Friday Pick 125

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel! How on earth has it taken me so long to feature Rachel and her blog Rachel Carrera, Novelist on my Friday Pick? Rachel is a great storyteller and some of her true experiences seem stranger than fiction. But don’t take my word for it, check out my link below and if you like it, I’m sure Rachel won’t mind if you snoop around some more.

In Rachel’s own words:

Rachel Carrera has always been a story-weaver. And she’s been writing as long for as she can remember. But she never had a desire to turn her stories into books until mid-2013 when she dreamed her first novel, The Prison, three nights in a row.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Rachel shares an amazing story about gambling and intuition…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Rachel Diana sent you…

No Mo’Betsss! by Rachel Carrera, Novelist


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When nothing is ever the same again.


I wanted to write about this, but I could not offer you more than the words of my dear friend, Louise. Thank you Louise for articulating so well how we are feeling. Diana xo

Originally posted on Dare boldly:

I am at a loss for words. I am lost in words tumbling around my mind like socks turning around and around inside a dryer. They are white, these words I cling to. I surrender. I give up. I give in.

I cannot create peace in a world of hatred. I cannot stop hatred from erupting in a world of intolerance.

On my way to a meeting yesterday, after I wrote my blog, I tune into CBC RAdio in my car and there it was, this breaking news story that would catapult my country into fear, dismay, uncertainty.

“Nothing will ever be the same,” reads one headline this morning. And I am afraid it is true.

Terror has struck home.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24 year old reservist standing guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Ottawa, our capital, is gunned down in broad daylight by a fellow Canadian. A 32 year…

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What are you most proud of?

Michaela, 7 months, playing piano at Oma and Opa's house

Michaela, 8 months old, playing piano at Oma and Opa’s house

That’s what she asked me when she called on Monday.

What are you most proud of…what is your greatest accomplishment?

Rebecca was calling me in response to a short-term job I had applied for. Something that I might enjoy doing and would allow me to make some extra cash.

The phone interview was the first screening.

What AM I most proud of, I wondered.

So used to being at the other end of an interview – being the one asking the questions.

So used to selling a cause and not necessarily selling myself.

My mind went straight to my professional accomplishments:

  • my work on the GNA committee
  • the 90-day plan I developed to win people over so that they no longer feared affordable housing for the homeless in the downtown core
  • helping that other small non-profit get a better understanding of their fund development history and working with them to develop strategies to move forward.

And other such things…

No. That’s not what Rebecca was looking for, so she rephrased the question. What are you passionate about?

“Well I guess I’m most passionate about being true to myself,” I began. “Of standing up for what I believe, even when I have to stand alone.

I’m proud of raising my daughter as a single parent. And intentionally not speaking ill of her dad while she was growing up – I’d seen too many times what kind of damage that does to children.

I’m proud that when I left a job I had loved for many years, that had turned ugly during a leadership change, I did it with my integrity and dignity intact.

I’m passionate about following my heart, even when I am afraid. And I am determined to ensure that my word is better than a signed contract.


So used to selling a cause and not necessarily selling myself…

Nevertheless, a valuable experience for me and a second interview is scheduled!


What are you most proud of? What is your greatest accomplishment? What are you passionate about?

Learn to see the extraordinary in the ordinary

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” – Orison Swett Marden

images1The common things in life are really quite extraordinary.

Most of us take every day things for granted and don’t even notice their value until we lose them.

When I was 19, I thought it would be a great idea to play two-on-two tackle football in a parking lot.

I may, or may not, have been a tad tipsy at the time.

Doug was on my team. He weighed about 130 pounds in wet clothes.

Our opponents weighed 200+ pounds each.

Long story, short; I was charged as if by a raging bull.

My body flew into the air like a cannon ball.

And I landed somewhat sideways on my right bent-in-an-unnatural-way leg.

Thankfully, I didn’t break anything.

But I tore some ligaments, and bruised some muscles and my knee swelled up to twice its size.

