngitis, which would not be good because I have four tours to give this week.
...decided to forgo choir practice tonight and impose complete silence on myself in hopes of resting my irritated throat enough to make whatever is bugging my it go away.
...wanted to decorate my Christmas tree, but realized very quickly that I unfortunately didn't have enough of my new lights, I'll have to get another box before I can launch into all-out decorating.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
...got up late and it felt great.
...went to the spa.
...went to visit my mom with my brother so I could give him his Christmas present (a Christmas tree) and his birthday present (a creche to put a the foot of the tree).
...helped my mom to decorate her Christmas tree.
...was given many Christmas ornaments by my mom, including an Advent Calender she made for my brother and I when we were little. I always loved it best of all so she passed it on to me :o)
...am having a late dinner because I got home later than I expected, but I don't mind, it was a lovely day :o)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
...woke up rested for the first time this week.
...did my laundry and was dismayed to find out that my dryer keeps working less and less every week. I wrote to the landlord about it and hopefully he'll have it fixed or replaced.
...went out to buy a single book because I just couldn't handle not having something new to read...and left the store with with books because I couldn't decide between the one I had gone to the store for and the one I saw as I was picking up my intended book.
...took these pictures of my favorite statue along with the Christmas lights on McGill College Avenue and froze my butt off in the process lol
I swiped this from Nikki-Ann's blog, with her permission. All the questions have to be answered with one word. If you'd like to do the same, head on over to her blog, have a look around because it's fabulous and copy and paste it and let her know you're adding it to your blog.
1. Where is your mobile phone? – Table
2. Your hair? – reddish
3. Your mother? - Maman
4. Your father? - Daddy
5. Your favorite food? - Sushi
6. Your dream last night? - forgotten
7. Your favorite drink? - juice
8. Your dream/goal? - travelling
9. What room are you in? – Living
10. Your hobby? - Photography
11. Your fear? – lots
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? – loved
13. Where were you last night? - Home
14. Something that you aren’t? - bored
15. Muffins? - pumpkin
16. Wish list item? - tickets
17. Where did you grow up? - Montreal
18. Last thing you did? - laundry
19. What are you wearing? - sweats
20. Your TV? – oldish
21. Your pets? - varied
22. Friends? - blessings
23. Your life? - Normal
24. Your mood? - Cheerful
25. Missing someone? - Yup
26. Vehicle? – bus
27. Something you’re not wearing? - coat
28. Your favorite store? - RW&Co
29. Your favorite colour? - Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? - Earlier
31. Last time you cried? – Tuesday
32. Your best friend? - Far
33. One place that I go to over and over? - Toronto
34. Facebook? - Yes
35. Favourite place to eat? - Maïko
Have a great weekend and don't forget to go and check out all the other camera critters out there by going here.
Friday, November 27, 2009
...cherished the memory of hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream and cinnamon shared while chatting with my sweetheart last night.
...spent the better part of the day wrapping Christmas gifts for 40 of the Oratory's volunteers.
...found out that a booking I took a few months ago went AWOL and that because it went AWOL we took another one the same day. They're both huge and we now have an unmanageable amount of school kids coming on the same day. The second booking will therefore have to be shifted to an earlier date if at all possible and unfortunately the teacher in charge of the trip came all the way over from the boonies to organize it with us in person and it's his first time taking elementary aged kids to see us. Did I feel crappy about the situation? Oh, yes indeed I did, even though we have no way of knowing which one of the three of us working in the office misplaced the booking in the shuffle.
...am not as tired as yesterday or as the rest of the week.
...had a massage.
...decided that one of my menu elements for Christmas Eve dinner with my brother and grandparents will be scalloped potatoes.
...wished it was snowing instead of raining, I want things to look Christmassy and am looking forward to not having to haul an umbrella around and get soaked by cold rain.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
...am veeeeery tired. I've had a busy, very emotionally charged week.
...gave a tour to a group of high school students who were in grade nine, Holy hormones, Batman!!! One the boys got like the biggest crush in history on me, it was crazy!!!
...have to run because my boyfriend just called, he's in town for the week and we're going out for hot chocolate! Seeya!
