Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Had a wonderful, wonderful weekend in the City of Angels with my honey-man and his sweet angel boy-O... just stinks that we had to head back to Sin City before Halloween night, but we both had work today and I have class tonight- yes, class on Halloween night - !?! If you're wondering how I can complain, as if everything should stop just because of Halloween night, well YEAH! I've been spoiled you see. Nevada-state employees are given time off each year for "Nevada Day," which usually falls on Halloween, coincidentally. Right. This year, our Nevada Day was granted last Friday, the 28th - trust me, I'm not the only one bitchin' about this.

To make matters worse, I had to interview two applicants today for a vacancy in my office, so I couldn't do the usual Halloween make-up display either - Well, I could have, but I didn't want potential employees to feel immediately apprehensive about working for me before they're ever even offered the job. I thought I'd paint-up after my interviews were final, but my Popa-sahn is in town and we have dinner plans with him tonight after class at Mon Ami Gabi (yummmm). Yes, technically, I am a grown adult, BUHT I'm pouting nonetheless - dammit, darned adult responsibilities! it's HALLOWEEN!?! At what other time of the year do I ever have a perfectly legitimate excuse to paint my face and act like a goon all day long?
Tell me.

Click on the punkies image for a larger view ~

How About a Tasty Lil' Turd?

Click on images for a larger view (if you dare):

Yup, I made it all by myself = Kitty Litter Cake.
Thanks MRTL ~ Unfortunately, it looked so real (and I didn't even use a real litter box) and soooo unappetizing, we couldn't make ourselves eat it. Yeah, although it was really quite yummy, psychologically, we just couldn't handle it. My friend Daly tried making one of her own, and served her cake at a party over the past weekend...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kiss my Flames!

Thanks to the most awesome CircusKelli, check out mah new wheels!
I'm a bad ass now, baby ~ hoo-wah! (<--think Al Pacino there)

(imagine fits of giggling when I first opened the attachment she had sent me)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

?#%*!?@! Blogger

I have tried allllll throughout the day to post/share a most kick ass "item" given to me by the lovely CircusKelli ~ I cannot yet reveal the nature of the item, other than to say, it's "hot" = flamin' hot! Dammit, Blogger! whass wrong wit'chew, Bitch?

Okay, CORRECTION: My honey-man has been working on and had had my blog on some FTP server, which wasn't ready for me to try was just so easy to blame it all on Blogger.

Blogger-my dear - I apologize for my earlier tantrum, even if you're a bitch (really, how can I complain? Blogger is free!!?!)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday!

AGAIN, according to Kristine ~

#1 A Tacky Vacation Photo: Alrighty~ at the time this photo was taken -maybe 2003- I was already living in the great, big City of Sin, but it was a visit/vacation for my mum's family at the time. This is an automated photo taken at the very beginning of the "Big Shot" ride at the top of the Stratosphere. I cannot count how many times I have ridden this ride! I absolutely love it. The Maliboomer (sp?) at Disneyland's California Park does NOT compare. Big Shot totally rocks. See the two freaked out fellas in the center? These clowns are my two most shameless, most extroverted, very loudest cousins, Kyle (left) and Emmett (right). I have placed their faces online without any worry whatsoever that either of them would be the least bit perturbed because, well, they're utterly shameless and the both of them love attention. The smiley face guy was a friend of Emmett's and I don't know him well enough to plaster his "OMG" face online for all to see.

#2 Something My Honey-man's Angel Boy-O made for me: This lil' drawing has been on my fridge door for nearly a year now. I have a few other drawings from the angel boy-O, but this one is my favorite because I'm the green figure holding the yellow one's hand - and the yellow one is supposed to be him. Now ain't that sweet?

#3 My Hairbrushes: My honey-man very recently made a comment that I use quite a big hairbrush. Have you seen my hair? Unfortunately, I probably don't use this brush or the various combs/piks as much as I should.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

SPD - Mah "new to me" Matrix

Meet my new car - "Stay Puft II"
Now, it's not brand, brand new, yet it's new for me! woo-hoo!

I refuse to buy a brand new car - been there, done that = bad deal. Why buy something that INSTANTLY depreciates by a couple $ grand once you've simply driven it off the lot?!? Tell me how it makes sense to owe more on something than it's worth the very same day it becomes yours? Unless you have a righteous cash flow, so be it, but not me!

