Before I forget, I wanted to point out to you that along the top of the webpage there is now a tab called “FEED ME”.  This page will have my photos of various delicious recipes that I make.  Because they are my pictures but not my recipes, I set it up so that if you click on the picture you should be taken to that recipe on the website where I originally found it.  There are a couple on there already!  I’ll try to remember to put up a little note when I add something!

Now that I’ve gone and poured my coffee, let’s have a chat!

I ventured out into the snowy tundra at 4:12am this morning to hit the gym.  I will admit that last week when it was -17C windchill (1.4F), I did not go.  I truly didn’t think it was necessary and ya, I felt a little guilty at the end of the week when I’d missed those days but staying warm in bed when the wind was howling was more valuable to me.  Now that it’s just snow, I was game this morning!  I won’t pretend that it was easy to leap out from under a pillowy mountain of down softness….but….it’s not about being easy.  So since I’d made a three workout cycle, this morning was my first time trying it out.  And?  I nearly broke my ankle.  Sort of.  I was doing “mountain climbers” which I also call “sprinters”.  Here’s a picture of the general idea.

Mountain Climb


So ultimately you’re in a plank type position and you are rapidly doing a running in place motion.  Only…..when you get tired and your legs start turning to rubber, if you don’t pick your feet up high enough, your toes catch on the rubber flooring and you jam your ankle.  THEN, when you start doing donkey kicks and you’re kicking both feet up into the air behind you and SLAMMING them back down onto the floor, it makes you remember that you just jammed your ankle!  I guess the gym-angels were smiling down on me this morning though because I didn’t actually hurt myself, thank heavens!  So the gym felt good this morning and resolidified my goals and the fitness aspect of my balance.  Next date is either tomorrow and Friday or Thursday and Friday.  Or….given that my birthday weekend is this weekend, perhaps it should be all four days! Meh, we’ll see.

Tonight we’re having Ray’s son over for dinner and since it’s snowing and our house is all Christmassy and we’ll have a fire, I’m really looking forward to it, it’s very cozy!

In other Christmas news, as people who recently lost their jobs, gained new jobs (that pay less) and are still trying to recover financially, the sheer volume of requests for money and donations is overwhelming.  My new boss is very involved with his church and since he happens to own the business that we work for, he inundates the 15 employees with requests for time, money, goods etc.  Easily there’s an email every day when we get in asking us to buy tickets or come to an event or sponsor something or someone.  If I did everything that he’s emailed to us in the last month I would be down nearly $300 already!  The one thing that the company employees have committed to is sponsoring a family.  Only….after we all agreed, Boss has decided that we 15 people are going to put together not one hamper but TWO.  One for the family of 5 and one for a man recovering from some sort of addiction living in a residential facility.  It seems like a nice gesture….until you read the list of things that are on the “need” list.

NEED:  winter jacket, 2 pairs of jeans, techie gadget (eg. Ipod)

Don’t get me mistaken, I’m all for charity and Ray and I donate to lots of causes over the year that are important to us.  But a 45 yearold man recovering from addiction, living off the generosity of others needs an IPOD for his hamper??  Aside from how ridiculous that request even is, jeans are $40 Per Pair, a winter jacket is easily $100 and then we’re also supposed to provide toiletries, socks/underwear and also create a Christmas breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon etc) and a full Christmas dinner including a turkey or a large ham.  That’s for the ONE GUY.  Forget that we also have to put together the same two meals, toiletries and gifts for 3 teenage girls and their parents.  Seriously, I’m stressing out, who has this kind of money?  It’s absurd!  The smart decision would have been to offer ONE hamper, get each staff member to donate $20 and we would go and spend the $360 for One Family.   It is also somewhat distressing that at the end of the email about the hampers from the Pastor at the church that is organizing this, they have requested that each hamper gets “rounded out with a gift card so that the recipient(s) can buy something special.”  Theoretically this hamper donation thing could end up costing me more than I’m spending on members of my own family!  It makes me feel uncomfortable and like I’m stingy or uncharitable.  But I’m not going into debt on my credit card to help put an iPod into a recovering drug addict’s stocking.  Sorry, I’m just…not.

 I’ll leave you with a bit of a funny today.  These are two phone conversations that I had yesterday, back to back.

