Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Gilmore Girls: I miss them already...

As promised, today's post is all about my latest obsession:  Gilmore Girls.

Confession: Despite having several friends who had strongly recommended this show to me, I really had no interest in watching it until Jimmy Fallon started talking about it in the weeks leading up to the Netflix reboot last fall.  Jimmy's a big fan of the Gilmores.  And I only do things Jimmy tells me to do.

So, in early 2017, I decided to tackle the Gilmore Girls.  That's where I've been the past three months.  With the Gilmore Girls.  Hanging out in Stars Hollow, having coffee at Luke's Diner, Friday night dinners with the grandparents, movie night binges with Lorelai & Rory, going through the ups and downs of trying to get into Harvard, falling in love with all the boys...  But it all came to an end for me on Monday evening, as I watched the last "season" of the Year In the Life re-boot, and it was such a bittersweet moment.  I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life.  And yes, I know I say that after every good show comes to an end, but right now, I really really don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

So I have to write a blog post about it.  I have to let it all out.  Otherwise, I won't be able to move on.

*WARNING* In case you are like me, and joined the GG bandwagon about 15 years too late, and are still just watching the show now as if you were living in the early 2000's, *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD*.

First of all, let me just say... Luke & Lorelai.  Has there ever in the history of television been a couple so made for each other?  So destined to be together?  And has there ever been such a long lead-up to the couple finally realizing what their audience has known all along??  7 seasons.  7 SEASONS, they dragged this on.  And even more hiccups in the re-boot. Like, just LET THEM BE HAPPY TOGETHER ALREADY!!!!  Oh my God, I love Luke and Lorelai.

Now, Jimmy did this fun thing back in the fall that I did not get to participate in, because I had not yet started watching the show, but he discussed his top 4 favourite characters on his show (not including the Girls, they are obviously everyone's fave), and at the time, invited fans to hashtag their top four on Twitter.  As usual, I'm late to the party, but here's my #top4gilmoregirls:

#1:  Luke - Of course. Was there ever any doubt he'd make my list?!? I want a man just like him.  *sigh*. *drool*.  More on Luke to come.
#2:  Jess - Of all Rory's loves, he was by far my favourite.  I'll elaborate more in a minute.
#3:  Babette - The Girls' quirky neighbour, Babette is played by Sally Struthers, who was once upon a time Gloria on All in the Family, which gives her instant bonus points.  And I think one of the biggest laughs I ever got watching this show was a Babette scene - I think it was when Rory and Lorelai were in their first big fight, and word was spreading around town that there was a rift, and Babette, Queen of the Gossip, went running through the town square, holding her boobs and screaming at Luke to wait for her, so she could check with him to make sure everyone was OK.  Big LOL's!!!
#4:  Kirk - I had a hard time picking my #4, and I didn't think Kirk was going to make my list. Originally I picked Zach, Lane's beau and bandmate, because I kinda love Zach.  But really, how could Zach make the list ahead of Kirk?  Kirk is everywhere in Stars Hollow.  He has 8 million jobs, is involved in every happening in the town, and provides some awesome quirky comic relief.  Kirk is the best.
(Invisible #5: Sookie) - Jimmy forgot to put Sookie in his top 4, so he added her as his Invisible 5.  And I am too.  Lorelai's best friend, esteemed chef, and probably the biggest cheerleader of the Luke & Lorelai relationship... and played by Melissa McCarthy, so yes, Sookie is amazing.

(For those of you wondering, Jimmy's Top 4 was 1 - Taylor Doosey (the town mayor), 2 - Luke (of course), 3 - Kirk, and 4 - Paris Geller.  Invisible 5 was Sookie.)

So, as I've previously mentioned, I loved Luke dearly.  Gruff and grumpy extrerior, but with a soft ol' heart of gold, and always there to help and take care of Lorelai and Rory, even before a romantic flame flickered between he and the elder "Girl".  Very early on in the series, I texted one of my GG friends, Sharon, to tell her I was already in love with Luke, and she replied something like, "Oh of course you'd go for the old guy."  And I was like, "HUH?  Luke is not OLD.  He's like the same age as me!"  But then, when I thought about it, it made sense.  She watched GG in real time, so back in 2000 when it started, she was closer in age to Rory, and hence would be more interested in her boys.  Watching now in 2017, I'm closer to Lorelai's age, hence more interested in her men.  Ah, the trick of TV time... Anyways, one of the best things about Luke was that he never changed.  I loved his "uniform" - plaid shirts, jeans, backwards cap, green jacket.  And Luke's still wearing the same clothes in the re-boot.  Classic.  Timeless... That's Luke. *sigh*

