Friday, 17 December 2004

December 17, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   Last Sunday night I saw a shooting star streak across the night sky…and I made a wish…

   My wish for you is that...you have happiness no matter what is happening in your life...friends to share your joys and your sorrows with...you have a task that is not only meaningful, but also contributes to making the world a better place...you know that you are loved, even if it feels like everyone and everything is against you…and, that the magic of this Christmas season and the true meaning behind the traditions will give you hope!  

Beth

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Friday, 3 December 2004

December 3, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I am finding it hard to believe that it has been two whole weeks since I last typed an editorial.  Where, oh where, is this year going?

   The days, weeks and months have been flying by at lightning speed.  Plus, there are just not enough days in the weeks anymore.

   Do you remember how time dragged when you were waiting for Christmas as a child.  The anticipation and excitement kept building as the days counted down...very s-l-o-w-l-y.  It seemed like Santa would never get here.

   Many of us have lost that sense of anticipation and excitement in our lives.  We are so caught up in our routines and “have to’s” that we overlook the excitement of life around us.  We fret and fume about Christmas shopping and preparations, that we’ve forgotten the anticipation that we felt as a child.

   Let us try and slow time down a bit as we recapture our youthful excitement of the miracle of the Christmas season.  

Beth

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Friday, 19 November 2004

November 19, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   Life is getting a little harried as I come to the end of another university course and begin working on the final project.  In the midst of that, I am also starting some projects at the library which need to be done by the end of the year.

   Also, we are approaching the time when Christmas parties, functions and shopping are coming up fast.  Remember...be responsible and look out for others.

   This year is rapidly drawing to a close.  I can’t believe how fast the days, weeks and months have been flying by.  Let us take a moment to breathe during this hectic time and reflect on the past year...on our accomplishments, on what we want to improve and on what direction we want our lives to go in the coming year. 

Beth

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Friday, 5 November 2004

November 5, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   It is amazing what can be accomplished when everyone works together for a common goal...especially if the goal is going to help others.  The Hartel Benefit held last week is an excellent example of this.

   Businesses and individuals in the community joined forces and pulled together to make the special evening a night of fun, laughter, friendship, and support.  Each person did their part to make the evening a successful undertaking on all fronts.  Hats off to the organizers and everyone who was part of the Benefit evening.

   Rather than dwelling on what couldn't be done, or what they didn’t have, people looked at the possibilities and what they did have that they could share with others.  No one sat there and said, “This can’t be done” or “This will never work” or “We should just give up as this is too big an undertaking.”  No, participants gave and gave some more - giving support to a family in the community.

   The Hartel Benefit should be an example to all of us and our community organizations.  Anything CAN be done IF people care enough to do something.  

Beth

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Friday, 15 October 2004

October 15, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

     You never realize how much you depend on something until it is no longer there, or no longer the way it used to be.

   Over two weeks ago, I almost ripped my thumb nail off.  A minor inconvenience that I figured would heal and life would go back to normal.  Fine in theory, but it was my ‘left’ thumb nail, and I’m left-handed.  I never realized how much I use that thumb, and its nail, in my everyday routine, until suddenly I was without thumb usage.  While I am fairly adept at changing hand usage at whim, I still found it difficult to do some things with my right hand, that are usually a breeze with my left.

   It is amazing how the ‘little things’ of life have the greatest impact on our daily lives.  It is not the big events that we notice quite as much as the little things when something goes wrong.  Habits and routines can be disrupted by something as small as a sore thumb, just as easily as something major like a terminal illness.  We can let the ‘little things’ get to us, or we can rise above them. 

Beth

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Friday, 1 October 2004

October 1, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   Due to renovations at the Library, I am enjoying an unexpected day off to myself. 

   Now, I could (if I wanted too) gripe and complain about how this is a big inconvenience…and it is an inconvenience, not only myself, but those wanting to use the library, or submit items for the paper.

   Instead, I am thrilled to bits.  This little, unexpected break is providing me with time to accomplish tasks that I thought I’d have to forgo this week due to time constraints.  As well, I am typing this editorial in a leisurely manner on Tuesday, rather than in a frantic rush on Wednesday, which means that the paper will get submitted at the proper time and I’ll be able to devote myself to studying on Wednesday.

