Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Woot Woot.. Gluten Free Has Gone MAINSTREAM

Perhaps some of you could already see the writing on the wall with regard to the gluten free movement.....but for those who were waiting all these years for the breakthrough, it was a very long long road.

But, alas, I am so glad to celebrate that now MANY major food distributors have added BIG BOLD gluten free products to their regular line up. Gluten free foods are almost as common as 2% milk  lol.

Shall I name some names? Cheerios! Becel Original Margarine! Hellman's Mayonnaise! Mirage Margarine.
To name just a few.

These are big names in the food business....and it was no small task for these companies to be able to print clearly on their food labels "Gluten free". It is a multi-million dollar venture to convert any high volume product into a "certified gluten free" product. Much is at stake....

I can only imagine what must have gone through the minds of the CEO's of these companies as they ventured into the new and uncharted territory called "Gluten Free".

Perhaps they were thinking:  " If we go "gluten free" will we lose our "regular "customers in favor of a much smaller and very niche market? If we go gluten free, will it be sustainable? How hard will it be to maintain a completely gluten free facility? Or is it just a fad that we just spent millions to cater to? How large should we write "gluten free" on the label? We want it to be noticeable, but not distract from the rest of the packaging..."

But these CEO's spent their dollars well and have earned my respect by biting the bullet and ponying up some mainstream products with a gluten free twist. Methinks that they began to understand that those who are trying their best to eat a gluten free diet are tired to eating "odd" and unknown food labelled products.
Gluten free people are us. We are normal. We eat fast food. We work, we live and we are busy. Trying to sniff out gluten free foods is our least favourite thing to the mass food producers have responded by bring gluten free foods out of the closet. Thank you!

Ps. as a wee word of caution, please make sure that you do see the actual words "Gluten Free" printed on the label of the product before purchasing. Some of the above brands still carry many products that contain gluten and they may be located on the grocery store shelf right along beside your gluten free products. Therefore, just be sure to check the label......but I'm sure that you already are accustomed to doing that.....for years ")

Have a splendid gluten free day,

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Does Your Soap Get Smushy?

Since I became a homemade "soaper" I've begun to notice soaps and their condition more closely.

Too much soap gets wasted and thrown away for ONE SIMPLE reason!
The reason is that people allow the soap they have just used to sit on wet counters or on a wet tub rim!

When homemade soaps ....and most commercial soaps too, sit in water too long, they absorb that water and get SMUSHY and useless...and the owners usually throw them out because they just don't know what to do.

So, as I love to putter around like a pioneer woman, I grabbed some scrap pieces of wood and  a couple plain rubber bands and Voila! I invented a rustic "soap saver" to rest my homemade soaps on after using.

Now, when I use my homemade soaps they dry up quickly after using and last MUCH MUCH LONGER!

Would you like to try to make your own "soap saver"?

All you need is:

1/ four pieces of scrap wood that are free of splinters and are close to the same size. If you can't find four pieces to make a square "soap saver" then just use two equal pieces and then another two matching longer pieces to make a rectangular shaped "soap saver".

2/Hammer the pieces together, but don't let the nail heads touch the bottom surface. You don't want the possibility of the metal nails to touch a wet counter top or tub rim and cause rust.

3/ Use some sand paper to sand down any rough edges that remain. You want your "soap saver" to be safe to touch even with wet hands.

3/ Take a couple of plain ole rubber bands, the kind that come from around the local newspaper that is delivered to your door and wrap them around the wooden frame. Criss cross the design until the grid is small enough that a bar of small soap won't fall through the holes made between the rubber bands.

That's it you're done!

D.I.Y. heaven :)
Peaceful productivity,

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Best Gluten Free Margarine

Always on the hunt, my friends for more gluten free foods that are affordable and tasty.
So today's winner for gluten free margarine is.....drum rolll.......

Mirage Margarine by Golden Gate. The local bakery where I buy it charges less than $3 per tub, so that's even better!

Here's their company website for photos and recipes.


Give it a's creamy and easy to use on gluten free toast and crackers and performs well for cooking/stir frying too.
Let me know if you like it too.

By the way, if you really don't like the thought of buying margarine that has a long-ish list of ingredients than consider the simple answer.....go back to's always gluten free ")


Buy my new book Life in the Gluten Free Zone on Amazon today!

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for conversational purposes only. The blog's author and publisher does not accept any liability for any of the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Always obtain medical advice from a licensed medical practitioner.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Monitored, Controlled and Designed by YOU

Tony Robbins has a powerful teaching called "Changing State".

How do we know when we need a "change of state"?
Well, we don't need a doctor to recognize the signs:

  • miserable countenance
  • circular ( getting nowhere) style of thinking
  • funky emotional state
  • uninspired spiritual state
  • unpleasant social interactions
  • being too hasty to react to circumstances beyond your control
  • lethargy
  • feeling physically undisciplined
  • sluggish mentality
  • losing sight of your most precious goals's the great part....this part is 100% designed and controlled and monitored by YOU!
No one else is going to tell you how to change your state. You are going to discover or uncover the
simple magic ticket that will allow you personally to change your state!

So, here's the cool part. Just answer these very few questions to uncover your own personal
state changing magic ticket.

1/ Which activity is most accessible to you? Pick one that you can handle and isn't too far from reach.
   such as walking ( treadmill or round the block/track), swimming, dancing, biking ( on a stationary or on a real bike on a real road ")

2/ Ok, now that you've chosen the activity...and begun to do it.....start to become aware of yourself. You will most certainly discover precisely when your change of state will occur. You will start feeling good !
Your sense of well being will rise.
  For example: For ME, I only need to do 41 minutes of walking on a treadmill and I begin to sense my state change by minute number 26. Yes, I continue to do the whole 41 minutes, but the change of state begins to occurr already by minute number 26.

3/ Then write down that number. Share it with someone. Writing it down is going to make it more concrete for you to repeat.

