Friday, June 23, 2017

Reasons Why This Hasn't Been the Best Week of My Life


  • Marc Methot was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL expansion draft.  And I was NOT happy about it.
  • Erik Karlsson didn't win the Norris Trophy.  Some goofy looking beast of a guy with a gigantic beard, no front teeth, and a MAN-BUN beat him.  After EK's best season EVER.  I don't even understand what is going on with the world.
  • Jimmy Fallon grew a mustache.#summerofstache #notafan
  • I've been trying to decide who's my favourite hockey player: Bobby Ryan or Mark Stone.  And I can't decide. I feel so off-kilter, not knowing who my favourite hockey player is!!!


  • Kids in our town (and I'm making an assumption when I say "kids") have decided to tear up the flower planter boxes around town a few nights in a row.  And that just drives me bananas.  People say we have nothing nice in this town, but when people make an effort to do something nice, it is destroyed.  If I ever catch them, let me tell you...
  • I haven't had nearly enough time with Michael Scofield this week.
  • Did I mention Marc Methot?  Gone to Vegas?  Seriously.  HOW did this happen??  I'm soooo not impressed.
So, yes, I've been a wee bit disgruntled.  But there's good news.  It's Friday.  I have a relaxing, fun weekend ahead.  And it's raining, which I enjoy.  Sets me up perfectly for my quiet Friday night in, watching Prison Break and movies.  

It'll get better.

Happy Friday friends!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

That time I met Chris Neil

Yesterday, we learned that the Ottawa Senators are going to part ways with popular veteran tough guy, Chris Neil.

Upon hearing the news, I was struck with a pang of sadness and regret.  Chris Neil was the last player remaining from what I consider "The Senators of yore" - the team I cheered for in my teens and early adult years that consistently made the playoffs, two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, and one kick at the Stanley Cup.  Despite this past season of success and making the Conference Finals for the first time in 10 years, I consider those my "Glory Years" as a Sens fan.  And Chris Neil was a big part of that.

Sidenote: Remember when I said this current group of Senators and their awesome playoff run had turned me back into a diehard fan?  Well, life was much easier when I was NOT.  I mean, sure, I still would have been sad to hear that Chris Neil was leaving no matter what, but the offseason is one of turmoil and anxiety for diehard fans.  I'm even worrying about Dion Phaneuf.  DION PHANEUF!  Imagine! *sigh*

Anyways.  Back to Neiler.  This guy has been a life-long Senator.  He has played 1026 games for the red, black & gold.  He has been a huge part of the community, and a fan favourite for his 16 seasons here.

He's also one of the very few Ottawa Senators players I've met in person.

I will always remember that night back in November 2011, out for Krista's Bachelorette Party in the city, and our first stop at the Crazy Horse in Kanata.  I wasn't wearing my glasses, so I hadn't noticed that one of the guys sitting at a table across the room was someone I should have recognized very quickly.  Luckily, there were other girls in the group who had scoped him out, and quickly word spread that Chris Neil was in the house.

Several of the girls, including the bride-to-be, had approached him, and word on the street was that he wasn't in the most friendly mood that evening.  I had made up my mind I was going nowhere near him - I didn't want to be one of "those" fans - but Krista was having none of that.  After trying to convince me to go up and say hi several times, she finally grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me across the room, pushing everyone in our path out of the way, loudly declaring, "Excuse me Chris Neil, this is my friend Jillian and she's the biggest Sens fan I know, will you pleeeeeeeease get up and take a picture with her??"

Dude was not impressed.  He had to make his buddies shuffle out of the booth they were sitting in to get out (probably strategic, to avoid moments like this), plus he also had a bum ankle (the reason he wasn't in Vancouver with the rest of the team that night).  Everyone knows "celebrities" don't like being bothered by fans when they're out, just trying to have dinner or a few drinks with their friends, and I truly was very sorry that he was basically being forced into a photo op with me.  But hey, it was a Bachelorette party.  Did he really think a bunch of Pontiac girls were going to notice him and turn a blind eye?  pfffft.

