Staycation Days 11-15 (Monday -Friday)

Happy Monday to all!  Well, like the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. My staycation is officially over and now its back to the grind.

I’m okay with that.  Although I’m not looking forward to seeing how many emails are waiting for me, I welcome the routine and catching up with my colleagues.

 

Here’s a condensed version of what last week looked like.  Monday I headed out to Mont Tremblant for the 24th Annual Blues Festival.  I am so glad I went.  It’s so lovely out there.  The hotels in the village are nestled in the mountain.  Picture if you will a 360 degree view of lush greenery and mountain peaks and cobble stone streets.  It looked a little like a cross between Switzerland and New Orleans French quarter.

It was my first time at the blues fest.  The act I wanted to see live was Angel Forrest.  She is amazing.  I also “discovered” two new acts; Godboogie and Brody Buster.  Their tunes are now securely downloaded to my iPod. Love it.

My hotel was amazingly awesome for a three star.  In fact everything there was super clean.  The area has a distinct chill vibe to it.  It’s a favorite for hikers and ski bums/bunnies.

The drive back home on Tuesday morning left me feeling a little blue (no pun intended).  It was a mix of wishing I could stay longer and just wanting to go home.

Tuesday was spent just chilling at home and catching up to PVR’d episodes of 20/20/  Something was off though; I just couldn’t shake the restless/lonely feeling in my gut.   I glanced over at my guitar sitting in the corner and dusted it off, opened up my Yousician app and spent time practicing.  A couple hours flew by, just like that.   When I was done, my fingers felt raw from the strings, but the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment was undeniable.

Wednesday I spent the day with mom.  I picked her up and we headed out to Granby Zoo.  I had not been in years.  The weather was perfect; a little on the coolish side, but the animals were in full view and not hiding from the heat.

Thursday was another quiet day spent working on the decorations for the church vacation bible study coming up next week.  Later in the afternoon I got an invite from the prodigal to come over for supper.  He is turning into quite a good cook and his new apartment is coming along nicely.  His girlfriend’s little son is starting to warm up to me.  managed to get a hug from him as I was leaving.  There’s a bit of an unpleasant situation going on there, but that’s a story for another post.

Friday was spent on decorations again and later in the evening I caught up with a friend and we went to see a comedy show on Crescent street.  The headliner, Andrew Searles, was pretty good.

The weekend was a blur.  I didn’t do much.  I’m super chill now and hope that vibe stays with me as I open the fifty million emails waiting for me.

Have a good Monday, all.

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Staycation Days #9 & 10 (Saturday and Sunday)

I really have commitment issues.  This reality has been hitting me square in the face of late.

Saturday night I was supposed to attend a mix and mingle event through a Meetup group.  It was at the Botanical gardens.  About three hours prior to the event, I cancelled.  Why?  Not sure.  It’s not like I was uber busy.  I think I’m just loving this slow, relaxed pace I’m living this past week.   Showing up to something feels like “work” and I’ve been just fine in my own company.

So, instead of going out and meeting new people, I opted to stay home and watch some Netflix and chat on the phone with  friend.

Not much happened today.  Sundays are a day of rest and I love the quiet routine I’ve set up for myself.  I make a cup of tea and head downstairs with my kitties.  We were out there for about an hour.  They were sniffing and chasing bugs and eating grass.  I was sipping tea and reading Scripture.

I did a little reading and blogging and then head out for church at 4pm, followed by a bowl of soup at the diner with a friend.

It was the perfect Sunday.

 

 

Staycation Day #8 (Friday)

The morning started off on such a nice foot.  The prodigal called me to ask if he could stop by to pick up his mail.  It was raining (again) and his work was cancelled for the day. Sidebar:  every rain day has me worried he might not be covering his rent!  Aaaaanyways….we had coffee together and I made him a big breakfast.  What can I say?  Once a mom, always a mom.  We love to feed our boys when they come for a visit.

As hard a time as we have had as a family, it does my heart good to know that he enjoys stopping by and shooting the breeze with his mamma. Ok, and to use my Wifi. LOL! They still have not gotten around to doing that.  All good.

Once he left, it was off to the Apple store for my Ipad Pro tutorial.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Can you say love?  That store rocked my socks off.  Granted, I was beyond the beginner’s stage from fiddling around with it over the past few months, but I did still learn a couple things.

We were a total of four; me, two nice ladies and..enter Zsa Zsa Gabor wannabe annoying diva.  It was 11 am folks, and this glamour puss walked in with a cocktail dress and more bling you can shake a stick at.  Hey, I’m all for putting your best foot forward, but cheese and rice, lady.  Take it easy!

Before she even opened her mouth, I knew exactly what she would sound like and how she would behave. She was going to be the one who was especially needy and would interrupt every two seconds and keep pressing buttons immediately after the instructor would tell us not to.  Two minutes in aaaaaand I nailed it.

