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Monday, December 14, 2015

Wow, My EASY Homemade SOAP Actually LATHERS!

My First Experiment in Making Homemade Soap from Scratch!I was delighted to see that it actually lathers! Nice and bubbly!


So, why did I choose to make my own soap? Well, because I like reducing things down to their absolute lowest and simplest common denominator.

Everything, it seems can usually be reduced down to it's most simple form.
I had been watching tons of Youtube videos about soap making. So, I set about to figure out how to make it myself.
But one of the obstacles, was that most of the soap makers wanted me to go out and buy a bunch of expensive doo-dads such as a digital food weighing scale, as well as a handle held electric stick blender .
But I didn't really want to spend money on those gadgets so, I was  patient and persistent to keep searching the net until I found a recipe and instructions that were NOT based on weight, but rather on simple kitchen volume measurements and simple ingredients.

My biggest obstacle then was to overcome my fear of  dealing with REAL lye.
To be truthful ...LYE is a VERY dangerous substance, and it is unfortunate that you can't let your kids help you when you work with REAL lye. Lye is so caustic that it is commonly used as one of the ingredients in many very powerful drain cleaners. It literally can burn right through a clog in your pipes. Always deal with lye according to proper safety measures. 

Well, after stirring up my courage and a phone call to our local hardware store, I located and purchased a bottle of lye for $7.99 canadian at Home Hardware. The other items I purchased were:
rubber gloves, large hard plastic pail with handle, and three bottles of oil including : olive oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil. The only other ingredient is water. I also added some of my own dried dill weed spice just for an added visual appeal.
The other items I already had at home.....the measuring cups and wooden spoon and plastic container to let the soap cure in.
The only mistake I made was to use newsprint to line my plastic container, because as the soap cured and dried, the newsprint stuck right in with the soap and I literally had to carve it off of my soap after it was done curing.
So, rather that yak on about how I made this small batch of homemade hand soap...... I am simply going to send you to the instructions I found on another website 
which is can be found at this link:  MAKING HOMEMADE SOAP WITHOUT A SCALE.

Their home base for their website is simply diynatural.com


I would encourage you to visit their website. It is honestly the only simple and straightforward           "small batch" homemade soap making recipe that didn't force me to have to buy a scale.

I didn't even have to buy a stick blender. I simply used wooden spoons and let my soap cure for at least 3 weeks before attempting to use it.

I would encourage you, for those who like "Pioneer-ish" types of activities to give it a try. But do be sure to follow ALL of the safety precautions including wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, rubber gloves and safety goggles and making it in a well ventilated area. 
All the wooden spoons and bowls or pails that you use for soap making can NEVER be used again for food or kitchen use. Keep your soap making stuff  entirely SEPARATE from everything else and label it  well and keep it away from children.

It's kinda cool to realize that if some strange cataclysmic event happened that prevented me from buying soap, that I could literally make my own as long as I could find some lye. Does that make me sound like a prepper?? Hmmmm.

No I haven't learned how to make my own lye yet, which I have heard and seen can be made in a pioneer style from cold wood ashes.  I have absolutely NO ambition to learn how to make my own lye. This city girl has gone far enough for now. Woohoo! I am now officially a soap maker !




Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Push Towards Meditation and What It Means for Christians

Everywhere, ok not exactly "EVERYWHERE", but in a Big way,the modern push towards meditation and "mindfulness" has quickened.

As a christian this change in society has been both inspiring and alarming, comforting and disturbing.

When I go to a local gym, there are "Yoga" classes teaching meditation.
Even in the public school system, some of the teachers are taking the time to teach the class room of vulnerable minds, how to meditate and practice their own version of "mindfulness".

What Encourage me is the following:

1/ I am encouraged that society has become self aware of the need for stress reduction strategies in the classroom and the work place. We can't control stress, but we certainly can learn how to deal more constructively with it in our daily lives. We CAN control how we react to stress.
2/ There is a spiritual quality to meditation which has been touted by such business leaders such as
Ariana Huffington and others. Ariana Huffington gives credit to the Biblical applications of meditation as described in the Bible, for the promotion of interaction with God and listening for His impressions.
3/ It is always a healthy sign when leaders in society allow and even encourage their workers to
take "meditation" breaks during the work day. This practice allows a christian to spend time with God in the practice of prayer, scripture study, and meditation in the scriptures and prayer.
4/ Meditation and rest are cousins. Those who promote meditation promote rest and usually are peace loving folks. Who doesn't like a peaceful person?

What Concerns me about meditation and mindfulness training:

1/ I don't want my children to be taught spiritual principles outside of the teachings of the Bible. Although
I want my children to learn how to "self calm" via deep breathing and focusing on God and His word, I am concerned that some of the modern bents of meditation training does not respect a traditional understanding of christianity or the Bible, but has assimilated a few concepts from many of the major religious groups of the world and mixed them into some kind of strange new unscriptural religion.

2/ Some meditation techniques involve "emptying" the mind, which is not what the Bible teaches. The bible teaches us to renew our minds by filling it with God's Word, as revealed to humanity in the Holy Bible.

3/ What precisely is "mindfulness"? Is is being aware of what we are thinking constantly? Is it obsessing over
ourselves and making us into even yet more self centered humans?
Not to be too simple minded....but what should our "minds" be full of???
According to some gurus, our minds should be blank slates? But who are we clearing our minds for?
For God to write on? Yes, that would be great. But what if we are being encouraged to empty and clear our minds in order for some false religion to start to fill our minds with their priorities?

I don't know about you, but the only "being" or "person" who is permitted to write His thoughts onto my mind, is God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit. I know that narrows down my options, but that is a choice I have made in calling myself a Christian. Christian IS a narrow road, and does not embrace any and all religions. To pretend that Christianity embraces any and all religious teachings is simply wrong and inaccurate.

So how about you, my friend in Cyberspace? Does modern meditation comfort you? Or does it set off warning bells in your heart?
Looking forward to reading your comments,

Peace,
Carla.






Thursday, November 12, 2015

Don't Throw Out that Pumpkin! Make Old Fashioned Fried Pumpkin Seeds!

Some of my neighbors make displays around this time of year with whole bright orange pumpkins....They don't even carve them up, they simply arrange them..... perhaps with some other decorations to make their front porch look "harvesty" and abundant.

Well, as a professional scavenger, I refuse to let these beautiful pumpkins go to waste.
I was also given some great big pumpkins via my local Fruitshare organization that also has the same
"Waste not, want not" mentality.

So, our family set about to fry up some good ole fashioned pumpkin seeds and I'd like to share the simple and low cost process with you. Since we fried them in vegetable shortening and only seasoned them with salt, they are actually a vegan item. Yay :)

So hear goes......
 First you get a fresh whole pumpkin and cut a hole in it big enough to reach your hand in to collect the raw seeds. It's best to use a pumpkin that no one has tampered with first....no holes, bruises or carvings at all.
If you pumpkin is whole and complete, then the seeds inside will be perfectly fresh and ready to fry. Pumpkins stay fresh longest when they remain unopened and uncarved. Storing whole pumpkins is best done in a cool place such as outside or in a cool basement or garage.
Then you place all the collected seeds into a container complete with all the gushy orange odd pieces that come from the inner pumpkin.
                                                                                   



Then you wash the seeds in a collander or some kind of sifter until the seeds are clean and free of all debri. If you don't own a real sieve, then you can also use the upper pot of a double boiler and they work well too....as the holes in the upper pot of a double boiler are small enough to wash down and away the extra orangey stuff while not allowing the seeds to go escape down the drain.
Then you melt at least three large heaping tablespoons of vegetable shortening in your favorite frying pan or sauce pan. Add some salt to the seeds as well. Just use your individual taste to make sure you have just the right amount of salt.
I
Voila, it will probably take you about 10-15 minutes to fry up one pan of pumpkin seeds.
Take care to let them cool down a bit before you nibble.

