STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #7 – VOYAGES 2 – DUE APRIL 15, 2018

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT

The STARS twinkle against the black of the night as I crane my neck to see the almost invisible PLANE fly overhead.  I track it by the roar of its engines and can just see the light from the cabin shine out the tiny windows. I raise my HAND and give my best friend a final wave as she flies across the country back to her home and family.

Her visit was a whirlwind of adventures. Being apart for more than 20 years we didn’t waste any TIME catching up, we practically melted our credit CARDS. We enjoyed laughter and tears watching live THEATRE at The Pumphouse. Our skin glowed from the BEE pollen facials we treated ourselves to while reminiscing about childhood antics. We ate out every night, except pizza night when we stay in and watched romantic comedies.

Last weekend we kicked off our shoes and left FOOTPRINTS in the snow from the kitchen to the hot tub while we laid back and soaked our aching muscles from our trek around Vulcan.  We didn’t see any ALIENS but had a blast touring the Visitors Centre and the Starship Enterprise replica.

As I watch the plane slip into the night, I know I will remember this visit for many years. I guess it is now my turn to visit her in Halifax.  This trip will be hard to top, but we will do our best next time we get together.

 

Cheryle – April 15, 2018

Story Cube Dice VOYAGES for Story No 7 due April 15 2018

For more Story Cube Challenge posts Visit: A ‘Lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #7

 

THE 1st MY CIRCLE OF FRIENDS HEALING FAIR & TRADE SHOW

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Saturday, November 21st, 2015, was the debut of a new healing fair and trade show “My Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show”.  I believe it was a success.

The event provided my friends an opportunity to “Dip their Toes into the Water” of the healing fairs and trade show experience. Many had never before hosted a table where they promoted themselves as a healing practitioner, an artisan or an entrepreneur. One or two participants, extremely experienced, generously helped out their newly befriended colleagues with advice and gentle support.

Held at Ogden House Seniors 50+ Activity Club the market vendors discovered new friends whose interests complemented their own, met with potential clients and introduced them to the many services and products being offered.

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We had an eclectic group of presenters; Brenda Harll, Senior Move Management Specialist II at Boomers & Zoomers Inc., explained how you too can be a “CLUTTERBUSTER”, Yvette Falconer, a Qi Gong Master and Instructor from Qi Gong Wisdom, led the audience in a series of Qi Gong movements and Heather Driedger, an Angel Empowerment Practitioner of Heathers Health Coaching, gave an inspiring talk on how to invite and Connect with your Angels every day.

The guests who joined us were also treated to:

  • The beautiful and unconventional live pine bough and copper ribbon wreath designs and jewellery fashioned by Jenniefer Milot Pickup of Designs by JMP;
  • The colourful and thoughtful paintings, the nature sourced necklaces and earrings created by native artisan Lee Deranger;
  • the soft tactile Fabric Creations designed and sewn by Brenda Cullum;
  • the gentle touch of Sara Dishke of Libra Wellness Inc., a Certified Bowen Therapy Practitioner and the glint ‘n’ glitter of her pendant jewellery;
  • the Intuitive Spiritual Guidance and Energy Balancing and Steeped Tea offered by Deirdre of Gaia’s Natural Therapies;
  • Food Allergy Testing by Kinesiologist Jackie Hooton of Heavenly Healings; and
  • The insightful artwork of Kim Szuta of inspiredART.

Jackie Hooton

Ogden House, a private members club located in the community of Ogden in southeast Calgary, hosted, “The Fare Café” in which 100% of the revenue will be donated to support Canadian Veterans. The Fare Café served several selections of sandwiches, including the most popular Egg Salad, Veggie and Fruit Plates and of course a plate of sweet shortbreads, Nanaimo bars and Gingerbread men, and coffee and tea. The Ogden House volunteers worked diligently setting up the auditorium, making, serving food and beverages, and cleaning up after the event.  I am sure Canadian Veterans will be grateful for this unexpected donation.

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Over all everyone received what they needed and more.  Some learned lessons in order to grow and others earned and gained new clients.  In general everyone enjoyed the event.

Please keep your eyes open for the next  “Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show.

