Thursday, 29 December 2011

Why I Don't Read the News

There is a lot of negativity out there! I was just browsing through some of the news stories on Yahoo and was quickly reminded of why I do not make it a habit of reading the daily news. I mean really, 80% of the stories were about somebody getting killed, a marriage breaking up, there was even a story about how an act of kindness resulted in a teenage boy not being allowed to play the game he loves! I would repost these stories for the sake of academic integrity however, I just refuse to continue to spread such negativity. No wonder people have such a cynical view of the world these days!

So in light of the upcoming new year, I would humbly make the following resolution suggestion:

Do not read the news or your email first thing in the morning, or right before bed. Research shows that our brain continues to process what ever we feed it during the last half hour we are awake. What that means is, if you go to bed reading the news, chances are you have been reading something negative, which your brain will continue to process as you are sleeping. If you read the news as soon as you wake, you will then be starting your day with negative thoughts. As a result you are bookending your day with negativity, and really, there are enough things that can happen in a day that can throw you off your centre. 

Instead, choose to bookend your day with will be surprised at how fast your days go from stress filled to stress free! 

Be thankful. I am always surprised at how many times people disregard the positive things in their life, training themselves not to expect good things, and when they do happen, regarding these good things as merely flukes. The reality is you see what you look for. Have you ever noticed that when you are looking for a car, all of a sudden you begin to notice that exact make and model all over the place? Start acknowledging the little every day blessings for what they are....blessings! Start giving thanks for every little blessing you is then that you will begin to recognize the abundance you have in your life. 

Pray. Whatever your belief system is, learn how to ask for the things you need. I am always surprised at how many things have been given to me...through providence....just because I took a few minutes to speak humbly with God. I know a lot of people who don't ask because they think the answer will be no, but somtimes....the answer is yes! Take time to pray. There is an old adage that says: No God, no peace......but Know God, Know peace.

It is my sincere prayer, that in the coming year, all of you who read my blog will come to Know peace.

Who knows, maybe God will say yes.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Random words of wisdom

Today's post is really about nothing in particular, just random bits of wisdom I have picked up over the years.....

  • When changing a toilet, don't cheap out on the wax
  • Milk and lemon do not go together in tea
  • Always take time to measure, level and plumb
  • If you have a heavy foot...using cruise control will save you a TON of money
  • Make time to read
  • Make a five year plan
  • If 365 days later, your five year plan is still a five year plan, you are not getting anywhere
  • Revisit your five year plan at least once a month
  • It is ok to cry
  • It's ok if you don't
  • Figure out your "why"
  • Success is the constant pursuit of a worthy ideal
  • Be worthy
  • Learn how to change a flat tire
  • Learn how to swing a hammer
  • One inch is 2.54 centimeters
  • You are more capable than you think you are
  • If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of distance run, then yours is the earth and all that's in it (from the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling)
  • If you want to touch the sky you better learn how to kneel (U2)
  • No God, no peace....Know God, know peace
  • Make time for your Daughters
  • Sometimes you have to take the road less travelled
  • It is good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out
  • Poo stinks. But if you kick it, it will reek to high heaven
  • Be good at politics, but don't play it.
  • Ask yourself, will it matter in five minutes, five days five years?
  • Always keep your knives sharp
  • Be prepared
  • Mind your manners
  • Read the Art of War
  • Don't just study for the sake of studying, make sure the knowledge you gain is for the benefit of others, otherwise it is useless knowledge
  • Teach your sons how to sew a button
  • Learn how to make: one awesome dish and one signature dessert.
  • Learn how to play a musical instrument
  • Learn first aid
  • Step outside your comfort zone, but not your convictions
  • Demonstrate integrity
  • Be on time. Being late is a sign of sends a message to the other person that you think their time is not important.
  • It is just as important to end on time as it is to begin on time
  • Pay attention to the little details
  • Don't get caught in analysis paralysis
  • Dare to live to a higher standard

