Thursday, November 27, 2008

Proud to be Canadian

I received this in my email today and wanted to share it. There was no source attributed so I cannot cite it.

Once in a while someone does a nice job of describing a Canadian, this time it was an Australian dentist.

You probably missed it in the local news, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had advertised in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian - any Canadian.

An Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so they would know one when they found one.

A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Ukranian, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan. A Canadian may also be a Cree, M├ętis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Sioux, or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians.

A Canadian's religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognize the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds. But they also welcome the least - the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected. These are the people who built Canada.

You can try to kill a Canadian, if you must as other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world have tried, but in doing so you could just be killing a relative or a neighbour. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be a Canadian.

'Keep your stick on the ice'

Friday, November 21, 2008


I bought 'I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!' in a subscription to the Dr. Seuss childrens' books for my daughter. We had many happy times enjoying Dr. Seuss' poetry and tongue twisters. This book contained three stories and the title story was a particular favourite of mine. The moral of the story: don't bite off more than you can chew.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yummy supper

This was in the local grocery store flyer. It looked so good that I had to try it. It exceeded my expectations. I've got a feeling that I'll be using this on more vegetables, too.

Green Beans with Pecans & Cranberries

Boil until tender crisp (about 4 minutes), drain and set aside:
- 2 lbs. green beans

Mix together the following over medium heat:
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest

Add and toss together:
- the cooked green beans
- 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries or blueberries
- freshly ground black pepper

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lightbulb moment

Chronic stress kills. Eliminate it...NOW.

I've heard it referred to as 'the silent killer'. Just exactly what is silent about it? Chronic stress screams at us to be addressed through sore stomachs, irritable bowels, racing pulses, skyrocketing blood pressures, etc., etc., etc.

What can we do to eliminate this quality of life disaster? Listen to our bodies and make good, or possibly drastic, lifestyle choices. By gaining control of the chronic stressors, we establish a good wall of defense to unavoidable life stresses.

Similar actions yield similar results. Put your ego aside and muster the courage to change. Remember the lessons of your childhood. They were relatively effortless and produced some of the happiest times in your life.

Get outside- Going out in the sunshine makes us feel good. Experts believe that sunlight causes changes in a tiny structure in the brain called the hypothalamus.

Play - Physical activity combats the production of stress hormones.

Eat properly - The lack of proper nutrients weakens our body and mind.

Have a set bedtime - Good sleep habits set the stage for a healthy life. It affects our mood and stress levels.

Do your homework - Procrastinating produces ill affects and increases stress.

Make friends - A happy social life is stress reducing. It consistently gives a sense of well-being.

Don't watch so much TV - TV and computer use encourages a lifestyle where you are not engaging actively in the real activities and people in your life. Try turning it off.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dangerous dogs?

Is this the face of a dangerous dog? I think not.

Ontario's supreme court recently upheld the breed specific legislation (BSL) banning pit bulls. The judge ruled that the breed was vicious and unpredictable and the public must be protected from them. As an owner, this judgement saddens me.

I cannot speak for all dogs, only mine. He was a rescue from the SPCA and is profoundly deaf, which produced some challenges in training him. He was temperament tested before we adopted him and retested when we took him to his trainer. Our dog passed both tests and the trainer assured us that, "This dog will never bite anyone." This speculation was confirmed much later when he was bitten twice...once by a Rottweiler and once by an American Stafforshire Terrier. He did not retaliate in any way.

Our dog is grandfathered as a pit bull registered, neutered and micro-chipped before the legislation was passed so we do not have to destroy him. BUT...he must live out the rest of his life muzzled in public and cannot be on a leash longer than 6 feet.

Shame on you Ontario for punishing innocent animals instead of addressing the real problem...irresponsible owners.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Holiday prep

It's holiday preparation time. Since moving to Ontario, I fell out of the habit of making special gifts and holiday cards but this year I plan to reinstitute these traditions.

The snowman ornament on the left is one I made quite a few years ago from a burnt out lightbulb, plaster and baked modeling clay.

I bought the raw materials yesterday to make some framed, embroidered silk ribbon pictures. This idea came about this summer when I visited the main branch of the local library. They periodically cull their shelves. There were scads of craft books available and I picked up Sheena Cable's Silk Ribbon Embroidery hard covered book for a song.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Am I the only one who thinks that washing recyclable containers causes more damage than treating them as solid waste?

What do people think happens to that biological material that is dumped down the drain?

It contaminates our water, which carries it into our soil that our plants grow in. Also, if the water evaporates, the contamination can get into our air supply.

We are very effectively contaminating our whole environment instead of just containing in a solid waste dump area.

Just my opinion.

Monday, November 3, 2008

15 Things about coffee

We're always hearing how bad coffee is for us. Here's a list of things that perhaps you didn't know about coffee. They can be found at the Industrial Joe Coffee web site.

Health Benefits:
  • Coffee can lift your mood, make you happier, and make you feel better. It alleviates depression.
  • Have a headache? Drink a cup of coffee. It's been shown to help people get rid of their headaches.
  • People who drink coffee have less colon cancer than people who don't. That's a big deal, especially if you have a family history of cancer.
  • Parkinson's disease has also been shown to be reduced by drinking coffee.
  • Coffee drinkers have lower rates of Type II diabetes, and that's an especially important finding since diabetes is becoming more prevalent today.
  • Gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver – both lowered by drinking coffee.
  • Coffee can protect your teeth from cavities.
  • If you have asthma, drinking coffee can help manage your condition and might help you stop an attack if you don't have your medication available.
  • One of the biggest benefits? People who smoke or drink alcohol get protective benefits from drinking coffee and have lower rates of liver problems and heart disease.
Other Uses:
  • Coffee can be used to dye paper and fabrics. If you put the beans in hot water their color will start to come out. You can use that water to dye fibers.
  • If you need a good facial scrub, you can coarsely grind some coffee beans and use them to scrub your face. They have great exfoliating properties.
  • If you've been preparing food and your hands smell like it, rub some coffee beans between your hands for a few seconds; you can also suck on a coffee bean to freshen and clean your breath, no matter what you've been eating.
  • Have a garden? Coffee makes great compost if you don't use it in excess, and sprinkling coffee grounds and orange peels around plants will keep cats from bothering the plants or using the garden as their personal litter box.
  • Greasy pans can be cleaned with the left over ground beans that you used to exfoliate and scrub your face.
  • You can also use coffee beans, placed in a bowl in your refrigerator, to get rid of food smells that might accumulate in there.

These are just a few of the many uses for coffee. Drink it for your health, and use it for all kinds of other things. Coffee has lots of great uses! Experimenting with it can give you even more great ideas about how to use your coffee to improve your life in a lot of ways. It's not just for drinking anymore.