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Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunshine Whale

Ever seen a sunshine whale?

My little cousin Sam drew it for me...

Where did the weekend go?

So I'll now try to get back to complete sentences with my posts!
Friday night we played softball (I hope you have all clued in by now that when I say "we", I mean Tim & I!!!) in the intermittent rain. All around, we did not play a particularly good game and our last out was especially crappy as we got an automatic out since dude on first base stepped off before contact was made. What a sucky way to end the game. The rule is there so the runner does not lead off the base, but when your team is already losing by 6 runs, you'd think they'd have cut us some slack. Anyhow, we came home and ordered some gourmet pizza from F&F, so all was good!

On Saturday, I biked over to Cathy & Eric's and Vanessa entertained me while they got things ready for their bbq later that afternoon. Luckily we (this "we", being the general "we" and not just Tim & I, just in case you were wondering) weren't hit by the rainstorm that poured buckets on downtown so everyone was safe and dry outside. It was quite the party and the backyard ended up looking like a daycare with all the toys, the playtents and the chalk drawings. I had fun trapping bugs with Clara. She much prefers ants and spiders when they are safely under a plastic cover!

Sunday saw us going to my cousin Suzanne's 3rd child's christening in Senneville. This is Kate Louise, isn't she precious?!

After the ceremony at the church, we headed towards Rivière Beaudette for an afternoon with the family. We actually kept going to Lancaster for a pit stop at the LCBO for some wine & beer. We then sat around in the garden enjoying the view...

I had not seen my cousin nor my aunt Karlene in quite a few years so it was nice to visit with them and the rest of the family. It was also my dad's birthday, but unfortunately he didn't get much of a celebration.

On the way home, we were hoping to pick up some fresh corn but the farmer's roadside stand we passed was already closed so we settled on salad for supper.

And then the weekend was over way too soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A resume of July

Yuckiness of the month: Bought unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter.
Discovery: Has the consistency of sawdust and is just plain disgusting.
Result: Gifted it to Martin.

Started taking the bus in when I start at 6:30. This means I get up at 4:45. It is still dark then. Must make sure I have everything ready the night before as even I am a zombie at that hour.

Started getting a weekly basket of organic veggies. There are way too many green leafy things that taste bitter in this world. But swiss chard and caramelized onion lasagna is very tasty.

Started trying to eat fish twice a week. I think we are slacking at this point.

Crashed a bbq at Joe and Leona's. Always welcome, always well-received. Food is good.
Friends are better.

Celebrated Mémère, Tim's grandmother's, birthday by going out to brunch at Cumulus in the 10-30 complex. Made her day. Very good restaurant. Must go back.

Bought a mandoline (vegetable slicer-julienner thingy). It sucked. Returned it a week later. No hassles, no questions asked. Happy me.

Went to Kay's for a bbq for her birthday. No comment. You had to be there. Some of you were, so I needn't elaborate. It was interesting!

Went to the gym a few times. Weight is stable. Better than gaining I guess.

Went to La Ronde to see the fireworks. Got Tim to ride the Supermanège. Not the most exciting roller-coaster after you've been on the Viper and the Goliath but it did the trick. Fireworks were awesome.

Went to McKibbin's for pub night. Got my eyes checked and my prescription stayed the same. A good evening.

Saw David Usher for free on the street downtown. He is the best. Heidi is in love! Summer in Montreal rules.

Went to the movies. Saw Ocean's 13. It was good.

Caught a cold. Still lingering. I hate blocked sinuses. Snot is gross too.

Jacquie came to town. No words can do her justice. She rules! We miss her. She misses us. We must go to Maryland and visit. Oreo cake is just plain evil.
Food is good. Friends are better.

Our roof leaked again. Thank goodness we didn't fix the ceiling in the bedrooms. Haven't yet made it up on the roof to see where the problem is.

Rode my bike for the first time this month. Hot and sweaty. Still hate riding up Greene Avenue but it beats the less steep but longer uphill of Atwater.

Celebrated Jo-Anne's birthday at Guido and Angelina's in the Pepsi Forum. Food is good. Family is better.

Discovered I like black olive paste. Food is good. Having friends come over to share it is better.

Got a raise for year-end inflation adjustment. Over 2%. Happy.

Gave blood. Donation #50. Found out I test negative for a certain virus so my blood goes directly to Ste-Justine or the Children's. Makes me feel warm inside.

Gave in to all the hype and bought Harry Potter. Don't ruin it for me!

Bought a cabinet/bookshelf to reorganize our DVDs & CDs. Organization takes up a lot of space. Must rethink the CD part. DVDs all fit.

Phew, I'm exhausted!

June turns into July and now it's almost August!

