Each day, something to ponder – Notes To Ponder, simply a post a day – something to think about, talk about, learn more about.

For over two years the above sentences stood alone on my “About” page. Hardly fair in hindsight.

Who I am is easy – a 54 year old woman living in Vancouver B.C. Married over 30 years, kids, dog, house – the usual stuff.  Work finds me in the place I’ve been most of my life – Hospitality.  Years ago one of my kids dubbed me the ” MOST”  (master of small talk), an accurate designation that’s served me well, be it my years in hotel Food and Beverage Management, or my current position with a major catering company making fabulous parties happen.

What I am is harder to define. All I can say for sure is I believe all people are equal. I don’t believe in God nor do I believe it makes the slightest difference. I judge people by actions rather than faith or political affiliation. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the after-life but care a whole lot about how we spend our time on Earth. I’m passionate about space weather and ancient history – believe in “civilization lost” but not lost civilizations tinkered with by aliens. That said, I don’t believe we’re alone in the universe, and am certain proof of the fourth dimension is only a matter of time.

This blog was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter 2 years ago. Prior to that I hadn’t written more than a postcard in 30 years. Since then, I’ve posted well over 600 times. I don’t care about follows, likes or stats – every word I put down is from the heart – a true reflection of how I feel.


76 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: About | Paywindow7

  2. Stumbled on this blog yesterday and it is now on my list of things to do each day. Also inspired me to start my own blog. Keep up the good writing here.

  3. I read your poem, “Regret”–it would not allow me to leave my comment:This is simply beautiful…your soul speaks eloquently…thank you for referring me to it and sharing with me…these lines reflect what I have felt so many times, and especially last night:”… I cried because I would never know what may have been if only I had found my voice sooner. All the things unsaid, questions unanswered, opportunities missed.” Thank you!!

  4. I’m just checking in. How are things going with the new Android? If I can be of any help, please let me know! I know how frustrating it is getting started…

    • You hit the nail on the head, frustration has her hitting a wall.One of the problems is she’s never had an android phone and hasn’t used a computer in 5 years.I live in Vancouver and she’s a 1000 miles away in Battleford Saskatchewan, but I know if I just flew out there and spent a few days with her she would be fine. I’m extremely busy at work for the rest of the summer but plan a trip at the beginning of Sept. to help her out.

      • Here are a couple tips that probably will help. If I family member who lives near your mother Would switch to an Android phone just like the one that she has, That person would be able to help with the ins and outs of the menus.
        Next, An Android does nothing like a PC or laptop. Its better! Android does not have any of those confusing windows to open and close. A personalized Android does not have any programs or data in it that you don’t want. After using a PC it is natural to treat the Android like a PC… Which make something very simple Like an Android More complicated than it is.
        For example if you want to look at your email, you just push the email icon and there it is. Once in the email, You must start selecting buttons to make it complicated! 🙂 So doing the important task of reading your email or sending an email is actually very very easy.
        I guess, what I’m trying to say is, Smartphones are so popular because All of the complications associated with PC’s and laptops Doesn’t exist. It is a paradigm shift that had me frustrated for weeks! Virtual Assistant app is a good thing in the beginning, Because then all you have to do is click on the virtual assistant… Speak the stock phrases ( Commands) And you are able to call people, text people, email people & search the web. The one I started with was called Jeannie But there are better ones. The nice thing about the virtual assistant is that it gets the person to using the phone & Getting familiar with it. This small success makes you want to do more and more and more! 🙂
        If you would like to email me directly, please feel free to do so @ buffalotompeabody@gmail.com
        Please, tell your mother I said… Don’t give up! she can do this! I was so frustrated in the beginning I wanted to fill the bathtub with water and drown my android. :-)… At least a dozen times per day!

  5. thanks so much for stopping by and following! and thanks to Bob for connecting us! i can’t wait to breeze through your blog! it seems very interesting and full of good stuff…
    although my life is crazy (lol) and i am not a daily blogger, i do try as often as possible to put something up…as Bob knows, i’m new at this stuff and i only post if i have something to say/share, good or not lol…
    but many thanks for your kind words, so glad we connected!! have a great day! 😉

  6. I took a quick look at your blog (thanks for the like and comment on mine), and I definitely like what I see. We seem to have a lot of similar interests. Definitely following you!