Circle of Friends Fair 2014 logo small

Cheryle L. Baker – Author, Photography, Creator and Promoter of My Circle of Friends Healing Fair and Trade Show

November 23, 2015

 

 

ALBERTA THAI CANADIAN ASSN 2015 STAMPEDE FLOAT

This year marks the first float entry by the Alberta Thai-Canadian Association into the World Famous Calgary Stampede Parade.

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The parade kicks off the city’s 10 crazy days of its’ western heritage celebration.   During good years, businesses shut down, parties rage, bulls are ridden and Stampede Park hosts thousands of visitors each day.  During poor years, businesses slow down, parties pop, bull is spoken and Stampede Park hosts thousands of visitors each day.

Participation in the Parade is a triumph for the businesses and non-profits who are lucky enough to be approved entry.  It means millions of people will see your float live or broadcast on TV.  The possibility of increased business because of the exposure can be translated into additional clients, revenue or membership. Not to mention the bragging rights that come with the acceptance of entry and the anticipation of receiving the coveted Best Float designation given by the Parade Judges.

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The current President of the Alberta Thai Canadian Association (ATCA) is an intelligent, tour de force woman, who has a definite vision of what the Association can achieve and the road map to its success.  She is able to rally the membership to whole heartedly strive to execute new ideas in order to deftly move their organization into the diverse cultural arena that makes up Calgary’s multi-national population.

ATCA Entry on the way

The ATCA entry, conceived out of love for their homeland Thailand and their desire to share it with the world, brought together over 100 people to create. Visionaries, organizers, planners, designers, builders, choreographers and audio specialists spent months working to achieve their dream of the beautiful float following the 80 people representing different aspects of Thai culture.

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The Thailand Sign Bearer, a young Thai woman dressed in a gold Thai Chakkraphat, led the way gaily waving, smiling and enjoining the audience to visit Thailand, if just for a moment. Next came the ATAC Banner adorned by the Serpent of Thailand and carried by four ladies.  Dressed in traditional Nung long skirts and Sabai shawls, they walked in front of two young men also in traditional dress who carried the Canadian and Thai flags.

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Following the Banner and the Flag Bearers were Thai and Canadian ladies in traditional dress carrying gold and silver Pan Pum offering statues.

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Next in line were the talented Thai and Canadian dancers who like fluid colour flowed along the parade route.  Their colourful outfits sparkled and jingled in the hot Alberta sun as they moved through the intricate dance steps to the music booming from the speakers mounted in the float.

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The last performers, the Muay Thai Boxers, like the protectors of Thailands honour, walked before the float.  Men, women and children throwing kicks, popping punches and entertaining the audience with their fighting antics.

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The last vision of Thailand on the parade route was the ATCA Float, drawn by a well camouflaged truck covered in fabric, ribbons and glitter.

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The float was adorned with a large triangular Golden Stupa, strategically placed amoung colourful exotic flowers and beautiful Thai ladies representing the 4 corners of Thailand. The lovely ladies, each outfitted in the traditional dress of their area waved and proudly exemplified the loving and generous nature of the Thai people.  A golden goddess waved from the centre of the float, representing a unified Thailand shining like a bright light out of the east.

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The passing of the float signaled the end of the ATCA entry, the audience members fondly waved and smiled as they watched a small piece of Thailand move further along the parade route.

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The Alberta Thai Canadian Association entry may not have won any official awards from the Parade Judges, but the award of confidence and success they won in their hearts is untouchable and immeasurable.

Cheryle July 2015

THE 2015 MULTI-CULTURAL FIESTA

THE MULTI-CULTURAL FIESTA – June 26 2015

Every year Ogden House 50+ Seniors Activity Club and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society celebrate the multi-cultural heritage of their senior members.  It is a wonderful event in which seniors from all over the world, who now live in Calgary, come together for a pot luck and to share the unique cultures through dress, entertainment and food.

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I enjoy attending this particular event, as I can sense the seniors excitement as they fill the room, visit with their long time friends and meet new ones.  It is contagious.

INTRODUCTIONS

What is your name and where are you from?

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This year a minimum of 11 countries were represented.  Brazil, Guatemala, Korea, Nigeria, Poland, Denmark, England, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Nicaragua and a few others that I cannot remember.

ENTERTAINMENT:  Some of the groups practice their showcase performances for months before the fiesta.  Others have the confidence to wing it.

