Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Heather Dale then and now or I knew her when

I remember Heather Dale when she was just another SCAer selling her CD’s at events. She was at most of the same events I was. Some times our tables would be side by side. She would discreetly play her CD’s, hiding the CD player with a cloth so it would not bother the period police. I always enjoyed having my table or booth by hers, the music was always wonderful to hear and I would buy CD’s whenever I had the money. I still have some of them. She usually shared her table with a man who did paper making, and bookbinding. He did great work. Heather took the time to record other SCA musicians and sold their CD’s as well. She was the person responsible for making SCA musicians in our area realise how good they were and how far they could go. A lot of people grew as musicians because of her. Most out grew the SCA and started performing elsewhere and busking and doing renfestivals. She let our musicians feel valued and did a lot to strengthen and support our local musicians. Now 8 years latter she is world famous and a headliner. It is funny how things go. If you don’t know her or her music please take the time to look at her website

Heather Dale is the featured musical performance at Pagan Pride Day in Hamilton Ontario

Heather Dale will be the featured musical performance at Pagan Pride Day in Hamilton Ontario on Sept. 15 2007. For more information here is the PPD link her initial performance will begin at 12 Noon.

Heather Dale:modern folk music with Celtic roots
Heather Dale cheerfully discards the stereotypical limits for both folk singer-songwriters and Celtic balladeers. Tapping into the continuing evolution of Celtic peoples worldwide, this Canadian singer-songwriter offers a new type of Celtic music for the 21st century: a playful, passionate and fearless blend of tradition and innovation. "Her music is powerful stuff, reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan but with a depth and resonance rooted in its mythic sources." (Vancouver Sun)
Heather fuses traditional stories with a healthy mix of Celtic folk, blues, jazz and world music influences. Particularly known for her interpretations of ancient legends, she excels at finding modern themes within old -- and often overlooked -- material. Her songs celebrate honest love and the personal search for meaning, as well as delivering cunning commentary on such modern concerns as self-image, sexual tensions, and even civil disobedience. "Although steeped in Celtic culture, Dale's approach to the music is contemporary; there's nothing faint or wispy about this Celtic folk singer." (K-W Record)
Her innovative live shows with fellow multi-instrumentalist Ben Deschamps feature over a dozen folk instruments, from bodhran drum to mountain dulcimer, along with Heather's rich and evocative voice. The performances feature original songs from Heather's five CDs, along with traditional folk and Celtic material from North America and the UK.
Heather Dale released her 5th solo CD "The Road to Santiago" in 2005. A cosmopolitan album of modern folk songs, Heather co-produced the CD with folk veteran Paul Mills (Stan Rogers, Tanglefoot). With strong vocal performances and tight songwriting, Heather's songs draw their inspiration from many diverse cultures, including New-World Celtic, Irish, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, and even Canadian Inuit. "Heather Dale soars on this recording, an unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and her musical wings." (Toronto Star)
Additional info and sound clips are available at

Good Eats in Hamilton Ontario

Today we found a great sandwich place. It is called Extreme Sandwich Plus at 2255 Barton Street East, Hamilton, ON L8H 7T4. The name is dead on. I could not believe the sandwiches we got. We got the small ones and ½ of one filled me up. I had a salami one, on a cheese bun. It had 5 layers of meat. There was a huge choice of sandwich fillings, like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and more. They even had havarti at no extra charge. James got an egg salad sandwich. The man took out a container from the fridge and James thought that it was just the container that they stored the egg salad in. Nope all of it went on the sandwich. It was so big the guy said he would not cut the sandwich because James would not be able the eat it. He also told James to keep the bag on it when eating to keep the egg on the sandwich. (Not to eat the bag, just in case some one takes it that way lol). These were the small sandwiches; I don’t know how big the bigger sandwiches are. The man making the sandwiches was the owner and he did not chinch on any thing. I was very impressed. They even do catering, and I would say based on the sandwiches we got it would be worth having them as caterers.

