Saturday, November 3

Saturday's Odds and Ends

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Michelle over at Writing the Cyber Highway has tagged me for a meme that was started by Amy. The meme is What would I write if I had an extra hour every day?

Well, let me see:

1. I would write a fictional Christmas story.

2. I would search the Internet for other websites that need a content writer. I write for two sites now but with an extra hour a day, I could write for at least two more websites.

3. I would write more family stories. I have written several over the years based on my childhood memories. There is an entire book of those memories that have been stored in my brain these many years.

4. I would revise my novel, which has been setting on my desk gathering dust for over 2 years.

5. I would write more often in my grandsons' journals. I have kept these journals since they were babies and plan to give the books to them when they get married. They will always be able to look in the journals and read what was happening as they grew up.

Now, I am supposed to tag others to participate in this meme. If these people would like to take part, I tag them. Any others who would like to participate are welcome to do so. Please leave a comment so I can stop by and read what you would do with an extra hour.

Vicki at Light for the Writer's Soul

Ancient One at Ancient One's Place

Deborah Wilson at Corridors

Merle at Third Try

Denise at Shortybear's Place

Ladies, I hope you will give this a try. It should be fun. If you'd rather not, that is okay too. I don't want to pressure anyone.


This past week has been quite the week. With the van being smashed up and having to deal with all the red tape, it made me very late with my writing assignments. Thank goodness for an understanding editor who gave me a couple of extra days to get it done.

I went to the body shop yesterday to see how things with the van were coming along. The damage is estimated at $5500, but at least the unibody of the van wasn't damaged. It needs a new radiator and radiator posts, a new right fender and both headlights, a hood and several other things. The body shop has sent the estimate to the insurance company for their approval, so we do think the van can be repaired. However, the final call is up to the insurance company. The bad news is, if the insurance company decides to fix it, we won't get it back for two weeks.

Already we are tired of the 2008 Pontiac van that the insurance company has rented for us. It is so much different from our van and is very uncomfortable. Even though it's supposed to be top of the line, I wouldn't trade our van for it - not for an even swap. I would never buy one like it.

In other news, my hubby and I took a drive to a Native craft show that was being held about 20 minutes away. They had some super stuff. I bought small Christmas ornaments for my mother, daughter, mother in law and myself. They are gorgeous. I also bought a glass dish with a wolf etched on it and a couple of other things. The prices were reasonable and the crafts were awesome. I even bought a Christmas ornament for the Christmas Ornament Exchange. Check it out. It's going to be a lot of fun.

The grandsons are both sick right now, as are their parents. Hubby and I are fighting it. We both have a cough. The boys and their parents have had fever, cough and some other symptoms. No fun at all. Jordan was to stay overnight but we decided it had to be postponed until next weekend. He didn't protest, which tells me he really isn't feeling well.

The days are cooler and the nights are cold. Last night it went down to almost the freezing mark. I'm not a lover of cold weather, nor of hot weather. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, so I'm not looking forward to the coming of winter.

That's about all the news from here for today. Thanks to all my regulars who stop by to comment. I wish you a great weekend, though I'm just a little late.

Friday, November 2

Canadian Loonie Soars to Record Heights

In Canada, we have a coin that is worth $1.00. We have nicknamed it the "Loonie" because there is a Common Loon depicted on the coin. Why? Well that is a story for another day, but today the Loonie soared to a record high. Early this morning the Loonie soared two cents US to a high of $1.07.18. The reason given on the news tonight was a rise in oil prices and strong employment reports.

The soaring Loonie is not all good news for Canada. Many retailers have cut the prices of their products to bring us more inline with the US dollar because of public outcry. It seems Canadians are tired of paying so much more than the US price when our dollar is doing so good. In September I went to buy a book. The price was US $19.95 and $29.95 Canadian. I left the book in the store.

Though prices are being lowered on a daily basis, the high Loonie can cause hardships. Canadian manufacturers say that US companies are no longer importing their products because of the high Canadian dollar. US visitors to Canada are decreasing and people who do visit are not spending as freely as they were when the Loonie was worth less than the US dollar.

