Friday, January 14, 2011


Last Sunday, we moved Cleo to her first little appartment. I say little because it is literally a 1 room apt, with a closet/hallway kitchen and bathroom, here we call that a (1 1/2). It's perfect for her needs right now. The great thing about it is , she couldn't be better located! She can walk less then a block to University. The street she is living on is the *HUB* of Montreal...St. Denis is considered THE place..lined with boutiques, bistros and to school and hopefully she can get a job close to there also. I am very excited for her...
Needless to say, most places aren't too clean when you move in. It isn't an understatement to say, this place, all be it small, was filthy! I was just itching to roll up my sleeves and put my bucket full of cleaning products to good use!
Before staring, we did some shopping. A new shower curtain, curtain poles, organizing unit above the toilet..her own broom, mop, hanging hooks and assorted storage items to better organize what little space she had.

I think I scrubbed that bathroom for over 2 hours but I have to admit enjoying it lol...Yes ..I know, sounds weird but when u start with something so dirty, it's so rewarding to see what a difference u can make. I swear that bathroom shined when I was done with it! Every tile, grout seam and ceramic around the tub was fresh and clean!! It was so satisfying to hang the shower curtain, place the towels and toiletries in their rightful place, and finish with a nice rug! I had to take a pic lol. Chris was putting the toilet shelf thing together and hanging curtain rods and placing hooks for coats up in the appartment while Cleo was unpacking boxes. So we were all busy making it a home..

Her walls still need stuff on them but the bed and bureau are all set up and most of her things are unpacked. She has a few shelves to be put up above her desk area so I didn't photograph that..but the window below looks out to her cool is that! Once she gets a job close by, she wont even need to get a bus pass, big expense saver!

Many have asked me if it was hard as a mom to see her get her own place. To be perfectly honest, not really. I think my biggest adjustment was when I left her dad 10 yrs ago and we had joint custody. So I got used to having her 1 week on, 1 week off. I became acustomed to her being at her dads more in the last yr also , as the transit system is more efficient where he lives, so when she started college, then university, she would be there more often then here. So as she transitions to her own place...I think it's a big change for her but not so much for her father and I .

That said...I am super excited for her and as a mom, I wanted to make sure I helped with the new place ie; cleaning and helping find a home for her things etc. I'm glad I had been putting things aside for her over the past few yrs, like dishes, towels, kitchen stuff..not to mention raiding my own pantry to fill up her cubboard full of easy, quick foods she can heat up or throw in the microwave lol...

At the end of the very long day, the last thing we did in her appt was wash the floor thoroughly, put down the large rug we brought from home, make her bed and be happy with all we did. I was fidgetting around thinking of what else I could do when Cleo says.."Maman, I can deal with the rest".

I think that is what I needed to walk away. I knew my job was done when she was ready to see me much for me as for her. If that makes sense lol. I left with a light heart knowing her place was clean and fresh and pretty well set up...It's her adventure to live now..with me peeking in when I can ofcourse....and to drop off some toilet paper and a bag of groceries every now and then lol

Monday, January 03, 2011


This is my yearly review letter. I do one each year to send with my xmas they have all now been recieved I am sharing on my blog...Happy New Year!

Another year has flown by. I hope this letter finds you all well and ready for the next one. As for us, things are good. We have enjoyed our new home for over a year now. That's enough time to know we love it and it's also far from perfect. Takes a year to figure out what needed fixing and where ones priorities should be. I will concede that a spa ISN'T a priority, spending a $1000 repairing the existing irrigation system IS...although I could still enjoy a spa and water the lawn from said spa using a bucket, but that's just me. I am thinking the spa idea may float back to the surface in a few years....shhhhh. There is an existing list of improvements to deal with until then. Thankfuly, only cosmetic in nature. As I'm thinking of it, I have started an adjacent list for cosmetic improvements on myself, a wish list of sorts...I wonder if spackle comes in skin tone? Now that would be a 2 for 1 deal if I ever saw one!

Just like a GPS can unexpectedly take you to a warehouse full of prostitutes and drug dealers, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. I recently got one of those myself but the ball was thrown directly at my sternum. I had major chest & back pains. Found myself rushing to hospital in an ambulance. If I wasn't in so much pain, it would have been a lot of fun. Suffice to say that after ruling out the worst it was figured out that my gallbladder has been making its own gem stones. Now, under normal circumstances I could actually appreciate this, as I love making jewellery but some warning would have been nice. Kind of scary thinking our bodies can have symbiotic reactions to ones hobbies...remind me never to take up Shot-put!

