Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daughters doing their thing

I have been home scrapbooking because…. I didn’t have a vehicle or anyone to go with me to scrapbooking and the weather is rotten so I’ve been at home in the Western Caribbean and loving it this evening.

I was pleased to discover that the baby daughter managed her first night shift in style and is a certified night owl like her mother. She managed to get home in plenty of time for me to head in for my workday. Apparently the written threats on the door and unplugging of phones were partially successful as she slept all day with the only detractor being the boyfriend who needed reminding to ‘use his indoor voice while talking on the phone’ at some point late afternoon. So she’s headed off for the second long night and was pretty perky as she exited.

Had a phone call from daughter # 2 who is sorting out her paperwork for the summer job in the city, application to the Bachelor of Education program and apartment living. Apparently a full day off has finally settled the unpacking and sorting and she felt nested. Her next adventure will be the trip home for her graduation on May 10th with the Bachelor of Arts, which is kind of a dress rehearsal for the final grad in two years.

Also had a phone chat with our western daughter and things are going fine in the Stampede City where she had been called for an interview with Berlitz (the language courses/books folks), which sounded like it had gone well. Room for advancement, discounts on language courses, and enough variety to entertain so it sounds like it’s designed for her. She was considering attending (another) job fair at the Calgary Zoo – this one for the zoo itself on Sunday as they are looking for all sorts of employees and that would be a fun ‘pick up’ job for an occasional weekend shift. In the meantime she’d been called to do some orientation with the Boston Pizza which is near her place so will hold her over until other options are sorted out – you do have to support yourself while those great breaks materialize. Calgary sure sounds like the place to do it.

Mind you all this fast paced living reminded me of an article I read last week:

You are feeling very sleepy . . .

By JOHN WARD The Canadian Press
Wed. Apr 23 - 1:27 PM

OTTAWA — That higher-paying job or the longer commute comes with a hidden cost in lost sleep, a new study suggests.

And sleep researchers say Tom Edison and Henry Ford have a lot to answer for with all those sleepy people walking around yawning.

A Statistics Canada survey of Canadian sleep patterns, released Tuesday, found that those earning $60,000 or more a year slept 40 minutes less on any given day in 2005 than someone who made $20,000.

It said women, generally, got slightly more sleep than men — eight hours and 18 minutes a night compared with eight hours and 11 minutes — but women also had more trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.

The data showed that men who worked full time slept 14 minutes less than women who worked full time, or about 85 hours — 3.5 fewer days — of sleep a year.

The study asked more than 19,500 respondents aged 15 and over to complete a detailed record of the time they spent on all activities on a given day, including the time they fell asleep and awoke.

Longer working hours, longer commutes and young children shaved precious minutes of sleep, but researchers say this is part of a general trend that has cut into sleep for a century.

"It’s our drive-by, drive-thru society," said Dr. Helen Driver of the Sleep Disorders Research Group at Queen’s University.

A century ago, people slept nine hours or more a night. Often, they divided the night into a long sleep and a short sleep, rising in between to do chores or snack.

"Our sleep has evolved."

Driver and Dr. Harvey Moldofsky of the Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Toronto blame Edison for many of today’s sleep problems.

Edison’s invention of the incandescent light bulb provided a cheap, effective way to banish the darkness. By turning night into day, it eroded the traditional hours of rest.

Combine Edison’s bulb with Henry Ford’s mass-produced auto, the continuous conveyor belt, shift work and the jet engine — and sleep time is besieged.

"It’s really not sleep that’s the issue, it’s time," Moldofsky said. "We live in a time famine.

