Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 recap

2018 was one of the craziest year of my life!

Ups and downs, mostly ups and a lot of things happening at the same time!

January started innocently enough but on the 3rd Dan had a heart attack! Fortunately the superstars at the CHUM (University of Montreal Hospital Center) fixed my SO better than new with stents.

We were scared and an event like surely puts things in perspective!

In March we travelled to Toronto (spending my Dad's frequent flyer miles).

I really liked Toronto, people were so very friendly and the city is super easy to navigate. We like to walk and that is what we did! I recommend visiting the Botanical Gardens, entrance is free and it is fabulous. I saw lemons bigger than my head!

I April we had the kitchen and one bathroom repainted...The both needed a refresh so bad!

In May I spend the last of Dad's frequent flyer miles and we spent a week in Rome. A total dream vacation! I am glad we took a roaming package from the phone company because I used my phone a lot to find places! If you are in the historical center, you can walk pretty much anywhere and see living history!
 This old fountain has always been one of favorites ever since I first saw it 
47 years ago (yikes)
Somethings are just burned in your memory!

                         Another favorite is the Trevi fountain. To think it is the garden of this palace!
                          and if you visit don't forget to throw a Euro in and make a wish!

Just after coming back I had the back stairs grinder and repainted! It makes such a difference and gives another 10 years of life to them .

Just after that I had the basement fixed with membranes and a sump pump and a dehumidifier.

That is a huge difference as well! the humidity has gone down, no more water...woohoo!

That work was long overdue but for some reason Dad did not take care of it....Oh well, now it is done  and I feel I did right by the house. I took care of it....

So this concludes part one of recap 2018! Next part will be purge, purge, purge, falling in love,Vegas
baby and getting ready to move!

Be well my friends!

Friday, December 28, 2018

It is live!

So I am so excited that my house is finally on the market!

The photograph did an amazing job! I was so stressed, cleaning and purging and not sleeping.

It is one thing to whip up our space up to par...but we had to motivate my stepdaughter as well!

I do understand that it is not easy and a lot of the stuff is still my Dad's because there was just too much....

 Sometimes I forget that I have some Gooseberry fridges!
I think they are lovely!

I don't think I ever saw this counter top so uncluttered!
It looks so big!

Skeleton Bob is keeping warm despite the freezing weather...
I wonder what the potential buyers will think of that....

Of course I wanted to post pictures of the house but they are not in the laptop yet!
But I figured out the secret....I need to open the laptop everyday!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is such a magical day for me....

It is the expectation, the waiting, the magic.....

December flew by...with us running every where, adulating a lot more than we like to....

Decisions, decisions.....and ...wait! More decisions!

We started packing today because we can start moving things on January 6th.....and that is just around the corner.....

YIKES! there will be a lot of storage place in the new house, such as a dedicated towels and sheets closet....and a laundry room....oh my with cabinets for the soap etc....

so 3 crates of summer sheets and comforters and 2 boxes of Pixies, 501s and butter dishes (Pyrex of course).

 The Clear 501 and 502 were a gift to my Dad and I decided to keep them
and get the butterfish.

So for now no more packing....just enjoying the family , the cats
and the food......

Happy Xmas Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Just in case

of course I had every intention of blogging every day but as usual life is busy, busy, busy.

we are taking a lot of life changing decisions and during the Holiday season it sure can throw a wrench in someone's Holiday planning!

so even if I dropped a couple of Holiday treats from this year's roster like caramel corn and cranberry fudge....

I am still churning out the classics ...gingerbread, pferffernusse (pepper gingerbread), Xmas candies and candy cane meringues.

and fruit squares and mini butter tarts for Xmas supper at the inlays.....

today I will share my candy cane meringue kiss recipe...very simple in case you are missing a cookie on your cookie plate...

you will need:

4 egg whites room temp
1 cup super fine sugar (I use powdered sugar)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
crushed candy cane

set your oven to 170F or lower if you can

start whipping the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add salt and cream of tartar
continue whipping and gradually add the sugar.
whip until you get glossy firm peaks, add the vanilla. blend well
use 2 teaspoons to form little kisses on a parchment lined cookie tray. sprinkle crushed candy cane on top.
bake 2 hours with the oven door slightly ajar. after 2 hours turn off the oven but keep the oven door ajar to let the meringues time to dry.