   In life, we get unexpected breaks tossed our way - usually when we least expect it, but could sure use it.  Rather than griping and complaining about how our routine has been disrupted, we should savour these unexpected breaks for the bonuses they are.  Who hasn’t wished for one more day to accomplish a task, or for a couple hours just to themselves.

   Also, take time to enjoy the changing seasons.  Admire the changing leaves, walk out in the crisp fall air, rake some leaves together and then jump in them like a little kid, enjoy the garden produce and the fruit harvests.

   We have much to be thankful for in our world.  Let’s take the time to remember to appreciate and acknowledge our blessings.

   Happy Thanksgiving! 

Beth

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Friday, 17 September 2004

September 17, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

      In some readings I did of late, I came across a blurb on the concept of Kaizen.  While this has been mostly applied to business management in Japan, Kaizen can be applied to any area of life.

   In a nutshell, Kaizen is small continuous changes which over time result in big changes.

   If you want to make a change to a particular area of your life - professionally or personally - it is better to start with baby steps.  Do just one small action a day to move you further along the road to your goal.

   By taking baby steps, you won’t overwhelm yourself - a major reason why people start something new and then quit after mere days.  Also, you will be able to see the tangible changes that you are making, changes that are in manageable bite sizes.

   These baby steps can be very small...finding a pen so you can write down the next step...putting everything for the next task in one convenient location...making one phone call (or just looking up the number so you can make the call!).

   Start off small, but be consistent.  It is only by consistency that the job will get done or the change will occur.  Doing one action a day will add up quickly to more and more actions.

   What is the one thing that you wish to change, improve, enhance or learn this fall...take the first baby step to accomplishing that goal.  Good luck! 

Beth

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Friday, 3 September 2004

September 3, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   It is getting to be that time of year again...the leaves are starting to change colour and drift earthward, the days are getting shorter, there is a definite nip in the air, people are starting to pull out their jackets and fall wardrobes, farmers are harvesting (weather permitting!) and garden produce is being taken in and prepared for winter storage.

   Children are back in school (myself included!) and it is time for the various clubs, organizations and activities to resume for another season.  Registration and sign up nights are scheduled to assist you in deciding what to take part in.

   We all have our usual organizations we’re involved in, but now is the time to reflect on why we’re in the groups we’re in.  If you feel that your contribution makes a difference, or that belonging to something fills a need you have, great.  On the other hand, if you only sign up because you always have and it has become habit, or a dead weight, maybe it’s time to think again.

   All of us have a basic need to contribute to the large world around us, and all of us want to feel that our contribution matters to the whole.  If you don’t have that sense that what you do is important, perhaps it is time to leave that group in someone else’s capable hands as you go off to find a group where your unique talents and expertise will be an asset.

   We all have a special niche in community life.  Have you found yours? 

Beth

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Friday, 20 August 2004

August 20, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   Figuring out the best layout for the paper is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Only in this case, there are sometimes a multitude of possible places to put a particular ‘piece.’

   Sometimes it is very easy to plan the layout as everything just falls into place - pictures are the right size, there is just the right about of text in a certain article, the perfect ad fills up the awkward sized space.  Sometimes it is more challenging and I am left with lots of pieces that don’t fit in the many holes.  That is when I have to get creative and toss in a quotation box or two!

   Unlike a jigsaw puzzle that comes in a box, I don’t have a ‘big picture’ to use as a guide, as I am creating the ‘picture’ as I go along.

   Our lives are like a jigsaw puzzle too.  Often we have a handful of experiences (puzzle pieces) and no obvious places to add them to the puzzle, but they all fit and they all contribute to the final ‘picture’ of your life. 

   Often it is only by looking back, or looking at the situation from a different perspective, that we see how the pieces interlock together forming a more beautiful picture than we could ever have imagined.

   How are the varied pieces of your life creating a beautiful scene? 

Beth

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Friday, 6 August 2004

August 6, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that we are already almost through one whole week of August! 

   The summer has gone by so fast.  The YEAR has been going by so fast!

   Every year it seems that our lives get just a little faster and a little bit more frantic.  We try to cram more and more into the same 24-hour days that everyone has, and it doesn’t work. 

   More often than not, we find ourselves with a long list of to-do’s, or someday-projects, and no time to do them.  Yet, we yearn to complete these items, knowing full well that something has got to give.

