Apparently there is a slight error in the original post on travel coverage. The post is being edited to correct for the factual inaccuracy and will reappear once the correction has been made.
“there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known“
Turn on your audio before you click play to hear Allison Crowe’s cover of In My Life, and see if you are one of the many heads that have given me pleasure over the years.
I don’t listen to the Beatles that much anymore, but I stumbled upon Penny Lane in my iTunes library while going through photos of some of my RRC connections over the years. What could be more appropriate? And what could be more freaky than hearing Penny Lane again in SuperStore the very next day? 20 years without hearing a song and then it pops up twice in 24 hours? Clearly a sign. So I went back to my pictures and started counting. 100 faces I could put a name to, never mind all the mugs with no handles! I was amazed. Continue reading
It’s a cliché worth repeating: the most precious resource we all have is time.” Yet it`s also one of the most squandered. And once it’s gone, you don’t get it back. Friends and family are like that. Like time, gifts to savour and enjoy but all too often taken for granted. Time stopped for me today. Actually, it stopped yesterday when I first heard that Peter Komarnicki, a friend, died suddenly and unexpectedly. I paused then, stunned by the news, casting about the office for others who knew him and with whom I could share my grief. I called Mary, his wife, to see how she was doing, completely at a loss for something appropriate, supportive, to say. After hanging up I managed a few more dangling to-dos before giving up and leaving early. Continue reading
As my first foray into the world of blog as the Manager for Health Services, I thought it would be appropriate to address the annual question of why we need a flu shot every year.
I found a short video (Influenza Get the (Antigenic) Drift) on what happens to a flu season type virus and why it is important to get the flu shot every year.
We all play a part in protecting ourselves and each other from Influenza. This is more than winter or fall colds and sniffles, it is a serious illness.
Since our Chili cup event is coming up, I decided to collect some tips on how to enhance your chili experience at home.
1. If you chili is too thick, don’t use water to think it out. Use broth instead. Water deludes the flavors but the broth add to the flavors.
2. If your chili is too thin, you could add some tomato paste to thicken it. If this doens’t work, the next step is to add corn starch or corn meal.
3. Most folks use green jalapenos which are sold at the grocery store to give the chili its hotness. Apparently, there are many types of chiles with different names like: Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano, Santa Fe Chiles, etc. Basically, we can experiment and have fun with the whole process by trying different chiles. It is possible to use a combination of chiles as well.
4. The first step we take is to cook the meat. You need to brown the meat before you add the liquids to the recipe.
5. The better the quality of the meat, the better the chili. If you get meat that is less tender, make sure you cook the meat longer to soften it up and consider using a meat tenderizer.
6. Use fresh vegetables, not canned. There is a major difference. (This makes sense!)
7. Cook the chili the day before you plan to eat it. This way you give all the flavors in your chili time to blend. If you don’t have enough time to cook it the night before, prepare it in the morning and let it simmer all day.
8. Use your own mix of spices, herbs and chiles instead of using a prepackages mix. Prepackaged mixes have a lot of salt and preservatives which can change the taste of the chili. The batch of chili spices you make can be stored in your freezer for up to one year.
9. Don’t use old spices for your chili (or for any other cooking….for that matter). If you happen to have old spices, make sure they have been on the shelf for less than a year. After one year, spices loose flavor.
10. Have fun! Making chili takes time, but it can be a lot of fun as well.
I remember walking in the neighborhood in Vegas where I lived when I was 18 years old. I was enjoying my walk and smiled at the people passing by. I decided to do my own experiment. When people smiled back, if felt great. If they didn’t, it was still all right because I was doing what felt right.
Did you know that we smile even while we are in the womb? 3-D technology now shows that developing babies smile. After babies are born, they continue to smile (at the beginning in their sleep) and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice. Isn’t that fascinating or what?
