Jack Layton

Sometimes we think we are too busy then something happens that makes us stop.

Busy times are afoot but on this day I must take time to honor Jack Layton.  Here in Canada Jack was a politician who never left a bad taste in your mouth when you spoke his name.

He was a gentle man, a positive politician who could, and did scrap with the best of them.

We did not always share the same point of view but admiration for him was a constant.  He was decent and how unusual it was that he could survive the political arena for so long?  Unfortunately there is not a single other out there that can be identified as decent.

This is a critical time in the politics and history of the world and Canada is the worse for his loss.

Paul Dewar, the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, described Mr. Layton’s heart “as big as a prairie sky who offered hope at a time when many people were turned off by cynicism in politics.”

Mr. Dewar also recalled his indefatigable optimism and drive: “As many witnessed time and time again Jack dreamed no little dream and when someone said ‘you can’t do that’ to Jack he would smile that smile and just work harder to prove them wrong.”

Quick and Wonderful

Quick and Wonderful

The time is short and in my quest to perfect my procrastination I am about to embark on a feat attempted by only the bravest of fools.

I move Tuesday and have had plenty of time, emphasis on plenty here, to prepare.  Alas one of my genetic misfires that has increased with the march of time is organization.  I had it once upon a time.  Perhaps I inadvertently  packed it.  Anyway three sleeps to go and lots to do on a weekend filled with social obligations.  Go figure.

Fridays are dedicated to the garden my sisters and I have at the country home of my brother and his wife.  We toil in the soil then sit sipping while my brother barbecues and SIL serves up the results of said toil.  It takes hours to eat, drink and laugh, so no packing there.

Today is our family Christmas Party.  Uhuh.  We are a very social group and the challenges of getting multiple generations together indoors in December has become difficult.  So being the Einstein minds we are it was decided to hold the party in August where my nephew has a lovely large property and pool.  My Sis and her daughter had a big cake made with a Santa and Merry Christmas written across it.  That caused interest in the store when we picked it up!  So this day is spoken for.

I have been reading as many of my fav blogs as possible but not commenting or posting very much but come Tuesday a new era starts!!

My friend Joss Burnell at crowingcrone.wordpress.com has invited me to play The Seven Links Challenge and I am so pumped but can only do so once the move is complete. (that’s my Mommy gene making me do that me do that!)

Missing you all my delicious woodcraft friends but looking forward to catching up on all your posts next week when I can take the time to savor!  I know I will have plenty of time then – I have it in my organizer!

Lower Than a Snake’s Belly on a Hot Rock

Lower Than a Snake’s Belly On a Hot Rock

This is a phrase I started using when I lived in South Texas and have no idea if I coined it myself or picked it up during some southern redneck exchange but I love it; the sound of the words, the feel, the completeness of it and Lord the warmth of it.

See I spit it out one day to express that I was a bit down and as soon as those words were out of my mouth a miracle of sorts occurred.  I laughed and chortles were chortled around me.  Heck I felt better!

With a smile in my heart I examined what it meant – such an odd thing to say I thought- but such a delightful truth.  I mean how low can you go and still feel good and feelin good is what I like.  Why through fear and sadness and joy I allow, no I make myself enjoy the misery or elation to the hilt.  I’m not exactly a drama queen although there are folk who may argue that point.  Hmmm maybe…sometimes but I prefer to think of it as exuberance.

Truth be told it was much more so in my younger years which probably  started, oh let’s see, around birth, having learned very young that I love to make people laugh.  Slip a little comment into a conversation and boom, instant mirth.  Sure makes the moment better.

“How are you?”

“Lower than a snake’s belly on a hot rock.”

I loved it and was just a shade miffed if  in fact I was swell and had to admit it by saying I am well.

Now I love rednecks and all folk of a different bent; unique thinkers, wordsmiths, otherworldly minds, rebels by choice or by genetic misfires who spurt out something different making you stop and realize you just heard something genius muttered.  I figure because they give us a different view, not locked in by anything they are all a breath of fresh air in a world of propriety and staidness.

Young children have a way of doing that.

Funny I love that phrase so much cause I hate slithering retiles.  Cannot even look directly at them, which by the way makes the last Harry Potter film difficult to watch, and is annoying to those around me as with eyes cast down I keep asking, “Is it gone yet?”

But just think about it.  Feeling so low you must stretch out and let the warmth soothe you.  Well out of that can only come renewal.  Embrace the moment that is.  If you must be sad, glad, fearful do it well then let it go.

Sunday Morning Epiphany

Sunday Morning Epiphany

I have been thinking about contentment and wondering where the spice of life jumped off my mind rack.

