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.

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!


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, 

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,