2015 In Review


Hey blog world! It’s New Years Eve! I can’t believe how fast this year flew by and we’ll soon be entering 2016! This has been such a great year for me. Here are some of the highlights of my year.

I attended my senior prom. It was a magical night! My sweet boyfriend Glen was my date and we both had one of the best nights of our lives! We had our first limo ride that day. It was lots of fun! My favorite part of that night is so hard to choose! The limo as I said was lots of fun, as was handing out the awards (best nickname, friendliest senior, best hair, most artistic, etc) and the dance was a blast! Here’s a picture of me and my sweetheart before we went to prom. 007

I graduated grade 12 in November!! Best early Birthday gift ever! In June, when I was supposed to graduate, I found out that I passed everything but my least favorite subject, World History. My chances at CONA’s Early Childhood Education program were therefore shot, so I went back to high school in the fall and took the course over again. In November, I took a supplementary exam and passed it therefore passing the course and graduating grade 12! I cried happy tears when I got my transcript in the mail and read that I passed with 59%! I was so proud of myself! HUGE thank you to Peter Halley and Stephanie Bowring, my two wonderful tutors!! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet with me in person and via FaceTime, for being kind and patient, encouraging me, pushing me and believing in me!

I became an artist. Splatter painting had been something I’d been wanting to try for a long time. It looks really cool and seems like a lot of fun! One day in August, I decided to take my chance and do a splater painting. I came up with an idea, bought a canvas, brought it home and set to work. I splattered red, black, blue and silver paint onto my canvas to the beat of “Do You Hear The People Sing” from my favorite musical “Les Misérables”. This was the end result Colors of the People I call it “The Colors of the People”. Rebecca Caine, a Broadway actress with a breathtaking voice who played Cosette in Les Mis and Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” was coming to Newfoundland the next night to perform at the Masonic Temple, I was going to the show so I decided to give this painting to her as a welcome to Newfoundland gift. She didn’t like it. She loved it! She said she would hang it in her studio! I was on cloud 109! I was thrilled that she loved it that much! She compared my painting to Jackson Pollock. I thought it was awesome that I got compared to a famous artist on my first try! I had so much fun painting Rebecca’s painting and I felt so good inside when I saw how much she loved it so I decided to continue painting. I joined a program called “Buy My Art!” that helps local artists to sell their work. Now my artwork is available at this website, and on my Facebook page and all the proceeds from the sales of my art will go to the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund.

2015 marked another fabulous year for local theatre. I attended dozens of fabulous shows! I loved everything I saw but my most favorites were “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (Spirit of Newfoundland), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (TaDa Events), “Spamalot” (Atlantic Light Theatre) and “Piano Men” (Evan Smith).

On December 6th my boyfriend Glen and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. This year has been the best year of my life because we were together. I love Glen very much! He’s a gentleman with a heart of gold! He’s absolutely adorable too! My favorite memories with him this year are playing life sized Clue at Youth Group and solving the case, overflowing with pride when he read me “The Cat In the Hat” all by himself, picnicking on my back poorch, swimming in Peter’s pool and slow dancing at Spirit of Newfoundland as Shelley Neville sang “At Last”. I swear, in that moment time stopped!

I reunited with a former “student” of mine! In grade 4, the special education teacher at my elementary school would take me out of class every now and then to help her teach a group of three first grade boys with Autism reading, writing and typing. In October when I returned to High School to redo world history I paid a visit to the special needs class. I missed my friends there a lot and couldn’t wait to see them again! When I entered the classroom, there playing the Wii was Evan, one of the boys I helped teach! I couldn’t believe how tall he’d gotten and how grown up he was! I was so proud of him.

I turned 18 this year! I had a wonderful Birthday. I spent the night with my family and my boyfriend. We went out for Chinese food, then came back to my house for cheesecake (my favorite desert in the world!) and presents. My Birthday party the following week was a wonderful night! I had a masquerade ball! This is what I wore Masquerade dress. The DJ played music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (I much prefer that to what’s on the radio these days) and my friends and I all had a blast dancing!

I got to spend the summer and Christmas working in heaven! This is my 2nd year as a seasonal jack of all trades at Spirit of Newfoundland. I polish silverware, fold napkins, package screech cake, take inventory, fill out recipt forms, if there’s anything that needs to be done I do it! Spirit is the best place in the world to work! My co-workers are all such wonderful people that feel like my 2nd family. I only have a few more days left of this work term. Next Wednesday is my last day. I look so forward to returning in the summer and working with them all again!

