WRITING WORK SAMPLES

BEST FISH n’ CHIPS

BEST FISH n’ CHIPS outside of Newfoundland!
A delicious one hundred and forty year tradition!

Hey, my friends, you were wondering where we should meet for dinner next! Well what I have just said about “the best fish and chips outside of Newfoundland” should trigger enough of your interest……seeing most of you are from the East Coast!

Aren’t fish part of your lives?!

Let’s all meet at Lapointe’s! I can say with all honesty that they make the best seafood chowder I’ve EVER HAD!

The East Coast aroma when you walk into Lapointe’s will make you hungry even if you’re not! It will make you want to order one of everything! The crackling fireplace is a welcoming centrepiece, along with all the happy smiles you receive as you walk in.

The beer-battered fish and chips are perfection at its best. Very crispy. Not soggy. Just downright yummy. The freshly baked home-made fries, (doused delicately with salt and vinegar), will ALWAYS make your mouth water for more.

The hearty clam chowder is served steaming, hot and ready, full of chunky seafood tidbits. And a couple of little clam shells for added decoration!

The sesame salmon is a personal favourite of mine. It comes with a melt-in-your-mouth spinach, garlic and mushroom side dish that’s one of the chef’s private creations.

And don’t get me started on the crispy shrimp tempura – WOW!! Delicious!! The design of the fresh sushi is an art unto itself. So beautifully prepared and presented.

Lapointe’s also has this in-house homemade creamy coconut cream pie, very light, delicate and creamy, sprinkled with fresh coconut shavings….real coconut heaven on a plate!

But back to the seafood….

Hey, and wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to pick out your own lobster from the live lobster tank? Kids always love the lobsters!

So, I believe I know what I speak of. Because Lapointe’s Fish has been owned and operated by the Vivian family for OVER one hundred and forty years! It is now currently being run by the third generation, who grew up watching their grandfather and fathers run a fresh fish and seafood business.

To this day, they still catch and prepare their own product!

When Eric Vivian Sr. bought Lapointe Fish Ltd in 1965, there was only a “sole” retail shop on the Ottawa ByWard Market. (No pun intended).

Now, Lapointe Fish has expanded to offer Ottawa residents numerous seafood grills and retail stores, sushi counters, and wholesale services, all over the region of Ottawa.

Their ongoing commitment to ensure quality product, service and knowledge of seafood has led to the continued loyalty of their customers.

Whether you would like to purchase some fish to cook at home, or treat yourself out for an intimate dinner, Lapointes is your headquarters for quality fresh fish and seafood!

In the mood for sushi?
Lapointes offers daily made sushi, as well as sushi-grade product if you feel like making your own sushi at home! This is the only place I will eat sushi. Because they catch it, I know the fish and seafood are fresh and of the utmost quality!!

They also offer catering and wholesale services to the Ottawa region, so we can always bring it home….if that’s what you guys want. But I know you don’t.

Bottom line – only the best will do at Lapointe Fish!

So let’s all go!

Of course, there’s something else I think you should know. The Fisheries Research Board of Canada has proven that fresh fish can be kept up to twelve days (at 31.5°F/-0.3°C) without spoilage. That’s a cool tip!

And, along with Lapointe’s, they have also provided “fish facts” to explain why fish is so good for us!

Here are those “Fish Facts”….just to name a few!

Seafood is a nutritious food containing nutrients that play an essential role in:

  • normal growth and development
  • energy and metabolism
  • building and repairing body tissues
  • formation and maintenance of bones and teeth
  • formation of red blood cells
  • building antibodies
  • Maternal seafood or fish-oil supplement consumption during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding and improved pregnancy outcomes, including and
    increased length of gestation, as well as improved developmental outcomes (such as visual acuity and cognitive development).

But, I don’t really have to tell all you fish and seafood lovers all of that, since you were almost raised by lobsters anyway!

But, did you also know that eating seafood not only supports heart health in adults but, more importantly, normal growth and development in infants and young children! So why not take the kids out for some healthy eating. And they won’t even know they’re eating healthy!

