Saturday, May 26, 2012

Today I...May 26th

Today I... sharing this photo of two butterflies in the greenhouses at the Botanical Gardens with all of you.

...came home from my Sweetheart's rather earlier than I had imagined I would be. He woke up early this morning and left me to sleep in a bit more while he went back to work, which is what he spent the better part of the evening yesterday, except when we went grocery shopping and then had dinner. Poor Sweetheart, he has another deadline for M. Pharaoh's clinic on Monday, so he only stops work to run the odd errand, eat and sleep. We did have a nice little walk Downtown this morning before I came home though, he wanted to pick up his new camera from a store on Peel Street. He had been talking about the camera for, literally, years. He was waiting for the announcement of when it was going to be released while he was living in Toronto and when they finally announced the release date this Spring, he put in a request for one to be held for him as soon as the store received them. He was very happy when the call came in for it and spoke about it a bit last night, but when we went to get it this morning, he was not as excited. I had imagine, all this time, that when he was finally able to get his hands on the new camera, he would want to break it in right away, but he didn't even bring a lens this morning, saying that he had to head back home and get back to work. I felt pretty bad for him :o( Anyhow, suffice it to say that I will definitely be going on vacation on my own!

...was feeling pretty down this morning when I saw that the weather during my vacation might not be too great. :o( Hopefully the forecast will be better in a day or two.

...decided to make chicken with mushroom and Merlot sauce in my crockpot for dinner. I encountered a problem, though, when the blasted rubber cork wouldn't come out of the bottle! I called my brother to ask if he knew of any tricks to open bottles with rubber corks, but he didn't. He suggested that I try pushing the cork into the bottle, but when that failed, he suggested that perhaps I could wrap the bottle in a towel and use a hammer to break its neck, but it didn't seem to have worked...until a huge piece broke off the side! It took me a few moments to realized where the wine was coming from, it had already spilled all over the sink, the counter, the floor, my clothes and my feet! Fortunately, I was able to salvage enough wine to make my chicken, but by the time I had the sauce ready, the kitchen and myself cleaned up and the crackpot started up I knew that it would be ready far too late for me to have for dinner tonight. I ended up having trout and vegetables instead and will have the chicken tomorrow. I will have more than enough for several meals of course, so the rest will go into my freezer and I am planning on having some with my Sweetheart when I get home at the end of next week.

On a final note, this may be my last blog post until I get home from from PEI next Friday. I hope you all have  a lovely week and I will try and get a post up on Friday, otherwise I'll be back on Saturday next week for sure :o)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch Feature is the photo of Saint-Joseph's Oratory set against a beautiful, blue summer sky last year :o) I figured I would feature the Oratory this week since it had been a while since it popped up on my blog. You can all look forward to some new Skywatch photos once I'm back from vacation next week, as long as the weather cooperates!

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, you can visit the Skywatch Friday Blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today I...May 22nd

Today I... sharing this news article from the Montreal Gazette about a massive student protest that was held today with all of you. As you can see, our fine province and fair city have been embroiled in this mess of a tuition fee hike issue for nearly four months now. There have been nightly protests every night for nearly a month and today, we got this bonus whopper of a protest. We have also been treated to smoke bombs and large bags of bricks and concrete tossed on the subway tracks causing service disruptions, once even the complete shutdown of the subway, blocked entrances to universities and cegeps and even High School students demonstrating in front of their schools. I, personally, was treated to a rather brief night of sleep last night not only because of the heat, but because these wonderful demonstrators decided to march right up to Prime Minister Charest's house at the marvelous hour of 11:30 P.M. and therefore the two police helicopters who were keeping an eye on the protesters from above buzzed around my neighborhood for AN HOUR from 11:30 P.M. to 12:30 A.M. and I only got to sleep at about 1:00 A.M. I live in a lovely neighborhood and am glad the Prime Minister of my Province likes it too, but I really wish the protesters had not gotten their hands on his address. I, for one, had no clue he lived in my neighborhood until protesters started showing up in the area back in April. Anyhow, I have more than had it with this whole mess and am really, really hoping for no helicopters tonight.

Thousands take to the streets on 100th day of strike

...was very happy when C picked me up on the corner of the street outside my apartment building when she happened by. I was running late and my bus was too. my vacuuming done since I was not home enough over the weekend to get to it.

...had a nice little chat with my Sweetheart. going to look up a map of PEI and see about starting to plan out my circuit for my trip next week.

