Enjoy All The Things!

It’s no secret that I have long enjoyed writing, I’ve had a few blogs over the years that can attest to that.  Sometimes people even tell me I do a pretty good job of it!  What I have never had, is anyone comment on my photography skills.  Mostly because I only really take pictures, on my iPhone, of food, alcohol and my dog.  Not much there to praise.  You can imagine my complete surprise when I received an email from the coordinator of a food feature in our provincial and city newspapers telling me that they’ve seen my photos and want me to contribute!  What the WHAT?   I went and did a little research and discovered that there are large number of people that participate in this spread every week and so, while flattered that they came to me about it, anyone can sign up online to request to play along.  I responded to the email and said “sure, sign me up”, since she offered to do the process for me instead of my having to go online and do it.  When I submitted my first picture for the spread this week, I was shocked once again to hear from the coordinator that they appreciated my entry but that they want me to be a FEATURE contributor.  The feature contributors have larger portions of the layout every week with a pencil-sketch headshot, links to twitter and Instagram and a food bio!

I’m quite certain that they make sure they have a LOT of feature contributors in their files to pull out and use, so I’m not under any impression that I’m one of a kind (besides the fact that obviously I’m one of a kind, just like everyone else!)….but I thought it was really cool to be “found” and then solicited to participate in this thing! The week’s spread is published for the Saturday newspapers and then they post it online, once they do I’ll find it and post it here!

In the meantime, this year, considering that I’m not really pulling a full workload at the moment, I wrote a Christmas newsletter to send out to a few people. It’s being printed right now (so much cheaper to send it out and print than to use up the ink in our little desktop printer!) and I’ll go and pick it up tonight.  I’ve attached shots of each page if you’re interested in taking a look at it!

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

On the fitness front I can sure feel my arms this morning and I’m not really sure why…except perhaps supporting myself during the sprinters and the donkey kicks yesterday?  Or was it the hour of snow-shovelling that I did yesterday?!  Tomorrow is the next gym date on my calendar; I’ll be doing a 25 Minute Treadmill sprints/intervals workout that I found online and then an upper body weights workout.  Good times.

In reading this blog post, it occurred to me to reassess my own….err….volume of food.  We really do only eat whole, healthy foods for 90% of our meals and treats and wine are limited to one or the other and only one per night.  Unfortunately I have maintained my weight for the past month and maintaining it is not where I want to be.  I am determined to lose the 10-15 pounds that I harvested in this past year and my “healthy whole foods” attitude is screwing me up!  Why?  Because I’m still eating too much!  Sure, going to the gym will help…..but…..it occurred to me that I’m eating for someone who is laboring outside all day long, not someone who is sitting at a desk for 8 hours and then hanging out at home in the evening.  Too. Much. Food.  Even if it is veggies roasted in good fat and clean ground meat turned into sausages and nuts and oranges and scrambled eggs and pecan chicken and mashed garlic cauli and spiced pork tenderloin.  All healthy and whole.  Just too much.  And considering that I am nearly never hungry, that’s probably a decent sign that I’m experiencing too much volume!

Soooo…..scaling back a bit starting today. Not enough to re-form any of my old habits of beating myself up and hawkeye’ing the scale.  Just….eating less food.  Sounds fairly safe, right?  Could help going into the holiday season (which, for me, blows up starting tomorrow) in enjoying all the things…..in less volume.


Tonight I think we’re heading out after dinner to get a coffee at a favourite spot and then go look at Christmas lights!  I’m totally excited about it!




Winter 2013

Good Morning!  It’s our first snow fall here today…nothing much to speak of really, we’ll see what happens as the day goes by!

This weekend my sister came over for some Christmas fun, we (sort of) decorated my banister, we looked at old pictures, listened to Christmas music and had some Christmas cheer (by the mug full). We also ventured outside and decided to take some pictures.  Enjoy!  (There’s also a picture of me riding on Snoopy’s motorcycle but I couldn’t find it)


I love this picture and I love that Gracie is standing there looking at us!

I love this picture and I love that Gracie is standing there looking at us!

Check out Gracie talking to us about how cold it is outside and how ridiculous that she has to stand out there while we fool around!