I hope you all had a great week! This week's Skywatch pick is a photo that I took a few months back while out on a very, very long walk. It's Downtown Montreal seen from one of the viewing decks in Mount Royal park. This particular deck is the most popular one of all, because it's the one where you can get the best and widest unobstructed view of the city.
So there you have it, I hope you all have an amazing weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! Don't forget to add a bit of color to your weekend by going to check out all the other great Skywatch pictures here .
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
...had a better day than yesterday and a very busy one indeed.
...gave a tour to a group of teens with mild to severe learning disabilities, they were wonderful kids though :o)
...took lots of phone calls after my tour.
...went to buy groceries after work and found a packaged of 24 rolls of toilet paper for 5.99$, what a sweet deal!!! Ooh and I also bought three boxes of pasta for 5$ and my veggie pastries were on sale for 2 for 5$ too! It was clearly my lucky for bargains at the grocery store!
...was nearly in a bus VS. crazy SUV crash upon leaving the grocery store, but luckily my bus driver has good reflexes and avoided SUV who totally cut us off.
...lost a hat that my grandma knit me on the bus. By the time I realized it was missing, the bus was leaving :o(((
...am very tired and need to get to to bed at a decent hour tonight.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
...had rotten luck with the buses on my way to work. One drove right past me just as I got to the stop, there is no way he did not see me run like mad to catch him. Then the driver on the next bus was the worst customer relations flunky I have ever seen and smacked me on the elbow and told to move back, there was room. Um, how about letting all these people you're letting on even though you shouldn't be get out of my way and then I'll move back???
...had a fairly busy day at work, including sniffing out a seriously leaky hot water tank in the furnace room, you should have smelled the humid gyprock and seen the water flowing out from under the door...our office building and the fathers living in the monastery on the top floor of the building are going to be having hot water issues for the next few days, it sure is a good thing I smelled that leak when I did.
...forgot my grocery bags at home, so will be making myself homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner again. That's okay, I could use some comfort food after my very up-and-down day :o)
Monday, November 23, 2009
...walked up the stairs at the Oratory to get to work because the shuttle bus broke down yet again. Yes, we're getting a new one soon, it should get there any day. Hopefully we'll have it before the real bad cold gets here, because I don't think the one we have will last the winter.
...answered the phone a lot, took a bunch of bookings, compulsively checked Virtual Vivian's blog now that the weekend is over and counted a lot of leaflets.
...still didn't find out the results of the photography contest despite all my compulsive blog checking.
...got a dose of job-related stress I could have done without seeing as I'm already more stressed than usual since finances are tight this month.
...went to choir practice and had fun, although it was a bit chilly in there, I'll have to wear something warmer next week.
...am sharing another orchid photo with you guys since you seemed to like yesterday's so much :o)
...wondered how people who buy real Christmas trees at this time of year keep them looking good until Christmas? They must have to buy two???
Sunday, November 22, 2009
...thought I would go out, but then didn't as the promised sunshine never showed up and it was cloudy, damp (although not rainy and dreary)
...finished my book.
...washed my bathroom sink and counter.
...spread more mothball flakes and sprayed more cat deterrent in the garden in front of my apartment window after a pesky neighborhood cat showed up in front of it last night at 12:40 A.M. and unleashed feline mayhem just as I was falling asleep. I...can't...wait...to...move!!! Never living in a ground or semi-basement apartment again, ever. Why people let their cats out at night is beyond me anyway. I would be way too afraid of them getting attacked by a dog or raccoon or tortured by freaks or stolen or hit by a car, not to mention the havoc they wreak in peoples' gardens and among other peoples' cats.
...vowed to myself that next weekend I will find something fun to do as staying home all weekend two weekends in a row by myself has left me feeling quite dull and like a bit of a 'loner.
...included a picture of an orchid in this post from an exhibit I went to with a friend a few weeks ago because I wanted you all to have something pretty to see :o) Do you like it?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
...was a cleaning fiend.
...went for a nice walk when I ran some errands.
...discovered that my brand of soy milk is only available at Metro and Provigo.
...had a good giggle while watching my cats play footsie. Magique was locked in my bedroom because she kept trying to chase my sponge while I was washing my kitchen table so Quinn walked over to the closed door and the game of footsie ensued.