So if you are in the Hamilton area this is a good place to go. The only thing that would make the place better was some tables to sit and eat at. This is a take out place, but worth going to. We had two extremely large sandwiches, an extra large coffee, and a Fruitopia and it only came to $11.00. Why am I telling every one about this place? Because we find these great places that are a bit out of the way or not in the best locations that are great, but go under because they don’t have enough exposure to build a good customer bass. I would like to see this one stay around. We don’t go out for food very much so it may be a year before we would go back. Just because we don’t have the money to eat out, trust me if we did this place is worth it and we would go again.

Here is the link that will give you the map and phone # if you are interested in finding this place.,1/602962.html?what=Extreme%20Sandwich%20Plus&where=Hamilton&how=onlyonefound&pstype=si

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The joy of making cake with your kids, well making any thing with your kids

I tend not to let my kids help me make things because we just don’t have a lot of room in the kitchen and it is not the safest place to be with a little kid. However a few days ago we finally found Dunkin Hines Cream cheese icing. I love that stuff. I have tried a few other icings but the only thing that is as good (and maybe better) then the cream cheese icing I make myself is the Dunkin Hines one. The local store does not carry it any more, but we found a store that does. We picked the kids up and told them we would make cake. Sure enough as soon as the kids were done snack, it was “lets make cake”.

For a change I decided to let my oldest help with the actual making of the cake. He likes to help and well it is fun. So he picked out what cake mix, poured it into the bowl, helped Mom pour the water. I did the oil and eggs, but he had the job of counting the eggs and spoons of oil. So he was even part of that. Then he got to mix the cake. Well he held onto the mixer with me, but as far as he was concerned he mixed that cake. Then we each buttered a cake pan. Then he started trying to eat the batter before I could get it into the cake pans. Lots of laughing with that. I made sure I unplugged the mixer; no taking chances with his little hands getting in the wrong place. Then he got one beater and his sister got the other to clean off, letting me get the batter into the pans and oven. Now that was fun. What made it fun was the look on his face as he got to do all this. You could tell it made him feel good about himself and well we got to spend some time doing some thing together. It was great.

The cakes cooked as we ate dinner. When the cakes were done we let them cool and then got them onto some large plates. Now the real fun began. Out to the living room where the kids table is, two cakes, two kids, one can of icing, two butter knives and a spatula, a little container of sprinkles and a half bag of coloured little marshmallows. Was it fun, oh yes. I took the spatula and put half the can on each cake and let them go. With a little help from me. Once the cakes had icing all over, the sprinkles went on and then marshmallows, most of which ended up in mouths not on cakes. Then my daughter used her butter knife to try and cut chunks out of the cake and started to eat. I gave them each a fork and the race was on. They had icing all over themselves, big bald spots on the cakes and smiles like you would not believe.

Finally I figured that they had enough fun (sugar) and took the cakes away, but then gave them each a piece from their cake. Mind you they ate the icing and left the cake. Each day they got a piece from their cake, and it was great. We still have a small piece left but it will be eaten tonight. The kids loved making their own cakes. I hope to be able to do this, or other things with the kids way more often once we move. We will have more room and a place to actually do things like this. It is so easy to forget to make time for things like this. Sure it took more time then if I did it by my self, but would it have been as much fun, no. Was it worth it, yes, just the looks on their faces as they got to make their own cakes, how good it made them and me feel is worth the little extra work.

To air condition or not, that is the health question

About 6 years ago, I finally came to realize I needed air conditioning in my little one bedroom attic apartment. So I bit the bullet and bought the smallest, cheapest one on sale. I had a friend install it and it was great. I don’t know how I had lived in that apartment for so long with out one. That cheep little air conditioner lived threw 2 moves, and about 4 years. When we moved here we used the air conditioner, but then did not have a place to store it in the winter, so it was put on the balcony with tarps, wrong move. Water got into it, and mold and other things. We did not notice this because it was inside the actual air conditioner. What we did notice is that we were sick all that summer, lots of fevers and just not feeling good. An allergy and immune system specialist told us to take a look at our air conditioner as a possible cause. We did but did not see any thing, then one day James was cleaning the filter and saw mold in the air conditioner. It had finally grown to the point that we could see it. Bye bye air conditioner.

