How to Organize Your Wardrobe : Canadian Homestead

Organizing your wardrobe is a challenge best tackled at least once a year. Thinking it can be put off from year to year and season to season only adds to the job you’ll have to do eventually.

The first thing to do to organize your wardrobe is to see it – all of it. Take everything out of your closet, drawers, dressers or whichever corner you happen to be working on. Lay it out where you can see it. Then How to Organize Your Wardrobe Article Imagedecide on categories – keeping, haven’t worn lately but really love, needs fixing or tailoring, haven’t worn and hate, throw out. This latter category may include pieces that are stained or damaged beyond being fixable.

The keeping pile is easy; it’s for all of the favorite pieces you wear regularly and rely on. Haven’t worn lately but love is for exactly that. The way styles change and things go out of fashion only to come back in, this category will help you sort and store away things you’ll miss if you give away. How many times have you thought…. “If only I had kept that sweater from 10 years ago. I loved it and it’s back in style again.” Pack these items away under the bed or in the basement in well labeled boxed so they’re easy to find when you want them.

Things that need fixing or tailoring include pieces needing buttons that won’t be worn until they’re fixed or pieces that just don’t fit the right way anymore but could with a little tailoring. Get them repaired and perhaps you won’t have to go shopping this season.

Anything that gives you a sense of, what was I thinking; gifts you were given that never really made your day; styles you hope never come back; or pieces that make you look too anything are all bound for the donation pile. What was once your mistake can one day be someone’s treasure. If you can’t think of a place to donate your items, shelters for women in many areas are happy to take gently used clothing for both women and children. Remember though, if it’s stained or damaged to the point you don’t want it, no one else will either.

Once your wardrobe is sorted, and I mean right down to shoes and lingerie, you’ll have a much better picture of what you have and what you might need. Now, before you put it all back consider whether your closet is organized the best it can be. If things are hidden or packed too tightly you may lose track of some of the great finds you’ve rediscovered. Perhaps some closet organizers or space savers can help you keep track of your clothing better.

As you put things back, try to keep them organized by season, style and usage. This will make it easier to find things when you want them and will make it less likely that things will be forgotten.

Once your wardrobe is organized and well sorted out you’re ready to take on the season ahead – perhaps with a little shopping along the way to fill in what you now know are the missing elements.

Family Vacation Ideas – Where to go winter or summer

Vancouver’s PNE

One of the best places to start a family vacation that I can think of is Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition Grounds. Voted as Canada’s Best Family Entertainment destinations, the PNE offers something for people of all ages.

Playland which is open from the middle of April till the end of September has Rides and Games for kids of all ages. With over 20 rides to choose from including a wooden roller coaster there is hours of fun for the whole family. Also located on the grounds is the Pacific Coliseum. Here you can enjoy some of the best music and sports entertainment in the world.So be sure to put the PNE on your list of places to visit.


The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth

It all starts on July 6th/2007 The Calgary Stampede.

Start your day by taking the kids to the midway. Here you can enjoy rides of every kind, Ferris Wheels, Tilt-A-Whirls, there is even a ride that takes you above the crowd so you get a birds eye view of the whole grounds. From there you can carry onto the Rodeo. Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Barrell Racing, Wild Horse Race and my favorite Bull Riding. Just imagine jumping on the back of a big bull and trying to stay on for just 8 seconds. Easier said than done.

Then after the rodeo comes the Chuckwagon Races. The excitement as the announcer calls the race is unbelievable. The crowd goes wild as they thunder around the tracks. Then to end a perfect day you can take in the Evening Show and Fireworks. The entertainment is fantastic and once the fireworks start it is spell binding. One thing to remember is to book your accommodations early. Calgary fills up in a hurry at Stampede time.


Niagra Falls MarineLand

Niagra Falls may be noted as one of the most romantic places on earth but it is also home to Marineland. For a family vacation it is one of the best places to come and see a spectacular show. Here you can spend hours just watching the Dolphins as they leap into the air and do some amazing flips.

Then stop in at ” Friendship Cove” where you can see Killer Whales from above the ground and below. They put on a show that the kids will love. Then you can carry on and see the Beluga Whales, my daughter loved these whales the most.

