Thursday, April 26, 2018

Catching Up

Ahh, that glorious time of year when life gets turned a little upside down with craziness!  The busy season is upon us here at work.  It's always a bit of an adjustment.  I love the slower pace and calmer days of winter, yet at the same time, there's an adrenaline rush that comes with the busier season, and the days fly by.

Here's a little of what's been going on in my world lately:

  • Last week, I was handed one last blessed Snow Day.  Yes, a Snow Day in April... and it was magical.  (Well, for the most part.)  I woke to the news that the mixed precipitation and freezing rain throughout the night had cancelled school buses in our are (almost unheard of), and they were warning people to stay home if possible.  I literally work 5 minutes from home, so such warnings usually don't apply to me.  No matter how bad the conditions, I can almost always make it those 5 minutes down the road.  So I got up and showered, ready for the day, when I got a text from one of the bosses saying "Stay home today".  It turns out, the weather had knocked the phone and Internet down, so even if I did make it in, there wasn't much to do.  I jumped at the opportunity for one last Monday off.
  • I made pancakes for breakfast.  My Internet was down, so I watched silly daytime TV like The Price Is Right.  I read.  I crocheted.  I made popcorn.  I watched a scary movie.  I literally did everything I consider to be a fun, child-like "Snow Day". I was supposed to host Spirit Cafe that night at our church because the minister couldn't be there, and I even got that cancelled so that I wouldn't even have to stick my nose out the door.  Right up until suppertime, it was bliss!!
  • I had taken a container of spaghetti sauce out of the freezer for supper, and around 5:30 I started cooking the pasta and heating up the sauce.  Fave supper for my fave kind of day!  It was half-way through cooking and the power went off.  And stayed off.  I was a little ticked.  Through all the crappy weather of the past 24 hours, my power had only flickered on and off a few times.  Now that it was finally getting nicer out, the power goes off and stays off?  Frig.  I was sitting out the couch kind of stewing about the fact that my supper was only half-cooked and worried about how long the power might stay off, when suddenly I noticed there was some commotion outside.  A lot of people out on the sidewalks, and vehicles parked on the side of the road.  "What the heck is going on out there?" I wondered.  I stuck my head out the door and realized my driveway and house were surrounded by firetrucks and a police car.  Turns out the neighbour's house was on fire!
  • I had heard sirens, but hadn't realized they'd stopped right next door.  No one can ever call me a nosy neighbour... I'm soooo unobservant!  So the fire caused a bit of excitement for the rest of the day, as I huddled with some other neighbours out on the sidewalk and watched the action.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  The house is still standing, but I doubt it is salvageable.  It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise lovely day off.  I'm just thankful it was a wet day and none of the other houses or buildings around were ever in jeopardy.
  • I had a doctor's appointment last week to follow up on my heart palpitation problem.  The good news is, according to the ECG and Holter monitor results, there is nothing structurally wrong with my heart.  The bad news is, I'm still experiencing light flutters on a daily basis.  The doc tells me there is a procedure he can send me for at the Heart Institute, which he called a "re-wiring of the heart" - but he doesn't think it's necessary since I'm not experiencing any ill effects aside from the flutters.  He'd like to keep me on the medication I'm currently on, and to continue trying relaxation techniques and experimenting with ways to make the palps less annoying.  I agreed to that course of action, for the time being anyways.  
  • Last Friday evening, I had my "Stephen King movie girls" over to watch the movie Christine.  After reading the book, I really wanted to watch the movie.  Last fall, I dragged the few friends I have who don't mind scary movies with me to see IT, so I knew they were the ones I had to call upon for Christine. We had a junkfood bonanza - pizza, chips and dip, candy, ice cream, pop - and watched the old '80's movie about a car that goes on a killing spree.  The book was way scarier than the movie, in my opinion.  Still, I enjoyed it and trying to identify certain characters, one of my favourite games to play during old movies.  "Hey!  That's Cougar from Top Gun!!  You know, the guy who freaks out at the start of the movie and can't land the plane?  Cougar lost it and turned in his wings! ...  Why does that old guy look so familiar? Holy crap, I think he's the old shovel slayer guy from Home Alone. It IS the old shovel slayer guy from Home Alone!!"  Good times, good times. ;)
  • I was tormented by a headache for much of last weekend, which kind of killed the good vibes that came from the first warm and sunny weekend we've had in months.  I still made myself go for a little walk and sit out on the back deck for the first time this year and read in the sun. I should have been doing yard work, cleaning the deck furniture, a million outdoor things, but the head wouldn't allow it.  
  • Currently reading:  First Comes Love by Emily Giffin.  And loving it.  One of the characters is going through something that I have given a lot of thought of myself, choosing to have a baby on her own.  Just reading about her process is definitely giving me the itch. 
  • My latest Netflix ventures:  I finished watching Scandal, and then watched the Alias Grace series.  I LOVED it, and now I can't wait to read the book.  We heard about Grace Marks on our tour of the Kingston Pen a few years ago, and her story has fascinated me.  It only took me a few days to watch it, and then I moved on to Downton Abbey.  I had a hard time getting through the first few episodes, but now I'm hooked and loving it, too.  I can't wait to get home each night to watch an episode or two.
  • We were totally spoiled at work yesterday for Administrative Professionals Day.  They took us out for lunch to our church's Soup & Sandwich, which is always such a nice treat, and while we were there, they presented us with take-out containers.  I joked that they had got us each a poutine as a gift, but when I opened it up, I discovered I wasn't far off!  We each received a gift certificate to the local chip wagon.  Woo hoo!  I loooove the chip wagon and eat there almost every weekend, so it will definitely be put to good use.  I am a lucky girl to work where I do, for people who care & treat me like family.  Thank you Mountainview!
  • Tonight I'm starting an 8-week art workshop with my neighbour and artist extraordinaire Shannon, which I'm very excited about.  I have done many paint nights with Shannon, and I'm almost always thrilled with the art I get to bring home.  I'm excited to do a longer, more thorough and detailed project that will continue over 8 weeks.  Can't wait!
  • This coming weekend is a busy one, and I'm already kind of sad about how fast it's going to blow by.  It's the hardest part about coming off my 4-day weekends in the winter.  Two days just seems SO short and goes by SO quickly, especially when there's lots of stuff going on.  Oh well.  It's all fun stuff.  A cousin's bridal shower, another cousin's stag & doe...should be a good weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sticks Out For the Boys