 Shannon:  Hi, Customer, we tried to mail you a Christmas card and it came back saying you’d moved.  The address I had was 1234 Marinaside Crescent.

Customer:  Oh, ya, we moved to a new building.

Shannon:  OK, great.  Could I get your address then?

Customer:  My email address?

Shannon:  Err….no……not your email address…………..


Shannon:  Hi, Customer, we tried to mail you a Christmas card and it came back saying we were missing the unit number portion of the address.

Customer:  Oh, I’m just the receptionist.

Shannon:  Err….OK… you think you could tell me the unit number of the business so I could mail the card?

Customer:  I don’t have the unit number.  How about if I just give you the address?

Shannon:  OK, let’s try that.

Customer:  OK, the address is Unit 1730, 10355 King George…….

Shannon:  OK….so Unit 1730 then?

Customer:  I’m not really sure.


Happy Snow Day, Beautiful People!


Feeling Chattier (or Typier) Now

I’m going for a drink with someone from my past tonight.  I’m not overly jazzed about it, it’s one of those situations where I was “friends” with him because it was more conducive to overall peace in the workplace than to not be.  And in fairness, he has an amazing ability to coach and help you draw out solutions to your own issues.  The trouble is that he’s not overly trustworthy and he flips and flops and power trips. He texted me the other day and asked if I wanted to meet him for a drink to catch up.  And…I sort of do, if only out of curiosity to find out what’s going on in his life….and I know he wants the inside scoop on all that has gone on at my previous workplace.  So ya, I agreed to go.  And then I invited my hubby to meet me there when he gets off work because I won’t have time to make dinner and the pub is on his way home (it’s mere blocks from our house, too) and we like any opportunity to go there.  Yesterday when I texted Old Acquaintance to confirm we were still on for today, I also mentioned that I’d invited Ray to meet me there on his way home from work.  This means that the total amount of “catching up” time that we have is about an hour before Ray gets there.  And Old Acquaintance was annoyed.  I felt a bit bad because he’d invited me for this visit and he is coming all the way out to my neighborhood to meet up and I’ve gone and truncated the visit.  But then I gave my head a shake!  This whole thing makes me slightly uncomfortable anyway, I see Old Acquaintance less than once a year, we have a bit of a rocky past (in that he wanted to fire me during the 7 months that he was my boss) and to be honest?  I want to have dinner with my hubby at our favorite pub!  Why do I care so hard whether some nearly-random person from my past is upset with an adult decision that I’ve made?  So, instead of dreading the visit and feeling bad about anything, I’m going to give all the gossip he wants (what do I care, I don’t work there anymore) and then have a delicious meal with my man.


So, moving on.  Now that I’ve been back to the gym successfully for two weeks, I feel like it’s time to make things a bit more interesting.  Not stupidly difficult or obsessive or the way that I’ve been in the past.  No, I want some new things, things to make me excited and to get new “skills”.  So, below I’ve noted the workouts that I’m going to do for the next three weeks, three days a week (since that’s my commitment for now).

Day One

  • 10 minute warmup jog
  • 1000m row
  • BW – 3 x 20 – sprinters (that’s not what they’re called….I think they’re called mountain climbs but it uses the pre-sprint posture)
  • BW – 3 x 10 plies (this is a type of squat fm ballet….basically heels together, toes pointed out, butt tucked under (instead of bum way back like a normal squat)
  • BW – 3 x 15 two leg donkey kicks
  • 3 x 10 machine ham curls
  • 3 x 10 machine leg press
  • 3 x 10 machine inner thigh press
  • ABDOMINALS (I’ve been using the gym’s ab machine circuit and it just brutalizes my abs, I love it!)

Day Two

  • 25 minute treadmill sprint program (smthg I found online)
  • 3 x 10 machine lat pulldowns)
  • 3 x 10 dumbell tricep kickbacks
  • 3 x 10 reverse barbell curl
  • 3 x 10 machine seated rows
  • 3 x 10 dumbell shoulder raise

Day Three

  • Mile-row-mile (this is basically run a mile as quick as possible, get off and row 2000M as quick as possible and then get back on and run another mile.  It’s one of my favourite things…that I also hate!)
  • 3 x 15 weight-plate squat press
  • 3 x 8 weight-plate lunges (these lunges and squats last Friday nearly crippled me….in the best possible way, I could barely get out of bed on Saturday morning!)