Now, when it comes to Rory's boys, I'm most definitely "Team Jess".  For the record, Jess is played by Milo Ventimiglia, who currently plays Jack Pearson on This Is Us.  And I, of course, have been This Is Us'd.  I heart Jack-slash-Jess.  Rory's first love was Dean, who you would think I'd be all over because he's tall dark and handsome, and that's usually my thing, but I was never on-board with Dean.  Dean was possessive and jealous and blech.  Then there was Logan, the cute little blonde rich boy that Rory meets and falls in love with at Yale, and while I didn't dislike Logan, he was never #1 in my heart.  For me, it was always Jess.  The bad boy who is shipped off to Stars Hollow to stay with his Uncle Luke and immediately sets his sites on sweet Rory.  The brooding, bad-tempered, fist-fighting boy, with the sweet, artistic side, the boy Rory can't seem to resist.  Oh Jess.  How could anyone resist?!

I also want to shine a spotlight on Lorelai, because, my God, I want to be Lorelai Gilmore.  Much like how I felt about Tammy Taylor, Coach Taylor's wife on Friday Night Lights, I admire Lorelai, so much.  She's seriously the kind of woman I want to be.  Sure, we had a few times where we weren't in sync - usually when she was running away from Luke, and making Christopher mistakes - but overall, Lorelai felt like my kindred spirit.  My TV best friend.  And she loves snow just as much as I do... Aw!  Lorelai!!!

So, if you are a GG fan, you probably already know all about "the final 4 words".  Early on in the series, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino knew she wanted it all to end with 4 words.  But there was some kind of dispute going into the final season, and she and her husband and co-creator Daniel Palladino were not involved in the finale.  There was plenty of speculation amongst fans as to what those final 4 words would be, and a lot of angst over the fact that they never got to know.  But THEN!  The re-boot!!  Netflix put out a GG reunion, "A Year in the Life", last fall, and it DID involve the Palladinos.  And they DID finally get to use their "final 4 words".  I'm not going to tell you what they are, because there's no SPOILER ALERT big enough to cover that one, and I don't want to ruin it for anyone else.  I managed to get right to the end without finding out, and I am so glad I did not google and ruin it for myself.  But let's just say... not  what I was expecting.  They made me gasp.  I was shocked.  And it very much felt like a cliff-hanger to me. Like, it feels like there is more to come.  I have googled, and apparently there are no plans or promises of more, which to me feels ridiculous.  I mean, there HAS to be more.  You can't just leave a legion of fans on the BRINK like that!!!!  Fingers crossed that there will be more.

(Funny side-note:  Knowing the "final 4 words" were going to be big and important, and knowing they were coming as the final episode of "A Year In the Life" was winding down, literally everything that was said in the last ten minutes of the show, I was counting the words to see if it was the final 4 words. LOL)

Oh, and might I just say, I was thrilled with the re-boot.  I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been for the fans who watched the series in real-time and had waited ten years for more.  I loved that they were able to get so many of the past characters to come back, and all the references from the original that they tossed in.  I also loved the way they addressed the passing of Edward Herrmann (who played Richard Gilmore) in such a bittersweet and sentimental way.  It was lovely and very real.  And I loved how they split it up into seasons, like four movies.  My only advice to anyone who hasn't seen it yet, is to make sure to either read the book or watch the movie "Wild" first.  There's a big chunk of "FALL" that you won't get if you don't know about "Wild".  (I was thankful I'd seen the movie. lol)

OK.  I have to end it now.  I could write about this show and it's characters all day.  I loved loved loved my time spent with the Girls in Stars Hollow.  Jimmy Fallon described the show as "comfort food", and he couldn't have been more right.  This show felt like cuddling up in a cozy blanket.  It was so nice to get wrapped up in their story, For three months, I lived and breathed Gilmore Girls, and it was such a cozy, comforting way to spend my winter.

I'm really not joking when I say I miss them already...

So, any Gilmore fans out there?  Who are your #top4gilmoregirls?  Were you Team Jess too?  What did you think about the "final 4 words"??  GG fans, UNITE! ;)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's Up

Hey there, pals!  I know...another lengthy bloggy break...didn't mean to! Let me go random today, I'll catch you up on what's up with me these days.

