Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pick Me Up

Some days I just need a little pick-me-up.  Josh Groban - You Are Loved  this oughta do it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Believe

I am surprised that I have enjoyed watching the Olympics this time. I really haven't watched them since 1988 when they were in Calgary.

Today after working the home show, I watched the men's gold medal curling match. Ok. I have absolutely and completely no idea what the rules are or how to score, even after watching them play 10 ends. Even the language was completely foreign - it sounded like they were speaking English but the words made no sense!

I cleaned the kitchen, clipped Rocco's nails, did the laundry and read a book while I watched...come on....some people say curling is playing with brooms....even the Prime Minister was there I missing something....?

Oh well, in the last end, the audience spontaneously started singing our national anthem. I loved that. And incredibly, our country has won 13 gold medals, that's most any country has ever won at a winter Olympics. We might even break the record tomorrow with the men's hockey team.

I really like the Olympic theme song, it's uplifting and inspiring.  I Believe - The Olympic Theme Song

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Small Kindness

Home show season is exhausting. I didn't get out of the show home until 4pm, and I needed to be down at the home show by 4:30 and I still had to feed my dogs. There was no time left to eat. My day had been stressful to the max and so my assistant Peggy pulled together a "lunch" of stuff out of the office fridge and packed it up for me so I'd have something to eat. It was a kind gesture, and some days that's all you need is someone to go the extra mile to help you out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy 200th Chopin

This evening, after a long hard day at the home show, I attended a piano concert given by Jan Lisiecki. He is a 14 year old prodigy who plays the piano like he was born in a piano. The entire concert was devoted to Chopin, it's his 200th birthday in a few days. As well, he accompanied a string quartet for part of the concert. The music was divine and so uplifting.

It was a benefit concert for Unicef, and Jan was presented with the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for 2009.

My dad and I watched a documentary about him at Christmas, so when I had the chance to buy tickets for his concert I jumped at it. Even though I was dead tired, I went anyway, and was touched and soothed by the music. It was truly a beautiful concert.

Here's a little taste of his playing: Jan Lisiecki - Chopin Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise 2

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Double Bonus Points

Today at work I gave my assistant the floral arrangement I created last night. I was thinking about her when I picked out the flowers as she loves pink carnations and yellow daisies.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I see more of the flowers sitting on her desk all day long than I would if I kept them at home all to myself.

Double bonus points! I bring someone else pleasure and I get to enjoy it too!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Floral Design

Class #2 of my floral design course. Tonight we learned how to create a round table centre piece. There is a real technique to it and I will need much, much more practice.

It is such a pleasure to work with flowers and to learn a new skill. I have never done any flower arranging past cutting the stems off a bouquet and sticking them in a vase.

I truly do love flowers. What a wonderful and beautiful gift from God!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I watched Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada win the gold medal in ice dancing tonight. They are the first Canadians to ever win a gold medal at the Olympics and the youngest couple to ever win.

What touched me most was watching them on the Olympic podium. They sang the national anthem with gusto.You could see Scott savouring every single moment. That's how I want to live my live...savouring.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Helping Out

When I got into my car after church I checked my BlackBerry, and there was an email from my assistant Peggy asking me to stop by on my way home from Church. She lives a block away from my church so I zipped on over. She had bought a new TV and couldn't figure out how to set the cable and the channels. The instructions that came with her TV were atrocious! No wonder she couldn't figure it out. I had her sorted out in under 10 minutes and was on my way home.

She's a very independent single woman who doesn't like to ask others for help, so I was very grateful that she asked me and that I could help her. You know what? People like to help other people. I could learn a lesson from her about that...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I don't like shoes

We had my grandson's fourth birthday party here this evening. I missed his big event at Chuck E Cheese's last night. When he opened my gift of Sunday shoes and clothes he said "Aw, I don't like shoes!" It made me laugh and his mother cringe. Not exactly the fun toys he'd received last night. Grandma is too practical.