So the next summer we brave the heat, but our kids could not handle it. So we buy the cheapest one on sale again. In the window it goes, works great, but there seems to be a small problem with the drainage. We work with it and things seem fine. Lots of construction on the building, concrete dust and who knows what else was all over the place as they removed our balconies. So we had one year of that (no joke, we just got our balcony back after a year of not having it.) So stuff got into the air conditioner. It seemed to be working ok. Two week ago they replaced our windows on the balcony so the air conditioner had to come out and then go back on the new windows. The air conditioner did not fit on these windows and that drainage problem we had before became a real problem. We started to get sick last week, for most of the week. The air conditioner was off one day, as we turn it off when we go out. When James turned it on our two year old went “Stinky”. A bad smell was coming from the air conditioner. The water had not been draining properly and we had mold and who knows what else in there. Out it went. James called a cleaning place, it would cost us $5.00 less to have it cleaned then what it cost us to buy it in the first place. Ok, not doing that.

Now the good thing is that we had spent money we did not have when they took our balcony off, we had it on good authority it was going to be a long time before the balconies would be replaced. We bought a small portable unit that got us threw the fall of last year and most of this year as we waited for our balcony. Sure it was more expensive then the window unit, but it did not weigh as much, and was very easy to install, and you could move it from room to room if need be. Well worth the money in my mind. Most important though, the water is not going to pool and become stagnant or moldy. I know we were getting sick from the window air conditioner. James did some research today on air conditioners, and for the cost for the size of air conditioner we are going to need for the town house is going to be about the same for both the window unit and a portable unit. I know what one we are going to be trying to get, the indoor portable unit. I do not want to be made sick from an air conditioner ever again. It turns out that it is a common source of illness in the summer, unhealthy air conditioners. So if you are suffering lots of sick days, or just keep feeling off or mildly sick all the time and don’t know why check out the air conditioner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lost baby shower

When my son was born I had the worst baby shower in the world. It all started because we lived in a small one-bed room, so we decided we could not have the shower there. Then we realised that a lot of the people we were going to invite lived at least an hour away so most people would have to be making a big trip for this. There was a camping event that was held once a year, we were all going to it a few weeks after my son was due to be born so to make things easer on every one we decided to have the baby shower at the camping event. So I started to get things ready for the baby shower, but then one of my “friends” said I should not be organizing my own baby shower and said she would do it, as we did not have family to organize it.

Great, that made things so much easer. We still had to bring the large sunshade and set up but my friend was going to handle the baby shower invitations, and get some snack food ready (a veggie tray, fruit tray and some chips and such, some drinks – nothing big) and we gave her a $100.00 to help pay for it all. I was under the impression that she was going to get some invitations for a baby shower and send them out to my friends with the time and place with an RSVP to her. That way every one would know about the baby shower and she would know how many people were coming so she knew how much food and drink was needed. Now every time I checked with her she said that every thing was under control and was going great, lots of people were coming.

Well the day of the baby shower came. We set up the dinning fly tent, got it all ready for the baby shower, seats, cushions, tables every thing. The time for the shower came and went – my friend had not shown up with the food or any thing, and no one showed up for the shower. A few hours later my “friend” showed up with a bag of party mix, threw it into the tent and said here is your shower, enjoy. That was it. Some baby shower. I cried thinking that no one cared and that all these people did not even have the common courtesy to let me know they could or would not be going to the shower. It was very hard to deal with and it hurt.

It turns out that she did not even buy some cheap baby shower invitations or any thing, she never contacted any one. She did not want to call any one because it would be a long distance charge so she never called any one, she did not have the address (she could have gotten it from me, though she knew the same people I did) so she did not send any thing. All she did was mention it to people when she saw them, so of course all the people who lived far away, or did not hang out with my “friend” did not know about it. Also the few people who did know about it only knew that it was on the Saturday, but not when or where. The big part was that the people she did tell about it she told them that I did not want any thing, that I did not want it to be a big deal, and made it sound like I would rather not have the shower. I did not want people to spend a lot of money but I wanted people to come and make a fuss over my son. Lets just say we are not friends any more. It turns out she did it on purpose for some imaginary slight. It was not like we could organize it again, it was going to be a year before every one was going to be getting together again. We never did know why she did this, all I know is it hurt me a lot, enough that I did not even try to have a baby shower when my daughter was born.