Anyhwhoo, mah "new" Matrix is a 2003, blue book value $14,300. I bought it for $12K. I'm good, I tell ya. Good. It's not a fancy pants model - no moonroof or alloy wheels. No foglights. It has keyless entry, automatic w/ cruise control (which should save me an average of $160/year in speeding tickets), power locks and windows (although I favor manual windows) and the gas mileage is a decent 36 mpg on the highway - not great, but not bad. What do I love most about the Matrix? THE HATCHBACK! I love hatchbacks. LOVE 'EM.

Last weekend the Matrix and I introduced my honey-man to the wonderful world of "car camping."
"So, you wanna go car camping tonight?" I asked.
The look he gave me was priceless: one of those "okay, I love you, but you're officially nuts" kinds of looks. So, what's car camping? Well, duh - camping in the car - simple as that! After first enjoying a drive around Lake Mead and a lil' tour of Boulder City, we took the Matrix to Saddle Cove back at the lake and parked in a remote spot a mere 20 feet from the water lapping on the lake shore. The back end of the car was facing east, with the hatch open so we could look out over the water and watch the sunrise in the AM. The moon was full that night and we walked around the water's edge without flashlights. It was so quiet and peaceful - so relaxing. The night temperature was perfect - cool, yet not cold. We folded the back seats down, laid out a poofy comforter covered by a fitted sheet (was a perfect fit) and zipped two matching sleeping bags together and laid down to sleep - yeah, heh, heh - no really! We slept with the hatch up all night, and no, our feet weren't hanging out the back - I'm 5'6" and my honey-man's 5'10" tall. And the Sunrise? absolutely picturesque and all we had to do was lay there and look out the back. We also saw two cranes and 2 mildly simmering "boils" of fish feeding on the morning bugs. Speaking of bugs, we were fine despite being so close to the water. It was just grrrreat! We took our time waking up and once we cleaned up "camp," we went to the Las Vegas Marina to have breakfast at their lil' diner. It was so fun.

So what happened to my wonderful Toyota Echo - ?
My honey-man is now driving it ~ a WONDEFUL commuter car with 43 mpg on the highway! His previous car, although equally cute, really considered downright sexy, was unfortunately quite impractical all the same - a 2 seater Miata convertible, black. So no more Miata; he's crusin' in the Stay Puft now. Sure, it's not exactly a manly car, definitely not powerful, but it's a SMART car. Very smart. The angel boy-O loves it too.

This shot is my reflection in one of the Matrix windows. Yay!
Self-Portrait Day

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Jail for Kids" AKA High School

I haven't beefed up my iTunes at work in a while and I've been getting sick of its current rotation - not more than an hour ago, it dawned on me that I hadn't used my Yahoo Music Launchcast in months. Happily, I tuned to "Annejelynn's Station" and prepared myself for a delightful, totally random mix to be taken from the artists and music genres I'd specified in my preferences. The first song that played was "Ask Me" from The Smiths! and I was immediately hurtled back into my adolescent years! WHAT.A.HORRIBLE.FEELING; a total mish-mash of emotions, all quite strong and a tad bit overwhelming, yet can easily be summed up by a deeeeep-quiet-guttural groan.
I'm tellin' ya, NO ONE could pay me enuff to re-live high school. I'd rather return to BYU (coughing - gagging now - pardon me - clearing my throat) in a cold heartbeat than go through high school again. Now, don't' get me wrong, it wasn't really that bad - nothing truly traumatic happened to me in high school - but, I only say this because I know without a doubt that it could have been so-so-so-so-sooooo much worse... I still don't think my parents realize how true this last statement is. It was no walk in the park for them, but it could have been BAAHHHD - really bad.

In H.S., I was known as a very smiley girl, often teased about my squinty, disappearing eyes. I was easily amused (still am) and I laughed a lot (still do) and was friendly to most anyone (no change there) and very anti-cliques (definitely no change there either). I had myself a wide variety of different friends/acquaintances (still do). Those I considered my true friends, most which were seen as artistic eccentric types (still are), were few and far between (now spread about across several state lines). After my freshman year, thoroughly disgusted by clothing brand obsessions (still hate 'em) and the never-ending quest to look cool, yet cute and attractive for people I didn't care about (and still don't), I wore a pair of blue-tinted "John Lennon" style shades, my mother's navy, wool peacoat, began sewing most of my own clothes and donned boy's Wrangler jeans, much to my father's dismay. Consequently, an uncle gave me the nickname "F.C." for Flower Child. NOTE re: School ID Card: check out the eyebrows!? and I was plucking?!? The pic for this ID card was taken during my jr. year, although issued for my senior year ID.

