Monday, January 31, 2011

Eat Healthy

I am probably the last one to be giving advice on eating healthy... but on this Every Monday Matters day we will just invite you to check out today's site.  It has some good facts to scare you into action.

"A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice." -E. W. Howe

It is one thing to say you want to eat healthy... but to actually do it consistently is another thing.  You know how easy it is to make a little exception... until if you are not careful, soon the exception becomes the standard and the pants keep getting tighter.

I have come to the realization that there are two factors in eating healthy with a goal to lose or at least not gain weight.  First is to eat real food... and stay as far away as possible from processed foods and crinkly bags. Second is to eat less.

Real foods don't require labels.  Carrots, apples, whole foods in the bulk section, like legumes, nuts and seeds... these don't have labels.   The more real foods you put in your shopping cart the better.

The second key has to do with quantity.  Some of your favourite foods may not qualify as "healthy" but if you cut back on the serving size, it won't work against you.

"Moderation is not about enjoying less but about enjoying better.  It allows me to be the master and not the slave of my pleasures." -Andre Comte-Sponville, paraphrased by Shirley Goerlitz

What is your favourite "trick" to lose weight?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prepare for an Emergency

We seldom stop and think about what we might do if an earthquake or other calamity were to befall us.  After all, we live in a paradise where these things are not supposed to happen to us.

Likely one of the easiest things to do after reading this is nothing.  We always think that disaster will always strike somewhere else, right?  So why worry about it?

The problem is that if you wait until the disaster actually strikes it is often too late to get the reserves that it may take to see you thru the worst of the crisis.  Everyone is wanting the same supplies and there just won't be enough to go around.

As we were walking this afternoon we spent some time talking about this and it really doesn't take all that much to get prepared... it just takes sitting down and making a list... then executing it.

Where we live it is not uncommon to be out of power for a day or so... but what would we do if we were without power for 2, 3 or 4 weeks?  What if an earthquake took out our ferry terminal and we could not travel to Victoria for  a while?  How long would our normal food reserves last?  Without power, where would we get our water?  A few cases of 24 small bottles would not last very long!  And to drink the water from the ocean is too salty.   One could boil it on a wood stove and catch the condensation.  Wow would that be slow... but not impossible.

Make this Monday matter... check out this Monday Matters link on getting ready for an emergency.

The bottom line is at least do something to prepare.  Don't get caught unawares.  It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes.

"Five minutes before the party is no time to learn to dance."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Add a Little Colour

There are many ways to add some colour to your life.  One way is to sign up for Amber Alerts... which is part of the "every Monday Matters" program.  Did you know that AMBER is an acronym that stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.  It is a great way to help find missing children.

Where we live it would be rare for us to find missing kids... maybe missing deer.  So I suggested to Shirley that we might use some alternative ideas to add a little colour in our lives.  One of my favourite colourful ideas is to buy some flowers.  The cyclamen has become "our flower."

I purchased my first cyclamen for Shirley when we were in Grade 11 for Valentines Day... almost 50 years ago!  Since then I have seldom missed buying one in February, as well as whenever I see an especially beautiful specimen. This colourful flower holds some very fond memories for us.

What is your favourite flower to give?

Another suggestion is to either make or buy a colourful painting.  There is something cheerful in colourful art.  One never has too much inspiring art around... it is good for the soul.

As you may have noticed, both Shirley and I, we are pretty high on Van Gogh recently.  The incredible IMAX movie Brush With Genius is still playing in Victoria until January 20... and if we can we will probably go and see it again for a third time.  It is such an inspiration!

"I felt a tremendous affinity with Van Goghs deep feeling for the things he painted and how he exaggerated the colours of sky, chairs, faces, to bring them to almost more than life."

What exciting way are you going to add some colour into your life this week?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lemons and Lemonade

We have all heard the quote, "When life deals you a lemon, make lemonade."  

Well, this past week our lemon was a huge snowfall with a double whammy... a power outage!

I only wish Sherilee could have been here to get her "snow fix."  Wednesday early morning... 5AM we woke up with our power out.  Opening the front door we were absolutely amazed to see how much snow had fallen since we went to bed.  It was a warm snow, and just slid off the hood of our car.

