Category Archives: YELLOW: Moving into my Life’s Calling

Catching up!

I haven’t paid this blog much attention for a while, and it shows.  I’m not sure I’m getting healthier (at least my knees are complaining more than usual), my savings are going down a little too quickly for my liking, and wisdom – well, according to Designing Your Life failure is part of the journey of life.  It allows you to reframe and try something different.

April 4, Health:  I ate reasonably well, starting with a smoothie for breakfast.  We brought a snack for “running errands” time – an apple and a banana.  Lunch was rice pudding left over from breakfast.  We are trying NOT to throw food away, but I don’t want to have two breakfasts!  Supper was a “butter” chicken recipe without butter. We used coconut oil instead.

I took the dogs for a walk – each one individually, so that added some steps to my day.  While my goal is to get over 10000 steps, I made it to just over 7000.  The lesson I have been learning over the past month is that I need to be more intentional about what I eat AND how much I move in a day!

WEALTH: Since arriving home from China, I have been spending my savings.  I needed some time to regroup, but now the job hunt is on.  As a family we are collecting our receipts so that we can see just exactly what we are buying.  I’m enjoying access to Value Village again, just to get clothing in my size.  

WISDOM:  From Designing Your Life, try stuff.  Take a chance.  Fail. Try something different.  Test alternatives.  But never, never, never stop moving.  

See you tomorrow!



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Happy Birthday #54!

Birthday Greeting 1910

This is the site where I found this lovely card and it quite suits the mood I’m in at the moment.  It’s been a lovely day for the most part, although I did a  lot more walking than I had intended.  But that’s a story for another day.  Thankfully, it was a sunny day, and I had time to do some thinking.

I turned 54 today.  I had to think about that a bit – I guess part of the aging process is that you forget how old you are!  I just seem to forget that I’m getting older.  The days go by, most of them fairly similar in tone.  Work gets done, bills get paid, a few books get read, something gets knitted on…. and so it goes, all in all a fairly mundane kind of life!  With a cruise thrown in for the fun of it – and I guess lychee martinis aren’t that mundane either!  Delicious though, one at a time.

As I was walking, I reflected a bit on the progress I was making in my life, dividing it into the 5 colours that I’ve chosen to represent it – and that’s what I thought I’d share while the last minutes of this delightful day wind down.  I also have to finish this lovely glass of wine!

WHITE:  I always feel that my relationship with my God is not all it could be.  I’m not consistent in so many of the things I want to do – reading, studying, praying, contemplating, meditating.  Something always seems to get in the way of that.  Mostly Facebook, I suppose, but I love the community I share there – and sometimes someone shares something that speaks to my soul and makes me think about my own relationships with people and creation.  I guess I’m just wishing it would be more than it is – and that comes with time – not just time as it passes, but time being active and aware – mindful time.  Something to strive for in the coming years.

BLUE:  My creative pursuits are not the priority they once were.  I find I can go for a few days without yarn in my hands, but I do enjoy the glass jars full of yarn.  I still haven’t written a  pattern for something, but I have been playing with dishclothes and making those “easy squares” more interesting.  And I finished the shawl that I’d been working on for 5 years.  My goal over the next while is to finish more projects than I start – and that will be tought!

GREEN:  Green is my money management – both earning and saving/spending.  Most of the last year and a half was spent saving for a cruise.  I’ve written a bit about that – but the reality was that I came away with no debt – and wonderful memories that I was able to share with my mom, aunts and cousins.  I still have one smallish kind of debt – my line of credit.  This was sitting at around $5000 last year, and even with the cruise, that’s diminished to just over $3000.  I’m planning to be debt free by age 55!  And earning more money!

Which brings me to YELLOW:  I’ve spent the last 5 years busily becoming qualified to teach ESL.  Last year I completed the CERTSEL program at the University of Saskatchewan.  I volunteered at the YMCA, subbed at the Y and this week I started teaching a regular class at the Y.  I am so excited.  While I had planned to be teaching overseas somewhere in September, family keeps me in Calgary for a while longer!  But it is exciting to be moving forward and gaining experience.  (And I have to start preparing for a Masters in TESL in a few years – money and experience)

Finally there is the RED.  Most of my ramblings on my blogs have been about the RED side of life – my health.  I’m still taking the blood pressure medications.  I still weigh over 200 pounds. I still struggle with eating late at night.  And…believe it or not…I still struggle with going to the gym.  It’s even worse lately, and the only positive thing is my commitment to moving at least 5 minutes every day.  That I can do – even if I can’t make it across the street to the gym!