So there it is….three weeks of workouts which pretty much brings me through my birthday and just about onto Christmas’s doorstep.  It’s only 3 days per week and each workout is just a little over 85 minutes including warmup & stretching. I’m excited about it, I’m looking forward to trying some new things and working out in a slightly different way than I have before.  I have treadmill sprints combined with an upper body day, some dynamic full body moves combined with a lower body day and then a good met-con combined with some full body exercises.  And……because I’ve always lamented that I’ve never had abs, I’ll be doing abdominals every visit! Seems dumb in hindsight that I would complain about not having abs when I have never, not one time, ever concentrated any significant effort on them!

Maybe in the New Year, depending on making sure that I maintain the nice balance that I’m cultivating here, I might try one of the programs that’s out there online, maybe Jamie Eason’s Live Fit program (minus the crackpot, completely fat free nutrition plan).

I think it is possible, with a bit of practice to maintain calm and balance while also wanting improvement and success.  I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. So I’ll work hard at the gym every time I go….and then leave it there.  Won and done.  And I’m going to make sure to re-evaluate regularly to make sure….because this whole “balanced life” thing is all new to me, remember?

Well,That Was Startling!

I knew I wasn’t imagining it when, these past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable in anything that wasn’t yoga pants….but heading to the gym this morning and seeing myself in the Big Room of Mirrors was a little….disappointing…but at the same time….not.


The disappointing part was that I have a little work to do.  It’s not a complete shit-show, just a couple months of determined, focused hard work at the gym and in the kitchen and the me in the mirror will be matching the me in my mind in no time flat!  It’s so funny how we can convince ourselves that things-are-fine-leave-me-alone-a-little-ok-enormous-amount-of-chocolate-is-fine-I’ll-burn-it-off-stop-looking-at-me!  I was actually quite tempted this morning to step on the scale and put a number to the drama…..but I didn’t.  What’s the point?  I can see me in the mirror, I know where I am and I know where I should be.  I suppose sometimes the scale-standing is how people can easily see if things are out of hand and need the reins pulled back.  But don’t you know that anyway?  Don’t you already sort of know when things don’t look as nice or you can’t immediately put on anything in your closet and rock it?  Don’t you sort of already know when your face looks a bit puffy a few mornings in a row?  Don’t you sort of already know when you’ve been eating shit and not exercising?  I know already and for that reason I am not willing to get sucked back into the lunacy that is the weight-scale.


So ya, this morning was a bit disappointing….although when I really think about it, I have nothing to be surprised about.  It wasn’t just the last couple weeks of not going to the gym, it’s more like a month of hit or miss exercise and too much unrestricted sugar eating.  Disappointing because had I not crapped out for a month I wouldn’t be “starting again”.  Alas, I love starting again.  I used to hate it.  I’d get injured or sick or stressed or whatever and I’d have to start over and I hated it.  Now?  I don’t mind.  “Starting over” just means that life was going on and while admittedly I would prefer that life happen AND I stay fit and in the gym consistently, I don’t really mind that I don’t/can’t.  That’s just not the way I’m built.  I push and kick and fight and try and dig as much as I can.  But when things get to be too stressful or too busy or too overwhelming, I lay down the optional stuff and focus on getting by/through/over whatever it is.  It’s taken me a long time to learn this about myself; a long time to not immediately beat myself up about breaks or hiatuses but to ride them out, know there is an end date and then “start over”. 


So this morning was my 2,146,232nd “start over”.  Won’t be the last, either!  I did 140# leg presses, 36 assisted pull-ups (the machine took on 105 pounds of me, I did the rest), some weighted split squats, some ham curls, some straight-arm lat pulldowns, some tricep kicks and then I ran on the treadmill for .75 of a mile before I stretched and headed home.  Not so shabby!  Today I had green salad with chicken for breakfast and it’s spaghetti squash with ginger beef & broccoli for lunch.  Lots of water throughout the day and tonight we’re having turkey-stuffed portabella mushrooms and salad for dinner.  Gym tomorrow morning.


It feels so good to have a plan.  It makes the extra jiggle in the tummy mean absolutely nothing because when you’re doing all the right things, nothing else matters.  Do you feel better when you have a plan in place?  Does it make the fact that you’re not “there” yet matter less when you’re working through a strategic plan?

