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Happy Labour Day Monday :)

It's been a lovely long weekend, lots of relaxing, visiting with friends and some family I haven't seen in a long time.

I'm organizing and editing a few photos from the week, so I thought I'd share a few from my pigeon adventure this week...

So Thursday afternoon when I got home from work around 4pm, I heard a noise on the balcony, It was a pretty loud noise and then it sounded like a bird was flapping it's wings pretty fast. I looked out onto the balcony as I was still hearing a ruckus (sp?)

Turns out that a pigeon landed against the wall and must have hurt  its wings because it barely moved when I got close to it. 

He/She was so stunned, I was worried it was hurt but it didn't look like anything was broken. I took a few photos and talked to it a little to keep it calm since I was pretty up close and personal to it.

It was tagged so I was unsure whether that meant if it was a pet or just part of the city's pigeon population. He/she stayed perched on and under the balcony  until late into the night.

When I came home from work on Friday, he/she was no longer there, so hopefully the pigeon is okay..

Sitting on the top of the balcony wall:



A little closer:



Sitting under the balcony wall:



And the beautiful setting sun:

Jul. 29th, 2009

Summer is pretty much non-existent in Ottawa this year, most weekends have been wet leaving little time to play in the sunshine... However I have been able to squeeze in a few moments of summer here and there:



A Little Bit of SummerCollapse )



Wallpaper Meme

Fun Meme taken from her_whispers journal:

1: Anyone who looks at this entry should post this meme and their current wallpaper at their LiveJournal.
2: Explain in five sentences why you're using that wallpaper.
3: Don't change your wallpaper before doing this. The point is to see what you had on

My current wall paper is a beautiful photo I took on my trip to Jamaica (May 2009) - it was one of my fav photos I took to remind me of the beautiful places that exist just waiting for me to have the chance to discover them. I've always loved to travel, in fact I've moved around a lot until the last 6 years, but I think I forgot how much I like to go on adventures like this trip... so it reminds me every day to look for the little and big adventures...

An Incredible Journey

Five Happy Thoughts:
  1. Enjoyed a sunshiney day yesterday
  2. Got caught up on laundry
  3. Created a new journal
  4. Printed some of my Jamaica Photos
  5. Wrote and sent some postcards out

Spent a week in Montego Bay in the beginning of May, we left on the 10th of May at 7am from Ottawa and arrived in Montego Bay at 2pm, we returned on Saturday May 16th at 11:30pm - the trip was amazing! We had great weather, went swimming in the ocean every single day; enjoyed lovely Jamaican food like jerk chicken, patties, nesberry fruit. My sister and I arrived in Montego Bay at 2pm on Sunday, it was hot, so very hot when we went through the airport, first customs and then to find our luggage. We finally arrived at the airport entrance and were so happy when we saw the sign that said my sister's first and last name as we had arranged to hire a driver through the recommendations of the apartment complex we were staying at. Our driver drove us to the apartement where we were welcomed by Pauline the lady that runs the apartment complex we stayed at; she was so friendly and helpful. We then unpacked and got ready to explore a bit. We walked down the strip a little to find a place to eat. We settled on a place called the Pelican Grill that was about 2 blocks from where we were staying. We decided to eat here to celebrate Mother's Day for my sister - I had fried chicken and rice & peas while she had curried goat. The food was delicious and the people were friendly.

The next day we went into town with our driver to set up a cell phone for unlimited overseas calls to call back home while we were away. We toured the downtown area of Montego Bay and saw part of the ghetto which was very sad. After setting up the cell phone, our driver took us to the supermarket to buy some food and water, and then he brought us to one of the markets to buy some fresh fruit from a vendor. The fruit lady we bought from was very friendly - we bought yellow bananas, mangoes, and nesberry fruit which was delicious.

We chose to stay in an apartment complex instead of a resort, and I am so glad we did as I don't think we would have seen as much of the local environment had we been in a resort. Across the street from our apartment was the beach and ocean, and a few blocks down the street was the tourist strip full of souvenir shops and resorts along the waterfront.