4/ Lather, rinse, repeat. It really is as easy as shampooing your hair. You find what "product" works best for your personality and then you repeat it as necessary. Whenever, you begin to feel the doldrums set in, or your notice that you haven't taken any baby steps lately towards your most precious goals, then, it's time for you to repeat your own "self-prescribed" state changing strategy. Use it as often as necessary.
Allow it to prevent burnout, both emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Use your strategy to help you retain a more disciplined emotional life and it will also permit you to regain more control over your physical state.

I'd love to hear what you works for you, when you design a strategy to change your state.

Peacefully yours,

Agriculture at the Speed of Thought

Pluck it and plant it....that's my goal.....or semi-realistic agricultural fantasy.

I've always been an acorn snatcher and pine cone gatherer.....
What would it take to simply grow whatever seed pods I can forage from my whereabouts?

As a kid, we would gather the grapefruit seeds left over from breakfast and shove them in some dirt in a cup and place them reverently into the sunlight streaming in onto the window ledge and watch delightedly as they grew into real live plants.....nice and tall and then would topple and never quite become the grand indoor grapefruit trees we imagined would appear. But it did teach us what was possible. Grapefruits could potentially be grown from seeds, if only the right environment was created and nurtured.

But is it merely fantasy or more than possible? What would it take to grab any ole acorn or shake the seeds from a pine cone, bury it in some good dark earth , water it and set it under a grow light?
Would it be so hard to grow a proverbial forest indoors ? ")

It would be so thrilling to watch something that I plucked and planted easily sprout roots and a firm trunk and then be able to see it flourish into a hardy strong plant....or even a short tree?

Have you ever had any luck with adding rooting compounds to your indoor plant/indoor tree experiments?

Ever used a grow light?

My son used to play Farmville online for hours....and I dabbled with it upon occasion some years ago. What a delight to be able to grow things virtually overnight...and be rewarded with a speedy and visible harvest :)

Hey, with today's technology and "anything is possible" mentality, I believe that we are just on the cusp of massive agricultural breakthroughs. Vertical farms are just the start. I just pray that I will be able to play with some of these new hi tech "easy grow" food crops right here in my home....and almost instant harvest ")


Thursday, August 25, 2016

What is the REAL Program Behind Rewards Cards?

Ed Liebow, executive director of the American Anthropological Association, says corporations increasingly struggle to make sense of the big data sets they collect on their customers. (quoted from article "Beyond Spam"

So we can agree that corporations are collecting "big data" on you and on me.....all of us, as often as they can.
Yes, they may be having trouble  managing and/or extracting helpful information from that  big data, but that is only a matter of time and acumen.

One of the ways in which corporations collect data on us, their customers, is through the use of "rewards points cards". These "loyalty cards" are swiped
whenever someone buys anything at a certain store, and reports precisely when ( precise dates and times), where and what a human is purchasing. It also records the total bill of that particular transaction....and how it was paid, debit or which credit card.

Why do we use loyalty cards and thus voluntarily give corporations precious private data about our purchasing habits? Because we LOVE free stuff, even if the real value of the points is quite small in real dollars.

It may take someone two years to accumulate enough "loyalty reward points"
in order to purchase even $20 worth of free merchandise, but humans are toting around dozens of rewards point cards, with the mere whisper that they might score some great freebies in the near or unforeseeable future.

Does that mean that I denounce points cards? Nope. But I do want to remind my readers that whenever they are using ANY kind of rewards points cards, that their shopping data is being collected about EVERY SINGLE transaction they swipe that particular points card for.

Corporations spend billions of dollars annually to do market research and here we are giving it to them on a platter for free or voluntarily using our rewards points/loyalty cards....(  a free coffee is all it takes for many of us to divulge tons of our most personal shopping habits!)

Collect travel miles? Yes, your transactions are being collected and stored and analysed so that big corporations can figure out how to market more products to us and part us from more of our money. No, they aren't necessarily out to steal from you, but their goal is to accumulate as much of your cash as possible through the sales and marketing of their products.

Am I anti-corporation ? Nope.....far from it. But I just want my fellow consumers to be aware of the information that they are freely giving away to large corporations simply by using/swiping their loyalty/rewards point cards.

On a bit of a side note....paying cash is still more anonymous than using a debit or credit card. But cameras are rolling anyway, recording all transactions on film no matter how we pay for it....and no matter which rewards point cards we may or may not be swiping.

But maybe just maybe, we can limit the amount of free information that we provide to big corporations for free or next to nothing. Maybe we can think before we whip out our fave points card the next time we run to the store.
Maybe we don't care who finds out what our favourite brand of corn chips are, and where we like to buy them, at what price and at what time of the day and with what form or cash/debit/credit we pay for that bag of corn chips. But maybe we do care.....and maybe we don't need to sell our most valuable information quite so cheaply. 

Thinkfully yours,

Friday, July 29, 2016

I just Don't Get It

There is a finite amount of oil in our earth's crust. Yes, folks may quibble about the actual volume....but there is a good consensus  that there is a REAL and DEFINITE measurable quantity of oil worldwide, which will eventually run out.

So, what I really don't even with all the haggling of OPEC and other oil producers, why hasn't the price of oil stocks bounced back?
Suncor,  (TSX:SU)    is still stuck at under $36 per common share as of $35.19 cdn.

Perhaps the stock market has become naively obsessed  with electric vehicles, without realizing that a significant chunk of our electrical grid is still powered by the oil and gas industry.

I've done a post or two about that before. Electric powered "anythings" are not necessarily green. It's all about what is used to create the electricity we will all be using.

As of 2014, 8.7% of Ontario's electrical grid is powered by the oil and gas industry. Yes, tis true.

For a break down of Ontario's Energy Mix....take a gander at this document:

Do you have some profound views about the lagging state of oil and gas stocks?

Eager for your feedback,
Thinkfully yours,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

An Honest Look at Insurance Companies

Just curious.....I've been hearing and reading about Life and Auto Insurance and I see there is a plethora of information about the "types of coverage" and "types of policies", but very little honest consumer reporting about how helpful and smooth certain insurance companies behave when it comes time to process a claim.

