--More of Gammi
Hello Everyone,
My family and friends come to me constantly looking for solutions to their everyday problems. I give them good solid doses of common sense advice that some may or may not like. There is a lot of whining and crying going on over things that can be fixed so easily.
One hundred years I have been on this earth and I feel I have pretty much heard it all. So if you think you can handle what I may have to say I'd love to hear from you. Be warned that some answers will not be easy to swallow. It may feel like taking medicine, it may taste bad at first but you'll be better off in the end.

Send your questions to Gary at Capreolonline and I'm sure I will get them. I'm going to put on a nice pot of tea and sit in my comfortable chair and enjoy the view from my window as I wait to hear from you.

Dear Joy,

Your hubby sounds like a very helpful fellow by nature. Has he ever jumped in and
filled the bags himself? If he has done this in the past perhaps that may have
contributed to his problem. Some young people won’t do any more than they have to.
I would just place my cloth bags in front of the cashier and say “here you go, I
brought some bags for you” and just continue on with light conversation ‘til he
packs them. Hopefully he won’t have to be more direct than that. Good Luck


July 25, 2009

Dear Gammi,

In the economic climate that we live in today my wife and I are finding that
we have to seriously cut back and control our budget. We are finding that
saving for a rainy day is more imperative today in our life. Our teenagers
still pressure us to carry on as normal because I am one of the lucky ones who
is still working for now. Who knows what the future holds job-wise.
Have you any thoughts on what we can do to prepare them for the real world. We
feel that we have been too lacks with them. We need to teach them what the
real cost of life is.

Dear Robert,
I am a survivor of the great depression and to this day I still practice
frugality in my daily life because I survived those times. You need to set an
example and stick to it. When you buy something you need to ask if a “want” or
a “need” is. Present the same question to your kids. Make them realize that
they aren’t going to get everything they want in this world. If they still want
something, present the concept of them getting a job and buying it with their
money not yours.
It wouldn’t hurt to let them in on the expenses of running your home and giving
them a better idea of what your hard earned wage provides for them. Also open a
savings account for them and see how that goes.
Good luck with this. I have found that young people are more responsible when
we include them to develop solutions within the family than when we keep things
from them. They need to learn now that you get what you give in this life. I’m
sure because you are concerned about their futures now it will pay big
dividends in their future lives.
Good Luck,


July 3, 2009

Dear Gammi,

Help! I am getting too many phone calls from my friends lately and they always come
at the most inopportune times. I love my friends dearly but some of these calls are
really unimportant and they just want to chat. I find I am getting stressed out now
and I’m falling behind in my daily work routine in my home. Gammi I really need your
advice on this problem before I say or do something that I will regret.

Desperate Beth

Dear Beth,

First you need to realize that the phone is one of the few things in our lives that
we can control. You must learn to ask yourself two questions. If I answer the phone
right now is it going to make my life more stressful or is it going to make my life
easier. Sometimes it is better to just let the voice mail pick up the message and
then decide if it is important enough for you to make that return call on the spot
or later when you have completed the task at hand.

I think you would be surprised how many people actually handle their calls this way.
If you take control you will be more relaxed when you do have a chat with your dear
friends. Good luck with this. Oops I just remembered I need to make a return call to
my good friend Mabel.


April 25, 2009

Dear Gammi,

I have a cleaning question for you. I have noticed that you are so wise about so
many things and I think you may be able to help me with this problem.

I have found lipstick stains on one of my husbands favourite shirts. How do I get
it off without leaving a mark, I’m sure there is something out there that I can use
to remove it before I wash it.


Dear Lisa.

Wow, a lipstick stain? I would be more concerned about how it got on his favourite
shirt than how to get it off. I hope that you were the one to put it there. If not
you may have a bigger problem than just removing it.

I checked my cleaning hint manual and they say to douse the stain with hairspray
then rub hard with a bar of soap or laundry soap then put it through the wash. This
should work.

I hope this helps and I trust that you won’t have more problems connected to this
predicament. Good luck,


March 7, 2009

Dear Gammi,

For the past month I have been constantly interrupted by a phone call from some long
distance number at least three times a day. When I run to answer the phone no one
is there.

Is there any thing I can do to stop this from happening to me? It is so annoying. I
even phone the number that showed up on my phone and all I got on the other end was
noise like a Fax machine.

How can I get this to stop? It is driving me nuts.


