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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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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Dread the home improvement mess? Here are some ideal products and protective materials.

Home improvement projects.

  Home improvement work is generally very messy by nature. Therefore, being prepared with the correct equipment will make your cleanup much faster and easier.   Knowing the right products and protective materials to purchase for the home improvement job will protect the various surfaces in the area where all of the work will be taking place.   Do some research in advance to find out what types of protective materials are used by professionals when they are doing the same sort of job. Here are some of the various products that are available on the market that can help

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Tips to refresh and optimize your space with smart and fashionable furnishings.

Luxurious updates for your dining room.

  The interior of your home might be looking a bit shabby.   You may be experiencing a major change in your circumstances such as a move, downsizing or remodeling and renovations. You may not have not done anything to change your home’s appearance in a very long time and have become tired of the same old furniture that you have for the past decade – and shows its age.   To update and refresh your look to suit the new circumstances, or even just to welcome the spring with a fresh look, seek out furniture that is functional, an

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Top hacks to deice your vehicle during winter’s icy grip.

Start output of Story Body As temperatures continue to plummet, many may start to find their vehicles’ windshields encased in ice. There are numerous dangers that arise if you can’t see adequately out of your windshield when driving. It creates unsafe conditions that increase the likelihood of being involved in a collision. At least 11 states have laws that mandate the removal of snow and ice before driving a vehicle. Michael Calkins, manager of technical services at AAA, provided AccuWeather with numerous tips in case you find your windshield frozen with ice and snow during the winter. Make sure your

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4 key habits to increase your home’s longevity.

4 key habits to increase your home’s longevity.

  Increasing the lifespan of your home is about keeping up with the required maintenance.   There are numerous parts of your home that need to be maintained, and here are some ideas for increasing the longevity of your home.   Maintain your exterior.   Having a properly sealed home prevents the interior from becoming damaged. This includes maintaining your roof and siding. You should inspect your roof each year to ensure that there aren’t any visible signs of damage. A leaking roof can damage your sheet rock. It may even lead to mold growth in your home. You might

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Veterinarians warn of risks marijuana poses to pets as legalization looms | Toronto Star

  Veterinarians say they’re seeing an increasing number of dogs sickened after ingesting marijuana. Vets are warning pet owners to take care as Canada prepares for cannabis legalization this year.   Dr. Jeff Goodall, a veterinarian who runs the Sunnyview Animal Centre in Bedford, N.S., said he’s seeing a growing number of dogs with marijuana toxicity. “It profoundly affects the neurological system. It can progress to tremors and seizures, and they can go into a coma,” he said Tuesday. He said the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in marijuana doesn’t make dogs high. Rather, it makes them very sick. “The THCs are

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