Thursday, January 28, 2016


Fondue: (wikipedia definition) (/ˈfɒndjuː/ or /ˈfɒnduː/;[1] French pronunciation: ​[fɔ̃dy]) is a Swiss, Italian, and French dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon or fondue pot) over a chafing stand (réchaud) heated with a candle or spirit lamp, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s, and was popularized in North America in the 1960s.

Since the 1950s, the name "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot: chocolate fondue, in which pieces of fruit are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, and fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil.

A fondue is something that is enjoyed by my DH and myself during the winter months. We normally try and have fondue between the time changes so from November through March. For us a basic fondue is our Saturday evening tradition when we are home. A fondue is something we also do on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve as it is time where we spend together. For us, we do a fondue bourguignonne and have both beef and chicken cubes as our meats.

Of course, a fondue is a slower meal than cooking something in the oven or on the stove but it also means that we have time to slow down and enjoy spending the time together. For us, a fondue is our break from the demands on our time and we normally spending most of the evening enjoying our time together.

The fondue that we normally have also has a potatoe cut into pieces in it to assist the oil from splashing and making lots of noise. The potatoe also means that at the end of the meal that we have french fries to enjoy and we do. Some people will put mushrooms also in the oil as a vegetable that they enjoy. Over the last little while we have also found that is fun to throw some other vegetables (minus the mushrooms) into the oil and let them cook while we are cooking our meat. The vegetables that sometimes are in our pot are carrots, cauliflower and/or broccoli. A lot of the determining factors on the vegetables is what we have and if they are a nice size to actually good. The first vegetable we tried was cauliflower and we both enjoyed it. The cauliflower can sometimes go crisp on the outside but it is very smooth on the inside. I am not sure what other vegetables we may try but we have found that the three we have tried have worked and we enjoy all of them.

A fondue is a wonderful way of spending some time together and also being able to forget even for a little while about everything else that requires our attention. When you want to slow things down and spend some time with people that you love, why not try and have a fondue.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Handling issues

We all have things that we don't want to deal with but have to. It could be that discussion that you don't want to have or that task that just seems to never get done.

There is often a time when we all sit back and say I wish I didn't have to do that but we know that it has to be done. Being able to just do the task will make you feel so much better once it is out of the way. Of course, as soon as you get that issue/task out of the way something else will pop up that needs your attention and it might be in the same category. The issue can be a work issue or even a personal issue but getting it off my plate and mind does make things so much easier.

Being able to realize that there are going to be issues that you don't want to deal with, is something we all deal with. Sitting down and figuring out what needs to be done and how you are going to deal with the issue will also help make it a little bit easier. Of course, the issue might not be something that you can deal with alone but figuring out some next steps will always help. The more you don't face the issue the harder it is going to be later on.

Everyone has something that is difficult to deal with and knowing that you are not alone does help. If you have someone that you can talk to about things it will also make the issue a little easier to deal with because you won't be alone. Sometimes you don't have to talk about the specific issue but just knowing someone has a general idea about things may help you gain the energy to deal with whatever it is that you need to deal with.

After you have dealt with the issue that you didn't want to deal with take that deep breath and know that you did it. The outcome may not be what you want but at least you have dealt with the issue and can move forward.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dealing with emotions

So many of us hide a lot of our feelings because that is our upbringing.

Many of us have been brought up to show the world that we are strong individuals and are normally happy and upbeat no matter what life throws at us. I know this because that has been me for so long and it has been a difficult thing to deal with. Yes, putting that smile on your face and letting the world think that there isn't anything bothering you.

For years, I was a girl that didn't let anyone know when I was having a rough day. Everyone thought that I could handle anything and nothing really got me down. What people didn't see was I was someone that hide my own emotions and let the world think I am able to handle anything. The truth is I hide what my feelings were and dealt with them privately not letting anyone see when I was having that rough day. I was that person that was also there to listen to someone else when they were having a rough time. Now, I am the person that sometimes needs to be listened to because I am not having a good time.

There are still times when I plaster that smile on my face so I don't have to talk about what is bothering me. Some of my friends can see through that smile now and I normally do open up to them when I can. It has been a challenge for me to learn that I can show when things are going well as well as when things aren't going so well. It has been something that has meant some really interesting discussions with friends.

Yes, everyone thought that I didn't let anything bother me but now they have found out that I am just like them. Things do bother me and I do get down about things and finally I am showing that side of me.

Hiding behind a smile isn't something that is always good. Be true to yourself and it will make things so much easier. Emotions can sometimes get in the way of accomplishing something so having some good friends to talk things over with means you can accomplish a lot more.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Construction cranes

Look around and see how many construction cranes that you see.

