Months ago as I sorted through my daughter’s toys (with the girls) we decided that Barbie time was pretty much over. So although the girls were not ready to actually get rid of the dolls and the clothes, they were ready to say goodbye to the Barbie vehicles. This made me very happy because they are big and difficult to store. So goodbye cars!
Now, months later there is renewed interest in the dolls, and this morning they come to me “Mom, do we still have are Barbie cars?’….nope, they are long gone. So Katelin goes to the garage and grabs an empty box and starts building a barbie car. She has spent the morning putting it together with hot glue and bits out of my ‘interesting things box’. I would say a good three hours. She has had so much fun making it and is very proud. We decided that what she has built is a Hummer….well actually the first Convertable Hover Hummer!
Tonight I went to my friends’ wedding. Owen and Tasha. I have to tell you that I’ve always been so impressed with this couple. When I met Owen I loved listening to him talk. He was fast, he was smart, and had such a good business mind. After meeting him I realized how young he was.
It amazes me to this day how someone so young can really pull everything together and be so smart about business. I’ve watched Owen and Tasha build their business. I’ve watched them work very hard for what they have, and I have watched them enjoy life to the fullest.
They have always been personable and caring about the people around them, and that was never more apparent than tonight as I celebrated with their family and other friends. As I watched pictures of both of their lives I realized that these two have experienced so much more than an average couple, and I am proud to call them friends of mine.
I had a great time and all I can think about Owen and Tasha is how they truly have a lust for life, and living it to the fullest.
Congratulations my friends, and my heart wishes you the best always!!!
I worked in the corporate world for many years and often felt like my job was a thankless one. I do recall that when I had worked for the same company for a whole year and that first anniversary came up I was pretty excited. Well I was the only one. There was not even a realization from my boss that I’d been there a year.
Even after I brought it to his attention I got a barely hear-felt “that’s great”.
This one company I ended up working with for many years. After 5 years, the rest of the team that were hired two months ahead of me got a special Christmas 5 year recognition watch. I was excited thinking that mine would shortly be on it’s way. Only to be disappointed again when I was informed that they only gave out the recognition rewards at Christmas, and I would have to wait for the following year. Then I got a gift certificate for a ‘something’ at a store. The certificate had to be used on one item, and could not be a partial purchase (so I couldn’t even pick out a spectacular watch and pay the difference myself). So I got a pen, but the certificate wouldn’t cover the engraving that I could have put on it. What was I supposed to put on it “great job Karen for 5 years of hard work”…nothing like giving myself a pat on the back.
But that wasn’t all. A couple of years later we were at a luncheon, and out of the blue I was awarded a really great satchel with the acclimation of “congratulations Karen for three years of working with our company”…I was astonished and asked if I would get two because I had actually worked for the company for almost 7 years. It was rather frustrating because this happened in front of all my other co-workers. What a blunder…it made me realize that the company didn’t really care about me as an individual, and that there was less than any chance for me to grow further with the company.
Then kids came…and I left the job.
Recently I started selling Lia Sophia. Not only do I get a chance to play with sparkly fun jewelry…but I get to work with a fantastic team of ladies. When I started, I went to their monthly meetings where they recognized people who had top sales or had accomplished some goals with flowers and gifts. At the time I though it was a little over the top.
But now I’ve been in the top 5 sales people within my unit for several months, and I love the recognition, the flowers, and the little gifties. I really didn’t think it would matter…but you know, I strive to be in that top five.
Last month I hit the top 5 again and I was rewarded with a Lia Sophia calculator. Really, it’s such a small thing…but I LOVE it! I am so excited to have won it, and I look at here glistening on my desk (it’s nice and shiny). It’s just waiting for me to calculate that next jewelry order, and all I can say is ‘Who’s next”….Thank you!
Of course the love of gophers comes from when I was younger and we happened to have a couple for pets. Gilbert and Sulivan were brought home by our cat at the time. She thought they were kittens. We would take them everywhere. They went camping with us, curled up and slept with the cat. We could even take them for walks, they were devoted to us and would follow us everywhere. We gave them lots of opportunities to go back to the wild.
Eventually we did find a place to set them free. So now every time spring comes around it reminds me of our two little pets.
