Today is my best day!

 

Today I saw a shirt that had the above words, I thought to myself what a great slogan. No matter what type of day you are having “Today is my best day” and make it that.

These past few years have turned into a slump, after losing my job and forced to drop out of a course I wanted to take due to financial need I have been just going from one job to another looking for some way to make ends meet. The feeling like your running in a huge mud puddle and sinking. I believe that we have influences all around us in large or small ways, the milk spilled so now you are late for work, does that mean you have to behave like a Bitch to everyone? No, not at all.

As you are just spreading your negative influence so, when I see something that is a positive influence I try to embrace it into my day and week. We all have an abundant amount of negative influences all around us every second every day. How we handle them is what sets us apart from others, are we better than those negative influences? I’m trying to be.

Today is my best day, if I take a step back and ponder this, how profound it can be of a statement. I have had so few “best days” that I think I need to re-think how I look at myself. My daughter is invited to a wedding and we have nothing to give or even a dress for her to wear. I have not been able to buy cloths in well over three years and am down to two pants and 4 shirts and one bra. I now have every sock with holes that have been re-sewn so many times that the sock is see through with only strands of thread holding together. I have sewed my cloths so many times that the patches and torn material is so thin no patch or thread is going to save it. My jeans are practically see through and now a single mom looking for work again.

So when the “today is my best day” filled my head I have to admit first glance I thought “ya right!” but then I stopped stressing out and decided yes, today is my best day.

I have a roof over my families head, I have a small amount to food to stave of hunger, small amount and not very healthy but it will keep us alive. We do have cloths, even though they are the holiest things I have ever owned. We have each other.

I think I must stop focusing on the horizon, and start learning to enjoy the walk.  Just like this quote:

If you’re going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

So when I am down I just need to think of it as I am just passing through, not stopping, not dwelling on anything, I’m just passing through. So, today is my best day and so will tomorrow and the tomorrows after?

I want to pass on the inspiration, I do not know who made the shirt, if it is a famous quote or what it is, but I want to pass on the inspiration to you. Make today and every day your best day by looking at what you have and not what don’t.

Make today your best day.

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Otaku Fest Calgary 2017

For those of you who don’t know what Otaku Fest is, it’s simply a gathering of people who love anime, manga and that whole culture that surrounds it. My daughter is one of them, and after watching Black Butler I have to admit, I am a fan as well. I think if I watched more Anime or red any manga I would probably be obsessed with it so I keep the reins pulled in tight.

It was held in the University of Calgary Science Theater, which I can tell you no one on campus knows how to get there. There were no signs to guide you to the location and even the advertising for it was barely out there, so if you wanted to go and didn’t know about it, I don’t blame you. My daughter found it because she was looking for the  big one that is coming in May 2018.  This was funded by the Calgary Culture and Arts I think it was, I am sorry I lost my paper to let you know for sure who funded it.

This was not hugely organized, it was basically three rooms that people moved throughout. While in each room there was games or Japanese foods such an awesome cream pop and a variety of steamed buns in shapes such as turtles.

I enjoyed seeing the costumes and trying to figure out what characters each person was trying to be. I was disappointed that Black Butler did not make an appearance, or even Ciel was not in the room. When I realized that Grell was not any place I could have cried a little tear. I mean come on, Grell is awesome, how could no one dress up as him. So think I found my costume plan for May 2018 at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre . I need to lose a lot of weight to look like him, but I have until May drop 80 lbs, grow my hair 2 feet, colour it bright red, file down my teeth, and get me a chain saw! I did see someone with a Black Butler bag, so the night was saved.

I really enjoyed watching the chess game with all the characters. The chess masters were slow and lacking in chess skills, but they are University kids, what do they know? They couldn’t even count five squares. It was funny to see how they got confused on how many squares they are to move. You know Alberta Education is top-notch when University Students can’t count 5 squares to the left. Heehee.  To see these kids act out the powers to kill other chess pieces was entertaining. Fake dying is always entertaining.

This was a fun day to spend in celebrating cultural weekend in Calgary. I will discuss the Culture Fest we attended in NW Calgary at the Genesis Centre in a different post.

I encourage everyone to join in the Otaku Fest in May 2018 if you have a chance to get to it. I hear it is supposed to be as big as Comicon, Look for Grell, it might just be me 🙂 Makenzie is going to go as her favourite character, Mikasa Acherman. If you don’t know any of these characters go ahead and look up the anime Black Butler and Attack on Titan.

I am not getting any funding for advertising for this, I just really like anime and want to share this culture with everyone I can. It’s a lot of fun to dress up and be someone else for a day, and to be with like-minded people. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to have to have powers and the freedom to behave as these characters do?

Do you like anime? who is your favourite character? what is your favourite anime, or manga?

Organic or Non-Organic?

All the people I spoke to this week thought of fruits and vegetables when asked what is organic? Majority of the individuals I questioned, did not understand the real meaning behind “organic”. Fair enough, there is a lot of hype and contradicting information around this.  So, did you know that organic can be used to label fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and type of fabrics as well? Think hemp and cotton.

Literally defined by the Oxford Dictionary, Organic (relating to farming) is: (1) “Produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals”. So far in (2) Canada our government states that a product cannot be labelled “organic”, “certified organic” if it is a G.M.O. product. So thankfully, for now, organic also means non-G.M.O.

So, what’s the big deal anyway? The big deal is that we as a human species, are losing the fight against obesity, disease, and it is costing us a lot of money and lives. Pollution is real. Global warming is happening. We can make a difference; it is not too late. How does this relate to our food?

