I’m a long-standing member of the Energetics Toastmasters of Kitchener-Waterloo, and as we were planning our holidays in the Grandview Resort in the Kawartha Lakes region, I thought, I wonder what Toastmasters clubs are in the area. A google search brought up three in the area, one at noon in Peterborough, Naturally Speaking Toastmasters, as well as two others. Not being as familiar with the area as one who lives there year round, I decided on Naturally Speaking, a club that meets in the noon hour on Tuesdays.
With the help of Tony Nelson, founder and former member of the Energetics, now a member of Lindsay and District Toastmasters, I contacted Lisa from the Peterborough club and wrote, “I’d like to attend your meeting while I’m in the area. And I’m open to take a meeting role.” Lisa replied with an invitation to speak or take another role that had not yet been filled. I chose the speaking role. Before we left home, I got an email from Brian who was to be my speech evaluator for details on my project and I sent him a message too.
My husband and I drove into Peterborough that Tuesday morning after our initial few days at our daughter and son-in-law’s location. With the help of ‘Matilda,’ our GPS, we got to Charlotte Street, parked and walked the next block to Empress Gardens where the club meets. The seniors were at lunch on our right and the Fireside Lounge to the left where we met Brian Patrick and Susan Johnston who were setting up for the meeting.
At first it seemed as though the meeting would have a small attendance that day, not unlike our own club during the summer, but they trickled in, including Heather Watson, the meeting chairperson for the day. We were early, after all.
The meeting began with welcomes and a greeting on the theme of compost. This club, at least for today, had the speaker slot early, and I was the only one. Julia Ledgard, Grammarian for this meeting, gave us the word of the day, which was ‘dirt.’ With one hour to meet, there’s no time to waste and the meeting went as planned. Heather introduced me and gave my speech title, No Such Word, and it was time for me to speak.
For those who do not know about Toastmasters, we help each other with our communication and leadership roles through evaluations and the members took time to give me some feedback on my speech, both grow and glow as we like to call them. Grow points to help speakers improve their presentations and glow for the things they did well.
Jay Schiller, an organic farmer apart from his office job, led the impromptu speaking session as Table Topics Master. His questions were challenging and the speaking time was 2 minutes each.
I thank the members who offered both appreciation and constructive feedback that I will consider the next time I give this speech again, or another similar one. I appreciated the opportunity to visit this warm and welcoming club and would do so again at another such opportunity. Although each club is made up of different individuals, I noticed the same atmosphere that we have in our own club, one that welcomes guests and makes them feel at home, and a true and helpful spirit where we work together to improve our speaking and leadership abilities.
Thank you to the members for making my husband and I feel so welcome. Best wishes to you in your personal and group goals.
Then before we headed out for lunch, we walked up the street and took some pictures of the city
Over a week ago we were in the middle of our holidays in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes area of Ontario. Being 2 1/2 hours away by car is different from flying to a far-flung island, but it was a good holiday spent with family and some time on our own as well. I’ll be spreading this holiday over several posts, so stay tuned.
We arrived at Grandview Resort on Buckhorn Lake on the 10th of July mid-afternoon, in time to relax a bit and get settled in before the supper hour.
One of our first outings was a boat ride across the lake to their favourite ice cream place, for a treat. Oops, one child’s ice cream cone hit the dirt and her Mom shared her cone. The ice cream was yummy!
And the boat ride back to the resort.
Tomorrow’s post: Lakefield Literary Festival
“How often do we fail to take-in, or even notice, the good moments of our lives?” -Renate Donnovan
The biggest headlines in the newspaper is usually about bad stuff happening to people, while the good news often takes a back seat, later in the paper. There have been instances though where a successful transplant or quadruplets overcoming the odds to survive a known problem for children in multiple birth situations make the front pages, at least in part.
I’m currently following a 30-Day Possibility Challenge with Renate Donnovan, a counselling hypnotist and coach. We’re past the half-way mark now. Each day has had a new challenge, concerning some different aspect of our lives and how we process it. Sometimes it’s as simple as doing something we like to do and enjoying the moments. That day I did some sewing on a project that I’d been looking forward to, something for my older granddaughters. Another day we thought about times when we were taking on responsibility that belonged to another. And we were to just focus on the area of responsibility that belonged to us.
Today’s challenge is about noticing “the good moments in our lives and really take them in and be aware.” So we’re focusing on something positive.
And then she asked, “So, what would have to happen for it to be possible for me to just receive and take-in the beauty around me?”
The answer to this could be simply to rethink how we process all the stimuli that comes to us in a day, over the radio waves, in the newspaper and from people around us. It doesn’t mean we shut out the entire world and all its trouble to focus on these questions, but making some time to ponder the questions and acting on them. It can mean that we allow for healing moments. It may mean acknowledging God here, too, in the beauty around us.
Today I will take some time to stand in my garden, acknowledging the beauty of creation, the simple but beautiful blooms in my yard and those around me. I will also take in the beauty of a baby’s reaction to another’s smiles, for today I will see my youngest granddaughter who’s learning about the world around her through her senses of taste, touch, sight. I’ll enjoy watching her.
It`s rainy today but my flowers in the beds around my yard still brighten the place. Here`s a peek at what`s growing strong.
gaillardia and coral bells
This past week while I was at Write Canada in Toronto, I posted my latest blog piece for Canadian Writers Who are Christian. It was a busy several days on faculty, both teaching and learning. Here’s my piece:
I’ve always admired the craftsmanship that goes into quilting, especially those quilts that look like works of art. Like the quilts auctioned off at the Mennonite Relief sale each spring. My style, up to the last quilt project, has always been hand stitching around the design elements of a fabric panel. My eldest daughter asked if I would sew a quilt for their new baby’s crib. She wanted a fairly simple design that wouldn’t take me endless hours to complete, but with colours that match the baby’s room. One day before Christmas, we went to the Creative Sisters Quilt Studio in Kitchener. A young woman named Jemcah helped us find suitable fabrics. We had a lot of fun playing with the fat quarters, arranging the colours and patterns. To read more of this post, go here. The completed quilt on baby’s bed
My husband and I were out in the garden tonight. We lifted the netting on our raised beds so I could weed around our growing plants. Here are the tomatoes and a few of the basil plants. Our grandchildren like the tiny tomatoes and so so we.
Beans and more basil and one other herb. Carrots on the right are still really tiny.
My husband was trimming around the box. You can see the top of his cap.
Man hard at work yet, trimming. He mowed yesterday then we got talking with our neighbour about driveways and drainage and such and never did get all the trimming done, so that was his job tonight. I might also mention that for those new to my blog, my husband built these beds.
How is your garden coming along?