I had met my all-time favourite player Wade Redden ten years prior to this, and literally became a dumb mute the moment I got near him.  He asked me questions, and I could not speak.  Literally could not.  Years later, after he was out of the NHL, I spotted him at the Bayshore shopping center, and creepily stalked him from a distance by snapping blurry far-away photos of him while he was in line at Booster Juice.

So I was proud that this time, with Chris Neil, I found my tongue.  Although all I recall saying, over and over, was, "I'm sorry, Chris Neil.  I'm so sorry."

To Chris Neil's credit, he chippered up once he got up and ready for the photo.  As I kept repeating apologies to him over and over, he chuckled, and reassured me it was no big deal.  He smiled for the camera, and I remember putting my hand on his back and literally being in heaven.


SO glad Krista made me go over there for that picture.

Fast-forward to this past season.  It was a delight to be invited to a Sens game by my friend Sharon one night in December, as she had scored tickets to a game that turned out to be the celebration of Chris Neil's 1000th game in a Sens uniform.  Quite an accomplishment, and I was thrilled to be there for the pre-game ceremony honouring him and celebrating his milestone occasion.  A Senator to be proud of, and extra-special in my books because of that night when he so graciously - though he really didn't want to - got up from his meal and drinks with his buddies, and took a picture with a desperately apologetic fan.

Last night, when I got home from work, I went to throw my sweater on the armchair just inside my living room, and realized I still had the Chris Neil 1000th game towel draped across the arm of the chair, exactly where I had left it the night we got home from that game.  My heart gave an extra little squeeze.



I wish he could have retired here, but totally understand his desire to play the game he loves, which is something the Sens could no longer offer him.  I hope he will find a team that will allow him to do just that, and I wish him all the success in the world.

Cheers to #25.  One of the very best.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What I'm Loving this SUNNY Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday, friends!  Here's what I'm loving this beautiful sunny Wednesday...

  • The SUNSHINE! :)  OK, so we all now I'm a fan of winter and snow, and I've also recently proclaimed my love for rainy days too, so I get that I'm sending mixed signals... But who can resist the gorgeous blue sky and warm sun today?  We've got more rain coming for the weekend, so might as well soak up these beauty days while we can.
  • The prospect of said rainy weekend.  Oh, I know, we've had enough of the rain and the drear, but I love the idea of a quiet, rainy Saturday at home.  I have house cleaning to do, and I might bake something, but once the work is done, hunkering down to read or have a movie marathon sounds delightful to me!
  • That my new Keurig arrived yesterday!  After going a week without a functioning coffeemaker, I feel like I'm whole again.  It's different from my old beloved Keurig (the model I got as a birthday gift seven years ago apparently no longer exists), but I'm hoping it is just as faithful & long-lasting.
  • Bobby Ryan... yes the Bobby Ryan dream is still lingering.  *sigh*  Not-hockey-season suuuuucks.
  • That I have new reading material arriving today!  I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 on Sunday afternoon, and was eager to dive into the next book club book, until I realized I had mistakenly purchased The Couple Next Door instead of Behind Closed Doors.  Whoops.  A quick trip to Amazon.ca, and I had the correct book ordered, along with two Margaret Atwood novels that I've been wanting to read: The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace.  Excited to start my summer reading.


  • My new favourite ice cream topping... See, I bought a container of Vanilla frozen yogurt last week, and I've been enjoying it with caramel sundae topping all over it, but last night I remembered my mom had given me a jar of Heavenly Jam (which is strawberry, pineapple & rhubarb) a few weeks ago, and I had yet to try it.  I put a few spoonfuls over the my frozen yogurt last night, and it was sooooo good!  Yum!!!
  • Prison Break!  I'm nearing the end of Season 1, and there is so much I had forgotten about in this show!!  Last night I watched the episode where Michael and Sara kiss for the first time, and it brought me so much joy lol.  I literally can't wait to get home each evening to watch more.  Apparently my Prison Break addiction is just as strong the second time around as it was originally.
  • Nice weather = evening walks.  Confession:  I've been REALLY bad at getting any exercise in lately.  I think last night was the first time I went for a walk since Relay for Life, and boy, could I tell.  I had terrible shin splints, and I felt like an old cow plodding along.  I cut my walk shorter than I planned last night just because my legs were so sore and I was hobbling.  yeeesh.  How have I let this happen??  The only way to make it better is to keep it up, though, so I'm vowing to keep plodding along... And nicer evenings sure do help.
Well, I think that's all for today!  What are YOU loving this Wednesday?? :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Summery Weekend

