Thursday, October 31, 2013

The problem with wearing a mask on Halloween…

It happens to me every year.

Every year, I wait until the last minute, and then at about 8 PM on October 30th, I decide I want to dress up for Halloween.

And with that decision, I head to my mom’s basement and rummage through her “Halloween Bag”.  It’s mostly filled with really old little kid costumes that hold the musty stench of years in a garbage bag in the basement – clown wigs and witch hats and capes and devil horns – but I always end up coming up with something.

And this year, this is it.  I call it “50 Shades of Orange”:

Halloween 2013

(Please note: That orange-and-black-Cat-in-the-Hat-Halloween-style chapeau?  I think I’ve worn it every year for the past 15 years.  And it always makes me think of the year I wore it to Gavan’s for the big Halloween bash, and I think every person in the bar wore it at some point during the night.  That hat holds memories, my friends! And possibly some germs, too. ;) )

Anyways.  Not bad, for a last-minute costume, right?  And there are perks with this costume.  For one thing, it took all of 5 minutes to pull it together (including the time spent rummaging through Mom’s “Halloween Bag”).  I spent more time painting my nails alternating black & orange than anything else.  Another great part is that the rest of the outfit basically consists of black tights and a warm sweater, so I get to be super-comfy all day sitting at my desk.

Halloween 2013 3 I swear, in real life that “coral” coloured sweater looks more like orange…

Oh, but there are woes.  As anyone who has ever worn a mask before will relate to.  Such as…

  • Trying to drink coffee/water… There is no mouth hole in this mask.  I have to keep lifting it up to take a drink.
  • I keep reaching up to scratch my nose, and instead I scratch hard plastic.
  • Remember that sore throat I told you about yesterday?  Well, today it’s turned into a cough.  Every time I feel a cough coming on, I panic.  I feel like if I don’t lift the mask up in time, I’ll blow it right off my face.
  • I have nose holes, so breathing shouldn’t be a big problem.  But somehow, it is.
  • It’s kind of hot and sweaty in here.
  • When I talk, I think I sound perfectly normal, but they tell me I sound more like Charlie Brown’s teacher.


  • I have to lift the mask to talk on the phone, because otherwise the person on the other end wouldn’t be able to understand me.
  • I keep smiling for pictures.  There is no point.
  • My breathing sounds amplified, and I keep thinking everyone can hear it and that they’re annoyed by my loud mouth breathing.
  • The coffee breath inside this thing?  It’s naaaaaaaasty.
  • It might be a little too scary for little people – although, I tried to scare Faith this morning, and she handled it like a champ! ;)

I arrived at work this morning to find out that I wasn’t the only one who dressed up for the occasion.  I thought Lindsay’s costume was pretty clever…and pretty cute, too!

Halloween 2013 2 Our little Mountainview baby!

I hope you are all having a fantastic Halloween!  It’s looking pretty rainy and dreary around these parts, which might put a little damper on the fun for kids tonight – but I know a little rain never held me back as a kid!

Looking forward to seeing all the trick-or-treaters tonight! :)



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WWTKW: Sweet memories…

I was going to write a blog post about all the things that are wrong in my life right now.  Like, how I have a sore throat.  (The first time I’ve been even a little bit sick in the past 10 months.)  And how my Turbo Fire DVDs have decided to all start skipping and not working at the same time.  And how frustrating it is when you get up at 5:30 AM only to find out your workout ain’t gonna happen because of it.  And how my house is STILL covered in drop sheets, and I’m starting to think the painting might NEVER be done.

And then I went into my mom’s this morning and lamented about all of this and she said, “Gosh, is your life ever not filled with drama?”

And I was all like, TELL ME ABOUT IT, MOTHER.

But it made me realize that maybe bitching and moaning about it all might be a little tiresome to others. ;)

So instead of my whiny post, how about we go with We Want to Know Wednesday?


Linking up with Scriptor & Kenzie!  Here are this week’s questions and my answers:

1.) Do you have a good memory?  I like to think I have a pretty good memory.  I tend to have good recall of little trivia facts and pop culture references, and I can remember and repeat exactly how someone words a story to me usually.  However, when I DO forget something, it bothers me.  I remember once in College, I forgot about a compulsory meeting I was supposed to have with one of my profs.  Upon realizing it, I ran to his office (about two hours late), apologized profusely, and he granted me a second meeting the next day.  The next day I was sitting in the computer lab with one of my friends, chatting and killing time, when I suddenly remembered that I was late for the meeting AGAIN.  This time I was only about 10 minutes late, but I was seriously concerned for myself.  Now I always write down appointments and meetings on every calendar I can find, PLUS I usually tell my mom too. 

