Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisdom Jar final week

I can't believe I actually got 365 quotes.  I don't think I have any duplicates, but the folks I am giving these to as a present will certainly let me know if I do, although there are some that I could have duplicated about 30 quotes and they never would have known.  I have a diverse group of friends.

Just getting over the stomach flue and I am leaving for Florida on the weekend.  It has been an insane week and month so far.  I am so looking forward to some down time.

  1. people, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - Audrey Hepburn
  2. At one point or another in our lives, we’re going to fail at something. The more risks you take, the more chances you’ll have at failing.  -Steve Kamb
  3. Thomas Edison failed with 1,000 different filaments before finally perfecting the light bulb. Fortunately, he took each failure as “one more thing that didn’t work” so he could move onto the next thing. - Steve Kamb
  4. “Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.” -Henry Wheeler Shaw
  5. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -- Scott Adams
  6. How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. -- Annie Dillard
  7. When things go wrong don't go with them. - Elvis Presley, rock idol
  8. “We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story.” ~Mary McCarthy
  9. A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. - John Lennon
  10. The more I see the less I know for sure.  John Lennon
  11. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.  ~Henry Ford
  12. It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.  ~Edmund Hillary
  13. The important thing is not to stop questioning.  ~Albert Einstein
  14. The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.  ~Author Unknown
  15. You don't have to brush your teeth - just the ones you want to keep.  ~Author Unknown
  16. You know, by the time you reach my age, you've made plenty of mistakes if you've lived your life properly.” Ronald Regan
  17. Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst ~  Marcus Aurelius
  18. Everyone is gifted - but some people never open their package - Author Unknown
  19. Bad Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables. Spanish Proverb
  20. If speaking is silver, then listening is gold. ~ Turkish Proverb
  21. To lengthen your life, shorten your meals. ~ Unknown
  22. Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow ~  Swedish Proverb
  23. Trouble is to man what rust is to iron  ~ Yiddish Proverb
  24. Fools and obstinate men make rich lawyers. ~ Spanish Proverb
  25. Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet ~ African Proverb
  26. I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it. - Harry Emerson Fosdick

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wisdom Jar Week 13

This is the second last week of posting these.  We are deep into Hanukkah now and Christmas is approaching fast.  With the ongoing renovation in the house at the moment, I have not even begun to think of anything Christmas related.  What I need right now is a Christmas miracle.

The quotes at the end are from Katherine Hepburn.   I always admired her fierce independence.
  1. It’s possible to stay alive for 99 years without every really having lived. Jason Kotecki
  2. “Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid  paying it.” -George Prentice
  3. "What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every     age can be enchanting, provided you live within it." ~ Brigitte Bardot
  4. “You’ve got a lot of choices.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice. ” ~Steven D. Woodhull
  5. "Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind." 
 -Dr. Seuss
  6. You will make all kinds of mistakes but as long as you are generous and true and fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.  - Winston Churchill
  7. Have no fear of perfection - you’ll never reach it.  Salvador Dali
  8. Courage is very important.  like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.  - Ruth Gordon
  9. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars - Ralph Emerson
  10. A man’s wife has more power over him than the state has. - Ralph Emerson
  11. Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time. - Rabbinical Saying
  12. Truth stands the test of time, lies are soon exposed - proverb
  13. stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice.  proverb
  14. Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.  Pierre Trudeau
  15. It is no use saying we are doing our best.  You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary - Winston Churchill
  16. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm Winston Churchill
  17. It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours. Sam Ewig
  18. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow - Ralph Emerson
  19. Humor is also a way of saying something serious. T.S. Eliot
  20. When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. - Rochefouchuld
  21. Only the mediocre are always at their best. - Jean Giraudoux
  22. Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do. -Katherine Hepburn
  23. Enemies are so stimulating. Katherine Hepburn
  24. If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead get married. - Katherine Hepburn
  25. If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun. - Katherine Hepburn
  26. Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.  Perhaps they should just live next door and just visit now and then. - Katherine Hepburn

Monday, November 29, 2010

World Wildlife Fund

For a school project Sam had to do something charitable.  So he and his partners decided to hold a bake sale and raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.

Of course that did mean that I did most of the work in baking cookies and schlepping the kids around from the community centre home. But, Sam did ask the community centre if they could set up a table to sell baked goods and they extended a day when sales were not as good as they hoped on Thursday.

For three eleven year old boys the fundraiser went relatively well.  They raised 47 dollars in two days from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and sold sugar cookies cut out in animal shapes of endangered species, chocolate cake that the boys made themselves, which actually tasted good, and hot chocolate.

