Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crayons Melt

In a car on a hot day, crayons will melt.

This may seem obvious to most people. Apparently, I am not most people.

But on a silver lining note, when hardened, melted crayons make a shiny, pretty mess.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Turn Your Headlights On

It’s 8 a.m. It’s dark. It’s raining. Hard.

During the drive down the highway this morning, the rain was coming down so hard even with my windshield wipers on high, it was barely keeping my windshield clean.

Despite that, there was a person driving a SUV without his full headlight system on.

Daytime running lights are a great thing, however, please turn your full headlights on in the rain.

Last day

Despite this being my last day before two weeks of vacation, I am excited to be here.

I have a list of things to do including finishing off my article on living donors, learning a new job and striking off my pre-vacation to-do list.

Happy days.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Living Donor

I have back-to-back interviews this morning about the living donor program at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto.

I have thought about doing an article about the selfless people who donate a kidney or other organ to loved ones in the past but it went to the top of my list when I read through Designing DNA about Cathy at The Stylish House, who was desperately searching for someone to save her daughter who is dying of liver disease.

While her story made me sad, I couldn’t imagine giving up an organ or part of an organ. What if I needed it later?

There was an update on Cathy's blog. Someone, a stranger, has stepped forward to save Heather.

It was then I decided I would do what I do best – provide people with information about the living donor program, why it’s important and the risks associated with it, so people can make an informed decision, and not one based on fear, about how they can make a difference in one’s life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Communication Pet Peeves

Despite, or perhaps because of, the advances in technology, there are several things that annoy me when communicating, or not, with people.

It takes so little to acknowledge someone.

In most email programs there is something called a signature, which adds whatever information you want to an email.

I have a signature for almost every occasion, which means I do not have to type out the same message each time someone emails me looking to promote his event, for example.

I simply click a signature, which greats the person and tells them I have forwarded their email to a managing editor, with that editor’s email address. I always personalize the email with the sender’s name, respond to specific questions or add condolences or congratulations when necessary.

It takes a couple of minutes and people always email back to say thank you for responding so quickly.

There is nothing worse than reaching someone’s voicemail only to hear they are in the office today and to leave a message.

Are they in the office or are they on vacation?

I change my voicemail every day. I figure if I am sick one day, the fact my voicemail says yesterday’s date is an indication I am not t here. My voicemail also tells people how to reach someone who can help them.

This is not a pet peeve but rather a note to self.
Not everyone remembers to take out people’s personal message before forwarding an email along.

So while it’s tempting to make a smart-mouthed comment to your coworker, you might want to rethink that strategy unless you are OK with everyone, including the author, reading your words.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Only One Person to Blame

I have a summer cold.

It started Monday morning with a new voice and today I have the accompanying running nose.

I didn’t bring my trusty Vaseline jar, which means I will be less shiny but more red and raw.

There is only one person to blame for this summer misery – my little guy who grabbed my head on Saturday and pulled me in for multiple full-mouth kisses.

This cold is so worth it.

Vacation Time
It’s vacation time. I can see my vacation on the horizon and it’s calling my name – ‘Lisa, come spend two weeks just playing with your son.’

I am ready vacation. Bring on the sun and bring on two weeks of happiness.

I am expecting, bloggy friends, that I will not be writing nearly as often, particularly during the second week when I am RVing with my parents and brother and family, but know that all is well and I will be one happy mom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh Yes, I Remember Now

Saturday night I broke many of my own rules. I went outside after putting the baby to bed and I went out of my house wearing only shorts, a T-shirt and sandals.

That will learn you.

Praise to Cosmo

On a non-itchy note, our four-month-old kitten got lots of praise when we got home from the grocery store Saturday morning.

Cosmo caught – and killed – his first mouse.

Way to go, Cosmo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday’s Tidbits

Hot, Hot, Hot
It’s going to be a hot one today.

Air Canada Response
I recently posted about an Air Canada commercial I heard on a local radio station. The commercial was talking about how wonderfully first-class people are treated by the airline.

I was disgusted by the commercial and sent the blog posting directly to Air Canada.

A representative of the airline did respond.

Here is what, in part, they said:

“We regret to learn of your disappointment with the commercial you heard on radio station 680 news. While we are unfortunately unable to recreate the commercial and its details, we certainly apologize for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.

“Please be advised Ms. Day, that Air Canada is committed and strives on providing the same exceptional service to all of our customers despite the class of service each individual chooses to travel in…"

My response to this email:
“I am glad to hear Air Canada strives to treat everyone equally…Remember, we may not have lots of money, but we travel, usually in groups.”