Have you ever wondered why being around children who smile frequently makes you smile more often? There is a high chance when we smile for people to smile back. It would be very challenging to frown when looking at someone who smiles. Charles Darwin developed the Facial Feedback Response Theory which suggests that the act of smiling makes us feel better. This theory is supported by a research done in Echnische University in Munich, Germany. In 2009, scientists used fMRI (Functional MRI) imaging to measure brain activity in regions of emotional processing in the brain. They found out that facial feedback changes the neural processing of emotional content in the brain and concluded that our brain’s circuitry of emotion and happiness is activated when we smile.
Unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has therapeutic effects and is associated with reduced stress hormone levels (like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine), increased health and mood enhancing hormone levels (like endorphins), and lowered blood pressure.
I am not finished yet. It seems like smiling is one of the best things we could be doing. Smiling makes us look good in the eyes of others. A study at Penn State University confirmed that when we smile, we not only appear more likable and courteous, but we are perceived to be more competent.
Here is a brief summary of the stats about smiling:
- When you smile, you look good and feel good
- When others see you smile, they smile too
- When others smile, they look good and feel good, too.
Well, we can all together start a smiling revolution! One thing, though, the smile you give has to be big and genuine.
In conclusion, smiling can improve not only your life, but also the lives of others. It helps us live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Mother Teresa said: “I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.”
You are ENOUGH, we are ENOUGH…
Another school year! I see some new faces and lots of familiar faces. It is so nice to see the students stopping by, saying hi, making sure they connect now that they are back on campus after being away for the summer. I love it! My son also started kindergarten! I am excited for him and I am nervous as well…
I read an article recently saying that educational institutions have the responsibility to make the experience of the students as meaningful as possible. This statement got me thinking and it felt right. Here I am, working from my office with prospective immigrant students and assisting current students in many different ways. One big part of my position is to connect with students on a human level. I will admit that this is the favorite part of my position.
I have worked in educational institutions for the last ten years. I started as a student advisor in Vegas, then at U of M, and now at Red River College. I like the energy of educational institutions. I also realized that I am still a student. I learn every day how to be a human and I love the stories I hear every day. I secretly call myself the Story Keeper.
One day, the students we come in contact with will graduate and will go on their own path of life. Many students will have the same diplomas and professions. But each student is the only person who has custody of his/her own life. Not only the life at school and work, but also at home, at the bus, in the car. We all possess not only a life of our mind, but also a life of our hearts.
You may wonder how does this all related to Wellness? Bear with me, I am just painting the big picture, I am setting the stage for the main message to unfold. After all, health and wellness have different dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, etc. All these dimensions are interconnected.
So, how can I do my part of making the experience of the students meaningful? I can offer the best of me and be present for the students only when I operate from a place I know I am enough. I am calmer and I listen.
What makes me ENOUGH? I am enough because I am alive and I exist. I am enough even if nobody knows my name. Becoming successful doesn’t make me enough. It just changes my experience, but it doesn’t change me.
Being enough, I become comfortable with my background, my past experiences, abilities because none of those define me. Now that I am enough, I don’t have the need to impress people because what people think of me is secondary to the way I think about myself.
As a mother, I have my daily challenges. I ask myself often of the lessons I would like my son to know. I read, I analyze, and then….I need a break from it all. But there is one thing that I want my son to know—that he is wanted just the way he is and that he is loved no matter what. It is all right to be open to learn more about parenting, but at the end of the day, the best gift children need is the unquestionable approval of their existence. It sounds simple, but….it can be one of the hardest things to do.
Fellow Rebel Rider Wayne Ferguson started me a few years ago on what has become a Canada Day ritual of sorts (some would say insanity): a patriotic fitness ride totaling the same number of kilometers as the years since Confederation. Old St. Peter’s Church just over the bridge north of Selkirk is about 70 km from my front door, so I figured that a few short detours along the way would make it the perfect 145 km round trip. Unfortunately, with Wayne out of town, my 2012 patriotic ride would be a solo cycle. Bare spots suitably coated in sunscreen (forecasted high was 31 degrees), my 7:30 start was relatively cool, but I had not expected to be barreling through so many patriotic flying insects. My Badger SPF 30+ cream turned me into human fly-paper on wheels.