I hope they get a good mark because they did work quite hard for their $50.00 (Shawn and I topped off the funds and made an online donation in their names).

I think this was a good exercise for grade six students and wish that the public school board would have events like this throughout the students history.  The lessons learned through charitable giving is invaluable.  For an eleven year old boy to think of others things beside himself is a big deal.

I also thought it was interesting that we were the only parents to show up to see how the boys were doing.  Involvement is your child’s education, no matter what they do is so important.  I am baffled by the lack of interest in most parents, and how they rely on the teachers to ensure the child is learning anything at all.

I am proud of those three boys and all the hard work they did to raise awareness and support for the World Wildlife Fund.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wisdom Jar Week 12

While reading Unauthomate your finances by Adam Baker, I have taken quite a few of the quotes he has in the book. I highly recommend this ebook.
  1. "If geek means you're willing to study things, and if you think science and engineering matter, I plead guilty. If your culture doesn't like geeks, you are in real trouble." -- Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.
  2. “Enjoy today because the older you get, the faster time goes by.”
  3. “It doesn’t work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten foot jumps” -American Proverb
  4. “Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land.” -Carter Heyward
  5. “All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” -Henry Miller
  6. “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” -Henry David Thoreau
  7. “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” -Cynthia Heimel
  8. “The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” -John Burrough
  9. ‘The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  10. Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street. - Grant L. Miller
  11. “let the wild rumpus begin!” —  Maurice Sendak
  12. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein
  13. “A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark.” -Dante
  14. “I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”  - Billy Joel
  15. “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” -Samuel Johnson
  16. “My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.” -Errol Flynn
  17. “The things you own end up owning you.” -Tyler Durden
  18. “Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Each victory must be applauded...” -Audre Lorde
  19. Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.  - Sally Koch
  20. Even if you‘re on the right track, youll get run over if you just sit there.  – Will Roger
  21. “What’s a soup kitchen?” -Paris Hilton
  22. “You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you.” -George Lucas
  23. “Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated.” -Anonymous
  24. “If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” -Earl Wilson
  25. “Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.” -Unknown
  26. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. - Corrie Ten Boom, author and human rights activist

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Renovations a week later.

Well it has been an eventful week to say the least.

The plumber was in and hooked up the plumbing in the bathroom.  Not knowing the water was turned back on, I was awakened at 4:00 in the morning with the sound of spurting water and it was not the rain outside.  I searched around the basement for the shutoff valve and was able to stop the flood going into the dining room, cleaned up the water and assessed the damage.  Thankfully I was at home that night, or there would have been massive damages to the dining room.

I had to sleep away from the house one night because the stairs were being replaced and there was a huge hole where the stairs used to be.

I was woken up very early one morning by the drywall guy coming into the house, not realizing there was someone home and the alarm was on.  All I can say is I am glad I wear pajamas.  When he came back two days later at least he knocked and I am still glad I wear pajamas.

I have to admit, I finally had a breakdown this morning.  After handling the disarray for six weeks, I finally had enough this morning and cried.  I am sure it happens to everyone. Another day of no progress, another day of no toilet in the bathroom but a toilet in a box in my dining room and I have had enough.  I am at the point where I just want the whole thing over with.  As I write this the pain and frustration has been fading a bit, but a sense of exhaustion is lingering.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wisdom Jar Week 11

This week I have quotes from the "little book of calm" by Paul Wilson.  If anyone has seen the BBC series Black Books than you will know that these are very funny.  Take them howevery you want though.  The other half are from fortune cookies, some are evil, some are funny and some make you stop and think.  I am really having fin finding all of the quotes and little tidbits that are going into making up this list.

