The Daily EO: January 5th, 2014

For Christmas, Emile gave me a 1 kg Dairy Milk Chocolate bar.

I know – that is not real chocolate to chocolate connoisseurs, is it?  Real chocolate has to have limited sugar, no milk, etc.  I don’t particularly like “real chocolate”, in fact, often when I spend more money on expensive milk chocolate, I am disappointed in the lack of creaminess.  But, too cheap of chocolate – especially that stuff that turns white – makes my teeth ache.  (Actually, a lot makes my teeth ache these days, but that is more about an unconscious decision to delay my trip to the dentist due to dental anxiety).

Anyways, Emile and I – as always it seems we are – are trying to be more healthy.  We are heading to Costa Rica in March and would rather look fit and free of 1 kg chocolate in our belly (and other areas).

Nonetheless, this large chocolate bar remains in constant sight, but unopened.   But it is touched a lot, looked at and last night discovered to have a small opening where the chocolate can be smelled.  I – suffering from the last remnants of a cold – do not enjoy this as much as Emile does, but it nice to know in a couple of days time, it will be as wonderous as he seems to think it is.

But Emile and I both know the truth – the minute this chocolate bar is cracked, there is no turning back.  Neither of us are people who take one small piece, savour, then come back later to enjoy another small piece.  Well, I guess we are that kind of people, but the spaces between “come back later” are greatly diminished.   In our house, 1 kg of chocolate will last 48 hours – and that would working days where we are out of the house for a large portion of the day.

January 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Anticipation is killing us.



The Daily EO: May 11th, 2013

For many years, I have said “Emile is chocolate, I am caramel”.  No, I am not referring to our skin colours, but instead our preferences for desserts.  The chocolatey, the richer, – Emile is all over it.  Burnt caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, anything with that rich carmal taste is my preference.  And when it is mixed with heavy cream . . . sigh. . .  so good.  I haven’t exactly spurned chocolate – but the recent societal love affair with dark chocolate and all its varieties has never been something I enjoy or get really.

So, as of late, my urges for chocolate is mystifying to me.  Right now, I would rather a Lindt milk chocolate bar before I’d want a crème brûlée.  What is wrong with me?  Even Emile wondered tonight if there was something bothering me.




Okay. . .  sorry about that, just had to go and eat part of the chocolate bar in the kitchen.   I’m back.


May 11th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Chocolate – its really working for me right now.

The Daily EO: May 10th, 2013

Recently I attended an Operations Off Site Strategic Planning meeting.  This is a meeting where you go off site to plan your strategic direction – just in case you hadn’t figured that out from the name.  These meetings can be painful, are usually hot (hotels, please get your thermostat adjusted for goodness sakes) and usually involve a team building function of some sort.  Ours was not so bad – and I am not just saying that because my boss follows my blog.

During our meeting, our boss presented us each with headbands with a saying on it that she thought represented each of us on the team.  We had some laughs and posed for pictures.  Mine was to reflect my commitment to getting it done – and my challenge to the rest of my peers to move beyond obstacles.

Recently, I challenged myself to run/walk 130kms this month and I must tell you I am sorely off target.  As of late,  I am satisfied when I eat celery instead of chocolate.  Which is surprisingly often because I really like celery.  There is something about it so crunchy and yummy.  Anyways, off topic.

What I am trying to tell you is that I aimed high and I am missing the mark so far.   Phew.  I feel better already, confessing is always helpful.   But it is time to brush off excuses and get moving.   I promise myself I will pull myself together and get moving.  I am taking a couple of days off next week and I am going to run.  I am going to hike, I am going to eat celery despite the temptations of endless tapas.

May 10th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  I’m going to do it.  Though part of me is thinking “What’s with the daffodil?”?

Look at those eyes.  They mean it.
Look at those eyes. They mean it.

Cumulative May Total = 26.8 kms

The Daily EO: March 29th, 2013

Easter is early this year, and part of me wishes it was deeper into April – I suspect I am going to need a short week somewhere in there.  But nonetheless, we are not going to let this full day off work go to waste.

First Light
First Light
Old Family Recipe
Old Family Recipe
Gift from my mother-in-law
Gift from my mother-in-law


We all want to capture and keep Spring close
We all want to capture and keep Spring close


We also went for a run around the sea wall and Stanley Park and I did my first “10K” which is 1/2 walking and running, but the first time I ever did one at all.  So, my benchmark is 1 hour and 22 minutes, and I can target improvement each time I try it.  And I saw someone I knew sitting on a bench – I know people here!  And they saw me “being that girl” running through Stanley Park.

March 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Sun on my cheeks, clean air to power my lungs, love in my family and chocolate to eat.


The Daily EO: March 19, 2013

Yeah?  You want a fight?  Please, pick one with me, because I am beyond being civil, turning the other cheek.  (what does that mean?)

I am waiting for you to come into my office and just say the most benign thing and it only has to peek in the direction of annoying and I’ll be off.  And watch out – I can be pretty cutting when unhinged and untethered.

That is what happens to me when I don’t get enough sleep.  Less than 7, the creative, collaborative Susan is gone, and replaced with an enforcer.  Don’t mess with me OR my team.

