Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Medley: What's in a name?

Playing along with this week's Wednesday Medley!

1.  Today is "National Joe Day".  Who is your favourite "Joe/Jo" and what can you tell us about him or her?
It is funny, I've been thinking of my grandmother this morning (today marks 8 years since she passed away), and I was remembering how if she was fond of someone, she would speak of them with such a smile and twinkle in her eye.  One name she used in such a manner was "Joe Smiley".  I can't honestly tell you who Joe Smiley is/was other than he was a relative, and she obviously was very fond of him because I can just hear her voice saying the name "Joe Smiley."

2. Who were you named for and do you or did you know that person?
My first name is just a name my mom liked, I guess.  My middle name is my mom's name.  More on that below!

3. Do you have a middle name and do you like it/use it?
Yes, my middle name is my mom's first name, Elizabeth, and I do love it!  It's apparently a popular middle name; I've heard many who have the same middle name as me.  My mom is really the only one who uses it though, if she's scolding me she'll say, "Jillian Elizabeth!!"  Some of my fellow curling buddies were trying to figure out my middle name last week, and I have no idea why lol.  They were guessing whether it was my mom's name or my aunt's name.  One of them just called out, "Jillian Marion!"  And I was like "huh?"  And he said, "No? Is it Elizabeth?"  Jillian Marion doesn't sound right together, so I guess I'm glad it's Elizabeth. haha!

4. Have you ever named your car?  Tell us about it!
My dad had a ritual of naming his vehicles after the people he bought them from - in later years, he had second-hand trucks named Jimmy, Maurice, and Neil, respectively. lol!  So I bought a Toyota Rav4 from my aunt and uncle, and named her after my Aunt Linda.  Then with my current car, the saleswoman I dealt with had the last name "Purdy" so I named my car that.  It's tradition!

5.  Tell us the name of a fictional character you have never forgotten and why you remember it so well.  
Despite the fact that I read a lot, I struggled to come up with an answer to this one.  Apparently I forget characters' names easily?!  I'm going with Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I remember reading the book in school as a kid, and then re-read it last year for our book club.  I hadn't remembered a lot of what happened, and I couldn't have told you the names of the kids or their father, but I remembered Boo Radley.  As a child, he struck a sense of fear in my heart, this spooky mystery man who never left his house.  (I guess I'd forgotten that he actually did nice things for the children, and ended up being the hero in the end!)

6. Share something random about your week.
I've been feeling so much better about myself since I started getting up early to do a little workout and getting my 10K steps each day, but I really seem to have started to take notice this week.  It may not be all about moving more - it may be because the sun is shining, and it's starting to feel more like spring out, and I'm in spring cleaning mode, and I'm feeling good about the purging I've been doing lately.  But I do think that extra half hour in the morning, when I get up and stand in front of my TV and walk along with the DVD, is helping me feel better, BIG time.  I'm still not noticing any weight loss, but just that feeling of being more active, my joints feeling better, an extra pep in my step... it feels good!  Hallelujah!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

I don't think "What's Up Wednesday" is a thing, I just keep trying to come up with fancy ways of saying "here's what's randomly going on in my life right now"...