For rides there is “The Sky Screamer” the worlds highest triple tower. From the top you can get an amazing view of the falls and surrounding area but not for long. These are just a few things that Marineland has to offer. There is definitly a lot more for you to enjoy.


Ottawa’s Rideau Canal

If you are planning a winter family vacation then be sure to bring your skates. Located in the heart of Canada’s capital city , Ottawa you will find the worlds largest skating rink. Just imagine over 7 Kilometers of ice to skate on. As you skate along the Rideau Canal you get to see some of the great scenery that Ottawa has to offer.

If you don’t have any skates you can rent them or a sleigh at the rental shops along the way. You will also find food stands and souvenir shops for you to explore. One stop that you may want to take is to the Parliment Building. I took the family on the tour and this building is fantastic. The sculptures, paintings and stained glass work is unbelievable. If you take in the Parliment Building it is best to go on a weekend. That is the only time that they allow you to take pictures.


British Columbia’s Whistler Mountain

Whether it’s winter or summer a family vacation at Whistler is truly amazing.

As you leave Vancouver and travel along “The Sea To The Sky Highway” you start to realize some of the beauty that British Columbia has to offer. People from around the world come to enjoy the skiing during the winter with fantastic powdery snow and great climate. Everything from Movie Stars to Royalty come to enjoy Whistler A summer family vacation in Whistler even offer more activities than the winter. With Bungee Jumping, Horseback Riding, Rafting and Golfing just to name a few activities that the whole family can enjoy.

If you want to plan a real special vacation be sure to come to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Olympics are going to be one of the most spectacular events that you will ever witness. But be sure to book your accommodations well in advance.

Authentic Timber Frame Homes & Cabins by Canadian Shield Log Home Craftsmen

The beauty of a modern timber frame is seeing its strength in every corner of your home. Charming but subtle, new or reclaimed pine or fir timbers give your home all the warmth of wood without limiting your interior decorating creativity. Overhead beams and non-intrusive posts replace as many standard load-bearing walls as you like: keep only those you want for organization and privacy. You’ll also get a timber roof system custom-designed for your needs and tastes, whether that means a soaring cathedral ceiling over the family room or a loft for the kids’ sleepovers. Whatever you have in mind, your Winterwood timber frame will pair timeless design with enduring craftsmanship.

Timber Frame Construction

Like all our materials, we hand-pick every timber that goes into your home–each piece must not only be true and strong but also have beautiful, clear grain. We hand-craft each joint using both state of the art tools and age-old techniques.

Designed to support the combined weight of the entire house and roof (including a Canadian winter’s worst snows!), a timber frame replaces standard 2×4/2×6 stick framing with impressive pine or fir posts and beams. In the tradition of the familiar New England barn, our timber frames are engineered to last for generations.

Finally, a timber frame offers choice for the future by giving you the freedom to expand your home later on. Because the walls between timbers are not load-bearing, they can be removed to make way for another bedroom, a bigger family room, or that breakfast nook you’ve always wanted.

Post and Beam Homes

The term “post and beam” can describe any building system that employs round or square log and timber but lacks the traditional joinery of a timber frame, and can either be structural or purely decorative. At Canadian Shield we use the term to describe our beautiful round log buildings that share many of the advantages of a timber frame but incorporate the natural look and feel of round logs fit snug with our trademark scribe joinery.

We typically employ post and beam logwork in larger common areas as well as ceilings and truss systems in conjunction with other building styles. We also love incorporating creative accent pieces in kitchens, front entranceways and around stairs using unique branches, burls and carvings.

Design Ideas

Owing to the strength and versatility of timber frame construction, the design of your home is limited only by your imagination. Consider, for example, incorporating open concept designs from around the world: A rustic Tuscan kitchen. A serene Japanese bedroom. An impressive Scandinavian vaulted ceiling. At Winterwood we encourage you to explore new possibilities because our goal is to make every home we build one-of-a-kind.


