The Sick.

Last Wednesday I woke up with the dreaded, but oh so familiar sore throat that one gets on the on-set of a cold. C had been sick since Monday, but I hadn't seen him since Sunday, so I thought that I would be ok. I was wrong.

Literally everyone you talk to around here knows someone who is sick. Everyone on C's campus has it, people from his work, people who I ride with... it's everywhere. I have been calling it The Sick. They say that this flu/cold season will be worse than normal due to the whole H1/N1 thing, and I can see already that they are right.

Since Friday I have literally felt like a big bag of crap. To put it bluntly. I dragged my sorry butt to work on Monday so I wouldn't be frowned upon for calling in sick (yes, that happens here), but ended up going home at noon making it the very first sick day to go on my record in THREE YEARS. Yes people I said it, THREE YEARS. I'm telling you, people talk around here and don't take others seriously when they call in sick. Due to this, I have always avoided doing it. But Monday I wasn't doing so great. It was so bad that even my boss told me to go home after seeing me when he came in.

I had already spoiled my perfect attendance by going home early Monday, so I figured - What the hell! and called in sick yesterday.

My day home sick was one of the most boring days ever. Daytime TV sucks! I didn't want to sleep too much and risk not sleeping at night, so I watched many hours of mindless shit.

Needless to say, even though I still feel pretty crappy due to The Sick, I chose to face the world of work for another day.


I have to admit, I was very skeptical about watching this show. There was so much hype and build up towards the new series, that I constantly found myself thinking "Can it really be *that* good?" So many critics were claiming how it would be the show of the season and it was a must-watch. But others were saying that it wasn't that great. So, what do I do? I PVR each episode to date, pick a night and just watch.

Well, I've now watched the first four episodes and can safely say ... THEY WERE RIGHT! Holy cow. This show is amazing! I absolutely LOVE it! Ever since I was a kid, I've just loved musicals. I went to see the Phantom of The Opera about 5 times, also saw Cats, Joseph And the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mamma Mia, and many others. Musicals are amazing in my books. And now there is a show where music and talent is incorporated into every single episode, along with some good ol' cheezy comedy! And on top of that, the cast is super talented! It was interesting to find out on Global TV last night that 3 of the main characters were actually found on Broadway.

I'm almost mad at myself for waiting and watching four episodes all at once. After completing the first one, I was so excited to get to the next. Now that I am caught up, I have to wait a whole week for the next! I think that I will soon be going through Glee withdrawal!

Seriously though, if you have an open mind to pretty much anything tv-wise, and like musicals, I will be completely shocked if you do not like Glee. Check it out. :)

Wednesday Fun

So I woke up this morning with a scratchy feeling in my throat that has progressively gotten worse as the day goes on. When I feel sick, I get crabby - who doesn't? It also doesn't help that it is very grey and dreary out. I need to get out of this little funk I am in, so what better way to do it then by participating in a little Wednesday fun! :)

I just visited a new blog by a girl named Renée, which I really like. On this blog, Renée posted the following questionnaire. I just thought I'd take part as I actually find these mindless questionnaires quite entertaining! And hey, maybe I might have something in common with some of you.

