Oh Canada, my home sweet home.

Oh boy, it has been a while since I have blogged. Life has been so hectic in the past few months with wedding plans, family issues, neighbor issues, house hunting, trying to keep up with a new exercise regimen and not letting my house fall into complete disarray in the midst of all that, that blogging fell completely by the wayside. I do have a slew of photos put by though and am hoping to have the time to share them with you and tell you the story behind them in the near future if my life allows it. In the mean time I felt compelled to write today about what happened in the US election and how it has me feeling.

I, along with many Canadians, watched with varying degrees of horror and disbelief the circus that was the campaign leading up to Tuesday’s presidential election. I honest-to-goodness could not believe what I was seeing and hearing every single time Donald Trump opened his mouth. I have to say though, I was not shocked that Trump made it in. I groaned and hid under my duvet a bit on Wednesday morning, but I was not shocked, just disappointed. Why was I not shocked? Because I have spent a lot of time in the United States, especially over the past twenty years or so, since my grandparents retired down there. As a side note, my grandmother is getting the heck out of there. That’s the silver lining on this for me, Trump gave her the final bit of incentive she needed to move back to Canada. However, having spent a fair bit of time visiting my grandparents in the southern United States over the last few decades allowed me see the true colors of the country and they are not pretty and have not been pretty for a very, very long time. The level of social and racial inequality in America is staggering and far greater than anything I have ever seen here in Canada. Our country is not perfect, no country is, but the huge, huge difference is that here, no matter how poor you are, you can walk into a hospital and get treated and not go bankrupt and high quality university education is also far more affordable. Think of Canada with no universal healthcare and the best universities costing upwards of 40 000$ per year in tuition fees (add housing to that and you hit 50-60k easily) and the havoc that would bring about in our social structure. Yes, there are community colleges in the United States but I encourage you to read a bit more about them here and see that while they have some advantages and give the opportunity to get a higher education to students who could otherwise not afford it, they can also leave much to be desired.

The bottom line is, you cannot have a country with such major social inequality and not end up with a huge political upset at some point, which is why Trump gained such a massive following when he came in with his ‘Make America Great Again’ message. Give a disillusioned population someone to blame for their problems, ideally a group that is already marginalized, in this case illegal Hispanic residents, Muslims, Blacks and yes, even women and they will jump right on the bandwagon. If you think things are going to get better now that the election is over and Obama is saying that his first meeting with Trump was ‘excellent’, think again, read this and just look at Obama’s face in this picture:

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Does he look very encouraged to you?

This is what the gentleman looks like when he’s had a pleasant exchange with someone:

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And one more with Trump:

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Excellent meeting, my eye. Once again, let’s make this clear: Trump’s victory is not shocking. If you find it shocking, please get your head out of the sand and educate yourself on life in the United States. It is absolutely nothing like what you see on your favorite TV show. It has nothing to do with what you see in the movies. TV and movie producers show what sells. The ugly truth of 43.1 million Americans, that is 13.1% of the population, living in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau 2015) does not sell. Study education inequality and race inequality in the United States, look at how much health care really costs and you will understand how this happened a bit better and remember, even if the percentage of people living in poverty (they refer to it as ‘low income’ here) in Canada is roughly the same as that in the US at 12.9% (or at least it was in 2011, the latest census data is not in yet), we have far greater opportunities for low-cost education and universal health care!

The saddest part of Trump winning the election is that he will not be able to fix the rampant social inequality in the States. His racist, sexist rhetoric will only make it far, far worse. America’s greatest chance for greater social and racial equality was Barack Obama, but in this age of constant desire for instant gratification, Americans were not able to appreciate his efforts.

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Four Days in Chicago/Quatre Jours à Chicago

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About a month ago, my Darling and I started hitting a wall. This was more than your typical case of Winter doldrums, we had been in a funk for a while and when we looked back over the last few months, we figured out why. My brother’s wedding, an ailing grandfather, Christmas and all the hustle and bustle that comes with it…Plus, there was the fact that we hadn’t had a proper vacation since July. Yup, we needed to get out of town and leave everything behind for a few days. Where to go though? We thought about Boston because neither of us had ever been, but the price of a direct flight was ridiculous and the idea of getting a connecting flight to Boston from Montreal was just as preposterous. Normally we would have driven, but planning a six hour drive anywhere in Winter way ahead of time is not a good idea, not when you live anywhere north of Pennsylvania and especially not in Canada unless you live in BC. So we decided on Chicago instead. My Darling had been once a few years back and loved his experience, but I had never been and was dying to go after hearing nothing but good things about the culinary scene and the architecture. Oh and the shopping too, because I am always raring for a bit of shopping, especially in large American and European cities since they tend to carry clothing labels that we unfortunately do not have in Canada. So off we went and my goodness, did this lovely city live up to my expectations! The food was wonderful and the architecture was amazing, plus after a chilly first few days we were treated to two incredibly warm (by Canadian standards) days which were pure bliss. So please, dear readers, head over to the Travel section of my blog and treat yourself to all things Chicago from the duo of stunning glass domes of Chicago’s Cultural Center (one by Healy and Millet and the other, featuring the signs of the Zodiac at its center, by Tiffany), to the architecture and the famous and incredibly entertaining Cloud Gate, which I dubbed The Jelly Bean as soon as I set eyes on it. Enjoy!

