Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In The Wink Of A Young Girl's Eye...

Circa 2004 or 2005, Edmonton team. I'm the unattractive red-faced, short-haired, squinty thing in the middle of the back row.

Remember how I was talking about joining a football team after all these years of not being able to find one?

Well, this past Sunday I was able to finally play in a game.

I was SO excited. I knew I'd be a bit out of shape. Also a bit rusty on the field. But the girl who invited me on Facebook said that it wouldn't really matter, and they'd be happy to have me there. It was only a recreational league.

When I got to the field, I felt insanely awkward. I didn't know any of the girls. And I found out that this was a playoff game of sorts. And I also found out when I got there that they were all REALLY young, except the girl who invited me, and she was super fit. The woman had the body of a colt. I have a body like a stack of marshmallows.

When the game started, I was a sub-in with another girl. We were watching the game from the bench, and she leaned over to me and said quietly, 'Don't tell the refs, but I'm only 16! My sister asked me to come play because they needed people. I can't wait for my school soccer season to start up again!'


I leaned over and said in a loud, mock-whisper, 'Don't tell anyone, but I'm almost thirty. And I haven't played in 6 years!' (I had to swallow some wild, nervous laughter.)

The moment came when I was able to get out on the field. I started off pretty good...

Which lasted for about 2 minutes.

The other team looked like they were made up of female Marines. Which, being from this area, they most likely were.

At one point during the first half when I was trying to regain the ball, the muscles in my thighs seized up. Buckled. WOULDN'T WORK. I fell over sideways like I had forgotten that my ankles were shackled together. When I got up and started running around again, I felt very, very dizzy.

I had not realized until that moment that I was too out of shape to play. I voluntarily sat out the second half. If I thought it was embarrassing to uncontrollably keel over on the field while I was still conscious, than it would be mortifying to actually pass out.

At halftime, I did thank the woman who invited me for giving me the chance to come out and play. At least I tried. And I got to see just how out of shape that I am, so I know just how far I have to go to get out of that state. I'm pretty disgusted with myself, to tell you the truth. It was a fail of epic proportions.

I really wanted to leave after that, but I felt like that would be running away with my tail between my legs. I'm 29 effing years old, not 12. So I put on my big-girl pants and stayed to watch the rest of the game no matter how awkward and embarrassed I felt.

I'm glad I did, I missed watching rec football and they were really good. There were people on the team that strongly reminded me of people I played football and Gaelic football with back in Edmonton.

'Our' team ended up winning, so they're going on to the next playoff game. They were very nice and asked me to come back, and I told them I'd be back when I was 30 pounds lighter (and I also wanted to add '10 years younger').

I took off the big-girl pants when I got in my car, and I cried all the way home from the field. A big, red-faced, wailing, snotty cry. Other drivers must have been apalled.I was miserable for the rest of the day.

And you know what?

Luckily I have this little gift of turning an epic fail into a funny story to amuse others. Thank you, Genetics, for letting me be this way.

I went to work the next morning, and I told my friends about it. I did all the actions and everything. The more they laughed, the better I felt.

Like I said, at least I tried. And I got a funny story out of it. That's the most important thing. And I probably needed that cry for many reasons. I hold a lot of stress in. It kind of felt good.

Ok, Mr. Cleese. It's your cue!

There's something else that's bothering me, but nothing to cry about, don't worry.

I'm not one of those people who has to have a ton of 'followers' reading my blog. At my last count, I had 79.

I'm totally cool with that! For someone who had never expected more than 5 people to read my drivel, 79's a ton! I don't actively go out and canvass for people to read my blog. I don't wear a t-shirt advertising my link.

But last night, I came home and saw that the number of followers is now 78.

I'm LOSING follwers??

That kind of makes me feel a teensy-weensy bit insecure.

It's sort of like when someone quietly 'un-friends' you on Facebook with no explanation. And you don't even realize it till months down the road when you decide to leave a comment on their profile to see how they're doing.

I kind of feel like, 'What did I do? What's wrong with me?? Why don't they like me anymore???'

I love the internet. I hate the internet. These are things I just shouldn't care about. So why do I?

Not gaining any followers doesn't bother me a whit. But losing them? Really?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The C-Word

Isn't that sweet?

They made me Employee of the Month whilst I was gone on my vacation.

