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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Trick or Treating……

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It is all over for another year.

I needed to get the dogs walked after work before the streets filled up with all the little trick or treaters. On the walk I took a couple of pictures of decorated houses. We did a quick walk and by the time we got home my husband had already treated a couple of spooks.

One of the decorated houses in my neighborhood.

Another decorated house.

The front of our house.

But once again…..where are all the kiddos? I expected more. We handed out candy between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm and only had about 35 kids come to our door  for treats…..we had enough candy for about 135 kids. Are there fewer kids dressing up and going out or do we just live in a kid free zone? Our city does Trick or Treat in the mall so is that where all the kids are? I’m not sure.

As an adult with children, Halloween has never been my favourite event of the year…..I have never been a fan of rushing home from work and helping the kids get into their costumes……which I had to try to come up with…….and walking them up and down the streets getting candy from strangers in the freezing cold, or rain or snow. I know I sound bitter about it but I am glad my kids are all past the trick or treating stage. No more costume making for me.

Erika's cowgirl costume for school.

Now that my youngest child is a teenager, her idea of a fun Halloween evening is going through the Haunted House. She and her friend did that tonight and in her own words…. “That house was so scary, I think I might have peed myself.”  She then proceeded to tell us just how creepy and horrifying the house was. She may not sleep tonight. 🙂

Our neighbors jack-o'-lanterns.

My husband and I were discussing tonight how different trick or treating is now from when we were kids. He grew up in the city and I grew up in the country. When he was a kid he and his friends went trick or treating all over the city, up one street and down the next, running all over the place……with no parental escort. They drove to relatives and trick or treated in their neighborhood while the parents visited. It was all about how much candy they could get. When I was a kid my mom drove us from house to house in our homemade costumes that she went to great lengths to put together for us. She would stay in the car while we kids climbed out and went inside our “neighbours” homes while they tried to guess who we were (everyone knew everyone), then we would get our treat and drive on to the next house. We always stopped at my grandparents and my Nan always had special bags of goodies put together just for the grandkids. The last stop of the night was always at Hartley and Bessie’s. They would give us home-made fudge or some other very special treat and my mom always came in with us so she could have a visit with them……that’s how I remember Halloween as a kid. It’s a different trick or treat experience for kids today.

Jack

Our fake pumpkin.

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Carving Jack……

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It’s always been our tradition to let the kids carve the pumpkin for our Halloween Jack-o’-lantern every year…..since they were old enough to handle sharp objects.

This year we let made Erika do the carving again……not so many kids to argue about what the face should look like now…….so here is the result of her “creativity”. 🙂

Starting

Digging out the guts

Still digging

Gross guts

Concentration

Carving the eyes

Hard work

Moral support from Emma looking on.....

Carving the mouth

Pushing out the mouth

Almost there

Posing with her handiwork......only because I made her..... 🙂

Cody and Emma with Jack

I love traditional Jack. 🙂

Two in a row……

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I thought last Sunday might be the end to our beautiful fall weather….but I was mistaken. Today was another gorgeous day for a trail hike, so that’s exactly what my husband and I did.

 

It always amazes me when I take the time to see the beauty all around me. 🙂

CWOSSA Cross Country…..

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I’m a little disappointed that I missed Erika’s race yesterday. Her school ran as a team in the Senior girls cross-country race for CWOSSA. I watched her run CWOSSA in grade 9 and grade 10 , but I missed her grade 11 race. I guess sometimes there are things you just can’t get out of at work to go watch a race….. 😦

If you don’t understand how qualifying for OFSAA in cross-country racing works (and I say that because my husband and I had trouble understanding how it worked the first year Erika ran in High School), you run as a team (of 4) or as an individual if there are not enough runners from your school in your age group. The top 3 individual runners move on to OFSAA and the top 2 teams move on. For example, if you finished in 4th place but one of the top three finishers belonged to a team that finished as 1st or 2nd then you would be bumped up as an individual to 3rd place. As a team member you could qualify for OFSAA even if you personally finished in 146th place but if you ran as an individual and finished in 4th place you don’t move on…..weird way to do it but there it is.

In grade 9, Erika was the only cross-country runner in the Midget age group from her school so she ran as an individual and finished in 4th place, missing the opportunity to go to OFSAA by one spot because the top 3 finishers were all individual runners.

Grade 9 CWOSSA....Off to a good start

Approaching the finish line....4th place

Coming through the shute.....not so pleased with her results.

In grade 10 Erika ran as an individual again and finished in 5th place, but one of the top three runners belonged to a team so 4th place moved up to 3rd place and Erika moved to 4th so she missed qualifying for OFSAA again by one spot.

