A Woman's Voice


JUST THE FACTS MA’AM….JUST THE FACTS by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on April 9, 2014
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MEMORY LANE

Oh my gosh!  Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers Sargeant Joe Friday played by Jack Webb on the weekly television show Dragnet.  There has to be someone out there who remembers him besides me.  That show is so old and I know I’m dating myself here, but this famous quote that has been associated with Joe Friday resonates in my life today. 

We have recently gone through an emotional situation in my family. It’s wonderful to see how much we all care and how passionate we all are about what we “think” and “feel”.  We are what I consider to be a passionate lot. I guess when you are part of one family, you have no idea how other people operate within their own families. Perhaps when it comes to someone or something we love or care about, we are all passionate and operate much the same way. I have no idea if this holds true. Only you can tell me how you or your family handles a crisis situation. I hope you do by leaving a comment. 

If there is one thing I notice in life, not only in dealing with personal problems, the closer to home the situation is, the more emotional we become and as a result, the less objective.  Whether positive or negative, emotions can cloud our vision and hamper our judgment. We need our emotions.  They make us tick and are a vital part of our human nature. However, when we are very emotional about a situation, we can let them get the better of us.

At times, it is not only necessary but better to step back and let cooler heads prevail. This can be very tough to do in any situation but in a crisis situation it is essential to make a wise and informed decision. I agree with Sargeant Friday.  Sometimes, we need “just the facts” without the emotions riding rampant.  I’m taking Sargeant Friday’s words of advice to heart.  Oftentimes, I need to be reminded to go for a walk to clear my head and deal with “just the facts”.  What about you?  

By the way, I checked that famous quote out. Joe Friday really said “All we know are the facts, ma’am”.  It kind of morphed into “Just the facts, ma’ma…just the facts” over the years. As far as I’m concerned, as long as we deal with “just the facts”, we will make much wiser decisions.  However, it doesn’t hurt to check them out as well to ensure that they actually are the facts.  

       

LOVE TRIANGLE ~ December 27, 2011 by Fred Ayotte

Posted in MEMORY LANE,WORDS OF WISDOM ~ A MAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on December 27, 2011
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MEMORY LANE 

I know many of you have heard of a love triangle where 2 people love the same person. In this situation, the two suitors usually don’t like each other at all. This happened to me during my 30’s and 40’s with my wonderful wife. 

In my late 30’s, one of my twin daughters on her thirteenth birthday, acquired a brownish-red miniature poodle named Joey. He was a very beautiful dog. However, as time went by in our house, Joey came to believe that he and my wife were the married couple and that I was in the way. 

Many times I had to set him straight. For instance, my wife always went to bed a few hours earlier than me. Joey would jump onto the bed and sleep on my side. When I came to bed later, he did not want to move. I had to physically remove him (very gently) and put him on the floor so that I could get into my side of the bed. There were many other similar occasions like this where he thought I was the third wheel in our house and I had to set him straight yet again. Needless to say I was not a big fan of his and he wanted nothing to do with me for being like this. 

Many years later, when my daughter eventually got her own place, she took Joey with her. Well, as you know, dogs do not have as long a life span as humans. In his 13th year, Joey became quite sick. After numerous trips to the vet, we knew it was just a matter of time until he would have to be put down in order to prevent him from needless suffering. 

A few days before he passed away, we were visiting at our daughter’s apartment. I was sitting on a chair and Joey came right up to me and just sat right at my feet. I reached down to pick him up and he didn’t put up a fuss like he normally did. He just sat on my lap very quietly without even trying to move or get down. 

A few days later he passed away. I know, even if no one else believes me that Joey came to me before he died so we could make amends for our relationship. In his own way he was forgiving me for my behaviour. It’s too bad, we as humans; often times can’t be anywhere near as forgiving as Joey. What a wonderful world this would be if we were.  Don’t you agree?

Thanks Fred for reminding me how precious Joey was in our lives and also for the gentle reminder of the need for forgiveness.

 

Even Guardian Angels Sometimes Need Extra Help ~ December 26, 2011 by Dorothy Griffore

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on December 26, 2011
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MEMORY LANE

5:00 am in the morning is my favorite time to sit quietly and listen for inspiration from God before I start my busy day. On this particular Tuesday morning in late fall, as I enjoyed the presence of the Lord, I heard the sound of angels’ wings – lots of angels’ wings.