Il y a environ un mois, mon conjoint et moi avons frappé un mur quelque peu plus tenace qu’un simple cas de blues de l’Hiver. Nous avons vite compri pourquoi en prenant du recul et en étudiant notre train de vie depuis l’automne. Le mariage de mon frère, un grand-papa malade, Noël et tout ce qui l’accompagne, pas de vacances depuis le mois de juillet…et oui, nous avions besoin d’un petit répit de quelques jours! Mais où aller? Nous avons d’abord songé à Boston puisque ni mon chéri, ni moi n’y avions été, mais le coût d’un vol direct vers cette ville était hors norme et l’idée de prendre un vol avec escale entre Montréal et Boston est ridicule. Normalement, nous serions partis en voiture, mais ce n’est pas une bonne idée de planifier un voyage de six heures en automobile plus de quelques jours à l’avance en Hiver si on vit au nord de la Pennsylvanie et surtout pas si on vit au Canada, sauf pour ceux qui sont en Colombie Britannique. Nous avons donc pri la décision de partir pour Chicago plutôt que Boston. Mon chum y avait déjà été et avait tellement aimé son expérience qu’il était bien enthousiaste à l’idée d’y retourner et moi je rêvais de visiter cette ville après avoir entendu que de bonnes choses à propos de la scène culinaire et l’architecture. Oh et bien sûr du magasinage aussi, parce que oui, j’aime bien magasiner, surtout dans les grandes villes Américaines et Européennes qui ont tendance à avoir des vêtements d’étiquettes que nous n’avons pas au Canada. Nous avons donc pris notre envol et Mon Dieu, que cette fabuleuse ville fût plus qu’à la hauteur de mes attentes! La nourriture était effectivement excellente, l’architecture sublime et après deux jours un peu frisquets nous avons été gâtés par deux jours incroyablement printaniers, un vrai régal pour une paire de Canadiens qui se gèlent le derrière depuis le mois de janvier! Je vous invite donc, chers lecteurs, à vous rendre dans la rubrique ‘Voyage’ du blogue afin de vous y régaler avec des photos de quelques une des merveilles de Chicago, en passant par le duo de sublimes dômes en vitrail du centre cuturel de Chicago (le premier par Healy et Millet, le deuxième, arborant les signes du Zodiac en son centre, par Tiffany), l’architecture variée et le fameux et très divertissant Cloud Gate que j’ai affectueusement surnommé le Jelly Bean dès que je l’ai vu. Bon visionnement!

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Travel Photography-Photos de voyage

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My late father’s stuffed dog, Mr. Puppy, on a dirt road in PEI, Canada- Mr. Puppy, le chien en peluche de mon père, décédé en 2013, sur une route de terre rouge de l’Île-Du-Prince-Édouard

I have not always been an avid traveler. I was never actually that big on it until the first time I went to New York City with a school trip in grade nine and had the time of my life, but the travel bug really bit me when I took my first huge leap across the Atlantic at the age of 25 and went all the way to Italy by myself. I cried like a baby on my way to the airport I was so terrified and my mom cried (and did her best to hide it) on the the front doorstep of our house as she waved off my taxi cab (sorry mom, but yes, you did!). I had never been any further than California before and had never traveled outside of a structured family or group setting, so my nerves were warranted. I had been dreaming of going to Europe ever since I was a child and everything I saw and experienced on my Italian adventure far exceeded my expectations. Since then, I have tried my best to go someplace I have never been before at least once a year and oh, how enriching it has been! In order to share my love of traveling with all of you, I have created a travel photography page which I hope you will enjoy. For now, there are photos from my three most recent trips to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, Prince Edward Island and Atlanta. More of my photos from Atlanta can be found on my flower and animal photography pages. I will be adding more travel photos just as soon as I can get them edited and watermarked, so check back again soon!

