Friday, October 28, 2016

Five on Friday!

As my woeful blog post yesterday indicated, it has not been the best week for me, as I struggle to figure out why I'm being plagued with hives, headaches, and other little ailments that have left me feeling like a bag of crap lately.  But I REFUSE to let these things bring me down, because it's one of my most favourite times of year... HALLOWEEN! :)

So if the spirit of Five on Friday, here are five Halloween-related things I'm excited about:

1. Tonight I'm going to run for groceries after work, and pick up the rest of the goodies I need to assemble my Halloween treat bags.  Yes, I have already bought Halloween candy.  Four boxes, in fact.  My big Halloween bowl at home is overflowing.  And I only need about 30 treat bags, as my mom doesn't get a ton of kids coming to her door.  So you would think I already have sufficient candy to make up the bags.  But I always like to have a little extra on hand for little ol' me, y'know. ;)  (and I'm in complete denial that the delectable little chocolate bars could be what is causing my hives.  just pretending that couldn't possibly be so!!!)  So once I pick up everything I need, I'll be set to assemble the bags tomorrow morning.  It's one of my very favourite Halloween tasks!

2.  Halloween movies are gonna happen this weekend, dudes.  LOTS of them.  First up, my friend Caryl and her daughter Gracie are coming over tonight to watch Ernest Scared Stupid.  I'm interested to see if it will be a hit or not.  Does Ernest pass the test of time?  We shall see.  Then tomorrow morning, I think I'll put on Hotel Transylvania to watch while I get my bags made up.  The afternoon/evening is Scary Movie Marathon at Lindsay & Ryan's, and we will be watching The Conjuring (Ryan's choice), Signs (my choice), and a mystery movie (Lindsay's choice and she won't tell us what it is.  Let's all pray it's not SAW!!!)  If I survive the marathon, I may watch some more on Sunday... but I might have had my fill of scares by then!

3. If all goes well, I'm hoping to carve my jack-o-lantern on Sunday.  I bought my pumpkin a few weeks ago and it's been sitting outside, so I hope it's not rotten or gross.  One of my favourite things about Halloween is roasting pumpkin seeds, and it just wouldn't be Halloween without a little snack of them!  The actual carving of the pumpkin is kind of a pain in the ass - a little fact I seem to forget from year to year - but it's worth it to get those tasty seeds.

4. Other Halloween treats I'll be indulging in this weekend include snacks with Caryl & Gracie tonight, pizza and snacks with Scary Movie Marathon tomorrow, I'm planning to buy my beloved Pillsbury Halloween-themed sugar cookies at the store tonight, I'm hoping to have time to make pumpkin-butterscotch-chip cookies at some point, and of course all those little chocolate bars that are floating around... I'll keep my allergy meds on hand in case I need them in the event of a hive outbreak, but I refuse to miss out on any of this fun stuff just because my body is rejecting me and my deepest love of junk food.  I REFUSE!!!!

5. I am SO excited to have a different costume to wear for Halloween this year!  I always do a last-minute dive into my mom's tickle trunk, and I have worn out the same old masks and wigs and hats... there is just nothing new and exciting to behold in that tickle trunk of hers.  Thankfully, the Halloween Costume Fairy paid me a visit last night, and I can't wait to put it on on Monday!  :)

Hope you are all going to find some "spooktacular" fun to get into this weekend, whether it be scary movies, costume parties, or yummy treats!!  Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Whining & Complaining

I need to do some whining & complaining today, dudes.  It's been a rough week on ol' Jill.

I keep reminding myself that nothing is drastically wrong, it's just a bunch of things that aren't going quite right this week, all happening at the same time, that are causing me to be a very disgruntled and cranky human being.  Why is that?  Why do all the little things happen at the same time?  ugh.

So.  It kind of all started with the fact that I feel like I've had an on-again off-again headache since last weekend.  I woke up with it Saturday morning, and battled it all weekend.  It faded away Sunday afternoon/evening, but it keeps coming back.  And every time it comes back, it's a blatant reminder to me that I NEED to make a doctor's appointment.  Nothing seems to help these headaches.  Tylenol, Advil, Magic Bag... nothing.  Most of the time, they don't develop to migraine level, they just nag and persist and make life miserable while they cling on.  I HATE them.  It's time for the doc to help me out here.

On top of the that, around midnight Monday night (or is that Tuesday morning?).  I woke up with a very unsettled feeling stomach.  As you might know, I don't do puke, so I lay there for quite a while just trying to convince myself that I was fine.  When it became clear that I was not, in fact, fine, I dove out of bed and flicked on the light, and when I did so, the light bulb flashed and burnt out promptly.  It is Scary Halloween Time of Year, it's the middle of the night, I'm about to barf, and THAT'S WHEN THE LIGHT BULB DECIDES TO BURN OUT?!?

