Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The End of an Era

It is the end of an era in my life.  The longest job that I have ever had, is no more.  I resigned from my job at the homeless shelter yesterday morning.  Seven years of caring for clients and fellow staff members is coming to a close in a few short days.

I have accepted a new position at a new company.  I will be working in my medical field, however, not in the mental health speciality like everyone (including me) would have thought.  I will be working in cardiology, ECGs, along with billing clerk duties.

I am sad to be leaving behind the ones that will be.  I have come to love my new team.  I have always loved my clients.  I nearly cried tonight as I had coffee for what may be the last time with the old team out at the offsite location.  I was glad to be working out there, and sad to think that it may be the last time that I was ever in that building.

I am scared.  I hope that I can live up to everyone's expectations! I hope that I can remember everything, after not using it for 5, almost 6 months.  What if leaving is the right thing to do afterall?

I am excited.  From the staff members that I have met who I will be working with, everyone is so welcoming/friendl/great.  I am excited to learn new things.  I am excited to meet new people.  I am excited to go shopping for business wear clothing!

I know that this job was given to me by my higher power. This is what He had planned for me from the begining.  This is why He wanted me to be patient- the perfect job was out there!

Mixed emotions is what I am feeling, is what I expect to feel.  I am alive because I feel.

Hang in there, things do get better!

For all who are awaiting book reviews, they are coming!  I have been working, reading for book clubs, been ill and am in the middle of a big change.

I am reading, always reading. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another Honour- I'm "In The Spotlight"

Today, I had another honour set upon me.
A fellow blogger, Kat from Forever Book Lover, has interviewed me and posted the interview on her blog.
You can find it here.
Thanks Kat for this honour.  Your words are very kind.

I am on the mend- almost better.  It was a heck of an infection- one that has been making it rounds around my work, with both staff and clients.  I am back reading, and soon will have a new review to post.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I've been ill...

I noticed that it has been a while since I last posted anything.  I worked my 4 nights, and came home ill.
I had lost the battle and the germs won over for like 6 days!
I am on the mend... I've got my antibiotics (after my homeopathic remedies were used) and my wonderful tea to get me totally better.
I shall be back, feeling 100% pretty soon.

How did my J know I was sick?  I never picked up a book! :)

See you when I am 100%!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: French Romance Cooking Class by Beth Mathison

Short Story Review:
French Romance Cooking Class:
A Young at Heart Story
By Beth Mathison
Untreed Reads

This short story is a quick read that is well written.  You feel like you are a part of the cooking class as an observer.
There are three couples in the story, a newlywed couple,  a couple in their twilight years and our main characters, Frannie and David, who are in the middle.  The story takes place at a French Cooking Class, where the Chef teaches how to cook a three course meal while teaching about love.  I love who the author threads insight from the newlyweds and from the older couple, teaching Frannie and David about love throughout the class. 
Throughout the class, our main couple struggles through the class: no wanting to touch or eat oysters, getting behind in the soup and duck courses and floundering through the potatoes; however, they do it together and with each other’s help.  This is a couple that does everything together and loves it all.
This is a cute and quick read, at 14 pages.  It can be read quickly in a commuter ride and leave you feeling good.  I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys chick lit, as it is a romance without all the details of a sex life.  It would be safe for preteens to read as well.
Well written, well enjoyed!  I can only wish that this was longer as I enjoyed it so much!
5 stars!

Book Review: True Medical Detective Stories by Clifton K. Meador, M.D.

I was excited to receive this book for review.  I am trained to be a RN and I love medical stories.
This well written book tells the stories of 18 different medical detective stories that Dr. Meador has either been involved in or has researched and learned about.  At the end of the book, he has the proof to back up all the stories, which I appreciate.

What I love about this book is that it doesn’t dumb anything down.  Dr. Meador uses medical terminology to label what the body part is, the bruising and other common medical words to help describe the story.  He uses the terminology so freely and unpretentiously, that it aids in his story telling.  This is a book that can easily be read by a non-medical person.

Another thing that I like is that in his story telling, the doctor gives nurses the credit that they deserve! For example, in one story, the nurse recognized the wound, treated it and was able to teach the doctor.  As a nurse, I loved that this story was included in the book.  Yes, it was a medical detective story, and the detective this time was a nurse.

Dr. Meador is a master story teller and this shows in his work.  In a few pages, he can tell you the story, the medical background and the medical findings.  I enjoyed that he wrapped up his stories with a teaching moment, what studies have shown or to describe in more detail the medical examination.  I appreciated this in his story of a school teacher and her class who collapse and it turns out to be a mass psychogenic illness.  He adds up to date information, including a recent long term study in Upper NY.

I only wish that this book was longer, as I enjoyed it so much.