  • I feel like I've been in procrastination mode, BIG time, lately.  Things that used to come easily to me, for some reason I now keep putting them off... Like blog posts.  Exercising and eating healthy.  Taking photos for my Project 365 and keeping that album up to date.  Updating the photo frames in my home.  I got the pics printed off like a month ago, and they're all just sitting there on my dining room table, waiting to be framed, motivation to do so.  
  • I guess you'd call it being in a rut.  I've been feeling extra hermitty.  All I want to do is watch TV and read.  All other jobs when I'm home seem to be getting back-burnered.
  • You know what?  Let's blame it on the Gilmore Girls.  Because, quite frankly, I've been obsessed.  After struggling through the first two seasons, I got totally wrapped up in it by Season 3, and literally got obsessed.  When I was home, all I wanted to do was watch it.  Everything else fell by the wayside.  The good news (sorta) is that I finished yesterday.  Including the "A Year in the Life" reboot that Netflix released last fall. So I'm done.  Gilmore Girls is over.  And so, I guess I can move on with my life now.
  • I have more to say on GG, but I'm saving that for its own special blog post.  Maybe tomorrow.
  • What will I watch now?  Well, I'm not sure, to be honest.  There are episodes of Suits that have come out that I need to catch up on, and another season of Scandal that has come out since I fell into the Gilmore Girls wormhole, but I'm really not sure what my next series to binge will be...decisions, decisions.
  • I finished the book Reconstructing Emily by Kimberly McCreight last week.  It wasn't my most favourite book ever, but it got better as it went on.  I was glad to be done with it so I could move on.  I started the book for our June book club meeting, which was my suggestion of The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.  It bothers me that I'm a Liberal Arts college graduate, and yet there are so many literary classics that I somehow missed out on during my school years.  The Catcher in the Rye is one of them.  You hear it referenced so often, I always wanted to know what it's all about.  It's moving along quickly for me so far, though I can't say I'm madly in love with it.  Still, glad to finally be reading it!
  • Can you believe I'm still curling?  I am. And will be for another three weeks.  Curling is never-ending.  That said, I am glad I finally started enjoying it somewhere along the line, because I don't dread curling nights anymore.  In fact, dare I say it? - I might actually be enjoying it!
  • Music I'm obsessed with right now:  Anything by Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton, or Drake White.  Literally, these three artists are all I listen to these days.  On repeat. Steady.
  • I had a great time last Saturday with friends doing an Escape Room in Renfrew.  It was a gypsy-themed room.  Most of us had never done an Escape Room before, so we struggled.  It took us probably too long to catch on to what we had to do, and that put us behind the eight-ball, so we didn't even come close to escaping.  BUT it was so much fun, I really enjoyed it, and can't wait to try it again!
  • I should give a little Lent update:  Aside from one goof, I've been steering clear of potatoes, as promised.  The one slip-up happened on St. Patrick's Day.  My niece and nephew had a PD Day that day, and I was off, so I went to my mom's to hang out with them.  She told me she was making turkey dinner for supper, and it didn't register.  I watched her peel and cut the potatoes, and it didn't register.  I watched her cook and mash them, and it didn't register.  I piled them on my plate and smothered them with gravy, and it didn't register.  During supper, my sister said something about the food truck outside their building serving corned beef and mashed for lunch that day, in honour of St. Pat's, and I was thinking, "Welp. I couldn't eat that." and then I glanced down and literally cried out in panic.  I startled them all.  They thought I'd found a bug in my food or something. "MOM!!! POTATOES!!!"  They all thought it was pretty hilarious that I'd eaten almost all of my potatoes and gravy before realizing what I'd done, but it did disturb my soul.  I couldn't believe I'd eaten them without it dawning on me.  I take my Lenten promises pretty seriously, so ...yeah.  It troubled me that I'd so foolishly abandoned them, without even realizing.  
  • I have rebounded though, and so far so good since then.  And it hasn't been easy.  The chip wagon in town opened early, and it's just not the same when I can't get fries or poutine.  I've been subbing onion rings, and I'm getting soooo sick of onion rings.  I can't wait to have potatoes back in my life!
  • I kind of can't believe March is almost over.  I consider the end of March as the end of my hibernation period, and that's probably a good thing.  I'm ready for warmer weather and evening walks and busting out of this rut.  I'm ready for April. :)
Happy Tuesday!  I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with a more in-depth look into my obsession with Gilmore Girls! ;)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Looking forward to...

... A day off tomorrow, and doing NOTHING.  OK, that's not entirely true.  I have a few odd jobs to do around the house, and I need to give myself a little pedicure, but otherwise, I'm doing NOTHING but watching Netflix and working on a puzzle and reading.  No cooking anything, no baking anything, no creating projects for myself.  Just chillin'.  I have Mondays and Fridays off this time of year, and I've been packing them with shopping trips and activities galore.  I need one of 'em to be a "nothing" day.  Need some solid quality time with the Gilmores!

