THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
You know how when you dedicate time and energy to really creating a sound plan for an event, working options around all possibilities that could go wrong and navigating to avoid those things, then having everything that could go wrong go wrong anyhow. Life is funny that way isn’t it?
That was the case for my husband’s recent 60th birthday surprise party. My daughter made the plans around it being early enough to surprise him, and also early enough that the birth of her new baby wouldn’t interfere with the plans and festivities. And with all the good intentions, you’d think that things would have unfolded seamlessly, but that, of course, was not to be.
First thing that happened was that one of our other granddaughters made the provincial volleyball team, and with that was able to participate in the Nationals in Vancouver, which meant her family wanted to come out to the coast and support her, which meant they’d likely carry on to the island to spend time with us, which meant our planned return to the prairies would be delayed for a few days. We could work around that.
Then, baby, who wasn’t scheduled to arrive until August 11th, decided to make an early appearance and arrived on July 20th instead. He also ended up being a c-section. On top of that, he ended up being given my late son’s namesake, when they added Shane to his handle. That meant that I would fly home earlier than planned, to support and meet, and would leave Cecil in the capable hands of the volleyball kids to get him back to our place on the prairies in time for the celebration.
The visit on the island lasted a couple of days later than planned. The drive home included a backtrack loop to explore the ice fields between Jasper and Banff. The night before the party I booked a room at the Days Inn in Portage, only to discover that the air-conditioning wasn’t working and there were no other hotels available in town, so my night’s sleep was crappy. Then the morning of the party, Cecil was making his way home, having left Strathmore the night before.
When he called to in the morning it was to tell me that he’d blown the axle on the trailer that was carrying his quad, and that he hadn’t noticed. Another driver had put him onto the fact he was dragging the trailer behind him, sparks flying down the TransCanada. He pulled into the nearest yard and called.
When he told me what happened, and that he’d have to wait a few hours for Princess Auto to open to see if they had a replacement axle and tires, he said that he’d likely miss our ‘little party’. I, being cranky, tired and hot jumped to the conclusion that our son must have spilled the beans on the surprise, forgetting that I’d told him we wanted him home for a small wiener roast to celebrate our other grandson’s birthday. In saying so much, I gave the surprise away. Darn!
I told him to do what he had to do, and not worry, and let him go. I then remembered that my brother was only a couple of hours behind him, making his own way across the country. When I called him back to tell him that he said, “You are never going to believe what just happened!”
He then told me that the lovely people whose yard he’d stumbled into had not only made all the calls to see about the Princess Auto opening, helped him unload his broken trailer and settle his frazzled nerves, they had then offered him their own trailer to continue his journey and get home in time to make his not so surprise ‘surprise party.’ Who does that for a complete stranger in 2017??
Cecil made it home for the gathering with no time to spare. The party was wonderful, everything that a man turning 60 could wish for. Good friends, good food, cold beer and the reconfirmation that there are wonderful, wonderful people in the world still, and that morning, in pulling into the yard of Scott and Steph, he had met two of them.
They confirmed for us our belief that when you put good out into the world, it comes back to you in the most unexpected ways. Cecil gives much of himself, and he supports me to give much as well, often with no financial return, but because it ‘feels’ right to do the giving. We sometimes ask ourselves if the universe actually notices that we are giving, and trying, and doing. The answer came back to us with a resounding yes. What we put out into the world boomerangs back.
They had no need to offer what they did to get Cecil on his way, so that he could get where he needed to be and address the problem on the way home. They had no reason to trust the shaggy, tattooed Island man with their property, but they chose to, just as we so often choose to give just because. In their generosity, the reminded us of all that is good in the world. Of what a powerful impact a good deed can make to a person’s day and thus, life. Of how we have the opportunity daily to make those choices and decisions that can do that for others.
When faced with a choice, always choose love.
Be an earth angel, and look for love behind the actions of everyone you meet today.
Whenever you look for love, you will always find it.
- Doreen Virtue
I've become so impassioned with my beading and wind chimes, that I've now opened my own Etsy Store! Who'd have believed it! Check out my Singing Dolphin Wind Chimes when you have a chance!
I’m not sure when it began again for me. I think it was March. I knew the grand kids were coming out to visit for 10 days, and that might have been what spurred the purchase. It could have been my ideas of what we could do for some ‘fun’ inside should the rainy days that we’d experienced for weeks and weeks continue. It could have been my conviction, finally, to get rid of some of the seashells that we’ve been collecting from every trip we’ve taken to be near water in the last 10 years. I’d always managed to drag bags of them home, but had yet to decide on what to do with the collection. There was always an idea in the back of my head of things I ‘could’ do when the time and opportunity arose, but they remained just ideas, until the last two months. Regardless of what triggered the purchases, I found myself in the local Walmart looking for some beads that could be used to pretty up some sort of creation, my thought being to make wind chimes out of the shells that were gathering dust.
