Simple Words Say it Best

It’s been five years since I wrote this but it’s still true

Life and Random Thinking

I know I have mentioned it before,  I have been reading the books of Alexander McCall  Smith and they take place in Botwana. The heroine in the series I have been reading called No. Ladies Detective Agency is Precious Ramotswe.

It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it. In the final analysis, that was what solved these big problems of life. You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to eat your pumpkin. That brought you down to earth. That gave you a reason for going on. Pumpkin.
― Alexander McCall SmithThe No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The dozen or so books are inspiring, and I would genuinely like to meet this author who breathes so much life into his characters. The author lived in Africa and if you click his wikipedia link you will…

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Living in the Splendour of the Moment

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Africa living in the moment

I sat down to enjoy reading a book the other day and I caught myself also turning on the television. I caught myself and I realized that I was trying to multitask reading which stunned me and disappointed me.
It seems that everyone, including me, is trying to do more than one thing at once and I realized that some of my best times are when I am doing just one thing and thinking about nothing else.   I was reading another blog and they used the phrasing “splendour of the moment” and I thought to myself how much better it is to live that in the moment instead of on autopilot while we multitask and are tuned out.
Think about these examples of mindfulness and living in the splendour of the moment.
Hood Canal - Potlatch-22

Catching the last rays of the day

Sitting along a lake with a crackling campfire, the sun going down, the fire popping and crackling as the light fades. Soon the lake is dark and the fire dims, I can smell the smoke and I’m thinking how happy I feel being out of touch from emails and texts.

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I can’t make this fancy a drink

A day of cold fresh air and exercise in the wintertime, tobogganing and laughing and then a nice warm mug of cocoa with marshmallows warming my fingers as I savour the rib soreness from laughter.
Being in the delivery room for the arrival of my long awaited firstborn.  I am excited, nervous, joyful. Telling myself to capture the memory so I never forget every second.
The wonder of watching my daughter walk across the grass in her wedding dress, wonderstruck at the beautiful independent woman she has become. She looks so happy!
my iron horse with lights

My bike at Okanagan lake

The first sunny day my son learned to ride a two wheel bike independently and I can’t keep up running along side to protect him, and I feel proud, and a little worried.

The first breath of wind on my face after five long months in hospital, I feel real excited to be going home finally, and tired.
What I learned is that I need to slow down and spend more time right now experiencing life while it is happening.  I have just this one life.
Here is where I think it could be really interesting – pretty please add as a comment below any memory or time that you lived in the splendour of the moment.
Thank you for sharing.
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A Lesson about Light I learned this week

menorahThis week I learned a lesson about light from a rabbi.

I’m not Jewish but I was invited to a public lighting of a menorah candle. The rabbi spoke warmly, and genuinely to explain the symbolism of the candle lighting and hanukkah.

Afterwards people mingled and had some food, and the potato latkes were delicious. I digress from the lesson, but they were really yummy.

As an illustration as he spoke the rabbi briefly talked about fire and water. He confirmed with a firefighter present that the bigger the fire, the more water needed to extinguish a fire.

candle in the dark 1However, not so with darkness.  Darkness needs only a candle to beat back darkness,  more darkness does not vanquish a candle. The rabbi used this metaphor for darkness in the world and people’s lives.  He encouraged us to light our own candles and keep them lit. He said light a candle for someone else or help them to light their own.

I empathized with this metaphor because I walk at night often. I used to rely on reflective material but it is useless it is reflecting light, as in you are still invisible and I once had a jogger almost run over me in the dark.  However even the smallest LED light is visible a great distance away, and so I wear a light and I carry a flashlight as an extra precaution.

candle in the dark 2It is winter, dark and cold but I hope that we can all light a candle for ourselves, or help someone by being a light,  dispelling the dark of loneliness, addiction,  or helping to someone else light their candle and keeping us warm as well.

I think the rabbi was right, let’s all be candles.  It can feel sometimes like we aren’t doing much to help,  but if that candle goes out,  then you really see the difference it makes, and dark times calls out for light, even a small one.

As I look toward 2018, this was a lesson I was thinking about, and at this time of year when people are rushing about, shopping, buying – I liked the lesson about less doing amazing and thinking we all can do amazing with less than we think.

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Not Waiting for a Close Call

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Okanagan Lake, looking north in Penticton

A few weeks back I was home by myself and developed some chest tightness and deciding to be cautious I went to the emergency room at the hospital here. I actually went first to a walk in clinic and they sent me to ER, lesson learned right there I did.