... A "Wine & Sign" Party Friday night. I've been invited to one at a friend's house, and it sounds like fun.  We will each be creating our own signs (the design I chose says "grateful, thankful, blessed") and just hanging out and chatting (with wine, of course).  Should be a fun evening!

... Another day at the curling rink on Saturday, this time for the Canada Day Committee's first-ever fundraiser bonspiel.  For someone who started out the winter hating curling and wishing I'd never bothered trying it, I'm becoming quite a regular. haha!  I've promised myself to be better behaved than last Saturday, though.  I got a little rowdy last weekend.  I need to re-establish myself as a respectable citizen. ;)

... Appointments on Monday morning.  NOT REALLY.  But I've been putting off going for blood work for over a month now, and I also have a dentist appointment, so I figured I'd better kill two birds with one stone and get them both over with on Monday morning.  I'll feel better for the rest of the week knowing they're done.  (I hate appointments.  so much.)

... Our church's annual Irish Tea, which is coming up next Saturday.  We always have fun putting together this little fundraiser for our church, and treating the folks in our community to a tea with fancy sandwiches and squares in celebration of St. Paddy's Day.  Always a great time!

... St. Patrick's Day!  Our little town does it up big, with several well-known parties, and I'm not sure yet if/where I'll be celebrating, but it's always a fun vibe around town regardless.  I usually like to don my green and make an appearance at the big shindig at Gavan's, even if it's just for a little while.

... An upcoming "Escape" with friends!  We've picked a date, now we just need to finalize who is coming and what time we want to book the Escape room for.  I've always wanted to try this, and I can't wait to do it with great friends :)

... Easter.  OK, it's still super far off, and Lent literally just started, but I'm already daydreaming of how good the potatoes will taste. ;)  (oh, and also, all the Easter candy.  God, I love Easter candy.)

... Choosing a new workout program.  I've been in an exercising rut and trying to decide what to do about it.  I keep telling myself once the weather is nicer, I'll get back to walking/jogging every night, but my best success has always come from doing a program, and I need a fresh new one.  I've been researching this week.  I'm very intrigued by Pound, but thinking I might be better off with Beachbody's Country Heat. (I've always had a soft spot for line dancing. lol)  I won't be purchasing for a few more weeks (need to get a few other bills paid off first), but I definitely want to get a new program to freshen up my desire to work out!

... A weekend trip to TO in May.  Ever since I went to Toronto several years ago with friends, I've wanted to go back, especially for a Blue Jays game.  I loved the experience of being there to watch the game live, and it's just nice to get away for a few days and spend time in TO.  Tickets are booked and I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Lent 2017: Cutting ties with potatoes

Last night, our community gathered at the Lions Hall in town to feast on pancakes, a symbolic "Fat Tuesday" tradition where we load up our plates and celebrate before having to give something up on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  I did just that: I enjoyed my pancakes smothered in butter and real maple syrup, and all the fixin's that came with it.

And then I went home and finished off the last of a bag of potato chips too, knowing it would be the last time I tasted them until Easter.

After giving it a lot of thought, and tossing around a multitude of ideas, I've decided to stick with my resolution to give up potatoes for Lent.  I'm still haunted by the memories of going sugarless several years ago, so I wanted to make sure this year it was something that wasn't going to become as all-consuming as that endeavour was, yet was still difficult enough to be considered a real challenge.

Potatoes really aren't all that bad for you.  I mean, they are a vegetable after all.  But truth be told, I'm not a big fan of potatoes, at least not in the traditional sense.  I don't crave them mashed or baked.  Unfortunately, my preferred form of potatoes is any way I can make them unhealthy - as in potato chips (with dip, of course), French fries (doused in salt and vinegar and dipped in ketchup, or smothered in cheese and gravy), I only eat mashed if they come with gravy, and if I'm eating a baked potato, it has to be fully loaded with butter, sour cream, green onion, and bacon.

Therein lies the reason I've decided to cut potatoes from my diet.  I've been eating them - in their most unhealthy forms - far too often these days.  Chips & dip are a frequent evening snack, I rarely eat out that it doesn't come with a side of fries or poutine, and my willpower to resist either had become non-existent.  Lent offers the perfect opportunity to cut my addiction and maybe even kick-start some much-needed weight loss right now.