A timber frame still requires insulated exterior walls, but there’s no shortage of choice available to you here, either. Our timber frames look good inside any shell, from economical vinyl siding to piece-en-piece faux log. For the most energy efficient enclosure, we recommend structural insulated panels (SIPs) or ecological straw bale walls. For more on the perfect pairing of timber frame and straw bale construction, check out our photojournal of a current straw bale project and learn more at the Ontario Straw Bale Coalition website.

On the inside, you can choose how many elements of the frame are exposed. For instance, you could leave the ceiling joists and knee braces visible in the kitchen and family room, but hide them in the bath and bedrooms. As with everything in a custom-built Winterwood timber frame, you have ultimate creative control.

Feed The Enthusiasm – Factor A Bike Show Into Your Travels

Vancouver – Toronto – Moncton – Charlottetown

As bike enthusiasts the spouse and I find the winter long.  Living in Prince Edward Island can mean six months or more of too-cold-to-motor weather.  One way to feed the enthusiasm is to attend a bike show.  The year we left the Atlantic coast winter to spend three weeks in Ontario, followed by three months in British Columbia so were able to take in two major shows in one month.

There are many shows to choose from across the country and we are happy to tell you about just four of them. The idea is to inspire you to plan a vacation, or a mini-vacation, around a show or two come winter.

I must say it is wonderful to see the new bikes and accessories, but for me the best part is the people you talk to.  Coffee areas are always a great spot to talk mechanics, and that perpetual favourite, the near misses and wow! moments. You also learn how small the world is for people who truly love to tour.  At the Vancouver show we met one chap, wearing an Arctic Circle Yukon hat who says he loves biking in PEI best.  We on the other hand are dreaming of touring the Yukon.  Another fellow, this one from Ontario, seated nearby pipes up, “Say, did you go up those singing sands, past Montague on the Island?” and so the conversation goes.

There is a definite buzz in the air which intensifies as the day goes on.  Talk of trips taken, or being planned, chrome or striping being considered, new bikes……….

The new year begins with what is billed as the continent’s largest and most comprehensive motorcycle show, the North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW in Toronto, usually held the first weekend of the year.  Being 35+ years old this show has built a solid reputation.  They have more than 50,000 folks go through over three days. It is spread out so the crowds didn’t seem overwhelming. With around 400 exhibitors, “Accessory Superstores” and staged events spread over several themed halls and special activities and competitions there was room to move and lots to enjoy.

The SUPERSHOW included over 25 manufacturer brands being represented, and a record breaking 80 motorcycle riding clubs, user groups and motorcycle associations participating with displays of members’ bikes, from touring and cruising to racing and offroad riding, vintage and marque clubs, and everything in between.  Five separate military groups exhibited including motorcycle veterans’ units and the launch of new rides and rallies in support of our troops.


After a totally relaxing and super enjoyable trip across Canada in VIA Rails great passenger train we were amazed to find biking weather when we arrived in Vancouver in January.  Far cry from the snow, sleet and ice of the East.  In mid-January we headed out to Abbotsford to take in the Vancouver Motorcycle Show.  One of the big attractions was the sheer number of new bikes on view, but running a close second was the focus on the lifestyle that is proving so popular with those who love to tour. We enjoyed that show so much we repeated the experience the next year, this time driving our RV across the continent, arriving in good time to enjoy the show again.

One thing that really impressed me at was the presence of resorts, campgrounds and tourism folks eager to welcome bikers.  Destinations have put together a number of packages which include tours of various lengths with accommodation.  Reps from the North, as well as communities like Revelstoke just made us long to hit the road.  That feeling intensified when we hit the Ural display with sidecars just beckoning.  My soon-to-be-operated on knee was positive it could rest quite comfortable in a side car. Of course I need to check out the getting  in and out process of side cars.

All in all, this is a great show made ever more special by the glorious mountains forming a backdrop for green fields in January.  Ya Gotta Love It!


Shows in our region tend to be a bit hit and miss so check with your local dealers for dates. In the past we have enjoyed great events in both Moncton and Charlottetown and look for many more.

These smaller shows are a great place to connect to the local riding community, clubs, dealers and to learn about coming events.

Before heading off on any winter trip we check to see if there are any such events we can connect with, even if we have to adjust our itineraries a little.  A show in winter is a real boost to those of us who long for biking season.

