Monday, December 23, 2019

Almost Time!!!

We are officially only two days away now, guys!!  The excitement is bubbling, and I'm just trying to keep it all under control for another day or so!!

I keep bouncing between feeling relaxed and accomplished, and feeling like there's still SO much to do.  I finished my wrapping last Wednesday and Thursday evenings, then attended the live radio play production of Little Women at our church on Friday evening.  Saturday I had some free time, so I decided to bake cookies for the man who won my 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies in last year's Canada Day Committee auction - they were long overdue!  Then I went "Elfing" and delivered them, as well as tins of Christmas cookies to a bunch of folks around town.  I had hoped to have some crocheted Christmas ornaments to deliver as well, but I never got around to them.  I have been working on a blanket that I wanted to have ready to give at Christmas, and I FINALLY got it done last night.  I also got our games for Christmas Eve prepped this weekend, made my stop to pick up my Christmas booze, and watched some more Christmas movies.

However, there were things I couldn't get accomplished this weekend. I had wanted to take my gifts ahead to my mom's, but my brother's kids are there for a few days and I didn't want them to see me bringing them in.  Also, I'd have liked to get my Christmas Eve snacks ready but it seemed too early to do that.

SO.  Here's the plan for the next 2 days.  Tonight, I have our annual Christmas pizza party with my friend Lindsay and her family.  I'm also going to try to get laundry done when I get home.  Tomorrow, I work until noon and then I will rush home to spend the afternoon doing final prep: making Christmas Eve snacks, packing up gifts and my stuff for the night, watching Miracle on 34th Street, and hopefully doing my nails if I have time.  I will take everything up to my mom's late afternoon, likely have a light supper, then head to church with her.  And then... then the fun begins!!  Christmas Eve service, family games, snacks, and drinks at my mom's, spending the night there, and waking up to Christmas morning with family!!  We'll have dinner with my BIL's family that night, then my brother's kids return for Boxing Day, when we will have more gifts and our family dinner.


And yet, no matter how excited I am over the hub-bub, there are also quiet moments I look forward to, too.  For instance - after everyone has gone off to bed on Christmas Eve, I love lying on the couch watching the old A Christmas Carol in black-and-white by the glow of the tree.  They play it late every Christmas Eve.  I love sitting on the couch in the early hours the next morning, while it's still dark out, and waiting for Caden and Danica to join me.  I love that night, after we return from the Provost family dinner, finding a movie to watch quietly to unwind from the day.  And then, once the commotion of our Boxing Day celebration is over, I love to just go into hiding for a day or so, to hunker down and have a Netflix binge or movie day.

I hope that wherever you are and whatever your plans may be, that you are filled with the Christmas spirit and have a wonderful time celebrating with friends & family!! 


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

One Week...

The countdown is on, my friends... We are ONE WEEK away from my favourite day of the year!!  I just can't wait for Christmas Eve!!!

While I'm feeling mostly on the ball at this stage of the game, there is one glaring area that I need to get moving on, and that is wrapping gifts!!  It is my favourite holiday task, so I usually leave it til one of the last things I do, but I feel like I'm leaving it too close to the wire this time.  I keep reminding myself that I've got time, there's no need to panic yet, but... I'm a worrier by nature, so what else could I expect.

I've been loving this December so much.  My crazy November Christmas prep has really allowed me to sit back and enjoy for the most part.  Last weekend especially was just... Christmas perfection, in my books.  First of all, I GOT TO GO CHRISTMAS CAROLING!!  Finally!!!!  I've wanted to do this for years, and I got close last year but it ended up being cancelled due to a pre-Christmas rain storm.  This year, the weather was perfect.  A mild evening, a great group of singers, and some very dedicated community members who organized the whole thing.  I still grin from ear to ear thinking of how we must have looked rolling around town, singing our little hearts out.  It was pure Christmas magic.

On Saturday, my friend Lindsay and I had the date circled on the calendar for our first ever Christmas Movie Marathon.  As you all know, I've been dragging her through Scary Movie Marathons for years, and this year she asked, "Um, why don't we do this for Christmas movies?  You know, like, movies we can actually enjoy??"  And so, by some miracle, we both had a free December Saturday to do just that. She arrived early afternoon, we settled in by the glow of the tree while it poured rain outside, and we watched The Man Who Invented Christmas, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Santa Clause, and Christmas Vacation.  We also enjoyed snacks, Linds made her world-famous carbonara for dinner, and I introduced her to her first taste of rum & egg nog.  (She was a trooper and made it through over half of a very large glass before she had to give up. lol)

By the time she left, the rain had changed to snow.. .and then I got another Christmas miracle, which was waking up Sunday morning to a beautiful blanket of white!!  (I was lucky - despite the power flicking off and on throughout the evening as the winds and snow picked up, I didn't lose my power completely.  Not everyone in our area was so lucky.)

Sunday was a big and bustling morning at church, as it was not only our White Gift service but also the Sunday School Pageant.  It was so good!  The kids did a terrific job and everyone loved it.  Then after church, we went to my sister's to celebrate my niece Danica's 11th birthday.  We had brunch, cake, and the birthday girl opened her gifts.  It was a wonderful day spent with family.

Truthfully, the only bad part of the past few days has been my battle with brittle. LOL!  Several years ago, I tried making peanut brittle for the first time and it turned out wonderfully using the stovetop method.  Some friends shared that it was much easier to use the microwave method, and the following year I tried that with great results.  Last year, though, I did something wrong and ended up with chewy, hard-on-the-teeth, undercooked brittle.  I wanted to make sure that didn't happen this year, but then I ended up with a pan of very burnt brittle on Saturday morning.  I was disappointed - what a waste of ingredients and time!!  Yesterday I saw a recipe for Buttered Rum Brittle, and I thought I'd try to redeem myself.  It was a stovetop recipe that didn't give temperatures so my candy thermometer was useless, but I followed the boiling times to a T... and... guess what... undercooked and chewy brittle.  *SIGH*  I think it's time to give up, before I spend a fortune on sugar and corn syrup and nuts!!!

I did get a go of peanut blossoms made last night, and with that, I think my Christmas baking is complete.  I'll spend evenings for the rest of this week getting a start on the wrapping, and also working towards finishing one last gift that I'm crocheting.  Friday evening is the production of the Pontiac Community Players' radio play Little Women at our church, and then Saturday I have no plans so it will be my opportunity to finish up the wrapping, watch the last of the movies (I don't have many left!), and maybe do some cookie deliveries.

It's all coming together... A week to go... Are you feeling it yet, friends???? ;)

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Christmas Wishlist: 2019 Edition

Did you guys know I almost abolished adult Christmas presents for this year?  Me. ME.  Jillian Elizabeth Young, the lover of presents.


Truth be told, I'm finding the present buying aspect of Christmas very overwhelming the past few years.  Spending limits, worries of gifts not "looking like enough", and just trying to come up with unique, useful gifts that will be appreciated stresses the hell out of me.  Even as my nieces and nephews get older, I'm finding them harder to buy for.  I mean, a 14-year-old boy who offers little in suggestions and doesn't want clothes?  What the heck are you supposed to get him?  I miss the days of DVD's and CD's being popular.  At least there was ALWAYS a movie or music you could share!!

There was a time when I used to proclaim that I NEEDED stuff!!  I mean, I'm single, and I'm child-less.  I have not had any showers like most girls my age have had at this stage in life.  My house is filled with hand-me-downs and things I have gradually purchased over the years.  But I'm now at a stage in life where my finances are somewhat OK, and if I want something... well, I just buy it.  Not only that, I really like the idea of just sitting back on Christmas morning with a mug of coffee & Bailey's and watching the kids open their gifts.  Relaxing...

