Children Learn What They Live ~ by Dorothy Law Nolte

I was at my doctor’s office this morning for a rather unpleasant but routine procedure. As I sat in the waiting room trying to calm my nerves, I looked up to see a small, unassuming poster on her wall. By the time I finished reading it, I was so moved that I wanted to share it with you. Although I’ve been in my doctor’s office hundreds of times over the years, I have never paid attention to that particular piece of paper.

The poem ‘Children Learn What They Live’ was written by Dorothy Law Nolte in 1954. Later she also wrote a book by the same name with author Rachel Harris (Workman Publishing Co., New York). Over the years the poem has been translated into more than 35 languages and inspired generations of parents. Today it inspired me. You don’t have to be a parent to appreciate it, just look to your own life.

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, PhD

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright  1972 Dorothy Law Nolte

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Greek Celebration at Northlands Bar and Grill

I LOVE Greek food. So you can imagine my delight when I was among the select group of people invited to the Kambolis family Greek Celebration at the Northlands Bar and Grill on Sunday.  If you recognize the Kambolis name, that’s because they own three highly acclaimed restaurants in Vancouver, Raincity Grill, Nu and C Restaurant.

As we ascended the staircase up to the restaurant, we were greeted by intoxicating aromas and a gregarious atmosphere.  The food was served buffet style under a tent. They had set up the tent on their rear patio (anticipating good weather no doubt) but unfortunately that day it was chilly and rained almost all day. Still I thought the tent with its’ blue and white awning was a good idea and gave an authentic ‘taverna’ feel to the event.

There were so many people jostling for food that I felt as if I was navigating my way through a heard of ravenous wilder-beast that had just seen an oasis. There was the staple Greek fare of course, including greek salad, dolmades, homous, spanakopita, tyropita (Greek cheese pie), assorted souvlaki and warm pita bread. They had also roasted a couple of whole lambs and pigs that morning. My husband (who is Greek) always tells me that the best part of a roasted animal is the crispy skin. Since I still find the thought of eating crispy skin unappetizing, I’m going to just take his word for it.

There were a couple of stand out dishes for me, first the succulent moussaka oozing with cheese and a decadent Béchamel sauce. I have become something of a moussaka connoisseur over the years, since I have never successfully made it from scratch at home (just ask my husband!).

I  also loved the warm comforting gigantes plaki, which is butter beans baked with fresh herbs in a tomato sauce  (it’s also delicious topped with feta cheese just before serving). I have scoured the internet and below are links to three of my favourite recipe variations of this dish – so you can try it at home.

Recipe #1: Gigantes Sto Fourno (Baked Butter Beans)

Recipe #2: Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

To accompany the food they had live bouzouki music (the bouzouki or bouzoukia as it is sometimes know, is a Greek stringed instrument with a long neck and a pear-shaped body) and with many people trying their hand at traditional Greek dancing. Not me of course, honestly you don’t want to see me dancing – remember the episode in Seinfeld where Elaine is dancing? You get the idea!

Greek food is irresistible because it is a reflection of its people – warm, vibrant and hospitable. The event was thoroughly enjoyable and lucky for me I have enough Greek family that I don’t have to wait too long before I have another opportunity to celebrate Greek style. OPA!

A note on the photographs – the first depicts our venue, you’ll notice golf carts parked outside and that’s because it’s situated on Northlands Golf Course. The second photo shows the gorgeous view we had from the patio.

Have you been to Greece or have a Greek food experience or recipe to share? Then I would love to hear from you – send me a comment.

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How to Be a Great Radio Guest: 3 Tips From My Time on the Radio

Narges Nirumvala in the RJ1200 studio with Ammen Dhillon and Avi Arya.

Earlier this afternoon I was a guest broadcaster and contributor on a local radio station, RJ1200. Billing themselves as Vancouver’s Bollywood Station, they cater to the young, hip members of the Vancouver’s  Indo-Canadian community. This is my fourth time on the radio in about six months as a guest broadcaster on their monthly discussion show. I’ve had so many people ask me what it’s like being on the radio, that I decided to write this blog post.

