It’s Mother’s Day, Give Generously!

  • Be generous to mom

    Be Generous to Mom Today

    Be generous with:

  • time,
  • attention,
  • food,
  • drinks,
  • flowers,
  • phone calls,
  • visits,
  • chocolates,
  • hugs,
  • kisses,
  • and gratitude!

Make Today the Most Amazing Mother’s Day Ever!!!

photo credit: <a href=””>fabíola lourenço</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Philanthropy For Lunch

The winners of Brett Wilson’s Vancouver Lunch Contest, do not need introductions to Brett, all ten of us recognize him instantly from The Dragon’s Den tv show, as he arrives at The Cibo Trattoria on Feb 28, 2014, wearing an animated Robert Graham designer shirt, accompanied by his lovely daughter.

Cibo Trattoria

Cibo Trattoria

He sits at the head of the table, entertaining us with anecdotes from his life, and sprinkles in highlights from the business conference he attended in L.A. the previous day. His enthusiasm energizes our eclectic group, in the stylish secluded room of the restaurant.

In his book, Redefining Success, Still Making Mistakes, Brett shares his story, and at Cibo, he invites us to share our stories, and gives us his full attention when we speak. The stories of our journeys go deep at times, and include “laughter and tears”, as Brett said.

Brett responds with a generous helping of wisdom, gleaned from years of experience working in the stratosphere of the Canadian investment banking scene, his role on The Dragon’s Den, and from his experiences with his family.

Sharing our stories is a cathartic release of emotion that bonds the group, despite our varied ages, genders, and professions.

It quickly establishes a rapport, which creates common ground between twelve people that were previously strangers.

Brett conducts the tempo of the luncheon like an expert, guiding the ensemble, as we enjoy a delicious lunch and friendship, and chat like a big family.

I feel grateful to be here, aware that tables for Brett’s fundraisers, like the one he organized under the sails at Canada Place in Vancouver go for $25,000.00 each, and high profile stars, like Gene Simmons from KISS, and wife Shannon Tweed are in attendance.

Ann with Brett Wilson

Ann with Brett Wilson

The lunch meeting was orchestrated so smoothly, as if Brett has been conducting luncheons his whole life. Witnessing that level of leadership will take me a while to process.

Before we head home to our various cities and communities, he autographs our books, and poses for pictures with us.

As I walk over to Richards Street, I try to figure out the meaning of the lunch for me, and the ingredient that bonded the lunch guests together.

As I walk in front of The Holy Rosary Cathedral on Richards Street, I have an epiphany.

The French Gothic style heritage building reveals the meaining of the luncheon.

art on Canadian stamp

Guido Nincheri art on Canadian stamp 1997 Holy Rosary Cathedral

This was my Mom’s church in the 1990’s, and when they needed a new roof, she donated $5,000.00 to the roof fund, which was a large sum for her.

Aha! It was about philanthropy. He did not preach to the congregation, he connected us, informed and entertained us, rewarded us with lunch, and empowered us to go change the world, by stepping up and spreading the seeds of philanthropy in the community.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing” – Albert Schweitzer

I had never realized that my mom was my original philanthropy mentor, when she took me on The Mother’s March as a child to raise money for the charity. Or, when I saw her giving bus fare to every hitchhiker she saw, so they would take a bus instead of getting in a car with a stranger. Sometimes small acts can change the course of someone’s life.

She gave either her time, or her talent, or her treasure, the three t’s, to express her gratitude for the gifts she was given.

To her, philanthropy would have seemed like a big word to describe it , but it takes a big heart to “love all of mankind”. I think she would have called it caring for others, or in a word ‘love’.

Copy this link to Read My Review of Brett’s book:

photo by Clayton
photo of Cibo by Ann

10 Reasons Why I Should Adopt Justin Bieber

10 Reasons Why I should Adopt Justin Bieber

Time to step back and gain perspective?

1. He needs a family to live with. My husband and I have been married for 31 years and we have three well-adjusted sons close to his age.

