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Back to Work Today

Monday, July 13, 2009

I was back to work today after 7 days vacation which was mostly spent doing some day trips and lots of reading.

We visited a friend in Turkey Point on July 1st.

And, we hosted a BBQ on July 4th and it DIDN'T RAIN! Thank God! That's always the big worry since practically everyone in DH's family is allergic to our house cat.

And, I had a dentist appointment on the 7th. After which, DH and I went to Toronto to the AGO where they were showing a Surreal exhibit and our favourite painting was a wonderful oil by Salvador Dali called Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish On A Beach. Here's a link of it but it really doesn't do it justice:

z.about.com/d/arthistory/1/0/T/i/dal
i_pma_05_09.jpg


We bought a print of it and are having it framed.

On July 8th, DH and I went to Stratford and saw the matinée performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, which was quite funny and very well done and then had dinner at an Italian cooking school afterwards but the food wasn't great, which is always a little bit of a disappointment.

On July 10th, I took my dad to a local potter's place and we bought $500 worth of pieces for my cousin's wedding in August (they're from him, DH and me, my sister and her family) and then we had a lovely lunch in the attached café. We both had quiche and he had a garlic and potato soup and I had the mixed greens and for dessert, he had Earl Grey tea and a slice of raspberry/rhubarb pie and I had strawberry and vanilla ice cream crêpes with Chai tea and it was so yummy.

I was only extremely achy on July 9th and yesterday so that wasn't too bad.

The weather is definitely not hot summer weather and I really missed that during this vacation. I usually swim quite a bit in the summer but I only swam twice during the whole time I was off.

I hope my vacation in August is hotter.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 7/17/2009 8:23PM

    I live in Ontario also. The weather has been terrible and this is half way of summer. I swam also in my river about three times. How bad is that. I had to laugh when reading your profile. Your the only girl and love it. My neighbour worked with only men also . She loved it. She said she has no trouble with conversation with hubby and her in our general Donut shop. Three tTimes in the week in morning with the guys there. Back to work you are. i bet the crew miss you.

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NURSEMOMTOTHREE 7/15/2009 8:02AM

    I'm glad you had a good vacation and a productive one buying the gifts you needed to. I also hope your vacation in August is hotter.

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1888MICHELLE 7/14/2009 8:14AM

    Glad you've had a great vacation. Sorry about having to be back at work though...LOL.

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FANCYDELUSIONS 7/13/2009 6:25PM

    it sounds like you've been really busy, but have had fun.

good luck with going back to work

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Motivate This by Colette Carlson, Motivational Speaker

Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't you wish there was a pill you could swallow and instantly you'd be motivated to tackle the project gathering dust on your desk? Or one you could ingest after dinner that would make you grab your keys, jump in the car and head for the gym? You can wish, pray, and hope but as long as you look for motivation outside of yourself, you'll be searching. Why? Because motivation is something that happens inside you that gets you to take action.

Keep in mind this "action" needn't be anything as lofty as becoming the C.E.O. of a major corporation. It could be something as simple as taking a class to increase career satisfaction, spending more time with your children away from the TV, beginning an exercise program or choosing to replace your candy bar with a power bar in the late afternoon.

You'll never get started if you don't believe what you want to achieve is possible. For example, a salesperson won't make the call if he thinks he won't make the sale. A worker won't ask her supervisor for summer flex-time if she thinks the idea will get rejected. Believing creates the initial spark that gets you going.

Everyone is motivated by different factors, so don't expect the same reasons to work for you as they do your friend. You have to figure out what motivates you. Some people sign up for daily blurbs that get emailed to them. These one or two lines become the mantra of the day and put a bounce in their step as they walk out the door, ready to go forth and conquer - whether that's in the board room making a fabulous presentation or in the grocery store, making wise choices. We all need that extra push sometimes.

Some find that keeping a journal on their goals is helpful - that way they can go back and look at what had come before. Seeing how much you've already accomplished is particularly helpful for people fighting addictions or trying to lose weight. A written reminder of the personal struggle you've gone through can be potent. When you find yourself lagging enthusiasm, re-read your prior entries and then write a paragraph reminding yourself of why you chose to take action in the first place.

