No a/c by choice

I live in a 2-story house and have never had air conditioning. When we added the second floor, we made sure they were windows installed on each wall, so there would be a cross breeze for every room. Ceiling fans are in & on in every room and on hot days such as today (July 21st 2011), windows and curtains are closed to keep the heat out. It does help that we have one of those four-foot deep rubber pools, so a dip before bed cools you right off. If the upstairs does get too hot, we sleep in the basement on air mattress’ or I pitch the tent in the backyard.

I will never install a/c in my house because I find the heat hits me twice as hard when I go outside. Now I realize people with breathing problems need something especially if they are living on the i.e. 11th floor of a high-rise. However, there is no need to run an air conditioning unit when you are not home, likewise running it at such a low temperature that a sweater is needed is ridiculous. I love the heat, even on a day like today. It is summer and I will enjoy every minute before that horrible white stuff lands on my front lawn.

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What percentage is considered a reasonable amount of Canadian produce?

On my last visit to my very popular neighbourhood grocery store (which will remain nameless), I found that 90% of their produce came from either Mexico or some other country. So I did what every consumer with time on her/his hands does, I wrote a letter explaining my disappointment with their lack of Canadian produce.

Their response:

“…Please know that we are strongly committed to supporting local businesses and the Canadian economy. One example of this ongoing effort is the fact that we are proud to be the number one retailer when it comes to supporting local produce growers; with approximately 27 per cent of our year-round produce purchases being home-grown, and supplied to us by over 400 local farmers across Canada. This is just one example of our loyalty to local suppliers, as thousands of Canadian products can be found in all departments throughout our stores. That being said, there are times when local vendors simply cannot meet our quantity demands or quality standards and we have to look elsewhere for supply. As I’m sure you can appreciate, cost is also a priority for us, as our focus is on delivering our customers low everyday prices….”

I don’t know what other people are thinking, but I think that 27% is a ridiculously low amount of Canadian produce. Is there any reason as to why we can’t have hot-house tomatoes from somewhere in Canada? Why do tomatoes have to come all the way from Mexico (and where in Mexico for that matter, from the north? the south?). They are obviously not fully ripe when they are picked thus they are ripening on the way here, so I am sure the flavour is tossed right out the truck they are travelling in. The same goes for cucumbers, peppers, and any other vegetable out there. Sure we can’t grow peaches, plums and pears in the winter and we can’t grow bananas or oranges but we have so many different varieties of apples that keep over the winter that there is certainly no reason to import them.

So now I go out of my way to shop for groceries. I travel to the local market and various other grocery stores in search of only Canadian produce. I take my electric bike when I can and if I do not have too much to carry. Soon my garden will start producing veggies and this year I will freeze and can until my husband says that is enough all ready.

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Christmas

Well it is that time of year again when sleigh bells are ringing, well at least in a few homes.  Christmas is upon us and sadly many find it to be one of the most loneliest/depressing times of the year.  As printed in the Globe & Mail letters to Santa are not limited to little children. These letters are carefully handwritten, no colourful pictures, no ribbons or bows just wishes for a job, money to buy a present for their children, or as one letter writer asked for, a soul mate.

I give my utmost praise to our workers at the Canadian Postal Service who volunteer every year to answer the thousands of letters they receive on behalf of the jolly old fellow Santa Claus. In such a short period of time, these volunteers can amass many hours answering each and every one of those letters which I imagine is no easy task.  Most letters are probably quite upbeat asking for the usual thing, a Barbie doll, a truck, a train, a computer game, an Xbox, or maybe even a book.  But, as it is difficult enough to tell a young writer that Santa Claus, himself, hopes mommy and daddy will stop fighting or that daddy/mommy will be home for Christmas, how do you answer a letter from an adult who needs a job, is lonely or depressed.  Somehow our Canadian Postal Worker has to write an aged appropriate response.  They of course, cannot promise you a job because the economy will not necessarily get better nor can they promise money for presents for your children and they certainly cannot promise you will meet your soul mate. Thus what do you say?  So, as you hunt for that last gift remember those less fortunate and if you see the donation box in the mall or grocery store put something in it, because no matter what, there is always someone in worse shape then yourself.

Here a just a few places you can donate:

Merry Christmas

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