Saturday, July 23, 2016

Some Trait....

Hello Luvs,

Happy Weekend! Woke up to blue sky with blinding white clouds. I am such a sucker for cloud filled skies. The layers upon layers of emotion they convey is a blessing on so many levels. This is especially true when you actually take a few minutes to let your eyes wander. The Hubster and I sat on the front porch of our Airbnb, drank our morning coffees, and admired their majesty. So, I thought I would take a stab at a poem about clouds and how they make me feel. ENJOY!



Cotton Candy Clouds...
Dark yet beautiful!
Clouds accenting wild flowers...













Some Trait

It is not the way you
Green grass and clouds...
Hover
That causes my gaze to rise
Not the plant nurturing rain you
Produce
It is the way you make my heart
Sigh
The distraction offered on any given
Day
Often asked what do I see in
You
The grey, black, pink, and white
Fluff
That expresses your anger, joy, and 
Pain
Some trait I've bestowed with a certain
Ease
Because you often mirror back the doubt I feel inside of
Me


Til next time,

Kat

Awaiting me....

Friday, July 22, 2016

An Update on Our Plans...and what we've been up to!

Hello Luvs,


Someone is trying to spell me
name in the clouds!
Old World Beauty...
I know...it has been a minute since I have blogged. Lots going on with our next step that I would like to share. But before that I wanted to let ya know about a few things we've done since I last blogged. 



Local library visit was a given.
Our one big treat (we have been experiencing this while being extremely budget conscious) was to go see a Cirque de Soleil show celebrating the music of Robert Charlebois. It happened to be taking place at l'Amphithéâtre Cogeco de Trois-Rivières. It is an outdoor theatre which is thankfully not overwhelming in size. This meant that there was not a bad seat in the house. Before the show started we walked around the edge of the theatre's entrance. From the start you see water and sky. Once inside there were female performers who wore go-go dresses, white bob haircuts, white circle shades, fishnets, and white patent leather boots. They floated around taking pictures with whomever wanted one. There was also a cadillac with awesome graphics that many took pictures by. Now about the show....
Beautiful landscaping
all around...

Looking up at the ampitheatre
from the lawn...
Monsieur Charlebois' music was (and still is) funky, romantic, playful, and memorable. We had not heard of him before which is a shame. But....now that we have had the pleasure of experiencing his works we are hooked. The color theme was mostly black and white done in checks, stripes, blocks, and occasionally circles. There were other colors thrown in like red and orange. If you know anything about me you know that this color palette suits me well. The music had us moving in our seats and trying to sing along. Once again the performers outdid themselves. They defied gravity, stopped on a dime, showcased versatility which ranged from extreme flexibility to mastery of the dances of the time period. I have a few pictures throughout the blog. If you want to learn more about the musician and the show visit the Trois-Rivières tourism site: http://www.tourismetroisrivieres.com/fr/quoi-faire/serie-hommage-du-cirque-du-soleil/72227 Oh.....and there were SWINGS!!!!!
Downton Trois-Rivieres




Isn't it pretty....
I also went with the kiddos to visit Île d'Orléans again. The to-do list was....buy strawberries grown there (kiddos ate all of them within 5 minutes so we had to go back and buy more!), a maple sugar pie (we bought one on our last visit-YUM!), and go by the statue of the folk singer Félix Leclerc. I posted a picture of the statue from our previous visit to the island. This time we actually parked across the street at the museum and walked over so I could get some closer pictures. Once I got some pictures of it we walked a little further and discovered an arboretum and additional trail. Another trip there before we leave will happen so that the Hubster can join us. One thing we did come across that wasn't expected was the Parc de Île d'Orléans. There is a glorious art installation which celebrates the founding families who settled in Île d'Orléans (considered the New France and is/was the cradle of French Civilization in North America). It was a sight to behold. I have pics of it in the blog also. If you want to learn more visit: http://tourisme.iledorleans.com/en/ile-d-orleans/founding-families-of-ile-d-orleans.
Of course I had to swing!



