30 March 2009

Wretched Monday

Oh how I hate thee; let me count the ways!

I am having what could only be described as a textbook case of the Mondays. I look like crap, I feel like crap and I find myself having to deal with mountains of crap at the office. And just to spice things up a little, I left my office key and security pass as home this morning. Anytime I have to go to the bathroom, I’m like a damn nomad carting my giant purse along with me for fear of leaving it and my I-Touch in an unlocked office. No, this isn’t exactly Harlem, but we have had our share of office theft over the years. I’m not taking any chances – the way my day is going, let’s not tempt fate.

This afternoon I’ll be in a ‘surprise’ meeting dealing with some ministerial political mumbo-jumbo that came up this morning. In these uncertain times, even working in the government has its many constraints. Nothing major to worry about, just an unexpected glitch in a project I have been planning with my colleagues. It’s hard to know where to place your feet these days; it’s like walking on egg shells anytime you try to accomplish something. (grumble, grumble, grumble)

On a positive note (yes there is one), I had a lovely weekend. I cleaned the house in record time and took a two-hour walk in the sunshine on Saturday. Sunday was spent relaxing and running a few errands with hubby. We capped the evening off with a family dinner chez nous; I needed some guinea pigs for a new curry recipe. It also gave me an opportunity to discuss plans for our July family vacation in the Maritimes. Provided that everyone stays happy and healthy (please God), we’ll be renting a cottage with my parents in New Brunswick for a week. I can’t wait! Anything is better than a day like today!

27 March 2009

Bask Away!

Spring has sprung, the sun in shining and the air has that oh-so-lovely scent of...poop…

Okay, so perhaps I wasn’t born in the most beautiful month of the year but at least I can say that winter seems to finally be on its way out. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and warmth too! Time to shake off the SAD (seasonal affect disorder), crawl out from hibernation and exchange the stale air that has been circulating in your home for far too long. I’m not entirely ready to throw in my flanel pjamams just yet, but hope is on the way!

Not much new to report, other than I’m feeling perfectly content today - incroyable, n’est-ce pas? I’ve had a very productive work week and my plans for the weekend include…drum roll please….nothing, rien, nada en absoluto! Have you ever seen a girl so keyed up to do nothing before?!? (Let’s just ignore the customary weekend chores).

Sadly, I’m sure that by tomorrow afternoon I’ll manage to fill my plate up with something. The idea of any possible relaxation, however, is gift enough itself.

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!

24 March 2009

Older, not wiser

Tack on another wrinkle and varicose vein; today I turned twenty-eight!

So far I’m having a decent birthday. I woke up with a nice card from hubby, followed by a new I-Touch (which I distinctly told him not to buy me). I will admit, however, that I’m enjoying my new little gadget and it’s a nice replacement for my old I-Pod that has been “misplaced” for quite some time. I have been grooving out to salsa and rock music at my desk all day (God Bless offices with closed doors) I also like that I’m able to store video and photos on the little hand-held device; it will be handy for sharing things with friends and family.

At lunch hour a went for a nice stroll in the sunshine and ended up treating myself to a few new spring tops…why not, it’s my birthday after all.

After work I’ll be heading out to dinner with my family and in-laws and then it’s off to my place for a little cake with everyone. All in all, it’s a nice alternative to having several separate family birthday meals or events. Kudos and thanks to hubby for organizing everything.

A special thanks to my cousin M, who dropped some chocolate eggs off this morning. They were promptly devoured in about 5-seconds flat after you left my office!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m off to phone the woman who truly deserves the credit for pushing me into this world twenty-eight years ago, Maman!

23 March 2009

Farewell mid-twenties

Tomorrow I celebrate (or mourn) twenty-eight years on this earth. I’m not sure why, but “28” creeps me out a little because I will no longer qualify as being in my mid-twenties. I will officially and irreversibly be in my late twenties….gasp!

I don’t necessarily want to hide under a rock, but I’m a little less reluctant to celebrate my birthday to the same degree as I would have as a teenager. I haven’t asked for anything from my family members; I didn’t even want to have a special dinner. Essentially, I just don’t want t a big fuss from people this year. Hubby is perfectly content eating three cakes and dragging his B-Day festivities over an entire week, but I honestly find it kind of tiring. As I get older, I find myself turning into a “one off” or “under the radar” kind of person. It feels strange celebrating a day that I essentially had no influence over – instead I feel like my mother should get the gifts and praise for having to push me out! It really wasn’t much work on my part when you think about it.

I still haven’t a clue what people plan on getting me. There is honestly nothing I want other than to let it slip by quietly and without the usual fanfare.

22 March 2009

Can’t a girl just have some pancakes?!?

I’ve been craving pancakes lately, BIG TIME!  Typically I’ll eat them only a few times each year for a special breakfast or brunch.  Being that Spring is officially here, and we’re right in the swing of maple season, I can’t seem to stop salivating at the thought of syrupy-sweet pancakey goodness.  Yup…I’m drooling right now!

