Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Feel The Music

The thing I enjoy most about music is how it can trigger a memory or calm a busy mind.  I started this evening out by listening to some jazz.  Yes I love jazz music, from the instrumental jazz, to the vocal jazz, that genre simply relaxes and chills me out.  I don't have much jazz on my ipod because I never know which artist to purchase but as I listen to the radio, I've been jotting down artists to look into purchasing for my pod.  

You can imagine my joy when I discovered CBC Radio2.  I listen to that station on weeknights while at work, at 9pm (it may start earlier for all I know but that's when I tune in) they have a show called Tonic and it showcases all types of jazz, from instrumental to vocal.  The great thing about that station is I got the app downloaded onto my ipad and when I'm home (with my trusty wi-fi) I listen to it online streaming, either with my Sony headphones (that have amazing sound) or through the bluetooth enabled Jam speaker (also, amazing sound!!).  The great thing about the online station is you can either listen live radio streaming whatever show is on, or choose your favorite show... I like Tonic... amazing jazz up in there.

I've always enjoyed music.  I honestly never thought I'd branch out to various genres other than the usual Adult Contemporary, R&B, Motown and of course my absolute favorite...Classical.  

I know right, who'd have thought that Classical music would be my favorite!  Ha!  

I remember a time back in the early to mid 1990s when my sister and I went to purchase a compact stereo in the local shopping mall.  The sales rep was showing us a system and wanted to play our favorite music so we could get the feeling of the music.  When he asked my sister what type of music was her favorite, she replied "Country"... he looked at her confused then asked me what mine was... I replied "Classical".  I'm surprised the guy didn't collapse on the floor.  He popped in some Mozart and I fell in love with that stereo system.  I no longer have that stereo though, gave it to my eldest sister, but I still do love Classical music.  

I can't say exactly when I fell for Jazz, but I suspect that Diana Krall or Michael Bublé had a role in it, though most of Bublés music is more Big Band/Swing than Jazz, he's still a favorite of mine.  I have music by both artists on my pod already.  I can almost say that Jazz is starting to push Classical to second place but then all I need to do is put on some Classical music from anyone, and I'm lost, simply feeling the emotion in the music, the strings, the percussion, sigh.  

...And just so we're clear, Contemporary Christian is what I turn to when I'm find myself feeling blue or overcome with fear or uncertainty, or when I'm just feeling annoyed by someone or something, it's just so uplifting and positive that after about two songs I feel a surge of positive energy and joy rush through me and all the negative feelings subside.  The thing about Contemporary Christian music...it's not "your Grandma's church music" as one youth once put it.  There are so many types of Christian music, from old Gospel to Reggae Gospel even Rap Gospel (Kirk Franklyn has some).  If your not "into that type of music" then I suggest you seek out the gospel form of your favorite genre and you'll be hooked.  Trust me.  When I first heard Contemporary Christian (thanks to KLove Radio online streaming) I was floored.  I'm not a fan of the old Gospel aside from Amazing Grace, Precious Memories, It Is Well With My Soul, most of the other songs make me feel depressed!  I know right!  who'd have thought that possible but it's true, they make me feel like I should be at a funeral.  Contemporary Christian makes me smile, makes my heart and soul sing! So uplifting!! 

One thing I learned is there's no harm in branching out to different genres.  I learned it when it comes to books, and I learned it when it comes to music.  Sticking to what's considered your "favorite".... you're only cheating yourself.  Feel the music!  Smile!  And chill out!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Step It Up

  I purchased an exercise step at Canadian Tire this weekend. I'm about to jump on a twenty eight day fitness kickstart challenge.  I didn't officially join because I don't want to buy the ebook or follow a strict menu.  I want to make lasting changes so on Loseit.com I joined the no junk November but I am one week away from the start of that so this week will have me focusing on 7 hours of sleep daily, 3 litres of water daily and getting used to my morning coffee without honey! I gave up added sugar and sweeteners a while back but used honey so now I'm ditching that too and it should also save me up to 120 calories a day. 

I already walk 20-30 minutes on work days but on days I don't work I am lazy when it comes to exercise.  Sure I have house work to do but I'm talking about fitness exercise not vacuuming exercise or mopping floors exercise, get what I mean? 

