Wednesday, July 17, 2019

An Update On My Neck Problem

So, I know some of you have been waiting on the edge of your seats to hear what ever happened to me and my weird neck problem from a few weeks ago (ha ha), so here's the update.

After being completely panicked and stressed out over it from Thursday July 4th to Tuesday July 9th, the problem seemed to, for the most part, go away.  Throughout that weekend, strange and painful pulses were going off on the left side of neck and running up behind my ear.  The pains didn't last long, but after it happened, I was left feeling kind of fuzzy and dazed, and my neck and left shoulder seemed sore and almost seized up.  It wasn't fun.  So I called my doctor's office and got a squeeze-in appointment for yesterday.  Of course, not long after making the appointment, the issue seemed to disappear.  I've had some twinges of pain since then, but nothing like what happened throughout that weekend.  I was pretty sure my doctor was going to just nod and say, "Ah yes, here's Jillian, the nut bar."

Of course he didn't.  He's too kind and too good at being a doctor to just brush me off as crazy. And for that, I am deeply grateful.

First of all, my doctor's office experience in this case was probably the best I've ever had in my life.  The fact that they were able to squeeze me in to see him just over a week after I called was a bit of a miracle.  It took a weight off my shoulders knowing I was going to see my trusted and respected doctor, as he is the best at calming me down when I'm "in a state".  Despite that, I was still kind of dreading the visit because my appointment was at 3:50 PM.  I don't think I've ever had an appointment that was actually on time, and I figured by that point in the day he'd be goooood and behind in his schedule.  I expected at LEAST a 45 minute wait.  I got there 10 minutes early, checked in, went to the washroom, and settled in to wait.  Then they called my name.  5 MINUTES EARLY.  I almost fell off my chair.  I actually looked around to see if there was another Jillian jumping up, because surely, this could not be possible?

There were no other Jillians.  It was me.  They were calling me.  I couldn't believe it.

They put me in a room and I thought, "Welp, this is probably where the wait will happen.  He won't show up for half an hour."  And within seconds, he came shuffling into the room.  Literally

We greeted one another and he asked me what was wrong, and I launched into my spiel about what had happened two weekends ago, and he nodded and told me he knew exactly what was going on, because he too has experienced it.  (I think this is one of his calming techniques; I've noticed almost anytime I'm in a tizzy about something medically, he, too, has had that.  And it works.)  He said he was sure I had a pinched Occipital nerve (which my googling diagnosing had also suggested), probably from sleeping the wrong way, or from craning my neck funny to talk on the phone or something like that, and that if the symptoms had gone away I was likely going to be just fine, but should it happen again, the first thing I should do is book a massage with a good RMT (which my sister had suggested at the time, so I think that basically means she and I are practically doctors.)

We chatted a bit about it, what other things he could do if it comes back or gets worse, what the worst-case scenarios could be (which he assured me I don't have), but for the time being, despite the scare I had, it's probably over and I can go back to living life normally.  Which for me is just always kind of mildly worrying I might be dying, rather than really focusing on and fearing it.

While I was there, I had him check my blood pressure, also always kind of a concern at the back of my mind, but apparently that was very normal too. Another little "phewf".

I was walking out of the office by 4 PM.  I felt a million times better. 

Ironically, as I was driving home, an old familiar pressure started building in my head.  Sinus headache.  I have had these off and on for a million years, but I haven't had one for quite a while, so of course it hits when I'm finally getting over this other drama.  Strangely enough, that familiar dull ache that sets in with that pressure was almost welcomed after those other zaps I had a few weeks ago.  I almost felt like saying, "Oh, hello, old friend.  You, I can handle."

All's well that ends well. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Kawhi Goodbye

I know I kind of already did this yesterday, but I figured the Kawhi Goodbye needed a post of its own.

Not long ago, I had a numerologist give me a quick rundown of my "numbers".  A lot of what she said didn't resonate with me, but one thing did.  She told me that when I love something, I REALLY love it.  I love it so much I want the whole world to love it with me.  I want everyone to experience the love that I have, I want to share it with everyone who is important to me, I want them to be obsessed with me.

