I've signed onto my blogger account to recount this past year's events much like I did last year. It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge that my blogging took a mighty dip last year. I have only 4 posts, and most of them involve my uterine situation. I'd say I will vow to blah blah blah...write more blah blah...but I just don't know if I can keep writing promises. Anyway, I can try. I have a project in mind for the coming the year and my blog will be a part of that project. But for now, it's time to go over the year that was 2017.
January 2017: It often feels like the years go by so fast, like everything happened feels like it just happened, which they do in some ways, but as I sit here in my living room thinking about the past year, I'm having trouble remembering January 2017 with a lot of clarity. At least the beginning of it anyway. The end of January was memorable because of an ice storm that hit our area of the country. It was an experience I hope to not repeat this year and not even necessarily for my sake. Losing power for three days wasn't terribly fun, but we had offerings from many generous friends to come over to their place and get warm or use their showers and so we survived it quite fine. It's the trees I worry about. There was so much damage that not all of it has been cleaned up. When you drive south, you can see the evidence of the storm in the still bent birch trees. There are homes around my neighbourhood that have trees, half broken, on the lawn. If we get another ice storm this year, well...I fear the compounded damage will be evident for years to come.
|Our One Tree: It's much smaller now.|
February 2017: My birthday month. This month is usually a difficult one as it's one of the coldest of the year. I took my birthday off as I usually do and when I returned to work the next day, my cubicle was all decked out in Skeletor. It was delightful. I was not a He-Man fan when I was younger. Granted I wasn't the target audience but I just didn't get it, or enjoy it. What a fool I was! A fool! But thanks to Netflix, Sean and I started watching He-Man and I discovered that the best character on the show, by a huge margin, is Skeletor. He's so into evil that it's more like he doesn't have a choice but to live out his life as an evil being. He simply can't help it. He was born this way. He doesn't know how to be nice. He's sure footed and confident when it comes to being evil and frankly, it's inspiring. One of the best Skeletor quotes that I've heard to date is, "He-man, have you never considered doing anything evil?" See? This guy, he's the best!
To keep me inspired, I hung up a few pictures of him in my cubicle, much to the amusement of some of my team mates and so for my birthday, they added about 30 more Skeletor pictures to my area. I was still finding pictures of him on my desk things 10 months later.
|Damn right I do!|
So yes, when I think of February I think of Skeletor.
March 2017: Spring Break! Well, not really. The kids get a break the second week in March, at least a week before technical spring. (I say technical spring because the date on the calendar that announces, "Hey! Hey! Spring is here!" is not at all accurate for this part of the country. It's a lie! A lie I say!) And, for a break away from it all, Sorcha and I went to PEI. It's not far and it's pretty and it was REALLY cold. However, it was lovely. My bear is growing up so fast and it won't be long before she's out on her own. I truly treasure all the time we spend together.
|I do NOT own this album.|
In all seriousness, we did have a nice time. So when I think of March, I think of Sorcha, and Neil Diamond.
April 2017: This month...well, Sean was in the play, "Peter Mitchell, Canada's Forgotten Father". It was a very good play about New Brunswick's role in Confederation. It was written by local writer and performer Shawn McCarthy in honour of Canada's 150 year anniversary. Originally, I too was in, but unfortunately had to back out of it due to health reasons. (see 3/4 of my 2016 posts for more details)
|Sean (L), Tilley (R)|
I'm sure there were was more memories from this month, but honestly, I'm having trouble recalling April.
So, when I think about April, the top memory is "The Tilley Breezers".
May 2017: So...this will be short. When I think of May, I think, Hysterectomy. End of passage.
June 2017: Sorcha finished up grade 10 and did very well on her exams. Sean got to reprise The Tilley Breezers again, but this time not in Miramichi, but on the Playhouse stage in Fredericton. I spent a lot time resting and recovering from my surgery. It was quite a nice month, really...even with the recovering. I did very little and when I did things, I did them very slowly. Also, I wrote a couple songs that I am particularly proud of.
July 2017: I...somewhat reluctantly, returned to work. It was rough. So...positive note? I felt great. It was wonderful no longer being at the mercy of my uterus.
AND, this is the month that I became completely obsessed with My Chemical Romance.
|Welcome to the Black Parade|
|Coming soon to Netflix!|
So, when I think of July, I think of My Chemical Romance, Comics, and Gerard Way...sorry honey.
August 2017: This month was the beginning of a busy travel season for the Rules.
|Family hanging out with Sir John A.|
|Large Cindy with Fiddle|
We also visited Fortress Louisbourg. It's pretty cool and really interesting but, after I while I got historical buildinged out and so took advantage of the historical benches while Sorcha and Sean took a look at more historical houses. I also enjoyed sightings of historical geese and historical chickens.
So, when I think of August, I think East Coast Road Trip.
September 2017: and the start of grade 11. Sorcha began her second to last year of high school. Gulp. Too fast...too fast.
And we went on family trip number two to Hal-Con; Halifax's awesome version of Comic Con. This is the event that we attempted to go to 4 years previous, but due to over selling of weekend passes, we actually never made it in as the fire chief kicked everyone out. This time we successfully made it in and had a blast! Sorcha had worked on her cosplay outfits all summer and I, for a few weeks. We each had 3 outfits, all very different. Sorcha dressed up as a cartoon character called Star, a character named Metaton from a video game, and Gerard Way (Ya! She likes him too! It's not just me!) as his Danger Days character, Party Poison. She received many enthusiastic responses and picture requests.
As for myself, I picked a theme for my cosplay and the theme was "Characters with Glasses". I really need my glasses to, you know, see and so picked 3 characters who sport specs. Yes, I could have gone as anyone and put my glasses on, but it just didn't feel right.
|Dalek meets Grunkle Stan|
|Jim and Mitch.|
It was a great weekend. We went to panels, and got to meet Bobby (Jim Beaver) from Supernatural and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) from X-Files / Samuel from Supernatural.
We also met some really inspiring writers like Ryan North (writes Squirrel Girl and more) and Conor McCreery (writes Kill Shakespeare and more) and artists like Gerhard (artist for Cerebus the Aardvark and more ) and John Kovalic (illustrator for Apples to Apples and many Muchkin games and more) and we caught up with friends we hadn't seen for a while. It was a really fun weekend and we hope to go in 2018 too!
And not long after we returned from Hal-Con, Sean and I were off to Stratford, Ontario, but I'll talk about that more in my October rememberings.
So, when I think of September, I think of Hal-Con.
October 2017: This month was full of ups and downs. A very big up is that Sean and I celebrated our 20th anniversary on October 3rd.
|Festival Theatre, Stratford, ON.|
|Celebrating 20 years in Style.|
We ate at some lovely restaurants, went to Niagara Falls on our anniversary, visited with family, and met some really interesting people along the way. It was a beautiful way to celebrate our 20 years, so far, together.
However, as happens in life, even when things are at their best, something tragic can happen right in the middle of it. While we were away, a very dear friend of ours, Lloyd Cameron died. It was awful. He was a wonderful man who loved art, travel, and wine, his family and friends, and being a life long educator. His passing has left a huge hole in our community. Not being from this part of Canada, I did not have the privilege of having Lloyd as a teacher in high school, but I was fortunate enough to work with him on 4 plays since 2014. I will miss working with him and I will miss his energy and enthusiasm for theatre. He brought out the best in people, made them raise their bars a little higher than they thought possible, and he was also encouraging even at times when you felt at your worst.
|A Lantern for Lloyd.|
At Lloyd's funeral Reverend Charlene asked us to take a moment to think about our favourite moment with Lloyd. I didn't have to think that hard. My mind immediately went to our second night of performing "Waiting for the Parade" back in November 2016. My character, Janet, had to play the opening of "God Save the King" (it took place in WWII so yes, it was King) and just as I began my brain suddenly reminded me that 200 people, including my parents, were watching me play the piano (something I never did for anyone) and I screwed up. The chords came out wrong. My hands wouldn't stop shaking. It was very messy. I turned to the audience and said, in character, "You know, we're going to try that again". I put my hands back on the piano and played a few more chords that didn't belong to the song I was trying to play and decided screw it, let's get on with my monologue. I got up an announced, "Well, that was supposed to be..." and went from there.
|Taken at the Shaw Festival.|
That is my favourite personal memory of Lloyd because it shows the kind of man he was. He wasn't about perfection. He honestly was about doing your best or, when you need to, making the best of perhaps a bad situation because that, in a nutshell, is life.
|Fall Out Boy Concert with Sorcha.|
So, as hard as this month was, when I think of October, I think of life: the beautiful and the tragic.
November and December 2017: I'll wrap these last 2 months up quickly. They were full of ups and some very low downs for many reasons. However, the highlights include:
- Our Words on Water Event at the Rodd, honouring many local veterans.
- Eyes on the Steeple: A really fun play I was involved in to help raise money to get the steeple off lawn of St. Patrick's church in Nelson, NB and back onto the church.
- Completing the November National Writing Month where I finally took the time to write about our 2015 trip to London, UK.
- Finally getting the change I desperately needed at my job.
- Being involved in a tribute to Lloyd.
- Celebrating the holidays with family and friends.
- Finding real joy in a very up and down year.
|Happy New Year!|
So, when I think of November and December, I think about happiness.
And when I think about 2017, I think about how grateful I am for all that I have and all that I am able to do.
My best to you all.
And here's to 2018.