Such kind of "worst scenario" research is unpleasant to consider, but might be prudent for those who want a  REAL world honest appraisal of different insurance companies. Who really wants to think about what will happen if/when they pass? Who really wants to think about what will happen if one ever gets in a serious auto collision? Would we want our close family members to face a rude and unyielding insurance company that refuses to pay out? Or would we want them to deal with an insurance company that sets up so many
hoops to jump through that folks just give up before they resolve a payout dispute?

Most people know that insurance companies are the big money bag holders in the investment world. Anyone ignoring the power of Insurance Companies in terms of financial clout is foolish. The issue remains with the size. Everyone knows they carry a lot of weight and therefore are often intimidated into silence. They don't want to say anything publicly or "on the record" for fear that they will be sued by one of these mega wealthy Insurance giants.

So what's a gal to do? How did you make your insurance choices? Have you deliberately researched what  real live humans have experienced when they had to make a claim with a particular insurance company?
Was it easy to make the claim? Was it difficult? Was it done quickly or did it drag on for years?
Did they refuse to pay out based on some kind of unfathomable legal loophole?
Did you have to use an attorney to help you navigate and  understand the claim process?

Perhaps we need to rethink the whole "politically correct movement" which forbids polite folks from speaking candidly about religion, money or politics . Maybe it will empower more regular folks if we are MORE VOCAL  and more honest. Maybe we will all get a better deal and more reliable and predictable products and services from insurance companies if they realize that we will be holding them accountable and are willing to speak of our experiences. It is your money after all,....and if you don't care about your money.....who will?

Hashtag Consumer  Power ")

Thinkfully yours,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Brilliant Substitute for Grass

Thinkfully yours, 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Peter Thiel -- Zero to One

I've begun delving into Peter Thiel's book "Zero to One".

Perhaps I will share more snippets as time goes on, but for t'day I'd just like to share one unique
chunkette from pages 23-24

"But in 2012, when the average airfare each way was 178, the airlines made only 37 cents per passenger trip. Compare them to Google, which creates less value but captures far more. Google brought in $50 billion in 2012 (versus $160 billion for the airlines), but it kept 21% of those revenues as profits---more than 100 times the airline industry's profit margin that year."

And then permit me to quote one more unique sentence from the first paragraph of page 23

"Creating value is not enough---you also need to capture some of the value you create."

This brief glimpse into some of the profound entrepreneurial truths that this book explores, will compel me to read further.

I feel, as a creative person myself, that creating is my "home base" but marketing and promoting those creative works, are still largely an unknown country....a mystical industry that will require untold years of further study and focus to master. Must an artist always figure out how to market and advertise her own work? Or can she focus 100% of her efforts on creating and outsource the "tedius" marketing aspects? If an artist outsources the marketing and advertising of her work, will she capture more value than if she tries to master the marketing and advertising herself? Or will she be spreading herself too thin and diluting her creative focus?

I think of famous artists such as Vangogh or Davinci, and how their works now fetch millions or billions of dollars per original painted so many years after the original artist's passing.
Is it possible that now artists, or entrepreneurs will be able to reap in the same lifetime 
 some of the value that their works have created?

Is it going to become easier, in our Information Age, to be able to
"Capture Value" in a shorter time frame?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments as always,

Thinkfully yours,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Factual Helps for Depression

Similar to Tim Ferriss' Uber search for

empirical evidence to help him "mitigate"( to use his word) the depression he has experienced at times in his life.

I want to begin a list of what has helped me upon occasion deal with the same.....
It is in no way, a recommendation and should not be misconstrued as medical advice of any kind.
Disclaimer: This post is shared for conversational purposes and the author and publisher of this blog does not take any kind of legal liability for any reaction or understanding of the contents of this blog post.

1/drinking water
2/ putting my glasses on ...funny how that actually makes a difference.
3/ listening to my fave positive speakers via youtube video, CD's or Podcasts or other audio downloads/files.
4/ intellectual gains....such as listening to a Fay Dowker physics seminar, or strolling in my fave trendy bookstore....checking out the latest issue of Success or a gander at a book completely beyond me, but wonderfully compelling. Better yet,  jotting down the titles of the books that compel my vision so that later I can source out cheaper options to find those same titles for free or next to nothing.
5/Taking a dose of St.John's Wort ( a natural herbal supplement available in many health food stores or department store health sections)( seek Medical permission before using and during use.)
6/ sunshine....just enough to light up your eyes, but not too much as to risk sun damage to your eyes or your skin.
7/ Taking one baby step towards any of my written goals....any micro tiny step will do.
As Tony Robbins says succinctly...that "Happiness is progress."
You are alive and YOU HAVE GOALS. You are moving forward. Even the most miniscule step towards fulfilling any of your written goals will bring light to your eyes and a subtle grin to your stride.
9/ walking....five minutes....anywhere.....and my kooky habit of trying to mark my trail with something
environmentally cool, something I can tie onto a tree I pass by or a fence I jump over...without worrying that it might damage that tree. The markers remind my soul by leaving a visual reminder that I have ventured out into unknown lands.

Hoping this wee list may bring light to someone's heavy heart ..or perhaps a giggle... You are not alone, and we all have moments of sadness sometimes. I encourage you to call your licensed medical practitioner and listen to their advice in your journey back to joyous living.


Friday, July 1, 2016

When Your Writing Sucks...Do this?

Bloggers, self publishers, DIY writers....we all have that moment once
in a while when we've reviewed our creative writings and thought
"Oh my...oh my (wringing hands) writing really sucks".

What you do at that moment is crucial.


1/ Run and Hide: Quit writing....pull your self pub ebooks off of the net, and close down all your blogs.
Stop paying those hosting fees and let your website get pulled down.