2.) Share a memory you have from when you were 10 or younger.  I guess it’s because Halloween is fast approaching, but I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about what it was like when we were kids.  I remember coming home from school (if it was on a week night), and being SO excited. (probably already hopped up on the candy they gave us at our class Halloween parties!)  Mom would make us eat supper – and even though it was always a “fun” supper, like pizza or macaroni, we were always in a rush to get through it so we could get dressed up and GO.  She always tried to stall us as long as possible, though, and insisted we weren’t allowed to leave until it was dark out.  Putting on the costume was always quite an ordeal, too, as we usually had to make sure it fit over a snowsuit!  (Gah!  Halloween in Canada!!)


Dad would take us on foot around the neighbourhood, and then he’d load us into the truck and take us to a few select houses – aunts and uncles.  (I always remember my Aunt Erna handing out big bags of candy filled with those chewy molasses candies which I think we used to call Halloween Kisses, and peanuts still in the shells…)  We didn’t live right in town, and he never took us down street, so I always thought I was missing out on going door-to-door with a pillow case like the town kids got to do. But I’ve realized now that the “country trick-or-treaters” like us were actually the lucky ones, because the doors we knocked on didn’t get knocked on often,  and because of that, they handed out way better treats! ;)


3.) Share a memory from between the ages of 10 and 20.  When I think of my teen years, I often reflect fondly on sleepovers with friends.  There are a lot of fun memories from those sleepovers!  One in particular that comes to mind is a sleepover at my friend Hollie’s.  There would have probably been 6 or 7 of us, all in our sleeping bags, watching the movie Urban Legend upstairs at her house.  I was probably about 15 years old.  Somewhere along the way, a bunch of us decided that the creepy janitor in the movie reminded us of our friend Erin’s dad, and we were whispering and giggling about it, and she got mad at us.  I think she and I actually ended up in a physical fight over it!  Imagine!! bahahahaha!!  (But anyone who knew Erin and I knows that we tended to bicker quite a bit – even though we were best of friends!)  It was at that sleepover that we started calling her “Jackie Chan” – and that nickname stuck for quite a while. ;)  (Sorry Erin!!!)

urban legend …but he still kinda looks like your dad!! ;)  (kidding, kidding!)

4.) Share a memory from recently that you won't forget for a long time.  I have to go with my 30th birthday, especially going out for dinner with my friends and then the “adventuring” we did afterwards.  Of course, at the time I had no idea they were using delay tactics because it was too early for them to take me to my surprise party at the bowling alley!  I still giggle when I think of all the stops we made – and how easily everyone went along with everything.  ESPECIALLY when Lindsay took a big detour to take Sharon to a different Tim Horton’s to use the bathroom, since she wouldn’t go to the one we were closest to “because their bathroom smells bad.”  And the house Stacy detoured us by to show us how it had burnt down.  And THEN she suddenly says, “Hey, why don’t we go bowling??” and everyone says “SURE” and I was just sitting there going, “What the hell??  Really??”  I still can’t believe I never clued in to what they were up to…

Jill 30 16

5.) Do you have any memories that you apparently remember differently than from what people tell you?  Meh, nothing specific, but yes, it happens.  One that I ALWAYS argue about is the time my siblings swore I was talking in my sleep about hamburgers and hot dogs, and I swear that they just made that up.  Of course, I can’t know for sure, since obviously I was asleep. ;) 

But I’m pretty sure they made it up!!!!!!!

Happy Wednesday, gang :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Week Randoms

Tuesday October 29th.  And it feels like the middle of January out there.  too.damned.COLD.

  • It’s been “one of those mornings”.  You know the kind.  When you open your eyes, and you immediately get the feeling like you should just stay in bed.
  • I chalked that feeling up to the fact that I had set my alarm an hour earlier for this morning to get my workout in.  I am NOT a morning person, so doing this is rare – usually only when I know that I will have no time to do so in the evening. And with Doug still coming in to paint after work during the week, it makes getting the workouts in a little tricky.  So today the alarm goes off, and I open my eyes, and I literally feel like I’ve been asleep for 2 minutes instead of 7 hours.  And I seriously – SERIOUSLY – contemplated shutting it off, rolling over, and going back to sleep.
  • But no.  I ignored the crappy morning feeling, crawled out, threw on the workout clothes, and trudged downstairs, feeling as groggy as if I’d just woken up at noon with a killer hangover.
  • My TurboFire workouts this morning were Upper 20 + Stretch 40 – which was basically a 20 minutes upper arm strength session, followed by 40 minutes of Yoga.  Nothing too strenuous.  Maybe that was part of the problem, as I kept closing my eyes during the Yoga part and I legit thought I could fall back asleep if I let myself.


