Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm inspired

I just had my mom over and we walked through my whole apartment and decided that yes, a garage sale...or a MOVING sale, as we'll call it, is a good idea. We're going to do it from her house and I'm going to box my stuff up and take it over slowly and I'm going to sell everything. Or at least try. And anything I can't sell, I'll give away or to charity. But I'm at least going to TRY to sell it. I think that will make it easier to say good bye to everything. It will be a bit of work but as of Saturday I have exactly three months until move out of my apartment so if I do it slowly and steadily, I'll be fine. I'm inspired, and excited :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Looking for the window

One of my friends at dance has quite a few connections in the Waterloo area and has taken it upon himself to find me housing. He connected me to a friend of a friend and it was sounding very promising but after talking it through, she isn’t convinced that it will work. Mostly because the space she has to offer is *very* small and I warned her about my scrapbooking hobby. It’s also because we’re both used to living alone and we’d have to make major compromises to make this work and neither are really ready to do that. I still think it’s a possibility but if she’s not comfortable then I won’t push it. I have to admit I am disappointed but I’m a strong believer in the “when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window”. So right now I’m looking for a window.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ontario is the goal

I’ve been meaning to blog this for awhile. Let’s see if I can capture it all in one entry.

I’m moving to Ontario and I’m going to school when I get there. I have some savings but the fact is, I will be applying for student loans to finance my education (and scholarships and bursaries of course). I also plan on working part time, hopefully at Starbucks. I’m fully aware that this may not be a sustainable plan. My dad was asking about the financial aspect of me moving the other day and I reminded him (and I’m blogging this to remind ME) that Ontario is the goal. Not school.

School will be nice. It will be fun. It will facilitate my future plans and help me get a job in the field I want to work in but if I get there and realize it’s just not working, I have no problem either pulling back and decreasing my course load, or quitting altogether in favour of full time work. And I’m not concerned about GETTING work. I have extremely marketable and transferable skills. I’ve been working for 11 years in an administrative capacity. I’m moving very close to Mississauga, ON where practically everything in Canada is manufactured. Even with the economic downturn I am very confident that I could get a “regular” job quite easily. It’s not what I WANT to do but I’ll do it if that’s what is required.

If you go back in my blog you’ll see that “Ontario” came up WAY before I even started thinking about school. I first blogged about moving in May 2007 and I had been thinking about it for probably two years before that. I didn’t mention “school” until August 2009!

I find it easier to explain to people that I’m moving across the country to go to school than moving across the country because I want to. Still, the bottom line is, I want to. Ontario is the goal because of the list of things it represents and allows me to access. School’s just gravy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

There Is No "Someday"

In anticipation of moving, I'm starting to seriously declutter. I went through my hope chest a little while ago and cleared it out pretty well. Yesterday I took all my dance skirts and crinolines off the hangers and boxed them up. I also took a bag of clothes over to Mom so she can donate them to charity.

Over the weekend I cleaned out the cabinet where Seth and I used to store all our comptuter/internet cables. At the back I found all Robert's union papers. He hasn't been part of the union in almost five years!!! I don't know why those even came over with Seth.

I have boxes started of "give away", "potential to sell" and "garbage" and I keep adding stuff as I go along. I'll start the wholesale clearout in July because I'm aiming on being out of the apartment by the end of that month...and it's coming quick!!!

Bottom line, I'm learning that there is no "someday". With a rapidly shrinking window of time, the projects that I'll do "someday" just aren't going to happen and I'm coming to terms with that. When I start counting back on how long I've had certain things, it's kind of scary! Or how long I've been meaning to do certain things. I've moved four times since graduation and I still have a lot of stuff from back then that I've never dealt with. I am now "doing" something with it, or throwing it out. No putting it off anymore!

This article has been a great inspiration.

9 Seemingly Logical Reasons We Cling to Clutter
by Christine Kane

"Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away."
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A retired man once told me he loved going camping with his wife because camping showed her how simple life can be "without all that bloomin' stuff she keeps everywhere!"

He's right!

Our lives are meant to be simple. Our intuition and creativity thrive when given freedom and space. Clutter is a disease. Each moment we ignore the reasons we hold on to things we don't want, those things rob us of energy, health, and clarity.