Sachez que je n’ai pas toujours été une grand amatrice des voyages. Enfin, ce n’est qu’après avoir pri mon courage à deux mains pour participer à une excursion d’une fin de semaine à la grande ville de New York en secondaire trois que j’ai commencé à y prendre goût. La vrai piqûre du voyage est arrivée quand j’ai fait le grand saut de l’autre bord de l’Atlantique pour la première fois à l’âge de 25 ans afin de passer 10 jours en Italie. J’étais tellement nerveuse à l’idée de voyager seule pour la première fois que j’ai pleuré comme une Madeleine dans le taxi et même ma mère, malgré ses efforts, a pleuré sur le perron de notre maison à mon départ (désolée maman, tu sais comme c’est difficile de me cacher quoi que ce soit!). C’était une grosse affaire pour une fille qui, jusqu’à ce point, n’avait jamais voyagé sans être bien encadrée pour un groupe scolaire ou sa famille de se rendre jusqu’à Florence et ensuite à Rome par elle-même, mais mon Dieu, que ce voyage m’a fait du bien et il a été plus merveilleux que ce que j’aurais pu imaginé. C’est beaucoup en dire puisque je rêvais de me rendre en Europe depuis ma petite enfance! Depuis ce temps, j’essaie de voyager à un nouvel endroit par année, qu’il soit près ou éloigné et je ne peux pas exprimer comment cet exercice est enrichissant! Afin de partager avec vous mon amour du voyage, j’ai créé aujourd’hui une page pour les photos que je prend lors de mes petites promenades sur notre belle planète! Vous-y trouverez pour l’instant des photos de mes trois derniers voyages à Atlanta (dont vous pourrez aussi trouver des photos sur mes pages de photographie d’animaux et de fleures), Las Vegas et le Grand Canyon ainsi qu’à l’Île-Du-Prince-Édouard. J’y rajouterai des photos d’autres destinations aussitôt que j’aurai fini de les traiter, alors revenez faire un petit tour ici bientôt!

New photos for sale at Déco Photo Plus-Nouvelles photos à vendre chez Déco Photo Plus

Red flowers after a Spring shower-Des fleures rouges croquées sur le vif après une averse printanière
Red flowers after a Spring shower-Des fleures rouges croquées sur le vif après une averse printanière

Déco Photo Plus accepted five more of my pictures to sell on their website, including one very similar to this one! Head over to check them all out and if you know anyone who is looking for some decorative photos for their home or office, feel free to send them over to my portfolio through this link if you think they would be interested in any of my photos, right now is a good time to shop at Déco Photo Plus as there is 50% off sale going on until November 3rd!

Déco Photo Plus a accepté a mis en vente cinq photos de plus dans mon portfolio, dont une très semblable à celle qui se trouve en vedette dans cet article! Je vous invite à aller jeter un coup d’oeil à mon portfolio (lien dans le texte en Anglais) pour y voir les nouvelles oeuvres mises en vente et de le partager avec des gens que vous connaissez qui seraient à la recherche de photos décoratives pour leur logement ou leur bureau! C’est un excellent moment pour faire un achat ches Déco Photo Plus puisque toutes les photos disponnible sur le site sont en rabais de 50% jusqu’au 3 novembre!

Some of my photos are now for sale! Certaines de mes photos sont maintenant à vendre!

Cape Tryon Lighthouse, PEI Le Phare de Cape Tryon, IPÉ
Cape Tryon Lighthouse, PEI
Le Phare de Cape Tryon, IPÉ

I’m pleased to announce that some of my photos are now available for purchase at Déco Photo Plus, an online service where you can order large decorative sized prints of photos for your home. The service is run by Yves Thomas Photo Lab, one of the best professional photo printers in Montreal. Currently, I have some of my photos from Prince Edward Island up in my portfolio and I will be adding photos of Montreal and other trips I have taken soon.

Il me fait grand plaisir de vous annoncer que certaines de mes photos sont maintenant disponnibles pour achat chez Déco Photo Plus (lien dans le texte en Anglais plus haut), un service de vente d’impression grand format pour la décoration mis en ligne et géré par PhotoLab Yves Thomas, un des meilleurs laboratoires d’impression de photo à Montréal. Pour l’instant, vous y trouverez des photos prises lors de mon dernier voyage à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard et j’y rajouterai prochainement des photos prises à Montréal des photos d’autres voyages que j’ai fait récemment.

New photos-Nouvelles photos

I added quite a few photos to the blog today, you can find them by clicking on the pages in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the blog. I hope you enjoy them!

J’ai rajouté plusieurs photos au blogue aujourd’hui, vous pouvez les trouver sur les pages qui sont affichées sur le côté droit du blogue. J’espère qu’elles vous plairont!

Getting started! Ce n’est qu’un début!

Hello and welcome to my photography website! I’m just getting started, so please bear with me as I add content and work on the aesthetic of this site and it gets up and going, I promise it will be worth the wait!

Bonjour tout le monde et bienvenu à mon site de photographie! Ce blog est tout nouveau, mais si vous patientez un peu, il s’y trouvera bientôt de petites merveilles qui, je l’espère, sauront vous plaire!