...had a rather busy day at work filled with data entry and getting things ready for my week off next week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today I...May 21st

Today I... introducing this song by Charlotte Martin with all of you. At least I don't think I've shared it with you guys before :oJ It really touched me the first time I heard it and I pounced on iTunes so I could get it on my iPod right away :o)

...spent a lovely day with my Sweetheart. We slept in, then I cleaned the kitchen from our dinner with one of our friends from Toronto and his daughter the night before while my Sweetheart returned a whole bunch of calls. Can you imagine he turned down the ringer on his cell phone so we could enjoy our evening with our friend and have some peace and quiet this morning and when he checked his phone this morning he had five or six messages (he couldn't even remember exactly how many he had when I asked him)? Yikes...I never, ever get that many calls on my cell phone and rarely end up with that many on my office phone! After eating breakfast and cleaning up, we decided to head to the park next to his condo to soak up some sun. We had just settled into some tall grass on the slope of a hill and were settling onto our towels when his cell phone rang again. Sweetheart turned toward me and said 'You know, maybe not having a cell phone wasn't such a bad thing after all.' I laughed, there was nothing else to do! Anyhow, we're going to try and see if we can manage a cell phone free night once a week, maybe eventually people will get used to it and not call him as often!

...fell asleep on my Sweetheart's couch while he worked. I didn't mean to, but his couch is so comfy and his balcony door was open and I was lulled to sleep by his typing and clicking and the sound of the the wind in the leaves of the trees in front of his building.

...stopped at the grocery store on the way back from my Sweetheart's place and bought some raspberries on special.

...meant to vacuum when I got home, but have yet to do it.

...can't believe that this time next week I'll be in PEI! Cross you fingers for good weather, because my plan right now is to visit all the provincial parks and the Cavendish National Park and that will not really be feasible if the weather is lousy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today I...May 19th

Today I... sharing this photo that I took in Charleston, South Carolina back in 2010 with all of you. There may not be palm trees here in Montreal, but the weather here was just as warm and sunny here today as it was when I took this photo down south!

...was happy to get caught up on all of the comments you left me on my Skywatch post on Thursday. I'm sorry it took me a while, but I was rather busy this week.

...spent the morning with my Sweetheart.

...was quite proud of myself when I got my AC unit into my bedroom window all on my own!

...found a blow dryer on sale for 33$ taxes in at the pharmacy and pounced on it. It is my first decent blow dryer and I'm looking forward to trying it out!

...went to visit V's cat who I am taking care of for the long weekend.

...went out for ice cream before dinner with another friend. I always find it particularly fun to have ice cream before dinner, breaking a classic rule I and most other children had growing up: no sweets before dinner!!! Breaking the rules in such a simple way brings out the kid in my I find, the upside being that now, no one will come and scold me for being naughty. Who says being an adult means you have to be responsible all the time? lol

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is the beautiful blue California sky I enjoyed around this time last year during a walk along a palm tree lined street in Beverly Hills with my Sweetheart.

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

I hope you all enjoy you weekend, it's going to be a nice, three day one here in Canada as Monday is a Holiday and they are announcing amazing weather! Things are looking up :o)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today I...May 15th

Today I...

...did better with my vaccination than I did the last time, meaning that I didn't come quite as close to passing out after getting stuck with the needle as I did last month. Yes, I am a wuss when it comes to needles. At least I'm not the only one, if you go to a vaccination clinic, you will find out that about 50% of people hate needles and don't do well when they have to get stuck with them :oJ

...came home for lunch and got changed from pants into a skirt and a nice pair of strappy sandal wedges that my aunt gave me. I also put my hair up into a bun, all this because I got way too warm going to and from the vaccination clinic in long pants and black socks and shoes. You should have seen the reaction I got when I walked into the office, apparently I should show off my calves and wear my hair up more often.

...spent all afternoon in the dreaded meeting. Yup, three hours. God help me, I was afraid that we would be found looking like this (and I mean exactly like this, there were six of us at a round table and two people with coffee cups, this is actually eerily accurate): 

...found my PEI travel guides in my mail box when I came home for lunch, hooray!

...went out to dinner at Juliette et Chocolat with V, hence the picture at the top of this post. It was very yummy as usual, particularly my semi-dark chocolate milkshake :o)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today I...May 14th

Today I...

...thought it was still the weekend when I woke up. That was kind of harsh.

...had a relatively quiet day at work. my grocery shopping done. I very, very rarely do my groceries during the week anymore, but I had a pretty busy weekend with Mother's Day yesterday and my appointment on Saturday, so I wasn't able to squeeze the grocery shopping in. glad I get to sleep in until 8:15 A.M. tomorrow (it should be noted that 8:15 A.M. only counts as sleeping in for me on weekdays, otherwise it has to be at least 9:00 A.M.). The reason behind, my having at 10:00 A.M. appointment for my second dose of Hep. A&B vaccine is not very fun, but I think that a needle in the arm is a fair exchange for an extra hour and quarter of sleep.

