Suzy Snapper
Saturday, January 28, 2006
And so it begins....
The beginning of new relationship is always full of extremes. It takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you see everything in a slightly different view.

I had forgotten the butterflies and the intoxicating adrenalin rush that accompanies each movement, each thought, each and every moment. I had also forgotten that the with every butterfly and every surge of adrenalin, there is a moment that you hang off the edge of a cliff with intrepidation that this could not be actually happening, and if it is, it may lead to danger.

My romantic life has been stifled over the years. I've learned through some painful lessons not to rely on others actions for my own happiness. I've accepted being on my own to a point that letting anyone come close is a challenge. Not friendship, mind you, as I have absolultely fantastic friends that I would trust to the ends of the earth but I find it difficult to imagine myself as a true couple.

Hence, my romantic entanglements during this Millenium have been from outside of my locality, or even the hemisphere for that matter. England, South Africa and the US. I could control the reaction. I had someone who would call me and for a few minutes on the phone, or through email, I could pretend I had someone in my life. But it didn't involve me changing my lifestyle, or really even being all that close. It was like playing dress-up. I'd hang up the phone, and while I would still think about that person, I'd go on with my own life and got very adapt at being me.

Now I find myself at the edge of a new adventure. Not long distance, but the polar opposite. He sits 15 feet away from my desk Monday to Friday. For the past 8 months, we have played this game of pretending that there was mere friendship between us. I would tell myself I couldn't get involved with a coworker. He would tell himself that he wasn't relationship material.

At the Christmas party, we realized there was more. Since December 9, we spent every extra moment with each other or talking on the phone. As friends, mind you. Nothing more. We spoke of our past failures, our past loves. We became closer and closer without realizing it. Then one night, we found ourselves in a hotel room after the jazz clubs closed sitting on opposite beds and realizing we had become more intimate emotionally than we ever expected.

At that point, the elastic band snapped. We can't, we told each other. We can't risk our friendship. We can't be any more than friends. Yet, we both knew we were fooling each other. He wanted me to meet his family, and when I did last weekend, not only did I feel a strong connection, the littlest niece called me "Auntie", which freaked everyone out.

The elastic band pulled tighter. More concern that we had to cool it and go back to our friendship, or less. We both were getting terrified. We were both analyzing everything. We avoided each other as much as possible all week.

Then the elastic band snapped, and flipped back. Sometimes the closest friendships are the best starts. We crossed into new territory Thursday, and I don't walk alone anymore. We have decided to try this together, one step at a time. He has my head swimming, and apparently the feeling is mutual. The coworker part is intimidating, but with a level of professionalism, we can work through it.

"Why couldn't you have been some ditzy temp that didn't understand my jokes, damn you?", he laughed.

Just typing this post gets my head racing forward to the thought of hurt and a little demon says "You've jinxed it". I hope I'm wrong. I cannot in recent memory remember being quite as happy as I am right at this very moment.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Robbie Burns Day
Well, I didn't make it out for haggis today, nor to any celebrations of the kind, but did remember the honour of the day.

My Dad's family is Scottish, from the Portobello side of Edinburgh. Although my Grandma passed away when I was just a wee 6, I have fond memories of her teaching me to do the Highland Fling and reminding me never to forget my Scottish side. My parents and my Aunt would take us to the Scottish Cultural Center in Vancouver each January 25 for a spot of haggis and some poetry and music. The haggis I have yet to forget the taste, and quite honestly could live without ever having again, but the rest I truly enjoyed.

This year, my cousins from California had intended to make the trip up here to honour the tradition we left in our childhood...but as with all good intentions, here the day is and it would seem they are not. And since I'm not able to walk too far, I wasn't able to join friends tonight either.

So instead I leave you with a short poem or two of the Scottish master:

remember the whisky for gravey

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace worthy
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich! -steaming

Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve, Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 'Bethanket!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned, Like taps o' thrissle. tops/thistle

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o'fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

An’ ‘tis aft followed by the ‘Selkirk Grace’:

Some hae meat wha’ canna eat,
An’ some hae nane wha’ want it.
But we hae meat,
An’ we can eat,
Sa’ let the Laird be thankit.
RIP Nitro

A sad story today from the Vancouver Police canine squad. One of their own, Nitro, was killed Monday night in the line of duty.

