Sunday, June 19, 2011


Family is everything (I don't care if you and your sister have had issues forever...get along!)

Duct Tape is king (was there anything Dad couldn't repair with duct tape? Vacuum hoses, garden hoses, briefcases, chairs..and it's DUCT tape not DUCK tape okay???)

Scotch neat.  ('Nuff said)

Men excel at cooking (so what if it took him 75 years to embrace this, he was a late bloomer)

Pregnant daughters need extra care. (I'll always remember the winter night he left his wife to navigate the icy sidewalk alone to take my arm and get me safely to the car...hey..she wasn't pregnant was she?)

There's nothing wimpy about growing gladioli. Amazing beautiful gladioli.

When he called me a dough-head it was said affectionately of course....

Music is one of life's necessities.

Be good to your Mother. Be good to your Mother. Be good to your Mother. (I still believe Dad sent the swarm of mosquitoes to attack me at the cemetary that day in late September.  I had visited him and whined that I was finding it hard to deal with the stress of visiting Mom in her advanced state of dementia...."Suck it up buttercup and visit your Mother! Oh, and stop whining")

Stubbornness is an admirable trait. (And no we WON'T debate it)

Don't spend money you don't have (I'm still struggling with that one, dough-head that I am)

Books are another of life's necessities.

When someone needs help, just do it!

Do it anonymously if possible.

Stop whining about your job. Seriously. Stop it!

Stop whining about the weather. It is what it is.

It's just a cold/flu/cut/bruise. It'll pass. Stop whining.

You know what...just stop whining .. period.

Happy Father's Day Dad. I miss you and I love you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Happy Birthday to Me

Happy birthday to me I’m older, you see

and there are still some things I don’t know.

Like why does it take a birthday to make

you wonder how little you know.

I’ve played ‘Kick the Can’ and ‘Hide and Go Seek’

‘Run Sheep Run’ and the lot. Hearts and Flowers’

by the hours play ‘em and what have you got ?

Happy birthday to me I’m older you see

but there are still some things I don’t know.

Like why when you give all you’ve got you can give

do people get frightened... and go.

Off and running as though in a race

afraid to laugh or cry gone to wherever

seldom if ever stopping to tell you goodbye.

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me.

I’ve read all the books that I own

but none of them say why it takes a birthday

to show you how little you’ve grown.

Words and music by Rod McKuen ©1968 by Stanyan Music
LOVE this poem. Especially the last stanza. Me in a nutshell. :-)
Had a birthday yesterday. Getting old. No one told me I don't look my age. :-( I cried on my sister's
shoulder about that last night. Ha! I'm better now. We concluded the only way to take care of that problem would be for me to colour my salt and pepper hair. Well, THAT'S never going to happen because
A. I'm too lazy and coloured hair takes work
B. I like the colour it is now. and
C. I'm too lazy and coloured hair takes work.
I also mentioned my pain to my sons who briefly said all the right words and then immediately the conversation degenerated into a running joke about old women and nursing homes and feebleness. Can't take yourself too seriously at my house for long. It's just not allowed!
But it was a nice quiet birthday, the big celebration is slated for this weekend. (prezzies, cake). There's something wrong about having a birthday during the work week so we have postponed it. And I'm not getting older...I'm getting one year closer to retirement! And that CAN'T be a bad thing!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

My sons never disappoint. I have a beautiful bouquet of red and yellow gerbera daisies sitting on the table beside me. Two bottles of wine chilling in the fridge.  (okay, one and a half...I got my gifts on Friday ;-). We tend to celebrate special days close to, not necessarily on. We are a strange bunch.

