Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Points of Personal Power

It's the time for reflection of the past twelve months and contemplation of the year ahead. I try and live up to the following five Points of Personal Power.

#1) Pay Attention:

Pay attention to my loved ones, friends, neighbours, community and those I come in contact with daily.
Pay attention to the details in my life ~ the garden where I live, the wild forest that surrounds me and the animals that live within.
Pay attention to my health and the health of those closest to me.
Pay careful attention to how much stuff I acquire and what I consume.

#2) Ask For What You Want:

Ask for world peace.
Ask for just enough to sustain myself, my family and others.
Ask for some quiet time to reflect.
Ask for time to create and share my art.

#3) Take Responsibility For Your Experiences.

(which is, sometimes, not an easy thing for me to do).

#4) Speak the Truth:

Speak the truth even when the fallout from that may be not what I expect.
Speak Truth to Power.
Speak the truth when asked for an honest answer.
Speak the truth when my emotional and intellectual mind is challenged.

#5) Keep Your Agreements:

Keep my agreements in all aspects of my life.
Ensure the agreements I make are something I can follow through on.
Keep the agreements I make with others.
Keep my agreement to continue to follow the five Points of Personal Power.

Blessings and Peace.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Anti-HST Support Plummets

From approximately 85 percent at the height of the period during which signatures calling for the HST referendum were collected, to the latest figure of 54 percent, anti-HST sentiment is plummeting.

British Columbians are thinking twice. Some have privately told me of regret for having signed the petition calling for the referendum, or for having too hastily judged the value of the tax.

British Columbians are signalling it was the process, not the tax, that so stoked their anger.

I am glad to see the change in these numbers. I support a taxation policy that favours taxing consumption rather than putting a price on enterprising activity, i.e., taxing earnings or income.

Provided voters get enough credible information about the HST prior to the referendum for them to make an informed choice, I suspect the referendum will fail.

The changing numbers regarding the HST could play a role in the BC leadership race. Kevin Falcon says he will reduce the tax from 12 percent, to 11, then ten percent. Mike de Jong wants to keep the tax at the current rate and favours the type of taxation policy that I do. George Abbott says he supports the tax and has not signalled anything with respect to reducing it; same also with Dr. Moira Stilwell.

Christy Clark... Well, who knows what her position is on the HST? She says she supports it and would like MLAs to vote on it. Would that be in its present form, or changed? Conveniently, not being a MLA herself, Clark would avoid the vote.

[Cross-posted at Challenging the Commonplace]

Taking Care of My Little Place

I so want to take care of my little place; to dust everyday, vacuum at least once a week, change and launder the bedding, do regular laundry, clean the floors. It's not a lot to expect of oneself or of life generally, but my chronic back pain has become so bad that even the movements involved in dusting are causing acute flare-ups.

When I asked my doctor a couple of months ago for help with pain management, she put me on Gabapentin. The new treatment worked initially. It reduced the level of chronic pain from 7 (out of 10) to 5 or 6. That was sufficient to enable me to do more light housework more frequently. But it did nothing for the (level 9) flare-ups of acute pain, which are increasing in frequency and duration; the most recent lasted five days. Likely the increased activity encouraged by the easing of pain is aggravating the underlying condition.

My doctor upped the dose, but I've felt no appreciable difference.

It feels so good to be able to do the small ordinary tasks that keep my little place clean and shining. But I hurt and don't know how much longer I can keep doing this.

SAFER Means...

a vacuum cleaner!

While I posted Wanted messages for a vacuum cleaner several times to my local Recycle/ReUseIt online site, it never resulted in my getting one I could use: an upright cleaner that is powerful but lightweight.

Finally getting rental assistance through SAFER has meant being able to get this little gem:

I'd intended to wait to the next day to try it out, knowing the trip there and back and my early-morning housework would have done me in and caused flaring up of the pain.

Do you think I followed through on that intention?

Of course not. After friend Daisy left - she had taken me to London Drugs to get the vacuum cleaner and helped with the unpacking and assembly -, objects were moved out of the way, including a 30lb bag of kitty litter.

Vacuuming ensued. Pain soared.

Did I stop?

Of course not. Objects again were moved and the mop and floor cleaning solution came out.

Mopping ensued. Pain spiked close to level 10.

But my little place was cleaner and more shiny than it had been in a very long time. Kinda made the pain almost endurable.

No. I guess it didn't.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So Terribly Sad

According to Ian Tostenson, head of the BC Restaurant and Food Service Association, people who dine out are paying more for their meals.

Tostenson blames it all on the HST.

I don't doubt that he is right.

Paying more than you would for a meal you or your companions made yourselves is the cost of dining out. Whether you pay extra in tax for your meal or not, you pay for your consumption.

That is the beauty of taxation policies that emphasize consumption taxes over taxes on earnings. Lower taxes on income and investments encourage rather than discourage enterprising activity; and applied intelligently, carrot-and-stick taxes guide consumer behaviour and are among the best tools to drive that enterprising activity toward greening the economy.

The people who can pay for their over consumption will, among them those who continue to dine out.

Besides, whatever happened to the packed lunch?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Count Me Crazy...

... but I am liking this monsoon weather: the sound of rain on the roof; the fresh scent; the cleanliness after each rainfall (torrential downpour, more often); and the warm temperatures.

Can't beat near ten degree weather in December!

And don't forget the rainbows.

My change of heart about the rain must be related to having dry footwear this season.

Ten years of walking with cold wet feet are behind me. I can enjoy the rain again.

Now for a brolly!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Misleading Advertising: Juice

I mentioned previously that my mid-morning snack is four ounces of orange juice. It's expressly for the purpose of aiding the absorption of my iron supplement.

To buy juice in cartons or jugs rather than in its frozen form is cost inefficient. You're essential paying for water and a higher price for the privilege of carting that heavier weight home.

The frozen form of juice has changed over the past few years. Now you will find in the frozen juice section three types of product:

  1. punch
  2. frozen (orange, grapefruit...) juice from concentrate
  3. frozen concentrated (orange, grapefruit...) juice

Only the third is pure juice.

In all three cases, manufacturers' instructions call for adding three (less often four) cans of water to the frozen goop. Products one and two have water and sugar added.

Be especially wary of the difference between frozen juice from concentrate and frozen concentrated juice. Manufacturers make their packaging of these two products eerily - I submit, intentionally - similar. Only the last one is the real deal and that's the only one you should be buying.

The better, pure product is more pricey, but wait for the sales. Don't be fooled into purchasing the wrong one.