In response to that, I received a ‘token of their appreciation’, five per cent off of the base fare of my next booking at aircanada.com

Wow. Thank you Air Canada. Five per cent! I wonder what first-class passengers would receive if they offered a complaint?

Picture Day
It’s picture day at my son’s swimming lessons tonight. Last time he took swimming lessons, it’s was picture day whenever we wanted.

When I brought my camera to my son's first swimming class July 5, the lifeguard in charge took it away from me, to protect children from sexual predators.

I appreciate they are trying to protect our children, mine included, but as pool staff does not confiscate cameras at the door nor do they take away people’s cellphones, many of which have cameras installed, I do not see how taking away my camera and not allowing me to take pictures of my son in action in an area where there are lots of people watching, is being protective.

I tried to argue and reason but I gave up. I will bring my camera tonight and take pictures of a jumping, climbing and swimming little boy.


I was almost broadsided while coming to work yesterday. My heart thumped wildly for the rest of the drive.

Today I must be really tired because I almost hit the cars in front of me several times because while I noticed brake lights, it didn’t click as to what those meant. You know, I should slow down.


I was excited about a piece was I was going to write about green cleaning.

And while it turned out OK, it could have been better if one of my sources was willing to have a conversation rather than being so worried she would only quote from documents.

I learned from my mistakes and said no to another person who I knew was going to be the same way.

For those interested in cleaning the Guide to Less Toxic Products is a fantastic resource.

Click here for the green cleaning article.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Are We Surprised?

There was an awful story on the news yesterday about a 61-year-old woman who was raped and beaten unconscious while visiting her mother’s gravesite at Toronto cemetery.

People are outraged and disgusted.

I agree with the feelings. What I don’t understand is people’s surprise and outrage that it should happen at a cemetery.

Let me clarify.

A cemetery is a place of peace, as one woman said. It’s bad enough losing your loved one, but then to be attacked while reflecting on your loss and remembering that person is disgusting.

But why are people surprised a lowlife, who obviously doesn’t care about people, would attack a woman in a place where no one is around.

People are using normal, sane judgments on a person who is neither normal nor sane.

What is obvious to us is not obvious to a person who could rape and beat someone unconscious.

We are learning today that 10 months ago, a homeless elderly man was beaten to death in the same cemetery.

I don’t remember hearing much about this.

Are people also outraged and angry an old man was beaten in a place of peace?

Apparently not.

I feel sickened by the story of the woman who remains in hospital and I hope her physical and emotional health recovers quickly. I do not wish to make light of her suffering as I can’t imagine what she is going through.

However, I think we need to feel disgusted, saddened and angry by every story that shows people can do completely terrible things to each other.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Time Flies
I mentioned in a recent post how I know time flies, but I would like to reiterate that time really does fly.

My husband gave me a mini digital frame to bring to work so pictures of our son could surround me, and I just saw a series of photos of my guy when he was just born out. The day and the time leading up to that wonderful day is so clear in my mind. I can’t believe he will be two in October.

I was thinking about how incredibly lucky I am to have this little guy in my life and how happy I am to watch him grow and learn. And while I am close thankfully close to my niece and have watch many cousins grow, it’s not the same thing as having your own bundle of joy.

Time Flies 2
On Aug. 5, it will be a year since we put Sylvester, our cat, down.

I am looking at pictures of that beautiful creature and I am still sad he is not a part of our son’s life.

However, despite the work, the loss of skin and the 2 a.m. wakeup call by a licking tongue, a purring body and a batting paw, I am happy my son and Cosmo, the crazy kitten, are getting along so well.

How much can you get into a Mini?
I am not sure if this happens where you live, but often there is a fundraiser that involves seeing how many people you can cram into a traditional Volkswagen Bug.

I am reminded of that because of how much stuff my cousin could cram into her Mini Cooper.

My cousin, who is getting married in August, was at my parents’ house for her shower in June.

She drove five hours with her best friend and her mom in her Mini Cooper. She had to get everyone back, plus her gifts, in that same Mini Cooper.

I had my doubts, but she was successful.

Of course, I felt sorry for the person who picked the short straw and had to sit in the backseat, but the point is she did it.

Vacation time
Finally, traffic has improved. I guess enough people are on vacation.

I am looking forward to my two weeks off. I plan to do a whole lot of playing, colouring, swimming, colouring, stacking blocks, painting, colouring, playing with playdough, and camping where I will be doing the above-mentioned activities.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rather Ridiculous

Smart Cars are ridiculous.