Check out Gracie talking to us about how cold it is outside and how ridiculous that she has to stand out there while we fool around!

photo 4

My sweet puppy!

photo 4

She’d climb me and sit on my head like a hat if I let her.

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My Twin Sister!

photo 5


photo 6

When we were little (like 3 years old), we used to put our hands on each other’s heads for nearly every nice picture my mom tried to take….I’m sure it drove her nuts.

photo 14

It’s our 6 year anniversary this month!


Kissy Faces

photo 10

Haha, the look on Gracie’s face is hilarious. “I do NOT want to be a part of this…I’m scared!”

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Must hug mom Right Now!

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11 more days and we will be 35!

Merry Monday!

Crazy morning already!  I had a shitty sleep last night, tossed and turned and itched (winter dry skin, I hate you!) and then around 3am I swear I heard a prowler in our kitchen.  Since Ray is on graveyards and my dog is the biggest chicken ever, I had to go and reassure myself that it was nothing and headed out into the kitchen alone.  Obviously, it was nothing but I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I even dragged Grace up onto the bed to snuggle with but that still didn’t help.

So this morning I got up a bit earlier (I was awake anyway) because I had to grab some cash on my way to work for an appointment after work.  Unfortunately I encountered a questionable person at the bank.  The guy walked past me in my car, staring at me the whole time, hid around the corner and kept peeking to see if I was out of my car yet….then I opened my car door and slammed it shut and he came trotting out from around the corner….a little peeved that I’d fooled him….I drove away to him yelling and waving his fist at me.  So now I have to go on my lunch break to get cash.  Anyway, also this morning I was going to ship my dad’s parcel out only to find out that A) it’s going to cost me over $80 and that B) my credit card got declined.  Fortunately, it was just a stupid misunderstanding with the bank and things will be soon resolved, but it didn’t add to my happy morning feeling.  I guess I should be glad that it got declined though….because at the moment I was actually going to spend close to $100 to ship a box.  Stupid.  So, I will hump the box back out to my car tonight and go to the Greyhound station after dinner.

This weekend was alright, we stayed home for dinner on Friday night to save ourselves the money and to use up some salmon that was in the freezer.  Easy dinner and quite delicious.  Saturday morning I got up early and took my dog for a walk.  It’s one of the things I’d been looking forward to all week and I was very happy that the weather cooperated.  It was gorgeous and frosty and cold at 7am and I loved it!  We went into the trail and then instead of coming out on the road I took Grace across a sports field to see what she’d think of frosty grass.  She’s a dope and didn’t even notice.  We went to a Harley meeting afterwards and then out for a quick breakfast with another couple.  It was an impromptu thing that turned out really well!   Ray went back to bed for a few hours when we got home (stupid Graveyards!) and I got busy with some grain free Christmas baking.  Three recipes and all of them turned out pretty well.  The only flop was the actual dipping of the shortbread into the caramel…the caramel stayed so gooey that the cookies are impossible to do anything with.  The two smashing successes were the Chocolate Almond Cranberry Biscotti (dipped in more chocolate) and the Chocolate Pecan Caramel cookies.  Both First Place Winners!



After a post-baking sit-down with some rummy Almond Nog, we had a finger food dinner and then went downstairs to have our Wrapping Party.  Drinks, festive music and lots and lots of wrapping!  FIVE HOURS LATER, we came back upstairs where I fell into bed with aching legs & an aching back from 3 hours of baking followed by 5 hours of wrapping while standing on the tile floor downstairs.  Totally a fun day though!

Sunday morning I got up before everyone (yes, the dog stayed in bed with Ray) and had a coffee and read my book in the quiet.  Just me, the Christmas tree and my coffee and book.  Totally nice way to start the day!


Morning coffee alone!

Morning coffee alone!


We had a quick lunch at home and then went for groceries.  Lunch was a bit of a throw together, pre-grocery shop.  But, food is food and they were all delicious things, if a somewhat odd combo!

Chicken wings, a pepperoni stick, a cheese ball, avocado & apple w/ almond butter!

Chicken wings, a pepperoni stick, a cheese ball, avocado & apple w/ almond butter!

And, our weekend concluded with a huge baked ham (we’ll be eating ham for days if not weeks) and a short Christmas movie before Ray had to go to work.

Merry Monday, blog world, I’m off to drink some tea!