Here goes nothing!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:15 am
2.How do you like you like your steak? Rare. Honestly, as gross as it may sound to some of you, if it's not sitting in a pool of blood on my plate, I probably will not enjoy it.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? District 9 - loved it
4. What is your favorite TV show? Sex and The City, The Office, The Biggest Loser
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? As long as I'm with C, I'd live anywhere.
6. What did you have for breakfast? Multi grain oatmeal with cinnamon & dried cranberries, 1 poached egg, and a shake consisting of 8 strawberries, 1 banana, cranberry juice and vanilla yogurt
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian is definitely my favourite.
8. What foods do you dislike? Peas, brussel sprouts, most seafood
9. Favorite place to eat? Too many favs. When I'm feeling like being bad though, the pizza and wings at my local hole in the wall pizza joint is #1
10. Favorite dressing? Any sort of vinaigrette
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Mazda 3 :)
12. What are your favorite clothes? Honestly? my comfies! sweats and a tank ;)
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Rome. DEFINITELY ROME.
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? It all depends on the situation.
15. Where would you want to retire? Somewhere that's not too far from my grandchildren (providing I have grandchildren... hmmm.. that would mean I'd actually have children of my own first lol)
16. Favorite time of day? 5:00pm baby!! ;)
17. Where were you born? Cornwall, ON (Canada)
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Show Jumping and hockey
19. Who do you think will not tag you back? No idea
20. Person you expect to tag you back first? Anyone that actually decides to do it first
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everyone :)
22. Bird watcher? Not at all
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Well, I don't like waking up in the morning, but could easily be in bed before 10pm every night. What does that make me?
24. Do you have any pets? 2 cats and 1 horse
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Just over 6 months until C is done school and moves in!
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A vet
27. What is your best childhood memory? Oh goodness.. I have absolutely no idea. Too many.
28. Are you a cat or dog person? Definitely cat.
29. Are you married? Nope, but hope to be in the near future! ;)
30. Always wear your seat belt? Most definitely.
31. Been in a car accident? Unfortunately yes. Was hit on my front end while stopped at a red light. 4 months after getting my brand new car. 2 days before Christmas. It was lovely.
32. Any pet peeves? People who can't drive properly.
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pepperoni, mushrooms and tomatoes
34. Favorite Flower? Gerber daisys
35. Favorite ice cream? Mint Chocolate
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Hmmm Pita Pit, Subway, Quiznos -- it's a 3-way tie
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Never. Passed it the first time.
38. From whom did you get your last email? A customer
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Not that I'd ever do it.. but.. IKEA!!!
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I wouldn't really say that I'm the spontaneous type.
41. Like your job? Not really. Lets just say, I can't wait for the day when I go on mat leave and not have to come back. lol
42. Broccoli? Yup! I like it any way.
43. What was your favorite vacation? Hmmm.. I've never really been on a vacation. lol
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? The love of my life - C.
45. What are you listening to right now? My ipod. Current song: "Sex, Love and Honey" by Raine Maida
46. What is your favorite color? It changes all the time.. blue, pink, purple?
47. How many tattoos do you have? ZERO.
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? No one really.
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 4:26pm
50. Coffee drinker? Weekends and days off only. On work mornings, it's green or white tea.

C'Est L'Halloween!

..well not exactly yet, but Halloween is coming! :)

I haven't really been a huge fan of Halloween since my trick-or-treating days, which ended when I was 11 years old. That is until I purchased my own home and got to experience the joy of handing out candy to all the neighbourhood kids. The smiles on their faces underneath all of their cute little costumes made everything about the 'holiday' worth it. Those happy kids are what made Halloween to me... until I met the love of my life.
C's absolute favourite holiday is Halloween. He lives for the decorations, the feeling it gives, the scary movies, the costumes... everything. He just loves Halloween. He loves it so much, that his joy of the holiday has rubbed right off onto me and I find myself more excited than ever this year. We have mega plans to decorate the house this year, along with actually making costumes to year!

Funny enough, we actually decided on our costumes in November of last year. You see, C is a big gamer and I love him for it. Last November, he bought the new Prince of Persia game for his PS3. Almost immediately upon seeing the game, I had the idea that we should dress up as the prince, and his helper, Elika for Halloween. Not sure what the hell I'm talking about? Here are some screen shots:

Would these not make wicked costumes? I haven't started making them yet, so I think we're going to start making some trips to Value Village in the coming weeks to get things going. We don't exactly have any plans yet as to where we're going to go in our amazing costumes, but we still have time to figure that out, right?

Will The Smoking Phenomenon Ever End?

While driving to work this morning, I was absolutely disgusted by a sight that I saw. There, standing at the bus stop on the side of the road stood a boy, who looked no older than 15, puffing on a cigarette. I drove by and immediately thought to myself - SERIOUSLY?! What is it about smoking that to this day, in 2009, the filthy and disgusting habit is still considered 'cool' by teenagers? I don't get it.