The first time I sat down and actually worked on the craft was with a girlfriend who was visiting from the prairies. We had a great evening creating our beginner versions of the shell chimes, that would hang as reminders of good times spent together. The second time was with my grandsons, one working on a wind chime that he would take home with him, the other working on a necklace that spelled out his name and used his favourite colour. Then everyone headed for their respective homes and I was left with the beads...and the shells...and a passion to create once again.
I am not sure exactly how soon after that that it hit me. I was working on restringing a wind chime that had been my Mother’s, having made the decision to start using beads and baubles from some of the old jewelry that sat in boxes in my storage. Stuff that had been my Grandmother’s, or my aunts, or my Mom’s. Junk jewelry, that I hadn’t the heart to throw out, but had no desire to use or wear myself. So the dismantling began. Cutting threads, snipping wire, organizing colors, then putting the pieces back together in a new way that said ‘Lynda was here’.
By about the third creation, it all came back to me. I love this! I had loved beading and creating as a child, but had completely forgotten for over forty years. As I sat at the kitchen breakfast nook, threading the little glass beads onto the fish line, one delicate bead at a time, the memory of doing this as a child came flooding back, and the joy filled my spirit.
We learned about it in elementary school, and I don’t even truly remember who it was that taught us. Something tells me it was Stella Smoke or maybe it was Tony Myran, who were two Indigenous mentors brought in to the school to work with students who were being mainstreamed into our typical education system, and I realize today, they were likely the first students in that situation. After generations of Indigenous children being sent to Residential Schools, those that we started Grade 1 with were among the very first to have escaped that system. But inclusion came with challenges, as all inclusion does at the beginning. The mentors were brought into try and ease some of those challenges by being examples to the Indigenous students, and educators to the rest of us. The beading, I remember, was one of my favorite learning, and once I’d learned the basics of it, I would spend hours and hours at home creating headbands, name tags, small pieces of work that filled me with so much pride. I never achieved the intricate, detailed pieces that the ladies from the neighboring reserves were so gifted at creating, but I still loved the little bit that I did do.
As I sat at my kitchen counter I finally remembered that. As with the resurgence of any passion, I’ve been diving into this with both feet as I scan Walmart for more beads, garage sales for discarded jewelry treasures, and the seaside for shells and driftwood that might work for the next piece. Then, upon returning home, comes the pleasure of the sorting and organizing and grouping. It’s crazy, but more importantly, it’s fun. The thing that we all need more of in our lives.
I try to keep the pieces consisting of up cycled and recycled materials for the most part, but I also want them to be eye catching. I’ve found that Amazon is a great source for an assortment of bead suppliers and options, and most of those options are actually quite reasonable. To be able to add a little bit of brand new bling to each piece, something that is a signature that I can recognize. Something old, something new, something....you know.
Each creation gets a little more refined and techniques are adjusting and fine-tuning as the days go on. You’ll have to take my word for that, because before I thought to take pictures of some of the first ones, I decided to gift them for special occasions. Handmade gifts are always a hit, and what better way to say Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island than by using the gifts of the sea that we receive right here.
I’m loving being immersed once more in something that I loved so dearly, and had forgotten about. The evenings are different, relaxed and more focused. It’s a kind of meditation all on its own. It’s a gift to be reminded of things that fed our childhood passion, because the truth is that those things usually still do. We come into this world with creative gifts to share, but we get devoured by the busyness of living and providing and forget that those gifts ever existed. Yet they are still in us to give, in one form or another.
Take some time, find a quiet place and let your heart wander back through time to who you were before the world started making you into what it wanted you to be. What were the things you loved to spend your time doing? What filled your hours with joy and pleasure, and made time pass by unnoticed? What part of that could you recreate today to bring more of that childlike joy into your grown up, responsible adult life? It can be done you know. We all have the right to live more passion filled, joy filled lives, but we neglect to give ourselves permission to embrace that. The time has come to allow ourselves to pursue whatever it is that feeds our souls and our spirits, because although we think our time is endless, it isn’t. Don’t waste it being anything other than your happy, authentic, true self. It’s what the world is waiting for.
It’s become my typical morning routine. Cecil prepares my Bullet-proof coffee, I relax in my living room chair, and go through my social media on my IPhone before starting my work day.
A couple of mornings ago, I happened to notice a new follower my Truly You Twitter page. It was Daniel Dolphin! Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that, so I had to look a little closer! I can’t ignore it when any dolphin speaks to me, and certainly not Daniel!
You see, dolphins hold a very special place deep in my heart. Maybe I didn’t even realize how deep until this connection happened and I began taking a more conscious look around me, here in our new home on Vancouver Island. It has been an eye-opening couple of days.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Shane was my dolphin-boy. There was never any doubt that he loved dolphins, because even though he wasn’t able to communicate verbally, his eyes always told us what was on his mind and in his heart. We’d known dolphins were his thing for a long time, all you had to do was follow the eye-gaze with tv, shopping, toys, magazines and stories. Then listen for the hoot that would follow.
