My thoughts for the day


So I was reading an article today about the toxic dangers lurking in our homes, and how everything from the plastic we store our food in, to the off-gassing if that new couch. It had me looking around every corner of my once safe feeling home for the dangerous offenders.

Two things that caught my eye and sent me down the google rabbit hole of research was how your carpet is harbouring massive amounts of irritants. The other was the hazards of sewer gas leaking into the home.  I’ll leave the carpet issues for now (might just be time to rip it all out and replace with something a little easier to keep clean) and focus on the sewer gas issue. Why, you might be wondering sewer gas? It’s not like everybody’s talking about it – but we have a ground floor bathroom that has recently started to smell like an overflowing latrine – I know, gross. I think it might have something to do with it being the summer months because we didn’t have any issue when it was cooler.

So how does all of this fit in with voting your values? Glad you asked. I have a terrible propensity for procrastination, and this little stench problem has been going on for a month – that’s unacceptable and doesn’t align with my values of maintaining a clean and harmonious home for my family. My short term solution was to just keep the bathroom fan on and the door closed and just hope for the problem to go away – not cool.

Spotting (or rather smelling) a sewer gas problem is pretty easy – but what to do about it is another thing entirely. My first stop was the aforementioned Google – where a quick search reveals everything from replacing your entire sewer system to a simple baking soda rinse. We tried the baking soda method and sadly did not have any success. So we figured we would call around to some local plumbers and after a few misses found a local plumbing company that seemed to know what to do and were able to come over and have a look. To our relief, it was a cheap and easy fix. And frankly made me feel kind of silly for waiting so long to deal with what was an embarrassing problem. If you’re local and need a plumber I recommend the kind folks at Langley Plumbing Co. –

So that leads me to the Vote of the Day: Today I voted to act like an adult, taking care of issues that are disturbing my peace of mind.

Now to deal with those carpets…..

Stormy Weather

So we’ve had a wild week of weather recently here in the lower mainland of B.C. The nightly news was filled with breathless reports delivered by beachside correspondents being pounded by wind and rain. If you believed what you were hearing, it was time to stock up on essentials and be prepared to ride out the end of civilization as we know it.

The thing is – nothing really happened except some rain and a bit of wind. I understand the need to raise the alarm when something dangerous is coming down the pipe but c’mon – this was a bit much. I have to admit though, it did spice things up and it made me consider how prepared my family is to deal with potential disasters. If I were to give us a score on how prepared we were/are I would give us a C – not bad but also not really prepared to be without power/water for an extended period of time. I would say we could be comfortable for 3 days – after that things would start to get a bit sketchy. If you think about it 3 days is not very long – and it is conceivable that an outage of that length of time could happen, in fact, it could be much longer considering my area is overdue for the “big one” . Yep, we’re talking earthquakes.

So I was going to make a list of things you need to do to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster but a Google search will turn up literally thousands of sites dedicated to survivalist training – so I’ll give a couple of quick tips

  1. Make a plan, this shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes – a good resource for getting started can be found here .
  2. Have food and water for 10 days – I know, 10 days seems like a long time but always better to have more than you need (neighbors might need help too)
    1. Foods we keep on hand are large bags of rice, canned soups, canned fish, and large jugs of water (1 liter per person per day)
  3. Make copies of all important documents and store them on a flash drive – this way you can grab one item and get out of the house if necessary. (I store all of our family photos on a free cloud service, so they are always safe)

The bottom line is this – take a few minutes to make a plan and hope to never have to use it. For me, this weekend’s storm that never was turned out to be a great reminder that I have a responsibility to plan for my family’s safety and that there is a very real possibility of a disaster occurring at some point in my lifetime that could see us having to rely on ourselves to be self-sufficient.

My vote for the day: Plan ahead, and stay safe and be prepared for (almost) anything.


Ever thought about what outside influences affect your performance and peace of mind ?I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately – likely brought on by a sneaking suspicion that I may be caught in the Matrix. Work has been crazy lately and stress levels have been off the charts. Recent;ly, when 6AM rolls around and I’m getting ready to start work for the day there is a subtle underlying dread that has been in the background.This is not how I want to vote to spend my day, running from task to task, stressing out about whether or not I’m up to the job at hand.

