Archive for July, 2013



Vol. 4, No.17, Monday, July 29th, 2013 

TITLE:”BARBECUE: Hungry for BBQ chicken,  hot dogs & hamburgers, steaks/chops, salmon, ribs, etc. and thinking of sauce and  recipes, I am planning a party*”


FOODIES ALERT! Now that it’s grilling season, I will turn to barbecue – you might know it better by its acronym, BBQ. My topic then is the Wide … Wide World of BBQ. My book of the week is ”Barbecue” [Hardcover] by Eric Treuille (Author), Birgit Erath (Author).  (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on homemakers: homes and garden. Do you notice any changes in the blog format? We’re doing some fine tuning. Hope you like it!)


“Barbecue & Me” … how’s that for a title of a movie? Maybe not … but it’s certainly a lead-in to my post on barbecue. Barbecue is a cooking instrument with special tools.  It’s also a cooking style with classic foods – there is even a BBQ chicken dish. More, it’s a kind of party or get-together, Whatever it is, I like it! Here’s more info.

Cooking instrument: Barbecues used to be simple. They started and went from big to bigger and also “Hibachi”. Charcoal became little squares. There was even wood slices for the smoking taste.  And then came propane gas powered BBQs.  Gas is now just about everywhere; while charcoal is going the way of the near extinct dodo bird.

Cooking tools: My kitchen BBQ storage cabinet contains:  a) BIG  knife; b) Long fork; c) BIG tongs – don’t confuse these with thongs as your face will get red from embarrassment and your hands will get burned from the fire; d) Long spatula; e) BBQ grill (wire mesh) cleaning brush; f) Condiment Bottles (red & yellow);  g) Corn cob handles; etc.

Classic foods: If asking:”What’s cooking?”, here are several dishes: chicken,  hot dogs & hamburgers, steaks/chops, salmon, ribs, etc.

Cooking style: Barbecuing is different from  frying and baking. It is similar to broiling but the BBQ cooking element is only underneath.  I am under the impression that Rotisserie chicken better known as BBQ chicken has some roots in my home town, Montreal.

Party type: Barbecuing in my home is an event of summer and autumn. Although, I had a neighbor who barbecued all year round.  In the winter, it was brought up to the patio door and she would grill from inside.  As they say, different strokes for different folks.

Weather is always something to check when throwing a BBQ party. Last week, I was invited to a BBQ at the home of my brother and his wife. With the threat of rain, it turned to a deli- meat party.  Late last summer, I invited some friends for a barbecue.  It poured buckets of rain during the time we barbecued and for the rest of the evening – we all ate inside.  Of course, barbecuing is better done in good weather. But, be ready with an alternative if the sun changes places with storm clouds.

BBQ horror story: Approximately 10 years ago, we had a bad experience with the barbecue.  On a beautiful sunny day, I came back from work to find my daughter in terrible distress.  We had a gas barbecue.  She decided to put it on and start barbecuing for supper.  As she turned the knob, big flames sparked out close to her face.  We were lucky, she was not injured. I refused to use it again and for years didn’t buy one.  Last year, we bought a new BBQ and we use it every other week. But we’re very careful in starting it up and turning it off.  Safety is always on my mind.

UPDATE – JULY 29, 2013

After moving to a new home, I’m due for a barbecue party.  As soon as I’m finished with the renovations, I would like to have a big barbecue party as a “House Warming Party”.  Can’t wait!

THE AUTHOR: Eric Treuille & Birgit Erath

This twosome is from Notting Hill in the UK. This township was made famous by a movie of the same name starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Treuille, director of the BOOKS FOR COOKS cooking school. He travels between the south of France and London. He is also an author. Check him out .

Erath is the proprietor of a spice store. She lives in London, traveling extensively seeking new herbs and recipes. Check her out at



To name a few, several are

THE BOOK: Barbecue [Hardcover] by Eric Treuille and Birgit Erath (Authors)

Are you barbecue savvy? If so-so or not at all, pick up this book. In one word, ”Barbecue” says it all. It’s the ”A-Z“ instructional book all-in-one. The use of the barbecues, both gas and charcoal. It covers the best tools, safety and cooking the food just right. And don’t forget the recipes – there`s 150, but who’s counting$? A major lesson is the preparation.  Spice, sauces and marinades work. Smoke adds to the flavor. It will be an aid to have a better BBQ.


Barbecuing is a pleasure of summer and later into autumn. Of course, it’s good to do it. But, it is better to do it right. The enjoyment level will soar!

Personal Comments

I say:

  • Since our summers are so short, I ask: “Why not enjoy every minute of it?” One way is to barbecue.
  • With the barbecue season finally arrived, it’s such a thrill to be able to cook outdoors. The sizzling sound of barbecuing. makes my mouth water…can’t you just taste it!
  • Barbecued foods are a real treat. They are delicious.
  • Barbecue is also a great way of socializing outdoors and having fun.
  • I have a few barbecues to organize.  I better get them done before the summer is over.

The Point

If you’re going to BBQ, then do it right.


Every BBQ pit chef or wannabe should:

Step I

  1. Plan the menu; in this regard,

1.1    Consider pre-dinner finger foods: dips, salsas, chips, nuts, etc.

1.2   Choose as your main dish from: meats, poultry, fish and even vegetables.

1.3   Add extra grilling foods like Italian sausages, salami slices, etc.

1.4   Include a salad: chef, Caesar, Greek, etc.

1.5   Select side dishes such as potato salad, coleslaw and vegetables – corn on the cob is a real favorite

1.6   Finish with a pie, cake, ice cream and fresh fruit.

1.7   Try marshmellos as a special bonus

2. Serve Sangria or have plenty of chilled beer in a tub of ice.

3. Prepare the foods beforehand; in this regard,

3.1 Keep meats and vegetables separate;

3.2 Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the meat;

3.3 Rinse all meat, poultry or fish;

3.4 Consider a marinade;

3.5 Wash your hands with soap and water after handling the meat.

Step II

4. Add a spice, sauce, etc.

5. Clean the barbecue before using.

6. Remember the extension cord to plug in the music outdoors and lights if it’s late in the day.

7. Use a plastic table cloth and set the table with paper or plastic plates and paper or plastic glasses; and take out an exterior garbage can.

8. Do it with safety; in this regard,

8.1          Do not wear loose clothing like ties, scarfs, etc.;

8.2          Keep young children away.

8.3          Have a pitcher of water and a fire extinguisher close at hand;

8.4          Keep the flame low;

8.5          Douse your charcoal fire with a pitcher of water when the cooking is done; or if with gas, close the knob securely shut. Our trick is to turn off the gas and once the flame is extinguished, turn off the burner dial control.

Step III

9. Cook all meat well to prevent food poisoning –Do not cook the meat till it’s black as this can lead to cancer causing agents in the meat

10. Place the cooked meats on a CLEAN  platter … not the one first used

11.  Serve a platter of fruit plus a pie, cake, ice cream, etc. and then bring out tea and coffee

12.  Set rules for those guests driving – there is no drinking and driving at your party!

I say: “Don’t get grilled or cooked up. Instead,  take out your grill and have a cook out. Now that you’re here, please …please squeeze …the mustard that is NOT me ….you see my hands are full … I am holding a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other!*”

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”

PREVIEW (Monday, July 30th, 2012): Next week, I will continue on with the BBQ topic – I will put up a BBQ recipe post. You’re invited; but I have a rule…everyone must bring their own buns!  And since the Olympic Games are opening this coming Friday, July27th, 2012, I will add a special Olympic section. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on Antoinette’s Kitchen & recipes.)

