Friday, 29 December 2006

Enjoy

Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.

- Sarah Knowles Bolton

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Ability

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.

- Baltasar Gracian

Friday, 22 December 2006

Affirmations

Affirmations are really anything we say or think. Our thoughts create our feelings, beliefs, and experiences. Too often they are negative. We say, 'I don't want this in my life,' or 'I don't want to be sick anymore,' or 'I hate my job.' If we want to change or manifest something in our lives, we must state what we do want. We must affirm that we are willing to see ourselves or our lives in a different perspective. Thus, we can change our experiences by first changing our thoughts...

- Louise L. Hay/Founder, Hay House

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Choices

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.
- Robert Fritz

Monday, 18 December 2006

Friends

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advise, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
- Henri Nouwen

Friday, 15 December 2006

December 15, 2006 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer

In this season of hustle and bustle hither and yon for shopping and parties...events galore, don’t forget to take some time by yourself, just for yourself.

This year, let your Christmas present to yourself be some time alone to experience some peace and to reflect on the year that is behind us. Allow the quietness around you to soak deep into your being so that you can emerge refreshed and renewed for the next activity.

Merry Christmas to you all...and may 2007 be your best year ever!



Beth


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Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Gratitude

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
- Rabbi Harold Kushner

Monday, 11 December 2006

Dive into the woods...

Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before. Follow it up, explore all around it, and before you know it, you will have something worth thinking about to occupy your mind. All really big discoveries are the results of thought.

- Alexander Graham Bell

Friday, 8 December 2006

Mistakes

The way you get better in everything in this life is to make mistakes. Otherwise you're probably doing it right by accident. But you have to do everything wrong before you can really start with some authority to do it right.

- Tobias Wolff

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Pass by...

I shall pass this way but once. Therefore any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now.
—attributed to William Penn

Monday, 4 December 2006

Dreams

We must nurture our dreams like we would a child. They are God-given and just as precious. Without ambition how would a child learn to ride a bicycle, play an instrument or whistle? We deny the spirit of God when we as adults settle for less than our dreams!

- Conway Stone

Friday, 1 December 2006

December 1, 2006 Chautauqua


From the Editor's Computer

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
·
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Could you do it? Could you believe in six impossible things before breakfast?
Impossible things such as what you want to do with your life... what you want to be... where you want to go... what you want to accomplish…
Once you identify your impossible things...then start to truly believe that they are not impossible at all.
Can you do that?
Beth

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Monday, 27 November 2006

Encouraging thought

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
- Edward Teller

Friday, 17 November 2006

November 17, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   There is a new online discussion forum that is being promoted through the United Church of Canada called Wondercafe (www.wondercafe.ca).  The purpose of this online forum is to promote and encourage discussion about a variety of topics (including religious beliefs) in an open and accepting manner.  I found the responses of some of the participants to be quite interesting.

   First...there is a group that believes they are RIGHT!  No ifs, ands or buts.  They seem to feel that the only way that they can get their point across and change others’ minds is to keep hammering incessantly the message, “YOU’RE WRONG!  YOU’RE WRONG!  YOU’RE WRONG!”

   This response has an immediate effect of totally killing any future conversation.

   Secondly, there is another group, not quite as harsh as the first, but close, who seem to feel that that only way to dialogue is to quote Bible verses (nothing wrong with that in the right context) and not venture a single original thought of their own.  Again their message is “You’re wrong because the Bible says…”

   Again, their response does nothing more than stop any progress that could have been made in terms of furthering the conversation along as they are not really willing to participate or respect the others views.

   Thirdly, there is a group that is somewhat willing to listen to others’ opinions, but they still think everyone else is wrong and feel compelled to point that out every once in a while.  However they are more polite about it and thus conversation can continue, and isn’t immediately stifled.

   Fourthly, there is a group that is willing to express their views in a gentle, nonjudgmental manner.  They are willing to dialogue with others and find out why they have a differing view from their own.  They are able to share in an enriching experience of learning something they didn't know.  They don’t agree with everything the others say, but they are open to listening and learning so they can find common ground.

   When you are faced with differing views from your own...how do you respond?  Do you shut down the lines of communication, or do you gently and respectfully allow the other person to express their views and be heard?

Beth


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Friday, 3 November 2006

November 3, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
     I don’t normally get involved in political discussions, but this whole “Belinda Stronach” deluge in the media the last month has been a little hard to ignore.