It turned out to be a perfect Canada Day route. I made pretty good time, reaching St. Peter’s around 10 am. Leaning my bike against a tree, I explored the large cemetery surrounding the church on the banks of the Red. Fascinating! I had not realized that the stone church, built in 1853, was on the site of the first Peguis Reserve. Ever wondered after whom the Chief Peguis Trail was named? Then read on. My Canada Day cycle was about to transport me back 200 years to the very foundations of Winnipeg and Manitoba.
I’ve been hearing a lot this year about the war of 1812, but nothing about the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first Red River settlers. And I certainly knew next to nothing about Chief Peguis (born about 1774) who had settled with his band near Netley Creek in the 1790s. Often known as “Chief Cut-Nose” because his nose had been bitten off in a fight around 1802, Peguis welcomed the first Red River settlers in 1812, exactly 200 years ago, and is credited with aiding and defending them during their first difficult years. He guided them to hunt buffalo in 1814, helped bury their dead after the Seven Oaks Massacre in 1816, and even rescued Marie-Anne Gaboury, the first white woman in the West and future grandmother of Louis Riel. And it was a treaty through Peguis on July 20th, 1817, that granted Lord Selkirk’s settlers use of Red River lands that included the future settlements of Selkirk, Lockport, and Winnipeg.
And here I was, right in the middle of what would become known as St. Peter’s Indian Reserve, the first successful Indian agricultural settlement in Western Canada. Peguis had been persuaded in 1832 to settle here, just north of present day Selkirk. When Peguis converted to Christianity in 1840, giving up three of his four wives in the process, he adopted the name William King and gave his children the last name of Prince. The names of many of the original settlers, including some of the Princes, can still be read on headstones in the cemetery. The largest is the monument over the grave of Peguis himself, who died only three years before confederation in 1864.
On my cycle back through the town of Selkirk I stopped at the Marine Museum of Manitoba, then St. Clement’s Anglican Church (1861) with its large cemetery containing the graves of many of the founding families of Selkirk. Being Sunday morning, there was a service going on and, to my surprise, I hit the churchyard just as the choir broke in to O Canada! Next stop was the “Stone Fort” of Lower Fort Garry where, on August 3, 1871, Peguis’s youngest son, Henry “Red Eagle” Prince, signed Treaty No. 1 with the new country of Canada, formally transferring lands that are now part of modern Manitoba. On the road again and passing the Lockport Inn at midday struck me as a most appropriate time to stop for a nice cold Molson Canadian! I am after all neither a mad dog nor an Englishman. Well revived and my water-bottle refilled, I continued on to Winnipeg, back over the Chief Peguis Trail, the Raleigh Greenway, and the Louise Bridge (first bridge in Winnipeg and the one over which the first Canadian Pacific through passenger train crossed on July 1, 1886!), under a Canadian National train crossing the CN bridge over the Stephen Juba Park trail, a short stop at the Forks to gawk at the Canada Day crowd and some obliging Canada geese, and a final 20 km home. Whew! A lot of history for one day!
As I soaked in a nice hot tub some eight sweaty hours after my Badger coated launch, I couldn’t help but wonder where the wheels had fallen off in the 200 years since first contact with Peguis, friend of the settlers. All that is left of the first Peguis Reserve is a dirt road leading to the old stone church where he is buried, surrounded by crumbling headstones and a few forgotten monuments. Successive waves of settlers and the new government of Canada pushed the Peguis band off prime agricultural land that was considered too good for Indians and onto reserves farther north. You may have heard of Peguis’s great-great-grandson, Sgt. Tommy Prince, Canada’s most decorated Aboriginal war veteran. Though a hero in the mold of his great-great-grandfather, like too many of our First Nations brothers and sisters he died penniless in a homeless shelter and is virtually as forgotten as Peguis himself.
Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for, but my 2012 Canada Day memory will be of Peguis and his legacy, and of a province and country sorely in need of a wellness plan. I am afraid that for too many of us ignorance is bliss.