PREVIEW (tentatively Monday, August 6th 2012): I will return to the romance theme. I am hearing a lot about Fifty Shades of Grey by T.L. James. I say: “Now, that’s a VERY spicy  meat ball!” I want to add my two cents to the discussion. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on dating, relationships and marriage.)

P.S. Big News: There are big changes FINALLY coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit – Antoinette La Posta


-Web Tech:

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.




S & R* QUOTE #1: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“[W]e are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. The individual or nation that feels that it can live in isolation has allowed itself to sleep through a revolution. The geographical togetherness of the modern world makes our very existence dependent on co-existence. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2: Matthew Arnold

“Is it so small a thing To have enjoy’d the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done…” (Source:Wisdom Quotes)-

S & R* QUOTE #3: Emily Dickinson

“Love — is anterior to Life –
Posterior — to Death –
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Earth — ” (Source:Wisdom Quotes)-

“For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “Barbecue”; “Grill”; etc.

Barbecue or barbeque

Barbecue or barbeque (common spelling variant)[1] (with abbreviations BBQbar-B-Q and barbie), used chiefly in the United StatesCanada, the United KingdomFrance,[2] New Zealand and Australia (called braaiin South Africa) is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry, and occasionally fish with the hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, compressed wood pellets, or hot coals of charcoal.(Source: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia) –


barbecue grill is a device for cooking food by applying heat directly from below.(Source: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia) –


“The term as a noun can refer to the meat, the cooking apparatus itself (the “barbecue grill” or simply “barbecue”) or to a party that includes such food or such preparation methods. The term as an adjective can refer to foods cooked by this method. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner.

Barbecue is usually done in an outdoor environment by cooking and smoking the meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large brick or metal ovens specially designed for that purpose.

Most etymologists believe that barbecue derives from the word barabicu found in the language of the Taínopeople of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida, and entered European languages in the form barbacoa. The word translates as “sacred fire pit.”[3] The word describes a grill for cooking meat, consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks.

It has been suggested that both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word (barbacoa) moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, thenPortugueseFrench, and English.

The word barbecue is also used to refer to a social gathering where food is served, usually outdoors in the late afternoon or evening.

Barbecuing encompasses four or five distinct types of cooking techniques. The original technique is cooking using smoke at lower temperatures (usually around 240–270 °F or 115–125 °C) and significantly longer cooking times (several hours), known as smoking. Another technique is baking, utilizing a masonry oven or any other type of baking oven, which uses convection to cook meats and starches with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time (about an hour plus a few extra minutes). Yet another technique is braising, which combines direct dry heat charbroiling on a ribbed surface with a broth-filled pot for moist heat, cooking at various speeds throughout the duration (starting fast, slowing down, then speeding up again, lasting for a few hours). Finally, grilling is done over direct dry heat, usually over a hot fire (i.e., over 500 °F (260 °C)) for a short time (minutes). Grilling may be done over wood, charcoal, gas (natural gas or propane), or electricity.” (Source: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia)-


S & R*NEWS ALERT* #1:Always have an indoor option with a backyard barbecue

“An unexpected thunderstorm can certainly dampen plans for an evening under the stars. If you’re planning to host friends and family at a backyard barbecue this summer, don’t forget to have a back-up plan that keeps guests out of the rain.

When the weather doesn’t cooperate, David Watson from Netflix suggests the following tips for keeping guests entertained indoors by hosting a movie night fit for the whole family:

Bring outdoor furniture in. This will ensure you have enough seating space for all of your guests. Keeps the furniture out of the rain and makes sure your guests are comfortable.

Turn barbecuing into baking. Simply turn on the oven and bake the food that you were planning to grill. Serve everything family style for easy snacking.

Take it to a vote. A streaming service like Netflix has become really popular and it will give your guests thousands of movie or TV show selections. Appoint someone as navigator to search for the movie by genre, title, or action superstar, and give the group the option to vote on their favourite. There is also a specialized ‘Just for Kids’ section that offers tons of family-friendly titles.

Pause for play. Every movie has a catchy phrase or an amazing action sequence. Pause the movie and get guests in on the action by role playing scenes from the movie. It’s a great way to avoid getting restless as the evening progresses.

No need to let a little rain ruin your evening with friends and family. Instead, pull up your favourite chair and enjoy the movie.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Top 10 smoking tips on the grill

“From Weber’s Smoke cookbook written by New York Times best-selling author Jamie Purviance take a look at the 10 secrets to infusing rich, smoky flavours into almost any dish and with any barbecue, from a traditional smoker, a

1. Start early.

Many of the flavour compounds in smoke are fat and water soluble, which means that whatever you are cooking will absorb smoky flavors best when it is raw. As the surface cooks and dries out, the smoke does not penetrate as well.

2. Go low and slow (most of the time).

Real barbecue is cooked slowly over low, indirect heat with wood smoke because that’s a traditional way to make sinewy meats so moist and tender that you hardly need teeth. But don’t miss easy opportunities for adding sweet wood aromas to foods that are grilled over a hot fire for just minutes, like steaks, shrimp, and even vegetables.

3. Regulate the heat with a water pan.

Big fluctuations in smoking temperatures can tighten and dry out foods. Whenever you cook for longer than an hour with charcoal, use a pan of water to help stabilize the heat and add some humidity. Obviously a water smoker already has one, but for a charcoal grill, use a large disposable foil pan, and don’t forget to refill it.

4. Don’t overdo it.

The biggest mistake rookies make is adding too much wood, chunk after chunk, to the point where the food tastes bitter. In general, you should smoke food for no longer than half its cooking time. Also, the smoke should flow like a gentle stream, not like it is billowing out of a train engine.

5. White smoke is good; black smoke is bad.

Clean streams of whitish smoke can layer your food with the intoxicating scents of smoldering wood. But if your fire lacks enough ventilation, or your food is directly over the fire and the juices are burning, blackish smoke can taint your food or lead to unpleasant surprises when you lift the lid.

6. Keep the air moving.

Keep the vents on your charcoal grill open, and position the vent on the lid on the side opposite the coals. The open vents will draw smoke from the charcoal and wood below so that it swirls over your food and out the top properly, giving you the best ventilation and the cleanest smoke. If the fire gets too hot, close the top vent almost all the way.

7. Don’t go golfing.

Smoking is a relatively low-maintenance way of cooking but remain mindful and be safe. Never leave a lit fire unattended, and check the temperature every hour or so. You might need to adjust the vents or add more charcoal.

8. Try not to peek.

Every time you open a grill, you lose heat and smoke two of the most important elements for making a great meal. Open the lid only when you really need to tend to the fire, the water pan, or the food. Ideally take care of them all at once and quickly. Otherwise, relax and keep a lid on it.

