Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summer Is Here: Here's Some Timely Tips To Beat This Week's Heat

Enjoy the summer folks.  Beat the heat and stay the night in a cool air conditioned room at the Motel. 

Mariner Motel Woodstock ON
T: 519 537 5332

Summer has finally arrived! While a welcome relief to some after the long winter and soggy spring, the five-day forecast for soaring temperatures and high humidity poses potential health risks, especially to the elderly.
When air temperatures rise, older adults are at risk because aging reduces the body's ability to cool off. Normal aging reduces the effectiveness of the body's defense mechanisms by raising the temperature threshold for sweating, thirst and heat-related discomfort. This situation can result in the occurrence of heat illness.
According to David Pelini, M.D., chairman of the Fairview Health System's Department of Emergency Medicine and Richard Treat, M.D., director of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Fairview Health System, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a threat to older people when they are exposed to excessive heat. "Heat stroke is specially dangerous and can even be life-threatening," they caution.
Last summer in Chicago alone, 733 people died of heat-related causes such as heat stroke and heart attack. Three-quarters of the victims were over age 65. "Heat-related deaths are especially tragic because they can nearly always be prevented. But excessive heat can impair judgment and cause confusion, so precautions must be taken before you get too hot," they say.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illness. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, combativeness, strong rapid pulse, dry skin or lack of sweating and possible delirium or coma. "Individuals experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention at a hospital emergency department," recommends Pelini. Onset can be rapid, with progression to a life-threatening state within minutes.
Heat exhaustion is a less severs form of heat injury and occurs when the body is too hot. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue and fainting. The skin usually feels cold and clammy to the touch. To help avoid heat-related illness and survive the heat this summer, Pelini offers these tips:
  • Drink plenty of liquids, even if you're not thirsty.
  • Dress in light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid midday heat and do not engage in vigorous activity during the hottest part of the day, between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Wear a hat or umbrella to block the sun's rays.
  • Eat light. Avoid hot, heavy meals and opt for foods high in water content: fruits, salads and soups.
  • Use air conditioning. If the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, fans alone usually cannot protect against heat-related illness. If you don't have a unit at home, you can benefit by spending time at the movies, library or in any air-conditioned building.
  • Take baths and showers. Because water conducts heat away from the body, bathing in tepid water is a good cooling technique.
Although older individuals need to be careful in hot weather, they can still enjoy a happy and healthy summer by taking a few extra safety precautions, according to Drs. Pelini and Treat.

Mariner Motel Woodstock ON
T: 519 537 5332

Friday, 27 May 2011

Planning trip to Canada!

Canada Travel and Vacation Planner

Planning a trip to Canada may seem daunting given the country’s expanse and diversity. Whether you’re going salmon fishing or wine tasting, a little research will ensure you get what you want out of your visit to Canada. Find out how to prepare for your trip and what places to visit by checking out these resources.
Planning a trip to Canada and the wonderful province of Ontario these tips and links below will help you out.  Come check us out in the friendly city of Woodstock Ontario Canada.  We are the only city that crosses the 401 and 403.  The city has great sites and attractions to keep you busy.  www.marinermotel.ca
T: 519 537 5332

Where is Fogo Island, Newfoundland

Fogo Island - Fogo Island, Newfoundland

Canadian Beers are plentiful and range in price and taste.

Canadian Beers - Learn about Popular Canadian Beers

Weather in Canada

Most Popular Cities | Before You Go to Canada | Weather in Canada varies widely depending on where you are. After all, Canada is a huge country, stretching from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean and covering five time zones, with Canada's most southern tip lining up with northern California and the northern-most regions reaching the...

Find the Dates of Public Holidays Canada 2010 to 2015

Public Holidays Canada 2010 to 2015 - Dates of Public Holidays Canada 2010 to 2015

Stat Holidays Canada 2011

Stat Holidays Canada 2011 - Find the Dates for Stat Holidays in 2011

BC Holidays 2011

BC Holidays 2011 - Dates for BC Holidays 2011

Things To Do Before You Travel to Canada

Before you travel to Canada, do some planning. Your efforts will pay off. Canada is a big place and some of the most common travel mishaps, like planning to do too much and misjudging distances between Canadian cities, can be avoided by a little travel planning.

Tipping in Canada

Tipping in Canada - Guide for Tipping in Canada

25 Great Things To See and Do in Canada

25 Great Things To See and Do in Canada - Find 25 Great Things To See and Do in Canada

Transit Visa Canada - Learn about Transit Visa Canada

Transit Visa Canada - Learn about Transit Visa Canada

Visa for Canada - Who Needs a Visa for Canada

Visa for Canada - Who Needs a Visa for Canada

Best Canada Sights and Attractions - The Best Canada Sights a…

This list of the best Canada sights and attractions represents a combination of the most visited Canada attractions (pure numbers) as well as those attractions that are particularly unique and contribute to Canada's national identity (more subjective and open to debate).

NEXUS Card - What is a NEXUS Card?

NEXUS Card - What is a NEXUS Card? An explanation of the NEXUS card that is used for cross-border travel.

Do Children Need a Passport? Passport Requirements at the U.S. / Canada Border

Do Children Need a Passport? Passport Requirements at the U.S. / Canada Border

Canada Travel Documents and Passport Substitutes

What ID and travel documents are valid for travel to Canada.

Passport Requirements for U.S. Citizens Driving to Canada

Passport Requirements for U.S. Citizens Driving to Canada or arriving by water

Passport Requirements Flying into Canada

Passport Requirements Flying into Canada.

Save Money when You Visit Canada - How to Save Money when You Visit Canada

Save Money when You Visit Canada - How to Save Money when You Visit Canada, Budget Canada

Canada's Provinces and Territories - Learn Canada's Provinces

Canada - the world's second largest country, next to Russia - has 10 provinces and three territories. Each has its own unique draw for visitors.

Labour Day - Labour Day Weekend Canada

Labour Day is a public (or, statutory) holiday celebrated across Canada on the first Monday of September.

