Archives for: February 2007

02/28/07

Permalink 12:38:05 am, by sue Email , 154 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Talkers

So, you think you know me, eh?


If you really knew me you would know that…despite contributing to five blogs, and posting to and running various online forums I am actually a rather private person. You would realise that I will only share to a point, and that there are parts of me that no one, even those I am very close to will ever truly know. And perhaps, that is how it should be. After all there is nothing wrong with a little bit of mystery. It certainly makes life more interesting and intriguing!

If you really knew me you would know that.....you will never fully know me not in this or several other lifetimes.

Please stop by our renter this week: The Life Of A Neurotic Mom

I will doing a full post on this fantastic blog shortly!

Honourable mentions goes to:
Scooter McGavin, New York Nitty Gritty, and One Man Bandwidth.

Please try again next week!

02/27/07

Permalink 12:36:04 pm, by sue Email , 404 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Stuff, Women's Issues

Thoughts On Turning The Big Four...Oh....

Today our friend Andy turns 40 and in honour of that we have declared February 27th to be "International Poodle Day" on our One Old Green Bus blog. To find out why you will just have to visit The Spicy Cauldron. And please do wish our dear friend the bestest!

I reached 40 this past January and it will be Matthew's turn in May. According to Matthew, I am a "cougar" or at least he affectionately calls me one between our respective birthdays, but THAT is another story for a different day.

For me turning 40 was no big deal. Much like when I turned 30 and everyone said "you'll feel so different" or "life will change" it didn't and it hasn't. Sure my health is not as good as it used to be, nor do I have the energy I did at twenty, but overall not much has changed at all, other than I really look forward to this coming decade, which has begun at least with much promise!

At some point during this next 10 years all of my kiddos will be adults, and whilst facing an empty nest I always knew from the moment they were born that they were individuals, and not my possessions. They were growing up and leaving to stand on their own, hopefully with the tools I've tried to provide them with. And that is how it should be. It is even feasible that I may become a Grandmother!!!! Not too soon I hope.

I will most likely remarry in my 40's and this time much wiser in knowing I am with someone who not only shares my passions, but absolutely compliments me as a person, and I hope vice versa ....a true partner in life.

We will visit England! And I will jump on a King's bed, hop over the GMT line in Greenwich, moon a Beefeater ... while trying for Matthew's sake NOT to cause an International incident...fingers crossed behind my back.

We will continue to build PSICAN, and see that our paranormal research gains the attention and acceptance of at least one University.

I will continue on with my historical research, writing, and blogging, pursuits that bring joy to my life.

And I will continue to work on changing my career path to one that I find not only fulfilling, but ultimately one that brings me some measure of happiness.

I do not fear the 40's ... I embrace them...

02/26/07

Permalink 12:20:32 am, by sue Email , 626 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Stuff

Parents Behaving Badly - Guest Author Heather Anderson

We are pleased to introduce you to our very first guest writer! Heather Anderson is a dear friend of ours from the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada. Heather works from home in the medical field and has four young children with her husband Sean. She is the director of the BCGHRS, and in the few moments of spare time she has, is busy with historical studies, writing, and public speaking engagements.

Parents Behaving Badly

Our two eldest children go to the most wonderful elementary school I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The kids are so comfortable there. They come and go from the classrooms freely, but do not abuse this privilege. At any given time, you will see kids hanging about the school office, not because they are in trouble, but because they are visiting with a staff member, helping in the office, or just talking to some friends. The kids generally seem so relaxed and at ease with adults. I was horrified when three separate incidences involving parents threatened this amazing learning environment.

When my eldest daughter was six, she was involved in an incident at lunchtime with two other girls. Of course, I was horrified when the principal informed me of this incident. However, I supported my daughter in the aftermath, as she and the others involved paid out the consequences of their behavior. I think it was the fact that my husband and I have a wonderfully open relationship with our kids, that she felt very comfortable coming to me tearfully telling me of the next day when the other girl’s mother came and accosted her verbally on the school grounds in front of her peers. She felt humiliated, embarrassed and threatened by this and for days did not want to return to school.