IN FACT, your whole family will be in awe when you take them to this great find of a restaurant. One that serves the true kind of fish n’ chips they know and love.

Lapointe’s also offers tips on how to prepare, store, and cook all types of fish and seafood. Whether it’s baking, broiling, boiling, deep frying, pan frying, poaching, sautéing, steaming, Lapointe’s can offer you the advice you’re looking for to make a perfect seafood dinner EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Nutritious and satisfying soups are prepared daily by their talented head chef using only the finest and freshest ingredients.

Did I mention how much I love their clam chowder!?

Well, this Friday, they are giving free soup or chowder WITH EVERY MEAL! An occasion to celebrate 140 years! We need to get there early enough however because the chowder pot may not be deep enough to serve everyone! And I need you to taste this chowder!

The majority of you are from Newfoundland, so I guarantee that you will be impressed! And if you’re not even in the slightest, I will pay for all of your dinners out of my own pocket! That’s how confident I am that you’ll like it!

Well, at the end of the day, don’t just take my word for it. Here are what others have had to say about Lapointe’s!

“Went to have lunch today. We all had Fish & Chips. Lets me start with the fries. Homemade fries were awesome, tartar sauce was tasty and the fish (I had the halibut ) was good as well! Love the food and looking forward to going back soon. Thanks and keep up the good work! Cheers!” Patrick

“Lunch Date”
“This is one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever eaten at and I would highly recommend it. I had the blackened swordfish which was absolutely delicious!! On previous occasions, I have had the blackened catfish and the fish and chips which were equally delicious!” Shelly

“Went there in February, a group of 6. For appetizers, we had the CoconutShrimp and Calamari. The shrimp were huge, cooked to perfection and the dipping sauce was to die for. Our main ranged from the fish and chips to scallop and shrimp with risotto…everyone was blown away by the quality and the freshness. The plating were master pieces on their own but the taste was even better. For desserts we had the pecan pie and key lime cheesecake…OMG!!!!” Joan

“One word….”Amazing!”
Our server was very attentive to out needs and, even though the restaurant was extremely busy, everything was on time and our server never lost her smile. Jeff and his incredible staff made it a fantastic night out for this group of friends and you can bet we will return many times.” John

“Best fish & chips outside of Newfoundland!”
“My husband and I come to this restaurant at least twice a month. The fish and chips are THE BEST in Ottawa but we often have the tapas in the bar as we like the variety of small plates.” Ann

You know what…..I decided not to stop there. I just had to ask the staff why I should bring my friends to eat at their restaurant. Here’s what some of the staff had to say!

“Our menu is basic, but what we do make, we do it extremely well! Our food is of the utmost quality and our chef puts his personal best into food creativity.” Angela

“We are the absolute best place to get fish and chips in Ottawa! The best value for your dollar!” Mark

“I’ve never worked anywhere else where people love the food so much!” J. D.

It only goes to say that Lapointe Fish is the name in Ottawa to trust for quality fresh fish and seafood. Since 1867 their commitment to quality, knowledge of the product, and customer service is what has made Lapointe Fish a household name. That’s 140 years of quality!

And a good reason to celebrate such a landmark. Especially considering Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year! (That’s only 10 years difference in age…..so Lapointes is old, tried and true according to Canadian standards).

I can honestly say that Lapointe’s offers that authentic “East Coast” welcome and hospitality. And you know exactly what I’m talking about! I know how much a lot of you miss home, so let’s bring home to you!

I have booked a nice private corner where we can visit and experience that “no one does it better Newfoundland hospitality.” Because we Canadians know that no one does seafood better than those from Newfoundland!

Well….except Lapointe’s!

So, I’ll expect all of you to meet me at the ByWard Market location, this Friday at 5:00 pm sharp!

We need to get in early on that chowder give-away!

No need to bring your fishing gear. Although It will definitely feel like you’ve just caught your own anyway……you’ll see!

Cheers, my fellow mates and seafood lovers…..I will see you there on Friday!

