Hold onto something

After a disappointing week (ok, weeks!) of freezing, tons of snow, ice and blah leading to some serious cabin fever, I was OVERJOYED with how awesome the weekend was. And it was a long weekend to boot! Yes!!

I was able to zip out and ride Oats really fast on Friday and I so needed it! 

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Photo courtesy of Sarah C. 

I was also under a tight timeline because on Friday I took my husband out to dinner for our Valentine’s Day (I was supposed to have a jump lesson the actual day, and we all know how that turned out…) so our dinner was scheduled for the Friday. We went to Camosun College’s ClassRoom Restaurant and it was lovely! I highly recommend it- supporting the students and program, great food and very reasonably priced. Win-win-win!

Saturday was back to riding as per usual. There was still a lot of snow at the stables and the trip down to the arena was slippery and treacherous. I basically waterskiied off my boot heels all the way down, clinging to Oats’ mane. He was not loving it.

He was good to ride though, just lovely and even though he was irritating me when I was mounting up (grabbing at EVERYTHING ugh) he was focused and down to business for our ride. I also had another idea up my sleeve- begged my friend to come out to the outdoor arena with us to take photos! Basically the only good thing to come out of the massive amounts of snow.

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I loved it! Hahaha.

I also got a lot of running as the snow and ice melted and the sidewalks were safer. Yay! Went out for drinks on Saturday, and met up with a work friend for a run on Monday. Just overall loving life this long weekend. 🙂

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Is this the part where I get all I ever wanted? Who said that? Weekend update!

Yes, a weekend of so many updates- chiefly because SO much happened!

Friday night my husband and I finally went out to use our gift certificate to a fancy restaurant- Il Terrazo, and it was amazing! We had been meaning to go there since September, can you believe it? I had bread, tapenade, we shared an appetizer of grilled scallops, tuna, seaweed and cucumber salad. For my main, I enjoyed a very fulsome ciopinno. I couldn’t finish it!

I remember Friday night as the first night all week I felt like I actually slept.

Saturday was the big day. I was a ball of anxiety. I ended up dragging my poor husband around with me for the whole day (this would also be true for Sunday as well…). We first got gas, I went riding, we went to the feed store to buy grain, then he provided moral support for me as I went and had coffee with my parents, launching what was probably the most difficult discussion I have ever had with another person in my entire life.

It was hard. It was unpleasant. It was important. It was cathartic. It was necessary.

Telling your parents, firmly and honestly, that you are not having children and therefore they do not get grandchildren is so hard, but I needed to be heard, and they deserved my honesty- not to get ignored, get swept under the rug again, put off for another time. No. This time it’s for real.

They were sad, and cried. I wasn’t. I finally felt free.

I went home and bailed out on my friend’s birthday party- it was just going to be too draining, and I also had my VIRA 8k race the next morning even! I needed some time to recover (oh, and drink wine…oops). My nutrition that day consisted of pancakes for breakfast, pancakes with smarties and peanut butter for lunch, and wine. Oh and chocolate too. Dinner was better, a stir-fry…with two peanut-butter cupcakes for dessert. Whoops!

Emotional eating for the win!

At least I had a stir fry?

And on Sunday, after racing, enjoying a beer at Category 12, falling unceremoniously off my horse, I went with my husband to go see La La Land. I liked it, and enjoyed watching it more than I thought (I have a notoriously difficult time watching movies. I can’t sit still for that long, get fidgety, need many breaks, etc) so getting me out to a movie is kind of a big deal, haha.

It was still about 15 minutes too long, in my opinion.

And that wraps up my insanely busy wknd! I sometimes feel as if I live enough on weekends for most peoples weeks 😉

Want to be someone you can get behind

Back at work, and not so glorious. Oh well, at least it gives me an opportunity to be a productive member of society, and not a shiftless horseback rider and running bum, that I would prefer to be! I did ride Oats yesterday evening, and it was a fine ride. I do need some lessons soon though, to keep me back on track. Funny, my last lesson was on Wednesday and I already feel rusty?! The fine line between burnout and keeping my strength & skills is indeed something I have not mastered apparently.

Today I also shared a few recipes with colleagues that I happen to love, thanks to discovering them in Brasil. Without further ado- here they are! Yummy.

