Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.wordpress.com, ontario

Finding Them Homes Fundraiser

This post is in support of a wonderful fundraiser my niece Jillian is currently involved with. The text was copied and pasted from the Finding Them Homes (FTH) Facebook pages. Please check them out yourselves.

Day-timers/planners

What’s CUTE and FUNCTIONAL? Proudly Presenting the 2021 FINDING THEM HOMES Daytimer! With month and week views it’s the perfect way to keep you organized and with sooooo many cute smooshy faces!

Contactless Pickup Locations

Shipping

Shipping is also available within Ontario! Due to Covid we are asking for orders to be paid for by e-transfer. Please send a direct message to Trista Lawless to arrange shipping (costs on the poster, above) or pickup at the location most convenient to you. As always, thank you all for your support.❤️

Support Team

Do you know how many awesome people and businesses support the work that Finding Them Homes does ? Well, to be honest, we’ve never tried to count them because there are SO many ! And without them, hundreds of dogs wouldn’t be rescued from hunger and cold (3,203 to end of September 2020 including 329 in 2020).

Support comes in many forms. Among them are the beautiful FTH calendars and daytimers (aka dayplanners). Our talented designers use photos of adopted dogs, made by our equally talented photographers, to design these useful keepsakes. FTH is able to use all the proceeds from the sale of calendars and daytimers to pay for transporting rescued dogs to Barrie, find foster homes for them, get them the vet care they need, and finally, find them a forever home. And that’s because we have business partners that cover the cost of producing and printing the calendars and daytimers by way of sponsorship.

You can also support the work FTH does by patronizing our business partners when they offer a product or service you need. Each month during 2020 we will feature one or more of our partners.

October’s Featured Partner

For October, we are featuring KM Repairs. “By providing good, old-fashioned customer service over the years, many hundreds of area residents have come to depend on owner Ken Matheson, and to rely on the technical expertise of his friendly staff, to keep their family vehicles in peak running condition. You too can entrust all of your vehicle’s service and repair needs to the team of automotive professionals at K.M. Repairs. Call (705) 458-2266 today and find out what good customer service is all about!” You can also check out their website.

How can you help?

You can support the dogs and puppies at FTH by:

  • purchasing day-timers or participating in any or all of their other fundraising events.
  • hiring the services of FTH’s business partners if you are local to the areas indicated above.
  • making the commitment to adopt a dog or puppy! These are the sweet faces currently available for adoption. FTH contact information is on the Facebook page.

Posted in lorieb.wordpress.com, nature, ontario

Imperial Moths and Caterpillars

Recently I told you about our experience with gypsy moths. After that batch of destructive caterpillars made their presence known on our cottage lot, we discovered another caterpillar, this one quite striking.

It was huge, over three inches in length and one half an inch in diameter. It was bright green in colour, with white spots and bristles. Google claims this caterpillar belongs to the Imperial Moth, and Wikipedia claims it is not found much further north than the New England states. That explains why we have never seen one before. I guess this guy wandered a little too far north.

I have been teaching my grandchildren the wonders of nature. I have no doubt my three year old grandson would love this colourful caterpillar; my granddaughters not so much. It has been much more difficult to convince them that (some) bugs are beautiful and beneficial.

We will keep our eyes out for the Imperial Moth this caterpillar will morph into next spring. It should be easy to spot as they can reach five and a half inches in size!

Posted in current events, education, lorieb.wordpress.com, ontario

Union Bosses out of Control

Unions came into existence years ago to protect employees from unfair and unsafe work environments and practices. Over the years unions have become stronger, louder and ultra wealthy, at the expense of taxpayers, including the employees they are supposed to protect. Today union bosses control everything including wages, working conditions and even how their employees vote in elections.

How is it that unions are permitted to dictate how their employees vote in a democratic society where freedom of thought is cherished? Have you noticed how unions spend lots of money on advertisements during election campaigns? They have taken the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” practice to a whole new (unacceptable) level. Blatantly throwing money behind the parties that will in turn give them more (of taxpayers’) money when elected is disturbing. I heard from a reliable source that workers under the umbrella of one of these (too) strong unions are strongly encouraged (AKA bullied) to vote for whomever the union is promoting.

I believe in any profession some workers are better than others. The best ones should rise to the top so the not so good ones learn that their efforts and work ethic (and not the union) drive their success. In most worlds, success means a greater wage, making higher salaries fair compensation for harder workers.

