We Bought at House part 2 ~ The Beginning

Book. House. Dog.

These were my goals and intentions I shared with the universe last year. I know when you say, thinking, share something, the universe hears you. You ask… you wait… you receive. It’s not that simple though. There is something else that has to be done between the law of attraction. It’s the work you need to put into the goals and passions. It would be so easy to say I want to write and publish a book and have a manuscript handed to you, then have it published with Random House with no questions asked. Could you image? I can, but even with the universe taking care of us, I have to do some work. And it’s not even working to me. When I sit down to write I’m in the flow of my true self. The creative being I was made to be.

 

I had been working on self-publishing my first memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers. I was consumed by all the things involved with self-publishing. It was the first few days of September and I was two weeks away from pressing the submit button on Amazon, Kindle publishing. I left the gym one morning and said, ‘Okay universe, I’m ready. Book. House. Dog.’ I wrote it down, I said it over and over again to myself. I shared it with my hubby, Adam and he agreed. The dog would come later, we had to find the house first. Adam looked for properties for our families to view for us. I should share that we had been looking for a house on and off for over a year and a half. We thought we would move back to Nova Scotia, then PEI, then back to Nova Scotia. We were not being clear with our intentions. I knew this was one reason why the house may not be showing up. We sent my family to view properties, we viewed houses when we went home to visit. Our actions showed the universe that we were serious about this move. It is an interesting adventure to house hunt when you are across the country. You try to take the opinion of your family with a grain of salt, but also with great value because both of our parents have gone through the house hunting adventure. They had the experience of what to look for and the questions to ask. We are so grateful for their love and support.

When we decided on New Brunswick and then more specifically, Fredericton, because it is a capital city, not that was the deciding factor, we thought it would be easier to find employment in a busy city. Once we agreed on the area, things started to happen. I had self-published my book and neck-deep in with promotions and trying to keep on top of social media and working my full-time job at the hotel. My in-laws were in New Brunswick going to viewings for us. There were a lot of houses that were not right for what we had in mind. We needed at least two to five acres of land to start the small farm that Adam had been doing so much research on. His vision was clear, and that made it easy when he looked at houses. He was very specific with his parents on what we wanted and they happily went to look at the houses and property for us. At the end of September, there was one house that we all agreed on. It had six acres of land; newly renovated; and only ten minutes from downtown Fredericton, I could see us living there. We put an offer in and it didn‘t work out because of another couple out-bid us. For some reason, I felt crushed. I knew this happened. I watched enough HGTV and heard stories from friends who lost out on bidding wars. But I was still hurt and wondered if this move was ever going to happen? Adam was feeling frustrated as well. We used to things moving quickly when we decided on a move. When we met in Edmonton sixteen years ago, Adam told me he planned on moving to Victoria to pursue his golfing passion. Within six months we driving to Tofino, BC (5 hours from Victoria), because we accepted positions at the Wickininish Inn, Relais & Chateau resort. We took the opportunity to get us to where we were going. That’s another story.

Adam shared he would wait until the Spring to start looking again. We needed a break. But the universe had something else in mind. Adam was on the phone with his mother and he happened to be looking at properties for what may have been the last time until the Spring. He saw a house that had been on the market for two days. He sent the link to his mother; they looked at it together (I was at work) and within a few hours; they had an appointment to look at our house. My in-laws went to view the house, called Adam and said this is the one. Adam called our realtor to put in an offer. We sat in our home in Victoria at 6:00 pm and it is 10:00 pm in New Brunswick and talked with our realtor as she talked to the owners. We put in an offer. The owners came back with another number; we asked if that included the snow blower and ride-on mower; they said unfortunately not they needed it for their new home. We came back with another offer with a condition of keeping the split wood for the woodstove they said yes; we said yes. I felt sick and excited in one breath. I couldn’t believe it, I mean I did believe it, but it was surreal that within forty-eight hours we were going to wait on our goals and then the house appeared and we were right back on track. Thank you universe!

