Tag Archives: Canada

Only Child’s tips when the snow melts

Going  Going but gone?

Going Going but gone?

The weather in Southern Ontario, Canada is finally warming up. Yeah!. However, we need to be aware of what that also means. Sure, the snow is melting, but we don’t want it to end up in our basement, attic or other rooms. On last evening’s late newscast on Global TV, a few tips for trying to prevent basement flooding were presented. Here they are and I’ll add a few of my own as well as my comments on the first three.

  1. Clear snow piled up around windows and around the house.
  2. Clear eaves troughs. Could be tricky if you already (like me) have ice jams that are now melting and the water is trying to get out through the downspout. What happened on one side of my house is the big chunks of ice (after expanding one portion of the downspout and lowered its position because of the weight) broke and fell out of the downspout. My handyman had put up roof ice pellets which worked at first, then we got some more snow that turned to ice and… he is looking into deicing cables but we are hoping all the other measures will work and the cables can wait to be bought and put up until fall for next winter (which I don’t even want to think about).
  3. Street flooding. This is the one that gets me about whose responsibility it is. I do it anyway but it really is city employees and any outsourced contractors who should be doing this job. Shovel snow (and ice and the salt) off the cache basins. Clear a pathway by the curb at the end of your property so when snow melts the water can flow into the cache basins.
  4. Clean any snow around the ground opening to your downspouts.
  5. It doesn’t hurt to shovel the rest of your driveway or patio if you haven’t already.
  6. Make sure that your children, pets and you, too, stay away from so-called frozen lakes and the like. They may look frozen but when the weather warms like this, the ice layer can be thin and crack under any weight.
  7. Wear boots because of all the puddling.
  8. If driving, be kind to pedestrians and drive slowly through puddles. Most of us don’t like being splashed.
  9. And enjoy the sunny warmer weather while it lasts. It is still only March and skeptic that I am I’m not convinced that winter is over, although I would like to be proved wrong here.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Floods, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Winter Weather

Only Child calls “hope’ a four-letter word

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Looks like 2015 is turning into a repeat of 2014 (and 2013) – some just more of the same.

I’m talking about the bad and the ugly.

Yes, I did my overall overhaul of what I do, want to do and have to do and what I can kick out of my life. Trouble is the crap that comes at us “from outside” as I call it, the unexpected problems, are still charging at me (and I presume others) full force. You can’t really boot that out of your life. You have to deal with it and that wastes your time and causes a lot of stress.

Yes (again) I did pray to God for certain things not to happen and for help. Cotton or wool in the ears I suppose at his end.

Without going into a long detailed rant, the Rogers Cable TV service has started intermittent disruption – not just my TV service but at least Tanya and Alex’s next door. So far I’ve had three different technicians here. Despite my vocal (including one of those surveys) with my suggestion – fix all the damn old outside cables on the street, not piecemeal when something goes wrong, Rogers isn’t listening and the problems seem to persist. We had a big play out of this situation for over a month in late fall 2013. Rogers is to blame for this, but God is not listening to my asks for help once and for all here.

The weather – that horrible mix on Saturday (and yes, some freezing rain, although worst in Montreal – despite my prayers on not having that happen – this time it was for more than just me). And now most of Canada is in the deep freeze and getting colder into tomorrow. So, I spent Sunday (before the deep freeze began overnight Sunday) running around doing errands so I could stay put for the most part this week. I had something important to get out in the regular mail (not something that could go by email) which needed weighing for postage, for my business, but being Sunday, presumably the Lord’s Day, Canada Post substations were not open – at least the post office part and one that showed up on the Canada Post locator map wasn’t there. The one near me had no signs inside or outside the store about the Post Office part being closed Sundays. Sunday closure is their prerogative, but they need to let the customer know with signs. I had to find out from the clerk at the regular cash and I was not polite to him when I found out. I sicced Canada Post on this substation.

These and other things happening steal my time and make my health worse.

And of course diminish my hope for 2015.

