Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big Hand of God

I know that the hand of God is present in my life everyday, however, most of the times it's subtle and just there, protecting me, loving me, guiding me. However, today I saw the hand of God in a BIG way.

I choose to keep the Sabbath day holy by not working or making other people work. After yesterday's smash success with our open house at work, my co-workers demanded that I work with them today as they would not be able to handle another 125 people on their own.

In my prayers this morning I told God that I wanted to keep His day holy and turned the problem over to him.
The open house started at 11 am both days, yesterday by noon we'd seen probably over 30 people. Today I went to church then phoned the office just before noon to see how bad the crowds were...ONE person had shown up in the past hour. My co-workers told me not to bother to come in.

What a blessing! I don't know if the crowds picked up later, but I was free to keep my covenants with God and spend the day with my grandchildren.

Thank you God.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I probably could just write ditto after yesterday's post and head off to bed. However, I am committed to writing every night, to sit and ponder about my day and experience again the good things that happen during the day.

At work today, we had the most outstanding success in an advertised open house that we've ever had in the 10 years I've worked there. Over 125 people walked through our doors in an five hour period. So amazing and such a blessing to all of us. We booked over 25 couples to attend our free seminars and had to add an extra seminar because the demand was so high.

It was lovely to end the day with my dear friend Brenda. Four and a half hours of girl talk, non stop sharing. We are each other's private therapists. We faithfully get together once a month, this month we could only find this evening free for both of us. What a great idea, usually it's just a leisurely lunch for an hour and a half. I think we should switch to evening sessions.

Which is why I could write ditto, because yesterday I wrote about being surrounded by good people. God has opened the windows of heaven and poured blessings upon my head.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good People

I am blessed to be surrounded by good people in my life.  Tonight Maxine and I went to the movie "The Blind Side". It's one of those feel good movies that leaves you with a lighter heart. Tomorrow I'm making dinner for Brenda for our monthly get together, and so today I shopped for food and flowers to make our evening of friendship a little bit more special. Last night I chatted on the phone with my mother; this morning with my daughter.

Yesterday at Toastmasters, Paul gave a speech that included Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I remember studying this in college and it was good to get a refresher course. After physiological needs and safety and security the next need is love and belongingness. As I listened to his speech I thought about the wonderful blessings of love and belongingness that I experience everyday in my life, because of the good people who love me.

On a daily basis I have opportunities to interact with outstanding people, my life is richer because of the good people in my life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Irises and Inspiration

Today my dear friend Beatrice, who is also my son's mother -in-law sent me an email with this picture of irises. It also came with the following inspirational thought:

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp,  He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something  better.'
 I like this. It's something to ponder.

And I do love irises. There was a time in my life when I had a beautiful garden filled with irises. I collected them like some people collect spoons. I had irises in many different colours and I could identify from whom I had received each one.  An iris plant needs to be divided every few years and friends and neighbours would give me clumps from their gardens to plant in my garden. The iris plants were like friendship plants.

Then came the time when I had to leave that garden behind. I remember kneeling in the garden amongst my flowers, with tears rolling down my cheeks and I distinctly heard a voice say to me in my mind, "there will be other gardens."

That was over 10 years ago, and there has never been another garden like that one, (yet) however, when I moved into this home I was delighted to discover when spring rolled around that there was a beautiful clump of purple irises, just like the ones pictured here, in my new garden.

Perhaps it's time to start collecting again....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Abundance Mentality

Ironically, on my daily calendar from Steven Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" the following quote was revealed today as I tore off the top page:
The Abundance Mentality flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.
It has been at least five years since I discovered the Law of Abundance. Basically it  is the point of view that there is more than enough for everyone, that we don't need to be greedy about anything. Learning this law and applying it in my life literally changed my career. When I began believing that there were more than enough leads, and more than enough money to buy the houses I designed, it proved true.

Interestingly enough, yesterday it was announced that one of the consultants in the Seattle office earned the top spot in the company world wide for 2009, the one I held in 2008. As soon as I heard, I fired off an email congratulating him. What an amazing accomplishment in the recession based USA. Then I took the opportunity to congratulate him publicly on his business Facebook page, where all his clients could see. If he published the news himself, he might appear to be "less than humble", however, by me announcing it, he gained credibility in a legitimate way.