Walk The Talk

You know what is a great Fear Buster?  GOOGLE!  Well, actually, any sort of information gathering system!

I was reading and commenting on blogs yesterday and left a comment that I’d always wanted to do a pullup and that my gym has an assisted pullup machine but that I’m scared to use it because I’m scared of heights.  And then…..30 seconds later I left her another comment and said that maybe I should take my own advice and stare down fear!  Haha

So knowing that I was pretty much committed to getting on the pullup machine (walk the talk and all), I googled how to use one.  I’d looked at the instructions on the machine in the gym previously but what it didn’t mention was how to determine what weight to put the pin at.  For example, do I put the pin at what I want to do or at what I want it to do.    This is an important distinction because once you get your knees onto the deck, if you put the pin in the wrong place, my suspicion was that there would be a rapid plummeting to the ground!  Turns out that on the machine in my gym, you put the pin in at what you want IT to do.  So for me, I put it in at 115.  That means that the machine is responsible for 115 pounds of me and I am responsible for the rest.  (is this pretty basic and I’m the only one who didn’t get it?!).  I did 3 sets of 12 with 115 pounds of me counterweighted. 

Gotta say, COMPLETELY different than anything else I’ve done.  You feel a pullup in places you never knew existed!  Now, granted, the amount of me that I was actually pulling up was not a lot (I actually don’t know how much I was pulling since I don’t know what I weigh), but it was a totally cool feeling!  Take that, FEAR!  (regarding my fear of heights….climbing on the thing was alright but climbing down off of it after each set was a bit wobbly….I dare say that the desire to delay climbing down for as long as possible may have propelled me to keep going when the last couple reps on each set were getting hard!).  And, even though I was doing something to stare fear in the face, I was actually mitigated by that same fear…..because I didn’t want to make the move so difficult that I couldn’t get the deck back up to the top before getting off.  In this case though, I think that’s sound judgment….you don’t go to failure on something that you have to succeed at in order to get off safely!

I tried a revision to my workout this morning but I really didn’t like it.  I moved my mile run and 1000m row to the very end.  Previously I’d been doing a mile to warm up, then weights and then the 1000m row at the very end.  And, for the most part, I was failing the row every morning.  So my thought was that I would do weights first and a big cardio push at the end.  Didn’t work.  I’m not sure if it was the wicked headache I’ve had since I woke up this morning or what, but my workout sucked from start to finish.  Don’t get me wrong, I did do it…..but nothing felt good, I never got the good-workout feeling and I could feel the blood pounding in my head like a hammer.  By the end I was gassed and my head was splitting and I only made it through half a mile and 500m of rowing.  Total cardio fail.  I was feeling so crappy that when I got home I set my alarm for 25 minutes and took a nap on the sofa before getting in the shower and heading to work.

That’s it for me today…..I’ve tried to kill my headache with exercise, Advil, coffee, water, breakfast and none of that worked so I am now going to suffer through it with a big mug of coconut oolong tea.  Tara’s shake n bake drumsticks are for dinner tonight with…vegetables.  I have head of cauli, a bag of peppers and a bag of zucchini….and right now what I’m going to turn those into eludes me!  Suggestions are always welcome!

Pressing Forward

HOW is it January 28th already?  I was reading a work email and someone referenced the date and right away I laughed inside thinking they had gotten a bit ahead of themselves on the calendar.  Apparantly it’s me who is behind!

Obviously this past weekend was hard and sad and exhausting.  This as a bookend to the last two weeks that have been exciting, sad, heartbreaking, sleepless and worrisome.  It’s no wonder that my brain is still stuck back on January 12th!  As we were laying in bed on Saturday and then laying on the couch on Saturday and then laying on a different couch on Sunday and then back in bed on Sunday, I remarked to my dear hubby that we may as well stop trying to “get some sleep” because extra sleep is not going to help us with the kind of tired that we’re feeling.  Just time and regular life will take care of that.  As silly as it may sound, the last two weeks have been traumatizing.  I know that we only had Snoopy for 11 days but what we went through with him was pretty intense so we’ll be recovering from it for a little while, I think. 


Saturday night, wiped out & sad.  Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

Saturday night, wiped out & sad. Pajamas, sofa, red eyes.

