Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome New Guy

Congrats on the job. Now call the plumber. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad but there's nothing like a leaky toilet on your first official day of the job to really initiate you :P This guy (my replacement) was actually around last Monday and Tuesday and we got a lot of training done but there's more to do. My parents were over this evening while I was packing and I told them that I didn't realize how exhausting it was to talk all day. Dad got a kick out of that because he thinks I talk too much but I tell you, when you're training and you have to explain every little thing you're doing, it's tiring!

I get the feeling it must be like having a three or four year old. Whatever age it is where they want to be involved in EVERYTHING you do. In my case he HAS to be involved in everything I do because in six work days, he'll be DOING it. There's no point in me keeping control when he has to know what is going on. In fact today we actually gave the word for my computer profile to be absorbed into his. We'll do everything (access emails, files, etc) from within his documents and Outlook. It's kind of crazy but I couldn't come up with a reason not to. The analogy is that I'm "closing a chapter and moving on" well I am SO ready to close this chapter. I mean I like my job and I could continue doing it but I'm getting excited for what ever else is out there and I'm ready to take it on.

On the packing front, it's progressing. I'm sure I could throw out even more than I have already but this is my first major purge since childhood so one step at a time. I started packing clothes today as well. I'm putting my winter stuff in a box and I think I'm going to ship it to Ontario. I was pretty brutally honest about what I actually wear though so a surprising amount of stuff didn't actually make it into the box. I've designated it for garage sale and then whatever doesn't sell goes to goodwill. I can always accumulate more stuff in Ontario.

The last frontier is really going to be my scrapbooking stuff. I was at the SSWA Retreat this weekend which was awesome but it did remind me somewhat of exactly how much stuff I have. I got rid of a bunch in the first garage sale but I have more to do. But, like I told Dad, a little at a time and it will all get done. Slowly but surely...and I can't wait to be done work so I can pack more seriously!

Friday, July 16, 2010

56 Things You Can Toss Out Now

by Christine Kane (with comments added by Heidi as I identified with practically every line in this article)
We hold onto our stuff for two reasons: Love or fear. We either love things. Or we fear letting them go.

We cherish them and know they have value to us.

OR...

We fear that we'll need them someday. We fear that we wasted our money on them. We fear what others will think if we let them go. We even fear making the decision to release our mistakes, so we don't make any decision at all. Instead we passively hold onto stuff out of guilt.

Well, guess what?

When you begin to make choices from a place of LOVE and EXPANSION, then your world will change. Love is the clearest reason to do anything.

If you don't love it, toss it. Give it away. Your abundance and energy will increase when you begin to live by love, and not by fear.

Here are 56 things you can toss out (or give away) right now...

1. All the hotel key cards you forgot to turn it when you checked out. I had a boss who had a phobia that our credit card information would be retained on said cards so she insisted that we NOT return them. I have a stack that I was planning on making into a mini album. If it doesn’t happen before I leave, then I promise to ditch them.

2. The doilies your Aunt Missy crocheted 45 years ago that got handed down to you. What about the ones I bought when on vacation six years ago. The ones that are still in the bag…from the town that I’ll be living 15 minutes away from when I move…

3. CD's you haven't listened to in three years or more. Will you believe me if I say I listen to them all? Yeah, me neither :P I’ve added some to the garage sale pile.

4. The boxes of cassettes you've been meaning to transfer to CD's. – Not transfer. I don’t know how to do that. I do have a few that I still listen to though…

5. The bread maker you haven't used since 2003. – doesn’t apply but I’m having separation anxiety over leaving my Panini maker…

6. Your wedding dress. – What about my prom dress that I don’t fit? Or the two bridesmaid dresses (prom dress actually doubled as a candle lighter dress too) that are hanging in my closet?

7. Credit card bills from 1995. – I didn’t get a cc until 2002ish and yes, I just ditched a bunch of those. What’s holding me up is all my “business” receipts from when I was a CMC. Do I really have to keep them for seven years? That’s 2012!

8. The Allen wrenches from every piece of IKEA furniture you ever assembled. - guilty

9. The jacket you spent way too much money on and never wore. NOTE: Keeping it around just to punish yourself for your bad choices is like going to parochial school all over again. - this is hard. I’ve purged a lot of my clothes though.

10. Every scratching post or toy your cat doesn't like. NOTE: Your cat didn't go to parochial school so there's no sense punishing him.

