Monday, 27 February 2017

A Perfect Poem

The service for Teri's father was opened today with a poem from Edgar Albert Guest, it was an excellent way to remind the gathered group of friends and family about the type of person Gord was:

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
  But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
  Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
  On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
  That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
  At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
  And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
  Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
  That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
  There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
  The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
  Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
  That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

- Edgar Albert Guest, "The Path To Home," 1919

The rest of the Celebration of Life this afternoon followed suit and was a lovely string of friends and family coming forward to share their memories of Gord (including beautifully done speeches from Teri and Kevan.) It was a touching tribute to a wonderful man.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Shock And Sadness

Teri called me on Sunday evening with the terrible news that her father had passed away. It was sudden and unexpected - later determined to be the result of a brain aneurysm. I first met my best friend's dad, Gord Osmond about 25 years ago, and he is probably the kindest person I have ever known. His goodness moved beyond his polite and thoughtful demeanor and into action.

I always found it impressive that he taught Grade 8 for his entire career as a teacher - the students are at a very difficult age. But I can imagine that he would have been the perfect person to provide knowledge and guidance. Gord was a great balance of fun, intelligence, organization, and caring.

Always the athlete, Teri would tell me stories of her dad playing sports in high school, he continued to be active his entire life - playing hockey, baseball, curling, tennis, and more. He was involved with the local retired teachers organization. The activities and groups he was a part of often received the benefit of his participation at the executive level, helping to run and coordinate. Gord was generous with his time and active in the community. He was passionate about politics with a focus on education, healthcare, and equality.

Teri's house has always been a joy to visit - Bonnie and Gord have made their home in Paris and their cottage up north places of love and warmth, where I always felt welcome. Gord was a great father, it isn't just that Teri and Kevan grew up to be amazing people, which they did, but they were always awesome from the moment I met them. I witnessed from the age of 7 how involved and engaged Gord was with his family, his friends, his school, students, and hobbies. He touched so many lives and we are all much better for it. He will be dearly missed.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Wedding Update

I posted the following on Jason and My Wedding Website but I thought I would put it here as well. (This is why it is written weirdly in third person.) After our wedding was over, we spent the last week in September doing a lot of donations:

During the reception at Watermark Pub we gave each guest 3 bingo chips in a small bag. Each chip represented one dollar. Our guests brought these to the head table during the evening and placed them in a charity jar. There were two jars representing different charities. We also asked that instead of just clinking glasses to get us to kiss, guests donated an amount of their choosing to one of the two charities. With the combination of poker chips and cash donations for kissing, we have given the following:

- $175 to The Heart and Stroke Foundation
- $280 to Jesse's Journey Foundation

Thank you to all our guests for their generosity!

Chris has donated both of her wedding dresses:
- The Paperwork Dress, the cocktail length dress worn by Christine on Friday September 23, 2016 to Toronto City Call to sign paperwork was donated to The Brides' Project in Toronto. The Brides’ Project accepts donated wedding dresses and resells them raising funds to support cancer charities.
- The Main Wedding Dress, since the large dress worn to the ceremony on Saturday September 24, 2016 had been purchased used and was more than 3 years old it couldn't be donated to The Brides' Project. Instead, this dress was given to Double Take, a thrift store that supports The Young Street Mission.

- Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Buns, on the Monday immediately following the wedding all the leftover perishable food was brought to Second Harvest in Toronto. This organization arranges the delivery of fresh food to various community agencies.
- Paper Plates, Cutlery, and Plastic Cups, we also had a lot of leftover picnic supplies which were given to The Daily Bread Food Bank.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Types Of Luxury Spending

I don't really know who came up with this, I have been trying to track it down to give the creator credit, but my guess is The Future Laboratory as mentioned by A. Caccamo in his article: The Beginner's Guide to the Luxury Industry. You can skip this post and just go to the source material, it is a good article. If you would also prefer to watch something there is an animated presentation on the subject of The Luxury Consumer Evolution too.

Unlike the above suggests, I don't think that these stages are steps on a ladder or scale, if they are more thought needs to be put into what makes a consumer move or change from one to another, both overall and per purchase. Instead I think of these as 'reasons' for each luxury purchase, the discussion to get something expensive when cheaper options are available is based on one of these five justifications - sometimes unconsciously. Overtime, a persons buying habits would show a preference for some stages over others.

Stage 1 - Acquisition of Wealth (The Show Off)
Using luxury items and experiences to show wealth and define social position

Stage 2 - Discernment and Worth (Design Maniac)
Using luxury items and experiences to show a higher level of taste

Stage 3 - Emotion and Experience (Vibrant Feeling)
Using luxury items and experience for emotional impact, or uniqueness

Stage 4 - Responsible and Aware (Leonardo Di Caprio)
Using luxury items and experience to connect with moral or political values

Stage 5 - Intellectual and Poetic (Isolated Self-Reflection)
Using luxury items and experience for self-improvement and transformation

It is cool to think of movements through the stages as a generational thing, 'new money' is flashy but long-standing wealthy families are more private. But as I said before I don't really think the stages are connected to time, they are personality based.

