Friends – e34s1

episode 34 season 1

100th_ 34 Friends
trust and loyalty and savouring the moment


Building Friendship, Having Trust,
  • what does this mean, trust
  • Being in the moment, always 

What does it mean to have a friend to have trust?

Since living in Calgary for the last 20 years I look around and feel totally amazed by the people I’ve met. Friendships that I savour. So many people impact me on a daily basis. Recently I went on a trip to Vancouver. The night before I left I got to enjoy my friend’s company. This friend isn’t like just any friend. She’s my best friend. When I think of her and be with her there’s usually tears. Happy and sad. She’s a deep thinker she’s sensitive and grounded. She’s empowered more now then ever. She’s the kind of friend who When you reach out to her no matter what time/day or moment she’s there. I adore her so. Amber. 

Friends on a different level
Friends since we were teens…

This evening gave me reflection on the beauty of this friendship. 

I want to know about your friend. 

Who do you have in your life, the guys listening to this – who do you truly connect with? Colleagues? Your kids? Wife? Ladies who do you have? Tell me your story about your friend that you cannot live without. What’s different that stands out that makes this connection between you two – a string that binds your souls together? That person.

Moving to Calgary and Chestermere where I became a mom surrounded by a group of women going through the ins and outs of being a new mom, parent to this little perfect being. Having this group to share our moments with in a safe place environment with each other is our moment. I’ve met people that have moved me to my core. Things that people have done these little things that have made my heart redder and fuller. I love how life introduces us to these moments that when they happen you are different maybe smarter maybe prouder maybe better perhaps. 

The older I get the more I look for the deeper meaning of life – no this isn’t a country song – not quantity but quality. I love things and I’m passionate excitable heart on my sleeve – all the time. I love silly moments. Drinking to much – sewing all night long. Getting lost in music for hours. Having dance parties. Being girly and pretty with my daughter. Karaoke-ing with my dad. My husband means more to me now then yesterday and even when we met. He gets me and makes me feel amazing. I hope I return the sentiments as deeply. 

Trust is where this lies for me. It’s my measuring stick. Trust is it. You betray my trust and I can’t forgive you. It’s not that I haven’t tried it’s that it’s broken forever. That twig has snapped. the last 5 years has put this trust module /tactic / bad sore to the test. What do you measure this with. What’s your sizing chart? What’s your breaking stick?

You know when you lean on people for direction and leadership and they betray you? I am always shocked by this how can they do this to me? They are selfish or pull this rug out from under you and you are once again in your own two feet- it’s you in the end. Trust yourself first. 

While listening to A Star is Born Soundtrack with the sun on my face sitting in seat 10 a the mountains couldn’t be clearer. Love Calgary for this Dec day that’s sunny/ Chinook in the horizon and being lucky enough to be travelling to Vancouver to celebrate another Christmas with this company. My seat mates are headed to Maui. 

Calgary feels betrayed by Canada. Calgary has done so much for this amazing country. We-Calgary gives back like no other province. We are the givers and have always been a ‘have’ province. Now, I’m not the one who talk politics, talks government but I have come across two amazing write-ups lately that I wanted to shares with you as the timing is incredible for our Calgary and our world. 

The first is written by anonymous my friend from junior high Shawn shared this in fb and I wanted to pay it forward as I think it sums up the betrayal Calgary and Alberta feels from Canada. In terms that are sharp and to the point!

