Musings about 
Life, the Universe, and Everything * 
from Linda / LUE-42 Enterprises 

Issue #82; December 2017
Start TODAY! 
Right This Minute
Here is a link to the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Coming in DECEMBER
 Awareness Month of Awareness Months Month

1 World AIDS Day (UN)
1 Bartender Appreciation Day
3 Intern'l Day of Persons With Disabilities (UN)
3 Make a Gift Day
4 Wear Brown Shoes Day
5 World Soil Day (UN)
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
6 Miners Day
8 Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
9 World Anti-Corruption Day (UN)
9 Gingerbread Decorating Day
10 Human Rights D ay (UN)
20 Intern'l Human Solidarity Day (UN)
20 Games Day
21 Look on the Bright Side Day
23 Festivus
28 Card Playing Day
30 Bacon Day AND Bicarbonate of Soda Day
21 No Interruptions Day


Shout Out!  
A big thanks to some who made my life better in  November!

MaryJane Alanko
Stephen Apps
Stewart Burdett
Jim Cain
Barry Cavanaugh
David Cheoros
Jonathan Crane
Russ Dahms
Michelle Demers
Becky Donelon
Brian Edwards
Leo Ezerins
Carrie Habinski
Katherine  Hamilton
Angela Hansen
JT Hay
Bill Johnson
Janna Jorgensen
Lynn MacAskill
Karen MacKenzie
Brett MacNeil
Christina Mash
Andy Northrup
Gerald Osborn
Joyce Pelletier
Hector Pothier
Lori Schmidt
Wanda Stephens
Theresa Tsoukalas
Gerry West
Peyton & Reece West
Jason & Elana West
Jennifer & David Winchester

"Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it."
-- Ralph Marston 

Laughing is Contagious  (It's a Coke ad, but I challenge you to not laugh)  Click Here

Surprising Facts About Reading (Excellent infographic by Robb Brewer) Click Here

Plastic Packaging Better for Environment  (Results of an interesting study, plus encouraging stats about plastics recycling)  Click Here

Was Amelia Earhart Eaten By Giant Land Crabs?  (A plausible, but nasty, theory)   Click Here

Impact of Antidepressants on Crabs   (Risky behaviour...and death. It's in the water, people).  Click Here

Photos of Edmonton's Jasper Avenue in the early 1900s (That's progress!)  
Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine)   
Heard in the Boardroom
Reader Notes  
In Memoriam  
Wish I'd said that...   
Just Because
MaryJane's cat. Just because it is awesome and makes me smile.
Governance Awards
     Congratulations to Vancouver International Airport on its two awards. Governance Professionals of Canada recently awarded VIA the  best overall corporate governance award and the  best practices in enhancing boardroom diversity award. The VIA uses a not-for-profit governance model and has worked towards improving diversity on the board in recent years.

Click Here for the article



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Inspired Living and Working

Books by Moi   

Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6

 (NOTE: There is good stuff in here, but this book isn't aligned with the Federal NFP Corporations Act or the new BC Societies Act. Email me directly with your bylaws questions about NFPs registered federally or in BC)


 Exceptional Board Members, Exceptional Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



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     I'm having a little trouble accepting December, are you? Accepting it means I've been complaining about Christmas music in stores for a month already!
     I am always bothered when Christmas appears before November 11th. Once again I was privileged to do the Remembrance Day ceremony at Edmonton International Airport. Next year if you are looking for an indoor way to remember the contribution of millions of Canadians, consider coming to EIA. They've got it all. 
     If I'm being completely honest,  I can't even think about the holiday season until Grey Cup is over. My team made a good run, but I got to sit in a windy Calgary stadium and watch them be eliminated. The Stampeders advanced to the Cup, only to lose it to the Toronto Argonauts
      Ottawa put on a good Grey Cup Festival, and it was wonderful to see so many friends from across the continent. I had several meetings with the CFL Alumni Association and related parties (I'm their governance nerd) and also attended the Legends Luncheon. This was a glorious event attended by a thousand people, celebrating all the former players who have entertained us in the 105 years of our game. Over 100 alumni were present and it was a very special time. Monies raised go the alumni support fund.
     The Grey Cup game itself was a delightful display of " being Canadian." Seriously: Grey Cup, snow, sled dogs, Shania, Mounties -- Sooooooo Canadian. The snow was gorgeous and even though we were soaked to the skin, it was a blessing to be in the middle of it all.  Now starts that long off-season (for me, NOT the most wonderful time of the year). 
     I enjoyed work trips to Golden, Calgary, Red Deer, Ponoka, and Ottawa. I also did a webinar, which expanded my reach but didn't require me to put on lipstick. (Of course, I did anyway).
     I had the privilege of working with some really interesting boards and was also invited to participate in a think tank about how we might make non-profits more effective (impact) and efficient. With the brains and experience around that table, hosted by the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, I have to think we'll come up with something to change the game for the organizations working so hard in our communities. Fingers are crossed!
     There has been a shift in my own board participation. My time as a public member (serving at the pleasure of the Province of Alberta) on two boards has come to an end. Those were tremendous experiences (4 and 6 years respectively), but now they get someone fresh and I get to pursue other opportunities. I have been interviewed for a couple of boards, so let's see what happens. And of course, there are 3 other boards that I'm still on. 
     If it sounds like a lot, I suppose it is. However, I don't think it would be right for me to work with boards without first-hand, current knowledge about what boards face every day. So yes, I am giving back but it's also my professional development.  
     I got my first glimpse inside Edmonton's downtown arena (a year old). Thanks to Delta Hotels and a good friend, I attended the Professional Bull Riders World Cup. That was a blast! We overlooked the bulls, and you could really see which ones were having a bad day (most of them!). Bull riders are clearly a special breed.
     I am always so grateful that even when busy or out of town, I find friends who want to have a coffee or lunch (yes, or a beer). It's important that we take time for meaningful connections, and I feel very privileged in that regard.
     I hosted a reading of my football play TRUE GRID with the original cast and director. We laughed ourselves silly, it was so brilliant to be together again. I think audiences can expect a rewrite and remount in 2018. My new play still stymies me, but I am pushing forward. I am also working with a community theatre group that is doing my play FOUR IN THE CRIB in the new year (road trip!). So while I sometimes feel stuck, I do have evidence that my creative juices are still flowing in a few directions.
One of the great things about the CFL is that players, alumni, and the Grey Cup itself are so accessible. I will never have enough pictures with the Cup.


