Friday, May 08, 2015

Confession… It’s good for the soul!

Friday is here!  Hallelujah!!

But before the weekend fun can begin, we need to confess… It’s been a REALLY long time for me, I’m due!

I confess… that as much as I love the nicer weather & the fun that comes with it, there’s a very big part of me that longs for the quiet hibernation that winter has taken away with it.  I really am a bit of a hermit.

I confess… that losing McDreamy didn’t bother me as much as I would have.  Lots of people have dropped off from watching Grey’s over the years, as their favourite characters leave the show – George, Izzie, Christina, Sloan, now Derek.  But I’m still hanging in there.  The day Alex goes, though?  I’m OUT!

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I confess… that I would give my right arm for a big bowl of ice cream.  With peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and honey.  Just the thoughts make me drool.

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I confess… that the other major craving of my life right now is kind of a weird one, but it’s for a homemade cheeseburger and deep-fried crinkle-cut french fries.  My mom used to make that on that on the odd occasion when I was a kid – the deep fryer especially was a rare occurrence.  I don’t think she’s had that deep-fryer out in a million years.  It always smelled so good at the time, but when your house smells like deep-fryer for two days afterwards, not so much… Still, that’s the craving du jour!

burger and fries

I confess… that it is really hard to get myself back on track with healthy eating when I keep getting hit with these silly junk food cravings. urgh.

I confess… I couldn’t believe how big my nephew Noah had gotten over the past few weeks when I saw him on Wednesday.  Luke & Amanda kept telling us he was eating lots and getting chunky, but I didn’t really believe them.  He is SO cute :)

Noah May 2 2015

I confess… that I don’t even like to think about it, but it was a year ago tonight that I summer-saulted out of bed and thought I broke my neck.  I pray that history does NOT repeat itself.

I confess… that I really miss watching Sens hockey.  I got so caught up in it from February on, that it really does feel like a piece of me is missing now.  And no, watching other teams does not help.

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I confess… that I let my feelings get hurt too easily.  The smallest thing that really means nothing can cause me to fuss and fume over it for way too long.  I really need to get me a thicker skin.

I confess… that even though I’m not a mom, I am still very much looking forward to Mother’s Day – I guess because I always enjoy time with family, and I look forward to toasting my wonderful Mom!  I am a lucky kid!

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Wishing you all a Happy Friday, and to those of you out there who ARE Moms – enjoy your weekend!!  Happy Mother’s Day!!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Married at First Sight? No, Thanks!

I have a little problem with dating.  Just a teensy, tiny little problem.

The problem is that dating absolutely terrifies me

It’s a crippling, debilitating fear that has driven me to believe that I may very well be alone forever.  In my daydreams, I’m always in a comfortable relationship, and there is a man that is part of my life and my routine.  But the real-life process of getting there? It makes me so anxious that I could puke.  Or cry.  Or both.

Seriously.

My dating experiences have been few and far between, but every time, the same thing happens:  I have a guy in my sites, and I think he’s pretty great.  This could work, I tell myself.  I get excited.  But then, we actually have to go out.  And that’s when the panic sets in.  I never let it get too far before I turn into a total basketcase and shut the whole thing down.

I’m sorry.  It’s nothing you did wrong.  It’s totally me.  I’m a nut job.

True story.

A while back, my friend Brenda told me about this show she watched – I think she got caught up in an A&E marathon, actually – called Married At First Sight.  The premise of the show is that these four experts – a psychologist, a sexologist, a sociologist, and a spiritual advisor – do extensive research and interview people who are desperate to be married but haven’t had success finding their “soulmate”; then they match up six of these singles based on what they’ve learned about them and their potential to be suitable companions for one another. 

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The catch, of course, is that these couples don’t even meet one another until they get to the alter.  dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnn!!  They get married on the spot, go on honeymoons, move in together, and then after six weeks, they have to decide if they want to stay married or get a divorce.

