Sunday, 31 May 2009

Montreal photos

We are home... and tired. Doing my best to stay awake...been up since 2 am Saskatoon time but did manage a 30 min snooze this afternoon. Trying to stay busy and awake here. Laundry is done, lawn is cut, groceries bought and in the fridge and we are both ready for a good nights sleep before we head back to work tomorrow. Life is good and we are blessed.

Sure is quiet around here. :)

I have put all my Montreal photos up on Picassa and have a slide show just to the right if you want to see them. If you click on the slide show you can go to the album in Picassa and then see larger versions of the photos. Please leave a comment if you like a particular photo. Thanks!

We had a wonderful time - of course I got to see way more than David who saw the interior of the Hilton Bonaventure most of the time. While he listened to business speakers and presidents of BIG companies forecast the economy, I was able to hear two wonderful tour guides share their knowledge of the people, history and culinary bests of Montreal. What an incredible city. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Montreal - do it! Stay downtown and walk the streets for hours. 

But as great as Montreal was, it is always good to be home and I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. 

I have a few scrap book pages that were on my desk and hopefully tomorrow evening after work I can scan them and put them up on the blog. 

Hey is Saskatoon ever green. Looked like you all had wonderful weather while I was gone. It rained every day in Montreal except Saturday, however the rain held back every time we had to be outside - so no complaints. And overcast skies make for great shots of buildings - no shadows.

But it is so good to see leaves on the trees. We used the BBQ tonight. Speaking of which, did you know that the word barbeque is a french work meaning in the mouth and out the ...... Used to refer to the roasting of a pig. So if you say you plan to BBQ tonight you are planning to skewer a pig from one end to the other. hehe

The things we learn.....

Friday, 29 May 2009

Montreal shopping....

THIS is Simons on the corner of St Catherines and Mansfield and it is just the beginnings of


And it just kept going and going and mall attached to another dept store attached to another mall...I mean, wow!!!

I bought two pairs of summer sandals and a funky lime green purse - nothing over $50...I was very reasonable.... It was down right cheap after the $200 purse I spied in a boutique in Old Montreal yesterday.
Heading back to the hotel in the rain prompted us to give the underground experience a try. Much faster and dryer... Downtown Montreal is where thousands upon thousands of people spend their days at either work or school. It is home to three? four? universities, one of them being McGill. At the end of the day these poeple/students move en mass and they do so quickly. If you are not alert you can get swept up in the flow and find yourself on the subway...just kidding. But it was quite an experience to see the crowds of people purposefully moving through this undergound city to their Via Train, the metro... stopping along the way in one of the boutiques or shops or picking up fresh bread or vegitables at one of the markets - ALL underground.

Our tour guide told us he lives an hour an a half by car outside of Montreal downtown and yet does not own a car. The metro takes him everywhere. And in winter he need not take winter clothing because he can do it all underground. It is an incredible and efficient system of transportation and all along these routes and between the stations are stores of every kind.

Very neat!

It is raining here - a lot!

But I hear you are enjoying the sun back home. Yeah!

Home tomorrow.


Here is a little glimpse of Montreal including some of the flowers from yesterdays trip to the botanical gardens. Since I LOVE macro stuff - especially food, you may find too many pics of flowers. Sorry! However you can never have too many photos of food..

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Montreal.... Fantastique!!

Wow! This is an incredible city and the people of Montreal know how to eat. I can't believe all the delicious food! I went on a food tasting tour of Old Montreal on Wed - all day - we ate and drank our way through Old Montreal until 2 pm and then were treated to a wine tasting event - FIVE ice wines followed this gastronomical event along with thee desserts.
What a day. So much for spin classes in the past two months. Damage done!
I have a ton of photos and can't wait to share them with you. Here are just a few from Wednesdays tour.

How many ways can you package Quebec Maple Syrup and how many ways can you prepare fabulous food with it. Well, a whole stores worth.

Apple Ice wine - we sampled five different vasrieties.