  • The dopey feeling continued, and was amplified when I went to leave the house with my purse, my lunch, and my coffee.  I grabbed my keys, then dropped everything on the floor to dig my winter coat out of the front closet.  After I put it on, I looked around and couldn’t find the keys.  I searched my winter coat pockets, my pants pockets, I dumped my purse upside down, searched my lunch bag, I even looked inside my toque.  No friggin keys anywhere.  And no friggin time to search further.  So I found my spare car key, and figured I’d just have to leave my house unlocked all day.  It was 5 minutes after I left the house before I discovered I’d shoved the keys into the pocket of my sweater.   gah.
  • My Scary Movie Marathon on Saturday was lots of fun, and clearly effective, as I haven’t gone to bed without leaving the hall light on ever since.  The Exorcism of Emily Rose seems to be the one that has stuck with me the most – even though I’ve seen it before.  Can’t seem to shake those images of the possessed girl, and I live in fear of waking up at 3 AM!


  • I paid closer attention to Jennifer Carpenter’s performance this time, since I’m now a big fan of hers (Debra Morgan!  F*ck yeah!) – and I have to say, her acting in this movie is pretty incredible.  Her portrayal of a sweet, innocent girl being possessed by 6 different demons was chilling and unnerving.  Scared the bejeezus out of me, in fact.

jennifer carpenter emily rose

  • Due to the Scary Movie Marathon – and just the weekend in general – I’m having trouble shaking my “weekend weight”.  Weekends are always difficult for me to stay on track with my healthy eating ways, but this past weekend was exceptionally bad.  Between Halloween candy, chips, pizza, Book Club snacks, Harvest Supper (including pie!), and those damn Pillsbury Halloween sugar cookies that I can’t stop eating… well, let’s just say the scales were not my friend this morning.  I may never hit that “magic number”!!!
  • So the obvious solution would be to eat salads all week.  Except that I’ve been dying to try out a recipe for Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche that I saw on Pinterest.  I bought the ingredients to make it last week, and since my workout is already done for the day, I’m planning to whip it up tonight.  I’ll just have to try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting, that’s all. ;)


  • Have I mentioned my new-found love for the Pillsbury Halloween sugar cookies?  I had to hide the container last night to keep out of them.

pillsbury cookies

  • On Saturday, there was a Roseanne Halloween Marathon on all day. I PVR’d it and I’ve been watching a few episodes each night leading up to All Hallow’s Eve.  Did you know I actually really didn’t like Roseanne when I was a kid?  I’ve learned I have a much greater appreciation for the show now than I ever did back then.


  • I’ve been trying to figure out all morning if this weekend is the time change I like or the time change I don’t like.  I think it’s the one I like.
  • Told you guys I’m dopey this morning…
  • I have to say, I felt really, really old this weekend.  Saturday night was the big Halloween costume party at Gavan’s, and it’s a night that I used to look forward to so much.  I didn’t go last year, and kind of regretted it.  This year, though, I had zero desire to go, and I was actually asleep on my couch by 10 PM.  I was wakened around 2 AM by people outside hootin’ & hollerin’ as they walked home from the bar.  That used to be me…
  • The really sad part is that when I woke up to the sound of voices and laughter, I at first thought it was my alarm clock, and that it was possessed.  Thank you very much, The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
  • I’ve always been a fan of Halloween, and despite being an old lady now, I can honestly say I still get excited for the big night.  I’m really looking forward to going to Mom’s, having a “fun” supper, and handing out treats to all the little trick-or-treaters.  Can’t wait!!


Happy Halloween Week, friends! :)

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Freaky Friday Confessions (and some not-so-freaky ones, too)

Ahhhh FRIDAY!!!!  It’s here at last!!!

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love for some Friday Confessions…

Friday confessional high heeled love

I confess… that I tend to get a little obsessed with stuff from time to time.  This week, my obsession has been the story behind The Amityville Horror.  I saw the 2005 remake a long time ago, but I can’t remember what happens, so in preparation for watching it tomorrow, I googled.  (I tend to handle reading about scary stuff better than watching it, so I thought if I prepped for it, then I wouldn’t be so freaked out when I watch it.)  Needless to say, I’m now an expert on what happened in that house in Amityville.

amityville horror

I confess… that after immersing myself in the Amityville story, I went home to find my painterfriend Doug working at my house, and as soon as I opened the door, he yelled at me, “THIS HOUSE IS CURSED!!!!”  And I went, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH DON’T TELL ME THAT!!!!”

I confess… that his theory is starting to sound plausible.  The first week he was working, he came down with a bad cold.  Last weekend, he got sick with the flu AND ended up with a stiff/sore/seized-up neck.  He tells me he hasn’t been sick like this in years, and is blaming my house.  I told him my house can’t be cursed, because I live next door to God, and God would not let anything bad into my house.  He disagrees.

I confess… that ever since he told me my house is cursed, I’ve been hearing noises and having those creepy, hairs-raising-on-the-back-of-my-neck-for-no-reason moments.  Gad dammit.  Scary Movie Marathon tomorrow might be a bad idea.