This is a necessary read for anyone who likes to watch reality medical television shows, as each chapter is its own story, which is alike to what is seen in one of those shows. It can be a fast read, as I read it under three hours.  Perfect for rainy day read or an evening by the fire.
Well written, well enjoyed!
5 stars!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Girl in the Glass by Zoe Brooks

Book Review: Girl in the Glass By Zoe Brooks
Published by White Fox Book
Found on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads

This intellectual work of fiction is about Anya and her Shadow, Eve.  It is a tale of survival against all odds in an unforgiving, unloving desert.
The reader first meets Anya, already orphaned by her parents, living with her paternal Aunt and Uncle.  We learn that Anya is an unwelcomed part of the household, often taking blame and punishment for acts that she has not done.  It is one of these acts that boost her goal of getting out of the household, which she does, thanks to her Shadow.  Eve and Anya travel alongside of the main road, however, not on the road, in fear of being detected.  With help of “Frank”, the girls make it to the big Northern City, and change their names to make survival easier.  Life there is not easy, and taking jobs that each of them don’t like leads them to the “King” who woes Rosa (Anya) and makes her his.  Through this destructive relationship, Rosa’s strength and determination are beaten down until she escapes again.  It is not until our heroine meets Alma and through knowledge and learning, Rosa grows and gains herself back.

I am glad to learn that this is only book one of a saga, as when I was done reading it, I wanted more! This is a coming of age story that is so much more.   I fell in love with Anya and was cheering for her happiness throughout the book.  I was happy when she fell in love with a boy at her work; I was saddened by her abusive relationships, shocked at her treatment by her own family.   I loved that this story was based in the desert, something that I knew very little about and learned more about as I read the story.  I love to read fiction and learn at the same time.  This book was well thought out, well researched as evidenced by the knowledge that is shared with the reader in regards to the healing plants of the desert and customs related to the people who live there. 

This is a great book for someone who is looking to escape reality, and be taken away.  I feel that people who are looking for a strong heroine should read this book, as throughout the story, whatever our heroine is doing or is being done to her, she is enduring it.  It is a book about a relationship that is never taken for granted with Anya and Eve- how two people can connect and prosper together. 

Recommended for a good weekend read.
4 stars!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination

Wow, I am so thrilled to have been nominated by my fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you Kristen of Home is where the book is!  

There are a few rules one one must follow before accepting the award and they are as follows:
  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
  2. Let the nominated bloggers know that they have been nominated for this award.
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself. 
  4. Thank the blogger who has nominated you. 
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.   
7 Random facts about me: 
1. I am the proud Mommy of the most wonderful three cats: Buddy, a domestic long hair who is Alpha Cat; Bella, a domestic short hair who steals everyone's heart, and Marmalade, the playful one.
2.I am addicted to buying books!
3. I just started  blogging and I love it!
4. I love the Food Network.
5.My favorite show of all time is Big Bang Theory.
6. I love to cook with other people, for other people.
7. I am obsessed with playing Smurf Villiage on my phone.

And the nominees for Versatile Blogger Award goes too.... 

Thanks again to Kristen for the nomination!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Guarding the Healer by Gabriel Beyers

Guarding The Healer
Gabriel Beyers
Smashwords Edition
May 2011

This is a novel that is along the line of paranormal/ spiritual world literature.  It follows the spiritual world battles and the physical world battles of Silas, a young man who knows about suffering in the physical world and how he grows into his spiritual gift. 

The author takes the reader from Silas’ baptism into the church, to his first spiritual world fight and learning what his gift is and how he uses it.  The reader sees Silas grow into his gift and his gift’s limitations in the physical world, while being introduced to the angels that are involved in this.  Angels, Demons and their counterparts are all involved in the characters lives, and this is well written into the story.  Silas is joined in the story by his  gentle Aunt, his horrible Uncle, his friendly cousins, his loving wife Hannah, their friend Hope, a stranger turned into friend Tommy and few more colorful characters. 

This is a well written piece of fiction.  I loved how the author would describe a scene in the physical world and then in the next chapter he would describe the same scene but in the supernatural world.  The reader learns to love and cheer for Silas, the main character, in the first few chapters.  I enjoyed how the story played out for a few years in Silas’ life, not just a snapshot of him here and there.  I found this book easy to read, hard to put down and engaging. 

This is a book that causes one to think, to reflect and to carry on after reading as a new person. It would be a great read for someone who already has a basis in the supernatural world and knows what takes place in the spiritual world.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has read Frank Pretti.  This would be a good weekend read- read by the lake and just devour it .

 My final impression: A wonderfully written, well laid out story with great description and detail.  Would make a wonderful movie!

5 stars!

Friday, July 13, 2012

And I did it my way…Being Independent

Definition: Free from outside control; not depending on another's authority
Synonyms: free - substantive - self-contained – self-sufficient

I am an independent woman.  It’s how I was raised.  My mother was independent yet interdependent in her relationship with my father.  She was the one that had to make all the decisions as Dad was on the road, working.  She was able to become more independent once she returned to work from being a stay at home Mom.  She is my example of a independent woman.

I have seen women who had dreams, inspirations and desires that all seem to disappear when a man came into the picture.  I chose not to be one of those women.  I believe in the equality of women, that we are equals with our male counterparts.  I believe that I can pull my share, and that my spouse can as well. J is amazing at this- he will let me take him out for a meal or a date without feeling bad about it.  I like it when he does it for me, so why not?  I work; I pay my share of the bills.  If I had to ask to buy clothes, a book or even groceries, that would drive me nuts.  If I had to seek permission to even go for a quick bite with a friend on a spur of a moment- I’d go insane for sure.  This does work for some women, and I applaud them for it. This doesn’t mean that if something that I plan to do will hurt J that I would do it anyways- that’s just respect.

