The OCR from hell, my (lack of) artistic talent (it will make you laugh), and guess what?! I ran!

Sooooo, I am SERIOUSLY questioning how I am going to survive this winter. I know, I know, I probably say this every year, but I AM SERIOUS EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Friday night was a RedBlacks football game…2 hours before it was to start, my dad called and said, “I’m ok to bail if you want to bail”. Our tickets are $110 each. I considered not going. And why?

Ohhhhh, THIS:

And in case you’re not from this arctic hemisphere, if it’s raining in October it’s FREEZING COLD. And then you know what else? They went into OT. And LOST.

This miiiiiiiiiight, have been my reaction:

Then Saturday morning I find myself heading out for an obstacle course race (OCR)…as you know, this is not the normal type of race I do, but a girlfriend of mine, Cristina, who lives in Montreal (2 hours from Ottawa in Quebec) LOVES OCRs and begged me to do it with her.


Ok, having my tooth knocked out in field hockey might have been worse, but this was a close second. lol

First, it was raining, windy and just damn cold (wind chill below freezing). Then, we discovered it was also one of the most disorganized and poorly thought out races ever:

  1. They basically only provided service in French – while I’m bilingual, we were in OTTAWA, you need to speak to me first in English (I suspect this is a company based out of Quebec).
  2. The way they ran registration, etc., had me standing in line OUT IN THE FREEZING COLD, for over an hour, until our wave started. I had no feeling in 3 of my fingers by the time we started.
  3. It was a 2km loop that you were to do twice…in total you did over 50 obstacles. Yeah, that is WAY TOO MANY obstacles to fit in such a short distance/small space. There were constant line-ups at the obstacles. And did I mention it was cold??
  4. 95% of the obstacles were set up on concrete…and it was wet…wood and metal are slippery when it’s raining. I have no idea how no one cracked their head open.
  5. Many obstacles were absolutely impossible because of the weather – I was wearing gloves with super rubber grip – but they often just slipped right off the metal ring/pole or rope…and feet on wet wood? Yeah, you’d slip right off.

There are many other things I could vent about, but you get the picture! But, Cristina and I posed post with smiles (grimaces) on our faces…

…and then quickly got in the car and cranked the heat and flipped on the seat heaters!!

Thankfully I have done an OCR in the past and know this is not the norm and am still willing to do another one in the future…but only in the summer when it’s warm!! lol

Saturday night we had a neighbourhood party…as per usual, we each were tasked with bringing an appetizer…this time I made Pepperoni Cheese Stick Roll Ups

They were super easy to make and were a hit – none left at the end of the night!

Then last night, still somewhat chilled to the bone from the nasty weather we’ve been having, I tried out a new recipe: Chicken Chili Chowder

Um, it was AMAZING. And incredibly filling!!

Ok, here is a little humor at my expense…my social media is full of my girlfriends going to Paint Nite and coming out with these incredible pieces of art work that they have created by having an instructor basically Bob Ross them through the process. I am entirely without artistic talent so I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece when I went last week…but I did think that I might be able to somewhat proudly display what I created…yeah, what really happened is that I discovered it’s actually possible to fail Pain Nite.

This is what we were trying to replicate:

And this is what I produced…

Yup, laugh it out. It’s so bad that I can’t even display it…I really think it has to go straight to the garbage which seems to wasteful…but COME ON – it’s hideous!!! That being said, I had a great time and would definitely do it again…for the social aspect of it…clearly. lol

Abby got some good news last week!

Had our monthly follow-up with her neurologist who said we don’t have to go back to see him for 4 months!!! We have a regime to continue decreasing her dose, but unless she demonstrates some regression in symptoms, he’s ok not seeing her until February!! WOOHOO!!!!!

Update on my running: I was in bed by 8:30pm last night which allowed me to get enough sleep (with Abby’s waking me to go pee during the night) to get up at 5am to workout…I did 5km + cross-fit style workout (it’s the only thing that was motivating to me):

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) – 8 minutes

10 burpees (they are straight from hell)
10 pull-ups (used my TRX)
20 lunges
20 crunches

It’s only one day. But I’ll take it.

Happy Monday!

Wedding fun, Abby being Abby, and some (minor) DIY stuff!

Just over a week ago, a friend of mine, Jenn, got married, in a very private ceremony (her fiance, his son, her mother, sister and his mother and her partner) and she wore a blue dress. Then a week later, last Friday, they threw a party for all their friends. I love these types of weddings.

