Tag Archives: Only Child Writes

Wind storm prompts Only Child to random acts of kindness

Trees  bleak fall wind stormSouth and southwestern Ontario, Canada got hit with a horrible windstorm – gusts over 100 km in some places and much wind damage including trees down and power outages. Some places such as Kitchener and London, Ontario received flooding from the heavy rain. As I watched the videos about it on the weather network and listed what I did and didn’t want to happen, something good came out of all of this.

But first some background.

As many of you know I take the weather situations around the world seriously. No matter where you live you get plummeted with what I call the wrath of God, weather-wise. If you think I am nuts, just check out The Weather Network www.theweathernetwork.com or watch it on TV. The Force of Nature video clips are especially interesting, not just because they go round the world, but because of that title. Think about it “Force of Nature.” Really? Nature in that sense doesn’t seem appropriate. And then there is my favourite “Mother Nature” who in my mind doesn’t exist, especially when you think of all the extreme weather conditions as the norm worldwide. For those interested in the earliest recorded info about Mother Nature (not the Bible folks), and some variations through the ages, go to http://www.gotquestions.org/mother-nature.html

In previous posts I have also mentioned my takes on praying to God and the shakiness about “ask and you will receive.” So, with this storm coming and while it was here, I decided to lay it on the line, so to speak, to God about what I didn’t want to happen – not just for me but for everyone in the area being hit by the windstorm.

Those videos and stories on The Weather Network show that he didn’t listen completely. However, as I was checking for damage here and so far found I was lucky (We still have somewhat higher winds here in Toronto but not nearly as bad as last night, buy I’m keeping toes crossed), I made a decision.

We are all in this mess of weather God sends us. Some worse than others. As I watched some of the videos I felt badly for the people who lost homes from floods, winds, and in the Buffalo, New York area, from way too much snow last week. The latter claimed a dozen or so lives

Not right.

While I will continue to make my take on it all to God, etc., I plan to do some good. No I’m not rushing out to the damaged areas to help remove trees and restore hydro service. That’s for the experts.

Instead, I’m going to try to do random acts of kindness – once a day – all spontaneous. It may be as small as opening a door for someone or giving directions for someone trying to find a location. (I like to do the latter, perhaps because I have gotten lost before and just the thought of it is frightening).

Just to be clear, I am not doing it as Christian or Catholic duty. After all that has happened to me and what I have seen happen to others, I don’t consider myself Christian or Catholic anymore. Not sure what you would call me here – not agnostic or atheist and probably not even humanist, as I do believe in God – what I believe about him is just not any conventional belief. So what I want to do has nothing to do with God, religion and anything related.

I’m doing it because we are in the same leaky boat (any pun intended) in this life and if we don’t help one another some way, who will do it?

You probably can guess whom I think won’t do it.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Floods, God, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Trees and Shrubs, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child asks where’s the time for creativity?

Symbol of what Only Child wants to do - write

Symbol of what Only Child wants to do – write

An old school friend I keep in touch with asked if I had time to recharge my creative batteries. This was in response to my email where I told him about being up beyond eyeballs promoting my new mystery novel Beyond Blood, working with editing and writing clients, getting the house and garden ready for winter, etc. etc.

Yeah, he is right. In all this scurrying around in overwhelm the only creative juices flowing seem to be those directed at trying to fit everything in each day…and squealing when something on the “to do” list doesn’t get done.

So, I’m going through another pruning of what I can, can’t and just plain won’t do – especially after a big “zoo day” last Friday – meeting with client and the guy cleaning the eavestroughs doing other odd jobs here at the same time. First planned and the second one – not much choice with weather and the guy’s schedule. I didn’t appreciate the plumbing emergency that occurred right after and having to get in the regular handyman who specializes in plumbing and electrical work. And because the forecast was for rain on the weekend I had to spend the afternoon raking leaves, etc. I do enjoy gardening but Friday afternoons are my time to write. Haven’t had many of these Friday afternoons lately and my head is swimming with ideas for my next mystery novel. I’ve started writing it.

So, what are the big delay-causers – besides house repairs and other housework?

Emails. I don’t mean family and friends but business-related and all those email listserves/newsletters I’m on. So, for the rest of November, emails related to current clients, work, and book promo I will answer. But anyone – writer or otherwise who wants me to do something for them – forget it. I especially get my dander up when another writer asks me what to do about something or to do it when really they should be doing the research for it. Research is part of being a writer and passing along doing the research to another writer doesn’t sit too well with me. Different story if you are my client, or it’s at a writing group meeting or if I’m teaching you in a group workshop.

As for those listserves/e-newsletters – I’ve unsubscribed from many of them and a few more are on probation.

I also set a timer when I do email. Excluding book promo where I have to write PR proposals, etc. in the email, when the timer rings I finish the email I am doing and then that’s it. Anything else can wait for another day. And my timer only goes to 60 minutes.