Though Loons don't normally fly, the Loonie has soared 25 % in 2007, when compared to the US dollar. It's the world's best performing currency this year. $1.07 is a record for the Canadian dollar and it has never been so high. I remember when I was growing up that the Canadian dollar (no, it wasn't the loonie then, it was a Canadian dollar bill) was worth $1.03 US.

What does this all mean for Canada and Canadians? Well, we'll just have to wait and see but I'm cautious. I don't see all this being well and good for our nation and repercussions may occur. Time will tell.

Show and Tell Friday

Kelly at There's No Place Like Home is hosting Show and Tell Friday. If you would like to participate, just click on the name of her blog for more information.

Today I'd like to introduce you to my dog, Meeko. He is a very loving and loyal companion and a great protector. There's a couple of times that he's come to my defence when we were out walking and was approached by someone who was aggressive.

Meeko is a gentle giant. However, his job is to protect his family and he takes that job seriously.

Meeko thinks he's the king of the house. He likes to be in control. He knows he isn't to be on the furniture but sometimes he tries his luck to see if we are watching. Above Meeko and my oldest grandson are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. However, they got caught red-handed. Look at Meeko's face. Doesn't it appear like he is laughing. He has a partner in crime - someone who isn't protesting fiercely because he's on the couch.

And here, above is the youngest grandson and Meeko on the bed. Both of them know that this is not allowed, but Meeko and the boys try their limits every once in a while.

Here is a picture of Meeko alone. He enjoys being outside and is for the most part very obedient. When we got him, they told us he wouldn't obey. However he knows his place in the pack and also knows when he's overstepped his limits. That's when the ears and tail go down and he slinks off in to his favorite corner.

Meeko is a very big part of our lives. Yes, he would like to be Leader of the Pack. He would like to be king of the household. Unfortunately for him his name is not King and he is not head of the household. He is a faithful companion, part of our family and a very big part of our lives. We wouldn't know what to do without him.

Amber Alert Baby Returned to Parents

This is an update on last night's Amber Alert. The baby that was kidnapped was returned to her mother late yesterday. She was healthy and the woman who allegedly kidnapped her was arrested.

Police had locked down the City of Sudbury and police lined the roads leading out of the city. The searched vehicles, stopped all buses within the city limits and checked with taxi services. Survellience tapes from the city's core were also looked at.

The perpetrator was not known to the baby's mother. She was arrested in Kirkland Lake.

Thursday, November 1

Seven Random Facts Meme

Angela at The Life and Times of Gran has tagged me for a Seven Random Facts About Me meme.

So here goes:

1. I have written since grade school but was never published until 1989, when two of my stories was published in the anthology "Gifts of Our Fathers: Stories about Fathers and Grandfathers." Since then, my work has appeared in dozens of anthologies. I am also a web content writer.

2. I am the mother of a grown daughter and the grandmother of two grandsons. I am an aunt several times over and a great-aunt several times over.

3. I love family, nature, reading, writing, poetry and research. I learn something new everyday and often more than one thing. I believe this keeps my brain active and my memory keen.

4. I was raised on a farm. I can slop hogs, muck stalls, roof a house, change the oil in my car, change a tire, drive farm machinery, drive a truck and a wide variety of other things too numerous to mention.

5. I am a cervical cancer survivor.

6. When I was 12, I learned to play the accordian. My dream is to learn to play a piano and actually own one. I believe playing would be very therapeutic for me.

7. In December of this year, I will have been married to my husband for 19 years.

As far as tagging others, I will tag the following people, but only if they wish to participate.

Anni at Hootin' Anni's

Dawn at Call Me Grandma Dawn

Deborah at Corridors

Tina Coruth at Tina's Odds and Ends

Ontario Amber Alert

The Greater Sudbury Police Force in Ontario has issued an AMBER ALERT!!! See details here.

The child that is missing is a newborn infant. The female baby has bruises on her face and weighed in at 8 lbs. 14 ounces. She was kidnapped from Sudbury Hospital at 1:18 pm today. Please click on the link above to view more details and to view a photo of the perpetrator.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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November is diabetic awareness month in Canada and I believe in the US also. Diabetes has been escalating over the last few years and is quickly becoming an epidemic. We need to stop diabetes in its tracks.