Knowing I already had a guardian angel to watch over me I responded with joy and exuberance. I thanked God for the extra angels and told Him that I felt so special that He would surround me with so many angels. I knew this was going to be a special day. What surprises did God have in store for me?

Eagerly I grabbed my cup of coffee, brief case, and keys. I then headed off to work driving my husband’s truck rather than my car.  I felt uplifted and was able to maneuver in and out of traffic. Seeing a traffic light ahead and knowing I had enough time to make it through the light, I didn’t ease up on the accelerator but continued at 45 mph. As I was entering the intersection, a SUV made a left hand turn in front of me. I didn’t have time to hit the brakes but without any hesitation, I turned the wheel to the left, missed the semi next to me, swerved into oncoming traffic and continued back into my lane.

The whole incident seemed to be in slow motion. I didn’t panic. It was as though I had help avoiding the SUV. I managed to miss all of the other vehicles. It truly was divine intervention and I knew who helped me. I had my guardian angel but I also had lots of other angels helping me that morning. In the midst of the adrenaline and my heart pounding, I began to thank God for His gift that day of extra angels.  This truly was a very special day!

Thank you very much Dorothy for describing how guardian angels work in our lives.

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“Faith is the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

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Positive Attitude ~ December 22, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

MEMORY LANE

I recall going bowling in my younger years and to be honest, I do not have an athletic bone in my body.  I got the worst score possible.  It was so embarrassing!  I didn’t even realize that anyone had been watching me until after the game when this gentleman came up to me and introduced himself as a minister. 

He said something which has stuck in my mind all these years… something that I didn’t even realize I was doing.  Obviously  he could see how badly I was bowling.  It was pretty apparent but he proceeded to tell me that after every ball I threw, no matter how bad it was, I would turn around and smile at my fellow bowlers.  He then told me how wonderful he thought this was.  Wow…it was like, how could anyone smile after bowling the way I did!  I was so grateful for the compliment that I thanked him and then gave him one of my biggest smiles.  It meant the world to me that someone had given me such a fine a compliment.

That’s me in a nutshell, forever the smiley one…forever the eternal optimist.  You know the one. The one, who would be searching for a puppy if she found a pile of dung in the garage while someone else would be cursing the mess.  I would think that someone probably gave me a new puppy as a gift and I would be busy trying to find it.  There could be no other explanation!  Right?

You want to know my secret? I can usually find the bright side to just about anything. This has been my saving grace in facing the ups and downs of daily living. It has been said that “it is worth a thousand pounds a year to have the habit of looking on the bright side of things”. (Johnson)  So in other words, it is probably where some of my greatest wealth lies because in most instances this is how I choose to view life.   Choose is the key word here. In life we have many choices and our attitude usually has a huge impact on how we view life.  I guess you could always ask yourself if you see your “glass as half empty or half full”.  Your answer might give you a better understanding of what I mean.

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” (William James)

“The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose” (J. Martin Kohe) 

 

MEMORY LANE ~ Through the Eyes of a Child ~ November 30, 2011 by Lorraine Gauthier

 My Sister’s Voice

As children, with the purest of hearts we see life with wonder.  We learn to walk by crawling, standing, and falling…so similar to life as an adult. We educate ourselves by seeing, hearing and copying those we want to be like…a parent, an older sibling, or a friend.    

We all started off as children and somewhere in us, we still have the heart of that young child. I know I still do.  As an innocent child, I usually chose to do things for the absolute right reason.  

At age two, I chose to cut off my hair to look like a boy. The reason…my dad had ‘hoped’ I was a boy  because he wanted another son after my brother and three sisters were born.  I loved him and wanted to please him. I wanted to give him what I ‘thought’ was a boy, as if cutting off my hair, would do the trick. 

Years later, we had another girl born into our family. Now there were five girls. We had a small house and had to learn how to share. We were lucky to get a new chest of drawers.  This was very exciting to me because now we could each have our own drawer for our personal belongings.  However, I was worried that we, as sisters, wouldn’t recognize our own drawer.  I decided to engrave our names on each drawer so that my sisters knew which one was theirs.  Needless to say, this was not well received.  My dad was furious.  I was punished because I had damaged the new chest of drawers. 