And so that is how it has been the past 6 weeks.  My family and friends have been hearing an awful lot about a guy named Kawhi Leonard.

My interest was piqued when I heard about "the shot", my excitement level rose when they won the Eastern Conference, and I was all in for the finals.  My ride as a Toronto Raptors fan wasn't very long, but it was all because of Kawhi.

My obsession hit swiftly and it very quickly overtook my life.  This aloof basketball star, an enigma to many, was instantly intriguing to me.  At first, it was just his presence on the court that captured me.  I liked the way he moved.  And I liked the way he looked.  I was attracted.  (That's usually how my celeb obsessions begin.)  Then it was all of the amusing background stories - watching him leave a teammate hanging when he put his fist out to bump, hearing about "Board Man Gets Paid" and "apple time, apple time", and, of course, the laugh.

It was easy to fall in love with Fun Guy during an historic championship run for not only Toronto but our entire country.  He got me staying up to all hours to watch basketball, something I would have sworn I'd never do.  He got me caring for a team from TO, also a bit of a feat.  He got me cheering for a basketball player like I have done with no other than the likes of a hockey player named Wade Redden.

Seriously.  The Kawhi love was real.  Very real.

And then they won.  It was legendary, it was epic, and I was so swept up in Raptors fever.  I stayed up that night til 1 AM watching the post-game celebrations.  A few days later, I set my PVR to capture a whole day of the televised parade.   I ordered T-shirts online, and I was already daydreaming about following the team closely next season as they would surely be running it back and gunning for a repeat.

What I didn't really understand or realize, as such a newbie basketball fan, was that Kawhi had been traded to Toronto a year ago and was expected to opt out of the last year of his contract (as he was totally entitled to do), making him a free agent.  A very coveted free agent.  While the Raptors had the power to offer him the most money, it seemed widely known that Kawhi really wanted to play closer to home, in LA, probably for the Clippers or Lakers.  Free agency opened on June 30th, and pretty much from that moment, if not sooner, #KawhiWatch began.

That's when things got really crazy for me.  Every day, I was on Twitter as much as possible, following basketball "insiders" (who, by the way, know nothing, apparently), tracking Kawhi's every move as the internet provided it, and trying desperately to get the inside scoop on what the man was going to do.  Every time I saw a "He Stay" assurance, my hopes soared.  When they speculated the MLSE plane that was headed to San Diego last Friday was empty, going to pick up his family, with a Raptors press conference scheduled that afternoon, I thought we had it in the bag.  I was convinced Kawhi was going to sign for at least one more year, with most of the Raps lineup in place for one more season, and the tantalizing prospect of running it back.

I mean, he accepted Plant Guy's Kawahctus.  When fans chanted "one more year" at the parade, he held up his index finger and smiled.  Then he laughed when Kyle Lowry swung it around to a "five more years" chant.  He showed up in the Barabados wearing a Jays jersey.   I really believed him.  He never said a word, but I truly believed these were all signs that The Champ was going to remain on his throne as King of the North.

I truly believed Kawhi was going to stay.

That said, I've been a hockey fan long enough to know that professional sports is a business.  There is no loyalty.  The fans mean nothing.  Money talks, and when a player is in a position to dictate his own future, he will take it. That's exactly what Kawhi did.

For him, it actually wasn't about the money, at least not completely.  If it was, he'd still be a Raptor.  For him, it was about getting back home.  He did what he came here to do, and he was finished.  Off to the Clippers.  The news broke in the middle of the night, and I woke to it feeling stunned and saddened early Saturday morning.

And just like that, my brief whirlwind obsession with Kawhi Leonard came to a screeching halt.  All of the things about him, all of the stories about him, all of the reasons he gave me to love him, were suddenly tarnished.  We didn't get to celebrate for long enough.  The party came crashing to an unfortunate end.  And it all seemed so terribly unfair.

I keep hearing that I'm supposed to be thankful to the man.   That I'm to let him go without bitterness, because he gave us something amazing.  He gave us a championship.  Still, I can't help but be salty.  I can't help the bitter taste in my mouth.  I really wanted Kawhi to want to stay here; I really wanted him to embrace the role of our hero and saviour.  I really wanted the chance to go for it again next year.

