Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post-Christmas post

Note to self, when you have a instinctive feeling about something, give in to it...upon choosing which bottle of alcohol I was going to bring to a party on Saturady evening, I debated whether or not a bottle of Désirable was still good after being open for 2 years. Well, their webiste says 6 months to a year. And my stomach agreed. So, at 3:30 or so in the morning, my stomach let me know that said bottle of liqueur should have been dumped. I was pretty much out of commission on Sunday. Luckily we had nowhere to go and were not expecting any guests in our home. I was feeling well enough on Christmas day that I was able to eat a normal helping of turkey with all the trimmings at Tim's family celebration at his mom's but only managed one meal yesterday when my family came over and am still a bit queasy today. Not good when your job involves taste-testing!

Anyhow, other than that I had a very good Christmas, surrounded by loved ones. And I was spoiled as usual. Among other things, I got two very beautiful fresh water pearl necklaces, earrings, a belt, gift certificates and a food processor. (which has yet to arrive, I can't wait til it does!)
Today's return to work was made less brutal by getting up at 6:15 & driving in. No traffic today, that's for sure.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas mysteries

How is it that we've already managed to end up with pine needles in our bathroom when all we did was bring our Christmas tree home today and put it on the back porch?!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Shopping is almost all done, yay!

I got most of my Christmas shopping done this weekend as Tim was away in Quebec City for another curling weekend. And I even wrapped everything. I also got a great idea from Catherine was to what to get my parents.

We finally got the front part of our roof done today. I now don't have to worry that I will wake up to our bedroom ceiling falling down on us anytime soon. I also take great solace in the fact that our neighbour's roof is in much worse shape than ours was...


Friday, December 08, 2006

Totally Un-PC

Are all metro buskers mentally ill or what?! I made the mistake of walking through the tunnel from Atwater metro to Westmount Square again this evening. And he was there, the "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" dude. He plays this same damn tune over and over and over and over and, well you get my point. And he strums this little blue guitar. I can't even tell what language he's singing in, but I'll give him credit that the song is actually recognizable. I came this close (I'll let you decide how close it actually was) to asking him if that is the only song he ever plays. It's certainly the only song I've ever heard him play! And then it just gets stuck in my head. And why don't even ask me why I know this song! And he looks like Henry from the comics would like if he were a real person and in his 60's! Next time I think I will just grab his guitar and smash it to bits. Dare me?!
Rant over.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Crazy beginning to the weekend

Friday of all days, with freezing rain pouring down and gale force winds blowing, my 4:23 bus either showed up way early or not at all. Which meant I had to stand out there shivering and cursing for about 25 minutes. By the time the next bus showed, the back of my pant legs were sopping wet, my skin was stinging and my umbrella had literally exploded into pieces.

Then as I got home and turned the corner at the top of our street, this is what greeted me...

courtesy of Tim Colby []

Apparently it made quite a noise and shook the house when it came down! Our neighbour Karina's car had its back end damaged.

So that was Friday night's excitement.

Last night was my work Christmas party at Terra Mare on Sources Blvd. The food was pretty good and all the employees got a door prize and a Loblaws gift certificate. And spouses were invited, all paid for. Not a bad time of year to have started working!

And I spent most of today cooking up what I had begun yesterday: tourtières, apple pie, chili & spaghetti sauce. Now we have to decide which one we're going to have for supper. It all smells so good!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Self portrait

Well, it's already been almost six weeks that I've been working now. And only one person (Stéphanie) has noticed or mentioned the fact that I no longer have my supercilium accessory. 10 points to Gryffindor on her behalf! The rest of you, you are so unobservant!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Regular paycheques

I get paid weekly so I've already got 2 paycheques which is mighty nice. I was trying to decide what I could splurge on after getting paid and figured one can't go wrong with shoes. So I ordered these online...and made Tim very jealous!

Keen Sonomas

My parents have a cottage in upper New York state so it makes it very convenient to ship things there when ordering online from American companies. And luckily my shoes arrived at the post office on the day my dad was heading back up to Montreal.
And luckily they are the right size. So no need to use the free return shipping.

This week's purchase was a few CDs. Feeling nostalgic for the 80's, I bought U2's The Unforgettable Fire, October and Boy along with The Police's Greatest Hits and The Pogues.

Next week I will be good and stick to groceries as my exciting purchase of the week!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Banana muffins à la Christine

Sometimes I get creative when I cook, even when baking.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't (low-fat brownies that call for prune puree should not be instead made with tamarind!)

So here's this evening's variation on banana muffins...

3 large ripe bananas = 1 banana + 2/3 cup leftover pumpkin pie filling
1 egg = 1 egg
1 1/2 cups of flour = 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup of Sugar Crisp cereal
3/4 cup sugar = completely omitted
1 tsp baking soda = same
1 tsp baking powder = same
3/4 tsp salt = same
1/3 cup butter melted = same
And I added about 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of raisins.