2/ Stop and Breathe for a moment....and slowly keep writing..In fact...DON"T EVER STOP .!
Admit to yourself that you are on a learning curve and on this curve you are going to force yourself to
 KEEP your LESS THAN perfect work alive on the net....while you learn and keep growing. Keep those scrappy self published titles alive on line. Keep your blogs open....worts and all. Keep that tacky youtube channel open.
Then....after you have caught your breath and survived your own ruthless quality check.......................................................
 start writing again the very next day.

Which Choice you make is yours.....but if you choose that first option....please don't cry to me in 20 years that you wished you hadn't given up so soon. Your breakthrough moment may be just round the bend.

Not all of us will have award winning blogs, or be able to quit our day jobs to pursue a full time
youtube career....but ALL of us, can keep writing and sharing what God has given to us.
Your impressions of life, your reflection of life itself is raw and pure.

I'm going to end with a quote from the epic Tim Ferris:

"If you start out bad but are incrementally improving towards 

awesome, that’s totally fine. If you’re half-assing it and 

coasting, find something else you can whole-ass."

We treasure your honesty. Write on my brother.....we hear you sister.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What Has Happened to CNN?

Perhaps I haven't been paying attention....or perhaps there is a measurable change over the past couple years....but I want to note a few things about the state of on line news websites such as CNN.

Perhaps some questions should be asked first?

Since when is a "one-liner" followed by a series of photos....considered "full news coverage"?

Since when does a "well respected" news Icon like CNN  allow trashy ads to link from their main webpage?

Since when do those who do not have a paid subscription basically be deprived of any meaty news stories?

Is the trend moving towards the only quality news articles being offered to PAID on line subscriptions?

Well, perhaps I shouldn't be talks and often we DO get exactly what we pay for.
So I maybe should not be shocked to find that yes, I have no choice but to suck it up and pay good money for a "real" on line news source. I can't reasonably expect quality if I am not going to pay for it.

Ok, ok, cheapskate talk aside. Why would CNN allow anything that is less than stellar inhabit their website's homepage? I would never confuse CNN on tv with a trashy TMZ tabloid style of news coverage, so why are they allowing such low quality links and ads and ONE LINERS to dominate their homepage?

So real news, with in depth WRITTEN coverage doesn't sell? Facts don't sell? Good analysis, good
synopsis, is what I look for, along with a good overall coverage of the major happenings of the day/week....both nationally and worldwide.

I feel a little lost in today's news marketplace. What is worthy of my time and money when it comes to news coverage? My default stand by is still the The Globe and Mail and it has still NEVER disappointed me.

HBU? Where do you get your news? Do you pay for it? Or do you get it second hand from blogs, colleagues, or the ruffled business section lying strewn at your fave java shop?

Do tell,

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What do They Mean by QUALITY Content?

Browsing through my fave Bloggers' posts and some Youtubers who earn a full time income from their Youtube spawned income, all have one of the same themes.

That theme is that they all preach the power of "Quality Content".

So.....what's that? I used to think that "Quality Content" meant it was essentially "non-fiction"
material that had been adequately researched and provable as reliable information....complete with as many bibliographical footnotes and recommended reading sections as possible. But alas, dear Carla was wrong.

This "thing" or state of being called the "net" is not a university and does not operate according to scientific formulas. But no.....what "Quality" means in terms of the internet and it's fickle a whole 'nother beast.

If modern newscasts are any indication of the current state of affairs on the net, it seems to be that
 "Quality Content" is merely anything that gets the MOST a nutshell. It may not even be true or factual....but as long as it gains popularly and may go "viral"....then as far as the Net is is high five certified "Quality Content".

I kinda wish that folks were asking for my/our opinion on this state of affairs, but sadly, that is not the
case. There is an insatiable appetite for "pop" pieces on the net and that is what gets the most views. It's like junk food for the mind. No need to hire a "fact checker" or research team. If it sounds good.....go for it. If it sells like a tabloid newspaper....then you're on the way to the races.

Hmmmmm....does this make you as sad as it makes me to type it??

Thinkfully yours,

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

One of the Worst MISTAKES the GLUTEN FREE Movement is Making

I'm so happy to see, yet again, that BIGGER and BIGGER corporations are jumping onto the Gluten free Bandwagon and serving consumers like myself who are trying their best to live a Gluten FREE lifestyle.

Some Mainstream big name brand name cereals like Chex are 100% gluten free.
(be sure to read the labels to confirm) Kudos! AND the Big BONUS is that they
NOT CHARGING EXTRA for the fact that they are making their products certified GLUTEN FREE.

But what disturbs me as a person, as a consumer and as a this.
SOME companies are trying to flood the gluten free  market place with
  VERY HIGH PRICED GOURMET gluten free items.

Eh.....err...that kinda just ticks me off! In my mind, if someone is going to "go gluten free", then they are going to have to adopt a lifestyle where  ALL their food items are certified gluten free.
 They DON'T want to just adopt ONE expensive gluten free DISH per month. 

News flash!....

WE, the GLUTEN FREE NATION, eat THREE meals a snacks. 

Therefore, we need the marketplace to provide products for ALL OUR GLUTEN FREE MEALS and SNACK TIMES.

Therefore, i believe that the "gluten free high end high priced gourmet product" promoters
are taking the wrong tack on this movement!

As a gluten intolerant person, finding gluten free stuff to eat all day and every day is a CONSTANT struggle.
Therefore, when I bump into beautiful gluten free foods that are priced out of the stratosphere, I think
"Sigh....they just don't get it."  

NOBODY wants to pay GOURMET prices for the regular foods they eat every day!

We want to pay as close as possible the SAME prices that regular foods cost,
 but in a "gluten free certified" kinda way.

Do you hear me? Do you feel my pain?

Thank you :) Point made.


Buy my new book Life in the Gluten Free Zone on Amazon today!

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for conversational purposes only. The blog's author and publisher does not accept any liability for any of the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Always obtain medical advice from a licensed medical practitioner.

If 30% of Cars will be Electric over the next Decade

Jus' thinkin' aloud again.....such a temptation for a blogger.

Volkswagon has announced that they are developing 30 NEW MODELS of 100% electric vehicles, to be rolled out over the next decade.
 What does this mean for us? What does this mean for investors?