I had a cry this morning thinking about my Mom. I miss her. She died in 2006 after struggling with Alzheimer's for 6 years. We had a difficult relationship when I was younger, especially my teen years and early adulthood. I blame the middle child syndrome and the fact that my two sisters ganged up on me mercilessly. (Yes, Lynne I said it...mercilessly)...But Mom and I were able to come to a more relaxed, mutually respectful relationship in the years before her illness. She would call me every evening after supper and I can still remember her voice on the phone. "Marilyn? How are you?" We'd chat about our day and I'd tell her what the boys were up to. She loved my dog, Bo and Bo adored her. When Mom was diagnosed with her illness and becoming a little frail and uncertain Bo stopped being so boisterous around her and would just lay on the couch beside her, solicitous and caring, and Mom would gently pet her head. We have pictures, Mom looking a little confused and Bo stretched out on the couch beside her, her protector. (Dad would take the recliner and the rest of us would sit on dining room chairs since Bo took up most of the couch and no one dared to try to move her    ;-).
Mom loved being a grandmother. She knew each of the kids' favourite dishes and they were always on hand when they visited. She loved to worry. I remember when we moved out to Martensville and I had to start commuting to work. She said, "Just one more thing for me to worry about."  She liked to shop and was always dressed impeccably. It was a thorn in her side that the one daughter    (me ;-) who lived the closest had nothing but disdain for the whole shopping experience so when one of her other daughers visited she would always added shopping to the itinerary. She did good deeds without fanfare, never needing accolades. She was talented. She was compassionate. She was kind. She lived a life of grace. I take great pride in being told "you're just like Nana" or "you got that from Mom", but sadly, I don't hear it that often.
I miss you Mom and I love you. I think of you every day but I leave the tears for Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun stuff

I had never tried any of the fun stuff from this week. I can see myself using the Smilebox and Wordle for fun. I already use something similar to the Library Thing through my account at the Wheatland Library. Makes me wonder how many other things are out there for our use that I have no clue about. I really appreciate the work that went into this Thing Programme and learned alot!. Thank you Thing People.

Post Election

I have nothing further to add to my election post except....sigh.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I swore I wasn't going to follow the election. I was going to boycott the media until mid-May but I can't help myself. I'm a junkie. I do love this country and I do care about its future. I don't think Harper is a good fit for the kind of Canada I want to live in. Sadly though, I'm in one of those ridings that is rabidly Conservative so my vote is really just a "Hey, I don't want you for my MP!" shout out. Maybe someday, but this guy does so well every election it may not be in my lifetime. He is one of the more silent of the silent 13 though. Except when he's apologizing to a Supreme Court Judge, or resigning from a Commons Cttee for inappropriate comments. But, nevermind. Your mileage may vary and I respect that. That is one thing I have noticed in this campaign. A very real and frightening lack of respect for differing views. Reminds me a bit of some recent American elections :(
Laughs are few and far between in this campaign so here's my contribution. It's non-partisan and even 'politically correct'.

While walking down the street one day a 'Member of Parliament' is

tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems
there's a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you
see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'

'No problem, just let me in,' says the man.

'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is
have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose
where to spend eternity.'

'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP.

'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes
down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the
middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing
in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with
Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake
his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich
at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who
has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They're having such a
good time that before he realizes it, it's time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where
St. Peter is waiting for him.

'Now it's time to visit heaven.'

So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls
moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now
choose your eternity.'

The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never
have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would
be better off in hell.'

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down
to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a
barren land covered with waste and garbage.
He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and
putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't
understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a
golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne,
and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of
garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?'

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning...

Today you voted.'

Monday, April 18, 2011

Community Walk

This one was fun! I've used Google Maps alot to find my way around different places I've visited.  I took a virtual tour of the Jack the Ripper sites in modern day London using Google Maps. (I know, dark but fascinating still). I've used Google Earth for quite awhile as well,  (exploring the ocean and the stars was great fun).  I love things like this so I found Community Walk very interesting as well. I'm glad this was included in the 23 Things because I've always thought GIS and on-line mapping was dry, boring and statistical and it's nice to find out I was wrong.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bookmarking and Widgets

