Usury appears to be alive and well

I got a piece of direct mail last week for a service that purports itself to provide “affordable loan solutions.” It said I could apply easily at the branch, online, or by telephone. I could get $5,500 loan – today. I read the conditions on the back, and nowhere did it mention the interest rate for this “affordable” solution that …

You’re wonderful just the way you are

Life has been unkind to you as of late. I see that you are suffering and it hurts me to know that you are suffering. You don’t know what to do. Your thoughts spin. You see and feel the dark, the bad, the unfairness, and the hurt. You have every right to be hurt. You didn’t deserve this, but here …

Why pull plug on Sault blood donor clinics?

Last week marked the last blood donation clinics in Sault Ste. Marie. Does this bother anyone else? The Sault Star’s Brian Kelly reported on Jan. 16 that the mobile clinics, run by Sudbury staff, would no longer be collecting whole blood in 11 Northeastern Ontario communities. This means that if Saultites want to donate blood, they are driving to Sudbury …

Board/card games sure beat being glued to screen

As opposed to the standard New Year’s resolution column, I’m going with “What I did on my vacation?” In a nutshell, I was focused on maintaining eye-contact with my kids instead of all of our eyeballs being transfixed on electronics, which is, I suppose, resolution-like. For screens, my teens now both have cellphones, then there are the video game consoles, …

Bracing for blue Christmas no piece of cake

Silent Night brought me to tears today. Why? This is the first Christmas that I will spend alone. There is no special someone in my life. My children will be with their father. Frankly, I’m dreading the quiet. I’m far from unique in this situation. This is the reality of many singles, and widows, whether they are parents or not. …

Setting the stage for meaningful memories

Once in a while there is a moment in life that gives you pause; even stops you in your tracks, as the circle of life becomes an overbearing elephant in the room. Sometimes the elephant is filled with joy, and only gives you a light mortality slap. The events surrounding my daughter’s recent birthday are one such pachyderm. I wanted …

Life 101: Joy is to be achieved, not stumbled upon

Will anyone ever feel like they’re caught up; even on top of things? Over and over, I hear people (especially mothers) saying how overwhelmed they are, how they feel like they are running a losing race. I get this. I feel this. I’ve even gone so far as to try to eliminate the word “overwhelmed” from my vocabulary, because it …

Keep door open for kids’ ’difficult’ questions

When do you have “the” talk with your kids? What content do you include without overwhelming them? Is there a setting that makes it less awkward for everyone? Who should initiate it? It’s not like we can consult the parenting handbook/user manual we get when we have kids. Which talk is “the” talk anymore? It’s not just the birds and …

Hot tips to keep us cosy at home this winter

As we crank up our furnaces, or wake them from hibernation, it’s good to know that there is relief for electricity costs in Ontario. No matter what your level of income, there is a program that may benefit you. Some are geared for lower incomes and at least one program is for higher incomes (which isn’t usually the case). The …

Only love can break your heart

There is a saying: “The depth of your love today is the depth of your wound tomorrow.” I feel this, deeply. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that I feel emotions deeper than most people. The great benefit of this is that I am very passionate about life and I tend to have amazing highs and …