But here's the sad, pathetic truth:  I love waking up in the morning and seeing that pile of gifts sprawled out beneath the tree.  The pretty paper and ribbons and bows... the way they sparkle in the lights of the tree... That vision just about makes me gasp.  If adults don't exchange gifts, that pile diminishes significantly.  I mean, there's five of us.  Take away five people's gifts and... it's a much smaller pile.  That thought hurts my heart.

Sad and pathetic.  I know.

Regardless, I floated the idea this year, and after a discussion, it was decided to go ahead with gift giving as some people had already started their shopping.  The discussion has been shelved for next year.

So this year... The Wishlist lives on!!!  Yes, there have been items that have crossed my mind throughout the year as something I would like, that I would stop myself and think, Save it for The Wishlist.  You don't need this RIGHT NOW.  Without further ado...

Here are the selections for our 2020 Book Club reading list that I require:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Into the Abyss by Carol Shalsen
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
One Night Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas
And one that didn't make the list that I would like to read:  The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Bundt Pan
Do you know how often I see a recipe I'd like to try, and think, "Nope, can't make that, I don't have a bundt pan."  OK, so, maybe not that often.  But still. Seems like a pan that would come in handy from time to time.

Spring-form Pan
See above.

Deep-dish Pie Plate
I have regular glass pie plate, but some recipes call for deep dish.  This past fall, I made a quiche that pretty much overflowed the regular pie plate.  I also figure it would double for a nice dip dish.

Nutcracker decoration
I almost bought this for myself.  I'd like a larger Nutcracker - not necessarily huge, but big enough that it stands in the corner and is noticeable.  I saw one at the Dollar Store last week for $20, and it was relatively nice for a Dollar Store Nutcracker.  But because I put it on the Wishlist, I decided to leave it.  I may regret this.  I have had a Nutcracker on my Wishlist for almost as long as I had a bread maker!!  (Which reminds me... I need to make some fresh bread over the holidays.)

Peppermint Halo Stick
Last year, I got a "Natural Pharmacy" - a little kit of mini sticks of essential oil stuff that is for different reasons.  Digestion, pain release, immunity, that sort of thing. One of them is Peppermint Halo, which has been one of the best remedies I've ever tried for headaches.  I put it at the base of my neck, temples, and dab it all over my head, take an extra-strength Advil liquigel, and usually - usually - it helps.  For someone who has had headaches for years and rarely gets relief from anything, this has been a Godsend.  I've used it enough that my little stick is getting low.  The others still have lots, I just would like to get more Peppermint Halo.

New Water Cup Tumbler with Straw (Starbucks)
I can actually take this off the Wishlist, as I unexpectedly received this already!  My cousin Kenny asked me to crochet a stocking for their baby's first Christmas.  Last weekend, they came to pick it up and brought me a thank you gift for doing it - a set of 5 reusable Starbucks holiday cups with lids and straws! I LOVE them!!! 

The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden
I'm the kind of girl who has to follow a pattern when it comes to crocheting.  Following Youtube videos are not my gig.  I need it in print in front of me.  Granted, I have found the Internet to be a very useful tool in this regard, so maybe a whole book isn't really necessary, but it would never go to waste with me.

Colour-changing Mug
I have a mug fetish.  I own far too many mugs.  I don't even have room for them all.  Yet still... I'd love a colour-changing mug!  The kind that changes when hot water is added.  Mugs make my heart happy.

I have a stash, and I really don't need more until some of it gets used up, but my gosh, I love yarn.  One of my goals for the New Year is to somehow figure out a way to better store all of my yarn (right now, it is stuffed in boxes and bins in my junk room.)  So maybe what I should have asked for was some kind of shelving or better bin storage for said yarn!!

These are just a few ideas... I've always said I'm easy to buy for, because I love so much.  Cozy socks.  Comfy leggings.  Anything Ottawa Senators or Toronto Raptors related.  Candles.  Coffee.  I'm about to enter Hygge season, so anything that helps in that department goes!!! :)  Gift cards for movies or iTunes... never a bad idea.

What is on YOUR Wishlist this year?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mid-Week Randoms: Hollying & Jollying

  • We're in the thick of it now folks! Ahhhh December... my favourite time of year!!   I just love it!!
  • I could do with some snow, though, dudes.  This barren and brown landscape just BLOWS.  And it doesn't look like it's going to get any better.  It's supposed to POUR rain on Saturday.  Merry frigging Christmas.  I was holding out hope because the long-range showed a blast of winter the weekend before Christmas, but I heard one of the guys talking about it in the office yesterday.  He was saying, "Everyone can relax, they'll get their white Christmas by the looks of things."  And I was thinking, It's still too far away to guarantee... the weather changes constantly... he's jinxing it.  And he totally did.  I woke up this morning, checked my weather app, and the snow for next weekend is gone.  BAH!!!!
  • Despite the green and brown and blech, I am still feeling extremely festive.  Last weekend was our book club pot luck, the Santa Claus parade, and cookie baking with the fam-jam.  This weekend is caroling, Christmas movie marathon, and Sunday School Pageant & White Gift at church.  OH!  It's also my niece's 11th birthday, which we are celebrating with a family brunch after church on Sunday.  So much fun going on, I can't contain myself!!
  • One small problem these days... For a week or so, I have been having weird light-headed spells.  I am now starting to wonder if I am imagining them?  I can't figure it out.  I don't feel like I could faint or fall down, I don't see stars or spots or anything, just a floaty light-headedness that comes and goes.  The Internet doctors give a list of signs to seek medical attention, and none of my symptoms point to any serious trouble, so I think I'm okay...but still, I just wish I could feel normal!!  (or figure out if I'm just imagining it.)
  • Update on Christmas baking:  I'm winding down.  Still on the list to make are peanut blossoms, oatmeal lace cookies, peanut brittle, and cookie fudge.  Will it all happen?  I don't know.  Looking ahead, I'm not sure there's enough time to get it all done, because wrapping has to start next week.  We'll see.  I'm pretty happy with what I already have in the freezer, so if I don't get to all of it, it's not the end of the world.
  • I have a Christmas gift on the hook these days, and I'm coming down to the wire to get it done in time... Fingers crossed that I can have it finished in the next week!  Otherwise, all of my shopping is done. I have a few parcels that are to arrive this week, and once they are in, I'll be ready to wrap.  My favourite part!!
  • Sometimes, technology really sucks.  About two weeks ago, I noticed my wifi at home was consistently having issues.  It's normal for it to go down from time to time, but I realized I was having trouble with it almost every time I tried to watch Netflix or look at Facebook on my phone.  I called my provider a couple of times last week, and they finally called me back on Monday.  They said they were going to do some adjustments on their end, but might have to call me back to get me to change some settings on my wireless router.  They never did call me back, and so far, Internet seems to be back to normal.  Woo Hoo!  The trade-off is this: my work computer has suddenly become seriously afflicted.  I can't open my Microsoft Outlook email at all, I'm getting weird warnings every time I open Word or Exel, and while the Internet seems to be fine, my Facebook has not worked properly all week on my desktop.  Something is seriously up.  Tech guy coming today, so hopefully soon to be resolved!
  • I don't like to rush this season away, but have I mentioned how flipping excited I am for my time off over the holidays?  I will be off almost two weeks - leaving at noon on Christmas Eve and not returning until the 7th of January.  I am literally daydreaming of Netflix and Disney+ binges!  I have so much I want to watch... the new seasons of Fuller House and The Crown, Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, and literally everything on Disney+.  I can't wait to hunker and hibernate!
I hope you are all enjoying the season so far!! I just love this Hollying & Jollying time of year!!!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Feelin' December