Dear Anne,

I mentioned your problem to a bright young man who knows about the computer and
phones and all that technical stuff. He thinks what is happening to you is what
they call a Dead Air Call. It is usually a telemarketing business determining when
the best time to call you is. They do this by making notes of when you pick up the
phone. To me this is just a form of harassment.

He said that there are two sites that you can check out for help. One is
www.phonebusters.com. He thinks that on there you can make a connection to the
second place, the CRTC site, where you may be able to place a complaint about these

The CRTC and Bell are the ones who control the “Do Not Call” list in Canada.
Personally I think Alexander Graham Bell would roll over in his grave if he knew how
his invention was being use to disturb people today.

I don’t know much about these kinds of problems but my family advised me to have an
unlisted phone number here on my cell phone.
Perhaps an unlisted number will keep this from happening to you. Only the people
that I want to talk to in my life have my phone number.

What a shame that we have to come to this in regards to one of the neatest things we
own, our phone. Even in the old days when we had party lines to contend with the
people involved were courteous and very considerate. They were people we knew and
they were mostly our friends and neighbours. Now we don’t even know what country a
lot of these awful calls are coming in from.

Only the people that I want to have my phone number now have access to it. Maybe
that is what you are going to have to do too. Good luck with your problem. I
really hope it can be fixed.


January 25, 200

Dear Gammi,

Now that the cold and flu season has arrived I find I am experiencing a problem at
work that I need your advice about. Gammi, one of my co-workers loves to brag about
their record of not losing a days work. However, she has turned up in our office so
ill but refused to go home even when the boss told her she should.

That is one part of the problem. This sick person doesn’t think to cover her mouth
when she coughs or sneezes. It is making the rest of us uneasy. Have you any
advice as to how we can handle this problem.


Dear Sally,

Oh, I can understand you’re upset with this co-worker. She will have the whole
office sick if she doesn’t stay home in this condition. I would try again to
encourage her to go home and get others at work to do the same. If not I would be
bringing some antibacterial wipes with me to work and wiping things down a few times
a day. Also why not put a box of Kleenex at her desk when she isn’t around.
Perhaps she will take the hint. I was going to suggest that some sort of memo be
put out there stating that when one is that ill they need to go home. I suppose
though some others may take advantage of such a suggestion.

We should always be more considerate than this lady is of people around us. Do you
know that even in some grocery stores they have free antibacterial wipes available
so that people can wipe down the handle of their shopping buggies? It just takes
one or two people to spread their bugs around and ruin it for the rest of us. Good
luck with your problem.


December 1, 2008

Dear Gammi,

I have friends who are having problems with snow already. The year is just
beginning and they don’t know what to do. Their neighbours have a guy who
plows their driveway for them. He takes their snow and leaves it on the road
right at the beginning of their lot line. When the snow plow comes down the
street it picks up the snow and deposits it onto their property. Lots of
mornings the end of their driveway is plugged solid with more snow than it
should have. I have seen my girlfriend in tears of frustration over this. It
makes it difficult for her to get out of her driveway some days especially when
she has appointments to get to.

Concerned for a Friend

Dear Concerned,

Well you know it seems to me that common courtesy for one’s neighbours is fast
disappearing in our world of today. My grandson just happened to be here when
I received your letter. He got on the phone and called the Sudbury Regional
By-Law department. They were very helpful.

There is a By-Law prohibiting leaving one’s snow on the street. Also snow
removed from one property is required to stay pushed up on the property it came
from. These people are also not allowed to push the snow across the street
either unless they are the owners of the property across the street. You
cannot put it anywhere else but on the property it came from. So what this
person is doing is not allowed and the city By-Law is on their side.

The By-Law department even offered to contact the offender for them if they
wanted them to. So your friends do have rights to protect them in this case
and can get the help they need by making a simple phone call. I hope that
will make them happier this winter.

Maybe living in these senior apartments has more perks to it than I realized.
I no longer have the headache of snow removal to concern me.


October 26, 2009

Dear Gammi,

My husband and I are newlyweds. We saved our money and forfeited having a large
expensive wedding on our special day. We took the money and bought all new
furniture and appliances for our new home. My problem is we bought ourselves the
very latest out there in washing machines and dryers. You know the ones that are
front loaders and come in a selection of colours. We bought the most expensive ones
on the market.

The problem is now I notice that the washing machine has an awful odour to it. This
mouldy smell hits me every time I open the door to do another load of washing. My
question is, do you think we would be able to return this machine? We did buy extra
warranty on it but we don’t know what to do about this. Gammi have you ever had to
return any large purchases that you were not satisfied with? What can we do about
this problem?