But I’m not wallowing around in despair. There are thing I enjoy doing and want to do this year. So, I am facing the hard facts. When you get right down to it, you have only yourself to depend on – plus close family and friends you can trust. Or to paraphrase Ringo Starr’s song – you have to get by with some help from (family and) friends.

Not God. “Ask and you shall receive” and “God helps those who help themselves” seem to be fairy tales. So,  I need to forget about hope as such. Hope has now been added to my list of four-letter words which include pray, snow, rain, hell, crap, and damn.

I have to remember my motto – when I see it (or not, as the case may be) then I will believe it.

And not give up.

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Beliefs, Believing, Family and Friends, Health, Mail Delivery Canada, Planning, Problems, Rogers Cable TV Service, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child condemns Canada Post CEO decision

Only Child contemplates the end to door-to-door mail delivery in Canada

Only Child contemplates the end to door-to-door mail delivery in Canada

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

  • Translation by Prof. George Herbert Palmer Harvard University, from an ancient Greek work of Herodotus.

What weather can’t do, Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post is doing. Make no mistake. This Chopra is not the beloved author, public speaker and physician of the same name. The only thing those two share is their name. Chopra, Canada Post CEO, is the man who is destroying Canada’s mail service.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Chopra the CEO is closing down door-to-door delivery of mail in Canada. It is starting today in various sections of Winnipeg, Manitoba;Fort McMurray, Alberta; Calgary, Alberta , and Ottawa, Ontario, and is set to continue until 2020.

Chopra’s reasoning for cutting the service was to reduce Canada Post costs because Canada Post was running a losing game. Not right now. Canada Post is now making a profit according to an August 27, 2014 article titled Canada Post segment reports $53-million profit before tax in second quarter. The source? Canada Post’s website http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/aboutus/news/pr/2014/2014_Q2_report.jsf
Wake up Mr. Chopra and smell more than the coffee because the outcry to your ridiculous ruling is thunderous.
Many petitions have been created and signed (yes, I signed one). One lady, Susan Dixon, whose son has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair started one. Last count it had well over 150,000 signatures and growing. Today, Ms Dixon is taking her petition to the Canadian seat of government in Ottawa. I wish her well. Her original question to Canada Post and the Canadian feds was “Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair through the mud or snow?”
She’s got it right.
CARP, the Canadian seniors advocacy organization (Disclaimer: I am a member) is also working to get this stupid decision stopped (or in some cases where it is already happening – reversed). For example, Mike Lansdown their senior’s advocate and a board member of CARP’s Halton Chapter, is very actively advocating keeping home mail delivery. Today, Mike takes part in a discussion on this situation on Goldhawke Fights Back (Radio 740 a.m. in the Toronto, Canada area. http://www.zoomerradio.ca/category/shows/goldhawk-fights-back.) More info on other CARP actions re Canada Post, see http://www.carp.ca/2014/02/22/canada-post-update-members-join-public-general-outcry-carp-steps/
I have never been an advocate of unions, mainly because they are too aggressive and they go on strike and that affects a third party – we the general public.
But I’ve changed my mind here. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is taking Canada Post to Federal Court on charges Canada Post is going against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because removing door-to-door postal delivery discriminates against seniors and people with mobility challenges. I’m 100 per cent behind this union here. True, many of them will lost their jobs and because of why they will, I support them. See and hear the Toronto Star October 21, 2014 story at http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/10/16/postal_workers_go_to_court_to_save_home_delivery.html

I know that for many years Canada Post has not set up door-to-door mail delivery for any new homes built so some people have no door-to-door delivery. But these people who moved into the new homes knew this before purchasing their homes, so they could decide whether they wanted to live with it.
Not the rest of us. I’m a senior but to date can still get around and walk even though some days my foot conditions cause problems. But I don’t want to “skate” out on ice in winter or get blown to a community mail box to pick up my mail. Why should I – especially as Canada Post also keeps raising the cost of postage. Is this extra cost supposed to pay for all the extra community mail boxes?
Canada has a federal election next year. From what I hear and read, this cutting home delivery of mail is going to be a big issue. I will be watching closely to see which parties, party leaders, and my area candidates decide on this issue. I won’t vote for anyone wanting to cut the service.
As for Mr. Deepak Chopra, Canada Post President and CEO. I wish him a happy retirement – very soon. May he retire to a place called Nowhere, location the middle of nowhere, with no car. I would add mobility issues but that would be an insult to those who have mobility issues.
Cheers.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Mail Delivery Canada

