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Monday, March 30, 2015

Diggin’ around

Posted by Dawn-Ann on May 23, 2009

It’s the first real, sunny, gorgeous day of the year so far and I’ve been out in the gardens, watering and weeding. Seems we have a bumper crop of weeds this year, so I may have to get out a hoe rather than try to pick ‘em all by hand.

Just had to share, though. I came home from work the other day and saw that some digging had been going on in the front yard, but not by me or Tom. SOMEONE had been trying to hide a peanut and must have left abruptly, as the peanut was still lying by the hole, next to a wee mound of dirt. Hee hee…

Poor little guy never got to finish his job. The next day there were more holes around this one, but for some reason our little beastie (most likely a squirrel) never did finish burying this one.

Poor little guy never got to finish his job. The next day there were more holes around this one, but for some reason our little beastie (most likely a squirrel) never did finish burying this one.

Waiting for spring

Posted by Dawn-Ann on April 5, 2009

This brave little guy and his brother are just fresh out from under the snow. They look a little bedraggled, don't they? I don't recall ever seeing pansies bloom this early.

This brave little guy and his brother are just fresh out from under the snow. They look a little bedraggled, don't they? I don't recall ever seeing pansies bloom this early.

Spring is gathering steam here in Calgary. The mounds of snow we received this year are slowly starting to recede and the sun is getting warmer and higher in the sky.

I got excited and went out in the back yard to see what’s up back there. Look what I found!

Notes from the C-Train

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 19, 2009

My daily commute to and from work is starting to look like a huge, wonderful classroom experience for me. Let me explain.

My travels through life have often been solitary. I generally avoided contact with others, even if it was eye contact in a crowd of strangers. Aside from my kids and Tom, there was nothing I loved more than being completely by myself. Lately, though, I have been trying to really look at people and understand them. I’ve been making eye contact, cracking jokes to get conversations going and generally giving people a chance. As a result, I have been privy to some amazing interactions. You have read about some of them here. These experiences have taught me so much and I think they are actually helping me to become a better person.

Yesterday, for example.

I was standing on the train and a woman moved up from the seats behind me to stand between me and the door. I was gazing out the window at the passing scenery when I noticed her fuzzy-blue-gloved hand come up, flipping the bird to someone in the seats behind me. I looked at her face, wondering if I should be alarmed. She was muttering something under her breath about “stupid bitch,” but her eyes didn’t look scary. I somehow sensed that she was very angry, but behind the anger was fear. I wondered if I should reach out somehow but something inside me said, “Just observe.”

So I did. After a little bit more mumbling and muttering, she turned her head to gaze out the window. Her large brown eyes were sad. From the corner of my eye I caught her fuzzy gloves swiping at her eyes from time to time when she thought no one was looking. I was right. I had no idea what had happened in the seats behind me but she was hurting. When she started using her glove as a kleenex I took it as an opportunity to step in. I rummaged in my purse and found a napkin and offered it to her. She looked at me gratefully and said something about a “cold” she was battling.

A couple of stops later, as I was preparing to leave the train, I almost didn’t hear her quiet, “Thank you.” I looked up and there was no denying the huge tears standing in her eyes, not quite wanting to drop. I touched her blue glove gently. “You’re welcome,” I said, and left.

What I learned from this is something I already knew but needed to be reminded of. Sometimes a person’s anger is really only her hurt being manifested in a way that is easier to deal with. Look behind any angry face and you’ll see eyes of fear and pain.

Someone I love dearly is hiding behind her own shield of anger right now. Unfortunately, it is me she is angry with and she rebuffs my overtures at communication, but I know our immense love for each other will allow us to work it out eventually.

Promises of spring

Posted by Dawn-Ann on February 1, 2009

Although winters in Canada are characteristically long, here in Calgary we have milder ones than most other areas besides the left coast.  Still, it’s nice to see the first hints of spring appearing, even though we likely have several more weeks of cold.

This morning my heart was warmed by the sight of a flock of little sparrows playing and scavenging for food in the back yard. While it’s true sparrows don’t go anywhere in the winter, you rarely see them all flocked together like this in the dead of winter, so I was tickled.

Little sparrows on the back walk

Little sparrows on the back walk

I’m baaaack!

Posted by Dawn-Ann on December 29, 2008

Sorry for the long absence.  First, my host changed my site over to a new server, which caused some headaches. Then Christmas happened and I didn’t have time to fix the site and its woeful little error messages and stuff.  Still, it was a fabulous Christmas and New Years looks like it will be even better.