After watching the first season, Brenda thought I should sign up for this show.  She, along with most of my friends, know about my anxiety issues and how the thought of going on a date makes me want to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself alive.  So I believe her theory is that, if I could just skip that whole awkward getting-to-know-you dating period and jump right into the middle of a settled, done-deal relationship, it could work for me.

I’m here today to tell you… no.  Couldn’t do it.  No way, no how.

Season 2 of the series started a month or so ago, and I have been watching.  Honestly, just watching the show makes me want to throw up.  These folks still have to do the “getting-to-know-you” stuff, but with the added pressure of the fact that they are LEGALLY BINDED to one another.  They have committed to the six-week experiment and they can’t run.  They have to stick it out.  They have to make an effort.  They have to give it their best shot.

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I think those experts would spend five minutes talking to me and say, Nope, this kid is NOT cut out for this experiment.

My natural instinct is to bolt when I am taken out of my comfort zone.  I have done it several times.  I’m a creature of habit, I like my routine, and I’m so used to being alone at this point in my life that I think throwing me into an arranged marriage would be a grade-A disaster.

People tell me I just haven’t met the right guy.  They tell me that once I meet the right guy, I will be OK with being taken out of my comfort zone.  They tell me I’ll be willing to shake up my routine to accommodate him.  They tell me I’ll actually want to give up things that I enjoy doing just to spend time with him.

I don’t know where that right guy is, but I doubt he’s waiting for me on a TV show.

That being said, watching me completely fall apart and possibly vomit all over my wedding dress probably would make for some entertaining TV.

Maybe I should sign up after all. ;)

So, tell me… have you watched this show?  Do you think you could do it?  Get “married at first sight”?  And if you ARE watching…do you think any of this season’s couples stand a chance?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

What I’m Loving Wednesday!

Everything has just exploded with busy-ness – work, social life, community activities… Downtime for the next few months is going to come at a premium.  I get overwhelmed easily.  It totally helps to pause and take stock, be thankful, and list what I’m loving! 

So here we go…

  • I’m loving sunshine and warmer temps.  I’m a fall and winter kind of girl, truly I am, but even I’m relieved to ditch the socks & shoes in favour of bare feet & flip flops.

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  • By extension, I kind of love that I got a little sunburn last weekend.  It was a glorious weekend, weather-wise, so I got in some reading on the back deck and a few long walks, sans sunscreen.  There’s just something about that first sting of summer… (but from now on… sunscreen.  yes.  that is something almost-32-year-olds need to worry about.)
  • Just last weekend in general.  I loved it.  It was fabulous.  I had no big plans, but  I got to hang out a lot with Caden & Danica and have a movie night with them, I got my house cleaned, enjoyed dinner out at St. Hubert’s on Saturday, lots of time in the sun, long walks, a nap on a Sunday afternoon, and my first BBQ’d burger of the season… When Sunday evening rolled around, I literally just wanted to hit the rewind button and do it all over again.  It was so relaxing!
  • While the busy social calendar does tend to make me panic a little, I’m loving that there’s so many good times with friends and family lined up for the summer months.  Canada Day Committee events, as well as several weddings & the related activities that come with them to celebrate!  It’s going to be so much fun!
  • I have to admit, I’m loving the prospect of “going on sabbatical”. LOL!  Not a real sabbatical, of course – I still gotta work for a living - but I’ve declared that next year I’m going to relax and enjoy some free time, and re-invest myself in some of the hobbies that I’ve let slide over the years.  I’m stepping back from some of the things I’ve been involved with, for my own peace of mind… I’ve never been very good at handling stress, but it’s getting worse as I get older.  Next year, I want to read more, I want to start writing again (something other than blog posts), I want to pick up my scrapbooking again, I want to go for more walks, and just breathe more deeply. 2016 is still a long, long way off, but I’m loving the thoughts of it.  I’m going to take care of me.
  • I LOVE this song!!   It’s my jam right now.