Next time, I will share the bumps and scrapes that we took during the purchase of the house. It’s hard to do business with a four hour time difference. Thank you for being here with me and sharing this joyous adventure.

Until Next Time, Keep On Typing…

 

 

 

 

We Bought a House!

Firstly, I have to express my undying gratitude to the universe that has provided me with exactly what was needed to get me to this very moment. Every time I have been presented an opportunity I said Yes. My journey started when I was 19. I moved across the country for a job that I didn’t know anything about except that I would be working on top of a mountain at a luxury hotel and resort. That moment opened a door that I was ready to run through. Hospitality has always been there for me. Each hotel welcomed me with open arms and provided me with a lifetime of experiences. Those experiences have started to be shared in my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers. I am deeply blessed and proud of myself for following through with my dreams of writing and publishing a book. Now I get to work on the next memoir. How great is that?!

But there comes a time for a change. I’m not talking about changing the dress I wear every Wednesday to work (usually the black dress with the navy blue blazer). I’m talking about a huge life change. I’m talking about buying a house across the country and leaving a life that my hubby and I built for over fifteen years on Vancouver Island. A life that I will miss. Tears are welling up because I was sitting with my good friend at the cafe where we meet every Sunday morning to drink coffee, talk about writing and write. This part of my life I will desperately miss. The writing community that I have come to love will be 5377 kilometers away. I know everyone is a Skype chat away, but the void of seeing my friend every Sunday morning is real.

Now, what about this said house and move you ask? What will I be doing? When is this said move happening? What new adventures will come our way? Great questions.

Our hearts have been calling us to return home for some time. I’m from Nova Scotia and my hubby is from New Brunswick. Though I thought I would be moving back to Nova Scotia one day, and hey, it may happen, but you have to start somewhere. I am ecstatic to be moving to our home in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Our plan is to be on the road for the 55-hour drive across the country by the end of August/the first week of September. Our goal is to be back by September 10th to volunteer for the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. We love music and want to be part of this annual festival that will be home for us.

The House…

 

It is the house that I have been manifesting for over twenty years, even before I met my hubby. It’s a version of my grandparent Berry’s farm in Ontario. They had this amazing farm with this house that I have dreams about. When I was younger playing in their house, I would think how much fun it would be to have a home like theirs. Running around the large yard, picking peas from the garden, sitting on the veranda with my grandmother rocking in our rocking chairs. I wanted my own rocking chair on a patio one day. As I got older and thought about the farmhouse, I dreamed more of the places I would write in the house, the kind of stories I would write. I saw myself writing in one of the bedrooms overlooking the grounds onto the garden. I have manifested my writing room for a long time. The version I have now is truly amazing. The new space in our house will be lovely and it will provide me with what is needed to continue my creative life. Thank you universe.

When I walked in to view the house after we bought it, I took a deep breath and sighed out with joy. ‘This is home’. While we were on vacation, we stayed in our home and I have to tell you, I was home. I wandered the backyard and help start our soon to be garden. I watched my hubby use the ride on lawnmower for the first time, but it looked like he had been on the mower all his life. I had deja-vu several times while in the house, this means that I am on the right path. I have lived this life before and I am now catching up to it.

I will share more about how it felt to buy our first home in the upcoming posts. How hospitality plays in all of this and how I shared the news with my friends, family, and work. I would love to hear about your house hunting/buying adventures. I was pretty stressed, it’s the most expensive purchase we ever made as a couple. The whole process showed me more about myself than I was expecting. It was an experience and I wouldn’t change one moment of it.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

A Day of Inspiration

I am currently on vacation and though my intentions were to write (and I have, morning pages every day and a few minutes here and there), I have been enjoying my holidays and soaking in all the experiences that are filling up my creative well. At the moment I am sitting with my family and they are watching a baseball game. I’ll take this time to share a few of my favorite quotes that help me back to the page.

I love Anne Patchlet. I love the image of writing my way to another life. Every time I sit down and write, I am getting closer to my goals and inspirations as a writer.
Exactly. You’re either all in or not.