I confess… that I just typed out how I’ve been a little disturbed over the cuts (papercut-type wounds) that keep appearing on my fingers this week without me remembering actually cutting them, and how I’m wondering if maybe my house IS cursed and is taking it out on my fingers, and then I deleted it all.  Because I’m pretty sure that makes me sound clear-cut CRAZY.

I confess… that I am not crazy, people.  God lives next door to me.  I am fine.

I confess… that I keep buying Halloween candy.  I don’t know WHY because I’m not even going to be home Halloween night, and I’m not supposed to be eating Halloween candy myself.  So why the shit does it keep appearing in my house?  Perhaps it’s the curse.  And if that’s the case, I’m OK with that kind of curse.  The Candy Curse.  I like it.


I confess… that those stupid teeny-tiny chocolate bars are deceiving.  They look so tiny, so I tend to believe they contain no calories.  This is not true.  After woofing through a bunch of them last night, I decided to be a good kid and count up the calories.  560 freaking calories.  Ooopsies.

I confess… that I really wish my mother had never dragged out our old keyboard and put new batteries in it.  She had my niece and nephew over for a sleepover last night, and when I stopped in on my way to work this morning, Danica greeted me with very loud organ music.  It was delightful.  (not)

I confess… that I’m really happy we kicked Detroit’s ass the other night.  I hope that a small part of Alfie was thinking, “hmmm…might’ve made a mistake here…”

daniel alfredsson detroit

I confess… that I know I’ve said it before, but I really have a serious mad crush on Quinn from Dexter right now.

DEXTER (Season 8)

I confess… that once again, I have every reason to believe I live in one of the best little communities in the world!  This week a local girl entered a contest on the Country 101.1 radio station – she submitted a video of herself singing Miranda Lambert’s “White Liar”, as she and 23 other contestants vied for on-line votes in the hopes of winning the opportunity to open up for Dallas Smith in November.  It was a close race between Natasha and another girl, but when the voting closed at midnight last night, our hometown girl was the winner!  Through word of mouth, her family and friends in this town had everybody voting each day and the support shown by everyone was amazing.  Congratulations Natasha!!  She’s made it through the first phase, and while it’s still unknown what steps she has to take next, I can guarantee that everyone will be behind her in whatever way we need to be.  A bright and shiny example of COMMUNITY SPIRIT!  I love it!!! :)

Happy Friday, friends!!  Have a GREAT weekend!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

7 Deadly Sins

It's that time of year... one week until Halloween!  

I saw this link-up on Miss Angie's blog, and thought it looked like a lot of fun & appropriate for this time of year!!  And also... one of my favourite movies is Se7en, so how could I resist?!  

(Also, note to self: watch that movie sometime soon. Mmmmm Brad Pitt at his yummiest.)

All you need to do is copy & paste this list, link-up, and have fun finding out others' guilty pleasures.  

seven great things in your life.
1. My family is the best family a kid could ask for.  And my nieces and nephew are awesome.
2. I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends!
3. Being successful with my latest weight loss and fitness endeavours.
4. Dexter.
5. My car.  After driving several years in an aging,  loud and clunky RAV 4, I'm now grateful to have my new Ford Focus!
6. Running.  I know, it's kind of the same thing as #3, but seriously, I never thought I'd be able to run more than a minute at a time.  The fact that I can run 5 K without stopping still kind of blows my mind.
7. My hockey team.  Last night's 6-1 win gives me great hope for the Sens this year!!

seven things you lack and covet.
1. A man
2. Babies
3. Money
4. A non-dinosaur TV
5. My own house (preferably on the water!)
6. An idea for the book I one day hope to write
7. A bikini-worthy body (despite all the work, I'm still not even close)

seven things that make you angry.
1. People who make bitching & complaining their job - and then do nothing at all to help change the things they bitch & complain about.
2. The Toronto Maple Leafs and quite a few of their fans... ;)
3. Liars
4. Inconsiderate people
5. Manipulators
6. The weather (LOL - but seriously, it never does what I want it to do!)
7. Judgy people

seven things that you neglect to do.
1. Clean the house
2. Wash my car
3. Unload the dishwasher
4. Save money
5. Actually make/do anything that I pin on Pinterest
6. Cut the grass
7. Anything that I dread doing

seven worldly material desires.
1. Once again, that big new TV!!
2. A house (on the water)
3. A new wardrobe
4. A treadmill
5. A complete overhaul of my appliances/household items (like dishes, frying pans, pots, slowcooker, etc - almost all dated/old hand-me-downs)
6. A boat (if I had that house on the water, of course...)
7. Sens season tickets

seven guilty pleasures.
1. Chips & dip
2. Peanut M&M's
3. Any kind of junk food, really.
4. Buying DVD's that I don't really need
5. Teeny-bopper TV shows, like The Vampire Diaries (or, just Ian Somerhalder)
6. A second coffee in the morning
7. Sleeping in

seven things you love about love.
1. Feeling safe with someone - the feeling of being protected
2. The planning for the future (which I tend to do before the boy even knows I love him...)
3. Kissing. I'm a big fan of kissing.
4. Being all caught up in someone and not being able to think about anything else
5. The prospect of growing old together and still being as in love as you were on Day 1
6. Imagining how cute the babies will be...
7. The hope that i's always out there, just waiting for me!