I told you it's been a rough week.  And we're only on Monday/Tuesday, guys.

So yeah.  I'll spare you the details, but I was up several times during the night doing my absolute least favourite thing in the world, whilst also having to leap to and from my bed to avoid the monsters that live under it in the dark because my light bulb was burnt out.  When I woke up Tuesday morning, the headache was back on top of it all, and I was not a happy camper.  So I took a sick day.  I rarely take sick days - in fact, I loathe sick days.  I had joked with Lindsay the day before that I was so into the show Scandal I just wanted to stay home and watch it, so I'm pretty sure that's what she thought I was up to, but seriously, I hate being sick so much, I'd never choose that over being at work.  EVER.

That being said... I did watch 12 episodes of Scandal that day.  It was the only good thing about it.

It seemed to just be a 12-hour bug, because while the headache nagged on, the stomach issues went away quickly, and I was back to work yesterday.

Ah, but it was not a perfect day.  Not by a long shot.  Aside from the headache, I was also starting to get concerned about these random little outbreaks of hives I've been having lately.  I have sensitive skin, it's not unusual for me to break out in random, inexplicable rashes or hives, but I had noticed over the past week that I was breaking out in red, itchy, random hives a little more often than normal.  The red welt would appear, itch like crazy for about five minutes, then completely fade away.  One here, one there...nothing consistent, just terribly annoying.

I googled random outbreaks of hives yesterday, and the Internet doctors told me that either a) I'm allergic to something (I haven't eaten or been using anything out of the ordinary for me), b) I'm stressed out about something (but I'm not), or c) I'm dying (so clearly, I am dying.)

I've been trying to ignore the hives and pretend they aren't happening, but last night I had been watching TV on the couch and felt like I was itching all over.  These damn hives are making me go crazy.  They are breaking me psychologically.  I'm starting to feel itchy all the time!  Then I went to change into my PJ's and discovered I was in the midst of a MASSIVE hive outbreak. They were not in my imagination.    It was not one here, one there...They were ALL OVER my torso, my arms, and my legs.

This episode resulted in me having to go to my mom's at 10 PM last night to get the expired children's Benadryl in crappy flavoured liquid form from her fridge.  I took the recommended dose for a 95 lb. child.  I don't know if it worked, or if the hives just went away on their own, but I woke up this morning and you'd never even know they'd been there.

On top of all this, my mom asked me this morning if my eyes were swollen, and I was like, "Yes, I think they are, and it's because I've basically had a headache for a week now and IT WON'T GO AWAY."  So yes, my eyes are puffy and swollen looking and I don't know what to do about that either.

I have no idea what is wrong with me this week.  But it's not cool, yo.

All I know is, Halloween is right around the corner, and I have a fun weekend planned, and I don't need all of these little ailments dragging me down.  I'm sick of hives and headaches and sore eyes.  I'm sick of feeling "not quite right".  I just want to go back to normal again.

Thus, I have blogged about it.  Now let it be so.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What I'm Going to Watch This Weekend

Do you know how sad I am about no longer having Blue Jays baseball to watch?  I'm so sad about it that last night I watched a movie about baseball.  Not only did I watch a movie about baseball, I watched a movie about the frigging CLEVELAND INDIANS.  Yes, the very team that just beat the Blue Jays out of the post season.

That's how desperate I am for baseball.

And for the record, the movie Major League really holds up.  I mean, yes, it's dated, but overall, it's still such a fun movie to watch.  I'm still a little confused as to how my parents let me watch it as a kid, because let me tell you, it is not child-appropriate, but apparently nobody paid any attention to what we watched when were were young.

As a kid, I was allll about "Wild Thing" Rick Vaughn.  That movie resulted in quite an epic little crush on Charlie Sheen at the time, as I recall.

Now, as an adult? It definitely resulted in me having the hots for Tom Berenger.  Those LIPS!!!  swoon.

He's no Josh Donaldson, but I'll take what I can get.

...It's going to be a long 6 months without Josh in my life... *sigh*...

Anyways.  So I'm going to have to distract myself by watching other things this weekend.  Normally I have to catch up on PVR'd shows, but I've stayed up to date with them this week, and Jimmy Fallon has been on hiatus, so I don't have anything to catch up on.

A few weeks ago, I finished Season 2 of Bloodline, and I really haven't gotten into any Netflixing since then.  I tried to start Scandal one night but the Internet was wonky, so it didn't work well.  I do think I'll try diving into that one this weekend.  It's been recommended to me so many times, I'm sure I'll like it.

