Friday, October 27, 2017



Forget Clowns
Nail Clippers Are Casey's Phobia

One of the tasks that comes with being a responsible puppy parent is nail clipping. You would think this would be a relatively easy and stress free chore. Distract your furry friend with a crispy piece of bacon while you nonchalantly cut their nails.

However, when it comes to our little guy, nothing will hold the little worm still while getting a much needed pedicure. Since he came to us at three months old, we have tried just about everything and nothing works. You would think he could sit still for just a few minutes. Nope. Nada. Nyet. As soon as he sees the nail clippers coming his way he makes a run for it.

When it comes to pedicure time, Casey thinks he is a freakin' Kardashian and has to get top of the line treatment at the vet with a hefty price tag attached. They give him sedation and off to dreamland he goes while his nails are cut and filed.

Of course, Casey is not stupid. At said vet, he gets to visit with Daniel the bird, drink water out of the perpetual fountain, check out the resident cats and get showered with attention. When he wakes up, he gets treats and everyone makes a fuss over him.

We know the vet is one of Casey's favourite places because even though he is sound asleep at 7:30 AM, he promptly wakes up and runs to the door when asked, "Do you want to go to the vet?" He actually does not even mind if a trip to the vet means a needle in his butt and a cold light stuck in his ear.

Since there seems to be no way that Casey will subject himself to a home pedicure, every six weeks or so, we will schlep him to the vet, debit card in hand, so he can get his manicure and be treated like a prince.


Pauline Milner

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Got Snow?  Prepare Your Car and Follow These Recommendations and You Can Give Winter A Raspberry!

Even those that love winter would rather race down a hill in a toboggan rather than careen off the road and into the ditch when the snow starts piling up. If you take the time to ready your vehicle for the upcoming snow season, you will not cringe when you hear the snow plow go by while you lay cuddled under the warm blankets.

Keep your vehicle regularly maintained and not only will you be safer behind the wheel, you will be doing the environment a favour as well.  

These recommendations will insure you are ready for winter and will save you money.  Finish them as soon as possible and you can enjoy the winter wonderland while others scramble through the snow to get what they need for their emergency kit and wait in line to get their tires changed.

Slow Down!  If you drive 100 km/hr (60 miles/hr) instead of 115 km/hr (70 miles/hr), you will lower your fuel consumption by as much as 12%.  If you do a lot of city driving and you know you will have a long wait, such as at a train crossing, turn off your engine.  Idling for more than a couple of minutes burns unnecessary fuel.

Keep your windows up.  When you drive with the windows rolled down, you create an aerodynamic drag that will increase your fuel consumption by at least 10%.  HINT!  Driving with your windows down and air conditioning on can burn as much as 15% more fuel.

You can use up to 4% more fuel if your tire pressures are uneven.  Make it a habit to make sure your tire pressures are equal on a regular basis.  HINT!  Check it whenever you change your oil or every 5000 KMs (3000 miles).
  
Do not neglect the regular vehicle maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.  You will lose upwards of 4% in fuel economy if you ignore those regular checkups.

Fill your gas tank on cooler mornings.  Fuel pumps are calculated by volume.  Gas is denser when it is cold.  It is worth putting on that pair of gloves to get the most gas for your money.  HINT: During the cold winter months, do not let your gas gauge go below one half of a tank.  You will be thankful for the fuel if you become stranded in a storm.

Installing an electric block heater will make your vehicle start easier as the engine will already be warm.  Inside, the temperature will rise quickly giving you a more comfortable ride.

Book an appointment with your mechanic.  Ask if they have a winter preparation package as most service stations do.  On this visit is, make sure all of your vehicle's components are in good condition.  Also, you should insure all fluids are topped off and the washer fluid container is full.  HINT: Never fill your windshield washer container with water.  It will freeze when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit).

 Always keep a vehicle maintenance record.  This can be as simple as having a pad of paper in the glove box to document service calls.

When your vehicle's underside gets coated in salt, on a nice day, put a sprinkler on the hardest spray setting and turn it on under the vehicle, moving it around to cover the entire area. You will prevent salt from corroding things like your exhaust pipe.

Plan your route so you do not have to backtrack to stores when you have a bunch of errands to run.  You will save time and fuel.  HINT:  Whenever you take a shorter route, putting fewer kilometres on your odometer is an added bonus.

