Thursday, March 31, 2011

Skywatch Friday

I'm back with a Skywatch feature this week, a photo of a beautiful blue Spring sky above the Sunlife building in Montreal.

I hope you've all had a good week and that you will have a great weekend! To see Skywatch photos from around the world, visit the Skywatch Friday blog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today I...March 29th

Today I... having a pictureless post and I am starting to feel like a computer screen zombie and thus don't feel like hunting around for one.

...had a bi-weekly very long and boring meeting all morning.

...had a very yummy salmon burger for lunch form the Oratory's cafe.

...spent a fraction of the afternoon hunting for a new vacation destination for my Sweetheart and I.

...spent a large portion of the afternoon helping C with her American visa application and can I just say that American visa applications are ridiculously long and ask some really ridiculous questions that a person would have to be very stupid to answer 'yes' to?

...spent all evening until now hunting for a new vacation destination for my Sweetheart which is why I am feeling quite zombie like. Right now, Puerto Rico seems to be winning by virtue of an affordable flight for my Sweetheart and affordable housing. I would have to get a Hepatitis shot before going down there though and more than likely my Sweetheart and I would have to take different flights, which is a major drawback for my fearful flyer self :o( We should be getting together tomorrow or Thursday to figure this vacation thing out. We definitely will have earned our trip after all the trouble we will have gone to to book the blasted thing!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today I...March 27th

Today I... sharing some of my Earth Hour pictures with you, since I made it out with some friends last night. I got some from two sides of Mount Royal, this top one and the one of the raccoons below are from the East side observation area, you can see Montreal's (in)famous Olympic Stadium. They had just lit it back up at the end of Earth Hour. If you click on the picture to enlarge it though, you'll see that quite a few of the apartments and condos still have their lights out.

These next two pictures are taken from an observation point in Westmount, facing south towards the St.Lawrence river, Downtown are and part of the South Shore.

Once again, if you click on the pictures to enlarge them, you will be able to see just how many people turned out their lights to participate in Earth Hour...especially since there was a Canadiens' game last night, which some people thought might decrease the participation level. I don't know why, since you don't need the lights on to watch TV, but it certainly doesn't seem to have done too much harm.

Today I...

...slept ten hours straight, from 11:00 P.M. last night to 9:15 A.M.. It sure felt good!

...went out to lunch with my brother and my mom for my mom's birthday.

...went to visit my grandparents at their new apartment with my brother after lunch. We spent about two hours there. Their apartment is quite nice, very bright and has some great views!

...was disappointed to find out from my Sweetheart that our trip to Honolulu is in jeopardy again due to deteriorating conditions in Japan and worries on his part that Dubai might not grant him a visa as two people that he knows of were either refused or very grudgingly given visas and he doesn't want to flush 250$ down the toilet for a visa if he may not even get it. Once again, we are considering a change in destination, notably Los Angeles or maybe London. London would cost me pretty much my entire tax return though as I would have to buy more points to go there
(20 000 more to be exact). If we stick to LA, I would have points left over after so we could go to Prince Edward Island at a later date, so for now it's looking like LA? I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today I...March 26th

Today I... sharing this Earth Hour 2011 video with you. I have been a happy participant of this event since it first began, turning my lights out, even the one in the fish tank, for one hour between 8:30 P.M. and 9:30 P.M. one a year along with millions and millions of others. This year, I am planning on going up to the observatory in Mount Royal park to take pictures of Downtown before and during earth hour. I am hoping to find a friend or two to go with me, but if not, I'm sure I'll be fine on my own. Mount Royal park is a very safe place and tonight there are sure to be tons of people there. I'll get there early to be sure to have a good spot for my pictures. so happy to have finally made the rounds of your blogs! I'm sorry I've been a bit of an absentee this week, but I spent a delicious amount of time with my Sweetheart, spending the afternoon with him on Tuesday, the evening with him on Thursday and then yesterday he came by at the end of the evening, we went out for a beer with my brother and one his buddies and then came home. He left around 10:30 this morning to go and get on with his busy day. I'm not sure when I'll be seeing him next week, but I'm hoping for Wednesday at the latest since Monday I have my choir practice and Tuesday he has his exam for the order of engineers. happy to report that my brother is making a stellar recovery from his knee surgery! He had his ACL rebuilt on Tuesday March 15th, so a week and a half ago and he was off his crutches a week ago and now barely has a limp.

