Thursday, December 14, 2006

(surprize element included)

It's Christmas in my heart.

No matter what else happens yet this Christmas, its Christmas in my heart because I took a challenge. A few weeks ago I watched an Oprah show on 'paying it forward'. She posed the question that if we were given $1000 to do something for someone else, what would we do with this money. No, we didn't get any of Oprah's money but it got me thinking...

The first thing that came to my mind was that I would try to start a bursary fund for a freind who died of cancer this past year. Let me tell you about Val.

Val was like me, in my 40's... and Val loved the learning center. For the last year of her life she was 'not feeling well' to start... and after countless Dr.'s visits, tests, etc... she was eventually diagnosed with cancer. Her downhill spiral was very swift after the 'official' diagnosis, but Val fought it all the way to the end. She was often the first one at the doors of the school in the morning, and the last one to leave at the end of the day. She was a support and encouragement to the other students. She loved her graphics and could be known to get excited about making 3d objects. Val and her husband loved gardening and camping and a quiet life with their pets. Val was an only child, and she and her husband had no children.

Val was coming to the school to within two weeks of her passing. She would have graduated had she lived for two short months.

Last Christmas, Val gave us a little fridge magnet calendar in the shape of an angel. After Val passed away, I could not bear to tear off the months anymore. I think that I never wanted December to come... who would remember Val's presence at our school? Thats when I saw Oprah, and it reminded me that I could do something about that.

I talked to my Miles, and we agreed that we should initiate some way to remember Val, so after we talked about it I sent an email to the principal of our Learning Center to ask her blessing on this...

The very next day, without having had a response from the principal, Miles arrived home with an envelope from Garry, Val's husband who had dropped in to the school that day. The envelope contained two letters, one from Garry, one from Val's mom, thanking all of us at the school for what we did for Val in the last days of her life, and to ask for copies of a poem one of the other students had written. This was complete confirmation in my heart that we had done the right thing. The principal gave her blessing a day or two later

I copied the poems out and on Sunday Miles and I visited Garry and told him about our idea. Without a hesitation, he wrote out a check for $300 to put towards it... he could not think of a better way to spend these monies. The money had been from some of Val's things and had not yet been earmarked for anything. How cool is that?

So, it's set in motion and Miles and I will collect until the end of the school year. The bursary will go to help a student who excells in graphics. I feel so good inside knowing some fortunate student will be able to go forward in their education through Val's memory. Don't just wait for some of Oprah's money to get you to make your move to change your corner of the world!

a gift from our friend Melanie Olsen

Today's oxymorons:
modern history
modern maturity
modern tradition
modestly arrogant
modified-final judgement
monoglottal babble
montana freemen
moral majority
morbid humor
more perfect
more unique
motorcycle safety
mournful optimist
moving target
mud bath
muscular fat
mute sound
mutual attraction
mutual differences
mutually exclusive
my worst favorite


I don't usually put Job Postings on my blog, but I'll make an exception here:

Holiday Job Posting

Pay Rate: $20.00/Hr plus shift differential
Filing deadline: 12/23/95

Selected candidate must be available for international travel, holiday and night work be physically able to lift heavy packages over shoulder and possess a sleigh to perform work assignment.


Make list and check it twice. Identify and deliver packages to proper recipients by way of reindeer-powered airborne sleigh. Supervise 100 unruly elves in the production of requested items. Disperse and maintain holiday spirit when faces with turbulent weather and physical demands of riding reindeer sleigh over 10,000 miles to accomodate 4 billion people in 16 hours.


Skill to determine who's naughty and nice, sleeping and waking bad or good, for goodness sake! Skill to establish cooperative working relationships with elves and gnomes knowledge of proper
diet and training required for flying reindeer ability to consume approximatly 1 billion cups of lukewarm coca/milk and similar amounts of stale, leftover cookies. Skill in deciphering correspondence written in crayon. Ability to quickly maneuver down chimneys or other available means while "ho, ho, hoing" and simultaneously shaking belly.


Heavy, white facial growth and rosy red cheeks.

If you live anywhere near Sparwood, BC won't you drop into the mall and say hello to our Sister In Law Neti, who has all her hand made crafts on sale? Say hello from Sis and Smiles!
Thanks to Judy for providing this pic from your blog!

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  1. You are such a special person thanks so much for these wonderful elements

  2. Thank you so much for the little reindeer! She's very cute!! I am sorry to hear about your friend Val. That was a great idea to honor her memory.

  3. yay for the falling snowflakes! I love them!

    I like the 'job posting'. Too cute!

    Enjoyed our walk & visit lastnight. And the squirrel is still making me SMILE :)

  4. For some reason when I went to your blog yesterday,I wasn't able to get to the newer posts... and the same thing today... but then I thought, let me try through another browser because she keeps saying she updated her blog... and it sure wouldn't be like her to say that and not do it... so wadaya know? I can see the newer posts on the other browser but not on Firefox! So I came back to Firefox and clicked on the archives section choosing December 2006 and voila! Hmmmm, you're sweet lil' reindeer were hiding from me!!! Those silly creatures! Thanks so much Barb! I love them and they will find a good home in my HD and I will have to have them come out and play with Amelia too! :D

    And let me say that your story of Val so touched me. I rarely say the word hate but I hate, hate, hate cancer! It is such a thief and a demon. I hope to see it cured in my lifetime and know that so many good people will not be taken from us in such a horrible way. I have lost friends and family to cancer and it robs us in so many ways. I am so glad to hear that you and Miles have found a way to give forward a part of what has been lost to the world, your lovely friend Val.

    God Bless

  5. I lost my father to cancer and he suffered for five years before it took him away, It was a special thought to honor your friend. God Bless. Happy Christmas.

    Your neighbour Lucy. I hope to try downloading some files this weekend. Hugs.

  6. thanks for sharing your story of your friend. i lost my best friend to cancer two years ago she was only 38.. i come for your dd but also your stories are super thank you for sharing your thoughts with us

  7. yes cancer takes a lot of love ones we all pray the cure will be found to beat it...good one for our sis in sparwood ..Hi Neti ..

  8. The story of Val did touch me in so many ways! I remember your previous posts about her .. My 'paying it forward'today was to give some money to a single Mom and her kid for food supply for X-Mas (we got 350$ in less that one hour). The gesture of giving $$$ wasn't enough for me. So the kids and I agreed to give some toys for the little boy. Good toys that they are not using anymore. I think that now days we do not share enough (talking about me here - you sure share lots with us everyday). And I think that it is important for them to learn about these things! Thank you! XO Valerie

  9. Thank you for the gifts (downloads). I d/l the reindeer and your festive winter light. I hope to get to use them in a layout.

    The story about your friend was very touching. I just graduated this past May with an AS in Graphic Design. (Which I find weird cause I don't draw well.) So I'm so happy someone will get to continue their graphics education through her memory. That is a wonderful gift for a student.

  10. wow thanks so much for all your gorgeous gorgeous shares....


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