I toyed with making it even harder, by cutting all things "white" from my diet, as I've heard of others doing, but man-oh-man, that's a lot of stuff.  That's harder than cutting just sugar.  That would also mean white flour, salt, potatoes, pasta, milk, sour cream, yogurt, even bananas...eep.  Too much stuff.

Then I thought of doing potatoes, white bread, and pasta.  White bread wouldn't be that hard, I don't eat it often to begin with, but my beloved pasta...that would be tough.  Too tough, I think.

So potatoes it is.  No more chips, french fries, homefries, or any other form of potato.  I'm also giving up sweet potato fries (because we all know I'd opt for that side in a restaurant, and it's really no healthier).  The goal here is to choose a salad for a side instead, or have a salad entree when dining out.

What I AM allowed: popcorn, pretzels,  corn chips, and kind of snack cracker that is not potato-based - BUT the goal is to cut out night-time snacking altogether, so I'm not planning on chowing down on these snacks instead at night.  It's just an alternative if I'm at a party or something, if I can't dive into the chip bowl, I can have a handful of another snack that is not potato-related.

As I said - not as hard as giving up sugar, but still not easy.  I have already had my first dawning moment of realization, as I discussed the upcoming curling bonspiel on Saturday with my friend Lindsay.  I told her I thought it might be a good idea if I got away from the rink, went somewhere to eat during the break between games, so that I'm not just sitting there drinking all day.  I already had visions of a chicken finger platter with poutine on the fries from Hursty's dancing in my head when it hit me:  "Oh wait.  Shit.  I can't eat fries. UGH."

It will be good for me, though.  Hopefully a kickstart to some healthier eating habits.  I have a new little goal in mind.  I'm going to a Blue Jays game on May 13th.  I was gifted a Josh Donaldson tee for Christmas that is a bit too tight, and my goal is to have it fit comfortably by the time I go to the game.  TOTALLY doable.

And potato-less Lent should help.

What are YOU giving up, or doing to mark this Lenten season?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weekend Rewind: 50 Shades, Curling, and the Oscars

Good Tuesday morning!

So, this past weekend was jam-packed with lots of fun (maybe too much fun)... here's a little re-cap!

As usual, I kicked it off Thursday evening at the curling rink, but thankfully, kept it much more tame than the week before.  We played the early game, and it wasn't the best game ever, for any of us.  Figures, since the week before I thought I had finally found my "groove"...apparently not!  Whoops.  Stayed for a little bit afterwards, but I kept the drinks to a minimum, and was home early.

My plans were up in the air for Friday, but then my mom called at 8 AM and told me I had 45 minutes to be ready if I wanted to join her and my sister for a day of shopping.  So, that sent me dashing off to get ready in a tailspin... so much so, that for the first time in my LIFE, I drank my coffee in the shower. LOL!  It made me realize how unwilling I am to start my day without my cup of joe!  Mom picked me, we stopped in at Kara's, and then we were off to Gatineau.  I really had no shopping desires other than a few groceries, so I was just kind of along for the ride.  But it was fun!  We hit up a bunch of stores, and had lunch at Cage aux Sports.  It isn't very often the three of us spend a day out together like that, and it was nice.  I told them the only thing we should have added as a stop for a pedicure!

I was home for a little while and watched some more Gilmore Girls before heading out for dinner and to see the new 50 movie.  And yes, I'm a fan.  I wasn't surprised, though.  The second book in the series was my favourite, so it made sense that I'd love the movie too.  To put it simply, I enjoy the "vanilla".  We'll just leave it at that. ;)  My mom had been warning me about driving to the city since there were freezing rain warnings, but that wasn't an issue...what I did not enjoy was driving home in a thunderstorm.  There were a few bolts of lightening that seemed so close and bright that they blinded me, and the rain was pouring so hard I even had to pull over once.  eeep!  Thankfully I got home safe and sound.  I don't like storms at any time, but I definitely did not enjoy driving home in a freak one in February!

Saturday I was up bright and early to get ready for a day at the curling rink.  I was playing with Brenda, Sue and Adam in the Quyon Lions curling bonspiel.  Our first game was pretty bad, but how can one be expected to be any good at 9 AM? ;) Our second game at 1:30 was much better, and we ended up coming back to tie it in the last end, so we finished our day on a high note.  It was a fun day, but I think I learned a lesson to not start with vodka and OJ at 9 AM and move to beer at noon, because that results in me becoming rather silly and obnoxious by suppertime... -_-  I'm vowing to try to remember this on Saturday, when the next curling bonspiel comes around! lol!!