In 2004 it was explained to us, by a very insightful little 10-year-old in a swimming pool in Winnipeg. Shane had been chosen by the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba to participate in Air Canada’s Dreams Take Flight that year. Because we lived so far out of town and the flight for the one day trip to Disney World for a plane load of children with various life challenges, we were put up at the then Greenwood Inn in Winnipeg for the night before the trip. Shane loved the water, he always had, and so the night before the flight we headed down to the pool for a few hours of swimming before bed.
While in the pool, another ‘dream’ recipient named William attached himself to Cecil, Shane and I. We actually don’t know what Williams last name was or where he was from, but he just connected to us and swam and played and chattered away. He had a very big scar that ran the length of his chest and stomach, so we suspected that he may have had heart surgery, but we didn’t ask. We just spent our time having fun together.
After a while, William explained to Cecil, “You know why Shane likes to swim so much don’t you?” We had to admit to William that we really didn’t know the answer to that, only that he did love to swim. So, William clarified for us, “Well just listen to him. When he laughs, he sounds just like a dolphin!”
That was the first time we actually heard it for ourselves. The unique combination of laughter and delighted squeal that was Shane’s way of telling all of us he was in his glory with whatever he was doing. From that day on, we referred to him as our dolphin-boy, even though he’d given us lots of clues about his interest in them before. Sometimes our teachers come in the form of little, health-challenged boys that pick up on things quicker than we as the distracted, over stretched adults ever do.
Shane passed away in 2009, but I’ve come to know that his love of all things dolphin was passed along to me before he died. I’m just beginning to see how deeply, and as I look around my house, I am having an awakening myself, because I am seeing dolphins everywhere! They are both reminders of Shane and sparks of inspiration and joy for me. Through different spiritual belief systems and cultural philosophies, dolphins can represent many different things. People who identify with the dolphin totem are usually peaceful and gentle, but with a deep inner strength. They trust their instincts and intuition. Dolphins live in harmony with their environment and practice love for each other, and have been witnessed helping the young and sick, even those of other species. They have a well-earned reputation as protectors as they balance their animal nature with a higher intelligence. They could teach our own human species a lot.
When we moved from Manitoba to Qualicum Beach this year, hours were spent sorting and choosing what items were coming with us, and which ones were not. Whether I realized it at the time or not, except for a few of Shane’s personal ‘dolphin’ items that I gave to some of his friends and family, everything dolphin followed me here. In fact, everything ocean is here surrounding me, and the lightbulb in my head is finally going on.
So back to Daniel Dolphin. With the twitter follow, I had to look further, and realized that Daniel Dolphin is going to be “a 3D-animated adventure film for the whole family inspired by the bestselling novels of Sergio Bambaren. Our goal is to push entertainment to a new level of audience participation and environmental awareness. Daniel Dolphin will share the larger message that we have to protect what we love: our oceans and each other.” I felt the call to become involved, and through a donation to their fundraising page to support the next steps of the film’s development, I have done so. I’m excited about it, and it just feels so right to me.
A couple of posts ago I shared that I have come to terms with accepting the fact that I will not be leaving my lineage in this world when I pass beyond it. Shane was my only hope for that. I am, however, committed to leaving a legacy with and for my chosen ‘kids’ and grandkids, the work I am able to do, the music that I write and the causes I choose to support. This cause calls to me, just like my return to the coast after all the years in the prairies did. Maybe there is a deeper connection even with that. Maybe part of this move was to position me to be more actively involved in what is happening to our oceans, by seeing for myself what is going on around us. Maybe Daniels’s voice will be the one that speaks to the children of today, who themselves are going to be the protectors of tomorrow, so that they will do a better job of taking care of Mother Earth and her oceans than we’ve managed to do so far. I hope so, and I hope my discovery of Daniel will help me to be part of the change in the world that I wish to see.
Maybe his story will spark an interest in you as well. If it does, consider supporting this Canadian project and the possibilities that it holds. If you were thinking of sending me a Christmas card or a gift this year, consider making a contribution to get this project off the ground instead by simply clicking here. That would be a gift that would keep on giving if we could inspire the Guardians of tomorrow through our actions today.
“Follow your dreams. Listen to the voice of your heart. Whatever others might tell you, never forget that you only live once, and that your dreams, big or small, are the biggest treasure that will guide your life to a wonderful destiny. Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.”
— Sergio Bambarén, Author of The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer
For the whole of my life I have been a learner. A learner and a reader, and I'm glad that as time has gone on, that has not changed. What bothers me is that as a 'learner', there is so much that I am only now beginning to understand and begin to try and make sense of. So many things that I, like the rest of society, should have been learning much earlier in our lives. If we had maybe today our world would be less of a mess. I often worry that our learning is coming too late and too little, with so many people locked into their skewed ideas and belief systems. Even so, I write this with the hope that maybe one person's heart may be challenged to take a different view of things, and nudge our world one more step forward and closer to the place where we can all have more open minds and open hearts to the journey of another.
