So Long, 2016

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

To paraphrase, “It was a shitty year, it was a wonderful year…”

In 2015, after a month in hospital, Mum died in August. We had a F**k 2015 get together in the new year, and had hoped 2016 would be a hell of a lot better. That hope was short lived, as Dad died in January—during one of the biggest snowstorms of the winter—five months after Mum. We finally laid Dad to rest, next to Mum, on the first anniversary of her death, when all of us sibling could be together again. Between the two of them, it felt like I was never going to stop crying.

It did get better. Somewhat. I still mourn, I just don’t cry as often. But I’m at that age, now, when my friends are losing there parent, too. Three fathers, and two mothers this year. And with each, it brings it all back.

Fortunately, the year wasn’t all doom and gloom. There have been some great moments, as well.

I traveled from one end of the province to the other, and discovered a love for whales that I didn’t realize was so strong. Humpback whales on the southern end, and northern right whales and pilot whales on the northern end. If I had to choose any other creature to be, I would be a humpback whale. They are magnificent, gentle, intelligent creatures.

I’ve written a few dinner theatre comedies over the years, but this year I wrote and directed a drama (dramedy) for a one-act film festival. I got to write some meaty dialogue with a deeper meaning to me than anything I’d written before. I am quite proud of it.

I spent more time with family over the past year, and realize how lucky I am to have such wonderful siblings. Not everyone can say that.

So, I sit here on New Year’s Eve, with the Christmas tree lights, and there counterparts in the window illuminating the room, as per tradition, and I say good-bye to 2016 with a feeling of… peace.

I look forward to 2017, and hope it will be a hell of a lot better. My goals- not resolutions- are to worry less, and write more; to find the things that will help to make me the person I am supposed to be. And I wish for you to find yours.

Happy New Year!13876370_10153622513907032_6242627174727441245_n

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Book ‘Em Danno!

January 25, 2013

Dear Bloggary:

Tonight I was reading through a few blogs that I follow, and came upon this fun idea. It’s called “Finish-the Sentence Friday” It originated from a blog called, Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I agree, it is a clever title.) The premise is that they start a sentence, and you are invited to finish it. So, although this is blog/diary (Bloggary) I’ve decided to finish it… the sentence, that is. (Indulge me, Dear Bloggary.)

Finish the Sentence Friday

The sentence of the week is:

When I was Younger, I tried…

…to start my own library. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I am that nerdy.) I was about ten or eleven, and my father had set up a tent in our back yard. I loved to read in the tent,  and always had books scattered across the floor.  Neighbourhood kids would come in, look at a book or two and leave. That was when I got the bright idea to start my own library. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I do sometimes get those.)

I went into the house, got the supplies I thought I might need, and lugged them out to the Buttercup Library. (Named, Dear Bloggary, after the tiny, lemon-hued, wild flowers that had sprung up  around the tent.) I constructed and taped card holders onto the inside, back covers of books, and fashioned fancy paper cards out of Manila paper to fill them. After I found an old stamp and pad that would work perfectly in my library, I opened for business. It was fun to stamp out the books and file the handful of cards and watch the neighbourhood kids  happily take my favourite books home.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well as I had anticipated. (Yes, I’m sure you figured it out, Dear Bloggary.) My books did not arrive back in due time. Some I tracked down, and managed to retrieve. Others…well, I mourned their loss. I guess I was a bit naive about the honesty and reliability of others. I still am, sometimes. (What is the moral of the story here, Dear Bloggary?) I’m not sure of the moral of the story. Maybe it’s to look before you leap. Or, trust no one. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I watched too many” X Files” episodes.) All I know is that not every story has a happy ending. So, just close that book and move on to the next… if your friends haven’t stolen them. (Yes, Dear Bloggery, in retrospect, a book store might have been a brighter idea.) The End.

Yours,

Shannon

 

 

What’s New?…Besides the year.

January 1st, 2013

Dear Bloggary:

Happy New Year! Sorry I’ve been absent for such a long stretch, but I’m back! Did you miss me? (That was a rhetorical question, Dear Bloggary, no need to get insulting.)

Last you heard from me I was in the midst of rehearsals for “Steel Magnolias”, and decided to put the blog on hold. (No, Dear Bloggary, I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, either…And the play was a huge success, thank you for asking.) Everyone did an excellent job in this production and I felt very good about my own performance. (Well, Dear Bloggary, I have to pat myself on the back, no one else will.)

I decided to get myself an early Christmas present this year. A cat. After Stephanie moved in with her boyfriend, and took her cat with her, I missed having a furry friend in the house. (Oh, sorry, Dear Bloggary, did I forget to mention that Stephie moved out and got engaged? Yeah, that happened. I will become a monster-in-law next fall.) Now to get back to my previous train of though. I went to the SPCA to adopt one of the harder to place cats, and found a two and a half – three year old female feline, Patches, whose name I changed to Pasha. ( Because, Dear Bloggary, it sounds more like a name and less like something used to cover a hole.) The poor little thing was in a room all by herself, because she freaked out around other cats and when I went in to meet her I immediately felt a kinship with her. (No, Dear Bloggary, I’m not quite as anti-social as that, but I certainly understand anxiety around others.) Her previous owner had been an elderly lady who went into a nursing home, and I’m not sure if she ever played with the cat, as Pasha didn’t seem to know how to play. And she jumped and ran away at any little noise or quick movement. And before she got used to her new home, she sometimes hissed and bit. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, she’s socially awkward like me.  And no, the biting and hissing did not go over well with Mark.)  She’s better now, as she plays with her toys and even cuddles on my lap. All she needed was a gentle hand and a soothing word. (Yes, Dear Bloggery, it worked on Mark, so why not a cat?) She even made nice to holiday company and visited with everyone.

Christmas time was busy, as usual, but it has come and gone, and now the task of packing up has come. (No, Dear Bloggary, packing up is not nearly as pleasant a chore as unpacking, but a necessity.) Now to get on with the  new year.

Farewell, 2012, thank you for all you have taught me. Welcome, 2013, as you offer me another year of possibilities.  Happy New Year to all who read these words. Cheers! To all of our possibilities. ♥

Talk to you soon,

Yours,

Shannon

The Red Menace

Saturday, September 21st, 2012

Dear Bloggary:

AHHHHHH! (Excuse me for screaming at you, Dear Bloggary.) “They” say primal screams help when you are frustrated. “They” lie…at least in this case. Unfortunately, screaming does not scare rashes away – which is the cause of my frustration. The cat took off, though – she’s the epitome of the “scaredy-cat”, everything chases her off.

It’s been about two weeks since the first small batch of red bumps popped up to say hello, and I brushed them off as nothing to concern myself with, and rubbed a little lotion into them. But, the unwelcomed visitors liked it here so much that they invited all their friends over for an extended holiday, and like unwanted house guests, they are a pain…only literally. What began as a mere irritation has turned into a war of nerves. Physically and mentally. The temptation to scratch has evolved into the need to patting myself and go topless to help ease the feel of thousands of pin pricks and burning. (Sorry for the mental image, Dear Bloggary.) The relief is momentary.

After my own attempts to chase the bumpy buggers off failed, and the infiltration of the red menace expanded, I thought it was time to call in the big guns. But after a trip to the doctor, blood work, and the clinic, the war rages on. A new frontal assault  with a second cortisone cream and antihistamine pill has begun. I remain optimistic that we shall prevail. Though I have yet to figure out how this war even began, I am determined to put down my enemy before I go totally insane. (No, Dear Bloggary, that hour has not passed, I’m only slightly insane…believe it or not.)

The symptoms have eased slightly and I am hoping for a decent night’s sleep. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, fingers crossed.) I hope to awaken refreshed and ready to continue the battle, but sleep is seldom restful during times of war. (Fine, Dear Bloggary, I’ll stop with the war analogies and simply say, “I wish this bloody rash would go away before I rip my skin off!)

Yours,

Shannon

The *Itch Is Back

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Dear Bloggary:

This isn’t the first time I’ve wanted to rip my skin off, but it’s been a while since I’ve wanted to so badly. (No, Dear Bloggary, it’s not some bizarre cult ritual.) I’m covered in rash from chin to chest, upper back to upper arms. Itch is my new middle name. (No, Dear Bloggary, there is no ‘B’ in itch.) I’m starting a new version of “The Itchy And Scratchy Show”, It has me walking around shirtless.  After a week of trying various treatments that didn’t stop the spread, I finally saw the doctor. We still haven’t figured out the cause, but a treatment has been prescribed. It makes me smell slightly like a jar of Vicks, but if it works, I’ll endure the mentholated aroma. (No, Dear Bloggary, you may not call me Vicky…and that’s ITHCHY! No ‘B’!) I suppose I’ve been a little irritable lately, but, hopefully, that will subside along with the irritation.  At least it’s not as serious as my last severe itch. Contact dermatitis is a much better diagnosis than malignant melanoma. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I had a brief stay at the Hotel Melanoma, and no, you may not call me Mel, either. You are becoming a bigger irritant than the rash.)

