Friday, December 22, 2017

It's almost time...

The baking is finished, the presents are wrapped, {most}of the movies and specials have been watched...  We're still three days away, but man, I am SO READY!!!!

Today will be a half-day, and I'm not only supremely excited about that, I'm also a little relieved... the Curling Christmas Party last night was fun, and I had about two beers too many, so the head is a wee bit fuzzy this morning.  At noon, we'll likely gather in the shop for a few drinks and a little MVT jam session, then it will be home for a nap.  Tonight, I'll be heading to Lindsay & Ryan's for our annual Christmas movie night, and that's always one of my favourite holiday traditions, especially now that Sam's so into movies!!

Tomorrow I have to make a quick trip to Shawville to get stuff to make the saran wrap ball game for Christmas Eve, and we're also going to watch Caden's hockey game.  Then we'll be off to Kayla and Ben's for the Eve of Christmas Eve at the Duquettes.  Super fun!!  I can't wait!!

Sunday is Christmas Eve, but we don't have a morning church service, so it will likely actually be a pretty relaxing day.  I'll have lots of time to pack up my stuff, get food and drinks ready, and get up to my mom's.  I'll have no trouble squeezing in my annual Christmas Eve viewing of Miracle on 34th Street, of that I'm almost positive.  After supper, we'll be off to church, another tradition that is an absolute must!!

I'm so excited about it all.  Honestly, the only slight problem I have is that I've been having weird heart palpitation problems.  They've been ongoing for months, but they have become much more frequent over the past week, which not only makes me nervous but also is SO annoying.  I have been to see my doctor about it, and I have tests and appointments coming up in the new year to try and get to the bottom of it, but in the meantime, since they aren't being accompanied by any of the serious symptoms (chest pain, dizziness, fainting), I just have to live with them.  And they are driving me BANANAS.  My doc has reassured me I'm healthy and he thinks it's more stress-related than anything, but they literally make me want to pull my hair out when they happen.  So frustrating, and I don't want them to ruin my holidays!!!

OK... I got that little vent out.  (Anyone who has been around me for more than 2 minutes lately has heard enough about the heart palps, trust me).  And now, I hope I can move on and just have a HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wishing you & yours all the best this holiday season.  Enjoy the food, the drinks, the presents, the fun, and most of all, the time spent with loved ones.  It really is more about the "presence"  than the "presents"!!!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Wishlist: 2017

How are we all doing with the Christmas shopping?  Are you feeling good about it?  Are you done?  I have to say, I felt like I was really on the ball this year.  I started my shopping in early November, and basically finished on Black Friday.  I took a day off work last week to complete a few odds and ends and stocking stuffers, things I couldn't get on-line, and with that I was completely, totally FINISHED.  Man, it felt good.  I'm so looking forward to setting up my little elfie workshop on Saturday, putting a Christmas movie on, pouring some rum & egg nog, and getting my wrapping done!!

So, as I prepare myself to wrap on Saturday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share my Christmas Wishlist this year!!  Confession:  I was almost, almost tempted to suggest no gifts this year.  Just buy for the kids.  I have a feeling my family would have jumped at it, but there's still that little smidge of kid left in me, and I just couldn't get my head around not having anything to open on Christmas morning.  I'm getting close, though... maybe, just maybe, I'm almost grown up??

Here's the usual disclaimer:  Gifts are not important.  What IS important is the love and time spent with family and friends during the holiday season.  I do not expect to receive everything on my list, I just put it together for fun as little "wants" cross my mind.  Once again, I'm extremely grateful that as I get older, my list is made up more and more of just simple "wants" rather than "needs".  I am fortunate and blessed.

But a girl still needs a few ribbons and bows beneath the tree, am I right?!?  So here it is, without further ado... My 2017 Wishlist:

A Mark Stone Sens T-shirt

I made my Wishlist before the Sens went into the crapper.  *sigh*  It's been a rough couple of weeks to be a Sens fan.  BUT...Mark Stone still rocks my world, and I'd proudly wear his name and number on my back!!

Gord Downie's "Secret Path" Album

It's no secret that I was deeply saddened by the loss of The Tragically Hip's frontman, Gord Downie, this past fall.  I've been a huge fan of Gord's music since my early teen years.  I have made an effort to purchase all of The Hip's work that has been produced to date, but I have yet to buy Gord's "Secret Path" project, which became his driving life force in his final months.  Despite battling terminal brain cancer, Gord Downie put his heart and soul into helping the Canadian Indigenous people who have suffered mightily, and told the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to escape from a Residential School  in the 1960's.  I watched Gord's live performance of the songs, as it was televised several days after his death, and found the music and lyrics to be gut-wrenching and beautiful.  My favourite track is "Son".  I'd love to be able to sit down and immerse myself in the album at home.

SweetLegs Leggings

I don't know how it happened, but I have become a leggings girl.  I own multiple pairs and from different stores and brands, but so far, SweetLegs are by far my favourite.  I love them so much, I almost became a rep for the company this past fall.  A new pair would never go to waste in my closet!!

A long, black tunic-style sweater to wear with leggings

For a girl who owns as many leggings as I do, it's kind of a key wardrobe component that I am missing.  Here's hoping Santa can find me one that will suit my style!!

Book Club books for 2018

Our book club selections have been made for 2018, and as usual, I'm hoping to get one or two for Christmas!  This year's books that I need are:
Christine by Stephen King
They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
The Child Finder by Rene Denfield
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

iTunes Gift Cards

I'm not a big fan of gift cards for Christmas, but since I rarely buy CD's anymore, an iTunes gift card definitely comes in handy!  I've been holding off on downloading Taylor Swift's new album, so if I got a gift card for Christmas, I know what I would put it towards!

A Nutcracker decoration

This has become the new "breadmaker" on my list.  Every year, I wish for a Nutcracker - because I swear, it's the only Christmas decoration I do not have!!  The problem is, I'd like a fairly big, substantial Nutcracker - one that can stand int he corner of the room or beside the tree - and they are pricey, usually way over our spending cap.  I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for one on sale after Christmas, though!

A Salad Spinner

Ugh.  I hate salad, you guys.  But part of the reason why I hate salad is that I hate making salad.  And washing the lettuce is such a pain in the ass job!  Would I enjoy salads more if I had a spinner that made washing the lettuce easier?  I don't know.  Maybe.

An Instant Pot

My family is going to read this and say, "Huh?  What?  She did not have this on her list!!"  But it's a new addition.  And honestly, I'm torn on it.  I have friends who swear by them and say they are miracle machines.  And I do think there's a huge advantage to having one, in that I always forget to take stuff out of the freezer in the morning to defrost.  They tell me an Instant Pot works wonders on frozen food in a short amount of time.  But. BUT!  I'm single.  I have no one else to feed.  I never use my slow cooker.  It's yet another kitchen appliance to find a place for.  (Literally, my breadmaker is sitting on the floor in the corner.  I use it - LOTS - but I have no place to store it.)  How often would I actually make use of it?  I just don't know...


And while any old socks would do, I especially have had my eye on those ones with funny messages on the soles of them.  I think they're so cute.