Follow with me on the journey of our food. Let’s start with the plants. They are grown with chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides / pesticides, sprayed regularly throughout the growing season. These fields are grown strictly to feed animals; none is put into human food sources. The amount of acreages to grow food for these animals is far greater than it would take to grow for direct human consumption. Destroying our natural resources such as the rain forests, forests, and over use of the land. This plant food source is fed to such animals as cows, pigs, and fowl. (We will come back to the plant farming later.) The animal does not get to roam around eating a variety of fresh grasses, or even see the sun. Instead they are packed into small pens and cages so tightly they cannot move and stand in their own feces. They are fed these plants and grains in excess, so to assist with production of milk and increase weight. (Remember we pay by the pound.) The animals are also injected with growth hormones, fertility hormones and a lot of vaccines.

So far we have an animal that now has chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides / pesticides, growth hormones, fertility drugs, and a lot of vaccines running through the body which stores in the marrow, meat and fats. (If a human were to endure the stress and life of the slaughter animal, the human body would be extremely sick and in the hospital.) When an animal is stressed, such as being penned up, not allowed to sleep, beaten, prodded, the long tight transport to the slaughter house, and even walking down the line to slaughter; there are hormones the body creates that are also now added to this already packed list we just spoke of. This stress reduces the level of nutrient in the animal flesh depleting the vitamin and quality of protein.  (3)  (4)  Some believe that that fear is negative vibrational energy we too consume, as it has no time leave the body before being cut up.  As an understatement, the animal meat is tainted.

Now you go to the store and purchase some bacon, or a steak, or maybe a chicken to cook up for dinner tonight.  You ingest this animal flesh that is filled with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides / insecticides, growth hormones, fertility hormones, multiple animal vaccines and the stress induced hormones; no matter how hot or how long you cooked your animal flesh, you cannot cook this stuff out.  These toxic substances are not heat sensitive, they do not evaporate, they do not magically vanish. They must go someplace, and where do they go? In your body.  You had a cup of milk as well perhaps? Now you consumed another lactating hormone as well on top of those same toxins. We have not even discussed G.M.O. and I will not in this post as it would make this article too long.

Maybe you didn’t have milk, maybe you had water. Great, that is healthy and great for our bodies. Did you get that water from the tap, that got its water from the streams, that got its water from the run-off those grain / plant fields grown with chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides?  Or the water that seeps through the ground entering the waterways through underground water sources. Either way, that water has entered our main water system. So now you are drinking this toxic sludge as well and eating it.

So, what can you do about this? Through consumers shopping habits and letters to their supermarkets requesting organic grown and organic fed foods, it forces the farming industry to change its habits. But if consumers do not make the demand for the change, then farming continues as it has evolved into, and will continue to evolve into practices that pollute our water ways, and our foods. Stop buying animals that was grown with these toxins and cramped, stressful, and inhumane pens and cages. You want to look for (5) “free range”, “grown / raised without hormones / antibiotics”, “organic fed”, “organic or certified organic”. Do not be fooled either, “Humane” does not mean the animal was cared for, raised better, or slaughtered without stress. It is just as violent a life as any other animal endured in conventional farming. (7) (8) “Halal” or “Kosher” slaughter is another great thing to look for in your supermarkets. This is done by hand and with the care of the animal in mind. (9) Though, there have been some varying reports of some meat plants not performing proper Kosher slaughter, I leave that to you to investigate.

So, does it matter if we buy organic? I say yes, we can make farming change by our purchase demands. As a consumer, we drive the market to make changes, if you refuse to purchase “conventional” farmed foods they must change to make money, they must go organic.  I don’t want to feel fatigued all the time, nor do I want an unclear mind. I don’t want muscle aches, arthritis, impotence, disease or any other ailment from toxic foods and water. For me, I don’t have a lot of money, but I buy organic any place I can. I grow tomatoes and some veggies in a pot in my window and some fresh herbs.

Tina Curtis

 

 

 

Well, it has been a fun ride to this point. I love this class and have learned so much. I hope I am progressing in my drawing.

We are to draw according to a description. In this description is a barn, a tractor in water or mud, a rainy, lightning, stormy night. So that is what I attempted today. I started with the thumb print and then my pic.

 

Writing assignment

Well folks! For the last month I have attended way too many writing classes, one for beginners, one for essentials in writing and one for how to write to make some cash, plus I am taking 8 other courses. WAY too many at one time, talk about nuts around here, and my computer crashes two days ago and took me two days to get it up and going again! That is not what you are here for so let’s get on with the writing assignment, I am to write a creative piece with all the lessons I am learning in beginners writing class, I absolutely love me teacher Ann Linquist. Here I will let you in on the very first intro to the story that I am writing for this assignment. I have about two short stories done on this one so far, and I think I am going to take into the series direction, so I may post them on kindle or something like that.

 

 ? No title ?

             You know those stories with a happy ending and everything works out in the end? Ya, this isn’t one of those! This is like a bad black and white movie, you know the ones where the beautiful vivacious woman uses the clever and charming private investigator, he knows what she is doing but he loves the excitement. My story begins with a beautiful receptionist, or so she thinks she’s a receptionist, typing at her desk late at night. I don’t know what she could be typing, maybe her resume, we haven’t had work in months.

“Will that be all Dicky? I need to pick up bobby from the sitters soon.” My receptionist Wanda asks.

“Sure you can go, I’m gonna hang out here for a while and finish my last Cuban. Lock up on your way out will ya?”

“Sure thing Dicky, hey you have a good night sweetie? Tomorrow will be better, I just know you will get something tomorrow. OK then, good night.”

I hear her keys jingle as she locks the door and her heels tapping on the hardwood as she fades into the distance, again you are alone, and all you hear is the echoes from the street. My office is small but it’s comfortable, and cheap. To be honest I have slept on my office couch for the last two months. I like to sit in my office and smoke my cigar, and I like the low light of my desk lamp as it casts shadows around the room to entertain my imagination on these lonely nights. Just then a sound catches my full attention, a slow creek, possibly 210 Lbs, flat leather shoes, a hole in the left bottom soul. But how did he get in? I heard Wanda lock the front door, I reach under my desk and grasp my two faithful and ever reliable friends Smith and Wesson.