Only Child on flooding and other extreme weather

Only Child  contemplates the weather and its ramifications

Only Child contemplates the weather and its ramifications

You know what the late great John Lennon wrote and sang about the rains coming and people running and hiding. It sure applies to all the rain and flooding we have been getting this year and it doesn’t matter where you live in the world- rain and flooding are the new norm. Even parts of southern California got flooded out this past weekend. In southern Ontario, Canada, the city of Burlington got flooded badly. The city’s mayor was interviewed this morning on The Weather Network and flooding and he said his house got about five feet of rain and some of it got into his main floor. For videos on this flooding mess and interview with the mayor go to

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/flash-flooding-sweeps-burlington-more-storm-chance-tuesday/33328

 

There is nowhere to run and hide

 

Why is this happening now? There are many theories and I’ve mentioned this briefly before. I am convinced that whichever religious group predicted the big flood to end the world in October 2012 have something right – they just got the date wrong. But it is coming…soon.

I was discussing this recently with a friend who is a born again Christian/Catholic, so you can guess how she went on about it.

Actually, we are in agreement about a lot of things with this flood business. We agree the end of the world is coming soon, just not all the details. She talked about The Rapture and how the good people will be swept up in it and into heaven.

I don’t think there will be any Rapture. Why? Because the floods, hurricanes, etc. are too widespread and hurting (sometimes killing) good as well as bad people. At this rate, there may not be many or any “good” people left.

And just what constitutes a “good person” these days (from God’s point of view)?

Whats behind all this? It is my opinion (and this is just me) that either all these extreme weather conditions are caused by God or at least he has a hand in them (and global warning has something to do with it) OR as a few of my church-going friends say when I blame God for something – “God is too busy with other things to be bothered with our concerns.”

They may be right. I mean if we are praying to be spared from so many of these extreme weather conditions and that doesn’t happen, then God is busy with other things. Maybe these “other things” are his agenda. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – God gave us all free will. What if he doesn’t like what we are doing with that free will and he is acting accordingly?

I’m just saying. And as posted before, there is no such person as Mother Nature. Every time I hear that euphemism I cringe.

That’s my opinion, anyway.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Burlington flooding, End of world, Extreme Weather, Floods, God, Rain, The Rapture

Only Child’s Canada Day thanks and no thanks

Only Child's magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Only Child’s magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Canada Day, July 1, is one of the few statutory holidays I like to celebrate. Christmas is another. However, we all know why last Christmas was a write-off – the ice storm – except for one thing, my son’s wonderful help here – getting my boarder, her cat, and me into a hotel downtown and paying for it when we had no hydro power and no heat here. And driving us back here Christmas Day (when we had power – but not everybody in Ontario did) and making dinner.

On Canada Day I have a ritual – I don’t usually make it on time for the parade but I go to the nearby community area where there are booths for gardening, crafts, City of Toronto information, community groups, food, entertainment and a lovely garden maintained by the East York Garden Club. I like to sit by the latter and eat a lunch I have brought along as I no longer eat burgers and hot dogs, let alone the buns that go with them (gluten). After that I like to go for a long walk in the neighbourhood just south of this community park area and end up back on a main street and take the bus home.

Today it doesn’t look like that will be possible, thanks to God and his weather. I mean the parade just started 20 minutes ago and then the rain. But more on that later. First, what am I thankful for on this July 1?

1. My son, Martin, for all his help and support, not just with dealing with the ramifications of weather, but for helping me with computer stuff and well just being there. I will do a separate post on this in future.