Nostalgia & Deprivation

The two are completely related for me right now!  Driving home yesterday I was overcome with nostalgia and all I could think about was the “good old days” when my mom, my sister and I lived up north and would go to McDonald’s for egg nog milkshakes during December.  The memory is obviously a bit warped, my mom was a single parent struggling to work full time, go to school and run the house.  My sister and I would fight endlessly all year long and then have a month long cease-fire in December.  It seems like “good old days” in my head when driving in the dark and rain on my way home from my responsible job to my responsible relationship where I care for our house/nutrition/happiness in a responsible fashion. Nothing so fun as egg nog milkshakes while living up north!  LOL!

So yesterday afternoon we also found out that Ray is working nights for what will ultimately have been 5 weeks in a row.  Which sucks quite a bit and does nothing for making either of us feel festive or content.  So we created our own new until-the-end-of-December tradition.  Short caesars when I get home from work.  We’ve done it a couple evenings in a row and it sure sets us up for a nice evening until he has to go to work.  It got me to thinking about how, down the road, I’ll chalk post-work-caeasars up in my head as “good old days” when in fact it’s just something that we’re doing in a crummy situation to put a nicer spin on it.

Anyway, after the eggnog milkshake set up camp in my head, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  After dinner last night we went out for some quick Cmas shopping and on the way home drove past…..McDonald’s.  I immediately told Ray about my eggnog reminiscing and we pulled in.  Unfortunately the eggnog milkshake is long gone and has been replaced with a Ginger Frost milkshake.  Tastes like liquidy gingerbread and was almost too sweet to drink. Happily, although the flavor was completely different than what I was wishing for, it had the same chemical-fake taste that the one in my childhood had, so I was happy.  Haha

I was telling my friend yesterday that since I went on Weight Watchers in September 2007 up until I went grain free and then the year that I’ve been grain free until now, I have never, EVER felt like I was deprived.  Granted, I’ve eaten some questionable things over the last 52 months, but I’ve never felt like I was missing out overall.  The sugar embargo that I’ve got myself on is making me feel horrible.  This is the first year we’ve done Christmas properly, it’s the first year at our house, the first year in many that any of our families are doing a gift exchange.  In all, this is a very Christmassy Christmas overall and to not be able to have even the snippet of a treat or festive sweet is actually altering my enjoyment of the holiday.  And so, there was a ginger milkshake last night.  And it was nice!  I only had about half of it because it became sickeningly sweet, but it was a festive treat and yes, it improved my festive mood, did a nice thing for our relationship to enjoy a treat together and made us both feel good.  I realized that sugar free is great, it makes me feel better and look better and perform better……but there is no value to any of that if I feel ripped off all the time.  Moderation really is the key!  So I killed my deprivation last night in a calculated maneuver that actually meant something.  Not sneaking chocolate in the dark, but doing something fun and delicious.

We’re headed to Costco after work tonight, tomorrow is more errands for the holidays and a dinner date just the two of us (Ray’s mom is busy, YAY!) and then Saturday we’re having our wrapping party which we’re both really looking forward to!

Happy Holidays.  I’ll leave you with some nostalgia….pics of some ornaments on my tree, one of which I’ve had since I was born.

Richard Petty and a glittery shoe share the same tree...much the same as Ray and I share the same house.  A contradiction, for sure!

Richard Petty and a glittery shoe share the same tree…much the same as Ray and I share the same house. A contradiction, for sure!

Red Snowman Gingerbread Man

I've had this ornament since I was born!

I’ve had this ornament since I was born!


Update, Beer Weight, Bird Weight


This weekend seemed so long that on Saturday by mid morning we both felt like we’d been off for a couple of days already!  I’m not complaining though and this morning, for the same reason that the weekend seemed long, I feel like crap!  Haha

Thursday after work I’d planned a girl’s dinner for five of us.  We all used to work together and now some of the girls have moved on but we try to get together at least once a year and this past Thursday was that day.  It was a good time, chicken Caesar salad for dinner and a couple glasses of wine.  Friday night after work we met Ray’s daughter and husband at the same pub for dinner and then they came back to our house for further drinks and to decorate our Christmas tree.  Since they are going to Mexico the week before Christmas they figured they would get their Christmas fix with our tree.  It turned out beautifully (Andrea and I decorated while Ray and Jay drank and hurled helpful hints from the sofa).  It’s the first time that our ornaments have been on the same tree together and it’s a beautiful mix.



