I’m Getting the Pieces Back in Order

Oh well hey there!

I am excited to announce that this week has been amazing and I am actually beginning to feel like myself again. The past month has presented a series of events which I don’t want to repeat anytime soon. 

That being said, as of Friday I officially came back to working full shifts at work and it felt great to be driving my usual routes again. It was nice to see the friendly faces of my regular passengers who were all very concerned that I had been away for two weeks. It was fun catching up with them and hearing their stories of what they’ve done while I was away. 

Friday night was Week 2 of Chase the Queen at Fame Nightclub in support of Reel Pride. It has been fun selling tickets and promoting our film festival. I am looking forward to watching the jackpot grow again this Friday. 

The weekend was a lot of fun as well spent with friends at the bar. I had the opportunity to hang out with a few old friends that it feels like I don’t see nearly often enough.

Then Monday and Tuesday were both work days once again. I have been procrastinating grocery shopping like crazy lately, but finally made my way to get milk and some other essentials that I have been out of for the past week. I am certainly looking forward to being able to have coffee in the morning. 

I know that this probably wasn’t one of my more interesting blogs, but it has been a pretty ordinary week of learning how life works after having my world flipped upside down.  On that note I am going to say goodbye for now as I have to work early again tomorrow, but I hope you had an amazing week and thank you so much for reading. 

-M

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Getting Back To Normal… Whatever That Is!

  

Look at me go… writing a blog again!

I meant to sit down and write a blog yesterday, but I ended up sleeping most of the day so that clearly didn’t happen.  I figured I should pick a day of the week for updates and somehow that ended up being Wednesday because it is the only day of the week that starts with a “W” and I’m writing.  However, it is Thursday and I don’t really feel like Googling “T” words that mean something about writing… so we are just going to go with it.

This week has been amazing.  I am super thankful for all the nice things that people have said and done over the last little while to help me process all the craziness that happened. I am feeling incredible and am ready to resume my version of “normal” even though I feel like nothing in my life is really that “normal.”  I think I live on a pretty awesome version of “special” where I find myself presented with opportunities that are pretty out of the ordinary.

I am going to be resuming full work days starting tomorrow which I am really looking forward to.  I have missed my routine of knowing what shifts I am working and what time I have to get out of bed.  It will also be nice to see some of my regular passengers again that always have something nice to say to start the day.

I am going to cut this blog a little bit short today because I am going to be late for an appointment if I don’t get myself out the door like 3 minutes ago.  I hope you all have an amazing week and I will chat again soon! Until next time, Be Super!

-M

Learning to Walk Again

 
Well hello again blog.  How have you been?  It seems like it has been months since I have sat down in-front of my computer to write you a story… Oh wait it actually has been!There is a a reason for it, but I can’t share all the details.  2016 has hit me like a freight train, like a really big freight train, the kind that has like six locomotives at the front followed by like 1,000 big heavy box cars… That kind of freight train.  There have been a series of really unpleasant life events that have all occurred in rapid succession which have left me feeling rather overwhelmed.  It became way too much to deal with all at once.  So I have slammed on the brakes and I am slowly getting through it all day-by-day.

The piece that I am ready to get through today is blogging.  I haven’t made a vlog on YouTube in quite some time either.  I find that it takes far more effort to record a video clip, edit the clips together, and publish a video; but this post isn’t about vlogging.  My small step today has been to sit down and write which feels really, really good.

I am so thankful for all the amazing friends that I have in my life that have been here to support me through this rough patch.  Sometimes just having a friend remind me to relax and that tomorrow is a brand new day was all I needed.

Aside from all the events that have happened so far this year, another struggle I have is remembering to write my ideas and stories down.  As you know, I am a bus driver which gives me a lot of time to think.  I get the opportunity to travel around Winnipeg and see a lot of things that would make for killer blog material, but I can’t just pull over and start writing on the side of the road.  Could you imagine…

“Ummmm… Driver… Why are we stopped?”