In friendship,

Daphne

PS. And you know that THE WINE IS ON ME! I’m confident enough that I guarantee the dinner……but the drinks are a sure bet! And I know you “Newfies” like a good drink with your meal….and during…..and after!

PPS. Did I mention how much I love the clam chowder?

IS ANYONE WATCHING?

I want to talk to you about something a lot of people don’t have, something I have found and what many have not yet discovered………Happiness.

A very inspirational woman, Helen Keller wrote;
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

I went through the door of a card store not long ago and I noticed inspirational words everywhere. The one in particular that struck me was “Dance like No One’s Watching”….something I do often (and much to the embarrassment of my children). Why would someone dance like no one’s watching? Well…..because they’re happy!

It occurred to me that I will be 60 (someday) and this thought caused me to examine my own happiness…….Am I happy? Do I exude joyfulness – while I’m obliviously dancing? Is anyone watching? There was a time when I was not happy…..I was stuck actually. I was unhappy with my life and marooned in a bad marriage and only saw closed doors in front of me. There was a chalk line around my happiness. It’s not until I made the choice to open a door and walk through it did things actually change for me. It took walking through that door with nothing, starting over with nothing for me to realize that I was in charge of my own happiness…..and I knew that I could be happier. I am happier. I have tried the locks and have walked through many doors since, and it has dawned on me (unfortunately) that it’s taken me a long time to get HERE…..to be really happy. Better late than never? Yes!

Well, we convince ourselves that life will be better someday; maybe after we meet the right person, get married, have a baby….even two. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be happier when they are. Happy when they’re out of daycare, happier once they start school. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they’re out of that stage. AND, we’ll be happy when the kids finally leave home. How many times have we heard that!?

I saw a poster on the wall of CHEO that said; “One hundred years from now it’s not going to matter what kind of car I drove, how big my house was, or how much money I had in my bank account. What will matter is the difference I made in the life of a child.” So, I’ve asked myself, “Have I made a difference in my children’s lives?” Are they happy? Will they remember me as being miserable and grumpy, or will they remember how happy I was? What’s the message I want to pass on to them?

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our children are successful, when our spouse gets their act together, when we get a nicer car, bigger house, are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?

Our lives will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to ourselves and decide to be happy anyway. There’s always some obstacle in the way, something to get around, get through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, debts to be paid, confrontations to be had. Life will begin soon, I just know it. I’ll be happy one day. Hey, look around you….these obstacles are your life!”

This perspective has helped me to see that there’s no way to happiness. There is no path, no door, no magic wand, and no formula……..just me. You’ve heard others say; “Oh, well, they’re sure living the good life.” Well…….let’s look in the mirror……so are we! Life is good because we’re in it, we’re here! I have taken a few long hard looks in the mirror over the years, which has resulted in me having to have made some difficult choices….but it has all ultimately lead me through a door to a better life. Happiness isn’t getting what we want but being satisfied with what we have… and, by the same token, you have to be happy with who you are before you can be happy with what you have.

Happiness is what it is. Treasure every moment that you have, and treasure it more because you shared it, or are sharing it, with someone special….special enough to spend your time………and time waits for no one. The years pass by too quickly.

So…let’s stop waiting until we finish school, go back to school, lose 10 pounds or gain 10 pounds, until we get married, have kids, the kids leave home, we start work or retire, meet the love of our life, get divorced, Friday night or Sunday morning, until we get that new car, new boat, buy that dream house, or our debts are paid off, until spring, summer, fall, or winter, we’re off welfare, payday, or we win the lottery, tomorrow, the day after, the 15th or the end of the month, until our song comes on, we’ve had a drink, sobered up, stop smoking, get our vices in check, until we die, or we are born again…..to decide that there’s no better time than right now to be happy.
Right now.

Everyone knows the saying…”Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
Therefore I say “live the journey.” Follow the adage that everyone knows and most of us have seen on the cards, plaques and posters….Work like you don’t need the money, Love like you’ve never been hurt, And dance like no one’s watching!

Is anyone watching? Who cares….let them watch!
Don’t live your life like a crime scene, by permitting others to kill your pride or rob you of your hopes and dreams and happiness. Be happy and pass it on, whether it’s through others or through your children and grand-children.