  • Truthfully, life is pretty mundane these days, and that's kind of just the way I like it.  Nothing exciting going on, just a day-to-day regular ol' routine.  I'm happy when things are just rolling along without any bumps in the road.
  • Last week, I was complaining about a head cold.  Let me tell you, this one is CLINGY.  I'm still blowing my nose and waiting for it to move along.  But the good news is, I was able to taste by noon on Friday.  After going four full days without being able to taste, it very much felt like a "Hallelujah!" moment.
  • I had a dentist appointment on Friday morning, and after that I skipped next door to the pharmacy and grabbed every product I could find to help relieve nasal congestion.  I had tried every "natural" remedy that google turned up throughout the week, and nothing seemed to work.  I dumped nasal spray and decongestant pills and vaporub all on the pharmacist's counter and told him my tale of stuffy nose woe, then asked him what products he recommended would help.  He said, "You just have a stuffy nose and can't taste?  That's all the symptoms?"  I told him yes, and well, my ears are popping and blocked too now but that I thought that was from blowing my nose so much.  He said, "You have an ear infection, you have to get a prescription for an antibiotic."  I could have cried.  I really didn't want to go to the hospital.  He pointed at the stuff I picked out and said, "This will help, it will get you through a few days, but if you don't get an antibiotic, it won't solve the problem."  I decided to just buy the stuff and take my chances.  I really didn't think I had an ear infection.  A couple of shots of Otrivin and some Advil Cold & Sinus liquigels had me tasting in no time.  By Sunday, I was able to eliminate the Otrivin, and I haven't had to take the liquigels since Monday.  I'm still using the Vicks vaporub every night but otherwise, the worst is over.  I'm really glad I didn't bother wasting a day at the hospital to be told I had a head cold. lol
  • Of course, when you google something like this, do you know what the worst case scenario always is?  Cancer.  My friend Brenda is always scolding me for googling and self-diagnosing myself with cancer, so when I told her Thursday night at curling that my stuffy nose might be cancer, she was like, "OMG Jill. Stop."  I was kind of just joking, of course, but it really was bothering me that I had gone so long without tasting.  I honestly don't know if I've EVER gone that long without my sense of taste, and I was starting to worry it was never coming back.  She was laughing at me and saying, "Have you never had a stuffed up nose before?!?!?"  In hindsight, perhaps I was being a little dramatic, but when this girl can't enjoy her food, ain't nothing gonna stop me til I figure it out!!
  • We had our Irish Tea on Saturday, and it was another huge success!  There was a steady stream of people coming in and often we had folks having to wait a bit for a table.  We ended up almost running out of food, and had just enough for a little snack for ourselves at the end.  It was awesome!!
  • After the tea, I just wanted to go home and lie down, but my fam-jam had other plans for me.  Caden had a playoff game in Gatineau, and my mom and sister had shopping they wanted to do at Costco beforehand, so off we went.  I found out that day that I am more like my father than I ever realized.  You see, Dad used to watch my brother's hockey games off by himself usually, sometimes with another quiet dad who would join him, but often on his own, far from everyone else.  I never understood, and thought it seemed anti-social and almost rude of him.  Saturday evening at Caden's game, we had found seats down in the stands and we were right on the dividing line between Caden's team's fans and the opposing team's fans.  The other fanbase had many horns and noisemakers, and they were using them relentlessly.  I don't think I'd have minded if they used them for goals and big saves, but they used them at pretty much every stoppage in play, no matter what was going on on the ice.  And it was driving me bananas.  Before the first period was over, I got up and moved as far away from them as I could, and I felt very Brent-esque.  My advice to hockey parents:  Just say no to horns.
  • There was a sweet ending to this story though.  With the game tied at 1 after regulation, they went to overtime.  Caden's team took a penalty during the overtime, which of course sent the horn-blowers into overdrive.  Things were lining up perfectly for them.  Despite being short a man, however, Caden's team scored while on the penalty kill and won the game!!  It was very exciting and I was so glad the horns were silenced!!  Sweet victory!  The win meant that they have won their division and are now moving on to Regionals.
  • We celebrated with supper at St. Hubert's, and I celebrated being able to taste again by ordering an appetizer, meal, dessert, and a drink!  Woo Hoo!!
  • Sunday was officially St. Patrick's Day, so I was decked out in my green!!  We went to church and out to brunch, then my friend Kerry and I headed down to Gavan's to check out the big party.  The owner of the hotel, Nick, is retiring, and word had got around that this would be his last St. Paddy's Day, so I think everybody was out to make ti a big one for him.  It was PACKED!!  There was a time when I'd have just "drank tru it" and enjoyed the shenanigans, but I wasn't feeling it on Sunday.  I got my pic taken with Nick, said hello to a bunch of people, listened to a few tunes and had a few drinks, and then I was ready to pack 'er in.  Luckily Kerry felt the same way, so we peaced out around 4 PM.  If it really was Nick's last St. Pat's, I was happy to say I was there, but I was just as happy to get home and away from the hordes of people!
  • I watched Big Little Lies on Crave between Sunday and Tuesday, and I really enjoyed it.  I had read the book by Liane Moriarty a few years ago, but I had kind of forgotten the story.  It definitely had me hooked for a few days!  Now to decide what to watch next... I started watching a documentary on missing child Madeleine McCann on Netflix last night, but I'm not sure I'm sticking with it.  Next on Crave, I'm debating The Handmaid's Tale, Castlerock, or catching up on The Big Bang Theory (I haven't watched it in a few years, and I always really liked it).
  • Everyone is rejoicing today because spring has finally sprung!  Well, it will at 5:58 tonight.  We all know I love winter and snow, but even I'm ready for this.  I'm so damn tired of boots.  However, we have now reached the time of year when footwear choices are difficult.  Winter boots, rubber boots, running shoes... they all have their place at certain times of the day lol.  I'm still yanking on those damn winter boots every morning but for sanity's sake, I can't do that for much longer.  Tonight I'm going to celebrate by finally putting away all of my snowman and snowflake decor.  I think it's a little overdue! haha!
Happy 1st day of SPRING!! :)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Random Ramblings (or... Random Complaints)