...rolled my socks instead of folding them when I took them out of the dryer because I hate folding socks so much. The lazy way out is so much better :o)
...have pretty much decided that the Via Rail photography contest was a joke or something. Still no results, what's with that ?!?!?!
Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out all the other camera critters out there by going here .
Friday, November 20, 2009
...was a very productive worker bee.
...re-sized all the photos for a project I'm working on.
...got the last of my Christmas shopping done thanks to my mom, I had no clue she was such a good little Santa's Helper!
...wished that my colleague who works in another department at the Oratory and said he thought I had the strictest boss in the whole place because she looks so serious could have heard her blasting rock music from her office radio and singing along to it this afternoon. Strict and serious? Yeah, right...lol
...nearly got blown away while walking across the street to get the bus after work. Yes, windy it is tonight indeed!
...continued my compulsive Facebook and blog checking for the results of the Via Rail photo contest. Still nothing, AAAAAAARGH!!!! I have not gone completely mad yet and I don't know why.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
...gave a tour to a wonderful group of people suffering from various physical handicaps, but mostly cerebral palsy. They were all such beautiful people who, although they had trouble communicating, had very sharp intellect and asked wonderful questions. Never judge people by their appearances, because even if someone is trapped inside a body that has failed them, chances are they are still fully aware of everything going on around them and understand every word spoken around them and sound they hear and expression they see even more than you do.
...went to the bi-annual staff meeting and fully enjoyed the free lunch they gave us. Boeuf bourgignon...mmm...I wish the big boss bought us lunch more often :o)
...unfortunately received two tour cancellations for next week, stupid H1N1 :o(
...continued my compulsive checking of Facebook and Virtual Vivian's blog to see if the results of the photo contest were up, but they're still not...if they're not up by the time I go to bed, I may die from the suspense in my sleep, so if I never post again, you'll know why.
So, I brought my camera to work with me yesterday as some of my regular readers already know and I took a few minutes at the end of the day to snap a few photos before hopping on the bus to come home. I'm quite happy with how this one turned out, I find the contrast between the oxidized statue and roofs very interesting!
Happy Skywatch Friday, have a great weekend and don't forget to encourage fellow Skywatchers by checking out their blogs here
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
...got to work, but couldn't see my workplace, see the picture below for proof. There was ice fog this morning, it made things look quite wintry since it deposited quite a large amount of frost over everything.
...gave a tour to two people, a mother and daughter from the Dominican Republic.
...went upstairs to a colleague's office, only to find out that her office was in the process of being moved to a different area of the same floor after nearly tripping over her desk lamp in the hallway. Oops!
...compulsively checked Via Rail's Facebook profile in the hope of finding the results of their photo contest there, I sent in at least 10 photos and they were deliberating over which submissions would win prizes today! No news yet though, the suspense is killing me!!!
...took the top photo of the Oratory while leaving work just to prove that it's still there. It was taken only a few hundred meters from where I took the foggy shot from this morning.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
...had a quiet day compared to yesterday, although I did have a meeting this morning in which I, along with everyone else in my department, was informed by our boss that she was being forced into being ridiculously strict about our punctuality. This means that if I am even three minutes late for work I can't take the three minutes back at the end of the day, I lose three minutes of pay and that's it. Also, if we have to leave an hour earlier at the end of the day for an appointment, we can't take the hour back by starting earlier or finishing later the next day. I'd like to know who picked on her about being humane in managing our hours so he can get a lump of coal for Christmas and nothing else for the next decade or so!
...listened to Christmas music at work to lighten the mood after our cheerful meeting.
...was happy to see my younger brother at the end of the day when he came to help me fetch cat litter. It was very nice of him indeed to take time out of his evening to come and cart 30 kgs of litter around for me :o)
...am making myself comfort food for dinner: homemade macaroni and cheese!!! Yum :o)
...really started counting down the days until I see my Sweetheart next week: 7 and counting!
Monday, November 16, 2009
...had a pretty darn busy day at work, since we had a group with us from 11:15 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.. I didn't get to sit much and my back and feet got pretty tired, so I can only imagine how those of the seniors in the group must have felt, even though they did get to sit a few times while I talked.
...indulged in a hot shower upon arriving home before eating my dinner and leaving for choir practice. My back and feet thanked me, but I was a bit late for practice. Oops...I still made it for the second half of the warm up though, so that was okay.
