DETOX & CLEANSE…WHAT???

DETOX & CLEANSE…WHAT???
 
So, it is fourteen days to my son’s wedding and no I am not ready …yet. But that is of little consequence, as I live my life not ready. I tried to change that a few times. You know the not being ready and stuff but I swear it is part of my genetic makeup. And I have faith that it will work out and it always does.
 
Now I am pretty happy with who I am and how I look. I love my body; the way I move, the way I think, the fact that I do laps most days in the pool, I have energy and I revel in the joy of life. And no I am not particularly attractive nor would I fit anyone’s idea of a perfect weight but that is also of little consequence. I am young, generally only date men years younger as that is where the mutual attraction seems to be, but do not think of myself as age discriminate.
 
That whole thing is not where I used to be in my head, it has grown and developed over the years. Yesterday my sis and I decided to look through the mall to see what kind of suitable dresses might be out there. One sales lady asked what I was looking for and I told her my son’s wedding.
 
Well she directed me to a rack and my response was …Oh no they are all too old looking. I’m only sixty-four. I don’t want old lady dresses! She darn near choked on her chewing gum! But that also is of little consequence. No Heimlich maneuvers were required and no sales ladies were hurt.
 
I decided a little Detox & Cleanse would be in order. Just to perk me up. Though I must confess that I have tried it before and lost interest after a few days. Losing interest in such things is also part of my genetic makeup.
 
I chose natural capsules of some sort: two twice a day for seven days and then one once a day for seven days because that works into my time frame for said miracle. It promises to; reduce belly bloat ( I did not know that is what excess adipose tissue of the abdomen was), reduce body waste build up (I thought nature sort of took care of that in the form of evacuation of..), support colon and digestive system (is that not the same as above?), support the livers natural detoxification process, make you feel lighter and more energized. Gotta say the last two points sold me.
 
So no dress yet. Actually a lot of things not done yet, but by all that is mighty my colon and liver should look great for the wedding!
 
Now I am off to swim and yes to do my taxes, as they are due TODAY!

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Five Minute Friday: If I Knew I Could I would

Five Minute Friday Challenge: From the Gypsy Mama

For five minutes flat. You’re welcome to play along. The rules are easy.

  1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.{Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

I Would…

Wrap a blanket of comfort around the hearts of all who hurt, are in pain, are afraid. 

Give the gift of ridiculous humor to strengthen the weak.

Be a walk on comedian splitting the sides of the unsplitable.

Awaken the joy of just running for the sake of running in every one.

Have a cloud rule that on warm days everyone must lie down somewhere and guess the shapes of clouds.

That everyone we meet must be given a smile.

Leave a message for every blogger posting to know they are heard.

…times up!

Versatile Blogger Award..Thanks Kieran!

The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks to Kieran!
The VBA is an opportunity to recognize fellow bloggers who we admire and enjoy.

Kieran Hamilton has included me on his list of fifteen to pass it on. Kieran is a very talented photographer in Edinburgh Scotland, my fav city in the world.
If I had to choose one blog of his to recommend it would be: http://sumpix.wordpress.com/#!/entry/607

Now the idea in spreading the good word to others is:
Link back to the blogger that gave me the award (check!).
Tell you 7 things about myself.
Choose 15 other blogs to pass the award to.
Inform the other bloggers that I’m passing the award to them.
So

7 Things about me:
1) I started blogging to find my voice. What I found instead is a wealth of talent, humor and education which has created a tremendous hunger within me to learn more.
2) Since joining postaday2011 I cannot sleep until I post.
3) I am still trying to figure out how to use all of WordPress doojibbies to make my site more attractive..functional..fun. It comes under techie stuff, one of my many Achilles Heels.
4) I am the world’s coolest Grandma and my two wee boys are still young enough to buy that when I tell them.
5) I have two budgies I rescued from an evil witch..no she is okay, but she was sending them to certain death. Dead Birds Walking. Max and Ruby.
6) I have good friends who are family, and family who are good friends and it never ceases to amaze me that they love me in-spite of it all.
7) I love my iPad even though it is the antiquated version of the one just released.

And the Award goes to: *Note to recipients: I hope you continue to participate, but if you are unable to for any reason please send me funds in the six digit range and remember you are still special. I have tried to list a fav blog but it is difficult!

1. The Good Greatsby. He’s is so addictive you may need an intervention. http://thegoodgreatsby.com/2011/04/18/how-to-outflank-a-firing-tips-for-preventing-your-impending-dismissal/

2. Colleen’s Chatter Blog I can’t get through my day without a dose of her any more than she can without coffee. http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/wobbly/

3. Merrilymarylee who takes me back to my roots in the south..well if I had any she would take me back there. http://merrilymarylee.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/sweet-nothing/

4. Mature Landscaping is a newer subscribed site and I am just getting to know her and her site but am loving it. http://www.maturelandscaping.com/2011/04/weathering-denial.html

5. Officeoddities is also a newer site for me and I am learning she has weird friends and TMI on shoe size.
http://officeoddities.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/sandwich-texts/

6. Ihaveabackbone is cool and funny and forgetful..or so she says. http://ihaveabackbone.wordpress.com/#!/entry/3251

7. Bended Spoon who has won this before I think but is too good to pass up.
http://bendedspoon.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/f-is-for-floccinaucinihilipilification/

8. Jackie Paulson with facts and wisdom. http://postadaychallenge2011.com/2011/04/21/amazing-facts-2/

9. Accidentalstepmom whose crew entertain me as much as they do her. http://accidentalstepmom.wordpress.com/#!/entry/1140

10. Joss Crowingcrone who is humor, poetry and photography and priceless.http://crowingcrone.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/ranting/

11. Penny at LifesaBeachjournal is another new find I am enjoying. http://lifesabeachjournal.com/2011/04/20/grumpy/

12). Val at Absurd Old Bird whose talents I am still discovering. http://absurdoldbird.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/writing-for-wombats-of-a-challenged-intelligence/

13) Judith at growingyoungereachday who shares her life experiences with us..and an interesting life it is.
http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/

14). Elizabeth who truly is Mirth and Motivation. http://eof737.wordpress.com/

15). Fribnitsworld who challenges my beliefs and may inspire you to argument but I cannot miss a post.
http://fribnitsworld.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/wish-to-wander/

I can’t believe I have run out of numbers. My fifteen minutes is up. Nuts. So many more are worthy. Nuts.

When Heroes Die

When Heroes Die
 
A young girl dreams of a career in nursing after reading a book by Tom Dooley on his work in the jungle. (This is where I started to worry about lipstick melting in the heat, as discussed previously.) But I knew that regardless I would be working at his side someday, healing the sick and stamping out disease. Then only a couple of years later I read of his death in the newspaper. I was sad to have a hero die….deep inside I put the big lipstick worry aside and forgot my dream. I could not have forgotten all about completely as I did end up a nurse anyway.
 
He has been on my mind lately so I decided to do some reading. And yes he is still my hero, a man of great works. And the key word here is “man”. For no matter what great works we do we still have imperfections. And that is okay.
The worst thing any of us can do is believe that someone who does good is perfect, a thought which is often engineered by press, politics, church, business, ourselves, and on discovery of truth, that great work becomes less.
 
How many heroes have had the effect of their great works negated by expose?
Its time we recognize accomplishment without expecting perfection in others.
It’s time we recognize accomplishment without expecting perfection in ourselves.
Just ask, Churchill, Kennedy, Woods, Nightingale et al including every artist and writer who ever lived.
 
Dr. Tom Dooley
1927-1961
 
” He was genuinely loved by the Laotian people, who dubbed him Thanh Mo America, Dr. America. And this love was definitely returned by Dooley. For all his vainglory, and self-centeredness, he did set personal high standards for MEDICO physicians, and sought to make of his Operation Laos, a people to people project.” (James T. Fisher, Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley)
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
 
I who am fed, who never yet went hungry for a day,
I see the dead, the children starved for lack of bread.
I see and try to pray.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am warm, who never yet have lacked a sheltering home,
In dull alarm, the dispossessed of hut and farm
Aimless and transient roam.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am strong, with health and love and laughter in my soul,
I see a throng of stunted children reared in wrong
And wish to make them whole.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
And know full well that not until I share their bitter cry,
Their pain and hell, can God within my spirit dwell
And bring America’s blessing nigh.
 
•Dr. Tom Dooley
 
 
 
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/f/fisher-america.html

AFRICA CLICKS Suzanne Stevens Guest Blog

As you know from my previous guest posts, Susanne and Michael are a couple who have taken a year out of their lives to follow a dream.   Mike is my nephew.  As they post on their own website suzannefstevens.com I will post their experiences here.  Enjoy!

