You do not have to do those things.

You do not have to do those things that others have taught you that you need to do because they thought they needed you to do them so that they could feel good.

Did you ever notice that when someone calls you selfish it is because they didn’t get their own way?

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I pet Santa’s reindeer!

Petting my very first reindeer!

Petting my very first reindeer!

Back by request is an appreciation list from November 2012.

  1. I pet reindeer!  They were soft and chillaxed! 🙂
  2. I am thankful for having multiple external hard drives because I feel easier about culling my computer hard drive.
  3. I am thankful my 250GB hard drive has become full because I ended up culling things I haven’t looked at since 2008, when I bought my computer.  It is feeling interestingly lighter to toss some of the old files into the trash but still secure to know I can access the information on my other hard drives iff necessary!  I cleaned out over 11GB of stuff .. yay me! 🙂
  4. I am thankful for Bionic S who encouraged me, in her ever so subtle and not so subtle ways, to publish new appreciation lists.  They feel good to publish every now and again.
  5. I am thankful for learning how to bask!  It is such a great way to begin and end a day.
  6. I am thankful for the movie 3 idiots.  Not only is it a really good story but there are some really great Bollywood-style dance numbers in it!  My two favourite songs are Aal izz well and Zoobi Doobi! 🙂 Oh and since we are talking Bollywood music! Here are Deewangi Deewangi and Dhoom Taana from Om Shanti Om.
  7. I am thankful for this other little dance tune I am amused with lately!  Hit me up by Gia Farrell from the movie Happy Feet.
  8. I am thankful I have been getting the photos for Irish’s article completed.  I left my camera with him for three months so there are a lot of photos to sift through!  I also have some questions on what some of the things are and/or their significance.  Oh well, it will figure itself out in time. Everything always works out for me.
  9. I am thankful for the yummy mandarin oranges at the store in the winter time!  I also discovered that when I keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge they stay fresh and I only eat one or two a day instead of five or six! Good to know! 🙂
  10. I am thankful that the better it gets, the better it gets! 🙂
  11. I am thankful I stopped doing the public appreciation lists for a while because it gave me the spaciousness to clarify what I am wanting from my artwork.  I likes me some clarity for certain! 😉
  12. I am thankful The Zeldster brought me Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe Family Pack to listen to on CD!  So funny! 🙂
  13. I am thankful for Amber at the Southland La Senza who hooked me up with some fancy new bras!  My first “pretty” ones!  Very exciting .. for me! 🙂
  14. Thank you for reading, take care of you and your loving ones.
Gelding reindeer.

Gelding reindeer.


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Taking the Flytable to the next level

Flying formwork tables

I always seem to happen along at just the right time to get to see and learn something interesting!  This day was nice and calm enough to learn about Flying formwork tables (Flytable for short).  A Flytable is a pre-assembled table used to form a concrete floor that can “fly” to the next level with the use of a crane.  The desirable quality is that the table does not need to be disassembled on the lower level and reassembled on the next level thus saving time and labour.

I appreciate the communication and choreography that goes into moving a table from one to the next level.  There was so much going on at once that I found it a little difficult to capture and translate into something coherent for people like me that are just learning about flytables.

To get a better view and story, I recommend clicking on the first photo to enlarge it and then click through to see entire photos and read additional comments on some of the photos.


Special thank you to Tom P and George from Elite Formwork who answered my many questions about this process! 🙂

You can see more construction photos by clicking on the construction tag and in my Flickr construction set.

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Every day is different.

Shantelle loving life at the site where she is the project coordinator for Graham Construction.

I was lucky enough to meet Shantelle on my first official visit to a local construction site (April 2012).  I was looking for someone to photograph the lower part of the site and learn more about the project.  Shantelle, a Project Coordinator for Graham Construction, happily took some photos for me and answered many of my questions.

Appreciation for work.

What Shantelle enjoys most about her work as a Project Coordinator is that every day is different.  The most important thing to her is the interactions with her co-workers.  She appreciates that the interactions naturally lead to good communication and friendships.

Dream it, do it!