On the Tuesday we made our way down to Doctor's Cove Beach to enjoy a day of swimming in the ocean and lying in the sun. We rented an umbrella so I wouldn't get too much sun as I am very fair; and a chair for my sister - I was content to use my towel. I enjoyed just watching all the visitors especially children playing in the sand and surf. Swimming in the ocean was so amazing, the water was warm from the sun, and although it was salty, it felt so good on my skin. I spent a lot of time looking for seashells and rocks in the shore for my niece as that is what she wanted us to bring her back.

Wednesday my sister's husband's family came to visit from Mandeyville for the day, it was a very long drive for them but they made the trip. His 3 daughters came with his mother and 2 of his cousins. 2 of his daughters were spending the rest of the week with us, so we were very anxious to meet them and enjoy some time getting to know them. I took so many pictures this day as not only did his family visit but they brought his new granddaughter who is about six months old; she was so precious and I couldn't take enough photos of her.

Thursday was a sightseeing day, we left the apartment at about 10am, headed out to make our way through Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay, Discovery Bay to spend the day in Dunn's River Falls. Oh my gosh Jamaica is beautiful, I sat up front with our driver while my sister sat with her husband's girls in the back of the van. I kept taking photos, but was mostly drinking my surroundings in as I have never seen anywhere quite as colourful, vibrant and beautiful.. I fell in love with the ocean when I used to visit Nick in Florida going back and forth but nothing could have prepared me for how much I enjoyed Montego Bay and the surrounding cities.

Columbus Park gave me a bit of a sense of the way of life when he discovered the island, as many of the first tools are shown here with explanations of the plants and their uses. The view was spectacular, we had such a great day for our sightseeing. Once we got to Dunn's River Falls, we made our way into the park and down to the falls and the beach that they flowed into. I was a little afraid to go under the falls at first, sure enough the water was freezing and the way the water rushed over you was intense. Yet you move a little further into the water where the falls join the ocean and it was much warmer. I even made my way up the first part of the falls to stand on top giving my sister a mini heart attack. I would have climbed the rest of it with the other tourists but I didn't think my sister could make it up the falls with her issues with her legs (she had swelling problems with them). We spent the day frolicking in the falls and the ocean and eventually made our way back to Montego Bay about 8pm. It rained a little on our journey back, but the sun came out eventually and we saw some rainbows before the sun set for the day.

Friday we went back to Doctor's Cave beach to enjoy another day in the ocean, we stopped at a few shops along the way and mailed some post cards at the post office. We rented chairs and an umbrella as well as snorkeling equipment and enjoyed a quieter day at the beach with the girls. The first time we spent the day there the cruise ship was docked and there were many more tourists than when we went on Friday. Snorkelling was amazing - we could see the bottom of the water clearly and even saw some pretty little fish darting to and fro underneath us.

When Saturday morning came, the girls cousin arrived to take them back to Mandeyville and then we left for the airport to do some last minute shopping, eat and then get on the plane to begin our journey back home. We were both so sad to go, we would have loved to stay longer. Our flights were long, we were late arriving in Toronto but I had left a lot of time between our flights so we still had over an hour for our connection, my sister slept the whole time we were in the air from Toronto to Ottawa, I was so glad to get off the plane and see Sean waiting for me. It was a really nice trip, but it is always so good to come home to the person you love and realize that you missed them so much more than you thought you might. The saying is always true - distance makes the heart grow fonder....

A few photos from my tripCollapse )

Inspiration Needed


A new site I found from the ever-so-inspiring Ali Edwards has a weekly feature called TGIF - a wonderful exercise called Trust Grattitude Inspiration Friday 

Today I thought I'd complete the exercise after being very inspired by this author - Brené Brown

1. Who/what are you trusting today?
I'm trusting that karma will work everything out in today's mishap.

2. Who/what are you grateful for today?
Grateful for the sunshine behind the clouds, for enjoying my job but getting out of work a little bit early, and for my upcoming trip to Jamaica in 9 days :)

3. Who/ what is inspiring you today?
Ali Edwards as always. Her twitter post led me to this blog, she always highlights awesome sites, and is just a cool down to earth woman online, and I bet in person too!

My day today was going fine until I was pulled over by an undercover cop in Gatineau, Quebec (where I work) for using my cell phone while driving. While I know this was not so safe and wrong, I was very upset that the cop was rude, and that after more than 10 years of driving with a record of no tickets whatsoever; I did not get a warning but instead a $115 ticket with 3 demerit points (which the back of the ticket says is a guideline).
 