Opening the door to the sun deck I had Shirley shine the flashlight as I took this photo of our picnic table.  In just a few hours we got about a foot of snow!  This is what caused many trees to fall on to the power lines.

At precisely 6 AM our power came back on for maybe three minutes and then out again.  We had appointments in Victoria with the dentist, which we had to cancel.  There was no way we could see getting to the ferry in the dark with who knows how many trees across the road. So we went back to bed.

As the day progressed I got very frustrated without power, without internet and no battery left in my computer, so I suggested we get on the 11 AM ferry to Victoria and spend the afternoon at the IMAX. I had purchased seasons tickets to the IMAX theatre so let's get started!  Plus, on the ferry we could get power for our computers and with 3G sticks equilibrium could be restored in our lives.  The lemonade tasted sweet!

At the IMAX we saw our favourite Van Gogh movie, Brush with Genius... plus The Hubble, which was just excellent... showed their last trip to do upgrades and repairs on the Hubble and some amazing photos in space.  The third movie was Legends of Flight and it was about the slow race for the super planes... AirBus 380 and the Dreamliner 787.

Since the last movie was at 5 PM we had to catch the 7:40 PM ferry home after a delightful White Spot shared order of fish and chips.  White Spot has the best cole slaw anywhere with lots of sunflower seeds in it.

At the Museum/IMAX they had John Lennon's Rolls Royce on display again.  This time I read a little bit about the history of the car.  Purchased by John in 1965 he had the rear seat modified to convert into a double bed, with Sony TV, refrigerator and interior/exterior sound system... this was one classy love machine!

In 1967 Lennon had his black Rolls painted yellow (the Yellow Submarine)... same colour as a lemon, right?  and hired artist Steve Weaver to paint the flower power design on to the car.  Not everyone liked the idea.  One lady struck the car with her umbrella and said, "You swine, you swine.  How dare you do this to a Rolls Royce!"

In 1977 Lennon donated the car to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and received a tax credit for $225,000.  He was in trouble with the US government IRS.   Lennon died December 8, 1980.   In 1985 the car was auctioned by Sotheby's and was purchased by Jim Pattison's Ripley's "Believe it or Not" museum for $2,299,000 and displayed as the most expensive car in the world.

The car was brought to Vancouver for Expo '86 and then Jim Pattison donated the car to the Royal BC Museum... Another big tax credit no doubt.  It was displayed in the BC Transportation Museum at Cloverdale...  and since has been shown in many museums.  We have seen it before here in our Victoria Museum and it's always a head turner.

Question of the Day: What can I take and transform into something artistic?  What lemon can I turn into a lemonade... or  Yellow Submarine?

You don't have to be an artist to answer this.  Lennon wasn't the artist who painted the Rolls... but he conceived the idea in the shower one morning and then acted on it.

I shall have keep a close eye on our car.  Shirley loves that Rolls so much I can see her one day painting flowers all over our Infinti!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Turn Off the TV

This is the second Monday of the New Year... and in keeping with the theme "Every Monday Matters",
I invite you to join me in turning off the TV and breaking an old habit of wasting time watching trivia.  This is not about total abstinence... it's about cutting out the trash and just watching the best.

There is no doubt that I need to take positive action here.  Less TV.  More reading good books.  Take a minute to click on this link to "Every Monday Matters".  If you are like me you don't have enough time to do all the things that you want to do... and yet I know I spend far too much time watching some pretty mediocre stuff.  Golf is not bad to watch once in a while... CNBC business programs teach me lots of good things.  But there are lots of pretty trashy things I need to eliminate from my viewing diet.

"Instead of watching re-runs of Friends... go make some."

We awoke Sunday morning to a skiff of snow.

But the sun came out and most of it melted, except in the shadows.

As Shirley and I were coming in from our walk together the sun was setting.

Hope that you have a wonderful, productive week.

"If you read a lot of books you are considered well read.  But if you watch a lot of TV you are not considered well viewed." -Lily Tomlin

What exciting thing do you hope to do this week instead of watching TV?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This Week in Pictures

We've had an interesting week on Mayne Island with a variety of weather patterns.

