Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year in Review - 2010

Every newspaper has a Year in Review to fill in the pages when the whole world is seemingly away on holidays and doing nothing but stuffing their gobs with food and drink. Fun times, but it doesn't fill newspapers.
Not just space filler, Year in Review also gives us a chance to look back on what we've accomplished and who we were in the last 12 months. In fact, compiling this one tweaked me to all kinds of cool things I did, things I had completely forgotten about.
Of course, there were events in 2010 I will never forget. Like, I married Dave. That was kind of a big one. What a tremendous day that was. Honestly, a perfect day in every sense of the word. I was happy from the moment I woke up, really truly happy, until my head hit the pillow that night.
I started writing fiction in 2010. Never really done it before. It was blogger friend CJ Hodges MacFarlane who suggested I give #fridayflash a try. She was, and is, such a big supporter. Thanks, CJ. Once I started writing flash stories, I was hooked. It was like something exploded in my head - the stories just flew out of me - and it was thrilling to hear feedback from other writers and to be inspired by their work.
Friday Flash boosted my confidence so much that I entered a local short story writing contest and, to my surprise, won third place. I joined a writer's group that I absolutely adore. I love seeing Paula, Sasha, Linda and Dawn. They offer such good advice and they write like the wind. Such joy it is to see them every other week. I even took part in a novel marathon. Oh my! That was a challenge and a great learning experience.
Even more than giving me a creative outlet I never had before, Friday Flash was a welcome mat to a world of new friends. They are as real to me as members of my own family. They're there for me when I'm feeling down and they cheer me on when I'm climbing mountains. That alone made 2010 pretty spectacular. Meeting two of those people, Laurita Miller and Alan W. Davidson, was just over-the-top amazing. We had SUCH a good time. Wouldn't it be great if #fridayflash had a real live reunion some day? We all thought so. I swear, if it happens, you will never lack for things to talk about. If you ever get a chance to meet a fellow flasher, do so. You won't regret it.
I've had a fair bit of personal contact with other writers. I met Deb of My Great North quickly one day. I've talked with CJ and Lou Freshwater of Baby's Black Balloon and I've Skyped with Mark Kerstetter of The Bricoleur. I've received actual mail from Laura Eno of A Shift in Dimensions, Linda at Leftbrainwrite, Mark and Laurita. Laura sent me a copy of her new book, The Prophecy Moon. Linda sent a package of goodies for her Gratitude contest. Mark sent me the original art for Suis Generis and a hand drawn card for a wedding present. Laurita sent Christmas goodies, including a jelly bean house ornament. All of it was so lovely. Thank you.
Work had its ups and downs. We said goodbye to a few really good people who I miss each and every day. Times change, work changes, but what remains is that I still love what I do. Newspaper ink is in my blood. I can't help myself. No matter what happens, I find myself loving my job and loving the people I work with. I might go in there cranky, but someone always makes me laugh: kudos to my fellow graphic aces Leah Burton, Lynda Sinclair, Angie Folkes, Jason Willis, Karen Lambert, Terri Kongus, Cathy Black, Dave Opavsky, Gail Knaus, Marg Boyer, Lisa Garbett and Marianne Dawson. And thanks also to editors Rob Learn and Sarah Ryeland for being so much fun to work with.
A shout out to my friends and family for being wonderful. A hug to my mom, who I have the best telephone conversations with and who makes me laugh with all her antics. Kisses to my sons, Angus and Sam, for making my hair go gray by making me love them so much. And a heartfelt thanks to my new husband for putting up with my crap all year.
Thanks for reading, everyone. 
Have a tremendous new year.