So monday I measure, I weigh in and I get started.  I need a new pair of ankle boots and a new purse. The cost of each is ten pounds of fat off my body so I better get cracking.




Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Five: 5 Things I Love

Friday Five Link Up..... Hosted by Eat Pray Run DC.   Join in, discover new things, make new friends... blah blah blah... bottom line is it's really interesting and fun!!

Alright so this week's topic in the Friday Five is FIVE THINGS I LOVE.

Wow, that got me thinking.  

1.  I love going to church on Sunday morning.  It's not just about hearing the word of God but talking to the other folks who attend weekly or introducing yourself to someone new or visiting.  The smiles, the hugs, the older ladies calling me their adoptive child!  The hugs I get from some of the kids.  I always look forward offering a compliment to someone who may appear to be unhappy just to put a smile on their face and cheer them up a bit.  I love the singing, and listening to the teaching too!

2. I love cotton lounging pants....similar to the ones in this photo.  Yes they probably do come in women's version with cute butterflies and rainbows but I don't need that nonsense on my lounging pants, plain plaid will do!  Mom picked me up a couple pairs the other day and I'm over the moon in love with them.  When I'm home I pretty much am dressed like the man in that picture with a long sleeve tee and my lounging pants!  I should be able to wear these outside like nurses wear their scrubs outside eh!!  

3. I love oatmeal.  Hot, cooked on the stove oatmeal.  I always loved oatmeal since I was a kid.  Mom used to fill our bellies up with that stuff every morning in the fall & winter months before scooting us off to school.  I've tried that instant stuff and the cold stuff but nothing compares to hot cooked on the stove ... for me anyway, guess I'm just old school!

4. I love listening to CBC Radio 2.  Most of the nights I work I listen to it (if I'm not listening to an audiobook).   I pretty much know the schedule.  Amazing jazz at 9pm (it may start earlier but that's when I usually tune in).  At 10 to midnight is the Signal, lesser known artists are promoted during this show and the music is awesome!   Then from midnight to 5am is Nightstream where adult contemporary music is played but a lot of it is from artists I've never heard of, possibly imported music but still well worth the listen.  

5. I love crafts.  (click the link and see what I made) I've been a lover of crafting ever since my Grandmother and I would exchange crafts through the mail.  She's made me a pillow, a door hanger, mittens, ear muffler, knit sweater, knit socks, she's also made a small crochet sweater for my doll (that's going way back but I still have it).  The first thing she ever made me was a red velvet Christmas socking... I still have all of these!!!  I may have inherited her love of crafting and it's pretty much what consumes most of my time from October to the beginning of December though I craft all year long.  I'm currently making Christmas ornaments for my family and for kids at church.  I've gotten more creative with felt but still fighting with the sewing machine.  And I'm looking into creating peg dolls too so that should keep me busy for a while.  Crafting is a nice way to relax and unwind.  It calms my busy mind.  

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that!  Now go check out some of the posts linked up at Eat Pray Run DC  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Oct.22




Another Thursday to be thankful for!  Please do click on the little picture up there and link in to Thankful Thursday hosted by Rebecca over at Knit by God's Hand.  

This week... well, I'm thankful for plenty of things but today I'm going to be thankful for things I've really been complaining about... so here goes.


  • I'm bloated and retaining water, 
  • had the munchies all week and pretty much ate everything I got my hands on.  
  • I haven't really exercised because I'm just too tired all the time...... 
  • I've got the chills even though it's not really cold.
Having said that mouthful, you're probably wondering what's the deal right? Well, IN ALL THINGS, GIVE THANKS!


  • I'm bloated and retaining water BUT I AM THANKFUL that I have clean fresh water to drink.  That I can just turn on a tap and there it is without having to walk miles with a pail to retrieve it from a water source and have it possibly be contaminated.
  • I had the munchies all week BUT I AM THANKFUL that I have plenty of food to eat, even if it was junk food.  I have healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables too.  I have easy access to fresh milk and bread and meat.  
  • I'm tired all the time BUT I AM THANKFUL that I have a comfortable bed in a safe home where I can peacefully lay my head.  
  • I've got the chills BUT I AM THANKFUL that I live in a country were medical care is relatively free (aka Canadian Medicare) whereby I can easily go to a clinic and see if I am ill and receive treatment.

