Sunday, February 28, 2016

My First Experience with Tai Chi Right Here In Our Little Village

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you a new discipline, Tai Chi, which is already having really positive effects on my mobility and general well being.

Much to our good fortune, the Province of New Brunswick has provided a grant through the Wellness Branch of the Department to the Port Elgin and Region Health Centre (PERHC) for an introduction to Tai Chi. Rod Morris and Rick Toupin from the Cumberland group Canadian Tai Chi Academy are providing a complimentary, 12-week introduction to the health benefits of Tai Chi.

Rick Toupin, Rod Morris, Canadian Tai Chi Academy Instructors along with long time students demonstrate the first 15 movesInstructors from Canadian Tai Chi Academy along with practitioners, Brenda Toupin, Rod Morris, Joan Allen, Sharon Wall and Serge Morin kindly demonstrate the first 15 moves.


I was so excited to have a Tai Chi class locally, and by that I mean really locally, not having to drive to Amherst or Sackville, our nearest towns for most services, I called all my friends who might be interested and happily posted it in the church bulletin! The class has been full and then some in our little school gym, where you last saw my Remembrance Day post. We started a week later than planned, on Monday February 15, 2016 due to a snow storm (hardly surprising for February in the Canadian Maritimes and will run 12 weeks, excluding March Break and Easter Monday) at 7:30 pm on Mondays.


After our first Tai Chi class, I noticed increase soreness in my trouble spots, ie shoulders and neck, but let me tell you that through that discomfort in the 24 hours following that first hour-long class, I felt something unlock. The result of which was being able to actually sleep on a pillow for the first time in 2 or 3 years!  We heard testimony that first class that one of the volunteers who came with the instructors to help demonstrate, had a frozen shoulder, had been through physiotherapy without any success, was able to unlock her shoulder and regain range of motion after just 6 months of  practicing Tai Chi. In the video below,  see how deceptively gentle this exercise is as Rod and Rick give a review of the first 3 moves we learned in our first class. These moves are called 1. Opening move raising hands, 2. Left grab bird's tail and 3. Right grab bird's tail.



Tai Chi can lower your blood pressure, reduce or even remove pain from arthritis, reduce the risk of alzheimers, improve strength and balance. Moy Tai Chi has 108 moves developed for health and brought to Canada by Mister Moy Lin- Shinn. This is a perfect compliment to my twice daily yoga and daily reiki practice. As I said, I am already experiencing for myself the many health benefits offered by this gentle aerobic exercise imported from the far east, and being very open to it as reiki also came to the west from Japan. I know what gentle movement or energy shifting can do and highly recommend anyone try Tai Chi. Rick and Rod, the main instructor from the Canadian Tai Chi Academy, are great instructors who put us through the paces with humour and gentle encouragement.

In our second class, through much giggling and fun, we added a 4th move called whip out dead bird hold by tail. Thank you Rod and class participants for allowing me to record this video below.




With Rod, Rick and the other seasoned practitioners' permission, I was able to take some video and a few photos of our second class. By this time the soreness had disappeared from my neck and shoulders and as I was explaining to Brenda, yes I felt pain, but that only indicated to me that the Tai Chi was working. Continuing through the discomfort with my twice daily yoga practice, I have regained range of motion in my shoulder and sleep so much better. As she said and I agreed, "If you do nothing, it only gets worse and you're stuck there."

The video below is what we aspire to. All of the wonderful folks who teach and practice at the Canadian Tai Chi Academy in Cumberland county, Nova Scotia, kindly gave us this demonstration of the first 15 moves. The hushed voice you hear is that of Serge Morin explaining that there are a total of  108 Tai Chi moves and to do them all in practice takes 15 minutes. I  can certainly find 15 minutes in my day to improve my health. Can you?



Thank you again to Rick Toupin, Brenda Toupin, Rod Morris, Joan Allen, Glenda Allen, Sharon Wall and Serge Morin who contributed to this post for your permission and your participation. I look forward to learning much more in the 10 weeks to come and imagine I will be so nimble, I'll be hard to keep up with. :D


You can't take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself first, so do that then hug everyone you love because tomorrow is not promised.

Until next time.

