Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Finally went canoeing today for the first time in 2015. Despite bringing my canoe to my camping trip to Mastigouche in late May, I never got to canoe.

 Was so happy to go canoeing today!  We went to the beaver dam on one side of the Marsh and then took a walk through a path in the marsh. There was a lot of mosquitoes along the trail. On the way back we saw 5 turkey vultures in a dead tree. Reminded me of Lucky Luke books.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sarong Addiction

This is what it looks like.....

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I suppose my therapist should be happy with my progress. I am leaving the house. So much so that....

I get a text message from my friend who lives with me on Friday asking who has custody of me today, person A or person B.  Admittedly, it's been like that all week.  Tuesday night & Wednesday spent with person A, and then Thursday evening spent with person B, Friday night with person A and Saturday afternoon with person B moving them.

I've been home so little that it took until tonight for me to spot my friends son. Who has been in my house since Sunday night! When he lived with us until last summer, I would either trip into him or at least hear him.   Today I referred to him like they do on nature shows "The wild Zach is hard to spot in foreign habitats. He tends to congregate in basements to play video games"

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court in US makes Gay Marriage legal!!!

It's in, finally Gay Americans can wed in any state!!!  It's funny there's a trend of Americans tweeting that they will pack the car and move to Canada. Gotta love how well they know their neighbours to the north.  We have had marriage equality for 10 years now.

Others who want to get away from ObamaCare, also tweeting that they want to come to Canada. Sometimes the ignorance south of the border is of EPIC proportions. How can a country who calls itself the greatest country in the world have so many CLUELESS people. Boggles the mind of this Canadian!

Have to wait till Tuesday!!!

So the Maytag or Whirlpool repairman came this morning, and figured out that the pump to get water in the dishwasher was dead, and the pump to get water out of the clothes washer is dead.  Between the two of them, the parts, the service it will cost about $450 dollars. Sadly he did not have parts in stock so he has to come back Tuesday to fix the machines.  But at least starting on Tuesday we will have both a washer and a dishwasher!!!

Social Anxiety? Really?

Considering how much social anxiety I had back in March, and days where I could not leave the house I'm doing great.

Heck Yesterday not only this I accompany my friend furniture shopping, but I also went with her wedding dress shopping. She is getting married in Fall 2016, and well it's never too early to start figuring out what dress you want, and what styles suit you.Tomorrow afternoon I will be going over to help her move. She's moving from Verdun to first avenue in Lasalle.

Today finally we have a repairman that is coming over to fix both the washing machine and the dishwasher. THe dishwasher has been dead since I kicked out my last boyfriend, where as the washing machine just died.  Hopefully it won't cost me too much and both machines will work for some time afterwards. My youngest is home waiting for the repairman and will message me or call me so I can come and pay the bill.

Later today I'm going to spend time with my new friend.  The most stunning thing about it, is that I like to cuddle with him, for hours, and I even like when he holds me tight overnight.   I guess sometimes all you need is the right person.

Bonus the cuddling is good for my stress and social anxiety!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Consent explained with cartoons

I liked the consent explained with tea, Now found another explained with everything situations. 

Not that I am having problems with consent, but have had in the past and I don't know one woman who doesn't sadly have to navigate though this minefield at some point in her life.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Joyeuse Fete Nationale!

Happy St Jean Baptiste day to all Quebecois!

Enjoy the summer day !

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Microsoft does not make it easy for beta testers

In the current beta's of windows 10, Microsoft ignores completely when you check to say "No, let me choose what to do" and "NEVER install driver software from Windows updates" the display driver installs within 2 minutes of being on the network.

Do you have any idea how IRRITATING it is to validate a beta display driver, when it takes about 20 reboots to install. Half of the time I cannot install fast enough, the "in-the-box" driver installs, and installs, and installs. 

If I'm not extra cautious I'll end up validating a WHQL certified driver instead of the one I was asked to test.

Wouldn't it be helpful if Microsoft actually made windows functionality work?

Anxiety, stresses, Oh My!

Things still aren't going easily. Still having to go through hoops to get simple things done. After a while I just want to not have to deal with all of this crap.

Life has never been easy for me and of late it seems like someone keeps pissing on my parade, putting sticks in my bike spokes... it's just frustrating and infuriating.

I hate banks, I hate dealing with banks. There are stupid arbitrary rules that will just drive me CRAZY...