      • Hey — we’re all busy, I understand… The last few weeks have been strange in our world and I’ve been filling time until we do something different. 🙂

        I remember your comments about being befuddled about The Donald and I have to say that this guy hits the nail on the head about Donald — at least as I see the situation. He appeals to the angry, helpless, frustrated voter. No matter how bad he is, he’s an alternate choice who hasn’t been proven by 50 years experience to be bought by other interests in the SAME WAY that politicians are.

    • Last Thursday, after 11 days in cardiac intensive care I got the call Tom was being release from the hospital. He’s home recovering so to speak. Surgery is looming but when is anyone’s guess. We’ll know more after his visit to the doctor tomorrow. That said, he’s home, in good spirits, off work for a few months and inexplicably taken to making soup. Big hug for your good thoughts and positive energy. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  7. I haven’t even had time to delve into your posts but I like you already – lol! Just retired from 49 years in hospitality – hotel operations; sales/marketing; and 8 years of association/third party meeting planning. I escaped! Except now I’m doing my passion of wedding coordination and independent meeting planning – at my pace, for my chosen clients.

    Excited to spend time perusing your thoughts – sounds like we may have a lot in common. From the last comment, hoping your Hubs has continued on his road back to health!

    • 49 years in hospitality! Wowza! Hospitality is a unique profession, at training sessions during my Hilton years I always began with “no profession rivals hospitality in determining what you’re made of. ” – and I meant every word! Today – happily free of stuffy corporate hotel rigidity and going on 8 years as an event manager for a major catering company. Off site catering is a trip in itself. Few people grasp the magnitude of transporting, executing, tearing down and loading out a quarter million dollar wedding in a farmers field, serving a 1,000 person plated dinner in a airplane hanger or transforming a community hall into Wonderland for a bride dressed as Alice and Mad Hatter groom. Sigh. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the follow. By what name should I call you? Your intro is quite interesting especially where you mentioned about God but in the same breath you said you don’t believe in any. And you still believe in some form of life out there in the universe beyond our planet earth. I’d love to read more on these two subjects if you have written previously through some links. Truly appreciate that. 🙂

  9. Hi Valerie,

    I just discovered your blog, and I have to say it’s quite phenomenal. What an outstanding body of work you have created over the years. The breadth of topics you cover, and the depths into which you explore them… You’re creating a rare and delightful experience.

    I want to tell you about my own project, and humbly invite you to be involved. I’m creating a digital magazine focusing on sustainability and equality. Several writers from around the world are already contributing articles on various topics.

    If you would consider contributing a piece, whether something from your archives or something original, something long or short, I would be incredibly grateful. I’d gladly work with you to satisfy any concerns or requirements; it would mean a lot to me simply to be able to consider you a contributor.

    My very basic landing page is at http://www.unsustainablemagazine.com

    And you can email me at brett.stadelmann@unsustainablemagazine.com

    Thanks for your time, and thanks for your amazing work,

    • Brett – As a small fish in a very big sea, interest in my perspectives arrives as validation for my approach to writing. Thank you for appreciating my point of view and yes, I’d be interested in contributing my voice to your endeavor.

      I’ll take a look at Unsustainable home page and proceed from there . Off the top of my head dozens of notestoponder post subjects are relevant to your concept. Some I’d like to expand, others tidy up and still more itching to be written.

      • Hi Valerie, just wanted to check in and see if you’ve had any thoughts about what you might like to contribute, if you’re still interested. I’m very excited that you’re considering joining me.
        Wishing you all the best, Brett

      • Thank you for checking back, I’m flattered and extremely keen to contribute my perspectives. Work, not hesitation to contribute accounts for my lack of communication. I work 60-70 hours a week as a Event Manager for a large catering company, haven’t had 2 days off in a row for months, start work some days at 4 am, get home at 4 am on others. Bottom line – taking time off from March 16-20 and plan to concentrate on hand picking ideas for your consideration. Hope that works for you. 🙂

      • Wow, I can definitely appreciate how little time you have.

        In my previous job, I was up before dawn and home after dark everyday, even in summer. I hated the job, too, so for me it was a toxic lifestyle. If I’d been doing something I love it might have been a different story. I hope the work treats you well, and people appreciate you.