Have I always been this way? No… I only found my worth as being someone’s girlfriend, someone’s buddy.  It took lots of heartbreak (some that took years to get over), hard work and necessity to become who I have become.  I wasn’t going to return home to my parents unless I absolutely had to, I was going to make it in the Wild, Wild West.  There was a time that I was fired from my job and to borrow money, however, I was able to keep my apartment and made the next month’s rent without a hitch.  It’s okay for an independent woman to ask for help.  It’s not okay for an independent woman to continually ask for help, that is what makes her dependent.

We are all interdependent. We rely on each other for survival, for emotional support, and for our interconnectedness.  This is different than being dependent- it is how we are connected with the universe.

How can I become more independent?  First, start with who you are.  Learn to love that person. You can be able to defend yourself to critics when they pop up, if you know who you are. You will also be able to be there for friends who need to be given support.  Become financially independent; get working, get your own bank account, save money and pay your own bills.  Get rid of the negativity in your life: the people, the ways, and the thoughts.  Insert positive people, thoughts, and ways of living.  Start getting out on your own- doing your own activities, join clubs, go to meetups without your spouse.  Meet your own friends. Make mistakes and grow from them.  Think independent, act independent and eventually, you will make it on your own.

Remember Mary’s character in The Mary Tyler Moore Show?  I grew up knowing that I can live in my own apartment, work at my own job, and have my own friends.  Thank You Mary! (and for Grandpa who let me stay up to watch Nic At Nite with him!)

Be your own woman!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review: Gettin' Back to Happy

Gettin’ Back to Happy
By Valerie Albarda
Review Copy

Gettin' Back to Happy

Getting’ Back to Happy by Valerie Albarda is a 365 day signet of “Happiness is…”  These daily reminders on how to be happy and reasons to be happy, remind us that family, pets, food, friends, work, travel and life in general all have a part of our happiness.  Happiness happens to those who look for something to be happy about.

In the year we learn about the writer as well as her reasoning to be happy that day.  For example, in the dark and dreary winter months, she found happiness when her coat and her dog’s coat matched.  We learn about her husband, the Flying Dutchmen, and can celebrate with her when he comes home from business trips and share the mixed emotions of seeing him go off.  We see the struggles that the author deals with and how thinking positive at least once a day, can help you get through.

I really liked this book.  I was able to get lost in the story that seems to develop from the diary excerpts and the daily “Happiness is” statements.  I found myself laughing with the author when she describes something funny that has happened (like “Happiness is being told that you look like a million bucks when you feel like a buck fifty”), and I was sad when the author shared her story of a friendship that ended.  The author shares her faith in God along the way, sharing that spiritual side of her, in a very proper manner.

This book would make a great present for someone who is lost in a depression, is ill, in hospital or just needs to find something to make them smile.  It would be a great book to read while traveling, waiting in a waiting room, sipping a fine cup of coffee… as you can pick it up and put it down without losing the meaning of the author’s story.  There is something for everyone in this book.

4 stars  out of 5!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Missing by Suzanne D. Williams

Book Review: Missing
by Suzanne D Williams
Christian Fiction

Missing is a story of three wars and two families that were affected by the wars.  This story tells the tales of the Sanders and Davis families during the Civil, WW2 and Viet Nam.

It starts out with heartache just after the Viet Nam war.  Adele goes to the City to hear a solider speak on the War and meets Stephen there.  Through finding love, salvation and the truth of her husband, Adele heals from the War.  We, the reader, are reminded of Psalm 23, about goodness and mercy.

The reader is then sent back to the 1800’s and to the Civil War to meet Old Man, Hungry, Elizabeth and a few more characters.  We are shown examples of misery that wars bring, and how family loves each other regardless.   Continuing on the Psalm 31 theme, this storyline shares the woes and troubles of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

Our novel ends with the WW2 and the story of Molly, Red, and Doug.  These three characters get caught up on in a long distance love triangle as Doug is in France, working as a paratrooper- while Molly and Red are back home.   We are shown forgiveness, the true meaning of love and unfailing acceptance.

A theme that runs through all three stories in this book is prayer, and it’s healing powers.  In the Viet Nam story, we learn that prayer helps heal broken hearts and helps us find our way.  In the Civil War, prayer helps hold a family together.  In the WW2 story, prayer cleans the soul and strengthens relationships.  It is not the act of prayer that accomplishes this, it is God that hears and acts on the prayers, as he seems fit.

I enjoyed this book- it felt like three mini books in one.  The characters are ones that the reader can relate to and can see their struggles.  My favorite story was the love story in the Viet Nam War storyline.  I was able to connect with Adele on a personal level and was pulling for her throughout her story.

This is a good read! **** stars!  It would be a perfect book for someone that doesn’t have the time or attention span to sit and read a full book all at once, due to the three stories in one volume.  A reader can read a story, set down the book and pick it up to start the next story without missing a beat!  If the reader enjoys authors such as Janette Oake, you will enjoy this book by Suzanne Williams.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


My Not So Ordinary Life  By Christine Rice
Autobiography, 2012.