How long will this linky remain open? Til Halloween, you guessed it!  Happy trails!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It’s finally time to say good-bye.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time.

I’ve been meaning to write this post since July 5th.

And while it’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, it’s a post I never wanted to write.  In fact, it’s a post I never dreamed in a million years that I would have to write.

But the time has come, whether I like it or not.  As a fan of the Ottawa Senators, it’s time to let go.

It’s finally time to say good-bye to Daniel Alfredsson.


I remember the days leading up to July 5th quite well.  With the Free Agency deadline looming, our captain had declared about a week beforehand that he was planning to return to hockey for at least one more year.  This was the good news that we Sens fans had been hoping & praying for.  You see, at that time, that was our “worst-case scenario” – that Alfie would decide to retire.

We didn’t want Alfie to retire.  We saw so much fight and fire and game left in that guy, that we collectively thought it would be a crying shame if he hung up his skates following such a promising season.  Under the guidance of our coach Paul McLean, and surrounded by a group of pesky and enthusiastic young guys, things were finally looking up for the Ottawa Senators, and especially for Alfie.  We were starting to think that anything might be possible.  That if he just gave us one more season, maybe that dream of seeing our beloved captain hoisting the Cup over his head in Ottawa Senators red-black-and-gold might actually be a reality…

So #11 was going to return for one more year.  We were rejoicing.  Now we just needed Murray to announce the signing, and we’d be all set for the 2013-2014 season.

But that signing didn’t come.  We waited, but it didn’t come.  And the longer we waited, the more speculation that Alfie might jump ship and go to another team started to build.

I didn’t believe those whispers.  Not for one second.

I didn’t believe any of it, not even when I woke up the morning of July 5th to the news that Alfie still hadn’t signed with Ottawa, and that the possibility of him signing with Detroit or Boston that day was suddenly very real.

I waited.  I knew the news was coming.  That Alfie was, of course, going to ditch those plans to head to the Wings or the Bruins, and sign with the Sens.  Of course he was.

I waited.  I watched my Twitter feed religiously.  I can honestly say I got little work done that day, and I made no bones about it.  I was waiting for my Alfie news, and nothing could tear me away from it.

It was around mid-morning that reliable sports reporters landed the news via their Twitter feeds that Daniel Alfredsson would be signing with the Detroit Red Wings.  Done deal.

And I honestly felt like my stomach bottomed out.  It was physical pain.  Real pain.  I thought I might throw up.  Or cry.  Or both.  I wanted to crawl under my desk and huddle in the fetal position.

I’ve only felt that way once before over a hockey player’s departure.  The only difference was, this time, I wasn’t alone.

To try and describe my emotions that day and in the days immediately following is almost impossible.  I was angry, I was bitter, I was betrayed.  I hated Alfie.  I hated the Sens’ ownership and management.  How had they botched this so badly?  HOW had they let go of our revered and deeply loved leader, a man who had given his all to this city and this team for 17 years?

And how could he just…go??

The news later that same day that the Sens had landed Bobby Ryan eased the ache a little bit.  But it wasn’t enough.  Not by a long shot.

bobby ryan 2

I think I spent much of the summer in denial.  I kept waiting for someone to pop up and say, “GOTCHA!!!  Of course Alfie’s coming back to Ottawa!  This was all just a big prank!!”

I grew weary of the he-said, she-said.  Alfie would say something, then Bryan Murray or Eugene Melnyk would refute it, and then Alfie’s agent would jump in with his own twist on things.  It got really silly and really pathetic, really quick.

It sucked.  Large.

When the Sens were ousted from the playoffs last year, I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait for the next season.  They were such a fun bunch of guys with so much energy and desire and perseverance. I could wait to see how they did this year; how far they could go.

But with Alfie’s departure, my longing for the upcoming season departed with him.

It just wasn’t going to be the same.

I spent some time wondering how my dad would’ve reacted if he were here.  Dad was a big fan of the Sens, and I also know he really liked and respected Daniel Alfredsson – and not many high-profile players earned that from my father.  He was more likely to root for the underdog than the star.  But Alfie’s calm and quiet leadership, combined with his consistent on-ice play, made him a guy Dad could root for.  (He also loved how Alfie could get under the skin of Leaf fans… I can still hear him chuckling after Alfie mocked Mats Sundin in that classic moment when he pretended to chuck his broken stick into the stands.)

