Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

I don't think "What's Up Wednesday" is a thing, I just keep trying to come up with fancy ways of saying "here's what's randomly going on in my life right now"...

  • Truthfully, life is pretty mundane these days, and that's kind of just the way I like it.  Nothing exciting going on, just a day-to-day regular ol' routine.  I'm happy when things are just rolling along without any bumps in the road.
  • Last week, I was complaining about a head cold.  Let me tell you, this one is CLINGY.  I'm still blowing my nose and waiting for it to move along.  But the good news is, I was able to taste by noon on Friday.  After going four full days without being able to taste, it very much felt like a "Hallelujah!" moment.
  • I had a dentist appointment on Friday morning, and after that I skipped next door to the pharmacy and grabbed every product I could find to help relieve nasal congestion.  I had tried every "natural" remedy that google turned up throughout the week, and nothing seemed to work.  I dumped nasal spray and decongestant pills and vaporub all on the pharmacist's counter and told him my tale of stuffy nose woe, then asked him what products he recommended would help.  He said, "You just have a stuffy nose and can't taste?  That's all the symptoms?"  I told him yes, and well, my ears are popping and blocked too now but that I thought that was from blowing my nose so much.  He said, "You have an ear infection, you have to get a prescription for an antibiotic."  I could have cried.  I really didn't want to go to the hospital.  He pointed at the stuff I picked out and said, "This will help, it will get you through a few days, but if you don't get an antibiotic, it won't solve the problem."  I decided to just buy the stuff and take my chances.  I really didn't think I had an ear infection.  A couple of shots of Otrivin and some Advil Cold & Sinus liquigels had me tasting in no time.  By Sunday, I was able to eliminate the Otrivin, and I haven't had to take the liquigels since Monday.  I'm still using the Vicks vaporub every night but otherwise, the worst is over.  I'm really glad I didn't bother wasting a day at the hospital to be told I had a head cold. lol
  • Of course, when you google something like this, do you know what the worst case scenario always is?  Cancer.  My friend Brenda is always scolding me for googling and self-diagnosing myself with cancer, so when I told her Thursday night at curling that my stuffy nose might be cancer, she was like, "OMG Jill. Stop."  I was kind of just joking, of course, but it really was bothering me that I had gone so long without tasting.  I honestly don't know if I've EVER gone that long without my sense of taste, and I was starting to worry it was never coming back.  She was laughing at me and saying, "Have you never had a stuffed up nose before?!?!?"  In hindsight, perhaps I was being a little dramatic, but when this girl can't enjoy her food, ain't nothing gonna stop me til I figure it out!!
  • We had our Irish Tea on Saturday, and it was another huge success!  There was a steady stream of people coming in and often we had folks having to wait a bit for a table.  We ended up almost running out of food, and had just enough for a little snack for ourselves at the end.  It was awesome!!
  • After the tea, I just wanted to go home and lie down, but my fam-jam had other plans for me.  Caden had a playoff game in Gatineau, and my mom and sister had shopping they wanted to do at Costco beforehand, so off we went.  I found out that day that I am more like my father than I ever realized.  You see, Dad used to watch my brother's hockey games off by himself usually, sometimes with another quiet dad who would join him, but often on his own, far from everyone else.  I never understood, and thought it seemed anti-social and almost rude of him.  Saturday evening at Caden's game, we had found seats down in the stands and we were right on the dividing line between Caden's team's fans and the opposing team's fans.  The other fanbase had many horns and noisemakers, and they were using them relentlessly.  I don't think I'd have minded if they used them for goals and big saves, but they used them at pretty much every stoppage in play, no matter what was going on on the ice.  And it was driving me bananas.  Before the first period was over, I got up and moved as far away from them as I could, and I felt very Brent-esque.  My advice to hockey parents:  Just say no to horns.
  • There was a sweet ending to this story though.  With the game tied at 1 after regulation, they went to overtime.  Caden's team took a penalty during the overtime, which of course sent the horn-blowers into overdrive.  Things were lining up perfectly for them.  Despite being short a man, however, Caden's team scored while on the penalty kill and won the game!!  It was very exciting and I was so glad the horns were silenced!!  Sweet victory!  The win meant that they have won their division and are now moving on to Regionals.
  • We celebrated with supper at St. Hubert's, and I celebrated being able to taste again by ordering an appetizer, meal, dessert, and a drink!  Woo Hoo!!
  • Sunday was officially St. Patrick's Day, so I was decked out in my green!!  We went to church and out to brunch, then my friend Kerry and I headed down to Gavan's to check out the big party.  The owner of the hotel, Nick, is retiring, and word had got around that this would be his last St. Paddy's Day, so I think everybody was out to make ti a big one for him.  It was PACKED!!  There was a time when I'd have just "drank tru it" and enjoyed the shenanigans, but I wasn't feeling it on Sunday.  I got my pic taken with Nick, said hello to a bunch of people, listened to a few tunes and had a few drinks, and then I was ready to pack 'er in.  Luckily Kerry felt the same way, so we peaced out around 4 PM.  If it really was Nick's last St. Pat's, I was happy to say I was there, but I was just as happy to get home and away from the hordes of people!
  • I watched Big Little Lies on Crave between Sunday and Tuesday, and I really enjoyed it.  I had read the book by Liane Moriarty a few years ago, but I had kind of forgotten the story.  It definitely had me hooked for a few days!  Now to decide what to watch next... I started watching a documentary on missing child Madeleine McCann on Netflix last night, but I'm not sure I'm sticking with it.  Next on Crave, I'm debating The Handmaid's Tale, Castlerock, or catching up on The Big Bang Theory (I haven't watched it in a few years, and I always really liked it).
  • Everyone is rejoicing today because spring has finally sprung!  Well, it will at 5:58 tonight.  We all know I love winter and snow, but even I'm ready for this.  I'm so damn tired of boots.  However, we have now reached the time of year when footwear choices are difficult.  Winter boots, rubber boots, running shoes... they all have their place at certain times of the day lol.  I'm still yanking on those damn winter boots every morning but for sanity's sake, I can't do that for much longer.  Tonight I'm going to celebrate by finally putting away all of my snowman and snowflake decor.  I think it's a little overdue! haha!
Happy 1st day of SPRING!! :)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Random Ramblings (or... Random Complaints)