This morning there was an article about diabetes in the Toronto Star. A ground breaking study has proven that urban scrawl is contributing to diabetes, where once it was believed that it was only poverty and immigration population that was causing diabetes to escalate.

85,000 people in Ontario are suffering from diabetes, which can lead to blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure as well as heart attack and stroke. The story goes on to say that one in nine people living in Toronto has diabetes and that the disease has soared 27% in the last four years. There is no sign that this trend is going to slow. More than 50,000 people in Toronto have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last four years.

The article goes on to say that on an aboriginal reserve in northwestern Ontario, one in four people suffer from diabetes and that in New York City's Harlem one in five people are diabetics. Most who suffer from diabetes are Type II diabetics. Many of these people cannot get the amount of exercise they require on a daily basis because their neighborhood is too dangerous to walk very far. Also, they don't have the means to supply their families with healthy, nutritious food.

The report must be taken into consideration by the Ontario Government offices at Queen's Park in Toronto. The City of Toronto also needs to increase efforts to invest in public services in low income neighborhoods where many people suffer from diabetes and other illnesses because they live in poverty. It seems to me, and this is only my personal opinion, that Mayor David Miller needs to be looking at avenues to correct the problems in his city. In many areas residents have to travel extended distances in order to get to a store.

Some communities in Ontario are making people sick and there definitely needs to be an increase in income for Ontario's working poor. Many of these people can't afford to buy health and nutritious food even if there was a farmer's market or grocery store right around the corner.

Obesity plays a huge role in the onset of Type II diabetes and at this time, one in two Canadians are overweight. Years ago, only adults were diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Today, many children, some as young as ten have the disease. Some of this is because in today's society we allow our children to sit in front of TV sets, computer screens and play video games instead of going outside to play.

The long and short of the matter is that we need to ensure that our kids get at least a half hour of intense exercise on a daily basis. Adults also need that amount of exercise or more. Without exercise and proper food, the diabetes epidemic is going to blow out of proportion. But this cannot be done unless the people living in poverty are able to buy the healthy and nutritious food that they need to keep them in optimum health.

Years ago, diabetes common. People ate large portions of meat and fats but then worked it off doing hard labor. Today we sit at desks or sit in front of the TV in our spare time and pack on the pounds. We drive everywhere and park as close to the door as we possibly can. These things make us vunerable to weight gain, which in turn can cause the onset of diabetes.

It is imperative that North Americans change their lifestyles if we do not want there to be a diabetes epidemic. We are close to that now. Do your part to ensure that diabetes does not touch your life. If you already have diabetes, be certain to have regular checkups by a health care profession, take your blood glucose levels often and eat healthy and nutritious foods. This will help prevent the complications of diabetes and keep you in optimum health.

Thankful Thursday

There's been a lot happening here since my last Thankful Thursday post. It's been a hectic week. Besides all the other things I've listed, I'm thankful for a few quiet minutes this morning. I am basically alone. Hubby is still sleeping as is Meeko, my Alaskan Malamute. The phone hasn't rang yet today, but then it's not 9 am yet. There are a million things I should be doing, but I am taking this time to be quiet and listen.

I'm thankful for many things in my life, but like to keep my posts for Thankful Thursday to ten. Here are the things I've chosen to post about today.

1. That my hubby escaped pretty much unscathed when a deer ran out into the road early Monday morning. We don't know yet it the wrecked van is a write-off or if it will be repaired. Hubby's neck is doing much better and the stiffness is gradually leaving. However, he visited the doctor on the insistence of the insurance company and he believes that the rotor? cuff in his left shoulder is torn. I'm thankful that he wasn't seriously injured. A four-point buck can do a lot of damage to a van. If you haven't seen the photos yet, you can find them on last Monday's post.

2. I am thankful that the deer wasn't a moost and that we don't have moose in southern Ontario. To see what a moose can do to a vehicle, click here.

3. I am thankful for the beautiful autumn weather we've been having. It's another sunny morning here today. Because it is to get colder here, I'm thankful to have another day of beautiful weather to enjoy.

