Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal for community service

My nephew, James Sliter, was recently awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal from the Senate of Canada for his volunteer role in making our community a better place to live.  He was nominated by current Senator and former police chief of Ottawa, Vern White.

James has shown dedication and commitment towards the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa organization (BBBSO) for many years.  He is a former big brother, a former Board President and currently sits on the business development committee.

Unfortunately, there was controversy swirling around the dispersion of the rest of the medals. These awards were supposed to honor community activists and volunteers or unsung heroes.  The Canadian Mint created the medals as part of our 150 birthday celebration.  That’s where the word sesquicentennial comes in.  Our 93 Canadian Senators were each supposed to nominate 12 deserving individuals to receive the 1500 medals.  However, many of the Senators, 47 to be exact, kept the medals for themselves or gave them to former senators.  The last time I checked no senators can be termed volunteers or unsung heroes.  This is pure greed on their part.

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Regardless of the controversy, Vern White got it right with his nomination of James.  The rest of my family and I are extremely proud of him!

 

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L to R my brother Jeff, James, and Vern White

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Purple jacaranda trees

These jacaranda trees, currently in bloom in southern Australia, are beautiful!  These pictures show how these spectacular trees line the streets in Adelaide…

 

The pictures remind me of our crab apple trees in the spring and our maple trees in the fall here in Canada.  The striking purple color of the jacaranda trees grabbed my attention of course because GRAY IS NOT MY COLOR;  I am a blatant  PURPLEHOLIC.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family celebrating today…

 

happy thanksgiving

If only we could set our scales back 10 pounds on Thanksgiving or any other holiday we spend with friends, family and lots (too much) of delicious food and drink.

 

On a more serious note, be sure to be thankful for what you are celebrating!

happy thanksgiving

Like this sign says, be kind, be thoughtful, be genuine, but most of all be thankful!

I almost made it to Chicago!

I almost made it to Chicago!  Chicago the musical that is, not the city….

 

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photo credit to the Orillia Opera House

 

I had tickets to Chicago for last night’s performance but had to miss it due to the lousy weather here in Ottawa. I had plans to drive to Barrie from Ottawa to pick up my niece and head to the evening show at the Orillia Opera House. That plan never materialized.

Environment Canada changed my plans:

Environment Canada is predicting patchy freezing rain across eastern Ontario on Saturday afternoon.  After that ends, another round of freezing rain will develop this evening and persist for much of the night”

Even though I left Ottawa in the morning, with the hope of missing the freezing rain, it started earlier than predicted.  I only got as far as Carleton Place then turned around and came home.  What should have been a 15 minuted drive, turned into close to an hour with too many cars in the ditch.  An ordinarily long drive to Barrie and back would have turned into a nightmare.

“Freezing rain will slowly change to snow overnight as colder temperatures move in. Snowfall accumulation of 5 to 10 cm are possible by Sunday”    This was correct too; I woke up to this vision of beauty out my front door this morning:

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Olivia Lloyd, the daughter of a family friend, played Velma in the show.  Reviews have been awesome; I am so disappointed that I did not get there.

The good news is I was able to transfer the tickets into my niece’s name, so she and a friend were able to enjoy the show.  Lucky for them, the drive from Barrie to Orillia was much quicker (with no freezing rain) than Ottawa to Barrie to Orillia.

That’s Canadian weather for you, unpredictable and frustrating!

Las Vegas tragedy makes gun control seem like a no brainer

I was going to write a post about this sickening tragedy in Las Vegas, but Jimmy Kimmel says it all right here…

well said Jimmy! I only hope the powers that be are motivated enough to do something about it.

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Jimmy Kimmel

Increased taxes for small business owners

Our Canadian Liberal government wants to increase income taxes for small businesses.  As a small business owner of GARDENS4U I cringe at the significance this has for me.

 

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Like myself, many small business owners have risked starting a business based on a particular passion.  We have taken many years to build clientele and show a profit.  Tax breaks are few and far between making it possible to follow a dream and succeed, but rarely get rich.  Some years are good, others great, yet some not so good.  Proceeds from the good and great years must be used to subsidize the not so good years. You know the saying “save for a rainy day.”  Increased taxes mean less savings.

 

Most owners and employees of small businesses are dedicated and passionate individuals that do not get benefits, pensions or severance packages if the business goes under.  The absence of these “perks” creates a great risk for both the owner and the employees.  New taxes will squash the dream of entrepreneurs with a passion whether the business is already up and running or still in the planning stage.

Does the Liberal government really believe increasing the income tax levels of small business owners will significantly build their coffers?  The money gained will be a drop in the bucket compared to the massive national debt owed. They might want to look elsewhere for bigger fish and leave us little guys alone.

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pictures from Pexels

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.