Birthday Breakfast.....YUM!
We are still in St. Ferreol Les Nieges (45 minutes from Quebec) at the lovely home we found on airbnb. We will be staying here til the 30th then off to a house next to a lake. It was nice to celebrate Baby Boy's birthday here. Both him and his sister are enjoying themselves. We feel so comfortable here. It has been that way since the very first day. We have had some neighbors asking if we moved in. I guess we have been here for more than a minute. They have been helpful and welcoming. One neighbor told us about a small trail we could take that enables us to avoid the road while another invited us and the kids to come by and visit their ducks and chickens. It is a bummer to say, but in the U.S. rural areas a bi-racial family is not welcomed so kindly. We have had looks (well more like dead faced stares) that would make even the most social family feel unwelcome. Even saying hello and adding a smile goes no where. It is something which is fundamentally different and a pleasant change.
Make a wish....




Entrance to Parc.
I am sure that you might think that while taking on this new approach on life and fazing to a roadschooling family is a costly venture. In truth is it isn't. We took our time finding a place and are actually paying $600 less than in the States with utilities not even factored in. If you are unfamiliar with airbnb you do not pay for water, electricity, or the other utilities so the savings are even greater. We are a bohemian family and finances are always a factor. We live in a conscious state of awareness in this regard. If anything, what we are doing is showing that you can take a different route toward health and wellness which does not include the perpetual drive for more and more money. If we can do it so can you. Taking our first steps are frightening yet liberating. Letting go of all the trappings of the American Dream which no longer exists....at least not in the way the bill of goods was sold to us. We have a different reality than our parents and the sooner we realize this the sooner we are able to figure out what truly is our ideal existence. No longer does working hard and going the extra mile guarantee financial stability. An advanced degree does not automatically enable you to find you a job in your field. Right now in the U.S. we are clearly seeing that even race relations are taking leaps backward. Many would say that there was a mask worn by many blurring their true feelings that they can now remove.
Reaching toward the sky...
So beautiful in person!

So....take stock of where you are and what you want. What priorities and passions are you trying to instill in your children? Are you trying to make the world a better place or are you solely driven by what will fill your pockets? Are you a person who will lend a hand to someone in need...whether it is a friend, stranger, or family member? What drives you? How are you going to change in order to make your life more authentic? These are just some of the questions the Hubster and I ask ourselves. It is imperative that we tackle our fears, dreams, roadblocks, and passions. Once we do....living in the moment and embracing the real us is easier. 

Isn't it amazing!

There are people whose lives have been recently touched by others who would answer these questions in a way that is not healthy and shows their true intent. When we take responsibilty for our village (Mankind) we start to heal and break down these negative versions of others perceptions. Yes, there will be people who will still try to destroy with their hatred. Hopefully they will face an unbreakable wall of Humanity.
Leclerc

As I mentioned, our next step will be renting a house next to a lake. It will allow us a different experience with the ability to canoe, pedal boat, and stand up paddle. We have yet to really enjoy water activities so this will be nice. When deciding on our next place we had to make sure that it met a few requirements. It had to sleep four comfortably, have a strong wi-fi signal for the Hubster (who has been working throughout), have a washer/dryer, allow pets, and be family friendly. It took almost a week to find the right place that met these and fit within our budget, but we did. Now we just need to make sure that we make the most of the next week. Today we did just that and spent a little time in Québec City and ate at Chez Ashton. Taking the scenic route back to the Airbnb reminded us of just how lovely and vibrant the city is.
This work begs to be seen in person!

You know me...I can go off on a tangent. Thanks for sticking in and reading this rambling minds thoughts!

Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

City Dwelling....?

Hello Luvs,

And the hungry cloud sang...
"Excuse me while I eat this flag!"
City dwellers....?
Another week and another wonderful visit to the city. Quebec City (pictures throughout the blog), for us, was a way to exercise, people watch, and taste locally made.....anything! I was not sure what we would do, but decided that after a thrift shop visit that we would head in. 

I have lived in cities (San Francisco for one) where walking was a daily activity. Not just walking to the car or to the corner store. It was walking from one end to another or 20-30 minute trek from the Panhandle to Haight Street to eat at our favorite breakfast stop. The city was alive. The population diverse with a willingness to allow you to simply be you. Unfortunately, safety was an issue on more than one occasion. I lived there for several years and have many stories I could share of some craziness. It was a time when I was truly finding myself.
Art cuts to the heart of it.