Distances between Major Canadian Cities - Driving Distances in Canada

Find the distances in miles and kilometers between major Canadian cities.

Canadian Currency: Twoonies, Loonies and Nickels, Oh My!

Overview of Canadian currency, including exchange rates, banking information, purchases, advice on tipping and some typical Canadian prices.

US Embassy and Consulates in Canada: Contact Information

Contact information for the US Embassy in Ottawa and US Conulates across Canada.

Maps of Canadian Provinces and Territories

Maps of Canadian provinces and territories, including the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador.

Reasons to Visit Canada

Top 10 reasons to visit Canada, Top reasons to choose Canada as tourist destination.

Carry-on Permitted on Flights in Canada - Carry-on Allowances for Canada

Carry-on allowances and restrictions for flights in Canada.

Canada Top 10s

A compilation of top 10 lists from the About.com Guide to Canada Travel.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Canada

The expanse of Canada's natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes and forests, is almost unparalleled worldwide. But Canada's allure is not just the great outdoors, Canada has cosmopolitan cities that are clean, safe, friendly and multicultural. In fact, Canada repeatedly is lauded as one of the world's most livable...

Flying into the Buffalo Airport to Visit Canada

Buffalo is less than an hour from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which makes it an option for air travel when visiting Canada. Especially with the new air travel passport regulations, flying into Buffalo and crossing the Canada border by car may be a good choice for visitors.

Airlines Serving the Buffalo Niagara International Airport - Contact Information

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is less than 30 mins from the US / Canada border and Niagara Falls and less than two hours from Toronto, making it a good option for air travel when visiting Canada. Plus, with the new air travel passport regulations, visitors flying into Buffalo and crossing the Canada border by car don't necessarily need a passport.

Events & Activities in Canada in Winter - Ten Ways to Enjoy Winter

Don't let the Canadian winter scare you. Yes, temperatures can be sub-zero, and yes, there is snow - sometimes lots and lots - but that's half the fun.

Olympic View Golf & Country Club, Victoria, BC

One of British Columbia's best-value golf clubs.

Canadian Icons

These Canadian icons do not necessarily hold "official" status but are the things most commonly associated with Canada.

Beaches in Canada

Beaches in Canada may not be the first thing you think of when you think of this northern country. But, Canada has many

Symbols of Canada

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Find Blogs about Canada

Blogs about Canada - Find Blogs about Canada See submissions

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Packing For A Trip!!!

Packing For A Trip

Mariner Motel Woodstock Ontario
T: 519 537 5332

Here are my own personal opinions about what to take on a trip. After I wrote this, I found some other good sites:

The number-one rule in packing for a trip, unless you have hired several football players to carry your gear for you, is to pack lightly. You will be moving your luggage into the trunk of your car, out of the trunk of your car, through the airport, off of the luggage carousel, to the train station, to the bus stop, onto the bus, off the bus, back two kilometers because you overshot your stop, up six flights of stairs, and onto the dresser.
While this might be great exercise, you might rather save your energy for climbing up to the top of the cathedral. Leave the bowling ball at home.


Here are things that it is difficult to imagine not packing:


Contact lens equipment and spare glasses
    You might also wish to consider extended-wear contact lenses, especially if you are going to be going somewhere with poor water supplies (e.g. camping).
Makeup (for business trips)
Hair care equipment (brushes, comb, blow dryer)
    You might wish to consider growing a beard, letting your leg hair grow out, and/or getting a crewcut (yes, women too!) if you are going on a long, low-budget trip.
    These might be unavailable or difficult to obtain where you are going, especially in Catholic countries.
Business/calling cards
    If you are traveling on business, the utility of business cards should be obvious. Small cards with your name and address can be very handy for tourists as well, to give to the people you make friends with along the way.
If you are doing a low-budget trip, you should also bring cleansing products:
    Soap (in a plastic bag) Shampoo (or shave your head and use bar soap) Towel
If you will be looking at ceilings (like on a castle or church crawl), bring a small mirror so that you won't strain your neck.


My rule of thumb is to take enough underwear for one week, or for the length of the trip plus two days, whichever is shorter.
If you are traveling on business, you can probably take two suits and rotate between them. Try to take different colors of shirts/blouses; mixing and matching might fool people into thinking you brought more clothes than you did.
If you are going on an extended trip, pick one color and stick with it. If you are part of Generation X, rejoice, as black travels very well. You can get horse slobber all over your black jeans, and as long as nobody stands too close, you'll look fine.
Plan on inclement weather. It will happen, and everybody there will say, "Oh, it almost never rains/snows/hails/blows/floods like this! This is very unusual weather." In particular, be prepared for it being colder than you expect. A polypropelene shirt is a wonderful thing to take traveling with you: it is light, very warm (even when wet), and dries quickly. Packing a Gore-Tex shell is another good way to save a vacation; Gore-Tex rain pants wouldn't hurt.
(Californians and other desert denizens, take note: what will dry out overnight in California might take two days to dry out in wetter climes!)
I also recommend bringing a pair of flip-flops (also called thongs or shower slippers). Not only can they come between you and the strange things that are growing in the bathroom of the scummy dive you ended up in, but if your shoes get wet, this gives you something that you can wear while they dry.


