Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Fell Down Some Stairs and Broke My...

I’m OK – just to start this off, I really did fall down some stairs. It was totally my own fault since I was not paying attention to where I was putting my feet & instead of stepping firmly in the middle of the stair, I guess my instep hit the edge and, well, down I went.

No, Jasmine’s toys were not to blame.

Luckily, I landed on my very generous fundament and, though rather painfully bruised (three days later) it could have been a WHOLE lot worse than it was.

Except… my iPod Touch’s screen has been irreparably shattered:

No. The screen ISN’T supposed to look like that…

As I was smashing into the metal things at the end of the stairs (which are supposed to, I think, prevent you from slipping) I remember thinking that I couldn’t break anything, please, because I’m supposed to take my first run next weekend. Sort of a birthday present to myself.

Once I came to a halt, I had a small hysterical giggle at the memory of my friend Clayton doing the “Aunt Bunny Falls Down The Stairs” from Eddie Murphy’s stand-up days.

Then I had to try and get up and turn off the kettle. I had to furniture surf to get there because I was starting to get “shocky” and after that, I had to furniture surf into the living room to lie down before I fainted or puked. The sofa was too soft and that made me feel like puking, so I got onto the floor and tried to do some deep breathing while my hearing stopped buzzing, the little beads of sweat that had all popped up on my upper lip cooled and the blackness that was taking over my vision went away.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a drama queen – but I also have the most freakishly low pain threshold ever (the concept of natural childbirth is terrifying, I gotta say!)

And, of course, as I’m lying on the floor trying to get somewhat back to “normal state,” a VERY worried Jasmine was licking my face and arms (once I had them over my face – there is nothing better, when you want to puke, than a dog licking you) and generally sticking her nose as close to me as possible and breathing on me.

Lucky for me, the very next morning I had a chiropractor appointment booked. Yeah, I got laughed at a little, telling him that hip adjustments by pushing on my glutes were not going to happen (actually, the words I used were more along the lines of “Dr. Doug, I fell down some stairs, landed on my arse and bruised my left cheek badly, so no hip adjustments on the left side today. Seriously, no touchy-touchy”) but he did tell me that I can still try my run next weekend.

So what have we learned? iPod Touches do not fly well. OK, they fly well, but the landing isn’t pretty. I’m too damn old to be falling down stairs. Paying attention to what you are doing WHILE ON STAIRS is important and, finally, the Aunt Bunny skit is still DAMN funny stuff.

With love across the waters,

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Request for Assistance

Something I haven't spoken a lot about is giving. I'm going to speak out a little more in future about this. We all have so very many blessings in our lives - giving isn't impossible, ever. And giving isn't always about money - its about time, second-hand and gently used things, touch, prayer, and sometimes just company or an ear to listen to someone who needs to talk themselves out.

So I am going to keep this post short & sweet... a friend of mine (whose blog I follow) has posted a request for assistance for a client of hers. Here's the link to Yambo (yet another mommy blog) Please take some time to pop over to her blog and have a read.
I've been talking a lot, lately, about de-cluttering - if you are inspired to do some de-cluttering of your own, please remember that there are others out there who would love to have your treasures... if you are able to, every little bit will help this young woman - and if Calgary is too far away for you, please remember that someone close to where you live could probably use your assistance in some way, shape or form.  There are a number of fantastic organizations out there who help people in need - and they would also love to hear from you.
With love across the waters,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feng Shui’ing My Way to a New Job and Home…?

A quick pre-recap here: the things I have been working diligently with my Feng Shui, Intention, and Creative Visualization are:
  • To manifest a permanent full time job
  • To own a home of my own
  • To be involved in a relationship with a healthy responsible (grown up) man.

My first Feng Shui consultation was on July 18th (2009). My second one was less than a month ago on January 21st. It’s now February 10th and things are starting to move forward. This is less than 7 months from the start of this process.

A job posting came up internally this week that has had me chewing things over. I’m on the fence a little here because the pluses and minuses seem (in my head at least) to be balancing each other off. Here’s the situation. The job is a split role – Client Service Representative (aka bank teller) and Account Manager. This is a particularly exciting idea to me because I love the idea of being able to see someone’s needs and then actively help them make things happen. It would mean that I would be learning again – which I love. It would require a move, because this particular role is in Lake Cowichan and that’s WAY too far to commute from Comox. It would mean I could qualify for a mortgage and so could buy a home.

The challenge in this role is that it’s a maternity leave coverage – so would essentially disappear in July of 2012 – and yes, that’s a LONG way out from now, but it’s still a consideration.

