I heard the song “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the first time in ages the other day. The lyrics resonated with me as the parent of three now adult sons, and five grandchildren…
You, who are on the road Must have a code that you can live by And so, become yourself Because the past is just a goodbye.
Teach your children well Their father’s hell did slowly go by And feed them on your dreams The one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them, “Why?” If they told you, you would cry So just look at them and sigh And know they love you.
And you of tender years Can’t know the fears That your elders grew by And so, please help Them with your youth They seek the truth Before they can die
The second verse is for the children, to help them better understand the parenting skills (or lack there of) of the previous generation.
Teach Your Children Well was released way back in 1970, but the words still apply today, at least I think they do. What do you think?
This is the video, the words sound much better to music…
The tune and lyrics are so catchy and relevant to family life that they are currently being used in a commercial for Sobeys grocery stores.
Patience is a virtue they say, unfortunately one that I (sometimes) have a limited and selective supply of.
Thankfully with my grandchildren I seem to have an unlimited abundance of patience, perhaps because I now realize, thanks to the wisdom acquired over my years, that it’s the little things that matter in life.
And time, I have much more time to spend on the small things, including the special small people in my life.
I also lead a much less stressful life than I did when my three sons were young. Back then I had two full time jobs, one outside the home and one within. It has been proven that patience is inversely related to stress. Who hasn’t noticed that when they are stressed, the smallest of annoyances makes them impatient and when you become impatient, you feel agitated and stressed?
Of course there are still many things that test the level of my patience. Things like:
The first set of evergreens (pine and spruce) we planted a few seasons ago have grown even though gypsy moths have persistently tried to hamper their survival.
The most recent set are coming along well too; they love the full sun and lots of space to grow…
After a few arguments with hubby over what grass to cut (he likes the manicured city lawn look, I prefer a more natural look up here) we compromised with some of each. To mark my territory, I trampled down the grass to create a “line” he was not to cross with the lawn mower. You can barely see it on the right side of this picture, but he saw it and that’s what counts.
The area is not very garden-friendly, sloped with sandy soil enhanced (not) with salt and bits of gravel from the road.
Unfortunately many of the seeds I spread the past few seasons migrated to the designated lawn area. The soil is very sandy in this neck of the woods, so removing the errant plants and transplanting them to wildflower ridge was easy.
Wildflower ridge is now chock full of daisies, black eyed susans, malva, white and pink achilea, Queen Anne’s lace, viper’s bugloss, and milkweed.
The milkweed attracts monarch butterflies. They lay eggs on the leaves which hatch into caterpillars (you can see 2 in the picture above) which in turn morph into more monarch butterflies.
Next to come (from my gardens) are monarda (AKA beebalm), phlox and flax, perhaps coneflowers and butterfly weed.
The next spot I plan to transform is the shadier slope at the water’s edge. Stay tuned for more details on that project!
This is a much shadier site, so will require some research to find suitable new occupants.
Please let me know if you can think of any other plants I can add to either site. I prefer natural looking (no city slickers allowed) perennials.
What child doesn’t love collecting pinecones? My grandchildren are no exception. They all love to collect them. The problem becomes what to do with the pinecones once they arrive at my home.
Pinecones and Summer Flowers
I got this idea somewhere, but cannot remember where. The last batch of pinecones my three year old granddaughter collected have become a summer flower arrangement, thanks to some spray paint in pretty colours and a plastic bowl.
The first step was to protect my garage floor. We painted the pinecones in the garage as it was raining out the day we decided to tackle this craft.
An old plastic coated table cloth did the trick. I have several of these around, they come in handy in my gardening business to protect the floors of my van when transporting plants, soil and mulch.
Next, I protected my granddaughter’s clothing and hands as the spray paint I have on hand is not exactly kid-proof or easily removed from clothes or skin.
Although I have several aprons, including a few child-sized ones, they would not cover her arms or legs. So I used one of my favourite long sleeved shirts designated as gardening wear; it fit her like a dress.
She also wore her garden gloves that stay at my place for our garden adventures/chores…
I had spray paint in green, purple, orange and two shades of pink, a nice assortment of summery colours. We saturated the pinecones with colour, then let them dry in the heat before arranging them in a plastic bowl…
Fall or Winter Pinecone Decorations
In fall or winter pinecones can be painted white or silver or even left in their natural colour and used in Christmas or winter decorations.
