30 March 2008

Good Day Sunshine

Your Thinking is Abstract and Sequential

You like to do research and collect lots of information.

The more facts you have, the easier it is for you to learn.

You need to figure things out for yourself and consider all possibilities.

You tend to become an expert in the subjects that you study.

It's difficult for you to work with people who know less than you do.

You aren't a very patient teacher, and you don't like convincing people that you're right.

Quality Time

My middle son, D, decided to go incommunicado today instead of coming home. At 6:30 I sent his brother to go find him, which he did at the park with his friends. His brother told him I said it was way past time to go home. D's response was a "Tell her to go f*** herself". Yay. I appreciate my eldest passing on the message and now get to spend real quality time with D because he won't be seeing the light of day except for school for a month.

One of the many 'joys' of being a mom.

29 March 2008

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.

You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.

Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.

Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!

28 March 2008

Horoscopes for Friday, March 28

Thought for the Day: More good news today as Venus moves into a 60-degree angle known as a sextile with Jupiter, the planet of new beginnings. Uranus, the innovator, is also involved. It's a great time to launch or present your plans and ideas.

Libra (Sept. 23 — Oct. 23)

To dwell on fears and minor misgivings is not just wrong, it's dangerous. Summon your confidence, draw on your experience and do your best. A vital project may yet prove to be a spectacular success.

And in my own family too ....

I'm taking my daughter to the Sens-Habs game Tuesday.. Christ I hope the Sens don't win, because they'll be no living with her after that ! LOL

Good advice

I've done some of the work here, but I still have lots to do ...

How to Get Through the First Year as a Single Parent (About.com - Single Parents)

If you’re newly single, you probably have a lot of questions, and you may be unsure of where to begin. These practical suggestions will help get you started and keep you on the right path.

Difficulty: N/A
Time Required: One Year

Here's How:

  1. Develop a Support Network
    This is absolutely crucial. You need to know who you can depend on right now. Most likely, this network includes your immediate family and friends, but think about other people in your life who might also help you. Making an actual list of who these people are can help remind you that you're not alone. In addition, consider joining a formal support group for single parents.

  2. Ask for Help
    This is one of the most difficult things to do. But there are people around you who would love to help! Keep in mind that allowing others to help you is a gift to yourself and to the person assisting you. Sharing in one another’s lives during difficult times affirms our human connection and brings a sense of purpose to everyday living.

  3. Schedule Time to be Alone
    Time is a very powerful tool. It will bring you healing, hope, and perspective. Right now, it’s important that you create pockets of time in your life when you can just be. Time when you’re not accountable for completing a task or responding to questions. Time to sit, to think, to ponder.

  4. Think Outside the Box
    If finding time to yourself sounds impossible, consider some creative solutions, like swapping babysitting time with a neighbor or waking up a half-hour before the rest of your household. The time that you give yourself is precious, and it will be fruitful in helping you to establish reserves of inner strength.

  5. Be Present with Your Kids
    When you're with your children, make an effort to be emotionally present with them. It would be easy to retreat into your heart right now, but this is a time when your children truly need you more than ever. Simple activities like playing a board game or taking a walk together can go along way toward communicating the message that life will go on and they will, indeed, be okay.

  6. Get the Facts About Your Situation
    You might be tempted to make quick decisions right now about where to live and how to handle your finances. However, ignorance in this area can be extremely dangerous, and so can making rash, uninformed decisions. For now, take the time to find out where you stand financially. Gather the necessary papers in order so that when you are emotionally ready to make changes, you'll be prepared and able to make informed decisions.

  7. Grieve
    Expressing your feelings is important to your overall health. Consider writing in a journal or scheduling a regular "date" with a friend to vent, cry, and grieve. Single parents are born of many different situations. Whether you've experienced the loss of a spouse, the end of a marriage, or an adjustment to the dream you once held for your life, it is important to grieve and process the loss before moving on.

