Showing Up For Life

      Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime            

If you read one book this year, please let it be ‘Showing Up for Life – Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime” by Bill Gates Sr.  In the book, his famous son, the more well-known Bill Gates said this “Dad, the next time somebody asks if you’re the real Bill Gates, I hope you say , “Yes”.  I hope you tell them that you’re all the things the other one strives to be”

This has been my “Wow” book!   In this book, Bill Gates Sr. talks about showing up for life… being there, volunteering.  He talks about hard work,  and radical generosity.    Bill Gates Sr.  is 83 years old, and says he is priviledged to be representing and running the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  He says he never imagined he would be working this late in life, or that he would be enjoying it so much.   He says he gets up early every morning because ‘he enjoys it’, and he thinks it suits him much better than lying on a beach. 

As you may be aware, the work that Bill and Melinda Gates have done has garnered them the Time Magazine ‘Persons of the Year Award’, sharing the award with Bono in 2005.   Read about the fantastic work these three people do in this article.,9171,1142278,00.html

But first, pick up this book by Bill Gates Sr.  It will move you.  And hopefully, it will inspire you to get out and do a little bit of volunteer work or just to ‘show up’ for the people you love.  Tom Brokaw called the book a “Gift of Great Value”.  I couldn’t agree more.   That’s enough reason to say ‘Thank you Mr. Gates for writing this book”.  I loved it.  I want to do more.



Made In China Part II

See full size imageI couldn’t believe it.  After I wrote the article yesterday about how Chinese made products are taking over our homes, I look on the CNN web-page and there’s a story.  Some people in Florida are having to leave their homes and pay rent, because the drywall in the homes, which by the way has been made in China, are emitting gasses that are making them sick.   Read the full article here

We live in the age of information.  It is more easy to gain access to information and to share it than any other time in history.  Then why are people getting sick, and some dying, from Chinese made products?  Let me say right here that I know not every product made in China is faulty, poisonous, or tainted.  But we are buying baby food, pet food, toys and now drywall, that are not superior products. 

Let’s not assume China has the same ‘standards’ for safety and quality that Canada has.  Pay attention to what you are buying everyone.

Keep safe


A Year Without ‘Made In China’!

A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy

A Year Without ‘Made In China’ – One Family’s  True Life Adventure in the Global Economy, is a book by Sara Bongiorni that was an eye-opener for me!  Sara and her family kick start 2005 with a New Year’s resolution not to buy anything made in China.  She called it a fascinating and frustrating journey and the book takes us along on the journey.

I love this book.  Sara Bongiorni is a wife and mother of 2 children.  Imagine trying to find toys for the kids and boycotting China at the same time.  If you start looking around your home right now, it will scare you the amount of products that have come from China.  

Think about it.  Mattel has recalled toys made in China because they were unsafe, infant milk formula made in China has been recalled because of taining with chemicals, candy has been recalled because Melamine has been found, and who can forget that Walmart had to pull pet food made in China.

Oh, and by the way, while other nations were boycotting products made in China, Canada was trying to convince its people that products made in China are safe!  Yet do you know anyone that pays attention to the ‘Made in China’ products.  I have one friend, Judy, who has been boycotting China made products for about a year.  We call ourselves a safety conscious society but yet parents still line up at Wal-Mart to buy everything from pet food to children’s toys… In this age of information and fast-paced technology, have we not learned anything if we are willing to put our loved ones at risk to save 10-cents?

Food for thought!  (Is the food made in China though?)  Buy this book!


The $156,000 Bottle of Vinegar!

** I published this piece 3 years ago and I thought it was worth sharing again.  Enjoy!  Darlene

             The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

I love this story!  As most of you are aware, I am a red wine drinker.  I love wine, and I love all the nuances that go along with a particular bottle of wine.  I love to know when and where the grapes were picked, how it was aged, etc.   A few years back, I even took a vacation to the Napa Valley in California, and spent a week visiting vinyards and asking lots of questions.  By far my best vacation, and I plan to go back one day.

One evening as I was enjoying a particular good glass of wine, I wondered about the ‘Most Expensive Wine’ ever sold.  I come to find out it was in 1985, when Malcome Forbes paid $156,000 for a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte Bordeaux,  believed to have been in the wine cellar of Thomas Jefferson.  (The 3rd President of the United States and the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence).   The sale of this bottle of wine was the subject of a book by Benjamin Wallace called ‘The Billionaire’s Vinegar”.  You see, the wine is undrinkable.  It is basically vinegar in a bottle.  But still, it is believed to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson at one point.

The discoverer of the bottle was Hardy Rodenstock, a pop-band manager turned wine collector with a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn’t Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret?  This is what the book is about, and I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

Enjoy the fermented grape!


Great Reading!

The Moonlit Cage: A Novel      Dark Summer    File:Sail (Novel) Book Cover.jpg

As you are aware if you read my blog, I have been travelling for work quite frequently.  There fore, between planes and hotel rooms, I have been doing a fair bit of reading.  I wanted to pass along some of my favorites from the past two months.

The Moonlit Cage – by Linda Holeman.  I loved this book.  It’s a story that grabs you, and you feel like you personally know this woman.  I first read ‘The Linnet Bird’ by Linda Holeman and loved it enough to pick up this one.  The Moonlit cage is one of my new favorites.  It is the story of Darya, an Afghan woman and the tragedies she has endured and the courage she has to break the bonds of what can only be called Slavery!  She breaks free of a life that included torture, abuse and how Afghan women are considered second class citizens.  Pick it up.

Dark Summer – by Iris Johansen.  I have read most of Iris Johansen’s books, except for the real early romancey stuff.  This is a thriller, that once you read the first page, kiss your family goodbye for the day, cause you ain’t going to be able to put it down.  I love a good thriller, and this book doesn’t disappoint.

Sail – James Patterson.  This was one of my favorites from James Patterson.  I know, once you’ve read 40 of his books, sometimes you can get a little… what’s the word I’m looking for… bored, but not bored.  Anyway, like I said, one of my favorites, and I have read all of James Patterson books.  I enjoy them, and I love the short chapters.  This is the story of the Dunne family and how they set sail on a boat to take a vacation and try to mend the family.  It turns into a life lesson as they are faced with danger.  I wont’ ruin the book for you. 

Love to hear what your favorites are!  Still read alot so bring them on.