My anxiety has been bad the past few days and I keep forgetting to take supplements that would help me manage my stress.

Though this week I'm technically back at work full time, as it turns out, Tomorrow is a holiday so it's still a 4 day week for me.

Please let me get through this day and gets things resolved!!! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 is turning out to be a fucked up year

That week-end could not end fast enough. Hopefully most of the bad stayed there.

Between washing machine dying, lawn mower parts staying in my hands when I start it, and a slew of other problems, this was a horrible week-end.

Hell... my friends didn't even make it to Lac Vert.   Almost all routes to Lac Vert in the municipalite of Lac Ste Marie, have been damaged. One route  on wooden platform was completely destroyed 2 years ago with a Tornado.. [probably same time frame as the tornado that destroyed the wooden platform of l'ile aux juifs].

Other routes seemed to be either flooded or full of large downed trees.  From my understanding though my friends never made it on to Lac Vert, there is one 2km portage trail that makes it however, their 90lb wooded canoe was too much for that long trek.  THIS IS VERY SUCKY.   Lac vert and that area were part of my friends best camping spots. I had gotten hooked too and was planning another trip there for August.

I dunno what other Gods I've angered other than the canoe Gods. But it would be nice if things started to work out.   This morning other then all the other stuff I have to deal with , I have to call a Maytag repair man as my washing machine DIED on Saturday....in the rinse cycle of my 2nd load. I had 3 loads of laundry to do.

The only good thing to have happened so far in 2015, is I met a new friend in late April, and not on Plenty of Fish.  Not going to say much more except we have a nice time together.

Note: This is the 2000th blog post since 2006.... 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Comes the Dawn

It's been a long time since I read this, and needed it today:

Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much,
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong
And that you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn...,
With every goodbye you learn.

Author Unknown

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I've angered the canoe Gods.

Yesterday morning, in anticipation of a canoe excursion in the Riviere des Milles Iles, I managed to be out of the house at 7:30. The only problem is that when I got outside to my truck, I realized I'd left my purse inside the house.  I was now outside without a car key or without a house key.

On a normal day, Debbie would have been home, but she is currently in New Brunswick visiting with her daughter and youngest son, and possibly Izzy, who's been staying with me since she got back from the UK, but she was already gone to work.

I called Izzy, who called her boss, who showed up within 15 minutes and was nice enough to lend her truck, so Izzy could come and go more quickly then by bicycle. I was at work by 8:30. Sadly the idea was that I wanted to be at work for 8am.

The friend I was to canoe with,  has been experiencing issues charging his phone, and yesterday morning it decided it just wasn't going to charge. His efforts to find backup battery failed till close to 2pm. I was expecting to pick him up at 3pm at Fairview.  That didn't happen. He managed to borrow a phone battery by 2 something to at least message me so I didn't go to Fairview for nothing. 

So I went to pick him up at home. By the time we got back to my place, it was moot to go canoeing, it was already past 5pm. Would take an hour to get to the park to put the canoe in water, would not have given us more than 2 hours and really it's not worth it.

So for the 2nd time this year an attempt to go canoeing was tharved.  But I haven't given up. Today is another day.

On a positive note, it's the 20th of June and only the past few days have I been sneezing at dusk and dawn a bit but nothing more. The honey has been phenomenal

Friday, June 19, 2015

Windows 10 hell

I'm back at work and stuck in Windows 10 hell.

I'm not even going to say how I feel about this OS. Except for the fact it will be free and auto-update for everyone.  But I think this OS is being deployed free because it's a good way to spy on all of us. All those agencies like CSIS and NSA probably have all sorts of back door.

Anything free makes me really suspicious.

Anyways, I'm in Windows 10 hell. It's all I'm doing. Installing, testing, breaking. Freaking!

Hopefully it's sunny later today and I can go canoeing with my new friend  :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oh Honey

Since March, I've been having a teaspoon of honey a day. At first it was apple blossom honey. Now it's a spring flower honey.

Until a few days ago I showed no signs of having seasonal allergies. Today though not only do I have the raw throat, the stuffy nose but I have lots of tightness in my chest. Will be taking some buckleys.

Will have to keep looking into the honey and figure out what honey to eat when and avoid allergies in the future as well. I usually have the teaspoon of honey just before a big  breakfast, so the sugar wakes me up  but other foods prevents any crash.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dragonfly batik dress

Back in April,  when Nina and I were coming back from her place she stopped to take me to the club tissu in St Hubert. It is much bigger then the one in laval. I went to the quilters area and asked if she had any dragonfly prints. She says no but Nina finds one. Clerk then remembers and pull out several

The one that caught my eye us a purple blue batik.This was back in mid April.  Decided last week which dress to make and sewed it this week. Hell bought the zipper Tuesday at lunch! Very pleased with how this dress came out.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I really love Monsieur Falafel!

I love the Monsieur Falafel on St Jean blvd in DDO. I was introduced to Mr Falafel  back in the 1990's by a friend. At the time it was the one on Mont Royal.  I had Falafel for the first time and was hooked.

I was thrilled when I moved to Pierrefonds 15 years ago, that  there is a Mr Falafel, walking distance. Though I rarely walk it, I can, if I am stuck so love it.

I don't go as frequently as I used to, but I've gone enough that the regular staff and owners know me.  We went there today to pick up lunch and the two employees were two I've been seeing for 15 years.   SO much so that the older gentleman said it was nice to see me and asked how I was. He even asked if my co-worker was with me, and when I said, yes we came together, gave her a nice discount on her lunch, as he did for me.

The item I always get from them is what they call the "vegetarian sandwich". What you find in it is a little omelette with veggies, grilled cauliflower, grilled eggplant, a few batata harra {Lebanese spicy potatoes}, and then all the cold seasonings, like tomatoes, lettuce, red pickled turnips, onions and I always ask for hot peppers.

No other Lebanese fast food generally offers veggie sandwiches other then falafel. The veggie sandwich at Mr Falafel is good, really good.  I will chose a Mr Falafel fast food, over Basha's and Amir's any day.

Pink dress

I finished this one early May.It was made with a NewLook pattern and some cheap fabric I picked up for $1.99 a meter on St Hubert street. It's a stretch poly cotton.  I will be making other version of this dress as I really like how it fits.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Judge dismisses Occupiers court battle over the legality of Branding Protesters

Back in November 2011 when Occupy Montreal was dismantled, the SPVM arrested some of the Occupiers.  What happened is that people were UV tagged and never told. Apparently big brother can do anything and face no consequences. 

Judge dismisses Occupiers court battle over the legality of Branding Protesters

I woke up this morning to an E-mail from the Lawyer who graciously represented me and two fellow occupiers in court appearances vs. the City of Montreal.  To say that I felt let down and betrayed by the legal system as I read that the entire case had been dismissed and that we would now have to pay the court fees would be an understatement.  Fees I have no idea how I will repay.

When we took up this battle upon the wishes of other occupiers we knew we could face the consequences of losing.  We knew there would likely be no form of compensation awarded.  I was OK with these things; I fought so that my voice would be heard.  I fought for those who were affected by the disgusting branding protocol of the SPVM.  I had thought that a judge would say that writing on people with the intent of subterfuge; that marking us with invisible ink while our hands were tied behind our backs was wrong.  I thought that lying to us about it would be deemed equally wrong.  I was banking on that acknowledgement and nothing more.  I think this is why my disappointment stings so deeply.
For those who do not know the story, I was a protester at Occupy Montreal in 2011 who remained on site during the eviction to stand up for my beliefs.  I was angered at the time that the city would change their bylaws to get rid of their “protester problem”, a tactic we were privileged to witness time and time again throughout the “Printemps Erable” and the student protests of later years.  I stayed knowing full well that I was going to be arrested; and that was the point.  I was willing to be arrested to prove my point.  I was in a public place exercising my right to freedom of speech; I felt I had every right to be in Parc Square Victoria.  What I wasn’t banking on was the treatment I received, and while I negotiated with the officers who led me away to be gentle, that I would co-operate; this didn’t follow though to the female officers I was handed to for processing and this is where everything began to go wrong.

