Sunday, December 23, 2012

147th Post - Christmas Games

Part of being in the middle of grown children, young grandchildren, and aging parents is the challenge of accommodating new and old Christmas traditions. Add to that the complexities of blended families and you have a good case for a month long vacation to Maui, Cuba, Mexico...just about anywhere but here.

The simplicity of family living in one city, meeting at church Christmas Eve, followed with the gathering at Omie's has long since passed. The years of hosting Christmas dinners with young children, cousins, uncles, aunts, neighbours, and friends has also faded into yesterdays.

This year has left me particularly unprepared for the grand festivities. We started shopping/gathering gifts as far back as September with the best intentions of sorting, wrapping, mailing, delivering all presents well before the 24th. So much for good intentions. Here we are on December 23rd with not one present wrapped, nothing delivered, no chance of gifts arriving up in Fort Mac for the Family Gray in time for the big day.

Rather than succumbing to guilt or worse yet, giving into the potential of bah humbugs, we've set a new pace. It's called one day at a time. There is no old way of doing things. Releasing the have-tos, embracing the unexpected, forging different pathways of celebrations has not been easy; however it is born out of need. Need for joy, peace, love, and good mental health.

These 2012 festivities began with our first Christmas dinner at Irmgard's, my dearest mother. She can still cook up a tasty turkey; no one can match her stuffing. My sister in law, whom I love dearly, cooked up all the fixings -D E L I C I O U S! We were a simple group of seven gathered around mom's table. To blend the new with old, mom insisted we end the evening with a game of Elfer Rause (Eleven Out). To mom's credit she had kept the old well worn cards for our game. The same cards that we used when I was young. So many memories in those cards; yet still room for more. In between some soft/some loud renditions of 'Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty' we laughed and played. In typical Irmgard fashion there were prizes for the winners. I was a winner! I went home with my prize. Not simply the prize in my hand, but the bigger prize in in my heart; memories of love and joy covered with a lovely coating of peace. What a wonderful beginning to this season of Celebration. 

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

146th Post - The Main Thing

I woke up early (again) on a Saturday. After banishing my reverend to the bedroom so I could have some alone time in the living room, I seized the early morning to catch up on Facebook. Who'd have thought life would get so busy I could actually get behind on Facebook?
There seems to be an existential theme this morning. The first post I checked on was a heart breaking story of young Camille Gregory who died four days after receiving her grad diploma from UBC. View a bit of her story at Living Out a Dream. What a courageous young woman. So committed to finishing well.
Through tear-filled eyes I clicked over to a newer fb page started to encourage a well-loved, now retired teacher from Vernon, BC. Mr. Bob Advent taught for many years and is respected by all who know him. Mr. Advent is fighting brain cancer. His former students have set up this page Keep Fighting Bob Advent to encourage him in his battle.
Cancer is no respecter of age; the stories continued. A boy, 15-year-old Jordan Unrau from Kelowna passed away this week after an 11 month intense battle with cancer. I don't know Jordan, but learned about him from a friend on Facebook. What struck me this morning was Jordan's desire to return to school this last September. Here is his mom's entry and her thoughts...Wondering in the Wee Hours. This blog is hard to read. It's extremely personal. It outlines the battle, the fight, the raw emotion and strong belief/faith that binds this family.
One commonality in these three lives is education. Camille was determined to graduate; Mr. Advent, the teacher, touched many lives. Those lives are fighting hard to encourage pay it back in any way they can; and Jordan - he's now gone from this earth, but his desire, in the midst of deep pain, was to get back to school. To be normal, to walk the halls, to learn, to play, to be with friends.

Hitting me square in my heart is that this job I have... educator, counsellor, now administrator does have impact. We touch people. We impact lives. It comes back to human interactions. Whether it's via technology or face to face, it's about relationship. So then, how am I am feeding my soul in order to remain grounded - at least most of the time? Make no mistake, we must be grounded, we must work towards personal congruence or we will crash and burn when faced with the myriad of  souls that cross our paths.
I'm left with a sorrow mixed with hope. We do make a difference. We may not be in the business of saving lives, but we can pour hope and purpose into lives that are struggling.
As we enter into the season of Christmas; of appropriate it would be to lean into new move bring freshness and joy to our schools.
Once again, I find myself with more questions than answers. Kind of like the rest of the students.
Until next time take care,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

145th Post - Catching Up

T'was a busy week, this week of Halloween 2012.

      with a dash of crisis. 