  • Day 4 of this weird, awful, yet not awful, head cold.  Awful because I haven't tasted food since Monday morning.  Not awful because aside from being plugged up and not being able to taste, I don't feel sick at all.  
  • Last night I was getting really REALLY frustrated by it.  I googled and tried everything in the book.  Massaging my face.  Accupressure on certain spots on my face.  Peppermint essential oil around my nose.  Peppermint tea. Chicken noodle soup.  I stuck my face in the steam rising off the pot of chicken noodle soup.  A hot steamy shower.  NOTHING WAS WORKING.  I still couldn't taste a ding-dong thing.  URGH.
  • I realize that I'm not the first person to have a head cold that has obliterated my sense of taste.  And I also realize there are way worse things going on in the world.  But seriously, if you can't TASTE, what is the point in even LIVING???  
  • I mentioned above using peppermint oil.  I have this Peppermint Halo stick that is supposed to be for headaches.  I was using it to put under my nose.  Well, I don't think it's meant to be applied under the nose, because I think I've kind of burnt the skin there with it.  I have this ugly little red mustache now.  Super cute.
  • I woke up this morning and I think it's marginally better.  I feel like I can almost taste again, if that makes any sense?  Like yesterday I was getting absolutely nothing, but today there seems to be a hint of flavour?  God I hope I'm not imagining it.  It seems so utterly pointless to put food in my mouth when I can't taste it, yet when I don't bother at all my stomach growls with hunger.  
  • I am aware this is all just petty complaining.  Poor Jill can't taste her food, whatever will we do?!  It's not like it would kill me to lose a few pounds to this. I just don't like when my world is off-kilter and it's out of my control.  And it feels very much that way this week.
  • ANYWAYS... enough about my cold.  What else can I whine about?  Oh, how about the fact that I finished the dish cloth I was crocheting last night and it didn't turn out half as nicely as I thought it would.  I really loved the stitch and thought it was looking really good, but in the end, my rows were uneven, and I thought the border would help straighten it up but it didn't.  It looks crooked.  I don't know if my tension changed or if I was dropping/adding stitches, but it just didn't look right in the end.
  • St. Paddy's Day is this weekend, and I'm once again torn between going out to the parties and staying home and vegging.  I think this internal struggle has happened to me every year since I was 25 lol.  I will definitely be celebrating at our Irish Tea on Saturday, but then there's the kitchen party at the Legion on Saturday evening, and the big party at Gavan's on Sunday... both are tempting, but at the same time, so is staying home on the couch watching TV.  To be Irish or not to be Irish, that is the question...
  • We got pretty snow last night.  I know nobody else thinks it's pretty, and yes, even I am looking forward to not having to wear winter boots anymore, but still... I do really think the snow is so pretty.
  • Despite my love of snow, I have realized I realllllly do not enjoy being chest deep in it.  Remember a few weeks ago when I sunk in the snow at my sister's while we were out snowshoeing?  Well, it happened again on Tuesday.  But this time I was alone, on my little lunch hour 'shoe that I've been doing every day.  I lost track of the trail that Ryan made with his snowmobile, and I thought I was still on it but I was not.  Next thing I knew I was up to my neck in snow.  My first reaction, after thrashing around a bit with no results, was:  "Well.  I guess I'll just die here."  Then I took a few deep breaths and came up with a plan.  I had to take off the snowshoes again, throw them back on to the trail, and then fight like hell to get out of that hole I was in.  I even used a nearby tree to cling to as I pulled myself out. I was really glad I was far away along the edge of the bush so that no one at the farm could see what I was doing, because, holy embarrassing.
  • When I got back to the office, I was drenched with sweat.  I looked like a wet scraggly dog.  Upon returning, I used a Vicks vapo stick and stuck it up my nose to try and clear my sinuses.  I have used it several times before without much luck.  For some reason, this time, it caused every hole in my face to leak.  I had tears running down my face, my nose was running... I was just a mess.  And of course, just then, the hot delivery boy (we call him Muffin) came in to drop off a parcel.  OF COURSE HE DID. 
  • It's just been that kind of week. guys.  Just been that kind of week.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Anyone remember a few weeks ago when I said I caught a cold and had no voice?  Well.  Just get over that one, and I'm hit with another one.  This time all stuffed up and haven't been able to taste in 3 days. What the F.  I went all damn winter almost without so much as a sniffle, and now I get two colds in less than a month?!  However... there are other sickie germs swirling around here that are worse, and I'm praying I don't catch the puke virus that's hit others in this office...  I'll take a double-whammy cold anyday!!!