Speaking of which I’d best pick up my scrapbooking supplies as the cats like to scrapbook during the night if not and head off to bed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Of zoos and more

Today was a wild and crazy one, nothing unusual there. I was able to have a chauffeur drive me to work while I read the paper this morning (as if I were a subway commuter) so that was nice as the house guest was off to visit with his Dad today. He also ran a long list of errands for me while I was at work so earned his keep. He unfortunately apparently left his Dad’s apartment key on the car keys, which have now gone to work with his girlfriend for the night so other than sleeping in the car his father has no other option than to retrieve them. Can’t imagine that would make him happy but what can you do? As I enjoyed the drive home I was listening to an interview on CBC with a female author named Barb Stegemann about her newly published book called The 7 Virtues of a Philosophy Queen:


and she said that women didn’t have these conversations with their mothers, the philosophical info was passed down through patriarchs. She named the 7 principles beginning with the four virtues of the Stoic’s of truth, courage, justice, and wisdom then added the female ones of wonder, moderation and beauty. I’m not sure what kind of household she grew up in or what conversations she had with her mother but I certainly had a full understanding of those principles from an early age. Mind you, I can relate to my mother being a Stoic as she was one tough cookie who didn’t expect things to come easy.

Baby daughter had left for her first night shift saying “I hope they don’t expect me to know everything” and being reassured that this is what orientation is for. Weather forecast is for showers tomorrow so a good ‘sleep day’ in between the night shifts. I checked in with daughter # 1 to find that she’d attended a job fair at the Calgary Zoo, saving her the $16 admission fee just for speaking to a couple of folks and was now off to explore the place, you could hear animal shrieks in the background. Talk about jealous, I was involved with a zoo today but it was of the human variety. Sigh. I also checked in with daughter # 2 to see if I’d interpreted the letter written to her in French about tutoring – I can usually make a close guess with my high school francais. She was busily sewing curtains and organizing their little nest as the man of the house puttered with his tools. That first place after home or a communal residence is always special, even us old folks can remember that. Speaking of folks needing a first place the homeless couple of son and girlfriend have arrived for the night seeking room at the inn so I must investigate the accomodations.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring yes it is

Another weekend in the rear view mirror and a workweek in the face. The great list of things I had in my mind to do this weekend such as work on my destination speaker presentations, write a short story, finish my book and….

Managed to get out to see 21on Saturday evening and it was a great movie. Stopped off at the other couple’s place on the way home for a snack. Since I’ve been given the cold mister was sporting last week I spent a restless coughing night and was actually awake early this a.m., which is something I usually try to avoid.

Today was a beautiful spring day and I managed to have the digging of holes assistance to plant a forsythia, which was a gift from a landscape designer friend, and transplant a primrose, which I found abandoned in the nursery bed on the side of the hill. Laundry on the line, a pleasant dog walk and the readying for warmer temperatures of the deck furniture and veranda organizing topped off with a BBQ for supper meant spring is really here.

I was frustrated this evening to find that the sewing machine I had waited four months for to be repaired worked a total of about 15 minutes when I finally tried it out – long enough to sew two badges on two sleeves and hem one pair of uniform pants. Since there is a 30-day guarantee on the service you can be sure I’ll be taking advantage of that tomorrow.

Since daughter # 3 has been diligently organizing the hall closet I was left with room in my own closet to straighten out my luggage – important to have the bags close at hand should you wish to make a dash for it. I think she’s been attempting to keep busy as her first work shift is approaching and she’s a bit nervous. Daughter # 2 was telling me today that they’re getting the apartment all sorted out and cozy so she is feeling more settled. Daughter # 1 had a job interview at Boston Pizza which went well so is looking forward to working either tomorrow or the next day although she also shared the news that there is a Job Fair at…. the Calgary Zoo which includes a free pass etc. Now THAT’S creative thinking on someone’s part.

A long to-do list for tomorrow as I’m on the road and so the travel partner aka boyfriend of the baby daughter will be tasked with most of the chores while I am gainfully employed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Near miss

Back from an overnight and conference in the city and all went well. I was most impressed that the new Executive of our professional group is all fired up for their terms of office. It was the first full slate of candidates for some years and the interest and new faces made my heart sing. Good to see the succession planning succeeding.

