Nothing is More Important

This deserves to be reposted. What a great writer and person!

Lazy Mill Hill Farm


This morning the air feels thick and settled, and when I walked down the field to feed and water the meat birds, I could barely discern the cows through the haze. They rose clumsily upon my arrival, lumbering forms in the half-light, heading for the well-trod path that connects field and barn. They know the routine.

It has been more than five years since I started writing in this space. For at least the last two of those years, I have understood that someday the nature of my work here would change. That day has arrived.

There are many reasons I have decided to stop posting regularly, but chief among them is the sense that, in ways I have yet to fully understand but nonetheless know to be true, it is undermining my sense of personal integrity.

I have long believed that this medium cultivates and even encourages two-dimensional relationships…

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Striking the Right Chord

Reposted from Thrift Shops for Nova West Island


Accordion: a portable musical instrument with metal reeds that are blown by bellows and played by means of keys and buttons.

Accord:  an agreement or reconciliation.

Chord: a group of notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.

Chording: playing, singing or arranging notes in chords.

Striking the right chordappealing to or arousing a particular emotion in others.

Common chord: the wonderful story below.

Tom volunteers at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. With integrity, and to the best of his ability, he helps to ensure that donated items are collected, repaired, prepared and sold at a fair price. As a Social Impact Organization, we believe that the selling price must be fair to both the customer and the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. Otherwise we would be doing a disservice to our valued and generous donors, without whom we would not exist.

Like most volunteers, Tom is also a customer, and is happy to buy his treasures at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. What you may not know is that, like all volunteers, he is not permitted to buy items until they are priced and on display for the public. Tom also pays the same price as all other customers. That’s only fair, right? This is especially true during half-price sales: volunteers must wait until the doors open for business before they are allowed to buy at fifty percent off. After all, why should Tom have special privileges to “steal away your treasures”?

Recently, a generous donor delivered a fabulous accordion to the Ste. Anne de Bellevue thrift shop. We were overjoyed and priced the wonderful instrument at five hundred dollars–truly a fraction of its value.

One Sunday in May, an elderly gentleman who had learned to play the accordion as a teenager, saw the treasure in our shop and graciously played us some tunes. What a treat–for us and for him! He knew the quality and value of the instrument and decided he would like to have it. He also wisely calculated that if he waited until the half-price sale, he would pay only two hundred and fifty dollars. So he decided to wait.

Step in Tom.

Tom wisely calculated that, if the accordion sold at half-price, the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island would be losing two hundred and fifty dollars–valuable funds that would otherwise go to Nova West Island’s health care services. Tom refused to sit back and watch that happen. So, on the Friday before the half-price sale, he arrived with his five hundred dollars and purchased the accordion.

You can imagine how disappointed our elderly gentleman was when he arrived bright and early the next morning and saw that his treasure was gone! He was told that it had sold on Friday at full price. In fact, he was so disappointed that he decided to get to the bottom of it. So he made some phone calls. He wanted to know who would buy “his” accordion almost right from under his nose. Who was this musician who would pay full price for something that he might have had at fifty percent off?

Well, little did he know that Tom was not a musician at all. In fact, Tom could not make any music with the accordion. But by his actions, he indeed stuck the right chord with our elderly musician.

Our resident accordion player tracked Tom down, met him at the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island and respectfully persuaded him to sell the instrument to him–at full price. Then he visited us with his five hundred dollars, told us some wonderful stories, played us some lovely tunes, and thanked Tom for making the choice to do the right thing.

Such harmony!

Posted in Choices, Health Care, Music, Nova | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life is Short

We’ve all said it, we’ve all seen it and some of us have experienced it much too close to home but it is a lesson learned no matter how it is presented to us.

                         Life is short……whatever you are planning…… it now.


Well, at least as soon as you possibly can.

