6 December 2013

The Friday Five Catch-Up Post: Lots of Lists

Hey faithful readers,

I am so far behind in the Friday Fives that I will just do one big uninspiring post. When you are done reading my lame thoughts, go see the far more inspiring thoughts on this issues by visiting the blogs of A Warm Cup of Jo and The Brooding Woman. I suck.

Top Five Favourite Charities (originally supposed to be published November 8th).
5) Catholic Social Services & Chalice
Both Catholic agencies do amazing work and are highly rated as top charities in Canada. CSS deals with many inner-city and immigration services. Chalice (the #1 rated charity in Canada with the lowest administrative fees) helps people around the world.

4) The WIN House (Edmonton's Woman Shelter) 
Without going into too much detail, I've lived in one of their shelters. They helped my mom during a horrible time of domestic and familial abuse. So thus, I help them. They do good things for women, getting them back on their feet and directing them to the resources to help them get out of abusive situations.

3) The Royal Canadian Legion's Poppy Fund
One of the easiest ways to help veterans, who did so much for us, is to make a donation and wear your poppy. It requires next to no effort, yet does so much good.

2) The Stollery Children's Hospital Charitable Foundation
When I was sick with Lofgren's Syndrome, I spent a lot of time at the University of Alberta Hospital visiting doctors or doing tests. Many of my appointments were near the Stollery Children's Hospital ER. Seeing these little vulnerable children suffering put my own into perspective.

1) The Edmonton Food Bank
Again, another super easy charity to help that does SO MUCH for the community. Having been on the recipient end of their assistance during my childhood, I value what they do. It takes no effort to leave an extra box or tin in the donation booth at Safeway. Or to bring a bag of non-perishable items from your pantry to events like Heritage Days or Candy Cane Lane.

Top Five Things in My Purse (originally supposed to be published November 15th)
5) My inhaler (can't leave home without it, especially in the winter)
4) Tampons (do they really need to be explained?)
3) Chapstick (winter wreaks havoc on my lips)
2) Coupons/Stamp Cards (I love bargains)
1) Starbucks free Ipad app/music cards (I keep picking them up. Probably should use them soon)

Top Five Things I Would Do If I Won the Lottery (originally supposed to be published November 22)
5) Donate to select charities: see above

4) Buy a Lake House
Doesn't have to be particularly large or fancy. Just a modest house on the lake within driving distance of Edmonton that we, along with friends and family, can get away to. Probably Ma-Me-O Beach or Wizard Lake.

3) Buy my mom a house
She did a lot for me. The least I can do for her, so that she can save the money she is paying in rent and put it towards her retirement and leisure pursuits.

2) Buy a vacation home in Vegas
We go there a lot. It's central to other travel destinations. My parent-in-laws and some of their relations travel there every year. Why not?

1) Travel 
Oh this great world. So many places to go. So little money. A lottery might change that reality!


I think that is it. I am all caught up! Except for today's post. There might be a simple recipe post I missed, but who am I fooling saying I cook with any great consistency. Boston Pizza exists for a reason.

4 December 2013

Friday's Top Five: Childhood Toys

Total Truth.
*Note: Still catching-up...this should have been published on November 1st. Ahem. Don't forget to check the blogs of A Warm Cup of Jo & The Brooding Woman, and A Piece of Apple for their takes.

Hello faithful readers of five!

Today is one of the rare days where I am not only caught up on my work, but also caught up on my make-work projects. I mean, I suppose there is things I could do. But why bother, when I can blog instead? In any event, I am so far behind in my Friday Five blogs that today is as good as any to catch-up.

There is much to love about the 80's. As a kid the 80's, toys were awesome. Toys are o.k. now I suppose, but they are all "safe for kids & the environment." Boring. Life is not lived unless there is a real risk of injury or lead-poisoning.

Without further ado, here are my favourite childhood toys.

5) The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine.

If you want to know why childhood obesity really took a foothold in the eighties, I present you with the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. This was the first toy I can remember wanting so bad. Every kid wanted to make their own slushie. This led to other culinary food-as-toys like the E-Z Bake Oven. It was cool for a while, until I discovered it was a lot easier to just run out and grab some snow from the backyard...

4) The Rubix Cube

Ah, the timeless rubix cube. It was a great time waster. Until you got frustrated and just peeled the stickers off.

3) The Cabbage Patch Doll

Sad story that really speaks to the poverty of my childhood. When every kid in the world was getting this toy, I begged my mom for one. She obviously couldn't afford a real doll, so she got me a "imitation" Cabbage Patch. I knew it wasn't real, but other kids didn't. I wrote the signature on the bum myself, created a fake certificate using crayons, and named her Rebecca (my favourite name as a grade 2 kid). I think I eventually got a real one when Dad got a job in the patch. But I didn't love the fancy one as much as I loved Rebecca.

2) Atari

It's hard to believe in the world of Play Stations, X-Box's, and Smart phones that at one time, this was cutting edge technology. I spent hours trying to save my 2-dimensional pixels from the fire in towering inferno.

1) Board Games

There was nothing that passed the time better than board games...or 'bored' games depending on how you view this past-time. The game of Life in particular was one of my favourites. You built a life depending on the spin and route you took, with the choices you made earlier in the game having consequences later on. Which is kind of like real life. Except I am pretty sure I will never have the kind of money my character did in the board game, 'cuz real life sucks.