Keeping your kids safe for Halloween

These days, it feels like trick or treating is becoming more and more hazardous. Yes, there are many great neighbors out there who love to see kids come up to their door, and I admit to being one of them. Heck, I had a ton of fun last year going trick or treat with my grandchildren in Alberta last year. However, it only takes one rotten apple to kill Halloween. Some of them will even try to literally kill it. Many of them have done things like stick pins and razor blades in apples, poisoning candy, and handing out drugs disguised as candy. It is up to us as parents and grandparents to protect our kids from these types of people.

One idea that I had to hopefully keep kids safe this year involves some work on the parents’ or guardians’ part, but could hopefully keep the bad apples out of spoiling the kids Halloween fun. I call it the two bag system.

Parents should get a box of Ziploc bags, Avery labels and a Sharpie to take with them as they take their kids trick or treating. Along with this, they should use a two-bag system. One bag is for the kids to go to the doors with and the other bag is for the the parents to hold onto. As the kids come back from each door, the parents take the candy from that one house and place it in a Ziploc bag. They then label it with the house address using the label and Sharpie and there put the Ziploc bag into your bag. The kids’ bags should always be empty when going up to someone’s house. When you get home, inspect each Ziploc bag. This way, if something suspicious is in that Ziploc, you have a good idea where it came from. And, should a number of parents and teenagers do the same thing and find the same thing, it could make it a little easier for the police to get involved and investigate.

Is it more work? Yes. Are our kids’ lives worth this effort? YES! I wouldn’t be surprised if people reading this dismiss the idea as paranoid and distrustful. The only thing I will say to this is that you are living in a bubble if you believe that this will never happen to you and your kids. Just remember that people put on some great disguises on Halloween. Sometimes, a psycho’s greatest disguise is to look like any other good neighbor.

Seasons of Life

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.

— Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

When I look back on everything that has happened in 2015 so far, I will be one of the first to admit that I can’t wait to put this entire year behind me in hopes that 2016 will be better. However, in my quest for some wisdom into everything that has happened and is currently happening this year, it dawned on me that these things in life are nothing more than seasons. By themselves, they seem rather finite and perhaps even gloomy at times. However, in life, seasons are rather linear and connected. If you look at how they flow together to make a complete year, you can see how winter flows into spring, spring flows into summer, summer flows into autumn, and autumn flows into winter. It is rather seamless. Life mimics the seasons as everything flows into each other.

As it seems, I have been focusing on a the old seasons in my life, and only seem to be looking at their ending. What I seem to be missing is how they are flowing into the beginning of new seasons almost seamlessly. And honestly, these transitions don’t really stick out that I could notice at a glance. Some of them seem to require some insight on my part.

For example, earlier this year, I managed to tear my quadricep muscle clean off of my knee on my left leg, requiring emergency surgery, followed by 10 weeks of physiotherapy, not to mention having to spend that time off of that leg. At the time, it seemed like I was thrown into the eye of a hurricane. What I didn’t see was what was waiting for me on the other side. Before the injury, I was walking with a limp for the past ten years, due to a karate mishap. Getting around was painful. If anything, the injury gave me a chance to start over. I have been relearning how to walk for the past five months along with rebuilding the strength in my leg. I’ve managed to use this transition to take my physical health more seriously. While rebuilding the strength in my legs, I have also been working on my upper body strength and building muscle to combat my body fat. Where I am now compared to five months ago, is a pretty significant difference. I can notice differences in my physical appearance and the best part is that I walk far better than I have done in the past ten years. As my oldest daughter would say, I tore the limp clean off. After all, who ever gets injured and is better off from it? In the entire 10 year span, the line from the first injury to now is hard to perceive if you break it into chunks. As a whole however, it’s a little easier to see the seasons on that particular time-line.

Being able to see this time-line in this light has allowed me to see other events in my life in a much better light. I’m not saying that they felt like the best thing to happen to me, but looking back at them make me feel a little better considering the seasonal transitions to where I am today. Some things have proven to be worth the pain that I endured, while others have made me stronger, either physically, intellectually, or emotionally.

Admittedly, there are many new events springing from Joelle’s cancer. We’ve had to stop doing weddings and right now, it does feel like life is on hold. However, I am starting to find that I am getting a chance to think about the next chapter in our lives. If anything, there are many possibilities out there, and it is going to take time to see what is waiting for us. But all in all, it is another season in life. Many things are ending, and at the same time, they are transitioning into the beginning of other things. What they are remains to be seen. The chunks on the time-line are not big enough at the moment. However, rather than feeling down over things that have passed, perhaps I should be excited in anticipation of the things to come.

And now for this this commercial message – brought to you by my Q10

Yup, time for some more ramblings from my Q10. This time, it really is just that: rambling. To be honest, Joelle wonders how I can type so much on this phone. She can’t believe that I am spinning off blogs from this phone. Perhaps I should tell her how some people are writing books on their BlackBerry. Honestly, I am starting to get it. I’m starting to find that I am more inspired to write, not because I have a Q10, but because I have a device that allows me to just flow with ideas. Everything just flows.

I never was able to be this productive on my Z10. Not that the phone was bad or anything. I just found that I was not able to type properly on an all-touch device. It always felt like I was struggling with the phone, with the phone winning. Aside from feeling slow, I felt like I was typing like a two year old. I was not only making a ton of spelling mistakes, but I was also grabbing the wrong words to flick up to the screen. It sometimes made for the most interesting sentences. If anything, I got to the point where I would only type on it as necessary. I didn’t use it to write songs as much, and I certainly didn’t use it to do blog pages like I am doing here.

Don’t get me wrong. I know where the value of an all-touch device comes in. If I didn’t do as much typing as I do, I can see myself using an all-touch, because they are good for clicking buttons and sliding objects around. However, keyboards on all-touch devices are not keyboards to me. They have no boundaries to indicate where one key ends and another begins. Not to mention that it doesn’t feel like I am hitting a key. Not every phone is for everyone, but I know what is working for me.

I won’t even discuss my Z10’s predecessor at length. I couldn’t get anything done on my old iPhone, and I tried. To me, that thing was counterproductive. Okay enough of that.

I can see why my youngest daughter, Dina, gets so much done with her BlackBerry. To me, she is a real BlackBerry master. I don’t know many people that are able to type with their BlackBerry by their side. I want to be like that. But, for now, I am glad to be able to type with confidence and a lot more speed than I was able to do on any other smartphone. I am grateful for being able to get all of my ideas down. I never imagined that such a handheld device would inspire me to write as much as I have been doing.

There we go. I have gushed long enough about a phone. Time to ramble about other things, such as…