Then I baked at 350 F for 25 minutes and they're not half bad. Maybe just a little salty. I didn't exactly measure out the salt precisely.

The Sugar Crisps were left here by Hang and there's no way I would eat them for breakfast but as I hate throwing food out, I thought I'd give it a try and it worked. Mini wheat crumbs also work well and give your muffins a nice crunch factor!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Work week 3 already!

I'm still going in to work for 7:30, trying to bank some hours to cover the time off I'll be taking in a couple of weeks.
One of my co-workers is on vacation this week so it's pretty busy all day. We have to try and schedule our breaks to coincide with the guys downstairs but it doesn't always work out. It's funny, come 4 o'clock, it seems like pretty much everyone has left the building. Production and packaging finish at 3:30 and the office staff must quit at 4, not a minute more, it seems, as there are no cars left in the parking lot when I make my way out to catch the 4:23 bus.

At one point yesterday, I was testing 6 samples at the same time, phewf! I have a system worked out now so it goes pretty smoothly. Though when you're doing 2 or 3 or 4 things at once and one of involves a sauce that needs to be cooked, you have to make sure you don't forget it there on the stove as it boils away!
When we're 3 people in the lab there's usually someone there to back you up when things get more hectic.

Next week should be pretty busy again as we have a production starting for a product that is exported to Japan. It sounds like that keeps one person busy for the duration. Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Working girl

So I'm sure you've all been wondering how the new job is going?!
The first day was quite busy production-wise so we had lots of samples to analyze. I'm working in the quality-control (QC) department so as soon as a production batch is completed downstairs, the operator brings us a sample which we have to test and approve as quickly as possible so the goods can then go for packaging.
I've been mixing up batches of soups and sauces and tasting them and looking at colour, viscosity and a few other things.
The president's son, Robert, is eventually going to take over the business so he's been spending time in every department learning the ropes. Last week he was in QC, so he & I were training together. Which was good as I didn't feel all eyes were just on me. I think it made my co-workers a little more patient too and Robert & I could help each other out if we couldn't exactly remember what procedure came next.
I've only learnt one side of things so far - finished products. Once I get this down pat (and my co-worker Suzanne comes back from vacation), they are going to show me how to do the testing on raw materials received.
But I must be doing okay because they trust me enough to leave me alone for the last half hour and close up the lab by myself.
I've been starting at 7:30 (my regular hours will be 8 to 4) which means I have to leave the house at 6:10 to catch the bus which means I have to get up at 5:10 (!)
Actaully, it hasn't been too bad, as long as I get to bed at a reasonable hour.
I won't mention the fact that I dozed off a couple of times last night while watching Prison Break!
My co-workers are quite pleasant and good teachers so all is pretty good so far.
Things will be even better on Thursday when I get paid!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This, that and the other

So I got a telephone call yesterday...actually, first I got an e-mail from Olga, the woman Tim curls with that got me the interview at E.D. Foods telling me her boss tried to get in touch with me but we didn't seem to have an answering machine (???) Anyhow, turns out they fired the girl that they had hired instead of me and Satu (the boss) now wants to hire me. She even wanted me to start today. Woah. And she sounded a bit taken aback when I told her I could only start on Monday. (I need to ease into the thought of not having all this free time!) So, yes, I will be back to reality as of the 23rd, 8 am. Or more like 5:30 as that's when I figure I will have to get up from now on.
I'm a bit wary of taking this job as I wasn't hired in the first place because I am apparently overqualified for the position but at this point, I just want to work!

Last night I also applied for a job in the Biochemistry department at McGill. That would be much sweeter. I think. Anyhow, I'll see how things go at ED and keep my fingers crossed for at least an interview at Mcgill.

I figure camping is over for the season but not without 2 last outings in the past 2 weekends. I spent the weekend of Sept. 30th down in Knowlton at Kay's parents' place. I shared a tent with Ysabel as Tim only came down for the afternoon on Saturday as he was curling at Longue Pointe.
I experienced my first ATV ride, courtesy of Eric and then Tim took me for a spin also. I won't say who the better driver is :)

Here's a shot of the pond by which we camped, with the dock Ys & I brought in by pedalo, once we figured out where the rope for the anchor was. We were quite entertaining to all as the pedalo had a broken steering-thingy!

And Thanksgiving weekend was just awesome! We went canoe-camping at Saranac Lake in the Adirondack region of New York State. I'll just send you to Tim's site to view the photos...Canoe Camping 2006
but here's a teaser...

Shot of the Germans pre-tipping over, oops!