Pictures would certainly enhance how wonderful this past weekend was, but... I don't have 'em uploaded yet.  I've been a photography slacker lately.  Still taking the pictures, but never seem to get around to uploading and editing.  Someday...

In any case, after what felt like months of rainy, dreary, cool weather, we finally got our first really summery weekend of the year, and it was fab!

Friday I hurried home after work to get my grass cut, before showering and getting ready for Book Club at Lindsay's.  We were discussing The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, which was a book I had suggested and then regretted suggesting because I really didn't enjoy it that much, and struggled to get through it.  That said, it did inspire a pretty decent discussion.  However, it dawned on my that my critical thinking skills have suffered over the years, because there were points and themes discussed that I hadn't even noticed in the book.  As a Liberal Arts grad, I felt quite ashamed of myself.  But, whatever... Lindsay's snacks and Moscato punch were amazeballs.  That's what really matters, right?  ;)

On Saturday, I had made plans to head out on the Pontiac Artists Tour with friends Sharon and Lolly, so I was up bright and early to get ready for that.  Sharon picked me up at 9 AM, and we were off.  I was glad to finally be out doing the tour, since in the past I've only ever visited the Quyon studios.  We didn't make it around to all of the stops, but I was happy with the ones we did make it to.  What a great group of talented artists we have in our area.  If I had a little more coin to my name, I'd have been buying.  We stopped for lunch at the chipstand in Portage, and it was my first time eating there, and I LOVED it.  Food is always the highlight of any day for me... ;)

We were home mid-afternoon, and I had every intention of having a nap, but the weather was so beautiful, I decided to finally set up my deck furniture that was still stowed away in the garage.  Usually I have my deck set up in May, but this year, the weather hasn't been favourable for sitting outside up until now.  I washed the chairs and table down, and then sat out there for a bit to read and enjoy a Palm Bay.  I had forgetten how much I enjoy a good deck day!

I did manage to squeeze in a much-needed nap before it was time to get ready for a night out on the town with friends!  My mom and I had been invited to join the Mountainview table at the Quyon Lions 50th Anniversary Charter Night, and so I picked her up and we headed to the Bristol Community Center for the celebration.  I wasn't sure what to expect of the evening, but we enjoyed a nice dinner, wine, and a line-up of toasts, speeches, and presentations.  It was great to see so many out to support the Lions Club, as they are such a huge part of our community, and much of the work they do goes unnoticed.  We also had lots of laughs at our table, and it was just a really enjoyable evening.

Next on-tap for this busy weekend was the Sunday School picnic, so I was up early again to prepare my food and get ready for that!  Nothing better than going to "church" in a bathing suit. ;)  Lindsay, Ryan and Sam hosted the picnic once again this year, which meant a short service in their garage, followed by BBQ'd hotdogs and potluck lunch, and lots of fun in their pool.  It was so nice to get the first swim of the season in, and I always love sitting around with the girls, chatting by the pool.  It was so relaxed and...well... summery.

Again, I was going home mid-afternoon to nap, but it was so hot and gorgeous out that it seemed like a shame to waste it... so instead, I headed out to the deck again, with a goal of finishing the book I've been reading the past month.  I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (finally, yay!), while also catching some more rays and just enjoying the nice weather.  I went in for a quick nap, and was wakened by a phone call early evening from my mom to see if I wanted to go for ice cream.  I had kind of decided not to eat supper, after pigging out at the picnic earlier in the day, but ice cream for supper seemed like a good idea!  I think we sat down there for over an hour, just visiting with people who were also out doing the same thing.  It felt like our entire town was celebrating the first summery weekend of the year with ice cream, too!

