Christmas 2016


Hey blog world! Merry Christmas! Christmas is my favorite time of the year, a time of family togetherness, yummy food, magic, and happiness. This Christmas was absolutely wonderful!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to the Arts and Culture Centre to see my friend Shelley Neville’s Christmas concert, O Holy Night. This year, I took my friend Kristen with me. She’s Spirit of Newfoundland’s newest fan, so I thought she would really enjoy herself at this concert. As always, it was a mesmerizing show and we both loved every minute of it! I had so many favorite parts! Seeing Peter Halley in drag again was great and I must say, he looks great in a dress!

Hearing David Pomeroy sing “Nessun Dorma” was spellbinding! His voice always takes my breath away. When he and Shelley sang a duet of “The Prayer” I had goosebumps and was at a loss for words! It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard!

Jack Thistle, who will be playing Billy Elliot in Atlantic Light Theatre’s February production performed “Electricity”, and again I was at a loss for words! What a stunning performance he gave! He’d only been dancing for a few short months, but it’s hard to tell, he’s gotten so good at it! Once his performance was over, I gave him a standing ovation! He deserved it! I can’t wait to see him in “Billy Elliot” in a few months!

Boney M was lots of fun! Their outfits were awesome! The giant afros were my favorite part of the costumes! My heart flooded with happiness as they sang “River of Babylon” and “Mary’s Boy Child”!

Being part of the show was fun too! They did another Instant Choir, just like in “For Lease Navidad”! They split the audience up into groups and assigned each group a part of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. This time, me and Kristen got to sing the first day! We had so much fun, and I thought the whole audience sounded marvelous! Especially when we all came together on five golden rings!

After the show, I got to deliver presents! I spent countless hours in the weeks leading up to Christmas working on special, handmade Christmas presents for my friends. It’s rare when I buy presents, I find that handmade things are much more special than something from a store. I put a lot of thought and a lot of love into each of the things I made, so I was very happy to see my friends so happy with what I had made them!

Saturday was Christmas Eve day. As I was helping mom put away the groceries, I noticed that in one of the bags, there was a spray can of cool whip. Mom told me to put it in the fridge and not touch it as it was part of my cousin’s present. I clicked in right away to what it was! Pie Face!!! I’d been wanting that game since it came out and asked my mom to get it for me for Christmas! My cousin was so lucky! I wished I could have it too!

Not long after this, my boyfriend and his social worker came over. They both had a present for me! I knew Glen was going to give me something, but seeing a gift bag in his worker’s hand really surprised me! She didn’t have to get me anything! She said that we can open our gifts early if we wanted. I thought, why not! Glen opened his first. I painted him a picture of Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from our favorite movie series “VeggieTales”! He absolutely loved it! I was so happy that he did! I opened my gift from him and there were lots of nice things in there! bath products, chocolate, etc. Then, I opened the gift from his social worker and her family. It was Pie Face! I burst out laughing and told them about what had just happened as I was putting away the groceries! Ask and ye shall receive!!

Poppy came over that night. I love it when he comes to visit! We had supper together, baked cod, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and dad’s homemade tartar sauce. It was delicious! After that, Poppy and I sat in the living room for a while. Another tradition of mine is having a Christmas movie/tv show marathon on Christmas Eve. I was happy to share that with Poppy. We watched the America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular, which was absolutely incredible! Professor Splash’s dive into eggnog, though a little weird was pretty amazing! It was great to see Piff the Magic Dragon back on the AGT stage as well!

After that, mom offered a game of cards, something neither me or Poppy can turn down! We both love playing any card game, and are both really good too! That night, we played Queens, my favorite card game. I can’t remember how many games we played or who won, but the three of us had a lot of fun together. After playing cards, Poppy left. I hugged him, said Merry Christmas and see you tomorrow. I couldn’t wait for him to come back in the morning to open his presents and share our Christmas dinner!

