Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Love having my head in the clouds

Above Photo courtesy of Caroline

..Oh My..A few years back..above.

Photo courtesy of Caroline~

Below..more of a few years back...the only ones I was able to find here now that my blog is ghosted~

Mowgli years ago..♥

The 3 amigos years ago.

Oli and Max yrs ago.

Max years ago.

That face yrs ago:)
Baby teeth.

Catch of the day!

Caught and released~

The mailboxes..all shapes and sizes:)Same with homes..a small area of cute and humble..a  million..estates~This mailbox has http://linda-keaveney.blogspot.com/  Linda's name on it I am sure.
The beach..her flip flops..:)

A new necklace..a treasure chest that holds a shark's tooth~

My daughter's pretty young hands:)

I loved watching them play~Diamonds sparkling on the water..sailboats going by..footballs on the beach~

The sunsets on the Gulf are amazing.

My fave pic♥ Caroline took it:)

It's very difficult to pull off a great surprise..someone can usually let the cat slip out of the bag as they say..I have let the cat slip out of the bag many times:)

But a few times..I have been so surprised!
My fiftieth..my girls had a surprise party..never expected a thing..and my 60th..at our family gathering..they had set up a live music stage in their living room:)

Heartfelt lovely surprises..

Oh and this summer when all the boys wore those cute Tropical shirts:):)

But one surprise..I think is the show stopper.

We recently  had the opportunity  to  go to Florida..

Getting back to this surprise..we were on our own this year..
about 10 days in..on a chilly grey Fl Sunday ..close to dinnertime..Jacques and I were inside..out of the corner of my eye..
I saw three tall boys walk by the side window..3 tall Littles!
Unbeknownst to us..  their family had totally surprised us by driving down for the week.
I grabbed my face with both hands and repeatedly said "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD"~
This is all on video..lol.
They filmed the homecoming;)
My voice is soo annoying.

They had a beautiful weather week..and we all had a beautiful week.
The climate reminds me of Provence..not the way of life..not one iota.  But those blue skies!And the warmth on your face..and the very windy days can remind me of Le Mistral on the beach.
Not inland.

And the people we know here are special.
No one has a fancy house or clothes..here.
We all live in the same accomodations..
Most have rental cars:)
So no fancy schmancy.
Our plates said:" California"~
No one's grass is greener..
No one has a prettier garden.
One common ground it seems is that many of us are creatures of habit.And we laugh at our habits.

They can tell the time when we leave the beach for lunch;)
They know how far our daily walks are.
They know we eat every meal at home.
They know I like to paint and take pictures.
They are so nice to our Littles..
I know about their children and grandchildren.

This is the place on earth I actually mingle with people I have come to know.
Apart from family at home.

The boys swam..fished..collected fish..played football..racketball..waterball..
They are loving..polite..chraming beautiful boys.
And funny..The whole family..:)

Unforgettable for us.Grateful they drive all that way..♥4 days of driving for 5 days of beach.

We only had 2 days of extremely SLIGHT red tide..
It surely is the sunshine state.
Saw dolphins..

But see that seagull pic?
That was a few yrs ago..we used to see flocks of them.
Not one flock..to be seen..and hardly any to see on their own.
Where have all the seagulls gone?
Erosion is also a big thing..

For years..I loved taking the family pics..I am delegating now:)
I can't match the quality of my daughter's phone:)
I did BUY a phone..:) FINALLY..lol
And it takes pics;)
But not like these;)Hers~
And..she's got an EYE~

Some pics..above..for my reinstated humble blog..getting back in le swing of things:)

My friend Brenda on the beach one day~
And a pic she took for me one night in town~

Trust me when I say..time flies~♥

I need to put this back in my blog..so it's going here..

Yrs ago..makes my heart happy.

Watching them on the beach..I could look back through my mind's eye..and see them as infants..toddlers.. Littles and now teens and tweens..

I know this is not possible for every family.
Distance..time..so many variables.
Some are on their own..with no family.

We all have yearnings I think..some are more vocal about them..
Wishes for loved ones long gone..health..success..happiness..family..great friends..
we all look over from time to time..and wish.

I hesitate to write about about things like this..but then..it wouldn't be me.

