Monthly Archives: March 2012

Another milestone

What a teenage boy should be driving.

They (anyone with older kids) all warned us how quickly time slips by. Here it has done and happened again. This week, the baby of our house, also known as the little big man, soon to be the youngest but tallest, got his learner’s license. It has taken some work to be sure, and persistence. But now he can legally drive with someone with a GDL (graduated drivers license). Only one sister has this so he anxiously waited for her return from the city. Of course, they needed to go get his good buddy to come to our house. Then, there was absolutely nothing to eat in the house and they were STARVING. No solution but go drive to get some snacks. The girls were pretty excited to get their learners, but he is over the top. Nothing says right of passage for a teenage boy like actually being able to drive. Of course, being on the farm, he has been driving for awhile. And I am pretty comfortable with it, but now I have to remember he has not driven in town before with lots of other traffic, stop signs, lights, pedestrians, four way stops, bicycles, speed bumps. . . he is more used to sharing the road (or field) with tractors, quads, horses, cows and the occasional gopher hole. But he is doing a great job and his excitement is absolutely contagious.

– Kelly

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Gator Hunters

As some of you know, there is an obsession in our house with hunting. Let’s just say, you can never have enough camo, or that is what some think. But as we don’t live in the southern bayous, alligators are not something our hunters regularly go after.  But the next best thing or close to it happened this weekend, when we got to host Joe LaFont and his wife Ann from Plaquimines Parish in Louisiana.  Joe, more commonly known as Trapper Joe, is on the Swamp People show on the History Channel.  They came up to these northern parts to speak at Showcase, put on by the Lloydminster Exhibition Association.  There is no other way to put it, Joe is a character. For those who have had a chance to hear Joe speak, you understand that you have to listen closely at first to be sure it is English. I know people say us Canadians have an accent but holy cow do those cajuns  from Louisiana ever have one.  And talk fast. It was pretty exciting for us to meet them and they are delightful. Full of stories and adventures. Some being quite serious as they live close to the Mississippi River and lost their home in Katrina. It was a difficult time but they just picked up the pieces and carried on with a new home that is higher than the old one. When a flood is expected, Joe parks the boat on the trailer at the front step. That way if it does flood he can walk out the front door and get in the boat and go tour around. When I suggested they should have come when it was warmer, he said “No Maam, I really wanted to see the snow.” But despite some glaring differences they are just ordinary folk like us, making a living, raising a family and having some fun.  Albeit ones who have their own t.v. show.

– Kelly

Stepping Back

Yesterday I was browsing some other blogs that I enjoy, and came across one that some of you might like.  It can be found at “mommysaidaswearword.wordpress.com”

This morning she had a blog about hunting which was great, but the one that really spoke to me is called ‘Stepping Back’.  She posted it on March 14. 

In her story she shares some details about the time her toddler got her head stuck in a lawn chair.  Now if you know my twisted sense of humor you probably already know that I giggled a little at that image.  I have seen it happen here too, and for that brief second before panic sets in, I have giggled at the expense of my sons, daughter, nieces and nephews before rescuing them from the offending chair, or swing set, or whatever thing they have their arm, leg or head stuck in.

Her story goes on to tell us that her instinct was to rush over and yank the kid out of the chair.  This would be my reaction also…after my little giggle at the poor kid’s misfortune.   However, her husband’s reaction was to remain calm and to show the little girl how to free herself.  What a great idea!

I know that my need to rescue everyone from every situation doesn’t leave anybody feeling like they can take care of themselves.  As our kids get older, knowing that nothing really matters because Mom will swoop in and rescue them when they: run out of money, sleep through the alarm, run out of gas, lose their phone, can’t make a plan, can’t operate a broom, don’t know how to wipe the counter, have run out of clean laundry, can’t find their socks, don’t know how to make a sandwich…..leaves mom a little stressed out and breathless and they haven’t learned how to take care of these situations on their own.

For moms like me, we need to have that gentle reminder that it won’t be the end of the world if they sleep through their early English class,  or if they can’t go out because they forgot to work and earn money.  It won’t kill them to walk to the nearest gas station for fuel, and who cares if they wear no socks or if they don’t have a lunch for one day.

A lot of Dads have a different approach to these scenarios.  It’s like there was a Dad class somewhere that Moms weren’t invited to. 