First of all, what would this mean for our electrical grid. If, let's play pretend, that
30% of Canadian cars are electric by 2026, that would put a HUGE sucking on our hydro grid.
Would our grid be able to hold up? Would my province stop selling electricity to the USA in order to keep our electric cars humming? Or would the humble consumer be stuck with outrageously jacked up electricity prices? Would the 30% charge their cars mostly at their homes via their home garage outlets?
Would there be localized "electric refueling stations" around every corner?

I know that Suncor is already developing their next strategy in how they serve the public in the new era of
multi-fueled vehicles. Does every typical gas retailer really WANT to start selling electricity to locals or tourists? Secondly, from the looks of it, it can take a pretty long chunk of time to re-charge a car battery for an electric vehicle. Do we really want to leave our cars for several hours at a re-fueling station? Is that feasible?
Is that affordable? Will re-fuelling electric stations charge tourists for parking fees as well as the electricity they use to "refill" their tanks?

Well, when it comes to investing, should we all start funneling our investments out of oil and gas stocks and into the electrical grid? But then again, did you know that as of 2014 data,
  8.7% of Ontario's electricity was produced by Oil and Natural Gas?

So maybe we have to step back and try to get at the big picture. Going ALL ELECTRIC is not going to eliminate our dependence on oil and gas. It just will change the process.

I definitely don't have all the answers....but we sure do need to think this through.")

Peacefully and Thinkfully yours,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

AirBnB and A Suitcase of Sardines

Tim Ferriss has catapulted himself into a "self help" or "success guru"
by taking his personality type and standardizing it into a career path.
He has outrageous curiosity and has allowed it to lead him to experiment with all kinds of
success and performance strategies.

He then writes about his real life experiments and discoveries in his book series with the titles:

Four Hour Work Week
Four Hour Body
Four Hour Chef

Although some of Tim's exploits are outside of my personal comfort zone, I do appreciate his chutzpah and that he has carved out a multi-million dollar niche for himself simply by being himself.

What can each of us do to maximize our innate leanings? Curiosity does not kill the cat. Curiosity can make for a fine fat cat.
 Are you naturally detail oriented? Love to share your discoveries with those less adventurous?
Then you may naturally be drawn into writing online, making youtube videos and publishing a plethora of items describing how we can learn from your own exploits.

That is all it really takes to mold an online presence into something valuable :)

Peaceful prosperity,

Monday, June 13, 2016

Income Sharing Agreements Instead of Student Loans?

I was reading an article from Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine
"AN ALTERNATIVE TO STUDENT LOANS, Income-share agreements swap debt for a portion of future salary" by Kaitlin Pitsker (July 2016 issue)
 about how some  American students are wiggling their way out of student debt by signing
"Income Sharing Agreements".
These contracts force students to fork over a certain percentage of their future incomes to pay off any student debt. These contracts can last as long as 15 years into your career.

Without rehashing the article, I am wondering if any of the Canadian universities are considering adopting similar methods? Do you think this is  a reasonable concept? Is it in the students' best interests? Or is it just another cash grab, foisted on those young and financially vulnerable?
Does it like "Lunch bag let down" for newly educated young adults pouncing on their first great job?

Or could it be a realistic solution to preventing debt overload?

Looking forward to hear your comments as always,


Thursday, June 9, 2016

3 Easy Steps to Chop $ FAST OFF your Household Bills

This is gonna be a REALLY short pay attention.
If you implement only these 3 EASY Steps, you will IMMEDIATELY start saving money OFF your household bills:
 Start doing ALL your laundry in COLD water. Not cool water, not warm water...but COLD WATER.
This will immediate start saving you money on whatever your home uses to heat your hot water.
If using COLD water to do your laundry makes you uncomfortable, I would encourage you to run a personal experiment and do one full day of laundry using ONLY COLD water and see if you can notice and lowering in the quality of your laundry. I dare ya! Most most most people can not notice ANY difference at all in the quality of their laundry after switching to washing in cold water!


 Unplug STUFF that you don't use on a daily basis. What kinda stuff you may ask?
Well, stuff like your electric blender or your DVD player. Why? Because when electrical items are plugged in, even if the power button is "off", still drain a small electric current from your outlets ....and that constant tiny drain of electrical current is called "PHANTOM" power.
PHANTOM POWER costs you MONEY! So, anything that you don't utilize personally on a daily basis can be happily unplugged RIGHT NOW and only plugged back in WHEN YOU NEED IT.
Stroll through your home and see what items are plugged into EACH electrical outlet in your home. Is there a lamp that no one uses? UNPLUG IT! 


Start super duper shopping and stocking up on the LOCAL LOSS LEADERS. What is that you say?
LOCAL LOSS LEADERS are items that grocery chains and department stores sell "BELOW COST" in order to draw customers into their stores. They don't make money from selling those items, but they use them as a very effective method of getting more humans into their stores. The stores know that once someone is physically present in their stores, the odds of them buying ONLY the loss leader items is very the know that  the customers will wind up buying at least several other items while they are in the store. The stores know that they will earn a profit from these other items, even if they lose money from the "LOSS LEADER" items.
So what, in your local stores are the LOSS LEADERS? For us, it is totally BANANAS. Literally, bananas are a very effective high volume sales item that almost EVERY large grocery store and/or department store in my city carries. The prices are literally ROCK BOTTOM and there is even a price war going on to reach the lowest of the lowest LOSS LEADER PRICES.

So, in closing, stock up on these items...whatever they may be in your city.....
( some plentiful and very low priced well stocked items) and use them to keep your pantry full. Your family will thank you for it and your wallet will too :)

Peacefully productive,

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Is Gluten Free Fast Food an Oxymoron?

It's coming...whether you are ready or not....the GLUTEN FREE apocalypse...
Ok, ok, I'm being rather dramatic....but in all seriousness, if you or someone you love is working in the food industry and has not accommodated the GLUTEN FREE market...
....then a dramatic U-TURN is required.