Our 4 littles never..if ever.. leave my mind;)

I hope some of the pics will make you smile..
Don't mistake Oli's little face for anything but being funny.
the boys are so loving ♥
Never in one million years would I ever have guessed that boys could be so affectionate.
I need that LOL.
I enjoy feeling loved.

My friend Brenda had her wedding anni there..25 yrs..they married there..I left a shell and a  single hibiscus  bloom on their patio table..gifts are humble here..so Oli knew..it was their anni.
The next day he asked Brenda:" So,..yesterday was your wedding day?  Was it good for you?"
She liked that.:)

I spent many moments looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico watching the waves..the diamonds..reflecting on so many things..
Mostly.. wishing health and comfort for everyone..not feeling particularly grand at this moment.

We never ever know what someone is going through.
Masks are well worn by habituals.

Some get colds and the world knows..some suffer intolerable things in silence.
And that's ok..we're all so different.

See you soon for Christmas Chatter....


  1. Such lovely pictures, thank you for sharing! You wonder if some of them make us smile, well, they certainly did for me:)The things you write are touching.....Many happy memories for you!!
    With warm wishes from Holland,

    1. Nicoline thank you :) Thank you for telling me about your family..Susan Branch and for my hollyhocks:)

    2. Monique,
      You are very welcome!
      Ahhh, dear Susan, what joy she spreads, with her stories and pictures....And I had completely forgotten about the coming new LITTLE WOMEN movie, she reminded us all, looking forward to seeing it!
      I hope your hollyhocks bloomed for you..?? If not, let me know and I can send you more seeds, we'll keep trying, making the world around us a pretty colourful place!
      Have a lovely day!

    3. Thank you!!Planted more☺️☺️☺️Have a lovely day!

  2. What a lovely post, your words and photos. I love in Georgia but have not been to Florida since 2000. The Gulf side is gorgeous. Wonder how much things have changed since I was there last?😊


    1. It's still nice and super quiet where we like to visit..Did not see a manatee this yr ..and seagulls scarce:(Georgia is beautiful! Years ago we went to Sea Island..almost 1/2 a century ago..

  3. Replies
    1. Kay the i is next to the o;) I type so poorly..I knew what you meant:)
      You can live and love in Georgia;)

  4. THIS POST IS EVERYTHING <3 couldnt be more love on one single page. Treasures. XXXXXXXXXX

    1. Thank you.I feel so blessed in family respect..trust me..not all is as glorious:)

  5. Dearest Monique,
    Those images are all so precious and yes, they are the canvas of our FAMILY LOVE!
    That video is darling too.
    We have not been to Florida in two years now... but I've managed to make our memories digital and that too counts as one day it will be the only thing left.

  6. Yes, that's so true, "time flies" whenever we are really happy! Great memories, dear Monique. Enjoy!

    1. Watching the grow is such a gift to us.
      My parents be ere en knew my children🙏🏻

  7. What a warm and wonderful post. The littles are growing big! Where in Florida were you? I use to live in Naples, Florida.

  8. I am SO in love with the joy and happiness of this post. What a gift you received. So, I'm guessing that surprise was YOUR birthday, right? I can practically hear you scream with joy -- no video required!

    It looks glorious, Monique. All the wonderful blue, the big smiles. I love your "favorite" picture -- it would be mine, too, one like that. The skies, the birds, the fun. You are right about being surrounded by wonderful people who are your friends, knowing each others' patterns with a friendly familiarity. It couldn't be better.

    I sent you an email on your google from my gmail account. See if it arrived, as the ones from my outlook don't seem to make it there! Let me know!

    1. Have to find out what's happening to our correspondence:( My bday is Feb..no ones birthday just a family vacay for the fab 5;)And then we lucked out:)

  9. Lovely pictures and lovely memories..
    Loves and hugs Monique

  10. What a wonderful surprise. And how nice to see the boys so sweet and happy.

    1. If I ever saw one unhappy I would crumble.
      The littlest disappointment happens to them and I feel crushed..
      They are so well rounded and nice I don't want anything changing their natures or lives:):):)♥

  11. What a wonderful surprise. I feel like I know the boys, and know they would make me smile too. I love the watercolor of your friend Brenda on the beach. Happy December.

