Thursday, February 15, 2018

Minimum Wage Increase in Ontario

Two red and white Canadian flags with central maple leaf.January, 2018 saw the minimum wage in Ontario rise to $14 per hour and the early predictions (made in 2017) were ... a little off. That doesn't surprise me in the least. Back when the the bill came out, my thoughts (personal opions) on the increase in the minimum wage were virtually opposite of what economists and business specialists predicted should happen. It's still early in the game but so far, but many things are not very rosy ... not for employees (who haven't actually had the light bulb turned on yet), and not for the business owners.

Maybe large conglomerates aren't feeling too much of a pinch, but a lot of smaller businesses are, including one of Canada's wide spread coffee shops ... Tim Horton's. But that's only one of them. Some other small businesses have closed up shop entirely - a few that were "mom and pop" type shops - after literally a lifetime of service to their communities.  You can't take a large jump in minimum wages when you have a really small business ... not unless you just let your few employees go and run it all alone. There is that option I guess.

According to this opinion piece from the CBC, what the wage increase will really do is fill the government coffers with additional income tax money ... so it will benefit the provincial and federal governments much more than it will benefit the people who got the wage increase. The article estimates that those who got that wage increase will see only one third of that money in their pockets.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Crocheting a Cool Weather Poncho

The ends of old knitting needles, image from morgueFile, CC license.
Knitting Needles (morgueFile.com, licensed under CC)
Although I learned to crochet and knit as a teenager, I probably haven't picked up a hook or set of knitting needles in the last 10 years or so. I used to make all kinds of things, from accessories like hats and lace trims to clothing for my little ones. For a long time, I kept the baby sets I used but eventually passed them on to another family member. My grandmother used to knit these sets (usually consisted of a hat/bonnet, a sweater, booties and sometimes a pair of short pants meant as a way to cover the diapers) in beautiful, intricate patterns. The ones I made were crochet, often in shell stitch, and weren't that difficult once you understand the basics of the stitches, and learned how to read the patterns.

A pair of red knitted mittens from morgueFile, licensed under cc.When your kids get to be a certain age, they don't want stuff like that anymore and over time, I just
stopped doing it ... I suppose the knitting lasted longer because living in a cold and snowy climate, they always needed mittens, hats and scarves but eventually when the dollar shops started carrying that sort of thing, I just quit doing it.

For years I saved the dozens of sets of knitting needles (some were my grandmother's) and my crochet hooks, and the "stuff" that went along with them such as my grandmother's old pattern books ... (I mean really old, like from the 1930s), stitch markers, row counters, circular needles, large plastic stitching needles, lace hooks and needles ... and a couple of years ago, got rid of about 90% of it. Now I wish I hadn't.

I kept a couple of sets of my grandmother's knitting needles, and all of my crochet hooks (probably considered vintage by now c. 1970s) plus some of my grandmother's.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Date Night: what do you do?

A vintage sedan turned into a street hot rod.Some of my friends have regular "date nights" with their significant other; some weekly, some bi-monthly. I would think that depending on where you live, it could eventually get to the point where you are "re-doing" the same thing on date nights - dinner at a favourite restaurants, visiting favourite parks, going to the show ... those are nice things to do I guess, but for us, stuff like that just is normal.

We don't have set or regular date nights. For us, a date night would be something special; something we don't normally do. Of course, it doesn't have to be a "night time" event either. Some day time events can be lots of fun, and feel a lot more like a special date than a dinner out.

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