Gluten FREE foods are not only a legitimate food category, it is now becoming a MASSIVE GROWTH opportunity to build up market share for those who DO NOT have a MEDICAL reason for eating a gluten free diet.
Are you shocked???

You shouldn't be. More books and research has been done lately on the benefits for
"REGULAR" consumers to adopt a gluten free diet because it simply

Why? Gluten is a complex "hard to digest" molecule that even "regular" folks can have a hard time digesting.
Therefore, when  ANYONE adopts a gluten free diet, they may begin to notice changes and improvements on many levels of human functioning.

 These improvements may include:

  • less mood swings
  • more emotional stability
  • more energy
  • Less abdominal bloating, and gas 
  • more predictable digestion and elimination
  • less constipation
  • improvements in complexion of the skin

Need I go on ? But don't take my ideas as truth....just try it for yourself and see what your results  may be.....
Only YOU can discover if a GLUTEN free diet can help you live better.

Let me know how gluten free food makes you feel in the comments below

Peacefully yours,

Buy my new book Life in the Gluten Free Zone on Amazon today!

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Banana Wars

Over the past few weeks I've noticed that there has erupted a rather CUTE banana price war in my neck of the woods.

I suppose one might be able to trace it back to Walmart...who seemed to be the last one who sold their bananas at the juicy retail price of 57 cents per lb for the last several years.
But lo and behold, it seems that Zehrs... ( the high end banner of Weston stores)
has caught the "low price bug" and decided to join the the banana price war.

Zehrs has for many years been targeting the more "well heeled"  and higher end shoppers, but perhaps methinks that they are rethinking their strategy to match a more "realistic" shopping scenario for most
Ontario, Canada shoppers. So they've created a new and competitively priced genre of fresh produce products that can match---  if not BEAT-- the juicy low prices of the box stores.

So, for the humble bananas that they used to charge 99 cents a LB for, they are now charging only
57 cents a LB.

The "Real Canadian Wholesale Club" which markets to shop owners and restaurateurs is also in on the game and was last seen selling their bananas for only 56 cents per lb. I can only applaud.

Zehrs'  competitive pricing strategy includes juicy new pricing for English Cucumbers as well as
fresh Red Tomatoes.

Competition is ALWAYS a good thing, at least in this regard.
Thank you big huge grocery chains for helping big families shop smart.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shop With Me

Want to browse a book store like "Chapters" with a friend who loves the same books you do?
 Now you can! Come putter through my shop with me at my Amazon Store. I've selected a few of my favorite Boot Strappers and Epic Life Hackers who never cease to make me pause and have a good "think".
Enjoy  my   Shop Till You Think Shop   .

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why You Should Try Gluten Free...Even if You Aren't a Celiac

Ok, folks....I  just wanna write today to those of you who aren't necessarily diagnosed with any kind of gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Why? Because it is being discovered more and more, that eating gluten free foods can help ANYONE's digestive system take a much needed rest from the standard "gluten packed" diet.

What folks need to realize is that the molecule called "gluten" is a VERY VERY hard
nut to crack when we ingest it as food. Digesting GLUTEN is very hard work even for the healthiest digestive system. Even the healthiest human being can be negatively affected by eating too much gluten.

Anything with WHEAT in it contains gluten. Gluten is hard to digest! It requires a lot of energy and effort on the part of our stomach, intestines, and colon just to process it.
Therefore even if you are perfectly healthy, you may just want to give your body an occasional
break from eating any source of gluten for a full  "day" or  "week" or a whole "month".
Remember that gluten can stay in your system for many days, so if you are going to give your body a break from gluten, you want to try to stick to a gluten free diet for a good chunk of time. Give your body a chance to cleanse itself of all the gluten it is holding onto, and see if you begin noticing any improvements.
You may, as gluten leaves your body, begin noticing a thinner waist line, a clearer complexion,
 and a more stable mood.

You never  might feel completely revitalized and regain energy simply by removing
gluten from your regular diet.

It is a personal choice what we put in our mouths. Far be it from me, to tell anyone what to do... But I want to encourage you to experiment and see how eating differently may improve your life.We don't HAVE to eat anything we don't want to....and thus we can observe and sense the changes that our diets have upon our own sense of wellness, energy level and moods.

Be blessed and well,


DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended as medical advice. This blog post is intended for conversational purposes only. The author and publisher of this blog do not take any liability for any ideas discussed in this blog post or any other blog post on this blog.
Medical advice should always be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's OK to Be a NOOB

Now don't get slick on me. Everyone's a NOOB at some point in their lives or careers...

We aren't born knowing how to do very much. So don't be shy just because you know you have to face that awkward stage where folks may notice that you are just an entry level amateur noob.

There "ain't nothin' wrong" with moving ahead with a project even if you know it's not going to come off as pro or epic "mastery".

As I've blogged about before....just because you will never become a concert pianist doesn't mean you should never learn to play the piano. Playing the piano for many years at an "entry" level is totally cool in my humble opinion.

And the same goes for many other things you may want to do online. Yes, you will most likely improve with practice at most of the things you do.....but that doesn't mean you should hesitate to do something just because you aren't yet slick at it.

For example, you may be a novice writer. You just LOVE to write, but have never published anything publicly and are terrified of being bashed or trolled for putting something out there that isn't polished or professional. What would my advice be?? I'd say...GO FOR IT ANYWAY!

Yes, it's hard to put out work that you know is not yet straight AAA STAR studded quality. But that doesn't mean I regret any of the stuff I have put out there online. I'm very proud of all my "noobish" ebooks and awkward blogs and regrettable tweets. Why? Because I had the courage to be out there in all my "noobish" glory....being willing to make epic fails in public, for the sheer purpose of knowing that
"nothing risked...nothing gained". All the gains I have made in life, have been because I have been a risk taker. I have been willing to take risks, without knowing whether I would succeed or flop. Thankfully, most of my efforts have been fruitful.