Every now and then, tragic news hits you.  It's not necessarily news that affects you directly, or that has anything to do with you, yet the hurt is deep enough that you feel it personally.

At the end of last week, we got hit with that kind of news.  Not once, but twice.

Friday morning, I woke, grabbed my phone off the pillow beside me as I always do, and opened Facebook.  The very first item that popped up in my timeline was the news that Jonathan Pitre had passed away.  And I cried.  The tears rolled down my cheeks as if I'd received sad news of a close loved one.

I had never met him before, but for many of us in the Ottawa area, we felt we knew Jonathan well.  He was our "Butterfly Child".  The teen from Russell, Ontario went public several years ago to share with us his daily battle of dealing with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare and painful skin disease.  A big fan of the Ottawa Senators, Jonny made friends with the hockey team and many sports personalities in our area.  Our local news followed his story closely.  He and his mom Tina had a huge cheering squad behind them when they went to Minnesota for potentially life-changing surgery over a year ago.  Since then, we waited anxiously for good news.

There were ups and downs over those months of Jonathan being in and out of hospital in Minnesota following the surgery.  We rejoiced when doctors deemed the surgery a success - (this was his second time going through it; the first time, the surgery failed) - yet he was constantly hitting set-backs.  A departure from hospital would be quickly followed by news that he was back in again, fighting an infection or a multitude of other health problems.  The updates seemed to become fewer and farther between, yet I think we all hoped so deep in our hearts for the day when Tina would announce, "I'm bringing him home!"