So about 10 pm tonight the phone rings and I answer and his happy voice says "I love my shoes!" When he got home he showed his dad his new shoes and was super excited and happy about them, so his mom made him call and tell me. That's so cute.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I realize that many people are critical of Tiger Wood's apology this morning. However, for me, it touched my heart. To see someone accept full responsibility for their mistakes and not blame it on anything else, not a disease, or money, or someone else.

I felt very proud of his mother, sitting there, enduring her son's apology and then hugging him at the end. That, to me, was a sign of forgiveness.

I wish him and his family well in their recovery and healing process.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thank You

I was in a bit of a snit this morning, having received an unfavourable response from my head office over a small request, when one of my builders dropped by to see me. He handed me an envelope and said "merry christmas, happy new year and all that". I opened the card and it was a lovely thank you card. Inside was a little gift...

Never in my ten years at this company has a builder ever given me anything, not a card, not a thank you, nada. I've sent them millions of dollars worth of business over the years and never expected anything in return. After all, I need them to build my clients' dream homes, or I don't get paid!

It was a lovely surprise and I was very touched.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Patriotic Pride

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are on right now. I'm not much of a fan however what brings a tear to my eye and a surge of patriotic pride is when our Canadian flag is raised during the gold medal ceremony and you can hear the crowd singing our national anthem at the top of their lungs. That gets me every time!

I am so glad I'm Canadian!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Serious Fun

This evening was the first night of my six week floral design course I'm taking at Mount Royal University with my friend Karyn. We learned several different ways to arrange a rose in a bud vase. The we cut off the rose stem and created different rose bowl arrangements.

The wire wrapped around the bowl was my invention and I loved every moment of the opportunity to be creative in a new medium.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Peace and Quiet

Other than chatting with Iris, my singing teacher, on the phone to cancel my singing lesson, and talking to my dogs, the day was spent in total solitude and quiet. It's not often that I get a day like today. Shhhhh.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Day of Love

I suppose technically Valentine's Day is for the romantic at heart, however, today my heart was filled with love for my extended family. I spent the evening with my son's in-laws. They are such warm and loving people and I am blessed to be part of their lives.

When I left their home I had that warm, fuzzy, happy feeling that is still glowing. Life is good!

Now this is a Valentine I could really get into!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Family

I had my two little grandchildren for a sleepover last night. They stayed all day today while their parents went to Cardston for the day. My son and his wife dropped by for supper and then my daughter and her husband returned and we all sat down to a meal together.

As we were eating, my four year old grandson looked at everyone and said "my dad says this is our family." It was so touching and sweet and he looked so happy and he kept repeating "our family." What a beautiful moment.

I started out with two kids and now I have six in my family! Two kids, two spouses, two grandkids. This is "our family!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Act of Kindness

I'm thankful to my friend Maxine who came to my show home this evening to evaluate my presentation for my speech number 8 for Toastmasters.  Normally, we give our speeches at our club meeting and they last 5 to 7 minutes. Maxine came on her own time and sat through my 35 minutes of speaking about how to get ready to build a home.

I'm always touched when someone does something kind for me and I want to remember each act of kindness.

Thank you Maxine!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Discovering My Genre

It's always fun to look for the beautiful moment of the day.  Today I didn't have to look for it because it smacked me between the eyes in one breathless moment.

After my singing lesson, Iris showed this video to me. As I was driving home, I was singing the Lord's Prayer and I realized that my "genre" for singing will be sacred hymns.

 Andrea Boccelli

It feels right for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Good Night World

I'm finally home after 12 1/2 hours at work. I taught 35 minutes of our 2 hour seminar tonight. I still have that speaker's high that comes from giving a good speech. I sure am grateful for Toastmasters and all the things I've learned that have brought me to this point in my career.

But mostly, at this moment, I am most grateful that I live 5 minutes away from where I work and that I could sneak home and feed my dogs at dinner time and then be home in a flash at the end of such a long day.

Yawn. Stretch. Good night world. It was a good day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Frosted Sculptures

Hoar frost. Kind of a weird name, but really beautiful. The entire city is shrouded in fog and hoar frost. All the trees and plants are sparkling crystal sculptures, frozen in place.