Bountiful blessings,

VivBounty


Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Reverent Remembrance Day Ceremony in Our Little School

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you our experience of the Remembrance Day Ceremony to thank the men and women who bravely served in our little school. We gathered in the gym and the ceremony began with the school choir singing.
Port Elgin Regional School Choir, VivBounty
Voices United Choir, VivBounty
After the march on the flag, the Voices United Community Choir led us in singing our national anthem, "O Canada", and other songs and hymns so beautifully sung by both choirs were O God Our Help in Ages Past, We Remember, God Save the Queen and Go Now In Peace.
The parade forms up and vigil is mounted followed by march on the flag. Our cadets did a super job.
2335 Port Elgin Army Cadets, VivBounty
Cadets alongside our veterans, VivBounty
Missing in photos because of where I was sitting is the MC, Courtney Wall who read the Gospel, announced the dedication of the wreaths, and kept the program organized, Joe Simpson who read the honour roll of the veterans, There were poems by Marissa LeFurgey and Jesse MacQuarrie and Invocation Prayer by Reverend Bill Drysdale.

Of course, the poem, In Flanders Field was read by a cadet, officers saluted during O Canada & God Save The Queen sung by the School Choir and Voices United Community Choir, Last Post & Reveille bugled by Jim MacTavish, and 2 minutes silence.
 
Amidst the laying of the wreaths, of which there were so many, some had to be laid ahead of time, we had our last surviving World War II veteran, Valerie Fagan, Korean War veteran, Lionel Halfkenny, our Mayor, Judy Scott, the RCMP and Terry Murphy who was attached to the Fort Gary Horse in Cyprus, 1966 67.
Laying of the wreaths. Remembrance Day 2015, Port Elgin Regional School, NB, VivBountyVal Fagan, Port Elgin's last living World War II veteran, VivBounty Mayor Judy Scott lays a wreath, VivBounty
Lionel Halfkenny, Korean War Veteran, VivBountyTerry Murphy, veteran lays a wreath, VivBounty

RCMP present at Remembrance Day Ceremony Port Elgin, to lay a wreath, VivBounty
It was very touching to have begun the ceremony with a moment of silence for the two young men Colby Callender and Chad Alder who died tragically in a car accident last week. We also had fewer cadets this year as many were too grieved to perform today after losing their friends. The gym was full for the Remembrance Day Ceremony and there was a palpable sadness in this tiny close-knit community. The cadets who did participate represented the whole valiantly. There were time constraints because the funerals to be held at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. this afternoon were being broadcasted by livestream to the school in anticipation of the large attendance.
As I posted on Facebook today, in memory of my father-in-law, Derrick Edwards who served in
World War II in the R.A.F., this day was even sadder as it brought back the sadness of losing my own godchild, much too soon, 4 years ago.  I remember the shock, I remember the many, many people who came who knew us as far back as our grandparents and their friends and all the young people. We too needed more pews, more space at the funeral home and a very, very long procession of cars to the cemetery.

So in remembrance, we received Benediction and blessing from Reverend Carmen Webb, and then the gym had to be set up for the funerals.

Thank you to all our veterans, the ones we knew and so many we never will who sacrificed for us, brave warriors who made our freedom possible. We are eternally grateful.

Until next time, hug the ones you love, particularly your children, appreciate and encourage them today because tomorrow is not promised. Thank every veteran who ever served in any war as it is they who have paid for your freedom.

Happy Remembrance Day,

VivBounty


Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Friend Avery Created An App

Hello There, VivBounty here to brag a little about my friend, Avery Carter who won a prize for creating an App. Yes, even here in the country, we have high-speed broad band Internet and like every where else on the planet, WI-Fi and most people own a mobile gadget of some sort.

Avery attends Tantramar Regional High School in nearby Sackville which is part of the Anglophone East School District, recent proud host of its first ever science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) exposition held at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton. 

In the competitive portion of the event for students in grades 6-12, Avery won 3rd prize; a $100 iTunes card for creating his Borderlands 2 Weapons Guide App. Congratulations Avery! We are so very proud of you. That's our handsome Avery in the middle of the photo below courtesy of MACLEOD PHOTO.


We have all heard debates about how much time kids spend with their electronic gadgets and devices and what the effects are or will be on them and society, but here's one story with a positive outcome. I, for one, am so glad Avery is so techno savvy and I'm sure his mom is too. The other day when she couldn't find a symbol on her cell phone, guess who came to the rescue? Yup, our boy, Avery did! He found the keyboard short cut and got her all hooked up in seconds. 

