Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

To all my readers and fellow bloggers,

May 2009 be the year to make all your PF goals a reality. Thank you for all your support over the last year. I look forward to another year of blogging and reading yours as well. Happy New Year!

Love Dolly

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holidays Recap

I wish I could say the holidays have been great for me but... not so much.

I worked both Xmas and Boxing day which would have been fine except we were the only pharmacy open mid island with only myself and one pharmacist working. Most people were great and appreciative that we were open. I had to set up new profiles constantly as people were coming from all the surrounding towns. One man in particular thought he could get his rx filled faster by screaming at me and belittling my job. He decided to take his rx elsewhere. Hmm.. good luck buddy, we're the only ones open. :)

In other pharmacy news there was a ton of chocolates and cookies for us to munch on but we were too busy to even pee. One very generous customer gave each pharmacy staff member a beautiful card and a $25 gift card to the Keg.

I had Xmas dinner with my family which was ok except for some whining and jerkiness about gifts. I am so never doing secret Santa draws with my siblings EVER again. The kids however loved their gifts and were super happy. For me its more about the giving than the getting so I was happy.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that last weekend our pipes were frozen solid for two days. Not fun! This last weekend on Saturday I was awoken to a huge crash out back. The gutters filled with run off and froze into one long super sized brick of ice. It caused some major damage when it tore off the back. It crushed our BBQ, lawn chairs, tore off one of the sensor lights and knocked down my clothesline. I called the landlord tonight who told me to buy a new BBQ and chairs and save the receipt. I told him I'd let BF deal with that when he returns, but that I took pictures for him and wanted to let him know ASAP.

Today I checked my mail to find out I'm being audited by EI for a claim I had up until last March. I guess some of the amounts I submitted didn't match the 3 companies I worked for part time during my claim. I added up the amount I declared and the amount they stated they paid me and if I'm right EI actually owes me $428.26. It's weird because they don't say anywhere an amount that I owe them but there is a big bold note saying that if they overpaid me they will make me pay them back and then they will penalize me and possibly charge me for falsifying records. It also says it may affect future benefits. YIKES! Well, I was very careful and I have a calendar somewhere with my hours.

I know I submitted the right hours but all of these employers were losers. They never paid me on time or correctly so who knows. I tried to get some help today by calling EI but they were very mean and unhelpful. ;( Jerks! At least I was trying to work during that time. The letter also said my evidence is due back Dec 23rd. LOL. They extended it until Jan 15th which is good. I want BF to help look everything over before I do anything and he gets back on the 6th. So... if EI underpaid me ... do they owe me? I'm going to ask tomorrow.

I also have to write letters stating why I was dismissed. Ok

Employer A - Didn't like that I didn't want to be sexually harassed or work for free. We got to deal with labour relations on that one.

Employer B- Fired me before I could become part of the union. This man has since been released from that company for doing this to about 30 women.

Employer C - Hired me and promised hours. Then he hired my friend and gave him my hours. Then he stopped calling us both..... not sure.. but I did get reimbursed union fees from this one. This job is advertised every three weeks.

So... I'm not looking forward to figuring this one out but if it works out in my favor I may as well let it be I guess.

I'm really trying to not be stressed. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 - The Year of Savings

2009 will be a fresh start for me literally as I am now 100% debt free. I have already been thinking about what goals I want to conquer for the new year.

Last year I had two big goals for the year.

1 - Become Debt Free - Check! I pulled this one off just in time.

2 - Start My Retirement Savings - Sadly, No.

For 2009 I need to really think about my goals because there are so many things I need to take into consideration.

Exhibit A - Bf and I have a plan to leave the country for one year. I am hoping to have a minimum of $5000 saved before the trip. We are backpacking Australia will be working along the way. Items I need to purchase include : proper clothing, sleeping bag, gear (headlamp and such), plane ticket, etc. Those items will need to purchased above and beyond the savings. Eek!

Exhibit B - Retirement Savings. I don't know what my issue is with getting this started. I have been well aware since I was 14 years old the benefits of starting early and here I am 12 years later and still nothing. I need to get educated on this and get my arse moving. I have a lot of catching up to do in this department. This year my goal is just to get started. I'm not going to give the big push on this for 2009 because I have a lot of other financial commitments.

Exhibit C- EFund Beefaroni - I am thinking that my goal for this will be $2500.

Exhibit D - Secure Credit Card - I really want to start rebuilding my credit. A secured credit card is what I'm looking at to get me started. It will also allow me to open a shop on Etsy and can be used for an emergency when traveling. I am estimating between $500-1000 for this.


In the next few years I will also need to consider other goals such as: wedding fund, home fund, baby fund and educational/entrepreneurial fund. I don't want to overwhelm myself with financial commitments and I'm already feeling that this will be quite the heavy load. I need to think these over and make sure they are all S.M.A.R.T goals.