Another sure sign of spring is when the girls actually venture outside to blow bubbles and do some skipping. Today is a perfect day for that, so I sat and took a few pictures. It’s so warm in the back yard with the sun beating down on the patio, almost good enough to curl up and have a nap.
We ate strawberries today. I bought a whole flat of them, and they are virtually gone now. After making Pavlova and then using the rest of the strawberries to scoop up the remaining whipped cream…how could we have any left. But we have very satisfied bellies.
No, not much work is being done today, but that is two-fold…the sunshine and spring-like weather, and the fact that today Katelin is 11. Happy Birthday my daughter!
In Victoria, my parents work in a special warehouse. Donations are brought to the Compassionate Resource Warehouse. All the STUFF we don’t want. All the things that the other donations don’t want. They take all of that, they sort it, box it, and load it in a shipping container. That container is then shipped to a country in need. Where does it go?
Pakistan, Russia, Haiti, Jamaica, Moldova, Philippines, China, Fiji Islands, Guatamala, Cambodia, Sudan, Georgia, West Africa, Kenya, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Uganda, Angola, Armenia, Nigeria, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Liberia, Congo, Bolivia, Balarus, North Korea, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Peru, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Central Africa, Venezuela, Zambia, Guyana, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Belize, Laos, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Honduras, India, Sierra Leone, Cuba, Thailand, Tanzania, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Samoa.
This grouped has shipped over 297 containers all over the world and hope to celebrate their 300th container this April! The people that work at the warehouse are all volunteers, and I’ve never seen such a dedicated group. Whenever I visit Victoria I look forward to getting to the warehouse to pack boxes. I like to get in there and do as much work as I can, so it’s steady. My mom works in the area that deals with school books and supplies (not a far reach because she was a School Librarian and Teacher).
It takes quite a bit of effort to get the boxes packed correctly. They have to be FULL, with no soft spots that can get crushed in the container. This is when it gets fun. I was packing boxes of school supplies, so each box got 10 pkgs of pencils, pencil sharpeners, 5 scribblers, 5 box of crayons, 5 erasers, 5 boxes of pencil crayons, a ruler, and 10 pens. Then I need to put other things in the empty spots. So I put in some balls, a fan, some tops that someone donated, a couple of Izzy dolls (little knitted dolls), any small stuffies that fit. Sometimes we have dishcloths, tea towels, hats, or some T-shirts that we tuck in the sides. As I pack the boxes I imagine the person who is opening it and will find all the little treasures I’ve included. Some of these are little dolls or toys that my daughters don’t play with anymore.
On the days when they load the containers there is a frenzy of activity. I’ll tell you these people know how to pack a container. If bikes are going in the load, they will fit things in the all the nooks and crannies…and spokes. They find just the right box to fit into each space so that it’s packed tight. Grocery bags with a few clothes are stuffed between the boxes to fill up any spaces. Once the container is full and before they close it, they fill all other little spaces and holes with stuffed animals…with their heads sticking out. The last thing is the Canadian Flag that is tacked on the load.
The people on the receiving end open up the container to that flag, and all these little animal faces smiling out at them. I imagine it’s quite a site for them. I wish they did something like this in Calgary where I am, but I suppose it’s a bit more difficult for us land-locked places. So I take a suitcase full of donation stuff every time I go. One day it would be nice to follow a container to it’s destination.
Nobody packs a container like the Compassionate Resource Warehouse! I have heard stories of the recipients of these containers being so excited when they open the boxes to find little treasures buried within them. And NOBODY packs an exersaucer like my Dad…shrink wrapped with toys crammed in every little spot. Why ship air to these people in need. They use every inch possible in that container.
There is more work that goes on other than packing boxes. Volunteers go and pick up donations, or boxes. They take items home to repair, test, launder, or make into new items. Many volunteers knit little dolls or blankets to go. Even sewing machines are retrofitted so that they don’t need electricity (crank added to the unit). Bikes are dropped off to the local jail to be repaired and tuned up for their journey.
Of course none of this would happen without the generous sponsors who donate money and space for the collections to happen. And the tireless effort of the individuals who run this charity, who have spear-headed and organized the entire thing.