If you get stranded, check to be sure your exhaust pipe is clear so you can turn on your vehicle for about 10 minutes every half hour to keep warm.  HINT: Stay with your car whenever possible.  Only leave if you know where you are and that you can make it to safety. A cold car is much better shelter than a freezing snow bank.

Never leave home without your cell phone and make sure it is fully charged.  HINT: A car charger is a great investment.

Make it a habit to let someone know your planned route and your estimated arrival time when travelling longer distances or if poor weather is forecast.  If you have an issue, anyone looking for you will know where to start.  Always check for weather updates just prior to your departure and be prepared to delay your trip. Anything less than a last opportunity to pick up a 10 million dollar check is not worth your safety and, even then, well, could you not just live with your current bank balance and eat baloney for a while?

 Encountering the 'Bridge Freezes Before Road' sign should make you wake up and pay attention.  Cold air gathering under a bridge or overpass will cool the temperature of the road faster which may cause black ice to form.  Decrease your speed and proceed with caution.  HINT: If you hit black ice, try to steer the vehicle straight and let the antilock brakes do their job.  You will feel the brake pedal pulsating under your foot.  Resist the urge to pump the brake, just continue to apply steady pressure until you can regain control of the vehicle.

Make sure you know the jargon terms relating to the weather and what they mean.  Freezing Rain: Rain freezes as it hits the road creating a coat of ice on roadways.  Sleet:  Rain becomes ice pellets which land on the road making it slippery.  Wind Chill:  What the temperature 'feels like' outside rather than what the thermometer reads.   Winter Weather Advisory: Poor weather is expected and you should take precautions.  Winter Storm Watch:  A winter storm is likely in your area.  You should be ready.  Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is imminent.  Be sure your emergency supplies are well stocked.  Blizzard Warning:  High winds are expected to produce blowing snow that will considerably reduce visibility.  You should not be driving.  Frost/Freeze Warning: Temperatures that are below freezing are expected.  Flash Freeze:  Temperatures above zero degrees Celsius are expected to drop rapidly to below zero degrees Celsius.  Any water on the road will freeze, sometimes in a matter of minutes.  Driving is not advisable.

If you do not have a road side assistance program, you may want to consider purchasing a membership with AAA (American Automobile Association) or a similar membership in your area.  Decent coverage is available for just over $100 a year.  They offer many beneficial services that include towing, changing a flat tire, paying for a locksmith when you lock your keys in your vehicle and travel insurance. You will also enjoy perks at a selection of businesses that may include free upgrades to hotel rooms, discounts at restaurant chains or value added services when you present your membership card.

When you wake up to snow covering your vehicle, take the time to clear it off completely.  Snow left on your car can blow off, possibly blinding the driver behind you and you can get a fine from the police.  Also, make sure all of you exterior mirrors are clear of ice and snow and give your headlights and taillights a wipe with a damp cloth before heading out.

Insure your head is positioned correctly when you are in the driver's seat.  A head rest should reach, at least, as high as the top of your ears.  This will give you maximum protection from whiplash in the case of a rear end collision. 

Have your car washed and a coat of wax applied before the temperature drops below 12 degrees Celsius (53 Fahrenheit).  Waxing will help protect against salt damage and snow will fall off easier.

 Purchase a set of water resistant vinyl or rubber car mats.  They will protect the carpeted mats that came with your vehicle and make clean up a breeze. After all, do you not have better things to do on a Saturday morning than shampooing your car mats in the garage?

 Invest in a set of good winter tires.  Even if you have what are characterized as 'all season' tires, they will never give you the performance a winter tire can provide so do not be fooled by overzealous sales pitches .  Also, there is a trend toward making the use of winter tires law.  HINT: Put your winter tires on by October 1st and avoid the long wait that will happen after the first snow fall.

Having a multi tool in your vehicle that can break a window and cut a seatbelt could prove to be a lifesaver.  You can purchase a dual model for about $15 (US dollars).

Keep some lock de-icer at home and at your place of work.  Locks can freeze in cold weather.  De-icer works, but only if it is not in your glove box when you need it.  No de-icer?  A hair dryer will do the job as long as you have some place to plug it in.  HINT:  Never try to force you key when trying to unlock a frozen door.  They break a lot easier than you would think.