If you are having a baby shower, make sure you can trust the person organizing it or at least make sure the shower invitations get mailed. I hope no one else ever goes threw a baby shower like mine, I will always feel like I lost out on something special, important. I missed out on some thing that would have been a lot of fun. It does not make a difference now, but it did hurt then.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bringing baby home on the bus

When my daughter was born we were having some financial difficulties. Basically we were running out of money before the next check. It happens to a lot of people. We had just gone onto Ontario works a few months before and were still trying to adjust. It was hard to go from two people working, to welfare and no car. The no car was a big reason for us being unemployed and on welfare. So we tried to save money and do the best we could.

So I did the unthinkable. I took a cab to the hospital when in labour. Over $50.00, ouch. Then I had my daughter, spent the night. The next day my husband brought our son, our double stroller and the baby car seat to the hospital. I had to let the nurse see me put the baby in the car seat, which went into the stroller and then they wanted to see me put the baby in the car. What car? You see, they don’t let you leave with your baby any more unless you have a car seat for them. Ok, great, it is needed, and it works in strollers, I can live with that. However, not every one has a car. How was I getting home, on the bus. Yes with a new born. So we stopped at a Zellers on the way home and shopped for about an hour and then got back on the bus and went home. So why was this unthinkable.

Apparently I was to spend the money we had for food and such to cab it home with the baby. I had arranged for a car ride home, but the person backed out at the last minute. I was ok with that; I had no problem taking the bus home. So who gave me such a hard time about taking the bus home, my Mother and Grandmother. I don’t know what their problem was. Not every one has a car, not every one can get a ride. That is what the bus is for. My daughter is two now, and I can tell you so far coming home on the bus did not harm her. I can also say spending $50.00 for a cab ride home instead of buying food, and diapers would have. It is not like they were here to help me, nor did they offer any money to help pay for a cab ride. Not that I asked or any thing. Mind you I am sure if I had been dumb enough to take a cab ride home they would have been upset I spent the money on that and not diapers and food. With some people you cannot win.

So why am I writing about this 2 years later? Because I just read a story about some one giving a man a hard time because his kids were being disruptive on a bus ride, and some one gave him heck for not watching his kids and he said that he was sorry, but he was on his way home from the hospital, where his wife had just died, and he was not paying as much attention to his kids as he should be. It made me cry. Some times it is not the ride that is important but where you are going or what you are coming from or leaving behind is what is important. For me I was bringing my daughter home, how I was bringing her home was not that important.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Comparison shopping on line is worth the time

Like almost every one out there I have a tight budget. When I want to buy a big-ticket item (and some small ones) I do my research on line before I buy. I like to find out what products have the features I want and then I do price comparisons. This is a lot of work, but I find I get what I want that way, at the best price I can find it. I spent an entire day doing this when I was deciding on a new digital camera.

So we have been looking into laptops for several weeks. We are looking at the different types out there figuring out what ones have the features we want at a price we can afford. I was told about a new shopping comparison site called Cubalaya. Very cool. I just spent some time looking up some products. Cubalaya is very easy to use, I found computers, and then picked laptop, as that is what I am interested in. I was then given a choice between price ranges, processor speed, hard drive capability, Brand, and weight. I picked price under $820.00, and found a very nice selection.

At this point I could look at the several 100 laptops available or I could break it down by Brand, hard drive capability, processor speed, processor type, or the installed RAM. I like how they broke down the categories to make it easer on me. I had 41 pages of laptops under $820.00 to look at. When I would find one I was interested in I would hit the more info button. This would give me the specs on that laptop, a selection of stores, with the store name, a store rating (between 1 and 5 stars), any notes such as in stock, new, free shipping, the different prices, and a go button to take you to the store. Cubalaya was very helpful, and made comparing product features and prices very easy.

