Every year when the weather finally warms up here in Calgary I see hosts of citizens taking part in the time-honoured tradition of washing their car in the driveway. Then I shake my head because every one of these people is breaking the law.
I would like to believe with so many people moving here from other parts of Canada and the world, maybe you just don’t know what the local bylaws are. Calgary has a drainage bylaw that states nothing but water should ever go down our storm drains. Not soap, oil, old paint, toddler diapers or a half-finished beer.
THERE IS A REALLY GOOD REASON FOR THIS BYLAW.
No, the folks at city hall are not a bunch of driveway party-poopers, no one’s trying to sell you out and force you to pay high car wash prices. The reason this bylaw is in place is this: everything that goes into a storm drain in Calgary flows directly into the river UNTREATED. It does not go to the treatment plant, it does not pass go and they do NOT clean that crap out of the water.
So, if the thought of all the poor unsuspecting wildlife in and along the river being poisoned by your waste doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, think about this; the rivers flows into the two water treatment plants in Calgary, you know, the ones we get our drinking water from. Now of course the water is treated. They do a great job of it. What I always wonder is, how do they get the heavy metals, toxins, detergents, petroleum products etc. out of the water? It needs to be processed and re-processed, more chemicals added and more energy burned to make sure you don’t drink any of that antifreeze you rinsed off your car/driveway.
I know I’m a bit preachy about this. But really people, is it so hard to go to a car wash? They pay special taxes to make sure their water is treated before it goes anywhere that it might touch a living thing. It’s not about what is convenient for you. Here is an easy to read brochure if you’re still bamboozled by my highly technical talky-talk.
Oh, but if you are still thinking about what is convenient for you, being caught in violation of this bylaw could see you being fined anywhere from $75 – $10,000. I’ll tell you what is convenient; paying fines to the City, SO convenient.
Did you know today is my birthday? I’ll give you a minute so you can plan a wonderful surprise for me…
Ok, now just scrap that idea. The best birthday gift you could give me is to donate to my Walk for MS. Just click that cute little picture of the shoes over there on the right hand side of the page and make a donation. I’m not picky about how much you want to give, every little bit helps. You can pay with credit card, or even paypal (select under payment type). You’ll get a tax receipt for every donation over $20 instantly as a pdf so really, you get the money back. Plus, your donation will make my birthday wishes come true, which as we all know is the real reason we are all here
If every one of my Facebook and Twitter friends donated $5, I would more than exceed my goal of $1000. I’m worth $5 right? I mean just in sheer comedic value. $5 would get you a whole year of laughing at my kids and my hilarious hijinks. Ok, well, you’ll get that anyway, but I could charge for it.
Your donation to the MS walk helps to fund research for a cure and community programs that support those who are living with this disease.
XOXOXO – Jackie
I was flitting around on Pinterest, like I do more than can be considered healthy, when I saw this post:
It’s something to do with spraying money with hairspray and glitter so it looks like it actually came from a fairy’s wallet. I can only say one thing about this, DON’T DO IT. If you start down this road, it will only lead to heartbreak and frustration for the parent! Not to mention, for my friend who pinned this, we live in Canada! The lowest denomination of bill we have is $5! You are guaranteeing that your child will receive no less than $5/tooth for each of their 23 baby teeth. The worst part is, you are running the risk of an adverse reaction that no sane (read: adult) human could predict. Children are highly emotional, and in case you hadn’t noticed, not entirely rational. You may find that your child develops an unnatural bond to the sparkly bill.
A little over a year ago, a co-worker told me the little ritual she had with her child involving the tooth fairy. Whenever her child loses a tooth, they put it in a glass of water beside his bed. Then they guess what colour the fairy’s wings will be that night. The theory is that when the tooth fairy retrieves the tooth, its wings will dye the water in the glass. This sounded like an absolutely darling idea to me. I still want to drink a bottle of 151 rum when I think of what I’ve gotten myself into.
Less than a week after this exchange, my daughter lost her first tooth. I was all set to spring my “wing plan” into action. I had a set of neon food colouring hidden away in my room so there could be no accidental discoveries in the pantry. I tucked Emma in that night and asked her what colour she thought the fairies wings would be. I was not at all surprised that her favourite colour, blue, was her very first guess. Well after she was asleep, I retrieved the tooth, left some money and a few drops of colouring in the water. I went to bed that night feeling pretty damn smug.
The next morning Emma was ecstatic. She came running into my room to tell me the tooth fairy had been there. I told my co-worker of my success and we both smugly patted each other on the back.
When I got home that evening, Emma informed me that she was keeping the fairy-water. FOREVER. Thinking on the fly, (like all moms do) I reminded her that water evaporates, and the fairy water may not last that long. My daughter, evil genius that she is, wrapped the glass with saran wrap. I devised a plan where I would gradually thin out the colour with water until hopefully, the fairy magic had faded enough to dump the water. You may ask yourself why I didn’t just refuse to keep the water, but the truth is, Emma was so distraught over the thought of dumping the water, it took me forever to calm her down enough to communicate like a human being.
I successfully executed the dilution operation over the next few days, carefully planting the “fading fairy magic” idea along the way. The day that the water was clear again, I told Emma that the magic must be gone and we should dump the water. She agreed, and silly me thought she was actually listening when I was speaking. No sooner had I dumped the water, than she began screaming about it being gone forever. I managed to get her calmed down eventually, I’m still not sure who was more scarred over that incident.
The next tooth that was lost was a couple of months later. I deliberately didn’t mention the water, hoping that perhaps she would have forgotten my failed attempt at whimsical fairy magic. No such luck, she talked dad into the cup of water, and I was once more colouring water in the dark. This time though, Emma had all her bases covered. The next day she calmly walked into the kitchen with her cup of coloured fairy water, rooted around for a minute, and came out to show me her ingenious preservation idea. A sandwich bag filled with mega stain-causing coloured water, which she informed me she would be carrying around with her forever and sleeping with from now on. I pointed out that a sandwich bag was hardly indestructible, and that it would likely leak soon. She countered by suggesting we keep it in the freezer.
I have several bags of frozen fairy water in my freezer THAT SHE CHECKS just in case one goes missing.
I have been out-smarted by a child who thinks 4 quarters is a WAY better haul than 1 toonie from the tooth fairy.