...called Videotron (the major cable TV provider in Quebec) and had my cable services adjusted. I am no longer going to have a home phone (it worked through cable) as of May 1st and am getting a better deal on my TV. My bill, with the increases they were going to put in place, would have gone up to 109,41$ a month, which I found ludicrous for a phone I hardly used and TV channels that I mostly didn't watch, so I went from a trio package to a duo package with high speed internet and basic digital cable plus 15 channels that I picked myself. I am so happy, my bill will be down to 96$ and change, so I will be saving a bit over 13$ a month and have nothing but channels that I WANT to watch on my TV! My father will also be giving me free reign to get a new cell phone with a plan that will allow me to have more daytime minutes and texting options since my cell phone will now be my only phone. I am very fortunate that my father still pays for my cell phone and I know that he still does because I never abuse it. I very rarely go over my minutes or my texting limits and he is therefore happy to keep paying for it. Hooray! going to get my laundry done, go grocery shopping and get a birthday card for my mom, plus try and get a nap in somewhere in there since I am feeling tired. Maybe during the hour my stuff will be in the dryer? happy to be spending so much time with my Sweetheart, but missing blogging regularly. Give me a few weeks and I will try and work out a new balance where I can fit posting in more often :o)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Today I...March 23rd

Today I... sharing this picture of some tulips that I took on the street I used to live on with you. It was taken on April 18th. There is not a chance in all heck of my taking a picture like this one on April 18th this year though. Not unless there is a major flash thaw! Just look at all the green in there! Nope, I think this year is a far more typical one and we will be seeing gardens looking like this in May, no sooner. Just being realistic here, not pessimistic :o)

...did pretty good at getting up at 7:00 A.M., but am now feeling a bit tired since I put my light out a bit later than I wanted to last night, at 12:25 A.M. I'll try and do better tonight.

...was miffed when I saw that D had not been able to replace me for the tour he put me on at 10:30 A.M. tomorrow. Our tours usually last about an hour and a half you see and tomorrow is the social club's sugar shack themed lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 P.M. and I am therefore going to miss about a half hour of it :o( I'm going to try and give an hour and a quarter long tour instead of an hour and a half. It's with teenager anyhow and they never ask questions, so it shouldn't be too hard to do. reading the Twilight books over again, or at least from the second book onwards. I own the first Twilight movie and watched it on Monday night and decided to read the books again after that. They're a fun, easy read so they should keep me busy for about three weeks if I read all of them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today I...March 22nd

Today I... sharing this America's Funniest Home Videos compilation of hilarious cat moments with you. I posted it once, but waaaaay back when so a lot of you may not have seen it. I've watched this video countless times and it always makes me laugh. pleased to inform you that Magique's demon was exorcised by the clipping of her claws. When her claws are long, she is more daring in her devilishness, probably because she knows that she can actually do damage. And no, I will never consider having my lovely feline duo declawed. My friend G, who is a vet, told me that declawing a cat is the equivalent to cutting off the end of a humans fingers and she will actually not declaw cats if she can talk the owners out of it, which she often can. So clawed my kitties remain. if you give the a decent scratching post or better yet several of the spread out around the house they will actually have very little incentive to claw anything else. Case in point: my couch is fine, my bed is fine, the only thing that had a chance to get messed up before Magique learned to use the kitty condo properly was my old couch and my cheap kitchen table...which I got cheap on purpose so I wouldn't flip out if my untrained kitten sank her claw into it once she was big enough to reach the corner of it. As for Quinn, no issue. She has never sharpened her claws anywhere but on the kitty condo. happy to let you all know that my trip to Honolulu is ON!!! I spent the day with my Sweetheart today and he has decided to leave his itinerary as is, Tokyo included so we booked our hotel. I feel fine about his going to Tokyo, I just asked him to please not drink the water as there were traces of radiation found in it. As for food, I trust the Japanese to only put safe food in the mouths of their people. He will, of course, be keeping a close eye on the situation and will not go to Japan if things get out of control, but for now things look stable enough and We're both comfortable with his going there. The poor Japanese will be so low on tourists that he'll likely be treated like a king over there! heading back to work tomorrow and will therefore have to get up at 7:00 A.M. for the first time since Thursday of last week. Ouch, that might be rough. I am going to try and behave and have my light out by Midnight. so happy that I got to spend the day with my Sweetheart :o) We ended up having to postpone our day together by one day when his new niece was born at Midnight on Sunday-Monday and I was disappointed about that, but oh so happy when he invited me over today instead. Our next get together is on Thursday when he comes over to my place after work. I'm so looking forward to that...but don't be surprised if I don't do a blog post that day as I will have other things on my mind :o)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today I...March 20th