First the crisis. On Tuesday, my dear mother Irmgard was rushed to hospital via ambulance due to severe chest pains. Upon receiving the text message, I left school and headed to the hospital. Her tests were completed with astonishing speed. Then we waited to hear the results. Inconclusive. Now, poor dear Irmgard will be subjected to more tests until the cause of the pain can be detected. Thankfully, mom lives with brother Len and his family, so has many eyes on her, allowing me to rest a bit more easily. 

The busy was doubling up library classes to accommodate teachers and prep time. Yikes, 45+ kids in a library, exchanging books - yes, at the same time!  WHAT was I thinking?

The fun was the annual Halloween parade. Over three hundred students paraded in and out of classrooms strutting their Ghoulish finery. Monster Mash, Adam's Family, Purple People Eater were only a sampling of the tunes blasted over the PA, adding to the festivity. It was a good thirty minutes of delightful joy!

 This year I dressed as a nun.
 Apparently few children know what a nun looks like, let alone does.
 I was called a range of things, from Mother Teresa to Captain Fantastic.
 Reflecting on the day still gives me a giggle. 

Sounds good so far, eh? Oh but there is more...
The spectacular was seeing Barbra Streisand live, herself, in concert at Roger's arena in Vancouver. Oh my!

Babs has still got it. By far the biggest thrill of the night was when she came out on stage. Just being in the same room was her was worth the price of admission. Everything after that was bonus.

Excited to connect with  friends!
Waiting for the show to begin.
So there you have it. A week to remember.

What were the highlights/low lights of your week?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

144th Post - Good to Great

I have worked at many good schools; a great school – not as much.  In the late 90’s,  I was fortunate to be hired as the music specialist at a brand new Elementary School.  If you ever have the opportunity to be on the inaugural staff of a new school, take it.

The school opened with a first-rate principal, and his fabulous VP. What a team. These two characters alone could have made the school great. Our first staff meeting was held in a yet unfinished classroom – no flooring or heat. We huddled together in the chilly room.  We were a diverse group, brought together with a common goal: to open our new school.
There were many setbacks that first year. A broken water pipe flooded the new wood gym floor. No gym until Christmas. Have you ever coached volleyball in a classroom? Our first Remembrance Day assembly, complete with choir, readings, wreathes, silence, and bagpipes was held in the front hallway/foyer. It still ranks as one of the most powerful Remembrance Day assemblies I have been involved in.
As in any brand new school, we had few textbooks and limited resources for our classrooms. Yet, upon reflection, it's clear that this was a 'great' school. We hadn’t implemented EBS (that came years later), there was no wireless network, no School News on First Class. We did have: dedicated/talented staff + pride/belonging (students, staff, parents, and community) + humour + flexibility + transparent leadership. More than anything we had relationship. That first year, and to be honest by year two some of this was lost, we worked as a finely tuned team. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated, we respected each other.  It was a year like no other.
Fast forward to now. I’m at a good school. We have many great moments. In 2012 we have many more gadgets, dare I say, bright shiny things, that have potential to lure us away from what may be the core of a great school: relationship and respect.
As a new VP, it has been a privilege to get to know our staff. This is a great group. They are not satisfied to settle. They continue to amaze me with their innovative approaches to meeting the needs of our school. They have a thirst to learn, they are not entrenched in the ‘old’ ways.
This week I watched this video, Don't be the Lid, about fleas in a jar. If you put a flea in a jar and tightly screw on the lid, the flea will try to jump as high as it can. But soon, the flea accepts its limit. From that point on, even if you take off the lid, the flea will never, ever jump any higher than the perceived lid.
What makes a school great? The people.
What is part of my role? To be mindful of where I'm holding a lid.
Relationship, respect, and for you hard-core academics: a dash of good pedagogy. That's my recipe for a great school.
Doable? Heck yes!
As always, I believe, better is possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

143rd Post - And the Light Came On!

