Sunday, June 26, 2016

the CLUBHOUSE project

The clubhouse project
Wooohooooo I'm on another 4-day weekend and I've been doing things that are treasured by me.  First and foremost lately it has been painting objects that turn into repurposed art.  

Repurposed art
About a year ago I started painting on objects that I'd had for a while and just goofing around painted them.  It was so fun and some of them really turned out very cool.   The homes I found for them even cooler.

A birdhouse with a purpose
As I started painting a birdhouse an idea blossomed.  What if I could use the birdhouse as a clubhouse that housed my dreams, goals, where my favorite people could either gain admittance or become members.

I holistically considered who would be allowed in my clubhouse?  It wasn't too hard to figure it out, they would be people who I wanted to be surrounded by.  They would be:

  • talented
  • exceptional
  • smart
  • creative
  • caring
  • motivational
  • friendly
  • innovative
  • humble
  • humanitarians
  • artistic
  • share positive messages
  • injected with humour
  • from across all walks of life
  • cultivated from among the world's best
  • they give, they promote, they help, without expecting anything in return.

The givers, innovators, creators
By words, art, photography, beauty they create a world worth living in.  Those would be the persons crowded into my little Clubhouse.  Lucky for us, there are foodies and entertainers and scholars and teachers and musicians and artists, curated from across many social media platforms and life.

Where would my happy place be?
As part of my clubhouse project, I would imagine the location of such a happy place.  I was divided among the options that bring me solace and peace:
  • My home
  • My garden
  • A new surrounding:  on a beach, beside the ocean

What would be in it?
No home, no vacation, no location would be complete without the right things in it:
  • Music
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Beautiful decor
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Pets

6 partitions with 5 sides to life
As a form of therapy of sorts, I reflect upon the clubhouse to create the five sides of life.  I began by imagining who and what would go in it.  To be expanded upon when I'm feeling discouraged, let down or a strong passion for wanting my life to be on track in a way that I make it possible.  

What and who goes in it
Complete the options before us.  We only let the people or things that matter to us inside our Clubhouse projects.  They bring us positiveness, beauty, inspiration.  We leave out those that hurt us, lower our self-esteem, cause us harm in any way.

The outside defines what is on the inside with five sides dedicated to making it a unique piece of our mind, our hearts, and dreams.

The front door
Is welcoming and a place in which we find ourselves safe, at peace, surrounded by only the good and wonderful we imagine it to be.  We want it to be welcoming because it will attract only the best of everything anyone or anything.

My garden
What I like to do is reflected on my entrance pane to my clubhouse project:  gardening, beautiful flowers, bright colors, happy faces.  A solace for dreaming, creating, beautifying where we spend our time.  

My goals
Are the levels on which I climb to reach my ultimate destination.  Whether it be career, writing, creating or being this side defines what I think will make my life complete.  They are realistic and achievable.  

My dreams
What do I see when I look outside the window of my clubhouse?  What would be the most perfect world imaginable.  Certainly gut-wrenching reflection because it defines the who, the what and the where long before economic reward brings the "things".  Things don't belong in my dreams.  Things are static and stationary, never evolving.  

The where
Where do I see my dreams blossoming the most?  What would I be looking at by my surroundings?  Beauty, sunshine, tropical trees, a lake, ocean or pool with billowing white puffs of cloud that don't bring darkness, but only shed light on the brightness where my inner peace can be found.

The bottom
Is where my secrets, disappointments, hurtful memories, failure, toxic people or events remain.  I place them there, on the bottom, to let go, get over and forgive.  Once those memories go to the bottom, they become dormant and never again allow me to regret, feel hurt, or hit my confidence.  

The roof
Unadorned and plain.  A place where I sole away dreams discovered, cheques or money seep into to make the dreams happen and the goals achieved.

It's about possibilities
The Clubhouse Project is about setting about making what is possible a reality.  Not to dwell on regrets or disappointments, it is filled with optimism.  I am in control of what goes on and in my Clubhouse to arrive at utopia and happiness.

