Friday, September 30, 2011

Today I...September 30th

Today I... sharing this photo of a whole variety of squash with you. They were at the same market that the pumpkins were at. Tomorrow picture? Probably another variety of pumpkins :o)

...finally got to give a tour at work! I was amazed that this one wasn't cancelled at the last minute as so many of my tours have been lately, hopefully my bad karma is gone now :o)

...found myself wishing, yet again, that I was allowed to keep the tips I am given at work. I received 38.32$ at the end of my tour today, which would have paid for all but about 15$ of my groceries and would have been a huge help to me as I am seriously cash strapped this month, but we don't get tips very often at the Oratory would therefore be in serious trouble if they lowered our salaries so we could keep our tips and we would also have to declare them at tax time, which is a major pain according to my hairdresser cousin. It still sucks to see the money go though.

...wanted to rip my smoke detector off of my ceiling, yet again. You see, up until about two months ago I just had the general alarm smoke detector that all the apartments in my building have and I thought that was enough, but it apparently wasn't since when the janitor came in to do the inspection required by the Montreal fire department he said he had to put another one in and that he wasn't surprised to see that I had no smoke detector since almost all the apartments had either taken out the batteries from their smoke detectors or taken them down. I have now found out why. I cannot use the oven without turning on a fan because the alarm goes and even if I do turn on a fan, the alarm sometimes goes anyhow, as it did tonight. I climbed up in a step ladder with three books to try and reach the alarm and get the blasted batteries out, but I'm too short. Ugh...I moved the fan around, opened a window wide and stood under the alarm and fanned at it with a book until it shut up. The next time my Sweetheart comes over, he's taking out the batteries. I could hear the fire alarm going in the other half of the building across the courtyard when it went off during the summer, so I'm pretty darn sure I'll hear the one in the hall outside my door if it goes! I just want to be able to use my oven without having to wear earplugs again!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of the American side of Niagara Falls taken from the Canadian side of the basin. I took it the very first time I went to Falls back in October of 2008 over Thanksgiving (Canadian) weekend. I was stunned by the size and beauty of the falls and also by their power, they truly had a magical effect on me. This is my favorite photo of that day and I hope you all like it too :o)

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, you can stop by the Skywatch Friday Blog.

Enjoy your weekend, I hope you have nicer weather than what they are announcing in Montreal, I think my planned excursion to the apple orchard may have to wait until next week unless I want to pick apples from a rowboat, they're announcing so much rain!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today I...September 28th

Today I... sharing this photo of some little pumpkins with you. I became quite excited when I saw huge wooden crates filled with two different kinds of pumpkins and a variety of squash at the outdoor market at Mount Royal metro station when I was out with V two weeks ago. I love pumpkins, you see. I love the look of them, I love the taste of them and I love carving them up for Halloween, so I naturally also love taking picture of them :o) feeling a bit better. No more migraine, but still sad that my Sweetheart is going to be away so much in the next few months. I am very grateful that God has blessed me with so much patience. The fact that I am very proud of my Sweetheart and the work that he does also helps, but I still feel lonely without him and I wish we could be together more. I waited two years for him to come home from Toronto and I find it rather alarming how often I find myself thinking that it was easier to have quality time with him in Toronto where it was just the two of us and he had a regular 9:00 to 5:00 job! thinking more and more about how nice it will be to have two weeks off over Christmas and New Year's, I need a vacation even if all I do is stay home!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today I...September 27th

Today I...

...have a horrible migraine, so I am going to let the music do most of the work for me. This is Paul Mealor's Ubi Caritas sung by the Choirs of Westminster Abbey and St-George's Chapel during the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton this past April. I had never heard this piece of music before it was sung at the wedding and I was very touched by it. I sent another YouTube video of it to my choir director yesterday where it was sung by an adult choir and he loved it as well. We are going to try and find the sheet music for it so our choir can sing it, possibly this Spring.

...have shed a few tears since my Sweetheart told me that he won't just be away on business next for ten days as of next week, but for 10 day stints up north until the middle of November and then in Haiti for two weeks from the middle to the end of November. Up north all he will have to communicate with will be an obscenely expensive satellite phone 1.25$ a minute, so not for leisure purposes and in Haiti he will only be able to send text messages from his colleague's phone, which is also pricey so I might get one every two days. God help me, I just may go mad. Over the next two months he will be in Montreal for nine days and I'm going to have to compete with his family, his laundry and his colleagues for his attention. God help me, I just may go mad...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Today I...September 25th

Today I... writing a quick post after a sort of busy weekend. I went out to a friend's place last night for a lovely wine and cheese and today had a nice late morning of sleeping in followed by a nice, quiet day. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and I'll be back with a new post on Tuesday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today I...September 23rd

Today I... sharing this photo of part of the Fall stock at the outdoor market at Mount Royal metro station. You know Fall is near when they bring out the Squash and chrysanthemums! quite tired! I was at my Sweetheart's last night and his neighbor played a very loud video game late into the night! If he had been my neighbor I would have gone over and knocked on the the door to ask him to turn his blasted volume down, but my Sweetheart said he never answers when he knocks on his door, even when he's not playing a video game.

...had a good laugh when my Sweetheart told me this morning that he dreamed that we were using his GPS to track my grandparents during their current vacation. We spent all evening trying to get his new GPS working...hence the dream. Although in his dream my Grandparents were on a cruise to England which had to detour to Bahamas, not on their actual European bus tour. Not bad eh? I dunno which I would have picked, but the Bahamas with my Sweetheart sounds pretty good this time of year lol looking forward to the season premieres of CSI NY and Blue Bloods!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is another photo of Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles under a beautiful blue sky. To the right you can see a building that looks like a big staircase. It is the Salle Pierre Mercure where the Grands Ballets Canadiens perform, except for when they are performing their annual run of The Nutcracker when they occupy the Place des Arts for a month. The building to the left with the large bay of window is the Place des Arts, where the Opéra de Montréal performs and in between those two concert halls you can just make out the new Maison Symphonique, where the Montreal Symphony Orchestra now performs. The interior is complete, but the outside is still missing some final touches.

To see more Skywatch Photos from around the world, you can stop over at the Skywatch Friday Blog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today I...September 21st

Today I... sharing this picture of the funky exterior light near the Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles here in Montreal. If you think they look like eyes, you're not the only one :o)

...had my second of three tours I've had scheduled since Monday cancelled. Yup, out of three tours, I've only made it out for one! The worst part is that the same on-call tour guide came in for nothing twice to split the groups with me! Poor guy...we're starting to think he's going to think twice before coming in the next time!

...heard what I thought might be the fire alarm go off while I was eating dinner. When I got out into the hall to check things out though, I realized that it wasn't the fire alarm going off, but the alarm bell in the elevator! There was a lady stuck in there between the first and second floors because some guy held the outer door of the (70 year old, but still going strong) elevator and the car stopped thinking that someone was trying to get in even though the car was already moving. She was thankfully not claustrophobic and was therefore not panicking, but was quite pissed off at the guy who got her stuck in there. It didn't take too long to get her out of there since it was not a mechanical break, I'll keep that in mind if ever the same thing happens to me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today I...September 20th

Today I... back after a busy Sunday and Monday! sharing another photo of Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles with you. As some of you noticed, Ste-Catherine Street at this level is pedestrian. Actually, the entire festival and concert hall area is pedestrian, which I think is marvelous since I am a pedestrian about 90% of the time. The rest of the time I'm usually on public transit which I find is a great service in Montreal that keeps getting better all the time. If you live in town in Montreal, you really don't need a car if you don't have children, so I'm good a few more years I think :o)

...gave my first tour since early June and am Happy to report that it went quite well, especially according to my group. They were a very sweet group of seniors with a city tour guide who was also a great help to me with the members of the group who were a bit slower at getting around and needed the elevators rather than the escalators.

...had a good giggle when one of the ladies in the group asked if she had to bring her survey regarding her experience at the Oratory back to the 'pink building'. The building in question is our summer information booth and it's got a red roof. How she came up with pink I don't know, but I thought it was quite a cute mistake to make!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today I...September 17th

Today I... sharing this photo of St-Catherine Street in Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles with you. I took this photo on Saturday of last week, but it could easily have been Saturday of this week since the weather was so similar :o) my laundry and vacuuming done.

...spent the afternoon with V. We ate at a delightful little cafe on Amherst street in the Gay Village called De Farine et d'Eau Fraîche and then headed to Mount Royal avenue for a stop at David's Tea and then at Point G, a delightful little cafe devoted mostly to macaroons. Neither V not I had had macaroons before, but I'm pretty sure we'll be having them rather regularly from now on :o)

...spoke with my Sweetheart for a bit. He will be leaving for Northern Quebec on October 2nd for a week. He's still working on how he and his two business partners are going to get up there without having to spend a fortune though since the locale they're going to is a remote island with a population of 280 accessible only by a ferry that runs once a week or by plane. Dear me...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today I... sharing a final picture of Christ Church Cathedral with all of you :o) so glad that it's Friday, I was really looking forward to the weekend this week! looking forward to going out to lunch with V tomorrow, I haven't seen her in over a month!

...was so sad when I came across a stray dog this afternoon, a yellow lab. She wouldn't stay with me long enough for me to see if she was wearing a collar, so I let her continue on her way and called public security when I got back to my office. She was clearly looking for her home and her family. She came up to me when I knelt down and smiled at her and asked her if she was alone, sniffed at me and had a reaction that said 'I'm sorry, but you're not who I'm looking for.' and then walk off. I hope that public security caught up with her and that she will have somewhere warm to sleep tonight, food to eat and water to drink.