If our kids were to ask their Dad where their socks are, (and they never do), his response would be ‘I don’t know’…and he would go back to drinking coffee and reading the paper.

If they ask Mom where their socks are, it’s like a full on red alert.  Get up and check the dryer, look through the unfolded towels, under the beds, behind sofas…and sometimes find them folded in their drawer.  No one would think to look there!  The reason for the bustling around is because of this perception:  If my kid arrives at his early English class one half hour late wearing no socks – guess who feels judged….Not him.  And not his Dad.

Last night I heard my husband talking on the phone to our oldest son who is away at college.  I overheard him asking what he was doing, followed by “you know, you’ve been pretty sick with that cold for a while now, maybe you should take it easy.”  I was happy hearing that Dad was encouraging our son to take a break and relax a bit.  Then I heard “if you haven’t been eating properly for a while you should go buy some vitamins and some of that Boost meal replacement stuff.”  WHAT!?!  If you know me you know that I strongly endorse home cooked meals made with whole ingredients, little to no preservatives, with lots of raw fruits and veggies.  Boost meal replacement is for old people who can’t eat because they have no teeth.  Even then, only if they have no one to make them some nice mashed potatoes and peas with free range chicken gravy!

However, reflecting on the idea of stepping back, I realize that Dad has been a boy in college and I haven’t.  Dad realizes that there’s little to no chance that this kid is going to be chopping veggies and making a stir fry in the communal dorm kitchen.  He will however, be charming someone else into doing that for him when he can.  Perhaps his charm has run out in that particular dormitory and he will have to resort to drinking Boost for the remaining month of school.  Gross.  No offense to the makers of Boost, but Gross.  I should admit that I have never tried it, it might be lovely and delicious.  However, I have seen the faces of people who are drinking it, and it wasn’t a great endorsement.  It was funny, it made me laugh, but it didn’t make me want to try it.

However, maybe one slurp will encourage my son to buy an apple.

Our youngest son graduates from High School this year.  He is unsure of what his plan is for next year.  This could be because I haven’t told him yet.  It might be because I haven’t fully researched every possibility available to him and cross referenced it with what his skill set and interests are. Perhaps it’s time for me to step back and let him take care of this one.  I can hear him sighing with relief if he reads this.

While our boys are knee deep in muck trying to find their own paths, our darling daughter looks like the proverbial ‘golden child’ as she sails effortlessly through elementary school.  This is probably because she’s the third, and therefore the less intensely parented one.  She is the perfect case study for this new theory on stepping back.  When our boys were in grade 6, I was worried about their advancing to Junior high, and all that this would bring.  I had met with their new principals and had made sure that their transition would be smooth. 

It has crossed my mind that our daughter is going to Junior High next year, but I think we may have missed the parent meeting and the school tour.  She’ll be fine.

I know for a fact that her life will change dramatically next year.  Not so much because she will be in Junior High, but more because she will likely be the only child living here with her parents….the only one we will have to focus on….buckle your seatbelt honey, because we are about to take notice of every move you make.  It’s going to be great fun, I have no doubt.

So today is a new day!  Heads up to all of my kids’ teachers and grandmas and who ever else they might bump into.  They may not be wearing socks.  They will likely be late.  Our college boy could possibly be alternating drinking Beer with shots of Boost in an attempt to stay healthy.  Our youngest son might be busking outside the highschool for lunch money.  However, he will have the space and the freedom to see the road ahead of him and to be able to make choices that are in line with his own beliefs and ideals of what will make his future a happy one. 

And I will be drinking coffee and reading the paper with their Dad.  From our vantage point a few steps back, we will be supporting our kids, helping them when they need it and knowing that whatever they decide for their lives will be right for them and that they are capable and amazing individuals. 

Unless they get their heads stuck in a lawn chair.  Just as soon as I’m done laughing I will run over there and rescue them.

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”   – Elizabeth Stone

<Terra>

The Big Sausage Fest

Let me start by saying that my boys giggle a little when I tell them that it’s time to have another big sausage fest.  I know why they’re giggling.  It’s because they have their mother’s sense of humor, and we cannot talk about sausages … or wieners … or a lot of other things without giggling a little.  Referring to the day we spend making sausage as a ‘sausage fest’ just makes the joke even better.

Now get your head out of the gutter ~ this is a family show….sort of.

