Easter

easter-bunnyMany Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells.  Easter processions are held in some countries such as the Philippines and Spain.  Many Christians view Easter as the greatest feast of the Church year.  It is a day of joy and celebration to commemorate that Jesus Christ is risen, according to Christian belief.

Although Easter maintains great religious significance, many children in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, think of it as a time to get new spring clothes, to decorate eggs and to participate in Easter egg hunts where eggs are hidden by the Easter Bunny. Some children receive Easter baskets full of candy, snacks and presents around this time of the year.

tombMany Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which is written in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty.  An angel told her Jesus had risen. Christians worldwide have celebrated Easter for centuries.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are both fertility symbols, holdovers from the feast of Eostara. Other symbolic parallels include the pagan joy in the rising sun of spring, which coincides with a Christians’ joy in the rising Son of God, and the lighting of candles in churches, which corresponds to the pagan bonfires. The symbol of the cross and images of Jesus Christ, through paintings or statues, are remembered on Easter Day.

However you celebrate this season, I hope you enjoy your long weekend and have a great Easter!

St. Patrick’s Day 2016

st-patricks-1Enjoy your day on the 17th,
celebrate respons-o’-bly and. . .

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

~ an old Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!    T.

 


St. Patrick’s Day and the Leprechaun

LeprechaunFirst appearing in medieval texts, the leprechaun is a type of fairy, native to Ireland. However, instead of fluttering around the woods, he passes the time causing mischief and cobbling his often worn-out shoes. His small stature helps in evading capture; by the time humans realize something is amiss, he’s out the door!  If you’re lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, he not only grants wishes, but surrenders his pot of gold. Kids have been trying to trap one of these diminutive creatures for years, to no avail.

irish-hat You can be really creative with the idea that leprechauns play tricks on kids. After all, they are tiny, green, greedy, and grumpy. Why not let your children decorate the house for the occasion? When they wake up on the morning of the 17th,  the “Leprechaun” has played a trick on .them and shrunken all of the decorations to a tiny size. Or make ‘leprechaun traps’ or little houses to catch the Leprechaun. However, “he” will be too clever and has replaced all of their traps with green hats!

At some point, the Leprechaun symbol of Ireland was appropriated as a secular mascot for St. Patrick’s Day. Now an international sensation, the leprechaun can be found on breakfast cereals, in films and at St. Patrick’s Day  festivities around the world.

Merry Christmas 2015

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Victoria Day Weekend

Victoria DayVictoria Day is a statutory holiday in Canada, and falls on the last Monday before May 25th.

Most people in Canada consider the Victoria Day weekend the real start of summer. It’s often still cold for the first weekend of summer, but chances are good that the weather will be nice enough to be outside, even if you need a spring jacket. Due to agreeable weather and longer days, gardening, camping, patio-lounging, fireworks and other outdoor entertainment are all popular choices over the Victoria Day weekend.

GardeningSo What’s the “May Two-Four”? Did you know this weekend has another name – one which has very little to do with celebrating royal birthdays? A “two-four” is slang for a case of 24 beers, and since the Victoria Day Weekend often ends up including the date May 24th, well, the “May Two-Four” is that weekend where you have an extra day to drink, or recover. However you want to look at it.

The May long weekend is also the start of the gardening season. In the hopes that the frost is really over, many people break out the gardening tools and gloves for Victoria Day and get dirty. If you’re one of them, check out our local nurseries for gardening workshops, or visit a nursery to get the plants you need (just don’t forget to check their hours, first!). Many Fireworksgrocery and department stores also have garden centres open for this weekend.

Victoria Day Fireworks are always something to look forward to. This year you can see fireworks at the Falls at 10 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks will also be happening at the Virgil Stampede on Monday at 9:30 PM to wrap up a great weekend event!

How Much Will You Owe?

With the spring home buying season in full swing, aspiring and existing home owners would be wise to research the cost of breaking their mortgage. Depending on the type of mortgage you have, penalties might be zero, three months’ interest, or something known as the interest rate differential amount.  See this video that explains the process > > How much will you owe if you break your mortgage?

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Mandatory

CB ALARMOntario Regulation 194/14 is a regulation to require the installation of a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.

The testing and maintenance elements of the regulation came into force on October 15, 2014 while the installation and replacement requirements will have a phased implementation of 6 months (April 15, 2015) or 1 year (October 15, 2015) from the in-force date, depending on the building size.

As of April 15, 2015 you must install a carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage and contains no more than six suites of residential occupancy including single family homes.  Click here for more information.

Celebrating Mom

imagesann jarvisThe official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis-who remained unmarried and childless her whole life-resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

imagesHIY94PD0Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Happy Easter

imagesIH1UOL6QAfter a very cold and LONG winter and the start of spring, we welcome Easter and the warmer weather!  Hope you’ll have a chance to get outside for a walk or some light gardening, clean off those golf clubs and find a driving range or whatever it is you love to do this long weekend!  Happy Easter to you and your family!

Easter

bunnyy123Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian church calendar in Canada. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, according to Christian belief.  Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The date of Easter is not a fixed date but does fall on the first Sunday after the full moon following March 21.  The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25.

imagesXIMA49QQEaster eggs or spring eggs are special eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday or springtime.  The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.  The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with candies such as jelly beans. These eggs are often hidden, allegedly by the Easter Bunny, for children to find on Easter morning. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.  Enjoy your Easter treats!

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17 calendarEnjoy your day on the 17th, celebrate respons-o’-bly and. . .

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

~ an Irish blessing

St. Patrick’s Day and the Leprechaun

LeprechaunFirst appearing in medieval texts, the leprechaun is a type of fairy, native to Ireland. However, instead of fluttering around the woods, he passes the time causing mischief and cobbling his often worn-out shoes. His small stature helps in evading capture; by the time humans realize something is amiss, he’s out the door!  If you’re lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, he not only grants wishes, but surrenders his pot of gold. Kids have been trying to trap one of these diminutive creatures for years, to no avail.

You can be really creative with the idea that leprechauns play tricks on kids. After all, they are tiny, green, greedy, and grumpy. Why not let your children decorate the house for the occasion? When they wake up on the morning of the 17th,  the “Leprechaun” has played a trick on them and shrunken all of the decorations to a tiny size. Or make ‘leprechaun traps’ or little houses to catch the Leprechaun. However, “he” will be too clever and has replaced all of their traps with green hats!

At some point, the Leprechaun symbol of Ireland was appropriated as a secular mascot for St. Patrick’s Day. Now an international sensation, the leprechaun can be found on breakfast cereals, in films and at St. Patrick’s Day  festivities around the world.