  • For so long, I've been dying to get the Christmas season rolling... and now that it's finally here, I just want it to SLOW DOWN!!!  We're already 4 days into the month of December, and every morning when I open another door on my chocolate Advent calendar, I almost want to cry.  I need a pause button, and I need it NOW!!!
  • Monday evening was the Christmas House Tour that our church holds as a fundraiser every year, and it was a wonderful success!  We came a long way, from late October when I thought I might have to cancel it for lack of houses, to early December when we got to tour the four beautiful homes that volunteered to be on it.  They were all so different and the home owners did a fantastic job of decorating.  I also could not have pulled off this event without the help of my mom and sister who helped out in many ways, my cousin Donna who stays at the church the night of the tour to look after the snack table, and all of the church members who helped   by making food, decorating the church, helping to wash dishes that night, etc.  It was a fantastic evening!
  • Once the house tour was over, I was able to take a big breath.  I get a little stressed out over organizing things like that, and now that it's in the rear view mirror, I feel like I can kick back and enjoy the holiday season.  I mean, don't get me wrong - there's still plenty to be done.  I'm way behind in my baking, I haven't wrapped a single thing, I've hardly watched any movies, and I still need to finish up the shopping (mostly stocking stuffers).  But overall, I feel much more calm and ready to just soak it all up.
  • Of course, the morning after Christmas House Tour, I woke up with a headache.  Because, you know.  That's life.  When you are ready to just lean back and enjoy, Life says, "Not so fast, lady!  You can't have your cake AND eat it too!"  So I trudged through the day yesterday feeling tired and dealing with the ache.  I've had it today too, but not as bad.  Not much I can do about it but deal with it.
  • I took my mom out for supper last night.  Not long ago she was saying she never gets to have liver anymore because none of us like it (blech) and since my dad passed away, she's hardly ever had it.  I noticed the dinner special at Cartrite's last night was liver & onions, so I treated her.  (And I had a cheeseburger with poutine.  Definitely not liver!!!)  When I got home I got laundry rolling, then lay down on the couch to watch The Flintstones Christmas Carol, and promptly fell asleep.  
  • On Saturday, my brother, my friend Lindsay, and I all took the kids to see Frozen 2.  And what did I think?  Well... I think I have to see it again. LOL!  I was so distracted by all of the little people in the theatre... the chattering, the crying, the laughing.  When I told my brother this, he was like, "Huh? I didn't even notice."  Such is the observations of the single, child-less aunt, I suppose. lol!
  • My internet has been wonky for days now, and I don't know what to do about it.  It's up and down steady, making watching Netflix or anything like that almost impossible. I've tried re-booting the router, unplugging everything, etc.  I probably have to call but I don't want to be bothered dealing with it in the evenings.  I guess I'll see if it it's still acting crazy on Saturday and call then.  I need my wifi working for Christmas!!
  • My plan for tonight is to get my bark made.  I make three different kinds, and I'm hoping to get it all done tonight.  Then maybe gingersnaps tomorrow night.  I'm also going to make some more pretzel treats.  I made a batch of them for the House Tour snack table and I got so many people asking how to make them.  Melt Hershey Kisses on top of pretzels and put red & green M&M's on top... can't get much easier! :)
  • I'm looking forward to the weekend.  I'm taking Friday off to finish my shopping, then I'm going to our book club Christmas potluck that night.  Saturday is the Santa Claus parade in town (and maybe baking with Mom... she won't confirm these plans though lol.  If not, baking by myself.)  And then I hope to get some movie watching in.  Oh how I love this time of year!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mid-Week Randoms

It's a rainy, dreary Wednesday around here. I thought I'd do some quick random bullet points about how the week is going so far and what is coming up!

  • It is slowwwwwly coming around to the time when I can officially go "Christmas Crazy"!!  I usually peg our company Christmas party as "go time", and that is this Friday, so... it's almost time!!
  • Last Saturday was our annual girls Christmas get-together, and I had a wonderful evening.  I was super-prepared, and had all the snacks made the night before, so that day was quite relaxing.  Some last minute tidy up and such, but then an afternoon of painting nails, watching Hallmark Christmas movies, and napping.  
  • The ladies started arriving around 6, and we just had a great time chatting and visiting.  I especially loved it when we did the gift exchange and got everyone into one room.  It was a fun, festive night, and while it might have seemed early for a Christmas party, we all had a blast anyways.
  • I was up way later Saturday night than usual, so even though I only had a few drinks, I felt totally hungover Sunday.  I was thankful I had no plans after church.  Mom and I had lunch, and then I hit the couch. I slept hard.  I went down around 1:30 and didn't even stir until 4:30.  It was kind of a waste of a day, but man, I must have needed it.  And then I went to bed around 8:30 and fell asleep almost immediately.  It was a good catch-up on sleep!
  • Now this week is the push to get ready for the Christmas House Tour, coming up on Monday!  Mom and I got the poinsettias and door prizes delivered last night, and my mom has her ladies helping her to decorate and set up at the church today.  This will hopefully eliminate too much of a last-minute scramble over the weekend.
  • I also pegged this week as the beginning of my Christmas baking, but so far, that is NOT going well. LOL!  Monday night I was tired and not in the mood.  Last night, I got the refrigerator shortbread dough made and it was crumbly and dry.  I have no idea if the cookies will even stay together when I slice the dough tonight.  Hopefully tonight's creations turn out better!
  • I had slotted Saturday as a full-on baking day, but I think there might be plans in the works to go see Frozen 2 in the afternoon.  So baking can still happen, but it will have to be in and around the movie.  
  • I have an appointment for my flu shot today.  bleh.  I'll be glad when it's done, but I'm not looking forward to it.
  • I got lazy this year and ordered snowflake window clings to go on the door in my living room, instead of cutting out my own snowflakes.  I know my niece Danica is disappointed in me for not cutting out my own, but I love the look!!
  • Things have been a little hectic lately, and that's going to continue for a few more days, but once the House Tour is over, my life will calm down quite a bit.  I'm really looking forward to the slower pace, snuggling up to watch Christmas movies and sip hot chocolate, really enjoying the season.  It is my very favourite time of year, I don't want it all to fly by without pausing to really enjoy it.
  • I usually have a busy morning planned for Black Friday with lots of Christmas shopping to do, but somehow, this year, I really jumped the gun on the shopping.  LOL! I only have stocking stuffers left to pick up. I am not sure why I got in such a rush on that front this year, and I likely will regret it when I see the deals, but right now, I feel really good about that part being almost finished.
  • Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving, which I call my Day of Jealousy. hahaha!!  Our Thanksgiving feels like it was so long ago... A holiday weekend would be lovely right about now, wouldn't it, Canadian friends?  Oh well... Christmas vacation is in sight... one more month to go!
Happy Wednesday, friends!! :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I drank the Disney+ kool-aid.

So, today, since it is still ONLY November 20th, I shall try to write a blog post that does not mention the word CHRISTMAS.  Because, sheesh  Seriously.  Get a grip, Jill.

But today, I did buy myself a little present.  And that present was a monthly subscription for the recently released streaming service, Disney+.

I of course heard about this streaming service being released.  I mean, I work for Jared and Lindsay Hamilton.  They are Disney fanatics.  They have been talking about this coming for months.  And since the service was released, I have heard them talking about how amazing the content is.  All those Disney classics, out of the vault.  Old shows.  New movies.  Superhero stuff. (That was from Jared.)  Even aside from the Hamiltons, I've seen many friends on Facebook sharing their thoughts and opinions on it (all positive, from what I've seen).

Still, I was holding out.  Because, A) I have racked up my credit card with shopping for that holiday that I shall not speak of (yet) , and B) I have been paying for Crave all year and hardly using it, and I didn't want to do the same with Disney+.  My plan was to wait until January, when the Crave subscription will run out, and I will hopefully be all caught up on holiday debt.  Besides, as I've mentioned several times, I have a million movies and specials to watch over the next six weeks.  Plus Netflix.  Plus Amazon Prime.  I didn't need Plus Disney+.