I got to give speeches on topics that are dear to my heart. I was one of the keynote speakers at Read All About It, a Best Buddies fundraising event at Chapters. I spoke about what Best Buddies means to me. It was awesome standing at the podium, sharing my story and promoting this incredible organization (to learn more about Best Buddies click here)! Also, I entered the Lions Club Speak Off for the 2nd year in a row. I spoke about why employers should hire individuals with special needs. I didn’t place but frankly I didn’t care! I brought attention to a matter that I care deeply about. I was proud and happy.

I tried to get published. I’ve written several children’s books and sent the manuscripts in to Flanker Press for consideration. I received a package in the mail from them recently. They returned my manuscripts and wrote me a letter saying that the books are wonderful and have potential but they only publish a few children’s books per year and have already committed to several over the next few years. Oh well! I’m not giving up at all! I’m going to continue writing and submitting my work to other publishers in the province. One day I will be published!

2016 is going to be another big year! I’m auditioning for Best Kind Productions’ May production of “Next To Normal”, going to College in the fall to study Early Childhood Education and will also be working on recording a CD! As for resolutions, this year I’m going to learn to drive. I have a fear of driving which is why I’ve put off getting my license. I’m afraid that if I get behind the wheel I’ll accidentaly hit something or someone and kill/seriously injure myself and/or someone else. This year I want to conquer that fear. It will be hard but I think I can do it! My goal is to drive myself to work this summer. Wish me luck! What’s been your favorite memory of 2015? Do you have a resolution for 2016? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

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Spirited Christmas Magic


Hey blog world! Yesterday was the best day ever!!! I got to spend the day surrounded by people who mean the world to me! I began the day at Tim Horton’s, where I go to kill time before work and as I was having my drink I saw my brother in-law Ben, sister Crista and nephew Lincoln in the lineup. They are here from Australia to celebrate Christmas with us! Yay! I talked to them for a bit, then when they got their food and drinks they joined me at my table. It was wonderful getting to hang out with them for a bit before work. Here’s a super cute photo I took of little Lincoln (who is almost 2) enjoying a Timbit! Timbit Link isn’t he adorable?!

Soon after, I walked to heaven! Really I walked to work but I call Spirit of Newfoundland heaven for many reasons. One is because it’s a wonderful place where I’m welcome and accepted. Also all the staff are friendly and feel like my 2nd family and when I enter through the doors of the Masonic Temple, all my troubles wash away! I become instantly happy! This is my favorite place in the whole world!

My day started with distribution of coal (a rice krispie treat coated in black icing color) and Christmas cards! I made one of each for my entire Spirit family! Everyone from Blaine the custodian to John Williams, one of the actors in “Three Wise Men and Other Christmas Miracles” got a card and lump of coal from me! It made me smile seeing everyone’s reactions when I gave them their cards and coal. Their faces lit up! My heart did too. It makes me happy to make other people happy.

Soon I got to work. It was a busy morning for me! I put screech cake boxes together and packaged cakes and I folded napkins too. I loved it! Both of those tasks are a lot of fun!

After this busy morning I was assigned to coat check. That’s a lot of fun too! I really enjoy interacting with the patrons. Being tipped is nice too. One woman tipped me a $5 bill! I thought that was very kind of her and was certain to thank her for it.

Once all the guests had entered the dining hall to attend the luncheon, I did too! Yes, for the third time this month I attended Peter and Shelley’s Christmas luncheon! I will willingly admit that I’m a Spirit of Newfoundland addict! This show was my 23rd!! The staff were all treated to the lunch today. I thought it was very nice of Paul, the general manager to do that for us.

It was lovely getting to sit down and share a meal with my 2nd family. The food, as always was delicious! Especially the pasta salad. Alex, please, PLEASE give me that recipe!!! It’s to die for! I want to make it at home! It would go perfect with my family’s Sunday cold plate suppers.

After the delicious meal, my wonderful friends Peter and Shelley came onstage and sang. They have the voices of angels! I love hearing them sing!