Today I... popping in for a quick post while the news is on and before feeding my critters and turning in for the night. sharing this picture of a woman and her dog heading to the St-Patrick's Day Parade last year. really beginning to wonder if my cat Magique has been possessed by some sort of demon. So far today she has unraveled the roll of toilet paper once and then gone back to destroy it when I rolled it back up. The new roll is now on the hook on the back of my bathroom door. She broke the elastic I put around two of my pantry door handles because she figured out that the latch on one door was loose and got into the pantry where my pots and pans are. I found the elastic and tied it around the handles and am hoping she won't break that. She also tried to get into my closed crock pot and figured out that if she shoved on my bathroom door it would open, which is how she destroyed my toilet paper. Ugh...

...made it out to the grocery store and did my laundry. the ingredients for some saucy chicken with shiitake and crimini mushrooms. The sauce is made with cream of wild mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, dry white wine and garlic and herb cream cheese. I'm going to plug in the crock pot tomorrow before heading out to my Sweetheart's place and am hoping he will come home to enjoy a meal with me after we're done working on his condo :o)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today I...March 16th

Today I... popping in with a quick post and am sharing a self-explanatory photo with you :o) tired, but not nearly as much as yesterday. glad that today was a far less brutal day than yesterday, when we had two elderly ladies take nasty falls in the escalators. both of them ended up leaving in ambulances. I also got held up by a choir that I had to take care of because they ended up staying way later than they were supposed to. They had been delegated to C, but she was finishing at 4:30 P.M. and the choir was still up with the organist at that time so they became my responsibility and they didn't leave until 5:15 P.M. By then I was way behind in my stuff and I ended up finishing everything at 7:00 P.M. on the dot and had only stopped for 45 minutes all day. I was so tired by that point that I felt like crying.

...spent most of the evening with my Sweetheart. We're getting together again on Monday for the day, I'm going to help him do some work on his condo and then maybe we'll go to the movies :o) waiting, along with my Sweetheart, to see what will happen in Japan before we decide the fate of our trip to Hawaii. We both really want to go to Hawaii, but it's a stop on his trip that is way out of the way if he doesn't got to Japan. We are looking at three options right now: he cancels the whole trip and we got for a closer to home vacation, we spend two weeks in Hawaii and island hop or we go to Europe instead. Right now it's a waiting game for one more week and we will keep talking about the options while we wait.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today I...March 13th

Today I... sharing another butterfly picture with you. I just loved how this little guy blended in with the lilies around him!

...had such a busy weekend it felt like it flew by in five minutes.

...cheated with my 'springing forward' and only turned my clocks ahead after waking up this morning so I wouldn't lose an hour of sleep after staying up late with my friends G and G last night. still awed by how not a single building in Tokyo came down during the earthquake there last Friday. It actually gives me a whole new admiration for the work that my Sweetheart does. He is a civil engineer, specialized in working with seismically resistant steel. There was a great deal of loss of life due to the earthquake and tsunami on Friday, but just imagine how many lives were saved thanks the incredible amount of seismic engineering that went into all the buildings and roads in Japan!

...gave my bathroom a good scrub! I always find that my whole apartment feels clean after I've washed the bathroom lol

...had a hugely busy weekend, busier than I had planned, but it was lots of fun!!!