But something in me snapped this morning.  I'm not entirely sure what.  I think I saw something on FB again about how amazing the service is.  And before I could give my head a shake, I had gone on and subscribed.  Here, Disney.  Take my 8.99 a month!  Just take it!!

I am at work, so I haven't actually had time to watch anything, but as I continue to scroll through the categories, my heart keeps jumping with excitement.  There is so MUCH!!!  So many movies I haven't seen since I was a kid, or movies I've never seen.  And this is coming from a girl who has worked hard to build a pretty solid Disney DVD collection!!

That part, though... that part sucks.  I have spent so much money on DVD's over the years.  Some very recently.  In the past 6 months, I have bought The Lion King, The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, and Hocus Pocus, all titles that I saw while quickly scanning through on Disney+.  And all I could think was, what a waste.  Because I don't know about anyone else, but I seem to have gotten insanely lazy and I find it a pain in the ass to put a DVD in the player now.  I much prefer if I can find it on a streaming service instead.

I admit that I'm not 100% sure how I feel about the take-over of streaming services.  I now have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave, and Disney +.  There are others that I've contemplated, like AppleTV+.  And I hear there are only more coming.  As so many others have brought to attention, soon the combination of costs for all of these services might as well equal the price of cable.  So much for saving money.

But I can already tell you, I don't regret Disney+.  If I'm going to whittle them down, Crave will absolutely be the first to go (terrible service, and my Internet speed doesn't support it very well).  I'll see what Prime and Netflix continue to offer.  (So far, so good for both them of them).

So, what am I excited to watch on Disney+?  Like... EVERYTHING!!!  Here are some of the titles that jumped out at me as movies or shows that I want to watch:

- Babes in Toyland
- The Sword in the Stone (I don't think I've ever even seen that movie)
- Swiss Family Robinson
- The Sound of Music
- Duck Tales (my god, Saturday mornings of my childhood!)
- A Goofy Movie (haven't seen it in a million years)
- the new Lady & The Tramp
- Noelle
- The Adventures of Huck Finn (I had the movie as a kid, and one day it disappeared...never did find it)
- Old Yeller (I remember seeing this many times in French in school, but I don't think I've ever seen it in English!!)
- the old Pete's Dragon movie
- Muppet Babies
- old Mickey cartoons
- Cinderella (I can't remember the last time I watched Cinderella!)
- Finding Dory
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas & Twice Upon a Christmas (oh, shit, I said Christmas.  Dammit.)
- Up! (I only saw it once, and I fell asleep lol)

My gosh, guys, there is SO much.  I'm so excited about it!

There's even a movie from my youth that used to scare me.  I was really young when I saw it, and I don't know if the movie is actually scary, but I remember it terrifying me.  And that movie was called Fuzzbucket.  It's on there!  I can't wait to check it out to see if it is even remotely scary. lol!

Watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights are some of my favourite memories from childhood.  The fact that I could put any of those old classics on and re-visit that any night I want?  It makes me so happy.  So very, very happy.

How about you?  Did you drink the Disney+ kool-aid? Have you signed up?  If so, what do you recommend I watch first?

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Random Tuesday Ramblings

  • Jill's Holiday Train continues to chug along, and I'm feeling so much more calm about things this week.  Most of the gifts have been bought, the house is decorated, Christmas cards are on their way... Christmas Prep Month was stressing me out last week, but I've got it all under control now and I feel 10 times lighter.
  • I realize that my over-preparedness is ridiculous.  Absolutely.  I'm a nut job.  I recognize it.  I apologize for it.  But its all for my own mental sanity, and my way of laying the path for a stress-free December.  (or as stress-free as possible). It's just the way my nutty brain works.  *shrug*
  • This coming Saturday is our girls Christmas get-together, and I'm very much looking forward to it!  We have moved it to an early date in November because, let's face it, everyone has SO much going on as the holiday season comes into full effect, it's almost impossible to find a date that works.  So I call this party the "kick-off", and I'm so excited to have everyone over!!
  • Christmas decorating this past weekend was mainly to get ready for this party. The house got a thorough cleaning too, so I don't actually feel like I have much to do to prepare now!  I decided to just make the snacks myself this year - we always have so much when we do it potluck style, and I have the time between Friday night and Saturday to get stuff ready, so it's not a big deal.  I'm keeping it simple, and I've had fun thinking up my munchie menu!
  • Last weekend, my niece Danica came to help me decorate.  On Friday evening, we assembled the tree and put up as much of the wall-hanging stuff as we could.  Saturday morning, we decorated the tree, then put out everything else, all while I vacuumed and dusted in between.  It was a long and tiring day, but I was so grateful to have her helping me. She does a lot of the running up and down the stairs with stuff, and then I just have to place things.  We were all done by 3 in the afternoon, and I mean ALL done.  Aside from my little shrub of outdoor lights, we got EVERYTHING up.  I was exhausted and aching from head to toe, and almost wondered if it's worth it to put up so much stuff.  But now that it's done and I get to sit down and enjoy it each day, I'm glad we did.
  • You can't tell from this picture, but I have a crooked Christmas tree this year.  No matter what I did, I could not get the damn thing to stand up straight.  So I finally got it turned in such a way that it leans forward.  Sitting on the couch looking at it, it looks fine, but if you were at the side, you would see that it's canting forward.  It's solid, though - not going to topple - but just looks precarious.  Frigging Christmas trees. There's always something!
  • I'm planning to run to the city after work on Thursday, to hit up Bulk Barn and Walmart for my holiday baking supplies and party supplies.  The baking seems to be the one area that I am behind in, but I just don't have any of the Christmas baking essentials:  candied cherries, chopped pecans, chocolate, mixed nuts...Any time I think of a cookie to make, I'm missing one of these key ingredients.  Next week/weekend will be all about the baking!
  • Funnily enough, as I've been diving head-first into all things Christmas, our church is still running it's Harvest Draw, with the lucky winners to be chosen this coming Sunday.  So while every ounce of my being is immersed in Christmas, I'm now back-tracking to crochet dish clothes this week for the Harvest Basket.  I'm dying to try out a new Christmas pattern for ornaments, but I have to hold off.  Harvest stuff first, Jill!!
  • There are shows coming out on Netflix that I want to watch, but I'm saving them.  I know the coming weeks will be filled with Christmas movies and specials, so I don't want to start into anything that I can't really commit to for a while.  So for now, I'm working towards finishing The Ranch (I'm into Part 7), but I'm holding off on watching The Crown Season 3, which came out recently, and Dolly Parton's Heart Strings, coming out this weekend.  I can already envision myself cozied up over Christmas break watching them!
  • Of course, now that the busiest time of year is descending upon us, I have SO many movies I want to see in theatres!!  I'm really hoping to find time to get to see Doctor Sleep - it's been out for a while, but I'm almost done the book, so I've been holding off until I do.  Also, I want to see Last Christmas - it looks so good, and, I mean... it's a Christmas movie, how could I resist?!  And of course, there's Frozen 2, coming out this weekend.  I HAVE to see it.  Absoultely HAVE to.
Well, I think that's all the rambling I have time for today.  Hope you are all enjoying your week so far! :)

Friday, November 15, 2019

What a Difference a Few Days Makes...

In my last post a few days ago, I lamented being behind the 8-ball when it comes to Christmas Prep Month (aka, November).  My goal this week was to get some of the big check marks off the list so that I could breathe easier.  And for the most part, I have been successful!!

I know.  It is only November 15th.  There is no need to panic yet, Christmas is still well over a month away.  But for some reason (maybe the gently falling snow that has been coming down off and on all week?  The cold that has settled in and made it feel like winter already?) - I felt compelled - absolutely compelled - to get some serious Christmas stuff done this week.