After a few songs I got to go up onstage and sing! I loved that! I sang my favorite Christmas song, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. Before I sang, I explained to the audience why it’s my favorite Christmas song and the special meaning that the song has for me. Rudolph and I were both born extra special. He has a glowing red nose and I have Asperger’s Syndrome and Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum (the Corpus Collosum is a wide band of fibres that connects the left and right side of my brain and transmits information between them. I was born without it.) Rudolph was teased by his peers and left out of reindeer games because he’s different. Me too! Pencils have been thrown at my back, I’ve been verbally insulted, my grade 1 teacher snatched my mother’s day project that I worked so hard on and was proud of from me and threw it in the trash!!! I’ve run the gamut of bullying. It sucks! The ending of the song always makes me emotional. Rudolph is finally accepted and loved for who he is! I wish that neurotypical (“normal”) people would understand that people who have special needs are people too! Instead of bullying us, get to know us! We make great friends and we just might amaze you with what we can do!

It’s so hard to pick a favorite part of the luncheon today! I have so many! “Jingle Bells” set to ludicrous speed is lots of fun, “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve” is always absolutely beautiful and every time I hear Peter and Shelley sing it I almost cry and “Fairytale of New York” is wonderful too. Everything about the luncheon is wonderful!

I wasn’t the only special guest singer in the luncheon today. Kenny Rogers was there too! Kenny Peter Peter and Shelley have done Kenny and Dolly at every Christmas luncheon that I’ve been to, but this was the first one (and will be the only one because yesterday was the last luncheon) where Peter brought back the Kenny costume from “Go Duet Yourself”! He looks so silly and it amazes me how he’s able to sing with a stocking over his face!

After the luncheon, I was stopped by many people. They gave me hugs and told me that I did a beautiful job singing and telling my story. Some even said that I made them cry! That made me feel really good inside. I was so happy that I got to spread my message of acceptance and that I’d touched that many people with my story.

As some of you know, I’m a reporter with “Perspectives” a YouTube newscast run by Joey Neary of Buy My Art! that focuses on local art and entertainment. I’m the theatre arts correspondant! I got to do an interview with Shelley today about “O Holy Night”, which by the way was a spectacular concert! I was there Monday night and loved every minute of it! Both of us had a lot of fun doing the interview and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the show soon!

Crista then came to pick me up. Her, Ben, Lincoln and I twacked (the Newfie term for window shopped) for a bit in some shops downtown. My favorite was the Downhome Store. There was a big moose statue upstairs and Lincoln and I sat on it and got a picture taken! image4 He absolutely loved this moose! He bent over several times to hug it and kiss its head. I thought that was so sweet!

Once we were done shopping we headed back to the house that they rented on Duckworth Street. We watched Lincoln’s favorite movie, “Shrek”! It had been a long while since I’d seen it last. It was great to have some bonding time with Lincoln and enjoy this movie together! I’d forgotten how funny Donkey was! I cracked up laughing so many times!

Soon, my parents arrived, but not to take me home. They arrived to babysit Lincoln. Crista, Ben and I had a special evening out planned. Back to Spirit to see “Three Wise Men and Other Christmas Miracles”! I thought it was awesome getting to see two shows at my favorite place on earth in one day!

I was very excited to take Crista and Ben tonight because Ben, being a come from away had never been to Spirit and Crista, even though she is from here has never been there either. This was my 24th show but for them it was their very first! I couldn’t wait to see what they thought of it all!

The meal tonight was absolutely delicious! The first course was a sweet potato, caramelized apple soup. I don’t like sweet potato so I was skeptical about trying this. I didn’t think I’d like it. I gave it a go and was surprised. It wasn’t bad! I’d say 5.5 out of 10. Crista really enjoyed it. She said that she would make this at home. Ben really liked it too.

For the 2nd course, I had a pan seared pork loin with a apricot, cranberry chutney. I wasn’t fond of the chutney but the p0rk was wonderful! This dish came with some garden vegetables. The mashed potato was my favorite. It was perfect! Very soft and creamy, just the way I like my mashed potatos!

Soon after eating my 2nd course, I went into the Screech Room with my bag of coal and cards to give some out to the cast of the show. Again, I loved seeing how happy my friends were when they received their gifts.