To be clear, I have no knowledge of any First Nations genealogy in my family lines and my perspective and views do not come with the life experience that many of my friends have lived. My ancestry is as Irish and as Scottish as you can get. But that does not keep me for having a love for other people and a thirst for information that will help me to better understand my world, so that I can pass that understanding along to others. I do believe that our society is past the point where it is okay to turn a blind eye to what has been created. We can believe there might have been good intentions, but we can't ignore that whatever the intention was, the outcome is bad. One way or another we need to lean into that and start growing forward. For me that means to listen, talk, read and learn and work towards having a better understanding so that I might become a better advocate and a better person as a result.
Last night, I finished my reading of the book 'Black Elk Speaks'. It took my a long time to get to the book in it's entirety, but for a long time I have been fascinated and drawn to his words and his wisdom. Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) has been working to get my attention for a long time it seems, through so many coincidences and experiences in life. But when we're ready, the teacher does arrive. This teacher died in 1950, but fortunately for our world, he opened his heart and shared his wisdom.
The book was originally published in the early 1930s, after Black Elk met with John G. Neihardt, the author, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His intent was to share his powerful and inspirational experiences and message to all that would be open to them. During their time together, he relayed the stories from his earliest memories as a boy in th 1860s through to the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, and the final efforts of his people to maintain their freedom and their way of life. He was a warrior, a hunter, a medicine man and a healer who lived his life in an effort to move ever closer to the vision he had experienced as a young boy of 9. He shared his visions in the book, trusting that John would pass them along to a world that needed to know and understand what he had seen. He did this at a time when it was not common for a man of his stature to talk about those things with a stranger, but Black Elk felt the deep need for that message to be shared and so he did.
Through his story, we are given an opportunity to see that horrific time period through the eyes of those who lived on the receiving end of the decisions being made to secure the United States as a nation. A story that is very much the same as our own story in Canada, with it's brutality, battles and manipulation. Black Elk shares his memories of what the First People were experiencing throughout those years of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Custard and the army's continued movement west. It is a much different perspective from what we are taught by history books.
He tells the reader about many of the horrible battles that took place between the Indigenous people and the soldiers. One of the paragraphs that haunted me really made me think about the things we see happening today, in 2016, at Standing Rock. "Wherever we went, the soldiers came to kill us, and it was all our own country. It was ours already when the Wasichus (white man) made the treaty with Red Cloud that said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and the water flow. That was only eight winters before, and they were chasing us now because we remembered and they forgot." (pg 83)
The book is full of the broken promises and broken dreams of a people who were forced to bend to the ways of the invading world, and reading it, I couldn't help but see the role that is still playing in what is happening around our continent today, but most noticibly with with what is happening at Standing Rock. As he talks about the treaty agreements that were made by a few on behalf of the many, treaties and agreements that pushed them further and further from the land and the life they had known he relays "only crazy or very foolish men would sell their Mother Earth. Sometimes I think it might have been better if we had stayed together and made them kill us all." The people lived through heartbreak after heartbreak as he shares stories of the battles, the hunger, the massacres, the Ghost Dances and the broken promises.
After the Massacre at Wounded Knee, when the people gave up their fight he was quoted as saying "I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And i can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was burried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream. " pg 169
Black Elk died believing that he had not accomplished what the Grandfathers had set out for him to do. He never saw his people regain the footing lost or their old way of life, traditions and spiritual belief systems reestablished. What he had visioned for his people was not possible in the world that had been created and with the restrictions that were placed on our Indigenous people, throughout North America.
But I wondered, as I read through it, if Black Elk wasn't also fortelling of some of what is happening today? His vision fortold of the days ahead, the disappearance of the buffalo herds, of the 'black road' that his people would be forced to walk. But it also fortold of a day when "I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one Mother and one Father. And I saw that it was holy." (pg 26)
As I look at the gatherings that are happening in Standing Rock to support the people who are fighting for their water, I begin to wonder if that gathering may be part of what Black Elk envisioned? People from all tribes, faiths and races coming to stand for the common goal of preserving and fighting for what is here, before everything is gone. People starting to take notice and realize the wisdom that was embedded in the beliefs that lived here long before my ancestors arrived.
My heart aches for the old man who returned to the place of his vision one last time. "Hear me, not for myself, but for my people; I am old. Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop and find the good red road, the shielding tree." (pg 172)
It has been a slow resurgence, but I believe it is beginning to happen. Idle no More, people saying no to the big corporations, our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation work. Change is in the works, and the winds have shifted direction. And from the Voice of Black Elk's vision, "Behold this day, for it is yours to make." So I ask, what are you going to do?
So for those of you that know me, you're likely asking 'What's the Deal? Lynda isn't much of a sports fan or a gamer?' Well, with that I'd have to say you're right...or you were right! Things have changed and FireFan has arrived!
My goal and my passion is to keep doing good in the world, and I see FireFan being one of the ways I'm going to be able to do that, because yes, I am a United Games Marketing Affiliate with this, and thrilled to be part of this! There, disclosure made.
