All the Books

I’m almost at my 40 book goal for the year, which seems nuts. I didn’t think I was going to make it. I’m at 38 right now and still going strong so that goal is gonna be mine, all mine! I don’t want to overwhelm you with my thoughts on ALL THE BOOKS, but here’s another five I read this year (my last books post is here).

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The synopsis is long so I won’t post it but you can read it here, and I’ll leave this quote here because I think it gives you a good idea of what you’re in for:

”Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Ohh what a great book! I really liked it. Definitely the best psychological thriller I’ve read this year, and I can see it sticking with me for a long time. I went into it blind though still I guess with a subconscious idea of what it was going to be about, but it was not at all what I expected and was full of surprises. Basically the premise is that there are a certain type of people in the world who are okay to kill because they’re not good people. Obviously I am not saying that I share this point of view, but it was different from the usual narrative and I appreciated that. It got me thinking and questioning things that I had never really given thought to before. The writing style was also really good, which is always a plus. I’m not going to say much more about the story because I think it’s best if you go into the book blind like I did, but I definitely recommend.

Finding Aubrey by Sophie Kinsella

Synopsis:

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

I’m not a big Sophie Kinsella fan, usually because I find her characters to be so incredibly frustrating and make the most self-sabotaging decisions that I just don’t care to read about them or the consequences (mostly her Shopaholic protagonist). But this book was refreshingly different. It was surprisingly adorable, funny, heartwarming and serious all at the same time. I found her depiction of a teenage girl living with social anxiety while she struggled to find herself realistic, and seeing how her family members dealt with it also rang true. I liked it, it was cute and a quick read with a good message.

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Synopsis:

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.

This was extremely interesting, and also terrifying. I could not help but put myself in Susannah’s situation, and thinking about my brain suddenly turning on me and making me feel increasingly paranoid, forgetful and oversensitive to light, sound, etc. (and other alarming things) was very scary. I did not even know that was possible! Also terrifying was how close her symptoms were to just being brushed off and misdiagnosed as a sudden mental illness like schizophrenia (treatable with medication but in her case that wouldn’t have made a difference).

I will say though, that the book was very heavy on information and less of an emotional story and I was looking for more of a personal connection with Susannah. I’m surprised that didn’t come across since she was telling her own story. Some of the science descriptions went over my head as well, but overall I enjoyed it. I listened to this as an audiobook, which was read by the author, and that may have added a little something for me. It’s going to be a movie so I had to read it before it came out!

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

Again a very long synopsis but you can read it here.

Ugh, this book was not for me. I love a good historical fiction and this started out very promising but it just got so melodramatic and over the top and cheesy. Sometimes I don’t mind that but the story just wasn’t juicy enough. So cutesy and twee. I found myself rolling my eyes all the way through. I’m also not usually the type to figure out the twists before they happen, but this one was not a surprise to me.

The reviews are really good overall though, so maybe I’m in the minority. One thing I did love was the setting of the Rhode Island coastline. And the cover, that drew me in when I was looking for a light summer read.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Synopsis:

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

Loved this. I’m not sure why it took me so long to read it. I’ve had this on my to-read list since I worked at Chapters over 10 years ago! It was My Favorite Murder (yes, I am a Murderino and actually saw them live in Toronto!) that spurred my interest again in picking it up.

Capote is truly a talented writer. I was so impressed with how he told this story so impartially. He was so good at relaying facts and details from all sides and he really gave you a complete picture of everyone involved, from the Clutter family, to the murderers and their families, to the investigators, to the lawyers, to the neighbours and people who lived in their community. His telling of the Clutters and their daily routine leading up to their murder was especially heartbreaking — I could get a sense of who each of them were and could picture them clear in my mind as real people. And reading from Dick and Perry’s (the murderers) perspectives was so interesting and disturbing because the entire time you’re asking yourself, why, WHY, what caused you to be this evil? And how can you sometimes seem normal? It was weird. But a really good true crime read. Highly recommend.

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Music Monday

I took an accidental blog hiatus so to ease myself back into things thought I would post a playlist. I haven’t done a Music Monday in a while and I’ve been hearing some good tunes recently so I think it’s time! Here’s some of the music I’ve been loving lately.

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Clicking on the link will take you to the song’s YouTube video.

Ahead Of Myself – X Ambassadors

Amsterdam – Nothing But Thieves

I am really loving this one.