Closer… and closer he approaches, now at the door he stops. He seems to linger there a few seconds, contemplating. An envelope slid under the door and then he scurries away. I get up to examine the envelope, I don’t bother opening the door he’s already gone. 10 years as a P.I. has taught me to not kill the messenger. I glance at the contents and pull out the folded paper, just then something falls onto the floor. I reach down and pick up a gold necklace with a water droplet shape pendant and a blue gem in the centre. After examining the necklace I return to my desk to read the contents. The letter read: Hard Water Pier, tonight at 10:30

 

Well I hope my writing is getting better and hope you enjoyed the teaser of this new story. Have a great day.

 

 

 

This year I wanted to do something special for mom, she is in her 80’s and I wanted to maybe make her feel young, to remember some of the great days of her life. So how could I do this? I stumbled upon Finnabair Art,  she does multimedia style art and it inspired me to make mom’s birthday gift. I also wanted to make it a little more special, more for mom directly and no one else so I made it kind of like finding Waldo with hiding special items in it that she has to hunt for. Also a great mental exercise for seniors to keep the mind active while triggering memories.

This picture is a photo of my mom I am told between the ages of 16 to 18, no one seems to remember. The textures are to create depth and touchable response that helps with mental focus and stimulation of seniors mental health. My mother is miles away from me but I hope she felt like I was right there with her through the personality splashing out from this art project for her.

Mom birthday gift
Mom birthday gift

Here is the Letter I wrote her that goes along with this multimedia picture.

Happy Birthday Mother

Good and wonderful birthday wishes to you on this special day. Today we celebrate your life and here is my gift to you, a multimedia art that I designed so when you read this letter with it, it is in hopes that you will feel me there with you and that you can interact with this unique gift. Firstly as you read this the words that are in a different colour are the ones that you will need to find in the art. (Kind of like finding Waldo game) Let us begin!

I remember those blue eyes that would watch over me, to keep me safe. I loved the days that you, me, and dad would pick pine cones all summer, so we would have money. How we would listen to the waves in our living room with a shell. Strengthening our imagination.

You would teach me to crochet (knit), and sew, so I would never be without. And the large tin of buttons I would play in. You and father would spend hours gardening, teaching me how to grow food, so we would be healthy. Then at harvest we would pick fruits and can food all week-long for the long cold winters.  You would teach me how to care and love the animals from thechickens to the cat, to all creatures big and small.  We would feed the blue birds on the landing every summer. I remember you chasing the cow away from your tomato plants, and how the cowwould love it when you would chase him, so much love with all our home, you and dad gave the gift of love, like a flower made of hearts it bloomed all year-long, so precious like a diamond heart.The time our family would take to read the scriptures, and sit together as a family and talk, play games on family night every week. Every summer we would wash our clothes in the old wringer washer and hang them with clothes pin on a line to dry in the sun. When I got stung by bees you would put an onion on the stinger to get it out and make it feel all better. You would teach me about the butterfly, the ladybug, the bees the birds and the flowers, all had a job in the circle of nature. You even taught me proper etiquette, manners matter and how to use my knife, spoons and forksIt is because of you that I am who I ­­ today, I am thankful that you are my mother.

Love and miss you

Tina

Give your food a bath?

In my squirrely soap blog I do a little short story writing and poetry, it is all about soaps and crafts and I sell some at the farmers market but I decided to expand my writing and tie all the blogs together. I start all the stories or poetry with “IMAGINE” you are welcome to go to the squirrely soap blog first story to find out why I start with imagine but right now I wanted to share with more people the stories and see how it goes. So this is how it goes …

Should your food take a bath?

Ha-ha I bet that caught your attention right, giving your food a bath? What? Yes there is a reason to give your food a bath. I wrote all about this in my “Food Of Wisdom” blog and please feel free to read it. I hope it is informative. I was thinking about the article I wrote and I started to laugh at myself as I do quite regularly. I think people around me thing I am a mad person, off my rocker! But picture this if you will, a small claw foot tub with bubbles and a whole bunch of fruit and vegetable taking a bath, how cute? Or strange? But a mental image just makes me chuckle. Is there a story in this? Hum Dee Dum, I ponder and …

Imagine:

Mr. Beet waddles down the dirt path of a mammoth sized field wearing his beautiful green hat. As he reaches the end of the field he spies as far as he can spy and all that he can spy is another field.  Pears to the right and it is a mammoth sized field of vegetable, pears to the left and another mammoth vegetable field. Off yonder it looks like endless low top trees. Just then that flying noise maker passes over, he has another leak. He really needs to look at that Mr. Beet thinks to himself, every time he flies over he’s spraying this nasty tasting liquid all over us. He passes back and forth all over the fields and trees and then is gone again.  Mr. Beet turns his focus back to his surroundings and decides to push forward, I wonder what is out there? He thinks to himself. So he waddles along the dirt path and stops when he sees Mrs. Potato.

“Excuse me” Mr. Beet shyly speaks “Who may you be miss and would you happen to know where I might be?”

Mrs. Potato whips around to face Mr. Beet. She eyes him up and down, she is tall and strong, she is so bold and intimidating that Mr. Beet takes a small step back.

In a strong powerful voice she bellows “Where the heck did you come from? Haven’t seen the like of you in this field and I have traveled this field for many weeks. What the heck are you? You aint one of those weeds are ya? Whatever you’re selling we don’t want it!”

