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Home from Montreal

Monday, May 18, 2009

Well, I'm home but the trip got off to a rocky start. I booked my train trip to Dorval (a suburb of Montreal near Kirkland, which is where my sister lives) in March. I was leaving at 6:25 a.m. from Aldershot (a suburb of Burlington near where I live) and I was supposed to arrive in Dorval at 12:30 p.m.

DH got me to the train station at 6:05 a.m., which gave me 20 extra minutes until the train arrived.... or so I thought..... but when we arrived at the train station, there was no one else waiting for the train and that's very odd on a long weekend in May!

And, when I went to check with the attendant, he told me that VIA had changed their schedules and my train departure time had been changed to 6 a.m. and it had already left! And, no one had bothered to let me know! I was extremely ticked off. So, DH asked him when the train was leaving Toronto and he said 7:05 a.m. so we decided to drive to Toronto to try to make the train from there so that my trip wasn't entirely wrecked! Downtown Toronto is usually an hour drive from our house and it was now 6:10 almost 6:15 and the exit off the 403 highway to the train station didn't have an entrance back onto the highway going towards Toronto so we had to double back before we could head to Toronto. It was very, very stressful!

But, miraculously enough, we got to Union Station in downtown Toronto at 10 to 7 so I had 15 minutes to find and board my train, which I did but my heart was pounding the whole time!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. When Fiona (my sister) picked me up in Dorval, it was just starting to rain and by the time we got to her house, it was pouring so after a quick bite to eat, we decided to go shopping since it wasn't very nice out.

The first place we went to was the Addition-Elle outlet where I bought a calf length black skirt for the summer. It was kind of pricey at $70 but it fit well and looked good so I decided it was worth it. I wasn't planning on buying anything else but she wanted to look at a jacket she'd been thinking about buying at the Jones of New York outlet so we went in there, too. And, the jacket that she was thinking about buying wasn't there anymore in the colour she wanted but I ended up buying a spring coat in pale yellow that was regularly $200 but was marked down to $50! I've wanted a spring coat for ages but I'm too cheap to get a good one since I'm planning on losing more weight and I didn't want to spend a lot on one but this one has a tie belt so even if it gets too big, it should last at least a year, I hope. Currently, I just wear a blue fleece and frankly, it just doesn't go with my dresses and skirts that well so I'm really pleased with this purchase.

On Sunday, we went to the Eco-Museum, which is a great, little zoo with animals that are native to Quebec in it. The most "exotic" animal was an arctic fox. There were various kinds of owls and eagles and caribou, foxes, coyotes, wolves, otters, rabbits, porcupine, fisher (never heard of this one before - he was continually running in circles in his area), ducks and I got to hold a black rat snake. She was a lot warmer and heavier than I thought she would be. She was really cool! Here's a photo:

Someone asked me if you needed to know a lot of French to go to Montreal and I just want to say that I don't go to Montreal proper; my sister lives in Kirkland, which is on the west island of Montreal and it's a large English-speaking area. People do speak French there but it's predominately English.

Anyway, I had a nice time regardless of the stresses from the beginning of the trip.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABLUE2 5/19/2009 10:17PM

  I HATED that ugly picture of that reptile (cannot even type the word) in our house we call them "sunflowers" otherwise I have nightmares. The coat is beautiful and you got a great buy, just think of it as a birthday present to yourself. I know I'm not going to spell this correctly but lived in Tri Rivera (Three Rivers?) for a year and took several trips to Montreal to sight see and we certainly "ran" into folks who would NOT speak English but we could tell they knew what we were saying so guess we stayed in Montreal proper too much but what a beautiful city. I cannot believe you made it to Toronto and caught your train as I remember how awful the traffic an be in Toronto without it being a holiday. Hope you had a grand Victoria Day weekend with your sister, sounds like you did!!

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It's been over a month since my last blog...

Monday, May 11, 2009

But, I've been soooooo busy....

I'm organising a retirement party for one of the guys I work with who has worked in our division for 35 years!

And, I'm finally trying to get caught up on all the certificate upgrades for our operators so I've been spending a lot of time doing that.

And, my boss wanted me to organise our attendance management system, which is a stupid system that the City uses to manage absences and when people are off more than twice a year or more than 7 days, they get a letter and/or a meeting and we haven't done them in so long, we didn't even know what level people were at or anything so I did that. But the nice thing about this is that my boss nominated me for a recognition award for doing this job in addition to my regular duties and so I received a nice card and a $20 gift certificate to Kelsey's.

And, then the MOE decided to do another inspection of our facilities so I had to do my regular reports for them!

And, then today and tomorrow, I'm on holidays from work because it's my birthday tomorrow and I never work on my birthday if I can help it! Today I had lunch with a friend, who I haven't seen since last summer and tomorrow, I have a pedicure booked for 11 a.m. and then I'm having dinner at my favourite fajita place with DH and his mum (since we didn't get together for Mothers Day).