The biggest of all is the shopping.  As of yesterday, I have completed almost all of my gift shopping.  My credit card doesn't like it, but... I'll deal with that in the weeks to come.  One of my biggest stresses this time of year is trying to think up unique and useful gifts for my family, so I just feel like I can breathe now that almost everyone is taken care of.  Perhaps biggest of all are the photo gifts I order for family members every year.  After spending a great deal of time uploading the photos and creating the gifts through Shutterfly, it was a huge relief to hit the button the other day to submit the order.  It's a job, but I love giving meaningful gifts and making good use of my photos.

Next up this weekend is the decorating, which will be another big relief to have done.  My niece Danica is coming to help me tonight and throughout the day Saturday, so hopefully we'll get most of it done.  I'm hosting an early Christmas Party for friends next Saturday, so the goal is to have all of that done in time!

Next week will be devoted to getting ready for the party, which I'm really looking forward to.  I love having my house decked out and being able to share it with friends!  I can't wait!!

The following weekend is our company Christmas party, and it will also be likely last minute prep for the Christmas House Tour which I help organize as a fundraiser for our church.  The big night is December 2nd, and it is always such a wonderful, festive event.  I'm very much looking forward to it.

So aside from the gift buying, decorating, and party prep, here's what I still have to work on in the coming weeks:

- Christmas cards (a plan is already in motion, just not executed yet)
- Stocking stuffers & gift wrap supplies - I usually take a day off in early December to shop and tie up loose ends, so I'm not worrying about this yet.
- Baking.  Gah!  I need to get supplies and start the baking!!  Hopefully in the evenings next week I'll get a little done, and the following weekend I should be able to do a full-on baking day.  I'm kind of eyeing next Thursday evening to run to the city to buy party snack  supplies and maybe I'll hit up the Bulk Barn then to get my baking stuff too.
- Gift Wrapping - I"m certainly not worrying about this one yet.  I usually do this about a week before Christmas, so I still have lots of time.  I love wrapping, so I like to leave it til the last minute!
- Outdoor lights - This one I kinda made a whoopsie.  We have way more snow than I expected at this stage of the game, and I didn't put them up yet.  But I only throw a few on the little shrub at my door, so it won't take long, I just need it to warm up a wee bit to get er done.
- Watching Christmas movies... LOL!  Easily my favourite job. ;)  I can't wait to have the tree lit up & settle in to watch all of my favourites.  I have a Christmas Movie Marathon plan in place as well.  LOVE!!!
- Crocheting - I have a little Christmas gift idea in mind that I want to try out, but just haven't had the time to attempt it yet.  This might get shelved until after the House Tour, when my life will settle down a little and I'll have more time.

I think that's about it!!  The stressful stuff is almost all behind me, and then I can REALLY start enjoying my favourite time of year.  And I can't tell you how excited I am to decorate this weekend.  Dan seems very excited and I just can't wait to get at it!

Happy Friday friends! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Christmas Prep Month is in FULL SWING!!!

Well, how the heck did that happen... one minute it's Halloween, the next November is practically half over!! Eeeep!!

  • When I went to bed last night, it was snowing.  And I awoke this morning to a gleaming white blanket covering everything.  Those who know me know this was my favourite kind of morning.  When I'm awakened by the snow plow, I grin from ear to ear.  The first snow just makes my heart sing!!!  
  • November in my head is "Christmas Prep Month".  I feel like I'm a little behind compared to last year, but I've got some check marks on the list, so that's good.  A few gifts have been purchased, and a few more are in the works.  This weekend I will be decorating, and once that is done, I think I will feel much better.  (I had it done this past weekend a year ago, but it just wasn't possible this past weekend due to other things going on.)
  • I'm also feeling behind the 8-ball when it comes to baking.  I haven't done any yet, but, like I said... just haven't had time yet.  I'm prioritizing jobs, and this week, uploading pictures and getting calendar gifts ordered are more important than the baking.  Maybe next week I'll get some done before the party.
  • I'm DYING to watch Christmas movies.  But for some reason, it just doesn't feel right until the tree is up.  LOL.  I know, weirdo, right?  So I'm VERY much looking forward to having most of the halls decked by Saturday night so I can put on a Christmas movie.  My niece Danica is coming to stay with me, to help with the decking, and I think we'll both be super excited to settle in with snacks and a Christmas movie once we're done!
  • Everyone knows I love Scary Movie Marathon, but can you believe I've never had an official Christmas Movie Marathon?  This year, that is going to change!  Plans are in motion for a Christmas Movie Marathon Day and I am SO excited about this.  While it seems most people have very busy Decembers, mine is actually usually kind of low-key (once the Christmas House Tour is over, anyways).  So I'm taking a Saturday before Christmas to watch movies allll day long.  Heavenly.
  • Last night when I left work, my plan was to go home, take spaghetti sauce out of the freezer and thaw it, and have a cozy night in enjoying my favourite meal, editing and uploading photos, and hunkering during the first snowfall.  I arrived home only to discover I had NO sauce in the freezer.  I don't even know how that happened.  I ALWAYS have sauce in the freezer.  I didn't want to go through the painstaking process of defrosting hamburger, so I instead took it out to do tonight. I had a "clean out the fridge" night instead.  Kind of disappointing.
  • The good news is, I did get the photos edited that I needed to get done, and I started the uploading process for my calendars.  I always forget what a pain in the ass it is to do that with Shutterfly, it takes forever.  I'm hoping to get the rest uploaded tonight so that I can start working on the calendars.  Shutterfly has the nicest calendars I've seen, but their shipping to Canada is TERRIBLE.  I like to get them done as early as I can to make sure they are in before Christmas.
  • While I may not be 100% on top of things Christmas-wise, I AM almost 100% on top of things Winter-wise.  I bought a new coat online that I love, and a few weeks ago I washed my Mountainview coat so it looks ship-shape again.  I got a pair of new winter boots online as well that I'm very happy with, and I picked up a new toque at the craft sale at Onslow this past Saturday.  The only thing I'm not up to snuff on is winter tires, and I sure noticed it this morning when I came to the end of my mom's road, braked, and instead almost slid into the Highway traffic.  Whoops.
Well, I have a lot running through my mind today so I could probably keep rambling, but let's cap it there, shall we.  Happy Tuesday, friends! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Eve of Halloween

Happy Eve of Halloween to all!  I guess I could also say Happy Mat Night, but I don't really want any Mat Night shenanigans going on around my place, so... the Eve of All Hallows Eve it is!!

So, I have decided I am no longer going to talk about being sick on the blog.  Because I have been pretty much healthy as a horse all year up until getting a cold last week, and then yesterday I said it was pretty much gone, and last night I seemed to come down with a second round of it.  The scratchiness at the back of my throat came back, and I started sneezing again.  I dosed up on vitamin C and echinacea and put the "immune" essential oil I have on my chest and throat, so hopefully that keeps things down to a dull roar.  Two colds in two weeks does NOT seem fair. argh.

I have come to the realization that I often go through a phase of malaise around this time of year.  Several years ago, I remember just going through weeks of not feeling right.  I don't think I ever was able to pinpoint exactly what was wrong, but I was just unwell.  I had no appetite - I remember that being a glaring red flag, because we had Halloween snacks at work and I didn't even want to eat any - and puffy eyes and just felt off.  Then I think it was the year after that I had a throat so sore it felt like swallowing razor blades, I actually had bleeding tonsils, and went on antibiotics for it.  Then I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics which left me with a rash for weeks.  This year, a cold on top of a cold.  I know.  None of this is serious or even worth complaining about.  I just hate not feeling "right".  blech.

