Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen King: The man who could make me afraid of my own car.

As I've mentioned several times in recent blog posts, I'm reading Christine by Stephen King right now.  I started it two weeks ago, and considering that it is a monstrosity of a book (over 500 pages), and that I'm a fairly slow reader, it's kind of a miracle that I'm over three-quarters of the way through it in that time.  That's a testament to the storyteller, I suppose. 

I first fell for Stephen King during my teen years, in those late stages of high school, when suddenly Christopher Pike and VC Andrews weren't quite scary enough for me anymore.  I remember discovering the King section on the school library shelves.  I remember how massive those books looked - huge, hardcovered volumes that awed and amazed me just upon sight.  I remember how they smelled, that musty yet delightful old book smell (one big reason why I still read book-books and don't own an e-reader).  I remember the little thrill of excitement I got at the prospect of diving in.

I don't remember which was my first.  And I certainly didn't read them all.  In fact, for a King fan, I think I can claim to have read only a paltry few.  I distinctly can recall Carrie and Thinner.  I remember the harrowing weeks I was immersed in The Shining.  I still consider Pet Semetary and The Dead Zone two of my favourite books of all time.

I took a break from Stephen King after my college years, and I'm not even sure why.  Other books to read, I guess, other titles and authors that grabbed me.  It wasn't until several years ago, when a friend claimed on Facebook that The Stand was the best book that she'd ever read, that I picked up another Stephen King novel.  I didn't love The Stand.  I wouldn't rank it among my favourite books ever.  It was massive, and it took me months to plow through it.  I remember being so relieved when I was finally done.  And yet, so well written.  Certain scenes from it can come back to me in a second; come alive right before my eyes just as I think of them.  Some of them so disturbing I wish I could forget.  I mean, for months, every time I heard anyone sneeze, my first thought was, "Oh no!  You've got it too!  It's the end of the world!!"

The masterful work of an amazing writer.  And he's doing it to me again.

This year, our book club is trying out something different.  For one of our meetings (coming up this summer), everyone is to read a best seller from their birth year.  Lists were sent out of best sellers for the birth years of all regular attendees, and we had to choose one from our year.  Let me say, I wasn't all that impressed with the choices available for 1983.  One of them was Pet Semetary, which I read in high school and loved, but I wanted to pick something I hadn't read before.  For me, based on the other choices, the only one that interested me at all was Christine.

And even then, I was skeptical. I mean, seriously?  A scary novel about a CAR?  How the hell is a CAR going to scare me?  It isn't what I think of when I think of horror.  A car doesn't sound like much of a villain to me.

Oh, but you guys.  Oh, she is.  She is scary.  And getting scarier with every passing chapter.

And how do I know this scary car has wormed her way into my head?  Because it's not just poor ol' Arnie Cunningham who has to deal with her.  She's starting to mess with me, too.

I drive a 2013 Ford Focus.  Fire engine red, and named Purdy after the sales lady who sold her to me.  A cute little car that gets me from point A to point B, and has caused me little trouble over the past five years, save for a flat tire on a freezing cold day a few years ago.  A car I neglect to wash on a regular basis, but for the most part, I really do love.

Yesterday, I left work at my usual time in the winter, at 4 PM.  I went out to my car and was glad I didn't have to clean the snow off of it, because even though the fluffy flakes had fallen pretty well all day, it was warm enough out that it was melting on contact.  My car was clean and ready to roll.

I got in, turned the key in the ignition, and as I sat adjusting the radio station, my gaze flashed to the screen on my dash where the outside temperature lights up.  It said it was 10 degrees Celsius.  As it was snowing at that very moment, I knew the temp was wrong, but that's not unusual.  Sometimes in the summer, if the car has been sitting in the sun, it can register 40 degrees or more, and the temperature gradually drops as the car cools off.  The thought did cross my mind that it wasn't sunny at all yesterday, not even a little bit.  Overcast and snowing, all day.  Still, not that big a deal.

