lessons learned

53. You are in the right place… at the right time!

I receive a lot of emails from viewers of our YouTube channel and one thing that I need to repeat, time and time again, is that you ARE in the right place and the right time.

 

Perhaps the most worrying this week was knowing that Coco, who is part of our TinyChat broadcast community,  had travelling to Oklahoma with her two sons just in time for the tornado. It took 24 hours to find out that she and the boys were safe but, with her usual up-beat attitude, she said it was good for the boys to learn what Oklahoma was really like. They are considering moving there.

 

Life brings us challenges and lessons. Sometimes we “get it” and sometimes we need to repeat the challenge or lesson until we “get it”. I am going through challenges at the moment – luckily they are not serious. I did not want to hear that my blood pressure was way too high and I know what caused it and what continues to push it up. I have taken some steps to reduce my stress.

 

I have to be grateful that we live in a time when medications are available to balance out things like blood pressure. However, one of the realities in my life is that I am now getting older and not able to do all the things I used to be able to do. I do a lot, don’t get me wrong! I just cannot do it all any more. A case in point was taking down the kitchen cupboard doors and repainting the first batch. I had not realized that, with arthritis, it was impossible for me to put them back on my own. It is almost impossible to lift, hold and level a cupboard door while holding a drill and screw…when you have arthritis. Actually, it made me wonder how I used to do it without.

 

The blessing in this is that one of my friends, Yvonne, noted that I had painted the doors but had not put them back up and she worked out why. She knows me well enough to know that asking for help is difficult for me. I have been self-sufficient for so many years.

 

I am really happy that I decided to take the time to repaint my kitchen cupboards while I save up the money to do a revamp of my kitchen. It has really brightened up the room. It is truly amazing what a difference a coat of paint and a some new hinges can do.

old cupboards

Old dishwasher & cupboards

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New dishwasher & paint job

 

YouTube Upate – Week 38

Subscribers             2693
Views                       69,513 from 136 countries
Blog views               3,834
Non-Smoking Days  131 –   saving of $1,401.08

Lessons learned: Learning to ask for help will help me get things done more quickly!

 

 

52. Red flags and the difficulty of telling the truth

I ventured across the border into the US yesterday. As usual, it was an interesting adventure. I had taken it really easy loading up the trailer – pack some, rest some, repeat until finished – and was feeling good.

 

I drove to Sumas crossing as it is the closest one to where I needed to go – Deming, Washington – and I also like the fact that the crossing is not as busy as the ones closer to me. Life was good. I was relaxed. I drove forward to the customs booth. “Nationality?” he said “Canadian but travelling on a British passport” I replied. “What did you say?” I repeated the words. He took my documents. Then he went into a tirade of words which I didn’t understand because I could not hear them over the burble of my Jeep’s V8 engine. “Could you repeat that please, sir?” Be polite, be patient and above all don’t get smart, Sal.

 

Omg, he repeated and I still didn’t hear. “I am sorry to have to ask you…” I was hanging half out of the window at this point, screwing up my eyes, trying to give him the body language to get him to understand his mumbling was not making it over the delightfully guttural burble of Mickey Blue Eyes (name of my Jeep). By now “he” was not amused. I knew he would send me in for vetting because they always do. What I didn’t know is that he had red flagged me for serious scrutiny for immigration “stuff” (not sure what the stuff was!!).

 

There is something to be said about being someone who crosses the border not too often but often enough to have a track record. The more senior guys, inside, took one look at their screen and said “So, you have become a Canadian! Why aren’t you using your Canadian passport?” I would have thought that was pretty darn obvious but held my tongue “Because I have not, as yet, applied for one”. “Why not?” Oh my, I wanted to scream “…because I didn’t know there was a necessity to do so when I still had a perfectly valid passport in my possession”. I took the safer route, “…because I didn’t make the time to do that yet”.