I shake my head as I try to understand what I've done. This career move came after 32 years in education. Better late than never? We'll see. I didn't wait on purpose, there were simply other things that needed to be done and I wasn't ready to give those up to take on this new role as servant leader. And make no mistake, if you are not prepared to be a servant leader, think twice about being a school administrator.

This weekend was spent away from work, if you can ever be away from work with our devices binding us to our jobs 24/7. It was a typical Okanagan day in October. My reverend and I traveled up to our eventual retirement haven to pick and shuck our walnuts. We did so in the sunshine, the rain, and some pretty amazing hail. I picked under the cover of the tree, dearest JLP, picked under the sun, rain, and hail. He's such a good man! The fresh air and honest labour were restoring to my mind and soul. 

As always with the picking comes much time for reflection. My reflection this year was about work. The 'big idea' that attempted to hijack the joy of the day was: when is enough, enough? 

If you follow Will Richardson you may have read his blog post I want a Meta App. This one stopped me in my tracks. I may have shouted at my screen for the man to 'get a life'. Then as any good self-regulating person would do, I paused and reminded myself, Mr. Richardson writes blogs/books as part of his job. He's quite good at marketing himself. Most of the time I nod my head vigorously in agreement with his ideas, this time I had the urge to throw something at my screen.


I'm in education to teach. I'm not in education to promote technology. Just as gardeners, surgeons, musicians, athletes, (you get the picture) pick their tools to aid their performance, I endeavour to use this tool of technology to promote learning. Keep in mind, that it is one tool of our trade, it is not the ONLY thing.  If I'm jumping all over the place; looking for the latest greatest app, pinning the newest website, tweeting a relevant blog, I end spending more time cruising than doing what is ultimately the most important part of my role: building relationships.

Here's the thing:

I can spent time online trying to find the latest, greatest ideas for my staff, or I can sleep at night so I have adequate energy to relate to staff, students, and parents.

I can obsessively check my school email in the evenings and on weekends so I don't miss anything, or I can trust that if there was an emergency I will be contacted via my fancy new mobile device.

I can exhaust myself with the notion of completion, or I can decide when enough has been done and live a balanced and healthy life.

The biggest lessons I've learned in life came at great cost. Peace, priorities, joy, hope, health, family, balance. These have little to do with technology yet are the things that make me uniquely me; dare I say strong me.

My question becomes: how do I maintain the important parts of humanness and hold those along side the role of administrator? Who's demands are most important: parents, students, staff, Principal, District Leadership Team, Board of Education...or my aging mother, who I've haven't called all week? 

My answer is more holistic than you'd find in the simplicity of tracking every online activity today. My answer is actually a question. Does what I do push forward hope for our school? Does what I'm chasing down on-line or at meetings bring grounding to parents who are worried about their child not reading, learning math, being bullied, or being a bully? Yes and yes! At our school we may not all be on Edmodo, Twitter, Evernote. We may not all have accounts on, Pinterest, Google Reader, YouTube, BUT we talk to each other face-to-face. We engage with our students. We listen and respond to our parents. We are not perfect, but we are human. With the belief that 'Better is Possible', there comes a time to celebrate the here and now. 

It's a good thing, this education gig!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

142nd Post - Neglect

My poor neglected blog. I miss you. You are never far from my mind, yet not close enough for a truly good and thorough visit. My time is spent lurking on others' pages, skimming their valuable words, then rushing away without even a brief hello.

This mustn't go on. This is no way to maintain and nurture an important relationship. You have enriched my life and what do you get in return? Neglect.

Summer has ended, fall has arrived. Life will soon return to a more gentle ebb and flow. Thankfully this quiet hour of the morning offers room  for a quick rendezvous. 

Dear Better is Possible, you were born out of need, grew out of passion, and continue in delight. You have become that friend...the close friend, where time apart does not diminish our connection. 

Until next time, stay strong.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

141st Post - Abundance

"I shall delight myself in the abundance of Peace". 

I am not by nature an optimistic person. At least I've never thought so. Recently I'm wondering if perhaps what I've judged as pessimism may have been an abundance of anxiety. So imagine my joy when I rediscovered Psalm 37:11 which in its entirety says, 'But the humble shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.' 