 These are always a bit hit on our Xmas table!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Vegas Baby!

This trip was a gift to myself and my stepdaughter from my SO.

I like buffets, I like bright lights, I like the Backstreet Boys...and that is why I went to Vegas!

Sounds simplistic?

So wanted to treat us to a trip....Vero and I both love the BSB...they have a residency in Vegas...

You do the math!

we walked over 125,000 steps, visited 24 casinos/hotels/malls.....some awesome, some ew...just ew

we ate at celebrity chefs restaurants....and some rock bottom dives.

Tip no 1:

Pick your hotel as close to the strip as you can. You can find really cheap rooms...but you need to commute. The farther from the strip...the sketchier

We stayed at the Cosmopolitain. I don't remember how we picked this hotel....but it was perfect for us.

We had a terrific view of the Bellagio fountains...and that is one of the best show in Vegas!

 Check in the internet for showtimes.
the fountains are synchronized with music!

 I had never slept in a bed so was firm and mushy at the same time!

 Double sinks! What is not to love?

 I would not have this in my house but it was pretty 
WOW in an hotel bathroom!

Tip no 2: Bring comfortable shoes!

we not only saw a lot of women teetering on high heels...but we also saw LOADED women
trying not to fall off those crazy heels while under the influence....

Yes you can drink everywhere in Vegas...the drugstores are opened 24/7 selling booze...
and people drink on the street.
I am not being a prude but this is not something I normally see.
In my neighborhood what you see is people smoking doobies....

Until next time and more Vegas tidbits....

Sunday, December 9, 2018

I had every intention....

I had every intention on blogging about Vegas...

but on Thursday night....something happened and I needed to share that first....

the new house came with tenants upstairs...that need to go since my stepdaughter will move in there.

So my SO called them to introduce us and give them our contact numbers....

well that did not go as peacefully as one would think!

My SO was met with a shower of accusations and threats...and aggressive behavior.

Okay picture this...If you are a tenant and your landlord wants to sell and there is a For Sale sign in front...

should you not be prepared???

I would!

so that was another cause of tossing and turning in the night...

But I time definitely Vegas! LOL

The Bellagio and their fountains...
early morning. Sunrise!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ages I tell you!

what can I say? I last posted in October!!!

To tell you the truth we have been quite busy here.....

We have bought a duplex and will be moving in 2019. We are now running around and purging like mad to sell the present house....

 This will be my new kitchen.....

 And this is the family room....

I have so much stuff to get rid of that if I could I would 
just open up a booth in a flea market and stick everything in there...
but this is Montreal and we don't really have that.
 I was lucky enough to find a great lady who runs a second hand store and 
let's just say we help each other.
I sell cheap and she buys....
 You know what? I don't like copper, brass and pewter
I have come to hate it and I was really glad
when she left with it!

and yes I am taking all my Pyrex with

Next post? my trip to Vegas!!!

Monday, October 1, 2018


last 2 weeks f August flew by....and so did September.

The temps are cooler, praise the Lord!

All I did this summer was sweat....I swear!

 This is my kitchen wall, the only one without cabinets.
My Dad had knife magnets installed, more than 20 years ago.
For some reason, I always have been skittish about using theThis m....
but after 3 years, I guess i am used to them...

This mug made me crack up...
I wish I pooped glitter!

 One of the last things I sold makes room in the yard and fattened a bit the vacate fund.

 Bob Ross has a game named after him!
Who knew the guy was such an icon???

 On my way back to work from a doctor's appointment
I snapped this beautiful and intriguing fountain.
that sight really made my day!

                                Cleaning the carport, I opened a box and spotted these Pyrex treasures....
                                I am not ashamed to proclaim that I brought them back inside!
                                They appeared at my one and only garage sale in 2016.....
                                 They did not sell.....

So far the water feature is closed, the front steps have been repainted and I removed the weeds from the front of the house....

Next weekend it is Canadian Thanksgiving...and we plan to close both fountains and plant the perennials I purchased. And slowly closing the flower borders for the winter.