“Well miss, um farmer Jones calls me Mr. Beet so I reckon you can call me Mr. Beet also.” As he stumbles nervously over his words he continues. “I-I-I am not selling anything and well um, uh, well…”

“Spit it out kid, aint got all day ya know.”

“Oh aww, y-yes of course, well I must be a bit of an explorer, ya that’s it, I am an explorer and I am exploring this here fields and those trees over yonder.”

“An explorer hey, don’t know much about that but this here field needs piling so you best be on your way. Nice meetin ya.”

Mr. Beet bid Mrs. Potato farewell and waddled on his way just then Mrs. Potato bellows out to him, “You be careful of those gophers! They’re mean buggers and will take a bite right outta ya!” Mr. Beet nodded politely and waved good bye. The sun was hot, like sun funneled through a magnifying glass piercing down on Mr. Beet. This field seems to go on forever he thought, then he heard in the distance a familiar sound, he stops and listens. Ah yes it is that flying noise machine again, just like always it sprays this bad tasting liquid up and down the rows but this time Mr. Beet drank up all he could, he was so hot he absorbed as much as possible, not really refreshing but will keep me going on my journey he thought to himself. He started to walk again and he almost bumped into the largest gopher he had ever seen, I mean he was huge!

“You work out? What’s your name?” Mr. Beet said trying to break the ice.

In that sexy deep, rather manly voice the gopher spoke. “Folks round here call me MR. Gopher!” “Whaaat yo doing waaay over heeere? This aint chor field, you don’t belooong here.” He drawled out. “Go back where ya came from little red! Go on now, run back home!”

As the gopher leaned in towards Mr. Beet he felt frightened, so frightened he almost pooped out a little beet.

“No.” quietly Mr. Beet said.

“Did yo say somethin? I thought I heard a peep comin outta yo mouth?” The gophers stepped closer to Mr. Beet, almost stepping right on him, gopher bumped beet with his chest. “Wha’s da matter? Carrot got your tongue? You so chatty, wa-ch ya gonna do?” Mr. Gopher glared right into Mr. Beets eyes.

Every part of Mr. Beet was shaking, his beautiful green hat look like a hoola dancer on a dashboard of a car. More gophers were walking out from the potato tops and he was surrounded. The lump in his throat would not go down it just sat there getting bigger and bigger making it hard to breath. The voice in his head kept yelling at him “shut up and run, shut up and run ya fool, run now! Right now, RUN!” But Mr. Beet was an explorer and he wanted to see the fields and the low top trees. He had to be brave, maybe even stupid if he was to succeed.

“I – I – I s-s-said n-n-no Mr. G-G-Gopher.” Stuttered Mr. Beet. “Oooooh now you gone and done it!” The voice inside Mr. Beets head exclaimed, “That’s it, were dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Ya fool you gone and killed us off, in our prime too!”

“Ha-ha!” all the gopher started to laugh, Mr. Gopher laughed so hard he was kicking on the ground, they sounded like a bunch of hyenas. Mr. Beet saw his chance, a space opened up between the gophers and he bolted. He waddled like he had never waddled before, it is not easy for a beet to run, tiny little legs and a tail is not helpful at all. Now that he bolted his beautiful green hat had a high stem that caught on ever leaf and now there was flowers on his green hat. “Oh what will become of me he thought?” These are strange greens, these are not potato tops, these are far more bushy and taller. Mr. Beet tucked in under a bunch and watched closely as he felt the thunder of the gophers running passed. Mr. Beet held his breath until he could no longer hear them.

“Ahh” Mr. Beet let out a sigh of relief.

“WHOO EEE! That was some staaaampeeeede. Ha-Ha son you see that?” he slapped Mr. Beet on the back.

“I mean you no harm, I come in peace.” Mr. Beet cautiously said.

“What, I come in peace, Ha-ha you sure do talk funny red. I spose you want help with that there flower on your top, alright come on then, kneel down I caint reach that far.”

Mr. Beet cautiously knelt down and a stem of flowers fell to the grown beside him. He felt lighter, younger, not so old and stiff like a piece of wood.

“Thank you sir, I thought I was a goner with those gophers after me, how can I ever thank you?”

“Ya just did, and don’t call me Sir my dad’s name was sir just call me Kale!”

Mr. Beet felt like he just made a friend, he was so excited to talk to someone. Since leaving home it was rather lonely and he missed his family very much. Mr. Beet told Kale all about his home and the fun things they did and all about strange grandpa Beet who had two tails growing outta him. Kale listened and walked with Mr. Beet for a long time, Mr. Beet talked and talked, he even cried a little. The strange flying noise maker sprayed and flew by and Mr. Beet did not even notice it was there he was just so happy to have made a friend that the world seemed like a smaller happier place. Just then they stopped walking and Kale sat down so Mr. Beet sat down and realized he had nothing more to say, he told Kale all about the journey, the gophers and Mrs. Potato and he could not think of anything else to say. It was silent for a few second.

“Boy you sure like to talk don’t ya?” Kale inquired.

“Oh I’m sorry, I guess I did get a little carried away. Tell me about yourself Kale and your family?” asked Mr. Beet

“Alright, look around ya, this is my family, and well we are dinosaur Kale.” Kale stated. “We aint much of the talking kind, but sure glad to have met ya.” Kale shook Mr. Beet’s hand “look here, we are at the end of my field and that there is the orange trees. They are just as chatty and cheerful as you are so you will be in good company. Take care of yourself now.” Kale turned and walked away disappearing into the other bunches and he was gone.

Mr. Beet had not realized it but Kale made sure he made it safely to the end of his field, they walked for days and it felt like only a little while. “Thank you Kale.” Mr. Beet whispered and he turned to the low top trees. It was beautiful, what a sight to see it takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes to see such beautiful tall, strong trees and these bright orange balls dancing in the branches. Mr. Beet ran out as fast as he could to see them closer.