Kelly’s husband and mine are both avid hunters.  Every fall the two guys, with a few of our sons and daughters, take the time to scour the pastures in the search of a nice big juicy buck. 

We, like so many others, are very interested in where our food comes from.  In an effort to keep it as close to natural as we can, it doesn’t get much more natural than meat which has been grown and harvested in the wild.  No growth hormones or antibiotics.  Then there are also the physical and mental health benefits that come from the guys and girls spending time together outside, tracking animals and making memories.

Venison is not something that can be bought in our grocery stores.  A friend of mine commented that she loved deer steak when she was growing up, but with no hunters left in her family she hasn’t tasted what was once her favorite meal in over 20 years!  Sometimes we take for granted the fact that we have a freezer full of a delicacy that for the most part, money can’t buy.

After the prime cuts have been processed into rump roasts, tenderloin, steaks and stew meat, our butcher packages up all the ‘bits’ which we keep frozen until we can have a big sausage fest….hee hee hee…..

What we learned this year - It takes longer than 1 day to thaw more than 100 lbs of venison.

We alternate hosting the sausage fest.  This year it was Kelly’s turn to host in her kitchen.  Optimally, we would have a big stainless steel room equipped with a drain and a hose for easy clean up at the end of the day, but for now our kitchens and garages will have to do.

Some of the pork and venison all ground up and ready to make into sausage.

Sausage fest begins innocently enough.  In our enthusiasm we spend the days ahead researching new recipes, finding our old favorites, defrosting way too much meat and gathering all of the equipment and utensils needed for a full day of food prep.

We start early.  Not ‘Kelly early’ which would be at about 5 AM, but ‘Terra early’ which is more like 9.  for the past two years, a friend has joined in the fun, and this friend also happens to be a chef.  He’s a great asset to our sausage development….hee hee….

Getting the deer/pork mixture just right.  One son is in the fridge – helping us by getting out more ingredients??

Cole has appeared in the kitchen to help?? Nope, just needed to make a sandwich!

Our recipes include the usual Ukrainian, Polish, and Garlic.  This year we added Greek in honor of our friend the Greek chef, and we also added some very different flavors like apple and Saskatoon.  I have to admit that I was silently thinking that apple and Saskatoon berry flavored deer sausage was going to be terrible, but it is great!  We made those packages a bit smaller and we will use them as hors d oeuvres alongside some brie cheese and crackers.  Yummy!

Every one has a job.  The younger kids are in charge of vacuum packing.  With two vacuum packers, this has now turned into a full on race competition to see who can package the fastest.  The competition is intense, complete with trash talk and the development of short cuts in an attempt to be the first one done.

I really hope we don't end up with any 'macaroni sausage'.

The older kids are in charge of….well nothing….we are just happy that they still want to come and hang out with us at sausage fest.  They do occasionally get up and haul finished sausage out to the freezers, and they are rewarded with the opportunity to taste test which ever batch we are working on.  We put them in charge of any emergencies that arise, like running to town for a new cutting board, or changing flat tires.  Here they are ~ resting up so that they can be prepared for the next emergency. 

Hanging out.

The men seem to have put themselves in charge of chopping frozen blocks of meat, recipe development, mixing, and stuffing. 

 

Starting a new batch. Great picture! LOL

 

Kelly and I keep the whole thing running smoothly by overseeing and managing.  Little things like untangling big gnarled loops of casing…..

This is like untangling the worst necklace tangle ever. But slimy.

 …judging and overseeing the vacuum packing race and making sure that the Ukrainian Sausage isn’t being labeled as Greek sausage….because the Ukrainians and the Greeks have very different sausages.  Giggle. 

The beginning of a very long coil of Garlic sausage.

 

We also make sure that the assembly line keeps running smoothly by hauling big tubs of sausage from the stuffing station to the packaging station.  These were sometimes very, very heavy.  So heavy that I complained to my husband that his sausage was too heavy and I wasn’t going to be able to carry it by myself.  He told me this is why his back hurts sometimes, and that I should try having to haul it around every day.  I don’t get it….but I have a hunch that my off colored sense of humor is starting to influence his strait laced one.

Wow! Skinny hands. Why isn't the rest of me that skinny?

When the sausage making is over, the clean up begins.  We need to measure and divide all that we have made, and it’s a lot!

The counter, the coolers and the floor are all full! Over 300 pounds.

We need to clean up the containers, the equipment…

You've got to love seeing all those men in the kitchen.

… and the ceiling from when the stuffing machine burped.

You know it's a good party when there's sausage hitting the ceiling!

At the end of the day, we have really accomplished something.

Not only do we have lots of fantastic home-grown food, but every year we have a wealth of knowledge and memories that we have developed with our kids. 

Some knowledge being handed down from Father to Son, or vice versa.

We will keep this tradition alive so that our kids and grandkids will also have the opportunity to hunt and process their own food alongside their mothers and fathers.  It’s important for us to remember where our food comes from and how it comes to be on our plates.  It’s through this understanding that we keep ourselves connected to the land and to the people who grow our food. 

 “Personally, I have been very impressed by the slow food movement. It is about celebrating the culture of food, of sharing the extraordinary knowledge, developed over millennia, of the traditions involved with quality food production, of the sheer joy and pleasure of consuming food together. Especially within the context of family life, this has to be one of the highest forms of cultural activity.”  – Prince Charles

<Terra>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Miss Perfect

Call it Karma, or Luck, or Cosmic Energy, or Fate.

Every now and again, it looks over at me and says “Oh, there she is!  Wow, she is feeling great.  Looking good too!  She is just a little ball of perfection and efficiency isn’t she?  Well, this just won’t do….”

And so it has happened again.  Following a number of very productive weeks, which had led me down various paths of success, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.  Invincible really.  Highly intelligent, and lets just say it – drop dead gorgeous too.  A little too ‘high and mighty’ some would say.

Oh, but don’t worry.  This feeling doesn’t last long.  My highly efficient, organized persona started to crack a little, when my 19-year-old son met me at the door with an announcement.  His announcement went like this:

“I did the dishes Mom”

“Well, that’s great honey – thank you.”

“Really mom, I came home and when I walked into the kitchen it was a total sh*thole.”

It was strange, hearing this from my son.  Strange because his room is always a total sh*thole, and he doesn’t even live here anymore!  He just comes home to make a mess, then leaves.  There are various layers of clutter in his room, dating back to the pre-junior high era.  I haven’t done a full excavation, so it may go past the pre-junior high era right into the pre-pubescent period!

However, having my 19-year-old, college dorm residing son tell me that he had come home and found it necessary to pick up the slack and improve the living conditions that his father and siblings were being exposed to ….well it gave me a twisted sense of pride.  Something inside my head said “Wow Terra, you have really arrived.  You are so busy with meetings and workshops that you have stopped obsessing over clean countertops – good for you!”

So, I obviously couldn’t let this moment pass without saying:

“The floor is a total sh*thole too, why didn’t you vacuum?”

To which he answered in a high-pitched shrieky voice:

“Honestly Mom, I can’t do this all by myself!”

It was fantastic!  That twisted sense of pride grew even bigger.  I laughed, and turned around to go meet my friends at wine…I mean … book club.

My sense of accomplishment intact, I spent a bit of time improving our living conditions over the next few days.  After finishing up some laundry and vacuuming, I stood back and realized I am so very amazing that I can work these long hours, AND maintain a clean, organized, and loving home.  So I made a fantastic meal.  The ego grew.  And Fate noticed.

My husband saw me in the laundry room; he approached me in this very secluded area of our home, and seductively asked me…

“Would you be able to throw my work coat in some time today?”

It may have been the passive aggressive nature that our youngest son refers to, which made me leave that work jacket until the very last thing I did at 11:30 at night.  In any case, I checked the pockets thoroughly… sort of … and threw the jacket into the wash.  Heavy duty cycle.  Lots of hot water and lots of soap were used in an effort to remove the grease and cow dung stains.

The next morning, I wearily approached the washing machine, trying to get my eyes to focus.  The first thing that I saw when I opened the door was this weird battery lying in the washing machine.  The sleepy voice in my head said “why would he be carrying such a weird battery thing in his jacket…and why didn’t I feel it when I checked his pockets…uh oh…uh oh…this is his cell phone battery.  Where do you think his cell phone is?”  There it was, lying under his jacket in the washing machine.  It was nice and clean though.  Not a contact or a message left on it.  Clean as a whistle.  I knew that his phone wasn’t in his pocket when I checked last night.  Nice job Karma.  Way to fool me into thinking I had checked the pockets when I hadn’t.  Well played.

This is a re-enactment. No batteries were harmed in the re-enactment of my laundry escapades.

