Being Kind to Ourselves

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One of my friends said to me earlier that, “my God, the weeks are just flying by!” June is halfway gone, and July is right around the corner. Everybody who lives in the Province of Quebec, loathes the first week of July. Why is that, you ask?

Because July 1st is MOVING DAY in the Province of Quebec.

For those who are green, or think that they absolutely HAVE to MOVE every year, in the month of July … Are the bane of our existences. We’ve been in this same apartment for more than sixteen years, and every year it is the same story.

People have a need to change things up on a yearly basis. BUT, if you have PETS, your chances of finding another home to live in that accepts PETS grows ever slimmer, year by year, as landlords stipulate in their lease agreements that PETS are no longer allowed.

AND we see hundreds upon hundreds of pets left on the street, or dropped in a shelter, where they MAY or MAY NOT be adopted, and therefore end up euthanized later.

UGH !!!

I heard a lady friend ask us tonight if, “we take time to be kind to ourselves?” And I had to stop and think about that for a few moments. Among my things to do on a daily basis, do I take time for me? Sometimes I do not. I can find myself with busy things to do, like chores, or grocery shopping, and cleaning the apartment.

If time allows, whenever that is possible, I nap. Nothing pleases me more than having a couple of free hours to just crawl into bed and sleep. On my days off, we have a built-in nap period, between the hours of 5 and 9.

We don’t usually watch tv, during the day, or early in the evening. Things are pretty quiet around here, and we don’t usually turn the tv on before 9 at night. We like the quiet.

One of my guilty pleasures is reading. It is part of my daily ritual. Indigo Book sellers is my go to book source. This week I selected two titles that seemed appealing. Since I finished Kingpin a few days ago, I am working my way through “Causeway” by Linden MacIntyre. I’ve read every book he’s ever written.

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Here are the books that arrived today.

I love Greek Mythology stories. One of my favorites is the Odyssey. My best friend gave me a copy, when they moved from Montreal, and I have read it several times over. Circe, I’ve been looking at for the past few weeks, and it finally made my read list this week.

The other is the book written by James Clapper. I enjoy reading books written by people who work in high places, and seeing how things work behind the scenes. I had read James Comey’s book a few weeks ago, and it seems now with the I.G. Report, he wasn’t all that honest in his pursuit of justice and transparency.

This afternoon, I took a Metro ride into the village for some shopping and some photography. A part of our city history is being retired at the end of the Summer, so I had to get some photos of the decor that hangs above the Village every Summer.

You can check them out on my Instagram. Over there —> in the sidebar.

Last month I joined The Underwear of the Month Club. The Underwear Expert Club, is an account based site, that men can join, (if you want to join and want a discount, message me)… But you get to choose how many pairs you get every month, what style, color or print, and they send you (with FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING) each month, a box with assorted undies. This is the first time I’ve invested in fashionable and stylish undies.

This is a snapshot of what Montreal is doing right now.

The Summer festival season has begun. The International Jazz Festival, Just For Laughs, and many other music oriented festivals begin in the next few weeks, and the city will be buzzing for sure. If you have never been to Montreal, I highly suggest you take a weekend and come see what we have to offer.

Food, Fun, Museums, Music …

Summer is one of the best times to come visit.

I tend towards Fall myself. I don’t do crowds and crazy.

Thanks for reading.

April 4, 2018 … Spring ???

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Let’s not kid ourselves … It IS April now, and we thought that Spring would be just around the corner … We were wrong !!!

Over the past few days, the weather people have been warning us of impending doom, when it comes to weather. It seems the weather people are all about DOOM weather predictions, and for the most part, they have all been seriously off their game.

Over the past few days, they have been watching a system come up from the U.S. Midwest, coming over southern Ontario, into southern Quebec, which is where Montreal falls geographically.

Montreal is situated, geographically, on the St. Lawrence River, and we are nestled in a valley, that for the most part protects us, from serious weather, that happens in the other cardinal points on the compass. Namely North, South and East of Montreal.

Last night, as day turned into night, the warnings were coming fast and furiously. Shit was coming, it was going to get ugly, Snow, Rain, Freezing Rain, and Wind. They told us that the weather was going to get very ugly overnight.