Pinecones collected on our walks are usually small, perfect for.holiday centerpieces and more craftiness.
Craft and even grocery stores carry larger ones in fall and winter. These jumbo pinecones look great in outdoor winter arrangements, some even have sticks attached to them for easy insertion into your decor.
Use your imagination to inspire your own pinecone craftiness!
When researching a previous post about healing fats, I learned that the balance between omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats is another health concern. Most of us consume too many omega 6s and not enough omega 3s. Read on for the ideal ratio and how to achieve it.
What’s the Difference?
First of all, you have to know the difference between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Both are important for maintaining a healthy body and neither are manufactured by our bodies, so must be obtained from our diets.
While omega 6s are found in the foods within a common modern daily diet, omega 3s are usually supplemented. Both omega 3s and omega 6s have health benefits and drawbacks.
Omega 3s are crucial for our brain, hormone, and immune function, good vision and hair, skin, cell and tissue growth. They are helpful in treating symptoms of lupus, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, breast and colon cancers and irritable bowel disease. A deficiency in omega 3s can result in conditions such as depression and mood swings, poor memory, fatigue, poor circulation, dry skin and more.
cold water fish (sardines, salmon, herring etc) and fish oil
fresh fruit and vegetables
garlic, flax seeds, walnuts
extra virgin olive oil
While omega 6s are helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis, diabetic nerve pain, menopause, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, eczema, and even allergies, too much omega 6s can cause depression, dyslexia, obesity, hyperactivity, and other health problems.
wheat, whole-grain bread, and cereals
grain fed chicken and their eggs
refined vegetable (soy, corn, sunflower, safflower) and grape seed oils
meat from grain fed animals
processed and fast foods
Ideal Ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s
The problem comes when too much omega 6s, especially from vegetable oils and grain fed (as opposed to grass-fed) meat, outweigh and overtake the benefits of omega 3s. This happens because the omega 3s and omega 6s compete for the same enzymes to aid in their metabolism.
Although a ratio of 1:1 between omega 6s and omega 3s is the ideal balance to strive for, studies have shown modern diets to be as high as 16:1 This higher proportion of omega 6s is leading to the increase of many disease states within our modern societies including arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory processes, as well as numerous types of cancer.
Start paying attention to the ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids in your diet and make some changes before your health takes a turn for the worse!
The practice of dumping raw sewage into waterways is archaic and should not be acceptable in civilized countries, including Canada. Why do we continue to allow this?
What is Bill C269?
Bill C269 was created to amend the Fisheries Act to prohibit dumping raw sewage into waterways that fish live in. That includes just about every waterway in Canada. This should be a “no brainer” in government proceedings.
Reviewed in February of this year, bill C269 was introduced by the conservative government to amend the current Fisheries Act due to the current and increasingly popular practice of dumping raw sewage into our waterways. Word of mouth is that the current Liberal government plans to vote the amendment down. Why? Most likely because it was introduced by the Conservatives.
Changes to the Fisheries Act
deleterious substance means
(a) any substance that, if added to any water, would degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of that water so that it is rendered or is likely to be rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water, or
(b) any water that contains a substance in such quantity or concentration, or that has been so treated, processed or changed, by heat or other means, from a natural state that it would, if added to any other water, degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of that water so that it is rendered or is likely to be rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water,
and without limiting the generality of the foregoing includes
(c) any substance or class of substances prescribed pursuant to paragraph (2)(a),
(d) any water that contains any substance or class of substances in a quantity or concentration that is equal to or in excess of a quantity or concentration prescribed in respect of that substance or class of substances pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), and
(e) any water that has been subjected to a treatment, process or change prescribed pursuant to paragraph (2)(c); (substance nocive)
Proposed Wording: within the definition deleterious substance after paragraph (b) and before paragraph (c) should be replaced with the the following:
“and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, does not include raw sewage, but includes”
and the definition of raw sewage as follows:
raw sewage means sewage that has not yet been processed or treated to separate and remove contaminants, and includes:
(a) used water from sanitary appliances that contains human fecal matter or human urine,
(b) used water, other than the type of water described in paragraph (a), from sanitary appliances or from other appliances in a kitchen or laundry,
and (c) surface runoff and stormwater that is mixed with the type of water described in (a)
What You Can Do:
Contact your Liberal MP to tell them to vote YES on bill C269 to amend the Fisheries Act. Don’t let this critical detail slip through the bureaucratic cracks. Fix the obvious; the act should have been amended years ago to define and prohibit the dumping of raw sewage into our waterways!