Day pack
    If you are doing any sort of sight-seeing, take some sort of small backpack or fanny pack. You will want to carry maps and perhaps phrase books, guidebooks, water bottles, sunglasses, and so on.
Neck wallet or money belt
    This is especially important on the hostel/train circuit. Keep most of your money hidden away underneath your clothes. If you are as paranoid as I am, you might even want to go to a two- or three-level system: keep passport, airline tickets, and the bulk of your money in a money belt, about US$50-100 in a neck wallet, and about US$5-10 in your jeans pockets.
Tiny flashlight
    This is optional, but you can get really tiny flashlights, and they can come in very handy.
Tape and magic marker
    This is very useful if you are shipping a bicycle or anything else in a box.
Earplugs, waterbottle (with water!), chewing gum, food
    These can make your plane trip much more enjoyable. Aside from being noisy and prone to pressure changes, airplane cabins are very dry, and you will tend to dehydrate if left in one long enough. The gum helps with depressurization, and airline food is, well, about as good as airline food.
Phone Numbers
    Imagine that you got rerouted to Omaha, Nebraska because of the weather, and then got all the runways were iced over. You really want to have the number of Aunt Martha, who lives in Omaha. You won't care that you haven't seen Aunt Martha for seventeen years - anyplace with a bed is better than the airport floor.
    Even if you are inside the country, it is a good idea to take your passport with you. It is light and you never know when your company is going to want to send you to China, the Feds (or Mafia) are going to catch up with you, you're going to fall in love with a sexy Italian, or your rich great-uncle in Ghana is going to die. At a trade show in Dallas, I bumped into some former colleagues who asked if I'd like a quick contract that would involve leaving for Paris the next day. Had I had my passport with me, I would have gone. Passports can also act as identification if your wallet gets lost or stolen.
Watch with alarm
    A cheap digital watch with an alarm is small, light, and very useful.

Outside Your Country

Phone beeper
    If you have an answering machine or voicemail to check while abroad, you will probably need a small electrical device to generate the appropriate phone tones for your country. (In the US, you can get these devices cheaply at Radio Shack.)
Electrical transformers/plug adaptors
    Most places in the world have different plugs and different power supplies. If you want to use your computer/modem/electric razor/alarm clock abroad, you will need to get equipment to translate from "your power" to "their power".


Hex wrench
You can get sets of wrenches that all fold together.
Spoke wrench, tire irons
Unless you are certain that your wheel will never become untrue and your tires never puncture, take along these small tools.
Crescent wrench
(Only needed if your pedals can't be removed with a hex wrench.)
Patch kit
These come in little boxes and take very little room. You might also want to give serious consideration to Kevlar tires. They are heavier, but much much much less prone to flats.

Leave It Behind!

Do not pack camp fuel or even an empty fuel container. In some countries, the airlines get upset about even the SMELL of fuel. (I am not joking. See my New Zealand Trip Report for a discussion of all the hassles we went through.) If you plan on camping, bring a stove that does not have an integrated fuel canister and leave the fuel at home.
It is a very good idea to avoid controlled substances. You probably do not want an extended vacation in another country's jail system, even if room and board is free.
If you are traveling internationally, be very hesitant to take anything for anyone else, especially if you do not know them well. At best, the airlines will ask you lots of questions about what you are taking. At worst, the airplane will explode and you will die. (The Lockerbie crash, if I recall correctly, was caused by an explosive device carried on by a passenger for her fiancee. Nice guy.)

Mariner Motel Woodstock Ontario
T: 519 537 5332

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Top 10 superfoods: Goji berries, cinnamon, turmeric and more

Top 10 superfoods: Goji berries, cinnamon, turmeric and more

We give you the real goods on 10 superfoods and how they'll help you fight disease.
By Lauren Vinent
We're often fed news about superfoods and superherbs -- and it's tempting to want to believe everything we're told. Some superfood claims are backed by scientific studies, while other enticing claims turn certain foods into fads, though the foods have few proven benefits. We looked at the studies of 10 pantry picks and give you the real goods about their disease-fighting powers.

1. Rhubarb
Rhubarb is frequently regarded as a fruit (based on how we eat it), but botanically it is a vegetable belonging to the same family as sorrel and buckwheat. Championed for its phytochemical lindleyin, this nutritional all-star makes the cut for its potential role in relieving hot flashes in perimenopausal women. How the plant cools hot flashes is not exactly clear. Researchers have identified an extract in the root that may have estrogen-like properties. Need another reason to eat rhubarb? The plant is rich in potassium, vitamin C and dietary fibre.
Dietary uses: Canadian-grown rhubarb is available from February to July in most grocery stores but is most flavourful in the spring. Rhubarb is commonly eaten cooked in jams or spreads; baked in pies, cakes and muffins; and used in sorbet, ice cream and punch. Further studies are needed to determine the safety of medicinal amounts of the extract -- in concentrated pill form it may cause stomach cramps and mineral and electrolyte imbalances. Rhubarb root should not be consumed by children, or women who are pregnant or lactating.

2. Pumpkin seeds
This versatile seed, also known as pepitas, has long been treasured by American aboriginal peoples for its dietary and medicinal properties. Now these seeds are receiving the superfood attention they deserve. Of all the nuts and seeds typically consumed as snacks, pumpkin seeds are among the leaders of phytosterols -- a naturally occurring compound with an established reputation for cholesterol-lowering properties. Phytosterols are also being studied for their potential role in prostate health. Each 1/4 cup (50 millilitre) serving of the seed provides a healthy dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is a good source of minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron, making it one of the most nutritious and flavourful seeds around.
Dietary uses: Pumpkin seeds are available year-round from grocery stores but are freshest in the fall when pumpkins are in season. They make a good snack, either on their own or mixed with walnuts, almonds, peanuts and dried fruit. High in fibre, they lend crunch and nutty flavour to salads, vegetables, pasta dishes, sauces and casseroles. But watch your portion size; one cup (250 milliltres) packs 750 calories.

3. Goji berries
Hailed as the newest superfood, goji, a Himalayan berry, has inspired a surge of interest for its use in treating diabetes, hypertension, malaria, fever, cancer and other ailments. Gram for gram, goji berries pack more vitamin C than some oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots. Unfortunately, though, there isn't enough evidence yet to confirm the health claims, since we only have testimonials and animal studies to go by. And goji berries and goji juice are costly.
Dietary uses: Goji berries are similar in taste to raisins but more tart. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are a tasty addition to tea, soup and hot cereal.

4. Cinnamon
Valued in ancient times as currency and once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon -- one of the world's oldest known spices -- has made the pilgrimage from spice rack to science lab. Preliminary studies are investigating its role in lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, most likely due to the insulin-like effects of its polyphenols (natural substances found in plants). It's still too early to know if cinnamon can help curb blood sugars, but with studies suggesting its effects can be seen with a daily dose of just half a teaspoon (two millilitres), it's worth keeping this spice in mind when reaching into the spice cabinet.
Dietary uses: Cinnamon (the inner bark of the tropical cinnamon tree) comes in the form of sticks and powder. Sprinkle it on toast, add it to oatmeal or use it on desserts. Make cinnamon tea by pouring one to two cups (250 to 500 millilitres) of boiling water over one- to 1-1/2-inch sticks; steep for 10 minutes. Caution: Ingesting four tablespoons (60 mL) of cinnamon oil has been linked to serious side-effects.

