Morning Brew, a Caffeine-Free Addictive Habit

Morning Brew is a free daily publication, delivered to your inbox, and filled with interesting tidbits of news.  Remember way back, when we used to sit and read the newspaper with our morning coffee? Who has time for that anymore?  This email newsletter provides the same comforting ritual but is much more efficient as it only takes a few short minutes to peruse.

Now that I am not rushing off to a garden first thing in the morning, I have added Morning Brew to my daily to do list.  It’s right up there with watching Ellen.  My only complaint is that it only covers American news. Generated in NYC, it includes news from coast to coast and border to border.  My suggestion for improvement?  Blur the friendly northern border a bit; I sure would love to see some Canadian content in there!

Sign up to add Morning Brew to your daily routine.   Once you are hooked, share this caffeine-free but equally addictive habit with friends and family.

Morning Brew

 

 

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Culinary World Cup 2018 in Luxembourg

On his blog, Michael Hauschild describes the  Road to Luxembourg, AKA his culinary journey, to represent Canada abroad.   Passionate about all things culinary, his training has been particularly intense since he was selected a year ago to compete on Canada’s Youth Culinary Team in Luxembourg later this month.

In Canada (and many other countries too) we are all aware of a World Cup for hockey, skiing, curling and many other sports.  I’d be willing to bet though that most people, myself included, are probably not aware of a World Cup competition for culinary skills. If you aren’t or even if you already were, check out the team’s Facebook page for more details.

I heard about this event from Michael’s (very proud) grandmother, one of my gardening clients, whom I also know from my days as a hockey manager.  Michael, you see, is one of my son’s hockey teammates that nicknamed me Lorieb many years ago.  Obviously his biological family is very proud of him as is his (very large) hockey family.

We and the rest of Canada are rooting for you Michael and your new team.  As Luxembourg’s primary language is French, I will end with Bonne Chance!

culinary

 

 

Offseason To Do List is Growing

Well, I pushed my garden season as far as possible……but my frozen fingers and toes convinced me to pack it up. Although I miss my garden business already (I’ve only been closed for the season for one week) I do admit there are (a few) good things about my offseason.  My to do list is the only thing growing these days.

offseason

 

‘Tis the season instead for tackling my to do list of things I don’t seem to have enough time for the rest of the year.  Some are fun, others not so much….

  • freelance writing
  • watching Ellen every morning for a good laugh
  • sleeping in, especially when the weather is bad.  Look out the window, roll over and fall back asleep!
  • baking, although that can be dangerous without all the exercise I get during gardening season
  • spending even more time with my grandchildren who are growing in leaps and bounds
  • preparing my tools (sharpening and cleaning) for next season
  • decluttering the gardening stuff in our garage

 

In reviewing a similar post from last year at this time,  I am proud to say I did accomplish lots of the items on that list, especially the sewing projects.  Can you tell I am a list person?  Of course, the things that did not get accomplished in that offseason will be added to this year’s list.

Isn’t this a dreary looking picture?  That’s the advertising on my van (or garden mobile as my son and his friends call it) being pelted by snow.  It sure makes miserable weather for gardening!

offseason

 

Enough procrastinating, back to my list!

 

 

Cabo San Lucas Mexico Condos on Airbnb

My brother has listed his brand new condos on Airbnb recently.  They are gorgeous, luxury condos located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico situated on a golf course with south/west exposure.  The views (including sunsets) are exquisite.  Apparently (I have never been there, yet) the weather in Cabo is nice all year around. Situated on the west coast of Mexico, Cabo San Lucas features the Pacific Ocean and desert-like scenery with less humid conditions than the east coast.

 

There are two 2 bedroom penthouse units that can be rented individually or together (side by side, with a locking door between them) for a larger group.  Each unit is beautifully (professionally) decorated with a full kitchen and a roof top patio complete with jacuzzi, wet bar and gas fire pit.  One bedroom in each has a king sized bed, the other a queen, with a sofa in each living area.

The condos are located within the gated community of Copala at Quivira.  Available amenities include access to four Pueblo Bonito all-inclusive resorts, golf course (Jack Nicklaus), gym, pool and clubhouse/spa.  Guests receive discounts on golf, spa, food and beverages at any of these sites.  Nearby activities include hiking, deep sea and surf fishing, infamous Cabo nightlife and public beaches.

This brother is the youngest of six siblings so naturally very independent and adventurous.  These condos are a big part of his retirement plan.  My job as his big sister (I’m the second youngest) is to help him achieve this goal by promoting this new adventure to build his ratings.  Although he looks like he’s well on his way without my help, perhaps a visit to check out the condos is in order.

Please check out his listings on Airbnb.  If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact him.  Let him know you read about his listings here!  And, if you do go check out these luxury condos yourself, be sure to provide comments and ratings on Airbnb.

Unit #6603 2-Bedroom

Unit #6604 2-Bedroom

Combined #6603/#6604 4-Bedroom

 

 

 

Seat belts on buses recommended

Apparently seat belts on buses were recommended long ago after a Transport Canada investigation confirmed the fact that occupants are at unnecessary risk when riding on a large bus.  Doesn’t this seem like a no brainer?  It sure does to me.  I’m also pretty sure it must be to the parents of the hockey players killed in the Humboldt Saskatchewan crash last April.

The results of this investigation were kept under wraps for years, but recently outed by The Fifth Estate.  Why the delay?  They (Transport Canada) were waiting for the USA to change their laws so we could just follow suit.  Why does Canada have to wait for the USA to update their laws?  Good question, we shouldn’t.

School buses, coach buses, and possibly even city buses (although their use would be much harder to enforce) should be equipped with seat belts.  We could then add another step to train drivers that their vehicle must not (even cannot) operate unless occupants are compliant.  Surely with the technology available today sensors are available to monitor such things.  Retrofitting buses currently in use might be expensive, but one taxpayers might be willing to swallow.

