Sunday, 31 March 2013

In a Jiffy…..

This is an expression that some may remember from several decades ago!
If you have sufficient years under your belt, like me, you’ll be part of the one of two generations - known as either Veterans (1922-1945) or Baby Boomers (1945-1965) !

The insights and expertise of cross-generational marketing experts advises that Veterans “value authority, loyalty, and expertise” and Baby Boomers are “results-driven, trendy and technologically adept”.

For each and every one who lives in or near the District of Muskoka, I’d like to recommend a local service provider that offers appeal and fulfillment of any customer-service needs you find ideal.

The parts warranty on my vehicle has expired, but I’ve been faithful to the brand and continued to have my scheduled service at the dealership. Last week, after a couple of appointment glitches on my own part, I decided to visit a local garage for a slightly overdue oil change.

As a REALTOR®, my motto of “making the pathway pleasant and smooth for my clients” is synonymous to a mission statement. As a consumer, I value the expertise of others, offer loyalty when it is earned, and anticipate results-driven client service.

So here’s the parallel – my first visit convinced me that I’m a customer for life. The service providers at the Jiffy Lube franchise on Taylor Road in Bracebridge wowed me with their integrity, personable manner and up-front, on the line quality of performance.  Plus, you’ll be in and out in a jiffy!

Friday, 22 March 2013

“Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er”…

In early spring when we’re either deluged with rain or buffeted by wind and snow, it still feels like the waiting time will be long for better weather! Even the old adage “April showers bring May flowers” isn’t much consolation when it’s grey!

My high school motto was “carpe diem” – otherwise understood as seize the day; it’s a perfect lead-in to sunshine and flower time! If you’ve been toying with thoughts of make some lifestyle changes it can be an excellent exercise to review, refresh and ratify your ideas.  

Hand print a single idea on an old-fashioned recipe card (if you have any) or on a piece of stiff paper. You’ll need one card for each idea, each cut to the same size. It’s unlikely you’ll have enough to shuffle together, nonetheless, arrange them face up on a surface where you won’t have to disturb them. Over the next few days, arrange and rearrange the cards until you have them in a step by step order or priority. Voila – your plan now has form and substance!

If you’re thinking of downsizing, for example, make up cards for:

1)  Clear bedroom closet

2)    Clear other closets

                                  Set aside what you don’t want, need or use anymore.

3)    Get some packing boxes from grocery store, liquor store,
 UPS or FedEx stores.

4)   Service club or churches

                     Is there a winter coats/boots or other clothing collection services?

5)  Workshop

                          Too many tools or equipment? Sort and set aside, give away

6)  Garage

7) China Cabinet

                    If you aren’t entertaining on a large scale keep only what you use

8) Good china/dishes

9)     Furniture & Linens

                   Consignment shops, new and used stores or Habitat for Humanity,Salvation Army,                   other family households, neighbours

These are just a few of many ideas you’ll come up with.

“Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er”…

Friday, 15 March 2013

Creating a Dream Catcher...

Throughout the ages, people everywhere have embraced the beliefs of many aboriginal nations whose imageries and rituals feel meaningful in this world where life at full-speed, can feel demanding and unrelenting.

It can feel difficult to make sense of the challenges we may encounter and how to continue on our way, whomever we are and wherever we may live. Symbolism can be seen swinging from the rear-view mirror often – in the form of medals, rosaries, furry dice, and dream catchers, to name just a few.

The true Native American tradition and authenticity of hand-crafted dream catchers evolved into popular modern day use over the past two decades as decorator items in one’s home – with the original interpretations skewed. Nonetheless, creating one’s own dream catcher with personal symbols can be a meaningful representation of one’s own dreams in real life. Still hanging at home is my personal version- which includes a baby tooth from my husband, a replica of a canoe depicting camping excursions, a shiny ore nugget from Sudbury, a family signet ring and a smoothed “medicine stone”

Several years ago when illness brought unwelcome events to my home, two unsolicited packages received by mail each contained a small dream catcher – the significance was appreciable!

Our hopes for the future, business intentions, and personal aspirations can all be visualized in the form of a dream catcher – see the good being retained and the undesired aspects filtering through the web ties and gone forever.

Instead of counting sheep or other symbols when sleep eludes, create your own dream catcher!

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Stuff Of Dreams...

It’s true that Spring is nigh and most people feel lighter both in heart and step. A few sniffs of un-wintery air makes us euphoric – imaginations can fly with inspiration!

I’ve been given an invaluable “how-to” clue about surpassing a roadblock that seemed too dense to dissect and evaluate. Some children show great tenacity in working at a puzzle to solve it, while others may fling it across the floor or otherwise set it aside because “it’s too hard!”. Likewise, not all adults have the inclination to work their way through a puzzling problem or resolve an issue which might be impeding a forward movement.

I recently attended a presentation by keynote speaker Bob Gray ( which was both entertaining and an eye-opener!
One of his methods of improving one’s memory is to associate someone’s name with something totally irregular or totally disconnected. In other words, “outside the box” thinking.

While I have been blessed with an excellent memory, where others falter, I finally was able to understand creative thinking, which others blithely refer to as “outside the box”.

Whether in consideration of personal challenges, business evolution or developing relationships through career networking, learning to think outside the box is the “stuff of dreams”.

Friday, 1 March 2013

On a Teeter-Totter…..

As a young child I was always apprehensive about clambering onto one end of the teeter-totter in the playground nearby. Somehow I felt almost certain that when my end was “up” whoever was on the other side keeping balance would leap off and I would come crashing down with an unseemly thud.

In retrospect, it seems that two of the most difficult challenges in daily living are giving our trust, and staying balanced! When writing autographs in classmates’ books was a popular fad, one phrase that was penned in mine read “Love your friends and love them well, but to your friends no secrets tell, for if your friend becomes your foe, your secrets everyone will know”! More than 50 years later it feels appropriate – though I may have missed out on some gal-pal confidences! Our gut instinct seldom lets us down if we listen to our intuition and place our trust appropriately.

Staying balanced is a state of flux….particularly in the situation where the ”baby boomer” age group may be sandwiched between raising a family and caring for or being responsible for an aging parent or parents.

Regardless of how old or young one’s children are, they are still “our children”. It can sometimes feel like our aging parents may hover too closely or speak their mind too often for our liking -  we must remember that we are their children. And the time does come when roles are reversed, we become the caregivers and protectors of them as well as our own family members.

In June of 2012, tightrope walker Nik Wallenda accomplished a formidable challenge by crossing Niagara Falls on a cable stretched high above the churning gorge. Still breezes buffeted him and many observers feared for his safety.  Nonetheless, by focusing on the job at hand and not hesitating, the feat was accomplished!

Since that time, when I am  faced with the struggle of Staying Balanced, I erase the teeter-totter scenario and trust myself on the high wire.