In doing some research about this, there seems to be another mom who agrees with me in Idaho. See her article here with 10 reasons why she will continue to give her children hand-held devices and just for the record I have been known to "google" many things like recipes, cooking times for various cuts of meat, blanching and preserving the many gifts of garden produce my lovely friends and neighbours give me, craft making, rug braiding and so much more. My mum in her 70's does the same. She even has a cell phone now and texts more than she makes a phone call to me. I suppose we must just get used to the fact that it is a techno world and that is not always a bad thing. 

I hope you encourage your children when they do something well, even though the world may look a lot different than it did when you were their age and you may not always understand it all. Each generation feels the same about the next one. We might as well keep up. 

Enjoying the country life, 

VivBounty
Joyfully changing lives


Monday, June 23, 2014

My Flower Bed 5 Years Later

Hi There VivBounty here to share with you my flower bed 5 years later. My mum, determined to turn me into a gardener brings me flowers from her own garden each Spring. The horse chestnut tree in our garden back in the Spring to 2008 was dying and so a friend kindly cut it down for us before it might have fallen to cause much damage to the house. Instead of having the stump removed, I decided to create a little flower bed around it.

 Last Winter was a very long, harsh winter and seeing my flower bed come back to life in the Spring was so heartwarming and a reminder of resurrection. I read on a blog, http://www.upisbetter.com
While our culture is currently glorifying death,
the Lord is wrapping every dead looking thing
in light, declaring over it, "Not the end."
Whether it is a dead looking tree 
or a dead looking dream, 
He comes to remind us that
everything is about resurrection.
Within the dead looking thing
lies the mystery of what will yet be.
It is not the end.
 In this flower bed this year I have irises in purple and yellow, day lilies, some ground cover called Homestead Verbena, 2 kinds of hostas, also known as Plantain Lilies; 1 is a broad leaf hosta and the other a Royal Standard hosta. I also have a little pine tree given to me by a very dear friend. On the other side of the garden I have the forsythia she gave me.

Here are the first views of my little garden this Spring. I will post more as the garden develops.

video

Stay tuned for the flowers as they bloom. They really are gorgeous this year!

Bountiful Blessings for a wonderful Summer!

VivBounty
All Natural Pet Care

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Giving Thanks For Canadian Citizenship This Thanksgiving



Posing with RCMP Canadian Citizenship Certificate
The Certificate
Hi There, VivBounty here to share with you my gratitude this Thanksgiving season and on the 6th anniversary of our arrival in New Brunswick. In my case returning home to Canada after 17 years living abroad.

On October 9th, my hubby became a Canadian Citizen. There were 39 new Canadians taking the oath of citizenship at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton that day from 17 countries: New Zealand, Scotland, England, USA, India, Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Congo, Russia, Haiti & Romania, for example. Some had family with them, some had friends as guests and one that we know of seemed to come alone.

ICC, The Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a national non-profit charity that engages Canadians in active citizenship hosted a most enjoyable informal pre oath-taking roundtable discussion. Volunteer facilitators under the management of Mandy Joseph (ours was Irina from Romania of Hungarian descent who became a Canadian Citizen 20 years ago) asked questions like, "when did you first feel Canadian", "what makes you decide now to become a Canadian Citizen"? Our MC for the day, Marshall Button, the artist-in-residence at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, the man behind "Lucien" , kept us entertained with Canadian anecdotes like having Tim Horton's coffee intravenously as initiation to being a Canadian. Tim Horton's coffee, tea, cake and of course, TimBits (TM) were provided for our enjoyment. He welcomed us on behalf of Moncton City Council Mayor, George LeBlanc and the other dignitaries.

Marshall Button (left) joins our roundtable with Irina (right)

As the volunteer spokesperson for each table stood to share in short what we discussed we heard words in both French and English like freedom, clean air, space, opportunity for employment, security, ability to vote, random acts of kindness, importance of education, and a sense for wanting to work for Canada, our land "True North Strong and Free", things many of us take for granted.


video

The Hon. Herménégilde Chiasson, former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick presided over the oath-taking ceremony in English and French, in a very welcoming and moving way. He thanked the new Canadians for choosing Canada as their home, shared some of Canada's history, welcomed them home, acknowledged the struggle for many to make it to this point while affirming that they would thrive here as positive additions to the diversity of Canada's population. The oath was taken en mass, and we were told each new Citizen had to be seen saying the words for it to be official. If you chose to use a religious book, you began your oath with "I swear", alternatively you would begin with "I affirm". Finally, each Citizen would go up on stage to receive their official Certificate of Canadian Citizenship.
 
