Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Passports in Canada

Recently the government of Canada decided to change the Application Form for a Canadian passport.  I have been in Canada for over 40 years and have not travelled outside the country except for one trip to the USA with my husband and the hockey team.  At that time, all I needed was my Canadian citizenship card to cross the border. 

Now due to 911, border crossings are a lot more complicated and a passport is required to enter the USA.  My husband and I have decided, now that we are older, we would like to travel more and see some of the good old USA. 

My husband who was born in Quebec city in the province of Quebec is a natural Canadian born of Canadian parents.  So to obtain a passport for him shouldnt be that complicated.  WRONG!  The fact that he was born in Quebec means that he has to obtain a new birth certificate as now they have expiry dates.  Hmmm, last time I checked he was a living human being and I never knew we had expiry dates.  Then he had to get a guarantor to sign a statement saying that my husband is who he states on the application, plus you have to have 2 other persons who will also sign an affidavit if required to state that you are who you say you are.  Then you have to get passport photos which are outrageous in price and trust me, if you look anything like your passport photo, then you really shouldn't be travelling.  Most passport photos look like you have died and come back for the third or fourth time.

I was born in England of English parents and this further complicates the passport process.  Not only is just my birth certificate good enough, I have to get the Registrar of Passports to sign a certification statement saying that this is my birth certificate.  Then the Registrar also has to sign another certification statement stating that my Canadian Citizenship certificate is the real "McCoy".  Then I still have to jump through all the other hoops that my husband did, plus I have to show proof that within my old passport I really did emigrate to Canada. 

On this note, I have to really wonder ... Is it worth going through all this trouble to get a Canadian passport when I hold dual citizenship?  Maybe just renewing my British passport would be a lot faster and easier in the long run.  It would certainly facilitate travelling in Europe and what type of issues am I going to encounter when entering the USA?

In conclusion, I would advise you to renew your passport as it comes due.  Do not try to renew it early as this sends up a red flag and opens Pandora's box as to why you need it early.   Do not let it expire or I will see you standing in the line with myself and everyone else who now has to get a new passport with all the extra documentation.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A book I am reading

I am reading a book called Awesome.  It is a book composed of small anecdotes about every day things but extremely funny.  For example, in one chapter, the author is describing the old playgrounds before the new plastic ones.  He describes the slide in such a way, that for 1 second, you are there back on that old metal slide burning your legs and doing the stagger as you come off the slide.  It is not a book to be read all at once, it is a book to be savored.  Read a page or two each day and enjoy the memories the book brings back.  The author also has a site   

This site is much like the book and well worth a read and a giggle first thing in the morning.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why We Should Pass Needle Arts onto Others

I believe it is important to pass along these Needle Arts to our children and grandchildren.  In today’s world we are inundated with technology everywhere to make things easier but it also means that we as human beings are losing our personal interactions with each other.  We are too busy rushing around to stop and be aware of our surroundings and the details that make up our environment.
I find that cross stitching with a group once a week is similar to the old fashioned stitching bees from long ago.  We not only share ideas and advice on projects but we discuss families and things going on around us in the world today.  We are re-establishing that connectivity in the human race and it can be a most relaxing experience.
Teaching your children or the neighbours’ children to stitch, not only promotes the needle arts for the next generation but it helps to build relationships, teaches children patience in a world of violence and builds self esteem as a project nears completion.
So in conclusion, I would have to say  “Never pass up an opportunity to teach someone else to stitch, you never know where else it may take you.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25 Rant - Upcoming Canadian Election

The upcoming Canadian election---can we taxpayers really afford to have another election?  While Mr. Harper may not be everyone's favorite choice, he has certainly kept Canada together when the global market was going downhill and other nations were going bankrupt. 

The Liberal party, the Bloc and the NDP are like a bunch of little kids who all want to be at the top and run the country.  But listen to what they are saying---They are alleging that the Conservatives are not doing good bookkeeping.  Did they think we would forget the sponsorship scandal so quickly?  Do we want a different Prime Minister who couldnt make up his mind which country he was going to belong?  Or a Prime Minister who was talking separation not so very long ago?  What about the NDP?  All the changes they want to implement and where do they think the money is going to come from?

As taxpayers we might complain about the cost of new aircraft but dont you think that our military ,who are responsible to protect our soldiers and civilians in time of war, should have decent equipment to fight the war?  Most of their equipment is so old, its considered obsolete by even the Russians--What does that tell you?

So on a closing note if you are going to vote Conservative, lets do it so we have a majority government and we can have at least 5 years before having to pay for another election and have our GST hike.