Make your own CLUBHOUSE
Find your own birdhouse:  at a store, a garage sale or a thrift shop.   Design it in a way as described above.  As you paint it, you define the four key components:

  • What do you want others to see when you welcome them?
  • Who would the people be that you would allow to be members?
  • What will you see when you look out your window? ::  the goals, the dreams, the realization of all that can be made possible by you.
  • Where would it be?  How can you create the where?  Is it where you are, is it where you will need to be, or a stop along your travels to utopia?
  • What will you bury?  Who are the toxic people that you have removed because they block you from creating your intended destiny?  What are the awful memories that keep you frozen with fear, replayed over and over again.  Letting go when they go into the part of the clubhouse that is not opened again.  Who do you need to forgive?  Or, who do you need to forgive you?  They go in there, part of the past.  Let go to allow you your wonderful future.  If you replay failures, memories, hurt or heartache, they belong here.

Create your own clubhouse
Once it is created, decide all the ingredients and write them down on a piece of paper and put it through the welcoming front door.  Draw out your floor plan or surroundings as you imagine them to be.  Put in pictures of people that matter most.  Cut out images from magazines or print off photographs and insert them inside.  This is where they belong.  Write the list of people, things, memories or events you will let go of or forgive others or yourself for.

Creating the life you want
Only you can decide what it is that will bring you peace, happiness and excitement.  Nobody else.  Only you can determine your goals, decide on your dreams.  It is your own Clubhouse project.  Creating the destiny you and fate have aligned.  Understanding that you reap what you sow.  This is your CLUBHOUSE where you begin to imagine the possibilities of a life fulfilled with love, happiness and dreams come true.  

Try it.  Let me know how it goes,
 or let me know if you want to post yours on PINTEREST
I will invite you to share your post or your images!
and REMEMBER :: ...........

Saturday, June 18, 2016

be a father you can count on


I wrote about fatherhood a year ago as a tribute to my father who passed away five years ago and how much I miss him.  This year, I want to comment about the fatherly influences that don't get acknowledged on this day.

My hubby, Rob, is a fantastic father figure to my son, Kyle.  Rob makes the effort to connect and relate to Kyle whether it be about sports or video games.  Kyle also knows that if he were ever in trouble, he could count on Rob.

My older brother, Greg, was in charge of our home when we got home from school and before our parents arrived home from work.  He would round all four of us kids up, delegate chores, and lead the way.  He didn't ask any one of us to do more than he was prepared to do.  He is someone I've always looked up to and he leads a life that is exemplary.  He is a hard worker, family man who obviously loves his wife and daughter tremendously.  He holds only himself accountable for his actions.

My son, Kyle, is an amazing brother to both his sisters and his stepsister.  He and the soon-to-be-son-in-law are firm friends and have formed a nucleus of family that will be steadfast beyond the years that we've been given.  It is nice to know that he will always champion his sisters, be there for them with acts of kindness and be known for his positive spirit.

My kids are really lucky.  They have uncles that they can turn to and would and will always be there for them.  Their Uncle Tom, who was the eldest of there own father's tribe, was kind, reflective and dolls out wisdom when asked, never forced.  My brother, Greg, is an anchor for my daughter who ventured away from her home city, to seek her adulthood with the safety net of her uncle if needed.  Handy with a screwdriver, he would put furniture together, move her out and then back in again.  He is soft spoken and doesn't opinionate unless asked.

From that day when the high school adventure started, my son Kyle had firmly found a friend who has been there for him through what could have been turbulent years, to today, embracing him as one of the best friends to have and to be.  His name is Kyle too.  I like to think he sets the bar high for possibilities for Kyle to look up to showing that you can have it all - marriage, love, family, fatherhood.

Don't think it is odd that I have included mothers in this commentary.  After all, there are so many single mothers out in the world, due to multiple circumstances, who have the role of both mother AND father.  They are the anchor in the home and if you ever wonder about the success of this environment, just watch the 60 Minutes Sports on Marshawn Lynch.  A wonderful example of a mother's influence upon her son and the success that can unfold humbly yet fruitfully.

If you do one thing this weekend, check out "Beast Mode"  @Beast Mode to support the charitable efforts of Marshawn Lynch through his "Family First Foundation".  You will end up with some really cool threads at the same time, or it will be the gift that keeps on giving.

"If you are in your everyday life, and you feel like you just accomplished something big that you had going on, then that's Beast Mode. It's an accomplishment, that you put yourself through something to get something better out of it. I feel that that's Beast Mode. "

~Marshawn Lynch

Monday, June 6, 2016

Parts be known: The Calgary Stampede UPDATE

UPDATE July 14 2016
Well a gal can try right?  It doesn't mean she'll be successful.  (The first or 100th time at least).