4. For the people I meet in my daily excursions into the world who smile at a stranger. These people brighten my day.

5. For my dog, Meeko. He makes me laugh with his antics and protects me when I'm threatened. He's loyal and loving but unfortunately thinks he is king of the household. I am thankful for his delightful personality.

6. I'm thankful for being born into a family that is loving. Though my parents were strict, we always knew we were loved.

7. For being blessed with a wise grandmother who taught me how to do many things. She also was very wise and told me things that I still remember today. I try to pass these things along to my grandsons, hoping some day they will remember the things I've taught them and be thankful.

8. I'm thankful for a father who taught me many valuable life lessons - a few times with his hand on my backside. Dad taught me to be clean, honest and to love my fellow man because all men were equal. He also taught me how to change a car tire, the oil in my car, how to lay shingles on a roof, how to weild tools skillfully, how to muck a stall properly and lay bedding for the farm animals and that no job was too menial as long as it was an honest job and that I put in an honest day's work.

9. For a mother who taught me how to keep a clean house, how to cook, attempted to teach me how to sew, she did teach me how to embroider, and most of all, how to be a loving mother.

10. For Jesus, who died that I might spend eternity in heaven.

For all these things and hundreds more, I am thankful.

This week Crystal is hosting Thankful Thursday. If you'd like to participate, just click here.

Wednesday, October 31

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Did you know that Halloween is historically steeped in darkness? It is an ancient holiday that has changed much over the years. Today most people look at it as a time to dress up and trick or treat.

Since I have a few Halloween postcards in my collection, I thought I would share them with you. Some are ones that I've had for many years. I don't collect dark postcards. I do like to collect ones that show the fun of Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30

What's Cooking?

For all of you who enjoy recipes, I have partnered up with a few other people to write What's Cooking. Just click on the name of the blog for recipes that you and your family will enjoy. I will be posting some of Grandma's recipes on What's Cooking. Enjoy!!!

A Beautiful Award from Talk to Grams

Carolyn at Talk to Grams honored me with the beautiful award. Thank you, Carolyn.

I always limited the passing of awards to five people. This is always a difficult task, as everyone who visits my here and everyone that I visit are all deserving. If your name is not here, I will do my best to make sure you receive an award from me in future. I cherish the friendship of each and every one of you.

With that said, here are the recipients of the award. I have people that have never received an award from me and who I have met recently.

Marcel of Southeast Cedar Home

Sharon of Sit With Me Awhile

Marci of Amazing Grace Farm

Tammy of My Gentle Retreat

Karen of Karen's Ramblings

You are all very deserving. Congratulations!

Monday, October 29

Colony Collapse Disorder

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I'm posting tonight because I will be with the grandsons much of the day tomorrow. The boys are off school for a Professional Development Day.

I had intended to post this for Monday, but since my husband hit the deer, I posted the pictures of the van and that story instead. This is one of grave importance and I hope if you don't already know about colony collapse disorder that you will gain some knowledge here today.

Sunday night on 60 Minutes, professional beekeeper David Hackenberg, explained that last November, he found 400 hundred of his beehives empty. There were still eggs and larvae inside the hives, but not one single bee. Crawling on his hands and knees, Hackenberg tried to find dead bees. There were none. It seemed his bees had simply vanished off the face of the Earth.

Hackenberg has been in the beekeeping business for 45 years. He has never seen anything like this before. All year 'round he loads his beehives onto flatbed trucks and travels the US in order to provide bees to farmers to pollinate their crops. Unfortunately, he has lost two-thirds of his 3,000 beehives, which he fears will put him out of business. He's not alone! Beekeepers all over the US have reported similar problems. Some have lost 90% of their hives to what scientists are calling "Colony Collapse Disorder."

Hackenberg knows if the same thing that happened last November happens again, he has lost his livelihood. Last year he lost thousands of dollars and had to replace the hives that he lost. He doesn't believe he can survive such a loss again and he's not the only beekeeper who is in this predicament. In one year, a third of the honeybees in the US have flown into oblivion or died of Colony Collapse Disorder.