Grade 10 CWOSSA......start

Crossing the finish line.

This year in grade 11 Erika got to run as part of a team and they finished as a team in third place…..again missing the opportunity to move on to OFSAA by one spot.

Team Mate crossing the finish line.....Erika is seconds behind.

Crossing the finish line....20th place.

All in all Erika had a great race and should be very proud of herself, she finished the 5000 meter race in 20th place out of 182 grade 11 and 12 girls with a time of 20:46:25. Erika’s already looking forward to next years Cross Country season!!

Random Act of Kindness Day…..

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On November 4th my city will hold its second Random Act of Kindness Day. In case any of you don’t know what that is, it’s a day that encourages each of us to do something kind for another person and it’s an opportunity to appreciate our fellow citizens and build our community.

Random Act of Kindness is NOT about fundraising or giving money – just a day to celebrate simple acts of kindness like buying someone a coffee, congratulating someone on a job well done, driving someone to an appointment, holding a door open, carrying someone’s groceries, etc. In the weeks leading up to Random Act of Kindness Day, citizens are invited to hand out printed cards that say “You’ve been touched by a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS.”  Card holders are encouraged to hand over the card to someone else and perform a simple kind act for that person.

In 2010, 60 organisations officially participated and 25,000 RAK cards were distributed. There were thousands of confirmed ‘kindness sightings’.

Below are 101 simple Random Acts of Kindness suggestions for family, friends, co-workers, classmates…..

Send a letter, a card, or make a telephone call to a long-lost friend or relative and renew that relationship.

Invite someone to dinner who is alone or on their own.

Visit a shut-in, elderly friend, or someone who is sick.

Offer a ride to someone to appointment, shopping etc.

Send a thank you/congratulatory note to a co-worker/classmate, appreciating their efforts and the difference they make.

Assist a co-worker or classmate with a project.

Dedicate a song to a special someone on the radio.

Prepare a favourite meal/snack for family or friend.

Share your professional expertise with someone in need of that help.

Offer your services of childcare to allow a new mother some personal time.

Take the garbage out for your neighbour.

Let someone into line with fewer items than you at the store.

Help rake your neighbour’s leaves.

Assist with household activities.

Smile, talk, or “hang out” with a co-worker/classmate with whom you may not usually do so.

Wash and vacuum someone’s car.

Store furniture for someone.

Help someone move.

Loan your bicycle/car/tools to someone.

Share your discount coupons.

Let your staff go home a few minutes early.

Write a poem/song/paint a picture for someone.

Teach someone a new skill.

Call or email a long-lost friend or relative and get reconnected.

Open and hold a door for someone.

Help someone obviously struggling with a heavy load.

Carry groceries to the car and return the cart for a parent with a child, or a senior etc.

Volunteer your time and skills.

Come to work early and make coffee for your co-workers.

Offer your parking space to someone; give your “pay and display” with time left on it to someone.

Gather up your gently used clothes, toys, furniture, and books and donate them to appropriate organization.

Safely assist someone in need of roadside help.

Congratulate/comfort a team-mate.

Let someone into the line of traffic.

Leave a thank you note for the paperboy/postal worker.

Reward a loyal customer.

Thank/appreciate a business owner/staff person who has provided you with excellent service.

Educate others about Random Act of Kindness Day and discuss the importance of “everyday kindness.

Tidy up the staff kitchen at your office.

Pick up litter and be kind to our environment.

Pick up clothing that may have fallen off a hanger in a store.

Compliment someone on their hair/clothing /job well done.

Give gently used toys and clothing to a shelter.

Make your family’s favourite dinner.

Car pool with someone for the day.

Ride your bike to work /school to save carbon emissions and be kind to the environment.

Allow a student to job shadow you.

Help someone with their resume.

Refer a job opening to someone looking for a position.

Share magazines that you get a subscription to when you are finished with them.

Share a favourite recipe with a friend or co-worker.

Donate your time at the food bank or soup kitchen.

Take your kids to the park.

Let your kids stay up an hour later than normal if it is not a school day the next day.

Teach your kids how to make cookies.

Take your pet for an extra long walk.

If you see someone with their tail light or brake lights out, let them know.

If you see someone who has locked themselves out of their car, offer to make a phone call for them.

Share your garden produce with friends/neighbours.

Comfort someone who is in need.

Hug someone you love and tell them you love them.

Give up your seat on the bus for some who needs to sit.

Pick up litter off the street/parks.

Donate a canned item to the food bank from your cupboard that you bought but are not going to use.

Share your notes with someone who has missed a class or meeting.

Donate blood.

Put a treat in your spouse/kids lunch box.