Anyways, moving on from the ills... When I left work yesterday, I had pretty much decided I wasn't going to bother carving my pumpkin. I wasn't in the mood and I had decided it wouldn't matter anyways.  It's supposed to pour rain tomorrow, the Jacks won't even stay lit up.  But then I got home and thought, "What else are you doing tonight?  Carve your damn pumpkin. It's tradition."  So I did.  And the Halloween gods were in my favour, as I discovered I had the most gutless pumpkin I ever met in my life.  I hate scooping out the guts, so this was a nice bonus.  Then I found it was actually quite easy to carve (maybe sitting outside for a month had softened it up a little?) - and it was done in no time.  I managed to salvage a few handfuls of seeds from the little bit of guts I did dig out, so I got my seeds roasted too. Yum!

Then I had to decide what movie to watch.  As I mentioned yesterday, I was feeling the urge to watch Halloween H20 despite originally planning to watch Casper.  Big difference, right?  Despite the internal struggle, I finally did end up going with Casper.  Even though I've seen H20 multiple times before, and I adore Josh Hartnett in that movie, I was just worried it would scare me too much.  I'm already darting glances at every shadow and having to leap up the stairs and into my bed in three giant steps every night.  The spooky season gets me every time, even when I try to make sure it doesn't. I didn't need the extra jump scares of a horror movie last night.

Tonight my plans are to make my pumpkin cheese ball for work tomorrow, get my costume out and ready for tomorrow, and maybe paint my nails.  Busy night. ha!  And I have NO idea what I'm going to watch to prepare for Halloween.  If it was a bad idea to watch a horror movie last night, it makes even less sense tonight.  I'm already going to be nervous that Mat Night pranksters could be looming around, I don't need to amplify that by watching a scary movie.  So... maybe Casper again lol.

I'm already feeling sorry for the little trick-or-treaters.  It is going to be one soggy Halloween.  The rain is to start this afternoon and continue alllll through the day tomorrow and night tomorrow.  Poor little guys, they're gonna be drenched.  But then... then it's going to get cold.  And... dare I say it?  There are actually pictures of snowflakes on my weather forecast for Friday!  eeeep! :) :) :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tuesday Randoms

  • After spending almost every evening last week sleeping on the couch, I felt like I was productive for the first time in forever last night.  I did laundry, used up leftover sloppy joe meat on nachos for supper, read, and crocheted while watching Addams Family Values.  It felt good to NOT be zonked out by 7 PM!
  • I don't know if I ever saw Addams Family Values when I was a kid (I'm sure I did, but I don't remember it) - but man oh man, "kids" movies were sure different back then!  The innuendo, dark humour, and flat-out not-PG content was on display LARGE.  Our parents really didn't care what we watched, did they?
  • As we know, I've been doing mostly Scary Light this spooky season.  I've watched a few legit scary ones, but for the most part, I've kept it to things like Hocus Pocus, Disney's Ichabod, and the aforementioned Addams Family.  Tonight is supposed to be Casper, but for some reason, I'm feeling this pull to watch one of my old faves, Halloween: H20.  I really ought to stick with Casper...
  • Truthfully, the scariest thing I've done this October is read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  I'm still only about a third of the way in, and nothing SUPER scary has happened yet, but it's chilling.  It leaves me feeling unsettled.  I've even had to stop having baths because I usually read in the bath and this book freaks me out too much to read it in the bath.  (I know, this makes no sense, but... welcome inside my brain.)  I now have very quick showers that leave me with burning eyes because I can't close my eyes and I get shampoo in them all the time.  
  • I still haven't carved pumpkins yet, but I'm thinking that will be the job for tomorrow night.  If my pumpkins are even still good.  They've been sitting on my front step for almost a month now, they may be too weathered.  And you know what?  I don't really love carving pumpkins.  I do it because it feels like a Halloween must, but... if I don't do it this year, I won't cry over it.
  • I'm going to have to talk to my mom about what we're having for our "fun" Halloween supper.  I have a lasagna in my freezer that might make a good supper that night.  I've also thought of pizza muffins and snacky stuff like chips and dip or nachos.  Decisions, decisions.
  • Unfortunately, the weather is not looking too good for the poor little trick-or-treaters on Thursday.  It's supposed to rain all flipping day.  I have a feeling it could be a quiet evening on Stanton Road.
  • So, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I tried getting into the Netflix show The Ranch but that I wasn't really digging it.  Still, I kept putting it on in the evenings while I crocheted, and guess what... I finally got into it!  I'm now in Part 4 of 7, and I definitely look forward to watching a couple of episodes each night.  I'm sure I'll have it all done up just in time to start watching Christmas specials and movies!!
  • I'm doing my ever-loving best to stay in the moment, but it's so hard right now, on the verge of November, to keep my thoughts on Halloween and not jump ahead to Christmas.  I made my Christmas gift shopping list this morning (or wrote down ideas I have for everyone), and I am already making plans in my mind for holiday prep.  For example, I have the weekend of Nov. 15-17 slotted in my head for decorating the house, and I am already mentally tallying what I need to get for Christmas baking.  My favourite time of year is almost here, and I'm soooo excited!!
  • But NO, JILL!!  NO!!!  FIRST:  HALLOWEEN!!  Casper tonight (or maybe Halloween: H20), pumpkin carving, seed roasting, making my cheese ball for work for Thursday, getting my costume ready... Trick-or-Treating time is almost here!!! :)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hello, Halloween Week!

Happy Halloween Week, friends!!  I'm excited and looking forward to it!!

So, last week was kind of crapola.  After a fun (but challenging) Car Rally a week ago Saturday, things kinda went in the gutter for me.  Monday morning I woke up with that "feeling" in the back of my throat.  That "I think I'm getting sick feeling".  It got progressively worse as the day went on.  By Tuesday, I had a full head and I was just feeling rough overall.  Thus it continued for most of the week.  I rarely get sick (*knock on wood*), so yeah, it affected me.  I only did a few morning workouts, I often skipped my lunch time walks (either for illness or rain reasons), and I didn't even try to keep myself awake in the evenings like I usually do.  I was zonked out on the couch by 7pm pretty much every night.  Not one 10K step day all week.

The good news was that by Friday, I was feeling much better, much more like myself.  A co-worker was in the city on Friday and brought back take-out from Lonestar for lunch, and I was ever-so-grateful I could taste again.  What a treat!!  After work, I picked up my niece Danica (she was at my mom's for a PD day) and we ran a quick trip to Shawville for groceries before coming back to my mom's for supper.  I watched the Sens game with them before heading home and going to bed, pretty early for me on a Friday night.

Saturday morning I was up fairly early.  I caught up on PVR'd shows while sipping coffee, then got myself ready for the day.  I washed my bedding and did a quick house cleaning, made two more loaves of pumpkin bread (which cleaned up the last of the canned pumpkin I had floating around in my fridge, phewf!), then settled in to assemble my Halloween treat bags.  I over-estimated how much candy I needed to fill the bags, though, and couldn't get everything to fit.  whoops!  So I guess I'll keep those Reese peanut butter cups for myself!! ;)

Early afternoon, I packed up a bunch of snacks and treats and headed to Lindsay's for our annual Scary Movie Marathon.  I had a rough start, unfortunately.  There was a fundraiser going on at the gym across the road from my house, and people had parked in front of my garage.  Thankfully Stacy was there and saw the dilemma I was in and came over to help me! LOL!  She knew one of the ladies that had parked there and got her to move for me.  I managed to wiggle my way out (and I was nervous... I'm not a good backer-upper!!) Then I arrived at Lindsay's, and we went to head down to the basement, and I promptly fell down the stairs.  *SIGH*  I was fine, the worst of it was a sore butt cheek lol.  Thankfully.  I figured it was karma for all the times I tease Lindsay for being a klutz. ;)  I do seem to have an issue with stairs, it's not the first time I've done it.  Socks and smooth stairs are my nemesis I guess.

