November 29,2012
There but for the grace of God, go I….

There but for the grace of God, go I….Have you ever really thought about the meaning of that phrase? It is easy sometimes for us to dwell on our own problems, inadequacies or unhappiness; yet, when we really look at what we're focusing on, there is always someone who has more serious problems. Sometimes, when I am feeling concerned about my issues and I see a homeless person or talk to someone who is ill, I am reminded of this saying, "there but for the grace of God, go I." It could be me. Things could be worse. This slogan helps me to refocus on gratitude and to be thankful for what is going well and for my good fortune. It also helps me to be compassionate and loving toward those who are less fortunate.

This slogan may not resonate with you if you do not believe in God … substitute a different word or take out "God."

There but for grace, go I, or
There but of the grace of the Universe, go I.

Live in gratitude and it brings on greater things.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 29,2012
The Call Centre

Is there anything more frustrating and annoying in our current world than the call centre? I think not. Without exception, when I get finished with a call centre encounter, I feel I have been to battle and lost the war. I guess that businesses of today find it more profitable to do business with this army of gatekeepers who have been equipped to do battle with innocent customers with a set of standard phrases and responses that will bring immediate and ruthless death to any request that does not meet their prior anticipated approval. There is no opportunity for negotiation, repeal, out of the ordinary requests, human compassion. Just fall within their rules and preprogrammed processes or hang up in utter frustration and despair. Seemingly, those warnings about the calls being monitored are benign. If someone was actually monitoring these frustrating interactions, wouldn't they try to do something about this 21st century tragedy? The only reason that businesses with call centers still have customers is because their competitors also have call centres. I predict that the company that nukes its call center first will attract the most customers and win the business.

What must it be like to work in one of those places? Row upon row of people sitting with headsets on. It seems that all opportunities for creativity have been stripped from those folks and they function as interchangeable robots spewing out prewritten responses. No wonder they're so surly.

Let's give some thought to how the world could be a better place if instead of call centres there were some creative replacement that allowed the workers to be empowered to solve customer problems and customers could get off the phone feeling as though they'd been served. I think that truly is the underlying goal of call centres, but frankly, I don't think it's working.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 20,2012
In the Spirit of Christmas…

My family is celebrating Christmas early because we won't be together on December 25th. There are a lot of advantages to celebrating on an ordinary day … no shopping chaos, no travel stress … just an ordinary day into which we invite the spirit of Christmas. It works for us.

Last night, I put up the tree. Just the dog and I. He was a wonderful help filled with enthusiasm and wagging his tail as he followed me from room to room, as I found the Christmas decorations and put them up. I didn't hear him say "humbug" once!

As I opened the box of Christmas decorations, it was indeed like Christmas, as I found the decorations that have been gifts over the years from special people, some I no longer hear from. There was the beautiful blue painted glass ball from my friend, Bonnie, who would intuitively know my favorite color. There was the collection of Hallmark collectibles that were given to me by my friend, Corky. There was the man in the hot air balloon that spins and rotates that I gave my dad when it interested him in The Bay one year. The purple glass star tied with a purple ribbon from Marie-Therese…the angels that Andree and I made together. There are several decorations that my Mom made and the fat orange cat that Dell gave me because it reminded her of my departed cat, Dave. All of these small things are treasured because of the memories of friends past and present who are always in my heart. The most treasured item that I lifted out of the box is the Hallmark bear that reads "'Twas the Night before Christmas," given by Heather. Such a thoughtful and treasured gift! Once a year, I receive all of these gifts once more.

The spirit of Christmas is about love and joy and all of us can invite it into our lives. We can also give it to others by saying a kind word, doing a good deed, giving a donation to a worthy cause, a smile to a passer-by. Be creative in how you receive and spread the spirit of Christmas. We don't need money to do that. A kind thought, a prayer, a card can mean a lot to someone.

So, whether you celebrate Christmas or some other holiday, most people on earth believe in the spirit of love and in treating others with kindness. Be loving and kind.

© Carla Weaver 2012. p

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November 11,2012
Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Today, we remember all of those who fought for us and died in wars for our freedoms.

Lest we forget.