Work or switch a work shift so someone else who needs the time off can do so.

Let a group or organization use your boardroom for a meeting.

Send leftover catered food to a homeless shelter.

Help with housework for a senior or make their lunch for them.

Refer someone to a website that offers valid coupons.

Pick up roadside bottles and put them in a recycling bin.

 Be part of your Neighbourhood Watch Program.

 Pump gas for someone at a self-serve.

 Pick flowers from your garden and share them at work or with neighbour/friends.

 Get a group together to entertain at a senior’s residence.

 Offer to cover the receptionist over the lunch hour so she can have an extra long lunch.

 Clean off graffiti in your neighbourhood.

 Have your business offer a Random Act of Kindness Day discount to encourage kindness.

 Let people cross at the cross walks when you see them waiting.

 Offer to fix or repair items for someone who doesn’t have the skill set to do it themselves.

 Help deliver meals to people.

 Form a neighbourhood committee to do a neighbour cleanup.

 Organize a neighbourhood garage sale.

 Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and special dates and send the person(s) a note or card.

 Give a friendly welcome to newcomers in your neighbourhood, at work, or at school.

 Write a reference letter or post one on LinkedIn for someone who is not expecting it.

 Say something nice to everyone you meet.

 Tutor a student who is struggling with a subject in which you have skill.

 Offer to share your umbrella on a rainy day.

 Tell your staff/employees how important they are to your business.

 Give your family or friends a kindness certificate that they can redeem for a favour later.

 Donate or give your season’s theatre/hockey tickets to someone when you aren’t going to use them.

 Share/email your photos from events with others who attended but didn’t get any pictures.

 Send a letter of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.

 Organize a pot luck at your work.

 Thank the crossing guard for taking good care of the children going to school each day.

 Thank a police officer/fireman and stop to consider what would happen to our community without them.

 Call your paper provider and arrange to have your paper donated when you’re away on holidays.

 Fold and/or put laundry away for your spouse/child/roommate.

Whether your community is holding their own Random Act of Kindness Day or not I think we should all take the time to perform Acts of Kindness everyday. I actually see several things on the list above that I should start doing regularly, but it’s probably a good idea to have a day like this just to remind us all to be kind. So on November 4th pick something from the list above or come up with your own creative “Random Act of Kindness” and show those around you we are a kind and caring society.

Conflicts…..

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Why can’t people just get along? Have we really become a society where we must walk on eggshells all of the time for fear of hurting someone’s psyche? Have we really become that sensitive?

I have come to the realization that some people can give it out but they can’t take it. Sometimes people even inadvertently hurt other people’s feelings with their comments or actions. My problem with this is how people tend to react to it. I think people should be able to say to someone else…. “I don’t like what you just said or did, please don’t do it again” …..in order for the person who caused the slight to have an opportunity to either apologize for it or not, but if they don’t even know what they did the problem can’t be solved.

I am actually dealing with a situation like this right now. This person has stopped talking to me, grunts in response to questions, avoids being in the same area as me and wont make eye contact when walking towards me. I can only assume I must have said or did something to hurt this person’s feelings….however….they won’t talk to me so how can I find out what the problem is and try to fix it?

I am more than willing to take responsibility for my actions in any situation and apologize for what I have done or said but if people aren’t grown up enough to say what I did how can I know what it was? This situation has been going on for 2 weeks now and has been noticed by others. I was told that it is my responsibility to ask the person what I did to cause them to stop talking to me….but is it my responsibility? I don’t have any issues with the other person, I’m still talking to them, I’m not giving them the silent treatment….is it really up to me to ask what the problem is, only to possibly be told “Nothing, there is no problem”, when that’s obviously not true.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9

Is it really my responsibility to act as peace maker every time someone in the adult world gets mad and won’t talk?…..maybe it is. I will take the step and find out what the problem is so it can be fixed.

A Beautiful Sunday…..

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What a beautiful day!!

Last Sunday we were sitting in the freezing cold rain, huddled together to try to stay warm,  watching a University soccer game and this Sunday was nice and warm and sunny….October weather sure can change from one week to the next!!

My husband and I missed our breakfast date yesterday because I was working 😦 so this morning we got up and went for our Saturday morning breakfast…..a day late.

After breakfast we had time to kill while waiting for stores to open……this being Sunday, not Saturday……so we decided to go for a walk along one of the many trails in the area. Luckily, I had my trusty little camera with me (as I usually do) so I could take a few pictures along the way. I feel very blessed to live in a city that is just as beautiful as my home town village community. 🙂

Today was such a beautiful sunny fall day……one of the last few we will no doubt have before the snow falls.