Category Archives: Uncategorized

50 Reasons to Love a Good Book

1. A good book can pick you up when you’re feeling down.
2. A good book can help you relax when you’re feeling wound up.
3. A good book can help you get to sleep, on a sleepless night.
4. A good book can be the perfect diversion when you experience racing thoughts.
5. A good book can help you feel centred and in the moment.
6. A good book can make you laugh, make you cry, everything in between, and all of the above.
7. A good book can be the perfect companion on a rainy or snowy day when you don’t want to go out.
8. A good book can draw out strong emotions.
9. A good book can teach you something you didn’t know.
10. A good book can keep you on the edge of your seat.
11. A good book can make you laugh.
12. A good book can be a guilty pleasure.
13. A good book can be hard to put down.
14. A good book can be so compelling, you can’t wait to pick it up again.
15. A good book can be so compelling, you’re sad when it ends. Continue reading

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Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Lists, Uncategorized, Writing

Electronic Transactions, Missed Opportunities?

There is no disputing that direct deposits and pre-authorized withdrawals have made personal finances much simpler.

Even if I am on vacation or feeling under the weather, it no longer matters if I am in the office on pay day. The money shows up in my account and shortly thereafter, the money comes out for the mortgage and utilities. (Easy come, easy go!) It is certainly convenient and saves me from standing in line to go pay the bills in person.

But in adopting this convenience, have we also phased out unique moments of joy? Are we missing out on moments to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour, the satisfaction of a job well done, and the incentive for why we work to earn a living?

Do you remember the thrill of your first job and getting paid for the first time? That was a feeling of power, wasn’t it? And do you remember the fleeting sense of financial independence and going to spend it on pizza, clothes, shoes, camera gear and journals… or maybe that was just me.

But the point is that there was a natural ebb and flow to earning, saving and spending. Receiving a paycheque was validating, rewarding and made me feel like I really made a contribution. The ritual of walking up to a teller or a bank machine and depositing this piece of paper that was the result of two weeks of blood, sweat and tears actually made me happy. It was also a motivator.
But now, with direct deposit and automatic withdrawals going on autopilot, I barely remember what week is pay week anymore.

A fond memory from the early years of my career, working as an assistant, was when the secretary was not in the office, I would be the one tasked with distributing the envelopes containing the paycheques. The warm reception and the smiles on people’s faces were something I will never forget. I even remember thinking to myself that this is what “spreading sunshine” is all about, making people happy like this. Continue reading

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The Cat I Didn’t Take Home

It has been almost one year since I took home my beautiful cat Ivy and as you can see by the picture, she has made herself quite at home. Frankly, she is just about as perfect as she looks in the picture and I could not have asked for a better little friend.Ivy_Cat_May2016

Yet, I still feel bad when I think about the other cats I met during the “Cat Auditions” last spring. It feels so wrong to be thinking about other cats when I am petting Ivy, but I think it is natural to hope that they all found good forever homes.

One in particular has been on my mind a great deal, I met one day after work at a pet store near my office that carried pets for the Ottawa Humane Society. Just for a point of reference, let’s call her Gloria, even though that was not her real name.

When I got to the store, there was a dog and a dog owner in the store chatting with the two clerks, inquiring about a furniture “investment piece”. From my vantage point, the dog appeared to be a happy and friendly puppy, joyfully playing for her audience and soaking up all of the attention. But from that same vantage point, Gloria’s cage looked empty.

When the dog and his owner left, I asked the clerks where Gloria was. They walked me to the cage saying she was probably just hiding because the dog likely made her nervous.

Sure enough, once we got to the cage, a little head peeped out of the cardboard box in the cage, revealing gorgeous Gloria… but incredibly stressed Gloria as well.

Gloria was an older cat, 7 years old, with a story that tugged at my heartstrings. Continue reading

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Filed under Cats, Inspiring, Misc blogs, Uncategorized

The Cat Bed Dilemma

To get Ivy a cat bed or not… that is the question.

Since we adopted each other almost one year ago, I have checked a few books and web sites on cat care to see what they say on the topic. I think the general consensus is that a cat bed is a good thing.

But I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at cat beds in pet stores and home furnishings stores asking myself if I am a horrible father for not getting Miss Ivy a cat bed of her own.

But then I go into a bit of sticker shock when I see cat beds …at the foot of cat trees, with hammocks intersecting into a network of tunnels, ramps and bridges. Suddenly the cat bed has turned into a major infrastructure project. I then ask myself if I need an environmental scan, an engineering study and a permit before breaking ground on one of those? Then of course I look at the price tag and think… “Mortgage payment or Ivy’s dream condo”?

It is not that I am being cheap about it. Honestly, if she ever demonstrated the slightest hint of needing one, trust me, I would get her one.

The truth is that she has three favourite spots in the house where she has the “quiet enjoyment of premises” and a comfy blanket, where most of her quality napping takes place.

But the fact is that Ivy is pretty much the princess of improvisation and seems to be able to relax for a bit on any number of surfaces… see for yourself.

10. Canadian Tire Grocery bags
I don’t think this is a candidate for a cat bed, but when I’m getting ready to do groceries I think this is her saying, “Nooooo, don’t gooooo” as she sometimes refuses to get up.
Canadian Tire grocery bags

9. This cat toy I found at the dollar store
Even though its intended purpose is to encourage the hunting instinct with its pockets to hide balls and toys, she seems to like lying on it for hours
Cat Toy

8. This fluffy colourful comforter
Comforter

7. Of course, her favourite blanket
This is the one they gave her at the shelter… I think this is her security blanket as she seems to get the best sleep on this one.
Fave Blanket

6.This fluffy fuzzy blanket
It was one of my favourite throws until Ivy claimed it as her own.
Fluffy Blanket Continue reading

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The “Cool Kids” of Talent

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

While jealousy is not generally in my nature, I admit that in following my calling, there are times that the green-eyed monster sometimes shows up when I witness the brilliance in the talents of others.

I remember back in high school, seeing some of my friends come in to their own callings very early, either by singing a song with the professionalism that would rival anyone on the radio, or giving a jaw-dropping award-winning acting performance on our auditorium stage. I also often envied the friends with a knack for doodling in class and whose drawings put my crooked stick figures to shame.

The ones that had me the most envious were

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