Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar...Northumberland Players Rock the Capitol!

Jesus Christ Superstar, Do you think you're what they say you are?....Powerful and incredibly creatively well done!   Oh, yes true, those aren't quite the lyrics but the latter my observation and strong opinion of last nights opening show of Jesus Christ Superstar, put on by the Northumberland Players!   If you haven't any plans the remainder of this weekend or perhaps for next weekend beginning Thursday evening, do plan to go see it!
You may purchase tickets by calling 905-885-1071 at the Capitol Theatre, Port Hope.  Tickets are $29 each and worth every cent; or five!!

I have had the great pleasure of working alongside and learning from many of the people involved in this production; last on stage 5 years ago, and was so very proud to be in the audience last night watching them and feeling like any proud parent would in watching their child at their school concert!   THIS 'concert' began waaaay back in September with auditions and coming together over many hours over many months of rehearsals three evenings a week until the week before in what is known as "Hell Week", named for the "hellish" rigor of sound checks, final set build with attention to every tiny detail, perfection of costumes, make up and every move and line spoken perfected during run after run of the entire show.  "Hell Week" means every evening until opening night; beginning the Sunday before.  That Sunday is known as move-in, which involves a very very long day beginning early in the afternoon and continues into the evening!

Even if you are of a similar mind as my eldest son who doesn't care so much for musicals but has actually sat through one knowing so if only to appreciate the great work that goes into the making of just such a show. It is in knowing in it's presentation before you there was a great collaboration and fusing of numerous creatively gifted individuals as a very strong team focused on the common goal of quality and memorable entertainment.   May you leave the theatre with a sense of wonder, in how various actions/outcomes were achieved, discussing the subject matter and your thoughts on such interpretations of and simply in acknowledging how much you have enjoyed this experience and with hopes of returning to take in an additional show in the future.

 I had a very moving experience in taking in Jesus Christ Superstar. I was and was not surprised in how emotional I was throughout last evenings show.   This production is a very moving piece at any rate considering the subject matter, but I do believe credit is greatly due to the Directors in the direction of the creativity in approaching a well told story with a brand new and present day freshness.

You really ought to see this.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kindness in Training. Little Acts of Kindness Not Such Big News!

It begins on the train a simple "hello" or "Excuse me" as one approaches an empty seat and another removes parcels etc. to make room.  Someone makes notice of a scarf on the sidewalk and run ahead to hand it back to the woman who has dropped it.   She is most thankful and says so while also smiling with grateful eyes as well.

Little deeds of kindness.

I am often asked about or practically mocked of my habit of taking the GO into the city when it could be sooooo much easier to drive in.   I digress in pointing out that I recently witnessed a driver stopping to allow pedestrians to cross the street; when it was for them to do so with the light.   The driver took care to allow these people to cross with the light having right of way as they did when the vehicle behind him; obviously agitated by the gesture, laid very heavily on his horn in protest. How RUDE I thought!!!
Yes, I quite enjoy the train ride into Toronto and find it brings forth opportunity to "people watch" and in that, taking notice of a more positive side of human behaviour and allowing one's faith in the good of people in general to be restored.

There IS much good in the world, sadly it isn't pages and pages of "GOOD" that allows the many forms of media to thrive, all too often placing the worst of human behaviour first and foremost, right there on the front page where it simply can't be missed!   It's that place where more of the "good" of people, community, society should; you would think, be honoured and shared!  Sadly and most disappointingly we as humans and in society are often drawn to those the worst of the stories only feeding into the frenzy of media and lining the pockets of the greater magnates in the world of selling "news"; whether in it's true and noble form or  the lesser noble form of.  It's very easy for us to be "SUCKED INTO" seeking out and only making notice of the circus of cheap, non knowledge building and gossipy like news rather than seeking out the positive, the champions in trying to make a difference in the world, simple acts of kindness, compassion, caring, seeing the world past your own immediate needs.

Taking the train into the city gives me the opportunity to witness interaction between people, those who know each other as well as those who have only just met due to their both being on the same train heading in the same direction.   It begins on the train and whether that connection between those people continues upon departing the train and entering out into the streets of the destination city, there will be additonal connections and interactions with others while out and about the city.

The scarf being dropped ...someone makes the connection in returning it.   A simple bumping into someone while hurriedly walking along, when you both apologize while making direct eye contact.  A young tot in a stroller has dropped their soother as you see the child's parent grasp the stroller handle and walk away, unknowing.   You follow after them and when you are thanked you immediately realize just how thankful they are, knowing it is most likely to have presented a difficult and testy situation for the parent in what would likely have been a very short time!    You see someone with their blankets arranged over a grate and what appears to be all and very little in their possession and a sign that says, "Begging sucks, compassion doesn't". You hesitate but realize how small a gesture but perhaps it might mean a lot and think no more about digging out at least enough affording them a hot cup of coffee, paired with a warm smile and a few kind words.

