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Published In The Great North Arrow, October 2021: Autumn Is Awesome

- jim Young “To everything, turn, turn, turn, There is a season, turn, turn, turn.” - Pete Seeger / Ecclesiastes 3 Autumn is awesome! It’s my favourite time of year.  And next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. (Hallowe’en is my third favourite holiday so it’s a bonus that my second and third favourite holidays both fall in my favourite season.) As cooler days arrive, I don’t mind wearing a jacket again to enjoy some quiet time outdoors. When spring arrives, I will be anxious to rid myself of any such extra clothing, but for now it’s a nice change of pace. How gratifying it is to step inside on a cool day to the comforting warmth and scent of a friendly fire crackling in the woodstove! Thanksgiving dinner will complement those smells with a delicious aroma of its own.  The days are getting shorter and that’s okay with me too. It will be easier to rise before the sun to witness another daybreak. The last campfires of the season can be started earlier and enjoyed without

Tammy’s Meat & Potato Casserole

When Costco opened up in Barrie in 1999, I was hired as a "Caller". A "Caller" was basically a human scanner. We were required to transfer the Costco members' purchases from one cart to another and call out the item number of each product to the cashier we were assigned to work with that day. One day, I was paired to work with Tammy and at break, we somehow got talking about recipes. Tammy gave me this favourite recipe of hers off the top of her head. Of course it was very basic with the quantities of the ingredients being very vague. Tammy suggested it be made in an oven-proof casserole dish and then, as an afterthought, suggested I could also use the bottom of a roasting pan if I wanted to make a bigger casserole. Although we are a household of just two, My Shirley and I love the convenience of, and never tire of eating left-overs, so I always make this jumbo size. If you prefer to make less, you’ll have to cut the ingredients accordingly. Stuff You’ll Need: 1

Published In The Great North Arrow, September 2021: A Lawn Cutting Adventure

- jim Young “I love the smell of lawn mower gasoline in the morning!” - adapted from a quote by Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore as played by Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now  We are cutting our own lawn this year for the first time since we purchased our home in Loring. Al and Diena of the now defunct “Cottage Crew” have retired from the lawn cutting business and we wish them well in their retirement. The first time I cut our lawn however, I pondered if in fact, I had been paying them enough for this chore all these years? However, as some of you may know I often like to turn “chores” into “adventures” . So with my 60s Che Guevara bandana proudly displayed on my head, I like to pretend I’m a biker on my way to Mardi Gras. In my mind, our Ariens riding lawn mower is an Indian motorcycle and although it may not be “The World’s Fastest Indian” it flies across our lawn like a “Bat Out Of Hell” . As I speed across a sea of long grass I stir up the mosquitoes who are quick to attack. But w

A Facebook Fallacy

- jim Young "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Benjamin Disraeli Almost everyone has an agenda. Whether their agenda is hidden or not will depend on the individual. Don’t get me wrong. As a senior, I would welcome any increase to my retirement income that is offered. I just find misleading or misrepresented facts and outright lies to be very vulgar. Sadly, Facebook has become a cesspool for this type of behaviour, so whenever I see material posted on Facebook such as this, presented as “facts” I get very suspicious whether I am in agreement or opposed to its bottom line message. Sometimes I am surprised to find there is more truth in the post than I might have thought; sometimes my suspicions are confirmed that it’s just a pack of lies; and sometimes, like this post, while it seems to be a little “exaggerated” at best, the worst part is it is incomplete and doesn’t tell the whole story. Who Is This Post Directed At? To begin with, Social S

Mexican Fries (in 3 easy steps)

Whether ordering Mexican Fries as a side dish, an appetizer to split with My Shirley or as a meal in itself, nobody makes them better than Jake's Place Restaurant or Roxie's Diner in Port Loring . I can't say one is better than the other, so you'll just have to drop into both Jake's and Roxie's sometime to decide for yourself. I'll be honest with you though. This recipe isn't quite as good as either, but sometimes when I want some Mexican Fries at home and just don't feel like ordering take-out, they are a close second and worth the effort. The recipe may seem long and a bit complicated when you first look at it, but when you tackle it just one step at a time, it's really pretty simple. Try it. Then visit Jake's or Roxie's and see how well you did. Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 45 min. Total Time: 1 hour Serves: 2 Note: Preparation and cook times in all of my recipes are estimates at best and may vary depending on how fast you are i