“Hold on… I’m blogging…”

It is even a challenge to note down the ideas on a piece of paper while I’m at work since I am required to focus on safely maneuvering my gigantic metal bus down the extremely narrow streets while avoiding the limitless numbers of hazards.  By the time I get to the next place to stop and would have had the chance to note down my blog idea, I have had my attention pulled away to avoid 160 pot holes, 239 cars, and answer 172 questions about how to get downtown.

Don’t interpret that as me complaining, safe driving and customer service are my priorities while I am at work.  Maybe I am just getting old and need to play more brain games to improve my memory skills in order to remember what it was I wanted to write about again today.

What was I talking about again?  Oh ya… Blogging…

I am really thankful that life has appeared to take a break from building hurdles in my path.  It has certainly provided me an opportunity to do a lot of reflection on what my goals and priorities are going to be for 2016.  That being said, I am really excited to be writing again today and I hope that this inspiration will continue and I can continue to create new stories and adventures to share with you.

I hope you are all having an amazing Wednesday!  Until next time…

-M

What Day Is It?

 

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I bet that none of you are going to be able to guess what today’s blog post is going to be about…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!…pretty original right? In fact it is so original I actually just copied and pasted this introduction paragraph from last year because it happened to apply to this year yet again.

It also is kind of a special blog for me as this will be post number 150!  YAY for crossing yet another milestone.

Yesterday, as I scrolled through my friend’s Facebook pages I noticed a very common theme. I came across comment after comment from people saying how 2015 wasn’t such a great year, but it wasn’t bad either. It made me stop to reflect on my year and I began wondering what my overall feelings of the past year. There were a lot of changes in my world, and since I have the memory of a gold fish, I decided to go through my massive collection of photos to recall all the crazy things that happened.

January:

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As with every January, I started off with my resolution of blogging more, but as we saw that didn’t last very long. I did however pick up a new hobby of knitting.

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Mike and I also struggled with our mouse invasion and started setting up traps to try and evict our unwanted house guests.

February:

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Winter here gets so incredibly cold that the Red River freezes over completely. My family started off the celebration of my aunts birthday with brunch at the pop-up restaurant in the middle of the river.

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I also moved from knitting to crocheting as my crafting hobby grew and learned how to make slippers. I also finished off the month by getting hurt at work and ended up stuck in the house for the next six weeks.

March:

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Since I was unable to walk due to my injuries and had a lot of free time on my hands being off work, my crafting hobby moved up to a whole new level and I tackled my first baby blanket with matching baby hat which I gifted to Sarah and Jeff for their new little one.

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About half way through the month, I decided to move back out to the farm with my parents. It was awesome to spend some time with them and be able to cuddle Oskar, my puppy, every night.

April:

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I was finally able to return to work again progressing through reduced hours all the way up to full shifts as my body healed. As much as I complain about my job somedays, I sure am grateful for it cause overall I love what I do. Crafting became a much more slow process as I had much less free time, but I started on a full size afghan for my bed.

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April also brought with it springtime and the opening of the BDI (Bridge Drive-In) which meant the start of ice cream season.

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The snow had melted early and it was awesome to be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities.

May:

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I moved in with one of my best friends as being an adult living with my parents so far away from the city started to become tiresome. Shannon’s daughter had moved out and it was an awesome opportunity to move into the newly vacated space.

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Being single and having made a series of poor life choices, I finally hit my financial breaking point and had to make major changes. I said goodbye to my car and turned it over to the bank and have been carless since.

June:

 

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June started off with my birthday which this year was planned to be incredibly low key. Shannon, her brother, and Mama Mike kidnapped me to took me to the Half Moon out in Lockport, Manitoba.

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We had an amazing lunch together before we headed over for cake and a bonfire at Cori and Richard’s place. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends in my life that organized such a wonderful surprise day for me. June also marked the 100th subscriber to my blog (which really isn’t that big of a number when you look at most blogs, but it is still a huge blessing to know that 100 people have decided that my writing is worth actually following).