If you're a clutter-clinger, be kind to yourself. Begin with an awareness of your thoughts and excuses. For starters, read over this list to see if you can find YOUR excuse!

Clutter Excuse #1: "I'd be a bad mean horrible person if I…"

Guilt is heavy gooey energy that convinces us we're bad people if we let go of heirlooms, knick-knacks, unwanted clothing, or unwanted gifts.

These items clutter up our lives and keep us in a comfortable – but draining – place. And conveniently, we never have to decide what we actually do want in our environment. We become environmental victims. Often, that spreads out into other parts of our lives too!

Clutter Excuse #2 - "I spent so much on it!"

Do you punish yourself for having made a bad choice by keeping the item around? Or convince yourself that you're going to get your money's worth – even if it drains the hell out of you?

You won't. And it will.

We've all done stupid things. And we've all had to let them go. Now it's your turn.

Clutter Excuse #3 - "I might need this someday."

I often wonder how many idle telephone cords exist in the world. Way in the back of old desk drawers. Stuffed on closet shelves. They can't be gotten rid of.


Because we might need them some day.

Evidently, some day - in spite of technological progress - you're going to need that particular grey phone cord that came in the box with a phone you bought in 1989.

Throw it out. Now.

Same thing goes for: The broken fax machine, switch plates from your first house, and every glass flower vase that came with deliveries.

Clutter Excuse #4 - "I might do this someday."

I know. I know.

Someday you'll take those broken pieces of china you've collected and create a beautiful mosaic birdbath. And you'll go through those stacks of magazines and make that collage for your sister's 30th birthday party. (She's 51 now.)

Now – I don't mean to deny you your plans and dreams. However, I urge you to consider experiencing the infinite relief that appears when you let old project ideas go.

Call your sister and tell her the collage ain't gonna happen. Buy a mosaic birdbath from an artist who makes her living from creating such treasures.

And then, make space for what you want to do. Don't fill your space with what you should do.

Clutter Excuse #5 - "I gotta look good to my guests."

CD's. Books. DVD's. Are these items treasured? Or are they simply a prop so your guests will be impressed by your intelligence and diverse tastes?

Remember this: we are motivated by two things: Fear or Love. Which of these keeps you clinging to items because of appearances?

Clutter Excuse #6 - "I Don't Know Where It Goes."

When items don't have a home, it's harder to determine whether or not they are clutter. Some things may seem like clutter - like the cute card that your daughter made that floats around from drawer to drawer - but they're not clutter.

They're homeless.

Once you start defining spaces for items, then it's easier to see when something doesn't fit anywhere and should just get tossed.

Clutter Excuse #7 - "My thoughts don't have any power. Do they?"

Everything has energy. The thoughts you have about the things in your home CREATE energy. If you are surrounded by stuff you keep out of guilt, then your environment holds guilt. If you hang on to stuff given to you by your ex, and you still feel bitter – then there is bitterness in your home.

Get it?

It's either fueling you, or draining you. Some things might be neutral, of course. But if anything triggers you, then that is your barometer. Let it go.

Clutter Excuse #8 - "But I never wore it!"

See Clutter Excuse #2.

Clutter Excuse #9 - "There's too much stuff!"

Overwhelm can stop us in our tracks. If this article makes you aware that there are lots of items in your life you don't like, then go slow. Schedule small chunks of time each day. It takes time to be clutter-free! But the newfound clarity and lightness are worth it!

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 11,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I forgot how much I like having a boss that travels

My boss and three of my coworkers are away at a three day training session. It’s really quiet around the office and I’m forgetting how much I like it! My old boss used to travel a lot (more in the beginning when we had the budget for it) and I used to love it when she was gone because I’d get so much done. Same as now. I’m finishing up so many little tasks that I normally don’t get to when my boss is around. I love it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Recap

It's been awhile since I did one of these but nothing from this weekend really justifies it's own post so I'll just do it all as one.

Friday was my last night of dance. It was a "party night" which meant we had dinner together, danced, and then had dessert together. It was pretty low key compared to Monday but nice. It gave me a chance to say more good byes to people.

