Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours! 

It's not perfect, but it's as good as we could manage with a timer and two very confused pets.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Luck with Lactose

Back home, we have this amazing cheese factory called Fromagerie St-Albert - it's the freshest cheese money can buy in the Ottawa area and it's amazing. Squeeky cheese, fresh cheddar and anything you can think of that has to do with delicious cheese.

When visiting family back home, we like to stock up on it and if we can, bring some back to Saskatchewan for friends to enjoy. It's a real treat we like to offer to who ever is taking care of house and cat during our absence.

After years (totally serious) of begging the Bulk Cheese Warehouse store owner here in town - yes, that's the actual name - to bring in this product, we haven't come to any sort of reasonable understanding. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw St-Albert product sitting on a shelf along with all the lesser cheeses at the mega Walmart store in Regina last weekend. I didn't believe my wee eyes at first. It wasn't until I noticed weird stares from fellow shoppers that I realized I was chanting and dancing, brick of cheddar cheese in hand.

Then, suddenly, like clouds rolling in and raining on my (literal) parade, I could hear my doctor's voice, resounding in my ears: You're lactose intolerant.

That's right, ladies and gents - I've become lactose intolerant over the last little while and not being faced with St-Albert cheese weekly at the grocery store, I had not realized the implication and dramatic impact this would have on my life.

I promise to blog about my progress in therapy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bullies or Bullied?

First off, I guess I should start by saying that I was never in the cool crowd at school - far from it even - I've always been a dork and a nerd and a tad on the loser side of the school cafeteria. This kid wasn't popular. Not even a bit. Also, I'd like to point out that the comments below are a simple observation and reflect the few thoughts that just sparked from my brain.

With recent events linked to bullying in schools and such, there's been a huge trend on bullying and how it can/should be stopped. Social media took this one and ran with it to the ends of the earth and if it can change the life of just one kid - then it's all worth it. It's attracting attention to an aspect of youth social interactions that were most often cast aside as "just girls being girls" and "little boys learning to man up" scenarios.

One side of the debate going on in my head right now is whether the "bully" or the "bullied" should be targeted in all those efforts? Or both? Reach out to a bullied kid - you'll change the life of one, maybe inspire a few more to speak out. Change the bully's attitude and you'll reach out to the dozen kids they'll torment for years and years... Yes, it's important to reach out to the poor kids being intimidated into submission by their peers but something needs to be said for sitting the bullies down and giving them a stern lesson on how the world (is supposed to) function. If they don't care - they should.

Yes, it's chilling when we look at the stats and even more so when we consider how many kids have harmed themselves because of this epidemic... but are we trying to reinvent the wheel?

As adults, I'm sure we can all say we've witnessed bullying or intimidation in our workplaces or social circles. I'm sure these people didn't wake up mid-adulthood and decide to convert into fire breathing dragons. Those are the kids who were mean to other kids at school. This phenomenon is nothing new, by any extent. Why all the hoopla now? Because social media makes it visible to everyone and socially responsible people feel compelled to do something? Was it not obvious before the Facebook era? Com'on. What about all those kids, now adults, who suffered in silence?

I guess it kind of frustrates me to witness what our society has come to. Why do we need this much fluff? I know that today's kids are a very peculiar generation but what are we teaching them? We need to seriously look at the tools we've given those kids (I'm not talking about Social Media tools - more like character and values) for them to be able to fend for themselves as past generations? Most importantly, I think, what kind of morals and ethics does today's bully have and where did they learn that from?

I think my main concern here is; when we do have children and they grow up to be teenagers, that they'll feel they can come to their parents when they are being mugged daily at school rather than post a sad Facebook status as a cry for help. Why does that seem to be so hard to establish? I hope we're aware enough as parents and involved in our kids lives to see these behaviors and foster a communicative environment within the home. I'm sure it's easier said than done. But one can hope...


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