Archive for the 'friends' Category

Wine and Love

Hosted and dreamed up by the lovely Nora of Walking with Nora.

Why I need wine this week:

  • All round, general crankiness and fussiness – I can’t pinpoint a specific cause, but it’s been a cranky/fussy week for me. It’s as if I’m walking around in jeans that are too small – the discomfort is so slight you can’t actually figure out what’s wrong but you know something is – except apply that to everything in my life this week.
  • The rain – this is perhaps the cause of point #1. Aside from the break we had tonight (thank the heavens!) it has been raining and gray all week. I can’t take much more of this.
  • The humidity – also related to point #1 and #2. Curly hair does not behave in humid weather and all this rain is cramping my style. I’ve already busted out the hardcore summer hair products to fight the frizz. And why yes, I do have seasonal hair care products. Doesn’t everyone?

What I have loved this week:

  • BBQs in the sun – it’s been raining pretty much all week but the sun peaked through this evening just in time for a BBQ at a friend’s place. Nothing beats sitting on the patio and enjoying some burgers.

Check me out being a BBQ queen!

  • This video:

For those that don’t know, I work in agriculture which makes this video a million times more amazing for me. We joke around in my office about covering everything in glitter and how much the farmers would appreciate that and now I have proof that they would TOTALLY love a bedazzled tractor.

  • The Hunger Games – as the next big YA series, I was totally expecting another Twilightesque book that sucks you in while making you feel ashamed because it’s so bad. But, it’s not! It sucks you in AND it’s a good story (so far, I haven’t even finished the first book yet. No spoilers!).
  • A 4-day weekend. Monday is a holiday and I’ve taken tomorrow off AND I have ABSOLUTELY nothing planned. I am beyond excited.

Wine and Love

Started by the lovely Nora of Walking with Nora, here is my Wine and Love post for the week.

Things that have me reaching for the wine this week:

  • My productivity level – I have become way to easily distracted this week and my productivity level has taken a serious hit. This needs to stop. Apparently I’ve become a person who requires immediate deadlines to be productive. I need to work on this.
  • The fact that I don’t have a dishwasher – this doesn’t usually bother me, but this week, doing dishes has been the bane of my existence.
  • My car is dying. Not only that, Matt’s car is also dying, albeit more slowly. Word on the street is that cars are expensive. Ugh.
  • Blogging – I’m still struggling to get into the groove of this whole blogging thing. Hopefully I’ll find my way back again.

Things that I love this week:

  • Water for Elephants with friends – this movie is so sweet and definitely worth a trip to the theatre.
  • Animals with Stuffed Animals – this site is amazing and a big part of my declining productivity levels.
  • My sister is coming home TOMORROW – you may not realize how exciting this is if you don’t realize that for the past 6 (I think) years she has lived in the Caribbean and now she’s moving home! I’m pumped!

Wine and Love

The lovely Nora over at Walking with Nora has an awesome Thursday feature called Wine and Love. I decided to jump on board this bandwagon of awesome and join the fun.

Reasons I’m reaching for the wine bottle this week:

  • I’m beginning to develop an ear infection. It’s not full-blown yet and it’s starting to get better but it still hurts A LOT. I was under the impression that only 6 year olds got ear infections. I was wrong. Also, when you’re an adult with an ear infection, it is no longer socially acceptable to stamp your feet and whine “but it huuuuurts.” (for the record, it huuuuurts).
  • The weather. I work for a farm organization and when it does nothing but rain for days on end in the planting season, farmers aren’t happy. When farmers aren’t happy, I reach for the wine.