I did find a few bugs where for one I was looking at a laptop and two of three prices were for CD’s for that laptop, and one I opened to the store and it took me to a different product with a different price range. I think this was more a data entry problem then a site problem. Over all I found the site was very helpful. I found a few products I am going to look into some more. I had a lot of fun looking in the kid section, a lot of products that I want now. What got me was the large selection of products to do price comparisons on, every thing from new and used cars to toys. I will be adding this to my favourites; it is going to be saving me some time.

I will be using Cubalaya again when I do my research simply because they made it so easy. However, I will use the information and prices to help me buy locally only because Cubalaya gives you options for US, UK, and Germany and I live in Canada. Although I may use them for some products, as I found some very cool kids things that I have not seen in Canada and would have to order from the US any way.

Winning the lottery

So I was standing in line to check my lotto ticket. The lady in front of me was also checking hers. The music came out of the machine. The casher got kind of excited. The lady had just won second place, over 100,000.00. She looks at the ticket and said, what am I going to do with this. She was in her late 80’s, with no family or friends left and on top of that she had Cancer. She just liked the idea of wining but never expected to win. It was hard not to say, then trade tickets with me, lol. It was nice to actually see some one win, but I wish it had been my ticket. It is always interesting to see who wins. I like it when it is some one who is on welfare or a single parent or a student.

The best one was when this single mom won. Her husband had just left her, signed over his parental rights as he did not want to pay child support. He wanted to live the high life with out his family, but with the new girlfriend soon to be trophy wife. He did have money, but he left them as high and dry as he could. The day after the divorce was final she bought a ticket, using the money from the divorce settlement, and won the big prize, in the millions. We all laughed at the idea of him trying to get back with her.

Then I was working at a temp. job a few years ago. I was told that the person I was covering for had to take some time off for legal matters. Her husband came home one day, and well out of the blue up and left her. Told her it was over. Started divorce proceedings that day. No explanation or any thing. So they divorced, he gave her custody of the kids, signed over his parental rights (see the theme here). He found a nice apartment, new girlfriend, and then almost a year latter found the winning ticket for several million dollars. He cashed it in. His ex found out about it because the papers made a big deal about how this ticket was found just before the year was up, and how lucky the guy was finding it in time to cash it in. It was just days before it would have been to late to claim. Big news. Well, the legal battle started. Why, because it was purchased when they were still married. He had checked the ticket, found out it was the winning one, came home and told her it was over. He figured that if he cashed it after the divorce she would never know about it, and because it was found after the marital assets had been divided, he would get all the money. He knew he had the ticket, spent a lot of money before cashing it in, got a new place, new car, new boat, and new girlfriend. I found this out because the lady called her place of employment to let them know she would not be coming back. The court decided that as the ticket was purchased when they were still married that she got half of it. Then they got into the fraud aspect of it and that he was hiding marital assets. The end result was that the court turned over part of the divorce settlement. Not only did she get a lump sum of half the money, he now had to pay a large alimony, and child support (but did not get to see the kids), so she ended up with more then half, the kids got a good chunk. The girlfriend left him; he lost his wife and kids, most of his friends, and most of the money. All because he was greedy.

It is interesting to see what things happen when people win. Years and years ago I was up north for a camping weekend. On the way there we stopped for coffee, and overheard people talking about how the town was in trouble, and that the pulp mill (paper mill) was closing, and with it went most of the jobs. It was depressing. On the way home, Sunday, we stopped for lunch at the only dinner in the area, same place we had stopped for coffee. It was a different place. We could hear all these people talking about getting together and buying the mill and keeping the town open. We did not know what was going on. Then we found out that a group of guys who worked at the mill had a lotto pool and they had just won about 20 million on the Saturday. I was kicking myself because I had wanted to buy a ticket on Friday when we got into town, but forgot to. So I always think I was that close to buying the winning ticket. Mind you though, I know the right people won that one. Mind you I don’t know if they did buy the paper mill or not. I do know that they told the newspapers that they were going to try to buy it.