So, clearly, I'm not loving the sickness and the germs.  But there are things that I AM loving these days...

  • I'm officially a full week into Lent and so far, so good!  I've been hanging tough on not eating chips (easy to do when you CAN'T TASTE ANYTHING ANYWAYS!!!) and I have been up early almost every morning to do my workout.  I didn't get up early last Friday (late game curling on Thursday night always kills me) but I still got my 10,000 steps in.  I'm taking Sundays off, so that's the only day so far that I haven't got my 10,000 steps.  And because I started putting an effort in the week before to see if I could do this, I've now been more active for two weeks.  Woo hoo!
  • The benefits of getting up and moving more are already starting to show a bit.  Not in any weight loss or anything (I haven't weighed myself so I don't really know, but my clothes still feel the same, so nothing significant there) - but the improvement in my knees and my mobility has been very noticeable.  My left knee is back to normal, I don't feel like I have to heave myself up or flop myself down anymore, and I just move around much more easily.   There's also been a big decrease in heart palpitation activity (which isn't much anymore anyways thanks to medication, but has been pretty much non-existent for the past week.)  At the end of the day, I said I didn't care about weight loss, I just wanted to feel better in my own skin, and I'm already starting to feel that way so... YAY!!!
  • I'm loving the Fan Favourites wheel of tea I ordered from David's Tea that arrived in the mail yesterday.  I treated myself.  I figured if I can't have chips in the evening, I'd better get something to replace it that excited me, and this pretty wheel of tea definitely makes me happy!  (Now if I could just taste it... *sigh*)
  • Loving that I'm motoring through this year's book club books!  4 down, 2 to go!!  And I'm already well into the 5th one, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  It hooked me very quickly and I can tell I'm really going to enjoy this story.
  • Speaking of that book... Last night, after Pound class, I came home and had a quick bite to eat, then decided to skip my usual evening on the couch and instead spent the evening relaxing upstairs.  I know, this might seem like a weird thing to "love", but it was such a nice break from my usual routine.  I put laundry on and then had a long, hot, bubble bath while reading my book and sipping on a mug of tea.  Then I moved to my bed where I put Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on the tablet and worked on crocheting a dish cloth for the raffle basket for our church tea on Saturday.  I had candles lit and Scentsy on and just really hygge'd it up.  It was great!!
  • Loving that we finally got to have "Danica's Day Out" last Friday!!  A low tire on my car almost put it in jeopardy, but it pays to curl for a guy who deals with tires. haha!  I told my skip, Mark, about my tire on Thursday night, and he told me to bring it in first thing in the morning and he'd get it fixed for me.  Which he did, and then Danica and I were off!  The girl loves to shop, so she had a blast trying on clothes and decided which outfits she wanted.  We also took a spin around Walmart where she picked out some fun stuff (and I got my groceries).  We had a delicious lunch at Boston Pizza and ordered all of our favourite things - the spinach artichoke dip to share, a spicy perogi pizza for me and a chicken quesadilla for her, and then shared the giant cookie for dessert.  YUM.  Then we headed over to see Captain Marvel at Starcite.  I have to admit, superhero movies aren't really my thing and I'm not up on them at all, so I was a little bit lost.  But Danica loved it and that's the main thing!!  I honestly couldn't have asked for the day to go any better, and I hope it will become a tradition she looks forward to. :)
  • I'm loving that I'm done the six seasons of Game of Thrones on Crave and Dirty John on Netflix.  At times, GoT felt like a bit of a chore (I'm really not cut out for all that blood and gore), but I did eventually get a bit hooked on it and was quite interested to see what would happen.  Then I just BLEW through Dirty John on Sunday and Monday, I really liked it.  So now... because I've heard so much about it... even if I'm very resistant to it... I'm giving Marie Kondo a shot.  I'm still not sure what show to watch next on Crave (Big Little Lies?  The Handmaid's Tale?  Castlerock?) so Marie is filling in until I decide.  However, I did not realize she knew so little English and when she's speaking it's usually subtitles.  Last night I was really focused on a new crochet pattern and counting stitches, so I missed a lot of what she said.  And that whole "amazing" folding technique that some of my friends keep talking about?  Yeah.  Totally missed it too.  Whoops.
  • I loved the prayer shawl that I finished on Sunday and delivered to a loved one on Monday.  It was a simple pattern, but the yarn quality was absolutely delicious, and I really liked the gemstone colours.  It was so soft and luxurious. I will definitely be investing in more Lion Brand Homespun yarn in the future!
  • Loving that our Irish Tea is coming up on Saturday!  It is always a great day and people seem to love coming out to it.  I can't wait!
What are YOU loving this Wednesday??