     Cheers from the Grey Cup and from my home to yours. I w ish you all the very best of the season (even though it seems too early to say that). I am grateful for each of you. 
      O n that note, I am going to do some decorating for the first time in many years. Let's see how creative I can get. 

"At the end of each day, life should ask: 
'Do you want to save the changes?'"

The Answer   

A: Less is More (or Enough)
          For some time I've been lurking on a discussion page about whether minutes need to indicate who moved and seconded motions. The dialogue has been thoughtful and insightful, and demonstrates to me that things are shifting...but not entirely.
          In boards I work with, I see a bit of everything, yet I am reluctant to call any of it a best practice. There seems to be a range:
  • Name the mover and seconder in the minutes. If you're following Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, keep in mind the mover must be a proponent of the idea (that is, you cannot move something you don't agree with); the seconder need not be a proponent. The minutes also must name any dissenters to the motion. 
  • Name the mover, no seconder required. Presumably the mover is a proponent, although I recently experienced a meeting in which the motion was moved simply to get it on the table so they could defeat it unanimously. It is not good practice to move a motion in the negative, so this was the work-around. It made me a little twitchy, but it solved a problem. No seconder in sight, and it didn't bother me.
  • Record Moved/Carried (or Defeated). No names are used. The rationale for this is that once the decision is made, the board speaks with one voice (true) so it does not matter who got the discussion rolling. Technically, this is true, but I'm not quite there yet.
          I think it is important to at least record the number of dissenters to any motion because it helps a board remember its big issues, and because despite the "one voice" principle, it is inappropriate to presume everything a board does is unanimous.
          I also think it is important to record the name of dissenters who ask to have their name recorded. In fact, there are legal cases where directors' names have been removed from law suits because their names were in the minutes as having opposed the motion. This is not always the case (far from it), but it doesn't hurt.
          As for the discussion summary, never use names. The "he said/she said" will get you in trouble every time. This is true even if you have a digitally recorded evidence of who said what. Once these exchanges are put into written form (minutes), people can see how stupid they sounded...and no one likes to look stupid. So save yourself the trouble and just hit the highlights of both sides of a discussion without names.
          It's a good reminder that minutes have a  legal function in that they are a public record of the board's actions. Other functions of minutes include:

* A historical record of what was done, discussions held, and decisions made;
* A place to find task assignments and deadlines;
A summary of decisions for those who could not attend; 
* Provide evidence that the board met as well as for use in legal actions.

          If you've known me for a while you know I still name the mover and seconder (or at least the mover) but I have really softened over the years. Honestly! What are you doing and how is it working? PS: Read your minutes!

Ideas for Consumable Gifts    

  Given that so many people are decluttering and downsizing, Janet Wilson at, a fabulous personal concierge service, has some great gift tips (which I modified). Of course, consider the interests and passions of the recipients...
  1. For the Reader, a Short Story Advent Calendar (check out Alberta company
  2. Chocolate Advent Calendar (Check out any of the great local chocolate shops)
  3. For the Foodie, a basket of gourmet products to explore in their cooking adventures (Check farmers markets for ingredients, sauces, spreads)
  4. For the Baker, a mixing bowl of ingredients with a few of your favourite recipes.
  5. Gift cards for Dinner and a Movie. Try and add wine, popcorn, etc.
  6. Coffee Around Town. Create coffee breaks with individually wrapped gift cards to caf├ęs and coffee bars around town.
  7. Experiences Around Town. Do they like sports, theatre, music, movies?
  8. Museums and science centres. See what is coming up for 2018 and buy passes.
  9. Story Book Advent Calendar for little ones. Purchase 24 small storybooks (even used ones would work), wrap them individually and label them with numbers 1 to 24. Place them in a decorated box or crate and enjoy throughout the month.
  10. For the Candy Lover, small mason jars containing a selection of their favourite snacks.
     Also, I wouldn't be me if I didn't remind you that there are some great Craft Beer Advent Calendars around, too!
10 Commandments of Happier-ness

Nataly at offers  10 Commandments of Happier-ness:
  1. Happier-ness isn't something you feel, but something you do. It's a skill we can improve.
  2. It's OK to be not OK. Strengthen your emotional immune system so you can be OK when everything is not OK.
  3. "I'll be happy when..." is the surest way to never feel happy enough.
  4. Gratitude, kindness, and mindfulness are the three anchors of happier-ness practice. Do them even if you don't feel like it.
  5. Be Here Now (however now is). How you feel right now helps you gain clarity and strength.
  6. Practice gratitude in every moment, even when life sucks. Look for something to appreciate. Your brain releases serotonin and dopamine, both of which make you feel better.
  7. Be kind without expecting anything in return. Do it because it feels better to be kind than not.
  8. Seek meaning more often than happiness. The simplest acts, if meaningful to you, will bring you closer to feeling full, alive, and happier.
  9. Don't try to be fearless. Accept your fear and move into love, commitment, passion, and dedication for what you are doing.
  10. You can't give what you don't have. Taking care of your emotional well-being is the greatest gift you can give to people you love.
Something to try for 2018?

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