   Contrary to what many media personalities have said in the past, I, personally, do not find Belinda to be a wonderful role model as a politician or businesswoman for Canadians - women and young women in particular.  Granted, you cannot believe everything you read or hear in the news, however, it is precisely what we are hearing and reading that shapes what type of person we perceive Belinda,  and other public figures, to be and what kind of role model she is perceived as.

   If we want to be effective role models for others, and especially for the youth in our communities, we need to learn a few things.

   Firstly, we all need to learn that ‘demanded’ apologies are a waste of time.  Either you wait forever for what you consider is “your due,” never receiving it, or you do get the apology and it is as fake and insincere as can be as it has been forced from the person.

   Second, we all need reminded that you sow what you reap...what you give out will be what is returned to you...life always mirrors back to you what you are showing life.   If you feel that you are being treated poorly, how are you treating others?

   Thirdly, we all need to learn that being a ‘victim’ is a personal choice.  Now it is possible that someone could rob you or beat you.  Thus, you are a victim of a robbery or a beating.  However, once the event happens and is done it is your choice whether you move on or wallow in the hurt and misery of a victim mentality.  You cannot turn back the clock and undo actions, words or thoughts so you might as well get past it and learn from the experience.  Let it go!

   Fourthly, we all need reminded that no one is exempt from the consequences of their actions.  When the consequences seem delayed we have tendency to get complacent and think we got off Scott free.  The truth is there are consequences to everything you do, whether for good or not.  We must remember to consider the consequences before every decision we make.

   Whether we realize it or not, we are all role models to those who interact with us every day.  Are you a good role model?

Beth


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Friday, 20 October 2006

October 20, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Here we are, halfway through October, and look how green and lush it still is in places.

   I think our grass is the greenest and healthiest it has been all year.  Some of the trees still have a number of very green leaves, which contrast very well with the red and yellow leaves that have already turned.

   Even though this is normally a time when nature starts slow down in order to prepare for the cold winter months ahead, there are areas where we can see new growth and renewed life.

   As in nature, we go through stages where we feel like we’re ready to hibernate from the old winter months of our lives.

   It is at this time when we should be learning new skills, taking part in new activities, making new friends, going new places, and challenging ourselves in new ways.

   This fall, don’t start to hibernate...perk up and show the world, and yourself, what you are capable of. 

   It is never to late to bloom!

Beth


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Friday, 6 October 2006

October 6, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
     Ever notice how you enter a new place, or try a new activity, and you immediately attempt to make the situation one that you are already familiar with?

   We do this all the time.  We go to an unfamiliar place and if we’re lucky there is someone familiar there who we can latch onto for dear life to get us through.  Or we make a point of doing new tasks in a manner that is similar to how we always do things, or we only do the parts we feel comfortable with.

   In one of my courses we have a lot of opportunity to offer feedback and discussion interaction in an online mode.  Too many of the students are stuck on the fact that online interaction is not the same as face-to-face interactions.  By trying to make the online environment just like an in-person interaction, they are missing out on the unique online opportunities for learning and relating to others that we are being offered.

   This fall, try something new, go somewhere you’ve never been before, and experience it JUST AS IT IS!  You may be amazed.

Beth


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Friday, 15 September 2006

September 15, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Every day we see, hear, smell, taste and sense things in our environment.  In any given moment in the day we are bombarded with umpteen different sensory details coming at us.  This happens to us every second of our lives.

   Some days we completely miss the different clues that life is giving us.  We are oblivious to how our lives are like a jigsaw puzzle and we are given the next piece right at the exact moment we need it. 

   Some days we are so focused on what isn't happening, what isn’t going right, or what we don’t have that we completely ignore the various nonverbal signals that are showing us new opportunities and adventures that await us.

   We need to wake up and pay attention to the world around us and the myriad of clues and puzzle pieces life freely hands us to ease our journey through this life and its many twists and turns.

   We need to be aware of the absurdities and seemingly insignificant moments of our lives - therein lies some of our greatest treasures and wisdom. 

   We need to open all of our senses to the marvelous and wondrous mysteries that life shares with each and every one of us every moment of our lives.

   By focusing on what you are grateful for in life, you not only will find more of that, but more, and varied, riches and opportunities than you could ever possibly imagine existed in our universe. 

Beth


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Friday, 1 September 2006

September 1, 2006

From the Editor's Computer  
   While we don’t want to get so attached to our routines that they become ruts (or graves), there is a lot of good that can be said about having a routine that you can count on, especially when life throws you a curve ball or two.