What a spectacular interior after a rather drab exterior. it was very dark in there - which make the incredible lighting even more impressive. However it made for an ISO of 1000 and a shutter speed of about 1/20 or less and I don't have the most steady hands. I may have to go back and take the tripod. Check Spelling

If you win the lottery you might want to stay here at Hotel St James. Celine Dion likely does if she is in town....or maybe with reletives. Very expensive - tour guide said the most exclusiive hotel in Quebec.

And you know what? After all this fabulous food and the history and architecture and two great days of tours...... I miss home.
Yah, nothing like your own bed, your own, bathroom and even your own kitchen..... David has been in meetings 90 % of our waking hours and our evenings are spent place like home.
I have enough photos already for a great Montreal coffee table book and there will be plenty of fodder for scrap booking pages.... when I don't know.
So after months of putting together a wedding and then having all the kids home and then packing up and taking off for Quebec.... well I am looking forward to some boredom and routine.
...but first just a little shopping in Montreal.... I mean I have to at least find a funky new purse.
And regarding photos, I also took 2 Gb of photos of Old Montreal, the biosphere, botanical gardens, Montreal from the St Lawrence on a cruise and more photos of these wonderful old streets. But I haven't uploaded them to the laptop yet - perhaps tomorrow morning.
I am tired after another full day of being a tourists!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Ah, Montreal...c'est bon

Your luggage has arrived.....but which one is it in???? Toronto airport.

St Lawrence Seaway - first time I have ever seen it and hope to get down to the waterfront tomorrow.

Long day. I tried to watch Shopaholic on the flight to Toronto but got 30 min in and lost reception. Drat!
Bought a Mac mag, photography mag and "More" mag - glamor for us old ladies. Not sure where they find all these old, tall, skinny models, but there is no way I can wear those halter tops - not after nursing 4 kids. But after reading a few articles in the mag I have discovered that looking drop dead gorgeous at 50 is all about attitude. ...yeah right!
Anyways I have lots of easy magazine reading and I also brought John Pipers "Don't Waste Your Life" - great book. I decided not to pack my Bible , which I read daily, because I wanted to save room (for all that Montreal shoppping) and we ALL know that every hotel room has an NIV Bible in it. But not in Montreal!! Eight drawers and no Bible. I will ask the front desk tomorrow where they are hiding all the Gideons.
Westjet crew were hilarious as usual.... "Thank you all for loading so quickly. We are 20 min ahead of schedule and that means we are 20 min closer to poutine!"
"Please ensure you seat belt is securely fastened around your hips..."
"Please ensure all luggage is safely stowed under the seat in front of you. Ladies please ensure your purse is also stowed and matches your shoes. We are almost in Montreal!!!"
Now, can you imagine that on an Air Canada flight? I have had great service on Air Canada...but never humour. Love West Jet.
Our cab driver did NOT speak English but no problems finding the place.
A mojito in the lounge here at the Hilton Bonavista is $11,24. YIKES!!
I promise better pictures tomorrow....kind of tired tonight after a very early morning.
I have to be up for breakfast at 0730 and a culinary tour of old Montreal at 0830. Forecast is for rain but I am hopeful for some great pictures. You know me and food photography....and architecture...I think they planned this tour just for me! (big smile) and my 5 Gb worth of memory cards.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Sat morning date

We took the bikes out for a nice long ride this past Saturday morning and ended up at Intermission Coffee House. Not for a coffee though. We were too warm for a coffee so I had a refreshing lime Italian Soda, and David has a chocolate milkshake. We just felt the need to get summer on it's way! And we shared an orange cranberry muffin and the morning paper.

The chocolate milkshake was much better.....

But the Italian Soda was very pretty.

Now,  I must get off the computer and to laundry and packing. My sweetheart and I are headed to Montreal and I need to get some camera equipment ready....oh and a few clothes too.
DH will be sitting through conference stuff and I will be out capturing the feel of old Montreal.
Stay tuned for some pics because I am going to have a lot of time on my own to take, upload, play with and post pictures.

PS - I made it to the spin class this morning - 5:45 am and it was a killer.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Thoughts for the day

Preaching to myself here.....

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”

Olin Miller

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Dale Carnegie

Tomorrow is Monday. I might as well jump in with both feet and do the hardest part first and get it over with. I plan to be at the gym bright and early (5:45am) for that early morning spin class. I have had way too much cake and carbs post wedding feasting. 
...then I might go back to bed.....