  1. Concentrate on silence. When it comes, dwell on what it sounds like. Then strive to carry that quiet with you wherever you go. Paul Wilson
  2. invest in a fruit bowl. the more beautiful your fruit bowl, the better stocked it is, the sell likely you are to turn to stress-enhancing snack foods.Paul Wilson
  3. Admit you feel calm.  If you want to trick your subconscious into helping you feel calm, simply repeat: “Every moment I feel calmer and calmer.” Paul Wilson
  4. pretend you're human. Leave it to others to be perfect, to be wonderful.  Be content with what you are - you’ll be much more relaxed as a result. Paul Wilson
  5. Think Calm. have calm thoughts, Picture calm scenes, recall calm sounds.  And guess what you’ll be feeling... Paul Wilson
  6. Stimulate with intent. Recognise that there is a time for stimulation and a time for calm.  This means never trying to fool yourself that a stimulant can help you to relax.Paul Wilson
  7. Wear donald duck underpants.  choose a few child like accouterments to remind you of the irreverent, uninhibited, joyous side of life. Paul Wilson
  8. Pretend it’s Saturday Paul Wilson
  9. make friends with a masseur, or a beauty therapist. Paul Wilson
  10. Expect nothing, but know that great things lie ahead for you” Paul Wilson
  11. The most important skill in staying calm is not to lose sleep over small issues. The second most important skill is to be able to view all issues as small issues. Paul Wilson
  12. Declare today a holiday -- imagine every day is a holiday. Do one little thing that stimulates this holiday mood each day, then watch your worries fade away. Paul Wilson
  13. be positive about being positive.  Work on having positive thoughts, pay attention to speaking positive works then let the resultant positive feelings take care of everything else.Paul Wilson
  14. You like the color green - fortune cookie saying
  15. It is not wise to throw stones at tigers- fortune cookie saying
  16. Blue eyes are about to change the course of your life- fortune cookie saying
  17. "Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment." - fortune cookie saying
  18. "Never wear your best pants when you go to fight for freedom - fortune cookie saying
  19. Good sense is the master of human life." - fortune cookie saying
  20. "You are free to invent your life. - fortune cookie saying
  21. "Your smile will tell you what makes you feel good." - fortune cookie saying
  22. May the pork-fried rice you just ate not give you abdominal cramps or diarrhea. - fortune cookie saying
  23. You've been served... - fortune cookie saying
  24. Don't lose face! Insist on buying dinner for your tablemates. - fortune cookie saying
  25. Excitement and intrigue follow you closely wherever you go! - fortune cookie saying
  26. He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at. - fortune cookie saying

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hanukkah is only a few weeks away, so I thought I would share our family’s philosophy for celebrating the holiday.  

Hanukkah is all about spending 8 evenings together as a family to celebrate history and tradition and a miracle or two thrown in.

We used to buy Sam a gift for each night, but only something small because we also celebrate Christmas.  We also eat a piece of chocolate gilt and read a Hanukkah book or watch a movie.  A few years ago my sister found this website ( ) that listed the top eight Hanukkah gifts and gave a significance behind each night. She adopted this list when giving Sam gifts and we loved the idea so much that we have adopted it since.

For the first night: A gift of Hanukkah - This is usually a book or movie or a Hanukkah related item that we need, like a new menorah.  This year we got him a menorah from Think Geek

For the second night: A gift of generosity - We usually make a donation to a charity in Sam’s name. This year we got Sam the Heart and Stroke Calendar lottery

For the third night: A gift of togetherness - This is usually a movie or a game we can all watch or play together. This year we got Sam cards for a game he plays with his father and a Dr Who cartoon that he can watch with me.

For the fourth night: A gift of knowledge - This is usually a book or dictionary.  This year we got him 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do from Think Geek again

For the fifth night: A gift of labor - This is something that usually helps with his chores around the house, in the past Sam has gotten a laundry basket, a Shark steam mop and a shovel.  This year I am still stumped on what to get him.

For the sixth night: A gift of comfort - We usually get Sam a blanket or a sweatshirt.  This year is a Bazinga Hoodie from you guessed it Think Geek

For the seventh night: A gift of choice Every year we get two gift cards and wrap them and Sam has to choose which one he wants and who he wants to give the other one to.

For the eighth night: A gift of being Jewish book -  This is most often a book like the one we just found at amazon, the Jewish Book of Why.

This has become a very special tradition in our house, that I am sure will continue for many years to come.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Things that garner my respect

being faithful to your spouse
I know so many men that are having affairs, the number is staggering.  Why do men find the need to seek sexual gratification elsewhere? From the female perspective,  it just makes them look small and weak.

disciplining your children
How many times have we been in a grocery store and have witnessed a child’s melt down and the parent to little to nothing, or make excused for the child.  What happened to teaching consequences to actions.

listening, actually listening when people are talking to you
I have spoken to so many people lately, just to have them turn around and ask me the same question I have just answered two minutes later.  People are so self involved lately, they can not come out of their own thoughts enough to stop and listen to the world around them, let alone the person standing directly in front of them.

driving obeying the simple rules of the road
It is no wonder there is so much road rage happening these days.  Again, so many people are so self involved and caught up in their own lives they can’t focus enough on the basic (like using your signal to merge or turn)

smiling as you pass a stranger on the street
When I was a young girl your neighbourhood was an extension of your home.  Everyone knew you and everyone said hello or at minimum smiled when you passed one another on the street.  Today it is a miracle when someone moves out of the way when you pass them on the street and don’t give you an evil glare for getting in their way.

