The Call of the Taxman

    It's hard to believe but another year has passed and the month of March has ended yet again. Why is this so significant? Am I so self-conscious of the passing months because of my interest in the topic of astrology? Hardly. 

                           (MOMPRENEURS - PERSONAL TAX CHECKLIST)


    For us, the arrival and the passing of the month of March has significance because yes, it's tax time again. No big deal? We wish. While we certainly don't wish to make a mountain out of a mole hill, we are not exactly fans of the tax process. If we were one of those people that loved number crunching, or if we were even the average person when it came to the tax process, we would hardly break a sweat. We are not even afraid of the number-crunching or accounting process itself. It's only the taxation process that makes us cringe.

                          (MOMPRENEURS - PERSONAL TAX CHECKLIST)


    Indeed, everytime we enter the months of February and March we usually start to feel a knot in our stomachs. After pulling out all our invoices, receipts and other relevant paperwork together, we carefully go through our tax checklist looking for and checking off all the relevant information. Needless to say, we don't go through this on our own. Our trusted accountants are always on speed dial. 

                           (MOMPRENEURS - PERSONAL TAX CHECKLIST)


    It's at this point in the process that we vow to ourselves, yet again, that we will become more knowledgable about the tax process this year, we will enroll in a tax course and generally become more competent in this field by next year. Maybe. The last time we checked, though, pigs still do not fly.

                            (MOMPRENEURS - PERSONAL TAX CHECKLIST)

Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition

    Recently, I made a decision to take a more active interest in my diet and to live a more healthy lifestyle. To that end, one of the first steps that I took was to become more educated about the topic of food.

    After rummaging through some old food books that I had, I came to the conclusion that I actually didn't have enough information on the topic and that my reading materials could be outdated. As a result, I decided to meet with an expert, such as a nutritionist or dietitian, to get a more accurate read on the subject and more specifically, on how that would affect myself. 

    One thing that I learned, at least in my case, was that it does make a difference to talk to an expert in the field. After my visit, I learned that the field had changed somewhat since the old days. Yes, tomatoes were still healthy, but other things had changed or evolved. First of all, the food portions and food pyramids had changed. We are now expected to eat more portions of fruits and vegetables than before. 

                        (THE KNOPF CANADA BOOK OF HEALING FOODS)

    Fortunately, I have always loved fruits and vegetables. Despite my lack of interest in apples and bananas, I have always found that there are plenty of items to like from the fruits and vegetable kingdoms. Additionally, the thought  of making half the portions of my meal fruits and vegetables was appetizing to my culinary senses.



    The only other thing that I needed to keep in mind, aside from the rising cost of food, was that certain fruits and vegetables were seasonal and that they would only be available during certain times of the year. That meant that I would have to make adjustments and adapt. I would have to substitute certain food items during the year. Cherries might have to be interchanged with strawberries. 

    An added benefit of this exercise, as anyone who has been to the grocery store or supermarket knows, is that grocery shopping now has the potential to  become so much more enjoyable and fun.


The Magical Touch of Horses

    Another highlight of the month? I was recently reintroduced to the world of horses again. My luck with horses has never been great. Other animals, such as cats and dogs, have usually taken an instant liking to me for the most part but my relationship with horses has never been, through no fault of their own, smooth sailing.

    My unfortunate experiences with these creatures have included being accidentally bitten by them. Who gets bitten by horses? I don't know anyone else who has been. I was also stepped on my foot by a horse on another occasion. I certainly have no idea how much horses weigh, but I am pretty sure that it was the heaviest thing that had ever stepped on my foot. I am also pretty sure that I didn't suffer any major damage to my foot because the horse knew immediately that it had accidentally stepped on my foot and removed his hoof from my feet with lightning quick reflexes.

    So, it was on a recent trip to an animal shelter called Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary near Toronto, Ontario that I was reintroduced to horses again. Aside from dogs, horses are one of the animals that Dog Tales takes care of and rehabilitates at their shelter.

    As I walked towards one of the fields where the horses were spending their day, a couple of horses approached the fences that surrounded the field.

    For anyone who has never seen a horse up close, it sure is a sight to behold when a horse gives you a full smile. Sure enough, one of them soon flashed me a great smile and showed their white teeth to reveal an enviable set of dentures. It was pretty obvious that they will probably never have to see an orthodontist in their day.

    Meanwhile, another brown colored horse approached the fences slowly and looked at me with a steady gaze. I was left a bit in a state of awe as this brown horse continued to stay near me and looked at me with a look that showed a real calmness and serenity. He also developed an interest and affection for my cranberry colored coat. Without an ounce of shyness, he contentedly nibbled on my wool coat, his nose wiggling with the movement. Fortunately, my coat was left intact as he exhibited a deft touch with the material.  

    Post nibble, far from showing any timidity, this horse continued to observe me with a real calmness and a sense of bemusement. He almost seemed to understand that I wasn't used to horses.

    Yet, it certainly was a magical afternoon. I had certainly heard of the magic of therapy dogs, but I was totally caught off by guard how these horses managed to intrigue me, charm me and let their magic touch my spirit. It was difficult to tell exactly who was healing who. 

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