The Corner Of My Eye

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bird-lady

I never knew her name, even though she was my neighbour.

I wrote about her once here. For the most part though, I never paid much attention to her. Sure, I saw her out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye. I even pitied her. And if I am to be completely honest, I felt guilty when I saw her. Guilty because she reminded me that there are many elderly people who are all alone in this world.

Another neighbour who lives a couple of houses to the right stopped to talk to me this past Saturday. She asked me if it was true that the bird lady had passed away. I looked to the left, a couple of buildings over, to the bird lady’s balcony and noticed that her balcony had been cleared of her belongings. To be honest I’ve been wondering if something happened to her. I hadn’t seen her drive slowly around the block or feed the birds in quite some time.

I told my neighbor that once in late summer, I had walked past her balcony to see if I could see a sign of her. I did not. And there was no management phone number on the apartment building that I could call to inquire about her.

So I did nothing.

Me.

The person who goes on and on about the importance of community…

I wonder why I didn’t reach out to her. Well actually, I think I know why.

I was afraid that she might take up a lot of my time.

That there would be things I couldn’t do, if I was involved with her. Things that I would miss. That I would have to give up.

And on a more personal level, I was afraid that I might one day be in her situation. That was something I definitely did not want to think about.

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

I never knew her name and I don’t know what happened to her. But I do know that I don’t want to be someone who sees people out of the corner of my eye…

One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

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junk

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, quite possibly, was the most prolific American inventor of all time, having invented many things including the phonograph, motion picture camera and the long-lasting electric light bulb. I’m guessing he may have been a bit of a collector too, perhaps even an hoarder.

I stand in awe of his powerful imagination, yet I am also curious about his pile of junk. Junk, by definition is discarded material, items that have worn out, don’t work anymore or are broken.

We need to be imaginative and creative in life, not only to invent, but to solve problems, manage projects and live and work together as families, teams and community. And if imagination is necessary, might we not also have a need for junk, i.e., those broken ideas or materials that did not necessarily work for their original purpose, but with some imaginative creativity could be the answer to some other question?

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

Did you know that before Listerine was used to combat bad breath, it was created as a surgical antiseptic, a cure for gonorrhea, sweaty feet and a treatment for dandruff?

Happy Thanksgiving!

In lieu of my usual Friday Pick, I am re-blogging Jennifer’s post as a reminder to myself how beautiful, wise and kind us humans can be when we want to.

From the mouths (and actions) of babes…

slide1I’ve got lots to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. My husband, kids, and parents are all healthy. My extended family is doing well. Simply put, we’re happy. For that, I am immensely grateful.
Today, though, I feel especially blessed, and I’d like to give a shout-out to my teachers. I’ve had some of the best. Currently, I’m in class with true professionals. Am I in graduate school? Nope, elementary school–fourth grade to be exact. My teachers range in age from five to ten years old.
In a world filled with hate and division, what do a bunch of children have to teach us? On Tuesday, when our amazing gym teacher put on our annual Turkey Trot race at our school, I learned plenty.

In order to participate in the mile long race around our school, each child brings an entry fee of one can of food for our…

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A Corpus Christi Christmas

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An old friend once told me, “It’s all about the memories you create together.” He was talking about what our children will remember when they look back on their lives. Johnny won’t necessarily remember the BMX bike you bought him, but he will remember how you encouraged him that day he felt less-than, or the laughs you shared at your family gatherings.

Christmas is a bit like that for me. My memories center on the family around the tree, on the traditions we incorporated into our Christmas celebrations; and seriously – I can barely remember the gifts I got.

This year I’m excited about attending A Corpus Christi Christmas’ – A concert to Benefit Oxford House Foundation of Canada, and sponsored by The Legacy Family of Companies

Having attended many Christmas concerts featuring The Corpus Christi Male Chorale in the past, I’ve grown to understand the value they bring by creating a memorable evening that brings family together.

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So, this Christmas, why not immerse yourself in the rich, warm sounds of the much-loved Corpus Christi Male Chorale, together with some of Calgary’s finest guest vocalists and instrumentalists, as they present Christmas favourites, old and new, including “O, Holy Night” “Mary, Did You Know?” “The Birthday of a King” and the classic “Ave Maria” by Franz Bieble and others?

I would love to see you there. Bring your kids. Bring Grandma and Grandpa. Invite your friends. Create some Christmas memories that will stay with you and your loved ones for a lifetime.

If you live in Calgary and are interested in getting tickets, please click here for more information or call me at the office (403) 214-2046. I would love to see you there!❤

Diana xo

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~

 

My Big-Girl-Snow-Pants

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Winter Storm

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.

Carl Reiner

Well it’s finally here.

I won’t be bringing a book, or note pad to go sit on a bench in the park to read or write while sipping a Grande half-sweet white chocolate mocha any day soon. And it will be months before I’ll be jumping on my bike to ride Calgary’s pathways.

There’s no more denying it.

There’s no more deciding not to wear socks, or not to dress in layers, or wear a warm coat. Winter is here and there’s nothing I can do about it. I just have to put on my big-girl-snow-pants, lean into the north wind, grit my teeth and plow through it. I don’t have a choice.

Yeah, yeah, I know some of you are excited about winter. You’ve been looking forward to sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, igloo building, icicle licking and whatever else you do in winter.

As for me… should you need me, I’ll be indoors, wrapped in a cozy blanket on my favourite chair, sipping hot chocolate and watching reruns of Island Life.

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

How do you feel about winter?

