My website: Canada Shopping Links

Canada Shopping Links, is my personal website. The website was started several years ago while I was still working. Initially, some friends and I, started the site as a business with the hope of generating a healthy income by providing advertising for Canada’s retailing sector. At the time, the internet was in its infancy and there was no reasonable prospect of finding Canadian exclusive content without spending a great deal of time on the search engines. That is exactly what we did to obtain the names of Canadian businesses who wanted to be listed in one central location. It took many hours of research to obtain sufficient information to start the shopping directory. As time went on, however, the retailers came to us with their information and we included it on our site. The income generated was insufficient to maintain the website as a business but there were lots of visitors who simply wanted to know where to shop. We disbanded as a group and I became the sole owner of a “not for profit” site.

I am retired now and often think about closing down Canada Shopping Links as I do not have the interest I once did. However, it is my baby and I just can’t delete it! I do get a check from time to time from the advertisers but never any large amount. Maintaining it, is now one of my hobbies! I refer to it often when I want to do my online shopping with Canada’s online businesses. I feel a connection with their struggle to promote themselves and to get Canadians to shop online.

So, if you are Canadian and you like shopping, please bookmark the website, I’d love for you to visit!

The Game Of Life

Tonight I played a mindless game. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses and it’s simply a dumb game that requires only that you match at least three same coloured objects. You get extra points if you match more than that and there are other ways of getting points at well. Although there are other people playing the same game, it doesn’t require any thought and your mind is free to wander wherever. I said to myself “why do I bother to play?” It requires you to be quick at hand but your mind is not engaged. I am bored to death of it but yet I still play.

Well, it is actually an analogy to life. We are constantly striving to connect with our inner selves, our families, and other people we meet. It’s the game of Life and we have to play whether we want to or not. I’m very tired of this game and I’ve decided that I am not going to play by the rules anymore. I see people doing this every day and I want to try it. I am going to do the opposite of everyone I meet:

  1. If you smile at me, I am going to frown.
  2. If you say hello, I will say goodbye
  3. If you try to start a conversation with me, I will grunt with offence
  4. If you say thank you when I hold the door open, I will let go and it can slam in your face.
  5. If you think you know what I am thinking, I will make sure you know what is actually on my mind: e.g. Haven’t you got eyes in your head? Can’t you see me wiggling? I have to go pee!”.
  6. If you tell me you have a problem, I will tell you how great my life is.
  7. If you ask me to go for coffee, I will look at you as if you don’t have a clue.
  8. If you tell me my hair looks good today, I will tell you the truth about your stupid hairdo.
  9. If you say you love me, I will tell you to get lost.
  10. If, after all this, you can still say you like me and mean it, you win the game and I lose.

Now why would I put myself through all this simply to become a loser? Because losing is sometimes the way to really win! By experimenting with the “other me”, I’ve discovered an offensive, miserable and dark side and it’s not the side I want to be on. No, the real “me” can smile, be polite and considerate, and sometimes tell little while lies to spare someone’s feelings. If that is a sin, then so be it! It is who I am and who I want to be.

Garage Sale

Yesterday, I went to a garage sale. Yessireee, the fascinating world of bargains and deals. My friend J. told me about this particular sale and we decided to hit the big time. I picked up J. and we arrived ten minutes before the doors opened. We were the second ones in the lineup and J insisted that we stay right there. No waiting in the car for us! Freeze our buns off, if necessary, but this was the perfect spot to ensure we got to the bargains first. The doors opened and we, a bunch of other ladies, and some men, rushed forward to the best looking table. As we tripped over people in our headlong dash, I  spottted a lovely ceramic clock.  Lovingly, I lifted it up, admired the pretty white flowers, and felt the adrenaline rush. It was mine for the taking! Hm, the price on was $2.00. I offered the lady $1.50. Behind me, I heard a squeaky female voice say, “I’ll give you $3.00 for it.” “Sold’ said the vendor. Now, that got my goat and I turned to give the buyer a piece of my mind. There she was, all 4ft. 6in. of her, smiling broadly, and exclaiming excitedly over her clock as she shuffled away using her walker.  Her 80+ years and her positive attitude stopped me in my tracks.  So ended my jubilant rush for the bargains on that table!

The next table had mostly clothing and it was mobbed by the mass of people. Finally, I got through but I wasn’t interested in buying clothing. But look at the mess! Clothing all over the place! The next thing I knew, I was folding pants, sweaters, shirts and dresses and putting them in neat little piles. The lookers were grabbing the folded items and rushing to pay the vendor. My, I thought, business is great here and the clothes are quickly disappearing. Suddenly, I realized what I was doing and colour rushed to my cheeks as I sneaked a peak at the very, happy seller. Whew, she hadn’t noticed me afterall. I could get away from there with no one the wiser.