I didn't get a return call from anyone from ZeroPoint Media never mind Anthony Bordain's people.  It was a big leap of faith to even think the man himself would respond.  There are still takeaways to be learned from.

Never give up
It doesn't mean that I will give up trying new things to experience new adventures in life.  One must never stop trying new and experiment.  If you stop trying, you may as well curl up and read a good book, listen to beautiful music and move on.   Have the faith that "you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take" (Wayne Gretzky quote).

Forget disappointment
It doesn't mean that I won't still watch "Parts Unknown".  It may mean though that I won't be as much of a fan because I take to heart how others treat us.  Try not to take it personally is something I continue to work on. 

Lesson learnt
There are lessons to be learned in the chapters of our lives.  One will meet people on the way up the ladder of life and success.  One should be aware of how one treats others because that often can mean how quickly we may fall down.  Karma is an interesting perspective and humility is a brave characteristic to show whether you are sailing in good times or need others' support when you falter.  Be kind to others at all times and wear it like a beacon of light for others to be drawn to.

Remember the little people
because it is the relatively unknown persons who are your champions, cheerleaders and fans.  We may not always know who they are or acknowledge them.  Take every opportunity to treat others as you wish to be treated by remembering to:

Practice the Golden Rule
Anthony Bordain, Parts Unknown

Anthony Bordain
is my intellectual crush.  I've never identified anyone like that before.  Although, in actions, I probably have worshipped Steve Jobs story, rise (not his nasty personality part) :: but how he was an imagineer, and I would dub "mental energist (T) optioneerJM (c) or a closet fan of Guns N Roses' Axel Rose.  From the first time I caught glimpse of him in a 1980s grammy when the group stumbled on to the stage, pretty obviously incoherent, wasted, loaded.  On what?  I don't think I was understanding of the drug scene back then.  Nose started in the books, in the 80s, that is for sure.

Parts Unknown
what I was starting to say is that I just love "Parts Unknown".  And being a strong believer of the mode of you can't say you are a fan of something, without proving it, or dislike something that you are not prepared to try to fix.   I commented on Anthony Bordain's Facebook Page 

Guess what I did now? 
I have been watching Anthony Bordain on TV, long before he was on CNN.  Thru osmosis, from someone who is not a very big TV-water, "Parts Unknown" caught my attention.  Slowly I'll admit.  But you have to remember, I'm not a big show-watcher, except the nightly news (drilled into me by my parents), where no matter what you've been doing, where you've been.  You will either eat or cook dinner or relax post meal with the news.

Suggested accommodations:  The Azuridge Estate Hotel near Priddis

Comment on FACEBOOK:

You show a the world thru unique eyes. It could 

be war torn Lebanon, crumbling buildings, smoke in the far ground of 

billiowing bombs. Caught in a time warp mentality and sensitivity that 

 truly is a gift. So, is instinctively being curious by nature. One can only 

imagine  how the ideas to travel where, who to host you, how will it go? 

I could be taking a really big stretch here, probably not. Food is the one

 common denominator that we all have. You don't have to proclaim you

 are seeing global warming first hand (Leonardo DiCaprio did, causing

 himself embarrassment when filming his only Oscar performance, 

among many  great ones. I will forward a proposal to Anthony Bordain

 directly. With my Twitter handle as identification on the return address

 ~ you'll know I'm authentic.





 Enthusiast. Frequent flyer. Used to cook for a living.

This is the deal

I would love to host Anthony this summer for infamous Calgary Stampede.  Why infamous?  Because you may arrive innocent, but you leave infamous.  After all, there is a lot of food to be had in these here parts.  Think of "The Chuckwagon" restaurant southbound in a little hamlet south of here.  Or a Stampede Breakfast, always free, always hotcakes, sausages, orange juice before they turn into barbeques with a keg of beer, big side of beef, marinaded for forever, then slowly grilled so that the succulent juices don't escape without the feel of a fork.

Food critic
My first boss who was head of marketing for a really big, respectable museum, historically capturing the feel of the western pioneer's spirit (a must see), well he is now a pretty well known Food Critic.  The first time I heard him was a long while after I had worked under his arm, experimental entrepreneurialism at its core.  Never realizing that fast forward 20 years, solopreneurialship will be more of the norm than the expected.  