And so....I improve. I continue to grow....and eventually, with God's help....I will reach mastery of those skills I have put my hands to. But the bottom line....the point I really want to make to you my beloved readers is this.......I keep moving forward because I am not embarrassed to put work out in public that is less than awesome. I keep producing high volumes of work, because I know that through the sheer volume of projects I create, I am giving myself  MASSIVE LEVERAGE that will eventually tip the scales in my favor.

What have you given up doing just because you couldn't go public with something less than perfect?
What can you move forward with, now that you have the courage to be a noob?
Looking forward to reading your comments in the section below.

Peacefully productive,

Monday, May 23, 2016

Your Own Genius

Well, our childhoods don't last forever....and no matter whether those years were positive or negative, there comes a stage in adulthood, where one begins to realize that we need to
  protect and nurture those qualities about ourselves that we value most.

For example, if you want to continue to play the piano that you learned as a child, you are going to have to keep a keyboard or old school piano around in your dwelling somewhere and keep at it. Even if you only play it once every three months or so, you will keep your skills alive and fresh in your short term memory.

What you attend to regularly will stay fresh in your mind and remain a part of your life.

So...back to my original thought.

If you want to keep your genius......... we are going to have to figure out how to nurture it. It's one thing to nurture the genius in your own child, as they are young and still under your care. But it is a whole 'nother thing to nurture the genius in yourself, as you age and embrace middle age.When your lifestyle and life stages change, your strategy for self-care needs to change too.

What is THAT going to take? How are we going to nurture our own genius, continuously as we age?
How can we incubate the genius that is lying dormant within us?
Well, I don't pretend to have the answers....but here are a few random ideas:

1/ Protect your fave "think" spot. Maybe it's a quiet room in your home. Maybe you need to protect it from
some other household purpose and preserve it for your thinking time.
 (hint:don't let the vaccuum cleaner be stored there :)
It's called your own personal THINK TANK. It's important. It's personal. Guard it and protect it.

2/ Make it a priority to simply feed that wonderful brain of yours with empowering mental "food".
Yes, I have loads of ideas about that, but it's not about my opinions, it about what nurtures
YOUR genius.....not mine. What nurtures my genius is not the same as what makes your brain explode with creativity. The authors that make my mind thrive are not the same as yours.

By the way, one hurdle I had to overcome, as I began to explore new thinkers and authors, was to allow myself to read and learn from people with whom I had HUGE personal differences.
You see, I used to think, that in order for me to able to glean any quality information from a writer/thinker, I had to be in 100% agreement with the lifestyle and beliefs of that particular writer/thinker.
Boy, it was a huge relief to get free from that VERY VERY limiting mindset.
For it was literally IMPOSSIBLE for me to find the information I was seeking from ANYONE who believed the same things I did. Therefore, I changed my mindset and am now free to learn from whatever person or source I choose, no matter if I have REALLY big personal differences and belief systems than that particular writer or thinker.

3/ Protect your 'Noggin. Literally. Your brain is your greatest asset....and it's not going to help you if you split your wig in a bicycle accident, because you just didn't wanna protect your brain with a helmet.
Protect your brain whenever you play aggressive sports too.  A puck to the head is not going to help you nurture your genius. Guard that brain of yours with physical barriers to impact. Wear your seat belt when you are in a vehicle. It makes sense.

Well,that's all for now.
In peaceful productivity,

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hey McDonalds Canada...... We want Gluten Free Burgers Too

I was surprised and inspired to read in an online MSN article
that McDonalds serves GLUTEN FREE BURGERS in several European countries!
To be specific, the MSN article stated that McDonald restaurants in Italy, Finland, Norway and Sweden offer a gluten-free burger..

That's great news for Europe....but hey ...what about us???

There are plenty of Celiacs and Gluten Intolerant people in Canada....would it be so hard to set aside a few special gluten free burgers for us?

If you click Here you'll be able to see for yourself all the varieties of menu items that McDonalds has developed across the globe. Can you find your country or regional flavors listed?

If you feel strongly about this issue, maybe it's time to drop a line to your own McDonalds headquarters.....
and ask them to offer some delicious gluten free items.

Contact McDonalds Canada

Contact McDonalds USA

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wow This Life Hack Actually Worked

Annienygma is one of my fave bloggers.
Her little tips and strategies have empowered many many folks 'round the globe thrive without overspending.

She is a determined minimalist and has been living for many years on her book royalties which she authors and selfpublishes online.

Anywho, so what is the life hack she suggested that worked for me?
It was her simple advice on how to unclog a drain.
Annie suggested using boiling hot water with vinegar and baking soda and salt and dishwashing soap.
I actually only have to use three items and it worked excellently....
My kitchen sink was clogged and I really really prefer not to use those really toxic and "too strong"
chemical drain openers. So I poured about 1/2 cup of table salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda into the clogged drain and poured about 2 liters of boiling hot water right on top of it all.....
It took about 3 minutes and it actually cleared of it's own accord!! I didn't even have to use a plunger on it:)

Thanks Annie! You Rock.
To visit Annie on her blog click here Annienygma ...

Peaceful Productivity,

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Another Potential Win for Canadian Investors

Was happy to notice a wee blurb in Monday May 2 ,2016's Globe and Mail
entitled "The investment industry's growing unrest over hidden fees" by Clare O'Hara.( section B--pages 1 and 7)

There is more hope on the horizon for those Canucks who still insist on purchasing mutual funds. The
"hidden" commissions that "financial advisors" earn for the period of time that a consumer holds units of a certain mutual fund will, Clare asserts, in the near future become more restricted, AND/OR much more transparent.

After all, why should there be so much murkiness in the "investment product" industry?
Since when are investments now known as mere "products "??

Since when are "investors" merely treated as "financial product" consumers?

It used to be....or at least it "felt" more that way when I was young, that investments were something
that held "unlimited " potential. The mystery and the myriad of ways in which a potential financial investment could grow or morph or produce multiple income streams was a beautiful and alluring "unknown".