9. Let the bark get dark.

When smoked properly, ribs and large chunks of beef and pork should be enveloped in a dark mahogany, borderline black crust called bark. This bark is the consequence of fat and spices sizzling with smoke on the surface of the meat developing into a caramelized crust. So before you take your dinner off the grill or wrap it in foil, make sure you’ve waited long enough for the delicious, dark bark to develop.

10. Feature the star attraction.

The main ingredient in any smoked recipe is like the lead singer in a rock-and-roll band. Every other flavor should play a supporting role. In other words, don’t upstage something inherently delicious with a potent marinade, heavy-handed seasonings, or thick coats of sauce. Harmonizing flavors in ways that feature the main ingredient is what separates the masters from the masses.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #3: Summer is Served!

“Dust off your barbecue and serve up summer BBQ style! After a long cold winter we look forward to one of summer’s most simple pleasures cooking on the grill. Prepare for the season with these five foolproof tips from Chef Tom Filippou, Executive Chef for President’s Choice Cooking Schools:

1.         Get equipped with the right tools:

Long handled steel brush to clean the grill

Long handled tongs for flipping

Long handled basting brush

Spray water bottle to dampen hot flames

2.         Get those perfect grill marks on your meat by generously oiling the grill before cooking. You can use a clean rag soaked with cooking oil or even a piece of beef or bacon fat.

3.         To keep meat juicy, add salt right before you put your meat on the grill.

4.         Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness to ensure your meat is properly cooked without cutting.

5.         Do not prick, pierce or stab meat while grilling. Instead, use tongs with a long handle to flip the meat. This will help maintain the natural juices and tenderness.”

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved


HOUSE REMODELING: Bedrooms, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc. – I have ideas and real life experiences!*

Vol. 4, No. 16, Monday, July 22nd, 2013

TITLE: “HOUSE REMODELING: Bedrooms, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc. – I have ideas and real life experiences!*”


Since I’m remodeling  my new house, my head space is now on renovations.  Therefore, my book of the week is “Renovation” 4th Edition: Completely Revised and Updated by Michael Litchfield (Oct 30 2012) (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on home and garden.)  


We bought a house last May and had five weeks to do renovations before we moved in.  Yes, you’re right – it’s impossible to do! Due to a pre-set moving date, which could not be extended, we moved in with the work far from complete.

The movers put some of the furniture and boxes in the living area. The rest had to be stored in the garage. Of course, this is not the place for my beautiful things.

The work is continuing as I speak. What a mess!  The furniture unassembled creates an obstacle course. And mounds of stacked boxes everywhere blocks your way.  It’s so unproductive to move stuff from one wall or corner to another. If we’re lucky, we’ll be settled in by the end of the summer. 

Everything in the house is original.  This means much is old and worn out. While there’s not much worth keeping, there are exceptions.  For instance, the solid oak floors were sanded and varnished with a water-based varnish.  Unfortunately, a water-based varnished floor  scratches very easily-it is not as durable as one with an oil-based treatment.  All the doors and baseboards are solid oak; when sanded and varnished to match the floors, they will  gives the house an elegant finish.

Another example is in the kitchen – there are solid oak cupboards.  Fortunately, they are to my taste.  Sanded and varnished, they’ll be like new. 

I like ceramic tile for the floors in the kitchen and the hallway. I chose the porcelain type  of the big rectangular size. For the counter top, I chose a marble-looking granite – the back splash will be in small porcelain tiles.  Everything is in a light beige color in contrast to the brown cupboards.

The bathroom had to be completely redone.  A big question was: “What color?”  The bathtub, toilette and sink are all white.  The under-mount sink is set in marble-looking granite which itself sits on a brown wooden cabinet.  From the counter top, except for back splash, there will be a mirror up to the ceiling covering the entire wall space. For the floor, shower area and below the window walls, I also chose tiles of the porcelain type – this time of the square size. The neutral colors in the bathroom gives me the option of changing the accessories now and again to give it a new look.

The family room in the basement is small but cozy.

Horror story #1: A while back, I visited a propery, where the homeowner gutted the interior and stopped the work – the house a shambles. It was a “repo” since it was being sold by the bank. I guess the ownber went over budget.

Horror story #2: The other night, we heard a very sad tale. There was a homeowner who hired a contractor. He asked to be paid up front; and he was paid the full amount before the renovations were started.  The contractor then disappeared. Not finding him, the homeowner had to hire another contractor and pay again. 

THE AUTHOR:  Michael Litchfield

Michael W. Litchfield not only renovates houses but also writes about them. He has been doing so for 35 years.  He is the author of “Renovation:  A Complete Guide.” It has been called the home renovation ‘bible’ no less! He is the founding editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine. I think that this man really knows what he is speaking about.



Several are:

 THE BOOK:  Renovation 4th Edition: Completely Revised and Updated by Michael Litchfield (Oct 30 2012)

Home renovation has become a very big business.  In the United States, multi-billion dollars are spent on home renovations.  The focus is on increasing energy conservation and creating a home that is suitable as the years pass.  For the last 30 years, the book has become a reliable reference book. Renovation, 4th edition is a current update. It goes from foundations to finish flooring.  It has strategies, tips, and solutions for problems which may arise. It also addresses affordability, adding value, multi-functional use and flexibility of design.  Homeowners and even builders will want this book on hand.


Your home is important. You spend so much of your life there. Shouldn’t it suit your needs and taste and also be as pleasing and comfortable as possible. I think so! 

Personal Comments

I say:

  • That it’s very difficult to have renovations run smoothly.
  • That the tradesman you hire makes the difference on how it will proceed. 
  • That a remodeling project can turn out to be bigger than anticipated.  It could be very nerve wracking!

The Point

Everyone should have a personal space. (N.B. I’m distressed about homelessness.) Everyone should put in the effort to make it as good as it can be, depending upon size, availability of materials, budget, etc.  But remember that home sweet home requires one decision after another and it takes lots and lots of work.


Everyone should:

  1. Find the right people to do the work and know what you want done;
  2. Figure out what you want done- make a detailed list before starting renovations;
  3. Do extensive research on the things that you wish to fix and the works that you wish to do;
  4. Set a budget and try to stick to it; to this end,

     4.1 Search for the best prices especially when in the market for appliances; check out flyers and on-line.

     4.2 Look for discounts of age (e.g., 50+) or when opening a house credit account. 

      4.3 Be aware that the overall price which you budget before going into remodeling project  will increase. It’ll most probably double… if not more.

5. Hire good and proper tradesmen; indeed, good, reliable skilled workers are hard to find. In this regard,

5.1 Hire somone highly recommended; You know word of mouth is the best.

5.2 Ask people in your community for the names and numbers of tradesmen whom they have engaged and whose work was satisfactory and who came according to schedule and were punctual.

5.3 Get a business card and a written estimate beforehand from any tradesman;

5.4 Ask him  if he cleans up the mess after the worrk day.

5.5 Consider licensed tradesmen with experience only;

5.6 Check with consumer & better business  bureau for complaints.

5.7 Refrain from paying the full amount to a tradesman up front; instead, give the last payment only when everything has been done to your entire satisfaction.

