The Summer Rules

Summer makes me more relaxed but for a happy household, rules must still be followed.

The Summer Rules

I don't know about you, but when summer arrives, my whole outlook changes. I'm more carefree, I'm happier, and I drink way more. Kidding about that last one.

Okay, not really, I totally drink more, which means my upbeat mood could be attributed to the sangria but for the purposes of this blog, we'll give the extra sunshine the credit. 

The bottom line is this though, I tend to care less about work and more about living. It's the short season in Canada that does it, of that much I'm sure, but as far as I'm concerned I don't want to waste a single second of it.

Now that the kids are almost out of school our summer rules are about to kick in. Only two more sleeps.

The Summer Rules

Children will be bathed in the swimming pool until Labour Day.

How good a child’s day was will be measured by the dirt under their fingernails. Outside = good. Inside = forbidden


Camping in the backyard is a must, along with s'mores over the fire.

Any child who wakes before 7:30 a.m. will automatically go to bed one hour later that night. NO exceptions.

Mom will not say no to sleepovers with besties.

The television only gets turned on when it's raining or when it's dark.

Summer camp is mandatory.

Impromptu gatherings with friends are encouraged with the understanding that a) guests are permitted only in the backyard and must wear blinders to the bathroom, the only room I’ve cleaned for their arrival and b) your children are to be taken home with you. No trying to sneak them in after I’ve had a few drinks. 

Dear Husband, when the temperature soars above 35, imagine an invisible line down the middle of our bed and if you cross that invisible line, imagine my hand slapping you upside the head. 

Weekends are spent living, not cleaning. 

Sangria, is the official drink of summer.

All cries of “I’m bored” will result in a healthy dose of homework.

Bob Marley, Kid Rock and Jimmy Buffett will be played loud and often.

The only food prepared in the kitchen is a bowl of cereal. Everything else is done outside in the man den.

Finally, this isn't so much a rule as it is a mantra. Marvel in the beauty of the season. Summer is way too short in the Great White North. Get out and enjoy every minute of it. In six months, you’ll be looking to book a flight to find weather like this.

With that, I gotta run. Kids are filthy. Time to dip them in the pool.

What summer rules do you follow?


Bigger is Not Better When it Comes to Food or Our Bodies

Obesity kills more people than cigarettes do. Let's re-focus

Bigger is Not Better When it Comes to Food or Our Bodies

Today I was stumbling around on the internet and came across this. Basically it’s all about a restaurant in the U.S. that suggests its food is worth dying for. They offer Bypass Burgers and Flatliner fries, with one of their burgers topping out at an obscene 10,000 calories!

Seriously? 10,000 calories and you haven’t even ordered a side and a drink yet?  Just how far are we going to take this crap?

You see, at first I was mildly amused by the article and then I started to get irritated by it. Because this mentality is part of the reason there is an obesity epidemic killing thousands every year. It’s not funny, it’s tragic. Almost every restaurant I take my kids to, particularly when traveling in the U.S., has out of control portion sizes.

I don’t mean to pick on my American neighbours, because I love you, I really, really do. But it’s because I love you that I have to say, you’re like Patient Zero in this epidemic and you really need to start turning this around. Like yesterday.

When I travel south of the border I am absolutely gobsmacked by how many of you are totally and completely out of shape. Not pudgy, or a little heavy but downright obese. I fear for you. Your hearts are labouring, your veins are hurting, your lungs are being crushed, and your legs can not carry the weight of your own bodies.  Not that Canadians can afford to be arrogant, with a comparable 60% of our population overweight, but it’s a numbers game and since there are way more of you, it’s that much more obvious.

I simply don’t get the pussy footing around the obesity epidemic that we’re currently battling in North America. Nobody is pussy footing around cigarette smoking? At least in Canada we’re not. In Canada if you want to smoke you’re hit with images, as shown below, every single time your reach for a cancer stick. Because it’s true, we can say it.

So why not with obesity? Because we might “hurt” feelings? How about we might save lives. Personally, I'd take living over hurt feelings any day.  Maybe that 10,000 calorie burger should be wrapped in paper depicting a person too big to fit in a regular coffin. Or that “supersized” whatever should have a warning that says, eating this will clog your arteries and kill you. What? The truth will set you free.

Until now, as a society we've been largely (no pun intended) joking about this. Time to get serious. Obesity kills more people than cigarettes do now. Let's re-focus. Bigger is not better, when it comes to food or our bodies.

I could go on and on. About our complete lack of regard for those that starve while we gorge on portions so big that half of it gets thrown out. About the fact that many of today’s children will die before their parents because they’re fat.  Or about the fact that we are letting corporations kill us with cheap, fast food.  Or about how North America is on some death quest to see how outrageous and deadly we can make our food.  

I don’t need to go on and on about it though, because unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know this stuff already.

I’m a big believer in enjoying the finer things in life. Sometimes, even indulging in the not so fine things. Denial is not a state I want to live in, you need only check out my personal blog to know how I feel about food. I think ice cream, cookies, cakes and pies are good things. French fries are my kryptonite. I’m not saying we can’t have these things, I think we just need to change the messaging.

You’re only supposed to have a slice of the pie, not the whole pie. You’re only supposed to enjoy these things in moderation and preferably sitting around a table talking with people, not in front of the television. And nobody, absolutely nobody, should ever eat a 10,000 calorie burger….not even once.