I like Diigo. I admit I'm slow to embrace new technologies but I liked Diigo almost immediately. Just being able to find a page at home that I have bookmarked at work (and vice versa) makes this a great tool! All the other add ons are like icing on the cake. ;-) Up until now I'd have to send myself an email with the URL. Won't have to do that anymore.
I'd already added the Countdown gadget to my IG page. Tried to countdown to my retirement but it only goes to 999 days and ...oh dear...I'm tearing up again.
I'm not counting down to the end of the Thing program because that will also be the end of my vacation. And I'm not going to torture myself by going there...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Social Networking

Okay, something I'm familiar with. I have a Facebook page. I rarely remember to check it. I don't have very many friends but I have lots of requests from people I've never heard of asking to be my friend. I must be old school because I don't get it. You don't know me but you want to be my friend?? Am I being too literal?  I also don't play any of the games on Facebook. Some people really enjoy them but I'm not one of them.  I seem to spend most of my time on Facebook tweaking my settings because Facebook keeps changing the rules and assumes I want the world to see ME. I don't hate it, but I'm not really a fan either. I do check other facebook pages though for news and traffic updates (Global Saskatoon for instance gives good traffic reports). And I had never gone to the library facebook page before this week either. I think it all just operates outside of my 'sphere of consciousness' (for lack of a better phrase). I'm not terribly social so social networking isn't high on my list of places to go, do and see. And who the heck is Catlady and why does she want me to join her on Plaxo (whatever THAT is)?  Once a month without fail I get that email.  Apparently she's waiting for my response.
Twitter...never going to happen. I did my homework and created an account. (My password is weak, it's ALWAYS weak, how else am I going to remember it?). None of my preferred user names were available so I'll forget my user name within the hour anyway. I don't like Twitter. I don't like reading tweets. I don't like the thought of having to count characters and trying to compress my thoughts.  That's why  I don't text on cell phones. Okay, I don't HAVE a cell phone but if I did I wouldn't text. I texted once on my son's phone to see what the excitement was all about. How do people do this while they are driving???

Twitter must be where I draw that line in the sand. Or else I'm just having an exceptionally cranky day. ;-)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


"Widow (n) - An Indo-European word linked to the Sanskrit vidh, meaning to be empty, to lack."

Vidh A Book of Mourning by Phyllis Nakonechny is the best book I have read in years. I highly recommend it for anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with grief and loss. I just felt in awe after reading this book. Phyllis wrote a series of small 'essays' after her husband died of cancer but you don't have to have lost a spouse or partner for this book to resonate with you. Over and over throughout the book I had a "Yes that's it" moment of something I had experienced when dealing with my own grief after losing Mom and Dad. This following excerpt was one of those "Yes, that`s it!" moments....

    I sit under a great pine. It is cool here. The light of the July sun filters through the spaces between trees, yet its heat cannot reach my heart.

    Perhaps the beauty of words.

    I turn to the book of poetry I have brought with me. Since your death I have not been able to read. I have been unable to focus. Still, I refuse to accept this loss and carry a book with me always.

   I flip from page to page.

   The words stay flat, inert and empty.

I really don't feel I can do this book justice with this blog. If you read only one book this year let it be this one. It left me so grateful she had written it and so grateful I had read it.

A quick search on the 'net brought up these other reviews for this small yet hugely powerful book.

"This paean of love and loss speaks to the depths of human dignity and the eternity of love and loving. Exquisitely written by Nakonechny, Vidh - A Book of Mourning is at once a celebration of the human condition and a reminder of the importance to the human spirit of memory as a way of triumphing over the deepest losses." Jurors, First Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards***

"I wanted to tell you how much I have loved your book and how utterly wonderful your writing is. I wept all the way through, sometimes for sorrow, sometimes for joy and often just moved that someone can write what I feel. I have lost no great loved one, but I had an accident eight years ago in which I lost a lot - two years in hospitals, paraplegia and half a leg, and my accustomed life. The loss of walking on the earth is the greatest loss I can imagine. The grieving never seems to end, because I'm reminded of it every time a friend comes by or I see people walking past my window. That's all, just thank you and I will never let that little book go."Joy McCall***

