Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is a shot of the peaceful winter skies that greeted me while I was out of a walk during my lunch hour exactly one week ago today. I wish you all peace and happiness for 2011! Be sure to check out all the other beautiful views of the sky that the world has to offer on the Skywatch Friday blog and see you all in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Today I...December 29th

Today I... sharing this picture of the stairs to a large house in Westmount framed by two large spruce trees with you. feeling a bit better as my cold seems to be letting up a bit. Yesterday I felt like a wet rag, today I feel like mostly dry rag ;o)

...decided to get and renew my driver's licence and Medicare. I figured it would only take me about an hour to get that done, so I brought my grocery bags with me, planning to go and buy stuff to re-stock my fridge.

...spent THREE HOURS at the provincial services outlet waiting to renew my cards!!! Yup, you read that right, THREE HOURS!!! Ugh...I hadn't planned on it taking that long, so hadn't brought a snack or water with me and was mighty hungry by the time I got out of there at 6:00 P.M. since I had only had breakfast!!!

...went grocery shopping anyhow so I could buy myself a Knorr skillet meal. I got home, got changed, dumped the food in the skillet and had dinner ready in 15 minutes. God bless Knorr :o)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Today I...December 27th

Today I... sharing this trailer of the film 'The King's Speech' with you. I went to see the movie today and thought it was absolutely brilliant. You should all go and see it if you gt a chance, it's a truly wonderful depiction of how debilitating it can be to not be able to speak properly. While I never had a stammer, there was a student in my class in elementary in grades five and six who did and I remember how the speech therapist would help him and how he would proudly come and stand in front of the class to read for us regularly to show us his progress and he was always so proud to do it.

...had a bit of an up and down day emotionally. I saw my Sweetheart yesterday evening and so was on a Sweetheart induced high until this afternoon. I was quite pleased with myself for making it out to the movies and although, as I mentioned, I truly enjoyed the film, for some reason I was even more depressed coming out of it than I had been yesterday afternoon. When I got home I had a good cry and felt a good bit better after that. Maybe I just had some bottled up emotions that I needed to get out. sharing with you how therapeutic I have always found crying to be. My opinion has always been that if you have feelings, whether they be good out bad, you should express them. It is perfectly normal to feel so angry sometimes that you need to throw or hit things (this, in my opinion, is one of the reasons why God allowed man to invent the pillow and cushion). Better to give a beating to a pillow, cushion, or mattress than to vent your anger on a person who is not necessarily the cause of your anger. It is also perfectly normal to want to cry, whether it be, once again, out of anger, or sadness, or frustration. I find it is far better to let your feelings out than keeping them bottled up because then things simmer and eventually blow up, or, as is my case when I don't let things out, I become depressed or sometimes even angry and bitter although I very rarely let things get to that point.

...came down with a yuletide cold. A Christmas cold has to be one of the most common traditions after fruitcake...and just as appreciated. Apologies to anyone who actually likes fruitcake, I just never have ;o)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today I...December 26th

Today I... hoping that you all had a very Merry Christmas. I'm sharing a few photos that I took over the pas few days with you all. The first photo is of one of the houses behind the Oratory. I took it during my walk on Thursday.

...the next photo is of the presents set out at my aunt and uncle's last night.

...and this last one is a close-up of a plate of ginger cookies and clementines that I set up at my mom's place yesterday afternoon. I didn't make the cookies, by the way. A customer of my mom's made them and gave them to her as a gift. They're really good!!! apologizing for going AWOL since Thursday, but I have been caught in a whirlwind of emotions and business since then. I will confess and that Christmas is not easy for me (or for my brother for that matter). I often feel wonderful leading up to Christmas, but then right beforehand I hit a low ebb when I feel lonely and teary and nostalgic and this year with Luce dying two days before Christmas is made it even worse. I now have two weeks of vacation ahead of me and while the rest will be most appreciated, I'm wondering how I will fill much of that time. All of my friends are busy with their significant others or off on vacation. I'm still waiting to see my Sweetheart although, as his nickname on here states, he has been a love since Luce died and wrote to me on Thursday night and then called me on Friday morning to see how I was doing and to wish me a Merry Christmas and to ask me to light a candle for Luce for him at the Oratory. Oh, if I could have kissed him and hugged him through the phone I would have. I will see if I can go back to Toronto with him for a few days from Wednesday to Saturday and make it home in time for a family dinner on the 1st as that would fill the gap between the two holidays. I'll see what he thinks of the idea, otherwise I may use some points off of my Via Preference card to take a day trip to Ottawa or something. moving on to a lighter note: I got some lovely presents for Christmas, a set of pots and a pan from my aunt and uncle, slippers, a purse, a blanket for my bed, some socks and mitts and a few other bits and bobs from my mom, some clothes and a gift card from my grandparents and I almost forgot, a gift card for groceries from my mom, which is absolutely brilliant because food is one of my biggest expenses. Do not ever underestimate the value of a gift card for groceries for someone, it's a really brilliant gift to get :o)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today I...December 22nd

Today I...

...shall be thanking God, St-Joseph and St-Brother André for a miracle they have given my family and I. Will you thank them with me? sharing this picture of the Oratory I took in the snow last January. I'll be bringing my camera to work with me tomorrow to take some pictures of the Nativity Scene we have set up outside now that they have all the trees and lights up, so keep an eye out for them tomorrow or the day after I hope.

...found out that there is such a thing as chionophobia. And no, that is not a phobia of China or the Chinese, it is actually, wait for it...a phobia of SNOW!!! Yup, there was an elderly Italian lady in with a group today who has been in Montreal for 40 years and who started screaming and throwing a fit because it was snowing outside and she would not hear of going out even just for two minutes so she could be taken across from the building which houses the gift shop and snack bar into the Oratory for her tour. Oh, dear learn something new every day!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today I...December 21st

Today I... sharing this picture of people skating on Beaver Lake in Mount-Royal Park with you. so three days until my two weeks off now though, I'll make it!!!

