Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today I...August 30th

Today I...

...am sharing this picture I took out of the car window while passing through the Eastern Townships a few years ago Quebec is generally a hilly province, but we do have the occasional flat expanse like this one.

...had a fairly busy day at work. I made the 'traffic' calendars for the nativity scene museum, dining hall and guided tours for November and December so we can avoid overbooking on any of them. I finished them at lunch time and by the end of the day I had already penciled in some changes. I'll print out new ones with the changes before leaving on Thursday.

...practiced my music for choir. I am seriously excited about our Christmas concert this year, it is going to be lovely :o)

...am waiting for my Sweetheart to call me back. I haven't had a chance to speak to him since leaving his place on Thursday morning last week because we both got so busy. We've e-mailed, though, so at least there's that!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today I...August 29th

Today I...

...am feeling better than I ended up feeling yesterday. The pilgrimage to Mont-St-Grégoire as such went well, but the trip home was Hell. The rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was the strongest I've ever seen. We saw trees snapped in two on the road to the highway and then once on there, we got stuck in traffic for a good two and a half hours. The morons at Transport Canada had left all the cones and construction signs on the Champlain Bridge despite the fact that they had been warning us about Irene for a good two days. I knew there would be trouble when we crossed the bridge on the way to Mont-St-Grégoire in the morning and the cones and signs were still there and by the time we came to go home the wind was blowing at 100+ kms per hour on the bridge and the cones and signs were being blown all over the span. The worst part is, they kept the bridge open. We missed our only opportunity to turn off and go take the next closest bridge, the Jacques Cartier and so spent two hours waiting to get on the bridge and a very scare half hour crossing it. The wind was shaking the bus, the rain was horizontal and blowing in under the door and through the gaps in a few windows and we were right up along the guard rail of the bridge and could see the water churning below. I was so stressed out and so scared by the whole experience that by the time we finally made it off the bridge I had a wicked headache. I don't want to go anywhere near a bridge in high winds ever again.

...went into work an hour late since I did so much overtime yesterday.

...turned up the heat in my fish tank before leaving because it was getting a bit chilly in there.

...started choir practice up again, so my Monday night posts may become rather sparse.

...had a blast singing.

...got home and came into the living room to get the glass I use to thaw my fish food in and found my four little raspboras dead. I was shocked and very sad and then I saw that the temperature in the fish tank had gone sky high during the day. Quinn must have gone to lie on top of the tank as she often does and nudged the dial higher. I only have three fish left now, a gourami, my albino plecostamus and a rainbow...something or other. I can never remember the rest of his species name. I have done everything I can to save those three and they seem okay, so I'll just have to hope they're still okay tomorrow morning. I love having fish and am very good at keeping them, but they are so fragile. I will see about getting a cat proof heater in two weeks when I get paid and until then will be paranoid about the heater!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today I...August 27th

Today I...

...am sharing these photos from the last time I took a trip up to Saint Brother André's birthplace in Mont-St-Grégoire with you. Mont-St-Grégoire is a village about 45 minutes south-east of Montreal. As you can see, it is a lovely, peaceful place and the weather was lovely when we went there. We sat down under a tree, my friends S, M and I and had a picnic. I'm heading back out there tomorrow and I wish I could say I was enthusiastic about it, but I'm not. I was when D and M (the same M I was on the picnic with) convinced me that I should go on Wednesday this week. They were announcing lovely weather and Irene didn't look like she was going to bother us at all. Now, however, we are in for a full blow tropical storm with buckets of rain and winds between 50 and 100 kms per hour out of the north east. Dear Lord what I wouldn't give to be able to stay home in bed with a good book.

...did my vacuuming.

...headed out to the West Island for an appointment and to hunt down a rain coat.

...found a rain coat on special for 79.99$, which came up to 91.13$ after taxes. It looks lovely on me and I'm sure will help keep me dry and warm tomorrow (it has a nice little fleece lining), but it left a major dent in my savings account. Oh well, at least it is a good coat and it will last me a long time.