Since we have now moved into late October, and both Scary Movie Marathon and Halloween are looming ahead, I do think I might try to watch something a little on the scarier side of the spectrum.  Not TOO scary though.  I can't get myself too freaked out before Scary Movie Marathon!  Maybe I'll just watch Hotel Transylvania.  Or The Nightmare Before Christmas. ;)

I also have saved quite a few movies  to my Netflix queue lately, and hopefully I'll have a chance to get to one or two of them.   Top contenders include:  Deadpool, Dirty Grandpa, Zoolander 2, Joy, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Big Short, the Justin Timberlake & the Tennessee Kids concert, Maleficient, and Now You See Me.

What have you been watching lately?  Any recommendations?  Any of the movies I mentioned above that you enjoyed, or others you think I'd like?  Please share!

Have a great weekend, gang! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Randomly Thursday

  • I'm feeling blue this morning.  And NOT Toronto Blue Jay blue. :(  Alas, the dream came crashing down last night, as the Cleveland Indians took Game 5 by a score of 3-0, winning the ALCS series 4 games to 1.  I remember the excitement when the Jays won two World Series' back when I was a kid in elementary school, and I had so hoped I'd get to experience that again this year.  Sadly, it was not to be.  And I'm not sure if this club will come close again anytime soon, especially as there's a very real possibility that both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista could walk via free agency.  *sigh*
  • I'm going to miss Sexy Josh the most.  He has very quickly become my Wade Redden of baseball.  My #1 wishlist item for Christmas is a Jays shirt with Donaldson's name and number on the back.  I love Josh.
  • There has been a lot of mocking over "the biggest bandwagon in the world coming crashing down" with the loss last night, on my Facebook newsfeed and on the radio this morning.  And you know what?  I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a bandwagon fan.  You know why?  Because being a tried & true baseball fan is a serious TIME COMMITMENT, you guys.  And I haven't got the time to watch 162 baseball games over the span of 6 months.  I have other TV shows to watch.  I have movies to watch.  I have places to go and people to see and things to do.  I can't be tied to a baseball team, a la Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch style.  It's just too much!  So yeah, I'm a bandwagon fan.  I express mild interest during the regular season, but then I jump on fully for the post-season.  So what.
  • I own one Blue Jays tee, which I bought at the Rogers Centre at the game I attended four or five years ago while on a weekend trip to TO with Lindsay, Ryan and Rebekka.  That tee cost me $45-ish, and I remember debating the cost of it, was it worth it, blah blah blah.  I have worn that tee so much over the past years, it is definitely the wisest $45 I have ever spent.  And I wore it for every game since the Wild  Card game a few weeks ago.  Never washed it, because I didn't want to wash the magic off of it.  (But it did teach me to never discuss my laundry on FB ever again.  Long story.)  ANYways... last night, I dropped a big glob of sour cream on the front of my shirt, so it's probably for the best that they lost.  That shirt needs to be washed in the worst way.
  • Oh, I'm realllly going to miss Josh.  Every time I think about it, my heart squeezes painfully just a little bit.  He was such a nice distraction these past few weeks.
  • Moving on from the Jays... I had so much fun compiling my list of my favourite duets in yesterday's post, but I realized last night that I forgot one that should have been on there.  I love John Prine & Iris Dement's "In Spite of Ourselves".  Such a classic!

    • I have been eating my weight in mini chocolate bars lately.  It's my baseball stress eating food, I sit and watch the games and snack on them, which is not good because when you eat 36 mini chocolate bars in one night, you might as well be eating a whole bunch of big chocolate bars.  They are so deceiving, those little suckers!!
    • I'm getting excited for Halloween... Scary Movie Marathon is coming up next weekend, and then we are planning a little Halloween party in the office for the big day.  I need to come up with a costume this year!!  I always wait til the last minute and I can never find anything good.
    • I'm seriously contemplating sleeping at my mom's on Halloween night.  Because... clowns.
    • This is the stupid clown my friend Brenda brought over on Saturday night.  I have no idea why.  And he's still sitting on the table in my living room because she "forgot" him.  He is small, and he is made of plastic, and he is just a toy, but I HATE HIM.
    • I keep hearing different theories on the "clown uprising" and all I know is, I don't want to be anywhere near a clown in the next couple of weeks.  If any of them are running around on Halloween, they better watch out, because I know more than one person who isn't afraid to take a clown out!  (I'm not one of them... I'd be hiding curled up in the fetal position somewhere if the clowns came at me.)
    Well, I think that's about all the random rambling I have in me for today!  Happy Thursday guys!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    My Fave Duets

    First off... THE JAYS WON LAST NIGHT!!  I started the day off cranky because of them, but they managed to turn my frown upside down with a big win in Game 4.  Game 5 tonight and praying for a repeat of last night's game!  Sexy Josh was in top form!! WOO!!! to regularly scheduled programming.