I just keep buying my ticket, it only takes one and you cannot win if you don’t buy at least one. Maybe one day I can tell every one I won.

I tried eBay again

So I decided to try eBay again. Not to sell, never that again, but to buy. I have so far have been ok buying things. I think it has to do with the fact that there is more protection for the buyers then the sellers. So what happens, I buy from two people. I asked for a quote before bidding as they only gave shipping for in the US. Both gave me an ok shipping quote. So I bid and win. The first person, hawkl921 gave me the shipping quote based on the weight and the US postal web site. They told me they would take the item to the post office to make sure the quote was accurate before invoicing me. They came back and let me know that the US post office was going to charge $10.00 more then what the web site had said. They then let me decide if I wanted to pay the extra or not. If not then hawkl921 would not hold me to the bid. I was not able to pay for the extra shipping cost, as it would bring the shipping cost to 3 times more then the item. I found that hawkl921 dealt with the whole situation in a professional manner and I would do business with them again.

Now the second person was a completely different story. They had given me a shipping quote and their ad said that if you bought more then 1 item you only had to pay half the shipping cost for the second item. So that is what I did, I figured out what the shipping cost should be and paid for it. We got an email saying we had short paid, and had to pay another $10.00 (that $10.00 again lol). We looked at the payment and realized I had paid $14.00, not the $18.00 I should have so we owed them $4.00 not another $10.00. We let them know, so they emailed us telling us that we had lied to them about our address and had shown them a US address first when they made the quote. Um, no I showed my address in Canada. What would be to point to get a quote for a different address, one that was not even in my country? Nice try, I kept all the emails and was able to show them that. Then they said that their add only said ½ price shipping on the second item if in the US and they expected us to pay full shipping for both items. Um, no went back and looked, it did not say US only. So we said we would be happy to pay the $4.00 I had accidentally shorted them. Then they came back and said that the original quote was for a different item, that it did not have glass in it and that the ones with glass weigh more so it cost more to ship. Um, no I still had the email threw eBay with the link to the product I was getting the quote on. The difference was the colour of the insert, that was it. At this point we decided we did not wish to do business with these people. We had all the proof we needed to know that yes I had short paid by $4.00 but that was it, and if they would not honour their ad then and quote then they were not professional. I would never do business with them. They are a large seller of jewellery displays, but I cannot see how they expect to stay in business if treat their customers this way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Disciplining your child, how far would you go?

Today there is a great show on Montel Williams show called Disciplining your child, how far would you go? I found that it was very informative, and done in a non-condescending way. The big point was that you don’t need to hit or get your kids to fear you to get them to respect you. Montel had some very educated professional people giving their opinions on child discipline. This is a great show. A lot of people need to see this show. First and foremost hitting your kids is a good way to go to jail and loose your children. Just because it was how you were raised does not make it right, we have better ways to discipline and guide our kids.

If you think you see or hear a kid being hurt, please take the time to find out what is going on. In the last year we would have a child crying and screaming at about 11 or 12 pm all the time. We thought that it was strange and would look out to the hallway to see the Mom bringing her daughter home. My husband finally asked her what was going on. The Mom had to work evenings and the child was crying because she would wake up when the Mom would pick her up from the baby sitter and then would get home and go back to bed. That we understood. We also would hear this one lady screaming at her kids and the kids crying out in the hallway. Every time it got to the point where it seemed that the crying and screaming had been going on a little to long, that some thing was wrong, we would go check. No kids in the hall. So we thought that they were just upset because they did not want to go out, or over tired coming home from some place. Nope. Finally we started seeing what was going on. There was a little girl about 4 and a boy almost two, out in the hallway by themselves. They were screaming and crying trying to get back into their apartment. The Mother did not realise that other people where home during the day. What she was doing was punishing her children by pushing them into the hall way and locking them out. We started hearing the kids in the hall longer and longer and ended up “catching” her doing this. The last time the kids were in the hall so long, we thought about letting them come into our apartment, but did not because then we were opening ourselves up on kidnapping charges and such. I called children’s aid and they sent some one that day. The lady said her kids were opening the door and letting themselves out; um don’t think so, nice try. However, children’s aid became involved and we know the kids are being watched now. It is real funny how the kids never let themselves out of the apartment again after that day. Hitting is not the only way to hurt kids, this lady showed that.

