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Monthly Archives: November 2012

I believe that if you’re mentally prepared to face anything and expect all the pros and cons that will come with it,then nothing should surprise anyone.

Case in point is  about how the aura of Christmas is settling in much earlier now these past few years. My 10/25/12 blog(Christmas Stuff and Mindset is Around Earlier These Days….) says it all.

Well,here in Canada, usually it’s socially permissible for the stores to start sprucing up their retail spaces with a lot of holly and cheer so to speak right after Remembrance Day(November 11). Sometimes, Christmas songs will be played by this time as well. Reason is that the folks here thought that it would be disrespectful to the war vets if we start taking Christmas so seriously just because their special day.

With the way our economy is going though, the appearance of Christmas stuff in stores even right after Labor Day for profit’s sake is our new reality now. We shouldn’t be shocked anymore with this, IMO.

At least the line was drawn in terms of when to  play Christmas songs. Anytime after Remembrance Day for sure or else, it’ll be a very serious social faux pas, mon ami.

I was in a store right after Remembrance Day and could feel the Christmas aura already. This will go on definitely until New Year’s Day.

Overall, I think it’s still a cultural norm. In the Philippines for example, they observe the longest Christmas season in the world starting September 1st and ending Three King’s Day(Within the 1st week of January of the following new year). They even play Christmas songs right at Day One and they’re a predominantly Roman Catholic country. I doubt the Catholic churches have already cried sacrilege at all these past years! Again, it’s a cultural norm as I still see it.

Anyhow, happy shopping and hopefully you’ll get your Christmas shopping list all completed early so as to have more  time to enjoy the rest of the holiday season with your family and friends. That’s what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.,mon ami.

Bonjour!

Josie

It has been a little over 2 weeks since Hurricane Sandy had hit the eastern part of the United States  particularly the northeastern  region—known as the tri-state area(New York,New Jersey and Connecticut with the former 2 the hardest hit). Not to mention a recent Nor’easter that hit the area too and covered much of the debri around.

The victims of Hurricane Sandy are still trying to pick up the pieces of their lives which was profoundly altered by the superstorm amidst dealing with frustrating delays and slow resumption of basic services particularly in the suburban and far-reaching areas. The urban areas fared much better in this regard. Thank goodness for the press who still keep tabs with these suffering folks and highlight any significant delays/problems so that all concerned politicians and authorities will be put on notice and compelled to act right away for these folks.

It was heartwarming though to see people from all walks of life and some from out of state coming in to help out. Examples would be some of the NYC marathoners who went to Staten Island to help out the victims when informed that the annual NYC marathin was cancelled this year; a group of folks from New Orleans coming in to help since they empathize having gone through Hurricane Katrina themselves as well as the Occupy Wall Street folks who call this current mission as Occupy Sandy. These are just a few of concerned helpful folks since the others are too many to be mentioned by name but appreciated nevertheless.

Of course ,FEMA, the American Red Cross and other government agencies–state and federal are involved as well.

For us ordinary folks who can’t travel there to help out, we can donate to reputable organizations like the Red Cross for example. Cash donations I think would be more appropriate since the Red Cross would know what are the specific items  that a hard-hit region would need and purchasing them would be easier to do than dealing with a lot of donated stuff which may be problematic in terms of storage space to put them in.

Beware of scam artists whether in person or online who would sadly take advantage of getting your money at the expense of the Hurricane Sandy victims.  Recent news reports have said so. Some folks really have NO SHAME at all! Sacre bleu!

In line of this, it’s very important that there be a lot of transparency as to how all cash donations to Hurricane Sandy  victims are allocated considering the very  sizable amount being received all these past 2 weeks. With victims’ advocate groups and the media involved, all concerned authorities please take note!

Just my 2 cents on this matter.

Josie

Nowadays, picking what type of laundry detergent to use is very interesting. It used to be that you just pick either a box in powder form or a jug in liquid form.

Here in my neck in the woods, we also have  laundry sheets(actually is  waxy laundry detergent in sheet form) which dissolves in the water inside  the washer during the laundering process without leaving any residue. Brand name is Dizolve. Purex used to have one in sheet form and was multifunctional. Part of the sheet is with waxy liquid detergent and another part with a  strip used as a fabric softener/dryer sheet. Too bad it’s now gone. That sheet was handy since I can just use 1 or 2 sheets together with the laundry in the washer and then transfer it to the dryer together with the laundry.

Now the newest one springing out everywhere is in pod form (like a cube or ball shape) either in hard block  or in liquid form encased in water-soluble plastic cube form. Manufacturers warn that these be kept out of the reach of small kids because it can be mistaken for candy due to its physical appearance and also that they’re inside either a plastiz zip bag or candy jar shaped plastic container.

Whichever type of laundry detergent you get in whatever form still has the same function–to clean your laundry very well.

You may like it with a nice fragrance or unscented . Going unscented is either you don’t want any scent on your clothes/linen or if you have an allergy to fragrance/perfume.

You feel comfortable wearing clean clothes and using clean linen. it’s very important that you are also comfortable in the laundry detergent that you’re using whether in liquid,powder,sheet or pod form.

Bonjour!

Josie

November 11 (Veterans Day in U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada) is a yearly observance and honoring of the sacrifices and services  of the war veterans not only of past wars but also of current ones. They’re the men and women in uniform who have answered the call of duty to protect their respective country’s sovereignty and security. Their respective families have also sacrificed to such call of duty by respecting the war veteran’s commitment to serve his country even if it would cause such a great mental and emotional deprivation of that war veteran’s presence for the greater good.