Use a cover if you have to park on the street to protect your vehicle from excessive salt.  Even if you park in a driveway, a vehicle cover will keep the snow off thus saving you cleaning time and preserving your paint job.   HINT:  If you purchase a bright colour and become stranded, put the cover on the car so you can readily be seen.  The cover will act as an insulator too, helping to keep the heat in the vehicle and guarding against drafts.

If you find yourself stuck in snow without a shovel, a hubcap is a good substitution.

Leave emergency contact information in your glove compartment.  In the unfortunate case of an accident, police will check there for any available information they can use to reach a relative or friend.  Please do not leave the contact information of someone you frequently travel with. Also, put a contact on your cell phone under the heading 'ICO' (In case of emergency).

If you are stranded in your vehicle on the side of the road,  put a flare about 15 feet (4 1/2 Meters) behind your car.  Many drivers have the bad habit of drifting into the shoulder.  A flare is guaranteed to get their attention and is also a good tool to alert other drivers that you require assistance. 

Booster cables are only good to have if you know how to use them.  Clamp one red booster cable to the booster vehicle's positive post.  Clamp one red booster cable to the stalled vehicle's positive post.  Clamp the black booster cable to the booster vehicle's negative post.  Clamp the black booster cable to any bare metal surface under the hood of the stalled vehicle.  Start the booster vehicle and let it idle for a few minutes.  After a few minutes, start the stalled vehicle and let it idle for a few minutes.  Disconnect the black booster cable from the formerly stalled vehicle.  Disconnect the black booster from the booster car.  Disconnect the red booster cable from the booster car.  Disconnect the red booster cable from the formerly stalled vehicle.  Drive, or at least run, the once stalled car for approximately one half hour in order for the battery to get sufficiently recharged. PLEASE NOTE:  Occasionally you will see blue and black booster cables.  Black is always the negative cable, any other colour used is a positive cable.

Learn how to change your vehicle's windshield wipers and keep a spare pair in your vehicle.  If a wiper breaks during travel and you do not have a spare to install, or if you do not know how to install the blade, you are stuck where you are until help arrives.

When the supplies on this list are kept in every vehicle you use, you will be capable to handle most emergencies.  Emergency supplies include (but are not limited to) the following:  Properly inflated spare tire that has been checked for leaks, wrench and jack that are specific to the vehicle, collapsible shovel, battery booster cables,  bag of non clumping kitty litter (to be used for traction), general tool kit, flashlight with extra batteries (put the batteries backwards in the flashlight to guard against it being accidently turned on), battery powered lantern to use when reading (again, reverse the batteries), reflective 'help' sign you can put in your back window, compass, first aid kit, feminine products,  jug of windshield cleaner (properly mixed), ice scraper, snow brush (one with a handle that can be extended to reach over the roof of your vehicle is a good choice), non-perishable high energy foods (dried fruit, cashews or other nuts, protein bars, cookies),  4 litres of water for every available seat, flares, extra warm clothing (mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and a good pair of snow boots), transistor radio, ABC fire extinguisher, plastic bags (for sanitary purposes), three day supply of all prescription medications for everyone in your home, a few magazines and books (boredom will quickly set in if you are stranded),  a small amount of cash (well hidden) and a disposable cell phone (check occasionally to see if it needs charging). This may seem like an excessive exercise but ask anyone who has been stranded without proper preparations which emergency item they wish had been available to them and you can guarantee it is on the above list. If you take care when packing, minimal space will be needed. Utilize the spaces around the spare tire and fill the snow boots with supplies. In addition to keeping you hydrated, the water will provide extra weight useful for traction purposes.

All of the preceding recommendations are important.  It would prove difficult to prioritize one over another as they all serve valuable purposes.

If you do have to choose only some, due to budget or other constraints, adopt the elements that deal with safety first.

When you make safe driving a priority, you help make sure others, including yourself, always reach their destinations.

If you are going to be a statistic, you should endeavour to be a positive one.

Pauline Milner






It Is That Time Again!  20 Things You Need to do to Get Ready For Winter!

 It is time to get an early start on winterizing your home.  These 20 suggestions will save you money and make sure you are ready for the coldest months of the year.