He wrote me the kindest thank you email today. He and I are the top two designers in the company, swapping first place back and forth, we could be fierce competitors, but instead we've developed a synergy that motivates and encourages us and helps us to be better at our careers. And just like the Covey quote states, together we've come up with new ideas, alternatives and creative ways of doing business because of our abundance attitudes.

I'm thankful for this good person in my life and the terrific relationship we've developed over the years, for his unflagging enthusiasm and passion for what he does.  I can say that we inspire each other in our careers.

It's a good day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Newsletter Fun

Today I received an email from a woman in my community suggesting that I feature her daughter in our community newsletter, as she had carried the Olympic Torch last week. I was so excited! I have worked very hard over the past five months since becoming editor to turn the newsletter from a rather dull, information only magazine into a community friendly, positive newsletter that features stories and photos of residents doing interesting things. Slowly the residents are beginning to respond. February's edition has three letters to the editor...a world record!

Each month I wonder what I will feature in the newsletter and each month God provides me with new and wonderful people to feature. I have complete faith that He will continue to do so.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I am who I was born to be.

This evening I watched a documentary on Susan Boyle, the Scottish woman who took the world by storm with her beautiful singing voice in the talent show "Britain's Got Talent".  In this documentary called "I Dreamed a Dream, the Susan Boyle Story" she sang a song that was written especially for her called Who I Was Born to Be.  I've included a link here to the song as I think the lyrics are very meaningful.

The song is beautifully sung. I admire this woman. She inspires me and I'm glad for her success.

Susan Boyle singing Who I Was Born to Be.

Here are the lyrics:
When I was a child
I could see the wind in the trees
and I heard a song in the breeze
it was there, singing out my name

But I'm not a girl
I've known the taste of defeat
and have finally grown to believe
that it all comes around again


Though I may not
know the answers
I can finally say I'm free
And if the questions
led me here, then
I am who I was born to be

And so here am I
Open arms and ready to stand
I've got the world in my hands
And it feels like my turn to fly


When I was a child
there were flowers that
bloomed in the night
Unafraid to take in the light
Unashamed to have braved the dark


I am who I was born to be
I am who I was born to be.

I'm adopting this song as "my song".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beautiful Nelson, BC

I found this picture today of my hometown Nelson, BC on a Facebook page dedicated to people who love Nelson. I thought it was stunningly beautiful. Whenever I tell someone that I'm from Nelson, invariably their comments are "oh, it's so beautiful there."

I'm so blessed to have been raised in this beautiful town and that my parents still live there. I moved away over 31 years ago, yet I have been "home" to Nelson every single year since then.

Here's another one I found. Now I need to get a hold  of some of the ones my father has taken over the years, as they are more personal and special.

This is my own piece of paradise.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Soup's On

I made a huge pot of my favourite soup tonight, Toscana Soup, it's the recipe from Olive Garden that my friend Jan gave me for Julianna's blessing dinner. Anyway, I was wondering what I was going to do with all the soup, and then my son and his wife dropped by unexpectedly.

I love serendipity moments. I rarely cook anymore and the one night I make delicious food I have wonderful guests drop by and help me eat it.

It features sausage, potatoes, kale, onions and garlic in a creamy chicken broth. mmMMmmMMmmgood!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Just home from watching a live performance of Miss Saigon at the university. The play was well done and very enjoyable, except I'm not big on tragic endings. However, it gave me pause to think about the love of a mother and what mothers will do for their children.

I didn't write about my mother on her birthday two days ago because I was a twitterpated about holding the Olympic torch that day. Luckily she never had to die for me, so that we still have her kicking around. I did try to phone her several times on her birthday but she was out doing service for other people.

I know my mom reads my blog, she is my dedicated fan, hopefully she knows how much I love her and am thankful for her and her great influence in my life.

