Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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2009 YEAR IN REVIEW

2009 started off with me deciding to take a daily photo of myself for the entire year. Well, it is the end of the year and I can say (more or less) I succeeded! I'm not sure what to do with these photos but it's been kinda fun. Each month I would compile them and post on Facebook and here on my blog.



Winter is not my favourite season, so January & February were spent trying to get through the snow :) (my way of saying nothing special stands out in my memory) But March was something to look forward to. Not only was it my birthday, but I also went to see Art Garfunkel in concert! Overall the concert was disappointing.... it's just not the same without his sidekick Paul. But, we were treated with a couple of numbers from his unusual son James. If you have a chance, look him up on youtube. That boy is odd.

Also in March, 48 of my coworkers were affected by a massive layoff at work. It was a devastating blow and caused much turmoil. These were people I had spent much of my last 10 years with and it was really upsetting. However, it was a working layoff meaning most of them would be employed until the end of August. As the roller coaster ride continued, most of these people had their layoff notice retracted and are still working here! What a ride.

In April my sister Jo-Anne was diagnosed with colon cancer. It seemed unreal to think that MY sister had cancer. It was just too close to home. It was an emotional journey as she waited for surgery and even after the tumour was removed and she was in hospital. However, I'm glad to report that she had a follow up colonoscopy and it was clear. She has made major changes to her diet and looks healthier than ever!

Because of Jo-Anne's diagnosis, each member of my family had to have a colonoscopy. Mine was in June. It wasn't something to look forward to but a relief to have over. I had 2 polyps removed and will need to have a follow up in the new year.



July was a busy month. Jason & I both took a week of vacation at the beginning of the month and went to see Tony Bennett and the Proclaimers (not together, of course. that would be a strange show!) We also fit in a trip to Canada's Wonderland and The Jersey Boys. It was a busy but fun week. Did I mention I got Tony Bennett's autograph?? On the Saturday night, my friend Sue had us over for a fire in the back yard and toast some marshmallows. It was fun, but on our way home a pick up truck slammed into my poor little beetle as it was stopped at a red light.



I have never been in a car accident before and the whole experience was overwhelming. From riding in the back of an ambulance covered in blood to seeing my car the next day with it's rear end all crunched in - it was scary. The next few weeks were spent filling out forms, going to appointments and looking for a car. I had no idea what I wanted as I was planning on driving my car for at least another couple of years. New? Used? VW? Ford? I settled on replacing my beetle with another beetle. After LOTS of searching, I bought an 03 silver Beetle. I wasn't sold on the colour right away and scoured Ontario for a super-cool orange one, but to no avail. My buddy Chris at Autobahn gave me a great deal, so I ended up with the more subdued version. I'm still going for massage therapy and chiropractic treatments but overall, I came out relatively unscathed. My broken nose healed nicely with only a slight bump right where my glasses sit. (so really, kind of handy!)

The end of August saw the end of my friend Murray working at /A\. I was very sad to see him go. Murray has been my confidante, sounding board, support network and general go-to guy. We still get together for regular lunch and coffee gossip sessions but it's just not the same. We miss ya Murray!



September brought the 2009 Film Festival. Wow...it was a good one. The first autograph I got was Matt Damon followed by George Clooney! It was a star-studded 4 days in Toronto but by the end I was totally exhausted!

Soon enough it was October, Thanksgiving and my favourite season: autumn. Although, it always passes too quickly. A few short weeks of sunny days, crisp nights and colourful trees turns into colder, greyer days, leaves slowly falling to reveal naked trees and the need to pull out the winter coat.

It was during the fall, I decided to go back to school! For several years, I have been contemplating what to do, as the uncertainty at work continues. After thinking about every career imaginable, it was my coworker Scrappy that suggested Corporate Communications and Public Relations. I'm pretty excited about it, as it seems to be a really good fit for me. I am starting with a couple of courses in January which I will transfer to a full time program in September. I hope to do 2 more in May - August and when it comes time to be working and schooling full time, I will have lessened my load. We'll see how this all pans out :)

And, without getting too personal, Jason & I have decided to part ways. It has been an emotional time as we both still care very much for each other. This was a very difficult decision, but we are slowly working through the process.

So, as 2009 draws to a close, I look forward to all that 2010 has in store.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


TIPTOES AND TUTUS

This year for Christmas, I wanted to give my Grammie an "experience" gift. We always enjoy spending time together and there really isn't much she needs at nearly 83 years of age. So, I checked out what was happening at the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia and the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia. I picked out a couple of performances as options and called Grammie to see which she would like to do. She said she had always wanted to see the Nutcracker. It was playing the Sunday before Christmas which I thought was perfect timing.