As I sat in the waiting room today, I thought back to my first time as a ‘radio virgin’. I was so nervous that day I must have gone to the ladies’ room at least three times – I’m sure the receptionist thought I was crazy! Today I just couldn’t wait to put the headset on, position my boom microphone and wait for us to go live. Here are three things I’ve learnt from being on the radio that will help you make the best possible impression:

  1. If it’s your first time on the radio just accept that you are going to be nervous. When that red light goes on and the host says “And we are live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” you are going to freak out a little and that’s okay. Just breath deeply and focus on what you want to say.
  2. Do research and deliver great content. Whether you are on the show because you are an expert in your field or like me, someone called upon to talk about a variety of issues – you need to come prepared and ready to impress. For me it’s no different from the research I do  when I write a feature article. It’s just that I’m speaking rather than writing.
  3. Commercial breaks are a great time to network with the host or other guests on the show, but not usually enough to go to the washroom (for my readers outside Canada, a washroom is a toilet or WC). So remember to go to the bathroom before the show. Also bring business cards with you and get to know the other people there with you. I’ve met some great people through my media exposure.

Being on the radio is an amazing opportunity, if you know how to tailor your communication style to suit the medium.

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Meditating Through the Streets of London

For the longest time, my friends have been trying to convince me to learn how to meditate. So this afternoon, after years of badgering, I finally decided to give it a try. I put on some peaceful music, clear my mind and allow myself to just be. No worrying about the laundry I have to do tomorrow or thinking about the dishes in the sink. I try my best not to think about the emails I have to reply to or the bills I have to pay.

Once I fight through the waves of worry, I find myself in a more peaceful state. The music meandering through my mind. I feel myself drift away, not towards the light or some deeper self-awareness, but towards a place. Somewhere I have been many times before – the streets of London. I grew up in England and haven’t been back to London in many years, but all of a sudden I am there. The memories are fresh with vibrant colours and intoxicating smells. I can hear my heels as they clocked against the cobbled stone streets leading to Covent Garden. The smell of freshly baked bread and decadent pastries fills my lungs. An explosion of colour from the flower and produce vendors assaults my eyes. Laughter echoes through the murky grey air as tourists watch the street performers.

As my senses reach a crescendo, I feel a tear warmly glide down my cheek. Gradually the music comes to an end and the scene fades away into the mist. I am left in silence.

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5 Reasons Why I Believe the Devil Invented Remote Controls

Remote controls were invented by the Devil as his inanimate minions here on earth. I’m certain of it! Almost everyday in living rooms all over the world the same story plays itself out. Families sit down to enjoy an engaging evening of TV entertainment. Then someone inadvertently presses something on the remote control (in our house it’s when the dog jumps on the couch and decides to eat the remote). Then the TV goes CRAZY. The husband throws a glare at the dog/wife/child (delete as necessary) that would drill a hole through solid steel and chaos ensues. I have lived this horror too many times to mention. Here are five things I hate about remote controls:

  1. Batteries – Why do remote control batteries run down so quickly? I just don’t understand why they haven’t invented a solar or wind (no not fart powered, you degenerate!) powered remote control yet. We can send people into outer space but we can’t invent a remote control that doesn’t need batteries?!
  2. Too Many Remotes – We have the TV remote and the DVD remote. The other day I even found a remote for an old Playstation 2 that we donated to charity (oops, didn’t give them the remote!). Now my husband wants a surround sound system, that’s another remote. One day we’ll need a remote for the fridge and the microwave. Maybe even a remote for my hairdryer. Remote controls for everything so we never have to get up and turn into even bigger slobs than we are now.
  3. Too Many Useless Buttons – Why do remote controls have SO MANY BUTTONS? Not only that but its’ never obvious what they do, for example what does ‘MTS’ mean? Why must I have a degree in electrical engineering just to watch my favourite ‘Seinfeld’ repeat?
  4. Input Buttons – Oh dreaded ‘Input’ button how I hate thee! Everyday I press the Input button by mistake and it drives my husband INSANE. Actually, don’t tell him this, but sometimes I do it just to piss him off. On our TV there are 8 possible inputs including ‘AV1’, ‘Component1’, ‘HDMI1’ etc..What do any of these even mean? Why doesn’t it just say ‘DVD’ or ‘Blueray’. What sick, sadistic MAN created the input button?
  5. Buttons in Different Colours – Colour coding should make things easier right? But when it comes to a remote control they only make things more complicated. So why is ‘Wide’ in red? Is it because it’s the most important button or is it because it’s the most popular button? Maybe it’s because it’s a direct link to some extra terrestrial entity that is observing our TV viewing habits? Why isn’t any other button on my remote in red?

