Friday, July 17

Canada Parks Day

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta

Canada Parks Day takes place each year on the third Saturday in July. This country has dedicated more land to parks than any other country in the world. On June 9, 2009, Environment Minister Jim Prentice and DehCho First Nations Grand Chief Gerald Antoine announced the final boundaries for the greatly expanded Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories. The world famous park reserve is now nearly seven times the size of the original one established in 1972. It will permanently protect over 30,000 km of Boreal wilderness - an area the size of Vancouver Island.

"The Nahanni is the jewel of Canada’s Boreal forest, and one of the world’s greatest wilderness treasures. Canada has shown true global leadership by protecting it," says CPAWS National Executive Director Eric H├ębert-Daly. "With this announcement the federal government has created a national park that can take its place alongside Banff and Jasper as one of the world’s great protected areas," says Harvey Locke, CPAWS Senior Advisor for Conservation. The announcement of final boundaries comes nearly two years after Prime Minister Harper and former Environment Minister John Baird promised a massive expansion of the park, crowning years of collective work by CPAWS, local First Nations and many others to convince the federal government to permanently protect this iconic wilderness area.

"The elders of Nahanni Butte and the leaders of the Dehcho First Nations were determined to see this through," says Lani Cook, Executive Director of CPAWS NWT Chapter. "For the past nine years, we have been honoured to work closely with them to get protection for the Nahanni."

The announcement is great news, but in the last year, the government's efforts to expand national parks has slowed considerably. More protection is needed for many ecologically important landscapes and ocean areas.

Canada's nature reserves include 10% of its land but only 1% of its oceans and fresh water. However, Canada's huge land mass makes it the leader in nature reserves. Major conservation efforts have taken place in some provinces. At long last, Manitoba has banned logging in 79 parks after years of campaigning by conservation advocates.

Though the protection of our natural reserves is slow in coming, (we need many more natural resources protected) Canada Parks Day is a great day to celebrate the beautiful national and provincial parks within our boundaries.

Enjoy your weekend and take time to enjoy the natural resources that are available to you.

Wednesday, July 15

Making the Porch a Tranquil Place

I didn't have the boys today, they were with Mom at the swimming pool. Hubby and I have been so busy getting the gardens into shape that we had completely neglected the side porch. Today the man up the road stopped by to see if there were any odd jobs he could do for enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes. We had put a few things on the porch that needed to go to the dump...the old microwave and an old sewing machine that was beyond repair. So they loaded them into the car and away they went.

When they came back, I asked the man if he would carry my bird fountain up from the basement. It's rather heavy and hubby isn't to be lifting it. I didn't get it up last year and really wanted to be able to enjoy it. So up it came.

I'm a lover of bluebirds and when I saw this fountain a few years ago, I decided to give it a home where it would be well-loved. Hubby cleaned it up and installed the pump. I filled it with water and we got it running.
Here is a closer look. I really enjoy sitting on the side porch in the evening and listening to the tranquil sound of water. Now Dakota and I can sit outside in the evening and enjoy the fountain...the trickle of water is so soothing...balm for the soul.

Tuesday, July 14

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Today hubby took the boys to see a movie. That is a first. We usually all go, but I had no interest in Transformers and so sent the guys off to bond while watching it.

As soon as they left, I started going through my kitchen cupboards. I couldn't believe the stuff that was in there that I hadn't used for a long time. I put some in the recycling bin, some in the garbage and some in a bag for charity. Then I washed the insides of the cupboards down and reorganized everything.

I have very little counter space as it is and with the cupboards hoarding unnecessary things, I had no where to put anything. That left the counter full of clutter. Now the counter is clear of all clutter and the space is reclaimed. It's something that really needed doing.

When the guys got home, they told me what a great movie it was. I'm glad they enjoyed it. They thought the kitchen looked 100% better. They had asked me what I was going to do while they were gone and I told them I was going to take a nap. They sure were surprised to see I'd been working and reorganizing the entire time, and it feels great to have a clutter-free counter.

Do you have a project that you're tackling right now? If so, be sure to check out 5 minutes for Mom and join in the fun.

Sunday, July 12

A Bit of an Update

Things have been pretty quiet around here. I had the boys all day Monday and Thursday and also onTuesday afternoon this past week. Friday, Saturday and today was spent catching up on household tasks and rest.

Tonight I watched the finals of the Calgary Stampede. It was quite entertaining. There are some very talented people that take part in the Stampede, which was founded in 1886. Since then there have been many changes. Thousands of people flock to Calgary, Alberta during the first half of July to attend.

I was truly touched by the brotherhood of the competitors. They wished each other good luck and cheered on their opponents. Winning brings in much needed cash but their first concern is their fellow cowboys/girls and their horses. These are young men who have been raised to have respect and good sportsmanship.

I was happy to see a 43 year-old lady from Texas, Tammy Key-Fischer, win the barrel racing competition. Two weeks ago, her 18 year-old son was killed, along with two of his friends, in a car accident. When she received her check, she dedicated her win to her son. She said that he always came with her every year and she always lost. This year she won for him. It was a very emotional moment for all concerned. Kudos to her. I'm sure her son was looking down and rooting Mom on.

Have a great week and remember to do a random act of kindness. It can make a big difference in the life of someone less fortunate.