The 80’s won’t leave me alone…

I really do have BOOM 97.3 to blame for this. Especially whenever they do an all 80’s long weekend.

I’ve always been an 80’s music girl. My go-to music when I want a bit of nostalgia would be:

  • The Smiths
  • New Order
  • The Cure
  • Depeche Mode
  • David Bowie (though classic Bowie also comes from the 80’s)
  • House Martins

Lately, it’s been more pop-80’s music. Top 40’s. You know, the cheesy stuff.

I’ve been craving for more Platinum Blond’s “Crying Over You” and “Situation Critical”. Or “Never Surrender” from Corey Hart. Even Bryan Adam’s “Summer of 69″ has been on my mind.

Something in between the new wave/alternative and pop-dance cheese of this era would be “Take On Me” by A-Ha and of course, who can ever forget, “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds (popular also because of The Breakfast Club  – thank you, Mr. Hughes. RIP.)

The thing is, this latter list, I don’t have from my old CD collection.

[And yes, I still have a library of my old CDs. I would stop expanding this list but whenever my in-laws want to know what to get me for Christmas or my birthday, it’s a lot easier just to give them some music ideas. They don’t do the online ordering thing so CDs is what I get.]

I’m hoping to have some time over the Christmas holidays to do a bit of shopping to help build my pop-dance 80’s playlist.

Getting ready for Christmas

As rushed as I feel this time of the year, I do love it. I would start decorating right after Halloween but Doug thinks that’s too early – he believes first week of December but as I’m going on a business trip in a couple of weeks, I wanted the decorations up earlier. We compromised – last weekend in November. Just not the tree – live tree needs to go up about two weekends before Christmas. Plus the train and snow village under the tree. I wonder if one day, I’ll get my wish with a fake tree? Less messy, more humane (to trees, that is) and we can enjoy it longer.

Christmas decorationsHaving the decorations up soothes me, though. It makes me slow down when it seems impossible to do so. When I’m home, even if I’m working on my laptop until past 9 PM, I work in the dining room/living room surrounded by all the decorations. So I take mini-breaks to look around me and feel at peace.

It’s no wonder why I start reflecting this past year and how crazy it’s been. To say I’ve been on a roller coaster ride doesn’t even describe what’s been going on and I’ve come to accept that this might be the new normal for me.

A year ago, I found out I had diabetes. A year ago, I was suffering from anxiety and depression. A year ago, I thought about suicide every single day. I felt worthless, guilty and just wanted to end the pain I had no idea how to get rid of.

But then, a year ago, I re-discovered the true meaning of friendship and how the people who were there for me are those I’ll never forget and always be thankful for. A year ago, I was afraid of everything and while I’m still one big scared-y cat, I’m much stronger and have a better sense of why I am again. A year ago, I decided to make an appointment with my therapist.

Christmas decorationsI mentioned yesterday about this past year being an eye-opener as far as friendships. Nothing bad happened last year with anyone. In fact, it has been the most peaceful year as far as relationships goes. Perhaps it’s because I’ve taken the passenger seat to most of my relationships. To those that give equal effort back, I still stay in touch with. To those that haven’t been equal (and we’re talking for years and years), I’ve stopped trying.

I’m not being passive-aggressive about this decision. I’m not trying to be spiteful or anything like that. I’ve just come to the conclusion that all this time, perhaps the friendship meant more to me than it did to them. It was nothing personal (or maybe it was – I’ll never know unless they actually come and talk to me about it). And so I stopped trying so hard because whenever I never felt I was getting anywhere and that the effort in the friendship was one-way, it hurt. I felt rejected. Being who I am, I don’t think I could ever NOT feel rejected in that type of scenario. And I realized I had to stop putting myself in that position of constantly feeling rejected if I didn’t want to fall into depression anymore. As it stands, it’s still a struggle to be happy – I still have to work at it – but at least I’m in a place where I’ve found some middle-ground.