This is the author’s life story from age 2 to 28, growing up and coming of age.   She describes her childhood, troubled teen years and her adulthood.  She describes her ups and her downs, her regrets and her accomplishments.  I love that she shared parts of her story that other authors would not: her mental health, her relationships and her other dark secrets.
I would have loved to have read more detail in her story.  As another review said (after I had already read the book) that it feels that she is only giving a summary of what her true story is.  I agree on this.  I would have loved to learn what she felt, dreamt, tasted, and experienced in the mental hospital for example.  I would have liked to get the detail on why she fell in love with her husband and chose him to settle down with for life.
This is a real quick read, as it is under 40 pages.  I would recommend this book to someone who wants to be introduced into autobiographies/biographies.  It seems that this would be a book to take to the coffee shop to read while you indulge in a few moments of peace and quiet, due to the length and the style of the writing.
This is a good, quick read.  Pick it up and pass it around!
Found at Amazon.com, Lulul.com, smashword.com, kobobooks.com

Saturday, June 30, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Between Boyfriends by Sarka-Jonae Miller

CHICK LIT, Printed in 201, Smashwords Edition.

This is a story of a young woman, Jan, who grows and matures as the story goes on.

When the reader is first introduced to Jan, our main character is being broken up by her boyfriend of 8 months named Mike.  Jan is spoiled, rich, snobby and shallow.  She appears to have more money than brains.
We learn that Jan has dropped out of college before even taking a single class, and the only ones that know are her now ex boyfriend, her girlfriends and her father.  She is taking classes at a massage school to become a massage therapist on the advice of the now ex-boyfriend. 
Due to the break up, she swears off dating all boys.   This includes Juan, a classmate that she bonds with after being really nasty to him.  She takes up new hobbies on the advice of her neighbor/ best friend.
We see her really grow when after a dinner party at her mother’s house.  It was during this party that her mother learns that Jan has quit school and is now becoming a massage therapist.  This results in Jan being cut off financially and being disowned by her mother.  Jan now has to get school paid for, get a job, and support herself completely.  Gone are the days of MAC cosmetics, Starbucks Chai Teas and fancy hair salons.
Through a comedy of errors of jobs that she does get, we see her becoming less shallow, more of her own person.
It is through her relationships with her girlfriends and two new friends that she connects with, Jan blossoms into a woman, instead of a girl.

This is an excellent read!  I enjoyed it from the first page and was sad to see the last one.  It has a rich story line, characters that you can relate to and a story that any woman can relate to.  I was able to read 

 this book in just over 12 hours… because I enjoyed it so much.  This would be a welcomed book to have with you in the summer as you travel, read at the beach or enjoy on the deck with a good glass of wine or favorite cocktail.

Highly recommended by this reviewer. 

Can be found  at smashwords.com, amazon.com, goodreads.comhttp://www.goodreads.com/review/show/358165451

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How BBQ Ribs Helped to Heal A Hurting Relationship

My father has arrived for his yearly visit with us.  He comes out in late June until mid-July for a visit and the Calgary Stampede. I was not looking forward to this visit this year.  It's been a rough year for my parents and the ending of their 40yr+ relationship.  I am going through some decisions and changes, and I don't have anything in my tank to help keep my Dad's spirits up.
Turns out, that I didn't have to worry about that.  It seems that my Dad wants to keep me out of that part of his life (phew!) and just enjoy being with J and I.  He loves the city that I live in, and is looking forward to visiting his family at an upcoming reunion in Saskatchewan.

By now, you must be wondering where does the ribs come into all of this? I'm getting there.

I am one of those trucker daughter/wife's that get excited when the trucker comes home from being on the road.  J was expected to be coming off the road for some well earned time off and I wanted to make a special dinner that we can all enjoy.  I wasn't expecting him until late, (and with my Dad still on EDT) I still had to feed my Dad: I decided to make ribs for the first time.

It gave us something to talk about: how are you going to cook them? what rub? which sauce? which methods?

Being able to spend time together by eating those yummy ribs, we were able to just chat about things: my furbabies (his grandcats), the local news,  where J was and when he would be home, and his daily activities back home.  It was this casual conversation that some healing began on my end.  I was able to melt by hardened heart (my Dad has caused my Mom a lot of pain lately and vice versa) and just enjoy cooking and eating with my Dad.

I think he is getting restless... I believe he may be heading for the mountains for some rest and relaxation.  It's where I go when I am looking for answers.. and I believe that he is where he is at.

This is going to be a good visit afterall.  I am just expected to be a daughter, not a counsellor, not a listening board, not a supporter.  Phew. 

BBQ Ribs- St. Louis Style
1 package of pork side ribs
1 btl of Montreal Steak Spice
1 btl of favorite Bull's Eye BBQ Sauce

Rub on the Montreal Steak Spice on both sides of the ribs. Then for one and a half hours, roast the ribs in a roasting pan with 1/4 in of water in the base.  Brush with your favorite BBQ Sauce (Bull's Eye Hickery is my favorite) and grill on the med heat BBQ. 
Serve with rice, salad, corn on the cob, sweet tea.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The triangle of good health

Health- Definition: the state of being free from illness or injury; a person's mental or physical condition.
             Synonms: soundness, well-being.

Taking care of ourselves in a caring profession is very vital. This includes physical and mental.... and the spiritual.  A lot of people that I have met in the past little while forget that the spiritual side of us can get sick and out of balance.