Pao de queijo- super easy to make and delicious! Use any kind of cheese & it is naturally gluten-free. This recipe does not make that many, so I doubled it to make about a dozen, and you can get tapioca starch at my favourite store, Bulk Barn.

http://rasamalaysia.com/brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo/

Mine pictured here:

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Yum pao de queijo

Also this is a super delicious bean stew- Feijoada. With Jamie Oliver’s recipe it can be vegetarian as well- also delicious

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/05/black-bean-pork-feijoada-one-pot-stew-recipe-brazil

Jamie’s version:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-veggie-feijoada/

And here is a song I really like right now too: The Tourist Company, “Pedestals”

Christmas aftermath

Man, so many things. Good and bad. I enjoyed my time off, considering I was in a spectacularly grouchy/depressed mood, I was in a WAY better mind frame to celebrate.

We went to Ucluelet for a few days to decompress before the family madness began, and then celebrated Christmas Eve at my husband’s parents farm, which was nice. We then had Christmas breakfast and then Christmas dinner at MY parents, which was also good. My gifts were lovely, my husband got me everything I wanted and I really loved the cool and unique gifts my sister, parents and stable friends gave me. WOW so generous!

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Yes I am wearing a grumpy cat Xmas sweater! Featuring new boots for Oats, love them so much.

I also did some Boxing Day shopping and bought myself another pair of running shoes (I know I know, I have like 10 pairs now..eek) and some cool funky clothes (I also have too many of those, haha).

I ate too much, went to two parties in one night, drank too much (again) and ran a lot and also rode Oats five days in a row, gave him three days off, and now tonight will be day 4 in a row he gets ridden! That pony gets a lotta love, gotta say it, haha. He also enjoyed a home-made cookie from one of the girls are the barn and he gobbled it up in RECORD time.

No Xmas is complete without some holiday drama, and it led me to realize my new year’s resolution is to not whitewash what I want out of life. Not whitewash WHO I am anymore.

I will finish with this- as I go into the new year, I’m planning on setting the slate clean with a few people (my parents). I want to go into a fresh year unencumbered by people’s expectations of me.

I have a dog, horse, rabbit and husband because I love and cherish all of them, and they all add value and joy to my life. I would never presume anyone needed any of those items or animals to make their lives whole. This is my experience.

Please do not assume I need children to make my life whole. That is your experience. I do not need convincing, judgement, argument or debate to ‘make me change my mind’. I don’t think everyone needs a dog, horse or husband to fully experience life–why do people think that about kids? Just stop.

In 2017, I am going to be clear about what I want with the people I love and am closest to. If that means they are upset with me, so be it. I am going to focus on what is most important to me, and maintain my priorities and my sense of self the only way I know how- with resolve and resolution.

So, I guess that’s my NYE resolution right there. I also really want to start planning my next exciting big trip and can’t figure out where I want to go/do next. Africa maybe??

Tempest

So, you know how on Friday I was like, wow, this week was crazy?

The weekend was even crazier!!

Family visiting= insane. But, mostly in a good way right now. Friday evening, we bought tickets to Beer Week’s ‘Beer and Fish’ event night at the Victoria Public Market.

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A snapshot of our weekend- NOT me in the wedding dress!

For $40, you got 8 beer sample tickets and 2 food tickets. My only complaint about the night was that it was very beer-heavy and light on the food. Oh well! We had a really nice time regardless. Food options included seafood chowder, fish’n’ chips, candied salmon pieces, and oysters. We opted for the fish’n’chips and the oysters, and my sister got my dad’s food ticket and shared the candied salmon with us. YUM!

It was a LOT of beer though. I had a mega headache the next day. Oy…

Then we’re rolling into Saturday, where I took my sister riding on good ol’ Oats, and he was a great pony. I hopped on to warm him up, he’s been fairly hoppy anticipating the canter recently, so I just cruised him for a bit and worked over a small cross-rail. So far, so good! My sister got on and he was golden with her. It was lovely! They even trotted over the cross-rail a few times.

Then, my husband, sister and I headed to Witty’s Lagoon to go check out the beach and sea life. We were NOT disappointed! It was a veritable crab fest! Every rock we knocked over or picked up was boiling with crabs, some pretty big ones for the little guys. It was awesome.