I constantly tell myself to be thankful in all things, the good, the bad and the ugly.  These past days I've been feeling real ugly so I had to take a few minutes to count my blessings.  To turn my petty grievances into something to be thankful for.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back To Hodgepodge!




It's time for Wednesday Hodgepodge,  Hosted by Joyce at From This Side Of The Pond.  Click on the link in the side bar and be transported to her blog where you too, can join in on the podge!  I tried to link it directly with this graphic but I'm on the annoying Apple app right now and I can't figure it out.  User problems most likely ... Ha! 

8 questions with my 8 answers for this weeks hodgepodge!



1.  October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?


I recall seeing parts of the the first and part of the second movie but never the entire movies.  We're there more than two made?  Perhaps I should check it out this weekend.   

In the fall of 1985, I was in the eleventh grade.  It was the beginning of the new school year   I was also part of the student council that year and on the graduating class fundraising committee.  Here in Quebec, high school goes as far as the eleventh grade then you graduate and head off to college.   I had a part time job at Burger King which I worked evenings and weekends.

2. If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

Hmm..I would not want to go to the future but going back to the past I wouldn't mind.  I've got tons of happy memories I'd love to relive.  But if I get to go back in time to visit my younger self, I'd have lots of advice to give her!  I doubt I'd change anything though because that road and those experiences have lead me to where I am now.  


3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass). Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

I worry that people will become to dependant on technology that there will be even less personal & physical contact between people.  Everyone's already overwhelmed by texts and email now, imagine if technology continues to grow at this rate, it'll be the end of real socializing. 

I think people need to pause before posting quick responses in social media.  Angry comments are never cute.  The Internet has people believing that nobody really pays attention to the comments or that they are truly anonymous and online bullying is just out of hand.  Nothing is every truly private on line and the Internet has become a breeding ground for hate.  Sadly so. 

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?




My favorite slow-cooker recipe is Apple sauce.  I know it's truly simple but what can I say.  
My favourite fast food is cheese pizza! 

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

Pressed for time is where I'm at now.  Rushing to complete Christmas ornaments for family and friends and in November, I'll be teaching a group of kids how to cross stitch! 

6.  Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?





Mom use to take us to The Snowdon Cinema to watch Disney movies, back in the late 1970s.  The outside of the building today remains the same but it's no longer a cinema.  I'm glad the outer facade remained the same because every time I see it I reminisce of when we seen The Cat From Outer Space!  We sat in the front row nibbling on twizzlers.


7.  Describe your comfort zone. 




I have a spare bedroom that also doubles as a crafting room.  I get total quiet when I'm in there, able to gather with my thoughts
.

8. Insert your own random thought here.




Canada just voted in a new Prime Minister.  I'm eager to see where we go from here!  FYI I'm in Montreal (Quebec), Canada.   




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cohen & Coben

I'm currently engulfed in two books right now.  One, an ebook. The Broken by Tamar Cohen, that was recommended to me, I should have been finished a while ago but the ipad decided to delete it for whatever stupid apple reason.  I had to reload it and figure out where I stopped.   

Annoyances aside, this book is pretty chilling... in a WTF type of way.  I don't want to give anything way but let me say it's a book that up to this point, I'd say read it.  It's not a long book but it's fast paced and it will make you yell out loud and grumble even but still... if you ever read The Girl on the Train, or Gone Girl.... well, it'll bug you like that but well worth it.

The second book I'm into is an audiobook Missing You by Harlan Coben and the narrator is fantastic!  The story is also fast paced but with multiple back stories running alongside one another it can be a bit annoying but I'm almost done it and I think I'm putting things together like the detective in the book!  This is the second book by this author that I've read and I'm thinking it wont be the last!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Etsy Selling




My Etsy shop is open.  I'm still thinking of it as a test hobby and not putting too much effort into it.  This time of year, I'm busy with getting the Annual Family Christmas Ornament completed.  I've got a few items in the shop and in all honesty, I just like knowing it's there!  I haven't even thought about what happens if I make a sale! 