A lot of my friends would fit into Stage 2, they perceive their luxury items to be better made or more precise than less expensive ones, and while it isn't a show of wealth it is often still a little bit related to the demonstration of class. No better or worse, all my expensive purchases are usually connected to Stage 3 - I like to spend money on experiences and I want them to be emotionally powerful.

It is a fun concept to consider and I hope the experts in this field move further along with the theory.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Just Read

I like this graphic from Indigo, even if it is just a call for consumerism. Buying books is awesome, but remember libraries! Still, the love of reading is one of my greatest joys:
I have a couple of comments about it though; firstly, everyone incorporates rhymes before the age of two - babies love rhythm, that is what lullabies and nursery rhymes are all about. Also, I hate the idea of rereading books, I really don't want to read the same thing for a second time that day. I am hoping that I will be able to continue to refuse the reread, but I know that repetition within the day is inevitable with children. I hope to stay strong and only read something once a 'sitting.' As long as there are enough books around than there will be tons of options - remember libraries!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Beach Tic-Tac-Toe

When we rented a cottage at Ipperwash Beach when I was young, we would go for daily walks as a family (unless it rained.) To keep me occupied we played Tic-Tac-Toe. I would run ahead, find a stick, and draw the board - if I finished in time for Mom or Dad to pass by than one of them would play the game with me. It was a tricky balance to run far enough ahead to have time to find a stick and draw - they would walk passed if I hadn't finished by the time they caught up to me. Yesterday I taught this game to L at The Cottage...

Front: Jason holding hands with E
Middle: Mark walks with I
Background: Me playing Tic-Tac-Toe with L
Long Point Beach - February 2017 - Photo by Meg

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Panda Is A Real Cat

We took her back yesterday - but for the past week we have been looking after Tessa's cat, Panda. Unlike Two, Panda is a more 'traditional' cat...

- Spends a fair amount of time hidden under the bed
- Doesn't play very much with toys or string
- Takes a while to warm up to new people
- Sits near or beside you, not ON you
- Purrs very loudly when getting petted

She really is a lovely cat, but she is different than Two and it really made me remember how unique different animals are with their behaviors and personality.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Quiz - Distance Dispute

I don't know if you noticed from the previous posts but Jason and I had different answers for the question about the furthest we have traveled together. He said Peru and I said Paris. He was pretty confident that Peru was further, I didn't really know but felt like going over an ocean seemed like a bigger deal. But we both love facts and statistics and numbers, so Jason looked it up.

So, as the crow flies, in a straight line from one city to the other, using a Distance Calculator, we got the following answers:
- Toronto to Cusco: 6,410 km
- Toronto to Paris: 6,007 km
Jason was right but the difference is pretty close!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Quiz - Jason's Answers

From Tuesday's Valentine's Day Quiz, here are Jason's answers (as he relayed them to me verbally.)

- Who's older? Me.
- Who was interested first? You contacted me
- Married? Yes
- Together? Yes
- More sarcastic? Me
- Who makes the most mess? You
- Who has more tattoos? You
- Better singer? Me
- Hogs the remote? I don't know
- Better driver? Me
- Smarter? I don't know, what does smart mean?
- Most common sense? Probably you
- Whose siblings do you see the most? Mine
- Do you have any children together? No
- Did you go to the same school? No
- Who is the most sensitive? Me
- Where do you eat out most as a couple? Harvey's
- Where is the furthest you two have traveled together? Peru
- Who has the worst temper? Yooouuu..I one really
- Who does the cooking? We both do
- Who is more social? You
- Who is the neat freak? We are neat freaks in different and incomptable ways
- Who is the most stubborn? Me
- Who hogs the bed? You thinks it's me
- Who wakes up earlier? Me
- Where was your first date? Starbucks
- Who has the bigger family? I do, because of my neice and nephews, but you have a larger, in touch, extended family
- Do you get flowers often? No
- Who does the laundry? I do
- Who drives when you are together? I do
- Who picks where you go to dinner? Both of us
- Who wears the pants in the relationship? We are both currently wearing pants

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Quiz - My Answers

From yesterday's Valentine's Day Quiz, here are my answers (about Jason)

- Who's older? Jason, for this half of the year
- Who was interested first? Neither, eHarmony
- Married? For four months
- Together? For over four years
- More sarcastic? Jason (he is basically Kristen)
- Who makes the most mess? Me, but I am also the one that cleans the bathroom
- Who has more tattoos? Me
- Better singer? Him, by far. However, I sing way more often
- Hogs the remote? The Xbox uses voice commands
- Better driver? Him
- Smarter? Toss up
- Most common sense? Me
- Whose siblings do you see the most? His. Mike's in Edmonton
- Do you have any children together? No, and it is a long way off.
- Did you go to the same school? No
- Who is the most sensitive? Me
- Where do you eat out most as a couple? Harvey's
- Where is the furthest you two have traveled together? Paris
- Who has the worst temper? Neither
- Who does the cooking? Jason lately, but we try to share the task
- Who is more social? ME!
- Who is the neat freak? Jason but he isn't unreasonable
- Who is the most stubborn? JASON!
- Who hogs the bed? Jason
- Who wakes up earlier? My alarm goes off first
- Where was your first date? Starbucks
- Who has the bigger family? Me
- Do you get flowers often? Not really
- Who does the laundry? Jason
- Who drives when you are together? Jason, but only because he hates my driving
- Who picks where you go to dinner? Usually me
- Who wears the pants in the relationship? Pants? Isn't everything better naked?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine's Day Quiz - Questions

I noticed a fun Facebook status from Jeska today. It said in honor of Valentine's Day, all couples should answer the following questions and make it their status.