Greedy union bosses prevent this practice of fairness since unions thrive on their stance that all workers are treated equally, good and bad. Their demand for more money only increases their coffers, making these unions stronger and the union bosses wealthier.

This cycle of corruption applies to most unions, including the teachers unions currently embroiled in a battle with the Ontario government. Taxpayers, parents, students and even the teachers themselves, are being held hostage because union demands for more money are not being met.

Teachers everywhere deserve respect for the job they do. Teaching children is a daunting responsibility and many (not all) teachers take this responsibility to heart, doing a wonderful job. However, the unions and the union bosses most teachers contribute to are out of control. They certainly do not appear to have the best interest of the children in mind.

Years ago, when my youngest son was perusing university degrees, thinking about his future, I thought he would make an excellent primary school teacher. I was discussing this idea with my sister that lives in the USA; she could not believe I would suggest a career in teaching. She went on to explain how overworked and underpaid the teachers are in the USA.

I am not saying that teachers here in Ontario, Canada are not hardworking, but I do believe they are well paid and respected. I also wonder how many of the dedicated teachers feel bullied into supporting their unions. I have three sons that are now past their school years and onto careers. Within their years of school I met many wonderful teachers and some not so wonderful. My eldest grandchild is currently in grade one with her siblings and cousins to follow within the next few years. I hope they are fortunate enough to be taught by men and women passionate about and committed to teaching without getting punished by the vicious cycle the unions create.

Although lots of money should never be considered to be the most important feature of success, in the competitive world we live in more money is, unfortunately, the ultimate goal. Unreasonable demands for more, at the expense of vulnerable children and their parents is just wrong.

Posted in nature, ontario, weather

Burning bush ablaze with colour

The colourful foliage this time of year is hard to beat, one of the reasons fall is the favourite season for many.  The burning bush in my neighbour’s garden is absolutely gorgeous this year.

burning bush
burning bush

Temperature, moisture levels and the amount of sunlight dictate just how colourful the foliage becomes.  Apparently the vivid colours on the deciduous trees and my neighbour’s burning bush can be attributed to the wet growing season we had as well as the cool nights and warm days this fall.  The scientific explanation involves fancy words like:

  • xanthophyll (yellow pigment)
  • carotenoids (orange pigment)
  • anthocyanins (red and purple pigment formed by sugar trapped in the leaves)
  • chlorophyll (green colour)
  • abscission layer (when nights get cooler, this layer forms blocking chlorophyll from entering the leaves, so other colours are visible)

Also (still) looking good are some of the containers I planted this season.  We have had a few frosty nights, but nothing severe enough to slow these beauties down:

As long as this nice weather continues I just may get all my gardens put to bed this week!

Posted in cottage life, food, nature, ontario, weather

Morel mushrooms, our consolation prize

One good thing about our cool, wet spring weather is the bumper crop of morel mushrooms we have been harvesting at our cottage. This is the first year we have seen them, in fact I was not sure what kind of mushrooms they were and whether or not they are edible. So, I sent an SOS (and picture) to the “all things nature related” expert, my cousin John in Missouri. Whatever would we do without our handy cell phones?

morel mushroom
edible or poisonous?
morel mushrooms
delicious or poisonous?

He sent me this link so I could read up on these delicious discoveries before we sauteed them up in butter for dinner. We did wait until we were in the (relative) safety of our home to try them as the cottage is a bit far from any hospital. I am happy (and alive) to report cousin John was right, morel mushrooms are quite yummy. Lots of work though, to clean them up, as their brain-like crevices hold lots of dirt.

morel mushrooms
first harvest of morel mushrooms

As the (miserable) cool, wet weather continued into June, we are taking some consolation in the fact we have had three weekly harvests of these morel mushrooms now, each collection larger than the last. At first they were hard to find; now we know what to look for and where to find these beauties. And also to check that their stems are hollow, an important characteristic that distinguishes them from their more sinister cousins.

morel mushrooms
third harvest

This week has been much warmer, finally some summer weather, so that may be the end of our mushroom harvesting for this year.

Posted in lorieb.com, ontario

Shame on you BCE, employees deserve better

Shame on you Bell Canada for treating your loyal, long-term employees so poorly! You promote yourself as a company that cares about the Canadian communities you serve and the well being of others. You have raised millions of dollars in your annual Let’s Talk Days, however let’s talk instead about your recent shoddy tactics.

Downsizing due to changing technology is understandable, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about the necessary cut backs. A company of this stature should be above stressing your long term, valuable employees by offering severance packages to any of them whose jobs you are drastically changing. The same should apply to those wishing to leave after many years of service as part of the downsizing process.