   Too many times, we sacrifice our health, our family, our friends, our sanity to try and do more in the few hours and days allotted to us.  We frantically rush from one thing to anther, accomplishing nothing and getting no where.

   Just because the world we live in is on fast-forward doesn’t mean we have to live our lives on fast-forward.  We all have the power of choice and we can all exercise that power.

   We need to consciously choose to slow down, to take more time and to enjoy the moment we are in.

   How many times have you done something, or gone to something, and afterwards someone asked you how it was...and you don't know!  This is either because you were worried about a past event, or because you were stewing over a future event, and you weren’t paying attention to where you were.

   In order to slow down, we need to step off the freeway of life and enjoy the scenery on the roadside.  Take the time to watch a sunrise or sunset (or both!), watch children at play, take a break from your work to just relax and breath easy.  Reconnect with friends.  Take one thing out of your schedule and use that free time to do something relaxing and special just for you.  Above all else, enjoy life!
Beth

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Friday, 16 July 2004

July 16, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   This past week I took a trip back in history as I read through some old papers that belonged to my paternal grandfather. 

   The collection included rough drafts of letters he sent, replies from government officials, receipts, invoices, newspaper clippings, and more.  There was even a copy of the special supplement of the Swift Current Herald, dated November 11, 1918 (time: 7:30 pm) announcing that “Detailed Armistice Terms As Accepted.”  There were catalogues and flyers from the 1040s.  All in all, the dates ranged from the early 1910s to the 1980s.

   It was an interesting experience going through the papers and such, reading about events that shaped the lives of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and dad - events that have only been textbook history to me.

   Some of the issues that were mentioned in the correspondence (particularly from the 1920s and 1930s) included homesteading (there were apparently underground noises that had to be investigated on Grandpa’s Saskatchewan homestead, these could not be resolved, so he took out a homestead in the Crow’s Nest Pass), relief (the requests for and rejections) and the difficulty in finding work during that period, minimum wage (the corruption of the Minimum Wage Act in the lumber mills) and the injustice of criminals roaming around free, while the innocent man is targeted if he dares to say anything. 

   It was fascinating to see the income tax forms from the early 1940s.  Very simple to fill out...put down how much you made from your job, find that amount in the chart, go across to your status (single, married, dependents) and then submit the amount in the column.  Piece of cake!
   Some of the items raised more questions than they answered, but it was all a fascinating glimpse of a time past...not necessary a better time or easier time, but a different was of  life for those who lived on the Prairies.
 
Beth

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Friday, 2 July 2004

July 2, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I have the opportunity to attend a very special, and emotional, graduation ceremony last Friday.  While there were 11 grads on the stage, one in particular was singled out for a little extra special treatment.

   Donna Peterson is retiring from Alix MAC after numerous years of teaching.  To honour her contributions to the staff and students, they held a ‘graduation’ ceremony as she ‘graduates’ from school to a new life.

   While I graduated from MACC (that is not a typo, there were 2 C’s when I went to school there), I did not have the opportunity to be taught by Donna.  I do remember seeing her in the school, and at school functions, where, more often than not, she played the piano when we sang “O Canada.”

   I was impressed, not only by the ceremony itself, but by the love and affection that the staff and students have for Donna.  It was a treat to see her son, Jeff, demonstrate some of her unique Mom-isms!  Surrounded by her family (including her father) and friends, Donna was centre stage as we paid tribute to her many contributions through the years.

   All of us impact those around us everyday, but it is often a teacher who has the most profound and lasting impact on a youngster’s life.

   Donna, while you may never know exactly what it was that you said or did that was the defining moment in one of your former student’s lives, please know that you did have a positive impact on many, both in your class and outside.  Thank you for the memories! 

Beth

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Friday, 18 June 2004

June 18, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

  It seems like I have been talking about education with a lot of people lately - public education (which has lots of problems right now), home-schooling (good option if it works for you) and university (what is my main focus these days).

   Sometimes we have to take a course or learn something, not because the material is relevant or applicable, but because it is an opportunity to learn something new and give our brains a workout.

   Sometimes we actually get to study something that no only makes sense, but is applicable to our lives, jobs, career or interests.  Such is the case with my graduate degree courses.  Each and every one has had some practical application to my library job, either in terms of improving tasks I already do, or in introducing me to new tasks and methods that make the job so much easier.

