Contemplating career change? Here are four reasons you should take that step.

contemplating career change

Feeling the itch to reassess your situation and contemplating career change is completely normal – especially when your lifestyle in general changes. This could be because your kids have started school or college, you and your partner are getting set to retire, or are already retired and looking for something to keep you busy.   It is reported that on average, people change their career direction at least four times in their life. We change as we age and our circumstances change, so it makes complete sense that we would also want to change the direction we are taking our

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Make changes in your life today for a better tomorrow.

Make changes in your life today for a better tomorrow

  For some people, life only begins after the children leave the nest.   Once retired and your children have moved on, a number of possibilities are available to you. These can include travelling abroad and pursuing your bucket list. However, you can only do this if you’re in a certain condition, both financially and physically.   To have the money and health to live the life you want, make changes in your life today for a better tomorrow.   The first thing you must have to achieve any of your goals is money. You need personal health to have the energy

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Manage your health your way and renovate your life!

getting fit and healthy

  There is no definitive guide or manual on getting fit and healthy. There is no one overarching way to boost one’s health except to manage your health your way.   Everyone has different demands, needs and desires when it comes to their health. So, if one health-boosting technique hasn’t worked for you, don’t be discouraged. Find the health-boosting techniques that are tailor made for you.   To get you started, here are some alternative health-boosting techniques.   Ease into your new healthy lifestyle.   What might have been holding you back from being the healthiest possible version of yourself

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Staging your home for resale isn’t enough! Stage your garden and yard too.

Fence trellis.

If you want your property to look good, it’s not enough to stage your home for a profitable sale, you should stage your garden too.   This is one of the great untapped resources of the modern home.   Focus on designing the best garden in the neighborhood. If you do, you will reap the rewards aesthetically and financially.   Redoing the backyard doesn’t have to be a huge job, nor does it have to be an expensive one. Usually, the budget that goes toward household changes is reserved for furniture and decorating the interior of the home. Obviously, this

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Create and enjoy the garden of your dreams.

Fun, fulfilling ideas for your garden once the kids have moved on.

  Unfortunately, the garden isn’t something that is always appreciated.   The house is the main event, but people often forget how lovely a garden can be for relaxation and socialization, but we’re here to take a stand for the garden and change that.   I love nothing more than relaxing in my garden at the end of the day. If you don’t maintain your yard, though, there will not be much to enjoy.   To create and enjoy the garden of your dreams, you need to work on it as much as possible. I know you may not have

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How Europe tours can change your life.

How a tour of Europe can change your life.

  Regardless of whether you have kids who have just left home or you have been living in the empty nest for a while, you might be looking for exciting new things in your life.   Europe tours are among many wonderful things you may consider for your next major holiday excursion.   There are so many locations that offer you something new and different that boredom will not be in the equation.   Why organized tours are Ideal.   When you take a tour, it’s easy to spend a week or two in the location of your choice. There

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Seeing red: An open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau about our veterans.

Prime Minister Trudeau assures us he cares about our veterans – but does he really?

Although we live in Canada, I normally try to maintain a global focus on this blog. However, every once in a while something will come up that is so important to us I just have to address it on this blog.

After watching a video of yesterday’s town hall meeting in Edmonton where Prime Minister Trudeau was questioned by a severely disabled veteran, I became very angry.

Immediately, I began drafting the following letter. I have already sent it directly to the Prime Minister’s email, am now posting it on this blog, and intend to promote it on Facebook, Twitter and all my other social media.

Here is the link to the video of the veteran’s questions and Prime Minister Trudeau’s response. I highly recommend seeing it. Is it just me or does Prime Minister Trudeau look frustrated and uninterested while listening? 

This video is of the entire town hall meeting. To watch just the portion with the veteran’s questions and answers, go directly to 17:53.

 

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing this to you while feeling extreme disappointment over the treatment our veterans are receiving from our own Canadian government – despite your past promises.

I was too young to be a supporter of your father during his tenure as Prime Minister, but I always admired him. Upon seeing his pirouette when I was very young, my attention and admiration were captured and, despite the fact that I didn’t always agree with some of his politics, for the most part I feel he was a great Prime Minister – polarizing, yes – but he made some decisions and took some actions that changed our country for the better.

I realize I was biased, but I staunchly supported you during your campaign and was delighted when you won the election.

However, since then, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of petitions being circulated online demanding you keep your promises to veterans.

My father was an air force veteran who served overseas; my husband served 21 years in the Air Force, including a stint overseas and is still permanently employed – working for a DND contractor maintaining DND aircraft; and his father was an army engineer for over 30 years. I also have two family members who were killed in WWI. No one can claim that we haven’t been there for our country.

(Scroll to the bottom to see a list of our family members who served, including those who died in service.)

Both my husband and his father suffer disabilities resulting from their service. My father-in-law is over 80 and has been retired for years. My husband was only 45 when he left the military and he’s lucky – his physical impairments don’t affect him so much that he can’t work.

But what about those veterans who have lost limbs, or have permanent, serious, mental and physical disabilities that make it impossible to work? The majority of those suffering these kinds of wounds are young men and women, single and with families, who now must support themselves and their families on what they’ve received, with no prospect of improvement of circumstances in the future. In fact, their circumstances will most likely deteriorate as time goes on.

These men and women deserve to be well looked after. Ideally, if they are unable to work at all due to the injuries, they should receive their full pay for the rest of their lives. For the few there are, I doubt it would have that large an impact on our fiscal budgets – and I’m sure the funds could easily be found somewhere else that is less deserving.

I, myself, have experienced a lot of what these veterans describe going through. I was a federal employee with Corrections Canada and my disability includes: chronic migraines, PTSD, chronic depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and OCD.

These are so severe that I can never leave the house, visit family or friends, no longer drive, don’t shop (use delivery), periodically self-harm, suffer nightmares and flashbacks causing poor sleep, and my husband is left to look after everything else. We have to hire outside help for the housekeeping and yard work because of disability issues. The only way I can communicate with people without suffering debilitating anxiety is through email or chat. I cannot even use a telephone – either receiving or making calls.

After my breakdown at work in 2011, I was never able to return to work. I’m limited to a small “cocoon corner” in our home where I can be comfortable and where my therapy and sole source of pride, accomplishment, and general well being are obtained from part-time blogging and doing almost full-time genealogy research. I have not been on the lower level in our home since my breakdown because doing so causes me great anxiety.

Some may think of blogging as an income, but nothing can be further from the truth. I manage to make just enough to cover the overhead of running the blogs, but there are months when I have to cover the costs myself.

Since my breakdown, I have jumped through all of the hoops that have been asked of me by my employer, the medical and psychiatric community and our government and believe me, they have been too numerous to count. The fact that I and so many military veterans have to be put through the stress and turmoil considering the type of disability we live with is unconscionable.

A few years ago, I was denied a provincial disability pension because they considered me fit for work because of my blogging and genealogy work. Recently, I discovered that there is a federal equivalent disability pension and applied, only to be denied for the same reasons.

I have tried to get meaningful work at home where I can use only email and chat. At one time I thought I had a good chance with Rogers as they have a home worker program, but they require the use of telephones, as do any other companies I’ve contacted online.

When I received the denial for federal pension a few days ago, I fought back the tears, but decided to give it up – not appeal. As much as we could use the small pension I would get in our retirement, my anxiety makes it very difficult to go through the process again.

I’m sending this letter after seeing the video of the town hall where you are addressed by the young veteran who has lost a leg and most use of his other leg – and your response was that they’re asking too much. That was the last straw for me and, despite the usual constraints of my anxiety, my anger is carrying me through.

I understand budget limits, but if our government can’t look after those who truly deserve it, such as the disabled vets, then we have a problem.

Despite my circumstances as mentioned above, I’d gladly give up any pension I might be able to receive from the federal or provincial governments (if I were able to appeal and be approved) if I knew it was being given to a deserving veteran such as that young man.

Would it not be feasible to appoint disability advocates who can visit those of us so disabled in our homes, relieving some of the burden? They could ensure we are aware of and apply for everything we are entitled to and act on our behalf, including completing the paperwork required.

Please rethink your position on disability benefits for military and federal government employees as a whole. Also, please ensure those assessing our applications do not use the very few positive things we are able to do and handle in our own homes against us to deny our applications.

Our homes and ‘out there’ are two very different worlds, and it would be like ‘jumping off a cliff into a fog’ to anyone else not suffering from these disabilities.

My Signature

Family members who served since WWI are listed below. Those who died in service are followed by an ‘X‘.

  • Hervé “Hervey” Turmel (1894-    ) – First World War
  • Private Luther Gummeson (1895Luther Gummeson-1934) – First World War X
    • Before enlisting for military service on December 10, 1917, he was a Lutheran and a farmer in Vancouver, BC. Rumour had it that his early death was attributed to being gassed during WWI. Before his death, Luther was living in the Peace River area…
  • Joseph Antonio Turmel (1896-    ) – First World War

A backyard haven: Moving the indoors outdoors.

garden shed

  For most of us, a garden is just something that sits there behind our house.   It’s a bonus more than anything else, somewhere to sit outside when it’s hot, and a place for the children to play.   What interests me about this mindset is that you have plenty of space behind your house that’s not being fully utilized.   Think about it, there are loads of things you can do to create a more practical garden for your home – something that complements the main building. To do this, you need to make the most out of

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