So what of those fizzled-out friendships? I don’t know. Maybe one day, things will change. Maybe those friendships will be rekindled. I don’t know. And it’s not something I can be worried about.

Christmas decorationsWhat I do know is what I have now in the present. And the people who are here with me in the present. All I can do is continue giving back to those people who gave back to me so much a year ago. Who always gave to me, to our friendship.

What I do know is to just enjoy the present and not worry so much about the future. As depressing as it is to have diabetes, it has taught me that there are some things I simply can not control.

And so, I’m thankful for these Christmas decorations. Not just for the tranquility they provide me around the house but for reminding me to live in the present and to be thankful for all that I have.

Not our last camping trip of the season… if you can believe it!

With the lack of camping trips this season, my husband was getting pretty desperate. I admit I missed camping too but I can survive one year where we take a bit of a break from it.

Still, he pushed and pushed. And we fought about it as well. In the end, we came to a happy resolution by meeting in the middle.

He wanted to go somewhere about an hour away. I had no time to prep. So… we tried out this independent campground just 10 minutes away. It’s not a provincial park but had amazing hiking trails surrounding the campground.

All were happy and I’m glad we did it. It also gave us a chance to try dehydrated eggs (with grass-fed, hormone-free, anti-biotic free bison sausages).

deydrated eggsdehydraged eggs and bison sausagesNo, we weren’t aiming to create a gourmet meal here. There is hopes to do a portage/canoe trip where we’ll have to be somewhat creative with how we eat since we won’t have the opportunity to lug around a cooler. We’ve managed in the past – it’s do-able if we only go for two nights, preferably near the end of the summer when it’s not as hot.

The only problem is most of the dehydrated food packages is really high in either carbs or sugar. Which is exactly why our only option so far was to purchase these dehydrated eggs. The verdict? Edible but of course, no where near as good as actual eggs. :)

hiking - wildflowershikingOf course, we made sure we went on a lovely hike. For the entire morning, it rained. Which was fine. We slept in and had a very late brunch in the trailer.

By the time the sky cleared, we were ready to stretch our legs. Plus, Hobbes needed to burn off some energy. We hiked for an hour – and got our fill of fresh air.

new toquecamping fashionWe were only semi-prepared for the cold. The forecast showed and even lower dip for the temperature that night. While we brought along a of of fleece tops and bottoms, we didn’t have anything for our heads or Chaeli’s hands.

So, we took a quick trip to Sails and took advantage of their 50% toque sale (we were only 15 minutes away from one of the locations).

There was a Dollarama next to it so we picked up some 3-in-1 gloves for Chaeli.

campfire steaksOne way I was convinced to go camping on such a cold, rushed weekend… witness the above photo. This picture does not do these steaks any justice. I bought these earlier that day at Whole Foods. Yes, I paid a mint for each. They are hormone and anti-biotic free. And about 2 inches thick!

I’ve had some pretty seriously good steaks in my life. But only a couple stand out. The one was on our last Princess Cruise when we paid cover charge to dine in the Crown Grill Restaurant. The second would have been the Tomahawks we bought as part of my dad’s Father’s Day gift.

These recent steaks would be amongst the top three. Every bite had an amazing flavour. Well worth the money.

hobbes the dogAnd yes, even Hobbes got some of Doug’s scraps with his dinner.

It was a nice little get-away, once again, in our little trailer. And as the title of this post suggests, it’s not our last camping trip. We’ll be needing more winter gear as we head up further north in a few weeks to camp by Georgian Bay. What? You say we’re crazy?

No, let me correct you. My husband is crazy. We’re just not very bright for letting him convince us to go along with his craziness.

campfire

Wedding in the Country

With Chaeli staying with the grandparents, Doug and I went to the Saturday wedding of his co-worker’s. We booked a motel room for the night. Smart move on our part… since we left the wedding after 11pm, it was nice to be just minutes away from our rented room and bed.