We went to a 50th bday party on Saturday night, something we’d already committed to and it was actually a great distraction for us.  We took Ray’s son & daughter with us as the venue was an hour’s freeway drive away.  The birthday guy got there at 5 and by 7 they had him absolutely shittered, I felt SO bad for Future Birthday Guy, they were mixing shooters and cream drinks and beer.  We didn’t call and see how he was feeling the next day, I can only imagine!

Sunday we didn’t do much, it was absolutely pouring with rain so we did a couple errands and then hung out on the sofa for the rest of the day.  I was actually looking forward to coming to work today and I am REALLY looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow morning!  I was on hiatus this past week but my body and my mind really need to charge forward and keep building on the momentum that I started at the beginning of January!

We’re going out of town for the weekend on Friday after work so I really only have 2 workout days to get through this week but two is better than zero!  I may add a Friday morning one just to add fuel to my fire in light of this past week off.  We’ll see how my body feels by Friday!

Today is Day One that I’m adding creatine to my diet.  Creatine is an amino acid that your body produces normally but in the case of heavy lifting, supplementing with it can provide extra “food” for your muscles in order to get leaner, lift heavier and increase the rate at which you can build muscle.  I definitely want to maximize my time in the gym and taking a supplement such as this will definitely help me get there (the same as taking a protein drink within 30 minutes of muscle work).  If you’ve ever done any reading on weight lifting, body building or supplementing you may have heard that taking creatine can make you bloated and retain water.  Fortunately, technology and medicine has come a long way and there is now a revised version called buffered creatine or Kre Alkalyn.  This buffered creatine has a higher pH in order to avoid the acidity of the stomach from turning large quantities of it into the toxic byproduct creatinine.  Creatinine is what causes water retention, bloating and upset.  The conversion of creatine into creatinine is also why, in the past, people had to take huge quantities of the supplement to get the results…because after the degradation in the stomach, not a lot of usable supplement was left.  Now they’ve taken the creatine and buffered it to a higher pH such that the acidity of the stomach does not degrade it.  So a smaller supplement load with better absorption to the muscles and no side effects. 

Anyway, I’m excited and curious to see what, if any, results I have with this.  It’s possible that I don’t lift often or heavy enough to actually gain a measurable benefit from taking it, but I’m going to try it for awhile.  The bottle that I bought should last me a little over two months at which time I’ll make an assessment and either keep on or drop it.

Anyway, should probably run along and make some tea, eat some vegetables and do some work and remember:

Today is a brand new day.  Replace any negativity with positivity.  Think happy thoughts.  Exercise.  Drink lots of water.  Healthy is happy!


Oh, what a wild couple of days it’s been!  Click HERE to go to the blog I share with my sister and you can read about Snoopy’s first couple of days.  There are a couple of pictures there as well.

One definite highlight of these past couple of days of being off work to help facilitate the new resident has been the glorious sunshine that we’ve been able to enjoy together.  We’ve walked 17 kilometers since Tuesday night, all the fresh air has felt great!  It’s really good that it’s nice outside too because Ray and I are feeling a little trapped at home right now.  We can’t leave the pets home alone yet which means that either we go out seperately or we stay home.  This morning we were all (dogs and people) laying on the couches depressed with the situation and sleepy from being stressed out and we decided that enough was enough.  Seriously, I know it’s only been a couple of days but our little happy world has been rattled more than we thought and it’s making everything seem hoardes worse!

We four went for our morning 5k and then showered and we threw the dogs in the car and thought, “Sink or swim, just don’t eat my steering wheel!”.  We successfully went for a coffee and then shopped at Costco and no leather was chewed and no fur flew.  Following Costco I was feeling pretty confident so I left Ray home alone and headed to the gym (4am on a day off just seemed cruel!) for Thursday’s workout.

I am SO glad that I waited until mid day to do it because I realized how little energy I have in my early morning workouts!  I felt light as a feather in the warmup jog today, even increasing incline and drilling up the speed.  During weight lifting I managed to add weight to all the movements and felt really strong!  I was consistent all the way through, even up to the final movement, planking.  I had been doing 3 x 45sec of plank but today I got it up to a minute each which is quite incredible!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do going forward, I can’t really get up any earlier to eat first, I already go to the gym in the middle of the night.  I’m going to try and find something fast digesting that isn’t too carby for fuel and see how that goes.  If you are a morning gym-goer, how do you fuel?

Anyway, I should get going & grab a shower while both dogs are sleeping…seperate couches but same room so that’s a huge improvement.