I have strong opinions on what is ok and not ok when disciplining my children. I had to take parenting classes and learn how to properly discipline my kids, not in anger. It has been very hard. I have hit my kids (on the bum with diaper on, but that is still not ok). Than I learned to be a better parent. I knew it was wrong and got help. I learned the skills, different ways to discipline my kids, not hurt them. I have found 1, 2, 3 and then time out works great. It gives the kid’s time to calm down and more importantly my husband or me time to cool off and still lets the kids know they did some thing wrong. It took a lot of time for us to get used to doing time outs, and still struggle some times. I know it is working though. Why, because we don’t hit our kids, we give them time outs. That is why we went with time outs, an alternative to hitting and hurting. I had to learn the skills to become a good parent; I did not have a good example when growing up. For example, When I was 4 my step father would hold me by my ankles with my head in a bucket of water until I blacked out, then I would come to by the bucket, no one around to see if I lived or died. So lets just say I had to learn how to deal and relate with my kids. I never wanted to hurt them so I took lots of parenting classes and worked hard at it.

On a light note, last night my daughter (2 years old) gave her doll and a pikachu stuffy a time out. First she tried to sit them on the time out chair, but ended up putting one in a corner and the other facing the wall. This morning she gave her stuffed turtle and frog a time out on the chair. I did not know why she gave them time outs, she just did. It was kind of funny. But there was no yelling or her giving the toys what for, she just put them in a time out. She may have learned that from me, one of the things I do is give a toy a time out. If they are playing with something in a dangerous unsafe way I will take the toy away and tell them the toy is getting the time out, they cannot play with it until the time out is over. It seems to work, kids learn from what we show them.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why are people still leaving kids in cars, in this heat? It is killing them!

In the news I saw yet another story about a child dieing in a car because the parent left them in the car in this heat. A neighbour found the kid. This time it was for 6 hours, the child took about 2 hours to die. I cried for that child. When are people going to learn to stop doing this? Look if you don’t want your kid, then give them up for adoption, there is a system out there. Trust me, the choices is not that hard – look bad because I gave them up or kill them. Um, no choice here - you give them a chance at life even if it is not with you. Trust me, you look more then bad if you kill them. If I had my way, you would be jailed for life, or dead. I feel pretty strongly about this one. Sorry does not cut it. Being stupid, drunk, stoned or tired should not let you out of this one. I don’t care how bad you feel, you killed the child you should pay for it in a way the will make other people think twice before leaving their kids in the car, in the heat or cold, even if its to just run in and get some thing. How can you forget your kid for 6 hours only to have your neighbour bang on your door to let you know you killed them? Come on people, stop killing your kids.

About 15 years ago a couple were arrested at the airport as they got off their flight after a wonderful week vacation. You see, no one was taking care of their three children, oldest about 6, for the week that they were gone. Sure they said they had made arrangements, but it was more important to catch the plane then to make sure the person showed up. So they left their little kids alone with no one and went on vacation for a week. They never even called to make sure some one was taking care of their kids. Lets just say they cared from a jail cell. The kids lived, and were taken away but I don’t know if they had family or were put into foster care.

Then there are the people who kill their own children because then want a different or better life and to get out of the old one they kill. Hello, just walk away, get a divorce, leave, or if you’re the only parent, give them to foster care, adoption, another family. There are other options then killing or abandoning them.

I just don’t get these people. Maybe it is because I came from an abusive “family” where drugs and drink was way more important then any thing else, including me. I just cannot stand to see people being this selfish. You know what grow up and take responsibility, or give them away. If you can not handle having your children and giving up so much for them, then at least be a good enough parent to find some one else who wants to have kids, take care of them, love them, keep them safe. Then go do what you want with a free heart and clean conscience.