That's a screen shot of the shop (it's also a link that will magically transport you to my shop!).  I had a lot of extra bears half stitched from last year, and one extra ice skater so I completed them and put them up.   These were once included as the Annual Family Christmas Ornament but I did cut out too many so I put six bears up for sale and I still have six more in the craft room.  The brooches, I'm really almost ready to just keep them for myself honestly.  When I took the photos, I fell in love with them on my coat.  The ballet slippers....look great hung on the bedroom door but more suitable for a little girls room than a grown woman.   But they came out so cute.  


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.  I'm just happy today!  Cue music by Pherrell. 
  












Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Five: Favorite Fall Recipes

Been a while since I've joined in a Friday Five Link Up.  Found an awesome one over at Eat Pray Run DC hosted by Courtney (click the link, follow her blog!)



This week the topic is Five Favorite Fall Recipes.... here's my five:

1.  Apple pie! 



I don't know what it is about the autumn season that makes me crave apple pie!  On occasion I'll purchase one from the grocery store or the farmers market but nothing beats home baked pie from scratch... right down to the crust!  I confess, most often I just use frozen pie crust but it still comes out tasting great... heated up a bit with a nice cup of tea.  Heaven! 

I always use the recipe over at Pillsbury and it comes out tasting great even when I add extra apples or brown sugar.  



2. Beef Stew



My Mom always made beef stew when we were kids.  It was probably something Mom's just know how to throw together, never quite measuring how much of this or that spice to add but watching her make it pretty much gave me the gist of it.  Trial and error, I never seemed to get it quite right.  I've been using this crock pot recipe from iowagirleats.com and just topped up with my own added spices.  Comfort food at it's best! 


3. Pumpkin Spice Muffin Cupcakes



When I discovered this recipe on Pinterest I was anxious to give it a try.  I chose the Duncan Heinz Carrot Cake mix over the yellow or golden mix simply because it was carrot!  I added the can of pumpkin pie mix (couldn't find the 100% pure pumpkin but it did the job just as well) I also added a tea spoon of pumpkin pie spice.  Mix it all together, pop it into lined cup cake tin and bake.  

They taste so good it's really difficult to not eat them all by my greedy self!  




I first made lentil soup because I read that lentils are very high in fiber.  Fiber is my bestest friend forever.  I tried many recipes found on line but you know how it is when you finally get that one recipe that just makes your taste buds spark.  Ya, well, this is it!  I found it over at A Hint of Honey only I use spicy beef sausage and not Italian.  I usually make a pretty big batch of this and freeze some and carry some to work for lunch in a mason jar.  (I love mason jars!)


5. Bisquick Biscuits
  

My Mom usually makes biscuits from scratch in the fall and winter.  I've got the recipe from her and tried it.  I confess, the biscuits always seem to taste like something is missing.  I think Mom has a secret ingredient she forgot to tell me about!  But seriously, the recipe came from my Grandma's cookbook which I now have (thanks Mom!).  I do make the biscuits occasionally but still, they don't taste like when Mom makes them.  When I'm in the mood for a home baked biscuit, I usually turn to the trusty Bisquick mix by Betty Crocker and whip up a batch.   I like that this recipe is quick and easy though it tastes nothing like the fresh ones my Mom makes.... but you know the saying... beggars can't be choosers!


And there you have it!  My Friday Five: Favorite Fall Foods.  Please join in over at Eat Pray Run DC  and link up with the Friday Five.  




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Oct 15th

Thankful Thursday

In my attempt to hop into some blog hops... I hopped right into this one: Thankful Thursday, hosted by Rebecca at Knit by God's Hand (click the link, follow her blog!)



..... So, here goes.....


This week I am thankful for my home, the food in my cupboards, the clothes on my back and the job that helps pay my bills.  

I'm thankful that I'm in good health, albeit my hip has been acting up with the cooler temperatures and I still have a small trace of the cold I caught while away on vacation... all in all I'm healthy as a horse (praise be to God).

I'm thankful for my family... in some ways they helped me become the person I am today.

I'm also very thankful for my husband.  He was the person who re-introduced me to our Lord.  It was his need to get back to church and become a faithful follower that influenced me to do the same.  I've never looked back!!