Next was a bake table with lots of goodies. Nothing there for me, all made with sugar! I headed to the side and saw a silent auction table. No bids on anything yet so I quickly made the first bid of $2.00.  Off to the next table, which was loaded with good stuff but there was a big red sign “For Auction”.  I asked about it and sure enough, there was an actual auction in about 20 minutes.  Off to the registration table I went, signed in, and received my #4 auction sign. Auctions are a lot more exciting so I was finished with the garage sale. I found J., who was still busy as a bee, scouting out the best deals. She was equally as excited about the acution and she became #5. Off to the snack table for a hot chocolate, back to the silent auction (where I discovered I was outbid by $20.00) and then a quiet, sitdown while awaiting the auction.

There were gift certificates galore up for auction, coca cola, pepsi, beer, barbecue stuff, gift baskets, and much, much more. My particular interest was the gift certificates. While waiting, I daydreamed about food and wine, overnight stays in various hotels, lovely dinners in restaurants, fancy clothes, and abundant food from the grocery stores. I was poised with my #4 in bright orange paddle by my side. I was a little shy at first and I let the first items slip by me. Then, a $10.00 gift certificate for the bake shop! “We’ll start the bed at $2.oo”, the auctioneer said. Up went my #4, $3.00 from the back, up went #4, $4.00 from the side, I kept #4 raised, $5.00, $6.00, $7.00, and then “Sold to #4, the nice lady in the peach shirt for $7.00. Items were displayed, bids were made, and I was often outbid but I kept at it, raising #4 to bid and lowering it to stop. What fun I had! We were there about 4 hours and I ended up with two more gift certificates, a $25.o0 value for flowers, obtained for $7.00, and a $20.00 value for a Chinese Restaurant for $8.00.  What excitement! What fun! What joy! Absolutely loved it!

Did I mention that I returned to the bake table during the auction? No, well let me tell you about that deal. The banana bread was calling me so I decided to buy one at the price of $3.75. Well, the lady told me that she was now selling them for $2.00 each!” Only $2.00, give me 2.”  It’s okay about the sugar! I’ll just have to be careful!

So ended my day! I proudly took my bargains home and enjoyed  a piece of delicious, homemade, banana loaf!

Doing Dishes and your Health

Have you ever considered the benefits of doing dishes the old fashioned way, i.e. with soap, dishcloth, and dish towel?  Well, after my reminiscing tonight, I decided to “do the dishes” without using a tool commonly known as the dishwasher. I ran hot water into the sink, added dish detergent and methodically decided the best way to tackle such a task! First, I cleared the dinner table by moving all the dirty dishes from the table to the counter, sorting as I went. My glasses and dessert dishes were placed closest to the sink, followed by the cups, followed by the flatware, followed by the plates, followed by the pots and pans.  Any food residue was scrapped into the garbage bin. Now, I was ready to tackle the dish washing.

I ran hot water into the sink and added dish detergent. I then washed the dishes in the order that I removed them from the table. There was a huge benefit to doing it this way. The glasses and cups were not greasy and there wasn’t much on the plates. There was some food residue on the flatware but not enough to affect the quality of the water. I wiped the grease from the pots and pans with paper towel and washed them in the same water. Thus, there were savings in the amount of water I had to use.

You are probably wondering where the health benefits came from. First, I used a dish detergent that cuts grease, the old familiar brand of Ivory Snow, which did an excellent job of cutting grease as well as, I am sure, destroying any germs. Next, I discovered that you have to hum, sing or turn on the radio while you do them. This encouraged me to dance througout the kitchen as I retrieved dishes, bent to scrape clean, washed and dried.  I also changed from leg to leg and kicked backwards as I washed each dish. Then, as I dried the dishes, I danced from the sink to the cupboard with each dish that I put away. Finally, the dishes were done and I wiped down the counters and the table, twirling my cloth, moving my hips and dancing from one area to the next.

I estimate the whole thing took me about 30 minutes.  I wonder how many calories I burned! Hm, it doesn’t matter. I got my exercise in and I enjoyed myself. Try it! I think you will like it.

What next!

Today I am in a reflective mood and I’m looking back! There were a lot of things I wanted out of life and I faced challenges that actually enabled me to do all the things I wanted to do.  I lived in Ontario for over 40 years and experienced all the adventures of being away from home. I made new friends and travelled to the places I wanted to visit.  I’ve had a great family and a very rewarding career. One of my goals, and also my husbands’s, was to retire to our home province of Newfoundland and a few years ago, we did just that. I can sum up my life as happy, rewarding, and successful.