Here is a photograph of our humble instructor.  What a sweetheart; so patient and kind.  Apparently he has a blog going here on WordPress.  I can’t for the life of me find it though.  If any of you all are savvier than I and find it, please let me know. It’s called Food Girl Beer Guy.

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Later in the evening I headed out Place des Arts to catch battle of the bands between The Xavier Cugat and Cab Calloway orchestras.  Interesting tidbit I did not know; the band leader, Christopher Brooks Calloway is the grandson of the late great Cab Calloway.  Spoiler alert – they won for a second year in a row.

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I wish we were allowed to take photographs. That particular room is spectacular and was set up so authentically to the years when that music was hip.  Well, it still is, in my humble opinion.  I had a father that was older than my mom and I have memories of hearing that stuff playing in the background when I was growing up.

I had a smile on my face from ear to ear.  That’s when a particularly vile odor wafted around me.  Oh geez, the dude next to me let one go.  Ok, find, it happens. Let’s move on.

Well, apparently it was a segue to what the next 40 minutes would be like.  My brochure was being fanned so furiously I’m sure the orchestra thought I was trying to start a fire.

For eff’s sake, Farty McGee, get thee to the restroom!  People can be so utterly disgusting at times.  He got the message when I looked right at his silly little mug and gave him the death stare.

At intermission he popped out of his seat and left.  All I could think of was “dude, I don’t care how long the line is at the loo, you’d best pay it a visit or I will  lose it”.

When he came back he seemed to hesitate sitting next to me.  Rightly so, stinky, rightly so.

You can dress some people, but you can’t take them out.

Happy Sunday, all!

 

Staycation Day #6 and #7 (Wednesday/Thursday)

I have a question.  Why why why doesn’t time fly by this quickly at work?

Yesterday I decided to pop in on a friend who is a stay at home mom to three lovely little boys.  Talk about a multicultural family.  She is from Canada, her hubs is first generation Canadian and his family is from Pakistan, her eldest son is from the Phillipines, her middle boy is from Vietnam and the littlest one is from China.   Not sure why I felt it was important to mention that.

Anyhoooo…..I thought I’d drop by Tim Hortons to get a box of Timbits for the kiddies and a coffee for myself.  So when it came time to pick up my order at the drive through, I was greeted by one of the snottiest, rudest piece of work in my life.

She kept shoving hot coffee at me that was dripping on to my hand.  I asked for a napkin.  She yanks the coffee out of my hands, pours some out and then shoves the still dripping cup at me.  No napkin.  So I asked a second time for a napkin.  She lunges at me again to grab the cup.  I cut her off.  Could you please just give me a napkin?

In my head I’m thinking : Could you stop dumping coffee that I have paid for? I’d like to actually have something left in my cup.  Secondly, are you fresh out of napkins?  I’m a big girl, I got this, really.  Thirdly, I’m “this close” to going ape-shit on your stinking attitude little miss rude pants.

Miss Congeniality then says “I”m JUST trying to help you”., flings a napkin at me and slams the little drive through door shut in my face.  OMG….

So I did what every normal mature adult would do….wait, no I didn’t.  I let her rip.  I yelled “THANKS FOR THE ATTITUDE, BITCH!” and drove off.

 

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Just. Give. Me. A. Napkin…..

Why did I sink to that level?  I should have parked the car, walked in, and asked to speak to her manager.  Even that is petty, I know.  I guess I just miss the days when people working at restos or cashiers didn’t act like you were BOTHERING them.  Not to mention trying to scald customers with hot coffee.

So, then I visited my friend and did not utter a word of my momentary crazy bitch behavior.  Later in the evening I went out with some girls for dinner and still did not mention my psycho behavior. So please, don’t tell anyone, ok?

Today, I did the most mundane but necessary things; renew my car insurance, stopped at the SSAQ to renew my driver’s license and medicare card.  Oh what a surprise, the government officials there had the one token grumpy employee and I was next.  She was all smiles for good looking young buck ahead of me though.

Customer service in Montreal can suck so bad.

So, this evening I’m off to a FREE outdoor concert with another couple friends.  Oh boy, I’m loving this routine.  Reality will hit hard in a week’s time when I have to go back to work.

Have a good night, folks!

Staycation Day #5 (Tuesday)

Oh Netflix.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways. Apparently only one count.

Yesterday was a stay at home quiet day.  I puttered around, did little things like paint my nails, read, and then plopped myself on the sofa to (what I thought would be) binge on Netflix.  I can’t do it.

Television is like a sleeping pill to me. If I sit still for too long, I doze off.  I did my best to sit through Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children…..zzzzz.  Did I mention I can’t stand Tim Burton films?  They’re so……creepy.

When I bought my new living room sofa furniture, I made sure to buy only a love seat and  chair. That way I would not fall asleep on them right? Wrong.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up at 1:00 am or later,  curled up on the love seat with a stiff neck.