Reasons I’m smiling and loving life this week:

  • I found someone who is willing to go see Scream 4 with me. I have such fond (and terrifying) memories of watching the original movies camped out in sleeping bags in the friend’s living room whose parents didn’t care if we watched R movies that I can’t resist this movie for nostalgia sake. Also, who doesn’t like being scared (oh, apparently a lot of people).
  • I’m reading a great book that is slightly more refined than the trash I usually read. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trash (well hello, sexy vampire), but it’s nice to know that I haven’t become a complete heathen.
  • I started watching Firefly and it’s awesome! Who can resist cowboys in space? (oh, apparently lots of people, people that aren’t me).
  • My sister is moving home from the Caribbean in a week! I’m excited she’ll finally be living in Canada for longer than 2 weeks!
  • This is my second post this week! It’s too soon to say I’m back in the blogging swing of things, but this is definitely a good step!

My family can dance harder than your family (but probably not better)

Excuse me…. is this thing on?

OH! Hi there. Long time no chat. I wish I had some awesome reason why I’ve been MIA these past few weeks. I wish I could tell you it was because I went on some awesome last minute vacation to Maui or because I joined a roller derby league and got my hands smashing in and can’t type. But no. I have no good story. It just got really hot and I got tired and sitting with my heat-emitting-computer on my lap to type up posts was less appealing than eating a popcicle. In my world, popcicles are not to be eaten in the presence of electronics. In fact, it’s best to eat them over the sink or outside.

But, I do have a few exciting tales to tell of the past little while.

This past weekend my big brother tied the knot with his long-time high school girlfriend. They have been dating for 10 years and they are absolutely perfect for each other in the way that OMG she will put up with all of your annoying tendencies and she’s awesome! Marry her! Don’t let her get away!

The wedding ceremony was in my parent’s backyard and it was absolutely perfect. The reception was at the vineyard that neighbours my parents’ place. They recently built a reception hall there and it was also perfect.

The days leading up to the wedding were full of mani-pedi appointments, tux rental fetching, MC-prepping (my sis and I MCed the event) and calming my mother down. The morning of the wedding found me in my parents’ backyard at 8am with unbrushed teeth and still in my pajamas setting up 168 white chairs around the “wedding tree”. Now, this sounds like a horrendous time but considering my cousin (the best man)’s insistence that we all start the morning with “WEDDING HIGH FIVES!” everyone was actually in a good mood and it all got set up in less than an hour.

My brother stayed pretty calm throughout the day and save for some time spent pacing through the house, he held everything together.

The ceremony was beautiful.

The reception was a blast. My family likes to party and this wedding was no exception. I did a Russian jig with my cousin’s new man, I watched my aunt and uncles have a dance off to Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean and I attempted to two-step with my cousin with minor success as neither of us really know how to lead.

The night closed out and I walked back through the vineyards to my parents’ house and the party continued on the back deck. I called it a night at 3:30am but I’m told that my dad, sister and cousin didn’t pack it in until 5.

I’m still recovering from that night. I think it will take another week to be rid of the aches and pains that come with dancing your butt off and and I think I need another few night of sleep before I feel “fully rested”.

So, what has everyone else been up to? Anyone joined any roller derbies?

Cuttin’ it up on the dance floor

This post is long overdue. Sometimes I feel like the internet moves too fast, as if this post is pointless because many of the events it’s centerd around happened 1-2 weeks ago. TWO WEEKS. That’s like a millennium in the internets. But, I’m going to write about it anyway because I was there and in reality, I could lie to you all and say it happened yesterday.

So, yesterday was my brother’s stag and doe. For those unaware, a stag and doe (aka: a Jack and Jill or a Buck and Doe) is a pre-wedding party. The goal of the party is to raise money to help the bride and groom pay for the wedding. I know that may sound crass but that’s how we roll in rural Ontario and no one’s going to get upset about a rockin’ party, no matter the reason behind it.

My bro’s stag and doe was no exception. Surrounded by family, friends and people I just met, we all drank and danced and fun was had by all – too much fun in my case. I don’t know why, but often when I’m with my family I forget my limits when it comes to alcohol. I think it may be the security in knowing that with my mom, my dad, my grandparents, 10 aunts, 10 uncles and 15 cousins surrounding me, someone will get me home in one piece.

