Admiring another…

“When someone you greatly admire and respect appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they are probably thinking about lunch. ” ~ Unattributed

thinkerMy uncle was recently visiting from Germany and I was telling him that my brother and I used to think that he was the coolest, smartest guy ever!

Seriously, he had the most perfect balance of easy-going, laid back confidence and hipster independent-thinking we had ever encountered in our young lives.

We greatly admired him and certainly wanted to emulate some of his attributes.

He is indeed an intelligent and well-educated man and can easily engage in conversations about most anything.

What’s not to be admired?

There’s nothing wrong with admiring the great qualities of others as long as you recognize that you bring value to the world as well.

You don’t have to be anything more than who you are to make positive contributions today and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

The next time you find yourself wishing you thought deep thoughts like someone you admire and respect, consider the possibility that they are thinking about the groceries they need to pick up.


Who do you admire and why?

Friday Pick 120

Some of you already know Ian Munro from his blog Leading Essentially. He and his wife, Kendra are presently travelling in Spain and Ian is sharing their adventures on Slowing Down in Spain. Here you will learn a lot about Spain, and perhaps it will even help you plan your own trip to Spain!

In Ian’s own words:

For a couple of people who weren’t quite sure what they were going to do when we got up in the morning we sure ended up having an amazing day!

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

In this post Ian shares his and Kendra’s Toledo experience…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Ian Diana sent you…

Holy Toledo! What a great day! by Slowing Down in Spain



*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

What to pack in your backpack when visiting Calgary

When I first moved to Calgary I was told by locals if I don’t like the weather I need only wait five minutes.

I remember writing a letter to my parents that said dressing in layers is the way to go in Calgary.

Wear shorts and a T-shirt and carry pants, a hoodie and a jacket in your backpack. That way, no matter what the weather throws at you, you can dress or undress accordingly.

Most recently, as if right out of a Stephen King novel, Calgary had its first snowstorm.

The day before it was 22c (72f) and I was whooping it up with friends at a barbecue.

Then on the very next day, I woke up to -1c (30f) and several inches of snow.

The trees were still in full leaf and completely green – no fall colours yet.  Wet and heavy, the snow broke boughs from at least 80% of Calgary’s trees. It is costing The City millions to clean up. What an eerie sound it makes when whole parts of a tree rip from the trunk and crash to the ground.

A summer snowstorm – what a shock to the system!

I am happy to say that things are feeling like summer again and it’s 25c (77f)

Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to take pictures every day or two so I could share this phenomenon with you!


What’s the weirdest weather you’ve ever experienced?

Do you hold on too tightly?

Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers.  ~ unattributed

untitledThe above quote is most often used to talk about relationships.

The theory being, if you fear losing a relationship that’s important to you and over compensate by holding on too tightly, you will likely bring about the very thing you fear.

I have experienced this myself a few times in my life; sometimes as the smotherer and sometimes as the smothered. Neither role is a pretty one.

Could the same principle be true of dreams? Is it possible to hold on too tightly to your own ideas of how things should be and thereby smother the very thing you desire?

Crave Cupcakes is celebrating 10 years of being in business.

They started out making cookies and struggled with achieving any success.

They decided to make cupcakes using their grandmother’s vanilla cake recipe and their business took off. They paid off their debt within a year.


What if Crave had chosen to keep making cookies?

What do you hold onto too tightly?


Friday Pick 119

I haven’t been following Mike at Mike Pratt Photography for long but I have sure become a fan of his work. He has an eye for photography but I suspect what initially drew me in, is his choice of subjects. Mike shoots mostly black and white photos of people on the streets and shares a bit of their stories in his posts. I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I do.

In Mike’s own words:

After several extensive trips overseas, with nothing more than a very basic understanding of photography the decision was made to learn all that I could. Although I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects, my main interest is found in street photography.

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

In this post Mike shares how he took a different route home and heard some funny stories and got some candid shots because of it…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Mike Diana sent you…

Winnipeg Street: Duane and Ozzy by Mike Pratt Photography


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

How to fit 7 women on a couch

“Hey, you got some swag?” Kelly asked as she was paying for her items at the Olds Liquor store.