But I'm also someone who likes to have a lot of fun with friends, and have found this is a brand new way of doing that, so lets keep moving here shall we? I have put this step by step explanation together so that my friends (who are as game savvy as I am :( and invitees won't get frustrated, because this app is like nothing we've ever seen! I hope it helps you to get the most out of this great new game!
- Social, Competitive, Fun, Interactive
- It is not gambling, so it's something the entire family can enjoy
- You can Play LIVE with friends and Superstars
FireFan is just hitting the app store, so here's what I can tell you about it right now from my experience over the last weeks of our beta testing. It's a new way of playing along with sports. It's not betting, there is no money to be made, so you can get your entire family involved in the fun. It is free to download, and it is free to play if you want to just use the pregame picks option. If you want to go live, you will need to acquire tokens. There will be lots of ways to do that when the last of the beta test is done. You can get them by watching the advertisements that will be built into the app. You can acquire them through purchase through Apple Itunes or Google store. You can get them as rewards for inviting friends, or in some league games. But that's for later. It's not even necessary at this point to worry. Lets just get started.
Now we are moving on to the next screen, #1
Here you're going to be picking the sports that you love to follow! Remember, at the moment we only have NFL Football and MLS Soccer within the app, but that is going to be changing regularly!
Coming Soon, Watch for:
Step Number 2 allows you to pick your favorite teams. For now, as I said, it's only NFL. That will change in the days ahead. You can pick as many, or as few teams as you choose. You can go back and add teams at any time. This is your game. When you're done, hit next.
Step 3 allows you to connect!
STEP 4 is to Join some FireFan Leagues. There are literally hundreds, and will be thousands to choose from! So it's up to you! You can join a few right off the bat, if you see ones that catch your eye, leagues in your area, or leagues for your teams, or you can wait and do more investigating. You can join and leave leagues at any time. The next screen is going to ask you if you want to turn on notifications for League invites. As a newby, I'd leave it on, find out what's being created and get to know new people. For more about leagues, keep going, there'll be more later!
Hit next and see your brand new Profile Page!
So welcome to your new Profile Page! You are officially a FireFan. On your home screen you will see Total Points Earned (this is for all games played ongoing), your followers and you're following. Going down the screen you'll see:
On your home screen, hit the X at the top at any time to go back to your profile.
This page is all things NFL! Scroll across the top you get the Schedule, Team Standings, Teams, News and Depth Charts.
This shot shows what happened Week 13, hit Week 14 (and through to Week 17 at this point), and it tells you everything that will be happening. How many games, whose playing, where the game is, the time, the channel that is carrying it, it's all there.
Hit the TEAM STANDINGS Tab, and it's up to date with the standings in the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, North, South and West.
Go to the Teams Button, find your team, and it'll give you a list of all upcoming games. As well is the results of games, Roster, News and Depth Charts.
News and Depth Charts are also available on the NFL Page. Everything is in One Place!
So, our girl FeeBee has decided she wants to check out the Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings that is happening on December 1st. That takes her to here!
The game is still a few days away, but you can see that there are a lot of leagues that have set up to watch it. She's not sure she wants to use any tokens to play with them yet, but she doesn't have to use tokens to go into the pregame Picks screen.
Ahead of kick off, go into the picks and answer the questions asked. They vary and are specific to the game, but could be things like:
The PLAY button and the STATS buttons are for when the game is happening. If you do decide to use tokens and play it live, there are more PICKS with every drive throughout the game, so more opportunities to get points on each play. Watch as the drives end for the bright green bar that lets you know 'new picks are available now'.
So FeeBee has done her picks (she's not going to show you, so no one will be able to copy her predictions :) ), but has decided that she wants to see what her own leagues are doing before she signs up for the game. She goes back to her profile page and discovers that DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH have that game scheduled! (pick shows previous game, ignore that and pretend please)
Does she want to spend 6 of her tokens and sign up to play? You bet she does! So she hits the join game button. From here she can also invite friends that she thinks would like to be part of this league. Everyone in the league has a chance to join the game and play live, for 6 tokens.
Note on the league: From this page you'll see
A Little more about Leagues: Leagues are a hoot, and they are so simple to set up! Any player can do it, and it only takes seconds.
I am so excited about this app! You will be too! For now we have NFL, but just imagine what it'll be like to play on leagues with your friends across the world when the Soccer comes online!
Or to have fun game with family from anywhere on the continent during the NHL games are on or WORLD SERIES finals are happening. This app is going to set Fans on Fire! Be one of them!
One final note, the little dancing FireFan symbol that you'll see dancing at the bottom of your screen opens up a series of options, based on the screen you're in. It's a quick link to where you want to go, and changes if you're playing live, but a nice streamlined feature to get where you want to be.
Tons more to be learned as we go along, and will update as we know more, but this ought to get you going!
“All you need in the world is #love and #laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other." ― August Wilson
The email arrived in my inbox, not it my spam which was strange... it got through. And...it caught my attention, because not only did they send it to my email address, they had my full name. It read as follows...
