Thursday, December 28, 2006

B.O.

You all know it. You've smelt it. You've smelled of it. There are times when it is unavoidable. There are times when it is.

At the gym I believe it is mostly an avoidable occurrence. You get up in the morning and put on your deodorant. If you go to the gym you make sure that you're suitably covered in this department because hey, the people around you have no desire to smell your sweat. If, for example, you work all day and then go to the gym, I would suggest applying your deodorant once in the morning before work and again before beginning your work out. I'll tell you why. There is no excuse why I should have to smell your nasty B.O. in a gym when I'm a good 2-3 metres away from you. Honestly.

And while you're at it. That towel you keep wiping your sweaty brow with, you know how it's kinda grey, brown and just not terribly clean looking, well, you can buy these kind of towels for less than $2 and wash them. In fact, they wash very well and can be used over and over again. And if you wash the towel every week it's possible that it will remain white for a long time to come. I know it's a lot to ask - doing your wash and all, but I'm assuming here that you wash the socks you're wearing and your t-shirt too. You could throw the towel in the same load of laundry. Although, given the smell coming off you, maybe you don't wash your t-shirt and socks and that would explain the crunchy brown towel and the vile stench of B.O.

P.S. You can shower for free in the locker room, but I suppose if all you have to dry yourself is that mangy dirty towel, you might be happier changing into your clothes still sweaty.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Girls Night

Girls Night tonight with Cecilia and Sina. Am looking forward to much cackling, giggling and snickering.

On the menu:
Salad with homemade dressing, pasta with a shrimp and spinach rose sauce, crusty bread, and a surprise dessert that Sina said she'd pick up from M&M. And of course, a little vino to get the party started.

Gonna be a good night!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nightmare

It had been a while since my last nightmare. But thanks to last night's new episode of CSI: NY, I am back to square one.

Watched the show from 10-11pm, went to bed, fell asleep within about 30 mins. and then woke up at 12:30am in a start from the terrifying dream I had, sweating like a pig, heart racing.

The opening sequence of the show showed a deaf mother getting up to go check on her baby in the middle of the night, going back to bed and then feeling some vibrations on the floor. As she was walking down the hall to get back to the bedroom, all you see is a brief glimpse of a dark shadowy figure crossing the hall behind her (hello nightmare). Well, of course, by the time the mother comes back out to investigate the vibration she felt, her eldest daughter is dead on the floor. The show ended with a happy ending - they found the killer.

That wasn't good enough for me. I had to go and dream about that opening sequence. I had my own version though. I'm at home, it's the middle of the night, I get up to go to the bathroom, as I'm reaching for the bathroom light, I notice there is the shadow of someone standing in the hallway of my building, in front of my front door. As I switch on the bathroom light suddenly some guy with blond curly hair up in a pony tail on the top of his head, charges into my apartment. I'm too scared to scream and wake up as he swings to hit me. It took a while before I was able to fall back to sleep. Go figure.

Think I will have to start taping these shows and watch them on Sunday afternoon or something.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Something weird going on

Is it possible that the elliptical trainers at the gym are, I don't know, calibrated differently or something? This morning I worked out at level 8 for 30 minutes. I worked hard. My heart rate was up in my cardio training zone (approx. 165), I had on average about 80 rpm, I was sweating buckets, my legs were tired and hurting by the end. However, after all this, I only burned 427 calories. I have burned that many calories on other machines while working at a lower levels and not going as fast. What is up with that?

Think I will stay away from that machine from now on. Hmph. Am so going back tonight to do the muscle toning class.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More Where is my Head?

Good thing it's Friday. On my way to the gym this morning I was practically falling asleep on the metro. At the very last second I realised we were already at my stop and I made it out of the doors just before they closed. It is entirely possible that I made some kind of "wha ...?!?!" sound when I realised where we were.

Think maybe I should sleep in tomorrow. Yeah, until like, 7am.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where is my head?

Apparently not on me.

Seems I left the house this morning without my exercise pants. This I did not realise until I was unlocking my locker at the gym when I suddenly pictured them hanging over the back of a dining room chair. Bugger.

I exercised anyway, albeit at a very low pace, wearing my t-shirt and my black pants that I'd worn for work. Not much sweating or burning of calories this morning (only about 350) and I will be heading downstairs at lunch to pick up a new pair of exercise pants so I can at least do the muscle toning class is proper attire.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Last Reminder

Eric, Marc, Cecilia - I need your Christmas wish lists by the end of tomorrow. No list, no present.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Giving until it hurts

Saturday I volunteered my services at the Montreal Santa Shuffle, organised by The Running Room for The Salvation Army.

It was sunny. It was windy. It was cold. It was so very, very cold. Talk about giving until it hurts.

The reason I helped out in the first place was because I (mistakenly) thought I had to raise money to participate in the run. Because I had already hit up a lot of friends and colleagues for donations to the Panama project I'll be involved in in Februrary, I decided not to take part in this "fun run". As it turns out, I could've just paid the entry fee and run the race. As it also turns out, I would've been outside for less time had I run.

But noooo ... I volunteered to help and ended up standing outside, at the windiest corner, cheering people on and directing them on the path, for over an hour. Despite having 5, if not 6, layers of clothing on, I was still cold. Even after an hour of cardio work at the gym following the race, I was cold to the bone. When I finally did warm up it was about 6:30pm - thanks in part to a lovely fire at my parents' place and a delicious curried shrimp dinner.

Next year I'm running. And so are my lazy brothers ;)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Good Sleep

Must've been having a good sleep last night as I didn't hear my alarm until 5:23am - a whole 8 minutes after it went off. Good thing tomorrow's Saturday and I can sleep in! With any luck I'll sleep until 7am! What a treat!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What a great movie

Saw the movie Stranger Than Fiction over the weekend. What a great movie. What a great story. What a great Will Ferrell. What a great soundtrack.

The only downside to this experience was the audience. There were about 20 people in the theatre (a plus) but about 6 of them clearly thought this was a comedy in the style of some of Will Ferrell's previous movies. It wasn't that kind of ridiculously juvenile comedy. Why were they laughing like it was some Saturday Night Live skit? They completely missed the subtle and charming comedy. I would like to see this movie again but think I will wait until I can see it in the comfort of my own home. This kind of behaviour is why I have been known to say "I don't like people".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why doesn't my butt hurt?

On Monday night I did a muscle toning class at the gym. Tuesday morning I felt like someone had taken a hammer to my butt - I thought for sure I would see bruises - that's how much I hurt. Wednesday I felt mildly better but decided I'd try another of these muscle toning classes. It was with a different teacher and was at a more advanced level. It was a great class - it challenged me and a couple of times I didn't think I'd be able to do the whole set of repetitions. But I made it through and was quite proud of myself. This morning I expected to have a repeat of Tuesday morning's soreness but I don't. In fact the stiffness from yesterday is completely gone. Dare I say it? I feel good. Huh.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks to Why for inspiring me to provide you with a little smile.

Enjoy a little song about my favourite lady bugs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dr. Elder

Our family's pediatrician, Dr. John Munro Elder, died last week.

What I remember about him: he always smiled; he always gave us a plastic ring after the check-up; he had a fish tank in the office with cool fish and a deep sea diver; the chairs in his office were white wicker.

Monday, November 20, 2006

More crap from my kitchen

Ugh. What is the matter with me? Or what is the matter with the recipes I'm choosing recently? After last week's disaster I thought I'd try this before feeding it to a big group. It's OK. It's not fabulous. It doesn't make 28 shrimp cakes (using their suggested size). To tell the truth - the best thing about this recipe was the pineapple relish. It's sweet, fresh and delicious.

So I'm back to square one. And at this point I think I'll make my favourite mushroom burgers (recipe to come soon). I can make a whole pile of little mini burgers. They also taste great cold.

Decided.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

Babysitting my niece Darcy was pretty much a snap last night. We played for a while, had dinner, played some more and then to bed. No attitude, no problems.

The kid's a riot. While she was wrapping up her dolly in her blankie she demanded that I sing "Rock a by(e?) baby". So while I sang she rocked the baby. Six times of that song was enough for me. Then we played the drums (mom's tupperware collection), pulled Barbie apart and then put her back together again, coloured with markers, played with Play-Doh and made a puzzle.

For dinner she ate 3 bowls of pasta. I was shocked after the third bowl she asked for "mo' pas'a, peez". There was none left! Instead I decided that we could share an orange. Well, so much for sharing. All I got were 2 little segments. She ate the rest faster than I could get them cut up.

Later we played one of her favourite games, hide & seek. For Darcy though this really consisted of me counting, her crouching on the floor beside the mirrored hall closet with her blankie beside her (not on top of her - beside her). I wish I could have a video of this. Her little bum up in the air, plumber's crack for all to see and her eyes squeezed shut.

As I put her on the toilet (who ever would've thought I'd be writing about a kid going to the bathroom ?) I didn't quite get the potty seat on right, so Darcy sort of slipped around and nearly fell in the toilet. I did grab her in time and joked that she'd nearly got soaked in the toilet. Well - she thought that was funny. She told me I was "silly, Auntie 'Tef" and "you funny". At least she didn't cry!

She went to bed without any problems. Even got into her pjs (backwards the first time) all by herself.

It was a fun night. Hopefully she enjoyed herself a little too.

