Thursday, August 30, 2018

BB20: One of the best seasons yet!

*Warning: If you're a Big Brother fan, and you aren't caught up on your PVR'd episodes, there may be SPOILERS ahead.  Proceed with caution!!*

I know I have a few blog pals who are also fellow fans of the show Big Brother, so I thought I'd write about some of my thoughts and feelings on this year's season thus far.

Big Brother is one of my guilty pleasures.  There are only a few seasons that I haven't watched over the many years, and it's one reality TV show that I find extremely interesting: to see how a group of strangers (usually) thrown together in one house with cameras on them 24/7 interact, strategize, become friends or enemies, and work together - or against one another - in a bid to win $500,000.  There have been seasons I've really enjoyed (a few years ago, the season that had Cody, Frankie Grande, Caleb, and eventual winner Derek Levasseur immediately comes to mind), and seasons I have hated.

Last summer was one of those seasons I really didn't like.  I usually peg the "hot guy" in the house as my favourite right out of the gate, and last year that was Cody.  But it turned out Cody was a bit of a jerk, and  very early on he started a showmance with Jessica, who wasn't one of my most favourite people ever.  Sadly, at the end of the season, Cody and Jessica were the only people in that house I even remotely liked.  They were a nasty group of individuals, in my opinion.  They were hateful and mean and cruel to one another on a level I don't recall witnessing before.  The one houseguest I despised the most was Josh.  When Josh didn't get his way, he would bang pots and pans and scream at the houseguest he was warring with, and then he would cry when someone tried to give it back to him.  He liked to dish it out but he couldn't take it when it was directed at him.  I literally despised this guy.  And he went on to win the whole season.  BLEH!!!!

When BB started this summer, I was tentative.  I was afraid of another despicable group like last year's.  I have been pleasantly surprised.  This is one of my favourite group of houseguests ever.  The very first night I picked Winston as my "favourite" (based on my only main criteria - looks. haha!) but Winston didn't last long in the BB house.  He turned out to not be such a great game player after all, and he was a little limp on personality.  Looks only take you so far, Winston, man. But despite the fact that my "favourite" was evicted early on, I have really, really enjoyed this season, and so look forward to episode nights.  There were only a few houseguests that I really didn't like, and most of them were evicted also very early on.  For instance, I thought Swaggy C was a total jackass, and I found Kaitlyn to be totally annoying with all her talk of "auras" and reading peoples' souls. ugh.  Didn't hurt my feelings when they said early good-byes!

The current group in the house is, in my opinion, a very lovable group.  Rockstar was really the last one left who got on my nerves, and she was sent packing two weeks.ago.  (I mean, a grown-ass woman who goes by the name "Rockstar"??  Give me a break.)  The Level 6 alliance has pretty much been running the show for weeks, and they are the side of the house I have leaned towards all along, so things have been going swimmingly for me.  They have pulled off some miraculous moves over the past few weeks, sending home members of the opposite side of the house even when they are in control.  I have squealed and clapped with glee on many occasions.  Last night Fessy broke it all down in hilarious fashion, and it truly is incredible that they messed up so badly over the past few weeks, with Bayleigh, Rockstar, and Scottie all going home while their alliance members were in power.  As Fessy said, they are the worst houseguests to ever play the game.  And yet still, somehow, I like them.

I just really appreciate how this group seems to be respectful and kind to one another. There have been a few blow-ups (Bayleigh liked to bring the fire on occasion, and I'm glad she's gone because of that), and  there's been one pot-banging session (ah, the ever-immature grown-ass woman, Rockstar), but overall this group of houseguests have just been nice to each other, and I appreciate that so much.  For example, when Haleigh was in the depths of despair the other night and walked into a room full of Level 6 members in tears, she turned to leave and they instead told her to stay. They hugged her and comforted her and were kind to her, despite the fact that she's on the other side.  They are humane, and our world so needs more people in it like this.