I love you mom!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lunch with Dawn

I had lunch with my friend Dawn today at the Lazy Loaf and Kettle restaurant.  (The Montreal smoked meat sandwich was to die for and I actually went to Safeway and bought all the ingredients to replicate it this weekend!)

I was reading an article last night about relationships and the psychologist who was quoted in the article suggests that humans are "animals that attach" (sounds like a scary monster) anyway, she suggested that humans thrive best when attached to other people. The interviewer asked about single people and her response was that it was emotional attachments not physical attachments. She stated that single people who have a rich social life with deep emotional attachments to friends and family are just fine. phew! good news.

I am profoundly blessed with good friends. Dawn and I meet up once a month, we've been friends for over 10 years and it's good to keep those strong friendships thriving even when busy lives keep us apart.

oh, funny memory. Dawn invited our family out to their cabin one weekend. Our children were dating each other, however, they broke up the night before we all headed out to the cabin but didn't tell anyone. Heehee, they were each at opposite ends of the cabin all weekend, kind of tense for them, but amusing for us when we finally noticed.

Hugging my friend Dawn today was a beautiful moment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Olympic Torch on Fire!

Oh my goodness! And some days a beautiful moment jumps up and smacks you right upside the head! Less than half an hour ago, I ran two blocks in high heeled boots with my assistant Peggy to see the Olympic torch relay. Suddenly I was right there and had my picture taken with both torch runners and saw the torch passed between the two. I am giddy with excitement!  I'm still breathless, either from the adrenaline high or the two block run in cold weather.

It was spontaneous, unplanned, we didn't even know the Olympic torch would run close to our office, there was hardly anyone there at the torch pass off, so we were right at the front of the whole event. Lots of high level excitement.

Look! No crowds!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pink Skies and Blue Mountains

Some days it's harder to find a beautiful moment than others. As I drove home from a hard and busy day at work, I reflected on the day, looking for my moment. Was it when my co-worker thanked me for teaching him how to make his own blog? No, not really. Was it when I solved a difficult stair design dilemma for a new client? No, not that either.

Then I raised my eyes from the road and saw the Rocky Mountains, their tops bathed in a soft pink glow from the setting sun. Just a month ago it was pitch dark when I drove home from work, but now the daylight was just waning. The mountains were deep blue almost black, their stark peaks etched against the sky by the setting of the sun. The pink haze blended upward into blue skies and gray clouds.

Ah yes, my mountains, my beautiful mountains, waiting to lift my heart and bring a smile to my lips. There is my beautiful moment. Thank you God.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Olympic Torch

I get a little cynical about the Olympics. Over commercialized. Doped up athletes. Bad judging. Weird sports - come on pong? However, today as I watched my friend Carol on TV as she carried the Olympic torch and was interviewed for the news, I got all choked up and teary eyed for her joy.

Carol graciously let me interview her and run her picture on the front page of our community newsletter. She's someone you would say is "good people". Her moment in the spotlight rates as a beautiful moment that I vicariously shared.

I'm blessed to know her and call her a friend and have been doing so for almost 30 years. Amazing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blessed Beyond Measure

Another Sabbath and a chance to attend church and worship God and be touched by His love. I taught a lesson on "Our Heavenly Family" in Relief Society. It's wonderful to understand where we came from and why we're here and where we're going.

I spent the evening working on my son-in-law's genealogy lines. It is my gift of love to him and his family.

I am blessed beyond measure to have been raised by righteous parents, to have righteous children and to be surrounded by good people who share my values. My life is more joyful because of the eternal relationships I have with my family and my friends.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Flowers for the Soul

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Long hard day on my feet at  the show. Busy, busy show. Talked to lots of people, it's all good, but at the end of the day, it's wonderful to come home to peace and serenity Yes, I bought more flowers. Right now I have yellow tulips and purple campanula. It's a flowering plant that is supposed to bloom for the next three weeks. I guess I'll see, but for the moment, while exhaustion looms, flowers can lift my soul and make my day just a little bit of heaven. Isn't it wonderful that we can have flowers in winter? Life is good.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Tender Mercy

I worked 12 hours today, the last five standing on concrete at the Home Expo. As the show wound down I began to ponder my day. It had been so busy it really flew by, but did I have a special moment to record for today? I am so blessed, I have a great job and a lovely home, but I wanted something specific for today. Even as I was driving home and the heated seats were warming my tired hips and back I searched my day for something unique to this day.