When I made it home by 7:30 p.m. I was really tickled to discover that the man of the house had decided to surprise us all by bringing home a feed of lobsters. He apparently took out fish this a.m. as his boat was in and then as the wind died out a bit decided to haul traps. So he took son and girlfriend for the afternoon and things went well until it aired up a bit and got ‘kind of sloppy’ which resulted in green tinged missy heading for the bunk to hang on. As she said “even the smell of coffee was making me feel sick” But as I told her “never mind dear neither of those men could do what you’re doing for a living either” She was pleased to announce she had passed her Continuing Care Assistant course and is just now finishing up her clinical hours at the Manor while studying for provincial exams. I was very pleased that she also announced she had removed the tongue piercing so was able to enjoy the lobsters and not suffer anymore.

Daughter # 3 had a call from the nursing home (see above re: clinical) where she’ll be working for the summer and so is starting orientation on Monday with two 12-hour night shifts, then two days then two shifts on the Alzheimer Unit. So pretty exciting times. You certainly learn in nursing class, labs and with a clinical instructor but you can’t beat the real life experience gained with regular staff for a reality check.

Speaking of reality check we had a ‘near miss’ this evening as mister fell asleep in his chair in the Man Cave with the door open and was awakened as chastised by the baby daughter who was removing Stanley. Apparently he had been checking out the hamster that was getting a much-needed workout (almost doesn’t fit in his exercise wheel) It’s a good thing the cat didn’t cause a heart attack!

I discovered a feature on Facebook this evening, which is a live chat (sort of like MSN) and found a friend online in NB so we chatted for a few moments. As I said to the friend (a woman of my vintage) the best part was that the 18 yr old didn’t know this existed. Of course as with all things, it would be smoother if I weren’t on dialup.

I think I have the shore captain talked into going to see the movie 21, which is playing at the local theatre this weekend. Daughter # 1 (who is hoping she has a part time job in a chocolate store – what a dream job) in Calgary has highly recommended it.

Since this is the weekend I must get myself into the nest for some recharging.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moving and storage

This day is almost over but the to-do list is not completed yet.

The early departure of daughter # 2 and her chauffeur father went smoothly and they managed to move all the furniture into the 2nd floor apartment even a queen sized box spring and mattress and large donated couch. I received a call after lunch with the new cell phone number for contact and they were getting the apt. put together. Good thing as missy has to start work in the a.m. at the museum. She advised that her Dad had gotten on the road by noon and was on the way to NB while they unpacked.

All these developments while I’m slogging through a district meeting, picking up my repaired sewing machine which has been in the shop since January and settling my first aid supplies before picking up some groceries on the way home.

Managed to get four loads of laundry done and three different beds made up for all the guests as the prodigal son (and his girlfriend) returned at dusk to roost. I was absolutely amazed to see that she had her tongue pierced! This made it virtually impossible to understand a thing she said and is so uncomfortable she could only eat soup, took Tylenol for the pain and is moaning in her sleep. Now remind me again why this would be a good thing to do. She is going lobstering with the boy at 3 a.m. so it will be a short night.

The man made good time as I spoke to him at 9 p.m. and he was just heading back into the city so home and in bed by midnight was great. Mind you that will not seem so great when the 4 a.m. alarm goes. So daughter # 3 and her boyfriend (had forgotten they’d both shaved their heads so that was a mild surprise again) have just unloaded the half-ton truck into the front hallway. “Mostly clothes and I’ll wash them,” she says of the mounds of canvas bags while I take a deep breath. Though when her partner says, “where do you want me to put the hamster?” I almost lost it. Had forgotten about the rodent. The cats, which had been only mildly interested, developed an intense curiosity in the process. The hamster is behind a secure door to the Man Cave where mister will sleep with the felines taking turns staring at the doorframe. And I’ve just been updated to the fact that he (boyfriend not the hamster) begins his 8 week clinical on May 5th so has 11 days here first.

After making lobster lunches I’m updated by a neighbour on the progress of plant employee’s baby in the children’s hospital where there is talk of trip to Toronto to insert an implantable defibrillator in a couple of weeks. She’s doing much better but has a temporary blindness due to mild brain swelling which they say will settle. So the plans for fundraising are in full swing as we still live in an area where the neighbours support you in times of crises.

So the morning in Grand Central Station will come early for me as well. I must hit the hay.