...was happy that it was mild enough for me to walk home (-3 Celsius).

...pilfered a glue stick from the office to glue a picture I took to the envelope that my Sweetheart's Christmas Present is in.

...finally got around to washing the bathroom.

...still need to vacuum, I'll get there eventually :o)

...did wash the dishes though! really, honestly going to try and get to bed early. Oh, the woes of the genetic Night internal clock is set for me to go to bed at Midnight and get up at about 9:30 A.M., but the outside world makes me try as hard as I can to make it to bed for 11:30 P.M. and get up at 7:00 A.M. . I make it about 40% of the time. Eh, what can you do? And for the record, I don't drink coffee, so that isn't a solution for me, it just doesn't sit well with me, so when someone asked me on the phone this morning what I used to help me wake up in the morning after I yawned while answering one of his questions, I said orange juice and he laughed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today I...December 20th

Today I...

...don't have much to report.

...So I'll let the pictures... the talking for me. I must go for another walk like this one soon.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today I...December 19th

Today I... sharing this picture I took of McGill College Avenue with its Christmas Decorations lit yesterday afternoon with you. Despite the wetness of the road, it was note raining. The water is from snow that had fallen earlier and melted and the snow already on the ground melting a bit as well.

...went out to lunch with my mother and my brother for my brother's birthday. Unfortunately the food was nothing too amazing, but at least we had a good time!

...bought two movies for 20$ from the video rental store near my place, Twilight and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I saw Benjamin Button with my Sweetheart in the theater last Christmas and watched Twilight for the first time afternoon and really liked it!

...should have vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom, but watched Twilight instead. Dear me, aren't I a rebel? Oh well, at least I washed the dishes!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today I...December 18th

Today I... sharing this picture I took of one of the Christmas decorations that adorn the street lamps on Ste-Catherine street in Downtown Montreal with you. I took it this afternoon, while finishing my Christmas shopping.

...was most impressed when I made it out to the stores and back, including a stop near my house to buy canned cat food, within two hours. A savvy shopper am I, I avoided all the trouble (I.E.: more people than sardines in a can) spots and all the nasty line ups in the stores.

...was happy that it was so nice out and that I was able to walk outside quite a bit and get some fresh air. If it had not been, I still would not have needed to be bundled up since Montreal has this marvelous underground 'city', a network of tunnels which links all of the Downtown core together. That's why people in Montreal, if you see photos of them in Winter, are very rarely bundled up unless they're heading out to the ski hills or for a walk on Mount Royal. We hardly ever have to go outside unless we want to :o) You can read more about our Underground City here. Oh, and a side note, after being asked a few times by tourists over the years where the people live in the underground city, no one actually lives there. The underground city connects to offices and malls and subway tunnels, but no apartments are underground.

...did two loads of laundry and washed my dishes.

...spoke with my sweetheart for a bit. He's getting here on Tuesday and I am so looking forward to seeing him. I'll try and talk with him again tomorrow and find out exactly when we will be getting together, but I have nothing but free time to see him after the 25th, so we shouldn't have too much of an issue :o)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Today I...December 17th

Today I... sharing this picture of my brother and my grandfather's birthday 'cake' with you. It's actually a fancy 'Bûche de Noël', but we figured it would put an interesting twist on the traditional birthday cake. It's my brother's 26th birthday today, so I figured I would go with a birthday themed photo :o) As for my grandpa G, he'll be turning 80...something on Tuesday. Yeah, I don't remember exactly how old he'll be, but I think it may be 85?

...greatly enjoyed the sushi that D brought to work for C and I. He's begun bringing us sushi for free once a week since his roommate works in a sushi bar in Laval (another island city just north of Montreal).

...was so very happy to see the sun!

...went out and did a bit of Christmas shopping after work and got two SAQ (the Quebec liquor commission) gift cards, one for my brother and one for my aunt and uncle and some wrapping paper, three rolls for 2.25$ at the dollar store! What a bargain!!!

...splurged on a quiche for my dinner.

...would have put the said quiche in the oven much earlier if I had known it would have to be in there for 50 minutes before I could eat it!!! Man, am I hungry! trying to prepare myself mentally to face the hordes of people in the stores tomorrow when I go out to finish my Christmas shopping. Hey, at least I know what I'm going out there to buy...pretty much. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today I...December 15th

Today I... sharing this picture of the giant Christmas Wreath hanging on the front of what is now the office building where my father works with you. feeling down and lonely. It's a case of winter blues I think, we haven't seen the sun here in nearly a week. They're announcing that it's going to reappear tomorrow though, so I hope they're right this time. They seem to just be putting off by a day every day lately.

...finally spoke with my Sweetheart, but not for very long. He was trying to solve a grade 12 math problem for the daughter of a friend and just wasn't getting to the bottom of it. You know how men are when they need to find the solution to something, they just can't give up on it or focus on anything else until they get the darn problem solved. Anyhow, it turns out that there was an explosion in the basement of his building last night while he was at the shopping mall next door, so when he went to go back home, he was told that he could only go up to his apartment to get some personal items and that he would have to either stay at a friend's place or go to a hotel. There was no heat, hot water or power in his building for 10 hours, but at least he was able to go home after work today. Anyhow, he didn't sound like the happiest of happy campers tonight naturally and I can understand. finding it most entertaining to watch Quinn play with an old cork from a wine bottle and how curious a happening Magique seems to find her mother's fascination with the aforementioned cork to be.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Today I...December 14th

Today I... sharing these two pictures of the Christmas arrangement at my aunt and uncle's place from last year with you. The little bird you see belonged to my uncle's father, so it makes an appearance every year.
...could not believe how slow the traffic was on the way to work, right up to the subway station. I would have understood the situation had there been heavier snow and wind, but it was just light snow coming down and no wind, so it was just weird? I think some people have this switch in their brain that says 'OMG SNOW!!!' and it goes off as soon as a flake falls so they can't drive above 20 kms per hour anymore...