   While formal education is important, no matter what level you participate in, informal (just for fun) learning is important too.  We are surrounded by opportunities to explore and find out more about the various things around us.  When was the last time you picked up a book on a topic you knew nothing about?  Or talked to someone about their hobby, a hobby which you have no experience in?  Lifelong learning is a lifelong habit. 

Beth

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Friday, 4 June 2004

June 4, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I am a fan of "Anne of Green Gables."  If you are too, you will remember Anne's neighbour, Rachel Lynn.  The best line that Mrs. Lynn ever uttered, in my estimation, was "You are never safe from surprises until you're dead."  I believe that is very true.

   It all started back in April, when my laptop (which I use to put this publication together) decided to experience difficulties with the screen.  Not a huge problem...I just borrowed, and plugged in, a monitor for the duration until the necessary part was ordered. 

   Then, my modem and internet connection decided to go on the fritz.  Now that caused me a little bit more concern as most of my contributions come in email form, and I have to access the internet for further information.  Again, not the end of the world, I was able to access my emails at the library and forward them to a friend who very nicely downloaded the articles and photos to a CD so I could use them.  It resulted in a little more ingenuity on my part, but I was able to get out the second issue in May without too many headaches.

   Just when I thought life was going to return to normal as the part arrived to fix all my computer woes, it was discovered that I had more serious hardware problems than first anticipated...and I ended up without my computer for a week while they tried to do something about it.  End result...I needed a new machine and I just didn't have time to fit that into my already busy life as it was time for yet another issue of the paper to come out.

   Hold onto your seat cause it gets better!  My online graduate course began on June 1st...which requires a computer with a working modem and internet connection.  I wasn't too worried until, SURPRISE!, my course was changed to a ONE (very intensive) month course due to scheduling conflicts. Now things were starting to get a little hairy!!

   Life is not always a smooth ride and we will be faced with many surprises...some good and some that don't seem so good at first glance.  We need to be flexible to bend with the winds of adversity and we also need to have the right attitude so that when these surprises occur, we are not overwhelmed or broken. 

   Are you bending with the wind? 

Beth

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Friday, 21 May 2004

May 21, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   It is interesting how each of us have our own preferences and ideal ways to spend a day.  In our minds each of us has the ideal form of work we’d like to do.

   Last week I was helping put the finishing touches on this year’s BoomTown Trail Tales for the Trail.  Even though it took hours, I was thoroughly enjoying the process and watching the various pages take shape.  My co-worker in this venture thought she was being tortured!  I was doing something that comes fairly naturally to me, while my co-worker was struggling to accomplish something she knew she had to do.  As we were approaching the ten hour mark (and seemed no closer to finishing than we’d been at the five hour mark), my co-worker could not believe that I do precisely what we were doing that day, every two weeks.  It boggled her mind.

   If you are fortunate enough to have found a calling that renews you, no matter how many hours you have to spend on it - and if you really love it, time is meaningless - then you have found a gold mine.  You will be enriched and will grow as a person every time you approach that particular task.  Work will seem more like play, and you will feel relaxed and refreshed even after hours and hours.

   While I love what I do, and it seems more like I’m playing than working, the job itself is not perfect.  Things go wrong and there are always areas for improvement.  I really enjoy the whole process a lot more when computer equipment is working properly and people submit their items on time.

   There is no perfect job, but there is a job that is perfectly suited for you.  Have you found that job yet? 

Beth

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Friday, 7 May 2004

May 7, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   After the past week and a half of various challenges coming my way, I have determined that there are two main reasons why troubles and problems come into our lives.

   The first reason, I believe, is to stretch our minds and make us become more creative.  When the usual solutions don't work, there is nothing else to do, but to come up with a more creative solution.  It then becomes a challenge to find the right resource to get the right support...whether a person or information.  It then truly becomes a case of "who you know" which makes the difference between success or more problems.  If you can’t get in the front door or the back door, you have to come up with an innovative means of entering through the window of opportunity.  Above all else, one must never give up.