GRRRRR!  **fangs**

March 19th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  But I can be tamed with caramel filled kisses.  (no, not from your mouth – keep that away from me!).

The Daily EO: April 29th, 2012

The morning finally arrived.  Our race.  Our chocolate race.  We were up at 8:00 to dress and have a good solid breakfast to power ourselves through 5K.  Instead of taking the shuttle, we drove to Port Dalhousie ourselves and found parking on a nearby street.  The day was one of those perfect days – sunny but crisp, cool but the potential for a wonderfully warm afternoon.  We were prepared – a new firm sports bra (for me – nice to have the girls strapped in tight) and new long running pants for Emile (for those turkey legs of his).  A good night rest, a solid breakfast, no alcohol, and a month+ of training.

Could we make our goals of a personal best?  Considering the chocolate pits stations on the course?  Hills? People?

Goals:  Emile:  34:00 Minutes     Susan:  38:00 Minutes  These goals are based on our best average times on an indoor track – no hills, no crowds, no chocolate and controlled climate.

The chocolate race course is a an out and back one meaning you run 2.5 kms and then loop back to finish where you started.  I have never run more than 1.5 kms without stopping, Emile has consistently been able to run 5 km only stopping for a water break each km.   We agreed we would not wait for each other (like I’d be doing any of the waiting!), but simply run the best race that we could.  As we were separated, I could not tell you what Emile’s strategy was, but mine was to just keep going.   I had a target to run from the start until about the 1.75 km mark where a very steep hill marked the entrance into Westcliffe park – and I made it.   At the 2.25 km mark, I had some Gatorade and a chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry on a stick.  Hello, yum!

At the 3 km mark, my old friend the stitch acted up, and I had to walk and stretch a bit, but I kept going as fast as I could.   At 3.5 km, I thought I was done, but I didn’t like other people passing me, so I found something to keep going,

And finally, seeing that finish line across the parking lot and Emile waiting for me, I managed to dig deep, ignore my shins, ignore my lungs, and ignore my stitch and ran as fast as I could.

I blog to you about many EOs – mundane, silly, ironic, funny, but today’s EO is one of the most emotional ones yet for me.  When I crossed that finish line, tears – and not from the wind – came to my eyes.  I am so proud of myself!  So proud that I ran 90% of the race.  So proud that I could turn such a difficult winter into an accomplishment.  We set our goals modestly, and trained for this race and we set fair goals based on previous results.

2 chocolate croissants, 1 chocolate milk, 4 truffles, 1 brownie and 1 chocolate martini (yeah, a real one) each awaited our celebration at the end of the race.  Why are more races not like this?

April 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:

Emile Results:
Time: 29:55 (personal best, and -4:05 from target)
Overall Finish:  58th (!!)
Category Finish: 6th (OMG!!!)

Susan Results:
Time:  34:25 (personal best and -3:35 from target)
Overall Finish:  126th
Category Finish:  32nd (!!)

We Run for Chocolate! (updated with official timing)

The Daily EO: April 26th, 2012

It’s race weekend!  Off we head to St. Catharines to participate in the annual Chocolate Race.  No ordinary race for us.  No sirree!  I mean, if you are going to run, then you should pick the shortest distance available that also serves chocolate at the water stations, don’t you think?  And then serves post race chocolate?    I’m proud of how far Emile has come in just one month.  He will be able to beat his personal best and run the entire race I am sure.  I’m going to be dragging a bit, but nonetheless, I can run about 500% further than I used to – so an accomplishment regardless if I can run the entire 5K.  We both have targets we are hoping to beat, so we’ll see how much chocolate drags our butts back!

About 12 or 15 years ago, my friend Mark and I had the same late 80s navy blue Honda Accord.  (though mine was a standard – even more fun to drive)  We both loved our cars – so well-built, so reliable and so easy to drive.  And with 4 doors, great for moving people and things.  I drove mine across the country and back, he drove his back and forth between British Columbia and Alberta.  Mine helped me move 8 times in 2 1/2 years while I earned my MBA at McMaster.  But Mark drove his further than I ever got.  So much in fact, that one day we were all treated to an amazing email.  And I was sure I kept it, but there is no record in my mail.  Nonetheless, I remember it well.  It was a picture of his odometer and trip meter:

Odometer: 333333.3
Trip Meter:  333.3

The text told us all that this “miraculous event” took place in some mall parking lot in Edmonton (can’t you see him driving around in circles, then yelling “Stop!” at just the right moment?).  And that car kept going beyond that.  Mine eventually died from electrical problems – the battery kept draining for reasons unknown to anyone.  Mark’s. . . I am not sure what happened to Mark’s, but I know it got him far, but only so far.

In my most recent Honda – a 2007 Honda Fit – I’ve only had cause to drive it across Ontario.  St. Catharines, Toronto and I swear that thing could drive from Midland to Huntsville by itself.  When Emile and I are together, we always drive the Fit to save the 1996 Honda Prelude SLR that is on its last wheels.  Today we celebrate a little milestone on our trip to St. Catharines, silly as it might be.  I like silly.

April 26th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I only wish I could have lined up the Trip Meter: