Hi! This is a reblog of the post I created (with the help of others) for the Amisk-Hughenden Historical Society. It’s all about the stone house that Ed Carson refurbished after it had been abandoned and stood empty for about 40 years.
I recall Ed telling me about starting work on this huge project: “The entire floor was covered in two feet of pigeon sh*t when I first got started.”
So I asked him, “Ed, how did you clean it all out?”
“I shovelled a spot every day. I didn’t think about how much pigeon poop there was. I just thought about the work I’d accomplished that day.”
“Where did you learn to work like that?” I wanted to know. “I would’ve been overwhelmed by the task ahead.”
“My dad,” Ed said, “He always told me that when you first start a big job, break it up into smaller jobs and, at the end of the day, look at what you got done, not at what’s left to do. It was some of the best advice I’d ever got.”
Here’s the link to the article at the Amisk-Hughenden Historical Society’s website. If you’re interested in history, please consider giving us a follow. Also, let others who might enjoy this know about it. The internet’s a crowded place and we don’t want interested folks to miss out on our content just because they didn’t know it existed.
Old Stone House blog post link: The Old Stone House
If you’re local to my area and would like to see a history story written about, send me your idea via this website or in the comments of the historical society website. I’m always looking for new things to write about.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you again soon.
Hello everyone! This has been far and away the laziest, least productive summer I’ve had in years. It’s been delicious! Early on in the season, we traveled to Mexico twice. The first time was to Puerto Vallarta where we stayed right downtown. We made this decision based on the fact that whenever we go to that Vallarta area, we end up hopping on a bus and trying to get downtown. It took us several visits to realize that we could just stay downtown…
When we returned home, we discovered that the neighbour’s cat, George, had gone missing. I’m still sad! George treated us like family and really liked to “help” me out around the yard.
After being home for two weeks, we headed off to San Jose del Cabo. This is a trip we’d scheduled earlier in the year with my brother and sister-in-law. We loved exploring a new part of Mexico.
Don’t look too closely at any of the photos of me or you’ll soon notice that I wear the same clothes over and over again. I pack very lightly when we travel so clothing repeats are nearly impossible to avoid. If it’s a good traveling outfit, you’ll see it again and again!
We spent a lot of July at home doing some projects and just enjoying life. At the end of July we headed out to British Columbia where we visited my dad for his birthday and stayed in our first B&B.
From BC, we drove down into Washington and flew from Seattle to Las Vegas where we had discounted rooms for the small price of attending a two-hour time share presentation. No. We did not buy a time share, but I did enjoy the room. I also enjoyed meeting the showgirls on Freemont Street in downtown Vegas.
We traveled back through Washington and up to BC, seeing Dad again on the way back. After leaving BC and returning to Alberta, we also had a chance to visit a place I’ve wanted to see forever: the Historic Bar U Ranch in southern Alberta.
When we got home from this jaunt, I spent a little time buidling a WordPress website for our local historical society. It would be great if you’d check it out and consider giving us a follow there.
Thanks for joining me on this short journey down a very recent memory lane! It was nice to remember it with someone. Have a great weekend, as lazy or productive as you want it to be.
Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend. I spent the day visiting some old friends. We ate freshly-baked chocolate zucchini cake and had a good chat. Here’s a post I wrote a few years back. It’s about a former student and how a dying butterfly got us talking about life and death.
The other day, a child brought me a butterfly. He held out his hands and gently opened them to reveal a very cold butterfly indeed. The boy told me, “Ms. K., I found this butterfly.” I could tell that he believed that I would know what to do with this delicate creature suspended somewhere between life and death – as if I know anything about life and death. But there he stood, waiting for an answer and, in a way, I was honoured that he sought it from me.
Listen to me read this post:
It was obvious that the butterfly was on its last legs and so I suggested a solution that would benefit as many creatures as possible. “Would you like me to take it back outside and set it somewhere safe? Then the butterfly will fly away or will be food for a hungry bird that needs it.” The student thought this was acceptable, and off he went to unpack his backpack as I headed out the front doors to find a sheltered spot in which to leave the butterfly.