The fact that I was able to leave work a half hour early was supposed to give me a great start to my weekend, not give me a fine I don't want to spend $ on, unwanted demerit points that take 2 years to pass; and the grumpy mood it put me in for being mad at myself for doing something so stupid in the first place... So I filled out this TGIF exercise and convinced myself that it will still be a great weekend, and perhaps this was just the world shouting at me to slow down and think more about unsafe actions...

Enjoy your Friday wherever you may be dear friends :)

Great weekend!

























Beautiful weather yesterday - although it was a little overcast, the sun was still shining; the breeze was warm and the view was quite spectacular from our 17th floor balcony. I had my laptop with me, perched so I could see the neighbourhood activity; which with the good weather there was quite a bit of.

Saturday night, we drove up to Kingston to help organize Grandma's house some more in order to get it on the market soon. We arrived in Kingston around 7pm and had a lovely dinner at Red Lobster. The food was fantastic, we shared lobster stuffed mushrooms; had caesar salad, and for dinner I ate the yummiest shrimp and scallops in a creamy garlic sauce with asparagus, oh and then we all shared a warm chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was great conversation in a relaxed environment with great service.

And then today we visited Grandma and tidied up the house a bit before returning to Ottawa. So it was a pretty full weeekend full of great moments.



The long road home...


So today is my birthday, and I thought, could there be a better day to come back to post on LiveJournal ?

I've been away far too long, but life, well sometimes it gets busy... maybe a lil hectic as well... but life, life is good.

Let's see... a few updates:
  • August 8, 2008 - I had RNY weight loss surgery - it went very well, I am still so pleased with my decision to become a healthier, livelier me - as of today I am down almost 140 lbs and could possibly lose another 60-70 lbs.
  • October 2008 - Sean's grandfather passed away at 91, his grandma also moved into a retirement home and gave up her license the same week he died. This was a hard time for all of us, I was lucky to be part of his family, I just wish I had a chance to know him earlier in life.
  • Also in October 2008 - Moved again - I really hate packing.
  • December 2008 - February 2009 - OC Transpo bus strike left the city with no bus service, spent many hours stuck in traffic, made for very long days in picking up my sister from work and then fighting the traffic on the way home.
  • February 2009 - Trying to get more exercise in to my routine to help tone my body and make me healthier! Trying to get into the habit of using the gym and swimming at least 3 times a week (baby steps... )
  • March 2009 - Celebrated my mother's birthday with an outing at the racetrack, first time since Brianna (my niece died on her birthday) left us that she's wanted to enjoy her birthday - was so nice, especially since my sister came too (they haven't been in much contact for almost a year - family drama.
So those are the highlights... The rest of my time has been filled with work, helping with my niece & nephew, trying to figure out my vitamins, relearning how to eat to make my body happy with the foods it is getting, enjoying my weight loss as I have new wow moments all the time, and of couse, finding time for one of my loves - taking photos!

Oooh... and in other news... 

Well I'm waiting for my contract at work to be renewed - it should be; but it still makes me nervous to be a term employee with the government. My start date was May 5th, 2008 so I should hear something by end of April - everyone is supposed to be renewed - it just might not be for a full year again. I love my job, the people I work with are great, and even my french language skills are improving. So I will just have to wait and see, but as an Aries, I am not always a patient person..

I'm also counting down the days to May 10th, 2009 - My sister and I are taking a trip... I still cannot believe I'm going as my sister was making plans to go and I jokingly said could I tag along, and the rest is history - I now have a plane ticket, we're staying in a small hotel near the beach and the main strip and I couldn't be more excited! Okay, okay - we're going to Jamaica!!! My sister's husband is from there so we should be seeing some of his family as well, we were going to go for 4 days but I found the same price for the tickets for 7 so we leave early Sunday morning and leave late Saturday afternoon. I cannot express how much I am looking forward to this trip!

Alright, so I hope to post a bit more frequently, my how I've missed my LJ friends, so thank you for being so patient with me... I pray all is well with you, and that like me,  you are enjoying every moment that life has to offer :)

much love!

