Unsung Victories

girl-woo-hooI"™m sure that for every braggadocios posting in Facebook that veritably screams at the reader, "œHey! Look at what I did today!" there must be hundreds, even thousands of other people who never utter a single word about the amazing feats they"™ve managed to accomplish in the run of their average, everyday life.

Like the person who"™s been struggling to lose weight and finally saw the numbers go down on her scale this morning, even if it was only by a half kilogram. Or the person who has been trying to cut salt out of their diet to help lower their blood pressure and their doctor has finally taken them off medication. Or what about those quiet, caring people who look after sick loved ones, day after exhausting day, without so much as a word in social media about how "˜brave"™ they"™re being doing what they feel in their heart that they must do for those who are fading away from this earth. Or what about the people who routinely do what to others may seem like small, insignificant advances towards becoming a better all-round, caring human being?

I have more respect for people who DON"™T say anything about their small, unsung victories than I do for the thousands who feel compelled to regal us all with their tales of heroic (or stoic) behavior. Don"™t get me wrong here, folks. I"™m very glad that we have enthusiastic volunteers who do a myriad of things for others, and yes, they should be applauded for their efforts. Yet I am more in awe of the silent warriors who wage personal wars in their world every single day and win.

I believe that it"™s those unsung victories that add a wealth of "˜feel good"™ moments into our lives. It"™s that little voice inside ourselves that says "˜Holy crap! I didn"™t think I could do that"¦ but I did. Yay for me!"™ and then we go about our daily tasks.

So if any of you reading this blog post experienced a teeny, tiny, "˜woo hoo"™ happening today that you"™ve not bragged about, I applaud you. May those little victories keep adding up in your heart until it"™s overflowing with love and gratitude for the small things that make a life whole and rewarding.

Carry a Bag, Doofwad!

Max with bowl July 16 12 adjHey you! Yeah, you. The guy who walks by my house every day with that cute little white-haired doggie. YOU, sir, are the reason why dog owners who walk their precious pooches get a bad rap!

This past Saturday, I saw you walk by my house on the opposite side of the street with your dog. Said dog walked up on the neighbour"™s lawn, did the usual "˜circle"™ dance, and then proceeded to do a #2 business. Now that in itself isn"™t unusual because when you gotta go, you gotta go, right? It"™s what happened next that made me want to reach out and smack you "“ the owner, not the dog!

Did you calmly reach into your jeans pocket to retrieve a doggie doo-doo bag? No"¦ Were you carrying a left-over grocery store bag or perhaps even a sandwich bag with which to collect the afore-mentioned # 2 drop? No"¦ You just calmly kept walking with Fido after he/she/it was finished. I mean, what the hell dude?

Then, to make matters worse, you walked to the top of the street and then came back down on MY side of it. My friend and I were standing in my garage when you and your pooch paused at the end of my driveway. She, being more vocal than myself (yes, folks it IS possible that someone is more outspoken than I am!), hollered out to you, "œHey buddy! Would you like a bag so you can go pick up your dog"™s crap on the lawn across the street?" You never even acknowledged her "“ just kept your head down and walked away.

This morning as I was taking my fur-baby out for our morning saunter, guess who is stopped at the end of my driveway? Yup, you guessed it "“ Mr. "œI-don"™t-pick-up-dog-crap" and his pooch. I turned to my own dog and said, "œThink we"™ll wait a few minutes before walking today, Maxster" and you heard my voice as you looked right at me. (Actually I think you were glaring at me but I wasn"™t 100% awake so really couldn"™t tell for sure.)

I gave you a good five minute head start, but you and your dog were only about 5 cement walk blocks ahead of me when we set out. And did I see any type of bag in your hands? Nope. Hanging perhaps out of the back pocket of your jeans? Nada.

It"™s people like YOU, dipstick, that give dog owners like ME a bad reputation!

I know that Mercury is going into retrograde as of today and perhaps that"™s why I"™m so ticked off at this common occurrence, but seriously, people. If you"™re going to take Fifi or Fido out for a walk, be considerate enough to carry a plastic bag of some sort with you in case nature calls so you don"™t have to leave an unwanted "˜gift"™ on someone else"™s property.

Arrgghh"¦Â  Some people"™s children"¦

Here"™s to You, Mrs. Karen Robinson!

KarenRobinson2016.jpegBack in 2006, shortly after opening my doors for business, I was invited to attend a networking event sponsored by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) Westmorland Albert, located in Shediac, NB. The hostess of that event was their Executive Director, a vibrant lady by the name of Karen Robinson. I, being the shy and retiring type of gal I am (NOT!) struck up a conversation with her where she asked me tons of questions about what a "œVirtual Assistant" was and the type of services I had to offer to the public.

I was still fine-tuning my offerings as it were, and happened to mention to her that I loved to help other entrepreneurs promote their businesses by writing articles for them to include in their newsletters/ezines, or for publication on the web. Before she walked away, she told me that she"™d give me a ring in a couple of weeks as she had an idea in mind of how she"™d like to promote the CBDC and thought I might be able to help her out.

Sure enough. Shortly after our first meeting, Karen called me and invited me to come out to the CBDCs office to get together with her and some of her staff to brainstorm some ideas.

And so began an almost ten year work relationship between myself, Karen, and the team of wonderful people at CBDC Westmorland Albert.

Over the years, that initial meeting between Karen and me has morphed into a combination of part business and part friendship, with healthy doses of laughter always included in our conversations and dealings. I"™ve watched this dynamo of a lady work tirelessly championing causes for rural entrepreneurs, always believing in that every business owner is capable of success if they have the right tools and training.