Who couldn't use a new pair of jammies?

A slotted metal spoon

One of those stupid little kitchen things that you never think of until you need one...

A panda mug that changes colours when you pour hot water into it

I'm a sucker for mugs.  Do I need more mugs?  No.  I don't have room in my cupboards for the mugs I have.  But I've been in love with this one ever since I heard about it.  Please, Santa??  Please????

An electric hand mixer

I have a hand mixer, one that works quite well in fact, but my beaters are in bad shape.  They're kind of starting to rust.  Might be time to get myself a new one...

A  board game, something like Clue

I know.  I hate games.  Why would I ask for a game?  Well, it has dawned on me that I have, like, ZERO games.  And I keep thinking it might be fun to organize a game night this winter with friends, or have some at my place if the kids are ever over visiting.  I have fond memories of playing Clue as a kid, so that's the one that came to mind.  I think it would be fun to introduce to Caden and Danica over the holiday season, as I'm hoping to have them for a sleepover at some point.

Gift cards for the movie theatre

Another thing I'm hoping to do over the holidays is go to the MOVIES!!!  God, I love going to the movies.  I'd love to take the kids to see Ferdinand, and I'm also dying to see Pitch Perfect 3 or The Greatest Showman.  Gift cards to the movies are never a bad gift when it comes to me!!

Well, I think that's it.  And that's quite long enough.  I'd be thrilled if I even just got one or two things off this list.  It's all fun stuff (except for maybe the salad spinner, but hey, I know one of those 2018 resolutions will be to lose weight, and what better way to do that than with salad?  BLAH.)

What's on YOUR 2017 Wishlist??

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: Hollying & Jollying

Oh, you guys!!  I'm just having so much fun hollying & jollying these days!   The past few weeks have been brimming with fun Christmas activities and events.  And over the past few days, it has finally SNOWED!!!  My heart is overjoyed!!

Here's some random for this snowy, festive Tuesday:

  • So, I intended today's post to be a photo dump of all the fun Christmassy things I've been up to these past few weeks, but my iCloud is not co-operating.  Every picture I save, it says, "Failed - No File".  And I'm like, "um, hello, iCloud, the file is RIGHT THERE.  Come on."  Bah.  So I do apologize for this picture-less post.  I don't know what to do about the iCloud issue.
  • I have literally been having a ball these past few weeks getting my Christmas on.  Parties with friends & family, cookie exchange, book club, Christmas House Tour, Santa Claus Parade, and so on... It's been wonderful!!  That said, things are kind of winding down a bit, and I'm really excited about that too... quieter evenings and weekends to spend sipping hot tea or rum & egg nog, making last-minute goodies in the kitchen, wrapping gifts, watching movies... I enjoy the quiet, peaceful moments of the holiday season just as much, and I'm going to embrace them.
  • This past Saturday, I had a baking day with my mom.  Every year, I demand that she make Grandma's iced sugar cookies, and every year she laments that they are a pain to make and she hates doing it.  I decided this year to ask for a lesson, so that one of these years when she absolutely refuses to make them, I'll at least have an idea of how to go about it!  We ended up having a wonderful day in her kitchen, rolling out the dough, choosing cookie cutters to use, and then icing and "sprinkling" them once they had cooled.  Mom says the job goes better with two people, and it went so smoothly she wondered if maybe Grandma was supervising us... I'd like to think she was!  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
  • I took last Thursday off to finish my Christmas shopping, and I'd say I'm literally 99% done.  I still need to do one final grocery trip for fun Christmas snacks and booze, and a few little touches to complete a couple of gifts, but otherwise... DONE!  I intend on doing the bulk of the wrapping on Saturday, but I am still waiting on a few parcels to arrive.. I'm hoping to have them by Saturday, but I'm not 100% sure I will.  Which kind of makes me panic, but I keep reminding myself there's still another whole WEEK for them to arrive.  There's time.
  • Things I've really been enjoying this Christmas season:  My David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me; my giant elf, Lyndonne, running around and getting into mischief (Lyndonne is on the Loose!!); taking time each evening to watch something Christmassy on TV (whether it be part of a movie, a TV special, anything holiday related); the pine cone Advent Calendar that was handed out at church last week with a little message to read each day; the Pentatonix Christmas album I downloaded from iTunes. Little things that are making my heart happy and full right now.
  • On Sunday, we celebrated my niece Danica's birthday, as she will be turning 9 on Friday.  It gives me a little pang to think that my wee girl is turning 9... the years just fly by so fast!  We had a great afternoon of family time, and it made me feel so good.  It would also have been my dad's birthday on Sunday, so it was nice to spend the day together, all of us.  
  • Have I mentioned that I'm happy it's snowing?  I'm SO HAPPY IT'S SNOWING!!  And we have cold temps predicted from now until Christmas, so I think the odds of having a White Christmas are pretty much in my favour... Woo Hoo!!
Well, I think that's about it today!  What's going on in your world??

Friday, December 01, 2017

Hello, December!!!

Happy Friday friends!!  And HAPPY DECEMBER!!! 

I admit, I'm feeling a little rough today.  I curled late game last night, and we seemed to have to do a pile of sweeping. LOL  My arms are like jelly, but on top of that, I'm always too wound up post-curling, and end up staying up way later than I normally would.  Last night, it was 1 AM before I finally konked out.  And I didn't even have a drink, but I feel hungover.  Just tired and achy.  Blech.  (but we won, so... worth it? I guess?)

Anyways, whatever.  No time to be tired and hungover today, because it's FRIDAY!  And it's DECEMBER 1st!!!  So much excitement going down in the coming days, I can't even contain myself!!!  Here's what up in my world right now:

  • So, I've had this idea brewing in my mind since last December, when several of my friends were posting the daily shenanigans of their Elf on the Shelf elves.  I have this giant elf that my aunt won in a silent auction and then gave to me.  Most of my friends and relatives think he's creepy AF, but I think he's quite delightful and I have learned to enjoy tormenting the general public with my giant creepy elf.  So, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if Lyndonne got into mischief too?"  I thought it might get a few laughs if I started posting my big ol' elf getting into things during the month of December.  The idea would cross my mind every now and then throughout the year, and I would smile and think, "yeah, that'll be fun".  It wasn't until I brought Lyndonne out of storage a week ago that I suddenly realize, "Crap.  I actually have to come up with stuff for a giant elf to do!!"  The idea has blossomed, and I have a list of fun for Lyndonne to get into over the coming weeks.  I was so excited to get up this morning and post Day 1.  Lyndonne is ON THE LOOSE!!!
  • I also got to have chocolate for breakfast.  Nothing quite as exciting as opening that first little door on the el-cheapo Advent Calendar!!
  • I also have a "big girl" Advent Calendar... a David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me!!  I've been dying to crack into it, and I excitedly removed the little Day 1 tin of "Let It Snow" tea to bring to work with me today.  Can't wait to try it out.
  • I'm hoping to have time for a quick nap after work today to re-charge the batteries, then I will be off to the annual Cookie Exchange I take part in at my friend Sharon's, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
  • Tomorrow will be a day of tidying up the house and prepping, as the ladies will be arriving late afternoon for our annual Christmas get-together!  This year, we are having a Mitten Mayhem party - where you take a pair of mittens or gloves and fill them with little Christmas goodies, and then play a game to exchange the mittens.  (Which reminds me... I need to look up a game to play for the exchange!)  There will be delicious snacks, and...well...probably not a whole lot of drinks, as many of my friends are currently expecting babies, but I still expect it to be lots of fun and have lots of laughs!
  • Sunday will be church, and then another day of prepping, this time for the Christmas House Tour!!  No, I'm not actually on the tour, but as one of the main organizers, there's still plenty to be done.  Sorting out last-minute tickets sales, delivering the door prizes to the home owners who are on the Tour this year, making food for the refreshment table... I'm sure it will all keep me busy!
  • And then Monday is the Christmas House Tour!!  One of my favourite events of the holiday season!!  Our church has been hosting this Tour for years, and I've personally been involved in the organization of it for quite a while now.  I so look forward to seeing the beautifully decorated homes, and greeting everyone out that night.  Such a festive, put-me-in-the-spirit kind of night!  Can't wait!!
There's been a lot going on the past few weeks, and while I'm soaking it all up and enjoying every minute, I am also kind of looking forward to a quieter week next week once House Tour is over... Still have Christmas Book Club Potluck coming up, but then I think most of my big Christmas parties and events are over and I'll be able to settle in, hunker down, wrap and watch movies and sip some rum & egg nog... mmm.  Bliss!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: Christmas in the air...

