Wednesday, April 30, 2008

100 Things To Do Before I Go - Part III

Numbers 51 - 75:

51. Walk out of a terrible movie
52. Build a house for somebody in need
53. Take my niece and nephew on vacation
54. Be at peace with the past
55. Learn to install tiles
56. Design my own home
57. Drive an eco-friendly car
58. Win a dragon boat race
59. Tell a person I don’t like what I really think of them
60. Cater a party
61. See a bull fight in Pamplona, Spain
62. Visit all the Canadian provinces and territories
63. Learn to whistle really loud
64. Go to Disney World
65. See my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary
66. Sell my baked goods
67. Have a great big soaker bathtub and use it weekly
68. Read more
69. Leave no cheese untested
70. Recognize when life is really good
71. Learn to sew
72. Drive fast on the autobahn, not just be a passenger
73. Attend the Olympics
74. Learn how to accept a compliment
75. Send a message in a bottle

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

100 Things To Do Before I Go - Part II

Numbers 26 - 50:

26. Go on a multi-day biking trip
27. Blow bubbles from Jacques Cartier bridge
28. Pyramids at sunset
29. Stay up all night to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
30. Carnival in Brazil
31. Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
32. Boat down the Amazon
33. Sail down the Nile
34. Drive around Newfoundland, or at least as far as the road goes
35. Plant a tree
36. Fly first class, internationally
37. Take ballroom dance lessons
38. Sleep in a tree house
39. Hike to Everest base camp
40. Eat sushi in Japan
41. Take a cooking class (preferably sushi, but really any kind will do)
42. Have a front porch swing
43. Vacation with Yvette, outside of Canada and Switzerland
44. Celebrate my 40th birthday in New York City
45. Breakfast in bed
46. Join a book club
47. Make my funeral arrangements
48. Write my Last Will & Testament
49. Visit Grandmaman’s grave
50. Bake a soufflé

Monday, April 28, 2008

100 Things To Do Before I Go - Part I

At last! Finally this weekend I found the last couple of things for my list. Here you go.

Numbers 1 - 25:

1. Be debt free
2. Show my pictures in a gallery
3. Volunteer in India
4. See an author read her/his own work
5. Learn Portuguese in Portugal
6. Help put my niece and nephew through university, if they want to go
7. Own a dog
8. Hike up to Machu Picchu
9. Ride an elephant
10. Do something I think I can’t do (sky dive, hang glide, parasail)
11. Taste durian
12. Not be afraid of PDA’s
13. Stand inside the Taj Mahal
14. Ring a church bell
15. Participate in La Tomatina
16. Have my own garden
17. Go a day without speaking
18. Travel by train across Canada
19. Walk along the Great Wall of China
20. Give $100 to a busker
21. Have a meal under a lemon tree in Lisbon
22. Safari in Africa
23. Ride a camel in the desert
24. Be surrounded by sand, as far as the eye can see
25. Open a Swiss bank account

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Tune-Up

Seems this past week has been all about spring tune-ups. Tuesday night Marc came over and gave my bike a tune-up. So I'm all ready to hit the bike path and see if I can beat my 700-odd kilometres of 2007. And today I went to an Ayurvedic yoga workshop. Found out through a tridosha "test" that I'm a pitta, with a healthy dose of vata, and a touch of kapha on the side.

This workshop opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about why we are the way we are, how we can use what we are to our full advantage and help us find the balance we seem to be looking for. All in all, a lot of things that made me sit up and go "hmmmm ..."

It also felt wonderful to do a little yoga on a beautiful day like today. Or maybe it was the act of doing the yoga practice that helped me realise what a beautiful day it was. It's as simple as this for me - practicing yoga makes me happy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home Stager

My real estate offers the services of a home stager as part of her deal in getting my condo sold. Having seen my fair share of home decorating and selling house television shows, I had a good idea of what I needed to do to get my place ready for sale.