...am enjoying the yummy smell of the bolognese sauce I made.

...am going to try my best to be in bed by 11:00 P.M. so I won't be too tired to get up tomorrow morning. Only one day to get over a full work week is not enough.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today I...August 26th

Today I...

...am sharing another photo from my Humber River canoe ride with all of you since you enjoyed yesterday's so much. Those are other members of my family way back there in the second canoe and kayak. My aunt, uncle and a fist cousin once removed and his wife. Yes, I have a very large family. Family reunions on my mother's side of the family always involve 80+ people, we're probably actually closer to 100 now and yes, I've met all of them more than once and can usually recognize them when I see them in a family setting.

...am feeling financially frustrated. I'm going through one of those phases that happen a few times a year when my pays are not coordinated with when I need money, as in I got paid Wednesday at Midnight, my rent (690$) is not due until the 1st and the cheque will more than likely not be deposited until at least the 6th because of the long weekend. I also had to pay my cable and Internet bill (99.81$), will have to buy my transit pass for September this coming week (72.50$), bought groceries today (58$ and change), will need groceries next week as well (count another 50-60$) and will have to pay for my Hydro (48$ and change). That's already over 1000$, my pay was 882$ and change. My next pay isn't for another two weeks, so I will not have any choice but to use my credit card and my savings account to pay for certain things, like the Hydro bill. I am also in dire need of new shoes because the soles on the ones I have are just about gone and they take in water and no matter how much I polish them, they look scuffed in no time flat and I just can't hide it anymore. I need new fall-winter clothes because the ones I do have are mostly from 2007 and they are looking faded and worn and I still owe my Sweetheart 100$ for our trip to L.A. because he paid for pretty much everything while we were there since my bank account had been hacked just before we left. I will also have to pay my dues for the fall session of my choir (another 100$) and I would really like to have a rain coat for Sunday because I'm accompanying a group of pilgrims for the Oratory's annual pilgrimage to Brother Andre's birthplace in the Eastern Townships and we will be right smack dab in the middle of what will be left of Hurricane Irene with 100 km per hour winds and 50+ mm of driving rain. The kind of weather that makes an umbrella pointless and even cumbersome...but I don't have a rain coat and from what I can see they cost at least 80-100$. *SIGH* I am sick to bloody death of being POOR!!! I wish I could wake up tomorrow morning and find a huge pot of 100$ bills outside my door...or at least a pair of shoes and a rain coat. In my dreams...

...am done venting now. My apologies, but you must admit it is a rather rare occurrence. I hadn't felt this short on money for a while, but everything always seems to dump down on me at once. That and I'm feeling now the fact that I bought some much needed running shoes (I had been needing them for over a year) back in July and paid the bill for them the last time I got a pay cheque that I didn't have to pay rent with, which made me short this month. I knew it would happen, but that doesn't mean it doesn't stress me out and piss me off any less. Going broke for getting a pair of shoes I needed. Ugh...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch features are these two photos of my Sweetheart rowing our canoe along the Humber River in Toronto over Labor Day weekend back in 2009. I was steering and taking photos...good thing I'm better at taking photos than I am at steering canoes, otherwise I wouldn't give you guys much to look at :oJ

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, stop by the Skywatch Friday blog. Enjoy you weekend and stay safe if you're in hurricane Irene's path!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today I...August 23rd

Today I...

...am posting this picture of a spiced tea that my Sweetheart and I drank together one morning when I was visiting him in Toronto over Labor Day weekend in 2009. Why this picture, you may wonder? Because today I did something very rare indeed: I drank coffee. Real coffee, not decaf coffee and a grande latte from Starbucks no less. Powerful stuff, that, I can tell you, but I am also very caffeine sensitive. Maybe it will be enough to keep me from getting my monthly migraine that usually pops up mid-way through another monthly occurrence. Anyhow, I didn't take a picture of my coffee and this picture of my tea from two years ago is as close as I have to picture of a cup of coffee, because I hardly ever drink the stuff. I actually don't even own a coffee maker. I actually don't even own an apparatus for boiling water, because I also very rarely drink tea. When I do drink tea I boil the water in a pot and then dump it into my teapot (which came over from Slovakia with my great-grandmother about 90 years ago now) with the tea bag or tea leaves to steep.