Now that I’ve enjoyed life, I think about what experiences there may be when life is over. I cannot see happiness without objectives! Will there be new experiences that we cannot comprehend? Is is just over and there is nothing else? I can’t believe that! Where does the essence of life go? I feel certain that it leaves the body! No, there is something more! I feel it, I know it! I wish I could write about it, after I die,  so everybody on Earth would also know it. Unfortunately, I don’t believe we will be able to do that. Oh well, that’s the way it is! For now, I will just continue to enjoy my life and enjoy this new experience called retirement.


My Miracle Baby

I had many female problems when I was a teenager and throughout the early years of adulthood. Because of this, I always felt that I would not be able to conceive a child. When I married, I told my husband of my feelings and he accepted that there may not be any children.  After a few years of marriage, we decided to try for a baby.  Expectantly we watched for signs of pregnancy but nothing happened! Finally,  we went to a gynecologist and underwent testing to determine if there were any impediments. After many tests and much anxiety, we were told that both my fallopian tubes were blocked. They could try correcting it with surgery but the success rate was 1 in 4 or 25%. I was not surprised but was still disappointed. After much thought, we decided I would not have the surgery and we would adopt a child. On the day we were scheduled for an interview, I froze and susequently cancelled the appointment.

A few years later, I was feeling unwell and visited my family doctor. I was prone to a nervous stomach so he prescribed a mild sedative. My monthly problems continued and I called my gynecologist for the usual prescription. He returned my call, asked a lot of questions, paused, warned me not to get my hopes up, and told me he was ordering a pregnancy test. When I hung up the phone, I was speechless. “Could it be possible? How could it be possible? No, he was just being cautious! Better do what he says”. I had to find out, right now, today!  A self-test pregnancy kit from the drug store was “positive”.  I didn’t believe it! Off I went the next week for the required lab test! Then off to the gynecologist for the results! He confirmed the postive result and told my to lie on the table so he could examine me. I still couldn’t believe it! I told him he’d better be absolutely sure!   “There was no mistake” he said.  I was 3 months pregnant!  Still doubtful and bewildered, I gasped “how could that happen? I can’t have children”. He smiled, looked upwards, and said “sometimes miracles happen!”.

That first trimester I did all my normal activities with no thought for the consequences. I even went for a wild speed boat ride at full throttle, tossing back and forth like a yo yo. I took medication that I shouldn’t have taken. I smoked. After confirmation, my pregnancy was monitored very carefully and everything went well. But I still wasn’t convinced that it was real!  I had spent years believing that I couldn’t have children and I just couldn’t take it in that there was a baby growing inside me. Even though I felt the baby move, could feel the little arms and legs as he developed, could see the difference in my weight, I think I was afraid to believe it. When my friend held a baby shower for me at seven months, I remember thinking how disappointed they would be when it actually turned out to be a tumour or something. I think I even had my husband convinced.

On January 5, 1977, the gynecologist admitted me to hospital to induce labour because the baby was overdue. I was fearful but calm! When labour started, it proceeded quickly and the attending nurse gave me a mirror so I could watch the birth. I first saw the head of black hair and then I knew, without a doubt, that the baby was real! He was perfect! The love I felt was overwhelming! The doctor held up my son and exclaimed excitedly – You have a big, healthy beautiful baby boy!

Richard is my first and only child. I had to have a hysterectomy shortly after his birth. He continues to fill our lives with happinessa and this past summer, he married and we now have a daughter-in-law to love as well.

New Pajamas

I am so excited that I have to write this blog. I have been surfing the internet trying to find a pair of lounging pajamas that I really like. I have a pair of pink of fleece p.j.s that I love. During my very brief period as an artist, I got paint on them. Although I tried everything to get the paint out of the material, I had no success.  These pajamas are very special to me as my sister brought them back to me from Florida. I still wear them but only when I am alone.

Today, I went to my mother’s and she had a lovely pair of fleece lavender pajamas in my size. She couldn’t remember where she got them and asked me if they were mine. I told her no but I would love to see them. When I looked at them, I was ecstatic. They are exactly the same pjs that I have have, same manufacturer, same size but different colour. I excitedly told Mom that I would love to have them and she gave them to me. Isn’t that sweet of her? How strange that she would have the very pajamas that I’ve been looking for!

How little it takes to keep me happy! These  pajamas have made my day!