I decided to lay low with my discovery until the children had left the house for school.  I felt there was no need to alarm them by letting them know that I had made a mistake.  My mistakes are so rare that they would no doubt be traumatized at the notion that Mom did something less than perfect.

When I broke the news to the owner of the cell phone, he went all quiet for a minute.  Followed by a few gently muttered curse words and wonderfully interesting stories about how important it is for him to have a cell phone while hauling straw bales.

I thought this was a good time to tell him that he could feel free to check his own pockets or wash his own jacket.  That went over like a lead balloon.  My timing may have been a little off.  I just can’t understand why fate allowed me to remove the rusty nail and the balled up Kleenex from his pocket, but did not allow me to feel a phone!

Checking into his options, my husband realized something.  He realized that because I had set up our cellular account, effectively forcing a cell phone upon him 12 years ago, he had no authority on the account, and could not make any changes.  That’s right – he cannot buy himself a new cell phone unless I am there to say it’s OK.  Insert maniacal laughter here.  This did nothing to improve his mood.  The news was bad enough, but the fact that I thought something so clearly serious was funny … well that was worse.

Ya - that looks like it's gonna work.

Our trip to the cellular phone store was interesting.  It is usually kind of fun when we take time to go to town together.  We visit, we make plans, and we buy a treat.  This trip wasn’t quite like that….at the start.  After driving in silence for a while, I commented to my husband that his coat sure looked nice.  He tried to be grumpy, but after a while my charm and wit won him over and he let out a little smile.  So I told him that it smelled nice too.  We both bought new phones, and the day improved exponentially.  That’s right ~ I got a new phone too.  I always like to get a treat when we go to town.  My husband likes to point out that I chose an expensive phone and his was free.  I tell him that the cost of that phone is my fee for doing his laundry.

Karma hadn’t beaten me yet.  So she tried again….

I was sitting with our daughter at the computer, doing some societal research on our favorite networking site.  That’s right, we were creeping on Facebook.  My daughter commented on my recent (hilarious) status update;

“Wow, mom lots of people have commented on your status”

I giggled and replied “Ya, I know hey?”

“And look at how many people liked your status!” she continued.

“mmhmm” was my distracted reply.

“And it’s really not even very funny,”  she said.

My darling daughter innocently blinks back at my astounded face.  “You don’t think I’m funny?!?” I exclaimed.

“Well not really”

Strike two.  The cell phone incident put a little dent into my ‘supermom/super wife’ persona and now my fantastic sense of humor was also in question.  It had been a grounding couple of days, but I wasn’t going to let it get me down.

Enter phase three.  I decided to invite our teenaged niece* and nephews over for supper. While grocery shopping, I was perusing the infinite possibilities regarding pasta choices.  I was looking for whole grain lasagna noodles.  Looking through the approximately 538 different pasta choices, I finally located a tiny little box of whole wheat lasagna noodles.  The voice in my head said “this box is too small, it will never make enough lasagna for everyone – But look!  Here’s a big box right beside it.  Let’s get two of those.”  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I had just bought two big boxes of whole wheat spaghetti.  No big deal, I would grab lasagna noodles tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and I remembered to go and get the lasagna noodles for our meal that evening.  Searching through the approximately 538 different pasta choices, I finally located a tiny little box of whole wheat lasagna noodles.  The voice in my head said “this box is too small; it will never make enough lasagna for everyone – But look!  Here’s a big box right beside it.  Let’s get two of those.”  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I had just bought two more big boxes of whole wheat spaghetti!  Now we had four.  We were prepared to feed a troop of hungry Italians who may come foraging through our pantry, but I still did not have any lasagna noodles.  And I may have dementia.

After confessing to our youngest son what I had done – for the second time – I went back to town in search of lasagna noodles.  This time I decided to trick the forces working against me and I went to a different store.  There would be no more pasta box display trickery!

Please note that I will be bringing spaghetti to any and all future potluck events.

Looking through the approximately 538 different pasta choices, I was swiftly brought to attention by my fancy new cell phone.  It was blaring some kind of emergency signal and announcing to the entire store that I should get lasagna noodles, and that we had more than enough spaghetti.  Thanks to the advances of modern technology, my children can now embarrass me without even being in the same town as I am.  Our precious son had programmed my phone to blare this announcement to the entire store at precisely the same time as I would be searching the pasta section.  This was made even more impressive by the fact that I had no idea of how to turn it off.  Thankfully it blared a few times, and upon feeling that it had accomplished its mission, it mercifully shut down and returned to its previous non-embarrassing state.

