Thursday, December 23, 2010

All fired up…

Jazz songstress Ella Fitzgerald, among others,  recorded Steam Heat, written by Jerry Ross and Richard of the lyrics is “they told me to throw more coal in the boiler”. Here it is December 23rd and already I’m fired up for the coming year.
My business coach has encouraged and inspired me to “up my targets” of accomplishment and set my sights higher.. When others appear to be running out of steam it’s exciting that, on a snapping cold but sunny morning in Muskoka, I’m sizzling with anticipation!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don’t be a humbugger…..

When grocery stores and retailers start broadcasting carols over the sound system right after Hallowe’en or Thanksgiving it can feel insistent. Feeling ho-ho-ho and jolly is a bit of a stretch sometimes.

When you’re retrieving boxes of bells, baubles and tinsel from the attic or garage, dust off some Cheer at the same time. In modern-day hustle bustle even the most harried people find snippets of pleasure and little surprise in the most unexpected circumstances. Spread some goodwill next time you’re in a lineup for coffee – pay for the person behind you!

A Random Act of Kindness is a small gesture that will make you feel like humming!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Blue Fairy….
My growing-up years included the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, a “Secret Admirer”, other anonymous donors of surprises, and my favourite Auntie. Whenever she came to visit, upon departure she would take my hand in her gloved-one, place a 25-cent piece on my palm, and then fold my fingers over the money,  with a little pat-pat; and the words “buy yourself a little treat”. The memory will always be dear.

How often have we heard - at  funerals for example -  the surprise stories of gift-giving by that certain person to someone who had need. Family members are often astonished at such revelations – “We never knew that!”, they exclaim. 

If you’re a Blue Fairy in secret it’s a lovely way to touch someone who needs help. Keep flitting here and there!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Relieving the Burden...

It’s been said that if everyone had the opportunity to set down our hobo bag of troubles into a mutual pile, and then were invited to choose any one from the pile – we would instinctively choose our own; because that’s what we are most familiar with.

To relieve the burden of troubles it feels important to turn our attention outward rather than inward. Dwelling on what’s not right won’t make things better – sometimes diverting our attention to something or someone other than ourselves makes it easier to put things in perspective.

If someone you see looks sad, dejected or is upset, the simple act of giving a smile, however small, will make you both feel better.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Mixing Business With Pleasure

One of my Musings from Muskoka several months ago was a post about Tits ‘n Teeth.

As the Christmas holiday season approaches we should remind ourselves of the becoming and unbecoming incidents which can occur when colleagues fraternize after hours.

The real estate brokerage whom I represent holds a daytime lunch one year and an evening dinner/dance on alternate years.  It seems that when partygoers venture onto the “thin ice” of propriety they can easily crack though. 

Unless you don’t care about your reputation, the laws of probability, or water-cooler gossip;  don’t guzzle the wine or liquor, don’t wear too provocative attire, and don’t dance too close with anyone except the person you came with. Temptation can surprise you when you least expect it.

Think smart, keep safe, and be sure you’ll be able to look in the mirror the next morning without regret!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

                                                       Pacific Oysters

Several years ago my husband and I travelled the Inside Passage of British Columbia on the B.C.Ferries system. At Port Hardy we had a “splurge” dinner at a lovely restaurant. Not being really hungry that night, I thought I’d order 2 small appetizers instead of an entrĂ©e.

Pacific Oysters was my choice. They arrived – a total of 6 pieces. Each resembled a grey looking boiled egg – just firm enough to hold its shape but not more than that. And these weren’t teensey-weensey sizes either - I was sure they were too big to just gulp down with a chaser! So I didn’t.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

                                          Be Engaging

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, or so it’s been said; but in this busy workaday world other engagements are welcome as well. For example, even in a frenzied atmosphere you can sense, when speaking with someone on the telephone, that they are interested in what you’re saying, and quite possibly interesting as well! 

Telephone etiquette is almost a lost art when everyone is moving at breakneck speed, however, it’s important to remember that the voice at the other end of the line is a real person, so be engaging.

You might just make their day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sunday Service
I try to take one day a week to have a little downtime with my family. The secret is to pencil in that personal time on the calendar, like an appointment that’s booked ahead. Sundays start with a little sleep-in later, read the morning paper, have two mugs of coffee and pad around in my slippers . The volume on my cellphone is often turned down too.  

 My real estate business though is client-based, and sometimes there is room for exceptions. One Buyer client is a roads construction foreman, and her hours of work are crazy too. So when this gal called today wanting an appointment to view, I gladly provided Sunday service.

It was her one day off too!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

                   The Need For Speed
Some activities are best accomplished with more care and consideration than others. 

In Muskoka many of our sideroads are the only route to  four-lane highways.  Someone was in a big hurry the other day and struck a small white cat that may have darted out from the bushes. The car did not stop, but the cat did. Forever.  

In retrospect, it could be that the driver was just not thinking about  the possibility of either wildlife or a domestic pet suddenly appearing….too late for evasive action.

Real estate transactions should be conducted with caution as well, the need for speed sometimes reflects eagerness…too late for evasive action.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

 What's With This? Hmmmm.                                    

Sometimes, regardless of our profession, we work with clients with our eyes wide shut – full of good intentions, sensitivity, and providing the very best service in good faith. 

Then, one little flick of an eyebrow and  intuition kicks in. “What’s with this?”  Even when we’ve given our trust, some recipients don’t take the high road, especially if things haven’t gone their way. 

Keep our peepers open! Like a good recipe, we should probably add a pinch of awareness to the mix, just in case what you see is not what you get.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let’s Talk Turkey

At this specific  time of year  when people often congregate for a traditional dinner, the ‘f’ word is seldom overheard.  Plenty of hello(s) and “how are yas”…please(s) and thank-yous..excuse me…oops!...yummy…m-m-m good, etc punctuate conversations everywhere.

The ‘f’ word is Fortunate – and when we thank our host and hostess, whomever they may be ,  take a moment to feel gratitude and fully appreciate – the ‘f’ word.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goosebumps Galore

While on floor duty recently at the office, I received a telephone enquiry about one of my listings – from a lady in Montreal. She and hubby were coming to Muskoka within a few days and wanted an appointment to view. In conversation, she had 2 other properties in mind, and had already called the respective listing agents. One had not responded yet and the other was on vacation; and not available.

“Third time lucky” for the couple and me – we were grade school classmates in a small community exactly 50 years ago! Our one-day outing was a mix of appointments, real estate information, and discussion – peppered with gaiety, a peak at the school yearbook, and a sense of amazement that our paths had crossed again after so long.

Thanks Diana and Don for an unforgettable day!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I saw a photograph in the daily paper of ballerina’s feet, and much of the same pain and affliction is suffered from male ballet dancers. I never realized that when “on-pointe” the entire weight of the body is on three toes! Bunions, corns and other unattractive conditions are common – and an everyday habit practiced by many is to “ice the feet” – by plunging those pedal extremities into a bucket of freezing water – sometimes knee deep.

Salespeople beware – if you look at your own feet and see tooth marks, ice your feet! Remember that inserting foot in mouth causes irreversible damage – the progress of which can only be controlled by fewer acts of speaking before thinking. Engage the brain before making sounds – icing the feet is simply a band-aid fix for a more serious dilemma.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peer Pressure

I read a newspaper article awhile ago about when two people, let’s say husband and wife for example; are both in the same kind of business. When one accelerates and excels, the partner is honestly proud and supportive, but underneath those emotions are little niggling pointed thoughts – maybe envy, resentment or just plain irritation. The example in the article was former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Hilary, who was then a Senator.

I participated in an office hockey pool this year, just 20 people. Last year I got whumped, this year I won! But curiously, although it is just for fun, some of my colleagues are not really all that gleeful or even amused.

“Dark horse wins hockey pool” – even if you don’t always have a lot of experience; think of yourself on the race track – when it’s heavy slugging, the track is wet and you can’t seem to get up any speed, keep on putting those hooves down.

Friday, September 3, 2010

To hose or not to hose?

I recently read an article in the daily newspaper about the fact the women do not wear panty-hose anymore. What do they wear? I have heard of products called Spanx, also different styles of hosiery such as knee-hi’s and thigh-highs…Pfft! My legs feel like fat sausages enclosed in a too-tight casing – they overflow at the top of knee-hi’s and make a nasty bulge. Plus a mark where the circulation is affected. And thigh-highs I remember were appealing in the days of garterbelts and other such harnessing. But those were days of yore.

When pantyhose were introduced in, I think, the 1970’s I actually had my picture photographed at a hosiery display – looking as if I actually knew what I was doing there. Pantyhose are warm in winter and do hide a multitude of sins – even in summer if the occasion calls for some sense of propriety. Even liquid products to even out the inconsistencies of appearance won’t do much for the “very close” veins and other uglies.

So, is it to hose or not to hose?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crocs 'N Other Footwear

Ah – ‘tis the season of pretty feet.(Or not so. ) I’ve read that men are also concerned about the appearance of their peds when shoes are cast off. Makes sense – besides, hard calluses wreak havoc on both people and linens. Pretty feet make you feel pretty – I even tried an electric yellow last year while on holidays – sensational! At least that was my opinion.

This Summer I’m wearing a mule-style of Croc sandal – and the colours are varied. Celery & white, seafoam and white, khaki and white, black/white. And there are shades of caramel on brown and brown on brown for the end of Summer. They’re comfy and fun. ( Available at some Becker Shoes outlets.) It’s not that I actually have a shoe fetish – I just have tired feet that want to look presentable, and feel happy.

That’s not saying that I might still teeter around for a few select moments in my 4-inch orange patent leather lady shoes – nothing like a glam-queen stepping out with trepidation. Maybe I’ll just sit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Hats!

My 15th wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of August. The wedding day was grand, and so was my hat. A lacy,loopey and very feminine straw affair which Mom decorated with bits of floral accessories to match my silk lavender suit. Which I can’t get into anymore. Pfft!

Many ladies had millinery skills and I remember Mother creating several snappy toppers. She was a looker! Nowadays, except at Ascot in England and maybe the Queen’s Plate horseraces - one seldom sees a lady in a summer hat. Talk about the perfect opportunity, with large sunglasses, to feel nearly incognito.

Last Summer I went to a Victorian Tea at the Muskoka Lakes Museum in Port Carling. The day was hot as Hades – but everyone who attended was in keeping with the theme, and the hats were grand! Hats are dreamy and flirty – yes, we can still dream, ladies! I’ve got my eye on a large-brimmed black and white hat and matching bag – very swank – all I need is an “occasion” to get dolled up for. And regardless of the face underneath the brim, hats make people’s heads turn.

Go for it! Hat fans unite!