So I have been trying to decide, of the houseguests that remain, who I want to win.  And I honestly don't really know.  Here's a rundown of who is left in the house and my feelings on them:

Faysal -  I kind of adore big, dumb Fessy.  I just want to cuddle with him.  He's like a big giant teddy bear. But oh, boy, is a he a dummy.  He's been trying to run his side of the house for weeks, and, well... as I  mentioned, it's been nothing but backfires and catastrophes. Last week he nominated and orchestrated the eviction of one of his closest allies, all because he got jealous Scottie was going after his girl.  If Fessy didn't have Haleigh at least trying to help him, he'd never have survived this long.  She's the brains behind the operation, but she seems to have trouble controlling him.  Fessy is far more likely to listen to "the puppetmaster" JC than Haleigh, who has tried so desperately to guide him.  As he sits on the block beside his girl, he's quite likely to go home tonight, and while he might be one of the dumbest BB players of all time, I will miss him, my big cuddly teddy bear.

Haleigh - This girl has never aligned with the side of the house I root for, and yet, I cannot help but like her.  She's smart, she's sweet, and she shows lots of class for her young age.  She sits on the chopping block beside her main man Fessy going into tonight's eviction episode, and I think if they were smart they would evict her ahead of him, because she's definitely the brains behind the operation.  That said, I think they're mistakenly leaning towards evicting him tonight.  I don't know if Hayleigh can make any moves when she has no one left in her corner, but you just never know.  She's a competitor and I know she won't quit.  Plus, she seems to have Brett wrapped around her finger, and since he's a little bit brighter than Fessy, the two of them could team up and pose quite a challenge for Angela and Tyler...things could still get interesting...

JC - Most nights, JC provides the comedic relief in this house.  His accent, his trouble with the English language, and his antics have been pure entertainment.  And yet, he's no dummy.  He's been able to get these people to do ludicrous things, and so far, it's always worked in his favour.  He calls Faysal his "big dumb puppet" in the Diary Room, which will likely cause hurt feelings outside of the house when Fessy sees it, but he isn't wrong.  JC points Fessy in the wrong direction all the time, and Fessy runs with it.  He's been pretty instrumental in big things happening, and while he's remained a floater and never really joined an alliance, you never know what he might have up his sleeve going forward.  He could still make things happen.

Sam - Oh, how I wanted to like Sam.  And when we started, I really did like Sam.  She's down-to-earth, she takes no shit, and she's extremely genuine.  One of her finest moments, in my opinion, was the week she put up Haleigh and Kaitlyn and put it all on the line that she doesn't like girls like them who manipulate guys.  However, as the houseguests have come to realize, she's a weeee bit off her rocker.  My favourite crazy Sam moment was when she tried to talk Fessy into nominating his showmance Haleigh for eviction the week he was HoH.  HA!!  I honestly think they have to keep Sam around because she keeps the house clean, if for no other reason.  I think she's a sweet girl but she's probably the remaining houseguest with the least possible chance of winning (aside from Faysal who is likely going home tonight.)

Kaycee - This girl is tough,  yet she's not a meanie, and I like that about her.  She's a competitor, and one of the key "brains" in Level 6.  When it gets down to the the core group - likely her, Brett, Angela, and Tyler, unless Haleigh or JC can shake things up - you just never know what Kaycee might be able to pull out.  She can win any comp at any time, and she's strategic.  I'm very interested to see what goes down once Level 6 has to turn against one another, and where Kaycee ends up.

Brett -  Ah, Brett.  How I adore Brett.  He was originally in the "bros" alliance with my very first houseguest crush, Winston, and he's been working with Level 6 from Day 1.  Brett is competitive, sneaky, doesn't hesitate to throw out a lie no matter how outrageous it is, but he's also total comedic relief.  I enjoy Brett quite a lot.  If Haleigh stays in the house tonight, who knows what the two of them might cook up, as he's taken a shine to her and loves to drive Fessy up the wall by snuggling up to her.  Brett and Haleigh could potentially make up a power couple to go head-to-head with Angela and Tyler.

Angela - This girl is probably my least favourite of the houseguests remaining, and yet I have to respect her game, and I tend to cheer for her simply because she's in Level 6. She's played a smart game, I'll give her that.  She laid low when it was best to do so, and made big moves that left little blood on her hands when it was required of her.  She's smart, and has a great relationship with her alliance members, especially Tyler.  She just might go all the way.  Only time will tell.

Tyler - Alright.  So, as I wrote up these paragraphs about the remaining players, it became clear to me who my favourite left in the house is, and that's Tyler.  This dude has played a crazy good game so far.  He has deals made with pretty much everyone left in the house, and like Angela, has managed to make massive moves without getting much blood on his hands.  He's a competition beast, and Tyler is a dangerous threat to everyone left, but none of them realize it.  At the end of the day, he's the guy I'm rooting for most, and I think there's a VERY good chance he takes home the BB20 crown.  I can't wait to see how he fairs over the weeks leading up to finale night!