by Anonymous

As we stand tall in yet another bust where the layoff papers again start to roll out. People watch the pumps dip below a $1.00 yet again. With the excitement of cheap gas without a care as to what’s happening behind that dollar.
We watch those rigs get stacked and trucks head home and the people of this province again can do nothing but watch as the government holds the men and women of this province at a hostage state.
No pipelines they said. No rail cars they said. No coal they said. Thousands of people laid off, and downtown Calgary sitting at a 50% vacancy rate.
Some people across the country far too satisfied at the thought of the energy sector being shut down. Yay solar panels and windmills.
Well I hate to bring the bad news Canada but windmills won’t be paying you $19 billion in equalization payments.
Some of you may not understand what an equalization payment is so I want you to think of it as child support. Alberta makes more money than the rest of the country. So we pay you child support so your province can do just a little better in life. We take care of our “have not” children. That’s right Quebec… you should really rethink the divorce as you see about 62% of that number alone.
Alberta has carried this country and many of the other provinces for years.
Now, as Alberta struggles no one is around. Not even the government that has cut off our ability to transport but has said they will not revisit the equalization payments.
So you want Albertas tax payers to pay about $3 billion towards equalization payments… on unemployment? Because that’s the reality. You will not be getting $3 billion from tax payers to hand over to the provinces who so terribly voted red when no one has a damn job.
You will not be seeing anything but Alberta crash and burn just a little more. No pun intended but hey while on that topic, thanks for the help on the Fort Mac fires! ?
If that is satisfactory to you and if the number at the pumps is making you happy, well just wait because as we have seen time and time again the energy sector is just the first domino. It will travel down, and soon all industries will face difficult times. Every single person across this country will face the reality of Alberta struggling.
When you face a lay-off, when you face the choice of food or electricity, and have to turn to social assistance for just a little help along the way… just remember Alberta was there for you.
Where are you?


Barack Obama written by R.K. Burrice

The second is one of London’s reading books. She’s in grade 2 and it was my time to pick the book and read. I chose Barack Obama written by R.K. Burrice.. By the end of the story I was choked up. Here’s what I learnt about Barack Obama: he’s kind to the core. His mom is white and his dad also named Barack left when he was young. He was raised by his grandparents from the age of 10. He went to Harvard to become a lawyer so he could help change laws. Volunteered to help people learn about jobs- street people low income people – all people, he was collaborative and positive. He wanted to empower people – everybody he worked at all kinds of charities donating his smarts and his personal time. Did I mention he’s kind to the core? He’s always smiling. We miss you Obama. London asked me why this made me have an emotional reaction – hmm how do you explain this one to a 7 year old. I just said he was a kind man and the current president is very different. How would you have answered this?

In closing, Be someone people can trust and Rely on.  have integrity – be a good person even if no ones watching or measuring. Be that best friend! I’ve been reading this book called Skeletons in my closet it’s written by a Calgary Detective Dave Sweets. He wrote don’t be average be a bit better than average – a bit better is easy. A bit better doesn’t take much effort but the results will show ten fold. 

Thanks for listening to the podcast today which as produced and written by me, Valerie Moss, intro and outro  recorded by London Moss. Music for this show is provided through GarageBand and today I chose:

  • Reflection Apreggio
  • Deep Connection Percussion Snaps
  • True Heart Plucky Synth
  • Free Fall Snaps 01
  • Record Player Scratching
  • Airplane-134 and Airplane-204 (recorded by me on my flight to Vancouver)
  • Truck Engine Pull Away 02
  • Recollection Plus Melody
  • Tascam 40

If you like this podcast and have a second to give me a rating on iTunes or your podcast app to provide me some feedback I’d love to hear from Leave me a comment on my blog or join my facebook group at Valerei’s Variety Pod – or send me a text/email to – I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for listening.

Interview: Expatriate in Qatar, Born in Calgary – e8p1s1


… “we were on the Kinds property”

There isn’t many people I come across since living in Calgary that are actually born here…but my dad, Michael Swain was born here at the Calgary General Hospital. He went back to school later in life completing his Masters in Business Administration and then packing up his bags looking for new experiences, across the pond. Finding an opportunity as a Professor in a Commerce school in Doha, Qatar which lasted 7 years.

welcome to the show Michael Swain…

  • where were you born
  • Calgary General Hospital
  • What school did you go to?
  • Live?
  • Where did you mom and dad work

Check out this link for Imperial Oil

  • what do you remember about their jobs?
  • what year was this
  • Stampede memories in Calgary
  • Best memory of Calgary
  • coming to calgary now…
  • What does it mean to be an expat?

Saskatchewan Polytechnique 

College of the North Atlantic.