It's been decades since depression along with his sidekick anxiety, took residence in my mind, heart, and body. Today they play a minuscule role in my life, but have no doubt, they continue to lurk. Their biggest impact seems to be a limit on peace. I mustn't get too calm, optimistic, joyful, etc., because above all d and a are lurking. Sounds silly I suppose, but even with all the work I've done, their remnants linger. 

This week, during my quiet time (I'm reading about peace these days...after all school is starting) my scripture was Psalm 37:11. It was one of those THIS VERSE IS FOR ME experiences. I'm certain I shall be forgiven for my paraphrase, 'I shall delight in the abundance of peace.' I love how it sounds.  It brings peace and grounding to my core. What a gift!

Just over two years ago, on August 22, 2010, I wrote my first blog post. Perhaps one of my greatest  blogging benefits has been an increased knowing of myself. Preparing a post that represents my heart, forces me to look into my heart to be sure I have understanding. It has been said that in order to really understand a concept you must be able to teach it to someone else. That's what blogging has been for me. A forced re look at my thoughts: do I really believe that? think that? want this idea to represent me? It's been a growth process. Blogging brings me clarity. It lets me grab those ideas that are floating around my head and bring them into focus. That understanding brings me joy. Sharing my ideas with you reminds me I'm not alone. 

So, for now, I shall cling to my gift...the delight that comes with the abundance of peace. That shall be the foundation for my new school year. What about you?   

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

140th Post - The Story of the Log Jam

What a privilege to attend my first ever admin conference. The featured speaker was Will Richardson. He enriched my life in two short days. 

@willrich45 has numerous credits to his name, including co-authoring, "Personal Learning Network: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education". I came away feeling pretty good about my techno intelligence, but better yet, discovered many areas for expanding my PLN. 

During breakfast on Friday morning I was fortunate to chat with one of our school trustees. She shared a metaphor about educational log jams. This story was told to her by a former School Superintendent,  Richard Bulpitt, a beloved man who sadly passed away several years ago. 

Here's my version of his metaphor.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

139th Post - That Was Quick

Today is Sunday,  August 19th and I start back to work tomorrow. This may have been one of the quickest summer holidays ever. Short, but great. This summer I...

  • worked a week longer than usual
  • spent a week at UBC enjoying Shortcourse 2012
  • had a wonderful mini vacation in Cannon Beach with my daughter 
  • hosted five night sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's for I and I - together
  • visited my local library a lot
  • read a lot
  • ate a lot
  • drank my fair share of wine possibly more than my fair share
  • attended a celebration of life for a young man who passed away far too soon
  • had Grandma time with Cambers, but not enough
  • visited my mom, but not often enough
  • drove back and forth to Vernon, but not often enough
  • worked to exhaustion in my yard with love
  • watched two ducks swim in our little pond
  • celebrated my birthday

Sunday, August 12, 2012

138th Post - Lighten Up!

It has been vaguely comforting to tsk tsk my Americans friends. There they go again. I'm not talking about the American Woman's Soccer team dissing our Canadian Girls. I'm referring to the big anti-christian tide that seems to be growing exponentially. Apparently not being content to stop at the border, gasp, it has spread to Canada. Our very own Prime Minister was vilified for belonging to the, wait for it...Christian and Missionary Alliance. Say it isn't so!

I'm not sure how long I've been snoozing but I seem to have woken up to a rather large, loud, and growing anti-christian movement. And I don't like it one bit! How did this happen? Apparently as a christian I have become fodder for ridicule.

My faith is securely attached to the person of Jesus Christ, God's son, who was born to the virgin Mary. After a short life of 33 years, Jesus was crucified. He died, yet rose three days later. His death and resurrection are the atonement for my sins. Sin being defined as separation from God. Sound mystical? Unbelievable? Perhaps. But isn't that what faith is? I can't prove it, nor would I make that attempt. Oh, and by the way, I believe in the Bible. I will not argue its authenticity, but I will testify to its relevance in my life.

Both the USA and Canada were built on faith based principals. "In God we Trust" and "God Bless our Land" are cornerstones to our perspective countries. It seems that change is afoot. Not such an easy thing, this changing. It is almost impossible for many. Changing your side of the bed, coke to  pepsi; those are hard enough. Giving woman the vote, letting women in to medical school, inviting women to be ordained; almost impossible.