"I sat alone on Thursday night and read your exquisitely evocative book. It is a book for all who love or have loved someone. When I put the book down, I was enriched. The insights I now embrace have revealed a kind of dawn for me. I am indebted to you and I am honoured to be so. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough and yet it is all I can say."Wendy Swann***

Thank you for writing Vidh…. I have not seen such powerful grief expressed on paper… I have said many times that our society does not allow people to grieve and we are so uncomfortable with those who have suffered a great loss. How wrong! How Sad! I know I will be giving many copies to friends in the years to come .Joanne Balint***

Phyllis Nakonechny Reads from Vidh: a book of mourning

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I'm a sucker for sky pictures. Probably because I live in Saskatchewan where we are all sky. Flickr is a great site for pictures. You can really spend alot of time there. Later this week I think I'll try editing some photos as suggested in Optional.
If I ever use this site or one like it for my personal photos I would definitely make them private. There's too much of me on the 'interweb' already.

Photo by shawnsolo.
skyway 5

Monday, March 28, 2011

Recent work on my house..

My youngest son has started a new contracting business. (He wanted to work for himself). He does amazing work. Luckily for me, he honed his talents on my house. I have some beautiful custom rooms in my little home and I thought I'd share some of them with you.
We converted one of the bedrooms into a laundry room. This is the only room in the house that I've remained ambiguous about the paint colour. I don't HATE it like everyone else around here does but I haven't embraced it either. I think it's a good laundry room/spare room colour. I love the custom framework around the window and how he hid the dryer vents over the washer and dryer.

This next room is MY room. I'm surrounded by books and things I love, I have my TV, DVD player, CD player, laptop and a comfortable chair. I LOVE the colours in this room. He built the shelving.

Next up, my kitchen. It was horrible. I'm too embarassed to put up a before picture. But now, it is incredible. We kept the cupboard frames, Allan built the doors and drawers, moved the sink, added a dishwasher, installed the countertop and backsplash, added undercupboard and over cupboard lighting, a valance, soft close doors and drawers, pull out pantry shelves (built the pantry as well). And I LOVE the colours.

AND, last but not least I have a new bathroom. I LOVE this bathroom. I love the colours, the custom trims, the flooring, the lighting, the bathtub....everything. It was finished while I was away on a trip with my sister. The boys took the pictures and when I got back they had the big reveal. I've since added accessories and towels.

Now, I just have to pay for all this..and then retire. ha!

My oldest son, Bryan, a wonderful graphic artist is creating a website for Allan's business. He's come up with his logo and business card.

Anyway, I feel blessed. And wanted to share. :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I didn't find Prezi as difficult as the press reviews I had been hearing and reading here in the library. I've never made a presentation before so I had nothing to compare it to (possibly why I didn't find it too onerous). I fiddled with font size, direction etc and thought it had potential as an office tool. (not for me, I'll never do a presentation ever ever ever).

So, here it is....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still cheat...well, you know the drill

I have used Wikipedia in the past. It's a quick way to look something up as long as you're aware of it's limitations. I thought the Wiki page could be a useful tool for group work in the library. I found the edit function interesting showing all the changes made to comments. I'm not sure how I'd feel if someone edited my written word though. (it's probably a character flaw). I had seen the term 'child boards' on a forum I belong to and had no clue what that meant. Now, it makes sense....
I've learned a fair bit of new stuff this week. I think I'll give my brain a rest now.

Still cheating

I found Podcasting to be a little overwhelming. Not the concept or adding the RSS feed but there is just SO MUCH INFORMATION out there. Too much. Even trying to narrow things down to topics I might be interested still produced pages and pages of podcasts to choose from. It might be something I would peruse at my leisure at home but to do it at work? Much too time-consuming. As for producing my own podcast?....never, nope, nyet, not a chance. (I'm always so positive aren't I? ;-)

Cheating just a bit.

Yes, I cheated and skipped a thing. I looked at Prezi and decided it was going to take me awhile to do it and I needed to be rested. By Thursday I'm usually starting to lag abit so I think I'll wait until next week to learn Prezi. Also I'm used to Youtube although I've never embedded anything before. I found 2 videos I wanted to share so here goes....