I am brainwashing my children.

Since my kids were born every time we come across a smoker I tell them, “Smoking is yucky, it makes your breath stinky and your teeth yellow”. I am hoping that this will have some effect on them. They are 4 and 2 now. I should know in about 4 to 5 years if it works on my oldest.

My logic is that telling people that smoking is bad for them and can kill you does not seem to be working. Take a look at all the Dr.’s and other health professionals huddling outside to get that puff they need. They know better and yet they cannot get away from the hold nicotine has on them. My goal is to keep my kids from even trying smoking so nicotine never gets them. If health does not work maybe vanity will. Look at the extremes people go to so they look good, the money they spend. Maybe they will not do some thing like smoking to look good. A lot of people started smoking because of the images of sexy sophisticated or cool people smoking, lets turn it around and say if you want to be sexy, sophisticated or cool then you don’t smoke.

Why is this so important to me, well on my fathers’ side every one has died of lung cancer from smoking. Yes, every one of them. My father died at 49, his father died about the same age, his mother died in her 60’s and all the uncles and aunts also died of lung cancer. They are all gone, my kids and I are the last of the line. My mother smoked, and most of the people I used to know smoked, so although I never smoked I breathed in second hand smoke for about 25 years. Do I worry about cancer, hell yes! I am worried that I will end up with it and may not see my kids grow up. My husband’s father is currently dieing of lung cancer, and has already lived past the time they gave him. We don’t know how much longer he will be here. My husband is an ex-smoker and he stopped when his Dr. told him he had to stop smoking and drinking or he would die.

I don’t want my kids to smoke; our family history shows this is a bad thing. So I can put up with the dirty looks smokers give me when I tell my kids “Smoking is yucky, it makes your breath stinky and your teeth yellow”. I hope other people start telling there kids this.

How safe are you in your own home?

From what I saw on the Montel Williams show today, not as safe as you might think. Today they had a show called “ANYTHING TO PROTECT MY FAMILY”. One person killed to protect her child and another died to protect his children. I watch true crime shows and CSI and the like so I know things happen. However there is knowing it happens and thinking about some thing happening to you.

I am not saying that we should be in fear of our safety all the time but that we need to be more aware of how we can make ourselves safer. The truth of the matter is that if some one is out to get us they are going to figure out how. All we can do is make it as difficult for them as possible, hopefully so hard that they give up. There are a lot of new things out there to help, personal safety features in our cars (hart beat monitor on your key ring), personal safety products like pepper spray and the like. There are self-defense classes and more books then one person wants to read. So what can we do?

If you have a lot of money there are lots of things you can do but what can people with little or no money do. What I got out of the Montel Williams show is that there are things we can do that are simple and not to costly. Lets look at our homes. If you have an alarm, use it. Lock your doors and windows. Do a safety check on your home, how can some one get in, what can you do to make it harder with out turning your home into a prison. I liked the idea of motion sensor lights on the out side, and making sure your locks and door handles are as good as you need them to be. Having a safe room with a cell phone is a great idea as well. Do not have your valuables visible to people outside, even if you have to buy some blinds or some thing – if people don’t know what you have they are not going to be as temped to break in to get it. Only you know your home or apartment, look around and use common sense about what you can do to about making your home safer. See if the police in your area have a program to educate people on improving the safety of their homes.

Other places again we need to use common sense to not be a victim. Park in lighted areas; look to see if someone is in your car before you get into it. Don’t go out in unsafe areas by yourself if you don’t have to. Don’t accept drinks from some one other then the wait staff or bartender. If you have kids you think about their safety all the time, now the shoe is on the other foot. Take the same advice you give your kids and use it on yourself.

I would like it very much it you have a safety tip please add it to the comments so we can share them. We need to take preventative measures to not be a victim. It may only be a small thing that makes the difference. I have to tell you, if making sure I lock my door, put on the alarm, lock my windows even when I am home keeps me safer it is a small thing to do.