5. Quinoa
Regarded as a sacred food by the Incas, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This supergrain seed contains more protein than most cereal grains (22 grams per one cup/250 millilitres uncooked quinoa) and is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need for tissue development.
Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn. This gluten-free grain also receives an honourable mention for being low in saturated fat (one gram of fat per one cup/250 millilitres uncooked quinoa).
Dietary uses: Quinoa can be substituted for most hot cereals and is a good replacement for rice. Cook it like porridge, include it in casseroles or stews, or add it (steamed, toasted or baked) to soups, salads or desserts. You can also use ground quinoa in breads, cookies, puddings, muffins and pasta. It's available in most grocery and health food stores.

6. PsylliumTraditionally, psyllium is renowned as a laxative, since it absorbs water and swells as it moves through the digestive tract. But this all-star soluble fibre has many health benefits: lowering LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, helping control diabetes (it reduces the post-meal rise in blood sugar) and aiding in controlling appetite and weight (it makes you feel full longer). Since psyllium is a concentrated source of soluble fibre (with eight times more soluble fibre than oat bran), it's easy to eat enough of it during the day to enjoy its potential health benefits.
Dietary uses: Just 1/3 cup (75 millilitres) of Bran Buds with Psyllium, available at most grocery stores, provides 12 grams of fibre (almost half of our daily fibre needs). Caution: Incorporate psyllium and other high-fibre foods into your diet slowly to avoid abdominal pain and bloating, and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

7. Shallots
This vegetable deserves an award thanks to its active ingredient: fructo-oligosaccharides, a prebiotic that some researchers have chosen as the hottest in food and nutrition research. Prebiotics take centre stage for their potential to promote gut health by encouraging the growth and function of "good bacteria" that live in our digestive tract.
Emerging research is also revealing an important supporting role for flavonoids, antioxidants that are abundant in shallots. Preliminary research is investigating flavonoids for their preventive role in cancer and heart disease, but further research is still needed to support these potential benefits.
Dietary uses: Shallots are more subtle in flavour than their cousins, the onion and garlic, and they do not cause bad breath. Eat them raw or cooked till tender. Add shallots to soups, stews, spreads and stir-fries.

8. Milk thistle
Best known as a liver tonic, the power ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which may have protective effects on the liver, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Differences in research design -- variations in the type and extent of liver disease, and dose and duration of milk-thistle therapy -- make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions on the effectiveness of this herb.
Dietary uses: Milk thistle is available at drugstores and health food stores; take as directed.

9. Turmeric
Curcumin -- the active ingredient of the Indian curry spice turmeric -- may ease aches and inflammation. In Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India), this herb has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis and other ailments. Some research suggests that turmeric may help relieve some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis; however, the evidence to date, while encouraging, is still far from conclusive.
Dietary uses: Turmeric is sometimes substituted for saffron. Use in Indian curries or dishes such as chicken tangine and chicken tandoori.

10. Borage oil
Borage oil, which is produced from the borage seed, has made the nutritional spotlight for its high content of gamma-linolenic acid -- an omega-6 essential fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. Evidence suggests that specialty formulas that contain borage oil may reduce inflammation of the lung in critically ill, hospitalized patients with respiratory distress.
Dietary uses: Borage oil is a component of Oxepa -- a specialty formula used in the critical-care unit to reduce lung inflammation. In concentrated (oil) form, borage can cause liver toxicity; pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid using borage oil. The medicinal plant can be eaten raw or cooked. Use fresh borage leaves to add flavour to cream cheese and vinaigrettes.
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Monday, 16 May 2011

Why a good night’s sleep & sunshine can change your attitude

Why a good night sleep matters?  It matters so much to us at the Mariner Motel in Woodstock Ontario.  We want to make sure you have a peaceful sleep every night you stay with us.  Relax, kick back, watch some TV and enjoy the great outdoors.  http://www.marinermotel.ca/   Thanks to all your customers over the years.  25 years service under one management.  We pride ourselves with good service and building sound relationships with our clients.  Thanks

Read great article below:

People who know me well know that I struggle to get a full night’s sleep frequently. They also know that I crave sunshine. Neither were working for me yesterday.

Yesterday in Wisconsin looked like November when snow is a  little more appreciated. Snow was falling to the extent that at one point from my office perch on top of my hill, I couldn’t see much. It was a full whiteout.
I’m a see forever, positive attitude  kind of person. I find that my sense of vision gets really clouded (much like my view from my windows) when we have days of clouds or unseasonal weather.

I am not good at sleeping either and when I caught a retweet of this New York Times article: How Little Sleep Can You Get Away With? I had to go read it. I didn’t like the conclusions either:
Not every sleeper is the same, of course: Dinges has found that some people who need eight hours will immediately feel the wallop of one four-hour night, while other eight-hour sleepers can handle several four-hour nights before their performance deteriorates. (But deteriorate it will.) There is a small portion of the population — he estimates it at around 5 percent or even less — who, for what researchers think may be genetic reasons, can maintain their performance with five or fewer hours of sleep. (There is also a small percentage who require 9 or 10 hours.)
Last night though, I succeeded! I slept through the night from 9:30pm to 6:50am. YAY! and better yet, I woke up to sunshine streaming in my windows.
 don’t know about you, but I can tackle anything with the combination of a good night’s sleep and sunshine the next day. As someone reminded me on Facebook, it is still only 28F (-2C for my European and Canadian readers) here and spring has been very slow coming here in Wisconsin. We had a brief great warm Sunday last week with a high of 75F but it was followed by tornadoes in the early evening that caused severe damage only 20 miles north of here.