I arrived on Sunday afternoon and picked up my guest for the evening. We went to Swiss Chalet for the Festive Special dinner before the show. I must admit we were both disappointed in the food and service. In fact, by going to Swiss Chalet, I was breaking a boycott I have had for about a year. (more on that in another post) but that is where Grammie wanted to go, so I obliged. When we were finished our meal, I went to help Grammie up from the table. It was quite the sight as the floor seemed to be slippery/greasy and my little dress shoes were sliding all over the place as I tried to pull Grammie up from her seated position. We looked like we were dancing!!



When we arrived at the Imperial Theatre, we headed right for the front. Our seats were in the SECOND row! It was great. Soon enough we were standing for O Canada. During this song, I remembered a certain story about "standing on guard" and my Grammie. It made us both chuckle and I promise I am going to post about that soon. Anyway, the performance soon was underway.

I had never been to a ballet before and was mesmerized by the dancers' ability to get up on those tippy toes! Wow. At intermission, it was cute to see all the miniature ballerinas come to the front and dance around to the Beatles songs that were playing.

We finished off the evening with a drive down the river to look at the huge homes and their light displays. Very festive indeed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Several months ago, I got an email from my friend Laurie. She knows I love CBC radio and she does too. So, when she heard that Stuart McLean was bringing the Vinyl Cafe to London for Christmas, she wondered if I would like to go. I love listening on the way home from church on Sundays and if I miss it, I listen to the podcast. So, seeing the live show would be great. We got our tickets and anticipated how much fun we would have.

As the date drew closer, we made plans to go for dinner before the show and even a walk through Victoria Park with all the lights. It would be, after all, the week before Christmas.

The day before our date, Laurie's status on Facebook said she was home sick! Yikes! It was touch and go for a while, but in the end she drugged up with Benedryl and made her way to London. Poor thing! Fortunately, I had the forethought to pick up some Halls and a packet of Kleenex for her. The Halls were definitely a saving grace during the show!!

We had a deeeelicious dinner at Felini Koolini's and hustled over to Centennial Hall for a delightful evening of songs and stories of Dave & Morley. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we decided to make it an annual tradition! Let's just hope we don't sit behind the same woman next time that kept giving us the evil eye!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Why is it that every year I associate baking cookies with Christmas? It's not like I have fond childhood memories of doing this with my mom. In fact, whenever I wanted to bake sugar cookies, my Mom would say no as they were too much work. Note to self: Mother Knows Best!

Anyway, back in November, my friend Sarah and I decided that we would get in the festive spirit by making cookies and giving them to people. After some discussion, we decided that since the decorating part is the fun part, we would bake our cookies at home and then just get together to ice them. Excellent fore-thought.

Monday was the day of decorating so Sunday was spent rolling, cutting, baking, cooling - and repeat. I thought the dough would never end. Seriously! But, alas it came to an end and I was ready to fall into bed. Oh, but wait...I still needed to get "meringue powder" for my royal icing. I have never made royal icing before and had consulted my friend Claire for tips. Since there were only 3 ingredients and meringue powder was one of them.

I hit the grocery store around midnight and trolled the baking aisle looking for anything resembling what I was looking for. After asking 2 stock clerks, I resigned myself to leaving the store without it. Now I was ready to fall into bed.

The next morning I was able to locate the mysterious meringue powder at Michael's. I headed over to Sarah's house and we started mixing the icing. After several minutes of beating...the mixer started to slow down....and started to smell funny. We burned out the motor on her mixer! And guess what? The next day I burned out the motor on my mixer while making the same icing recipe. Seriously! By the time they were done I was so sick of cookies! And my arms were aching from all that piping!

However, when I took the VW cookies into my garage I knew my hard work was worth it. And, apparently I'm a sucker for punishment as Sue & I spent the day on Friday baking as well. We chose cookies that were less laborious so it wasn't quite as exhausting or frustrating.

Saturday, December 05, 2009



I can't believe it, but I've almost made it through the 2009 photo of the day project. It seemed like a fun idea on New Years Eve of 2008 but I wasn't confident I would actually make it to the end. I am now into the last month and am wondering what do to with all these photos. Hmmmm, if you have any cool ideas, let me know.

The guidelines I laid out for myself were that I could not do a "retake" and if I missed a day, I wouldn't sweat it. So, there are a few missing days (including about 2 weeks when I was without my computer) but I also have a nice progression of my black eye from my car crash. :)

So, any ideas?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas...



So, this year I decided not to put up a Christmas tree. My first year not putting one up since I got my own tree about 8 or 9 years ago. However, my livingroom is just not big enough and last year felt really cramped for the holiday season. So, I opted to put a few decorations up, sans tree.

I got this idea while in Stratford. The restaurant I had dinner in had large Christmas balls hanging over the bar and I thought it was a good idea. So...I got to work stringing mine up from the exposed pipes on my ceiling while watching the Grizwalds celebrate a family Christmas :)

I did help Mom put her tree up a couple of weeks ago, so I did get to experience untangling lights and hanging ornaments...just not at my house.

Next week is time to start baking cookies!