As I slowly drove down the 5th Concession to the highway, doing my best to dodge the potholes, I noticed the temperature starting to drop on the screen.  9.  Then 8... 7... 6.  Suddenly, the numbers started to flash by so fast, until it had plummeted to -30.  My eyes widened.  I'd never seen it do that before.  My stomach did an odd little flip as I thought of the book and how strange little things happen like that with Arnie's car.  Like the odometer that runs backwards.

I could almost see Arnie's little half-grin.  Just a glitch, I guess...

Then, after a brief moment, the numbers ran up again, zipping all the way back up to 10 degrees.  And then they slowly started going back down.

"CHRISTINE!!!!!!!" I cried out. 

Like, literally.  I screamed the name of that car.  Even though it's not the name of my car.  Because in that moment, I felt very certain that my car was no longer my car anymore.  Christine had taken over.  It was possessed, in some small yet terrifying way.

Damn you, Stephen King.  Damn you and your scary car book that has wormed its way into my head.  Damn you for making me just a little bit fearful of my own perfectly innocent, sweet little car.

He's a master.  An absolute master.

I can't wait to see how the rest of this book plays out.  Christine has started her murdering ways, and she is gruesome.  Ruthless.  I'm afraid to pick up the book to see what's next, yet also so intrigued that I can't seem to put it down.  I can't wait to see how this all plays out for Arnie and his bitch of a car.

I just hope that my little "glitch" doesn't happen again.... Keep my car out of it, King.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday Randoms

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Here's some of the random running through my brain this morning...

  • Nicole, after reading your most recent post, I know you're not going to like this... but sonofabitch, I HATE this time change!!!  I already have a hard time dragging my butt out of bed on a good day.   Take away an hour of my sleep, and I'm a MESS.  Even still, two days later, I'm out of sorts.  I lay in bed an extra 10 minutes longer than usual this morning and it just sets the whole day off on the wrong foot.  Ugh.  Damn you, time change.
  • I know, I know...for those of you with kids, it's ten times worse.  I have really come to the conclusion that I don't think I can have children.  I like my sleep too much.  
  • This past weekend was St. Paddy's Day weekend in our town, and for the first time in, like... ever??  I did not participate.  I'm a little sad about that, and yet I know if I went back in time, I still wouldn't go.  I just wasn't feeling it this year, and I have no idea why.
  • Actually, that's not true.  I know why I didn't go to the Legion on Saturday night.  That was because I curled two games in the Lions bonspiel, and the proper factors did line up for the party to carry on into the night for me.  A) My arms were sore.  I hate sweeping.  B) I did not get the right level of drunk.  My beers were too well spaced out throughout the day.  C) I was starting to yawn at, like, 8 PM.  My bed was calling me.  D)  I did not want to be hungover. 
  • And the reason I skipped Gav's on Sunday was because I felt blech.  No, I didn't have a hangover, but I was just not in the mood, and I developed a sinusy headache in the afternoon.  I spent the afternoon on the couch watching House of Cards.  You couldn't have paid me to move. I was in a really crummy mood.  Maybe next year.
  • Thankfully, yesterday was a much more enjoyable day for me. I'm still off on Mondays (for another couple of weeks, probably), but I've had appointments the past few Mondays, which makes the days off less enjoyable.  Yesterday, I had no where to go, no rush to do anything.  I didn't have to hurry to get my notes off to the Equity, so I slept in, I lingered over coffee, I got laundry done, I crocheted, I read, and I napped.  Late afternoon, I made a pot of chili and homemade garlic cheddar biscuits.  I did slip out for an hour or so in the evening, because our minister was hosting his first "Spirit Cafe" evening, but it was just next door, and it was just to have some tea and chat.  I didn't even change out of my yoga pants and sweatshirt.  A lovely day, indeed!
  • So, you know how I've been saying for awhile that I'm intrigued by the book I'm reading? Christine by Stephen King.  Now, I'm a Stephen King fan, so I'm not surprised that I'm enjoying the book.  He has literally made the characters come alive, and I feel like I know them well.  I love his writing style, and the voice comes through so clearly.  But all along, I've been saying that I don't see how he's going to scare me with a book about a car.  Well... I think it might be happening.  I'm more than half way through now, and the "scary incidents" are starting to happen.  I'm finding it difficult to put it down now, and yet a little nervous to continue on!
  • Update on crocheting:  I was SUPER proud of myself this weekend!  I had bought a few balls of special yarn to make dish clothes with the intent of putting them in the Basket O' Irish Fun that we will raffle off at our church Irish Tea on Saturday.  I googled some patterns, but I was struggling to figure them out.  Then I realized on the label of one of the balls of yarn was a pattern for a "Daisy Dish Cloth".  I attempted it, and it turned out so well that I decided to make a second one!  I was so happy with how they turned out!!  I'm now working on my second giant granny square blanket.  I thought I had figured out why the first one turned out crooked, but this one is turning out crooked too.  No idea what's up with that, but oh well.
  • One of my first thoughts this morning was "What am I going to make for supper tonight?"  Nothing sounded good.  A very odd conundrum for a food lover like me.  So I went to google.  Since it's a snowy day, I went with comfort food and looked up mac & cheese recipes.  But I didn't want my same ol, same ol.  I landed upon the Pioneer Woman's Fancy Macaroni recipe.  I have almost everything I need (my cheeses are more plain than hers, but I'm thinking that will be OK - I have mozza, old cheddar, goat cheese crumbles, and parmesan - and I'll have to stop at the store to get milk and half-and-half since I'm almost out, but otherwise I'm good.)  I literally can't wait to get home and make it!!
What are you up to on this snowy Tuesday??