Most teachers either loved and adored me or I was hated = I was a subtle (very subtle) smart ass... Frankly, I believe some teachers found me entertaining while others, I feel, just didn't appreciate the challenge. Moreover, I was seen as a teacher's pet by some, although in each case it was genuine on my part. I worked a couple semesters as a TA for two of my favorite teachers. I often registered for "Advanced Placement" classes to avoid total boredom, although my parents argued against it until the day of my H.S. graduation. It's no coincidence that my most packed, chock-full year -that would be my sophomore year- was my best on record. Most of my H.S. activities revolved around pseudo-intellectual and creative studies: Jr. Achievement, Concert choir, Madrigals, women's chorus, Lincoln-Douglas debate club, Model UN, Amnesty International... I helped establish the school paper recycling program, dabbled a bit in the school newspaper and photography, and the school's annual poetry and lit publication, "The Plain Brown Wrapper." I also loved my pottery/ceramics classes. Outside of school, I was on the "Young Women's" church basketball team and participated in various church sponsored activities, including roadshows, youth conferences and summer camps. I spent a few summers playing tennis and volunteering as "Buffy," a Girl Scouts summer camp counselor. I also enjoyed private art lessons and spent many nights a week attending a ballet academy. I was busy, BUHT (and I got me a big butt) I wanted MORE - !?! - girls soccer team, swim team, theatre, MORE! NOTE: This desire I had for more activity has in the past tainted my memories of all that I did do/accomplish. Only when I finally made a list of all I had done, could I rightfully deny my previous feeling that "I didn't do anything in H.S." The accuracy of my memories were not helped in that by my mid-junior year, I had nearly given up on all of my activities except a few I could maintain while at school - stunted by the consequences of my own reckless behavior and resulting parental mistrust and parental complaints. Moving on to my point...

Whenever I see a group of teenagers, my inner self cringes to see them in their awfully awkward state. A rare few seem secure and remarkably well-adjusted, yet capricious, nonetheless, and utterly clueless as to who they really are and what lies ahead. Most look so painfully uncomfortable in their own skin; so desperate to be "cool" and well-liked; trying so hard to look as if they're not trying at all; acting all aloof, as if they don't care what anyone thinks, yet their world REVOLVES around fulfilling the expectations of some image they have in mind for themselves = usually an image that can't be attained without some self-harm of some kind. Who can blame them? High school, by no means does it serve to prepare kids for the real world... it's more like a disservice, just like teen magazines - that's a whole 'nother discussion though.

Knowing I will have to deal directly with teenager(s) someday, whether it be my own or my honey-man's angel boy-O, my heart just aches with hopes upon hopes that they will not fall down in such a way that it will negatively affect the rest of their adult lives. There's so much for them to face in this world that conflicts with what we try to teach to our kids, and despite all our best intentions to help and protect, to advise and admonish, we're bound to make some mistakes along the way, AND they will/should look for guidance from others beyond our reach and control. NOTE: The latter is GOOD and HEALTHY only if they choose to look to those who have their best interests at heart. Furthermore, I do NOT believe a parent should be a child's only source of wisdom and guidance = it's no good if kids cling to parental advice, unable to choose for themselves, unable to determine what they want for themselves, taking on only what the parents envision = either way, kids must find and make their own way.

Seeing teenagers struggle, it breaks my heart on a daily basis. There are a gazillion mixed messages being sent out to teens from all over. Although some may try to claim teenagers are the most fickle, superficial beings on this earth (I sooo beg to differ), teenagers are usually the most PASSIONATE when it comes to whatever they've choosen to value. Although they tend to be egocentric (tell me who isn't?), their strong-felt convictions are the very root of their energy and power, yet at the same time, the very reason life can be such hell for them. Almost every experience is the end-all, be-all of their existence; everything is crucial. Whether they see a light at the tunnel (life beyond H.S. graduation) or they live exclusively in the here-and-now with no thought to the long-term consequences of their actions, their sense of worth rides upon so many different things, things that mean the world to them.