So we got out our snacks and settled in with Sammy to watch Monster Family, then followed it up with Hotel Transylvania.  (Both Sam and I fell asleep lol).  By the time we woke up, Lainey was up from her nap, so we had a Pizza Pizza supper and then a Just Dance party before the kiddos were off to bed.  Then the "big kids" watched Arachnophobia and Frailty.  These were both movies I remembered watching in my late teen years, but I hadn't seen either in a very long time.  I have to admit, I had NO idea Lindsay was terrified of spiders, so it was quite entertaining to watch her jump and shout throughout Arachnophobia. And really, that movie has held up well!!  Frailty was more of a psychological thriller, and I had actually forgotten completely about some of the twists the movie throws at you.  If I'm being honest, I chose these movies because I knew they weren't TOO scary (for me... Lindsay and the spiders is a different story LOL!!) - and I knew they wouldn't keep me up or make me have to sleep with a light on.  A few jumps and squeals, but nothing too disturbing.  In my mind, it was a successful Scary Movie Marathon!!

The next morning was dark and it was pouring out.  I confess, every natural instinct in my body told me to hunker and hibernate.  But it was the first morning for our new minister, and we were having a little brunch gathering after church to welcome him, so I had to get over there, rain or no rain.  After church, I went to my mom's to visit with my brother and his kids.  By late afternoon, I had returned home to continue my Halloween hunkering.  I had my annual viewing of the Disney version of Ichabod Crane (still - STILL - creeps me the F out!! Creepiest cartoon EVER!) and I also watched Hocus Pocus.  And for supper?  I had chips.  Ketchup chips and plain ruffles with dill pickle dip.  And Halloween candy.  I'm not even joking.  It was marvellous.

And now, here we are, just a few days away from Halloween!  Still lots of fun stuff to come this week, and I can't wait!  Hope you are all gearing up and getting ready! :)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rainy Day, Take 2

So here we are, another dark and dreary day.  I love a rainy day, but two in a row?  Bleh.  I'm kinda over it. 

Yesterday, I talked about my rainy evening plans to make chili, bake biscuits and cookies.  But then afternoon hit and I got sleepy and less ambitious, so I chucked the chili plan.  I just did the biscuits and cookies.  The biscuits came together quickly and turned out beautifully, but the cookies were just meh.  For one thing, I hadn't read the recipe through and didn't realize I had to chill the dough for at least 2 hours.  Then, once the "wait time" was over, I think I under-baked them, and the end result didn't taste that amazing anyways.  Kind of a waste of ingredients in what was supposed to be "the best pumpkin cookies ever". 

But the biscuits!  They were a success!!  I had one with egg and cheese on it for dinner and it was delicious.  I packed a second biscuit-egg-cheese sandwich for lunch today.  What to do with the rest?  I suppose I could still make that chili for supper tonight... Or maybe just freeze the rest.  I don't know.

Side note:  I love to cook.  I love to bake.  Do you know what I do NOT love?  Doing dishes.  ugh.  That is my single biggest reason for NOT making something:  I hate the thoughts of the clean-up afterwards.  It will be the reason that I probably do not make chili tonight.

In other news, I am having a new weird head problem.  You may recall the strange electrical-pulse like headaches that I had behind my left ear early in the summer that caused me to panic.  They went away after a few days, and all has been fine since.  Suddenly yesterday, I began having weird pulsing sensations on the left side of my head.  Not behind the ear.  Kind of above the temple area.  At first, it reminded me of when your eyelid twitches and you can't get it to stop.  But it has continued ever since, off and on, and it kind of feels like an alien is trying to dig its way out of my head.  I don't notice it when I'm busy, but when I'm just sitting still, there it is.  Of course, Dr. Google tells me I'm either: A) Fine or B) Dying.  It's not painful, just annoying, so I think I'll wait it out and hope it goes away like the other weird head issue did.  Fingers crossed.

Ever wonder why I don't get normal problems?  Like, say, a cold?  Or a sore shoulder?  Or an aching tooth?  No, I get electrical pulses behind my ear and aliens trying to escape my brain.  Awesome.

Moving on... I finished Outlander Season 4 last night, and it was SO good!  I liked it so much better than Season 3.  I really enjoyed the coming-to-America, pioneer storyline, and the incorporation of Brianna and her love story.  So much weird stuff went down in the last season, it was a relief to get back to more "normal" situations.  As normal as you can get for a story about time travel, I guess.  Now I'm unsure of what to watch next.  Back to The Ranch?  It wasn't really floating my boat, but I guess I started it so I should finish it.

This morning in the office, we have discussed the best chinese food in the area, the best pizza in the area, and how long it has been since we've had Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Needless to say, I am now craving chinese food, pizza, and KFC.  Just dandy.

Even though I'm kind of over the rainy day, I do still daydream about being home, cozied up, reading and watching movies and crocheting.  Ah, if only...

Why do short weeks always seem so long?  Come onnnnnnnnnnnnn Friday!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Dreary Day Randoms

  • It's a dark, overcast day, with lots of rain on the way for today and tomorrow.  Thankfully, I got my grass cut last night, so that was a weight off my shoulders.  I was starting to worry I'd never have time on a sunny day to get it done, and that I'd go into the winter with long, shaggy grass.  I like it as short as possible before the snow so that it isn't a huge panic to get cutting come springtime!  I may still have to cut it once more, but for now, I'm relieved it's done.
  • I am SO looking forward to Car Rally this coming Saturday!!  It is one of my favourite events of the year.  Things will be a little different this year, as we have lost our guys - Ricky is hunting, Graham is putting a new roof on his house - so we are bringing Stacy & Sara's oldest kids with us, Maddy & Charlotte.  I think it will be super fun to have them along this year, introducing them to Car Rally!!
  • Last week when we went to see It Chapter 2, one of the previews was for the upcoming movie Doctor Sleep, also based on a Stephen King novel.  Not only that, it is the sequel to The Shining, which is one of my favourite King stories - and I had no idea a sequel even existed.  SO.  I ordered the book from Amazon, it arrived yesterday, I started it last night, I'm only about 30 pages in, and I'm already sufficiently spooked.  Motherf*cker.
  • Up until last night, I was OK with the scary so far this year.  But it appears not only watching, but also READING, scary stuff in October is what is pushing me over the line this year.  Now I'm nervous for the upcoming scary movie fests I have planned for the next two weeks.  Part of me thinks I should just shelve the book until winter, when I'm not so sensitive to this stuff, but then I'd like to have it read before the movie comes out in early November.  *sigh* Decisions, decisions.
  • As we all know, dark dreary days such as this make me want to hunker.  I'm doing all my rainy-day day-dreaming.  Right now, my plan for when I get home is to make chili and biscuits and pumpkin spice cookies.  Will I ACTUALLY do that?  Probably not.  I didn't even take hamburger out to thaw this morning.  And I would have to go down to the scary basement to get it out of the freezer.  We'll see, but this does not look likely. lol
  • I know I already mentioned the new baby blanket I'm working on, but I am just LOVING it!  It is working up SO quickly, which is encouraging.  I'm still not 100% sure on my colour choices and the way I've spaced them out (I'm doing mint, grey & white, but with the mint sections bigger than the grey & white), but overall, super thrilled with how this one is turning out (and how quickly I should be able to complete it!)
  • Anyone remember when I said I was putting a freeze on my credit card, and not allowing anymore online shopping for the month of October?  HA. I have bought a book, boots, jeans, boots, a pom-pom maker, boots and more.  It's a sickness.  The good news is, I'm getting a refund for that dumb computer clean-up program I paid $50 for in my ill-fated laptop repair frenzy on Friday evening, so that's a little bit of a relief.
That's about all for today, folks!  Hope you're staying warm & dry wherever you may be! :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Thanksgiving Weekend Rundown

Here's a point-form re-cap of a mostly really great Thanksgiving weekend!