Today, July 29th, 2016, at 4:30 pm, Karen is "œhanging up her hat" as the saying goes and retiring from her position at the CBDC. I hesitated typing that word "œretiring" as that is not a word anyone would associate with this lady.

I"™d like to tell her to relax, read some good books at the beach, and enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but something tells me she"™s not quite finished with her desire to help others. I highly doubt she"™s going to quietly fade into the sunset, never to be heard from again as that"™s just not her style.

I do, however, know I"™m going to miss her ongoing presence in my life, as will so many others.

So"¦.

"œAnd here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey."*

Enjoy your "œtime off" Mrs. Karen. You deserve it!

*Lyrics from the song, Mrs. Robinson, copyright 1967, "œBookends" by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C1BCAgu2I8

Driving With Ms. Daisy

old red carFor years and years I"™ve read novels and watched numerous films about the genteel ladies who reside in the southern states of the US. I"™ve even had a couple of clients who from the lower 48 and I"™ve dearly loved listening to them talk. But the best of them all is a fabulous lady I"™ve had the pleasure of knowing while visiting Florida these past two years.

 
Ms. Virginia as I call her, is definitely a one-of-a-kind lady. The fact that she"™s has this adorable Southern accent only serves to make her more endearing"¦ and funny as hell.

 
Ms. V does not swear"¦ at all. She always manages to find some redeeming quality about almost everyone she meets, but if she doesn"™t find a person suitable to her discerning taste, she just simply avoids them rather than talk to or insult them. (Wise lady, this Ms. V!)

 
However, this poor lady didn"™t know when she first met me that I tend to pick up accents rather easily and love to do mimicry. I don"™t do it to be mean, but rather to relay a story or incident that has happened while I"™ve been in Ms. V"™s company to others. You see, most of the funny part is listening to her tell a story with that delightful twang of hers adding some pizzazz to the telling.

 
Ms. V is the only person I"™ve met to date who can turn a one syllable word into two and make it sound like a totally different consonant. Her "˜r"™s"™ come out like "˜e"™s, "˜o"™s"™ sound like "˜a"™s"™, and there are other letters of the alphabet that come out of her mouth so long and drawn out I have no idea what it actually is!

 
So far this trip I"™ve learned that the number "˜four"™ and "˜sh*t"™ are two syllable words pronounced like this: "œThare waren"™t none but "˜fo-ore"™ minutes afore I had ta run to the privy." And today, when we got lost going to a flea market no more than 15 minutes away from our condo, she said when pulling into the parking lot, "œWell, "˜she-it!"™ It done looks like thare closed!" (She was right ticked at the fact that only a quarter of the market was open for business when we arrived since we"™d gotten lost on the drive, driven up an off ramp, and hit a curb.)

 
The other day when she dropped by the place where I"™m staying to "˜chat a menute"™ she came out with one of the best one-liners I"™ve heard in a long time. She was talking about her husband pacing the floors and deadpanned "œHe were jest about climbin"™ the walls. Made me want ta cut a hole(r) in the ceiling so he"™d have a way to escape!" I almost spewed coffee all over the carpet at that one. She later went on to tell us about someone who"™d cut themselves and they were "œbleedin"™ like a stabbed ho." What she really meant was that they were bleeding like a stuck pig and the "˜ho"™ was supposed to be "˜hog"™ but not the way Ms. V said it. Again, I narrowly missed spitting out my drink all over the place.

 
Today"™s excursion, however, is so far one of the best. On the way to the aforementioned flea market, we were driving down a busy three traffic lane street when Ms. V decided she wanted to go all the way over to the left-hand turn lane. With God as my witness, she floored the gas pedal on her Cadillac and cut across all three lanes of traffic in under 30 seconds, and then proceeded to go through a red light. I calmly (not really) pointed out that she"™d run a red and she said, "œOh well"¦I"™ll prolly get another ticket in the mail in "˜bout three or "˜fo-ore"™ months just like I did the last time." No sooner had those words come out of her mouth then she jammed on the brakes so hard my seatbelt fetched up against my neck. She damned near ran another red light, but this time she turned, looked at me and said (as I was trying hard to get my breath back from being choked by the belt) "œHa! No sense ina temptin"™ fate. Figured I"™d best stop for this one."

 
The next lane change brought on a retort that was said in such a desultory voice I lost it and almost peed my pants. After she cut off another car (changing lanes again, I might add) she calmly said, "œWaell"¦" (Long, drawn-out version of the word well.) "œThat thare guy in the ker behind us done just flipped me the bird." HAHAHA! Imagine that! Someone getting ticked off because this lovely southern belle cut in front of him with about two inches to spare before her Caddy would have ripped off his front bumper.

 
I"™m not going to tell you about the rest of the excursion or how it took us 45 minutes to do a 15 minute drive to the flea market. Let"™s just say it was eventful and leave it at that.

 
Driving with Ms. Daisy is never a dull experience and being in her company is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry.

 
I am, however, calling home and seeing if I can the payout on my life insurance"¦ just in case, because she just asked me to go "˜shoppin"™ with her again next week.

365 Days

Victory fingers Dec 2 14Today is a high-five, way to go, milestone day in my life. I"™m not looking for accolades, congratulations or any such thing from you, my readers.

This blog post is my thank you to me.

It"™s been 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes since I last smoked a cigarette.

Frankly, I don"™t know how I achieved this milestone as I resisted even contemplating quitting for 40+ years. I expended a lot of energy in fighting for my right to smoke and honed my argumentative skills by furiously debating with those who urged me to quit. (more…)

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