I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes my characters chatter away until I sit down and start writing their conversations down. Then their stories unfold and I’m in the flow of the pure awareness of creativity.

Whatever you do, seek magic every day. I love this quote because it reminds me that being alive is magical. Every day there are new adventures and magical moments to embrace and share.

What are your quotes? I would love to read some of your favorite quotes.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Do you like to travel? Where is your favorite place to go for rest and relaxation? Is it somewhere sunny and warm, like Mexico or Maui? Or do you like to explore new places and the weather is not a priority for your travel plans?

For me, I love traveling to new destinations to experience what our big beautiful earth has to offer. I also like to return to places I’ve enjoyed, much like Maui. We have been to the small tropical island twice and I honestly would live there if I were able to. I seriously have envisioned living there, I can see our large open concept kitchen where I can create healthy recipes that fit our flexitarian lifestyle.
On a side note: What is a flexitarian? We are 85% plant-based, but we do enjoy fish and once or twice a year we will have red meat, but only if we know where the protein has come from. We have been growing our own sprouts and leafy greens – it feels so good knowing where our food is coming from.


I also love to return to my roots, to the east coast of Canada. Nova Scotia. I was born and grew up in Halifax, NS, but my heart longs for the South Shore of Atlantic Canada. Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Chester Basin area. There is something about small town living that makes me smile from ear to ear.


I am currently traveling to New Brunswick, where my husband is originally from. I haven’t explored the province as much as I wanted in the past. When I was growing up in Nova Scotia, my family would take trips to New Brunswick. Our country is so vast and there are so many hidden treasures to explore. I hope to find a few local favorites to experience the heart of the Capital City of NB. I’m looking forward to the Fredericton farmers market and Play House. trails If you are living in the Fredericton area or have traveled to the Capital city, do you have any suggestions for us to check out?

Last, I am a big staycation advocate. Where we live now in Victoria, BC, I find more and more people who live on Vancouver Island are taking trips all over the island. They are staying on the island, lessening the carbon footprint of traveling but still exploring their very own backyards. I love touring around my neighborhood on my days off. Any extra days off I may take, we will go on a mini road trip to somewhere we haven’t been or visit a favorite hike or beach. It’s important to take the time to rest, relax and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit.

Where is your favourite place to travel or visit in your hometown? Why? What makes you smile ear to ear when traveling? I love hearing from you.

Thank you for spending time with me. Hope to see you soon.

To learn more about me, my writing and my next memoir about working for luxury hotels and resorts, please sign up for my Newsletter ~ Thank you

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

What’s The Exchange Rate?

Working at the front desk at a hotel can be rewarding. It also can be an interesting adventure/challenge. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I transferred from the food and beverage department to the rooms division department (front desk/operations). I thought the front desk just checked in and out guests from the hotel. When I worked for the luxury hotel in Lake Louise, Alberta, I wasn’t as privy to the front desk as I am now. I knew what the bellmen did; I watched them a lot on my days off when I walked to the Lake to get away from the staff accommodations. It was hard living with the same people you worked with day after day. Sometimes I needed a break from my good friends or we wouldn’t have remained friends.

When I watched the front desk agents at the luxury hotel in Lake Louise, I didn’t envy their position. The girls at the desk always had a big smile across their faces, nodding in agreements with the guests in front of them. There seemed to be a lot of fake laughter in the air as guests told stories to the front desk agents. It was very similar to the phony giggles of the dining room servers as they listened to the same questions from guests inquiring if we painted the bottom of the Lake to make it that color of blue. At least I could hide behind the kitchen doors to roll my eyes, complain about the guests or listen to a quick story from the chefs while I waited to pick up food. The front desk agents were stuck behind the desk with a line of guests waiting to either check in or out of the hotel, ask a question, make a complaint, or just strike up a conversation. Guests stop by the front desk to share their experiences. It’s hard to walk away from a guest when they start talking about their lost luggage, what they had for dinner, where they are visiting from, the weather where they are from and my favorite their opinion on how the room should be set up or what TV channels should be offered.