    1. As we have been friends for yrs and yrs I think it's natural:) I know Joe after all..:) And your mom and sisters..:) And Xavier:) The bébé I need more:):)

    2. Yes, you do need more :-):-) And just wait until your daughters become grandmothers :-)

  12. Beautiful memories and a lovely trip to the sea - what could be better. Happy to see your blog resurrection. This love we have for our Grands is so special. 💖💖.

    1. It's indescribable isn't it?
      A difference in our whle being in their presence..in thoughts of them also:)
      I know you get it and would love to see your beautiful boy♥
      Thank you.

  13. What a beautiful post Monique. I actually read a day or so ago, but on the iPad and it won't let me comment on blogs, so I have come back on the PC to do so! I have loved all the photos and I have loved watching your boys growing up through the years. I remember that video when you first posted it. They have grown so much since then and it still makes me smile. It is so wonderful that you were surprised like you were. I loved the video that your daughter put on IG. Your excitment at seeing them, qu'elle surprise, the JOY! Palpalable! I cannot think of anyone nicer or more deserving of such beautiful blessings in their life, than YOU are! I am so happy you have decided to continue blogging. There are not many blogs I still read. You and Susan Branch, I pretty much keep up with everyone else on IG, but it is not the same in an odd way. This is much more personal. I imagine you in the throes of Christmas Preparations now. It will be upon us before we know it. This morning I was making Pomanders. My house smells like oranges and cloves and cinnamon. Quite nice actually! I wish for you a very happy next few weeks, filled with lots of love, excitement and blessings! Thank you so much for all that you share with us. I know it is a labor of love. xoxo

    1. I bet your home smells delicious!
      I have appreciated readng your blog too..I never miss a day I think.I now comment on your delectable dishes on IG only because I feel like I am repeating myself which Jacques says I often do:) LOL he is right.
      It's funny..it's the way these Littles are brought up I think..lots of affection..so they know how to be affectionate..
      has nothing to do with me..

      Everything YOU share with us is a labor of love!

  14. PS - I forgot the art! LOVE LOVE LOVE!! You have managed to MASTER loose beautifully! I am still working on it! xo

    1. You should see the ones I did not share:( So bad..

    2. We all have those. Maybe you could do as Susan Branch does and use them cut up for bookmarks! xoxo

  15. Monique, I saw the video. It is adorable, and your voice is not annoying. It is heartwarming. A good surprise is difficult to pull off. Your girls are masters at doing it. My M did it once for my 50th. I was totally surprised! It took me an hour or more to relax I was so stunned! I said no more surprise parties please! Then years later a close friend said, "Let's do a surprise party for M at our home on the lake." She had it marvelously planned. He was totally in the dark! Life long friends came from out of town. It was a marvelous celebration, and I know he never would have allowed me to give him a party. But he appreciated this party more than words could say.
    I love seeing your FL photos. You know I grew up on the Texas Gulf. It's not the same beauty, but the blue skies, warmth on one's face, and windy days. That is the same. I'm happy you and J get to enjoy such pleasures before your long winter. I look forward to your Christmas chatter!

    1. Honestly..leaving Fl after an extended period of blue skies..and sunshine..and returning to QC..is like leaving a technicolor Disney movie and ..and entering a bleak grey New England nostlagic movie about hardship lol.
      And it's not! It's just such a stark contrast! No leaves..monochrome..slight dusting of snow..
      Once the sun shines..my landscape will sing again.

      It's still lovely but in such an introspective way..friving up our street.. yesterday w/ clasical music playing..it really was like a classic black and white movie:)
      Thank you for sharing in our joy:)Re the boys.

  16. I had tears in my eyes when I watched Caro's video on IG. What an amazing, loving surprise. The hours spent in the car driving down were all made worth it to be with you in that beautiful weather and gorgeous beach. We never saw the beach when we were in Sarasota for the wedding in October :( That weekend was so activity-filled and the hotel was near the marina but no beach. Your area looks so peaceful and it looks like the beach not packed with people there. You had the best weather in the entire U.S. :) I can tell how much you appreciate time spent there and obviously I can tell how much your family means to you ♥ Those older photos and the video, so precious. I know you'll have a wonderful three weeks leading up to Christmas. I love your paintings! Your practice had definitely paid off. I am so rusty as you will see soon :)

    1. We've watched our daughters marry..have children..watched our boys grow..together:)♥
      And I am so grateful for that.
      I love your posts that include the boys and personal anecdotes we share via email re our lives.
      It has been so important to me in my life♥
      Thank you.
      Yes..the beauty of this stretch of beach is that it is private.
      So no one..sits there unless they are living there..people can walk by..but it's quite far from the public beach so not everyone makes it..and it's a walk towards oblivion compared to hotels..the other direction brings you towards the jetty and the public beach.
      One ay the boys spotted a man wearing shorts that had FBU on them..Max said he had Football University shorts on..and they were excited but too shy to approac.