Yesterday I spoke with a colleague and friend and she is going to rough out a quick mortgage estimation for me to allow me to see how much I could potentially qualify for, based on what I understand the average salary for this position to be. Today I spoke with the branch manager (who I used to work with up here) and picked her brain about the role, the branch (which she is also new to) the market and the general feel to the area. Tonight I spoke with my best girlfriend (thanks for listening Dar!) and expressed my thoughts and questions and got some input from her.

At this point I’m waiting for my account manager friend’s response, and I think it will be the final leverage for me in making the decision, but for tonight I am still chewing things over.

And giving thanks.

Thanks to Terri Perrin at the Fine Art of Intention Feng Shui who helped me move things forward and point things in the right direction. I wonder if she would be willing to come to Lake Cowichan to help me Feng Shui a new home there?

Thanks to my family and friends who have been so supportive of me in my journey home.

Thanks to the universe, God, the angels, spirit guides and any and all other benevolent spirits out there who are (sometimes in spite of myself) supporting and protecting me.

And thanks, very much, to you for reading and listening.

With love across the waters,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daylight Hours, Daylight Savings and a Canine in Season

This time of year I start to get antsy about daylight hours. I’m one of the lucky people – I do not suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, but come early February, despite the fact that this is my birthday month, I still can’t wait for Daylight Savings Time and time after work where there is daylight enough to be doing stuff outside with my dog.

In most of Canada, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. This means that, for us, this year, Daylight Savings time kicks in on March 13th – a little less than five weeks from now. Yes, that first morning is always a little harder for getting up since it’s a whole hour earlier, but by then the sun will be rising (here at least) around 6:30 in the morning and setting around 6:00 at night. That one day change means we will be getting up in the dark BUT we will have daylight that night around 7:00 at night – a good trade off, if you ask me!

For the last few weeks Jasmine has been in heat, and so I haven’t been able to take her up to Seal Bay Park for our usual hour-plus long daylight walks where she can race around like a mad thing without her leash. We have been restricted to shorter, leash-on walks around my neighbourhood and we are BOTH getting tired of it all.

Essentially the canine estrus cycle (heat) cycle has four stages. Proestrus – the stage where they are have a sanguinous discharge (OK, basically they drip red) - this is where they secrete the hormones that attract male dogs. Estrus – where they are still swollen, the discharge changes to a pinkish-straw colour and their vulva is swollen – this is where extra extra extra care needs to be taken because this is when mating can occur and pregnancy happens. Metestrus (or diestrus) which is basically a space of time after mating – if they got pregnant this is pregnancy, if not, this is where the body goes back to “normal” state. The last one is anestrus – inactivity.

The cycle from proestrus through to the start of metestrus can last anywhere from nine to thirty five days depending on the breed. Jasmine took about 28 days last time and, I would anticipate this time will be about the same. Technically, this means she should be “off-leash & park walk-able” this coming weekend. Likely I will wait until the following weekend though, just to be on the safe side.

In between now and then, I get to suffer through Valentines Day - the most hated day of the year for most single people. The day of the year where retailers and service companies alike make single people feel like they are less important and worthwhile than those people who are part of a couple. Oh Joy!

Following that, by a week, is my birthday. I don’t have any set plans – other than to not be working. I took Saturday and Monday off work, but ended up picking up a shift on the Thursday, to give myself a four-day weekend and am quite looking forward to some good-old-fashioned sleep in time! I’m thinking I may go spend a night at my parents’ place in there (maybe I can talk my Mum into making me a chocolate cake with chocolate mint icing?) and this will also be the great weekend where Jasmine and I can return to long park walking! In addition to all of this already great stuff planned for the weekend, this is also the weekend where my chiropractor (Dr. Doug) has said I can try my return to running!


With love across the waters,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Night the Lights Went Out in… Comox?

OK - so not as lyrical sounding as The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, I admit… and also for a totally different reason - to the best of my knowledge, Comox doesn't have an electric chair… It was clear and windy yesterday and the lights here were out due to a tree having come down across a BC Hydro line.

Needing to kill some time, since it was dark and I was missing House, Castle AND Mike & Molly, I figured I would putter around on my Net Book. Here is the result of that:

What to do? Well, first things first - find out how long they were estimating we would be without power. Thanks, in part, to my disaster recovery training and also in part to my having lived through the blackout in Toronto back in 2003, I know to have a telephone somewhere in the house that has a cord & is plugged into a wall socket. Do you have one?

When I got home from work I called BC Hydro and the estimated return to power time was 8:00 PM. That done, dinner became the next great mission. I got changed and loaded Jasmine into the car - Little Caesar's Pizza being the destination. Good thing I had $15 in my wallet!!