Angela – The Lumineers

Astronaut – Sir Sly

Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea – MISSIO (also really loving this one)

Broken Machine – Nothing But Thieves

Die Young – Sylvan Esso

Faded Heart – BØRNS

The Gold – Manchester Orchestra

High – Sir Sly

High Enough – K.Flay

Knocking At The Door – Arkells (love for Canadian music! Love that Toronto skyline in the beginning. I’m seeing them on Thursday and I’m super pumped about it!)

Live In The Moment – Portugal. The Man

Money – The Beaches

Mountain At My Gates – Foals

Now Or Never – Halsey

Remember That Night – Grouplove

Sit Next To Me – Foster The People (this one makes me so happy)

Sorry – Nothing But Thieves

The Devil You Know – X Ambassadors

Whole Wide World – Cage The Elephant

I’m always on the hunt for new tunes so if you have any recommendations I am all ears!

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Accidental #Gainz, Cat Pinkeye and Hell Week

Just a bunch of random things that don’t really flow together but I feel like talking about today…

I bought a new protein powder a couple weeks ago but the same brand as usual, I was just replenishing my stash, so I grabbed it quickly without really paying attention. A few nights ago I was making my overnight oatmeal for breakfast the next morning, and as I was adding my protein powder I caught a glimpse of the stats on the back of the canister. They seemed higher than usual. Like 160 grams of carbs higher than usual and about four times the calories. I turned it around to look at the front and…

Gainer. Mass GAINER. Great. I was using that for like two weeks. You know what’s not my goal? Gainz. Ugh.

I feel like Regina George in Mean Girls with the “weight loss” bars.

Oh well, good thing it’s Hell Week right now at Orangetheory Fitness! In the eight days leading up to Halloween, Orangetheory is “celebrating” by having 8 days of extremely challenging classes. If you can survive 5 of the 8 classes you earn a coveted Hell Week t-shirt! I will do pretty much anything for a free shirt so obviously I’m doing it. All the workouts have fun Halloween names too, and I’m a sucker for kitschy things like that (all Orangetheory’s follow the same schedule so workouts are the same at every studio).

  • OCT 24 – “Don’t Fear the Burpee” – 23 minute row block
  • OCT 25 – “Don’t Breathe” 16 All Outs
  • OCT 26 – “Drag Me to the Hill” Partner workout
  • OCT 27 – “28 Reps Later”
  • OCT 28 – “Thigh Day the 13th”
  • OCT 29 – “I.T.”
  • OCT 30 – “The Inclines of Death”
  • OCT 31 “Helloween”: where tricks OR treats await you depending on the luck of the draw.

I skipped Don’t Fear the Burpee mainly because I fear 23 minutes of rowing (I actually like the rower, but 23 minutes on it would make me hate it), but I did Don’t Breathe on Wednesday and Drag Me to the Hill yesterday, and dare I say they weren’t that bad? I feel okay so I might do 28 Reps Later after work tonight. I think I’ll skip Thigh Day the 13th but do I.T. (I think it’s going to be an intense tornado, which means switching stations constantly and that’s my favourite) and then Helloween. And that’ll make it five for me so I’ll get a sweet shirt with this logo:

Only three more classes to go.

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The little kitty has a name! She is officially Pepper.

It took us about three weeks to decide, but I think it suits her. She’s a Pepper. She is totally crazy. I feel like I forgot how nuts kittens are, and it hasn’t even been that long since Tilly was a crazy kitten. Remind me to read this blog post if I’m ever thinking about getting a kitten again. She is into freaking everything and she rarely sleeps. But, we love her.

In other more unfortunate cat news, poor Tilly is recovering from pinkeye.

That picture is from before the pinkeye, clearly. I didn’t even know cats could get pinkeye, so that was quite a surprise. It was extremely alarming when we first discovered it because it came on very suddenly and looked very bad. She had just woken up from an evening nap and when she first opened her eyes her right one looked so bad that it appeared she may not even have an eye anymore. We panicked. It was awful. We originally thought Pepper must have scratched Tilly while they were play fighting. Evan and I immediately packed Tilly up and took her to the emergency vet and her eye was already looking better when we arrived there (she definitely still had an eye, thank god). After the vet examined her it was discovered that it’s just pinkeye.