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Looking forward to the weekend

Anyone else feel like this has been a rough week?  I mean, it hasn't exactly been a terrible week, but I've just felt "off".  Not sick, and in fact I've put my Lenten promises into effect and I should probably be feeling better, but... I'm "off".

I think, for me, it probably started with the news of Luke Perry's sudden death.  I'm not going to proclaim to be Luke Perry's biggest fan by any means, but I was a young girl watching Beverly Hills 90210 like most other young girls in the '90's, and I adored Dylan McKay.  Seriously, what young girl in the '90's didn't?  I can close my eyes and picture the white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled, the blue jeans, the shades, the motorcycle... he was my generation's James Dean, and pulled off that ultra-cool bad boy with a soft heart image perfectly.  In recent years, it made me both giddy AND feel old when I saw him turn up as Archie's dad on Riverdale.  Just over a week ago, news broke that he had suffered a major stroke, and on Monday it was announced that he had passed away at age 52.  A little heart-shattering, if I'm being honest.  He was still so young, and those Dylan McKay glory days don't feel so long ago.  It's devastating that he's gone.

That bad news was compounded by Alex Trebek's announcement last night that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, with a dim prognosis despite his vow to fight and beat it.  I heard them saying on the radio this morning that this one hits us hard because we just kind of take him for granted, right?  Jeopardy has been on forever, and Alex Trebek has been a constant in our lives for...well, basically my whole life.  I wish him well and I do hope he's able to beat the statistics and kick cancer's ass.

Aside from all of that, it's been a busy week, and I haven't had much downtime, which I - the old single girl forever - crave.  When I HAVE had a few moments to just chill in the evenings, I've been falling asleep.  I've put on the same episode of Game of Thrones three nights in a row, and I have no idea what happens in it because I fall asleep instantly.  I haven't got any crocheting done, and I've hardly had time to even read a few chapters in my book.  I'm blaming this on the "get up early to do a half-hour workout" regime I've implemented this week.  Let's face it:  I'm not a morning girl, and I'm never going to be a morning girl.  Forcing myself out of bed a half hour earlier than usual, while it may be benefiting me overall, has only made me more tired and less productive in the evenings.  I think I'm going to have to adjust bedtime back a half-hour, because I hate feeling so zombie-ish past 8 PM.

Last but not least on my list of crappy things about this week:  the loss of my beloved chips.   Giving chips up for Lent was probably the hardest thing I could do, because I was eating them pretty much every night.  I know the benefits of giving them up far outweigh how hard it is going to be, but oh, how I miss them, and it's only been 24 hours.  *sigh*

Here's the good news:  I have the weekend to look forward to, and it's going to be a good one!

Tomorrow, I'm taking my niece Danica for her "Day Out".  For her birthday back in December, I promised her a day to go shopping, have lunch out, and go to the movies.  We had originally planned for it back in February on one of her PD days, but none of the movies out at that time interested her.  We ALMOST ran into the same problem for tomorrow, but thankfully, Captain Marvel comes out tonight.  I'm not 100% sure she's going to like it, but she does love the show Supergirl, and I think female super heroes are up her alley, so fingers crossed that she'll like it.  I can guarantee that we'll love our lunch at Boston Pizza... I've been daydreaming about that all week!

On Saturday, I should probably be planning to do some house cleaning, but instead, I've designated it as a low-key crochet and TV day.  I am dying for one of those days.  I want to finish the shawl I've been crocheting, and I also want to make some dish clothes for the Irish basket we raffle off at our church's Irish Tea which is next weekend, so... yeah.  Low-key crochet and TV day it is! 

Truthfully, the rest of the weekend is free and clear of plans other than church, so hopefully I'll have lots of quality time to just relax.  Next weekend is another busy one, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  I should be able to get through the rest of the episodes of Game of Thrones that are on Crave, and then I plan on diving in to Dirty John.  I'm also really caught up in the book I'm reading, The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman, and I look forward to spending time snuggled up and reading.

Truthfully, while the rest of the world rejoices over this cold snap we've had lately coming to an end and warmer temperatures forecasted in the days to come, I'm a little blue that hibernation and hygge days are winding down.  My winter-loving heart aches a bit the thoughts of the cold, cozy days ending.  They just go by so fast, and I miss them so when they're over.  So I'm going to hang on to this weekend of low-key plans and really soak it up. Long live the winter hibernation!! ;)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Contemplating Lent

Well, it's that time of year again.  Lent is right around the corner, and I'm trying to decide what my Lenten practice will be for 2019.

In recent years, I've given up sugar and artificial sweeteners (that one was SO hard!!), potatoes (not as hard, but became an issue when the chipstand opened and I had to order onion rings instead of fries with everything...I got so sick of onion rings lol), and last year, I gave up chips and one item of clothing from my closet each day.  I also always contribute coins each day to my Lenten coin box that they hand out at church.

This year, I've been toying with several ideas.  I know it may not be a super spiritual or religious connection, but I often try to use Lent as an opportunity to better myself health-wise.  And Lord, do I need that this year.  I have become a junk food addict, and while I've tried to get my butt moving a bit more in 2019, it's still a rare day that I hit 10,000 steps on the ol' Fitbit.  I need something to jump-start a more healthy, active way of living, and if Lent is the reason, then so be it.

I toyed with the idea of trying a Keto diet for 40 days.  But I looked up the Keto diet, and dudes, there ain't no way in hell I can do that.  Carbs are my boyfriend.  I'm having a hard time getting ANY vegetables into my diet these days, and I'm not a huge meat fan to begin with.  The little good food I DO eat is fruit, and I can't have that on Keto.  So... no dice.  No way I could do it.

I was also thinking I would do the closet cleaning challenge again, removing one item from my closet a day for the duration of Lent - because my closet needs a SERIOUS clean-out in the most desperate way. However, my friend Lindsay says she wants to come over and Marie Kondo my closet for me (with me?) - and I know that will get the job done a lot faster.  So I think I will save that for her, because she seems to get some kind of weird joy out of this? I have no idea why. ;)

So, after much ruminating and thought, I have decided to do the following:

  • Give up chips/junky snacks.  It's rare for an evening to go by without me dipping into the junk that I have piled up on top of my fridge.  I want to clear that fridge off, and rid my life of salty snacks.  No more chips and dip.  No more Doritos.  No more Cheesies.  GONE.
  • Start my day with 30 minutes of activity, 6 days a week.  I have loads of options for half-hour workouts on DVD, and is 30 minutes really too much to ask?  I heard them talking about a study on the radio the other day where they said starting your day with 30 minutes of moderate exercise can help decrease high blood pressure and often even eliminate the need to medicate for high blood pressure.  I figure it's worth a shot, and I spend half an hour each morning scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  It will be better to put the phone down and just get up and get some steps in.
Now, how will this go?  The chips I know I can handle.  I've done it before.  I did it last year.  And it's not a huge adjustment, like going Keto would be.  It's just ridding my life of evening snacking, which is something I really need to do anyways.  That part, I think I can keep under control.