And then I finally remembered! I had to be at the home show by 4 pm. The parking lot was jambed all the to the back of the Stampede Grounds. The parking attendant wouldn't even let me in the first two parking lots. So I drove into the back one then drove all the way to the front and lo and behold, a tender mercy from God, a parking spot in the first row by the doors!  Sweetness.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I gave my fourth speech at Toastmasters this evening, the one I wrote about Louis Braille. I thought I would have to use my notes, but on the way there in the car I gave the speech three times without the notes, so decided to wing it. I didn't forget anything and got "speaker's high" when I was done.

I'm thankful for my upbringing that had me giving "talks" in church from the time I was three years old. When I was a very tiny child I think I received a lamb plaque for giving a talk. I wonder what happened to that plaque...?

Anyway, I don't have a fear of public speaking, but I sure have a lot to learn. Public speaking is completely different from giving a talk in church.

It feels good to have that speech out of the way, the next one is all about body language...time to write something  that will use big, expansive gestures....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti I Pray For You

Commendation from the president of my company, positive feedback from my peers and clients, a massage, singing lessons and laughter with know, I had a beautiful day, filled with joyful thoughts and feelings, but in the background was Haiti...finally I sat down to watch the news and cried all the way through.

So, I started looking for the good in the disaster and saw my country, Canada, mobilizing aid and sending money. My fellow Canadians donating over one million dollars to the Red Cross just today. Then I saw the mighty USA stand up and roar into action and the United Nations pledging help.

I am grateful to live in a land that can help in the face of disaster, that we can get there quickly and render aid.

The people of Haiti and those who are helping them are in my prayers tonight.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Fortune Cookie Speaks

The more time I spend looking for the good things in life each day, the happier I become overall. I was generally very happy before I started this project, but there is an extra feeling of joy that accompanies my days. I find myself looking forward with anticipation as I awake; wondering what will be that defining moment that causes me to select it to be memorialized. 

Today I select spending the evening with a good friend, good food and marvellous conversation. Laughing, talking, sharing. God has blessed me with wonderful people in my life.

We ate delicious Chinese food and at the end of my meal, I cracked open my fortune cookie and this is what I read: 

“Use your abilities at this time to stay focused on your goal. You will succeed.”

I love it!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today when I arrived home from work, my retired neighbour came sprinting across my yard to talk to me before I drove into my garage. He's in the middle of moving out and he asked me if I'd like a hammock. He said it had been given to him as a gift and he'd never gotten around to assembling it and actually using it.

Visions of lolling in a hammock in the dappled shade of my backyard danced through my head and before I knew it I was smiling broadly and nodding happily. So now I am the proud owner of a brand new hammock!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Sophie

This evening we celebrated my daughter-in-law's birthday with her family. Sophie's mother is a gourmet cook and all the food was divinely delicious. Three roasted chickens, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, two exotic vegetable dishes, and two desserts - dark chocolate torte and strawberry flan. I brought two salads: my world famous Beach salad (goat cheese, avocados, strawberries, spinach, and lemon poppyseed dressing) and the traditional Caesar salad.

My kids and grandkids were included, we love Sophie's family so much, they have enveloped us into their family. We are planning some big vacations together. I am so thankful for these wonderful people in my life!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Tulips of the Year

I love tulips.

I'm so excited that tulip season has begun. Well, at least it's begun at the florist's shops, tulips don't actually bloom here until late April. For the next four or five months I will fill my house with tulips every week. Usually I plant tulips wherever I live. In the last house I planted 150 tulips and that wasn't enough. This year, 2010, I will plant my tulips even if the snow is 6 feet deep on the first of October again, I will not be thwarted!!!

I love tulips.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

My beautiful two-year-old granddaughter, Julianna, is sleeping in my guest room. I love the bedtime routine, donning clean jammies, brushing teeth, prayers, hugs and kisses, and then poof, she's asleep, no tears, no stalling techniques, she must have been exhausted!

