Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Weekend Recap

 A very winter weekend for us.  On Friday Q got his first skating badge.

When we got home from skating Dave was already halfway through making our pizzas.  We haven't done Pizza Night for awhile, so it was nice to have it back.

After supper everyone helped get ready for skiing the next day, and then Dave and I watched The Banshees of Inisherin.  I love Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson so it was a big two thumbs up from me. 

We got going early on Saturday morning.  It was just a regular race training day for E, while Dave volunteered to put up the netting for the next day's race course (the U14s, not E's group), while Q and I skied together.   
E got a new (to him) speed suit for racing.

Q likes to do the jumps in the terrain park and is fine to go up there alone and wait his turn.

I went to the washroom on my way in for lunch and sent Q on ahead.  E was already there and they were digging into their lunch, who needs Mom anymore anyway!?

After we finished up at the our hill, we drove to Huntsville for the night.  There were a few other ski families staying at the same hotel so we had a few hallway beers before dinner.

We had reservations at Huntsville Brewhouse for dinner, just a few minutes from our hotel.

Working on a word search.

E's race the next day was at Hidden Valley.  It was a winter wonderland out there with fresh snow and flurries all morning. 

Ready to race!

Meeting up with his group.

Great day for skiing!

These littles were ready to hit the "glades".

Racers at the top of the hill.  Each racer did two runs.   We watched E's first run from the bottom, and his second run from the sidelines in the middle of the course.  He managed to shave about 2.5 seconds off his time for his second run, and ended up mid-pack.  A very successful race with about 70 boys.

Q going through the woods (or the aforementioned glades).

We expected a long drive home given the snow and Hwy 400 always being a bit of a mess on Sunday afternoons, but it wasn't bad.  Q did hit the hay as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot.

Meanwhile E played DJ.

We got home, shovelled our driveway, emptied the car, did the dishes, put away all of the ski stuff, and then settled in for the dinner we pre-ordered on our way home. 

Showers for all, a bit of iPad/TV time, but early to bed.  

Monday, January 30, 2023

January Book - Spare by Prince Harry

Okay, I only finished one book this month (still reading a biography that I will write about next month), but I have a lot to say about this one.  It was Spare by Prince Harry. 

I wrote about why I love the Royal Family here, which happened to be the week of Meghan and Harry's wedding. So just know I am a devoted supporter of the Royal Family, and living in a Commonwealth country, I am in no hurry to leave them. 

So the book, I was kind of on the fence about reading it, I wasn't sure I wanted to hear all of the sordid details.  But I read a few reviews and decided that I did want to read it.  Then I went to Shoppers and they had all of their titles on 25% off so I took that as a sign to buy it for myself. 

I have always been a fan of both William and Harry, and was thrilled for both of their weddings to Catherine and Meghan respectively.  Even as the media wanted us to choose one camp over the other, I liked both of them.  However, when Meghan and Harry did the Oprah interview, I was sort of wary of what they may be trying to do.  I was wondering if they wanted privacy, then why would they do this big interview, after all Meghan is just an actress so is she just looking for more attention? I really could not make up my mind about them for some time.  At the same time, I was feeling as though there was some truth to what they were saying and that William and Catherine weren't being as nice as they could have been. 

Then I watched the Netflix special and read the book and I can say now I am firmly supportive of Harry and Meghan and whatever they want to do.  Harry really suffered when his mother died and didn't get the support he needed from his brother and father, the ones who were supposed to be the closest to him. I always thought that he and William were close, but it appears that was not true and William didn't really want much to do with him when he went to Eton.  It's no wonder that when Harry found Meghan that he fell in love with her as a loving, warm, and genuine person.  I often thought it was strange she said she didn't really know anything about him, but I guess if you're not into the Royals, like me, then you wouldn't have their entire family tree committed to memory.  

Then the inevitable happened when their Australian tour was a triumph and the popularity of the couple eclipsed the other Royals.  They did not like that, I thought it was more William and Catherine that wanted to keep the spotlight on them, but it seems it was more like Charles and Camilla that didn't like the attention.  I think it is very clear from the book that it is Camilla (with Charles' blessing) that leaks those stories to the press and were doing it with the intention of harming Meghan's reputation.  This is exactly what happened with Diana.  She was more popular than her husband and he did not like that.  

I can totally understand why Harry wanted to write this book, and it's not just to make money, although I do appreciate that is always part of it, but to make people see why they needed to leave that life or have history repeat itself.  