...saw lots of cop cars at work at the end of the day (okay folks, we're talking about a church here, so two cop cars is a lot) and was intrigued as to why, but not enough to switch my walkie-talkie to the security channel in hopes of finding it out. Perhaps it was just the mildly wacky man who showed up with a fluorescent light last week claiming it was his pilgrim's walking stick back for a visit, although this time there were just two cop cars and not three.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
...made darn sure I had a better time than I did yesterday!
...talked with my Sweetheart on Skype for a bit.
...sewed a button back onto my coat with some help from one of my grandmas over the phone and managed to only stab myself in the finger once in the process.
...went out to buy fabric for my project at work and was astonished by A: how warm it was, I was very much overdressed and B: the price of fabric and sewing supplies. How can people find it cheaper to make their own clothes???
...got lost while trying to walk to one of my favorite music stores, since I seemed to be getting deeper and deeper in the the dodgy end of Ste-Catherine street, so called my dad to ask him for directions. Turns out I hadn't been lost and was going in the right direction, I just normally go to the aforementioned store by subway and therefore bypass the dodgy end of Ste-Catherine and all the sketchy looking tattoo parlors, sex shops and creepy people. Just as a side note, the dodgy section of Ste-Catherine is now much smaller than it used to be, can be bypassed by subway and Montreal is essentially a very safe city, especially Downtown. The only area you really want to steer clear of at night in Montreal North, which is nowhere near Downtown.
...bought the second half of my Sweetheart's Christmas present and my father's Christmas present. Only two more presents to buy and I'm done! Christmas shopping will have cost me under 200$ this year, or 220$ at most, spread out over several months, yeah me!
...took some photos of the Christmas decorations in Place Ville Marie (bottom picture) and Montreal's Central Station (top picture), two of my favorite places for shopping and also because the train station has been central in my boyfriend and I's relationship. When he still lived on the South Shore of Montreal and I still lived in the western tip of the island (because Montreal is an island for anyone who may not have known that), we used to meet there because I would take the town train into the station and he would take the bus in. We also ended up racing back to the station in many movie worthy scenes so he could put me on the last train home and he could catch the bus home. Now, it's where he comes back into Montreal on his weekend visits home and I leave for my weekend visits to him. The station is therefore very dear to our hearts indeed.
...and finally, went to make myself some spaghetti for dinner and realized that I was all but out of spaghetti...I had to head out to the corner store to get some and ended up finishing my dinner at 10:00 P.M....oops!
And would you look at that, this is my 100th post! Thanks so much to all of my faithful readers!!!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
...had a bit of a rough day, but nothing a shower, chat with my Grandma and a cup of Oolong tea couldn't fix.
...was disappointed when my mom backed out of going shopping with me tomorrow.
...found the younger of my two feline roommates sleeping in my laundry basket on top of the load that I was about to take over to the washing machine, it was very cute. Unfortunately, the lighting in my bedroom didn't allow for good pictures, but I'm sure you can imagine how cute it was :o)
...was almost back pain free by dinner time.
That's Camera Critters for this week, be sure and check out all the other critters out there by heading over here. Have a great weekend!
Friday, November 13, 2009
...was quite busy at work, things are starting to pick up for the Christmas season!
...saw Christmas lights being strung at the high school across the street from the Oratory.
...saw lit Christmas lights for the second time this week.
...thought about buying a Christmas Wreath for my front door.
...realized that I am really looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years and hope that I don't get sick at Christmas so it's spoiled. This wish stems from the fact that in the past four years I have had the flu over the holidays twice, one year on, one year off. This year would be an on year. Stay away Flu, stay away!!!
...still had a very stiff back upon waking up, but am still progressively getting better :o)
...bought soy milk and was happy to see that it costs almost a dollar less than regular milk!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
...was still very sore, but was feeling a good deal better than yesterday. Thanks for your concern, Gill!
...was happy to be mobile enough to make it to work...almost on time ;o)
...gave a tour to one of two special needs high school classes. I ended up with the long end of the stick, meaning the better of the two groups. I laid down the law from the start and the students were respectful, but my colleague had a heck of a time with her group, unfortunately.
...went to tai chi despite my concerns about my back and was happy when it ended up doing a lot of good.