...heard from my Sweetheart that he and his two business partners were given a contract to inspect a large number of small overpasses on Quebec's North Shore. I don't know yet when he will be leaving, but it will be either this weekend or early next week. It was very short notice though, so he has been incredibly busy since they got the contract. I may not be seeing him for a while...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of  Montreal's Christ Church Cathedral and the KPMG tower this past Saturday afternoon.

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, visit the Skywatch Friday blog.

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today I...September 14th

Today I... sharing another view of Christ Church Cathedral with you. It's impossible to get a photo of the entire façade at once without being across the street from the church and then you have to compete with the traffic to get your shot. It's no big deal for though, because then I get to be creative with the angles of my shots when doing a closeup :o)

...had a pretty quiet day at work, except for the part where my boss called a meeting for 11:00 A.M....right before my usual lunch hour. I was a most unhappy camper because I get really cranky when I'm hungry. I therefore brought the yogurt I had planned to eat for dessert into the meeting with me and shamelessly ate it when I couldn't handle being hungry anymore. The boss didn't seem to mind, he actually had a good laugh about it after the meeting.

...went out to run some errands after work, namely to buy some cans of cat food. I love going to the pet supply store as the owner has his dog Boomer there most days and he always recognizes me and comes running up to greet me :o) looking forward to Friday. I am a total advocate for the four day work week, but I do know that there is no way that will be happening for me any time soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today I...September 13th

Today I... sharing this photo of Montreal's Christ Church Cathedral with you. It is the seat of the bishop of the Anglican church in Montreal and is one of Montreal's landmark churches. Dating back to 1859, it sits literally in the heart of Montreal's shopping and business district, right in between The Bay, Montreal's oldest department store (The Bay, also known as the Hudson's Bay Company is in fact the oldest retail company in North America, dating back to 1670 and they now supply the official uniforms for Canada's Olympic teams), and the KPMG tower which was designed to fit in architecturally with the Cathedral's neo-gothic architectural style. This is the first of a series of photos that I took while out shopping on Saturday, I'm so happy to finally have some new photos to show you!

...didn't feel tired until about a half hour ago despite not putting out my light until 12:30 A.M. after getting caught up in my new book, Kimberly Freeman's 'Wildflower Hill'. It is a perfect summer read, very interesting a easy to get through. I'll probably be done with it by Wednesday next week at the latest. seriously considering investing in a Kobo reader. While I love the feeling of having a book in my hands and leafing through it, the fact is that ebooks are cheaper and I do not have much money. The less expensive way of reading is looking like the way to go for me and there is also the fact that it would be eco-friendly. I don't know, I'll have to really look at how much I could save and then make the leap once I've reconciled myself to the thought of no longer reading paper books.

...pulled my kitchen table out into the middle of the kitchen and managed to open up the plastic light cover over my burnt out kitchen light (good thing I had a spare lamp sitting unused on my living room floor when the light bulb blew the other day, otherwise I would have been in trouble) and was flabbergasted to see the most complicated neon bulbs I had ever seen. Two circular neon tubes connected to a 120V box...what the heck??? I took a picture of them and sent them off to my Sweetheart and am waiting for his advice on what to do with them, but one thing is for sure, I will not be changing them on my own as I have no idea where to begin and while I can reach them, I still have to reach a bit too much to be able to make full use of my dexterity and the last thing I want is to drop one of the bulbs and have it smash and spread mercury all over the kitchen with my cats around! I hate neon bulbs...especially when they're hanging from a ceiling that is at least 10 feet high.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today I...September 11th

Today I... sharing this Ikea ad with you. Their ads are brilliant as a general rule, but being a cat and music fan, I find this one particularly good :o) back to posting after taking Friday and yesterday off. I actually was going to post yesterday, but then ended up getting a wonderful invitation to my Sweetheart's. I'm sure you'll forgive me for skipping out on you guys for that :o)

...had a wonderful day with my Sweetheart. We got up late, then headed out to watch the Montreal Grand Prix of cycling and then we had lunch with a few of his friends before going for a walk in Mont Royal park and watching the cyclists go by us two more times. home around 4:00 P.M. and did the ironing, vacuuming and putting away of laundry that I was planning on doing last night.

...went back out, this time for sushi and ice cream with my brother. Yum!!!

...spent quite a bit of time thinking back to how different today was from September 11th, 2001. So many smiling, carefree faces. The weather was just as gorgeous today as it was on this day 10 years ago, but this time everyone I saw was so happy. It was almost like looking at how September 11th, 2001 should have gone rather than how it did go. I'm sure that a lot of other people were thinking the same thing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of the façade of Toronto's Union Station with the CN Tower in the background. I was hoping for nice, blue skies for this photo, but it was quite cloudy when I left Toronto on Monday. I'm not too disappointed with the photo though since I do find the contrast between all the buildings and the sky quite interesting.