This is me and the bride…how beautiful is she??!!

And then me and two girlfriends of mine…

And, if you know me at all, you know I hate cake. But let me tell you, the woman who made Jenn’s cake-balls is a witch…because I LOVED them!!! (ok, it was probably because the ones I ate were stuffed with cookie dough lol!!!)

Saturday morning found me, at home, and realizing that I had the whole weekend to do…WHATEVER I FELT LIKE DOING. It has been weeks…maybe months, since that has happened. So, of course I started immediately on house work…groceries, errands, and, please, let this be the last time I tell you this for 2016…

Mowed the lawn. The lawn mower is now at the back of my garage, tightly packed in with patio furniture, so even if the grass grows, I’m done! lol

The leaves and weather were ah-maaaaaaaaaazing on Saturday! Although, as you can clearly tell by her expression, Abby was NOT impressed with my making her stop and sit still so I could take pics!

Ok, now that I look at this pic, it is the weirdest thing! All the leaves on the trees are green like in the summer and on the ground they’re the beautiful fall colours…I don’t understand!! lol

Saturday night I lay on the couch and caught up on trash tv. It was amazing. And I was in good company…

Oh, but before we say, “Ohhhh, what a cutie” let me explain that this idiot might have been dead to the world because she had a sore tummy…you would too if you had chewed up and eaten an ENTIRE CD.

I. Have. No. Idea. As I said…idiot.

Sunday turned into a bit of a DIY day…I changed all the hardware on my kitchen cabinets and drawers! Guys. Listen. I had to use my drill.

Here is the “before” shot (sigh…I forgot to take one until I had already started!!)

And here is the after!

Am sooooo proud of myself!! I’ll be honest, I had to facetime with my bro a few times for some tips!

And another thing I learned…if you have a heat stain on your lovely wood table like I did…

You can get rid of it…but using an iron and tea towel!!! It’s like magic!

What did we do before google?????????? lol

Ok, can we talk about my running for a second here? The MAIN reason I’m not really running…and haven’t been for the last 2.5 months…is that Abby’s meds make it so I never sleep through the night. A good night, she wakes me only once…sometimes 4 times…so she can go out to pee. It’s legit. Prednisone does this to you.

So I feel like a walking zombie…and then combined with a little bit of lack of motivation, I CANNOT pull myself out of bed in the morning to run.

But, Abby’s meds were decreased last week and I feel like she might be getting close to sleeping through the night. FINGERS CROSSED. If that happens, then I hope I’ll be able to get myself running again. Stay tuned! Until then you get to see pics of Abby and my DIY projects! lol

Happy Monday!!

Turkey, bacon & family love – what else do you need?

Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend which for me meant a weekend of family love!

I just love these two so much – my nephew, Jackson, who turns 5 this week and my niece, Jillian, who is almost 18 months.

My parents and I left Ottawa Friday morning…I feel like a child on these drives…except that I’m quarreling with my mother, instead of my brother, over seating arrangements…

My mom thinks it’s acceptable to recline her seat fully back…into my knees. My dad, smartly, just ignores us.

And, when traveling with my parents, there is no such thing as stopping quickly to grab lunch at a fast food joint (I don’t know about you, but that is something I LIVE for on road trips!!). No, with them, we have to drive into a small town on the way and eat at a proper sit down establishment. For this weekend, it was Perth’s Crossroad’s Tea Room. And this creepy lady greets you as you enter…

And this is how your food is served to you…

It’s like being in a different century. But I will say the food is very good!

Our destination is a quaint resort 4 hours north-west of Ottawa – this is our 4th year up there for Thanksgiving. I stay in a cabin with my brother and his family, right on the water…the sunrises are to die for.

And trust me, when you’re living with Jackson and Jillian, they’ll make sure you don’t miss a sunrise!!

We had some fun & busy moments…

Celebrating Jackson’s upcoming birthday – obviously I got him hockey gear!!

Going to the pumpkin patch…

And managing to escape its corn maze despite the not quite 5 year old being our navigator!

The pumpkin canon never gets old!

But we also had some quiet moments to share time together…

And can I tell you how proud of myself I was for being able to get pigtails in a squirmy baby!!

Seriously, how cute is this pic!!!!!!?????