Transit Service Blues

What a day! Today is not starting out well at all. I looked online to make sure my usual bus was running. Then I trudged all the way to a bus stop only to have the bus never show. I did however get sprayed up my side by a plow truck. I tried to avoid it but they've piled the snow up on the sidewalk so its 4ft deep and so you have no choice but to walk on the road dodging cars.

I called work to tell them if my parents can dig themselves out I'll be there but if it snows I'd have to leave work early anyway. I really hate missing work but to be truthful I feel horrible today. I may just trudge out for some seriously needed groceries but that is it. I'm working both stats this week so I'm trying not to be hard on myself. Honestly, if I wanted to get there I could. I would be late but I could get there if necessary. Apparently they're not to busy so maybe I need to take a snow/mental break day for myself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up


BF left last Thursday to go back to his home province to spend this xmas with his family this year. Originally he was going to stay here and celebrate with my family but then we realized that next xmas we're hoping to be in Australia. I miss him a lot but I'm glad he's having a good time with his old friends.

Yesterday I was roped into last minute shopping help for my brother. My mom came along and we fought the crowds together. The worst part was the parking lots! Paired with the snow it was a nightmare. Luckily I was done except one small thing for somebody so I didn't feel rushed or stressed. Now I've just got to finish wrapping.

I spent yesterday with no water until 1am. It was horrible. My pipes were frozen so I couldn't shower or get much done without water. It was a mess of phone calls and waiting around just to end up having the problem fix itself eventually.

Today I lounged around and did almost nothing except dig myself a thin passage way up to my street. My back door and upstairs balcony are snowed in. The icicles have torn the gutters into pieces and I'm pretty worried about the balcony. *sigh*

I'm worried about having to miss work due to transportation problems. I am so excited to finally put my money towards my goals instead a of a big black hole. I don't want the weather holding me back. The snow has caused major issues for us on the Island. If I can make it to work tomorrow I'll need to pick up some groceries, extra candles and things just in case I get completely snowed in. I just wish BF was here to snuggle up with.

I've purchased one or two little things for BF but have decided to wait until after xmas to finish shopping for him. He won't be back until the New Year so I have plenty of time to sort that out. I feel ready for the holidays.

I am scheduled to work both xmas and boxing day. I actually volunteered as one tech has kids and the other wanted desperately to go away and see family. Since BF is away I thought it wouldn't be so bad to make a little extra cash working the stat days. I've already arranged with my boss that I'll receive stat pay and then additional paid days off in the future. I've advised him I'd like to take a few days in February for BF and my anniversary/valentines trip. He said that would be fine and so me taking these shifts will allow me to take some special time with BF and still get paid while I'm away. Perfect!!

If anyone is wondering about the kitty situation... I will write an update soon and try to post some more pics for y'all.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you for the congrats on my new life being debt free. I promise to write more about it soon. I think I'm in stunned mode or something right now. LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Last Friday we had our first snow fall of the year. Up until then it was sunny skies and nice weather. The snow put the Island on delay. Just as things were starting to get back to normal we got hit badly again today.

The Island is just not equipped for this type of weather. We have the mildest climate in Canada and maybe see snow twice a year for short stints. There has been power outages and car accidents everywhere.

Did I mention I hate snow? :(

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

$69 Research

I called yesterday to see if my Excel sheet and the numbers Student loan have match. They tell me I owe about another $69 I wasn't aware of. I've figured out how to log on online and print off the payments. I knew it may be off a little bit as I just plug the numbers in about 3 business days after I xfer payment online but $69 almost sounds like a payment missing. I'm printing off the last two years xfers right now to just to be sure before I make the big payoff this week.

************************************
Edit

After checking the their list of payments against mine I noticed my Excel sheet has an extra $50 payment made on April 08 that is not on their list and that I don't have a confirmation number for so it must have been a typo on my part. Damn! They still seem about $20 high but I think everything is ok.

Monday, December 15, 2008

If You Haven't Seen This Yet...

Bf and I were fumbling around online watching fun video's when he stumbled upon one that I haven't seen in years but think is just awesome.

Have you ever seen the human body move like this?




I love this video! Who's with me?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back and in FULL debt attack!

I realize it may seem as though this blog has been abandoned. Sorry guys! I feel so overloaded lately and something had to give.

The good news is... well everything. I'm almost done my seasonal shopping and things are going pretty well at work.

The real gravy though is the fact that I've been able to put two lump sums on my student loan this week. $250 from my last cheque and then I also transfered the $200 I had in my EFund. This is a total of $450 in the last week. I know I said before that I didn't want to touch my savings to pay off my debt but I felt this was the only way to get it paid off before the New Year which is really important to me.

By my Excel calculations I have $400 left to go. Pay day is next Friday and I'm so excited to call student loan that day to get my final balance so I can make the very last payment. Yes, I'm about to be debt free next week. Crazy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

$5 Pay Out

I checked my PO Box yesterday to find a $5 cheque from Pine Cone! This is my second cheque from them. It was a very pleasant surprise and will be depositing it today!