I was troubled to see some comments in some blogging on the internet yesterday that were not in favor of observing November 11th, Remembrance Day. I guess, to some, it may seem like an outdated holiday that remembers something that happened, for many, a few generations ago. Well, whether World Wars I and II happened in our own generation, or in our parents' or grandparents' or great-grandparents' generations…or even if we think about wars that happened hundreds of years ago…the point is still the same…

Lest we forget.

We must remember how many people that we as a human species have killed because we can't get along or because rulers have taken away the rights, freedoms, dignity and safety of their people.

Lest we forget.

We must, as a species, learn to solve our differences through peaceful means rather than by killing and war.

Lest we forget.

We must remember, as a species, that those who fought in World War II called it the "war to end all wars." To me, that means to learn from our human mistakes and be reminded that this type of resolution to our differences killed soldiers, innocent men, women and children.

Lest we forget.

The energy of the Universe is based on love. War is based on hate and fear. There must come a time when we live mostly in love and in world peace.

Lest we forget.

So, I support observing November 11 as a day of remembrance,

Lest we forget.

I searched today for a prayer for world peace, and I liked this one by Dr. Jane Goodall:

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which
we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times
keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings
and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with
generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature
and control our greed for material things, knowing that
our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being
for who he is, for who she is,
reaching to the spirit that is within,
knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice,
for the alleviation of the crippling poverty
that condemns millions of people around the world
to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving,
who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution,
and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture
even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war,
for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places
through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere,
for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation,
intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping,
training for entertainment, abusive pet owners
and all other forms of exploitation
such as overloading and overworking pack animals,
bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty,
whether to humans or other animals,
for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving
and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us,
and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.
Prayer for world peace - Dr. Jane Goodall


Goodall, Dr. Jane, Prayer for World Peace, retrieved from , November 11, 2012.

©Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 10,2012
A Letter From My Dad About the War….

'C' Flight Recollections (Stew Weaver (Pilot)

(Note: In 1995 my father was contacted by Peter Jenner, who was researching 226 Squadron and the aerodrome at Hartford Bridge Flats. He wrote to my father, as well as to some others to get more information about 'C' Flight during World War II…following is the letter that Dad wrote to him. My family found a copy of this letter at home after Dad passed away in 2002. It was of particular interest to us because Dad rarely talked about the war and when he did, he wasn't very specific.)

Dear Mr. Jenner:

I appreciate receiving your letter about Blackbushe Airport, or as we knew it, Hartford Bridge. I have many fond memories of my stay there as well as a few shaky ones.

When 'C' flight, or 'Special Signals' flight as we called it, was formed in April 1944 I was posted there along with my crew from 170 Squadron at Dunsfold. There were four other crews that were involved from its inception until it was disbanded in October 1944. The pilots were F/O Nichols, RAF; P/O Moore, RAF; F/Sgt Scott-White, RAF; and myself W/O Weaver, RCAF.

Our job was considered top secret and we were not allowed to say anything about what we were doing. We were working with eight people from the French Resistance who had managed to get out of France.

Our Mitchells were equipped with special radio sets code named 'Ginger.' Some of these sets were dropped in France to resistance groups there. We were told that the signal transmitted vertically in a cone shape from the ground up. We flew over at night at 20,000 ft and could get reception from them for several minutes. We usually flew a three-leg trip and tried for three contacts. One of the French Boffins [technical personnel] always flew with us and operated the radio. He would start calling as soon as we got close to our first position. The man on the ground was always 'Robert' and the one in the aircraft was 'Marius." He would call "Allo Robert, allo Robert, ici Marius qui t'apelle." He called until he got an answer, then switched off his intercom so we couldn't hear the conversation, not that it would have mattered as none of us spoke French. I presume he was gathering information regarding troop movements, etc. As soon as we got back to base our Boffin got on the phone to London and reported his information.

When an operation was laid on each night it was necessary to alert the contacts in France. At the end of the nine o-clock BBC news the announcer would say, "The canary will sing tonight;" if we were not going out he would say, "The canary will not sing tonight." Usually only one aircraft went out each night, sometimes two, and each crew took their turn.

My crew consisted of my navigator Jock Smith, a Scot from Invermere; my wireless operator George Oltean and gunner Stan Doherty, both Canadians. Sid Moore's crew were Knowles, Henshaw and Brumfit. Scott had Roberts and Prociw; I don't remember the other.