Tags:

Zooom... zoooomm... :)

 I don't have time for a real update right now, but hopefully soon... work is busy, but I love it... trying to respond to friends entries, but I never completely catch up... oye... hope everyone is well :)

Quote of the Day:

"Dance like no one is watching,
Sing like no one is listening, 
Love like you've never been hurt,
and live like it's heaven on Earth."

~ Mark Twain

These words inspire me :)

Catching Up...

Day 3 today at the new job, training is going well, except for the fact that my username and password didn't work, seems they expected me to remember what it was when I was a temporary employee at the other building back in October... uhmmm yeah, nothing I tried work so they had to reset  it and we'll see if it is ready today... we're in a group of about 14, so it is much better than the 60 people we were in October. 

Commuting to Quebec is about 45 minutes each way, so I've been getting home about 12:15am each night which is better than I thought as there is barely any traffic on the way home. The weather has been fairly warm the last few days so I haven't really minded the driving. I was offered the day shift as currently I am on a 3:30pm to 11:30pm evening shift, but there are a few reasons why I decided to stay on the evening shift... 

I would have to wake up at 5:30am and leave by 6am to make it to work for 7am to avoid morning traffic and although I would be done by 3pm which is very attractive, I would be coming back to Ottawa in rush hour traffic by the time I was over the bridge. And then there is a parking issue for people who are on the day shift, there are not enough spaces and even though you would pay for parking, you are not guaranteed a spot and might have to park on the street. The evening shift doesn't pay for parking and so far I haven't had an issue finding a spot. It is also easier for me to squeeze in doctor, dentist and any other appointments earlier in the day if I need to which is very difficult to do without taking time off on the day shift... As well the evening shift gets paid a few more dollars an hour, more money in my pocket makes me  happy after not having a great wage since last June, it will be nice to be able to get ahead and perhaps save for a newer vehicle among other things. So as attractive as it would be not to work the late shift, I decided to decline moving to the day shift after training.

Last week, I spent Wednesday to Friday at my mom's house; it was so nice to spend a bit of time with her and since she will be away for Mother's Day, I am glad I went. We have the same physician, so we went to our appointment together on Thursday, it is an hour and a half away from where we are, but my mother has had him for years and he took me on when I could not find a doctor here in the city. He has helped me get the ball rolling for my weight loss surgery journey, and appreciate all he does in trying to help me get to better health. On Thursday, I asked him to fill out my forms to go out of country for surgery, my mom helped me write a letter to go with the application and I am very happy with it. I was so nervous as it was a huge form to fill out, 2 sides and everything had to be in his handwriting... I felt so relieved once our appointment was done that now I have to just send it in to OHIP and hope for the best before I go to my consult in Utica, New York in June. I am beginning to believe that this will happen, that it is within my grasp and perhaps I will take the next steps sooner rather than later.

Sunday, we went to Kingston to visit Sean's grandparents to celebrate his granddad's birthday earlier in the week. His aunt was here visiting from the US so it was really nice to see her too. His whole family is very nice to me, I feel lucky to have an extended family through Sean that is so kind and thoughtful, and also very supportive of my wls journey. Sean's mom is hoping my journey will help Sean be a little more healthy in life as well. She is awesome, I am so fortunate to have her in my life - I've always heard that mother-in-laws can be crazy and hard to deal with, but she is neither and I don't think she would ever be like that even once we do get married one day in the future. As always, we had a lovely time. We even helped out by staying with Sean's granddad while his grandma was taken to an early Mother's day lunch with her two daughters. His grandma takes care of her husband and they still live in their own home on their own, so it was nice for her to not have to worry about him being alone while they were out. 

Then Monday, not only was it my first day of work, but i also had an early morning appointment at the weight management clinic here in the city, it was a follow up to find out more about my trip to meet the surgeon in Toronto and the next steps to take if I am having surgery in Toronto. This was the first appointment with him where I was not a basket case of nerves, and I felt good about the appointment as we discussed my case, my hopes and my fears. He seemed happy for me that I was on my way, and I was happy to hear when he affirmed my decisions and said he thought I was making the right choice for my health and my life. 

I was going to hang out downtown and perhaps do some shopping between the appointment and heading to work; but of course I managed to spill my Timmy's coffee on myself and had to come all the way back home to change.

So as always, its been busy... but I'm looking forward to the weekend and hoping it will be nice weather, although I think they are calling for some rain...

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