Open Letter to Governments

Dear Municipal, Provincial, and Federal, Governments,


After the event last night, I felt that I must write something about the conduct of our government.  This isn’t just about #elbowgate which trended directly after incident.  I am proud to be Canadian.  Canada is Open Letter to Governments traditionally, polite, kind, and reserved.  I have not seen this lately.    This open letter is about how the government acts as a whole.  All governments, municipal, provincial and federal.

After watching the video, I noted that the NDP MP’s were blocking the Conservative whip from getting through to delay to vote.  Then the Prime Minister angrily walks across the floor to grab the whip from the group and pull him out, accidently elbowing a female NDP MP in the process.  Keyword here is accidentally.  What the Prime Minister did is unacceptable, he should in no way have grabbed the whip physically and moved him.  However, at the same time it’s also unacceptable for the NDP MP’s to be trying to block another person physically.  They should equally be ashamed of their actions.  The video didn’t portray upstanding professionals, it portrayed childish behaviour on all parts.  The opposition parties continued to attack the Prime Minister on his behaviour during his apology without acknowledging their actions as well were not becoming of professionals. Unfortunately, a historic apology was made the same morning as the incident that was overshadowed by an event blown out of proportion.

The rise in attack ads seems to be very prominent as of late as well.  I have three children. How do I explain to them that making fun of others or straight out insulting people is unacceptable when the leaders of our country are doing it on a regular basis?  I would love if one of these parties would come and explain why this is acceptable behaviour to my children.  How do they explain it to their own children that they can go to work, insult people and act unprofessional?

I have thought about taking my kids to go see a debate live.  However, I don’t know if I would like to expose them to this behaviour that I see exhibited regularly by our members of government.  I have heard of teachers that have quit taking classes to see debates because of this behaviour as well.  My parents raised me to be respectful and generous to others. Didn’t yours?  This should be a wake up call for governments that how they behave isn’t appropriate, but instead they are too involved with yelling, insulting and being rude to anyone that doesn’t agree with them.

I’m not picking sides or a preference for an individual party in this letter. I am directing this at all politicians.  You are not just the leaders of our country, you are the inspiration for a lot of young people.  Please learn from your mistakes.  Act your age.  Be role models. You are the face of Canada.  You were voted in to represent all of us.  Act appropriately.



Matthew Thompson

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Stand Up Strawberry Planter

Keeping in tune with the “I have very little space in my tiny yard and thus I have to build my garden up” routine, I decided to build a stand up strawberry planter. I started with some fence boards I picked up from my trusty home depot.  Yes they’re pressure treated.


I wanted more of a crown thing at the top so I cut it pointy.  I used a mitre saw for this at 45 degree angles in case you’re wondering.


Standup Strawberry planter

I then cut holes all the way up and down the boards, leaving about an inch and a half on the edges.  Note the lady bug visitor I had. I couldn’t get him/her to fly away or crawl off for a while.  But here is your lady bug interlude.


Finished boards ready for staining.  Aren’t they exciting looking?IMG_5378

I have a brown and red theme in my back yard.  Note the birdhouse is alternating of those colours.  The birds told me this is their favourite colour scheme.  I assure you I speak bird. IMG_5379

Once dried I laid them down and spread out some fancy landscape cloth.  I stapled them to one end to start with.IMG_5380


I measured the total amount of interior space needed and cut the fabric.IMG_5381

Not only did I staple the fabric in but I also included some pieces of wood to help screw the boards together.

Finished product.  To install I dug a hole and put it in. Then filled up the top with dirt.  Once I pick up some strawberry plants I’ll show a couple shots of it in action.  The fabric allows me to just cut a hole and input the plant. Easy peezy.    IMG_5383

I’m hoping I can make jam later on in the year.

Update on strawberry and potato planters

Update on the strawberry planter with actual strawberries!


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Stand Up Potato Planter

Spring has come early here in Saskatchewan. I’ve been steadily scouring the internet for ideas on what to do with my garden this fall.  Upon encountering several posts on stand up potato planters I decided to try my hand at one since I have limited space in my teeny yard.   This is the area I choose to set it up. Right smack dab between my rhubarb leaf bird bath and my trellis that grows beans and tomatoes.


I am a big believer in reusing things I have.  For instance I do a lot with pallets and thus I had some spears leftover that I didn’t know what to do with.  Hammered into the ground they became an excellent frame.


I acquired some chicken wire with one inch spacing.  I actually didn’t have this laying around but I found some other uses for it later on so I figured it would be useful to have.  I wrapped it around the frame and connected it with zipties that I got for xmas from Santa.  I’m not sure why I got zipties but I did, and they came in useful today.


Most sites I read used hair as a layer on the outside to hold in the dirt in the middle.  I didn’t have any on hand so I used leftover grass and other plant material I had around my backyard, including a cut up Christmas tree that I used in another post.  I felt this would sufficiently hold the dirt in the middle.  I used seed potatoes in the middle. Four per row.

My helper today.  He was really good at filling the middle with dirt.IMG_5362

Once I got to the top of the first row of chicken wire I added a second.  I used the zip ties again and zipped it all together.  Then continued layering of dirt, potatoes, dirt, potatoes and so on.IMG_5366

Here is another overview of the project.IMG_5358

Once I reached my desired height of about one metre I zipped the top all down to hold it in.IMG_5367

Final product.  I’ll take some pictures when it sprouts to show you all.IMG_5369                IMG_5370

Update: There is plants on the potato planter!


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