Who ever knows the best course of action when faced with life’s big questions, especially those questions about life and death? Are there right or wrong answers? I suspect that there aren’t any, and that’s why, in this case, I tried to look beyond the limited life span of the tiny, winged creature and into the larger world. If the boy and I had merrily tossed the butterfly to the classroom floor, stomped on it and flung it into the garbage can, what a waste it would have been!
The butterfly is likely dead by now and, I hope, has provided some fuel for a migratory journey. That, surely, is the best outcome. I think. But when it comes to the fact of mortality, I don’t feel very certain at all. I suppose all we can do in the face of death is to accept it and live until we die with the aim of providing the most benefit as possible while we are on the earth.
If you like what you read and heard here, consider following me. That would be great! Thanks for reading and listening. ~ Lori
Hello everyone! Today I’m preparing to host a garage sale this Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. How can one household accumulate so much stuff…?
As I was scrolling through some of my older posts, I ran across this one. I like it, and it still rings true. It’s opinions that have turned me off social media use. Don’t misunderstand me. There are tons of things I enjoy about social media. I like sharing jokes and sharing music. I like “meeting” people from all over the world, folks I would never connect with otherwise. (Hi Firdaus!)
Social media can be fun and informative. It’s also great for advertising. In fact, I had a friend (Thanks Sandra!) post my garage sale ads all over Facebook. If I ever return to Facebook and give up that wee part of my soul again, it will be because of that platform’s advertising reach.
I hope that you all have a great Tuesday. It’s sunny here and a good day to do organizing-type chores. Stay well and be happy!
You can listen to me read this here or read it yourself below. The choice is yours!
Over the years, I’ve found that expressing my opinion loudly is the best way to convince others of my point of view. It feels great to scream out what I believe into the faces of those who previously held a contrary belief. It’s delightful to see their faces light up with understanding as I bellow my truth.
When the exchange is over, I often think, “If only I’d loudly expressed my opinion sooner we would’ve seen eye-to-eye earlier.”
What? You’ve had a different experience upon expressing your opinion? It didn’t change minds? It irritated friends and family? Hmm. That’s strange. People love it when I express my opinion.
They say, “Tell us what you think, Lori, especially about religion and politics. You are so wise and we can’t get enough! And when you’re done that, would you please give us some unsolicited advice?”
Preaching to the converted is rewarding.
Even better than changing minds is sharing my truth with those who already accept it. They cheer without hesitating, nodding in agreement and spurring me on. I appreciate the reinforcement of my truth by the folks who are already as smart as me.
It’s great to meet people who think exactly what I think. I sure like them better than the folks who think differently than me. They’re much easier to relate with and I don’t have to go through the work of listening to what they say or trying to see their point of view.
Heck, we’re so similar that we don’t even have to really listen to each other. This makes me feel comfortable and it makes me feel right.
Opinions don’t convince. Opinions annoy.
In reality, I’ve only ever annoyed others with my opinions unless they happen to share my exact opinions. This doesn’t happen very often. Like never.
We’re complex beings with complex minds. We have our own ideas and our own life experiences. We are not going to agree on everything. Start with that premise.
Opinions are divisive.
Strongly-held opinions divide us as solidly as brick walls. This may feel good sometimes. Opinions can help us establish an identity, a belonging to a certain group. It’s nice to belong. It feels good to feel welcomed. We all want to be accepted.
But too close an association with one group can be limiting and stifling. And what if you develop a new opinion, a point of view that differs from the group’s view? Then shut up or get out. You’ve found a safe place within those walls. Don’t mess it up by thinking too much.
Talking is easy. Listening is hard.
I enjoy talking. It’s fun to sit around and chat about myself, what I think, what I’ve done and what I want to do. Just as I get going, though, someone else wants to talk about what they think, what they’ve done and what they want to do.
That’s fine. Their talking gives me a chance to decide what I’ll say next about myself. I’ll keep nodding and they’ll keep talking. When they stop, I’ll resume the important work of telling them about me.