What kinks me is that in order for change to happen, often (not always) its driver is a total disrespect and regard of the status quo. Right or wrong, there are strong beliefs attached to how we do things, to where we park our faith. I'm certain that many of my peers have stories of family members who died for their beliefs. We didn't get to where we are without sacrifice. So, I wonder, if just maybe, as we move towards a new way, we need to recognize those sacrifices. And yes, I realize that there was also corruption, abuse, and despicable acts that went along side some of the solid good that was done.

There is no expectation that the people around me see things as I do. However, must you work so hard to make me look like an idiot in order to validate whatever it is you believe? Can't we play nice?

My faith, my core beliefs have sustained me throughout my life. They have anchored me through tragedy, depression, celebrations - you get the picture. I should only speak for me (maybe some of my family, perhaps a few friends), so here's my deal:

My hope is based on nothing less than Jesus Christ and righteousness. 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus's name. 
On Christ the solid rock I stand all other other ground is sinking sand. 

And yes that works for me! It's about relationship. You don't have to agree, it may not work for you, but it's MY story!

Often we attack what we fear. Fear often has its roots in the unknown. I suppose the challenge may be to take some time to discover what we don't know. Shed some light so to speak. Lighten up! Maybe less right and wrong; more right and right? For sure less finger pointing!

It's a big world and I continue to believe that Better is Possible.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

137th Post - Love & the Depths of Despair

It continues to be a heart breaking task, a mystery; the juxtaposition of love and sorrow. We can be skipping along enjoying the fruits of a meaningful, content life when death comes into the room and suddenly peace is replaced with chaos. My oldest son, Tim, lost one of his best friends to leukemia early Thursday morning. Scott was only 30. Scott was one of the good guys!

My daughter and I were away enjoying a brief holiday in breathtakingly beautiful Cannon Beach when Tim called us with the news that Scott had passed away. As quickly as the weather changes in that coastal town, our hearts shifted from delight to sorrow. Sorrow for the passing of a boy far too young to have died. Sorrow for his parents, his brothers, his sisters in law, and their children who have lost an amazing uncle. Sorrow for his girl friend, Jacquie. Sorrow for my boy. 

I've spoken to Tim several times since Thursday listening to him process the finality of death. Tim and Scott became friends in the early 90's. Scott was a crazy and fun kid! He was the youngster you wanted your child to have as a friend. Scott was always respectful. He was one of the few friends of my children I let call me Carol rather than the more formal, Mrs. Osborne. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

136th Post - Big Ideas

It's arrived! 

Summer vacation 2012. And not a minute too soon! 

What a whirlwind of a year. Before I get too involved in the lazy days of summer I want to, in good counsellor fashion, reflect on some of the big ideas that are mulling around my mind and heart. The school year ended with my participation at Shortcourse 2012. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either. It's a week long course for new and not so new Principals and Vice Principals in my province. To quote one of our 'star' participants, "It was awesome, profound, fabulous <BIG HAPPY FACE with accompanying cheery clappy hands, short jumps up and down in glee>!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

135th Post - A Troubling Week

Well, THAT was a week. It was not too bad on a personal level, but from a world view...crazy! More shootings, not just in our town, but all across Canada and the US. Seemingly random, senseless murders.

One story hit particularly close to home. A twenty-six year old man who was shot and killed after allegedly killing two people and critically shooting another, went to school with my children; played on my middle son's soccer team. This young man is a suspect in the murder of two people who by all reports were innocently working in their restaurant. This troubled boy, if at 26 you can still be considered a boy, also shot and seriously wounded his previous landlord. The police put out a warning for anyone who knew Angus David Mitchell. The concern was he was out of control and out to harm people whom may have done him wrong. Eventually, in a shoot out with the police, he was fatally shot. He was evil. He is dead. End of story.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

134th Post - Speechless

I know, I know, it's been a while. But hey, I've been preoccupied. If you've missed me please accept my humble apology and I in turn will gladly receive your forgiveness.

So what's been so important that I've neglected my blog? So glad you asked.

                         Be forewarned this is all about ME! 

