Monthly Archives: April 2014

It's my least favourite month, coming up to my least favourite day.

Yep, income tax day or what I call Guilt Day. Not because I'm guilty of doing something illegal, but I feel guilty trying to "claim" every thumb tack, paper clip and sticky note that I can to recoup the taxes that were stolen, I mean removed, from my wallet by the federal government.Jeff Hurst new

And this year is the first time I have to do taxes for my Coffee's On business. I finally got my personal income tax figured out and now I have to work through the obstacles and jump through the hoops of business deductions.

Capital expenditures, depreciation, earned income…it's all Greek to me. This year, I have to keep track of my mileage, my gas receipts, my HST both collected and paid, and my purchase of every little thing that might be business related.

Thank heavens for accountants who enjoy facts, (more…)

• Sunday night: In the past, Sunday night had a feeling. It was the wrap up to the weekend and preparation for the dreaded back-to-work Monday morning. Now Sunday night is a time to reflect and a time to prepare for the week ahead of my choosing.Jeff Hurst new

• Freedom: My new catch phrase is "I'm free" when my buddies ask if I want to go golfing or skiing or see a concert.

• Yard work: Hey, I've always loved it, but now I'm not under the weekend time constraint to get it done. Now, I go outside, do some work and stop when I feel like it. There's always tomorrow.

• Volunteering: An important part of retirement, but it seems even sweeter when you can put your heart and soul into it, when you have the time to make a difference, rather than fitting a volunteer chore into your busy schedule.

• Try new things: (more…)

Anna Mae Starrett was raised in the country, ran a marina, tended a hobby farm, operated a tea room, and married the man of her dreams. His name was Iain, rugged, good-looking and fresh off the boat from Ireland.

"I've never seen anyone so handsome in my whole life," recalled Anna Mae. "Of course, I could hardly understand him."

Anna Mae Starrett
Anna Mae Starrett

Relaxing in her seniors' residence in Uxbridge, Ontario, she still has a twinkle in her eye and a matter-of-fact way of seeing the world.

Experiencing the early signs of Parkinson's disease, the 79-year-old mother of two lights up when talking about her life in southwestern Ontario.

It was also the place where she met Iain, a gentle-hearted spirit who loved the outdoors, anything with four legs and, of course, his dear wife Anna Mae.

Her husband has since passed, but her memories of life with the man from Ireland remain fresh, strong (more…)

Let's be honest. Before I moved to Cobourg, I had zero gardening experience. My last attempt was in our last home in Ayr (it's OK if you've never heard of Ayr), just outside of Cambridge, Ontario.

Log tool shed built by the volunteers at my community garden.
Log tool shed built by the volunteers at my community garden.

I inherited my garden plot from the previous homeowner. It was roughly four feet by eight feet and it kept me way too busy. Maybe because I was working full-time or maybe because I never did any research into planting stuff, but I sucked at it.

My first year, I planted 10 tomato plants in an area of soil which probably could have supported two. It was my first jungle and the branches turned into a twisted secret garden.

Then I tried strawberries. Nobody told me they had to be maintained in an orderly fashion. I just let them be. My harvest consisted of (more…)