The Best Thing I Saw All Week


Urban Chic by Farrah Star

Hello Dear Readers,

Outside of my darling daughter I don’t have anything for my Best Thing post.  It has been a taxing week, much more so than last week, our first here in Montreal.  I didn’t get a chance to gaze or comment or remark upon much outside of the happenings in my own home.

Speaking of, today marks exactly 14 days since our movers hauled in all our worldly possessions.


Our car. Hello Car! I will do everything I can to avoid driving you in this city of 4 million people. Take a load off.

Next week I plan on sharing what I’ve accomplished in our new home but for now, here it is empty:

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Ain’t she pretty?  (Professional real estate photos, pardon the lack of credit.  Also if you want to know how we found our apartment, check out the Parallelogram over at PolarRico.)

And here is a sneak preview of what’s coming to BPS next week, which again, is what I accomplished in the past two weeks:

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Have a great weekend out here (a long one for us, is it for you too?)

Love, Your Busy, Busy Bee.


Hide-and-Go-Seek a Babysitter

One of the best things about being a stay-at-home parent is all the time I have with my kids.  Farrah Star and I amble for hours after dropping Arlo off at school, just as Arlo and I ambled for hours around Bermuda.  Farrah hasn’t met a stoop that doesn’t need her bottom on it for a couple of minutes or a dog that doesn’t need his whiskers pulled.  There is no wrought-iron gate within a 10-block radius that doesn’t have her fingerprints all over it.  We amble and I am happy to watch her explore on her terms and with no agenda of my own.

One of the worst things about being a stay-at-home parent is all the time I have with my kids.  Without getting into the Why Attachment Parenting, WHY? or Why, Moving Again, WHY?, I’ll just state the obvious: I need help.  During our last week in Madison, Farrah played with a beloved babysitter for two and half hours – her previous record (with anyone) was 25 minutes.  This signals to me that at 18 months she has the power to play with others – just not the impetus.  I think it’s time.

During yesterday’s ambling I heard the tapping of a hammer down an alley and well, sometimes that’s all it takes to steer us in a direction.  We came across a young boy building a fort.


This surprised the hell out of me – wouldn’t it you?  I mean I know kids aren’t always on screens but this wasn’t a “just go outside and do something for an hour willya?”, this was a long-term project.  I then saw two girls run out of that same driveway and into a play yard so of course we followed them.

You wouldn’t believe what they did.  The three of them played hide-n-seek.  They climbed trees.  They did gymnastics on the high bar.  They chased each other and threw a ball around.


I was amazed. They played so easily together and were so happily active I just knew I had stumbled upon our new babysitter in the eldest girl.  My heart raced.  We ambled down this alley for a reason!  For years I would tell this story and my kids would glow in the memory of how they met their beloved caregiver/best friend.  I rode that euphoric/delirious wave right up to that girl and asked her in my most desperate, broken French – “Do you live here?  Vous-habitez au Montreal? Is that your sister and brother?  Ta souer et ton frere?” She shook her head.  Oh god.  What?  Wait.  “Oh, you are um…visiting?”  “Oui, veeseet.  Coozanns.”

Oh god.

Lisa wept.

I have a dream that one day I will find a babysitter and it won’t be via craigslist or a fee-based online subscription service.  When it comes to finding someone to be with my kids, I hope it comes to me organically – a click, a feeling in my gut or as a witness to someone being amazing without knowing I’m there taking notes.

Teach my child to build a fort or climb a tree and I’ll put you through college.  I’m out there looking for you.  I’m the smiling, overwrought mom pulling a pebble out of her toddler’s mouth.  Nice to meet you.

Parallelogram: Finding a House |

Hi!  I am guest blogging at Polarrico, a brainchild of my friend Laura and I, as we relocate our families north (Montreal) and south (Mayaguez).

This week’s Parallelogram is about finding a house (link below) and as a bonus, an emotional exchange direct from Laura’s take-off:



Parallelogram: Finding a House |.

Thanks for checking out Polarrico.  We love your readership and comments!


Orange is the New Theme

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” – Wassily Kandinsky

Hi!  Today I’m linking to Where’s My Backpack’s Orange theme:

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You should join in!  I very much like this exercise of looking through my archives to build a new collection based on someone else’s directive.  It’s a like cheat-sheet to creativity and I dig it.  Thank you Ailsa.





MMM: The People of Square St. Louis

Mostly Montreal Monday

Shots and thoughts from my new home of Montreal.

Square St. Louis is just up the street, round the corner and over a couple of blocks.  I don’t know directions yet.  I only know the location of Arlo’s preschool and that one house that has the iron gate Farrah Star needs to open and close 42 times every morning.  The Square is close, I can tell you that much, and also very much alive these glorious summer evenings.

I was drawn to this human lightning bug and her canine guardian.

St. Louis

I kept inching closer, squeezing off the most unobtrusive shutter I could manage but all the while feeling ridiculous.  So I just took a deep breath, approached and asked if I could take her picture.  I did my best to mime how nicely her screen lit up her face and she obliged my nonsense.

St. Louis St. Louis

There’s a large fountain in the center of the square with a chocolate surprise inside:

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St. Louis

Arlo watched this dog and thought it signaled a green light for him to get in (“It looks like a pool!”).  Then he felt the water and was immediately brought back to his Bermuda roots.  I pulled out the Cuppi* instead and that kept us busy until dinner time.

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St. Louis

The park spills out on to Rue Prince-Aurthur which is closed off to cars, making for an easy stroll or terrace supper.

St. Louis

You just don’t want to be Tom Hanks there.

St. Louis

Our National Treasure, debased.

Speaking of National Treasures …

St. Louis St. Louis

This guy, his scissors and cigarette.  Yes, I’m going to back to work once Farrah Star starts school.

Thumbs up.

St. Louis

*Cuppi is the ultimate on-the-go toy.  It works in water, sand, bark chips, gravel, organic grapes in the produce aisle – every place you go with your young children. Get it. Gift it. Then sit for a minute and pat yourself on the back.

This post is not sponsored but it could be.  Oh yes, it could be.

The Best Things I Saw All Week

I have been in Montreal for nine days and have witnessed no fewer than four couples making out in the streets.  This couple wasn’t one of them but you just know it was coming.

short shorts

From a random pile of notes I found at a restaurant, “PSS”:


This corner off Rue Marie-Anne has a striking mural but what’s really great is the seating –  those chair legs are cemented into the sidewalk.  What a joyful corner!


Fancy Fidel?  The Most Interesting Musketeer in the World?  Yo Mama?

fancy fidel

The one on top is much happier than the one on bottom.  The one on bottom knows it’s not bamboo.


Left a bag of trash on the back steps.  After he finished this pretzel stick he fluffed up his tail, tapped on my window and asked for a beer.

preztel stick

“Urban Playpen”


Have a great weekend Good People!  You make me happy with your reading.




A CUP OF JO: 13 Surprising Things about Parenting in Turkey

It’s that time of year, the time to read A Cup Of Jo’s Motherhood Around The World series.  Joanne Goddard highlights American mothers parenting in other countries and I find it so compelling to peek into these ex-pats’ lives.  Maybe I’ll wave my Quebecois flag for 2015’s series?  Here is this week’s installment from Istanbul:

Diane Zhang moved from Brooklyn to Istanbul with her husband, Josh, and 11-month-old son, Aaron. Here are 13 things that surprised her about being a mother in Turkey…

via A CUP OF JO: 13 Surprising Things about Parenting in Turkey.





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