 

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June also is the month which we celebrate Pride. Shannon and I made Rainbow Jello Shooter Cake, but our annual before the parade brunch didn’t happen this year because I wasn’t hosting it (remind me that I am hosting brunch again next year). Shannon and I headed down to the parade anyway and had an awesome day together.

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I also started playing with my camera more and spent more time making videos for YouTube. I finished off June catching poison ivy. That was probably the worst part of my year because it was so incredibly itchy and took so long to heal.

July:

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I celebrated Canada Day (July 1) with Shannon and her family. We went over to her mom’s place to watch the fireworks from the top floor of their high-rise apartment.

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I also enjoyed the Bridge Party at The Forks with Jason, Jesse, Crystal, and some other friends which was a lot of fun spending the day hanging out on the bridge listening to awesome music.

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Then I broke my head open by running into a concrete beam. I ended up with a pretty bad concussion and spent most of my summer feeling way less smart after injuring my brain. That resulted in more time off work which meant the perfect opportunity to make another baby blanket as I found out my friend Mandy was expecting a new family member.

August:

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Apparently in August I developed a bit of a gambling addiction! Just kidding, I apparently had a whole stack of lotto tickets that I never checked. As it turns out, I actually won almost $100 on one ticket so that was a pretty awesome way to start the month.

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Then I went out to Calgary, Alberta to celebrate Jayme’s bachelorette party. It was awesome to see her and Tim and make some more new friends. We had a crazy weekend together and it brought back a lot of awesome old memories about living in Calgary the first time round.

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Shannon and I also couldn’t miss out on Folklorama which is the opportunity to celebrate all the different cultures in the world. Patrick, Tom, Adam and I also went to a few different pavilions later that week. August also ended with the beginning of the busiest time of year for volunteering for the board of Reel Pride as we started kicking everything into high gear for the annual film festival.

September:

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I can’t go a year without putting a 12 inch wiener in my blog at least once, and thanks to Mama Mike and a late night drive to Skinner’s out in Lockport, that mission was fulfilled.

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Reel Pride celebrated their 30th Anniversary of incorporation this year and thanks to Fame Night Club we had an amazing pearl themed birthday party to mark the occasion with the most amazing birthday cake from Chocolate Zen Bakery.

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Then I headed back to Calgary to visit Austin who has become a great friend and we had an amazing weekend doing things that I hadn’t done when I lived there like checking out Telus Spark and going to the Home Show at the BMO Centre.

October:

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Moving into October, I enjoyed two weeks of vacation from bus driving and spent two weeks volunteering to get all the last minute details organized for Reel Pride. The film festival was amazing and our programming committee selected some amazing films to feature once again this year. I am so excited to see what they come up with next year.

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I also had the opportunity to host David C. Jones and Paula Stromberg, two amazing short film makers who came from Vancouver to participate in the festival. It was awesome getting to be a tourist in my own city with them and enjoy eating at some of the fantastic restaurants we have here and touring the Manitoba Legislature, The Forks, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

November:

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Patrick and I started out November with a road trip to the Whiteshell Provincial Park. We enjoyed an awesome snow-free day taking pictures of the amazing scenery provided by the park. November also marked for me an entire month of daily vlogging which felt like an awesome achievement to have accomplished. I feel like we were also extremely lucky last year as it didn’t snow until late November, which combined with the early spring resulted in a pretty awesome summer.

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Since I spent so much time vlogging, there is a definite lack of pictures to share with you for this blog, but you can check out my YouTube Channel to keep up with my adventures there as well.

December:

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After taking a month off from Reel Pride, it was time to step-up and start getting ready for next year. One of the biggest changes next year is the fact that we are probably loosing the Gas Station Arts Centre due to renovations. I took on the project of starting to scout out new venues for the board so that newly elected board at the Annual General Meeting in January will have the opportunity to have a confirmed space booked for the festival.

