As Life Rolls On

As a friend of mine always says, "We plan, God laughs." You never know what life will bring, but the ride can be a blast!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Dull Drums of Work

As anyone can attest, any type of work can be stressful. The line of work that I am in can be exceptionally stressful. The last two months have been more so than normal. I think I can say in all objectivity however, although it is stressful, I don't "stress out" over work very often. There are other, more mundane things in my life that stress me out, however that is a story for another blog some time in the near future.

At work, I am a firm believer in "comedy breaks" to relieve the stress, not just for myself, but for everyone that works with and around me. It just seems to lift everyone's mood, and we can all then go back to what we were doing with a "new perspective". One of the greatest compliments I have been given of late is "Joanne, I don't like it when you're away. Things aren't the same, it's too quiet and stressful." I guess my strategy works!
So, you've heard about the flying monkey, the multi coloured hairy balls, etc. So without further adieu, the much promised pictures, so everyone can see what it is all about.

Laurie, one of our Executive Assistants holding "Mookie" the Flying Monkey (yes, we can actually make him fly)

Me wearing some of my multi coloured hairy balls.

The REAL me! Queen of Everything at the Office (I even have a mug that says so!)

The "Chicken Lady" costume. There's even a "Chicken Lady" walk and "Chicken Lady" voice that goes along with it.

The Irish Queen "Chicken Lady" with her multi coloured hairy balls and flying chicken (yes Dad, that's Donna Goulding in the picture beside me).

This is "Chuckie". He hangs from the ceiling at my office door and greets people as they enter. I think Chuckie is evil though. Little things have begun to "happen" around the office. Somehow, even my flying chicken got decapitated and is hanging from Chuckie's swing......................Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Just to prove to you that I actually do get some work done sometimes.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quarter of a Century

It's hard to believe that James, our oldest son, is 25 years old today. A quarter century! (That's him with his Dad and big sister). When I was 6 months preganat with him I went into premature labour. We fought to ensure he was full term. I quit work and spent 3 months not doing very much. Well, we did it, after a full 1/2 hour at the hospital with very little labour, he was born full term, a big honkin' 9 lb, 1 oz baby boy (sorry ladies, I guess I'm lucky with labour & delivery).

James and I had a unique relationship right from the day he was born. My sisters would tell me how fussy he was when they had him. He wasn't that way for me. Then there was the time when he was about a month old where I left him with mom to go down to the church for a couple of hours. As I left the house, I said goodbye. He began to fuss, and according to mom, he fussed the whole time I was out. As I came in the door I heard him. All I did was call out "where's my baby boy" and he stopped.

James has always been my restless one. He has never wanted to be still. By the time he was 9 months old, he was not only walking, but he was running (James 9 months old in picture to the left). He has always loved to laugh and his giggle has always been infectious. Even now when he and his younger brother get together, all they have to do is look at each other, and the giggling starts. It's great.

James has always been impulsive, mischeivous, yet honest. When he was 6 years old, I was horrified to see water seeping through the ceiling in the livingroom from the upstairs bathroom. When I ran upstairs, I found James trying to mop up water on the floor. He admitted that yes, he had seen the extra role of toilet paper sitting out, but that he had wanted to see what would happen if he tried to flush the whole role instead of just bits and pieces. I laugh now, but wasn't to happy then.

James has also always been very sensitive. As a result, there have been numerous times in his life where he has been "wounded" by others. It was at these times where that unique mother son realtionship came to the fore. No words were necessary, yet the hurt was felt.

It is those experiences that have made James the magnificant young man he has become. Although still my happy wanderer (he is currently teaching english in Korea, it's been 1 year since I have seen him), he has a deep sense of social responsibility and is a man of great integrity. He has worked many summers at summer camps with kids from disenfranchised and impoverished inner city families, has worked with street youth and felt it was important that each and every one knew he saw them as a valued person.

James is intelligent and will not accept a philispohical or theological point of view simply because he is told he should. He questions, seeks answers and finds out truly why he should accept it or reject it. As a result, his personal beliefs are truly at the core of his very being. Each and every time I see him go through this process, I am put to shame as I can see that I can be complacent with my own beliefs.

James, I truly am blessed to have you as my son and a friend, and whether you know it or not, as one of my mentors. You are deeply loved. We can't wait 'til you are home again! HAPPY 25TH!

James age 4 with his older sister and little brother

Age 6 Halloween

Something he was very good at and loved doing.........PLAYING HOCKEY. Oh, the many verrrrrrrrry early mornings sitting in verrrrrrrrrrrrry cold rinks.

High School Prom Age 18

James, Jason & I in Banff

"JIM" teacher with other teachers in Korea

I miss you James!!!!!