Monday, April 21, 2008


This has been another busy stretch of days with activity related to moving taking priority at home. Trying to continue to purge vintage material at the office and deal with general angst (must be spring fever) amongst staff. The weather has been quite mild and has definitely turned to spring with many spring bulbs blooming.

Daughter # 2 and myself did make it out to National Scrapbook Day on Saturday and had a wonderful time. She completed a small album of her California trip for spring break and I managed to get 11 pages in the cruise album done. A definite success for a girls’ day.

One of the funniest happenings of the session occurred about 2 p.m. when a vehicle pulled up in the sunny parking lot, doors closed and a man appeared in the open doorway with two small children who were all dressed up. The boy looked to be about 4 and his sister perhaps 2 or so. All the women attending assumed that this family belonged to one of the other participants. The little fellow jumped with a flourish in through the door and yelled, “surprise” while his sister silently took in proceedings. We all smiled and waited for someone to claim them and when no one did the father said, “Isn’t this a birthday party?” When we explained there was no birthday party here I can tell you that the Dad was the one who was surprised. He finally asked, “What kind of a party is this anyway?” and was informed it was scrapbooking and no one had any idea where the birthday party was. He left in search of the festivities. After the vehicle drove away I was struck by a fit of giggles and said “That was an obvious case of not listening to instructions but I’m guessing it’s going to be the mother’s fault when he tells it to his buddies” We all got a charge out of that one.

I am continuing to work my way through research for the cruise speaking. Managed to have an email chat today with a friend’s sister-in-law who is a tour guide and she had some good tips as well giving a vote of confidence in my abilities. Will plan to put some work into roughing out presentations perhaps on the weekend. I’m heading out on Thursday p.m to my professional organization’s AGM and Spring Conference being held Friday in the city. Will give me a chance to take anything daughter # 2 has forgotten here.

Tomorrow will be a long day for the shore captain as he sets out at 6 a.m. with the second daughter to move into her apartment in metro. Think Beverly Hillbillies and you won’t be far off as the half-ton is loaded up and everything is tied on. Come to think of it mister is looking more Jed Clampett like all the time and missy could pass for Elly Mae. She’s pretty pumped as she’s lived in residence for the past four years so is finally getting some more permanent roots. As she said, “Miffy finally leaves the rabbit hole” So they’ve both retired for their early start.

After assisting with the moving mister is heading out of the city by noon to retrieve daughter # 3 from Fredericton as she writes her last exam and should be done by 4 p.m. He’s been supplied with a map and driving directions plus her phone number.Loading up of ‘stuff’ accumulated over the past academic year then a rendezvous back in the city with this daughter’s boyfriend as he is heading on to do 2 months of clinical in Bridgewater. The chauffeur will be extremely lucky to make it home by midnight. And of course he will be up by 4 a.m. again to go lobstering the next day. He really can’t manage to take more than one day off with the season and short one employee due to the family illness.

So tomorrow p.m. after I return from the district facility will be getting things sorted around for a new occupant. The cats are confused but welcome all guests.

According to an article in Sunday’s paper it appears that seniors are happier than young adults and 80 year olds are more content than those in their 50s. Well yeah, those octogenarians aren’t working are they? Check it out for yourself:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Interview and more

As I’m looking at Friday tomorrow I’m thinking this has been one busy week! I spent three of the workdays on the road so that took care of Monday, Tuesday and today and Wednesday was a the clean sweep of the office storage rooms – very therapeutic. The nights have been disturbed by nocturnal phone calls due to the marine based lifestyle we lead in this household. Captains calling from fishing boats, men getting up at staggered hours to go lobstering, house guests leaving for clinical or classes for a Continuing Care Assistant course and a daughter temporarily here before moving to a city apartment. I am pretty sure I had more sleep with preschoolers in the house.