...had a pretty full day with a tour and a bunch of data entry to do.

...had a bus driver with what I refer to as 'yo-yo breaking syndrome' on the way home from work. That means that he would break almost completely, then let his foot off the pedal and then break almost completely and let his foot off the pedal and then finally stop completely. I sure was happy to get off of his bus, I'll tell you! It was the first time I had him since moving into my area two and a half years ago, so hopefully it was a one time thing!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Today I...December 13th

Today I... sharing this little video of what Montreal looks like after a snow storm...and how the pros clear away snow. You can always tell when your street is going to be plowed because they put bright orange 'no parking' signs up with a specific time frame. That can happen as much as two or three days after a storm though or even longer if your street is not deemed crucial to either public transit or ambulances (direct shortcut to a hospital), so you've got plenty of time to dig your car out of preliminary snowbanks when the plows push the snow out of the street so people can actually keep driving until the snow is carted away. You'd better get your car out of the way by the time the plows come through though, otherwise the city tows it away and impounds it and boy, is there one hefty fine to pay when that happens from what I've heard.

...was fine with being at work once I was there.

...gave a tour to an adorable group of kindergarten students.

...was aghast when their teacher was willing to have them cross between the building that houses the Oratory's eating facilities and gift shop in nothing but their t-shirts and sweaters so they wouldn't have to cart their coats around inside. I had them cross through the employees' tunnel between the two buildings instead. I told her that maybe my maternal instinct was in overdrive, but that there was no way I was making her students walk outside without coats when I even I wouldn't do it at a jog.

...went grocery shopping after work.

...was happy that the rain didn't melt away all of our snow from last week and that more fell today. I'm all for a white Christmas, but remind me that I wrote this in March when I'm sick of winter, would you?

P.S. : The title of the video, for those of you who don't speak French, is 'Snow and snow removal in Ahuntsic'. Ahuntsic is one of the boroughs of Montreal.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Today I... December 12th

Today I... sharing this picture of Quinn lolling about in the sun with you. happy to report that my concert went quite well. The audience seemed quite happy with us (two standing ovations) and nearly everyone who had bought an advance ticket made it in spite of the slightly iffy weather. The only person I know that didn't make it was my friend V who got caught in traffic on the bus.

...wrote a 'happy birthday' e-mail to my Sweetheart and sent him my program for our spring concert and he answered both, which made me smile :o) I called him on Skype before but there was no answer, so I'm guessing that his two friends are still over. If he doesn't call back tonight, that's okay, I'll just give him a call tomorrow. not ready to go back to work tomorrow, I don't feel like it. I sure am looking forward to my Christmas holidays. Even though they're only two weeks away, they seem a lot further.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Today I...December 11th

Today I... posting late, because I got caught up playing Tetris on Facebook of all things. Does that make me sound like a nerd or what??? lol sharing this recording of Noël Nouvelet by 'Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal', the Oratory's boys' choir which my Sweetheart was a member of for their full eight year program. Incidentally, the album this song comes from is the last one he recorded with them and he is singing as a bass in this recording. The carol being sung, Noël Nouvelet, is one of my favorite traditional French Christmas Carols.

...don't have much to report really. I had a quiet day at home, did some vacuuming, spoke with my Sweetheart for a half hour on Skype and shined my black shoes for my concert tomorrow. Now if the nasty weather can just hold off until after my concert tomorrow, I'll be happy. There's a storm coming and the blasted meteorologists don't really seem to know exactly how it's going to behave. We'll just have to wait and see, there's not much we can do about it either way. off to bed and will post tomorrow to let you know how the concert went!

Friday, December 10, 2010

'Santa Claws' (Today I...December 10th)

Today I... sharing this utterly priceless Simon's Cat video by Simon Tofield with you. To see more wonderful and entirely truth-based videos about what life with a cat is like, you can visit his YouTube channel here. I often think that my cat Magique should be featured in his videos because she has done pretty much everything that Simon's cat has done...except tease woodland creature (although she teases her mother, Quinn, plenty) and break the front door since she is not and never will be an outdoor cat. But yes, she does wreak havoc with my Christmas tree every year. I've had two Christmas ball casualties so far this year and two fallen Christmas balls that have survived their feline induced ordeals. I'll give you the full tally once the tree is safely back in its box, but suffice it to say that I graduated from a four foot to a six foot high tree so that the tree could no longer be toppled and any breakable ornament with any sentimental value whatsoever could be placed at the top of the tree. Magique is doing better with the tree this year though, as I have mentioned before, she sleeps under it and doesn't chew on the branches as much, probably because I mostly ignore her when she does it since I'm not worried any escalation of her attention-seeking antics will result in the pouncing upon and toppling of the poor tree.

...had a pretty full day as I did all week. Two more and then I'm on holidays for TWO WEEKS! Well, minus one day, but that counts as two weeks for me and that hasn't happened to me since 2003! apologizing for missing out on Skywatch Friday two weeks in a row, but last week, as you know, I was in Toronto and last night I had a dress rehearsal for my choir's concert which is this Sunday. I will be back with a Skywatch post next week though, never fear! off to watch CSI NY and Blue Bloods while waiting for my Sweetheart to call me back. I love Friday nights :o)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today I...December 8th

Today I...

...finally have a new picture to share with you! It was too cold and snowy for me to bring my EOS to work with me today, but I remember my faithful little Powershot G7 that can fit in my purse, so I brought him to work with me (he was clapping for joy) and snapped this shot of the Oratory on my way home. Did someone order a white Christmas? We're definitely in for one here!!! All of this has fallen since Monday, believe it or not and it was coming down pretty hard this afternoon too and was snowing when I took this shot. Enlarge it and you'll be able to see the snow coming down in the spotlights and by the lamp on the left and you'll also be able to see the height of the snowbanks compared to height of the group of people walking down the path.