“Hello, hello, I’m Mr. Beet and I’m from the field far, far away.” He yelled up to the oranges in the trees. He spun around and around looking at them all waving and dancing he got dizzy and fell down.

“Ha-ha!” All the oranges laughed at him after he fell down. “Hello Mr. Beet welcome to Sunny Valley.”

Oranges were very nice and the days passed and Mr. Beet lost all track of how long he had been there. He could talk to so many oranges and he was happy, he never wanted to leave to go back home.

Just then a strange feeling came over him, the air seemed to get dark and heavy, Mr. Beet felt afraid.

“Oh no!” said some oranges. “RUN MR. BEET, RUN TO THE KALE THEY CAN HELP YOU!” The oranges yelled.

Mr. Beet was not going to wait to find out why, he ran as fast as he could but he was in the open, the trees are so far apart and there is no bunches of greens to hide behind. Mr. Beet was is beg trouble and he knew it when he saw Mr. Gopher swoop in front of him.

“Well, well look who we’ve got here boys.” Said Mr. Gopher.

“I don’t want any trouble Mr. Gopher, please – just leave me alone.”

“Not this time little red, you made me look like a fool in fronta ma boys. I don’t like looking like a fool.”

Mr. Gopher and the others walked closer and closer to Mr. Beet. He was surrounded and there was so many more of them. Mr. Beet could see they all had there claws out, this was it he thought, so afraid, so alone, and he started to cry – but he held his head up strong and brave.

“Mr. Gopher. You can shred me, slice and dice me, you can even blend me up but I did what I set out to do. I succeeded in – spite – of — you! You did not stop me, I out smarted you! I made friends and I saw the other end of the fields. I am an explorer! I had a good life and you are nothing but a fur ball, a bully in these fields.

Those were the last brave words Mr. Beet ever said. The green grass is stained with the memory of where Mr. Beet stood his ground. He may have lost this fight but he was not looser, he was brave, strong and he was what legends are made of.

So because as you can see in the story there is in many fields chemicals sprayed on crops of all kinds, fruits and vegetables so we need to wash off these pesticide residues or we are eating these chemicals. Even though those chemicals may make their way into the plant itself we really don’t want more if we can do anything about it right. So yes we need to give our fruit and vegetables a bath. How are we supposed to do this? With water! Water only takes off more residue than those vegetable cleaners in the store. If you want the very best than use salt. 1 part salt to 9 parts water and be sure to rinse off the salt water once you have finished soaking and scrubbing your fruits and vegetables. You can read more about this at Food Of Wisdom.

Have a great and sunny summer

T.C.

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

 

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

My daughter of age 18 emailed me this article she read, she was shocked at some of the advice and could not believe the advice these people were suggesting to new parents or any parent for that matter. The article is titled 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids they state that “These everyday phrases may actually do more harm than good.” It was written by Michelle Crouch from Parents Magazine.

My daughter and I have an amazing mother daughter relationship, I have had mothers ask me how we did it and can I give them advice on how to fix their relationship with their daughter. Ha-ha but easier said than done, I worked hard over the years to understand how to do this with my daughter. Mother daughter relationships can be a challenge, my own relationship with my mother is fire and ice, no more like a volcano eruption. It is very hard to have a conversation with my mother as it almost always ends in feeling getting hurt or anger or something of a negative effect and definite boundaries stomped on.  I have tried to build a relationship with her, tried as hard as anyone can and sometimes I have come to the conclusion it is just not possible to have a close loving and embracing relationship so I just try my best to keep the peace and leave when it starts to get bad.  To be honest the main reason for our problems I think is boundaries are not respected, my boundaries are not respected and she stomps right over them like a tank and respecting each other’s boundaries is very important.  Another very important thing for moms is to remember that your job as a mom changes as the child grows up, as a parent we must back off more and more as they grow up so they can be their own person and so you both can have a great relationship. You will always be mom and when she needs you to me motherly she will ask for it and never should we push our motherly smotherlyness on them. So to the article that I read, I tried to keep an open mind but to me it was load of s**t for the most part.

Let’s talk about the 10 things parent.com says we are never to say to our children. In the article it tells you were these ridiculous ideas came from and their reasons so I will not repeat the location again in my post, you are welcome to go to the web post at parent.com and see for yourself.  In the blue ink is the parent.com idea and the green ink is my rebuttal or response idea on the topic.