 

In my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, I have shared some interesting guest interactions. It is hard to surprise me these days. I have seen and heard a lot of let’s say, self-drama/dumb ass conversations with guests. When I say dumb-ass, I mean it in the nicest possible way. I wonder if people leave their common sense at home when they go on vacation? Maybe you can relate to a story from my memoir.

RECENTLY, at the hotel where I now work, I had a similar crazy
conversation about US currency. A woman handed me a $20 US
bill and asked for change. I said she would be getting Canadian
currency back.
She turned up her nose. “What am I going to do with that?”
I asked her what she wanted the change for.
“For tips and to buy a soda at 7-Eleven.”
My response was, “You can do the same, and if you have any
left over, you can exchange it at the bank.”
She scrunched her nose more and peered closely at my
name tag.
 Sis: Go right ahead, lady, you won’t be the last person to
try to remember her name.
 Marion Ann: Looking at our name tags doesn’t intimidate
me anymore.
 Sis: Especially when they can’t even say your name.
 Marion Ann: Exactly.
A few minutes later, her daughter joined her and shared the
same fact about the currency exchange, thank you. The mother was
not impressed. Seriously? It’s 2018.

 

I have been working at a front desk in some capacity for over fifteen years. A mix of luxury and independent hotels are highlighted on my resume and though they may be a different property and location, the concept of working at the front desk is similar. As a manager, my role has changed. I still deal with guests, mostly when they want to “speak with a manager”. I help check guests in and out of the hotel, I offer suggestions to local attractions and dining experiences. I offer an ear when guests need someone to talk to or get away from their traveling companions. My job is not a job, it is a way of life. I am here to be of service to others and working in the hospitality business happens to be my way of being of service. Today at this moment this is my truth. Thank you for being here with me today. Wishing a great day!

To learn more about me, my writing and my next memoir about working for luxury hotels and resorts, please sign up for my Newsletter ~ Thank you

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

Dreams Do Come True

day·dream

a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present.
synonyms: reverie, trance, fantasy, vision, fancy, hallucination, musing, brown study, imagining;

I am on cloud nine. It’s amazing when a dream has come true. When all your energy goes into a passion and one day that passion comes alive. As I writer I have many goals and dreams. When one of the goals/dreams/manifests comes to fruition I am so grateful. When I was younger and telling everyone I wanted to be a writer, I had visions of where my book(s) would be for everyone to read. One of the places was in the library. When I lived in Halifax, NS, I would spend a lot of my time at the Halifax Central Library located on Spring Garden Road. I would daydream that my books would be on the shelves to be available for anyone to read. At the time I was all about writing, my imagination was running wild with stories. I couldn’t wait to share them with the world.

Thirty Years Later…

I’m living in Victoria, BC, where I still spend a lot of time at the Greater Victoria Public Library. There is something about a library that ground me to my true self. The stillness of the library is comforting. I met a friend through serendipitous events and she found out about a new program at the library, the Emerging Local Authors Collection, featuring self-published, independent and small press books by local authors. At the time I was working on my debut memoir and I vowed to myself that I would be part of this great program in the following years. When I self-published my book, one of the first many goals was to get my book accepted to the Emerging Local Author Collection. In December 2018, I submitted my memoir to the selection committee and was accepted. I was ecstatic! My dreams were coming true.

On May 4, 2019, the launch of the 2019 Emerging Local Authors Collection showcased over 100 authors and artists. I was with my partner, Adam, a good friend and Award-Winning, Historical Romance Author, Jacqui Nelson, who also has a book in the collection. Another good friend who has helped me with my writing life and her mom (who I know as “mom” as well) was at the event to say congratulations. I was at an event to celebrate fellow authors and my dream to have my book on the shelf at the Library. Can I get a ‘booyah!’

My imagination still is on high-speed, however, I am working on balancing my writing life. The writing of a story is what I crave. So many fun stories have come my way and I need to finish their stories. Creativity has chosen me to work through, it’s my job to get the words on the page and set them free for the world to read. The business side as an indie-author can get in the way of the writing sometimes. It’s good to make clear goals and have a balance. For example, today I will be writing for a few hours, then my hubby and I are going out to the garden to harvest spinach and enjoy some time together. Then I will come back to the writing before we prepare dinner.