We could not have asked for more beautiful weather. Friday night was very cold, as in frost and full moon but we were in the warmth of my parents' cottage so all was good.
I wasn't even too miserable despite having a cold. Unfortunately I also passed it on to Tim but he only got sick on Tuesday. So after getting home from curling at 1, he went in to work that morning and then came home a couple of hours later when his co-worker arrived.

And nothing bad happened on Friday the 13th! In fact, we had a really nice evening at Joe & Leona's. They hosted a pot-luck for the last night of Sukkot.
It was a little too chilly to eat outside though.
And, of course, Tim took off yet again to go curl! He is more or less playing in a bonspiel every second weekend these days.

He didn't curl on Sunday because they lost on Saturday evening but that didn't stop me from taking off for the day with Catherine & Eric to go to Ottawa. We did a bit of shopping, had lunch at the Elephant & Castle Pub then we went to visit Uncle John & famille. (That would be Tim & Eric's half-uncle.) They have 2 cutey-pies, Noah who just turned 2 and Ethan who was born in July.

And that brings me back full-circle to tonight! And guess what?! Tim is curling! Regular league tonight. The cool thing is now with the new web cam he bought for the curling club, I can watch him play live from the comfort of our living room. Everyone has access to the Curlcam on the Glenmore site but I, privileged and knowledgeable computer-user that I am, can actually watch the live feed and even turn the camera if I so wish! So I can spy on the after-game shenanigans at the bar! (Which are so rowdy now that Tim has taken up drinking tea!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mystery meal

I forgot to post this when I took the photo a few weeks ago. Can you guess what he's eating?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Last night's supper

My brother brought us a duck breast that his boss at the restaurant had given him and we had a wonderful meal of it last night. Tim cooked it following this recipe from The Dean & Deluca Cookbook

Magret de Canard with Apples and Maple (Quebec Style)

Although commonly misused, the French term magret refers strictly to the breast meat of the fattened Moulard duck but only if its liver has been used in the production of fois gras. The Moulard is a big duck, weighing up to 7 or 8 pounds dressed; it can easily serve 4 people.

2 tbsp rendered duck Fat or vegetable oil
1 magret (Moulard duck breast, about 2 pounds), cut into breast halves
2 tart cooking apples (such as Cortland, McIntosh or Spy), peeled, cored, and cut into ⅛ inch slices
3 large shallots, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 ⅓cups duck or chicken stock
½ cup pure maple syrup (or less, if a less sweetened dish is desired)
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Heat the duck fat in a heavy, 10 inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the breast halves and quickly brown it on both sides, about 5 minutes total.

Remove the breast halves to a plate and set aside. Sit in the apples, shallots, bay leaf, rhyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Increase the heat to high, stir in the cider vinegar, and cook until the mixture is almost dry, about 3 minutes.

Add the stock and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, bring the liquid to a bare simmer, and add the breast halves and any accumulated juices. Braise the breast halves slowly for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring it once with tongs, until it’s medium-rare. Remove the breast halves and the apples (use a slotted spoon) to plates and keep warm separately. Discard the bay leaf.

Over very high heat reduce the sauce until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Holding your knife at a 45º angle to the cutting board, slice the breast halves crosswise into 16 pieces. Place the apples on 4 serving plates, and top with the breast haves fanned over the apples. Spoon the sauce over and serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Memories of a tomboy

Whenever I see the Tide commercial about grass stains, it makes me think of the time when we were kids and my brother gave me "tomboy lessons" ! He had me sliding in the grass, crawling through rusty air duct pipes and last but not least, peeing standing up!

Not that I needed lessons...

Easter 1976

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another rejection

Via e-mail...

Je vous informe que, malheureusement, votre candidature pour le poste de technicien de laboratoire n’a pas été retenue.

Je vous souhaite donc la meilleure des chances dans votre recherche d’emploi et je confirme que votre c.v. sera conservé pour une durée de 3 mois dans notre base de données. Je vous invite, d’ailleurs, à consulter régulièrement la division carrière de notre site web pour toutes nouvelles opportunités d’emploi.

Bonne journée

That was from last week's interview at Methylgene. Anyhow, I didn't get a good vibe from the supervisor or some of the tasks involved (keeping the freezers frost-free was one of them.)

At least that was a rejection for an interview I actually had.

I got this letter from a company that I only sent my CV to. I didn't even apply to a job posting. And I swear I did not go to an interview! But apparently I made quite an impression!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Weekend fun

Tim curled again on Saturday so I went hiking. We went to the Parc régional de la Forêt Ouareau near Chertsey, about an hour from the city. Very nice and to think, so close, yet I'd never been in that area before.

Unfortunately, it didn't even don on me to bring my camera so I was left to attempt a few shots with my phone.

Click on the link to Robbie's site, he's got a few better shots of the outing.

The boys came close to winning their third game, but close is no cigar.
But that meant going to our softball banquet that evening. Which was well worth it for the roast beef. And Tim won MVP male.