  1. Great job – It says that you shouldn’t say it when the child masters a skill or they become dependent on the external affirmation instead of self-motivation. I disagree 100%, what is the one thing that encourages people to do better? Hearing they did a good job! What is the one and most effective way to get more out of people? Telling them how they are appreciated or the work they did was wonderful and that you would love to see more of it! If you hold back the praise then the child is more likely to feel they are not good enough, they are more likely to lash out because they never feel that all there hard efforts are passed over and they are less likely to keep trying to please you, themselves and less likely to try to overcome obstacles.
  2. Practice make perfect – It tries to say that if you make mistakes it is because you didn’t try hard enough. Disagree 100%, no place in the words practice makes perfect does it say you made a mistake so you are a failure. It does tell the child that if you want to be good at something you need to work for it, earn it and you will be rewarded for your hard work by becoming good at that thing you practiced. If there ever is that giant leap to “I’m never good enough” and if you are parent with your heart and not image in mind then this leap will not be there you can easily encourage your child to understand that when they first started how did they do? And then look at how they are doing now after trying so hard? Show them that they are improving and with some things in life we just may never become the best at it but are we at our own personal best at it? Practice makes perfect has nothing to do with comparison to anyone else, it is our own personal best!
  3. You’re okay – this one is saying that the child is not really badly hurt and their feelings are irrelevant or dismissed. I disagree 100% again! When you say to a child that’s hurt themselves they are okay or going to be okay it is reassuring them that they are being taken care of and you are in a sense saving them. Reassurance is a powerful tool to help keep a child calm and to put into perspective the situation. As a child the world seems to revolve around them and telling them they are okay and you are there to help them is a big deal, if you coddle a child too much you are giving them no benefit of how to talk to themselves when you are not around. They can care for themselves by telling themselves they are okay and be able to put things into perspective to be able to move forward and passed the injury or hard times in their future. For example, I fell through the ice all alone and managed to climb out myself thankfully. I was freezing, scared and half drowned, I kept telling myself “I’m ok, I just have to get home.” I told myself this over and over again and it gave me strength because I was able to put into perspective my situation and be able to focus on what was needed. If I had never been told “you’re okay” I would have sat right there on the ice and cried and died of hypothermia because I would have been overly coddled and not been taught to put into perspective the situation that I am in and I am ok right now and if I get home I will be able to get help.  
  4. Hurry up – They are saying this adds stress to the child. Oh my goodness do I disagree 100%. Since when is a little stress a bad thing? We actually need a little stress not a lot just a little to stimulate our senses, and saying hurry up is not adding stress it is actually teaching time management and respect for those around you. The world does not stop because you want to doddle, in fact if you doddle you will miss out so really hurry up! It is not right that you tie up the line with your desire to take your time, it slows down others and really it creates bad emotions towards the slow person as the years go on. I personally have troubles keeping an employee that takes there time on the job, if I can have someone who can do the job faster than they get the job and the slow person is let go. So teaching these lessons very early in life is a benefit to the child for years to come.
  5. I’m on a diet – They say keep it to yourself. Ok this one has a point. If you are trying to lose weight you really do not want to pass your negative self-image onto the child, they get that already from every direction in media, school, friends etc. It is true though that an overweight parent you have a higher chance to have overweight children. So as far as “on a diet” should really be a family affair and we are now eating healthy and all of the family learn how to eat healthy and be active together. The key here is together.  If you make activities that you all can play and join in together you teach a healthy lifestyle and you will lose your weight in the same time without causing negative self-image.
  6. We can’t afford that – This says that you are not in control of your finances and scares the child. They said that instead you should say we can’t buy that because we are saving our money for more important things. Ok my daughter lashed out at this one, so disagree 100% here. My daughter cleverly said that if you say what the article wants than you are saying that the child’s needs are not important. True, true, that is what it is saying. We need to teach our children how to manage finances and when you cannot afford something this is a great opportunity for a lesson. Go ahead and say you cannot afford that but also add the lesson and knowledge building of difference between needs vs wants. When my daughter was 4 we started to talk about the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things that keep us alive like healthy foods, the house we live in, basic clothes, light and heat etc. Wants are things we want like junk food, toys, fancy clothes, fancy house, vehicles, junk food, etc. As time goes on you can say we cannot afford that because it is a want and not a needed item and right now money it tight so only needs are what get purchased and wants can be purchased when we save up the money for it. By the time my daughter was 6 she fully understood it and would as me do we have any money for wants today? And I would tell her I can afford up to $5 today or not today sorry maybe next time and she was perfectly okay with that because she too was learning how to manage money without touching money.
  7. Don’t talk to strangers – This says that it is too hard for children to understand this concept. I worked for Kid Safe Canada (has now changed) and taught safety classes to children. It really is not a hard concept if taught properly. Yes don’t talk to strangers but explain what a stranger is. What is a stranger? Anyone you do not know is a stranger, even if they tell you their name they are still a stranger. Teach them the good people to go to for help, they are police officers, firemen and firewoman, teacher, etc. The other thing is to never teach the words or idea stranger danger, this gives the impression of a monster and that is not right. So here it is -the slogan to help keep things simple for children is: Never go with anyone unless parent/guardian gave permission. Most abduction are by people they know or see on the street or a family member. So the child is familiar with them so just saying stranger is not enough. So the rule is this; Never to anywhere with ANYONE unless parent/guardian gave the child permission. The child must phone you to get permission. Have a pass word to know they have permission to go with them even if it is a family member. The child should know before going to school or activity who is picking them up. So again the rule is: NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITH ANYONE UNLESS PARENT/GUARDIAN GAVE PERMISION!
  8. Be careful – This they say is saying that it makes it more likely the child will fall or hurt themselves. Oh come on seriously! I disagree. There are those that if you are being supper hovering of a parent then just back off, really no one like that, no one! And hovering over your child definitely makes them think that everyone everyplace is going to protect them. What a horrible wake up call for your child when they see this is not the case, you just made more problems for them you super hovering parent! But if you see that the child is in potential danger then say be careful of that bar it is getting close to your head! Then go ahead, but again if you are a parent that is pointing out every possible booboo potential just back off, go sit down and let the child get the small booboos as it is a good thing. They learn to be more careful. You hit your thumb with a hammer, that sure smarts don’t it? So the next time you use a hammer you learned something right? Right! You learned to move your thumb! Same with your children. DO NOT HOVER OR SMOTHER YOUR CHILDREN, LET THEM GET THOSE LITTLE BOOBOO’S! You can point out the occasional potential accident or as they leave the house tell them be careful crossing the road! Acceptable absolutely.
  9. No dessert unless you finish your dinner – this one says it diminishes the enjoyment of the meal. You definitely did not listen to Pink Floyd did you? So what! Who does not look forward to the occasional dessert? And eating all that the child put on the plate teaches balance and the importance of the meal over the dessert. If parent plated the meal then it really is not fair as the parent does not know how much the child is hungry or not. Let the child learn to plate the meal and they will learn to plate only what they are going to need and eat.
  10. Let me help – jumping in too soon will cause child to give up too early. This goes back to the super hovering parent I spoke about in #8. If you are hovering then you will be asking to help them all the time and yes this is not good. But if you are seeing the child is struggling you can look at it and ask them would you like a little help? If they say yes then offer a little help, little being the key here. Such as the puzzle in the parent.com example. Say where is it you need help with? Let the child guide you to where they feel they are needing help, then tell them I wonder if that piece will fit can you try that one? If it fits say ok you are on your own again because you helped and now they can try other pieces for themselves. If they need more help let them know you are not going to do it for them but will give advice here and there. They need to try for themselves first. This is great as with my daughter she would try to get me to do things for her. All kids try it, it is human nature to get someone else to it for you. But teaching them the benefit of doing themselves is a far more beneficial.

