Friday, November 27, 2015

Living: Snow in Montreal

 (Draft)All  I  wanted  was a little  snow  for my trip  to Montreal to make being there even more magical than it  normally  is.  I  watched the predicted weather forecast for a month on  It would  predict: snow  then  no snow, snow, then no snow.  And  as  the forecast  came  out for the week I would be here again no snow.  So  your can imagine  how  surprised  I was  to look at the weather  a few days  after I arrived  and  saw that snow  was predicted for  that  night.  Well  needless to  say  I  woke  up  several  times in the middle of the night, like a child  wanting to catch a glance of Santa  on Christmas eve. I threw off  the bedsheets and ran to the window, threw back the curtain and just started outside looking for white flakes in the sky.  I was hoping to see the first snow fall.   At midnight, no  snow. Then I woke up,  again still no snow. At 5:33 am, I went to the window and  saw snow on the ground and the sidewalks.  It didn't seem  like it was snowing so  I started making breakfast, toast and tea.  I put the bread in the toaster and I turned on the tea kettle for water.  At  6:00 am , I walked to the window again, it was really snowing.  I opened the door on my  6th floor balcony and was laughing.  It's  snowing!  The white flakes dances in the air and I tried to catch them. So I ran inside and then ran  around the hotel room trying to figure out what to wear and get dressed fast to go out and be in  the snow.  The accuweather only stated a few flurries for the  next  hour.  I  wanted  to  take advantage of  this  opportunity it  might  not  last.
     I got  all  my clothes on and put a hand warmer in my pocket and  ventured outside into what would be an unknown to me. This was my first time seeing snow as an adult. Snow was falling from the sky and some flakes landed on my eye glass lenses.  I took my grey water resistant bookbag off and grabbed my umbrella.  Ok,  now  I  will  stay drier and  be  able  to see clearer.  I decided to walk up Avenue du Parc and make my way to Mont Royal. It was still dark outside.  The snow was like a rain shower. It was coming down faster and it was all  around me dancing in the air.  I put my tongue out to try to catch a few flakes.  I felt happy and young. 
    As I started the uphill climb to the base of Mont Royal off of Avenue du Parc, I questioned myself.  Was this really a good  idea? It is cold.  I am getting cold and frozen stuff is falling from the sky and I don't have a valid  metro pass so I cannot  jump on the bus for a warm safe ride back.  I kept walking.  I pulled my fleece scarf with the fringed edges over my face and mouth. All anyone could see of my face would be my eyes and glasses.  Just then, my lenses fogged up.  Okay  I'm getting to see there is an art to this snow thing and I am on the learning curve.  I finally reached the sculpture at the base of Mont Royal.  I took several pictures of it this summer, now  I will have fall pictures.  I liked  that I chose this location because it was early and people were not yet visiting this area and there were no footprints in the snow.  I took out my camera and my cellphone and snapped a few pictures.  I was really cold and hungry to, the  bread was still sitting in the toaster.
     I  went  back to the hotel  to  warm up and eat breakfast.  After an hour,  I  looked out the window and realized it was still snowing.  That was it.  I decided I was going to spend the whole day outside.  I walked around Montreal aimlessly, turning down streets  I had  not  ventured onto before.  It was a cold 31 F and  I  was loving the  opportunity  to  have  this experience. 
Old Port, Montreal in the Afternoon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Living: Official arrival in Montreal November 2015

