Thursday, November 8, 2012

Well worth the snip!

First of all, I have a rant posted over at, in which I whinge about the robot-thingeys that unknowingly plague many Blogger bloggers. You may have these annoying "prove you're not a robot" thingeys on your blog and not even know it! Click here and find out.

My turn in front of the room -
awesome and embarrassing all at the same wonderful time!

I’m feeling real sorry for all you men out there right now because, no matter what you do, you will never be nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. Well, OK, so there are operations that can get the job done, a nip here and a tuck there but you have to ask yourself this, as the surgeon hovers overhead with scissors the size of garden shears, if it’s worth it.

Hell yes!

It’s the best! The best, best, best thing you can possibly do! I know because I was nominated this year and I highly recommend the experience to everyone. Do you have a mother or an aunt or a sister or a colleague who goes beyond the call of duty? Maybe she volunteers, or she mentors other women, or she’s successful in business. If you know a woman who works tirelessly to make this world a better place, in one way or another, you really should nominate them for next year’s awards.

Why? Because they treat you like a queen. I have never been so feted or felt so special in my entire life. This was an incredible event, something I will never forget – until my menopausal fugue gets worse then I’ll forget everything ... sorry, what was I talking about?

Oh yes, the YWCA awards.

What a ride. What a trip. What a fabulous night.

My nominator and work friend, Gail Knaus, me, and Pamela Steel,
a board member with the YWCA and a very good friend as well.

When I found out two of my work friends, Gail Knaus and Leah Burton, had nominated me for an award I thought they were as loonie and merrily menopausal as me. My first thought was that the YWCA was desperate for nominations and I was merely filling a quota. “Sure, I’ll do it,” I told them, thinking I would help out the poor YWCA in their bid to collect nominees.

Someone else at work asked me what I had done to deserve the award and, frankly, I didn’t have an answer. But when I asked Leah why she had nominated me, she said, “You make people laugh.” I smiled and I felt good about her answer. Maybe I’m not the most dedicated volunteer; maybe I haven’t done anything to bring about world peace; but making someone laugh or smile, well, that’s pretty good, too. 

Alison Brownlee, left, the lovely Huntsville Forester reporter,
with Pamela, at our table. Check out the beautiful room.
Doesn't it look beautifully festive?

When I arrived at the Mark O’Meara Ballroom in Huntsville for the big event I met the 24 other women nominated for awards. These were some of the most spectacular women in Muskoka, incredibly hard working and devoted to their various causes and, you know what? I didn’t hear one of them say they “deserved” to be there. Every single woman I talked to downplayed their achievements, honestly believing they didn’t really deserve the recognition. I thought, either women are the most modest people on earth, or we have no idea of our worth.

Thankfully the organizers of this event recognized this about our silly selves and went about making us feel as special as possible.

First of all, the Mark O’Meara Ballroom – wow. I’d never been there before and all I can say is – wow. What a beautiful place. And the food? Amazing. No kidding. It was gourmet with a capital ‘G’. I had this date wrapped up in bacon (the fruit date, not the Saturday night kind of date) and it was a lil ole bite of heaven. (Any food wrapped in bacon makes me feel like Paula Deen.) And the cheesecake? Seriously, the best cheesecake ever. 


As soon as we arrived we were pinned with a pretty corsage posy, introduced to other nominees, had our photos taken by the paparazzi like we were all Paris Hilton, minus the wee dogs, hot gossip and hotel chain. We were congratulated and warmly welcomed by everyone from the YWCA, who shook our hands and wished us well and treated us like we were important. It was an unbelievable feeling! Believe it or not I’m a bit of a wallflower and having so many people being so nice to me (and all the other nominees) just bowled me over. Their niceness was so very, very ... um, nice.

When it came time for the awards ceremony, all nominees were asked to come to the front of the room. One by one we walked to the stage where the mistress of ceremonies said the most wonderful things about us. It was stunning, having someone point out your accomplishments. We’re all so used to being put down all the time. I have to tell you, it’s magic when someone points out the good. I promise to try to do more of this every day.

After the night was over, that unbelievably fantastic night, people wanted to know if I had won. “No,” I told them, “of course not!” And seriously, I had no hope that I would. The women who did win the awards were amazing; I mean, at a Mother Teresa-Indira Ghandi-Joan of Arc-Paula Deen level of amazing. (Sorry, still thinking about those bacon date thingeys.) But you know what? It didn’t matter who won and who didn’t. We were all treated like winners.