The O.C. of the flight was Flt/Lt Bradbury and the Intelligence Officer F/O Hank Dyson. I can't recall many of the names of our ground crew but we had an excellent crew. For some strange reason I remember them but not, unfortunately, by their names except for some M.T. drivers: Edna Dove, Jackie Bower, 'Daff,' and Ken Dwyer.

Our Boffins were Cowell, Doyen, Giacomini, Ojier, Bernheim, Falguire, Kessel, and Sgt Katzaras, an RAF interpreter. I got these names from my logbook – my memory is not that good. Later on after D-Day we worked Holland and had Dutch Boffins. They were Van Gemert, Dollman, Beceher, Grunwald, and Bonvy.

Most of our trips were fairly uneventful. One night we went out in bad weather and had problems with icing. Coming home a thunderstorm had built up behind us. We couldn't get around it and could not climb high enough to get over it. I didn't know if the down currents were going to take us right into the ground or if the wings would be torn off but we got through it OK. On another trip when we worked Holland our starboard engine quit over the North Sea on the way back. Our port engine performed well and we made it back to base OK.

When 226 Squadron moved to Vitry-en Artois in France our flight was disbanded and Sid Moore's crew and mine resumed our formation daylight bombing. Moore's crew were all killed on a trip bombing a bridge over the Maas River at Roermond. I saw them go down in flames.

That's a rough summary of our stay at Hartford Bridge. There was another crew with us at the start for a short time. An Australian pilot named Suttie and he had a gunner named George Kozoriz; I don't recall the others [they were Jack Parker, RAF and Cecil Roy, RNZAF]. After our ops were finished I received the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star. I believe Nichol's crew also did. I don't know about any others.

Best regards,

W.S. (Stew) Weaver


Dad wrote this letter to Peter Jenner, who wrote 'Hartford Bridge 1942-1944 – Themes to D-Day." The book is unpublished. The letter was published in August 2010 in Dispersals, 2nd Tactical Air Force Medium Bombers Association Newsletter.

Best regards, Dad! Mom, Bob and I could not be more proud. We are thinking of you this weekend.

© Lilly, Carla and Bob Weaver

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November 07,2012
Dialogue to Achieve Visions and Dreams

As artists, writers and creative individuals, many of us are more introverted and/or independent thinkers who spend significant time alone or work alone. I believe that it is important for us to spend time out in the world exchanging energy with others to feed our creative souls. While extroverted people MUST do this and make it their practice, those of us who are less extroverted tend not to because it is more of an effort. However, we need that exposure to others' energy, ideas and balance to keep our own creativity going, too, and to keep life in perspective.

I work alone and know that I need to have that external influence, so one of my practices is to go out for coffee regularly in the morning before I start my day. I go to a coffee shop that has artists' work on the walls and there are about five of us who are self-employed, retired, or work from home, who meet there. This morning, we were all in attendance, which is rare. But, the camaraderie and laughter is always a good way to start the day and positively turn on our creativity.

Artists like Van Gogh and Gauguin are known to have hung out in the cafés of Paris. It is a romantic and charming view of being an artist. But, it is more than charm and romance; it is a necessary interchange of ideas and support.

I also belong to several artists' groups related to the visual arts, and I enjoy the interactivity with other artists. I think that artists need to spend time with other artists to share the challenges of being an artist and to support each other in their pursuits of creativity and in their work. In addition to the guilds and arts councils that I have joined, I have also attended a 12 Step group for artists called ARTS Anonymous, which I find helpful and interesting to spur creativity. This group uses the 12 steps that are familiar in addiction groups and applies them to unblocking creativity. It is an interesting and creative approach.

I have also attended some writers' conferences which have stimulated my writing. It is good to interact with other writers. Many writers belong to regular writing groups, and this gives them the opportunity to share their writing with other writers and get some feedback.

