Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Well the white stuff fell last night but almost noon and already the roads are clear so no worries here! Suppose to warm up again next week too.

Didn't buy alot of Halloween candy/ chips this year as we didn't get alot of kids last year. They are doing Halloween Alley in town and the kids seem to go to those and get treats and get to stay indoors. So will see what happens today. No little kids for me to take out though so will get to stay inside where its toasty and warm!

Happy Halloween everyone!

PS.. Looks like we're heading south for the winter!

How Christmas Lights Got To Be So Popular

Friday, October 22, 2021


Christmas lights  during the winter holidays are very popular all over the world. In North America, many families decorate their houses with Christmas lights. But how did this tradition start and became popular?


How the holiday lighting tradition started

Most cultures celebrate some kind of holiday during the middle of the winter, right around or after the winter solstice. Solstice is the day when the sun starts coming back and the days begin getting longer again. In Northern Europe people have historically celebrated Yule time or Yule season in December by burning candles and yule log. Jewish festival Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a new candle during each day of the 8-day festival. Lit Candles and burning fire represents knowledge, warmth and a way to cheer up during the darkest times of the year. 


The origin of Christmas lights goes back to the German tradition of hanging candles on evergreen trees. In Christianity candles were lit to “signify the light of Jesus” or to serve as a symbol of a star that was seen by the three wise men.


In the 1840s and 1850s Queen Victoria  and Prince Albert brought the Christmas tree tradition to Britain. Prince Albert was German and Victoria had a German mother, so they grew up with a custom of decorating the Christmas tree with candles, fruits and hand made decorations. Before that British people would bring home a branch of a tree or a mistletoe, but there wasn't that traditional Christmas scene that we know now. Later Christmas trees and lights spread throughout the rest of the world due to the high influence of the British in the world.


But perhaps another reason why holiday lights are so popular is that it actually is in tune with many winter holidays. Electrical lights represent candle lighting and gathering around the fire. Candles attached to a tree isn’t the best idea and can cause fires, so when the electrical lights became common, they replaced the candles and the Christmas lighting became easier and more common.


Modern Christmas lights

It happened after the invention of electricity, when electric Christmas lights slowly became popular as a holiday decoration choice with most families. Because of the convenience and safety of electricity, Installing Christmas lights is not only used on Christmas trees, but to decorate houses and for commercial outdoor decorations.


At first electrical Christmas lights were only available to a high class society in the United States because of the high price and amount of labor involved. But as lights became more affordable, the general public were able to afford it. Modern Xmas lights installers use only the highest quality products and put a large emphasis on the energy efficient LED lights.


How the traditions promote well being

Holiday lighting is an exciting tradition. Lights create a happy feeling because they trigger dopamine release in the brain. For most people, the lights are associated with the positive childhood memories firing up the neurons responsible for feelings of joy, excitement and happiness. No wonder many different cultures around the world use lighting decorations during traditional celebrations.


Permanent lighting solution

Installation of Christmas lights takes a lot of time and effort because it involves climbing ladders and roofs and can be quite dangerous. Permanent lighting solutions are different in that sense because they are installed once and last up to 20 years. So there is no need to install and take down lights every year. Permanent lighting is also very versatile in terms of colors and patterns.


When the lights are turned off they are basically invisible. Lights are installed in the soffit of the roof and stay attached permanently. You can choose from a wide range of colors and color patterns to decorate your home for any holiday with just a press of a button. Lighting patterns are programmed and operated on the phone app. You can either choose from a library of patterns or create your own patterns such as colors of your favorite sports team for example. The brightness is adjusted.


Permanent lighting solution saves you money in the long run because your cost per year is much lower, but it requires the initial investment. Permanent lights also operate at high energy efficiency, so you also save on your power bill as well.


This has been the  origin of Christmas lights and why winter holiday traditions are  instrumental to our well-being these days. 

Affordable Winter Activities To Do With Kids


What can you do with kids when the temperature outside is - 20℃? While it’s easy to stay in the comfort of your home and watch movies, doing too much of it can get boring quickly and younger kids can get fussy and whiny from too much TV. Having a balanced schedule with some physical activities, stimulating or quiet games and some relaxing downtime is a way to keep your kids happy and engaged. Here are some ideas for indoor and outdoor winter activities for all the family to enjoy:

1)    Go outside. The most simple thing to do in winter is just to get outside and take a quick walk. You don’t need to have exciting activities to enjoy the brisk walk and fresh air, movement is important and walking is the best exercise for your cardiovascular system.  Once at the raw food seminar I heard that air is actually nutrition for your cells. Our body needs oxygen, so it is an essential nutrition element. Movement during the walk and fresh air outside allow for optimal body oxygenation. Going for a walk is a great habit to teach your children, it can keep them healthy all life long. If kids aren’t used to going outside a lot, it might be challenging at first, but after a while, they will actually find it fun and enjoyable. Kids naturally have imagination and will find a variety of ways to keep themselves entertained.