Strangely enough, I couldn't sleep in on Sunday morning, and I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy, so I was up with coffee and watching Gilmore Girls for a few hours before church.  The service was really wonderful, which is saying something, as the hangover symptoms were starting to kick in.  By the time brunch was over, I was crashing hard, so I opted to head home for the afternoon to sleep it off, and that I did.  I literally slept alllll afternoon.  

I got up around suppertime and did a few things around the house before settling in for the Oscars.  I was interested in seeing who the  winners were on the night, as I had actually seen one of the big nominees (La La Land), and I'm also quite interested in seeing many of the others. I thought it was a strong year for the Oscar nominations. Often it's obscure films that I have no real interest in, but this year I liked the sound of all the nominees for Best Picture.  So yes, I watched the whole thing, start to finish.  I loved the opening number with Justin Timberlake performing his Best Song nominee "Can't Stop the Feeling" (I do believe it was my anthem for 2016!).  I also thought Jimmy Kimmel was a hilarious host and enjoyed almost all of his bits, including his opening monologue, the tour bus surprise, the Oscars mean tweets segment, candy and doughnuts parachuting down from the sky, tweeting at Trump ("u up? #merylsayshi"), and his on-going fake feud with Matt Damon.  

Of course, the Oscars always drag on way past their allotted time slot, and many times during the evening I thought of packing it in, but thanks to my afternoon of sleep and this nagging feeling of "I don't want to miss something", I hung in there.  And boy, was I glad I did.  I STILL can't believe the blunder that happened in the end with the final award of the night for Best Picture.  I thought presenter Warren Beatty was just being silly, dragging things out extra long, with his big pause and search of the envelope, but now in retrospect, I can see he was just really, really confused.  (I also think it was kind of assholey of him to pawn the problem off on Faye Dunaway, but whatever).  She announced La La Land as the much-anticipated winner, and then the whole cast and crew flooded up onto the stage.  As the producers were giving their acceptance speeches, I could tell something was wrong.  Confused looks from the crew up on stage, then the appearance of Oscar producers on-stage wearing headsets, checking the envelope, more confusion and whispers starting to bubble up... then finally, one of the La La Land producers stepped forward to say, "Guys, no...there's been a mistake... Moonlight, you won Best Picture. Please come up here."

Jaws literally dropped.  Mine included.  Flashbacks of Steve Harvey and the whole Miss Universe debacle.  Was this really happening at THE OSCARS?!?!  I still don't understand what happened, exactly.  Beatty and Dunaway were given the wrong envelope, and that's why he was so confused - the card read "Emma Stone - La La Land", and she had just been awarded Best Actress shortly before, so they obviously had been given that envelope again.  I guess what should have happened once Beatty realized he had the wrong card, he should have said, "Um, wait a minute...something's not right here"... but put in that moment, on the spot, I'm not sure I'd have done it any differently than he did.  

It was very classy of the La La Land crew to clarify it the second they realized what had happened, and to urge the Moonlight crew to come up on-stage immediately, but talk about awkward.  I thought it was awful for all involved.  Awful for the La La Land crew who thought they had won and were giving speeches, only to find out their dream was dashed.  Awful for the Moonlight crew, who lost out on that big winning moment and instead were caught up in the awkwardness and confusion.  Awful for Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who weren't really responsible for the mistake, yet took blame for delivering it.  The saving grace was Jimmy Kimmel, who easily stepped in and tried to rectify the situation, even accepting the blame himself as he said, "I knew I was going to mess this up somehow, I promise I'll never come back" - despite the fact he had nothing to do with it either.  Seriously...still can't believe it happened!

Monday I was off, of course, so I had booked a Paint Day with my neighbour Shannon (who is no longer really my neighbour, but she's not far away, so I still call her my neighbour lol).  It felt like I hadn't painted in forever, so I was excited to get back at it, this time painting chickadees!  Many of my paintings have a blue/purple colour scheme, so I decided to do that for a background instead of the bright green/yellow one she had done.  I ended up LOVING it!!  It was a great way to cap off a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A few changes, a few goals...

Anyone who has seen me over the past year knows that I've been on a severe downward slide since losing a bunch weight around the time of my 30th birthday.  I kept somewhat on track until after my friends' weddings the summer before last, but then it was like I threw caution to the wind and returned to my old unhealthy habits.  I didn't do it consciously, though.  In my head, I was still trying.  It was one little thing at a time - cancelling my Shakeology (cost too much), changing my workouts to less intense programs, treating myself more often, a few pounds here and there, declarations of "I'm OK being this weight - as long as I don't gain anymore!".  Then suddenly - BAM - I'm back up, closer to the weight I was at 3 1/2 years ago than I ever thought I'd allow myself to be.