I spent 4 years of my life as a "J.K.F. Cougar" at John F. Kennedy H.S. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa - I called it "Jail For Kids" and I couldn't wait to get out. For me, my adolescence amounted to a great deal of painful confusion and self-loathing. And of course, these feelings carried over into my undergraduate years... blak. And after my divorce? "Damaged" doesn't begin to explain it. I don't imagine things will be the same for my honey-man's angel boy-O, thank the heavens that be. I hope he will instead have a healthy sense of self, independent of those who love him, yet well grounded in our love for him. It will be so important for him in his efforts to successfully deal with the daily challenges and lifetime decisions ahead of him. Clear, consistent communication will be key to help him. I have my fingers crossed.

EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION WITHOUT GOING INTO SIGNIFICANT DETAIL: I hated high school not just because it was high school, plagued by superficial popularity contests, cliques n' fakers and 2-faced kids, etc. Most of my friends who knew me back then, said then and even now that I'm one of those people who thinks about everything too much. Honestly, I had a lot on my mind in high school - most of it involved everyday family dynamics rooted in DEEP, PAINFUL family issues revolving around the death of my mother and my own personal struggles with the Mormon church. That's the OVERLY oversimplied explanation.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Embracing One's Inner Child

Mah Inner Child Is "Surprised"

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hooters in the Sky!

Here's a couple extra shots, one taken before our Montreal trip actually began (unless you count the fact that we were on the plane that was about to leave for Montreal at the time). And the 2nd shot was taken as our trip was just ending ~ see this first pic shown? Can you imagine what it is? oh no, don't dismiss the possibility... oh no, you're right... you're eyes are not deceiving you - it's A HOOTERS AIRPLANE! Yeeah. (apply heavy sarcasm)

The 2nd shot was taken as we flew right over Vegas during our return flight from Montreal to L.A. - I was surprised this picture turned out at all - mind you, I did take about 6 shots. CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW = VERY COOL.

Monday, October 10, 2005

What the -Bleep-?!?

We watched a really, really good movie this weekend - thank you Mark!

It was soooo good - it touched upon soooo many things my honey-man and I have recently discussed, questioned, and wondered about together... relativity, internal energy, reiki, the power of attitude and thoughts upon the "physical," addictions, the pull of our past experiences and how they can shape/limit our ability to change or see new opportunities and/or reality. We were constantly (well, I was the guilty one) pausing the video to discuss or share thoughts on what was being said, or to rewind, trying to better digest what we were hearing. At some point, my honey-man turned to glance at me during a profound movie moment, and he had to put his hand beneath my chin to close my gaping mouth.

Sure, the movie has some hokey scenes (the BB court and the wedding dance goes on too long), BUT OVERALL, I wish EVERYONE would watch it! The only two things I DIDN'T LIKE weren't until the end - something happens (a slow-mo slam dunk of sorts) and the movie fails to clarify what is meant by it. The implications of the action are HUGE and entirely inappropriate when left unexplained. The movie is merely an introduction to quantum physics and various other ideas, but to then make such a gigantic, assumptive leap at the end? Very risky; almost offensive. Nevertheless, the movie has its merit and I recommend it highly. That is all.

Nummy Gum

For months I've been an avid chewer of Extra's Sour Green Apple chewing gum (by the way, this guy has an interest ing take on it)... but this here below is my latest and greatest gum-chewing discovery! and my honey-man's has me all set for at least the next week or so, two packs now amongst my stock -one for work, one for the car- for my chewing pleasure.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The B.O.M.

With all the "Honeybaked Ham" stores out there and the fact that they can sustain regular business, I'm stunned that no one ever came up with this one sooner - I got this from Shiz, the Sarcastic Journalist... check it out
(I can hear my honey-man exclaiming, "HA! that's great!")

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

OHHHLD Montreal

okaybee, here's MONTREAL! FINALLY! Check it out ~ the next FIVE posts are all about my August trip. hope ya Enjoy!
For Larger views, click on the images.