Tasty and fresh and a great source of fiber as well.
Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Three Products that Have Never Failed You

Ok, I'll start..... my three products that have never failed me would include:

Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid,

Clorox Liquid Bleach

Kellogg's Corn Flakes.....



I know branding is sooooo vital...because it can take many years before a brand name becomes entrenched into the social psyche as a "reliable" and "valuable" brand name item.

Let's take "Johnson and Johnson", which provides, among a myriad of other products, skin care products that are suitable for the very youngest humans, our precious babies.  I would not hesitate to purchase any item that Johnson and Johnson has labeled as suitable for babies. But I would also be the first to admit that it has taken Johnson and Johnson many decades of deliberate hard work and public relations efforts to foster that sense of trust that the brand evokes in my mind.  It has also helped their cause that their company faithfully snails mails out high value coupons to any consumer that bothers to email or call them on the phone.

Building a brand name attracts not only faithful consumers, but also interest in the investment world.
Folks who follow the edicts of the Legendary Warren Buffet, try to focus on "simple" companies that market
products that we all recognize and use almost daily. Johnson and Johnson succeeds in that front as well.

Ok, now it's your turn. What are three products that, in your mind, have never failed you? Does their brand name pop easily into your mind?
Looking forward to reading your comments in the section below.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Who Decides there is an OIL GLUT? Or Dwindling Supplies?

With all the ruckus about low oil prices, I've really come to wonder about the ACTUAL reality of oil supplies in North America.

Apparently, according to the media.... there was an "OIL GLUT" over the past year which has caused the price of a barrel of oil in North America to plunge below $50 on a regular basis.

But then again, I just read more blurbs from yet more media this week about "dwindling supplies" of oil in
the U.S.  So really.....go figure. Who is right? How much oil do we really have "seen or unseen" in storage tanks within North America?

What I find amusing is that there seems to be more of a market for hyped opinions than for actual scientific facts. Yes, my friends.....oil can certainly be literally measured....but really isn't it just more fun to make up stuff?

There could be professionals who make it their life's work to go around to all the major oil storage facilities in North America and actually MEASURE how much oil is sitting there. But perhaps it isn't feasible to have that kind of broad "access of information" regarding our precious oil resources. Maybe REAL data is too valuable to disseminate to the general population.

So perhaps we need to continue just be like blind sitting ducks and wait and "believe" whatever hype the media wants to sell to us on a daily basis.

Oil and Gas is a huge industry that props up huge swaths of our economy. And no, there's nothing wrong with that. But it appears that folks make a tad too much money from selling "hype" when it comes to the oil and gas industry. People like talking about "plunging prices" or conversely, about "peak oil" scarcity when the mood suits them. News channels love to report about how many good folks are to be laid off from working in the oil fields.

But I would like to encourage myself and any other willing souls to simply determine to seek out the facts, where ever they might be available or even if they are "hard to find"..... and to use ONLY the facts to form the opinions that we  want to hold.


Peace and prosperity,
Carla

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A "Food Not Bombs" Dinner Invite


Well, I had read about it for years on the net and was always just a wee bit curious as to what it was all about. Feeding humans for free can't really be all that controversial can it?
Apparently so...... I read that "Food Not Bombs" was at one point, considered to be a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. Perhaps that was many years ago, when even John Lennon was considered a "suspicious" person by the U.S. Government. Perhaps passivism was not quite in line with those who had a penchant for "war".

But anyway, my family and I were invited the other day to a "Food Not Bombs" community dinner to be held in a local politician's head quarters who would get some good free publicity from the event.

So, remembering the event at the last minute, I convinced the family to join me in an adventure at our very first invite to a "Food Not Bombs" community dinner. As we arrived, I noticed that several of the dinner guests had arrived on foot or by bicycles parked near the tidy white building. As we entered the politician's domain, the dinner guests had sprawled around a few haphazardly placed rough wooden tables and chairs. Most were chatting quietly and scoping out the looks of the other unfamiliar attendees. The dinner guests, a colorful array of local humanity,.....no two alike, each with a different world view, a different kind a life, home and way of being. No talk of economics or stock market fluctuations could be heard. Just forks scraping plates and jesting between those who happened to know one another. Fertive glances towards those, like my family, who didn't know our way around. Glad to see that the courageous gal who had invited us, was there too, happily hosting and welcoming the motley crew.

No paper plates, just real Correlle and a hodege podge of unmatched over-sized ceramic plates to claim as we made our way to the buffet array of vegan dishes. Some were hot..... some were cold... but all were very clearly prepared with love and concern and a certain spartan determinism.

You see, all of the food that was used to prepare the dishes served at the "Food Not Bombs" dinner was donated by local businesses, and generous individuals. I was informed in advance that the meal would be vegan, but I must admit that I was unprepared for the delicious and broad array of brilliant dishes to choose from.

The only thing I really missed was having "traditional" mayo or salad dressing to add to the great veggie salad. But the silky homemade hummus more than made up for it's absence.

A radio turned to a local pop rock station floated and bounced tunes round the room. The guests outnumbered the wooden chairs, so we sat down on the edge of a landlocked dock out back.... taking in the cool breeze and bright evening sunlight dancing on the wild grasses just behind the landing.

Munching on my vegan feast, I mused quietly.Can it be possible that we can really "just feed" other humans, without having some kind of ulterior motive? Can it really be this simple, just to invite other humans for a meal, prepare the meal and be ready to dine in style with perfect strangers? It's so amazing, I hadn't heard anyone talk about  money for the entire meal. No collection plate is passed and no tickets were sold for the event. Just free food, for free humans. Amen sister. Amen brother.

The vegan feast included a hearty veggie salad complete with dark leafy greens, tomatoes, sesame seeds, and chopped fresh mushrooms. A dollop of homespun hummus smoothes it all out.
Then there was a potatoe and kale hash dish, warmed and comforting. A wholesome dish, that I don't really know the name of,  contained veggies and ripe red kidney beans. All and all, the meal was fresh and complete.

 There were several other dishes and a pot of soup that I didn't get a chance to sample, as I was simply just too full from the monster size salad and bean dish.
For desert there were fresh local pears, shiny vegan chocolate cake, of which my son helped himself to two slices, and a crunchy apple crumble in abundance.

How can all this be vegan, so tasty and satisfying and still be "free"???

Well, as nerve wracking as it can be to force oneself and one's family to venture into completely new social settings, it was an adventure that I am glad we undertook. To be met and greeted by the lady who prepared the meal and gave us the invite created a good friendly community vibe. Photo ops and thanks were made to the politician who let "Food Not Bombs" use her campaign head quarters at no charge.

I must say that it is ultimately VERY refreshing to meet a group of people who simply believe in feeding other human beings, without any other strings attached.

Not to get too philosophical.....but let me close by saying the obvious: Some folks talk a lot and others folks like me.......sure do write a lot....and then there are those blazing trails with their practical example.

Thank you for the bountiful meal. God bless.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In my opinion...There is NO Energy Shortage

Let's have a  rambling energy discussion shall we?

All the rage over the past ten years there have been too many pundits crying about some "looming"   ENERGY CRISIS.

But, when I look around me,  or dig through any manner of intelligent magazines or newspapers, there is massive evidence to the contrary. There are so many forms of energy already being utilized and there are therefore unlimited ways in which to tap it .

There's the "E=MCsquared" formula which Einstein coined.
So basically "anything" .....any item and object in and around our earth has potential energy contained within it simply because it exists. The question is simply how to coerce energy out of these objects in the most viable manner. What is possible is not always financially practical....and may be simply too awkward to pursue.

The bottom line seems to be that there are enormous financial obstacles as well as the huge invisible hand of the business and political community. Let's start by admitting that the world isn't running out of energy!!

 There is something also called "The Law of the Conservation of Matter" which according to my limited  scientific understanding would also support the idea that there really is no lack of energy in our world.....things simply change form....they actually NEVER lose their "mass" a.k.a their "weight".

Therefore, if an item has a weight to it....then it exists and can be plugged into the "E=MCsquared"
formula. Every "thing" has potential energy contained within it, just because it exists or has weight.
======
Ok, 'nuff about that.... Now let me spout about the related issue of financial support and political will.
With all the current and more "well known" energy technologies such as
geo-thermal energy, solar energy, wind energy, wave energy, hydro electric energy, and
bio-mass energy.....it seems to me that what is lacking is simply the political and "business" will to support and mass market these newer technologies. When governments pull up their sleeves and start REALLY supporting these alternative energy forms......it may actually create a society in which regular consumers can choose which energies to utilize for their regular and business activities instead of being forced to simply plug into their regular province or statewide electrical grid. But that would mean FRAGMENTING the energy marketplace instead of CONSOLIDATING it. Both fragmenting and consolidating the energy marketplace have very different financial consequences. Consolidation brings in space for HUGE monopolized conglomerates.

Fragmenting the energy marketplace would gives us humble consumers MANY choices and options. However, governments and business people may not be too excited to pursue a fragmented energy marketplace because it dilutes the potential clout of A HUGE energy CONGLOMERATE.

Permit me to be a little long winded today...(.If you want short blurbs...visit Twitter ok?)
For a real life example......In my area of Ontario, Canada, where I reside, there are numerous road construction projects underway.
What caught my eye are the orange colored traffic control lights and flashing signs that are solar powered, with easily visible little black solar panels keeping them humming along.

Now, I would like to know....why is it that the construction industry has figured out the cost efficiency of using solar powered gadgets on road projects, but the average regular "consumer" is still stuck plugging everything into the usual grid???

If there really was loud and vocal support for solar power in my neck of the woods, I would assume that at least HALF of the appliances and gadgets in my home could operate independently from the solar/wind energy that I could collect, generate and process on my own home turf.

Why is it that the government has only supported solar projects that feed back into the status quo
regular energy grid??? If I am going to produce/collect my own solar energy, I MIGHT NOT WANT TO SELL IT BACK into the electrical grid. I might just wanna be selfish and use it all up for me and my family and my neighbors. THAT would be REAL energy independence. THAT would also protect me and my family from any province wide blackouts ...that happen when you utilize a public electrical grid.
\
I find it really strange that "energy independence" is all the rage to help "develop" rural African communities and regular folks are being empowered "literally" to buy and install solar power cells onto the roofs of their humble tin roofs, thus creating a very low cost, sustainable and INDEPENDENT power source for
isolated rural individuals and families and small businesses in Africa.

What I don't understand is that there seems to be so little political will to doing the same for regular Canadians.  For the record...I am just really tired of paying electricity bills. It seems like
that cow is just being milked so staunchly that no one really wants to undermine that money making machine that is our utility grid. Don't even get me started on that proverbial "sliding scale" that gives lower energy prices for corporations instead of regular consumers.

Ok,  rant complete..... Peace,
Carla

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Check out M&M's Gluten Free Items!

Twas a great relief to discover this summer that all of my favourite beef burgers selling at 
M&M Meat shops were ALL GLUTEN FREE!

It seems that they have extended themselves to cater to those who want to observe a gluten free lifestyle and I couldn't be more delighted!

Check out their website : M&M


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Zero Commissions to Buy and Sell Stocks??? Can it Be TRUE?

Well, lots of folks said it just couldn't happen, but it took two young ivy league computer
geeks to prove them wrong.

Stanford grads Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt 

have built a mobile stock trading app called "ROBINHOOD"  that appears to be currently functional in the U.S.A as we speak.



Current plans are under way to get approval to function in Australia next.

Will Canada be next??? I certainly hope so.

Whenever someone talks about ZERO commission fees for stock trades, the question arises as to just HOW the company"Robinhood"will glean their earnings. Will they tack a couple cents on the spread between the bid and the ask? Or will there be hidden fees to produce some menial ikky things like "end of year " tax forms??? Investors want to know....

Well there's still time for me to do more research. As a canuck, ROBINHOOD is still beyond my reach as you need to be an American resident to use their app as of now. 

You can guess that the other discount brokerages are gonna watch these developments like a hawk and do their best to discredit what "Robinhood" has to offer.....perhaps even going so low as to question the "safety and security" of trading via a "free" app.

But once all the flurry settles down and ROBINHOOD becomes functional all across North America, perhaps it will really just heat up the competition and thus drive down commission fees for all discount brokerages worldwide. ALL discount brokerages are going to have to prove themselves all over again, as to why we should be willing to pay good money for the "privilege" of giving perfect strangers our money to trade stocks with.

I am delighted with the ROBINHOOD invention and I wish them all the best. I pray that they will maintain their "free" trades policy long enough for many of us to make some great big bucks. 

Peaceful productivity,
Carla

Friday, August 7, 2015

Is Optimism ALWAYS the best thing to have???

I've been reading the book entitled "Warren Buffet Invests like a Girl.....and WHY You Should too"
written by Louann Lofton.

Within Chapter 2...... I found this quotable bite:

"While optimism in most parts of our lives is something to strive for, in investing it can poison your judgment and outlook." 

         (pg 22 last paragraph)

I just thought that sentence was a treasure I couldn't keep to myself.

It kinda sums up what I have found to be one of my own gender's downfalls on a regular basis. You see, many women have been socialized, raised up and reared to be smiling nurturing and optimistic....in order to be good moms and wives. However, if we are ever going to make head way as a gender in the capital markets of the globe, we are going to have to give ourselves permission to be ruthlessly honest and
cuttingly critical.

I'm not talking about being "mean" for the sake of just being a jerk. I'm more talking about being able to critically analyze investment vehicles with the same accuracy and demand for results that "men" typically command.

Men don't feel that same compulsion to wear an empathetic smile at all times, that many of us women have been raised to wear.

We  girls need to take the time and effort it takes to develop a seasoned and critical financial eye....being able to confidently analyze balance sheets and financial reports with panache and no undue levels of
compassion. Businesses are created to turn a profit, not to be a dumping ground for gullible investors.

So ladies, I just want to challenge myself and y'all as well, to develop the emotional integrity and knowledge base that we will need if we are going to....as the bible describes "inherit the land"....in the world of capital markets and investing.

Don't feel like you must be perpetually encouraging all the time. Give yourself permission to
take a step back, do your due diligence and research, and when the situation calls for it, be able  and willing to publicly call a lemon of an investment, .....a really REALLY bad idea....without apologizing for being forthright and bold.

Have courage friends,

Peacefully productive,
Carla.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your CHanging Brain

Had the privilege of viewing the quite short documentary filmhosted by David Suzuki of "The Nature of Things"
by CBC Learning
entitled "THe BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF" 
and it was quite an eyeopener.

The film discusses how scientists have now proven that our brain is even more adaptive
and capable of rehabilitation than modern man has ever thought possible.

According to the film,  "The BRAIN is Changing ALL the time
.... the challenge then is "to GUIDE the changes".


So this revelation backed up by case studies that are revealed in the film, shows us that our current state of mind is not a permanent state of being. Merely by "thinking" we can actually change our brains quite literally.
We can improve the conditions of our brain through various activities and exercises.

Our brains are very "plastic"....very moldable and subject to interventation and a limitless array of therapies that can help heal our brains when/if  it experiences some kind of disability or injury.

The film also explores how modern technology can assist blind people to "see" by feeding visual information through other senses, such as touch. Our brain's ability to receive sensory input from unorthodox sources and
re-assimilating it into our mental processes to produce higher coping and survival skills is astounding.

If you can get your hands on this very short documentary film, it is definitely worth the time it may take to source it.

This type of research encourages us all to continue to guide ourselves to exercise and challenge our mental capacities, and thus causing our brains to grow new connections and synapses. We can thus literally "change" our brains by using them in new ways.

Peacefully productive,
Carla

Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Precious than Gold



It is good when you know....finally really know that God Almighty has heard you.

It takes an unutterable sigh of relief to express that load that lifts from one's shoulders.

For striving is common...and so very easy.


Try , try .....try harder they seem to jabber at you in one way or another.
Maybe you should do this....maybe you should do that....

But wait....calm......breathe in ...breathe out.

God has promised to support and lead me personally with His Spirit. I don't need some guru.
Nor do I need some "yes person" who just blindly flails about with easy encouragement pointed at my soul.

There is nothing worse than unwise words of encouragement. Why? Because  a good friend knows when to really tell you off. A great friend knows when just a look of correction will help you understand that you need to change your path just a tad.

 A good friend is willing to lose your friendship for the sake of saving your soul.....because he/she refuses to tell you lies to flatter your ego.

A good friend knows when to say no, and when to tell you that you're feeling sorry for yourself.

When God gives you a good friend, treasure and protect that friendship as more precious than gold.

Peace,

Carla.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Let Your Goals Hem You In

It's summer time....woot woot.But when you find that the summer air and kids running hither and thither are just about to
send you off course......take time to review your written goals.
Allow your goals to hem you in.

Sometimes even the weather can easily besought us and get us off course.
Have your written list of goals ready and handy to access in a second's notice.
I know that some of you protect your written list of goals with ultra high security, because you feel that somehow if someone in your home would glance upon your list, that they would somehow be able to tamper with your dreams.

But don't be afraid. Be courageous. Make a plan, write down at least one specific life goal that you can work towards. Most humans have about three major goals. The rest will fall into alignment as long as your goals are pleasing to God. What do I mean by pleasing to God? I mean that your written goals must be in the direction of "good will unto mankind".

So, folks, enjoy the jubilant weather and put the sunroof up in your car and get down to the beach this weekend. And when you catch a quiet moment in the midst of your fun, grab that beautiful list and rehearse your plan.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla



Friday, July 3, 2015

Allow for Processing Time when you Dally in the Scriptures

Truth be told, this post might be just a little bit more comfortable for Christians to read than others, just because it's focus is about how we read the Scriptures.
If you're not sure what I mean by "Scriptures"....I mean the Holy Bible....such as that is known as, for example.....in the King James Version, the Amplified version or etc...

Many Christians spend time regularly in reading the bible, however, I wanted to talk today about what we do immediately following that time of bible reading. Do we cram our thoughts with yet another christian book or a recording of a preacher? Do we feel that we must utter words after a time of scripture reading?

I was pondering today that perhaps it makes more sense sometimes.....after you have spent a chunk of time reading the bible, that you allow yourself to float and ponder for a quiet period of time.

For example, let's say you spent 10 solid minutes reading the bible out loud. Well , what are you going to do immediately following that time? Are you going to talk AT God and tell him a whole flood of words? Or are you going to try to read someone else's interpretation of what you have just read in the bible?

Well, I am going to suggest that you allow God's Holy Spirit for a period of about maybe 20-30 minutes after bible reading to kind of "carry" you. Be still and very quiet....even if you start doing some basic task like
washing the dishes or clipping the hedges, or sweeping the floor. Stay quiet and allow that time you spent in His Word to sink in.

Try not to get too intense about it all. "Trying" in a really stressful way can actually kill the flow of the Holy Spirit in your day. Just stay peaceful and keep your heart in a "listening to God" kinda mode for that period of time immediately following reading the bible.

I have found it be most refreshing....to insist upon that "resting" period after allowing the Bible to carve out new paths in my brain.

Can ya'll relate to what I am telling you?

Wishing you peace and quiet rest,
Carla

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Don't Ever Underestimate What You Bring to the Table

My intention is to encourage you, my precious readers. It has come to my attention once again, thatthe "world" is full of folks who are full of.......themselves. This condition of pride and arrogance causes so much harm and is a quite serious threat to the self esteem and goal setting of many many really good people all across our beautiful globe.

All it takes is for someone to roll their eyes at something you do or something you have just created and bam, your self esteem and goal setting process are at risk. Sometimes it doesn't take more than one negative comment from a nosy neighbor to throw someone off their stated plan of achievement.

That is why it is soooooo very extremely important to be your own best cheerleader. It is vital that you protect that motivation that keeps you rolling steadily towards accomplishing your own set of written goals.

In case you are a new reader of my blog, permit me just to explain that I am a HUGE fan of empowering people to succeed by insisting that ALL of us WRITE down our own short list of life goals. It has been proven time and time again, that written goals are much much much more likely to reach achievement than those that simply remain in our imagination. So..... please do write down at least one of your most important goals and keep that goal in a place that you will remember. .....perhaps in your wallet, in your email
files, or written on your mirror in lip liner....whatever works. Just don't hide your list of goals in some obscure file in a forgotten drawer. You need to be able to find and read it out loud regularly. There are always going to arrive times in our lives when we need to remind ourselves what our goals are.                                   Keep your written goals handy for regular reminders.

Your determination to DO that which you have written on your list is a precious process. It is so precious that one actually has to protect that "goal setting " process. The reason for this, is that there are going to be many humans who won't align themselves into agreeing with your written goals. You need to avoid those humans like the plague.

FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS on your written goals. As stated in a previous post..... .............................FOCUS is the PERFECT HEDGE. ...................................................................Permitting yourself to stay focused on your written goals is going to be one of the absolute BEST gifts that you can give to yourself. Focus takes time and energy. It takes support.

It is my prayer that you will find the support that you need in order to accomplish the goals that please God on your list of written goals. And by saying "the goals that please God" I am not in any way suggesting that these goals need to be religious in nature. I am simply saying that if you want God's blessing on your goals, you are going to want to choose goals that are in alignment with the basic "good will towards mankind"(Luke 2:14b kjv) as the bible describes.

So as you carry on and perform the duties required to set your goals and plans into place, may the love of Jesus keep you calm and serene. Ignore the naysayers and negative thinkers. Walk slowly and confidently into the perfect will of God for your life.

Peacefully productive,
Carla

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vertical Farms

Perhaps you're all are getting used to my random thoughts on a huge variety of non-related ideas. That is kinda how I roll....
On that note, the idea I was mind rolling today was due to a documentary film I watched the other day about
modern food production in the USA entitled "Ingredients--the local food movement takes root".

Basically the film was lamenting about how prime agricultural land is not valued as much as it should be and how some folks believe that human beings should build "up" and live in very tall sky-scraping apartment buildings and that would ensure that the areas that have been labeled as prime "farm land" would be protected from suburban sprawl.

But I find it strange and somewhat discomforting to consider the idea that humans "should" curb their ambitions for lifestyle to adapt to apartment style living.
  Why should the corn stalks get better real estate than we do???

And so on that thought....I was hypohesizing about how it would make more senste to me to figure out how to farm "up" with vertical farms than to force human beings to cram their lives into apartment buildings for the next millenium

Sooo....what then is a vertical farm....
Well, in my imagination it would be a manner in which crops can be grown in layers using the same square footage that would under "traditional" farm methods would only grown one crop per season....but under this new "vertical farm" idea would be able to produce up to 10 crops or more using the same square footage.

So what would it look like? Well, it might involve sharing sunlight by using mirrors to reflect sunlight from the upper layers of crops to the lower layers. Or it would involve hanging types of steel grids in layers
in order to rotate each crop's exposure to the necessary amounts of sunlight and rain/irrigation.

Or....we could get old school and think of an idea that has already gained some traction in the last few years and that is the modern invention of "pocket gardens" such as those
feature by the company "Woolly Pockets"....check out some of their inspiring videos of their products at
http://canada.woollypocket.com/videos  .


So just to sum up my rambling....let's just say that we don't have to consider
traditional horizontal farming as the way of the future. We can be much more creative and inventive in figuring out how to maximize food production by growing crops vertically instead of taking up yet even more acreage. We can "grow up" not "out".
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these ideas.
Perhaps some of you have already tried to grow some veggies in a "Woolly Pocket" or other vertical growing apparatus.  Blurt some alphabets friends, ....this blog's for you.

Peacefully productive,
Carla.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

When Socialism Doesn't Work


When a socialist sees an employee that lives in poverty.....he shrieks and cries that the government should
 contribute dollars towards the betterment of the employee's lifestyle. But effectively he then locks that worker into a dysfunctional and unprofitable business.

One of the errors I see in Socialism, is that they don't apply quality assessments towards the businesses, jobs and workplaces that they want the "government" to support. It appears to me that socialists do not care to address the reasons for the inherent poverty that a certain business or industry produces.

Some businesses should have gone completely out of business many years ago.....but the governments of the world threw money at them and sponsored their poor business model and impractical business practices.

Capitalists at least have the courage of heart to look at a business at face value, without being manipulated by emotional sentiment. They assess the financials and if the business can effectively and efficiently produce a monetary profit, they are interested in promoting and maintaining the business.
Capitalists feel no compulsion to rescue dying or dysfunctional businesses.

Some businesses should not continue to exist in their current forms. Some businesses need to be completely torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. It is not in our long term best interests to prop up businesses that can not stand up under financial scrutiny.

Some subsidies, when dolled out willy nilly, wind up endorsing and supporting the perpetuation of failing business models.....and in the long run, undermine the economy that they are supposed to be stimulating and safeguarding. We want to build a society and a culture of financially sound, logical, rational businesses that will proudly employee our citizens within the quality of their business structure, supplying quality products to the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Are STocks keeping up with Inflation?


Jus' thinkin' aloud again....
I must say that I have always been more interested in equities than in owning chunks of debt instruments, such as bonds.

But there is a looming threat called "inflation" which is something for which we may just not be prepared.
It's all well and good if our stocks are increasing in "numeric value" representing real capital gains. But if
the average loaf of bread is going to rise to $8 a loaf then, the REAL TIME VALUE of our portfolios must be re-assessed to reflect and hedge against this type of threat of inflation. Large numbers of dollars don't really mean much if it is going to cost a lot more just to get around town, buy your food and support the roof over your head. REAL increase must reflect an increase in REAL buying power....not just the dizzying knowledge of growing numbers on your investment statements.

One of the things I love about stocks, is the proverbial "drip" plans in which one can re-invest any dividends payable and they magically produce more shares to own....without any pesky commission fees.

But how is it going to affect long term investors, if the underlying stock prices do not rise with inflation and the cost of living? Is it possible that a drip will lose "real time value" simply because the share prices do not keep up with the cost of living? I am wondering if even many blue chip companies might be affected by this predicament. For a blue chip company can have a steady positive cash flow and  pay out reliable dividends and still their share price may not be rising as fast as inflation.

It's all well and good to invest long term in equities with the added cushion of DRIPS helping you to accumulate a larger portfolio, but if in the long term those equities do not represent real "BUYING POWER" in which you can tap into into your retirement years....what is the point?

Stocks have to carry clout, and the only way they will continue to carry weight in the eyes of investors, is whether they can be sold at an undetermined point in the future for real dollars,.....real dollars that buy real food, pay for real real estate, and support a decent lifestyle.

I'd be more than eager to hear your thoughts on this matter, my most intelligent readers.
God bless.

Carla

Monday, June 8, 2015

Why Living GLuten FREE still STINKS

It's not that the "gluten free" movement isn't gaining momentum.....it is. It's not that manufacturers are not listening....they are.....at least more than they used to.


It's just that the "frustration factor" is still there.....in full swing.

Gluten free items are not clearly displayed on most menu's. THey are still awkwardly located in most grocery stores. Walmart is the only store I've found with an OBVIOUS and easy to locate "gluten free section".
When you eat out......You still have to make a point to ask your wait staff or server which items are officially gluten free. Some folks still don't know if the gravy that their restaurant serves contains wheat flour or if it has been thickened with corn starch. THese kinda things really matter to someone who is attempting to live "gluten free".

For some, the choice to live gluten free, was not really a choice, but a rather stern and intimidating instruction obtained directly from their doctor.  But whether you're choosing to eat gluten free by your own free will, or by doctor's orders, it still is REALLY HARD.

It's been several years now since I was advised that I was "gluten intolerant"....and I have still not met anyone who has confidently stated that it is an EASY lifestyle....because it just isn't.
Gluten is lurking in SOOOO many foods and snack foods. The detailed labeling of ingredients is really helpful....but hey we are HUMAN too, and we really don't want to spend long and precious hours every day of the week reading teeny tiny lists of ingredients just to ensure that we don't ingest any gluten.

It's gotta get easier. Perhaps they will start making GLUTEN FREE EMPORIUMS where folks have to leave their gluten at the door and they enter a gluten free commercial paradise.
To top it all off......all the products in this GLUTEN FREE HEAVEN, would not only be gluten free, but also priced under $5 per item. Wouldn't that rock????

NOT peacefully gluten free,
Carla


Ok, I'm pretty much done my rant now. But tommorrow's another day.
P.S. Perhaps I'm still ticked off that Tim Horton's cancelled their one gluten free doughy concoction called the "coconut macaroon"...   :(





Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Lure of Consumerism

No this isn't going to be a diatribe about how terrible shopping is....or how we should just stop spending money.

No, today I just wanted to discuss briefly how consumerism can be stealing your focus without you even realizing it.

What does consumerism do? Consumerism is an obsession with "all things bought".
Those who are lured into consumerism inherently despise anything that wasn't purhased with money and hate anything that was crafted or invented at home.

It's not that I'm necessarily advocating that we all become home bodies and spend all our time making home made gifts out of dried macaroni..... I'm simply saying that if you are one of those people who
wants your creativity and inventiveness to flourish, you might just have to resist that "spirit of consumerism" that has beguiled the masses.
Consumers don't create anything....they simply shop for what already has been created by someone else.
Consumers don't invent anything new, because their time is spent trying to please some external and commercialized idea of what is beautiful, effective or intelligent. They will buy what the media tells them to buy, even if it is in direct contradiction to their written goals. Perhaps they don't even have one single written goal at all. They merely live to consume, to purchase....and give all their time and adoration to what others have established.

But I know that there are many "Indie" publishers, writers, crafters, musicians, makers, and inventors and investors who are chock full of new and brilliant ideas. But their ideas are still in hiding because they have not been released through that very precious gift of "focus".

Are you going to give your written goal/goals the gift of focus?

Peaceful productivity,
Carla


Friday, June 5, 2015

Focus is the Perfect Hedge

I've noticed that there's something so ultimately powerful about staying "focused".......a bonus attribute of "focus" that is not often advertised nor understood.

Alright, enough....so what, Carla, is all the hoopla about focus?

Well, let's just say this, focus....... REAL FOCUS is the ultimate HEDGE around your life.

When you know what you want and you have committed all your eggs and all your energies to your chosen goal, there are many irritating folks who will simply give up on trying to distract or draw you down.

Your focus is like a wonderfully high strong wrought iron fence around your life.

Let's make an example. Let's say you have a relative who, for years and for some mysterious reason, seems to relish the act of verbally cutting you down to size, and criticizing much of what you do and even who you are. Well, if you become truly focused on your written goal, there is nothing that that relative can say to you that will ever steal your confidence. He or she will never again be able to steal your joy.

Knowing what you want is so ultimately personally empowering that little can be done to squash the incredible passion and confidence that follows your focus. Focus is everything.
The "gnats" in your life will quickly disappear because they will sense that you can not be touched behind your very high wall of focus. They will choose to pick on someone else more vulnerable and indecisive.

Is any of this ringing true? I challenge you to explore this idea in your personal life....and test it out. I am all ears as to your feedback....the comment section is always open.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla





Friday, May 29, 2015

Raw Ginger..for Day...Raw Garlic.... for Night

As  you meander through life, you may come across certain items that you have discovered to be helpful in keeping you energized and your body revitalized. Two such items, for me, are raw ginger and raw garlic.

Both items though, are very different in nature and can be used at different times throughout your week.

Garlic has a heavy, almost meaty quality to it. It revitalizes and purifies the blood, and cleanses the digestive system, killing bacteria. But it is also very pungent and is better suited to be taken raw before bedtime.
A single garlic clove can be peeled and then chopped or crushes into "swallow-able" size and downed with water or tea. Be sure to drink enough water when you take raw garlic as raw garlic can also give a burning sensation and the water dilutes any harshness the rawness of the garlic brings with it. Water is also helpful for the quickening of the digestive system which always occurs after one has ingested raw garlic.

Some folks encourage the habit of taking one raw garlic clove every night, but not all. Raw garlic, fresh from the clove is a feisty substance and one needs to get to know how their particular body may react to it's active ingredients. Be prepared for any kind of effect which may or may not include a loosening of the stools and urgency to use the bathroom. Note that these effects may not always occur, once your body has become more accustomed to the presence of raw garlic.

========================================================================
And now for Ginger, yes it can also be taken raw. Raw ginger, after you have just peeled it, has a rather odd stringy juicy texture. Ginger has a more gentle and pleasant taste and aroma when compared to raw garlic, but it is no less feisty in terms of it's effects on the body. Ginger is a sweet success. You can peel it from it's knubby brown state, and then mash or chop it into bits, and swallow just about half of a teaspoon of some of the smaller sized pieces with water. Or you can just add some to boiling water and make a tea out of it.
Ginger has been known for centuries as a digestive aid. That's why our grandmas always endorsed the use of "ginger ale" to help calm down an upset stomach.

Well, that's about all for now. My blurt is done.

Peaceful Productivity,
Carla

Disclaimer: Note that this blog is not intended as medical advice. The ideas in this post and the entire blog are intended for conversational purposes only. Medical advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. The author and publisher of this blog does not accept any liability for the ideas presented or discussed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

When the Log Becomes Earth


Tip toeing through the forest with my little one, we came across this camouflaged treasure. To walk quickly through this area without paying close attention, one could easily miss it.


Right before our eyes was nature's exquisite example of how it naturally replenishes itself....the circle of life, through the symbol of a tree melting slowing into the earth from which it grew.
Can you see the faint outline of a fallen log?  The mystical and scientific process known as 
decomposition, or "composting" in more suburban terms.... had begun to break down the mighty fallen tree
into a luscious  brown earthy soil.  See the chocolaty shade of the dirt?

I love composting, but i love it even more when nature provides a real life example of what it has done by God's design for thousands of years. This is how the forests and swamps and wetlands continue to create nutritiously rich soils from which to grow more vibrant foliage and trees to house wildlife.

Without this cycle of growth, death and renewal, the soils would quickly become sandy like the desert and there would be little flora and fauna to boast about. And so it was a lovely classroom in which to teach my young one about this precious truth of how God made the earth to replenish itself, without any interference or "help" from mankind.

Peaceful  Day,
Carla

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Knowing What Makes You Happy

The more obscure and kooky, the better, as long as I myself have arranged, designed, knit, glued, or drawn or painted it,.....or written it....ultimately it is the act of being creative that gives me immense joy.

I look around and think through some of the things that I've made over the past year and whether it's some earthy homespun wall hanging or a kooky cheapskate blog post, or a way to up-cycle an old chair or iron flower trough....I love them all, because I myself "thunk" them up. Sometimes it's just about gathering
up some lovely enormous pine cones, still coated in sticky white pine tar, and arranging them in a bowl for a table top. All the while, staying thoughtful, peaceful and philosophical and sharing the tidbits of wisdom I discover in my journey.

Sometimes it's about getting back to basics and using what I have on hand or using something utilitarian such as "jute" twine and re-purposing it into something I can use .......like learning  how to knit rugged earthy looking place mats.

(By the way if you want to learn how to make them....it's really super easy: You can buy plain brown colored jute in most dollar stores or you can sometimes find it dyed into red or green.
You simply use a basic garter stitch and load up the desired width of place mat you are trying to create and thereby choose the right amount of stitches to load onto your knitting needles. I tend to use metal circular needles because I like how they work fast, and how the jute slips easily off the metal needles. Then you just keep going with your garter stitch until the place mat is the size you want it to be. 
Then cast off the stitches, and you can duplicate the process to produce a whole table setting's worth of earthy jute place mats.


Note that jute is a very rough material to knit with and it does feel rough on the hands and also does shed while you are working with it.  These kind of place mats are best used in a rugged setting such as for camping or cottaging....because the jute continues to shed and wouldn't match a fine china type of decor.)

Well that is just a snap shot of some of the stuff that makes my day.....the heart of which is simply the "opportunity to be creative with anything I fancy" 

May this day bring you another glimpse into what brings you true joy.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shoot From the Hip



     
I used to draw a lot, especially if someone
gave me something to sign or write a comment in....like a yearbook or somethin' like that.

It seems like when I am in a kooky mood, that my imagination gets the best of me....How 'bout you?
Do you doodle and just allow your imagination to erupt ?

I used a pencil, ,my fave blue Sharpie and a possle of old fashioned Laurentian pencil crayons on a plain white art pad to make this sketch. Voila.

`

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Never Apologize for Wanting More

If this sounds like a feminist rant....don't be alarmed.it's really not and applies to all of us human mortals..

I have noticed in my neck of the woods that there is such a huge pressure in our local environment to "settle" for simply whatever you currently have and are. To be too ambitious or goal oriented is frowned upon . The idea is perpetuated by the business owners as well as by many volunteer organizations who glean a massive "free" work force from the locals who are "stuck" here. The business owners likewise glean a loyal work force who refuse to demand higher pay or decent benefits.

I have lived here for many years and the spirit and tone of this attitude still completely baffles me.

Why would any healthy society want to encourage people to accept much less than what they can potentially achieve and possess? Why would we want to "force" folks to live on less income than what they could be earning....either through active work or through passive investing?

Is it just the "devil" at work or just plain ole stupid human nature......or has the mind of the locals been kidnapped by aliens ?

I want to see people excel all around me. I want to see them become well read and fulfilled because they are meeting up with challenges and discovering the gift of "mastery" . (Yes, if you recognize that word "mastery" from Tony Robbins materials, then yes, you caught me....I am unashamedly a fan)

Some folks seem to live their lives with the sole purpose of "avoiding embarrassment". Is it really that important? Is it not more significant to be willing to fall flat on your face once in a while, so that in the long run, you might actually achieve something of value?

We have so much potential, both individually and corporately. My personal habit of reading the bible, has expanded my mind to great heights and depths. Despite the popular opinion that Christianity fosters a narrow minded attitude or mental frame work.....I have discovered the opposite to be true. The words of the bible have empowered me to become even more courageous and adventurous than I would ever have considered to become in the past. The words of Bible have shown me that at the end of the day, God has the final say, and therefore, we mere humans can actually chill out, relax a bit and learn to play in the awesome world that God gave to us as our own wonderful backyard.

Therefore, if perhaps a bit of Spring Fever has hit you, and you find yourself feeling restless......don't panic. You are not a rebel. You simply are feeling like you just might want more........

Go for it folks. Want more from life. Want more from God. Want more from yourself. Want more from the earth. When you seek "more" you will find "more". But if you stop seeking and simply settle with what you already have .....that is all you will ever have and ever be.

So, in a nutshell, I just want to say that I will never apologize for wanting more. I also would like to encourage you to give yourself permission to want more too. It's not greedy and it's not self-centered.....its about embracing with zest, this incredible life that God has given to us.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please Mr. Twitter....Don't Let Google Buy You



Perhaps it is a little bit risky....well maybe a lot risky to speak so boldly....it is Google after all, who
gives me this beautiful little blogging platform ....and all for free no less....

However, what fun would blogging be if you just couldn't speak your mind?

So today, I just wanted to say.... I really really really really really don't want Google to buy Twitter.

Why you may ask? Because Google already owns so much information about all of us.....Twitter would just give Google yet another access point into our lives and minds and everything that we really value.

If any of you have read "The Numerati" by Stephen Baker (if you haven't.....it is a MUST READ....in my humble opinion)   ...... you will admit that we are literally getting virtually sliced and diced and our data sold to the highest bidder whenever we use any internet platform that Google controls/owns. All that juicy info about our lives is very uber valuable to those who want to figure out how to sell us more stuff. Google makes billions of dollars out of chopping and packaging and then reselling data about our lives to massive corporations who just want to get an edge to figure out how to get us to buy their products. Not only do corporations want us to buy the products they already are selling to the public....they want to have a "pre-emptive" strike in anticipating what we will want to purchase next week, next month and next year and yes, five or ten years from now.

The internet just gives corporate marketers soooooo much data about how we live and what we value.

Well, I feel like I'm talking in a circle, so I'll stop my rant. But for those of you who might have an influence over the possibility of Google buying up Twitter.....please make it stop. Google has more than enough data about all of us already....they really don't need to buy up our tweets.....

And yes, you may re-tweet this post ")

Carla

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2. Experimental Facts of Life









If you are in the market for some brain stretching....take a chance and listen to a free class

offered by M.I.T  via their free course sharing venue called "Onlinecourseware"....

I am merely suggesting that sometimes it's wonderfully liberating and inspiring to listen to something that is completely outside of your usual frame of reference....

Take a giant step out of your comfort zone....you just might discover something very cool.

Peaceful productivity,

Carla

Synopsis Of Tony Robbins: Money Master the Game

I've kept listening to various CD's and youtube recordings of the audio book ofTony Robbins' new personal finance book entitled "Money..Master the Game". Tony's new book is hot in demand at all of the local libraries.

As I review what I've gleaned so far I keep trying to pinpoint what precisely it is that I have learned.

So, permit me to jot down a few ideas that Tony seems to promoting in this book:

1. Mutual Funds are hurting a lot of Americans by charging tons of extra fees many of which their buyers are not even aware of. One point seems to be that Tony is advocating Vanguard "Low Cost" Index Funds as an "ideal" investment vehicle. Why Vanguard? Tony's perspective is that Vanguard seems to be taking the "low fee" moral high ground versus a plethora of other mutual fund dealers who are robbing their clients through outrageously high fees.

2/ Financial advice, is often not very objective in the  USA with many investment advisors having obvious and not so obvious conflicts of interest because they often receive monetary incentives for convincing their clients to purchase certain investments versus others. Therefore, Tony advises folks to use "fiduciary" advisors, which are supposed to cling to a higher standard and act more altruistically in the best interests of their clients. Tony also advocates using "fee only" advisors instead of those who charge ongoing management fees that take significant chunks out of folk's investment nest eggs.

3/ Tony unashamedly promoted two financial/investment companies namely STronghhold Financial as well as High Tower. Without going into much detail...one or more of these companies can be accessed through links that Tony mentions in the book, and provide "no cost" analysis of your current investment portfolio. I have not accessed any of these online tools that Tony promotes, but I am wary....because in the long run, they will for sure be promoting the use of these companies as paid financial "handlers" or "advisors". Businesses are in business to make money...and this book is not a food bank type of social service. Tony wants to promote the financial services of those who have treated him and/or his company well over the years. Can you blame him?

4/ There was a significant amount of time spend "name dropping" supposedly to inspire us to believe that if these finance/investment success stories figured out how to make it big....then maybe we can too. However, it was difficult for many of us to relate to the "larger the life" investment "icons" such as Ray Dalio or
Carl Ichan. However, I have yet to read through all his "real life" testimonials...so perhaps there will be a few that I can relate to.....

5. Tony advocates a simplistic ideology when it comes to how we plan our finances. He calls it his "bucket" method. He says our "security" bucket should included those investments that have a low level of risk and a high level of "guaranteed or "can't lose" type of investments. He also mentions another bucket...which Tony labels as a "risk/growth" bucket.  This kind of simple ideology is actually quite effective in helping regular folks to get a grip on their own risk tolerance and to help them implement good financial planning techniques.

6. There are some specific investment vehicles which Tony mentions, perhaps more for inspiration, not because he is qualified to compare one vehicle over against another investment vehicle. For example Tony talks about a product called "T.I.P.S" which are actually called "Treasury Inflation Protected Securities".
I could not find a verifiable source of these in Canada....so either perhaps they don't exist in Canada or maybe I just don't know the right place to look. What I found attractive in this type of investment vehicle is that it protects the investor from the formidable threat of inflation, which is a worrisome force for any long term investor.


Well that's it for now....I still have not made my way through the entirety of the whole audio book.....I've been what you might call literary "grazing".

One youtube commenter made the bold comment asking "What precisely can  you actually learn from this huge book?" Well, although the answer is not too obvious, I would say that there is merit in this book, but it meanders about and isn't set out in a straight forward manner. The ideas are not hiding in plain sight. Tony uses this book to air his thoughts....both his rants and raves and financial aspirations and actual portions of his financial history for us to pick through and rejoice in what nuggets we can glean. He allows us, quite candidly to learn from some of his mistakes and take inspiration from some of his victories. But that being said.... Tony doesn't act like he's "arrived"....financially. He comes across quite humbly as a student of many of these titans of personal finance like Carl Ichan and Ray Dalio, among others. Tony's attitude is something many of us can learn from in and of itself, even without any factual tidbits to sink our teeth into. Why do I say that? Because coming from a perspective of respectful "studiousness" and being willing to learn quietly from the big wigs is a remarkable skill that can catapult many of us from obscurity to prosperity faster than we think.
Having a great attitude puts us in tune with like minded individuals who possess what we may be lacking in our ladder to success. We all need mentors...and we attract more helpful interactions with our mentors when we have a great "confident, friendly and still humble and teachable" attitude.

Bottom line.....I'm still not done the entire audio or hardcover format of his book yet. So I will refrain from commenting too freely until I feel that I have given the book it's full due diligence.
Frankly, I still find that there are not enough personal finance books on the market...to which the common man/woman can relate. So I do appreciate that Tony has even attempted the feat...albeit with some mixed
results.

Tony's gift is his personal charisma....and you can hear it come shining through in how he wants to help empower us to feel like we can tame this dragon called "financial planning" with confidence, vigor and a fearlessness that puts a wee bit more bounce and joy in our steps. I am grateful to Tony for the courage and friendliness that comes across loud and clear in this book "Money...Master the Game". Even if the book is blatantly promoting some finance/investment firms over others....it is still done in a professional and pleasant manner. Thank you Tony, your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Peaceful productivity,
Carla

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pizza For the Neighbors

Hb No2 Pencil with Fave Red Sharpie, pencil crayons on paper,
Photo Negative effect.

Let's call it "Pizza for the Neighbors"

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cheapest Safest Way to Clean a Bathtub

For those of you who just aren't in the market for a "cheapskate" rant....you are more than welcome to skip over this post....'cause ya just won't get it ")


But for those of you who take profound pleasure from squeezing another drop of value from your hard earned bucks then this wee tip might do the trick.

Ever wanted to clean your bathtub, but didn't want to go out and buy another expensive spray on bathroom cleaner? Well, such was the case for me the other day. So I decided to do what many-a proud cheapskate is happy to do.....I improvised with what I had on hand.

To my delight, there were two simple items that I already had on hand that actually worked.
It was a simple bath mitt coated in Ivory soap.(yes those famous low cost bars of soap). Then I simply ran a bit of warm water and scrubbed down the tub with the bath mitt, which provided just the right amount of "scrubbing power". Then I simply rinsed away the film with warm water....and Voila! A Clean bathtub.

The cool thing is that there are NO toxic fumes or dangerous chemicals to protect your hands from when using such a simple process....bath mitts are epically cheap....as are Ivory soap bars...both available in most dollar stores in my neck of the woods.

Now to be perfectly honest, as I know y'all expect me to be...this isn't the sort of cleaning idea that is going to work for really heavy duty soap scum. You may have to use something a little bit stronger or more abrasive for that....such as adding some Sunlight liquid dish soap or by using yet another scrubbing device such as a new pot scrubber. Just be sure that whatever scrubbing device that you choose, is safe for your tub, as you don't want to damage the enamel or ceramic finish of your bathtub.

Well, that's all for now.
Have a great weekend, and share your thoughts in the comments below.'
Peacefully productive,
Carla

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gentle Three Day Mini Cleanse

This is for those of you....who have that feeling and acknowledge that your body is carrying around some material in the midsection that needs to be gently eliminated from your system.
It's not about some tidal wave powered high cost process that is going to leave you simply lying on the couch for seven days unable to function and carry on your daily activities.

I like health tips that I can incorporate into a busy day, and keep on focusing on my goals while refining my physique and enhancing both my energy levels, resistance to disease and appearance of vibrancy.

So, today I just want to talk about a quick mini cleanse that only requires two items:
B  Complex with Vit C added vitamin capsules, and three chubby cloves of raw garlic.

Basically for three nights in a row you take one chubby clove of raw garlic at bedtime, along with a capsule or two of B complex that has added Vit C in it. Consume a cup or two of room temperature water at the same time. Do this for three nights in a row. In order to get the clove of garlic down, you will need to chop it or crush it into smaller bits, but be sure to consume it raw and use only water to wash it down with.
 ( Vitamin B capsules without Vit C are also good too)
Vitamin B complex capsules can be found in any health store of the vitamin section of any major grocery store.) (for dosages of the vitamin B , consult your doctor)

What might happen? Maybe nothing....or maybe you may begin to see some of the following detoxification symptoms which although maybe be inconvenient, are actually a good sign that your body is eliminating stored toxins:
-loosening of the stools and a general relief from constipation. Unfortunately for some, this may have some urgency to it, so you may want to make sure you have a washroom nearby. But for others, they may find that they can continue on in their regular work/daily schedule without any too frequent bathroom breaks.
-Adult acne: your skin may erupt as the toxins start releasing from deep in your body.Your skin is part of the pathways through which our bodies shed toxins.This type of occasional adult acne is a good sign of detoxification and will clear up as your body becomes cleaner inside.
-More peaceful energy: Remember that raw garlic actually has been proven to lower blood pressure as long as it is in the body, so you may well notice a discern-able change in your mood...a kind of inner "slowness" that some may call peacefulness.

THat's It! Simple eh? Remember, I wasn't talking about a major health renovation, but rather a quick mini-cleanse that may just help tweak your body's inner's sytems into staying on track, help strengthen bowel function, as well as strengthening the immune system. Whenever our bodies become sluggish, it's often because we are lugging around stuff in our digestive system that should have been eliminated several weeks ago.

Why do our bodies store up unprocessed stuff  and clog up our mid sections?
It can be due to some of the following reasons:
*Too little water in the diet.... our bodies need water daily in order to maintain a healthy digestive system.
*Allergies to certain foods create reactions in our gut that slow down or halt proper digestion.
*Too little physical activity. Remember that we were created to move about, even slowly, but surely every day we do need to do something . Even a gentle slow walk around the block is going to help our digestion.
When we stop moving , it isn't just our leg muscles that atrophy, but also our digestive muscles. Walking helps to stimulate the digestive system in a healthy way.

I hope this discussion has been helpful. It's not always about massive change....but a tiny step in the right direction.

Carla

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for conversational purposes only.Note that this blog is not intended as medical advice. This author and publisher of this blog does not accept any liability for the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Medical advice should be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gweneth Paltrow....You Go Girl

This Morning I was listening to a bunch of radio commentators lament the fact that Gweneth Paltrow has opened a new art Studio to which folks can pay to become members. According to the radio chatter, it's entry fee is a cool $1000 bucks plus another $1000 per year in membership fees plus more money if you want to attend one of the art classes.

I wish I could recall, the actual name of the radio show, as that would be all good and proper to give credit...but alas, I wasn't really paying attention as to precisely which radio show I was listening to.

Anywho, the only reason I am talking about this idea at all, is because I wanted to respond to the flow of resentment that seemed to be gushing onto the airwaves from such an eye rolling (yawn) commentary.
There seemed to be the thought by the commentators that Gweneth Paltrow is "out of touch" with the common man, and the, attitude of "how dare Gweneth start up a collective that isn't aimed at the lower or middle classes of humanity." type to 'tude.  To which, I must start to sigh and do a little bit of eye rolling myself.

Why is it, whenever a wealthy person sets up something that is marketed only to the wealthy, that it seems to upset those who clearly wouldn't buy such a product or service in the first place? Must every product be priced according to what "every human" can afford? Can't the rich just enjoy their wealth once in a while? Must they always hide it and act like we are all the same?

Now don't get your socks in a knot just yet. Yes, I believe we are all equal in the eyes of God. However,we are all at different stages in terms of where we fall on a financial scale. That's neither good nor bad....it just IS. Therefore, our ability and freedom to spend is influenced by where we are located on that financial scale. And again...that, in my humble opinion, is neither good nor bad....it just IS.

So let me just vent for a second. If someone has the means and social celebrity to build an ART collective that caters to those with high discretionary incomes....why is that wrong? Don't we want the wealthy to spread their money around? Don't we celebrate when folks don't hoard their wealth but prefer to spend it well?

I am all about personal freedom of choice, when it comes to wealth and it's expenditure. If someone can afford to spend millions of dollars on a private jet and hire personal assistants across the globe, well that's cool with me. When the wealthy spend their money it's better for all of us. Money is intended to circulate, to be spent, invested, lent and poured forth upon the earth....and if you're in Richard Branson's club,....you might even be spending/sending your good cash into space.. I get a good chuckle out of how a lot of folks spend their money. I don't resent it in the least when someone spends their fortune on some product or club to which I don't belong.

Yes, freedom of speech still rocks and folks are taking full advantage of it now-a-days on the radio and inter net, but there is also a time to just let things go and let freedom reign. When you decide to overspend on
eye cream and gold plated lint rollers.... I promise not to roll my eyes. ;)

In Peacful productivity,
Carla