Wednesday, June 28, 2006




I'm noticing new folks are stopping by for a visit I would like to take a moment to explain exactly what my daily downloads are. I guess I have been posting them, and scrapping for so long I simply assume people know what my downloads are for. These elements I post, are embellishments or kits or papers for digital scrapbooking. If you would like to learn more about digital scrapbooking I highly recommend a visit to Scrapbook-Bytes Basically it is the same as traditional scrapbooking without using the physical things. I save all my elements in PNG format, which allows you to use the elements on a transparent layer. I'm sure you can use these elements for loads of other projects, including Power Point presentations etc. I will tell you also, that I will be travelling the summer, but I do plan on hovering close to wifi connections and uploading when I can.

One HAPPY Grad!

It was graduation for the Okanagan Similkameen Learning Centres. My husband Miles has been an instructor there for the past 11 years. The Learning Centres are a school for adult students... either youth who don't fit into the regular school system, or for adults coming back to enrich and complete their Grade 12 education. Its a very inspiring place to be and every ceremony here is special. We see young grads from teens all the way up to Grammas and Grampas. With only 17 graduates from the three centres, its a very personal and awesome time. We had a graduate this year who passed away from cancer a few months shy of the ceremony. For her husband it was an opportunity for closure, and an opportunity for him to share what learning meant to her - that you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up (Winston Churchill)

Our Tireless, Inspiring Principal - Bev Hansen

Being that I am not a student (I AM a past graduate OF the Learning Centre) and I am not staff (though I do volunteer tutor when needed) I have the blessing of being a help somewhere in between those roles. This was my help with the grad this year:

1. Decorating - Brenda Zachall, the secretary from the Oliver Learning Centre engineered the plan for the grad decorations. She gleaned from several local businesses for props and plants - both living and silk. She brought enough mini lights to decorate a christmas tree several times over and even had an electrician come to help us from being electrocuted. She organized a fleet of vehicles to transport it all and took care of countless other details such as getting keys etc. I merely had to be there and help move and hang and tape etc. All the teachers helped with the decorating in some way.

2. Folding Brochures - Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes... the brochures had to be revised and reprinted several times by Miles, and I was the folder... learned how to make crisp, professional folds - after all, don't we teach desktop publishing at the Centre - got to make a good impression for the school.

3. Greeting - What a joy to see grads and their families and friends arrive. Handing out brochures, providing missing pens for the guestbook.

4. Taking pics - I did not take the 'official' grad pics - but tried to fill in some of the ones that didn't seem to be getting pics taken of. You can't have too many pics of a once in a life event...

5. The most unique help of all - holding someone's socks.

"Barb, I need your help!"

"Anything, whats the problem?"

"I need a pin, my mother insisted I wear these black knee high socks, and I did not realize the graduation gown would gap from above the knees and everyone will see I have socks on!"

"Oh dear, I see what you mean! "

After a frantic search for a safety pin, and after discarding the idea of a stick pin from a corsage - it may have poked the grad... someone suggested (well, they ARE taught to think quickly on their feet) the universal answer, duct tape. How convenient I had been in charge of the duct tape part of decorating and was able to put my hands on it quickly. However, after a bit of fiddling around trying to seam the gown's gap together only to find it too wide... I chose the logical solution...

"Why don't you just take your socks off?"

"Take them off?"

"Yes, take them right off - you are wearing sandals, after all - and its like a bazillion degrees in here - and you won't have to worry at all!"

"Are you sure it will look alright?"

"Positive! There, see, you have lovely little toes, and your feet will be cool, and you will not have to worry if your gown opens to the knees."

"Oh, will you hold my socks, please?"

"I will keep them right here in my camera bag"

Several hours later... the festivies are over... there are only a trickle of people left. We are getting prepared to leave when she approaches. We hug and wish each other a great summer. She's turned, ready to leave when she suddenly turns back and says "You've got something of mine, remember, my socks?"

Though it was a small thing, it was a special moment for me. You just never know where you will be needed.

Secretaries Brenda Zachall and Linda Lobb

Our Bubbly, Ever Inspiring, Gramma Grad, Linda James!

(and Student of the Year for the Osoyoos Centre, too!)

My thought on all this - from a spiritual view? The word GRADUATE. Somehow when you attend the ceremony you have the impression that that to graduate is to COMPLETE something, and while this is entirely true, its also a beginning. Graduating really means you are ready for a new level. For the NEXT thing. Life goes on and you build on what you've learned.

This is how I feel our spiritual life is. When you die you don't just END. When you die, you are GRADUATING to something, you are going somewhere, either heaven or hell. Life is the school, so knowing you are graduating to either heaven or hell, you better do the studying and practicing here on earth, because you can't arrive at your destination unprepared. Burying your head in the sand to say you won't arrive somewhere is merely denial - so make your choice for heaven - learn and live it here on earth. And its not just head knowledge, its what you DO with it, and what you do with your very life to prepare. Solomon, the wisest man ever, learned this the hard way:


12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,

and also madness and folly.

What more can the king's successor do

than what has already been done?

13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,

just as light is better than darkness.

14 The wise man has eyes in his head,

while the fool walks in the darkness;

but I came to realize

that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I thought in my heart,

"The fate of the fool will overtake me also.

What then do I gain by being wise?"

I said in my heart,

"This too is meaningless."

16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;

in days to come both will be forgotten.

Like the fool, the wise man too must die!


Uses for Oranges

Did you know that dried orange peels make a terrific kindling? They smell wonderful and don't produce creosote. The flammable oils in them make them burn much longer than paper.

To freshen your kitchen, toss a few orange peels and 1/2 tsp cinnamon into a small dish and zap it into the microwave for a few mins on med power. Watch it does not boil over.

Rub fresh orange or lemon peels over your skin for a natural mosquito repellent!


  1. AnonymousJune 28, 2006

    Thanks so much for this fantastic horse element. I love it!!!

  2. You have the coolest site- love the graphics... thanks for stopping by!
    Jennifer R. in Ms


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