JANUARY - icicles sparkle in our front window
FEBRUARY - He popped the question!
Dave gave me a diamond and a promise for Valentine's Day. 
MARCH - My hero Dave rescued Hershey, a chocolate lab who was trapped
in the frigid river for three days. Unfortunately, she died a short time later.
APRIL - Nothing beats our annual spring fishing trip to Kiosk, part of Algonquin Park.
Above, Tom and Sue Webster join Dave around the campfire.
I can hardly wait for this year!
EARLY MAY - The weather is weird here sometimes. It snowed early in May.
LATE MAY - The kids went swimming at Balsam Lake Provincial Park
during the Victoria Day long weekend. 
JUNE - Sam swims in the river.
JULY - The Raneys welcomed a new pup to the family. His name is Tyson
and he really is completely adorable. This was him at Lake of Two Rivers
campground on Canada Day.
JULY - Canada Day long weekend in Algonquin with the Raneys.
We had just completed a tremendously scenic hike. I swear to God my calves are still swollen.
JULY - Last year was a banner year for me, writing-wise. I won third prize in the
Muskoka Short Story Contest for a story called For Bella.
JULY - I entered the Muskoka Novel Marathon for the first time and even
won a prize for the most words written in two days. They weren't GREAT words
but they were words nevertheless!  My friend Paula Boon was one of the organizers and another friend,
Vic, also entered it with me. Thank goodness for their support!
AUGUST - Blogging at Inverhuron Provincial Park. Blogging consumed a great
deal of my time in 2010 and opened up a whole new world for me. Of course, friends and
family teased me mercilessly when I brought the laptop on vacation.
AUGUST - Angus, Dave and Sam swimming at Inverhuron (on Lake Huron) is always
an incredible experience. It's like being at the ocean, only warmer with no salt!
The Raneys came with us for a week and what a fabulous week it was, even though Tammy
burnt her lips so bad she looked like Angelina Jolie with a fat lip. 
AUGUST - Surprised? You betcha! Dave organized the very first surprise birthday party
of my entire adult life. I was extra surprised because my birthday is in October, not August
but with the wedding and honeymoon in the works, August was the only time he could get
it done. What a tremendous day it was and I felt so loved. Thank you Dave and everyone who came!
SEPTEMBER - What an insane month! The festivities started with Sam's 10th birthday.
Double-digits is a very big deal!
SEPTEMBER 25 - Yes, we got married. WOO HOO!!! It was wonderful in every way.
These photos are what I call 'Wedding Outtakes' - taken by Leah Burton.
In this one, Dave slips me the tongue.
SEPTEMBER - Wedding Outtake #2 - While photographer Erin Monett is setting up a shot
with me, Aunt Edna and Dave's mom, Alice, Dave is apparently dancing over on the side!
This picture reminds me of that iconic photo of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre
Elliott Trudeau, pirouetting behind the Queen of England's back.
The famous photo of Trudeau dancing behind the queen. 
SEPTEMBER - Wedding Outtake #3 - Me,
doing an awkward happy dance.
Graceful, eh?
SEPTEMBER - Wedding Outtake #4 - Yep, my gums are flapping.
The real Cathy, in action.

OCTOBER - The highlight of our honeymoon in Newfoundland was meeting
fellow bloggers Laurita Miller and Alan W. Davidson.
It was SO much fun. I love these two, I just love 'em.
OCTOBER - Thanksgiving dinner with the Raneys and Tammy's parents,
Dee-Dee and Dave, at Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park.
Nothing tastes better than turkey on a picnic table.
OCTOBER - I love this photo of Angus playing his guitar around the campfire.
NOVEMBER - Angus built a spud chucker and Dave was more
than happy to give it a go.
DECEMBER - Dave tried out the cross-country skis Santa brought for everyone
in the family but I haven't tried mine, yet. Since Christmas Eve I've been schnockered
with a doozy of a cold. My resolution for 2011 is not to get sick anymore.
And to go skiing. And snowmobiling. And fishing. And camping. And blogging,
of course. You didn't think I'd give that up, did you?
Happy New Year to all my dear friends and family.
May the snow always be fluffy, the fish always lunkers and the writing always fun.


  1. You always go all out...what a beautiful recap of your year!

  2. Wonderful! And - haha! - I giggled when I saw the trademark "pfft."

    I hope your 2011 will be just as full of surprises and juiciness and love.

  3. S*%#

    Second try at leaving a comment. Had a lengthy comment of perfect prose and impeccable timing. Foolishly left to check the spelling of a word and lost it...

    Fantastic recap of your year, Cathy! Bet last year this time you didn't see all of that happening! Your endless supply of energy has astounded me for months. Just months? Feels like we've been pals for years! I love that photo of the 'Canadian flashers' (though I didn't know I was THAT grey). Remember, the door's always open when you want to come back for a visit.

    *Runs off to buy vat of Grecian Formula*

  4. Wonderful! Paula and Laura said it, SO happy to hear your happiness, you are an incredibly gifted and beautiful human.Bring it on 2011! Love Kel

  5. Laura - And there's the pot calling the kettle black!! (about going all out - nobody can keep up with you!) I would love to see a year in review from you.

    Paula - there is never enough Pfft. But I am trying to limit myself to one per story!

    Alan - !#@$%#&# I hate it when that happens! Lately I've been copying long comments because I've been burnt too often. It does feel like we've been pals for years and thanks for the open door!

    Kelly - I take after my cousin!

  6. What a great year C! All the best for 2011!

  7. Happy New Year to you, Dave and the lads. I hope 2011 is just as wonderful as last year was for you.
    Ain't life grand?

  8. Yep Deb, life is like a great big black shiny piano!

  9. Wow. Great words, great pics. I keep forgetting you've only been doing this blogging thang for a little while -- you are a natural. I hope 2011 brings you even more good times. Thanks for being a friend, in more ways than you know. peace...

  10. Linda, i'm practically a virgin.
    Peace to you, too.

  11. Love the photos and the recap. I'm so happy for all of your well-deserved goodness last year, and I'm especially grateful for your friendship and support. Hearing your lovely voice and getting your amazing package in the mail were quite seriously two of the highlights of my year.

    Now on to the next decade, with hope and love in my heart, and gratitude for all the friends we share.

  12. This was great! I loved the little peak into your life, especially the photos. You rock!

  13. What an awesome year for you! And a beautiful re-cap. Meeting you and Dave was one of the highlights of my year. I'm with Alan, it feels like we've known you forever.

    I hope 2011 brings you so much more joy and success - you deserve it.

  14. You didn't write fiction before 2010? Damn. I'm impressed.

    I love ALL your photos. They are wonderful.

    Have a terrific 2011.


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