Visualizing your final outcome and the manner in which you would like to live when you succeed is another way. You can go a step further and keep a cork board with pictures of your ideal life pinned to it. This visualization board is a major motivating factor if kept in a place where you will see it several times a day. Speaking from experience, this helped me lose those extra 50 lbs. I saw a picture in a magazine of a woman's body that was healthy and fabulous. I cut my face out and put it on that body. Seeing me looking that fantastic, and focusing on the feelings that image created many times throughout my day was a powerful inducement. Focusing on your wants is very influential. It becomes a driving force - a matter of want power becoming will power. I want it, I will have it.

Every morning upon waking I encourage you to just lie in bed for a few moments while you're still in a sleepy state (powerful time to influence your subconscious) and see yourself accomplishing your goal. How does it look? More importantly, how does it feel? This emotional connection is the catalyst to ignite your internal motivation and keep it fired up throughout the day. Think it. Feel it. Live it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1888MICHELLE 7/24/2009 7:24AM

    great article

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NURSEMOMTOTHREE 7/15/2009 8:01AM

    Great article with lots of practical tips. Now, I just need to implement what I read.

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MOLLIEMAC 7/14/2009 8:59AM

    I love the part about using your "just awake state" to influence your subconscious and plan your goals. Thanks for sharing, Joanna...MJ

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I'm on vacation and here are my plans...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Yesterday, we went to Turkey Point on Lake Erie to visit with a friend who was at a cottage there. Now, this friend is actually DH's friend; he works with her but lately she and I talk more (online) than he does with her in real life because they both work at GM and she's been laid off since February and isn't going back to work until October but she and I are friends on Facebook together so we chat fairly regularly online.

And, it was supposed to rain yesterday but it didn't so we sat outside and socialised with her and her family for a few hours but we didn't go to the beach because it was coolish and we had dressed for cool, rainy weather not hot, beachy weather.

And, now we're preparing for our annual BBQ on Saturday. We always host a BBQ the first Saturday we're both off for summer holidays and this year, it falls on the 4th. DH has been on vacation since last Saturday and I just started my vacation yesterday.

It's usually family and our neighbours who come to our BBQ but this year, NO ONE from my family is coming because EVERYONE is away! My dad, 3rd younger sister and her 12-year old son are in France at cooking school. My 4th youngest sister and her DH and 2 kids (11 & 8) are currently in Venice but they started in France and next they're going to Tuscany (they're touring France, Italy and Greece for the month of July), my 2nd younger sister and her DH and 3 sons (17, 15 and 10) are in Poland for two weeks visiting with his family (he grew up there) and my second youngest sister and her family are visiting with her DH's family in Bayfield, Ontario (on Lake Huron).

So, the only people coming are DH's sister (her DH is working and her two kids are at camp (15) and the boyfriend's cottage (17). But DH's sister is bringing her dog (frankly, I'd rather have the kids but I wasn't asked). And, DH's brother and his girlfriend are also coming. DH's brother is flying home from Japan the night before so I hope he's okay. DH's cousin is also coming and the cousin and the brother are planning on camping in our backyard the night of BBQ. And, DH's aunt and uncle are also coming.

And, we've invited some of our neighbours. The only ones we haven't invited are the ones with the evil dog. I like Lynne but I hate her dog. He's loud and I'm afraid that he's going to bite one of us someday.

I'm making low-fat potato salad and a salsa, cream cheese and shredded cheese dip. And, we're cooking hamburgers, sausages, and portobello burgers.

And, the main thing I'm hoping for about Saturday is that it doesn't rain and that I'm not sore.

And, then Tuesday, I have a dentist appointment emoticon!

And, Wednesday, DH and I are going to Stratford to see The Importance of Being Earnest and other than that, I have no plans.

