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Day 82 - I'm still here!

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

This is just a quick blog to say that yup I'm still here, and hopefully will get back to blogging everyday soon. I'm been super busy at work (Holiday season in Retail!!) and have some deadlines coming up for some music stuff, so that's why this little 'ole blog of mine has been neglected lately. Until mid December I'll probably only blog once every few days or so, but after that things should get back to normal (well, at least a bit!)

On a sidenote - I got my Christmas present early this year (courtesy of my fabulous husband of course) . . . I got a new microphone!! I've been using a mic that's more suited towards live performance and not studio recording work, so I wasn't getting the kind of sound capture I wanted in my home studio recordings. I am now the proud owner however of an AKG Perception 420 microphone - an amazing quality mic for recording both vocals and instruments. Super excited about it and can finally now finish laying down the vocals on "Go on". Thank-you Santa!! (aka Chris).


Day 77 - You have GOT to be kidding me!!

>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chris let me take his van to work today. My car was getting cleaned up at the shop so it's ready for me to turn in on Friday. I never drive his van to work - ever. He was going to drive me this morning but was too tired so said I could take it. I was super careful, making sure to pick a parking spot with lots of room, basically treating it like a baby.

After a long and tiring day at work, I walk up to where I had parked it (the upper parking lot at the mall - where I usually park my car) and see mall security and a police car, all of them standing by a car taking pictures. As I walk past I see that the front driver's side window had been smashed it. "Awww, man" I think to myself - "I feel sorry for whomever owns that car". I keep walking for a few steps and then the van comes into view. I immediately stop. Guess which other vehicle has been broken into? Yup - Chris' van. I must have stood there for a full minute just looking at it when the police officer comes up and asks me if it's my car. He explains that both the van and this other car had been broken into - mall security had discovered it and had called the police to come take pictures and file a report. I guess security had been paging the license plate # over the loudspeaker in the mall, but we can't really hear the mall pages in our store so I was completely oblivious to what happened until I came out and saw for myself. They stole our GPS unit, but thankfully Chris had cleaned it out the night before so there wasn't anything else of value in it to steal. I phoned Chris and explained what happened - he was awesome though and had someone from work drive him over right away so he could survey the damage and see what to do next. There was glass everywhere, even after the police officer had helped me clean it up a little bit. Security had to find a broom and dust pan and stuff just so we could clear off the seat enough that we could drive in it.

Arggghhhh - so frustrating!! I just find it so sad and also so aggravating that someone would do this. We are thankfully in a situation that although it sucks to have to pay to get it repaired, although I wouldn't say we can afford it, we can pay for it without it keeping us up too much at night. But how can people do this kind of thing with no regard whatsoever to whose lives it effects? It's so disturbing to me that while I was at work in my store only a minute away, someone was breaking into our car and doing something so wrong and scary.

I'll chalk it up to the week I'm having and continue to hope and pray that next week is a better one.

I guess to look on the bright side I should be thankful that my family even has a car in the first place and that I wasn't actually in the car when someone tried to break into it.

Oy vey . . .


Day 76

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What do you think of my new template? I've finally fixed and reloaded everything (after several hours) and here it is! Whew! I tried reinstalling the template I had before, but it was still coming up really weird, so I decided to go with a new look. I'm lovin' it so far as I can put a lot more info and gadgets on here - plus it's got a bar on the very bottom for pictures which is pretty cool.

I'll hopefully be adding even more gadgets and widgets on here in the next few days, so I'm not finished yet, but I guess a blog is never really finished, is it?


Day 75 - Blog Update

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

So my blog decided to go completely berserk today - I have no idea how it happened, but I came to my site only to discover that the whole page was covered in an crazy "inactive" error messages from photobucket - a site I don't even use. Not sure if someone hacked in or something, but it was royally screwed up. I'm managed to change it back to a basic template for now until I can figure it out and make it look nice and pretty again. I've lost some of the info that was on the sidebars, but my actual posts seem to be intact, so that's good.

Please bear with me as I try to figure this out - it may take a few days.

:( Suz


Day 72

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

Well, I'm definitely been starting to feel better about things these last two days. I've thought and prayed, and while there hasn't been a moment of enlightenment or anything, I'm starting to just trust that things will work out the way they're supposed to.