The 8 year old German Shephard was attempting to apprehend car thieves when one tried to jump on a train. Nitro pursued him, and was able to take him off the moving train but lost his own footing and slid under the wheels. He was killed right in front of his partner.

The bond between an officer and his dog is one of the strongest. Even beyond that of an owner and a pet, they are trained to trust each other with their lives. They spend countless hours together...not just on the job, but also at home as often here the K9 partner lives with his officer's family.

That was the case for my brother's dogs when he was on the K9 unit. He was fortunate to have been partnered with two dogs which we watched him train from young pups. The preferred training for police dogs in this area is the Schutzhund-style, also known as the Hold-And-Bark method. Watching a well trained dog in action is an amazing display and often has left me in awe of the relationship between animal and handler. One of my brother's dogs was placed 3rd in Canada at his peak in Obedience and Tracking. Sadly, he passed away of colon cancer soon after and we mourned his loss as deeply as we would have a human family member.

In Schutzhund, the commands are chiefly given in German. There is one particular command to call a dog from a full run to a lay-down position. Not easy given that the situation may be volatile when the command is given during active duty. However, one word from his handler, a police dog will drop immediately to the ground.

We spent many a weekend, or evening, watching my brother train both his dogs. They became extensions of his arms and of his voice. Both dogs he was fortunate to spend time with also became part of our family as well and when they were off-duty, they were loveable family pets. But put on a uniform and enter the car, they were a different animal. Trained to perceive the most subtle situation, they would rarely take their eyes off the road and the environment around them.

When I heard of Nitro's passing today, it brought back all the memories of losing both my brother's dogs. Nitro was 8 years old and only months away from much deserved retirement. He'd earned many accolades over the years and most recently, was part of an auto theft ad campaign.

My heart goes out to Nitro's handler and his family tonight as they come to grips with such a tragic end.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Today is Election Day in Canada. For the first time in memory, I have yet to come across even one person who plans not to vote.

It has been a tumultuous ride since the last election 18 months ago. A quick peak at NealeNews gives a good indicator at how bitter things have gotten. The minority government has degraded into a spectacle that questions if we can even call ourselves a civilized country.

Everyone has an opinion, and as with any political conversation, can quickly become a spirited debate. If nothing else, this whole pathetic scandal-ridden government has done wonders for changing a largely apathetic crowd to an opinionated one.

Yesterday, my phone rang around 3pm. When I picked up the phone, there was dead silence for about 5 seconds. Just as I was about to hang up, a recorded voice started speaking. 'This is a message from your Liberal Candidate', it began. Intrigued, I listened. It continued on in a monotone voice, and ended with 'If you wish to support, please press 1.' If she can't even spend the time to have a human voice call constituents, and leave nothing more than an intrusive telemarketer-style message, I can only imagine what she would be like as an elected representative. Earlier in her campaign, her own campaign manager quit likening the situation to 'the Titanic'.

I will vote for my local rep, who I believe in wholeheartedly. He is Conservative, but above that, he has stood by his community both personally and professionally. For the past 13 years of service as an MP, he has listened to the local people and worked to improve things for them. In 1996, he was even arrested for standing up for Fisherman's rights.

It's an exciting day in Canada. There's a feeling that we might actually be able to do some good, and maybe start Canada on a positive path of change.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Tragic Loss
One of the fixtures of living where I do is the rural ditches that allow the water to flow back into the river from our island. The land here is 3' under sea level and the ditches are an integral part of the land.

When I was growing up, we all had 'waterfront' property with ditches forming a sort of 'fence' at the end of our yards. It was where we spent a lot of our time. As little ones, sitting at the edge trying to catch frogs, tadpoles, fish and even the odd salamander.

We learned to respect them too. They were full of sludge water and if you ever fell in, the mere stench of you squishing through your socks and shoes on the way home would have your mother outside with the hose before you even opened the gate. When we learned to drive, we were told over and over again that we needed to be extra careful around the big ones. 'You don't get a second chance if you go in there', my Dad would warn.

As the town grew into a city, money was spent to erradicate the ditches and put in proper piping to 'beautify' the town. No more 'Ditchmond' as it was once called. But some of the outer areas still have big, canal-like trenches. Mostly in the farmlands and usually in low traffic areas.

Now, the young kids today don't really seem to have the same cautiousness around them. Of course, at the danger of painting all kids with the same brush, it just seems that things have changed so much. When I was a teenager, at least one ir two new drivers in high school would take the corner too fast and end up in the ditch. If they were lucky, they'd end up with parasitic pneumonia and if not, well, they would be remembered fondly.

On Sunday night, about a block away from my work, three young kids - a 19 year old boy and two girls aged 17 and 20, lost control and plunged into the deep canal, upside down. They perished. Because of the quiet rural area it occured in, there were no witnesses and it was only much later, when someone came across tire tracks and realized what had occured. Much too late, and now 3 families have lost their loved ones too soon.

There has been much talk about the young 19 year old man driving without an unrestricted license. We have a graduated driver's license program here. When one has the 'N' (new driver) status, they must not drive with more than one non-family member in car, unless that person is over 25 and has a valid driver's license themselves. It's a red herring, as far as I am concerned.

This young man made a grave mistake, one that all of us have probably made over and over again. He was driving maybe a little too fast, took a corner a little too quickly - just as pretty much everyone has done at one time or another, but for him, it cost him his life and that of his friends. It wouldn't have been quick. There would have been an absoutely terrifying time when they realized they were trapped and had no way of getting out.

The local newspaper has a touching opinion piece about it here, which reads in part:

How much over the limit was he driving? Was alcohol involved? Have there been other offenses? Were the road signs clearly visible? Was rain a factor?

And, for the families, it's questions like: Why didn't I suggest she stay home that night? Why did he have to take that route? Why didn't I say I love her before she left?

But while we torture ourselves with imponderables, perhaps the only thing that can be said is accidents happen and our hearts are breaking. Often in cases like this we look for someone or something to blame. But if we're honest we'll admit, it can happen to any family.

The last couple of days there has been a growing roadside memorial. As I drive by on my way to and from work, and at lunch, I see groups of people in varying degrees of devastation sitting at the edge of the ditch. My heart aches for them. A tough lesson to learn so early in life.

Yesterday, though, I was appalled at the news coverage. A man from one of our local news channels walked right in front of my car and I had to slam on the brakes. He had eyed a girl - who I later realized was the sister of the deceased on verge of a collapse and wanted to film it. Absolutely sickened me. Why does someone's private grief need to be intruded on? Will it make me watch the news more to see someone's vivid pain? No...just the opposite. I know what it's like to lose a close loved one, and to have someone belittle it by trespassing on that moment is beyond disgusting.

Tell me about the accident. Tell me about the wonderful people these were. Tell me about their accomplishments. But don't show me their destroyed family. I don't need to see that to feel grief and imagine the loss these people are going through. I guess it's not surprising if I think about it. It just was an eye opener to see it actually being played out in front of me.

In any case, the facts remain. Three young lives gone before they even started. And many more who will never be the same because of it.
Liquified Tree
On Monday night, I started feeling a little tickle in my throat. Things quickly progressed and I am now coughing and hacking...and as of this morning, have no voice at all. Not an easy thing when most of my day is spent negotiating and placing orders.

Unfortunately, only two of us in the whole office have this cold, and you can bet who the other person is. Yes, the comments are flying fast and furious.

He talked me into trying the Canadian standby, Buckley's DM. For those that don't know what that is, it's not just cough syrup but basically liquified tree. A lot of people swear by it and the company tagline is 'It tastes awful but it works'.

I was very hesitant but seeing as he seemed to shake it and is back bouncing off walls this morning, I figured what could it hurt.

I was wrong. It is pure evil in a plastic container. The smell is reminiscent of Pinesol. One swig from the bottle and a shudder passes through your spine.

Two minutes after that, I lost my voice completely. Now I can only squeak, much to the amusement of everyone else in the office.
Monday, January 16, 2006
The weekend
Well, if there's one thing I found out this weekend, I need to get out more and have a good time. A blast was had and then some. I feel rejuvenated.

First off, the Steelers won. While I know it was a hard loss for Teresa, my brother was over the moon. A true fan himself for nearly 20 years, I have rarely seen him that excited. To be honest, I do believe the Colts should have won. They have played more consistently throughout, but I guess that's what makes the playoffs so exciting. Anything can happen.

Updates from the health side of things. My Mom is off the nebulizer now. It was 4 weeks steroid treatment this time, but she is sounding good again. And complaining about my housekeeping habits, so that's a good sign she's getting back into things.

My cousin is home on the ventilator, with no change. They will be inserting a feeding tube this week to ease that issue. Things seem to be a status-quo at the moment, and well, sometimes that's not a bad thing.

