Browsing "Canada"
Oct 6, 2012 -

No Turkey

It’s Thanksgiving this weekend, but you’d never know it in Quebec. I saw exactly one Thanksgivingish promotion at the local IGA (they had a few whole turkeys available), but that’s it.

Thanksgiving was never a big deal growing up, but I do remember celebrating it on my dad’s side of the family several times. Looking at the holiday through adult eyes, I have to wonder where the heck we got the supplies. Do Quebec anglos have a Thanksgiving black market to turn to?

This holiday gained more meaning for me on the road as I found myself a few times with friends for whom not having turkey on Thanksgiving is unimaginable. And now that I’m eating meat again and love a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, I am surprised to find myself a little bereft this weekend.

But it’s all good because I will be in Virginia at my friend’s for the US Thanksgiving, where I have been assured I’ll be able to eat myself into a crazy turkey stupor. So all is not lost! 🙂

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Canada, Musings, Nice Folks, Personal, Quebec, Social, Travel    7 Comments
Sep 8, 2012 -

Waiting on the Apocalypse

I was awoken by heavy rain this morning that let up by the time I got up. But the wind has been roaring ferociously and there’s a severe thunderstorm and high wind warning for the region. So bummer, no working on the battery bank today.

That said, I did pull out the battery monitor connection kit instructions and schematics and, *gasp*, they all made perfect sense! Finally!

After lunch, I decided to brave the mighty winds and the threatening clouds and walk to the grocery store since I was out of pita and tomatoes. On the way there, I decided that I wanted to make fettuccine Alfredo with steamed broccoli for dinner, so one of the first things I did was grab a head of broccoli on the way in. I also snagged a mini ciabatta baguette for lunch tomorrow.

Quebec grocery stores being, generally speaking, more refined than other grocery stores in Canada, you often can’t pick up a block of shrink wrapped Parmigiano Reggiano, but rather must order it by weight at the deli counter, the way you would at a fine cheese store or Italian deli. Needless to say, the taste is much better!

The line at the deli was long, so I had a lot of time to look at the offerings. The lady ahead of me got some Polish sausage that looked absolutely divine, so my dinner plans changed. I’ll have the fettuccine tomorrow and will be dining on baguette, cheese, sausage, salad, and white wine tonight. Thank goodness you can buy wine at the grocery store here! I don’t have wine glasses or a cork screw, but I can run into the house and get some. 🙂

I always like to get a treat for the walk home from the grocery store and try make it a fruit I’ve never had before. Today, I noticed something called a pluot, which I’ve since learned is a cross between a plum and an apricot. Looking at the Wikipedia page, I am certain that the variety I had was a ‘Dapple Dandy.’ I wish I had bought more! It was so sweet and juicy, merging the best attributes of the plum and the apricot.

I’ll send the rest of the afternoon firming up my plans for the electrical upgrade. One of the things I need to decide on once and for all is where I want to locate the charging station for the small electronics, like the cell phone.

Part of me really wants it in the study, but my original idea of the living room makes more sense. I want to add a 120V outlet to the passenger side of the rig. If I’m going to do that, I might as well create a charging strip using a power bar that I can plug into the new 120V outlet or the inverter. My mother has a couple of ideas that sound good, so I will definitely listen to her input.

Whatever I do, I am bringing 120V power from the inverter to the study via a hardwired connection. We’ve traced the best path for the wiring under the rig and I’ll be putting under my desk a 120V outlet powered by the inverter.

So when I am off shore power, I’ll be able to unplug my power bar from the 120V outlet fed by shore power and plug it into the one fed by the inverter. End result, no more extension cord running from the inverter in the living room to the study. A whole house inverter continues to be an enticing idea, but this plan is less expensive. 🙂

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Batteries, Canada, Cooking, Electricity, Finances, Homemaking, Personal, Quebec, Shopping, Technical, Travel, Weather    3 Comments
Aug 19, 2012 -

Fort Chambly (and a Bonus Side Trip to Downtown Montreal)

Canadian history is a bloody mess of conquests, racial tensions, thrilling battles, crushing defeats, and centuries-long grudges. How anyone can call our history boring is beyond me. It is such a shame that many Canadians know about, say, the battle of the Alamo or Custer’s Last Stand but know nothing about the raid on Deerfield or why the political situation in Quebec is as it is.

Canadians need to go to places like Fort Chambly and read the placards or to sites like Fort Lennox where history is brought to life. Our country was born here, along the Saint-Lawrence, Ottawa, and Richelieu Rivers. You can’t understand what it is to be Canadian today without understanding how it is that we got here. I believe that if more Canadians knew and appreciated their history, we would be able to get over our linguistic and cultural grudges and form a strong, united, country. But as long as we keep this nearly four-century year old resentment alive without understanding its basis, there can be no resolution.

Fort Chambly sits at the heart of Canadian history, rooted in the French-Indian Wars of the 17th century, the English conquest of New France of the 18th century, and the 1812 war against the United States.

Located on the banks of the Richelieu River, an important north-south link with New York state, Fort Chambly is now a park where families come to picnic and I used to spend long hours up a tree writing, reading, and day dreaming. I spent my late childhood and adolescence just a few blocks away and the grounds of the fort were like my second home

I’d been meaning to return to the fort all summer. Since I was due for a date with my grand-mother, I proposed that we go to Fort Chambly today. I felt a little trepidation at coming back for the first time in 15 years, but I was glad to see that it was the same place. The trees have grown a little, but that’s it.

I’ll put all the information in the photo captions, but will say that after we toured the fort, we enjoyed a picnic under the trees. Then, we drove to Saint-Lambert to drop off something for my aunt and I got spirited away on a short jaunt to downtown Montreal to see my cousin’s loft; hence the bonus Montreal pictures.

Merci pour la belle journée, grand-maman!

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