But I honestly think we spend most of our time eating…good lord this place has good food. First of all, while I don’t have a pic, breakfast was always a buffet that included deep trays of bacon…endless bacon. Mmmmmmm.

This was dinner the first night…steak with mouth watering mashed potatoes….

The second night I tried their wild boar…and again, opted for what I now realize are highly addictive mashed potatoes…

Sadly, I dove into my turkey too quickly on Sunday and forgot to take a pic!! But rest assured, there were mashed potatoes!! lol

Up until this weekend, Jillian had just been your run of the mill baby…hadn’t yet shown her personality. But since I last saw her in July, she has changed so much and we had such a good time interacting with her – this was one of her favorite tricks!

It never got old – especially once we discovered you could say any animal and you’d get the same response!

This week I’m hoping to figure out what I’m doing with my running…stay tuned…although be prepared for status quo! lol!

Happy Tuesday!

Closing time, pharmacy chez Jane, and a Mac ‘n Cheese bust!

Let’s just start with this pic I took yesterday…

It was a bitter sweet day. Was up at one of my happy places, the cottage, but was up there to help my parents close it up for the year. Didn’t we just open it?!?! Sigh.

I went to my dad’s retirement party last Wednesday – it was an amazing celebration of an incredible career and during the reception, I was lined up with my mom to get a drink when I saw the bartender and was instantly thrown back to high school. The bartender looked just like my friend Matt – like, when he was 19 years old. I haven’t seen Matt since high school – he was in a band and music was his life and from what I hear, still is. It was a fun memory…until the bartender looked at me and said, “Hi Jane!”.

The first words out of my mouth were, “HOW THE HELL DO YOU STILL LOOK 19?!” Matt laughed and said, “I know, right? I still get carded. And you know that I have lived life fast and hard so there is no reason for it!”. He’s still playing music and traveling all over the place with his band, has a son, and works for a catering company during the day. Oh, and drinks the sweet nectar from the Fountain of Youth apparently.

Abby and I ended up at the vet, unexpectedly, Friday morning. Sigh. We have been there far too many times in the past 8 months. This time it was because Abby had had diarrhea all week that I just couldn’t get under control. $230 later, the vet thinks Abby has picked up a bacteria/parasite and, with apologies, sent us home with 3 more medications.

It’s like an Abby pharmacy at my house and I almost need a degree for remembering when to administer them all! She’s on a strict diet of rice and ground beef for the next little while – and that bowl below has 5 medications in it (2 of them are powders). It’s insane. But, good news is that she is doing much better!

You can see that her hunger has not been affected at all!

Friday night I went to the “Mac My Cheese Fest” – an event being touted as the “ultimate ooey gooey awesomeness…featuring gourmet, exotic and traditional Mac & Cheese”. Yeah, it was a TOTAL bust.
The way I would run an event like this would be to have multiple food trucks (who specialize in Mac & Cheese) serving up their special mac & cheese dishes in small portion sizes and charging prices that would allow people to sample MULTIPLE different vendors’ goods…right?? Am I the only one who thinks this way? It sure felt like that! At this event, this is how it went down…

  1. Sold in not sample size portions
  2. Charged ridiculous prices (the item below with the forks cost $14!!!!!!
  3. 40% of the food trucks weren’t even selling Mac & Cheese
  4. The dish we got was REVOLTING. Noodles, thin tasteless white sauce, with shredded cheddar (if even that) and some bacon thrown on top. And yes, I just said that a dish with bacon in it was revolting!!

The spring rolls we got (deep fried cheese curds inside) were good…but um, they are not Mac & Cheese which is what the festival was about.

So we didn’t stay long and headed over to a local brewery for better food and some drinks…I started off with something different…

Beer Sangria. Not too bad.

Saturday morning I did 10 miles with the girls. Some of them did a 5k to start with – I cheered and took pics lol. This is us after the race before heading out.

One of the girls, Jill, designs, sews and sells baby clothes. FG bought some items and arranged for Jill to bring them to the race…which she did and FG, without a thought, carried the goods on our run and it didn’t seem to bother her one bit. She is seriously a beast. lol

Sunday morning I headed up to the cottage to, as I said earlier, help my parents close it up for the season. The leaves are starting to turn and while cool and a little depressing, it sure is peaceful and beautiful up there!