Read more

Posted in Changes, Death, Feelings, Fun Related, Health Care, Interactions, Life, Loss | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Beat Goes On

With winter behind us, and I sure say that lightly since we had more than a dusting of snow and cold temps late into May, it is time to get the creaks out of our bones, the warm clothes packed away as well as the scrapers, snow brushes and tires out of our vehicles. Soon a good wash will be in order for the little faithful Corolla that gets us back and forth to work through thick and thin, rain or sleet, sunshine or rain.
Snow Day Dec. 8, 2006006
Enough already!!

The solution for me?

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Simple Truths That Still Work for Me

Simple Truths

Simple Truths

I didn’t become a contented 67-year-old in good health and great spirits by accident. No, my journey to this destination started a number of years ago when I finally had the courage to really embrace my personal wisdom. Armed with my newly accepted mature focus, I slowly began to organize and then re-organize my priorities. And guess what! Almost magically, the work of my creation was well on its way. And, though a work-in-progress, it was no longer work.  🙂

Find out more

Posted in Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Working on a New Blog

A New Year and a New Project

Sheesh! I know. Do I really have time for this?

But! !

I have found that, after taking photos, my next biggest reward comes from playing with them. I especially like the challenge of turning them into greeting cards.

After a year in this field, I find I am really beginning to master the creation. And, though my sales are not extraordinary, it is so much fun that I will continue until they are.

You can have a look at my Audities’ Cards on this print on demand (PID) site here:

To add to the possibility of increasing sales, and work toward “extraordinary” I have started a new blog featuring my cards. It’s a bit of a New Year’s project.

You can have a look at my preliminary steps here:

I also welcome your feedback if you choose to offer it. Thank you.

Posted in Business, Fun Related, Income, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Busy — Enriching My Life

I’m retired and very busy. I’m also very happy.

Yes, happy, because I’m busy doing things that I have chosen to do. They are important and they enrich my life.

In my busy-ness, I meet extraordinary people, many because of my decision to volunteer for Thrift Shops for Nova West Island, One of my tasks with my co-workers is to help sort the variety of donated items that come into our space, and then prepare and price them so they can then be put out into the store for you to buy them at fabulous prices. My job is interesting; it’s social; it’s rewarding. And it will never be finished!

I meet customers who generously donate and buy, and I meet dedicated volunteers who give their time freely to keep the organization successful. People who also have interesting lives outside of Nova. People like Liz, Allison, Marion, Jean, Fiona, Maureen, Edith, Susan, Judy, Yvonne, Janet, Quentin, Tom and Warren. And the list goes on! We are well over 200 volunteers to date in our five thrift shops, and we all work together in this cause of providing health care services for the community. We are all very busy.

You can read more about these people and their contributions on our Facebook page for the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island, where you’ll see news and photos and interaction. How wonderful it is to witness the public’s engagement with our wonderful cause!

Like the real world, the world of cyberspace can be intricately interconnected, so the Facebook Page is also connected to our blog: and to Twitter: and to LinkedIn:

Technology, like the people I work with, is truly amazing. And there are too few hours in a day for all there is to do! So many people to meet and interact with, so many skills to learn, so much to play with and enjoy!

One day at a time.

Posted in Business, Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, Health Care, Interactions, Life, Nova, Recycling, Thrift Shops, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Backyard Visitor

I remember a sister, yes, one of the Sunflower Girls, talking a year or so ago about the beautiful blue herons. Funny to me, because although they are impressive and huge, WilleR and I have not called them anything but NASTY and hope we don’t see any! I guess in explanation to that, it is because we had a small pond in our backyard with inhabitants……….koi and goldfish.



We’ve lost a few to this long legged bird, one of our favourites, a 6 inch koi. The fish was too large and heavy for a quick snack and Mr. Heron could not carry him away. In a fit of fear, something scared him off, he had to drop his meal and fly off. Not soon enough though, our koi perished.


Yes,well not so sad perhaps for those of you without pond fish, but quite traumatic to us……me. None-the-less, as I said the creatures are impressive and I managed to get a couple of shots of him on the neighbours roof. 


