September 10th – Politics

Today I am moving forward into that wee ‘piece of my mind’ that cares about politics.

Canadian go to the polls on September 20th to elect a new or re-elect the old political party that will lead Canada for the next four years (more or less). Just two years ago we elected a minority Liberal government. They are now vying for the power of a majority government but they have some stiff competition and some solid opposition.

For the record, I do not, nor have I ever, stood solidly behind one political party or another. Whether it is a federal, provincial, or municipal election, I vote for the leader that I feel will best represent our country, province, or city. Also, my vote is mine, and mine alone – as it should be. Dan and I seldom discuss politics and we do not always agree when we do, but we do respect each other’s right to vote as we see fit.

In this current election, the Liberals and the Conservatives are neck in neck for first place. The NDP (New Democratic Party) are a distant third. The Green Party, Bloc Quebecois, and The people’s Party of Canada do not have the overall support to seriously affect the election one way or another.

These are my thoughts on politics, this election and the leaders of our top three parties.

First, I do not think it makes a lot of difference who wins or looses any election in Canada. We are a democracy with so many checks and balances that no party in power can make changes that are terribly sweeping or detrimental to our country.

Second, I do not think any of the main party leaders are particularly great or terrible. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party has been our Prime Minister for six years. He has his strengths, but his public speaking leaves much to be desired and he does have a history of embarrassing himself and our country with his wardrobe, his questionable connections, and regular public faux pas. He has tried to enact policy that is in the best interest of all Canadians and to help all areas in a manner sensitive to specific challenges.

Erin O’Toole is the leader of the Conservative Party. He is dignified, polished, and seems relatively intelligent and reasonable. I have two issues with Mr. o’Toole. The first and worst is that the Conservative representative in our riding is Andrew Scheer, who I personally have no use for as a person or a politician. The second is that Mr. O’Toole obviously supports the Conservative election campaign. Their campaign rests on questionable and ignorant attacks on Justin Trudeau and the star of their ads is a typical arrogant ‘Karen’ making typical patronizing snotty ‘Karen’ remarks. They have already lost two elections using this tactic, why would any leader support a third round?

Jagmeet Singh is the leader of our federal NDP party. As leaders go, he appeals to me. He is charismatic, dignified, and appears to be genuine. Unfortunately, I cannot get behind his doctrine of wealth and power distribution, unions and the like. I am not against helping those in genuine need – but I am a serious supporter of personal responsibility. I believe that there is a point where empowering gone too far becomes enabling irresponsible behaviours.

I believe that all three men who could become our next Prime Minister went into politics with a genuine desire to lead with integrity. (Which I believe is typical of most people who go into politics). I also think that most people who go into politics are painfully naive. They grow up surrounded by one group of people and share a lot of their beliefs. They think good governing should be relatively easy. Except, they get into politics and realize that there are countless people with countless different, and often opposing, views, beliefs, and desires. Few, if any, who want to change or compromise. We all want everything we want or need, we do not want to pay for anything that anyone else might want or need, and we all object to adequate government to make it all happen. Sounds simple enough. πŸ€”

Fortunately, most Canadians are reasonable and rational. Unfortunately, as elsewhere, there are extreme supporters and detractors of any government policy. Those are the Canadians who drive semis through cities (horns blasting), demonstrate outside of hospitals, throw gravel and scream obscenities at our Prime Minister, drive tractors and combines and tie up traffic from the Prairies to Ottawa. I cannot imagine anyone going into politics, being prepared for such goings on. Nor can I imagine anyone engaging in such goings on and expecting a positive outcome. πŸ₯Ί

That is pretty much my ‘piece of mind’ regarding politics. Although I know who I will be voting for, I wish the best for all who are running in this election and for all Canadians who will live with the results.

Take care and have a good day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

September 2nd – Rights, Responsibilities, and Consequences

In Canada, we have a number of rights established to protect the quality of our life as Canadians. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ 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. πŸ˜‰

Trust everyone is having a great day! Take care & see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

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. 😁

August 3rd – Accessible & Abundant

I grew up in small town Saskatchewan. My Mother was a more than capable homemaker and cook, but shopping was limited and there was only so much she could do with a seasonal garden. She made do and she did amazing with what she had to work with.

Shopping nowadays is something that never fails to amaze me. We are so fortunate to live in an abundant country like Canada, at a time when producers, modern science, and adequate distribution methods keep our stores stocked with affordable goods to fill our every need.

If I am ever looking for a reason to feel grateful, it is as easy as looking around our house at the variety of food, pet supplies, cosmetics, and general household products that fill our shelves and cabinets. Naturally, I then feel grateful for my husband who works so hard to provide for us and who actually does the bulk of our shopping. I feel grateful for everyone who works all the way up and down the supply chain. And, I definitely feel grateful for the power who has placed us here in Canada and blessed us with this abundant life. Gratitude is like that! One grateful thought leads to another, and another, and anotherπŸ’ž

I don’t remember ever having fresh mushrooms as a kid and I definitely don’t remember having artichoke hearts. Now they are always in our fridge. πŸ˜‹
Variety is the spice of life – and the oils and the Caesar mixes. πŸ₯³
Feeding our furry and feathered friends is as easy and economical as a trip to the Dollar Store. 🐿️🐦
Pampering my hair and skin. πŸ˜‰
Healing Dan’s feet from decades of workboots and cement floors. πŸ€—
Keeping it clean – easy peasy with readily available cleaning products πŸ—‘οΈπŸ§½πŸ§€
Dan made a dedicated trip to a hardware store and came home with insect repellent refills to keep my meditation corner bug free and comfortable. πŸ¦ŸπŸ•·οΈπŸœ

There is no end to the variety of amazing products that are readily available to me – every day! So much to be so grateful for. 😘

I hope you are all having a great day! Take care and I hope to see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.