As I finish writing this blog, my mind is running just hoping that something like this can happen here in Calgary.
Today I’m ready to write. It’s taken me over a week to sit down and write about Ripley. After 19 years of fur and purrs, we put our little man down. Ripley was a good cat, and was named after the movie Aliens (one of my favorite movies).
He had personality. He liked being around people, and would often hang out in the bushes so that he could jump out at you as you walked by. He had stealth, was curious, loved to frolic, and only tolerated the endless maulings we gave him.
His favorite place was the garden. He loved to curl up in the bushes and sleep, or watch me as I messed around with plants. A stick running through the grass was a great game. It was always fun for him to eat his grass, and then yak it up later, and he taught himself to be a great mouser.
He wouldn’t come and curl up on your lap, but he may lay down near you, but just out of reach. Almost to say I want to be near you, just don’t maul me. His favorite toys when he was a kitten were pom poms, we would play fetch with them.
We knew the time was coming as his kidneys slowly started shutting down, and he became more and more senile (yowling at night “where is everybody?”), and the arthritis that had started pushing his back legs out. I cried when I took him to the vet. I cried with him in the examination room, and I cried as I felt him relax in my arms with his final breath. My little man is gone.
I walk in a room and I see him laying on the couch out of the corner of my eye, but it’s not him. I hear a sound and I think its his little greeting croon, but it isn’t. I yearn to bury my face in his fur and smell that wonderful cat smell, but it’s only a memory.
A letter came yesterday from the Vet. A little card with a paw print, and a tuft of his hair tied with a bow. I cried, what a thoughtful and nice thing to do. The fur doesn’t smell like Ripley, but every day I get to pet him, and hold that little piece of him to my cheek.
We gave him a good life – 19 years – so I smile when I think of that and all the wonderful memories I have of him. It will be lonely working in the garden without him this year…he’s always been there with me, my little man.
The sun it dances at the feet of the cloud
getting ready for its late evening shroud.
And all the glory it shines in the end,
leaving behind all the stars it sends.
It closes its eyes in one final shudder,
leaving stars to dance with one another.
The silence floods into the room
like a thick fog that stays.
It is suffocating
and it is cold.
You cannot breathe
only you can float
suspended in silence
a chamber of quiet.
A single note dances in the air
and rides along the fog.
like a child on a pony.
It is light and sparkles like dew
falling and rising
dancing and turning
landing like rain
bringing life to quiet.
I sat alone in the crowd,
my hair hid my face.
Their yelling voice loud,
try to put me in my place.
Their angry hearts screamed,
as they yelled ugly thoughts.
The crowd it would team,
my tongue was in knots.
Nobody sees, nobody cares,
their knives pierce my heart,
the soul nobody knows.
It builds up and becomes heavy
holds on tight but slides away
and falls down slowly, wetly.
Curving and turning around slowly
reaching the end it builds up again
and falls again with a quick wet drip.
A tear is quiet and silent
soft crying is painful
the tear is a relief.
Something good has come my way.
It came along and brightened my day.
How can I know if it’s come forever.
Something so strong keeps us together.
This one I know will stay for a while.
You opened the door and made me smile.
Life could be this way all the time.
I clean away all of the dirt and grime.
You make me feel so good when you’re near.
Always saying things that I need to hear.
I will never throw your love away.
In your arms forever I will stay.
The rain falls lightly
and trickles down my back.
The sun is hidden,
the clouds they attack.
The water it beads
and drips off my shoe.
But each time it rains,
it reminds me of you.
The puddles are growing
they children they play.
Light marks the clouds,
end of rain day.
You see them often. They are standing out on the corners of intersections holding signs that advertise specials for the local food joint. Sometimes they are dressed as creatures, clowns, or cups. Sometimes they are just a person standing out there with a sign. I drive by and think what an awful job to have…I would hate to do that!
Today it’s -20. Dang cold, so much I just want to hibernate inside. But I have things to do, classes to teach so I gear up and head out the door. I end up driving around in my nice warm car, enjoying the music. Then what do I see? One of those poor sign people out there plugging for their company.