     So  I  got  off the plane with a pounding sinus headache and I  felt  like  I was going to faint.  I had my backpack on, my small purse, a big jacket from the company Columbia  with a faux fur  trim on the hood, and  my rolling carry  on luggage.  I  approach the ascending escalator and I freeze.  "Really!",  I thought.  This  is  the  second  time today  I  don't  know  what  to do with an escalator.  I  kept  looking at it moving and it seemed so fast, I  put my rolling carry on the moving step  and away it went  so  I step on after it.  I  chalk up the escalator weirdness to slow brain function due to sinus headache  and  I'll  leave  it  at  that.  Once  I approached the top of the escalator  I was cool.  Then  I realized  that  the  walk to  customs  was long.  The  head  for  pounding the nausea was coming and  I  just  knew I  had to press on.  Get to customs was my goal.  I saw an airport worker  and  asked desperately, "Is there any water here?"  "No," was the reply, "You'll  have to  wait  to you get through customs."  "Really!  Really!"  I shouted in my head.  "Thank you," I replied and  moved on feeling weak and like  my head was going to  explode.  I  know  it  was all  going to be ok, if  I just moved on and  acted  like  a trooper. 
   RESTROOMS.  Yeah,  a mini oasis.  I  entered.  It was a small  restroom with three stalls. Yes, the  first stall  was  empty.  I took  what seemed  like forever in there. Everything was like in slow motion and when I reappeared on the other side of the door a  line had formed. Faces were staring at me as I opened the door.  Back to the mission, get through the customs line.
     I saw a  group of over 80  people in front of me rushing to customs.  I guess their  plane  just arrived.  I step on a moving sidewalk.  I  just  stood  there, letting the sidewalk do all the work.  I saw a small child giving his mother a hard time by not following her.  I said aloud, just loud enough for him to hear," I am going to turn in the dinosaur on your backpack and I am going to eat you."  The child  ran as fast as he could to his mother.  Headache induced shock value  tactics, maybe.
     Customs.  Finally in sight and I was fading fast. I just need to taste  water and I will be fine.  As  I get to the bottom to actually enter  the queue, a lady guides my section to the shortcut  line. Yes, I was loving me some shortcut right about now since I totally needed it.  The line was the manual line.  You didn't  have to use the machine or fill  out the questionnaire.  Bonus.  It was my turn to go to the counter and I was feeling pretty green and apparently  I was looking it also.  The  customs agent  asked if  I needed emergency help.  I said, "No,  I'll  be find once  I get  some water."  She  directed me to a water fountain in immigration.  I walked to the office that was empty located right behind the customs desk  and  drink from the water fountain. First a sip and  then  I  drank to hold as much as I could in my mouth.   I walked out the sliding glass doors with the water still  in my mouth. I still needed to go claim my luggage.
     What another escalator! I stood at the top and told  myself you really need to figure this out.  I awkwardly placed my carry on luggage on the step  and  it  started  moving quickly  away and again  I  stepped on to chase after it.  "This is  ridiculous!." I thought. "How could I forget how to use an escalator?"  That being the least of my problems and I remembered that my head was pounding.  At the bottom, I saw the information monitor .  The carousel numbers for the arriving flights are there.  I walked  to carousel  number 7.  People were gathered around the snakelike conveyor belt.  Within a few minutes I saw my luggage. Happy because this meant I was closer to the outside where I could get a bottle of water.  Mission: focus and get water.
     I  walked through customs and something familiar, the STM machine.  I did not  however recognize the rest of the airport.  I purchased my bus ticket and  then went over to the bus counter and asked how to get to the bus. She said to the right. She  pointed to a corridor  and  I looked  in the direction of  her finger.  Then  I asked about water.  She  said  there was a water fountain down there as well.  Then  I saw the words " Mrs. Fields" in bright red neon lights.  "Is  that a mini  market?", I  thought.  I  walked inside.  I  saw the  refrigerator wall with Gatorade, juice, WATER!!  glorious water.  I  grabbed an Evian and deliriously walked to the counter knocking over my luggage.  I  asked the clerk.  Do you have this unrefrigerated?  I  had walked past the  room  temperature ones. He went back  for  me  and  grabbed one from a hundred lined by in neat rows rom the  first shelf  I had passed on the way to the refrigerated section.   I  paid and opened the bottle, spilling  some water on my luggage and started drinking.  I felt  a little better just  knowing  I had access to water that  I could  drink.  I  started heading for the bus. I put the cap on the bottle and dragged myself and my things to the bus that was waiting there on the curb.
   On the bus, my  head  was pounding.  I  was trying to hold off the  nausea  so, I kept drinking water.  I was taking a moment, focusing on my breath and  blowing my nose a lot.  Okay  I  can do  this  I  thought.  "Next stop  six," the  bus  driver  said and  stopped  only  a few seconds  later to pick up a man.  "Next stop seven," the  bus driver announced.  I  blurted out, "What  that was six?"  "I just missed my  stop, can you drop me off here." The  bus driver replied with a firm," No."  Now  I  calculating  how much  further I  would  have  to  walk in the  cold  with this headache, dragging my luggage.  Really  doesn't  matter, I  am  just  going to have to do it.  As the bus driver steered the bus to the curb to stop, I gathered my bookbag, my purse, and  my two  pieces of luggage.  I stepped off the bus and onto the sidewalk.  It was dark and cold and  I  knew  I  just  had  to keep moving.
     Strapping the grey 17.5 pond carry on bag on top of  the lighter black checked luggage with a new green and blue luggage strap was a difficult  task  for  me.  Why  was  I  not  getting this?  Oh  I am tired, have a headache, and  now I  am  cold.  I  managed to get the two  pieces of  lugguage  to  merge into one unit  so  I  would  only  have  to grab onto  one  handle  to  navigate  the  streets.  Immediately  I looked a few feet ahead on my  on the sidewalk and I started to move forward.  I  saw several cracks in the  cement pavement, it  looked like the  end  of  the sidewalk  would  just  fall  in  the  street it  was so  badly  cracked.  No  use thinking about it, just  navigate  around  it.
     I had  to  walk an  extra  3to  4 blocks to  make  up the distance of the two bus  stops.  As  I  got  closer  to  figuring out where I was  I  decided  to turn  up  Phillips.  Ahead of  my  I  saw empty wooden benches in a courtyard of a church.  I  decided  to  stop and  tie  my boots  and  close  my  eyes  and  take a deep breath.   When  I  opened  my  eyes,  I  noticed  it  right  away.  My  sinus  headache  was instantly gone.  Like  it  just  dissipated out of  my  forehead.  So  happy,  I  turned to  walk up  Phillips Street  and  saw  the Christmas lights and  the  people gathering  to  go  out for the night  and  the area  was  all  a glow.  I  officially  arrived in  Montreal at  that  moment.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Living: From yesterday Montreal