   My usual routine was completely tossed out the window this summer due to fulltime employment at the library, in addition to running the paper and working on a graduate degree course.

   This is only my second foray into the world of fulltime employment in my 13 1/2 year career.  The first time was a seven-month stint where I alternated working in Alix and Lacombe.  The euphoria of finally being healthy enough to even contemplate fulltime employment, let alone actually work the hours, momentarily clouded my vision of what I really wanted out of life.  Plus, at that time I was only working the two jobs with very little extra-curricular activities in my life.

   This time round, I only worked 8 weeks in one location.  Like my rare delusions that I am computer guru material, I have now twice lapsed into thoughts that maybe I could work fulltime.  Well, truth be told, I can do the work, but it really cuts into my other activities and does take a lot of energy out of me, and is not the type of lifestyle I want at all.

   Truly, I’m not a fulltime kind of person, nor do I want to be.  If it works for you, great!  However, count me out!

   For me, the ideal is working two days a week outside the home, with an option to add a third day (mostly during paper delivery weeks).  That gives me contact with the public, a chance to catch up on any gossip, intrigue or momentous happenings that I may have missed otherwise.  It also allows me to connect with my friends and acquaintances and get updated on their lives, while I update them on mine.

   To balance that out, I prefer to work two days at home on the paper - either half days or full days.  That gives me a chance to do lots with minimal interruptions and interactions, but still allows for flexibility if necessary.

   The best part of this routine is that I then have three days left in the week to work on the paper, work on studies, read, or even just relax in a corner and contemplate the great mysteries of the world (with a book in my hand, of course). 

   Each of us has a different perspective on life and a different way of expressing that perspective through our work habits.  Don’t try to be someone you’re not, and you’ll find that work magically becomes fun!  

Beth


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Friday, 18 August 2006

August 18, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Technology, I’m afraid to say, is not infallible.  As much as we prefer to think otherwise, that is the sad truth.

   In fact, technology is most likely to fail you right at that exact moment that you are counting on it the most.

   How many times have you been on the phone either waiting for someone to give you some information off the computer, or you’re the person with the information on a computer that is oh so reluctant to cooperate?

    How many times have you been faced with a deadline only to have your email go down, or the computer crash and all your work disappear?

    How many times has the power gone off at just the most inopportune time possible?

    How many times has the lawn mower worked, only to quit right at the moment you plan to mow the lawn because company is coming (or the Communities in Bloom judges)?

   For that matter, how many times has the vacuum cleaner quit as company is walking up the sidewalk?

   There are umpteen different pieces of technology that we use everyday without even thinking about it, until that one moment when it stops working properly.

   We are all going to be faced with a technological blip at some point in time.  When it happens, may the blip be brief and create the least amount of havoc in your life possible so that you can quickly get on with your day.

Beth


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Friday, 4 August 2006

August 4, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Every look you give another, every word you speak to another, everything you do (or don’t do) to another has a impact on that other person.

   Now before you start thinking that the world revolves around you and that you are powerful enough to change the course of the world and history, rest assured you’re not!

   In fact, most often when we are having the most impact on others we are totally unaware of our influence.

   I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve thought a friend was mad at you (though you couldn’t figure out why) because they ignored you in the grocery store or on the street.  Then you find out that they had something on their mind and truly had no idea you were even around.

   In the same way, without you even being aware of it, you are having a profound impact on friends, family, and even complete strangers.

     A glance at someone in a crowded room could give a wallflower some needed confidence, and yet, you have no memory of even seeing them.  A casual word shared at the checkout, that is overheard by a stranger further back in the line could be exactly what that person needed to hear to give them hope to continue on their life journey.

   There is no possible way you can know how profound an impact you have on the lives others around you.  Thus, you must live so that what you do is always encouraging people.

Beth


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Friday, 21 July 2006

July 21, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   In the news a few months ago there was a story about a Canadian man who wanted to trade a red paper clip for a house.

   Kyle MacDonald started off with a red paper clip in July of 2005.  A mere fourteen trades, and one year later, he achieved his goal - a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

   What would your reaction be if someone came up to you and asked you to trade whatever you had for whatever s/he had as they ultimately wanted a house?

   Would you help him/her out?  Would you laugh at him/her?  Would you dismiss it all as foolishness?  Would you go out of your way to help the person along to their goal?  Would you dismiss them as crazy?  Would you get excited about the possibilities not only for them but for yourself?