After giving my coal and cards out, the cast and band assembled for their pre-show circle. Before every show they hold hands in a circle and give themselves a little pep talk. I couldn’t believe it when Peter outstretched his hand and said “Leah, come join our circle!” I was honored! I joined in, they had a little pep talk and then we all shouted “HARD TICKETS!” That was one of the most incredible moments of my life! I’ll never forget being part of this tradition.

Then the show began. An elderly woman named Gloria (played by Sheila Williams) was talking to a picture of her deceased husband Tom as she browsed through Match.com to find another man. Old people trying to find love I think is really sweet. Sheila did a great job of playing this character. She was really funny!

A little later, the cast came out one by one and sang their favorite Christmas song. Michael was first with “Santa Claus is Back In Town” by Elvis. It was awesome! He pointed at me during this song and I fangirled! A big smile came on my face and I bounced with excitement in my seat!

Sheila sang “Old Christmas Card” by Jim Reeves. I thought she did a fantastic job! It was funny when she interacted with her “ex” as she sang. An audience member got picked to play her ex and read the spoken part of the song. She sat on his lap and sang to him!

Peter sang “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve”. I loved getting to hear that beautiful song twice in one day! It’s one of my favorite songs to hear Peter sing.

Dana sang “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. She rocked! Her singing was phenomenal, as was her dancing. There was a snow machine on stage and it fired fake snow at the audience near the end. Everything about this segment made me feel so happy!

Keith’s favorite Christmas song is by my least favorite artist, Justin Bieber! It was “Mistletoe”. It’s honestly not a bad song, I just hate Bieber and his annoying voice. Keith does the song so much better!

They all came out and talked a bit about the “Mexican Word of The Day” meme and gave us a few examples like Diesel Fitter: “I bought my girlfriend some choo’s. I hope diesel fitter!” and Wheelchair: “I only have one donut but that’s ok, wheelchair”. Then, one by one, while wearing a fake moustache and a sombrero (and singing in a Mexican accent) they each sang a verse from “The Hat I Got For Christmas Is Too Big”. It was hillarious! I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard! This was my favorite part of the show.

Michael and Keith sang some Johnny Reid songs. Michael said that he’s a fan of Johnny Reid and people have said that he looks and sings like him. To prove that he sang a bit of “Darlin'”. He’s not quite spitting image (honestly, he’s cuter than Johnny Reid) but voice wise however, if you closed your eyes you would think that it was actually Johnny singing! Keith then said he was a Johnny Reid fan too and began singing “Woman Like You”. Again, I loved the audience participation in this part of the show. Keith found a woman in the audience, serenaded her with the song and sat on her lap!

The skeets were back!! I was thrilled to see them again! Skeets have become recurring characters in Spirit’s shows but I hadn’t seen them in a show in a long time! The last time was last year’s “O Holy Night” when Peter and Sheila opened the show as skeets. Anyway, it was great to see them back. As always, they were smoking cigarettes and Michael blew my mind by blowing smoke rings. It’s so cool how he does that! They were auditioning to be in the Christmas pageant at the Christmas Bazaar. Dana couldn’t say Three Wise Men without laughing! That made me laugh too. For skeets, they have great voices! When they harmonize it sounds amazing! I don’t know the name of it but they sang a jazzy song. I really liked it.

Soon, it was time for Screech Cake, my favorite part of the meal at Spirit! I was very excited to see what Ben thought of it and he loved it! I was glad he did. Sadly, he had to leave after finishing his cake. Crista was worried about Lincoln and she thought he was going to wake up and freak out because his grandparents were there instead of his parents so Ben walked back home to be with him. It was lovely to spend the evening with him and hear what he thought of the show. I was so glad he enjoyed this new experience. He really enjoyed the Newfoundland songs that were sung. When it came to the Skeets though, he didn’t know what to make of them! He was slightly confused and didn’t know what was going on! LOL.

In the 2nd act, Tom’s ghost spoke to Gloria and gave her a special elixr to drink to get the courage to ask her friend John (played by Peter) out. She drank the whole thing and got very handsy when he came over! She was all over John and he didn’t like it. He tried to leave but in an effort to convince him to stay she sang “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. They sunded great together!