I just hope that it gets warm enough to swim sometime and that I feel well enough to maybe play bridge one night with my poor partner, whom I haven't played bridge with since May 8th!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 7/17/2009 8:35PM

    I was at lake Erie last week. What a small world. We had nice weather for sun then that hail on and off. Man was the Q.E bad near St. Catherins. Cut off. Of course we never seen the second sign Ontario Street. . Why is it. They have to work on highways when everyone is looking for cut offs. In the summer.

We also went to Wellan. To go to the park with the animals with grandchildren and my son and his wife and my D.H.. Then one can walk around the lake and all. That day was perfect. The smell of fries. Mmmm

That theatre is nice you went to Stratford. Have you also gone to Niagra on the Lake. Those quaint stores.
Most tourist go there.

I dislike my neighbours dog. That dog heads for my place and does it's tricks there and then goes home. Also he runs to me and up he goes and gets me by surprise. I dont think it knows what Home is . Only mine. emoticon little devil.

Comment edited on: 7/17/2009 8:38:29 PM

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GEMMAJO 7/3/2009 7:27PM

    Have afab vacation enjoy! gemx

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GRANDMAHOWLEY 7/3/2009 6:43AM

    Enjoy your vacation! The BBQ plans sound delicious!
Pat emoticon

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1888MICHELLE 7/2/2009 7:41PM

    Wow!!! Sounds like your family is quite well travelled....I'm jealous!!

Enjoy Stratford!! I'll be making the yearly pilgrimage in August...3 plays in 2 days. My mom and I have been doing this for over 20 years now. It's tradition.

Turkey Point is great. Believe it or not, that's where I saw my first wild turkey, my first magpie, and a herd of turtles crawling across the road.

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NURSEMOMTOTHREE 7/2/2009 6:29PM

    I'd come to your BBQ. Hope it's great!

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MOLLIEMAC 7/2/2009 6:15PM

    Have a wonderful vacation Joanna- hats off to you for hosting a BBQ....MJ emoticon

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Article by Nicholas D. Kristoff of the New York Times

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just read this article comparing Canadian and American health care systems and found it to be enlightening and wanted to share it with others. A blog seemed to be the simplest way.




U.S. citizens have likely seen by now television commercials denouncing health care reform as a plot to create a Canadian-style totalitarian nightmare. Some feel a wee bit scared.

Back in the election campaign, some people spread rumours that Barack Obama might be a secret Muslim conspiring to impose Sharia law on us. That seems unlikely now, but what if he's a covert Canadian plotting to impose ... health care?

Rick Scott, a former hospital company chief executive, leads a group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights. He was forced to resign as CEO after his company defrauded the government through overbilling, and is now trying to block meaningful health care reform by terrifying us with commercials of "real-life stories of the victims of government-run health care."

So here's a far more representative "real-life story."

Diane Tucker, 59, is an American lawyer who moved to Vancouver, B.C., in 2006. Like everyone else there, she now pays the equivalent of just $49 a month for health care.

Then one day two years ago, Tucker was working on her office computer when she noticed that she was having trouble typing with her right hand.

"I realized my hand was numb, so I tried to stand up to shake it out," she remembered. "But I had trouble standing."

A colleague called 911, and an ambulance rushed her to the nearest hospital.

"An emergency room doctor met me at the door, and they took me straight upstairs to the CT scan," she recalled. A neurologist explained that she had suffered a stroke.

Tucker spent a week at the hospital. "The doctors were great, although there were also a couple of jerks," she said. "The nursing staff was wonderful."

Still, there were two patients to a room, and conditions weren't as opulent as at some American hospitals. "The food was horrible," she said.

Then again, the price was right. "They never spoke to me about money," she said. "Not when I checked in, and not when I left."

Scaremongers emphasize the waits for specialists in Canada, and there's some truth to the stories. After the stroke, Tucker needed to make a routine appointment with a neurologist and an ophthalmologist to see if she should drive again. Initially, those appointments would have meant a two- or three-month wait, although in the end she managed to arrange them more quickly.

Tucker underwent three months of rehabilitation, including physical therapy several times a week. Again there was no charge, no co-payment.

Then, last year, Tucker fainted while on a visit to San Francisco, and an ambulance rushed her to the nearest hospital. But this was in the United States, so the person meeting her at the emergency room door wasn't a doctor.