  8. Pay Attention to your Physical Health
    This may be a time when you are feeling especially worn down and drained. Combat that by making the effort to eat healthy foods and choose energizing ways to fuel your body. Instead of relying on extra caffeine, try taking a walk at lunchtime. Additionally, getting adequate rest is crucial to your healing and ability to cope. Forgo the temptation to sit in front of the TV. Instead, read a book and retire early.

  9. Identify What Gives You Strength
    In the past, how have you handled challenging times in your life? What most energizes you and reminds you that you possess the strength needed to meet the current challenge? Focus on what has worked for you in the past.

  10. Let Go of What Isn't Working
    Likewise, let go of what has not worked for you. As you move through this first year, reflect on the habits and choices that have not served you well, and decide to change them. In addition, if there are things from the past that you cannot change, let go of unhealthy guilt and remorse.

  11. Focus on the Positive
    This is a time of new growth in your life. Take the time to think about the things that are going well for you. Having a positive attitude - even in the midst of extreme circumstances - can empower you to move ahead and provide your children with a tangible example of the coping strategies you want them to adopt.

25 March 2008

More about our water ...

Painkillers, other drugs found in southern Ontario drinking water

Monday, March 24, 2008 | 3:41 PM ET CBC News

Traces of painkillers and other drugs can be found in the drinking water of 15 southern Ontario municipalities, a new study reports.

"This work demonstrates the potential of Ontario source waters, particularly river water sources, to contain trace levels of selected pharmaceuticals and personal-care products," says the study led by University of Waterloo biology professor Mark Servos, published in the March issue of the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada.

Researchers looked for eight types of pharmaceuticals — including ibuprofen — and the antibacterial agent triclosan in raw and treated water at 20 drinking-water treatment plants in southern Ontario.

The testing sites are not identified but all are said to be within easy reach of Environment Canada's National Water Research Institute in Burlington.

Scant trace of drugs in treated water

The researchers found that river-water samples taken downstream of sewage outfalls were the most contaminated, while raw water taken from large lakes also had low but detectable levels of several of the drugs. The study said this suggests "that these chemicals are widespread in the environment."

They did not find levels of the drugs in samples from wells.

"Most of the acidic drugs were not detectable in finished waters," the study said. It said that levels of the painkiller Naxproxen and triclosan "were detectable in finished water but were significantly reduced in concentration relative to the raw water."

Servos said the amounts of the drugs found were small, with most compounds reduced to trace or non-detectable levels after passing through water treatment plants.

"Our best scientific judgment right now is that they represent a minimal risk," he told CBC News.

Servos said people dumping medications down the toilet is only part of the problem.

"The majority of the drugs are taken by people and they're basically excreted into the toilet and they end up in the sewage treatment plant," he explained, adding the antibiotics are also leaching into the water from livestock manure.

Treatment plants not designed to remove drugs

He said sewage treatment plants are good at removing things like bacteria, but were never designed to get rid of compounds such as drugs.

He said a number of methods for removing the drugs are being explored, and that UV light, with peroxide, ozone and different kinds of carbon, can help reduce the presence.

Servos said two Ontario companies, in London and Mississauga, are on the verge of developing the technology to remove the drugs.

The study said further research is needed.

"There is a need to complete a more comprehensive assessment of these compounds in source waters and of the factors influencing their treatment and removal from finished drinking water."

With files from the Canadian Press

14 March 2008

Pick Up a Book, Bulk Up Your Brain

Pick Up a Book, Bulk Up Your Brain (via: RealAge)

Don’t deny yourself the luxury of curling up with that murder mystery, tragic tale, or sci-fi thriller this weekend. Consider it self-defense class for your brain.

Being a bookworm doesn’t just make you smart. It makes you mentally tough. It builds so much cognitive reserve that bookworms’ brains may be bolstered against bad things like pollution and toxins.

Calling All Reserves
On cognitive tests, book lovers outperform people with lower reading levels. No surprise there. But the big news is that people who read regularly may develop a "cognitive reserve." What’s that mean? That they’ve got extra brainpower to keep the mind rolling when brain cells are under attack. In a study of factory workers, the brains of the big readers functioned just fine on cognitive tasks, despite on-the-job exposure to toxic substances, like lead.

Brain Boosters
In addition to making a trip to your local bookstore, here are other steps you can take to stay sharp:

References Published on 03/07/2008.

Procrastinate? Me?

25 Ways to Break Your Online Procrastination Habit

By Ellyssa on Guides

If you need help with time management or just want a few friendly tips for increasing your productivity, check out this article by CollegeDegree.com which promises to curb your cyberslacking ways. These are their top ten suggestions:

  1. Install an online time tracker.
  2. Turn off IM programs.
  3. Remind yourself of the consequences.
  4. Disable email notifications.
  5. Change your attitude.
  6. Turn on music.
  7. Create a separate user on your computer just for work.
  8. Set up a news aggregator.
  9. Set your clock ahead.
  10. Create quotas.
I should print this out ...

11 March 2008

Pulled Short

Playing with me, like a cat with a string
Just short enough to keep me ,, danglin', grasping

I'm wanting it all : every star, the full moon,
But I'm preparing to fall waiting for it from you

If I left today would you feel any pain ,,
Or would I be the one you blame?

7 March 2008

Staircase Library


The Staircase Library utilizes all of its space by creating book shelves in the space under each individual stair. Imagine all of the wasted space in a normal set of stairs. Not here.(via gadgetdna.com)

This is so so cool ... maybe I could build it into my downstairs stairwell ... heh heh

Soups On! (courtesy of 101 cookbooks)

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Over the past month yellow split peas have become a frequent go-to ingredient for me. Ingredients fall in and out of favor around here and past darlings have included staples like black lentils, farro, mesquite flour, ruby grapefruit olive oil and toasted hazelnuts. But somehow, until now, the charms of the yellow split pea have eluded me. Today's yellow split pea soup recipe changed that. I experimented with a few different directions to take the soup, and this version immediately became my favorite. It's a simple split pea soup base (similar in spirit to the one I did for the green split pea soup a few weeks back), but I topped this soup with a tzatziki-inspired yogurt dollop, a touch of mint, a spoonful of oily, finely chopped black olives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Healthy, beautifully textured, and colorful - it makes for a terrific lunch.

For those of you who like a bit more kick, I did a Thai-flavored curry version as well. Very similar to the recipe down below with a few twists - start with a small dollop of red Thai curry paste in a pot with a bit of oil, then add the onions, then add a blend of light vegetable stock and coconut milk (less coconut milk for a lighter soup), finished with a good handful or so of chopped cilantro.

Other recent soup recipes:
- Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
- Rustic Cabbage Soup
- Chickpea Hot Pot
- Cauliflower Soup with Gorgonzola
- Ultimate Chickpea Noodle Soup

Continue reading Yellow Split Pea Soup...

6 March 2008

But are the companies listening?

Market Trends
Environment trumps convenience when it comes to packaging: Nielsen

More than half of U.S. consumers would give up all forms of packaging provided for convenience purposes if it would benefit the environment, according to new research from The Nielsen Company.

Among the packaging options consumers said they would sacrifice for the environment are packages designed for easy stacking or storage at home (58 percent), packages that can be used for cooking or as a resealable container (55 percent) and packages designed for easy transport (53 percent).

Nielsen's study surveyed almost 7,000 consumers in 47 markets in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East. According to Nielsen, generally, North Americans and Europeans agree on the types of packaging they are willing to forego to help the environment, with almost 60 percent willing to give up packaging designed for stacking and storing at home. However, only 42 percent of Asians said they were willing to give up these types of convenience packaging.

U.S. consumers are not as willing, meanwhile, to sacrifice packaging aimed at keeping products clean and untouched by other shoppers (only 26 percent said they would give up such packaging), packaging designed to keep products in good condition (31 percent) and packaging that preserves products to make them last longer or stay fresher (31 percent). One in 10 U.S. consumers is not prepared to give up any aspect of packaging for the benefit of the environment.