Tilly had an upper respiratory infection when we first brought her home from the shelter, but after a couple weeks of sneezing she’s been fine since then. Pepper also has an upper respiratory infection from the shelter and has been sneezing, so the vet said that the virus has probably just been lying dormant in Tilly and with Pepper sneezing on her it brought out symptoms again. Which manifested as pinkeye.

Cats man, who knew.

I’m so relieved it’s not more serious. We’ve been putting drops in her eye three times a day (she does not love this) and it’s almost fully cleared save a little runniness in that eye. But I will never forget that sick feeling of dread I had when I thought Tilly might have lost an eye. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have kids and having to deal if they hurt themselves. Intense.

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Well, that’s pretty much it. Except I have NO PLANS this weekend and I could not be more excited about it. Life has felt really busy lately so I’m looking forward to chilling out with Evan. I’m gonna watch Halloween things and read, and maybe do some painting around the condo. We’ll see. Have a great weekend!

 

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Beer Festing

I had been looking forward to last weekend for several months now, and it did not disappoint! Back in July, Evan heard about a craft beer festival happening about two and a half hours away from us in a really cute area of Ontario, so we decided to get tickets, book a hotel room and make a weekend out of it. On Saturday morning we headed to Picton in Prince Edward County for the first annual (I guess they’re planning for it to be a regular thing) Homegrown County Craft Brewing Festival.

We made a quick pit stop at Lake On The Mountain Park, since it’s only 10 minutes from Picton. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while.

It’s a lake that’s not exactly on a mountain, since we don’t really have those here, but it apparently defies all geographical and geological theory because it’s definitely on a cliff.

And below the cliff is Picton Bay on Lake Ontario!

You can’t really tell what’s happening from pictures but it’s pretty bizarre seeing two large bodies of water right beside each other at completely different elevations.

 

It was nice, and a freakin’ gorgeous day for some lake time — a bit too cold for swimming but you know I had my emergency bathing suit with me just in case the opportunity arose.

After that we headed to Picton to get our beer fest on. We stayed at the Picton Harbour Inn and it was super cute, reasonably priced and I cannot say enough about the service. The lady working the front desk was extremely friendly and helpful, and she let us check into our room over two hours early, so that was nice. This inn really is right in the harbour so this was the view from our private balcony.

Well, there may have been a small parking lot before the dock but I still liked it. The beer fest was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel (convenient!) so we dropped our stuff off, relaxed for a minute and then walked on over. Picton is cuuuuute.

I was already fantasizing about moving there and opening my own brewery and/or kombucha and sauerkraut bottling business. It is a hipster paradise there!

The beer fest took place on the grounds of the Crystal Palace, an adorable building on the Picton Fairgrounds.

I don’t know if the plan was to originally have all the vendors inside (because it’s almost the end of October and weather-wise who knows what you’re going to get) but it was unseasonably warm and sunny and everyone was outside enjoying the day.

I got ID’d as we entered the grounds, which of course pleased me because I’m well over 19 (like WELL over), and the lady actually asked me to remove my sunglasses so she could study my face and compare it to my picture, and then she quizzed me about my middle name! I was surprised so I hesitated when I answered and I felt like that made me look suspicious. Oh well, they let me in. Evan did not get ID’d but I’m sure that grey beard of his is a 19+ alert.

They gave us pint mugs, which was a nice touch, and two beer tokens to get us started. One token filled your mug up halfway, which was just right. There were at least 25 brewers set up so we did a lap of the grounds first to see the beers we wanted to hit up. One of my colleagues is from the County and she recommended the MacKinnon Brothers Brewery in Bath, Ontario, so I thought I’d better start with them before I drank too much beer and forgot. They did actually end up being one of my favourite brewers there, and I also scored a pickle on a stick ’cause I’m doing life right.

That pickle was SO GOOD (from Pyramid Ferments and I am now obsessed with their entire line of delicious fermented things) — when we were leaving we bought an entire jar of pickles from them but unfortunately they were lost in a tragic accident while we were walking home later. The plastic bag they were in broke and the jar of pickles fell onto the sidewalk and shattered all over the place. I was devastated. I wanted those pickles so bad. But Pyramid Ferments is at Brickworks in Toronto every Saturday so this weekend I’m going on a serious mission to get another jar.