In other words I’m turning into a hard-ass. It’s either that or the nut-house or as my favourite (sarcastic) expression these days is

“I’m waiting for my fatal heart attack.”

I don’t really want that to happen. I have a lot of living I still want to do.

And about my book Beyond Blood, see my other blog www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com and my publisher’s website http://bluedenimpress.com/

Go to my website www.samcraw.com and click on Beyond Blood. Scroll down to gigs and you’ll see where I’ll be with my book for November. I’ll be posting some to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394

Or Goodreads (which needs updating badly).

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4636581.Sharon_A_Crawford

I find Goodreads cumbersome to move around in. Anyone want to help me out there, please comment.

But probably not today. However, this post will be linked to Facebook and Linked In.

Time marches on.

Here is a cover shot of my new mystery novel Beyond Blood

Cover of Only Child's first published mystery novel

Cover of Only Child’s first published mystery novel

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Balance, Beyond Blood, email overload, Family and Friends, Home and Garden, Organizing and Deleting, Plumbing, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Writing

Only Child says why I won’t vote Liberal June 12 –it’s the laundry

Only Child contemplating voting June 12 .

Only Child contemplating voting June 12 .

We have an election coming up this Thursday in Ontario, Canada, and I’m not voting Liberal, the incumbent party for too many years where Dalton McGinty (McGuilty as my friend Kathy calls him and she’s right) screwed up in so many ways, in so many issues.

True he had to resign (where were the rotten tomatoes when he did so?). And I have respect for Kathleen Wynne, who took over from Mr. McGuilty. However, it was too late when she got in. She is not perfect and I don’t agree with everything she says and does, especially the fiasco of handing out food vouchers for those who had food spoliage from the ice storm that hit south western, southern and eastern Ontario in late December 2013. Pickup places were set up first in Toronto and then south western Ontario but it turned into a near riot. Not enough vouchers – twice when it was held in one place, for example. I didn’t bother going as I didn’t really lose much and others needed the payback more.

It could have been handled differently. Those Toronto people on Ontario Works received a cheque or direct deposit to their bank accounts for the $50 allowed. Excluding the small amount, why couldn’t this method have been done for others? The province of Ontario has our bank account info for direct deposit from our CRA tax returns for provincial sales and other tax credits.

And it’s not the big big expense over the cancelled gas plant and its repercussions that is the reason I won’t vote Liberal.

It’s my laundry and my high continually rising Hydro costs.

I can’t do my laundry when I want to because of Mr. McGuilty’s stupid hydro rates set-up. Peak time, Mid-Peak time and Off-peak time. The latter, with the lowest usage rates is 24 hours on weekends and statutory holidays, and weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. This means in spring and summer if I want to hang out my laundry during a weekday I have to put it in the washer and do the wash cycles after 7 p.m. in the evening to hang it out the next morning.  I don’t get up until 7.30 a.m. and with the little sleep I have time for I am not getting up at 6.30 a.m. or earlier to do a laundry. So I’m confined to weekends (can get tricky when there is a boarder also doing laundry) or have to do the washing cycles before I go to bed and leave the wet clothes sitting in the washer or laundry basket(s) until I’m up and can get them out.

The second one ties in with the first – the extraordinary and unnecessary rise in hydro cost for the consumer in Ontario the last 10 months – three increases – much of which is to pay back a hydro debt for mess-ups by Hydro One and Mr. McGuilty and the rising cost for delivery of the actual power to our homes. Besides creating the peak/non-peak rates, Mr. McGuilty also brought in these smart metres to record our exact usage of hydro. Pay-as-you-go would be fine except for where the money is going. In Toronto, water and waste bills increased a lot – but the City is using that money to improve and restructure old sewer and water systems. Hydro One messed up with some customers bills. I didn’t get hit – yet, but then I’m under Toronto Hydro. But some customers in Ontario received inflated incorrect bills in the thousands.

Smart meters? Right!

I also won’t vote Conservative because Mr. Tim Hudak will take us back beyond the dark ages of the 1990s. Remember the Mike Harris era? Hudak has been compared to Harris and Hudak comes out much worse. Hudak would eliminate 100,000 jobs (service cuts for Ontario employees – government and government related – teachers and health professionals). I’m not a big fan of unions, mainly because of the strike provision and believe many more services should be made necessary with no strikes allowed. But eliminating jobs to save money and here’s the stupid part – create more jobs? I’ll admit I don’t know all the ins and outs and ramifications. Apparently Mr. Hudak doesn’t either as critics have said the math in his equation doesn’t make sense, doesn’t balance.

I wonder who did the math for Mr. Hudak.

