Inspiration for this blog came from my cousin Roy. His daily reflections of the events in his life have been thoughtful and interesting. Family, friends, colleagues are welcome to read my blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Each discipline, each cause, each town, each country celebrates sometime. So this week is Social Work week in Canada. At our hospital there is a banner in the lobby. Today we had an Open House for the staff to come and see our poster boards as well as eat having some delightful donated food and drinks. It was a good turnout. The theme for this year in Ontario is-
May sound a little pretentious but finding strengths that all human beings have within them allows for empowerment. Not every problem can be fixed but that is not what social work is all about. It is a profession that can be found in a variety of settings- school, hospital, community, urban, rural, clinics servicing all ages depending on the location. Working with other disciplines to provide the opportunities to optimize everyone in the best possible manner is great collaborative work needed in life. It is a profession that has provided many opportunities for me. A chance to use skills, expertise and compassionate care to give to others. Can it be draining? Sometimes. But dealing with a tough situation and being a facilitator is much easier than being the participant. So being there for others is not hard for me. When asked, how can I do what I do? My answer is simple- I know how to do it! It actually is an honour to be part of someone's life at one of the most difficult times of the person's life. Just being and doing with expert and compassionate care! Well that's Social Work! So to all my fellow Social Workers coast to coast- enjoy your week!!


With March break quickly approaching, parents have planned or are making last minute plans for their children. A premium time to travel, often necessary as everyone can be off. Vacation days at work are focused around children's breaks from school. Perhaps not a bad thing as many family vacations occur. For a family to be together and enjoying a beach or ski hill makes memories. But all the togetherness can bring stress along with the fun. So planning something everyone will enjoy can be very tricky. Little children are easier to please. Teenagers not so easy. Taking a break from all the electronics in a distant place can be difficult for many. Too many people have been burnt by their roaming charges and heightened cost for minutes used. Getting a prepaid phone for the trip may be the best solution. A gadget with wi-fi potential is best. Many places such as hotels do have that capability offering it as a bonus for the lap top computers. However, disconnecting from the constant texting and checking of a smart phone can teach there is a life to be had. Staycation have many places offering March Break deals. I remember trips to the Art Gallery of Ontario when my children were little and the activities offered were fun. Make sure the staycation does not become a clean the house vacation. Putting in fun times during the day such as breakfast or lunch out breaks up the day. Patience is so necessary- for airports, train stations and highways. With parents and children travelling, it will be busy. The old ideas of having easy to travel activities on hand for all ages is good. For example, I keep a little pocket Sudoku book for travel. Fits nicely in a jacket pocket! So items that are accessible are best. A little waist purse for all with just enough things will work for a plane. No fussing in a carry on bag that must be put up in storage on the plane. Of course the mother/wife needs a bigger bag to keep all those little extras like tissue, gum, pens/pencils, tickets etc. I know I am always the keeper of stuff! Then make sure there is someone to watch your house or property. Like a willing grandparent! I will be spending my week keeping an eye on things for my travelling children. Makes me wish I was going somewhere too. Memories of past trips south! Glad I have lots of pictures. Oh yea lots of pictures! Nothing like group shots everywhere! Catch everyone in fun moments! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


CTV-W5 had an amazing documentary Saturday night on the illegal ivory trade and poachers on some reserves in Africa that are decimating the elephant population. Ivory art is sought in China by the Nouvelle Rich! The stock piles of ivory confiscated when the trade was deemed illegal is released in small portions annually. However, the amount of ivory carved in China surpasses that amount. One advocate of the elephants stated the animal could be extinct in the wild in 10 years. What is disturbing is the fact that those that have ivory can keep it and when a new supply is no longer available, their ivory will increase in value. Some advocates say there are just not enough people and police forces who can work in this area due to the fact that drugs and other areas take priority. The commentator stated that maybe ignorance is a factor as some may believe the ivory tusk is like a tooth that falls off the elephant and the animal does not need to die!! Well let's teach the ignorant! Teaching about elephants and how intelligent and family oriented they are, may help with their survival. Endangered animals are every one's responsibility! If possible go to the CTV website and try to view the documentary yourself! I have not done it justice!

