How do you define cowardice?

I have been challenged by The Daily Post to write about cowardice.

Apparently, everyone that is faced with something that frightens them experiences a “fight or flee” moment.  Is cowardice defined as the inclination to flee instead of fight?  If so, is there a time limit? Many people may initially flee but return to fight after formulating a plan of attack.  Others, like myself, tend to freeze in fright.  Where do we fit in?  I like to think eventually I thaw out enough to fight though.  Especially if the situation is threatening someone I care about.  I am known to be a bit of a momma bear.

In all my efforts to have a family, throughout three stillbirths and three miscarriages, I was repeatedly told how brave I was.  I did (do) not consider that bravery, more perseverance and determination.

I believe cowardice means the lack of courage or bravery.  Not limited to a reaction during a traumatic event, it  could also apply to a fear to try anything daunting, new or different. Things like a new job, hobby, even a new personal relationship due to the fear of failure.

How do you define cowardice?

cowardice
pixabay

Raising the minimum wage: another sign of the times

This video from Blue Collar Logic, explains how the minimum wage should work.  It applies, or should apply, everywhere and anywhere. The current debate about rising minimum wages here in Ontario and around the world is just another sign of the times. Young adults want and expect to earn lots of money at the beginning of their careers, instead of working their way up the ladder as most of their parents and grandparents did.

minimum wage

 

A recent post complained about how people here in Ontario are blaming a specific Tim Hortons franchise owner for reacting to a rising minimum wage by cutting back on paid breaks and benefits.  Because this particular franchise owner happened to be the rich relative of the Tim Hortons founder, their actions were judged to be greedy, mean and bully-like.  Because of the greed (perceived) of one small (wealthy) business owner some people are now boycotting all Tim Hortons franchises.  How much sense does that make?

The fact is, one that blind supporters of the rising minimum wages forget or choose to misunderstand, most small businesses are not run by wealthy people.  The majority are run by people who have worked very hard for years to establish their business. Most of them started out working for a low minimum wage, but were ambitious and motivated enough to climb a long ladder to achieve their current success at the top of that ladder.

minimum wage

 

Many of these owners have no choice but to cut back when forced with a rise in minimum wage.  It makes no (business) sense to raise the wage of inexperienced new hires simply get their wages closer to that of their owners.  Unless you are a politician looking to get votes after losing face with the hydro fiasco.  Then it makes perfect sense, give the young adults, the ones that don’t yet pay hydro bills, a raise.

 

Tim Hortons is the not the bad guy here folks!

Timmys is not the enemy or bad guy here folks.  I would love to see the statistics as I am willing to bet that most Tim Hortons franchise owners are not billionaires or even millionaires.  In fact, I doubt many other small business owners are either, franchise or not!

 

Tim Hortons

The fact is any business, small or large, has a budget for employee wages, Tim Hortons included.  Even professional sports teams do, there is a lot more money in the salary budget, but there is a budget.  It’s called a salary cap, just ask former Ottawa Senator Kyle Turris.

It is simple math, but much easier to visualize at the small business level.  If you have the budget to pay four employees fifteen bucks an hour and the rate gets raised to twenty bucks an hour, your budget now only allows three employees to get paid. (4×15=3×20=60) It’s not rocket science, just simple math, and it’s going to happen in all small businesses in Ontario after the hike in the minimum wage.  Sooner or later, probably sooner.

This latest vote grab by the Ontario Liberal government is just another reason small business owners are struggling to survive.  Aiming to Wynne (pun intended) the vote from the minimum age earners in the province, our premier has screwed the small business owners.  Not to mention the employees who have worked several years to get to the level that new employees will now get upon starting.  Do you think they will get a raise to compensate?  Right, not a chance!

So go enjoy a coffee at Tim Hortons, they are not the bad guys here!  Maybe while you are drinking your coffee the math will become easier and the picture clearer.

DIY cheater quilt

One of the DIY projects I worked on for Christmas gifts included what I call a cheater quilt. I call it that because it takes a lot less time and fabric than a real, patchwork quilt.  I have made several of the latter over the years so I know the difference.

All you need to make a cheater quilt is…

  • a panel (precut piece with a cute pattern on it) of fabric.  Choose the pattern wisely, based on how much quilting you want to do or have time for.  (Busy/complicated patterns will take much longer than simple ones)
  • a piece of complementary fabric for the backing, the same size as the panel.  Most of these panels have a row of colored dots along the edge showing the colors used in the pattern.  Use these dots to choose a coordinating or complementary fabric for the backing.
  • a piece of batting, also same size as the panel
  • some large safety pins
  • a good pair of sewing scissors
  • contrasting or complementary thread (I used white all over, but you can mix it up!)

 

 

The steps are as follows…

  • iron both the panel and backing
  • lie the panel on the floor or a table, with the good side facing up
  • place the piece of batting on top
  • place the backing fabric on top of those two pieces, with good side facing down
  • you now have a “sandwich” with three layers
  • sew three edges (2 long and 1 short if quilt is rectangular) together, using 1/2 inch seam allowance
  • snip corners of seam allowances so seams will lie flat.
  • turn the quilt right side out, so both fabrics show their right side and batting is the middle layer.
  • hand stitch last side.
  • evenly distribute safety pins throughout quilt top, pinning all three layers together.  This prevents the layers from shifting while you are quilting.  I choose spots at the edge of the various design patterns in the fabric panel as those spots will be sewn over.  (otherwise you may end up with holes in your fabric where no pattern in)
  • sew around the design patterns in the fabric panel to achieve a quilted look.  Try to stay on the lines for a tidy look.  This is referred to as “stitch in the ditch.”
  • ensure quilting is evenly spaced over the quilt to avoid bunching of batting when completed.  In my panel I stitched around the large patterns, around the edging and around the floral pattern in the corners etc.
  • remove the safety pins.  If you have placed them on the edges of the pattern as suggested, remove them as you quilt.