To take care of one's physical health we do physical things: physical activity, proper nutrition and supplements, proper sleep.  It's our body.

To take care of one's mental health we do mental things: relaxation techniques, mind cues, learning/education, self talk. It's our mind.

To take care of one's spiritual health we do spiritual things: attend services, read spiritual readings, pray, meditate. It's our soul.

We are not just a body and a mind... we are a spiritual being as well.  Being spiritual does not mean that you are religious... it means that you are aware of the spiritual side of all living things- the human spirit.

When we are off in one of our three healths, it affects the other two.  For example, when in a depression, the mental health is "off"... leading to physical symptoms and lack of care in our spiritual life.  In our spiritual life, we may have a 'dry season' which can lead to our emotional needs not being met (our mental health) and having physical pain.

I reflect on this in an equilateral triangle that all are connected and interconnected. It can not be equal if one side is greater than the other two. All our healths are connected and interconnected to make us whole.

Today, let's take time to care for each one of our healths.  I know that I will be.  I will be resting and eating good food with good people (J is home from work for the weekend!!), relaxing in a nice hot bath tub once I get home from the night shift while listening to my favorite music that feeds my soul.

Take are of you.... I've only got one of ya!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Groovy Kind of Love

It's May. In the past seven or eight years in my life, this means that I have lost or about to loose a loved one. Between March thru May, I always cringe when the phone rings late at night or early in the morning.

Last year, I was invited to be the voice of a client who was dying. He chose me to be his agent. He also met his long lost brother... Who never left his side. We were as close as a client / staff member could be, and this helped me to know and understand what his wishes were. When he passed, I had a sense that it happened, as I couldn't sleep. He is missed and he is remembered.

This May, I have that pleasure again. J and I went up to hospice to visit R on Monday. It was a hard visit as R wasn't able to communicate like he once did- he was famous for teasing me and making me laugh. I was able to keep it together until we left his room... I cried in the lounge prior to coming home.

Why do I do this? I am chosen, and this is a privilege. The clients loved me and I love them back.  There is a trust there that allows them to choose me.  I know their wishes and they trust me to follow through on them.

Last night (Wednesday), the hospice called my place of work... R wasn't going to make the night. I was sent up to be with R as he passed.  It was a hard thing to do, however, I was well supported and in turn I was able to share this support with R.  When it came time for him to exhale for the last time, I was there, letting him know how special he was, how much love we shared and how he will never be forgotten.  I have an amazing team that I work with- I was checked on and hugged by every single one upon my return. The people that I had to get in touch with- coworkers who also knew and loved R- were so supportive and loving.  I love that kind of love.

This is a journey of the soul.  I never knew that I could be so strong, so full of love for the ones who chose me to be there.  I know that I am loved.... by my Higher Power, by my J, my family, friends, framily,co-workers and my clients... and this helps me give what I love get away.

Groovy Kind of Love- the love that is chosen to be given away.  Share that love today!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsC_SARyPzk  The offical music video for the song by Phil Collins.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FRIAMILY.... The Family That You Choose

FRIAMILY: Friends that turn out to be closer to you than your family.

I am reflecting on this as part of my first Link Up Party at Women Living Well at womenlivingwell.org

I live 3,048 kms from where I was born.  My parents still live there,  and my sister and brother in law are only 2 hrs away from there.  I can't just go home for the weekend like most of my friends can.! I have to take a 4 hr flight, a 2 hr car ride to get there!  I have been this far from my family for the past 15 yrs.  That's a lot of Christmas's, Easters, Birthdays, Thankgivings that I haven't been there for!  I do have some family out here: my grandfather is the eldest of 15 kids!  However, it's not my immediate family.  I do have my in laws: J's wonderful parents, grandmother and brother- who have adopted me 8 yrs ago!

I have made my own family out here.  I have close friends that are more like a brother, a sister,  or "Pops".  These peeps are my friamily: the family that I choose.  Beyond best friends, these are the people that I go to for advice, to cry on, to call on, and for support.  They come to me for the same thing.  I remember introducing my father to my "pops", and seeing that they are only 3 years apart and a lot alike, they hit it off. (yay!) 

I am also blessed with a great family at work.  I know that I have been writing about the changes at work for me, however, I still have that work family.  Just last night as I was trying to settle in, my former teammate called up to me to check in with me.  That was an amazing start of my shift!  I have been on this shift before, and still have those closer relationships.  When you are in a caring and supporting role, you must be able to do so for each other.  It's how our emotional tanks stay filled.

The amazing friends that I have made at my home church have become my "church family."  Through taking part in Bible Studies, Care Groups,  and a Apologetics Course` I have met many different women, and couples.  These are the people who love me, accept me, and support me--- just because of who I am.  They have opened their arms to my J as well.  Their support, care, concern, loving correction have helped me grow, serve and fill my emotional tap.  These are the women that I know look to me for the same.  I have always hated being the new lady in church... breaking in, making it my own, yet, the people that I have come to love, have done that for and with me.  From opening their homes, serving on a team, having breakfast together, praying and sharing together- we have become family.

The best part of Friamily?  We can't choose the family that we were born into, because we get to choose who our friends are.