Picture me jumping up and down, wild hand clapping, a grin the width of Canada, bursting at the seams to finally be able to tell that I applied for and was accepted as a Vice Principal in my school district. Woo Hop!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

133rd Post - Guarding My Heart

"By Thy grace, O God, I will go nowhere this day where Thou canst not come, nor court any companionship that would rob me of Thine. By Thy grace I will let no thought enter my heart that might hinder my communion with Thee, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for Thine ear. So shall my courage be firm and my heart be at peace."

John Baillie (1886–1960), Scottish theologian and Church of Scotland minister 

This prayer was exactly what I needed as I sit in the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday extremely discouraged.

Friday, March 23, 2012

132nd Post - Divorce: Who Gets the Kids?

In BC, the marriage of the TF (Teacher's Federation) and Government is fundamentally damaged. We know reconciliation is most certain to fail. The TF has so much contempt for the Government, they can barely say 'Liberal' without spitting. In turn, the Government pokes back, passes laws sure to stir up the hornets nest; inevitably hitting their mark.

This is nothing new in BC. For the over 3 decades I've been a member of the TF, the gloves come off during contract negotiations and the fight is on. Neither side can make a move in good faith, because there is no trust. The marriage is toxic.

In the worst divorces, the ones with acrimony, contempt, disrespect, and dare I say hate, it becomes evident quickly that the children are collaterals. 

Parents entrench; children remain stuck in the middle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

131st Post - How to Solve the Teacher Dispute

Something cheerful on
an otherwise dreary day
Happy Sunday!

Wow, where to start? 

BC teachers have voted 87% (or roughly 65% of the total membership) in favour of striking for three days beginning on Monday, March 5, 2012. No big surprise.
This is a highly emotional time for teachers and parents, as well as many students. There has been no shortage of rhetoric and so not to feel left out I shall add mine. My thoughts and opinions are based on over three decades of working in the public system as a teacher and more recently a school counsellor. I have worked in two different school districts and at a variety of schools: small/large; affluent/inner city; brand new buildings/buildings well past their 'best by' date. In short, I believe I have the earned the right to comment.  

This conflict is less to do with education and more to do with power and politics. That is not to say that there are not serious issues facing us in our public education system. There is room as well as need for improvement. There is also much that is excellent and worth celebrating. 
Yet rather than rolling up our sleeves and working constructively towards solutions, we have collectively walked away from the table and declared the Liberal Government a Bully.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

130th Post - Random

It's been a while since I've posted anything meaty. I've been a sluggish blogger, choosing to settle with links and videos and the occasional book recommendation. I can't believe it's come to this. Many thoughts have come to mind, hovered, and floated away. I keep meaning to grab them and blog. Ah, the best intentions of Carol.

To get back on track I've decided to list some of the randomness that has occupied my blogging brain. Here goes, in no particular order:

  1. I started on Pinterest - can you spell addiction?
  2. Changed my header picture to something less wintry. No, it's not spring yet, but I just couldn't wait. FYI the picture is of a bench overlooking the North Sea in Scotland. R E L A X I N G.
  3. I'm thinking of giving up wine for Lent? How long is Lent? It starts today, right?
  4. Does anyone else in the evangelical tradition notice that Lent has become a big thing? It was certainly never practiced when I was growing up in the Baptist church, nor was it mentioned during my days in the Alliance. Why the sudden interest? Is it a craving for liturgy in otherwise non liturgical churches? Just wondering.
  5. My good son and his new wife hid a whole dog; Betty the Pug, from me, their landlord. I knew they had Pugsley, and last weekend I very generously gave my consent to let Betty move in. Unbeknownst to me, they've had Betty all along and cleverly hid her whenever I came to visit. Sneaky kids. Me thinks this 'good child' may no longer be the good child!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

129th Post - ThePianoGuys

May be enjoyed by:

Star Wars Fans
ThePianoGuys Fans (new and yet to be)
Bloggers in general.

May the Force be With You!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

128th Post - Memoriam

Whitney Houston - may your soul be at peace and rest.
Your music brought much joy and delight. 
God be with your beautiful daughter as she mourns your passing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

127th Post - Quotes

Joy For Beginners       
I recently finished reading,
Joy for Beginners  by Erica Bauermeister.
I give it a great big two thumbs up! 
Loved it! Couldn't put it down. 
Joy for Beginners resonated.