Maybe we feast and give thanks with oysters...or a roast...I have no idea yet

Stay safe,warm and happy my faithful readers

See you soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Nothing better than a vacation

who doesn't like a vacation?

A vacation is a great time to travel, catch up on things or just be....

We started our vacation with a wee road trip to a part of Quebec I had never visited! Shawinigan!

I had heard of a flea market in that town and I found a Pyrex Blue Horizons bowl set for a great deal on Facebook and the seller was in Shawinigan!

I found that this was one of the strangest flea market I had visited because a lot of the booths were so stuffed that you could not go in...and in some cases the owners could not get in either...I saw an old lady just sitting against a huge 4 by 12 block of stuff....

does she know her inventory? The flea market was mostly overwhelming because of the stuffiness and the cigarette smell.....

I also had one of the best restaurant experience EVER! Dan kept talking about The Greek....and they might have uniforms....

well we made it to the Greek! A total travel destination!

the restaurant is huge...and what I noticed from outside is how clean it was! White and blue the Greek colors! They offer multiple recharging stations for your electrical vehicle. Like 10!

We ordered pikilia for an app and an all dressed pizza to share. everything was really fresh and good. the pizza crust was one of the best thing I had tasted in a long while...

And they serve you in traditional Greek uniforms...Is that a hoot of what?

and there is sheep living in a paddock that you can pet!

the fur is like a Brillo pad! It seems they have more than one sheep but we just saw one.

I really like this quirky place and it so happens that we need to go back to this neck of the wood...because we need to go and find parts to rebuild the original door handles from our apartment....oh no...I might have to eat that delicious pizza again???? NOOOOOO! lol

 sorry for the delay it took 2 weeks to download the sheep pics.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

lemons and lemonade

Since I last posted a lot of things happened.....

I got my back stairs and railing grinder and repainted. I looks so clean!

I invited a company specializing in crawl spaces to fix mine! no more humidity, mold and saggy floors....

and we had the kitchen and main bathroom repainted and agin it looks so clean. In retrospect Dad had neglected interior paint and was a fan of the color dingy!

The kitchen is not finished yet and I can't wait to share with you all. There will be a lot of Pyrex and vintage goodies!

We got a graffiti on the stone in front of the house about a year ago...and I
thought the city was supposed to remove it....

this week someone glued eyes on it WHAT??? we laughed so hard! To think someone saw the graffiti and said oh it needs goggly eyes!

so we are pretty much done for the rents for the time being...Dan is always tired because of the meds and I can't do everything and work full time so things are taking a lot of time to get done....

Last Thursday my employer announced  a 700 job cut in Canada (except Nova Scotia)...Since then it has been pandemonium in the office! every body is speculating and freaking out generally from 7 am to about 11 am.

it makes it very difficult to concentrate and work. I am not worried because I have been through this before twice with the big telecom company and I think it is a waste of energy to be flopping like a fish out of the aquarium. The first stage is voluntary departure with incentives....

I am not even considering this....I am too young and like I told my boss I am here for the long haul and if they fire me they will have to pry the laptop from my dead cold hands....and that I am willing to learn anything.

by the boss is a new boss , she is charming and lives in Nova Scotia. Lucky girl!
having a leader in another province is quite weird....but like everything I will get used to it!

well that was a lot of information all squeezed in that post!

One last of my neighbors installed a help yourself
herb garden! How sweet is that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rome Food

This post will be about extraordinary food, dishes you need to eat in Rome!

since we walked to much a lot of meals came from random restaurants on little side streets.

Side street equals less expensive....and probably the farther you go from Rome Historic Neighborhood the less expensive it will be.

Nevertheless I had the best Italian food I've had in years. What is up with that wonderful food?

I have no idea! But everything is tastier, fresher and the way things are supposed to taste like!

Bottled water? Light as air, eggs? orange yolks, meat? so tasty!

Is it the air? I don't know but everything tasted better.

and the cheese OMG!

 If you go to Rome and you want to eat a real typical but unknown dish...
this is the one for you! Carciofi alla Judea or Artichokes Jewish style.

the artichokes are flattened  and deep fried.
Even if I have been to Rome before I had never tasted that and it was definitely on my bucket list!
This did not disappoint!
The petals are just like chips and the inside is soft and comforting!