  • I’m loving TV right now.  It’s sad that most of my favourite shows are wrapping up for the season, but TV has been so GOOD lately!  Grey’s, Criminal Minds, Battle Creek, Secrets & Lies… I’ve also really been into The Voice, Married at First Sight, Hockey Wives, and, of course, Survivor.  I haven’t even had time to watch a movie lately because free time on weekends is spent catching up on the PVR! haha!

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  • IT’S McHAPPY DAY!!!  Ok, so I have absolutely no intentions of eating at McD’s today (someone has fallen off the healthy-eating-wagon hard lately, and I have to get back on track… bridesmaids dresses to be worn, people!!!)… but just the thought of a Big Mac makes me happy :)  If anyone is near a McD’s today, have one for me – it’s for a great cause!!

mchappy day

  • I’m loving the thoughts of getting some much-needed baby snuggles tonight with little Noah, and some play-time with Neve as well. Can’t wait to visit with them!
  • I love Jimmy Fallon.  Of course. As usual.

Emmy Nominations

Happy Wednesday, friends. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Random Tuesday Stuff

I’m going with a little random today to try and get myself back into the bloggy swing of things!

· It’s been a cold and miserable spring thus far in our area, but today, the sun is shining and the temperatures are finally supposed to be warming up. It would go a long way in bolstering my mood if I got to go for a non-windy, non-rainy, non-cold walk at noon today!

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· Speaking of moods – I know I’ve talked way too much about being in a bad mood in 2015, but I have to say, Sunday was one of my worst days. I felt like I was shooting negative vibes out of me all day long, and what’s worse, there really wasn’t any good reason for it. All I kept thinking was, “This must literally be what it means to ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed’.” That, and, “We’re going to lose tonight. This bad feeling must be an omen.”

· I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking, so I tried REALLY hard to shove the bad mood out of the way, because I did NOT want my bad mood to be an omen for the Sens. I tried to let my niece Danica’s good mood rub off on me (she was so silly and giddy Sunday morning, which is rare for her!), I went for a walk, I had a nap, I made a fun supper for my mom and I. Yet still, couldn’t shake it.

· And then, the Sens lost. Of course.

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· I’ve known for a long time that I don’t have a very thick skin, and that I can’t take the heat. Hence, I generally prefer to “stay out of the kitchen” when it comes to sports rivalries. I try not to tease and torment fans from other teams, because I don’t handle it very well when they dish it back. But in this era of social media, it’s hard to avoid, even if you’re not looking for it. Needless to say, I had a hard time not deleting a bunch of my Facebook friends over the past few weeks, including a few close friends and even some family members. Habs fans are total pains in the ass.

· I have a confession to make. Since starting down a “healthy path” in January 2013, there are two things that I had not had in over 2 years: a Big Mac, and a poutine. But the streak is over for both. I had my delicious Big Mac the week after Easter, and I had a drool-worth poutine this past Saturday. I’m not intending to treat myself with either of them on a regular basis again, but man, it was good to get a taste of them again!

big mac

poutine  

· Someone’s probably going to shoot me for saying this, but… I really miss Christmas.

· I’m trying to learn the art of relaxation lately. Due to some recent renovations, I finally have a bathroom that I enjoy going into, and I’m finally re-discovering the joy of sinking into a tub of hot, bubbly water in the evening. I’ve also finally learned how to read in the bath. I know my friend Stacy is a big fan of reading in the tub, but I just didn’t get it… until now. I could sit there and read all night. Or until the water gets cold. And it does seem to calm me down and relax me considerably!