Here are some quotes that spoke to me:

"Adults need to have fun so children will want to grow up" page 99

"irreversible decisions are good for the soul..." page 172

" just have to believe in the future to be kind to the past"   page187

I never received a free copy, I was not solicited to write a review. I stumbled upon the book at my local library, loved the title and checked it out. You may or may not like it, but for me it was an afternoon well spent.

Happy Wednesday to all,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

126th Post - Solitude

Early morning is my hands down favorite time of the day. 

The solitude of early awakenings is the perfect venue
 to process the echoes of the day before, to lay them to rest; 
to listen for  the whispers of an emerging day.  
More-so it's that place of in between. 
No more yesterday, not yet today...
The here and now! An emptiness that is not lonely. 
I am alone but not alone. 
My time to reflect on the possibility of a new day. 

Sunrise in Parksville 2010

With all that is perplexing, concerning, worrisome, impossible..
it is my time to wonder about positive outcomes,
it is my time to dream of reconciliations, to savour thoughts of seemingly impossible goodness, 
it is my time for an internal smile that begins in my soul and ambles outward reaching my lips.
I smile in my solitude.

Perhaps it's a sign of my age, but I'm left with praise and gratitude summed up in these simple words...To God Be the Glory!

The if only's will come soon enough, for now I relish my solitude.

If you have the time click on the song title and have a listen to Clay Crosse singing
 I Cannot Hide From You (Psalm 139) , a reflection of my heart's song this morning.

Yes, To God Be the Glory! 


Linked to: In Search of Beauty

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Between the posts - Blog Tour: Light Under the House

What an honour to be a participant in this CSS Blog Book Tour. Today's interview is with Aaron L author of Light Under the House. Read on...
PictureWhat inspired you to write this story? 
I feel very strongly about the breakdown of the family and fatherlessness and how there is much dysfunction and despair because of it. I wanted to tell a story to shed some light on the situations that many face and hopefully bring some type of reversal to the current dynamic in whatever small way I could. I wanted to challenge men, fathers especially, to be who they were created to be ... its certainly a challenge I face myself daily. A challenge that I often fail at but keeping picking myself up to start again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

124th Post - Saturday

The week of snow was beautiful. I loved the crispness of the sub zero temperatures. It helped balance my never ending hot flashes somewhat. It's Saturday and the snow has now changed to rain. Not surprising for the 'wet'coast of Canada.  

Much has happened this week. Not huge stuff, just regular stuff. Work continues to be busy; no shortage of clients when you work in three schools. 

Outside of work, I finally got this aging body off my couch and joined a gym, thanks to a niece and the pass she gave me for Christmas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

123rd Post - Snow

Welcome to a snowy Saturday in the suburbs of Vancouver!
I woke up early and by early I mean 3amish. The urge to venture out on the deck for a closer look was irresistible. It was quickly evident that a picture was in order and in I went to fetch my camera. Seeing one of us was still sleeping which was verified by the larger than human sound of snores coming from the bedroom, I needed to move about very quietly. Best not to disturb the reverend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

122nd Post - JoyOfBooks

Just in case you haven't seen this yet, I'm passing it along. It's very clever.

What book is calling you these days?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

121st Post - Linky

Today I'm joining the party at The Saturday Evening Blog Post where you link up a favorite/best/most read/delightful post; your choice,  of the month. You can link up over at Elizabeth Esther's fabulous blog. 

I've picked my 118th Post - More. It's the one where I declare yet again that I am enough. 

Yeah, yeah, I'm a day late to the party...what~evah!!!

Come on over and join us.

Hope to meet you there, 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

120th Post - Lighter

It's about time for a lighter post. Enjoy!

All of the above were found at Trying God's Patience
 a thoughtful and often fun Facebook page.

   Enjoy your day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

119th Post - Joy3

Truth be told it's difficult to understand what I was thinking when I picked 'joy' as my OneWord for 2011. The year began with unlimited potential; a plethora of warm fuzzies. 

As I center my thoughts in order to write a year end reflection of 'joy', I must confess, 2011 ended with a fizzle. There were certainly many highlights throughout the year; the most significant being the marriage of my middle son. It has been a joy to welcome my newest daughter in law into our family. Throughout 2011 we had many memorable times with our already large and ever expanding family. But joy? Right now?  Not so sure.