Like many of you, I am ready for storm-free, sunny weather time so I can move forward on my goals. (and more good nights sleep!)

Mariner Motel
Woodstock, ON
T: 519-537-5332

Friday, 13 May 2011

How to Run a Small Motel

We have been in business for 25 yrs running a small motel and it was a great business to run.  It not only allowed us to spend more time with our family, but it taught our children great values as well.  It is a family run business and everyone in the household particiapted in the day to day operations of the business.  Great article to read below about running a small motel business.

Mariner Motel,
Woodstock ON
T: 519-537-5332

Running a small motel can be a good option for those looking for a business in which the whole family can participate. There are enough jobs at a motel for everyone to be involved, and you must use forethought when hiring. You must also have a decent understanding of financing. There are a number of issues to consider while you learn how to run a small motel, which are explored in this article.

By : Linda Ray

  • Bring the talents and skills you've accumulated from other endeavors to the motel business. Skills that transfer well to the motel industry include bookkeeping, customer service, sales and maintenance. Update the skills you lack with training and online courses in computers, advertising and accounting.

  • Purchase a software program that allows you to track your business easily. All transactions, from payroll to laundry services, guest registers and receivables should be available through one desktop application. Go online to Motel-Reservation (see Resources) for access to a variety of motel programs that can make your operations easy to manage.

  • Keep the outside grounds as clean and litter-free as you do the rooms, especially if you rely on drive-by traffic and tourism. Invest in landscaping and parking that create an inviting environment.

  • Invest in a talented Web creator who can keep your Web site updated and devise ways to direct traffic to the site. Utilize tour videos to show guests the inside of the rooms, the pool area and any other amenities that may boost reservations.

  • Partner with other attractions in your area, such as ski resorts, golf courses, shopping malls or whitewater rafting expeditions. Offer deals to the businesses that they can then pass on to their own customers. You'll build a steady stream of clients while serving and supporting other community businesses.

  • Join an industry association such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association to stay abreast of new ideas and changes in the industry that could affect your business. Use the seminars, conferences and meetings to build partnerships with other motel and hotel owners and to find opportunities for training that can help you succeed.

  • Read more: How to Run a Small Motel | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4841088_run-small-motel.html#ixzz1MGI413Sq
    Mariner Motel,
    Woodstock ON
    T: 519-537-5332

    Wednesday, 11 May 2011

    Summer Garden Tips!

    Mariner Motel
    Woodstock, ON
    T: 519 537 5332

    ** The Mariner Motel in lovely Woodstock Ontario Canada is proud to bring you latest tips for your home, garden, travel, etc.  Enjoy the reads and follow us on twitter and facebook as well.  Thanks

    Summer Gardening Tips

    by Michael J. McGroarty

    You are welcome to use this article on your website or in your newsletter as long as you reprint it as is, including the contact information at the end.  You must include an active link back to the author's website, as well as an active link back to http://gardening-articles.com

    Summer gardening tips . . .
    Don't be afraid to trim those flowering shrubs and trees that need it. Failure to prune is probably the biggest gardening mistake a person can make. I spent 20 years landscaping homes and businesses, and I watched people make the investment in my services, then they failed to prune when the plants needed it, and before you know it their landscape looks terrible. 
    If you make a mistake pruning, don't worry about it. It's like a bad haircut, it will grow out. Of course use common sense and read the previous articles that I've written on pruning. 

    Summer gardening tips . . .
    Along with summer time comes high humidity. High humidity can cause a lot of problems with the plants in your garden and around your house. One of the simple things you can do is don't water just before dark. Make sure your plants are nice and dry when you tuck them in for the night and you can cut down of the chance fungus being a problem. 
    One of the more common fungi that I get asked about a lot is powdery mildew. This appears as a white film on the leaves of ornamental plants. Dogwoods and Purple Sandcherry are often the victim of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew isn't extremely harmful to the plants, it's just that the foliage is damaged, and little growing takes place once it sets in. Your local garden center will have a general fungicide you can spray if you'd like to try and control it. Usually once the plant defoliates in the fall the plant is back to normal. 

    Summer gardening tips . . .
    If you have Perennial Rye Grass in your lawn, and you probably do if you're in the north, you must be careful not to leave your grass wet at night. There is a fungus known as Pythium Blight that appears in very humid conditions. This fungus attacks and kills perennial rye grasses. Here in the north most of our lawns are a blend of fescues, perennial ryes, and Kentucky Blue Grass. 
    If you have problems with pythium blight you will lose the perennial rye grass in large areas of your lawn, and even though the other grasses will still be there and fill in, your lawn will have areas that are much darker green than the rest of the lawn because you will then have concentrations of Kentucky Blue grass. 
    You can see this fungus in the early morning. It looks like white cotton candy laying on top of your lawn. It usually appears along walks and driveways where the soil is the wet if you have been watering.  To prevent pythium blight, water as early in the day as possible.

    Summer gardening tips . . .
    Another nasty little blight that likes summer time is Fire Blight. Fire Blight attacks ornamentals, especially Apple trees, Crabapple trees, Cotoneasters, and Pyracantha. You know you have Fire Blight when a branch on one of your plants dies and turns almost red. The leaves usually hang on but turn reddish brown. The damage usually starts out near the end of the branch and works its way toward the main stem of the plant. There is little you can do except prune out the affected branch, cutting it as far back as possible. 
    Fire Blight is very contagious to plants so you should burn the branches you prune out. You should also dip or wash your pruning shears in rubbing alcohol after each cut to keep from spreading this deadly fungus.

    Summer gardening tips . . .
    Unfortunately, I've got one more summer time culprit to warn you about. It's a handy little fungus that grows in mulch. Actually there are all kinds of fungi that tend to grow in mulches, and most of them are really disgusting looking. But this little gem is unique in the fact that as it grows it tends to swell. Then somehow it manages to explode, and it will spatter your house with tiny brown specks. The experts have appropriately named this one “Shotgun Fungus”. Isn't that a cute name? 
    These tiny little brown specks will fly as high as eight feet into the air, and once they stick to your house or windows, they stick like glue. I know that right now there are people hollering across the house at their spouse, “Hey, remember those brown specks all over the house? I know what they are. It's from the mulch!” Tell me I'm wrong, but I know I'm not. 