6. Buy quality materials – you know “you get what you pay for,” as the saying goes.

7. Be prepared that your project will  take much longer than you expect.

8. Keep extra tiles as spares and the balance of paint for touch ups. 

 Yeah, yeah…I’m throwing out another empty packing carton. I seem to be making progress. But many boxes remain to be unpacked. Now, please pass me a hammer.      

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”

PREVIEW (tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 29th,2013) : Since I am still unpacking and settling in, I’ll give you more from the home front. I will call it “HOUSE REMODELING: Bedrooms, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc. – I have ideas and real life experiences!* Volume #2”. Sorry, I cannot make you a cup of tea. I’m still looking for the tea!

P.S. Big News: There are more changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.

P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit – Antoinette La Posta


-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2013 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.



For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “renovations”;

“Home improvement, home renovation or remodeling is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. Building materials and hardware for home improvement projects are typically purchased at home improvement stores. (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“There are three main approaches to managing a home improvement project: hiring a general contractor, directly hiring specialized contractors, or doing the work oneself.

A general contractor oversees a home improvement project that involves multiple trades.  35% of homeowners, according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report bypass the general contractor, and hire tradesmen themselves, including plumbers, electricians and roofers.

Another strategy is to “do it yourself” (DIY). 67% of homeowners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report.

Home or residential renovation is a $300 billion industry in the United States,[3][full citation needed] and a $48 billion industry in Canada.[4][full citation needed] The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.[5][full citation needed]

Perhaps the most important or visible professionals in the renovation industry are renovation contractors or skilled trades. These are the builders that have specialized credentials, licensing and experience to perform renovation services in specific municipalities.” (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia –


S & R*NEWS ALERT*#1:Decorate with the latest home-fashion trends

“We’ve seen decor trends come and go over the years, but according to home décor expert Karl Lohnes there are a few that have held the test of time and become classics.

In the 1980’s natural sea grass carpeting became a classic that never went away. In the 90’s stainless steel kitchen appliances appeared on the domestic market and stabilized as long-term investments. So what recent and new decorating trends are making their way into the hall of fame to be around for the next five to 10 years? Lohnes shares his insights:

Grey: This solemn neutral was very popular in the mid 80’s; back then it was a steely blue grey and used only to achieve a modern aesthetic. Its return to the decorating world was a nice way to ease us away from all the golden taupe that we had grown so fond of. But this time around the grey is a bit warmer (think grey flannel) and is used for both traditional and modern decorating. Look for this neutral to stick around and watch it warm up a bit more to an elephant, or driftwood colour. This will be the new taupe; cooler than what we remember and looking great with off-white, gold metallics and shots of strong colour. Progressive décor companies like Hunter Douglas has included a fresh grey in its new Parkland wood blinds collection. Called Salt and Pepper, it is a mid-tone that adds layering and depth at the window.

Chevron pattern: Whether you call it zigzag, herringbone or chevron, this angled linear pattern has come in and out of décor fashion for decades. Currently, the design is highlighted by contrasting coloured stripes, which add punchy patterns to wallpaper, bedding, fabrics and carpets. Look for this pattern to calm itself down by being shown more as a texture than an obvious print. Tone-on-tone is the way to go with the classic chevron pattern if you want to live with it for a while. Use it in large doses or small. To illustrate, designer Katie Leede trimmed her Provenance woven-wood shades in a tone-on-tone chevron pattern in her designer showhouse bedroom.


Farmhouse style: It goes without saying that country-style decorating is still the most popular form of décor. Country has been transformed of late into Farmhouse Chic. This new country style allows us to mix humble, worn furnishings with a touch of industrial chic in order to make it cool again. The style can look very upscale when fancy antiques become part of the mix.

More information is available online at”

S & R*NEWS ALERT*#2: Simple renovation tips that can save you thousands

”Renovations aren’t just about updating the design and comfort of your home or cottage, they can also be a great way to incorporate better approaches and sustainable technologies that cost very little, but lead to big savings.

It’s often hard to know where to start when considering a green renovation. If you’re considering a partial or full home renovation and want to go green, visit for a valuable list of resources, including local architects, advisors or contractors who are best qualified to help.

Here are some simple tips to get you thinking about renovating your space with an eye to saving both money and the environment:

Often in renovations you have the opportunity to fill un-insulated spaces to make them more energy efficient. To go green, consider rock wool or cellulose insulation. Both are available at most home renovation centers and contain recycled content, are made in Canada, and have the potential to reduce your monthly heating costs.

The biggest single electricity user in an average gas heated home is your refrigerator. While renovating a kitchen, consider recycling your old fridge (many utility companies will pick it up for free) and purchasing an Energy Star fridge. Choosing a smaller size will also reduce the monthly energy cost. Compare the EnerGuide rating that is listed on each fridge before you buy one this will tell you which ones will save you the most energy and the most money.

Reducing water use and hot water bills when renovating your bathroom is easy. Installing a low flow or low flow dual-flush toilet can reduce your water use by up to 25 per cent. A smart way to sort through what works best on the market now is to visit

Did you know showers use about 40 per cent of the hot water in your home? Installing the right low flow shower head, especially one that is 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM) or less, will save you up to 30 per cent.

When looking to replace or install new windows, look for those that are Energy Star rated for zone C or D. You could also consider installing casement windows, which tend to be less drafty as they age when compared to slider and double hung windows.”

*TM/© 2013 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on July 22nd, 2013 Comments Off on HOUSE REMODELING: Bedrooms, Kitchen, Bathroom, etc. – I have ideas and real life experiences!*

Update – July 16, 2013

Dear Readers,

My apologies for not posting a blog this week.  After the move, I have boxes everywhere. Therefore, I’ll be taking the week off.  Please come bye next week to see what I’m going through.  See you then.


Posted by on July 16th, 2013 Comments Off on Update – July 16, 2013

TITLE: “CHILDREN’S SUMMER HOLIDAYS: I have some ideas – activities, spots, camps, parks, etc.*” – UPDATE 2013

Vol. 4, No. 15, Monday, July 8th 2013

TITLE: “CHILDREN’S SUMMER HOLIDAYS: I have some ideas – activities, spots, camps, parks, etc.*” – UPDATE 2013


Summer is around the corner and in a couple of weeks, classes will be over and it will be summer break. It brings back memories of when my daughters were in school.  Today, I will talk about kids’ summer holiday. My book of the week is “The Family Manager’s Guide To Summer Survival: Make the Most of Summer Vacation with Fun Family Activities, Games, and More!” [Paperback] by Kathy Peel (Author).  (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on parenting: family, child rearing and education.)

PREVIEW (Monday, June 11th, 2012): I am also thinking about another rite of summer – Moving Day. In our province, July 1st is the start of the lease year for dwellings; as a result, the lead-up to that date is the time for moving. This year, I have been affected by three moves; I can tell you it’s big work. Come on over – I’ll give you a heads up first hand. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on home and garden.)


Childhood: When I was a young girl, my summers were spent at home.  My parents worked most of the time and on nice weekends, we did day outings with uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.  It was fun and wonderful reconnecting with family.

