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Back to basics                                 www.cuisinekids.com  

With all the things you read in the news today, shortages, price hikes etc., Does it make you think that we’re in for some tough times ahead? Probably. But is it any different than it was back in the day? I think it’s just different, we adapted, we learned and moved on but the main thing is, did we learn from it?

My answer, well kinda, sorta  but not really, to be politically correct. Sure our lives got busier, our jobs are more demanding and so on. So what made us change and go away from so many things that we held so dear?

We forgot about the past. Not historical events, sacrifices or any of that but we forgot about the basics. Things are parents used to do, that we probably have fond memories of but don’t do now, like have a garden in the backyard.

It was not that long ago that most houses had a garden patch in the back yard, organic veggies where the norm and it just made sense to grow your own because it was cheaper and tasty. Growing a garden was a sense of pride. Who could grow the biggest pumpkin, for example, was a big attraction at local fairs.

Gardening was also a family affair.  It was time well spent nurturing a bond with your kids and teaching them about gardening and nature. It doesn’t stop there. Finding creative and interesting ways to cook your food and or play with it opens up limitless opportunities. Why not explore it?

That’s where I started putting all the pieces together and began thinking. How can I save money, learn, have fun and all while spending time with the family? The big light bulb went on in my head and that’s when I realized it was time to get back to basics. I discovered it didn’t take much to do everything I wanted, all while being ECO friendly. I thought they idea unique although really just common sense, but I wanted to share it so I created www.cuisinekids.com.

There’s lots of cool ideas and tips there —  everything from growing a garden to cooking what you grew, Eco friendly yard maintenance and tips on natural pesticides. Don’t forget it’s ok to  play with your food, so we include ideas on how to do that too.  That’s more for the kids but it’s fun. 🙂

Technology and gadgets are great but without the basics, they are bound to fail unless we have the foundation to build from. Life lessons. Skills etc. We’ve become to accustomed to cheap, easy and fast.  A throw away world. There’s a lot wrong with it and that’s where I think we fell of the trail from the past. The cost to our personally lives and enviroment? Is it worth it? I don’t think so maybe it’s time to consider getting back to basics.

Just something to think about.

Author: Dirke Botsford – creator of www.cusinekids.com – Have a comment, suggestion?

email me at cuisinekids ad mac.com


Hal Wilson was one of those teachers they base movies on. He let us stray from the topic at hand into the Stuff of Life that Matters, often.

He was the first person I knew who used the word Integrity and talked about it. A lot. He said his integrity was the single most important thing in his life. Without it, he felt he lost a lot of what it meant to be a man.

As an adult, I reflect back and know better how brave it was for him to say such things. It’s easier not to talk about it, because most of us don’t live into values like integrity very well.  Plus, living into it is often costly, and we’d rather not do it, truth be told. So we’d prefer not to admit to anyone, maybe not even ourselves, that it’s something we aim for.

And yet, do any you readers of this post regret a single instance in which you chose to act with integrity, even if it cost you?

The times you chose the hard path because it was the right thing to do, and you knew it?

The times you didn’t go with the crowd?

The times you stood up for a deeply held principle?

Odds are, even if you paid a price, you have a sense of dignity and a good energy in that memory.

Contrast that with the times we messed up – when we didn’t play quite fair, when we took credit at someone else’s expense, when we won the battle but in our heart of hearts know we compromised the war, even as we ourself, momentarily, looked good. Isn’t there a part of us that, even if we don’t fully regret it, acknowledges that we won, but at our own expense?

I don’t know that babies have integrity. But the more we can live into it, the more we sleep like babies. I’m not sayin’ how well I sleep yet… but I hope it gets deeper with age.

Photo credit: Qole

981211829_567cf171a7_m.jpgRogers gave him a bill for over $5,000. He’s a colleague of mine, and as a point of interest, in the IT dep’t.

They claimed he’d left his cel phone downloading data and racked up $5K in a month.

“No Way,” he said, “I’m not that stupid”.

But it was all his fault, said the Rogers rep. He must have left it downloading something overnight. Maybe bittorrent?

“Uh, no. I’m in the IT field. I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Well, if he clearly read his Term of Agreement (editors note: have you ever? I mean, really read, the terms of agreement on your cel plan?) he would have known he’d be responsible under all circumstances.

Several noisy phone calls later (you can just guess how those calls went, I bet), after he pointed out that even if he cancelled his contract and if they went after him, they’d never get $5K out of him (and perhaps their PR dep’t realized the optics of that just wouldn’t look good in the press), they agreed to put him on a new plan with only a $50 fee.

He agreed, although still feeling cheated — he remains positive it was a billing error — but they had him by the you-know-whats so this seemed the path of least resistence and he succumbed. Score 1 for the Big Guys, -$50 for a decent dude who probably got screwed.

My own experience with Rogers was less than stellar. I got a home phone plan from Sprint who got bought out by Fido who got bought out by Rogers. Then Rogers changed its System, and the System started billing me twice a month even though I only had one phone and one plan. When I called, the rep’s pointed out that the System had been changed and was causing problems and their wasn’t anything they could do.

“Um, well can you at least get the System to stop double-billing me?” Turns out, honest to goodness, they couldn’t.

So I cancelled my plan (I wasn’t locked in at least) and I swear to you it took over 7 calls and 5 hand-written letters before they stopped billing me for services I wasn’t receiving – either of them! – for several months. I kept receiving bills after their VP sent me a nice note saying good-bye and welcoming me back should I change my mind. I kept receiving bills after someone called to enquire why I had left.

Finally some goddess-young-woman did Something to the System so I stopped getting billed.

Meanwhile, Rogers stock has gone from about $20 to nearly $50 in the past 3 years.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Do you?

Is share value in inverse proportion to respect of customers?

photo credit D Norman. 

So I’m nicely at the stage of life where I can financially defend some global travel … only to discover that I’ve developed a sensitivity towards, well, flying.

All that jet fuel.

And what kind of footprint will I leave?

Rats!  Why is life so complicated?

Readers:  have any of you done any eco travel?  Do you think it’s greenwash, or do you think it’s genuine?  Any recommendations?

Regular readers will know I’ve taken a sabbatical for 6 months to work as Citizens Bank’s evangelist until the fall (ps. check out their hockey contest: www.hockeystars.com). My last seminar series concluded in April, and I’ve wrapped up with my private clients, so my Case Studies will be thin until the fall.


There are a lot of insightful, very real, stories on the web about people and their money.

Krystal, for example, just wrote about her line of credit habits in a past life and how that connects to her relationship.

Mrs. W reflects on how it feels financially, to go on maternity leave.

Growth in Value found himself in the crazy situation of having to tip … a bathroom attendant .

Brown Eyed Girl tells her boss she doesn’t see much opportunity for career development

and Gail, of “Til Debt do us Part” fame, writes about how we measure up to one another, financially.

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