For my friends who happen to be grain free, I MADE BUNS LAST NIGHT!  Seriously, actual buns that will hold filling.  Hamburgers and fried egg sandwiches!  Go HERE to find the recipe!  They are very, VERY good!  A bit time consuming to make and dirties a few dishes, but the four buns you get from it are SO WORTH IT!   (the hamburger picture are the burgers that I originally read about on GirlMeetsPaleo.  They’re delicious burgers to begin with but the addition of the Bacon Balsamic Onion Jam that goes with them is really just killer!)

Egg Sandwich Hamburger


Last night at about 7:00pm I launched my comeback.  I realize that a few weeks ago I attempted this however after two weeks of really struggling, I had to reassess.  Seems that I attempted to move forward while still holding on to the past with a death grip and I ended up not moving forward but actually a little backward (that past sure has a strong grip!). 

I don’t know why last night I made these realizations, but here they are:

A)     I cannot have it all.  Anyone who tells you that you can have it all is lying to you.  It is very rare the person who can eat whatever they want and exercise a little (or barely at all) and has the genetics to look like a bombshell.  Now, blogland would have you believe that this is more common than it actually is.  We normal folk need to choose between either eating crap and accepting the outcome or eating well and exercising and embracing the outcome.  I can’t eat chocolate and ice cream and drink beer and still expect to have all the same energy and dynamo as when I eat healthy. 

B)     I had a car accident and ended up injured.  I’ve spent the last couple of months being gentle and “taking it easy”.  At this point my “recovery” has stalled and I quasi-regularly have discomfort and pain when I do certain things.  Since lazing about (and losing hard-gained muscle) doesn’t seem to be helping I’m going to create pain to cure pain.  Get me?

C)     What I look back on and perceive as easy is actually hard work veiled in a haze of accomplishment and happy-endorphins.  It was never easy, it has always, always been difficult. 

I saw this quote come across my Twitter feed yesterday (if you don’t follow me on twitter, why not?) and it drove home everything that I’d been thinking about:  “Don’t talk about it.  Be about it.”  So ya….let actions do the talking…..because otherwise one runs the risk of becoming a has-been mouthpiece….you know, those people who walked the walk in the past but talk the talk now like it’s current? 

All that said, I knew getting up for the gym this morning was going to be difficult.  Just before bed I said out loud what I was going to do a couple of times and made sure I had everything ready.  I chanted affirmations about my comeback and my motivation while I fell asleep and then every time I woke up in the night I said them again to try and prevent turning my alarm clock off/resetting it prior to 4:30am.  It must’ve worked because at 4:29am I was out of bed and dressed, blearily tweeting my success and heading out the door.

I left Stage One behind and moved forward to Stage 2.  Part of my hold-up regarding starting it was the lack of equipment available in the ladies area to do the first move.  How dumb, right?  There are eight exercises in the Workout A and I couldn’t do the first one so I just stayed stuck?  I subbed in something similar for the first one and then got the rest of it underway.  And holy SMOKES, did I burn up my muscles, makes me realize I had completely adapted to Stage One’s exercises.  I could barely walk down the moving ramp when I left the gym, my legs were jittery jello and shampooing my hair & brushing my teeth was a challenge as well!  And I wouldn’t give that feeling up for the world. 

My comeback is securely launched this time, my head is in the right space, my system is detoxed of sugar and instead of unsure, hesitant, beaten down self talk I have powerful, positive mantras to replace it.  I refuse to give back one more fibre of my muscle, one more second of my time or one more ounce of my healthy weight to a crappy accident and a bunny overload.

Four Day Break!

Holy, four days off seems like an eternity!  Where do I even start?  The gym was a write-off for the entire week, I am not proud to say.  Not proud at all.  Alas, there is nothing I can do to change that, I can only affect circumstances going forward!

Instead of hitting the gym on Thursday morning (my first day off), I slept in and then wandered around, washed my car, drank coffee, fussed with my flowers and then got ready for my mom’s graduation.  She graduated after 20+ years of night school with a BA in Adult Education!  Not bad!

My mom and I after she graduated University!

Thursday I didn’t get home until after 9pm from the graduation thing which sort of felt shitty since that day was also the 10 year anniversary of the day Ray’s dad passed away.  He took it a bit harder than he thought he would, especially with Father’s Day being right around the corner. 