2005-11-18 12.56.08That was Friday, and I finally returned home Sunday afternoon after spending two nights at the hospital and I will spare you the details except I stayed an extra day after reacting to the drug treatment and my tongue swelled up until I was unable to swallow and only barely breathe.  After eight hours of that, I was much more understanding of people who have allergies.

Looking back I was wondering how do we react when we have a close call? When a car nearly hits us? When someone we know is severely sick? We are in an accident and walk away from a totalled vehicle? When someone we know has some type of crisis?

Regardless of the event, it seems to me that whether it is us or someone else – it is close calls that cause us to reevaluate our lives, treat ourselves better, treat our loved ones or ourselves more thoughtfully perhaps?

I request your thoughts or comments.  How often do you self evaluate?  Every New Year? When you or someone you love has a close call? Never or maybe you are very mindful person and it comes naturally.

Regardless my lesson for myself I have been thinking about when walking today was not waiting for motivation from a close to do a kindness to someone including myself.

riskyThanks for taking time to read, and comment.

I am looking forward to reading and responding to you. 🙂

I will place this in my category called Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for listening in.

 

 

 

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Adventures of Super Dave (to be continued)

Here is a post i wrote five years ago which I think no one saw.
As it is my birthday today I want to thank readers and followers of my blog for encouragement and feedback.
It’s hard to explain to anyone how many nice people are out there blogging that I would never have been exposed to if not for starting this blog.
I salute you!

Life and Random Thinking

Doctor No.... Classics Illustrated? Doctor No…. Classics Illustrated? (Photo credit: Felix_Nine)

I noted on Facebook that October 5, 2012 was the 50th anniversary of James Bond. Since 1962 and Doctor No this fictional character created by Ian Fleming has been part of movie culture. I was surprised that the number of movies is 22, and # 23 will be out soon, called Skyfall.

I know I have been enjoying the lad from Eton, reading and re-reading the original novels and the many copycat authors, like the actors who played 007, some were better than others.

Personally in my mind, there is no contest ~ Sean Connery was the first and the best in the role. Pierce Brosnan was good also but he seemed to tire quickly of the role, worried about being typecast perhaps?

My original comment about 007 kindled a friend to wish me many more “Super Dave” adventures. I may not chase…

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Analysis of a Speech by Alberto Cairo

I had planned to sit down and write a post today but then I read this post and heard this man’s story.

I hope that you will take the time to hear the story. It is a meaningful story, told by a humble man and you will understand like I do the power and connection of a story .
Toastmasters will appreciate that the speech includes an evaluation and that highlights the strong points of the speech as well as providing suggestions on how to improve it. That is what Toastmasters do when we get together in clubs, and evaluations help us improve.

Manner of Speaking

Alberto Cairo is the head of the orthopedic program run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (the “ICRC”) in Afghanistan. A physiotherapist from Italy, he has been in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. During that time, he has helped thousands of Afghan landmine and accident victims. Not only has given them prosthetic limbs, he has given them hope. He has given them dignity.

Alberto’s story is poignant, hopeful and inspirational. I found it deeply moving. Please do watch. Following the clip is my analysis from the public speaking perspective.

There are profound life lessons that that we can learn from “Mr. Alberto”, as he is known to the thousands of people whom he has help. There are also several things that we can learn from him about about public speaking.

  • In a succinct, 45-second opening, Alberto introduces himself and sets the stage for his talk. Introducing oneself…

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Guess what? We won!

Originally posted on Life and Random Thinking:
I am sure there are many people like me, people who enter contests, never expecting to get a phone call or an email telling them they won. But it happened to me……. I…

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Vancouver convention Toastmasters

 

The 86th Annual International Toastmasters Convention was August 22-26, 2017. I have been looking forward to attending for years.

Why? I have attended District conferences in spring and fall and they are fun.  This is a much bigger event, more people, more speakers, toastmasters attend not only from this district but from all over the world.

5000 attendees from Jordan, Singapore, United States, China, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Australia and on and on.

I am fortunate my very good friend D’arcy joins me from Seattle and shares the experiences with me at Toastmaster conference/conventions.

Why do I go? What would you experience if you had been there with us?