At least I have another day off work to walk around topless before I have to endure the extra pain of material friction. (No, Dear Bloggary, I don’t believe a rash was the reason for Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge going topless.)

I suppose I should wear a top to rehearsal tomorrow night. Although the cast is all women, the windows have no blinds, and Paparazzi are everywhere. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, that was a joke…and you may call me Kate.)

I should go now, Dear Bloggary. Hopefully, I’ll get some sleep tonight, or tomorrow I may be itchy with a ‘B’. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I meant bitchy that time.)

that time.)

Good night.

Yours,

Shannon

P*ss Off!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Dear Bloggary:

How do you know when someone is too drunk to function in public? (No, Dear Bloggary, I wasn’t staggering while giggling and asking people if I was walking straight…at all. It was a rhetorical question.) My answer would be, when you unzip and pee on the gate of the local garden centre in front of your wife, kids and dog. (Yes, dear Bloggary, that actually happened.) And when told that the establishment had facilities you yell f**k off, also in front of said family. I’ve always thought I was a little less than classy, but next to this sot, I’m a friggin’ Royal. (Yes, Dear Bloggay, if I were a Royal, I would introduce you to Wills and Kate…but not Harry. He’s too busy running around nude…possibly peeing on fences.)

What a day yesterday! Over 75 mm of rain on already saturated ground, flash flooding, dike breakage, evacuations, road closures, a rash on my arms… (No, Dear Bloggary, the rash has nothing to do with the flood, I just thought I’d throw that in because the itching is driving me crazy, right now.) I’m glad my family made it through with relatively little damage. (No, Dear Bloggary, through the flood, they don’t have a rash…that I’m aware of.)

On a more serious note, today is 9/11 and I’ve been remembering the terrible tragedy of eleven years ago, the families of loved ones lost, the bravery of the rescuers, and the generosity of the people in the Atlantic Provinces who housed and fed stranded airline passengers, rerouted here. I don’t want to dwell only on the horrible acts of those few delusional religious extremist and the heartbreaking result, but also on the good, brave, kind people who came together to help their fellow man. If there is one thing of which I am sure, it is that there are more good people in the world than bad. (Thanks, Dear Bloggary, you’re one of the good ones, too.)

So, Dear Bloggary, to sum up, one way or another it has been a pissy few days.

Yours,

Shannon

My Obsession

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Dear Bloggary:

Oh, the waves! The waves! Mark and I went down to Peggy’s Cove for a little jaunt. Leslie is definitely making her mark. (No, Dear Bloggary, Leslie is not the local graffiti artist, it is the latest hurricane.) It was a beautiful day, with little wind, but the ocean was extremely riled up, as Leslie continues her way north…and the colours! Turquoise, aqua, deep blue, royal blue, if it’s a shade of blue, it was there. Rocks that you could normally walk on were under water while others were smashed by the undulating sea.  I could have stayed all day watching the white foam reach for the sky. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I have an obsession. My name is Shannon, and I am a saltwater addict.) I could never live far from the ocean without becoming deeply depressed. It is my calming influence.

So, eventually we had to leave the beauty that is Peggy’s Cove, to pick Stephie up from work and go to see Mark’s 94 year old, grandmother. She  and Mark’s aunt and uncle drove the 1800Km from Ontario. Did I mention she was 94! She had surgery last December and they weren’t sure she would make it. You’d never know to look at her now. And her mind is sharp as a tack. She remembers things that I couldn’t.

Well, I had better go to bed now, Dear Bloggary, I need my sleep. They’re calling for up to 70mm of rain tomorrow and thunderstorms, so I’ll be very nervous driving to work. (Yes, Dear Bloggary, I know the thunder won’t hurt me, but it makes me jump, anyway.) Sweet dreams.

Yours, Shannon