October 21 – Shortages

Today, the news story that caught my attention comes from Bloomberg.com.    In this article, food shortages are discussed at length.

According to this article, the three main forces driving these shortages are labour shortages at food processing plants, transportation issues/getting products to store shelves, and hoarding by consumers.

I have seen a number of articles discussing goods shortages, gas and oil shortages, and the like.  They go into detail about how and why these shortage occur, how long these shortages will last, etc.    Most seem to suggest that they will, in time, return to pre-covid supply levels.

I can only speak for how things are in Canada, specifically in Saskatchewan.   So far, we have had limited shortages and not so limited price hikes – which of course are most detrimental to those who can least afford them.

In my view…  We need to adapt permanently! – personally as well as retailers.   In Canada we waste an obscene amount of food, product, and fuel.   Suppliers encourage this waste by their packaging and by their promotions.

There are some things that Dan and I have done for ages.  When it comes to vehicles, furniture, appliances, electronics and the like – we do not buy, or trade up, unless we have to and we do everything possible to keep such things out of the landfill.  

Mother-in-law’s rocker that Jen reupholstered. (I love this chair – I live in this chair πŸ’ž)

Since this pandemic started and I retired, we have gotten way better at being purposefully less wasteful. A number of the things we do now –

  • We shop way less frequently – saving gas, wear and tear on our vehicle and avoiding a lot of impulse buys – food and otherwise
  • We are getting way better at watching expiry dates and using up food before it gets tossed
  • We are way better at using our leftovers
  • We take better care with our food – preparing vegetables before putting away helps keep them fresh longer. Freezer packing our meat in usable portions before storing in the freezer also helps.
  • Buying condiments, etc. in smaller bottles so they get used up before being tossed out
  • We did way better at using and processing (for later use) our garden produce this year
  • Using REAL dishes instead of paper plates (mostly).
  • We are doing way more to weather-proof our house this fall to save on energy and to save my lungs and sinuses from the effects of forced air heating this winter
  • Buying better quality clothing and home linens – less often!
  • Using rain barrels to water our garden this summer
  • Giving grandkids money for gifts in lieu of ‘things’ that they may or may not need or use. Especially now that they are getting older, they would rather have the money to do something that they will enjoy.

It is little things – but they all help. It definitely helps with me being home all of the time, especially when Dan has days off. We have time to get things done together. That is not a luxury that everyone has. But if everyone who could, did a bit more it would take the pressure off of supply chains and make life a bit easier for others. We could actually be helping instead of hoarding.

We don’t really do that much, it doesn’t seem like that much, but I cringe to think of how wasteful we were before the pandemic.

Retailers could also do so much more to help control waste – especially food stores. Some perishables you simply cannot purchase in smaller quantities (like Bok Choy) or they are price prohibitive in smaller quantities. Many current promotions are only for quantities of two to four units at a time. Anything perishable – from salad dressing, to crackers, to cereal is impractical purchased in multiples for a small household. But, the price per single unit is rediculous, compared to the multiples price.

That’s it for today! My views were rather wordy compared to my news, but if you got this far ‘Thanks for listening!’

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 20th – Full Moon

Today’s news story was an easy choice. As I have said in the past, I am no expert when it comes to astrology in general. I am however somewhat of an expert when it comes to the chaos and drama of a full-moon.

Full Moon

Personally, I become a walking disaster to anything mechanical or electronic during a full moon. Copiers jam, random bits and pieces fly off of my vehicle, radios and televisions go silent as I pass by, and computers cringe when I enter a room. I do not understand why. I just know this is how it is. 😟

I am hardly the only one affected by full moons. Over the years, I have dealt with the teary, the weary, the cranky, and the outright idiocy of others in the light of the full-moon. Years ago, I worked the night shift at a small motel and quickly learned that the full moon would bring out the weirdness in many – and for whatever reason, many of the weirder would get an overwhelming urge to strip down in front of me. They were all harmless but I did have the police on speed dial – just because. 😳

The full moon today, is promising to be an exception! For some time now we have been bumbling and fumbling under the influence of SIX planets being in retrograde. This full moon marks the ending of retrograde cycles for four of these planets – Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn. Definitely an ending that many are ready for. In retrograde, each of these planets are troublesome in their own way. Jupiter retrograde brings hard work without expectation. 😟 Mercury in retrograde brings difficulty to travel, communications, and technology. πŸ₯Ί Saturn, always known as the taskmaster, goes karmic in retrograde. 😧 Pluto in retrograde brings out hidden energies of the subconscious mind, power dynamics, control issues, and structural shifts. 😳 Anything that marks the end of that sh–show has to be a good thing!