  • Day 4 of this weird, awful, yet not awful, head cold.  Awful because I haven't tasted food since Monday morning.  Not awful because aside from being plugged up and not being able to taste, I don't feel sick at all.  
  • Last night I was getting really REALLY frustrated by it.  I googled and tried everything in the book.  Massaging my face.  Accupressure on certain spots on my face.  Peppermint essential oil around my nose.  Peppermint tea. Chicken noodle soup.  I stuck my face in the steam rising off the pot of chicken noodle soup.  A hot steamy shower.  NOTHING WAS WORKING.  I still couldn't taste a ding-dong thing.  URGH.
  • I realize that I'm not the first person to have a head cold that has obliterated my sense of taste.  And I also realize there are way worse things going on in the world.  But seriously, if you can't TASTE, what is the point in even LIVING???  
  • I mentioned above using peppermint oil.  I have this Peppermint Halo stick that is supposed to be for headaches.  I was using it to put under my nose.  Well, I don't think it's meant to be applied under the nose, because I think I've kind of burnt the skin there with it.  I have this ugly little red mustache now.  Super cute.
  • I woke up this morning and I think it's marginally better.  I feel like I can almost taste again, if that makes any sense?  Like yesterday I was getting absolutely nothing, but today there seems to be a hint of flavour?  God I hope I'm not imagining it.  It seems so utterly pointless to put food in my mouth when I can't taste it, yet when I don't bother at all my stomach growls with hunger.  
  • I am aware this is all just petty complaining.  Poor Jill can't taste her food, whatever will we do?!  It's not like it would kill me to lose a few pounds to this. I just don't like when my world is off-kilter and it's out of my control.  And it feels very much that way this week.
  • ANYWAYS... enough about my cold.  What else can I whine about?  Oh, how about the fact that I finished the dish cloth I was crocheting last night and it didn't turn out half as nicely as I thought it would.  I really loved the stitch and thought it was looking really good, but in the end, my rows were uneven, and I thought the border would help straighten it up but it didn't.  It looks crooked.  I don't know if my tension changed or if I was dropping/adding stitches, but it just didn't look right in the end.
  • St. Paddy's Day is this weekend, and I'm once again torn between going out to the parties and staying home and vegging.  I think this internal struggle has happened to me every year since I was 25 lol.  I will definitely be celebrating at our Irish Tea on Saturday, but then there's the kitchen party at the Legion on Saturday evening, and the big party at Gavan's on Sunday... both are tempting, but at the same time, so is staying home on the couch watching TV.  To be Irish or not to be Irish, that is the question...
  • We got pretty snow last night.  I know nobody else thinks it's pretty, and yes, even I am looking forward to not having to wear winter boots anymore, but still... I do really think the snow is so pretty.
  • Despite my love of snow, I have realized I realllllly do not enjoy being chest deep in it.  Remember a few weeks ago when I sunk in the snow at my sister's while we were out snowshoeing?  Well, it happened again on Tuesday.  But this time I was alone, on my little lunch hour 'shoe that I've been doing every day.  I lost track of the trail that Ryan made with his snowmobile, and I thought I was still on it but I was not.  Next thing I knew I was up to my neck in snow.  My first reaction, after thrashing around a bit with no results, was:  "Well.  I guess I'll just die here."  Then I took a few deep breaths and came up with a plan.  I had to take off the snowshoes again, throw them back on to the trail, and then fight like hell to get out of that hole I was in.  I even used a nearby tree to cling to as I pulled myself out. I was really glad I was far away along the edge of the bush so that no one at the farm could see what I was doing, because, holy embarrassing.
  • When I got back to the office, I was drenched with sweat.  I looked like a wet scraggly dog.  Upon returning, I used a Vicks vapo stick and stuck it up my nose to try and clear my sinuses.  I have used it several times before without much luck.  For some reason, this time, it caused every hole in my face to leak.  I had tears running down my face, my nose was running... I was just a mess.  And of course, just then, the hot delivery boy (we call him Muffin) came in to drop off a parcel.  OF COURSE HE DID. 
  • It's just been that kind of week. guys.  Just been that kind of week.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Anyone remember a few weeks ago when I said I caught a cold and had no voice?  Well.  Just get over that one, and I'm hit with another one.  This time all stuffed up and haven't been able to taste in 3 days. What the F.  I went all damn winter almost without so much as a sniffle, and now I get two colds in less than a month?!  However... there are other sickie germs swirling around here that are worse, and I'm praying I don't catch the puke virus that's hit others in this office...  I'll take a double-whammy cold anyday!!!