The skeets got the parts they auditioned for in the Christmas pageant in the Bazaar! With their amazing voices, that didn’t surprise me! Keith was the angel Gabriel (and looked cute in the wings), Michael was Joseph and Dana was Mary. I thought it was funny, yet felt a little bad for skeet Michael because the poor guy got stage fright and had some trouble delivering his lines! What a sin! Dana was hillarious in this scene! Keith gave her the baby doll and she fell in love with it! She made baby noises at it and said she lalalala loves him! That made me smile. When she was supposed to give the doll to Joseph she refused to!

There was more audience participation in this scene! They picked three men out of the audience to be the three wise men. The looks on their faces when Keith said “They all sang joyously together” were priceless! They weren’t bad singers. I was impressed.

The medley that ended the show was spectacular! The whole cast singing “Gloria in excelsis deo” and “Hallelujah” in harmony sounded angelic! Sheila sang “From A Distance” and I was mesmerized! It was beautiful! “Joy To The World” (“Jeremiah was a bullfrog”) was lots of fun too. I danced to it in my seat!

Every night, they end by singing “Spirit of Newfoundland”, an absolutely beautiful song that Peter wrote. That was the part of the night I was looking most forward to. I hadn’t heard the song since last summer and couldn’t wait to hear it again! It’s one of my favorite songs. When they sang it last night, as always it was magical!

After the show, I of course introduced Crista to my friends and got pictures with them too!

As I said above, yesterday was the best day ever! It’s a day that I’ll never forget! Merry Christmas to my Spirit family! I hope you all enjoy your well deserved time off with your families, Santa Claus is good to you and all your Christmas wishes come true! See you all on Monday!

Leah

The Last Day of Luncheons


Hey blog world! Today was the last day of the Christmas luncheons at work. I got inspired by all the busyness of the day and decided to write a poem about it! 

“The Last Day Of Luncheons”

‘Twas the last day of luncheons at Spirit NL and the staff were all scurrying to be sure all goes well.

The cutlery was placed round the tables with care, in hopes Peter and Shelley soon would be there.
Paul with his pen, to spread holiday glee, signed his name upon checks for each employee
Blaine the custodian cleaned the place till it shined. A harder working person is quite hard to find
The kitchen staff were busy, chef Alex in command. They made cod and screech cake. The smell was grand!
The guests came in in droves! 100 or more. Colleen was there to greet them all at the door
Frank, Bill and Boomer began to play jazzy Christmas music and the guests began to sway.
Shelley and Peter sang with all their might, “Fairytale of New York” and “O Holy Night”. 
Once the guests were all gone, the staff scurried again, to prepare for tonight’s show “Three Wise Men”
At the end of this busy night the tired staff all fled, grateful they get Christmas off and can spend more time in bed.

Good Friends and Good Food


Hey blog world! I just arrived home from a double date. Myself and Glen went out with our friends Peter and Shelley. Shelley and Peter are both busy as beavers, especiallly now during the Christmas season so it isn’t often we get to spend time together. I was very happy that the four of us got to get together tonight.

Our evening began at a service for those who had lost a loved one to suicide. Peter and Shelley were providing the music and Peter invited us to attend the service. It was beautiful! Both myself and Glen cried. The poems and memorials were very heartfelt and touching and Peter and Shelley’s singing was lovely!

I thought a lot about my Nanny Weir during this special memorial service. She lost her battle with cancer two years ago. I miss her lots and think about her often, especially at Christmas time. When we were given candles to light we were asked to say the name of the person we were remembering aloud. I solemnly said Verna Weir as I lit my candle off of Glen’s, bowed my head and took a minute to remember her. Her pretty voice singing praises to the Lord every Sunday, her delicious homemade bread and helping her bake that bread when I was little, her love of jigsaw puzzles and crosswords (almost every time I’d visit she’d be in the middle of doing one of them), how brave she was and how hard she fought her battle with cancer, even beating it twice! She was such a kind hearted, lovely woman and one of my biggest inspirations. I love her very much and will never forget her!

After the service, the four of us climbed into Peter’s truck and headed off for East Side Mario’s, my 2nd favorite casual dining restaurant on the rock (my first favorite of course as you all know is Spirit of Newfoundland!)

When I was looking through my purse to make sure I had everything before I left, I noticed that my VeggieTales CD was still in my purse! I had put it in there last week so Glen and I could listen to it together as we drove to the Masonic Temple to celebrate our anniversary. I’d forgotten to take it out. I asked Peter if he wouldn’t mind turning it on so we could listen to it again. He put it on for us! That was kind of him. The four of us had so much fun laughing and singing along with the songs as we drove! Peter and Shelley had never heard of VeggieTales before. I was glad that they enjoyed the music as much as myself and Glen!

