Author Archives: Sobieski

RICHARD's desk: COVA: Social networking/communication primer

We have explored use of a number of free video conferencing applications, Google Hangouts, TeamLink, and ZOOM.

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RICHARD's desk: COVA: grocery shopping update from LOBLAWS

LOBLAWS has issued an update regarding food shopping at its stores. Click LOBLAWS

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RICHARD's desk: Please help us update our subscriber list

Dear COOKz, BOOKz & NOOKz site visitor, Please help us update our mailing list When I started publishing this website many years ago, there were no laws/regulations about spam, emailing and Internet confidentiality. I created my subscriber list via personal … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Very disturbing news about prescription dispensing fees

Here’s some very disturbing news if you are a senior who needs prescription refills regularly.

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From NAKINA...: Apr. 6 – 75, a personal high!

Rotzy hits a new high, 75, and he’s in the best form of his life on here…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Coronavirus and your pets

The Broward Library in Florida offers some very good advice in regard to your pets and the coronavirus. Click COVA and your pet  

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Reading to escape isolation

Isolation can become a problem by elevating levels of anxiety and stress.

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SCAMS, FRAUDS and HACKS: COVA: scams alert

The steps to action: 1. RECOGNIZE, 2. REJECT, 3. REPORT The crooks, hackers, fraudsters never let up. So be wary, be cautious. 1. RECOGNIZEAny incoming message, be it phone, text, email, or computer, if you do not RECOGNIZE the sender, … Continue reading

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EDITORIALS: News media irresponsible in crisis times

Here’s an interesting exercise to try the next time you are watching a news broadcast during this pandemic: divide a page on a page of a notepad; one side becomes NEGATIVE, the other, POSITIVE. Now, rank each news story with … Continue reading

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RICHARD's desk: We aren’t masters of our world

This message came across our desk recently. The message is so powerful, it has to be shared.

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RICHARD's desk: QUARANTINED: our status

We are snowbirds who escape the frigidity of Canada’s winters by going to Florida. This year our Florida migration was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida situationThe news media in the US is a strange beast, focussing reports more on local … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – FOOD DISINFECTION – YES

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – FOOD DISINFECTION – NO

There opposing camps regarding disinfection of foods brought into the home from grocery stores.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: The danger of Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are highly flammable. Hands should be thoroughly dried after using them. DO NOT COME NEAR AN OPEN FLAME AFTER USING A HAND SANITIZER.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Strengthening your immune system

Consult with your doctor whenever considering medical advice such as suggested in this link. Vitamin C is highly recommended as a means of bolstering the immune system. Studies have also shown that it benefits persons who are being treated for … Continue reading

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AGEING: Joe Biden: smoke or fire?

The 2020 American presidential election may be the election of all time. Trump’s impeachment failed. It had no chance of success given the Republican dominance of the American congress. However, another spectre, even uglier than the failed impeachment proceedings has … Continue reading

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REG amuses...: This doctor deserves a medal !

Here’s a doctor that goes beyond doing just the bare minimum.

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RICHARD's desk: Vital PHONE NUMBERS

A reference guide to VITAL PHONE NUMBERS     for emergency and life threatening situations.         for info on community & social services that can help you with life’s challenges.           for customer … Continue reading

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JUST MY OPINION...: Impact of coronavirus on Hallandale, Florida

In the beginning of March, we moved from Kissimmee to Hallandale for the second part of our winter get-away. Already at that time Coronavirus was in the news in Canada, where, as a result, a whole new way of life … Continue reading

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RICHARD's desk: GRAPHS? CHARTS? Links to interesting graphs & charts

Graphs are easy ways to digest information from visual displays. Data is easily processed and information is often  easier to understand and quicker to  comprehend. Below are LINKS to some graphic websites we find to be informative and interesting: Visual … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Stop the spread

Crucial precautions you should use to stop the spread of the COVID-19 VIRUS:

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Fake news?

First and foremost, we are not trying to scaremonger, raise anxiety levels or instil fear in anyone. We are directing people to information which may be food for thought. We are not in any way suggesting COVID-19 is a hoax, … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Anti-cancer diet: reducing the risk by eating better

Protect yourself from cancer by adding these anti-cancer foods to your diet.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – CPAP machines, poor man’s ventilators?