Hello everyone! Watermelon is the perfect food to eat in summer time. After hanging with people from all over the world, I learned that watermelon can be sometimes eaten with salt or it can be seasoned many different ways. You can ask my Mexican, Indonesian, and Indian friends. I came across this salad that I am going to give it a try. You might enjoy it as well.
Watermelon Salad with Jalapeño and Lime
30 minutes or fewer
Thanks to farmers in Texas and Arizona, sweet flavor-packed watermelons are now available year-round. Black sesame seeds add a nice color contrast to this dish, but if you can’t find them, white sesame seeds work just as well.
- 3 Tbs. lime juice
- 2 Tbs. olive or avocado oil
- ⅛ tsp. lime zest
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced
- ¼ cup basil or Thai basil, cut into thin strips
- 1 tsp. black sesame seeds
- ½ tsp. sea salt
1. Whisk together lime juice, oil and lime zest. Set aside.
2. Place watermelon cubes in single layer in large shallow dish. Pour lime juice mixture over watermelon, and gently toss to combine. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Place 5 jalapeño rings each in 4 shallow serving bowls. Mound 1/2 cup watermelon in center of each bowl. Divide marinade among bowls. Sprinkle with basil, sesame seeds and salt, and serve.
I attended a workshop at the Manitoba Tourism Education Council called Managing Workplace Stress– A Survival Guide. I wanted to share some of the ideas and tips I learned with you.
We can allow stress to manage us or we can choose to manage stress. There are many different methods out there and just like the causes of stress are individual, so are the solutions. Finding the ones that work for you is a matter of trial and error. Some suggestions are listed below.
1. Think positively: the idea is to try to avoid negative thinking and over-analyzing what co-workers have said or done, as this increases your stress levels. If we allow the negative self-talk to start, it can spiral out of control.
2. Be realistic: As much as you may want to be Superman or Superwoman, you can’t be. Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish. There is no point in trying to complete a two hour task in 45 minutes.
3. Set Goals: Being realistic doesn’t mean that you should not have goals. Absolutely do so. Goals help you move from negative situations to positive situations; goals provide motivation and direction. Just remember to prioritize your goals and focus on the most important ones first. Recognize that you may need to give something up in order to achieve your goal and break large goals into smaller goals, so that they are more manageable.
4. Stop procrastinating: When you procrastinate or delay a challenging or difficult task, you increase your stress level. Instead of doing it, you think about, you stew about and you worry about it. Getting into the habit of attacking your to do list, instead of pushing it to the side, will reduce your stress level.
5. Learn to say “no”: We sometimes put additional stress on ourselves when we agree to take on more than we can handle. When someone asks you to do something, even if it is something we would like to do but simply don’t have the time for, it can be very difficult to say no. Examples:
Clarify your reason, without making excuses, for being unable to help. ” I can’t right now because I have another project that is due by 5 p.m. today.” or ” I don’t have time today, but I could schedule it in for tomorrow morning.” or “Yes, I can help you by filing this paperwork and will get that done for you tomorrow morning.”
6. Find the Funny: Humor is another great stress reliever. It has been scientifically proven that a good belly laugh lowers blood pressure, reduces hormones created by stress, gives the immune system a boost, and creates a sense of well-being and happiness.
7. Get organized: Look around. If you would rather work around your clutter than deal with it, you could be inviting more stress into your life than necessary. Eliminate clutter, set up an effective filing system, gather essential tools, and manage workflow, and you will be on your way to creating an effective, less stressful workplace.
8. Assess yourself: Sometimes we are the cause of stress in the workplace. Take a moment to honestly consider how you treat those around you. Are you in any way contributing to the stressful environment in your workplace? If you are in a supervisory/management position, are you recognizing and rewarding your team members for their efforts? Are you being overly demanding? Are you providing the training and support that they need in order to succeed? Remember, your success depends on their success.
I hope you find the suggestions useful.
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley