Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Truth of the Matter is

I can't blog when my heart hurts. My heart has hurt a lot lately. The last six months of 2008 were not great. Don't get me wrong, they had some great moments - Hunter had his first day of kindergarten, Julia explored the potty (something she has decidely become less interested in recently)and there were just some lovely and funny moments that I should have shared to preserve the memory (like you wouldn't believe some of the stuff Hunter picks up at school!). Overall, I have been feeling like I'm mostly hanging on by my nails and pushing, pushing, pushing through. And, I don't really want to write about that stuff. I want to write about things that make people smile - things that will make me smile in a few months when I decide to read over my blog entries. And so I wait. And hope that I'm not getting way too rusty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I Wish Weekends Were Longer

Snowmen, Snowshoing, Sunday dinner, baking, snuggling, running, movies, etc., etc., you get the idea.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Exactly is it that You Do Here?

A former colleague is a speechwriter and a blogger. One of his blog entries takes you through exactly what being a speachwriter entails (I would link it if I could find it but unfortunately I can't at the moment). Anyway, that entry made me want to capture what exactly it is that I do.

It was a while ago and it had slipped from my mind until I came across this. This is a view of a Premiers' conference (well this one is of a First Ministers' Conference but it sounds about the same) from someone in the media. She captures well the sense of hurry up and wait that takes place at these conferences. It captures well what it feels like to be beyond the barricade (and closer to the magical door) because it's really not that different.

They wait for texts that the Premiers are coming out and ready to scrum. We wait for emails seeking information or briefing notes. We wait for emails that give some sense of what exactly is going on in that room so we can begin to write (or more accurately) edit the communiqué that intends to frame the outcomes for the media and public servants. For both of us comfortable shoes are important because along with the waiting there is a lot of running. For us it's running to bring notes and materials, and to make sure information makes it where it needs to be. For them, it's apparently because they may need to run across snowy areas to get a good quote/picture (the observations, however, seem to be about the same).

I'm sure it differs significantly in the preparation, though. For us, there are weeks or months (if we're lucky) examining the province's interests, building coalitions with other governments to advance or defend those interests, and working internally to get information from the technical experts so that we can boil it down into a note that someone who doesn't spend their days worrying entirely about highways or employment insurance or building codes can easily understand and articulate.

When the meetings are well-executed, we have many conference calls and documents shared among the jurisdictions and come to a common understanding of the issues (or at least one we can all agree to). We come up with agreed-to outcomes to put before the Premiers (we defend our jurisdiction's interests and try to negotiate common understandings). We wait while they meet and tell us what to change about the agreed-to outcomes (because they always change even if only a bit). Wait, wait, wait.

This year, we are hosting one of these meetings so my next few months will be consumed with supporting negotiations on the agenda, then it will be back to the outcomes and so on and so on. And then, when that's done, I'm going to take a nice long vacation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


One of my favourite bloggers shut her blog down on New Year's eve. I was sad to see it go, but I definitely appreciated her ability to let it go with dignity. I've been thinking about my final blog entry for probably a year now - I'm going to call it jumping off. While I don't feel like a blogger anymore, I'm not quite ready to let it go. I'd like it to go out on a high note, but for that to happen I'm going to have to start writing again. That means taking some time and thinking about a decent post to write or else not being afraid to write down the mundane until I feel inspired. Either way this is my restart post. And if I find I don't write a reasonable number of posts over the next month (a number I've yet to define), I'm going to write my Jumping off post.

Now, onto the mundane...
- today was day one of the weekly cafeteriapalooza (lunch on a tray) date with my work colleagues - we picked the Sears cafeteria. They had liver and onions, turkey dinners (with the ice cream scoops of potatoes and stuffing), jello with cool whip and various other cafeteria goodies. I had a burger and it was delicious (yes this is my nobody cares what you had for lunch post).
- my New Years resolution was consume less do more and we've already purchased a new couch and chair. I'm not saying we didn't need them, just that it seems a bit like we're starting off on the wrong foot. On the other hand - we went snow shoeing and sliding as a family last weekend so maybe it's a tiny bit balanced (or maybe I'm a tiny bit rationalizing).
- tomorrow it's going to be warm and that means we can have a fabulous outdoor weekend (starting Saturday at noon because I'm taking another graduate class on Saturday mornings like a sucker).
- I started doing yoga again, I had forgotten how much I loved it. I'm determined that starting yoga again will not mean that running and swimming go. Not that running hasn't been on a pretty serious hiatus for a while now (with the exception of a couple of short runs over the Christmas break)
- I'm bored with the internet and I. didn't. even. know. that. was. possible.
- And, I'm so in love with my family right now I really feel like work is intruding (even though I'm pretty content with my job at the moment). I think both are related to having a nice, long Christmas vacation.

Anyway, I will write again soon in a more coherent-type manner (maybe).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday Pictures

Outside Lights

Gingerbread House

Holiday Train

Tree Decorating

Christmas Concert

Checking Out the Lights


Loot (up to and including Christmas Day)