    Ever since my friend Stacy shared her top 5 favourite duets a few weeks ago, I've had that floating around in my mind, trying to figure out what my favourites are.  I started drafting up a list, but I quickly had way more than 5.  I had to go with 10.  Oh, and I made a rule for myself - to make the list, it had to be a man and woman singing together, not just a collaboration between two artists.  

    Since I'm watching the latest season of The Voice, and they're into the battle rounds where they pair up and sing duets, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share my Top 10 Favourite duets.  Here they are in no particular order:

    Bruises by Train & Ashley Monroe
    I've been a fan of Train for a long time, and I love how lead singer Pat Monahan's voice sounds with Ashley Monroe's country twang.  This song has a neat conversational flow to it, and kind of captures how it feels to bump into an old friend you haven't seen since high school.  I also really like the line, "These bruises make for better conversation."  Everybody's hit bumps in the road.  Everybody's got a story, y'know?

    That's the Way Love Goes by Merle Haggard & Jewel
    An old classic country artist combined with the sweet voice of a younger female...from the first moment I heard this song, I fell in love.  And I'm so glad I went digging around in my iTunes for duets when I started thinking about this list, because I hadn't heard this one in a long, long time.  LOVE!

    Picture by Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow
    I fully believe that Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow are meant to be permanent duet partners.  I debated putting their song Collide on this list instead, but Picture is just so iconic.  When he hits that note, "I was off to drink you away" - gives me goosebumps!

    Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
    I stole this one from Stacy's list, as it takes me right back to Sunday drives with the whole family packed into the car.  We had a very small selection of tapes that Mom and Dad would tolerate, and Kenny Rogers was one of them.  I always loved when this song came on.  Dolly is simply the best.

    I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher
    It's a classic duet, sung by two people who were an actual couple at the time, and it just makes me want to belt it out when I hear it.  Both parts. ;)

    I Still Believe in Waltzes by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn
    Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn go together like peanut butter and jelly.  They had many famous duets during their careers, and probably most are better known than my top choice, but I just adored this song the first time I heard it, and it remains my favourite duet of theirs to this day.  I think it's such a sweet and innocent song, and I love the line, "I still believe in waltzes, and girls with old fashioned ways.  I still believe in love songs, and the good in the good ol' days".

    Just a Fool by Blake Shelton & Christina Aguilera
    I've always been the girl who gets all hung up on the "out of my league" boys.  I chase them around, fall for them, only to have them shake their heads and walk away in the end.  I convince myself to believe we can make it work, and then find out he never had any intentions of making it work.  Just a Fool could be my damn theme song.  Another shot of whiskey, please, bartender.  Keep 'em coming til I don't remember.  (oh, and also, I have this delusion that Christina Aguilera and I are voice twins.)

    Jackson by Johnny Cash & June Carter
    I once had to sing the June part in a different Johnny & June song in a Murder Mystery years ago, and one might believe that it would be my choice when it comes to their duets, but at the end of the day, Jackson is still my favourite.  I just couldn't put together a list of duets without Johnny & June!

    New Again by Brad Paisley & Sara Evans
    This song was introduced to me after two of my cousins passed away the summer of 2010, when I was grappling with loss and hurt on a level I'd never experienced before.  I know the song has more religious connotations, but for me, it put me in the mind of a mother losing her son, and how awful that is.  And yet, it is a beautiful song, and it helped restore my faith at a time when it was on very shaky ground.  It's a special song, and a lovely duet between two country greats.

    I've Had the Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
    Dirty Dancing is one of my all-time absolute favourite movies, and growing up, the final dance scene when Johnny comes back and says "Nobody puts Baby in the corner"... sigh. swoon. repeat.  That song, that dance...It was a little girl's fairy tale come true.  I saw the movie for the first time when I was about five years old - parents would let us watch ANYTHING back then, apparently! - and it has remained one of those epic moments for me all these years.  Still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.  And as a kid, I thought it was actually Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey singing the song. Ha!!

    I'm sure I'm missing some really great ones, but for today, this is my list!  What are YOUR favourite duets?

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    I don't want to be awake right now. Just FYI.

    You know the only problem I can find with a weekend that is jam-packed with fun things?  It's that it flies by WAY too fast and then you end up feeling like you didn't even have a weekend at all.


    By all accounts, this past weekend was wonderful.  I started it off on Friday by taking a quick trip to Shawville after work to pick up a few things, then came home and settled in for a night of nachos, mini chocolate bars, and the Blue Jays.  They kicked off their ALCS series with a loss, but I was just so glad to be watching baseball again after a long week without it that I didn't even care.  It was only Game 1, after all.

