Saturday, January 24, 2009


Francine, Claude, Magpie & Jenna

This is one of my best friends of over 20 years. Francine and I met shortly after I arrived in Montreal in a factory we both worked at. We hit it off right away and have seen each other go through major ups and downs in our lives over the years and lived to to tell about it lol. We don't get to see eachother often, as she lives over a hour away but when we do, it's always a treat.

Below is a photo of them and their dogs. They are a dog foster family for a foundation called MIRA. Mira trains the to be seeing eye dogs for the blind, or companion dogs for the handicapped etc. The red scarves u see on the dogs allows them to go everywhere. Resturants, malls, puppies and untill they are taken in for full training, they must be aclimatized to all situations everywhere...among crowds and public places. They love doing this although it's difficult to part with the dogs when its time. They realize however that they will help someone else down the road so that softens the loss.

NOEL 09 Francine and me

We went to their house over the holidays for a great meal and good company.

The dogs are very affectionate so we got cuddles alot. What a difference these to big dogs make compared to our 3 small ones lol!!

NOEL 09 Me, Jenna & Chris

This dog above is Jenna. She passed all the testing and training for the hardest training as a seeing eye dog. Unfortunately..a few months into the program they realized she had a small health issue so couldn't use her. Fortunately it's not something serious and the foster family are the first to get the opportunity to buy her. So they did!

NOEL 09 Magpie and us

Above is Magpie. When they got her, she could fit in our hands! She will soon be going back to Mira for her training. She passed many tests already so they know she will be trained to accompany and help a handicapped person. Each dog has different talents and strengths which are determined by many tests they do on the dogs.

NOEL 09 Francine et Claude

Last but not least, my dear friends Francine and her partner Claude. Francine is my friend without saying..Claude I met about 10 yrs ago when she started dating him and I can sincerely say I consider him a friend also. Big teddy bear that we always have a good laugh with. But most important, he adores Francine!

As for my Francine, well, she is the kind of friend you just know will be there commiserating with you when we are 80, if we make it that far lol. She is also that friend you can call no matter what. Good days and lend a shoulder or a slap on the back and no matter what, we can always make eachother laugh!

I love her very much.

I can only hope everyone has a friend like that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Heart monitor ( Jan 2009)

OK, he is MY bionic man..but actually he is wearing a 24 hour heart monitor.

We had a scare last week. Chris is never one to complain about anything, ESPECIALLY is health! But last week, he was off* and it persisted...his heart kept having iregular beats...when he finally told me later that evening I took his pulse and couldn't believe how odd they were. Not fast at all, nor was he in pain. He nevertheless had a very odd cold feeling in his chest. So as far as I was concerned one shouldn't delay treatment with the heart, u never know!

We called an ambulance. The EMT hooked him up to a machine and they saw it emediately. So off he went. I was unable to go as our boarders always need supervision here.

Once there, he was hooked to a bigger monitor, and they saw the very irregular beats also, but thankfully, with normal pulse and BP he was in no apparent he was put into more pressing cases were arriving...snow storm had alot of accidents coming hours patient as he had been, Chris finally had enough. When he informed the nurse that he was leaving, she admitted that it could still be hours till a doctor had more time but that basically he was in no real danger, and he was better off seeing his doctor at the clinic. ......I am sorry he had to wait so long to know that..timing with snow storm was bad but I am thankful he was in no danger and we knew it at that point.

So he saw a doctor the next day...who told him to get off the coffee...and gave him a blood work to get done. Chris went back to work the next day to ...feel horrible that evening. Enough to come home early (THAT NEVER HAPPENS)... Still with heart beats off, but also nausious and huge headache....We thought the detox from no coffee had something to do with that also. He was a BIG coffee drinker. He tryed another day at work and again, wasn't himself at all.

So back to doctor....who gave him this week off...with a few more tests to get done.

This heart monitor is one of them...he went in early, they shaved across his chest THANKGOD! and hooked him all up. He wears it for 24 hrs at home then returns it next day.