As for me, I went out with some work friends on the weekend. We met at a local pub for a hockey fundraiser. There were 6 of us there - a fun group that I'm becoming quite close with. There was a raffle draw - 50/50 style to raise money and I won. $100! Can't complain there....

But, that meant a round of drinks (or ahem, shooters) for the group. And then I was feeling a bit generous, so there were two more. The night seemed to fly by and suddenly, it was 11pm and the rest of the group wanted to go home.

However, I was in no condition to drive nor was a certain coworker of mine. He and I decided to hop on the Skytrain downtown and hit a couple jazz bars. Fantastic music and I didn't want it to end.

Suddenly, it was 2am and the place was closing. We were now downtown, with no method of getting back to our cars 40 minutes away. A cab would be $80. I felt like a teenager again - it's been an extremely long time since I just went with the flow and not concerned myself with these little details.

Suffice to say, when I got home at 9am, I had a big smile on my face. But not for the reasons you may think. Nothing happened in that regard. We only sat and talked, but that talk moved me. We have such similar philosophies and paths taken.

And suddenly, I don't feel so alone in this world anymore.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
More from the old shoeboxes....

Cruise with family to celebrate brother's 25th wedding anniversary - $1000
Ballgown for the formal night dinner - $300
New diamond necklace for the event - $100

Having your brother make a crude comment just as the photographer snaps the pic - PRICELESS!!!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I restarted my quest this week in searching my Grandad's World War I records. Recently, when cleaning out some old files, I found some notes made during a conversation with my Uncle - my Mom's eldest brother.

In it, he named not only the branches of service my Grandad was with, but even a squadron number. I had long forgotten that conversation, and must have been no more than 17 when it occured. Long before internet, and at the time, I had few means of research available to me.

Of course, now there are loads of information and this week I've been tracing what I could and finding out a very interesting pattern. Looks like Grandad was in Gallipoli and Ypres. Playing with the timelines a bit, it looks like his war injury from a bayonet likely occured in the 3rd battle of Ypres.

In with all these notes, though, was a true gem. An old picture taken off a ship - which simply states 'Searchlight display - Mediterannean. 1917.'

He was with the Royal Irish Fusiliers and later, the Royal Flying Corp. Imagine flying in those days - when flight was still in it's infancy!

It has reignited my interest in research to say the least.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Bear with me
I am trying to get this new blog set up, with a new skin and with my old posts from the previous site moved over. It's not going as easily as I had hoped so it will take a few days.

Bear with next week, I hope to be fully back in action.

Recently, I've begun collecting old magazines from the 1930's and 40's. Mostly Reader's Digests, they offer a unique insight into society and thoughts in those days. Some are disturbingly similar to the problems we face today, but some are so antiquated, it's laughable.

From the May 1938 edition of Reader's Digest:

The January Reader's Digest quoted a statement that the air traveler should fill his fountain pen only half full, to avoid expansion and leakage of ink at at higher altitudes. Various authorities promptly pointed out that leakage is cuased not by expansion of the ink, but by expansion of the air in the pen which forces the ink out. They therefor advise plane passengers to fill the pen full, empty it entirely, or better yet, 'to leave it at home'.

Nowadays, pens are the least we have to worry about!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Slipping my toe in the water
Is this thing on?

Slowly checking the temperature of the water. Yup, it feels ok.....

Welcome to my new world. A new year, and a new start. I have been feeling my old blog was getting bogged down with a few dark threads. People I didn't feel comfortable knowing about it, did and recently used an innocent comment to hurt someone I love.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Just before that, an ex-boyfriend found my site and also found it great fodder for teasing me. It definitely had an uncomfortable feel.

I love blogging. I have met some absolutely wonderful people and truly enjoy the environment, but at the same time, I need to feel confident about it. Lately, I have been censoring myself more and more. It was subtle at first, but became tighter and tighter until I no longer was enjoying myself.

So, welcome, my friends. I hope you'll enjoy my fresh start.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Serenity Prayer
You just know it's going to be a good week when the mere look of the insidious smile of Ronald McDonald on your orange juice cup annoys you.

