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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 49 - Celebrate Life in 2009

1 Jan 2009

Friends, welcome to the first episode of KaTsZone in 2009!

It has been a very busy December - so many parties, so little time!  There were four holiday celebrations at work where I had the opportunity to become delightfully turkeyed, steaked, potatoed, vegged, pastried, caked and candied out ... and that's just at work.  The process continued as I celebrated my December birthday and Christmas with my friends, so, I should probably look like a stuffed turkey by now - LOL. 

All the celebrations over food was more importantly a celebration of friendships and relationships.  I have discovered new friendships and connected with old friends during the holidays.  It is a great blessing to give without expecting anything in return, and yet, I feel triply blessed.  Good relationships are precious.  We may all be busy throughout the year, yet, from time to time, I appreciate the cards/letters, small chats, emails and meals with those who mean a lot to me.  If you have not yet said hello to your friends or family during the holidays, take some time to call, write or get together with them.  Create some good memories because when you look back on your life years from now, I think you will see how meaningful life has been.

Since November, I have been checking out the sights and sounds of Toronto preparing for the holidays.  Although it seems kind of sad to see the Christmas trees and pretty lights being removed in the new year, I think it makes me appreciate them more each year.  It's easy to take something for granted when you see it every day.  Siimilarly, although I may see many of you every day, I hope I will not take you all for granted.  You have each made a big difference in my life and don't ever think that you are not making a difference.  Your families, co-workers, friends will not be the same without your special qualities.  During the holidays, I always remember the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".  It is a feel-good movie which reminds us that no matter what kind of tough times you may face, don't forget that you have friends, family and people who care about you even when you think you are alone.  And, if you had not existed, the world would not be the same.  Your life has touched many and the universe would be completely different without you in it.

This year, I want each of you to give yourself a pat on the back -- well, if you can't reach that far back, then, pat your head or whatever body part you can reach!  Congratulations!  You have made it to the year 2009!  You did not rely completely on a computer, iTouch, GPS or Wii to get you this far in life.  You made it this far in life by your faith, strength, wits, determination, and likely a little help from your friends and family.  So, if you need to take some clutter out of your life which is taking you away from what really matters in life, do it not for others, but for yourself.  You need to look after yourself before you are able to look after others.

As we ring in the new year, let me say, L'Chaim (pron. "la hayyim"), a Hebrew/Jewish expression which means "To Life"!   Join me in toasting and celebrating life with friends and family in a new year.

Coming up in 2009

As you may recall, I started a new events calendar on my website.  I will continue to update the calendar in January, 2009
and throughout the year, so, I hope you will drop in and perhaps you will see event which may interest you.  Keeping an events calendar will hopefully help me experience more sights and sounds of Toronto.  Keep in mind that I am posting events which are of interest to me, however, it does not necessarily mean that I can attend all of them.  If an event is scheduled for more than one day, I would not likely be attending every day, of course.  There are so many events happening in Toronto to satisfy so many interests which you may have.  If you know of an event which is of interest to you and would like to share it with me and readers of KaTsZoNe, please feel free to let me know.  As always, you may either make a comment at http://www.katszone.com/comments.html or email me at katherine@katszone.com.  Piece of cake, eh? (Oh...why am I even thinking about cake! LOL.)

As I was wandering a list of my favourite venues, one special event which I would like to see is The Nature of Diamonds which is now showing in the Garfield Weston Exhibit Hall at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).  The exhibit runs until March 22, 2009.  A few years ago, I wrote about diamonds in one of the KaTsZoNe issues.  I think an actual field trip would do me some good.  I'll just pretend I'm shopping for something shiny.

As I was on the ROM website, I also saw another exciting future exhibition coming to Toronto.  The Dead Sea Scrolls will be showcased at the ROM between June 27, 2009 and January 3, 2010.  Friends, I think it will be worth it to fit this exhibition into your extracurricular activities.

As usual, whenever it is possible and appropriate, I have been snapping photos at various events and sites in the city.  I thank those of you who have told me how they have appreciated seeing the photos.  II heard comments that seeing some of my photos has encouraged them to go out and see the sites from themselves or it has allowed them the opportunity to enjoy them when they are not able to get out to visit such places.  I have been posting lots of photos on a private, unlisted photo album on Google.  I will try my best to protect the privacy of my friends and family.  I have also gone to the extent of covering up the faces of strangers except for performers, public figures, etc., so they cannot be easily identified.  I would also like to remind those of you who take photos and post them on public websites (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, etc.) that it would be respectful to let your friends and family know if you would like to post their photos on the internet.  I have friends who do not like to have their photos posted on such sites, so, I do respect their privacy.

Promoting Small Businesses and Special Events

Since December, 2005 when KaTsZoNe went online, there has been over 16,480 hits on the site.  If you "google" the word Katszone, the first item you will find is the homepage to my website.   This is one reason I hope to take advantage of all these "hits" by trying to promote the endeavours of my friends.

If you are an independent business owner or have a special event which you are currently involved in and would welcome promotion, consider giving me the opportunity to say how fabulous you are!  Hey, how can you turn down such an awesome opportunity? 

For starters, I have recently added to items.  I want to mention two people whom I think are absolutely awesome and I hope they will succeed in their great endeavours:

1.  Next Great Prime Minister 2009 is a competition which a new friend of mine, Emmy Marshall-Hill,  has taken on.  Read about the great things this bright eighteen-year-old will do if she is to become Prime Minister of Canada!  Go to  http://www.katszone.com/next_great_pm.html where you get get information about the competition and lead you to Emmy's and CBC's websites.

Perfect Form
is a business started by my friend, Terri Marucci, who is a personal fitness trainer.  Click on http://www.katszone.com/perfect_form.html (where you will find Perfect Form's website) if your New Year's resolution and ongoing goal is to become more fit but need a little help. 

So, take me up on the offer.  My offer is only to subscribers who are on my mailing list.

Thanks for reading this month's episode of KaTsZoNe.  I shall check in with you next month -- can't wait!

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.  (Irish blessing)

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.                    (Irish blessing)





Email me at katherine@katszone.com

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