guilty pleasures no. 70 – Christmas ornaments

Christmas Ornaments – I could actually write a post about Christmas decorations in general but I wanted to pay a special homage to ornaments. I selected the above image because of my obsession with D…

Source: guilty pleasures no. 70 – Christmas ornaments

My Birthday – Take Two Parts 3, 4 & 5!

As mentioned during my birthday re-do, on day 3 I had a lazy day ending with a pedicure. Yesterday, day 4, Doug took me to McEwan‘s for some brie cheese with truffle and P.E.I. grass-fed rib eye steaks – both had for dinner. We also bought other types of cheese (they have a wonderful selection) including two of my faves – Backburn and Grey Owl. We made Caesar salad dressing from scratch – first time. And now probably the only way I’ll ever want to have it!

And today? Well, today is NYE. It is day 5 of my birthday celebration because I wanted to stretch my birthday out to the end of the year.

The thing is, nothing big or extravagant was done on each of the days I prolonged my 44th. Nothing special happened really on any of those days.

Except one thing – to indulge in the peaceful quietness with back and forth moments of solitude and being with my family. That’s all I ever wanted. For this and past birthdays.

In fact, if Doug is able to take time off work, I am hoping we go away next year for my birthday and NYE. I have asked Doug if there’s a chance we can rent something in Collingwood so we can ski, board and snowshoe. I want to be even further away from the noise of the city. I want to be surrounded by a true winter wonderland where the snow muffles the outside noise. I want to snuggle up to the fireplace, with Hobbes lying next to me, and lose myself in a good book.

That is my hope.

My Birthday – Take Two!

My 44th birthday was not what I imagined it to be. And I’m not picky. Believe me! I’m the less-is-more type of person. Some birthday wishes from good friends through whatever means they prefer (Facebook, email, text, etc.) puts a smile to my face. A quiet day where I can have my own loose schedule – allowing time to read, go to the gym, do yoga and then chill out in front of our Christmas tree listening to more Xmas tunes as a way to preserve and lengthen Christmas which comes and goes faster and faster each year for just little longer. Ending the day with dinner with my extended family is somewhat of a “requirement” but if it’s like the take-out sushi we had yesterday at home I can be okay with that.

Except that on the way home from the gym, a man cut-me off and then at the right lights, came out of his car and started yelling at me for having my left signal on all the way he was behind me on the highway. Of course, it wasn’t me. I know which driver was doing that because I was behind the guilty driver. Point is even if it were me, I had every right to honk at this road-rage-of-an-asshole because I had to break in order to avoid him colliding his car into mind. And he had no right to yell at me and then hit my side-rear mirror with his hand. Hello? Who was pulling the illegal move? That’s called assault. If I had recorded it all with my phone I’d have a solid report at the police station right now.

He was also driving like a maniac on the highway. At one point he rolled down his window and waved what looked like an alt-right support flag at me (I could be wrong but I am certain it was definitely not a ‘lets be friends’ flag). Older, middle-aged, white-haired man, with a white beard, black rim-glasses, short (of course) and I would say in his late 50’s to mid 60’s. He’s not the first that fits under that description to target me (and probably many other women like me). I suppose they feel justified in trying to make up for their small penises in whatever way they can.

Anyway – after that scare, I felt my birthday could not get any worse.

Until… my parents, aunt and uncle arrived.

I spent the evening hosting people on my birthday who just wanted to monopolize the conversation with how horrible their 2016 has been… and about who is dying. Or who has died. Or one negative shit after another.

The only one who didn’t grade on my nerves with my father who at one point between all his napping said, “It could have been worse.”

I love my family. But I didn’t need that. Not on my birthday. Not on my time off. As I said, I’m a simple person. If all I had was a quiet evening with my husband and daughter, either doing something like watching a new Blu-ray I received for my birthday or just doing a whole bunch of nothing together, I would have gone to bed content.

So I woke up this morning with a plan. I told my husband and daughter that I’m asking for a birthday re-do. I would very much like, I asked them both, for a birthday brunch. With coconut waffles and a birthday candle in the middle of my waffle. And then later, after digesting with my current fabulous read I intend to finish soon – “Life After Life” – I will do 90 minutes of yoga as my only workout today. And then who knows what else – maybe something, maybe nothing. So long as I don’t have to see anyone outside my own household, I will be happy.

Fuck having to celebrate one’s birthday just on one’s birthday!

A little peace of heaven

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Regal Princess at Port in Antigua

We came back recently from a 7-day Caribbean Cruise on the Regal Princess.

A splurge and gift to ourselves was upgrading to a mini-suite with a balcony.

Best. Decision. Ever.

The extra space made it a little home away from home. The balcony allowed an escape from the busy crowd. And the extra attention from our cabin steward… Magnifico!

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View from our balcony.

Having constant view of the ocean really helped me calm my nerves. Even in the dark, just the sound of the vessel cutting through the waves was enough to sooth me. If there was any room for me to drag a mattress out on the balcony so I could sleep under the stars, I would have!

This just confirmed how burnt out I am. With work. With everyday life. Though, everyday life would not be as hard if it weren’t for work… Work is slowly killing me. My blood pressure is up, my body weight is up…ugh! I can’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror!

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Our private over-the-water cabana in Amber Cover, Dominican Republic

Getting away, though, sort of let me forget all that I had temporarily left behind. And even though I worked out everyday, walked a lot and took the stairs as much as I could, I escaped my body image. I wore a 2-piece and didn’t quite care but just took the liberty and feeling good not being bound or restricted with too much clothing. On formal nights, I brought formal pants and loose, sparkly tops. Comfort was what I aimed for and it was wonderful.

But now, I am back to reality. I need to do something – my work, my physical health and my mental health. Of course all of theses things are tightly connected.

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Mountain top view in St. Thomas

So for the next 2 weeks it is going to be hell at work as we wrap things up for the year while also getting ready for the first of January.

There’s little I can do about minimizing stress with work for the next 2 weeks. Until the holidays come I will visualize the sea and the view from our balcony… just to try and escape in whatever capacity I can.

Sunset from our balcony – Antigua port