So there's my take on Big Brother 20 thus far!  If you're a BB fan, what do you think?  Who's your favourite player?  Who do you think will win?  LET'S GO!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wednesday Loves: Finding reasons to smile during back-to-school week

Back-to-school week continues around here, with a bunch of new "first day" pictures hitting Facebook this morning. Blech.  But honestly, I'm not feeling nearly as twisted up and sad as I usually do during this week.  I think part of it is we had a really full, satisfying, fun summer, and that helps.  I'm also being very conscious to keep looking for reasons to smile, doing things that make me content, and taking comfort in the little things that get me through the day.

Here's what I'm LOVING this Wednesday:

  • Waking up to the sound of rain gently pattering against my window.  It's one of my favourite sounds.  My alarm goes off half an hour before I actually have to get out of bed, so I just snuggled in and listened to the rain this morning. It was bliss.
  • The happy "back to school" reports I got from the kiddos who went back yesterday.  I haven't heard a bad one yet, so it must be OK as long as they are all OK!!  I was especially nervous for my nephew Caden, as he was starting high school and taking the bus for the first time, but it sounds like it all went smoothly.  He's such a laid-back, chill dude, I probably worried more for him than he did himself.  (but seriously... high school?!?!  It hurts my heart to think of my first-born nephew heading off to high school!! wahhhhhhhh!!!)
  • Taking time to read each evening.  On Monday night, it was overcast and drear so I snuggled in to my reading chair, turned on my rock salt lamp, and it almost felt like fall.  Last night, it was sticky hot and sunny, but after spending the day inside in the air conditioned office, I didn't mind taking the opportunity to sit out on the deck after work and soak up some of that heat while I read.
  • I'm loving my good intentions to start exercising again... and I promise, it IS going to happen soon!  Hopefully next week.  I got a Fitbit for my birthday - which is a month ago now - and the only days I've made it to 10,000 steps are the days when I cut my grass.  For some reason, the Fitbit recognizes my riding lawn mower as an "outdoor bike" and I get lots of steps in when I'm on it. Haha!  Anyways, I really want to start getting LEGIT steps in, and get my exercising mojo back.  It has been pretty much non-existant all summer.  I've used the extreme heat as a (decent) excuse, but I can't continue finding excuses.  I've gotta get my butt back in gear.
  • Totally loving Parks & Rec.  Ever since I read Amy Poehler's book, I've been wanting to watch her show.  It was the reason I invested in Amazon Prime and a Fire Stick.  I started Season 3 last night and it brings me lots of smiles and giggles when I'm watching.  I love it, just as I expected I would.
  • Oh, and Parks & Rec has brought me a new crush:  Chris Pratt.  Not sure why, but he's never really hit my radar in the celebrity crush department.  Until now.  He plays the lovable, goofy, lazy but adorable Andy.  And I'm really, really enjoying him.  I wish I knew an Andy in real life.
  • Still loving crocheting!  I'm nearing the end of another blanket that I've been working on. It's a simple continuous granny square (crooked, as usual), and as much as I enjoy how quickly they work up and how easy they are to do, I'm looking forward to trying something new once this one is done.  I have a new pattern lined up and a new shipment of yarn coming in,  and I can't wait.  It's ridiculous how much joy I now get from something as simple as yarn.
  • I'm loving that the Fair is almost here!  It's something to look forward to during this crappy crappy week.  I bought a ride pass this year, so I'm a little bit excited about hopefully going on some rides with some of my friends' kids (it's been YEARS since I went on rides at the fair, probably not since high school).  I used to love rides, but I'm a little nervous about it now, I'm not sure if I'll still like them as much as I did back then!  Truthfully, I'm most excited about the food.  God help me.  I can't wait for Big D's poutine, ice cream, beavertails, Billy T's pizza, Bonnie's barn burger, little donuts, 4H burger, and of course cotton candy... I may have to drive up for every meal over the weekend so I can cover all my bases!! haha!!
What are YOU loving this Wednesday?!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Recap: Last Wedding Weekend of the summer

This past weekend was jam-packed with lots of fun!  I've had it circled on my calendar for a long time, as it was my cousin Kenny's wedding weekend.  It's been a summer of weddings as I had four to attend, but they were well spread out - one in May, one in June, one in July, and now this one at the end of August!