One decision I have made in the last few days is that I am giving up my car. After looking at the insurance issues (rates for Toronto drivers have recently gone up) and other driving options I might have if I do turn my car in (renting, autoshare and zipcar - 2 Toronto car-sharing companies), I have decided I want to stick to my original plan and go car-free for awhile. I don't know for how long, but it'll be at least for a year. I really want to be able to be in the situation where I can save more money, and also just couldn't shake the fact that I really don't need to drive and that my car was just one more unneccessary car on the road. The fact that we don't have kids yet and I work an easy bus ride away makes this change a lot more feasible for us as a family. I also had prayed a lot about it and just really feel like this is the decision I need to make. I called my insurance company today to cancel my insurance policy as of the end of this month, and then I turn my car in next Friday morning. I'm making the 2 1/2 hour drive to my parents farm this weekend, so at least I have one last weekend with my "baby" before we part ways.

I'll be incommunicado and blog-free this weekend - my parents and I are going to Kincardine, ON for my Aunt Pat's memorial service. I'm glad I'm going 'cause I want to say good-bye to her and see how the family is doing and give them all my best, but it's still a little surreal to me that she's actually gone . . .

Anyway - hope everyone out there has a great weekend ahead of them and I'll be back to blogging on Monday!


Day 70 - Part 2

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Okay, so I should be in bed by now (early morning tomorrow), but I was just listening to a new CD ("The Lost Get Found" by Britt Nicole - an amazing Christian singer I discovered recently) and one of the songs on there just spoke so strongly to me I almost broke down in tears. It is just exactly where I am right now faith-wise and I just had to share it. I found a video on youtube that someone made that has the lyrics, so here 'ya go. It's called "Safe":


Day 70

Well I had my doctor's appointment today. She thinks I suffer from severe tension headaches. That would explain the headaches, upper back pain, tiredness, etc. The eye-thing she thinks is from being stressed and being tired and it should go away in time. She wrote a prescription for me to start massage therapy - she said a chiropractor wouldn't be the best as she only recommends them for lower back pain. She also said I could do physiotherapy, but that's a huge time commitment and I'd probably get more out of massage therapy. Sooo - massages here I come!! I need to find a good therapist close to home and will probably go once a week at first and then down to twice a month. My insurance will only cover it up to a certain amount, so there's no way I could afford going once a week for very long. Hopefully it helps out a lot - if it doesn't there are certain medications I could go on, but that wouldn't be the ideal thing, so cross your fingers for me that this does the trick!!

An update on the car situation - Chris and I talked about it a lot and to our insurance broker and have pretty much decided that the best thing to do would be to buy a used car (on the cheaper side) and for me to keep my current insurance and drive that car. I'd still be saving money as I wouldn't have a monthly car payment, just the insurance payment, and I wouldn't run the risk of having to pay super high insurance rates when the day comes that I want to get a car and start driving again. Apparently having any sort of lapse in paying into car insurance (when you have accidents on your record) means you pretty much start from scratch when you go shopping for insurance again - I would be starting at a 1-star rating and rates for 1-star drivers are astronomical. Even though I would only have 1 accident on my record in about a year, that 1 accident would end up costing me a lot of money. Soooo - we're going shopping for used cars tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to find one (about a week and a half), so please pray for us that we find a relatively inexpensive, but good used car that will be good for our family.

Anyhoo - I want to list some things I am grateful for today. Making a list yesterday really made me feel a bit better about things and it's something I'd like to keep up. I may not always post it on here, but today I'd like to share again:

1. Having a new family doctor I really like who took the time to listen to me and give me good, practical advice and solutions
2. My new Bible - it's the Zondervan NIV Quest Study Bible and it's really thorough and helpful and connects with me (plus it has a beautiful light blue and brown leather cover which the girl in me loves)!!
3. The man at the parking booth at Credit Valley Hospital today - he was really nice and made me laugh and was an "everyday angel"
4. Being able to wake up with a bit of a new perspective today on things.
5. I've been praying a lot recently and today I really felt like God was speaking to me about some things I've been asking Him about

I'll end this blog with something I read today that not only made me laugh but touched me to the core - hopefully it's something I'll remember in moments of struggle and frustration:

"Good Morning - this is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So, relax and have a great day!"


Day 69

>> Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I know I've been a deliquent blogger later. I haven't been feeling very well and, . . . well I think I'm depressed. I feel foolish just writing that 'cause I know there are a lot of people out there who have way more reasons than I to be depressed but are standing up straight and making the best of it. I have my reasons of course, but I know in the grand scheme of things they are very, very small and insignificant.

I just feel so unmotivated lately. I haven't been taking very good care of myself and it has really started to show in how I feel day to day. I'm tired all the time, I've had a splitting headache for 7 days now, my left lower eyelid has been having these weird spasms about 10 times an hour for about 3 weeks, and this morning I woke up and my entire upper back felt completely tense and frozen. I went to work for an hour and a half but then had to come home 'cause I was almost in tears. I wonder if my dissatisfaction with life right now is causing all these physical things, or if it's the other way around.

