Thursday, February 25, 2021

Random Thursday Rambles

  • I did not have a stellar day yesterday.  I *should* have been having a fabulous day, because it snowed and I love snow and it was like perfect snowglobe snow.  We haven't had a lot of snow days this year, so you would think this would put me in a fabulous mood.  But I was irritable and felt unhinged and I don't like feeling that way.  My mood ruined my beautiful snow day.
  • When I got home, I made the decision to put on my snow pants and toque and mitts and get out and play in it.  Turn the frown upside down, so to speak.  It was perfect wet sticky snow for building a snowman.  I haven't made a snowman in years, and may I just say... it was harder than I remembered. LOL!  I envisioned making this big, tall snowman, but my final result came up to about my waist.  He's a bit of a peewee.  BUT I did have fun, and crawling around in the snow seemed to shake some of my irritableness and crustiness out of me, so mission accomplished.

  • Anyone who knows me well knows that my favourite "snow day" meal is macaroni, tomato soup & cheese whiz.  It's straight from my childhood and it is pure comfort food to me.  Last night I decided to try an Instant Pot version - not quite the same, but oh my gosh it was delicious.  So creamy!!  It also helped to turn my frown upside down!

  • Speaking of the Instant Pot... holy smokes, I love this appliance!  I have used it SO much this winter that I can't believe I had it in the box for 6 weeks before I even took it out.  Honestly, when I bought it, I worried it was a waste of money and another big, bulky kitchen appliance that I didn't have room for and would gather dust, but I can certainly say I've got my money's worth out of this thing in just a few short months.  I use it 3-4 times a week, and I haven't ever been disappointed with what I've made in it.
  • This weekend, I'm going to try making rice pudding in it.  Rice pudding is not something we had often when I was a kid, nor is it something I consider a "favourite", but I have had a hankering lately.  I've also had a craving for just a good ol' tomato macaroni soup, which I'm sure I could also make in the Instant Pot, but I found a simple stovetop recipe that I'm going to give a go sometime this weekend.  I haven't given the dutch oven a workout in a long time, it's due.  Pandemics suck big time, but I must say I really enjoy these long winter weekends of hunkering down, no plans, and having so much time to play in the kitchen.
  • Last weekend, I finally - FINALLY - finished reading Midnight Sun.  Hallelujah!!  I haven't been bogged down by a book in quite some time, but holy cow that was a struggle for me to get through.  I'm not sure why, because when I read the reviews on Goodreads afterwards, it appears most fans of the Twilight series LOVED it, and consider it so much better than the original from Bella's point of view.  Not I.  The chapters were SO long and tedious as Edward muddled through every little detail in his mind, every little feeling, every little action and movement.  I truly did not enjoy it one bit, and I was so relieved to be finished it.
  • Thankfully, my friend Lindsay gave me a light romance for Valentines Day, and it has been so nice to sit down and read a bit of girly fluff this week!  Chapters are quick and painless, I can read five or six of them before falling asleep at night, and while it may not win a literary prize, it is exactly what I needed after Midnight Sun.  
  • On deck for this weekend, aside from the aforementioned recipes: changing up my manicure (I'm so enjoying my Gelmoment nail polish!  My rewards order from my party hasn't shipped yet, but I am so excited to get all of those goodies in the next week or two!). I have to get a few groceries at some point... I've been avoiding our local grocery store because of a positive Covid case of an employee in recent weeks, but I can't avoid much longer. I'm thinking of maybe having a Toy Story marathon?  Not sure yet.  But Toy Story is one of the movies on my bucket list, and I have never seen the newest one, so I thought it might be fun to watch them all. Meanwhile, I'll be crocheting.  I have pocket shawl orders to keep me busy for months, so I'll keep at it!
I think that's it for today!  I hope you are all doing well and having a good week! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February: Currently...

Happy Wednesday, friends!

I'm on Day 2 of a sinus headache (ugh) and just feeling kinda blah, so I thought today I'd turn to the "Currently" blogging prompt to help get me out of this little rut I'm in!  Here we go!