Shantelle’s dream is to travel throughout Africa for four months – she would like to backpack and work her way along.  She wants to not only see life in Africa but also live it!  I wonder if she knows about Engineers Without Borders? 😉

Another dream Shantelle has is to live in Kellowna, BC surrounded by fruit trees.  This past summer she had planned to travel for a couple of weeks with her gentleman-friend eating fresh fruit and barbecuing throughout British Columbia.  They plan to go white water rafting and possibly try bungee jumping and maybe hang gliding someday.  I am very excited for them!

Recommendations for a happy life?

Shantelle’s recommendations on how to live a happy, joyous life?

  • “Live everyday like it is your last.”
  • Don’t hold grudges. “..whoever said Revenge is sweet, never tasted the Yumminess of forget-about-it* ;)”

She finished off by saying, “I love life!”

Photos she took.

The photos are of the first and second foundation walls for a parkade in the bottom of Centre Square Place.  The walls were applied by Structural Shotcrete Ltd from Calgary, AB.  You can view the entire photo (and much larger) by clicking on it.

More photos.

You can see more photos of/by Shantelle on my Flickr and on this site using the construction tag.  I really enjoyed visiting with Shantelle.  I was surprised to learn we even have similar life dreams.    She is such a smarty-pants with a great sense of humour (IMO) and best of all she loves life!! 🙂

I really appreciated that she always brings the best out in those around her.
Thank you Shantelle, you are definitely on my thankful list! 🙂

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Watching loving ones grow their wings.

After some thought (okay plenty of thought) I decided to let these photos tell their own story.  I am leaving it up to you to fill in your own wonderful details.

Now on to Hannah, Karen and Victor’s story about Hannah’s first time sailing in a Martin16!

Karen watching Hannah sailing.

Victor walking out to be with and watch with Karen.

Kristina: “Awww! You have to get a photo of this!”

Getting a photo of the moment! 🙂


Hannah being welcomed back to dock.

More smiles!

Karen and Hannah.

Group photo of all the loved ones! 🙂


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Appreciating ease and flow.

If you are new here you can have a look at The List from last week or the previous two years worth of Flickr Appreciation Lists.

This is a very condensed version of my thankful lists from 2 – 8 August 2012.

  1. I am thankful to have Michael take me for a sail with the Sip and Puff equipment in the Martin16.  Good thing I wasn’t wearing socks because his tacking would have knocked my socks off!  What a fun sail, thanks Michael! 🙂
  2. I am thankful that I let Hot Wheelz take me for a sail!  So. Much. Fun!! 🙂  We always have fun! 🙂  I really enjoy that time in friendships where you relax more around each other and find that you are both really goofy and fun with similar senses of humour! 🙂  What a fun day!  Thanks Hot Wheelz, I look forward to new adventures with you! 🙂
  3. I am thankful that I chose to send my XTi camera to Ireland with Irish on his vacation.  I can hardly wait to see the photos he brings back from his trip! 🙂
  4. I am thankful that I read a lot and utilize the Regina Public Library because I entered and won a contest for a gift certificate again this year! 🙂  I heart winning, it is much fun!  Thanks RPL, I look forward to many future prizes!  🙂
  5. I am thankful for real vanilla because it is so fragrant and I really enjoy how the real thing fully engages my senses.
  6. I am thankful to know .. stuff.
  7. I am thankful for choosing to turn off my computer the one night and walk away.  Giving myself a Time Out was a very good thing.  It gave me space to find the usefulness in the things/people that I was frustrated with.  This was exciting to me because I stopped feeling frustrated and I was even able to find some amusement in the newly discovered useful situation.
  8. I am thankful for the Appreciation Game.  The Appreciation Game consists of looking around you and thinking/talking about what you appreciate and why.  It feels really good to play! 🙂
  9. I am thankful for toothbrushes and clean light switches! 🙂
  10. I am thankful for my profusely flowering and fruiting tomato plants! 🙂
  11. I am thankful for the playful way things often work out for me. 🙂
  12. I am thankful for privacy!
  13. I am thankful for taking a few moments to watch crows.  I learned that they are ingenious at using what is around for a tool.  The one used a chain holding a shade up to break up and share food.  I also noticed that they seem quite affectionate toward each other.  They have a softer sound when they are sharing and being affectionate.  Interesting! 🙂
  14. I am thankful for the softness of Cottonelle toilet paper!  Yes!
  15. I am thankful for the new way I have been making my To Do List for myself.  They are working as if by magic and are a lot more pleasant to tend to! 🙂
  16. I am thankful for how Shiva Nata feels good throughout my body and that it gets things out of me more coherently.
  17. I am thankful for the zillion ways (approximately) that I consciously choose freedom! 🙂

Thank you for you.