A task force of scientists have been gathered by the US government to look for the reason behind Colony Collapse Disorder. They are looking at such factors as poor nutrition, a virus, parasites and pesticide use. The leader of the efforts for the Department of Agriculture, Jeffrey Peltis stated, "I don't think it's going to come down to a single factor. We're not going to be able to pin all of these losses on either one factor or even maybe one combination of factors."

Professor Maria Spivak of the University of Minnesota says, "Either there is not enough food or its contaminated. Then they come back to the nest and the nest is contaminated with disease or mites and so their whole environment is not healthy." Spivak believes the bees are telling us that they can't live in our environment because it is toxic.

What people don't realize is that without bees, mankind cannot survive. People in America can't comprehend that without bees fruit and other crops cannot be pollinated. Without being pollinated, nothing grows. There would be a serious food shortage in North America because it takes crops to put food on the table.

Bees pollinate all fruits and other crops such as alfalfa. Without bees, it's doubtful that mankind will survive.

To let you know how ignorant people can be, (I'm using the word ignorant in its correct context here) a waitress in a truck stop told my brother (who's a truck driver) she didn't care anything about the farmers. He asked her where she thought she would get her food. "Oh," she said. "I'll just buy it at the grocery store."

Having been raised on the farm and being very knowledgeable about where food comes from, my brother almost fell off his chair. "Where do you think the grocery store gets their food?" he asked her. She replied that she had never really thought about it. When she needed food, she just went and bought it.

It's time that the governments of Canada and the US start to think about what is in store for us if our environment doesn't cease to be polluted. We are breathing in toxins everyday, as are all of the creatures on Earth. We need to stop global warming. We need to stop using pesticides. We need to be good stewards of the Earth and value it. Without it we will become extinct, as surely as the dinosaurs did thousands of years ago.

Man is the only animal on Earth that is willing to poison himself. Other animals take care of their dens and the environment in which they live. Mankind is going to self-destruct if he doesn't wake up and it will only be because of his lust and greed for the almighty dollar. For that is how man thinks these days. He is greedy for power and wealth, no matter the sacrifice.

Hubby Hit a Deer

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Well, it's one of those days. I thought this graphic said it all. LOL Let me tell you what happened in the early morning hours of this beautiful day. (What happened wasn't beautiful, but it is a beautiful autumn day.)

My husband came in about 7am this morning. He had been out and about lending a hand to a friend. He got into bed and said, "This was an interesting night."

Being half asleep, my first thought was that some trivial incident had occured when he and his friend were delivering newspapers. However, his next words really got my attention. He said, "I smashed up the van. I hit a deer."

Inwardly I groaned, but my response to him was, "Did you bring home the meat?"

Later when I thought about this I felt sorry for the poor 4 point buck whose body was now being fed to the lions at the African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Ontario. I also wondered what my husband thought of my response, but was afraid to ask. His friend told him that he wouldn't want to be in his shoes, having to tell me the condition the van was in.

I phoned the insurance company, dreading the task. However, Diana was pleasant and assured me that there wouldn't be any problem. They would take care of all expenses except the deductible. (Groan!!! Why does there have to be deductible?)

When I had finished, I called the doctor and made an appointment for Dwight to be checked over tomorrow afternoon. He is a bit stiff in the neck and shoulder area. Then we left the house in order to go to the towing compound where they'd taken the van. Here's what I saw:

The photos above, (I've blocked out the license plate) show the front of the van. The buck came from my husband's left out from the side of the road, lickety split, and landed on the hood before my husband could react very much. On the right, hubby, who didn't want his photo taken, is looking glumly at the van. She was his baby. He loved that van, as it is the first vehicle he has ever had that was his alone. I do drive it occasionally, but it is his. I can understand why he is feeling a little crushed today.

This one shows where the buck's antler went through the passenger side of the windshield.

If you look at the one to the left, you will see a little hair from the deer's coat caught in the grill. Not pretty.

The van is not a pretty sight today either, but I am thankful that my husband wasn't hurt. If he had been going in the opposite direction, or if the deer had, it could have been much worse because the antler would have gone through the driver's side windshield.