**** NEWS EDIT 11:00 P.M. EST ****

Sadly, tonight, on our National News, Ontario was hit with serious storm winds, rain, snow, into whiteout conditions. Hundreds of thousands without power, homes destroyed, trees down. The storm damage in Ontario was more severe than what was warned might happen here, overnight last night into today.

Damage in Montreal is wide, Ste Catherine’s Street is closed to traffic at this hour because of winds and falling debris, cars were destroyed by falling signs, and on the South Shore, on the South side of the river, damage is extensive with thousands without power across the South Shore and on the Island of Montreal.

Over night, I cancelled all my appointments for today. Hubby decided that if the weather was inclement, that he would work from home. Last night I went to bed, knowing that I did not have to be up at o’ dark thirty.

Hubby did indeed stay home, and when I finally got up, the freaking sun was shining, the skies were moderately clear, as far as we could see WEST. It was obvious that all that gloom and doom warnings were for naught.

I had enough rest for the day, and while the sun was still shining, I decided to go shopping and get my hair cut, if I could get a spot, which I did. I checked Environment Canada before leaving the house, and skies were clear, but a wind warning was up for the city.

If you know anything about my specific neighborhood, we are nestled in the middle of sky scraping condos, on all sides. The Chinese Consulate, The Old Forum, Alexis Nihon Mall up the street, and retail restaurants and shops up and down Ste. Catherine’s street.

I had my granny cart with me, because I cannot carry heavy bags, because of my back issues. As I left the building, I was caught up in a wind tunnel. My granny cart went flying out of my hands. I thought to myself, I needed a sky diving jump suit on to navigate the sidewalk to and from the mall.

Winds have been gusting through the buildings and at the seventeenth floor level we are at, the windows buckle in their casings.

I stopped by my stylist, and got a spot, thirty minutes later. So I went and did my shopping and returned to get my hair cut.

**** **** ****

Yesterday, I did some shopping online. I’ve been collecting items in my Ebay shopping cart for some time. If I see an item I like, I cart it. If I cannot complete an outfit, it sits in my cart, until I find the item to complete the set. Over the weekend, several new pieces were put up for sale in particular shops I shop from, internationally.

I was able to complete an outfit, so I purchased the two pieces. One from the U.S. and the other from Australia. The exchange rate internationally, between Australia and Canada is almost a penny on the dollar. The U.S. exchange still sucks.

I made my purchase yester-DAY. Because of the fourteen hour difference, between Canada and Australia, my confirmation did not come until later last NIGHT. A few hours into evening, I got a response from Australia, saying that the Australian postal system did not recognize my particular address, in their postal system. However they DO ship to Canada. The shipping department, then refunded all the money I spent with them, because they could not find me, geographically.

I wrote them back inquiring why they could not find me. It seemed the item I wanted, could not be found in stock, even though the stock showed available in the system. They offered me other items, along the same lines, and free shipping, telling me that they would go Over the Counter, for shipping, directly, instead of their shipping system, that could not seem to find me. They should have just Googled my address …

The other half of the wardrobe item I purchased earlier yesterday was shipped out last night. When you buy from an Ebay seller in the U.S. each package takes an “Over the River and Through the Woods,” kind of journey. From where ever you buy, that package ends up in Erlanger, Kentucky, at the Ebay sorting center. That is the main hub of Ebay packages coming from all points, going to all points Internationally.

The packages usually travel into Mississauga, Ontario, and then are passed on by truck North to Montreal. Door to door usually take seven to ten business days, end to end.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a deal on Aronik Fitness gear, that was half price, however the one color I wanted for my collection was out of stock. Last night, my friend Jeffrey, down in Chicago, posted new photos of his new line of colors and styles, for his fitness gear. He’s been adding some great new styles and colors to his palette.

He added Burgundy to his color choices. Today I made an order for his Burgundy Milliskin fitness series. This was the missing item from Aronik that was no longer in stock.

Jeffrey, hand sews all of his gear, one piece at a time.

Just as Odyn does the same in New Zealand.

Hand sewn goods from reputable sellers, is better than buying sweat shop items from far flung places, where workers are not compensated correctly for a days work in wages.

That little piece of personal service appeals to my purchase dollar ethics.

We need Spring to come … Soon !

