Friday, October 25, 2013

Then and Now

I just finished reading Doctor Sleep, Stephen Kings' follow up to The Shining.  I loved the book.  I loved the connections to the original and I like how Danny evolved and grew up.  I knew it wouldn't be pretty and I was right.  He is truly a master writer in my opinion.

Reading this book took me back to the first summer I read for fun.  I might have been 13 or 14, and had bought a red covered book called the Bachman Books.  Inside those pages were a few short stories, four I think, that took my rural country girl ass on several wild adventures.  I finished that book fast and went back to to get more of Richard Bachman's stories.  It was then I learned the man whose writing I craved was Stephen King.  I began to read novel after novel of his, as many as I could find, buy, swap and borrow.  My favourite is of course The Shining.  I love many others but once I read The Shining, I became a forever fan.

I had discovered the thrill of horror thanks to Stephen King, and I just couldn't get enough.  I stayed up late to watch Alfred Hitchcock repeats and as much Twighlight Zone I could take.  Fast forward a few years and I can say it is Kings' fault that my children were raised on horror and the incredibly mysterious.

My kids are well adjusted, for the most part and have no lasting scars.  They love the horror genre in all forms as well.  They can watch anything with me, although often we figure out what happens next and who will survive and who will die.  The best movies are the ones where we're wrong, the joy at being duped by the ending is fantastic, those are our fave's.

So here's to a great book and to a great writer that opened the doors to my imagination so many years ago.

2013 Sucks !

Today is October 24th, 2013.  More bad luck, we feel like magnets this year.  Below is a draft post I wrote back in August but didn't publish at the time.  Due to recent events (of more bad luck) I am posting it unedited.  It is what it is, and that isn't a pretty thing, lol.

Today Boss and I celebrate 17 years together it should be a wonderful and happy day as he's in Alberta somewhere and I'm here on the farm in Ontario.  As I knew our anniversary was today, I sent him this post... 

Today he sent me a lovely E-card with the following endearing words "Happy Anniversary Sheri, 17 year,s,  can't believe you haven't run away yet or been chased away...lmao love you Sheri... let's hope that we can make it out of 2013 alive..xoxoxo"

Not only do I appreciate the sentiment and his humour,  as the thought of running away has crossed my mind repeatedly over the years, I am truly hoping to escape 2013 with as little drama and scars as possible.  This has been the year from HELL.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My thoughts on Me

Here's a thought ... 
As 2012 comes to a close most people take some time to reflect on the events of the past year.  I have done this, a quick reflection.  At first I thought, "Nah, nothing much happened to me", then I forced my mind back to the January & February.  I began to recall how much mental turmoil I was in about my job and it's conflict with my kids. Through March I struggled then finally, with the help of my husband, I made the choice to stop working, chose an end date and focused on that.  What a relief.  My last few months of real estate sales were fun and profitable, my kids were happy, hubby and I were happy.  The plans for the farm began to take shape and I could focus on hubby and all my kids - four in total.

The summer was busy with chores, household reno's and running the girls to soccer, oh so much soccer.  I had begun to morph into the stay home soccer mom.  I loved it.  However, as summer turned to fall, the kids were readying for back to school, I wondered what do I do now ?

Still busy with paperwork for our trucking company, it couldn't fill all my time.  I found myself missing the hustle of my former job, the mind stimulation and communicating with my peers and other adults.  I understand that many women go through this and I did after the birth of each of my kids.  This time would be different, this was what I would be doing, for a long time.  I had to adjust, figure out a way not to go mad.  Once the girls would return home from school and we would do homework I was fine.  They were full of questions and in learning new things were growing intellectually.  So, I began to read.  I would read blogs, news, all sorts of obscure and varied articles I found on the internet.  I had begun to exercise my brain again, in between all the chores of course.  I was busy, I was happy, not missing anything and I thanked hubby for allowing me this luxury of being with the kids.

It's funny how once fall kicks in full force many of us feel worn out, ready to hunker down for the winter that's about to come.  But I was still going strong, hubby and I had made plans for a late November tropical holiday.  The prospect of this adventure for us was uplifting to say the least.  By the way, Aruba was fantastic, sun, sand food and beverages.