1.  Check for air leaks around windows.  On a windy day, move your damp hand around the edges of your windows.  Any drafts will feel cool on your hand.  If you detect any air leaks, you should seal the window.  You can purchase a window insulation kit that will cover 5 windows for around thirty dollars.

2.  You should also use your damp hand to detect drafts under doors.  If you have an air leak, a draft stopper is the quickest solution.  You can purchase one for anywhere from ten dollars and up, or, you can easily make your own draft stopper.  Use anything from around the house that can be made into a tube.  A towel or a leg from an old pair of jeans are great choices.  Sew the item into a tube and fill it with rice or kitty litter, both will provide good insulation.  If there are drafts around the doors, you can buy weather stripping for about four dollars per seventeen feet.  Note!  Be sure to check your patio doors too!

3.  Have your furnace serviced and change the filters. If your furnace is not working efficiently, it can increase your heating bill by as much as 38%.  A service call will cost between ninety and one hundred and twenty dollars.

4.  Set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise.  The fan will push the hot air back down into the room.  If your ceilings are higher than eight feet, you may want to consider adding ceiling fans at a cost of about seventy five dollars each. 

5.  After using your oven, leave the door open while the oven cools.  The residual heat will go into your kitchen.  Only do this if there are no small children in the area.

6.  Put caulking around your pipes under the sink where they go into the wall.  Caulking guns cost around twelve dollars.  You can use painter's caulking tubes that adhere to wood, plaster, drywall and masonry.  One tube of caulking goes for around three dollars.  Note!  This also acts as an excellent fire stop!

7.  Invest in a programmable thermostat.  You can buy one for fifty dollars and it will quickly pay for itself.  Program it to lower the temperature during the hours when no one is home and when everyone is sleeping.

8.  Insulating any visible pipes can save you 6% to 10% on your energy bill.  Use pre-slit pipe foam at a cost of six dollars per three feet.  Cut the pipe to size and fasten it with duct tape, available for four dollars or less a roll.

9.  Check the insulation in your attic.  It should be at least 12 inches thick and no floor joists should be visible.  If you need to add insulation, you can expect to pay about ten dollars per bag.  Note!  In the winter, if the snow melts off your roof, you are losing heat through your attic.  Keep adding insulation until the snow stays.

10.  Have your chimney cleaned.  Build up on the inside of your chimney is a fire hazard.  Also, make sure there is a cap on your chimney, available for sixty dollars, to prevent debris, birds and squirrels from entering.  The average cost of a cleaning is one hundred and sixty dollars, but costs vary widely by area.  Note!  Keep your chimney draft closed when not in use so heat does not escape.

11.  Install light curtains, or leave uncovered, south facing windows in order to take full advantage of the sunlight hours.
  
12.  Some shrubs and trees need to be protected with burlap.  If there is a farmer nearby, you can ask if they have any empty feed sacks you can have.  Feed sacks are often made of burlap.  Also, if you are near a seafood restaurant, oysters are shipped in burlap bags that they would probably give you for free.

13.  Do not clean out the expired flowers from the beds.  If left alone for the fall and winter, many of them will re-seed including some annuals.  This will lower your flower purchasing budget for the spring.

14.  Insure your outside faucet is drained of water and that it is angled downward.  If water is left in the pipe to freeze, the pipe will expand and burst.  Also, drain your garden hose.

15.  Remove any debris from the gutters in your eaves trough.  The debris adds weight to the ice and can cause the gutters to crack.

16.  Drain the gas from your mower or let it run until it is empty.  Do the same with any other of your gas powered outdoor tools.  It is not safe to store gasoline in a shed or garage.

17.  Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of your shed for easy access.

18.  Now is the time to test the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  It is also a good time to review the fire escape plan with your family.  If you have a monitored alarm system, you can perform a full system test to make sure all of the door contacts, panic buttons, etc. are relaying properly back to the monitoring station. 

19.  Put together a winter survival kit to use in the case of a storm or power outage.  Be prepared to leave your home in the case of any emergency and take your winter survival kit with you.  Items to include are: flashlights and battery powered lanterns with extra batteries (put the batteries in the flashlight and lantern in backwards to guard against them being turned on accidently), transistor radio, candles, matches, fire extinguisher, general household tools (hammer, multi=head screwdriver, multi-tool), non-perishable foods such as canned goods, snacks, peanut butter, juice boxes, five litres of water per person, can opener, paper plates, plastic cutlery (in a power outage you cannot do dishes and you do not want rotting food on plates sitting around), garbage bags, plastic bags (for sanitation purposes, if needed), four day supply of prescription medications, first aid kit, feminine items, cash (bank machines and debit machines will not work in a power outage), copies of important identification for all family members, four day supply of pet food per pet, disposable kitty litter box (if you have a cat), toothbrushes and toothpaste, change of clothing for each family member and a disposable charged cell phone (you will have to check it occasionally to see if it needs to be charged).  Keep these items in duffel bags where you will have easy access to them in an emergency. 

20.  Assemble a winter storm kit for each vehicle in your home.  Items to include are: Flashlight and extra batteries (put the batteries in the flashlight backwards to guard against it being turned on accidently), transistor radio, blankets, first aid kit, bag of kitty litter (for traction), collapsible shovel, windshield scraper and brush, booster cables, emergency flares, help sign, bottled water, a supply of non-perishable food items, box of tissues, plastic bags, hand warmers, extra hats, mittens, and scarves, pair of winter boots, a small amount of cash, extra prescription medications, a back pack that will fit essential items in case you have to leave your vehicle and walk for help and some reading material, in case you are stuck for a long period of time.  Note!  In the winter months, never allow your vehicle to go below half a tank of gas.  If you are stranded, you will be thankful to have ample fuel!

If you can execute all of these suggestions, you will be well equipped to face the oncoming winter.  Even if you only complete some of the recommendations, you will be able to save on your energy bill and who doesn't like to save money?!


Pauline Milner

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Casey's Homecoming Story - From Puerto Rico To Canada

Casey's Homecoming Story

Hi Everybody! My name is Casey Alonzo Milner and I just arrived yesterday, Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2016, at my forever home in Saint John!

It has been a long, tough journey for me to get here but I am settling in really well.

I was born three months ago (My brother, Skyler, suggested that November 11th could be my birthday because no one knows the exact date that I was born. Sounds great to me!).

Unfortunately, I had a very rough start in life. I was born in Puerto Rico where they call dogs like me Satos.

Some mean people were driving on a busy highway and slowed down just enough to throw me, my brother and my mommy out of their vehicle and onto the side of the road. Thank goodness a nice man saw what happened and stopped to rescue us. This happens all the time. It is very sad.

He was homeless himself and lives in his van. He kept us safe with him until he could get us to All Sato Rescue.

When we got to the rescue place we were cared for by loving volunteers. Everyone there were so kind-hearted. They believe that all of us Sato dogs do really matter and they immediately worked on finding homes for us.

Before we could come to Maine, we all got our rabies, distemper and bordetella vaccinations, got de-wormed, had Frontline medication for flea and tick prevention and had our stool samples analyzed to make sure everything was okay with our health. They did all that with funds provided by donors! Wow!

When we were good to go, we began our long journey to Maine.

I got to go on my first plane ride! We stopped in Miami, Florida then on to Logan Airport in Boston where more incredible volunteers picked us up and took us to Tall Tails Beagle Rescue in Freeport, Maine. Again, all of these expenses were covered by people who care and donate money to help us reach our new forever homes.

We arrived at Tall Tails on Tuesday, February 9th where Chris and his friends took awesome care of us!

On Wednesday morning, I had to have an operation. They said I was getting 'tutored' but I really didn't feel any smarter when I woke up!

Thursday afternoon, Chris told me that he had found me a forever home. He said a mommy and daddy were sad because their doggie had to go to Rainbow Bridge and their home was so lonely. He said they were super nice with tons of love just for me and they would be picking me up at the adoption fair at PetCo on Sunday, Valentine's Day! I know I only had 3 sleeps to wait but I was so excited that I could barely sleep!

When we got to PetCo, I sat quietly on my leash, waiting. I tried to sit really tall. I wanted to make a good first impression! Every time I saw people come towards me, I wondered if it was them, but they just smiled at me and walked right on by.

