Expiry Date, Can we Predict Our Own?

expiry date

On what would have been my mother’s ninety-third birthday, I am pondering whether or not we can predict our own expiry date. Sounds morbid, I know, but this thought has crossed my mind many times since my mom passed away suddenly and much too early at the age of sixty-five.

How Much Does Genetics Count for our Expiry Date?

As mentioned, my mother died at the age of sixty-five. My father was seventy-eight although I believe he would have lived longer if my mother had. He was devastated upon her early demise and never really recovered. His broken heart gave out twelve years later.

So, is my own expiry date closer to sixty-five or seventy-eight, or somewhere in between? I realize there are many other factors involved, but I admit these thoughts have affected many choices I have made recently as I approach the dreaded sixty-five year marker.

Is Sixty the new Forty?

I certainly hope so. I think I am healthier and fitter than my parents were in their sixties. If this holds true, maybe my expiry date will be extended for good health. Although each decade seems to bring its own health issues, mine have been relatively minor, especially since I have the wheat thing figured out.

Early Retirement

One of the decisions made due to a potential early expiry date was to retire early, at the age of fifty-two. Well sort of. I accepted a severance package to leave my position within a hospital laboratory at that age but started a landscaping business the very next day. That was ten years ago already. Time does indeed fly when you’re having fun! This season I have cut back on my gardening services to spend more time with my recently retired husband.

Retirement Plans

With both of us retired, we are hoping to kickstart the cottage renovations we have been considering for several years now. Unfortunately, these renovation plans always seem to find a way to get postponed, with one delay after another. The latest delay was due to the recent storm and the ensuing and extensive cleanup here in Ontario.

Travel, something many of us have missed over the past few years during the pandemic, is also in our retirement plans. We may need more months and years to fit all the plans in.

Enjoying the Fruits of our Labour

Thinking about expiry dates only increases the urgency to accomplish items on our to-do list, including renovations. After all, it is important to enjoy the fruits of our labour!

photo credit

In bloom this last week of July in zone 4 to 5

In bloom this last week of July here in my Ottawa (zones 4 to 5) gardens are more lilies, more roses, more of everything that was in bloom last week.

The lilies are absolutely spectacular, there must be close to thirty blossoms on the three plants at my front lamp post and more in my back garden…


My favourite rose this week is a pale, blush pink:



As I was walking around my backyard, a pair of cardinals were flitting through my plum tree watching me. The red male really stood out against the green of the leaves, he came to within a few feet of me…



Suspended Coffee

suspended coffee

If you like coffee, or even if you don’t like coffee, you will like this.  The suspended coffee idea is perking up all over the world.  A random act of kindness or pay it forward theme always warms the heart and this is no exception…

It works like this:  When you order a coffee at a coffee shop, you pay for one or more extended coffees with yours.  Someone who cannot afford to pay for a cup of coffee can then come into the coffee shop and ask for a suspended (previously paid for) coffee.

This tradition first started in Italy, especially popular after the second world war.  It has since made its way into North America but seems to have petered out, at least in the Ottawa area.  I have researched to see if there are still any coffee shops doing this but cannot find any.  I will continue to search for some and see if I can get it going again here in Ottawa.

Some places have gone a step further to include a sandwich with a cup of coffee, and others offer tokens for customers to give out to the needy to redeem for meals.  All great ideas, but I will start small with the suspended coffee…

suspended coffee
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Howie Mandel is asking you to talk about mental illness



Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 is Let’s Talk Day, sponsored by Bell Canada.  Celebrities like Howie Mandel, Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg and others are urging us to talk about mental illness.  Bell Canada has, once again, stepped up to help.  All day on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 Bell Canada will donate  5 cents to mental health initiatives for every:

• Text message sent by Bell and Bell Aliant customers
• Mobile and long-distance call made by Bell and Bell Aliant customers
• Tweet and Instagram post using #BellLetsTalk
• View of the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video on Facebook
• Snap using the official Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat filter

Results have been incredible so far since the inception of this promotion in 2011:


check out this LINK for more details on the amazing impact this money has made on so many organizations throughout Canada.

Please mark your calendars for January 25th so you can join forces with these amazing people all day to tweet, share, text, phone, snap, view, and post this important message around the world.


Trump and Russian Prostitutes

Rumours are circulating that documentation showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian prostitutes engaging in sexual shenanigans has surfaced. The media, of course, is running with it.   What is it about sex that creates such a scandal?  

Does no one remember the exploits of JFK, Eliot Spitzer, Bill (I never had sexual relations with that woman) Clinton, and Arnold (impregnating the family nanny), Schwarzenegger, just to name a few?  Does anybody care about these transgressions after the dust settles? Spitzer did resign as Governor of New York, but Bill Clinton still makes millions of dollars as a motivational speaker and Schwarzenegger is still Governor of California.

Are these allegations about Trump enough to boot him out of office?  Don’t get me wrong,  I find Trump’s behaviour reprehensible and disgusting.  Did everyone not know before and during the electoral process what an immoral, rude, crass, egotistical person he is?  I guess anyone who voted for him did not think those qualities should prevent him from becoming the president of the United States.

Hopefully, further investigation will come up with something more incriminating than lewd sexual acts with a few prostitutes.  Maybe this current scandal is a coverup for something much more sinister and dangerous, starting with election fraud, lucrative business (real estate) deals, and/or leaking of security details to and from the Kremlin.

I am betting we have just seen the tip of the iceberg! Regardless, who really cares about the (alleged) activities between Trump and Russian prostitutes? Not me! Not that I like the man but this is just another sad example of mud-slinging politics.