I love the quote from James Oppenheim; “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise man grows it under his feet.”

So, go and tend to your garden. Happiness is now. Happiness is today. How long has it taken you?

MY YOGA JOURNEY

While watching a documentary on aging and yoga one evening, I sat in awe of this age defiant woman teaching to seniors. She was an attractive woman; however, there was a strength, calmness and beauty about her of which I could not place. Having wanted to take yoga for quite some time – realizing that I was in full stages of procrastination – I was impressed by what I was witnessing and the testimonies of these beautiful senior citizens. Later, as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror I examined my own aging body. I had under a year before my 50th birthday and asked myself how I planned to embrace this next chapter of my life. Just like that, I knew what I needed to do; I needed to act on this inspiration.

It`s also difficult to contemplate the metaphysical questions. Have I achieved what I had hoped? Have I set a good example for my children to follow? Can I address any regrets in the time on earth I may have left? Have I done enough good in the world? And so my resolution for 2012 was set. I began taking yoga the first week of that January with conviction and determination…….which ultimately lead to love, dedication and enlightenment.

At first, part of my determination was selfish and had to do with my own vanity. I had struggled with my weight for many years and could no longer run or take aerobic classes due to ankle and knee problems (and surgeries on both). I was worried about gaining my weight back, actually worried about not being considered attractive anymore. Where did that wrinkle come from? I don’t remember that roll of fat being there! Dealing with the thought of the changes in my body, which sometimes seem to arrive overnight, I began taking yoga for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t until I was in a mastered triangle during one practice that I realized how far I had come, how strong I felt, and what yoga was actually doing for me – in all aspects of my life. I was feeling calm and centred. What used to cause me stress dissipated. It was an “ah-ha” moment of sorts. Wow. Subsequently, I began going to yoga because it was becoming an integral piece of who I was…….it was becoming a lifestyle instead of just part of my life. Now I began going for all the right reasons.

My biggest worry with yoga teacher training was that I would be the oldest and not as experienced as everyone else. The class was well diversified…..and second oldest wasn’t bad! One woman is 10 years older than I and, in my eyes, she is an inspiration and a wonderful example that it`s never too late to begin or start fresh in life. My real yoga journey began with the teacher training and a major health crisis a few months into it. It started with shingles, which lead to Bell’s palsy and ultimately Ramsey Hunt syndrome. Because the pain was so bad, I thought I was going to have to quit. I ultimately made the decision, with my husband`s support, to carry on and persevere. It wasn`t easy, but I`ve gotten through the training and, although I continue to suffer with pain, yoga has helped me cope and become mentally stronger. It didn`t take long for me to realize that for the hour I was practicing yoga and my breathing, was an hour free of pain and discomfort. Yoga has been slowly transforming my mind as well as my body. My thought process and priorities have shifted. Also, I didn`t have to give up my food cravings……they actually gave up me!

I know everyone in our class has had their own journey; mine is unique to me and me alone. I survived the Bell`s palsy and will always lack firmness in my face. I`m ok with that now. I know and understand that it`s not about the shell we are born into – there`s much more to us all, much much more to discover. The result of regular dedicated practice and learning has turned my thoughts inward and has offered me the right motivation as well as the clarity to view things in a different light. It`s a transformation I now want to share and, if possible help, others realize and succeed. I plan to grow old gracefully, remain proud and comfortable with who I am, and with who I have yet to become.

I have realized that with each practice, each asana, each challenge and opportunity I have something to new to learn. There`s always room for growth. I know that I have, and continue to, set a positive example for my kids. I too can be that age defiant woman one day that someone younger may aspire to be. Who knows what is in store for me? This is just the beginning!

TOAST

How many times have you heard these phrases… (The “XX vocabulary”)
Hey….Let’s play a game…..!! “So much is going on lately” “What do you mean….blah blah blah?” “Why didn’t you tell me that!”

And of course…..“You’ll never believe what happened to me today!”