We capped off our crabfest evening with buying the biggest, most expensive crabs I have ever had in my lifetime. ($42 EACH!). Ouch! But, they were sooooo good and it was the most crab I have ever eaten. Dinner that night took us 1.5 hours!

My husband and I then jetted off to put an offer on a duplex we liked (wasn’t accepted, oh well!) and my sister and mom went to try on wedding dresses. A big, crazy, long day, but a good one!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Sunday’s recap. Hint: it includes lambs!

Miniature Tigers

This week…Wow, this week.

Busy. Rode Tuesday, not in a dressage lesson, and was thinking I probably should have left what I was asking Oats for IN a dressage lesson, it went that poorly. Well at first it went well, and then I had to go and push the envelope and was a bit unprepared for him to over-give and then get pissy with me about it! Ah…it’s a learning experience I guess?! Note to self: When he gives you good lateral work for awhile, don’t push it on your own yet!

So, yeah. That. My dad also flew in from Ontario that evening at 11:30pm!

Wednesday we had the Foxstone Awards Night banquet at the Quamichan Inn. I’d volunteered to drive, and wow…Was kind of regretting the whole night driving. It was SO stormy, and crazy dangerous on the roads. POURING rain, the car was hydroplaning on the Malahat, visibility was so poor, and we saw two accidents, and like 5 cars pulled over…Jesus.

I drove extremely carefully and white-knuckled it the whole way. Glad to be alive.

The banquet was fine, I was still feeling a bit put-out by dropping down from reserve champ to third 😦 it is quite a demotion. Ahhhh….

I got all of us home safely, thank god, and had a glass of wine sitting on my couch at home. It was a very hairy experience.

Thursday, I had my jump night lesson! I had promised my dad I’d try to get home early (so, before 8pm), a message that somehow didn’t translate to them letting me know where they were going to be in the evening, so when I got home to an empty house, hungry, I had NO idea where they were, and nobody was answering their cell phones, despite multiple texts and calls. Needless to say, I was pissed off and hungry!

We sorted it out and I joined them for one drink and some live music at the Fernwood Inn, and it was really good-surprisingly! I normally am not a fan of a lot of ‘open mic’ nights because they tend to..suck sometimes…but these guys were spot-on!

And my jump lesson went well, Oats was hard to get motivated though and we are experiencing some real frustrations in terms of landing ON THE RIGHT LEAD GODDAMMIT~ Even on a circle? What is this, horse??!

But he’s a cheery fellow, and didn’t take it too hard. Ha, things to work on…Along with me using the crop even more judiciously to get him motivated. Well, to give him credit, he jumped an interesting looking jump without even a second glance. Good pony! Now, land on the right lead for once and I will be even happier with you!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend

A very laid-back weekend, which was fine by me but a bit tame, nonetheless…

Funny Valentine Cards - Meat and Weapons (11)

Each Valentine’s Day, I like to curate vintage cards. This year is a hotdog theme.

Saturday I shared the arena with a lesson, and Oats was very cute. He was breaking into trot from the canter (argh!) but I kind of blame my inconsistent riding for that. We cruised over an x-rail the lesson was working over and he was lovely over it…Though his penchant for taking flyers definitely came back with it, he just can’t take them seriously!

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Went for a run (wanted to do a long run but it was pouring rain, gaag) just over 9.7km after riding and yeah, it was…special. So special.

We wrapped up the day by preparing dinner for my friend who experienced a horrible tradgedy, and brought it to her house. It felt nice to do a good deed, and she’s going through a really, really difficult time right now, so I hope when she is able, we can spend some time together.

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Sunday (Valentine’s day!), headed off to the barn again and did a fairly tough dressage school with Oats. He got very sweaty! He was somewhat compliant, though I think he kept looking at the very inviting little mini jumps set up and thinking…why aren’t we just doing those instead??

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Finished the day by running some hills, feeling like I was going to puke the whole time. ARGH! Remind me to never eat that much rice noodle stirfry with chilis and then run…Too much. Way too much. God..my stomach was messed up the whole night from that barf-inducing experience.

We wrapped up V-day by getting two lobsters and a sack of clams, and a bottle of Prosecco. My husband even surprised me with a box of ginger chocolate Purdy’s to finish it off! Yum!

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