Isn't it nice to have a little rain around here? For one thing it will green up the lawn and dear husband will stop his lamenting over his not quite perfect yet lawn. Yeah, I am looking forward to that. LOL The lawn looks just fine as far as I am concerned. Anybody else have a husband who just has to have the nicest lawn on the block????
No complaints though. I am thrilled that he is so interested in it. One thing I never have to think about. Now... if only he would get that worked up about getting the garbage collected, in the big pail and out to the street on time!

Love the guy!

Friday, 22 May 2009

One Day...

One day, long, long ago, 
there lived a woman 
who did not whine, nag, or complain.

But that was a long time ago 
and it was just one day!


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Wild Alligator

I finally got my alligator photos on a page. I took these in South Carolina last fall. Last evening I just happened across the perfect paper while organizing the scrap book room and the page fell together. Wow - got two pages done yesterday...It feels like I haven't done a scrap book page in over a month what with wedding stuff and all.
Journalling reads....
I did not want to leave South Carolina without a photo of an alligator and the bigger and meaner the better. But after 6 days - no alligator. Then as we crossed the foot bridge at Middleton Plantation and I spotted him just yards away - a big 7 ft alligator. 
I quickly changed to my zoom lens and started clicking away. He didn't I moved in closer.... and closer until David gave me the stern "that's far enough!!". Got him!

I read the journalling to David and he said "I still have nightmares about an alligator chasing after you!" ... "No, wait, that's ME chasing you hahaha" 

funny guy!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A wonderful Day

No, not another wedding. THIS day is wonderful because I am doing nothing!! Nada, zippo, ultimate laziness. I have NO responsibilities today - just a supper (Shake N Bake chicken) to prepare and some odds and ends to do - but it is a very relaxing day and I am loving it!

It started out with my sweetheart and me going to the gym for a fun workout together. We each do our own thing but now and then I distract him... (big smile) ... especially when he is lifting weights! hehe

Then we showered (no coed showers at World Gym  - darn!!) and off for coffee (and shared cinnamon bun) at our favorite spot - Intermission House. Picked up my new bike at Bruces on Central on the way home. I will post on that great purchase in a few days. We came home, puttered around, tidied the den and folded some laundry, made some cookies....and then the four guys all left to go to a movie. 

That left Allie and me at home. With Allie on the piano playing some lovely hymns, I decided what better opportunity than to scrapbook some pictures of my garden from June 2002. 

So I did. 
....and now I am going to indulge in an afternoon nap so I can stay up late and play Liars Dice, Origins and Mad Gab with all my kids tonight while we snack on fun goodies. 

Stay-at-home holidays with lots of food and plenty of board games really make for wonderful family time. 

Monday, 18 May 2009

Random Recommendations

Places to check out....

1. Abolish automatic settings is jammed pack full of inspiring ideas for all you people out there with digital SLR's who want to get far more from them then what you get from a perfectly good point and shoot. Grab a cup of java and your camera have a sit for a while with this one. 

2. Need five simple ways to increase peace of mind? Check out this post on the  Positivity Blog. Time to put that glass of water down. While I am not really into most of the stuff on this blog, sometimes there are some good points. I like to carry BIG glasses of water around with me - both literally and figuratively. One of them needs to get put down now and then.

3. Rachel's story is not unlike what thousands of women around the world have experienced. After four and a half years of vigilantly fighting breast cancer, the 37 year old wife and mother of two was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Please listen to what Rachel has to say. Sorry, it is a long video - fill up that water glass.

4. The quiet place.... While she’s still here, he sets his alarm every two hours to reposition her in the bed, provides her medications through a feeding tube and diligently records the hundreds of seizures, each of which rock the bed and break his heart. And those on the outside wonder why, and how? We want it to be over because it seems too hard---so time consuming and fruitless.   
I love reading this medical doctors writing. As someone who works in the medical field, I relate closely to her experiences. But I think you will too - especially if you have been a patient. 

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A glimpse at my weekend

 I was able to get some photos of the wedding off my brothers camera....