It was my biggest fear after I dropped the weight.  I was so worried I'd let myself backslide.  And here I am.  Willpower shot, disappointed in myself, and craving all the junk food in the world.  I let it happen.  

HOW did I let it happen?!?

OK.  That's enough of that.  I hate berating myself over this stuff.  I've always said this is a journey that I'll never be done with - it will be a challenge for me my entire life - and this is just another stop along the way.

So.  What am I going to do about it?

I've decided this time I want to tackle it in smaller ways.  No big "Lose 30 lbs before my birthday" promises.  Just a few small tweaks I want to make to get myself back on a healthy path.  I already have kept some healthy practices, and I know the way to go about things, so it shouldn't have to be a giant leap.  It should be easy.

First of all, it's a promise to be active 5-6 times a week.  You might be thinking, "But Jill... you already do that, don't you?"  Confession:  Since Christmas, I have fallen off the work-out wagon, hard.  I was making up excuses, and my rigid vow to get up early every morning to do a half-hour workout 6 days a week had fallen by the wayside.  I was giving myself a pass more days than not. Since our trip to Florida, I haven't gotten up early at all.  I still try to be active every day, but I've been hit or miss at best.  

Here's the thing:  I loathe getting up early.  I forced myself, I made it a habit, but I never liked getting up at 5:30.  So why continue making myself do something I hate?  I used to work out in the evenings all the time, and only did early mornings if I knew I wouldn't have time at night.  So that's the new plan.  Forget the earlier wake-up.  Just make damn sure I get some exercise in later in the day.  My noon-hour 15 minutes walks will continue, weather permitting, and after work I will go for another walk (maybe start up jogging again), or snowshoe while I can, or curling, or whatever other kind of physical activity I might find myself enjoying.  And if it's not nice out, then do a work-out video (I have a wide selection to choose from), or my other favourite "workout" lately, which is putting on good tunes and just dancing around (Zumba-style) for at least half an hour.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  And if there are plans on for the evening, then and only then will I force myself to get up earlier.  The "being active" portion of the day is non-negotiable.

So then, we have the food problem.  Which, really, is the bigger problem here.  I love food.  I love food that is bad for me.  I crave junk.  All the time.  And if I'm eating something I love, I always want more.  I eat larger portions.  I go back for seconds.  I don't have a shut-off valve. I eat until I'm painfully full.  And I hate vegetables.


How do I remedy this?  Well, Lent is conveniently about to begin - in exactly one week - and I have decided to go with my trusty ol' standby of giving up potato chips.  Yes, I'm back in the vicious chip-and-dip cycle, snacking on them almost every night, and I don't just eat "a few".  So it's time to say good-bye.  I always tend to stick to my Lenten promises better than anything else, so it should work out well.  I'm toying with the idea of giving up potatoes in general (french fries and poutine are always on my mind, not even joking) but not sure I can make that commitment... I'm thinking about it, though.

Another goal I'm trying to put into effect is "forget sugar - eat fruit".  I am trying ever so hard to get rid of the leftover Christmas baking in my freezer, as it is a constant temptation.  Replace my daily sweets indulgences with fruit.  I love fruit, so why not eat more of it?  Easy peasy.

I'm also thinking I should go back to logging all my food and exercise with Myfitnesspal.  It keeps me mindful of what's going in my mouth, portion sizes, etc.  I hate that calorie counting has to be part of my life, and my goal has always been to just learn to "eat right' and I wouldn't have to do that, but as we can see, I have failed miserably in that endeavour.  So back to tracking and logging, if I must.

The idea, at it's core, is to "eat less - move more".  I don't want to take a meal replacement shake. I don't want to weigh myself obsessively.  I don't want to take progress pictures.  I just want my clothes to fit me again, to not hate what I see in a photo of myself, to get some of that good mojo I had a few years ago back again.

Baby steps this time.  And hopefully once I get a few of these small practices back in place, big results will follow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Weekend Rewind

Happy Tuesday, friends!  This past weekend was a wonderful, relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable one!  For one thing, it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL out - spring-like temperatures, melting snow, lots of sunshine.  And while I for one am not quite ready for winter to disappear just yet, it does seem like many people around here really needed that nice weekend.  For them, I am happy.