Planting season for gardens and parks usually falls within the month of May, around the 24th of May. The trees have yet to start budding. Temps in the city have been above normal for the most part over the past few weeks. Winter, just does not seem to want to give up the battle just yet. It is 5c at this hour, a little chilly still. And Windy.

Temps are still all over the board, hovering just below and just above freezing. Whatever weather comes in this direction, because of where we are situated, whatever falls to the ground is hit or miss, snow or rain. Several degrees in any one direction, rules what falls from the sky.

Aronik has put up their new summer swim suit collection.

IF ONLY MONTREAL HAD A BEACH TO GO TO THAT ISN’T OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS TO GET THERE, KIND OF LOCATION.

Alas, there really isn’t a beach that is like a BEACH down South or in the Islands.

UGH !!!

Not that I’ve never been to a beach in Montreal, since the day I moved here.

It’s not like South Beach or Fort Lauderdale or Cuba or the Caribbean.

Monday: Why is it so Complicated ???

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I got an email from New Zealand today, that my Odyn clothing order was now in production. That in a couple of weeks, my order will ship, after my clothes are lovingly sewn by hand.

YAY !!!

Today, I had ONE thing to do.

My doctor got me a consult at the McGill Teaching Hospital, Dentistry department. I got to the appointment early, for paperwork. Shortly there after, my dentist came to get me and to begin my “consult” which did not go very well.

Firstly … I never thought that I would live this long, all things considered. In the order of importance, Living was right up at number one. Staying sober, a close second, being married comes in at three, everything else comes in whatever number it falls in, according to importance.

Oral health has never been at the top of any list.

I thought that having my teeth fixed, was going to be a cut and dry process. Easy Peasy, no problem right ? WRONG !!!

It ain’t that simple. God I wish things could always be simple.

My first trip to see a professional fetched me a $33,000.00 dental bill. They have one job, to build a bridge and put it in place. They did not talk about inconsequential s. They did not mention that I needed more work than they were ready to do, in order to properly build me a mouth that would not fail, in the long run.

Today … My goal was to find out, whether, the Student Dental Clinic would be AS expensive as the professional clinic ? YES, IT IS. To the tune of $22,000.00 on a good day, barring any complications with the entire process.

The process is LONG and ARDUOUS.

I’ve got bad teeth. Ok, Given …

The clinic is talking about orthodontic work, braces for my bottom teeth the straighten them out. And if need be, to extract some teeth and move others, because of a major over bite, and 50-year-old teeth that were never corrected when I was a kid.

They told me that the time investment would be 2 years on a good day.

They want to fix what is there in my mouth. They want to fill all the cavities, do the rearranging, and make sure my mouth is ready for major surgery, extractions, and the building of a bridge on the outside.

This is NOT a cut and dry process. I will need to commit to major mouth surgery, to 2 years of in and out of my mouth, with each of its surgery, and healing processes.

And then, on a good day, gave me the $22,000.00 dollar estimate.

Like I said, twenty-two thousand, barring unforeseen circumstances.

It isn’t going to be that simple.

The professionals were not concerned with the rest of my mouth or the necessary work to get my mouth to a place, where a proper bridge would FIT, Correctly, IN my mouth.

The clinic is a teaching hospital. If I make this commitment, there is no guarantee they will take me, in the end, because I am a complicated case, and I need serious maintenance before any major work can begin.

This is all totally overwhelming. And a bit too much for me to process, at the moment.

I spoke to a long sober friend in Miami, who is getting the same work done there, and they, The teaching hospital in Miami, quoted him the same kind of figures.

FUCK ME !!!

Thursday: Skets and More

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As the latest Nor’Easter wreaked havoc in points South and East of Montreal, we did not escape getting a bit of snow this week. It snowed for two days, on and off, and a considerable amount of snow is on the ground. So much snow, that crews are out at this hour, clearing snow off streets and highways.

This week, a year ago, Montreal was hit by a severe snow storm, a snow storm so severe that it rendered city management, the Police, and Fire Rescue, unable to make conscious decisions about saving motorists that were stuck, “IN THE HUNDREDS” on highways inundated by snow for more than TWELVE HOURS or MORE.

It was not pretty at all. That bungle at the highest levels of city government and public service, told the citizens of this city, that we really don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

But that was last year. This is today.