Gold Adorned...

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Color....
Now that I have children what I seek from a city is different. Yes, I love to see diversity, community, and food options of course. However, safety takes front and center. If it does not feel safe there is no way I would be exploring by myelf....let alone bring my children along. Quebec City fits what I love most. Yesterday we visited a part that is just slightly north of the center of town. On our previous visits we were lucky to see Old Quebec along with the area where museums abound. We felt safe of course becuase they were typical tourist locales. However, our stop yesterday had the potential to be something completely different. Where you find unsavory characters who emit unpredictable actions and put themselves in a space you are not comfortable with. This city did not offer that. Instead, it offered beautiful buildings, delicious chai du chocolat from a local coffee spot, and an aura of openness. Not for one moment did I or the kiddos feel unsafe. We came across vibrancy that all the best cities have. You eat, drink, gaze, and watch. We smiled and said hello, bonjour, or allo.
...plus plants=beautiful!



All of this makes me love the area even more. No....it is not perfect, but it's imperfections are on the minor side. So minor that I will not even mention them. I highly recommend visiting...park, walk, and be in the moment. Memories will be on your horizon.

Til next time,

Kat

*Be sure to follow the blog, so you do not miss our visits to a new place, poetry, or food blog. If you prefer you can follow me on the following social sites also.

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A pic for my lovely friend Vanessa
+Vanessa Lucero 

Dreamy shoes inside!















So...what is that clud turtle
doing?






Friday, July 8, 2016

WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS....

Hello Luvs,

I woke to a text from my Baby Sister, and yet again I can feel my heart ache. Witnessing the world turn back to a time (maybe always been this way?) when racism is tolerated and terrorism becomes common place. This brings a ping to behind the eyes and carries on down my spine. It reminds me how lucky (because it is luck) my family is to not have someone taken away like so many other families. Almost anything can become a weapon (including the mind!) when something twisted is in the forecast. My means of expressing my fear, frustration, empathy, anger, and uncertainty is this blog. 

So, today (and maybe others) I offer up a poem written in the moment about the above and the need to connnect to others. I hope that the end result(s) brings comfort and connection.

Am I angry...
The angry Black Woman
You continue to see
Was it always this way
Where the bottom of our Humanity chain
Rises up
Fight against the tide
These flowers may be different hues
but they all remain united as
plants....as WE ARE ALL Human Beings!
Of growth inside their own minds
Acting out in a way
To which they say
Has always been the case
Am I fearful...
That your hatred will somehow touch
The babies I bore
The hearts that beat inside them
Quieted while bystanders look on
For this reality
Is oh too real
The grieving Loved Ones
And the pain they feel
YOU know of which I speak
Not a time to remain
Meek
Detached
Untouched
For this cancer of society
Who feels hatred
Simply because they see 
Brown or yellow
And yes, sometimes pink
Not the dreams, responsibilities, or family
That they leave behind
Because they quashed their destiny
So, are WE angry...
Enough to root them out
Not avoid but face head on
When one becomes many
Speaking in a single voice
Saying...YOU SHALL NOT
TAKE ME
Because of my skin tone
Or sexuality
You cannot break up the village
For we now stand in UNITY

Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hearty Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito Anyone?

Hello Luvs,
Nice healthy way to start the day!

It has been an eventful morning, yet I am still in my pajamas. I hope that your weekend was a blast and that your week started off right. Thought I would share how I put together breakfast burritos for my family of four. It is always a hit and starts our collective day off right. It does take a minute to cook the potatoes, so I usually make them on the weekend. If and/or when you try this I would love to receive your feedback. 

With my recent food attempts I have been trying to go a step further and use what I have already available, thus preventing unwanted food waste. This meal makes use of the few potatoes we may have left and tortillas remaining after a burrito meal.
The beauty of these are that
they cook quickly.

As always....please feel free to comment below. My goal is to make this blog better with each attempt. With your feedback and comments I am able to do so.