Canada Homeschool Laws: Manitoba | Canadian Homeschool Society

Homeschooling regulations in Manitoba are very simple: let the government know you are going to homeschool and update them twice on how it’s going.

To be more specific, the current legislation requires that a parent or guardian notify the minister of education of the establishment of a home school for any children ages 7 to 17 (inclusive). This means you do not have to begin notifying the government until the September of the year your child turns 7 and you should continue notifying until September of the year they turn 17 .

This notification is to happen on or before September 1 or within 30 days of establishing a home school. If you withdraw your children from a school setting, you have one month to notify the government. In addition the parent or guardian must provide the ministry with periodic progress reports. These reports are to be submitted in January and June using the official forms also located at the web address above. That is all we are required to do in Manitoba.

Parents and guardians do NOT have to notify any school division or school. but it is often recommended that you do so if you are removing a child from a formal educational institution. Let the administration at your child’s school know you are going to homeschool and that you have filed the necessary paperwork with the homeschooling offices.

There is no cost involved in notification, but there is also no funding available. If a child is being homeschooled due to for medical reasons, distance learning courses are available free of charge. Other students may use these resources but there is a cost to the parents. All other fees involved in homeschooling are the responsibility of parents or guardians.

Many times a local school is willing to accommodate homeschool students for part-time courses or extra curricular activities (Phys Ed, Music, French, etc) but this is at the discretion of individual schools. Parents need to contact the school directly and try to work out a plan with the staff. It is helpful to let school officials know that funding is available to the school for accepting part-time homeschooling students. In order for a school to claim a grant for any school year, the student must be enrolled by September 30 of that school year, so plan early. Most schools in Manitoba seem amenable to this arrangement.

Parents may use any curriculum or educational approach they deem beneficial for their child. Once enrolled as a homeschool with the ministry of education, parents have access to the Manitoba Resources Library which contains a number of useful educational materials, curricula, and other such resources.

Home schooling students are not required to take provincial exams, but may make arrangements to do so with a local school if they so desire.

Progress reports may be as detailed or as succinct as a parent desires. Many parents use the progress reports as an opportunity to record all that their student accomplishes in the year. Other parents merely indicate that satisfactory progress is being made on the necessary subjects.

Occasionally a government liaison officer may feel the need to visit with a homeschooling family. This happens because the liaison officers are trying to personally get to know home-school families, or because the office has received a complaint. If you feel uncomfortable having a visit in your home, you are encouraged to meet at a neutral location or to visit the liaison officer at their own office. Take your children, if you desire, and take along a bit of their work. Liaison officers are concerned with the progress of a student. If you can show that progress is being made (last year they read this book, and this year they read this one; last year they wrote like this, and this year, they write like this) you will be fulfilling your duties.

The Women of Opening Doors in Vancouver’s East End

Writer Daphne Marlatt and artist Carole Itter moved separately into the Strathcona neighbourhood in 1975 when it was a much more diverse working class neighbourhood, one that had actively saved itself from demolition for “urban renewal.” Getting to know their neighbours and local shop owners, they soon realized the depth of history in their new neighbourhood and that there were many stories to be told by long time residents. In 1977, they started tape recording many of their elders under the auspices of the Aural History program of the B.C. Archives. Two years later, they were still meeting and recording the memories of people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Their book, Opening Doors: Vancouver’s East End, was first published in 1979 and then republished in 2011 by Harbour Publishing as Opening Doors in Vancouver’s East End: Strathcona. This was thirty seven years ago and now both Daphne and Carole are elders living in the same neighbourhood. Their Herstory Cafe presentation on September 12, 2013 will be an informal one; they will interview one another about their experiences and memories of the women they interviewed. Kindly offering to accompany Daphne and Carole will be the historian, James Johnstone who has a special interest in Vancouver and this neighbourhood.

Daphne Marlatt is an award-winning poet, dramatist, and novelist. Her poetry titles include Salvage, Steveston, and most recently Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now. Her novels include Ana Historic and Taken. A novelistic long poem The Given received the 2009 Dorothy Livesay Award. Last year she was awarded the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award.