Can Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machines be considered as emergency substitutes for a Hospital Ventilators if the need warrants it?Source:        Prof. JOHN F. BANZHAF                    Valuewalk.com WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2020) – A growing number of medical … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – chart comparing plagues throughout history

The COVID-19 virus is not the worst plague in history and we do not want to sensationalize aspects of the virus as some newscasts seem to be doing. It is a very serious epidemic which is being researched and explored … Continue reading

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RICHARD reads reviews: ALBATROSS by Terry Fallis

AlbatrossTerry Fallis Fallis, the Stephen Leacock of our times, maybe. But not with his latest work, Albatross. With this novel, philanthropist, humanitarian are more appropriate labels. SynopsisPhys ed teacher, Bobbie Davenport does some physical measurements on four of her male … Continue reading

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NADA: Some considerations about editing costs

Editing is a crucial process to publishing a piece of writing. No matter whether an email, a letter, a short story or a novel, the writer must polish the work before publishing it.

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EVENTS: Handy resource guide for Pickering/Durham residents

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – ‘Escape from Florida’…our version

The best of times became the worst of times.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – For those who aren’t listening

People are contagious very early on in the infection, potentially even before they’re symptomatic. A study conducted by researchers in Germany found that nine people infected with the novel coronavirus were shedding huge amounts of the virus — thousands to millions … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – Hopkins University professor with some COVID facts

From an Asst. Prof in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University, quite informative.In our community chat, here, they sent this excellent summary to avoid contagion .  I share it with you because it is very clear: The virus is not a … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – CDN border crossing advisory documentation

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – Western University doctor w COVID facts updates

Dr. Andy Thompson is a rheumatologist and a founding partner of the arva clinic. He completed his medical training and residency in internal medicine at Western University followed by a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – SPAM ALERT!

Fraudsters are trying to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties, and misinformation. These scammers are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cybercrime.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – ONT GOVT self assessment tool

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – GOVT PHONE numbers for information

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – ‘Escape from Florida’ from Maclean’s magazine writer

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CORONAVIRUS: CHART – cases worldwide by country

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From NAKINA...: Mar 23 – Trump, an easy target…but ya gotta be right

“What The Heck….….you gonna write about this week Toad”?….I said (to myself) last Sat. Or something like that. Other than the ‘Corona thing’, of course. In fact yours truly did some rough calculations last w/end in regard to our ‘news … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Ghost towns…people hunkered down

Southwest Florida, Venice, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Englewood, all becoming ghost towns. Traffic, if any exists, is absolutely minimal.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Lend Me A Tenor

Englewood has a lively and very active theatre, the Lemon Bay Playhouse. Every performance, sold out as they should be based on the performance we attended.

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – what you should know

The information about the coronavirus cannot be summarized into one ‘quick read.’ However, this summary will help you to learn some fundamentals about it.

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CORONAVIRUS: Vinegar vs bleach as disinfectant?

Vinegar vs. Bleach While vinegar is not classified as a disinfectant by the EPA, guess what is?

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – COVA isolation, quarantine, social distancing

We may stop posting Florida whimsies with this piece as there is nothing whimsical about staying in the region. Everything is either shutting down or closing or being cancelled because of the fear and preventative measures being taken against the … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVID-19 response phone lines, Durham, ONT

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – social distancing best defense.

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RICHARD's desk: What the virus gives…

Rene Fisher is a blogger who has had a life of tragedy and devastation.

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: Eating well in spite of COVID-19 quarantine

Improve your immune health through diet!  Vitamin C, Zinc & Vitamin A info There are a few key nutrients that can help improve your immune health – Vitamin C being one of them! Oranges are probably what comes to mind … Continue reading

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RICHARD's desk: Singing the praises of American generosity…then!

Gordon Sinclair wrote an editorial defending the USA in 1973. It said what all people in the world recognized, the United States was the greatest country in the world in terms of caring, helping and supporting people in need anywhere … Continue reading

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RICHARD's desk: April newsletter – Corona update

Special issueIn light of the COVID-19 situation, our newsletter is modified to reflect the   latest updates we have received, as well as our personal situation. We are also including health precautionary notes as received from the Lakeridge Health Services in … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – a guide to COVID-19 and self-isolation

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CORONAVIRUS: 5 promising COVID-19 vaccines/drugs

  There are 5 promising preventive and antiviral therapisin the works that may survive clinical trials and reach the market in the near future. The unstoppable coronavirus Covid-19 is now officially a global pandemic. And we still haven’t found a … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: Do the FIVE

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From NAKINA...: Mar. 16 – Corona of thorns

March madness includes a rush on toilet paper at grocery stores and big shop retailers…gougers sell toilet paper upwards of $25 a roll. Guy in NYC was selling at $100/roll…he found a buyer. I some swamp land here in Florida….