Presentation of Canadian Citizenship Certificate
Brian received certificate
I stood at the wrong side of the theatre because that's where the press box was, so only got a picture of Brian's back, but managed to get a video of his oath.

In a gift bag to each new Canadian Citizen, besides various small souvenirs of the day, was a Cultural Access Pass which provides complimentary admission to more than 1000 of Canada's cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The Cultural Access Pass creates opportunities for Canada's newest citizens to discover our rich cultural history, world-renowned artworks, historical figures and stunning parks, including discounts on Via Rail. Thirty five years ago when I became a Canadian citizen, our gift was a bible and in the absence of the pre-oath discussion, seemed a shorter, more solemn, albeit momentous occasion for my mother and I.

Marshall Button interviewed several new Canadian Citizens, including Brian, for his Friday morning show on CBC radio, which we were able to get the link to here. The auto start audio was a bit loud, so we provided the link instead of embedding the show below:

Citizen Marshall Button interviews New Canadians - Click here

Although our family and friends were not present at the ceremony, they were with us in spirit, in our hearts and evident in the cards and messages of congratulations and pride we received. My dad did not live to see this day, but he was represented by the bible upon which Brian swore his Canadian citizenship oath, which was given to my mum by her employer in his memory at the time of his passing.

After all was said and done, Marshall asked Brian what was the first thing he was going to do as a new Canadian Citizen and he said, "I'm going across the street to have a steak, mate".

Bountiful blessings and a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

VivBounty


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

5 Steps I Follow For Good Sinus Health Before Flu Season And For Allergies

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you my tips for using my neti pot, nasal flushing routine to avoid seasonal 'flu bugs, allergies and even postural vertigo.

My friend, John emailed me yesterday to say he was too ill to hold his weekly meeting. He went on to describe how he had sat outside on his deck the night before in the cool Fall breezes of Southern Ontario, Canada and managed to catch a chill which became full blown tonsillitis. I remember having this same reaction to sitting in a cold draft. I suffered with tonsillitis most of my life. That is until I discovered my neti pot and oil of oregano.

I too have to watch for drafts or I get ear/nose/head/throat infections. I even had seasonal allergy congestion in the Spring which caused me postural vertigo. Having traveled to the UK in March, being run down, not getting enough rest, an earache kept signaling the threat of an ear infection. Knowing I had to fly again to return home at the end of the three-week bereavement trip, I increased the frequency of my oil of oregano dose and used my neti pot as I described to my friend, John below:

My fastest cure is my Himalayan Institute Ceramic Neti Pot + pure non-iodized salt.

It seems an alien concept for us westerners, but it's been used for 1,000's of years in the far east by yogis and natural alternative medical practitioners. The trick is to breathe through your mouth when using the nasal pot to cleanse your sinuses.

I have not had to take a sinus pill or antibiotics in the 6 years I have been using this.

I combine nasal cleansing with daily immune maintenance dose of Pure Mediterranean Oil of Oregano (3-5 drops in a shot glass of water or orange juice). Keeps cold/flu/chill bugs away and maintains good health in the digestive tract and bowel so that you eliminate toxins and flush these bugs out regularly to heal faster. 1oz Oil of Oregano, Super Strength 83-85% Carvacol, Pharmaceutical Grade. Wild Oregano From Greek Mountains is anti fungal, anti infection, anti virus, it is just wonderful stuff and so easy to take.

Pharmaceutical antibiotics can create mutant strains of bacteria unlike pure natural oil of oregano which naturally fights the flu/sinus/cold/cough bugs. Not to get too personal, but for us women, having too many antibiotics can kill the good "soldiers" or "flora" in the bowel tract and then we get all sorts of nasty discomfort when yeast (the invading free radicals) takes over. Some antibiotics can be taken with yogurt to add probiotics to the intestinal tract but some violently react with dairy products to make you more ill, so unless I absolutely have had to take them for serious events like major surgery, I avoid antibiotics.

NOTE: Use only pure sterilized water (tap water can contain extremely harmful bacteria and contaminants) in your NETI POT:

Step 1 - I put 4 oz or 1/2 cup of sterilized water in a clean glass.

Step 2 -  I then stir in 1/8 of teaspoon of the pure non-iodized salt. I fill my sink to half-way with hot water and stand the glass in sink. This is to warm the solution up to body temperature. By the time I cleanse my face and brush my teeth it's warm enough and by now the salt has diluted into the water.