Monday, March 2, 2015


February was one of the coldest for the GTA in recorded history. Sure hope March will begin the Spring thaw. My friend out west has shown blossoms on Vancouver Island- well our blossoms will follow in a few months. We need the cold for the Maple Syrup to run. School children make trips to local areas to participate and enjoy an old Canadian tradition. The school break is coming soon with lots of local events planned for those not going to warm southern climates. My girls and families will be headed south for the break. Means no babysitting so can continue to purge and organize areas of my house before the outdoor work starts.
No there are no flowers in the garden yet. But underneath all that snow the mighty crocus is waiting to emerge from the soil and show its colours.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


With 28 days this year, February is quickly coming to an end. But what a month with record breaking cold spells and snowfalls in parts of Canada. The last time it was this cold in Ontario was 1979 which I remember as I was pregnant with my second daughter. There are high hopes that March will bring an early Spring but I doubt it as it is just another day so the lingering cold snap may stay. A productive month of indoor activities but of course not getting as much done as wanted due to just being tired. By the time a week is finished, I often find myself finished needing to slow down. Luckily there are slow, quiet activities to do. I am looking forward to the first burst of Spring. Somehow energy comes from within when the sun shines and outdoors is inviting me for a Spring walk. I have done enough winter walks all bundled up!  The daylight is coming back to us which is encouraging at dinner time as some sunlight gives us enjoyment, hope. For those with depression February is the heaviest month. According to a psychiatrist I know, March becomes Manic March. It is a difficult time for people who have manic phases of their disease. The transitions and daylight saving changes have a major impact. So individuals and families supporting them be attentive and kind. The time for some Spring cleaning and hauling things to the curb may begin for many people. For school children, the wonderful March Break is around the corner. For this blogger, looking for Spring themes and flowers and ideas- just hoping some burst of energy will inspire me to continue to be enthusiastic about most areas of my life. How about you? Are you just about done with winter? Are you hopeful Spring is around the corner or corners of your life?

Thursday, February 26, 2015


I have written periodically about resiliency. The dictionary tells us it means readily recovering from shock, depression, otherwise being buoyant-able to keep afloat or rise to the top like a liquid. The question- why do some people have more resiliency than others? Adversity kicks a person in the gut. Not everyone recovers. Some people can become the walking dead. Depressed, drugs, drinking and not recovering. Post-traumatic stress! Clinical depression! Adverse events leave scars but some do find a way to get up and get going again! There are so many sayings- when the going gets tough, the tough get going! So easy to say but harder to do. Allowing a time of grief and reconfiguring let's us move to the next steps in our lives. Resiliency is not for everyone. Sometimes it is easier to retreat and say to hell with the world! People in their middle age laid off from a dream job may never find the dream job again. Divorce, death, health issues are further kicks in the gut. The more adverse events faced, does it become harder to bounce back from them! Sometimes just getting up and putting one foot in front of the other. Going through a week with goals and a purpose to get up in the morning, is that resiliency? Should we judge others if they are not as resilient as we are? Think not! My children tell me I am a happy person- because I chose to be. There have been many areas of my life that have been adverse. Family, business, work, loss of loved ones- but to keep going means pulling deep inside and just do it! When the negative thoughts occur, I picture a bridge and a running river- water under the bridge, hoping it will wash away the bad and perhaps bring some solutions to continue with positive living. But there are days, I like my own quiet and not the negativity of others. Resiliency works better when surrounded by like people. Sometimes for me, just people my own age- but those without all the materialistic goals of the younger crowd and the obsession with having a wrinkle or two and having to look younger! Knowing that life does go on and this too may pass. If it does not, then oh well, just deal with it. Resiliency- a huge topic and lots of thoughts! What do you think? Do you have your own version of resiliency? Can it be as individual as the people in it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


The slogan- it's in you to give- is the motto of the Canada Blood Services. A simple way to help save a life. As a regular donor, I have a duty to encourage others to give. Call Canada Blood Services for more information or visit your local clinic to find out how to donate. Some people can not give for various reasons- understood. But if you can consider it- an easy way to give back to your community!