Sandwiched Between Creating Possibilities

by Suzanne F. Stevens on April 24, 2011

Filed in: Suzanne’s Perspective

 

Leah Ngini & Suzanne F StevensLeah Ngini & Suzanne F Stevens in Maasia Courtyard at St. Christopher’s School

Often when people think of the Sub-Sahara, they conjure up images of starving children, slums, and corruption. Although these images are real, in many places they only tell part of a story. The story they tell is the part of a society that is broken. That is not the complete story of Africa. Africa’s story is also found in communities where families insist on educating boys and girls. Its story is found when parents ensure they educate themselves on nutrition. Its story is found where parents try to provide their children with the best opportunities for education, and it is found where a woman finds a man that supports her and her dreams.

To hear this story, you would need to know a woman such as Leah Ngini, Executive Director of St. Christopher’s School, and namesake of the newly developing Leah Ngini Community Centre at Africa International University, in Nairobi, Kenya.  Leah’s spirit is contagious. Her purpose is focused, and her vision is realized. This is the third time I have been to Kenya and on my last two visits I had the pleasure of visiting a couple slums and orphanages. I always left with a hole in my heart not because the kids were so bad off, but because in spite of their circumstances they smiled and played and welcomed you with open arms. While I visited St. Christopher’s my experience was completely different. First, there were no kids, due to spring holidays. Secondly, this was a school that would be envied in the West. They thought of everything when they built this place from small toilets for the little ones, to themed rooms, to Maasai (semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania)and Eco-themed courtyards. It was a place to admire. The school was just finished in January 2011 after Leah had the opportunity to buy more land and extend it to include younger ages. She now educates kids from pre-school to Fourth Form.

I had the pleasure of listening to Leah speak in November in Toronto, Canada at a conference I was producing hosted by my foundation, Ignite Excellence, to raise funds for women leaders in Africa. To hear Leah speak of where she came from was truly inspiring. She was a storyteller that drew you in with every word. Leah is the third child of ten and is now in her sixties. At the time when Leah was born, it was not common for a mother to have ten children and for all of them to survive. When I met her mother, however, it was not hard to see, even at ninety-one, where Leah received her spirit and determination. Her mother ensured that her children were well-nourished and educated no matter what the cost.

I think if I asked Leah why she has been so successful, she would first credit her mother, for her dedication and fortitude. I think she would then speak of her late husband and of his commitment to her and their children. Then perhaps speak of her daughters and their insight and drive to keep their mother’s vision alive while ensuring the school operates at the highest standard.

Leah speaks of her husband with such fond memories and a glow in her eye when she admits that the school was her dream, but building it and expanding on it was realized only with his support.

Leah Ngini tells the story of the education, the obstacles, the opportunities and the possibilities she has experienced. She is part of a legacy of women who were committed to education.  Her grandmother ran away from her village so that she could go to school at a time when girls were not considered worth educating. Her mother made sure that Leah was able to go to school.  But even then, girls just went to school if they had nothing else to do, so it was no surprise that Leah became a teacher so that she could influence the next generation.

Leah seems to be a woman who was sandwiched between all that was good. The determination of a grandmother, the insight of a mother, the support of a husband and the pride of her children. Leah has a family business that focuses on educating the future children of Kenya. Leah would admit that she has a special place for education particularly amongst girls. Leah started a school where girls and boys studied together, and saw from the beginning that girls could do just as well as the boys, or better, and they did.  Today, St. Christopher Schools are visible around Nairobi, and their reputation for excellence is well known.

Daughters educated in law and accounting have proven to be quite an asset in the running of the family business. In meeting them both, you can see their spirit, insight and determination, and perhaps the most visible trait is their pride in their mother and their grandmother for being women that had a voice and an opinion and made sure people heard them.

This is the Africa I am coming to know: the one filled with possibilities and leaders that have a voice, and seem to use it with authority and grace.

Leah Ngini will be interview on wisdomexchangetv.com in July.  Leah’s interview will be located under business & education. She will tells a bit of her story, but more importantly the lessons she learned and the leadership lessons she suggests.

Visit www.wisdomexchangetv.com to hear women 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 African women leaders of today for tomorrow.