The second time I experienced this oddity in behavior from other parents was when a parent accosted and threatened my son due to HIS alleged behavior.

Thirdly was a time when, after loaning my daughter some rechargeable batteries during the school’s photography course that he taught, a parent, the following school year, demanded the batteries back. He wandered into the classroom one lunchtime and strolled up to my daughter. After my daughter explained that she didn't have them, he came closer to her desk where she was sitting, and grabbed a hat that she had on her desk, stating that it was his now. When she protested that it wasn't hers, but another student’s, he reached into her desk and grabbed her pencil case, stating that he would take it as collateral. He held it above her head, as she tried to get it back from him.

Upon speaking to the principal each time, she was most supportive and proactive in all of these scenarios. These parents were individually told that this was a school issue and that they cannot approach the children on the school grounds in that manner. Ever.

We continue to have problems with the man who took my daughter’s pencil case. He is still trying to have contact with my daughter; in fact, his son accompanied him to the school one time at lunch and sneered some comment at my daughter. I suppose if this keeps up, we'll be forced to take further action.

Since these incidences, our kids have been primed as to what to do should such a scenario occur again. They are to walk away from the offending party and find the principal or teacher and let them know.

It seems so unfair that parents would be the culprits responsible for risking the school’s precious learning environment that way. I for one am determined to not let anything spoil that for our future students.

02/25/07

Permalink 12:18:14 am, by sue Email , 260 words   English (CA)
Categories: The Parents, BYB Sundays

BYB Sunday - My Dad

I wrote the following approximately a year after the death of my Father. The words are still as true today as they were 7 years ago.

Dad,

There is not a day that goes by that I am not thinking about you. Although I am slowly learning to live life without you, I miss you so much, and there is a part of my heart that is missing forever. I miss our shared love for your grandchildren, our early morning talks, our enthusiasm for science, especially space exploration. I miss the old days, your pancake breakfasts, hiking in the woods, fishing at the lake, toboganning in the snow, your kiss good night. You taught me so much Dad.

I am so thankful we had that final day to say all the things that we needed to say to each other.

And thank you Dad for the dream up at the cabin. I know you are ok. You are our guardian angel now and I feel your presence often. When I take out the telescope and view the stars, I remember our planet, and know we will meet again.

Love
Your Daughter


Alec A. Demeter
Aug. 5th 1922 - July 6th 1999

My Dad in large part shaped who I am today. He never judged, was always quick to remind me that I was just as good as anybody else, and was one of the very few that I knew I could always count on. He was my biggest supporter, teacher, and my friend. He was, simply put, a true blessing.

Cheers to our Dads!

02/24/07

Permalink 05:13:01 pm, by sue Email , 210 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Stuff

Disclosure Privacy Regarding Sponsored Postings

Please note that I, Sue Darroch, the owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinions, and reviews of products, services, websites and various other topics.

When I do write a sponsored posting it is clearly marked so by it's main category, and within the post itself by either a disclosure badge or a thank you to our sponsors.

Even though I am being compensated for my sponsored posts or advertisements found on this blog, I will always give you a fair and honest opinion of them. I do check each online source provided by the sponsors, and will never post about a product or service that I cannot support or conflicts with my own conscience. In other words, the views expressed here are my own, and will always remain that way. You my peeps are way to important to me for it to be otherwise.

However when providing you with information on a product's claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service you should ALWAYS verify it with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

If you would like to contact me directly you can do so by either leaving a comment on this blog, and I will respond or via email sue at psican.org

02/23/07

Permalink 12:49:05 am, by sue Email , 830 words   English (CA)
Categories: The Dogs

Meet Max - The Captain Of The Guard

*WARNING* If you are one of those blog readers that whines, and complains about cute entries on family pets don't go any farther, you won't like this, either wait your 25 secs and surf on OR visit our other blog Pastyme With Good Companye where today's entry is on the most vile types of executions, that might satisfy your black heart!

For the rest of you gentle readers, may I introduce Max....

...also known as "The Captain Of The Guard," Bubba, Bum Bum, and a host of other nicknames.

