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Welcome 2023!

Here's to starting a blog on my website this year!

So, looking back at 2022, yikes! In immediate terms it was fine - my family did well, the kids matured and accomplished so many things, our dog mellowed (a little) as he turned three, and I got lots of stuff done in terms of my writing. But the year began with the trucker convoy at the end of January and extended into madness in February, with our city taken over by right wing religious nutters with many different axes to grind and no sense of common decency. It was literally the Twilight Zone, with Ottawa police losing control of the downtown core to a mob of selfish people with no understanding of the things they were supposedly fighting for. Personal freedom doesn't come at the cost of communal freedom, and none of them were forced from their jobs by vaccine requirements.

The stress I felt during this period of time is something I've not dealt with before - this sense that there were no laws, because none were being enforced. It looked and felt like the wild west downtown, and we were all waiting for the guns to come out.

Luckily, it was resolved peacefully with controlled force and no injuries. We had about a week or two of relief and then Russia invaded Ukraine. My 15yo was convinced World War Three was about to start so I had to talk them down while managing my own fears and doubts for the future.

We decided to go ahead with renovations to our upstairs level at the end of March, because they were sorely needed and I craved a distraction from everything else going on. Everything went great and the upper level of our small townhome was transformed.

Things seemed to be looking up. We had plans to redo our backyard in June, and sacrificed any travel over the summer to accomplish this and due to paying for the other renos.

Then, on May 21st, what was supposed to be an intense storm swept through the capital region with so much force and wind and destruction, it caused unprecedented damage. Our fences blew down and we couldn't touch them before the insurance adjustor came to assess the damage, which took...well, months. Others had their roofs damaged, so we actually got off pretty well, and thank goodness with no damage to our newly renovated upstairs. But we lost the use of our backyard, and those fences? They're still on the ground.

The repairs are supposed to proceed in April and I certainly hope they go ahead as scheduled, and maybe, just maybe, we'll have our backyard back by the time a year has passed by.

I feel like I shouldn't complain but that backyard was a big reason we bought this place. And a big reason we got a dog, and another one after the first one died. It wasn't so bad not being able to let the dog out into the backyard in the summer, since I now take him for two full walks a day and out in the evening to pee before we go to bed. But these past couple of weeks have been a challenge, what with all the snow and ice and rain.

So that's what I'm hoping for in 2023 - to get our backyard back, for the kids to keep progressing as they have been, and for us all to continue with good health and good spirits, even as the world presents many challenges to our optimism.

Happy New Year to everyone and let's continue to hope for peace and unity even as it seems beyond our grasp.

I have lots of things in the pipe for 2023, so keep an eye on this space for announcements!

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