 

But not the end of my problems. Next the really nice man from the food and wildlife section was asking me what I had in the trailer. I listed off as much as I could in terms of apples, oranges, celery, a couple of avocado, cheese… then I faltered. I just couldn’t remember what was in my fridge. I wasn’t trying to be smart, I was struggling to remember and that made me more nervous. I apologized and used the age card “… gee, this getting older really does effect the memory. If I have forgotten anything it is not intentional, it is because I genuinely cannot remember” Then came the really embarrassing part “When did you load the trailer?” What could I do but tell the truth “A couple of hours ago”. “… and you cannot remember what you put in the fridge?!” I didn’t know how to answer that except with a very pathetic “… apparently not and I am embarrassed to admit that”. ‘I see we gave you a pamphlet on what foods you could bring into the States about a year ago. Why didn’t you follow that instruction?” Again, I resisted the “…because, obviously, I lost the darn thing!” and said sheepishly “I lost it”.

 

Notes to self:

1. Get your Canadian passport sorted out ASAP

2. Keep that allowable foods pamphlet in the trailer!

3. Find out why oranges can come from the US but may not return. Weird. Apples can but not oranges clearly marked that they come from the US. Anyone know why?!

51. Definitely a week of memories

You have heard me repeat the adage: Life is about memories, not things and this week was full of memories.

 

On the downside (ying and yang): there was the Boston Marathon sadness closely followed by the fertilizer plant explosion and the horrid loss of life in both. These extraordinary memories will be etched in my mind for a lifetime – thanks, in part, to the 24/7 exposure given by the media and leading me to wonder if anyone could receive a “fair” trial in this day and age. Trial by media appears to be the new normal. Today I heard about a 35 year old who lost her fight with cancer. A lot of sadness for one week.

On the upside: I was able to do the “meet and greet” with one of our regulars on the TinyChat group, fondly known as “our Glen” – not to be confused with the other Glen from BlogTV. We all have a fondness for Our Glen. He has made us laugh until we cried, has demonstrated a very keen sense of concern for members of the DearMamaSal community and I was looking forward to meeting him. I was not disappointed! I laughed more in one evening than I have since… since… omg… now that I think of it…. since Christmas Eve!!!

 

For those who missed the broadcasts where we discussed the evening, know that Glen was a delight, beautifully mannered and very much the character we have come to love. As we suspected we would, we talked (non-stop) for 5 hours and didn’t run out of topics, views or debates. Glen called the (take a breathe non-hockey fans) Canucks run into the play-offs to a ‘T’ and now I pray that they make a decent go of it. So it was a fun evening and definitely one of the memories of the week.

snapshot_001

Benji, Judy and Julianna came to visit and the few hours together flew by. It was amazing to think I had not seen them since January. http://youtu.be/XmBD0q6rBUk  Julianna had grown so much since I last held her.

 

To see her initially terrified by Beaner and then watch that fear turn to curiosity and then delight. Then to watch Beaner bring her his favourite toys… priceless. http://youtu.be/UnT-JKUMCA0

snapshot_002

The last major memory of this memorable week is that I have passed 100 days of being smoke-free!

YouTube Upate – Week 34

Subscribers             2476
Views                        60,300 from 131 countries
Blog views               3,691
Non-Smoking Days  100 –   saving of $1,107.65

Lessons learned: Take the chance to laugh – especially in a week full of grieving

 

 

49. It’s Spring in British Columbia!

There is something about Spring. It lifts the spirits. Yesterday was solid rain and tonight the sun is shining and life is just that much better, somehow. I know a lot of you are still experiencing winter but I thought I would brighten up your day with a pic of some of the tulips that greet me as I drive onto my driveway!

I love Thursday evenings. It is the start of my weekend – if you remember, I no longer work on Fridays. My little bit of retirement. Fridays is the day I work on the next steps for the DearMamaSal side of my life.DSC00237 I do research and try to learn a bit more about the technology. It normally ends up with a lot of time that feels like it is “wasted” because I don’t achieve a great deal but it all adds up to greater knowledge, in the end.

 

We have viewers of our TinyChat.com/dearmamasal channel who are going to meet up this weekend. So exciting that they feel they have made good enough friends that they can do that. Next week I do the same when I meet up with “Our Glen”DSC00236. I am really looking forward to that evening because I know we have lots to chat about and we always laugh a lot when we are on line so I am sure it will be a very entertaining evening. Luckily, the Canucks will not be playing that night but I do have another sports related subject that I want to discuss that night.

YouTube Upate – Week 32

Subscribers             2385
Views                        57,000 from 131 countries
Blog views               3,691
Non-Smoking Days  90 with as saving of $967.00 Cdn
 

Lessons learned: Sunshine just makes the whole world better