Saturday the weather turned nasty. I didn't really anticipate that so I dressed for nicer weather. I spent the day at the Sheraton Guilford in Surrey for a Creative Memories "Celebrate" event. I only took my laptop because I wanted to focus on doing digital but I wasn't really inspired and because I was cold, I was in a bad mood for most of the day. Later in the afternoon I tapped into WiFi and started doing digital photo management which was good but it still felt like a waste of a day. I carpooled out there so I was stuck. If had had my own car I would have just gone home :(

Sunday the weather cleared up and it was beautiful. After church I went for lunch with a bunch of friends and then met up with Mom and Dad and went for a walk on a new path in town. From there we went back to their place and visited for awhile. Around 6 we called up some friends and went over to the church for a weiner roast. It was a lovely evening and a great way to end the weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Friday

The only thing better than a slushie on a warm Friday afternoon is a FREE slushie! I stopped in at the gas station on my way home from work to treat myself to a slushie. I went to a particular store because they have "buy nine get one free cards". (see? They do work!) I had bought three drinks on that card to date. When I presented my card the clerk proceeded to stamp the other six spots and give me my drink for free! She then gave me a new card (which only requires 5 drinks before you get a free one) and said that since they are phasing out the old cards, I got my drink free. Works for me!!!

Who needs Google Street View when you have a window?

A client came in today and after I gave him the information he needed he shared that he had found our contact information online. He googled the address and realized that his apartment building is right next door to our office!!! What are the chances? :)


Today we had a planning session at work. We reviewed the Annual Operating Plan and talked about how the activities each of us are involved in, fit into it. Our organization is doing LOTS of wonderful activities and is involved in many worthwhile projects but I just don't care. I'm not passionate about what we do. I never have been. I've given eleven years of my life to this cause (off and on) and I am so ready to be permanently OFF.

I have a few more things to accomplish before I leave. I want to complete the annual audit and have that report filed, I want to do our other annual reporting and have a record of how and when it is done so whoever comes after me doesn't have to guess, and I want to continue the process of cleaning up the office and streamlining procedures.

The count down is on. Less than four months and I will say goodbye forever. Woohoo!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Christmas Ribbon Squares

I started writing this entry on August 28, 2007 SEVEN! Yikes!!!

I was looking through my cupboards a few weeks ago and I realized that I had most of the ingredients needed to make a favourite dessert of mine. Only one problem. I didn't have the recipe. No problem, I know it's a Jello thing so I started with my fancy All Things Jello recipe book. No luck.

Move on to the internet. Still no luck.
So I call my mom. I describe the recipe I want and she knows what it is almost immediately. She locates it and starts reading off the ingredients. I'm copying them down but it's taking forever. Finally I get a brilliant idea. "Scan it for me!" Of course walking her through the process of scanning it, saving it, and then attaching it to an email probably took as long as writing the whole thing down would have, but now I have my own copy of the original :)
And now, close to three years later, I want to make it again. Good thing I saved the scan in a draft blog post!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Haha I Beat You!

Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh but it's what I keep thinking!!! We hired my current boss in October. He came on board with a few conditions on his contract and one is that he only intends to work for the organization for a few years until he retires. Everyone knows this but he talks about it with me more than anyone. I'm the Office Administrator/Executive Assistant so it makes sense. I'm also the HR manager from a paperwork point of view so he logs his hours with me etc. Anyways, he was talking about it again today. About increasing certain staff members hours, upping salaries, and, to facilitate this from a budget point of view, phasing himself out in a few years. Whether he can totally do that or they'll have to replace him is still up for debate but that's the goal.

He's an awesome boss. Definitely one of the best I've had yet...and not only because the guy he replaced was completely useless. This guy is smart (like, Phd smart), funny, professional, courteous, etc. Everything a fabulous boss should be. It almost makes me feel guilty about leaving. Almost.

It's weird to hear him talk about not being around in a few years when I know that I won't be around in a few MONTHS! The thing is, I too was hired after disclosing the fact that I was leaving...but the person that hired me isn't there anymore and as far as I can tell, he didn't disclose the fact that I have an expiry date to anyone. So my current boss doesn't know. And he won't until I'm ready to give my formal notice. At least that's the plan. If it comes out sooner it won't be the end of the world. He has an expiry date too. Maybe he'll be more sympathetic to mine :)

April 12 of 12

I believe that after over a year of doing 12 of 12's, this is the first time I've ever uploaded the pictures ON the 12th!!! Go me! So, I actually totally forgot about it until lunch. Well, I knew about it, I just didn't have ANY time. With year end having just passed and the bookeeper in today, my office was like Grand Central so it wasn't really conducive to taking pictures. The first shot I got during the day was of the beautiful cherry blossoms that I park under each day at lunch. The smell so wonderful. I love this time of year!