Listen to the name….XX
When I first heard the name XX, it was in 19xx. It wasn’t nice, all gossip fodder.
I was told she wasn’t a nice person, someone that didn’t deserve to be a member of XXXX.
“You don’t want to be friends with XX.”
Yet, here we all are.

I obviously didn’t listen, because here I am too, still friends after 24 years. Almost a quarter of a century! It’s a friendship I’m very proud of.

Many of you have known XX for longer, or for a shorter period of time. It doesn’t matter. Just look around the room. This group alone speaks for itself. XX, you are liked, and you are loved.

We all know that her intense curiousity and insatiable need to know “why” something is the way it is, fuels her, drives her. Sometimes driving her nuts…..which in turn can drive us nuts as well! From game rules, to house rules, to XX’s rules, to “You can’t do that!”

I only have one question for you XX: Have you read ALL of the instructions?
However, with that curiosity, with that intense desire to always know why, and desire to succeed, is something deeper.

In that, and what many don’t realize and see, is a unique person. A beautiful woman with true values, who always strives to find truth and do the right thing. (oh yes, and to win!)

So what words would I use to describe XX?
Again, “curious” comes to mind…..competitive.
Yet, truly, XX is friendly, considerate, giving, kind, strong, genuine..and loyal.
She has a big heart with much love to give and for so many. She loves truly, she loves deeply.
She is a great mom, sister, aunt and friend.

But, most of all, she is brave.
In fact, she is one of the bravest woman I’ve ever known.

That’s why we are all here tonight. Because of XX’s search for honesty, justice and the truth. And she has succeeded. Today, XX, you have won.

We know it hasn’t been easy. There have been many ups and downs, setbacks, pitfalls, and what-ifs. But you made it. You made it, and we are all here to applaud you.

So I go back to when I first heard her name in 19xx. I’m grateful I had.
Imagine the people who did choose to listen to the gossip…..boy are they missing out. Their lives are one person short of being something very special.

Good thing I didn’t listen. Because if I had, I would have missed out on one of the greatest loves and friendships of my life.

Please raise you glasses and join me as I propose a toast……to XX. Congratulations!

SHORT STORY - THE IRONY

The paper said it was terminal. Harry smiled, and then laughed when he met the doctor’s perplexed gaze. He actually felt relieved and knew the doctor wouldn’t understand.

He thought of his wife and her new lover, his now former business partner. They were trying to take it all, everything he had built. The only call he decided to make was to his lawyer, Boyd. It was just a formality; to make sure everything was in order, to ensure the trust documents were finalized. There was little left to do.

As he passed by a church where a wedding was ending, Harry had an idea. He ran up the steps and extended his hand to congratulate the newlyweds. As he walked away he heard the joyful screams. They realized he had just given them the winning state lottery ticket.

Harry strolled to the park, sat on a bench and smiled up at the sun, and at the irony of it all.

A TRIBUTE TO H.K. …Willy Nelson Style !

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
Don’t let ’em wear neck ties and sport fancy suits
Make ’em drive pick-ups and wear cowboy boots

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
They’ll never stay home as they like always to roam
Even without someone they love

Toasters ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold
And they’d rather give you a speech than diamonds or gold
Assorted silk neck ties and well ironed shirts
And each night begins a new day
And if you don’t understand him while he tailors his words
He’ll prob’ly just talk anyway

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
Don’t give ’em a pointer or worse, a laptop
Make ’em be a doctor, a lawyer or cop

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
They’ll re-edit all night, till they get it “just right”
Even with a TM they don’t know
Toastmasters like power point, hand gestures and facts
Smithing their words and speaking with might
And them that don’t know him won’t like him and them that do
Sometimes won’t know how to take him
He ain’t wrong, he’s just Harry, different but his pride won’t let him
Go “tieless” into that dark night.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
Don’t let ‘em stutter on words or show that they’s weak
Cuz it’ll be highlighted in some form of critique

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
They’ll parade on that stage, and at any old age
To show they still got it all

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Toastmasters
Start early and do what you deem necessary
To make ’em be….as distinguished as DTM Harry