Roasted Tomato & Mushroom Casserole

Made this earlier this week. Thought it might be the dish I bring to our potluck at the office but nooo ...

The bread stays soggy and wet and quite frankly that is not terribly appetizing to me. I couldn't possibly serve it to 50+ people.

This weekend I may try some shrimp cakes with pineapple relish to see if that'll be my item. Anyway - here's the recipe. Maybe somebody can improve on it.

Roasted Tomato and Mushroom Casserole

2 cups each halved grape tomatoes and quartered button mushrooms
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp ReaLemon Lemon Juice (I just used fresh squeezed)
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp each dried thyme and basil
8 cups cubed focaccia bread
8 eggs or 2 cartons/250ml each Naturegg Break-Free Liquid Eggs, well shaken
1 can Nestle Carnation 2% Evaporated Partly Skim Milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Toss the tomatoes with the mushrooms, oil, lemon juice, corn syrup, thyme and basil. Place mixture on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 mins., stirring twice. Remove from oven and cool.

2. Toss the cubed focaccia with eggs, milk, salt, pepper, roasted vegetables and any juices from the baking sheet. Place the mixture into a well-greased 9x13-inch glass baking dish and cover with foil. Let stand for 15 mins.

3. Bake the casserole for 35 mins. or until centre starts to set and edges turn golden. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 15 mins. or until cheese melts. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Makes 12 servings

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zero Emissions Trip

Read in the paper the other day about this Vancouver guy, Tim Harvey, who completed an around-the-world, zero-emissions trip in 893 days. Guess he took the scenic route, eh?

This guy cycled, rowed and sailed his way around the world. Pretty cool, I think. But it took a little more time than your standard 2-3 week holiday. He left Vancouver in June 2004 and just got back! It's an incredible story and something I could only dream of doing.

Check out his website here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hershey Recall

For me this is just another reason to stay clear of Hershey chocolate. I'm a chocolate snob and would much rather munch on a variety of gourmet chocolates, preferably Swiss of course. Hershey Canada has recalled a wide range of chocolate products nationwide and closed its Smiths Fall plant after salmonella bacteria was detected in the candy produced there.

Yvette - in your Christmas package I sent a 4-bar pack of Reese Peanut Butter Cups - you need to check the date codes. If they range from 6417 to 6455 - THROW THE PACKAGE OUT!!!

Here's a listing of the products affected by the recall:

Oh Henry!, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Eat-more Dark Toffee Peanut Chew, Lowney Bridge Mix, Lowney Cherry Blossom (Dad - stay away from these for now!), Glosette Peanuts, Glosette Almonds, Glosette Raisins, Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate, Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate, Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds.

If you really need to you can contact Hershey at 1-800-468-1714.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Catcallers beware!

Ever felt like you can't take one more man (and I use the term loosely) shouting after you "Hey baby, what's your name?" or some variation?

Fear not - HollaBackNYC is a blog started by a group of men and women in New York City last October, that has inspired more than a dozen sister sites across the United States and Canada. Many women say street harassment is a national problem - and they're not going to walk on and ignore it anymore.

We've all experienced this in one way, shape or form. Maybe my attitude has changed (or maybe it's just because of my age) but I do find these occurences happen less often now. Not to say they don't happen. They do. It's never a comfortable situation but at least now I'm old enough not to be intimidated by this kind of behaviour. I have even had my wits about me to respond to a few of these morons. My most memorable experience was actually walking up to one offender and asking if he would speak that way to his mother, wife, sister or daughter. The other guys standing in line (they were queuing up to buy football tickets) all sucked in their breath and looked away, suddenly finding the cracks in the pavement very interesting. As you can imagine, he had no response other than to look down abashedly. "Yeah, that's right, look away, you coward", I said to him. It was quite empowering to walk away that morning hearing the guy's friend say to him "You stupid bloody prat. You couldn't just keep your mouth shut, could you?" Maybe it was the power suit I was wearing, or the high heels - whatever it was something gave me the power to meet that confrontation head on. Score 1 for me.

I say go for it ladies. Check out the various sites in San Francisco, Boston and Texas. And for us Canadian women there is HollaBackCanada.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Pictures

Took a couple of pictures of Darcy last night. They are up here. Hopefully there will be time for a few more during the week.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Need to Loosen Up

This morning I went to get my vaccinations updated for my visit to Panama in February. I thought I might be late for work so I sent an email off to my team yesterday afternoon to let them know I might not be in until 9am (15 minutes late - shocking, I know!).

The Travel Clinic opened at 7:30am and I figured it would be a good idea to be there early because I really didn't know if there would be a line up or what. As it turns out, I was 10 minutes early and the first one in line. By the time they did open, there was only one other couple in line. By 7:40am I was out of there and back 7:58am I was at work, at my desk. So much for being late.

Next time I go for breakfast and force myself to come in late.

Darcy's coming!

Nick, Sue & Darcy will all be at my parents' place tomorrow. Sue & Darcy are staying for the week so I'm hoping there will be lots of photo ops.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Open Houses

Went to a couple of open houses in my area last weekend and this weekend. This week I found a couple of beautiful condos. One of them was spectacular but about double what I could ever afford. The other was a little over my budget but otherwise perfect except for the fact that it's two blocks away from the train tracks. With the condo being up on the third floor and nothing to block the noise from the freights going by, it suddenly wasn't quite so attractive to me.

What a drag.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Menu

My friend Vivienne came over for lunch on Saturday and as she is as much of a foodie as I am, I thought it would be fun to treat ourselves to a gourmet menu. So thanks in great part to the Barefoot Contessa, we had a scrumptious meal of Saffron, Zucchini and Herb Couscous, Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers and for dessert a killer Double Chocolate Pudding. (Still trying to decide how this pudding compared to Martha Stewart's Chocolate Pudding 101, which has been my standard in the past.)

Even better - I knew there would be enough leftover to invite my parents for dinner so they could eat the rest up for me. Dad even went home with the last serving of the chocolate pudding. I slept much better knowing that!

Salon passion chocolat

Made it to the Salon Passion Chocolat yesterday afternoon. All I have to report is that I ate too much free chocolate.

So, yeah, that means it was good. Very, very good.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Decisions, decisions ...

So do I spend my gift certificate from Banana Republic (which has finally opened downtown!) on a darling little blouse, pay a little extra for a cute skirt or pay a lot extra and splurge on the most divine black cashmere turtleneck sweater ever?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Local Events

Two local events happening in the next week that sound to be right up my alley.

This weekend the second annual chocolate exposition, called Salon Passion Chocolat, will take place at Place Bonaventure. The chocolate chefs will present their specialities. Admission is $12.

Next, on Nov. 9 and 10, Quebec wineries are joining with the province's cheesemakers will participate in the Salon des vins et fromages du Quebec. Takes place at Complexe Desjardins from 11am to 8pm, admission $5.

Anybody joining me?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mr. Clean Magic

Yesterday I did my weekly clean at home. There was a ferocious wind blowing so I decided to put a little elbow grease behind my cleaning efforts. My bathroom floor is a white tile floor. I've noticed over the past few months that it's been getting kind of grey and grimy looking and no amount of mopping or scrubbing seemed to help. I had previously used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on a few household items to great success but hadn't tried it on the floor yet. What was I waiting for?! I have NEVER seen a product work so well, so fast. My bathroom floor is so shiny and white and ungrimy looking now! Really - I nearly took a picture of a dirty tile next to a clean tile - that's what kind of difference it made.

I was so pleased with the power of this product that I went right out (well, not right out, I did finish my cleaning first) and bought the heavy duty version of this cleaning pad so I can take a crack at the grout lines next week. Oh, the possibilities!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bad Morning

The power went off this morning at about 4:00am. I know this because my smoke alarm starts beeping when this happens. It beeps every 20 seconds for about 20 minutes until which time the battery runs out. I tried, I really tried, to stay awake for an hour so I could get to the gym, but it seems I fell asleep sometime after 4:45am and didn't wake up until the power came back on at 7:18am. So I didn't make it to the gym, I did rush around for 40 minutes getting ready, I didn't brush my hair after drying it, I did wait for the bus that was 10 minutes late, I didn't wipe the messy mascara from under my eyes until about 10am ... Honestly, it's a good thing I'm so organised and have all my crap ready the night before.

On a positive note, I got about 2 hours more sleep than I had expected.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A few new links

Have been catching up on some reading recently and came across a couple of articles I'd cut from the paper and a magazine. Here are a couple of links to some cool stuff. I'll add them to the side bar too.

Les Effrontés offer wardrobe analysis here in Montreal at a surprisingly reasonable price. Very cool.

Pat-Says-Now supply incredibly original mice for your Mac or PC. Trust the Swiss!

http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.ca/bblank.asp?id=6895 (link doesn't want to work properly, don't know why, so try a copy/paste into your browser) Dove ad on girl transformation: a real eye opener. Thanks to Super C for this.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Swimming Pros & Cons

Decided to hit the pool this morning instead of my usual cardio workout in the gym. Now I remember why I only like to swim in the summer. Hang on - think I need to make a list.