Saturday morning I got up early and left Ray asleep in bed.  Went and dropped my car off for service and came home and grabbed his truck to head to the mall.  It was really nice having some alone time with just my coffee and my shopping list and no time pressure at all.  Blissful, really.  I was able to finish all my “listed” Christmas shopping by noon on Saturday and I’m ready for this coming Saturday’s wrapping party (more on that later).  Saturday afternoon we took part in a most beloved Christmas tradition and took a nap in front of the Christmas tree.  As great as a Christmas nap is, the actual point of it was to get ready for Secret Birthday.  Again, same pub as Thursday & Friday, but another group of friends.  (this is most unusual, we’re not that social normally!).  We got together with 3 other couples at the pub for drinks and dinner and had a really great time!  We stayed at the pub until about 11, heard the live band (not bad!) and played the 12 Days of Christmas singing game.  The pub has been running it for 35 years; they separate into 12 groups and then the whole pub sings through the song and the loudest, most boisterous “Day” wins a round. 

Anyway, fun times.  The John B also has a Beer Advent Calendar where, each day in December, a different beer is featured for $3/pint.  Being such a good deal I took advantage of it for Secret Birthday and drank many several of the Granville Island Winter Ale.  SO delicious and festive.  I was also feeling very delicious and festive….until Sunday morning when a wet dog snout woke me up at 8am.  I fed the beast and then went to lay on the couch under a blanket for a little while before getting going for the day and ended up sleeping until noon.  Woops!  Another unfortunate side effect of Beer Advent Calendar is the four pounds I gained overnight.  Stupid stomach reaction to beer!  I’m not too stressed about it, but it’s a bit of a piss off.  Totally worth it this time, though, Secret Birthday only comes around once a year!


After laying about for the greater part of the day on Sunday, Ray’s son came by and we all took the dog for a long walk and then Ray and I took off to the book store and the grocery store.  Our grocery list was fairly small for this week so I thought we were going to get away with a weenie little grocery bill.  Until we found our Christmas turkey!  We’ve been arguing back and forth about how big of a bird we need for 13 people, plus leftovers.  Most formulas online say 1-1.5 pounds of bird weight per person.  Since we’re also having a ham, it’s been a debate over the bird size.  We found a turkey that we liked the size of and did a quick calculation while in the grocery store and agreed that it was definitely the bird for us!  Upon getting Bird-man home, we recalculated and discovered that our new fowl is 30.5 pounds!  So…..woops.  Secretly I’m happy that it’s huge, I was the one who wanted a huge turkey and now….well….I have a HUGE turkey!  Plus, after using the discount that we earn at Thrifty’s, the thing only cost us $15.

That’s about all that I’ve got for you today. We’ve been pretty much consumed with Christmas preparations.  Happily, we’re almost done with all of it.  We’ll have our Wrapping Party this coming Saturday and then we’re done until it’s time to actually start cooking for Christmas.  I prefer it this way, instead of loading all the stress and effort at the end of the month, we’ve spread it out as much as we could and so far it’s worked really well.

Off to get some work done, fantasize about winning the lottery and have a cup or two of tea!

Santa Paws!

This year in the Pilonaday household we’re celebrating Christmas.  Properly.  Like…..catalogue-style.  We’ve been together for 5 years this month and this is the first year that we’ve done a proper Christmas.  Our first year together we put up the tree but that was it and the general atmosphere around the house was not wonderful.  We weren’t living together and it was a big change for Ray with his daughter moved out and his son still finding it awkward with me there.  It was also the first year that he was supposed to cut the ties with his ex-family (that went poorly).  All in all, there were many tears shed, a big fight had and sore feelings overall.  Not worth remembering.  The next years we didn’t decorate at all, Ray was injured and then we just didn’t feel like it, totally took the lazy route. 

THIS year though, we’re putting it on in style!  We’ve got the whole upstairs tidied and rearranged and over the weekend the Christmas decorations came out!  My mom and my sister came over on Friday night to help decorate and we got all sorts of nice stuff done!  Then on Saturday, after a morning of a long dog walk and an even longer coffee time (had while nestled into the sofas listening to Christmas music), we got outside in the sun and decorated the front of the house.  Lights on both levels as well as garland & lights on the front porch and adorable light-up snowmen in the front garden.  I’ll have a picture to show you however I came up a bit short on the garland so I’ll add the rest tonight and update this tomorrow.  The only thing not yet decorated is the tree.  It’s up and (pre) lit and fluffed and is waiting for its tree trimming party on Friday (Ray keeps calling it the tree’s dress rehearsal).

Anyway, we’re also hosting Ray’s family for a full Christmas dinner on C’mas Eve and my family for a full Christmas Dinner on C’mas Day as well as a possible C’mas morning get together with just a couple things to munch on and something festive and warm to drink.  It’s exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. 

Anyway, Christmas preparations aside, I am happy to report that I am finally feeling better.  Still have a bit of a cough, but I’m getting things back to normal.  Went for 8km worth of sunshiney walks this weekend….which….is a lot on the heels of having done next to nothing for a couple of weeks.  And tomorrow I’m going back to the gym.  Not sure what I’m going to do there yet, a bit of a treadmill jog to start and then some weights.

I’ve been messing about with weights on and off for the last 8 months or so, trying to follow the New Rules of Lifting program.  Every time I’ve been side tracked (and there have been a few), I’ve made myself restart or go back or make adjustments.  What I realized today was that I’m not going to be able to do their program, not really.  Sidetracked is a way of life, it seems and I can’t keep redoing the same stuff over and over and over like I’ve kept failing a grade.  Never really moving forward because every now and then I am “forced” to stop.  I keep waiting until I can complete a section perfectly and with no delays.  Obviously that is not going to happen.  Since I do like the theories behind it though, doing full body movements and increasing weight with every workout, that’s what I’m going to do.  A program is a nice idea and definitely gives good guidelines and coaching but just as I do with my diet and every other aspect of my life, I’m going to fit it to me instead of trying to fit myself to it.

So, tomorrow, instead of going “back” to the gym, I’m going “forward” into December and the new year, strong and doing what I love. 

A picture before I go:

Grace’s first visit to see Santa….at Harley Davidson! She was such a good girl, so well behaved!

15 Days

Where does the time go?  Where, indeed!  It’s been 15 days since I last wrote a post, thought perhaps I should make sure I was still here, ticking along!

October 22nd I got my cold.  I am still sick.  Seriously, this has not let up in almost a month.  Ray got bronchitis right after my last whiney post about how much he’d been coughing and, thank God, got some medication and some relief.  Last Friday night I thought I was finally feeling better and that I would maybe even be able to make a gym date this week.  Saturday morning I got what feels and sounds like bronchitis but I’m told is not.  Soooo…..four days in with this cough now and I guess I just keep on plodding through and hope that eventually I too can get some relief.

So, besides being under the weather, what’s gone on over the past 15 days?

I’ve walked my dog a measly 25 kilometers.  Given what I normally do each week, I’m at about 50%.  Which, strangely enough, is how I’m feeling health wise…about 50%.  Go figure.

Along with the paltry amount of dog walking, we’ve also raked over 20 yard bags full of leaves out of our back yard and then this past weekend, hauled 2,211 pounds of hardwood from our upstairs to our downstairs.  That’s over a tonne….if you’re wondering.  Happily, with the mountain of wood moved, we’ve completely rearranged our upstairs living area, cleaned up a whole bunch of clutter and put the spaces to proper use.  Unhappily, as always, I completely forgot to take a before picture so that I could show you the after.  It’s quite a remarkable change, actually, and I have fallen in love with the front room.  Our comfiest couch is in that room (always was, just wasn’t really a very nice area for sitting or napping) and now our nice stereo is in that room also with a dedicated iPod loaded with nothing but Christmas tunes.    

This work was all done in anticipation of us hosting two Christmas gatherings for a total of 13 people.  And, once Christmas is over, the upstairs is getting a new wall with French doors to close off the front room and that 2,211 pounds of hardwood that we just humped downstairs will be humped right back upstairs and laid.  New paint, new door/wall, new pocket door, new floors in the entire upstairs.  Can’t wait, that carpet is old and trashed and impossible to clean anymore, I will have a frigging celebration when it’s gone!