Sunday was uneventful, door sanding, wiring, painting, cleaning.

Oh yeah, Hang, the German border, left on Friday. The evil girl left an open package of Dubble Creme cookies which I've left in her room so hopefully they will go all mushy and gross so I won't be tempted to eat them! I don't think I'll be touching the Sugar Crisp cereal that she left either.

Another interview

Last Tuesday was pretty productive. I went to the passport office after I finally went to see Leona for her to so kindly sign my application. So many engineers in my acquaintance, yet so few of them actually part of the Order. But you can always count on a CA :)

Then in the pm I had an interview at Methylgene. No response from them yet either and I'm too chicken-s*** to call them.

Vacation continued

So how did I spend the rest of our official time off, let me think.
Tim was curling in Boucherville in the tournoi de la rentrée with Eric (his bro), Eric (his regular teammate) and Dave (no description necessary ;) )
So Cathy and I set out on our bikes for what was supposed to be a short ride but we ended up going all the way to Chambly, over 40k return, cos she said she was feeling good and wanted to take advantage of that fact. Unfortunately, that good feeling did not last. Cathy had quite some leg pain that evening, having much trouble climbing the stairs up to bed. These pregnant ladies just won't listen to you when you tell them to take it easy!
Yes, you read right, that means Tim's going to be an uncle! I'm not sure if that'll make me an aunt or not...I think Cathy's sisters Christina and Pamela might have exclusive claim to the title.

Anyhow, the boys won their first game and France and I went back ato see them play that evening, minus Eric the Bro as he was playing softball.

Capital I

Today is a wet miserable day but I got all fuzzy inside when I clicked on a link to an old Seasame Street Favourite...Capital I

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


So we had a combination work on the house/have fun week off. (I know, you're all saying, she's always off, but last week I had Tim to share it with!)

On Tuesday we rented a table planer to clean up the wainscotting from the kitchen. It was noisy (sorry neighbours) but certainly got the job done a lot quicker than my initial sanding with the palm sander. The whole job was much more expensive and time consuming than buying pre-made panels but the end result was well worth it. We used the boards to finish the landing to the basement. They are now primed and ready for a couple of coats of paint.

Wednesday we met up with Heidi in Ste-Adèle and biked up to Val David on Le P'tit Train du Nord. I really must enjoy biking (yes I do!) cos we got up at 6:30 that morning to go. After the 34 km ride, We had yummy panninis in St-Sauveur at the Brûlerie des Monts and then got some oatmeal cookies at Pagé's. Much to Heidi's dismay, they were all out of marbled rye bread.

Thursday and Friday we worked some more on the landing and then we went down to my parents' cottage via Plattsburgh for some R & R. We didn't find any great bargains this time. But the main reason for the trip was to go biking. We went to Saranac Lake and did the Otter Hollow Loop. Wicked fun! And I have the bruises to prove it too!

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's all over

Softball is over. 2 Fridays ago was our last game. We actually had a pretty good game against Montreal West even if we lost.

Dragon Boating is over. 2 Sundays ago was our last competition in Sherbrooke. Pretty dreadful weather but fun nonetheless.

The long weekend is over. But Tim's vacation is only beginning! We've been working on the landing to the basement and hopefully will take some time to have some fun at some point this week. I will have to fix the flat tire on my bike that I got today when I unavoidably ran over some glass on the bike path in Verdun.
Of course it had to happen when Tim was not at home to come and pick me up so I had to walk home. Luckily I wasn't so far so it only took me a half hour.

And where was said Tim? Out with a few of the boys to see "Beer Fest". Apparently it was quite funny. I'll take his word for it!

On Friday our German assistant border, Hang, arrived. It does not appear that she will stay with us for the year as she wants to share an appartment with students from here so she can get out and meet lots of people. Oh well.

And hopefully my bout with unemployment will be over soon...I had an interview at ED Foods last Thursday and I won't get an answer for another 2 weeks but it sounds promising. Everyone, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Importunate questions I wish I had whimsical answers to

In no particular order...

"How's the job search going?"

"Are you curling this year?"

"How did you get that bruise?"

"When are you & Tim going to get married?"

"What's that bump on your nose?"

"Do you plan on having kids?"

"Why is the sky blue?"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I volunteered for the Dragon Boat events at the Outgames last week. I tell you, I've never felt more self-conscious, taking the metro in my bright orange Outgames t-shirt!
It was lots of fun, spending the day in the sweltering sunshine then getting drenched in the downpour we had on Wednesday afternoon.
I even got to paddle a 2km race, on the right (I usually paddle left.)
Which led Ysabel to make the groaner of a comment: "
you paddle both ways.....??? " Hardee, har, har.

Camping at La Minerve

I didn't bother writing about our camping trip 2 weekends ago as most people who read my blog were actually there but here's what you all missed at 6:04 a.m. on Saturday morning...