How do we make our Friamily?  Be there for the person.  Be that mentor that the younger you is looking for.  Support and give feedback when necessary for growth.  Pray together.  Listen.   Treat them like your brother, sister, pops or ma... or even better that then ones that were given to you.  I love to her "hey Sis" from a few of my friamily members, as to "dear", "buddy".  Terms of endearment always bring a smile.  I believe that if coffee and cheesecake cannot cure what ails you, then  you haven't tried the right on- sharing a meal, a snack, a dessert with someone is a bonding moment.  No agenda other than to just bond, love, support each other.

Love the ones that you were given.... Love the ones that have chosen you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Phew... I made i!

I made it through my first night back on the ol' night crew!  I have been posted back to where it all began for me, and it felt like a reunion more than anything else!

Oh, I had to answer a lot of questioning looks, and questions...  and I did so with integrity and heartfilled answers.

I was able to see the day crew arrive this morning, and was able to chat with a couple of them.  I can't remember how it came up, however, I do remember the feeling that I had with it.  I have given this journey over to my higher power, and I had made the comment to a couple of my coworkers that I trust and love : "There is a plan, I just don't know it yet.  The One that does is only sharing it piece by piece."  That Bible verse in Jeremiah was finally not just a verse that I had learned and meditated, it was something that I was living as well!

I feel that I have come full circle- back to where it all started.  On the crew that I started with.  There are lots of new faces, lots of new routines: and those will soon become a part of my worklife as well.

I was sore, tired, yet happy to know that I had a small part of taking care of my fallen sisters and brothers this morning.  I was able to chat with my J as he was awaiting for his work to begin.  I was able to sleep a bit as well.

Life is a journey... there will be peaks and valleys, there will be roadblocks and straight roads, there will be beauty and ugliness.  All that matters is how we enjoy it... how we face it... and who we have beside us.

My challenge to myself tonight is to make a difference in one person's night.  To give of myself freely (within the professional boundaries) and let the love and peace flow through me.

Now, I am off to do my self care so that I can achieve my goal! :)

Jeremiah 29:11 Bible Verses

Monday, May 14, 2012

Change is in the air

It's been quite the week for me.  I found out on Monday afternoon, that my role at my work was no longer.  I was being reassigned to the night crew.  This was all expected but also not expected.  I did expect that my role was to be terminated: no need to do my work when the role that I was supporting was also terminated.  I expected to be given a role still within my team~ not being sent back to nights.

In the past, being sent to nights was the "kiss of death" and even as I told some of my coworkers that this was happening to me, they brought that up.  I am determined that it will not happen to me!

I have had a few days to get into my head and heart.  I still have a job.  I can still support my family.  There will be changes as budgeting changes.  I will be able to give myself,  for the majority of my shift, to my clients- those people who need me.  I will be able to support my coworkers by being the loving and caring person that I am.

These conclusions did not come easy. 

Why was that?

I got negative.  I hated what working nights did to my health earlier in my work... I got  depressed and riddled with anxiety due to lack of sleep, lack of sunshine, lack of  support.  I hated being depressed: it affected my job satisfaction, my work ethic, my ability to fulfill my role properly, my judgement.  I now know who I can go to for extra support: I have a church family that loves me so much  that they will carry me on.  I disliked having no social life... just as I was joining clubs, attending care group, and starting to write again.  I may not be able to attend all meetings, however, people will understand that I am a shift worker, and make allowances for such!

Why negative? I listened to my head not my heart.  I remembered all the horrible things that I did not like, and forgot all about what I did love of the night shift.  I went to that dark spot that we all have, that we harbour negative feelings, thoughts and experiences.  I went so deep that I wasted all of my days off fighting it off instead of taking care of myself. 

Lesson learned this weekend:  There is always two positives for every negative.  Change is a good thing~ it should be embraced and welcomed. 

Here is to the third shift!  Look out, I'm going to rock it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Emotional: "I'm an emotional Girl!"

Emotional:  Definition: of or relating to a person’s emotions; arousing or characterized by intense feeling.
                        Synonym: emotive, affective, sensitive, sentimental

Being in touch with your emotions is always an adventure.  It seems that you experience more emotions when you “wear your heart on your sleeve” than others who do not. Emotions are personal, individualistic, private.  I am an emotional person.  I tend to share my emotional journey during the day with whoever I come in contact with.  People can read me and know when something’s up: be it excitement about travelling or nervousness about upcoming test results, or even when I am not feeling good.

Being that kind of person is a blessing and a misfortune.  It is a blessing, as you can always know how I am even if I reply that I am fine. J  It’s a misfortune when I panic and let my emotions lead me, not my head. Does it make me more sensitive?  I don’t think so, I think I am a strong woman, and being an emotional one, makes me human.

I love experiencing emotions.  Good pieces of classical music can have me smiling, crying, laughing, and back to smiling.  A movie that evokes emotion is a good release.  I loved it when J and I went to a play that was very moving, and I found him crying as much as me!  He is a big, tough truck driver, and when his heart is touched, he shows it.  I cry at weddings- nothing is worse than having me read a poem after the bride comes in- I’ve cried all her way down the aisle and look terrible.  Just ask my girlfriend Donna.  Audible laughs come from reading a good comedy book, such as a Christopher Moore book. 

I often wonder about people who claim that they don’t experience emotions, or are not emotional.  Are they human?  Do they know what they are missing?