Yesterday afternoon the home stager stopped by for her one hour consultation. I know my place is small and I never expected her to be here for more than 30 minutes. But apparently I did a good job preparing my place in advance because she was in and out of my place in 15 minutes and all she had to tell me was this:

Update knobs in kitchen, bathroom and hallway
Remove wooden stairway thing leading to window
Add a few accessories to the bathroom
And if I really wanted to, replace the kitchen light

Other than that, she loved how I'd decorated (she is a decorator) and called it "Bohemian Chic" (how cool is that?!), thought it was bright, clean, a "palace" compared to some other places she'd seen, and loved, loved, loved my dining room set. She also asked if I always had it this clean and I was almost embarrassed to say "yes, pretty much".

So I have to spend a tiny bit of money to give the kitchen, bathroom and hallway a little bit more punch and the rest should take care of itself.

After the home staging visit, I headed out to another open house. Located in Les Terrasses Windsor, I saw a great two bedroom place (unfortunately over my budget) and will be seeing a one bedroom condo tomorrow night after work. Very exciting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Night Flight

Friday night I got to fly over Montreal in a little 4-seater plane. Here are a few pictures from the flight.

It was a beautiful night, almost a full moon and super calm. We flew over my house, over the Olympic Basin at Parc Jean-Drapeau, over downtown Montreal and even the Olympic Stadium (but that wasn't lit up). It was very, very cool.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wine Fights Female Dementia

In case anyone is looking for more reasons to drink wine, check out this article.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hockey Fever

In case you haven't heard, the Canadiens have made it to the Stanley Cup play-offs this year. In fact, they were first place in the EasterN Conference this year. First time in a while that they finished in first. (I'm no sports fanatic so I won't bore you with all stats. Besides which, what am I talking about and where is the real Stef?)

Here in Montreal, locals are in the midst not of spring fever, but of Habs Hockey Fever. Many, many cars are driving around with those little flags sticking out the back car window. I didn't know how badly until yesterday when I even saw a cop car with a Habs flag in the back window!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New List Soon

The List of 100 Things Worth Doing was fun (and worth doing!). Along the same vein, I am preparing a list of 100 Things To Do Before I Go, which is proving a lot harder. I've been reading other people's lists (Mighty Girl again for inspiration) and am nearly there. As soon as I've got my 100, I'll start posting them. Until then please be patient.

Monday, April 14, 2008

100 Things Worth Doing - Part IV

Ready for it? Last 25 ...

Numbers 76-100:

76. Waiting in line overnight to buy David Bowie tickets
77. Laughing myself sick with Yvette
78. Brown sugar sandwiches
79. Flying down the dirt path in Dad’s old wagon
80. Meeting my best friend thanks to music class, a clarinet and “Good Night Ladies”
81. Mayor for a Day
82. Meeting my niece and nephew for the first time
83. Having the chance to say “adieu” to Grandmaman about 2 months before she died
84. Girls Night Out
85. Sand between my toes
86. Tasting the salty air when getting off the plane in Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Grand Cayman
87. Reading in my chair, covered with my blanket, oblivious to the weather
88. Going to summer camp
89. Opening Christmas stockings on my bed with my brothers
90. Writing to my pen-pal for 28 years and counting
91. Discovering live opera
92. Flirting with lovely men
93. Busting a move in my living room
94. Having both sets of grandparents in my life until my 30s
95. Visiting friends all over the world
96. Getting caught in the rain
97. Revelling in being a woman
98. Knocking his socks off
99. Watching and listening to Mom sing the national anthem at an Expos game
100. Writing this list

Sunday, April 13, 2008

100 Things Worth Doing - Part III

Numbers 51-75:

51. Keeping my cool and taking a picture of Thom Yorke as he walked by
52. First kiss
53. Skipping class at university to see a movie
54. Getting wet on the Maid of the Mist
55. Sitting on the top of a cliff on Aran Island, nobody else in sight
56. Brushing my teeth and being allowed to spit the toothpaste off the back porch at the cottage
57. Seeing a shooting star during the Radiohead concert, downtown Montreal as the backdrop
58. Laughing when Mom mistook “hot tub” for “hot dog”
59. Napping on my couch, in the sun
60. 1,275 Caribbean sunsets, give or take
61. Painting my own walls, changing my own light fixtures
62. Getting detention in biology class
63. Mini reunions with Anna, Lynn and Yvette
64. Decorating my brother’s car with condoms after his wedding and stealing all his underwear from his suitcase, only to find out his new mother-in-law drove the car home
65. Dressing up in my Mom’s silver shoes and jewelery, back in the days when my feet were still smaller than hers
66. Celebrating Grandmaman’s 90th Birthday with the ENTIRE Volet clan
67. Surprising my parents on their 25th wedding anniversary
68. Being licked in the face by my brother’s dog for the first time
69. Every time I’ve said no
70. Learning to ride a bike
71. Volunteering in Panama, twice
72. Burping better than many men
73. Getting my first tattoo
74. Smoking a Cuban cigar, in Cuba
75. Dancing on the bar

Saturday, April 12, 2008

100 Things Worth Doing - Part II

Numbers 26-50:

26. Dropping a frog on Mom’s back
27. Being Sandy in the Club Med version of Grease
28. Signing for my condo
29. Sleeping in the train station
30. Being towed on a sled behind the snowmobile
31. Learning to fly on the trapeze
32. Jumping into the snow in my bathing suit
33. Siesta on the hammock, ocean view
34. Hair dancing
35. Jumping on the beds with my cousins before Charles-AndrĂ©’s wedding, in all our finery
36. Dragon boating
37. Staying in a 4 or 5-star hotel
38. Accidentally turning the lights off in a museum, in Munich, on a Sunday afternoon
39. Taking care of a pet
40. Spending days picking up beer caps after hosting a party at my parents house (Dad still finding some when they got home)
41. Having a great librarian instil in me a love of books
42. Growing my own herbs (not marijuana – honestly)
43. Hiking with Grandmaman
44. Getting my BA
45. Moving to Germany, England, Ireland, Mexico, the Bahamas
46. Reading Amelia Badelia books with Dad
47. Attending the Grand Prix
48. Pillow fight in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s house, in the Lake District
49. Using my cordless drill
50. Eating fresh croissants and strawberries on my birthday

Friday, April 11, 2008

100 Things Worth Doing - Part I

Maggie Mason over at Mighty Girl has inspired me to put together my own list of scenes I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes.

I enjoyed reading her list and found myself thinking about things that had happened in my life. It made me realise that I have had some pretty amazing things happen and decided to start my own list. Something about writing it all down and recalling all these events has made me very happy. Although I haven't had the experiences that a lot of people have had (getting married, kids), I have lead a pretty interesting life so far (at least to me) and I have some amazing memories. Everything you're about to read is important to me, some things more than others, but they are all good things. And for somebody like me, a realist (pessimist, cynic), it's been therapeutic to see that I have A LOT to be thankful for.

Numbers 1-25:

1. Making bread with Grandmaman
2. Picking fresh strawberries and raspberries anytime we wanted at Grandmaman & Grandpapa’s
3. Stuffing my mouth full of grapes and laughing in the mirror at the Cottage
4. Catching tadpoles at camp in the spring
5. Coming out of the metro in Barcelona, turning around and seeing La Sagrada Familia
6. Watching Yvette hang there as her shirt got stuck on a horse’s saddle as she was getting off
7. Back-packing and camping my way around Ireland
8. Lip-synching the ABBA mix to rave reviews at the local bar in Huatulco
9. Earning a Certificate in Photography (also becoming a ‘A’ student)
10. Enlarging the photo booth picture at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof
11. Having an article about me published in the paper
12. Singing “Alice the Camel” over and over again to the girls in Panama
13. Discovering the Maritimes on my own
14. Listening to Mom throw bread dough on the kitchen counter
15. Hearing the ocean from my bed
16. Aperitifs and cheese as the sun set
17. Eating fresh caught lobster on the beach
18. Staying up all night to watch the Junkanoo Parade
19. Clean sheets
20. Learning the chocolate chip cookie recipe by heart
21. The FM tapes
22. Kissing a stingray
23. Swimming with dolphins
24. Killing a scorpion
25. Dreaming in German, Spanish, French, at one time or another