...will do my best to post this week, but I am working evenings every day except for tomorrow and Thursday so it may be kind of difficult. I may also slack off on commenting until next week. I'm sorry, but this is the busiest time of year for me at work and everything else tends to go by the wayside. I will check in as often as I can though, so don't give up on me completely :o)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Today I...March 11th

Today I... sharing this photo of a butterfly from the Botanical Gardens here in Montreal. It was part of last year's Butterflies go Free exhibit in the greenhouses.

...had one heck of a long day!

...D went off with our boss to go furniture shopping of all things and left me alone with all my work for the novena, a tour guide who was there to greet buses of pilgrims for the first time and had all sorts of questions and three phones. I told him when he got back that he was not to abandon me like that again until the novena was done.

...could not believe it when I realized that I had been sending e-mails back and forth for a choir who I thought was performing at the Oratory tomorrow with the wrong date and the tour organizer did not call me out on it. When I moved back in the e-mail exchange to confirm the number of singers in the group for D, I realized that they were performing on Tuesday. Good Lord, what a mess. Because this year's novena is a special one due to Brother André's recent canonization, we have a different theme every one of the nine days with a different preacher and sometimes different religious communities doing the hymns during mass. I was scared stiff that I would have to write to the tour operator and tell her that because of the mistake the choir would not be able to perform during mass after all. Luckily for me though, when I spoke to the father in charge of liturgical services, he told me that Tuesday was actually a better day for the choir to perform than Saturday. Word cannot express the relief I felt at that point, I was saved from the biggest mistake I would have ever made. I am in charge of visiting choirs at the Oratory and I will take them in at any time of year, but never, ever again during the novena. It is just the bit of extra work that I do not need at this time of year. But seriously? What kind of a tour operator doesn't notice when someone handling one of their groups has them doing something on the wrong date??? Not once but consistently over a two month period??? When I spoke with the woman this afternoon she was like 'Oh, I gave you the wrong date?' and I was like 'No, I gave you the wrong date like two months ago and you didn't notice and I've been giving it to you since then and you didn't notice!' and she was like ' I gave you the wrong date when?' God help me, I don't know how she's still in business...

...was thrilled to go to the salon for a bit of pampering today. I got a bit of a new hairdo and felt much more relaxed when I left the salon than when I got there. so happy it's the weekend. It's going to be a bit of a busy one, but I'll be glad to not be doing seating plans and such!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is the beautiful picture of some palm trees is lovely, sunny, warm Florida. Oh, how I would love to be there instead of in rainy, snowy, slushy, sleety, freezing rain pelted drowning Montreal. Uh yeah, sorry for laying it on thick there but we have had, as a general rule, HORRIBLE weather in Montreal this week. Thus, my southern holiday themed Skywatch picture. T-minus seven weeks until I'm in Hawaii and I can't wait! I haven't been anywhere near a palm tree the size of these guys or a lovely sandy beach in two years and I can't wait to get back to it, especially in light of the size of the puddles of slush I had to navigate around and over and through tonight with my grocery bags. Thank Heavens for eco-friendly grocery bags, that meant that I only had two bags instead of the unknown amount of plastic ones I would have been lugging around. I know some people think that Winter is the worst part of living in Canada, but really I don't think it's that bad. Nope, the part of living in Canada that I hate most is early spring when Montreal is nothing but a slushy, dirty mess...Do not visit Montreal in March and April folks, you will not find it pretty in the least. Nope, come in May once everything is melted and we've cleaned up all the stuff that has been sitting under snowbanks all winter, you'll like us much better then :o)

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, you can visit the Skywatch Friday blog. I hope you all have a nice weekend and I hope it will be dryer than mine! lol

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today I...March 9th sharing this picture of Brother André in the snow with you. The Oratory's annual novena to St-Joseph leading up to his feats day on March 19th begins tomorrow, but it may be, um, snowed out. We'll have to wait and see what the weather does as their predictions as to amount of snow we will get before it turns into rain tomorrow have be varying between 10 and 30 cms all week!