These are the days that I recite the serenity prayer. I have not slept more than 2 hours since Friday. Mostly because my knee has decided sleeping is for wusses. 6 to 8 codeine pills a day, just to keep me from babbling incoherently and rocking in a corner. The surgery will now be February 9, rather than the initial date of February 7. So I will be travelling only 8 days post-op. The surgeon has ok'd the travel, considering I will still have another week of rest before returning to work. I will be attempting to start physical therapy today, if can to try and calm some of this discomfort!

My internet connection is down at home. Apparently after 3 full years of well-used service, my wireless router has passed away. And so far, the 4 stores I hobbled to are out of stock after some very frenzied boxing week specials. I've put an order in on-line but it will take a while. I feel like my arm has been chewed off, not having access at home right now. I have a desktop computer but it was never set up for being online and I'm still debating whether I should set it up that way, or wait until my wireless arrives.

Now, family stuff. My cousin(in-law) is home now on a ventilator. The government has approved 4 hours a day with a homecare nurse. While this is good, considering how hard it is get any help, it is still very difficult for them. His wife - my true cousin - has cancer and is dealing with the effects of chemotherapy. Her mom - my mom's sister - is 82 and fell last week and fractured her hip but she is still going over there up to 6 times a day to take care of them. It'll be tough for a while.

Meanwhile, my Mom's best friend fell last Thursday and shattered her hip. When they got her into emergency, she was found to have a tumour in her lung the size of a grapefruit. There was nothing that could be done, so she has been moved to palliative care and is being sedated.

I just remind myself that these are the days that build character. Just need to try not to be a cartoon character!
Friday, January 06, 2006
The Date Is Set
The last couple days have been a blur. For some reason, my internet connection at home has blown some sort of fuse and is not working. You really don't notice how much you need something until it's gone.

I owe email and feel like I'm half disconnected at the moment. Work has been more than a little hectic since everyone returned this week and so, I don't have much time here either.

Anyhoo...the good news is I have a date for surgery. February 9 I will undergo the meniscus and MCL repair.

The surgeon did a reassessment yesterday and was concerned enough that he wanted to do the surgery immediately. Unfortunately, they couldn't get a time in the operating room until the 9th. Because I am practically immobile, my knee is getting weaker daily and the longer it will take for recovery.

Work was none too pleased with my planned absence, but I don't have a choice. It's two weeks off. No option. At least we have a few weeks to get things in order.

This means though that I will have to miss a concert that I had been much anticipating. Great Big Sea. They were playing in Vancouver on February 9. I am beyond disappointed.

Vegas is February 17. I should still be able to go, but it will mean probably being a little careful. No crazy dancefloor moves here! But it is 8 days the date and I really need this vacation. Plus, I'll be meeting Teresa in the 3D world for the first time. As well as catching up with a group of friends I haven't seen since 1999. I will make it work.

In other news, my cousin Rick has taken a turn for the worse. He has ALS - more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It's been about 2 years since his diagnoses. In the last month, he has ceased being able to swallow on his own, and now the night before last, the breathing went. He has now been fitted with a breathing apparatus, and is back at home now - his wish. At this point, I just hope he passes peacefully soon. There is nothing more that can be done and while I will miss him greatly, it is hard to see him struggling so much and knowing that it will not improve.

With that, I need to get back to work here before the floodgates open again. Hopefully I can restore internet connection at home soon and do some proper posting then.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
One Year Today
Our little man is one year old today.

Was it really just one year ago he looked like this?

Monday, January 02, 2006
Backward and Forward
I wasn't going to do a retrospective of 2005, let alone a resolution list for 2006 but have been drawn back to the thought time and time again today. There's something sort of soothing or comforting in writing it all down and having it saved for prosperity.

2005 was a year of extreme highs and lows. Some memories will stay with me forever, and some I will quite happily block out and try never to remember again. One that stays constant though is the knowledge that just a small thing such as blogging has opened up my life to some absolutely wonderful people. People who I can truly call friends and I am richer for the experience.

Who would have thought a year ago I'd be meeting Teresa in Vegas in February? Now, I'm just counting the days!

Looking back....

January - We welcomed Alexander James into our life on January 3, when my niece gave birth to her son. He has been a constant joy and I have found myself in awe of him many times. I was diagnosed with a blocked kidney, giving explanation to many health issues I'd been experiencing. And of course, Thomas* arrived in Iraq for his deployment.

February - I was laid off after 10 years at my job on Groundhog Day and had surgery to correct the blocked duct 4 days later. Most of the month was spent in convalescence and just detoxing in general. Hayley turned 3. Reunited with an old friend that I hadn't spoken with in years. She returned to my life as if she'd never left and I am glad.