On to more serious matters; although, as far as I’m concerned, laying on a big pillowy sofa listening to Christmas music in front of a lit tree is pretty serious, indeed.  I had done my Four Week Feel Better plan over October and in that, completely eliminated sugar.  I’d popped into the gym a few times, got my “around the house” energy back and was feeling pretty good.  And then Halloween came and I had some crazy notion that I could have a wee treat or two from the Halloween bowl and still feel alright and be able to moderate my consumption.  One M&M (ONE M&M) led to a 10-day, mostly in secret, chocolate binge. 

Around Day 10 of the ridiculousness, I was alerted to a strange symptom that I’ve had for awhile but that seems to grow to unmanageable proportions, directly related to the amount of sugar that I consume.  What I discovered is that I have every major symptom of adrenal fatigue; sleep well but tired during the day, weight gain around middle, constant and absurd sugar craving, jumpy/higher than normal (for me) anxiety, ongoing cold (a month long so far), increased brain fog, irritability.  I keep saying that I have issues with sugar and then making a bit of a joke out of it, but I’m starting to think that I have an actual problem with sugar….that maybe I am already experiencing adrenal fatigue normally and then I throw sugar in there and it compounds the problem and creates a vicious circle.

The adrenals are glands right above your kidneys that issue hormones to deal with things that are stressful or exciting; cortisol (the stress hormome) and epinephrine (adrenalin, the fight or flight hormone).

We all have stress in our lives and I suspect that my body probably copes with it alright under normal circumstances.  Unfortunately I have a lot of anxiety and fear surrounding being in a vehicle at anything over parking lot speed (thanks car accident) and my body goes through a fight or flight reaction several times a day….which I think my body probably still is able to cope with.  But then I further stress my system by eating tonnes of sugar….which require the exact same adrenal response as a tiger attack or money stress or a relationship fight.  So every time I eat a piece of Almond Rocha (or 10), I am pretty much causing my body to physiologically react to a highly stressful event. Super.

Given that information combined with my most bothersome symptom of adrenal fatigue, I have again, eliminated sugar completely.  It’s my only option at this point.  Obviously I have no control, I’m not even sure if it’s within my ability to control outside of complete abstinence.  I actually do fine with a full embargo, it’s moderation I have issues with, I struggle with “a little bit”….and actually struggle harder & experience more intense symptoms each time I end an embargo, almost the way an allergic reaction would work; each time you are exposed to an allergen, the symptoms worsen until your body just can’t deal with it anymore.

So, I’m on Day 10 of a sugarless existence again.  I gave Ray all the chocolate and candy that was in the house and told him to go and put them somewhere that I wouldn’t come across them.  I won’t go searching for them but if I come across them, all bets are off.  I’m feeling lots better in all aspects already, I lost the 4 sugar-pounds that I’d gained since Halloween, lost them in a week in fact, which helps to prove my theory….since there is no earthly way I gained OR lost 4 actual pounds of fat, if the only thing I changed was sugar intake then there’s something about that which my body does not appreciate.

So, that’s the past 15 days in a really big nutshell.  Coming up?  Some fun stuff.  My mom and my sister are coming over on Friday, we’ll go out for dinner and then they’re going to help me decorate and make some new decorations for Christmas.  This’ll be the first year (in 5) that Ray and I have really done the Christmas thing so I’m excited….and I need help!  We have a holiday party on Saturday night that I’m not looking forward to at all (bad food, bad music, bad booze) but am going out of obligation/deference.  The next week there’s a girl’s pub night near the end of the week, the Friday Ray’s daughter and her husband want to come over for a tree trimming party and on the Saturday I’m throwing myself a secret birthday party (I planned a pub night for us & 3 other couples but I’m not telling them it’s for my birthday so that there’s no gift obligation!).  The weekend after that we’re celebrating our birthday (my sister is my twin!) and then it’s frigging Christmas already!

I’ll try and be more regular about posting.  This whole cold for a month thing along with not really feeling that great overall has cramped my blogging.  It’s no fun for me to keep writing or you to keep reading about how crappy I feel or how I haven’t gone to the gym.  I realize life isn’t all about food and fitness….but those are really important pieces of my own life and when those things aren’t going along smoothly AND I feel like garbage, it makes for a harder time blogging.