    Saturday morning I was up early to get a quick work-out in before getting ready for one of my very favourite days of the year:  CAR RALLY!!  Oh, how I love Car Rally Day.  Our local Lionettes service club hosts this event every fall in our community, and it is one of those extra-special not-to-be-missed days.  Last year's winners had organized the route, questions, clues, and scavenger hunt for the day, all following the theme of Hollywood & the movies.  The theme was right up my alley, and I had a blast touring the back roads with Stacy, Ricky, Sara, & Graham all day.  We thought we had done amazingly well, and I was honestly afraid we might win - we only had a handful of wrong answers - but somehow, we actually had one of our worst finishes ever, landing in 7th place.  I really didn't care though - after having to plan the Rally a few years ago, my new goal every year is just to NOT win. ha!

    After the meal, and the answers & winners were revealed, a bunch of us headed back to my place for some drinks and to watch the Sens game.  (The Jays played in the afternoon, and it was already over by then - sadly, they had lost another close one against Cleveland.)  After the hockey game, Sue, Adam, and Ricky all went home, and so Brenda and I decided to walk down and check out Gavan's.  There were some Rally'ers still there celebrating, so we joined in the fun! :)

    I skipped church on Sunday, opting instead to spend the rainy morning lounging around, drinking coffee and catching up on PVR'd shows.  It was so relaxing.  Truthfully I was enjoying it so much, that I did my darndest to ditch Brenda and our plans to go to the tulip planting ceremony at one of the local elementary schools, but she bribed me with lunch at the chipstand.  I just can't resist when a burger and fries are used as leverage... ;)  So we braved the rain and helped put a few of the 1000 red and white bulbs in the ground for Onslow's "150th Celebration Garden" - and we'll look forward to seeing them bloom next spring to mark Canada's 150th birthday!

    After lunch, I had a little nap before Mom picked me up and we were off to Boston Pizza in Hull to celebrate my nephew Caden's 11th birthday.  He had a big group of buddies there with him, and they seemed to be having a blast.  I was still full from lunch, so decided to order something "light" - the spicy perogie cactus cut potato nachos.  Just a little snacky something, y'know?  But my plate came out and it was MASSIVE.  I almost fell off my chair.  I had leftovers for supper last night, and I STILL have enough left for supper tonight too! hahaha!

    Last night, I was pumped up for Game 3 of the ALCS, as I was sure the Jays were going to finally get back to their winning ways on home turf.  Unfortunately, that was not the case... they ended up losing 4-2, and I'm a wee bit disgruntled that I bothered staying up way past my bedtime to watch it.  It's all worth it when they win, but when they don't... ugh.

    So I'm sipping extra coffee this morning and trying to keep my peepers open.  Jill does not do well on less than 8 hours of sleep, yo.

    It could all be over tonight.  I'm just grateful for the 4 pm start time. I don't know if I could hang in for another late game tonight!!  Fingers crossed that they can get their act together and keep things rolling!!  GO JAYS GO!!!

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    TGIF: Bring on the weekend!

    Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and just think, Nope.

    That's me today.  And I'm not impressed.  Fridays are my favourite day of the week.  This general feeling of malaise that I've had going on from the second my alarm went off this morning was not on my agenda.

    I think it all started with drinking coffee late in the evening last night.  Never a good idea.  So then, even though I was tired, I could not fall asleep.  I was awake until after 11 pm, which is way past this kid's bedtime.  Just tossing and turning and feeling disgruntled about it.

    Then,  after I finally did fall asleep, I had to get up THREE TIMES to pee during the night.  That's right. Not once.  Not twice.  THREE TIMES.  Lord love a duck.  And one of those times was right around Scary 3 AM time, when I refuse to get out of bed for anything, because who the hell knows what is hiding under my bed or in my closet.  Cannot risk it, especially this scary time of year.  *sigh*

    Yesterday, I had one of my sinusy headaches that went away late in the day, but seems to have returned this morning.  Also, I have had this weird problem all week of an aching back/shoulders.  Not really sore exactly, just... a dull ache. And today it seems to be worse.  It's frustrating, because I can't think of a darn thing I've done to cause it.  BAH!

    The only thing I can think of is that my body is fighting off some kind of sickness.  And I guess if I have the choice between getting some kind of flu or just feeling achy and headachy and tired and cranky, I guess I choose the latter.

    So yes.  Thank the dear Lord it is Friday.  I need it to be Friday.  And all of my whiny achy crankiness better F right off because it's going to be a good weekend.

    Tonight:  The Jays are kicking off the ALCS vs. the Cleveland Indians, and I have been missing my Blue Jays all week, so I'm very excited for the game.  GO JAYS!!!