Mmkay, I have absolutely no clue - ZERO CONTROL - as to how these photos will spread and position themselves on the page, so I'll just describe the photos and hopefully you can figure out which is which on your own... Our first day in Montreal, I was first introduced to the city from the water, then by horse-drawn carriage, and later that evening, by the use of my own two legs, walking the cobblestone streets of old Montreal. See the pic with the white clock tower with the strategically centered Canadian flag to the side? We were going up river and past this location, and I was taking, oh? a couple dozen or more shots? trying to get "the very best" angle! This one is it, I'm tellin' ya - the best I could get. You can even see old Montreal in the backdrop. The single spired church set behind a line of trees on the water = this is the marina where the boat of my honey-man's father is kept, where we spent 4 of our 7 nights' stay.

By no means "old" when compared to OLD Montreal, the oddly stacked cube-like building of sorts is called the "Habitat," built for the 1967 World's Fair Expo held in Montreal, now serving as private condos. The arrangement is way, way cool - can't think of any other way to describe it - very trippy.

The buildings in "old" Montreal are very much, indeed, quite OLD - the city was founded in 1642! Serving as a river port city, all the old building storefront "signs" were painted on the buildings themselves, intended to be visible from the river and they can still be seen. And the streets follow the crazy curve of the river. Sometime in the mid-1800s (sorry baby, I can't remember the year! -although you told me how many times? Edit: I've been informed once again - "sometime in the 1850s"), Montreal was nearly destroyed in a major city fire. Thereafter, the buildings were all built with staggered rooftops to prevent city fires from easily jumping from one wooden roof to another; structrually, everything but the buildings' rooftops are made of stone.

Montreal's "Notre Dame" cathedral - I love these old churches. The architectural design and the many decorative details are amazing. By the way, Montreal has loads and loads of Catholic churches!!! - the landscape is absolutely dotted with them, many topped with gleaming metal rootops that can be seen from far distances, shining in the sun. I know that on my next trip, I will want to take an afternoon alone (won't drag the boys along with me - I love them too much) so I can check out the local churches.

Le Bateau - dats "Boat" in French (just so ya know)

For Larger views, click on the images.

The big white boat - we cruised up and down and all around the St. Lawrence river in this beauty for 3 days and we had a total blast - we slept on it too, 4 nights. It was sooo fun and sooo relaxing.

Traveling the St. Lawrence river was a most wonderful way to see Montreal - all the various water ways, its industry, the many locations found off port and all the many, many islands - a ridiculous amount of islands - did you know Montreal itself is an island? The views from the river were fabulous. Oh, and the plaque shown for Landlubbers? - this was up on the wall, posted above each toilet found on the boat.

On the 2nd day of our stay, we went up the river and anchored off the isle of Sainte Marguerite, as can be seen in the boat's GPS monitor - the lil' red triangular thingy represents the boat. While I relaxed and read the new Harry Potter (didn't really read all that much), laying out on the front of the boat, my honey-man and his angel boy-O enjoyed the cool, clear waters, diving off the boat to swim. We saw a couple heron/cranes flying about and an adorable beaver -my camera caught him juhhst as he dove beneath the water's surface, lil' bugger. And we saw a little red fox come to the water's edge for a drink. That day we also used the Sea-Doo "dingy" (as his father calls it) to zoom around and investigate the waters (and harass the seagulls) - was a total blast. My honey-man said he could see the wreckless-thrill-seeking "Jacobson family influence" in me... It was another fabulous day.

Mah honey-man's father is a riot - here's my imitation of him: Now imagine (yes, this is somewhat pointless, but I love it!) - point a wagging index finger, and say (apply deep and heavy french accent, followed by a deep rumbling chuckle),

"Heeey yoou!" = My smiley muscles ached often. One time he had a most clever little idea - he was quite pleased with himself, actually... With all my
picture-taking from behind the camera, there are often very few pictures of me, so he suggested that my honey-man take my camera from me for a picture; the first is well-composed despite the shadows, right? but the 2nd shot? For the 2nd, his father had planned to place a cold water bottle against my leg - you can see the top of the bottle in the lower righthand corner of the shot!

Seein' Dah City

For Larger views, click on the images.

The Olympic Stadium = purty dang cool building, I say! My first glimpse was from the air and later on, we could see it across the water from the marina. Up close? the place is phenomenal. One thing I noticed, the older apartments around Montreal, many have spiral staircases outside, leading to the upper floors. I asked around as to why this is (there are reasons for everything), and I even accidentally found stuff about this very subject online - The Reasons: with the very COLD winters in Montreal (not that I know yet from experience, but I'm from IOWA, so I KNOW COLD), these staircases are built outside rather than waste interior space and high heating costs on having interior stairwells. They're very different, but they give everything a very unique syle and an artistic appeal, regardless of any practical argument. I still can't imagine trying to maneuver a couch up those stairs though, moving into an apartment, nor do I see how it could be safe at all to scale such stairs during an ICY, SNOWY winter?!?