As he was gingerly trying to remove the tape ...the nurse, with a sadistical grin on her face I am sure...say...Oh No, that's not how it's done. She took a handfull of his t-shirt in one hand and the edge of the tape in the other and RIPPED IT OFF IN ONE SWOOP!!...

OUCH!... Although he was glad, and SO relieved that they had shaved part of him the day before....let's just brought a teeny weeny tear to his eye. ......He told me as he made sure to grunt like Tim the Tool Man Taylor.

He had done a bloodwork and we are waiting for a brain scan. He has had a constant headache for over a week.

His only concern with the brainscan is that all they will see is that he has BOOBS ON THE BRAIN... what a goober ..(eye roll here)

So..the good news is he is home this week...he is getting tests done to find out whats up ..and although this is happening, he is quite healthy all in all. He works out, eats well, and keeps his wife very happy...These are all very good things lol.

Friday, January 09, 2009


This is UMANY. A new rock group based in Quebec that are really good! You may accuse me of being abit biased but that's ok lol. They are still good! Most out there will still enjoy the tune, regardless of it being in french.

The guitarist, who you only see in shadow and rain on the video is my daughter Cleo's, boyfriend. He is also our neighbour 2 doors down and is sincerely a really nice guy. He not only plays the guitar but does ALOT of the producing and editing and painstaking work behind the scenes of their music.

They have appeard on tv's MUSIQUEPLUS, the french equivilent to MUCHMUSIC here in Quebec and countless radio interviews. Check out their UMANY website.

Please go visit Cleo's bf's site also..FRANCIS DUCHESNE ! He does plan to do some english music in future also.

I sure hope all their hard work starts to pay off! Doing what you love is great but being a starving artist get's old lol. It's far from easy street and being on tv changes nothing, it just helps get exposure. Like Francis said in an interview...It would be really nice to put more then just $10 of gas in my car at a time lol....I hope for them that things will get easier. They have some shows and festivals lined up for this year.....fingers crossed!!!

I posted this photo of Cleo and Francis, last post but here it is again.

NOEL 2008

Friday, January 02, 2009


NOEL 095

My tree above, has no ryme or reason. It has old things and new. treasures of all sorts..some given as gifts, others made by hand either by my sister, myself or ornaments handed down to me that are very old. I took a bunch of closeup photos like this..I purposely didn't use the flash to get that glow that makes it a Christmas tree. Each year, when I do the tree, each thing I take out of the box to put on the tree means something to me. Each has a memory,each are special.

NOEL 110

For some odd reason, Tayo just has to be under the tree. As soon as I put it up, just like last year, he seems feel like it's his place. As I added presents underneath, he had less and less room to sit..till finally there was none lol. Just as soon as we got rid of them xmas eve after midnight, he was right back under there lol.

NOEL 107

Each year, I put up string to hold all the xmas cards we recieve..the paper bow you see in the middle is one of my favorite decorations. My sister Nicole made it for me years ago, the bells hanging from it, are actually little painted seed pots...I take it out each year.

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This is my rustic Santa, the little tree he holds actually has tiny lights lol. He gets a spot on the entry table, next to my umbrella stand.

NOEL 2008

My daughter Cleo and her bf Francis. He also happens to be a neighbour. Nice guy , we like him alot. He is also a musician. Or should I say, starving artist lol. I will add some links of his band on another post..they have actually appeared on TV a cpl times,on Musicplus the french equivilant of Muchmusic here.

NOEL 2008

Christmas Eve, Keyshawn and Cleo had fun together...It was great having a little one here to open gifts. Nothing like the stars in their eyes when they open a gift!

NOEL 2008 playing monopoly

That evening, we played good old Monopoly. As you can see all the Hotels on there..I was the first one out lol. It was cut throat let me tell ya...See the look on Chantals face? If looks could kill!


So those are just a few pics I loaded to flickr..double click on anyone of these to see all of them. We had a quiet but very nice Christmas season.

Lastnight..New Years Eve, it was just Chris and I sharing a bottle of Ice Cleo was out with her bf and the clients were in bed. We couldn't have been happier.

I can look back at the last year and be thankful for many special memories..and hope many more will follow in the new year to come.

I hope your wishes for the new year come true and good health abounds to enjoy them!