2. He will gain some perspective on his life if he lives at our house. He spent his adolescence performing, rehearsing, living out of a suitcase, and making more money than he could handle. By stepping back from the music industry, he will see that people around him don’t recognize he is heading for burnout, as his self-destructive behaviour indicates.

3. Our house rules are simple – have fun without hurting yourself or others, and obey the law. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation, and call a taxi, or walk home, so you don’t injure yourself and others.

4. He can sing and jam in our home recording studio. His three new brothers need a good lead singer for their rock band, and they can do the recording and mix and produce the songs. They can also make electronic dance music for his dance moves. Afterwards, they can have some spaghetti. Eating fast food while on tour makes your body tired.

5. We will remind him to treat people with respect if he forgets.

6. His adoptive dad will lead by example, and won’t confuse him by participating in bad boy behavior with him. You have many friends to party with, but only one dad to guide you.

7. He will be free to go shopping at the local shopping mall, without paparazzi sitting on his car so he can’t leave the parking lot safely.

8. He can get back into playing hockey when he’s living in Canada with his adoptive brothers. He can go with them when they rent the ice, play drop-in hockey, or throw the net in the back of the truck and have a scrimmage on a local frozen pond. One of them is even a goalie! He can have some fun with his peers before he is back working from dawn to dusk on a fifty city tour on five continents.

9. There are lots of good addiction treatment centres nearby us, and TMZ doesn’t have to know which one he signs into.

10. His mom loves him and wants him to be happy.

photo credit: jaredpolin via photopin cc

Short Order Hockey Gear/Dinner Combo

Hockey stick becomes a guitar whenever a goal is scored

Hockey stick becomes a guitar whenever a goal is scored

When my three sons were born in less than four years, I was thrown out of my selfish orbit into a world where children’s needs ruled. Many new tasks came along with the children, but many joys too, so I rose to the occasion, and juggled opposing tasks with good humor. The reward for opening up my personal world to others is that I felt like part of something larger than myself.

Another change was I gave up striving for perfection. Three perfect beings were born into my life – formed in nature, and beautiful exactly as they were, on loan to me in trust by divinity. How could I expect perfection in my human endeavours that could rival this?

Short Order Hockey Gear/Dinner Combo

It was a feat to complete all the tasks, and some tasks were yin and others were yang. One adverse pairing was preparing dinner and evil smelling hockey gear simultaneously. And, it came with a critical warning:DON’T mix up the two.

With three hockey players in the house, and multiple games per week, the short order hockey gear combo was a regular on the menu; washing and drying the sweaty gear by game time, and making dinner for five. When I only found out about the game an hour before it started, I was thrown into action.

With “The Flight of The Bumblebee” playing in my head, I zigzagged from washing machine to stove while my husband and sons watched computers and tvs. Their offers of help were refused, as hallways and doorways between kitchen and laundry room needed to be clear of obstructions for what was about to go down.

First, I boiled the potatoes, tore down the stairs, and placed the funky smelling hockey gear in the washer with long-armed tongs. Next, I pulled the soaking gear out of the washer – the water from the “water wicking” fabric gear wicks onto my socks, and the agitator cover that came out with the gear was tethered to it by Velcro leg straps. I replaced the part, but had no time or energy to untangle the gear, so I threw the whole clump in the dryer with a mental note to get it out before it melted.

I ran back upstairs in squishy socks to turn off the stove so the spuds didn’t turn into hockey pucks, then back to the dryer to get the jersey out before it was liquefied. The odor of the hockey bags assaulted my olfactory sense as if I was in the locker room at the rink, and I retaliated with a bottle of cinnamon Febreze sprayed fire extinguisher-style on the bags. Once I changed my socks and scrubbed the biohazard off my hands, we sat down to eat; the family oblivious to the aforementioned back stage activities.

You are “momified” if the impossible has been achieved – the food isn’t noticeably burnt, the jerseys are out of the dryer before they melt, and everything smells yummy!
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