Suzanne F Stevens
Chief Edge Optimizer
http://www.suzannefstevens.com
Nairobi, Kenya

 

 

Torturing Tantalizing Thoughts & Sleep Deprivation

Torturous Tantalizing Thoughts & Sleep Deprivation

It’s quarter to three no one in the place cept you and me…as sung by Frank Sinatra.  Except its not quarter to three it’s quarter to four..in the morning..being sung my me..sort of.

Now I think I have my night routine down pretty good to ensure a lovely slumber.  But more and more as my addiction to all things words, and how those words became, has taken my fancy, I sleep less.

It’s not so bad when I do a post at least once in the day, but today, well Monday which really is yesterday, I did not.  Is this a haunting?  Sure feels like it.  We all know words have power but really this is too much.  Instead of becoming a master of words it seems I am now the slave to.

Sometime between ten and midnight I go through my routine -wash my face, brush my teeth…Mom and the dentist would be so proud, and settle in for a wee read then snuggle ready to drift off to the land of Nod.  Oh and Nod would be so nice.

But tonight the words start, unbidden.  You did not blog.
Well I will blog in the morning.
But you did not blog.
But I am tired.
I successfully tuck that thought away only to discover other thoughts sneaking in.

I wonder how the idea of a particular story line evolves.
I wonder how Koontz got the idea for…
I wonder how Meyer took a dream…
I wonder how Rowling conceived a whole world riding on a train.
I wonder how King writes strictly in the morning, reads in the afternoon..

Then I wonder how Cody at his new site Awayandaway.com  is doing.
I wonder how Pat Cegan at Source and Inspiration is doing in Brazil.
In fact I start to wonder how all my other bloggers are doing.

I don’t just wonder one line thoughts.  Each wonder is turned into convoluted mindless meanderings which take time.  Land of Nod time.

So I turn on the light, snatch up the iPad, and write something to appease, to exorcise this demon for a few hours at least.

So now I wonder if all my bloggers who have so many wonderful thoughts and sites sleep well.  Do you?

But mostly in this very moment as five o’clock approaches, I wonder if this contribution will be enough to satiate the master of my thoughts to allow a visit to that most desirable Land.

Baptist Nuns..Once Upon a Time..

Nuns

Baptist Nuns…Once Upon a Time
 
Once upon a time in a land far away..no actually in this very city..I was a little girl. The dinosaurs had just died out leaving more room for people. For they were huge and took up an awful lot of room.
 
TV had just come on the market, ice cream cones were five cents, comic books were a nickel..I think, which is a lot like five cents, and when you got a quarter you were living high on the hog.
 
My house was on Spadina Road just down the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Yes, my house…when the dinosaurs were gone, there was plenty of room for houses. My street has a lovely boulevard. Well it was almost lovely, marred just a little by a huge metal tower.
 
Anyway it still was quite a lovely street back then, new houses, big yards and. of course the boulevard.
 
In those days nuns lived at the hospital and in the early evening they would stroll down the street. I am not sure how old I was when I first saw them, maybe five, maybe younger.
 
It was love at first sight. Those flowing black gowns, long chains with crosses, the starchy white framing their sweet faces. They seemed to float all angelic like.
 
I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a nun! Over time I heard nun stories about them having to shave their heads and never have money but I didn’t care. I was going to wear the outfit! I was going to be angelic!
 
Of course they never seemed to wear lipstick and that bothered me a tad.
Not that I wore lipstick at five but I knew one day I would.
 
Oh and the other minor glitch? I was Baptist. I had no idea there were no Baptist nuns. Sigh…….

AFRICA Clicks…Beginning..Suzanne’s Guest Blog

I am often asked the question, why Africa? Sometimes I would like to respond by saying, why do you love your spouse? The truth is sometimes you don’t know why, you just do. It is they way it is. You feel a pull to a person or a place and the ‘Why’ really doesn’t matter, it just is. 

I do however have a why. We hear so often the problems with Africa, and how ‘we’ can fix it. “There is so much poverty and corruption.” “AIDS is an epidemic worse in Africa then anywhere else.” “We need to help them.” 