Camping at La Minerve is the best!
I'll get Tim to post my other photos on his site.

There's nothing like being in the great outdoors, surrounded by friends and sharing great food. And playing frisbee golf!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Job interview

I finally had a job interview yesterday morning at Lavo, the company that makes such cleaning products as Old Dutch, Hertel and La Parisienne.

It went really well, in my opinion. Unfortunately the plant is way the heck East in Pointe-aux-Trembles which would mean about a 2 hour metro & bus ride.
And it is for the evening shift, 2:30 to 11 pm.
So as much as the work sounds pretty well suited to what I want to do, I just went to the interview for practice, not because I want the job.

Oh well, as Arnold Horshack's sister said, "When you least expect it, expect it..." Of course, he then ended up with mashed potatoes flung in his face!

10 points to Griffindor if you got that reference!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Montreal Dragon Boat Festival

On Saturday, while most of my friends where helping Dave & France move into their new home, I was taking part in the dragon boat festival down at the Olympic Basin.
Ysabel, Maya and Kay were also there racing.

And I did have a few supporters turn up. Eric with Joel (his other little brother!) and then Cathy showed up too.

I was in four races on Saturday and one on Sunday.

This is the first JAG race on Saturday (photo courtesy of Eric!) which I did not paddle in.
Kay is in the 3rd row on the left and Ysabel is in row 6-right with Maya next to her and Rhenee is 2-right.

This is most of the Air Canada team receiving a plaque for one of the 250 m corporate races we did. (The other races were all 500 m.)

And this was my personal best race of the weekend, not that you can really see me, I'm in 9-left. Yes, the weather did turn slightly nasty by Saturday afternoon. But we were going to get wet anyhow!

So overall, we did pretty well. Air Canada placed 3rd in the B final and JAG came in 4th in the D final.

Saturday was a very long and tiring day but it was lots of fun overall. I was glad to have a ride home with Ysabel on Sunday afternoon when it was all over! Quite a good experience for my first races. I still have to build up my endurance though.
And it's not going to happen this week, we have a break from practices, phewf!
Well JAG does have a practice on Wednesday bit since I'm only a spare for them, I feel no obligation to go to it! I deserve a week off!

Awesome ride

I finally rode my new bike last week! Tuesday I went for a short ride heading West along the Lachine Canal but I stayed on the crushed stone path. So it was a small initiation to mountain biking as there are some tree roots and other hazards along there.

Thursday's ride was a much longer trip. I ended up going East along the Notre-Dame path then crossed the Le Gardeur Bridge into L'Assomption and returned via Gouin Boulevard and then down Christophe Colomb. About 80 km! I also biked a bit through the Pointe-aux-Prairies Nature Park.

About halfway along I realized the quick release on my front wheel was not tightened. Luckily my wheel did stay in place the whole time, even when I went through this mini mountain bike circuit with little hills & turns in a park along the way. That could have turned quite, uh, interesting, to say the least!

Friday I felt fine after such a long trip the previous day. But on Saturday I was stiff in the legs. Maybe next time I'll drive to Pointe-aux-Prairies (as we now have a bike rack for the car) and cycle the paths there.

This is a view of Ile Ste-Thérèse, I believe. It's vis-a-vis the end of the Island and Varennes on the South Shore. It looks like there are summer cottages there with boat access only.

This was a disgusting but somehow pretty looking marsh in the nature park.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Flowers & Bugs

I left Tim at home alone for a couple of days for the first time, I think, since he moved in. Apparently it was nice for him to be able to stretch out in our big bed. But not quite as nice as having me there to snuggle with! (Always nice to hear!) I accompanied my parents on a trip down to my mom's hometown of St-Eugène. It's about 45 minutes past Quebec City on the South Shore. It was nice to see a lot of aunts, uncles & cousins I hadn't seen in quite a few years.

Thursday was my parents' 38th wedding anniversary. This is the church where they got married.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Last week & this past weekend

Last Tuesday Cathy had the day off as it was July 4th and so we we went for a looooooong bike ride together - just over 50 km! My longest ride this season, for sure. We started from their house in Brossard & followed the bike path to Chambly then headed towards Saint-Basile-le-Grand to make our way to St-Bruno. I finally got to see "The Loft", Cathy's parents' sail shop, Larsen Sails. I also got to see her aunt & uncle's place and witnessed the weekly feeding of the fish in their backyard pond. We picked up some artery-clogging but seriously delectable lunch at Cantine Deso and brought it back to the Loft to eat. Then it was time to put our sore butts back on our bikes to make our way home to Brossard. Luckily we made it there before the rain started up so we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing & chatting under the protection of their gazebo.
Tim had taken the bus to the Shore after work (since I had the car) so he could go to the bike shop at the end of Cathy & Eric's street. We joined him there and wandered around while he looked at bikes.
For supper, Tim & I discovered a neat little café on Victoria in St-Lambert, Café Passion. I was in the mood for a yummy sandwich like something from Santropol but since Italy had just defeated Germany in World Cup Soccer there was no way we were heading for that neighbourhood. Café Passion did the trick!