It got to the point where we covered our pond earlier in the fall and put off the re-opening until late spring. The preferred species of bird in our yard were of this size. 


Now, it doesn’t matter. We had such a harsh winter in Ontario that the pond froze over to a thickness of at least 4″……our remaining fish never had a chance. So visit blue herons, the yard is open to you!

Here ya go AudieJean!

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Going Squirrely

Here it is March and we are still waiting for some sign that spring is going to arrive before the month of June.  This winter has been long, with more than the normal amount of snow as well as colder than normal temps.  What is normal though?  All I know is that we are very sick of shovelling and bundling up to fight the elements!

I guess there is one sign that spring could be thinking about showing her face and that is that the squirrels are looking for places to build new nests.  We have solar panels on the roof of our 100 year old house and have been fighting squirrels ever since we got  them installed.


I guess it is hard for them to resist this cozy spot which gets a lot of warmth from the sun. We are constantly pulling cedar bark from underneath this front corner panel. There is one particular varmint that just won’t listen to reason.  No matter how much we irritate him by banging a metal pole on the eaves trough, or pulling down his newly constructed nest, he insists on starting over again.  Yesterday when the sun was particularly warm we spotted him sunning himself up on the roof peak.  The nerve of him flaunting himself like that as we look on in disbelief.

We are trying to hamper his climb which has been a constant mystery to us.  First we cut off the tall cedar that was growing up beside the house. He was using this as an expressway to the rooftop. I will dig out what’s left of this poor tree in the spring and replant something smaller.


We then discovered he was jumping from the trees at the front of the house onto the hydro lines and onto the roof.  We proceeded to spread axle grease along this wire which works well as a deterrent. If you look closely you can see some hairs from his tail stuck to the line.  He doesn’t use this route anymore.


We saw his tracks in the snow leading to the board and batten on the addition. He was climbing up this onto the roof where there was no overhang. We decided to attach metal pieces to the edge which stopped him in his tracks yet again.


It had been a couple of months without any sign of him but then we heard him up there again. He has managed to chew through one of the wires to our solar inverter. This panel will have to be removed from the roof to have the repair done. Now it’s starting to cost us money which got Gerbe’s ire up even more.  Because of the immense pile of snow at the back of the house we thought he was jumping from the snow pile to the coach lights and onto the roof.  Therefore we erected metal over the lights to stop his climb.


As you can see by the following pictures we have been chopping ice and shovelling for the past 4 days trying to get the snow away from the back of the house.


Mr. Squirrel was up there again this morning and we have no idea how he is doing it. We will continue to annoy him and remove the cedar bark that he drags to the roof. It’s a battle of wits and perseverance….let the best man or rodent win!

Posted in Mother Nature | 3 Comments

What Goes Around………….you know.

It’s true, the old adage we have all heard so often. Sometimes things don’t fall into place on their own, sometimes we need to give them a push by stepping up to the plate, climbing through that window that opened when another one closed or just plain taking the bull by the horns.

WilleR and I decided to do just that shortly before the Christmas vacation last year. We met at our workplace in a building in 1990. For one reason or another and a few scenarios later we began to build a relationship together. Circumstances changed and cutbacks forced WilleR to find another building to continue his employment in 2005. A second vehicle was required as we went in different directions for 8+ years earning our living.

Now, nearly half of our married life together, WilleR has completed all the necessary steps to accept a new position and walk right back into my building, my space. The bonus is that he can do it in the passenger or driver seat of my Toyota each and every day for the remaining 2 years, 5 months and 11 days (but who’s counting?) of my employment with this company.

We are both in awe and the pride I feel that he has never been fearful of stepping out of one box to walk into another is overwhelming. His career with this employer started on here and will now be finishing here.

Yes, what goes around comes around, even when it comes to the love of my life. 🙂

Posted in Changes, Life | 2 Comments