I was questioned and handcuffed with my hands behind my back and led to a bus.  In the entrance to the bus I had one officer speaking to me and another one behind me who wrote on my hand with what felt like a marker.  I then felt a sharp metallic point scraping on my skin on the opposite hand.  It felt WRONG and put me in a panic. I asked, “What are you doing?” as wild thoughts ran though my head of “what did I just get myself into?”.  The officer told me she wrote on me with a pen as if challenging me to dispute her.  Feeling like I was in over my head, I decided to keep quiet and complacent until my release where I discovered no pen marks, only a red blotchy rash on my hand that I had felt the metallic scraping on. Later after the advice from a friend, I checked my hands under a black light and was horrified to see I had invisible ink on the hand that I felt the scraping on, the same hand that was having some sort of allergic reaction. I tried calling the SPVM to find out what it was only to be given the run-around before I was told there was no information and hung up on.

When the story of what happened went viral after my blog post was shared around the world people began to ask that we take this to court.  In the end I agreed, wanting to fight for the many people who wrote to me concerned and especially those who wrote to me saying they had this done to them at later protests.

In October 2014, nearly 3 years since the eviction of Occupy Montreal I found myself in court with two fellow occupiers taking on the City of Montreal and the SPVM regarding their questionable practices. What I learned while there was eye-opening as well, and aggravating.  I learned that the hand branding was a procedure the SPVM had been using since 2009, two years before Occupy Montreal.  I learned that it was used to “surprise protesters” as they were worried that protesters were giving false names like “The Tooth Fairy” and worried that they would swap identities in the holding tank.  I learned that it was part of their protocol to brand us with invisible ink while our hands were tied behind our back, often while being distracted as I had been.  They were told to deny anything, all in the aims of keeping it secret so they had this tool to “one up” protesters.  They maintained that this practice was a practical and convenient way to control protesters.  They likened their tactic to that of a bar stamping patrons with glow in the dark ink, stating that consent isn’t needed to write on our bodies; that the charter of rights is “not absolute”, that it “needs to be expected that exceptions need to be made”.  All these things I learned angered me and left me feeling betrayed and after everything is said and done consent is everything; not to mention the UV “Pen” was nothing like a stamp at a bar.
All of that was in the end, unnecessary.  I had provided them with photo ID.  They photographed me as well (a practice done more to be able to link protesters to crimes found in you tube videos).  The black permanent marker took me 3 days of scrubbing to remove from my skin and the invisible ink more than a week to start to fade. The ultra violet ink and the subterfuge that went with it, all the lies and pretending was all unneeded. It was also pointed out while in court that the invisible numbers were in place to try and catch us red-handed in the days after being arrested, a way to pin future infractions on us.  I can’t help but feel this was part of a plan to intimidate us protesters and in a way I feel they succeeded in this goal as the two fellow occupiers I went to court with and myself  have ceased protesting altogether since Occupy Montreal.  A number of the others who were arrested that day also left behind their protesting careers and this fact makes me sad and ashamed of myself for giving up the fight.

I learned many other interesting things while in court; confirmations that they did indeed have a team watching our livestream and social media groups, that they were following and profiling who they thought were key figures of the protest on social media and while we were at square Victoria, even long after the eviction date.  It was plainly said in court that they treated the eviction like a riot, not the peaceful demonstration that it was. They came prepared for 300 arrests and failed to alter their tactics when we were a small group of 16. They had 10 officers for every protester on site.  We were detained for over an hour on the bus for a municipal infraction that they could have easily have sent us a ticket in the mail for. They specifically altered the rules of the Square Victoria in order to have grounds to expel us from the site. To think that our name and Identity are unimportant, that what matters is the number we were branded with to render us into a statistic, it leaves me feeling rather much like they treat us protesters like cattle and not like human beings.

In the end the judge ruled that it’s within police protocol to brand us with numbers without our consent and the most terrifying thing is the fact that this case will be reflected on for all future cases of this nature.  This decision sets precedent.  Where can the lines be drawn, what is a step too far across the line?  It’s frightening that these liberties were taken at a municipal level.  What truly is next?  I feel the instant that I was written on and then lied to was a step way too far over the line; that my body had been violated, my trust doubly so.  I have stood meekly waiting for this all to come to an end and now am starting to feel the fire in my belly once again. Their attempts to silence me have ended today and I call out to all of you who read this essay to the very end to share my experience and the outcome with anyone you feel ought to know. They had the power of subterfuge, if the general public knows; we remove some of that power.