Recently I took my four year old grandson to Mud Lake, tucked in between the water filtration plant and Britannia beach in Ottawa. More of a (man made) wetland than a lake, Mud Lake is sure to delight nature lovers of any age. Also called the Britannia Conservation area, Mud Lake is maintained by the National Capital Commission (NCC)
Animals in Their Natural Habitat
On our 3.5 km trek around the lake, we saw numerous friendly adult and baby ducks and geese, turtles, tiny frogs and tadpoles, huge bullfrogs, beaver dams (but no beavers) rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, chickadees and herons.
My grandson wanted to catch them all, but I convinced him to leave them there with their mommies and daddies.
Directions to Mud Lake
You can get there off Poulin, then Howe Street or by following Britannia Road to Cassels Street, next to the Britannia Yacht club. There are a few designated parking spots, but parking on either Howe Street on the south side or Cassels Road on the north side is easier and permitted. There are entrances to the trails around the perimeter of the lake from both sides.
There are no dogs allowed and no bikes on the trails. These rules make sense as the area is supposed to be about conservation, namely the health and happiness of the wildlife that considers this area their home.
Although you are not supposed to feed the animals, the geese and ducks in particular were quite friendly, approaching us looking for food.
This aggressiveness is one reason you are not supposed to feed them. Creating dependence on humans for food is another reason to avoid feeding them our food. Ideally, they should be able to forage for any food they need to survive.
Respecting the natural beauty is an essential rule. No littering is obvious. Trails are well maintained and should be adhered to for protection of the fragile eco system.
When to Visit Mud Lake
Open year round, Mud Lake offers beauty, peacefulness and nature at its best throughout each season. Birds are predominant in the winter months, but the trails themselves are especially beautiful when snow covered.
Between Mud Lake and the yacht club, the elevated trails can be icy in the winter and spring though, so explore these carefully.
In the spring, migratory birds are abundant, in fact the area is know to bird watchers and photographers. The latest report shows 269 bird species!
In the summer months the wetlands come to life, full of all sorts of creatures. The trails are wide and easily manageable, even for seniors or baby strollers.
After our hike around the lake, we were enjoying a snack when a snake-like formation of geese approached. Mom was in the lead with at least 18 babies following along. They waddled ashore right beside us, climbed the small embankment and disappeared across the road…
Buzzpatch attracted my attention recently as a company that produces non-toxic, fun stickers that repel insects, namely mosquitoes. As a grandmother of five, these stickers appeal to me for use in my gardens as well as at our family cottage.
Who is Buzzpatch?
The company was established by parents for parents concerned about their children and grandchildren and the over abundance of mosquitoes any time we step out the door. Some (I have a few like this) kids are down right afraid of bugs, others don’t seem to notice them biting, but scratch the bites or worse, develop an allergic reaction to the bites.
What is Buzzpatch?
As the name depicts, buzzpatch are cute sticker-like patches that you attach to childrens’ (or adults) clothing to keep the bugs at a distance. The bugs might hover around, but do not land when they smell the product.
Created from all natural essential oils (predominantly citronella AKA lemon) and no toxic DEET, these patches are safe for everyone. Stick them on your kids’ hats, shirts, pants etc. If worried about toddlers peeling them off, stick them on their bottoms or tops of their hats.
My Experience with Essential Oils as Bug Repellents
I have been a proponent of essential oils for ages now and actually created my own bug repellent using geranium and lemon oils, both of which bugs hate. It smells wonderful and works, although I do reapply after several hours outdoors, especially if working up a sweat in my gardens.
Absolutely non-toxic, I spray it all over my clothing and even in my hair and on the bare skin of my neck, hands, legs, etc. My skin is very sensitive to everything else (including those other bug sprays and sunscreens) but not to this natural remedy.
How do Essential Oils Repel Mosquitoes?