I want to thank the Greater Victoria Public Library for this amazing opportunity to be part of the Emerging Local Authors Collection. I love the library and I hope you will have some time to stop by the local author’s collection shelves.

Until Next Time, Keep On Typing…

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

Time for a little fun. I have written about working in hotels and my passion for cooking this month. By the end of the alphabet, I’m searching for words to relate to my themes. My plan was to use Zealous for my last blog on how many people who work in the hospitality business have a zealous personality. I know my true introvert self has been put aside many of times to get through a few nights of serving guests. However,  I have used zealous two years ago during the blogging challenge. So I thought I would go with something completely different.

Disney has the best songs and sayings to explain what we may not be able to explain in one word. In 1946, Disney’s movie, Song of the South, shared the song, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, sung by James Basket. The film won an academy award and best original song.  What does Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah mean? Press play to find out.

Thank you for being here with me this month during the Blogging Through A to Z Challenge 2019. It has been fun and I’m ready to get back to working on my next memoir about how I survived working for the luxury hotel in Lake Louise during the winter months and everything else in between. For more about my first memoir, head to Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

Y is for Yelling (to not to please)

Yell
verb
gerund or present participle: yelling give a loud, sharp cry.
“you heard me yelling at her”
synonyms: cry out, call out, call at the top of one’s voice

There are times and places to call out at someone. For example, maybe when you’re walking and see someone you know and they are a few feet away. “Sue, hey Sue.” to gain Sue’s attention is an acceptable use getting someone’s attention. To yell at someone who is in the personal space zone is not acceptable. Yelling to be heard is not becoming. It causes stress and negative energy. The person yelling and the person being yelled at are in some kind of struggle and someone is coming out with bruises that they did not start off their day with.

Working in the hospitality business has given me a backbone. I tell my team that I am like a duck. As a manager, I tell the team that they are not getting paid to be yelled at. I am. That’s right. If a guest is yelling at one of my employees, I’m usually within earshot and I’m out at the front desk to step in and the words fall onto my shoulders and fall away like rain on a ducks’ back. I don’t take on the energy of the person yelling. I am listening to see how I can help them. I am keeping the negative words and the impact those words have away from my team. No one needs to be yelled at for something out of anyone’s control. Yet, some people don’t see it that way. Some people think just because they are on the other side of the front desk or sitting at a table in a servers section they have the right to point fingers and yell at the employee about whatever their issue is. Examples of things guests have yelled at me:

  • You ruined our wedding! The Elk chased my father-in-law and sister – the day is ruined. You should put the animals away. (I kid you not – this happened. The bride was so mad that we didn’t have the consideration to put away the Elk for their special day.
  • You have ruined my daughter’s wedding! (It was raining that day – I didn’t know what to say – this was when I first started out as a manager. I was more shocked that someone was blaming me for the weather than being yelled at).
  • You ruined my morning – I didn’t get my newspaper (There is no delivery for newspapers on Sunday’s for the local paper. The gust did not want to hear this because he didn’t care what day it was. They demanded a discount on the room for the lack of amenities offered.)
  • I want a king bed, I booked a king bed and if I don’t get a king bed you’ll hear about it. I’ll write a review that will ruin you. (Guest booked on a third-party site that states the bed type is based on request and availability. What did I say? I showed them their confirmation letter showing the information. The guest didn’t like this and yelled some more how I was ruining their stay and they needed a king bed. I apologized and shared we were sold out for the first night, but the rest of their stay there was a king bed available to move to if they would like to move. The guest decided to stay in the room with two queen beds for their two-night stay.)

 

I’ve been yelled at by guests over the years and each time I learn a little more about human interaction. I understand why the guest feels like they need to yell. They want to be heard. But when you are yelling at the front desk with other guests around, you are causing a scene. I see you as being irrational and there is no need for the behavior. Other guests feel the same way. I have watched guests roll their eyes when another guest is yelling. I hear, “I’m sorry you had to deal with that person.” and it is appreciated to know the majority of guests see service employees as human beings, not just someone who is checking them in or out of the hotel.