Home, light candles, feed dog and have my own dinner. Hm. What now? Only 7:00 PM, WAY too early to consider going to bed, I leashed up Herself and we went out for a walk. Home again, check with BC Hydro again - yup… 8:00 is still their estimated time.

Light bulb! I have a Net book - I can still be productive - likely unable to surf the net (confirmed - I can’t hack into any of my neighbours) but I CAN open it up and play solitaire or type out a blog post until the power comes back on or I give up and go to bed - whichever comes first.

It’s now five minutes to 8:00 and it’s still dark in here, and starting to cool off... and yes, for the record, the power is still off - the fridge and fish tank are still silent and I DID remember to flip on a couple of light switches for when the power comes back on.

It’s now after 8:00 PM… maybe I’ll play a little solitaire…

That was it. I played Solitaire until about 8:45 and then packed it in for bed. Power resumed around quarter to ten last night so I quickly went around the house & shut off the lights I'd missed on the "walk about & shut the lights out" before bed. My stop at the computer to check my email allowed me the opportunity to publish a post I had waiting and I figured (in my tired and bleary way) that this one could wait a little while because I wanted to add more to it... Namely, a discussion about personal “disaster recovery” plans.

In a previous work life I was a Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Planner and spent a LOT of time focusing on making certain business could be maintained if one of the groups I “looked after” was struck by disaster. In the business world disasters come in three main flavours – Technology, Premises and People (or a combination of a couple of these items) and have the general threat of stopping a business in its tracks. Thankfully, the financial services industry is considered a critical service and works hard to ensure it can maintain client service no matter what the issue at hand.

More to this point, though, people don’t generally have personal continuity plans and this is what I’m thinking on at this point. I live on Vancouver Island and, if the so-called experts are right, we’re teetering on the edge of “the big one” (earthquake) and should this happen the island we live on will be radically impacted and we can plan to be without “critical services” for at the very least, three days. Probably more.

So what do we need and what should we have on hand? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the first thing that I realized I would need when I was in Toronto in 2003 during the black-out. Cash. If there is no power, there will be no access to ATM’s, VISA, MasterCard or American Express. A supply of cash, hidden in an easy to access location (that will not be raided for pizza money by hungry teenagers) is an absolute must. Count on the need for at least $100 per day, per person who lives in your home.

Other things to have on hand include, but are not limited to:
  • Special need items – meaning, your medications and prescriptions
  • Bottled water
  • Food – dried and canned for people *and* dried and canned for your pets too.
  • A can opener (yes, sounds silly, but have on in your “kit”)
  • Camp stove with a couple of mini-propane tanks & pots and pans
  • Foil blankets (sleeping bags are bulkier and not everyone has them – foil blankets won’t cushion anything, but they WILL keep you warm.
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Radio
  • Batteries (for the flashlights and radio)
  • Candles and water-proofed matches
  • Toothbrushes and tooth paste
  • Feminine hygiene products (yes, you read that right)
If your home has a fireplace, then a supply of wood laid up is also a good idea. You can also consider cooking in the fireplace, if need be.

This can be a space consuming collection of items, and yes, you may need to store things in a couple of locations, but if they are in those big rubber-maid tubs they will be easy to find in the garage or wherever else you store them.

Now, do I have all of this stuff? No - to be perfectly honest, I don’t, but I DO have most of it, and I can access it easily if I need it. The Government of Canada has a great "Get Prepared" website available – take some time to check it out and start giving thought to your own family’s personal disaster plan.

With love across the waters,


Monday, February 7, 2011

The Road to Hell, or to Happiness…?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions… Hm. But you know what, it could also be said that the road to happiness is paved with good intentions. So what’s the difference? Hell had no follow through, whereas happiness had action? Can it really be THAT simple?

Yup. It sure can.

Intention without action is kind of like vanilla ice cream. Nice, but better with something hot. Or sweet. Or chocolate. Intention WITH action is like having chocolate lava cake with strawberries and vanilla ice cream – the full experience.

Part of the challenge that most people (including myself) have, though, is trying to figure out which action to take. Which action is appropriate and which one isn’t. This is where it’s all about the options in front of you. Some questions you can ask yourself here are:
  • What options do I have?
  • What else could I do?
  • What if I had some…? (this would be the money, time, power etc spot)
  • Do I need suggestions?
  • What are the benefits and costs of each of my options?
  • Who can help me, and how?
Usually at the point where I am asking myself all of these questions, I’m all worn out, and a glass of wine and conversation with one of my friends or family members will help me let go of the emotional attachment to the challenge and maybe also point out something I didn’t think of already. Remember - new people offer different perspectives & ideas.