Matthew and I are both dog people, well cat, bird, and rodent people too shhhh!....but for the purpose of this blog entry it is important for you to know that we are definitely dog people. And if you too are a dog person then you know exactly what I mean when I say that living life without a dog is simply incomplete.

When we both got together it had been years since we had the pleasure of living with a dog. His own dog Keswick, an American Eskimo had passed on, as had my own beloved Mojo a gigantic beast who was part Bouvier des Flanders and part Irish Wolfhound.

For three years we talked about dogs, missed our dogs, and finally made the decision rather early on that we both desperately need a dog. It didn't hurt that the kiddo was definitely on board from day one. So we trolled the animal shelters, and surfed on Petfinder, until one day we came across an ad on Kijii for a 10 week old Lhasa X Terrier mix. We took one look at the photo of Max and we KNEW. Max was our dog.

Max couldn't have come at a worst time, it was right at Christmas, and we were broke. He was also located approximately 3 hours to the east of us. Fortunately with some creative bookkeeping, and the promise of his seller to arrange a drive for him into Toronto we were able to complete the deal and Max was ours.

Two days after we first saw Max's photo a van pulled up to Chez Didier-Darroch and Max was pulled out of a cat carrier and placed in my arms. Honestly, it was love at first sight, at least on my part, he on the other hand was quite dazed and timid. I put his behaviour down to the fact that he had just endured a lengthy car ride, away from his brother, and mother for the very first time. I was in part right.....

It became apparent within the first day that Max was very shy, that and he appeared to almost be fearful of being indoors. It was very cold out, and he would try to nest in the leaves piled up outside of the compound. I literally had to pick him up and bring him inside into the warmth of our home as no matter how much coaxing we tried with treats he would not come in.

We soon came to the disturbing thought that this wee pup may never have been allowed indoors before. Heartbreaking....

Over the first two weeks we bonded, but Max remained rather quiet and sullen for a young dog. He was very smart, learning how to sit, and wait rapidly. He also potty trained very quickly.....but.....

Then came the day that I was poop scooping and I saw what I thought were worms in his dung. I immediately called our vet and booked an appointment for the very next day. He was also now due for his second set of needles, so I asked for a full physical exam. What our vet said shocked, and horrified us, .... "I believe this dog might have come from a puppy mill."

Max not only had a tape worm, but his ears were infected and filled with mites. Our vet, immediately began treating Max for these issues, and within days it was like he had undergone a complete personality change. Gone was the fearful, sickly pup and in his place was our Max, now happy, healthy, inquisitive, and with boundless energy! The transformation was incredible!

Max is now approximately a year and 1/2 old. I cannot tell you how much joy he has brought us. If you are a dog person you know. He is my constant companion, and no longer desires to sleep outside. He is either at the foot of our bed or snuggled in-between us when not on his nightly patrol .... well ... he IS the Captain Of The Guard.

As much happiness as Max has brought to our family, and despite the fact that I would have gone through anything to bring him home....I will NEVER buy a dog sight unseen ever again ..... sometimes in the darkness of a sleepless night I think of the probable circumstances he was under in his first weeks of life.... I think of Max's brother Milo...and his biological parents ....and I dearly hope that they are ok.....

02/22/07

Permalink 08:55:21 am, by sue Email , 186 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Stuff, Helping Hands

Let It Snow.....

It is snowing quite heavily this morning, and the windows of the compound are frosted over. Far from being depressing as the kid, dogs and I made our way to school I was absolutely enchanted. Our neighbourhood is mostly made up of older Georgian and Victorian homes with the occasional faux Tudor thrown in for good measure. With the snow accumulation and the big fat flakes falling down the entire area is given over to a fairytale-like appearance. I have expected to see an ice castle on my way back.

Today will be a good day to sip on hot chocolate whilst catching up on my correspondence, getting some of the housework completed, and searching out warm winter clothing to send to the Aboriginals in the Northern Ontario area of Tikanagen. If you live in the Greater Toronto area and think you might be able to help with this worthy cause details are listed here.

If only I had a real wood burning fireplace I would be in heaven ......I much prefer the snow to the drab icy cold weather we have been experiencing.