      He walked by again after the boys left and I talked to him.
      Susan..the nicest man:)
      Played for the Patriots..Titans..I forget the third..
      What a gentleman.He let me take his pic to send to the boys..
      Who would have EVER thought football would be a subject of conversation for me;)

    2. Oh, I feel exactly the same way ♥ The boys would have loved meeting that man! We had Dane overnight last weekend and one of the things he loves doing is making 'books' on my computer with photos and text. Last weekend it was a book of his favorite football players. He knows all their stats by heart LOL.

    3. He would get along with my boys FAMOUSLY!♥Wow that's something Susan! Bravo!

  17. Very sweet post. The boys looks so happy. There is something so relaxing about the beach. Loved the cute video.

    1. They are happy and that makes me happy.That's all we want right?Our kids and littles to be happy♥
      You made me happy while I was there:)

  18. That video of the boys singing!!!!! I can't even articulate how much I love it. ♥ Pure joy and goodness, that.

    I watched the other video too. I loved the surprise. How beautiful!

    1. You too you made me happy whle I was there.
      Pure joy you are.

    2. Awwww. I just saw this. :) ♥

  19. M, I was already smiling as I read through the beginning but as soon as you mentioned a surprise I just knew what it had to be and then I was grinning from ear to ear and then some. I adore this entire blog so much. Your littles and your entire family are all amazing people and that you find such delight in the simple easy things in life is so special. And you let your daughter photograph you and you posted it!?! Wow So, this has to be my favorite Table De Nana episode ever!

    1. LOL..You made me laugh and smile..I am still waiting on Austin news:) And not Austin Powers:):)

  20. You are the 'Secret Traveler'!
    Where next? Any hints?
    I never understood the song group's name 'Boys to Men' until reading yr blog.
    You can not stop time, though my mother wished time had stopped at age 10 for me.
    Wonder what she would say now ;))

    1. Awww..:) Your mother would be beaming with pride.
      Secret traveler lol..A sleepover in Vermont during the winter for Trader Joes..and a sleepover in Plattsburgh for Hobby Lobby:)in May.
      Big plans.:)

  21. So beautiful Monique, thank you for sharing. What a great surprise! I can feel the love, warmth and something I can't find the right word to describe in your photos...joy? peace? gratitude? All of those? Is there a word for all of that combined? xo

    1. Well I think it's love.
      I love them.
      You know that.
      And I LOVED meeting you through real estate and I love that we keep in touch.
      Look how far we've come.
      From a little girl reading in her beautiful bedroom..to a big girl and college♥
      You are exceptional parents.
      And you are such a lovely lovely young woman.

    2. Yes, big love. :) You are too kind Monique. xo

  22. Those boys singing!!!!!!!💙💙💙 That made my day Monique...thank you for that!!
    Your pictures make me feel like I am RIGHT there...and I will miss that come February...but there will be other February's....right???
    YOur artwork is beautiful...your family is beautiful...what else is there???
    Cant wait for your Christmas post...🌟✨🌟...I know it will be magical...
    Enjoy your day my friend...
    Linda :o)

    1. That song..brings tears to my eyes..how many times I have listened and believed:)♥Sung by none other than them of course;)
      Can't stop believing♥
      Thanks for sharing so many loves with me..family..beach..crochet lol(I can't even compare..)..photos..memories..Gifs;)
      There WILL be the next February and the next and so on..and so on.♥

  23. Wonderful! And a lovely watercolor too!

  24. What lovely pictures Monique, I love these boys, always make me smile I can see how you love them soo much, are wonderful, I miss my twins where they were little, now, have 25 ! I love them so much but are different. But is the life. Send you love and hu7gs Monique !!

    1. Yes..such is life..time waits for no one:(I miss my 40 something yr old girls as Littles also.
      Oh yes I love all 4 so much..all so different!!♥
      Happy Holidays Gloria.