Sunday is the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year, the track of the parade was shifted to another artery, namely De Maisonneuve. A street that runs East – West, With traffic coming One Way, Westward. For the parade, the traffic will be reversed moving Eastward, with the step off, beginning one block West, On St. Mark.

St. Mark is the drainage point for the Highway off ramp in this neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city continues highway rebuilding over the weekend, as the new Champlain Bridge is not yet complete, and the continuing demolition of the raised highway, that runs East – West (the Ville Marie Highway).

The rebuild of the arteries of the Turcot Exchange has been going on for years now, and is far from being complete. With the Parade changes, and the Step Off being moved to an artery that takes traffic OFF the highway, and the entire closures of highway ramps for access to and access from the highway, are going to paralyze the city for the entire weekend, with the parade on Sunday afternoon.

The weather will be good, however a bit cold at (-3c) the low Sunday night dropping to (-16c). On Parade Sunday, in the past, it had been much colder, with snow. At least the snow that is on the ground, will be cleaned up by Sunday. It should be alright.

Tuesday and Wednesday are my days off. And I take full advantage of not having to be anywhere or have any work that needs to be done, save chores and grocery shopping.

This afternoon my new Skets came in the mail. Ebay had been telling me that they would not be here for another week. I do know that the Ebay collection Center in Erlangar, Kentucky had been snowed in for many days, and I was sure the mail would be hung up until things cleared out.

Nothing usually stops the USPS from delivering the mail. Through rain, sleet, snow and blizzards, nothing stops the USPS from delivering the mail …

Got to see old friends tonight, and one of them spoke for us.

I have not seen this particular friend in a long time. He hangs on the West end of town, and does not usually come East, into Westmount or up on to the Plateau where I hit meetings. This friend is just a few months older than I am. But what shocked me, when he walked in tonight, was that he went totally grey. I was like Holy Shit …

Is that what 51 looks like ?

I mean, I have a shock of grey hair that hangs in the middle of my forehead.

I call it my Jamie Lee Curtis grey look. I love that she accepted her ageing process and welcomed it, unlike so many in “the business” who color their hair to death, to stave off even the littlest bit of hair going grey.

My stylist and I joke about my streak of grey, it is stylish I think.

Tomorrow is Friday. The nest day/night of the week.

More to come.

Tuesday: Implants $33,000.00 DOLLARS

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Today’s adventure is brought to you by Centre D’implantologie Montreal – Rosemont.

I was hoping to sleep in today, and make my two thirty appointment to price out the dental work, I so need at the moment. I got a call early on, this morning, saying that an opening came up earlier than my appointment time, and could I make it ?

Hell yeah ! I can make it.

I have to say, I’ve never met a more gracious team of professionals in my life. It’s not like I am a unique patient, they see these kinds of problems every day.

But from the moment I walked in the door, people were gracious and kind.

My anxiety level was cranked at a TEN PLUS. Just knowing I would be sitting in a dentist chair, gives me the willies …

The appointment lasted about 90 minutes. They took an x-ray of my mouth and processed the film, right there. In the office, the design secretary has a very large HD screen over her desk, where they do all the work.

I saw the dental specialist who looked me over and said that the bones in my jaws were good to go, and that they could do all the work in ONE DAY.

The time challenge is the family wedding in May, that may be off the table, now that we know exactly how much this whole shebang is going to cost us.

But they told me that they could do the work, the extractions, and give me a temporary bridge that would look normal, so I would be presentable at the wedding, and that the final fitting would come 4 to 5 months on in the process.

Getting implants done involves several steps, in a certain order.

  1. The Preliminary appointment – information gathering
  2. Filling, Cleaning, upkeep of teeth prior to Phase One
  3. Phase One – Placing the implants
  4. Phase Two – Abutments of implants
  5. Phase Three – Insertion of Prosthesis

Once the process begins, the timeline is seamless. Once I commit to the project, I am locked into a timeline of 4 to 8 months. Start to finish.

  • Option One – Porcelain Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $33,000.00
  • Option Two – Acrylic Implants – 6 implants, fixed bridge $19,000.00
  • Option Three – Dentures $18,000.00

Hubby about fell over when I called him after the appointment to tell him how much this little doctors visit was going to cost us. He is sure that our insurance is NOT going to cover one penny of this, however, the dental specialist sent all this working information to my insurance company, saying that we should get a response in three weeks.