So there you have it!  A bit of a review and a bit of goal setting for the future.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all facets of life moved forward at the same pace?

But it is bedtime, and my wineglass is almost empty.  If it’s your birthday when you read this – have a good one and I hope it inspires you to make some plans for the next year.  If it’s not – have a happy un-birthday kind of day and make some plans anyways!

Goodnight, rest well, and may God bless and keep you!



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“I made a JING!”

Jing (software)

Jing (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was my Facebook status last night, and judging by the comments – I have some “explaining” to do.  Ruth, this is your explanation.

Through the ELL Corridor I am taking a course on Digital Literacy in the ESL classroom.  It is very exciting to learn about different programs available on the web – and JING is one of them!  It’s the only one I could get to work on my Windows 8 laptop.  Here’s the link:

And if you are really interested, here’s a link to that very first JING:

I’ve only begun to explore this, but I made another one, off the cuff, this morning and I can see some potential for my ESL classes.

  • It’s pretty easy to use.
  • It comes with an instructional video that can be watched at home and as a class.
  • Students can do these on their own time, using pictures or screenshots that interest them.
  • It’s ideal for planned or “off the cuff” presentations.
  • By watching JINGS made over time, you can track your improvement.

I’m pretty sure that I can’t download this program to the computers at my school.  But, as long as I bring home the right power cord at night, we can enjoy making JINGS on my computer.  I’m looking forward to trying it!

As I said before, I’m not very comfortable with all the technology that surrounds me, inspite of the laptop, desk top, Smart phone and Blackberry playbook that I have.  I know I don’t use them to their fullest capacity.  But I think that I can learn to use this well over time.  Stay tuned for more JING links as they come available!

Ruth, I hope that gives a little more explanation!


Please note:  I haven’t read the articles below, but I’m going to.  I do have to go to the gym and start my tanning program (Long awaited cruise is now only 30 days away!)  I’m looking forward to learning more!

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Shoot for the Moon?

I love finding people’s artwork on-line, and this one is by John DeAmicis and clicking on his name will give you many beautiful moments!   However, there is more to this post than just adding some joy to your day!

I first saw this quote on someone’s tee shirt and I thought, “Wow!” and “That is so cool!”  But, now that I’ve fired the shot, made the leap of faith and all that…it’s not so very comfortable if you miss the moon – even though I know that I am not alone in this journey, and that Alida and Ponnie will remind me that my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills!

Here’s the story.  I’ve finished my ESL training and I’ve taught a month’s worth of classes.  Working 40 hours and teaching is not conducive to good teaching.  But working 40 hours is safe.  It’s guaranteed hours, paid benefits, pension matching…  It also hurts.  I stand 40 hours, move groceries with elbows and shoulders that are getting sorer and sorer, and people are getting tired of my food jokes!  Plus, I need to become a better, more experienced teacher.  So…

A few weeks ago there were two postings for positions with lesser hours.  The “moon” position had 28 guaranteed hours and the “star” position had no guaranteed hours!  I got the stars.  I can tell you that it isn’t so much fun flying past the moon.  The next star is very, very far away and suddenly, that quote wasn’t quite so cool anymore.  It was hard, hard, hard.  I felt like I was free-falling and I really like to have control.  But I did it – signed the paperwork to accept the position, trusting that God would work it out.  And He sent me back to the moon!  The next set of postings had a 24 hour position that I did apply for, and I got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So how’s the view from the moon this morning?  I’ll be working with about half of my usual salary, paying for a bus pass, paying part of my benefits… but I should be able to cover my bills and eat.

I’m hoping my hours will consistently be in the evenings so that I can be more available to substitute-teach in the mornings and afternoons.  That would help me achieve my work goal.  I plan to use my commute time to learn Spanish.  Having more of my mornings free will allow me to spend a bit more time at the gym, instead of the rushed work-outs that I’ve fallen into.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be back to a more regular blogging schedule as well!

Maybe I’ll send missiles to the stars from my base on the moon!  In the meantime, your prayers and encouragement are welcome!





Filed under WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature, YELLOW: Moving into my Life's Calling

Hiding Away Doesn’t Help

It’s been a while since I posted here – for a variety of reasons.   Homework was a big one, as was a very busy work week.  But mostly it was about denial.  Pretending things weren’t falling apart around me.   But…they were to some extent and I just wasn’t very happy.  I was discouraged and getting the basics done was all I could manage.


