If We Were Having Coffee: GUEST POST. Squirrels and New Arrivals

If We Were Having Coffee – Sept.28/2014

Squirrels and New Arrivals

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. It has gotten quite damp here recently so Willow and I have arranged some comfy chairs and sofas under the marquee where we will be warm whilst we sip our cuppa. The addition of some heaters last week has made this little nest quite toasty. I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees (as you can see above ) to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Here in Canada the news has been relatively quiet this week. We have this foreign worker program that is coming under fire. Apparently, some service businesses have been complaining that they cannot fill jobs with Canadian citizens so they have been importing foreign workers to fill the positions as is allowed under a special government program. These workers have been working alongside Canadians and, it seems, the foreign workers are being paid less and are being favored by management for extra hours and such as they are cheaper. In one case, Canadians were laid off and then replaced with foreign workers – which is absolutely forbidden under the program. There has been a big furor about this and some government officials have  been chastised, the program is being severely limited or even removed and the companies that have allowed this are being fined. What do you think about these types of programs? Do you find that immigrant workers are being given jobs that should be filled by nationals? How is the government of your country handling the many immigrants that are fleeing oppressive regimes and/or seeking a better life in a new country?

The above picture is actually from Art, – a fellow humorous blogger – collection of photo shopped images (http://pouringmyartout.wordpress.com/). He has some hilarious images. This photo has a very Canadian winter feel for me. The fluffy attire looks similar: humans wear lined underwear, vests, heavy parkas, insulated boots, toques and sunglasses (for those readers who have not experienced a bright day on a snow covered world, it is blinding).

Although the weather here has been splendiferous this week – the warning is there about what is to come. Waiting for a ride yesterday, I was watching a half a dozen squirrels busy burying nuts in the ground, preparing for a cold winter. I happened to be speaking for a few moments with an immigrant who obviously did not have much experience with our native fauna. We were under the tree canopy as we were speaking and a busy squirrel lost his grip on a nut and as he screamed his dismay, his nut dropped through the branches and landed at the feet of my conversation partner. The poor man jumped and looked nervously upwards as he prepared to run. I quickly explained that it was just a squirrel that had dropped his nut and that that was quite common this time of year. The squirrely  swearing continued from above our heads – no doubt seriously concerned that we would steal his nut.

After our conversation finished and he left, I thought for a while about what objects falling from the sky might mean to someone who had not grown up with it. And I thought how many such tiny details would have to be internalized by the newcomer– all the time not knowing which details could get them killed and which were just funny little incidents. The absolute vulnerability that would engender gives me a feeling of admiration for those who have chosen to leave their homes and friends and family and country and moved to a brand new world. Many have done so to try and make a better life for them and their loved ones, especially children. It seems to me that many such immigrants would have enough to handle already and then are forced to face suspicion and/or rejection by the locals where they live. Situations like the special programs mentioned above put them in a very negative position without them even realizing what is happening.

Above is a photo of a very popular coffee chain store in Canada with thousands of outlets. They are one of the main companies who are accused of misusing immigrants for purposes of reducing costs and putting Canadians out of work. They are a franchise system and the parent company has come down very hard on the franchisees who were abusing the program. The company has a sterling reputation here in Canada and I am sure they were not aware of what was going on – but still it happened.

http://www.theprovince.com/health/cms/binary/7314801.jpg?size=620x400s Tim Horton workers participating in a drive to raise money for a kidney patient

If you get a chance, have a look at the story attached to the URL from the picture above – it is heart rending and is just one of the many ways that immigrants here have a rough road, regardless of our determination to treat them fairly. ( http://www.theprovince.com/health/Hortons+barista+might+just+kidney+transplant+thanks+staff+customers/7316841/story.htmland )  Do you have any thoughts on this? Or do you have a story about immigrants in your home country?

Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the marquee in the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to hear  what you would  tell me. Please feel free to stay  as long  as  you like .  If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:23:37

    Thank you so much for the guest posting this piece Willow. For your readers info, this was posted a bit earlier than normal for a good reason – she might shoot me for telling you this but it is so much fun, I can’t keep my mouth shut. She had a delightful morning visiting her newbie and family and when it came time to head home at lunch, her husband took her instead to a wonderful country pub and … there was surprise birthday party for her! Family (even Newbie was in on it and said nothing) and friends had assembled to wish her a happy birthday to celebrate the occassion that had occurred earlier in the week. So now she has such a full schedule this weekend she had to publish a bit erlier ot fit it all in.

    I’d like everyone to join in wishing Willow a very Happy Birthday from us all. 😀

    You’re getting better with age Willow – like a good Scotch!



    • willowdot21
      Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:27:54

      Thank you Paul , well that was not a well kept secret!! 🙂 hey ho you are right it was a lovely day full of surprises! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and wishes Paul….. and don’t tell anyone else!!! 😉 xx


      • Paul
        Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:49:59

        Ha! I couldn’t resist and I am appropriately chastized for blurting out the secret and I won’t tell another soul. Ha!

      • willowdot21
        Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:52:11

        I am not really mad with you Paul but I must admit it was not going to advertise it when a “Lady” reaches a certain age and all that claptrap!! 😉 xxx

      • Paul
        Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:10:07

        No one knows your age Willow – I personally thought you were 27, until you mentioned a grandchild. After all you are only as old as you feel – you youngster you. And you sound very energetic and upbeat – so you could be any age.

        I figured you wouldn’t make a big deal about it, but it is a happy time to be honored by those who mean the most to you (family and friends), so I thought I’d take a chance and see if I could get it by that strict moderator. ha!

      • willowdot21
        Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:21:08

        yes you are right Paul we are only as old as we feel and I usually feel about 30ish! except on a bad day when I feel 100!! …your lucky the moderator is in a good mood today!! xxxxxxx

  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:28:48

    Lovely day for the garden. I hear the great weather will continue but by the end of this week it will notice the calendar and stop acting up.
    The papers have been full of immigrant worker abuse and I do agree nationals should NOT be pushed out of jobs. After all this is their country. Awful stuff going on in the world all because of money and greed.

    I must run along, Paul. Supper’s ready and I’m starving. I don’t know why. It’s not like I’ve done any physical labor today. 🙂 Till next time.


    • willowdot21
      Sep 27, 2014 @ 20:30:57

      are we invited to supper??


    • Paul
      Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:02:51

      Yeah LCTC, I’m with Willow – What’s for supper? ha! Thanks so much for dropping by the garden for a quick cuppa, even if it is a short one. The immigrant issue is very difficult. I agree they should not be displacing citizens and at the same time, I cannot bring it in my heart to refuse entry to those who would die in their own countries. Once they are here, they are bound to work and take some jobs. For me, I have contradictory feelings – a paradox.

      And of course I know why you’re starving – you’ve been thinking hard and that makes one very hungry – uses up lot of energy and calories. No shame in that. Now if only we could convince our better half’s to take us out to for a wondeful meal, like Willow’s husband did.

      It is a gorgeous day today for a cuppa in the garden. please feel free to drop by after supper, we’ll be here seving up the finest teas and coffees and chatting about whatever exciting things have been happening. 😀


      • willowdot21
        Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:31:15


      • Let's CUT the Crap!
        Sep 28, 2014 @ 13:29:54

        True, This is a paradox. We were immigrants as well and I remember people said we were stealing jobs from Canadians. What I don’t like is when they lay off nationals and replace them with immigrants because they pay them less.

      • willowdot21
        Sep 28, 2014 @ 14:18:45

        Yes this is true but do the nationals actually want the lower paid, backbreaking menial jobs. Why do they avoid these jobs the immigrants seem happy to do.

      • Let's CUT the Crap!
        Sep 28, 2014 @ 16:55:05

        Also true.