It’s funny that it would be on my mind and that thinking about it would be such a challenge and it is.  The very thought today is niggling and wriggling and just out of grasp of making sense.  And then the clouds of confusion parted as I read my blogs of wisdom and mirth and more wisdom.

BOOM! Right in front of my eyes Susan at susanthecoach.wordpress.com writes:
“So often I hear people talking about being content as if that’s a good thing.”

Whaaat?  It may not be a good thing?  In fifteen words she once again rocked my world.  You see at this juncture in my life I thought the goal was contentment.  Immediately I scolded myself for stupidity, for short sightedness, for allowing a fall into the abyss of paths lost.

I know better than that but somehow I lost sight of the fact that contentment like happiness cannot ever be the goal.  It is the product of our work of our actions.  It is a reward.  We must do we must not just be.

Well Susan, that changes everything in my life.  Everything.  So now I am off to do, to achieve, to live, to accomplish.

And may all of you do wonderful things today also!

I For An Eye and No Mayo

I For an Eye and no Mayo

It’s 9:56 am and feels way too early which may sound strange since I have been waking at 6ish each morning and dashing off to the track full of vim and vigor, a brain brighter than the newest star or the last burst of a dying one.

Like a newborn babe struggling to get the feel, the flow of life, my days and nights are off.  Night before last my mind would not rest until I blogged so it was post midnight by the time I finished which still would have been okay but in opening the doors to the barn to let a few horses out I accidentally welcomed a fresh herd of ideas that kept me up til early light.  I slept until nine and actually woke refreshed and had a very comfortable feeling day.

Now my expectation was that I would self correct last night and would have had vile, delicious temptation not reared it’s ugly head.

My name is Chris King and I have an addiction.  Reading, reading reading.
I have become strong enough that I can actually put down a good book for bit and have learned that bedtime routine reading should be interesting but not gripping, unless it is something I can complete in a short time.  Short stories work well for this. Currently my pre sleep angel is Stephen Hawking.  Read a bit, snuggle down and dream of space, time, universes and the fact that most of this science is supposition, but oh so intriguing in a Disney Fantasy Land sort of way.

But my daytime fare, Clive Cussler/Justin Scott came to mind briefly as I was about to roll over the ledge of consciousness to restful, restorative slumbers, and I congratulated myself on my strength in resisting an all nighter with ‘The Spy’.

I tell you I felt like a Stepford Wife (the movie version with Nicole Kidman,which I love).  Somewhere in an alternate universe Christopher Walken was throwing a switch triggering my electrical system into action independent of my sanity.  I found myself, entirely against my will I assure you, pulling back from the precipice of comfortable slumber and getting up, walking to another room to get my fix.

Oh and the Title of this?  Well I slept in till 8:30 forgetting I was taking my sister to the Eye Doc so did not get any time for brekkie.  Right next door to the office is a Wendy’s.  Unlike every other fast food who provides breakfast fare, this establishment does not. Oh and they have no mayo for the sandwich…it was still good in a lunchy sort of way.

So here I sit with a spicy chicken burger and coffee while sis gets her eyes checked and really all I want to do is get back to my book.  Maybe for lunch I will have breakfast.

Forecast: Tired today so all systems should self correct tonight due to a 90% chance of exhaustion?

I f You Don’t Post A Day Can You Ever Become A Post A Day Again?

I love the thrill of an empty page and BAM the post!  It’s invigorating, exciting, satisfying, generating, postulating, propagating and just plain fun!  From the moment of first consciousness even before my eyes opened my mind began thinking, considering, creating, building, manufacturing.  I am amazingly creative, genius level I believe, but only before my peepers peep, because once the inevitable happens and I face the day the gossamer veil of genius dissipates faster than a fart in a high wind. (I really tried to think of something more genteel than the expulsion of methane laced gas but alas could not.)

I have two peak creative times in a day.  First thing in the morning, which my muse or musette seems to prefer or post midnight which seems to work equally well for moi.  I prefer the a.m. as my mind is less cluttered, and I prefer doing it in bed with tea and brekkie.  Yes I am creative in bed.  There I have said it.  Make of that what you will.  The morning is also the time that I most enjoy reading your blogs.  In bed before life rears with it’s demanding lists.  My morning joy then gets caught up with true excitement delving into the world on your pages and I am happier than the proverbial pig.

It is exactly as it sounds – nirvana.  Problem is the morning can then extend into early afternoon as I comment, chuckle and commiserate with my fellows.

This glorious routine was interrupted by Organized Self (OS) who mercilessly bombarded me with accusations of the sedimentary persuasion.  So in an effort to attain balance I started hitting the track, no not offline betting, but a walking track my sis and her compadres habituate by 7:30 each and every day.  And there is a certain satisfaction in knocking off a few miles first thing.