Whether a writer, a painter, a musician….I think that it's important to put our work,no matter how experienced or polished it is, out in the universe. By hanging our paintings on a wall for others to see, reading our writing to others, or singing or playing our music to others, we put it out in the universe for feedback. It is a matter of choosing the right venue or the right time to show it to the right people. Obviously, if the work is less polished, or we are less experienced, then we need to choose a safe place in which to expose our work. If you aren't polished yet, you don't want to sing for Simon Cowell. A writers' group or a jam session or a student painting show are good places to take that risk. What do we do if the feedback is negative? Well, we need to be confident that we are on the right path, and know within ourselves that we are artists, and take what we can from criticism and leave the rest. That can be very difficult, but it is part of growing as an artist. If someone chooses to be negative and unsupportive in their feedback, know that they are not coming from a place of love and disregard what they say. Look to see if there's an element of truth and something that you can learn from, but disregard criticism that does not come from the heart.

I am not saying that all feedback that comes from the heart will be positive. However, people who are truly supporting you and offering feedback from the heart will help you to change, grow and improve your work. It is constructive criticism that you can apply.

"Edison's charismatic optimism, passionate curiosity, love of learning, storytelling, and appreciation for the diverse talents of his staff all contributed to the creation of an unprecedented culture of innovation. The environment of open exchange that he encouraged was an essential ingredient in sustaining his organisation's success. Appreciative Inquiry is a contemporary organizational development methodology that can help you facilitate an environment that supports this critical element of master-mind collaboration (Gelb and Miller-Coldicott, 2007, p. 157)."

"Most organizational development initiatives are based on the apparently reasonable assumption that it's important to focus on what's wrong in order to fix it. They often begin with an extensive survey and problem analysis followed by a diagnosis of strategic, operational, and cultural dysfunctions. Appreciative inquiry is predicated on a radically different assumption. It begins with the notion that the process of facilitating an open dialogue about dreams, hopes, visions, values, successes, and strengths, is, in itself, transformational (Gelb and Miller-Coldicott, 2007, p. 157)."

We can apply this concept of dialogue and appreciative inquiry to our own personal lives and creative work. Dialogue with artists, musicians, writers…and transform your creative endeavors into your dreams and visions.


Gelb, Michael J., and Miller Caldicott, Sarah (2007). Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor, Penguin Group, New York, NY.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 06,2012
Hangin' In

I have long been convinced that Captain Vancouver discovered Vancouver in the summer. I am certain that had he arrived here on a day like today in mid November when it is dark, gray and wet, he would have declared the place uninhabitable and set sail for Fiji. In the summer when the skies are clear, the air is warm and the water is blue, it is like paradise here. But, now, my heart is in Mexico where people are sipping pina colladas at the beach absorbed in good books.

November is a difficult month. It�s busy as we lead up to Christmas, year end, the holiday season and, it�s bleak outside, so those of us who need the bright light to keep our spirits up find it challenging. So, for now, I am putting one foot ahead of the other each day to accomplish what I need to accomplish, knowing that soon, my family will be here to celebrate the holiday season, and then, I too, will be sipping a pina collada on a beach somewhere enjoying a holiday.And, that�s the kind of day it�s been here.

� Carla Weaver 2012

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November 05,2012
What are you doing to be creative?

What am I doing during this extremely busy time to express my creativity? At first, I thought, "Maybe nothing." But, that is not true.

I am continuing to write my BLOG, which is sometimes challenging when stressed … trying to come up with an idea and have the quiet reflective time to write. But, I am writing about stress and being busy while also trying to ensure that I make some quiet reflective time for my own sanity.

I am playing music while I work, which seems to have a calming effect when I start panicking about deadlines.

I am walking my dog, which gives me time outside to reflect on ideas.

And, I have two partially finished paintings sitting on the table, and I reflect on them when I take breaks, thinking about how I will finish them when I have time.

I have cooked myself a few good meals … cooking and baking are creative outlets for many.

And, I am working on a very difficult project that often requires creative problem solving to achieve the needed results. I didn't even realize that I was doing this because I am mostly stressed and just trying to complete some very challenging tasks, but my Project Manager observed the other day that I had taken a creative approach, and I hadn't even realized it.