Thank you for you and all that you already are.  I am enjoying catching glimpses of you as you come more into who you really are.  It truly is beautiful to behold.  Have a peek sometime, I think you may be surprised in a very good way.  I appreciate all of you.  All you have lived has brought you to this place.  All of it is useful, remember that as you go forward.

By the way, have I mentioned just how much I enjoy your laugh?  I love the way you throw your head back and laugh all the way from your toes!   I hope you have a great week filled with slightly more humour and laughter than you can handle! 🙂

Take care of you and love your loving ones with plenty of humour too! 🙂

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Nice space to write.

I have been publishing a thankful list every Wednesday for just over a couple of years now.  I have been thinking of migrating it over here for a while.  Here we go! 🙂

  1. I am thankful for Jane at the bank who helped me transition my accounts and money to their services/products that are right for me (SFM).
  1. I am thankful that each time I use my sewing machine it gets easier (and faster) to use.  I am glad I have it.
  2. Finally!  BC cherries are in!  I really enjoy their firm, meaty, perfectly ripeness .. so yummy! 🙂
  3. I am thankful for air conditioned buses! 🙂  I am also very thankful for wandering along at the perfect time to walk right to the exact bus I wanted .. and it had air conditioning! 🙂  The bus operator also did this totally cool thing where he waited for someone to cross an intersection on a major street so the gentleman could catch the bus!  I really appreciate that the bus operators do that for people, especially on really hot or cold days. 🙂
  4. I am thankful for the fresh local fruit and produce at the Farmers market.  I also tried some tarts by “D. Lischynski”.  The lemon, cherry and saskatoon berry tarts were REALLY yummy but the butter tarts didn’t have raisins (how I like them) and the pecan where “okay”.  Will I be getting more baking from there?  HECK YES!  Do I recommend there?  You’re darn tootin’! 🙂
  5. I am amused by the fan club that seems to have developed when I go bouncing in the evening. tee hee 🙂
  6. I am thankful for Roni who put what I was feeling into words.  Namely, “I don’t know how to feel about this.”  I am thankful for how she can “reach me” when no one else can .. sometimes it is good to have someone find you when you wander.  Thanks Roni, keep being you! 🙂
  7. I am thankful for all the writing that has been pouring out as a result of the Shiva Nata and meditating I have been doing.  It floors me how much just facing in a different direction can mess up a pattern in such a powerfully useful way! 🙂
  8. I am thankful for practising conscious entry and exit.  I am thankful they are becoming a habit! 🙂  Hooray for artfully embarking! 🙂
  9. I am thankful for Shantelle whom is on a joyous, adventure vacation for the next couple of weeks!  I heart it when wonderful and fun things happen to really neato, fun people! 🙂  I am thankful she sent a text messages before 6 am letting me know they were definitely on their adventure because it was there for when I started my day!  Happy/fun news is a great way to begin a day!! 🙂
  10. I am thankful that on the back of the pocket tag on my pyjamas it says, “Have a great day!” (the front of the tag has Snoopy doing a happy dance! 😉
  11. I am thankful I have the spaciousness in my life to say “No.” and “Yes.” and “I am going to think about it.”
  12. I am thankful for Lester who took the road less travelled and it has made all the difference in the world. 🙂

Thank you for you.

The trick is to keep breathing and finding thoughts that feel better, better and better still. Trust.  You will know when to put one foot in front of the other and when it is time to sit a spell. How you feel speaks to you, remember to listen Sweetie.
You are loved, loving and loveable .. remember? 🙂
Take care of you and your loving ones.

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Comradery in Construction

While out finding the beauty in construction I chatted with a few of the people that work in the construction industry.  One of the people I had the good fortune to meet is Peter Kucia.  Peter works for a company out of Calgary, Alberta (Canada) called Structural Shotcrete Ltd.

The first time Structural Shotcrete was in Regina it was a cold blustery April day.  I am impressed by how well Peter’s photos turned out*.  I found out later that Peter actually has training as a photographer!  Awesome! 🙂

Here are a few of the photos Peter shot.  I recommend clicking on each photo so you can see the entire thing.  (Shantelle and my photos were automatically added to the Gallery when I made it.  I am still learning.)

You can see more photos of and by Peter on my Flickr site and by searching construction tags here.

Thankfully Peter and Shotcrete crew were back in Regina to finish up the south and west walls on the structure.  I took advantage of the beautiful weather to ask some questions.  He spoke a lot about how important working with friends and family is to him.  Did you notice that theme in his photos as well?

When I asked about what his dreams are he told me that he would like to own a sports bar or sports restaurant or a sports team!  I encouraged him to dream big and go for all three!  He would like to own basketball team Seattle SuperSonics and bring them back to Seattle.  Dreams come true every moment of every day! 🙂

A special message from Peter to Mercedes:

Mercedes?!  Peter would like to remind you that you are loved!  In fact he asked me to tell you, “I love you Mercedes!”, on his behalf.  To quote him, “She’s amazing!” .. so yeah!  Now you know what he really thinks about you! 😉

I heart happy stories!

*I did some minor photo editing.  The photos also got a little crunched when I signed Peter’s name on them.


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Secret hobby: Photographing random groups of people.

Un-posed Group Photo

I have this secret. When I am out and about, especially in a green space, and I see two or more people that look friendly and interesting I offer to take their photo with their camera. I have been doing this for a few years now. This past Saturday 12 May 2012 was the first time I asked if I could take their photo with my camera as well. They were visibly cautious, as you can see on some of their faces, but they did consent to letting me take their photo. In return I agreed to email the photo to them and let them know where my website was.

Posed Group Photo! 🙂

This is what I learned during my short conversation with the spokesperson of the group. He is the tallest gentleman (3rd from the right) with the white shoes and the biggest smile!
He lives in and attends University in Vancouver, BC. His family is visiting him from Beijing, China this summer and they are travelling across Canada together! They planned to drive to Saskatoon, SK on 13 May 2012. I told them Saskatoon is beautiful and wished them well on their journey. 🙂

The Why

Now to WHY I like offering to take people’s photos for them:

  • The people are always friendly and happy!
  • I always get to learn something new!
  • The people always have a happy story to share with me.
  • Group photos need the entire group IN the photo!
  • I like making a positive effect on visitors so they have fond memories of Regina.  I enjoy a lot about Regina and like others to appreciate her beauty as well.
  • It only takes a minute or less and it leaves people with smiles on their faces!
  • I heart smiles!
  • I heart happy stories!
  • I selfishly really enjoy the happy feeling I get when I get to do this simple thing for people!  I like walking up to people, asking if they would like me to take their photo from them, then wishing them well and carrying on my way after I make sure the photo I took is okay for them.
  • I love, love, LOVE putting good things into the world! 🙂

The cool thing I learned this time was how to pronounce Thank you in Mandarin! 🙂

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Collage for Shantelle’s work!

I am very excited to have Shantelle’s photos, as well as some others I thought she might like, burned onto a CD!  As a thank you , I wanted  to make a collage for her to keep.  This is the first draft of it.

If you worked on this construction project and are somewhere in the collage you are welcome to download and print the image.  You should be able to simply click on the image which will take you to a new page with a larger image that you can right click and save the image.

Even if you don’t want to print the image, I recommend viewing it large!  There are some fun things to see!  My favourite thing so far is the man with the great smile on the middle right side.  I had tried several times to get a photo of his face.  She not only captured a photo of his face but also a great smile!  Rock on Shantelle!!  🙂

I appreciate all of the people that let themselves be in the photos!  There will be more construction themed photo essays over the coming year.  I am thankful to Shantelle, Jack Radu and Peter Kucia for helping me get several photos I would not have been able to get without them!

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