That day never came.  A week before, Jonathan had been admitted to that Minnesota hospital again fighting an infection and had gone into septic shock.  He was never able to recover.  He passed away on April 4th, at the age of 17. Our hearts broke for the Butterfly Boy who lived a life of grueling pain, yet always had such a positive outlook on life.  A smile that could light up a room.  An old soul, wise beyond his years.

Jonathan's suffering was over. We'd all prayed that he would make it, but at least we could be grateful for that.

Friday evening, I joined my friends at book club, and I had paid no attention to the news that evening.  It wasn't until I woke Saturday morning, again turning to my phone and Facebook, that I learned of the tragic bus accident the night before involving the Humboldt Broncos out in rural Saskatchewan.  The devastation was gut-wrenching.  Of the 29 people on board that bus - a junior hockey team heading to a playoff game - 15 were killed. The rest were sent to hospital, and some of them are still in critical condition.

I can't stop thinking about them.  I can't stop reading their stories.  Looking at their pictures.  Grieving for them and their families.  It is absolutely heart-breaking.  The kind of tragedy that no one should ever have to face.  The kind of tragedy that is unfathomable.  Young men, hair died blonde in a show of solidarity as they banded together for playoff hockey, suddenly broken and shattered by a cruel twist of fate.

Our country is in mourning.  We are all Humboldt.  We are holding that community in our hearts, praying for them and sending them all our love.  It's the kind of situation when there isn't much you can do to help with the pain.  People are giving to a GoFundMe page (last I checked, it was over $6 Million), but somehow, money doesn't seem like enough.  Everyone is searching for a way to show them we care.

So, we're putting our sticks out for the boys.  One person started it, posting the picture and sharing that he'd put his sticks out for the boys in case they needed them, wherever they may be.  And so many others across our country are now doing the same, in tribute to the Humboldt Broncos, their families and friends.

Tonight, I'll be putting my sticks out, and I'll be putting them out for Jonathan Pitre as well.  A boy who loved hockey but could never play because of his debilitating disease, I'd like to think he's now free to grab a stick and join the game too.

We continue to keep Jonathan's family in our hearts..  We are praying for the Humboldt Broncos community as well.  May they all feel the comfort of a nation holding them in their arms.

Rest peacefully, boys.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Another Nice Weekend Ahead

A week ago, I was gearing up for an Easter weekend that seemed like the perfect balance of rest-and-relaxing, and time spent with family.  It was truly marvelous!  Now here I am, staring down another unexpected long weekend (as I mentioned yesterday, the boys in the office told me to take one more Friday off due to the colder weather this week) - and while there's no holiday involved, this weekend is going to be much the same as last: a nice mix of everything.

My weekend starts tonight, as it is our last night of playoffs for curling.  I'm planning to run up to Shawville early to do some groceries.  We play late tonight, so I'll have lots of time. Two of our players are away on vacation, so my friends Sue & Adam are filling in, and I'm sure we'll have lots of fun!  Looking forward to it.

Tomorrow my plans are to do not much of anything!!  I'm declaring it a Netflix, reading & crocheting day.  I'm working my way through the final season of Scandal, I started the book "A Kind Worth Killing" last night and I'm really enjoying it, and I am getting close to finishing the blanket I'm working on, so all three of these relaxing and enjoyable jobs should keep me busy throughout the day.  Friday evening is book club, which is always a fun night out visiting with the ladies. Very much looking forward to that.

Saturday is shaping up to be another great day.  I have a birthday party to attend late morning, but otherwise no other plans. Maybe more Netflixing?  Maybe go to the movies?  My niece Danica has been wanting to see A Wrinkle In Time and it might be a good opportunity to take her.  I'm also really interested in seeing John Krasinski's new movie A Quiet Place, but not sure I can rope a friend into coming with me.  It's definitely not one I can take Danica to LOL!  If it ends up just being another Netflix evening, I'm totally okay with that.  I really want to soak up the downtime this weekend.