It's also so upside down, 'cause the only time I've really felt "alive" and like my old self lately has been when I'm working on my music. But - I end up spending most of my waking hours at a job I don't really enjoy, the whole time wishing I was at home doing the music stuff that I truly love.

I don't know. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow with my new family doctor so I'm hoping she can shed some light on some things. I just wish there was some sort of "motivation" shot you could get that would help me shake these blues I've been having.

It also doesn't help that I turn my car in next week (the lease is up) and have to start taking the bus. It's not that I mind that, but Chris and I just found out today that his insurance company won't add me to his policy (the plan was that I could occasionally use his van to get to and from work, to go shopping, etc) because I've had 2 accidents in the last 5 years (both not my fault but that's a whole other story). So basically once I turn my car in next week I can't drive at all. I could always rent a car if I really needed it, but now on my days off and such, I won't even have the van as an option. It's bus-it or stay at home. Arghhh. How can I pay into insurance for so long only to be punished for accidents that were unavoidable? (one was in a parking lot so even though someone hit me we both were technically "at fault" and the other one was weather related). It really pisses me off that the Ontario insurance industry is so screwed up.

I really need some divine intervention here. I hate feeling like this and being whiny and mopey. I need some quotes or bible verses or something to cheer me up, so please share if you have any.

I should probably focus on what I'm grateful for - maybe that'll help get rid of my blues. People say that what you focus on increases, so maybe I've been focusing too much on the bad things in my life and instead should focus on the good . . .

Alright - so even though I'm not in the mood, here are some things I am grateful for today . . .

1. I have a computer so I can blog and vent
2. My husband - instead of ignoring me when I'm in a mood he actually listens
3. My dog Franklin - he lay on the floor beside the bed when I was lying there this morning in pain and upset
4. My blue guitar - just looking at it now is making me feel better a bit
5. The thought that even if I can drive at all, at least I'll be saving $700.00 a month and won't have to worry about car and insurance payments
6. My family - I've very excited to see them all in December and have the whole clan together again under one roof
7. Carpeted floors - I'm grateful my house is mostly all carpet - I find it warm and comforting
8. My bed
9. My house
10. My friends

Okay so I do feel a bit better now. Still not great, but a maybe not quite as bad. Anyhoo - if anyone reading this has any helpful tips on how to remotivate yourself and get your energy up and your "joie de vivre" back, please do share. I always do appreciate any and all comments I get . . .



Day 63

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finished the Strings today!! Yee haw baby - all done! Now just have to do the actual vocals and then it's a wrap!

So here's something I was wondering today (completley unrelated to music btw): why do the female shoppers in the mall I work at feel the need to walk around with their yoga mats all the time? Seriously - in the last few weeks I seem to be noticing yoga mat-toting women everywhere. They have them in their little yoga-mat bags, flung over their shoulders as they shop. The weird thing is - the mall I work at is very upscale. I'm being totally honest when I say I can pretty much only afford to shop at the Shoppers Drug Mart (and maybe Gap on a good day). The high majority of shoppers at my mall are people who, let's say, don't have to worry about money. That being said - most of the people who shop at this mall tend to drive to the mall - they don't walk. So why the yoga mat toting? If they just finished a class, why not leave them in the car? Is it a fashion statement? Some sort of status symbol? I'm just baffled by it. It's also strange as although some may also be wearing work-out clothes - they're always the expensive Lululemon kind, and these women always have perfect hair and make-up and never look like they've just broken a sweat.

It's probably one of the many things lately that has me saying (inwardly at least) - Really?


Day 62

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I had a moment of pure "connectedness" today - if that's even a word. I worked the early shift today (6am-2pm), then came home and decided to continue recording strings for awhile, even though I was tired and worn out and really just wanted to lie on the couch and not think about anything for awhile.

I've been working for several hours now, and just played back the entire track of "Go on" - full piano and strings at full volume. Now I'm not saying anything about the quality of my work or anything, but when I was listening to it, it was like I was fully in the moment. It's a very personal song and reflects 100% how I've been feeling about things lately and to just hear outwardly what I feel inside made me really be "me" for a minute.

It's hard to describe and it's totally cheese I know, but I guess it's like if you play a sport and you get in "the zone" as they say and everything just becomes very clear and focused and simple.

I also know, for sure, that this is why I am here - to write music. Even if it comes out and people think it sucks (although I'm really hoping it's far from the "it totally sucks" end of the scale) I'm going to keep doing it 'cause (to coin an Oprah term), it makes me in the process be my authentic self. No BS, no pretending - here I am. Just me, with my heart on my sleeve.


