Friday, January 22, 2010

Shake it Off

We had such horrific winds here and many, many branches broke off the trees. So, on the first day that we were without power, we did a lot of clean up work.

We picked up at least 10 loads of debris with the tractor and that was just on our circle driveway. We burned them all the same day.

The winds blew the rotten top off the huge tree by the viewpoint bench; just missed landing on the bench.

This past week I was reminded of a parable about a farmer who owned an old donkey who fell into his well. When the farmer assessed the situation he decided that neither the old donkey nor the old well were worth the trouble of saving. So, he called his neighbors to give him a hand and together they hauled dirt to fill in the well, bury the donkey and put him out of his misery.

At first the old donkey was hysterical and thought, “Why are they trying to bury me alive?” But as they continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck him. Every time a shovel full of dirt landed on his back, he would SHAKE IT OFF!

So that is what he did. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up." This he repeated to encourage himself. He didn’t like the dirt being thrown at him, but he fought off the feeling of panic and just kept SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP! It was not long before the old donkey, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall and walked out of the well.

The very thing that the donkey thought would bury him, actually blessed him!

I’m feeling a lot like that donkey lately. Nothing has gone like we thought it should and the dirt keeps coming while our escape to Tucson continues to elude us. Our transition to change banks, change stock brokers and trading systems and change internet service providers has not gone smoothly. Our expectations were that this could all be accomplished in a few weeks. But with Christmas holidays that ran an extra week for some… and with internet services that didn’t happen fast enough… with power outages that shut down life as we know it, our schedule to leave to go south keeps getting pushed back again and again.

Our last power outage was pretty significant. With winds of up to 120 km per hour, lots of large trees fell across the road, bringing down power lines… the South Gulf Islands were hit pretty hard. Most problems in the past get fixed in 6 to 12 hours. This time it took 36 hours. Over 150,000 people in our area were without power for a day or more. We called BC Hydro every 4 hours to see when they expected we would have power back on. When we passed the first day I decided to go to Victoria to get online. I needed to access the web to finish setting things up before we could feel good about leaving.

Then when I got home and the power was back on I expected the intenet to work. But our new internet service provider was still having problems keeping power on at their transmitter located atop Bruce Mountain on Salt Spring Island. So even though we have power, the internet service has been really a big dissapointment. So, where is the blessing in this adversity? When is the donkey going to get out of the well? It may not be for a while that we can look back and see the good in this situation.

So for the second day in a row we went to Victoria, this time to get a Telus wireless Sierra stick to access the intenet from anywhere. And this little gizmo works pretty slick. It was pretty cool to surf the internet on the laptop on the ferry!

Hello Huston, we have countdown to liftoff! Sunday morning we are going to point the car to Tucson and head on out of here. Maybe the internet will be fixed by the time we get back in two months.

We are looking forward to celebrating a late Christmas with Shelby and family. I made a couple of things for the grand daughters, but only the Crayola Truck passed the Lee Valley quality test and didn't end up in the kindling box.

IBD’s 10 Secrets to Success

Investor’s Business Daily has spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life. Most have 10 traits that, when combined, can turn dreams into reality.

1. HOW YOU THINK IS EVERTHING: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

2. DECIDE UPON YOUR TRUE DREAMS AND GOALS: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

3. TAKE ACTION: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. Just do it.

4. NEVER STOP LEARNING: Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

5. BE PERSISTENT AND WORK HARD: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

6. LEARN TO ANALYZE DETAILS: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

7. FOCUS YOUR TIME AND MONEY: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

8. DON’T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE; BE DIFFERENT: To follow the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

9. DEAL AND COMMUNICATE WITH PROPLE EFFECTIVELY: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

10. BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE; TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Otherwise, numbers 1-9 won’t matter.
From IBD p. A3 January 22, 2010

You can get a free 4-week trial subscription to the Investor’s Business Daily, which has been my best “new find” in 2010. If you are interested in learning about investing in the stock market, give this great resource a try. Take the free online courses... they are truly awesome, even if you were to throw away the rest of the newspaper! But silly me, I love pretty much the whole thing. Their stock research tools are really awesome. The only problem is that there just is not enough hours in the day to read it all, check out all the tools and features, and still do all the other things I know I should do.

"The minute you get away from fundamentals... whether it's proper technique, work ethic or mental preparatioin... the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever your're doing." -Michael Jordan

The sunrise this morning, peaking thru the low cloud was really unusal.

In my morning reading from Desire of Ages a comparison was made between the Pharisees and Jesus. The Pharisees worshipped in grand display of their righteousness and argued loud and long over little details in the law.

In marked contrast... "The Sun of Righteousness did not burst upon the world in splendor, to dazzle the senses with His glory." He was more like the sun coming up in the morning... "Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the shadow of darkness and waking the earth to life." -DA p. 262

If you have any good quotes that you would like to share with me, I encourage you to pass them along.

"As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another."

-Proverbs 27:17

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