Everyone at these events have paid to be there and they are happy to have the opportunity to meet you and find out about your Toastmasters experiences, and your club.  The speakers I heard were all excellent speakers, and they all had nuggets of wisdom to share to inspire, entertain and benefit all of us. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxing. While standing in line for the final speaking contest I struck up conversations with people from Taiwan and it was great. When I found a seat I had a little talk with a husband and wife sitting beside me who were from Sri Lanka and they shared their contact card. After the event I had a nice visit with a man from Kuwait. This happened all three days, friendly people who all had Toastmasters in common with me.

It was three days I had anticipated for two years and I’m glad I said “yes” to the experience.

That is my thought for today, please don’t leave yourself out of your bucket list. Say YES to yourself. Take care of yourself in big and small ways, in health especially – body and mind.  A funny truth of life is that one of the best ways to take care of your loved ones, is to take care of yourself, first. 

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate the encouraging comments.

 

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Starting every day successfully

How I start my day with respect to breakfast.

Is breakfast is the most important way to start your day so it is successful?

A dietary presentation I attended talked about breakfast and how sugary cereals or other breakfast sandwiches etc can start you off every day in ongoing blood sugar cycles.  Those highs and crashes cause us mortals to be ravenous earlier in the morning and eat other than what we should. Eating cereal usually means I am growly hungry by 10 a.m.

I need to lose some weight.  Eating healthy and avoiding sugar crashes is important to me so I can control my eating.

 

eggshells

Keeping it simple, I have started cooking myself a single egg for breakfast, and surprisingly, I feel full all morning. Hot sauce, and some tomato chopped up are all I add to the scrambled egg.

Over the weeks that’s a lot of eggs and mostly I manage to keep the eggshell out of my little scrambled egg.

egg wrap cookerI bought this little cooker which does the eggs one at a time, and if I want I can add a wrap which I just add for 30 seconds to warm up the wrap. If you cook the wrap too long it gets stiff.

It comes apart and is simple to wash for you practical types.

The egg comes out about an inch tall and really fluffy, takes 5 minutes. The hot sauce gives it a nice zing, and the chopped cherry tomato from my garden makes it sweet.

But my blog isn’t about cooking, or health tips.

brainI do often share my thoughts about life and use analogies. This is another situation where I am sharing my thoughts.

For weeks now I have been thinking about these cracked open eggs and how sometimes I have to scoop out some egg shells before I cook them or I’m going to be surprised by a crunchy scrambled egg.

I realize though that my breakfast is delicious and nutritious but one of these days I am going to accidentally leave in a small piece of eggshell.  If one day I have a crunchy breakfast I wouldn’t throw it away or spit it out.  Maybe eggshell has some dietary benefit I don’t know.

rima-hassan-3I wondered if there was an analogy for me, my life is pretty swell too. It’s not a 5 star breakfast in Michelin rated restaurant but I enjoy it, and am contented. It suits me and it benefits me.

My breakfast and my life, eggshells and all whenever I get them is still one to be grateful for, to be appreciated, and enjoyed.

 

 

Definitely the best part of my start to the day is not the breakfast at all, but being thankful to be alive, being content, and for the people in my life.  I will endeavour to grateful for my breakfast and my life, eggshells or not.

Perhaps that is the most successful way to start the day, being thankful, and breakfast comes second.

Thank you for reading, do you have a formula for a successful day? or a healthy breakfast Idea? I’d love to hear your comments to this post. 

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Hippo Highways: Day 2 of our Walking Safari

Africa, hippos, folk lore, pictures made this a special post to reblog. No plans to do a walk about in African heat? Then see here to find what we missed.

Ann Cavitt Fisher

Hippo in the Luangwa River Yawns In the late afternoons, hippos yawn A LOT. After spending most of the day in the water, they’re having a little oxygen deprivation issue. Photograph, Cat Gassiot.

Sausage tree on the banks of a lagoon in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia A sausage tree on the banks of a lagoon. It won’t be long before this lagoon dries out. Photograph, Ann Fisher

The first night in Luangwa Bush Camp (LBC), a camp that moves location each evening, our tents had been on the banks of the Luangwa river.

After a light breakfast and some coffee, we left for our second day of walking. Before long, we were skirting a lagoon. In South Luangwa, these come and go with the rainy season — and this lagoon was ribboning down to a slender line of green.

By the time August comes around, it will be completely gone until the rains return. At this point though, we still needed the makeshift log bridge Braston had laid across…

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