MUSICAL INTERLUDES

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SINGERS

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DANCERS

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HISTORICAL TALES & POETRY

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DOOR PRIZES & WINNERS

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POT LUCK LUNCH

For lunch, everyone brings an food item from their home country.  The auditorium fills with the smells of cooking from all over the world.  Noodles,  enchiladas, casseroles, Cornish pasties, cabbage rolls, chicken, rice, sandwiches, samosas, salads and fragrant desserts, their aromas mingle in the air to create an exquisite scent all of its own.  I made Canadian style Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, it is my own version where all the ingredients are purchased from a store in Canada, therefore, as far as I’m concerned it is a Canadian dish.

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I find it exciting to see the dances,  hear the music and taste the delicious food from other countries.  It satisfies my worldly curiosity.

Cheryle  July 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

I am one happy girl.  I am go glad I began blogging.  In addition to being a creative outlet, a learning experience, the kind blogging community makes me feel appreciated, understood and part of a wonderful group of people.

versatile-blogger

I am grateful to Donna George of “Donna George Blogs, Beyond Extraordinary Days, Little Bits of This and That” for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award Donna is a versatile blogger in her own right.  Her blog is filled with beautiful photos, inspirational words and loving sentiments.   I have enjoyed many visits to her site,  I recommend you stop by to see her photos, and listen to her generous voice for yourself.    Donnas’ photos and words have been a blogging inspiration for me and I am very happy to have found her site.

The Rules for accepting the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their site.

2) Tell 7 things about yourself

3) Nominate 15 bloggers

4) Link to their sites and let them know of the nomination.

7 THINGS ABOUT MYSELF

1)  I come from a military family.  Even did a few years myself.  I learned to drive big trucks and shoot very well.

2)  I love dogs and cats.  I currently have 2 lovely  kitty furboys who love looking outside at the birds bathing in the baths placed throughout the yard.

3) I have always enjoyed writing, even if it was only writing memos.  I never thought I had a voice.  I am finding it now with blogging.

4)  I have lived in, not necessarily in this order,  Shilo – Manitoba, Regina – Saskatchewan,  Montreal – Quebec, Soest – Germany, Calgary – Alberta, Toronto – Ontario and for a very short while Ottawa – Ontario.

6) I never celebrated a birthday at home until I was 6.  My family always travelled during the summer.  I can say I have celebrated my birthday in many European countries.

7)  I learned to speak, English, French and German at the same time.  Now, there are some days I can barely speak English.

THE 15 BLOGGERS I WANT TO NOMINATE:

1)  Mitsubachicats  of Featherstone Homestead

2) Marcelle Davis  Frecklesoul at A Jar of Love

3) Marie Williams of Come Fly with Me

4) Kanzen Sakura 

5) Elan Mudrow

6) Kurt Brindley

7) Spaceshipchina

8) Dr. Rohithz of My Life

9) F.G.M. of poems and poemes

10) Keith Garrett of Keith Garrett Poetry  

11)  Colleen Walser

12)  Marty Leake – An Aspiring Writer 

13) Gretchen Yuma

14) Mia of Heart Cloud Blessings

15 Allyson Lee Adams

2k International Writers’ Blog Feature Writer – Feb 13 – Amrita Sarkar

The 2K International Writers’ Blog Tour feature writer for today is Amrita Sarkar who has an immense, deep-set, unshakeable, complete, crystalline love for art. Please pop by and check out her interview.

https://katemcolby.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/the-2k-international-writers-blog-tour-amrita/#like-1094

I Am A Volunteer – First Installment

Yes, I am a volunteer.  I have many skills and instead of letting them waste away with disuse I keep them sharp and up to date.  I believe in service and helping.   As long as I believe I am helping, I am happy.  I think I was born to be a helpmate.  Currently I volunteer at a seniors club, at a non-profit for meditation and I deliver bread from a Cobbs Bakery to a Family Resource Centre in my neighbourhood.

Ogden House 50+ is an active Seniors Club, with many ongoing and periodic activities scheduled for its’ many members.  I sit at the front desk once a week for 2.5 hours, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity.   I greet everyone who comes into the club, I will eventually know all of their faces, names and interests.  I think of each one of them as my friend.  I am an introvert who is able to handle this type of social interaction.