I miss the good old days when we only had one simple remote control or better yet had to get up to change the channel. At least that way I got some exercise. Perhaps that’s part of the solution to increasing levels of childhood obesity. Forget about banning trans fat from foods, LET’S BAN THE REMOTE CONTROL! Join me in my fight. Show your support in the comments area below.

Photo courtesy of photobucket.com

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Would YOU Eat Something Off the Floor of a Bus?

I take public transit on a fairly regular basis. Today I witnessed something so disgusting, that I decided I had to share it with the world. I’m sitting on the bus minding my own business when two young women jump on the bus at the last-minute. It’s rush hour, so of course there is nowhere to sit. So what do they do? Do they grab on to a support pole, no of course not – that would be too obvious. They decide to eat instead. Suddenly the bus lurches forward and their food goes hurtling through the air and lands on the floor of the bus. What happened next shook me to the very core; they bend down and pick the food. No, not to throw it away, but to EAT IT!!!!

Why would you eat something that fell on the floor of a bus? If you were homeless and starving then you probably would. Well these women were well-groomed, fashionably dressed and didn’t look homeless to me. Perhaps they thought the floor looked clean? Which do you think is more full of bacteria, the floor of a busy public bus or the floor of a public toilet? I’d say the bus, why? Because the toilet probably gets cleaned from time to time. But I don’t think anyone ever cleans a bus. Why couldn’t they just wait till they got to their destination? Or wait till a seat opens up?

Just writing this and reliving the memory is causing me to lose my appetite. Probably not a bad thing considering I’m not exactly on the skinny side! Do you have any gross eating stories to share? Then let me know in the comments area.

Photo courtesy of photobucket.com

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Give Me Substance Over Style Any Day

diner HDR Pictures, Images and Photos

Are your weekends busy? Mine certainly are. Yesterday was no exception, with two meetings in the morning and only the afternoon to get things done. One thing I was looking forward to was lunch with my husband. After some deliberation we decided to go to a trendy new restaurant we had been meaning to try. We had heard that they serve crepes on square plates and illy coffee in tiny espresso cups. After waiting for twenty minutes and listening to the weird techno music playing in the background, we were  finally showed to our tiny stainless steel table. It took them another ten minutes to get to our table and take our order. Thirty minutes later I was starving and fuming because the tables around us (seated at the same time as us) had already finished eating and we hadn’t even been served yet. With no food in sight, I politely informed the server that because of the abysmal service, we would pay for our drinks, cancel the rest of our order and be on our way.

Still ravenous, we jumped in the car and booted down the road to a small reliable diner we had frequented before. A sign near the front door instructed us to seat ourselves in one of their salmon pink ample PVC booths. They took the order five minutes later and we got the food ten minutes later.  They brought our food in plain round plates and coffee in hunky white mugs. Flock of Seagulls  “I Ran”  was playing in the background. Everything was perfect.

We had gone from pretentious to practical and couldn’t have been happier. This was a profound realization for me,  because in my younger days I was all about keeping up with the latest trends in everything. From the latest handbag and shoes, to eating at fancy restaurants so then I could say to my friends “Oh I’ve eaten there, it’s not bad. You should try the chilled fennel consomme.” Now that I have a little more gray hair (okay that’s a lie, I have a lot more!!), I’d rather eat in a diner than a fancy restaurant any day and I really don’t care what my friends think of me. When I buy a handbag or pair of shoes it’s all about functionality and comfort. Is this transformation a right of passage that we all go through or is it just me? What do you think?

Photo courtesy of photobucket.com.

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