#reverbbroads11: these are a few of my [least favourite] things

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Amy): Instead of a list of your favorite things, write a list of your least favorite things, e.g. Worst book you ever finished, the color you hate, bad songs, bad romances, bad recipes.

I don’t really love to publicly declare my hate for things.  Hate is such a strong word, and without being able to hear my funny and sarcastic tone, I fear that this might just come across as plain angry.  I assure you it’s all in good fun 🙂

  • The Bridges of Madison County.  This is the first thing that comes to mind.  I was a teenager when this came out, and I remember people raving about it.  My mum and I saw it and could not figure out what all the hoopla was about.  I don’t know that I’d say this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it is up there…
  • The word smear.  I am cringing right now having typed it out.  Ugggh…shudder…
  • Football.  Not proper football (you might refer to that as soccer).  Football that is on for hours on end every Sunday (or so it seems).  No matter how many times you try to explain the purpose of this game to me, I won’t understand why millions of people are obsessed with it.
  • Songs: Patio Lanterns by Kim Mitchell, Harvest Moon by Neil Young, and anything by Nickleback.
  • Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Carly Alexander.  This book was in the “bargain books” section of Chapters, and that should have been my clue.  This book was so bad, that by the end of it I hated the main character and felt like throwing it in the deep end, but that would have meant I would need to fish it out.




#reverbbroads11: i could go on and on and on….

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Em): What are your biggest pet peeves?

I don’t want this to be the never-ending post, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

These are some of the things that irk me the most:

  • Poor spelling and grammar (understandable if idiosyncratic is difficult for you to spell, but if you can’t differentiate between there, their and they’re, or your and you’re, then I don’t have a lot of sympathy…why yes, I was once an English teacher);
  • Bad drivers (there sure are plenty of them around, aren’t there?!);
  • Blatantly unfair hiring practices;
  • Grocery shopping (seriously, I hate it);
  • Telemarketers (I am on the do-not-call list, that means, do not call me!);
  • Farmville, or any other game on Facebook for that matter.  Please stop clogging up my news feed;
  • When I’m anticipating a new episode of a TV show and it’s a re-run.  Especially when the digital guide tells me that it’s a new episode.

I’ll stop there.  I could go on and on and on, but for your sake and my own, I won’t.  Although, for fun, I just checked my high school year book, and in my graduation profile, it states that my pet peeves are liars, biters and followers.  For the record, my ambition was to be the British Prime Minister.  I suppose things change over the years 🙂 Does anyone even still use the term biter?


#reverbbroads11: a flavourful adventure

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Bethany): Did you taste any new flavors this year? Did you love or hate them or something in between? Will you incorporate these new flavors into your life?

Those who know me, know that I’m a bit of a picky eater.  My BFF tells me that I have a bland pallet and blames that on my being British.  So I had to really think about this question.  I couldn’t remember if I had actually tried something new, and then the light bulb went off!

I attended the ACUHO-I Annual Conference this past summer in New Orleans.  As always, it was a phenomenal conference and what a location! I travelled with a friend and colleague of mine, and she was determined to get me to eat something different while we were there.  On the day we arrived, we had lots of time to explore, and our cab driver from the airport had suggested we try Mulate’s restaurant.  So we did.

I was going to go for something simple, and within my eating comfort zone.  Jackie said to me, “Kate, you can’t come to New Orleans and eat chicken fingers!” She was right.  So, I ordered the cat fish.  Yes, I know, this probably doesn’t sound all that “out there” but for me, this was quite the feat.

We even made sure to take a picture to commemorate this momentous occasion:

I didn’t love it, but at least I can say I tried something different!  Actually, I tried something else in New Orleans that I’d never had before…a world famous beignet! Now that was delicious!

#reverbbroads11: you get out of it, what you put into it!

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Kassie): Is volunteering something you do regularly? If yes where do you volunteer? If not, why not?

When I first read this prompt, I assumed that volunteering meant giving time to your community (serving food at a soup kitchen, visiting seniors, etc).  Based on that, I was hesitant to answer the prompt out of embarrassment.  I am not an actively engaged volunteer in my community, based on that definition of volunteering.   Then I thought about it a little more and realised that I have been volunteering my whole life.

I have been involved in our regional association for over five years.  I started out as a committee member, then took on a role on the Board of Directors.  That led to the most important volunteer role I’ve had to date.  Last year, I served as the President for our professional association.  While it often felt like another full time job, this volunteer position taught me things I could not learn in my paid position.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity.  Through that experience, I made amazing connections, particularly with some wonderful folks at ACUHO-I and plan to kick my service up to the international level.  For now, I am working on smaller projects behind the scenes, and can’t wait to see what I’ll have the opportunity to be involved in next.