But before I get to the wedding recap, first let's go back to Friday night and my nephew Caden's baseball game.  I've been a bad auntie this summer, only make it to one of Caden's games all season (and I was late to that one, only catching the last few innings).  He was in playoffs last week, and my mom asked if I wanted to go to his game in Gatineau Friday night.  Sure, why not?  Very early on into the game, I realized they were playing against a VERY confident team.  I've never seen such a bunch of show-boats in all my life.  Of course, that rubbed me the wrong way right off the bat.  As it turns out, it was a team they've struggled against all season, a team that ended up at the top of the standings.  Caden's team was playing really well, though, and got a nice little lead early on that they just kept building on.  My sister was sitting beside me and she was a nervous wreck.  The way she was acting was equivalent to me watching the Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup Finals.  LOL!  In the final two innings, the other team tried making a comeback, but the game ended 13-8 for Caden's team, much to our relief!  It wasn't until a guy walked by carrying the medals on to the field at the end of the game that I realized this game was their league Championship!! (My mom swears she told me that; I'm just as sure that she did NOT!)  So then I kind of understood why my sister was so wound up watching it. haha!!   We celebrated after the game at St. Hubert's, enjoying dinner, drinks, and a nice big chocolate brownie for Caden. :)   Because they won this all-important game, Caden and his team are now headed to the Provincials in Montreal.  Needless to say, they are extremely excited!!  The only downfall for me is that I bought a ride pass for the Shawville Fair for the first time in years, so that I could go on rides with Caden & Danica, and now they won't even be there! oops!! I'm sure they will have a memorable weekend at the Provincials though, and we hope they have a blast!!

Saturday was WEDDING DAY for Kenny & Jenna!!  I was up bright and early, watching TV, sipping coffee, crocheting... just enjoying a lazy morning.  By mid-morning, I decided to get some reading done out on the deck, as I continue to motor through the book "Three Days Missing" by Kimberley Belle.  (It's just suspenseful enough to keep me turning the pages!) 

After lunch, I took a shower, blew my hair dry, and painted my nails before putting on a movie and lying down for a quick nap.  I wanted to be well rested for the night ahead!  When I woke up, I got dressed and headed to my mom's for a pre-drink with her, Kara & Chris.  Then we all loaded into Mom's car and headed to Starborn Farms in Bristol, where the wedding was being held.

Kenny & Jenna had an absolutely beautiful wedding!!  The barn where all of the festivities took place looked stunning.  The meal was a pig roast and buffet, and the food was delicious.  The speeches were wonderful, the drinks were tasty, and there were so many little details that added to an absolutely perfect day.  We were all amazed that my mom stayed well past her bedtime, almost unheard of! haha!  We were all just having such a great time visiting and enjoying the evening.  It was just wonderful. :)
 Just married!!
 The pigs roasting
 The adorable flower girl, Annabelle :)
 Siblings :)
 Our famjam
 Inside the barn for the dinner - so beautiful!!
 Kenny & Jenna's first dance
Kara, Mom, and I with the Mother of the Groom (our niece/cousin, Patti)

Needless to say, after a night of drinking the bride's signature beverage of Gin & Juice, I was laying low yesterday! haha!!  I skipped church and slept in until 9 AM, but joined the fam for brunch afterwards before returning home to my trusty ol' couch.  I watched a bunch of episodes of Parks & Rec on Amazon Prime in between naps, and I headed to bed early to watch one of my favourite "comfort movies" - Cocktail!  Despite such a wonderful weekend, it is still my least favourite time of year, and I needed to watch something that would soothe my soul.  Tom Cruise flipping bottles through the air does that. ;)

And now, it's that dreaded day.  The last day of summer before school starts.  Literally could make me puke just thinking about it.  But I have planned an evening of more comfort and soothing for myself.  I bought a few special snacks, and I'm planning to just read, watch more Parks & Rec, last night's episode of Big Brother, crochet, and eat my treats.  I'm not going to feel good regardless, no amount of treats and my favourite things can make it go away - but I can sink into my little hole of comfort and try to get through this awful, awful week.

Wish me luck.

Friday, August 24, 2018

August: Currently...