And I did get home in one piece. But, not before I did my fair share of jello shots, danced with my grandpa, shimmied with my aunt, played electric guitar with my cousin and watched my friends do the same. My family loves to dance! We’re not necessarily good dancers (although my grandpa has some moves!) but we do it anyway. It’s one of my favourite things about my family; we’re always ready for a party.

I always feel so lucky that I get to let loose and have fun like this with my family. I feel lucky that I can bring friends along so they can experience my dad serving them drinks and my grandpa cutting a rug with them on the dance floor.

At the stag and doe I had two great friends join me, one of which came all the way from Switzerland.

One of my best friends spends most of the year in her native Switzerland where she is studying medicine. She’s in Canada for the summer and the first time I’ve seen her in MONTHS I was able to introduce her to my family and show her around my home town.

I was equally excited to show my other friend around. She’s one of the few people left that still lives in my university town (where I still live) and we’ve become much closer as we’ve watched the exodus of our friends move on to bigger and better things (for the record, we’re also doing bigger and better things. Those things just happen to be in our university town).

I’m always proud to bring friends home to where I grew up but it’s so much more fun when I can show them a true family party at the same time.

Do normal people party like this with their families? I’ve always thought that my family was awesome but that maybe not everyone has the same party mentality. Maybe it’s because we’re Irish?

Horsing around

As you may already be aware, I am currently taking applications to fill the position of ‘friend with pool’. Unfortunately, this search is not going very well.

However, last week I did fill a position that I didn’t even know that I was looking for. I now have a ‘friend with horse’.

This isn’t her horse. This horse came from here.

Now we all know that horses are not refreshing like a pool. They don’t provide relief from the 40 degree heat we’re expecting this week. They aren’t fun to lounge beside whilst sipping margaritas and they do not feature a pool boy named Julio.

But, horses do provide hours of entertainment. I went riding on M’s horse last week and had an absolute blast. I’ve always loved horses but never really had much of a chance to ride. Growing up I had another friend who had horses and I remember we used to ride her pony bareback and braid her other horse’s tail. In fact, that’s where I learned my mad braiding skills – standing behind a horse hoping it wasn’t about to poop.

According to M, I’m a “natural”. Now, she’s a really nice person so by “natural” she may  have meant “Go Claire! You didn’t fall off and break your face!” But, this in my opinion, is still a huge achievement.

She gave me a great lesson and I’m amazed at how closely a horse can listen to the rider’s body. I thought you would have to yank on the reigns to get the animal to move, but this horse will turn at just a move of your hips; a tiny squeeze will send you jogging along. Well, you’ll turn or jog along if that’s what the horse wants to do. This horse is a bit temperamental and only listened to me sometimes, when she felt like it.

But, then again, there may be a tiny chance that it had something to do with me rather than the horse, but until proven in a court of law, I’m blaming the horse.

I was also amazed at how hard it is to ride a horse. I used muscles that I never knew I possessed and I was sore for days afterward. I think I’ve finally fully recovered and I’m hoping to be invited out again.

I have a suspicion I’ll get that invite because I think M had as much fun as I did. The last ride M had with her horse before I had gone out with her they were working really hard preparing for a competition. When I got on the horse and tried to ride around M got a nice reminder that her horse really does love her. The horse would listen pretty well to me and we’d do a few laps of the field. But, if we got anywhere close to M, the horse would completely ignore my commands, slow down and trot on over to stand beside her. Not many people have rode her horse other than her and when you put the two of them together it’s pretty obvious they’re a perfect pair; they just fit. But, when you’re training hard for a competition, I think it’s easy to forget that you actually like the horse and the horse actually likes you. Luckily, I was able to remind M that her horse really does think she’s pretty awesome. Me, however, the horse isn’t too sure about yet.

Three’s company

I had an awesome opportunity to have some drinks with both my brother and my sister a week ago and despite the wine-induced illness the next day, it was definitely an awesome night.