So that pretty much sums it up for this late edition.  I'll be on time next week, I promise!!!



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Did We Miss The Flight?

Alright, finally, the last post about our vacation to England.  

September 2nd was our travel back home day.  We took the train from London to Heathrow airport.  We were a bit too early to check in so we hung around talking to our hosts who were there to see us off.  Once we were able to check in, it took only a few minutes to go through customs and whatnot.  We found our gate and waited to board the plane.  

Our connecting flight was in Paris France once again but as we only had an hour between disembarking one and embarking the next, we were a bit stressed.  And to add insult to injury, our flight from London was late leaving by 20 minutes, and we were seated at the very back of the plane, which never happens to us!

Sigh, ok so plane lands in Paris, passengers taking their time to get off but we are sweating from stress that we will miss our connecting flight to Montreal.  Finally we get off the plane, run like crazy to gate forty something only to see nobody there!  We look around, no plane to be seen, nobody around to ask for help! 

WHAT!?


We finally spot a worker helping someone with a wheelchair.  We ask him for help.  He is also amazed nobody is around to help us out.  Finally the guy is able to tell us our gate is wrong on our ticket, we should be at gate 30. 

WAIT, WHAT? 

Gate 30!

We begin running to the opposite end of the airport.  We stop at a screen finally, because they are few and far between, we see our gate displaying the final call notification.  We run faster.  Finally we get to the gate, tons of folks around, I go to a guy in uniform by the gate to ask him to hold the flight but he tells me ....

THE FLIGHT IS DELAYED AN HOUR!

huh?

I grabbed the man and hugged him so tight like it was his fault the plane was delayed.  We were so happy... So were the folks who came running behind us!  

Finally, on the plane, headed home, I take a nap until they serve dinner then nap again until snack time, then again until we land.  Once again we have to go to immigration, I'm Canadian born, this is getting real annoying, but we are done in three minutes!  Off to get our luggage which we find real fast, grab a cab home and let the jet lag begin! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In Search Of Blog Hop

It was my intention to participate in a few blog hops this year and so far, I confess, I haven't.  I intend to rectify that!!!  

I'm turning on the comments section... ya, the haters and anonymous posters with itchy fingers are jumping for joy... but hold on... I always screen the comments before they get posted online, sorry to burst your bubble!  

I'm going to "next blog" my way into a few blog hops and participate!  Besides, what better way to get to know a few more folks out in cyberland.  That's one of the best ways to make new online friends, find out about local things happening in other parts of the world that aren't in the news, and connect with folks with similar interests.  

Hop on I say, hop on!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Palace To Trafalgar Square

....picking up where I left off....

Once we were done our tour on the Eye, and we decided against the river boat tour, we strolled a bit over towards Parliament then caught a ride on a double deck red bus. I fell in love with those busses!
  

We took the bus to Buckingham Palace but ended up in back of it and had to walk all the way around it to get to the front.... So we stopped for lunch first!  That was one heck of a walk!  


The palace has this crazy wire spikes on top to prevent trespassers. I had to snap the photo because I was a typical tourist!  This obviously was along the backside of the retaining wall. 

After what seemed like forever, we made it to the front side of the palace.  We were too pooped to take a tour inside the palace (for about £20 per person) My wallet was in no hurry to help the Queen renovate!  


Did not see the changing of the guard but did see a guard nonetheless.  We also took a selfie trying to get most of the palace in the shot.  So I guess I can wipe this from places I wanted to see in real life.  Hmm, I need to see what else is on that list! 


We spent a bit of time wandering around then walked our way to Trafalgar Square.  Basically we walked down the long long long red brick road where Will & Katherine  road along after they were wed.  We chatted a lot along the way and again, strangers kept asking me to take photos for them!  I was smiling at everyone so I  guess that made me approachable! 



When we reached Trafalgar Square (photo below) there were plenty of street performers there.  We watched a few and then strolled around like....tourists!


After walking all day...we finally hopped back on a red bus and headed back to the hotel for dinner.  We ate at a local restaurant that night.  Fries, chicken breast, soda.   By this time my head cold had nestled in my throat and was itchy, scratchy.  Time for bed.