So, clearly, I'm not loving the sickness and the germs.  But there are things that I AM loving these days...

  • I'm officially a full week into Lent and so far, so good!  I've been hanging tough on not eating chips (easy to do when you CAN'T TASTE ANYTHING ANYWAYS!!!) and I have been up early almost every morning to do my workout.  I didn't get up early last Friday (late game curling on Thursday night always kills me) but I still got my 10,000 steps in.  I'm taking Sundays off, so that's the only day so far that I haven't got my 10,000 steps.  And because I started putting an effort in the week before to see if I could do this, I've now been more active for two weeks.  Woo hoo!
  • The benefits of getting up and moving more are already starting to show a bit.  Not in any weight loss or anything (I haven't weighed myself so I don't really know, but my clothes still feel the same, so nothing significant there) - but the improvement in my knees and my mobility has been very noticeable.  My left knee is back to normal, I don't feel like I have to heave myself up or flop myself down anymore, and I just move around much more easily.   There's also been a big decrease in heart palpitation activity (which isn't much anymore anyways thanks to medication, but has been pretty much non-existent for the past week.)  At the end of the day, I said I didn't care about weight loss, I just wanted to feel better in my own skin, and I'm already starting to feel that way so... YAY!!!
  • I'm loving the Fan Favourites wheel of tea I ordered from David's Tea that arrived in the mail yesterday.  I treated myself.  I figured if I can't have chips in the evening, I'd better get something to replace it that excited me, and this pretty wheel of tea definitely makes me happy!  (Now if I could just taste it... *sigh*)
  • Loving that I'm motoring through this year's book club books!  4 down, 2 to go!!  And I'm already well into the 5th one, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  It hooked me very quickly and I can tell I'm really going to enjoy this story.
  • Speaking of that book... Last night, after Pound class, I came home and had a quick bite to eat, then decided to skip my usual evening on the couch and instead spent the evening relaxing upstairs.  I know, this might seem like a weird thing to "love", but it was such a nice break from my usual routine.  I put laundry on and then had a long, hot, bubble bath while reading my book and sipping on a mug of tea.  Then I moved to my bed where I put Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on the tablet and worked on crocheting a dish cloth for the raffle basket for our church tea on Saturday.  I had candles lit and Scentsy on and just really hygge'd it up.  It was great!!
  • Loving that we finally got to have "Danica's Day Out" last Friday!!  A low tire on my car almost put it in jeopardy, but it pays to curl for a guy who deals with tires. haha!  I told my skip, Mark, about my tire on Thursday night, and he told me to bring it in first thing in the morning and he'd get it fixed for me.  Which he did, and then Danica and I were off!  The girl loves to shop, so she had a blast trying on clothes and decided which outfits she wanted.  We also took a spin around Walmart where she picked out some fun stuff (and I got my groceries).  We had a delicious lunch at Boston Pizza and ordered all of our favourite things - the spinach artichoke dip to share, a spicy perogi pizza for me and a chicken quesadilla for her, and then shared the giant cookie for dessert.  YUM.  Then we headed over to see Captain Marvel at Starcite.  I have to admit, superhero movies aren't really my thing and I'm not up on them at all, so I was a little bit lost.  But Danica loved it and that's the main thing!!  I honestly couldn't have asked for the day to go any better, and I hope it will become a tradition she looks forward to. :)
  • I'm loving that I'm done the six seasons of Game of Thrones on Crave and Dirty John on Netflix.  At times, GoT felt like a bit of a chore (I'm really not cut out for all that blood and gore), but I did eventually get a bit hooked on it and was quite interested to see what would happen.  Then I just BLEW through Dirty John on Sunday and Monday, I really liked it.  So now... because I've heard so much about it... even if I'm very resistant to it... I'm giving Marie Kondo a shot.  I'm still not sure what show to watch next on Crave (Big Little Lies?  The Handmaid's Tale?  Castlerock?) so Marie is filling in until I decide.  However, I did not realize she knew so little English and when she's speaking it's usually subtitles.  Last night I was really focused on a new crochet pattern and counting stitches, so I missed a lot of what she said.  And that whole "amazing" folding technique that some of my friends keep talking about?  Yeah.  Totally missed it too.  Whoops.
  • I loved the prayer shawl that I finished on Sunday and delivered to a loved one on Monday.  It was a simple pattern, but the yarn quality was absolutely delicious, and I really liked the gemstone colours.  It was so soft and luxurious. I will definitely be investing in more Lion Brand Homespun yarn in the future!
  • Loving that our Irish Tea is coming up on Saturday!  It is always a great day and people seem to love coming out to it.  I can't wait!
What are YOU loving this Wednesday??