This is my lovely daughter-in-law, Allie, who provided all the piano for the ceremony - it was so beautiful - and so is she. Paul and Allie are expecting our first grandchild Sept 1st!

A little bit of celebration in the parking lot post ceremony - do you think they are kind of happy????

The family were all here for brunch today ...

David and I brought out all the china and silverware - and we had a grand time. My kids washed and dried it all by hand afterwards. I am blessed. 
There were 12 of us. 
The festivities continue, but much more relaxed. Just hanging with the kids eating good food and playing games. Last night we played Origins until 11 pm.

What a wonderful day and what a stunning bride!

All went according to plans with no hiccups. It was a beautiful wedding service, a fun filled reception and a BIG thank you to all my dear friends from church who stayed and helped us clean up the hall in record time!!

I m so looking forward to all the pictures! I wish I could post one of the bride right now but I did not pick up my camera once yesterday.  I left all that in the capable hands of our photographer,  Melina Perron. I know there are some incredible pictures and I can't wait to see them. No one can make a large family break out in laughter for that incredible shot like Melina can. The family photo shoot was actually a lot of fun! 

It was all fun!! And I actually relaxed enough to enjoy the festivities and visit with family from far away. 

What a grand day! But it feels good to be in jeans today with NO make-up enjoying family and post wedding festivities. I am off to throw a couple of quiches into the oven!

I will post wedding photos as soon as I can. 

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Quick wedding update!

TODAY is the DAY! 
David and I along with Mark and Paul spent 6 hours decorating the reception hall yesterday and oh my - it looks spectacular!! this is why you have lots of children - you need them especially to figure out the audio visual stuff and build big glittery back drops!
My neighbour Linda fixed my dress last night!! Wow - what a fabulous neighbour! It is stunning! (but not as stunning as the bride)
Paul and Allie arrived and I got to feel my grandbaby kick!! That is just so very, very cool! deja vu!!
That's all...busy day!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

My day

This was today's to do list and I got through all the important stuff. 

Gym?? likely not

cut Harold's hair

Mark's bedroom ready

Paul and Allie bedroom ready

basement bathroom cleaned

be home for wedding cake delivery -pay 

Florist #1 - drop off ribbon and pay bill

Florist #2 - give boutonniere and corsage count and pay bill

Pick up table cloths at Canadian Linen

pick up glasses and pay at Party World

pick up steamed wedding dress

final fitting and pick up for my dress

oil change for Mazda

Costco run for easy food for all these people

Mark home for supper.

It all went smoothly... except the fitting at Brides and Belles. My wedding advice?? They have nice stuff there but do NOT go for the alterations. They messed up on my dress twice -  and still insisted on charging me. I am hoping my seamstress neighbor can help me out. Linda, my neighbor, did all Allison's wedding dress alterations and they are PERFECT. 

I elected to let Brides and Bells do my dress alterations - mistake!! You live, you learn. I had no energy or time to argue with them. sigh....

BUT, my brilliant red/pink toe nails look fabulous!!

AND I found the most gorgeous jewelry at Crush on 2nd Ave north almost at 33rd - they have such cool stuff!! We got something for the bride too - that was a fun Wednesday - first we visited La Senza and then we bought our jewelry - gave the VISA another workout!

Tonight I got to hug Mark after his drive through a winter storm in Northern Manitoba and tomorrow I get to hug Paul and Allie who arrive from Victoria. 

The wedding cake is gorgeous!!! Sorry no pictures yet. 

Still haven't got the bubbly for the toast...sigh again.

I am off to make tomorrow's to do list. Good news is that we can set up at the reception hall anytime tomorrow so I will be over their early to make sure all goes well. 

Monday, 11 May 2009

Busy, busy, busy wedding prep...

It is starting to come together....
I am thankful I am getting over this resp infection and that I am now off work for the next few weeks - YEAH and double YEAH!!!! No more spending the evening making stuff (after a day at work) We are almost there. 
Today we are off to look at jewelry for the bride and mother of the bride, get the gown steamed, the nails done (hot toe nails!!!) food pick up and a few other things on the to do list. 

Mark arrives home tonight after an 11 hr drive from Thompson, Manitoba - so looking forward to giving him a big hug!! Cause it is fun to hug a fireman!!! hehe a tall, handsome fireman who happens to be MY son!! 