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Wednesday Loves

Hey folks!  Just popping in to share some of what I'm loving this Wednesday!
  • It's SNOWING!! :) :) :)  Oh, I know, I'm in the minority here, but spring has sprung a little too early for my liking.  It's felt like spring since mid-February.  And I know most people are saying, "UGH!  MORE SNOW?!?!"  But like, seriously, dudes, it's not like we had any massive dumpings or storms this year.  I got gypped!  I need a little more snow in my life!!
  • After the Olympics were over, and I was terribly blue about it, I ordered a book that Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir put out way back in 2010 following their first gold medal at the Games.  I also ordered Moulin Rouge on DVD, because Scott & Tessa skated to music from the movie in their free dance.  (I saw the movie years ago, and I even bought the soundtrack at the time, but I don't have the movie and it's not on Netflix!)  Both items said "Usually ships within 1-2 months".  I made the impulse purchase while thinking, I'll probably be over them by the time I get it.  But it arrived sooner than expected!  And I'm NOT over them yet!  Woo Hoo! I'm already anticipating my Moulin Rouge movie night on Friday!
  • I'm loving that I finished my latest crochet project last night.  My niece Danica went through my "Learn to Crochet" book a few weeks ago and picked out a cushion that was covered in granny squares and said, "Jill, make me this!  I want this!"  I think she only picked it because she liked the colours - LOL! - but I decided, sure, why not.  It was easy enough for a beginner like me.  So I bought the yarn and cushion, made up the granny squares, seamed them together, and covered the cushion last night, just in time to deliver it to her at my mom's, as Danica had just arrived to spend a few days of March Break there.  She LOVED it!!  I was actually surprised just HOW much she loved it.  Even this morning, when I popped in before work for breakfast, she told me again how much she loved it.  It's a win!
  • I'm also loving the prospect of my next project... I'm going to do a repeat of that granny square blanket I made last time, but in different colours.  I think I've figured out why the first one turned out so crooked - I was missing a little step -  so I'm interested to see if I can straighten it out.
  • I'm really quite enjoying my book right now.  As I mentioned last week, I'm reading "Christine" by Stephen King, and I was very skeptical of it.  I couldn't see myself enjoying a scary story about a car, and when it arrived in the mail and I saw how HUGE the book was, I was daunted.  But it's going along really well, and I'm very intrigued.  I'm still only about a third of the way through, but if you could see the size of this book, you'd know that a third of it in just a week is an accomplishment haha!
  • SO loving that my heartburn has become a thing of the past (knock on wood).  I don't know if it's because I'm no longer snacking at night (thank you Lent!) or because I've been taking that apple cider vinegar drink every day, but it's so nice to not have it anymore.  It had really become a thorn in my side over recent months.
  • I'm excited for the weekend!  The Lions Club is hosting their annual curling bonspiel on Saturday, and it's always lots of fun.  I so enjoy that day at the curling rink.  Also, St. Pat's festivities are starting this weekend in our little town, with a party at the Legion on Saturday night and the big bash at Gavan's on Sunday... I'm not sure yet how much of it I'll be taking in, but hopefully I'll hit some of it!
  • I love that it's March Break.  I know there's no break for me, and unfortunately this year the days the kids are at my mom's are work days for me, but just getting to go up there in the evening for supper and to hang out with them brings me joy.
What are YOU loving this Wednesday??

Thursday, March 01, 2018

March: Currently...

Happy March 1st, friends! 

I don't know how this happens.  January creeps by like a snail, and then suddenly, BOOM - February? What February??  The month blows by SO fast, and just like that, it's March!

I'm on Day 2 of one of my nagging, annoying, dull headaches.  I thought I'd got rid of it last night, but I woke up with it again this morning.  Still, I'd like to mark the start of the new month by sharing what's up with me these days.

Here's what's going on Currently...

Listening to... Still really digging JT's new Man Of The Woods album.  Been listening to it a lot.  Other recent downloads that I'm loving are:  Meant To Be by Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line, Alfie's Song (Not So Typical Love Song) by Bleachers, Parallel Line by Keith Urban, The Good Side by Troye Sivan, Never Be the Same by Camila Cabello.

Eating.... nothing special.  I don't know why, but lately I just seem to want sandwiches. lol  Last week, I made a bunch of egg salad, and I'm thinking this weekend of whipping up some of my Aunt Mona's famous cream cheese and chicken sandwich filling.  I can tell you what I'm not eating, and that's chips.  Craving them like crazy, but so far, staying true to my Lenten promise to give them up.  Which is too bad, because all these sandwiches sure would go good with a side of chips... *sigh*

Drinking...  I gave up chips, but maybe I should've given up Diet Pepsi.  Can't seem to get enough of it lately.  Also, a friend of mine was recently telling me she started drinking apple cider vinegar to see if it would help with her weight loss, and instead noticed she hadn't had heartburn since she started taking it.  I've been battling wicked heartburn off and on for a few months, so I decided to give it a try.  I put two teaspoons in a mug filled with hot water and add a spoonful of honey.  It isn't delicious - in fact, it's kind of awful -  but I have noticed a significant improvement in the heartburn issues.  Could also be the chips that were causing it.  Who knows.  But I'm feeling much better in that department, so I'm going to keep drinking it I guess.

Feeling... Like I said at the start, kinda feeling crappy today.  I've been headache-less for quite a while, so I guess I was due.  But other than that, I'm feeling pretty good these days.  Heart palps are still an issue, but I'm relieved to see an improvement in the heartburn, and also I think giving up chips has made me feel better overall.  I seem to have more energy, more get-up-and-go. I  think the nightly intake of grease was effecting me in ways I didn't even realize. 

Reading... Last weekend, I finished The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld and also read The Little Book of Hygge, so I have now moved on to Christine by Stephen King.  It's a long way off yet, but our book club is doing something new this year, and each member has to read and review a bestseller from their birth year.  The list for 1983 was kind of crappy, but I chose Christine, and so far, I'm really liking it.  I'm still not sure how King is going to scare the bejesus out of me with a story about a car, but I'm intrigued.  The book is gigantic and had me intimidated at first, yet the storytelling flows, the voice of the narrator really comes to life, and I'm already invested in the characters.  I should've known.  I've always like Stephen King books.

Watching... Not much this week, actually!  Old Youtube videos of Scott & Tessa (as I mentioned yesterday, the obsession is real), and whatever is on at night (it's been a good week for The Voice and Survivor to kick off).  When I'm crocheting, I like to have something on that I don't really have to focus too hard on.  House of Cards requires too much attention.  It's strange not to go home at night and dive into Netflix.  I haven't watched so much "regular TV" in a really long time. 

Wanting.... Nothing really, right now.  I want it to snow more.  It's felt like spring for 2 weeks now, and it's too soon.  And of course, I want chips, but I'm trying not to give them much thought.

Needing...  Again, not much.  That's kind of a good feeling, isn't it?  Not have any big dire needs?  I need to buy a bin to store my growing collection of yarn.  That is literally the only thing I can think of at the moment.

Missing...  The Olympics.  I've definitely been going through a post-Olympics slump.  An Olympics hangover, if you will.  I had gotten so into the routine of sitting down in the evenings and getting into whatever events were on TV.  I really do miss that.

Enjoying... The snuggles I got with Lainey this morning.  I see the baby often, but I hadn't got a good cuddle in with her in at least a week.  I mean, she's two weeks old, so I guess it's not that bad. HA!  But I enjoyed my extended time with her in my arms this morning.  Baby office visits are the best.  Oh, and crocheting.  I'm enjoying crocheting.  I'm not sure when it happened, but I have come to look forward to it and I find it very relaxing. 

Hope you're all enjoying this beautiful, sunny day!! :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Virtue-Moir Effect

You know, it's been a while since I've had a good crush.

All my life, for as long as I can remember, I've been the girl who gets "obsessed".  I fall in love with an actor or a singer or a band or an athlete, I research the crap out of them, I watch Youtube videos, read articles, and follow them relentlessly.  (from a distance.  I'm not a creepy stalker.  Oh, wait, I did do that once, but not intentionally LOL) - I get completely infatuated.  Notables from the past:  Tom Cruise.  Chris O'Donnell.  Wade Redden.  The Tragically Hip.  Jimmy Fallon.  Michael Scofield from Prison Break.  Just to name a few.

But honestly, aside from going back through a Michael Scofield phase again about a year ago when I watched Prison Break for the second time, I haven't had a good celeb crush in a looong time.

I wasn't looking at the Olympics as a possible stage for a new crush to enter my life, either.  I mean, I used to.  I remember in 2010 I even had my own "Olympic Hall of Hot Men" lol.  But as I get older, and the athletes get younger, the crushes tend to fizzle out.  When you're old enough to have been their babysitter, the appeal kind of dies down.  I was excited to watch this year's Winter Olympics from PyeongChang, but I didn't anticipate falling in love.

And then came Scott Moir.

Oh my gosh, you guys.  I am SO in love with Scott Moir.

I'm not sure how I got into the figure skating this year.  I honestly don't think I've been "into" figure skating since the Jamie Sale/David Pelletier days.  (Really felt old when I realized that was 16 years ago. eek!)

I guess the Team Skating events happened to be on TV early in the Games, and I just watched whatever was on.  I grew to really love that part of the evening, when I could settle down on the couch with my crocheting and tune into the Olympics, which usually got rolling around 7-7:30 at night.

Of course, the rest of the country already knew Scott Moir & Tessa Virtue quite well.  They were the flag bearers for our country at the Opening Ceremonies, the cream of the crop in ice dancing and this country's perennial sweethearts.  Somehow, though, I had missed the Virtue-Moir boat.  I vaguely remember them in Sochi.  I had completely forgotten they won gold in Vancouver.  While the rest of the world had previously gone ga-ga for this pair, I had somehow kept them at a distance.  Didn't know them.  Didn't care to know them.  Just ice dancers.  Whatever.

But I was re-introduced to them very early on in PyeongChang, and I finally caught the bug.  I got bit hard.  I was, at long last, on board the Virtue-Moir Train and there was NO getting off!!  This pair... they captured my heart.  They were easily my highlight of the 2018 Games, and I literally go back and watch their performances on Youtube pretty much every day.  They were so good. SO GOOD.  That Moulin Rouge routine?  UGH.  Melt my frigging damn heart!!

And my lord, ladies, don't we all want a guy who looks at us the way Scott Moir looks at Tessa?

My crush on Scott isn't entirely inappropriate, either, because they were the "old pros" at these Games.  They were just little babies when they won Gold in Vancouver in 2010 - Scott was 22 and Tessa 20.  Now, he's 30 and she's 28.  So he's still a tad young for me, but he's at least in my wheelhouse.  Put it this way, it wasn't creepy for me to fall in love with him.