We arrived at the restaurant and were very promptly greeted and seated. I was very impressed with that. In fact, I was very pleased and impressed with all of our service tonight! The waitress was very friendly, made reccommendations which we tried and enjoyed and made several trips to our table to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. A+ service! I looked for a feedback form to express how pleased I was but couldn’t find one. If you know anyone who works at the East Side Mario’s on Portugal Cove Road, please pass this blog along to them.

I became part of “the family” by joining the East Side Mario’s mailing list. You can do that by clicking here. For joining, I got a coupon for a free order of feta bruschetta, Feta cheese, bruschetta and arugula on flatbread with a balsalmic glaze. We used that coupon tonight. I thought the feta bruschetta wasn’t bad but at the same time wasn’t good. 5 out of 10.

The main course was so hard to choose! There are so many yummy dishes at East Side Mario’s! It took me quite a while to decide. I thought about going with my usual, cheese capaletti (ravioli in rosé sauce), then I thought maybe try something different and have the linguine chicken amatricata (chicken breast with peppers, roasted button mushrooms, garlic and bacon tossed in rosé sauce) then I thought perhaps order the scallop carbonara (three bacon wrapped scallops on top of linguine alfredo with bacon, green onions and even more scallops)! Making my mind up was impossible! Everything sounded so good! I couldn’t choose! In the end, when the waitress came to take our order, I thought what Shelley was having sounded yummy so I got it too. Chicken linguine alfredo. This gets a 9 out of 10! Absolutely delicious! The chicken was cooked perfectly, tender and juicy, the alfredo was creamy and delicious and the pasta was cooked just right. I didn’t finish it all but loved every bite that I was able to eat.

I love chatting with people, especially those whom I don’t get to see or chat with often. It was great making conversation with Peter and Shelley tonight. We talked about all sorts of things! VeggieTales, what we want for Christmas, school and my plans for next year (I’m attending CONA in the fall to study early childhood education), sports, etc. We even planned to have a bowling night together sometime soon! Girls VS guys! To make things interesting we said that losers have to buy donuts and drinks for us at Tim Horton’s after the game. Shelley and I are positive that we will kick Peter and Glen’s butts and they will be the ones treating us to Timmies!

We took a few pictures while we were out this evening!

Glen and I East Side

Me and my sweetheart Glen

Peter and Shelley East Side

Our lovely friends Peter and Shelley

When the waitress came by and asked if we wanted desert, I was feeling a little full from my meal but I figured shag it! Indulge! Those of you who know me know that I’m a sucker for cheesecake. I will do anything (legal and non lethal) for a piece! I can’t say no! I saw New York style cheesecake on the desert menu and knew right away what I was having for desert. I turned Glen into a cheesecake addict too so he had a piece as well. He opted for a plain piece and I had a piece with caramel sauce. It was a surprisingly huge portion! I wasn’t expecting it to be the size that it was! I couldn’t eat all of it. However, it was one of the best pieces of cheesecake that I’d ever tasted! 10 out of 10!!! I can’t wait for my snack break tomorrow at work to finish the rest of it!

Once we were all finished eating, Peter paid our bill. This evening out was his Christmas gift to us. I thought it was very nice of him to do that for us. Peter and Shelley are true angels. They are two of the nicest people I know! Glen and I are blessed to have them as friends.

I had such a wonderful evening out tonight and look so forward to seeing Peter and Shelley at work this week and taking in their luncheon once again on Friday with my Best Buddy Machaela! I’m also really looking forward to our upcomming bowling night! Just an advance notice Peter and Glen, My favorite drink at Tim’s is a medium candy cane hot chocolate and my favorite donut is the candy sprinkle one with strawberry filling!

Leah

Back to Work


Hey blog world! Today was lots of fun! As you know, I recently passed my history exam and therefore am graduated from high school! I’d been since looking for a job and today I got one!! I’m back to work in heaven (Spirit of Newfoundland)!

When Peter (the artistic director) texted me last night and told me to come in today for a meeting, I was ecstatic! I knew that meant I was hired! I couldn’t wait for today to come!