Upon our return it was time to ready for Christmas and I had a great appreciation for my family.  As I reflected I found that the year 2012 was an evolutionary year for me.  I had a lot of time to think and process the changes that had and were taking place.  I had made good and bad decisions and good and bad changes.   I had begun to morph into someone "newish".  After living for 45+ years I suppose this is to be expected, but settling into this new me hasn't been easy and I know I need to work on a few areas.  I can only trust that by the spring of 2013 the painful morphing will be complete and the transition will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Safety & Real Estate

As you may know, I am a Real Estate Representative.  As such I find myself meeting new people all the time.  Striking up a conversation on the street, in a store on the phone or via email and most recently through text messages.  Have I ever been concerned about who I'm speaking to ?  Who I will be meeting at a property ? You bet I have, and I will always take some form of precaution.
Technology has brought about a feeling of anonymity for many.  How brave some folks are, kids even, sitting at the screen of their computer or smartphone in the safety of their home.  Some people simply have too much time on their hands.  This is when the, less than average "Joe", stirs up trouble.
We have all heard the stories of respectable Real Estate Representatives being lured, assaulted or killed in the big cities.  We never really believe something like that will happen here.  I hate to say it could happen here and  it has happened here and all Representatives should look at implementing a safety plan.
As a Real Estate Professional, our faces, contact numbers, listings, open houses and often vehicles are public information.  We're in local and regional publications and on-line, that is a potential for a lot of  people seeing us and our listings.  This is great for business, but is there a personal cost too ?
For the most part my interactions, via email or phone, with the public and potential clients have all turned out fine.  I am contacted to provide a professional service to lovely couples or genuinely good people.  However, there have been a couple of incidents that were not all professional.  This is when I implemented my safety plan and learned to actually listen to my gut, it is NEVER wrong.
Back to technology and the less than average "Joe".  Most recently someone picked up a lot of female Real Estate Rep's contact info and began texting us.  Some started out business like, wanting to see property others immediately received texts of an inappropriate nature.  Quickly these texts increased in number and in their explicit nature.  Here is where a personal toll is paid by us.  It is not fair, it is not expected it is not professional.  It makes us uneasy, uncomfortable and worried that the last person we are showing a property to could be this "Joe".  Set out your safety plan and always follow you gut instinct, it will never steer you wrong.
I sure hope they catch this texting fool.  It is a cowardly approach to harassment, but harassment it is.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Someone asked me what I thought about Windmills

Someone asked me what I had heard about the wind farm planned near Markdale.  I asked which one ?  Apparently, as far as I know, there may be three planned within 3 to 10 minutes from the village.  How many are real ? one for sure, the other two seem to be under the radar.  That's how these wind companies like to work when they're out to gather leases, it's a big secret.

I have a strong opinion about The Green Energy Act and Commercial Wind Farms. 

Dalton McGuinty and the Provincial Liberals passed The Green Energy Act, May 14, 2009.  Since that date McGuinty put into motion a series of events that has crippled dozens of rural Ontario communities and has cost every Ontarian hundreds of dollars a year in ever increasing energy expenses.

I am not against Green Energy.   I believe in self-subsistent living, planting our own gardens, raising our own cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep , even cash crops for healthier living.  I think it would be great if we could all harness energy on our property to power our homes.  However, not all of us are able to do this for several reasons and often, being self-subsistent has an initial outlay of capital, such as the purchasing & installation of solar panels on our roofs or moderately sized pond or land windmills (residental use) and all of the paraphanalia for storage, that many of us simply just cannot afford.

Wouldn't it be fabulous not to be soley dependant on "the man" for our power needs ? Of course it would.  Now, lets look at  the McGuinty Liberals' GEA.  Wow, a provincial government interested in conserving energy, saving our environment and looking out for us and our health by closing all those nasty caustic power plants.  "sscccrreeaaacchhh"  Wait just a minute.  What I see isn't a Premier looking out for my best interests at all  !

I see a political party looking to keep some lobbyists happy while attempting to make their mark on Ontario.  I see a Liberal party taking advantage of the beleaguered farmer and struggling rural communitites.  I see a Premier spouting the benefits of Green Energy and of thousands of newly created jobs while ignoring the bottom line.  I see the Liberal's GEA as a means of stripping Municipalities of their freedom of choice and power.  I see my energy bill rising.

If the GEA is such a good idea why are McGuinty and the Liberals ramming it down our throats.  Why did they take away Municiple authorities ?  I figure they anticipated objections and planned for them.  Honestly, who in their right mind would run a business expensing more than they can generate ?  No businessman I know, and Government is the business of governing.

I pay an average of about .07 per kWh of electricity on my monthly bill.  McGuinty has authorized the FIT Program, and will pay the following feed in tariffs

         on shore wind     13.5 cents
         off shore wind    19   cents
         Solar ground       44.3 cents
         Solar roof           53.9 / 71.3 cents              
        (as quoted @

So these Green Energy generators are earning substantially more than the energy is worth. Where is the common sense ?  It is no wonder our energy bills are increasing.  Ontario's power delivery systems are most likely in need of upgrade, but supplimenting the income of big business is not something Ontarians should be saddled with.