Wednesday's Dragon Boat practice was, to say the least, interesting! We had to practice in Lachine because the Canal was closed due to the heavy rainfall. It was windy so we had choppy waters and we managed to bash the boat into some rocks but at least we got to experience something other than the calm waters of the Canal.

Thursday saw me doing some bike shopping - more about that later!

Friday we played softball, badly. Lots of errors, a couple of outs (by two people who shall remain nameless but their initials are T.C.C. and E.C.C.) for leaving the bag before the batter made contact with the ball, and not much action for me in the field.
In all my sports endeavours, it seems like I've never been part of any very succesful teams. We'll have to see if this theory holds true for Dragon Boating!

Saturday we headed up to Tim's curling buddy Eric Lessard's family place near Tremblant at Lac Bibitte. We had a beautiful day of sitting by the lake, swimming, eating, canoeing and just plain relaxing, aaaaaaahhhh.

After supper we took off and went up to La Minerve to join Katja, Jouni, Élise and the mosquitoes for a night of camping.
Not quite a full moon...

And Sunday we loafed around for a bit and took off after an early lunch.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Camping weekend

We went camping last weekend in Gatineau Park and had an excellent time. Saturday as Maya relaxed & spent the day at the beach recuperating from her cold, the rest of us (Murielle, Cathy, Christina, Paul, Eric, Tim & I) went for a walk around Pink Lake. Pink Lake is actually green! That's because it's a meromictic lake. The layers of water in the lake don't mix and so the deepest layer of water doesn't have any dissolved oxygen and there aren't any living organisms at the bottom.

Eric's friends Glen, Heather & their daughter Melissa joined us that evening & arrived just in time for the rainstorm. Melissa quite enjoyed the rain much to her parents' dismay. 4 year olds don't take well to being told to put their raincoats on! We also had some thunder & lightning in the night but woke up to clear skies.

Maya, Tim & I packed a lunch and hiked to Lusk Caverns which was about 5 km from the campground. It was really neat. The caves were formed in marble pockets found in limestone. A rare phenomenon apparently for caverns to be carved out in marble.

As usual, a greater panoply of photos can be found on Tim's site...
the last one at the bottom - Gatineau Park 2006, enjoy!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What's been happening

I guess I've "officially" been let go from Lallemand as I seem to have received my vacation pay but I can't make rhyme or reason out of their pay stub!

Dragon Boating is going well. Last Wednesday I even took in a second practice with JAG, Ysabel's other team which is desperate for paddlers. So if you know any women who would like to try it out, we need them!

The kitchen advancements include having our eating counter in place and also the pieces for the doors were all cut last weekend.

We've been out to the movies to see The Breakup, Over the Hedge and last night we saw The Da Vinci Code. All are recommendable.

Weather permitting, I've been going out on my bike. I joined Cathy & Eric for a couple of rides while they were on vacation.

We celebrated Tim's birthday with a bbq at our place and my first attempt at cake decorating was quite successful if I do say so myself!

We've been enjoying going out and coming home smelling smoke-free! Most recently was Saturday night at Miami bar to see Jouni & my brother play with their respective bands - The Moonshine Orchestra and Chariot of Shame.
That show took me back a good 10 years at least!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Art of Blogging

Sometimes as things happen during the day, I start composing in my mind how I can relay them in my blog but most of the time, it doesn't happen...we can attest to this fact quite obviously as my last entry was 3 weeks ago!

It's not always easy to choose what to write about as I am usually rather reserved about personal things. That's why I usually only talk about more significant events that happen. (Photos work well too!) I think I also tend to be selective about what I write about knowing who makes up my my audience and not always being comfortable having all of you read about my daily life.

I've thought about starting another blog for more personal thoughts but I can do that just as easily in a journal. I don't really need total strangers stumbling across my site and delving into my psyche.

I guess this blog gives some people a chance to get to know me & some people who aren't always in touch a chance to keep track of what's going on in my life.
And I guess that's okay.
It better be or then there's no real reason for me to keep blogging, now is there?!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Long weekend

As it was once again raining, raining, raining all day Friday, our first softball game of the season was cancelled. Great top off to spending most of the day at the stupid car dealership to fix a faulty emissions light connection. Anyhow, after supper we headed down to Mountain View to avoid crossing at Lacolle on Saturday morning since we wanted to go shopping in Plattsburgh.
THe shopping trip was definitely fruitful...I got a PFD for dragon boating and...a KITCHENAID MIXER!!! for about half the price it goes for here. My parents were even able to bring it back for us tax free as they had been down for 7 days. I picked it up from them this evening and promptly came home and made oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies. Oh so yummy!