Listening to... Maybe this is part of the reason for my "slump" right now but I feel like I haven't heard any really good tunes in a long time.  Like, an album I can really sink my teeth into, listen to while I'm cooking or baking, crocheting, painting... December was full of Christmas music, and since then... blah.  But here is a little list of tunes I have been enjoying on my walks:

Anyone by Justin Bieber
Starting Over by Chris Stapleton
Afterglow by Ed Sheeran (man, I wish he'd put out a whole album of this style... one song is not enough, Ed!)
willow by Taylor Swift
Bang! by AJR
One Too Many by Keith Urban & P!nk
Happy Anywhere by Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
I Go To My Heart by The Avett Brothers
driver's licence by Olivia Rodrigo
Swingin' by Thad Cockrell

Eating... Have I mentioned lately how much I'm adoring my Instant Pot Duo Crisp? I have been air frying everything, my friends.  Last night, it was bacon, and it turned out amazing.  On the weekend, in the spirit of the Super Bowl, I made buffalo chicken egg rolls that were delish and I have been eating them all week, so yes, I'm kind of getting sick of them now lol. And the other night, I made homemade chicken noodle soup for the first time in the Instant Pot and it was soul-warming comfort food.  So good.

Today, we are planning to try a restaurant that recently opened, and I have visions of chicken donairs dancing in my head! Can't wait to try them out!!

Drinking...  The usual.  Water.  Coffee.  Sometimes a hot chocolate.  Sometimes a Diet Pepsi.  Strangely, not wine, even though I have a whole freakin' rack of it in my basement...

Feeling... As I previously said... I'm blah.  My headache last night verged on migraine status, so I ended up passed out on the couch by 7:30 pm.  Moved to my bed at 10:30 and then slept all night.  Today, the headache is better but still not completely gone, and I feel draggy and yuck.  I'm hoping it lifts completely today and I can get back to feel like a normal person!!

Reading...  THE LONGEST BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. ugh.  There was a time when I lived and breathed for the Twilight series.  I sank into those books and wished they'd last forever.  Now a decade later, I am reading Midnight Sun, the original story as seen through Edward's eyes, and lord love a duck it feels like it's lasting forever and I want it to END.  He analyzes every little detail, questions things in so many different way, turns things over and over and over.  Like, come ON Edward.  Chapters are endless.  I have been reading this book since early January and I'm still not even close to being done, yet I'm too far in to give up on it.  I'm going to try powering through the rest this weekend because I NEED to move on!!!!

Watching... This past weekend, I planned on starting Sons of Anarchy.  I tried getting into it years ago, but dropped out after 5 or 6 episodes.  I'm being told I *must* try again.  So I was already to jump in, when I saw a new series had hit Netflix called Firefly Lane.  The preview sucked me in, and I watched it instead.  I basically binged the whole thing over the weekend; I have one episode left, which I was supposed to watch last night but the headache ruined the plans.  I'm hoping to watch it tonight.  I have really enjoyed it!!  It is based on a book by Kristin Hannah, who is an author I enjoy, and while I haven't read Firefly Lane, I have really enjoyed the Netflix adaptation.  Plus it stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, I love both of them, and it has introduced me to Ben Lawson, the dreamy actor who plays Johnny Ryan. Yum. Very much enjoying him...

Also, I've been working away at scratching movies off my 100 Movie Bucket List poster, and I now have 9 scratched off (actually, 11 because one square was Episodes IV, V, VI of Star Wars).  This past weekend I watched Office Space and Her.

Loving... My Instant Pot Duo Crisp.  My new iPhone XR.  My bed.  The new nail polish I've discovered called GelMoment (currently having a Facebook party, woot woot!).  Getting Maisie updates from my sister and her fam.  My winter hours. Crocheting.  Being cozy.

Wanting... new earbuds for my iPhone.  I bought a pair that haven't suited me, so my mission today is to search Amazon for a pair that I will like better (that are hopefully cheaper than the Apple ones).  I'm wanting more colours of GelMoment polish (hence why I'm having the party lol.)  I'm wanting to be done Midnight Sun.  I'm wanting winter to last forever.  But most of all, I'm wanting Covid to end so that I can be under the same roof with my family and friends again. This has gone on WAY too long.

Needing... to stop online shopping. LOL!  I think it might actually be what I give up for Lent this year.  Once I get these earbuds, it's time to shut 'er down for a while.  I need to start saving instead of spending like crazy.

What is going on with you, currently?!?

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Where did January go??

One month in to 2021 already... whoa!!  Where does the time go?!

January was a whirlwind.  I normally find it long (which I don't mind, because it's a slower pace time of year, cozy time, getting to enjoy my hobbies) but this year it seemed to fly.  A quick re-cap, shall we?