...would gladly exchange a second needle in the arm for not having to go into work at all tomorrow since the rest of my work day will be overtaken by a very long, very dull meeting. Metings are the one thing I really, really dislike about my job. I can put up with everything else including difficult tour organizers, but the meetings? Ugh...I would do just about anything to get out of them!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today I...May 12th

Today I... so very happy to announce that I will be heading to beautiful, peaceful and oh-so-relaxing Prince Edward Island for four days during my week off from work in two weeks' time. As I have mentioned before, I have been in love with Prince Edward Island ever since visiting there for the first time with my family in 1999. I have wanted to go back there ever since leaving there at the end of our two week vacation. So when it finally came time for me to decide once and for all where I was going to travel for my vacation, I did some research and found an amazing deal that would allow me to spend four days in PEI for under 1000$. That's including air fare, the hotel with breakfast included and a rental car. God bless Expedia :o) I am planning on no more than 100$ for food while I will be there since it is incredibly easy to get amazing food for not much on PEI if you're like me and enjoy seafood. I will be there right smack dab in the middle of lobster season. Oh, what a crying shame :oJ

...have been enjoying my Saturday. I spoke with my Sweetheart for a bit, he will be coming over later on tonight, but for now it looks like he will not be joining me on my vacation since he is still working an average of 60 hours a week, the poor guy.

...went out for a spa appointment.

...bought a new pair of sandals (I had to throw out my old pair after four years of loyal service) in under fifteen minutes. That hardly ever happens to me as I have very bad feet. It has taken me up to two months to find a pair of shoes I can wear and two or three shopping sprees to find a pair of sandals, so fifteen minutes is pretty epic!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is a photo that I took of the imposing Church of Scientology building that was just around the corner from my Sweetheart and I's hotel in Hollywood last year looming against the sky. We were actually quite lucky to get these photos as we were accosted by two Scientologists outside the building after being in front of the building for not even five minutes. We talked our way out of having to delete our photos and went on our way. Just seeing the idea of having to be housed in this building (because it is housing for new members) would be enough to keep me from ever considering converting to the religion. It looks like it was probably a psychiatric facility at some point, wouldn't you say?

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Today I...May 9th

Today I... sharing another picture of some of the flowers that were for sale at Jean-Talon Market last Saturday. I'm also trying to remind myself what a sunny day looks like as we haven't had all that many lately!

...gave a very speedy tour to a group of high school kids from Kingston. They wanted a one hour tour beginning at 10:00 A.M. but got in about 10 minutes late and then 90% of the kids needed to go to the washroom. They ended up having a 40 minute tour and an average tour lasts an hour and a half. I felt like attaching rocket boosters to my shoes!

...felt like walking home, but I hadn't taken a ride home with C all week and she likes having the company even just for 10 minutes, so I hopped in with her. hoping my Sweetheart will get home from Quebec City soon and connect to Skype, I haven't spoken to him since Monday and miss him!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Today I...May 7th

Today I... sharing this photo of an array of annual flowers that were for sale at Jean-Talon Market last Saturday, lots of marigolds and pansies! happy to report that yesterday's concert went very well. My choir is now on break until September. I'm going to miss it, but at the same time, it feels nice to be able to have laid back Monday nights!

...went for two half-hour walks, one during my lunch break and then I walked home from work and stopped in at a frozen yogurt parlor just past the halfway point, yum!!! going to try and be in bed with my light out at 10:30 P.M. again. I'm trying to knock myself off of the nasty sleep-cycle I was on for nearly a month. It was actually more like insomnia. I would be exhausted, but wouldn't be able to wind down enough to be in before by Midnight and once in bed it would take me forever to get to sleep. I was pretty much a walking zombie and I'm still not much more than that now. It's something that happens to me this time of year, I'm just too tired and stressed out because of how crazy work gets and my concerts and practices and on top of that there has been some Sweetheart related stress as well since he has been working so much. Anyhow, I'm trying to do better and get to bed way earlier so that even if I don't fall asleep right away I'll at least be asleep earlier than I would be if I only got to bed at Midnight or 12:30 A.M.!

