Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What I Learned from the Computer Today

It's amazing isn't it? Computers and all things technological have become such a part of our lives, we can't imagine living without them. Not a day goes by where I don't learn something new, whether by accident or by choice.

Often, I'll be researching, writing, or reading something, and quickly "google" information that has come from that. It's a phenomenal way to extend knowledge. I suppose, sometimes, it can also be troublesome . Computers are a way to connect with people that we may or may not know...through common experiences or troubles. Computers can make us feel that we're not alone, or conversely, as if we're totally alone.

I rarely forward email jokes, verses, memes, posters, and the like. I don't like to clutter peoples' mailboxes with such silly stuff. On the other hand, every once in awhile, there's something that speaks to me or that I find fascinating. The following is such a thing, so I'll share, just this once. I'm not certain of its origin although I did see one place where it says it's from missmentelle. Even if you don't know all the people listed (and I don't), the point is clear and the content of some value. I have a few of my own which I'll add after the finish. The ending is a bit trite, but nonetheless....here goes.

At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer. 
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.

At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.

At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.

Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.

Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief 

position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.

Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.

Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46. 
Morgan Freeman landed his first movie role at age 52.

Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.

Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.

Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.

Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.

Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it. 
Never tell yourself you missed your chance. 
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough. 
You can do it. Whatever it is. 

Although I'm certain there are many more, I would add people such as ....
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who was flipping burgers at McDonalds in his 20's.
Mark Cuban, businessman and entrepreneur was a bartender living with six roomates.
Ralph Lauren was a sales assistant.
Tim Allen was arrested and spent two years in prison.
Howard Schultz ,Starbucks CEO, was a Xerox salesman.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Garden Shows

Sometimes, when I think I've arrived at that point in life where my world and my activity level is starting to shrink, I panic. Then, after giving it some further thought, I realize it really hasn't. What has occurred is that I've become more discriminating and selective. This is possibly a good thing. After all, we want to make sure we use all remaining time on earth wisely don't we?

It's that time of year again, Spring. I'm grateful for each new one I get to experience. Although the threat of forecast snow for today does not thrill me, I know that there are those obsessed gardeners who are getting very restless if not frustrated. I'm not one of them. That's not to say I don't enjoy and appreciate pretty yards and flowers because I do.

Last month, I attended Canada Blooms at the CNE grounds in Toronto. Since I went with a friend, we had a wonderful time as we always do, taking advantage of photo ops with giant costumed bees and and staring at each other with curiosity and puzzlement over the garden club creations. Our enjoyment had little to do with the show. In fact, we found the exhibits to be huge, over the top, and unrealistic for the average home gardener. It seemed more suited to owners of greenhouses, lawn care specialists, landscape designers, and people with their own professional gardeners. Then there was the amount of walking, walking, and more walking...a huge facility with lots of trees.

On the weekend, hubby and I attended the Peterborough Garden Show. We've been in the past and have found it to be compact and useful. It takes place in an arena and all space is used efficiently. One of us cleverly suggested purchasing advanced tickets so we did so at a local flower shop on our way to the show....a wise move. We got in quickly at opening time and avoided long lines waiting to purchase tickets. http://www.peterboroughgardenshow.com/

We moved through the facility easily, finding many fascinating displays and people more than willing to answer questions. There was something for everyone...exhibits for the beginner and for the avid gardener alike. There were displays of vegetables, flowers, garden ornaments, conservation, and much more. It was terrific and it was manageable. There was even a man dressed in lederhosen to advertise the upcoming OHA convention taking place...where else?...in Kitchener.

Even the food, in this case cupcakes (second last photo), looked like lovely flowers. The socks, were colourful and the pairs did not match...loved them so much I bought a some. Wish I'd purchased more. I laughed at the whimsical items that make people happy. The floral arrangements were colourful, simple, and obvious.

Finally, there were the signs. There were indoor signs and outdoor signs. Signs seem to be the modern way of expressing one's opinion and of sharing truths without really saying anything. These two signs caught my eye. One reminded me of a family member, and the other is obvious. If I am available in April, the Peterborough Garden Show will definitely become an annual event.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Hangin' In and Where I've Been

For the one of you that still looks at my blog from time to time, yes...I'm still here. I don't have that much to say these days. Unusual for me. I have several projects on the go, both real and imaginary and as such have lost my will to write. Wait. That would never happen! Perhaps just my motivation, inspiration, and energy have temporarily gone in other directions. For example, I have been planning ahead (far ahead I hope) and have been composing the story of my life in three pages. I decided three pages will suffice to give an overview, and give me the last word. After all, people will be wanting to rush to get to the funeral sammaches.

I've also been studying our house to see what I might do to brighten and refresh the place. It's too beige and too boring. It makes me sad. I don't like boring and beige is so 1990's. I must say though that the modern florals and stripes with florals on florals and more stripes are not going to happen in this house.

Here's a follow up to my hive blog. I have hives. Did I mention that? I have had hives since the new year. After endless doctor visits, it has been determined that I have hives and am fortunate that they have improved slightly. "Some people have them for ten years," I was told by the allergist, in what she surely thought was a reassuring voice. Then she added, "You've only had them for 3 months." Wow...I felt so much better. Clearly I had won the hive lottery in some way. Or had I? After all, I still have them and now we're heading into the fourth month of 2016.

Tonight as I was bathing, I decided that I had probably sung and danced to Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" once too often. My decollete area (this word sounds better in French and the area looks better on a 25 year old), felt as if it were covered in scales. I keep thinking if I ignore the hives enough, they'll give up. No such luck. In fact, they rather multiply and become more persistent when I do that. They clearly demand attention.

A few weeks ago, at Easter time to be exact, we were in Germany. Their spring season has been delayed much as ours has, but nonetheless, it was a wonderful trip. We had great, albeit short visits with family. Here are a couple of my favourite photos. The first is the historic house in which I was born (historic because it was built in the 1500's not because I was born there). The second is a picture of the Schlosspark. On the hills toward the back of the picture lie two castles Windeck and Wachenburg. Hubby mentioned he'd never been up there despite previous visits. I was surprised, so we travelled to both castles, partial drive, partial climb. Needless to say, my knees launched a protest and the fitbit easily hit 13,000 steps that day.

Here's a view of my birth town looking down from one of the castles. Pretty isn't it?
I was fortunate to come away, as always, with some decor ideas, a few new recipes, and an idea of what hubby would really like for his birthday this year.