Oddly, the only thing that really brought me comfort was something someone wrote on Twitter to this effect:  "He's like The Littlest Hobo.  He came, he made some friends, he solved our problems.  And now he's gone to make some new friends and help them."  I don't know why, but I kind of clung to that thought all day Saturday.

Goodbye, Champ.   I wish you wanted to stay.  But thank you for everything you did in your short time here, and the even shorter time I was paying attention.  I wish I'd had more time.  Thank you for teaching me to love a sport I never thought I'd care about.

Thank you for the most unexpected fun I ever had.

I hope we can show you next year that we can do it without you.

#WeTheNorth  #WeTheChamps

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

July Randoms: My Summer of Discontent (so far)

It's been a while... Again!!  Here's how my summer has been shaping up so far...
  • We celebrated Canada Day on June 30th in my little town, and it was a wonderful celebration indeed!!  I had a great crew of family and friends that joined me at my place for the big day.  We got burgers and dogs from the Community BBQ that the Canada Day Committee runs, and we had all kinds of sides, salads and desserts to go along with them.  We all gathered on my front lawn to watch the parade, and I had such a good time. I missed out on so many of these parties when I was on the committee, so I really enjoy being part of them now!
  • After the parade, most of the guests left to get their kids home to bed, but the rest of us hung out at my place and had a few drinks before heading down to watch the LEGENDARY fireworks!  They are always sooo good, and it makes my heart burst with pride to know our little town puts on such a damn good show.  Hats of to the Canada Day Committee for all their hard work!!
  • So, then there was the after-party.  My plan was to go for one. ONE.  I had ZERO intentions of going on a rip.  And then, suddenly... there I was.  ugh.  I always forget... I ask for my drinks in a big cup thinking they'll be watered down, but instead, I end up drinking doubles (possibly even triples??)  One minute I'm responsible, the next I'm a mess.  THERE'S A REASON I DON'T DO THIS ANYMORE!!!  I dropped one drink.  I ran into a kid and spilled his drink.  Then I dropped another drink.  And I knew then it was time to go home.  Thank God I did, because I think I was one drink away from being VERY malade the next day.  oy vey.
  • The rest of Canada Day weekend was a combination of preparing for the celebrations, and relaxing and enjoying the long weekend.  I had cut grass the previous Thursday evening, I got groceries on Friday evening, I did lots of cleaning and food prep on Saturday, but I also hit up a friend's yard sale, and then decided to go with my mom to my nephew's ball game on Saturday night.  A storm moved in and we watched from the car for a long time before they finally called the game, and then we all went out to eat at St. Hubert's.  Sunday was the big day, as described above.  And then Monday was low-key recovery.  Lol!  It had been a loooong time since I'd had a hangover, and I did NOT like it!!  But I had some chipstand grease for lunch, then spent the rest of the day on my sister and BIL's deck, soaking up the sun.  All in all, a great holiday weekend!!  I just wish it didn't fly by so fast!!
  • OK.  So.  Now we get into the "discontented" part.  As you know from recent posts, I got on the Raptors bandwagon toward the end of their Championship run, and while I followed them in the finals, I fell in love with their star player, Kawhi Leonard. And I mean, I fell hard.  I have not cared so much for an athlete since, like... Wade Redden.  Seriously.  And once all the partying and celebrating faded, the attention turned to the fact that Kawhi was becoming a free agent.  Toronto fans were hopeful he'd decide to come back for at least one more year, for a chance to run it back with basically the same team and a great chance at a repeat championship next year.  
  • Last week, I really got swept up in #KawhiWatch.  I was on Twitter as much as I possibly could be, trying to find out if he was going to sign in TO.  I followed basketball "insiders" as they shared the latest updates, I watched aerial footage of Kawhi landing in Toronto for his meeting, I tracked MLSE planes to see where they were going (IS KAWHI ON THE PLANE??), and I speculated with the best of 'em.  I have never been so caught up in hype quite like that. And deep down, I really, really thought he was going to re-sign here for one more year.  One more shot.  This section of the post is to be continued...
  • Late last week, something weird started happening to me.  I think it started on Thursday afternoon.  I was getting these weird sharp pains - almost like pulses or shocks - in the left side of my neck.  They would run up my neck, up behind my ear.  They weren't extreme, but they hurt, and they'd leave me feeling a little dazed afterwards.  I didn't think much of it at first, but as they continued on Friday, I started to get worried.  They left my neck and shoulders feeling stiff and sore, even when they weren't happening.  It was disconcerting.
  • Despite the weird neck/head issue, I proceeded into my weekend as if all things were normal.  On Friday evening, I had what I'd consider the perfect summer evening.  My sister and her fam came up, and we all went swimming at her in-laws (they live right behind me).  We ordered chipstand food for supper and ate out on their deck.  Then when I got home, I ate the Kronut my friend Sharon had brought me from Art Is In Bakery.... heavenly.  It was pure summer pleasure (aside from the pain in my neck).
  • I tried to finish up House of Cards by watching it in bed that night, but I fell asleep.  I woke around 3:30 AM and I was not feeling too crash hot.  The pulses were happening in my neck again (the first time I'd been wakened by them), and my stomach didn't feel good either.  I tossed and turned for awhile, then I got on my phone and started researching my symptoms.  Some of my findings were assuring (pains in the neck are usually nothing to  worry about!), some were alarming (you might be having a heart attack or stroke!), and finally I landed on one that made complete sense... something called Occipital Neuralgia.  I had most of the symptoms, and I was reassured by the fact that it was a non-life-threatening condition.  There was a list of home remedies to try (heat, rest, Ibuprofen, etc), but it said for more permanent solutions to see a doctor.  I felt comforted by what I read, so I got up, took some Tums and an Advil, and went back to bed.
  • And now, back to Kawhi...  I rolled over at about 7 AM the next morning, and immediately reached for my phone.  Opened Twitter.  And the first thing that popped up was a video posted by another Raps free agent, Danny Green, who had supposedly been waiting on Kawhi to decide if he was coming back or not next season.  In the video, he said that now that he knows what Kawhi is doing, he's decided to sign with the Lakers.  And I was like, "Huh?  What is Kawhi doing?!?!"  As it turns out, news broke in the middle of the night that he had decided to sign with the Clippers.  My heart sank.  Literally sank.  I didn't think it was possible to be that upset over a basketball player, and yet, I was.  I was heartbroken.
  • And the funny part of it all?  When I was up in the middle of the night searching Google for a diagnosis, I never checked Twitter.  If I had, I'd have probably seen the Kawhi news as it was breaking.  I really think my body was trying to tell me something!!!
  • Probably best that I didn't see it, though, because then I probably wouldn't have been able to get back to sleep. :(
  • So, yeah, Saturday was a glum day.  I cut grass and went for groceries, all the while sad about Kawhi and at the height of my worry about my neck issue.  My mom thought I should go to the hospital.  I haaaaate going to the hospital.  So I chose to sit around home  and worry instead.  And be sad about Kawhi.  Fun times.
  • That evening, I did one of Dr. Google's recommended remedies and took a muscle relaxant around 6 PM.  I fell asleep on the couch less than half an hour later.  I'd wake up, rewind House of Cards, and then promptly fall asleep again.  I eventually moved to my bed and slept through the night.  When I woke the next morning, my Fitbit told me I'd slept over 12 hours.  That just added to my feeling of discontentment.
  • Sunday continued with more ignoring the pain in the neck, and forcing myself to have a fun summer's day.  We went to church, had lunch at my place, dropped in on Stacy & Maddy at their yard sale, and then went to the pool again for the afternoon.  I started to think I might be feeling better, as the pulses weren't happening anymore, just soreness in my neck and shoulder.  We had a BBQ dinner at my mom's and it was delicious.  I was starting to feel like maybe I was better.
  • That night, I FINALLY finished House of Cards.  Thank God!!  I had wanted to finish it on Friday so that I could dive into Stranger Things 3, but that didn't pan out.  I'm glad I can finally do that, I'm so excited to watch it!
  • Last night I finished reading The Mister by EL James, and now I have to decide what my next book will be.  Decisions, decisions...
  • And one last bit of good news:  I called my doc's office yesterday and actually got an appointment to see him next Tuesday.  HUGE relief!  They usually book months in advance, but when I explained my situation, I got a squeeze-in appt, and I feel like I have a weight off my shoulders.  The neck issue seems to be getting better, though there is still some soreness and the occasional pulsing, so I definitely feel like I need his assessment.  I'm a worry-wart (which probably isn't helping) and that man can calm me down better than anyone else.  I feel better just knowing I'm going to see him soon.  Phewf!!
Well, I think that's enough rambling for one day, isn't it?  Sorry for the verbal dump, but... it's my summer of discontent.  What can I say.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

That Summer Feelin'

That summer feelin' is finally starting to set in.  And, like... FINALLY.  I mean, it is almost July for crying out loud!!  It's taken a while, but now that the lazy hazy days are upon us, I'm ready to set out a little bucket list of what I'd like to do this summer.  Here's what I'm hoping to get accomplished:

  • Celebrate Canada Day with family & friends:  This one is on deck first, with the big day rolling around this weekend!!  Our little town celebrates a day early, so on June 30th I'll be having a party at my place (since the parade route goes right by my house).  My relatives from the TO area will be in town, and I always love seeing the friends and family that wind up on my front lawn in their red & white.  Looking forward to it!
  • Attend the Carp Market: I went last summer with my friend Sharon for the Garlic Festival, and I'm hoping to go back again this summer (not necessarily for the garlic) - plans are already in the works!
  • Dinner at Chelsea Pub/La Cigale for ice cream:  My sister & BIL don't live far from Chelsea, and we often say we want to go for dinner at the Chelsea Pub but as far as I can remember, we've only done it once.  And La Cigale is just around the corner, we HAVE to go there for ice cream too!!
  • Beach Days... often!!:  I think I say this every year... I want to go to the beach more!!  I love beach days in Norway Bay with friends.  It's so close to home, I don't know why I don't go more often.
  • Boat Days: My heart is happiest when I"m on the water, and I hope to get out there a few times this summer.  Friends Kerry & Jeff sometimes invite me out on their pontoon, and I also love a good rip along the river in Uncle Eric's boat.  I just told my mom recently that my idea of a perfect summer day is to spend the day bumming around on the beach, reading, swimming, tanning, and then heading out on the river on the boat, followed by a BBQ dinner.  Fingers crossed that we can make this happen!
  • Take me out to the ball game:  I would love to hit up a few ball games this summer.  I'm not sure if the Quyon Flyers plan to play any games in town this year (I think they're scheduled to play home games out of Shawville), but I'd love to catch some of them, and also go to some of my nephews games.
  • Fix up my deck: This one is a big "maybe".  As I've mentioned before, my roof and yard have been infested with pigeons in the past year.  So while I like the idea of making my deck a more appealing place to hang out, I also won't be investing in new stuff just to have birds crap all over it.  It's a shame to have a deck that I can't really enjoy, but the pigeons are a reality.  If they somehow get them out of my life, then maybe.  I'd like to get new deck furniture - maybe a swing, or a couch.  An outdoor bin to keep cushions and blankets in.  A fire pit thingy.  Get rid of the old BBQ.  Get an umbrella for the table.  ... we'll see.
  • Pool Time, Any Time!:  If any invite comes in to go swimming... take it, Jill!!  Nothing better than bobbing around in a pool on a beautiful day!! 
  • Beat the heat - go to the movies:  You know how some days are so damn sticky hot you can't even enjoy them?  Those are the days I plan to hit up the movie theatre.  There are lots of movies coming out this summer that I want to see:  Yesterday, The Lion King, Toy Story 4.  The movie theatre is another of my happy places, so I look forward to that too.
  • Celebrate my birthday:  There is already a nice line-up of events coming together surrounding my birthday on July 28th.  Our company golf tournament is the 26th of July, the tractor pull is on July 27th, and then I'm off on holidays the whole following week.  Let the Queen's Jubilee begin!! ;)
  • Summer Movie Marathon:  I always like to find one rainy Saturday in the summer to enjoy a Summer Movie Marathon.  I'm talking Dirty Dancing, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Cocktail, Mama Mia!... just summery movies, all day long!
  • Hike to the Carbide Ruins:  I've been seeing pictures and hearing about this for a couple of years now.  Hopefully I can round up some fellow hikers to hit it up this summer.
  • Enjoy fun summer reads:  I have a couple of books on my shelf that just scream "fun summer reads", and I've been kind of avoiding them, saving them for the summertime.  And now it's here.  Time to pick up those books and lose myself in some fun summer reading!
  • Summer crochet projects:  I'm hoping this year to enter some crocheting at the Shawville Fair, and I have nothing accomplished thus far (thanks to an afghan I've been working on that is taking WAY longer than anticipated.)  I need to go over the list of categories and start working on those to have them ready for the end of the summer.
  • Celebrate Kawhi Staying:  God, I hope...
What's on YOUR Summer Bucket List?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What's shakin' this week.

A point-form rundown of what's going on in my world this week!

  • Still obsessed with the Raptors.  More specifically, Kawhi.  Is he going to sign with Toronto?  Is he going to bail for LA?  I spend far more time checking Twitter for any glimmer of hope or any sign of an update than I ever thought possible.
  • Confession:  I've been writing Kawhi fan fiction.  It is absolutely ridiculous, yet here I am.  Sometimes writing fan fiction gets me out of an obsession.  For instance, Tessa & Scott.  I got all tied up in them during their Olympic run last year, and it wasn't til I wrote down my Tessa & Scott fantasy story that I was able to move on.  I don't think it's going to work for Kawhi though.  I need him to stay in TO.  I need him to reign as King of the North.
  • Aside from the Kawhi stuff, I have become all caught up in the book I'm currently reading.  My sister had given me her copy of the latest smut she'd picked up, a book called "The Mister" by EL James (remember her?  She wrote the 50 Shades series).  It was slow for me to start, but last night I got totally hooked.  I read way past my bedtime, thus leaving me a little on the sleepy side this morning. I just love when I reach the end of a chapter of a book and can't wait to dive into the next.  It's pure dramatic smut, but we all need one of those every now and then, don't we?  It's keeping me...erm... entertained during my Kawhi obsession.
  • This past weekend, I watched "When They See Us" on Netflix.  It's a miniseries based on the true story of five young black and hispanic teens who were blamed for the rape and attempted murder of a female jogger in Central Park back in the late 80's.  I had never heard the story before, and I got very swept up in the miniseries.  The first episode, when they show these five decent, innocent kids being coerced and forced by cops to confess left me feeling queasy and so unsettled.  It was pretty intense, and very troubling.  Also upsetting was seeing how Donald Trump tried to get involved, and even tried to get the death penalty brought back because of these young men and what happened.  Chalk another reason up for me to loathe and detest that barbarian they call "president". ugh.
  • I'm excited about Stranger Things 3 coming to Netflix next week.  But in the meantime, I had to find something else to watch - something not too long, because I know I'm going to want to dive right into Stranger Things when it hits.  So I started up the last season of House of Cards that I'd never got around to watching.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it, without Kevin Spacey on the show (understandably so), but I'm a few episodes in and I'm loving Claire as president and having her talk to the camera the way Frank used to. 
  • I'm super stoked to see the new movie coming out this week "Yesterday".  It is definitely going to be my next trip to the movie theatre!  It just looks like so much fun, and I love the Beatles.  I'm hoping to drag my friend Sara along, since she is the biggest Beatles fan I know.  Who knows, maybe we can get a whole gang of friends to join us!  It should be a fun one to see.
  • Also on deck to watch in the near future:  The Notebook.  Oh, yes, of course, I have seen it 86 times, but I haven't watched it in a while. And just last night, I stumbled upon a clip shared on Twitter of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams celebrating their Best Kiss win that year at the MTV Movie Awards by sharing a big, dramatic on-stage smooch.  I had never seen it before, and it was... hot.  It made me want to watch the movie again.
  • Things are finally starting to feel summery around here.  It's been a long time coming!  This week has finally seen us have a hint of a heatwave (interspersed with rain and thunderstorms) and it has me craving all the fun things I want to do this summer.  Summer Bucket List coming soon!
  • The rest of this week is being dedicated to preparing for the upcoming holiday weekend.  We have relatives coming from the Toronto area for our town's Canada Day festivities on Sunday, so I have grass cutting, house cleaning, and groceries to get done.  Hopefully all of this will keep me busy until the news on Kawhi comes down.
  • Have I mentioned I still love Kawhi?  Because I still love Kawhi.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Garfield!!