It is amazing how many construction cranes you can see on many given day and you don't have to go very far at all to see them. Out our window at home we can currently see one crane close and then there are a few more in the distance which we can also see.

When you drive in downtown Toronto there seems to be construction cranes every where that you look. Some of the cranes are for new office buildings but most of them are for the new condominiums that are being built in the core of the city. It is interesting to realize how many people want to live within a walking distance to their office. In a lot of ways it would be nice to be able to walk to work but then we are sometimes a little too close to the office which is something that I won't want.

The construction cranes that we are also seeing around Toronto are for the new transit stations and new transit lines that are being constructed. Of course, the construction of these new lines means that the roads are congested but hopefully the new transit lines will improve some of the ways of getting around the city. So many people have to drive to get to where they are going because currently transit takes way too long to get you to your destination.

When you are in downtown Toronto next time look around and see all the difference construction cranes that have appeared. I know that the last time we were downtown I was surprised at the number of cranes that I saw. The interesting thing about some of the new buildings that are being built are the width of them compared to the height. The buildings seem to be a lot narrower but higher now because of the cost of the property. The buildings also don't have a lot of ground around them now as they seem to be packing the buildings closer and closer together.

The cranes are around the city for a reason and for some of us it means some congestion getting around and to others it could be their new home. Look around and see the cranes that you notice on a daily basis, are some for transit? Hopefully these cranes will soon be gone and the congestion will go away for a while.

Construction cranes do mean jobs for a lot of people so that is one of the big positives. A bit of congestion may not be so bad knowing at others have jobs.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


It is always interesting when people figure that you will always be available to help them when they need your help.

Everyone has a schedule that is their own and what is important is that people realize that there are things that will mean you are not available to assist them immediately. There are times I have had calls from people that figure that I should be able to help them with an issue right away. Of course, I always try and take the call if I can and let them know that I am in the middle of something if that is the cause and will look into the their issue as soon as I can. When I receive email requests I always try to acknowledge them and let people know if there is going to be a delay in getting an answer from me. Issues that are emergencies will get dealt with quickly even if something that is also important has to be delayed for a little bit.

Schedules do change and when you are juggling a number of projects your schedule can really get messed up quickly. Projects that have been sitting quietly can all of a sudden become something that has to be done immediately or a project that has been going full speed can be put on hold.

Having a schedule of what you are going to be working on is important but you have to realize that a simple email or phone call can change your plans. Schedules do help keep me on track when there are multiple projects that are needing my attention. There have been times when I have put a schedule together for working on things one day only to discover that something that wasn't needed has to be completed immediately.

Schedules are very important but everyone has to realize that a schedule has to be flexible otherwise you will go crazy trying to get everything done. There were times when if I had something on a schedule for a given day that I felt it had to be completed that day no matter what I have now come to the conclusion that there will be days when the schedule of things will not get done and i will just have to accept that and deal with it.

When you are working with someone else remember that they also have a schedule. The ability to understand someone's schedule and their demands will help you in understanding your own schedule and how flexible you may have to be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Social Media - A Distraction or A Benefit

Think about how much time you spend on social media each day.

Yes, social media can be a benefit but it can also be a major distraction when you are trying to get work done. Social media is a great means of keeping up to day on things but if you were to read everything on your Twitter feed or every link on Facebook you would never get anything else done.

There are times I open my Twitter account and leave it alone just to see in half an hour how many twitter feeds I receive. Now if I were to have read all of those feeds and went to all the links I would have spend more than that time following the feeds that I received. There are times that the feed is helpful but there are other times when the feed gets out of control. So while writing this entry I left my twitter account open (I am following 111 accounts) and here is what I got.
Tweets received 32
Tweets containing links 7

Of course if I had followed the links that were in the tweets and actually read all the tweets I probably would have spent more than half an hour doing all of this. Even just seeing some of the brief comments might have meant that I would have gone and done some further looking to see if I could have found out more about what was being mentioned.

Facebook is another area where you can lose tons and tons of time just looking at the different things that people have liked or posted. More and more Facebook posts are to articles that someone has read. The other part of the feed now is there are more and more suggested posts which can also lead you to look up different things. Besides your own personal feed there is now trending section which can be a major distraction and then all the “sponsored” adds that are begging for your attention.

There are a lot of businesses that are now blocking social media sites from their internet access. I understand why this is as people can lose a lot of productivity just by checking their social media accounts during the day. The younger generation doesn't like it when they can't check their accounts as they feel like they might be missing something major. The only thing is that when they are checking their feed they are not getting the work done that they should be doing. A lot of the younger generation is getting around the business policies as they are checking their social media on their mobile devices which are not regulated.