I had a good mail day today. An official letter from WLU welcoming me to the school (the acknowledgment I've been looking for!) and a CM workshop gift certificate as a thank you for referring a friend to a local CMC.
On the way back to work I treated myself to a Dark Cherry Frappacino with the gift card I got from my cousin a few days ago. It came in thank you card for letting them stay with me during the Olympics.

My cousin mentioned this book in her Facebook status. It's VERY different from what I usually read but it's extremely captivating already. I'm only a little way in to it but I really want to find out what happens next.

The picture on the left is symbolic but it requires a lot of explanation. First the time, I left the office at 5 (I get off at 4:30) That means I was in my car listening to my radio at 5pm which means it's on FM2/CH6 which means it's on 94.1 KMPS out of Seattle. Why? Because at 5pm Tony Thomas plays his "Five O'Clock Test Track". Today was Dierks Bentley's new single called "Up On The Ridge" Love new music from Dierks!!!
I had a new recipe I wanted to try so I stopped at the grocery store for broccoli and parmesean cheese...$30 later...well you get the picture :P

This is the recipe. It's a super simple one from Kraft. My finished product is on the left.

After dinner I headed out to my last regular evening of Square Dance. I was glad that it landed on the 12 of 12 because I wanted to capture it but I didn't expect having so MUCH to capture! We had the graduation for the new dancers. The club president enlisted me to put grad caps on each of the dancers. When I finished I realized there was an extra one. It was for ME! I actually technically progressed from beginner to Mainstream in April 2007 but I was in Texas when that grad ceremony happened so I missed out. I got my certificate but not everything that went with it. It was really special to be recognized and included in the celebrations tonight. Kind of symbolic as well because I'm "graduating" from this group of friends and going out in to the big world! One person said "just think, the next cap you'll wear will be black - when you graduate university". I have to admit, I've been so focused on STARTING school that the idea of FINISHING hasn't really even been on my mind. Realizing what I'm committing to is huge and exciting.
What followed was an evening of fun and silliness. Have you ever tried to dance with paper bags on your feet? The worst part is simply how loud it is!!! LOL

A few weeks ago we had a "recycle sale". Everyone brings the square dance clothes that they're not wearing anymore and offers them up for sale. I got rid of most of the stuff I don't wear at our Fall sale but this Spring I brought my club jacket in. (You can see it in the last picture of my first 12 of 12 post here" I can't remember if I actually paid anything for it or if I was just given it so I decided to pass it on to someone at no charge. Mostly I just didn't want it sitting in a box because I won't be wearing it. Maureen (middle) just happened to be downstairs when I went down to find a lucky soul to adopt my coat and since it fit her, I gave it to her. She's a new dancer so I thought it was appropriate. This evening, as a thank you (because I wouldn't accept money) she brought me this plaque. It says "DREAM: Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars" She also included a little note that reads "

Dear Heidi, When I was in nursing school, I had a sign over my study area that said Though semesters never last, tough students do". I couldn't find that one, so I hope this one will do.

Thanks again for the jacket. We will miss your friendly smiling face at square dancing. I am sure you will do well with your studies.

Best of luck! Maureen.

She had no way of knowing but this plaque is extra special because "DREAM" is my One Word for 2010 and I didn't have anything to represent it. I made sure to tell her and I know this is one thing I'll find room to bring with me to Ontario.

The club also gave me a card with a special name tag that says "Missing Link". That choked me up a bit. I guess it's the first of many goodbyes! I'd better get used to this!!!

So there we go, a 12 of 12 posted before 12 on the 12th! Woohoo!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bradner Flower Show

Yesterday Mom and I went down to the 82nd annual Bradner Flower Show. We got our days a bit mixed up and thought we'd see the opening ceremonies and a hand bell choir but when we got there we realized that had all taken place on Friday. We still took a little while to enjoy the many, many different varieties of daffodils on display.

The ones with "frilly" centres really stood out to us this year. I really liked the mini ones as well. We each bought a bouquet to take home as well.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Ultimate Goal

Yesterday I had an experience that I'm not eager to repeat.