Motherhood: Working in an educational institution, allowed me to take the summers off.  I planned it so that I would be home for my daughters.  I took them for swimming lessons, water parks, outings with friends, the zoo, family vacation, etc.  I invited their friends often to spend the day.  I looked forward to spending time with my children during the summer months.  Summer months with my children were very precious for me.  I worked full-time and with my busy schedule, quality time with my daughters was limited.  During the summer months, my daughters and I spent time together.  It was the time to bond.  Some say that the summer school vacation period is too long.  A shorter vacation period during the summer and more vacation during the school year would be ideal.

Grandparenthood: My daughter, being a school teacher, will also be able to be home for the summer.  Her children – my grandchildren need this time with their mother.


My granddaughter went to day camp the last two weeks of June.  Although the day’s events tired her out, she enjoyed her day.  The organizers made the two-weeks enjoyable and educational.  The two weeks were full of creative ideas and learning experiences.

THE AUTHOR: Kathy Peel

Kathy Peel is the president and founder of Family Manager, Inc.  She lives in Dallas, Texas. She is an author, having written 18 books, which sold over two million copies.  For more than 12 years, she has been contributing editor at Family Circle.  She has numerous appearances to credit on such shows as:  Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and The Early Show.



Several are:

THE BOOK: “The Family Manager’s Guide To Summer Survival: Make the Most of Summer Vacation with Fun Family Activities, Games, and More!” [Paperback] by Kathy Peel (Author)

Summer is a challenge for parents. In her book, Kathy Peel demonstrates how to make the summer months memorable with activities, learning experiences, trips, etc.  Furthermore, she’ll show you the 10-best ways to keep your kids from being bored.  She has creative activities that teach children skills and values. I think the more ideas the better. Take a look – your kids will benefit!


Summer is a time for fun and games. More, summer is an opportunity for a parent to spend quality timer with their kids.

Personal Comments

I say:

  • Summer holidays from school could be enriching and exciting for kids.
  • For Moms and Dads everywhere, it’s important to make the most of the summer months with your children.  Indeed, if done right. it’s the time for parents, especially working Moms to bond with their kids.
  • Summer camps are great for children as long as it’s for a short period of time.

The Point

Give some thought to your kids, this coming summer. Make it special not only for them, but also for yourself. Sun & fun is not simply child’s play! It takes a parent’s careful consideration and direction.


I ask: “What do you have planned for the summer?” I say that a parent may:

  1. Keep your children in touch with their school friends, if possible, invite them over for slumber parties;
  2. Make plans for play and projects in home for rain days: a) magazine collages; b)cookie/cake baking;
  3. Visit your city library; there is much to do and many opportunities to learn;
  4. Go to your nearby park and playground often – physical activity is very important for your child but, keep close watch ALWAYS!
  5. Arrange events with other parents at the park: a) Carnival; b) Board game tournaments;
  6. Plan ahead – remember the early bird gets the worm;
  7. Consider a family vacation;
  8. Look for recreational programs or camps; with this in mind,
  • Look into the local community center for activities
  • Enrol your child for swimming lessons, sports, etc.
  • Register your child for a two-week camp – I think two weeks are just right!

9. Plan day trips, fun outings, to this end, go to the: (a) Water park; (b) Zoo

10. Make it your aim to make this summer, memorable for your children and also yourself.

I’m really looking forward to the end of June. Soon, children will shout: “Hooray, it’s summer holidays:  no more homework – let’s play!” I wish that you and your children have lots and lots of fun!

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
P.S. Big News: There are big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit – Antoinette La Posta
*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.


S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #1: Meandering
“One wintry day when Frank Lloyd Wright was nine years old, the future architect went for a walk with a reserved, no-nonsense uncle. As they reached the end of a snow-covered field, his uncle stopped him. “Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” he said. “And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that.”

Years later Wright remarked that this experience had had a profound influence on his philosophy of life. “I determined right then,” he explained with a twinkle in his eye, “not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had!” (Source: Anecdotage) –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #2: Alfred Hitchcock: Mischief
“Alfred Hitchcock was a mischievous child. One day when Alfred was “no more than six years of age,” his father sent him on an errand to deliver a sealed letter to the local police station. Having read it, the officer lead young Alfred to a cell and proceeded to lock him up.

Two hours later [some sources say five to ten minutes later], the boy was released. “This,” the officer explained, “is what happens to bad little boys!”\ (Source: Anecdotage) –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #3: Dean Kamen: Family Vacation
“By the age of 16, Dean Kamen (famed for his invention of the Segway Human Transporter) had made a small fortune selling his first invention – a control unit for light and sound shows – to such clients as New York’s Hayden Planetarium. “I used some of the money to send my parents on a two-week vacation,” he later recalled, “and I used the rest of it to buy myself some really great machine tools for the workshop I had set up in my parents’ basement.”

Unfortunately, some of the new equipment would not fit in a basement. Kamen, however, had a solution. He simply hired a contractor to dig a massive hole in the back yard, knock through the foundation wall, and expand the cellar. His parents soon returned from Hawaii – and found their home on stilts (erected to prevent it from falling into the aforementioned hole). Kamen later recalled their reaction: “They were not amused.” (Source: Anecdotage) –

S & R* QUOTE #1: Tara Brach

“When we put down ideas of what life should be like, we are free to wholeheartedly say yes to our life as it is.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2: Franklin P. Jones

“Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #3: Robert Frost

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

“For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “summer vacation”; “children”; “summer camp”

Summer vacation

Summer vacation (also called summer holidays or summer break) is a vacation in the summertime between school years in which students and instructors are off school typically between 6 and 14 weeks, depending on the country and district.(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

child (plural form is children) is someone who is not an adult yet, or a person who has not reached puberty. A person younger than 15 years old is usually called a child.[source?]” (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Summer School

“Summer camp is a supervised program for children or teenagers conducted (usually) during the summermonths in some countries. Children and adolescents who attend summer camp are known as campers.” (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


“Some countries only get six weeks or two months summer vacation because students supposedly forget large amounts of information learned in the past year (See: Summer learning loss).[1][2] Other education reformers believed that children were overstimulated in a system which required 48 weeks of schooling. They believe that over-schooling could lead to nervous disorders, depression, and insanity.[3] They believe that children need the 2–3 months off to relax and also to take a break from other childhood stresses associated with school such aspeer pressurecliquesbullying, and the pressure of heavy loads of schoolwork and homework.

Some critics of summer vacation point out that American students spend approximately 180 days (36 weeks) per year in school, but Asian students are “in school for 240 to 250 days”. However, in certain Asian countries, like Singapore, students in both primary and secondary education get a week of holidays in March, a month in June, another week in September and a month and a half in November to December, meaning that Singaporean students spend around 200 days a year in school, not 240 to 250. This is consistent with the conclusions of researchers[4] who suggest that advanced abilities are in proportion to the time spent learning. Summer holidays in Japan last from late July until early September.” (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)-

“In most camps, the adult supervisors are called counselors, but another name may be “cabin leader”. In many camps, counselors are assigned to smaller groups of campers, called “bunks”, “huts”, “cabins”, or “units”, who participate in activities as a group. Counselors often share living accommodations with their bunk or other counselors. Most counselors are in their late teens or early twenties, as high school or college students on their summer break are frequently recruited.