When we as humans breathe, we release CO2 which mosquitoes are attracted to when we exhale. The scent in certain essential oils (like the citronella in Buzzpatch stickers) confuses the mosquitoes, creating an invisible shield around your kids from mosquitoes. That’s the theory, I am anxious to try out the stickers.
How do You Order BUZZPATCH?
Perhaps you have seen the same advertisement I did on Facebook. I was intrigued with the advertisement due to my experience with home made bug repellent, so clicked on the ad and ordered.
I received my order of Buzz Patch stickers this week. They came in convenient, resealable (to keep the scent in) pouches, in sheets of six stickers, ten sheets per pouch. I ordered several pouches to keep a stash at our cottage, home and even in my van for pond adventures with my grandson.
It seems the suburban areas of Ottawa are switching residential intersections to traffic circles, AKA roundabouts. Do you love them or hate them?
I love them. Of course they only work if drivers use them properly, but the small, one lane versions are not difficult to figure out. The larger, multi-lane roundabouts can be trickier, but the more you use them, the easier it gets, often eliminating the need for full stops.
The alternatives are not nearly as efficient at controlling traffic and are quickly becoming archaic…
All Way Stops
Most of these intersections used to be “all way stops” meaning the vehicle that reached the intersection first had the right of way.
The problem with that theory is the perception of the drivers involved. Just because a driver gets there faster doesn’t necessarily mean they got there first. I have witnessed that misconception several times…so annoying!
Then you get the uber-cautious drivers that don’t realize they got there first so don’t proceed, creating a situation where everyone sits there for a minute or two looking at each other. Even more annoying!
Traffic lights are great at busy intersections, but not at those not so busy ones. There is nothing worse than sitting at a red light for several minutes when there are no other vehicles in sight.
In other words, traffic lights keeps vehicles moving if you are going in the right direction. If you are sitting on a side street, waiting to turn left onto the busier of the two intersecting streets, the traffic lights certainly slow you down.
In fact, I know some drivers that purposely drive through my neighbourhood (much too fast) to avoid the traffic lights at both entrances to the area. I also know of drivers (myself included) that avoid the intersections with the traffic lights because we’ve spent one too many time sitting there twiddling our thumbs at a red light with no other vehicles in sight.
I have heard the argument that traffic lights are safer for pedestrians. I know in my own neighbourhood they were installed to help children cross the road in school zones.
I have witnessed several vehiclesrunning red lights though (in these same school zones) so the safety factor theory goes out the window there.
There is also the undeniable fact that traffic lights permit greater speeds as vehicles gather speed between green lights, so when an accident does occur the damages are significantly greater.
I do like the upsurge in traffic circles in residential neighborhoods. I believe the traffic flows consistently smoother through the intersections with no needlessly annoying stops.
If you were asked to rhyme off the ten commandments, supposed rules of God in Christianity, I am willing to bet “thou shalt not kill” is one of the ones you could quote.
Canadians are heartbroken and disgusted after the sickening discovery of 215 bodies of indigenous children recently at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. The fear is that this horrific discovery is just the tip of a genocidal iceberg.
Residential schools were created in 1876 as free boarding schools for indigenous children, funded by the Canadian government and run by the Catholic church. In 1894 attendance became mandatory, until 1947, although the last school only closed its doors in 1996, not that long ago. The intention was to enable the children to adjust to Canadian (rather than indigenous) cultures, to convert the children to Christianity, and to civilize them. These schools were intentionally located far away from indigenous communities to limit the children’s contact with their families, fully immersing the children in their adopted (supposedly superior) culture.
Forced to speak English or French, the children were stripped of their ancestral languages and heritage. Rumours of physical and sexual abuse were rampant within the residential schools. Children that ran away were severely punished upon their return, if they returned. Many went missing, never to return, so it was reported. The dead bodies cropping up are telling a different, more sinister tale although poor record keeping and unmarked graves will make it nearly impossible to unearth the whole, ugly truth.
Back to the ten commandments. How can any religion or culture that proclaims to follow the rules of Christianity participate in such heinous acts of abuse, torture and genocide on innocent children? It makes me sick! How could those that did survive those torture-filled years ever lead normal lives afterward?
How and why are the perpetrators not held accountable for their actions? An apology is severely insufficient. This was not a single act of abuse or a simple mistake, but years of racially motivated, discriminatory, criminal acts.