With that, it’s very important and I think even imperative that we must never forget what the war veterans have done for us. When they come home to resume their normal lives, we welcome them by making sure that they have a role in rebuilding a society and in part, a nation.

Some of them may carry either or both the physical and/or emotional scars of war and may need some degree of rehabilitation as they assimilate back to society. We must have such services available  and make sure that these veterans do receive them. This is where the government comes in to see this through.

We as citizens can show signs of support and appreciation for them in varying degrees of our individual capacities. Some stores offer veterans’ discounts when they shop, Some restaurants even offer a free meal to a war veteran on this special day. Some visit them in their homes and keep them company for even a few hours. Some may even do a few simple chores/errands for them so as to make their daily routines a bit easier. Some visit those veterans infirmed at their respective Veterans’ Hospital and others give donations to organizations involved for veterans’ causes.

Whatever way we do it, we must always show these veterans our neverending appreciation and gratitude for what they have done for our country.

Even a simple salute when you meet one on the street would suffice. This signifies the message…”Thanks for a job well done!”

And in ending my blog for today, as one commander would say to his troops…”As you were!”

Josie

The Americans have already spoken and the decision had been  made in the last U.S. Election this past Nov. 6. President  Barack Obama has been reelected and his to-do list is long as usual. Aside from governing a nation, he’s now into the task of legacy building. I’m pretty sure that he has no time to dwell on his post-election hangover.

For us common folks, post-election hangovers happen in varying degrees to those who are political junkkies,always keeping tabs on the latest political happenings especially this recent U. S. election as well as those who are actively involved in the running of the recent political campaigns. Even the common man who will exercise his privilege to vote and has been subjected to a bombardment of political ads for almost the past 2 years.

Suddenly after all the final votes were counted and the speeches made, the world still exists and life goes on as usual. It seems after almost 2 years of electioneering, we suddenly notice that it’s peace and quiet all over again to our great relief.  It’s only to a certain minority of the population who have thrived to the thrill of this past election as if it’s an alcoholic drink giving them a buzz  that they will miss it tremendously like a bad alcoholic hangover with a superimposing alcoholic withdrawal.

I believe that both mental and emotional preconditioning should be made to lessen the impact of a post-election hangover. These people need to be preoccupied with other aspects of their daily lives because they need to continue living and find fulfillment as individuals .

If it’s any consolation to them, there’ll always be another presidential election. In fact, as soon as the results were in, pundits were already talking about the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Ay! The cycle of political life continues!

Bonjour!

Josie

Today is Nov. 6,2012- –  election day in the United States. Finally, after what seemed was a 2 year period of politicking —primaries,campaigning ,conventions,etc… it has finally come to this day.

Political pundits had a field day these past several months prognosticating as to what the election outcome would be and both presidential candidates not taking any chances,covering all bases and even hedging a few bets from time to time.

If you folks had read my previous blog–The Political Vote–A Product of Political Perception–October 21  ,2012–then, you’ll  all know what  I mean.

As I had said before, once the final votes are tallied and the outcome becomes more certain, we accept it as mature individuals since the Americans have spoken. It’s true that other nations in the world are also observing the U.S. election proceedings because they also have personal stakes with the U.S. but whoever wins this presidential election, these other nations will still continue their relationship with the U.S.

The Americans after reflecting on their possible presidential choices objectively as well as what’s in their emotional gut will learn to live with their choices, win or lose.

May the best man win!

Josie

In light of the recent Hurricane Sandy situation, one of the survival modes that we need to do is to stock up on rations(food and non-food). What I’d like to discuss today is the food rations.

Bear in mind especially for a natural disaster, there’s  usually a possible  power outage therefore it’ll mean no way to cook,freeze nor prepare food with little or no water.

Because of this, you’ll need the following items based on guidelines from FEMA(Federal Emergency Management Agency) where you can also get pointers on how to keep your perishables safe for as long as you can during a natural disaster.

A manual can-opener (Remember..no electricity! Ditch the electric one for now. If you don’t know how to operate one manually,PRACTICE !)

 Healthy Foods to Eat in a Hurricane or Other Natural Disaster:(Compact and lightweight as well as to not make you easily thirsty–you don’t want to use up those water bottles so early!)

1 gallon of water per adult,per child and per pet per day(3-day minimum)

Condiments—– salt,pepper,olive oil

Canned sardines and tuna; Corned beef, luncheon meat and ham are good too(already cooked before canning)(I wouldn’t call the latter meats as too healthy though but surely convenient)

Canned beans,fruits and vegetables preferably with high liquid content

Peanut butter and jams( Unsweetened PB since the jam is already sweet)

Pre-washed fresh vegetables and fruits

Nuts,seeds and dried fruit

Hard-boiled eggs(already prepared in advance)

Salt-free crackers,whole grain oats,granola bars,trail mix

Canned juice,milk,soup  (Use a thermos if you  need to heat some food items)

Vitamins

Comfort/stress foods–cookies,hard candy,sweetened cereals,lollipops,instant coffee,tea bags

Pet food (Your pet has to eat too,you know)

Just bear in mind the kind of foods that infants,elderly people and those with special dietary concerns or who have specific food allergies will need.

Modify your food ration list if you need to in the interest of yours and your family’s and pet’s safety.

The list that I’m showing you now is a general one.

One final note : Always check your food  supplies from time to time particularly their respective expiration dates. You might need to replace them and use the expiring ones for immediate consumption already.

Happy shopping!

Josie