Today I did have a later morning as the phone interview for cruise ship speaking was scheduled 10:30 – 11:00 and then I headed out for a meeting. The interview went along well but I was momentarily slowed to discover that the push was in the direction of a Maritime Canadian destination speaker as opposed to special interest speaker for more exotic locales. Apparently the schedule is filled for special interest speakers for the year but it is very difficult to place speakers for the New England/Maritimes route. Now granted it is not the fly to Rome and do the Mediterranean circuit that I had envisioned but…. for $65 US with two to share upscale accommodations which begin at $3000, meals and entertainment even if it is in my backyard, explain where I’d find those high season vacation prices otherwise. So I quickly accommodated the request and am in the process of drafting some destination titles while I check out the Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise itineraries.

Was glad to receive a text message from daughter # 1 with a new Calgary phone number so she is getting herself established out west. Also had an email from daughter # 3 saying she’s been chosen as a peer mentor for the nursing program at UNB next year. As well there was a call from the high school asking daughter # 2 to speak at the 90 + Club (marks not age that is) banquet in June. So those ladies know where they’re headed.

After all the grumbling about giving up my weekends to teach first aid I was thrilled to discover that an employee had managed to CPR for his two year old when she collapsed and stated that “once you start, the first aid training just comes right back to you”. So the little one had been stabilized and sent on to the Children’s hospital and hopefully there will be a full recovery. Can’t imagine a worse situation to find oneself in.

Since National Scrapbook Day not spring-cleaning is on the agenda for Saturday I am gathering up my supplies. Some mine, some a gift of the departing daughter, and looking forward to the weekend. For those of you who insist on house cleaning here are the instructions:

1. Open a new file in your PC .
2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want To delete Housework permanently?"
6. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press mouse button firmly...
7. Feel better?

At least we're not looking at the forecast that our 'out west' friend sent along for Saskatchewan:

The forecast is for 50 (FIFTY) centimeters of snow here in Prince Albert for Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess that can't be covered with the "it's a dry cold" statement can it?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Today was a glorious spring day with warm sunshine and breezy, however not the 26c of Calgary yesterday which daughter # 1 gleefully reported (short memory of the arrival blizzard I enviously thought) but I'll take it. I managed to retrieve a few things out of the shed / outhouse across the road and dog walk to take advantage. This week with three trips to the district facility will be intense so I rewarded myself in anticipation by attending writing group.

Tonight at Write Away one of the exercises we did was prompted by one of three quotes and the example I chose was…I’m not as normal as I appear by Woody Allen. Not that I’ve ever considered him usual but…I titled my piece –

Normal is Just a Setting on Your Dryer

To most casual observers I am a normal 50 something Caucasian female who could shed a few pounds, use a consult with ‘What not to Wear’ and the majority of the time is so tightly scheduled as to be completely overwhelmed.

I have never worried about public opinion, scenes made in public places or what others have. To me this is normal, although this thinking appalls my husband of over three decades.

However, I am a woman who has made the transition to digital age fairly unscathed meaning I know how to share information but hopefully still leave something for the imagination. I’m able to embrace new skills while preserving memories through scrapbooking, blogging genealogy and memoirs, which I consider my legacy as opposed to a large estate.

The normal retirement would have happened several years ago if I’d become a pension prisoner like my nursing school classmates who are now counting down the months until those regular reward cheques arrive. The pay off for staying with one employer for years + age = 80.

I am however, looking forward within a few years as offspring tuition ceases, to meeting my next developmental stage of semi to more permanent retirement. And if that sounds almost normal let me explain this will include overseas volunteer work and cruise ship speaking. Regular normal has never really appealed to me.

And as a postscript to the digital age I'm providing this link to today's Sunday Herald:

Digital generation wizards with gadgets, multi-tasking
By JOHN HARLOW The Sunday TimesSun. Apr 13 - 11:18 AM

You may think 24 hours are not enough in a day — and a new generation of multi-taskers would agree with you.

Researchers have found that typical middle-class city dwellers now have so many time-saving gadgets that they can cram into 24 hours the same quantity of tasks that a decade ago would have taken 31 hours to complete.

For many, the frenzy starts over breakfast, reading e-mails on a hand-held BlackBerry while making toast. It carries on in the car where the driver with a Bluetooth earpiece holds a conference call while keeping an ear on the radio and checking the sat nav.