Carole Itter is a Vancouver artist who has lived in Strathcona neighbourhood for over three decades. She has worked in various media including film, video, assemblage, performance, collage and photography. Her work is in the collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Belkin Gallery, U.B.C. and the Vancouver Public Library.

James Johnstone is an East End based house history researcher, neighbourhood historian, heritage activist, blogger and neighbourhood History Walk guide who has researched the social histories of over 900 houses in Vancouver. His blogs on Vancouver heritage and Italy are followed by people in over 70 countries around the world. Trip advisor ranks his History Walks 13th of 119 Things To Do in Vancouver.

Past Presentations

“B. C. Saltwater Women” with Vickie Jensen, writer, photographer and educator. Author of Saltwater Women at Work. Sylvia Hotel.”Sex Talk in the City” exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV). A group field trip to the museum.

“Poetry in the Park for Pauline”, with Mohawk Spoken Word Poet Janet Rogers, Victoria’s Poet Laureate, at the E. Pauline Johnson memorial monument in Stanley Park, marking the 100th anniversary year of her death in Vancouver. Special guests: Sino General and Murray Porter. Co-Sponsors: Stanley Park Ecology Society, SFU’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, SFU’s Native Studies Dept, SFU’s History Dept and UBC’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.

“The Inspiration of E. Pauline”, with Victoria’s Poet Laureate and radio host, Mohawk Spoken Word Poet Janet Rogers. Performance poetry, audio recordings, video and power-point presentation at the Rhizome Cafe. Special guests: Garry Gottfriedson and Michelle Sylliboy. Co-Sponsors: SFU’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, SFU’s Native Studies Dept, SFU’s History Dept and UBC’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.

Latest Roofing Trends in Canada

Tech is touching simply about every detail of the residential construction field, and that comprises the roofing area. While some of the newest roofing trends to expect during 2018 are formed on the newest decisions being created by homeowners and contractors, numerous of them are being pushed by technology. Below are the latest roofing trends:

Slate Roofs

Asphalt shingles are at never the immediate risk of being changed as the standard shingle material of selection, though 2017 will notice less asphalt as well as more slate fixed on houses around the nation. The slate roof is being utilized more frequently since it is more long-lasting than asphalt and endures much longer. The slate roof requires being strengthened due to its extra weight, though the maintenance prices are low and slate could last forever when it is taken care of correctly.

Living roofs

The living roof is a setting sound idea which as well offers persons who stay in cities the location to have their garden. The living roof is mainly designed to sustain plants and maintains your house cooler in the exercise. Individuals are utilizing green roofs as farming space, and numerous are finding that the correctly watered green cover is as well aiding them to save cash on their daily energy invoices by taking the pressure off the cooling system.

Lighter roofs

Householders are beginning to value how much their roof could do when it comes to maintaining their houses fresh as well as decreasing their power bills. The trend which started during mid-2016 and is supposed to develop stronger during 2017 is fixing roofs with light-colored materials. The unlit asphalt roofs take in heat as well as make your home warmer, though lighter colors cast back the heat as well as make thing plenty simpler for your ceiling fans and cooling system.

Tesla’s current solar roof

For many years, the just way to acquire solar power for your house was having the large pieces of solar panels fixed on your poles or roof in the part of your garden that got constant sunshine. While the power savings which solar panels provided were considerable, the boards were bulky and unsightly. The Tesla organization owned by developer Elon Musk believes it has the answer for that solar panel difficulty which promises to turn very common in 2017.

Tesla has designed roofing tiles which are put jointly to create the whole solar power network. Instead of keeping big panels on your property or roof, you could now have the stylish roof which is made entirely of solar panels. Because you will fix the roof on every side of your house, it will be capable of catching the energy you require continuously.

How to find a suitable rental apartment in Oregon, Bend?

One of the major Industrial, financial and logistic hubs in United States, Bend is a happening and vibrant city. Hence, the city keeps receiving a significant traffic of tourists from the other States and international locations. Consequently, these flocks look for the rental apartments for timely locations. The paragraphs underneath will guide you as how to find the best apartments for rent Bend.