Pros to swimming inside all winter:
- I like to swim
- I don't feel sweaty

Cons to swimming inside all winter:
- It's cold walking around in a bathing suit, even if I'm still dry
- The pool water isn't that warm
- Even after 30 minutes of steady swimming, I still feel cold
- I get all shivery walking around in a wet bathing suit
- Even after a shower I still feel kinda cold
- Even after a shower, moisturizer and perfume, I can still smell the pool on me

Right, so I'm not sure how much swimming I'll be doing this winter but it doesn't seem like a lot.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

700!

Managed to burn over 700 calories at the gym this morning!

Now, if I could just get back with some weight training ...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Looks like my recent spurt of social engagements has come to an end. Thank God! Phew ... I'm exhausted. How did it all get so crazy? Easy answer - I let it.

Started last Wednesday with a Design & Illustration show at Dawson College, followed on Thursday by a 40th Birthday party, Friday was dinner with an old Club Med friend, Saturday a yoga workshop and then girls night, Sunday Thanksgiving dinner en famille, Grandma's Birthday and then Julia's presentation on her 5 months in Africa and then to top it all off, breakfast this morning with Super C.

It's been great seeing so many of my friends and having lots of laughs and stuff, but to tell the truth, I will be quite happy to spend the next few nights at home doing mundane things like cleaning and laundry.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Baton Rouge & Baked Potatoes

Went out last night with some friends to help celebrate a 40th birthday. For dinner we went to Baton Rouge. I had never been before. The food was OK. Nothing that great - except for the biggest and best baked potato I have ever eaten in my life.

Seems all the portions at this place are L-A-R-G-E. Except of course the vegetables. I had a garden salad before my meal and that was an average size. For my main meal I had the salmon and a baked potato. It didn't even come with vegetables! None. Because I'd chosen a salad to start, I could only choose between the potato and vegetables. I have to wonder if they offered smaller, more normal sized potatoes, maybe they could afford to offer a few veg on the same plate without making you choose between one or the other.

Let me tell you about this potato. I do so love the potato. It is versatile. It is tasty. It is filling. I especially love a good baked potato. (Now I feel bad for having to push the incredible roasted potatoes my mom used to make for Sunday dinners to the side, for the horribly fattening but ever so delicious greasy Quebec french fries and the incredible Swiss rosti that Why made for me.) This was a beautifully baked potato. Big, brown, with a soft yellowy inside, perfectly cooked through. I managed to abstain from butter and cheese, but did splurge a little with some sour cream. The only thing I would have liked was to have the skin more crunchy, but it certainly didn't stop me from eating more than half of it! It was practically a meal in itself. I will salivate at the thought of that potato for many a day to come.

We all had a nice time and it was pleasant to sit at a round table and be able to carry on a conversation with everyone.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

So dark

Last week I started back with my routine at the gym. Funny how much darker it is now at 5:30am than it was a month ago. And really, it only starts to get light out at about 7:00am now (later if it's a rainy day like today ...). When we change the clocks back an hour in a week or so it will take even longer before it gets light. I don't know if I'm going to be able to deal with that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Donations for Panama Project

Many of you will already have received this letter by email (my apologies if I forgot you).

Dear Friends:

In February 2007, I will once again be volunteering my time in Panama. This humanitarian mission trip will be used to replace a church roof in the town of Paraìso, paint the pastor’s house and do some minor repairs such as replacing curtains and installing new ceiling tiles. We also hope to conduct a children’s program (sports, arts & crafts, singing and an introduction to using computers) for approximately 30 children who attend the day care facilities during their summer holidays.

Although we will only be there for a short period of time, I know from my past experience, the people seem to appreciate, more than anything, our time and effort and are glad to have us help in any way we can. Our encouragement helps them through some difficult situations.

My hope is that you will seriously consider supporting me by making a donation to this worthwhile cause. All monies raised by me go directly to the Salvation Army for this project. Please forward your cheque to me, which can be made payable to The Salvation Army. A tax-deductible receipt will be issued for your donation (over $10).

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, October 13, 2006

17 Years Ago Today

Suzanne was killed in a car accident. She was 20 or 21. Odd that it was also Friday, 13 October.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Darcy Set on Flickr

Click here for the latest pictures of Darcy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sometimes I could just smack myself

Arrived home safe & sound just after 9pm last night. Enjoyed the weekend in Windsor. Darcy's speech is even more clear now than a month ago. It's crazy how fast she's growing and developing. Didn't take a huge number of pictures, but I did take some and had planned to bring my camera in with me this morning to download the pictures. I even came in early so that I would have plenty of time to take care of all that stuff. Guess what? I forgot my camera at home!!!

Is this a sign that it could be a long week?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hurtin'

Thanksgiving dinner's been over for a few hours now and I'm still hurtin' from all the good food. Sue cooked a great turkey dinner, with stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, cauliflower with cheese, and of course gravy. For dessert we had a homemade apple pie (courtesy of Sue's mom - Thank You!) and a pretty decent store-bought pumpkin pie. Ate w-a-y too much and have pretty much spent the last two hours or so lying on the floor (after having to change into my sweatpants) moaning and waiting for the food to stop being a lump in my stomach.

Thanks, Sue, for a great weekend and a great Thanksgiving dinner.

***********************
Couldn't get this to post last night, so here it is on Monday morning.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Score!

This morning's round of shopping in Windsor started off well enough, I was able to get myself a funky pair of boots for the fall (for quite a sweet price too). But after lunch at home and a nap, we headed out to the outlet malls and things went downhill from there. I was looking for something to wear next Saturday night and wasn't able to find a thing. As we had planned to eat dinner at a restaurant there, during our meal Mom asked if I'd had a look at this Olsen Europe store. I hadn't, so we decided that the girls (Mom, Sue & I) would stay for a little more retail therapy while the guys (Dad and Nick) took Darcy home. At first glance the shop didn't seem to have much in my price range although they did have some nice outfits, and they also had a bunch of sample items, in one size (still about a size or two too big). Then I found the 90% off racks. A quick trip to the try on the one sweater and skirt in my size and what do you know - I have an outfit! Even better - instead of paying $290 before tax, I ended up only paying $23.71, all taxes included! Can we say SCORE!!! Seeing as I'd only spent about a third of what I'd imagined I would spend, we took a quick trip around the rest of the shops to look for a jacket for Sue (also has a big event coming up) and a jacket for me. At our last stop, Danier Leather we hit pay dirt. Sue I'm sure will tell us all about her jacket soon. I got myself a lovely suede plum coloured jacket ($59 instead of $199 - Score!). Not sure that I can wear it next week (because of the neckline on the sweater I will be wearing), but I will be able to wear it with lots of other things.

Feeling very pleased that I did so well today. At dinner I was really starting to get kinda down because after all that shopping I hadn't been able to find anything. Anyway, all ended well!

The drive to Windsor last night was long. Traffic was heavy most of the way and construction slowed us down too so it was about 12:30am when we finally got here. This morning the first noise I heard was Darcy running around upstairs, calling "Daddy! Daddy! My Daddy!" We had fun with Darcy today, taking her shopping and listening to her chatter away, which gets easier to understand all the time.

Tomorrow we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving. Sue made the stuffing tonight so it's starting to smell like good food already! Sorry to Uncle Marky-Sharky and Uncle Eric that you can't be here - it's bound to be interesting and eventful (and I will do my best to get it all on film).

Friday, October 06, 2006

Off Yet Again

Seems like I've hardly been home and already I'm packing for another weekend away. I'm heading to Windsor this afternoon with Nick and my parents for Thanksgiving weekend. I'm excited to see Darcy (Sue too!) and wonder how she'll react to me after our week together in September. Will she be shy? Will she immediately want to play hide & seek? Will she still call me Tef?

There probably won't be any more chocolate pudding or spaghetti incidents, but I promise to take lots of pictures anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Winter she's a comin'

And I know this because a spider entered my home and tried to find a safe place for the winter. Too bad nobody told it my house isn't safe for his 'kind'. Especially when it decided to sit on the side of my bathroom cabinet and scare the living daylights out of me while I was brushing my teeth this morning.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Open to Applicants

There's this dinner thing coming up with a bunch of people from work. I need a date for it. If I don't have a date either I end up the 13th person at the table, I take one of my friends of the female persuasion or I don't go. Not too sure which is the worst option right now.

Anyway, I'm open to suggestions and applicants.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

4 Minutes

I was able to watch 4 minutes of this new show Dexter last night before I had to change the channel (for fear of never sleeping again, EVER). This could be a new record.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Practically Myself

The cold of my life will soon be nothing but a distant memory. My head feels pretty clear this morning and you'll all be happy to know that the mucus (yeah, ok, snot) is back down to a normal level and my voice is just about back to normal too (no more 1-900 voice).

Friday, September 29, 2006

Postcards

Before I travel, I always prepare a sheet of address labels with all my friends and family's addresses. This helps a lot when it comes time to mail postcards. Some people think I'm horribly organised this way, but for me it's really just because I'm too damn lazy to write any more than I absolutely have to, it also means I don't have to keep an address book with me (and God knows I cart enough other crap around with me most of the time anyway).