We hadn’t eaten lunch since we heard there would be food vendors, and eating was going to be a must for optimal beer drinking (meaning we could drink more beer without getting too sauced). We headed to a jerk chicken booth and scored some of that.

Delicious. Mine was sweet with a little bit of spicy and it was perfect.

And then more beer. Then a cocktail. I had a pine vodka (I know, weird right, pine vodka?) Caesar and it was pretty good.

But I was there for the beer.

Evan says it’s less classy to be holding a drink in a photo, but I strongly disagree.

We basically wandered around in the sunshine for six hours and drank beer. It was the best. Everyone, both vendors and guests, were EXTREMELY friendly, like way more than in the city, and we chatted people up and made new friends. And it was also never too busy, which I enjoyed. I think we waited in line for max five minutes, and that was for the one cocktail booth.

There was a great live band playing (they played a lot of Hip which was fitting and I was digging), and there were funny games like a potato sack race and keg throwing competition. Which I participated in.

As one does.

I had a whole stretching routine before the big throw and everything. You had to throw the keg straight up and over a rope that kept getting higher every round.

After that toss a guy near Evan said “Whoa, that was effortless.” and Evan yelled “THAT’S MY WIFE!!!” like the proud husband he is.

I unfortunately did not win the keg toss. I had a beer in between rounds that I thought was going to make me even better because at that point I felt like I was amazing at everything, but I think it was that beer that took me over the edge from being good to being crap, ’cause the next round I choked. You know how it happens. There’s a threshold. I could have been great! I did get pretty far though so I was proud of myself.

Okay, favourite beers. We tried every vendor (but not every single beer that each vendor had, that’s just crazy talk!) and picked out a few faves. The MacKinnon Brothers for sure. My coworker was right about that one. I tried a few of theirs and enjoyed them all. I also enjoyed KingsTown, Signal Brewing, and one of the cider places had a raspberry sour that I REALLY loved (sours are new to me and I’mma likin’). And Wolfe Island Spring near Kingston, they were a good time.

They have a cannonball ale that is brewed with a real cannonball, so hearing that story was quite impressive, and that beer may have been my favourite of all the beers. They had a picture of them with their little daughter at their booth and they are such a cute family. Totally living the craft beer dream.

So it was a pretty excellent beer drinking time with my lover.

And if it’s an annual festival I think it’s going to be annual for us, too.

Eventually we decided we probably should not drink any more beer and we headed out. We walked over to the Accoustic Grill in downtown Picton for dinner, solely because they had live music. It was busy but we scored a table right away so that was great. I remember eating deep fried pickles to make up for the lost pickles fiasco (it didn’t but they were good), and some sort of chicken thing, but the pickles were the most memorable part of my meal.

After leaving there we walked into the movie theatre, basically because it looked like a sweet old town movie theatre and we wanted to check it out (the picture below was taken the next day, it was dark by this point).

They gave us free popcorn for some reason and tried to invite us into a CCR tribute concert that was currently happening but we were in no shape for that. So, we took our free popcorn home and were in bed by 9:30pm. Perfect.

The next day we explored downtown Picton a bit and then checked out an apple orchard/pumpkin patch before heading back to the city. We got home just in time for a Sunday afternoon nap. Good times all around!

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Me Too.

You may have seen this movement going around social media in response to the disgusting Harvey Weinstein situation.

 

Well, me too.

Too many times to count. Many of these encounters I do not feel comfortable talking about but there are a few I will share, because unfortunately my experiences are not uncommon. In fact, I would be more surprised to find a woman who did not experience sexual harassment or assault than one who did. So today I will add my voice to the chorus of others, because for so long this behaviour has been normalized and we need to speak out.

When I was about 8-9, I was walking home from my school bus stop and an older boy in my neighbourhood (probably around 14-15) asked me to come into the forest with him because he wanted to show me something. I knew him fairly well and trusted him, and I was thinking he wanted to show me a fort, or something of a similar cool nature. So I followed him. When we got to a clearing he dropped his pants, exposed himself to me and said some horribly disgusting things that I will not repeat on here but I will never forget. I ran away as fast as I could, and I didn’t tell anyone for 20 years. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, like it was somehow my fault it happened. Like I had brought it on myself. And my mom was friendly with his mom so I didn’t want to “make things awkward” between them. I didn’t want to be questioned about it. I wanted to forget it happened.