But SHE is different. She takes the sign and flips it up in the air, spins it around, throws it over her back and turns to catch it. As she turns she is now facing me with a big smile on her face. She doesn’t have gloves on, and she continues to juggle the sign around. I see that she is actually talking to the first car at the red light. Obviously she has not just impressed me, but others. I see her giving other cars that pass by the thumbs up and waves. It’s -20, but she’s out there making the most of her job, and making it fun!
I can’t believe it. As the light turns green and I drive by I give her a honk of encouragement, and a thumbs up. She hasn’t made me go and buy pizza at Little Caesars, but she’s impressed me enough to write this. I Love seeing someone take a job and make it something fun for everyone.
I don’t know who she is, and I wish I’d taken her picture, but with enthusiasm like that I don’t think she’ll be juggling that sign for long.
She was standing at Glenmore and Westhills Mall
Technology is awesome! I love the fact that because of the computer I’ve gotten in touch with many friends whom I’d lost touch with. The latest is Susan…good friend of mine that moved away while we were in Jr. High School.
We did so much together. Endless hours of dancing to Shawn Cassidy, Bay City Rollers, and Rod Stewart. Actually whenever I hear “Do Ya Think I”m Sexy” it brings fond memories of dancing in her living room. I remember us singing along to Roxy Roller, watching movies with her family…her brother bugging us all the time. I think I was almost a fixture in their house…it was so cool with a lofted Master Bedroom.
We stood up for each other under the endless persecution from the “popular” crowd. She was a friend that watched my back as consistently as I watched hers. But she left to Toronto…
After Susan moved away we wrote back and forth to each other…she was much better at it, and I was always so happy to get a letter from her. And then we just kind of lost touch. There was a phone call here and there if I happened to be in Toronto, but years became lost to us.
Now we have Facebook, and Classmates, and Twitter – a multitude of networking sites and an internet of information for the finding. I’ve tried several times to find her without much luck…it’s hard enough when she has a common last name…but if she got married. How do I find her?? But she found me!!!!
To me it’s very exciting that she’s back in my life, and we can re-establish a friendship that was lost. But it also makes me wonder how many other friends are out there that I haven’t found yet. Where is Belinda?
How do people find me if I’m married…I guess the best way is to just tell everyone. I was Karen Godwin once upon a time. Now I’m Karen Biko….and I’m jazzed that I”ve found Susan!!!!
Yes yes yes, I slacked off and let November come to completion without fulfilling my 30 days of positive comments. It has actually been kind of tough. I know I have so much to be grateful for, but it’s frustrating when one thing after another happens to pull you down.
So a pipe burst at one of our rental properties, so we’ve been spending our time (and money) getting that all cleaned up. Trying to get the property back in order for a tenant that is now waiting to move in. Arg. When it happened, it was with disbelief that I exclaimed “REALLY??”
Anyway, things are better, or shall I say my frame of mind is better. We’ve made some decisions in regards to moving ahead and picking up the pieces. One of the things I contimplated was going back to work full-time. Kind of a tough thing to do when I’ve been my own boss, and run my own business for the last eight years. I don’t even know if I’d be a good employee at this point.
And how do I deal with the kids, and the business that I have running now. What happens to the Real Estate if I’m not working on it during the days? What happens if I can’t teach Jazzercise because I have to work. And when do I find time to do my Artwork….or do I just put everything else on hold so that I can bring home the bacon.
So a new venture comes my way that I’ve been watching, but not wanting to take on another thing to make my life more complicated. A full-time job for me is a tough choice, so what else can I do? I’ve decided to start selling the Lia Sophia jewelry. I’ve had so much fun hosting the parties, and talking to people about the stuff, why shouldn’t I take a leap and sell it. So here I go.
It’s good to do things that you are excited about. I love the idea of the jewelry, and it gets me out of the house and meeting people, and I love to do that. Meeting new people and finding out what they do, is perhaps just what I need. More of a venue to get me “out there”.
So today I have a bright outlook on things. We are coming to the end of the year, and I’m getting my mind ready to have a positive 2011. Bill and I will sit down and set up some goals for the year and get in gear to pull ourselves out of this slump.
Keep checking back to see our progress, and for more positive things.