Ah, yes.  It is to start with a few kind words, the touch of a caring hand to ones arm or shoulder, direct eye contact in conveying ones caring.   If you just start with a word.   There is much kindness out there and perhaps we need to be more watchful and alert to it and work harder to turn away from the "sensationalisms" and circus-like stories pasted all about us.   I wish you kindness.

Mission Possible! Appointment, City Run, and a Spectacularly Powerful theatre production!

Yesterday was a very full day with appointments, last minute errands and  powerfully moving production by our very own Northumberland Players, with Jesus Christ Superstar!!!   What a day.

My morning appointment was my one more of my 6 month checkups with the surgeon; a lovely gentleman, who had performed the necessary surgeries in eradicating all evidence of the sneaky cancer that is melanoma.  That was March and then April of 2012.   I have just yesterday made mention of said appointment and the triumph of yet another clean bill of health.   I followed the appointment with meeting up with a lovely friend and fellow Melanoma Survivor for coffee and a catch up, which we enjoyed but both of us with a particular hour of departure in mind.

I was to work in the afternoon, however had received a message to let me know it would not be necessary in reporting for duty since numbers for the Infant care room necessitated two staff versus three.   I had almost left for work when I had a thought..."Hey, I should perhaps check phone messages before I leave!".  I am so happy to continue to have moments such as this that allow me to feel I am at the top of my game!  Sure, I tell myself!   At any rate was very happy for both Shari; the caller, to have thought to let me know in advance and myself for turning back to the telephone before my departure to my scheduled duties.   I love working with the little tots as well as the lovelies who are my co-workers there.

Returning the phone to it's rest place and thinking I would be wise in preparing a bit of snack before sitting down, it suddenly dawned on me that I was to call my daughter in the even I might have time to run to the city and retrieve needed supplies for the theatre production she is working with in doing the makeup for.

With the list of needs in hand and making sure the boys; Duke and Dash, were settled for the afternoon I headed off to the GO station.   I have to admit the adrenaline was beginning to surge!    Zipping along the 401 with the hopes of making the next immediately available train to Union Station I was pleased to have made it in time to catch a train already there and leaving very shortly!   The train ride afforded me time to read what I wanted to of the Toronto Star as well as the always present Metro publication available on the GO.  
Arriving in Toronto I quickly made my way up University, to Richmond, then John and finally McCaul St. to the most interesting shop Malabars!   Wow, costumes costumes and more costumes and very gratefully found they did indeed have the sacred jarsof "Fresh Scab" which was the intended most important treasure of the trip there.   While there I took it all in and was given permission to take a few photos in sharing the additional treasures available upon experiencing their intriguing and resourceful shop.
Treasures in hand I am on my way once again.   I make my way along to Queen St. and continue east while stopping here and there to take a photo or two.   At one point I see the gentleman in front of me standing mid intersection whilst head down checking his cell phone!   *GASP*!  While this is a lesser intersection, thankfully more lacking of constant vehicular traffic I was afraid for him.   Crossing the intersection and having had two more "rapid stepper's" pass said fellow and myself I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me...", he turned to face me and said,
"Yes?"
"I'm sorry but you scared me back there!"
"Oh?"
"Yes, I couldn't help but worry when you were part way across that intersection and looked down to check your phone and paused for several moments!".    "You might have been clipped by a car!".
"Oh that...I do that ALL the time!", he grins, "I'm sorry I scared you!"
"I just thought you might have been hurt...just stay safe.".
"Awe, I will.  Bye now!"
...and we both continued on our merry, safe way!

My next stop is at Complections; school of Makeup Artistry and Design.   I actually enter into their store, The Kryolan Store.  The have a partial order prepared for my daughter and I request another item which as it turns out they also had set aside for her.   Packages in hand I make my way along Lombard and head back to Union.   I call and leave a message for her confirming my Mission is complete; wishing the theme song from "Mission Impossible" was playing in the background.

Wow, the adrenaline continues to surge as I make my way  back down Yonge to Front/Union St..  Why is that STILL occuring?...because I need to get back to Port Hope in time to make it to the theatre with my daughter; the Makeup Artist, and my good friend in order that we are in time for the start of the evenings opening showing of Jesus Christ Superstar on stage at the Capitol Theatre by Northumberland Players!

An amazing day leaving me feeling very accomplished, very blessed, and incredibly inspired.  On that note I shall let you know more about the latter adrenaline pumping experience in the next blog entry!!!    Awesomesauce!!!!  ;)












Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ruth and I*From Ontario, to Georgia, (to Alberta) with Love.



I would like to tell you about my friend Ruth.  Funny that I know a lot about Ruth, her family, some of her triumphs, heart aches, etc., and yet we have never met.   I feel like I have always known Ruth and perhaps somehow we had once met but have been away from each other a long time since.   The fact remains though, we have never met.