Instead, many of these Bell Canada employees are holding their breath, stressed to the hilt, waiting to see what will happen to the jobs they have been at for forty plus years. I have heard these stories, but can only speak to one in particular.

My husband started working for Bell Canada as a teenager in the summer months. After college, they offered him a job here in Ottawa. That was 38 years ago. In the early years he worked outside, climbing poles, running cable, and installing phones in homes, basically anything they asked him to do. For the past thirty years or so he has been working inside fixing computer systems that support Bell’s technology, covering the entire 613 area code. It has been common for him to spend 7 hours a day driving to and from remote Ontario communities to fix the “troubles” as they come up. Year after year he has received rewards and recognition for his excellent work ethic and lack of sick time. You would not need all the fingers on your two hands to count the number of sick days he has taken since 1981. Up until recently he loved his job.

Sounds like a great career doesn’t it? Not to mention an excellent, valuable employee. Both the career and employee should be congratulated, rewarded and celebrated. The problem is, now at almost 61 years of age, this employee has been told he is now expected to be climbing ladders outside, year round. How ridiculous is that? Shame on you BCE!

He was told by his manager that if he doesn’t want to climb ladders he should just get a doctors note saying he cannot do so. Many others in the same predicament are doing this due to their health restrictions. So why doesn’t he do that? Because that goes against the very core values that have made him such a valuable and loyal employee! He is also relatively healthy and fit, something he should not be punished for. Not to mention the fact that he can (still) probably climb ladders better than the younger generation soon to replace the older guys. The point is not that he cannot do it, but that he should not be forced to do so.

Who in their right mind wants to risk injuries that could affect their retirement years? Who at sixty years of age is as agile as a twenty-something or even thirty-something employee? It is ridiculous that any company, let alone a blue chip company like Bell Canada, expects their senior employees to modify their job descriptions in this manner. What about the liability involved? Is there not an age limitation on employees climbing ladders? I guarantee you if he is injured on the job, I will be hiring a lawyer!

With this downsizing initiative, severance packages have been offered to some (selective) surplus employees. Several on the seniority list above him and a few below him are eligible for these packages but not him. Even though his specific department has been downsized from sixteen to three scant employees in the past few years, his position has not been categorized as surplus, so he is ineligible. Sounds fishy to me!

Even after this shoddy, disrespectful and unfair treatment, this man still does not want to slam or discredit a company he has been loyal to for so many years. I have no such qualms as I am the key witness to his anger, frustration and grumpiness creating the unhealthy stress levels he has been forced to endure.

Union representatives have suggested he grieve the fact that he is not eligible for a severance package. Especially as he was told they only need two employees (he is the third) in the department. They also suggest he wait a few years until another package comes out. My concern is the stress involved in the process, not to mention the potential for serious injuries. Selfishly, I want him around to enjoy our golden years together.

Shame on you Bell Canada! Why not let any of these long-term, senior employees bow out gracefully if they wish to do so?

Shame on you
Posted in ontario

Graphic Design Project Transforms Seniors Home

In the Inspirational People tab of my homepage I included information about my very talented niece Jillian Sliter. This video displaying her latest graphic design project proves just how talented she is.

This particular senior’s home is located in Barrie, Ontario where Jill is currently living and working. It is one of several under the IOOF umbrella within the province. The transformation is incredible, so bright and cheerful!

I probably don’t have to mention how proud I am of my niece, but I will anyway. Great job Jill!

Graphic design
Jillian Sliter Design
Posted in gardening, gardens4u.ca, ontario, weather

Gardening? Today? Who would have thunk it!

This might not seem too outrageous in your part of the world, but in mine gardening today is definitely pushing the season. After all, we still have lots of snow and today is the first day our temperature has risen above the freezing mark.

So, for those of you also lamenting the late arrival of spring here in Ontario, I will give you the exciting details of what gardening chores I was actually able to accomplish today. The rest of you can yawn in boredom as you mutter “been there, done that already.”

Every time I pull in my driveway these days, I am reminded of how sick I am of seeing the brown and crispy fall/winter arrangements that looked so green and lush last fall and for most of the winter…

Today the sun is shining and the temperature above freezing so I pulled out my garden gloves and secateurs…

gardening today
gardening essentials

First I tackled the evergreen arrangements that are an eyesore, at least I attempted to. Even though the temperature is warm today, the soil these branches are sitting in is still frozen in one of the containers. (One gets full sun all day, the other only a portion of the day) What is left of the one is just the blue spruce branches that are still a beautiful bluey green color. I know, they look kind of lonely without anything else to complement them, so I will have to find something to add, even if the plants are fake. The other container will have to wait until the soil thaws sufficiently enough to remove the branches and ornaments.