   Every one of us has dreams and goals.  Every one of us also has people in our lives who either help us along our chosen path, or else people who try to derail us, dragging us off our path.

   The dream helpers know that if they help someone else achieve their dreams that they will be that much closer to achieving their own dreams.  The dream helpers know that what you put out into the world will be returned to you multiplied many times.

   The dream stealers on the other hand, act out of fear.  They fear that the status quo will change (which it probably will), that the person will change if they help them with their dreams (most likely that will happen too), and they fear that they will lose their excuses as to why they haven’t achieved their dreams (if one person can do it, anyone can do it).

   We need to listen to the dream helpers and minimize our contact with the dream stealers.  We also need to discover if we ourselves are dream helpers or dream stealers to the people in our lives.

   Kyle MacDonald didn’t let anyone stop him from achieving his dream of owning a house, and he started off in a rather unconventional manner, but there were people out there who believed in him and wanted to help him along.

   Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish.  Just make sure you have some dream helpers on your side to inspire, encourage and push you when you need it.

   And by the way...if you have anything you want to trade, come see me and we’ll see what we can do to further your dreams!          

Beth


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Friday, 7 July 2006

July 7, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
Too hot to think!

Too hot to write!

Too hot to move!

Too hot to do most anything…

   Enjoy these hot summer days...whether you are boating, camping, hiking, or just loafing.

  Remember, wear a hat, protect your skin, and above all else, keep cool!

   If you see me around and I look a little wilted, don’t worry, it’s just the heat getting to me, and I’m hopefully on my way to find a cooler spot and an icy ice tea.

Beth
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Friday, 16 June 2006

June 16, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Last week my family went up to Athabasca to attend my sister’s convocation ceremony at Athabasca University, where she was officially presented with her Bachelor of General Studies (Arts & Sciences) degree.  Congratulations Mary!

   There were differences from when we attended my convocation ceremony in Athabasca five short years ago.  When I convocated there were only 300+ graduates over two days.  This year there were 1,100+ graduates over three days.  As the graduates are literally from all over the world, not all are in attendance.  Five years ago people were fainting because it was such a blistering hot day.  This year we wore coats and dodged rain drops.  Five years ago the Masters degrees were still new, thus the number of graduates were small.  This year the Masters degree recipients were in the hundreds, and the University is talking about their plans to add many more degree options by 2015, including the possibility of Doctorate degrees.

   There were also similarities between the two special days...The welcoming atmosphere wherever you go on the grounds...The extra effort on the part of the university to have gorgeous bouquets and planters of flowers everywhere...The personal touch they add to the events of the day so that everyone feels included in the wonder and excitement the graduates are feeling...The biographical information they share about each graduate so that you can know them all. 

   It truly does not take much to make people feel special and appreciated.                

Beth


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Friday, 2 June 2006

June 2, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
  By the time you read this I will be buried deep in the school books as I began a new course.  The initial email from my professor stated that she was going easy on us the first week.  After completing two 1-page assignments, numerous readings from the textbook and other sources, the class discussion, and this week’s assignment, I’m convinced that her definition of easy isn’t the same as mine, making this intensive course more intensive!

   Last semester I ended up in conversation with one of my classmates regarding why students take online courses.  In the discussion he revealed that he puts in a minimum of 20 hours per week on each course (he took three courses last semester) and he firmly believed that an online course can only be effective if there are mandatory scheduled class interaction times throughout the week. 

   I countered with the statement that some of us take online classes because of the flexibility offered by not having to sit down at specific times during the week to study or go online.  I also mentioned I have don’t have 20 hours per week to study, which my classmate found totally inconceivable.

   Often while working on a course, I must make the choice to either work on readings and assignments, or participate in the class discussions as I don’t have time for both. 

   In fact, not only do I not have 20 hours per week to devote to studying, but I work out of the home less than 20 hours per week and I have less than 20 hours per to put the newspaper together.  Plus, I like to think that I have a life and hobbies somewhere in there.

   We need to be flexible not only in our outlook, but in how we use our time.  What areas of your life and schedule do you need more flexibility?

Beth


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Friday, 19 May 2006

May 19, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
  I was at a very well attended community function not that long ago.  I had a delightful time, as I’m sure most of those in attendance did.  My only concern was that there were smokers smoking inside during the performance.