 

The finished project, a DIY cheater quilt, can be hung on the wall (add tabs to the top) or used as a baby blanket for the crib or stroller.  These make great, personal gifts for the mother-to-be on your gift list.  Choose fabrics to complement their nursery décor as I did here with a baby jungle and pink/green color scheme.  You can see I forgot to iron my panel and backing before I started; oops.  I hung the finished quilt in a steamy bathroom to remove the wrinkles instead.  It is not advisable to iron a finished quilt as a hot iron will flatten the puffiness.

Autoimmune disease

What is autoimmune disease, what causes it and how can it be treated?  This is my stab at explaining what I have learned since I suspected I have one or more.  A recent conversation with two cousins revealed many of my relatives have similar chronic issues.

There are many known autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, arthritis, thyroid disease, fibrocystic breasts, cystic fibrosis and psoriasis, to name just a few. They are all caused by inflammation which causes your immune system to work overtime.  When your immune system is on all the time, it produces too much fibrin, a mesh-like protein.  Normally our bodies produce proteolytic enzymes to remove the fibrin, but if too much fibrin is produced, the enzymes cannot keep up.  It does not help that our natural production of these enzymes starts to decrease in our late twenties.

Your immune system is designed to attack anything foreign entering your body, whether it is a virus, bacteria, toxin or food allergen.  When it detects something foreign antibodies are produced.  The problem arises when your organs get attacked by these autoantibodies and surrounded by the cobwebs of fibrin.

Although research has shown that autoimmune disease is genetic, the genes are not activated until “turned on” by toxins, food allergies, yeast or mold infections and viruses.

A few indications that you may have an autoimmune disease include:

  • unexplained weight loss or gain

  • insomnia,

  • heat intolerance and sun sensitivity

  • muscle or joint pain, weakness or tremors, numbness or tingling in hands or feet

  • rapid heartbeat

  • unexplained hives or rashes

  • brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor short term memory

  • constant fatigue

  • multiple miscarriages

  • abdominal bloating and pain, diarrhea

If you suspect you have an autoimmune disease, unfortunately, you will probably have to stop and reverse your symptoms yourself.  Why?  Because most doctors only treat the symptoms, hardly a long-term solution.  Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars producing products to treat the symptoms, so why find the cause?  To add insult to injury, many of these medications increase the risk of cancer and severe infection. That issue is a whole other can of worms that I have talked about in a recent post.

These are my recommendations, again based on my (limited) knowledge on the subject.  I am not a doctor nor an expert, merely one who was frustrated and confused with my declining health at an early age.  This is not a get better quick process either, it will take months even years to straighten out.

Start with removing irritants from your gut because most of our immune system is in the GI tract or gut.  Problems in your gut are so much more than gas, bloating, and diarrhea.  Many chronic health conditions, like the ones listed above, start in your gut too.  Removing known inflammatory foods is the first step.  While it might be difficult to remove all of these from your diet, try to eliminate as many as possible.  They include:

  • gluten (a wheat protein): bread, bagels, pasta etc

  • sugar: brown, white, anything that ends in “ose” (sucralose, fructose etc)

  • nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, white (not sweet) potatoes, peppers, eggplant

  • processed foods that include trans fats and omega 6s

  • dairy and soy products

  • corn and other grains like rye, spelt, barley and rice

  • pseudo-grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat

  • eggs

  • alcohol

  • legumes (peas and beans)

If removing these items from your diet for a period of six months does not do the trick, find a doctor that will test your stool for hidden infections and bacteria as well as your blood for antibodies, infections, and toxins like mold and mercury.

Once you have removed these inflammatory foods,  you can try supplements of natural anti-inflammatories.  These include turmeric, devils claw, rutin, bromelain, papaya, boswellia, ginger and yucca root.  I do not take any supplements, but I do include ginger, turmeric, and pineapple (bromelain) in my daily smoothies.

It is a long and frustrating process but can be done.  I know because I went through it myself!  Many of my previous posts, especially the earliest ones, discuss my journey to health.  In fact, that is why I started this blog.  Feel free to comment, email or message me with concerns, corrections etc.

The main thing to remember is this.  Just as the genes for inflammation get activated by allergies, viruses, infections, and toxins they can also be deactivated.

 

Christmas flu bug

This Christmas I gave you the flu, the very next day, you gave it away….this song, sung to the tune of Last Christmas is the theme this week.  My whole family has been sick with a flu bug, starting with my grandson on Christmas Eve.  He then passed it on to his sister, then his mom and dad, then his two uncles and other set of grandparents.  My husband and I have not come down with it….yet.  I did get the flu shot early November, so I may or may not be proof that it does work.

For the children, Pedialyte freezies (with electrolytes) helped to keep them hydrated and children’s Tylenol, borrowed from my neighbour, helped with the fever.  My youngest son favored Gatorade and ginger ale.   I have since stocked up on all of these products…

 

 

Sorry Carter, but I think I like Andrew Waines’ version of Last Christmas better!   Because this was your very first Christmas and you are soooo adorable, you are forgiven, but next year we would prefer something different!!

 

 

Ottawa is the coldest capital in the world

Brrrrrrrrr…today Ottawa is the coldest capital city in the world.  This picture is from CBC news who is reporting temperatures as low as -35 Celcius, which is -31 for you Fahrenheit people.  Not that it matters, when it gets this cold who cares weather (pun intended) you are talking Celsius or Fahrenheit.

coldest
Ottawa coldest capital city in the world today

Our government has issued a warning that it is not advisable for seniors or small children to be outside today. The cold weather makes it a good day for hibernating, and not just for seniors or children!