“What kind of liquor is swag?” asked Danielle.

“By swag, I mean free stuff!”


Jane, Diana, Annie, Bob, Kelly, George

I pulled up in front of Bob and Mo’s around 2PM.

A bunch of us were getting together for a barbecue because George and Annie head back east today to visit with family before heading back home to Scotland.

Bob and Mo offered up their home, and George and Annie dished out the cash for food – the rest of us were told just to show up and bring our favourite beverage.

It’s an hour’s drive to Olds so I figured I would just pick up my bevvies when I got there.

Not knowing where the liquor store was, I asked if anyone wanted to come along and show me.

That’s when Kelly told us about all the free stuff she got. Bob volunteered to ride shot-gun with me and we were off!

Once we’d chosen what we wanted, we headed to the counter to pay. With my hand on my hip and a huge grin pasted on my face, I said,

“I hear you got some swag.”

By the time, she was done with us, Danielle had forked over three cowboy hats, two Canadian flags, two beer diffusers, two Old Milwaukee car fresheners and a speaker for iPods, iPhones and other iThings!

I love Olds Liquor Store – they’re awesome!

And I love old friends. They know you – the good and the bad – and love you anyway.

You can just be who you are and that usually adds up to fun. And I love fun!


Back at Bob and Mo’s the party was at full swing and just being together seemed to melt the years away revealing a glimpse of the twenty-somethings we used to be.

Silliness, playfulness and lots of laughing ensued. I can’t tell you too much because what happens in Olds, stays in Olds.

The flip side of getting to be who you are and freely wearing your silly hat is a good measure of discretion.

But I can tell you how to fit 7 women on a couch!


That’s me on the left just in front of Mo’s head, Kathie, Jane and Kelly on the couch and Terena on the right. Notice all the swag in the room, the hats and the I am Canadian flag?

“Hey, let’s all get on the couch and get our picture taken!”


Ok, so now we’ve got Kathie, Jane, me Kelly, Annie and Mo laying across on the couch and Terena is still at the bottom-right frame.

“C’mon Terena, get on the couch!”

“There’s no more room left, I can’t.”

“Sure you can, lay across the back of the couch!”


 “O-kay, I’ll just climb up on this table…”


“Oh, I can’t, I feel so silly.”

“Sure you can, this is going to be a great picture – c’mon Terena!”


“That’s it, keep coming, you’re doing great – you don’t look silly at all!”

“O-kay, here I come!”


“Awesome! Everybody say cheese!”

Yup, we sure had a lot of silly fun and we’re gonna miss you George and Annie. Wishing you safe travels and who knows, maybe next time we’ll all come to Scotland!!


Do you have friends who know who you are and still love you? What’s the largest number of women you’ve ever assembled on a couch? If you haven’t tried this, was this tutorial helpful? Does your liquor store have swag?

In unrelated news, the very next day I woke up to the above scene! Only in Canada eh?

In unrelated news, the very next day I woke up to the following scene!
Only in Canada eh?

At least she calls me, right?

I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one. ~ Marilyn Munroe

Christmas at my parent's place. December 2012

Christmas at my parent’s place.
December 2012


ME: Hello?

MICHAELA: Hi mom. Why did the chicken cross the road?

ME:  to get to the other side?

MICHAELA: Nope, to knock on the idiot’s door… So what’s new mommy?

ME: (giving my head a shake) I’m good.

I had a weird dream though. I dreamt that I went outside to sit on my balcony. I heard the front door open and close and a bearded man and 18th century peasants came out onto the balcony.

I asked them who they were and they didn’t answer me. I told them they couldn’t just walk into my house. I screamed “GET OUT!,” right in the bearded man’s face.

Then a Hillbilly walked in and said, “Good evening ma’am,” with a tip of his cap. I said, “You can’t be here! GET OUT!”

There were people in every room!

MICHAELA: Aww, that’s too bad mommy. Wanna hear another joke?

ME: haha sure.

MICHAELA: Knock, knock.

ME: Who’s there?

MICHAELA: The chicken

ME: Jerk.

MICHAELA: (laughing)