   The second reason is so that we end up owing our friends for major favours!  If you are lucky, your friends won't actual keep a score card as to who owes whom more!  While we are individuals, we are not isolated.  We need other people to support and help us when life is more challenging than usual.  As well, others may have expertise or talents which we haven’t developed.  Each of us has an unique contribution to make to others, and if we can help those around us, so much better.  It is true that two heads are better than one, and three or more can generate multiple ideas.

    So, to all my friends who helped me out during this challenging time...THANKS! 

Beth

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Friday, 16 April 2004

April 16, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   I recently had the pleasure of sharing with his family, the happiness of a friend who was hired for the job of his dreams, after a long job search.  This job will utilize his training and past experience, and it will not only be as easy as pie for him, but will stretch and challenge him as an individual.

   I also heard about another individual who will be starting his dream job soon.  He has managed to take two important aspects of his life and experiences that he really loves and combine them into a new unique position which capitalizes on his personal strengths.  He is excited about this new opportunity and he feels like he’s won the lottery.

   Have you ever felt that you were working at the perfect job for you?  Have you ever felt that life was wonderful and everything was falling into place without any effort on your part?  Have you ever felt that you had the ‘Midas touch’ at work?

   If you have felt that way, you are blessed indeed.  If you haven’t, why not?

   Maybe it is time to look at your life and your job.  If you are not happy doing what you’re doing, why are you still doing it?  What excuses are you mouthing?  Why are you resigned to a life of unhappiness?

   A large majority of your adult life will be spent on the job.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to do something that not only challenges you, but fulfills your deepest desires?  Wouldn’t you rather do work that makes a difference, not only to you, but to others as well?

   I can tell you from experience, when you are working in your dream job, it isn’t work anymore...you feel like you’re getting paid to play.  That’s the way it should always be.  Is that how it is for you? 

Beth

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Friday, 2 April 2004

April 2, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   How do you perceive yourself?  Do you have a positive self-perception?  Or a negative one?  Just so you know, reality and negativity are not automatically the same thing! 

  How do others perceive you?  Have you ever asked your close friends or family that question?  Has anyone ever just volunteered to share their perceptions of you with you?

   Is who you are on the inside who you are reflecting on the outside?  If not, why not?

   You are the only person who really knows who you are.  Thus, you are the only person who can alter how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.

   If you are finding that others are not treating you the way you think they should, take a look at what you are projecting to them.  Feel that you are lacking respect...are you projecting the impression of a person who deserves respect, or are you not?

   Humans have a tendency to mirror, or reflect, back to others what they project to us.  If someone is speaking to you in an angry tone, notice how easy it is to respond in like manner.  Or the most obvious example...ever tried to not smile at someone smiling at you?  There is a reason for the saying that smiles are contagious.

   If things are not working in your life and people do not seem to be treating you the way you want them to, it is time to take a good look at yourself and your self-perception.  If you think you are a victim, you will project that and others will treat you like one.  Thankfully the opposite is true.  Believe you are a winner and soon those around you will treat you like a winner.  

Beth

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Friday, 19 March 2004

March 19, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   Saturday is the first ‘official’ day of spring.  There have been many signs sighted already, not counting the disappearing snow!

   Gophers have been spotted frolicking on the remaining snow drifts.  Someone told me they spotted a robin.  I heard the geese honking as they flew over the library the other day.  I was also told that someone has managed to rake their lawn already!  There is still too much snow lying around to attempt that feat on our lawn, though I have had the opportunity to play in a few mud puddles.

   Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation.  People have more energy and perk up when the sun is shining.  Spring is an ideal time to start new projects and try new skills. 

   Happy Spring!! 

Beth

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Friday, 5 March 2004

March 5, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

  I was glancing at some junk mail the other day that was hyping the new healthy alternatives for those following the low-carbohydrate diet.  Some of the products were rather ridiculous...low-carb bread? 

   The one that really caught my eye was the latest offering at some restaurants - a bun-less burger.  Now, unless you have an allergy, it is not the bun that comes with the burger that is going to kill you or causes you to gain weight, but rather what is between that bun.  Just like it is not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s that is the cause of your weight gain, but what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas.

   The average consumer in North America is quite gullible and marketers take advantage of that.  If the package says ‘Fat Free’ or ‘No Sodium,’ consumers will buy them without looking to see that the fat free is high in sodium and the no sodium has a high fat content.

