September 6th – Just Sayin’

It is time to share a ‘Piece of My Mind’ that holds memories of my decades in the construction industry. There is a lot of good stuff packed into that space but today I am sharing my thoughts on a couple of irritating sayings that came up relatively often.

The first was ‘WOW Factor‘ – a term that I sadly often heard on the residential side of the construction industry. I had specific reasons for finding this term particularly annoying.

– People looking for the ‘WOW Factor’ generally wanted to do something wierd with building materials that such building materials are not meant to do. Inevitably such projects were more trouble than they were worth and they ultimately failed.

– ‘WOW Factor’ projects quickly date a home (Think seventies 😳) so they are not practical – and I am very practical.

– People who came looking for the ‘Wow Factor’ were not people who were looking to build or renovate homes. Homes provide warmth and comfort and support and security. They are our refuge from a hectic and sometimes unkind world. 💞 Since this pandemic began, our local television station has frequently run a segment on how badly we are all struggling. One day they focussed specifically on young professional women living in the mini-mansions of Toronto. Apparently, they were struggling because, with their families spending more and more time at home, they were having trouble keeping everything neat and tidy. OMG! Their homes were starting to look lived in. WOW! 🤦

The second saying in the construction industry that annoyed me to no end, was typically a sales pitch – but occasionally used by a male client if he and his spouse were not in total agreement. That saying was “Happy wife, happy life!”

Seriously – if your wife is only willing to be happy and agreeable in your marriage when she gets what she wants, you have bigger problems than choosing the material for your new countertop.

If, on the other hand, your wife is typical of most women, she is more than willing to compromise, discuss, and quite often even settle for the choice that her husband prefers. In which case ‘”Happy wife, happy life” is just rude, patronizing and mean. If you are a husband and you use this term – just stop. If a salesperson uses this term – set him or her straight and /or walk away. There are sales people who are willing to respect you and your wife. 🤨

Our micro-mini mansion. 🙂

That is my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. All comments are welcome and respected.

Have a great day! Take care and see you tomorrow. 💞

September 5th – Religion

It is Sunday so it seems like a good day to delve into that ‘Piece of My Mind’ that holds my beliefs on religion.

I was raised in the Catholic Church.  Organized religion was a huge part of my life when I was growing up.   Over the years, I have stepped away from the church.   It was not a sudden decision but more of a gradual process that came to a head when I left my first, and extremely dysfunctional marriage.   The church’s stand on divorce pushed me over the edge, as it has for many faithful Catholics caught up in such situations.

Even now,  I do feel a certain sense of loss regarding the church.   It did play a large part in my formative years.    The church provided a sense of community, Christian  values, and  traditions that were passed down through generations.  It provided the inspiration of those who dedicated their entire lives to serving the sick, the elderly, and the community in general.     

That is not to say that I did not have issues with the Catholic Church, even in my early years.    I have never trusted ultimate or unconditional authority.   If there is not oversight, there is always abuse.   That has certainly been an issue in the Catholic Church and to this day it has not been properly addressed.   I did not understand why in the Catholic Church – that claims to be the heart of Christianity, there is so much emphasis on the fire and brimstone, eye for an eye, judgemental Old Testament.     Catholic holidays (Christmas and Easter) were based on the life and times of Jesus Christ, but for the rest of the year his teachings were rather lost or ignored.    And finally, I have always questioned why  the Catholic rules and regulations were  unilaterally determined by a hierarchy that has always been totally out of touch with the real human experience (And to this day, they deliberately choose to remain so).

Overall, I am comfortable with my decision to walk away from the Catholic Church.   But I have doggedly questioned what the younger and upcoming generations would have to replace the traditional religions that we, our parents,  grandparents and ancestors were raised in.   

Where would they learn the values that we were taught through our religious teachings – values like faith,  compassion, honesty, forgiveness, gratitude, and respect?    The values that contribute to the quality of our lives and the lives of those with whom we interact during the course of our lifetime.    Where would they find that sense of community and  tradition?  Where would they find true inspiration?    While I am no longer part of organized religion, I do truly believe that we are  Body, Mind and Soul,  that we are here by the grace of a higher power, and  that we need to honor that higher power.