When I arrived this morning I was very happy to be home (I consider Spirit of Newfoundland my 2nd home)! I was greeted by Paul, the general manager, who lead me to the boardroom to begin my day.

I was assigned one of my favourite tasks, silverware polishing and sorting. I don’t know what it is about it but I find sorting things relaxing. Out of the many tasks I’ve had to do at Spirit, polishing and sorting the silverware was one I looked forward to most.

It was soon time for the luncheon. I could hear Peter and Shelley singing from the boardroom!! I loved getting to hear their beautiful, angelic voices as I worked!

Once I finished, so had the luncheon. I knew that Paul and Peter wouldn’t be ready right away so I stayed in the boardroom for a little longer. Kathie Hicks soon came in. I hadn’t seen her in what felt like ages! It was great to see her again and chat for a bit.

A little later I went upstairs to see if Paul and Peter were ready. I ran into Boomer Stamp (Spirit’s drummer) in the bar. We said hello to each other and he gave me a hug! That was nice.

I found Paul and he told me that I could take a break in the dining room and have some of the leftover salad from the luncheon. I had some of chef Alex’s delicious macaroni salad and sat and talked with Adam, the sound guy as I ate. We’ve never talked much before so I enjoyed having that opportunity.

I got to meet Peter’s niece Lily and nephew Michael a little later. They are sweet kids. I saw them admiring a snow globe and recognized them from pictures I’d seen on Peter’s Facebook. I went over to them and introduced myself and turned the snow globe upside down so that the snow would fall. The three of us watched in awe as the snow fell down on a snowman. It was so pretty!

Soon I had a meeting with Peter and Paul. We discussed hours and what my job would entail. As usual, I’ll be doing a bit of everything.

After the meeting I went downstairs to do some tidying up. I tidied Peter’s office, the boardroom and backstage.

Next, I came back upstairs to do a few things. With the help of Emily, one of the waitresses, I did a Facebook post advertising the delicious Screech cake and rum sauce we sell. She took a picture of the display and I wrote a caption. Then, I helped Colleen by refilling the sugar dishes.

I had been working hard all afternoon and my throat was dry so once the sugars were replenished I took a short juice break. I sat in the Screech Room and read “Holes” as I drank. “Holes” is a fantastic novel! I highly recommend it. It’s about a boy who is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and is sentenced to dig holes at Camp Green Lake.

My final task of the day was replacing all the tea light candles. I needed help getting some of them out of the holders because they were stuck due to the melted wax acting as an adhesive, but other than that it was an easy task and didn’t take me too long.

Soon my mom arrived and it was time to go home. I had such a wonderful first day and had so much to tell her!

I can’t wait to come back tomorrow! I’m so happy to be home for the holidays!

Leah 

Spirit Christmas Luncheon 2015


Hey blog world! Today I had a wonderful afternoon out with my sweetheart. Tomorrow is our one year anniversary but he will be in Church all day rehearsing for the Christmas pageant that night so we celebrated today by going to the luncheon at Spirit of Newfoundland!

Before we left Glen, who looked extra handsome today in a suit and tie, gave me my anniversary gift, a bouquet of purple flowers! I loved them!  Purple is my favourite colour! The card he gave me was very sweet. I almost cried! I then gave him his gift, Werther’s Original caramels and a special memory book of our first year together that I wrote for him. He loved it and I’m glad he did.

When we got to Spirit we were both mesmerized by the decorations! The Temple looked absolutely beautiful! So many pretty Christmas trees and other decorations!

The doors to the dining room weren’t open yet so, this being a special day for us we decided to have mocktails! A mocktail is a virgin cocktail (neither of us drink), it’s juice and soda water. So refreshing! Glen had an orange mocktail and I had a cranberry one. We sat in the Screech Room, I gave a little toast to us and we talked for a while as we enjoyed our drinks.

Soon, the doors opened and we went inside. We had a great view of the stage from where we were seated.

A short while later, it was time to eat! The appetizer was a buffet. Turkey soup, a salad bar and Spirit’s famous and delicious sourdough bread. We got our food, sat at our table, held hands, said grace and then we ate. I had some bread, bread and butter pickles and pasta salad. The pasta salad was delicious! Very cheesy. Glen and I both really liked it.