· Another thing I’m finally learning – to get up earlier in the morning to workout. This is a tough one for me. I love to sleep, and I’m not a morning person, so getting up 45 minutes earlier than normal could almost make me puke. But now that I’m back to work full-time, my free time in the evenings has become more sacred, and I dreaded having to devote part of them to my workout sched. I weighed the options, and finally decided that if I make the early mornings part of my routine, I will get used to it. Three weeks in, it is getting a little easier. I don’t quite want to murder my alarm clock anymore when it goes off at 5:45 AM. And I do so enjoy getting to go for a walk, eat supper, watch TV, and read in the tub. I think it’s been a worthwhile adjustment.

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That’s all that she wrote for today! Hope you’re all having a great day, friends!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Don’t believe us, just watch!

I am an Ottawa Senators fan.  I have been for 18 years now.  They are my team, and that will never change, I can guarantee you that.

But I have to admit that, since our beloved captain Alfie left this team as an Unrestricted Free Agent in the summer of 2013, I have been a bad Sens fan.  I have been a disenchanted, disgruntled, begrudging Sens fan.  And I hadn’t been paying a whole lot of attention to my team as the struggled and faltered through much of this current season.

My mom, on the other hand… she’s a good Sens fan.  A loyal, never-miss-a-game type of Sens fan.  And so it was that in early February, I was forced to move in with her due to on-going renovation issues at my place, and thus I was forced to watch hockey games.

At the time, the Sens were circling the drain, down near the bottom of the barrel in the NHL standings.  They had fired coach Paul MacLean, of whom I was a big fan, and to be honest, I was so disconnected from the team at that point that I didn’t even know who half of these young guys were on my team.  Chiasson?  Hoffman?  Stone?  Who the hell were these lads, and where did they come from?

Then, we ended up with a goalie crisis when BOTH of our top 2 netminders went down to injury, and they brought up this AHL goalie named Hammond.

I confess that I had written them off.  I had no hope.  It was going to be an early summer for this squad, and quite frankly, I didn’t care.

Even so, I was watching hockey again, because I was pretty much living with my mom, and, as I said, she never misses a game.

And wouldn’t you know… we kinda actually started winning games

Momentum started to build.  Dreams started being sparked.  The Legend of the Hamburglar was born, and with each win to his name, it grew legs.  This kid of ours, Mark Stone, was lighting it up, and his name started coming up as a possibility for the Calder Trophy, handed out every year to the Rookie of the Year.

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Was it possible?  Could they actually make the playoffs?

With each win, the hope grew.  It grew, and blossomed. 

And against all odds, the Ottawa Senators culminated a magical, improbable run on Saturday afternoon, when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in their final game of the regular season, ending up with an amazing 23-4-4 record in their final 31 games.

They managed to crawl their way back after being 14 points out of the playoffs on February 10th.  NO team has ever mounted a comeback so big before.

It’s been epic.  The kind of thing hockey dreams are made of.

Sens 2015

This morning, I woke up with that giddy feeling, the butterflies stirring in the pit of my stomach.  Tonight, we will take on the Montreal Canadiens in Round 1, Game 1. 

A week ago, I still wasn’t convinced that this would actually happen.  I wasn’t allowing myself to believe that I could actually be part of the playoff hype.

But now, it’s here.  We’re in.  I still can hardly believe it.

Last week around this time, a Habs fan that works in our office said to me, “The Sens are so hot… If they actually make it in, I don’t think anyone’s going to want to go up against them.”

Yesterday, they were given even more incentive, albeit in a very sad way, when Assistant Coach Mark Reeds lost his battle to cancer at age 55.  It was a tough day for the team, on the eve of the playoffs.  They’ve been playing for Reeds, and they’ve been playing for GM Bryan Murray, as he’s been battling Stage 4 Colon Cancer.

10 days before his death, Reeds addressed the team one last time, and his final message to them was to just keep winning.  “Let’s win it all,” he told them.

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This morning, anything seems possible. 

No matter what happens, I can tell you this:  my love for this team has been refreshed and renewed.  They have managed to draw me back in and make me a believer once again.  It’s been nothing short of miraculous, and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.