Hey folks!

Well, I have to admit, I'm feeling a little on the cruddy side today.  I developed a cough about a week ago, and it seems to be at its worst today.  Weirdest "illness" I think I've ever had.  No sore throat, no other cold symptoms, just a deep cough that seems to come from the very bottom of my lungs. ugh.  Last night was the first time it has kept me up at night.  I couldn't stop coughing, and Halls were doing nothing to help because it isn't coming from my throat, it's from deeper in my chest.  So I'm feeling a little rough today because of it.

But I have NO TIME to have the Black Lung right now!  I'm carrying on as if it does not exist!  As I mentioned last week, the Christmassing began on the weekend and the next few weeks are jam-packed with festivities!!  IT'S MY FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR!!!!

So, yes, I survived the first really Christmassy weekend of the year.  Friday evening I did a quick shopping trip to the city, and as it turns out, it wasn't as crazy as I expected for Black Friday.  I swear, the Friday before was worse.  It was fast and productive.

Saturday morning, I got up early (earlier than I normally would on a Saturday) so that I could get a good start on my Christmas baking.  I opted out of going to the Pine Lodge Christmas Market so that I could give my cookies 100% of my attention.  I got about 10 dozen cookies made total, several different varieties, and felt very accomplished.  My heart is SO happy when I'm baking Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music!  It was my kind of heaven.

I had done as much as I could with the time I had by mid-afternoon, and decided instead of starting into another batch that a nap was a better idea.  I needed to be rested, because our company Christmas party was that evening.  I got a nice snooze in, and it was much-needed.

The party was AWESOME!  I can't remember the last time I drank and danced like that.  Seriously.  The meal was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the band literally had me dancing all.night.long.  It kind of went exactly as I hoped - I had fun, I let loose, but I didn't go completely bonkers.  I drank lots of water in between the rum & cokes and the jagerbombs, so I woke up the next morning feeling not half bad.  My biggest fear was getting sick, and I avoided that, so... WIN!  Most fun I've had in a long time.

Thanks to all the water I drank, I was able to get up the next morning and at least act like a human being, which was good because I had another full day planned!  First up was a very exciting, bustling church service, as we were celebrating the first Sunday of Advent, a baptism, AND communion - and I had been asked to serve communion, so, like I said...I had to act like a human being. lol  I made it through that and breakfast, and then we were on our way to the city with the Sunday School to see the movie "The Star".  It was super-cute, and it was such a fun bunch, but Jill was slowly going downhill at that point... Danica was being a Susie Seat Kicker behind me and driving me nuts, and at one point I even almost fell asleep.  I hung in there, though, and I was so glad I went.  It was just the perfect movie to put me in the Christmas spirit!

We went back to my sister's place, and Chris had picked up pizza, so we had a quick bite to eat, but it was starting to snow so we headed for home pretty soon after.  I got home and didn't even bother watching the Grey Cup - straight up to bed, where I put a movie on and promptly fell asleep.  I don't even think it was 8 PM.  This kid is soooo not used to rebounding from a night of partying anymore, that's for sure!

I still felt a little hungover yesterday, but I pushed through the day, and even went home and made more cookies after work.  I can be a trooper when I want to be lol.  Now today I feel even worse, but it's just because of this cough and the bad night's sleep.  I'm just going to keep pretending it's not an issue, though, because there's another full weekend ahead of fun stuff... no time to be under the weather!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Let the Christmasing BEGIN!!!

Oh you guys...  I've been trying so hard to keep a lid on it.  Trying to make out that its "just Christmas Prep Season" and that I know it's too early.  But today, it finally feels like it's allowed!!!

Remembrance Day is over.  American Thanksgiving is over.  With a couple of clicks of my mouse this morning thanks to Black Friday sales, my shopping is mostly finished.  (BIG sigh of relief, the shopping part is always the most stressful part!)

And now?  Now?  Now it's...


Last weekend might have been my first Christmassy weekend of the season, but this weekend we really kick it into high gear.  Here's what I've got on tap:

- Tonight, I"m meeting my mom in the city and we're going to do a little shopping.  I know, I just said I was almost finished, didn't I?  Well, all I'm really looking for is some Christmas treats to fill my mittens for next weekend's Mitten Mayhem Party with friends, so it should be a pretty stress-free shopping trip.  Except that I kind of forgot it was Black Friday when I planned this shopping trip... Oh well.  We will be in no rush, so hopefully I can calmly handle the shoppers who are still out this evening!  Also looking forward to supper out too!

- Tomorrow is officially START THE CHRISTMAS BAKING DAY!!!  I have all the ingredients, and a whole day to just putter in the kitchen, listening to my Christmas CDs (which I found!  woo hoo!!!), and getting my bake on.  I'm taking part in a Cookie Exchange next Friday, so I'm hoping to get the bulk of the cookies made tomorrow.

- There is also a big Christmas Market on not far from home tomorrow that I'm thinking of hitting up.  I don't need anything, and I'm pretty tapped out when it comes to the finance department (being done shopping so early is both a blessing and a curse), so it might be best if I don't go and just stick with the baking.  But I LOVE the cheerful Christmas feeling at these things, it will be hard to resist.  Maybe if I leave the purse at home and just go to enjoy the experience?  I just might do that...

- Tomorrow night is our company Christmas party, which is always what I consider to be the official "kick-off" to Christmas!  My first year working here at Mountainview (almost 14 years ago! ack!) I made a deal with some of the guys that I would not sing Christmas carols until the day of the Christmas party.  Well guess what, lads... tomorrow is the day!!!  I can't wait for the evening out.  It's been a long time since I "let my hair down", so to speak, and while I'm not intending to let Sadie out, I do intend on having a good time.  Bring it!!!