Today I would like to challenge my readers to be emotional! As they come to you today, go into it, experience it, and learn from it.  We are all unique and they way we each will experience, express and filter our emotions proves it.

“Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized
 his emotions.” ~ David Borenstien

“ The emotions aren't always immediately subject to reason, but they are always immediately subject to action” ~ William James
 “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” ~ Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Devotion: “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.” Albert Einstein

Devotion:  Definition: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, cause or activity
                  Synonym: loyalty, dedication, attachment, adherence, piety

A devotion to someone or something can be a healthy thing in our lives, or it can be a destructible one.  A healthy devotion can cause us to move, to change, to grow in a positive way~  leading the way for happiness, contentment, a sense of reason.  The opposite can cause harm, pain, sadness, ~ leading the way for collapse, ill health and poor mental health.

What would make devotion to something or to someone healthy?  Looking into my own life, my devotion to my work causes me to feel fulfilled.  It  is the reason that I get up when I don’t feel like it on weekdays, as I know that once I get there and am with the people that I care for and those who care for me, I will have  a good day.  Sharing a smile with a client will cause that client to feel love and will react with love.  My devotion to J, (I often refer to him as “my J”),  brought me to this Metropolitan City that I live in, it had me driving from 00:30am to 02:45am every weekend to get to him before the move.  It drives me now to provide him the support that he needs to be successful in a new job.  It is the driving force behind me being faithful.  My devotion to my faith is what I am struggling with right now. Again.  I will get it back and it will become a part of me once again.   

I have seen what I would call misplaced devotion- devotion to alcoholism, illicit drug use, food, work- and what it caused in the lives of those who experienced it.  My own misplaced devotion to food caused me to eat mindlessly, to fill the void that is there, in the pit of my stomach. This caused me to gain weight, which lead me to feeling bad about myself, which then took me on a downward spiral of depression.  It was only when I was able to put that misplaced devotion to food- what it tastes like, how it made me feel-  to a devotion of eating more fresh, organic, less carbs, more pure foods  that I am to overcome the urge for fresh, hot French fries with a piece of hot, fresh baked squash! I feel better, am losing some of the weight and am learning to love my outside me as much as my inside me.

What can we do take to be devoted or to add devotion to our lives? 
Find something or someone to believe in.   Find your higher power and talk.  Pray.  Spend time doing something for a special person in your life ~ creating a wonderful dining experience for a spouse out of their favorite foods, just to say that you love them , to me would be an act of devotion.  (Especially if you cook your least favorite foods that they absolutely love!)  Be that loyal friend:  hold their hand, give them that supportive hug that is needed. 

“Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love.”
Morihei Ueshiba

“True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself.
Henry Miller

Friday, May 4, 2012

Drama: Being free to let it be

Dramatic: Definition: of or relating to drama or the performance or study of drama. (of an event or circumstance) sudden and striking.
                 Synonym: scenic, theatrical, histrionic.

Drama.  Many thoughts come to mind with this word of the day.  Drama- as in the art of the theatrical arts as seen in Romeo and Juliet.  Drama, such in “her life is full of drama.”  Let’s not forget the use in ‘dramatic decrease of waiting times.”
My favorite of these modern day use of the word drama is the theatrical drama.
I have loved live theatre most of my life.  I can remember going to community theatre with my mother- our most favorite one was My Fair Lady. She knew all the songs as she played them on our family piano and I learned them on the recorder for my final grade 6 performance of such.  Later on, in high school, my highlight of the year was spending my birthday money going to Stratford, Ontario to see a play at the Shakespearean Festival.  To see Rome and Juliet, Our Town, Macbeth, Comedy of Errors and others live, brought my study of such written works alive for me. In fact, it was part of my decision to attend Stratford School of Nursing- just to be inspired every day.  In the present, the last play that I saw was Billy Bishop Goes To War, a gift to my company for its fiftieth anniversary.  I saw the play with one of my good buddies, and we didn’t know it, however, it was to have been one of our last outings together prior to him moving. (Anyone who knows me really well knows of my passion for all things Billy Bishop and Corner Gas! <One of the actors of CG was the main actor in the play>)
I was in church plays every Christmas.  I had a learning disability, and I am sure that I drove every director crazy by my inability to learn my lines- however; I could gesture and use the tones of my voices.  The final year of my schooling in Saskatchewan, I was a part of the student leadership team, and we did an opening skit~ our take on a few of the summer’s blockbuster movies combined.  It was an enjoyable experience and one that I look back on fondly.
My favorite recent memory of drama right now is my experience in Haiti.  Being (cough) almost middle aged, and not yet a parent, I found it hard to connect to some of the children of Haiti… until I found that through my limited French and my ability to be dramatic and use gestures, facial expressions, etc I GOT LAUGHS. We put on skits, brought alive Bible stories and lessons for all ages- which we had the children re-enact where time was available to do so.  Seeing those little ones trying to be dramatic and following our skit was adorable! It brought smiles to our ministry teams as well as the caregivers/teachers of those precious little ones.
How can we bring drama to our lives today?  We can’t always go to the theatre to make us smile, nor spending hours in front of the TV. … however, we can choose to turn off the music radio station and listen to a radio drama.  We can make funny faces in the mirror; participate in a community acting class or community playhouse.  We can volunteer to help out or direct a church/school/community play.  We can step outside the comfort zone and bring alive a new character.
Let’s put some flair in our lives today!  Dress up, throw on that boa and create! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Courageous: Boldly, Confidently Moving

Courageous:  Definition:  not deterred by danger or pain; brave.  The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.
                        Synonym:  brave, bold, valiant, plucky, gallant, hardy           

When I think of courageous and courage, I proudly think of my high school pals who are currently serving our country in the army, navy and air force.    I fondly remember the members of the RCMP detachments that I volunteered with.  I smile and think of my friends who are in the mission field, and have been for most of their lives, if not the entirety of it.  I am proud of the women in my life who have left undesirable, dangerous relationships, and still love unconditionally.