We won't mention that we had snow yesterday morning but I will leave you with one of my favorite sounds of spring in Mountain View.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dragon Boating

Ysabel convinced me to join her Dragon Boat team, the Sonic Dragons and we had our first practice last night. We did a minimal amount of paddling as some of us were out for the first time and needed to be taught the technique. I guess that's why I'm not very sore today. I don't have the hang of it yet, I know, that will come with time. But I found that for us newbies, we were paddling a bit too fast. It's hard to concentrate on getting the proper technique when you have to make sure to keep pace with the person in front of you. And at first we started off without being told anything so I got tired out by doing it wrong. Can't wait til we start practicing twice a week!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Conjugating "to care"

Wow, I hadn't realized it's been 3 weeks since my last post...well, here's a little something to keep you entertained for now...I started reading this book Dad's Life at the gym this morning and got a chuckle out of this passage - the main character is wondering why his partner left him -

"What went wrong, exactly?
I didn't drink too much, sulk too much or break wind in bed too much. I didn't own a Playstation. I didn't get a hard-on at the sight of a Ferrari. I knew where everything was: the clitoris, the toolbox, the Toilet Duck. And I could conjugate the sacred verb 'to care':

I care.
You care.
He cares.
She cares.
We care.
Who cares?
See if I care.
What the hell do you care anyway?

Other things that have kept me occupied...

Jackhammering Steph & Olaf's garage floor

Carwash at Paul & Murielle's & trying out Cathy's recumbent bicycle

Where da kitchen at?

The floor has been varnished and the counter tops installed!

You can also see more images on Tim's website
I think the new images are from #374 on.


Well I've spent the last 3 weeks keeping myself occupied, but how? I didn't work at Lallemand at all until last Wednesday the 10th. I thought I wasn't called in because my boss was away in Estonia but it also turns out Luiza, the stagière who I replaced (and who also trained me) had gone in to help out. I found this out when I saw her initials in the log book for the pH meter. I wasn't too pleased but when I questioned my boss about it I didn't get any explanation as to why Luiza was back working there. Anyhow, seems like she was there to clean out the storage area of old boxes of samples from 2003 so she's more than welcome to that job!

I am now hooked on Prison Break. Tim started watching it from the beginning but I never paid attention to it until a few weeks ago when they had a recap episode. They escaped last week! Now I suppose the next season will be all about them on the run.
That's what Monday nights are all about, that and 24, of course. Jack Bauer is absolutely invincible! I love making fun of the writing on that show. But it's hokeyness hasn't stopped me from watching week after week!

I've been trying to go jogging at the track behind Westmount High every few days, when the weather permits. I manage to go non-stop for 15 minutes & do 5 laps. I know, I'm not breaking any records (far from it!!!) but it's better than nothing.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ho hum

I just looked out and noticed that it is pouring rain and also realised that I barely stuck my nose outside the house today, just long enough to take the garbage out and empty the compost, how exciting.
At least I took advantage of yesterday's nice weather. I biked out to the East end and met Cathy so she could try out a recumbent bicycle from this guy Vélo Queztal.
Quite a different experience. I only tried one out in the laneway next to the guy's house but Cathy rented one for an hour and we rode around Bellerive park by the water. I thought it wisest that only one of us at a time should be attempting to ride a recumbent for the first time. Other than encountering a group of mommies doing their stroller-exercising, things went pretty smoothly.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What's doin'

Last night we had a late night at the curling club. Tim, Eric, Dave & France formed a team again to take part in the Intermediate Bonspiel at Glenmore (Tim's club.) So Cathy and I spectated but didn't witness any spills this time. Maybe tomorrow!

This evening Tim & I went to see "Lucky Number Slevin". Pretty good, I recommend it. I'm sure we'll be adding it to our DVD collection once it comes out, in what, 2 months time. It's crazy how fast they are releasing movies to DVD nowadays. Some are still playing at the theater (ok, maybe the Dollar theater, but still...) and you can get them at the store.
I even managed to stay awake through the whole thing!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spring has sprung

These popped up in the back garden last weekend

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Inspiration please

I was encouraged last week to get back into writing some short stories but I have yet to come up with any ideas. It has been over 2 years since I last took a writing class and I don't think I've written any stories since then. I always have trouble getting inspired on my own. That's why classes are a good motivator. The teacher gives you a topic or gives you some kind of direction to come up with a story.
So I figured I would reach out to my audience (I'm not even sure who reads this blog...) and inquire:

"What would you like to read about?"

Awaiting your comments so I can get writing!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Luck o' the Irish

If you're going to the parade on Sunday (or not), you're welcome to drop on by our place afterwards for some stew and you can check out the kitchen too!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lots more pictures

Tim's website
(I suggest using the thumbnails!)