This weekend I decided to cave to the crave and went out in search of the ultimate pancake experience.
  I had my heart set on authenticity – an “all-you-can-eat” pancake breakfast at the local Sugar Bush.   Yesterday hubby and I set off into the glorious sunshine with our good friends M, L and baby C to indulge our hungry bellies and enjoy our own little seasonal slice of Canadiana.  Luckily, we have a Sugar Bush about 5 minutes from our place but it turns out it is well-known by everyone in the area; I think the entire population of Orleans had the same idea yesterday…darn!

Here’s the rundown:

Meet M, L and ever-amazingly cute baby C


Convoy to Sugar Bush


Arrive Sugar Bush, found parking (yay)


Wait in mystery lineup to find out where we can get pancakes


Discover we need to take horse-drawn carriage to pancake house…cough up $


Get on carriage


Arrive at pancake house with huge 2-hour lineup


Commence muttering and cursing

Decide to get taffy on snow instead…cough up $


Taffy ingested, decide to leave and get pancakes at local pub


Arrive at local pub for pancake breakfast.
SURPRISE, power down and no generator just as we step in the door.


More mumbling and cursing (stomach growling furiously)


Arrive at another local pub


Finally get table


Pancakes, finally!

In the end I ate:

2 ½ huge pancakes,
2 pieces of toast swimming in butter,
greasy sausages,
scrambled eggs,
home fries.

Not a great day for the bathroom scale, but I was bound and determined to get my giant feed after all that build-up!

17 March 2009

Beannachtai Na Féile Pádraig!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

My sincerest apologies for the lapse in blog postings; I was spirited away by a wee Leprechaun and led on a merry chase for the past week. Okay…so maybe that’s a bit of the infamous Irish blarney. I’ve actually be swamped doing media and promotions work for the city’s Irish Festival (March 10-17).

While I gladly passed off my cooking spot on T.V. this year, I have been busy promoting festival activities in local newspapers and on the radio. I actually did a 10-15 minute interview on CBC Radio Canada, as I am pretty much the only person in the Society that can speak French. It’s very hard to shift gears and start thinking en français when you’re out at an Irish event, let me tell you! Overall though, I think I did alright and managed to come off as half-way intelligible. I guess it’s just another feather to add to my cap.

I was also pleased to see local television stations showing up at our events and filming the parade. There seemed to be a bigger and better buzz this year and, here’s where I toot my own horn, it certainly is a testament to the countless hours I spent preparing media advisories and releases. Everyone who worked on this festival should be commended for their efforts. The fact that we are able to host an event of this magnitude each year, really says something about the wonderful community spirit we have here in Ottawa.

This will be my final year with the Society. My two-year tenure is up and I have decided to pass the torch along to someone new. On top of working full-time, it was simply getting to be too much to handle. That being said, I certainly will never regret my volunteer work. I have learnt so much in the past two years and I’m glad I had the opportunity to help others with my communications experience, not to mention expanding my own skills set in the process.

The only drawback about all this…

I’m too darn tired to go out an celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today! It’s dinner, a walk and early to bed for this tired Irish Cailin!

06 March 2009

Sleep…the stuff of dreams

With the city’s Irish Fest just around the corner, it seems that my every waking moment has been consumed with writing press releases, fixing websites, giving interviews and generally catching far too little Zzzzs for my liking. To say that I’m tired would be an understatement…I’m positively popped! Next week cannot end soon enough!

I wish I had something happier to post about these days, but I’ve just been too darned busy at work and with the volunteer stuff in the evenings. I think I’m slowly driving myself towards a meltdown. To make matters worse, I feel terrible for not being able to give more time to my parents who are trying to cope with their respective recoveries and all the quirks, frustrations and challenges that come with it. I offer help where I can or when Mom actually lets on that she needs a hand, but my own strength is zapped these days.

Here’s hoping that Spring brings quieter days!

02 March 2009

A time to celebrate

While things haven’t exactly been going peachy for my own family these days, there is great cause for celebration in the lives of several of my friends. This weekend hubby and I had the pleasure of attending both a housewarming party and a baby shower – all in all that makes for a pretty happy weekend!

It’s always exciting to see old friends moving up in the world and becoming the adults that we so dreaded being ten years ago. I find it mind boggling how much people can change and mature since leaving high school. Perhaps even more satisfying is the fact that we all seem to have done exceptionally well for ourselves and have managed to stay friends despite distance, time or circumstance. We may not see each other on a regular basis, but we always seem to fall back into that comfortable routine when the group is together. I particularly enjoy seeing everybody’s little ones playing together – it still seems surreal to me!

The weekend ended off in fine style with a dinner party chez nous following the shower. Some close friends of ours recently moved into an apartment not far from our place while they’re waiting for their new home to be built. They brought along baby C, quite possibly one of the cutest little fellas around! He’s such a happy boy and I can’t help but laugh at all his reactions, noises and, of course, those infectious smiles and giggles. I mean…common…how can you not laugh when a baby has the giggles? I only hope our own kids will be half as good some day.