How many times in life, even as an adult, do we have perfectly good intentions, with the purest of hearts, yet it is received differently?  I am grateful that throughout our lives we can still have the heart of a child.   

Over the years, this child’s heart will feel both joy and pain. It truly becomes our guide to how we perceive things as an adult.  Hopefully, we can continue to see the beauty in all things like we did as an innocent child! 

Thank you Lorraine! 

Lorraine holds a B.A. with a major in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg.  She  is a member of Advocis and a Life member of Million Dollar Round Table. Lorraine lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband Barry.  She works full-time as an Advisor at Sun Life Financial.

Subscriptions to my blog are FREE.  Please click on the side bar to register. Thanks ! 

 

IF I HAD A HAMMER ~ November 25, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

MEMORY LANE

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morrrrning, I’d hammer in the eeevening……don’t you just love that song?  I hope you remember it. You might, if you were born in my era. 

One morning as I was walking with my girlfriends, we started to discuss how sentimental we’ve all become.  As we age, we’ve discovered that keepsakes actually matter more to us than they did in our youth.

One friend was explaining this fact by sharing a story with us.  She said she went through a lot of work and effort to make small quilts that she gave as presents to her children or grandchildren.  After they were used for their initial purpose and as the years went by, they were eventually used in some other constructive way.  The other way she noticed was that they ended up at the bottom of the dog kennel.  By the pained expression on her face, it seemed to me that she would prefer if her children were more sentimental. She had hoped they would cherish these homemade quilts in much the same way they were created.  

I also shared a story with my friends about my hammer. In this picture, my hammer is the first on one the left. Years ago when I was a preschooler and many years after that, I used to work in the garage with my Dad.  He was a self-taught carpenter as well as a general handy man.  I loved to spend time with him in whatever way possible.  At that time, he gave me a small hammer to call my own.  Over the years, I didn’t think too much about this hammer but when I got married and left home, my Dad gave it to me.  

A couple of months ago, one of my granddaughters phoned and asked if she could spend the day with us.  Her dad was on the way out and he promptly dropped her off at our house. Grandpa was busy hanging pictures using my trusty hammer so I asked our granddaughter to hand the hammer to grandpa when he needed it.  I then explained to my six-year-old granddaughter that I used this very hammer when I was about her age.  She looked at me with that quizzical look of hers and asked “really”.   I’m sure she wondered if I was ever really that young. 

I proceeded to tell her how precious this hammer was to me because it was a gift from my father and one day I would love to give it to her but I wanted to wait until she could realize the importance of it.  I want to pass my hammer along, but as simple and as old as this gift may be, I want her to keep it and do the same.  Now isn’t that silly?  Well not “really”, at least not to me. My hammer signifies a lovely memory and a cherished part of my life.  The words that I write have much the same meaning.  My words are my hammer.  It’s why I write.  I want my words passed along down the line to all who are willing to read them.  I have a message.  My message means an awful lot to me. Does yours?  If so, please join me in song and pass your hammer along.   

Previously posted on twgauthors.blogspot.com April 26, 2010

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THE THREE FACES OF EVE ~ November 23, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

MEMORY LANE

Over fifteen years ago, due to a job change by my husband, we decided to move to a small town. It had a population of about 900 people and was situated about a two-hour drive from the large city which had been our home for most of our life. At this time, our three daughters were not yet married, although one was already on her own.  The other two, nineteen year old twins, were full-time university students still living at home. I was working full-time at a major financial institution. From my point of view, this was what I considered to be a major life style change. We found an apartment for the girls, sold our house, quit our jobs and moved to this quaint little town. We lived there for six years. 

On looking back, I don’t know how we did it. It had a huge impact on all of us. Our girls found their independence after the usual trials and tribulations. My husband settled into his job and I did the best I could to fill the void in my life. This was the first time in several years that I didn’t work outside the home. I became involved in a variety of volunteer projects in order to amuse myself and fill my now long days. 

One of the things I decided to do, was take a few painting classes. I did not have an artistic bone in my body up to this point, and I had no idea what to expect. I bought my supplies and proceeded to try to learn how to be an artist. I didn’t go to many classes, but I still persisted in painting on my own. During the six-year period in this small town, I painted numerous pictures. Once we moved back to the big city just over ten years ago, I never painted again. 