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Looking forward to the weekend

Anyone else feel like this has been a rough week?  I mean, it hasn't exactly been a terrible week, but I've just felt "off".  Not sick, and in fact I've put my Lenten promises into effect and I should probably be feeling better, but... I'm "off".

I think, for me, it probably started with the news of Luke Perry's sudden death.  I'm not going to proclaim to be Luke Perry's biggest fan by any means, but I was a young girl watching Beverly Hills 90210 like most other young girls in the '90's, and I adored Dylan McKay.  Seriously, what young girl in the '90's didn't?  I can close my eyes and picture the white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled, the blue jeans, the shades, the motorcycle... he was my generation's James Dean, and pulled off that ultra-cool bad boy with a soft heart image perfectly.  In recent years, it made me both giddy AND feel old when I saw him turn up as Archie's dad on Riverdale.  Just over a week ago, news broke that he had suffered a major stroke, and on Monday it was announced that he had passed away at age 52.  A little heart-shattering, if I'm being honest.  He was still so young, and those Dylan McKay glory days don't feel so long ago.  It's devastating that he's gone.

That bad news was compounded by Alex Trebek's announcement last night that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, with a dim prognosis despite his vow to fight and beat it.  I heard them saying on the radio this morning that this one hits us hard because we just kind of take him for granted, right?  Jeopardy has been on forever, and Alex Trebek has been a constant in our lives for...well, basically my whole life.  I wish him well and I do hope he's able to beat the statistics and kick cancer's ass.

Aside from all of that, it's been a busy week, and I haven't had much downtime, which I - the old single girl forever - crave.  When I HAVE had a few moments to just chill in the evenings, I've been falling asleep.  I've put on the same episode of Game of Thrones three nights in a row, and I have no idea what happens in it because I fall asleep instantly.  I haven't got any crocheting done, and I've hardly had time to even read a few chapters in my book.  I'm blaming this on the "get up early to do a half-hour workout" regime I've implemented this week.  Let's face it:  I'm not a morning girl, and I'm never going to be a morning girl.  Forcing myself out of bed a half hour earlier than usual, while it may be benefiting me overall, has only made me more tired and less productive in the evenings.  I think I'm going to have to adjust bedtime back a half-hour, because I hate feeling so zombie-ish past 8 PM.

Last but not least on my list of crappy things about this week:  the loss of my beloved chips.   Giving chips up for Lent was probably the hardest thing I could do, because I was eating them pretty much every night.  I know the benefits of giving them up far outweigh how hard it is going to be, but oh, how I miss them, and it's only been 24 hours.  *sigh*

Here's the good news:  I have the weekend to look forward to, and it's going to be a good one!

Tomorrow, I'm taking my niece Danica for her "Day Out".  For her birthday back in December, I promised her a day to go shopping, have lunch out, and go to the movies.  We had originally planned for it back in February on one of her PD days, but none of the movies out at that time interested her.  We ALMOST ran into the same problem for tomorrow, but thankfully, Captain Marvel comes out tonight.  I'm not 100% sure she's going to like it, but she does love the show Supergirl, and I think female super heroes are up her alley, so fingers crossed that she'll like it.  I can guarantee that we'll love our lunch at Boston Pizza... I've been daydreaming about that all week!

On Saturday, I should probably be planning to do some house cleaning, but instead, I've designated it as a low-key crochet and TV day.  I am dying for one of those days.  I want to finish the shawl I've been crocheting, and I also want to make some dish clothes for the Irish basket we raffle off at our church's Irish Tea which is next weekend, so... yeah.  Low-key crochet and TV day it is! 

Truthfully, the rest of the weekend is free and clear of plans other than church, so hopefully I'll have lots of quality time to just relax.  Next weekend is another busy one, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  I should be able to get through the rest of the episodes of Game of Thrones that are on Crave, and then I plan on diving in to Dirty John.  I'm also really caught up in the book I'm reading, The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman, and I look forward to spending time snuggled up and reading.

Truthfully, while the rest of the world rejoices over this cold snap we've had lately coming to an end and warmer temperatures forecasted in the days to come, I'm a little blue that hibernation and hygge days are winding down.  My winter-loving heart aches a bit the thoughts of the cold, cozy days ending.  They just go by so fast, and I miss them so when they're over.  So I'm going to hang on to this weekend of low-key plans and really soak it up. Long live the winter hibernation!! ;)