I watched some more episodes of Prison Break that evening before heading to bed early... a beautiful summer weekend, well spent!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Currently: June

I thought I'd do one of those "Currently" posts to share what's up in my world so far this month.  Yay for JUNE!! :)

Reading:  The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware... and I have to say, not really loving it.  I had seen it recommended by several bloggers I follow, and I was excited to start it after a month of struggling through The Catcher in the Rye, but unfortunately, it just hasn't "captured" me.  It's sort of a murder mystery set on a cruise ship, where the main character, Lo,  believes she has witnessed a crime, and all the other guests and staff aboard the cruise she considers suspects, but nobody believes her story.  And honestly, I don't really believe her either.  I had hoped it would be the kind of mystery that would grip me and keep me page-turning, but instead, I'm bored and a little annoyed by it all.  Ready for it to be over...

Listening to: the new Chris Stapleton album, From A Room, especially the track "Broken Halos".  Also loving "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, and "Strip That Down" by Liam Payne.  (Well, I'm not ACTUALLY listening to these songs at this moment.  Just in general.  If I'm being literal, I'm listening to office noise and chatter lol.)

Planning:  Not much, really, at the moment.  I'm thinking ahead to several fun things - going to Montreal in July to see Ed Sheeran, my week of holidays in early August, and a girls' long weekend trip to Nova Scotia at the end of September, but plans are already kind of made, or it's still too far away to get into the nitty-gritty of planning.  I guess you could say I'm planning on what to make for food for our Sunday School picnic on Sunday! LOL  (Torn between doing a big fruit platter or a nacho dip... hmmm.)

Wishing:  that my Sens were back in action already.  Or, better yet, that they had won that frigging Game 7 two weeks ago and were now playing Nashville in the Stanley Cup Final.  God, how much I wanted it... I can't even explain how badly I wanted it.  #stillbitter

Watching:  Prison Break, again.  There are a million things I could be watching, but after the re-boot season of PB ended, I just couldn't let go.  So I started over again.  I'm nearing the end of the first season, and I'm just loving Michael Scofield so much.  Time hasn't changed a thing!

Hoping: that my new Keurig comes in soon.  My 7-year-old Keurig, which has always been a faithful and trouble-free appliance, decided to crap out on me earlier this week.  I googled methods on how to "fix" it, and I literally tried everything - de-scaling, "spank & burping", the whole she-bang, and nothing has worked.  It's done.  So I ordered a new one off Amazon the other day.  It should be here in a week's time, but that's a long time to go without a functioning coffee maker...

Learning:  allllllll about heart palpitations, because I can't stop googling it. I have experienced random heart palpitations off and on for years, nothing my doc has ever been concerned about, but recently they seem to have gotten worse - more specifically, towards the end of Relay for Life.  In the last few hours of walking, I was getting them once or twice an hour.  It feels like a fluttering in my chest, and it kind of takes my breath away and makes me cough when it happens.  Since then, I've been paranoid of it happening again.  I'm on a new medication for blood pressure, which might make you think that's the cause, but this medication is supposed to stop heart palpitations, not make them worse.  The google doctor tells me they are usually harmless, and none of the symptoms that are supposed to be concerning are happening to me (chest pain, dizziness, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath) so I'm trying not to worry.  I have a doctor's appointment coming up at the end of July, and I'd really like to hang in there until then...

Browsing:  not much these days, just my usual social media rotation, checking blogs, etc.  Oh, and I guess I've been browsing a lot about the heart palps. Maybe I should have saved that for this answer. haha!

Going: to Book Club tomorrow night!  On the Artists Tour on Saturday!  To the Lions Anniversary Dinner on Saturday night!  To the Sunday School Picnic on Sunday! 'Tis a busier weekend than a normally like to have, but oh well.  All fun stuff that I'm looking forward to!

What's up with you, Currently??