Egg, potato, and cheese breakfast burritos

Ingredients needed:

3-4 medium sized potaotes
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cheese of your choosing
4 large tortillas (small would work also)
1/2 tsp. salt (could leave out and would still be tasty)
Some browning is happening!!!
1/2 tsp. pepper (I used a grinder)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
fruit of choice

*seasoning is subjective....you can reduce or increase depending on your preference

Buy local! These are from
 a neighbor down the road.
Tools needed:

2 medium sized bowls
large skillet
medium skillet
cutting board
kitchen knife
spatula
spoon for mixing
cookie sheet

Fluffy goodness!



Directions:

-preheat oven at warming setting
-at medium heat place large skillet on stove
-chop potatoes into small cubes
-transfer to bowl
-add olive oil+ 1/2 of salt, pepper, and garlic
-mix well
-pan should be warmed up by now
-pour potatoes in skillet and spread in a flat layer
-cook for about 10 minutes turning 2-3 times

I used the topside broiler.
-while potatoes are cooking pour eggs, milk+ remaining salt, pepper, and garlic powder into bowl (do not mix)
-melt butter in medium skillet
-turn potatoes if not yet done so
-pour egg bowl ingredients into medium skillet
Cheese continues to melt.
-place tortillas on cookie sheet and place in oven (I used a broiler)
-with a utensil safe for your pan start to gently mix eggs (doing so consistently until eggs start to fluff up) continue to scramble until eggs are cooked thoroughly.
-turn over tortillas
-when they are warmed up remove from oven and place on plates
-divide the shredded cheese between all four plates in the center of the tortilla
-place potatoes on top of cheese
Just a little more cheese....
-place scrambled eggs on top of potatoes (I added additional cheese on top of egg)
-fold in two sides of tortillas and roll each into a burrito
                                   -add fruit of choice onto plates
Peaches, strawberries, and
raspberries...YUM!

ENJOY!

Til next time,

Kat

I appreciate you taking the time to visit. To ensure that you never miss a recipe, poetry inspired by the moment, update on our travel/hikes through Canada, or fashion choices follow me. Just click the follow button to the left. You can also follow me on the media sites below.

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Over the 3 week mark in Canada...has our opinion changed?

Hello Luvs,

So, it's a holiday weekend in the United States, and we are still in Canada. As it happens there have been two holidays since we began our stay. I blogged about St-Jean-Baptiste Day last week. You can read all about it by clicking below.

https://katsmeoww11.blogspot.ca/2016/06/st-jean-baptiste-day-in-quebec-city.html


The second is Canada Day. Since we are near Quebec City it struck us how mellow the area has been. Yes, we have seen a few Canadian flags and fireworks close to us, but it is nothing close to what you see in the U.S. for 4th of July....and that is ok with us.

They were pretty loud but beautiful!
We did travel to Quebec City on Friday to catch some music and a fireworks show at Les Grands Feux Loto-Québec. Most people descended to the Grey Terrace which is a large open space park. There are benches that circle around it's edges, and it is located next to the Quebec National Art Museum. Even with everyone there it was incredibly easy to navigate with not a bad seat in the house (figure of speech). There were definitely a good amount of people, but it struck us as peculiar that there were not more. Was it the rain that was on and off? Do most people stay home and do there own thing?
Sucker for great architecture...

Plus art...divine!
One part of the reasoning has to do with the fact that in French Canada their major celebration is St-Jean-Baptiste Day the week before. Wanting to make amendments to their Constituation and wanting to be considered a seperate entity has to affect their participation. Because I do not know a lot about it I refrain from adding my opinion. Still, it does interest me. Canada Day was probably more festive throughout other parts of Canada (like Toronto).

Night view of the new addition.
Either way...we had a great time. I took a few pictures and some video of the fireworks. Seeing Quebec City at night was amazing. The people were respectful and kind. We noticed that the city was once again clean by anyone's standard. We got there when the rain had subsided and left when it started to come down again. You can't beat that!


Noticed these around the city.
Last but not least....has our opinion changed regarding Canada now that we have been here for longer. Well, it has. We love it even more! We are thankful for the kindness shown while trying to navigate the language (more than a few times I have attempted and began stumbling) and them apologizing for their mastery of the English language. Something that is particularly wild because most of the time it is excellent. For those who do not speak English we figure it out....usually with me speaking 1-4 words in French and them recognizing what I am trying to say. I will continue to try to learn more for the rest of the time we are in French Canada. I believe that it is the respectful thing to do. I will not be the typical American who goes somewhere and expects everyone to speak my language and not immerse myself. Being here and immersing ourselves isn't completely comfortable, but when they see you making an effort it goes a long way.
Instruments+art=Bliss

Enjoy the pictures and video. If you are unable to watch the video you can see it on facebook (www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11), instagram (@katsmeoww11), and/or twitter (@katsmeoww11). By following/liking me on any of these social sites you will ensure that you never miss an update on our travels, videos/pictures of our outings, and/or recipes from this novice chef.

Til next time,

Kat

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day! But first....our visit to Île d'Orléans!

Hello Luvs,


You pass over rather quickly.
Île d'Orléans bridge...
As luck would have it, we are in Canada for some pretty important National Holidays. Last week was Saint Jean Baptiste Day and today is Canada Day. We are planning to travel to Québec for some of the celebrations later today. I will for sure blog about it some time this weekend. To make sure that you do not miss a blog or update you can follow me here, on twitter/instagram (@katsmeoww11), and on facebook (www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11). Until then, let me tell you about the trip we took yesterday.

In previous blogs, tweets, and posts I have uploaded pictures of wonderful looking strawberries. Well, yesterday we drove over the Île d'Orléans Bridge to visit the place where those strawberries are grown. Île d'Orléans is the one of first settlements of French-Canada.  We stopped by a local spot to pick up some....of course many were eaten before we returned home. They are so yummy and flavorful.


Strawberries...YUM!
TO DIE FOR cheese!!!!
Two things we wanted to do was visit a fromagerie and chocolaterie. The first stop was a place where normally you could see how the cheese is made. Unfortunately for us they were not doing it yesterday. We might go by again if there is time. Instead they offered up (for $1 each) two types of cheese. The first tasted a lot like ricotta. They sprinkled maple chips on top. It was wonderfully fresh and the kiddos loved it. The second was a paillasson. The young lady grilled the sides (it was shaped like a triangle) to perfection. Because we were going to be out for a while we did not buy them then and there. We will instead try to find them at a local grocer. I have a picture of the latter (our favorite between the two). If you come across it snap it up. You will not be sorry you did. Both cheeses are locally made in Île d'Orléans. Next to the fromagerie you can take a tour ($6 per person) of the oldest house on the island. Somewhere actually lived there til the 80's with no running water and electricity. In the late 80's it was officially named as a historical building.
Managed to grab strawberries
right before she finshed bringing
items in.


Félix Leclerc statue....
Next we continued driving around the island which was a good thing. It was raining off and on. Driving versus walking to something close was smarter. We came across a large metal installation of a guiter playing man. It is a depiction of the French-Canadian musician and activist Félix Leclerc. If you would like to read is bio and see images of him please pop onto:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A9lix_Leclerc

We had been looking for a maple syrup pie and found one at a boulagerie/store. It was frozen and thawed in the car as continued our adventure. When we got home it was perfect. We topped our thin slices with a scoop of vanilla ice cream which was recommended by Canadian redditors. We also grabbed maple sugar candy that was in the shape of maple leaves. It was a little too dense and sweet for me, but the rest of the family loved it.
Such a dreamy view....

One thing that struck my heart was that the people took such pride in their homes. Most were not big but instead modest. There were lots of rv's, so you know they found time to get out and travel. There was also the obvious fact that they had a view available to them that is priceless. The pride taken in where they live is something that we have noticed is shown by most residents here.


Goodness abounds in here!
We HAD TO visit a chocolaterie of course. There are two locatiions on the island. We stopped at the first. They offered prepackaged candy or you could pick out pieces to mix and match. With mix n' max you pay by the pound. Each piece was divine. Sorry I do not have pictures of them. We ate them immediately and forgot to get snap shots of them.

If you are ever in the the Québec area I highly recommend visiting this island. It will give you a wonderful view of the St. Lawrence River and also offer up wonderful items to tickle your taste buds.

Til next time,

Kat

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Félix 

Félix L