Apparently, our general manager chose the picture for the posting. I was flattered that he picked a hot chick from Lord of the Rings to represent me! I told him today that it would have been so much funnier had he picked Gollum for the picture instead of Arwen.

I've been working my ass off since getting back from vacation. I'm the one responsible for mapping out what display/promotion is going to go where for the holidays. That's been interesting...at least I get to be semi-creative. But it's a lot of unpaid work at home, and I will be continuing said work after I get this up.

All I need to do is survive the next 2 1/2 weeks. This is the time when the entire store changes into a Winter Wonderland. Signs, displays...*sigh*

This creepy little fellow will be put into every corner of the store.

Apparently he's a 'tradition' here in the US. I'd never heard of it, and just in case you haven't, parents are supposed to place him in strategic spots in the house to watch over children and make sure that they aren't doing naughty things.

Parents think it's genius, I think it's cruel.

Anyway, if you don't see me posting a lot until mid-November, the reason is work exhaustion. I do have some pics that I took from a jaunt up to Beaufort that I may post sometime in the next few days.

If you're starting your Christmas *gasp! I said it!* shopping in the next few days or weeks....make sure you're nice to your friendly, neighbourhood store clerk. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ramble On

I love trees. This area is great if you love trees.

In fact, I have 'favourite' trees all around the area.

There's an old magnolia in a tiny roadside cemetery in Jacksonville...that's probably my favourite favourite tree.

There's a maple in Swansboro that turns a BEAUTIFUL shade of yellow orange in the fall, gorgeous shape to it as well.

And then, right down the road from my house, is a very old oak. It's been on the verge of dying the last few years. Been struck by lightning many times.

I took a picture of it the day we had all that snow last February. I had one with the tree all leafed out, but I can't find it...

Yesterday I went for a walk back where this house is situated for the first time in a couple of weeks. I discovered that the oak has finally kicked the bucket.

Looks like it just toppled over finally. Chuck said all of the flooding we got was probably the culprit.

As you can see in the snow picture, the tree was pruned so that no branches would overhang the road to the left. Also so that no heavy branches were over the house either. With the ground so soft, it just finally gave out in the direction the heaviest branches were pointing.

Chuck always said it looked like hobbits were living in it. As you can see from this poorly taken photo (sun is really bright the last couple of days) of the underside of the root system, it was pretty rotted out.

I was kind of sad when I saw it. That tree has seen a lot of decades pass by.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Social Pages Say I've Got The Biggest Balls Of All

Cotton balls, that is. Any other balls I may possess are strictly metaphorical in nature.

I've been documenting the growth of the cotton plants in the farmer's field behind my house. You can see past photos here and here.

This is what the field looks like right now. I love all the orangey-reds in the leaves.

Now for some pics from my yard...

A cardinal stopping by for a snack.

My honeysuckle is still popping out blooms. Hence, the hummingbirds are still around. That's a month later than they stayed last year. Saw one yesterday.

My mum plants are ENORMOUS. I have two in the back garden, this is one of them.

I really like the way the buds look when they're about to burst open :)

The back garden looks pretty much the same as when I showed it to you last month. Someone should really take that dead lily stalk out of there.

*looks over shoulder*

Really. Will someone please get that? Anyone?


And here's a truly scary sight, just in time for Halloween...

I'm such a lazy ass. But no one can see this atrocity but me. And that's only if I choose to open the blinds in my bedroom.

My okame cherry has filled back out with all that rain. Just in time for it to re-drop the leaves for the winter. *sigh* Love that dark, satiny bark though.

I wish my neighbour's boat wasn't in every shot of that tree. I'm just going to start telling people that it's my boat.

Last year my crepe myrtle leaves turned a fiery red-orange, and stayed that way for about a month before dropping the leaves. This year, most of the leaves are dropping without turning colour.

My poor butterfly bush got uprooted during the storms. It's only half uprooted though, so it's still growing. But it doesn't want to behave when I try and pull it back this way.

Toad lilies are going all out.

Some of the ageratum I had planted in the spring survived the temps of the summer, and bounced back.

More mums.

Some petunias. Man, I love the smell of those things. And they do really well as long as I water them every couple of days. No fuss.

And my holly bush is now covered in bright red berries!

I love it, it just looks so Christmassy!

Oh shit, I just said the C-word!

Oh shit!I just said shit!

I'm sorry!