Each time one of these mini vehicles pass me, I wonder why people would buy one.

They must be one of the most inconvenient vehicles around. Who are they good for?

You couldn’t own one if you had children or a dog bigger than your lap.

If you scuba dived, biked or did any other sport that required equipment, this car wouldn’t be for you. And if you would like to pick up more than a couple groceries after work, where do you put them?

But most importantly, when everyone else around you is driving pickup trucks and SUVs, do you really want to be driving a smart Car?

I don’t care how much of Mercedes-Benz safety features are in this mini-car, if you are driving one and you get hit by a one-ton pickup, the pickup is going to win.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rich for the weekend

There was a Ferrari parked in my work’s parking lot yesterday morning.

After I stopped drooling after the black beauty, I had a giggle – there is no way the owner works in editorial – and a suffered a small twinge of jealousy.

Wouldn’t it be great to be rich?

I am sure the rich have their share of troubles, but I want to be rich – and worry-free – for one weekend.

One weekend of buying what I want simply because it struck my fancy; of stocking my cupboards and freezer with enough great food to keep us fed for months; of going out for breakfast and dinner at our favourite restaurants; and of deciding to go on a trip and jetting off to some destination, bringing my entire family along for the ride.

Someone suggested once you got a taste for that kind of lifestyle, you couldn’t give it up.

I think if I had one weekend of carefree living, I would grab that chance, enjoy every moment and then be content in the life I am leading now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two New Taxes On One Day – Happy Birthday, Canada

Wow, Canada’s governments sure know how to make a birthday a happy one.

By your birthday, you have to fork out about $75 to get your sticker renewed for your car.

On Canada’s birthday, July 1, the Ontario government stuck us with the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which makes the tax on a number of things 13 per cent, and a second tax, the Eco Tax, was slipped in quietly as well.

According to a Toronto Star report, Amanda Harper Sevonty, a spokesperson for Stewardship Ontario, the agency that is overseeing this lovely new tax, said the organization would rather spend the money dedicated to telling people about another tax grab on education rather than warning people it was coming prior to July 1.

“Our message to consumers isn’t about the eco fees. Our message to consumers is about here are the materials and what to do with them,” she told The Toronto Star.

And that makes so much sense.

Unfortunately, I only heard about the eco tax on a headline news station. The articles in Toronto’s dailies don’t have much information either, particularly in the why department.

And sadly I can’t get on either the Stewardship Ontario website nor the makethedrop.ca website, which is where you can get a full list of taxed products.

I read one story the eco fees are being passed along to the consumer from the manufacturer who is being charged to dispose of these products.


Why is the government allowing manufacturers to get their money back from the consumer when I am sure the same companies are already increasing the price of their product to make up for the shortfall?

I am trying to be eco-friendly. I am trying to green my life, eat sustainably, buy locally and combine trips to use my car less.

I am doing this for the environment as well as to save what little money I have.
How am I supposed to stay a float when my income is staying the same and everything else is going up? How are people supposed to manage?

I appreciate I live in a country that offers ‘free’ health care and education, and I realize these things actually do come with a cost and we do have to pay for them, which I am happy to do, but adding more taxes to people already struggling doesn’t seem right.

I don’t know what the solution is, but sneaking in a second tax on top of the HST may have just broken the proverbial camel’s back.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hot, Humid – Delightful

It is going to be hot and humid this weekend.

I was speaking to a man this morning who is dreading the weekend weather. He said he can’t breath when the air is heavy and full.

I do feel badly for him. However, the main part of me is smiling broadly at the forecast that is sunny and gorgeous until next week.

Happy Birthday to You

Yesterday, July 1, was Canada’s birthday.

Our great nation turned 143 years old and the Queen was on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation’s capital, to help celebrate it.

I like the royal family.

I know many Canadians think it’s time to sever our ties to England, but I like the history of it and say they should continue to be the head of our country.

Long Weekends
And because yesterday was a holiday, many people are taking today off to have an extra-long long weekend.

For me, it made my commute in a breeze.

I heard some people are suggesting we start celebrating Canada Day on the first Monday of July regardless if it’s July 1 or not.


You don’t celebrate your birthday on a Friday or a Monday because you want more time off, you celebrate it the actually day of your birth.

I like having a day off mid-week. And any day you can take off in the summer is a great day.

Happy July 4
Happy Independence Day to anyone who celebrates it.