Showing posts from 2020

Why We Need Two Incomes

- jim Young

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” - Dolly Parton

We live in a disposable world. Everything from paper cups to spouses are disposable these days. And it costs us big time (especially the latter). Not only has this become a problem for our environment, it’s also the cause of a lot of our social problems.

Excessiveness is also part of the problem. We all have too much stuff.

People complain that two incomes are required to survive in today’s world. It is very rare to see a stay-at-home mom anymore. The decision to become a career mom may be based on many facets but economic need remains a major contributing factor.

I think our attitude towards material things has a lot to do with it too.

We have a pair of scissors in our kitchen. We also have a pair of scissors here in my den. I can’t be bothered walking all the way down to the kitchen to get the scissors when I need them.

When I say “all the way down”, I don’t mean down a flight of stairs, I m…

Northern Ontario Sunshine

- jim Young

When most people think of Northern Ontario, they often think of cold and snow. But we get lots of hot days here in the summer too. When it gets really hot, I turn to something cold and refreshing such as this drink I came up with that I like to call Northern Ontario Sunshine. I make it up ahead of time so no matter when the sun's out, once the work is done all I have to do is put the last few ingredients together and sit back and relax.

Time Required: 10 min.

Yield: 9 cups / 2 litres
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 12 Cdn oz / 333 ml
Calories per serving: 222
Cost per serving: $3.27

Stuff Required:
1 cup Coconut Rum1 cup Pineapple Rum2.5 cups Orange Juice1 litre Club SodaCrushed IceDo this:
Mix Coconut Rum, Pineapple rum and Orange Juice in one large container and refrigerate until needed.Fill a Highball or Collins glass with crushed ice.Half-fill the glass with Rum/OJ mix.Top up with Club Soda.Serve with a straw.

Cost per serving is based on the following data:

SPECIAL NOTE: Please jo…

Microwave Butterscotch Sundae Sauce

- jim Young

Looking for a good summertime treat? Try this sundae topping. It's a great recipe I got from my Aunt Mary many years ago and it only takes a few minutes to put together. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool so it won't melt your ice cream. The addition of the ButterShots Liqueur was my contribution. And while it's a great topping for any ice cream, Aunt Mary always recommended using it on Kawartha Ice Cream!

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 3 min.
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total Time:  2 hours, 13 min.

Yield:  ½ cup

Stuff Required:
¼ cup butter, softened⅔ cup brown sugar⅓ cup whipping cream½ tsp vanilla extract¼ cup ButterShots Liqueur (optional)Do This:
Stir butter with brown sugar and whipping cream in a medium sized microwave bowl.Cook in the microwave on high heat for about 30 seconds.Stir well, then cook in the microwave for another 30 seconds to a minute or until slightly thickened. (Note: cooking it too long in the microwave will cause it to harden.)Stir in vanilla …

Wearing A Mask In Public Places

- jim Young

“Who was that masked man?” - from the Lone Ranger Radio & TV Show

To be honest, I’m not sure that I totally buy into the hype of wearing a mask when out in public.

There are a lot of pros and cons and debates about the use of masks, which masks should and shouldn’t be used and even how they should and shouldn’t be used.

I have seen plenty of very impressive dramatizations online demonstrating the effectiveness of masks although I am not certain they necessarily have any real scientific backing.

But, at the same time, I don’t understand why so many people are so resistant to wearing a mask.

Is it vanity? Some people think wearing a mask makes them look silly. Don’t worry about it. Who’s going to recognize you anyway? There’s safety in numbers. So what if you look silly? So does everyone else. Is it worth the risk? How will you feel about how you will look in your coffin?

Some people will tell you that it’s too hard to breathe and they are not getting enou…

Published in The Great North Arrow, August 2019: My Family Name

- jim Young
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;” - William Shakespeare
Last month I touched on the importance of my family name.
Family names are an interesting topic. 
In Canada and most Western cultures, children typically take on the father’s family name. Of late however, it has become more common for a child to take on a mother’s family name, particularly if she is a single mother or has chosen for whatever reason, not to adopt her husband’s family name.
In other cultures such as Cuba, children more often take on their mother’s family name. The Castro family however didn’t follow this rule or Fidel and Raúl Castro would have been known as Fidel and Raúl Ruz.
Our family name is often also referred to as our last name in Western cultures although in many parts of the world it is listed first, followed by given names.
Family names once described a man’s profession such as Baker or Smith (for a Blacksmith). Sometimes a person’s last …

No Offence Intended

- jim Young 20200701

“I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.”
                                   - Bennie Benjamin, Horace Ott and Sol Marcus 

The first thing we learn to do as babies is how to communicate. If we are unhappy or uncomfortable we instinctively cry and our parents will attempt to soothe us.

Sometimes, however, they don’t soothe us in the way we want to be soothed.

We quickly learn that if we cry one way, they will feed us. If we cry a little differently they will change our diapers and yet another cry will get us rocked.

With that communication comes power. Just from crying.

As we grow older our needs become more complex and our sounds develop into words to accommodate these needs.

The average English speaking adult today knows and uses about 20,000 words and probably knows and understands another 20,000 words.

Almost every word also has multiple meanings, some up to 430.