- Sunday is also going to be jam-packed with fun!! Church will be a bustling service, as we are celebrating the first Sunday of Advent and a baptism as well. Advent is my favourite, and I'm so excited for it to finally begin!!

- After church, I have a quick meeting with our Lay Supervision Team, and then we'll be off to the movie theatre, as the Sunday School is going to an afternoon showing of "The Star", and I'm tagging along.  I love going to the movies, I love this bunch of kids, and I LOVE anything that's related to Christmas. Sign. me. up!!!

I'm literally jittery with excitement over all the fun that lies ahead.  Let the hollying & jollying BEGIN!!! :)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Random Thursday Things

  • I actually started writing a completely different blog post this morning.  I was having a bit of a vent session because I felt a little bombarded yesterday - I was getting emails from all directions with a variety of requests and questions.  When things come firing at me all at once like that, I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed out.  But if I write a whole post about it, what good am I doing?  Just feeding the beast, right?  Today is a new day!  I deleted my whole "woe is me" post and decided to move on and let it go.
  • So, last night I kind of finished decorating.  I say "kind of" because there are a few little touches left to do - I want to add my orange slices to the dining room tree, but I didn't have any oranges last night to make them.  I also need to cut out snowflakes for the glass panels of my door.  And last but not  least, I need to put the garland on the banister, but I need an extra set of hands to help with that one.  Otherwise, I'm done, and it feels good!
  • You know what does NOT feel good?  I can't find my Christmas CD's anywhere.  I searched high and low.  They are always sitting in the corner of the dining room with my CD player.  ALWAYS.  And now, suddenly, they are gone. It's as if a weird thief broke in, combed every inch of my home, and took only the small stack of Christmas albums.  *sigh*  I know this does not seem like a big deal, but I am lost without my Justin Bieber, Blake Shelton, Elvis Presley, and Wayne Ronstadt Christmas CD's.  Decorating last night just felt wrong without them.
  • I'm a little ridiculously excited about going to Bulk Barn tomorrow after work.  I've come a long way from the first time I tried to buy stuff at Bulk Barn.  I still have a little anxiety over worrying that I'm buying too little or too much - I'm really not good at the "eyeballing" thing! - but the savings in buying it this way is worth that anxiety.  
  • I'm a little disappointed that the chip wagon in town closed earlier this week.  I had been planning on having one last snack this coming weekend.  Now I guess I'll just have to dream about that poutine all winter long... *sigh*
  • I'm very excited to get my bake on next week.  Now that the decorating part is done, I am excited to start checking things off the baking list!  I'm taking part in a Cookie Exchange on December 1st, so there's no time to waste.  
  • One of the things on my Christmas Bucket List is:  "Make Grandma's Iced Sugar Cookies with Mom".  My Grandma made the best iced sugar cookies in the world, and now Mom makes them to keep the tradition alive.  However, I know Mom finds them a pain in the butt to make, and only does them because she knows how much I love them.  I have never learned how to make them, so I think it's about time I learn!  I'm hoping to make a date with her for a lesson, maybe December 9-10 weekend.  I think every weekend is completely booked prior to that...
  • I'm not gonna lie, I'm starting to get very excited for Christmas get-togethers!  This year, I think I'm getting wound up about it extra-early because of this one I'm going to on Saturday night.  Usually the MVT Christmas Party is my first of the season (always the last weekend of November), but not this year!  It makes me feel like I can bust out the hollying & jollying even earlier!!  Woo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday friends!  I'm trying to get back into blogging on a more regular basis (I've been hit-or-miss at best for the past few months) - so today I'm sharing what I'm loving this Wednesday!!

  • The Grinch mug that I picked up at the Onslow Christmas Craft Sale on Saturday!  I've been sipping coffee from it all week at work.  And the saying on it couldn't be more true... lol!
  • That my Christmas tree is up and the rest of the house is well on it's way to being fully decorated.  I truly do LOVE the cozy, Christmassy feel of my home when it's decorated for the holiday season.  Tonight I'm planning to decorate the dining room and kitchen, and then I'll be mostly finished.
  • My Christmas Bucket List!  I shared it on Instagram on the weekend, and so many of my friends commented on what a good idea it is.  (I have Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things to thank for the idea).  I can't wait to start checking things off!
  • My new dark "winter hair".  I usually tone down my blonde with some lowlights for the winter, but this is the first time in a few years that I've gone totally dark.  I had to go back to my hairdresser last night, as there was still some blonde showing through and in certain light, the blonde pieces were looking green, so she darkened it all back up.  It's a refreshing change for the winter months.
  • My Onslow hoodie & raglan tee that I picked up this weekend!  My former elementary school has been selling some new swag, and as a proud former Onslow kid, I knew I had to get some of their merch. As soon as I get home after work, the first thing I do is put on my hoodie!
  • That Christmas House Tour plans came together in the end and I'm so excited to visit the houses participating!!  It was a stressful few weeks trying to find people, but in the end, I actually ended up with a bonus house - 5 stops instead of the usual 4.  We have a nice variety of places this year, and some very creative people participating.  Woo hoo!!
  • I know it's only Wednesday, but I'm loving the prospect of another fun weekend ahead.  Friday evening, I'm planning to head to the city to visit Bulk Barn, to stock up on my Christmas baking necessities.  Then I'll come home and make my squares for the next day, because our church is hosting a Harvest Tea. We were unable to have our annual Harvest Supper this year, so we're supplementing with a tea and it will be lovely.  Then Saturday night, I have an early Christmas get-together with some friends, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
What are YOU loving this Wednesday??

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Christmas prep has begun...

I had my first "Christmassy" weekend of the season. 

I know what you're probably thinking... TOO SOON!  TOO SOON!!!  But for me?  It felt wonderful.

I should note that I don't really consider it "Christmastime" yet.  I'm just thinking of it more as "Christmas Prep Time".  I get easily overwhelmed and flustered when too much is going on at once, and while Christmas is my favourite time of year, it can also be a very busy and stressful time of year.  I'm just trying to stay on the ball and keep my plate balanced. 

Also, I've noticed this year especially that a lot more is happening earlier in the Christmas season.  It kind of feels like everyone wants December to be relaxing and care-free, so more and more is getting bumped back into late November/very early December. 

Which means "Prep Time" has to start earlier. 

My first "official" Christmas event is actually this coming Saturday.  I have an annual get-together with some friends, and this year, it's happening on Nov. 18th.  Then the MVT Christmas party is Nov. 25th.  I have a Cookie Exchange party booked for Dec. 1st, and another friends Christmas gathering which I'm hosting Dec. 2nd. The Christmas House Tour is Dec. 4th. Then, it's Christmas Book Club pot-luck at my place on the 8th.

That's a lot of holiday parties and events loaded into the back end of November and early December.

I like it, because it leaves the rest of December wide open for last-minute shopping, wrapping, and cozying up to watch all of my favourite Christmas movies and specials.  (I literally get stressed out when I don't have time to watch all the movies. lol)  It gives me time to really savour and soak up the best time of the year.