When I was in high school my friends and I were all on a band trip in Quebec City and a man was lurking outside of our ground floor hotel room window. He exposed himself to us and began to pleasure himself right there in front of us. We didn’t tell any of the chaperones, because we were ashamed. We actually finally told our band teacher just a couple weeks ago that this happened, and when he asked why we didn’t say anything to him at the time we all looked at each other and said the same thing. Why would we? What would have happened? We thought it was our fault. We felt like we did something to cause it. In reality it happened just because we were a bunch of girls.

The summer I graduated high school there was a big party in a university town at the house of one of our friends who had graduated before us. A bunch of us went, probably a third of our school (we went to a very small school). After the party died down I had gone to sleep and when I woke up a male “friend” of mine was situated halfway down my body, he had my jeans undone and was struggling to pull them down my hips. Alarmed, I asked him what he was doing and he said he thought I “wanted to.” Um, I was sleeping, so how exactly did I give off that vibe? This was someone I trusted. We went to elementary school together. I grew up with him. I got myself out of that situation and I told my friends who were there, who were very supportive, but I didn’t turn it into a big thing because it was awkward. I told myself that maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal. And his friends were friends with my friends and I didn’t want to make people take sides so I just shrugged it off. That was only about 15 years ago but it was a different time, and we didn’t talk about these things.

That same night one of my friends was sleeping on a couch and a strange man we had never met just started making out with her. And that is actually just the first time that same situation happened to that same friend. A couple years later we were at another friend’s university house in a different town and this time a strange man on the street happened to look through the living room window in the middle of the night, saw my friend sleeping on the couch, felt free to let himself inside, and again just started kissing her. What the actual F? If she hadn’t woken up and had such a loud violent reaction that our boyfriends at the time raced to her side and ended up chasing him down the street, I shudder to think what could have happened.

The fall before I met Evan I was in a bar with coworkers and a man reached through my legs from behind and grabbed my crotch so hard that it hurt for two days afterwards. I was wearing jeans. I don’t know why I feel the need to add that fact. I wanted to slap him or something, but it happened so quickly and I felt so shocked and violated that by the time I realized what had happened and turned around to face the person, they had disappeared into the crowded bar.

I cannot count the number of times a man has made an unsolicited comment about my body, specifically my chest. Or touched me without my permission. You get the point. And I’ve been lucky! So many women have stories that are so much worse.

A bunch of my friends and I were talking recently and every. single. one. of us had a similar story to the above. All of us. Back in the summer my friends and I were having a girls night and we were playing a game where someone made a statement, and if that statement was true for another person they had to take a drink. I made the statement: “I have seen a man’s penis when I did not ask to and did not want to.” Everyone drank. Whether it was an unsolicited and sudden surprising d*ck pic, the incident similar to the one in Quebec I mentioned above, or a man coming through the drive thru of a coffee shop with his junk exposed to the teenage girl who was working, we’ve all seen it when we absolutely did not ask to and did not want to. WHY do men think this is okay? Why do they present that like it is some sort of prized fish? Not all men, of course. But #yesallwomen.

I have never been comfortable talking about these experiences and I have largely kept them to myself, especially that first one. I opened up to Evan recently and for comparison purposes I asked him how many unwarranted, unasked for, vaginas he had seen. I’m sure you can guess his response. Zero. Not one.

Maybe #metoo isn’t going to inspire real change, and also know this:

I do agree that it is still easier not to speak. A hashtag probably isn’t going to change much. I’m still seeing comments on these “me toos” that women are only speaking out for attention and for people to ask them what happened (give me a break), or that we’re not talking about men being objectified (that’s not the point of this conversation).

But I do believe that things are slowly changing and we are starting to have the courage to more openly discuss these stories and say this is not okay. And yes it is common from regular women. We’ve been conditioned to believe that it’s our fault, we made this happen, we should have said something, we could have stopped it, we’re crazy for thinking it’s bad, or we’re thinking it’s not “bad enough” to warrant speaking out, or when we do speak out it’s because we want attention. But after seeing my Facebook feed inundated with ‘me toos’ I felt like it is finally becoming accepted that it is the aggressor’s fault, not ours. For me, hearing other people openly talk about their experiences empowered me to talk about mine, even though relatively speaking they’re not that bad, and even though they still make me feel a twinge of embarrassment. Because yes, me too. Of course me too. This movement should be changed to “who hasn’t?”