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – hygiene and cleaning

Here is our shortlist of articles and sites that will help keep you informed. List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.(The U.S. EPA) How to Clean Your Tech Products, According to Cleaning Experts Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Clean … Continue reading

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WRITER SUBMISSIONS: Fermo, best in class

Hello, my name is ‘Fermo.’ I’m a one year old Scottish terrier. I know you are a youngster too and are going to bed, so I want to tell you a little story to help you go to sleep. It’s … Continue reading

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WRITER SUBMISSIONS: Bridge of Sighs, a love story

Bridge of sighsWritten by richard@szpin.ca I am Eduardo Castillo and my story begins in Mexico. I was the head bartender at The River Cafe jazz bar on the Rio Cuale in Puerto Vallarta. The rio splits old Vallarta from the … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – A morning chat between a Canadian and an American

Fermo and I were out for our morning constitutional this AM, when we encountered a man putting some mail into his mailbox at the end of his driveway. “Good morning, nice day isn’t it?” “Yup.” “That’s very handy. You put mail in … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – constructive steps in defense against it

The comments below were written by Dr. A. Bitton from the Ariadne Labs in Massachusetts. Current situationWhat I can clearly say is that what we do, or don’t do, over the next week will have a massive impact on the … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – beware of bogus information

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – symptoms information

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS 1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by … Continue reading

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RICHARD reads reviews: DOWNTOWN by Ginger Henry Kuenzel

DowntownGinger Henry Kuenzel Ginger Henry Kuenzel has a bio as interesting as the characters of her fictional town, Downtown. A journalist, a columnist, a writer, a translator and a keen observer of everyday life around her. Kuenzel spent a good many … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help

MacLean’s magazine:  Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA: stay away, isolate, stay home, social distance

COVA is a horrendously developing problem. The linked article below is eye-opening in its comprehensive explanation of how serious COVA is. It is too late now for many countries hoping to stop the virus’ spread. They should have acted sooner. … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: Canada leads in fight against COVA

As of March 12, Canada had conducted over a thousand more tests than the United States, and we are one-tenth the size. As a result of testing and other measures, the growth rate of the virus is substantially lower in … Continue reading

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – vs. SEASONAL FLU

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – people at highest risk

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – self care at home

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – If you are sick

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – best self-defense

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA symptoms

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CORONAVIRUS: COVA – CANADIAN GOVT INFORMATION SITE

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Coronavirus scaring the world, pissing off the USA

Alerts in dealing with the Coronavirus have been handled differently throughout the world. ENGLANDThe English are feeling the pinch in relation to the virus threat and have therefore raised their threat level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, the level … Continue reading

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AGEING: Brain awareness week

Brain Awareness Week is part of a global campaign that aims to increase education about, and support for, brain science. The brain is the most complex part of the human body and is at the centre of our nervous system, … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – A town hoping no one else discovers it

In 1985, Hollywood star and director, Ron Howard, directed a film called ‘Cocoon.’ Its storyline: a group of aliens return to earth to retrieve cocoons containing the people they’d left behind from an earlier trip. These cocoons had been resting … Continue reading

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NADA: Be a “joiner,” not a loner.

As a writer you should join… a book club an association a social group …any group of people, to get ideas, for motivation and for inspiration. WRITERS should join writer associations as found on the NADA site at: WRITER ASSOCIATIONS … Continue reading

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NADA: 10 Tips for SELF EDITING

Here are 10 tips for SELF EDITING… Site link:  SELF EDITING Source: www.suncoastwriters.comAuthor: Camille Cline

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BOOK_NEWS: Site lists author’s titles in order

Site provides a chronological list of the books written by an author.  Simply type the author whose list of books you wish to see in the site search box. If the author is in the site’s database, a link will … Continue reading

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AGEING: 55+ Housing Directory