It takes a courageous woman to leave all that and all who she knows, to start fresh in a different part of Canada.  I did it, twice.  I left Toronto, Ontario on a Royal Airline Flight, not knowing who will be meeting me in Regina International Airport.  It was one of the best things that I ever did- left all behind in Ontario, started fresh in Saskatchewan.  I was stretched, I grew, and I fell in love with a new way of life.  The second time, I moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta, in the middle of the night- having to spend the first night alone in a bus station until I could move into my suite in the morning.  It was a good move- I was forced to be independent and I was stretched and pulled into who I became. 

Courageous moves happen all round us, all the time.  Someone puts their name in to run for City Counselor, who is just wants to make a difference.  It is a courageous move, as they are moving forward with confidence, with a boldness to put themselves out there.  A man chooses and decides that he is going to live as long as he can, while dying of cancer, in a homeless shelter, is courageous.  He changes the way society views homeless, the way we all view the choice of dying with dignity.   A woman moves out a of a house she turned into a home for many years, leaves behind memories, friends and life as she knows it- is courageous.  She has the boldness to stand up for herself after years of putting herself last.  She is courageous as she does not know what is a head of her, and yet she is determined to be happy, to be confident, to be true to herself.  These folks are courageous as they are afraid, yet they still choose to move forward, make themselves take action or stand up for what they want. 

Living courageously means to move! Just do it, and do so with confidence!  The first time will be the hardest; however, the next time will be easier! It is a choice, a healthy one even, to take that first step, and to do so with confidence, self esteem and self love.   It all starts with the choice, followed by the push of self, and followed by end result of happiness, contentment, love.

How can we choose to live courageously today, in this moment?  Step outside of your boundaries.  Have you met your neighbors yet?  Be bold, and introduce yourself.  Are you living in a fear? Write down that fear, and three steps that you can take today to help end that fear.  Are there feelings/emotions that you cannot describe or talk to anyone about?  Call the distress centre, write to a mentor center, walk into a church, or grab a coffee with a buddy.  

Courageous living starts with the decision to do so.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."- Ambrose Redmoon      

 "Courage is not living without fear.Courage is being scared to death and doing the right thing anyway."- Chae Richardson

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Benevolence: to love mankind with a desire to promote happiness

Benevolence: Definition: well meaning and kindly; (of an organization) serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.      
    Synonyms: charitable, kind, benign, benignant, kindly.
When I was growing up, our church had a benevolent fund.  The plate was passed around, very casually, after the very somber communion service.  This is my first memory of the word benevolent. It was just something that we took part of, as we cared for those who came to the church, or used the church’s programs.
Growing up, my parents were very benevolent: giving financially when they can, sharing what they did have with those who didn’t have at all, and giving a supportive phone call to those who needed to be cheered.  I can remember having couples, students, singles, and single moms with their children over for a good Sunday dinner after church.  It was fun to learn about new cultures, new theologies, new theories, new music over the afternoon- it was also good to be able to be kind to someone who was new to the church, was visiting or even a missionary on furlough.
Being benevolent started as a child for me.  I was always the kind hearted kid that got hurt emotionally for being too kind.  I had a tendency to do good things for the neighbours around: from keeping the lonely, older gentleman around the corner company as he walked my part of the block, to sharing our (my sister and I) artwork and to finally being able to supply the neighbourhood with Girl Guide cookies.
In my teen years, I would volunteer my time in the summer to a horseback riding school for the physically and mentally challenged.  I would volunteer my Friday after school hours to both the adult and youth aquatic division of the Special Olympics.  I learned about diversity, self esteem, responsibility and love during those many hours in the pool or in the barn.  I also had the pleasure of being a part of daily miracles- all because I gave of my time.
In my adult years, I have worked for non profits my entire working years.  I have worked for charities, raised awareness for the charities, and participated in many different fund raising adventures- like sitting on the rooftop of a homeless shelter, in -15 weather, in a tent in the middle of December! (With 2 of my favorite people who have touched my life)
This has shaped me.  I am a person that seeks to find the love of mankind, which in turns brings my desire to promote others’ happiness.
 To bring a smile to someone else’s day brightens mine.
To make someone laugh causes my laughter to be jollier.
To give away my last dollar in order for someone to afford something that they need makes my day.

Benevolence is more than just giving money- it’s handing out smiles, hugging that co-worker who is hurting, putting the dirty dishes where they belong, and perhaps spending time with a shut-in.  It is being kind, doing good, being generous.

When we are kind, it causes a chain reaction- Let’s be the first one in the chain today!