Lately, I have had the time and opportunity to observe several young families.  Maybe it is part of our global pandemic, or maybe it is because people are just settling in to a new reality, but for the most part they seem to be doing fine.

Families are spending more time  together out in nature.  Families are living  ‘family‘ lifestyles – cooking, building, growing and working together.  Fathers are far more involved  in this family lifestyle than they have ever been.  Families are living in smaller communities,  growing closer  to a core group of  neighbours and friends.   Parents (and grandparents, aunts, unclesolder siblings) are teaching children the  important  values in life – more often by example than our religion ever did.    Families  are building a new sense of community, tradition, and inspiration. 

I think this may be evolution at work.  Originally,  people needed the teachings of the Old Testament, the fire and brimstone way of life, to help them  survive and establish mankind on earth.  We needed Christianity, to establish a civilized constructive base for mankind to build on.    And now – maybe this is what is needed for mankind to thrive and evolve. 💞 

Siblings – sharing & caring

That is my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day.  As always, please feel welcome to comment and share your own beliefs or opinions on the subject at hand. 

Take care, have a great day and see you tomorrow. 💞

September 4th – Toxic

Today the ‘Piece of My Mind’ that I am sharing is the piece that shoots sharp stabbing pains down my spine every time I hear the word ‘toxic’ these days.

Toxic Relationships Toxic People Toxic Workplace Toxic Productivity Toxic Masculinity Toxic Feminity

Do people even remember what the word means? Do people realize that if you take a powerful word and use it in every second sentence it loses its power?  Do people have any idea what constant exaggeration does to their overall credibility? Do people understand how damaging words can be?

I am relatively ‘aged‘.   I have been challenged by life – during a time when one was expected to rise to the challenge.    I have experienced difficult situations, dysfunctional relationships, disturbing people.  I did what people did at the time.    I worked my way through it or I walked away from it – with respect and dignity.

These days, toxic is the final word for today’s  challenging situations and relationships.    From ‘toxic’ there is nowhere to go – no discussion, no redemption, no healing, no compassion, no forgiveness, no understanding, no hope,  no closure – there is nothing.    Everyone loses. 

We need to change that outcome. We need to dial back the rhetoric and re-open the door to dialogue, growth, and empowerment. We deserve that.

Think about it 😉

That is my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day. Whether you agree, or not, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Wishing everyone a good weekend. Take care and see you tomorrow. 💞

September 3rd – Off Leash Dog Parks

Today the ‘Piece of My Mind’ that I have decided to share, is the piece that holds my opinion on the proliferation of off-leash dog parks in our city.  Apparently this is a trend that has been spreading across North America for some time, but as usual we are running a few years behind.

For the record – I am against off-leash dog parks.  We certainly do not need seven (and counting) off-leash dog parks anywhere in Regina. We definitely do not need one in our neighborhood (which is currently in the works). There are as many dogs as people in our area. While we have many responsible dog owners, we also have those who can barely control their dogs on a leash, much less without one. When our neighbourhood off-leash dog park opens, I for one will not be taking Kat into that gong show.

But, we will be helping to foot the bill to build and maintain yet another off-leash dog park that this city does not need. As will everyone else in our neighbourhood – the petless, the cat people, the bird and reptile lovers. We will all foot the bill because some dog owners and city politicians have decided that dogs need their own parks so they can run free and socialize in urban areas. 🙄

Kat – Safe, staying out of of trouble, and happily out walking on her leash.

I realize there are a lot of dogs that are far larger and more active than our Kat. They may well require more intense exercise. In a small city like Regina, it is blocks to the rural area surrounding the city – with ample opportunities to run a larger animal. If that is not an option for anyone (anywhere), than maybe they should have made a more responsible choice when adopting a pet. Just saying!

Patricia Park – acres of on-leash walkways – a couple of blocks from the soon to operate off-leash dog park.

So, that is my ‘piece of mind’ for the day.