Now it seems that banks and financial investment companies are determined to
"capture and control" every single aspect of an "investment". No more surprises....only more legaleze, and more ways for the investment industry to make money off the backs of hard working and naive "investors".....They don't even call us "investors" any more. We are merely "consumers" who are being sold "products".

By the way, we prefer to be called "investors" matter what the amount we are able or willing to "invest".

Anyway, pardon the rant..... This post is intended to be positive.
If even the investment industry is ready and willing to admit that there needs to be changes that "help" individual investors, then we are indeed poised for greater gain.

Tony Robbins,through his book  "Money, Master the Game" , exposed much of the murkiness in the USA's mutual fund industry and explained how so many many fees and hidden costs are bound up in the American mutual fund industry. The fees and extra charges are so complex, hard to find, and so "murky" that few, if any, invididual investors even know how much in fees that their investments are actually costing them at the end of their investing life. Those hidden fund fees and charges can eat up the majority of any potential profit that an individual investor may earn over their lifetime by holding mutual fund units."Mutual Fund Buyers beware"......was Tony's timely advice.

Yes, Tony's book was written for the States. But maybe Canada listened in on the conversation and has begun to take some preventative measures.
If Canada's mutual fund industry is willing to play a little more fair and transparently, then maybe, just maybe, you won't have to run and hide from mutual funds any more and stop picking stocks for yourself. Maybe.... just maybe.. maple syrup toting DIY investors might start trusting the advice of the "professionals" again.

Clare's article sheds a few good Canadian rays of light on the matter.
Happy investing, friends,
May you live long and prosper.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Learning Without Mastery

 On several occasions I have blogged about Tony Robbins and Napoleon Hill's thoughts on success and mastery. But what I wanted to discuss today is that there is validity to all learning and all knowledge even if we never reach that point of mastery.

For example, I may never become a "master chef" .....but that doesn't mean that my attempts to learn how to cook new dishes is wasted. I am learning...but mastery is not necessarily my goal.

You may enjoy knitting or crochet or some other crafty hobby, but  it is valuable because of your enjoyment of it, not necessarily because you must press towards mastery.

There has been a rather all encompassing flow of social pressure towards "mastery" in all areas of life.
But must we always put so much pressure on ourselves to perform and become obsessed with perfection?
Athletic activities are still valid even when they never progress beyond amateur status.

But I want to ask you, my beloved readers, isn't it still wonderful and well worth your time, to continue to learn even when mastery is not your goal?

It is still wonderful to master one simple piece of piano music rather than forcing oneself to master an entire collection. It is wonderful to memorize one verse of scripture, even if that is the only one that you commit to memory in your lifetime.

I suppose that what I am speaking of is simply doing things out of the joy of life and out of a personal interest or respect for a certain subject matter.

My endorsement remains towards "life long independent learning" however, I still encourage learning and the gathering of knowledge....... no matter what the result is.....even if the student stays at a "beginner" stage for many years, or even forever. There does not need to be "performance orientation" in everything we do.
The term "performance orientation" was thoroughly explained and researched by the Christian author team of John and Paula Sandford. To develop a better understanding of their teachings, I would highly recommend anyone to gather up as many books that they have written as possible. It may take the expenditure of  many valuable hours  to ponder and grasp their writings, but I promise that it will be well worth it.

Doing certain activities are valid and legitimate in their own right. I am not talking about laying down your list of goals. I am talking about encouraging you in your personal path of growth and knowledge gathering, even when you are not heading for mastery. To continue to increase your knowledge base, in any measure.... is a beautiful path. But sometimes, in our obsession with performance and "measuring" our achievements, we mistakenly invalidate our modest efforts.

So, in conclusion, I wish you all, my readers a blessing on all your learning, both your grand exploits and achievements, as well as our most meek and modest interests.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Let the Woman Think

Despite opinions to the contrary....businesses are led by thought.

Thinking must be respected as a legit activity.

If you have an attitude toward "thinking" as a lazy man or woman's escape, then you've missed the boat.....completely.

I see great beauty in that Rodin sculpture called "The Thinker"

I see that often men are given more space for "think time" than women are.
 How often do you see and value a woman who appears to be lost in thought. Do you respect the steam pouring forth from her ears, or do you judge her as a day dreamer?

It was Napoleon Hill, in some of his books in which he teaches principles of success, that Hill describes
the thinking process for business leaders as "setting for ideas".
So what exactly is "setting for ideas" ? It is simply sitting and being alone in a room or in some other quiet and isolated location where you allow a creative thought process to occur.

It was also Napoleon Hill who respected the activity of "thinking" so much that he connected a relationship with God with the thinking process. He seemed to believe that it is God who helps us hatch good ideas, and that all great ideas come directly from His Divine Intelligence.

What do you think? Do you put value in your own "think time"?

Please don't allow a "blue collar" mindset to dictate the false propaganda which shouts "Ya gotta be DOING something with your hands or body actively in order to be rewarded for "work". Often blue collar management have been so indoctrinated into boosting "production"  in a factory mindset, that they fail to put any value at all in intellectual or mental pursuits of any kind. How many precious minds have been completely destroyed in modern North American factories, by bosses and supervisors whose only focus was on what they could see and touch and count? Thoughts can not be immediately seen or touched or counted, and therefore, it is only those with faith in the value of "thought" that can encourage respect for any decent amount of time to spend in creative or problem solving thought.

The truth, in my humble opinion, is that the best problem solvers and inventors and business people are those who value THOUGHT, as a very precious treasure. ...... A treasure so valuable, that they create special places in their homes and cottages and lifestyle to incorporate their fave places they have set aside for thinking.

Thinking time is a blessed time.

Peaceful productivity,

Blogger Vs. Word Press Blogs

Well, folkies, I am contemplating creating a Wordpress blog.
There seems to be a huge following for Word Press, whereas Blogger seems to be a much smaller community.
Do you have a preference? Could you see yourself prefering to visit a Word press site rather than a blogger site?
Do you find that Word Press is created more for professional business users than regular bloggers?

I'm looking forward to your comments in the section below.

Peaceful productivity,