Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thank God for Fine French Restaurants, Empire TV Series, but most of all, Thank God for Cookie!



Son is gone now till Thanksgiving and it sucked much more than even I thought it would. Such is life I guess...

However, Montreal was a delight and Saturday night we stumbled upon the most amazing French restaurant very close to son's residence: Chez la mere Michel on Rue Guy.



 
© Chez la Mère Michel - Chez la Mère Michel

Really, it was like stepping into a piece of Provence. Authentic cuisine, attentive and experienced wait staff with tons of stories. (our server, Marc, has worked there for 30 years and is originally from France).



 

I ordered duck (as I am wont to do) and the boys ordered guinea fowl. All was wonderful and happily washed down with a lovely bottle of wine!


An enjoyable meal and I highly recommend this restaurant!  It made me excited to go to Paris!

*******************

When I arrived home, I was seriously homesick for my boy. As luck would have it, my daughter had signed us up for Shomi and I have been catching up on season 1 of Empire.



I'm obsessed I tell you, OBSESSED!

and mostly I am obsessed with Cookie:

No one glares like Cookie - no one....

I will have binge-watched it all by the time the new season begins in a few weeks. 

From one mother to another: thank you Cookie. You did me a solid!

How have you all been?
 

Friday, August 21, 2015

My work is almost done....


This post is for you parents out there, or for people who once left home themselves....

My littlest bird is leaving the nest next week.





This seems impossible to me, despite the fact that he has been over a foot taller than me for almost a decade.

There are boxes everywhere; lists of things to be packed, decisions to be made.

He is packing his movies. If there is one gift we have given him (besides love, security and almost every Lord of the Rings action figure) it is his love of movies.

We started early and by four he was obsessed with movies and not just in the regular way - he was watching ALL of the special features over and over again, studying choices made by the filmmaker, the actor, the writer. His tastes have gone past my own, his knowledge, except for 1930s and 1940s films, far exceeds my own. Fitting that he leaves to study film at university. Fitting he tried to steal some of my Humphrey Bogart movies.

Really, we have had it good. Except for costing us an arm and leg, he has never caused us any trouble. This is largely, I suspect, because he robbed us of sleep for the first three years of his life and he was, to put it kindly, willful.

There has always been four of us (and often five with the lovely girlfriend). Three will seem odd. And with the third person planning their own imminent departure in the coming months, Two seems well, downright odd.

I worked all through his childhood. I thought that somehow that would make me immune, that somehow I could dodge the empty nest syndrome with my busy life, or my newest baby, the book that will be published next year.

I was wrong.

So next week we will jam the car full of 8 months of belongings. We will drive 9 hours and leave him with a bunch of strangers. He will be happy and fine.

I will be happy and fine.

But a chapter is closing.

He is who he is. Some of that I had a part in, most of that belongs to him and to his peers and to the universe.



I think I have shared this before, but it always makes me laugh at the tragedy of life:

Men love women
women love children
children love dogs

Once upon a time, I walked out of my parent's home with nary a look behind, hell-bent to see the world and live my life on my own terms. I look back now and think "couldn't you at least have said thank-you?" (I did, but not properly until their deathbeds I don't think).

There are no things left unsaid with this fellow who is leaving me. I do not begrudge him his freedom. And really, we are all ready for him to go.

But there is a boy who is forever a baby who is still as alive to me as this 20-year old who will move away next week. It happens in a blink of an eye. I thought I was prepared, I thought I had done enough and now I discover that I forgot to make sure he could play the piano, balance spreadsheets, cook a chicken (oh wait, he's vegetarian), build a house, identify animal tracks, whatever.

There was never enough time for it all, was there? There never could be.

But he is loved. And in the end, that is enough.

xoxo wendy



we'll always have Paris....
 
 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I can't wait for....


The new movie Suffragette slated for release this fall!



This movie looks so good and seems timely, as we have a woman, Elizabeth May, running for Prime Minister here in Canada, and there is of course, Hilary Clinton in the US.

A taste of what's to come:




Dr. Seuss's new book.

I know, it's out, but I haven't gotten a copy yet. I can't wait to get mine!
WhatPetShouldIGet



Ines' new store in Paris!
I have been reading all about her new shop, and I can't wait to stop in and see for myself!




a cure for cancer...

A good friend of mine recently lost their spouse to this dreaded disease and it seems to hit us all very close to home, doesn't it? I'm ready for a cure and saying a lot of prayers...

a glass of wine with family this weekend...

Good for the soul.  I have been meditating lately on grace and peace and have reclaimed my equilibrium around both. Thank goodness for quiet contemplation!

Those are my can't wait for's. How about yours?

xoxo wendy
 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It must be August, cause all my emails are about Fall Fashion...


It is crazy hot here, but almost every retailer is now sending out emails about the new pre-fall season!

Since I have just broken out the shorts, pre-fall seems, well, kind of much, but I am game to along.

Most of this fall's pantone colours are not my favourites.



They are muddy hues and those tend to leave pale old me looking simply ill.

But never mind, there are still some lovely things, that if money were no object (which it most definitely IS this fall with dear son off to uni and Barry and I headed to Paris for our 30th wedding anniversary), so these things will be pretty much fantasy, but still, is fun to think of cool fall whilst lounging on the chaise in the pool (with SPF 300 on!)