Duty

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nature-forest-moss-leaves

I know of only one duty and that is to love.

Albert Camus

At first glance this Camus quote seems strange to me. I mean who would think that love or loving is a duty? Isn’t love a feeling that springs up over time? A luxury afforded those closest to us?

Perhaps it is true for romantic love, but even then, over the long haul such feelings of first attraction dissipate. Don’t they?

No, if anything, love is an act of one’s will. We must choose love over and over again. Often love is not even the easiest choice. Nor is it, or rather should it be, limited to only those who are closest to us. Most times the easy choice is to focus on our own interests, to turn our backs on those who need love the most.

I believe it’s fear that makes us put ourselves ahead of others. And in many ways fear has the opposite affect of love. Fear divides, where love binds us together. Fear says every man for himself where love says no man left behind. Fear builds walls to keep others out, where love builds bridges of inclusion.

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

Friday Pick 202 – Fall Float Fishing

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I met Mike Robertson of the Bow River Blog on October 16, 2016 at the YYC Rocks for Recovery event. Mike is a fishing guide in Calgary, Alberta and donated a fishing tour to support the event. My good friend Carmen won it! Since then, I’ve occasionally snooped around on Mike’s blog and thought you might enjoy it too.

In Mike’s own words:

The stretch of river I concentrate on fishing most is known as the Lower Bow River, which is the “trophy” section of the river. I have become very intimate with this river and know every inch of water here. The Bow River is Canada’s number one fishing destination for massive Brown and  Rainbow Trout. Once you fish this river you will be “hooked”.

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

In this post  Mike shares his enthusiasm about getting out on his new boat to go fishing… 

Fall Float Fishing by Bow River Blog

~ FRIDAY PICK ~

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

If I Had Known…

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One year ago today, Dad passed away peacefully after eating supper in his hospital room…

If I had known that that last time we were together would be the last time I would ever see you, I would have looked at you more closely. I would have listened more carefully to what you had to say. I would have said to you all the things I ever wanted to tell you.

― Anonymous, page 49, Reflections upon the Death of a Father by Harold Ivan Smith

Dad, I wish I would have stayed longer that Friday. I wish I’d taken the opportunity to be with you alone to talk, to listen, to sit silent, to watch you sleep, to watch you eat your dinner.

I wish I would have looked into your beautiful blue eyes that never changed with age and searched them out for the wisdom you’d learned over the years.

But we thought you had turned a corner. And so we left that afternoon as you slept. And we sat the ‘get well’ teddy bear on your table with my handwritten note, “It was good to see you Dad, we’ll be back tomorrow, love you …”

~ DIANA’S ENORMOUS BOOK OF QUOTES ~

Friday Pick 201 – Red Heart

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I started following Innervoice two days ago when she (that’s funny, I’m assuming the writer is a she) came over to visit talktodiana. Through listening to her own inner voice, the writer hopes to discover the real person she is… I hope you’ll check out my Friday Pick this week and introduce yourself to the writer of Innervoice.

In Innervoice’s own words:

Innervoice is just a compilation of my random thoughts on random subjects. It is all about how I look at the world. It is my innervoice speaking out loud to all those who are willing to hear.

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

In this post the writer at Innervoice shares a Haiku about how love can be strong and vulnerable at the same time… 

Red Heart by Innervoice

~ FRIDAY PICK ~

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

I Get That Now

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Opa, 66, with his daschund (Cherry) in 1973

Opa, 66, with his Daschund (Cherry) in 1973.

Opa (my paternal grandfather) became a father at 27 years old when Dad was born on June 28, 1934.

Born in 1907, Opa lived through two world wars and the depression. Over the years, Dad told me many stories of his childhood growing up in Berlin, Germany.

Like the time he stole a horse from the Russians so that his family and neighbours could eat meat.

And the time he and his teenaged buddies lifted a Volkswagen over the owners fenced-in yard with a small gate – too small to drive a car through!

But I know very little about Opa. I know that he was raised by his aunt, and that he may not have known some of his siblings.

And once when Dad was in elementary school, he wet his pants in class because the teacher wouldn’t let him go to the bathroom. Opa went to the school the next day to talk to the teacher. Dad never knew what Opa had said, but the teacher told Dad that day that if he ever needed to go to the bathroom, he had permission to just go, didn’t even have to raise his hand to ask.

I know that Opa was athletic and participated in track and field. I know from our visits to Germany as a family, that Opa struggled with alcohol and by the time he was a senior, a half bottle of beer was enough to do him in. Yet even at a ripe old age, Opa could still walk up the stairs on his hands.

Opa passed away on June 28, 1987 (My Dad’s 53rd birthday). Opa had suffered a stroke on a Thursday. Dad booked the earliest flight he could get but unfortunately Opa passed away around the same time Dad’s plane landed in Berlin that Sunday.

I remember when Dad phoned to tell me Opa was dead. He was so calm on the phone, so matter-of-fact. I, on the other hand, burst into tears. Dad tried to console me. When I composed myself, it dawned on me to ask Dad how he was doing and comment on how awful it must be that his father died on his birthday. “I’m fine. Everyone dies eventually Diana. I’m ok.”

On June 28, 2012, I happened to be back east at my parent’s place for Dad’s 78th Birthday. We were talking about this and that when suddenly out of nowhere, Dad with glistening eyes said, “It’s 25 years ago today that my father died.”

I touched Dad’s arm.

What could I say?

Maybe you never quite get over the death of your father.

I get that now.

~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~