When living in Pine Falls, my husband used to tease me and say that I was one of the most prolific painters he had ever seen. During this six-year period, I probably painted thirty-five pictures.  I never sold one painting, although, a few people were gracious enough to accept the odd gift.  Most paintings were “the pits” even from my own standards but there are a few that I cherish. These are three of them. 

This first painting symbolizes a “sorrowful child”. 

 

 

 

The second  one, a “shy youth”.

 

 

The third painting of, “a wiser older woman” is what I consider myself to be today.

It has taken many years and many personal trials and tribulations to arrive at this point in my life.

I call these portraits, “The Three Faces Of Eve” because they show the distinct facets and faces of my personality and the stages I have gone through to become who I am today.  Each of us has many different facets to our personalities. I am not alone. These three distinct faces demonstrate my own personal growth. They are actually an x-ray view of me.  I have used a unique and creative way to paint a self-portrait. I have chosen to paint myself from the inside out to demonstrate my maturation process. 

We all have hidden talents. It took me a long time to realize what some of mine might be. Have you had a good look at yourself lately? Are you tapping into your creative abilities? What does your x-ray look like?  Our outside image or persona may be very different from our x-ray view. True growth is discovering whom we really are and having both the courage and the freedom to express it. This experience has been very liberating for me and one I  have learned to truly appreciate.

 

MEMORY LANE ~ Little Red Outfit ~ November 22, 2011 by Linda Briscoe

MEMORY LANE

Thirty-eight years ago almost to the day…my first born James wore this little red outfit. It was the best dressy outfit I had for him…I loved it so much on him…that I kept it along with the receiving blanket I brought him home in….

Six years later his baby brother Ian…got his picture taken in the same beautiful
little red outfit…and came home in the same little receiving blanket…

Although I knew I was not going to be having any more babies I held on to the receiving blanket…and of course the little red outfit…I loved it so much…such a beautiful red…and looked so adorable on my baby boys.

Once again the little red outfit got to be worn by a little baby boy…my little grandson Nathaniel…at around the same age his daddy wore it…

And now thirty-eight years later…I still have the little red outfit…I never could part with…and the receiving blanket that my two little babies were swaddled in to come home from the hospital.  Two of my very special little treasures from many years ago…I will hang on this little red outfit and blanket…forever…maybe another little boy
will be born who can get his picture taken in this little red outfit.

Thank you very much Linda for sharing such a cute little story with us.  🙂

 



HOPE’S BERCEUSE (lullaby), Opus 49, No.9 ~ November 17, 2011

Posted in MEMORY LANE by doloresayotte on November 17, 2011
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MEMORY LANE by Hope

 

one, two-three – one, two-three – one, two-three 

The very meter of the lullaby slows the pulse, stills the heart, silences the chatter and gives a spirit pause. Elegant in the pure simplicity of its structure, the lullaby is a universal call to calm. An invocation of serenity that when engaged transports the pieces of us that crave security and cling to comfort.  The coo of a lullaby lowers a thin veil between the unrested and the places that surround – extending its invitation to breathe slow, to breathe deep, to release. 

My earliest recollection of music is lied Wiegenlied, better known in English as Cradle Song, composed by Johannes Brahms in E flat major. Written for his good friend’s second child, Brahms’ Cradle Song is embedded in the culture of childhood. It plays in music boxes, wind-up toys, tv commercials and ring-tones. It’s covered by pop artists, performed by symphonies and chamber ensembles and  sung softly by the ones who rock a young one in their arms. 

My youngest sister was born at the time of my  life when my interest in music was evolving from hobby to passion. My first gift to her was a classical arrangement of Wiegenlied. My original intent was to arrange a vocal accompaniment but as I moved through the piece the emotion of the music transcended lyrics. The words almost muted where the nuances of the music alone were taking me. Unbeknownst to me, my awkward, untrained process for divining my interpretation of this piece was creating my premiere classical arrangement. 

Annoyed when homework and household duties called me  away from my masterpiece, I carried the arrangement in the forefront of my thoughts. I envisioned fingerings, heard harmonies and progressions in my mind’s ear and quietly hummed the melody as I moved through my tasks. 

With thoughts of my new sibling as my muse, I couldn’t wait to return to my fledging arrangement.  The more I explored the piece, the more I felt it become part of me. The rise and fall of the, one, two-three, one, two-three. The delicate tones romanced out of my instrument with the bend of each string. The elegance in the simple structure. The exploration of the fret board, phrasing and fingering all left me craving completion. 