Over the year I got on the workout wagon. Yes that wagon has heavy duty chucks. I was very consistent and actually developed some good muscle tone. Lost a few inches here and there but my weight hardly budged. My fat cells are hanging on for dear life. Frustrating to say the least, especially as month after month, I hated every minute of it more and more. Those who say they started to love it are all on drugs. In the past month, since my gallbladder episode my workouts have gone on hiatus. My body is in negotiations with my brain to get me back for another season with promises of better scheduling, less work, and a big raise in results. My brain still isn't buying it. My get up and go, got up and left. I think its sitting on a beach in the south of France somewhere. Thankfully I'm not worried, it will eventually makes its way back to make sure I get back on that wagon.

In other news, Mahault, Chris' daughter is living with us and in her 2nd yr of college doing very well. Cleo has graduated college (CJEP Lionel Groux) in arts. One of her art projects was chosen to take part in a province wide contest/exhibition. Having been chosen, the school payed for her to take part in the weekend long exhibition and workshops in central Quebec. She didn't win but had a terrific time. More for the partying aspect then educational of course! Put college students from all over in one place for a weekend and see what happens! I can just be thankful she made it back in once piece!

At the end of her college yr, she was also chosen with 5 other artist to display many of her works in an Art Gallery in St Therese the city that's home to her college. She then applied to UQAM (University de Quebec A Montreal) and Concordia University in Sceneography which is a 3 yr bachelors program that covers everything in arts/theatre from designing costumes, sets and graphics to building, sewing and producing everything. They only choose 20 students per year out of hundreds from all over. We were thrilled when Cleo was chosen by both schools, giving her a choice. She started at UQAM this fall. With the workload at school, her job and having to work on productions till all hours, a big change is near. She has been commuting with the public trans system. It's not cutting it so we are looking into finding her a small apartment in Montreal. It will be a new adventure for her and very different for me. The sprouting of wings! The big step! The transition into responsibility! The realization that my baby will be leaving her crap all over floors, doorknobs and counters SOMEWHERE ELSE! It's emotionally overwhelming just thinking about it. Needless to say, we are proud of her and hope to get her nicely set up before the next term starts in January.

Living near Montreal means that most people commute for work. Montreal is an island so traffic always backs up at all the bridges. So even though Montreal is only aprox 30 mins away, someone who needs to be at work at 9:00 am would have to leave by 6:30 am. Yes, it's ridiculous. Chris worked in Montrealfor the past 6 yrs, it took him 45 mins to get there. He applied and got a new job just 10 mins away! We are thrilled! He’s still a supervisor in a chemistry field but no longer in pharmaceuticals. It's such a gift to be so close to home for so many reasons. I don't have to wait an hour for milk, or bread or if I need him to open a jar for me, after I got it lose first (you know how that works). Not forgetting the savings in gas and wear and tear on the car. OH! and Chris being home a lot earlier of course! To top that off, Chris has gone back to University 3 nights a week! He wants his Industrial Project Management certificate so the deal was no keggers or bringing home pretty young students to do homework! So far my smart ass has top marks in both classes. Good thing his ego is brought back to reality when he gets home to his wife LOL!

We still have our three clients living with us. Luc, Jean-Pierre and Raymond. All doing well, regardless of their handicaps. I think it's far more challenging dealing with two college/university students then three mentally & physically handicapped adults! Granted Luc is blind, wears diapers, moans and manages to move his chair and the kitchen table across the room most days. J-P is almost blind, likes to hum out loud while wearing his radio headphones, not a pretty sound let me assure you, I think a couple of cats in heat on top of a broken violin would be preferable. Raymond has to be reminded that he can let the snow actually land on the ground before shovelling it all up! He’s the same with the rake in fall...the leaves don't have the time to hit the grass, he has them in the bag before you know it! Life can be called interesting in our house to say the least!

So there you have it. Another year in review from our house to yours. We wish you all a terrific Christmas and New Year’s season. Thinking of you all as we look forward to a new year, new adventures and new experiences.