Get-aways

The end of August is always a mixed bag for us. The summer is busy so we aren’t usually able to get away until the end. When everyone else is getting back in the groove we are loading the truck to try and sneak in a bit of down time. With older kids and jobs it gets even trickier.  But we managed it and had the fortune of some big family gatherings, quiet fishing time and exploring. Home is great but it is nice to leave the to-do list behind and discover some r and r.

This is some of what we found on our travels.

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Saskatchewan is truly beautiful.

– Kelly

Fun with HDR

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A slight obsession of late.

– Kelly

Lining up

It was not quite like the stars lining up, but pretty darn close. This morning it was the light, the moisture and the time. Of course it would not have happened without the help of my new Canon Macro Lens.

Here is how it turned out! No editing.

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– Kelly

Been Awhile

Well, it has been quite some time since we have done a blog post. In the same vein it has been quite some time since we were looking after sheep. A recent turn of events has us returning to shepherding. Here are some pictures on my Iphone edited with Snapseed.

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– Kelly

“Ideas are easy.It’s the execution of ideas that separates the sheep from the goats,” Sue Grafton.

Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Bright

  1. in·spire
    inˈspīr/
    verb
    1. 1. fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
      “his passion for romantic literature inspired him to begin writing”
      synonyms: stimulatemotivateencourage,

      influence

      rousemovestirenergize,galvanize,

      incite;

      These are all states that Terra and I hope people will experience after spending the day at the 3rd Annual Inspiring Women Conference, February 19, 2014 at the Stockade Convention Center on the Lloydminster Exhibiiton Grounds from 9 – 4.

      The day opens with a panel of local women sharing their stories. Participants can then chose from on of three break-out sessions. These include Melanie Mutter speaking on communication and personality types; Georgina Altman presenting on leadership and goal setting and Donna Schellenberg energizing us with talk on fitness. After a networking lunch, there will be another round of breakouts followed by keynote speaker, Jody Urquhart.

      jody urquhart

      As a humorous motivational speaker, Jody has been presenting her motivational speeches around the world for over 13 years. She is passionate about spreading the message of fun, and meaningful work. She addresses over 50 organizations and associations annually, and is one of Canada’s top female motivational keynote speakers.

      “A great inspirational speaker.You have such energy and passion, and were funny – we could have listened to you forever”-John Marmina, GlaxoSmithKline”

      Jody is always my favorite motivational keynote speaker; she brings comedy to real-word issues”-Pam Neifibons, NPEI

      And from Jody herself, “Join us as we demonstrate how humor helps you stay in control, stay positive and maintain balance and perspective.”

      Of course each person will come away with something different from the day. For us the ultimate satisfaction is the feeling of enthusiasm, excitement and energy from participants who are motivated to make positive changes to “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Bright.

      Check out KT & Company’s Facebook page for more information.

      -Kelly

Funny Women

mad about the boy If you liked the Bridget Jones’ Diary stories by Helen Fielding, you are sure to get some laughs out of Mad About The Boy.  Jones has experienced some significant changes since we last met her and finds herself at a tough spot in life. She is older and perhaps wiser but still seems to encounter many of the comedic disasters that we are used to. It is written in an almost texting type style, which did take some getting used to but the British humour overshadows. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it.

takedown twenty Another humorous female author is Janet Evanovich.  Her first book from the Stephanie Plum series,  One For The Money,  was made into a movie awhile ago and we watched it over the holidays. Evanovich is a truly laugh out loud author and I am currently reading her 20th book in the series, Takedown Twenty. The books are quite similar and I actually could not remember all the details from the first book but all the favorite characters are there. They were not all quite as I expected but definitely unique and colorful. Think Grandma and Lula if you have read the books.

In keeping with the humorous women theme, we also watched Admission with Tina Fey. I had not actually heard of this one before, but had read her book Bossy Pants and liked it. Admission centers around the daunting procedure of getting accepted into Princeton University.  Fey is one of the admission readers and makes a number of discoveries about herself along the way.  Of course there is a love interest. Fey’s mother is played by Lily Tomlin and as you may expect she is funny, eccentric and quirky. If anyone’s New Year’s resolutions include having a few more laughs in 2014, any of these books or movies would fit the bill.

– Kelly

“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” Lily Tomlin

Into the New Year

year of theJanuary 1 definitely seems to be a time for renewal.  From what I can discern everyone approaches it differently. Some develop a complete and detailed list of goals and resolutions. The internet is inundated with tips and pointers on how to best achieve these. Others don’t like to set them at all. Then there are those in between. One blog I follow, Wild Women Expeditions, refers to Revolutions. Picking themes or words of significance is yet another strategy.  For me, there seems to be a yearning back to order,  work and more structure after the quieter time of the holidays. Though, I am not sure if the pace of Christmas prep and execution can be considered as quiet. I like the idea of aspirations for 2014.