I loved hearing the behind the scenes type stuff about what Balmoral was like, or conversations Harry had with the Queen.  But it was sad to see that life inside the palace can be rather lonely and those flashy events are not everyday life.  It must feel very isolating to not really have a job and to just have to be available for speaking engagements and appearances every once in awhile.  And since he was not close with his William and Kate, even though that is what we were all led to believe, then it really was a breath of fresh air to meet Meghan. 

I really don't understand why it had to come to this point, but it does appear that Harry and Meghan had no choice when their security was taken away, and they weren't permitted to be sort of part time members of the Royal Family (as a job that is).  I feel like they are still trying to find their feet and their path, I don't think we need to be absolutely supportive of everything they do, why should they be held to some higher standard of being perfect with all of their choices and projects?  At the same time, I'm not very pleased with William and Charles, but they are a product of their environment and upbringing.  As the Heirs, the expectations on them would have been much different than Harry as the Spare.  Prince Andrew was also the Spare and look how he's turned out.  Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, was also a bit of a firecracker.  

So that was a long book review and I barely talked about the book.  I would recommend the book, I don't think it's gossip or drivel, it's a thoughtful telling of Prince Harry's life between when his mother died and leaving the Royal Family.  I do wish him and Meghan all the best, I think they are lucky to have found each other.  It would all be very nice if the family could reconcile and be best buds, but really, he sounds like he is better off now, and being casual acquaintances may be fine for them.  

Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday Favourites


Happy Friday! Guys, do you know that February is on Wednesday?! What in the world! 

My friend gifted me this little Jo Malone perfume sampler.  It has five lovely scents in suitably small containers that will still last me a long time.  I have perused the Jo Malone scents for awhile but could never select one at the store so this is a great way to try them out. 

I volunteered at the school for Pizza Day on Wednesday.  The kids like seeing me at school and I like seeing them and their friends. 

We got some beautiful snow this week.  I was sort of stopped here waiting for the cars in front of me to get up the hill.  I had no problems in our car with snow tires, and I'm a confident enough driver to get around in the ice and snow.

A friend dropped off a Starbucks gift card for me the other day (so nice!) and I picked up a treat for myself with it on Thursday.  Can never resist a sprinkle cookie :)

Dave and E have been hitting the golf simulators for some off-season practice. This was last week .

Looking forward to a ski filled weekend with the fresh snow.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Monthly Musings


Linking up with Holly and Patty for their monthly link up series.

1. Something you do for yourself to beat the winter blues?
Skiing.  Years ago we decided if we wanted to enjoy winter we needed a winter hobby so we bought downhill skis and never looked back.  Our kids have skied since they were two. We actually welcome the snow and are even excited for cold temperatures because it means the ski hills can make snow.  

2. Something you do for your family to bring Joy over the winter?
We like to bring a thermos of hot water and metal mugs when we are skiing, hiking or sledding, and packets of hot chocolate, cider, and instant coffee, so we all get to make the drink we want when we take a break.   

3. Favourite cozy items or go-to's?
My Barefoot Dreams sweater and Sorel slippers for inside.  North Face parka and Uggs for outside. I always wear a toque (or beanie for you Americans!), scarf, and mittens when I am out in the cold. 

4. Winter exercise habits or practices?
Nothing really different than summer.  I don't mind running in the cold or snow, and I want to get back into that this year.  As the saying goes "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing". 

5. Do you practice journaling or mediation?
Not on a regular basis but I'll try a Peloton meditation every once in awhile. 

6. Do you light candles or use essential oils to relax?
I have the Immune and Peppermint Halo rollers from Saje, but I don't really use them for relaxing.  I have a Sleep Spray from Saje too which I will spray occasionally but not every night.

7. Any bedtime rituals that promote quality sleep?
No rituals, I have a good pillow and weighted blanket so those help, although I've never really had a difficult time falling asleep (see how I sleep here).  If my body is really sore from a day of skiing or other exercise, I will take some Advil to help relax my muscles.

8. What are your morning habits that help prepare for a good day?

9. Favourite way to spend a day off in the winter?
Skiing of course!  And if we don't have to rush home, then a little apres ski as well. 

