Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Grandmother

Those who knew my Grandmother would appreciate this picture. She didn't always smile for the camera and wasn't big on spontaneous displays of affection. She was fairly old school and held true to the traditional English values of the WASP. I once said to her "Grandma I don't think I'll ever meet someone and get married" and she responded with "Maybe you won't. It's not all it's cracked up to be you know." Not exactly cuddly material. But then 6 months later I received the most beautiful knit blanket she laboured over- because I happened to mention in passing how much I would like one. She was there when it mattered and you could always count on her to do what was right and fair.

Easily some of my best memories growing up were the summers I spent in New Brunswick at her house in Moncton. My grandparents would take us to the beach, strawberry picking, blueberry picking, send us to tennis lessons and sailing. We had ice cream for dessert every night and she would cart us all around the Maritimes to see plays in PEI and the sand dunes in Bouctouche. She would sit patiently as we put on plays or dances or lip syncs and even though there was Church every Sunday morning, there was also cards every Friday night.

And the memories continued to build as we became adults, though the relationship shifted slightly. She was still proper but there was an easier stream of communication as she would confide in me things she wouldn't have when I was younger. (mostly making fun of her husbands relatives!)

She left behind a legacy of 5 children (plus 4 in-laws), 8 grandchildren (plus two in-laws) and 2 great grandchildren. We are a part of her and she is a part of us. And we will not forget her.

Helen J. Mitton 1924-2011.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Managing the country debt is childs play!

It's very easy for people to complain about how this country (applicable to US and Canada) is run: how our tax dollars are spent, how to avoid debt, decisions the government should or shouldn't make.
I was listening to NPR this morning (believe it or not!) and heard about a game called "Budget Hero" where one can go and actually build the 'blueprint for our Nation's future'. You can decide where our tax dollars go (defense, schools, etc) and see the implications to the overall budget- do we go bust in 20 years or do you manage to solve the debt crisis?
It's supposed to be based on real time dollars, what our interest rates are actually at etc... I wonder how closely the government would pay attention to this game if someone actually played and "won"???

Check it out here: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/budget_hero/

or just go to budgethero.org

Monday, July 04, 2011

Perceptions & misperceptions & interpretations with Communications

In this world where we our primary means of communication (talking either face to face or over the phone) is being taken over by the written word (email or text) there is an upswing in miscommunication & misinterpretation.

Too often people will ascribe feelings/moods/tone and temper to a note that is completely inaccurate- based upon their own mood/tone/temper or feeling. I know emoticons exist to alleviate some of this... but you can only have so many happy smiley faces before you think- surely give me some credit and I'll give you the same that you have to know I'm joking as I write this.

And at the end of the day- there is no tone in an email. Yes there is context and there is background, but too often people will LEAP to conclusions about the intent behind words (usually to a negative place) without actually giving the writer the benefit of the doubt.

Why don't people automatically jump to a good conclusion (innocent before proven guilty?) instead of just assuming the worst?!?!

Tres FRUSTRATING!!!!! : ( grrrrr...