2)    Go sledding or tobogganing. This is something I always looked forward to as a kid and I still love it. Sleds are usually made of hard materials like wood or metal or both.  Toboggans don’t have runners or skis on the underside. Tobogganing is a modern version of sledding. Hard wooden and metal sleds can be fun and have an advantage for pulling someone on a flat surface as their shape doesn’t allow the snow to be scooped by the edge and thrown in your face. The disadvantage of the sled is that it’s not the best choice for sliding down the hill in case of a collision or tumbling; it can cause injuries for the person riding it or those around.

3)    Cross-country skiing. Skiing is a great activity and you can go skiing in the areas where walking is impossible like forests and the countryside. You can go as fast or as slow as you like or move in a way that is similar to running and you can ski down small hills which is a lot of fun. Mountain skiing requires a lot of skill and isn’t a kid-friendly activity, at least not for younger kids. One of my acquaintances once took her 5-year-old mountain skiing and he broke both of his legs. Ouch! I definitely don’t recommend mountain skiing for kids, but cross-country skiing is a great activity to enjoy with your kids. The equipment required is skis and ski-poles which are inexpensive and can be stored easily when not in use. Another friend of mine actually went cross-country skiing across the city via the river valley with her son to take him to art lessons. While this might not be an option for everyone, getting out and trying some skiing with your kids this season is something that you might really enjoy.

4)    Build a fort. Building the fort is easy when the snow is sticky, especially if you can use the existing snowdrift pile and dig out the cavity for the fort. Large piles of snow are usually formed after shovelling snow on sidewalks.  Add more snow as needed, but don’t make it too heavy on the top, so the roof doesn’t collapse. The snow fort will be similar to an igloo.  Another way to build a fort is to make bricks first by using an empty tapware container and packing as much snow in it as possible and then flip it to get the brick-shaped snow out. Stack the bricks to shape the walls. You can use a piece of plywood for the roof and floor. You can carve out patterns or use food colouring to decorate the fort.

5)    Do winter-themed crafts.

My favourite winter craft activity is cutting snowflakes out of paper. It’s a very fun way to create Christmas decorations that could be later used to decorate a Christmas tree or attach to the window glass (getting paper snowflake wet and then pressing onto the glass is usually enough to achieve the sticky effect). Take a square piece of paper and fold it in half across, then fold it again in half but this time in the opposite direction, so it forms a square. After that start folding from the central fold in half so it forms a smaller triangle each time. Cut little shapes around the fold lines and unfold to reveal the snowflake.

6)    Colouring the snow

Colouring snow is a fun sensory activity for all kids. Bring snow indoors in a large plastic container and let kids use food colouring or other liquid paints for kids. Supply containers to separate colours and create different shapes and create some space to experiment, like a large board along with paper towels and rugs for easy cleanup when needed.


These are some winter activities to try with your kids. There is no limit to what you can do. As long as the temperature isn’t below -20 ℃, you can try anything outdoors that you do indoors -  running, dancing, playing hide and seek. Make sure to dress warm, have warm drinks ready to serve and bring out extra mittens for kids and yourself especially if you are playing in the snow.

Spending time outdoors with children is fun, but can also be taxing and at times stressful. Remember to take time for yourself, simplify your schedule by removing some things off your plate that aren’t important to you or your family. Delegate tasks that might take too much of your time and aren’t easy to do with kids. For example, you can hire snow shovelling services or ask a friend to come over and play with kids a game of their choice.  

Today's Random Thoughts

Friday, October 15, 2021

Well, it looks like they are opening the Canada land border on November 8th - so as long as we can stay ahead of the snow, we will keep our fingers crossed and hope to get out of here before then, and be at the border for the 8th. We have missed our travelling. Are double vaxxed and just got our flu shots yesterday. (Still have a bit of a sore arm from that).

Saw the geese a few days ago already getting a head start and on their way south!

Our girls have been visiting with their dad in Nfld since the end of September but leaving in the next few weeks. **This one is of Ria, Erika and Ria's fiance.

Won myself a  local Chamber of Commerce radio contest of a $100 jewelry store gift certificate so that was nice.. got an outdoor wall decor piece, bubble bath, some facial wipes and a nice card for mom. She loves her cards- still loves the old snail mail. The ones here from Hopper Studios are such nice quality too.

Each Hopper card is designed, printed, packaged and shipped by Canadians for Canadians.

Each card features artwork with adorable animals (they are huge animal lovers at Bella Flor!) and a unique fact about each animal and hidden paw prints throughout.

Size is 5” x 7” and comes with a coordinating full color envelope that is printed inside and out and all are greeted inside.

Master Your Debt by Jordan E. Goodman

Monday, October 11, 2021

This was a great, simple to read book about slashing your monthly payments and becoming debt free.

