Classy Glass Upcycles, a unique Mother’s Day gift!

Looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift? Check out this Facebook page for Classy Glass Upcycles! Select a beautiful creation to enhance your Mom’s garden, yard, or indoor location. Indulge in one for yourself too!

Classy Glass Upcycles
Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

These awesome creations are lovingly handcrafted in Cornwall, Ontario by a family friend. Each item is unique, (re)using the beautiful glass found in so many vintage vases and bowls. What an fantastic idea; I love the idea of upcycling these exquisite treasures from yesteryear.

Visit the page to check out the posted creations currently available. Or commission one (or two) in the color, shape and size of your choice.

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TIPES (Thinking in Pictures Educational Services)

Many of you know I have a landscaping business that keeps me busy from April (usually) to October here in Ottawa. What you may not know is that I need something to keep myself from going stir crazy in my offseason. Especially when the winter months are as miserable as they were this year. One of my other passions is writing, so when an opportunity came up to help update manuals for TIPES, I was keen to join this impressive group of people dedicated to helping autistic children and adults as well as their families.

TIPES

TIPES is a charitable organization founded in 2007 by Jennifer and Deborah Wyatt, who just happen to be the twin daughters of my husband’s childhood friend. The business started small but has exploded exponentially with the rising need for their services and programs. The more time I spend writing, editing and revamping the policies and procedures for their manuals, the more impressed I am with this program.

As a charitable organization, TIPES relies heavily on donations and fundraising to keep their operation running smoothly. One such event is coming up soon in the form of the National Capital Race Weekend where you can support TIPES by sponsoring their Financial Officer Marnie Potter.

Buy Local, Support Small Business

As a small business owner myself, I am all for supporting and promoting local entrepreneurs. When you buy local, from growers, artisans or crafters alike, you are investing into the economy of your own community. That’s healthier on so many levels.

TruLOCAL is such a business delivering their local meat products anywhere in Ontario. Your chosen products arrive frozen in airtight packages, packed with dry ice to keep the container cold for many hours. That means it can sit on your step until you get home. You also receive email notification of when it will arrive.

I have received several shipments now, and must say, I love the products and the ease of ordering online. You can easily change the frequency and size of your order as well as the products in each order. There are so many items to choose from. Each order is based on a point system, you simply fill your order until your “box” is full. For example, with BBQ season coming soon (I hope) I will be ordering more steaks and less roasts.

The best part? Their meat products come from locally raised, free run and grass fed animals, that are free of hormones and antibiotics. In this era of heightened awareness, these qualities cannot be ignored. Sustainable foods are popular today, cows raised in pastures instead of feedlots turn out healthier, tastier meat with more vitamins and minerals.

If I have convinced you to give TruLOCAL a try, use my referral code of
TRULOCAL2097 to earn us both free products!

Drug Checking Technology Challenge

Health Canada is putting their money where their mouth is, asking for help with a drug checking technology challenge. Most of us are aware of the opioid crisis here in Canada and around the world. For more information, please check out the detailed article in the link above. It describes the challenge to discover or modify the technology involved in detecting lethal, potent drugs like Fentanyl as well as other toxic substances. The article also contains additional links for those wishing to increase their knowledge of the crisis we are facing as well as one for substance abusers too.

Drug checking technology is out there, it just needs to be improved for increased reliability, accuracy, adaptability, ease of use as well as affordability. Any innovative (for or not-for-profit) Canadian post secondary institution, company, research or industry association is eligible to apply, although only the selected semi-finalists will be able to compete for the pilot phase and grand prize.

This challenge was launched on October 2nd, 2018 and the deadline for application is February 1, 2019. That means there is no time to waste! Semi-finalists will be announced February, finalists in June and grand prize winner in January 2020. Oh, and the prize is a cool million dollars.

It must be my thirty years of laboratory work; this challenge certainly piqued my interest. Do you have an innovative, ambitious personality with the resources to create a design ? Where can you apply? At the bottom of the webpage linked to above. Or right here!


Huawei worries: Are they warranted?

What/Who is Huawei and why are (most) countries worried about them?  To start, they are a HUGE manufacturer of technology components, (reportedly) capable of “invading” the industry globally.  The problem is, they are based in China whose government has relationships with the rest of the world on shaky ground these days.

Morning Brew, my newest addiction, has listed five (potential) reasons (from the MIT Technology Review) in today’s edition:

Kill switches: Huawei builds networks carrying data for power grids, financial markets, etc. And some fear the Chinese government could sneak “back doors” into Huawei’s gear with the ability to weaken or disable networks in foreign countries if a crisis occurred.

Data snooping: Chinese spies could theoretically gain access to Huawei’s networks undetected to extract sensitive info from people and businesses. Another possible avenue for espionage? Smartphones—Huawei’s one of the top manufacturers in the world.

The 5G rollout: The next generation of wireless networks is arriving fast…and the last thing the U.S. wants is for Huawei to connect the world with 5G. As the authors note, “This will dramatically expand the number of connected devices—and the chaos that can be caused if the networks supporting them are hacked.”

Defying U.S. trade rules: Huawei’s CFO is accused of tricking American banks into doing business with Iran, which would be a violation of U.S. sanctions. More of that activity could happen.

Chinese government influence: The U.S. and allies suspect Huawei’s execs are cozy with the Chinese government, which is the reason they’ve taken such a hard stance. 

Making headlines around the world last week, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who just happens to be the daughter of founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada for reason #4 above.  After all, Canada is one of USA’s allies, and is (should be) equally concerned for the same list of reasons.

Huawei

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

 

 

Mentoring for Solopreneurs by Virginia McGowan

Recently I reconnected with an old friend from high school.  Catching up, we chatted (along with many other things) about what our respective siblings are doing and have accomplished.  Having retired early (at 52) myself to become a solopreneur (sole owner/operator) of a gardening business, I was fascinated by one particular achievement.  One of this friend’s sisters, to quote from her website, is dedicated to “helping solopreneurs rise to new heights and reach their full potential” with her mentoring services.  Her books, online courses, newsletters, and workshops will guide solopreneurs through the frustrating, (often) overwhelming and discouraging process of starting a business.

mentoring

If I have piqued your interest in learning more about Virginia McGowan and these mentoring services, please check out her website at your leisure.  When this website motivates and inspires you as it did me, be sure to preorder a hard copy of “Harness the Power”.  You will then be eligible to receive a free copy of Virginia’s E-book “Top Tips for Solopreneurs”

mentoring

 I can’t wait to read the book, in fact I wish I had the opportunity to read it six years ago when I was embarking on my own solopreneur adventure.  Bottom line?  We are never to old to learn!

Home improvement in south-western Ontario

One of the (many) joys of parenthood is seeing your children evolve into successful, hardworking adults.  This also applies to the children of close friends, so whenever I can I like to share and promote their adventures and endeavors.  One such longtime friend of my husband is proud to announce that his son has started a new home improvement business with his girlfriend….
home improvment

This young couple is based in Aylmer, Ontario (west of Toronto) but will travel as far as London, Mississauga and Barrie to help you upgrade your home.  Their business is called Paint by Mimi, but they are experienced in many other types of residential upgrades too.  For affordable, reliable, and excellent home improvement services such as painting, landscaping, roofing or irrigation installations, be sure to give them a try.

Call soon for your free quote: (905)703-0047

 

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.