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Showing posts from May, 2014

Bad Quebec Day

Today is a bad Quebec day for me.


I'm tired of not knowing where to go, how to get there, or what's going on. We're in the thick of getting all our Canadian/Quebec documents like health care, car registration, new insurance, new driving licenses...you name it. All of these processes are completely foreign to me. It seems complicated - especially so because I'm not fully "thinking" in French (yet) which means I think in English first and then translate into French and it's exhausting. 99% of the time it's a mild annoyance, but today, I hate it all. 

I'm tired of not totally understanding and tired of being a foreigner. 


When I was an expat, at the end of the day, I came back to camp and spent most of my time with people like me. So I had the language thing, but at the end of the day I had like-minded people that spoke the same language as me. 

I hate to have a "poor me" defeatist attitude, but today, I'm just tired of all of the...Fre…

Cooking Update

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about our family's subscription to SOS CUISINE. It's sort of cheap ($9/month) and literally planned out every single morsel of food we'd put in our mouth, with the accompanied grocery list.

I'm not going to lie, we spent a SHITLOAD of money on groceries each week (like $400), but we've also spent roughly $20 eating out (ok...that doesn't include nights we've had Dairy Queen for desert, which is usually once a week). 

Most of that money spent has been to build up our pantry and freezer, which before, had basically nothing. Now we have quite a few spices, oils, a freezer full of beef, chicken, and sausage, as well as the regular stuff that one needs to just throw something together last minute.

For the first two weeks, it's been great. I made a lot of changes the second week because we found that it was too much planning and we needed less structure We don't need planned meals for breakfast, we need unplanned days to …

FOOD

A few months ago, a friend started to question the way she was eating. She was healthy, active, but had gained weight and was having a hard time understanding why. She recently started eating a keto adapted diet and has been having a great time with it, including the benefit of weight loss. (You can read about her here).


I started reading about her story, then about keto adapted regimes, then paleo, and a a million other articles on the internet.


I think I am physically very healthy. I regularly work out in various ways (some strength, some running, some High Intensity Interval Training). I have the base knowledge of what food is good for you and what food isn't the best to eat every day. But I do have some health problems and I think that my diet (not "diet" as in like, "I won't eat sugar for a month" kind of diet, but diet meaning like the foods that I eat every day) needs an overhaul.


I've always struggled with my weight. I did Weight Watchers in 2…

Le Weekend

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Yesterday we left Sainte Thérèse to drive to Quebec City. Most of Louis' family lives there and there was a birthday celebration for Louis' mom. 



Even though two brothers and their respective families were missing, it was so nice. It filled a certain void that I feel not being near my extended family. 

It's funny, I might not have seen all my family that often, just knowing that I could was a feeling that I really liked. And that miss. Last night reinforced that I have a family here. No, it's not the same as mine, but the warmth and laughter that I miss is pretty darn close. I felt myself get emotional a few times and I'm certainly not sure of myself all of the time, but the good moments were far more than the insecure moments. 

Every so often I go through these phases where everything feels incredibly surreal. This is one of them. I can't grasp that I've been in Quebec for just over two weeks. It certainly isn't easy transitioning, but having weekends wit…

The Crazy Dog Lady (um...me)

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I'm back at the mechanics today. The inspection led to some not awesome news (but minor really) and luckily enough they were able to get me in the next day (but Louis took my car home first in hopes that he could fix it).
Louis had previous plans so that meant that I had to drive myself. I didn't love driving in Edmonton and driving in the Montreal area isn't exactly a fun experience for me. It's a much more aggressive (ahem *cough* asshole) environment and it there is construction (that seems to change too fast for the GPS to keep track of), so I took along my pal, Maggie. I'm scared of driving and she's scared of everything, so she can totally relate. ;). She is truly one of those cool dogs that is super low maintenance, as far as dogs go. Yes, she'll bark ask permission to get into her cage and yes, she'll harass you until you change her water dish because there is a hair (her own) or spec of dirt (real or imaginary). This is pretty annoying, but as f…

Mrs Pessimism

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I'm typing this in a small town somewhere in Quebec, near the US border I think, in a mechanics' shop. Word-of-mouth has this place as a (government) car inspection place that doesn't go overboard with it's requirements...which I need because I have one (acceptable) thing broken on my car but we're not sure if it will pass inspection. Louis (who is just a little obsessed with cars) knows a guy who knows a guy...Hopefully this means an inspection fee & no other costs.(Update: parts were $270...waiting for labour quote. Life could be worse, I guess). 
Anyway, this week's theme is...confusion. I am totally confused as to what's going on, how to be a step-parent to two girls (being here full time is a lot different than being here very part time), how to understand what's being said, and how the locals live their everyday lives. I'm still in Canada, but everything is different from grocery shopping, to going to the gym, to driving, etc.. Thankfully, …

Hungover

For the last month or so, I've been having spectacular dreams. I've been known to talk from time to time in my sleep, but with this dreams, it's a few times a week. Last night, I had a crazy party.