11. House plants you no longer love. – thankfully they’ve all died :D

12. The stacks of O Magazine you swear you'll re-read. – Not O but I have a complete collection of Country Weekly. Think anyone would want them?

13. Every little zippy bag that came with a Clinique purchase. – got it. In to the trash they go…except for the one I use for camera cords

14. Every unopened perfume that came with a Clinique purchase. – oooh, one thing I DON’T have!

15. Leftover scrunchies in case you grow your hair long again. (Or in case the 90's return!) – again, got it. I promise I’ll throw these out today :P

16. The "Cherries Jubilee" flavored lip balm that makes you nauseous. - okay, lip balm is my weakness. I have tons of them. I like them all though. If I don't I definitely chuck them.

17. Every single regretful lipstick color you bought on a whim. ("Cherries Jubilee" is probably there, too.)

18. Your last four cell phones and all their chargers and blue teeth. - I only have one "ex" cell phone and I will NOT bring it to Ontario with me...I just need to go through and make sure I have all the numbers out of it...

19. Single socks. - they're hanging on my mirror waiting for their mates...

20. The Spode Christmas plates and mugs you don't like. (Along with the Christmas bath towels and welcome mat.) - Christmas plates are in the garage sale pile. Good reminder on the towels though. I'll add them today.

21. The framed posters you had in your college dorm room. - yes, there are posters on my wall that I will not be saving

22. Old stereo wires. NOTE: If your husband refuses to let go of any of these mysterious wires, try this: Put them (not him!) in a bin and label it "Random Cables and Wires." After two years, bring it out of storage and kindly note that no one has thought about it in two years. Ask if it would be okay to let go of half of them. Repeat process until all mysterious cables and wires are gone. - I have a cupboard full of these. I'm leaving them for Robert to inherit :D

23. The nails, screws, anchors, and cup hooks rusting in the bottom of your tool chest. - all random screws are in my tool box. No rust...yet...

24. Remote controls that don't remotely control anything you own. - safe!

25. Lamps, toasters, blenders, coffeemakers that no longer work. - thankfully in four years I have accumulated anything like this.

26. The notion that you will ever be one of those moms that makes beautiful scrapbooks. - at this point, it's more like the notion that I'll ever be a mom. Because I do make beautiful scrapbooks :P

NOTE: Put your photos in boxes. No one will judge you. - no, but it's not as fun!

27. Old blankets and linens you keep in case you suddenly have 27 sleepover guests. - I only have one old blanket and I tend to leave it on the couch in the winter when I'm watching tv. I do have two pillows that could probably be thrown out

28. College text books. - noted. Don't keep these.

29. Any boring decorative item that does little more than fill space. - hence the garage sale!

30. Vases you don't love or use. - ditto

31. Candle holders you don't love or use. - ditto

32. Picture frames you don't love or use. - ditto, it's amazing how many of these things I accumulated!

33. Class notes from college. - just entering college and I burnt most of my highshcool ones (we had a bonfire to celebrate graduation). I'm pretty sure all I have left are projects.

34. The idea that you have to save every last piece of your children's artwork and school work because it might mean you don't love them if you don't. (Save your favorites that have meaning to you!) - how about my OWN artwork and school work?

35. The "good silver" you don't use that was passed down to you. - I don't actually have any!

36. Old VHS movies. - I have a handful and I'm gifting them to Robert. He and Seth have HUGE collections of these things.

37. Unlabeled VHS tapes. (And don't waste your time watching them just in case.) - I have the VHS tapes from my grad...I watched them...

38. The stationary bike that got even more stationary after you got it. - LOL I had roller blades, I gave them away years ago.

39. The fabric pieces you've been collecting in case you ever become a quilter. - I'm not a quilter, I've never been a quilter, yet I have TONS of fabric pieces!!! I'm giving them to Mom as I find them. She can deal with them...is that evil?

40. Flashlights that dimly light up only after you bang them over and over on your thigh. - LOL I've had those. Don't anymore though.

41. Old keys that open some door somewhere in the past. - this is my desk drawer. TONS of keys and no idea about half of them.

42. Suitcases you don't use. 43. Old computers. 44. Old stereos. - safe

45. Promotional duffel bags with ugly logos and bad acronyms stitched all over them. - I have a few that need to be chucked. I tried to include them in the garage sale but the fact is, no one wants them...

46. Anything that makes you say, "But I got such a good price on it!"
47. Anything that makes you say, "But I paid so much for it!"
Ouch. Too true!