Dear Lynda Dobbin-Turner
Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipment's Located in Osaka, Japan, need's a reliable representative/individual who can handle its Account Collections in Canada.
If interested, Please provide us with your details for more correspondence.
***Note**"*: This Part-Time Job Offer is not time consuming factor, why doing this job, you can still handle your normal job you have at hand.
Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equip.
As I do contract work for different people and businesses, and that and my full name is on LinkedIn, so I wondered if that was where they'd gathered the information. I responded, and said to send me more information, what is involved and how did you get my contact information. Then I started my own investigation. I checked out http://fmxequipment.com and it looked pretty professional, with an entire cast of administration listed, and the HR person who'd contacted me listed. They had lots of references to their catalogue for products, but no online catalogue, so that didn't make sense.
So the next response came, indicating the work that was needed. Collecting bad debts from customers in Canada for the X-ray equipment that they had sold them.
Hello Lynda Dobbin-Turner,
Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management thank you for considering our part- time job offer, to be our company's representative in your region. Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments is a company that is based in Osaka, Japan, it engages in the Production of X-Ray Equipments such as (Medical X-Ray Equipment, Veterinary X-Ray Equipment, Chiropractic X-Ray Equipment and Podiatry X-Ray Equipment) for Medical Hospitals, Veterinary Clinic and Industry Distribution. We have been providing services and trades to global Industries, Companies and Individual in Europe, Canada and USA (Only).
With the high demand of X-Ray Equipment’s in the above region, we look forward to establishing offices and sales centers in North America (Canada). Until the centers are established, we need a reliable company/individual (irrespective of the business type) that will stand as an intermediary between our customers in your country and Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments. Hence we wish to contract your enterprise/company as our “intermediary representative” in your region.
Such persons/companies should be able to handle the below responsibilities on behalf of our company as Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments delinquent account receivable agent/representative in Canada:
(1) You shall Work together with Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management to seamlessly reach our company goals of retrieving all its debt owe by its Delinquent customers/clients In Canada.
(2) To maintain effective communications with Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management and its Delinquent customers/clients in Canada.
(3) You shall be in-charge of collecting all overdue Debt owe to our company by its Delinquent Account customers/clients in Canada.
(4) You shall maintain proper records of transactions with Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management.
Compensation: You shall earn a monthly Salary of $5,000USD plus 5% commission on every Delinquents Account you receive on behalf of Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments. Also if we are satisfy with your services within two months of Employment, we shall increase your monthly allowance by 15%.
Please get back to us if you are interested in working with our company so we can send you the Contract Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and other applicable forms. Also you are to confirm to me that you are ready to work with our company in good faith, without any illegal act.
I responded, send me the contract it looks interesting. I again asked how they'd found me and how they felt I had the qualifications they needed. Then I resumed my research. About 3 pages into the google search I found a fraud alert, mentioning that this particular website was only 77 days old, and that there was a serious mismatch between where it says it is and it's location.
The next day the contract came for me to sign....I read it through, then found where their scam was. Collect the outstanding money on their behalf, cash the cheque, keep the 5% commission and send them the remaining 95%. I'd been wondering when it would be clear, as they'd not asked enough information about me to concern me, no details, no accounts, birthdates. But there it was...Me cash the cheque from the debtor, no doubt one of their collaborators, send them 95% of the funds, their hope being I'd send them the money and they had it before I would realize that the cheque I'd collected was no good.
So I emailed back, and informed them that I had my lawyer looking over the contract. That it all looked very good, but there was no way I was collecting anything for anyone by cheques made out to me, so they'd have to revise the contract and I'd review it again. Can you believe it....I have not heard back from them!!!
So anyhow, decided to post this in hopes that when someone else googles Fujitsu Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management, I hope that you'll find this, and make sure that you're not taken in by them. I"m sure many will be...they've done their homework. Hope you do yours as well.
Scammers are getting better and better at building their back ground story and sites to make themselves look more legitimate, but they are still just scammers looking to make their way on the good faith of others. If you are contacted by Medical & X-Ray Equipments Management...do your homework. And as always, any time something sounds too good to be true....it usually is!
A day or so after New Years, I read a story on Facebook about a lady in Winnipeg who, as a fiddle player, had made a video every single day of 2015 and posted it up on her youtube page. By the time I read that post, she had 365 videos uploaded and available. Wow, I thought to myself! There’s something to aspire to…start getting more of my own music out into the world, while I’m healthy and able to. But I know my commitments and my ability to organize myself to sit and do that, and decided instead…I’ll try and do one song a week.
I don’t know why I chose Winston, but he called to me as I grabbed the guitar that first day of 2016. I guess he was wanting his story to be shared. I've learned that people love the stories behind the songs often as much as...and sometimes maybe even more...that the songs themselves. "Bringing Winston Home' really tells the story for itself, just as the day played out for all of us. We had been getting ready to go to spend Father’s day with my Dad, and just about the time we were getting ready to head out the door, the vehicles pulled into our yard.
At first nothing made any sense, the name Winston Merry meant nothing to either of us, and about the time they were ready to give up and leave, one person mentioned the name Cryderman. This yard had been where the old Cryderman yard had been in times gone by, and things began to fall into place.
It was my father in law, Delmer Dobbin, that I called and asked after all was settled, the ashes were spread and the family had departed. He told me the story of Winston, of the swimming lessons and of their friendship throughout their school years. He then told me that my own Grandfather, Allan Dickson, who had been the teacher at the Ladysmith School in those days, had taught Winston as well.
Years later, when going through Grandpa's picture album, I found this photo. It was him with his student Winston Merry, back in the 1930s. The world suddenly appeared to be very, very small as I realized how interconnected we can all be.
I hope you enjoy.
While we'd been in Costa Rica (2013), we got to know Jacque, the Nolitour guide at the resort we were staying at. He asked us if we'd likely return to that resort. There were many, many things we loved about it, but neither of us felt it was likely a return destination for us. Our plan is to see more of the world, rather than repeat things we've explored. Cecil then told him that our next destination was likely going to be Mexico, because truth be told, Mexico had been what we had in mind for that winter prior to being invited to join our son and daughter in law on that wonderful get-away to Costa Rica.
When Jacque heard Mexico, he said that we would love it. Then he started to tell us about a friend who now spends every winter in Mexico at a place he just absolutely loves....Sayulita. My jaw dropped! Sayulita was the reason we'd originally chosen Mexico if we were going to go anywhere, because we wanted to scope it out and do a little exploring. Our hope was that in the next years, if we do things right and commit to our hopes and dreams, that in the next few years we will spend at least half of the frozen months somewhere warm.
Sayulita had captured my attention because I regularly follow the newsletters I receive from Brandon, Manitoba's Lady of the Lake owner Brigette...as she sends us her experiences there in the winter months. It called to me because of it's location and the feel of the area that I pull from her writings. Further investigation made us want to explore it further as a destination to call home base to explore from in Manitoba's coldest months. I had not heard one other person mention the town, nor had anyone I ever spoke to seemed to have heard of it....until that moment. Coincidence? You all must know by now I don't believe in that :)
When Jacque saw our expressions of interest in the town, he suggested that if we did want to explore it, another resort he was connected to...the Royale Decameron Complex....was the perfect place. Five star, great food, many options and mere minutes from the bus route that would allow us to go to Sayulita for about $6 each and do our investigating. Sounded like a plan for us...for sometime down the road.
That night, talking to Cecil, he reminded me of our plans to go somewhere to celebrate our upcoming 10th anniversary in June. We'd thought about heading out to BC...but suddenly exploring Sayulita seemed more enticing to both of us. And in likelihood, about the same cost as flying/renting/eating etc on the west coast would be. We decided....when faced with a decision, choice or opportunity...choose in favour of your passions. So we did.
After booking the trip I was reminded of the good work a friend of mine had been doing in the Puerto Vallarta area for many years. She and her husband travel there for about 3 weeks every winter, and part of what they do in that time is a type of mission work, helping to do what they can for orphaned children who are living of what they can scavenge from the dump there. I asked her about it, and she shared that that project has come to an end, however there's a new one they're involved with.
I learned that a family of 12 children had lost their mother in spring of 2013. As the father wasn't able to handle the situation, he abandoned the family. The 12 of them were residing in a one room accommodation, sharing one bed with the rest sleeping on the floor. The 18 year old sister was doing her best to keep the family together, but things were looking very hopeless until some amazing individuals stepped in to do what they could to help this family stay together. My heart was touched so deeply, as I looked at pictures of those beautiful brown eyed children and thought of my own gorgeous grandkids. What would I want done for them.
So beyond our exploration of the region to see if in fact it was someplace we'd like to spend the cold Manitoba winters, we took along gifts and supplies that we hoped would assist the children on their journey, and looked forward to having the opportunity to meet them through the people we have connected with via social media. It made the trip seem much less decadent...and much more meaningful.
Midway through our week, Brenda, one of the ladies supporting them, picked us up to spend a day with the family. What a heart and eye opener to the other side of life on the outskirts of PV.
We arrived at the house about 10am. There, in a 1 maybe 2 bedroom apartment lived the 18 year old sister, with her own two children, who is working to support her siblings with the total number being 12. This is an amazing step up from where they were living after coming off the streets.
After innumerable bad experiences, the sister worked to keep all the siblings together. She was nothing less than amazing, as were As are the team of ladies who committed themselves to helping this family have a better life.
And the children? They were beautiful, wonderful beings who have seen and experienced way more in their young lives than anyone should have to witness. I could not look at them without seeing our own grandkids in their eyes and smiles.
We spent the first part of the morning with the littlest ones, while Brenda worked with the oldest ones to ensure that their homework was done prior to their own school sessions that started at 1pm that day. After it was confirmed that everyone was on top of their studies, Brenda invited all of the children out to choose an award for their hard work from her car...there they were each given the opportunity to pick a medal that her husband received from his many marathons, as a celebration of their own accomplishment.