But it also just kind of shifts the stress into the month before.  Hence why I have to start prepping on November 12th.

Yes, that's right.  My trees went up on Sunday, and a lot of the decorating is already done.  My front hall, living room, bathrooms, and bedroom are pretty much finished.  I still have to trim the dining room tree and decorate in there, as well as the kitchen, and also put the garland on the banister, but that will all get done this week, after my decorating injuries have healed.  (Yes, you heard me right.  The backs of my legs are aching as if I ran a marathon, which I'm assuming is from running up and down the stairs bringing decs out on Sunday).  Next week, I will start the baking.  I also started the shopping in late October.  Far from being done, but it feels good to at least have a good start on it.

I have also taken Kelle's lead and created a "Christmas Bucket List" - which isn't really a "bucket list" so much as a "to-do list", but created in a way to increase fun and decrease stress.  Little reminders of fun holiday things I like to do, along with the bigger important events mixed in, and I'm already excited to start checking things off.
I feel so much better being on top of things, and if starting the day after Remembrance Day helps accomplish that, then so be it.  I know people think I'm crazy - people have told me to my face that they think I'm crazy - but honestly, I look at it as securing my own mental health.  I'm doing everything I can to ensure I don't have a pre-Christmas meltdown.

And also?  I just really love Christmas.  So sue me.  What harm am I doing to anyone if I enjoy sitting cuddled up on my couch by the glow of the Christmas tree?  It's not like I'm forcing it down anyone else's throat.  (Well, except for our minister, who kind of has to walk through a Winter Wonderland to get to his office in my front hall right now, haha!)  I've even been keeping my blinds closed so that people won't drive by and say, "Christmas tree up?  Already?  Is she well?"

I am well.  I am ensuring that I will be well.  The Christmas season makes my heart happy, and if I can manage all of the stressful aspects that come with it, then I will, indeed, be very well.

Cheers to the holiday season!  May it be merry for one and all! :)

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Halloweenie Weekend on Tap

I'm a little bit sad that it's already the last weekend of October.  I LOVE October, and it just seems to have flown by way too fast this year.

But here we are.  And the last weekend of October is always the best weekend of October.  I'm ready to enjoy it!!

First up, I have to do a little work.  That means, cutting grass as soon as I get home from work today, for what SHOULD be the last time this year.  In fact, my grass isn't all that long right at the moment, but I"m afraid if I don't do it now, it'll be long and shaggy and in desperate need of a cut as soon as the snow melts.  I usually like to deny that grass cutting time is here for a few weeks once spring has sprung, so the shorter it is now, the better.

Once the grass is cut, I'm off to Shawville to grab some groceries and some last-minute odds and ends I need to complete my treat bags for the kiddies!  Also, as per usual, I haven't given much thought to a costume, and I'm doing my usual scramble to try and cobble something together.  We'll see if the stores up there have anything to offer.

Once those Friday chores are complete, it's time for the FUN stuff!  My hope is to get my pumpkin carved and treat bags assembled tonight and tomorrow morning.  Of course, I plan to do so while watching something spooooky on TV.  I'm very tempted to binge Season 2 of Stranger Things, it should be creepy enough!  But I could also hit the DVD shelf and go to some of my favourite Halloween movies... it's tradition for me to watch "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - old Disney version - and I'm also feeling drawn to both Scream and The Amityville Horror (Ryan Reynolds edition, hells yeah) this year.  So who knows.  Regardless, there will be something spooky on tonight!

You know what else I need to do at some point over the next few days?  I have not made ONE pumpkiny thing yet this year.  And I came across an old Facebook post where I bragged about "the best pumpkin bread" recipe ever.  I need to dig that out and get my bake on!!

And then, on Saturday, it's Scary Movie Marathon time.  One of my favourite days of the year!!  This year, Lindsay and I have decided to watch Saw (her choice) and Urban Legend (my choice), as well as Hotel Transylvania for Sammy.  I love the fact that we can incorporate Sam into our tradition now, as he loves watching movies!  I'm very much looking forward to the pizza and snacks and candy!!  Not so much looking forward to Saw... eep!!  I usually try to control movie choices and ensure they are ones I've seen before.  This is one I have always avoided, and I'm terrified to watch it.  Might have to sleep with the lights on for a few nights...

So October might have whistled by at lightening speed, but I'm going to make the last weekend count!  Hope you all enjoy a "spooktacular" weekend too! :)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

For a Boy In Fiddler's Green

He sang, "I'll die before I quit",
And this guy's the limit...


When you wake up in the morning, you just don't know what the day ahead will bring.

Last Wednesday, October 18th, when morning broke and I crawled out of bed, I had no idea it was going to be a day of heartache. 

It didn't take long for the news to hit, though.  I had just arrived at work, settled in at my desk and I was starting my day, when my phone buzzed with a text from Lindsay.

I didn't even have to open it.  I instantly saw that she had forwarded me a post from The Tragically Hip's Instagram account, and I just knew.

Gord's gone.

It was such an odd feeling.  A deep sadness, instantly, and yet somehow mixed with a little disbelief.  Because even though we all knew the day was coming - a brain cancer diagnosis isn't something you can ignore - I had somehow started to believe that Gord Downie was invincible.  That he was going to live forever.

The last year and a half of Gord's life, he was such a presence in our country.  He didn't just fade away.  He went out with a bang.  Shortly after revealing to their legion of fans that he had terminal brain cancer, The Tragically Hip embarked on a cross-country tour last summer with Gord at the helm.  While The Hip never admitted to it, it was widely thought to be their farewell tour, a chance for the band to say good-bye on their own terms while Gord was still healthy enough to do it.   It was a summer-long love-in, one of the most bittersweet experiences of my life, as we fans of The Hip gathered to sing and dance, embrace and cry, and show Gord Downie just how much he meant to us.

I'll hold that show in Ottawa last August as one of the best moments of my life.  I felt so fortunate to be there, to watch The Hip one last time live.  And then sitting in my living room with good friends, watching their final show in Kingston live on CBC, an event like our country has never seen before... well, it still gives me goosebumps to think about it.

We cheered, we saluted, and we said good-bye.

But that wasn't the last of Gordie.  Oh, no.  Not by a long shot.

Gord Downie then embarked on a personal crusade, which he gave us a glimmer of in those final Hip shows, as he began to plead with the country to start healing our wounds with the First Nations people.  He put Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all of the people across our great country on notice:  these wounds are deep, there are people who are still deeply hurting, and it's time for reconciliation.  It's time to try making things right.

How did he do this?  He unveiled a solo project that he called "The Secret Path".  It was a body of music and an illustrated book that shared the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy in the 1960's who escaped the Residential school he was boarded at and tried to walk home.  Chanie never made it, as he died of hunger and exposure.

I am ashamed to admit that I was not very educated on the Canadian Indian Residential School System, or the grievances that our country's First Nations people hold over how they were treated for many, many years.  I was astounded to find out that the last of the Residential Schools weren't closed until 1996.  I had no idea of how poorly they were treated, and how they were forced to assimilate to "White Canadian" in cruel ways. 

Gord Downie opened all of this to me through "The Secret Path" project. 

