Posted in Daddy, family, Life, Parenting

It Can Be Very Stressful To Be a 4-Year-Old Girl!

My boys will be experiencing sleep away camp this summer. When I was young I remember my mother asking me, and me providing an anxiety-ridden reply that had 2-letters, a “N” and a “O”.

In hindsight, I should have gone, or they should have forced me. Instead, by 14-years-old I was working in the summers and the rest shall we say is history.

So I want my kids to try sleep-over camp, meet new and interesting people (boring ones too, to be honest) and determine on their own if they want to go next year or not.

My 9-year-old has already asked if he can stay for the month if he wants.

I think what helps with the transition is the fact that we’ve been getting them ready for this for the better part of 5-months, from talking about it, to getting them new clothes and items for camp.

So how does all of this relate to the 4-year-old?

This was the morning conversation about camp;

Boo: “My brothers are going to camp?”

Me: “Yes!”

Boo: “They will be sleeping there?”

Me: “Yes!”

Boo: “I will be going to the same camp?”

Me: “No. They will be away at camp, then when they come back they will go to the same camp as you.”

Boo: “I will be coming home from camp every day… On the bus?”

Me: “Yes”.

Boo: “So my brothers will be at camp. They will sleep there, and then they will come back and we will all go to camp together? I will not sleep at camp, but I will come home and sleep at home?”

Me: “Yes! That is exactly what will happen.”

Boo: “GREAT! Whew. I need a break…”

Posted in Community, Daddy, family, Food, Life, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

If you have been following this blog since 2004, you would know how much I love to garden. Love it! Granted, I can’t seem to keep indoor plants alive, but I love to get outside in the spring, turn the soil, feel it in between my fingers, pull out of the weeds and other debris (sticks, glass, rocks, etc.)

Then I plant!  Oh, and I remember to water every now and then, I’ll check the plants, pull weeds, and wait until the fruits and veggies come and enjoy the fruits of my labours as it has been said before.

As a kid, our neighbours behind us had a massive garden – they were 2 older Macedonian women – and they taught me to farm, so I went from a patch with 4 tomato plants and a zucchini plant to a large “L” shaped garden with 64 tomato plants, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, water chestnuts, and whatever else I could buy, borrow from them or grow from seed..

Now, living in Urban Toronto, we have much less space in our backyard, but since we’ve moved, this could very well be the best year for gardening in about 8 years.  Forgetting about all the seeds I planted which died, My garden already has a plethora of raspberry plants, strawberries, blue berries and currents growing, plus one clove of garlic.  The front garden has onions, garlic and potatoes growing, and already this year I have dug out the back garden and framed it so I can top up the bed with 3-4 inches of black soil, peat and compost in order to have the perfect bed for asparagus, peppers, peas, beans, and loads of tomatoes.

My deck already has chives growing and I hope that either the chamomile, mint, lemon balm or basil come back so I can add the thyme and oregano to it and watch the herb garden grow.

Last year I grew: Dill, Sweet Basil, Spicy Globe Basil, Onion Chives, Garlic Chives, Rosemary, Sage, Verbone Lemon, spearmint and Chamomile.   The kids would take a sprig of mint for their smoothies or for lemonade, or they would just pluck out the herbs and eat them as they walked by.  I love seeing Stewie eating the chives.  Linus all the other stuff.

Hopefully my love of gardening will continue with them.

I want to keep the raspberries in check this year (they really do grow like weeds) and have the kids join me in the guerilla gardening in the park or ravine near the house so that in a couple of years there will be a massive patch of berries for everyone in the community to enjoy.

Do you grow things on your patio? Or in a garden? Do your kids try everything too?

Posted in Life

Saturday May 10th is National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day! Parents: Let’s clean out our medicine cabinets.

Parents!  Did you know that over 70% of grade 7-12 students have abused prescription drugs which they get from our medicine cabinets or buy from classmates who have?

Let’s stay a step ahead, and on Saturday May 10th, 2014 – National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day, Canadians in communities across Canada can safely dispose of unused pharmaceuticals and to participate in an overall strategy to help combat the problems associated with prescription drug abuse

This initiative is being led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in conjunction with Public Safety Canada and Health Canada.

In addition to National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada is also launching a campaign with Shoppers Drug Mart, encouraging Canadians to return their unused or unwanted prescription drugs to local pharmacies on a regular basis.

Please do not flush the medication as we want to keep it out of our water stream.

Some Quick Facts
• The 2012 Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS) indicates approximately 410,000 Canadians reported abusing psychoactive pharmaceuticals in the past year, more than double the number in 2011. 
• In 2012, about 1 million youth, aged 15 to 24 years, reported having used a psychoactive pharmaceutical in the past 12 months. About 210,000 of these youth also reported having abused them. 
• According to a study published in Canadian Family Physician in 2010, over 70% of grade 7-12 students who abused prescription opioids in Ontario sourced the drugs from home.  