I hope everyone had as marvelous a holiday as I did (I’m still ON holidays, truth be told) and I’ll be posting some real stuff soon.  In the mean time, here’s what’s been going on in our neck of the woods!

Granddaughter Odessa's beautiful smile.

Granddaughter Odessa's beautiful smile.

Grandson Ashton helps distribute gifts.

Grandson Ashton helps distribute gifts.

Dawn-Ann’s adventures

Posted by Dawn-Ann on December 6, 2008

I should be adding to my Adventures page more often. I’ve gone to L.A. and Scotland, but just haven’t written about them yet. Oh, and how could I forget Isaac’s and my road trip across Canada and the U.S.? Anyway, if you haven’t had a look at what I have written yet, please do. Follow this link to get there. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be inspired! ;)

Light Up The World

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 21, 2008

A couple of days after writing the previous post I was walking through Bankers Hall on my lunch break when I came across a little booth. On the table I saw a small solar panel attached to what looked like a tiny car battery and some lights. I had almost passed the booth when I brought myself up short and backed up to have a look. The posters on the wall told me the topic of this display was EXACTLY what I had just written about!

I stopped to chat with a cheerful and enthusiastic fellow who I later found out is Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, the man behind Light Up The World. We talked a bit about LUTW, about Scotland, and about how to get this project onto the radar screen of big players who could help (yes, I will be writing to Oprah). I spent so much time chatting I used up my lunch break and had to forgo my errands for the day and get back to work, but I didn’t mind. It just seemed like more than coincidence that I was there talking to this sincere fellow with the beautiful dreams.

I got paid today, Dr. Dave. I’m heading right over to your site to make a donation!

It’s all a matter of perspective

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 10, 2008

We got our first snow the other day, and even though I’m mature and wise now I still get really excited about the first snow of the season. I sat on the bus watching the flakes coming down around us. It was starting to get dark out already and in the light of the streetlight it looked as though we were being showered with fairy dust. (Lame, I know. So sue me.)

Apparently, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. The next morning on the bus I heard some teenaged girls talking about how much they HATE the snow; “It’s like all WHITE and disgusting.” I tried to block them out, but they went on and on about it. Of course, when you’re that age that’s pretty much the extent of your worries – that and homework and boys, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised or disappointed.

Anyway, my faith was restored later that same morning. There’s a petite young mom that brings her two little boys onto the train every morning. They must be five and seven or so and they still get excited about snow, too. As they gazed out the window at the glistening white fields contrasted by dark streets I heard one of them exclaim about how wet and shiny everything is. I love little boys! (Then one of them said, “Right mom?” and I almost lost it, but that’s another story.)

Fall colours

Posted by Dawn-Ann on November 1, 2008

Today's gorgeous blue sky

Today's gorgeous blue sky

It’s fall here in Calgary, but oh what a glorious one! It’s a balmy, sunny 16 degrees celsius (60F) today and I was amazed to find I still have pansies and honeysuckle blooming in my flowerbeds! Here are a few pictures I took today.

Optimistic pansies

Optimistic pansies

Waiting for winter

Waiting for winter

Why I love my job (well, part of the reason, anyway)

Posted by Dawn-Ann on October 24, 2008

That ol’ nine-to-five is a whole lot easier to bear if you love the work you’re doing and at least respect the company you work for, am I right? Currently, I am on contract with EnCana in Calgary and the longer I’m there, the more I love it. Not only do they take really good care of their employees, but the people I work with are, without exception, bright, hard workers that also happen to know how to laugh and have fun. (Plus, I’m doing nerdy stuff in the web department – does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.)


The so-called “corporate culture” of what some might view as just another one of those heartless “big oil” companies was really made clear to me when I read a recent article that featured. Native Canadian concerns being near and dear to my heart, I was really tickled about this:

EnCana had already decided where it was going to build its oil sands processing plant in Foster Creek when it did something that would make your average oil man choke: It asked the tribal council of the Cold Lake First Nation if the plant’s location was acceptable to them, even though the land wasn’t on their reservation.

Turns out EnCana’s site was where the tribe’s roaming ancestors were buried. So EnCana moved its plant site several miles away. It also rerouted a road around a former gathering ground of medicinal plants and a rock that was, according to the council, imbued with spiritual properties.

Read more here.

This was the sidebar for a bigger article about EnCana called Frick and Frack.