Love J Crew's wool Jackies in Misty Forest, one of pantone's colours, is so lovely and makes me think of pastoral landscapes and piney vistas...



I also like the Garnet Flame Tippi:



Canada's RW&Co has a lovely fall outfit that looks so pretty:

RW&CO. - Weekend Getaway


If money grew on trees, this Tory Burch suede skirt would sprout up in my back yard:


Tory Burch Suede Skirt

 As would this Theory outfit:


MIDI SL


This Eileen Fisher outfit looks like the perfect travelling outfit, don't you think?



And this Joseph dress is to die for:

I want to tell her to cheer up old chum!

And these Joseph trousers are amazing



Right now, I am concentrating on getting my son ready or university and have started dreaming of my Paris wardrobe.

But my goodness it is fun to look at the goodies and dream...

How about you? Any one shopping for fall?

xoxo wendy
 

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Dog Days of Summer Have Arrived!


And not a minute too soon!  It has been freezing and wet here until last week, so temperatures in the 80s are oh-so-welcome as the season is so short! 

What's happening here?

Well besides me writing, writing, writing....


The bees are in the bee balm and lavender...



The hummers keep sticking their nose into the hostas and the wisteria is blooming



Butterflies are everywhere and the wisteria is finally creeping forward



Barry keeps adding fence panels

The gate in the middle is nearly a hundred years old
It's from Barry's grandparents' farm!

Speaking of Barry, he is reading Pride and Prejudice!



Which apparently is best read with a cool beer!


and we are beginning to dream of Paris, which is scarily less than two months away now! 

But Paris is for September. July-August are for here.

There are still fresh berries around (would love advice as to how to extend raspberries!)



the fresh produce is amazing



and I feel like the summer will never end.....





How about you?



Come on over - the water's 85!




 Happy Monday!

xoxo wendy


 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I have a book deal!


Interesting Engineering's photo.


Well who said that hard work and perseverance don't pay off?

For the past two years I have been working like a dog to kick start my dream of becoming a children's author.

I have been turned down more times than I care to mention (and that was simply on the road to finding an agent), taken more courses, worked at my craft almost 7 days a week and finally, that work has paid off!

My debut middle grade novel, It's a Mystery, Pig-Face! has been bought by New York Publishing House Sky Pony Press and will be released as part of their Fall 2016 list. The announcement came out in Publishers Weekly today, which is the equivalent, for you sports people out there, of having your trade to the New York Giants placed in the Sporting News.  Big Stuff!
 
 
Alison Weiss at Sky Pony Press has bought Wendy McLeod MacKnight's debut, It's a Mystery, Pig Face!, a middle-grade novel in which an 11-year-old girl finds a bag of money in a baseball dugout and enlists the help of her best friend and annoying little brother to discover who lost – or maybe, stole – it, in a town brimming with suspects. Publication is planned for fall 2016; Lauren Galit at LKG Agency did the deal for world rights.
 
 
 
Now the hard work begins, as I begin another round of edits with them and learn the ins and outs of marketing.

I want to seriously thank each and every one of you who have cheered me on during this journey!  This past Spring was particularly tough; I don't mind sharing that I was feeling quite down and depressed and wondering if I had made a terrible mistake in leaving my job to pursue this dream.

I guess it is always darkest before dawn, since if May was a terrible month for me, June shone brightly and put many things in my life in perspective. 

I am genuinely proud of myself, knowing how much work this has taken and will take in the future. It is a testament to hard work and the pursuit of excellence; I always believed I could do it and I wanted it to be the best book it could be and supported by a publishing house that would nurture both me and my book and I have that in Sky Pony Press in spades!

For those of you who are interested, I have also re-launched my website wendymcleodmacknight.com, where I will be posting regularly on my writing journey and providing useful information to other aspiring writers.

I will still be posting here regularly on the other ephemera of my life! 

Again - a heartfelt thanks. Many of you have taken a real personal interest in my writing and dream and that interest will never be forgotten!


MWAH!

Wendy


 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Faded Beauty


It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June. Larger than any rose, it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall, making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had  still appeared to be a living beauty.

Vita Sackville-West


We are at the end of our peony season here.  They bloomed late and were frankly not quite up to part thanks to an abundance of rain in June, but no matter; they are beloved when they bloom.

Much as I love them in their glory, I admit to a fondness for them in their spectacular decline; they are the Miss Havishams of my garden and a wonderful reminder that not all that is beautiful in this world need be shiny and new.  I leave them about until the last petal has fallen.









We seek to copy nature in how we dress, how we decorate our homes, and this seems especially true with respect to peonies.  It is all about pale layers of gossamer thin silks and cottons, all trying to recreate the divinity that is a peony.

There is something soothing about piles of linens at the end of a day (all sources Pinterest)





And we love to dress like flowers for bed or for our big day:







And who can blame us? I for one would love to be able to go back in time and deck myself out like my favourite flower...

Am I the only one that keeps their flowers past their prime? Do tell!

I am learning all kinds of technical things that I will be sharing soon - and such is my Saturday!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe out there!
xoxo wendy