So last week in Banff, I bought some postcards, wrote the cards, put the labels on, even managed to have a few stamps with me to mail most of them. But then I realised that of the 3 I was going to send to England, only 1 had a stamp. So I didn't send it from Calgary but brought those 3 home and on Monday went down to the post office to buy stamps for the other two (being that the three cards were going to the same address I thought it best to send them all at the same time). It was when the woman behind the counter gave me the stamps that I noticed the postcard that did have a stamp on it was 4 cents short. What does this mean, I asked myself. Does it mean that the other cards I sent were all short on postage? No, because some of them were cards with pre-paid postage - OK, phew! But what about the cards that weren't? And what about the other cards that I had sent to Europe? How many did I send? Are they all missing postage too? Oh brother ... yes, I think they are.

I guess what this means is that some of you will get a postcard from me and others won't. Unless Canada Post takes pity on me and they do let all postcards go out. Sorry, folks - looks like I became one of those people I used to complain about when I worked in the hotel industry, the kind of person that leaves their brain at home when they go on vacation.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Vicks does the trick

Caution - this could get gross.

My head feels about 100 times lighter today than it has in quite a few days.

Managed to see a doctor yesterday morning to find out that yes, I do have laryngitis (surprise, surprise), and I am contagious so I shouldn't be kissing anybody (not like there's a line up people waiting to kiss me). Anyway, bought some Vicks on my way home last night and did a little steam bath kinda thing with that. It helped much more than I thought it would. Hoo wheee!!! NEVER in my life have I seen so much mucus (I'll refrain from telling you the consistency and colour) come out of my nose and throat. Makes me gag a little just thinking about it now. Added to that 6 1/2 hours straight of sleep, it sure helped to make a difference.

Now if I could just get my voice back to normal and not sound like some 80s one-hit wonder rock star (Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler) ...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Banff & Calgary

So last week I left off just before meeting up with Dan (Super C works with his mom, hence the rather vague connection). Dan and I had a couple of drinks at a local pub and discussed plans for the next day. (Something I forgot to mention though was that during my hiking excursion last Wednesday; I heard two avalanches! One was quite small and far off. The other was not. It was loud - like a train rumbling by right behind you, even though the avalanche was taking place across the valley. Wild and exciting!)

Thursday morning wasn't much sunnier than the previous couple of days and rain was in the forecast. Dan picked me up and we drove about 10 minutes to the bottom of Sulphur Mountain. From there we started the 5.5km hike to the top. It was dry at the bottom and easy going with a steady incline. Perhaps about halfway up we stopped for a water break at a delightful little waterfall (very cold water!). It gave an incredible view across the valley. On our way again, the path soon became harder to manage with more rocks and roots to deal with. And then we hit the snow line. And then it started to snow. And it snowed all the way up to the top by which time we both looked like abominable snowmen (or woman as in my case). But really - WOW! It was such a great hike and despite a little huffing and puffing by the end, I think I did OK. After drying off and changing out of sweaty and wet clothes, spent some time on the observation deck where the view was clearing and the snow had stopped. The view was phenomenal. If the weather had only been a little better I would've like to continue the trail over to the other peak, just over 1km away. Took a bunch of pictures up there and then jumped in the cable car for the way down. From there Dan took me over to Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, and also to see some Hoodoos. The only wild animals we saw that day were mountain sheep. Right by the side of the road - if we'd been 2 minutes later we wouldn't have seen a thing. Dan dropped me off in Banff mid-afternoon and headed out of town for some R&R of his own. Thanks so much Dan for the time and energy spent entertaining this Mountain Goddess, I had a great day.

Later that afternoon I took the bus into Calgary and met up with my friend Pam. I stayed at her lovely condo in Inglewood for two nights. Friday I went up the Calgary Tower, had lunch with some friends, did a bit of window shopping along Stephen Ave., and visited the Glenbow Museum. For my last night of vacation Pam got a couple of friends together and we all went out for drinks. That was fun (with plenty of giggling from me and Pam!). The night ended in a pretty district that reminded me very much of Sherbrooke Street in Westmount/NDG - too bad I can't remember what it's called, where we had coffee and cake. Saturday morning Pam took me out to take a few last minute pictures and then I was on the plane. Safe flight home, slept the better part of the way and arrived on time.

And now it's all over ... but good news - my pictures up on flickr! Go have a look.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sad news from Panama

Got an email while I was away last week telling me that Elizabeth died about a week ago in Panama. She had returned to the hospital for just a couple of days. Marlene, the director of the orphanage, visited her there but she was unconscious the whole time. For the past couple of months she has been living with her sister after her latest bone marrow transplants.

She was a courageous young woman who endured far too much abuse, abandonment and illness in her short 19 years.

I am sure she is in a better place now.

We will miss her beautiful smile and warm hugs when we visit the other girls in February 2007.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Update soon

Home again after a great holiday in Banff and Calgary. I'm sick as a dog with a horrible cold but it was worth every minute.

I promise to update you on the trip and my pictures will be up on flickr soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

No, I haven't seen any lion, tigers or bears yet but apparently the bear thing might not be too far fetched.

Arrived in Banff last Friday. Conference was super. Worked like a dog and saw nothing outside my hotel room and several conference rooms but it was a fantastic experience. Yesterday, after we finished up, I spent the afternoon in the Spa pool, then went for a hot stone massage, had some of the freshest sushi ever at Sushi House Banff, and then slept like the dead. Today I went on a guided hike to The Plain of Six Glaciers (approx. 13km). The weather wasn't terribly sunny or warm, but it was a beautiful hike nonetheless and I had a great time. On the way to pick up the other hiker we saw 3 deer (momma and two babies), then on the hike we saw pika (small larger than a hamster, smaller than a guinea pig but in the bunny family), mice (which I very nearly stepped on and managed to shriek at briefly), whiskey jacks (local name), some kind of navy blue bird, mountain goats and elk. At the top of trail we had some serious snow coming down. Yeah, so there I was, me who still has issues with cold weather and snow, grinning from ear to ear (pictures to follow) at the awesome sight of the glaciers, the valley - everything. From the top of the trail you could basically see all the way down to Chateau Lake Louise. I have to tell you, it looked a lot farther away than 13km. It was a great hike.

Tomorrow's plans are still up in the air. I will be meeting with someone in a little while who will do some kind of hike with me tomorrow. After that I'll be busing (is that 1 or 2 's'?) into Calgary to stay two nights there before flying back on Saturday.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Safe

Montreal came to headlines of the news yesterday after a gunman opened fire at Dawson College. My first thought - where is Anna? My longtime friend Anna (the one who got married in June) is an English teacher there. Luckily, I was able to reach her by phone instantly. She had just gotten home with Jamie. She was safe. The feelings of panic and anxiety that I just experienced dissipated instantly on hearing her voice.

This morning's Gazoo is of course filled with stories about the shooting - not a good way to start the day. After reading the first few pages of the paper, I had to stop reading. It's too much for me. I feel sick with ... I don't know what to call it - a horrible, awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I have no explanation for other than yesterday's events.

On a lighter note, tomorrow I'll be on my way to Banff, Alberta for a week. The first couple of days will be work, work, work but after that I'll have a few days to indulge in some sight seeing, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. Hopefully I'll be able to post a couple of times while I'm away.

Be safe everyone.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New pictures are up!

OK - after much downloading, sorting, cropping, fixing and stuff, the pictures from my stay in Windsor are up!

Here are the new sets:
Chicken Licken
Chocolate Therapy
The Spaghetti Incident

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Awesome

Here I am, Saturday night, bags pretty much packed, ready to go home first thing tomorrow morning. It's been a great week. An awesome week. I will never forget this week and probably never experience something like it again. A bittersweet thought.

Today was a bit of a tough one for both Darcy and myself. This morning she didn't want to eat breakfast, get dressed or go to the park. Oddly, at one point we had been playing in the basement and I had asked her to do something a couple of times, when she got up and went to sit on the stairs with her arms crossed for a minute. I'm still not sure if she was giving herself or myself a time out. Lunch turned out OK. She ate some plain pasta with Parmesan. Got her to bed for her nap fine, but then she insisted on singing all about "baby Donald Duck" for a good 10 minutes. Finally she drifted off though. But then she woke up crying. It was time for her to get up anyway so there was no point ignoring her. I went to her and got her out of the crib and still she cried. I cuddled her and hugged her but she kept on crying. She basically cried non-stop for 45 minutes after waking, at times just kind of whimpering, at other times really sobbing and sometimes nearly choking from not being able to catch her breath. I was really starting to get worried. All I could do was hold her. She didn't want to eat, drink, nothing seemed to hurt her. It took about half an hour (God - what kind of idiot takes so long to figure out what was wrong?!) to notice that she kept holding her ears. I finally asked if she had an earache and of course she said yes. So then I started imagining that we'd end up spending the evening in an emergency ward somewhere getting Darcy treated for an ear infection. Luckily it didn't end up that way. Fourty-five minutes after she woke up crying, she stopped. She just suddenly pulled away from me, looked up and said "I happy now". And she was. The first game she asked to play was hide & seek. By the time Sue got home and I explained what had gone on, Darcy had forgotten all about it. In talking with Sue about this whole episode, we ended up thinking that probably her new teeth were causing the earache, might also be part of the reason that she wasn't eating too much. But really, what do I know?

Sue offered to take me out to dinner as thanks for staying the week, so we headed to Montana's. Naturally, Darcy ate nothing. Sue and I however, cleared our plates! On the way there as we passed a bright yellow car, Sue asked Darcy if she liked that car, Darcy's response (and I swear I did not make this up) "Awesome!". Sue & I burst into laughter.