Couples: Since this is a blog and not Facebook, cut and past the list into the comments! You can either fill it out from your perspective or call your partner over and ask them to answer.

- Who's older?
- Who was interested first?
- Married?
- Together?
- More sarcastic?
- Who makes the most mess?
- Who has more tattoos?
- Better singer?
- Hogs the remote?
- Better driver?
- Smarter?
- Most common sense?
- Whose siblings do you see the most?
- Do you have any children together?
- Did you go to the same school?
- Who is the most sensitive?
- Where do you eat out most as a couple?
- Where is the furthest you two have traveled together?
- Who has the worst temper?
- Who does the cooking?
- Who is more social?
- Who is the neat freak?
- Who is the most stubborn?
- Who hogs the bed?
- Who wakes up earlier?
- Where was your first date?
- Who has the bigger family?
- Do you get flowers often?
- Who does the laundry?
- Who drives when you are together?
- Who picks where you go to dinner?
- Who wears the pants in the relationship?

I also want to say that I was so happy to read their lists and learn more Jeska and her beau. I met him on our Wonderland trip this year and thought he was perfect for her! Joe is amazing and I am so excited for them.

I look forward to seeing your responses in the comments, and stay tuned to Always Standing for mine and Jason's over the next couple of days.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bitmoji Perfection

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Great Pet Shuffle

- I took Two to Teri's today. Two will be staying in Oakville until Family Day, hopefully behaving herself around the baby.

- Tomorrow I am going to go pick up Panda from Tessa's apartment. Jason and I are going to look after her for the week.

- This is because Tessa is up in North Bay looking after her families pets while her mother is out of town.

We are all so lucky to have Teri at the end of this chain who is able to take Two. Follow along with the TwoDeeCat instagram account, link to the left, for pet updates.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Officially Announced

I have resigned from my position at work and HR sent out the email today to let the company know. Now that it is common/public knowledge I thought I would mention it here. My last day is March 3, 2017 and I am going to have to really ramp up my job search so that there isn't too much of an unemployment break.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Movie With The Girls

Went to a movie (Hidden Figures, highly recommended) tonight with some friends from work. We have a Whatsapp group and talk throughout the day using lots of Bitmoji's. Here are the four of us represented by our avatars:

Clockwise from top left: 
Laura, Lor, ME, Sob

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Motherhood - Just Disappear

I was watching Hockey Wives with Tessa on Monday. (I would like to state that it was not my decision of show, I don't like it very much - but I can't judge her choice, I like a lot of reality TV and none of it is good.) One of the women had a baby recently and talks to her friend about how tiring motherhood is because her son isn't sleeping through the night yet. She said this, while giggling:

I don’t want anything bad to happen to me. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. But if the world just blew up and everybody just ended at the same time, I’d be fine with that. That’s how tired I am.

This rings so close to depression. I have had these thoughts, they are the precursor to wanting to die. It isn't quite there yet, it is the desire to just not exist anymore in a way that avoids pain for friends and family - it is very close to a suicide fantasy. However, it also rings so true to what I image parents might think or feel at times.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Orchard And Goats

My mom is in Spain, you can follow along on her trip my visiting her blog Vicariously Travelling (link on the left). The problem with reading her posts is that it makes me really want to travel. I don't feel like I got to travel as much as I like to in 2016, probably due to buying a house and having a wedding. 

Mom went for a walk through a citrus orchard yesterday and the photos are beautiful. There were also chickens! They are less beautiful but still very majestic.

A Chicken Amung The Orange Trees
Photo by Mom

A few days ago she posted a series of goat pictures, they jumped over a wall onto the road in front of her. She says that she took the photos mainly for me because I love goats (and sheep). However, these goats had two baby goats so I think everyone would be excited to see them and want to take pictures.

A Series Of Goat Pictures
Taken by Mom

Almost A Commercial

Eating a Big Mac (with bacon) at McDonald's with Kristen discussing their recent Is it still a Big Mac? campaign.

Kristen: I think what makes it a Big Mac is the Big Mac sauce, so as long as that is still on there...
Me: I always thought the extra bun bit in the middle was the defining element.
Kristen: Though I actually haven't ever had a Big Mac so I don't know anything.
Me: Oh, you wreaked it, we were almost a commercial there for a second.

Monday, 6 February 2017

We All Age

Here is an updated photo from Ter, her son very seriously proclaiming his age:

It is important to note that he isn't usually a serious little guy. He is full of laughter and smiles! Just the cutest.

Both photos are taken by Teri or Greg, they like to have fun planning and executing little photo shoots at home.