Telephoto shot of Mt. Baker taken on New Years Day from Heck Hill looking east near sunset.

Tuesday:  We had a couple of days of fog... this is part of our driveway at the top of Heck Hill.

Wednesday:  It is almost spooky to hear the ferries sounding their fog horn as they feel their way below in Navy Channel.

Thursday: From my office window on a rainy day.

The rain stopped and the sky began to break with just a little blue...

I was blessed with three afternoons when I could build on the rock wall.

Friday as the sun was setting... from the Tree Deck.

When we got back from our walk, the sun had set.  It has been a wonderful week... one down, 51 to go!

What am I most grateful for this week?

  • my sweetheart
  • my children and grandchildren
  • my new Daytimer I have set up for trading and research
  • my new MacBook which I am gradually learning to use
  • some progress on the rock wall in spite of the rainy days
  • good health, good food, good walks
  • good books, more than I read at one time
  • our home with an endlessly changing view on the world
  • good friends and new acquaintances
  • hope and belief that this will be a great year

"The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year.  It is that we should have a new soul." -G. K. Chesterton  

What is the most exciting thing you are looking forward to this year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Money Laundering

There has been a lot of talk these day about money laundering... especially here at our house.  Shirley says it isn't her fault.  She just washes my clothes.  Where is it written to check and empty the pockets?

The photo above has my wallet, credit cards, cash and business cards drying on the laundry counter.  There was no question that my wallet was pretty dirty... but after the washing it shrunk ...and so did the paper money.  In fact the $20 bill had shrunk so much I could only get $10 for it after it dried.  So, there has to be a better way to get ahead than laundering money.

Obviously the guys who are laundering money professionally know something we don't.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cloudy with Rain, Turning to Snow

The sun this morning insisted on finding a crack in the clouds so it could add a little spark to our day!  Forecast was cloudy with rain today, turning to snow tonight.

The sun in this photo teaches us about perseverance.  It would have been so easy for the sun to just give up on a day like today and go shine some place else. After all, the clouds had been rolling in on cue as predicted by the weather woman. The sun was not in her forecast for today.  But no, instead the sun said, "I see a crack in the clouds.  I am going to push my rays right underneath and bounce them off the water."

It did not go unnoticed.

"The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days." -Robert Leighton

Monday, January 3, 2011

Canada Still on Holiday Today

We were blessed with a warm afternoon today, and the sun invited me to mix up some mortar and do some more rock work.  It will take several more wheelbarrows of mortar and rock to get up to height of the adjacent concrete foundation.  But I learned a long time ago, if you don't quit they will eventually give you the diploma.  It got me thru college... and so it is in life.  As long you keep working on it, one day it will get done.

So what that I had to thaw out the water pump on my rock saw!  You need water on the blade when cutting rock.  It got so warm working outside this afternoon I almost took off my jacket.

Three ships parked this afternoon in Navy Channel.

Don't you love the bigger photos?  If you ever want them even bigger, just click on the photo.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

A New Year and a new name for my blog... and a new format look with bigger photos.

After some great family time where we all got together at Shelby's for Christmas, we spent a few more days with Sherilee and Alan at Cannon Beach.

It was there that I saw a book that Sherilee bought for Seth called, "Every Monday Matters."  It was full of lots of ways that we can make a difference in our lives and those around us.  The timing could not have been better!  Later I found out they had a website that was just like the book.

The very first Monday exercise for the new year is to make a list of "What Matters Most."

So after some reflection, and a few minutes catching today's spectacular sunset, I scratched out my list... not necessarily in order of importance.

  • my sweetheart
  • my family
  • my health
  • my business 
  • my computer (new MacBook Pro)
  • my artistic pursuits
  • my iPhone
  • our home (and future improvements)
  • my kindle (and other reading)
  • my friends
  • faith and hope
  • travel
  • golf
  • my tractor
This is the first year in a long time when I haven't written out my New Year's resolutions.  Instead I am making a list of some activities and projects that I hope to see accomplished this year.  One of the projects is to follow the "Every Monday Matters" website and see how much of it I can work into my life.  From my list of what matters most it was easy to get priorities set for the year,

Question for Thought: What are the things that matter most to you?