The two planets that are still in retrograde, Neptune (until December 1st) and Uranus (until January 19th), are benign enough. Neptune highlights honesty. In retrograde one tends to see themselves and those around us as we truly are. πŸ˜‡ Uranus in retrograde brings confidence and calm. πŸ€— Neptune and Uranus have obviously been holding us together for the past few months so they should positively shine now that the troublemakers have turned around.

There were a number of interesting and informative articles regarding the current full moon to be found online. I chose the one that I did because it presents many options for how to make the best of this day. Any good day can be made better and any bad day can be made tolerable, with the right attitude and effort. This article would help anyone to do just that. πŸ’ž

Playing Peek a Boo with a full moon.

That is it for today. Time to go turn my life around while the planets are in my favour. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 19th- Covid Care

My news story for today is a sad one for Saskatchewan. Some Covid patients requiring ICU care are now being transferred to Ontario, to take the pressure off of the Saskatchewan medical system. After all that could have been done, everything that should have been done, we have come to this.

You can see Premier Scott Moe’s official announcement on You Tube.

Thoughts and prayers going out to all who are currently being affected by Covid in Saskatchewan and elsewhere around the globe.

Thank you to Ontario for providing your assistance to Saskatchewan! πŸ’ž

Take care, stay safe and have a great day. πŸ’ž

October 18th – Smelly News

Today I went searching for a news story on a specific topic.Β  A smelly subject to be sure but one that deserved a bit of research – especially today.

Dan and I went shopping this morning.  We went to three stores and rounded off our shopping spree with store number four – a quick stop at a nearby Dollar Store to grab a few bags of peanuts for our neighbourhood squirrels  and Bluejays.

Entering and exiting the store, I did what I have always done since the beginning of the pandemic – I took a shot of hand sanitizer and applied it  thoroughly.   On the way out of the store, I touched my facemask to readjust it.   By the time I got into the Jeep, I was choking on the smell that had penetrated my mask.    Since misery loves company, I had Dan take a whiff.   By the time we got home, the entire Jeep reeked. The first thing I did was toss the mask in the outdoor garbage can.  The second thing was to thoroughly scrub my hands.

I cannot believe that this is the first time I have had such an issue and I cannot believe it was so bad.Β  It was as strong and as repugnant as bug spray.Β  And according to today’s very informative news story it was probably deliberate!

We are one of those many families who have issues with chemical scents.  We buy virtually everything unscented for a reason.  Many of us suffer from migraines, respiratory issues, and allergies.    It is a genuine health issue, as it is for many!

I cannot imagine why anyone would be allowed to create hand sanitizer that has been scented with noxious chemicals. I really cannot understand how anyone can be allowed to provide such hand sanitizer to an unsuspecting public as part of a health order to prevent the spread of a life/health threatening disease.

I have scrubbed my hands three times and changed all of my clothing since we got home and there is still a scent wafting around me. Not only is this smell brutal, but obviously it is not going away. πŸ˜’

That is my news for the day. Live and learn! I will not be venturing out without a container of unscented hand sanitizer any time soon.

Looks like a good day for a walk in the FRESH air.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž (And don’t trust public hand sanitizer).

October 17th – Harvest Season

My choice for news story of the day comes from The Globe and Mail and it highlights the cranberry harvest in Quebec.

Living in Saskatchewan, I have grown up seeing fields of grain and the annual spectacle of massive combines harvesting the crops. Nowadays, thanks to the modern miracle of technology, I am finding it interesting to see how other crops are harvested across Canada and around the globe.

Long known for being the number one global supplier of Maple Syrup, Quebec is also a major supplier of cranberries – second only to Wisconsin.

Seasonal workers from Mexico and South America are instrumental in maintaining and harvesting the cranberry crop in Quebec. They come to Canada in April and remain until the harvest is completed at the end of October.

The harvesting is unique in that the cranberry fields are flooded, machines loosen the berries from their vines, and workers corral the floating berries so they can be pumped into waiting trucks.

The facts in this story are fairly basic and limited but there are a number of great photos that are definitely worth checking out. Here

As a matter of interest, I checked out an article on the cranberry harvest in Wisconsin – here. The overall method for harvesting the berries seems very similar but this article includes some mouthwatering ideas for serving up this fascinating crop. Their versatility obviously goes far beyond the cranberry sauce served at traditional turkey suppers.

That is my news for today. It has definitely sparked my interest into how other crops are harvested across Canada and around the globe. I might have to revisit this subject in a later post. I might even devote an entire month of posts to how food is grown and harvested around the globe! That would be fun to source out. 😊

Not quite Quebec, but I love this French courtyard at Cafe Paris in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. πŸ‘

Thank you for dropping by! Take care and have a great rest of your day! πŸ’ž

October 16th – Wild Pigs πŸ·

The most interesting news story that I found today is a real rip snorter! Apparently, we are on track to having more wild pigs than people in Saskatchewan – soon!

There were a few things noted in this story that I found particularly interesting.

  • Wild pigs were DELIBERATELY brought into Saskatchewan and Alberta in the 1990s to help farmers to diversify.
  • Some of the wild pigs brought to Saskatchewan escaped captivity and spread across our province which is rich with their natural habitat.
  • Saskatchewan has more than half of the 56,000 wild pigs in Canada
  • Wild pigs are prolific and destructive – rooting up crops, destroying the natural habitat of endangered species, and leaving a trail of pig πŸ’©.
  • Wild pigs are highly intelligent.
  • Hunting wild pigs is ineffective at controlling them as they quickly learn how to evade their hunters.
  • The only way to control the wild pig population is by encouraging the reporting of sightings, trapping entire groups of wild pigs, and with natural predators such as wolves and coyotes.

I don’t know who these ‘people’ were that brought wild pigs into Saskatchewan. I assume it was our government’s Department of Agriculture. Bring a prolific, invasive, destructive species into a province which is one big natural habitat for such creatures. What could go wrong? I bet those ‘people’ thought they were the most intelligent creatures in our province until the wild pigs arrived and took over. πŸ€”

That’s my News and Views of the day. I may be back soon to report on the importation of wolves and coyotes to our province. πŸ‘

Saskatchewan Wilderness

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 15th – Two Williams

One news story that has caught my attention lately is the one regarding Prince William and the comments he made following William Shatner’s recent trip into space.

According to this story , Prince William has made public comments chastising private companies, operated by private individual for spending their money and using their resources, to advance space travel.Β Β Β 

In my view –Β 

  • Private individuals and private companies have every right to spend their money in any legal manner whichΒ  they see fit.Β Β  Personally,Β  I am always happy to see that they are SPENDING it and returning it to the overall economy rather than hoarding it. (Which would also be their right)
  • It is hardly fair or reasonable for any media outlet to pronounce Prince William a ‘keen environmentalist’Β  while suggesting that men like Jeff Bezos, William Shatner, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk are any less concerned about the environment.Β Β  All of them have invested time and money on environmental and other worthy causes – their own time and their own money.Β Β Β Β Β Β  What they are doing now may well help the environment and the overallΒ  future well-being of mankind.Β  I doubt if any of us, including Prince William, are in any position to judge at this point.
  • I have always had the utmost respect for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.Β  They have served England, and the world,Β  graciouslyΒ  through their many social and environmental endeavours withΒ  respect, humility, kindness, and compassion for others.Β  I hope that in time,Β  Charles’ sons and daughters-in-law will learn from their example and start following in their footsteps.Β Β 

That is it for today! The news and my views.

Kat, checking out the view through our livingroom window πŸ’—

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 14th – Security

The news story for the day in Saskatchewan is the arrival of our first snow of the season. It is more of a preview than the BIG event, but it is definite sign that winter will not be passing us by.

First snow of the season 😲

I also have a bit of family news to share today. With Dom’s regular grandparent sitters unavailable this week, I was called up for active duty. It is not that big of a deal. Dom gets out of school at 3:22 and his Dad (son Mark) is here to pick him up before 5:00. There is barely time for a snack and a cartoon.

The challenge of this arrangement is that Dom attends school across the city from where we live. That means driving some distance to pick him up, and obviously the same distance to get back here. And… Dan is working this week. The driving is on me.

I do not love driving. Typically, I will do anything to avoid getting behind the wheel. But… this is for Dom. So I have been driving across the city and back. There is construction and trains and rain, and today there is the added joy of snow. If Dan was available he would no doubt be driving me across the city and back every day and I would be relieved and grateful and stressed out thinking about ever having to do this if he were not available.

But… Dan is not available this week, so it is on me. The rediculous thing is – I can drive. I have driven thousands and thousands of miles, much of it in hideous weather, through and around construction, and in vehicles far less reliable than our Jeep. When I do get behind the wheel, it all comes back. It is like riding a bike. (If I could ride a bike.) The thing is, I can drive, and when forced to do it I manage it rather competently. Then I am super pumped that I did it and I feel secure knowing that I am capable of doing it.

When I avoid anything it makes me feel nervous and insecure. When I actually meet my fears head on I become FEARLESS! Life is so complicated. πŸ˜‚

Ready to roll with Dom!
Snack Time

Take care and have a great day. πŸ’ž

October 13th – Special πŸ€¨

I am veering off the warm and fuzzy for today’s blog post. The news story that attracted my attention today is one that focuses on yet another Canadian ‘special interest’ group.

The group in the news today, are the “Conservatives of Chinese Descent”. They are pushing Erin O’Toole, the current leader of the Conservative Party, to resign after his loss in our recent federal election. They claim that his loss was at least partially due to O’Toole’s “tougher approach to China”.

There are more than twenty thousand special interest groups in Canada. A list of some of these groups in Canada can be found here. These special interest groups (listed or otherwise) typically have three things in common : a desire for government funding, a desire to influence government policy and legislation, and a total indifference to find workable solutions or to compromise with any other group of Canadians. Being special, it is all about them and their agenda.

In my view – Governments are formed to collect funds (taxes) to provide and maintain the services that individuals, individual communities, or individual provinces cannot manage on their own. Once elected, governments should do what they are elected to do without pressure from thousands of ‘special interest groups’ who feel that their rights and agendas outweigh that of society as a whole. During elections, politicians should be expected to release their platform and state their qualifications for ensuring that their platform can and will be implemented. Period.

People in Canada (and probably in every country in the free world) are forever complaining about the size of government, cost of government, corruption of government, and incompetence of government. Then, they run to government in little groups, hands out for money and fists pounding for action on their demands. How is any government supposed to operate efficiently under such conditions?

I have no idea how we reverse this trend of special interest groups and massive government, but this is not working and it is only getting worse.

Thanks for listening. πŸ™„ (For the record, I have nothing against Chinese Canadians, nor am I particularly for Erin O’Toole. I do not belong to the Conservative Party or any other political party.) As always, feel free to comment below. All I ask is that you keep it respectful. Thank you. πŸ’ž

Just a group of happy musical frogs 😏

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 12th – More Good NewsπŸ€—

Because we are celebrating our Thanksgiving today, I thought what could be better than a good news Thanksgiving news story!

The story I found highlights the generosity of farmers from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. These kind people offer a share of their potato crop to others every year, days before Thanksgiving. This year they have joined forces with a local Hutterite Colony for an even greater impact. Many of the recipients of their largesse come prepared to share with neighbours and friends who are not able to attend this event for themselves. πŸ’ž

These good people, who gladly and willingly share with others, deserve recognition. As we are kicking off this season of sharing and caring, I thought this was a great story to share today, to give them just a bit more of the recognition they deserve. I hope you enjoyed it. πŸ’ž

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”

– Kathy Calvin