So, I decided to leave the house and go for a bike ride along the river.  Much better.  When I got back I sat on the balcony with my kitties and listened to some of my favorite podcasts. CBC’s Laugh Out Loud is so funny.  It’s the type of comedy that isn’t peppered with the F-bomb every second sentence.

That was my day.  I feel like I wasted it, to be honest.  It’s incredible how some of us are hard wired to be on the move constantly.  If I can’t sit still for one day, I can’t help but wonder what the retirement years will look like.  Granted I still have about 15 years to go, but time is a thief and years can go by so quickly.

A friend of mine has retired a couple of years ago kind of unexpectedly.  She was getting off the bus after work, slipped on the ice and broke her pelvis.  Once she was done with the healing and rehab process, she just decided to retire early.  Just like that.  Brave soul! With no husband or children, I’m not sure what she fills her days with.  All I know is I do not want to be in her shoes when my time comes. I need to stay busy, so I guess now is the time to get involved in different activities and interests that can be carried into those years when we have more time on our hands.

That’s the thing about staycations….they make you think!

Staycation Day #4 (Monday)

Bang bang bang bang bang.  That is the sound I woke up to Monday morning.  I don’t know what the deal is on this street.  It’s like a zombie construction worker/independent contractor/renovators apocalypse.

Well, since I’m up….may as well get the day going.  I spent the morning reading emails and some of my favorite blogs.  Then I made this awesome Meat Moussaka a-la-Weight Watchers style.  Super yummy and low in points and calories.  A girl’s gotta eat..

 

Once done, I headed downtown to catch the jazz-fest.  Oh what a treat for all senses!  This lady in red was doing this all day.  I can’t even image….

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Oh hello!  Not sure what this had to do with jazz, but it was very creative and fun to look at!

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Tourist or festival employee…you decide.

Uhm…..!

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Must have been one helluva party!

The first act I caught was, well…very dull.  I will not mention his name, as I don’t feel right about publicly bashing anyone.  I will say this, however, for a jazz musician, he was very….vanilla….and as the front man, he played…the electric bass.  I don’t get it either.

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Mister Snappy Socks – way more interesting that the band that shall remain nameless.

Montreal is know for its culinary delights.  We have some of the best restos and food trucks.  Last night was no exception, here is just a small sampling of what was available.

There next two acts that I caught were spectacular.  The first was the Johnny Max Band. The lead singer has a very seasoned voice and a very big stage presence.  I even bought their CD after the show.  If you are a fan of blues, you must check these guys out.  Let me know what you think!

The second was Dawn Tyler Watson.  This is the second time I have seen her and what an amazing set of pipes! I was able to squeeze myself into a little spot on the side of the stage.  See? One more benefit of going out solo!

There was also lots of fun to be had for the little ones!  Happy kids = happy parents.

The last act I caught was a band from Brazil called Bixiga 70.  Very big on percussion and bongos.  I think it may have been their first time in Montreal.  They really put their heart into performing.  I listened for a while then head back home.

That was my day in a nutshell.  Good night folks!

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Mouah! Nighty night!

Staycation Day #3 (Sunday)

Sunday.  The day of rest. The weather here still was not cooperating all that much.  Maybe its for the best?  Knowing me, I would be racing around all over town trying to cram as much in as I could.

I did my best to truly relax, but I’m still having trouble with that. Sitting still and reading a book and doing JUST that would be amazing.  I truly envy people who can do that without getting up to put another load of laundry in, wash dishes, spot tidying up.

So, this was my version of a rest day.  After my morning smoothie, I went downstairs with the furballs and let them enjoy fresh air as I sipped my tea on the steps.  They LOVE going outside and never stray far from me. It’s pretty funny.  People on the street always stop and ask if they ever run away.  Nope, they do not.  They stay very close by.  I’m sure they think I’m some sort of witch with her two black cats.

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Open. The. Door!

 

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Who needs a weed whacker with this guy around?

I spent some time in Scripture.  It was nice, so quiet and the cool wind was refreshing.

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Then I moved on to my latest read, CEO of Everything by Gail Vaz Oxlade.  Remember her?  She is the loud mouthed financial guru that would tell people how it is on the series Till Debt do Us Part and Princess.  My e-reader decided to up and die though! Aak!  Thank goodness for the wonderful world of apps on my iPad.

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I basically just poked around the apartment until church.  Service starts at 4pm; I left the house at 4:15.  Every. Single. Week.  Yes, I have issues with time management.

After church I went out for a bowl of soup with a friend. Oh I know! Soup! After church! Woohoo! Livin’ the dream, folks!  All kidding aside, I do this because I know this lady from church is a little lonely since she has retired.  She never married and has no children.  She’s a sweet person and I enjoy chatting with her.  Although she is somewhat naive in some respects, she is very strong in her faith.  We have some great conversations.

My day ended with just sitting with my feet up in the evening, browsing on the internet with some jazz playing in the background.

Speaking of jazz, today I’ll be heading down town to the Montreal Jazzfest downtown. And yes, I’ll be bringing my umbrella.