Listening is difficult and it’s not natural. It takes intention and practice. We have to choose to listen and then work to do it. Where’s the fun in that?
I know there are drawbacks to social media and emails, but here’s a plus. Typing to others makes us slow down and read what they have to say – just like letters used to do. It’s the same idea.
In conversation, though, we’re not often focused on that moving stream of words. With our own ideas flowing through our minds it’s hard to concentrate on someone else’s thoughts. Listening is hard, but it’s one of the only things that can bring us closer.
Listening is powerful.
Listening can change the world. Hearing what others have to say isn’t necessarily agreeing with what others believe. It can be, but more importantly, listening opens the door to understanding.
“Oh, so that’s where she’s coming from! Her experience formed her opinion. I sure don’t agree with her perception, but I can see why she thinks that way. If I’d had that same experience, maybe I’d hold that opinion, too.”
Reaching an understanding about why people believe what they believe is a very good start to mending our differences. The only way to get there is through listening.
Spout tales, not opinions.
If we want people to listen, let’s say something worth listening to. Storytelling is engaging. That’s why all the best teachers throughout time have used storytelling to convey their messages.
Jesus and Buddha and Gandhi and Mother Teresa and Einstein did their best teaching through telling stories and by walking the walk. They gave us information based on their experience, and they gave us stories to help us understand those experiences.
I’m sure they all had opinions. We all have opinions and that’s okay. But opinions aren’t what these teachers used to change the world. Opinions would’ve slammed the door on our learning and they knew that. Opinions don’t change the world. They divide it.
The listening challenge:
I don’t think I’m up to changing my opinions this week, but I think I’m ready to sharpen my listening skills. I’ll take these baby steps:
- When someone’s talking, I’ll try not to think of what to say next.
- I’ll try to focus on the speaker’s words.
- I’ll make an effort to understand the intention behind the words I’m hearing.
- I’ll try to honour different life experiences and different backgrounds.
If you want to join me on this listening challenge, let me know how it goes for you. We can share our stories about how darn difficult it is to really listen. And on that, we can definitely agree!
If you enjoyed reading and listening to this re-post, please consider following me here on WordPress. That would be great.
My message here today is simple: visit your old folks while you still can. Time is tricky and days all run together so closely resembling one another and moving us ever forward. Before we know it, time has passed and so have the people we love.
Why would I use a dating service? I’m 89!
Last Monday, we had the best visit with my husband’s auntie. She told us that a credit card company contacted her because some suspicious purchases had been made on her credit account.
“What kind of suspicious purchases?” she asked the company representative.
“Well, there are several charges for a dating service.”
My husband’s auntie shook her head and told us, “That was the best laugh I’d had in a long time! A dating service. I’m 89 years old. What do I want with a dating service?”
Her outrage at the idea of her needing a dating service was so fun! Auntie has been a widow now for decades and enjoys independence in her own home that she shares with a huge, orange cat. The credit card company refunded all her money, had her cut up her old card, and sent her a new one. All’s well that ends well.
She knew we were coming to visit so she’d made ginger snap cookies, cheese biscuits, and fresh coffee for us. There were also fresh pickles from cucumbers right out of her garden to sample. They were crunchy and made my lips pucker. We brought a jar of them home. When we were done eating, we toured her garden and she talked about the strength she’d built up in her arms this seasoning by watering her garden pots using buckets of rain water.
She told us, “I use my mother’s wagon to haul those water buckets. She watered her garden the same way when she got old.” My husband’s auntie’s eyes filled with tears. It just goes to show that no matter how old we get, we all miss our mothers when they’re gone.
I have a passion for recording stories.
It’s one of my favourite things, visiting with the older people in my life. I’m a lover of stories and old folks often have great stories to tell. I do know some older folk who don’t care to talk about the past. They live in the now and prefer not to reminisce. That’s just fine, too, but I really like the old stories. That’s why I’m passionate about helping people to get those colourful memories recorded before the colourful storytellers are gone.
Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to right than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.
~ Marcus Aurelius
If you’d like to record your family history in its entirety or to simply write down some of those good old stories, please get in touch. I can help with everything from writing to editing to publishing. It would be my pleasure.
Thanks for being here with me today. Take care and have a very happy week!
Hi there everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to a fresh, new week. I’m re-posting this post today because as another school year approaches, I’m missing my identity as a teacher again! When will this let up? I’ve got a ton of other interests and a lot of things to keep me occupied, and yet I cling and cling to this image of myself.
I examine my teaching years through a realistic lens, I remember the stress that led to the soul-sucking insomnia. I remember the fear of criticism from self and others. I see clearly the hours of pointless meetings and the children that I didn’t know how to reach.
Teaching was hard, but letting go of a long-held identity has its challenges, too.
If you haven’t done so already, please consider following my blog right here on WordPress or signing up to have my posts show up directly in your email’s inbox. Either way, I’d love to have your support! Take care and have a great Tuesday. ~ Lori
Recently I contacted someone I’d worked with for years to let him know that I’m available as a substitute teacher. My ego was deflated when he said, “I wasn’t aware that you weren’t teaching full time.”
Really? Wasn’t aware? To me, it seemed that this guy and I were at every meeting and at every conference together. I saw him often.
I’ve been out of the local school system for over a year now and this former colleague never even noticed. I would’ve been happier if his response had been, “I wondered where you were!”
Listen to me read this post:
But he didn’t wonder. My presence or absence didn’t affect him much. Most of the time, we don’t notice what our passing acquaintances are doing. We’re happy to see them or to hear from them when we do, but beyond those moments, we don’t give others much thought.
It can be a bit of a letdown, realizing how infrequently others notice us. On the other hand, this realization can be very freeing. Over the course of my life I’ve spent way too much time worrying about what others might think of me and my actions. In a way it’s nice to discover that they barely think of me at all.
When I decided to resign from my teaching position in December of 2016 to attend university for a year, I was concerned about how people might react. In the end, people simply congratulated me or thanked me or said nothing, and then very quickly, we all moved on. It’s what we do. We keep on going.
A skilled young teacher stepped into my former position to start her own career, and I began studying writing and editing. Surprise, surprise. I’d made a change and the world didn’t stop turning. In fact, my decision to change benefited two lives, mine and the new teacher’s.
Change is scary because we don’t like uncertainty. It’s not comfortable. That’s why we plan and try to control the things yet to happen. But no matter how much we schedule or plot or analyze, it’s impossible to accurately predict the outcome of anything we do. We can chart and graph until our eyes dry up and fall out of our heads. All our planning won’t stop the rain from raining or the snow from falling.
Life is uncertain. That’s its nature, and we’re forced to work with this uncertainty in which we exist. That’s reality.
Now that I’ve just returned to the classroom as a sub, I realize that my big career change was no big deal. I can tell this by the reactions that span, “Oh, you were gone?” to “Welcome back!” Neither of these reactions indicates an earth-shattering event.
This career change and its consequences have shifted the way I view making larger life changes. Big decisions aren’t as daunting now. I worry less about what others will think because I’ve got proof that they won’t think much about what I decide either way.
And if they do consider my actions, their considerations will be brief, like the shadow of a flying bird passing over the ground. “That’s dumb” or “That’s smart” or “Maybe I should try that.”
Others’ reactions to our actions don’t last long and they sure don’t matter much. What does matter is our acceptance of uncertainty and our willingness to change, to take a risk. We can’t know where any path will lead us. All I know for sure is that the view from the bottom of my deep rut was way less open than the wider view I got when I climbed out.
If that’s your question, then this article might help you to decide if staying at a bed & breakfast is right for you.
On our recent vacation through southern British Columbia and then down into Washington, we spent two nights in a lovely bed & breakfast in Osoyoos, BC, situated right on the border between Canada and the United States.