Dear Sara.

Well back in my day of purchasing washing machines we never had this kind of a
problem at all. Things were well build and they lasted so long that you sometimes
wished they would break down so you could get something new. If you haven’t left
one of your husband’s sweaty sports socks in the machine wet I think I can solve
your problem. One of my grandsons works in the appliance repair business and I
think I have a solution for your problem Sara.

John told me that this is a common problem with those front loading washing
machines. He said the seal on the door is so tight that the interior of the washing
machine never completely dries out. They use less water so the machine never really
gets to wash out the mould from your laundry. You need to leave that door open
between washes so that you don’t have this problem, especially if you are only doing
a few washes a week.

He also told me that there is a product out there on the market that will clean up
the machine. All you need to do is run an empty load through with hot water and
this product and your problem will be solved. I don’t know the name of this product
but I bet a phone call to your dealer will clear that up. Back in my day the few
appliances that I had didn’t sound as complicated as this on does. What you saw was
what you got. Good luck and all the best in your new life together.


September 21, 2008

Dear Gammi,

Recently I was in a store trying to pick up a few items when I had an annoying thing
happen. I was going down the main aisle when a young teenager stepped out in front
of me. Then he stayed there to chat with someone he knew. I waited as long as I
could stand to then I asked if he would excuse me as well as the number of people
with their shopping carts that had piled up behind me. His mother was nearby and
took offense to my loud “excuse me” I suppose. If looks could kill I would be dead.
That wasn’t the end of it she made some nasty remarks to her teenage son about me
as I finally got by them. I kept my mouth shut and went on my way but Gammi should
I have said something or was I right to walk away?


Dear Upset,

You did the right thing by moving on your way. There is a real lack of common courtesy in the world today. You are best to take care of your own sanity and if this happens again just get out of that aisle if you can. Who needs the stress caused by someone without any manners in their lives? Obviously the Mother of this teenager doesn’t have any manners either. Did you know that they have started in pre-kindergarten to teach the wee ones please and thank you as they play? I heard that manners are to be continued to be taught throughout the elementary school
system as a subject. I guess others have noticed that a lot of parents lack manners too.


August 16, 2008

Dear Gammi,

I have a problem and I’m really not sure how to handle this one, maybe you can help
me. I attended a dear friend’s wedding a few weeks ago out of town. I bought her a
beautiful china platter that I knew she wanted. Well today when I checked my mail
imagine my surprise when it came back to me. Her mother-in-law packaged it up and
returned it to me and asked me to exchange it. The problem is it was returned to me
broken. Now what am I supposed to do? It was fine when she opened it at her
wedding. She is away on her honeymoon now so I can’t phone and talk to her about
this and I’m sure she didn’t receive two of these platters. What should I do Gammi?

Upset and Baffled

Dear Upset and Baffled,

Well dear I would be baffled too. Especially if all was well at the gift opening.
Not only that, you didn’t see two of them. Well I would think you should wrap it up
and return it with a note saying it arrived broken and that you will contact the
bride when she gets home. I am a bit suspicious that the mother-in-law may have
broken it. Hmmm…as far as I know you can’t exchange broken merchandise anywhere.
I don’t think you are obligated to do anything about this as you had nothing to do with it breaking. Maybe you will put the mother-in-law on the hot seat right where she may belong. Good luck.


July 19 2008

Dear Gammi,

I want to start switching to more earth friendly products now. I was thinking the
other day that I remembered my grandmother making a lot of her own cleaners. Would
you happen to know something about that topic? I wish now that I had paid a lot
more attention to what she was doing.


Dear Beth,

Heavens yes! I too use a lot of things from my kitchen cupboard to clean my house.
There are too many to mention but here’s a good one that I remember making. It’s a
recipe for homemade window cleaner.
Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of ammonia into a bucket half filled with warm
water. Fill several spray bottles or plant misters and you’ll have an excellent
cleaner for windows. If you want to give it that professional look just add a drop
of blue food colouring or a few drops of lemon extract to each container and shake
well. That should give you a good supply. This should save you money and help the
environment. Good luck.


June 2, 2008

Dear Gammi,

Every year once the black flies arrive followed by mosquitoes I am confined to the
indoors again. Unfortunately I am very allergic to the mosquito repellents that are
on the market. I have to cover up and wear those mosquito nets over my face if I
want to go out into my yard. Have you any suggestions of anything I can do to make
my problem easier? I am desperate Gammi.