If you know anyone, and I mean anyone, who you think is worthy of a nomination, I highly recommend that you nominate them for next year’s awards. They will be treated like royalty and you will feel like a million bucks for helping them to feel that way.

Kudos to the YWCA for such an outstanding event. Truly, you are all women of distinction.

Here are the other wonderful nominees: Jasmine Arney, Heather Berg, Glad Bryce, Karen Bullock, Laurie Campbell, Nancy Cox-Godfrey, Brenda Cunningham-Moran, Wendy Dingman, Chris Gefucia, Holly Goldthorp, Fran Gower, Kim Jackson, Tara Kinden, D'Arcy Kirkwood, Laurie Lamont, Kelly McBride, Katy McGregor, Shelly Raymond, Marnee Reid, Jennifer Schnier, Martina Schroer, Marguerite Urban, Brenda Wainman Goulet and Jo Walton. Congratulations ladies!

The nominees pose for a group photo... after this picture was taken we had to reshoot because two were stuck in line in the washroom and missed out! Can you imagine a ballroom mostly full with women? There was a lonnnnnnnng line-up in the ladies room! We were thinking about taking over the mens room but were too polite!


  1. Congratulations! Now you can be one of those people who can truly say, "It was an honor just to be nominated." :)

  2. Congratulations, Cathy! What an honor.
    And PASS on those giant shears!!!!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time, and I'd say that nomination was well deserved. I'm so glad you were treated like royalty. It couldn't happen to a nicer person.

  4. What a Stellar event you were able to attend while hobnobbing with the Cream of the Crop of Woman folk. Congrats Cathy, and making someone laugh and feel good always is deserving being recognized ! (PS Did you ever get my email I had sent a bit ago now?).

    1. Cindy - I don't think I did get your e-mail... resend, please!

    2. I sent to your Hotmail acct; will try again !

  5. Congratulations. And you looked lovely.

  6. Congratulations, Cathy!!! You are glowing in your pics!...but not "nuclear" glowing, just beautiful glowing...:) xoxo

  7. Congrats, Cathy! You deserve your nomination - I certainly have a smile on my face when I log on to read your blog!

    In a world facing wars, economic recession and all manner of other miseries, people like you are worth your weight in gold, because you make us remember that laughter is the best medicine. Bless you, just one look at your chuckling face and I can feel my lips twitching into a smile!

    What makes your 'gift' all the more special is that behind your comedic turn of phrase I know you have faced some tough times, yourself.

    Imagine a world where we all took a leaf out of your book and brought a little laughter to the proceedings......sounds like heaven to me! ;-)

  8. That is so wonderful, Cathy. Congratulations. I think anyone who can make another laugh in this crazy world of ours is definitely deserving of the nomination.

  9. Congratulations, you wonderful, distinctive woman, you! <3

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  10. Congratulations, Cathy! You absolutely do deserve awards, JUST FOR BEING YOU. I'm serious. I was a complete stranger and happened to connect with you over thousands of miles through a computer and you selflessly offered me hope, encouragement and a friendly virtual hug like we were BFFs. You are amazing and appreciated, lady! Enjoy that limelight and recognition! :)

  11. What fun. Except the washroom part.

  12. Congratulations! And well deserved too b/c you do make me laugh. Did the friends that nominated you get to go? How about your husband? Or was it just for women?

  13. Well, that's awesome!

  14. Of course you're special and congrats on such a huge nomination! You looked fabulous!
    I'm sorry, but I can't believe you're a wallflower. Absolutely. No. Way.

  15. Now that is awesome. And your friend is right. I love coming to your blog because I know that no matter what issue you address, it will be delivered in a way only you can accomplish and I will enjoy it immensely through tears of laughter.

  16. Well it's about time somebody said something about how fab you are. :)

  17. Congratulations. I am more than happy for you. Serendipity. Last week I attended a function celebrating 'Women of Spirit', and was like you a nominee. Also like you I neither won nor expected to, but the nomination did give me a warm fuzzy feeling. However, I wasn't comfortable at all, and it reaffirmed that I would much rather fly under the radar.

  18. Congratulations, Cathy! Looks like you had fun!


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