I don’t get to see my big sis all that often as she has this wonderful life all set up on a wonderful island called Tobago in the Caribbean (why, of course you can hate her out of jealousy right now).

So, when she managed to finagle a 20 hour stop over in Toronto on her way to yet another exotic locale, my brother and I jumped all over that!

I picked her up in the airport where my dad happened to be flying in from Eastern Europe at the same time. He had a connecting flight to a smaller airport closer to home and a few hours to kill. My big sis and my dad and I enjoyed burgers and fries and some much needed catching up time in the airport.

Side note: What are the fricken odds that my dad and my sister would land in the same airport 15 minutes apart when coming from 2 separate continents! Hello serendipity! Too bad my mom couldn’t have been there too. She was stuck at home looking after the cat.

We bid farewell to our dad and carried on to the next family member on the agenda. We arrived at my brother’s apartment and my sister went straight for the fridge searching for a better bottle of wine to open than the crappy one I brought with me from those lame kiosks at the grocery store.

As she reached into the fridge mulling over which one to open the choice became glaringly obvious. Sitting in my brother’s fridge was this lovely bottle of wine:


Clearly, the decision was made (for the first bottle anyway, after that we were much less discriminating against my grocery store wine).

The thing is, even though we are all grown up and we all lead very ‘adult’ lives, we are still siblings and we still rival. The dynamics between my brother and sister and I are probably familiar to anyone who has 2 or more siblings.

My sister, the oldest, sets the tone for everyone. If she’s in a good mood, everyone is in a good mood. If, however, she’s not feeling too cheery, no one else is either. Or, at least, as my brother will surely confirm, no one will attempt to be cheery without being punished.

She is strong-willed and she doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything (she moved across the ocean to follow a dream in Trinidad and succeeded!). She excels at most things in life (aside from ignoring my brother’s taunts) and she is a hell of a good time.

We’re six years apart and so growing up we were never very close. When I was in Grade 8 she moved away to school and she hasn’t lived at home since. Yet, I find that as we get older, I feel much closer to her. Even though she’s a million miles away I know I can always pick up the phone or send her an email and get great advice. When she does visit, she makes sure to make her time here with family count. Plus she was an amazing host when I went to visit her at her home and I hope to go back soon.

My brother, the middle child, is the instigator. He is the one that enjoys being cheery when my sister is not. He has not lost his childhood ability to annoy you so thoroughly your teeth are clenched and your eyes have gone bloodshot only to reign it all back in and make you laugh. He’s fiercely protective of me and always gave my new boyfriends the ‘what for’. But, he sees good in everyone and has always been the guy to befriend the person sitting off on their own. He’s a strong extrovert and likes to be the center of attention always ready to bust out that gawd-awful dance move he’s been practicing since grade 6 (a hybrid of the wave, the robot and a seizure). He likes the feel of a small town and has never really endeavoured to stray far from home. He has big plans for life in our hometown and hopes to be able to move back soon. When he does, I know he’ll do great things there.

I, the youngest, display all the classic signs of growing up as the baby. My theme song as a child was a classic ditty from the Rolling Stones called ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and that song is probably still applicable in my life on a regular basis. Unfortunately (or fortunately), now I don’t have a chorus of 2 older siblings to sing it to me on a daily basis.

I try to walk the middle line between my 2 big siblings. I too, am an extrovert like my brother. But, I’m also strong-willed like my sister. Like my sister, I enjoy traveling. But, like my brother, I enjoy coming home almost more. I’m sure they would be able to list of a slew of less-than-stellar characteristics about me but this is my blog, not theirs (ha! finally I have the final say!).

The fact is, I look up to both of them. They have both accomplished a lot in their respective fields and they both are so different and yet so awesome. I’m super glad we made the best of those mere 20 hours together and I hope another opportunity like that comes again soon.

Hi There!

I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

I love chocolate but don't think cheese and cake belong together.

I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

If you want to chat, email me at clairesuzanne1 at gmail dot com.


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