The Ontario Provincial Police officer happened to be coming the opposite way on the road and arrived at the accident scene in less than five minutes. My husband didn't even have time to call him. The OPP said that they want a longer hunting season on deer next year, as they are becoming over populated in this area. He had attended to four accidents involving deer in the last two weeks and that is just him. That's not including any other officers.

Diana, at the insurance company was very nice. She said they get lots of deer accidents. This is covered under Comprehensive. She told me that they would take care of everything and that there was nothing to worry about. They are even going to rent us another van until ours is either written off or repaired. I doubt if they will repair it, as it looks to me like the entire van is twisted somewhat. We'll see what happens. I will keep you updated on how things are coming along.

Sunday, October 28

Bible Verse Monday

Karen over at Karen's Ramblings is starting something new. She's hosting Bible Verse Monday. You can find out more information by clicking here.

The Bible verse I have chosen to memorize this week is:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

I quoted this Bible verse to a blogger friend last week and ever since, it has been popping into my life. It has been quoted more than a dozen times in the book I'm presently reading and I've come upon it in my everyday life.

I've chosen this verse because I believe that God is sending me a message through it - reminding me that things change and that His Hand is in everything that happens upon the Earth.

Something that may change in the near future has been bothering me. I have asked God to keep His Hand in it. Is this His way of letting me know that He is the all powerful Father; that He is in control? I believe so. So, in order to follow what I believe in, I must stop worrying - Let Go and Let God!

If you would like to take part in Bible Verse Monday, be sure to follow the link to Karen's blog to find out more.

How to Place HTML Graphics in Your Sidebar

This is a tutorial on how to place HTML coded grapics to your sidebar. Please follow the steps below.

When you get to the page where the code is found, copy it into your browser. You do this by hitting Alt and the letter C at the same time.

Then, go to your blog and look up at the top where it says "Customize." Click there.

When the page loads, click "Add a Page Element."

That will take you to a pop-up. There you will see a lot of ways to add something to your blog.

Third down on the right you will see HTML Script. Click there.

Another window will open and you will see much the same as you do when you post on your blog.

In the upper right corner, you will see the words "Rich Text."

Click there and it will change to "Edit HTML."

When that window opens, just paste the code from your browser by hitting Alt and the letter V at the same time.

You will see the code appear. Be sure that the HTML embed code is closed at the end of it. Mine kept disappearing and if it does, the graphic will not show. Instead, you will only see the code. You close the embed by typing a / embed > without any spaces. I have to put spaces here so it will appear.

Once you have the entire code pasted into the feature, click "Save Changes."

The window will disappear and you will be back to the customize page.

In the upper right-hand corner you will see "Save." Click there and everything will be saved.

I know it sounds complicated, but it's not really. It just takes a little getting used to. Follow these steps one-by-one and if you have any further problems, be sure to let me know.

A Day for Awards

This must be a day for awards. Angela at Lifesong awarded me these beautiful treat awards that originated at Hootin' Anni's. How lucky I've been. I now have three of Anni's awards that have been passed on to me.

The idea of these awards is to pass them on to new, random visitors to your blog. So keeping in that tradition, I'm presenting the awards to the following people:

Cynthia at Walking On

No Rain at Water When Dry

blueblue at A Spot with Pots

These nice people were all new visitors to my blog in the last two days and they all deserve this Sweet Treat Award. Please pass them on to new visitors to your blogs.

Christmas Spirit Award

Awhile back, Ruth at Me, My Life, My Garden, presented me with the Spirit of Christmas Award. Today, my friend, Denise at Shorty Bear's Place presented it to me once again. Thank you Ruth and Denise. I'm truly honored to receive this award. It's beautiful and you're both very deserving of the award.

This award was originally given out by Santa. The code can be found here. Santa says "Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those who display the "Spirit of Christmas".

That said, I would like to present the award to some very special people.

Tina at Tina's Odds and Ends

Violetlady of Violetlady at Home

Renie at Renie Burghardt's World

Ancient One at Ancient One's Place

T*mmy at My Gentle Retreat

Ladies, please go here to pick up the code for your award.

There are so many people that deserve this award. Unfortunately, I tend to only pass awards along to five people. Thanks to everyone who visits my blog and uplifts me with their inspirational words. I cherish each of you.