Now it’s time to take it one step further. 

The Stanley Cup does not seem impossible today.

Let’s win it all.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

An exciting Easter weekend!

Good morning, friends!  I know it’s been a while, but I’m still here… still kickin’!

Here’s some good news:  I’m in a heck of a lot better mood these days than I have been for the past couple of months.  Some of the things I was anxious and stressing about have finally worked themselves out, for the most part.  Phewf!

The bad news:  I’m zonked today.  I’ve been trying to get myself into a new routine this week of waking up earlier to get my workout done before work, and I looooathe getting up earlier than I have to.  Plus, last night the Sens pulled off an AMAZING comeback win in OT over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I was so psyched up afterwards that I couldn’t fall asleep.  Which makes for a mildly cranky Jill today.

But yeah… overall? Happier.  I’m a much happier kid these days.

I think this past Easter weekend played a huge role in boosting my spirits.  It was just so jam-packed with celebrations and good news!  Here’s a little taste of the awesomeness…

Good Friday:

This was the day we celebrated Sam’s 1st Birthday!!  I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since this little monkey has come into my life.   I remember they day he was born as if it was yesterday!  Sam is one of my favourite little dudes, and he always puts a smile on my face.  I had a great time at his party, enjoying yummy food, visiting with friends, and watching him do all the things little ones do on their first birthday:  open gifts, play with his cousins, smile for pictures, and smash his cake!  We love you, Sam!!

Sam 2

Sam 1  Photo credits to Sam’s grandpa Eugene!

Saturday:

Saturday was a BIG day for our family!  My mom and I were up fairly early to hit the road, heading to Carp for a the bridal shower for cousin Leah.  Before we left, though, my sister called my mom to let her know that my brother had sent her a text to say that they were at the hospital and Baby Young was on his way.  To say we spent the morning on pins & needles waiting for news would be an understatement!  Of course, my phone wasn’t  charged, so once we got to the hall where the shower was being held, I had to find an outlet to plug it into.  Then I spent the rest of the time there sneaking off to check it for updates.  Shortly before we were ready to leave for home, THE text arrived to tell us that Baby Noah had arrived!!  Yay!!!

Baby Noah April 4, 2015 – Noah Brent Edward

(photo credit to Noah’s mommy!)

Easter Sunday:

Sunday was another big, busy, exciting day!  It started off with going to church, not only to celebrate Easter but also to celebrate the Confirmation of six young people into our charge.  I was a mentor for one of the Confirmands, and I was so proud of Sarah and the others who made this important step on their journey of faith.

After church, we went out for a delicious brunch, and then Mom, Kara & I headed to Gatineau for hospital visiting hours so that we could meet the newest member of our family.  Noah is soooo cute!!  He’s already got this auntie wrapped around his finger.  It was also wonderful to hear that his big sister Neve had visited the night before, and she is just in love with him.  They showed us pictures of her sitting and holding him, so proud and excited.  We are all over the moon!!

Baby Noah 2

Baby Noah 3  More of Amanda’s awesome pics of Noah’s first day… so awesome to have a talented photographer in the family, right?!?!

After visiting Noah, we returned home for our Easter feast.  Because my sister and b-i-l had to work on Monday, I had volunteered to keep Danica and Caden for a sleepover.  After supper, we packed up and headed to my place for the night.

Easter Monday:

The kids had me up pretty early Monday morning, as we were all excited for our movie date that day.  We had lunch at Mom’s, then drove to Hull for a treat at McD’s (they had never had McFlurries before!! ) and on to the theatre to see Home.  We all really enjoyed the movie – I think we’ll all be quoting lines from it for a long time! - and of course the popcorn is always a highlight for me! haha!!