It really is a thing of wonder and beauty in the middle of a long winter.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Generosity from a Stranger

I`ve been corresponding with a woman in England about some genealogy, we thought we might have a common ancestor, but haven`t identified him or her yet. However, she had ordered a marriage certificate for someone who turned out to my ancestor and not hers. I offered to pay her for it, and she declined and is sending it to me gratis.

I thought that was a generous and sweet thing to do. Makes me feel happy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This evening I showed my little grandchildren pictures of their mother when she was their age. They were so interested and entertained. Julianna thought that the pictures were of her at first, the similarities are so striking.

For the first time Ayden is sleeping in the guest bedroom instead of on the floor by my bed. He's even in the twin bed. He's growing up so fast! 10 days until his fourth birthday.

I am amazed and entertained that I even have grandchildren. They bring so much joy into my life, I feel truly blessed!

Friday, February 5, 2010

White Lilies

I like this moment at the end of the day when I sit down to ponder what thing of beauty, or gratitude I have seen or felt today. There are some days, like today, when at first I think that it was such an ordinary day that I have nothing to write. But as I sift through day, things start to fill my mind, because, I know without a doubt, that every day holds beautiful moments and we just have to look for them, recognize them and then record them so that we never forget.

I bought pure white lilies last week, and they are still beautiful and there are still several blossoms yet to open. They fill my home with the most sublime fragrance. Every time I see them or even smell them my heart is lifted and my soul blessed. I love fresh flowers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sandwich Lesson Finally Learned

It's always a good day when you finally clue into something. I've been in Toastmasters for eight or nine months now. Toastmasters is not just about learning how to become a better public speaker. It's also about learning how to become a better leader.

Today I signed up to evaluate the speech of a fellow club member. As I listened to him speak, I could only think of all the things he was doing wrong.  I've evaluated several speakers in the past few months, but all were well prepared and did excellent jobs presenting their speeches. I was beginning to panic because I didn't know how I was going to give him an honest evaluation when he was doing such a poor job. I thought that if I told him the truth about his speech, he'd pack up and quit.

Then I remembered that part of the evaluation process is also identifying the good things the speaker does. Suddenly I had to find and focus on the good things he was doing. Giving a proper evaluation involves the "sandwich" method. You start by giving positive feedback. Then you give the speaker "go forward" points to help them improve. Finally, you wrap up your evaluation with more positive comments.

I really had to look hard for the good things as I was so overwhelmed by the bad things. But when I was done, I had crafted a positive "go-forward" evaluation that wasn't critical at all, but was still honest.

I've heard this all before, but until I had to actually "do" it, it was only academic. Wow. This would have been helpful to know when I was raising my kids.

Better late than never.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How Great Thou Art

I started learning to sing "How Great Thou Art" in my singing lessons today. I find singing such an interesting exercise. I use a lot of energy singing for half an hour!

Anyway, I'm still trying to find my voice, but I think I found it in the car on the way home from my lessons, things started to click and I could get the sound I want out of my voice. I hope I can find it again next time I sing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


My children and their families traveled to a small southern Alberta town today to attend the funeral of their step-grandfather. This is the father of their dad's wife. I'm thankful that they have been accepted and enfolded into their stepfamily.

This grandfather treated my children just like his own grandchildren and for that I am very grateful. It's so difficult when families break up that it's an extra bonus when new families are formed and families get along with each other. Also, with the reformation of new family ties, grandchildren end up with multiple grandparents and multiple presents at Christmas!

I grew up with two grandmothers. When my grandson was born he had nine grandmothers (including the "greats") between all the reformed families! No wonder he calls all older women "grandma".

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Moments

Some days there just aren't epic moments to record, however, the quiet, soft ones are just as precious. Tonight I was very tired from a long hard day at work so I curled up in my comfy recliner with my two dogs on my lap to watch TV.

Rocco stretched flat out on his back wanting his tummy rubbed and Herbie licked his paws so much that my shirt got wet through the blanket! These are the quiet moments to be treasured.

Rocco always has his tongue stuck out, he's my simple one.