Monday, January 19, 2009

Kiva what? Kiva good!

A great friend of mine gave me the best Chistmas Gift this year! She gave me some Kiva Credit. Say what?? I'm sure you're wondering, so I'll tell you. She introduced me to which is an organization that allows regular people like you and me to lend money to an entrepreneur who lives in a developing country. This money is then used to purchase something to help the entrepreneur get out of poverty. Cool. My friend generously gave me $25 to lend to a Kiva entrepreneur and I chose a group of pig farmers from Cambodia. The money enabled them to buy more little piggies and during 2009 they'll pay back the money. So far the farmers have already made a repayment of $2.07 less than a month since I did the loan. This money can then be re-donated or withdrawn.

There are so many entrepreneurs on the site from around the world looking for that extra little bit of help to get them beyond poverty and to a life of health and happiness and for a very small amount of money you can help too! You can view all of the entrepreneur profiles on the website and then select the one you want to donate to. Just this week more than a million dollars has been donated to help. Isn't it great that there's people on the planet who come up with such cool and innovative ways to do their part to help make the world a better place? Thank you Kiva! And thanks to my friend who so kindly did her part too. Such a great gift of kindness.

If you're curious to know how your online donation gets to the entrepreneur, just watch this video called "A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan" created by a Kiva volunteer.

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan from Kieran Ball on Vimeo.

True Love! I love this story.

Back when I worked in radio and did a morning show, I had the opportunity to interview the founder of an animal sanctuary in the States about an elephant named Tina who used to live at the Vancouver Game Farm (now the Greater Vancouver Zoo). Tina had been transferred to the Elephant Sanctuary at Hohenwald, Tenn. and we were finding out about how Tina was doing. It was so cool to find out about how they transferred her (in a semi!) and how she was settling in nicely with the other elephants. It was a great place for Tina to go to live out her later elephant years. Sadly, Tina has since died. BUT! There's another great story coming from the Elephant Sanctuary and this time it's about an 8700 pound elephant and a dog who form a wonderful friendship. Check out this video from CBS News called the Animal Odd's so nice. It made me cry. I just love this story. Makes me have hope for our world and makes me happy...and isn't that what life (and this blog) is all about?! Enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Weird Language We speak.....

English. A fairly common language around the world and I believe it's one of the easier languages to learn but it's an odd one. Have you ever noticed that one word can mean two completely different things? When reading, I've been confused sometimes because I mix up the intended meaning with the other meaning. For example.....check out this sentence.....

"The bandage was wound around the wound."

See what I mean? Wound and wound, the same word, but with totally different meaning in the above sentence. Kinda makes one laugh. Also kinda makes your brain hurt a bit too, but in a fun way. To read some other examples click here.


Oh and because it's so close to Christmas I thought this was a good example....

"Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present."

Awesome! A triple doozy!! ....I wonder if doozy is in the English dictionary??

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Run for the Cure for my sister!

Wow, I certainly haven't been very good about blogging very often but hey, such is life. I'm back though and excited about a very important event I'm taking part in tomorrow called the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. As you likely have guessed it's an event in support of breast cancer patients and in the fight against the horrible disease. You may or may not know that my sister is currently fighting breast cancer so although this topic has been of concern for many years, it particularly became important to my family this year.

My sister was diagnosed back in February after finding a lump in her breast last December. She's just 32 and doctors really didn't think the lump was anything bad as she's so young. But, sadly, it was breast cancer and an aggressive form of it at that. She's since undergone multiple surgeries and two rounds of chemo but the cancer is still there. The doctors are really trying to save her breast but they might have to do a mastectomy at some point. Once the surgeries are done she'll start radiation and also has an every 3-week treatment of the needle kind for the next year. Ick.

Surprisingly, she remains very positive and wow is she strong. She really just wants to get healthy and past this awful disease so she can live normally once again. We pray that that will happen.

So, tomorrow I'm lacing up and walking in the 5km Run for the Cure and over the past month I've been collecting pledges from very kind family and friends. The money goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in the fight to find a cure against breast cancer. I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me and others who are participating, and if you'd like to make a donation you can do so at my personal donation page on the Run for the Cure site.

I'm hopeful we'll see the day when there's a cure for breast cancer and together I think we can reach that goal. Thank you for your support!! My sister thanks you too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Seeked and Peaked!

Yesterday I took part in a breast cancer fundraiser called Seek the Peak! It's a 16km race from Ambleside Beach (oceanside) up the mountain side to the very Peak of Grouse Mountain. Most people do the race individually and most people run the race. I on the other hand chose to do the race as a relay (4-person team and each does one leg of the race) and no, we didn't run. We walked. Our team was called "3 Girls & A Guy". Me, Jen, Christie and Mike. Mike's the guy just in case you weren't sure. haha. Mike (a guy I work with) was also our ringer, as one leg of the race is a gruelling almost vertical 3km mountainside stair after stair hike. Not fun in my books but Mike does 'The Grind" all the time, so he was our Grinder. Us 3 girls....we were the 'elite' walkers. No, we didn't win any podium prizes but we had a great time. Turns out us 3 girls decided to do 3 of the 4 legs of the race, minus The Grind portion, and we had a great time! We walked 13kms in total and rode the skyride for the 3kms of the grind portion and all 4 of us completed the race together after doing the final leg all together. It was so fun! Next year we hope to do the entire 16kms, yes, including the Grind portion, so we'll have to get training asap! It felt really good to be outdoors, getting some fresh air, exercise, having good conversation with friends, seeing some grizzly bears along the way (yes they were in a fenced habitat -see photo below) and, most importantly, knowing we were doing a good thing: raising money for the fight against breast cancer! I thought of my sister a lot during the event and it made every step easier and easier. I'm happy to say I seeked and successfully peaked!

Thank you to everyone who supported me with this adventure both emotionally and also with your donation to Rethink Breast Cancer. If you'd like to make a donation or find out more about this charity click here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love my dog!

I love my dog! I don't know what I'd do without him. He's my boy Ted. And oddly enough I still love him even when he forces me to clean up things no person should ever have to do. Yeah, last night was interesting but I still love him today. Ok, how do I go about this in a decent way. Ummm, I don't think I can so here's the scoop...on the poop!

So last night my brother stayed over on my couch and in the middle of the night my hubby could smell this awful stink coming from the living room. We both get up and tip toe in the dark and realize it's a really awful smell and there was no doubt, that was a doggie poo smell. Ugh! Now our boy Ted is trained to go outside but in this case he obviously couldn't hold it. Why? Well, it wasn't a regular poo. This was the diarrhea sort. Yeah, gross!! He must have been embarrassed about it because he let loose at the far end of the room, right behind the couch where my brother was sleeping and here's Mike and I tippy toeing around in the dark with flashlights trying to find it but not wake my brother. Oh and boy did we find it....all over the floor in a big puddle. GROSS!

A few weeks back Teddy was sick from the other end of the doggie body and Mike spent an hour in the middle of the night cleaning that mess, so, sadly it was my turn. Luckily we'd replenished the paper towel from that last yucky situation and ended up using an entire roll of paper towel to clean up this mess. And the whole time Mike is whispering "Oh!" "Aw!" "Ew!" "Gross!" and I'm like "Shut up! Hearing you grunt and groan doesn't make the clean up process for me any easier!" Yeah, talk about disgusting. Ok, I won't go into detail as I'm sure you can imagine. But, through all the noise and the flashlights and the odd carpet cleaning mechanism's buzzing sound, my brother didn't wake up. Probably a good thing. But the weirdest part is that he didn't wake up from the smell, which was truly disgusting! I was dry-heaving the whole time. Luckily I have a box of Lush bath bombs and anyone who knows that smell, knows it's strong, and so now, that box is sitting near 'the spot' to try to mask the smell. Fortunately the carpet cleaner removed the stain but the smell is still lingering. So now my house smells like a rancid bath bomb. I love my dog. Aren't you glad you read my blog today? Isn't life interesting sometimes!?

And hey, if you have a dog I'm sure you've been there. If you have any home remedies for getting rid of that stench I'd love to hear them!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Procrastinator Extraordinaire

I am a procrastinator extraordinaire! Hence the lack of blog posts in the past month and a half. Oops. Life got in the way. Didn't really feel like it. Wasn't sure what to talk about. Oh and I blame my hubby for the procrastinator'ness. He's the king of procrastination and he knows it. But anyways, I'm here now, thanks to my friend Gregg (he's a blogger too) for kicking my behind and getting my butt onto the couch to do this. Wouldn't one normally want to kick their pal's butt OFF the couch? But it's for a good cause. Ok so I'm rambling....procrastinating again perhaps? haha. Ok what to write about.

I asked my brother and he said write about how you're hanging with your brother. Well, it's true. I'm hanging with my brother. He's visiting from Victoria cause our sister is starting her second bout of chemo tomorrow on his birthday so we thought it would be a good time to all get together in the cancer ward for a celebration. Odd, I know. But, it's in times like these that you want your family to be together, so cancer or no cancer we're going to have a birthday party at the hospital. We might even give him the royal bumps! Now that would put a smile on the patients I'm sure.

Neither my brother nor I have attended one of our sister's chemo appointments as of yet. She had 2 months worth earlier this year so we didn't think we'd ever have to attend once that round was over, but unfortunately the chemo didn't work so the doctors are on to plan B. Kinda scary when you have to go to plan B when fighting cancer. So now, attending the chemo appointment with her seems all that much more important. I have to admit, selfishly, I'm not looking forward to it. But such is life. For her though, I will put a smile on my face and do my best to be strong and there for her. Meanwhile, I'm hanging with my brother and discussing life. A life we hope to share with our sister for many years to come.