Well, I'd host a selected site by John, along with Anthony and we'll have a gay old time.  I hardly know how long it takes to run an episode of one of these so I'm going to have to predict.    I will have to set out an agenda, see if it meets the approval of Zero Point Zero, the parent creator of Anthony Bordain's "Parts Unknown".  Did they scoop him up from somewhere else or create his brand as he is known?

Zero Point Zero
Since they're the money men that is where I will start.  Befitting name on where I will begin.  Before lift off.

Lift off
Would be agreement by both Zero Point Zero and Anthony to fly to Canada, Calgary that is, to film a tribute to the west.  Nowhere more fitting than the biggest outdoor show on earth other worlds known as the biggest purse in rodeo.  

The lull 
I would imagine Anthony will fly through the night on Thursday, July 17th.  That will give him a chance to check into this amazing boutique B&B nestled in the rockies.  About 20 minutes to the border of Calgary, and about another 30 minutes to the Stampede Grounds ... for the week.   A lull before the storm.

After a long day
It will be dependent on how tired Anthony is.  One can only imagine the stamina it takes to travel AND appear upbeat all at the same time.  Often with a grizzled beard that bespeaks that parts is often what we leave unknown.  It take a lot to plan, travel and do a show I would imagine.

 We can have a glass of wine or a cognac nightcap after he checks in and is settled.  The host and hostess keenly sitting nearby with the munchies.  This will be a lovely respite and clear the palate for the onslaught of beer and calories to follow.  

We will review the bustling 4 days I've planned for him, make any changes, last minute thoughts.  It should be nice.  Relaxing.  Maybe he won't mind if my husband Rob comes for that.  They'd really get along.  Two guys shooting the gab on anything that appeals to them.

Day 1
We'll go to one of the restaurants I have in mind that sound like "Chuckwagon" first.  It will be a chance to get him to see the landscape.  The very one that caught the attention of the movie makers of The Reverent, in particular one Leo Dicaprio, maybe just decide to come up to join us :: where we will talk about:

* history of the area, in their own words: perception
* some facts about the city and citizens 
* review of what is actually climate change and Chinooks.  

Chinook winds are a unique phenomena to  Calgary and surrounding areas at the Foothills of the Rockie Mountains.

The first day could go on a bender when Leo shows up.  The township amazed, the media unaware, that there was something very cool happening :: Leo and Anthony meet and chat about the area, his experience filming locally, the people, his own discoveries.  I'd be the hostess, of course (comes with being a citizen and a social media enthusiast who came up with the idea first).  Tweeting and posting as it happens.  Not just promoting "Parts Unknown" but the western spirit captured by the annual "Calgary Stampede".

EXCEPT FROM CBC:  (click on link to read more) 
"I've never experienced something so first-hand that was so dramatic. You see the fragility of nature and how easily things can be completely transformed with just a few degrees difference. It's terrifying, and it's what people are talking about all over the world. And it's simply just going to get worse," said DiCaprio.

"We were in Calgary and the locals were saying, 'This has never happened in our province ever.' We would come and there would be eight feet of snow, and then all of a sudden a warm gust of wind would come."

Day 2
Up at the crack of dawn, we meet down south of Calgary at a traditional Stampede Breakfast.  Always free.  Usually hosted by the executives of very big oil companies.  Who will sit down with Anthony and myself to talk about the region, oil prices, recovery.  

Alberta's Premiere, Rachel Notley, serves up pancakes to a youngster.

I'm thinking the CEO of TransCanada Pipelines would be ideal.  After all, it is the one Canadian news item that registers across the border and with politicians and leaders like Obama, Clinton, and even The Donald stated they'd want a piece of the pie if the pipeline was finally approved.  Let Anthony ask his questions, while munching on the traditional breakfast piled high with pancakes, bacon and sausages.

Anthony could include a side story with a narrative about what has happened to Fort McMurray and indirectly, the rest of the province of Alberta :: wildfires that evacuated 10s of thousands of two weeks from their homes.  The amazing spirit and resilience the province's people demonstrated.  Even newcomers to Canada from far and wide, talk about the hospitality they experienced first hand when they arrived here.  How it was a chance to repay in with kindness.   That story could take a good take a chunk about the Alberta people, their spirit, and how they bounce back as survivors.  