All night long I dreamt that it was Christmas, I exchanged gifts with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, grandpa and grandpa in an apartment that my grandparents used to live in. Then later, we had a crazy New Year's Eve party, followed by grandparents helping me move, followed by a family garage sale. It was the best time ever. It was also one of those dreams where for the first few seconds after waking up, you forget that it wasn't real.

I forgot that I live far away from my mom and grandparents. And that my grandpa is sick.

I slept in wayyyyy past my alarm. I woke up extraordinarily groggy feeling like I had a night out dancing and drinking.

I had a good cry when I woke up. I've had a couple of moments where I've cried for a few minutes (one of them wh…

Adventures in Cooking - I

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Even thought I've been back in Canada for nearly a year, my living circumstances have been all over the place. Prior to that, I had ALL my meals planned out for me. Might be nice for some...but I actually like cooking and I liked coming up with ideas of what to eat.

That something died in Madagascar. I can't think of anything to cook. I eat weird combinations of foods, super super easy meals, prepared food, and a lot of eating out.

I'm not happy with my eating regime...or my weight. And while I'm reading and researching  different ways of eating, it all comes down to the same - there has to be some kind of order.

I've tried meal planning for months. I've failed more than I've succeeded. I looked on-line about ready-made meal plans...but never found anything affordable or that interested me.

Louis had mentioned soscuisine.com before, and I thought about it, but it ended there.

Now that we are both back in Canada, have the girls some of the time, and need s…

Meanwhile, in Quebec...

Okay. We arrived in Quebec on Friday.

Friday night and the first part of Saturday...I had this weird...heavy feeling that I don't know how to describe. I was reminded of the sad memories here, the reasons why I left, how I felt when I left...and toute la patatente...which is very bad French slang, kind of meaning, 'the whole kit and kaboutle', which I guess is pretty poor English as well.

Saturday afternoon, I actually told myself, out loud, that it was okay to not feel totally normal. I didn't have to feel like this was my every day life and, even though it's my every day life, it may take some getting used to.

I was/am overwhelmed with the amount of unpacking...and was especially overwhelmed with the feeling of deja-vu. Didn't I arrive last June, back "home", ready to find a job and build a life for myself in Quebec (although I was undecided if I was working abroad or in Canada)? Now it's a year later, I've been all over the world and back …
If you're not sure if you really, really love someone, travel 3350+km with them, in a two door little car, staying in unplanned, mostly dumpy hotels, while trying to see the best sights in each city (but not having done any research before hand). {Not even considering the fact that we've only spent seven weeks physically together in the last ten months}.

I've had my moments, my worries, my meltdowns about what our future may hold. I might have thought about jumping out of the little car while driving on the interstate. That would have been messy. 

But one thing is for certain is that I'm sure that I really, really love my husband. 

Spending the night in a nice bed tonight, sleeping in a very decent hotel, touring Niagara Falls tomorrow. 
Minnesota was impressively awesome, somewhere I'd like to visit on purpose for like a real vacation. I'll post some pics soon of our bike tour!
We're now just outside of Chicago. There may have been a small hotel snafu....we can't remember why we booked this hotel. For now it seems like in the middle of nowhere, but we are sure that we booked it because it was in a cool neighbourhood or something....
Anyway, we're just about to leave to go on another tour. This time a walking & eating tour!

Description Savor the flavors of Chicago's Gold Coast and Old Town neighborhoods on this three-hour walking food tour. Between tastings at seven different locations, your guide will have you feeling like a local as you walk down the tree-lined streets and learn about the history, culture and architecture of the "Windy City."
Your walk takes you to locations that include a Japanese restaurant, Polish bakery, famous Chicago-style pizzeria and more!

Sample tasting locat…
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So it turns out that I get purrrrrrdy cranky after about 5 hours or so of driving. Like, small-child-cranky.

Thankfully, my foot has healed and the temperatures are nice, so my husband pulls over to the next town and throws me out if the car and forces me to run. 

Yesterday around 7pm or so, I was getting that antsy-crankalicious feeling again, so Louis proposed, then maybe insisted that I get out and run. Bless his heart. It took us an extra hour to get to where we were going, but we're on vacation, baby, so it doesn't really matter!

I feel so much better after a quick run. (I'm still using the Bluefin app, Ease into 10km. Just started week 3)

Towns I've ran in so far:
•Brandon, Manitoba
•Melrose, Minnesota 

Today we're in Minneapolis, spending the afternoon doing a 3-4 hour historic tour on bikes. We're staying about 20 minutes outside of the downtown core, mainly due to purposeful lack of planning. We are booking our hotels & plans last minute, just 'cause …