I suppose I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a complete non-smoking family. My grandmothers did smoke when I was really little, but my parents made the strong decision to tell them that they were not allowed to see us kids unless the quit. And, it worked! Both grandmothers quit when I was very young and are still going strong in their mid 70s now. I was raised to believe that smoking was wrong, and bad. When my teenage years of 'experimentation' came along, I certainly was NOT an experimenter by any means. In grade 9, everyone started partying and getting drunk all the time, while I continued to stay busy with my horses. I never actually 'got drunk' for my first time until I was in grade 11. Yes, I admit, at the time it was fun, but I still didn't do it every weekend like most of my peers. It was a once in a while type of thing, and that was it. As for smoking, when I hit my high school years, I found myself feeling very against the habit. This hatred for the habit was reflected in how I constantly pushed and bothered one of my best friends who for some reason, was completely addicted to it. The offers poured in for me to even just try it, just that one time, but I always refused. I thought, why would I want to try something that for one looks disgusting, is bad for me, and smells like trash?

I am in my mid-20s now and can proudly say that to this day, I have never in my life tried a cigarette and I never will.

Now back to my original point - why was that 15 year old boy smoking at the bus stop this morning? Yes, I suppose we can say that kids are impressionable and probably saw one of their role models smoking, or was simply pressured by the thing we call peer pressure. But I must pose the question - what about that boy's parents? With so many diseases, illnesses, and even cancer tagged to smoking, why wouldn't his parents be more of an influence in that situation? Maybe he's a relative of someone here at my work...

I never in my life knew more smokers than before I moved to this city and started working with my current company. When I first came, I was actually in the MINORITY being a non-smoker. I couldn't believe it! All these adults puffing away as if their lives meant nothing. I have been here for 5 years now and with people coming and going, I can still say that probably 60% of the employees in this building are smokers. I like to jokingly harass them and poke fun of them about it in attempt to get them to want to quit, but not a single one of them have any desire to quit. Most are all fantastic people, but I just can't get over their horrible habit. I am just dreading the cold months that are ahead of us for the simple fact that my office is soon going to smell like an ashtray when those individuals come in and out for various smoke breaks. I cringe at the very thought of that dirty stench.

I wonder if the phenomenon of smoking cigarettes will ever pass. I understand that there is the addiction aspect to it, but maybe one day, something can be done to cure that addiction? If people want to be cured? Call me crazy, but in my opinion, with all the research that has been done and all the proof out there showing how bad smoking cigarettes can be for an individual, I believe that those smoking individuals are the crazy ones out there.

Am I a Writer? .. Some Self-Reflecting

Sometimes I sit and wonder why I decided to get into this blogging thing in the first place. When it seems that I really am just making a glorified journal that people may, or most likely may not be reading. Maybe it's because I have some sort of aspirations to do some type of writing? Maybe I feel like my voice needs to be heard and this is the only way I know how to make that happen? Maybe it's just because I'm bored? I really can't give any honest answer to this. But.. that doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

Come to think about it, I have had a thing with writing and words every since I was a kid. I remember always writing these little stories when I was young about anything and everything. When I was ten years old, there was this one in particular that I just wrote for the sake of writing. I had brought it into school to show my teacher, and although it had sort of a darkish tone to it, I remember her liking it and being impressed. Too bad I don't have that notebook anymore.

Throughout my high school years, my ability to put words together seemed to prove itself well in the good grades I received on essays and anything that required me to write my thoughts or ideas about a certain thing. I remember not even worrying when going into final exams in high school when essay questions would be my given task simply because I knew that I was able to fabricate an answer some way or another with my words. When I think about it now, I never thought I had any sort of talent. In my mind I simply thought "Great! Essay questions! I can BS my way out of that one!"

It's crazy how much your perspective on things can change over such a short period of time. It's been just shy of ten years since I left high school and I see things so differently now. Over the past couple of years, I've had these crazy thoughts that maybe I was meant to be some sort of writer? Maybe I should have gone to school for journalism instead of ancient history? I did my four years at university and achieved my honours degree and I am proud of it. I loved the program I took along with each and every single one of my classes. So why am I second guessing things now?