Work is then a blizzard of e-mails, phone calls and meetings, often happening simultaneously. The most intense period of multi-tasking, however, is in the evening, according to OTX, an American think tank.

"People will be pushing the television remote control while surfing on a wireless laptop computer balanced on their knee, e-mailing and texting friends on a mobile phone and holding a conversation with friends or spouse," said Patrick Moriarty, one of the authors of the report, which will be published this summer. "They may be far more mentally engaged than they are in the office."

According to the study, which questioned 3,000 people, while television remains the main focus of attention in the evening, nearly half the respondents were also using computers and phones to catch up with friends, update their Facebook or My-Space social networks, or download and listen to music.

Even eating took second place to Internet activities in half the households questioned.
"It makes you wonder what people were doing in the mid-1990s, when all the devices were far rarer. It must have been a lot quieter," said Moriarty. "Or maybe they talked to each other in the evenings."

Moriarty’s team calculated that the tasks carried out in a typical day by participants in their study would have taken 31 hours using the primitive e-mail systems and mobile phones of 10 years ago.

The findings make predictions from 30 years ago seem absurd. Then, scientists who first borrowed the word multi-tasking from computing, warned of "brain overload" and that people would not be able to cope with more than three tasks at once.

Mark Vickery, 35, from Medway, U.K., agreed that for him and his wife Susan, a trainee consultant, the evening was the peak of multi-tasking in a day that could sometimes include as much as 18 hours in front of a screen.

"Both of us are out of the house during the day," said Vickery, a marketing manager. "When we come back in the evening we tend to have a lot of technology on the go. We’ll be using online banking, Facebook, e-mail and using Sky Plus (a television recorder) to program what shows we want to watch.

"On the one hand it’s good — you get more done. On the other hand, when I left university seven years ago, life was much simpler. There was more talking face-to-face and more time spent over dinner."

Moriarty said limits to technology may mean multi-tasking is now peaking.

"I suspect smarter phones may add another couple of hours onto that, but we are probably at the limit of multi-tasking for this generation," he said.

David Meyer, a psychology professor at Michigan University who advises the American government on the implications of multi-tasking, said the 31-hour day sounded both believable and depressing.

He said that observations of the brain made during multi-tasking showed that working out individual tasks took longer than if they were undertaken individually. He also warned: "Forty per cent of the time people cannot remember the previous task they were doing, so they lose track. This can be fatal on the roads."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lost in the fog

Yes, it is finally mild enough to actually form fog this evening and it's wrapped us in the usual spooky, gauzy feeling of being all alone in the world, especially as I look out onto the water.

Well in the past few days a few things have happened:

We have (as of Thursday) a daughter who now lives in Calgary, arriving in a spring snowstorm, which meant a four-hour detour to Kelowna and then quick melt by the return. Good to hear she's getting all settled in.

I managed to survive a team meeting in the Valley by fortifying myself with a stop at Frenchy’s where I scored a pair of jeans, shorts and a t-shirt. Got to have your small pleasures.

We are (courtesy of our future son-in-law who stood in line) ticket holders to the Eagles concert on Magnetic Hill in Moncton on August 2nd.

I finally have a free weekend after having the past four with a full schedule. Well free if it means cleared to do housework and run errands. But even those tasks are fine as the pace has been too hectic.

I’m making good progress through A Thousand Splendid Suns (the second book after Kite Runner) and it is even better (yes I know that’s hard to believe) than the first one.

I leave you with a smile forwarded by a friend with an intact sense of humor:

My neighbor found out her dog could hardly hear so she took it to the veterinarian. He found that the problem was hair in its ears. He cleaned both ears and the dog could hear fine.The vet then proceeded to tell the lady that if she wanted to keep this from recurring she should go to the store and get some 'Nair' hair remover and rub it in the dog's ears once a month.

At the register the druggist tells her,'If you're going to use this under your arms, don't use deodorant for a few days.'The lady says: 'I'm not using it under my arms.'The druggist says: 'If you're using it on your legs, don't shave for a couple of days.'The lady says: 'I'm not using it on my legs either. If you must know, I'm using it on my schnauzer.'The druggist says: 'Stay off your bicycle for at least a week.'