I was  sitting a cafĂ© indoors  at the bar seats  that  are parallel to the window overlooking the street.  I sat down leaving one seat between me and the gentleman already there.  I got  my food  and began to eat when I noticed  that he was writing on white notebook paper with blue lines  that looked as if they were pulled from a book.  He laughs.  "He is a writer",  I thought.  I thought." I am writer too."  I  looked over to him and asked, "Are you a writer?" He said  something in French and  then said in  English, "It is just a hobby of mine."  I  went  back to eating my food.  When he  got  up to leave he said  to me, " Have a nice day."  I  turned and replied, "Bonne Journee."  A  voice in my  head  said try to write what you think.  I  forgot to pack my journal  so  I started on a napkin but  I think all the good thoughts happened before  I  started writing it down  because  I was noticing some cool  things out the window before I started writing.  Here is what I captured.

You must love your cat if you are willing to walk for blocks in the cold with a large bag of kitty litter on your shoulder.  What kind of gloves are those? People behind me speaking French. Should I listen?  I am getting hot.  This bookbag is heavy.  I  have to blow my nose again.  What time is it? I really need to sit up straight.  My ear itches.  My back hurts when I sit wrong. I like the jacket in the Boutique window. Really again! (blows nose) 1:28pm  I like this weather, especially since I have this jacket.  Sit up straight.  Really  (blows nose)  Montreal men are good looking.  This ragout tastes good.  She is wearing a jacket like the one in the window.  Chinese girl. Green hair.  Litter on the sidewalk. Rolling stones playing. Ahh my back.  That lady is  only wearing thin tights on her legs.  This guy looks interesting.  I wonder if the cold stops people from shopping.  her legs must be  cold.  Dan Foggerty playing.  The reflections of the lights inside look cool when you look outside (seems like a philosophy of life) Noticing chills on my head.  this is a lot of food.  If I stay her long enough, it'll help me later.  The hot chocolate here, isn't that hot. It just tastes good.  I feel a hot chocolate mustache  (wipes mouth) Ahh  I feel full.  My hands hurt from the luggage yesterday.  Oh I wonder if she lives there. Couple looking in the window and go inside the boutique.  What time is it? 1:42pm.  I am going to ask for a to go bag.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Living: Montreal arrival