Not really.

What a mood I'm in today, eh?

I might as well include the pics of the storms we had. I'm never going to get around to writing a blog about it.

I will say that it made my life hell at work, because I spent an entire shift trying to find enough garbage cans to catch all the leaks in the store. And that night I couldn't get home from work, because the flooding was so bad in my area that the police blocked off every route in, including all four lanes of the highway. Had to sleep on a generous co-worker's couch. Sucked. SUCKED.

The ibises loved it. Bastards.

How come pics of rain never turn out to look as bad as the weather actually is?

My neighbour's 10 year old apple tree was uprooted completely. It's still sitting in the neighbour's driveway because they don't know what to do with it. (they're just renting the house)

My house is at least up on a little higher ground than some in the area. These are pics my friend Jennifer (who lives just down the road) took at her house. Much more dramatic looking...

Her house looks like it's got a moat.

The weather THIS week has been bitchin'. Sunny. Comfortably warm. Nice cool breeze. Best. Vacation. Ever. And I still have 5 days!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is It Possible to Gain 15 Pounds In 4 Hours?

Canadian Thanksgiving was a roaring success. I am significantly fatter. That is, of course, the measurement by which I judge the success level of a holiday.

The football (see IG, I said FOOTBALL) match I was supposed to play in on Sunday afternoon did get cancelled. I was highly bummed. But hopefully the one planned for next Sunday will stay on. And it was probably for the best anyway, because we had a lot more preparation to do for dinner than I thought we would!

In our house, Chuck and I team up on cooking big dinners. Chuck's favourite dishes had to be started the earliest. Here his is chopping a pukeabaga, I mean, a rutebaga...

We actually had a small argument about the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga. Luckily it did not come to fisticuffs.

I made sure the table was set, and the beer was stocked!

Yes yes, the orange stuff was for the one teetotaler that we invited. We're not all sots you know! Just most of us.

We cooked a ham and a bone-in turkey breast, and when we went to open the turkey breast, we found that there were no giblets in the cavity!

Chuckles was highly disappointed. His specialty at thanksgiving is making his famous giblet gravy.

When I first met Chuck, I went down to Florida with him for American Thanksgiving in November. His sister had made some giblet gravy, and I was slightly horrified.

"Turkey HEARTS? IN MY GRAVY??? And what the hell is a gizzard??"

I must have turned green.

I've always been a picky eater, but I decided to suck it up and try it.

And it was delicious!

To this day I can't actually touch giblets without being grossed out. But I sure do love the word 'giblet'. Giblet giblet giblet. If I had a son, I'd name him Giblet. Gib for short. It would be cute! (This is why it's a good thing I'm not a mother.)

Anyway, with no giblets in the cavity, I ran off to the grocery store for the express purpose of seeing if they sold giblets seperately. And they do! Score!

They look way more delicious when they're chopped up, I promise.

My friends came over after 5. They came bearing ramekins of pumpkin mousse, and a nice bottle of Shiraz. And more beer!

I forced my friend Sean to carve the turkey while we were getting the last of the dishes ready to serve. He insisted on using the electric knife for obscene purposes.

Hell, all three men attending are Irishmen. I should expect shenanigans.

How many Irishmen does it take to carve a turkey? Two.

I don't even have a punchline. It just takes two, huddled quietly in the corner.

That's Sean's girlfriend Andie on the left, and my friend Kristyn from work on the right. Her boyfriend Dave was probably outside smoking.

Here's me showing off the present my Mum sent me. Perfect for Canadian Thanksgiving!

My stepdaughter was also in attendance. Here she is in her natural habitat...in front of the computer, watching YouTube.

Dinner was absolutely delicious. We decimated the meal. After we were finished eating (actually we were kind of grazing like cows until late night), we all fell into a tryptophan coma. A couple of us had the meat sweats.

Andie had the same reaction to the gravy that I first had when I heard about it. Although she didn't find out until after she had eaten it...which was probably a good thing.

"You mean giblets are organs? There are organs in this? I just ate organs??'

Luckily it was delicious, so she forgave us.

And now that thanksgiving's over....I'm gearing up for thanksgiving!

In 4 short weeks, we'll be ready for round two!

If you need me, I'm going to be jogging. A lot. Because if I put on another 15 pounds, someone might accidentally shoot me with a tranquilizer dart and tag my ear.