Sacred Heart Church - Peterborough, ONThe couple had their wedding in their Catholic church. The ceremony was long, as is typical with most Catholic ceremonies. This one was about 75 minutes in length. We sat at the very back of this massive church (out of respect for their family and friends to have better seats) so it was difficult for me to follow. The father officiating the ceremony sounded a bit like the Swedish chef from The Muppets due to his slight accent, sound system and echoing acoustics inside.

I missed the vows and the announcement that they were husband and wife. :)

wedding decorationsnewly wedsThe reception was held at the banquet hall of their community hockey rink. It was a lovely affair. I enjoyed the decorations – nothing over the top but elegant in its simplicity. Despite the fact that I knew no one there (I hadn’t even had the chance to meet the groom until that day), I had a good time.

But by 10pm, I was very tired and ready to go to bed. I would say I was showing my age but there were people 10-20 years older than me that were partying way past the time we chose to leave (just after 11pm).

So my new theory is that these people don’t have children living with them anymore. They are past that stage of parenting and have gotten a second wind in life! Will this happen to us? When our kid leaves the nest, will we get this second wind? I sure hope so!

date night!I suppose Doug and I did have a date-night. It’s always nice to have a reason to dress up and be out with one’s spouse. When I think about the last 5 or 6 times we had a chance to dress up for a formal night, it always involved Chaeli and our family. Not that romantic. Whether it was for a family or family-friend wedding. Or on formal nights during the cruise we took last December.

This time, we didn’t know anyone hardly. So in a way we were pretty much on our own!

Historical downtown - Peterborough, ONSmoke trout crepes - Black Honey CafeWe slept in next morning (8:30am – that’s a luxury for me) and took our time getting up and getting ready. The motel did have a hot breakfast included so we decided to check it out. It was pretty horrible. But we managed to get down some breakfast sausages, some toast and some questionable egg ‘patties’. We’re pretty sure they were not real eggs. The coffee was so-so. But, we were hungry and needed just a little something to tie us over.

After checking out, we went to the downtown, historical area of Peterborough, which was also by the waterfront. It definitely had a lot of charm. Unfortunately, being on a Sunday and past the summer season, many attractions and stores were closed.

We did find the Black Honey Desserts cafe open and serving Sunday Brunch. Neither of us were hungry but we felt completely unsatisfied with the breakfast offered at our motel. Doug and I shared a beautifully prepared smoked trout and poached eggs crepe. It came with spring greens an the tastiest rosemary seasoned roasted potatoes I have ever had. I limited myself to just several pieces of the potatoes and had only a little of the crepe. But I definitely gobbled down the rest.

We also had two mugs of their delicious, fair-trade and organic coffee.

If you’re ever in Peterborough, do check this place out for brunch. Everything on their menu looked good! The ingredients were very fresh.

Taking Care of Me

selfieAs I reflect on this past, crazy summer, I must admit it was not my ideal. There were a lot things I really wanted to do but I just didn’t have the time (free time) to do them all. And when I did have the little free time that appeared in small doses here and there, I was too tired to plan any of those things (fun things with friends and family).

What I found I needed more was moments of downtime. Lots of little moments. Whether it was spending 30 minutes reading at Starbucks or getting a manicure or pedicure on my lunch break. Whatever I could do.

pedicureThis was a tough balance for me. There’s one thing, even when work and home life is crazy-busy, I prefer to spend my free time being active. And what I mean is, outside of my morning cardio and after work strength training or yoga, I like to be out and about. Especially outdoors. Being stuck under fluorescent lighting 40+ hours a week in an office definitely makes me yearn to be outside on weekends (or even in the evening). So it was a struggle to find that balance of meeting both of these needs that are on the opposite ends of each other.

There are so many hours in a day – how I use my free time can be limited. Do I go for that one hour hike? Or site on my couch and read instead? Most times, I couldn’t do both.

biceps from p90xI’m glad that I kept on working out, though. Even though I’ve been scaling down my workout routine as I do every summer. The above is the very first selfie I’ve ever taken of my results!

Yes, they are small biceps but I’m just happy there’s some definition. :)