This is such a lovely video in the midst of so much pain and loss. Both dogs were rescued and are being cared for. Dogs are such amazing loyal creatures.

My Favourite Knowledge Device

As for the question Feeling brave?? Nope, nada, not a chance, nyet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Catching up

My vacation was lovely, thank you very much. I noticed (from the warmth of my living room with my tea in hand, still in my jammies) that I missed alot of very cold and ugly weather. More luck than brains but I'll take it.
But, now I'm back with a backlog from h**l and checking out the Things I missed. I did very well on the spreadsheet. I have such an aversion to spreadsheets. Despite Laurie Bird's hand-holding and assignments even a toddler could do I have not been able to learn spreadsheets. It's a mental block thing and I have a few of them. I've given myself permission to have them.  But really...will I need it in retirement? I think not. However this spreadsheet was so simple even "I" could do it. So my name has been added to the list and I have checked off my completed things. I also mastered Google Docs. Well, mastered might be exaggerating just a tad but I did finish the assignment. I thought Google Docs was quite user friendly. I can see it being used as an office tool. (If I remember months from now that it exists). I thought I had mastered blogging but I spent a disturbing amount of time just now trying to remember how to create a new post. So maybe mastered isn't the most accurate descriptor. Onward to Thing next. (forgot the number). Oh my gosh, I just discovered that if you start typing thing in the labels it shows you the previous things you've typed in. So now I know. It's Thing 8 next up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More minutiae

This is turning into 23 Things I Did NOT have a Clue about.  I suppose that’s the whole point of participating in something like this but my goodness, you’d think I’d have picked up some of this stuff along the way. RSS feeds? Nope, nothing, nada.   I just hope I’m not squeezing out anything important to make room for all this new knowledge.  I suppose I’ll never know ;-)

 I have successfully completed Week 3. Leah (my own personal ThingPerson..I love her) helped me put the 23 Things on my i-g page last week. She showed me how to add the RSS feed (I nodded knowingly, not wanting to admit I had no clue what an RSS feed was). But now I know and I've been adding RSS feeds this morning. But I prefer to add them to my i-g page and not the Google Reader. I'm just adding more tabs to i-google and making it neat and efficient. I think I prefer the i-g page to the Reader. (They are probably apples and oranges and I've missed the point of the Reader).

The boys are fine. They remind me of my sons when they were growing up. They head butt each other, one gets trapped in a corner and the other one immediately gets behind him and refuses to let him move. I can almost hear the plaintive "Mommmmm".  (This is how I know they are boys. ;-)). I still have to feed them at opposite ends of the cage/box or they will fight over the turtle kibble. I am very fond of them.

3 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes...(not that I'm counting). ;-)

I have been enjoying reading others' blog posts. I'm going to start leaving comments. And maybe start putting funny youtube videos on my blog. And art. And other stuff. (I'm so savvy...not).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Biting the bullet

I'm not sure how I feel about this whole blogging thing. Do I really want to inflict the minutiae of my life on people? If I sometimes find myself tedious surely everyone else will too ( x 10). But it's homework and I've been hardwired to always do my homework. So, I blog.
I did enjoy last week's thing though. I like the whole concept of a homepage with everything at my fingertips. I have my news feeds, my chuckle of the day, Calvin and Hobbes, the weather, my horoscope. I got very excited when I thought I would be able to countdown to my retirement. But, sadly, the countdown only goes up to 999 days and my retirement is farther away than that. (she weeps quietly). I am though, 10 days, 7 hours and 11 minutes away from some vacation time. I also have two delightful little turtles on my page. Which I now feel I HAVE to feed every time I look at the page. And so as not to play favourites feed them equal amounts of turtle kibble. It's a little stressful. (At least I haven't named them...yet).
I'm looking forward to learning more. (Maybe not the spreadsheet. I don't like spreadsheets)