 

Parenting is not easy, but I would never trade a second of it. I love being a parent and over the years my role as a parent changes and I embrace this change. The changes in my role proves I did my job right, she is ready to spread her wings and see the world in all its glory and misery and be able to tackle it wisely no matter what comes her way. We all want to protect our children or even shelter them but that is not helping prepare them for their future. Our job as parents is not to shelter them but to prepare them, and guide them to be the best them they can be. That is my views, my lessons learned and as always, take what you want and leave the rest.

 

T.C.

Mothers Day

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.

– St. Therese of Lisieux

 

Thinking of what to write about for  Mother’s Day is hard for me, I have written and re-written this entry but have had a hard time deciding exactly what I want to say about the wonderful day of Mother’s Day. You see to be honest my mom and I are like fire and ice, we can’t seem to be in the same room longer than a few minutes, but we love each other. I have so many stories that I am thinking about that I would love to share as they are funny, but being a mom myself it started me thinking about what a mom really is, and that is why it is hard to write this post. I think about my mom when I was growing up and what influences she has had on me. What really qualifies you as a certified parent or even the right to say “I’m a parent”? Just giving birth or fertilizing the egg is not making you a parent! I feel the actions taken and the raising of a child is what makes you a parent. My mom and dad opened their home and their hearts to me, an unplanned child that had no place to go but foster care and they adopted me; to give me a chance to have a better life. That is a certified parent!

Thinking back I realize that mother was always there, we may not have talked or even saw each other but I knew she was always there. Mom was a stay home mom and I am grateful for that. I would come home from school and the house would smell of fresh baked bread or cookies or dinner on its way, she was always there. Even if I ran in the front door dropped my school bags said “hi mom” and ran out the back door, “bye mom” and hopefully stole a cookie on the way out. If I fell down and scraped my knee she was there to put on the Band-Aid and tell me I’m alright. She’d show me how to make cookies and let me lick the spoon. Tuck me into bed, get the gum out of my hair, and put an onion on my bee/wasp stings; she was there. Take me to music lessons or tap dance or whatever else I was in she was there. Every time I would be bullied at school even though she did not know what to say, she was there to wipe away my tears.  Every time I missed the bus, she was there to take me to school or bring my lunch I forgot, she was always there.  As I am older and a mom myself I still know she is there, just a phone call away or a short drive if ever I needed her.  A mom’s job is endless, and the sacrifices made as a parent I understand now why as a mom we do all these things, because we love our children so much that it not a sacrifice at all, we are happy to be there for them, we want to be there for them. Taxi driver, cook, seamstress, baker, nurse, nutritionist, spiritual guide, moral guide, story teller, counsellor, educator, caretaker, janitor, maid, are only a small amount of the things a mom does on any given day, let alone her job as a wife on top of that.

We then have only one day a year to show mom that we appreciate all these things and more about her. What would mom like to do on this day? If anything in the world could be given to mom on this day what would a mom want? Awe now that is easy, to be with her family, to see their smiling faces, to hear there laughter and feel their warm hugs. Being a mom is not easy but it’s not that hard either, I mean really! Being around people you love how hard is that? I know my mom will not be here forever, but she will always be there. I mean her lessons, her love, her memory will always be there whenever I need it, I can just stop and remember and she will always be there. The gift of a parent does not end when they die, it continues on through all the people they met and the children they raised, they are always there. Her smile, her warm hugs, her lessons, has always been there and will always be there. Thank you mother for always being there.

I love you mom, thank you for everything, thank you for who you are, and who you helped me to be. Happy Mother’s Day.

T.C.

Write your own eulogy

Writing your own Eulogy

 

One sunny and happy day my daughter tells me “mom, I want you to write your own eulogy.” Just said that straight out, what a shocker, what is she talking about? What? So I responded as any good parent would and said “what the hell are you talking about?” She laughed at me and said, “ya I want you to write your own eulogy, if you write it then I don’t have to when the time comes.” So we talked and yes I am writing my eulogy.

Why write your own eulogy? There are many reasons, you could get in the last word, you could tell people in your own words how much they cared about you and you can share your own story through your eyes. Why not write your own eulogy? If you are a jerk you would probably be telling people off and if that is true there probably will not be anyone at your funeral. Telling a lie about your life or a fairy tale of what you lived would just leave people not liking you, so if you can’t write an honest eulogy I would image letting someone else write it for you, but you could still do that and review the eulogy and have it edited before you die, that might be an option as well.

Is this strange to write your own eulogy? In my research of how to write a eulogy I found that more and more people are writing their own. So this isn’t just a strange thing, I did not even know that this was done to be honest, if I had known earlier my eulogy would definitely be different than what I am planning now. I am older, more mature and hopefully wiser and there are things that I appreciate far greater now than 20 years ago. So with this in mind I would advise to revisit your eulogy ever 5 years or so to make sure it is still relevant and not an extinct purpose. How confused people may be if the situation is no longer relevant or how they may feel if you had some grudge or harbored feelings you really do not anymore. Is there anything I want to tell people? First of all I personally make sure I tell people what I want to say to them in person, that way I can look back and never have any regret of not telling anyone something. I don’t mean telling people off, but tell them I love them, what they did hurt me and work it out with them or parted ways. I never want to have more regrets than I already have, a clean slate sort of speak or no good deed undone. So what is there to say?