In short, I was going through the motions of life and falling behind.  I’m not sure I was depressed, but I sure wasn’t super happy either – at least in some areas of my life.


So, to those of you who stopped by to see how I was doing, I apologize for just dropping out for a time.  It wasn’t very respectful, at least I don’t think it was.


I had hoped to have some kind of routine for this blog, but I can’t seem to stick to one.  So for now, I will just let it flow.  But I do promise to keep you posted on the progress I am making as I work to change my career focus, income earning and pant-sizes!


what color is your parachute? (project 365 - d...

what color is your parachute? (project 365 - day 106) (Photo credit: graciepoo)


I’ve been busy reading for school but I do plan to read this before too long.  My final exam is on Friday April 13.  I guess I better get back to my own homework.  (Which just now includes putting together the bibliography for my paper!)

Have a good day, and thanks for being patient with me!




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Motivate and Live…

First of all I’m going to post a picture.  Clicking the picture will send you to one of the blogs I try to read every day.

  I think this post summarizes quite nicely what I’d like to say about what I’ve been reading in my Napoleon Hill this week and last.

There was first of all the call to control my mind.  I need to be more aware of my choices and also my control over them.  Take last night’s peanut butter “binge” for example.  Sure I was tired, I was coldish, I was for lack of a better word, “blah”.  I could have made different choices.  I just didn’t bother to make them.   However, now that I’ve made those “less than stellar” choices, it’s time to move forward.

This weeks chapter talks about having a burning desire to achieve something.  Apparently it’s something I can create.  But how?

Dave Ramsey talks about “gazelle intensity” when working the debt snowball.  I don’t have that either.  I just keep plodding along, eliminating credit card after credit card until they will be all gone!  (Two left, one of which is almost done!)

In this third chapter, Hill mentions Henry Ford and John Wanamaker and he concludes it with a quote from Mr. Wanamaker

I acquired the education I needed the same way a locomotive takes on water – I scooped it up as I ran!

So here are the three steps I need to take in order to change:

  1. Start where you stand – knowing what I know, being who I am, looking as I look…
  2. Make the best of what I do have – employments, physical health, and all the many gifts God has blessed me with!
  3. Trust that what I need will be available when I need it.

Now I need to jump in and get going!

I do hope this is helpful to you.  I know I need to sit down and make some plans for the next week, based on this!

Have a great day, stay warm if you’re in Alberta and wherever it’s still frigid out!


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A Man, A Plan, A Canal…


(Do you know what’s so neat about this title? – comment your answer. )

Anyways, here’s Thursday’s “Napoleon Hill” post.  I am maintaining my habit of reading and rereading a chapter of “A Year of Growing Rich”

Last year I wrote my starting weight at the top of the first chapter (253.5 pounds).  This year I got to write a different number – 227.0. 

And if I stick to my intentions, next year the first number will very definitely be a one!

No One Drifts to Success” is the title of the first chapter.  As I’ve been pedaling and reading some other books in my gym library, this has been ricocheting around in my head.  (The exercise bike is the easiest place to read, I find, so it’s my warm-up machine!)

Of course he asks the question “What is your one definite purpose in life — and what plans have you made to attain it?

I can’t determine one colour for my parachute, and I can’t really identify one definite purpose – except to move towards becoming the woman God created me to be – and that is in the process of becoming more definite.  But…I can define some definite purposes for each of my colours.  Together they will move me towards my definite purpose.

My yellow goal is to change my daily work and move into a paid teaching position.  Although I have and am studying to teach ESL, I am not limiting myself to simply ESL.  Teachers are trainers, encouragers, inspirers, mentors…. They share what they have learnt and are in the process of  learning.  This blog is kind of a teaching-learning process for me. 

But the year is already one week old and all I’ve done is register for a “techie” course and start my final CERTSL course.

Here’s my plan for next week:

  1. Read Chapter one of What Colour is Your Parachute 2012 and do the head work asked of me.
  2. Work on week two of my CERTSL course and begin my first assignment.
  3. Register for a government sponsored job search program in my area.
  4. Check out the websites for companies I might like to work with – with the potential of using my teaching abilities.

I will post my RED plan over at the new blog, although that might not happen today!  The other colours will have to wait for another post – and maybe a later date.  There is only so much I can focus on at one time!

In the meantime, here’s a clue to the riddle at the top of the post:

What is a palindrome?

Have a great day, enjoy some planning time and get on with life! It is God’s gift to you every day!


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