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring, yes yes bring it on

It appears that spring has decided to arrive here. This is not measured by the date but by the first brave blossoms that show their faces, granted a bit later here near the water than inland but the croci are up near the stonewall and just showing their buds in the shade of the flowerbeds in front of the house. The season is confirmed by the spring peepers chirping in the wet spots and a bullfrog harumping in the ditch when I walked the dog. Hope after a long bleak white winter.

I was calculating this evening that one year ago today we were cruising towards Belize as we had an amazing supper, watched the welcome show and then shut the jazz bar down listening to latin music on The Explorer of the Seas. Good times, good times.

I had a confirmation message for my telephone interview by the recruiter for the agency for cruise ship presentations. So I’m really looking forward to something at least next week. Will have to get make sure I’m equipped with a positive attitude on the 17th at least. I managed to score a luggage set for moi from a coworker so now mister has the charcoal grey set of last week’s luck and I have a gray floral set. The list is being ticked as we go.

Today daughter # 1 left for the city to stay overnight for an early a.m. flight to Calgary tomorrow. So a move from the Maritimes westward to work makes her part of the majority of relocated easterners now. Her brother, his girlfriend and a friend from work are doing the official send off. We had a family dinner last p.m. complete with grandmother so that was nice as we are often so frantic we can’t sit down together.

Recent research confirmed that women still do more housework than men even though the amount time men spent doing chores has increased. When men and women marry…women do 7 more hours per week housework and men do 1 hour less, to quote the study “he gets a servant and she becomes one”. Not a real revelation there.

I’m including some travel sites, which popped up when I logged on to Yahoo today. How can they not be great with names like life changing adventure or must see history making:




As I was getting my Blue tooth and cell phone linked up today I felt like a real geek as I walked around talking to myself. But it’s a necessary evil as I’m on the road tomorrow and Friday for a meeting in the Valley and a hefty fine for using a cell phone while driving is not my idea of fun. Now the shore captain with his hanging out of his ball cap is the real cutie.

Speaking of all things geeky, I’m including a link to a site called JOOCE:


This is a virtual site for those who log into public computers, are always on the move and don’t want to take a laptop. You log in and the site saves all your personal settings so you can include YouTube videos, download music, files etc. Pretty nifty.

Plans are in the final stages for the future son-in-law who is at present not occupied during the day to trot on down Friday a.m. to the nearest Sobeys in metro with tickets to (The Eagles, John Fogarty, Sam Roberts, KT Tunstall) Magnetic Hill concert August 2nd as we really do have our priorities straight.

This afternoon I joined a group called C.A.I.N., which stands for Canadian Association of International Nurses:

It’s a special interest group comprised of nurses working in or with a connection to international work. Now THAT is retirement planning one day at a time at its best.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Removing archived material

Just a quick note to let you all know that I have had a quick immersion last evening in how to remove material archived on this (and most) blogs. This is in part because in the past over a year of this blog being published - although I try my best not to post personal identifiers in the musings - on a post of last month (when I admit I was hurrying and not as diligent as I should have been) I inadvertently posted a name with some information and a request for removal of this was made through the comments section. Well, of course, not a problem and my sincerest apolgies, so I removed the text and thought that would cover the situation as it no longer appears in the archives. Not so. The Google cache still searches for and finds the modified post for some time, meaning even though it's no longer there, it once was and this is located. So this required a visit to the Blogspot help section, research of how to undo my dilemma (I know about spiders, how often the blog is swept, and have restricted some general access now) and finally posting of the 'how to remove' question with a reply from a helpful soul who advised I needed to contact the Google Webmaster and ask to have the material removed so obviously I am not the first or only naive soul blogging. This request for removal I did forward and now the instructions are to 'be patient' as the request is handled within 3 - 5 business days. So this will shortly be permanently accomodated and I have learned a lesson in the permanency of the digital environment and need to only hit the publich post button when in control of my faculties.