As I'm still on short work weeks during the down time of winter, my weekend started out on Thursday evening at the curling rink, where we not only won our game, but I felt like it was my best game yet.  I seriously still have no idea what I'm doing most of the time, but I just felt more comfortable sliding out from the hack and it seemed my rocks landed in good territory more often than not.  Thank the Lord Jesus.  I was starting to think I was never going to get any good at this game!  We played late game, and then we sat around having a few drinks afterwards (perhaps a few too many for me...eep!) and didn't get home til after midnight.  It was a fun night!

Friday morning was slow-going for me (read above: too many curling rink beers), but I forced myself up and to get ready, as I was joining Lindsay for a trip to Ladysmith.  Our company snowmobile trip was on Friday, and for the first time ever, I was able to join them for lunch at the Ladysmith Hotel! (Linds and I opted to drive there by car, snowmachining for us. lol)  I hadn't been there in ages, so I was excited to be able to go.  Even if none of the guys seemed to want to sit with us. HA!

After lunch, I quickly grabbed a few necessities at the grocery store before returning home to nap.  I needed to catch some z's after the late night the night before, so I could be rested up for a snowshoeing adventure that night!  My friend Sharon picked me up early evening, and we headed out for an evening of snowshoeing at Pine Lodge with Lolly, Shelley, and Ally.  We had gone the week before, and loved the trails there, so we were back for more.  We did a lot of laughing and singing and joking around... always so much fun!  I adore snowshoeing!!
(photo cred to Lolly)
Saturday morning was the only crappy part of my weekend, and that was because I had a crappy job to do:  cleaning the house.  I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't cleaned, aside from the odd sweeping here and there, since I took Christmas decorations down in early January.  Eeek!  Granted, I live alone, and I don't "create" a lot of dirt, and I was away for one whole week, but still... the dust bunnies were starting to give birth to new dust bunnies.  It was a job I could no longer avoid.  (Despite Brenda and Sue's best efforts to get me to ditch it and join them at the curling rink. lol!)

Even though I had dreaded cleaning, it felt so good to have it done.  And to have it done early enough that I could still get out and enjoy the gorgeous afternoon!  After a quick lunch, I ventured out for a nice long walk in the warm sunshine.  It was up to +10 on Saturday!  I couldn't believe after months of cold and snow, I actually got to walk in a light sweater and vest.  The only (small) issue was the melting snow caused huge puddles and my feet got soaked.  Oh well... it was worth it!

The rest of the day, I watched Netflix (soooo into the Gilmore Girls right now!) made homemade pizza for supper, and watched the Sens beat the Leafs.  OH!  And I enjoyed a little treat I'd picked up the day before getting groceries - I finally found Ben & Jerry's "The Tonight Dough" ice cream at our local grocery store!  I will buy ANYthing that has Jimmy Fallon's face on it! ;)

Sunday was church, and out for breaky afterwards with the fam.  I had no plans for the rest of the day, other than hanging out with Mom, so I decided to do a little snowshoeing around her place.  She has great next-door neighbours with big expanses of yard on either side of her, and I didn't think they'd mind if I tramped a trail through parts of their property.  I spent a good 45 minutes out enjoying yet another beautiful day outdoors.  Who knew this couch potato would like playing out in the snow so much! ;)

Yesterday was "Family Day" for a many of my friends and family, but for me, just another good ol' Monday off. ;)  I got a start on laundry, then made homemade cream of celery soup for lunch.  It was aaaaaamazing - definitely satisfied the craving I've had for it lately!  Soooo good!

I went for another nice long walk after lunch, enjoying yet ANOTHER beautiful day!  A bit colder, but the sun was brilliant and the snow was still melting like crazy.  I watched some more Gilmore Girls, then got to work getting supper ready, which was actually inspired by an episode of the show!  In an ep I watched the other day, Richard makes a favourite meal from his childhood which he calls "Johnny Machete".  I googled it, and couldn't find much, but there were a few articles on it, and how they believe it is actually a dish called "Johnny Marzetti".  There are literally a hundred different variations, that I made the one most appealing to me, and invited my mom over for supper.  Really, it wasn't much different from my usual pasta-hamburger-sauce-cheese concoctions, but still a yummy supper.

Yesterday was also the day my new snowshoes arrived from Amazon - yeah!!  I have been borrowing a pair from Jared for the past few weeks, so it's nice to now have my own set.  I just had to break them in last night, as the warm temperatures and rain in the forecast this week make me fear the snowshoeing days are drawing to a close for the season.  :(  I'm so sad it took me so long to discover my love for this outdoor winter activity!  Anyways, I took them up to Mom's to do the trail I had made the day before, so I got another good half hour out there of fresh air and exercise.  It was a great way to cap off a wonderful weekend!