When I am in Africa, although I see poverty and I have toured areas were starvation is definitely mission critical, I see something very different. I see happiness, contentment and giving. I have always said, “There is nothing that can warm my heart more than an African smile.” The children will often run up to you hold your hand, touch you, and welcome you. They run to you not away. When you visit a community or school you are greeted with song and celebration. When you go to a person’s home, they welcome you to their palace, even if it is a one room tin hut. They are proud, and they are not trying to compete in a material world. They seem to be satisfied.  Of course this is not everywhere and not every one, but this is my experience. I know Africa and every country in it is not perfect, but I also know that in North America nor are we. 

I do think we can learn from Africa. I think we can learn to be more of community focused, more giving to our neighbour, smile more, and cry less. I do think that we can learn to be satisfied with what we have and not be so materialistic. I do feel that we should welcome people with pride with a smile on our face and love in our heart. I think we should be a country, community and continent of WE, and not ME. 

We can teach Africa too. I am a very proud Canadian and I am blessed with what I have and what I have achieved because I am in a country of opportunity. But to some degree I am ready to leave that behind for now, to pursue something much more simple – genuine gratitude. 

As I embark on this journey I know I will learn more about the African culture, about my husband, about me and about we. For the last few months while I wind down some of my Ignite Excellence training and business responsibilities and preparing for the business and philanthropic journey ahead, it has felt like I have little time to breath. My goal over the last few months was to set a foundation for opportunity with new initiatives. Mike and I have sold almost everything and I am very aware that we need to have something to come back to. Mike and I are in our mid 40’s and I do want to be smart about our financial future. So although we are going to Africa with charity in our hearts, we are also trying to be practical about our future.

This is the first time we have worked together, spent every waking hour together and travelled for over a month together. This blog will focus not on what we left behind but what we are walking into – you, me and we.  This blog will encapsulate a true celebration of Africa, our relationship and my journey.

When

When

When the party is over
Dishes piled high
Left overs scattered
I am alone.

When  kisses, hugs,goodbyes
Are memory
I feel most alone
I am alone.

I think I miss you most
When the quiet hits
It’s reality
I am alone.

When all is said and done
For all I know
I just don’t know
Who you might be.

A strange thought to be sure
I think you’re there
I just don’t know where!
Geez too deep for me!

One Stupid Phone Call

One Stupid Phone Call

It was a dark and stormy night.  Well it wasn’t but I have always wanted to write that.

But it was dark.  Oh no it wasn’t, it was daylight.  But it WAS a stupid phone call.  And I made it.

Usually I do my posts from my iPad because it is convenient and I can do it anywhere, even lying down when gravity gets to be too much.  The inconvenient part is that I can’t post pics on my blog from it.  I am not sure if it is the iPad or my non techy ways.

My lab top died leaving me with my Jurassic Park era PC.   Now wanting to be cool I fired up the beast to do something picturesque.  Something with a little creativity to it.  But I had no Internet. None.  Nada.

I unplugged things and replugged.  I jiggled wires. I broke out in a cold sweat that turned out to be a hot flash.  They never leave entirely.  Did you know that?? Then I repeated all of the above several times.  Then I would leave and return again thinking it would magically start up.

It occurred to me a couple of hours later that I could call my Internet provider.  Normally I avoid any help lines because most of the time is spent on hold. But guess what!  Being a blooming techie I discovered the speaker button so I no longer have to actually hold the phone.  Now if I had called them two hours previously I would have been close to speaking to someone by this time.

Finally a pleasant woman asked what the problem was.
I have no Internet.
Before any solution could be given you must first give your account information.  I assume they want to be sure you are not negligent in your account, which would explain the lack of internet.  I was in good standing.

She asked what color the lights on the thing were.
There are no lights.
Long long pause.
There are no lights.
No there are no lights.
Is your receptacle working?
Of course it’s working.
Well please unplug the cord and plug it into another receptacle.

By now the cold sweat was not a hot flash.  It was the hint of possible embarrassment.  

I unplug and replug.
Nuts it worked.

Then and only then did it occur to me to check the other things plugged into that power bar.  Nothing else worked.  The natural assumption was the power bar had died.  Do they die?  So I got rid of it.

Several hours later I walked past a wall.  A wall with a switch I never use.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the switch was down.  It’s always up.

Turns out I remembered brushing against that very wall earlier when I was folding a sheet.

And that is when the full flush of embarrassment hit like a tsunami.  Turns out the receptacle worked.  The power bar worked.  I didn’t.  Times like that I really miss having a man in my life.  Just so I have someone to blame.

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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