By working together, we can protect Canadians from the misuse of prescription drugs and tackle head on prescription drug abuse and addiction.

Posted in Community, government, Life, politics, Toronto

What the Ontario Liberal Party, NBA referees and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have in common

I have to be honest.

I’m pissed off.  I am fired up and I have not felt this way in a LONG time.

What has me all fired up, you ask?  Well it is the common bond that ties together Ontario Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who “officiated” the Toronto Raptors series against the Brooklyn Nets.

Any guesses?

Let me throw out a couple of terms which come to mind;


… and with all of these terms there is the one thing that binds them – that they are all completely inadequate at doing their jobs – and the frustration that they will not be punished for their inadequacies.

I’m at a loss.

Let’s start with the Premier of Ontario who took over from the former Premier but won this leadership role without a) knowing of any wrongdoing by the party before and b) took part in any decisions which were wrong (ie/shredding documents).  She thinks the people of Ontario are not aware that she is the exact same as Dalton McGuinty.

Really, Kathleen Wynne should not Wynne (err, win) the upcoming Ontario election, right?  She’s lied, played dumb, and is suing anyone who talks shit about her. She has proven to be a clone of Dalton McGuinty – spend first, then delist services and tax later. Then blame the Conservatives… Or the NDP.

Now that the campaign is on, I listen to her talk and no matter what she says, I cannot hear her.  I want to hear her – her message, her thoughts on the Province, on the city I live in, and on the hot button issues, but I cannot.  She talks and talks and I hear, “blah, blah, blah” and that noise is the past 9-years of Liberal rule and the lies, and waste that they have created all the while running the Province without any public scorn that has come the way of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (more on him coming up).

I’m angry because I feel like no matter what she says there are a whole lot of Ontarians who are going to vote for her anyways because the Liberals are the middle of the road party so a vote for them is a “safe” vote. But it’s an expensive vote!

I’m even more frustrated because I do not feel that the PC’s leader is fit for the job – he’s not warm and fuzzy like Dalton was – and no one wants to see a NDP government in power (thank you Bob Rae), I’m afraid for Ontario…

Now on to Toronto and Mayor Rob Ford, who continues to show even his most ardent supporters that he’s somewhere between a moron and a giant moron when he tells the public he’s not drinking anymore, that his drug use was a one time affair (drunken stupor, anyone?), and then he continues to get caught doing the things he’s been stating he was not doing.  On video yet!

So here is what I know now about him.

He’s a liar.
He’s a thug.
He has addiction problems.
He is in denial, and he thinks that the public will continue to forgive him time and time again.

That was until this latest video emerged of him getting high, talking rudely about fellow colleague Karen Stintz and in doing so, flushing away his chances at re-election.

So he pulls the rehab card.

And while everyone knows he should have been in rehab a long time ago, he has “checked into” the world’s most effective treatment facility where after one week he is able to make outgoing calls and report that he feels “incredible”.

This time no one buys it, and trust me… in the same way the Toronto Star refuses to touch the George Smitherman story, they will find Ford and expose him again.  Even toying with the idea of Doug Ford running for mayor was thrown out, the bottom line is that Rob Ford will not and can not be Mayor come the next election.  Politics is about trust and he’s blown it time and time again.  I don’t trust him, the people of Toronto don’t trust him and those who were out to get him from election day (hello Joe Mihevc) are laughing and laughing.

The final piece of this puzzle of stupidity have the names and faces of the referring crew who handled the Toronto Raptors series against the New Jersey (err, Brooklyn) Nets.  Foul after foul called on the Raps and you started to understand that the whispers surrounding this series might be true – that no Canadian team was going to beat the Nets.

Even after acknowledging that the Nets tanked their last 2 games of the season to set up a playoff series with the Raps, the league said and did nothing, and while fouled after foul were committed against the team from Toronto, they said little more.  It got to be so obvious that even in the game 7 loss, the refs called a foul on Kevin Garnett of the Nets instead of Deron Williams because Williams would have received his 6th foul and fouled out of the game, whereas KG could take another.  On this specific play, it was 100% clear that Williams bear hugged and took down the Raptors player and sat on the floor hands together as if praying not to be called.

Clearly guilty.

Until determined to be innocent by the referees.

It was awful.  Embarrassing.  A black eye for a league which already had to deal with a referee who was cooking games for betting purposes.  The league would have been wise to comment at any point in time to suggest there was nothing happening – even suggest there would be a review – but the league was silent and the Raptors lost.


So here I sit, frustrated that Wynne, Ford and these referees continue on today as if they have legitimacy in their roles but they do not.

They lie, cheat and steal and until we, the public, have our say and force them to find a different job, we will continue to be frustrated, and shake our heads in bewilderment.