5 Ways to Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balances

by Jordan E. Goodman with Bill Westrom,

Authors of Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free

Now, you really want to pay off your balances once and for all, don't you? Here's all you need to know about that. In truth, paying off your balances is simple; there's nothing complicated about it. But it's not easy, because it does require sacrifice and scraping together the cash that will get it done. Here are five techniques you can easily put into practice to pay off your credit card debt.

Set your goal. Make paying off your credit cards your top financial priority. Use the Federal Trade Commission's calculator (
to see just how credit card interest drains your household budget. The average balance-carrying customer now owes $5,729 on his or her cards, according to the findings of a TransUnion survey. Even at the comparatively low (for credit cards) interest rate of 14 percent, that's taking $67 a month in interest payments alone out of your budget.

Squeeze your budget. Turn a cold eye toward your expenses and find some extra money to send to your credit cards every month. Do whatever it takes: cancel cable, eliminate dinners out, stop buying shoes, skip a summer vacation. Seriously. Once you burn this debt for good, you'll have even more extra cash for the niceties of life. But until you do, make this your priority.

Throw extra lump sums at the problem. Tax refund? Check. Christmas present from Mom? Check. You can really jump-start your debt-paydown plan if you take drastic action. Hold a yard sale, moonlight as a babysitter or lawn mower, or do something at a higher earnings rate, if you have that option. Send all of your earnings to your credit cards.

Pay off the highest-rate card first. That is, pay minimums on all of your cards, but send all of your extra payments to the card with the highest interest rate. Some credit card experts disagree with this advice, but they are wrong. They suggest that if you instead send extra money to the lowest-balance card, you'll burn that balance faster and it will make you feel better about the whole enterprise.

You'll see why this advice is wrong once you look at the numbers. Here's an example from the excellent DebtSmart web site ( Your Costly Card has an $8,000 balance at 19.8 percent interest and a minimum monthly payment of $160 a month. Your Bitsy Card has an interest rate of 5.9 percent, a balance of $6,000, and a $120 a month minimum. The two minimum payments equal $280, but you've figured you can pay an extra $120 beyond that every month.

If you pay the extra $120 to Bitsy Card, you'll get it paid off in 27 months. At that point, you'll still have a balance of $7,068 on Costly Card. By the time you pay that off, at $400 a month, it will take you another 21 months, and you'll have paid a total of $5,120 in interest.

Now go the other way. Pay only the monthly minimum of $120 on Bitsy Card, and pay $280 a month to Costly Card, the high-priced card. That balance will be burned in 39 months. You'll be left with a $2,124 balance on the cheaper card, and it will take you less than six months to pay that off. Your interest total will be $3,740. At the end of the day, you'll have paid both cards off five months earlier, and you'll have paid $1,380 less in interest.

Use your HELOC. If you're struggling under the weight of a high-priced credit card debt and you have a home equity line of credit on your house, you can consider using that line to pay off your credit card. The danger, of course, is that you'll run into trouble, lose your job, and not be able to make your payments. Then you could lose your house, instead of just your credit rating!

So, don't take this step lightly. But HELOC rates are really low now; some are hovering just over 2 to 3 percent, and that interest is usually tax deductible. If you can easily afford the payments and have a secure source of income (and a backup source for a rainy day), you can take the credit card issuers off of your creditor list altogether by simply paying off your card with your home equity line. Then follow the same drastic action techniques to kill that debt as soon as possible.

With the new legislation going into full effect on February 22, there will be rate protections, billing and payment protections, easier payments, account management, and protection for young borrowers. In the meantime, work on implementing these practices and develop good credit card behavior.

The above is an adapted excerpt from the book Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free by Jordan E. Goodman with Bill Westrom. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2010 Jordan E. Goodman with Bill Westrom, authors of Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free

Author Bios

Jordan E. Goodman co-author of Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free, is a nationally recognized expert on personal finance. He is the author of the bestselling Everyone's Money Book and twelve other books. For eighteen years, he was the Wall Street correspondent for Money magazine and also served as a regular commentator for NBC News at Sunrise and Mutual Broadcasting System's America in the Morning. Today, Goodman appears regularly on many radio shows, including public radio's Marketplace as well as on TV programs on Fox, CNN, CBS, CNBC, and MSNBC. He also speaks regularly to large groups such as the Harv Eker wealth seminars.

Visit Goodman's Web sites:

Bill Westrom co-author of Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free, is a consumer advocate and veteran mortgage professional who has become a critic of the traditional banking system. His own business, IFS Development Group and, focuses on educating and empowering homeowners so they can make smarter choices about mortgages and employ an innovative mortgage reduction strategy; equity acceleration. Westrom's mission is to "change the financial landscape of this country by helping homeowners get more out of what they own and what they earn."

Happy " Canadian" Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Wishing all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving  Day- from our home to yours.

We have been blogging and sharing with you all about us, and great brands we partner with since 2009.

Thankful for every one of you that helps to make The One Income Dollar what it is today!

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