...had a crazy day at work. I was with a group from 10:45 A.M. to 1:45 P.M., took them to the Nativity Scene museum, gave them a tour, dropped them off squeezed a 20 minute lunch in there somewhere and a 15 minute break afterward and then went to replace C who had only had a 10 minute lunch between shuttling groups up to the museum and back and taking care of our boys' choir's Christmas concert for the local schools. Let me tell you, I'm pretty tuckered out!

...lost the two teachers who were supposed to chaperone the group of students I was giving a tour to, luckily they were a very disciplined group of young girls, astonishingly so actually! But then again, I've been handling groups of kids for 8 years now, so I can turn pretty much any group of kids into a passably disciplined tour group. That's the 3rd time in 8 years that I lose people, so my track record is pretty darn good, plus I only lost them for half the tour, my group crossed paths with the other from the same school in the middle of the tour circuit.

...had an enormously good giggle when a girl in my group called out to the rest of the students that the deceased person in the hearse at the entrance to the Oratory was named 'Magnus Poirier'. 'Uh, actually sweetie, that's the name of the funeral home!' was my response in between giggles.

...caused a lady who was trying to prove she knew more than me to my tour group to clam up when I told here that there were indeed only two Canadian saints, Brother André and Marguerite D'Youville, because Marguerite Bourgeoys was French by birth. I don't think she'll be butting into anymore tours anywhere any time soon ;o)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today I...December 7th

Today I... having a pictureless post. It was too snowy and cold for me to take my camera to work with me today, but hopefully the weather will cooperate more tomorrow as would like to show you all how much snow has fallen here since yesterday! feeling a bit down in the dumps. My little post-weekend in Toronto low I think. I just spoke with my Sweetheart for about 15 minutes and he was rather distracted as well. glad that my neck has pretty much loosened up.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Today I...December 6th

Today I... sharing this picture of two cross-country skiers that I took on New Year's Eve last year with you. For any of you hoping for new pictures from my weekend in Toronto, I do apologize, but believe it or not, I didn't take a single one!!! I know, I'm just as shocked as you are, but my Sweetheart and I never made it to the Christmas Market in the Distillery district like we had planned to. We did so many other things, namely loafing around his place, (we hadn't snuggled so much in ages, which is probably why I felt it was less of a wrench than usual to come home, my love batteries we fully recharged) that we missed out on our two windows of opportunity to make it out there. Oh well, it turns out that it was just a little bitty thing and we didn't miss out on much. I saw it from the train leaving Toronto yesterday and that was more than enough, it wouldn't have been worth our freezing our butts off for.

...caught up on as much blogging as I could, you guys were busy while I was away!

...did all of my catching up at work, I was quite impressed that I got it all done!

...was caught off guard, along with the rest of Montreal, by a snowstorm which drifted off course and dumped a whole ton of white stuff on us. They were forecasting 2-4 centimeters for us today, so I left in my shoes, but by the time I left work, there was at least 10 centimeters on the ground and high winds. Oh, how my feet froze on the way home!!!

...spent an hour coming home when it usually takes me 15 minutes to a half hour.

...didn't go back out for choir practice, because the buses were running in a trickle towards the East since they were all stuck in traffic heading West.

...spent an hour in the bath trying to loosen up the nasty crick that developed beside my left shoulder blade right up into my neck. I think it comes from my sleeping too much leaning against the window in the train last night. Anyhow, needless to say that the two times the phone rang tonight, I had quite the time keeping up the conversation because that's all I could do! No talking on the phone and cooking or cleaning or even getting changed for me! My neck is still sore and I still have to do some ironing if I want to have anything decent to wear tomorrow, so I'd better get to it. I'm hoping my neck will be better by the time I go to work tomorrow, otherwise I'm gonna have to bring my bean bag to work with me so I can warm it in the microwave there and keep my muscles relaxed to get through the day. Ugh!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today I...December 1st

Today I... announcing that in 24 hours I shall be at my Sweetheart's place! I'll be there for the weekend, so expect very little in the way of blogging from me for the next four days. I'll try and get around to commenting on Friday while my Sweetheart is at work and may even be able to work up at post, but my main objective of the day (after sleeping in) will be to make my Sweetheart his surprise birthday dinner, so everything else will come second after that.

...put the first ornament on my Advent Calendar.

...was a horrible grump (in my head at least, I'm very good at at hiding grumpiness a lot of the time, or at least I hope I am) for the better part of the day until I gave a tour. enjoyed giving my tour. It was with a group of elderly people suffering from cerebral palsy and Alzheimer's. I like giving tours to groups from long-term care facilities for the elderly the most because I find that the Oratory means the most to them. The tours often bring out memories and emotions for them that they just don't for others, so the visit is meaningful to them and to me on a whole different lever than with other groups. poured on on the way home just getting on the bus. All of two minuted without an umbrella and I was soaked!!! Bring on the the snow storms rather than the rain storms, at least then I won't get all wet anymore taking the bus! hoping you all have a lovely weekend, I know I will :o)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today I...November 30th

Today I... sharing this picture I took of Quinn on Sunday with you. I figured she could use some 'blog spotlight' time as well :o) suffering from PMS and it sucks. I feel all bloated and yucky and am irritable. Hopefully this shall be relieved tomorrow since I'm leaving for Toronto to spend four days with my Sweetheart and do not want to be too hindered by 'things'.

...spent a bit of time with V who came by to pick up the keys to my place so she can take care of my kitties while I'm away. hoping that my Sweetheart will pop onto Skype at some point this evening, otherwise we won't be able to talk until we see each other on Thursday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today I...November 28th

Today I...

...nearly forgot to write this post!!! sharing a picture of my nicely organized kitchen storage space. There is one more panel to this storage area, but I couldn't fit it into this shot. I felt like showing this off because until this morning, the thing was a horrible mess. That's why there's no 'before' shot, I was too embarrassed to show it lol But now, I am most proud to show it to the world! sharing two pictures of Magique with you from yesterday. In the photo above, she is miffed at me for blowing her cover and taking a picture of her to prove it.

