Saturday, October 4

Proudly She Marched

In honor of Women's History Month, which is celebrated in October in Canada, I would like to review two books about women during WWII. The 2008 theme is Women in the Lead and these certainly were women who knew how to do just that.

The first volume is titled, Proudly She Marched Volume I by Ruth Russell. This book is a great read. It tells the story of 21,624 women who came from across the nation to Kitchener, Ontario in 1942. They came from all walks of life in order to sign up for the duration of the War. They traveled by train to Girl's Town, which was situated in Waterloo County. Girl's Town was a men's base that had been converted to accommodate them. They left farms and jobs in factories and stores. Some were teachers and nurses and some were homemakers. They all wanted to do their part in the War Effort, which they did and did proudly.

The second volume is titled, Proudly She Marched Volume 2 by Anne Kallin. This book tells the story of the women who joined the WRENs (Women's Royal Naval Service) at the urging of the Canadian government.

In 1942, young women traveled to Galt, Ontario, to join the Navy. It would be their job to release men from certain areas of service so they could do their patriotic duty afloat. 6,783 young women answered the call and trained at the HMCS Conestoga, which was the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service's training center.

The WRENs played a vital role in the War Effort between the time they arrived at HMCS Conestoga and the moment when the Ensign was lowered at the "ship" on the hill.

Both of these books tell the history of Canadian Women during WWII. All served in roles that had previously belonged to men with the exception of nurses. These brave women, after years of no recognition by the Canadian government, are now being honored for performing their patriotic duty so many years ago. They were pioneers in their own right and definitely left their mark on Canadian history. I salute them all.

Note: During WWII, Canada was still a British Colony. Though we declared war on Germany independently, all service men and women were considered to be part of Britain's military.

Enjoy your weekend and keep warm if you are in northern climates. It is to be windy and cold this weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, October 3

Show and Tell Friday

It's time for Show and Tell Friday. If you would like to participate, drop over to Kelli's at There's No Place Like Home.

This week I have a family treasure to show my readers. The bone china covered dish below is 106 years old. It was purchased by my father in the 1970s for my mother. It cost an atrocious amount - $25 to be exact. That was a lot of money in those days and Dad was disabled at the time. He would have had to save for months to buy Mom such an expensive gift.

Notice the beautiful scrolled handles on the dish and the unique handle on the cover. The bottom is kind of scalloped. The dish is white as snow and is in mint condition. Even the roses and gold trim are in pretty much perfect condition. A bit of the gold has faded on the dish handles, but not many things are in such excellent condition when they are 106 years old. You can tell just by looking at it that whoever owned it before mother gave it a lot of TLC. There isn't so much as a nick out of the rim.
Here is a top view. I love the pink roses and will cherish this piece until it is time to hand it to Brandon. When he gets it, he will treasure it. He often asks to see it. He knows that one day it will be his. Why? Because one day when we were at Mom's, he saw it and exclaimed how pretty it was. He asked where she had got it and she told him that his great-grandpa had bought it for her long before he was born. He then asked if it could be his someday and the next time Mom dropped in to see me, she brought it and told me to see that Brandon got it when he set up house on his own.

Now this is a rare piece in my estimation. It was made in England and it is stamped with a green crown stamp that says, "Johnson Bros. England Patented 1902. There is something else there but the stamp has faded a bit and I couldn't make it out even with the magnifying glass.

I wish this dish could talk. I would like to know where it was purchased, who owned it from 1902 to the 1970s when Dad bought it for mother at an auction. Why was it held in such high esteem? Was it used for family dinners on holidays or did it spend much of its life in a china cabinet where the owner could display it proudly for all who came into her home to see? Lots of questions and no answers.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this family treasure. Enjoy your weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, October 2

Autism and Stomach Yeast

October is Autism Awareness month in Canada. In order to raise awareness to autism, I will be posting several times this month on various aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are many things that falls under the umbrella of Autism. Here is a graphic that will give you an idea of some of them.
First of all, let's look at the definition of stomach candidas:
An overgrowth of Candida, a yeast that lives in your gut, can result in a serious condition called candidiasis - which causes a range of symptoms including chronic fatigue, thrush, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, depression and, if left unchecked, can also result in irritable bowel syndrome.

Now, let's take it a step further and find out how yeast affects those on the Autism Spectrum.