Since their performances at this year's Games, I have seriously gone down the Scott & Tessa rabbit hole.  I mean, I have TWENTY YEARS of Scott & Tessa to catch up on!!  I'm so sad that I have missed out on their journey up until now.  I mean, they're probably at the end of it now - ready to retire & sail off into the sunset.  And I missed almost ALL of it!!  So I've been busy digging into the Scott & Tessa archives, watching old skates, old interviews... they even had a TV show in 2014 on the W Network!!  All of this Scott & Tessa time that I now have to soak up!!  Dudes... I'm even writing Scott & Tessa fan fiction.  It is THAT serious.

So, yes, I think Scott is adorable, and charming, and funny, and sexy as all hell.  I don't know what it is about a manly figure skater, but they do it for me.  That's why I fell so hard for David Pelletier.  LOOKED like he could be a hockey player.  And yet here he was on figure skates, lifting Jaime up in the air, not wearing frilly, foofy costumes, being all macho about it.  And Scott's much the same for me.  Maybe even better.

Here's the thing:  As much as I LOVE Scott, I don't even want him for myself.  I want him to be with Tessa.  These kids have craaaaazy chemistry.  They look at each other with such longing and desire.  The way they move together, the way they touch each other, the way they look at each other... oh my God, it's ridiculously romantic.  I know that skating together since they were little kids plays a part in it - they know each other so well - but that kind of chemistry?!  There's GOT to be something more going on there, you can't just "act" that.  And those long, close embraces they do before they go on the ice?  To sync their breathing?  Gives me shivers just thinking about it.

Of course, since I'm so new to the Scott & Tessa game, I am only just discovering that I am not alone in these sentiments.  The internet is full of news stories and articles, basically pleading with them to get together.  It seems the whole world wants Virtue & Moir to just admit it already, they're in love.  They insist they are not, at least not on a romantic level.  And they've been insisting it for a long time.  Best friends, business partners, a relationship that is hard to explain... more than boyfriend/girlfriend, more than brother/sister...

Oh, COME ON, Scott & Tessa!  Just admit it already!!  YOU ARE IN LOVE!!!!

I know they're sick of being asked about it.  They usually just laugh it off or brush it off when they're asked, but towards the end of their run in PyeongChang, they were actually starting to show a little annoyance. Scott even told one interviewer that being asked about a possible romance cheapens the deep relationship they have.

Well, maybe it does.  But I honestly don't even care.  It's fun to daydream about.  It's fun to write about.  And I have so enjoyed going back through all their footage, watching them perform, watching them feed off of each other, watching them answer the questions, just watching them be Scott & Tessa.

Oh, and they ended the Olympics with their exhibition skate at the Gala by skating to the Tragically Hip's "Long Time Running".  My favourite Olympians, skating to one of my favourite songs... the icing on the cake.

It was well worth the wait.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Loves on Love Day

Everyone knows this is not exactly my favourite day of the year.  But, as I read somewhere this morning:  "Why be depressed if you're single on Valentine's Day?  You're single every other day of the year, too."  Ha. 

But, in an effort to NOT be a total Debbie Downer today, I have decided to compile a list of things I'm LOVING right now!  Coincidentally, it's What I'm Loving Wednesday.  How convenient.

I'm loving that I'm finally catching on to this crocheting thing!  Hey, if I'm going to be an old maid, might as well act the part, right?  My first few attempts were just little squares to practice the stitches, and then I attempted to make a beanie until my "practice ball of yarn" ran out.  I tore it out and practiced making a granny square for a while.  Then, last week, I bought a bunch of yarn and have been working on a giant granny square throw.  So far, it's coming along quite nicely, and I'm starting to enjoy the process rather than feel deep frustration over it.  Whoda thunk.

I'm LOVING the Olympics!  So much!!  Canada has gotten off to a great start - I believe their best start ever at the Games - and I'm just SO enjoying watching our athletes compete in sports we normally don't get to see much of.  I loved watching John Morris & Kaitlyn Lawes in the Mixed Doubles Curling (not only because John is hot); I got such a thrill watching the Slopestyle Snowboarding events; the Team Figure Skating competitions were also fun to watch; and of course, one of the best moments thus far was watching Mikael Kingsbury officially become the King of the Moguls.  Can't wait for all that's still to come!