...and here she is in stealth mode again, with her best 'I'm waiting to spring on the first pray that comes along' look on her face. She was still doing quite well with the Christmas tree today, although I did have to yell 'DON'T EAT THE TREE!!!' a few times. Oh well, it's not like I was surprised by the fact :-J

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today I...November 27th

Today I... sharing this picture of the Oratory see through some trees with you.

...was quite busy and got a lot done! I vacuumed, had a short visit from my grandparents, ran some errands, did the laundry and baked chocolate chip cookies!

...loved seeing Magique curl up and go to sleep under my Christmas tree rather than pawing at the ornaments and knocking it over like she used to do with my smaller one!!!

...also loved seeing Magique curl up and go to sleep for the better part of the afternoon on my housecoat on the bottom shelf of my bathroom organizer after I took it off the hook on the back of the door in order to hang a blouse there to dry.

...found Magique lying on the aforementioned house coat after wanting to see what was preventing her from bugging me while I was baking my cookies! Quinn was the one hanging around the kitchen with me instead, but was allowed to remain in the room because she was watching the operation discretely whereas Magique normally ends up locked in the bedroom while I bake after literally sticking her nose in things. now heading off to bed to read my book. I'll probably be done with 'Fall of Giants' this week. What a wonderfully written novel, if any of you enjoy epic length novels you should give it a shot!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today I...November 26th

Today I... sharing a few pictures of my brand new Christmas tree with you. My brother picked me up after work and we went to Canadian Tire and he bought me the tree as an early Christmas present. I was so happy, as I really needed a new tree (my other one was nearly 10 years old) but it was a bit beyond my budgetary means. Never let it be said that I do my job for the money... revealing to you that I have a thing for angels. very happy with my tree. It is six feet tall, pre-lit and has a four legged stand, so it is cat proof! My furry felines will not be knocking my tree over, so I was able to put all the ornaments I wanted on it!

...put the rest of my decorations up too, but my apartment is bigger than the one I had before, so it could use a few more pieces to make it look truly festive. I'll see what I can do about that if I have any spare money, otherwise I'll just build up my stock fore next year when the Christmas decoration sales heat up after January 1st!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is a photo of Florence taken from a terrace in the Boboli Gardens, which are in the old sector of Florence, across the river from the 'new' Renaissance -era section of the city. I think visiting the gardens and the Pitti Palace was my favorite part of my stay in Florence, that and my visit to the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.

To see more skies from around the world, head on over to the Skywatch Friday blog. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today I...November 24th

Today I... sharing this photo of my aunt and uncle's two little kitchen helpers. Why? Because I am contemplating spending a good bit of time in my kitchen this weekend in order to make a crock pot meal and bake some cookies. Yum...

...had a slightly quieter day at the office today, thank Heavens! I think I would have gone bonkers if the flow of phone calls coming into the office had kept up with that on Monday and Tuesday.

...was submitted to a day of Christmas music C and D were tired of listening to our usual classical music station, so they opted for an American station out of Plattsburgh which is already playing Christmas music all day every day. tactic for tomorrow? Bring in a few of my Christmas music CDs, that way if I must listen to perpetual Christmas music, at least it will be music that I like!!!

...spoke with my Sweetheart for a little bit. He was actually about to call me when I called him, he was wondering what time I was getting into Toronto on Thursday next week because there was a really nice concert on at the TSO, but unfortunately I'm getting in a half hour after the concert starts and I can't change my ticket :o( Oh well, no big deal. He'll just go to the concert the day before with a buddy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today I...November 23rd

Today I... happy that I have the time and stamina to post, because boy, have I had two crazy days at work!!! That is why I am sharing this very laid back, soothing picture of Quinn with you, since just looking at her in this photo makes me feel so relaxed.

...feel like I have been on the go since Monday morning. I was running around at work all day yesterday and today and it will probably be like this for the next few weeks, so please, bare with me if I don't have the time to make it to your blogs or if I skip a day of posting here and there. asking you to pray for a miracle for my colleague L. For those of you who didn't see my original post about her, she is our director of communications and she was diagnosed with liver cancer about a month ago. They ran some tests to see the seriousness of her condition and to find out if the cancer had spread and the news is not good and her doctors have decided that the only thing they can do for her is to keep her as comfortable as possible. Please, pray for her to feel as well as possible for as long as possible and pray for a miracle for her. Words cannot describe what a kind, loving person L is and we would so love for her to get well and come back to work with us so she can greet us with a smile again every time she sees us...even if we cross her path 10 times a day. so very much looking forward to my mini vacation at my Sweetheart's next week. I have my friend V lined up for pet-sitting duties and have planned out a birthday surprise for my Sweetheart (who naturally does not read here, so no, I have not just spilled the beans ;o) ). Yup, it will be just what I need to help me get through the Christmas Rush at work!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today I...November 21st

Today I... sharing this photo I took of the backyard of my mom's place back in the winter of 2008. Actually, this photo was taken on March 8th, 2008 after our umpteenth snowstorm of that winter. The hit every two weeks from mid-December on, or even earlier like clockwork. I don't remember exactly when the snow started falling that Winter, all I know is that by the time it finally stopped, we were all ready to rip our hair out and run down South screaming every time we saw a snowflake!!! Anyhow, I am sharing this photo with you tonight because winter is coming, slowly but surely. There's a freezing rain warning on tonight, so we can no longer deny it. Yup, I may have to wear my boots tomorrow. Ugh...

...didn't do much of anything really. I spoke with my friend P, read my book and went to the pharmacy to buy some moisturizer and then read my book some more. wondering what in Heaven's name has gotten into my upstairs neighbors today, they're being so loud!