48. Half-full cans of paint. - again at work. Clear at home.

49. Extra baby items/Old baby items.

50. Record albums.

NOTE: Don't spend your extra hours in a day trying to figure out if someone will buy them. Really. They won't. They can buy the BeeGees on iTunes. - so true.

51. Gifts you never liked. - and don't feel guilty!!!

52. All the cross-stitch, knitting, or sewing projects you never finished. - this is hard. Cross stitching is cyclical. I will work on a project for awhile and then not again for a few years. It does seem dumb to store them though...

53. Any glassware or dinnerware that is a "memorabilia" item from proms or sororities or sports events. - all I have is one from high school that I use as a coin jar...

54. Old information packets you no longer need or that you can easily find on line. - YES. GARBAGE! Along with all the info from the universities I'm not attending.

55. All the hotel soaps that you took with you. (And stop taking them. You've got plenty of soap!) - actually I use them. I'm down to my last sliver of soap from Forks. I'm using all the body wash I had on hand too. I won't have hardly anything left by the time I move!

56. The belief that you only have to go through the de-cluttering process once and won't ever have to do it again. - so true. I only plan on being in my new place for eight months but I'm sure I'll accumulate a lot by then...
________________________________________

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Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 12,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://christinekane.com.
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July 12 of 12

I kind off got off track with the Twelve of Twelve thing. I'm going to try and get back to it because they're bound to be interesting in the next little while! This is my last one at this job though.
The first shot is of my new stereo. Yes I didn't arrive at work until quarter after eight :P. My new stereo plays cd's, music from USB's (which is what I was listening to) and I have an auxilary connection as well. I had it installed just before Aaron and I left on our road trip and I'm loving it. Not loving the faceplate thing. That's annoying, but the rest of it is great.

My second cup of coffee (you can tell it's the second because you can see the ring from the first cup, and this batch doesn't have milk in it because we're out at work)

The countdown Deb made for me :)



At lunch I had to go to Michaels for a frame for oen of my coworkers...I may or may not have walked down the scrapbooking aisle on my way to frames... ;)
Next stop was the TD Bank. Robert has to store some of his stuff in Alberta until he can go out and pick it up. He electronically transferred cash to me and I took it and deposited into my Aunt's account (she's getting the unit for him). Kind of round about but he's out of town so it was the least I could do to help him out.

In the afternoon my boss and I met with the auditor. My eyes were crossing from the numbers!!!

Beautiful roses at the library. They smelled like summer :)



Dinner at Restaurant 62 with a former coworker. It was yummy and I had fun filling her in on my plans. She's actually going to be in Ontario in October so we'll be able to meet up there as well.

The requisite self portrait taken on my balcony. It's a bit fuzzy but this is me!

This picture is slightly cheating. It was actually taken on Sunday as part of that batch at Aunty Phyllis's but I was processing them in the evening so I'm including it. It shows how far back this information goes!

I watched the original Toy Story while doing my data entry. There are some GREAT lines in that movie!
And a bonus self portrait. My sexy new sleep mask :P Don't laugh though, it really works!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jackpot!

When I met with my great-aunt Phyllis in September 2008 we were talking about genealogy and she mentioned that she had copied out a bunch of birthdates and deaths for a cousin in England. The cousin had lost the paperwork though so Aunty Phyllis was rather disgusted and not interested in copying it out again. The thing is KNOWING she had this information has been driving me crazy. I’ve been out a few times since and we talked in general terms about this but I never really got hard dates.

Sunday Mom, Dad and I went out to visit again. This time I took my laptop (under the pretense of sharing pictures from the family reunion in June) and while she as Dad were talking, I also booted up my genealogy software. Aunty Phyllis tends to skip around a LOT when she’s talking so I just took notes. Some of my favourite comments were:

"They moved to Alberta because they got free land. They must have chosen it in the dark though because it was bad!"

When I asked why her dad had moved around so much she said he "had farms that got dried out but, if they hadn't moved around he would have never met my mom and we wouldn't be sitting her today."

At one point she was talking about her dad’s siblings and she started listing them off. During this time she referenced a “birthday book” that her dad had started. I stopped her and asked her directly if I could see it. Part of me was amazed that she actually got up and got it. OMFSM I felt like I was holding the dead sea scrolls or something! I’m not sure exactly how old the book is but it was started by my great-grandfather. He passed away in 1971 and since then it’s been maintained by Phyllis. She was good at noting new births and deaths when she thought of it. I tried to start entering the data straight into my software but when I realized how long that would take, I just whipped out my camera and started taking pictures. I took pictures of every page that had meaningful data on it. When I got home I transcribed it all into an Excel spreadsheet and I have over 160 names and dates!!! Not all of those people are family but many are and a large portion of the information goes back to the late 1800’s. The best part is right at the front. My great-grandfather wrote down his name and his wife’s name and their parents and grandparents on both sides.

It is said that most people can name their parents and grandparents. Some even know their great grand parents and fewer know their great-great grandparents. With this information I have the names of four of my great-great-great-grand-parents! That’s five generations back!!! Seeing this book has saved me literally hundreds of hours of research. I still can DO hundreds of hours of research but now I have somewhere to start. And it’s not some random rabbit trail. It’s hard evidence written in my great-grandfather’s hand.

Once I examine what I have (list it and enter the people I can) I’ll print off the family trees that I have and go back and visit Aunty Phyllis again. I’m running out of time though so I have to do this sooner rather than later.

There’s rumour of a second “birthday book”. That one is for her husbands family. He had 14 brothers and sisters though…I may wait on that one…

Garage Sale

I decided at the end of April that I wanted to have a garage sale before moving. I've been putting stuff into boxes designated for the sale and then taking the boxes to Mom & Dad's when they get full. I hadn't quite decided on a sale date yet but on Wednesday I heard that a friend of mine was holding her own sale. I asked if I could join her and she was more than happy to have me. I think that's the key for procrastinators. Only give yourself a few days to get ready!

I spent Thursday and Friday scrambling to get as much as I could ready for the sale and Friday evening Dad helped me take a bunch over to Cathy's. Saturday morning I didn't get up quite as bright and early as I had hoped but I was still there by 8:30am. The sale was slotted to start at 9 but of course there were early birds. It was BUSY until 11 and then it slowed to a steady trickle. I sold approximately half of what I had brought, all of it for under $5/piece. Most at 25 cents to a dollar. I brought home over $100. Not stellar but not bad for a days work and better than donating everything for nothing.

Everything I didn't sell I gathered up and took back to Mom & Dad's. I'm planning a second sale just before I leave to give the stuff one last chance. A different neigbourhood will bring different customers and I've learned a bit about displaying and pricing since doing the first one. Plus by that time I'll probably have a few new things to designate for sale. With my last day at work looming (and therefore my last paycheck) every little bit counts!

Friday, July 09, 2010

What Could Be

Less than six weeks till I leave! I had a slight glimpse at what could be the other day. Through the grapevine I heard that an ex-coworker of mine, who has moved up, up, UP since leaving, might be looking for an assistant. He's the one that referred me to my last job: http://agent713.blogspot.com/2006/02/check-in.html. He's a great guy and we'd probably work well together but I don't want that job. I mean I'd like the job, but not in the field he's in right now. (Economic Development at the municiple level). I could totally DO the job and the fact that it pays almost TWICE what I currently make (twice, as in double the annual salary) is tempting, but I really, really don't want to be in the business/economic development field anymore! I know there's potential in my chosen field. I just have to find the right job, and have adventures in the meantime :) Maybe I won't make as much, at least for a few years, but I'll be happier, more passionate about what I'm doing and therefore fulfilled. Still, it's interesting to know that there are other options.

July Long Weekend Update

There. All it takes is one really busy long weekend to totally derail my new commitment to blogging. In brief (and sans pictures because I’d never get to it that way)

Friday, July 2nd my friends Sharlaine and James were married. James is from Ontario and they will be living there. There were a LOT of out of towners in for the wedding. Many of them attend the church I’ll be attending in Ontario so it was kind of a preview and “hey how are you, I’m moving in two months” kind of weekend for me. That set the mood for the whole weekend.

Wednesday after church a bunch of us went to Sharlaine’s dad’s house to visit. I got home around midnight but it was great to see everyone.

Thursday, July 1st was Canada Day. A group of us had made plans to spend the day at Hicks Lake and, despite the weather (we froze) we had fun. In the evening we split up. Those with kids went home to watch the fireworks and the rest of us stayed out at Harrison to see the display there.

Friday was the wedding. Absolutely beautiful and perfect. The weather was still overcast and a bit cool but at least no one was squinting for pictures :) The reception was full of speeches and slide shows and a few of us had a bit of a cry fest afterwards but it was really special.