...needed the momentous coffee because two nights in a row I went to bed too late and then to top it off my crazy cat (Magique, by the way, is always my crazy cat, the day I refer to Quinn as a crazy cat will be even more momentous than any day when I tell you I drank a grande latte from Starbucks) woke me up at 1:07 A.M. because she was struggling to disengage one of her claws from between the inner and outer window panes of my bedroom window. When I got up and saw her hanging there by a claw I couldn't believe and had one of those moments I have with her sometimes when I tell myself that a small dog would have been far less trouble than her. At least a small dog would not get him or herself into such insane situations. Don't ask me how she got herself up there in the first place, because I have no clue. I didn't even bother to wonder, just picked her up, got her unstuck, let her plop unceremoniously to the floor and went back to bed. Damn crazy cat.

...had a busy day at work due to a meeting I had at the end of the day with the Pilgrimage office team. It's a bi-weekly thing that usually annoys us more than anything else, but it certainly does make the day go faster as it usually lasts at least an hour and a half to two hours. Today I got back from my lunch break and coffee run (I got my latte on my lunch break because I didn't want to fall asleep during the meeting) at about 1:00 P.M., the meeting was at 2:00 P.M. and finished at 4:15 P.M. and I finish work at 4:30 P.M. There went my afternoon!

...am still feeling the caffeine buzz, it will hopefully wear off before I want to go to bed, otherwise I will need a latte tomorrow morning as well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today I...August 22nd

Today I...

...am sharing this photo of balconies with flower boxes on them with you. I took it in the old district of Florence when I was there back in June of 2006. It is one of my favorite photos from the entire trip :o)

...had a very quiet day at the office, which was just fine by me :o)

...couldn't help but smirk when I saw one of our summer tour guides tug down on his shorts before stepping into our boss' office, knowing that they were about half an inch too short (our shorts must not go above the knee).

...nearly got caught in the rain again on the way home from work.

...nearly didn't make it out for my walk after getting caught up in reading some old e-mails I sent to my Sweetheart. It was extraordinary how just by reading them I could remember exactly where I was and how I was feeling when I wrote them. Yes, I have a crazy memory, it even surprises me sometimes how crazy it is.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today I...August 21st

Today I...

...am sharing the trailer from the 2011 remake of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre with you. I rented it off of Illico on Demand (Videotron's digital cable movie rental program, Videotron is the largest cable provider in Quebec) last night, watched it and loved it so much that I watched it again this afternoon. I'll probably end up buying the DVD now :o)

...had a most productive day, at least music-wise. I cleaned up my iTunes music library and then hunted down nearly all the album art that I was missing. You often end up with missing album covers on iTunes when you burn your CDs into your iTunes library, which is really annoying because instead of nice album covers, you end up with grey music notes on your screen. Thanks to a YouTube tutorial, I learned how to get album art off of the Internet and copy into iTunes and got nearly all my covers done when iTunes stopped cooperating. My laptop is getting rather old though, so I'm happy it even cooperated as long as it did!

...enjoyed and am still enjoying listening to the rain fall outside. I don't mind rain when I don't have to go out with it and when it doesn't last for days on end :o)

...am impressed with how quiet my cats have been, but I guess they're just following my lead!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today I...August 20th

Today I...

...am not posting a picture because I'm disappointed. I was hoping to go to the hot air balloon festival in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu with my friends S and S and take tons of pictures so I would have some new ones to show you, but they never got back to me about going. I looked into what I would have to do to get there by public transit, but it would have been very long and quite expensive. There was a shuttle to get to the festival, but it was 20$ and the entrance fee to the festival was also 20$ before tax, so I wouldn't have been able to afford both. There went my outing and my chance to see hot air balloons up close for the first time ever. The festival is on tomorrow too, but the weather is supposed to be lousy so there's no point in going. I'll post a picture tomorrow when I feel up to rooting through my old photos. I know there's no way you've seen them all, but I would really like to have something new for you guys. I'll try and get some photos tomorrow if the weather turns out okay or if I get a chance to go out somewhere fun and interesting next weekend.