The White Horse Bed & Breakfast is positioned above the Osoyoos town site and offers stunning views of the valley and lake. There are three guest rooms downstairs: The Prairie Room, The Northern Room, and The Wine Room. We stayed in The Wine Room. Our hosts, Ron and Darlene, made us feel welcome and both mornings, Ron prepared a full, two-course breakfast at the dining room table located just off their top deck and with views overlooking Osoyoos. Delicious and beautiful!
Our hosts, although new to the bed & breakfast business, ran the B&B smoothly and professionally. Both seemed relaxed and genuinely happy to have all of us strangers sleeping in their basement and eating their food. Ron and Darlene are great people, and I admire their adventurous attitude and their business-savvy.
At breakfast on the morning of our second night there, a fellow guest asked a good (but rhetorical) question: If you can stay in a place like this, why would you ever stay in a hotel? Immediately and silently, I began compiling my reasons. I’ll share these with you now.
A Stranger’s Home
For me, there was no way to feel completely at ease in someone else’s home. We whispered and tip-toed around so as not to disturb the owners or other guests. When in the common areas, the spacious TV room with wet bar and fridge and the lower deck, I was always on edge, nervous that someone would walk in and join us. I’m an outgoing and friendly person, perhaps a bit above average in this respect. And yet I felt I had to brace myself to meet someone new around every corner. At the bed & breakfast, I could never fully relax.
At a hotel, I pay for the service of staying there and then do whatever the heck I want. I’m quiet and courteous but I am also relaxed. I’m not worried that other guests will be disturbed by my presence in this big hotel. If I see other hotel guests in the hallways, elevator, or common areas, I can greet them or not. Friendliness is optional. I don’t have to be “on” all the time. I can lock that heavy door and fully enjoy the privacy I paid for.
Breakfast was at 8:30 every morning. This was necessary, of course, as it’s a sit-down affair with all guests (usually six) seated around a formally-set table. Everyone is fed at one time.
I felt really hemmed in by this set breakfast time. Not because this time is unreasonable or unusual, but because I’m used to staying in hotels where breakfast is often available for several hours and I can eat whenever I want or not at all, which is also a nice option. At a hotel, no one is waiting for me to come to breakfast and wondering where I am if I don’t show.
At a hotel, I eat as little or as much as I want to. No one dishes me up and I clean up my own mess when I’m done eating. I’m most comfortable with this arrangement.
At a hotel, no one cares about my life. I like that. Pleasantries and credit card information is exchanged at check in. New arrivals are told about the pool, the breakfast, and about check out time. That’s it and that’s enough. No one asks where you live or about your family or about where you’re headed next. No one cares and that’s fabulous.
At a B&B, especially around the breakfast table, there’s a mild expectation that guests will introduce themselves to other guests and share a bit about themselves. Sometimes I don’t want to share. I’m barely interested in myself. Why would I expect anyone else to be interested?
Sometimes I want to eat with my life partner without sharing a table with four total strangers. This shared breakfast experience was a little more than awkward both mornings. The other guests were all great, easy conversationalists with good-humoured dispositions. Yet I dreaded those morning meet and greets. The pressure of meeting strangers for a formal breakfast was anxiety inducing and is probably the biggest reason I didn’t enjoy the B&B experience.
A Very Nice B&B
If you enjoy meeting new people and exchanging stories, a bed and breakfast is probably a great choice for you. I think The White Horse is a good B&B for those who like staying at B&Bs. The rooms are large and luxuriously appointed. Each guestroom has its own bathroom complete with bathrobes. Tea and coffee are available at the wet bar in the common area at all times, and in the evening, Ron brings down snacks for the guests. How nice is that?
I’m always learning new things about myself and my first B&B visit taught me that I’m a more private person than I thought. I enjoy my own space and I enjoy not feeling like I’m staying in my parents’ basement. I want to feel free to come and go and eat when I like. Above all, I want to be free and I guess that’s why a B&B is not for me.
Thanks for being with me today. I hope this piece gave you some insight in the B&B experience. If you haven’t tried one, definitely do! B&Bs may be just what you’re looking for and leave you wondering why you ever stayed in hotels at all. Until next time, take care.
Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a good long weekend. This is a re-post of an earlier article. As I wrap up two weeks of vacation, it’s good to remember as I head in the direction of home, what really matters. Take care and enjoy!
Starting a business is hard! What’s more difficult yet is trying not to become completely self-absorbed while working to start a business. These nights, I dream of advertising. My thoughts constantly turn to content marketing and customer-engagement strategies. I can get a little too focused when undertaking a project. This is both good (if you’re my customer) and bad (if you’re me attempting to live a balanced life).
When reading another writer/editor’s blog post this morning, I was reminded that being able to pursue a meaningful career is a privilege. The blogger reminded me that I’m educated and live in a wealthy part of the world. This gives me a head start. He went on to say that there are people all over this big old world for who job success means survival, getting enough food and water to make it through another day. His blog post put things in perspective.
Listen to me read this post:
These days, it’s easy for me to lose perspective, to become caught up in the small things. It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. It’s not difficult to know what really matters, but it does take stopping for a moment to remember.
Peace of mind matters.
Peace of mind and heart really matter. If we have these things, we are a benefit to the world. When we lack happiness, we contribute to the overall miserableness of the world. I don’t think the world needs our contribution in this area. But the planet and its inhabitants need our happiness, our support, and our encouragement.
Helping others is fulfilling.
Helping others matters. I was lucky this summer to get in touch with a charity that supports a cause that’s important to me. I do some volunteer editing for them and though it’s a cliché, I get way more out of this experience than I put into it. Editing and writing is what I do, and it’s fulfilling to use my skills to help.
Getting off devices and into the real world matters.
Being in the real world and off of devices really matters. As a writer, I spend an awful lot of time on my computer. That’s how it goes, and having begun my career using an electric typewriter, I’m grateful for a word-processing program.
Thankful for technology or not, I try to get out and walk every day. I crave the touch of the breeze and the buzz of the bees. I like to feel my muscles moving my skeleton along the sidewalks and country roads. I love the soft sound of wind in the grass and of crows in treetops plotting their next migratory move. Technology helps me work and social media give me a little rush, but being outside makes me feel alive.
Quiet contemplation matters.
While getting outside is important, so is going inside. For me to realize what matters in life, it’s most useful to just sit quietly and clear my mind. I like looking at my thoughts, watching them swirl around and finally settle as I relax. Quiet contemplation restores peace of mind and makes room for perspective. This is how I stop to consider what really does matter.
It’s a rare privilege.
It’s so easy to start striving for what I think I want and to forget that being able to run down a dream is a rare privilege and a wonderful opportunity. A very few of us get to even try to do what we want with our lives. Today, I was reminded that I am one of the fortunate few.
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This summer I’m relaxed and happy, and there’s beauty all around. Sure, there’s some clutter in my mind and a few things weighing me down, but all in all, I’m lighter and freer than I’ve been for years. I’ll take it!
Last evening, I was out walking and tried some new settings out on my camera. The brown-eyed Susans are finally out. They seem to be blooming late this year. Everything has seemed slow to grow this season. Our garden is really slow, too. I didn’t plant much and I didn’t put in many flowers because I knew that we’d be building this screened-in deck. As a result, there’s a lot of traffic in our backyard and so it’s not the year for flowers or ornaments. It’s a year for hammers and saws.
While I was out walking, the prairie sky was gorgeous, clear except for light swirling clouds. I used my different camera settings to capture it, as well.
Today we got a few really good rain showers. I love the rain! I watched them from our nearly-complete deck. The builders are waiting for a few more materials to come in before they can continue. It’s hard to be patient and good practice! Patience is a trait I can always work on.
Hey, music fans, today we watched an interesting and unvarnished bio-pic about James Brown. Mr. Dynamite is available on Netflix.
I hope you’re all having a nice summer weekend! Take care and enjoy.
p.s. ~ I’d really like it if you’d follow me here on WordPress or sign up to receive my posts right in your email’s inbox. That would be great!