Summer feels like it's slipping through my fingers at lightening speed.  Like, seriously, where did June, July & August go??  Before August completely disappears, I thought I'd do a "Currently" post to share what I'm into these days.  I have blogged so little this summer, I haven't been keeping up with sharing my current faves! So here we go:

Listening to... a lot of random stuff right now.  Drake's "In My Feelings" is my summer jam, as well as "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by BSB.  Other summer faves include "2002" by Anne-Marie, "Alone" by Halsey, "I Know" by Jocelyn Alice, "Get Along" by Kenny Chesney, "I Like It" by Cardi B, and anything from Ashley McBryde's Girl Going Nowhere album.  I feel like when I look back on this summer, these songs will instantly come to mind. 

Eating...  A LOT.  ugh.  I'm on such an unhealthy track right now.  Not even trying to eat right these days.  Junk, junk, and more junk.  My favourite meal this summer, though, has been "snacks for supper".  Crackers with cream cheese and pepper jelly, cucumber slices soaked in vinegar, cheese, nuts... just a plate full of "little bits".  Last summer, I made nachos almost every second night, but this summer I've been all about the plate of snacks.

Drinking...  I made a drink discovery this summer!  Well, a drink re-discovery.  Every day I drink water like it's going out of style, and that has not changed, but when it comes to something boozey, I've struggled.  Palm Bays and Smirnoff Ices are too sweet, rum & cokes were okay but get me too drunk too quick, beer is blech, wine is even blechier... And then, my friend Chelsea reminded me that water and vodka makes a really refreshing drink when you add a squirt of liquid  drink flavouring to it! Brenda had once taught me to make "deck juice" years ago, which was water, Crystal Light, and booze, but I hadn't made it in a long time. I've been using Mio, and I've actually switched to coconut-flavoured rum in my drinks, and it is soooo good!!  But because it tastes so clean and refreshing, I have to be careful - I can down them very quickly and get pretty wobbly! haha!  The water though definitely helps with not feeling too hungover the next day.  Keeps you hydrated while enjoying a few on the deck.

Feeling...  not the best, if I'm being honest.  It's "that time of year".  Summer is fading, school will be starting for the kids next week, and I just feel yucky.  In knots and stressed and on the verge of tears, all while knowing that's absolutely stupid.  I really, really hate this time of year.

Reading...  I've been on a reading roll lately, and have really enjoyed my summer reads! Highlights have been "The Light Between Oceans" by ML Stedman, "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi, and "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, which I read in less than a week, pretty much a record for me.  I got a pile of books for my birthday, and currently I'm reading one my sister got me called "Three Days Missing" by Kimberley Belle.  So far, about a third of the way in, it seems to be fast-paced, suspenseful, and a real page-turner.  I can easily blow through a few chapters before falling asleep at bedtime.  It has me hooked.

Watching... I finished Season 3 of Outlander in a week, and it's always hard to find another show after finishing one I love that much.  But I started Parks & Recreation on Amazon Prime the other day, and it seems to be a great re-bound show for me.  I love Amy Poehler, she is hilarious, and I'm loving it.  Reminiscent of one of my other great TV loves, The Office.  This show was my main reason for signing up for Amazon Prime and getting a Fire Stick, so I'm happy to be finally watching it!

Wanting...  Not much these days, at least not materially!  Wanting this time of year to be over, already. Wanting the icky feeling that I get this time of year to pass.  Bring on Fall!  Oh, I am wanting a poutine from Big D's at the fair. That's something I really do want right now. Mmmm... (Did I mention my life revolves around junk food right now? sigh.)

Needing...  Again, not much!!  I am blessed in the fact that I have very few "needs" right now.  I guess one thing I could say is I need someone to install the new shower head I got for my birthday. lol!  I'm afraid if I try to install it myself, I'll mess it up. Oh, I need to buy some more yarn, too.  My niece Danica has made a specific request for certain colours for when I make her a blanket, and I don't have the colours she wants. lol!

Missing... Summer, already.  I know.  I'm a conundrum.  Danica said to me last week, "Jilly, I thought you liked fall and winter?  Why do you hate the end of summer so much?"  I know.  I KNOW.  But this has been a particularly good summer, and I hate to see it go.  And I hate back to school time.  I will miss this summer, once it's officially gone.  It has been a blast.