    A lot of people are victims of this nasty little fungus, but they don't know it. All they know is that there are tiny brown specks on the house that look like paint. So far they have blamed everything from spiders to aliens. 

    There's not a lot you can do to prevent this fungus. I have found that if you keep the mulch loose so air can circulate it is less likely to grow fungi. Don't just keep adding layer after layer to the mulch around your house. You should skip at least every other year and just loosen the mulch you already have down. If you loosen it and then rake it flat it will look like you've just mulched.  Mulch is great, just don't let it get packed down hard.  Loosen it up at least once a year.

    Monday, 9 May 2011

    How to Choose a Motel

    Mariner Motel
    Woodstock, ON
    T: 519 537 5332


    Your motel choice can make or break your trip. If you choose well, you’ll have a clean, affordable place to stay. Unfortunately, some motel customers discover that their room isn’t clean or that its walls are paper-thin. When you’re faced with a list of choices and you’re traveling on a budget, how can you choose the right motel?
    Typically, people who stay in motels fall into one of several categories: budget-conscious travelers, sightseers, families, businesspeople and travelers in transit. Motel chains, always aware that travelers have a choice, are increasingly offering more amenities at competitive prices. These extras, ranging from wireless Internet access to loaner books to exercise rooms, are designed to appeal to all types of travelers. Your job is to decide what features are important to you and to base your motel choice on them.
    Let’s take a look at factors that might affect your decision.


    Motel prices vary drastically from place to place. In New York City, $200 doesn’t go very far. In some areas of the U.S., however, $200 will buy you an extremely comfortable room at the best place in town. Researching lodging costs for a particular area will help you decide how much to spend on your motel room.
    Many travel websites, such as Kayak and Travelzoo, can help you compare motel prices and shop for the best deal. Guidebooks, which often contain useful maps, can help you find the safest part of town or the neighborhood closest to the sights you plan to visit. Use a combination of websites and travel guides to determine which motels fit your budget.

    Motel Chain / Brand Loyalty


    I’ve been lucky enough to have stayed at several excellent motels in the last few years. I tend to book future stays with the chains that please me and avoid staying at chains where I’ve had bad experiences, regardless of cost or amenities. Most of the time, this strategy pays off. If the motel chain in question offers frequent flier miles or some other kind of traveler rewards program, that’s even better.

    Distance to Sights / Destinations

    If you’ve set your heart on spending the day at Washington, D.C.’s monuments and memorials, you’ll be very disappointed with a motel 50 miles from the National Mall. Always consider the distance and travel time to the sights you want to see when you choose a motel. You may pay a little – or even a lot – more to stay near your top five sights, but you won’t have to worry about getting to your must-see spots on time or fret over where to park your car.


    In large cities, safety considerations are extremely important. Never skimp on accommodations if doing so puts your safety at risk. If you aren’t sure where the safe areas are, get some guidebooks and read about your destination. Don’t trust online advertisements; ask friends who’ve traveled to your destination, read independent reviews or talk with a travel agent before booking your room.

    Motel Features

    Most travelers have “make or break” lodging requirements. For me, a nonsmoking room is a must-have. Make a list of motel room features that are important to you. If you can’t get information on motel features from guidebooks or websites, call the motel you’re considering and ask the front desk staff to describe their property.
    Motels offer a variety of amenities, including:
    • Parking
    • Is parking free? Can you see the parking lot from your room, or do you park underground?
    • Accessible Rooms
    If you use a wheelchair, does the motel offer rooms that meet your needs? (Tip: Call each motel to learn about doorway widths, bathroom sizes and other important factors; each motel chain’s definition of “accessible” is different.)
    • Swimming Pool
    • If you’re traveling with grandchildren or enjoy relaxing by the pool, consider a motel with an indoor or outdoor pool. Splashing around or swimming a few laps can be a great way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
    • Pets
    • If you’re traveling with your beloved dog, ask if pets are allowed. Websites such as PetsWelcome and DogFriendly can help you find motels that accept pets.
    • Bed / Room Selection
    • If you prefer nonsmoking rooms or if you need a room with twin beds, you’ll need to ask about specific room availability. Some amenities, such as rollaway beds or infant cribs, may be available on a “request only” basis. Be sure you understand the motel’s policies before you book your room.
    • Wireless Internet
    • Increasingly, travelers look for Internet access when they’re on the road. If you need wireless access to stay in touch with your family or communicate with your office, don’t forget to ask about Internet access. You may want to discuss this topic directly with the motel's staff.
    • Late Arrival
    • Many motels offer a late check-in option if you guarantee your reservation with a credit card. Of course, if you don’t show up, the motel will bill you anyway. Late check-in is especially helpful if you’re traveling a long distance or in bad weather to get to your motel. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your room will be held all night if necessary.

      Motel Reviews and Recommendations

      There are several ways to find out about motel quality. Both AAA and Mobil Travel Guide publish hotel / motel guidebooks. If you’re an AAA member, you can visit a local office and pick up a TourBook, which is filled with motel and hotel listings. You can purchase Mobil Travel Guides online or at bookstores; some libraries include Mobil Travel Guides in their collections. Online reviews, such as those at TripAdvisor and Hotels.com, can be very helpful when you’re trying to decide which motel to choose. You may find that certain individual reviews are extremely positive or negative. It’s important to consider all reviews when selecting your motel, since some travelers are very particular and others will give any decent room a top rating. Don’t forget to ask family, friends and colleagues for their recommendations.

      The Final Decision

      In the end, it’s up to you to decide which features matter most. If you have questions, call the motel's front desk and discuss your concerns with the manager. Carefully read the motel's cancellation policy before you make your reservation. Thanks for reading!
      Mariner Motel
      Woodstock, ON
      T: 519 537 5332


    Saturday, 7 May 2011

    Tips on savings energy in your home or office!