But then life intervenes, and once in motion takes over, especially at this time of move preparation which takes place in two weeks.

So I am still reading blogs on the run with almost no time to comment.

I can only hope that by September I can once again join in the challenge as I am going through blogger association withdrawal which my alter ego blog persona believes will be relieved when I get back on track, not the running track but the writing track.

So I may be for the moment less than a one a dayer but will shortly be back to stay.  Cure is anticipated by August 24th!

If You are Going to Waste My Time, At Least Do It With a Little Style

If You Are Going to Waste My Time at Least Do It With a Little Style

So said I to my recalcitrant self, the part of me that begs in a whiny voice, ‘But it’s Saturday!’

Ran errands this morning knowing I would have the afternoon and evening to play catchup on some pretty vital stuff, shelving the idea of going to the Bluesfest, hoping as a reward I would treat myself tomorrow.  Puttered around trying to decide on arranging more things for packing or actually workimg.  Maybe I should vacuum and dust first.  RS pipes up with a twist of sarcasm about the room littered with boxes, possessions on every available horizontal surface and disturbing the ambiance of a life in transition.

Sat at the computer when I was suddenly attacked by a game of Galapago and did not deem this a waste of time as it would exercise my mind taking my cerebral function to genius level.

Called my sister hoping for a diversion there but alas she is actually doing housework.

Argued with RS relentlessly about my choice of activity.  No problem knowing who is boss today.

Took another look around the room wondering if I should call a missing person on my organized self because darn if I know where I set her down.  (RS hates OS).

Finally came to an understanding with RS and told her point blank – if you are going to waste my time at least do it with a little style- so we agreed….after a crazy busy week I will take two self indulgent hours and read.

So here I sit about to start Kathy Reichs Deja Dead.  Reichs is a forensic anthropologist in real life and the heroine is Temperance Brennan, of the Bones TV series, which is kind of cute since in the series Temperance is a forensic anthropologist and published author whose heroine is Kathy Reichs.

Well I best get cracking but before I can read I had to promise OS that I would at least post first.  Yeah! One thing off today’s list completed!

AFRICA CLICKS The Adventure Continues

Time is overdue for an update on Suzanne and Mike and their adventure in Africa and the launch of Wisdom Exchange TV.  My previous two posts on AFRICA CLICKS occurred at the beginning of their adventures in May when they were just launching.  Since then a number of interviews and presentations have been completed and can be viewed through their site.  
Suzanne and Mike gave up home and possessions to embark on this exciting year long Mission in Africa, a continent that Suzanne fell in love with during her years of travel there.  They are living their dream with long days of giving and learning.  
In July their Ignite Excellence Foundation gave out three scholarships!

Dear Chris

As a friend, family member, colleague, or supporter, I wanted to share very exciting news I received today.

I am very proud to announce that Wisdom Exchange TV (www.wisdomExchangeTv.com) is now is being viewed in 30 countries and on 6 continents. We may have a challenge getting viewers on the 7th :) We launched in May 2011 with our first interview. This demonstrates the power and influence of the African Women leaders and their ability to effectively communicate Leadership Lessons, Words of Wisdom, Leadership Legacies and Edgeness Insights. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa. Read, view, or listen to their perspectives and leadership strategies. We all can gain insight in HOW TO be more effective leaders and receive another perspective into Africa, its culture, its people and its opportunities.

Thank you so much for your support! Please pass to friends and colleagues. We have two episodes a month. Subscribe FREE so you don’t miss an episode. (top right of home page)

My husband, Mike Gingerich, and I are off to Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia on August 20, 2011 to interview more incredible women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV. If you have any interview recommendations please email us at info@wisdomexchangetv.com

The Wisdom Exchange TV is a resource to help African women to learn, lead and succeed in life, business, and community. It is a forum where women of all disciplines will be inspired from the achievements of African women in business, education, philanthropy and politics. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa’s companies, communities, countries and continent. They will inspire us to stretch our vision of what we can do, and what WE can be. New interviews and Expert Perspective blogs will be updated regularly with the insights of the women leaders of today for tomorrow.

Thank you for encouraging other to subscribe and for your continued support. Together we can impact the African leaders of tomorrow.

