What Can Canada Learn from King Midas and the Golden Touch?

{Kate Shrewsday loves nothing more than a piece of really juicy rhetoric, and dishes it out in spades. She is one of my favorite blogs that I love to stop and visit  after a busy week.  Her One Question is “What is the greatest fairytale; and why?”}

As a child there was one book that stood – out that I read over and over it was King Midas and the Golden Touch. I was fascinated with the King who could turn everything into gold with a simple touch.  I believe  we all desire to have that touch to create the financial freedom  enabling us to live the life we dreamed of without thinking of the cost.

As the economy propels forward with technological innovations and foreign investment into our natural resources.  David Suzuki points out:

We need to look at the way we create and introduce technology. Perhaps it’s time to ask, “Why do we need this? Does it improve our lives in a significant way?” And then we may ask, “What are the wider repercussions of this invention throughout nature and over time?” If we asked, with greater humility, “How does nature solve problems?” we might find solutions that would avert or minimize negative consequences

Each day we have to make the choices which affect the cost of our planet and our future’s well-being.  If we blindly move forward taking our chances with building the oil sands and burning through our fossil fuels. What resources will we have left for our future? If the government was to take a step back and begin investing in green technology wouldn’t that be the improvement into solving future problems?

King Midas’s life changed in a blink of an eye when he discovered his golden touch was a hazard that turned his beloved daughter Marygold into stone. She was the one thing he loved most in the world that he would never get back. Luckily, for him he was granted one last wish to reverse his unwise choice of having the golden touch and return to his precious life filled with a daughter’s love.

The one thing we can all learn from King Midas is to be careful what we wish for because in real life you don’t always get to reverse your past mistakes. Canada’s biggest jewel is its abundance of natural resources something which we should never taken for granted. We need to be cautious for what we wish for because it may take away the many things we love about this country.

Do you believe there is a cost to the choices you make in life?

The First Signs of Spring

On Sunday Morning my heart went pitter patter! The sun was out to greet us with her warmth and felt like spring had finally arrived to grace us with its mellow presence. It was the perfect day to explore a little of Jasper.

It was the sound of running water which made me jump with glee! The ice was melting and the river was flowing! The greeting of Bambi on the trail made it even more sweeter! As we stood out of her way and let her mozie on by….   It was the hungry coyote that made us a little leery. We turned on heels and made our way back to the car. Only to discover another of his friends standing 50 metres away, and then another….   Spring in Jasper is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the reawakening of the forest, watching the snow melt, water run, and admiring the spectacular views.  It is all of these things that signal the end to dark skies, grey clouds, and a fresh start to a new beginning.

What excites you most about the arrival of spring?

One Last Hurrah!

It was a weekend of tumbles and fun! We hit Marmot Basin for one last hurrah of winter! And called to mother nature for the warm vibes of spring. We tackled the fresh powder, enjoyed the views of Jasper and loved every minute of  our weekend.

The conditions were perfect  a morning full of flurries but it was with ease we skied the wide open spaces. Enjoying the freedom and happy that there  no large crowds of spring skiers  overtaking the mountain. It was the perfect Saturday.   The children would ski, tumble, brush themselves off, get back up and ski on their merry way!

The resilience kids have is unbelievable and it is amazing to watch their independence shine. They are confident to take the lead and I no longer feel the need to have them covered in bubble wrap. Perhaps, I’m learning to let go a little?

My family and I love to ski. It’s those moment together that we spend laughing, challenging each other, and talking on the chair on the way up the mountain. That makes it such a great family sport!

Skiing is a valuable life lesson for children. It’s not only fun but it teaches our children as they ski in a powder bowl of heaven that the great outdoors has so much to offer to us. It is a world full of endless adventure, possibilities and freedom from the constraints of everyday life.

What is your favorite family sport?

Trash Talk Tuesday: It’s All About H20

It’s Trash Talk Tuesday! We could debate global warming! Or, I could knock you over the head with why idling your SUV in the Tim Horton’s line-up is bad for the environment? Or discuss an already fiery eyed topic like the Tar Sands? But I’m not… The topic of the week is water conservation!