Availability of rental apartments in the city

You will get a wide portfolio of apartments for rent Bend available across the city. You will get these accommodations in the mainland city as well as along the downstream areas. These accommodations come with various accommodation capacities and the rents vary as per the location and the accommodation capacity. The city has the availability of the necessary amenities, facilities, and services that are commonly availed in modern days. Hence, life in this city is comfortable and convenient. Bend city offers holds a high standard of life and you will get sufficient arrangements for leisure and entertainment across the city.


Tricks & tips to find a rental apartment in the city

You can try the following options in this regard:


  • Refer to the property websites: There are several local property websites for the city that can guide you in the property hunt. You can easily find out a property in the city, suiting your budget and location preferences.
  • Seek the services of property consultants: As real estate is a major industry in the city, it has a developed network of property consultants. The best real estate consultants will be able to link you with the best property within the minimal time span.
  • Go for classified advertisements: You can post an advertisement on the classified websites. In addition, you can refer to the classifieds posted by the property owners, interested in renting out their properties.
  • Take references from people in your network: In today’s date while social networking enables people to have contacts overseas. Hence, you may have some contacts from this City or from its peripheries. It will be wise to seek assistance from such contacts if any. These flocks can certainly get you a suitable property in and around the city.

If you are visiting the place for the first time, you need not worry about the availability of a suitable apartment within an affordable rent. The city has got a wonderful climate, exceptional scenic beauty and vibrant ambiance to offer you a high standard of living.

Canadian Banking System

If you have brought a lot of cash with you, you will want to open a bank account in Canada as soon as possible and deposit the money there. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task.

The biggest banks are TD Canada Trust, CIBC and Bank of Montreal. We recommend and use TD only because of better online presence, ease of doing things remotely without having to visit branch for every little thing and long operating hours.

Because you have no banking history in Canada, if you try to open an account and put thousands of cash money in it, they will question if you are trying to launder money and ask you to proof for origin of the money. So, be prepared for this or just deposit small amounts at a time. You will also fill endless amounts of paperwork just to open an account.

Debit Cards
When you open an account you a get a Debit Card, this card can be used for shopping in virtually anywhere to pay from your checking (regular account) or savings account. This system is called Interac and you will see its symbol near the Visa, Amex and MasterCard at the stores.

“Why carry cash at all?” you might ask. Because at every transaction, every time you use Interac you will be charged a transaction fee. This fee depends on your agreement with the bank, sometimes banks allow you limited time of ATM and Interac usage if you keep a certain amount of money in your checking account. Otherwise, you pay fee every time even when you use your bank’s ATM machine.

You could also use another bank’s or third party ATM machines to withdraw money. In this case, not only you will get charged a transaction fee but also the fee will be higher than your bank’s ATM.

Credit cards
As with opening your first account, obtaining credit cards first time in Canada could be tricky due to again you do not have any credit history in this country.

You could definitely live without them or bring one from your origin of country for emergencies, but if you like to start your credit history in Canada so you can apply for a car loan, house loan, rent a car, stay in a nice hotel (most hotels require you book with a credit card even if you do not charge to it as a guarantee), you might look into getting one. Here are the two options as a workaround:

Secured Credit Cards

One of the things you can do to get a credit card even before having a job is, ask your bank to give you a Secured Credit Card for your savings account as guarantee. Let’s say you have $5000 sitting in your bank account, the bank can give you a credit card with $2000 limit and they secure it with your $5000. So, the bank has no risk and you have a credit card that you can use to kick start your credit history. You need to use it and use it below its limit and pay on time to have a good credit rating. You need to have a good credit rating to be able to get more credit in the future.

Store Credit Cards

The other option after having a job for a while is; you can apply for a store credit card. Almost every big box store has their credit card, like Loblaws (President’s Choice), The Bay or Zellers (HBC), Sears (MasterCard) and like. The store cards tend to be less discriminatory, so your chances are high of obtaining one, but the catch with these is they tend to have high interest fees if you carry out a balance (if you do not pay on time monthly). So, if you get declined from one, wait a few months and try another and when you use them, make sure you pay on time.

Once you have one of these cards at least for a year, you can apply for regular, preferably low interest credit cards.