I took Christmas down the end of the first week, and got my house back to "normal", sad as it makes me.  I also endeavoured to clean out the basement of the house, a long overdue job.  When we moved in 12 (I think?) years ago, there was already a bunch of old junk down there from past occupants.  Then we added new junk to the pile, and I have continued to do so for 12 years.  It was a bit of a mess.  So over the holidays and into the first few weeks of January, I lugged out all kinds of crap.  There is still some heavy stuff down there that I couldn't move on my own (old furniture) but I made great headway in cleaning it up.  I also got a new shelving unit to keep things a little more organized. 

One of my main reasons for cleaning out the basement was to find a place for the HUGE amount of wine I won!  I took part in a Wine Lottery that my cousin and his wife ran for the month of December, and on Christmas Eve they drew the final names, and I WON!!! 56 bottles of wine, to be precise!!!  I let them keep a few bottles as a thank you for running the lottery, and gave a couple away over the holidays, as well as enjoying a few, but I still believe I have about 50 bottles.  Another cousin dropped off a wine rack he was no longer using, so I got them all loaded into it and organized.  I am definitely ready for when these lockdowns end and we can gather again! lol!!

Things were also busy at work, believe it or not. Yes, this is our quieter time of year, and I only work part-time in the winter, but they also were in the process of renovating the office, so it made things a little more lively for January.  The office got a new paint job before the holidays, and then new office furniture arrived a few weeks ago.  In between, we had to clear out cabinets, clear out desks, and get everything removed.  It was a big job!!  Thankfully, everything is almost back in order and I am settling into my new office digs quite well.

I had a big "secret" to reveal in January that I was extremely excited about, but the whole thing kind of backfired.  Early last fall, I made the decision - after months of thinking it over - to get a puppy.  I know a reputable breeder from our area that many friends/family members have dealt with who has mini golden doodles, and I had her put me on the list.  The puppies were born in late November, and I went to pick one out in early December.  I was SO excited.  Like, can't even describe it.  I felt like this was my one shot to "have a baby", so to speak (crazy as that might sound).  I tried to keep it a secret so that I would be able to surprise my friends and family when I picked her up in January.  I spent the weeks after Christmas getting organized and prepared for the puppy, researching, buying supplies, watching training videos, the whole nine yards.

On Friday January 22nd, I picked her up, and I was elated.  She was so cute.  I named her Maisie, and I couldn't wait to get her home and settled and begin my life as a "Fur Mama".  However, something shifted very early on.  I don't know how to describe it, but I just had this deep-in-my-gut feeling that I had made a mistake.  The feeling of unease grew and overtook me until I was in a tailspin.  I know part of it was from being tired (night time puppy was not easy, dudes) - but it was more than that.  I just knew in my heart I was not meant to have her.

So 48 hours later, while spinning out of control worrying and regretting and not knowing what to do, I found out my sister and her family had been considering getting a puppy, and they were willing to take her.  They came on the Sunday evening to collect all of her stuff and take her home.  It brought to a close an extremely stressful weekend, and I felt absolutely drained.  I basically slept for 24 hours straight.  And I felt blue for a few days, because it was almost like grieving a loss.  I had been so so SO excited to get her, and it all came crashing down so fast.  The excitement was over almost as quickly as it had started.  There is a lot of shame and guilt that comes with the decision as well.  People tell me I didn't give it enough time, and I worry that people think I didn't put enough thought into it.  I promise you, I did.  I just never in a million years thought I would feel the way I did for those 2 days that I had her.  

I don't regret sending her to live with my sister and her family.  She is still in the family, we will all still get to see her, and they are really enjoying her.  The kids are old enough to be a good help too, which is great, because puppies are no joke.  They keep you BUSY.  But Maisie is a really good pup and I know they are going to love her for many years to come.  And I get to be her auntie.  Seems it's the role I was meant to have...

Other than the puppy fiasco, life has been pretty quiet.  Our province is under a curfew, so we have to be in our homes from 8PM - 5AM. Not hard to do this time of year.  I received a "100 Movie Bucket List" poster for Christmas, so it's a perfect time to be scratching off some movies.  I have quite a few orders for pocket shawls, so crocheting is keeping me busy as well.  I've started getting out for a walk once a day again (much needed), and I've been out skating and snowshoeing a few times too, getting my winter fix in.  And I also have spent a lot of time trying out new recipes in my Instant Pot Duo Crisp.

All in all, life is good.  I still pray for this pandemic to end so that life can get back to "normal" soon, but I don't think we'll be seeing that until summer or fall. Until then, I'll be doing my best to keep my chin up and hoping that you all are too!