However you look at it, that’s a lot of words…


"I can sit for hours in front of the T.V.  And if I get bored... I'll get up and turn it ON." - jim Young

Published in The Great North Arrow, July 2019: Introduction

“Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.” - Jagger/Richards
- jim Young

Hello to all the readers of the Great North Arrow. I am excited to join the team with my own column that I hope you will enjoy reading each month.

I’d like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about my background.

The first thing you will note about me when you read my byline is my name is jim Young. No, that’s not a typo. The “j” in lower case is how I print my first name. It helps to keep me humble which can be kinda hard for a writer sometimes whenever he or she sees their name in print.

The capital “Y” in my last name however, signifies my pride in my family name.

I first lived in Stroud, Ontario and then Painswick before it was annexed by the City of Barrie. In the 50s and 60s these both were small communities where everyone knew your name.

The people were laid back, friendly and always looking out for their neighbours’ best interest.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when My Shirley and I…

Buffalo Chicken Dip

- jim Young 20200615

This is a great snack to bring to a party or to serve as an appetizer when you have friends over.

But sometimes it's a long time until your next party or gathering with friends - like when a pandemic comes around and all of a sudden parties and gatherings are outlawed.

The great thing about being a grown up is you don't have to wait for a party or a gathering. You can make this up any time you want just because you like it.

You can serve it with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetables like carrot or celery sticks. Whatever you want.

Sometimes I will make up just a ½ batch of this delicious dip - just for me.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 40 min.

Stuff Required:
1 cup boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced,½ cup hot sauce4 oz cream cheese, softened½ cup sour cream¼ cup mayonnaise¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled¾ cup shredded cheddar cheeseDo This:
Preheat oven to 350° F.Mix all ingredients into an oven proof dish.Bake 20-30 minutes unt…

Feeling Safe Yet?

- jim Young 20200613

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” - Plato

In the wake of a senseless tragedy that occurs, such as last April when a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia, it’s natural to feel vulnerable and seek ways to make us feel safer.

Trudeau, through an Order-In-Council, took action to assure the public’s safety by banning 1,500 variants of 11 types of firearms.

Two of the weapons used by the gunman in Nova Scotia are on that list.

Does that make you feel safer? It shouldn’t.

They were already illegal, at least in the hands of the gunman, so in fact nothing has changed really, except that the rights of many “law-abiding citizens” have now been infringed upon because laws that were already in place, were not being enforced.

In fact ALL of the weapons used by the gunman were illegally obtained, many of them from the U.S.

Can someone please explain to me how passing NEW laws protects Canadian…

Guns, Guns, Guns

- jim Young 20200603
“I consider any gun that can chamber a round and send a projectile down its barrel at a high rate of speed into my body - causing me injury or death - to be an assault weapon.” - Henry Rollins
There are a lot of good reasons why we need gun control laws in Canada and none of them include “it’s an effective method in the fight against crime.”
There are also a lot of good reasons why some guns should not be banned in Canada and none of them include "for the protection of my country." These are just emotional knee-jerk reactions used on both sides in an attempt to justify one's position.
We need to be able to rely on our government officials to have the common sense to separate the wheat from the chaff and make realistic, unemotional decisions as to what lengths they should go to ensure the safety of Canadians while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners.
It appears that we can’t.
The first thing you should know about me up front is that I am not a g…

The Cost of Canada's War on Guns


Zesty Cheese Sauce

- jim Young 20200601

Make this Zesty Cheese Sauce thick or thin depending on what you want to use it for.

As a thick spread you can use it on your sandwiches to add a little cheesy spice flavour or spread it on your favourite crackers for an extra special snack.

As a dip or thin sauce you can use it for tortillas or nachos. Sticks of celery, pieces of cauliflower or broccoli will all taste better dipped in Zesty Cheese Sauce. Heat it up and pour this cheese sauce over your mashed potatoes.

Anything that you would use a cheese sauce or cheese spread with, will taste a little better with a bit of this Zesty Cheese Sauce.

Time: 10 minutes
Yield: ~450 gm (1 Cheez Whiz jar)

Stuff Required:
225 gm Jalapeno Cheez Whiz (½ jar)1 cup cheddar cheese, old, shredded¼ to ½ cup of milk (depending on if you want a thick spread or thin dip)½ tsp red pepper flakes2 tbsp horseradishDo This:
Add Cheez Whiz and cheddar cheese to a medium bowl.Microwave for 1 - 2 minutes until the cheeses are melted.Add milk and…

Free Range Flower Garden

- jim Young 20200601

“If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” - Andrew Mason

My free-range garden is in full bloom already this year.

I don’t think flowers should be confined to pots, vases or segregated areas along the house and edges of our property. They should roam free to spread their beauty wherever their seedlings may fall.

These beautiful yellow flowers, reminiscent of the marigold, that are spotted throughout our yard, perfectly complement the green backdrop of our lawn which consists of a variety of grasses, clover and assorted Perennials.

The colours yellow and green are next to each other in the rainbow so why not in your backyard as well?

Together yellow and green is soothing and undramatic; a perfect combination to induce relaxation in your backyard.

With an imaginative name such as the “Dandelion” how can this be anything but a fun flower?

Derived from the French name “dent de lion” meaning “lion’s tooth'', the dandelion was so n…