Ahhh, and the subject of gasoline costs... For our trip, we had a Dodge Durango for our driving use/pleasure - a.k.a. - TOTAL GASOLINE NIGHTMARE! Gas is priced by the LITER in Canada - it was at least $1.14/liter while we were there = yes, DO THE MATH PEOPLE! Well OVER $4 bucks per gallon!?!? PLEASE NOTE: No where on this earth does anyone outside of the U.S.A. care or sympathize with our whiney woes over increased gas prices, unless it will effect their economy (which it does). AMERICA - QUIT YOUR BITCHING!!! AND JOIN THE REST OF THE WORLD IN THE REALITY THAT IS HIGH GAS PRICES!!! - Conservation is the ONLY answer and this is why I drive a Toyota Echo - 43 mpg on the highway, baby! and Yes, if I lived in a city with a semi-halfway decent Metro system, my butt would so be on it! I would catch up on my reading each and every day instead of suffering through HWY traffic, stuck behind a steering wheel, staring at someone else's bumper for an hour - I love NPR, but sometimes I just wanna GET TO WORK!!! Now, I must offer a correction here: I haven't yet really had to "suffer" through major traffic with any real regularity, but I'll be in Cali next year and so, knowing this? I'm already saving up for psychiatric care. On to the next subject...

See the church pictures angled up toward the sky? The facade of this church is all that remains of the original structure - if you walk around it, to the side, you can see plain concrete, red bricks and modern utility windows = a totally different building built right onto the back of the church front, now serving as a University building.

See the old building with archways and lots and lots of little windows, streaked with age? I took this shot (and several others, quite blurred) from the window of the car as we drove by - I just thought it looked cool. Have I mentioned I love architecture? Yes, I know I say I "love" a lotta stuff, but I do!

See the church with the big, black set of exterior doors? This church has an oh-so lovely "god-light" breaking down through the tree branches, down toward the inner courtyard. Our Defition of God-light: Sun rays that either streak down and/or break through tree branches or from above/behind parting clouds. My honey-man will even produce the accompanying "angels chorus" vocals whenever we see this kind of light ~ I giggle like mad whenever he does this.

The pic of me with the crazy whisps of hair blowing, was taken in the parking lot of the Metro railway station in Longueuil. On our 3rd day, after lunch with Grand-Papa, we took the angel boy-O to downtown Montreal via the Metro, so he could experience a subway system. It was there that we crammed ourselves together in a blk & white photo booth for a 4-frame photo strip of our silly faces... Also there, the angel boy-O later saw a color-shot photo booth and we had to spend at least 5-10 minutes explaining why he had to "be happy with what you have." And it was there that the angel boy-O saw a crippled and twisted man in a mangled wheelchair begging for food. With big puppy-dog eyes and a clear interest and desire to help out somehow, my honey-man's angel boy-O asked if he could please give the man some money. Watching him then run over to that man, to stand in front of him so earnestly, a look of fascination, pain and pity upon his little face, and then see him give what he had to give ~ I thought my heart was going to burst! Brings tears to my eyes recalling the moment.

Zee Little Details of my Montreal Trip

Again, for Larger views, click on the images.

Mmmm, the yellow-wrapped candy bar is my favorite... "Votre cafe, vous le prenez comment?" Translation: "How do you like your coffee?" My sophomore year at Ricks College (gag - excuse me - clearing my throat), I had several Canadian roomies and was introduced to various Canadian candies... it was through dear Jodi that I discovered Coffee Crisp! - pardon me, I don't mean to drool! I think I bought 6 of them while we were in Montreal? And no, I did not eat each one - I brought some home, including a couple other Canada-exclusive candies and gave them to office mates. I also brought home some "Robin Hood Crepe Mix." While perusing the shops of Sainte Dennis (the 'hip' and trendy part of Montreal), we found a killer candy shop ~ hence, the first-time purchase of Harry Potter's Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans for my angel boy-O and his cousins - 4 boxes. We have a hilarious set of photos taken during our tasting of these AWFUL jelly beans.
The pic that shows FUNK written in red, was taken from a large, most-awesome, most-coveted poster illustration of the American Family Tree of Jazz, kept in the my honey-man's SIL's office. I took the shot for Maceo Parker - and I was also sure to first find the name of Bill Evans and take a pic for my honey-man.