Gord Downie was my teacher. 

Suddenly, Gord Downie was so much more than the lead singer of my favourite band.  Gord was doing very important work.  Gord was raising awareness, shining a light on a dirty secret our country has tried hard to hide and ignore.

Gord was everywhere.  The farewell tour was over, but he was still very much in the spotlight.  Spotted singing "Lost Together" on stage with Blue Rodeo.  Making appearances in select cities to perform "The Secret Path" in concert.  Being honoured in an emotional ceremony by the Assembly of First Nations, during which they annointed him "The Man who Walks Among the Stars".  Hanging out with Bobby Orr in the stands during the playoffs, watching his beloved Boston Bruins play my beloved Ottawa Senators.

Gord had been so very present that I hadn't even noticed there had been no appearances or updates on his health in recent months.

The news of his death at age 53 was like a swift kick in the gut. 

In the week since, I have immersed myself in all things "Gordie".  Listening to my Hip albums on repeat, re-watching the concert from Kingston last summer, watching the documentary "Long Time Running" that had its early televised release on Friday evening, watching the concert performance of "The Secret Path" that was televised on Sunday.

Reminiscing.  Marveling and reveling at his talent. Giving thanks for this man who did so much.  Shedding a few tears over him being taken from us too soon.  Celebrating the man, his music, his work.

You are ahead by a century...

Thank you, Gord.  Thank you for everything.

Here's to the Man Who Walks Among the Stars.

He will live on in our hearts forever.

As Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain
For a boy in Fiddler's Green.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dear September Heat Wave: That's Enough.

I think the last time I posted, I was lamenting the end of a lacklustre summer.  It was back-to-school time - quite likely my least favourite time of year - and I was sad.  I had knots in my stomach as I thought of the end of sunny days by the pool, long afternoons on the deck with a book and a drink, BBQ season.. I was just mourning the end of anything summer related.  And due to dismal weather for much of the summer months, it all seemed so unfair.

But I shook it off.  Here comes fall!  My favourite time of year is here!  To hell with that crappy summer.  Bring on the scarves and leggings, the pots of soup and pumpkin spice lattes, the Halloween movies and cuddling under blankets with a hot cup of tea.  FALL!  Hip hip hooray!

Oh, but Mother Nature had a little trick up her sleeve.  Remember that dismal summer?  The one plagued with days of rain, lacking severely in heat, the nice days of which were few and far between?  Well guess what?  We're getting it now.

Last week was quite likely the longest consecutive string of days of sunshine and warm temperatures we've had all summer long.  And it is just rolling right on this week.  At first, I was OK with it.  I was like, "Ah well, everyone who was sad about not having summer will get a taste of it now, it will make them happy."  But now, it's dragging on too long.  I was ready to ditch the shorts and tanks, pack away bathing suits and sunscreen.  I was ready to move on.  And now I can't.

Each morning when I check my weather app on my phone, I say a little prayer that the temps for the coming days will cool off a bit.  And each day, they just get higher.  By the weekend, we're supposed to be up over 30 degrees.  I'd welcome that in July... not in September!!

Usually, I'm a "make the best of it" kind of girl.  And last week, I did my very best to enjoy it.  But now I'm so over it.  I'll take all the sunny days in the world, but this heat? ugh.  I'm done.  I'm sick of being sweaty and hot, of needing the AC on and being uncomfortable all the time.  I want to wear big sweaters and walk through crunchy leaves!  I want to bundle up and feel that chill in the air!  I WANT FALL!!!

We have another whole week of this ahead, so I might as well suck it up, eh?  Grin and bear it.  My time will come. Let those summer lovers enjoy their last kick at the can, because the snow is just around the corner...

The good news is that in exactly one week, when the temperatures are to finally drop a bit, I'll be boarding a plane with a group of friends for a long-weekend trip to Nova Scotia.  At least I have that to look forward to.  That will carry me through this stupid September heat wave.

Bring on October.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The End-of-Summer Blahs

I touched on it yesterday's post, but this week... man, this week has got to be my least favourite week of the year.

School is starting again.  Summer is winding down.  I always get this icky feeling in my stomach for a few days around this time of year.  It feels like it might be worse this year, and I think that's because I feel like we didn't get much of a summer.  The weather was shoddy, I'm not sure we ever had a +30 degree day (with humidity we did - but not many), and it just seems to have flown by so fast.

Also, I didn't have a good sleep last night.  Probably not helping matters.  I fell asleep on the couch watching TV around 8-8:30 - which is a bad habit that I wish I could break - and then woke up at 10:30.  I moved to my bed, and while browsing on my phone, I came across an email that gave me too much to think about at a time when I needed to shut my brain off - not get it all wound up and churning again.  *sigh*  Oh, and I had heartburn. The world was just working against me, obviously.

The End-of-Summer Blahs. I get 'em every year.  Nothing seems to make it better. Not looking back on fond memories made in the sun, not looking ahead to fun things to come, not even the anticipation of Shawville Fair which is coming up this weekend.  (Truth be told, I greet Fair time each year with severe mixed emotions - it's always a fun weekend, yet at the same time, the last taste of summer: bittersweet.)

Seriously though, why am I always so sad when summer draws to an end? I LOVE fall.  And after fall comes my favourite season of all - WINTER!  I look ahead to the coming days with great joy and excitement.  I've waxed poetic about all of my favourite fall things: cozy clothes, cuddling up inside as the air gets colder, crunching colour leaves beneath my feet, making soups and sauces and baking treats, spooky movies, a long-awaited trip with friends, and I'm also excited about two Netflix shows coming up: Fuller House at the end of September and Stranger Things as the end of October.  Not to mention, Scary Movie Marathon, always a highlight on my calendar!

 ...and then, awaiting that first snowfall... my magical time of year, it is just around the corner...

Just have to get through these End-of-Summer Blahs first.

I've had days much worse than this.  And I know I just kind of have to hold my breath and wait for this week to pass.  It will all get better soon.

I'll be hanging in there until then...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

That "back to school" pukey feeling.

It's no secret that I hate "back to school" time. Loathe and detest it.  I feel like I've been in knots since Sunday, just knowing the kids would be going back this week.

Do I have kids? No. Do I go to school?  Hell no.  And yet, I still get that icky, sick-to-my-stomach feeling when I see the kids out waiting for buses. I scrolled through Facebook this morning and liked all the "first day" pictures my friends were sharing of their kids, but I don't really "like" them.  They make me wanna puke.

The first day back to school was always my least favourite day of the year, and it remains so all these years later.

Thankfully, I found a way to cheer myself up!  A local radio station posted this meme on Facebook, and I swiped it to share here on my blog, in honour of "back to school week".

So the question is:  If you were going back to school, and these were the teachers, which class would be your favourite?

This was tough.. reeeeallly tough.  But I think I have to go with Music class.  I mean, that should be a fun class regardless, right?  Nothing too serious or difficult or too much homework coming out of Music class.  If it's taught by Adam Levine?  HELL YEAH.  (for the record - I never actually had music class when I was in school.  So it wouldn't have even been a choice.)