Since, according to the doctor, there’s actually nothing wrong with me, I’m flipping my switch over the next couple of days.  If there’s nothing wrong with me then this is just how I feel now and I have to work with that.  If I have no chest infection and, according to the doctor, not much of a cold, then there’s no reason I should be sitting at home waiting to feel better.  Onwards and upwards!  (I totally don’t buy this right now, it’s just words on a page, I feel like crap.  But, I’m going with the “act as if” principle, hopefully that counts for something!)

Happy Boxing Day

Hi! Since I just posted to my sisters blogI thought it was only fair to update mine also. It’s Boxing Day night and I’m sitting here on the sofa with my heart bursting with content. Its nothing in particular that’s doing it, it’s just everything….and nothing.

Christmas Eve night we went to Ray’s mom’s house for turkey dinner and then because she asked us to last year, we went to Midnight Mass with her and Ray’s auntie. Had I known that it was going to have us getting out of there at 1:30 in the morning, I may have politely declined. But it made her happy. And it was the first M Mass that either her or Ray had been to since Ray’s dad passed away 10 years ago. It was important to go and so we did.

We got home and were in jammies by 2am. Ray poured us each a healthy dose of Maple Whiskey and we got under the covers and chatted for awhile while we had our sips.

Christmas Day morning, Ray’s son came over for b’fast and when he left we got back into bed and had a nice, rare-together nap until it was time to go to my mom’s for dinner. I was going to go to the gym on C’mas Day and have a quick jog but Ray’s son asked me why I couldn’t just have one guilt free day and enjoy C’mas and all the food and drinks without worrying about burning it off….and he was right. What that meant is that I didn’t go to spinning this morning either in favor of staying home and putzing around with Ray all day long. Great, great day.

Anyway, at my mom’s over C’mas Day she had two puppies from the pet store where she volunteers. She ‘borrowed’ them for a couple days and we got to play with them. Well…..mostly me. teehee. Made me wish we had them….until they started barking. HATE that sound! Will leave you with a few pictures of the puppies.

Tomorrow we’re going to drop a whole whack of donations off At Value Village and then Ray has to nap for work tomorrow night. I might do anafternoon trail jog while he’s resting. I go to work on Wednesday & Thursday and then we’re off again for 4 days. Aaaaannndd…..Thursday after work is when I get my tattoo……which I’m completely scared about and excited at the same time.

Here’s the puppies. (and a shot of the beautiful gift that Ray’s daughter gave us for C’mas.)

Merry Christmas!










Christmas Eve

Not a very original blog post title, I know. But you really only get to use it once a year, so what the hell, right?

Last night was one of those circumstances that I mentioned awhile back, where I put on my happy face and go and be a nice person and hang out with Ray’s ex wife. Since Ray’s daughter is away for Christmas, she decided that we would do Christmas early. This is the first year that I was invited/allowed to attend so I guess after 4 years we’re finally making some progress. 😉

It was a nice evening, it’s always good for Ray to get to socialize with his adult kids and since it’s difficult to arrange things sometimes, Christmas is a great excuse. And if I have to suck up seeing/socializing with Judy every once in a while, then I do. It was alright, we gave each other a Merry Christmas hug and she agreed to let us take George overnight soon. As I’ve said before, she’s not a bad person, it’s more what goes on in my relationship after the fact that can be troublesome. But it wasn’t this time, so success.

This morning I slept in a little and then Ray woke me up and we made smoothies for breakfast. And then? I went to the gym and rode an hour long spinning class. The instructor made cinnamon swirl bread off of bodybuilding.com and left the container open at the front so that we could smell it through the whole ride! She kept waving it around and then making us crank up the resistance and drive hard for the reward at the end. It was delicious. Flour-less, no dairy, no sugar and it was moist and cakey and insanely flavorful. And? Low calorie, high protein. One square was 60 cal and 1g of fat and 5g protein. And the size of the square was reasonable, about 4 good bites. I’ll make them in January with a wee modification and post it.