I can vouch for the fact I would rather pay for that than the expense accounts of former Governors General and the pensions of former politicians.  Are you with me?

1958 was a great year for producing men

Last weekend my husband celebrated his 60th birthday with 5 of his BFFs, 4 of whom were also born within the last half of 1958.  The sixth is one year younger. Although these guys get together for weekends a few times a year, their better halves were included in this celebration. Three couples live in Ottawa (including us), two live in Toronto and the fifth birthday boy resides in Belleville.

These guys have known each other since primary school, growing up in Kingston, Ontario.  Most of them attended post secondary school in Kingston as well. Only two of these six men have biological brothers so they are very much like brothers to each other. That makes them real, actual BFFs although they affectionately call each other “Bud.”  One could say BFFs are the new Buds, or more aptly Buds are the old BFFs.

1958
their hats say “bud 60”

These BFFs have been together through good times and bad, including six weddings, the birth of fourteen babies, one divorce, the deaths of many of their parents, and very tragically, one death of a beloved spouse. Our fourteen collective children range in age from 21 to 35 but we are the only couple with grandchildren to boast about.  So far.  I’m sure they all left here looking forward to welcoming their own grandchildren after meeting one of ours and seeing lots of pictures of the other two.

Although we celebrated my husband’s 60th birthday with our immediate family in August, he did not want a big splash.  This weekend party (it did last pretty much all weekend) here in Ottawa was the perfect way to celebrate their friendship and their milestone birthdays. Together, like brothers, buds or BFFs.  Now that most of them are retired, we hope to get together more often.

I wasn’t around yet in 1958, but can vouch for the fact that it produced some pretty awesome men.  One of them I am married to, the other four are his buds.

 

 

 

Kitchen Tower by J.L. Woodworking

A kitchen tower is an awesome idea for those of you with small children (kids or grandkids) that love to “help out” in the kitchen.  The ingenious design allows toddlers and small children to be safely at counter height for baking, snacking or just watching (as my grandson loves to do) you cook.

This kitchen tower design can be adjusted for height and folds up for easy storage too. Constructed of painted or unfinished (your choice) wood, they are made just south of Ottawa (North Gower). Scheduled deliveries are currently available to Toronto and Montreal.

My neighbour and friend has one (the original prototype) for her grandson.  Her nephew-in-law makes this line of children’s furniture in his spare time, over and above his day job.  Recently moving the start up business from a single car garage to a more spacious workshop, he and his wife are on their way to their ultimate goal of a full time family business.  The demand for these kitchen towers in particular has skyrocketed.  Please check out their website at JL Woodworking for more information, pricing and ordering.  This hard working couple would appreciate your business, so please be sure to like and share their info

This Grandma has ordered hers!

Salif Gueye dances his way into Ellen’s heart

Salif Gueye wowed Ellen and millions of viewers today with his dancing…

With Michael Jackson as his idol and inspiration, 22 year old dancer Salif is amazingly talented.  He currently dances in the streets (for tips) to showcase this talent.  In fact a YouTube video of him doing so in his home town of Paris, France recently went viral catching Ellen’s discerning eye.  His fluid moves are simply (actually nothing simple about them) spectacular.

Salif

Known for helping to launch many talented performers spiralling them into fame, Ellen may be on to something (someone special) here.  Just ask Justin Bieber. He was invited to her show after Ellen saw his first video on YouTube.  He was so new to the scene that Ellen mispronounced his last name.  Shortly after that appearance Bieber released his first album.  The rest is now (music) history.

I dare say Salif is an even better dancer (if that is possible) than Michael Jackson.  What do you think?

MMIW: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Information and knowledge about and support for the MMIW database is spreading.  If you are unaware (as I was) what this is, please check it out and add your support.  The number of indigenous or native women and girls that are missing and/or have been murdered is staggering.  Help to spread the word and bring about justice for these women and their families.

MMIW

 

This database, created by Annita Lucchesi, a doctoral student at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, includes data from both Canada and the USA from 1900 onward.  I learned of the database from my sister, currently the Dean of Liberal Education at the same university.  The MMIW project does not (currently) receive any funding from any government or academic facilities.  Hopefully, that will change, and soon.  So far, 3148 cases have been documented, but many more (close to 25,000) are suspected.

This issue should be treated as a national crisis in both countries! In fact, I remember an election promise by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he would treat these missing women as a priority.  What is the government waiting for?  This MMIW database is a good start.  Hopefully it will generate more support (from the right people)than any previous research on the subject.

Governor General Expenses are How Much?

Here in Canada we have a (some say redundant) Governor General position.  The person to fill this position is chosen by the Queen (or current monarch) of England, with advisement from the prime minister, as their representative of the monarchy in Canada.

Predominantly ceremonial in nature, the necessity of the role has been debated for years.  Tax payers dole out an annual salary of $288K for a current Governor General and an annual pension payment of $140K for former position holders.  That’s pretty lucrative for a short term position.  The issue is even more controversial recently as expense reports (over and above her pension) for former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson were revealed by the National Post as over extravagant.  To the tune of a million dollars overly extravagant.  After her mere six year stint as our Governor General.

Governor General

These expense claims are not currently made available to the public.  In this day and age of promised transparency (at least in an election year) and accessibility to information seeking technology (google), one would think this information would be easy to find.  Doesn’t it make you wonder what other former Governors General are claiming as their expenses?

Our prime minister has promised to “look into it” but that doesn’t give too many people (myself included) a warm fuzzy feeling.  Especially as his priorities do not appear to be focused on the concerns of taxpayers.  I have a feeling Clarkson’s expenses are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.