The pic of downtown Montreal across the water, was taken from the window of a FAST moving, speeding vehicle, while driving across on a bridge with side and overhead beams, no least every other shot included structure beams of the bridge. This one, however, came out perfect (I think). See the gorgeous, well-tempered chocolate Labrador? May I introduce you to Gaiya (no clue how to really spell his name - sounds like "Guy+yah"), the coolest Lab ever and youngest member of my honey-man's oldest bro's family. See the lovely strawberry "declenaison"? I'm tellin' ya, my honey-man's oldest bro can sure work wonders for the human palate! Try diced strawberries with pieces of crystalized ginger, garnished with Thai basil -tastes like licorice- topped with basalmic vinegar!?! WAS DUHLICIOUS! and the lil' capuccino cup was filled with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and strawberry slices, covered in cool strawberry puree and warm ganache. OMG - soooo good! An amazing chef! I could go on and on.

See the oh-so quaint stepping stone path laid beneath the ivy-like garden archways? This is the home of my honey-man's parents!?! Um, can ya say GORGEOUS? I was utterly amazed - the whole place was like straight out of a Home & Gardens mag and it didn't feel like a museum - it was warm, relaxed and comfortable, welcoming and wonderful.

See the boy on his knees by the side of a stone bird bath, reaching into a tiny pond? this lil' spot was in their backyard and the angel boy-O discovered FROGGIES! And yes, he caught one and promptly brought it inside to proudly show his Gran-mama what he had ~ ahh, she wasn't so thrilled, but once she'd shooed him away, she graciously applauded his desire to share his find with her. He was so absolutely freakin' adorable - TOTAL CUTENESS, I tell ya!

See the little beach and lake docks? This blessed childhood haven served as a playground for my honey-man. How cool is that? and from the backyard where he lived, up on the hill (Saint-Sauveur ain't by any means "mountainous"), he could go through the woods and just hop right onto the ski slopes?!? and Yes, those are "ski slopes" = no poking fun! Growing up, did you ever have "ski slopes" accessible from your own backyard? I didn't, but I sure would have loved it! ~ even if it had to have been like skiing Miami Beach. OH, and the pic of the white hydrangea? it was loaded with busy buzzy bees! they were so cute! The flowers in Montreal were soooo abundant.
The picture of weird fuzzy green stuff is a sample of the different mosses (sp?) that were growing on the roof of the cabin we stayed at on Fraser Lake (did you know there are over 2 MILLION lakes in Canada!?!). During this trip, honestly, I can't tell you how many pictures I took of moss and fungi - let's just say LOTS. I find fungi fascinating, but right now, let's not dwell on that any further. We spent the night in an amazing location ~ my honey-man's younger, older bro just bought the cabin less than a year ago and it could be considered nothing less than a labor of love, all the work they've done since they'd acquired it. There was no electricity beyond a generator to operate the water pump and give some brief moments of light in the kitchen or bathroom. Otherwise, we were using candles and oil lanterns = way, way, WAY cool. We also went fishing and my honey-man's younger, older brother's sweetheart wife prepared the most awesome fishing fare - Before we hit the lake, I had thought she was preparing part of our dinner in advance, but it was for our fishing trip on the lake!?! Wine and wine glasses to the ready! Off that note: I HAVE NEVER DRANK SO MUCH WINE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE - and GOOD WINE at that! My honey-man's family loves to cook and dine and eat and eat some more and eat well - not in excess, but WELL. The cooking and all the restaurants were fantastic. See the forest trees shot? This is the ROAD to the cabin!!?! Can you believe it? we're talking REMOTE! BEAUTIFUL! QUIET! NATURE! UNTOUCHED! and their previously owned cabin? It had ZERO electricity and could only be reached by boating across the lake!?! Again, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.
The fishing tackle spinner? The angel boy-O's ultra fisherman uncle/owner of a St. Hubert restaurant gave us a couple of them and they were taken from us by airport security - before they were confiscated, I snapped a couple camera shots for memory's sake.