        As for your name, I always prefer to introduce myself in a personal way, especially in the last couple of months when I’ve been telling writers about my project. My first stop was your about page. Not finding your name there, I suspected you wished to remain anonymous, but after reading one of your recent posts I found a conversation in the comments about your name. I don’t remember which post, but I believe you said you prefer Valerie over Val.

        Now, to business. At this point, I’m expecting to have the final articles submitted to me around the start of April, so your planned time off will work perfectly. I’ll be editing throughout April; I’m not sure how long that process will take, and I’ll still gladly accept material at that time.

        In the meantime, if I don’t hear from you til the 16th, that’s totally fine and I completely understand.

        Thanks again, and best of luck at work,

      • Your tenacious detective work to find my given name is nothing short of remarkable. Kudos 🙂
        As for work, what I do isn’t conventional but it suits my inner quirks.Off site catering is like trench warfare, I get my orders and command a battalion to carry them out without flinching, balking or disintegrating in a pool of tears. Obstacles exist to be conquered, calamity tests my resolve and ability to solve problems, physical exhaustion is a badge of honour. I get my strokes from coaching 50 staff to serve 1,000 people dinner in less than half an hour, transforming blank spaces into fantasy worlds, conquering the 18 hour work day I walked over 30 Km to pull off a quarter million dollar wedding under a tent in a cranberry field. I’m not normal, but work treats me well. Human nature fascinates me, work affords exposure to the best and worst of humanity, I love my job,

      • In a few hours my 4 day break from work begins by boarding a flight to visit my mother in Battleford, Saskatchewan. Between catching up with family, I vow to tackle your project. Wanted to ask you if any of my blog posts struck you as Unsustainable worthy topics.

      • Well, your work on climate change and denial is excellent, but I already have a fantastic piece by Henry Lewis on that topic. The one concerning the Taliban was particularly good, however, as well as taking a unique perspective. That post, and 229 species, both caught my eye. I wondered if we could expand either of these slightly, so that they’re closer to magazine article length.

        After perusing your archives again, I also feel I need to try to contact Adrien Mauduit, to see whether he might be interested in being featured.

        Your posts on space news are also excellent, and as an amateur astrophysicist I find myself trying to find a way to fit one of them under the umbrella of sustainability or equality. If you had any ideas in that regard, I’m all ears. The artificial meteor shower seems like a potential option.

        Sorry for the delay. I know you’re on a strict temporal budget. I’ll watch out for your reply and get onto it as soon as I can.

        You’re welcome to email me at brett.stadelmann@unsustainablemagazine.com. It would be more convenient for me, but if it wouldn’t be for you then that’s totally fine.

  10. Spoken like a true Canadian. I am a fake Canadian, born here (MB) by chance, brought up here because my sperm donor so decided, left home at 16, became a hippie in Vancouver, lived on the edges of society ever since. Used to hate Canada more than any country in the world, until Trump. Would I live anywhere else, never wanted to until Trump. Now New Zealand is starting to sound good. But cannot afford to go there except by raft. Might take a while….
    Happy Blogging!

  11. 6/22/22 – Where’d you go?

    I’m hoping that nothing serious is wrong with you and yours but you’ve been gone a long time and I’m concerned. I posted a comment on your last blog but neglected to click on notify me. sigh. getting forgetful I guess.

    Peg & I are well, though health issues (non-covid) have been playing a bigger part in our life than we might like.