"The first person I saw was a lady with a computer," she said, "asking me how I intended to pay the bill." Tucker did, in fact, have insurance, but she was told she would have to pay herself and seek reimbursement.

Nothing was seriously wrong, and the hospital discharged her after five hours. The bill came to $8,789.29.

Tucker has since lost her job in the recession, but she says she's stuck in Canada -- because if she goes back to the United States, she will pay a fortune for private health insurance because of her history of a stroke. "I'm trying to find another job here," she said. "I want to stay here because of medical insurance."

Another advantage of the Canadian system, she says, is that it emphasizes preventive care. When a friend was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic, he was put in a free two-year program emphasizing an improved diet and lifestyle -- and he emerged as no longer being prone to diabetes.

If Tucker's story surprises you, you should know that Scott's public relations initiative against health reform is led by the same firm that orchestrated the "Swift boat campaign" against Senator John Kerry in 2004. These commercials are just as false, for Obama is not proposing government-run health care -- just a public insurance element in the mix.

No doubt there are some genuine horror stories in Canada, as there are here in the United States.

But the bottom line is that America's health care system spends nearly twice as much per person as Canada's (building the wealth of hospital tycoons such as Scott).

Yet our infant mortality rate is 40 per cent higher than Canada's, and American mothers are 57 per cent more likely to die in childbirth than Canadians.

In 1993, the Harry and Louise commercials frightened Americans into abandoning health reform. Let's ensure those scare tactics don't work this time.

Nicholas D. Kristof is a columnist with the New York Times.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOLLIEMAC 6/26/2009 10:27AM

    Thanks for sharing, Joanna. Seems pretty straight forward to me:)...MJ

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Today's Food Plan Gone Awry

Monday, June 22, 2009

Well, my planned food for the day hasn't gone the way I expected it to. I was going to have soup for lunch after I walked with my friends at work but both of them bailed on me and it's not a great neighbourhood to walk in by oneself so I didn't walk. But, for the first time in forever, I didn't have anything with me to read either and that's really unusual. I ALWAYS have something to read with me.

So, at lunch, I went looking for something to read so that I could eat my lunch and read at the same time. Well, the convenience stores in the neighbourhood were pathetic as far as magazines go. Other than porn, men's magazines and crossword puzzle books, there wasn't much. Finally after about 20 minutes, I ended up at a Shoppers Drug Mart and bought 3 magazines (Self, People and US Weekly) of which I've left the Self magazine in my truck for future needs.

And, then since I was out and about, I obviously didn't have my soup with me (not that it would be easy to eat in a truck anyway) so the next step was to find something to eat and I decided a slice of pizza sounded appealing but finding a pizza place that looked okay in the neighbourhood took me another 20 minutes to find and the one I ended up at only had pepperoni or Hawaiian so I went with the Hawaiian (I normally get veggie) and then I went and found a nice shady street to eat my pizza and read a magazine on but I ended up using my whole hour lunch when I usually only use half an hour so that I can bank the other half for all my doctors' appointments!

And, then after work, I had to go grocery shopping and I was planning on getting a mammoth roasted chicken for dinner plus potato wedges plus two salads plus a 2 L bottle of Coke for $13.99 but they didn't have the regular mammoth chicken that I know and love. All they had was chipotle so I had to get that and when I got home and DH and I tried it, we both hated it. I said it tasted like hot dogs and I hate hot dogs and although DH likes hot dogs, he expects chicken when he has chicken not hot dogs so it was kind of a bust meat-wise.

So, that's how my food plan today went awry.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNITSTRONG 6/23/2009 10:12AM

    That is a very strange day, eating wise. And chipotle chicken that tastes like hot dogs???? I don't get that at all. And I live where we chipotle everything. And I love chicken tortilla soup with chipotle. But I promise you - it never tastes like hot dog!!!!!

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1888MICHELLE 6/23/2009 7:57AM

    YIKES!!! Chicken that tastes like hot dogs?!?!?! GROSS

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