Thank you son.  Thank you for the help.  I will remember to return the favor.  Just as soon as I can figure out how to program your phone.  I know that you’ll love hearing my voice reminding you pick up some hemorrhoid cream the next time you are out on a date with that pretty girl I have seen you driving around with.  Two can play at this game.  I will need some technical assistance, but I can still play.

And so here we are.  My previous state of accomplished, inspiring, ‘got it all together’, ‘just look at me go’ has been tempered a bit.

Leave it to Karma, or Luck, or Cosmic Energy or Fate to remind me that I am not superwoman.  I am someone who washes cellular devices.  I am someone who isn’t always funny.  I am someone who lacks the focus required to buy groceries like a normal person.

I am also someone who is thankful for these little reminders.  None of us are perfect.  The next time I run into one of those perfect, ‘got it all together’ people I will know her secret.  She probably has washed a cell phone or two in her lifetime also and has lived to tell the story.  If she’s lucky like me, she got a laugh out of it too!

“Even the best needles are not sharp at both ends” – Chinese proverb

<Terra>

* I know, I know. You are no longer a teenager.  I couldn’t figure out how else to word that.*

Excerpts From A Grade 12 English Assignment

With permission the following is from an English assignment of the brown eyed one.

“They didn’t tell me how to live; they lived and let me watch them do it.”    – Clarence Budington Kelland

 

 

“The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our innermost hearts, ever quite wish to.” – Dodie Smith

Feeling Inspired

If you see either Kelly or I in the next few weeks, please excuse our enlarged sense of accomplishment.  You may actually have to step around our heads as you go by.  You see, we are feeling pretty darned fantastic about the results of the first annual Inspiring Women Conference that was held here inLloydminster.

I took some pictures so that we can share a little taste of the day with those of you who missed it. 

The pictures are really, really bad.  I realize this.  Improving my photography skills would be a great idea, but I manage to pull off a good picture often enough to make me think that it’s not necessary to actually learn how to use my camera properly.  Bear with me….

Here is a picture of us setting up for the conference. 

"Just ignore the lady with the camera and maybe she'll go away"

Notice that Meagan, Michelle and Kelly all appear to be doing something constructive.  Notice also the looks that seem to say something like “Put the camera down and help us”. 

Here is a shot of the room as we were setting it up.  It’s interesting to note that Kelly is not a fan of the color purple, and she thinks that the word ‘Inspiring’ is overused.  I really appreciate the way she tolerates my opinions on … well, everything!

Chairs and tables stacked and ready for the participants of the Inspiring Women Conference.

On the morning of the conference, we found ourselves busy checking on last minute things, excited to see how the day would turn out.  It turned out to be just fabulous!

We began the day at 9AM with a panel discussion.  The panel featured four inspiring women who are local to Lloydminster.

Leona's turn to tell her story.

 The panel was followed by three concurrent breakout sessions.  Breakout ‘A’ was financial planning ~ 

Your Future By Design - by RBC

Breakout ‘B’ was a workshop to help us create balance within our daily lives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somehow, I never managed to get a photo of it, but there was a third breakout that was featuring nutrition and fitness.  The nutrition aspect encouraged participants to seek out proper nutrition for their own body type, avoiding fad diets and trying to focus on healthy eating.  The fitness portion of this breakout showed us how easy it can be to incorporate fitness into our busy everyday routines. 

After a fantastic homemade lunch and some quick image tips, we were motivated and entertained by our keynote speaker Linda Edgecombe.

Linda Edgecombe - the most obvious choice for our first keynote speaker.

Linda was very thought provoking, and so very funny.  What a great way to finish off a long day of learning! 

All smiles!

We are so thankful to the sponsors, the participants, the facilitators, the people who featured their business displays, and the volunteers for helping to present the first annual Inspiring Women conference. 

It was a long day of being graceful and poised, so as the last people were filing out….in fact some hadn’t actually reached the other side of the door…

Some of our friends and supporters ‘broke out the bubbly’ to celebrate.  OK, in this case ‘the bubbly’ is beer but that’s how we like it!

Mark your calendars for February 2013.  We have already started planning!  See you there!