Friday morning we decided we were not going to go camping as we had planned because the weather for our destination was predicted to be quite crappy.  Instead I did some errands and when Ray got home we walked 4km up to a pub for dinner and then walked home.  The beer that I’ve been loving there has been an apricot Heffewiezen (wheat beer).  I’ve had it a few times and not had any reaction to it so I figured I was in the clear.  About 4 years ago we drank a wheat beer while on a motorcycle trip and the agony and illness was intense and immediate.  Unfortunately this past Friday that came back to haunt me and I spent about 4 hours writing around on the couch.  So that’s pretty much the end of the apricot beer.  L

During the day on Friday, my dear friend Tara tweeted that she was up on her wine tour and had stopped in to one of my favorites along the way and loved it. And it got me to thinking……there is no reason that we can’t go on a day trip up there (it’s four hours up and four back) and stop at that winery and see if we can get together for lunch with Tara and Steve.  So, 7am we were in the car, noon we were parked in town and 1pm we were toasting a lovely day in a mediocre pub (good food and drinks, dreadful service!).  After lunch Ray and I headed for the soft ice cream store (over 25 flavours of soft ice cream and innumerable flavor combinations!) to burn off a bit of our lunch buzz before getting in the car and heading home.

Mine was a flavor mix of Coconut and German Chocolate. SO GOOD!

We stopped at the winery on the way home and bought a few new bottles.  Ray also bought me a pretty silver (not real) bracelet from that winery which I love. 

We were home by 9pm and while very tired, had a really great day.  Spontaneous road trip was a complete success!

Yesterday we slept and lounged around in bed until 10:45 and then sat around and drank coffee until noon.  Since it wasn’t raining we decided to go for a walk and ended up near Friday’s pub location but at a coffee shop.  Scrambled eggs and bacon for me, corn & bacon chowder for Ray and then we strolled home. 

Ray’s (adult) kids asked if they could go for dinner on Sunday night with him for Father’s Day and while I was invited I opted out.  He didn’t need me there for that and sometimes I think it’s nice for him to spend time with them alone.  So he went for dinner and I stayed home and made myself dinner….single-girl style.  Salad right out of the container and a glass of wine.  Easy, tasty, quick!

That pretty much concluded my four days off, bed by 9pm and at work bright and early in the morning. 

Unfortunately we did not get delivery of Olive on the weekend like we’d hoped, apparently her current owner isn’t quite ready to give her up.  We’re hoping for next weekend, the waiting is brutal!  We want her to have time to settle in and relax with us before the long weekend because we are going camping and she is coming with us.  In a way it’s good that we didn’t get her this weekend though, apparently Ray’s son had plans to be at our house when they came with her as well (he’s a HUGE boxer fan) and I completely disagreed with that.  This has given us (Ray) time to gently explain that we will be the only people there when she comes and when WE are ready for her to meet people, we’ll let him know.  Ray is also going to tell him that for the first little while he cannot just come over and take her on walks while we’re at work like he did with Brandy.  Olive needs some training and tonnes of consistency in her first few weeks and Kyle coming randomly does not fit with that plan.  Ray and I are going to implement rules for her right off the get go (eg. sit calmly before being fed, sit/lie down calmly before getting a leash on, no charging the crate-door or front door the second it gets opened etc) and Kyle doesn’t like giving dogs any rules, he thinks it makes them sad.  Obviously I/we disagree and think it makes them disciplined, stops them knocking people over or dragging them down the road and reminds the dog who is in charge.  If he won’t “play” by Olive’s set of rules, that just makes it so much harder and more time consuming on everyone, Olive included.

Anyway, it’ll all work out eventually, she just has to come!  

Tonight I have an at home appt with my waxist and tomorrow I have a tattoo consult.  I’m really wanting to get to the gym tomorrow morning and start the second stage of NROL since I’m pretty much back to my pre-accident weights in the first stage and I’m getting BORED!  I also would like to get to the trail and do a jog/walk outside this week to try and assess that situation, I haven’t jogged outside since the accident and only for 12-15 minutes at a time on the treadmill.  Ideally Olive and I will do a walk/jog combo a few mornings a week after she gets settled, especially the days when Ray and I are at work on dayshift so she’s tuckered out and can nap easily while we’re gone.  I should probably make sure this is actually possible from my end first!  😉

That’s it. Wish me luck getting out of bed tomorrow, I love the gym, I’m just finding it hard right now.