Saturday I spent the day at the BerryBeat Festival. This was my eighth or ninth year volunteering and one of the smoothest we’ve had yet. Again it was really overcast which had pros and cons. On one hand we were COLD. On the other, it wasn’t nearly as exhausting as battling heat all weekend. Still, by the time I got home that evening (I left early because it was winding down) I was pretty tired. It was only 7:30 which I thought was too early to go to bed but I laid down anyways and fell right to sleep. I slept through till 7 the next morning. It was wonderful.

Sunday I went to church and then back to BerryBeat for the afternoon. Clean up after the festival went quickly and I was done by 6pm. From there I went out to a friends house where she was hosting a BBQ/bonfire for all the visitors.

So, busy weekend, lots of laughs and fun times. It was nice to be able to say “see you soon” instead of goodbye to everyone. Just think, less than two months and I’ll be living in Ontario full time! But before then, I have the summer in BC to enjoy :)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

"Are you excited?"

I've noticed an interesting pattern among people who I am talking to about my impending move. A number of them have been asking "are you excited?", "are you looking forward to moving?". My response is always "Of course!" and yesterday I even pointed out, "If I wasn't excited or looking forward to it for some reason, I WOULDN'T GO!" I suppose they just need reassurance, or maybe they're recognizing how many good-byes I have in front of me that I haven't really acknowledged yet.

The thing is, this move is a CHOICE. I'm not being forced to go by work, or family or other circumstances. I am CHOSING to close up my life in BC (for the most part) and to pick up and move to Ontario. Chosing. I could CHOSE to NOT go at any time. Yes people would look at me funny but they look at me funny as it is :P

Yesterday I was at a wedding for friends who will be living in Ontario. (He's from there, she's from here). I had a mini cry sessions with the bridesmaids, one who lives here and one who lives in Saskatchewan (but is from BC). I was laughing (through my tears) because I'm going WITH the bride and groom (in that I'll be in the same province as them) and I'll be with many of the people who were in that room. But the tears were to acknowledge those who I (and the bridesmaid from SK) are/have left behind.

Truly, it is wonderful to know that I have so many friends here. I also have a lot of "friends" in Ontario that I'm excited to get to know better. So, "am I excited?" YOU BET! Because if I wasn't I wouldn't go.

Friday, July 02, 2010

World Cup

I’m not a soccer fan. In high school I’d play defence so I didn’t have to run as much (not goalie, that was too stressful). I know that it’s called “football” everywhere else and I know the World Cup is on right now (you can’t avoid it!) but I had to read the Wikipedia article to understand how it all works.

The first time I remember being conscious of the World Cup was in 1998 when I was at summer camp. One of the other counsellors was getting updates from home and he’d make a point of sharing them with the whole camp. For some reason I seem to remember him cheering for France although I don’t know why.

This year my cousin’s fiancĂ© is in South Africa covering the World Cup for work. It’s been fascinating to watch his updates on Facebook. Definitely the closest I’ve been to the hoopla.

When we were at the family reunion earlier this month, my uncle was wearing his “Netherlands” shirt so my aunt and cousins brought out a South Africa flag. It was fun to see different family members celebrating their heritage.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Canada

I've been meaning to post this for a long time. How convenient that I finally get to it today, Canada Day! The picture is of the map that hangs in (what is now again) my bedroom. I bought around 2002 or 03. Back when I was planning a trip across Canada. A road trip. I had all the guide books, maps from each province (they're free on the tourism websites) and I bought this to hang on the wall to inspire me. At one point I even had sticky notes on locations showing when I wanted to be in each province. I had planned to drive out in June and come back in July. The plan (obviously) never really got off the ground but it's ALWAYS been a dream of mine.

Seven weeks and I get to fulfill it. Now, from a geographical standpoint I'm only going halfway across but still, I get to see SO many things that I've never seen before and I'll be halfway there so going the rest of the way (to the East Coast) won't be that daunting...I hope. I haven't decided yet if I'll take the map with me. Probably not because it's large and laminated and really, I can get one in Ontario. :P Still, it's very exciting to wake up each morning and know that in seven weeks I'll have started this trip that I've been dreaming about and planning for so many years. That I'll be visiting places I've only ever seen on a map!


PS this map inspired the new look of my blog. Mine to Discover. A whole country full!!!