Social media is now taking over all the conversations that people had before on the phone or even through email. Look at some of the twitter feed that is visible and you will see some conversations going on.

Remember that during the day that social media isn't something that you should be living in. Yes at lunch time it is a great time to check to see what is going on but other than that social media should be for the evenings and weekends. If your job doesn't need you to be on social media then you shouldn't be spending hours on it.

Social media really can be a benefit or a distraction. It is up to you have to handle it and if you really need to be on social media during the day.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vendor emails after conferences

I think everyone that has gone to a business conference has received emails from vendors after the conference.

What is very interesting are the various types of emails you will get. Here are a couple of examples that I have received:

  1. Thank you for dropping by our booth and it was great talking to you.
  2. Sorry we didn't have the opportunity to talk at the conference.

As you can see both of these emails start out so differently and now to explain both of these emails. The first one is thanking me for dropping by a booth that I actually didn't even stop at. The second email is a lot better because they are identifying that I probably didn't stop by the booth at the conference. Like the first one I didn't stop by the second booth either.

What is nice about the second email was it went on and explained a bit about the service that they provide and attached a brochure that if I was interested I could look at. The other thing about the second email was it was short and to the point and gave me a bit of information. In this case I didn't stop at the booth as it wasn't of interest to our business but if I had of just missed it I would have got some information and could follow up with the company.

The first email thanked me for dropping by and immediately requested a time within the next week when I would be available to discuss things with them. Well, this isn't a good way to handle things because I didn't drop by the booth for a reason and when I see a request of my time that email quickly gets deleted.

The reason both of these vendors were able to email me was that as a vendor they can receive the email addresses of all attendees either they dropped by the booth or not. This is happening at more and more conferences and it isn't something that I really appreciate. I go to the conference and go to the booths that I want to gather information from. Normally as an attendee you also get a list of all the vendors that are going to there so you can always investigate vendors that you didn't stop at.

A lot of conferences are also giving vendors scanners so that they can scan your id badge to follow up if you want that. I don't mind someone scanning my id badge if I have said they could but I do mind the vendors that immediately scan everyone that is even walking by the booth. I have learned that I will turn my id badge over so that they cannot scan the bar code that gives them the information they need.

Now what I have found is a lot of these vendors continually email you about things so we now have email addresses that are used when signing up for conferences and such. These email accounts do not notify us when we get an email but we can still check them when we have the opportunity to do so. It is amazing how many emails you get after attending any conference and you then have to go and unsubscribe from their mailing lists.

The good vendors realize that everyone is getting tons and tons of emails now and if they want to really get your attention they need to respect your time. We did go to a conference not long ago and talked with a couple of vendors about things we were interested in. Both of these vendors did follow up but more just to check in with us and see if we had any additional questions. Both of these vendors will be getting our business because of how they handled themselves.

Remember your email is getting more and more messages now and a lot of them are due to attending various conferences. Understand you are the one in charge of how things continue with any vendors and the unsubscribe button is your friend.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 in review and 2016 goals

It is always interesting to sit back and look at what I was able to accomplish in 2015 and start thinking about what I would like to accomplish in 2016.

2015 goals
1.  Blog four time each month – accomplished, posted 91 times in 2015
2.  Get home office area organized – this is an ongoing project as it is organized and then it isn't
3.  Get material up on the DLK Life website – both designs and writing – website work is ongoing but did get things up.
4.  Release one cross-stitch pattern under the DLK Life label – released Butterfly under DLK Life
5.  Get more writing up on either Konecny Consulting and/or DLK Life to show my writing skills – got writing up on both of the sites with more being worked on.

This past year I was able to get quite a bit of work done for DLK Life and Konecny Consulting and that makes me very happy.  My writing has improved a great deal over the last couple of years and I am seeing a big difference in it. Writing is no longer a challenge for me and that has helped in a number of ways.  

At the end of 2015 I was able to say that I have been able to write for just over 2 years without missing a day which is a major accomplishment.  Not everything is posted but a least there have been words written every day.

2016 goals
1. Blog a minimum of four times each month.
2. Get home office area organized.
3. Continue to get material up on the DLK Life website.
4. Release two cross-stitch patterns under DLK Life label
5. Write more for Konecny Consulting and/or DLK Life
6. Continue to write every day 

I look forward to 2016 and to see what goals are accomplished and what other goals will be added along the way.  I also have some personal goals that I want to accomplish but they are personal so I will not be posting them on my blog.