I wanted nothing more than to be able to run through a field of flowers.

Our bodies are amazing, no?


Walking and dancing and running and even brushing my teeth seems so common yet they are extraordinary activities if you really think about it.

Friday Pick 124

I first stopped in to visit Lex at her blog how I survived myself because she is the daughter of my friend Louise Gallagher who suggested I check her out. I quickly discovered that Lex is a gifted writer in her own right and clicked follow because I appreciate her honesty and vulnerability. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

In Lex’s own words:

Alexis lives in a tiny apartment with her boyfriend J and her 342 scarves. Born and raised in the heart of Cowtown, she also has quite the collection of cowboy boots. When not writing, on her yoga mat, or running along the Vancouver seawall, she can be found breaking the silence surrounding disordered eating with the local non-profit organization Project True.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Lex explores her relationship with her grandmother…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Lex Diana sent you…

day 6. only love by how I survived myself


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We’re all going to be seniors one day

The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II.

The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer’s Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II.

It seems when we don’t know what to do with a specific demographic of people, as in the case of the elderly, we tend to group them together in one place and pay professionals to take care of them in that place.

God bless these professionals!

They do great work.

But is there evidence to build a case for supporting seniors with professional caregivers, family and neighbours within their existing communities?

And if seniors continue to have a purpose within their families and neighbourhoods, do they, and the rest of the community for that matter, have a better quality of life?

Sure, we have pretty busy lives these days.

It’s not like it used to be 100, or even 50 years ago.

You know, like on The Waltons where Grandma and Grandpa lived with the family and contributed to the raising of the children and the work required to the run the household.

But could there be a better middle ground?

Recently, I read about how Care Villages support the elderly when someone posted it on Facebook.

I was very intrigued with this concept and also shared the article on my own Facebook page with the following comment:

I worry that when we stick a bunch of seniors into care facilities and isolate them from the rest of society, they can lose what gives them joy in life, thereby seriously hampering their quality of life.

There is a town in Japan that boasts the largest number of folks over 100 years old. The community of all ages remains integrated and grandparents and great grandparents are involved in the lives of future generations.

I believe that the young and the old have much to offer each other. What can we do, and how can we support more initiatives like this?

I am reminded of a documentary I saw not too long ago about Okinawa, Japan having the highest proportion of people 100+ years old at 34.85 per 100,000 people.

These vibrant folks still enjoy farming and remain fully integrated in their families and communities!

Their lives are filled with purpose and meaningful connections.

They work. They laugh. They socialize. They seem so…young at heart!

Check out this video I found on YouTube!

In Canada alone, the number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1% between 2006 and 2011 to nearly 5 million.

By 2063, the share of seniors in the population will climb to about 25 per cent from 15 per cent currently, with much of that shift taking place over the next 15 years as the baby boomers age.

Meantime, the number of seniors over the age of 80 will jump to nearly five million compared with 1.4 million last year, with the number of centenarians soaring ninefold to 62,000.

It is in all our best interest, to figure out a better way to deal with aging populations.

One that gives our seniors purpose and keeps them integrated, healthy and contributing in our society.


We’re all going to be seniors one day.

I don’t know about you but I’d like to have this figured out before I’m a senior!

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Meister Eckhart

imagesThis weekend Canada is celebrating Thanksgiving.

What better day than today to talk about thankfulness?

And what better way to do that than list off some of the things that I am thankful for?

I am thankful for my parents who immigrated to Canada and worked hard their whole lives to build a better life for our family.

I am thankful for my daughter, my future son-in-law and his beautiful 3-month old daughter – I’m an Oma!

I am thankful for my brother who is also my friend and for a while in my early teens, my only friend. I am also grateful for my sister-in-law and my amazing nephew.

I am thankful for my life-long friends who are like family to me.

I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had and continue to have in this beautiful country.

And I am thankful for you, my beautiful readers and writers. <3

It’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy


What are you thankful for?

Related article: 10 Reasons Why Gratitude is Healthy