    Tips on savings Energy for your home and office is important from the staff at the Mariner Motel.  We believe if everyone does a small part the environment will benefit for years to come.  Our motel practices the tips below to save energy and help the environment.  Please read below. Thanks


    Tips on Saving Energy in Your Home

    Within This Page


    The cost of improving the airtightness of your home through caulking is low compared with the subsequent fuel savings and increased comfort.
    Silicone caulking is ideal for metal, glass, glazed tile and plastic surfaces because it sticks, flexes and does not shrink over time.
    Acrylic latex caulking is a general-purpose sealant that sticks best to porous materials like wood and concrete.
    All-purpose caulking is good for both interior and exterior use, including bathrooms and kitchens.
    Polyurethane caulking performs well on both porous and non-porous surfaces, is flexible, paintable, long-lasting and hard as nails.
    A heat-resistant caulking should be used around sources of heat, such as chimneys, light fixtures and fan motors.
    It is wise not to caulk in an area where the temperature is below 5°C (40°F), as the compound will become stiff and difficult to work.
    Caulking should be used for its intended purpose only. For example, an exterior sealant can be a health hazard if used indoors.
    To make sure caulking sticks well, clean the surface area thoroughly first and allow it to dry before you caulk.
    When improving your home's airtightness, take into account the effect on ventilation.


    The wattage rating tells how much electricity a bulb uses, not how bright it is. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are a bright idea. They use less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
    ENERGY STAR® labelled compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent  less energy than incandescent bulbs.
    One 100-watt incandescent bulb produces the same amount of light as two 60-watt bulbs and uses less energy.
    Cleaning light fixtures regularly removes dust buildup and allows for maximum light output.
    Standard incandescent bulbs use only 5 to 8 percent of their energy to produce light. The rest is dissipated as heat.
    Lamps placed where their light can reflect off at least two walls, such as in a corner, provide the most light for your money.
    Many devices can help save energy on lighting. Look for automatic timers, motion sensors and dimmers.
    Linear fluorescent tubes are suitable for your kitchen, bathroom and utility area, and come in all sorts of styles and lengths.
    Fluorescent lighting fixtures should be metallic, grounded and shielded to prevent electromagnetic interference with other household equipment.
    A halogen lamp is like an incandescent lamp with a special reflector to improve light focus.
    Outdoor halogen lighting is great for gardens and pathways, and it uses much less energy than standard incandescent lights.
    Halogen lighting has light output that is similar to a regular incandescent bulb but uses up to 40 percent less energy.



    Installing a water-saver flush kit in your toilet can save you thousands of litres of water per year.
    Replacing large-volume toilets with 6-litre-per-flush models saves at least 70 percent of the water used.


    An energy-efficient shower head or flow controller conserves energy without affecting water pressure.
    A low-flow shower head saves as much as 60 percent of the water used by a conventional fixture.
    Dripping taps can waste 9000 litres of hot water each year. Replace leaky washers and save the hot water for when you really need it!

    Ceiling Fans

    A ceiling fan equipped with a large range of speeds provides the greatest number of options for comfort and noise control.


    Trees and shrubs in your yard sheild your home from road noise and prevailing winds.
    Deciduous trees lower your energy bill all year, providing shade in summer and sunshine in winter.
    A trellis draped with vines or climbing perennials cools ground-floor windows facing west.
    Low-growing evergreen shrubs planted beside basement walls help keep warmth in and winter winds out.
    Flower gardens with tall plants help retain moisture in the ground. With larger gardens you spend less energy on watering and mowing your lawn.
    Awnings installed on upper-floor windows help control heat gain in the summer.
    Consider a low-maintenance landscape – one that requires little more water than nature provides. Often called xeriscaping, the principles of a low-maintenance landscape are as follows:
    • a reduced amount of lawn
    • proper plan selection that makes use of native grasses, shrubs and trees
    • the use of rain barrels/roof drainage
    • mulching to reduce evaporative losses around shrubs and trees
    • a proper irrigation system
    • planned maintenance


    Weatherstripping prevents air from leaking through gaps around doors and the moving parts of an operable window.
    Weatherstripping should be easy to replace. To be effective, it must close gaps completely.
    Weatherstripping should be flexible and spring back to its original shape. It should allow you to open and close windows and doors easily.
    Weatherstripping can be applied to the tops and sides of any door frame.
    V-shaped weatherstripping creates an excellent seal by making contact with the edge of the door. It maintains a good seal even if the door warps.
    At the bottom of the door, apply weatherstripping to either the sill or the door itself.
    When weatherstripping your door, use a durable material that can withstand traffic but is flexible enough to adapt to changes caused by humidity and temperature.

    Storm Doors

    An easy way to improve ventilation and increase comfort inside your home during the summer is to use storm doors with screens.

    Major Appliances

    You can buy years of energy savings by choosing appliances with the ENERGY STAR® symbol.


    Organizing the food on your refrigerator shelves will allow for ample airflow and efficient operation.
    Your refrigerator accounts for 11 percent of your household's total energy consumption, so buying an energy-efficient model makes good sense.
    Cool hot food before placing it in the refrigerator so that you don't let valuable energy go to waste.
    Today's energy-efficient refrigerators use 50 percent less energy than models made 10 years ago.
    ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators have a more energy-efficient compressor and better insulation than conventional models.

    Clothes Washers

    A water-level control or a small-load basket helps you save water when washing smaller loads.
    Front-loading clothes washers use about 40 percent less water per load and 50 percent less energy than top-loading models.


    A dryer with a sensor that turns the machine off automatically when clothes are dry helps save energy.
    You will get the most out our your clothes dryer if you clean the filter before every load.


    A freezer that is too big for your needs wastes energy and money. A rule of thumb is to allow 130 litres of freezer capacity per person.
    Chest freezers are more energy efficient than upright models. Cold air stays in better when the door is opened.
    Your freezer or refrigerator must work harder when placed next to a heat source such as a radiator, heating vent, washer, dryer or furnace.
    You can test your refrigerator or freezer door seal by closing it on a sheet of paper. Replace the seal if the paper slides out easily.