    Tomorrow:  IT'S RALLY TIME!!!  Car Rally is one of my favourite days of the year.  Ricky, Stacy, Graham, Sara and I will all be heading out together to hit the back roads in search of answers to the Car Rally questions and to find clues along the way.  This year, the theme is "Hollywood & the movies", which is right up my alley.  I'm excited to see what the day will hold in store for us.  As long as we don't win, I'll be happy! ha!

    Sunday:  I'm thinking I'm going to take a pass on church on Sunday (who knows what kind of fun I might get into after the Rally, you just never know...) and just enjoy a lazy, quiet morning at home.  Later on in the day, we'll be celebrating my nephew Caden's birthday, which is actually today.  I can't believe the boy is 11!  Where does the time go?!  Happy birthday to my buddy, I hope he has a great weekend of celebrating.

    What's on for your weekend?  Hope you all have a great one!!

    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    A Belated Thanksgiving Re-cap

    Good morning folks!

    Wow.  Thursday already.  Normally I complain about short weeks dragging on, but this one is definitely flying!

    This past weekend was Thanksgiving for those of us up here North of the border, and I thoroughly enjoyed my laid-back, relaxing weekend.  Friday evening, I had full intentions of going to Book Club, but some last-minute plans altered my course.  Instead, I went to a restaurant in Stittsville called Next with friends.  Brenda, Sue, Doug, and I had won gift cards for this place at a curling bonspiel last winter, and we had vowed to all go for dinner together to use them.  The gang decided Friday was the day!  Doug and I had joked all week that we were going on a "date" Friday night, so needless to say I had a good laugh when he arrived at my place Friday like this:

    No, Dougie!  No room at the Inn!! hahahahaha!!!

    As for dinner... it was a completely different and new experience, amazing food and company, and we even had a personal table visit from their world-renowned chef.  Pretty cool!

    I pegged Saturday as my "lazy day".  It started out dreary and rainy, which was perfect for the kind of day I had planned.  I did a quick workout, lazed and caught up on some PVR'd shows over coffee, then gave my house a quick top-to-bottom cleaning.  By afternoon, I had two loaves of my favourite pumpkin bread in the oven, and my house smelled delicious!  Then I settled in for a movie marathon.  Remember all those "weird" movies I bought a few weeks ago from Amazon?  This was the day to watch them.  I wanted to "proof" Ernest Scared Stupid to make sure it was OK for today's generation of children (not too scary, not too gross, etc. - when we were kids our parents let us watch anything, - I saw Dirty Dancing when I was four or five years old! - but not so much with today's kids, I've learned! haha!) - so I checked it out, and it gets my stamp of approval (although it IS pretty stupid).

    I took a break for supper, which Mom joined me for, and then we went for ice cream, as it was the last weekend to get ice cream for the season.  When I returned home, I decided to hit the Gene Wilder films I'd purchased - first, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, then Young Frankenstein.  I admit I kinda dozed off during both, so I guess I didn't find them riveting, but at least now I can say I've seen Gene Wilder act, right? ;)  I ended the night doing something I hadn't done in a long time - watching an old VHS tape in bed (my only VCR is in my room).  I decided to watch Cocktail, which really and truly never gets old.
    "Flat beer from rusty pipes.  If you only knew how I missed it."
    "Couglin's Law: Anything else is always something better."
    "Beer is for breakfast around here.  Drink or be gone!"
    "Couglin's Law:  Bury the dead, they stink up the joint."
    "The luck is gone, the brain is shot, but the liquor we still got".
    ...Most quotable movie ever!!

    Sunday we went to church, which was decorated beautifully for Thanksgiving, and it was a lovely service with lots of people out.  Then right after church, we picked up my friend Laura and we went on a photo safari up into the hills of Ladysmith.  My mom acted as tour guide, allowing us to hop out and take photos whenever something caught our eye. I really enjoyed the drive, seeing old family homesteads, churches, schools my grandmother used to teach at, hearing the little tidbits of history and storytelling that my mom remembers.  It wasn't the best day for photos, as the leaves weren't quite at their peak colours yet, and we were dealing with fickle sunlight for most of the day, but otherwise, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. (and no, no pics uploaded yet...)

    That night, the Jays were back in action, so all I did was lie on the couch, drink beer, eat chips, and watch the Jays!  It was an awesome game, and once again ended in dramatic fashion in extra innings - this time, Sexy Josh the hero as Russell Martin hit into what looked like a sure double-play that the Rangers mis-played, and Josh ended up stealing home in the aftermath.  That finish meant the Jays swept the series 3-0. WOOOOO!!!  Off to the ALCS we go!!!