March - My brother, a 25 year veteran police officer, had a heart attack on the 16th. It was a huge wakeup call to us all to take every moment for the gift that it is. He recovered, but is now driving a desk instead of a patrol car.

April - I took a 6 month temp job as a steel buyer on a whim because I was getting bored at home while I tried to figure out what I was going to do when I grew up. The job's still going. My best friend and her boyfriend got engaged.

May - My niece Melissa was married in a beautiful ceremony at a local golf course. Spent 48 hours not knowing Thomas' whereabouts when his unit suffered a casualty. It gave me a exquisitely painful insight that will never leave me.

June - Tried golfing for the first time and tore my meniscus. Found out first hand how sad our medical system is when you aren't considered critical. Am still awaiting surgery 7 months later. My Mom turned 70 and became very ill the next day when her emphysema decided to up it a notch. It changed all our lives and she is now dependant on oxygen treatments.

July - My friend Teresa came for a visit from San Francisco to spend Canada Day. We had fantabulous times, including whale watching, a pub crawl and Bard on The Beach. Celebrated one year of my involvment with Thomas. Was referred to a surgeon for my knee - the appointment to be in December! In the world news, it was London's turn for sorrow and Chuck Cadman, an amazing Canadian politian passed away.

August - Found out the person I thought Thomas was didn't exist. Upon counselling him through his redeployment decision, I found out he was still very much married. Obviously, it was not one of the highlights of my life and all I can say is that I have learned much. And on the positive side, I can take away my newfound appreciation for supporting the military. I joined Angels N Camoflauge to redirect my support to a more useful situation.

September -Began taking my writing and photography courses, and found it opened up a door inside me that made me feel whole. I haven't looked back. I had my birthday and found myself looking into a mirror and liking what was staring back.

October - Ended up with major complications to a root canal done in August, including a bone infection. It not only cost me a lot financially, but also job wise as they were not pleased with my work absences. I complained and won compensation.

November -I completed my goal of 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo. The story is left unfinished but still has some life in it. Completing this got me over the word fright I had been experiencing and I now know it's only me that stands in the way of making my writing dreams happen. Found out that Molly has hip dysplasia. Had my blog-iversary.

December - Finally saw the surgeon on December 6, after a nearly 6 month wait. Was diagnosed with a bad meniscus tear and signed up for surgery to occur within the next 10 weeks. Unfortunately fell again on December 20, further tearing the meniscus and also now the MCL. I am now unable to walk without crutches. Every step I take now is carefully measured in my mind before I take it. Is it worth the discomfort or not? Fingers crossed surgery can come sooner rather than later. Started to explore the possibilities of dating again, with some major trepidation. It's hard to take a risk when you remember a little too easily what that can cause. Thomas, over the past few days, has chosen to try to reconcile with me - assuring me that the divorce will proceed upon his return. I have chosen to decline and have no intention of looking back.

*I have always referred to Thomas as Todd in my blog up until today. This was because I felt I needed to somehow protect him. It's a small world, and I just wasn't comfortable. But in doing so, I always felt odd. Therefore, I will no longer do that. Make up pseudonyms for my real life. Pseudonyms are fine in fiction, but not here.

If I've learned one thing, it's to keep positive as much as possible. A lot more can be accomplished that way, but some days it's not been an easy thing to do. I have learned to rely on myself a lot more as well and have found my independant streak has become extremely strong. To the point I need to be conscious of it, lest I not open myself to new opportunities.

While I don't have true resolutions, some of the things I do want to work on this year are:

  • continuing and increasing my blog friendships. I lurk more than I should and I need to stop that and let people know I enjoy what they do.
  • Write more. Query magazines. Get more involved in writing forums and writing workshops.
  • Photography. Learn enough to have prints of a quality I could give as gifts or ones that not just I am proud of, but invoke feelings in others.
  • Let myself open up for the possibility of a new relationship. Try not to let the burns of the past scar my future. Easier said than done, though.
  • Travel when I can. I used to travel a lot but for a variety of reasons, haven't. I need to work on that.
  • Cut down on my shopaholic tendancies. Now that I know that it's a substitute for things missing in my life, I need to recognize that and find other outlets.
Wow, a New Year. The possibilities are endless!

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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