Sunday will be church, and I also need to put the finishing touches on an evaluation for our student minister.  I'm part of his supervision committee and we need to submit his year-end evaluation by Monday.  We already have it written, but I'm just waiting to hear from the rest of the committee if there are any changes or revisions to make before we submit it.  Once that is done, I will feel so relieved. 

And then Monday... it's back to work!!  Full time!!  It will be tough to drag my butt out of bed that first morning, and it's always a bit of a struggle to readjust to a five-day work week, but hey.  I've been doing it for 14 years, I should be used to it by now right? haha!  It's time, and I'm excited about the busier spring environment.  Bring it on!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

April: Currently...

It's April! Here's what up with me currently...

Listening to... a lot of Barenaked Ladies these days!  After their reunion and induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Junos a few weeks ago, it prompted me to dig out my old BNL albums from high school.  I'd forgotten how much I love them.

Eating...  Easter Eggs.  And chips.  The post-Easter junk fest continues!!  My favourite chocolate this year has been the Eggies in cookies & cream flavour.  Last night, I wanted comfort food because it was dreary out, and I was craving macaroni, but I wanted to try something a bit different than my usual macaroni, cheese, and tomato casserole that I make.  I ended up making this recipe and it was sooo good!  Creamy and cheesy and delicious.  The only change I made was to use regular diced tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes.  (maybe they're the same thing? not sure.)  Tonight, I'm planning to make French Onion Grilled Cheese sandwiches for supper.  My friend Sharon made it once for supper a few years ago and I loved it, but I've never tried making it myself.  Another dreary night for comfort food, sounds about right to me!

Drinking...  lots and lots of water.  I had kind of fallen off the "drinking tons of water" wagon lately, and I've been trying to get back at it.  My chapped and dry lips are suffering.

Feeling...  a little stressed, and I have no idea why.  For the past few days, I've been noticing a soreness in my jaw, and I think it's from tensing it.  Clenching my jaw all the time.  I have NEVER had this problem before, and it's annoying the hell out of me.  I feel like I don't even know how to have a relaxed jaw anymore.  ugh.

Reading...  I just finished reading "Tessa & Scott", the book that my beloved ice dancers put out after their first gold medal Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.  Tonight, I'll be starting the next book club book on my list to read, "A Kind Worth Killing" by Peter Swanson.  I'm anxious to see if it's a book I'm going to enjoy or not.

Watching...  I'm back into Scandal.  I caught up on Suits, and decided to keep on with the "catching up". I'm in the final season, and I'm not really liking this Olivia Pope that we've got going on right now.  She's a little too dark for my liking.  I've already made up my mind that once I'm done Scandal, I'm going to finish up The Mindy Project.  Then I'll be ready for something new.

Wanting...  my new East Coast Lifestyle sweater to get here!  My friend Lindsay came home from her recent trip to Nova Scotia sporting a sweater that I fell in love with.  I found it online (in different colours), but with taxes and shipping, it cost wayyyyy more than I was willing to spend on one sweater, no matter how much I loved it.  But then I got an email about a 30% Off Easter Sale on their website, which meant that basically the shipping and taxes were deducted.  Deal!  I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail!!
(mine is pink at the top)

Needing...  some new spring/summer clothes, and a new pair of running shoes.  I finished cleaning out my closet over the Easter weekend, and I'm a little alarmed at how little I have in spring and summer clothing that fits me.  Damn weight gain.  

Missing...  Jamie from Outlander!  I talked a little bit about all the shows I'm watching or plan to watch, but man, that's what I REALLY want to watch!  I wish season 3 of Outlander would hit Netflix soon!!  I need me some Jamie.

Enjoying...  the fact that I get one more unexpected long weekend.  Usually after Easter, I start back to work full-time again, and I was totally prepared to do so, but the guys in the office yesterday suggested I take one more Friday off.  The weather is kind of wintry this week, and the office is still on the quieter side, so they told me to enjoy one more Friday off and we'll hit the ground running next Monday.  It was a pleasant surprise!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday LOVES!!

Here's what I'm loving this Wednesday...

  • It's Soup & Sandwich day!  Yum!  Our church hosts a soup & sandwich lunch once a month from January to April.  It's always a treat, and I love not having to pack a lunch! yay!!
  • I love that I finished the book "Christine" by Stephen King over the weekend.  That book was a mammoth, and I'm kind of a slow reader, so the fact that I read it in a month is kind of a miracle.  I also really, really enjoyed it.  Spooky enough to keep me entertained, yet not so scary that I can't sleep at night.  I'm looking forward to watching the movie now, which arrived from Amazon the other day!
  • After I finished "Christine", I went to my book shelf to choose my next read.  I've been on a reading roll in 2018 and I wanted to keep it going.  After reading something so big and dark, I decided to go light and fun, and grabbed the copy of Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" that I picked up somewhere along the line in the past year.  And OMG I want to be Amy Poehler's best friend.  It took me a minute to get into it - her whole intro about how hard it is to write a book kinda dragged - but since then, it's been smooth sailing.  And oh, the laughs.  I literally snort out loud at times.  She's a funny chick. The book is making me look up her old SNL work on Youtube, and I want to watch "Sisters" again.
  • I think last week I mentioned that I'd booked a mani/pedi as a treat for myself on Friday morning, but then regretted it when my weekend became ultra busy and now I had this mani/pedi appointment stuck in the way.  Well, I SO take that back.  It turned out to be the quiet couple of hours I needed before the mayhem began.  And I LOVE my nails.  Especially the shellac mani.  I admire my pretty candy pink nails multiple times a day.  They also make me feel like a more efficient typist, for some reason.
  • Tupperware.  Or, as my friend Lindsay calls it, Tuppercrack.  Holy mother of pearl, I can't get enough Tuppercrack.  I'm soon going to own the whole catalogue.  Funnily enough, when I declared this the "Year of Saving", one of my vows was: NO MORE TUPPERWARE.  While the "Year of Saving" has been a success overall, the Tupperware vow has been a big, fat FAIL.  It's irresistible.
  • Last Friday evening, after all my work was done, I settled down on the couch to find something to watch on Netflix and assumed I'd promptly fall asleep, as I usually do.  I finally clicked on "The Shawshank Redemption" - a movie I've been wanting to watch for a million years, as I've heard so many people cite it as one of the best of all-time - and you can now count me among those people.  SUCH a good movie.  I didn't even fall asleep.  Love, love, loved it.
  • Lasagna dinner went SUPER well on Saturday night!  Not only that, I managed to fit everything else in that I had on that day, and with time to spare.  I was so on the ball, it wasn't even funny.  But I'm so glad they came for dinner and enjoyed it.  We had lots of laughs and it was a great evening!!

  • Sunday morning I awoke not feeling too crash hot, with stomach pains that would double me right over.  Once the tummy troubles subsided around noon, I slept and slept and slept.  Couldn't keep my eyes open.  So I totally forgot that the Junos were on the night.  I usually make it a point of watching, and this year especially I wanted to watch because of the Barenaked Ladies reunion.  I was a big BNL fan back in their heyday.    Thankfully, I was able to watch it afterwards on Youtube - they did "One Week" and "If I Had $1000000", and I loved every second of it - and it prompted me to dig out my old BNL albums, and download them to my phone.  I forgot just how much I love their stuff.  It's been a fun trip down memory lane.  "What a Good Boy" is my absolute fave.
  • Our local ice cream store opened for the season last night!!  Unfortunately, it was quite windy and cold, rainy and snowy last night, not exactly ice cream weather.  I'm going to save it for a sunnier day, but I'm super thrilled it's back!!
  • It's taken me longer that I thought it would, but I'm finally done House of Cards - or at least, what's on Netflix so far.  There's another Kevin Spacey-less season to come, but for now, I'm done.  I was bouncing around with what to watch next, and I've decided to catch up again on some of the shows that I've been into before, Suits and Scandal being at the top of the list.  Then maybe Downton Abbey?  Not sure yet.  
  • OH MY GOD... ROSEANNE!!!  The revival started last night, and I was so loving it!!  See, Roseanne was something we watched when I was a kid but I never really loved it.  As an adult, I go back and watch re-runs and have a much deeper appreciation for it.  I thought the first night of the re-boot was awesome.  So happy it's back.  I don't care much for revivals and re-boots, but this one? With all the old characters back?  Even both Beckys?  And one of Darlene's kids named Mark, in honour of the one character they couldn't bring back?  (the actor who portrayed him passed away). It was awesome.  Authentic Roseanne.  The magic is still there.
  • It's almost Easter!!  I'm looking forward to a fun weekend - a nice mix of quiet, watching TV or movies, crocheting, reading, and then some family time with a Good Friday fish dinner and then our big Easter feast on Sunday.  Woo hoo!!  Sounds like a great weekend to me!! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Extra-busy weekend ahead!

I'm not gonna lie, guys, I'm feeling a little bit like a stressball right now.  I have lists running through my head - To Do lists and grocery lists and "try not to forget" lists.  Also, I have broken out with an itchy red spot on my face, which adds to the angst and it's just the Universe's little way of saying "hey! you're stressed!  we know!  how about a big red blotch on your face to go with it?!"


Here's the thing:  two weeks ago, I called and booked a manicure and pedicure for tomorrow morning.  This is something I hardly ever, ever do, but I decided to treat myself on what will likely be one of my last Fridays off before starting back to work full-time.  It was supposed to be a relaxing start to a relaxing weekend.

But now, it is honestly something that is more "in the way" than something I'm looking forward to.  *sigh*

You see, a year ago I offered up "A Little Taste of Italy" dinner to be auctioned off in the Canada Day Committee's fundraiser online auction.  My cousin won, and so I get to treat him and three of his friends to a homemade lasagna dinner with all the trimmings, served in my home by yours truly.  The poor guy has tried to book me several times throughout the year, but there was always something else going on and I had to keep postponing.  This weekend finally worked out, so they're coming and I have to get ready!!

I have to clean the house and get the groceries and prepare the meal and get everything set up.  It's all very manageable, but I get a little dizzy thinking of all I have to do in the next few days to get ready.  Oh, and toss in the fact that I have a shower to go to Saturday morning, and had planned to go to a Tea on Saturday afternoon, and things get a little more stressful.

So here's the plan:

Last night, I got my snowflakes and snowmen and "I LOVE WINTER!" signs put away and got out the Easter and spring decorations, so that part is done.  I curl late tonight, so I'm going to clean when I get home.  I know the place doesn't have to be spotless, I just need to tidy up the junk that's been collecting in the usual junk collecting spots, dust, vacuum, and mop.  Sort of one of those "lick and a promise" type cleanings. 

Tomorrow morning I'll get up and ready, and then go to my nail appointment.  Try to relax and enjoy. (ha!)  Then off to Renfrew for a mad-dash grocery shopping trip.  Also planning to get my Easter treats for the little bunnies in my life.  I thought about shopping for upcoming birthdays and showers that I will need gifts for in the next couple of weeks, but decided that will be too overwhelming, both mentally and financially.  Save those for another day.  Tackle just what's right in front of me. When I get home, I'll make and assemble the lasagna and have it ready in the fridge to go.

Saturday morning, I'll get up and do as much prepping as possible, then get ready to go to the shower.  Depending on how much time I think I have, I will try to squeeze in the Tea as well.  I have a helper lined up to join me for the last-minute setting up and preparations, so I think I should be good.  My mother, God bless her, is making dessert for me, so all I'll really have to do is prepare the appetizer, salad, and bread, and to keep things as fresh as possible, I have to kind of wait until closer to arrival time to do this stuff anyways.  And of course, I'll have to set the table.

See?  There's time for everything to get done.  Everything is very manageable.  There is no need to stress out.  But it's my nature. 

Oh, and did I mention I have a scratchy throat this morning?  'Cause I have a scratchy throat this morning.

I'm just going to ignore it and pray it goes away.