No matter what we're doing or how busy we are, there's always room for creativity. Often, we don't even realize how creative we are until we take inventory of the creative things we've done recently.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 05,2012
"Don't run faster than your Guardian Angel can fly

"Don't run faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!" That's what was written on a small plaque that my Mom gave me a number of years ago. It used to hang over my desk, but it seems to have disappeared at some point, and I seem to have forgotten the advice. It is very good advice, and it seems to be advice that could be used by many in my circle We're all running too fast trying to do too many things. Why is that? Well, many of my friends are single people with single incomes trying to survive in a couples and corporate world. Being single sometimes means that you have to work twice as hard or twice as long to live as well as the couples do. It means that there often isn't money for a cleaning lady, a landscaper, a window washer, a handyman…and if you don't have a spouse to share the work, you do it all yourself. And, for those of us who are women, sadly in 2012, we are still often not receiving equal pay for equal work.

Being self-employed is another reason that many of us are running too fast. When you work for yourself, it seems like you work all the time.

And, of course, some of us just take on too much.

I remember a former yoga instructor saying that when you get clear on your intent and your goals, the Universe starts making them happen. If that's the case, I must presume that the Universe does not give us more than we can handle. We just have to slow down and make sure that the Guardian Angel is right there with us. So, prioritize, make choices consistent with your purpose, intent and goals, and don't run faster than your Guardian Angel can fly.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 03,2012
Goals and Accomplishments; Stretch a Little

It is always good to have a goal, no matter who you are or what you do. It's something to work toward … to give you hope and dreams. And, when you achieve the goal, you have a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Sometimes, we may get off track or lost, and it's difficult to come up with a goal. When I get to that point, I try to make it my goal to come up with some valid or realistic goals. Then, I don't feel lost; I feel directed to set new goals, and that puts me back on track.

Recently, I almost missed an important goal. Something that I worked for long and hard almost slipped out of my reach. That gave me pause for concern. I had underestimated the effort required and almost lost a dream.

When we have goals, I think that the harder we have to reach, the more satisfying it is when we reach them. So, while it is good practice to set realistic and achievable goals, it is also important to make ourselves stretch a little to achieve them. It makes us better people and, when we are better, it makes the world a better place.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 02,2012
As November 11th Approaches…

I always observe November 11th by wearing a poppy and giving a donation because it is and was an important event in my parents' lives. My generation in Canada is mostly fortunate that we did not have to go to war. But, both my Dad and step-Dad were pilots in the Second World War. Both of them saw active duty in Europe and returned to tell about it. Although my Dad didn't talk much about the war, he told us a few stories, and I know that his plane was hit during a bombing mission and he was able to fly it back to England and safely land on the Cliffs of Dover. We are all fortunate that we benefitted from the freedoms fought for by others.

Since the "war to end all wars," there have been many more wars including Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't always think that war is a good idea, and I hope for a time when people will be able to live peacefully in our world respecting all peoples' rights and diversities.

When I wear a poppy, it is to honour all men and women who fought in all wars, to honor and respect all victims who were killed by wars. I pray for a time when there will be no more war, which is what my father fought for.

Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen (, retrieved November 2, 2012).

References:, Prayer of Saint Francis, , retrieved November 2, 2012.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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November 01,2012

As my friend and I were driving out to dinner the other night, she said to me, "How do you feel about Halloween?"

"I hate it," I replied.

There are so many reasons NOT to like Halloween. The only reason that I liked it was because my little neighbour, Luca, used to come over to show me his costume and collect his treats, but he's gone now…moved away. So, no reason really to participate at all.

As single women living alone, Halloween goes against every security measure we take on a daily basis. We open our doors to strangers wearing scary masks and give them candy. Further, all that door bell ringing drives my dog crazy and the fire crackers scare him. There don't seem to be any safety practices around those fire crackers either. One year, I remember walking through the park and kids were lobbing fire crackers in the air to have them land just behind me as I walked.

Then, there are the scary movies. I believe that everything good in the Universe is based on love. Horror moves are based on fear, the opposite of love. I know that a little adrenaline rush while watching a suspenseful movie is exciting and harmless, but some of those moves … I would say most of those scary movies now … are truly horrific. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to all of that negative energy? And, don't they give bad ideas to people who don't need any more bad ideas?

As far as I'm concerned, Halloween has been blown out of proportion by commercialism, and now it's all about selling costumes, candy, decorations and scary movies. I know that its origin is related to the day of the dead and I respect the idea of having a day to honor the dead, but really, does all this horror and commercialism do that?

Thankfully, Christmas, which is also too commercialized, comes soon and it is more positive and focused on the spirit of love.

© Carla Weaver 2012.

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