Dear Maureen,

Oh, that must be a miserable problem to have. I have heard that Skin So Soft that
is sold by Avon works great for some people. Also I have recently heard that
Listerine is another way to get rid of those pests. Don’t put it on you but spray
around where you are sitting outside or around your deck or around your windows or
doors. In fact spray it around anything where you are when you are outdoors.

I’m going to get myself a spray bottle and fill it up and try it out myself. Last
year while I was sitting out one evening I got some bites around my eyes from those
tiny pests and I had shiners that closed both my eyes and lasted for days. Makes
one wonder how something so small can cause so much damage. Good luck with this.
Let me know if this works for you.


May 10, 2008

Dear Gammi,

I was wondering if you give me some idea of what I could give my Mom this year for
Mother’s Day. She is in her seventies now and tells me she doesn’t need anything.
There must be something that she I can give her that would make her happy.

Dear Fred,

You know flowers are nice and so are the cards and other gifts but once a parent
gets older what they really want is you. Just take her out more often during the
rest of the year and spend time talking to her and I mean really talking to her and
be a good listener as well. She probably has a lot of things she wants to share
with you now about her life.

I know when it comes to my kids that is what I value the most. The fact that they
call me every Sunday for a chat is something I look forward to. They can’t always
get here to see me as they are in their mid 70’s now and they don’t like to drive
the distance. She’s your Mom and even though she is older now she is still your


March 31, 2008

Dear Gammi,

I'm curious as to the origin of April Fool's day. In all your years have you ever
heard of an explanation of why April 1st is celebrated as such?


Dear Curious,

Well yes I am old but I'm not ancient yet. I hope to be someday if I play my cards
right. Well now that that is out of the way I have heard one story that seems to
make sense. However, I haven't researched it and I don't think I will

In the 1500's, see I didn't hear about this by word of mouth, April 1st use to be
New Year's Day. Then someone decided to change that to January 1st. It is said
that there were people who did not take kindly to this change and continued to
celebrate New Year's Day as April 1st. Gradually acceptance was inevitable and
others began to refer to the April 1st diehards as Fools. Those who accepted this
change started to play jokes on those who staunchly believe in leaving April as the
beginning of the year. Thus April 1st became April fool's day. I hope that helps.


February 23, 2008

Dear Gammi,

I have watched people get testy about where they put their shoveled snow for years now especially once it starts to accumulate. We all look around for somewhere to put it. I have noticed that people suddenly become unconcerned about others they normally treat with respect. There's one thing I see going on around town that really raises my ire more than anything. That is when I witness people getting their driveways plowed and the fellow operating the truck takes the snow and pushes it across the road onto the growing snow bank in front of the neighbour's house across the street. Gammi, do you know if this is legal?

A concerned snow shoveler.

Dear Concerned,

To me that is a terrible thing to do to one's neighbours. Why should the fellow on the other side of the street have to contend with his own snow plus the snow from the people that live across the street. Good grief that would be aggravating. I would think if that wasn't an illegal act that it should be, if nothing else it's inconsiderate. One way to find out is to call city's help number 311 and see if they can give you that information. Lucky me I don't have to be bothered with snow removal anymore. I'm more concerned with other things now like am I going to get up in the morning. Good Luck.


February 2, 2008

Dear Gammi

I'm wondering what your thoughts are in regards to the many people who use the
designated handicap parking spaces and don't have a parking permit to use those
spots. I find it so annoying when I see someone parked in them when they shouldn't
be. Have you any ideas how this problem could be prevented and brought under


Dear Frustrated,

Oh my, a topic dear to my heart. I don't go out very often but when I do those who
take me out usually have a permit. Many times we have been unable to park in one of
those spots because they are occupied by as you say people who shouldn't be using
them. To tell the truth I don't have a very high opinion of those who abuse this
service. It is there for those who need it not for the general public.

I'm too old to do this or I would offer my services because it really raises my ire.
If I were in charge I would put a phone number that could be called to report the
drivers' licenses of cars that who are illegally parked in those spots. I would put
it on the signs and then again inside the business that are providing the service.

A phone call to someone could clarify whether the person should be parked there or
not by making a quick check on his or her license would handle that quick enough.

It is a simple solution to a big problem in this area. If they are not supposed to
be parked there issue a fine with the time and location the where offense took
place. I'm sure those who abuse this will think twice and would soon take care of
the problem.

It is real shame on our modern society that such measures really need to be taken
and we are living in a time where some people don't care abut being helpful to
others in need.