I'm just dying for this day to be over so that I can get the show on the road.  Once I start checking things off the list, I'll feel so much better about it all.  Despite being a little ramped up over it, I am very much looking forward to the evening and hopefully they are too.  Fingers crossed that I can report it was a success next week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Spring!

I like the Hodgepodge questions this week, so I'm taking part in that blog prompt!

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you're looking forward to in this season of the year.

Easter!  And Lent being finished!  I love celebrations and holidays.  Easter is a fun one.  I'm going shopping for my Easter treats this Friday, and I look forward to all the festivities that come with that holiday.  I even really enjoy the somberness of Good Friday.  And of course, I'm looking forward to getting a bag of chips to have on hand once Lent ends.  I'm going to do my ever-loving best to keep chips out of my house going forward, especially since I've realized my heartburn problems have decreased significantly since I gave up nighttime snacking.  But I have to have some chips to celebrate a successful Lenten season!  (knock on wood - still have a week and a half to go, but so far, so good!)

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards?  Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Dust ceiling fans or dust book cases? Wipe down the patio furniture or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Any of these tasks recently completed?

My windows need to be washed desperately, but I'd far rather wash baseboards.  Both are due, actually.
Cleaning out the garage isn't that big a deal because I don't keep much out there, but I am in the midst of cleaning out my closet (with the 40 day closet cleaning challenge for Lent).  I must say, breaking it down by taking something out every day has really made the job less daunting.
I haaate dusting ceiling fans.  I have less book cases so I guess I'd rather dust them?
I'd rather wipe down patio furniture than light fixtures.
The closet is the only one of these tasks I've completed recently.
This question has just reminded me that I have a lot of cleaning to do. And I HATE CLEANING!! ugh.

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? sour cream? whipped cream?

I love cream cheese; I love almost anything that has cream cheese in it.  Probably my favourite thing to make or eat with it is the Epicure cheese dip.  I've had a craving for that lately.
I also love sour cream.  I use sour cream in a lot of things (most recently in the pot of cream of asparagus soup that I made on Monday!) - but if I had to make something with it right this second, it would just be a go of onion chip dip.  I'm dying for chips with onion dip.
Mmmm whipped cream. I love whipped cream on pumpkin pie.  Or homemade tea biscuits with a bit of jam or jelly and topped with whipped cream, like Grandma used to make.
This question has made me verrrrry hungry!

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?

Hmm.  A few weeks ago, I got all tangled up trying to say the word "illegible".  I finally gave up.  And my mom always teases me about how I say the word "amicable".  (apparently I say it wrong).  I can't think of any others.  My friend Lindsay recently laughed at the way I say "syrup" but honestly, I think I'm saying it right and she's saying it wrong! haha!

5. What's a song you love with the word "rain" in the title or lyrics?

Of course, the first that comes to mind is Purple Rain by Prince.  Classic.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday was a really weird day.  I spent much of the day anticipating getting home, because I wanted to decorate for Easter and watch the episode of Ellen I'd PVR'd with Scott Moir & Tessa Virtue on as guests and read my book and crochet.  A fun low-key evening!  And then late afternoon, I heard the sad news that our Sens captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda had lost their unborn baby boy.  I follow them both on social media outlets, so I can easily recall the announcement last fall that they were expecting their first child (she posted a photo of them wearing "mom" and "dad" caps), and then the video of Erik leaping in the air after he shot a puck that exploded in blue in December.  Just last week, she shared an Insta story of baby shower favours, little cookies shaped like shirts, decorated in blue with Karlsson's 65 on them.  My heart broke for them at this devastating news. It's been a rough year for the Sens on the ice, but this was a reminder that things can happen that are so much bigger than hockey.  I've had several friends who have suffered similar losses, and it's a heart ache no one should ever have to feel.  Even though I don't know the Karlssons personally, I shed a few tears for them, and felt a little drained and despondent upon hearing their sad news.  My fun evening kind of turned into one of quiet laziness.  I did read for a while, but otherwise, I ended up curled up on the couch and asleep far too early.   My thoughts and prayers are with Erik & Melinda Karlsson as they deal with this horrible grief.