Each touch of a string sought to express the  tenderness and the depth of love I felt for a tiny person I had yet to meet, but who had already stretched my imagination and captured my heart. With my ear as my guide and my memory as my ledger, my masterpiece came to me.  When it was done I knew it. I knew it was mine. 

Johannes Brahms’ Wiegenlied  was the first piece of music that moved from my instrument to deep inside my soul. The experience of creating that rendition for my sister altered forever my relationship with music. In the many years that preceded those few days, my music went from my instrument out to whoever would listen. On that day and with that piece, the current of my music reversed. It became the energy that fed my soul, fired my passion and defined the language of my heart. 

I don’t know why that experience was so memorable and so profound for me. Perhaps it was the first time I used my music to express a love that surpassed the bounty of words. Perhaps it was as a simple as a natural progression that comes from the combination of practice and ingenuity. Perhaps it was because it was the first time I truly wanted my music to be received as a gift. I almost dare not wonder for fear of outing a logical explanation that would forever banish the magical moment in which music moved into the eternal piece of my being. 

In my mind’s eye, I can still see my baby sister swaddled in her crib. Her knees tucked under her tiny diapered butt. Fists relaxed by her red cheeks. Her long black eyelashes  curling off her closed lids. The coiffed row of  dark curls on top of her head and her bottom lip sucking comfort as she slept.  In a darkened room, with only the light of the cracked bathroom door to cast shadows on my sister’s slumber, I performed for her, my first masterpiece. I gave her the first gift genuinely born of the piece of me that is and has remained my true self. I wonder if she remembers? I know that I will never forget. 

In kind with the simple structure of a lullaby, my hope doesn’t need flare, trills and runs to move me in profound ways. With the delicate but deliberate bend in the thoughts that define my view, hope becomes a part my magical self that will outlast my physical shell. Each step I take in cadence with hope has the potential to be an experience that, thirty years later, is still worth talking about  with passion. Each moment thoughtfully phrased in the dynamic of hope’s promise, has the potential to become a gift to give from the most genuine place in my heart. Every path journeyed that seeks or follows the whimsical voice of a hopeful imagination leads to the place of bounty that becomes etched on the list of tomorrow’s counted blessings. 

– here’s to my beautiful baby sister and the babies she now rocks in her arms at night. Lullaby to them. Good night and sleep tight until the morning shines on your little souls, another day of promise. 

– here’s to hope

Thank you so much Hope for sharing such a heart warming story. All those years ago you created a masterpiece for your baby sister and today you have created one for us. Your article is music to our ears.

 

 

MEMORY LANE ~ Spit It Out ~ November 16, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

 

I’ve already told you in a previous post that my husband is a pretty silent man. 

Just the other day, I had the sneaking suspicion that I said something to offend him. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure because we were just heading off to bed after a late night with friends, but come morning there was no doubt about it. 

By now you are probably asking yourself “how does a silent man tell you that you have offended him?”  Body language, that’s how! 

When “Silent Sam” woke up at his usual time, I had been up and at it for about three hours. He got his usual cup of coffee and sat in his rocking chair across from me.  That’s not out of the ordinary.  He gets up, gets his coffee, sits in silence and waits for me to say something to start our day.  

Something was subtlety different this morning and a less experienced eye would have missed it.  He did all the above mentioned things but in addition to these, he crossed his arms and then I knew for sure that I had offended him. 

 

I knew he had “a burr in his saddle” and I suggested he “spit it out” so that we could get on with our day. That’s exactly what he did after a little prodding from me. We, then, discussed what was bothering him and he got it off his chest. It’s best to not let things fester. It’s far better to “spit it out” and then get on with life. Life’s much too short to harbor resentment. It’s much better to clear the air and move on, don’t you think?

Hey Fred….can you hear me now?

It’s hard to believe we met when I was “Sweet 16” and now I’m “Silly 61”. You always knew I had a sense of humor but little did you know that I would be so “loud “about it.

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QUOTES AND ANECDOTES

“A true friend is one who is concerned about what we are becoming, who sees beyond the present relationship, and who cares deeply about us as a whole person.   (Gloria Gaither)

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