2012 in review – Thank you for reading!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Cancer Takes Another…

There are no words right now, to describe how much I despise this horrible disease. First my great uncle and then my grandfather. Since then it’s claimed the lives of at least two great aunts, another grandparent and it’s latest victim…. my older half sister, Michele.

I honestly don’t think it’s fully hit me yet, the news of her passing, but still, I feel I must reflect. Reflect on what I knew of my sister, the relationship I had with her and ultimately, the last few moments I had with her.

In truth, I didn’t get many opportunities to see my sister through the years. However, I felt a bond with her nonetheless. Years between visits, and the distance we lived apart, never changed one pivotal truth – we were sisters.

I recall hearing about her being sick early last month, but not knowing at the time what her illness was. It was just this past Monday that I heard that unforgettable phrase “she has cancer.” I didn’t sleep much that night.

It comforts me to know that my last words to Michele were I love you. Such a simple, freely spoken, sentence that carries so much weight, so much meaning.

Her last words to me were the same, and for that memory I know I will ultimately smile. For now however, I mourn and am sad. Sad for Michele; sad for my bro in law, her husband, and sad also for her sons, and grandchildren. Selfishly I am sad for myself too. Sad that I will never see my sister on this earth again.

I love you Michele, rest in peace.

Parakeets or Escape artists?

So, I’ve been making steady progress with taming my birds. HOWEVER, twice now my one parakeet, Solange, decided to make a break for it while I had the cage door open, while I was trying to train them to go on my finger.

Now I have made a decision. I will only train them when there is someone else in the apartment (like my mother) who can catch them, if they escape again.

As for the progress they are making in being tamed, Crystal had both feet on my middle finger yesterday for a few seconds to half a minute. Not that long a time at all, but it’s a start.

One Anniversary… a sad day

It’s been two weeks. Two weeks since the one anniversary of my best friend’s death. Yesterday would have been Shadow’s birthday.

I know some would say “Oh c’mon, he was just a dog…. he was nothing but a family pet.’

But you know what? The keyword there is family. He was a family member to me, and my closest friend. I remember when my grandfather died and shortly after that, I found Sasha, my beautiful cockerspaniel. Shadow came later (a day later, to be precise), and was my brother’s dog.

Sadly we had to say goodbye to Sasha a couple years later; she was just too hyper for our quiet neighbourhood.

This blog post however, is about Shadow, although I still miss Sasha, and think of her often.

I know, I know; you’re going to say I’m being too sentimental about this, and maybe I am. I still remember when I was a kid and lost my budgie, Eddie to a heart attack due to an extremely hot summer. His grave is situated in our backyard, beneath our tall spruce trees.

Pets come, and pets go. Shadow, as I’ve already mentioned, was my best friend. When I was sad, I would seek comfort in his always being there; with a wag of his tail, and lick at my hand.

I wonder now, will I ever have another pet in my life? Hopefully, I will some day. At the moment, I just can’t afford it. And more than that… it just hurts a little too much.

Shadow, I love you. Goodbye my furry, sweet friend.


Any Questions??

I have recently resurrected my blog interview series “Interview with a Journalist.” Well now it’s your turn, to be the interviewer. Surely the readers of this blog must have some questions about me. Whether it be about my disability or various diagnosis’ or hopes and aspirations. Maybe you just want to know what I ate for breakfast (The answer is nothing by the way, I ordinarily don’t eat breakfast).

So the floor is open to you all. Have any questions for me? Big or small, I’ll try my best to answer them all.

Put your questions down in the comments section of this blog post. I look forward to reading and answering your questions!

Scanners – Music to My Ears

Scanners. They can be a great nuisance to some and music to others. I am of the latter influence.

It can be a considerable learning curve, listening to scanners. There are various codes used to denote the various emergencies and the severity of each. Knowing when to repeat what you have heard, and when not to, also takes experience.

I was a preteen when I was first introduced to scanners. I remember being enthralled by them, when my mother and I would visit a neighbour friend of hers.

As someone who has always been quite inquisitive, I enjoy listening to scanners. Hearing of the various goings on; fires, accidents, etc is something that has interested me for a good many years.

On the flip side, as someone who has been in an ambulance on more than one occasion, I find it interesting in itself, learning what the code is for someone having seizures. (Can be anywhere from an Alpha, the least serious, to a Delta which stipulates two ambulances or an ambulance and a fire truck responding to the call).

I know also, not everyone likes listening to scanners. Quite frankly, the vast majority of my friends can’t stand hearing them. At home, I’ll listen through headphones.

Yet I must say, as someone working at the Edmonton Journal now, as part of a Mentorship program, I love walking past the cop desk.

Art of the Interview

Yesterday I worked at the Edmonton Journal, as I do every Tuesday. I was given an assignment to devise questions for not one, but two mock interviews. I gave myself a deadline of just over an hour.

Well for one, I was given feedback on the questions I had come up with for one “interview.” Being transparent to a fault, as I tend to be, I must admit still needing to work on confidence. Addressing myself in a confident, purposeful manner is still a learning curve for me.

With that knowledge however, it was still a fun exercise in furthering my knowledge and skill level as a journalist. No one is perfect, and that certainly does include me. A local journalist once told me that having a passion for journalism was important. Now it is just a matter of learning, observing and experiencing the things I will undoubtedly need to know to be a good journalist. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Becoming a good journalist, capable of reporting any news story thrown at them, or interviewing anyone, does not happen overnight either. To me, learning is half the fun!

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