But I know, without a doubt, what my dad would’ve said on July the 5th:  Let him go.  He’s not worth that kind of money.  He’s too old.  Just let him go.

He also probably would’ve liked the Bobby Ryan signing immensely.

(And he probably would’ve thrown in something about Eugene Melnyk being a dumbass, too.)

Even though I know he would be right – that Alfie was no longer worth that kind of coin – it was still something I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around.  And truth be told, I have yet to actually see him in Red Wing colours.

But tonight, I won’t be able to avoid it any longer.  Because tonight, I will have no choice but to watch Daniel Alfredsson suit up in the opposing team’s colours.  Tonight, I will have no choice but to see him in the Red & White, and going head-to-head with my Sens.

Tonight, he will be the enemy for the first time.

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.  He was supposed to end his career with the team that he started it with.  He was supposed to be one of those rare few who can say they played their entire NHL career with just one team.  He was supposed to be an icon…a legend…our very own hero.  And then, when the curtain fell on his illustrious career, he was supposed to move into a cushy head office job, or perhaps slip into a coaching role.

He was always supposed to be an Ottawa Senator.

It’s still a little surreal to me that he isn’t.


I want to wish Daniel Alfredsson well.  I want to thank him for the years of faithful service he brought to this team and this community.  I want him to know how deeply appreciated he was by us, and how respected he was.  I want him to rest assured that the majority of us are grateful for all he did here, and that he will forever hold a place in our hearts and memories.

But most of all?

Most of all, I want to beat him tonight.

See ya, Alfie.

Go Sens Go.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My “lucky” streak continues… and other stuff.

Happy Random Tuesday, friends!! :)

  • Remember a week or so ago, when I told you guys I was having a bit of luck lately?  I won a “treasure hunt” contest put on by a local restaurant, I unexpectedly received a credit on my Amazon Visa account because they automatically cashed in my rewards points, and then Brad Keselowski (my driver in the NASCAR pool I’m in) FINALLY won a race.  Nothing major, but a few little things that made me smile.  I figured after the third one, my little lucky streak was over…

Keselowski win

  • Oh, but it wasn’t.  This Saturday, my so-called “luck” continued.  Except this is one thing I never, ever wanted to win.  I was so excited for the Car Rally that our Lionettes host ever year.  It’s one of those small-town events that everyone gets excited for, and has circled on their calendar well in advance.  I’ve been going on the Rally since I was in my late teens, and have been on a team with my friends Stacy, Ricky, Sara & Graham for a LONG time. It’s like a big scavenger hunt, with a list of questions to complete and clues to find, as you tour the back roads with your friends and have a blast!  The only problem is this: the team that wins has to map the route out for the next year.  And that is a BIG job.  So very few people actually want to WIN the Car Rally…  Our goal is always 2nd place (and we’d be happy with anything in the Top 10).
  • This year’s Rally, organized by a group of our friends, was one of the toughest/longest I’ve ever been on.  We struggled with many of the questions.  We didn’t think we had done very well.  Until we got back to the hall for the dinner, and started comparing answers with other teams.   That’s when we realized that everyone had struggled… and after the organizers revealed the answers and started calling out the placement of the teams, we REALLY started to worry…
  • It came down to the final two teams, and we were one of them.  They called both teams up to the front, and I honestly thought I might throw up.  I just kept repeating, “We can’t win… we don’t want it… we can’t win…” 
  • So OF COURSE, they announced that we were the winners.  BAH!!!

Car Rally 3 Photo via Dolan Art & Photography

  • Those are fake smiles.  Trust.
  • After the initial disappointment, and the despair at knowing we have a lot of work ahead of us in planning for next year, we actually cheered up with the thought that it’s pretty cool to have our names on the trophy at least once, and to know that we won one of the hardest Rallies ever is pretty cool too.  Then the ideas started swirling, and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop think about Car Rally 2014! LOL!!  I was relieved to hear the next day that Sara & Stacy were both in the same boat, and were so wound up they had trouble sleeping too!
  • Thankfully, since then, sleep has no longer been a problem.  No more mapping Car Rally routes in my dreams!!!
  • I woke up this morning with one of my extra-special sinus headaches.  It was just a dull ache for a while, but it’s really starting to flare up now.  I haven’t had a bad one in a long time, and I actually thought my “healthy lifestyle” had maybe kicked the headaches to the curb.  Apparently not. *sigh*
  • Don’t even ask me about how the house painting is going.  At this rate, I’ll be lucky if it’s done by Christmas.  *sighx2*
  • Spaghetti squash verdict:  I like!!  I tried out that Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin recipe, and it was quite yummy!  My squash must’ve been a fairly large one, though, because I only needed half of it for that recipe.  The other half I shredded up and put in a separate container to use with pasta sauce for suppers this week.  Would I call it a legit substitution for real spaghetti?  Not really… the texture isn’t right, it’s got a crunch to it.  But I’ll be mixing it up with veggies and pasta sauce tonight, and I’m sure it’ll be great!

spaghetti squash

  • You know what the PVR has brought back into my life after a several-year hiatus?  The Young and the Restless.  I tuned back in (or started recording) just in time to catch the drama of little Delia’s tragic death.  Very very sad, of course, but I’m loving all the Billy that I’m getting these days.  Not just any Billy, though.  Devastated, tearful, angry, and vengeful Billy.  YUM.