From that point, whether we get a Yes or a No, we will figure out what to do next.

Hubby called and spoke to the specialist I saw, to reiterate his fear that insurance was not going to fit the bill. So we will see what happens now.

Thursday: Life is Good

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It has been a few days since my last update. It has been a busy time for everybody all around. We have a family wedding in May, it will be the first time, in many years that the entire family will be in the same location at the same time, to celebrate my niece Melissa and her husband to be, Stephan’s wedding.

We have watched our nieces and nephews grow up into fine young adults. And we spoil them whenever we get the chance. Holidays are always a big deal for our family. We will be traveling to Southern Ontario (on the train) a first for us.

In July, one of my guys, Juan is going to marry his fiancée Nadia, in a very intimate setting here in Montreal. We’ve been working very hard at keeping them “on the beam” so to speak. Juggling school, work, wedding preparations and life, is a tall order. But, like they say, “we have a program for that!”

The weather has been UNUSUALLY warm, as of late. We’ve had a long stretch of temps ranging from the lower plus side to the high negative side. Much of the snow that had fallen over the season is melting nicely, and thankfully, the sidewalks are clean of snow and ice. Which is very good news to the city population, because many older folks have suffered greatly, falling and breaking bones this season, because of the foul weather. Many of them have sued the city for damages, that is not a good thing. But necessary.

The great weatherman in the sky tells us, not to count our chickens just yet, and we are told that Winter will continue until Summer. With a clear SKIP of Spring. We are told that more drastic snow will fall, between now and May 1st.

God help us if the weather goes really South …

We will gladly take the weather we have had for the past week over more winter, and if it stays this good for the duration, all the better.

It is good that we have good plans on the horizon. This will be a first, seeing a good friend and his soon to be bride getting married. The whole focus on getting and staying sober, is to finally reap the rewards of hard work, done well.

Our young people are all doing well. Everybody is still sober, from our holiday extravaganza weekends. It is a hard slog for some, but they keep showing up, and they are talking. Which is a good sign. Many of us, have committed to being present, as often as we are able.

I am soon to start a new pass through the Big Book, with a young lady friend of my acquaintance, from the Monday meeting. I listen very carefully to what our young people say in meetings. And over the past year, have been blessed to witness one of our young woman, stand up and be counted among us.

Our Monday meeting has been talking hard topics and the discussion has been very fruitful to the extent that I am learning a great deal about sobriety, that I had never heard before, coming from the mouths of babes. Monday night, I asked my friend if she would be able to share her teaching of The Book with me. From what I am hearing from many of my friends and fellows, men and women, I’ve found that i still have a lot to learn. It may be unconventional, but any chance to walk through the book with new, fresh and younger eyes, is useful.

I’ve stuck close to my core meetings, Monday, Thursday and Friday. And I’ve placed my trust in all of my best of friends. One f them reached his Year Mark a couple of weeks ago, after a tragic crash and burn. Drugs and Alcohol will do that to you. With family, friends, and fellows present, we shared in a very special Year Celebration.

I have kept the same routine going for a long time. That being service. I heard a young man say tonight, that the first thing that he felt good about, when he got sober, and finally got connected, was doing service.

When folks in a meeting,ask you to Come Back, and to Stick and Stay, and put trust in you to do a job for any particular meeting, that is pretty special, but lost on many. But our young man tonight said that he took particular joy in knowing that people were drinking HIS COFFEE, and sitting in HIS CHAIRS.

It begins very simply.

YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ARRIVED, WHEN A CERTAIN MEMBER WALKS IN THE DOOR AND COMMENTS ON EITHER THE GOODNESS OR BADNESS OF ONES URN OF COFFEE …

It is high praise when someone says, “Hey, you make a mean pot of coffee!”

I know, the first job I ever had when I came in was setting up chairs and tables, for months and months, until the good ladies of my initial home group, trusted me enough to make my first urn of coffee.

Sixteen years later, I can make a mean Urn of Coffee with my eyes closed.