Then, I saw them!  I knew it had to by my mommy and daddy because my tummy felt funny, almost like I had swallowed butterflies! They both squatted in front of me and I ran right to them. I kissed my mommy and she hugged me. My daddy patted my head. They were so nice and gentle. My mommy picked me up and I snuggled into her soft shoulder. I had come such a long way but it was worth it! I was going home!

Mommy and Daddy had a list of names to choose from and they both thought I looked like 'Casey' would fit me. Mommy said to daddy that it would be nice if they could get a sign that it was the right name for me. They did not have to wait long!

When we went to register my adoption with the PetCo people and get my adoption welcome package, the nice lady who waited on us was named - you guessed it - Casey! How cool is that! My middle name, Alonzo, is my great grampie's name and a popular dog name in Puerto Rico, a salute to my heritage!

We had a long drive but I got to sit on my mommy's lap the whole way. It was the coldest day so far this year, but, inside, my heart was toasty warm!

Mommy and daddy assured me that I would be with them forever and nothing could ever change that. They told me to take all the time I needed to learn the rules and I would never, ever, ever, be punished for anything I did. They promised to work with me and if I did get into mischief, they would just say a firm 'no'. I also found out that my bathroom is indoors. What a relief! That white stuff is cold!

When we got home to Saint John, my mommy and daddy showed me where my potty was (it is a litter box) and I used it right away! They showed me all around my new home. Holy moly, is it ever big! Thank goodness my mommy let me follow her around so I could find my way through all the rooms on my own by following my scent.

They also told me funny stuff too. Things like there is no wrong way to sit on the sofa, that I could ride on the vacuum cleaner if I wanted to and I can have my friends over but no loud music and only PG (Puppy Good) rated movies!

I had some supper then settled into my bed which is right on the bottom of my mommy and daddy's bed and is really comfy.

I was super good the first night in my forever home. I slept for almost 6 hours before I had to go pee! Daddy had built me a wooden box to use as a step and I can get up and down off the bed all by myself.
This morning, after breakfast, I learned how to use the stairs because there are lots of them in my house. I also found my toy box. I am telling you it is doggie toy Heaven in there! It only took me a few minutes to pick some favourites and haul them up onto my bed.

I even played a game with mommy. I dropped a toy on the floor and she would pick it up for me. Again. And again. And again. I don't think mommy got much of her writing work done but it sure was fun!

Oh, I must tell you - I think there is another puppy here that looks exactly like me! I saw him over in mommy's closet door and I barked at him. He barked back. I think he must always stay in the closet door because he does not follow me and is always there when I go back and look. Mommy and daddy laughed. I think it is funny too. A dog who lives in a closet door! Silly!

Mommy and daddy keep telling me how blessed they are and how lucky they are that God put us together. I am lucky and blessed too.

Also, my mommy and daddy want to do something really extra special for the homeless man who saved my doggie mommy, brother and me and for the shelter in Puerto Rico. It is only because of their kindness that puppies and dogs like me get a chance to have a wonderful life. If you want to help too or if you want to find your own rescue puppy then please let my mommy know. She says you can PM her. I hope you know what PM means since I am only beginning to learn all of these new things!

Oh, and I also think I should be eligible for dual citizenship so mommy is going to write a letter to the government people on my behalf. I would write the letter myself, but it is really hard for me to hold a pen as I do not have opposable thumbs.

I sure hope to make more new friends really soon! I am tired so I am going to have a little nap now to recharge my batteries.

Thanks for reading my story.

Love, Casey


           



 

Monday, September 11, 2017

9|11 - Requiem For the 10 Second Falls

            Whether you stood on a street in Manhattan or watched via live television as the disbelieving seconds of September 11th, 2001 ticked by, you may have witnessed what you thought, at first, was debris falling from the upper floors of the World Trade Center buildings only to slowly realize it was not inanimate objects, but people. It has been reported that up to 200 victims jumped to their deaths, but their mode of death has remained almost unspeakable, even 16 years later. Perhaps it is time to confront the unsettling truth and give those souls a final voice.

            Conditions on the floors above those gaping holes must have been horrendous. Though the jet fuel would have burned off within minutes, the contents of those offices would have given off toxic smoke the kind of which stings eyes and sears the lungs with each breath. It was reported to one family member that their loved one "couldn't move", a phrase which sounds ominous when considering the circumstances. Were they pinned in by pieces of the airplane or fallen debris or boxed in by a wall of flames? It is expected if they could have bettered their situation, they most certainly would have. For those who fell from the towers, they provide, perhaps, the most insight into the dire predicament caused when airliners ripped through office space.