...went grocery shopping and was not at all amused when I saw that Minute Maid cut back on the size of its juice cans while keeping the price the same. They suck in my books now, but unfortunately I need orange juice and buying oranges and making my own juice would be more expensive than buying the cans, so there you have it.

...was angry when I got home and saw that the person who packed my bag at the grocery store didn't think to put my marinated pork filet into a plastic bag before putting it into my cart. Of course, he also put it in the cart sideways instead of flat on top of everything else and naturally the plastic wrap on it tore and I ended up with marinated meat juice all over half of my groceries and the bottom of the bag and then dripping onto the floor of my kitchen since there is a hole in the bottom of my cart's bag. Ugh...

...have had a high point in my day! The chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream cone I got from the cafe across from my apartment. They are owned by the people who also own Ripples, one of Montreal's best known ice cream parlors and so Ripples supplies them in ice cream. I had never had Ripples ice cream before, but let me tell you, they are not well known for nothing! They are now right up there with Péché Glacé and Bilboquet in my books!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo I took of the sky above downtown Vancouver while I was there with my Sweetheart a few years ago.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Today I...August 16th

Today I...

...am sharing this compilation of clips from one of my favorite movies, 'Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain' (English version: Amelie) with you. The music is from the film Score and is by Yann Tiersen. Even if you've never seen the film, you should get the soundtrack off of iTunes or at your local musci store, it is so very much worth it. I got turned onto the movie by my Sweetheart who played this piece and another from the score for me on the piano and I ran out to get the film and CD right away when I got back from his place (this happened while he was still living in Toronto)

...had a rather special day at work. First off my PC wasn't working this morning and it took an hour to get it going again. Then, we got invaded by two groups of pilgrims with horrible 'table' manner who were eating outside and leaving bits of food and garbage lying around after them, so we had to herd all 120 of them into the downstairs dining room out of sight and where it would be easier for us to clean up after them. Then, one of our tour organizers who come twice a year showed up with her group, but she was having a relapse of a severe bacterial infection in her lungs that she picked up while in India and was therefore confined to a wheel chair. I found myself helping the bus driver for their group take care of a bunch of things for here, all the while trying to remember if bacterial infections are contagious. Luckily, they're not. THEN the fire alarm went off just after I made it back to the office and we ended up having to evacuated the office building for about 20 minutes until they made sure that it was indeed the fellow from the alarm and sprinkler system company who made a mistake and set off the alarm and that there was not a fire somewhere in the building. At least it was the alarm he set off and not the sprinkler system as I would have gotten a nice shower if he had, I have a sprinkler right over my head!

...am absolutely thrilled about the effect that my nightly walks are having on me. I have been going out for a brisk half hour walk every night somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 P.M. since Sunday and let me tell you, it has been miraculous for my sleep cycle! Proof: I am about 2-3 days from getting my period and should normally be sleeping like complete and utter crap by now and I have not had an issue. I get to bed around 11:30, fall asleep within 15 minuted and am out like a light until my alarm goes off at 7:00 P.M. Tah dah! So if any of you have trouble sleeping, try walking for a half hour before going beginning your nightly before bed routine, you just might get a very pleasant surprise :o)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today I...August 15th

Today I...

...found this photo of a sign I saw while visiting Charleston, South Carolina and laughed out loud, so I'm now sharing it with you, hoping that you will get a smile or a laugh out of it too. It is a joke of course, it wasn't a real sign for a lost dog :o)

...had a relatively busy day at the office as I am now taking care of both C's and D's work. D should be back on Wednesday though, so that will lighten my load a bot.