  • Y&R has never really been a “must-see” for me – I’ve floated in and out of it for years, and while I can get hooked by a good story line or a particular character, I don’t really miss it when I’m not into it.  But there’s one thing that can draw me right back in at any time.  And that, ladies and gentleman, is Billy.


  • Last week, I told you all about my “Scary Movie Marathon” – which has now been put in jeopardy because of the painting progress – but I forgot one of the movies I plan on watching.  The remake of The Amityville Horror.  The one with Ryan Reynolds.  I picked it up in a cheap bin at Giant Tiger a few weeks ag0 as a little “Halloween treat” for myself.  I think I’ve seen it before, but I can’t remember it at all.  But really, how can I go wrong?  A little scare for Halloween, a little Ryan Reynolds… made it an easy pick! ;)

Ryan Reynolds the_amityville_horror_reynolds

  • That picture up there?  That’s for my brother-in-law Chris, who told me this past weekend that some days my blog isn’t very good.  I pressed him for reasons why, and he said, “Well, on the days when you put pictures of naked men.”  For the record… they are only half-naked, Chris.  And I dedicate this half-naked beardy Ryan Reynolds to you!!

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!!


Friday, October 18, 2013

It’s almost one of my favourite days of the year…

Car Rally tomorrow!!  Woo hoo!!  I can’t wait!!

But as usual, I must confess first before the fun begins…

friday confessional

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love :)

I confess… the painting progress is slow-going.  It IS going… but… it’s slow.  And I’m not the most patient person in the history of the world.  This is a tough test for me to endure!!  I keep reminding myself that it’s being done right and it’s being done well, which is much better than me slapping paint on the walls haphazardly and making a mess (which I know, without a doubt, I would’ve done.  Zero patience, remember?)  So that’s all that matters.  It’ll all be OK, Jill…

I confess… it dawned on me yesterday morning that I’m supposed to be hosting Book Club at my place next Friday night, and there’s a good chance my house will still be upside down.  I hope that at least the living room, hall & dining room will be done, but there’s no guarantees at this rate.  I had a moment of panic before deciding I can move it to my mom’s place last-minute if need be.  Mom to the rescue, as usual!!!

I confess… that I’m a little sad that I have a box full of Halloween decorations sitting in the spare room upstairs, and I know there’s absolutely no point in putting them out when everything is covered with dropsheets. 

I confess… that I feel like I’ve cut the grass eighty billion times this year.  I’m hoping the rain holds off this afternoon so that I can cut it after work.  And Lord help me, it better be for the last time!!!


I confess… that I’m 4 episodes into Season 5 of Dexter, and I’m still kind of not over what happened at the end of Season 4.  It still troubles me.  And makes me sad.  And I have to be cryptic like this because Lindsay is still only in Season 3 and I don’t want to spoiler her.


I confess… that it was a little weird trying to pick out healthy snacks for Car Rally tomorrow.  It’s generally a big junk-food-pig-out day for me, so it kinda felt wrong grabbing pretzels and low-fat cracker chips and a bag of dried fruit and bottled water to snack & sip on during the day.  But I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving feasting, and I’m still making strides towards reaching “The Magic Number”, so I don’t want to set myself back again.

I confess… that I don’t care if it makes me an old lady.  Truthfully, I so look forward to Friday nights now because I get to put on my comfy clothes and catch up on PVR’d shows and episodes of Dexter.  It sounds heavenly to me.

I confess… that this Friday evening is even more lucrative to me because I got up early this morning to get my work-out in, so I don’t have to do it tonight!  BONUS!!!

I confess… that I have had a spaghetti squash sitting in my fridge for over 2 weeks now.  I have no idea if it’s still edible or not, but if it IS – I’m going to try it for the first time tonight!  This is the recipe I have my eye on: Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin.  I think it will go great with some sweet & sour meatballs that I have in the freezer.

spaghetti squash au gratin

I confess… that I’m so looking forward to touring the back roads and having fun with Stacy, Ricky, Sara & Graham tomorrow!!  It’s looking like it might be a cool, showery day, but I know we’ll still have a blast!!  2nd place… HERE WE COME!! ;)

Car Rally 2

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Scary Movie Marathon

I know from past posts on the subject of scary movies that many of my readers/commenters aren’t fans of the genre. 

