One of the most well known bears, Winnie the Pooh is celebrated today on his creator’s birthday. What started as bedtime stories for his son became world famous as everyone wants to have a friend like Winnie the Pooh. Words of wisdom hidden in humour to guide us, as the author gained a bit of immortality doing something ordinary with love. There is a Canadian connection as a bear from White River Ontario was the original Winnie the Pooh inspiration.
My American friends will be celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day. It will be interesting to see how it is celebrated this year after the Black Lives Matter Movement. Hopefully it is celebrated peacefully.
Chosen as the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday is the 3rd Monday in January. Credit card bills are rolling in after the Christmas extravaganza. Families are back into their usual routines in their own places. SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) is at a peak in the Northern Hemisphere, although the days are starting to get longer. Cloud cover has made this year especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic second wave and lockdown.
Green may be the prime colour of the world, but it is also the colour of Florida. I took the picture for today’s quote in March 2016 in Lettuce Park, Tampa Florida. Florida has been said to be the state of a thousand shades of green. Quiet swamps with danger always present in the still waters. Luckily alligators tend to be sluggish in the winter months and don’t eat until the overnight temperatures reach 60F for about a week. But I still didn’t take Rickie with me for my walks, just in cast one of the alligators thought he was coming for lunch. I always took a walking stick to keep between me and the water. Apparently alligators are very near sighted and at Busch Gardens they said a walking stick is often enough to keep them away.
Benjamin Franklin Day is set aside to celebrate one of the Founding Fathers of the the USA. He was a very industrious person, printer, statesman, scientist and inventor. Coming from a family of modest means and being the embodiment of the American Dream: Anyone can be anything if they work hard enough. It’s amazing to see the new staff and high ranking positions being selected by President Elect, Joe Biden. Many of his introductions for the leading roles include determined people that have overcome overwhelming obstacles to achieve greatness supporting and promoting the American Dream.
The third Sunday of January is World Religion Day. So attend a worship of your choice on line. Don’t forget to support them with your donations during the Pandemic. Pray for peace and the end of this pandemic.
Today is also Popeye Day. So be sure to eat your spinach. Toot Toot.
COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the housing market in Canada. Prices continue to rise and people are paying over the asking price to secure new homes as the “STAY AT HOME” orders are still in effect. My stepson, anxious to have a new home for his new family, sold his 3 apartment live-in residence and hasn’t been able to find a new place prior to the closing date. So he has put his furniture into storage and will be living with us until they can find a suitable housing replacement. Being a trucker, he is only home about 2 days every other week, so the task of securing a new residence is even more complicated.
One of the things I hadn’t considered when he asked to live with us was his guns. I was surprised when he walked in with all of his huge guns (legally licensed in Ontario) and advised me that if the police or RCMP show up at the door I will have to give them access to see that the guns are properly stored. My father always had a gun for hunting in the house when I was growing up, but that was before gun control. I quickly asked that my stepson invest in a lock for his bedroom door to ensure the grandkids couldn’t accidently wander in and start playing with them. Even though the guns are all properly trigger locked, I will feel much better if the room is also locked. It also ensures that no one will be in his room when he isn’t home. Hopefully this is a temporary situation, but at the same time, without having to pay for a room he can save more money to put down on his new home.
The days are beginning to run into each other. Not just because I’m retired, but the lockdown has exaggerated this meaninglessness of the different days. For some reason yesterday seemed like a Thursday. It wasn’t until supper time that I realized it was Friday.
Religious freedom is why free people came to North America. Whenever the state controls worship people either leave or take up arms. Many religious sects are claiming that the temporary lock down and stay at home orders are an infringement on their rights to gather and worship as they please. When people don’t go to church their tithing also tends not to go into the collection plates. Without the financial support, wages can’t be paid and building maintenance requirements (heating, cooling, cleaning) can’t be paid. Then because the building isn’t being used there is the danger of it being surplus to requirements and liquidated or sold (As we’ve seen with the Seniors’ Centre in Strathroy ON). Please remember to support your church so it can remain a church when the pandemic is over. I’m so glad that Strathroy United Church quickly changed to on-line only services, but I still miss the weekly in person worship and seeing my Church friends.
Chasing dragons becomes an almost fulltime occupation during the lockdown. Mental Health has been highlighted as one of the most serious consequences of people being isolated in their homes. Suicide, drug overdose, alcohol over use, domestic violence have all seen increases. Those who are homeless have even less resources, as no one is venturing onto the streets to give donations. Homeless shelters are being avoided now due to the possibility of them becoming COVID-19 outbreak sites. In the middle of this crisis, I’m glad to say we have a new homeless centre for youth that has opened at 37 Frank Street, Strathroy ON. (37 Frank Youth Centre). A special thank-you to the donators and volunteers.