So, faithful reader, do I just give up on catching up on my posts and start afresh with more recent events or do I try and summarize the month of July for you??? Such are the dilemnas on an early Saturday morning. Why is it that I went to bed later than usual last night and am awake earlier than usual??? Such are the ponderings of a fool at this hour...

Well, I do have a bit still from our vacation, so here goes:

After Mountain View, we came back to town on the Friday, not for our usual softball game, but to celebrate Heidi's birthday. We ended up going to Le Nil Bleu, an Ethiopian resto on St-Denis. Ethipoian is usually a good choice, predictable if anything, and, bonus this time, I was pleasantly surprised at the rapid service we got. I had been there many years ago before going to a Dave Matthews concert (oh, what a memory, but that is a story for another day!) and I had also been to Abiata more recently (also on St-Denis) and was less than impressed by the inattentive, slower than molasses service.

Tim took in his first golf game ever that Saturday and now he's hooked! It was the 2nd annual FTR classic organized by Olaf and the foursome was completed by Jouni and Mario, a student of Olaf's. We ended up at Katja and Jouni's for a bbq that evening and spent Canada day, oh joy, cleaning our ever-cluttered basement, followed by an evening at Ysabel's for some more bbq fare and various pot-luck items.

Our last day of vacation was spent going over to Jo-Anne's and then France's to help with some minor home repairs and then back home to the basement.

And then it was back to work. It wasn't too brutal considering it was my co-worker's turn to be on vacation so I had to go into work for 6:30 4 days in a row. Before I knew it, the week was over and it was time for softball again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Food: the element that links us

So, since so much has gone on since I last wrote (summer is a busy time!), I figure the best way I can tie everything together is through food (big surprise there!) Yes, most of our friendly gatherings revolve around or at least involve food.
I love my friends and family!

Hiking in Charlevoix, way back in June, was lots of fun. The weather was perfect for hiking, not too hot and only a sprinkling of rain when we started off on Saturday. We didn't have to fight off the bugs too badly either. Tim had bought us some trekking poles and I am definitely sold on them. They made the climbing bits much easier to undertake and helped on the descents too. The group (there were 9 of us) ended up separated in two, with the slower, picture-taking, enjoying the scenery, catching our breath, having conversations crowd bringing up the rear. But all was good since we had the evenings at the refuges to socialize with everyone.

Oh, yes, the food...We certainly did not go hungry. Our trip was a 3 day hike with day 2 being the longest, at about 14km, I believe. We were staying in cabins with no running water and we had our gear carried from cabin to cabin so quantity of food was not an issue. The first evening's meal was prepared by Stéphanie and Olaf, consisting of chicken fajitas in vast amounts. Day 2 , again, did not see us go starving. We started with breakfast, courtesy of France and Julie, made up of French toast with candied apples, sausages and bacon.
Everyone pitched in that evening to help Maya make a bean and avocado salad, the perfect entree to delicious chicken mole which was served with corn bread. And can you believe that we had cheesecake for dessert too!
Tim and I served breakfast on the Monday. We had made 2 varieties of waffles at home, banana chocolate chip and whole wheat nut, which have a very good crunch factor.
Stéphane and Geneviève were responsible for lunches , supplying us with rolls, cold cuts and cheese for each of us to make our own sandwiches in the morning before beginning our hike.
We got back to town on Monday afternoon and spent Tuesday doing some shopping, having a nice lunch at Café Passion in St-Lambert and then had Tim's friend Kelly over for supper. We discovered something new while shopping at Loblaws and tried salmon sausages. They are quite tasty although some are of the opinion that they have a weird, unexpected texture they're not sure about.

Wednesday morning, we met up with Catherine, Eric and Vanessa in Mercier and then drove on to the cottage in Mountain View for their first visit there. In the afternoon, we went for a pleasant stroll in the woods at Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center and then visited their butterfly house. Evere wonder what mating monarchs look like???

We pulled out the charcoal bbq from the garage and had some tournedos and more salmon sausages with corn and salad for supper.

The Colby-Critchlows made their way home via Plattsburgh on Thursday while Tim and I stayed on until Friday. We'd brought our mountain bikes so we tried out the Hatch Brook trail where we'd been previously swarmed with bugs when we went with Heidi. The bugs weren't anywhere near as bad as last time. We just had to contend with a few wild turkeys and a very territorial hawk.

On Friday, before heading back, we tried making our way to High Falls with our bikes but the trail is not meant for biking, no matter how serious you are about it. We ended up walking our bikes on and off when the going got tough and then finally gave up and left them in the woods just before the Falls.

So, I'll end this here before you lose interest and I'll hopefully be back soon with another post!