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: On Relay for Life, Bobby Ryan, and other things...


  • This past weekend was the annual Pontiac Relay for Life, and it was another memorable one for the books!  I can honestly say I had the best time I think I've ever had at a Relay.  It is always a special night filled with poignant moments, but my first year was an extremely emotional one, and I think every year I've participated in since, I haven't handled the exhaustion that sets in during the wee hours of the morning very well.  This year, though?  I have no idea why, but the night seemed to fly by, everyone seemed to get along really well, and while I was exhausted by the time it was over, I was still laughing with my Slipper Sisters over every little thing.  Like I said... it was one for the books!

  • For me, the Survivor's Lap was the toughest part.  The Relay always begins with the Survivor's Lap, as the survivors and their caregivers kick things off being led around the track by a bagpiper, while the rest of us stand along the sides cheering them on.  I couldn't stop thinking of photos I have from last year's Survivor's Lap, and the people who weren't there to partake in it this year.  One of my mom's cousins who walked in it last year just recently passed away, and another of her cousin's husband who walked last year is going through treatments again and was unable to attend.  Just couldn't stop thinking of them...

  • Of course, lighting the luminaries is always an emotional moment, though I find it easier to get through as the years go by.  I proudly lit Dad's luminaries, then made my way around the track lighting all of the other luminaries we had purchased in honour or in memory of loved ones.  It's a beautiful but bittersweet moment.
  • This year, the organizers had scheduled Bingo games we could join in on at 2 AM, and I have to say it was one of my favourite parts of the night.  I was having the worst frigging luck in the world, it was so bad it was hilarious.  There were various prizes and gift certificates to win, but there were two big prizes to win:  a $1000 donation made by a local business had been split into two $500 prizes, which would go to the winning team's fundraising efforts.  The first $500 prize went without any of us coming close, and then the last game of the night was for the other $500 prize.  We were playing the inside square, and I swear, a million numbers had been called and I wasn't even close.  I shouted out loud:  "THIS IS THE STUPIDEST GAME EVERRRRR"... and then they started calling my numbers bing, bang, boom.  All I needed was I 28, and sure enough, it was called!  BINGO!!!!!  Unfortunately (for me), another player also got Bingo so we split the prize.  Still, being able to add an extra $250 towards our team was pretty nice!  
  • Our team finished in 4th place in total fundraising efforts, reaching gold status and raising an all-time best for us of over $8000.  Ironically enough, it came down to that late-night Bingo game that determined our fate in the "standings" - the team that I shared my Bingo winnings with edged us out for 3rd place!  Regardless, we were very proud of our accomplishments in fundraising this year, and I'd especially like to give a big THANK YOU to the family & friends who supported me in my efforts as I walked in memory of Dad.  I was able to raise $725 in donations, then the $250 was icing on the cake.  Thanks to all for your love & support!! xoxo
  • Now moving on from Relay... anyone who has been around me over the past few days has already heard this story, and I apologize to all of you who are sick of hearing about it, but... I have a new favourite Senator I think.  Last Friday morning, I awoke and instantly wanted to fall back asleep because I was having the best dream.  And in my dream, Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan was my boyfriend.  He was playing in a charity hockey tournament in our area, where celebrities were playing against locals, and he had been billeted to stay at my house during the tournament.  I don't remember watching any hockey at all, but I made Bobby supper every night when he'd come home, and I introduced him to Asian Pears and he loved them... and it made him somehow fall in love with me.  It was pure bliss being Bobby Ryan's girlfriend, I tell you.  
  • (and this is EXACTLY the grey hoodie Bobby was wearing in my dream!!!)
  • I told my mom about my dream the next morning, and her reaction was:  "Jillian!  He is a married man!!"  Right.  Of course.  THAT'S the illogical part about this whole thing... ;)
  • So you're probably wondering... "But Jill!  What about Mark Stone?!  I thought you just decided that he was your favourite?!"  And honestly, I don't know what to tell you.  I still love my Marky too, but... he wasn't in the dream.  It was just Bobby.  *sigh*
  • Needless to say... the Sens can't come back to me soon enough.  I miss them dearly.
  • Also... as the Stanley Cup Finals roll on, I have come to realize that I'm a really bitter person, and if I can't win the Stanley Cup, I don't want anyone else to, either.  I thought I was cheering for the Preds, but now that they've won two games and tied the series up, I am still not happy.  People have said to me, "But don't you want to see Mike Fisher win the Cup?"  No, not really.  I want to see my guys win the Cup.  Sadly, Mike's not one of my guys anymore...
  • And on top of that, Carrie Underwood's victory videos, dancing to "All I Do is Win" make me insanely jealous.
  • Something to look forward to:  My friend Lindsay has been planning a girls weekend trip to her parents' place in Nova Scotia this coming September, and we actually booked our flights last week.  Once those tickets are purchased, it all feels so much more real!  I went a couple of years ago just Linds and I, and we had a blast, but I'm also looking forward to experiencing the East Coast with a bigger group of friends.  Can't wait!!!
  • Things have been a wee bit on the dark & gloomy side around here lately, weather-wise.  People are sick and tired of it, but you know what?  I really don't mind it.  My mom tells me I get that from my dad...  he always loved a rainy day.  As long as I don't have outdoor plans, I'd take a rainy, gloomy day anytime.  Makes me just want to cozy up in a blanket and read or watch movies.  (I guess that's the same reason I like snow, isn't it? haha!)
Happy Tuesday, friends :)