   In the province of Alberta we have a Smoke Free Places Act which states that there can be no smoking in public facilities when there are minors under the age of 18 present.

   The community event I attended was definitely a public event in a public facility.  As well, there were a large number of children present under 18 years of age.

   Also at this event were a few smokers who were smoking inside the building a mere handful of feet from where a number of children were sitting.  I didn't see any of the members of the hosting organization ask them extinguish their smokes, or to go outside.

   I would hate to see our communities lose valuable family and public events in the future just because they don’t want to abide by the legislation or enforce it at their events. 

   Let’s hope that community organizations hosting events in the coming months will take the responsibility to ensure that they are complying with provincial legislation so the same thing doesn’t occur next year.

Beth


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Friday, 5 May 2006

May 5, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Last weekend I attended a three-day workshop in Bashaw on Theta Healing.

   Theta Healing starts when the brain waves are in the Theta cycle, and at that stage one is able to create a closer connection with God allowing one to heal or create healthy conditions in the mind and body.

   We had a fabulous group, with women (and one teenage boy) from all over.  We were all of varying ages and from various different backgrounds.  We had different jobs and different life experiences and memories.

   While our individual reasons for attending the workshop may have sounded as different and individualized as each of us were, the underlying reason was the same...we each were in need of healing in some area of our lives.

   One thing that I noticed at the workshop is the varying attitudes we hold as individuals towards healing.  Some people are ready to take on full responsibility for finding new ways and means to heal themselves.  They are willing to do what they need to do in order to bring about that healing - be it making changes to their physical environment, changing their diet, dealing with unresolved emotional issues, changing their habitual thought patterns and more.

   Some, on the other hand, are very reluctant.  They want someone to do the work for them.  They don’t want to take any responsibility on themselves that would bring to their awareness that something they have done, or a belief pattern that they have nurtured, may be the reason for their illness.  They may say they want to heal, but deep down they don’t.

   Some have very serious, deeply wounding hurts that they have buried within themselves that they need to bring to the surface and confront before they can bring about any healing.

   Others just needed to be guided towards the healing method that they were ready for and the changes that awaited them.

    Healing can happen on so many levels and in so areas of our lives.  Are we ready to take responsibility for ourselves and our health?

Beth


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Friday, 21 April 2006

April 21, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Have you had things going along very smoothly?  Don't think about it too hard, even smoothness for a mere 15 minutes will qualify.  Then, just as you are getting into the groove, something comes up to throw a curve at you.

    I have had a couple of those types of situations lately.  Plans are in place, life is chugging along smoothly and then I get a phone call, a visit, or an email that what was working perfectly fine has to change.  The change isn't always necessary, but it is out of my hands.

    So I am faced with doing a 180 turn, or completely changing what was working quite perfectly prior to the notice.  I sit down and come up with new plans.  If "A" happens I can do this or this.  On the other hand, if "B" happens then I will have to that or that.

    I get my options figured out and my best case/worst case scenarios in place, and then I find out that there really will be no change.  Say what??

   I think that Life sometimes throws those curves at us just to see how serious we truly are about completing a goal, following a certain path or committing to a decision.  When we show that we are determined to continue no matter how high the mountains we are facing or outrageous the demands on us, then we have somehow proven that we are worthy of the goal, commitment, or life path.

   When it seems like your life is turning 180 on you, don't flip out, just remember you're faith in yourself is being tested.

Beth


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Friday, 7 April 2006

April 7, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   After numerous unsatisfactory encounters with different individuals and organizations in the past two weeks, I can only leave you with the following: 
   Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic Red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair.

   Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge).

   His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but over bearing regulations were set in place.

   Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion

   Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

   Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

   Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. Also, a brother, Consideration for Other People.  He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.

   Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.   (Author Unknown)

Beth


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Friday, 17 March 2006

March 17, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   I came across the following quote recently:  “Obstructions are good signs, my friend.  Good signs, indeed...The bigger the spirit that is trying to be born, the greater the troubles that it must overcome.  This makes it stronger.”  It is believed this quote is from a chief or elder from a Native American tribe in British Columbia

   It is similar in theme to this quote I found which is attributed to the Dalai Lama, or at least one of his monks: “They [the Dalai Lama and his monks] believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born – and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.”

   It certainly puts a different spin on the persistent minor irritations that come into our lives, to the seemingly insurmountable mountainous obstacles.  In our life journey the road is not always supposed to be free of potholes.