Step 3 -  I test this like you do a baby's milk, just take the teaspoon and scoop out some of the solution to drizzle on inside of your wrist. You should NOT put too hot or too cold water through your sinuses as it can irritate the mucous membranes, not to mention, when you have infection, hurts like heck!

Step 4 - Keep tissue box nearby. Give a quick stir to the water and pour 1/2 of it into the neti pot. Breathe through your mouth bend over sink, tilt head to the side and pour the 2 oz solution into your nostril, soon it's flowing out your other nostril. Give a very gentle blow. Discard tissue. Repeat step 4 for the other nostril tilting your head the opposite way, of course. Pour the rest of the solution/water into the neti pot. Now pour into other nostril. Breathe through mouth. No you won't drown :) I'm still here, aren't I? LOL :) Blow your nose very gently with tissue and discard.

Step 5 - Make sure to wash your neti pot out with anti bacterial soap, rinse thoroughly and leave out to  dry completely. Wash sink with antibacterial soap. I always have some in a pump on bathroom counter. Make sure your neti pot is dry and put away for tomorrow morning.

There is a video official 'how-to' video about nasal irrigation with a neti pot, but there are several things in it I disagree with (mainly the use of tap water), so I will not post it here.

Warning: Make sure you only use sterile water, and follow advice in the article below as you can open yourself up to worse things than a sinus infection.

I am very happy with my neti pot and keeping my immune system healthy with my oil of oregano while being sensible to take all precautions to use each according to strict instructions.

Until next time, take charge of your health and do your due diligence when beginning any new health regimen.

Healthy blessings to you and yours, 
VivBounty

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Addendum to My Friend Emma Awarded Queen's Jubilee Medal blog post

Hello There, VivBounty here to add to the story of my friend, Emma Cormier being awarded the Queen's Jubiliee Medal.

It turns out my friend, Cathy Consentino of Timber River Farm Country Antiques was also awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal, but I did not find out until weeks after I attended Emma's ceremony. I certainly would have been there to celebrate with Cathy, had I known she was to be awarded or even if she had been invited to receive the award in person in a special ceremony like Emma's.

Cathy and Emma are just 2 of 60,000 deserving Canadians recognized during the year of celebrations, by being awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2012 for significant contributions and achievements, and as I have since discovered, not all recipients are invited to receive their honour in person in a formal ceremony. To my great disappointment, Cathy received her medal in the mail without any pomp, circumstance or pageantry and so I felt I must post this addendum in her honour.

I would be remiss if I did not share with you how much Cathy does for the region. Not only is she an antique dealer, with not one, but two antique stores, but she also finds time to be the President of PEDVAC, the Port Elgin District Voluntary Action Council, a registered charity which serves the surrounding district which runs from Cap Pele to the Nova Scotia border and from Halls Hill (Jolicure) to Cape Tormentine, on which board of directors Emma and I also serve, amongst others. PEDVAC offers a wide range of services including Food Bank, Christmas Boxes (food and gift boxes to families and individuals in need at Christmas), School Lunches, Boutique (A used clothing and household goods store which provides items from 25 cents to $4), Income Tax Preparation, Literacy, Youth At Risk, Advocacy, and Employment Opportunities (employing at least 3 people to make and sell products for social enterprise which makes mittens, pillows, and other items from recycled woollen and fleece items).

Cathy Consentino's volunteer experience and causes further include secretary of Port Elgin Housing Inc., a Social Services agency offering subsidized housing, she is board member/vice chair of Port Elgin Public Library and liaison member to Provincial Library Committee. Credit for content to Cathy's LinkedIn profile.

Manning the Timber River Antiques Shop in Summer 2012
The biggest reason that I write this post is to celebrate my friendship with this amazing lady who in addition to employing me from time to time in her shop with pay calling it a favour, has made me promise that I would never drive behind an ambulance alone again if ever, God forbid, my hubby (as it once happened) had to be rushed to a hospital in an emergency situation. She further clarified that it didn't matter what time of day or night, whatever weather, that I must call her and she would come with me. I would without a doubt do the same for her.

Congratulations Cathy, my friend on a well-deserved honour for your extraordinary service to our community, region, and like I mentioned in Emma's tribute, ultimately to Canada like Her Majesty The Queen who has been an extraordinary servant of her country, so are you to ours.

Please leave me a comment below and be sure to subscribe to this blog feed for more lovely stories about the joy of country living.

Bountiful blessings to you and yours, 
VivBounty