I believe water conservation is the last thing on our minds in the cold depths of winter. The weather is freezing, there is no forest fires looming, no gardens to water, and no nasty brown spots on the lawn to battle with…The last thing, everyone is thinking is how do we conserve more water?  Am I right?  Of course! I am!  

But water is important necessity to everyone all year round! Environment Canada points out:

“water is the lifeblood of the planet. Without a steady supply of clean, fresh water, all life, including human, would cease to exist.’

Would you like a glass of water, coffee, tea, juice, wine, or pop to swallow this little thought down? It’s true water is our lifeline. I believe as Canadians we sometime take one of our most precious resources for granted.  But did you know  it is estimated in 2004 the average Canadian domestic use was 329 litres. So when you think about it the average household uses over 438 wine bottles per day. That’s a lot of  wine! Eer! I mean water!

So to improve my households water consumption I checked out Water Use It Wisely, 100 Ways to Conserve, as I scrolled through – I felt rather smug been there, done, that, doing that,  I assume all of you are too!  Plus,  I live in a stinking cold climate and don’t own a pool!

So, I studied the list a little  harder and realized there was several things that I don’t actually do! And I have a confession! I never reuse the hotel towel!

 I know! Gasp! But by the time, I think of it, read the sign on the door, it’s too late the towel is on the floor!  After that I visualize the person who may have walked across that floor with their stinky feet, and presto the used towel is sent off to la-la land, only to be replaced by another bountiful, fresh towel.

So – from this day forward,  I promise I will make more  conscientious effort to reuse my hotel towels.

Now,that I  have given you my lurid confession – what do you or don’t do to conserve water? Do have any tips?

Trash Talk Tuesday: Advice from the Little People

Last night my little Robert  read to me his take home book from school “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” He read each page slowly, soaked in the pictures, and when he finished he beamed with pride. Mom,” We do all of this! We recycle!” 

His excitement peaked my interest and I was curious to see what advice my little guys could for making our lifestyle more green. So, I piped up “What else do you think we could do to help the environment?”

My oldest son Alex exclaimed, “Clean our rooms!”

I looked befuddled at his response and replied, “What does that mean?”

“It means that we would have a cleaner bedroom, and a better smelling environment!”

“Ha! Ha! Very creative! But what really should we do to help the earth?”

Robert sat quietly, “I know if you see trash from the side of the road, pick it up, and put it in the recycle bin. Nobody likes a litter bug!”

“Very true! Alex, do you have any suggestions?”

“Yes Mom! I notice you take too many showers maybe you should cut back to conserve water.”

“You want me to cut back on showers? But I’ll stink!”

“So, it would be better for the environment!”

“I don’t know about that one…You might not want to sit next to me!”

“I know!’ piped up Robert,”How about we reuse plastic bags to save the fish!”

“That’s a very good idea! And we do it already!”

Alex than eyes brightened ” We should plant more trees so we can have fresh air. But mom you have to work on you gardening skills because you killed the last one.”

“Thanks for the reminder, sweet pea!”

“Also Mom, maybe we should email Santa instead of sending him a letter. That way we can save on paper! Do you think Santa has an email address?”

“We can see.  I’m not really sure how up to date Santa is on technology.”

“Oh!” responded Alex.

“So, guys, why do you think it’s so important to do all of this?”

Alex chimed in, “So we can breathe clean air and protect our trees.”

Robert sat their quietly thinking and replied, “Also, to keep the world safe and protect it for God. He wouldn’t like it if we hurt it. “

It with that the conversation ended and the kids slowly got ready for bed. I always find there point of view a refreshing outlook on life.

Trash Talk Tuesday: Plastic Bags Have Forced My Kitchen into Purgatory!

Did you know that over 55 million bags a week  are used in Canada fo our day-to-day shopping habits? When you think about it that’s a lot of non recyclable bags clogging up our landfills, blowing in our urban streets, and invading our oceans. It’s one of those facts that at times I have ignored with my own day to-day shopping habits.  Now, as I look in my kitchen, I see an abundance of non biodegradable plastic bags taking over my kitchen space and I have no clue what to do with them.