We’re going to Ray’s mom’s for dinner tonight, full turkey dinner and French meat pie (tourtière). And then we’re going to watch a movie (A Christmas Carol w/ Jim Carrey) until its time to go to midnight mass. I’m not Catholic but she is (so’s Ray) and she hasn’t been to midnight mass in 10 years, not since Ray’s dad died. She asked us to go with her this year and so we are. I’m concerned about remaining awake until the time we have to go since I’m currently blogging instead of napping.

Tomorrow morning Ray’s son is coming over for breakfast and later in the day we’re going to my mom’s for dinner. And I think that next year Ray and I are going to host the whole thing at our house. Cmas Eve, Cmas morning and Cmas dinner. And I think I might see if it’ll work out to have my dad come down for a couple of days and spend it with us. We’ll see…..it’s all very hypothetical at the moment.

Anyway, if anyone is actually reading this, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Love, Me & mine.

Christmas Savings Plan

I decided today that I needed a concrete Christmas Savings Plan to get through the next 15 days.  The most indulgent, busy, alcohol and cookie laced days of the year.

I know some of the things that are coming up and I know that there will be things that haven’t even occurred to me so I put together a plan this afternoon.  I also know that I don’t intend to let myself go completely off the rails and I don’t want to have to ‘come back’ from the holidays fitness-wise or physique-wise.  So, in keeping with what works best for me, I made a plan.

First of all I put together an exercise schedule from tonight until December 28th.  December 29th to January 4th I’ll be taking the time off the gym completely.  Having that ‘holiday’ coming up is like a little carrot dangling there spurring me on.  So I have 9 scheduled exercise days over the next 15 days.  My challenge is obviously to achieve them all.  But there are other challenges over these 15 days also.

With a whole lot of exercise going on it’s easy to let my mindset switch to “I exercised, let’s eat!”.  I have a plan for that too!  First, on my last day of work before the time off (I’m off for 5, work for 2 and then off for 4) I’m going to the grocery store and I’m picking up the fixings for veggie wraps for lunches, some eggs to hardboil and a bushel of apples and oranges.  I’m also planning to make a crockpot full of sweet & sour meatballs and a pot of really simple tomato soup.  I’m trying to avoid the ‘there’s nothing to eat here, let’s go out’ mindset.

For the meals out (that I know about at this point), I’ve written down what I’m planning to order.  Now, this might seem a bit overboard, but when you’re starved or hung-over or already have been sipping the Christmas cheer, bad decisions can be made.  So right now, while I have a strong and healthy mojo working, I’m making my menu decisions.  I have two birthday breakfasts, one birthday lunch and a fancy dinner in the space of less than 30 hours.  I also predict that there will be extensive wine flowing that afternoon/evening.  Since I already know where all these meals out are occuring, I’ve written down what I’m planning on ordering.  For meals out that I don’t already know about my plan is to “Stop” and think protein, remove the sauce/starchy carbs, increase the veg.

Another challenge over this period of time is water consumption.  The alcohol will be flowing and I’m certain that I’ll be exposed to more sodium/processed foods than I would like.  How do I remember to drink enough water?  A Water Bracelet.  OK….sounds dumb…..but do you ever get all the way through a weekend and come Sunday night you realize the only water you’ve consumed was the melted ice cubes in your after dinner drink?  Lack of hydration is a huge problem over two days let alone 15 days.  So, my water bracelet…..just a visual reminder to drink up.  (it’s a blue hair elastic)

So I think I’ve got the challenges covered……get moving, moderate the food and drink water.  None of these things that I’m planning on doing for myself are going to detract in anyway from my enjoyment of this time of year.  On the contrary, I hope they enhance and brighten my time off.

I’m so, so, SO desperate for a few days off in a row.  It’s not about the food for me, it’s about the morning snuggles, the afternoon cheers and evenings that bookend great days.

Tomorrow night Tara and I are going to celebrate the impending end of what has been an absolutely brutal year.  My plan is to order pizza (totally NOT in keeping with all I just said above) because the restaurant is the best pizza in the area.  But my plan is to get the waitress to bring me a couple slices and box the rest up without even bringing it to me.  It’s more important to me to not feel like crap for this huge upcoming weekend than it is to not get a weird look from the waitress.

Cheers of the season, beautiful people.  I’m off to go tanning and spinning because that’s what the right thing is to do.