And 95% of the time, I’m with you guys.  Scary flicks or TV shows freak me out, they spark my-already far-too-lively imagination, and then I have to spend weeks sleeping with lights on and jumping in fear every time I hear a creak or bump in my house.   That’s no fun for anyone.  Especially me.  So naturally, I usually try to avoid them.

Except for this time of year.

It’s around this time every October that I start to get the itch to watch something fitting of the season.  Thanksgiving is over, the trees are quickly shedding their beautifully coloured leaves, it’s getting dark earlier and earlier every day, and you can just feel the excitement of Halloween slowly building.

And with it, comes the urge to spook myself silly!  (or mildly.)

I have two weekends left before the big day, and I’ve been compiling a list of flicks in my mind that I’d like to watch in anticipation of it.  I haven’t yet figured out when exactly my “Scary Movie Marathon” is going to be, but I’m kind of circling next Saturday, October 26th, for it.  And here is what I have on my list to watch:

The Call

the call

A while back, my friend Stacy recommended this one to me.  I don’t think it falls into the traditional monster/ghost/goblin/ghoul Halloween movie – it’s more of a thriller.  But she did tell me it was kind of scary, and I handle “kind of scary” better than “super scary”, so I might see if the local store has it available to rent!

The Sixth Sense

the sixth sense

This one holds fun memories for me.  I went with my mom and brother and some friends to see it in theatres the summer it came out for my birthday, and I do believe it might be the only “scary movie” I have ever convinced my mother to watch – and she LOVED it.  I still enjoy it because it amazes me every time how fooled I was that first time - the twist ending was incredible, and I still can’t believe we never figured it out.  It’s also not filled with blood & gore – a few jumps and gasps here and there when the “dead people” pop up, but otherwise, a great story, and good clean Halloween Fun! 



The original – the best of the franchise – and though I own 2 & 3 as well, it’s the first one that I make sure to watch every year around Halloween!  More fun memories of watching this with a group of friends when we were in high school.  It’s a little dated, and a little cheesy, but I can guarantee it will still cause a few “screams” from me when I watch it!  God, I hate that mask!!!

Halloween: H20


I know, I know.  The first Halloween is the classic.  The scary movie purists would scoff at me choosing this one. And I haven’t seen most of the others in the Michael Myers series, so I really can’t compare.  But this is the one that I love.  Probably mostly because it features a young and studly Josh Hartnett.  Stick a hot guy in a movie, and I’ll see pretty much anything.



Much like Halloween: H20, there’s a reason I go back to this one year after year – a very young and ever-handsome Marky Mark.  He plays the possessive, psychotic boyfriend to a very young & sweetly innocent Reese Witherspoon.  Again, it’s not filled with guts and gore, and I tend to lean more towards the “mildly scary”, and that makes this one a perfect fit!

The Shining

the shining

This one was added to my collection last year, and it is Creepy with a capital “C”.  Those parts with little Danny riding around the deserted and haunted halls of the Overlook Hotel on his Big Wheel?  Creeeepy.  Realizing what “REDRUM” means?  Creeeeeeepy. Jack Nicholson’s smile and the line “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy”?  Creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy!!

The Exorcism of Emily Rose


This is the kind of movie that can really freak me out.  Exorcisms and demons and stuff like that can seriously keep me up at night.  That might explain why I’ve had this one sitting in my DVD collection for several years, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched it since I bought it.  I did see it once in my friend Sara’s parents’ basement, and every time I think of it, I can hear my friend Sara’s husband, Graham, saying “1-2-3-4-5-6!!!” in his scary voice.  It is also the reason why I will lie frozen in my bed for about 10 minutes if I happen to wake up around scary 3 AM time.  I might have to watch it this year.  Especially since I just realized Jennifer Carpenter, who I currently love in Dexter, plays Emily Rose.

OK – I think that’s it for my Scary Movie Marathon this year!  Realistically, I don’t think I can squeeze much more than that into one day!  If you’ll notice… I make sure to usually watch movies I’ve seen before, so that I can at least be prepared for the scares. LOL!  I’m such a chicken… I’m also not opposed to just watching episodes of Scooby Doo all day.  Sometimes, that’s all the “scary” I can handle.

So, do you have any Halloween favourites?  Scary movies that you watch every year in preparation for All Hallows Eve?

I’m not sure what stage my house painting will be at by next weekend – but if my house isn’t upside down, I’d love it if I could drag some friends into watching some of these with me!  If you live in the area and are looking for something to do… pencil “Jill’s Scary Movie Marathon” into your calendar!  

I’ll supply the scares & some sorta-healthy treats! ;)