Closing up involves lots of little things, but some of the bigger chores are:

  1. Getting the motor off the boat and into the car (this year my 75 year old father admitted that it would be safer for me to do the carrying and heaving lifting),
  2. Draining and taking apart the water system (if we don’t, the pipes will freeze and burst) – this is all done under the cottage in dirt, cobwebs and basically crouching room only!
  3. Putting ALL plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, into big Rubbermaid containers. If we don’t do this, the mice (which invariably enter the cottage for shelter in the fall/winter) will have parties all over the dishes and we have to HAND WASH ( no dishwasher up there) every item. And it’s a pain in the a$$! The Rubbermaid containers are a lot of work, but still better!!

Just in case you’re worried about Abby…as you can see, everything is as it normally is with her! lol

Happy Monday!!


Finding some peace, Big Macs & Cheeseburgers, and Abby’s hunting success!

I’m doing better this week than I have in a long time. I’m not sure if it’s going to stay like this, but it feels good not to be on the verge of tears all the time. How did it happen? Well, partly it’s the healing hands of time…but it’s also because I have amazing friends.

Last week, two of my colleagues (who are also very close friends – convenient that I get to spend my work days with them, too!!), said they were taking me out…on a Thursday night…when we had to work the next day. Seemed like a great idea at the time…except this is where we went.

Yeah, to say that Friday was painful is an understatement. And when I feel that bad, the only thing I want to eat is…

Would you believe me if I told you in there is a Big Mac and 2 cheeseburgers…all of which I ate in about 5 minutes. #truth lol

Friday night was a Redblacks game…and I know it’s hard to believe, but I don’t have anything comedic (negative) to say about them! They actually played relatively well…and won!!

The other weird thing about the game is that I didn’t have a beer…yeah, stomach was definitely not yet ready for that again! lol

Saturday morning I reunited with my teammates. I hadn’t been out for a training run with them since…well, not since July I think. I was a little bit nervous that I would be faced with tons of questions about how I was doing, if I was ok, etc. all of which I just don’t want to answer right now. But you know what? They just knew. They saw me, they gave me smiles and hugs and just told me how great it was to see me. And then we just ran. ‘Cause that’s what we do.

I also haven’t been running all that much in general so I told them that I might cut off early if need be…but I didn’t. I did the 13 miles with them…and it felt fabulous. It also helped that the weather was amazing…and the city I get to run in is gorgeous.

But let me tell you…my stomach was still angry with me for Thursday night and 13 miles did NOT help sooooo….

2 cheeseburgers and a milk had to be consumed. I don’t know what it is, but I have ALWAYS loved McDonald’s milk – it’s like it’s the PERFECT temperature!

I had had plans for the weekend – the theme of my life lately has been STAY BUSY. But that night out with friends and run with my teammates had given me some peace that I had so been seeking. And so I canceled my plans and stayed home and took care of chores that I had been neglecting (PLEASE let that be the last time I have to cut the grass this season!!)…and I finished staining a bookcase! It started off looking like this…


…and now looks like this!!

I have to stain the bed next and then take care of some new artwork and then I’ll try and take pics of the whole room…I stupidly didn’t take before pics!!

My running coach had a bad bicycle accident a week ago Sunday and found himself needing a full replacement of the head of his femur. He was in hospital for all of last week and was NOT a happy camper. But he had a rotating door of fit women coming to visit him which had the nurses completely puzzled lol. I went to see him on Thursday with one of my teammates…he was so happy to see us!

So on a street near my house there lives a man with a terrible temper…and the sight of dogs near his lawn SETS. HIM. OFF. He has physically assaulted a neighbour of mine when her 4 pound chihuahua stepped on his lawn. That’s how crazy he is. Which means I shouldn’t be that surprised that he has a fake vicious snake on his lawn, right?

That changes places EVERYDAY!!!  
Liiiiiike, who does he think he’s scaring away?? #weirdo

And last, but never least, we have Abby. A dog breed who was/is bred to be ferocious hunters of viscous badgers. And yet, this is what my Abby “hunts” out of the grass.

Seriously. Remember when she found a butter tart in the grass? Well this weekend she found an ENTIRE MUFFIN in the grass. How does that happen??!!

Last week I felt like I wasn’t making any progress in getting back to my normal self…but this week I’m feeling like I have a little bit more control…and a little bit more motivation in general. Thanks for being there for me.

Happy Tuesday!

Paradise, my inner Katniss, and playing lead Yogi.

This is the paradise that I was fortunate enough to be able to  immerse myself in this weekend.