I love that I'm on a bit of a roll with reading.  I seem to go through phases when it comes to books; sometimes I struggle, sometimes I sail through them.  Right now, I'm sailing.  I finished all of the "half-finished" books that were on my night stand, then I blew through They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars (our next book club book), and last night I started the book club book that's coming AFTER that one, The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld.  Last year, I seemed to get caught not able to finish books in time for book club, so I'm making sure I'm well ahead of the game this year!  It's the time of year when I have more time to read, so might as well take advantage of it.

Loving some fun plans that are taking shape for this coming weekend!  Hibernation mode means that I haven't strayed too far since Christmas.  I mean, I go to curling, and to church, and I've had a few little outings to Walmart and for groceries and to snowshoe... but for the most part, I've just been at home in my cozy little hole.  I love that, but I also miss seeing people and doing things, so I'm glad this weekend has some fun in store!

I'm loving that Lent starts today, and I've actually got a couple of Lenten promises that I've made this year!  First off, I'm giving up chips.  (This includes nacho chips, Doritos and Cheesies.  Does not include pretzels and regular popcorn.)  Chips are one of my very big weaknesses, and no matter how many times I say I'm going to eat healthy, the chips get in my way.  Can't stop eating them.  But when it comes to Lent, I seem to able to have more control of myself.  So I'm saying "See Ya" to chips for 40 days.  I have also decided to do the closet-cleaning Lent challenge.  Cleaning out my closet was the winter job I was dreading the most, but I think it will be more manageable if I do it this way.  Every day, I will remove something from my closet or drawers that doesn't fit/I never wear and put it in a garbage bag.  At the end of Lent, I should have a bag full of 40 items of clothing to donate to the Family Centre, and my closet should be in much better shape.  Win-win.  And of course, I will be putting some coins in the Lenten coin boxes handed out at church each day, to raise money for  Missions & Services for our church, as I always do.

And last but certainly not least, I'm loving that there's a new little one in my life!  There's been a baby boom in my group of friends in recent months, so I've been getting lots of baby snuggles in.  This past weekend, little Lainey joined the club!  Since she's just across the road from the office, it makes it reallllly easy (and tempting) to sneak over for a snuggle. ;)  Love her to bits!! xo

Happy Love Day, ya love bugs. 

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Productive & Fun Weekend In the Books

Happy Tuesday, friends!

My first weekend in February was a good one.  I got a lot of stuff checked off the "To Do List" and had some fun, too!

Friday was a quiet day at home.  I had woken up with a headache (those always aggravate me), so I just lay low for most of the day.  I worked on a puzzle, continued reading "The Nightingale", watched a whole bunch of episodes of House of Cards, and napped.  Oh, and I also downloaded the new Justin Timberlake album on Friday morning, and listened to it A LOT over the weekend.  I absolutely LOVE it!!!

In the evening, Lindsay picked me up and we headed out to our first book club meeting of 2018.  This month's book was "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.  I was the leader on this discussion, and honestly, I don't even think we needed a leader or questions.  This book generated BIG discussion and analysis all on its own.  It was nice to hang with the ladies, eat yummy snacks, and enjoy their company and conversation.  It's the time of year when cabin fever is starting to seep in a bit (despite my absolute love of hibernation), so it was nice to get out and have some girl talk.

Saturday morning, I again woke up with a headache, but it eased off fairly quickly, thank goodness.  I enjoyed a lazy morning, thew my bedding into the laundry, made pancakes, and cozied up with an extra cup of coffee.  I didn't get my butt moving until mid-morning, and just as I was finishing making the bed, my mom called to see if I'd watch my niece while she ran my sister up to the hospital.  After being sick and missing work most of last week, they had decided she'd better get checked out just in case, but was too weak to drive herself up there, and Chris & Caden were going to a hockey tournament.  So Mom went to get her, and I offered to keep Dan for the night.  After being cooped up with a sick mommy for a week I figured she'd need a fun girls night with Auntie.  And that's what we did!  We watched old movies from when I was a kid (Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and The Cutting Edge), she coloured while I worked on my crocheting (I got the start of a beanie made!  Ran out of my practice yarn, but it was nice to see something actually taking shape and looking like it was supposed to look!), we ate pizza and cheesies and just hunkered right down.  It was fun!  (And for the record - sister was sent home with diagnosis of a bad virus, so nothing too serious!)