Sometimes I think that maybe I should take some online courses in journalism to get some extra schooling, but the money isn't there for anything like that. Sometimes I have ambitious thoughts and think I should just go ahead and write a book. But what about? The hardest thing for me is to actually think about something to write about. But, once I think of said thing, I can just keep going and going. I also think I fear rejection. I've never been a good one for self confidence, so maybe, just maybe, this blog is like my stepping stone in an attempt to do some writing while hiding behind the privacy of this screen in front of me. Even after reflecting while writing this piece, I am still not sure what my intentions are for this blog, but I do know it's working for me. I can write about what I want, when I want and I am loving it. I can only hope that I am able to progress enough in my writing over time to be able to drag in interest so that people will actually be waiting to see what I am going to write next. All in due time right?

My Favourite Time of Year is Upon us

With the colder nights we've been having, and the slight changes in the leaves commencing, it is evident that fall is upon us. Many people will be found complaining about the end of the summer that we didn't really have. But I... well, deep down inside, I am rejoicing! I absolutely LOVE the fall season and everything that comes with it. Yes, the dreadful winter comes next, but for the time being, I am excited to enjoy the fall. I love the warm days and cool snuggly nights. I love watching the leaves change on the trees, and the ability to do physical activity outdoors without getting blistering hot. I even love watching my horse begin to develop her fuzzy winter coat as if she were turning into a little teddy bear! I am actually beaming right now at the very thought of what is ahead on this upcoming season. :)

Along with the joys of fall mentioned above, comes my return to the kitchen to play around and experiment with rich, warm, and comforting fall-type recipes. The type of food that you just really wouldn't make in the summer months because it just screams fall. I adore cooking and baking, however in the summer months, I find it hard to keep myself in the kitchen to do the experimenting that I love to do. So, last night marks my return to the kitchen and I whipped up a fantastic new recipe.

When I bake, I like to alter the recipe I find to make it as healthy as possible, while still keeping it tasty. The big change I've been making on all my recipes lately is to use whole wheat flour instead of white and I have had nothing but success! Last night I made my first every whole wheat pumpkin/raisin bread.

OH.....EM.....GEE!!!!!! How/why did I never try to make a pumpkin bread before???? This bread just screams fall and brings yummy comfort to your tummy. Want to try it out for yourself? Recipe below. :)

Laura's Whole Wheat Pumpkin/Raisin Bread

2 C whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 C water
1.5 C sugar
1 C canned pumpkin puree
1/2 C canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C raisins

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9X5 loaf pan and then line with parchment paper.

- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Put aside.

- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Blend well.

- Pour contents of medium bowl into the large bowl and whisk all ingredients together until blended and smooth. Stir in the raisins.

- Pour into loaf pan and bake for approx 65 minutes. Bread is ready when firm to touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

After one bite, you'll be hooked! If you do indeed decide to try this recipe, please do let me know how it turns out! :)

My Return to the World of Blogging

It has been almost a week since the end of my second round of holidays for the year and I am now finally getting back into the swing of things with my normal schedule. It's crazy how after only 11 days away, it took me this long to get back into my routine.

My holiday this time was exactly what I needed and couldn't have been any better. C and I both had the time off and we got to spend each and every day together. It was 11 days of bliss. We had nothing in particular planned and just took each day as they came. Aside from our fabulous lazy mornings and veging in front of the tv, highlights include going to the ROM in Toronto while visiting with my brother and his fiance, eating some incredible pizza at this new chique restaurant in the city, going with my mom to take her 5 month old puppy, Charlie to lake Ontario for his first time, and enjoying my horse. I am still sad that it has come and gone and I am back to working 40 hrs a week. Is it December yet? ;)

Here are some highlights in photos:

My horse Chelsea looking enthusiastic on day 1.

C providing Athena with some arms at the ROM.

Charlie in the lake for his first time.

Chelsea and I on my last day off.