...was put on an altered schedule at work for the duration of the novena. I will be starting and finishing later most days beginning tomorrow, which suits me fine since I will be able to sleep in most mornings and avoid heavy traffic in the mornings due to any bad weather that might come along, like tomorrow morning. feeling much, much better today. I was far less stressed today and am far less tired than I was last night, hooray!

...spoke to my Sweetheart for the firs time since his move and actually for the first time in a week and a half and it was lovely! I had been missing the sound of his voice so very much. He is doing well, but is having trouble with how messy his condo looks since his stuff is in there partially still packed, but when he unpacks it, he has nowhere to put it because his sister has so much stuff. Poor Sweetheart, he is a pretty tidy kind of guy, but his sister is messy, so I don't know what kind of a mood he is going to be in after living with her for a few weeks :ox very happy that my Sweetheart and I should be getting together within a week at the latest. I sent him my schedule from tomorrow to the end of the novena today and he said he would come and see me at least once when I will be working evenings and then we will go out to dinner...or to my place :o)

...may or may not get a Skywatch post up tomorrow. It will depend on what time I get home after work since I will have to stop by the grocery store on my way home and then have dinner. I may splurge on a Knorr frozen entrée to speed things along so I won't get to bed too late.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today I...March 8th

Today I...

...don't have the energy to look up a picture for this post. Sorry...I have a lot of work right now and am enjoying a visit from my monthly 'guest' if you know what I mean, so I am very, very tired. I am therefore also not going to be commenting on blogs too much. I'm sorry :o( I'll try and be a good commenter again by Friday.

...can't wait for the weekend...already! I want to sleep, like a lot.

...reached my peak pre-novena stress point at work today. It happens to me every year, I get so stressed out right before the novena starts that I can't handle anything other than working on the novena. I have C and D deal with everything non-novena related, can get a bit snappish if anyone asks me to deal with anything non-novena related and if anyone adds to my novena-related workload. When I feel this happening, I break out my iPod and block everything but what I'm doing out.

...couldn't understand why C wore perfume to work when she knows it gives me a headache? happy to report that yes, I heard from my Sweetheart and that he did indeed make it to Montreal safely on Sunday night with his brother. He sent my a nice little e-mail yesterday telling me that they made it here without breaking a single on of his things and that he would write to me again when he had regained some semblance of a normal life. I don't know what that means exactly, but I'm guessing that he's referring to his having to become a resident of Quebec again, which will entail his wasting about a day waiting in a government office to get a Quebec driver's licence and a Quebec Medicare card. Then, he's also going to have to switch his cell phone plan back to a Montreal number and he told he while I was a his place a few weeks ago that he would probably also get a new cell phone while he's at it. He also needed to go and visit the office of the Quebec Order of Engineers to arrange to pass their exam, because right now he's a member of the Ontario Order, but not the Quebec one. Good thing he's unemployed right now, because he can probably get all that done in one week. I'm hoping to hear from him by or on Friday, but I know it may not be until Monday. I'm aiming far, that way I'll be really happy if I hear from him before that :o) inviting any of you who love to bake muffins to go and visit, which is where I got the recipe for my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. If you're looking for a muffin recipe, look no further, they probably have it :o) As for a picture of my muffins, I'm sorry, but I don't have one...I hardly ever take pictures of any food I make, I just don't think to do it. I'll try and remember to take a picture the next time I bake something though :o)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Today I...March 6th

Today I... sharing this lovely Gaz Metro ad with you. It's one of those commercials that is so well done that I don't get sick of seeing it, unlike so many ads out there today.

...kept myself busy today buy going out for the ingredients I needed to make some chicken pasta sauce in my crock pot (I realized when I saw the stroganoff recipe that it was what I had made in my crock pot last month) and some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

...just about passed out when I saw the 64$ bill for the ingredients plus the few things that I needed for this week. Boy, is food ever getting expensive, good thing I get a union sanctioned raise every year on May 1st to keep up with it!