2. The miracle of the trees and shrubs damaged by the cruel extreme winter and early spring weather (the latter was actually winter weather going to late April/early May). As mentioned in a previous post, two of my evergreens suffered extensive damage – that damage from winter burn from extreme cold when the sun gets lower in the sky (late April and into early May). Half the boxwood turned rusty brown and most of the big beautiful juniper. I gave God you know-what for that and it looks like he is making some amends. The juniper is slowly coming back – not sure if it will be 100 per cent. Despite my next door neighbour and the arborist saying “no it’s not,” I do not want it removed. “Over my dead body” is what I say to them. I’m not losing hope here…yet. I’ve watered the Juniper in between rainfalls (which works out to not often for the watering), added bone meal plus and those fertilizer sticks you put in the ground around the drip line of the tree. I also weeded around the tree as much as possible. One of my two patches of silverlace over by Tanya’s and Alex’s fence is dead. Alex removed the deadwood from his side and I’ve removed some from my side. The other silverlace on the fence and gate to the backyard is slowly coming back. Still lots of deadwood there but that will get removed in time. Which brings me to miracle no. 3.

3. My Good Samaritan. This retired gentleman who took it upon himself to just show up and shovel my snow (and other seniors – older than I – in the neighbourhood) again just showed up and offered to cut down and prune the deadwood. Turns out he is a certified arborist, now retired from the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation. This was almost a month ago. Still nothing done. But it is not his fault. We have had too much rain, too much of it heavy and with thunder and lightning, the area can’t get dry enough for him to do his work. We have also had a few too humid days to do tree work. I do not want him getting heat stroke or worse. So, God sent me a Good Samaritan but makes it impossible for him to do his work. Something is wrong here.
4. The miracle of the lost leather bracelet. I love leather bracelets, especially the wide one I wear all the time in the summer. Never wear more than my watch on my arms in winter when it is long-sleeved sweaters. A weekend ago I was gardening, removing a lot of dead rosebush (I can do most of that myself), weeding and finally getting the replacement lavender plant, and a few others, planted. When done I discovered I was no longer wearing the bracelet. Usually I remove it for gardening, but I decided I had forgotten this time. A thorough search of the garden areas worked in and the bin and yard waste bags (I emptied the latter three onto my driveway and rummaged through them three times) brought out no bracelet. I did find a sort-of replacement in Chinatown but it isn’t the same. It is smaller but has dome fasteners – not that that ever stopped my bracelets from getting lost. Yesterday morning while sitting on the veranda drinking my coffee I saw the bracelet sitting on its side on the other side of the veranda just past the other chair. I grabbed it and washed it. And also thanked God and a few saints for this miracle (Well, with this and the trees I had pestered God a lot – for blame and he had to make amends. Looks like he did).

Not so for the weather. This is what I am not thankful for. And I am referring to the weather Canada-wide, not just in my neck of the woods.

For the most part Canada used to be a good place to live weather-wise. Oh sure, we had the cold Arctic and cold winters and lots of snow in various areas. But only the odd severe weather storm in any season.

That all changed eight/10 years ago. Some people might say before that and I won’t argue here. Suffice to say Canada has joined the US for tornado alley and eastern Asia for monsoon-like weather. You can’t live anywhere in Canada without experiencing severe weather of some sort. If you don’t believe me check out The Weather Network on TV or online. The station now has a regular segment every 10 minutes (right after the local weather forecast) called The Force of Nature – highlighting the extreme weather all over. (It should be called The Force of God).

As mentioned in previous posts I know there is global warming and the theories behind that. Some of it is true, but even very religious people can’t eliminate the God factor. You know the will of God. God gave us humans free will and maybe, just maybe he doesn’t like what we are doing with it. The weather? He is either making it happen or letting it happen. Take your pick.

For now the brief heavy rainfall has stopped. But who knows what will happen weather-wise for the rest of the Canada Day celebrations.

Happy Canada Day.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Canada Day, Extreme Weather, God, Good Samaritan, Lost Bracelet, Trees and Shrubs