After a nice drive home along the river (because it was too cold to walk outside and none of us were dressed properly) we got into some warm clothes and played a few rounds of hide & seek before calling the family in Montreal. My parents leave tomorrow for their vacation to England, Switzerland and Spain.

I'm realising now that tomorrow's train ride home is going to be long and quiet; the kind of quiet I haven't had in over a week. I have a good book, my iPod and some food but I have the feeling that I will somehow still miss having Darcy around.

Ask me how I found the week? Awesome!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chocolate Therapy

Before I get to the good stuff, I'll just go over my day with Darcy briefly.

Again today she helped me make my bed and tidy up my stuff. This morning we read for a while, played hide & seek and watched Sesame Street before heading over to the park. It was a beautiful day and Darcy wasn't much interested in going back home for lunch. She also wasn't too impressed with the high school kids that came by the park to hang out on the slide during their lunch break. She mentioned several times "that my slide" and wouldn't listen to any reasoning about sharing the park with big kids and little kids. No how, no way.

After a nice long nap (giving me plenty of time to catch up on my emails, sweep the floors in the house and have a couple of cups of tea), I decided to take Darcy down to the river this afternoon. I had hoped that after "chasing birdies" she'd have expended enough energy that giving her some ice cream wouldn't be such a bad thing. Little did I realise that the ice cream stand would be closed in the middle of the day. Oh well. Instead I got treated to Darcy giving me the evil eye, crossing her arms and sitting down in the grass as her refusal to go home. Even after I took a few steps away, she still wasn't moving. I'm not too sure how it happened, but it seems I marched over, said "Darcy, stand up please" (in a tone that many will recall hearing in my own mother's voice) and after a brief second of hesitation, she saw that I meant business and promptly stood up. Conflict over. I plopped her down in the stroller and home we went. No tears. No screaming. Simply and effectively dealt with. By the time we got home she was in good spirits again and we enjoyed doing some more folding and colouring until Sue got home.

As promised, Sue whipped up some instant chocolate pudding for dessert. Darcy enjoyed the first few mouthfuls using her spoon. Then she realised her other hand could go in the bowl too. And that's when it all went downhill. Fast. I don't know how many pictures I took, but I have a (bad?) feeling it may be close to 100 (honestly, all joking aside approximately 100). All with good reason. You have never seen chocolate go in so many places. Darcy started off with some innocent finger painting on her tray, then licked her fingers and got a bit on her cheeks and well, then some not so innocent people got her to touch her nose, put her hands to her cheeks, pound her chest like a gorilla, cross her arms in anger and even put the now empty bowl of chocolate pudding on her head like a hat. It dawned on me as she was rubbing the pudding into her arms and chest - women pay good money for chocolate therapy wraps, baths, facials, manicures and pedicures at spas. For $1.50 you can basically get the same treatment at home. Well, by the end the only way to get Darcy clean enough to get her upstairs was to take her outside and hose her down first. After the initial shock of cold water, she seemed pretty pleased to have her mommy chase her around with the hose. Sue took her up for a bath and I cleaned up the kitchen, highchair and dining room. Pretty fair trade off, if you ask me. And totally worth it! Pictures will be up next week (and again my apologies ...).

Last day tomorrow. I'll be sure to make the most of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Spaghetti Incident

Darcy was in good spirits this morning. After Sue left she was all keen to help me make my bed, brush my teeth and help me get my laundry done (even managing to sneek a purple sock into my white load ...). She was happy to see Elmo and friends on tv and we also managed to get a trip to the park in before lunch. When I consider what she ate yesterday, today was a vast improvement. Although she basically only ate half a banana for breakfast she did eat a couple of carrot sticks for snack and nearly a whole peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Nap time again was no problem.

Two small incidents brought her to tears though. While she was "helping" me fold my laundry, she went to sit on my suitcase, missed and banged her head on the wall behind. We had a cuddle, kisses to the bump and it was all over. Later while we were at the park she bumped her head on the baby swing (that hard plastic or leather) and that brought on more tears. I'm pretty sure that didn't hurt her much, but probably surprised her more than anything. Both times she hit her head she told me, "I go bump". Her eyes would just well up with big crocodile tears and her mouth turned upside down. If it wasn't so sad for her, I would've been laughing just because she was so cute.

This afternoon we played in the backyard for a bit and then did some crafts inside. We made a plaster of paris handprint, did some colouring and also lots of sticking and pasting. It was a fun time, chatting and being silly with Darcy. We danced in our chairs and laughed a lot too.

Things took a turn towards hysteria at dinner and later again when we went out shopping. I'll start with dinner: Sue decided to give Darcy spaghetti tonight as a sure fire way to get her to eat. It worked. It worked so well that Darcy ate two bowls of spaghetti. I have it all on camera (sorry, you'll have to wait until next week for me to download). Not only did Darcy eat but she ate with a fork in her left hand and her right hand was full of spaghetti too - she couldn't get it in her mouth fast enough. I have never seen anyone eat food like this. The sauce went everywhere. Darcy's face was covered, from her nose to her chin, up her nose (yes, really), cheek to cheek, from her fingers to her elbows, front and back of her hands. Sue's promising chocolate pudding for dessert tomorrow. I'm going to have to change the memory card in my camera for that event!

After a quick clean up, we headed over to the mall to get Darcy's fringe trimmed. That took no time at all so we had a quick look in at Old Navy. While I quickly went through the clearance racks, Sue headed over to the kids section with Darcy. I met them there a few minutes later and found Sue holding a hilarious Hallowe'en costume. It was a chicken outfit. I kid you not. A chicken. Sue got Darcy to try on the jacket part of it in the store. You have never in your life seen anything so funny as a two year-old running around a store in a big, white, puffy, furry jacket with two little orange legs flapping out the bottom and said two year-old running around the store giggling her head off. I was literally doubled over, kneeling on the floor laughing like a hyena. Sue had pretty much the same reaction and I think we may have scared a few people in the store. Sue paid for the costume (I paid for my shirt) and we headed home fast to get a few pictures in. Sue's posted her pictures here and I will have mine up next week (I know, I know!).

Only two more days with Darcy ...

Did I just say "only"?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hump Day

Today was Sue's work from home day and I saw that she has to work hard to work.

She and Darcy were heading off to the doctor's this morning so I took that opportunity to head to the gym. By the time I got back we were all ready for a late lunch and Sue suggested that she introduce me to the little tea shop near the house. That was fun. (Note to Why - you would've loved this place. Little tables set up, each set with a tea cup and saucer (none matched), "light lunch" menu and even the choice of a full English afternoon tea!) Darcy is well known there. More so that even Sue, who is simply known as Darcy's Mom. We had some nice sandwiches and a huge choice of teas. By the time we got back home it was well after 2pm and long past Darcy's regular nap time. Sue got her to bed and finally got some work done. I read for a bit and then made a lemon and pine nut cornmeal bread and a huge vat of minestrone. (Slightly burned on the bottom due to me not realising how long it really takes when you take a two year old to the loo. Should've turned the heat off.)

Supper again tonight was a problem. Sue was out though and I had to handle it on my own. Darcy really hasn't eaten much since lunchtime yesterday, so by my reasoning she should've been hungry by dinner time. Apparently not. She ate a few leaves of lettuce, maybe half a piece of the lemon cornmeal bread, one spoonful of minestrone and two handfuls of cut strawberries. All offers of different foods were met with tears and whimpering. When I finally let her down from the high-chair she seemed OK and despite a few demands (ignored by me) we had a fine time until Sue got home again. Singing the alphabet and going through the letters on the LeapFrog thing on the fridge took quite a lot of time, plus of course more playing hide & seek and more puzzle making.

It's certainly interesting to see all the moods a kid can go through in a day (and I'm sure I haven't seen them all just yet!). It's also amazing to see how quickly Darcy picks things up and remembers them too.

Have got a few craft projects in the works for tomorrow so depending on the mood swings, etc. there should be plenty to talk about by the end of the day tomorrow, positive or not so positive!

(PS - Best part is when Darcy gives me a big hug.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Made it!

Before I get to all the fun stuff that happened today, I have to admit I was just a little anxious about how everything would turn out. As it happens, today turned out great - thank goodness!

This morning Sue left for work and as Darcy was so wrapped up in playing hide and seek with me, she hardly even noticed that Sue had gone. I managed to get her to stay in front of the TV while I showered (and I even remembered to close the gate at the top of the stairs!). This accomplished I felt ready for a trip to the park. On the way we made a quick detour of a block to have a look at the truck, tractor and whatever you call that machine thing that cuts the road with the big rotating circular saw - yeah, that thing. It was pretty loud and Darcy found it lots of fun to shout at each other with our hands over our ears. At the park she proceeded to spend the better part of 45 minutes just rubbing sand into a cement seal and a cement turtle's head. A few trips down the slide, a couple of minutes on the baby swing and she was ready to go. As a special treat though, I asked if she'd like to sit on the big kids swing with me. The look on her face was priceless! Darcy does this fantastic "Ohhhh!!!" expression - her little mouth goes into a perfect circle and her eyes seem to open up even wider. So onto the big swing we went and she loved it. Must remember to thank my Dad for introducing Darcy to the shoulder ride home from the park because of course that's what she asked for as soon as we started walking home! "Up! Up, Tef!" Up she went because it's not like I could say no.