Nina Haigh
Occupy Montreal
June 11th 2015

New skater dress

Finished this dress Monday night.  I've been modifying this pattern to adjust it.Photo taken at the Lachine rapids.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Funky silk scarves

The past few months one of the many challenges that I had was to make sure I was not going to start smoking cigarettes again.I had been buying silk scarves at value village to wrap Tarot decks in and at some point ended wearing a rectangular one around my neck. That's when I realized that I could use a silk scarf as a distraction.  I could play with it. While I do that i don't smoke cigarettes. 

Out of the current collection only the burgundy one belonged to my mom.  There's two hand painted ones that were gifts from Nina. The rest all come to me via value village.  Many of them are hand painted and are signed. Two of them are far thicker and silkier.   

The two on the right were gifts. All these are hand painted.
All value village finds.
The left one comes from my mom. It's a Remoy D'Urville handpainted from Paris.
All Value Village finds. Love the one most right. Goes perfect with a funky hoody
The left one is from The Toronto Jazz festival. Love the green leopard print on the right
Boring ones, but adds to an outfit anyways.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Still alive.

It is my 2nd week back at work. The first happened without too much hassles.

There's a lot going on in my life in terms of fuck ups but I'd rather not talk about them in my blog.

What's for sure is that 2015 will be a strange year. With the good, the bad and the Ugly.

For today it's all I'm saying because my eyes are totally blood shot and leaking. Looks like I went to a 420 gathering and need visine.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

New dress

I finished the dress May 22nd. I'm disappointed because it's a little big. It would fit perfectly if I had not lost 10 lbs since last year. Still pleased with it. Yes..it's cotyon and needs ironing.

Friday, June 05, 2015

New vans... eeek

About a month ago I went shopping with my youngest daughter at Carrefour laval and stopped at the Vans store. 

Had to bring home 2 pairs. The flowery pair to wear with dresses and the grey green pair is like the grey pink pair. Super padded for skateboarding. Love them
Love them with dresses
Awesome skater shoes!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Back to Work

As of Monday June 1st I'm back to work. Not full time for the next 2 weeks but back. Insurance refused my claim because it was not backed by a medical doctor just a psychologist.  I have till August to get rectification. But at the moment it's left me very broke.

When I looked at a private doctor, I was asked $1500 up front on credit card, with an appointment 3 weeks later. That set off my anxiety in a bad way. I mean we have 10 days in Quebec to cancel a contract.   Paying 21 days before an appointment made me very very weary. What if I didn't like the doctor?

I tried calling the doctor I was seeing back in 2007-2008, and finally she accepted seeing me again, at the end of June. It's scary.  If you are well and don't see your family doctor they stop keeping you as a patient!!!!!  So you have to see  your doctor regularly to keep it.  Isn't that the world upsidedown?  It wasn't like that when I was a kid. Your doctor was happy to rarely ever see you but he didn't drop you as a patient?!?!?!?!

My first day of work was fraught with lots of emotional up and downs. I have paperwork that's really late and it's biting me in the ass in ways I would not have believed. 

At least my social anxiety is bearable at the moment.  I have to thank all  my friends and family that have been supportive and helped me get better.  Special thanks to my ex husband Samer, who has been there for me to fill out forms I couldn't, to my friends in Kingsbury that have helped me get out of the house and feel better about myself and to my roomate, who puts up with me, through thick and thin. Last but not least to my youngest daughter who's been back home for the past month. Those not mentioned individually are still  appreciated in a giant way.  I love you all very much. I may not say it much, but I really do.

Today is my 2nd day back to work and hopefully it will be less anxiety & stress causing then the first. Don't get me wrong, everyone at work was superb. Between the lady in HR, that I know and worked with for many years, and my boss who has been my boss for over 15 years, they really made me feel like a valued employee and where helpful in my reintegration. My boss had asked the guys I work with to give me space on my first day and they did. I know that I am well loved at work by my colleagues and that when they come to see me it's because they care.   Monday I hid in my area most of the day, and only a few migrated to me.  Today, I will come in and actually go see people I usually see, and that will help a bit with the anxiety.

The stupid thing about social anxiety is that if you don't make efforts to get out of your comfort zone it gets worse and worse and worse. The main thing my therapist has wanted me to do while I was off work was to get out of the house. Just do things outside my comfort zone no matter how small.  I have been  and so far so good.

One of the things that happened also in the past few months is that my Cape Breton bubble has been burst. I had a dream and it's just gone poof.  Reality sucks. Reality has a funny way of making dreams no longer a reality. Which makes the future appear really scary and grim.