Paul and Allie and baby Cortens (to be born late Aug) arrive Friday morning and I am also looking forward to hugging them...but first I need to make a place for them to sleep!!! that on the to do list???

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers! I hope you have a special day with those you love, celebrating the joys of being a mom....
I think there is no better calling! 

By next Friday, Lord willing,  I will have all my children home and am so looking forward to this. By Saturday afternoon our numbers will grow as we add Sammy to the ranks. 

No, I am not loosing a daughter but gaining a son. We hope to spend some fun time together the following week. There will be eight of us! 

Now on to last nights wedding shower.....

Hopefully the groom does not visit his mother-in-laws blog... at least until after the wedding, but I did want to share with you some of the fun we had last night. 

A lingerie shower is really just a lot of fun and it is of the utmost importance that there be no males remotely close to the happenings. Wine, women, cake and lingerie make for lot of laughter and a few stories....

The mousse cakes were a hit!

My neighbor Linda's mother made 8 of these beauties to decorate the church with next Saturday. They also decorated the front door and dining room for the shower last night. I am so thankful for her talent and willingness to help me out! 

There was some pretty hot stuff tonight! Kendal said that she thought Sammy should write the thank you notes! I couldn't agree more! 

There are gerber daisies everywhere around here! And it is kinda pretty. It'll all be over... (and just beginning for two love birds)... in one week.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Central Station Antwerp!

This is fantastic! What fun!

Turn off my music to the right. 

Pampered Chefs

I thought I would share photos I took of "the couple" at a recent shower for them. It was actually a Pampered Chef shower and they now have an assortment of kitchen utensils for their teeny weeny kitchen. (more like itsy bitsy)

Allison loves to cook and bake and is accumulating all the stuff her Mom has, however her kitchen (as of next week) is just a little bigger than my refrigerator. Kind of cute. 

And NO dishwasher which amuses my husband no end.

Sammy btw, did a fine job of separating the eggs! 

Today is Allison's lingerie shower and I am thankful that, as of 6 am this morning, I am feeling much better - finally!! Yesterday I was sure pneumonia was setting in - fever and all and I left work at 12 noon, came home and slept. 

I have a full day today with shower prep and making the place look nice, however my dear husband who is also just as sick as I am will help me make the place look pretty. He does bathrooms! What a guy!
Bridesmaids will also be decorating and planning the activities of the event so we have it all covered. 

I think any girl getting married needs to have the basics for a good marriage - pots 'n pans and lingerie! I mean what else do you need? 

If I survive the day I will post pictures tomorrow because I can't wait to get some macros of these two fabulous mousse cakes I will serve for the shower. Strawberry and chocolate! Normally I would have made them...but work and the flu meant I hired Costco to make them for me....but they are real purty!

Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Argggggg - No time for this!!!

I am sick - lungs full of stuff and coughing like crazy - gives me a head ache. Even left work early today - I NEVER take sick time.  But not until I had done a lot of coughing and hand shaking - had a meeting. Not good!

Failing miserably at proper coughing technique - into your arm? 

Nope! As much as I have good intentions and know the proper cough etiquette, when that tickle in my chest takes over and I just got a cough, it is into my hand. it is just the automatic reaction. I am working on it though. sort of.... using LOTS of isogel at work. 

Warning: Don't shake hands with me!

Up to my eyeballs in wedding prep (10 days!!)and a shower on Saturday - AT MY HOUSE!! It will NOT be a Martha Stewart shower by any stretch....but hopefully Costco cheesecake will cover any inadequacies. There is a mini list attached to that shower. Hmmm that is two days away..and I have to work the next two days....It will likely involve a trip to Michael's, the LC (cause girls just want to have fun! plus that too will hide any inadequacies) and the Costco run - when this will all happen I am not sure, likely after work, cough, cough! or on lunch cough, cough...or Saturday morning? cough, cough.
So no scrapbooking for a while. A looong while me thinks. 

If you are so inclined, prayer for health and a peaceful mind would be appreciated. This momentary affliction shall pass and one day I will gleefully be scrapbooking shower and wedding photos.