Have a great weekend and don't forget to go and check out more Skywatch photos here
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
...stayed home from work, not because I caught the flu, but because I hurt my back in the most bizarre way, standing up from the couch and stretching.
...went stir crazy while waiting to leave for my emergency massage appointment because I couldn't move without feeling like I was being stabbed in the back next to my left shoulder blade. all I could do was sit or pace back and forth. Couldn't pick up anything, lie down, nothing.
...took some pictures of my cats. Well, a picture of Quinn and a Picture of Magique's shadow on my apartment wall, which I found pretty neat. What do you think?
...went to my appointment and was diagnosed with not only a pinched nerve and pinched muscles. The massage therapist was able to unblock everything and release 60% of the muscle tension caused by it. I can move now, thank heavens.
...am very tired after being in a lot of pain all day and am hoping it will be completely gone when I get up tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
...went to check on the progress they were making on the roof of the crypt church again. The photo above is from Tuesday last week, all the space without tiles to the right of the photo is now filled up, they're getting close to being half done.
...forgot my cell phone at home for the first time ever, it sucked, I felt like I was missing part of my arm for the first few hours after I got to work because I'm so used to having it with me or sitting on my desk beside me
...took a group of 70 children up to the Nativity Scene museum, being followed by that many children at once attracts a lot of attention, especially when they're so well behaved!
Monday, November 9, 2009
...left my book at home because I thought I wouldn't have time to read.
...waited for a whole bunch of bus loads of tourists to come in so I could collect their donations, and wished I had brought the book I am currently reading to work with me to help me through all the waiting.
...used part of my lunch hour to go to the grocery store to buy spaghetti sauce for my dinner and then walked back to work and through all the employee areas with the jar in my hand, warranting many questions and comments.
...made an elderly gentleman who said that he was going to be a star for the first time thanks to our security cameras laugh when I told him he wouldn't be a star unless he got up to no good!
...said prayers for this little boy, please do so if you feel called to, you can read his entire story by clicking on the 'family' tab at the top of the page and clicking on 'Stellan's Story'.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
...was disgusted to find out that the brand of canned cat food that I get for my furry feline friends is being carried by fewer and fewer places just because there's no french on the labels. Stupid language control laws, I hate you!!!
...went to an appointment in the West Island sector of Montreal, my neighborhood for over twenty years. It always feels nice to go back there.
...ended up heading back out to get cat food right after getting back from my appointment at a pet supply store near my place. I had to get them something that the younger of my two cats didn't like the last time I tried to feed it to her. It beats the pants off stuff like Whiskas as far as ingredients go, but she just doesn't like the taste of it. I will have to try and find some way to get my hands on the stuff they're used to.
So, are there any laws in your area that really tick you off? In my case, since I'm from Quebec, it's all the French language preservation laws. I'm a perfect mix of both my English-speaking and french speaking heritage. I am perfectly bilingual and am very proud of that and my family is also perfectly bilingual across the board, but we have a lot of laws that are trying to encourage people to be strictly french-speaking and I CAN'T STAND THAT!!! They even have laws that say that if you're going to have English on your store-front sign it has to be half the size of the french and below it!!! I have a rampant abhorrence for that sort of thing.
...went to a pet show with some friends and saw all kinds of lovely animals: cats and dogs and reptiles of every breed, birds and fish and ponies too.
...went to my brother's condo with one of his friends to help him get set up. I unpacked all his kitchen and bathroom stuff and had a good laugh at the dish towels my grandmother got him. They would have been fine for me, but are definitely not my brother's style.
...got home just in time to have a shower before my grandmother made her nightly phone call to me. Not the dish towel grandmother, the other one that lives in the states.
...did my laundry and am planning on leaving the last load in the laundry, which I will probably regret tomorrow, but it's too late for me to be taking care of laundry right now since I want to go and watch a movie.
...got this post ready, but then my computer crashed so I'm only posting it on Sunday afternoon when I finally got back to it. And yes, I did regret leaving my laundry in the dryer all night, especially since despite an hour and ten minutes in the dryer, not all the clothes dried. Ooops...had to send some of them around for another go and will have to do more ironing than usual.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So, that's Camera Critters for this week, be sure to head over here to check out more camera loving critters, and have a great weekend!