  • I feel like my weekend pretty much started Thursday after work, when my friends Lolly and Brenda picked me up and we headed to the Skylight Drive-In Theatre in Pembroke.  It was my first time going to a drive-in movie (at least, that I can remember - we may have gone when I was a kid, but I have no recollection).  We went to see It: Chapter Two (we saw the first one in theatres together, we had to go for the sequel!)  And I just LOVED the experience.  The drive-in is kind of on a back road in the middle of nowhere, it was super neat to look up at the big screen and see the stars and trees all around it.  The movie was a little disappointing, but I soaked up the experience on the whole.  There were quite a few cars there, and they had a great snack bar/concession stand as well.  Overall, VERY much enjoyed it!
  • Friday was a work day, but Lindsay and I were playing hooky.  Around 10:45, we split and headed to the Ferry to take us to Kanata.  We went for lunch at The Barley Mow, then to the movie theatre to see Downton Abbey as a little early birthday celebration for Linds.  (Her b-day was the next day).  We hadn't done anything like this in quite some time, and it was very refreshing!  It felt good to get away from the office early for some Friday down-time. Good food, conversation, movie... a perfect day!
  • When I got home late afternoon, I zipped up to Shawville to get groceries, then came home to enjoy a relaxing evening.  BUT I messed that up royally.  I went into the church office to print the bulletins for Sunday, and realized I printed out the wrong Announcements page.  I started up my laptop, which has been acting kind of sick for a while now, and long story short, I ended up fighting with it for 3 hours, charging my Paypal account an unnecessary $50 for a program that didn't even work, and cycling through the "blue screen of death" (it's a real thing, google it) over and over and over.  I could have cried.  I finally restored it back to a point in June so that I could get back into it, but clearly, it needs professional help.  I was so mad that I wasted a perfectly good start of a holiday weekend evening battling with my laptop.  *sigh*
  • I woke up Saturday morning and decided to put my laptop problems behind me.  I lazed a bit with coffee, watching PVR'd shows, then decided to get moving.  I made pumpkin bread, cinnamon spiced roasted nuts, and assembled my cheese & pickle tray for our family dinner, then got myself showered and ready.  Early afternoon, my mom picked me up and we headed to my sister and BIL's, as they were hosting.  It was a truly enjoyable family day.  We sat around snacking and chatting for a long time, then watched some of the Sens game before having dinner.  My sister had everything prepared and ready to roll, so there was no big fuss in the kitchen.  It all went so smoothly!  The meal was fantastic, and then we had cake and gifts for my nephew Caden's birthday (he turned 14 yesterday!!)  Our only disappointment was that it was a rainy, dreary day, so we didn't get the full effect of the gorgeous fall colours on the mountains, and the kids didn't get to play outside.  Otherwise, it was an A+ Thanksgiving!!
  • On Sunday, the church was decorated beautifully for Thanksgiving, and we enjoyed the service.  Right after church, we were off to Hull.  We stopped at Tim Horton's for a quick bite to eat, then on to the rink for Caden's hockey game.  They ended up losing 3-2 to Maniwaki, but at least it was close.  My sister's family was having Thanksgiving with her in-laws that day, so we just took a leisurely drive home, hitting the back roads, looking at the leaves, and making a quick trip in to the hunt camp to check things out (it had been years since my mom had been in).  For supper, we had the leftovers my sister had sent home the day before, and then watched A Quiet Place (scary movie time, remember) before going to bed.
  • Monday was my favourite kind of day - nowhere to go, nothing to do, and it was kind of rainy and overcast, so PERFECT!!  I got laundry and dishes done, sent in my Equity notes, and then I just lounged watching scary movies - by the end of the day, I could check off I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House, The Amityville Horror, and The Sixth Sense, and still with plenty of time to watch Outlander episodes to shake off the scary before bedtime. LOL!  After all the turkey dinner food, it was nice to have a "junk" supper of pizza and jalapeno poppers.  I also had run out of stuffing for my crocheted pumpkins, so I got started on a new baby blanket pattern I'd been wanting to try.  All in all, just a perfect lazy holiday Monday!!
I hope all my Canadian pals had a great Thanksgiving weekend!! :)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart

Good morning friends!  Since today will likely be my last chance to post before Thanksgiving (I'm only working for a few hours tomorrow morning, then taking the rest of the day off) - I thought I'd share some of the things I'm most thankful for right now in my life.

  • I know it's a dumb thing, because it comes around every year, but I'm so thankful for fall!  I just love this time of year, and the colours are really starting to come out this week.  It's just gorgeous out.  And on top of it, it's been a beauty of a week - and I think it's supposed to be most of the weekend too.  Lovely!

  • I'm grateful for my family.  My mom, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my extended family.  I've always valued and enjoyed spending time with family, and that hasn't changed.  They are my people, and they are the best.

  • I'm very thankful for my good health.  Just having this nagging sore lower back this week has really annoyed me, but it also reminds me that I'm lucky to not have any huge health problems right now.  I had the weird zappy headache thing earlier in the summer, but aside from that, I've been pretty good.  Heart palps and blood pressure are under control, and I have hardly had a sniffle for months. Knock on wood, and thank you God!
  • I feel very fortunate to have a contented life right now.  Aside from the on-going pigeon problem, life is pretty good at my house these days.  There are still a few things I'd like to spruce up the place - new blinds, an area rug for the living room, new knobs for the kitchen cupboards - but overall, I'm content.  I think about where I was even five or six years ago, and I've come a long way.  I don't want for much, and that is a blessing.
  • I'm so grateful for good friends.  I have many, and I am lucky.  Most of my friends are on different pages from me - married with children, busy with a million things going on, and yet they haven't left me in the dust.  They haven't forgotten about me.  I will always be thankful for them, for sharing their kiddos with me, for being part of my life even though I may not "fit".

  • I'm very thankful for hobbies that I love!  Currently, most especially, crocheting.  I have SO enjoyed learning and getting better at it over the past two years.  I can still remember the first few days when I was learning, how it made me want to cry in frustration.  How I threw the yarn and hook across the room and roared curse words.  I'm glad I persevered.  I get so much enjoyment from it now!
  • I know this is another silly little petty thing, but I'm so glad I went through the hullaballoo of getting myself set up with a working satellite dish, high-speed internet, a new TV, and Netflix.  I mean, it's kind of crazy to think, it wasn't all that long ago that I didn't have a functioning TV OR Internet in my home.  Like, three or four years ago.  Crazy, right?  We've played the game before in the office where you ask if your house was on fire and you only have a few minutes to grab possessions, what's the one thing you take - and I chose my TV, which caused laughter and disbelief.  But hey... it wasn't so long ago that I didn't have that luxury, so... yeah.  I'm taking my TV! LOL!
  • Right now, I'm thankful for how I feel about myself in general.  It's been a roller-coaster for the past six years - losing a bunch of weight, gaining it all back, going from feeling like I was on top of the world to feeling like a giant slug.  Last winter, I recognized that I wasn't feeling very good about myself, and I needed to make a change.  I haven't been in the right frame of mind to focus on food (I want all the bad foods, all the time) - but I have been able to get myself moving more, and that has helped immensely.  Getting to 10K steps regularly, four to five days a week, getting out of bed a half hour early each day to do a light workout, walking at lunch hour, and usually doing a little exercise in the evenings, has helped my state of mind
    immensely.  I may not be the size I wish I was, and I still often dislike what I see in the mirror, but overall, I'm happy with who I am right now.  I'm grateful I've been able to get myself there.
  • Overall, I'm just grateful to feel this blessed.  I'm in a good place.  Maybe not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life, but I've accepted that.  I've embraced my path.  I am fortunate to be surrounded with good people, to have a good job, to have all I need to make a good life.  I have much to be thankful for this coming Thanksgiving weekend, and all the year through!
Wishing all of my Canadian pals a very Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy & count your blessings! :)