It was nearing 9:00, so I went back into the living room for one last movie before bed, “Rent”! Say what you will, but I consider it a Christmas movie! The whole first act of the show takes place on Christmas Eve! My 11-year-old niece came in to watch with me just as her favorite part was about to begin, Maureen’s performance of “Over The Moon”! I love that part too! Mooing along with Maureen is fun! Right in the middle of “La Vie Boheme”, as Angel and Mimi were up on the table toasting handcrafted beers, yoga, and yogurt, mom came in and told us it was getting late, it’s time to hang our stockings and go to bed. We did just that.

me-and-my-stocking

Hanging up my stocking! It’s been hung on the door of our VHS case every year since I was 5!

sams-stocking

My niece with her stocking.

I set my alarm for 6:o0 the next morning. I wanted to be up bright and early to spend time under the tree with my family! To put me in a really Christmassy mood, I set the alarm on my iPod to play Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas“, one of my most favorite Christmas songs!

At 6:00 when Elton’s music woke me up, I tiptoed to the Christmas tree knowing I was the first one up and not wanting to disturb the others who were still in bed. I figured give them maybe 10 minutes and they’d be awake too. I had a look at the tree and couldn’t believe it! Santa Claus had come! The tree was full of wrapped up treasures. I couldn’t wait to watch everyone open their presents and see what we all received.

tree

Another thing I noted was that either Santa doesn’t like cherry cake, or he wasn’t very hungry. We left him a piece of cherry cake, a shortbread cookie and a glass of milk. He drank all the milk, but left half the shortbread cookie and didn’t touch the cherry cake! Hmm?

I went into my parents’ room and said Merry Christmas! To my surprise, they sent me back to bed saying it was too early! I did as I was told and a few hours later, at around 8:30 they woke me up. They had made EGGO’s for breakfast (we always have something quick to eat for Christmas morning breakfast) and they were ready.

After eating, we all gathered under the tree to see what everybody had received. My parents always let my Niece and I be the first to open our things. We started with our stockings. I was delighted to see mine full of fruit! Five pointer apples, cherries, red grapes! All my favorites! We don’t get those at the store too often, especially not cherries, so it was a treat to find them in my sock! I got lots of chocolate in my sock too, Lindor chocolates and a few marshmallow Santa’s. At the very bottom of the sock was a package of Jelly Belly jelly beans! My favorite candy! I hadn’t even gotten to my wrapped presents and I was already very happy.

I was surprised to see that the majority of my gifts this year was food! Candycane flavored Peeps, boxes of Ferrero Rocher’s and Russel Stovers. I have enough chocolate and sweets to last me a lifetime!

One of the edible presents I received from Santa was a jar of Jelly Belly Beanboozled 4th edition jelly beans! I’m excited yet scared to open those and play the game with unsuspecting friends! LOL! I bought a package of Beanboozled 3rd edition last year just out of curiosity, to see how bad they really were and though they were absolutely horrid (especially vomit!! It tastes exactly like you threw up in your mouth!), I am a sucker for punishment lol! When I found out there was a 4th edition with new beans, I put it on my Christmas list.

Beanboozled is a game of chance that you don’t want to loose! There are good jelly beans (chocolate pudding, coconut, caramel corn, strawberry banana smoothie, lime, peach, tutti fruitti, berry blue, chocolate pudding, and juicy pear) and there are bad ones (spoiled milk, moldy cheese, dead fish, lawn clippings, barf, stinky socks, toothpaste, dog food and boogers), the catch is that each yummy bean has an evil identical twin! Toothpaste (which actually is kind of nice!) looks just like berry blue, lawn clippings looks just like lime, dog food looks just like chocolate pudding, etc. You won’t know what you’ve got until you eat the jellybean!