            Obviously, some clung to a small hope of survival as they repurposed table cloths or drapes as makeshift parachutes. Others, unaware, ignoring, or oblivious to the laws of physics, may have envisioned outstretched arms at the bottom, catching them seconds before hitting the ground. Though hope may have trumped logic, they must have known that jumping meant certain death.

            So, why then do people shun any talk of those who leapt from the windows?  Possibly, it is because we think those victims epitomize a horror that is too much to bear even though their fate was the same as those who died in the collapse as one floor pan caked onto the next. However, maybe we should be looking at them in a different light, one that can give us all strength even in the most dire of situations.

            Terrorists may have orchestrated the fate of almost 3000 people, but, by stepping out into the cool fall air, giving them one last pure breath, those who jumped on September 11th, 2001 decided how they would die. 

            Some have felt compelled to identify those who fell from the towers but maybe it is good that no one can really be sure who the individuals are in those grainy images. Collectively, those victims demonstrate that even if someone else's actions seem to dictate the outcome of any situation, we can still retain some form of control.

             When we think of their silent journey's, we should remember the last 10 seconds of life for each person who jumped as acts of defiance when faced an impossible choice. Their very public way of dying shows how they took some power away from the hijackers that day, a final act that should never be forgotten.

Pauline Milner



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Retro In Men's Fashion




Something Old Is New Again

Add Vintage Items That Compliment Your Modern Wardrobe

 

When you were choosing what to wear this morning, did you end up having a staring contest with your closet? If you blinked first then perhaps the time has come to etch out a new style.

In case you have not noticed, stores that sell retro clothing and accessories have steadily been making their way into the mainstream marketplace.

First, let's clear one thing up. These stores purportedly all sell retro clothing, but some actually sell new items styled to look like the era from whence they came. If you want true vintage pieces, they are all second hand and, in most cases, a whole lot more expensive.

Making a vintage piece the statement part of your outfit choice is easy when you choose a bright colour or design for your classic item paired with solid colours. For example, you may choose a shirt with an intense colour or a flashy design and pair it with a solid coloured blazer and pants. If you want to make a bold statement then choose a blazer that is dark. If you want a more subtle change, stick to a lighter, neutral colour.

Layering is another way to cleverly get others to notice your vintage piece as the focal point while still being understated. Opt for a shirt with a daring colour or design topped with a sweater, allowing the collar and cuffs to show.

Button down shirts that are long sleeved with a lapel pocket and those bearing an insignia like 'Moe's Bar' are very popular.

Bowling shirts where the stripes are a different shade than the base colour are on trend. A great find is a bowling shirt with a collar made of an alternate material, usually a knit.

Retro logos are very sought after, including those emblazed on t shirts, jackets, sports jerseys and hats.

If jeans are a part of your preferred attire, dirty denim, also known as 'distressed' or 'washed out' have made a comeback. They look very stylish coupled with a t shirt depicting a retro logo.

Extremely wide or very thin ties with a pattern from the 50's, 60's or 70's, waist coats, and 80's era sneakers like Nikes with the original 'swoosh' and low or high top Converse All Stars have all made a resurgence.

Accessories like clunky fashion jewellery, oversized sunglasses and 80's style aviators are some alternative choices if vintage clothing is not your thing

You may also want to seek out ultra rare items from labels such as Givenchy, Prada, Visvim or Raf Simons and you will never go wrong with original Hawaiian shirts.

If you are looking for a bigger bargain, items with minor stains, small tears and scuffs can often be fixed by a good drycleaner, seamstress or cobbler. When you are browsing for those classic pieces, make sure your selections will work with clothing you already have. An item on sale is no bargain if it never leaves your closet.

You can etch out your own personal style with retro designs but you do not want to go around looking like a walking advertisement from a men's magazine straight out of an era gone by. Try adding just one or two pieces per ensemble.

Adding veteran articles to your wardrobe should be fun. If you are stressed, bring a friend along to the retro stores and leave your issues on the sidewalk.