We were discussing our friendship recently and agreed we have known each other 14 or 15 years and hope perhaps we might actually meet this year!   It's been especially rough for both of us these last couple of years.

Our friendship began with a message on an online guest book for a little boy who's brother; aged just 2 or 3, had Histiocytosis.  I had been on the website and had signed the guest book wishing the family the best in care and hoping their little boy would be o.k. .   My niece died from this very disease in 1982 at the age of 5 years.   My sisters daughter.   At the time there was much less known about the disease and prognosis may not have offered as many options.  Ruth was looking for information about Histiocytosis in wanting to learn more about it because her little granddaughter, at the time just a toddler had been diagnosed with the disease.
When I began searching for more information about Histiocytosis it was many years after having lost my niece, I was married and had a family of my own.  
Following my post on the above mentioned website I received an email from Ruth asking if I might have more information about the disease..  I hadn't talked to my sister about her daughter's death or the illness itself in some time but in asking her about it all she was quite willing to talk about it with hopes that perhaps we might offer some helpful information to Ruth.  
Ruth lives in Georgia U.S.A and I here in Ontario, Canada.

For twelve years Ruth and I kept in touch via email, writing a few times each year with updates of our family and local happenings.  She has always kept me abreast of what was happening with her grand daughter Kelly and how she was managing.   Her Grand daughter has done very well and is a real trooper in all that she has had to endure in living with Histiocytosis.   There have been many advancements in how this disease is treated and also in the prognosis for patients.

Two years ago Ruth and I advanced our ongoing correspondence with the addition of Facebook!   Now we have a greater glimpse into each others lives and talk often.   Ruth and I have also just this year exchanged mailing addresses and it was pretty exciting to be able to send her a "real time" Christmas card.
Over the course of these 14 years or so we have each been through a lot of ups and downs with our growing families, growing pains, and facing our own health issues.
Ruth has been struggling with Thyroid Cancer and I with Melanoma.

It's amazing to me how many years have gone by since we first connected with each other.  It is wonderful that it began in support for each other and has developed into a long term friendship and continued support for each other as each of us faces new challenges in what we as individuals are going through or other members of our families as well as friends come to face.   Triumphs are supported and shared as well.

This year someone I  connected with on the Melanoma Network of Canada, has now too become connected with my friend Ruth, via facebook, as the result of our shared conversations!   Janet is from Calgary.   Janet also shared her mailing address with me, allowing me to send her a REAL handwritten letter and Christmas card as well.  Our hope is that perhaps at some point we could arrange to meet at a location central to each of our geographic home locations!  Through the magic of Social Media we have created our own triangle of support over many many miles!

Reaching out over many miles as well as with people right here at home
really does help to get one through the rough times and helps build on
strength in moving forward.




Monday, February 17, 2014

Turning the corner and making dust fly...this from Sunday!

  With things going pretty well and a new rhythm beginning to kick in I'm looking ahead while also looking back.

  Two years ago yesterday; Saturday, February 15th, I was diagnosed with cancer, Malignant Melanoma Stage 3.   The great part, I'M STILL HERE!   True that!   Sadly I'm all too aware of the many battles lost  to cancer and close to home.   The plan now is to take every day and enjoy as much as I can, with as many as I can, just in case; heaven forbid, cancer decides to rear it's ugly head again!   As ugly as it is, Hey, it's shown me so much and forced me to sit up and pay more attention...to everything, including what I do, what I need, what I want and what I CAN DO!

The day I was diagnosed, a Wednesday, I will never forget and certainly it is made more memorable because it was also my son Chris's birthday.   Well, it took time, tears and loads and loads of support, which includes lots of people to share laughs with, pee your pants laughs and so much more but I (we), made it!  I say 'we' because John, my hubby went through every bit of this right there with me.  He's been my rock, even when I'm sure he was every bit as much worried or scared, as I have been.
The tears, laughter, worries, wonders and quiet moments...in the livingroom here at home, at work, at the movies, etc., visits with some lovelies...very special lovelies with "words", words that eased my thoughts, gave me strength, or sometimes who were just there, quietly offering support as friends can, are what has helped to get to this point.  This is the point where I go, "HOLY, it's been two years already?".     It seems like yesterday we were heading into the first surgery AND it feels like a very long time ago all at the same time!!!

Yep, finished one year of treatment in July '13 and have been feeling better and better since!!!   In summary, I'm moving on because while no-one ever knows how much time one is given in Life, having had cancer kind of forces that realization in a very blunt, "Helloooo-oh, we REALLY do NOT know how much time we get!!!", kind of way!!!   Heading off in new directions, facing new challenges and working HARD to be FEARLESS, confident and EMBRACE what lies ahead and make the best of whatever is out there!   (*confidence)

Here's to kicking dust in the face of cancer and making it around the corner confidently!

http://cathysquips.blogspot.ca/2012_02_01_archive.html



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