By the time we got home Sesame Street was nearly over so I gave her a snack, we read some more and learned how to do some folding (Darcy, not me). Lunch went over very well too (ham, tomatoes, salad, grilled cheese, milk, strawberries and pineapple) and then time for a nap. She went right down without any fuss at all. Felt pretty good about myself!

After nap-time we had a snack on the front porch, played soccer in the backyard and then had another (shorter) trip to the park. This time though she wasn't ready to leave and was pretty clear in letting me know. Eventually I just told her that I was leaving and I'd see her at home later. Of course, the minute I turned my back and took 3 steps she was hollering after me, "Wait! Wait! I come!"

By the time Sue got home though I had the feeling Darcy was getting a little tired of me (possible), that she hadn't had a long enough nap or that she was reacting to all the changes in her little life. It hit as soon as I put our dinner on the table. She ate a few pieces of salad well enough, but the stuffed peppers with veg and couscous were not going to be eaten by Darcy. Not now. Not ever. No how. And she pushed the plate away. And she cried. And she poured milk all over her tray. And she pointed her finger at Sue telling her that she wasn't allowed to eat her own dinner (that's when I had to step away from the table for fear of bursting into untimely laughter). And on it went. Sue insisted she have a little time out and that seemed to do the trick. Darcy never did eat the prepared dinner but we did manage to get some toast with peanut butter into her, as well as some pineapple and a couple of strawberries. Lucky for us, I guess, that she forgot all about the ice cream cone she had been demanding a little earlier.

Sue got her into the bath and to bed without any problems. Here ends day one of this babysitting adventure. Altogether it went off much better than I thought and really, I'm pretty glad the meltdown occurred while Sue was home. I just don't know how I would've dealt with that whole thing.

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Words

Spending the afternoon and evening with Darcy today has taught me a few new words in the world of Darcy.

The most difficult one for me to figure out though was "fok". If it wasn't for her mother, Sue, I'd still be trying to figure it out. Apparently "fok" is "frog". Silly me for thinking it could some other 4-letter word.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

More Shoes

Oh well, it's just shoes, right? Somehow I bought two more pairs of shoes today. And that's after the two I bought yesterday. Oh dear.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

How To's

How to keep Darcy happy in Costco:
- Feed her all the free samples

How to get Darcy down for a nap:
- Tell her you're going for one too

How to get Darcy to eat yogurt:
- Get Nick to shake an already opened container all over himself, Sue, Darcy and the floor. Oh no, sorry - that's how to make Stef and Grandmaman laugh so hard they can't breathe anymore

How to make Stef laugh until she cries for the second time in one meal:
- Have Grandmaman spell "cookies" like so: "c-o-o-k-s".

And that is just day one ...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Going to see Darcy (oh, and Nick & Sue too)

I'm all excited this morning! Tomorrow we leave for Windsor. Not that Windsor is that exciting but I'm going to see my niece. Even better - I'm going to spend a week with her. My parents, Nick and myself will be heading to Windsor tomorrow afternoon for the long weekend. I will be staying behind though when they head back to Montreal on Monday. While Sue goes to work next week, I'm going to babysit Darcy! Yes, that is an exclamation point. I'm very excited and hope this turns out to be a good experience for both of us. I've got lots of what I hope are fun activities for a two year old and if all else fails, there's always the park.

Must remember to charge the camera batteries tonight. Back in Montreal on Sunday, Sept. 10 and will do my best to post some pictures on flickr then.

Hope you're all ready for plenty of Darcy anecdotes!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday to Jilly (and Me)!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. This week got off to quite a busy start and I just haven't had the time to write.

First off: Happy Birthday to my penfriend of many, many years, Jilly. She celebrated 37 years on Saturday, August 26.

Second: Happy Birthday to me. I too celebrated 37 this weekend, but on Sunday, August 27. Thanks to my family for a lovely dinner 'en famille' Saturday night. It was the first time in a long time that all 6 of us were together to celebrate. Thanks also to Super C for braving the rains on Sunday and joining me for a yummy (if very fried) Peruvian dinner, followed by the most divine chocolate cheesecake at Calories (Oh yeah - the CD kicks ass!). AG - you suck. And you know why.

Friday, August 25, 2006

First injury at the gym

OK, so it's not like it's a sports related injury and it's not so much an injury but a bruise. A very painful bruise. A bruise that happened about an hour ago and is already showing itself nicely. A bruise I got when I was rinsing my hair in the shower and WHACKED (yes, that hard) my elbow on the shower's temperature control tap. I hit it so hard that even now, an hour later, the pain radiates from my elbow all the way down to the palm of my hand.

On a more positive note, I survived yesterday's post-spinning soreness and much to my surprise was able to walk this morning. There was another spinning class this morning, but I decided not to push my luck and went for my more traditional walking and elliptical training.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

So this is what it's all about

Just in case you never hear from me again, I'll let you know why I may just curl up and die today. Bright and early this morning (6:30am) I took my first spinning class. If you don't know what spinning is, click here. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. That said though, I am spent.

So I went to this class and I sweat. And then I sweat some more. And then even some more ... I have never sweat so much in my whole life. Not in Mexico, not in the Bahamas, not in Panama. And the reason I was sweating so much is because my heartrate was so friggin' high that a couple of times I actually had to slow down because I thought my chest was going to explode. But at the end of it I felt good. Exhausted but good.

Now that I've stretched, cooled down and showered I'm feeling a little more human. Thank goodness we have a coatroom here where I can hang up my clothes to dry. I'm supposed to meet a trainer at the gym tonight to set up some kind of fitness program - hope I make it through.

Chances that I have some trouble walking tomorrow are looking high.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another Bad Start

This morning I discovered that 6:30am is really too early to be at the gym for a muscle toning class that didn't even happen. Especially since it was once again close to 1:00am by the time I fell asleep. But I did my best to go with the flow, picked up my iPod and spent some time on the treadmill and eliptical trainer. Think I'll do a slow walk home tonight and hope that my body has enough time to relax before I attempt to sleep again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Better Start

Today got off to a much better start than yesterday. I didn't get locked out last night, I got to bed at a reasonable hour and I managed to get up on time this morning. So on time that I even made the effort to get to the gym for 7am. And the good thing is I didn't have to speak to anyone either. I did my workout, a nice cool down and stretching afterwards. Feels good.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Locked Out

Oh man, way to freak me out late at night.

Yesterday afternoon I went out with my parents to visit my grandparents and to pick up my brother Nick at the airport and then drive him to the training centre in Rigaud. All fine (apart from Nick's bags not showing up but that's his story to tell) ...

Until my parents dropped me off at 10:45pm and I couldn't get in the front door of my building! I'm standing there, in the fantastic drizzle that's been coming down for 12 hours straight, in the dark, trying all the keys on my key ring, trying to convince myself that I'm doing something wrong and that I'm not actually locked out. Meanwhile the panic starts to mount and in less than a minute I have visions of me banging on windows and shouting for someone to let me in. Thankfully it didn't come to that. I decided to walk around the back of the building to see if anyone on the terrasse level was up and would let me in (without calling the cops about an intruder in their yard first). What a relief when my neighbour saw me straight away, let me in and explained that when the locksmith changed our locks last week, they had not changed the front door lock. Phew! But by that point my anxiety level was pretty high and even after going through my usual routine of preparing lunch, getting my clothes ready for work and all that, it was still after 1:00am by the time I was relaxed enough to turn the light off.

6am came far too quickly, I reset my alarm for 7am and then reset it again for 7:30am. And I didn't exercise this morning. Yeesh ... what a start to the week.

Friday, August 18, 2006

All Radiohead All The Time

Yesterday was one of those days that one particular thing just keeps coming up. In particular, my favourite rock band, Radiohead.

It all started with an email from my Mom, asking why my brother Eric and I weren't in Avenches, Switzerland to take in the Rock Oz'Arenes open-air music festival. I had a few reasons: 1) I had an oral appliance to pay off and 2) I was in Switzerland last year.

Later at the Y, at the end of a muscle toning class, the cool down music was Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees, to be precise. How cool is that?

Finally, I walked home, got myself some dinner and opened up the paper. And what do you know, in the Arts & Entertainment section, there was a blurb about the Radiodread album coming out next week. As soon as I can, I'll be downloading it from iTunes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Big Trouble

Swiss Miss, you're in big trouble. I just had a delivery from Indigo. A full 10 days before my birthday. How on earth am I supposed to wait that long before opening it?

Isn't that funny

Over the last two weeks I've found it increasingly difficult to exercise. Not due to any type of sports related injury or lack of time but simply due to lack of interest. My dvds have finally become boring. I've noticed that since I haven't been exercising as much, my sleep has started to suffer again and I also feel more lethargic all day long. So this morning I said "Enough!", got up, did a round of exercise with the dvd and what do you know ... I do not feel lethargic. In fact, I feel energised, ready for anything and happy (yes, I think I just said I feel happy). Isn't that funny?!

This week I've spent a lot of time on the internet checking out various gyms and sports centres in and around Montreal in an effort to figure out which one will best suit my needs (not to mention how easy it is for me to access). I visited the YMCA on Monday and they gave me a free pass to try out their stuff. I'm heading over there tonight. If all goes well and I don't completely embarrass myself I think I'll just do it already and join.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Last Hurrah

Although summer isn't officially over (or so I've been told) it certainly has been feeling that way over the last week. However, spending some time up the camp with Dad this weekend helped me to enjoy a little more of summer's best.

Mom and I got up to camp a little after 3pm on Saturday and managed to get a solid hour or two in at the beach. Granted we were in pants and jackets but it was still nice to sit there, people watch and feel the sun warming us (and the wind cooling us). We also went on a nice hour-long walk up, down and around one of the avenues. That was particularly fun as we got to see a number of beautiful cottages (i.e. mansions). All that fresh air had us in bed early and sleeping like the dead. Mom even had to wake me up at 8:15 on Sunday morning! After a leisurely breakfast we headed out for another long walk, followed by about an hour or so in a peddle boat on the lake. All that exercise and fresh air had us both falling asleep in our beach chairs! A warm lunch and then back to the city. Summer may not officially be over but now that I've had one more beach day it's OK. Well, it's not really OK but you know ...

Enjoy what's left of it because we'll all be bundled up soon enough.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How rude

Have been meaning to mention this all week, but other stuff sort of came up.

Listen to this - Monday morning I was waiting for the bus on my way to work. It was just before 8am, bright sunny morning, I had my purse on my shoulder, my back pack on the ground in front of my feet. I was standing at the bus stop with 2 other women. In the park behind me there was a guy playing fetch with his two dogs. I watched them play, not really paying attention to what was going on around me. I had noticed that someone was walking down the sidewalk toward me but figured this person would walk around me, in front or behind, like any normal person would. I figured wrong. I guess the two other women were closer to the street side of the sidewalk because this person chose to walk behind us. But apparently I was standing too far back on the sidewalk because this person plowed right into me! As I hadn't been watching her, I wasn't prepared for someone to push me over just like that. I teetered over and tripped over my backpack but caught my balance and didn't fall. The other women shouted out "Hey!" or something. I was speechless. I turned around to have a look at this person who was continuing along her merry way as if nothing had happened!

The woman in front of me explained that she had seen this woman coming along and thought she looked bit weird. As she got closer and hadn't made any detour from her path she watched closely to see what would happen, never expecting what did happen to happen. She said the woman obviously wasn't right in the head. Anyway, within another minute the bus had arrived and we all got on. 15 minutes later as I was getting off, the lady that had spoken to me earlier, jokingly told me not to bang into any other people today. I laughed and said I would be more careful of where I stood.

What a start to the week though.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Remember The Rule!

This is for Sina. 'Nuf said.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Running Question

Although it's not really a running question, but rather a question related to keeping your feet blister free while running.

I was recently told by someone in the foot care industry that marathon runners put Vaseline on their feet before putting their socks on. They do this to prevent blisters. We both want to know: is this true and does it work?

Anyone? (Nick in particular.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I think summer's over

I've had to sleep with a duvet for the last three nights.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Post Weekend Report

Despite a half day of work on Thursday and a day off on Friday, the weekend itself got off to a rough start on Saturday. I had rented a car and went to pick it up from National at 11am. Only to find out after filling out the forms and stuff that the car wasn't even in their lot yet and it could "maybe" be ready in half an hour. As it turns out I got in the car 45 minutes later ... (my relaxed zen attitude had completely gone by this point.)

Next went to pick up AngryGnome in NDG. As we were coming out of her building, for some reason I stopped, looked at the corner and watched as a black car going through an intersection on a straight arrow, hit a red car turning left illegally, followed by a silver car rear-ending the red car. Brakes squealed, metal crunched, airbags exploded and smoke billowed out of the car windows. Luckily there were plenty of witnesses and the people were quickly removed from the cars and sat on the sidewalk - nobody seemed to be hurt. I went to see if there was anything I could do (I don't know what, but still) and it seemed that a couple of people who were closer already had things in hand. I did notice at least one person on the phone, who I hope was calling the police.

We got in our car (a PT Cruiser, which although fun to look at, I wasn't particularly impressed with - too slow on the pick up, no trunk button from inside the car, too dark tinted windows, weird way to get the high beams on) and got on the autoroute to stop by my place for my stuff but almost immediately got stuck in traffic ... got off at the first exit and made the way through Verdun instead.

Bad things (or good things?) come in threes and that seemed to be it for the bad portion of the weekend. Everything after that happened like clockwork, including beautiful weather, no bugs, a relaxing time, good company.

The concert on Saturday night was awesome. The Inn at Shelburne Farms was the perfect location. It was fun to listen to Mozart's Requiem, eat our picnic, people watch (and of course comment and discuss), watch the sunset, watch the stars come out, breathe in the fresh air. It really was a lovely evening. We got back to Lyndy's parents' place by 11pm (even managed a little late night grocery shopping!) and relaxed on the fronch porch for a few hours in the cool evening air.

Sunday morning I took a little walk up and down the road and managed to come up with a little "montage" of the mailboxes along the way. While they are interesting themselves, it would've been a good idea to compare the mailboxes to the houses they belonged to. Had a late breakfast, then an early afternoon nap followed by a late lunch. Watched Lyndy's relatives play bocce ball for a while (they were having their annual party) and then we headed home.

I know I was only away from home one night but it was relaxing enough to feel like I'd been away longer. It was great. Thanks LB for the good company, laughs and your bbq-ing abilities.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Off Again

Gotta love these long summer weekends. I'm taking this afternoon off work and the office is closed again tomorrow! Then on Saturday, AngryGnome and me head out to The Inn at Shelburne Farms in Vermont, to partake of the Vermont Mozart Festival. As AG mentioned in her blog post, it's her first time and it so happens to be a first for me too. Keep your fingers crossed for a nice evening.

I'm also hoping for a quick visit to a grocery store to try a few more fun foods that we just don't get here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oh What a Night!

Thoughts have been running through my head non-stop since last night's crazy storm. I wish I could be a great writer and describe the scene to you so that you felt like you were there, but it's not quite going to happen that way. My humble apologies.

Marc came over last night to give me another key for the bike lock he gave me (as it seems I have lost/misplaced the other one). In return for his favour, I made him dinner - Shroom With Ado. Portobello mushrooms, green and red peppers, red onions all wrapped up in warmed whole wheat tortillas. It was pretty tasty!

Anyway, we chatted after dinner and just as he left I went to open my windows again and discovered that the wind had really picked up. About a second after that Marc called me to tell me that he was in front of my building and he was watching a lightning storm. I ran outside, saw the lightning with him and decided we'd get a better view from the roof of my building. Up the stairs, onto the terrasse and there we had it. A clear view of downtown, the mountain and to the west (east view is blocked by a big old tree). So we watched the lightning for a while. But it wasn't just watching and waiting for the lightning to hit somewhere. The sky would just light up, every 2-4 seconds! On and on and on! It kept coming and coming! The sky would turn a white/grey kind of colour, then blue, purple, green ... the clouds were moving in fast and we were getting a sprinkling of rain. After a good 10-15 minutes of that we noticed that the mountain had disappeared behind the clouds. Rain was a comin' - fast and furious. Within a minute downtown had disappeared almost completely. I have quite a good view of the skycrapers downtown and all we could see in the end was the top of the IBM building. No more PVM, no more Chateau Champlain, no more 1000 de la Gauchetiere. And that's about when the rain started to pour down on us. We stayed for another 5 minutes or so but then decided to go in.

Marc dried off a little and then left to drive home. I dried off, changed clothes and sat in my window for another 30 minutes. I watched the lightning, the wind whip the trees, the rain come down sideways at times and listened to the thunder rumble continuously. It was awesome.

Lucky for me I didn't lose power at any point. I heard on the radio this morning that quite a lot of people in Montreal did (78,000 according to The Gazette).

Swiss National Holiday

A little late on this one. Yesterday was the Swiss National Holiday. I should've said Happy Birthday Switzerland (715th or something), but somehow I forgot.

Hope my friends and relatives all enjoyed themselves and ate lots of cheese and chocolate.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Pictures are up now

As promised, here are the remaining pictures from Darcy's visit last week.

I enjoyed another weekend visiting my Dad at camp with Mom. Strangely, it wasn't nearly as fun without Darcy ...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Gone, gone, gone

Princess has been returned to her rightful owners, Darcy is on her way back home with Nick & Sue, life returns to normal. To tell the truth, looking a little boring right now.

Tuesday night my work colleague came by to pick up her dog and I really found myself looking for something to do once the dog was gone. It was a great experience for me to have a dog for a little while. It's helped make clear a few things in my mind about owning a dog. First of all, while I don't work a lot of overtime during the summer months, during the winter and spring I do. I am often out of the house for 12-14 hours a day. If I were to own a dog, this would mean having to think about hiring a dog walker. And while I don't work a lot of overtime during the summer, my social life does pick up a little (and I'll thank you to keep your smart aleck remarks to yourself) and this again would require a dog walker. This can be quite expensive and on my budget may prove prohibitive. Secondly, the type of dog I am interested in adopting may howl at being alone for so long during the day. Living as I do in an apartment block, where soundproofing does not exist, I think it would be unfair to my neighbours to add such a soundtrack to their lives. Thirdly, I still need to sort out my allergy issues. I'm trying to make an appointment but it could be a few months until I actually get to the doctor's office.