It’s a tea kind of day today, for sure!  Dreary and drizzly out and kind of chilly in.  Kind of grateful for my desk-drawer tea stash at the moment! 


On to other things.   Such as:  how have I lived this long without mangoes in my life?  Or prawns, for that matter!  What else have I been missing out on because I’ve been assuming I didn’t like it?  Papaya?  Olives?  Celery?  Well….no, celery is definitely still a big “No!”.  Scallops?  About two months ago I realized that I no longer hate ketchup.  I have hated ketchup for easily 20 years and now I don’t mind it at all and will even willingly squirt it on an omelette from time to time.


Makes me think that the next time my first response is “I don’t like _____.” or “I can’t do/don’t like to do ______.”, that I might want to take a moment and see if that is still true! 


For instance, hiking. Ray asked if I wanted to drive somewhere and go for a hike on Saturday and my first response was “no thanks, not interested.”.  But…..wait a second……I like the outdoors and I enjoy exercise.  Sooooo…..hiking then?  Sure, why not?  I’m sure I declared my non-interest way back in the day when I wasn’t interested in doing anything besides eating and smoking.  Things change, it’s probably a good idea to remember that our preferences probably should change with them!


We did the equivilant of nothing yesterday when I got home from work.  We walked one block up to our neighbor’s house to pick up my wagon frame that he’d sand blasted for me.  Tonight we’re going to go and get the paint for it and hopefully this week or next we can get it painted, cured and put back together!


I did make bacon and eggs and hashbrowns for dinner last night as planned and now our whole house smells like the backside of a pig.  Plus, we ate so much bacon I’m surprised we weren’t oinking in our sleep!  It was good though, and now the need for bacon is out of my system for awhile. 


Tonight we’re doing halibut, roast asparagus and a salad (with mango & goat cheese) for dinner…which is an improvement on the rather beige/brown dinner we had last night!  Tomorrow is gym morning, back to Workout A and hopefully a decent jog to start!


Boring, Beautiful

Could it be?  Could things really be getting back to normal?  Yes.  YES!  I have nothing depressing, dismal or difficult to share.  In fact, I sort of have nothing to share.  I like it!


Thursday’s gym date was good, I did Workout A and had to drop some of the weights back a bit but I did better than I thought I would.  I was definitely sore that afternoon and Ray reminded me not to push myself so hard that I extend my recovery.  I am that stupid sometimes, but not this time, I worked smart.  Friday I felt pretty good, I had the ow’s in the morning when I woke up but it was more gym-pain than car accident pain and that is just fine by me!  I called it done for gym until Tuesday though to give myself a decent amount of recovery time.  So tomorrow morning is my next gym date.


Friday after work we walked 3.5 kilometers to a favourite pub and had dinner and a couple of drinks and then walked home.  It was so warm and so nice to just be outside.  And, I figure if you’re walking 7 kilometers to and from the pub then the beer you drank AT the pub doesn’t count.  Right?


Saturday morning I got us up at 6:30am to go for a walk before we had to get ready for the rest of our day.  We walked about 5km at a decent pace in the warm morning sunshine.  Saturday afternoon I went and bought my flowers for the garden and the garden shelf while Ray worked on the motorhome.  In between planting flowers and pulling up weeds I drank some gorgeous white wine (Burrowing Owl Chardonnay) and rested in the sunshine. 


Wine, flowers and sun.


Sunday morning we were up at 6:30am again but this time to go on a charity motorcycle ride.  I’m still not able to ride my motorcycle so I was Ray’s passenger for the day.  It was an alright ride and the weather was alright.  Apparantly the food sucked (I didn’t pay to get in to the “lunch” since I knew there would be no options there for me (we’ve been to this ride before)).  It really is my least favourite ride of the year but because it’s for Prostate cancer and all the proceeds stay in our province for care and research, it’s one we just don’t miss.  We were home by 1pm and chose to sit out in the sunshine for a couple of hours and take it easy. 


All in all we had a really good weekend, spent lots of time relaxing and soaking in sunshine, eating some ice cream, drinking some wine and settling back into our boring life routine….which I happen to love.


That’s about it.  Gym tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday and hopefully everything just keeps ticking right along!