 She looks so much like her mother, yet she is all her own person. She brought her princess pillow and quilt, the familiar comforts of home. She's asleep on her back with a chubby arm flung up by her face, fingers curled. Ah, such sweetness.

Before bed, we read story after story by the warmth of the fireplace, her sweet high pitched voice talking along with me. She likes to pretend the characters in the story are her family and herself. She points to each one of them naming them, saving herself for last, where she either proclaims "that me!" or "that's ulianna".

These are moments to be cherished.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just a Little Giggle

First day back to Toastmasters and I was the humourist. Here's the joke I told:

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (wait for it.....) ........ a super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis. makes me giggle.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tra La La La

Today was my first day back to singing lessons after the Christmas break. I have fallen in love with singing. I used to believe that I couldn't sing and so I didn't sing. Then I met Iris, the world's best singing teacher and my world changed.

In my day to day quiet world I rarely make much noise, but Iris demands that I sing at the top of my lungs. It's very therapeutic to bellow out loud noises and receive a nod of encouragement and even the occasional "louder!"

She encourages experimentation with the voice and doesn't care when it suddenly cracks, or warbles or collapses. It's all part of the learning process. I've a long way to go, but whoa, baby, look how far I've come!

My goal is to sing in the Calgary Temple Dedication Choir. That's about two years away, in the meantime, I'll join any choir that comes along and sing in any chorus that beckons my way.

Singing brings me joy, making music lifts my soul. Thank you beautiful Iris.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blind Ambition

Today I wrote a speech about Louis Braille. He is the blind man who invented the raised dot system of reading and writing for blind people. He was only 12 years old when he started creating the system and finished it when he was 15 in 1824.

The ironic twist to the story is that he accidentally blinded himself with an awl when he was only three years old but then used the awl nine years later to punch the raised dots in paper as he developed the braille system.

I am fascinated and in awe of people who take disabilities, or trials, or bad things in their lives and turn them into something good. Louis Braille changed the world for millions of blind people.

I feel motivated and uplifted by this young French boy, if he could change the world, why can`t I?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goodbye Christmas

I took all the Christmas decorations down tonight and packed them all away for another year.

I had such a lovely Christmas season with my family, lots of warm memories crowded my mind as I remembered my grandchildren excitedly opening their gifts, and the pleasure I derived from watching them and even remembering the pleasure I had in spending time shopping for just the right gift for each child.

I am thankful for the abundance I am blessed with and the Christmas season that allows me to draw my family together and shower them with gifts, which are really thoughtful tokens of my love for them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lovely Sabbath

I really enjoy attending church and worshiping God and Jesus Christ. I like the weekly renewal of my baptismal covenants and the opportunity to repent of all the things I did wrong during the week. I just finished reading Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson, it really helped me to understand the Atonement and how it works on a personal level. I feel my faith increase as my understanding increases and deepens.

I truly value my testimony of God and his plan for me, and everything that revolves around it. I feel so happy. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Off to a Great Start

2010 feels good already. The car is clean and fueled, the refrigerator and pantry stocked, and all my suitcases unpacked and put away.

I spent the evening with my daughter and her family. My grandchildren are always a delight. The four year old is so precocious, I walk in the door and he says"Hi Grandma, I missed you" and then goes back to watching his TV show. The two-year old proudly shows me her bedroom and all her new bedding, pointing to it and saying, "you bought me this."  Aww, her mother has trained her well! ;)

I am so blessed to have all my children in the same city and to be able to spend quality time with them, they are terrific people and so are their spouses!

Friday, January 1, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

I had a fabulous time visiting my parents for 10 days. I am so relaxed and refreshed and ready to go forward in a new year. I needed this down time and enjoyed my parent's companionship so much.

I've driven all the way home to Calgary safely, I'm so grateful for a reliable vehicle and good winter tires, it made the tiring 8-hour trip possible.

mmmMMMmmm I just stepped out of my hot shower and am ready to fall into my own bed. There truly is no place like home. *happy sigh*