    Monday was finally my turkey day, and I was oh-so-excited.  I've been daydreaming about Thanksgiving dinner for at least a month now.  I was READY!!  But first, I made a trip to Norway Bay to take some family photos for my friend Sara, and had a little visit with them, which was really nice.  When I got home, I packed up my contributions to dinner (I got off easy with an appetizer, pickles and cheese, and buns) and headed up to Mom's.  I loved stepping into the house and smelling that turkey... mmmmm... nothing quite like that moment!!  YUM!   Shortly after, the rest of the gang arrived, and we spent a relaxing afternoon visiting, taking photos, and just hanging out.  Truly made my heart happy!  And of course, dinner was everything I had dreamed of.  SO good.  I went back for seconds just because I didn't want it to be over yet.

    And that was Thanksgiving 2016!  As I said, this week has zipped by quickly, and now I'm looking forward to Saturday, because it's Car Rally Time!  One of my favourite days of the year.  Can't wait!!!

    Thursday, October 06, 2016

    A Thursday Chat

    • I have a dilemma, folks.  The Jays play their first game of the ALDS today at 4:30.  I work until 5.  I was planning on running to Shawville after work to pick up a few things I need.  But that means probably missing most of the ball game.  I *could* go after work tomorrow, but I have plans for the evening and it would make it a very rushed trip.  I *could* go on Saturday, but it's supposed to be a rainy day, and I like the thoughts of just hunkering down for the day - doing some cleaning, making something pumpkiny, wearing something cozy and watching movies... not having to leave the house.  So I think I *have* to go tonight and miss the ball game.  Which is a tough decision, since tomorrow's game is at 1 pm and I'll miss it too.  Stupid time zone problems!!!
    • I can tell you which game I will not be missing, and that's Sunday's game.  Thank the Lord that it is being played a normal 7:30 pm time slot!
    • I think I have to clarify something I wrote yesterday - it seemed to confuse some of you when I said I ate a lot of cheese popcorn the other night to stay awake during the ball game.  No, cheese popcorn does not have caffeine in it.  Or any other kind of ingredient intended to keep you awake. lol!  It's simply the action of eating something that keeps me sitting up and alert.  If I'm not "doing something", I end up lying down and falling asleep.  Like, every.single.evening.  Not even an exciting ball game could keep my peepers open (at least not in the early going).  However, evening snacking is definitely not helping my waistline, so I need to find a new way to keep myself awake after 7 pm.  My friend Lindsay tells me I should take up knitting.  It might be finally time to learn that craft.
    • I'm also a stress-eater, so during an intense game like the one the Blue Jays were playing the other night, it's second nature to me to stuff my face.  However, eventually the stress level grew so high that I thought I could possibly barf.  Thank God that did not happen, but I definitely was regretting all the cheese popcorn once that nervous nauseousness hit.
    • Oh, and by the way, Nicole... when I said I was eating cheese popcorn, I meant the Chester Cheetos brand of cheese popcorn.  Surely you must have this in your neck of the woods, too?!
    • Last year when the Jays were in the playoffs, my stress food of choice was mini Halloween chocolate bars, but I have yet to buy any this year.  Guess what's on the top of my shopping list for tonight?
    • I had a weird moment last night.  When I got home from work, I made pasta sauce and cooked some penne, made cheesey garlic bread... and for some reason, I had this longing feeling; like I wished I had someone to share it with.  And not just anyone... like I mean... someone significant.  A boyfriend or a husband.  I wished I had someone to cook for other than just me.  Someone who would be happy to come home and know that I had made supper for him.  I honestly don't know if I've EVER felt that way before.  It was very very strange....
    • Have I mentioned lately how excited I am for turkey dinner this weekend?  I have been fantasizing about it for at least a month now.  I'm craving that perfect bite - a little bit of turkey, a little bit of mashed potatoes, a little bit of stuffing, a little bit of gravy, a little bit of cranberry sauce...there is an art to crafting the perfect bite, and I can't wait to work on my craft. ;)
    • I'm also just about DYING for a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  Seriously.  DYING.
    • Thanksgiving weekend is looking to be a little bit low-key for me.  Our turkey dinner isn't until Monday, which still feels like it's forever away.  As I mentioned, Saturday is shaping up to be a lazy indoor rainy baking and watching movies kind of day.  Sunday will be church and brunch, and then I'm going on am afternoon photo safari with a friend to take pictures of the fall scenery.  Then of course the ball game that evening.  Part of me is quite content with the low-key weekend, but there's a little part of me that misses the wild party weekend this once was, when we used to have Tub Rave at my cousin Dale's.  I'm rooting for a Tub Rave Revival next year! ;)
    • Once this weekend is over, I feel like I can dive head-first into Halloween fun.  I'll bust out the decorations, start watching some slightly-spooky stuff, and start getting more excited for Scary Movie Marathon.  Man, I LOVE October!!
    • Another reason to love October?  Car Rally is coming up!  It is always one of my very favourite days of the year, as we always have so much fun cruising the back roads in our area searching for answers to questions and clues, like a giant scavenger hunt, adult-style.  I can't wait!!
    • The weekend is almost here!  Thanksgiving is almost here!! YAY!!!!  Happy Thursday everyone!!