We then headed down the road to the 'soccer field' to enjoy that kite that Brenda brought for them. It was so heartwarming to see the brilliant smiles on these kids. They are such testament to the resilience of the human spirit, knowing what they've endured and what lies ahead of them.
Back at the apartment we shared our own gifts, helped them to prepare for school as they showered outside from a water hose because the indoor plumbing had unresolved problems. After finishing lunch, the school age children joined us to be dropped off for classes, the youngest stayed with Mimi awaiting the return of the ones who'd been in school and daycare in the morning.
It is said it takes a village to raise a child. That is so much the case here, but hats of to Mimi who keeps the child going between the availability of the villagers that support them.
In the time since our visit there, we've not been back to see how they're going, but we follow them through updates on Facebook and the charity that has been set up that helps both these children and others.
Within the walls of the resort in the area we found a certain kind of beauty. It could in no way compare to the beauty in the spirits that we met outside those wall, in that house where hope is beginning to grow.
Headed up to the lobby early to book our Tex-Mex a la cart the the evening dinner and a taxi to take us to CoCo Beach for some shopping.
We landed in town just about lunch time, so the guys chose Pacific Lobster for lunch. It was very good food, but four of us ended up with a bill for $217 with only 2 glasses of wine on the bill. Ouch!
We continued to do a little shopping, but just like any tourist area, the constant harassment for shopping, timeshares, food...it's exhausting just continually saying no thank-you. There is no such thing as having the peace or quiet to explore, and that's a shame.
We had only allowed ourselves a couple of hours there, as we had to go on the sunset cruise we'd booked the day before.
The sunset cruise had it's good points and it's bad. We booked with Charlies. It was an older, but comfortable boat. Our host was hilarious, a lot of fun and really attentive to all of our needs. We headed across the bay to the 5 star resort at CoCo beach, and once there, our host took the little boat to pick up 6 guests who were joining us from there. Several minutes later he returned with two guests, dropped them off, then headed back to pick up 4 more people who were not ready when he arrived the first round. The young people he dropped off said that they had been told the pickup time was 4pm, I looked at my watch and it was 4:40 and there was still no sign of the little boat returning to meet us. It was very frustrating that those 4 people felt that there was no need to rush them selves to be at the requested time, but instead to put the rest of us out by requiring the boat for wait for them. Was not amused at all by that nor were any of the other passengers. When they did arrive, they stayed below while the rest of the passengers mingled on the upper deck.
Once we finally did get underway again, we were very fortunate to see several sea rays flying through the air, as well as a large group of dolphins. They weren't as close or as plentiful as they'd been on our fishing trip, but still, it was wonderful to have them join us. I was thrilled!
The other downfall to the sunset cruise is that it is timed to have you back to shore by 6:30, however, in the 15 minutes that we were back inside the eastern side of the peninsula that juts out from Papagaya, we missed the most amazing part of the setting. You could see it's fading brilliance above the mountain range between us, but oh, how amazing it must have been on the outer side. I am sure we missed witnessing a miracle!
The evening ended on a sadly sour note for us as we were joined at our table by another Canadian couple that we'd socialized with a little. I know that in every experience there is a learning, and oh how terribly strong the learning was for us with them. I have worked very hard on raising the level of my own consciousness and in turn, Cecil has been dragged along for the ride I guess. We've become people of the human race, who accept that there are good and bad among all tribes and religions. I know that everyone is on their own journey, and that the path some choose is going to be very different from the path we've chosen to take, and have come to accept differences as a blessing and a gift to our experience.
The husband was a reminder that there are those who are still so locked in the hatred and negativity of ignorance that there may never be a way to see the light beyond. It as literally mind blowing to listen to the opinions and illusions of someone who was so self-righteous and negative towards anyone who was different than him....and the hardest part was the lack of ability we had to shut him down when he began his rants. In every moment there is a blessing and a learning, and oh boy, did we learn from him. The blessing was that he is not a part of our everyday life, and we are so lucky to have the choice not to deal with people like that in our day to day. How very fortunate we are that even the most people within our circle, who do have different opinions from us, can at least respect our beliefs and perspectives when a discussion starts to head south and become strained. The learning was that when you first meet people they will show you who you are. Believe that and make a decision then not to associate again. Walk away and don't do the things you feel you should to make people feel included when they are so contradictory to what you want your life to be. We agreed to sit with them on more then one occasion because we wanted to be nice and respectful, but in retrospect I have to ask myself why I insisted on respecting someone who has no ability to respect another human being. My need to please over rode my passions and my respect for myself and my husband by putting us in that position. It will not happen again. We deserve much better company than what I subjected us to, and from here on I will ensure that those that show us early they do not warrant our time and attention do not get it. I don't know if we made a dent in his bigoted armour, but he certainly had an impact on us.
We Live, We Learn
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