What’s worse than someone yelling? Someone who talks down to you. I was working at a resort in Jasper. Every two years a private group bought out the resort for their employees. I was working in the lounge and serving a few guests and one of the guests asked for a type of whiskey we did not have. He whispered, “I’m paying your wage this week, get me that whiskey.” I told him I would have my manager speak with the organizer to see if they could accommodate his request. The next day the organizer apologized for the other guest’s behavior. Thank you, but I would have liked the guest to have apologized, but at the time I was happy to acknowledge that someone’s behavior was not acceptable and they were called out on their bluntness and treating someone poorly.

Thank you for stopping by and reading some of our experiences in the hotel-life this month. It’s been fun to write and share these memories and experiences. To receive more fun and interesting stories about my next memoir about surviving the winter months working for a luxury hotel in the Canadian Rockies, please sign up for my Newsletter. You will receive a free gift of gratitude. Thank you.

Until Tomorrow, Keep on Typing…

X is for Xigua (A.K.A Watermelon)

It can be a bit challenging when it comes to words beginning with X. It’s interesting to learn the original names of fruits that I didn’t know until I started to do more researching for this year’s blog challenge. I love a good piece of watermelon. Holding it with both my hands and biting into for that sweet taste and juicy mess running down my chin. It takes me back to when I was a young girl on my grandmother’s farm. Pure bliss.

Xigua, the watermelon comes from the Citrullus lanatus, a plant species, a vine-like flowering plant originating in West Africa. Besides the sweet taste of the watermelon, it is also good for you and packed full of health benefits.

  • Watermelon has a lot of Vitamin A & C – 1 cup is your daily intake. Eating one cup of watermelon is pretty easy when it’s cut up into cubes and so easy to munch on.
  • Definitely keeps you hydrated with it being 92% made of water. Keeps you hydrated feeling full – a great combination!
  • Helps with heart health – will help with keeping blood pressure down with the number of amino acids being consumed when eating watermelon.
  • Helps with muscle stress – put some watermelon in your post-workout to help with recovery time.

I know I have been sharing a recipe with each food item. The watermelon is simply great on its own, maybe some cottage cheese on the side or put in your smoothie to shake things up. When watermelon is in the season I will cut it up and take to work for a mid-afternoon snack. What is your favorite way to enjoy watermelon recipe?

Until Tomorrow, Keep on Typing…

W is for White Water Rafting

Working in the Canadian Rockies was not all business. Working for a luxury hotel on top of a mountain was all business but with a lot of fun. Some days it didn’t feel like work at all. But other days felt like the day would never end and I would look forward to spending time away from the hotel and the guests.

 

When I had days off I would join friends to explore the beautiful areas of Banff and Jasper National Parks. One of my favorite activities was white water rafting. My first two summers I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity offered to employees. I was too busy working, hiking and pursuing my summer love interests. Sometimes I treated my summer job like I was in a version of Dirty Dancing, except Patrick Swayze was replaced with cute servers with a drug and alcohol problem. For some reason I was drawn to the guy I thought I could fix. Well, that’s another story…

Rafting and white water rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water.

There are different levels or classes of the roughness of water for the many white water rafting companies out there. The one company I went within Jasper was a class three plus on the Fraser River. We started our trip near the base of Mt. Robson and let the turbulent waters of the mighty Fraser take us on a journey along the wicked river as we got soaked each rapid and falls that we deliberately went through. It was a blast!

Living in the Canadian Rockies provided a lot of unique experiences. Now living on Vancouver Island I am grateful for all the new experiences, like whale watching from both boat and sea plane. Seeing a whale from five thousand feet above is very cool, but seeing a grey breach only a few feet away is pretty spectacular. It is truly amazing what our earth has created. Rivers to raft down and beautiful species to witness in their habitat. One word. Grateful.

Until Tomorrow, Keep on Typing…