Enjoying...  My life right now!  I have had so much good going on lately!  Great times with friends and family, wonderful memories being made, just reminiscing about all the fun stuff I've done lately.  It's been wonderful, and despite my anxiety over the changing seasons, it's not over yet.  The weekend ahead should be another great one, with my cousin Kenny's wedding tomorrow, and then next weekend is Shawville Fair.  While I'm all in knots about the time of year, I know it will be these good times ahead that will keep me focused on living in the moment, enjoying the now, and looking forward to all the fun that is still to come.  I'm a lucky girl. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Doing it up, Summer-style

Hey friends!  I know it's been a while, but hey, I've been summering.  Summering hard.  Everyone knows my favourite time of year is fall and winter, but I promise you, I've been doing my very best to not think about it.  I haven't been holed up in my house pretending it's fall.  I've been soaking up this glorious hot summer, and doing it up in style.  Here are some of the highlights from past 6 weeks:
  • Pontoon Ride, Take 1 - One of my favourite things to do at least once during the summer is to head out on a pontoon ride on the Ottawa River with friends Kerry & Jeff.  The day Kerry texted me it was a sweltering hot Saturday, and I was sitting out on the deck reading, wishing I had a pool or some body of water nearby.  Perfect timing!  I gathered up my stuff, they picked me up late afternoon, and we spent a wonderful few hours out on the river, cruising along, and stopping at the island to wade in the shallow water.  Not even the appearance of a water snake right beside me could ruin my day!  It was fabulous. 

  • Stacy & Ricky's Wedding -  My friend Stacy is my oldest friend, we go all the way back to pre-K (maybe even before?) and I was so excited to be part of her and her long-time love Ricky's wedding day on July 21st, as she had asked me to be the photographer.  I'm not a professional, and I had never done a wedding before, but I was pretty confident I could capture the day for them.  I ended up being more nervous than I expected - I started worrying I wouldn't get any good shots at all - but once I got up there and started snapping, I felt better and settled into my role just fine.  It was a gorgeous day, a beautiful wedding, and everyone was so easy to work with.  Laid back, casual, and so much fun.  When it was over, I wondered what I had ever even been worrying about.  Over the next few days, as I went over the pictures and started editing, I felt pretty happy with some of the photos I got, and Stacy & Ricky seemed happy too.  It was such a terrificday, watching two of my favourite people finally say "I do", and I'm glad I got to capture the day for them!  These are a few of my favourite pics:

  • Birthday Shenanigans - The end of July brought my 35th birthday, and it was another great one!  It started a few days early, with my friend Lindsay treating me to a pedicure and dinner at one of my favourite spots, Bistro Vitalia.  Then the Friday was my last day of work before going on vacation, and so after work, my mom and I went shopping and had a delicious Thai dinner at Chez In in Shawville.  Saturday was the big day, and what could be better than celebrating at our town's Tractor & Truck Pull??  It's one of my favourite events of the summer, and I couldn't have been happier than to celebrate at the Pull!  I hung out with friends during the day, and eventually we went over to the Legion for the after-party.  Dancing, drinks, and lots of birthday fun!  It was a memorable day!!

  • Summer Vacation at the Camp -  I was up bright and early the next morning, despite the night of celebrating, to get ready for our annual family vacation to my aunt & uncle's camp on the river.  Before we left, my family gifted me with some wonderful presents - books, a big floaty swan to bring to the camp with me (from Danica, of course lol), a new shower head, a rock salt lamp, and a Fitbit... pretty much everything on my wish list, they fulfilled!  I am a lucky girl!!  Our first day at the camp was a continuation of birthday celebrations, as the family gathered and we had a delicious supper and cake.  Another fantastic day!!  The next few days were spent playing in the water, kayaking, napping in the hammock, reading, eating, being treated by Danica to s'mores, playing games, and just having a wonderful time.  I love my days at the camp - always anticipate them with all my heart, and feel so sad when they're over.  The only downside to this year's trip to the camp was that we had some reptilian visitors.  Blech.  There were a couple of snakes that hung out on the logs by the dock the whole time we were there.  I was proud of myself, though.  As a kid, if snakes were around, I'd have never gone near the water.  This time, I made up my mind I wasn't going to let them ruin my fun.  So I kept an eye on them, but as long as they were on the logs where I could see them, I didn't hesitate to get in the water. See, I AM growing up! ;)

  • Summer Vacation continued - We returned home from the camp on Wednesday, and I spent the rest of that day unpacking and unwinding.  As much as I love the camp, I am a homebody at heart, and I was happy to get home to all my "things".  A shower, AC, my shows, my bed... I settled right back into home.  On the Thursday, my friend Sharon treated me to lunch at one of her favourite spots - and now mine - Art Is In Bakery, and also gifted me with the new Emily Giffin book.  I had a great day with her and the twins, as we also made a few stops on the way home, and capped the day off with a treat from Starbucks.  On the Friday, my mom and I went to see Mama Mia: Here We Go Again at the theatre, and we both loved it.  We had supper at Boston Pizza.  Then on Saturday, I don't think I did much - read out on the deck, got some sun, and had ice cream with Mom.  Holiday week was going swimmingly!!
  • Lainey's Baptism - With my holidays winding down, I had a special occasion to attend on the Sunday, as that was Lainey's baptism.  I had been honoured to be asked to be her Godmother, and so I was happy the big day had arrived!  It was a joy to stand at the front of the church with my friends Lindsay and Ryan, their son Sam, and baby Lainey, as well as Lainey's namesake, her 101-year-old great-great aunt Elaine, and the ministers √Čric and Rev. Susan as Lainey was welcomed into the family of God.  We celebrated afterwards at Linds and Ryan's with a fabulous lunch and swimming in their pool.  It was such a wonderful day!!  I was also super excited to give Lainey the gift I had been working on over the past month - a Hugs & Kisses crocheted blanket and stuffed lady bug.  I was so happy with how they turned out!

  • Beach Day - Stacy had put out notice that she was planning to hit up the beach on the holiday Monday, and I thought that was a perfect way to end my week off, so I joined her and Maddy at the beach along with a great group of friends.  We played in the water, chatted while we chilled out on our towels, ate snacks, and enjoyed yet another beautiful day.  I couldn't think of a better way to close out my holidays.  I just love being on the water!
  • Movie Night - My friend Caryl had asked me if I wanted to join her and her little girls at a movie some night this summer, so my first day back to work was made a little easier with a movie night to look forward to!  We went to see Hotel Transylvania 3 and we had a lot of laughs.  The girls loved it, and we all had a great evening!
  • Book Club - Our summer book club was held at Sharon's house, and she had prepared an amazing feast for us that night, which we ate outside at her picnic table.  We had a bonfire, discussed our books, and spent much of the evening gazing up at the stunning night sky as it was the weekend of the Perseid meteor shower.  I caught sight of a few shooting stars, and they take my breath away every time!  Lolly also taught me how to spot a satellite, which I was very proud of every time I spotted one. LOL!
  • Garlic Festival - I attended the Carp Farmers Market for the first time with Sharon and the babes, and we made our trek over specifically because it was Garlic Festival weekend.  We toured the many vendors and picked up some great treats - lots of garlicky stuff! - and enjoyed a gorgeous hot & sunny morning out.  I loved all of the little samples and trying new things.  That said, I also don't deal well with big crowds, and that place was a ZOO.  So while I enjoyed the experience, I was also glad when we packed up and headed for home.  We'd all had enough!

  • Pontoon Ride, Take 2 - Last Saturday, I was thrilled to be invited on another pontoon ride!  My friends Sue and Adam had won a pontoon ride in a past Canada Day Commitee auction, hosted by our other friends Wayne and Brenda up at Brenda's family cottage on Otter Lake, and they asked Sarah, Ian and I to join them for the day.  We had such a great time just putting around the lake, enjoying snack sand drinks, stopping at the sand bar to get out and swim, and at one point just stopping the boat in the middle of a big, peaceful park of the lake, and we sat there for over an hour just chatting.  When we returned to the cottage, we had a delicious BBQ supper, sat out on the deck shooting the shit for hours, and made a visit next door to the corn roast that was going on.  Just an absolutely perfect summer's day!!

There's been a lot of other summer stuff going on... suppers at the chip stand, stops for ice cream, swimming with the kids, ball games, movie nights, and reading on the deck.  So as much as I love fall and can't wait for the cooler weather to get here, no one can say I haven't been enjoying my summer!  It's be a great one, with lots of great times with friends and family...and more to come!!  

Cheers to Summer!!