Last night, Thursday, I said my good-byes to Nick, Sue & Darcy. They head back home today, with an overnight stop at Sue's parents in Cambridge, Ontario. Spending Sunday afternoon, and most of Wednesday and Thursday with them was a sheer delight for me. I've been exposed to many aspects of Darcy's little (and growing) personality - and really, I think she's probably just like any other 2-year old. Bright, inquisitive, chatty, stubborn and funny! I'm already looking forward to our next visit together over Labour Day weekend.

Until then I need to find something to occupy myself outside of work. There are a few books that have been collecting dust, some movies that I've said I'll watch, plenty of ironing to do and a few new recipes to try. Any suggestions?

Oh yeah, I do have more pictures to put up on flickr, but my camera battery is too low to download them and I forgot my back up battery at home. You'll have to wait until Monday. Sorry!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Darcy's here!

Nick, Sue & Darcy arrived on Saturday for a week of vacation. I've managed to take a few pictures already, which you can take a look at here.

It didn't take long for Darcy to get comfortable with us again. At dinner on Saturday night, she was sitting on her Grandmaman's lap, eating dessert, when she did a little fart. Nick asked her if she had done "a big toot". Without any hesitation, she told us that no, in fact "Daddy do big toots". And that's when we all laughed, and laughed and laughed.

Yesterday we spent the day at camp, mostly in the lake, splashing around and having a great time. Darcy's not afraid of the water and was thrilled to have her Papa around the swish her through the water and take her for a ride in the kayak. None of us seem to compare to her Papa. It was "where da Papa" this and "where da Papa" that.

The week's off to a good start. Hope to have a few more pictures up by the end of the week.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dog Update

Friday is here already. That means it's been a week with the dog. Princess is doing well, I think. It's been a bit hard to get her to eat, but a few friends have told me that the heat we've been experiencing may lessen her appetite.

Otherwise she's doing much better on the leash, I can actually get her to sit on command (even though it's not for long) and she is finally understanding that for me to let her out of the cage she has to be calm and not jumping around like crazy. This is progress!

Problems:
1) She seems to be scared of people and other animals when we're outside. She really shies (shys?) away from them.

2) She has found my sock bin and last night decided to choose a pair and start chewing on them as she would one of her toys. That did not go over so well with me. The socks have now been placed out of reach. I'm a quick learner too ;)

We had a big thunderstorm last night and she jumped a couple of times when the thunder boomed. But I can't blame her - I did too! I could've sworn lightning must have hit somewhere very close.

Had to take her out for a walk in the rain this morning. She looked like a big wet rat by the time we got home. She didn't like me drying her off and managed to get her dirty paws all over my nice clean beige pants. Lesson here - do not wear light coloured pants if you're going to dry off a hyper-active dog just before going to work.

Another 5 days and I'll be giving her back. On the whole it's been a good experience so far. Will let you know how it ends.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dog Update (and there will be more)

Just so you know, if I ever do get a dog, you can pretty much guarantee that I would post a lot about my dog, what it does, doesn't, and all that jazz. So until that day does come, I will enthrall you with updates from my dog sitting adventure.

Yesterday Princess at last ate all her dinner! I was so pleased. Pleased until she didn't eat all her breakfast this morning. But apparently she could be a little confused and stressed out being in a different environment and away from her family and also due to the serious heat we're having, she may not each as much. Makes me feel better. I put the timer on the a/c to come for longer today to help keep her comfortable during the day.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dog Sitting

Friday night one of my colleagues from work dropped off her dog at my place. They're on their way to Florida for vacation and I offered to dog sit. Yes, it's true - I offered to dog sit.

"Princess" (and you can stop your snickering at the thought of me calling after a dog with such a name) is a little (aren't they all?) shitzu, weighing in at about 10 lbs and is about a year old. Mostly she's pretty quiet but tends to cry and starts to bark when she can't see me. I've discovered that shushing (is that really a word?) her is working pretty well. I'm enjoying taking her for walks in the park and around my neighbourhood. She doesn't seem to be trained to walk nicely on the leash and I don't know if I should try to train her up a little or not. I'm also a little worried about her food and water intake. She does eat but only a very little bit and the same with drinking. She is doing her business outside when we go for walks, so I guess everything is normal. She is quite an affectionate dog; likes to be petted, sit by my feet when I'm in my chair or beside me on the couch. She does tend to hover around my feet though and I am a little nervous about stepping on her. I have tripped over her a couple of times already and must be more vigilant about looking out for her.

Most surprising to me is that I haven't had any allergic reaction. The night I was expecting her I had taken an allergy pill in advance but then forgot about it on Saturday and only realised on Sunday that I hadn't had any reaction. Haven't bothered taking any more pills and I seem to be OK so far. I'm wondering if my body has changed and maybe I'm not allergic, or to a much lesser degree, to dogs anymore. I'll see how the next 10 days go and then maybe make an appointment with my allergy doctor to get retested.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Thanks Momma

Went out shopping with my Mom last night. We met at The Bay, did a few floors there, then headed over to Mexx (where we ended up leaving without buying anything because they were playing us for fools and talking to us in a condescending manner) and finally to Simons (where it seems we could've bought out the store ...).

To celebrate our successful shopping adventure we had dinner at our favourite Indian restaurant, Le Taj. Mom had chicken curry, I had bhunna shrimp. And of course we had their "Most Amazing Naan Bread EVER".

Thanks for a fun evening Mom!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tweedle Dee Dictionary, Part 16

It's been a long time since my last Tweedle Dee entry. Today I heard these and they were just too good to pass up:

Gateway = Gatwick (airport in London, UK)
Maples = Naples, Italy

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summer in the City

All I can think about on a day like today (a hot & sunny summer afternoon) is kicking back somewhere, on a hammock, reading a good book, listening to the ocean, drinking a pina colada. The ocean there for you when you're ready to cool off. The rustle of the palm trees lulling you to sleep. Feeling at peace, relaxed, calm.

Instead, I am in an overly air conditioned office, in the middle of downtown Montreal, drinking a glass of water, reading through expense charges. Feeling stressed, uptight, anxious.

The two don't really compare.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Biking on the F1 Track

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I live in a cool city.

Yesterday Marc and I went for a kick-ass bike ride. From my place, we cut across Nuns' Island, went over the Ice Bridge and along the causeway to Parc Jean Drapeau. The cool part about biking there (you can also drive your car over) is that you can bike, walk, rollerblade or drive around Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The Grand Prix went down about a month ago now and they are in the process of putting up / taking down the grand-stands. It was really "impressionante" to know that I, yes, little old me, could and was actually riding her bike around the same track as those famous F1 drivers.

It was a beautiful day; sunny, breezy, dry. We did two laps on the track, continued our bike ride over the Casino bridge, then headed back home along the Canal bike path. I figure we must have biked about 30k altogether. Not bad for a Sunday morning.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

You know the tune, everybody sing together "Happy Birthday to you ..."

Have a great year, Mom!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Long Overdue Update

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple of weeks. My work/life balance got a little out of whack there for a bit. But now I have taken control of things again and will do my best to provide more regular updates over the summer.

To recap: Girls Getaway Weekend was fab. Bought some delicious cheese, flirted with the border guard, checked out some great greyhounds, had a pretty drive, ate lunch in a cafe with a great view, took a ferry ride, had some fun grocery shopping, ate lots of great fish and ice cream, drank lots of fun cocktails (except for the part that got spilled on the floor) and even managed a few pictures! The weather cooperated and the timing was perfect everywhere. Could not have asked for a better weekend. Well, sure it could've been longer but that's being greedy. We're planning another one for the end of the month. Let's hope that turns out just as well.

Since then I've also done a few nice bike rides. One in particular with my mom was funny because she borrowed my Dad's biking gloves and didn't notice they were on upside down until our first break. Yesterday though I had a not so nice bike ride home from the dentist. Managed to get caught in a bad storm. But it did make me bike faster to get home. So I got home in record time but I was covered from head to toe in mud, mud and more mud. I didn't know I could get so dirty bike riding. Really - I looked like some kind of extreme bike rider after a mountain trail race or something. I also found out that your feet can get wet enough while biking to do the squishy thing in your shoes. Now I know.

What else? Oh, I'm sure I've forgotten piles of stuff but there you go. That's my fault for not keeping up to date.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

You know you live in a cool city when ...

You're killing some time, waiting for your boss, and discover, much to your delight, that on Bon Appetit's blog, a contributing editor mentions: 1) your hometown, 2) your favourite band, and 3) one of your favourite foods all in one blog post!

Does Montreal rock or what?!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday update

Had a busy week last week, an enjoyable weekend thanks mostly to good weather. The heat and humidity has arrived here in Montreal. It's nice to finally feel warm.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Marc!

Happy Birthday to my youngest brother, Marc, who turns 29 today!

Wedding Pictures

Anna's wedding pictures are up here.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Wedding

Dear Anna & James,

You're getting married on Saturday so I thought I'd put together a fun little tribute to the years of friendship I have had with Anna. James, you've certainly heard all about these times, but here are a few pictures to fill in any blanks.

Click here to see just how long I've known Anna.

Congratulations to both of you. I wish you a long and happy life together.