People who are on the Autism Spectrum are likely to have excess yeast (candida) in the intestinal tract. It seems that this yeast can also enter the bloodstream if it isn't properly controlled. If there is excessive yeast in the intestinal tract, it can prevent nutrients from being absorbed, as well as the ability to digest food properly. It also prevents vitamins that are necessary for optimum health to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Excessive candida has the ability to produce toxic byproducts. One of these byproducts is gliotoxins, which can impair the immune system. Candida cell wall protein is very similar to wheat gluten and binds to the intestinal lining in long strands. This has been likened to ivy climbing a brick wall. This anchoring of candida to the intestinal wall prevents it from passing naturally with digested food and prevents the digestion of wheat gluten. Therefore, many of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder are allergic to wheat gluten.

When candida cell wall protein enters the bloodstream, it may interact with blood clotting enzymes that are naturally produced by the body. This can cause dangerous complications with natural blood clotting mechanisms in the body. As well, modified proteins are not recognized by the immune system and can cause autoimmune disease.

Another danger of excessive candida in the gut is that it can produce digestive enzymes that will damage or eat through the intestinal lining. This allows undigested food to pass into the bloodstream, which in turn can cause a wide range of food allergies.

Many times excessive candida can't be controlled by antifungal medications. Yes, yeast or candida is a fungus. Those people who are on the Autism Spectrum seriously lack immunity to candida and it is important that they are treated if excessive candida is found in the gut. This can be done with a simple urine test that measures the chemicals that are produced in the intestinal tract. Your doctor may also ask for a stool specimen.

If you know someone who falls on the Autism Spectrum, please be sure to ask your doctor for them to be tested for candida to ensure that they don't suffer from autoimmune disease.
Please support Autism Research. Follow these links to learn more about autism.

Please help to promote autism awareness. Every individual deserves to live in a world where they are accepted. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, October 1

October in Canada

October is a beautiful month in Canada. All of the trees don their beautiful autumn gowns and bright splashes of red, orange, yellow and brown look marvelous on a backdrop of evergreens.

A lot goes on in Canada during October. It is Autism Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Women's History Month. I will be touching on all of these subjects during October.

Best of all, Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada during the month of October. It is a time to give thanks for the harvest, for the love of family and friends and for all other blessings received during the year. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday after Christmas. This year it will be celebrated on October 13th, which is my friend Pea's birthday.

The above graphic is public domain. Feel free to take a copy if you wish.
Have a great day and enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances of the season. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, September 30

Tackle it Tuesday # 3

Tackle it Tuesday is a day when we show or tell about a project that we've completed. If you'd like to participate, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Remember the black entertainment unit that the tenant left in the apartment when he moved out? It was quite a mess, but made of solid wood. I decided to paint it and bring it downstairs.

Well, today hubby and our helper lugged that thing down the back stairs. It weighs a ton. Thank goodness that it is in two sections. They set it up and got the TV, DVD and Game Cube connected.
This is what it looked like when they were done. I did help a little but I have a writing deadline tomorrow, so was working on finishing up some articles.

Hubby remarked about how empty it looked, so I decided to fill it up. Won't he be surprised when he gets up to go to work tonight?

This is what it looks like now. I put all of hubby's crystal animals in front of the section with the mirror. On top I placed a couple of his bears and eagles. Then I added some of my headvases, a couple of fairies and my Gone With the Wind Scarlett figurine. She hasn't had a home for some time and was just sitting in the computer room being neglected. Now she will live in the entertainment unit.

After taking these photos, I realized that I hadn't added any autumn decor, so I will change it a little in the next few days. I am so relieved to have a place to display some of our pretties. Now to get the rest of the living room decluttered.

Take care and remember that life is too short to be working all of the time. Take time for you and spend some time having fun with your loved ones. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, September 29

A Trip to the Apple Orchard

Last Thursday when they got home from school, the boys called and asked if we could go to the apple orchard. We have done this since they were toddlers and they look forward to it each year. It is what Brandon calls a tradition.

I went and picked them up and drove to an apple orchard a few miles away. The first thing that greet us was this odd looking creature.

We had seen him at the Apple Festival but the photo I took there didn't turn out. Just as I snapped it a group of people walked in my path. I didn't realize it until I uploaded the photos to my computer. I'm glad I got the photo. It is large, round balls of straw made into a scarecrow type creature.

