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Dear Reader
I don't believe in good fortune or luck, my life is lived more by opportunity and divine guidance. Let me explain. Many people could say that my mom was fortunate to be able to come to Canada and start a new life after ending  up a refugee in her own country, but was she lucky or fortunate to have been where she was when the war broke out and to have had to endure countless horrors and losses? She was fortunate to have found someone who would sponsor her to immigrate but was it luck that put two totally mismatched people into a marriage that was a constant struggle?
My mother had an amazing attitude about life and how to deal with it. She never turned down opportunities to better her situation or try something new and she didn't let the obstacles or 'misfortunes' along the way overwhelm her. She always said "if you have a sense of humour and can look for the good in things, you can get through anything". Personally, I would have a hard time believing that at times if I wasn't raised by someone who was living proof of that truth. "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?" Actually, as much as I resented it at times, that saying has a lot of truth to it.
I'll never forget mom's words as I dragged myself out of bed at 5 am to go pick cherries (my worst job ever!) when I was a teenager. She said "Always make the best of the situation you find yourself in. All work has good things and bad things about it and if you choose to focus on the bad things, you will have long, miserable days. But if you find something enjoyable about it (however small) and focus on that, your day and life will be much more pleasant. And always do your best, no matter how mundane the task." I've lived by those words all my working life and there were many times over the years where it was hard to believe a good work ethic and positive attitude would ever pay off.
In fact after leaving the best job I'd had to date and moving to Alberta I found myself employed at the second-worst place I'd ever worked. There were days that I truly doubted my ability to find anything positive about my situation. However it was through a contact at that job, that I connected with Celia and began working for her with The Country Register, and that was the best opportunity of my working life, as it turned out. This issue marks the beginning of my sixth year as publisher and it's been an amazing journey filled with blessings. I have met so many wonderful people. I've been inspired by many of the readers and businesses. I will always be very grateful and in awe of the fact that Celia gave me this wonderful opportunity after working together for the years that we did.
Was I lucky? Fortunate? I suppose you could argue that I was. But if I hadn't continued to slog along, doing my best in all things and focusing on the positive I doubt that I would have been given the chance. I also had to see and grab the opportunity when given it - or it would have passed me by.
So if you want to grab that brass ring, you have to get on the carousel; if you want divine guidance, you have to believe; and if you want good karma, start doing your best to give some out!
Learning the stories behind many of the small business owners I've met has enforced this belief in me. They all started with very little, worked hard and when they were faced with an opportunity, they tried.
Have a great summer and may it be filled with more opportunities
than challenges!

- Ruth
Meet our Cover Artist: Dee Poisson
Dee Poisson artwork is primarily inspired by the Alberta flora, fauna and landscape that she has been surrounded by her entire life.  She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and participates with them regularly in Calgary and Vancouver shows.  Dee is proficient in many art media and produces work in coloured pencil, pastel, acrylic or oil.  Her original artwork is found in homes and businesses across Canada.  Dee is currently represented by the Gallery On Main, in Lacombe, Alberta and Different Strokes Gallery in Olds, Alberta.
Currently she is painting at least 10 works for a a series of group shows with five other artists called: Alberta Highway Artists - Paint The Cowboy Trail, which will be seen starting in September at The Gallery On Main in Lacombe, in October at Bay 12 Gallery in Pigeon Lake, and early Spring 2016 at Siding 14 Gallery in Ponoka.  Other dates and show locations will be confirmed.
Dee divides her time between her family, her garden and her studio in Didsbury, Alberta.
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