Usually, I store my cloth totes in my car,but I’m not always diligent in returning them back to the car after my last visit to the grocery store. Totes are never on my mind while I run out the door with the last of my sanity, my hands full of hockey gear,  as  I’m rushing two  energetic kids to hockey practise . The unplanned  last minute grocery stop and tote bags just don’t register on my mind…

That is  until I’m at the  grocery store in line, at the check-out and have the guilty surge that once again I forgot the elusive tote bag.  I’m stuck in the conundrum do I buy more tote bags or do I suck it up and carry out the plastic? Generally, being a  frugal-minded  gal I refuse to spend anymore money on tote bags because I have an abundance invading my kitchen closet.

 Currently,  my kitchen is in Bag Purgatory!  The angelic tote bags, shining bright in my closet and the evil plastic bags hovering in the dark corner of my kitchen. What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do…I have made a pact with myself and pledge to always put my angelic totes in the back of my car, I will make the extra effort to always use the tote, and I will place a hex on all plastic bags. 

Now, with that pledge – what do I do with all of those plastic bags? Christmas is coming, perhaps I could make a stuffed Santa out of plastic bags? Plastic Bag Wreath? Snow Flakes?  Any crafty suggestion’s?

Trash Talk Tuesday: What’s Wrong with Recycling?

Just this past weekend we hosted a Halloween Party! It was fun, lots of laughs, and a ton of kids running around hopped up on sugar. It was a motley crew of individuals some close friends, and acquaintances all thrown together for this one occasion.  However, when hanging with this Motley bunch Mr.MBA and I  avoid the topics of politics, religion, and sex.  It’s only with our more established relationships that we are more comfortable debating politics, and taking on the more heated topics. It’s when you are in a room full of various people, different backgrounds, sometimes it’s just best to leave the politics for the tavern with your closest friends.

 However, I was mildly irked when Mr.MBA was too embarrassed to admit to Mr.Camel Toe that we recycle. As Mr. Camel Toe went to throw out his appetizer plate, he let out a suprised gasp, “Holy crow! Why so many garbage cans?”

Mr. MBA’s face flustered red,” My wife makes us recycle.”

” Recycle?”

“Yup! Just throw it in this trash can, and don’t worry about it!” and then Mr.MBA turned to him slowly muttering with a sigh ,”Environmentalists…”

I caught him at the eye roll!  So, once Mr.Camel Toe walked away, back into the other room. I politely grilled Mr. MBA “What’s wrong with recycling?”


“So, if it’s nothing. Why are you embarrassed?”

“I’m not embarrassed!”

” Why did you roll your eyes?”

“I don’t know! It’ not a big deal!”

“It’s not! But why?”

” I don’t know! I can’t answer why!”

“If you can’t answer why! It’s veggie loaf for supper tomorrow night!”

He let out a loud “Ewwww!”    

As we both strolled back into the room a thought occurred to me that sometimes my husband reminds me of our beagle he’s always loving, kind, energetic, pig-headed, and obstinate. It was later in the evening, once the crowd dwindled, that he finally admitted  he just didn’t want to make such a fuss, and wanted all of our guests to feel comfortable.  Next time, I warned if you make any more jokes at my expense there will be a dry veggie loaf in your future.

Trash Talk Tuesday – The T-Disc Dilemma and the Dispute

It was just last week  I suffered from the great T-Disc dilemma!  I wasn’t sure if  T-Disc could be recycled?  But then I got an idea courtesy of Your Guide to  Green Living  which informed me that coffee grounds were full of nutrients that plants love. As I read I noticed  my lovely oregano, dill,  parsley and  basil looking a little hung over. I thought this would be  the perfect way to rescue my indoor herb garden from too much drink and very little nourishment.

So I have taken on this tedious task of recycling my T-Discs and saving the coffee grounds with vigor. Now, every time, I use a T-disc, I pop it open, scrape the coffee grounds into a can under the sink, and use it later as plant food. I then clean out the used t-discs and throw them  into the blue bag for recycling. This way I have my recycled cake and eat it too without the guilt!

However, Mr. MBA had issues with this whole process…

On Saturday morning he watched my T-disc ritual with bafflement and confusion.  He asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m cleaning out the T-discs, so they can be recycled, and use the coffee grounds to nourish the plants.”

“Oh! Why?”

“It’s good for the environment.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“I’m not!”

“Are you bored?”


“Yes, are you bored?”

“No, I’m not bored!”

“Then why are you creating all of this extra work?”

“It’s not extra work.”

“It is!”

“Well I’m not asking you to do it! Just give me your T-disc!”

“I’m not giving you the T-disc.”

“Why not?”

“It seems like a redundant task.”

“It’s not a redundant task! It’s good for the environment!”

“Well! Who else does this?”

“I don’t know!”

“It seems like a waste of time.”

“Don’t you want to be a good citizen? Show your children that you are the green machine Dad?”

“I am a good citizen! And I’m a machine!”

“I mean global citizen! Just think of the future, our children, their children.”

“Don’t pull that argument with me!”

He then took the T-Disc and threw it in the wet garbage!

I gasped, “What are you doing?”

“ I’m throwing the T-Disc in the Trash!”

“But it’s plant food! Dig it out!”

“I’m not digging it out!”

“Yes You are ! Or no dessert for you tonight!”

“No dessert?”

“That’s right!”

“Fine.”  And with that he plucked the T-disc out of the and grumbled “Good Grief! Next week we’ll all be vegans!”

As he walked away, I secretly thought, not such a bad idea.  It would be good for the environment, a great way to lose weight and maybe I would get those slender vegan yoga arms. A girl can dream…..

Trash Talk Tuesday – Give me a Bonk on the Head for being a Lazy Ass!

So, last week I made a pact with myself to recycle! In the past, I have made a handful of excuses, such as: the effort of separating the trash, storing 3 different garbage cans while maintaining some form of continuity in the kitchen, and the additional effort of training my obstinate husband. All seemed like daunting chores! But now, I recognize what a true lazy ass I had become… I rolled up my sleeves and began my quest to become a green machine vixen.

First on my agenda was to find the perfect garbage can for my little kitchen. I searched high and low for a dual trash can which separates wet and dry garbage. My only luck was at Home Outfitters in which  they sold a Simple Human stainless steel trash can for one hundred dollars. Excuse me! A hundred dollars. I don’t even spend that on a good pair of jeans.

So, I opted for a tiny trash can in similar size to match my regular stainless steel can. It looks fine! And it was much easier to get everyone on board. The kids were a  cake walk, my husband grumbled for the first day but  is now reluctantly on board…I think he may had the impending fear that I would begin putting yogurt containers through the dishwasher. Luckily, for us I’m not that type A.

Plus, the City of Edmonton makes it a cake walk to recycle! They take just about almost anything and I have a swanky template on my fridge for the kids to determine what goes where…

So yes, recycling , was easie peasie, and I have no idea why I wasn’t doing this before!

One question for all you green machine vixens – What’s the easiest way to clean out a T-disc? Or do they belong in the wet trash? Right now, I’m  currently rethinking my latte addiction, since I go through six pods a day. And man they can add-up. I wonder if I could survive on one coffee a day? There must be benefits. Right?

This Connoisseur of Surf n’ Turf has Questions! Do you have the Answers?

As a beach loving, snorkelling, connoisseur of surf n’ turf I was shocked to read the UN’s report on depleting fish stocks and the prediction of fishless oceans by 2050.  It was at that moment I began to debate my questionable love for seafood.  Is my love of salmon, shrimp, and lobster killing our oceans?  

Now as we watch the effects of the BP catastrophe and oil begins to invade America’s coastlines. A new question emerges, how will this affect us and our oceans?  I am not a scientist nor an academic and I don’t have any of the answers.  But I believe as global citizens we are all interconnected by the ocean and depend on it for our lively hoods, transportation, and survival.  It is also our job as global citizens to work together to achieve sustainable environmental goals.  But in such a large-scale catastrophe such as BP Oil how do you help?  Is it small steps?  Big steps?  I have no idea what the answer is. Do you?