...has some of the Indian vegetable soup I made for in my crockpot yesterday for dinner and boy. was it good! It's very easy to make: you need one medium sized eggplant, four medium sized potatoes (unpeeled), a can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (with their juice) and a 30 oz box of vegetable broth. Toss all of that in a crockpot with a tsp and a half of curry powder, a tsp of ground coriander and a quarter tsp each of pepper and salt, let it simmer on low for nine hours and voilà! I love my crockpot :o)

...spoke with my Sweetheart for over a half hour. We are planning on maybe heading to Toronto together in three weeks for the long weekend as he needs to meet with his former employers (that he still does some work for) and I want to meet my cousin's baby! If the meetings don't work out for him that weekend, I'll probably just take the train up. I hope he can come though, I would love for us to drive up there together!

...am looking forward to my Sweetheart coming over on Wednesday! I lured him here with the promise of some of my soup...not that food is necessary to lure him in, it just adds more leverage :o)

...can't believe that one of my neighbors just turned their AC unit on.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today I...August 14th

Today I...

...am having a laid back post following a laid back day.

...am enjoying the smell of my Indian vegetable soup as it simmers away in my crockpot. I'm looking forward to tasting it tomorrow!

...motivated myself to clean my bathroom. Am I the only one who finds cleaning the bathroom particularly tedious?

...am thinking more and more that I would like to live in a condo. I love my apartment and it is a far cut above my first place, but on nights like last night when someone a few floors up has a loud party until 2:00 in the morning with the windows open (had they been closed, I wouldn't even have known anything was going, or when I have to put up with hearing my disgusting upstairs neighbor belching loudly (how his girlfriend puts up with him I don't know, because even when the windows are closed I can still hear him...), I can't help but wish that I could have my very own soundproof condo with my own washer and dryer, a balcony to let beautiful breezes in and to put a flower box on. My Sweetheart has a very nice balcony that I would love to put a flower box on :o)

...went out for a nice long walk to try out my new running shoes and to enjoy the cool night air :o)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Today I...August 12th

Today I...

...am sharing this photo of the Victor Emmanuel Monument in Rome with you. It went by on my screen saver earlier and it made me smile because I can remember very well standing there taking this picture. I actually remembered the sounds and the feel of the heat in the air too!

...felt bad for C who got stuck with a high-maintenance group that kept her at work late on her last day before her two week vacation. I saw her walking down Queen Mary carrying her Oratory keys and walkie-talkie while I was on the bus home and she waved back, smiled and shook her head as she shrugged in resignation. Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do about high-maintenance groups...even when they sign up claiming to need nothing at all!

...am looking forward to going book shopping again tomorrow as I finished Water for Elephants last night. I highly recommend it, it was a great read! I'll be sure to let you all know what I come up with at the store tomorrow :o)

...am also looking forward to enjoying the weekend and I hope you all enjoy it too!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch features are these two photos of two of the views of Los Angeles available from the Getty Center...on a clear. Which is rather rare in L.A., the capital of smog. My Sweetheart and I were lucky when we were there though, we had several clear days like this!

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, you can head over to the Skywatch Friday blog. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend :o)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Today I...August 10th

Today I...

...am keeping this short and sweet because I have to post it kind of late! Blogger was down earlier when I wanted to post!

...found out that it takes less time than the STM (Montreal's transit authority) thinks it does to get from my Sweetheart's place to the Oratory. I thought it would too, they clocked it at 40 minutes and it actually only took me 30 minutes to make it to work, which is good because if it had taken me 40 minutes, I would have been nearly 10 minutes late lol

...had a fairly cheery (as I always do after spending a good long while with my Sweetheart) and fairly busy day.

...am happy that a cool front has gone through and taken all the humidity out of the air!

...am enjoying watching Quinn and Magique chase each other up and down my apartment.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Today I...August 8th

Today I...

...am sharing this photo of the votive lamp stands that can be found outside the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. I was quite amused to see votive lamp stands outside among palm trees seeing as I am so used to seeing them inside churches in Canada. Votive lamps outside would be unthinkable here!

