Saturday, April 8, 2017

Living: Montreal 2015

I was cleaning my camera cards for  my next trip to Montreal, Canada when I came  across some  video footage I had forgotten  about.  It was from July 2015 during the Juste Pour Rire festival.  I  especially love the parades. La Parade Endiablee (The Fantastic Parade) featured a massive amount of  twins in costumes.  That parade is one of the best I have seen in  Montreal.  The  video and audio of the music footage is straight out  of the camera.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Living: Botox, what happpened after I stopped getting the injections

I  decided to start botox injections several years  ago  to reduce  the  lines on my face from  the  expressions  I was making, because  I  scowled  alot even without knowing I was doing it.  After the injections, my forehead was smooth  and  beautiful!  I  was delighted!  Problem  solved; no  more scowl  expression!  Every  six  months,  I returned to the dermatologist's office for another 6 month  dose. After a few years  I  decided to see what  would  happen if  I took a break for  a month.  My  face immediately went into the scowl  expression, but I noticed  something else.  Please  watch  the video  for more information.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Living: Why I quit using the no poo method

After 4 years of using the no poo method of washing my hair (baking soda and apple cidar vinegar), I am finally calling it quits. My hair was so dry and brittle. I just am not a conditioner kinda gal. I tried using oils, but it seemed to make the other reason I am quitting the no poo method worse. OIL BUILDUP. It seemed that all the clarifying methods I tried only worked temporarily and over time stopped working all together. The copious amounts of oil created a gooey film on my scalp that I could not seem to clean. My comb and brush were always full with lint and this gooey oil combination and I just could not stand it anymore. Click here to see the playlist of my no poo method journey if you are interested in knowing how the process works.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Creating: 19/365 Right in the Nose A Photo a day.


I decided to go to the art museum today to search for a picture. Just when I was about to leave. The security personnel approached me and asked," You know about the two pieces outside?" I didn't. But I knew where they meant they would be. I went outside and saw an exercise class. The artwork was interactive. I was asked to join the class. but I declined. I asked to take photos and caught this, "Right in the Nose."

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Living: Montreal Freezing Rain

Today I ventured out around 10 am to go to the Redpath Museum.  I knew the weather was going to change from cold to cold and raining, I just didn't know when it was going to happen.  When I stepped out of the Redpath Museum,  I noticed it was nice just cold..  I decided to go ahead and make my way to the Centre-Eaton Mall to see the Wax Figures in the Grevin Museum.  I really wanted to see Andy Warhol and  Zombie boy.  When I  made my way out the doors of Centre Eaton after visiting the museum it was drizzling.  I went to step and immediately noticed it was super slippery.  There was no way I was going to walk the streets and sidewalks easily, so I decided to duck into the metro.  After I ran my errand of returning a mason jar  to  La  Panthere Verte (that is how  they pack take out food and you return the glass mason jar for a return on your $1 deposit.)  I walked a very short and slippery slope up to Sherbrooke Street and decided to take the bus.  The bus stop was close to the corner and a stop was right across from the hotel so it was perfect.   I stayed in the rest of the day.  I ate vegan ice cream, and drank vegan hot chocolate and watch TV in French.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Creating: 365 Photo a day for a year journey

I had tried this before, the 365 - a photo a day for a year challenge and did not make it through.  I am here to try again.  My photos are posted in a flickr group and I will be blogging some of them here.  Here is the first one.

I was walking toward the back of the Mont Royal metro station in Montreal, Canada, when I noticed all these beautiful chunky pigeons roosting on the edge of the building.  I realized those edges  were vents.  Smart warm pigeons.  Something from inside shook and spooked some of the pigeons.  As the pigeons flew back, I grabbed this shot.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Living: Montreal Night

For the 375 Celebration, the 375th year for the city of Montreal, several monumental sized lighting shows were made.  One was the lighting of the Biosphere on Jean Drapeau Parc with different colors.  The Biosphere was created for the Expo 67 in Montreal by Buckminister Fuller and was the American Pavillion.  I haven't been inside but I love looking at it when I come here.  I went to the Parc  just to capture this image.  I love walking around Montreal because there is always something of interest to see and  to learn about.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Living: Montreal Winter 2016

Vieux Montreal
I haven't posted for awhile.  I think that is because I keep adding blogging as a New Year's resolution and most of us know how successful some of those things can be.  This time I will post  to document what I am doing.  I am back in Montreal.  My Winter Self-Time, Fun in the City time.  Eating falafel at La Panthere Verte and walking around until my legs ache and I can barely more while taking photos of this amazing city.  I love the silence of Montreal.  Is is just me?  It is  so quiet here and there are a lot of people around.  My favorite part is that many times, I will find myself alone walking down a street or in the metro and I truly feel like the city is mine.   The  museums are educational and accessible in English and French.

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.


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