Sunday was church, and then out for brunch before heading to Mom's to spend the rest of the day.  We watched the Sens game, I finished "The Nightingale" (woo hoo!  all of my half-finished books are now finished!!), and then got ready for our "Superbowl Party".  Which is our silly reason for having "snacks for supper", just the two of us.  Mom had zero interest in watching the game, so we just munched on pumpernickel & spinach dip, nachos, mini pizzas, and Sun Chips for supper.  Then I went home and turned the game on.  Was I actually into the game?  No, not really, other than I had decided I wanted the Eagles to win. (Brady's hot, but he's won enough.  Someone else's turn.)  I was really just waiting for the Halftime Show. And it did not disappoint!!  JT was SO good!!  I loved it, probably my favourite Superbowl Halftime Show ever!!!

Once the JT concert was over, I fell asleep on the couch, and while I had my PVR set and ready to go, I was so glad I woke up in time for This Is Us.  The big "What Really Happened to Jack" episode was on right after the Superbowl, and it was one for the books.  Many of my friends say they watch the show and cry every episode, but I seem to be an exception to that rule.  I have had tears a few times, but I don't sit and bawl through every episode.  I love the show, I think it is done amazingly well, and I usually come out of each episode feeling a connection to one or more of the characters.  And my gosh, who doesn't love Jack Pearson?  But I don't cry all the time.  Sunday night's episode was definitely a tear-jerker though.  It got me good.  I think it has a wide reach, because it speaks to different people on different levels.  While Jack Pearson's death was vastly different from my own father's, I could still relate to those kids trying to deal with that loss, that grief.  It was profound.  And yes, I cried.  A lot.  Pretty much from start to finish.

So, like many of my friends, I awoke Monday morning with a This Is Us hangover.  Puffy eyes and a slightly achy head.  But I had things to do, and no time to wallow in post-Jack grief!  I got my laundry started and then tackled the next items on Jill's Crappy Winter Jobs List: cleaning out the fridge and kitchen food cupboards.  I like to think of myself as a clean person, but man oh man, my fridge was disgusting.  Much like the front hall closet, I'm not entirely sure the fridge was properly cleaned before we started loading it up with our food.  I took literally every single item out of it, the shelves, the drawers, and scoured it from top to bottom.  It was awful.  But boy, does it sparkle now.  It felt good to throw out all the expired salad dressings and condiments and jams, etc. that lingered in the back, taking up space and long forgotten.  I didn't have any containers of mouldy old leftovers or anything like that, thank God, but a lot of bottles and jars with expiry dates past their prime.  Good-bye, old crap!  The cupboards weren't so bad, as they got well cleaned back when my kitchen was painted a few years ago, but it was nice to toss old boxes of crackers and rice and stuff like that.  Once they were cleaned and re-organized, I was able to clean off my cluttered little table and store a lot of that in the cleared space in the cupboards.  So I got my table set up with the little coffee and tea tray that I had mentioned in the Hygge post.  Justin carried me through all of this cleaning and re-organizing, as I had the Man Of the Woods album on repeat.  Have I mentioned lately that I might be in love with Justin Timberlake?  'Cause I'm totally in love with Justin Timberlake.

The rest of the day was spent chilling.  I shoveled and went for a walk,  continued reading our next book club book "They Called Me Number One" by Bev Sellars, caught up on the PVR and watched more House of Cards on Netflix, cooked a spaghetti squash that had been rolling around in the fridge for a few weeks and made a cheesy spaghetti squash casserole.  I konked out early on the couch... that was a pretty busy Monday for little ol' me!

How was your weekend?