Each year the owner of this particular apple orchard decorates for autumn and Halloween. He has a corn maze and other fun things to do during the fall season. Closer to Halloween there will be a haunted barn and a haunted hayride. Brandon has never wanted to take part in those, but he does this year. He is gaining more self confidence, which makes everyone feel good.

Just after the straw scarecrow and the welcome sign, we saw this skinny scarecrow. He sure could use something good to eat before his straw all disintegrates and leaves his shirt front touching its back.

Oh, and if you don't pay at this particular apple orchard, this is what happens to you. We all thought this was rather cute and got a good laugh out of it.

Just as I took the photo, the owner came along on the tractor and asked me what kind of apples we were looking for. I told him Courtlands, as they are best for cooking and baking. He told us they were behind the barn, which we knew from visiting previous years.

Here is the sign that marks the Courtland apples. Look at those beauties on the tree behind it.
There are lots of apples and the ones above were high in the top of the trees.
Jordan did a fine job of picking the apples. Of course he wanted the ones from the highest branches because they were nicer. LOL They were all beautiful. He just wanted to climb the trees, which is against the rules.
Brandon is tall - 5' 7" now and could reach higher than I could, so he got some of the apples that were up high for Jordan.

Here is Jordan looking down the row to see if there are bigger apples down there. He always likes exploring.
Brandon is admiring the apple that he just picked. It was completely red and when he rubbed it on his shirt it sparkled like a ruby. They were definitely nice apples.

We filled our bag that was given to us in the store at the front of the property where we prepaid and started to head back to the van.
Jordan spotted this cedar tree and was awed by the amount of seeds on it. It was like this from the tip to the ground. Another sign that we won't get a lot of snow this winter. I hope the pines and cedars are correct in their predictions. At my age lots of snow equals lots of shoveling and that is not high on my agenda.
Jordan really loved this cedar. There is kind of a hollow where a boy, or girl for that matter, could have a little cave back under there. I remember doing this when I was a kid. It was fun to have a secret place to go.
I asked Brandon to have his photo taken with Jordan and the cedar and before I realized what was happening, the boys had ran along this path between the trees and were almost back to the van - hence no photo of them together.

This does look like a place where a kid could have a lot of fun, so being a kid at heart, I went the same way as the boys.

As we got in the van, we noticed a maple that had turned color. The colors looked brighter to the eye than they do in the photo, but I love the colors against the red barn.

We had a lot of fun at the apple orchard and the boys took the bag of apples home to their parents to make pies. I'm waiting for spies (a type of apple that comes later and is exquisite in pies) to make my pies.

I hope you enjoyed coming along with us to the apple orchard. Both boys said they had a lot of fun and I did as well. We were making memories.

Be sure to take time to make memories with your loved ones. We never know what the future will hold. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, September 28

Green Thumb Sunday

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

This week I'm going to show my readers a little autumn decorating that the boys and I did last weekend when they stayed over on Friday night. I had picked up a few things up at the dollar store and we had fun putting everything in place.I bought two miniature scarecrows on skewers especially to put in my plants. The boys put them in my snake and spider plants. My patio table has a little of an autumn look. The snake plant has sat beside the boy with the watering can all summer. The spider hung from the porch and the Wandering Jew was sitting on the porch railing. When the nights turned cold, I moved the spider and the Wandering Jew to where they would be more protected. It won't be long before I have to bring them inside for the winter.

Last Sunday after hubby and I visited Princess Point, we stopped at Michael's. Now all my regular readers will know that I love scarecrows and that is the first thing we saw when we pulled into the parking lot. They were 50% off and fit right into our budget.

My fairies make my garden look a little magical at night when the solar lights come on. I enjoy seeing them in the flower bed just outside the side door. If you notice, there are a few colored leaves laying just to the left of the bricks that form the border. Yes, the leaves are beginning to turn.

I love autumn. It is one of my favorite time of year; the other being spring. I love the cooler temperatures and the trees dressed in their colorful autumn gowns. The evergreen trees form a beautiful contrasting background to the mix. I can't wait to get out and about with my camera as autumn moves into full swing.

Enjoy the day and be sure to take some time out for rest and relaxation. Read a book, play a game with a child, take a walk along a nature path, or do anything else that will bring you some autumn joy. ~Blessings, Mary~