So, I will be voting New Democrat. And before those that remember yell “Rae Days” (after the first Ontario New Democratic premier Bob Rae), hold on a minute. Rae created these days of unpaid holidays to be taken one-day at a time because the province was in debt. Andrea Horvath, the current ND head, isn’t Mr. Rae. She’s not perfect, but I’m willing to give her a chance.
Unfortunately, I can’t vote for her directly. Unlike voting in the municipal elections where I can vote for who I want as my area’s councillor, I can also vote for who I want as mayor – this can’t be done for provincial (or Federal) in Canada. The New Democrat person in my riding, Michel Prue, is fine by me. He has been elected for the past few elections and he (and his administrator) helped me with my problem obtaining a photo ID card which I blogged about a few months ago.

So, that’s the way it stands with me. I don’t need complicated. Just the main issues that affect us the most.

As for the laundry issue, my mother might turn in her grave. She could do the laundry whenever she wanted and hang it out. She did the latter sometimes in winter and brought in frozen, but dry clothes.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes

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Filed under Ice storm Toronto, Water Rates

Only Child on Christmas Grinches and Gratitude

Only Child  rests before doing more battle with companies screwing the consumer

Only Child ponders Christmas Grinches and Gratitude

This is turning into a Christmas to forget if I can. You have all probably heard about the terrible ice storm that hit southern Ontario and has now moved into eastern Canada and Michigan. Of course it hit Toronto and hard. Toronto’s hit was in patches and of course where I live got hit at 1.10 a.m. Sunday morning. I’m writing from a hotel in downtown Toronto and if you think I suddenly got rich in money think again.

The only good thing about all of this unacceptable and unwanted nonsense is that my son Martin and my ex-husband Colin (the latter out in British Columbia with his wife Lynda) decided that my roommate/boarder, her cat and I had to go to a hotel. My son is footing the bills for that and some meals (breakfast at the hotel and he took us out to dinner last evening and is meeting us for lunch today). The other good thing is my friends Tanya and Alex next door to me (my home, not the hotel) who are checking on the house. I left the cold water running a bit in the laundry tub downstairs to try to fend off frozen pipes and Alex was to check on that on his way out early to work and after he got back. And check the freezer as I didn’t want to open it – it’s full so that is supposed to help keep things frozen for a couple of days.

Tanya phoned last evening just after ten p.m. and said the power had gone back on. But because the weather got much colder the ice on the power lines and trees remains, so there could be more trees and their branches falling, power lines falling some more, etc. etc. It is very unstable, scary, unacceptable and unnecessary.

So, who am I labelling Grinches – with a capital G – you’ll see why the capital in a minute.

Toronto Hydro for not working fast enough and for the priorities to get customers back on grid. Hospitals first I agree with, but we the average consumers are at the bottom of the list. Of 300,000 households that lost power initially, still 90,000 without power – it is over 48 hours and of those, 50,000 will need to be put back on the grid house by house That is not acceptable. The TTC – Toronto Transit Commission is working harder and got everything but the short subway line up and running by late yesterday afternoon. And they have shuttle bus service on the surface of that subway line,

Of course Toronto Hydro is hindered by Toronto’s egotistical Mayor Rob Ford – he of all the scandalous who won’t resign – because he won’t declare the City of Toronto in a State of Emergency which means the province can’t enforce emergency measures. So the province is hampered in what they can do to get around this but they are doing what they can including bringing in employees from Forestry to help cut down trees. Ford thinks just calling in hydro crews from other areas of Ontario, Manitoba and Michigan are enough. Well, Michigan may not make it because they got the ice storm in some areas too and without declaring Toronto a State of Emergency, the armed forces can’t be called in to clear some of these trees. I know it’s power line down dangerous but more numbers helping would help.

The other Grinch is God – partly because I believe he has something to do with this weather. Even if you don’t believe my take here, consider this – I prayed to God not to let it happen and if it did to keep the power on. We can see where that got me, Praying is out of my vocabulary and instinct is in, but more on that in my next week’s post to wrap up a very bad year.

Meantime I’m hanging onto my two (and maybe three areas of gratitude if the power has stayed on (and stays on) and all the food lost is in the snall freezer over the fridge and  the stuff in the big  freezer is still frozen and stays frozen, and the food that I didn’t put in the “second fridger” – the milk chute stay cold and safe.. I will find out when I make a trip back home this afternoon I guess.

And meantime I’m not celebrating Christmas anymore, You might want to consider that Christ was not born on Christmas Day. Centuries ago Dionysius Exiguus, a 6th century monk, declared Christmas Day as Christ’s birthday. And wonders of all wonders, the current Catholic Pope Benedict XVI is disputing December 25 as the day of Christ’s birthday in the third installment of his trilogy on the life of Christ. See the story at http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/11/22/pope-benedict-disputes-jesus-date-of-birth/

So Christmas is now Xmas to me.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gratitude