And, on Thursday, my boss and the superintendents are taking me out for lunch for my birthday.

And, then for the long weekend, I'm going to Montreal to visit with my sister and her family but I'm cutting my visit short because although I had originally booked all of next week off, now I'm going back to work on the Thursday because that's the date of the retirement party and I figure that I'll be working on that most of the day so I might as well be getting paid for it but I'll have to miss Theatre Extravaganza at my niece and nephews' school because of course, it's on Thursday night too but I'm going to go to the dress rehearsal instead, which should be interesting.

And, then the last week of May, a friend and I are taking a hands-on water operators' class just for the fun of it (which both of our bosses approved) so I won't be in the office that week either and then I'll get even further behind...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 5/12/2009 11:52PM

    Being busy can't hurt!! Be sure to get your emoticon and not skip meals, and get plenty of emoticon!

I don't know about you, but I always seem to lose weight when I get super busy like you are now & going to be for the next - wow, month!?

Good for you - and I hope you had a SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOLLIEMAC 5/12/2009 7:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Happy Birthday Joanna- sounds like you're one busy lady- ENJOY it all!...MJ

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25 Years! Woohoo!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

So, I'll be out of town for the next 3 days because DH and I are going to Toronto to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally, we were going to go to Arizona but since he's been laid off since December, we can't afford to do that.

So, instead we're going to Toronto (an hour east of where we live). We're staying at a Howard Johnson in Yorkville and have plans to go to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario and the World's Biggest Bookstore and art galleries in Yorkville.

Also, his family are taking us out to dinner at a fancy French restaurant on Tuesday night called Amuse-Bouche, which is part of a fundraising project called "Stop for Food" run by Cross Town Kitchens. There are 28 Toronto restaurants taking part in this project.

The Stop Community Food Centre strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. The Stop recognizes that confronting hunger must go beyond handing out food to people struggling on low incomes. Through innovative food programs, their aim is to bring people together to break down social isolation and improve quality of life.

I thought this was a good project to support so I suggested it to my SIL but now hubby is stressed because he doesn't have anything fancy to wear; he's totally a blue jeans and t-shirt kind of guy but I told him just to wear his black jeans and his nice blue fleece shirt and he'll be fine.

So, I probably won't be on SP for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday but I'll be back Thursday.

Have a good week, everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1888MICHELLE 3/29/2009 7:03PM

    Hope you had a wonderful time in our fair city!!

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TRAINOF4 3/23/2009 12:08AM

    emoticon on 25 years of wedded bliss! It sounds like you're going to have a wonderful few days. I love Toronto, what little I've seen of it, but it was so clean & pleasant AND the people were all sooo friendly! LOL

Amuse-Bouche sounds great, be sure to tell us all about what you eat! It sounds like a worthwhile project AND interesting menus. I remember going to a park by Niagara Falls that was so lovely, full of rose gardens & a beautiful conservatory. Wish I could remember the name of that park. Oh well, sounds like you'll have your hands full as it is!

See you soon -

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CAITLIN59 3/22/2009 5:15PM

    Happy Anniversary and Congratulations!

Enjoy your holiday - it sounds great.

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MOLLIEMAC 3/22/2009 3:31PM

    Happy Anniversary Joanna- have a wonderful time being a tourist in Toronto! Thanks for sharing the food program as well, I'm going to forward that onto a friend here who is a reporter. Great idea!...MJ emoticon

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JUDYPOPPINS 3/22/2009 1:05PM

    emoticon on your anniversary. emoticon
The "Stop for Food" sounds like a wonderful program. You'll have a good time and do good at the same time.

Enjoy your celebration.

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Update on Sister

Sunday, March 15, 2009

She went to see an infectious disease specialist on Thursday and here is his theory:

A viral infection which traveled up her spine (through an old spinal injury) and turned into viral encephalitis which has since been resolved. The body's over-reactive immune response to the encephalitis causing the joint pain and other continuing symptoms. If this theory is true, it could take months for the condition to resolve, but it would likely eventually resolve itself on its own, unless it turns into (or already has turned into) an auto-immune disease (which viruses can also lead to).

He wants to read the rest of her medical history before he sees her again next Thursday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 3/18/2009 9:36PM

    Wonderful, I'm glad to hear that there has been some progress! It sounds like a very good theory BTW - have they done a spinal tap? Did they find anything in that?

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TITALADY 3/15/2009 10:28PM

    You're in my prayer's lady. xo

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Good News!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My sister finally had her MRI on Saturday and got her results yesterday and she didn't have a stroke and doesn't have MS or a brain tumour! We still don't know what's wrong but it's nice to get the scary things out of the way. Now, they think she might have a virus of some sort so they're referred her to an infectious disease specialist and have started her on antibiotics as a precaution.

Thanks for everyone's support. It means a lot to me.

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    I'm so happy for the great news ! I know that takes a load off your mind, and hers. Hopefully they can get her into the infectious disease specialist soon so she can feel herself again.

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