My favorite celebrations on this day is National Tulip Day in the Netherlands. Tulips always are a symbol of spring and new hope. Although I won’t be able to attend the May Tulip Festival in Ottawa this year, I usually buy some potted tulips to brighten up my kitchen. I love buying the potted tulips because when they are done blooming I can plant them in the garden where they will bloom again year after year.
So being forced to celebrate NothingDay by legislated provincial lockdown we should get out those gift cards, go on line and buy something locally to help fight the personal dragons.
January is almost half over. We are currently experiencing a heat wave. Temperatures have been above 0C for the last few days and it looks like it will stay that way for the remainder of the week. The sun has actually been seen and there has been a brief reprieve from the bleak winter days. You can also notice that the hours of daylight have increased.
But the “Stay at home” order came into effect this week and we’re all locked up. Thank goodness exercise is an exception. Walking with my sister and our dogs has been one of the highlights of this winter at home.
In December we decided to change our hot water heater from a rental to a tankless time payment to own. Also included in the deal was 15 years worth of insurance on all gas appliances and plumbing/water flow. As luck would have it just days after our first payment our furnace in the garage quit lighting. So the charge for the repairman to come and look at it was covered by the insurance. Hopefully he can find the required part to fix it. I’ve always said my husband has horseshoes stuck somewhere.
The other surprise is that my motorcycle insurance policy was changed. For 13 years I’ve been paying insurance on the motorcycles for 7 months starting in March. I got a notice yesterday that the payments will start in January. Despite a call to explain that I’ve always started the payments in March and this unilateral change seems unfair, they are still going to take the payments out starting in January. We called for quotes from other companies, but because our current insurance company is still the cheapest we will just have to “suck it up buttercup”. Really it just means that I have more months before Christmas without payments. Oh how I hate dealing with insurance companies that can unilaterally change long term agreements with a quick note to you.
I’m not certain if I agree with Garry Winogrand on this quote. I don’t think you change the facts, but you can change the perception of the story illustrated by the photo. So for example, this picture is of a family walking near Pincombe Mill Pond and feeding the geese/ducks. The reason it caught my eye was the contrast of the orange hats against the foggy background. You can take it at face value, or you can add analogies and a story line. Such as the hats represent hope bright and radiant; the family is the isolated group with stronger inner bonds; and they are reaching out (feeding) to change their surroundings with nurturing and caring; during a time of extreme hopelessness (pandemic/fog). So it is the importance of the story telling that can change how a photograph is perceived. The facts didn’t change, just how they are interpreted/presented.
The celebration of International Kite Day is better in Southern Climates than those of Canada. Much better on the beaches in Tampa, Florida or on Padre Island, Texas. I usually go out to fly kites on Easter Monday. My one diabetic sister-in-law used to give kites instead of candy at Easter, so I try to forward her tradition in her absence.
Medical advances are always changing the course of history, but probably none has had a bigger impact than the Caesarean Section. It has saved so many women and children from death during childbirth. Unfortunately it has also been used in recent times to guarantee a certain date for future birthdays and so that births occur on schedule, so staff can get back to more important things and free up the facilities for the next in line. The rates of Caesarean births has climbed over the years. When I had my children in the 1980’s (really dating myself) there was a huge movement to go natural (vaginal births without medications). Recovery is much faster without surgical intervention. I was lucky enough and healthy enough to have all 3 of my 9 pound sons naturally. Prenatal classes were attended and breathing techniques taught. But if my babies had been in any danger I would have gone under the knife and had a caesarean section without a second’s hesitation. That’s where mid-wives and doulas play such an important role guiding the mother through the experience of childbirth and ensuring the mother’s wishes are followed.
And not to be forgotten the Feast of the Ass. So keep your little asses safe at home during the pandemic. (sorry can’t pass up on the Little Ass jokes)
Well, it’s official our province of Ontario is again under extreme measures, as the second state of emergency in less than a year has been declared. No one is to leave their house for anything except necessities. Luckily the list of necessities includes trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, medical appointments and exercise. For all other reasons we are to remain at home. When outside we are limited to groups of 5 and it is now advised that you wear a mask at all times.
Hospitals are reaching their capacity limits and tough decisions will have to start to be made regarding who will receive treatment and who won’t. The second wave of COVID-19 is much worse than the first. The good news is that for the first time in more than a week our number of cases was less than 3,000 per day.
Some regions won’t have in school classes until at least February 10, 2021 and I predict that other school boards will do the same even without the Provincial restriction.
People are now very anxious for the vaccine, but the availability has caused problems with priorities. Some non-essential workers or high risk individuals are butting into line and taking the place of those with higher priority. Those who didn’t follow government guidelines and travelled to Florida are able to pay for their vaccines ($300 per shot) and again get vaccinated before ones who followed the restrictions or can’t afford the travel/vaccine.