Wayne Cao Chili Cook Off_2013 07 06_0667I have fun maintaining the activities board and corresponding binder.  This way I can help any member who wishes to sign up or know what is going on.  I handle a small petty cash, so members can purchase tickets for the TGIF, pay for classes or buy crafts and memberships.  I also help in many other ways.  I take photos at events and helped out with the very first calendar the Club has published.  I had such a good time collecting the props, learned a lot about the publishing of a calendar and loved making sure the models felt like the pampered stars they are.

There are so many activities during the month for social members.  On the 2nd Friday of the month is the TGIF – dinner with club members, sometimes with entertainment and always an evening of fun for only $12.00.  Members get together weekly for Pot luck or pizza lunches, Happy hour on Friday, and to celebrate special events. Monthly they attend meetings, special event celebrations and one of a kind activities.

Active members can choose from Table Tennis, we have a skilled membership of award winning players, Zumba, Move N Mingle, Fit 2 Age, Aerobics, Yoga, Carpet bowling, musical and drama clubs are all options available to those who wish to maintain an active healthy lifestyle.  The Woodworking shop is fully equipped for the creation of individual projects or gifts for sharing with friends.   Members who enjoy a more quiet challenge can participate in:  Yoga, Tai Chi, Painting, Art classes, billiards & snooker or read a book from the library.

We have members who enjoy travelling to Rosebud for the plays, Canmore for the mountains and a meal at the Rose N Crown and those who sign up for the musicals or the comedies mounted by Stage West.

Yes, I am a volunteer, but not the only one.  Members, all 50 years and above are happy to offer their special skills or expertise to make this Club a busy happy place to be.  The volunteering opportunities are numerous and varied.  Casinos, Quilting, Craft Sales, board members, assistance in the kitchen or serving dinners, decorating or sitting on special project committees are just a few ways a person can contribute.

Come on in and check out this little club with the Big Big heart, I am positive there is something that will interest you to stay

Feb 7, 2015

Cheryle

Assignment #2 – Audit your Brand – Blogging U 201

Instead of completing this assignment, I feel I have already done the work, I posted another selection under “The Meditation Cushion”

When I created my blog and completed Blogging U 101,  I very carefully and thoughtfully selected the theme, added widgets,  sidebars and connected with social media. Even though the theme “Big Brother” is not very versatile,  I believe my blog brand is at a point where I am happy with what it represents.

Therefore instead of a post on this assignment,  I hope you enjoy the “Meditation Cushion”  post on what we are doing when we begin to meditate.

The Meditation Cushion

Meditation:  What are we doing

What is It we are doing, while we sit with our eyes closed, our rhythmic breathing coming and going quietly?

Our mind is running amuck, all of the thoughts are coming forward, begging for attention.  Look at me, I am significant, I can make you look smart, beautiful.  I am lonely, you are failing, not worthy, hide beneath the dark blanket of shame and all will be well.  Your shopping list for today includes………. Don’t forget to drop the kids off.  What a jerk, who does he think he is, treating me like a minion, I am not worthy.  I just want to disappear, let’s go shopping…. Never ending conversations with yourself, running your mind ragged with their interference.  Too much to focus on not enough mind.

sitting meditation

Our backs straight, shoulders relaxed, hands gently resting on our laps, right over left.  We are ignore the aches, pains and itches our bodies are giving us in retaliation to the unfamiliar stillness.  It wants to run, jump and play.  Move as it pleases.  We are keeping these impulses in check, they are there, we do not pay them any attention.  We remain still, they will disappear we will become oblivious to the wants of the body.

Take a slow deep breath, hold it for just a moment, let it go slowly, pay attention to the quiet it brings, breathe in, – slowly, hold for just a moment, breath out slowly.  Drop your shoulders, they are starting to tense, hold you back straight, breathe in —-hold —- out.   Relax, maintain the position.    Where did I leave my keys, did I finish that memo?  Your mind breaks in on the silence, driving your concentration away.

Your thoughts create your reality, but what of your emotions.  They bring you joy, pain, and fear.  Sadness overwhelms your happiness, Joy launches you to the sky and beyond.  Up and down, High and low, how the drama of your life comes and goes.

To retain your equilibrium repeat a single word over and over until it disappears and your emotions are filtered through it.   Buddho, Jesus, Allah, a word of prayer, or any word you wish.  A word which does not carry an emotion.  Table would work well, unless you stubbed your toe earlier in the day, then, the word table would be fraught with pain and anger.  Emotional words will only make it impossible for your mind to calm and relax. Unable to slip into the stillness that is a natural part of your makeup.