I got a very nostalgic gift from Santa this year. “VeggieTales”, as I said is one of my favorite series of movies. I grew up watching Bob and Larry. I’ll never forget my first time. It was at Circle Square Ranch day camp. We watched “Rack, Shack, and Benny”, “VeggieTales” adaptation of the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace. I thought it was really funny and the songs were super catchy (especially “Stand“). I don’t think I quite “got it” back then because I was paying more attention to the songs and the humor, but now that I’m older, I love the message that the story has, don’t succumb to peer pressure. If your friends are trying to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do or you know is wrong, stand up for what you believe in and say no! I loved “Rack, Shack and Benny” so much that I bought several other VeggieTales movies on VHS and I would watch them over and over and over again! Sadly, my VCR died out and I am no longer able to watch the VHS tapes. Santa found a way around my problem! He brought me the VeggieTales “All The Shows” box set with all the classic episodes from 1993-1999! When I saw it inside the wrapping paper, I felt young again! I can’t wait to relive all the memories! I’m very excited, but I think I’ll wait to open it. I want to share this treasure with my boyfriend Glen and my friend Peter. My boyfriend, Glen is only familiar with VeggieTales movies from recent years like “It’s A Meaningful Life” (2010) and “The League of Incredible Vegetables” (2012). I want to introduce him to the VeggieTales that I grew up on. Peter has never seen VeggieTales! He knows the songs from listening to my VeggieTales CD in his truck with me and Glen last year, but has never seen any of the movies! I think he’d really enjoy them.

Last month, The Beatles Yellow submarine got turned into a LEGO set! I’d never put a LEGO set together before, but I thought this one was particularly cool and wanted to give it a try. I’m a huge Beatles fan! Mom passed me a box addressed to me from Santa and I gave it a shake (I tend to do that with all my presents, but then again who doesn’t?!) and could hear the rattling of what sounded to me like LEGO bricks. I got very excited! When I opened it up, I was right! It wast the LEGO set I had asked for!!

My favorite gift came not from Santa, but from Rudolph!!! Those of you who know me know that Rudolph is my little kindred spirit. His story is mainly looked at as a cutesy song for little kids, but to me, it has a much deeper meaning. Click here to find out more. This year, at the very top of my Christmas list, was a Rudolph doll. I wanted a Rudolph of my own to cuddle with at night. When mom handed me a wrapped gift whose gift tag said “To Leah, From Rudolph” I couldn’t believe what I’d just read! Then I opened the gift and immediately burst into tears of joy! I got my Rudolph doll! Knowing that it came from Rudolph himself made it even more special! Thank you, Rudolph!

When my niece and I were finished, we watched my parents open their gifts! Seeing the smiles on their faces when they saw what they had received made my heart smile. Dad got a lot of music for Christmas this year. Seeing how happy and excited he was when he unwrapped each CD and went on and on about how awesome this band or singer is and all the great songs on the album made me happy too. I’m looking forward to enjoying all his new music with him in the car, especially Chris De Burgh’s “Spanish Train and Other Stories” album. I grew up listening to that on cassette tape in Dad’s old car.

Later, we had Christmas dinner and I had my first… and last taste of white wine. I had tried red before and really didn’t like it (it tastes like Robitussin!) but I thought white might be different, so I asked for a little glass with dinner. I didn’t like it either. It was sour! At least I can say I tried something new!

Yesterday evening was spent constructing the LEGO Yellow Submarine. I opened the box, turned on some Beatles music and set to work. I liked that the instruction booklet had easy to follow, step by step, picture instructions for LEGO novices such as myself. The diagrams were very helpful. This was really easy to put together and I had a lot of fun! I did make one or two mistakes and had to use the brick separator a few times but I’m only a beginner so that’s ok. I was up until around 11:30 building the submarine. At that point, I got tired and decided to put it away for the night. I was 90% finished, with just one bag of bricks left to put together!

This morning, I woke up at 9:00, opened the box again and continued building the submarine. An hour later, I was proudly holding the finished product in my hand!!! yellow-submarine

This is how it looks on the inside

without-beatles

The Beatles Minifigures can even fit inside!

with

I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all did too! Enjoy the rest of your Christmas holidays everyone!

Leah

Spirit Christmas Luncheon 2016


Hey blog world! My boyfriend Glen and I had the most wonderful afternoon out last Saturday. We went to Spirit of Newfoundland and watched our dear friends Peter Halley and Shelley perform in the Christmas luncheon!

Doing so is our anniversary tradition! A few weeks ago, on December 6th, we celebrated two years together! Saturday was a late celebration, but it was a celebration none the less! Anyway, I’m so thankful that I was blessed with such a sweet, funny, gentlemanly young man. Glen has given me the best two years of my life!