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Prison Break: Here we go again!

I think I made a mistake in creating yesterday's man-crush post, guys.  All it seems to have done is sent me into deeper withdrawals, in regards to the Ottawa Senators in general, and Mark Stone specifically.  As well as with Prison Break and Michael Scofield.  I have this empty, hollow feeling now that both are over.  I miss them.  So, so much.

One of them, I have no control over.  The Sens are done.  They packed up their shit over the weekend, and they're gone.  Summer holidays.  No going back.  All I have left of them is watching game highlights from the past six weeks, and obsessing over Mark Stone's memorable celebration gifs and videos.



But the Prison Break withdrawals?  There's something I can do about that...

And so it was that I decided last night to start back at the beginning, and watch Prison Break all over starting with Season 1, Episode 1.

This might seem like a ridiculous decision, what with all the NEW material I have to watch on Netflix.  The list of shows I want to watch is a mile long, with 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale at the top of the list.  I also have catching up to do, as new episodes are out there for some of the shows I've watched, such as The Mindy Project, Scandal, and Bloodline.

But no.  I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't move on from Prison Break yet.  I needed more Michael in my life.

I think the worst TV withdrawals I've ever been through were after I watched Prison Break the first time, several years ago.  The show I tried to follow it up with was Sons of Anarchy, and I never did get past the first few eps.  It didn't have a fair chance.  I was so absorbed by Prison Break, I just couldn't move on to anything else at the time.

I told myself then that I would go back and re-watch PB some day down the road, and eventually, I did move on.  I got over it.  There were other TV characters to fall for.  Other stories to get wrapped up in.

But after finishing the re-boot edition that came to a close on Tuesday night, I realized my desires for Michael Scofield had been reignited, and there is no way I can deny it.  I honestly had no choice.  I had to go back to the beginning.  Didn't matter that in real life, Wentworth Miller has come out as gay.  Didn't matter that he's older now, and has grey hair.  Once he's back in Michael's shoes, that's all I can see.

So I've gone back.  I watched the first three eps last night, and I can already feel the obsession has returned.  Can't get enough.  And I'm once again reminded of how much I enjoyed those early days of Michael & Sara's flirtations, and how clever and cool the show was that first season - by far it's best season.

It might be incredibly ridiculous, but I'm so excited to be back immersed in the show again.  The rest will have to wait.  If I recall correctly, I'll blow through it so quickly that I'll be back in a state of depression again before I know it.  But until then...

If you're looking for me, I'll be watching Prison Break.  See ya on the other side. ;)