 Caprese salad. You haven't had a good Capprese salad until you've visited Italy.
What is up with the cheese and those tomatoes??? Don't forget to add balsamic vinegar...
so good!

I don't know if this is a typical Rome dish, but my Dad made a lot of these.
So of course I had to try it...
Very good, very fresh.

In that could tell that they were accepting of tourists but not fans of tourists.
But the food was so good that I had to go back and I actually ordered everything in Italian!
I could tell that the owner was very proud of this!

from a tourist trap sort of....
 This meal was amazing as well....even if it came 
Fritura Mista or mixed fried
Calamari and shrimps and fried spaghetti.
I wish I could get a whole plate of those shrimps!
They were sooooo good!
Dan my amazing co pilot loved the salmon!

Although those meals were more need to factor in
the fact that the food tasted amazing!

More adventures on another day!

Friday, June 8, 2018

R.I.P. Tony

This morning at 6:50 am...While at my desk in my home office, reading my work emails

I got the news that Anthony Bourdain passed. That news shook me to the core.

I had never experienced that live of pain for someone I've never met.

I sat there at my desk unable to work anymore, just staring at my keyboard.

Then I got a text: Bourdain is dead! from my friend M.

I don't remember how exactly I heard of Anthony Bourdain....Maybe it was when we got a channel unlock and we got the travel channel....or was it from a book review?

all I know is that he took my culinary knowledge to the next level! I know most of the strange and exotic ingredients because of him and my curiosity.

I watched all the No Reservations episodes, then I found A Cook's Tour, The Layover, Parts Unknown and I read all his books....some multiple times.

I loved his curiosity...He wanted to visit countries we never heard of or did not want to visit....He ate weird stuff, he visited families in their homes and was always appreciative and gracious about it.

He really appreciated the time and effort that was put in a meal.

I loved that he was a load mouth opinionated man that did not care for mediocrity.

His tweets were legendary.

I am so sad for his family, his little girl, his girlfriend...

no little girl should loose her Dad.....

Bye for now

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Eating in Rome on a budget

Technically we were not on a budget but as we did the math.....somethings became superfluous.

Food can be really expensive in Rome so you have to choose wisely.

I was really excited to check out McDonald's in Rome because of the special menu items and they did not disappoint!

 Omelet with cheese and ham. Very good like I would make
at home.
If you watch Masterchef, Joe Bastianich did a collab with McDonald's Italy
for  a line of limited time burgers.

 Both were very fresh and tasty, not like fastfood.
Unfortunately I could not find the picture of my favorite find at McDonald's....
Croquette di spinacchi con Parmeggiano Reggiano. 
it is a small round patty of spinach and parmesan cheese, crispy fried.

I swear if they sold these at my grocery store in Montreal, I would buy some
all the time! perfect as an appetizer!

 Certain restaurants offer service at the table.....
You can order wine and beer.
we also noticed that the taste of all the items was better. all ingredients
are sourced in Italy and that makes a me

The coffees are top rate and more than affordable!
They also serve a fresh squeezed blood orange juice! So delicious!

An espresso is 1 Euro, which is $1.50 CAD or $1.17 USD
Cappuccinos were 1,60 Euros or $1.87 USD or $2.42 CAD.
So a usual McDonald's breakfast in Rome was 12 Euros, or $18.00 CAD or $14.00 USD.

I know it sounds expensive for 2 cappuccinos, 1 scrambled egg with bacon and english muffin, 1 ham and cheese omelet with english muffin and 1 water bottle...but it was the best deal we could find.
One morning we went across the street from our hotel and for 14 Euros we got 2 cappuccinos (5 Euros each) and we split an order of toast with ham and cheese (4 Euros).
Cappuccinos varied between 1,60 Euros (MsDonald's to 7 Euros.....or $8.17 USD or $10.50 CAD)

One of the cool places I found to eat on a budget is
you can get a pasta dish for 4 Euros everyday, fresh pasta! There was always a HUGE line up
so we did't get to try it.

You can also get panini for around 3,50 Euros , $4.08 USD or $5.29 CAD which is also
a great deal because I've seen $10 dollar sandwhiches in downtown Montreal.

so yes it is possible to eat on a budget in Rome!