The next spiritual experience he spoke about was the first time someone asked him to share at a meeting. Someone, in asking him that, had wisdom that HE actually had something good to share, with a room full of drunks and addicts.

We all sit in rooms together, with assorted days, weeks, months, and years of sobriety. But is oddly the case, not too many people will ask for help, until they are down and out suffering. Even then, it is like pulling teeth, to get people to want to work with us.

It is hard work, going to meetings, and learning how to stay sober, because someone stepped up and took us on, when we came in and trusted us, with what they had to teach us about The Book and Sobriety. And the greatest gift we can offer, is our time, talent and treasure, when it comes to sobriety.

One of our men spoke a couple of weeks ago and told me that I should ask for numbers of new folks coming in, INSTEAD of giving them My number first. Flip the equation, he told me. Go out and get numbers.

Caveat here … We actually have to commit to calling those numbers if they come to us.

I guess I am in a place where, I am seeking something new to learn. And in hanging around with young people in sobriety, I am finding that I can still learn something new, that I am not the center of the universe, not that I think that …

The holidays were a great reckoning for many. Through hard work and perseverance we all came through the other end, mostly unscathed. And far better for the challenge the holidays presented many.

Sit in a room for a few seasons. And commit to being present for the long haul. Read: Commit to a room for a Long Period of Time, and you too will see how your friends a fellows grow up and get and stay sober.

I’ve been at this a long time, and teach-ability is not lost on me.

Everybody is well. It is March. The snow is melting.

It might not be Spring yet, but it sure feels like it.

Save for the first appearance of our Red Breasted Robin at the Friday Meeting church yard. I always see her. She has not appeared just yet, because there is still snow on the ground and in the trees at St. Viateur Church.

Stay tuned …

Sunday Sundries: It Could’ve Been Worse

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I am home tonight from my weekend trip to Ottawa this past weekend.

It was WET, COLD and it SNOWED for two days.

Nothing beats spending quality time with my best friend and his girlfriend.

Time Well Spent.

Thursday night, I was packed and ready to go, ready to go so much, that I did not sleep Thursday night. At least, I thought I had packed everything.

Do I openly admit that I am getting forgetful of things, important things too?

Hubby was home on Friday when I left for the bus station. I left uber early, because I thought I would hit an early bus and get into Ottawa earlier than I had planned, to facilitate scheduling on the other end.

I figured just showing up and presenting a ticket for a specific departure time, would grant me passage on an earlier bus, it has happened before. I got to the station and thought better of taking chances, and so I dropped my luggage at the ticket office and paid for a ticket change. And got a seat on a half empty bus at 11 a.m.

It was a smooth ride out. Not too bad. I had two seats to myself on the way out. About halfway to Ottawa I got up to use the restroom, and while sitting on the throne of thought, I realized that I had forgotten my insulin at home.

FUCK !

NO, Double FUCK !!

I called home and spoke to hubby. Then from the bus, I phoned my pharmacy here in Montreal, telling the girl on the other end that I was on a speeding bus headed to Ottawa and that I had forgotten my insulin at home.

That would be my insulin pens, my needles and my alcohol swabs.

Insulin comes in 5 pen boxes, and they cannot be split up. You can’t buy a handful of insulin needles because they come in a BOX too. I only had $100.00 in my wallet and $50.00 in the bank reserve.

Meanwhile, as the bus is almost into Ottawa, hubby gets a paycheck advance from his boss to cover my insulin if I needed to buy it once I got there. There was money in the bank, enough to cover the purchase. however, we were not sure if the insurance would cover another insulin prescription.

My insulin runs me over $185.00 up front. And usually it pays 80% 20%.

When I got to Ottawa, I stopped at the first pharmacy on the way to the apartment. They called Montreal and transferred my prescription to Ottawa. They ran my card, and the payment went through.

I had to buy an entire BOX of insulin, an entire box of needles, and another box of alcohol swabs. The grand total of that little forgetful mistake cost me $85.00.

That sunk my weekend into the hole right off.

Now I have more than eight months worth of insulin in the fridge, enough needles for months and months, and two boxes of alcohol swabs. Thank God sealed insulin does not go bad, if refrigerated.

Friday we hung out at coffee shops and played Backgammon. Rafa is a game player so we played games all weekend. I like Backgammon. We played two days worth of it.