I'm off to the second day of the last first aid course I plan to teach for a bit so must scoot. Have a new instructor along to monitor and he's going to be fine but speaking of patience I'm hoping it's granted soon as it's like watching paint dry to see him trying to get around the material. If only my control freak tendencies would fade with age.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Interview appointment

Mid Week Break went very well on Wednesday where I presented on NS Duck Tolling Retrievers – the second of my series of six topics for cruise ship speaking. The shore captain suggested that I’d be ready to go in about three years at this rate, which did not earn him any travel points with this prospective speaker. The lady at the library who arranges the speaking events has already figured out that I work best with a deadline and if she keeps scheduling me that we’ll both benefit. She’ll be in touch in September again she said. There was less pressure this time around due to not being filmed and that I was familiar with the venue and some of the audience. Daughter # 1 accompanied and took some lovely photos of me presenting – she is such a good photographer!

The quote of the day was very appropriate as my life descriptor lately:“ Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore. ”
Wallace Stevens

Now Friday was not a great day work wise considering that I had to set out on an overland journey equivalent to the hobbits leaving middle earth to get my documents off the printer – felt like I should be packing a lunch of that elven bread they took with them wrapped in a leaf. When I headed off for a coffee break I took my cup of tea and managed to avoid full thickness burns as I opened the broken exit door at the bottom of the shadowy fire escape, wandered across the front parking lot, in through the lobby and up the stairs to the staff lounge. I’m sure I pretty much burned off the muffin in the trip there and back.

However, I am so excited to announce that on Friday when I checked my email at lunchtime I found the following message:

Thank you for contacting us regarding placement as a guest lecturer/instructor with one of our cruise line clients. After carefully reviewing your qualifications and proposed enrichment program, we have determined that you are a candidate for cruise lecturing. We are excited to learn more about you. The next step in the application process is a 30-minute telephoneinterview with a member of our recruitment team. We scheduleinterviews a week or so in advance, between the hours of 9am - 3pm EST.Please reply to this e-mail with a 30-minute time period that you areavailable to speak with us on one of the following three days. (Please be sure to state your time zone in your request to alleviate any confusion): April 15, 16, 17 We will then send you an e-mail reply to confirm the date and time of the phone interview. Please review the manual of information. Now the manual includes the cruise lines this agency places speakers for and they are all high end.

You can bet that I very quickly hit reply and have chosen April 17th at either 10 or 10:30 our time as that was honestly the only time available in those three days. I sure don’t want them to know that I’m so completely over schedule and figured the choice of two time slots would seem generous. Even the life partner had to admit that “they got back to you pretty quickly, you only sent that in last week” So apparently he is being more supportive as the likelihood of this actually happening (due to MY persistence) is increasing. Smart man as there is a list of alternate travel partners forming as I type.

Speaking of which, I checked in my friend, assuming that she would’ve remembered me had she been the single woman with two children who won the lottery from there. Coincidentally they both have the same employer, I’m sure she wouldn’t have forgotten me in the excitement! And it turns out she was having a much more mundane existence which I quote here:

It is Friday, which has to be a plus. I went for blood work today and waited 1 1/2 hours. I heard some folks talking in the waiting room and if you had fasted, once you are registered you could go into holding room #2 and have your blood drawn. Considering these two were at least 80 and I was guessing "frequent flyers" to the hospital system, I was tempted to get up and approach pit bull masquerading as some type of person in charge. Decided instead to wait my turn. When I left holding #2 and actually was having the blood drawn, I asked the tech if that was the policy. Little lady, said, oh that doesn't apply now because we have this NEW system designed to cut down on wait times. I guess I put on a really strange expression and she asked me my wait time and said 1 1/2 hours to get to this point. Oh, she says, it can't be working today. I thought you are probably right and then she had to use both arms to draw my blood since one vein wasn't working. She said, you know just because it is big, doesn't mean it works. I told her that applied to a lot of things. Eventually she had a good laugh.

I have scheduled a ‘girls night’ here for Monday, April 7th, which will be under the guise of scrapbooking as that always makes it look like we’re gainfully engaged while we’re socializing well. Those cruise photos are sure fun to scrap with the latest developments!