Along with self involvement come pessimism.  “The whole world is against me”.  The glass is always half full, if you choose to look at it that way.

differing opinions that don’t turn into a heated argument or fist fights or temper tantrums
Remember the days of the debate teams when everyone shook hands and it was a healthy competition.

contentment with your own life, not having to keep up with the Jones’
Commercials and mass marketing are the downfall of society today.  We all need the latest and greatest and we have the need to tell everyone around us exactly what we have.  So many people look at me like I have two heads when I say I want to get rid of my cable television service.

finding joy for your job no matter what it is
A job is not just a pay cheque.  It is a form of responsibility and pride.  If I did my job half ass-ed I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror.  A strong work ethic is extinct in most people these days.  Everyone feel that they are owed and no longer have to work hard.

Even through all of this negativity in society today, I still am finding little gems that make me feel hope for the future:  A teenage girl working at Staples with a smile on her face every single time I’ve been in there, a child of two that says please and thank you, a elderly couple walking down the street still holding hands.  These little glimmers show that with an effort it is possible for all of us to become a great society and community.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Renovations continued

OK the renovations have been going very slowly.  Let’s see when last I blogged about this the bathtub ended up in my hallway for a week.  It was becoming the once a week project, where only one thing was done in a week.  It makes for a painfully slow process especially when the water is off for the entire house and there is no toilet.  This week though, three things were accomplished.  The insulation went up around the walls, which is a good thing since the temperature is around -4 in the morning when I get up and get going.  The electrician was finally here and put up lighting, wiring for the bathroom and electrical outlets in various rooms.

I must admit the delays have been quite frustrating and I know that it is to be expected, but when you are living in a house with no water and no toilet and you are the type of person that has to get up twice a night to pee, frustrating is an understatement.

A new week sees new possibilities and optimism renewed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wisdom Jar 9 and 10

Two weeks of quotes again because I missed last week.  The second batch are all by Groucho Marx.
  1. Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.- Maurice Setter
  2. I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.- JD Salinger
  3. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.- Chinese Proverb
  4. There is more to life than increasing its speed.” - Mohandas K. Gandhi
  5. “Your sanity should never become the sacrificial lamb for your success.” – Kim Kotecki
  6. Success without life balance is like a house of cards. It doesn’t take much to knock it all to smithereens.  Kim Kotecki
  7. Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head. -Chinese Proverb
  8. To be an ideal guest, stay at home. -Edward W. Howe
  9. It’s never too late to be what you might have been – George Eliot
  10. You can succeed at almost anything for which you have limitless enthusiasm. The world belongs to the enthusiastic – John Mason
  11. If you don’t pay attention to the stuff that makes its way into your life, that stuff will eventually take over your life.”
  12. A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for. - Anonymous
  13. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. - Chinese Proverb
  14. "Life moves pretty fast - if you don't stop and look around once and awhile you could miss it." Ferris Beuller
  15. Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have. ~ Thomas Edison
  16. ‘Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.’ ~Albert Einstein
  17. Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could...- Ralph Waldo Emerson
  18. The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.- Swedish proverb
  19. Wisdom has two parts; having lots to say and not saying it -- Anonymous
  20. Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. - Maurice Setter
  21. Pay attention when an old dog is barking.- Old Proverb
  22. Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity - Anonymous
  23. shy children get nothing - Old Proverb
  24. “The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” Mark Twain
  25. “Workers of the world, arise! You have nothing to lose but your chairs” anonymous
  26. Commitment, you’re either in or you’re out.  There is no such thing as life in between. anonymous

  1. I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book
  2. I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it
  3. Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men, the other 999 follow women
  4. Q: What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic, and a dyslexic? A: Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog.”
  5. Women should be obscene and not heard.”
  6. Don't look now, but there's one too many in this room and I think it's you”
  7. Money will not make you happy, and happy will not make you money”
  8. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana
  9. I cannot say that I do not disagree with you
  10. A man's only as old as the woman he feels
  11. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies
  12. I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member
  13. I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.”
  14. Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.”
  15. Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.”
  16. I intend to live forever, or die trying.”
  17. Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you.”
  18. There is no sweeter sound than the crumbling of your fellow man”
  19. I'm not a vegetarian, but I eat animals who are”
  20. Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.”
  21. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five
  22. Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.
  23. I would horsewhip you if I had a horse.
  24. I'd dance with you until the cows came home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows until you came home.
  25. Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
  26. What's a thousand dollars? Mere chicken feed. A poultry matter.