After we ate, I saw Shelley Neville (one of the performers in the show) in the Screech Room so Glen and I went in to say hi. She was very happy to see us and we were happy to see her. We talked for a bit, then I gave her a gift. Yesterday, my niece and I baked Nutella brownies for her. She shared them with the band as they rehearsed. I didn’t have the chance to ask them what they thought of them. I hope they all liked them!

I had something for Peter Halley (the other performer in the show) too, and for the Masonic Temple! For the Temple I did a special painting to commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of Spirit. I painted the Spirit logo and around it, wrote the names of all the original shows that they’ve done. Peter loved it! I was so glad he did. He put it up right away! That made me so happy! I had something for him too but he chose to wait till after the show to open it.

Next, we had lunch. Glen and I both had cod in cream sauce. I wasn’t overly fond of it but Glen really enjoy it. I thought the vegetables were yummy. The mashed potato was my favourite.

After we ate, the show began! They opened with my favourite carol, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph holds a special place in my heart. We were both made extra special (he has a glowing red nose and I have Aspergers) and have been ridiculed and excluded by our peers because of our difference. The ending, when he gets to guide the sleigh and the other reindeer accept him makes me so happy! So much so that I cry. It warms my heart that he’s finally accepted by his peers and loved for who he is. I wish I could be too.

Shelley told the audience that if we have a request, shout it out. Glen and I put up our hands and Shelley called on us. Glen asked for “Joy to the World” and I asked for “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve”. Shelley and Peter then sang them for us! “Joy to the World” was incredible! Shelley has such an angelic voice! I was also astounded by the high notes she was hitting! I’m surprised that glass didn’t shatter! Glen was beaming as she sang. Seeing his huge smile made me smile too.

“I’ll Be There Christmas Eve” was beautiful, as usual. That’s one of my favourite songs to hear them sing. Peter and Shelley both sound fabulous on their own but they are even more so when they sing together!

Later in the show, Shelley sang “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters. There was a little room in the corner by the stage so Glen and I went over there and shared a slow dance. It was magical! Peter, by request sang “Cherry Tree Carol”. I thought he did a marvellous job! Glen and I slow danced to that too. Dancing together is one of our favorite things to do.

They sang “Jingle Bells”, but not the usual way. They cranked it to ludicrous speed! I was amazed by how fast they were going! I had fun singing along and trying to keep up!

They sang two different versions of “I’ll Be Home With Bells On”, the original and the Trina Fulford (a Newfoundland singer) version. I had no problem singing along with the original but when Shelley asked us to join in on Trina’s version it was impossible for me to do because I kept laughing! Try singing this with a straight face and without laughing, “I’ll be home with nothing but my bells on.” It’s so hard!

The Christmas season is now officially allowed to start because Shelley has sung “O Holy Night”! She ended the show with it and, as she always does when she sings this song, she took my breath away and at the end left me speechless!  Glen and I gave her a standing ovation! She deserved it after such a spectacular performance! Peter deserved it too.

After the show Peter opened his gift. I wrote him a series of “Open When” letters. “Open When” letters are letters to open on various different occasions, “open when you’re bored”, “open when you can’t sleep”, “open when you need a break from the kitchen” for example, and some letters contain a few surprises! I put a lot of heart into this gift so I hoped Peter would like it. He said it was very thoughtful of me and it was the loveliest gift anyone has ever given him! That made me feel so good inside! Making others happy makes me happy! I look forward to hearing what he thinks each time he opens a letter.

We chatted for a bit after that. He said that as his Christmas gift to me and Glen, he’d take us out for supper! That was so nice of him! We discussed restaurants and dates and decided on East Side Mario’s next Sunday. I’m really looking forward to spending the evening with my two favourite guys!

Shelley joined the three of us in the bar to get a picture.   This definitely belongs in a frame.

It was then time to go. We said our goodbyes then stood in the porch and waited for dad. When he arrived and we got in the car I had a special treat for Glen. We both love “VeggieTales”, a series of animated, Christian, direct to DVD movies about talking vegetables that sing songs and tell stories that teach Biblical values. I brought along my VeggieTales CD and we listened to it and sang along all the way home! It was awesome!
Happy anniversary sweet Glen! You truly are a blessing sent to me from God. I had an incredible year and can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold in store! Take my hand, take my whole life too. I can’t help falling in love with you! XOXO

Leah