The exercising part?  Eeek.  That's the one I'm worried about.  I decided to "test drive" it this week, and I have yet to make myself get up early to work out. LOL!  Not once!!  I am not a morning person, and this week has been so cold, crawling out from my warm, cozy haven is a chore.  That said, I did bust out one of those dusty old videos on Tuesday after work and I actually really enjoyed doing it again.  Last night I had Pound, and tonight I have curling.  So I have actually exercised more this week than I have in ages... just not first thing in the morning.  BUT... the mornings are getting brighter, and surely to God this cold snap will be the last for this winter.  By next week, I should be just skipping out of my bed at 6 AM like a spring daisy, right?  Right?!?

We'll see, but the scientific side of me wants to put the "30 minutes of moderate exercise first thing in the morning" theory to the test.  I am on medication for high blood pressure, and I'd like to see if I could ease off of it a little.  This isn't even about wanting to lose weight, really.  It's about wanting to feel better in my own skin, and not feeling sluggish, having sore knees, and worrying about my heart health.  If I lost some weight, great, but I just want to FEEL good again, even just a little bit better than I do now.  I already set my alarm for half an hour before I have to get up, so it's not that huge a leap to just get up and exercise instead of lying in bed for half an hour "waking up" and checking my phone.

I can do this.

I CAN DO THIS!!!

Have you been thinking about Lent?  What are thinking of giving up, or mindfully doing, for 40 days?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Another random stuff post. 'Cause that's all I do.

I know, lately it seems I only pop in once every couple of weeks with a random smattering of what I'm doing, reading, cooking, watching, and listening to... but here we go again.

  • So, as I mentioned in my last post, I caught a cold.  A week ago today I thought was my "worst day".  I was very low energy and felt cruddy.  On Thursday I deemed myself much better, my energy was back and aside from some snuffles, I felt great.  I curled that night, and then woke up the next morning with no voice.  Like, zip.  I don't know if it was the dampness of the curling rink or what, but my voice was totally gone.  Really, the worst of the cold symptoms had passed, but not having a voice all weekend made it sound much worse than it was.  Thankfully it came back on Monday so it was short-lived silence from me. ha!
  • The last couple of Saturdays, we've gone to my sister and brother-in-law's to enjoy some outdoor winter fun.  They have a perfect set-up - a little rink, a nice sliding hill in their back yard, and a nice big yard in general to play in, all set against the beautiful back-drop of the Gatineau Hills.  On Saturday, some of us girls went snowshoeing.  After trekking around the yard a few times, we decided to head off into the bush.  I was following my (skinny) sister who was just prancing along on the upper crust of the snow, while I (not skinny) was sinking a good two feet with each step.  We weren't even out of their yard yet when I took a step and sunk in snow up to my chest.  No matter which way I turned or flopped, I could not seem to get myself loose and each movement seemed to only make me sink even further.  I'm sure it was quite a sight to see, me flopping around in the snow.  And it was one of those situations where nobody could help.  I just had to wriggle myself free and figure it out.  I finally did get myself hoisted out of my deep snow hole and crawled to the road a short distance away.  Needless to say... my snowshoeing was done for the day.
  • Oh, that above story could have been much worse, but I'm happy to report that my knee issues I've been dealing with for a few weeks have subsided.  I got a Rub A535 cream for stiff joints and it seemed to work wonders.  And thank God, because if my knee was still bum, I'd have never been able to crawl out of that snow hole!!!
  • Sunday was a miserable day of freezing rain, rain, sleet, snow... you name it, we got it.   Church was cancelled, and I had no voice anyways, so I hunkered down for another one of those "hibernation days".  Crocheting, puzzling, Game of Thrones, reading, napping...and then, in the evening, The Oscars.  I managed to stay awake to watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform (ooh-la-la!  They were amazing, and I NEED them to be a real couple!!!) - and then promptly fell asleep.  It seemed to be a lackluster year for the Oscars, without a host and with me having only seen A Star Is Born of the nominated films.  I must say though, I am anxious to see Bohemian Rhapsody now.  It doesn't sound like I missed much by falling asleep half-way through though.
  • So during my "hibernation day" on Sunday, I finished reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.  It took me less than a week to read this book, which is saying something.  I don't read fast.  What an amazing, gripping true story from the Holocaust.  It also gave me a new perspective into what life was like in concentration camps.  Lale's view of things as the tattooist was a way of looking at things that I had never read before.  Still horrifying and deeply disturbing, of course, but it was a look inside the camps that I found very intriguing.  I definitely recommend the book.
  • So that's 3 book club books down, 3 more to go.  I'm now well into The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman, which was slow to start but I'm now really getting into it.  Interestingly, the story is set in my home province of Quebec, and tells the story of a teenage girl growing up in the late '40's in a home where her father is English and her mother is French.  Ironically, her father has always encouraged her to stay away from the French, and yet of course, she's in love with the boy next door who is French.  I'm really just getting into it as Maggie and Gabriel are falling in love, but it has definitely hooked me.  I can't wait to get home to read more.
  • Game of Thrones.  Ohhhhhh Game of Thrones.  I think in my last post I said I was almost done because Crave only had 5 seasons.  Well, the 6th season was added somewhere along the way, so no, I'm not done.  But I'm getting close.  And of course, now that I'm almost done, I can say that I'm really starting to get into it.  It's still not my favourite show ever, but I've become quite attached to the characters and I'm anxious to see what happens.  (I just watched the episode where Jon Snow is brought back to live, an event I remember causing quite a stir back when it actually happened, so it was cool to finally see what the fuss was all about.)
  • I'm fairly certain my next show will be Big Little Lies, although I think I may take a pause to watch Dirty John on Netflix.  I watched two episodes a week or so ago, but I just can't seem to juggle more than one show, so I turned my attention back to GoT.  As much as I am now enjoying the show, I really can't wait to get into something that I LOVE watching and can't get enough of.  It's been a long time since I've had a real good binge, y'know?
  • On Monday night, Jimmy Fallon celebrated his 5th anniversary of hosting The Tonight Show.  It was a little surreal to realize this.  I started following Jimmy not long before he took over the reins of The Tonight Show, and I remember his first show as if it was yesterday.  It was during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and I was so excited for him.  I've been watching the show faithfully ever since (PVR'd, the next day) and if he hadn't announced it was his 5th anniversary, I never would have guessed it's been that long.  I still think of him as "just starting out".  It's crazy and unsettling how fast time can fly by.
  • On the crocheting front... I struggled to find another project after finishing the Call the Midwife blanket.  I have some yarn that I received in a "Mystery Santa Pack" back before Christmas that I wanted to try out and thought it was the perfect amount (3 balls of chunky yarn called Gemstone Stripes) to use for a shawl.  The first pattern I tried was boring so I ripped it out.  I made a few dish cloths in between to keep me going until I found another pattern to try.  This one is a C2C style cluster stitch, and it's turning out to be quite pretty.  I worked on it a lot on Monday afternoon while I watched the Trade Deadline show on TSN.  I call it my Faulty Mark Stone Prayer Shawl because I prayed while I crocheted away that the Sens would not trade my favourite player.  And it didn't work.  
  • As for the Sens... I'm a fan.  I will always be a fan.  But man oh man, they are making it REALLY HARD right now.  The past two years, since that run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017, have been dismal at best.  If Erik Karlsson wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back, this past week had to be.  And even at that... if they had lost Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, but still managed to sign Mark Stone, I would have been okay.  But they didn't.  They lost all three of them. All three of their top scorers.  And they can preach to me all they want about a rebuild and how the future is so bright, but for me, nothing can replace Mark Stone.  He was my guy.  The closest thing I've had to a Wade Redden since... Wade Redden.  This one doesn't just hurt.  This one makes me so so mad.  I've tried to stay off the #MelnykOut bandwagon, because it seemed useless to me to rail on an owner when there's nothing we can do about who owns the team, but I've thrown my hat into the ring.  That guy is a total jerk, and he has to go.  And he can take that useless, condescending Pierre Dorion with him on his way out.  The Ottawa Senators haven't been around the league that long, but they have a history I was proud of, and these guys are throwing it all away.  It's no fun being a fan of the laughing stock of the league.  Something's gotta give, and in my eyes - and the eyes of majority of the fanbase - that something is Eugene Melnyk.
  • I didn't even get a hint of a smile out of the video of Matt Duchene on the private jet with his wife and dog and new baby and Ryan Dzingel heading to Columbus.  The video of Mark Stone arriving in Vegas to the fanfare of a marching band, cheerleaders, and people dressed up as knights made me cringe.  They were a big shovel of salt in a gaping wound.  It is not a fun time to be a Sens fan.  No fun at all.
That's it for today, friends!  Have a good one!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Life Lately - Take 2

The last post I did was a few weeks ago and it was one of these "life lately" things.  Not much new since then, but here's a random smattering of what's going on these days:
  • I caught a cold.  Boooooooo. :(  I kind of knew it was coming, though.  I'd reached that point in the winter where I'd started to think I was invincible and I was kind of getting cocky about it, because I've been around so much of it and hadn't been catching it.  Never get too cocky when it comes to cold germs.  It's not a bad cold, just stuffed up and low-energy today.  Probably because I spent half the night guzzling water due to extreme dry, sand-paper mouth.  Blehhh.
  • One day last week, I took the notion I wanted French Onion Soup.  I haven't had it in ages, and I've never actually made it myself.  I googled "The Best French Onion Soup recipe" and bought the ingredients, and ended up making it on Monday.  I wish I'd read the recipe a bit more carefully before starting, though, because it was a little too heavy on the seasonings/spices I think.  I didn't even put the full amount in that they called for, but it was calling for multiple tablespoons of garlic powder, thyme, and oregano, and also teaspoons full of salt, pepper, and basil.  It was too much, I think.  It was good, but a little too heavy in that department.  I looked up a recipe in my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook that called for much less and more simple seasonings - just salt, pepper, thyme, and a bay leaf.  I think the next time I'll try that instead.  
  • Last night, I took the notion I wanted brownies.  Once again, not something I make very often.  And again, I googled "best brownie recipe" and went home to make them.  I told myself I'd bring leftovers to share at work.  This recipe I used turned out delicious, but the icing I put on was too thin and made a mess.  Sooo... I couldn't bring them in to share, they looked terrible.  Ooopsie.
  • I finished the book Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt the other day, and I've now started our next book club selection, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.  Our book club selections are a little on the heavy side this year, and I'm looking forward to getting through them so I can read some lighter fare, hopefully by summer!  This one especially... I mean, I'm only 10 pages in, but I had to put it down last night because it was making me queasy.  I find Holocaust stories important and interesting, but some of it is so hard to read about, it makes me feel ill to know what those people endured.  I think of this man, a Slovakian Jew from an upstanding family, in his suit and tie, "dressed to impress" because he has no idea what is going to happen, being forced into a cattle car with all of these other people, forced to piss and shit in a bucket, treated worse than an animal.  Then arriving at the concentration camp, stripped of his clothing, hair sheared off, sent off into barbaric conditions while those who disobey are simply shot without hesitation... it's heart-wrenching, and it makes me feel so sad and upset to read about it.  I can't even imagine living it.
  • It probably doesn't help that when I put down the heavy book and turn to the TV, I'm still wading through Game of Thrones.  I think there are only 5 seasons available on Crave, and I'm into that last season.  I have become a little more hooked as I go along, yet I'm looking forward to moving on to something...again, lighter.  Something with less blood.  Less beheadings.  Less incestuous love scenes.  *cringe*  I'm really wanting to try out The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime,  but I kind of want to watch more Crave shows so that I can cancel my subscription as quickly as possible.  While I'm very interested in a bunch of the shows, I'm so unimpressed with the set-up and quality of the streaming service.  It has been a terrible disappointment.
  • When GoT gets to be too much, I do still flip over to Prime or Netflix to watch other specials or movies.  I watched Adam Sandler's 100% Fresh special on Netflix last week, and it made me both laugh and  cry.  I kind of have a crush on Adam Sandler now, believe it or not.  The song he sang at the end for his wife was just about the sweetest thing ever.  I also watched the documentary about the failed Fyre festival, and I watched a few episodes of Dirty John.  (And yes, I am aware how fortunate I am to have extra time in the winter for all this reading and TV time!!)
  • I finished crocheting the baby blanket I was working on and gave it to my friend who is expecting at her shower on Sunday, and I was so pleased to hear that they loved it.  It was the first time I made the "Call the Midwife" blanket, and I was very happy with how it turned out.  Last night, I started working on a simple prayer shawl, because I haven't decided what "big" project I want to tackle next.  I thought I was just going to make some dish cloths and face scrubbies, but when I started into them the other day, I just wasn't feeling it so I set that aside for the time being.
  • Had I mentioned in my last post that I messed up my knee?  I can't remember.  A few weeks ago, my left knee started acting funny.  I kind of treated it with extra gentle care for a few days, but it didn't seem to get any better.  Then I started forcing it to "work" again and it didn't seem to get any worse.  I got some Rub A535 ointment last Friday and it seems to be helping.  Fingers crossed that I'm on the mend!
Well, that's about all I've got for today.  I'll try to come back sooner than every few weeks!