   The majority of Canadians do not need to cut carbohydrates out of their diets, they need to cut out junk food and candy...processed sugars.  Our bodies need carbohydrates for fuel and proper functioning.  What we don’t need is excess sugar.

   But more importantly than what we eat, is what we do for activity and exercise.  Our grandparents were very active compared to people today.  Hauling in wood or coal, water for drinking and washing, as well as getting up out of the chair to accomplish virtually every task kept them fit, despite their high carb and protein diets.

   Isn’t time you started moving more?   

Beth

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Friday, 20 February 2004

February 20, 2004 Chautauqua

 
From the Editor's Computer     

   Somewhere in my box of future projects to be completed, I have a little saying that I am planning to ‘someday’ cross-stitch as a wall hanging, or if I get really ambitious, I’ll cross-stitch it on a shirt.  The saying: “God put me on this earth to accomplish so many things.  At the rate I’m going, I’m never going to die.”

   Many of us can relate to this quote.  There never seems to be enough time to get done what we need to get done, let alone what we want to get done.  Most of us have a list or a box, or something, with all the projects we would like to finish or start.

   Added to those projects, are all the new and delightful opportunities awaiting us in the future.  New skills to learn, new projects to start, new ideas to try out.  When are we to get this all done?

   This year, try to complete just one of your ‘someday’ projects and enjoy, not only the finished project, but the feeling of having completed something that you have wanted to do for so long.  The feeling of relief alone will make the effort worth while.  Who knows, you may decide to finish another project and then another. 

   Remember...someday is today! 

Beth

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Friday, 6 February 2004

February 6, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

   We recently lost a priceless gem with the passing of long-time Alix resident, Alice Whitfield.

   Alice was very involved in the community throughout the numerous years that she lived here.  The list of organizations that Alice made her distinctive mark on during her lifetime include: the Arena, Curling Club, Golf Club, Public Library, Drop In Centre, Girl Guides, Alix Home and School, the Seniors’ Lodge, the Chamber of Commerce, Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, Sincerity Rebekah Lodge and her church.  As well as being a business owner with her husband in their earlier years in Alix, Alice had touched the true heart of Alix.  It was only in the most recent of years that she slowed down and did not take such an active role in the community events, but rest assured, Alice still had a hand in what was going on!

   Alice put down roots in this community, and those roots ran deep.  She was able to literally watch generations grow up and start families of their own.  A genuinely friendly lady, Alice had too many friends to count.  She was always able to keep tabs on those who were her friends, even if she did not see them often.  She will definitely be missed.  May the rich legacy which Alice has left all of us continue to grow.

   Also, I’d like to say a big thank you to the helpful gentleman with the snowblower who very nicely helped me get my car unstuck last weekend.  

Beth

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Friday, 16 January 2004

January 16, 2004 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer     

  For Christmas, I received a plaque that reads: “Everyone is born right-handed, only the gifted overcome it.”  While lefties everywhere wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, it does apply to other circumstances in our lives.

   You were born…
·        In a particular moment in time
·        In a particular locality
·        During particular series of events, both local, national and international
·        To a particular set of parents
·        Into a particular nuclear and extended family
·        Into a particular ethnic background
·        Into a particular segment of society
·        Into a particular economic class
·        Into a particular belief system
·        Into a particular tradition

   But...that does not mean that your ‘lot’ in life is set in concrete, never to be changed. 

   We all have the opportunity to take those parts of our background which we had no control over and then chose our future.  The factors that have shaped us are part of who we are, but they are not entirely who we are.  We are constantly faced with new circumstances and events in our lives.  These events and, more importantly, our reactions to them, are what shape our personality and character.

   All of us are ‘gifted’ in one area or another.  How are we overcoming what we can’t control to shape what we can...ourselves? 

Beth

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Friday, 2 January 2004

January 2, 2004 Chautauqua

 
From the Editor's Computer     

   Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year.  A year full of possibility and adventure.  A year in which anything can happen.  A year that you can chose to be the best it can be.

   This is the time of year when many of us come up with our New Year’s Resolutions.  Some resolutions will be kept, some won’t.  Some resolutions are the same as last year (and the year before that…), some are new.

   As we embark on this new year, my wish  for you is this...May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. (Anonymous)

   Happy New Year and all the best in 2004!
 
Beth

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