Weather in Qatar


Welcome back to part Two Interview with an Expatriate, Born in Calgary Living in Qatar thanks for joining me for the second part of this two part series, if you haven’t listening to the first segment I’d recommend you do this first to provide you background into today conversation. Enjoy today’s episode about the King of Qatar, weather, muslim culture, teaching, shopping and advice.

Thank’s for listening to Today’s episode if I’ve left anything out or you’d like to learn more about Michael’s tenure in Qatar let me know. Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment or rating on iTunes, stitcher, google play, blubrry and tuneIn radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

Part One

Coming up on the next episode I will be reviewing a few Calgary Restaurants and our amazing and not so amazing experiences

  1. Calgary Tower
  2. Wellingtons
  3. Stadium Keg

Why a Podcast? Calgary-Work Safety- e1s1-Pilot

episode 1 season 1

100th 1 Why
Why a podcast?

Valerie’s Variety Podcast

Welcome to Episode 1 -PILOT 

  • Why a Podcast
  • Living in the Calgary area
  • Working as a project manager.

Why a podcast? I’ve blogged for years even surpassing 200 posts on quilting, sewing and my own opinions  -now that’s a feat!. VSquareD is a new outlet for me because I have something to tell and have an opinion that I want to share and I listen to so many excellent podcasts on my daily communute that have inspired me to do this. Variety is what I’m looking to put out there for your opinions, your feedback, teach me something, influence me, challenge me and I hope to do the same. LIVE WORK PLAY, what makes you TIC

Podcast also known as autoblogging started in the 1980’s – there’s more than 250,000 podcasts on iTunes in more than 100 languages,

some of my favourite podcasts are (not necessarily in this order)

  • Someone Knows Something a podcast about unsolved crimes in Canada. David Riggen is now on season 4 of this intense excellently produced podcast, he has a great way of telling a story
  • The Minds of Madness – True Crime Stories an investigative discovery, uncovering event, circumstances and state of mind which cause ordinary people to do unthinkable things. Tyler’s voice  is edgy but soft spoken and slightly slow however the stories never let me down
  • S-Town– S.Town or shit town is a podcast from Serial and This American Life, Host Brian Reed about a man named John who despise his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the some of a wealth family who allegedly been bragging that he go away with murder, but when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud a hunt for hidden treasure and an unearthing of the mistrials of ones man’s life.

Calgary, also known as cow town located in the southern part of Alberta in Western Canada. Where  prairies and mountains meet, oil fields are in abundance and destination skiing and winter sports is what everyone talks about. Calgary is home to the most famous Major in the world, Mayor Nenshi – who’s been on the ballot box line up for 3 consecutive votes and won each time. why because he’s grounded, fair and fearless. Isn’t this what we all want in ourselves. Known for the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Flames Hockey Team – Living in Calgary for almost 20 years, my entire career is here, my history is here – we have roots here. I love it here, the weather is hot and dry in the summer  getting up to mid to high 30’s (low 90’s in fahrenheit  in the summer and mid to low -30 degrees celcius in the winter is -22 F, for you southerners it’s super cold, for us yep is super cold too. Have you been to this awesome city? If so share your story and I’ll share it out (or now depends how you feel)

Work?  Something most of us are committed to and can’t avoid I’m a Senior Project Manager for a Signage Company, my first task was to install 7000 signs into the new International Airport Expansion project in Calgary, the 4th largest Airport in Canada. Our scope of the project was supposed to be completed in 6 months was eventually completed in 3 years – we had 160 change orders and 170 sign types. the majority of our change orders happened in the last 3 months of the whole project, just before opening. Talk about pressure. The best part was completion, the worst part was being bullied, harassed and put to the test every single day on this job. Looking back I basically received a whole lifetime of experience as I was the superintendent on site, a female, in her 30’s among 1500 other trades and all men – life lessons were learned. Have you worked on a constuction site? which site?

Thank you for listening to Valerie’s Variety Podcast I hope you enjoyed this pilot episode, please leave me a comment, a rating on itunes . Please visit for show notes, links to today’s topics.

this episode is written through WordPress, researched and produced through Garageband by me, Valerie, edited by Jeff and added to in our b, roll by London.