...came home and made the muffins and the sauce. The muffins turned out great and I'm letting the sauce cool down before I give it a little taste test and put it in containers. I should last me this week and maybe into next week depending on if I eat out with my Sweetheart this week or not. sure that my Sweetheart has made it to Montreal safe and sound by now, even though I haven't heard from him yet. I'm not surprised I haven't, since I know that he was only planning on leaving Toronto around lunch time. He and his brother may have hit some dicey roads between Toronto and Montreal since the weather here has been lousy all weekend and that would have slowed them down and then they would have had to turn in the rental van. I know he made it here safely though, I can feel it and I am now looking forward to hearing from him and seeing him soon! Thank you all for you encouraging comments this weekend and also over the past two years that my Sweetheart has been away, they have meant so much to me :o)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today I...March 4th

Today I... sharing another picture of Osgoode Hall with you. so happy that it's the weekend!!! still trying to get used to convince myself that my Sweetheart is coming home for good on Sunday! I'm so used to him only being here for a few days at a time that I keep having to remind myself that I will actually be able to see him after Sunday and not if I don't see him by Sunday that I'll have to wait until I can go see him or until he comes back here. looking forward to sleeping in. I'm tired!!! planning on making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins over the weekend and also some beef Stroganoff in my crock pot. also planning on doing my laundry and giving my bathroom a scrub. Plenty to keep me busy on a rainy weekend while waiting for a call from my Sweetheart :o)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is a photo I took of part of the façade of Osgoode Hall in Downtown Toronto against a beautiful Fall sky during my visit there this past October. It is my favorite building in Toronto since it reminds me so much of the huge English manor houses I see in Jane Austen films :o)

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

I hope you all have a nice weekend, I know I will since my Sweetheart is moving back to Montreal on Sunday!!! Okay, so I'm going to be impatient all weekend, but it will be a lovely weekend nonetheless :o)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today I...March 2nd

Today I... happy to report that we saved Daisy!!! Hooray!!! I was so happy when my mom called me last night to tell me that the shelter had a foster home for her and that my uncle had agreed to bring her to the lady who runs the rescue program! I am looking forward to her being able to be happy in a new home where she will be just as relaxed as my dear old Cinnamon is in this photo.

...had a lovely time at the restaurant with my father and my brother.

...had another busy day at work. Every time I hung up the phone I had a message to take.

...was impressed by the snow squalls we had this morning.

...couldn't believe how cold it was walking to my dad's office. on a sugar and maybe caffeine high from the huge slice of ice cream birthday cake they brought out for me at the end our meal. I love the sparkler on it!!! It is, however, 10:20 P.M. A sugar and maybe caffeine high (because there may have been a slight caffeine taste in the cake, but I'm not sure) at this hour is not a good thing. Oh well, at least the cake was yummy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today I...March 1st

Today I... sharing this picture of my beautiful old boy, Cinnamon. He was my first cat, I adopted him when he was ten years old, shortly after my parents separated in 2003. He brought me a great deal of comfort during one of the most difficult periods of my life until he passed away in November of 2007. sharing this picture with you because my mom and I are going to try and save my cousin's little dog. He moved last week and wasn't able to take her with him, so she had to stay with my uncle, but my uncle can't keep her either, so his only choice, if they can't find her a home within two weeks, would be to have her put to sleep. We've found her a place with a shelter, so if it works out, we should be able to go and get her on Saturday and bring her to the shelter who will bring her to a foster home. I am a very strong advocate for animals of all ages to be adopted and given a good quality of life for as long as possible. A 10 year old dog or cat has just as much love to give as a two year old dog and deserves to be given just as much love, no matter if they are blind, deaf, have a heart problem or bad hips or are perfectly healthy. As long as they are happy and not in any pain, they deserve a good home and hopefully we will be able to give this little dog a chance to have one for whatever time she has left. I'll hopefully be able to give you an update on this tomorrow or Thursday :o) looking forward to the novena to St-Joseph to get going so the bookings will stop coming in! Every time I get a new one and add it to the schedule, I have to move the whole thing down a notch and it takes ages! counting down the days until Sunday when my Sweetheart comes home :oD letting you know that I am going out to dinner tomorrow night and Thursday night. I will do my best to post anyhow, but otherwise will at least try and keep up with your blogs.