10. Favourite winter themed movie?
I had to consult a list but a few that stuck out for me - The Cutting Edge, Cool Runnings, Fargo, and Everest.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Korean short ribs, snow peas, rice, and dumplings (sort of a Lunar New Year meal)
Monday - Skillet turkey breast and zucchini on orzo pasta
Tuesday - Tofu, bok choy, and soba noodles with peanut sauce
Wednesday - Chicken fingers, sweet potatoes
Thursday - Not sure
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Out

What I'm reminiscing about...
I'm watching Downton Abbey again and reminiscing about watching it for the first time.  I didn't watch it until it was a couple of seasons in, and people had told me I would enjoy it.  I loved it immediately, and still do.

What I'm loving...
The forecast! The City of Toronto has not had much snow yet this year but we are supposed to get 20 cm today and into tomorrow.  And the town where our ski hill is located is getting its own hit of snow with more expected over the next couple of weeks.  

What we've been up to...
Planning summer, ugh.  I love summer and I love being prepared, but I also prefer living in the moment I'm in, which is winter, rather than always looking ahead.  I also don't like shelling out the money for these camps now, luckily some have partial payment options.

What I'm dreading...
I've had a break from my Invisalign for the past couple of weeks (except at night), but they will be back.  My dentist thought I would be satisfied with the results with the initial set of trays, but since they hadn't actually achieved the goal of what we were trying to accomplish (realign the left side of my mouth), then I insisted that we push on and see what can be done. My new trays are on order and will be ready next week. 

What I'm working on...
Sorting through things - I culled our cookbooks, next up is Q's closet, the linen closet, and bathrooms.  For example, we have some old bath toys that can probably hit the road since everyone mostly showers now.  

What I'm excited about...
I got Dave a barbell set for Christmas, but I will get to use it too of course.  I used to do barbell workouts after I had Q and then I got out of the habit.  They are good workouts so we want to add that into our routine.
E trying it out on Christmas Day.

What I'm watching/reading...
We finished Season 2 of White Lotus last week (so good!), and now trying to watch the various award nominated movies.  I actually disliked the book Women Talking but I'll give the movie a shot and perhaps it will be the first time (for me) that the movie will be better than the book!!

My reading recap will be on Monday, check back then, I have lots of opinions about Prince Harry :)

What I'm listening to...
After being at the symphony last week I chose a classical playlist this week - I love Cello Suite No. 1 by Bach, Peer Gynt, Clair de Lune by Debussey, and of course my favourite composer, Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

What I'm wearing...
My new Vuori joggers.  I already had the grey ones and I got the black ones for Christmas.  I basically just go back and forth between those two pairs of pants, so comfy.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Skiing, and spending the night in Huntsville.  E has another race on Sunday morning in Huntsville so better spend the night than drive back and forth to home. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
More skiing, Valentine's Day, and a possible work trip to Miami.

Resolutions Check In
Before needing to take some time out to recuperate, I had managed to fit in some runs and yoga.  I will resume that practice now.  But because of that recovery, I have been getting lots of sleep and going to bed early. I still nag my family about the little things but I have been consciously trying to minimize that. I have failed at putting my phone away during work hours. 

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Weekend Recap

 I got to do something fun on Friday, go to the symphony!  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was hosting Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who some of you may know as the cellist from Meghan and Harry's wedding.  I went with a friend and we grabbed some supper and drinks before at the Ritz-Carlton.  

So pretty!

There he is.  His cello is from the 1700s.

On Saturday morning we were all up early to head to the ski hill.  Q can now get himself ready, boots and all, which is just great!  He was showing me.

Waiting for his brother.

Ready for a day of race training.

This was my view from the window as I decided to take one more week off from skiing. 

Apres all day, haha.

It was a suucessful day on the hill (and in the lodge) with friends.  We left around 4:00.  I had already made chili for supper so we just needed to heat that up and I made some cornbread to go with it.  

On Sunday just Dave and E went up, E had his first race at Snow Valley (our old ski hill).  I was creeping on the live webcams again and saw Dave (in blue) and our friend (in turquoise).

E did well at his race although he would have liked to have been faster. Either way, it was a good experience. 

Meanwhile I did a workout, cleaned the bathrooms, and helped Q make a birthday card for the party he was going to later.

While Q was at the birthday party I walked up the street to get groceries.  We had a sort of Lunar New Year meal to recognize the holiday - Korean short ribs, rice, snow peas, and dumplings. To continue the theme we watched Raya and the Last Dragon.

Dave and I stayed up too late to watch The Menu and Aubrey Plaza on Saturday Night Live (both were good but should have gone to bed earlier as Monday morning came quickly!).