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, visit the Skywatch Friday blog. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Today I...September 7th

Today I... sharing this photo of the Bixi station outside Union Station in Toronto. I was quite happy to see Bixi bikes going around Toronto as it shows how Montreal and Toronto can have impacts on each other. The Bixi bicycle sharing project started out in Montreal two years ago and is based on the bicycle sharing project in Paris. Since starting in Montreal, New York has tried out the project and is planning to launch it within a few months and Boston and Washington are also trying it out. It is a hugely popular program in Montreal and is contributing to our becoming a greener city all the time :o) a ride home from D so I could get my box of Mexican food out of the office. Now I am left with one question: what in the heck am I going to do with five cans of re-fried beans???

...practically drooled while listening to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's inaugural concert in their new concert hall. It was Beethoven's 9th symphony and I have never heard it sound so good. I do believe that our new Maison de la Symphonie (Symphony House in English), as the new concert hall is called,  rivals Toronto's Four Seasons Center. I can't wait to go and visit it during one of the open house days between tomorrow and Sunday :o)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Today I...September 6th

Today I... back to blogging after a nice, long weekend off! sharing these two photos I took inside Toronto's Union Station with all of you. As many of my followers, who have been with me for quite a while know, I spent I great deal of time in this station over the two years that my Sweetheart was on contract in Toronto. The first time I went to visit him in Toronto, we actually met right by the arrivals and departure board in these photos. I understandably was never very interested in looking around the station since the most time I spent there was while waiting to get on the train home. Not a very cheery experience and I had to do it a dozen times, so yesterday while I was waiting to get on the train, I actually had to keep reminding myself that I was coming back to Montreal where my Sweetheart is, rather than leaving him behind in Toronto. happy to report that I acquired many baby care talents while visiting with my family this weekend and helping care for my cousin's six week old baby. I notably became extremely comfortable handing a wriggly baby, learned how to burp him and most importantly changed my first dirty diaper. I also learned that babies, even at six weeks old, notice everything you do, to the point where I spent a lot of time playing the 'face making' game with him, it was so much fun and so amazing!

...had a relatively quiet day at work.

...received, of all things, a box of Mexican food from a pilgrim who came to visit this summer. I helped him plan his visit to the Oratory and referred him to his tour guide, so he sent both a guide and I a box of canned Mexican food from, according to the Oratory's resident American priest who is from Chicago, the best Mexican food company there. I'm curious to taste it, but I'll have to wait until D can drive me home to get the stuff to my place and taste it since the box is too heavy for me to carry all the way home on the bus. This box of food is by far the most...original take on a tip that I have ever come across.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of Toronto's CN Tower, one of the world's tallest buildings and for many years, the world's tallest freestanding structure from 1975 to 2007. It has since been trumped a few times, namely by the famous Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, you can head over to the Skywatch Friday blog.

And now for my regular readers, an update since I skipped yesterday's 'Today I...' post. I'm happy to report that I have succeeded in saving my remaining fish, who seem to have suffered to ill effects from the high water temperature they had to endure the other day.

I spent yesterday evening and last night at my Sweetheart's place and we had a lovely time, but I was rather late for work this morning. When I got to the office I wrote to him to tell him that we're going to have to either set the alarm earlier or I'm going to have to launch myself out of bed as soon as the alarm goes when I stay at his place, which is not something I enjoy doing under normal circumstances and certainly not when I'm with him. I mean, who doesn't like to cuddle with their significant other upon waking up in the morning? Anyhow, I also proposed that we stick alternate weeks, when it comes to whose place we stay at, because I really do live close to work so that way we can get up later without my having to worry about being late...or at least not 25 minutes late like I was this morning.

I finished reading Erik Larson's 'In the Garden of Beasts' on Monday during my lunch hour and have been reading Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' since Monday night. I am really enjoying it so far and think it will keep me quite busy on the train tomorrow! In the Garden of Beasts is a good book, but definitely not light, cheerful reading as it is a non-fiction book about the US ambassador who was in service during the pre-war years of Hitler's leadership of Germany.

I'm leaving for Toronto tomorrow afternoon, it's going to be my first visit there since my Sweetheart moved back to Montreal in March and I think it is going to be quite an interesting feeling being there while he is not. The last time I went to Toronto just to visit my family was back in late November of 2008, at which point I was there for a job interview thinking that I was going to move there since I was having so much trouble finding permanent work here and also couldn't stand the idea of living so far from my Sweetheart for two years. Looking back now I am very glad that the job didn't work out and that I stayed here. Sometimes there's no point trying to get around something difficult, you just have to go through it and once you have, you understand why God (in my case), or fate put it in your path.

See you all next week, possibly Monday or if not, then Tuesday :o)