...thought my Sweetheart had left for Quebec City until he popped up on Skype at 8:45 P.M. It turns out he's leaving tomorrow morning at 4:00 A.M. much to his disgust. Why he and E couldn't leave tonight I don't know, but I guess E was working too late or something. They are heading To Quebec for a bridge building conference. Also, the horror of the building project my Sweetheart is working on just north of Montreal continues. The person requesting this building, I swear, makes the Pharaohs of Egypt look like the best bosses in the world, so let's call him M. Pharaoh. He wants construction plans in two weeks even though he doesn't have a building permit from the City yet. Sweetheart and I would love for him to be reported. Sweetheart would love to find some way out of this project. Lesson learned: never work on a friend's building project (M. Pharaoh is a friend of J, Sweetheart and E's business partner). They will think that they can treat you any way they want and that you will follow their schedule no matter what just because they are your friend, or in this case you senior engineer's friend. I wish I could waltz up to M. Pharaoh and give him a piece of my mind. I will refrain from expressing what I would like to say to him here because it includes several words that are not normally included in polite conversation. Since I can't waltz up to M. Pharaoh and tell him to go someplace hot and fiery in a hand-basket though, I'll just pray for a solution to the problem. God will know what is right in this case.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Today I...May 5th

 Today I...

...went out to Jean-Talon Market so I could buy the ingredients for my bolognese sauce while enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather. I love Montreal's public markets, as I've stated before. Nothing like buying produce from people who are just as passionate about food as you are! rather giddy when I saw some annual flowers up for sale! I'm really big on gardening, just like my mom and aunt are and one of the only faults I can find with my apartment is that I have no balcony to put flower boxes on. One day, when I have a condo or a house, I will fill the balcony or gardens (or both!) with flowers :o)

...was rather disappointed when my father called to say that he wouldn't be able to make to my concert tomorrow as he is not feeling well. Just like that, I lost half my personal audience since he was supposed to bring my grandparents to the concert with him and the church is too far for them to drive to on their own. At least I will have my brother and my Sweetheart there and one of my colleagues from work will be volunteering at the door, handling ticket checking and sales. so looking forward to going to my Sweetheart's place after dinner. I'm so happy for him, for the first time in months he does not have to spend the weekend working. He biked out to his parents' place this afternoon and got his laundry and cleaning done. He looked so relaxed when we spoke this morning, it was lovely to see :o)

...can't wait to eat my dinner, the sauce smells amazing! I'm going to go and pack while it finishes simmering.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today I...May 4th

Today I...

...very nearly called in sick to work after having quite a hard time waking up this morning.

...made it to work and was quite proud of that feat!

...had a relatively quiet day.

...was quite grateful to D for giving a ride halfway home in his nice new car! It even still has that lovely 'new car' smell! dreaming of running off on vacation somewhere peaceful away from work, the very rocky political climate in Quebec and all semblance of responsibility. Hence the lovely, peaceful picture I posted of one of the paths in Hopelands Gardens, which is near my grandparents place in Aiken, South Carolina. Oh, to be able to run away with my Sweetheart tonight, anywhere would do. But I have a concert to give with my choir on Sunday, so it will have to wait. Three weeks to go and I can run away somewhere. Probably not with my Sweetheart as he is still drowning in work, but I will run away nonetheless. Just not anywhere in my own province. I often feel as if I see one more person wearing a red square, I'm going to rip it off whoever is wearing it and stomp on it.

These protests have been going on for weeks and weeks now and they keep getting more and more violent. I feel horrible for all the students who want to finish their semester and can't (I know many of them), I feel horrible for all the business owners whose stores have been damaged and I feel alienated from some friends I have known for quite a few years but who are against the tuition hike while I am for it. Quebec's tuition fees are ridiculously low, the lowest in North America and our universities, even my much-loved and venerated McGill are beginning to have serious issues keeping up with other universities in Canada because of it. I am more than willing to see tuition fees go up 1625$ (over a five year period, so 325$ a year, that is NOTHING) so that my children will still have decent universities to go to in 20 or 25 years. Ugh...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Skywatch Friday

I'm back a day later than planned. That choir practice I thought was on Tuesday? Yeah, it was yesterday. It went quite well, as did my concert last Sunday, we helped my choir director get an A- for his Master's recital, which is pretty much as good a grade as you can get in music or arts generally as professors tend to never give a perfect grade in these two disciplines because it is the general opinion that perfection does not exist when it comes to music and arts. So there you have it, if there was such a ting as perfection, my director's work was it and I agree :o)

On another note, this week's Skywatch feature is another piece of the South Carolina sky, this one see from the hammock in my grandparents' back yard. Oh, how I wish I could leave on vacation, like right now. I am tired and sick of work and irritable. It's not that I don't like my job, it's just that I'm at that point that everyone reaches every once in a while where I've had enough of work for now.

To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, stop by the Skywatch Friday blog. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a nice, relaxing weekend :o)