Kate and William take in the Western Hospitality at this annual event.

We'll take clips while shopping
because Anthony has to fade into anonymity by donning on some western style.  Where he witnessed executives looking just as comfortable in their jeans as they are in their suits for shareholders or investors. To the traditional Smith-Built hats where only the true believers in the western spirit shop there.  Then The Alberta Boot Company, a must for visiting dignitaries fit for future Kings (Prince William) and his Queen (what's her name? insert).  After measurements, Anthony will be bequeathed with the White Hatter, you got it from Smith-Built, ceremony which inducts Anthony as an honoree Calgarian. 

Excerpt from Visit Calgary:

The White Hat Ceremony is a long-standing tradition in Calgary, a symbol of the Western hospitality and good cheer we like to share with visiting guests. The white Smithbilt hat has been bestowed on numerous celebrities and dignitaries on their visits to our city since the 1950s, when Calgary's Mayor, Don MacKay, started the tradition.

MacKay was inspired by the white hat after traveling to Toronto with 250 excited Calgary fans to see the Stampeders compete in the 1948 Grey Cup (the Canadian Football League championship game). The exuberant group sported white cowboy hats, which soon became a hit with easterners, and presented a hat to Toronto's mayor as a way of saying 'thanks' for the city's hospitality. Years later, when he was mayor of Calgary, MacKay began distributing them to visiting dignitaries.

Smith Built Hats

A tradition, a mainstay since 1919.  Crafted western hats for visitors, dignitaries, citizens, tourists alike.

CNN Ratings
bringing human-interest ratings is something that I interpret is at the core of CNN.  Yes, they bring us knews, up to the minute, sometimes bungled among rumours, striving to be considered true journalism for today, as the traditional dynosaurs fade into the sunset.

This scenery is only an hour from Calgary

The evening dinner
After hotdogs, hotcakes, and hot women (I'm sure Anthony would notice), John will join us after our mid-late afternoon naps.  To escort us to his favorite restaurants.  The one he saves for the ones he wants to impress the most.  If it is in Banff, so be it, Anthony will get to see the beauty on our doorstep, mere 1.5 hours from Calgary.

The history, the art, the crafts, the treats (like fudge), Bernard Callebau chocolate, those things that delight tourists,  are famous from the region. 

Day 3
The midway experience.  The shows, the free stuff from the Coca Cola stage.  I'll ask our Calgary musical spiritual voice, Paul Brandt to take us to the midway,  the best food to snarf down, backed by the mini donuts.  Have a listen to the following clip from Paul Brandt's "Alberta Bound" to get into the mood:

Paul Brandt
We'll chat about some of the great talent in music that is coming out of Canada, and in particular, Country and Western music.  Where Keith Urban came to the dance hall where visitors two-stepped or local taught them how to dance it.  

We'll eat grub till we're so stuffed, only the Chuckwagon and the Grand Stand show could erase the unease  .... of gas.  Thankfully, the thunder of the cowboys, horses and chuckwagons drown out any escaped puff of air, or otherwise.

Day 4
We'll head back down to the Stampede grounds by 11 to take in the real rodeo action.  To watch broncing, bull busting, wheel barrel racing fun. After that, we'll head down to the Ranchman's, the unofficial biggest country and western dance hall in the world.  Still going strong, after decades.  We can chow down to some cow grits and chat with the owner's daughter, whom I know, met along my journey in sales.  This can easily turn into an all-nighter (1am at least) where Anthony learns how to two-step (hmm, we'll have to find out if that could be the Stampede Queen?)

Day 5
Depending on how Day 4 sounds or has gone, we can make this a 5-day excursion, rich with lots of spirit and traditions, long faded from many memories.  A day we spend with the spirits, hosted by the elders of any one of the indigenous nation who live close by.  Then the casinos, the typical tourist attraction.

We could eat at Chief Chunkee's.  Maybe if we juggle the schedules around, line the people up, we'll have an extra day and then stay overnight in Banff.  Maybe Anthony will invite my husband along?   Eating at this restaurant, they can talk about how well they are treated by their neighbours.  Where we have lived in harmony for years, helping each other.  Or share their plight, disappointments and human strife.

That's a wrap
A gal from Calgary can always dream, right?  Or nothing ventured, nothing gained.  

I'll keep you posted if anything does happen. You can count on that.