...spent over an hour on Skype with my Sweetheart, one hour, twelve minutes and thirteen seconds to be exact :o) He was sounding much cheerier than when I last spoke to him on Thursday, so I was quite happy about that. I'll speak to him next on Wednesday probably and am hoping he will be just as cheery :o)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today I...November 20th

Today I... sharing this picture I took of the Oratory at this time last year with you. I shared it with you back then as well, but I thought I would put it up again :o) feeling a bit discouraged by my lack of money. I've come to the realization that as much as I would like to be able to go on vacation with my Sweetheart his summer I probably won't be able to. I haven't given up all hope yet, but it certainly isn't looking too good at this point. I love my job, but I sure wish I was paid more.

...had a pretty quiet day.

...was happy when my Grandma G came over for a surprise visit and gave me 20$ and a purse she wasn't using anymore. I told her the other day that my latest one was falling apart and she dug one out that she thought would suit me nicely and it does :o) at least I won't have to be embarrassed about my purse anymore, now if only I could afford a new pair of shoes! my book a bit and am looking forward to getting back to it. looking forward to watching 'Flashpoint' tonight!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch features are some photos I took of the sunset from the Oratory last Sunday, as promised yesterday :o) I chose one shot taken from each end of the visible sky, the first one facing West toward the airport and Lake St-Louis, which is actually a widening in the St-Lawrence river and the other one and the other one facing East toward the University of Montreal (that's the tower you can see, it houses offices and some of the University's libraries) and Côte-des-Neiges Cemetery.

To see more skies from around the world, head over to the Skywatch Friday Blog.

I hope you all have nice weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today I...November 17th

Today I... sharing this picture I took of the sunset at the Oratory last Sunday. I will share more photos from this series with you in my Skywatch Friday post tomorrow.

...called my landlord for another set of keys to my place. I only have two sets, mine and another, but I have two friends who take care of my lovely feline ladies when I travel and was tired of chasing down the keys every I switched kitty sitters, so set number three, here I come! It will be practical to the highest degree to have a third set, but the downside is that I have to pay 35$ for every set. Luckily, if I remember correctly, I get all the key deposits back when I move out of here. That probably won't be any time soon, but still, at least I know my money isn't totally down the drain!

...called my massage therapist from last year with a plea for help for my lower back. Hopefully she'll get back to me soon. I believe I may have damaged myself through a combination of two bad falls on my backside during one of my visits to Toronto last winter. I fell twice in one walk and started having issues not long after that, but I have the feeling that sitting at a desk so much at work isn't agreeing with me too much either. looking forward to Friday night and then weekend.

...think that what I really need, rather than just a weekend, is a vacation. I may try and see if I can get away for a few days during my week off at Christmas, otherwise I 'ain't going nowhere' (except Toronto, of course) until at least May I think. Ugh...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I...November 16th

Today I... having a pictureless post. Hasn't happened in a while, I know, but I really need to go out and take some new ones I think, like a whole slew of them! I am saving some new ones for my Skywatch post on Thursday though :o)

...was so happy for Prince William and Kate Middleton when I found out they were engaged. It made me smile and kept me smiling all afternoon, they're such a lovely couple and they look so, so happy together.

...spoke to my Sweetheart for a half hour. He was tired and overworked because they're working on a major project at work and he's been working a good bit of overtime. He's thinking of taking Friday off and I tried to convince him to do it, so hopefully he will. thoroughly enjoying 'Fall of Giants' so I went to see on Ken Follett's website when the next book in the trilogy will be coming out...not until 2012!!! Oh boy, what a wait!!! Hopefully he won't leave us with too much of a cliffhanger...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today I...November 14th

Today I... sharing this photo that I took of the Oratory while waiting for the bus with you. My one planned outing of the day was to go and take pictures of the sunset at the Oratory. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate too much on that front, but I was most pleased with the series of photos I took of the Oratory...all three of them lol

...had a very laid back day and stayed in my jammies until 3:00 P.M. It felt lovely :o)

...enjoyed getting deeper into 'Fall of the Giants', Ken Follett's latest bible length (987 pages) book. an unexpected invite to dinner from my brother. We went to a little Italian Place on Notre Dame Street, which was pretty good.

...spoke with my Sweetheart for a little while. He had some friends over for the weekend unexpectedly and they had a good time. His next guest will be his sister next weekend, then the following weekend he's coming here and the weekend after that I'm going there. He's a busy guy, hopefully he won't be all tuckered out by the time I get there! lol

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today I...November 13th

Today I... apologizing for not being the best poster this week or the best blog commenter. I'm tired from working so much last month and from feeling downright lousy on Wednesday and Thursday, so last night I just wanted to have a 'me' night and shut off the computer early. sharing another picture from last week's dog show with you, a shot of that lovely yellow lab going over the jump to fetch the article for his owner. the laundry and the vacuuming done. looking for a way to appropriately humidify my bedroom to hopefully help me sleep better. My apartment has been so dry since the heating has been turned on that it's unreal and I think that's part of the reason why I have not been sleeping very well. It's also a horror for my voice and my sinuses. going out to dinner with two friends tonight, G and G (yup, they both have the same name, one of them has been my friend since grade five and the other we, the 1st G and I, met in high school). We're going out to a Japanese restaurant on Ste-Catherine street which is supposed to be amazing according to Urbanspoon and Chowhound. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of a sailor working on the rigging at the very top of a Tall Ship's mast. I took this photo back in mid-September when a group of Tall Ships sailed into Montreal's Old Port for the weekend.

I hope you all have a great weekend, don't forget to start it off by going to see more great Skywatch photos on the Skywatch Friday blog

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today I...November 10th

Today I... finally sharing some photos I took at the Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie's dog obedience competition with you. I took some photos of two of the competitors, a yellow lab and a black standard poodle. The lab was the better of the the two, but the poodle did well too. The first photo is my favorite, it's such a wonderful example of the love between people and their pets, there's nothing like it :o)
Here you can see the lab's owner throwing a wooden article over a jump. Dogs have to go over the jump, pick up the article and bring it back to their owners by going back over the jump. They then have to sit back by their owner as you can see the dog doing here. They don't get full points if they don't do all of that.
Today I...