So what do you want? This is your intention. This is your goal. Make a list – this is always fun. I’m going to start making my long list tonight. I know what my short list looks like, but there are also a lot of other things I could do, see, feel, experience, and try to obtain, that I don’t have listed anywhere.

Now that you have your list, how are you going to go about getting (seeing, being, doing, experiencing and so on) the things on your list? Are you being creative? If this thing you want is something you have wanted for a while, are you trying different things, different angles? Or are you doing the same thing, over and over? Share your list with someone. It never hurts to let someone else see what you are striving for.

This week I challenge you to set your intentions. Make a list and take some action.

With love across the waters,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Income Tax Season is Open

Sort of feels like duck hunting season, except we are the ducks, right?

January through March in Canada brings the joys of receiving. Receiving T4 slips, T2202A slips, RRSP contribution slips, Interest Income slips and so on and so on.

I’ve received a couple of the ones I am expecting and am still waiting on the rest. In the interim, though, I went to Costco this week (I like Costco – not like I love Lee Valley Tools though) and bought myself a copy of TurboTax (which used to be called QuickTax) and is made by the same company that created my favourite accounting software, Quicken.

Armed with what little paperwork I have, I started the process. Install the software, update the personal information and start making a list of what slips I think I am still getting. And when I think I am getting them. A couple of phone calls to confirm details, and I should be able to complete my return and eFile it somewhere around the end of February, all things considered.

In the interim, though, I am left contemplating what others do at tax season. Some go to H&R block and have their taxes completed and a cheque issued right away (personally I would rather wait a few weeks and get ALL of my money back, but that’s me.) Others go to their banks and get tax planning advice and update their RRSP and investment plans. Others rely on their accountants to complete their taxes for them.

If you have a little time and the inclination, try going to the Canada Revenue Agency’s website and take a look around – the My Account section (once you have access) will provide you with a lot of great information. What I love about this section is that it provided me with information from previous years that I hadn’t been keeping tabs of.

If you haven’t already started the process, go to your financial institution and get a little advice – a financial review BEFORE you start your taxes could let you know that you qualify for an RRSP loan. A financial review is free AND could save you some money. Hey – it could even earn you some extra money!

With love across the waters,

Sunday Chores and a Feng Shui Update

I’m very nearly finished my Sunday chore list - laundry is the one thing still underway at the moment because there’s a final load in the drier. I'm back in my seat in front of the computer, full of good intention – the kind that means I’ll balance my accounts and deal with my “paperwork” drawer.

We all have one – go on, admit it. You know exactly what I am talking about – it’s that drawer where the week’s bills, account statements, receipts and all of that other paper-based minutia seems to accumulate itself. Some weeks you get to the bottom of it all, other weeks you just can’t bear to face what might be under the receipt from Costco.

I am usually pretty good about spending a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon dealing with all of it. I haven’t started it yet, but that’s only because I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share. Specifically, I wanted to provide an update on how things have been coming this week, and what changes I am starting to notice.

On Terri’s last visit (January 21st, 2011) we revisited the things I am working to manifest – namely, a full time job, owning my own home and yes, a relationship (you know, love, romance etc) and she made suggestions based on what I intend to manifest in my life. Physical changes complete, now it’s up to the mental ones – the part where the “Intention” comes into play.

On the job, I believe that now it’s just a matter of time. Either where I am already or elsewhere, something permanent and full time (with benefits and a good salary) is on its way. Where I am already? Possibly – I have been having great weekly reviews with my manager and receiving a lot of feed-back that encourages me to believe that the support is there for me as soon as the role becomes available. Elsewhere? Also possible – I am keeping my eyes and ears open (something I haven’t historically done as I have spent nearly 20 years working for the same company.) It’s interesting, but takes me out of my comfort zone a little – which is OK, I think.

Where a home of my own is concerned, the second the full time job is mine, the house is mine too.

Romance? Well, not so much there. I was speaking with my best girlfriend earlier today and she asked if I’d heard from the man I am crushing on – and no, I haven’t. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided that the ship sailed, and I have written that possibility off as a lost cause. No worries. Remember – nature abhors a vacuum and since I am now allowing that emotional space, someone new will come along to fill it.

How does it all tie into Feng Shui this week? Well, the principle is there – the energy has been opened up and the space feels better – and I feel better for being in the space. That impacts the energy I take out into the world with me and how I relate to and interact with other people. So all in all, things are improving!

Now, back to the paperwork drawer!

With love across the waters,