So how have I let things get to the point where I am constantly stressing? If I’m being honest and really looking at things dispassionately I think a lot of it has to do with a feeling of being just a little disorganized across the board. My desk is starting to look like a bit of a dumping ground (every random piece representing something that I needed to keep at hand at the time) – my office still has unpacked boxes from a move that occurred a month ago. I’ve been putting off a vacation with my family waiting for a time at work that isn’t too busy (it’s been a year with no time off). This is all on me. I have a hard time feeling “together” – especially when I look around at my physical surroundings and am faced with the only reality that can be drawn from the direct evidence – I’m not living the kind of organized, tidy life that increases my peace of mind.

So what to do about it? Get into action. A really cool site that I came across is Un!@#$ Your Habitat – I highly recommend it. The site gives great advice on how to turn your home around from pit to palace. I love the irreverent tone this blog takes and the practical bite-sized advice that makes any task seem manageable.Check out this post that lays out a simple way to get a lot done without getting overwhelmed. The site’s tagline is “You’re better than your mess” – I love that. It’s crazy how much I can be affected by a feeling that I don’t have “it” together. I know there is a lot that can be said about accepting things as they are and not letting that little voice in your head that tells you you’re messing up get the best of you – I get that, but right now I need something quick and actionable. The post I referenced lays out a structure called a 20/10 – 20 minutes of cleaning/organizing/etc, followed by a 10-minute break. I encourage you to try it – it’s remarkable how much you can accomplish with 20 minutes of focused effort. A really interesting side-effect of this method of getting going is that once you start – it’s easy to keep going, and by limiting yourself to 20 minutes it takes away the resistance to beginning. I know it sounds crazy – but it works . In fact – that messy desk I was talking about? Problem solved (in less than 10 minutes)

My vote for the day: increase my peace. I will do this by maintaining the physical environment where I spend most of my time – my home office. I now have a note on my calendar that sets aside 20 minutes once a week to deal with my office.


A Feast is Enough

Have you ever heard this quote? I’m not sure where it originated but I was introduced to it via Mary Poppins!

I love this quote as it stands in direct contrast to my voracious appetite for “more”. I can say with certainty that I am addicted to a sense of security and I seek to satisfy this addiction by accumulating more (typically money).

It seems completely normal to me to give up time with my kids to work on a side project so that I can give them the things and opportunities that I did not have growing up. I know on an intellectual level that living for the future is ridiculous as I will never exist anywhere/anytime but right now. I’m not saying don’t plan ahead- do the things you need to do today and tomorrow will pretty much take care of itself (at least that’s what I’ve found). I really struggle with this, how to balance work/life. I have a feeling that thinking my way through it won’t work – something more radical is called for, a shift in being (I was going to say thinking, but that’s what got me into this mess in the first place. How can I make a conscious decision to be present? To not worry so much about accumulating money?

If anybody has any answers I’m all ears. Just for right now, my Vote for the Day: let go of chasing money and spend some time with my girls, they’re only going to be little for a short time – accumulating more money can wait.

Welcome to Vote All Your Values

This is Vote All Your Values – a place to share how you “vote”. Why the quotation marks? Well, not every vote is cast in a voting booth or by filling out a ballot – in fact, that is the rarest type of voting we do. Our view of voting is that it is something that you do each and every day. How do you spend your time, what is getting the lion’s share of your mind space, how are you spending your money, are you supporting local business or a multinational conglomerate.

We aren’t here to judge how anybody votes – what we are encouraging is that you approach all of these voting opportunities in your life with open eyes, not on auto-pilot. Are you voting for health or sickness? I know this seems like a silly question, but when you make a decision to have a workout over having beer and pizza you are clearly casting that vote.

We’re not sure exactly what form this blog is going to take over time. Given the timing of where we are with the US election it might seem obvious to comment on the ongoing circus that is US politics but frankly, that seems a little boring. We are more interested in the daily votes that lead to a happier life. We are interested in promoting those people and businesses in our community that are making a difference.

My vote for the day: a vote for happy chickens, breakfast today is a 3 egg omelet with eggs from a family farm . Price of a dozen eggs is less than I would pay at the grocery store although I had to drive a bit to get to the farm.