Cheers!
Sue

02/21/07

Permalink 11:02:26 am, by sue Email , 171 words   English (CA)
Categories: The Kids

The Dance-a-thon

Yesterday the kid came home all excited from school. Seems that they will be having a dance-a-thon next month that will be an all day event. Sounds like fun, and proceeds will go to helping out the school according to the newsletter she brought home.

Problem for us is this is the third fundraising newsletter she has brought home this month alone! Don't get me wrong, I love to help out, and pitch in for worthy causes, but at this rate I'll start to go broke.

It's not like the olden days when my parents could sponsor me a quarter to jump rope for 1/2 hour etc. The Dance-a-thon newsletter indicates a minimum $10.00 pledge is what is suggested in the not so subtle bold-face type terms.

I've got to admit it's not as bad as when all three were in school at the same time. However, I always feel that I must donate, purchase, pledge cash, whenever these newsletter are sent home. If I didn't contribute the guilt would get to me.

02/20/07

Permalink 11:19:07 am, by sue Email , 325 words   English (CA)
Categories: Urban Living, The Kids

Does Anyone Actually Walk Their Kids To School Anymore?

As I got back in this morning from my daily walk with the kid to school this thought struck me, are any kids actually walking anymore? We live in a very family oriented neighborhood, yet aside from idling cars it is rare to bump into any kids or parents walking the stretch to our local school.

I grew up in a dual-income, dual-car household yet we kids always walked to school regardless the weather outside. We also played ball hockey in the streets, rode our bikes, and were generally up to some sort of good natured mayhem ... outside!

In part I walk the kid to school, because I can combine it with walking the "princes" our dogs, which I'll introduce you to at a later date. I also dearly enjoy our morning and afternoon talks while strolling, plus I feel better personally after this small bit of exercise. Sure it is easier now while I'm off work, but we still walked everyday when I was working full-time and commuting almost a solid hour one way.

So what is with people these days that a 10 minute walk one way is just not doable? Most of the kid's friends are involved in extracurricular sporting activities, but do they ever actually walk somewhere???? How about the parents who have gym memberships, but do not walk anywhere?

We are bombarded with news items about the rapid rise in morbid obesity in North American children, and our own school board has announced an additional 10 minutes of exercise on top of regular gym classes per day. Would it not be in the vested interest of parents and children alike to take in some fresh air, and actually walk on a regular basis? Particularly if the walk itself is under the 15 minute mark? Would it not be worth waking up a few minutes earlier to accomplish something that really does have beneficial results?

Surely I am not alone in thinking this way.

02/19/07

Permalink 02:32:32 am, by sue Email , 199 words   English (CA)
Categories: The Kids, Women's Issues

Update On My Daughter's Work Situation

Update on this blog entry

She called in sick the day after she told us about what her employer had said in regards to her weight. I believe to more or less think things through. My daughter who I will from now on refer to as "Little Sue" said she thinks she will ask for a meeting with her boss and confront him on a professional level about this. I told her to record it or ask if another employee could sit in on the conversation.

She is also going to prepare her resume and start looking for something else, she cannot afford to quit without another job as she lives on her own and does not want to move back with her parents at the dreaded compound.

I am still trying to convince her to report the company after leaving, and she said she most likely will. I told her that she would be saving another young woman similar heartache in the future.

Thanks so much to Kim who commented on the first entry and offered her support and advice on this situation. We appreciate it, and I did send your comment on to Little Sue via email.

02/18/07

Permalink 07:00:30 pm, by sue Email , 224 words   English (CA)
Categories: Helping Hands

Helping a boy with Leukemia achieve his dream

Shane is a 7 yr. old boy from Ontario, Canada with an acute form of Leukemia. His only wish is to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the person to have received the most birthday cards ever.

His story has been told on the radio and apparently the news, so I'm gathering he's already started to receive some. Anyhow, I thought I would let you know in case you'd like to send him some or even just one. Oh, and by the way his birthday is May 30th, and here's the address to send them to:

Shane
C/O Kiss FM
2001 Thurston Dr.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1G 6C9

For the cost of a stamp you can really help to make this little boy happy. You might also wish to sign from where you card is being sent so that he can see all the different places the cards are coming from. If you can open your heart for this little guy that would be great!