Brene’ Brown

(The difference between privilege and entitlement is that one is a blessing and one is a curse. πŸ˜‰)

Day 7 – Go With The Flow

Day seven of my “Accentuate the Positive” June challenge.Β  It seems like a good day to share a few photos of Canadian waterscapes that Dan and IΒ  have visited and enjoyed.Β Β  The beauty and tranquility never gets old. πŸ’ž

Paddle boats on Wascana Lake, Regina SK.
Heading to Granville Island from Vancouver, B.C. 
The view from our hotel room at Niagara Falls, Ontario
Dan kayaking at Burleigh Falls, Ontario with his sister’s chihuahua Luna.
I am not positive but I think this photo was taken at Souris, Manitoba. I love the sunlight on the river. 🌞
Burleigh Falls, Ontario
Saskatchewan Legislature Building across a corner of  Wascana Lake
Condie Nature Reserve  north of Regina, SK.

One week of my June challenge completed! I hope to see you tomorrow.

Have a nice day. πŸ’ž

Home and Family

We received the most amazing news last week! Dan’s sister Joan has decided that it is time to leave her paradise in Costa Rica and return to Canada. She has a beautiful home there on a stretch of land where her front yard is the Pacific ocean and her backyard is a fresh water river. She is looking at relocating to a couple of different area in Canada (both very nice) but I can’t imagine them stacking up to Costa Rica.

Regardless, we are both thrilled that she will be back in Canada. Joan is Dan’s only sibling and they have always been very close. I have several siblings (four sisters and one brother) but in some ways, I have more in common with Joan. She is far more adventurous and independent than I will ever be, but our core beliefs are very similar. We are “soul sisters”😊

We will both be glad to see Joan back in Canada and look forward to visiting her once she gets settled (and we gets this Covid situation under control πŸ™„). It may take a while but is exciting to have something to look forward too!

Even Kat is excited!

Winter Wonderland

We missed out on the blizzard this weekend but we got a good dump of snow last night. I have been out shoveling this morning. I am feeling better today than I have for a few weeks but have to take it pretty slow. Dan went out and did a stretch because he doesn’t think I should push myself too far. It doesn’t look that impressive on these pictures but the snow is a good foot deep and HEAVY. I will be busy all day. πŸŒžβ„οΈβ˜ƒοΈ

This Week in the Weather

We seem to be on the fast track to some seasonal changes in our weather this week.

We started off with a couple of warm, sunny days.
Yesterday, Dom and I spent a while at a neighbourhood kiddie park. It seemed a bit chilly but Dom had a great time on the equipment and even took off his shoes and socks to play in the sand.

Today it is supposed to be 21 above Celsius. It seems rather cloudy but their are periods of sunshine. There is also wind! 54km to 74km winds. Kat and I have not ventured out for our walk. I am a bit concerned that one or both of us might get blown away (or blown over).

The exciting part is that starting tomorrow the mercury is supposed to drop out of the thermometer and by Sunday we should have one to two FEET of snow. With strong winds, they are also warning of white-out conditions across southern Saskatchewan.

Whoo Hoo!

To be honest, I have really been looking forward to snow this year. I will not have to go out and drive through it, in pitch dark, on my way to work. The fresh new snow will cover up the endless greige of autumn in Saskatchewan. Plus, and this is a big plus, I will be home so will have a chance to shovel it before Dan gets to it! I just hope I will be able to. Being out in the cold is hard on my lungs at the best of time and these last few weeks haven’t been the best of times, where my lungs are concerned. I can only take it slow and hope for the best. β›„

Hope your weather is good and your spirits are high!

Scoping Out Playgrounds

Now that I have my grandson every Wednesday, I am on the search for nearby playgrounds. The one we went to this Wednesday had an abundance of great equipment for him to enjoy. The only problem was that the walk was a bit much for Dom. On the way there he asked me twice if we were still in Regina and on the way back he asked if we were still in Canada. πŸ™„

I do not think the park I went to this morning even had a name but it was a relatively short walk with a few points of interest for Dom along the way.

I had to go under the overpass.
Through some trees
Past some picnic tables
Beside a splash pad – it has four jets like this.
Basic monkey bars and swings
Dom loves slides!
Of course there is always a police car, complete with lights and sirens, on the adjacent Lewvan.
Canada Post out delivering the mail.
And a train heading over the underpass.

I think this walk is worth a shot with Dom. The worst he can do is clutch his heart, drop to his knees and tell me he is not going to make it. That is a whole other story. 🀦

Have a great day. I hope you our enjoying the same beautiful weather we have today!

Albert Street Bridge

Probably the most iconic landmark in Regina is the Albert Street Bridge. The Albert Street Bridge is the longest bridge over the shortest span of water in the world. It is situated off the entrance of our beautiful Wascana Park and the Saskatchewan Legislative Building grounds.

One end of Albert Street Bridge – this entire section is south of Wascana Creek.
One of several buffalo sculptures that decorate Albert Street Bridge.
Decorative pillars line both sides of the bridge.
Saskatchewan coat of arms
Looking west off of the Albert Street Bridge
Albert Street Bridge as seen from Rotary Park trail.

I hope you have a beautiful day to get out and do some sight seeing today. In these days, when travel is discouraged, there are sights worth exploring close to home.