By the way, the ornaments (red dogwood branches, pinecones on spikes, etc) spend the summer in my gardening tool organizer, AKA a plastic shoe storage unit, that hangs on a wall in my garage…

gardening today
gardening tool AKA shoe storage

Another thing I tackled in my brief gardening stint today is the ornamental grasses I could reach. I like to leave them over the winter so the fronds can blow in the wind, but by this time of the year they are either broken (from the weight of the snow) or the seed heads have blown off. Before they send up new growth, and as soon as you can access them, cut them back to a few inches from the ground.

I have several in my back yard, but they are still buried under at least two feet of snow, so will have to wait for their trim. I do however, have one large clump beside my lamp post in my front garden that is accessible and several as experiments in pots on my front veranda.

As this veranda is always bathed in full sun and protected from the wind, I can get away with less hardy plants there. This year I tried leaving the ornamental grasses I planted in pots last summer on the veranda over the winter. Each time it snowed, (quite often this winter) I covered them with snow for some moisture.

The general rule of thumb for perennials in containers is that you have to (should) use plants that are hardy to two zones below your gardening zone. It appears I was successful in my experiment though as I see some green inside the trimmed shoots. That’s a sign they did not die, exciting news to me.

Earlier this week I helped a friend stage her house. She wanted fresh, live pussy willows and spring blossoms for her front porch, but as the temperature was still close to -20C overnight, we settled for plastic. Plastic flowers have come a long way; not the plastic flowers your grandma used to have!

gardening today
spring blooms

Perhaps I will go back to the dollar store and pick out some plastic flowers for my front containers.

Posted in business, food, lorieb.com, ontario

Buy Local, Support Small Business

As a small business owner myself, I am all for supporting and promoting local entrepreneurs. When you buy local, from growers, artisans or crafters alike, you are investing into the economy of your own community. That’s healthier on so many levels.

TruLOCAL is such a business delivering their local meat products anywhere in Ontario. Your chosen products arrive frozen in airtight packages, packed with dry ice to keep the container cold for many hours. That means it can sit on your step until you get home. You also receive email notification of when it will arrive.

I have received several shipments now, and must say, I love the products and the ease of ordering online. You can easily change the frequency and size of your order as well as the products in each order. There are so many items to choose from. Each order is based on a point system, you simply fill your order until your “box” is full. For example, with BBQ season coming soon (I hope) I will be ordering more steaks and less roasts.

The best part? Their meat products come from locally raised, free run and grass fed animals, that are free of hormones and antibiotics. In this era of heightened awareness, these qualities cannot be ignored. Sustainable foods are popular today, cows raised in pastures instead of feedlots turn out healthier, tastier meat with more vitamins and minerals.

If I have convinced you to give TruLOCAL a try, use my referral code of
TRULOCAL2097 to earn us both free products!

Posted in gardening, lorieb.com, ontario, Ottawa, weather

Great weather for ducks (or for overseeding and fertilizing your lawn and trees)

This rainy weather is good for ducks (as my mother used to say) or for overseeding your lawn.  Weed and feed is also best applied in cool, wet weather, but not at the same time as the seed.

There are a few new products on the market to fix bare patches too, 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 mixtures of composed/amended soil, seed and fertilizer.  They do not contain a weed-killing ingredient…

If your lawn is patchy (bare spots and grassy spots with some weeds) try the mixed product on a raked lawn.  Although there are several “weed and feed” products out there, I prefer to feed first, then weed, otherwise I tend to feed the weeds,

 

Another garden job for cool, wet, spring weather is fertilizing your trees.  I have three evergreen trees I planted as tiny seedlings when each of my three sons was born.  They were planted in my backyard, but as they reached about four feet in height, I asked the man that owns the building behind us if I could plant them in his yard.  He agreed, so now I get the privacy, but still have space for a garden in my yard…

20170501_172830

 

To fertilize my trees I use spikes that get pounded into the ground around the tree’s dripline.  One spike for each 2 inch of tree diameter.   There are many varieties on the market, choose the proper spike for the tree(s) you want to feed…

 

As the weather here is going be cool and rainy for a few more days, too muddy for work in my clients’ gardens, I should be able to get these chores done at home.