Here are some suggestions I recommend to start with this process if you decide to write your eulogy.

  • Jot down some memories of your life, some funny stories, your career path, accomplishments, where you lived, your education, marriage and family, and so on.
  • Now that you have some ideas on paper, it is not in order and it is nowhere near done. Now you can write an outline. Think through your life to this point and picture all you have achieved in these years, the people you loved and your behaviour over the years. Answer these questions to help you create this outline.
  • Where were you born and where did you live? Did you move a lot? Where was your retirement?
  • What kind of life was your youth? Were you a busy kid or focused on a hobby?
  • What hobbies did you have over the years, like what was most enjoyable in each decade for your hobbies of what you did for enjoyment?
  • If retired what did you do during retirement?
  • Did you marry? Have kids and how many? Did you make friends easily or find it hard and did you have many friends? Lots or a few really good ones that meant the most to you?
  • Education? What did you study? Where did you attend? Did you have more than one career in your life? More educational interests?
  • Accomplishments – what awards did you win? Talents you developed? What books did you love to read? Were you ever in a newspaper or on T.V.?
  • What were some funny stories that people would remember you with? Did you have a funny sense of humour or a humour people really did not understand? Did you cook? Could you cook? What memory of cooking would people like to hear about? Such as your most amazing dish or how the smoke alarm always went off when you cooked.
  • Did you have a passion for the outdoors? Hiker, jogger, nature painter, adventurer, bird watcher, camper, a rock climber? Anything that you enjoyed doing outside. Perhaps you liked crafts – what did you enjoy making? Crafts for the home or gifts? Needlework or crochet or maybe sewing?
  • Where did you work? What type of jobs did you have? Do you have a funny story about working at one of those jobs? Did you get injured at any job?
  • Now this one I want you to be completely honest with yourself. What type of friend were you? Were you loyal or a friend of opportunity? Were you honest, ethical, and compassionate? Were you a good listener? If you had family did you love them? Were you patient? Were you a leader? Did you try to help the needy and offer service to others without desire for payment, recognition or thanks in return?
  • What was it about you that people admired? What will people most miss about you? Such as the way you could turn a bad situation into something that can be laughed at and helped others overcome hardship? How good of listener were you?
  • What did you love the most about others, spouse, children, family, friends, and strangers? What was it that you loved about the people around you? Perhaps a favourite restaurant and the waiter who always forgot your drink? Perhaps the sound of your children’s laughter? Your neighbour who always stubbed their toe on the steps? Those little things that made you laugh, the bigger things that made you appreciate them more.

Once this is done you can look at all this information and turn it into a eulogy. There are many types of eulogies but this is a starting point for anyone, once this is done you can tweak it into any type of eulogy you desire people to hear at your funeral. I recommend starting at the beginning, rather a step through your life from birth to death and how you lived each moment. It is similar to a biography without the biography part. A biography covers so much of a lifetime that it can take some time to tell the whole story, if you want to tell your life story write your own biography, your eulogy is not your entire biography but rather a summary of your life. I would not recommend making people sit through a eulogy that runs for an hour or more but a short one, no more than 30 minutes to 40 minutes is a good amount of a eulogy speech time I would think. So to put things in order I have jotted down some ideas of how to go about doing that as I am doing this for myself. I do not at all think you should follow my steps and nothing else, be creative. Try new designs and ideas and I do recommend running them passed a friend or family member who you feel would be honest. If you are not getting a good support in that sense talk to a librarian or English teacher and ask them to please read it and give some feedback. Allow those to give the feedback as you are the one who is asking, their opinions may not be yours but it lets you know if you are rambling, or if you are not making sense. For example, if you are trying to describe a funny story it can sometimes be hard to explain on paper, you may need to change the story or change how you wrote it as it comes across not how you intended. So be open, and allow for feedback. This is your last word, you want to be clear and understood, or at least I would.

This outline is what I started with but then changed it once I was done and decided that I wanted to write it in first person not third person as this is. This is written so the person that reads it is like they wrote it about you. I wanted to have the person reading it like I was standing up there telling my story in my words.  So like I said, change it up how you would like it to be done, this below is for third person version. Feel free to search the internet for examples of eulogies there are a lot of them, some are quite poetic.

  • Beginning –birth (parents, date of birth, town or city, etc) through childhood. Be brief you do not want to drone this on too long, quickly state your birth and hometown and perhaps one or two funny kid stories. Remember this is not a genealogy, it’s a summary of your life.
  • Education- where and what you studied, your careers, etc. any awards you won in school, or sport and any accomplishments. If religious add your devotion to the religion.
  • Hobbies-interests-adventures-funny story of any of this, memorable story of this. A camp trip that turned into a story.
  • Family and relationships and friendships. A story that describes an example of what you were in life to be a parent, friend, member of the community, etc.
  • About your personality and self – your qualities as a friend, parent, spouse etc.
  • You will be missed- this is the wrap it up section where you tell the part of you that will be most missed about you.

In first person style.

  • Eulogy is written by the deceased… I was born….etc.… and story
  • I attended…. And graduated from… a career in …. changed careers because…. etc.
  • I have ….family and …. children… married to… etc. story that describes my nature….I remember when….
  • I really enjoyed to play…. and always got into trouble because…. I loved to …. etc.
  • I love and appreciated …. I will miss… I loved my life and …. story….
  • Thank you for being a part of my life and …..

 

By Tina Curtis