Garfield has always been my favourite comic strip-related character (Garfield's Christmas special is one of my "must-watch" specials every holiday season) - so I just had to take part in today's Medley questions!

1.  If you have ever followed the Garfield comic strip, you know Garfield loves lasagne.  What is your favourite Italian food? Do you over-indulge when it comes to pasta?

I always say my favourite food, in general, is spaghetti, but I really love allllll pasta.  YUM.  I don't have lasagne often, but it is one of my "specialties".  I actually have one that I made in the freezer that I might bust out someday soon.  I now have a craving... mmmm.  And yes, I always over-indulge, unfortunately.  But I just love anything pasta-related so much, I have a hard time not going back for seconds.

2. Tell us about your first pet.  If you never had a pet, can you tell us about an animal that touched your life in some way?

My first pet was a dog named Jake.  My Uncle Garry & Aunt Brenda gave him to me for my 10th birthday.  I'll never forget the excitement I felt when they pulled in the driveway with the dog in the truck with them, and then realizing they were bringing him to ME.  It was a dream come true!!  Unfortunately, Jake was kind of a bad dog... lol.  Nobody liked him.  He bit people.  He was not fun to walk.  He always ran away and I'd have to go find him.  He was blamed for impregnating the neighbour's dog.  He was just an unpleasant animal in general.  I wanted a dog soooo badly at that age, and yet once I had one, it wasn't the "dream" I thought it would be.

Even so, my parents had Jake put down while I was away on an over-night school trip (he had been biting too many people), and when I got home and realized he was gone, it was complete devastation.  I think I cried every waking moment for a week straight.  It was the greatest loss I had suffered in my life at that stage, and I was not prepared for it.  My mom has since told me it was one of the hardest things my dad ever had to do, and that it wasn't an easy or fun decision to make, and so I guess I've forgiven them lol. 
(This is the only picture I have of Jake on my computer lol.  My dad was re-doing the floor in the garage, and Jake liked to stick his head out of this hole and get himself stuck.  What a dog.)

3. Garfield sleeps his day away, only waking up to to eat or sweet talk his girlfriend Arleen.  How many hours sleep do you normally get each night? How much sleep do you really need?

Before having a Fitbit that tracks my sleep, I would have told you I need a solid 8 hours a night.  If my Fitbit is to be trusted, though, I can now tell you I actually only get between 6.5-7 hours a night.  And I'd say that's what I truly need.  I love sleeping, and while I don't sleep in late, if I let myself go without an alarm I'd probably sleep in til 8 AM, and I could easily get 9 or 10 hours of sleep if I was allowed.  I can tell you, after staying up late to watch Raptors games over the past few weeks, that I do NOT function well with less than my usual.  The next day I feel achey and hungover, and my patience is very short. 
I am pretty proud of my current sleep patterns.  Most evenings, I'm able to keep myself busy and not fall asleep on the couch early (a bad habit I'd been wanting to break).  I have my evening shower or bath, then read for a while before falling asleep around 10.  I sleep pretty soundly most nights.  And my internal clock usually has me up right around the time my alarm goes off at 5:45 AM.  I hit snooze once, and I'd like to get rid of that, but I think one snooze isn't so bad.  (I used to hit it 2 or 3 times, pre-workout days.)

4. Garfield lets the mice in the house have their way.  When was the last time you had to chase out a little varmint?

It has been years since I've had anything bigger than bugs in my house.  I don't even want to talk about it and jinx it.  Even so far this year, I have yet to deal with my usual ants or earwigs.  KNOCK ON WOOD.  The outside is a different story.  Pigeons have taken up residence between my place and the church next door.  I think they're living in the un-capped chimney on the church, but they come and party on my roof all the time.  Bird.Shit.Everywhere. ugh.  I guess I'm just grateful they can't get inside.