Draft__When I arrived on the plane, and I was looking out the window expecting to see all the fall leaves golden and orange.  I was too late.  The trees are sleeping now and all  I  saw were the few evergreens among miles of bare brown branches.  It  was okay.  I knew that Montreal would still be magical to me.  I do Angel card and Energy card readings on myself, yeah  I  believe in that sort of  stuff and  that sorta stuff  believes in me because it honestly guides me to the truth.  Before I left Miami, I did several readings and the card that stuck in my mind is  that I would have several delays.  My first  thought was please not the trip.  I  will  move around  energy to change  that!
   I took the 747 bus into the city from the airport.  I got on the bus  just fine, actually it was just sitting there waiting for me to get on.  The  bus driver said next stop 6 and then drove what seemed like two feet to pick up a guy and that was stop six.  He didn't say  "Stop six" when he stopped the bus. I rudely blurted, "That was stop 6! I just missed  my stop . Can you let me out  here."  Yes the answer was ,"No." I  got  at  stop 7. I missed my stop by  three or four blocks!  I had a sinus headache, it was cold outside. I had to drag all my stuff.  No use complaining.  I had to get to the  hotel, so I just started walking to the west until  I saw something vaguely familiar.
     It  was  45 degrees fahrenheit but  I was sweating!  sweating! what  does the Omniheat technology in  the jacket work that well!  I  am glad I didn't  get that other double lined jacket.  It is much warmer here than I anticipated.  Actually that is a weird thing for  me to say  because my experience of cold  is  opening up my freezer door  and standing there thinking, "That's cold." 
    I turned the corner at Phillips, not exactly sure where I am and the Baie, a familiar clothing store.  I saw the Christmas lights and groups of people  and it was like "Ahh"  angels singing to me, magic.  I  struggled to  get the wheels of my luggage over the cracks in the side walk.  Navigating would take more of an effort from this point on and I would also  have  to push the luggage  uphill.  I was close to the hotel though, but  not  that close.  When  I finally made it  to  the  hotel, I was hot, sweaty, and just wanting to sit for a moment.
    I  walked up to the reservation counter  and said,"J'ai une reservation pour Borrero."  I walk across the room to the garbage can and throw a tissue out and walk back to the corner trying to get my jacket off. "It's hot in here, wow, it is hot in here!"  "Can you spell that." the concierge asked. "B-O-R-R-E-R-O," I spelled and it was obvious I had an American accent.  "We don't have a reservation for you under that name." the concierge replied. "I immediately said," Don't tell me that. Just tell me you have the room I want." I knew I had printed out the receipt from Expedia. Oh and Expedia you messed up big time.  The concierge found the reservation under my first and middle name.  I wasn't freaked about the situation.  I just know things  will turn out well, just  not the way I always  expect.  I have gotten used to this as a theme in my life lately. "May  I have 4 extra rolls or  toilet paper and two large towels sent up  to my room." I asked.  The concierge looked at me as if to  say, " What do you need all that for?" but replied, "Yes."  I got the key  and went up  to the room.
     When I opened the door to the sixth floor room, immediately  I was like what, "It's hot in here."  I  walked over the window and tried to open it, it was stuck then I went to the door  for the
balcony and opened it and propped it to stay open with an end table.  Right then it when I heard a knock on the door.  The  concierge delivered the toilet paper and towels.  "Thank you."  I  said  and invited him in.  He looked shocked because in the two minutes it took him to come upstairs I  had already flung my stuff all over the place. It was the same look my Dad used to give me when I would come from college to visit and I  would  walk in and unpack immediately  by opening my suitcase and throwing things out of it as if to say  I  am marking my territory. "How does this heating system work? Is it the air forced thing at the bottom?" I asked pointing to the vented strip along the wall. "Can I control the temperature?"  The concierge  walked over to the thermostat and showed me where the controls were.  I  told  him  to  turn  it all the  way  down. "I  came from Florida to experience the cold."  I  thanked him  again and  he  left.
     I took  out  some more things form my suitcase.  I couldn't help myself and I turned the computer on.  I needed to see what time La Panther Verte,  my favorite restaurant, closed. Nine o'clock.  If I  leave  here I  can go to the grocery stores and the Jean Coutu, the pharmacy store and get back in plenty of time to walk to La Panthere Verte.  I walk two block still sweating.  I go to Couffin Bio first, they close at 7pm and when I looked in the girl was mopping the floors preparing for the closing. I left with two bags.  I  ran across the street to Jean Coutu for candles and a lighter.  Something I always  do  now  when  I come to Montreal  to let the angels know  I am here.  When  I asked for a lighter, because they are behind the counter, the clerk pick one up  and asked "It's $1.39 is it ok?"  I  said sure, not caring I was just  thinking I need something to light the candles with.  I  paid and throw the items in my already filled bags.  It was only later when I lit the candle  that I noticed the lighter said "love" on it.  Okay time to go  to Provigo, water and baking soda, check.
   I get back to the Hotel room.  Un pack everything quickly.  take off my huge winter coat. Take off my glove. Wait, where is my other glove?!  What!  come  on  I  have just been here for a few hours!  I  frantic  look  in m jacket's pockets, the bags, my bookbag.  I look  on  the  floor.  I  grab my  jacket and  I  go  into  the  hall.  no.  I  go  in the  elevator, no glove.  I go onto the street and head back  to the stores.  I hope  I  have  enough  time to go  to La Panthere Verte.  I  could  use  some food.
   I go to Couffin Bio, good  they are still opened, "I stick my head in the door, "Did I leave my glove. It would have been on the counter."  "No", was the response. I go to  Provigo, surely  the  clerk  remembers  me  my  ten dollar  bill wouldn't get accepted by the machine.  I  saw her.  I could tell she recognized me.  I asked, "Do you see a glove?" Holding up  the  hot pink glove I  had left.  She said  no.  I went to the main counter.  I  didn't either bother to try my French. "Did anyone turn in a glove?" No, she shook her head.  In a hurry, oh wait, this is my second delay.  I  started walking back  to the hotel looking on the street. I cannot believe I lost my glove, I just got  here.  No  change  your thoughts I  thought immediately to myself.  I am sure I am going to find my glove it is not lost.  Just then I looked up and on the side of the the sidewalk on personal property was a small guide rail with a hot pink glove draped over it.