   However, you must be working towards the greater good of humanity, locally or globally.  Your actions must be promoting love and improving life for others, otherwise the spiritual contract is null and void.  Are your actions improving life, or do you just think they are?

Beth

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Friday, 3 March 2006

March 3, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   Winter is certainly here with a vengeance.  I don’t know if March will actually come in like a lion or a lamb, but February certainly is ending with a dramatic flair!

   For all you snow and winter enthusiasts...here is your chance to go out and play.  There is definitely enough snow for skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  For those less inclined to enjoy winter’s touch, snuggle up inside with a hot beverage and enjoy the winter from the perspective of a warm building.

   As for myself...it is time to bundle up and clean the snow off the walks...and throw a little around just for fun!
 
Beth

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Friday, 17 February 2006

February 17, 2006 Chautauqua

 
From the Editor's Computer  

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Friday, 3 February 2006

February 3, 2006 Chautauqua

From the Editor's Computer  
   I know what will be the downfall of the world as we know it today...bubble wrap.  More specifically, the use, or non-use of bubble wrap to transport books between libraries within the Parkland Regional Library System.  For those who want to know my position on this earth-shattering conundrum I’m on...I am a proponent for the non-use of bubble wrap.

   People who spend their days dealing with minor issues such as bubble wrap are accomplishing nothing more than lighting a bunch of useless fires.  They are not effective.  They are not productive, and rarely are they liked, except by others who major in the minor things like they do.

   The people who have to come along behind and put out all those useless fires are not productive or efficient either as their time is largely spent on damage control, not on the real issues at hand.  Thus more worthwhile work is not being accomplished.

   Those firefighters are generally accountable to someone else, who is unable to accomplish anything either as a result of the previous two groups wasting time on issues which shouldn't even rate on any scale as issues. 

   Ultimately nothing gets done and more meetings are planned to discuss the reason why the workflow isn’t flowing, why accomplishments aren’t being accomplished, and what could be done to improve the situation.  Over Ninety percent of the time the response will probably lead back to something really minor as...bubble wrap!

   So now that I have wasted my time writing about it, you’ve wasted your time reading about it, let’s go an accomplish something worthwhile instead of lighting a bunch of useless fires for others to have to deal with.

Beth
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Friday, 20 January 2006

January 20, 2006 Chautauqua

 
From the Editor's Computer  
 
  Time flies when you’re having fun!

   That saying is certainly true because I can’t believe how fast time has flown by...it has been four years since I took over entertaining you twice a month with a little newspaper called The Chautauqua.

   During the past four years I’ve managed to put out a paper, when I’m supposed to, despite numerous challenges, including technological malfunctions, crazy schedules, and other major and minor headaches and glitches along the way.

   As well, during the past four years, the newspaper has undergone a few changes - layout, number of pages, readership, area covered.  The most recent change being this month with the change in layout.

   I’ve had the opportunity to share with you the many and varied achievements and accomplishments of both individuals and communities.  We’ve rejoiced and celebrated together lots of good times. 

    We’ve also shared in the sorrow of local tragedies and loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hawksworth family on their recent loss and Atkinson family.

   Nothing stays the same.  Seasons come and go.  Life goes on.  We have a choice to continue to grow and improve ourselves, or stagnate. 

  As I enter this new year of providing the residents of the various communities I serve, I look forward to sharing more of the changes and challenges ahead - both good and bad - with you all.  Sorrow shared is halved, and joy shared is doubled.

 Beth

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Friday, 6 January 2006

January 6, 2006 Chautauqua

 
From the Editor's Computer  

   Happy New Year!  For some people this is a time of resolutions and “this year I AM going to do…”

   Often the intentions are good, but the body just doesn’t want to do/accomplish what we resolve to do.  Another year of resolutions bite the dust.

   Maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way.  Maybe it should be a time to reflect on what you really want to be doing in your life by going back to the way things were at an earlier stage in your life.

   There has been a resurgence of ‘classic’ music...rock, country and others.  Can you believe the popularity of the 1950s Christmas ditty “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” this past season?    

   How many times have you wished you could only be on one or two committees or boards so you could devote more time and effort to them, instead of the six or eight you’re involved with now.

   Rather than learning a new hobby or skill, why not dust off an old hobby or revisit a previous skill.

   Instead of resolving to ‘change’ why not resolve to ‘rediscover’ some aspect that used to be a part of your life.  Happy New Year!
 
Beth

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