5. Garfield also loves his teddy bear Pooky.  Did you have a favourite stuffed animal when you were young (or now!)? If you didn't or don't, what about someone you know?

Yes, I'm a stuffy girl!  As a kid, I remember getting a pink Puffalump for Christmas one year.  I named her Pinky and I kept her for years, until she'd been washed so many times she was falling apart, and her colour was more yellow than pink. 
In my later teen years, my brother got me a giant stuffed dog.  When asking for hints as to what he got me for Christmas, he told me it started with "Z" and rhymed with Jillian, so when I opened my dog, I named it Zwillian.  That giant dog still sleeps in my bed every night.  Don't even care how uncool that is.

6. Please tell us something about your week, so far.

I know I'm pretty much the only one in my social bubble that cares about the Raptors, but I miss them.  I only had a few weeks with them.  I'm glad I don't have to stay up til midnight anymore, but... I miss watching the games.  And it feels like the celebration just began and already they're constantly speculating, "Will Kawhi stay or will he go?"  Of course the player I picked to be my favourite is probably going to leave.  I have the worst frigging luck when it comes to "favourite players".  Dammit.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Weekend Rewind: Riding A Raptors High

So, as you all know from my post last Friday, I have somehow developed into a Raptors super fan.  I swear to God, I'm still glowing today.  My only regret is not jumping on the bandwagon earlier.  I missed all that fun, all that time I could have spent loving Kawhi...

After staying up til 1 AM the night before watching and celebrating Toronto's NBA championship, I expected Friday to be a right-off. Surprisingly, I felt fine and had a super productive day.  I guess I really was riding that high!  I got off work a little early, so Mom and I headed to Shawville for groceries and errands, and we had supper at Hursty's.  We came home and planted my flowers in the planter across the street from my house that I was asked to "adopt" for the summer.  Our municipality is no longer supplying the flowers for the boxes around town, so my cousin Donna decided to organize a bunch of volunteers to look after them.  It's so nice to see the community spirit as people quickly stepped up to the plate, and seeing these planters full of weeds gradually being replaced with flowers is a beautiful sight!

It was great that the flowers got planted Friday evening, because Saturday was 100% a rain day.  I know nobody wants that kind of weather this time of year, but I took advantage.  I had no pressing house or yard work to do, so I thoroughly enjoyed my relaxing rainy day.  I read (almost finished Crazy Rich Asians), I crocheted, and I Netflixed.  And it was glorious.  I watched three movies on Saturday.  THREE!!!  I watched Ben is Back starring Julia Roberts (pretty unsettling and sad), I watched Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston (soooo disappointing), and I watched The Choice,  which was based on a Nicholas Sparks novel  (pretty typical but enjoyable). And in between all of THAT, I watched Ali Wong's first Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, and literally laughed my ass off.  I had pancakes for breakfast, chipstand food for lunch, and nachos and taquitos for a late supper.  While the rest of the world was probably bemoaning a wasted Saturday in June ruined by rain, I quite enjoyed it!

Sunday was Father's Day, which is kind of an uneventful day when you no longer have a father.  My sister and her fam were celebrating with her in-laws, so Mom and I decided to go on tour after church.  We went to the cemetery where my dad and several other family members are buried, and then stopped in at the Little Red Wagon winery where several artists were set up for the Pontiac Artists Studio Tour.  Quyon artist Cheryl Dolan was there with her art displayed, and I actually picked up some of her cards and a Christmas ornament she made.  I had never bought any of her art before, so I was glad to add some of her work to my collection of local art!  We stopped in Norway Bay on the way home to visit another cemetery where many family members are, and then headed for home.  The rest of the day was spent reading, napping, and a quick visit with my sister's gang before they went home.

Boy, it was hard to drag my butt out of bed yesterday morning.  I took 3 days off straight from getting up to do my workout, which is the longest stretch I've gone since the start of Lent for not getting up to get my steps in.  It was rough getting back in the swing of things.  However, the Raptors parade was yesterday, so I kept checking Twitter for pictures and videos and that kept me entertained through my least favourite day of the week.  (ugh. Mondays.)

Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day weekend and honoured those guys in your life who are great dads!  I sure do miss mine!!