I  smiled big and took the glove and said aloud, "Thank you whomever you are. Thank you."  I kissed my gloved and put it back on.  Thinking about street germs for a brief moment. Not caring.  And walked straight to La Panthere Verte and ordered Hot Chocolate and Falafel, my favorite. 


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Living: Falling in Love with Montreal

I  went  to  new  heights  during  my  August  trip to  Montreal.  In  July, my  first time back to Montreal in five years,  I saw these  people hanging from wires and walking on wooden planks.  I  thought totmyself at the time, "I need to be brave enough to do that." So in August when I returned suddenly to Montreal,  I  decided  to  try  the  Voiles en Voiles experience  of  walking  through the planks of the Pirate Ship  theme attraction.  I was 13 feet ( not  35  feet  like  the  higher level) above the air attached to a zipline. The  expereience had  its  ups and  downs and  I  saw  many  adults and kids  experience  the struggle  that one  has with  heights  and  trusting the zipline and oneself.  It was definitely a memorable experience. The  summer in  Montreal  was wooing me with the fun, attractions, and beautiful  weather.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

living: Montreal, Canada

When I  found  myself, the  second  time  this summer in Montreal, I  decided  that  I  wanted to  see the Cross atop of Mont Royal.  I  kept  seeing it  from a distance  when  I  was  walking  down in the city.  I worked  my  way  back  to  the Chateau on Mont Royal, after sweating and climbing through trails  I newly  explored, I finally  reached it towards the top, the Chateau  that is.  I rested a bit  and  asked  the information desk attendant  for  directions to the Cross.  Ten  minutes up the main path.  I  was  so  close  before.  I  was super  tired  and exhausted, but  that  didn't  matter.  I  came  to see the Cross.  I  walked  on the path  for  8  minutes when I realized,  the  Cross was  close.  I  felt it  and  as I  rounded the corner  there it  was.  There  were about  fifteen  tourists  at the foot  of the Cross; talking and taking a break  from  hiking  up  Mont Royal.  I  joined  them by sitting at the foot of the Cross.    After a few people left,  I took  some photos  and decided that  I was going to  figure out the fastest  way  back down Mont Royal  that  didn't  involve  too  much  walking.  I  did  find it.  The  road  and  the  second overlook of the city.  I really  enjoyed  exploring  this  and  I fell  more in love with Montreal  and  I  want  to  know  more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

living: falling in love with Montreal, Canada

In August, I visited Montreal twice!! It seems to be calling to me, the city. When I was there, I didn't want to leave. So diiferent from where I live now and so much more a city with nature than where I live now. The change in temperature the vibracy of the city and the people had me captivated. The second time I strolled around the streets wandering from place to place. Among the places I came across was Windsor Gare. A train station. Only a few people were there when I walked in. A beautiful and very clean place. I was walking into a historical site of Montreal.  After taking these  pictures and  wandering  around  the  city.  I saw a building in the distance.  I  went  closer  and  saw  that  Gare  Windsor  is  also a Metro.  I  entered  and took a ride.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Living: My No poo method of washing hair while traveling

I recently went to Montreal and I wanted to do some videos while I was there. Here is one on using baking soda to wash your  hair while traveling.

Friday, July 10, 2015

living: No Poo Method Update 3 years

It  was a little  over three years  ago  that i started the No Poo Method  of washing my  hair and I  am  I  still  growing  strong.  i  highly  recommend  this  for  people  who  like to  live a low maintenance life.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Living: Meditating

What  I  learned  yesterday.
Meditating  is  definitely  a space  that  you  create  to  hear  the answers.  I was wondering  how  I was  going to  say  something  and  the  words  started  to  flow,  I  grabbed  a pencil  and  started  writing  them  down.  Creating  a time  to  truly  connect  will  the  stillness  has benefited  me  in  all  sorts of  ways.  Lately  my  mantra  is  that  I  am  not  too busy  for  myself.
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