2nd choice - based ONLY on the teacher - is P.E.  But in reality, I hated gym class.  (Guaranteed I'd show up if Channing Tatum was in da house, though.)

I'd also do OK with Biology, History, and Physics.  And I'd happily spend extra time in the Principal's office, if need be.

Chemistry and Math? Meh.

My actual favourite subject in school was English.  And I suppose if Jamie Dornan was my teacher, that would make going to class extra fun.  However, based off of these photos, I'm not particularly attracted.  I'm sure if he was my teacher in real life, though, I'd be rushing to my seat every class!

Please feel free to play along in the comments... Which class would be YOUR favourite??

Happy Back to School Day ;)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Solar Eclipse Edition

In an effort to keep the blogging rolling, I've decided to participate in Wednesday Hodgpodge questions... Solar Eclipse Edition!

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

We only had a partial eclipse here, and no, I didn't watch it. I have memories of the one in the early '90's, being in elementary school and they blocked the windows with black garbage bags. They really instilled a fear in me back then of damaging my eyes.  I had no special eyewear to watch the eclipse on Monday, so I stayed in the office and tried not to look out the window.  Tried.  I also learned on Monday that when someone tells me not to look at the sun, I am totally the type of person who will look at the sun.  I glanced up out of my window several times, and then spent the rest of the day waiting for my eyeballs to fall out of my head.

As I said, we only had a partial eclipse - I think 60-65% coverage - so it did get a little dark (like in the evening when the sun is starting to set) and it was kind of weird, but it was much darker yesterday morning when a storm rolled through.  All in all...nothing to write home about.

And my favourite eclipse related snack? Absolutely 100% Sun Chips.  The Harvest Cheddar kind.  And now I'm craving... 
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

I can't say I'm really "over the moon" about anything right now... I'll go with our girls trip to Nova Scotia.  It still feels like it's far away so I haven't really gotten super-pumped about it yet, but in reality, September is right around the corner... before we know it, we'll be flying out on the 27th!  I can't wait!

Something I do "once in a blue moon"... hmmm... blog? exercise? choose healthy food options? ha!  Actually, I go with a pedicure.  I just got one on Sunday, and it was marvellous. I don't know why I don't go more often.  Once in a blue moon for sure, but hopefully I'll train myself to go more often.
3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

ummm... I'm not a science kid. Never have been.  Not much in that department interests me.  The stuff that does is things like aliens - extra-terrestrials. Do they exist?  Are we alone, or is there other life out there? Watching the show Colony and the movie Arrival has probably inspired this in me moreso right now. Also, I really liked The Martian - book and movie.  So, I guess space stuff is my thing.  Kinda. lol.

4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?

Oh God. This question makes me wanna puke.  Going back to school time was AWFUL for me.  Dreaded it.  Still do.  I didn't enjoy back-to-school shopping, I didn't get excited about going back, and the night before/first day always came with tears.  Even now, far removed from my school days, the thoughts of it makes me sad and my stomach twist painfully.  I hate back to school time. :(

5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Faith - I am a person of quiet faith, raised to go to church, not one to rub it in anyone's face or force my beliefs on others, but to have a deep understanding, belief, and confidence in that faith.

Home - I'm not one to stray far from home, and when I do, I'm always happy -relieved, in fact - to get back.  I'm most content in my safe, secure bubble, and treasure the memories of 'home' all throughout my life thus far.

Christmas - My favourite holiday, my favourite time of year... thoughts of Christmas makes my heart sing with joy.  Christmas is totally my "thing".

Music - It's been a big part of my life, I've always enjoyed listening to live music, the radio, tapes in the car on family drives as a kid, my dad or my uncle or my cousin playing guitar.  Music definitely is part of my soul.

Babies - Strange to put this, as I don't actually have any of my own, but I love babies. Nothing brings me greater peace that holding a sleeping infant in my arms.  I have always loved babies.  Maybe someday.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday, I wrote about my disappointment with this summer and my reluctance to get excited for fall.  I don't know what has shifted in me since then, but literally 24 hours later, I can say that I WANT FALL!  Once we get over this back-to-school stuff that makes me feel squeamish, fall is one of my favourite times of year (preceded only by winter).  And I'm suddenly oh so ready for it.  I want to bust out the cozy leggings and big sweaters, I want to snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and watch spooky movies, I want to put on giant pots of sauce or soup and not worry about my house getting too hot.  I want leaves to change colours and I want that crisp cool air to arrive.  Bring on FALL!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Rainy Tuesday Randoms

Oh, hello there, little blog.  It's been awhile.

As per usual, I had no intentions of taking an extended blog break, it just sort of...happened.  One minute, I was writing out a review of the Ed Sheeran concert in late July, and the next... sidetracked. Back-burnered. Saved for a later date.

And now, here we are. Heading into the "late August" category. Summer, it feels like we hardly knew ye.  Too much has happened in the past month to give a minute-by-minute re-cap, but here's some of the random thoughts and musings I've had since my last post on July 13th...

  • I mentioned Ed up there, and it feels to long ago to give an indepth review, but let's just say, he was awesome.  It was a whirlwind trip to Montreal to see him at the Bell Centre - there and back in less than 24 hours - but it was worth it in my books.  I regretted not seeing him the last time he was in Ottawa, and of course on this tour he didn't have an Ottawa stop, but Montreal isn't that far away.  Very happy I got to see him at least once live.  What that man can do with a mic, guitar, and a loop machine... simply amazing.
  • While Ed was fantastic, it still can't compare to the magic that was happening last summer as The Hip traveled across the country for one last tour on the news of lead singer Gord Downie's terminal brain cancer diagnosis.  The past few days, my Facebook memories from a year ago have all been Hip-related. God, what an emotional, intense, crazy time it was in my world.  Makes this summer feel lacklustre somehow.
  • I don't know why I have that feeling about this summer; like it somehow didn't live up, didn't compare, to last summer. I mean, the weather has been kind of crappy, but I've still managed to squeeze a lot of fun into the good days. I had an awesome week off for holidays, and so many other fun and happy summer moments.  I even managed to get a tan (somehow).  I don't know why I feel like this summer has passed me by too quickly, and with a sense that we've been jipped for some reason...
  • Perhaps it's the sadness. Because, despite all the high points, good moments, fun memories, there has, indeed, been sadness, too.  Two weeks ago on Saturday, I had probably one of the most blue days I've had in a long time.  First, I awoke with a splitting headache, which I wasn't used to because I haven't had bad headaches in quite awhile.  Then, late morning, my phone buzzed with a notification from the TSN app I follow with the news that former Sens GM and the pride of Shawville, Bryan Murray, had passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer.  Add to that, I kind of fell into the dark abyss of following the terrifying events that unfolded in Charlottesville that day, with Nazis and white supremacists marching in the streets... still sends a shiver down my spine.  It was a blue day.
  • One of my favourite things about the past few weeks, though, has been watching fun TV again!  As happened the first time, when I finished Prison Break the second time around, I felt so empty and convinced I'd never find a show to replace it.  I decided to move on to Colony, because it starred Sarah Wayne Callies, aka Sara Tancredi-Scofield from Prison Break.  At first, I thought I was going to love the show, but it strayed too far into sci-fi territory for my liking, and I had a hard time getting through it.  But it did the job:  it got me over Michael and Prison Break again. By the time I was done it, I was eager to move on to something else.  There were lots of shows I've watched that had new episodes that I could have jumped in to: Scandal, Suits, The Mindy Project, Bloodline... but none of them were grabbing me. (in fact, I watched one episode of Scandal and was so turned off by Fitz, whom I used to love, that it astonished me.)  I decided to go with Riverdale, and I was so glad I did.  SO much fun!  I was a big Archie comic fan as a kid, so it was a treat to see the characters brought to life, and follow the darker storyline than I ever would have read in my colourful pages as a kid.  I blew through Riverdale in less than a week.  Then last week, on the recommendation of several friends, I started Shameless.  I'm only in the early stages of Season 1, but it has definitely grabbed my attention.  Loving it too!
  • I'm disappointed that summer is winding down - it always makes me feel a little sick when back-to-school time comes around - but at the same time, I'm also kind of excited for fall.  My favourite time of year is upon us.  Cool, crisp air, crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice, cozy days in the kitchen making soup or baking, scary movies, warm clothes... mmmm... I love fall!  Add to it that we have our girls trip to Nova Scotia to look forward to at the end of September, and it almost makes me want to kick summer out the door for good.
Well, I think that's all I have for today.  Going to try hard to get back in the blogging groove again.  Hopefully see you again soon!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday 13: What I'm Into Lately

Hey folks!  Sorry for the lack of posting lately... I have ideas!  Lots and lots of blog post ideas!!  But, the days come and the days go and no blog posts to be found...

Today, though, I'm making myself post something.  Taking the lead from incognitusscriptor and going with a Thursday 13 of  what I've been enjoying lately...

  1. Prison Break.  Oh, I know, you've all heard me ramble about this show before.  So I promise not to get too into it now.  But I really do think this is my favourite show of all time.  I watched it several years ago and got so infatuated with it.  I was eating, drinking, sleeping Michael Scofield for weeks.  I didn't think I'd get so would up about it again the second time around, but... I did.  I am.  Just as obsessed as the first time I watched it.  I think I'm appreciating it even more this time. Already dreading it ending again... 
  2. The Beach Boys.  I fell pretty hard for the Beach Boys when I was in college.  We used to listen to their music at the apartment and dance around to it.  I went through a big retro phase around that time - thanks in large part to my friend Sara - immersing myself in Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys around that time... I was a big Dennis Wilson fan.  (and yes, I'm aware that he's dead.  Didn't matter.)  Anyways, I had kind of lost touch with my Beach Boys over the years, until recently, when Sara loaned me Mike Love's autobiography, Good Vibrations.  I'm about half-way through the book and it has once again fanned my flames for their music.  I downloaded a Greatest Hits compilation off iTunes with 50 of their best songs, and I'm listening to it steady.  Current faves: "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Do It Again", "Rock & Roll Music", and "Sail On, Sailor".  LOVE!!!
  3. Poutine.  I don't know what the heck is wrong with me these days.  Remember super-healthy Jill?  The girl who loved quinoa and sweet potatoes and Asian pears?  Well, now she loves poutine, and only poutine.  Lots of poutine.  I eat wayyyyy too much of this Canadian delicacy.  And I need to stop it, ASAP.  But not today.  It's National French Fry Day, after all. ;)

  4. Fruit Salad.  Gotta balance out that poutine with something a little bit healthy, right?  Inspired by my friend Sharon, who had a big bowl of it on hand last week when I visited her, I made myself a giant bowl of fruit salad to keep in the fridge for snacking this week.  I made it with pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes, and added Sharon's "secret ingredient" (vanilla pudding mix combines with the juices to create a delightful light glaze), and YUM!  Easy summery treat.
  5. Reading on the deck.  I truly do get a simple pleasure from a sunny day on the deck, reading a book.  I got through a big chunk of that Beach Boys book I mentioned earlier on the deck Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, deck time has been sparse as we're in the midst of a cool and wet summer around here.  But that makes me enjoy those relaxing times when they do come around, even more!
  6. The current colour of my nails.  Last night, Danica demanded I give her a manicure with the new nail polish Grandma let her pick out and buy while out shopping.  I loved it so much, I put it on my own fingers.  A delightfully summery shade of coral pink.
  7. I'm enjoying the anticipation of upcoming days off.  Next Wednesday, Lindsay and I are making a whirlwind trip to Montreal to see Ed Sheeran perform, something I've been looking forward to for months.  Ed is on my bucket list.  So glad I'm going to finally see him live!!  Then, at the end of the month I'll be off for a week's vacation, and even though plans are very much up in the air this year, I'm just looking forward to being off.  No alarms.  No rushing.  I'm craving a little break.
  8. Scoring deals.  Like, for Tupperware that I normally find too expensive... I've picked up quite a few pieces of Tupperware that I normally find way too expensive through some girls who are selling it locally and offering amazing prices from time to time.  I know it's worth it - my mom still has and uses many of the items she got a million years ago - but I can't rationalize it unless it's a screaming deal.  Also, a Scensty sale this week had me ordering a few new warmers.  Do I need them?  Definitely not.  But I couldn't turn down those $54 warmers on sale for less than $20!!
  9. Wildflowers.  Don't ask my why, but I'm delighting in seeing the colourful wildflowers growing in the ditches along the road I walk at lunch time.  I keep stopping to take pictures of them.  And then I'm like, "Jillian. They are weeds.  Get over it."  But... they're pretty weeds.  And they remind me of the wildflower painting I did this spring with Shannon. :)
  10. Going for ice cream.  It's one of those simple summer pleasures.  I haven't actually gone lately, but knowing it's just down the road, and any evening can result in a trip for ice cream...well, it makes me happy.
  11. Throwback Thursday photos.  On Father's Day, I sat down with some old family photo albums and made copies on my phone of some of my favourite old photos.  I've been having fun going through them each week and picking my #tbt.   Today's makes me giggle - an old photo of my dad with my cousin's pet goat, Marvin.  (at least, I think his name was Marvin.)  Marvin, a true mountain goat, used to walk along the windowsills of the house.  Moments after this photo was taken, Marvin stepped down onto the lid of the BBQ and peed all over it. Needless to say, that night's supper plans were ruined... LOL!
  12. Chips.  OK, so I love chips all the time, but I'm realizing lately how deep my appreciation is for basic, classic chip flavours.  I used to be all about "trying new chips", but now I just want my old, all-time faves.  Plain ruffles with dill pickle dip.  Or Dill Pickle flavour.  Salt & Vinegar.  Ketchup is about as wild as I want to get now.  Mmmm....chips...

  13. Zumba Country!  I haven't been doing well on the exercise front lately. It's been the summer of sloth and laziness.  So on a whim, I picked up a Zumba Country DVD, hoping it would encourage me to get my butt moving again.  I just got it on Tuesday, and already super happy with it.  I've been a Zumba fan for years, but I'm really liking the country twist.  Sort of like really fast line-dancing. haha!  So fun!
Happy Thursday, my chums!