    Using a dishwasher saves energy. Five minutes of pre-rinsing dishes under the tap can use up to 115 litres of water.
    Today's dishwashers are about 95 percent more energy efficient than those bought in 1972: your old one may be costing you more money than buying a new one.


    Self-cleaning ovens generally have more insulation than regular ovens. This means energy savings every time you cook.
    Turning on the interior light to check your dinner instead of opening the door makes the best use of your oven's energy.

    Appliances – General

    You can buy years of energy savings by choosing appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR® symbol.
    The EnerGuide rating on a major appliance helps you choose the most efficient model for your needs.
    The EnerGuide label lets you estimate the annual cost of electricity to operate the appliance.

    Heat Recovery Ventilators

    Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) improve indoor air quality by expelling stale indoor air continuously and using its heat to pre-heat the incoming fresh air.
    Dirty HRV filters weaken the performance of the system. To clean most filters, simply remove, dust or wash with soap and water, and reinsert.


    A ceiling fan near a gas fireplace will push valuable hot air down into the whole living area.
    Air leaks are common at the joint between the chimney and the wall. To seal them, remove the trim (if necessary) and apply heat-resistant caulking.
    A gas fireplace can usually be inserted into an existing wood fireplace. It also can be installed as a completely new hearth.
    Traditional wood fireplaces draw valuable heat out of the house, while new gas fireplaces with sealed units maximize heat use.
    An efficient gas fireplace may lower energy consumption if installed where its heat can reach many parts of the house.
    Accessories such as tightly fitted glass doors and outdoor air intakes help improve fireplace efficiency.
    A carbon monoxide detector should be installed near all fuel-combustion appliances. If your gas fireplace has a continuously burning pilot light, it should be turned off during the summer or when you are away for a long time.


    Lowering the thermostat setting at bedtime and before leaving the house reduces your energy bills without affecting your comfort.
    By installing a programmable thermostat, you can save 2 percent  on your heating bill for every 1°C (2°F) you lower the thermostat.
    Look for a thermostat with the ENERGY STAR® symbol on it.

    Room Air Conditioners

    A room air conditioner works just like a refrigerator; it takes heat from the space that is being cooled and transfers it to another place.
    Setting the thermostat of your room air conditioner at 25°C (77°F) provides the most comfort for the least cost.
    ENERGY STAR® qualified room air conditioners use at least 10 percent less energy than conventional models.
    A room air conditioner filter should be cleaned once a season. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may even damage the unit.
    A poorly performing air conditioner should be serviced without delay. Leaking refrigerant not only reduces the unit's efficiency – it is also emitting greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

    Water Heaters

    Switching to a high-efficiency water heater could save you up to $100 on your energy bill every year.

    Bathroom Exhaust Fans

    Using your bathroom fan gets rid of damp, stale air quickly and improves indoor air quality.
    You can compare the sound level of bathroom fans (measured in sones). Some models, rated at under 1.0 sone, are as quiet as a whisper.
    A bathroom fan with an automatic humidity sensor runs the fan just long enough to remove excess moisture and then turns itself off to save electricity.

    Small Appliances


    You can save up to 50 percent of your cooking energy costs by using a microwave oven instead of a conventional oven.
    Microwave ovens cook food faster than conventional ovens because the energy goes directly into heating the food, not the oven or utensils.
    Food cooks faster when placed at the edge of the rotary tray, as more microwaves can interact with the food there than at the centre.
    Cooking in a microwave oven does not add unwanted heat to your kitchen.

    Electric Kettles

    Kettles heat water more efficiently than a range-top element or a microwave oven. Choose one with an automatic shut-off button and a heat-resistant handle.
    Cleaning your electric kettle regularly with boiling water and vinegar removes mineral deposits inside it that reduce its energy efficiency.

    Toaster Ovens

    A toaster oven uses much less energy than a conventional oven. It is also faster and more convenient for cooking small quantities of food.
    To operate a toaster oven energy efficiently, make sure that air can circulate freely around the appliance.

    Electric Frying Pans

    An electric frying pan requires less electricity than a range top to cook the same quantity of food.



    Gas barbecues save energy during hot weather, when indoor cooking can heat up your home and increase air-conditioning needs.


    Paint that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contains fewer solvents than regular paint, so fewer environmental pollutants are emitted into the air.
    White walls and ceilings reflect significantly more light into a room than do dark surfaces.

    Sump Pumps

    Sump pumps prevent moisture problems by channeling excess water away from your home to a sanitary main or storm water pipe.


    Running a dehumidifier in the basement on muggy summer days reduces condensation on foundation walls and floors.


    Determining the humidity level in your home with a hygrometer can help you decide whether you need to act to prevent moisture damage.

    Foam Gaskets

    Foam gaskets made to fit behind the cover plates of electrical receptacles, switches and lighting fixtures reduce air leakage.

    Photocell Timers

    Photocell timers react to sunlight. They turn outdoor lights off during the day and on at night and help extend bulb life.

    Electric Timers

    Programmable timers with an automatic on-off switch help extend product life and minimize energy use.

    Outdoor Lighting With Motion Sensors

    Outdoor lights with motion sensors operate only when they detect movement, providing home security as well as energy savings.

    Aluminum Tape

    Aluminum tape wrapped around joints in heating and cooling ducts can help reduce costly air leakage.


    When working properly, eavestroughs help guide rain water away from the foundation of your house and prevent moisture problems.

    Roof Vents

    For good cross-ventilation, install attic vents at the eaves and peak of your roof.

    Central Vacuum Systems

    A central vacuum cleaner expels air and fine particles outside the home, contributing to better, healthier air quality inside.
    Allergy sufferers in particular benefit from a central vacuum system. Cleaning is also much quieter with a central vacuum system, as the main power unit is mounted away from the living area.

    Stove Elements

    Choosing the right pot size for a stove element means using energy most efficiently.

    Slow Cooking

    Extending cooking times with a slow cooker not only lets flavours mingle better, but also reduces energy use and chances of scorching.

    Mariner Motel, Woodstock ON
    T: 519-537-5332