Archive for October, 2011

October 31, 2011

Plans for Home

It’s official – I am burnt out on traveling.  I am more than ready to settle down into our new home and start building our nest (and job and life of course, but nest as well!). After leaving the C Family, particularly the adorable Miss E, I am so very very ready to start integrating into Montreal.

This is f***ing brilliant.

We’re in Quebec City (typically just referred to as Quebec) for the night, in a nice, cheap little motel that seems all the quainter because it has two rooms separated by french-sliding doors.  The Dahg is thrilled because he has a bed of his own tonight. The Hubby and I are thrilled because it’s the first motel that hasn’t charged a pet fee! We had dinner at a nice little Lebanese takeout place – I braved the merguez agneu, which is a lamb sausage.  I’m generally not a huge sausage fan, but I took a risk – I ordered the meal knowing “agneau” was “lamb”, and that I liked lamb.  I thought it was going to be some sort of kabob or shank, but alas – sausage.  In the end it was pretty good, and I haven’t gotten the grease-stomach sausage usually gives me, which to me indicates a certain increase in quality, non? The pita was a little tough, but the rice and potatoes were pretty good for fast-food-Lebanese.

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October 28, 2011

Photos Galore (Days 4, 5, and our time in Halifax)

Nick and Baby E - she has a big crush on him and laughs whenever he walks in the room!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 

– Mark Twain

Found this quote today.  Nothing could better summarize the reason we have made this move.  It’s a good reminder, because life is a bit frustrating right now.  Move in time is slowly approaching – only a matter of days now!  And, of course, this is the time when my back decides to go out.  And go out bad.  Normally my back goes out and it’s inconvenient and painful to do things like walk around or ride the bus or lift anything. It also usually radiates down my leg in a sciatic pain.  Nothing about this back pain is normal. It seizes up if I move slightly wrong, aches in my hip if I stay in the same position for too long, and only seems to recover when I sleep overnight.  Heat helps, as does heaps of Robaxacet.

The most infuriating part is that I actually have to make myself stay on the couch and not help out much around the house.  We’re still staying with the C family, and I want nothing more than to cook meals, do dishes, and join D on play-dates with baby E. It’s hard to watch D work so hard and be such an amazing mom and just sit on my ass instead of help however I can.  But if I don’t sit now, I’ll just have to sit later, and the Hubby will have to do all the painting, box-lugging, and organizing by himself on top of working.  That, logically, does not work. So sit on my ass it is.

The good news is I took a bunch of photos on Wednesday, so I am not too behind on my photography challenge.  I’ve tackled 2 prompts:

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October 24, 2011

Photography 101: Day 3, Clouds

Day 3’s photo prompt was clouds.  I woke up on Thursday, and naturally it was raining.  The clouds were that grim, boring kind of cloud with no differentiation between them.  Not the kind of cloud that makes the most interesting picture.  Rather than get down on myself, and get into the frustrated mode I had been in before, I decided to simply move to the Day 4 prompt: Something Green.  I also decided to be less shy about looking like a tourist, and to get out of the house to a place with better lighting.  So off I went, up the street, to the National Gallery.

Unfortunately, I met with a road block.  Once inside, I was told by security that I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside.  At first this seemed like a “duh” moment, but then I remembered being in Paris, where we were allowed to take pictures of anything and everything.  I had already paid for admission, and was looking forward to seeing the Canadian Gallery, so I continued on.

It turned out to be a stroke of luck – the minute I walked out of the Gallery, the clouds were parting and distinguishing themselves.  I snapped a few photos of the back room of the gallery. This is the best of the bunch:

I’m actually pretty happy with this.  I like the way I got the light to burst out from behind the clouds (thanks Photoshop!).  I’m also happy with how ominous it looks!

I also snapped this one, of the rain in the window.  I had the white balance on wrong, and it came out blue.  But I actually liked how it turned out:

Today we’re in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, visiting with our friends the C family.  We’ll be here for the next week, when we’ll drive home and move into the new apartment. They have an adorable 6-month-old, E, who we’ve managed not to freak out too bad!  The Dahg is having a great time with their dog, and with their two kittehs.  He is actually becoming somewhat kitteh-friendly.  I will hopefully have photos of baby E, and some of her friends when they come over on Wednesday! Until then, my back is a bit out, from two long days in the car, so I’ll be spending a little less time on the computer, and more time stretching!


October 20, 2011


Today’s photography post has been rescheduled into a dual post tomorrow. I have better news that having fun with photography.  That news?


We got accepted for a sweet apartment in Montreal today! Cheap rent, near McGill (but not in the McGill Ghetto), a block away from the best dog park in the city. We’re just off of Rue Sherbrook and Boulevarde Décarie, which is considerably more urban that we’re used to living.  The street itself is lined with trees and duplexes, so it will feel a little more homey.  There’s a yoga place, a coffee shop, an antique shop and a used clothing boutique, and a cheap grocery store. It’s a sweet, old apartment with moulding on the walls and a big living room and big bedroom.  We’re hoping we’re allowed to paint (we just need to confirm with the landlord, but I don’t think it will be a problem).

Here are a few pictures from the listing to function as “before” pics so I can post decorated pics after we have some time with it!

This is the far wall of the living room. It gets a fair bit of light during the day.

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October 19, 2011

Photography 101: Day 2, plus a bonus rant!

Today is day 2 in my 30 day self-study on photography.  Today’s prompt:

Ugh.  That is all I can say.  It seems that some of these early prompts are designed to teach me some sort of self esteem lesson. Is this basically another self-portrait, or is there someway I can get around this?

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October 18, 2011

Photography 101: Day 1, Self-Portrait

I realized awhile ago that I married into a family that is very adept with the camera. I’m not a complete incompetent, but it would be nice to improve. Inspired by this list, I’m starting a mini-one-month photography study.  I’ll be sharing some results, good and bad, and I’ll be sharing articles that helped me on my way.

An overview of my little self-directed study in photography:

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October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Navy Chili

Last fall, a group of us started the tradition if the autumn Chili Cook-Off. Prizes were awarded for Most Innovative and Best Overall (trophies were glass pepper statues). I won Most Innovative for a totally impromptu cocoa chili. This weekend my friends are having the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off, so I was inspired to make one of my own over here.

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October 14, 2011

Trip Photos, Life in Transition

First order of business, since our cross-Canada trip is largely at an end, I should post the rest of the trip’s pictures.  We don’t have too many, since we were mainly in the car.  But there were some nice turn outs along the way, so I should share those:

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October 12, 2011

Ottawa and Montreal

It’s been a few days since I updated on our progress with the big move. We arrived safely in Ottawa, are crashing with our friend JM in Ottawa, and have made 2 trips into Montreal for various business so far. It’s been busy, hence the lack of update!


We rolled into Ottawa late in the afternoon on Sunday, Canadian Thanksgiving. Jm’s friends had invited us to join their “orphan Thanksgiving”, which included a huge feast with ham and turkey, stuffing, cranberries, veggies, and plenty of wine! We also played a few games of Charades, which has become my favorite party game, no matter how WASPy that makes me feel!

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October 8, 2011

Days 9, 10, and 11

The good news is we’re finally out of the Prairies. The bad news is that the Prairies have take the wind out of our sails a bit. We’ve basically been packing camp, on the road, or unpacking camp for the last 6 days, pulling 10 hour days. We’re sick of driving. Our bodies are sore from being in the car for such long hours. We haven’t slept well in 2 days because the last 2 campsites we’ve stayed at have been near train tracks – and let me tell you, the Canadian Railroads are in what seems like constant use! We’ve been feeling isolated because of the lack of cell phone service (not something we expected to encounter).

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