When I was in my teens and early 20’s, I was fortunate enough to be a camper and counselor at an incredible summer camp in Quebec. What I have realized in the years since, is that camp (as a camper you’d go there for a month at a time!) allowed me to discover who I was. What my skills & strengths were. It built my self-esteem and a positive body image. I spent my summers leading canoe trips with teenagers through provincial parks – talk about learning responsibility!!…I wish everyone could have the opportunity I was given.

In the fall, the owner of the camp offers “Women Retreats”. Groups of girlfriends register for a weekend up there where they have access to some of the camp’s facilities: climbing wall, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, arts & crafts, archery…

Yup, they have a climbing wall - and I made it to the top to ring the bell up there!

I made it to the top to ring the bell up there!

Channeling my inner Katniss (don't judge the poor elbow form!)

Channeling my inner Katniss (don’t judge the poor elbow form!)

…and yoga/fitness classes – which is where I come in. I was brought in as the yoga/fitness instructor (and have been in previous years as well) – I taught 2 classes on Saturday and one on Sunday in this gorgeous 95 year old log building:

It’s cold up there in the mornings, so we had a roaring fire to warm the place up for my morning classes

I slept in this cabin

This was my corner for the weekend

And when I wasn’t teaching, I was able to enjoy the activities the clients had access to. As you saw, I did some climbing and archery…and another unique one was hilarious – a mushroom walk!

This woman in the middle is a wee bit (to put it mildly) eccentric, and is FASCINATED by mushrooms. She took us all over camp and we picked mushrooms and she showed us which were edible and which were poisonous. These are the ones we picked!

Seriously – how hilarious is that?!

We were also treated to some incredible sunsets…

I had a good weekend of relaxation…and more healing. Everyday is one day further away from this past summer. And that is good.

Abby, however, threw a tantrum as I was packing the car to leave on Friday

But was very happy to see me yesterday when I got home…and was VERY amused as I poured MY cereal into HER bowl this morning! Sigh.

I clearly need to get back to reality! lol

Happy Monday!

Mysterious selfless act of kindness, Jelly Belly challenge and the Beer Run.

In some ways I want to solve this mystery, and in other ways, I kinda don’t. I got home Sunday morning from the cottage and as I was unpacking my car, a small truck pulled up in front of my house…and out popped a man carrying a bouquet of flowers. I was just about to tell him, literally, that he had the wrong house, when he said, “Jane? These are for you”. I was completely baffled and surprised. I accepted the flowers and headed inside…

When I read the card, I immediately burst into tears. What an incredibly thoughtful thing to do…and when I asked the people I assumed it was from, they have all denied it. So either it’s someone else or they are just being very selfless and doing a purely good deed and not looking for anything in return. Either way, I feel extremely lucky. Whoever you are, THANK YOU.

I was up at the cottage for Saturday day and night – weather wasn’t great, but we had my aunt (visiting from Toronto) and my cousin up for the day which was fun. And I brought the most hilarious “game” up for us to play.

You spin the dial and whatever jelly belly colour it lands on, you have to pick it out and eat it…but it could taste like, for example, the orange one: Peach or Barf. And trust me, it tastes like Barf.I have never laughed so hard in my life. Here is my cousin learning whether she got the Chocolate Pudding or Canned Dog Food:

I literally learned what stinky socks tastes like this weekend. lol

I came back into the city Sunday morning because I was participating in Ottawa’s Annual Beer Run. This is my third time doing it – and with the same group each year. It’s hilarious. We started down at the Lowertown Brewery and had our “free beer” – this is me and @kyledesormeaux (who, fyi, is debuting in the marathon distance this October with a goal time of 2:35. Sick, eh? He’s a speedy one!)

Then we had our longest “run” of 5k to the next brewery – Tooth & Nail.

Now, let’s be clear here…the running is a jog…and chaotic with 125 people per wave of runners…no streets are closed down so we’re completely disrupting traffic and pedestrians and cyclists. But we don’t care – we want our beer! lol

Then it was on to the Kichessipi and Big Rig breweries

And we finished off at the Beyond the Pale brewery

Where I met up with @rebeccaruns as well!🙂

It was nice to be out with good friends, with good beer and good weather!🙂

Hope you all had a good weekend, and thank you for, from the bottom of my heart, for the love that you showed me last week. It was overwhelming…in a good way.

Happy Monday!