    • So nice to hear from you, perhaps the nudge needed to resume ponders. COVID drastically altered my life structure. One day I’m managing events,, the next I’m up at 5 every morning to pack and deliver thousands of frozen meal a month to low income residents (courtesy government contract that literally saved the company from pandemic bankruptcy ) Where once I generally worked late hours, decompressed by pondering without concern for early rise the next day, a switch flips and I’m up before dawn every day. Most staff were laid off, gone was luxury of event staff for heavy lifting, In a nutshell -for 18 months I woke at dawn, lifted heavy boxes all day, in bed by 9. Monotonous and exhausting, too tired for ponders.
      Then my mother passed away. We were very close, called her every day, visited Saskatchewan as often as possible. One day she casually mentions her skin is slightly yellow, three weeks later I’m on a plane to Saskatoon, driving a rental car to Battleford Hospital, holding her hand when she passes away 4 hours later. She knew I was coming, doctor and nurses said waiting for me was the only reason she hung on, medically speaking it was the only conclusion. I wasn’t prepared for her sudden passing. Still catch myself reaching for the phone to call her. It’s been tough.
      Lifted pandemic restrictions caught the hospitality industry unable to cope with demand. Silly me pined for return of “normal” event life, never imagined the reality of post pandemic normal. An average work week is 40 hours with 2 days off. So far in June I’ve worked 280 hours in 25 days with 2 days off. Worked 36 hours in the past 2 days alone. Off today, yippee! We can’t find staff, it’s crazy! Delivery drivers start at $22, servers $24 an hour ( minimum wage is $15.60 an hour ) So frustrating! Experience doesn’t matter, I’ll train anyone with a good attitude, trouble being no one applies. Consequently I’m in Operations all day ( packing equipment for corporate deliveries, on the road delivering/setting up corporate breakfast/lunch orders, designing staffed events, packing equipment specific to individual events and supporting dedicated delivery drivers by brewing coffee for their next order and so on ). Then I freshen up, change into event attire while Operations manager and one of my event servers scheduled to start at the shop load equipment and food into my van. I decompress while driving to event venue, summon my event manager powers and put on a show. Fortunately I love running events and know I’m really good at it.
      All said, I’m exhausted. Becoming apparent I’ll have to accept the fact I’m 62, can’t sustain this pace much longer.
      Anyway, that explains my absence. I’ll be back when life isn’t off the rails. Biggest of hugs and thank you for reaching out.

      • Thanks for taking a few minutes to share. As has been the case for most of us, life is ever so different and my biggest concern was that you not have contracted COVID or had serious illness related issues. I know it’s terrible to say, but I’m relieved that your absence has “only” been a topsy-turvy world.

        A great many bloggers have disappeared from the blog-o-sphere and I can fully understand why. Until recently I simply could not bring myself to actually put words to paper. I’m getting back in the swing — sort of — but it’s still been a bit difficult.

        And of course at 73 yrs we just aren’t as active as we had been so there aren’t as many active things to write about and part of me doesn’t want to write about some of the things I think about — not because they are negative or depressing but rather because looking down the dark tunnel of current events there are inevitabilities that don’t bear utterance.

        The thing about aging — even at “only” 62 is life isn’t going to go back to being what it was in youth and the doggone clock just doesn’t ever stop. About the time one gets accustomed to the way things had changed to being — the hands of time move a little further and what had only recently become normal is no longer and the adjustment begins all over again – ad infinitum.

        Peg’s mom died quite quickly of cancer after a late diagnosis — some almost 50 years ago so that experience was a while ago. My mom died of cancer too — and she went through 2 1/2 years of chemo so we were prepared for her passing. Peg’s dad died after about 16 weeks after heart surgery — never having really come out of the anesthesia. My dad died at 85 — quite suddenly after being with the family for 4 days. That was the only shock death but we can certainly understand the impact. We lived in the same building with him (different apartment) and he and I did a lot together pretty much every day. Three family members passed IN that same building and after he went (the last of the three) there were just too many ghosts there and we had to sell the building and move on. Could not stand to be there — and I really don’t believe in ghosts.

        If only we had a $15.40 minimum wage. This country is still in the Dark Ages. But I don’t have to tell you the atrocities that are going on here — they may the world news.

        Our hospitality world too has been crippled. But in a society where consumers are obsessed with spending the absolute least possible I think it was good that some of the places went out of business — we had SO MANY restos that I can’t see how any of them were existing — save for the celebrity ones.

        Still and all we don’t get out to eat a lot. With my lungs I can’t afford to get COVID. I have horrible problems when I get a simple cold as they settle into my lungs and COVID would do me in even if a mild case. So, even after two shots and two boosters we both continue to mask up whenever we are around people — often being the only ones to do so. But that doesn’t bother me. It’s my health not theirs.

        Hugs to you and yours. Think of you often.

      • None of us imagined life altering implications of COVID. I’m appalled by subsequent denial, finger pointing, self interest corporate propaganda used to blame pandemic supply chains for price hikes and ignorance of those who parrot utter nonsense as truth. So many lives lost to lack of personal responsibility, quibbling over freedom, political divide over common sense. Argh, I’m ranting.
        I still mask, COVID cases are on the rise, the virus constantly mutates, it’s here to stay. Good to hear you’re cautious. Big hug.

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