TiPSI Dad 



Monday, 12 December 2011

A Typical Atypical day

5:30 - Wake up, stumble out of bed
5:45 - Impale foot on some sort of spiky toy left out by one of the kids.
5:45 and 3 seconds - Stifle yell while balancing on non throbbing foot
6:00 - Make coffee which I no longer really need due to the red welt on the bottom of my foot
6:15 - Listen to daily scripture readings while preparing breakfast
7:00 - Wake kids
7:30 - Wake kids again
8:00 - Feed kids breakfast
8:15 - Clean up the cereal Raphael has chosen to wear on his head.
8:30 - Morning chores
9:00 - School starts
9:15 - Explain to the kids (again) that studying latin is a good foundation for learning other languages
9:30 - Tell the kids that it is NOT time to play the Wii...and that no Wii bowling will not count as Phys. Ed.
10:00 - Find the meatball that rolled off the plate last week
11:00 - Stop Nathan from gouging Raphael's eyes out with some ninja like maneuver he learned watching Power Rangers with his older brothers.
12:00 - Start lunch
12:05 - Stop fight over who gets to use the "wheelie" chair
1:00 - Resort to arbitration as to who gets to wash and who gets to dry.
2:00 - Hit the wall. Tell kids to watch a movie...something educational.....they end up watching zaboombafoo. Leave bigger kids in charge.
2:01 - Take a nap while they are watching zaboombafoo.
2:40 - Bigger kids send almost two year old to wake you "patting" you on the face....
2:41 - Little kids then jump on you to ask you if they can watch another episode.
2:45 - Tell big kids to write a research report on the animals they talked about on zaboombafoo. Whining ensues.
3:30 - School day ends.
3:35 - Tell the kids to play out side
5:00ish - Dinner
6:00 dance/ aikido/ meetings depending on any given night.
8:30 - Night time prayers / little kids bedtime
9:00 - big kids bed time
10:00 - lights out
10:05 - Issue warnings.....
10:10 - Administer discipline
11:00 - Bed. Bliss.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Fluffy White Stuff

So today I am finally writing about popcorn. I have actually mentioned it in passing in a few of my other posts but I have not yet had the pleasure of expanding on why I love the fluffy white stuff.

First of all let me get one thing straight. The best way (and the only way it is prepared in my household) is on the stove. As counter intuitive as it may seem, one serving of stove top popped popcorn (about 3 tbsp of unpopped kernels worth) is only about 120 calories. What does it take to burn off 120 calories? You will burn 120 calories doing any of the following: 33mins of walking, 14 mins of jogging, 10 mins of swimming or 18 mins of cycling.

Now, depending on how you prepare it it, popcorn (even stove popped) can be relatively healthy or very unhealthy for you. If you are in the habit of pouring on truckloads of salt and butter or margarine on your popcorn, you might as well get into the habit of eating fettuccine alfredo every night of the week while you are at it. I prefer a little sprinkling of salt with some butter. Throwing a little garlic or onion powder on there as well takes popcorn to a whole new level!

But the other reason I love the stuff, is that pound for pound, buying unpopped pop corn is probably the best value snack food there is! 

Here is the math:

A bag of no name popcorn kernels usually runs about $1.99 to $2.99 and contains about 6 cups of kernels.

A regular serving of popcorn is about 3 tbsp of kernels, which yields about a liter and a half of popped kernels, which is about the same volume as a bag of chips.

So one bag of popcorn kernels contains 96 tablespoons, which is about 32 servings of popcorn, which works out to roughly 6 to 9 cents a serving!

Try to find a $0.09 bag of chips these days!

One of the advantages of popping corn on the stove is that it also forces you to think twice about whether or not you are really snackish....which also cuts down on the calorie consumption!

So here is the secret to making perfect stove top popcorn:

  1. First preheat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan on med-low heat
  2. Next place 3 kernels into heated pan.
  3. Once the three kernels ave popped the oil is now hot enough to pour in the rest.
  4. Give the pan a shake to spread the kernels around.
  5. Once the popping slows to about a couple of seconds between pops, the popcorn is ready!

I recommend salting the popcorn while it is hot, so that the salt sticks to it better. Also try different seasonings, the kids like "All Dressed" popcorn seasoning, I personally, really like adding salt and some freshly ground black pepper!

Just as a point of reference, we make about 1 cup of (unpopped) popcorn at a time, which is more than enough for all the kids to eat and then some!

Happy Popping!