Looking to change you living situation? Right sizing? Retirement living? Long-term care? The City of Pickering has produced a Housing Directory to help you with these difficult decisions. The Directory is free and available at various City facilities or you can … Continue reading

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NADA: Writing Articles

Unleash your writing potential now with Writer’s Digest writing articles. Here, you can learn everything you need to know about virtually any writing topic and genre. Whether it’s fiction writing, how to write an article, getting published, promoting your work and much, much more. Learn from … Continue reading

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NADA: Creative writing prompts

Need an idea to help you get started writing? You’ll find hundreds of fun writing prompts here – perfect for beginning a new novel or short story, or simply giving your writing muscle a workout. Click the link to view the writing … Continue reading

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NADA: Free Downloads to help writers

Writer’s Digest is proud to provide the following FREE writing exercises and downloads to aspiring novelists, short story writers and general hobbyists who grace the modern scroll with proverbial ink. Click the link to view the available downloads:   DOWNLOADS

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AGEING: Dr. Seuss’ Cat in a hat on aging

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Art lessons with a professional

My partner, Nadia, is a budding artist who dabbles, draws, sketches and paints with enthusiasm and dedication. However, her efforts come sporadically because her other passions seem to interrupt her artistic flow. She’s an avid gardener who grows fruits and … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – “Great Discussions”…really

The local library, Elsie Quirk Englewood Library, presents many speakers talking about a variety of topics. Anyone staying in Englewood, FL, for any period of time should get a copy of the branch’s monthly calendar and attend a presentation. Great … Continue reading

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From NAKINA...: Mar 8 – a bear hug of a message if you can bear the last part

‘Tyme To Step Up”….….relayed Miz. Jo as she read the Facebook*tm note that was posted last Thursday or Friday by a couple friends of ours up Nakina. The subject matter was/is not new and I have written about it a … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Art on wheels art in frames, and the pizza search

Our day started with the LEMON BAY CLASSIC CAR show held at the Englewood Elks Lodge. Classic cars going back as far as the 1920’s, incredibly restored and polished to diamond briliance for the show. Entrance is free but donations … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Corona virus: how to know if one is infected

How can one know if one is infected?The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Corona virus: some precautions to take

Here are preventive measures that people are considering at this time and some notes that are worth your time and attention. Using hand sanitizerIt works. Use it often. Make sure it’s alcohol based. There are some “natural” products designed to … Continue reading

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: Trail Mix preparation made easy

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: March Break: Snack preparation for hungry kids

March break is on its way and with the kids out of school, you likely have a busy week of outings, day trips and family-filled activities planned. But are you prepped and ready for when hunger strikes while wandering around … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Some health tips relating to the coronavirus

How can one know if one is infected?The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, … Continue reading

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AGEING: 5 diet changes supported by research

The Bottom Line Include fish (or fish oil supplements) in your diet and cut down on salt and saturated fat. The structure of a Mediterranean diet plan can help you make healthy changes. Be aware that larger plates and portion … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Boca Grande’s very limited modes of getting round

Boca Grande used to be millionaires’ row…not anymore. The millionaires have all been pushed out…by billionaires.

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AGEING: Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke

Whatever your guffawing about add a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief period.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Spirits raised with gospel music

A few years ago while motorcycle touring the USA, I was riding just north of Louisiana where I missed the opportunity of attending a Baptist Church service and to this day regret missing the event.

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From NAKINA...: Mar 2 – Miz Jo, OK; Rotzy, not so much

Readers Write   And this one sent along a number of Bumper Stickers that would be more than fitting/suitable for oldsters who still get behind the wheel, so check ’em out! * When I was young, all I wanted was a … Continue reading

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HEALTHY: Coronavirus statement by LAKERIDGE HEALTH SERVICES

February 29, 2020Lakeridge Health received confirmation that two individuals who presented at Ajax Pickering Hospital’s emergency department (ED) on Friday, February 28 have tested positive for COVID-19.Protocols and precautions were skillfully implemented by the team and there is no risk … Continue reading

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FERMO's Desk...: March newsletter

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: Loblaws MARCH calendar

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: Meals made easy – Mar. 21

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EAT RIGHT, LIVE BETTER...by LISA: Making peace with your picky eaters