The kid and I will be picking up a card and getting it in the mail tomorrow. I just wish we could do more!

Please forward this to everyone you know so that we can work at making his dream come true. And for those on the cynical side this is legit according to Snopes.com

Permalink 05:00:29 pm, by sue Email , 196 words   English (CA)
Categories: Urban Living

Stealing bread.....

We just got back from our local No Frills, having endured that weekly soul-sapping grocery shopping experience that I'll leave for another blog entry.

As we were leaving I did observed something that I can class as simply bizzaro.

An older, but not quite elderly couple were exiting at the same time we were. They were standing in the entrance when the female of the duo hopped the barrier over to the exit, in her hands she was clutching a baguette. She then proceeded to exit the No Frills, and stand on the automatic entranceway allowing her husband/partner/male companion to walk out. Both walked away rather nonchalantly with the lady still clutching that stick of bread.

It took a few moments for it to register in my noggin', but I turned to Matthew and stated, "I think that couple just swiped that baguette!"

It did not appear that they were poor or down or their luck, in fact they looked very well put together and dressed. And certainly didn't appear as if they were going without meals. So why steal a two dollar stick of bread? I mean what possessed them to do it?

02/17/07

Permalink 08:38:48 pm, by sue Email , 274 words   English (CA)
Categories: The Kids, Women's Issues

My daughter was told she was too fat to be promoted

This past weekend my 20 year old daughter came over for a visit and told me something that got my blood boiling!

She works for the male dominated construction industry as an executive assistant. Recently she has been taking sales seminars and is looking to branch off into that area of the company. On Friday she was apparently called into the owner's office and point blankly told she would never be promoted unless she loses weight!!!!

My daughter wears a ladies 7-8 is not even chunky in my opinion and at work is always professionally dressed. Not only do I find her boss' statement ludicrous, I believe it is illegal and we told her that!

Of all my kids she has been the one to suffer the most self esteem issues, although she is smart and in my opinion a pretty young woman. She has no lack of people asking her on dates.

Anyway she was devastated by this comment, and I just had visions of wanting to throw this man through a window.

I told her she should report him to the ministry of labour, but she is afraid because it is his word against hers, and embarrassed, plus she does make very good money. Still I wish she would have walked in Monday morning and told her boss what he could do with his job.

Anyone else ever go through this? I have never been more insulted for my kid, not to mention ever come across anything like this in my own professional career. Disgusting!

UGH!!!!!!!!

Originally published to my Nuttin' But Pimp blog, but felt it is more appropriate here in the zoo!

Permalink 01:59:15 pm, by matthew Email , 105 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Stuff, Urban Living, The Parents, The Kids, The Dogs, The Cats, The Rest Of The Menagerie, Women's Issues

Welcome To My Life In The Urban Zoo

Coming to you live from the dreaded Didier-Darroch compound somewhere in the currently frozen bowels of the city of Toronto, Canada our blog about life in the Urban Zoo our "pet name" if you will for the compound. This blog will relate far too much information on life in the city in general, raising kids, frightful teenagers, and even more frightful adult children, aging parents, our numerous pets, dogs, cats, birds, and other assorted critters.

Brew up the coffee, tea or whatever your poison and lets share our joys, laughs, embarrassing moments, more like commiserate our lives in the Urban Zoo.....

And so it begins........


HELP!

Life in the Urban Zoo

The Zoo Keeper

Coming to you live from the dreaded Didier-Darroch compound somewhere in the heart of the city of Toronto, Canada this is my blog about life in the Urban Zoo our "pet name" if you will for the compound. This blog will relate far too much information on life in the city in general, raising kids, frightful teenagers, and even more frightful adult children, ageing parents, our numerous pets, dogs, cats, birds, and other assorted critters. Welcome, and be forewarned we do not suffer fools gladly!

It Is All About Sue

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Demeter SRC - My Genealogy Website


A Blog For The Children Of Attawapiskat

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Weird Cake: Treats From A Bipolar Mind

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