Friday night after dinner we played a board game called PANDEMIC.

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I’ve never played this game before, but it was very cool. Each player picks a “role” from a bunch of cards. And each player has specific abilities in the game of pandemic. With all the players engaged at trying to stop pandemic from infecting the world, each player PLAYS against the GAME.

As each turn goes around, you draw cards from two piles. One pile of country and city cards, the other, pandemic cards that plague a city around the world. Each major city center is connected by lay lines to other cities in each region.

As the game progresses, each player works against the game to stop pandemic, but the game plays against each player as well, and each pandemic (there are 4 in total ) need to be cured, and cities cleansed. We lost that game, because at the end, the game forced the hand and we ran out of turns together.

This is a multiple player board game. We played three people, but with extension packets, you can play up to seven people at the same time.

Saturday we went to Wakefield, Ontario. A little town about a fifteen minute drive outside the city in the hills. It is a small community of artsy people. There is a town center with shops and stores, and a central hub Coffee Community Cafe.

I really enjoyed that visit. Rafa and his girlfriend are looking to buy a house outside the city to start their family and to bring the extended family into the house for a multi-generational home for their kids, in the future.

I have photos but I am too pooped to upload them right now.

Saturday it started snowing early, so that curtailed the traveling to a meeting. So instead we stayed in and watched Star Wars (Rogue One) a really decent stand alone Star Wars Movie. I had not seen it when it was in theatre.

Then we watched a Steven King movie called “IT”

I noticed while watching this movie that there were a bunch of pop culture references that have been used in SNL skits and other media around the tubes.

It was time well spent.

Everyone went to bed early, as Rafa and Megan were battling a cold between themselves. I brought a book that I have almost finished on the bus ride back. The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb. It’s a Vietnamese story.

I have been sunk in South East Asia for more than a year now. I’ve read a handful of books in that region, including the Shantaram Series by Gregory David Roberts.

Today, Sunday we hit another coffee-house and played more backgammon, before I had to head to the station for my return trip.

This time the bus was PACKED ! It had snowed quite a bit between Ottawa and Montreal, because the closer we got to Montreal, the deeper the snow pack was on the roads and in parking lots along the way.

I have a multitude of music on my phone. I picked one band. Linkin Park. They are my favorite band. And since Chester Bennington’s suicide a few months ago, I listen to them as often as I can. I had enough music that it played from the moment we left Ottawa until we arrived in Montreal, without repeating a single track.

It seemed the ride back into Montreal was LONG … Because it was pitch dark by the time we hit the station here. On the way out of Ottawa there was a multiple car accident on the highway and several rescue trucks were on the highway and several drivers had stopped to help people who were hurt. That slowed us down for a bit …

I got home around 7 when all was said and done.

Everybody has a plan. Rafa and Megan are going to be married, down the line. Juan and Nadia are getting married in July this summer. Houses, Kids, Jobs, Retirement plans. It seems everyone has a plan.

Hubby and I don’t have a plan …

While in Wakefield on Saturday afternoon, we talked about PLANS and CONTINGENCY plans. We also discussed the fact that I might be entitled to inheritance from my father’s will. Because I am his first-born son. However, my family wanted to fuck me over and have the whole of my life, there might be legal grounds for me to pursue Legal Rights to inheritance of any monies in his estate.

Even if they deny me inheritance and write me out of their wills, which I am sure they have already done, the money might be there to be had. Even if it is resentment money and that money would be dirty money, that I might not want to keep, if I did win an inheritance law suit, it would be my choice what to do with it.

I am calling a lawyer this week, to get that ball rolling.

My mother will have a shit fit and my father will be choking in his URN. Because my brother had him cremated and sent to Virginia. Where my mother now lives.

It was a very fruitful weekend. Lots of serious discussion about the future. I spoke with hubby over dinner about exactly that … The Future …

It seems, that “A PLAN” is in the works. A new law was passed here in Quebec about employers offering an opt in/opt out choice of 3% of gross pay being funneled into a bank run RRSP … That’s a retirement plan here in Quebec.

We talked about having a fifteen year plan, because by then, he will be retirement age and I don’t expect to be living in this same apartment for another fifteen years. We’ve just negotiated another years lease here this past week.

More to come.