 

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I also finished one of the best kept secrets I’ve managed to pull off which was a hand made afghan for Brent and Chris as their Christmas/Wedding gift that I haven’t given them for the past two years. Between having to make sure all the pieces were hidden when they would visit and resisting the urge to post pictures about it, I managed to surprise them and I hope that they really liked it. I also decided to go back to knitting as I was getting bored with crocheting after doing a few large blankets.

Probably the most exciting part of 2015 is fact that I have moved into my own apartment solo back in Downtown Winnipeg. It was a little unexpected, but the opportunity to rent Mike’s condo popped up and I jumped at the chance to have my own space.

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I worked Christmas and Boxing Day, but enjoyed the traditional Boxing Day family dinner out at the farm with my extended family which is one my favourite part of the holiday season. New Year’s Eve was shared with Tracy and Sarah for Prime Rib Dinner at Club 200 for “One Night in Bedrock.” Unfortunately, I didn’t last until midnight as I am suffering from a bit of a cold and decided to go to bed early.

All things considered, 2015 was a pretty amazing year. There were absolutely highs and lows, but I have come to appreciate all the amazing people in my life so much more over the past year and can’t wait to make more amazing memories with all of you. Until then, have an amazing New Year’s Day, Happy 2016, and don’t forget to be kind out there!

This is why we can’t have nice things…

  I could sit here and write a post about the awful day that I had that started with the terrible customer service at Visions Electronics, or the car that almost hit us and then gave us the finger, to the incredibly rude woman that I talked to at the 911 call centre; but I am not going to focus on all those things. I am going to look past it and focus on all the amazing things that happened today. 

This morning I woke up and finished working on a project for Reel Pride that I am really looking forward to sharing with the board. Shortly thereafter, Patrick picked me up and, along with the assistance of my parents, we finished moving all the furniture out of Shannon’s house into my new place. It was kind of bittersweet in that I am absolutely loving my brand new home, but I sure miss coming home to one of my best friends. 

Once everything was finally moved downtown, I thanked them for their assistance and they all parted ways to continue with their days. Mike came and picked me up and we met up with his mom at Costco. It was fun to wander around, but I successfully made it in without buying anything!  

After that was when all the bad stuff happened, so I’m going to fast forward to the point where we went to my chiro appointment and Keith fixed me up. Then I came home and passed out for the best nap of my life. I woke up started and thought that it was already tomorrow because it was light when I fell asleep and pitch black when I woke up. 

  I was going to do laundry, but for sure didn’t feel like it so I put on my winter gear and headed out into the cold to get tickets for New Year’s Eve dinner and dancing at Club 200. I’m really excited for Prime Rib dinner with Tracy.

I just finished a good workout at the gym and am now at the Elephant and Castle for dinner. I really should be eating at home, but I am feeling lazy and this is absolutely one of my favourite restaurants in downtown Winnipeg. 

The walk over from the gym was kind of depressing as there was so much vandalism through the skywalk system. Between the broken railings and doors to broken glass it makes me wonder what would bring someone to the point where breaking someone else’s property seemed like a good idea to whoever broke these parts of our public skywalk. I love this city and it is really embarrassing seeing all our nice things getting destroyed. 

 However, I want to focus on something beautiful as I finish this post, and what is more beautiful than warm Highland Bread Pudding with a butter rum sauce and whip cream. It is so incredibly tasty, but I’m so stuffed I can’t even finish it. 

With than I am going to say goodnight, have an amazing day, and don’t forget to be kind out there!

The Most Unusual Christmas

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What an interesting Christmas day I had!

I have worked in a job that requires shift work for at least the last 10 years.  As a result, I usually end up choosing to work on Christmas Day so that someone who values spending December 25th with their family can have the day off.

My family has always done our big family dinner on Boxing Day (December 26), which I wasn’t able to get off this year (but yet I could have had Christmas Day off if I wanted).  I’m a little disappointed that I have to head into work here shortly, but I am sure that it will be a much better day than yesterday.