Thinking back, I have always been a volunteer.  I was the kid that eagerly threw her hand up when the teacher asked for someone to show the new kid around school.  I even went waaaaaay out of my comfort zone once, in the name of volunteering.  This story is pretty funny…

When I was in grade 8, every kid in school [JK-grade 8] was required to receive the measles immunization.  This took place over the course of just one day, in the schol gym.  The kindergarten teacher came into my class and asked if any of us would volunteer to hold the kindergartners hands while they were getting their shots.  Me, being the avid volunteer, threw my hand up, and I was chosen to help see one of the kids through this terrifying experience.  I need to interject here and tell you that I am TERRIFIED of needles.  To this day, I get faint just at the thought of needing to go to the doctors office.  Anything medical related makes me queasy.  So, me and the other grade 8 volunteers head to the gym and meet our kindergartners.  I was paired up with a talkative, confident little boy.  I can’t remember his name, but I’ll never forget his smile.  When it was his turn, we went to the needle station (not the technical term) and he sat in the chair.  As he was pulling his sleeve up, I started to feel very faint.  He must have noticed, and loudly asked “HEY! ARE YOU OK???!” I wasn’t.  Before I knew it, I had passed out, in front of my brave little kindergartner, and everyone else who was in the gym.  When I came to, my little buddy had already had his shot and was happily sucking on the lollipop he received for being such a good sport.  When he noticed that I was awake, he took the lollipop out of his mouth, pointed it towards me and said: “here, I think you need this more than I do.”  He was five years old.   That day I learned that I needed him so much more than he needed me.

Moral of this story? Volunteering, no matter how big or small the effort may seem, is so worth it.  I’ve carried that story with me for all these years, and my memory of that day is still crystal clear.  Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to get to the best experiences in life.

#reverbbroads11: cheers to awesome!

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Catie) is: What are three things you are better at than most people?

Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge the awesomeness within, so to come up with three things that I truly feel that I do better than anyone, I had to think about what I most love to do.  This quote from E. M. Forster sums it up quite well: “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”

1. Developing people.  I have a genuine interest in the hopes, dreams and goals of my staff and given the chance to help them on their journey, I jump at it.  When I go to a conference and see a number of former staff finding success in the field, it makes me really proud.  Knowing that I have been a part of that makes it all worth it.

2. This one is quite timely; Decorating for Christmas.  OK, I have to give some major credit to my mum, who clearly passed along this talent.  I have always loved Christmas and as soon as I had a place to decorate, that wasn’t on-campus, I knew that it would be something I’d go all out on.  People that visit Chez Kinsella over the holidays often comment that the place looks like it belongs in a magazine.  That’s a huge compliment! I even inspired one friend to invest in some charger plates to sup up her dinner parties.

3. Learning.  Is this even possible? I love to learn and look for new learning opportunities every day.  I like to learn with others, or on my own.  I also like to encourage others to learn, from all of the experiences around them.

I’m sure there are other things I could list at strengths, but after the kind of day it’s been, this will do for now.  This prompt has made me think more about this though, so thanks Catie!

If you’re interested in reading other #ReverbBroads11 blogs, or joining in on the fun, click here or here.

#reverbbroads11: it’s in the bag

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Neha) is: Name and explain the one guilty pleasure you can’t live without.

Fancy handbags.  There, I said it.  It might be silly, but carrying a Kate Spade bag makes me feel better about my day.  I think it goes along with the “if you look good, you feel good” concept.  When I’m toting my Kate around (yes I recognise that’s a little odd considering that’s my name), I feel on top of the world.

There aren’t any Kate Spade shops in Canada (not for my lack of trying, I’ve emailed them a few times requesting a Toronto shop!) so my quest for Kate happens either online or when I travel to the US.  Maybe this “hurdle” is a good thing – I’m sure my husband thinks so! Otherwise this guilty pleasure may mean defaulting on the mortgage.  (Yes, that was hyperbole) 🙂

Currently coveting…

#reverbbroads11: i am my mother’s daughter

Today’s #ReverbBroads11 prompt (courtesy of Jessica) is: How are you like your mother?

I like to think that I am a 50/50 split of my parents.  I look more like a McGartland (my dad’s side) than a Jones, and I definitely inherited my dad’s sense of adventure, but I certainly picked up more than a few things along the way from my mum.

For starters, I am feisty.  Growing up watching my mum not take no for an answer or simply accepting the status quo was all I needed to instil this important quality in me.

Next, I love all things Christmas. Christmas was always magical, in large part due to the effort my mum put in.  Each year, I am meticulous in the decorating details, finding the perfect gifts for friends and family, and wrapping those gifts with almost sheer perfection.  This has translated to my event planning skills, which come in handy in this field!

Further, I can be beyond silly, but mostly reserve those moments for those nearest and dearest.  I’m so glad that even though my mum is a perpetual professional, she does not take life too seriously and embraces those silly, ridiculous moments.

And finally, fashion sense.  Pictorial evidence of this says it better than I could 🙂
For what it’s worth, this was not planned and we didn’t realise how much alike we had dressed this particular day until we saw this photo.

In all seriousness though, my mum has always been a professional woman with a wicked fashion sense.  She has a classic look that I am happy to have inherited.  Trends be damned, elegance and class win out!

I can also blame my (ever growing) shoe collection on her too 🙂