Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Goes On..Chilling Sierras 'n Fantasizing Canada

By Cal Orey

 Montreal had me at chocolate , bagels, and
gelato...Healing Powers of Chocolate author 
July is Hot, Hot, Hot. We survived 4th of July tourists and fireworks. Actually, it wasn't as intense as I anticipated. The fur childrens' fur was a bit ruffled but not too much. The Aussie won the sensitivity award. Moving on into another round of a heat wave is the next challenge in the Sierra. So far, no Angora Fire sequel but thunderstorm and flash flood advisories have been flashed on the TV screen warnings, here and there.

It's not that I haven't done these things before. Back in 1999, on July 12 when arriving at Lake Tahoe it was in the triple digits. Hot, hot, hot. En route in a rustic SUV of sorts up the winding roads to the mountains the air conditioning fizzled and my Brittany, Dylan "shaky pup" (he had idiopathic epilepsy at 5; after penning a book on treatments he was seizure free by 8); orange-and-white mix kitty Alex, an aloof cat with sweet attitude and Shakespeare (a veteran blue beta) all weathered the temperature. The fish did not survive.  I cried. I waited for a tow; the moving guys made it to Tahoe before we did. However, the two senior pets lived on for many years in the sierras. I give credit to the clean air. Truly, both animals got a new lease on life or so it seemed. 

Today, it's cooler but too hot without air conditioning...One ceiling fan, another box fan are fine for the living room. But I'm fantasizing about adopting a third fan to cool down the cabin. After all, I have another senior Brittany, Simon, and my 1 1/2 year-old Aussie Skye sports a dense coat... Not to forget the Siamese Zen who at 5 is probably the most comfortable.  But there's more to living than dealing with weather woes.
Last summer...he is 15 pounds bigger!

Moving On... The renewed passport arrived. It's my "ticket to paradise" as the old song lyrics go. I don't understand how my hair looks dark red when I see blonde and reddish brown.  Foul lighting. I look like someone else, no good for getting through borders. Speaking of crossing the line,  I am getting close to clicking my computer mouse to book the airline flight of choice. A Libra week...flip flop. Perhaps tossing a dart at the globe will suffice.

It seems like Montreal, Quebec is the chosen destination. I don't know if a book signing will take place at the large bookstore. Or not.  A while ago I thought: "The trip should be work-related." But wherever I go as long as it's not here my journey will add to life's adventures full of sensory data (hopefully, with a taste of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle) and be input in my articles, columns, and books.

Hello Montreal 
Unported license.
Attribution: Gjm130 at the English language Wikipedia

I seem to be floundering with British Columbia (been there, done that) and Montreal (been there, need re-do).  I will purchase one of those easy to read phrase books and wing French terms so I won't starve, get lost, or be left out in the cold. But it was romantic decades ago, in the Canadian woods at night cuddled up in a sleeping bag with my bold Lhaso Apso dog to keep me warm; eating peanut butter and table scraps for the canine. I fantasized about knocking on the front door of an estate I saw from a distance. My line was, "I'm from California. Me and my dog are cold and hungry." It didn't seem right. I wish I spoke French. It could have been my gateway to house heaven.
Wish I could take my critters with

Ironically, those unforgettable roughing it on the road hardships are the things I endured in my early twenties and now cherish. I was traveling with a beloved dog. I suffered cultural shock. Nobody warned me that Quebec is a French speaking province, nor about the metric system, and chilly attitude in the air if you only speak English. But now I can do it. Almost there to clicking the mouse...starting to practice French, with an introduction from the online easy phrases (from Now it's time to do it right. I wish I could take my dogs. 

Yes, please/No, thank youOui, s'il vous plaît/Non, merciwee, seel voo play/nong, mair-see
PleaseS'il vous plaîtseel voo play
Thank youMerci (madame/monsieur)mair-see (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
You're welcomeIl n'y a pas de quoieel nyah pah der kwah
Here is/areVoici...vwah-see
Hello/Good morning/afternoonBonjour, (madame/monsieur)bong-zhoor, (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
Hello/Good eveningBonsoir (madame/monsieur)bong-swahr, (mah-dahm/mer-syer)
GoodbyeAu revoiroh rer-vwahr
Good nightBonne nuitbonn nwee
How are you?Comment allez-vous?kommahng tahlay voo
Very well, thanksTrès bien, mercitray byang mair-see
Excuse meExcusez-moiex-kewzay mwah
Do you speak English?Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?essker voo pahrlay ahng-glay
Can you help me?Est-ce que vous pouvez m'aider?essker voo poovay may-day
I don't understand.Je ne comprends pas.zher ner kong-prahng pah
I don't know.Je ne sais pas.zher ner say pah
Could you please write it downEst-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire?essker voo poovay lay-kreer
Leave me alone!Laissez-moi tranquille.lay-say mwah trahng-keel
Where is...?Où est...?oo ay
How much?Combien?kong-byang
How many?Combien?kong-byang
What's that?Qu'est-ce que c'est?kessker say
I'd like...Je voudrais...zher voodray
I want...Je veux...zher ver
I like it.Ça me plaît.sahm play
I don't like it.Ça ne me plaît pas.sah ner mer play pah
OK/Agreed.Ça va/d'accord.sah vah/dah-korr
That's fine.C'est bien.say byang

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