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It was a spectacular weekend, to say the least.  How could I possibly stay in a bad mood after all of that?  Just thinking about it all this morning has erased my tired crankiness already. :)

Happy Wednesday, pals!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Looking towards Easter with hope

Anyone who knows me, in real life or in the blogosphere, is sick and tired of hearing me whine and complain.  Hell, I’m sick and tired of hearing me whine and complain.  It’s been a frustrating almost-two-months now, and I know I sound like a broken record.  Truth is, that’s why I’ve been so sporadic with my blog posts lately.  I feel like I have nothing else to talk about other than this one subject that is making me want to PULL.MY.HAIR.OUT.

So, I’ve been trying to turn my focus to things that bring joy to my heart.  One of those things – now looming in the very near future – is Easter.  Yesterday, I noticed a bunch of my blog pals playing along with Easter-and-Hope-related Wednesday Hodgepodge questions.  How fitting.  I decided to join that party a day late….

1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child? 

I love Easter.  Almost as much as I love Christmas.  And yes, I do celebrate with my family.  As a child, of course my favourite tradition was the Easter Egg Hunt.  We did ours indoors, as often there’s still snow on the ground here for Easter.  Also hidden around the house would be an Easter basket of treats and goodies for each of us.  Now, I still enjoy the treats that come with Easter – Reeses PB Eggs, Lindor Eggs, jelly beans, Cadbury Creme Eggs, chocolate bunnies -  but I also love our tradition of going to church, going for brunch to one of our favourite local restaurants afterwards,  and then gathering for a big family dinner later in the day.

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2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope.

I do agree.  Although, since I’ve been wallowing in self-pity and anxiety lately, I can understand how one can be driven to abandon hope.  I’ve always tried to maintain a positive outlook, and to always carry hope with me.  Some days, that easier said than done, I’ll admit it.  I do think it’s important to have a hopeful heart… perhaps a nice reminder to me right now!

3. Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket?

Oh, how I love Easter sweets!!  I’m a big YAY for most of them – I love a solid white chocolate bunny, a Creme Egg or two, the Reese PB eggs are a heavy favourite, jelly beans are a MUST!  Coconut cream eggs, though?  They sound delicious, but I’ve never heard of them.  Peeps – or any kind of marshmallow candy – has never really been tops on my list.  Ooooh and I also love Mini Eggs and the malted milk eggs, too.  Mmmm… Easter candy…

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4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'?

I’m sure there have been times since that I’m just not remembering, but the first thing that comes to mind was shopping for Easter candy last year.  Because I’d given up sugar and artificial sweeteners for Lent, I anticipated the Easter treats more than usual.  When I went to Walmart a few weeks before Easter, I bought pretty much every candy and chocolate in sight.  By the time Easter weekend rolled around, I’d been almost driven mad with anticipation.  I remember setting all of the candy out before I went to bed on the Saturday night, saving one Reese PB egg to put on my bedside table, so that I could eat it while still in bed Easter morning.  I was deliriously excited for it all.

Easter candy

5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people? 

Hmmm…can’t really think of anything, to be honest.  Maybe the way I’m choosing to live my life right now, in my early 30’s?  Choosing to be single and childless, at least for the time being?  I know it probably makes people wonder why I’ve stalled in that department, but for me, it’s just the way I like it right now.  Free to do what I want, when I want… some might think I’m being selfish, but for me, it just keeps me calm and sane (ha! like that’s even possible!!)  Doesn’t really bother me much – at least, not anymore - but I think it baffles others sometimes.

6. Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?

I don’t know much about any of these places, but since I haven’t been ANYwhere in a loooong time, I’d probably jump at the chance to visit any one of them!!!  Palm Beach would probably be my first choice, just because the word “beach” is in there.  (It’s been a long winter.)  I haven’t visited any of them previously.

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7. If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.

I don’t imagine why anyone would want to shorten the day.  There are never enough hours in the day, am I right?!  There have definitely been days when I’d like to add a few hours, that’s for sure…

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

You guys don’t want to hear my random thoughts these days, trust me.  Refer back to the start of this post.  ;)