Have a great day! Take care and see you tomorrow.💞

September 2nd – Rights, Responsibilities, and Consequences

In Canada, we have a number of rights established to protect the quality of our life as Canadians. 🇨🇦 Today, my ‘Piece of Mind’ focuses on a few of our rights and how we use and/or abuse them and the inevitable consequences we face for having a lack of respect and appreciation for them.

One of the more unique rights we have in Canada is our right to publicly funded healthcare. For those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a country that provides universal healthcare, we should appreciate it and do everything in our power to protect it. We fall far short by making unhealthy lifestyle choices (allowing ourselves to be an unnecessary burden to the system) and by failing to hold those in charge of our health system accountable for how they manage it. Our right to publicly funded healthcare depends on our doing our part to protect it, because there is a breaking point and we are close to it.

In Canada, we have equality rights. That is a good thing, but we need to appreciate them and protect them in order to preserve them. I believe in equal opportunity and equal pay for those in the workforce – but that has got to be based on equal ability and equal effort. If you cannot or will not, do what is necessary to get the job done – leave it for someone who can and will. You cannot, and should not, count on co-workers to pick up for your short comings. Companies cannot thrive and survive with an incompetent workforce. If the company does not survive – there is no need for a workforce. Everyone will be equally unemployed.

In Canada, we have the right to free speech. That is not the right to violence, threats, or physical intimidation. That is not the right to spread lies, innuendos, or harmful exaggeration. That is not the right to deny others of their right to free speech. That is not the right to spew hate towards anyone or any group of people. No one wants to be silenced or censored, but if people keep pushing the boundaries of human decency, that will happen.

As Canadians, we have the right to movement – to live and work in or out of Canada, as we choose. If we are warned to avoid a country or area of the globe, and yet we choose to ignore such warnings, there may well be serious consequences. Obviously, if anyone is sent to a dangerous area for official reasons, it is our responsibility as Canadians, to do everything in our power to bring them home safely if need be. Those who deliberately ignore risks and warnings and move to a dangerous area of the globe out of curiosity, or for an edgy holiday adventure, or to chase a lucrative business opportunity, may discover that our right of movement does not guarantee a right to be rescued from their own bad decisions.

In conclusion to my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day…. Canadians (and all who live in ‘free’ countries) have a number of valuable rights that others cannot even imagine. We need to do our part to protect them, maintain them – and to keep them. 😉

Trust everyone is having a great day! Take care & see you tomorrow. 💞

PS…. Yay! My CT scan is booked for mid-September and the papers for my blood work should be at our local lab today. Two steps closer to hernia surgery. 😁

September 1st – A Piece of My Mind

We are kicking off a new month, so it is time to move forward with a new theme. The theme for my blog this month is obviously: A Piece Of My Mind 😁

I love WordPress! What I specifically love about WordPress is that it is real genuine people sharing details of who they are with other real genuine people. I have tried to be as honest and open as possible but I have decided that I am ready to go deeper.

It is time to share the real me (under the grey hair and wrinkles 😂). This month, I plan to share bits and pieces of my mind each day – my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs.

Today’s blog is just a ‘Rules of Engagement’ for the blogs to come this month.

1. I am not looking for validation of my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. I always appreciate comments, but feel free to disagree in a reasonable manner. (No death threats or profanity would be real nice!)

2. I respect who you are and I am interested in who you are – your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and beliefs. I appreciate you sharing them in the comment section – even if they are totally contrary to mine.

3. That is about it!

There will be more words than pictures this month but I have a few photos from yesterday that I just had to share.

Taking 6 yr old Dom for a walk yesterday.
Made it to the store. 🤦🙄🥺😁
Rain and hail storm last night.
Later last night
This morning

We didn’t have too much damage to our yard and both of our vehicles seem okay. The storm hit the northwest corner of the city bad. There were residential streets flooded, trees stripped bare, and the roof of one of the spiral mill buildings out at Evraz was peeled off. (A building where Dan usually works but he is still at the steel mill.)

That is it for today. Hope you are having a good day! Take care and see you tomorrow. 💞