      • Paul
        Sep 28, 2014 @ 14:55:54

        Good point LCTC. And yet it was only a few short decades/centuries ago we were the immigrants – which is why I used the first pic of the plainly white anglos coming off the ship. And still many of our seasonal picking jobs are done by temp immigrants or illegal immigrants because we won’t do them and yet we demand low prices on the products. I say let the immigrants compete for the jobs and don’t allow the lowering of wages.

  3. 1jaded1
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:33:29

    I wasn’t aware of this. TH has always been a favorite of mine since it expanded to Detroit area. Then, we heard that Burger King bought it for a rumored tax benefit. Will keep eye on this. Timmy, are you spinning in your grave? Thanks for your enlightenment, Paul.


    • willowdot21
      Sep 27, 2014 @ 21:35:15

      Paul is a wise man always full of and ready to share enlightenment!


    • Paul
      Sep 27, 2014 @ 22:32:05

      Hey 1J1! Super to see you here! Yep, Timmy’s was flabbergasted at the accusations. They acted hard and fast and the immigrants lost their jobs. *sigh* There really is no winner in this – but Tim’s are always scrupulous about the rules. if you didn’t read the article attached to the picture of the PhillipinoTim workers in BC, I urge you to take a look (honestly I seldom follow links in blogs – but this one is worth it, I assure you). i knew TH was having difficulty in the US but I wasn’t aware that they sold to BK. BK will be a good parent. We studied cross-border expansions in B-school and they seldom go well – both ways. It is funny how similar you and i seem in our tastes and language and socializtion, and yet when it comes to buying each market (US and Cdn) is very very different. There have been some collosal failures and i’m glad TH sold if they were having problems – better that than to let the franshise die. Thanks agian for dropping by and please have a cup of coffee- we even have Timmys – are you a double-double girl?


  4. markbialczak
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 11:01:09

    There’s no easy answers for the immigrant workers issue for either side, Paul. I’m all for nationals needing work first and foremost, grappling with employment issues after the big layoff on my life at the late age as I’ve had to here in the States. There are many more like me. On the flip side, of course, are the people fleeing to our nations seeking better lives for their families than they can get from the circumstances and economies at home. They, too, have needs. The almighty money makes folks do strange things, does it not? Ask those Tim Hortons’ managers, I guess, and their managers who had to discipline them to regain favor with the populace.

    Squirrels saving nuts for winter. That’s why we’ve coined the phrase “squirreling away,” isn’t it? I think you are right. Get ready for a big one in our part of the world. Nature knows before we do.

    Thanks for the cuppa thought this morning, my friend.


    • willowdot21
      Sep 28, 2014 @ 12:29:07

      I do agree everyone has a right to earn a living but sometimes the immigrant workers are prepared to do jobs that the locals see as too menial too hard or just plain beneath them?! I l know for a fact that happens here in the UK. Thanks for dropping in Mark you are always welcome. Xxx


    • Paul
      Sep 28, 2014 @ 15:00:45

      Hey Mark! Welcome to our weekly cuppa in the tea garden. Yep, you’ve pretty much nailed it, as far as I can see. ha! A cuppa thought – I like that. Can I use it?

      Thanks for dropping by Mark – we are honored by your contribution. Another cuppa?


  5. socialbridge
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 13:36:53

    Happy Birthday wishes, Willow. What mattereth age, it’s the heart that counts.


  6. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez
    Oct 15, 2014 @ 16:32:07

    Cute squirrels!


  7. Paul
    Oct 15, 2014 @ 17:17:44

    Thanks Jackie. i got them from a friend, Art over at http://pouringmyartout.wordpress.com/ . he’s awsome at photshop and has an affinity for squirrels. thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Jackie – we (Willow and I) are honored. Please drop by again.


  8. nataliescarberry
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 01:04:23

    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking one of my posts. Blessings, Natalie 🙂


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