...had a very short work day. I dreamed that I had a migraine during the night and woke up to find out that I was not, in fact just dreaming that I had a migraine, I actually had one. I decided to try going to work anyhow. My plan was to wait it out until lunch and see how I was doing, but I didn't even make it that long and left work about two hours after getting there. Ouch is all I can as to how I was feeling. Major, major ouch...

...went straight to bed when I got home and slept from 11:00 A.M. to 2:45 P.M. I was feeling better when I woke up and figured I had better get up or else I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight.

...trudged out to the grocery store because otherwise I would have had no breakfast tomorrow since I ate the last of my cereal this morning.

...was finally free of my migraine at about 6:00 P.M. I still get twinges every once in a while, but nothing compare to what I had earlier and I am also free of that foggy feeling that comes with a migraine. going to feed my cats and my fish and then curl up in bed with my book.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today I...November 9th

Today I... sharing another clip from 'Love Actually' with all of you. If any of you like Hugh Grant, this is classic :o) feeling better, hopefully my cold will be pretty much gone by tomorrow.

...brought some of the pilaf I made on Friday to J. He loves rice and has some in his lunch pretty much every day, so I figured I would try some of mine out on him. If he likes it, I'll bring him ore because I have so much of the stuff it would take me at least two weeks to eat all of it!

...spent an hour talking on Skype with my Sweetheart. Me? giddy after speaking with him for so long? Nah... :o) hoping you get a giggle out of this film clip, I'll try and have those dog show photos on my PC tomorrow so I can share a few with you. I meant to do it tonight, but then I spent an hour on Skype, so it didn't happen. I'm sorry...and yet I'm not :oJ

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Today I...November 7th

Today I... sharing this photo from my visit to the Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie at the Olympic Stadium last year with you. I went again today, but the crowd, if you can imagine it, was even bigger than this one so I didn't stay as long as last year and didn't take as many pictures. I don't have the one's from today on my computer yet, but I'll try and get that done on Tuesday and will share a few with you then. apologizing for not posting yesterday. I have come down with a cold and just wanted to go to bed early last night, which I managed to do. I finally got around to watching 'Love Actually' and then was out like a light and took full advantage of 'free hour of sleep' night, one of my favorite nights of the year ;o) hoping that I didn't give this cold to my Sweetheart, but for all I know I may have caught it from him. I'll ask him about it on Tuesday, but if he's not online, then I'll have a pretty fair hint that he has indeed come down with this cold as well. I'm bombarding mine with Cold FX, but he's not as willing to pop supplements and things as I am, so he tends to suffer more when he has colds, plus he gets them more often than I do. My last cold goes back to February, whereas he had one in October!

...can't believe the weekend is already over! Time sure flies when you're having fun!

...keep daydreaming about my Sweetheart. I can't wait for it to be the first weekend of December so I can go and visit him!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today I...November 5th

Today I... sharing this photo of the strawberry heart my Sweetheart made for me on Valentine's Day this year. I shared it with you already in this post, but I just spent a lovely evening with my Sweetheart, so I figured I would share it with you again :o)

...woke up at 11:00 A.M. Yes, I had the day off, it's one of my two 'Recovering from the Canonization' days off, my next one is on December 3rd. It felt lovely to be able to sleep in so late.

...made a creamy wild rice pilaf in my slow cooker.

...went to Indigo Books Downtown and bought two books, Ken Follett's new one 'Fall of Giants' and another entitled 'The Postmistress' by Sarah Blake. I'm starting off with 'The Postmistress' because the Ken Follett book is massive (932 pages) and I didn't want to go through it wondering about 'The Postmistress'.

...ended up rushing home from the bookstore because I happened to open my e-mails while there and saw that my Sweetheart had sent me a message at 4:00 P.M. telling me that he finished work at 5:00 P.M. and would be coming straight to my place after. The thing was that I red his message at 5:10 P.M.!!! I was on the phone with my dad at the time and literally ended up saying 'Oh damn, I have to go!!!' I was stepping out of the subway 10 minutes from my place at 5:40 P.M. and calling my Sweetheart right away, I was so worried I had missed him! He didn't pick up, so I left him a message and he called me back right away telling me that he had gotten held up at work for a bit, so he was only leaving then. Phew! now so looking forward to my visit to my Sweetheart's in precisely 27 days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo I took of the Arno River in Florence from the Ponte Vecchio when I was in Italy back in 2006. Yup, an oldie... :o) It's one of my favorite photos from that trip though, so I figured I would share it with you guys.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, you can start it off on the right foot by checking out all of the other Skywatch photos that the Skywatch Friday Blog has to offer :o)

Today I...November 3rd

Today I...

...figured I would share the video you will find at the bottom of this post with you instead of a picture. It's a scene from 'Love Actually', one of my favorite movies, featuring Rowan Atkinson, aka: M. Bean. The movie is full of funny moments, but this one is one of the best I find :o)

...was supposed to give a tour, but ended up not giving it since the group were a bit fewer than planned and they had already set things up to divide into three and not four. I must say I wasn't overly disappointed since I was feeling tired and therefore not really in 'giving a tour to a bunch of 15-16 year olds' mode.