My favourite ginger is my granddaughter. Last year’s Halloween costume is perfect for today’s quote. Charles Perrault became famous by putting fairy tales onto paper and into his collection of Mother Goose Tales. He may not have been original in the story line, but by putting the words in his writing style onto paper he ensured that the tales would continue to be shared and immortalized them. The same stories we share today with our grandchildren as we instill in them the love of books.
Stories and parables are the heart of every culture. Passed down from generation to generation as children sit on their grandparent’s laps. We sing songs and our grandchildren learn them as they practice their singing and memory skills, learning through play. Of all the gifts I could instill in my children and grandchildren the “Love of Books” is probably one of the most important. It brings me immeasurable joy as my granddaughter sings “Twinkle, Twinkle” to me. Her repertoire has been growing by leaps and bounds.
Dreams of love start with the saving “Kiss from a Prince” that wakes sleeping Beauty. Inspiration to be stronger and better comes from stories as we all remember the “Little Engine who could”. As do lessons of acceptable behaviour as we remember the horrors the befell “The little boy who called wolf”.
So to celebrate National Hot Tea day, I think I’ll make a cup of tea with honey, grab my current book and settle in front of the fire place for a well deserved break.
Today’s quote reminds me of the story of a man that was running down the beach when the tide went out. He was picking up star fish and throwing them into the water. Another person said to him, “You’re not making any difference. Star fish will still die when the tide goes out.” He bent down, picked up another star fish and threw it into the ocean, “It did to that one.”
Making a difference in just one life may not change the world, but you may change the world for one person.
History changes the perspective of events and people. Sir John A. MacDonald the first Prime Minister, was born January 11th (or 10th). He wasn’t an original man, just one who reflected the current opinion of the time. It was a time that only British (or French) white men were permitted to vote and they were busy conquering a new Continent. John supported giving male Indians the right to vote, but he also supported the introduction of Residential Schools. He denied women and people of Chinese decent the right to vote to (actually imposing a tax of $50 on Chinese people to immigrate to Canada). He liked to drink and had to be carried out of Parliament after imbibing too much. But he was one of the composers of the BNA (British North America Act), was Canada’s First Prime Ministers, and was instrumental in the building of the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad). So now as history is being reviewed and becoming more inclusive Statues in his likeness are being torn down and we are being asked to re-write history. My fear is that if we eliminate everything and everyone we no longer agree with that those very people will be allowed to rule again without the inclusiveness that we’ve grown as a Country to go forward with.
In a time when slavery no longer exists, human trafficking of children, women and men for the sex trade is an ongoing problem. This atrocity is prevalent throughout the USA and Canada. Hidden in big cities and small rural towns. Signs on the back of restroom doors along major highways, tell people to reach out and seek help for themselves or report strange behaviours that often indicate human trafficking. So be vigilant and help eliminate human trafficking. You could make the world of difference for one person.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
The second Sunday of 2021 and we’re still under lockdown. Church services will be attended on-line instead of in-person. We’ve gotten used to saying “Peace of Christ be with you” in the chat section of the page. No danger of hugs, handshakes or smiles without masks.
The vaccine is much slower to be distributed than we had hoped. Nursing homes and care givers still aren’t even close to being done. Distribution seems to be quicker in the USA, so some Canadians have decided to go south and pay for the vaccine rather than wait their turn for the free one at home. Travel abroad during the pandemic has cost many their jobs when they return, especially Politicians and Health Care Professionals. My friend and travel companion in Essex ON, who works in a Nursing Home, has had her vaccine. She is anxiously waiting for the border to re-open so she can see her 2 year old granddaughter again in Detroit.
The closure of Elementary Schools was extended another 2 weeks. I’m not certain if I were a parent at this time if I would let my children go to school or remain on-line learning at home.
At the same time my 2 year old granddaughter and 3 year old grandson started Pre-school (Day Care) last week and the changes in them is unbelievable. My grandson is autistic, but with the loving hand of my granddaughter he was welcomed into the school. She took his hand and introduced him to others and all the play areas. He has also shown interest in being toilet trained (something his mother feared he may never be able to do). So the influence of peers and interacting with others shouldn’t be underestimated. Like sunshine for flowers, a leading hand by someone who loves us unconditionally may be all we need to grow.
Today’s quote is one of my favourites, always love your friends and say the best things about them. Build them up because good friends are like diamonds precious, true and hard to find.
I attended my first online paint party last night. I’ve never painted before so this was quite an experience. During the province wide lockdown it was a good diversion on a Friday night (almost as good as going for Fish and Chips at the local Legion). So I’ll add this to my list of interests and attend more. A special thanks to all my Facebook friends for their encouragement and support in everything I do. ❤