...had a very laid back day which I mostly spend reading. I am already nearly halfway through "Water for Elephants''...so I guess it won't take me two or three weeks to finish it after all :o)

...enjoyed having a quiet day at home, it did me good, but I still don't feel ready to go back to work tomorrow. Ideally I would need at least a week off I think, but that won't happen until Christmas. Ugh...it's quite hard to motivate yourself to go to work when everyone around you is going on vacation!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today I...August 7th

Today I...

...am sharing these two views of the tapestries inside Our Lady of Angels Cathedral (Catholic) in Los Angeles with you.

...had a much more laid back day than yesterday.

...went out to Indigo Books and purchased Water for Elephants, which so far looks quite fascinating! I'll have to watch the movie after finishing the book, which will probably take me somewhere between 2-3 weeks.

...watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding on CBC. It was a good movie, I just wish there hadn't been so many commercials to break it up and they were always the same ones, too!!! God bless the mute button!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Today I...August 6th

Today I...

...am sharing these photos of the rose fountain sculpture that sits int he courtyard of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with you.

...had a fairly busy start to the weekend as I wanted to get all the stuff I had to do done so that I was spend tomorrow and my extra day off on Monday doing what I want to do...which is large expanses of nothing filled interspersed with reading a new book that I will go on the hunt for tomorrow and hopefully seeing my Sweetheart on Monday.

...finished reading Edward Rutherfurd's London and I can do nothing more than recommend it to all of you yet again. It is 1 124 pages of pure enjoyment :o)

...still can't get over how much sushi my friends and I ate at dinner last night lol

...got incredibly hot while heading off to the West Island to the spa and incredibly hot going out for groceries and then believe it or not, I fired up the oven to make a pizza for dinner because I just didn't feel like cooking!

...am thinking that tonight is going to be movie night :o)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch features are these two photos of the US Bank Building and the Los Angeles Library that I took during my Los Angeles vacation in May.

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

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today I...August 3rd

Today I...

...am sharing this photo of the interior of Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles with you.

...am posting this early because I'm more than likely heading back out the door again soon to go to dinner with my brother.

...was supposed to go out with G tonight, but she bailed on me because she came down with a headache.

...am admitting that I am just too hungry to cook, which is why I'm more than likely going out with my brother. That and he owes me ice cream and one of the best ice cream parlors in Montreal is across from where we're more than likely going to have dinner.

...am happy that tomorrow is the last day that I will be going to visit V's cat after work. I love Pitka and she is a darling old lady, but making a detour every day after work is tiring!

...have so enjoyed the cool evenings this week, I've been sleeping so much better and love being able to have my windows open 24 hours a day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today I...August 1st

Today I...

...am sharing this video of a very impressive lighting cloud that hovered over Montreal for over an hour on July 21st. I was looking for footage of today's rather impressive storms, but I guess it's too early for them to be up yet! This storm cloud is the kind that forms at the end of very, very hot days. I've seen one like it before and they are very impressive. They just sit there lightning flashes away without there ever being any thunder, it's what we refer to as heat lightning.

...had a steadily busy day at work.

...was rather surprised to see hail falling at the Oratory this afternoon.

...was not surprised when all the calls to security started coming through on the walkie-talkie regarding various floods inside the Oratory. It never fails, every summer we get the opportunity to find all the new leaks in the roofs and foundations. In many other cases, water just flows right under doors. It's the sort of thing that happens when you build on the down slope of a mountain! Fortunately, we have quite a few flood vacuums that pick up all the water in no time flat. As for the roofs...we pray for donations to fix them. We have replaced the rood of the Crypt church and most of the roofs of the Basilica have been redone since they were the most critical. As for the rest, they will have to wait.

...was very grateful for the ride that C offered me over the V's place so I could take care of her cat after work. The storms had moved off a bit, but there was still lightning and although I am much less frightened of thunderstorms than I used to be, I still hate being outside in them.

...hunkered down at V's place until the next storm passed through.

...am so happy that it's so nice and cool out now! My apartment feels lovely :o)