The placement of these commercial wind farms troubles me.  In a Province the size of Ontario, why must they be in our rural communities ?  I've read their placement is based on the wind readings, ease of delivery to the grid and all of the extensive research mumble jumble findings.  Well, isn't energy delivered to the much less populated areas of Ontario ?  I'm sure I've seen hydro poles reaching far and wide.  Granted there is plenty of wind in Grey County but there are thousands of folks that love the natural beauty of the area, that live, farm, vaction and retire here.  The vast majority of these people would prefer to preserve the beauty and natural enjoyment of the area than look at 10 to 100's of these massive white elephants littering their local landscape. 

Although my focus today is the bad business of the GEA, I would be remiss not to mention that the presence of the wind turbines in our communities have a miriad of issues and health concerns associated with them, from stray voltage issues, noise and infrasound, vibrations and the effect on humans, farm animals and wildlife living in the areas of these farms. 

So what I see now is several Municipalities in Southern Ontario banding together to fight the GEA and it's ridiculous and dictatorial authority.  I also see a Provincial election on the horizon that, with any luck, will rid us of Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals.   I just hope that when they go they take the GEA with them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Money

Ever since I was a little girl my parents would tell me to save my money, "you'll be glad you did someday".

I did pretty well saving my money.  I bought my first car, in the early 80's, with cash.  I didn't have a credit card until my mid 20's.  I had heeded to my folks advice that if I couldn't pay cash, it wasn't time to buy.  When I bought my first home, I had the down payment.  I find myself wondering, is this possible for my kids to accomplish today ?

I am instinctively imparting the same "Save your money" advise on to them. They don't do too bad, however, once they have enough for that big ticket item every dime is gone.  Kids today have little patience.  I am thinking it's a trend of society as a whole.

Every day we hear companies telling us to buy now, pay later.   Credit card companies automatically increase your credit limits every year, retail outlets have their own payment plans and the banks want us to utilize the equity in our home and investments to the fullest.  In 20 years so many of us have become almost totally credit dependant, impatient.

Working in real estate has brought the money issues to the forefront for me.  When I meet a new client for the first time we must discuss their budget and finances and not just the wants and needs they have in a home.  So many home buyers are uncertain where to start, so I become a pseudo credit advisor.  I am no longer surprised at how much debt folks have.  Car loans, leases, equity lines of credit, consolidation loans, RRSP loans and the current mortgage balances. 

We will scan available properties but I always send them to speak with their banks or brokers and then come back to see me.  More often than not, their budget has been amended from my first conversation with them.  The downpayment requirements and TDS & GDS has affected their purchasing power.  So often, home buyers have not even considered the monthly debt they carry could affect purchasing a home, or that those home equity loan payouts may not leave them with enough downpayment to upgrade after the sale of their current home.

Our credit poor society is starting to feel their restrictions. I have spent the better part of two years working on paying down my debt.  I still have a little way to go.  I have to say that no matter what the economy, no matter what great deals may be out there I wish I had continued to listen to my parents advise about saving my money until I could afford things.  I will insist my kids keep improving these saving skills.  *Hear that Morgan ;) *

Given the current state of the Canadian economy, which is so very connected to the faultering US,  I believe is uncertain at best.  The rising unemployment numbers coupled with rising costs of living has me worried for all of our pocket books.  So if you are lucky to have steady income, cherish it and  " Save Your Money "

Thanks Mom & Dad

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remeberance Day

John McCrae

We've heard of a man named John
Loving, caring and strong
He was a medic in the war
Who helped his friends and many more

The times were rough, the day long
The men who faught, so very strong
John wrote a poem for these guys
While under fire from the skys

In Flanders Fields he worked and prayed
Then wrote the words we say today
"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row"

Now John McCrae, he passed away
Too ill to fight, he could not stay
He left for us some words to say
So that the children remember on this day

The torch he passed was for all
To remember the brave soldiers who did fall
The children stand and repeat
"We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields"


We Wear a Poppy

We wear a poppy on our chest
To show the world how we are blessed.
We stand and listen on this day
How so many soldiers went away
To fight for freedon for those they left.

We wear a poppy of bright red
A symbol of thanks for the dead
One minute of silence for us to think
Of how brave souls are the link
Between what was freedom bread.

We wear a poppy at this time
For those who died, a foot on a mine
Give thanks to those not here today
Only guessing what they might say
Was for the best of mankind.

We wear a poppy and are proud
Lay the wreaths, give thanks out loud.
So all remember; the promise to keep.
Freedom for all, the strong and the weak
And walk together on futures safe road.


Good work girls.