When we arrived at the Masonic Temple, the doors to the dining/stage area weren’t open quite yet, so we went to the bar and ordered our favorite drink for when we feel like being fancy; cranberry mocktails! Cranberry juice and tonic water. It’s very refreshing.

Soon after our drinks, the doors to the dining/stage area opened! We went in and took our seats. We had a great view of the stage from our table!

A little later, it was time to eat. Last Saturday was slightly unlike most Spirit of Newfoundland shows. Usually, they have a set menu, a pre planned appetizer and dessert and choice of two main course options. With the luncheons, they have a buffet appetizer and dessert and choice of two main course options. When I went up to the appetizer buffet, I saw a salad bar, turkey soup, and a few pre made salads. I was very pleased to see that Chef Alex had prepared his macaroni salad again this year. It’s absolutely amazing! I, of course, had to have some. It was as delicious as I remembered it! Glen absolutely loved it too!  If you come across this blog post Alex, please send me the recipe!!!

The choices we had for main courses was either cod au gratin or turkey. Glen and I both opted for the cod. It was pretty good! The cheese sauce was very light and creamy and really accentuated the flavor of the cod. 7/10! It came with some carrots, broccoli, mashed turnip and mashed potato. I’m not a fan of mashed turnip, but all the other veggies were really yummy! Glen and I both really enjoyed our meal.

Saturday’s show, as always was absolutely magnificent! They opened with my most favorite Christmas carol, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. To most people, Rudolph is just a cutesy song for little kids, but to me, it has a much deeper meaning. Click here to find out more. When Shelley and Peter started singing the song, my eyes immediately started filling up with happy tears. This song always makes me emotional.

One of the nice things about the luncheon show is that there’s no set list! They take a lot of audience requests. One such request was made by Glen. He asked to hear his favorite Christmas song, “Joy To The World”. Shelley happily obliged. When she sang, I was floored! She has such a breathtaking voice! It’s like listening to an angel sing!

I also made a special request to hear “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for me and Glen. When they sang it for us, I put my arm around Glen and we sang along to each other.  It was one of my favorite parts of the afternoon.

A lady asked for “The Cherry Tree Carol” and Peter sang it for her. He had a little mix up with the words, but he made a great recovery. He laughed it off and started the verse over. He made it through without any more issues! Even though he had a little mishap, I still thought he did an excellent job with the song.

Before Peter sang “The Christmas Song”, he told us how the song came to be. I thought that story was quite interesting! The song was actually written in the middle of a heatwave! In an effort to cool themselves down, the writers of the song (Bob Wells and Mel Tormé) wrote down the coldest things they could possibly think of, and looking at their list they thought it would be great material for a song, and the rest was history! I love learning interesting new things like that! I also loved hearing Peter sing the song! His voice is so velvety, smooth and enchanting!

A little later in the show, the staff laid out the desert buffet. There were so many yummy things there! One of which was screech cake!!!!! Spirit of Newfoundland makes the best screech cake you will ever eat! Pair it with some nice warm screech caramel sauce and your taste buds will sing! I highly recommend buying a cake to enjoy over Christmas. They are available in Spirit of Newfoundland’s screech room and at Rocket Bakery on Water Street!

Another of my favorite parts of the afternoon was when they sang “I’ll Be There Christmas Eve”. Peter and Shelley sound beautiful when they sing on their own, but even more so when they sing together! This performance was so moving that I came very close to crying!
The Christmas season is now officially allowed to start because Shelley has sung “O Holy Night”. For me, it’s not Christmas until I hear her do this. Her version of this song is one that the entire world should hear! It’s absolutely magical! It will give your heart a warm, fuzzy feeling and leave you absolutely speechless! I can’t wait to hear her do it again Wednesday night in her annual “O Holy Night” concert at the Arts and Culture Centre!