Day 61

>> Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm at the end of my rope. It's a rope that I've extended time and again for many a year, but it seems that I've finally come to the end.

I can't go into details at this time, but suffice it to say that I believe something rather significant in my life will be changing soon. My gut instinct has pretty much been kicking me in the stomach every single day for about a month now and I've decided I can't ignore it any longer.

Not sure what the next few weeks / month will hold, but I think it's all gonna' change pretty quickly . . .


Day 60 - Day 60??

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wow - can't believe I'm on day 60 already. Time really flies by when you're spending time doing the thing you love!

So I had the day off today, but I actually really took the day off and just chilled. I went to church in the morning, then went for a drive to just enjoy the nice weather for a bit, then came home and just relaxed with Chris. I was a little productive and cleaned out my car a bit and did a few little work-related things, but overall it was a good day just to sort of float around and do nothing. We just finished watching "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" - I know, I know - totally cheese, but fun nonetheless. I'm heading to bed soon (it's only 9pm!) as I have another early shift tomorrow and I have a looong day tomorrow with a lot of commitments so I want to get my sleep.

On a sad note - my dear Aunt Pat passed away a few days ago. She was actually my Great Aunt, but she was quite young and I always just thought of her as my Aunt. She was simply magical - I have nothing but great memories of her. So much fun, always had a twinkle in her eye, and had one of the best laughs you would ever hear. She started having health problems when my Uncle Jake got sick and then passed away 18 months ago. She had Lou Gehrig's disease, but I think she died of a broken heart. I know she's with him again now, looking down on us with an even bigger twinkle in her eye.

Aunt Pat - I'll miss you. You always held a very special place in my heart. You were a role model to me and someone who always made me feel special and welcome. The world won't shine quite as brightly now that you're gone.


Day 58 - Strings

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

I recorded strings today. It was awesome - I got to borrow the Kurzweil digital piano from the church and the string inventory on that thing is huge compared to the string options I have on my Roland piano. The strings I'm using on the Kurzweil sound so amazingly real - I'll definitely have to think about upgrading to my own Kurzweil someday (hopefully soon)!

I made good progress today - I arranged and recorded the strings for the intro, verses, pre-chorus and chorus. It'll take me another day to do the same for the bridge and refrain, and then it's on to the vocals! That'll take me probably 2 full days or so to get it just right (and do all the harmonies, etc), so I'm hoping I'll have it done in another week or so. I like to devote whole days to it, so I've been writing and working on some other songs on workdays and waiting until my days off to do the actual recording (as I'm not tired and can really focus and get into it).

Anyway - I'm super excited to get it done and post it and see what people think! I'm also getting excited 'cause I have so many ideas now and everything's really flowing and I'm feeling very inspired musically. Chris has also been super supportive and encouraging and fueling the fire, which is awesome. How lucky am I?

Alright - it's off to bed for me as I have the 6am shift at work tomorrow. 'Till next time!


Day 55

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Redid the piano track to "Go on" today. Took hours to get it just right but finally got it done. Booyah!!


Day 53

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

Only in Canada - I had to use my snowbrush to get all the fallen maple leaves off of my car yesterday morning before I left for work. I literally could hardly even see my car, it was so covered. I mean, it was pretty, but I kept thinking to myself "only in Canada, only in Canada". I guess I should be thankful it wasn't snow and ice I was trying to get off!

I've had a very busy few days - I've been having a lot of 6am shifts at work, which actually isn't too bad during the day, but by around 7pm at night I pretty much shut down and am ready for bed. The thing is, I'm always so worried about sleeping through my alarm and not getting there on time, that I end up tossing and turning all night and hardly sleeping at all! Several days in a row of that pretty much turned me into a walking zombie. I finally got a chance to really sleep last night and this morning 'cause I don't have to be at work today until much later on in the afternoon (we're setting up all our Holiday displays tonight!) - so I took advantage and slept in as much as possible today. All I can say is - sleep, I missed you - so nice to get reacquainted!

On a musical note - I've decided to rerecord the piano track to "Go on". Chris listened to it last night and while he thought it was good, said the piano was a bit heavy on certain parts, and listening back I'd have to agree with him. As someone who started out first playing piano, I sometimes tend to really play up the piano and make it all about that - so much so that it detracts a little from the rest of the song and the actual lyrics. He also suggested that I put the Intro back in, so I think I'll probably take his advice on that as well. So . . . back to square one. I have Tuesday off this week so I'm going to spend all day recording and hopefully can get the piano and string tracks finalized. Hopefully in a few weeks the whole thing will be done. Then on to the next one! I already have about 3 other songs I'm currently writing, but am not sure which one will be the next to be recorded. Stay tuned!


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