Your mind, the naughty two year old has gotten loose trying to run your thoughts again.  Like a toddler your mind needs a focus to keep it occupied, to overcome its’ wanton desire to be in charge, looking, touching everything and anything all the time forever.

As any good parent would, gently take your mind, focus all of its’ energy on one thing. The spot on your forehead between your eyebrows, the tip of your nose, your throat, your heart or your navel.  Select one, touch it with your finger if you need to feel the sensation of where this is.  Keep your attention focused on this point.  It is called the focal point. This is where the work begins.

Any irrepressible child will resist training, any discipline, wanting only to do as it wishes, when it wishes and how it wishes. When you catch your mind wandering back to the thoughts looping through each other, refocus its’ attention, gently, back onto this point, in the middle of your forehead, between your eyebrows.   Every time it wanders, bring your mind back, lovingly, gently, to this point without recrimination that you are failing.  You are not, you are learning, slowly, improving your willpower over the itinerant wanderings of the wild child, your mind.

You are learning to be in charge of your thoughts, increase the strength of your willpower.

By Cheryle L. Baker                              February 3  2015

1st Assignment Blogging U201 – Set Three Goals

The first assignment for blogging U 201 is to set 3 goals for my blog.   This assignment has me re-evaluating why I started to blog and what I  expect.

In the first assignment for Blogging U 101, I wrote I wanted accountability, a supportive environment and to develop a discipline to the “act of writing”.  To further explore and develop my meditation practice and to connect with people, who like me, wish to feel comfortable with themselves in order to live a happier life.

I realized re-reading my post, three goals were already created and spoken.  I just have to pull them out, set down their criteria and determine the measurement of success for each.

Discipline to Writing:  Many writers advise newbies to write every day.  Practice, practice and more practice.  Rewrite and Edit.   This would translate into:   regular posts, my readers anticipate and enjoy;  an accountable, consistent writing schedule.

I have registered to Blogging U 201 – Branding and Growth, Blogging 201 – Writing Poetry and the Photo Bloggers Challenge.  I also have a Feature “The Meditation Cushion” to which I want create a regular posting schedule.  The Blogging U assignments require daily posts.  Photo bloggers challenge is on a monthly posting schedule and The Meditation Cushion is on a post when I feel like it schedule.   I am not sure I can keep up the pace of daily posts beyond Blogging U and feel that a once a month post for each activity will keep me busy and happy.

I will re-evaluate this timeline three months after Blogging U has been completed.  If I determine I want to post more or less often at that time I will set a new schedule.

Further Explore and Develop my Meditation Practice.  Explore my abilities, increase my knowledge and experience, strengthen my instructors’ tool kit, and improve my voice as a virtual instructor.

To achieve this I would maintain a daily practice, read, experience and write about a variety of meditation techniques and philosophies. Post a monthly feature “The Meditation Cushion”

To Connect with People   The difficulty here is I have no idea how to get people to like me.  I did increase my twitter followers once by retweeting a news story about a woman who lifts weights with her vagina.  That is not the way I want to increase my blog statistics.

I believe being kind and honest with the people who like or follow me and who I follow,  is a good place to start.

I will continue my habit of looking at new blogs, commenting on posts I enjoy, engaging with my Blogging U colleagues and responding to those who stop by and like my posts.   I am now posting to the Facebook page “Lightwalkers Blog” and tweeting on Twitter. I will continue to update and retweet the tweets I find interesting or in case of the weightlifter lady controversial.

I will honour my goals by maintaining the posting schedule set out.

 Increase my Readership   Math is not something I understand or even pretend to be able to do, so suggesting I will increase my readership by 20 0r 30 % by the end of the month or year doesn’t make any concrete sense to me.

Currently, I have 71 followers gathered from Blogging U 101 alone.  I am embarking on 3 new endeavors’.  One which may have many of the same people I already follow and two in which I may encounter many new people.  My calculation works like this:  71 / 2 / 2 = approx. 17.

My goal is to increase my followers by 17 people over the next 30 days.

There, my goals are set down clearly and concisely, a new practice for me.  Over the next 4 months, I will see how I well I achieve them.