Do you have a little one at home who is testing your patience at mealtime? Are you tired of feeling like you need to make multiple meals to please different palettes? Your In-Store Dietitian, Lisa, is here to help you quit … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – 1st annual Lemon Bay Beerfest…a bit too flat

Maybe fatigue is setting in, too many events, too many activities, as criticism begins to trump compliments.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Wanda sings you back to the 60’s and 70’s

Wanda Cook, a premier songstress whose melodic vocal transports you back to the 60’s and 60’s, appears in various venues in and around Englewood, Florida. We caught her performance outdoors at the Englewood Market on Thursday mornings, not the best … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Market Day, fresh, bountiful, yummy…but pricey

Every Thursday, Englewood’s version of a local farmers’ market, likely local resellers, is set up in the heart of the old town. Many items are overpriced, unless you consider $6 US for a small loaf of multigrain bread a good … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Reach for the TOP…we did!

  LynneA shining star on the team, Lynne came through with huge correct answers like the ranking of the wealthy celebrities and the sitcom question…two biggies that moved our team to the top. Lynne delivered the ‘goods’ when we needed … Continue reading

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AGEING: Live in your own home longer

Live in your own home longer in your later years by adapting it for your own safety and navigation.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Johnny Cash lives with Ross singing

  Ross loves to sing. He doesn’t play guiter, no keyboard, no harmonica….just his baritone voice barreling deep resonant melodies mostly from the C&W genre. He crosses over to rock on occasion but he prefers country with favourites being Marty … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Bonnie Hays channels Bonnie Raitt

As I was entering the Englewood Art Center, a woman was enjoying what I thought was a smoke break outside. Bonnie Hays is more au courant than I assumed. She wasn’t smoking. She was vaping. Still, I teased her with … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Hooper on harmonica

Doug Hooper, American harmonica afficionato, primo player, fat cat! Doug has been puffin’ out rifs and melodies on the harmonica for years. Blues, jazz, rock, C&W…his repertoire is lengthy, varied and very enjoyable. He covers the gamut of what a … Continue reading

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EVENTS: Paint Day – April 3

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Venice Italian festival, a swing and a miss…

We read about this event in the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce publication. We were looking forward to attending. According to the publication this four-day event in Florida, February 20-24, coincides with the dates of the eponymous carnival in Venice, … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Fermo…$500 FINE…evaded

$500 fine….eeeyikes!

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From NAKINA...: Feb 24 – a sushi platter of news items

Readers Write   And I am compelled to say this one was/is a dandy…..perhaps a little ‘odd’ sense of humour. But it works for me so check it out* “Along with my will, I have included the following instructions prior to … Continue reading

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JUST MY OPINION...: The Art of Doing Nothing

I heard a very interesting interview about the Dutch concept of doing nothing.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Old…knick knacks, antiques, furniture…people, too

Try as one might, there’s just no getting away from the man.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Champions and runners up…rats!

We are simply too competitive. Some people would be very pleased with with 2nd place…us, not so much.

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HEALTHY: 9 superfoods that can add years to your life

Want to live longer? Eat these superfoods to add significantly more time to your life, and stay healthier in your golden years.

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – The blush keeps getting surprisingly rosier

You have to ask. You have to talk to people.

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EDITORIALS: Wasting taxpayers’ money…

We do not want to become endless critics, complainers and whiners but once again, government does something which would cost them their job in the real world. For some reason, Ontario motor vehicle license plates were inadequate. Perhaps dated is … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Spring training, spring time !

You know spring has arrived when the pro sport baseball teams open their spring training camps. And they have.  The Toronto Blue Jays train in Dunedin, Fl where they are nearing completion of a new spring training baseball park, scheduled … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – it’s Greek to me!

The Greeks can put up a festival with the best of them, and they did in mid-February. A fabulous way to break up the winter blahs…

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From NAKINA...: Feb 17 – maladies, melodies and melancholy

Rotzy doesn’t whine, gripe or complain…but winter is wearin’ him down…Miz Jo, not so much

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HEALTHY: Love your heart: 5 ways to maintain your heart health

  This is a post which can take little time to read if you just read the main page or it can take much longer if you dig deeper into the numerous links. But even the short read will benefit … Continue reading

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FLORIDA WHIMSIES...: 2020 – Florida, Snowbirds?

Florida isn’t just for Snowbirds as we learned this morning.

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