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Thanksgiving Weekend

Hey girllllllls (and maybe a boy or two), Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! A bit late ’cause that’s how I seem to roll on here lately, but I think you can still be celebrating Thanksgiving week. I’ve still been eating with wild abandon all week. Whoops. I’ve always had my priorities straight.

However these days I’m more thankful for one boy in particular, rather than all the boys.

Anyway, my boy and I had a good weekend. I went to Orangetheory early on Friday, and by early I mean 5:30am if I want to make it before work. That is early, but I tell ya it feels good to get it done and then be free to eat everything all weekend. As I went into the class my favourite front desk lady pointed out that I had hit the 100th class milestone a couple weeks ago and it was actually my 112th class! Crazy! When I came out afterwards she surprised me with a certificate commemorating the occasion.

Uh yeah, I get real sweaty. Don’t judge.

So, that got my day off to a pretty great start. I’ve been working late most nights the last couple weeks because we have a big gala coming up at work this Saturday (however, unlike my old work’s gala, I am NOT planning it alone, I just support, so that’s wonderful) but not on Friday! On long weekends we get off an hour early and I made sure I got all my stuff done so I could take full advantage. Evan and I were heading up to the cottage until family Thanksgiving celebrations on Sunday and we wanted to get up there ASAP. Evan’s mom was staying at our place for the weekend to watch the kitties, since the still nameless Little Kitty is still too young and crazy to be by herself for more than a day (I keep telling Tilly to reign her in but it seems like she supports her behaviour), so I picked her up on my way home and brought her back to our place for the kitty party.

We left for the cottage earlier than usual when we head up on Friday’s but we hit some long weekend traffic and by the time we stopped for groceries, dinner (Mucho Burrito what), etc. by the time we got up there and unpacked it was like 9pm. We just played a game of cribbage on the porch and hit the hay early.

Saturday was dreary and rainy so we went out for breakfast, leisured around inside and read our books and napped. Pretty much a dream Saturday.

The weather cleared up around 4 and it was unseasonably warm (summer finally graced Ontario with its presence in late September and it’s been warm every since) so we hit up the dock and continued our leisure fest.

It actually got kind of hot once the sun was fully out and I was comfortable out there in my t-shirt.

It’s so nice at the cottage this time of year, even though the fall colours aren’t quite at their peak yet. It’s our third Thanksgiving in a row there and I love that it’s become a tradition.

We made dinner around 6, pork skewers and grilled peppers on the bbq (by we I mean Evan, all I did was mix the premade salad).

Don’t be jealous of that boxed Caesar salad but DO be jealous of those bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers! They’re from M&M’s and my friend Joel introduced me to them last weekend and I can’t get enough. I want them at every meal.

After dinner we went for a walk to watch the sunset. It was a good one!

We like to match at the cottage.

Annnnnd then back to the dock until the sun went down.

Followed by more cribbage on the porch with a few drinks until bedtime.

On Sunday we packed up and headed to Evan’s dad and family’s for Thanksgiving dinner (well, lunch). Have I told you lately how much I love eating holidays?!

YASSSS. I look forward to that dinner all year. I love that Evan’s family adds sauerkraut and pork and sausage in addition to all the usual Thanksgiving things. It’s new to me. My family always stuck to the traditional Thanksgiving fare (also delicious!). And we had homemade pumpkin pie for dessert which was amazing as usual.

Evan’s dad has a hobby farm so after lunch we walked around and visited with all the animals, specifically my favourite mammoth donkey Zeke.

This actually marks my 5th Thanksgiving of pictures with him.

Thanksgiving 2016 in my best plaid.

Thanksgiving 2015. Donkey selfie.

Thanksgiving 2014. Whispering sweet nothings.

Thanksgiving 2013 when Zeke’s pal Rosie was still around and photobombing us.

Zeke is 22 and according to the Google donkeys live for 25-30 years so I’m hoping for a few more Thanksgivings with my favourite buddy!

I feel like we have a special bond.

After lunch we drove home and had a sleepover with Evan’s mom, and then on Monday we did brunch with her at our place. Followed by the usual weekend house errands and a quick nap (I napped two out of three days, so not too shabby!).

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Or a great regular weekend if you don’t live in Canada.

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