I taught high school.

Well, maybe "taught" is a bit of an exageration. I was a guest speaker at a local high school for three blocks. Hardest thing I've done in awhile and I had a splitting headache when I was done. Not to mention how exhausted I felt. It was a good experience though. It really reinforced what I DON'T want to do with the rest of my life. :P

Speaking of that though, there are a few very standard questions whenever you tell someone that you're going to university.
1. Where are you going
2. What are you taking 3.
What do you want to do when you graduate?

You can switch up the order but that's what most people need to establish. When I tell people that I'm taking History, they invariably ask if I want to teach. My answer is no. Always has been. Even before yesterday. I really don't see my self in a traditional school environment. Even university. Maybe I'll change once I'm actually there but I doubt it.

My standard answer is "I want to work at a museum or National Historic Site". My new favourite website is Parks Canada (which operates both parks and National Historic Sites - NHS). I was poking around on there the other day and found this listing: Student Jobs at Parks Canada There are SO many jobs on that page that I want to do. Here are a sample:
Student Interpretive Guide and Visitor Centre
  • Administration: Work with Public
    Administration: Work with Public -- Cashier
    Administration: Work with Public -- Visitor Services Attendant
    Administration: Records Management - Records Management
    Administration: Office Work - Receptionist
    Parks/Recreation/Tourism: Tourist Information - Historic Sites/Museum Interpretation
    Parks/Recreation/Tourism: Tourist Information - Tour Guide
    Parks/Recreation/Tourism: Tourist Information - Guide-Interpreter
    Culture, Arts and Heritage: Communications - Public Speaking

There's probably more but basically that shows the TYPE of work I want to do. Whether it's for Parks Canada, a museum or other historical tourist attraction, THAT is the field I want to be working in. Yes "teaching" will very possibly be part of what ever I do but it won't be in a traditional classroom setting. I can't wait to get started!!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thanks Ralph

I woke up the other morning in a panic "OMG! Why am I moving? What am I thinking? I can't go!" I don't know what triggered it, probably one of my dreams, but it was strong. I came out to the kitchen and realized my calendar was still on March. I flipped it to April and this is the quote for the month:
It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do". ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks Ralph. That's exactly what I needed to hear!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Three for Three!

I received an offer of admission from the University of Guelph today. I'm still going to Laurier and now I'm even more glad that I made that decision before waiting to hear from Guelph.

I didn't blog about but back in March I actually went to an open house for Guelph. I felt a bit weird being there without having an offer but I realized that there were quite a few others in the same situation as me. It was really interesting to hear about the school and about university life in general but even after that, I still felt that Laurier was best for ME. It is nice to know that, if when I get there, Laurier ISN'T right for me, that I have something to fall back on though. It's also good for the ego to know that all three schools I applied accepted my application :)

Avoiding Embarassment

I have a newish co-worker (he’s actually been working with us for over a year but changes in his position have recently meant that we work quite closely on a number of issues). We get along really well and joke about all sorts of things. He meets with clients one on one and some of the individuals are rather interesting (some in a good way, some not). He had a client come in yesterday who I found quite good looking. I was going to make a comment to my co-worker about getting to meet with all the “good” clients (it stems from him having met with a male underwear model a few months ago) but for some reason with this one I bit my tongue and stayed professional. Come to find out, this “client” was my coworkers SON! How awkward would that have been!!! Thank goodness I didn’t say anything!!!

Veggie Lover

I had a strange realization today. I was at my friend Jenna's house for dinner and we were talking about the foods we don't like. I realized that I can't think of a single VEGETABLE that I don't like. There's plenty of processed foods I won't eat but I love ALL veggies...and fruit for that matter...well, except for canteloupe. And I could do without ever eating a Macintosh apple ever again...raw that is. They're fine cooked.

But veggies? I love them all! Brussel sprouts, asapragus, peas, squash, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes (I'm trying to think of things that I know other people don't like). Broccoli? LOVE broccoli. Interesting.

That's more like it

We have received confirmation that you have accepted your Offer of Admission from Wilfrid Laurier University. Thank you!

Really. All I wanted was confirmation. I finally got it! Of course it was basically a "sit tight until May because we don't know anything until then and can't tell you anything either". But that's okay. At least I feel acknowledged :)