At the end of the show, we had a little chat with Peter. We told him how much we enjoyed ourselves and how incredible we thought the show was! Glen also said that he forgot to sing Jingle Bells. Peter had promised it to him earlier and accidentally forgot. Peter apologized and said to come into the Screech Room and we’ll do it right now! We had so much fun singing together!

After that, we all got a picture together! Luncheon 2016.jpgI’m so blessed to have these three wonderful people in my life!

On the way out from the show, we had the most incredible chance meeting! As Glen and I were walking to my dad’s car, I don’t remember who had the first word, but either Glen said hello to a man sweeping snow off his car, or the man said hello to us. I turned to look at this person and see who he was, and I recognized his face instantly and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! It was Phil Churchill of the band The Once! Holy firetruck, that was cool! I said “You’re from The Once aren’t you?” and he said yes. I told him that I was a big fan and we shook hands and introduced ourselves. We had a little conversation about the weather, The Once, and Christmas. He even complimented my outfit and said I looked very wintery! That made me smile. He was a really nice and down to earth guy. I’m glad we got to meet him today. I hope to get to see The Once in concert someday soon!

Last saturday was an absolutely fantastic day! Thank you, Peter, Shelley, and Phil for making it so special!

Leah

Rudolph


Hey, blog world! Christmas is getting close! Christmas movies are on TV, and radio stations are starting to play Christmas songs! My favorite Christmas song is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Rudolph is looked at as a cutesy song for kids, but to me, Rudolph is a kindred spirit who’s story has a much deeper meaning. Let me break down the song and explain.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it you would even say it glows.

Rudolph and I were both made extra special. He of course has his beautiful, shiny, red nose and I have Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism) and Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, which is a fancy, scientific way of saying I’m missing a piece of my brain. The Corpus Callosum is a wide band of fibres that connects the left and right sides of the brain and transmits motor information between the two sides.

All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games

I know all too well how poor Rudolph felt because I too have been bullied because of my differences. I’ve been laughed at, excluded from things, and physically and verbally bullied, by not only my peers, but a few adults too, all because of my Aspergers and ACC!

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Then how the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!”

This part always makes me emotional. I cry tears of happiness and get a fuzzy feeling in my heart. Everyone finally sees Rudolph for the unique person he is, embraces his difference and accepts him! It gives me hope. Hope that someday, every individual who was made a little extra special will be accepted, loved and celebrated by the world. I hope that day comes very soon!

If fictional reindeer can learn to accept their peer who is a little bit different, why can’t the rest of the world! Please, take a lesson from Rudolph’s story. People (and reindeer) who are a little bit different, are really the exact same as you on the inside! They have hopes, dreams and feelings and deserve to be treated with respect and acceptance.

Leah

 

Blasting Broadway


Hey blog world! One of the newest memes that’s been trending lately is “Blasting Music”. Lyrics to a song that make you turn it up accompanied of course by a picture of a blasting volume knob and someone enjoying the music! Click here to see some examples. I’ve seen a ton of these and realized there are none for thespians! I have to fix that! Here are some “Blasting Music” memes for the Broadway obsessed!

 

“I’m alive, I’m alive, I am so alive and I feed on the fear that’s behind your eyes. And I need you to need me, its no surprise I’m alive.

“Omigod, Omigod you guys! Looks like Elle’s gonna win the prize! If there ever was a perfect couple this one qualifies! Omigod you guys!”

“TIME FLIES, TIME DIES!”

“I think I’ll try defying gravity!”

“Life is really up to you, you must choose what to pursue! Set your mind on what to find and there’s nothing you can’t do!”

“Electricity sparks inside of me and I’m free, I’m free!”

Touch me! It’s so easy to leave me all alone with the memory of my days in the sun!

Suddenly Seymour is standing beside you. You don’t need no makeup, don’t have to pretend! Suddenly Seymour is here to provide you with sweet understanding. Seymour’s your friend!

“It’s just a jump to the left…”

“I only want to say, if there is a way…”

“Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya tomorrow! You’re only a day away!”

“He had it comin’! He had it comin’! He only had himself to blame! If you had been there, if you had seen it, I betcha you would have done the same!”

Did I miss any? Feel free to make your own and share in the comments!

Leah