Pauline Milner

Getting Your House Ship Shape and Ready for Spring


Spring! Time to swap your snow blower for a rake and your mittens for a pair of gardening gloves. Over the winter, there has been stuff going on under those mountains of snow. As you transition from winter to spring, there are some important chores that need tending to.

As soon as the snow is gone, clean up any leaves, twigs, dead grass, etc. in order to allow for new growth. Also, cut off any dead branches from trees and shrubs.

Survey any destruction to your lawn sustained over the winter. Depending on the amount of damage, you may be able to do the repairs yourself with a bag of grass seed or you may have to hire professionals to hydro seed your lawn.

Check your roof for any missing shingles or tabs. If you need to call a roofer, it is better to call them now considering when the construction season gets into full gear it will be more difficult and a longer wait time to get a service call answered. If your roof has asphalt shingles and there are crows about, beware! Crows have been known to destroy roofs over period of time because they are after the tiny bits of gravel on each shingle. Head on over to the Internet for various ways to dissuade the crows or banish them all together.

If you have an outdoor water tap, ensure that there is no leak in the pipe. If water was inadvertently left in the tap and froze over the winter, the pipe may have burst. If you turn the tap on without first checking the pipe, you could have water pouring into your home instead of onto your lawn.

 Gravel driveways are great except in the winter when snow plows, snow blowers and shovels push some of the gravel onto your lawn. Survey your grass and rake any gravel back into the driveway so it is not picked up by a lawn mower and turned into a projectile that could cause damage to property or injury to nearby persons.

Even if your barbeque has been covered for the winter, you should check that all connections to the propane tank are secure with no damage or leaks in the line. Cover the lines with soap suds. When you turn on the propane, any leaks will cause bubbles to form.

If you want specific shrubs or trees for your landscaping needs, place your order at your local nursery early so you can have first pick of what is available. You should also ask nursery staff what is new for the season.

Many people change the batteries in their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when the time changes for daylight saving. If you have not done so, now is an opportune time to be sure those life saving alarms are in good working order.

Turn on your air conditioning to be sure the system does not have any issues. At this time of year, you can easily get someone to come for a service call. You do not want to wait until the first heat wave to find out your air conditioner isn't working. This is the same time everyone else will be finding out issues in their systems and technicians will be difficult to get and wait times can be long for service.

Salt is a corrosive material that will damage your concrete garage floor. If you have a garage, you should wash out all of the salt so there is no damage to the concrete structure.

Due to the unprecedented amount of snow received this past winter, you must check for flooding in the lowest level of your home even if you have never had any flooding issues in the past.  Your house insurance will not cover flooding caused by melting snow unless you have a specific endorsement on your policy.

This is a good time of year to check your dryer vent attachment. Over the course of many months, the attachment that runs from the dryer to the outdoor vent can become dislodged and/or clogged which could lead to a fire. If you are still using a plastic dryer hose, immediately invest in a metal one. Due to the fire hazard, plastic vent material is no longer to code.

Take advantage of spring clean up day that is offered in many communities. It is a perfect opportunity to dispose of things that are no longer needed and are taking up space around your home.

Every home should have an emergency kit and an escape route for occupants in case of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include enough supplies for everyone for a three day period. The contents should include the following: Water (a person requires one gallon of water per day and enough water for three days.), non perishable food products to feed each person in the household for three days, battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both, flash light and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, dusk mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place, moist towelettes,  garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation), wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (it is important to know where the shut offs are for things like your gas and electricity), manual can opener for food, a supply of cash (banking machines may not be working, as well as the debit or credit card payment options at stores) (though unethical and sometimes illegal, vendors have been known to overly inflate prices of items their patrons would need in the case of a catastrophe), cell phone with solar charger, prescription medication and extra glasses, pet food and water, copies of important documents, fire extinguisher. Additional item suggestions of what to include can be found here http://www.ready.gov/kit. Also, be sure to practice that escape route with all members of the household!

Handling these tasks now while they are maintenance issues will save you money later when neglected chores become costly repairs.  Get the whole family involved and these items will fly off your list, leaving you plenty of time to get out and enjoy the spring weather.

Pauline Milner

Forget Clowns Nail Clippers Are Casey's Phobia One of the tasks that comes with being a responsible puppy parent is nail clip...