The people that I encountered yesterday for the most part were super nice, but there was at least one person every hour that was a definite grinch.  It made for a pretty long day, but at the end of it I survived and came home to my nice warm bed safe and sound.

Today is going to be a completely different challenge though as we move from all the stores being closed yesterday to everyone crashing down the doors for the sales today.  Personally, I haven’t yet seen any sales advertised that I am willing to go and endure the lineups in the stores.

If you are planning on going out shopping today, here are my survival tips:

  1. Make A Plan:  Look on-line to see what stores are selling the items you actually need to purchase and see where has the best price.  That way you can figure out the best route and avoid back tracking in the congested traffic.
  2. Check the Original Price:  A lot of sales happening today are only a $150 off, if not less.  It could be worth the convenience of paying the regular price tomorrow to avoid the headache of Boxing Day Shopping today.
  3. Order Online:  If you can be patient for a few days, you can certainly save some money today by taking advantage of the online boxing week sales.  It will of course mean you’re likely going to be waiting until after the New Year before you get to start enjoying your exciting new purchase.
  4. Make Sure You Can Afford It:  Christmas just happened and for most people that means burning a hole in your wallet.  Don’t make any purchases for a great price that are going to mean going without food for the next three months while you try to pay it off.
  5. Have Fun and Be Polite:  This one should come without saying, but I am sure that we will hear of all sorts of huge battles going down in the stores over the last sale items on the news tonight.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas (or whatever holiday your family chooses to celebrate) with your friends and families.  I’m looking forward to seeing my family later this evening.

Until then, have an amazing day and go be kind out there!  Don’t forget to checkout my YouTube Video for more fun adventures:

Merry Shopping-mas to All

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I recently had a debate with a friend about the true meaning of Christmas. The discussion all started over the fact that he felt that people were shoving their Christian holiday down his Jewish throat. While I agree that Christmas to Christians is a religious holiday, I believe that it has long since been superseded by the Christmas of corporate american retailers’ wildest imaginations.

The Christian Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Three wise men brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Christians believe that Jesus brought his followers the gift of salvation from their sins thus giving them the gift of eternal life in heaven.

However, the real roots of surrounding the Christmas celebration all seem to be based in Roman traditions celebrating the winter solstice, the return of the sun, and to honour Saturn, the god of Agriculture. It is commonly believed that the December 25th was selected as the date for which to celebrate Christmas as an attempt to replace the pagan Saturnalia festival.

Christmas was not recognized as an official federal holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.

Thanks to some epic marketing on Coka-Cola’s behalf during the 1930’s, Santa Claus has become one of the most recognizable images of Christmas. Parents line up their broods of children in lines for hours to be able to pay someone to take a photograph of their kids with a random mall Santa. Children write letters and emails to the North Pole embellishing to him about how wonderful they have been all year and how they deserve all the most expensive toys.

Then the tradition of gift giving carries on into our adulthood where we continue to be told that we need to make sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. People go absolutely crazy fulfilling their shopping duties without any regard for the damage that they are doing to their credit card balances. Going anywhere near a shopping mall is a near death experience as people rush to finish all their Christmas purchases.

So while I do personally believe in the Christian meaning of Christmas, people have been forced to be so politically correct about celebrating Christmas that I feel it has become more of a corporate holiday exploited by retailers. While many people may celebrate the religious origins of Christmas behind closed doors in their homes, the only Christmas spirit that I have found this holiday season has been the stress of making a list, checking it twice, realizing I forgot to include someone important, opening my already maxed out credit cards to discover that I can’t afford to buy everyone on my list presents that they don’t need, applying for a new credit card to go make sure I can put presents under the tree, and now the anxiety about whether or not the cute sweater I bought someone is going to fit and not remembering if I put the gift receipt in the box with the sweater before I wrapped it, and whether or not my Christmas cards are going to be delivered before the post office closes down for the year.

Has this become the true meaning of Christmas in 2015?