    Wednesday, October 05, 2016

    Hello, October

    It's a two-cups-of-coffee kind of morning 'round here, dudes.

    I stayed up way past my bedtime last night to watch the Blue Jays play in the Wild Card game against Baltimore.  Oh yes, it's that time of year when I become a baseball fan again.  I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a bad Jays fan.  Some might even call me a bandwagoner.  I pay little attention to them during the regular season, but come October, shit gets interesting.

    Oh, and by the way... it's OCTOBER.  Not only is it October, it's October 5th.  When the hell did that happen??

    Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.

    I've been outta whack this week, trying to "get back to normal" after a weekend away.  It takes very little to throw me outta whack.  I was off on Friday, and just taking one day away from the office apparently results in madness at my desk for days afterwards.  ugh.  Now half-way through the week, I finally feel like I've got my head above water again, at last.

    Oh, and the weekend away was wonderful.  On Friday, I packed up and headed off with friends Lindsay, Bonnie, and Kerry-Lynn.  Those three ladies kind of made plans during the summer for a girls weekend getaway, and I kind of invited myself to join them lol.  We ended up going to Kingston, about a two-and-a-half hour drive away.  It's a beautiful city with lots to explore.  On the Friday night, we did the Haunted Walk of Kingston, and then Saturday morning we did the tour of the notorious Kingston Penitentiary. (my pics aren't uploaded yet, but when I get them up, I may devote a whole post to it - that tour was definitely a highlight of the trip for me).  Of course, being the home of The Tragically Hip, we made sure to take a stroll down The Tragically Hip Way outside the K-Rock Centre, the site of the last Hip concert this past August, and I admit I kind of daydreamed about what it must have been like to be there back on that legendary late-summer evening...

    We shopped til we dropped at the outlets (I finally feel like I have a fall wardrobe now!!), enjoyed delicious meals out, and had great girl chats over drinks in our rooms at the motel.  I'm only sorry it was over so quickly.

    We got home early Sunday afternoon,and after unpacking, I basically just lazed and lounged around at my mom's for the rest of the day.  Even with all the resting and relaxing, I was still tired on Monday.  Getting my ass outta bed wasn't easy.  Then I felt like I spent all of Monday and Tuesday playing catch-up.

    A good night's sleep last night would have probably restored me to normal, but like I said... Jays game.  Ain't no rest for the wicked, I guess.

    I was pretty wound up and tense prior to the game last night, considering I'm just a lowly bandwagoner. The Wild Card game is a do-or-die situation, and the Jays needed to win it to advance in the playoffs.  On Sunday when we were watching their last game of the regular season, every time Josh Donaldson came up to bat, I'd say, "There's Sexy Josh."  My niece and nephew would repeat it every time I said it, which made me laugh.  Last night, my bro-in-law texted me just as the game was starting:  "Watching the Jays game.  As they announced Josh, Caden says, 'Or as Jilly would say, Sexy Josh!'" LOL  Totally made my day!!!

    It was an exciting, edge-of-your-seat kind of game.  I ate a lot of cheese popcorn earlier in the evening to try and keep myself awake (like I said, this game took me way past my bedtime), and by the bottom of the 9th with the score tied, I kind of felt like I was going to puke a lot of cheese popcorn.  Holy nerve-wracking game, Batman.  And as the extra innings went on, the score dead-locked at two, I kept thinking, I'm going to be so pissed off when they lose this...

    I needn't have worried.  In the bottom of the 11th, with two men on (one of 'em being Sexy Josh), Edwin Encarnacion came up to bat and he hit that first pitch deep.  Man, it was an amazing moment.  I was so glad I stayed up to watch it.  It was a moment that will go down in Blue Jays history.

    So, I'm a little tired this morning.  But it's the best kind of tired.

    Oddly enough, I almost hit a Blue Jay on my way into work this morning.  It was sitting on the 5th Concession as I drove into work, and as I got closer and I realized what it was and it wasn't moving, I thought, "Oh shit I'm about to hit a Blue Jay!!!"  But it flew away at the last second.  A good omen, I'm thinking.

    The Jays are off to Texas on Thursday for the start of the American League Division Series.

    It's October.  And there's October baseball.

    Life is good.