Whatever, your approach to the New Year, I hope it is filled with optimism and a great deal to look forward to. After all, what more can we ask for, it is the Year of the Horse.

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-Kelly

Scott Campbell

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The talk was entitled the Engagement Zone, the four pillars of a highly engaged workforce. But the points Scott Campbell presented at a recent EARN ( Employee Acquisition and Retention Network) breakfast  in Lloydminster,  are applicable to all areas of life and dealing with people, not just in the workplace.

Campbell began, “You can command compliance but you can’t command commitment.” His premise is that the vast majority of people want to do good work and be engaged. Yet studies show the percentage of highly engaged employees is 25 – 30%. “That is not natural” he says. “It is natural for people to want to excel.” Humans are primarily emotional creatures, not rational. The decisions we make are rooted in our emotions. With this comes the ability to rationalize our decisions.

The Four Pillars must rest on a strong foundation. That is one of fairness. Our brains are wired with a high sensitivity to fairness. This is developed early in life and is a powerful force. Essentially, fairness means treating people equitably and with respect.

Pillar number one is that of achievement. Mastery is important and “it feels good to accomplish things that we feel are worthwhile,” Campbell adds. He cited the book Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  The author refers to flow as being an experience of optimal fulfilment and enjoyment, with total focus and time seeming to stand still. The experience of flow has lasting benefits, and one is fully present. It is a situation that managers should strive to create for their employees to keep them engaged.  It has to do with providing challenging work at a certain skill level. But it should be matched to the individual. 

Along with the mastery goes the importance of recognition and reward. Campbell says that how often a manager recognizes employees is the single most important thing they can do. Again it should be tailored to the needs of the individual.

The second pillar is status. Campbell defines it as “The employee’s positive perception of his\her rank in relation to the other members of their group. A quote was included by Drs. Matthew Lieberman and Naomi Eisinberger ,”A series of studies have now begun to demonstrate that the brain’s reward system, reacts as strongly to social reward in the form of social recognition as it does to one of the most ubiquitous rewards – money.”

Learning and development, performance feedback and teaching people to compete with themselves all fall under this category.

The third pillar is independence. “People need to feel in control of their lives and the choices they have,” Campbell stresses. Applications of this principle include: avoid micromanaging; focus on results not methods and providing maximum choice and control over their work and environment.

Camaraderie is the final pillar. The employee’s sense that they work in a collegial atmosphere and have meaningful relationships with those they work with.  “Team building is not about going out to climb ropes together but moreover it is in the day in day out fostering of the sense that we are in this together,” says Campbell.

Again Campbell’s points have application to all aspects of life. And it does begin with the concept of fairness, being treated equitably and with respect. For more information on Scott Campbell go to corefactors.com.

– Kelly

 

 

 

The Sunshine Vitamin – D

20131003-124135.jpgWe have long been told that Vitamin D is vital to strong bones and teeth. But more recently other benefits are being reported. Vitamin D is also known to improve your immune system. So in addition to ramping up the Vitamin C to ward off or minimize colds and flu, take Vitamin D. This strategy recently worked to minimize a cold I had.

According to naturopath, Dr. Natasha Turner, Vitamin D also improves muscle function and may help with chronic pain. It protects lung function. Shedding weight maybe easier with Vitamin D as is lowers insulin, improves serotonin levels, controls appetite and improves fat loss efforts. It may also help to lower blood pressure.

So living in these northerly climates as we do, how do we get ample Vitamin D, which is best produced from sun on skin exposure? And let’s face it with the temperatures of late not much skin is getting exposed to the sun. The Vitamin D Council states if living in Edmonton, the body cannot produce Vitamin D from October to April.

We can get some from the food we eat such as salmon, sardines, egg yolk and shrimp. Or fortified foods such as milk, yogurt, cereal and orange juice.

The next option is supplements. Research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council states that Vitamin D3 supplements are better than D2.  Amounts I have seen range from 600 to 2000 IUs daily. But as with all things related to your help one should make these decisions with the help of a health care professional.

– Kelly

It’s beginning to look a lot like. . .

Cliche, I know. But definitely the case at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon. It was the opening weekend of the Festival of Trees.

I have not been for a number of years but have really fond memories. When the kids were little, my mom and I would take them and her mom to see it. It was interesting to go through the museum with grandma as it prompted many stories from her.

It is much as I remember it, filled with sights and sounds that are a great way to kick off the holiday season.

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– Kelly