 

Suzanne F. Stevens 
Chief Edge Optimizer 

Ignite Excellence Inc. Group of Initiatives
Suzanne F Stevens – Keynotes & Coaching 
Wisdom Exchange TV – African Women Leadership web enabled program 
Ignite Excellence Foundation – Investing, developing & inspiring women in developing countries (We handed out 3 scholarships this week!) 
Ignite Excellence Inc. – Influential communication sales & leadership development company 
You Me & We – Join us on our Adventure travels through Africa 
African Business Women Connected Summit – International trade summit in Ethiopia April 2013 – unique sponsorship opportunities available

Follow us while we push the edge to our personal & profession potential 
Linked-in – FaceBook – YouTube – Twitter - 

Becoming Pure of Heart

Becoming Pure of Heart

The search has been on this last while for information, inspiration to give definition to my existence.  We are all defined in some way by some measure, a definition we create and live with, but my search has not been so much to seek definition as much as refine that definition.  Perhaps redo that definition, and yes I believe it can be done.  However I have discovered it is a little more difficult that initially thought.

It is not that I do not like who I am, I like me very much, but I want to be more, the best that I can be.  Be the best you can be, a phrase we are all familiar with. When I first became comfortable in my own skin a few years ago realizing I like me I thought, mission accomplished!  One never knows how long we get to live in this life especially for those of us in the last third of our life as Shirley McLaine calls this aged, aging period in her book, ‘I’m Over All That.” And the thought occurred that regardless how much time I have on the third planet from the sun I want to make the best of it.

Yes I want to stay funny, silly, curious, compassionate, gentle, charismatic, but I want to be so much more.  It wasn’t enough to determine what changes I wanted to make or add, or at least it didn’t turn out to be that easy, because then followed the grueling work of first assessing where I was in right now.  In painting a picture of how I wanted to see myself I had to face up to some truths that I am much better at ignoring.  Now don’t get me wrong, denial is more than a river in Egypt.  It is a very successful tool in surviving life at times, but can so easily become a habit to slide into like a knife in a sheath, firmly wrapped and held.  Such a comfortable place to be. 

My sister has teased me for years about living in Chrissyville, which is such a lovely optimistic positive place, and we giggle about this wonderful land of joy. Chrissyville needs a do over or at least a more solid base.

I can now see the person I want to be and it is thrilling but UGH it means changing some habits and habits are difficult to change by their very nature.

I am defining this growth as Becoming Pure of Heart which may not be an entirely accurate depiction though it is somewhere to start.

This is not about changing or becoming something ‘other’, it is a journey to ‘better’.  I guess when I retired I thought I was done with growing in a way.  You know, settled, as mature as it gets, and then oops there comes a feeling that we never stop growing, that there is more to do, more to be.

But where do you start?  It seems easy enough to make a list of bad habits to break as a beginning.  Do I tackle the list one by one, which will require some sorely needed patience (another growth factor)?  

To choose not to evolve within the chrysalis we call life is counter productive to the universe as a whole.  Everything evolves one way or another or dies.

What works for you?  All advice or comments are certainly welcome as I have found a wealth of knowledge and wisdom exists in our blogging world.

Hope

I Woke Up With Will Smith This Morning

I Woke Up With Will Smith This Morning

Waking up and before stirring towards a busy day I decided to start inspired. In days gone by when folk settled for the night with a routine of setting out things for the next day which may or may not include teeth in a glass, my nightly routine is to plug in the iPad and the iPhone so I am ready to roll first thing.

This morning I grabbed the pad and googled – ‘successful people’.  Among the selection was Will Smith, so snuggling down, ear phones in I listened and watched this very successful person.  I say person not actor as his success is in life not just in his craft.

Will Smith says:

I love living…it’s infectious.. and you can’t fake that.

I have a great time with my life and I want to share that.

We did not grow up believing that where we were was where we were going to be.  We grew up believing that where we were almost didn’t matter.  What mattered is that we were becoming something greater.

Your talent will fail you if you do not work hard.  You are not going to outwork me.  If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready.

I don’t want to be an icon, I want to be an idea.  I want to represent possibility.

I want the world to be better because I was here.

Plan A is you must believe.

Being realistic is the most common road to mediocrity.  Thinking of a light bulb was not realistic.  Bending metal and flying people was not realistic.

What you think is real, thoughts are real.  Thoughts, dreams, feelings are real.

There is redemptive power in making that choice.  I decide what is, who is.

Success takes obsessive focus. Be completely motivated. The person who works the hardest wins.  Learn how not to quit.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you cannot do something.

I believe as Chris Hughs does in spiritual genetics which I got from my mother and grandmother.

I believe in happy endings.  You have got to believe you can be happily married for fifty years to be happily married for fifty years.
 
People ask me about racism in Hollywood.  Why would I acknowledge racism?  When you acknowledge something you give it power.

Fame may exist for some but greatness exists in all of us.

I believe in running and reading.  Running teaches you not to quit. And reading…there is no problem you have that someone else has not had and conquered and written about.

Know you can!

It works for me. Have a great day everyone!

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