Kitchen update

And the work continues! And as of today we're 20% over budget!
Tim had taken the week of the 20th off so we got a lot done with some help from Olaf and Eric.
This is what things looked like 2 weeks ago...

Monday the floor got sanded and the hole to the dining room was made. The house got covered in dust even with all the precautionary plastic and drop cloths. I've just given up on doing much cleaning until this is all over.
Tuesday we picked up our (huge!) sink. You know you've got quality when your sink comes in a cloth drawstring bag. It should make a good stuff sack for camping gear too!
Wednesday we had more than just plywood...we had half the carcasses for the bottom cabinets, yay! It was starting to look like a kitchen! We were able to take the dishwasher and stove out of the boxes so they'd be ready for hookup the next day.
Thursday I left Tim & Olaf to fend for themselves and I went to work. The plumber came and when I got home we had a new sink and stove in place.

Friday was a slow day with the guys trying to figure out cutting the melamine for the upper cabinets. By Saturday morning Tim had figured out he needed to build a sled for the table saw. It made for much easier and faster cutting.
Saturday was open house day! Quite a few people dropped by to check out our progress.
Sunday Tim deservedly took things easy. He did a little bit of electrical work and then we went to pick up his mom and headed down to Cowansville for a visit at cousin Mike's.
And Tim's vacation was over!

This past week was a lot of priming & painting cabinets and putting up the upper cabinets.
When we finally unboxed the microwave/hood we discovered that the back corner had been dented so we went and exchanged it for a new one on Thursday. Sears had offered to give us a $100 rebate if we kept the damaged one but we nixed that idea. No damaged goods for us! We're damaged enough ourselves as it is!!!

The last few days' progress include staining and putting together drawers and tiling the backsplash...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Open sesame!

Click on the picture and experience the excitement of Olaf cutting the wall open between the kitchen and the dining room (and please excuse the plumber-butt!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cooking up a storm

Working part-time certainly has its advantages...Monday morning I emptied out the freezer and went over to my parents' place and did some cooking. Five hours later, I was ready to come home with waffles, mashed potatoes, sausages, macaroni, quiche, date squares and chicken curry. Not necessarily meant to be eaten in that order!


Most of the weekend was spent planning out the electricity and then actually running the wiring. Here a weary-looking Tim can be seen comtemplating the possibility of an LCD TV.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

When will the spending end?

Our credit cards are certainly sizzling after this week's purchases but hopefully most of the big expenditures have been take care of. Monday saw us ordering all our hardware from Lee Valley and we picked it up at the post office yesterday. Tuesday was Ikea for lighting. Wednesday was Coupal and Bois Franc Rive-Sud for wood. Part of it was so kindly picked up yesterday morning by Eric and then the rest got delivered this morning. Again, Eric was stellar and showed up around 7:30 this morning to help unload it.

Thursday we didn't spend any money as such but the plumber came to estimate the work to be done to move the gas pipe for the stove, move the plumbing, disconnect the kitchen radiator and we figured we'd go all out and might as well replace the remainder of the galvanized pipes in the basement. Youch! Quite a bit more than we expected but they've included coming back to connect the stove & sink and we hadn't planned on changing the galvanized. Westmount also requires that the drain pipes be copper so that added to the total too.

Weekend trip to the States

Tim took Friday off and we packed up the car in the pouring rain to go spend last weekend at my parents' cottage near Malone, NY. It is a somewhat yearly tradition to go down there to celebrate Stéphanie's birthday. We didn't get any skiing in this year though. Conditions were not favourable with the rain we had on Friday. We did go for a few long walks. And some of us tried a little snowshoeing on the way to High Falls (which you can view on Robbie's site - High Falls

We even gave everyone team sweaters for the event...we went down via Plattsburgh to go to Lowe's to buy our kitchen faucet then we went to browse at Old Navy. Tim was looking through a bargain rack and found a sporty top in men's size medium that he thought I might like. I did. I also like the price. $ 1.97! We then spotted another rack with many more of the same sweater, in various sizes. So we had the bright idea of buying one for all our friends who would be there for the weekend. They were a hit! We also found a zip up sweatshirt for the birthday girl at the ridiculous price of $ 0.97! And the salesguys at the cash didn't even bat an eye when we piled 13 sweaters on the counter!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Reno progress

Last week was quiet on the kitchen front. We did a little mudding but that was about it. More time was spent making a sign for my dad and Tim also designed an e-ticket for Cirque du Soleil.

We got final approval for our building permit with the conditions of installing an integrated AC/DC smoke detection system and obtaining a plumbing permit. We think the existing smoke detector installed upstairs with the alarm system should do though. But I still haven't put the permit in the window for all the nosy neighbours to see!