At some camps, all campers stay overnight, and at some camps, so called day camps, the campers go home each night. Some other camps allow both day and overnight campers. In the USA, residential camps that have overnight facilities are sometimes called “sleep away camps”. Summer camp is often the first time that children spend an extended period of time away from home.

The practice of running residential holidays for children away from their own home seems to have originated in Appenzell in the Alps in 1876, when Pastor Bion set up holiday camps in which children made tree-houses, sang songs, did drama, made kites and had adventure games.

Post-war France used Pastor Bion’s model to take children who had grown up during the war years, away from cities, and their scheme ‘colonies de vacances’ became state controlled, part of their state education system for all children.

The American camps seem to have developed from a very different cultural root.” (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) -

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Summer schooling: The ABC’s of sun safety

“Canadians may love the sun, but do we really know how to protect ourselves from it? A recent Banana Boat sunscreen brand survey reveals that we might not have all the facts when it comes to sun safety.

To assist Canadians with sun care basics, dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll has joined forces with Banana Boat to develop the following ABCs of sun safety:

Apply all year round: The sun may not feel as warm during the spring, fall and winter months, but you can suffer both short and long term effects from the sun all year long. Regardless of the temperature outside or the time of day, be sure to apply sunscreen to all uncovered areas of your skin.

Broad spectrum is best: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays may both come from the sun, but they affect your skin in different ways. It’s important to look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum (both UVA and UVB) protection and follow these four easy steps for proper application:

1. Apply early: Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure.

2. Apply enough: You should be using one ounce or 30mL of sunscreen roughly the size of a golf ball.

3. Apply everywhere: Don’t forget ears, lips, shoulders and nose. These areas are most susceptible to sun exposure.

4. Re-apply frequently: Be sure to re-apply one ounce of sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.

Cloudy day? Don’t put the sunscreen away. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, mist and fog, so even if you can’t see the sun, it can still see you. Be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing on even the cloudiest of days to keep your skin safe.

For more information on proper sun protection, visit“

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: A summer sun solution for kids with sensitive skin

“Specialists in the field of sun protection advise that the delicate skin of babies and young children can be more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Unprotected exposure is a concern to all parents, especially when their little ones discover that the true adventures of summer are all outdoors.

The Canadian Cancer Society warns that the risk of skin cancer is greater than it was 20 years ago and continues to increase. Ultraviolet rays can break through clouds, fog and haze and among other cancer risk factors, blistering sunburns as a child, must be avoided for skin health later in life.

Kids don’t have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun, says Beth-Ann Ivany, Senior Brand Manager at Aveeno, a leading brand name in the field of nature-based skin care. Children need protection from UVA and UVB rays whenever they are outside.

Since that is likely to be any time, all the time, it is highly recommended that parents add a thorough application and reapplication of sunscreen every day to their children’s morning routine. Indeed, getting them to sit still for it each day might still be a challenge and many parents also struggle with concerns about the quality of the product they are putting on their child’s skin.

Using hypo-allergenic, naturally-derived mineral ingredients is a starting point but with sunscreen advancements today, the options are ever-increasing, Ivany explains. Aveeno is well known for the development of the Active Naturals technology for effective skincare. These formulations combine Active Naturals, such as skin-soothing moisturizing oat and other naturally-sourced ingredients, to produce formulas that can enhance the beauty and healthy look of skin. Knowing that sunscreen is a must, it is ideal to choose one with multiple benefits that moisturizes, soothes and nourishes too.

For kids, and for anyone with skin sensitivities, a hypo-allergenic mineral based sunscreen is a welcomed solution.

The Active Naturals in the new Sensitive Skin mineral sunscreen product line are derived from the moisture replenishing and soothing properties of oatmeal. Ivany explained. It is also ‘broad spectrum’ to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. For exuberant kids, it’s waterproof maintaining its SPF protection after 80 minutes of water or sweaty activity. This means that children, teens and adults alike will get broad spectrum protection from the rays of the sun and they will also be able to moisturize and soften sensitive skin at the same time.

Dermatologists remind us however, that a reliable sunscreen is just the first step. Always combine it with activity in the shade, wearing a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothes, and keep hydrated.”

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Posted by on July 8th, 2013 Comments Off on TITLE: “CHILDREN’S SUMMER HOLIDAYS: I have some ideas – activities, spots, camps, parks, etc.*” – UPDATE 2013

“NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The 1st of July – Canada Day; the 4th of July – (U.S.) Independence Day, I say: Let’s celebrate!*” – UPDATE JULY 2013

Vol. 4, No. 14, July 2nd, 2013

TITLE: “NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The 1st of July – Canada Day; the 4th of July – (U.S.) Independence Day,  I say: Let’s celebrate!*” – UPDATE JULY 2013


The arrival of the month of July means national holidays in Canada and the United States. The 1st is Canada Day; and the 4th is Independence Day.  My books of the week are: 1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author); and  2) Apple Pie 4th Of July [Paperback] by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator). Hence, my topic of the week is celebrating your national day. (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on holidays and special dates.)

PREVIEW: Next week, I will talk about garage sales – in some places, they are called yard sales. I just held one at my home and I want to share with you some of my experiences and the things that I learned. And yes …. my price is firm! (Editor’s Note: This is another post in a continuing series on homemakers: homes and gardens.)


As young adults, my parents emigrated to Canada, a land of opportunity … a place to work hard and make a good life for themselves and also a family. Although they loved and had a deep attachment to Italy, their country of birth, they were very proud of their adopted homeland.  They felt fortunate that their children could secure a fine education and good jobs in Canada. My parents succeeded and they wished to become Canadian citizens. I was a child when it happened – yet I vividly remember their elation.  (P.S. The only thing that they complained of … was our hard winters.)

In years past, the 1st of July was Dominion Day. It was a big deal. Now it is Canada Day. It is an even bigger deal! Led by festivities in Ottawa, our capital, there are parades, the waving of flags in the hands of young and old alike, cultural shows, fireworks … and further special TV programming … the tops  … first class all the way!  Weather permitting, I usually enjoy an outdoor activity, getting together with family & friends, watching fireworks, etc. –  I really have fun!

Indeed, I am a very proud Canadian. I cheered on Canada’s athletes at the last Winter Olympics, held in Vancouver.  I was so pleased with the performance of my countrymen and women. I got into the spirit of the achievement, both individual and collective.

Update 2012: The big day is next week. I’m checking out the published “in your community” schedules. I plan to attend and participate in at least one event.

Closer to home, my daughter is throwing a Canada Day party.  Now that’s a great idea! We offered some mini Canadian flags as decoration. As well, I am pleased to advise that my granddaughter is to be in a parade this weekend – I’ll be there … I wouldn’t miss it!

As my closing note for this update, I say: “For me, Canada is a land of freedom. The diversity and the many cultures make Canada a very interesting place in which to live.  No matter where I travel, I’m always happy to return home. Canadians are respected worldwide.  I feel so fortunate that I was born in this wonderful country.”

Update 2013: This past Canada’s Day I was in the midst of moving.  After a long day of organizing and storing my stuff, we went out for supper and celebrated Canada’s Day. Hopefully, next year, we’ll be able to enjoy Canada’s Day weekend.

THE AUTHOR: 1) Patricia J Murphy 2) Janet S. Wong

1) Patricia J Murphy

Patricia J Murphy is a children’s writer, communications and marketing consultant. She founded Pattycake Productions, a creative services agency. She has written magazine articles and 150+ children’s books. She has a family and lives in a northern suburb of Chicago, IL, USA. She has won several awards.

2) Janet S. Wong

Janet S. Wong is an author of 23+ books: picture books about family, poetry about yoga and driving, chapter books about friendship, etc.  Her readers go from toddler to adult. She is a speaker at teacher conferences. She lives in Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.



Patricia J Murphy

Some books by Patricia J Murphy are:

  • Think Twice, Be Nice, Rigby Publishing, Division of Reed Elsevier, Barrington, IL, 2001.
  • Sometimes We’re Happy, Sometimes We’re Sad, Rigby Publishing, Division of Reed Elsevier, Barrington, IL, 2001.
  • Let’s See: Voting and Elections, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2001.
  • Let’s See: The Presidency, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2001.
  • Let’s See: The U.S. Congress, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2002.
    Let’s See: The U.S.  Supreme Court, Compass Point Books, Minn, MN, 2002.
    Let’s See: Our National Holidays, Compass Point Books, Minn., MN, 2002.
    Eye Wonder! Rigby Publishing, Divison of Reed Elsevier, Inc., Barrington, IL, 2001.
    Simple Machines, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, New York, 2001.
    How a Frog Gets Its Legs, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, New York, 2001.
    A Visit to the Art Museum, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, Buffalo, NY, 2002.
    Fun with Fractions, Rosen Real Readers, Rosen Publishing, Buffalo, NY, 2002.
    Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback]

Janet S. Wong
Some books by Janet S. Wong are:

  • The Trip Back Homne
  • Buzz
  • Twist
  • Behind The Wheel
  • Me and Rolly Maloo
  • Minn and  Jake
  • Before it Wriggles Aw
  • Apple Pie 4th Of July

THE BOOK: 1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author) 2) Apple Pie 4th Of July [Paperback] by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator)

1) Rookie Read-About Holidays: Canada Day [Paperback] by Patricia J Murphy (Author)
This book is a primer about Canada Day in printed form. It explains the history, importance, and celebration of this – Canada’s No. 1 holiday.  Such is a tool to informing the reader about Canada Day. The author asks whether you celebrate Canada Day? She prompts the children with words or phrases and images: birthday, Canada’s flag, Canadian Mounties,   celebrate, fireworks, maple leaf, provinces, etc. There is material about: British North America Act. anthem: “O Canada”, etc.  (N.B. The Rookie Books series tries to make its readers more worldly literally and figuratively.)

2) Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong (Author), Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Illustrator)

This book informs the readers about the 4th of July – the No. 1 holiday of the United States of America. It is couched in the story of a young girl’s experience as a first-generation Chinese-American. She wants to fit in but anxious about her belief that her immigrant parents don’t understand what it is to be American. She wants all things American like the All-American apple pie being baked by a neighbor.  They have a market, cooking away … Chinese food of course. She thinks this to be a mistake. It’s the 4th …the 4th of July and she has a sense of the holiday- the parade is coming; and she expects that customers would not be interested in Chinese dishes. But all turns out well. Father and Mom knew best! The market was patronized by many fellow Americans in the party mode, … in the mood for Chinese food. The 4th of July is Independence Day and this is for all Americans together! Readers learn about the holiday and also that inclusiveness is good. Chinese Americans are welcome; indeed, fireworks are a big part of the 4th and such was invented by the Chinese!  Illustrations are suited to readers 


I love my country. I look forward to the 1st of July – Canada’s national day. I celebrate it …my way.

Of course, I am aware of the 4th of July – the U.S. national day of independence. I have travelled and enjoyed the festivities along with Americans in the border states. On this day, I wish them the warmest congratulations and a great party.

And I know that people everywhere on the planet celebrate their home and native land on their own national days. To them, I also offer my best wishes and joyful times.

Personal Comments

I say:

  • For me, Canada is the best country in the world.
  • Canada is big and strong.  It has vast stretches of empty land that is absolutely breath taking with beautiful greenery. It is blessed with plenty – natural resources:  timber, wheat, oil, cattle, coal and water (electricity).   Its large economy provides opportunity for its inhabitants. Its trade with the United States is important.  It has brave soldiers in its defense force – they strive for peace not war.  (The United States is probably the most powerful country in the world.  Canada benefits from being its ally and neighbor.  To a certain extent, this makes me feel safe. I admire the United States.)
  • Canada is a place where life is good. I see it as going at a pace that is fast, but still better than that of others. Canada is warm and fuzzy. – it is known to be very generous. Canada has many social programs to take care of people who are less fortunate. Canada is genuinely friendly, multicultural. I am happy to live in Canada.

The Point

For me, patriotism and nationalism are good and a positive!  Everyone should have pride in country and self. Celebrate what has been accomplished to date; and strive to do better in the future.

I encourage everyone to:
1. Be proud of your country: its past, culture and heritage and your people: their good character and generosity;
2. Be aware of your country’s high points like natural resources and also, for balance, areas in need of improvement;
3. Become knowledgeable about the surrounding countries and the rest of the world;
4. Teach the children everywhere about the ideals of humanity, the values of respect and dignity and also that we are each our brother’s keeper;
5. Celebrate your national day with gusto;
6. Make the world a better place for all of mankind!

To all of you … Happy National Day … With love from Canada.

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
P.S. Big News: There are big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit – Antoinette La Posta
*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.


S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #1: Paul Martin & Wyndham Lewis
“The painter, novelist and polemicist [Wyndham Lewis] was born in Canada (aboard his father’s yacht in the Bay of Fundy) and served as a Canadian war artist in the First World War. During the Second World War, the same trick of nationality allowed him to remain in Canada, where he endured considerable poverty while earning the emnity of the few people who tried to help him. 

“When Lewis was living in Windsor, for example, he sought the services of Paul Martin, the politician, in collecting a payment he was owed for a painting. Lewis suggested that he undertake a portrait of Mrs Nell Martin in lieu of legal fees, and her husband agreed.

“The painter and the sitter quarreled, however, particularly over the former’s extreme right-wing political views and vitriolic denunciations of Canada and its inhabitants. Martin recalls him as “a very odd fellow, coming to the house every day but keeping on his galoshes, overcoat and hat while he sketched.

“Martin, who didn’t care for the completed picture, was unaware that in his absence Mrs Martin had agreed to renegotiate the fee to the advantage of Lewis – who then demanded another increase, without which he refused to sign the painting.

“In the Illness of time, Martin has written, ‘the portrait has grown on me … It is still unsigned.”  (Source: Anecdotage) –

“On July 4th, 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), having arrived in Europe to join their European allies in World War I, sent a contingent to visit the great Lafayette’s grave in Paris. Colonel Charles Stanton was asked by General Pershing to deliver an address on behalf of the AEF. His speech, in its entirety, is reproduced below: “Lafayette, we are here!” (Source: Anecdotage) –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #3: Brian Williams: July 4th Fireworks
Every year on the 4th of July, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and his family put on an impressive pyrotechnics display. “We probably set some stuff off that we shouldn’t,” he once confessed. A former firefighter, Williams was well aware of the risks. Indeed, he once recalled a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) film about fireworks. “They showed what an M80 can do to a watermelon. They showed what a sparkler can do a girl’s cotton dress, and as a result I don’t wear those on the 4th of July.”(Source: Anecdotage) –

S & R* QUOTE #1: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2: John F. Kennedy

“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #3: Benjamin Franklin

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Canada’s Day”; “Fourth of July”; “Nationalism”, “Patriotism”,  “Natural Resources”; etc.

Canada’s Day
“Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire.[1][2][3] Originally called Dominion Day, the name was changed in 1982, the year that Canada gained full independence from the United Kingdom. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Fourth of July
“Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.[1][2][3]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

“Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the ‘modernist’ image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity.[1] There are various definitions for what constitutes a nation, however, which leads to several different strands of nationalism. It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural or identity group, or that multi nationality in a single state should necessarily comprise the right to express and exercise national identity even by minorities.[2]

It can also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, or the belief that one state is naturally superior to all other states.[3][4] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a ‘homeland’ (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a national culture is combined with a negative view of other races or cultures.[5]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

“Excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term’s meaning upon context, geography and philosophy, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one’s country for no other reason than being a citizen of that country.

It is a related sentiment to nationalism, but nationalism is not necessarily an inherent part of patriotism.[1][2][3]

The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota “fellow countryman”, ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs) “fellow countryman”, from πατρίς, “fatherland”.[4] The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.[5]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Natural Resources
“Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems. Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many of them are essential for our survival while others are used for satisfying our wants. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways.”(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

STUDY/STATISTICS: The Fourth of July 2011
“On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
2.5 million
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970
311.7 million
The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock <>
$3.2 million
In 2010, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount
($2.8 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <> <>
Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2010. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing
$256,407 worth. Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <><>
$302.7 million
Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers, according to the latest published economic census data.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC.0731SP1, Products and Services Code 3149998231 <>” (Source: U.S. Census Bureau) –
“On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. (Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970). Since then, the population of the United States has grown to over 311 million (estimated population on this July Fourth). Many US residents celebrate the Fourth of July with parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues with friends and relatives. In fact, 81 million Americans reported taking part in a barbecue last year (Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011).”
Source: U.S. Census – stats –

“The Canada 2006 Census counted a total population of 31,612,897, an increase of 5.4 percent since 2001.[152] Population growth is from immigration and, to a lesser extent, natural growth. About four-fifths of Canada’s population lives within 150 kilometres (93 mi) of the United States border.[153] A similar proportion live in urban areas concentrated in the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, the BC Lower Mainland, and the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor in Alberta.[154] In common with many other developed countries, Canada is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2006, the average age of the population was 39.5 years.”

Name   Province                                           Pop.
Toronto Ontario                                         5,113,149
Kitchener – Waterloo Ontario                        451,235
Montreal Quebec                                       3,635,571
St. Catharines–Niagara Ontario                     390,317
Vancouver British Columbia                        2,116,581
Halifax Nova Scotia                                      372,858
Ottawa–Gatineau Ontario–Quebec              1,130,761
Oshawa Ontario                                           330,594
Calgary Alberta                                         1,079,310
Victoria British Columbia                              330,088
Edmonton Alberta                                     1,034,945
Windsor Ontario                                           323,342
Quebec City Quebec                                    715,515
Saskatoon Saskatchewan                             233,923
Winnipeg Manitoba                                       694,898
Regina Saskatchewan                                  194,971
Hamilton Ontario                                          692,911
Sherbrooke Quebec                                     186,952
London Ontario                                            457,720
St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador           181,113 ”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

“Canada’s two official languages are English and French. Official bilingualism is defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Languages Act, and Official Language Regulations; it is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages. English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French, and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.[172]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Generosity is what it means to be Canadian

“When you think of adjectives to describe what Canadians are like, you might come up with words like: humourous, passive, polite, friendly, or bland.

Whether any of that is true, one trait we can take pride in is our generosity. According to the World Giving Index, Canada is the third most generous country in the world out of 153 countries. Canadians donate both of their money and their time, contributing thousands of volunteer hours to help those in need. It is evident that we have impacted millions of lives around the world.

On July 1st, show your Canadian spirit with these activities that help others:

Visit a retirement centre. Get a group of friends together and put on a show. If you can juggle, sing, dance, or make people laugh, use your skill to brighten someone else’s day. Even if you don’t know anyone in particular at the centre, the time you sacrificed to pay a visit will speak volumes to the elderly.

Host a neighbourhood potluck. Swap food, stories, and experiences as you get to know the people and needs in your immediate community.

Serve at a soup kitchen or food bank. Soup kitchens and food banks often have a rush of volunteers at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Canada Day usually isn’t very popular. Don the apron and plastic gloves, leave the diva attitude at the door, and help alleviate hunger this summer.

Think beyond our country. Extreme poverty claims the lives of millions of children and families around the world. Basic essentials like clean water, food, and shelter that we take for granted in Canada are in short supply in developing countries. International children’s charities like Christian Children’s Fund of Canada work in communities to build schools, wells, and health clinics helping the most vulnerable victims of poverty. You can get involved by purchasing life-saving items through the charity’s gift catalogue Show victims of poverty that Canadians care.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Bake a patriotic pie for Canada Day “Recipe Box:

Pie is a classic dessert serving many traditions all across our country, so why not charm your Canada Day guests with a tribute treat? Serve them a red-and-white cheesecake pie.

In this recipe adorned with a red-berry maple leaf the abundance of seasonal fruit ingredients make it easy to be appreciative of our fertile landscapes. You will also see the trade secrets of corn quality Fleischmann’s corn starch and flavourful Crown corn syrup all of which promise a great taste treat:

Summer Berry Cheesecake Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Chill Time: 4 hours

Yield: 8 servings



1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts


1/3 cup butter

2 packages (250mL each) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 teaspoons Fleischmann’s Canada Corn Starch

1/2 cup Crown Lily White Corn Syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (250mL) sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

Fresh berries for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

For Crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Firmly press onto the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch/23cm pie plate. Bake 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

For Cheesecake: Cook 1/3 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until butter turns the color of light brown sugar, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar and corn starch in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in corn syrup, eggs and vanilla. Carefully pour browned butter into cream cheese mixture. Stir until blended. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is almost set. Combine sour cream and sugar. Spread over hot cheesecake. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. To serve, garnish with fresh berries.

Optional Serving Suggestion: Drizzle each slice with a Raspberry Sauce. To make a Raspberry Sauce, mash 1/2 cup raspberries; stir in 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Cover and chill until ready to serve. For more tasty pie recipes, visit”

*TM/© 2012 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Posted by on July 2nd, 2013 Comments Off on “NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The 1st of July – Canada Day; the 4th of July – (U.S.) Independence Day, I say: Let’s celebrate!*” – UPDATE JULY 2013