...went to the grocery store since my fridge and pantry were both alarmingly bare and spent quite a while there hunting down the ingredients for my next crock-pot creation: creamy wild rice pilaf. I found everything but the wild rice, the closest I got a blend of different rices that included wild rice, so I went for that. I spent about a half hour in the store when grocery shopping usually takes me all of 10-15 minutes and just as I was getting off the bus realized that I had forgotten to buy the sour cream. Isn't that always the way of it? Oh well, I'll just buy some tomorrow. very much looking forward to seeing my Sweetheart tomorrow or Friday! He ended up not heading back to Toronto on Sunday after all since the thought of trekking all the way back there only to have to turn around and come back to Montreal tonight was not at all appealing and I got an e-mail from him this morning asking me if I wanted to go out for coffee and dessert tomorrow night. Eep...slight problem, I'm supposed to go to dinner in the monastery with C and D tomorrow night because our boss and our former interim boss want to thank us for all our work when we were without a department head for eight months when our last boss up and dropped us right before Christmas last year. We've already put it off once because I had a choir practice and C was sick and we nearly put it off again this time because C isn't well again, but it was too late to call it off now that the cooks in the monastery have already set up the menu and bought the groceries and then my Sweetheart just had to pick tomorrow night at the last minute. Oh well, I offered up Friday instead seeing as I have the day off and will be making a delectable dinner of which there will be more than enough for two, so hopefully he'll be willing to switch to Friday as long as he is still free. We shall see, but really, I don't mind as long as I see him, I can always skitter out of the monastery a bit early :o) hoping you enjoy today's Feature Presentation :o)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today I...November 2nd

Today I... sharing this picture of my first cat Cinnamon with you. I've written about him on here once before in one of my earliest posts, but haven't show him off again. Here he is sitting in my suitcase on the day I left for Italy back in 2006. he would do this every time I took out my suitcase because he realized pretty darn quick what it meant! Didn't he have an amazing 'You know you're taking me with you, right?' face? asking you all to pray for my dear colleague 'L', our director of communications. She had colon cancer several years ago and had been in remission for six years, but had apparently (even though she kept it hidden from most of us, namely C, D, and I) been feeling unwell for about a year. We found out last week that she was diagnosed with liver cancer and found out today that things don't look good at all when she asked our director of personnel to have us say a special mass for her. We're going to have it on Thursday morning at 8:00 A.M., but I would so appreciate if you could all say prayers for her as of now. L is such a kindhearted woman, always smiling and happy, the kind of person who lights up a room when she walks in and has such a passion for her job. We all want so much for her to get well again, so won't you send some prayers and-or positive thoughts her way?

...was happy to be able to sleep in this morning since I was only starting at noon. That's the upside of working afternoon-to-evening shifts. The downside is that it sets my inner clock all out of whack, or at least when I do it as often as I have been lately. My body doesn't know what to expect anymore I think!

...still feel all warm and fuzzy when I remember holding one of my fellow choristers' newborn son last night. It had been years since I had held a baby in my arms and I had forgotten what an amazing feeling it is...especially when they smile at you as two-month old Baby O is just starting to do...nothing turns on the 'Mommy' instincts more than that!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today I...October 31st

Today I... tired, happy and a bit relieved as well. I got home from work about an hour ago after the last of the celebrations for Brother André's Canonization. Hence my sharing this picture of the sculpture of Brother André which is at his birthplace, but taken from the back. I took it when I visited there for the first time with two colleagues back on Labour Day of 2008. I am so happy to have been such an active part of the celebrations, but boy, what a ride! I'm tired, although not as much as I was on Thursday since I've had a chance to sleep quite a bit this weekend having working afternoons and evenings rather than days, but I'm still looking forward to my three day weekend this week!

...was happy to see a few children in costume on the way home as it made me feel like I hadn't missed out on Halloween altogether! going to watch a tiny bit of the news and am then going to head off to bed. Goodnight!

Today I...October 30th

Today I... wishing all of you a happy Halloween for tomorrow! These two fine fellows are a pair of pumpkins that my Sweetheart and I carved together way back when in the first year together (meaning 2004). He had never done a thing for Halloween before because his mother didn't believe in it so he had a huge amount of fun coming over to my place and carving a pumpkin and handing out candy with me. Hopefully next year we'll be able to at least carve a pumpkin together and maybe hand out candy. We'll have to see how that works out with his condo, but there's no handing out candy in my apartment building as there are no kids in here!

...had a quiet first half of the day before heading off to work for 2:00 P.M.

...had a relatively quiet time of it at work. It was mostly staff management a helping out at the coat check for the Holy Cross Order's celebratory dinner at the Oratory after the mass at the stadium.

...took the impressive amount of snow falling on my way out of work in stride. Yup, you read that right, snow. What can I say, it's late October in Montreal, snow happens at this time of year here. Not every year, but it does.

...took the salt truck that drove by while I was waiting for my bus in stride as well. looking forward to my life being less crazy once the last day of celebrations for Brother André's canonization is over tomorrow and I actually have a normal work schedule again. Well, kind of, my boss wants me to go in from noon to 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday because it's the mass for the dead (November 2nd, it's a tradition every year) and there may be a lot of people. *sigh* okay, at least I get to sleep in again on Tuesday morning!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today I...October 29th

Today I... sharing this picture of my Sweetheart taking a picture with you :o) I took it back in August and had nearly forgotten about it until I went to chose a picture for this post. I love taking his picture when he doesn't know it, especially when he is in the process of taking a photo, because he is so focused that he has no clue what I'm up to :o)

..slept in until about 9:15 and then laid around in bed until 10:00.

...had an unplanned visit from my friend V. We went out to get canned cat food for my cats and then made a stop at the grocery store so I could get a few things there before going out for sushi.

...was planning to watch 'Love Actually' when I got home, but ended up falling asleep and being out like a light for two hours instead! Maybe I'll watch it tonight after CSI NY and Blue Bloods. It'll be a bit late, but I only woke up from my nap at 6:00 P.M. so I have no clue if I'll be able to sleep before late anyhow! so very happy that I'm only working afternoons and evenings this weekend. It'll allow to catch up on my sleep and I'm hoping to not wake up crabby in the mornings next week thanks to that! still wondering how, in the name of all heck, one of my cats (probably Magique because this is so her style...) managed to get my little rubber duck Wilbur (yes, my rubber duck has a name and I am not ashamed to say so :op) stuck in my bathtub drain. He was undoubtedly swatted out of his soap dish and then whacked around in the tub, but how someone managed to shove him into the drain? I have no clue...Fortunately I was able to rescue him and he has moved out of his soap dish and into my hanging bath supply rack which is out of feline reach as it hangs from the shower head! Poor Wilbur, it will take him ages to unruffle his feathers from the ordeal.