Yay for money made online! Thank you internet!~!

Sierra Adventure Gear

The search for equipment for the Australia trip is on. The only thing I've bought (well BF bought) is my expedition backpack. There's still so much to buy!

Today I was able to check out the website for Sierra Adventure Gear. I like the set up of the site. You can search for things by type of gear or by brand which is great for me. I feel when it comes to this type of purchasing its always good to go with brands you know and trust. I think of outdoor equipment as an investment and like to buy items I feel confident about.

I love that there is free shipping for any orders over $75. BF and I have purchased from online sites before and had to pay shipping fees which really sucked. It would definitely make me purchase from Sierra just to avoid the extra fees.

I am currently looking for a headlamp, sleeping bag, and other random goodies for the trip. All of which Sierra carries. I can't wait for BF to get home so we can check out the site more together.

I am getting so excited for the trip but there are still so many details and so much planning left to do. The shopping is fun though! ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Red Helmet

Last week BF and I were extended an offer to attend the Banff Film Festival Tour through BF's work. It's been an annual event with his work to go and I have to say I usually enjoy it a lot. I went two years ago and then again this year. The very first film they shared took my breath away. The song chosen for the film has been playing in our home all week.

You can view the film here - The Red Helmet.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It Pays To Read Your Reciepts


Last night BF and I had to grab a few groceries from the store near our house. When it was our turn in line I remembered to call my mom and see if she needed anything. I had to walk to the back of the store to get milk so I didn't get to watch the cashier. Big mistake!

The store by our house is notorious for charging incorrectly, not crediting coupons and double charging. By the time we got home with our groceries the store was already closed. I did a quick scan of our receipt, as always, to find we had been charged for cheese twice. Dagnabbit!

The cost of the cheese was $7.77. I called right away this morning and complained. They told me to come in and talk to "Trish" who would return our money today. That's great but why is this always happening?

Last time I was there the girl tried to charge me for 50 Fruit to Go's instead of 5. I happened to catch it on the screen just before paying. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

In the pharmacy I often have to ring things in and I'm very careful to charge people correctly. What is wrong with these girls?!

Oh, and we did use our cloth bags. Every bit helps this green and beautiful planet we live on.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lunch Failure


I have been so bad at bringing my lunches since I started at my new job. I suck! I really need to buckle down because I'm spending way too much. I'd better make that one of my December goals. I am just too tempted with a full food court right there. The places I worked before weren't around any restaurants or even gas stations so I had to eat what I brought or starve all day. Not good... not good at all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Student Loan Payment

I got paid on Friday and made a payment on my last student loan right away. I was able to put another $425 on it. That makes $825 so far this month. I have an automatic payment of $75 that will come out at the end of the month bringing me to a grand total of $900. It's 300 short from my goal for the month but I still feel its quite a lot. It's been putting some strain on my finances but if I can get this loan cleared by the end of the year it will so be worth it!

Left to pay off after $75 payment : $843.72

It feels really good to have less than a grand left to pay off. I just wish I wasn't trying to put the squeeze on my finances during the holidays. Oh well... I'll just need to be more creative this year. I have some gift ideas in mind that should help me out.

*******EDIT********
Sidebars are updated! Yay for progress!

Changes at Work?

I don't really want to rehash the last week of work. Too much high school style drama. Let's just say the whole team is fed up with the Bitchy tech and she walked out Friday and said she may not return. This made most people happy but it just made me tired. Bitchy tech had turned her evilness on me this week and so I ended up having to talk to the boss. Sucks! I hate drama at work. I just want to go to work, do my job, go home, and pick up a pay cheque every two weeks. *sigh*

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Haircut


Lately I've been wanting to hack all my hair off really badly. My hair grows really fast and its been awhile since I've had it cut since the Mad Cow was my hair dresser. Dang! I was very impatient the other day so I decided to give myself the same cut I used to rock in high school. Yes, I cut my own hair.

I'm loving it! I use the old school technique my mother used when she was a hippy teen. I flip my head upside down and cut it that way. Luckily, I've had a lot of practice because I used to do it when I was younger. I know how make sure its not crooked or too short in spots. I'm pretty proud of myself for remembering my technique and thankfully it worked out awesome.

I have issues with my hair. When I was very stressed a few years ago I became very ill and my hair started to fall out. It slowly came out for years. I went to specialists and everything. My hair is very thin and some spots on my scalp are a little more bare than I would like. The best thing for me to do is not think about and do my best to make it look good.

Most people never notice unless I show them but I'm still very sensitive about it. This cut seemed to perk my hair up and give it volume. This is a great thing for me as BF loves my hair longer but I hate it because it shows how thin it is. Now we are both happy.


Total cost- $0
Happiness Factor - Way up
Time - 5 minutes

Yay!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thinking About Xmas


Xmas is not my favorite holiday at all. I enjoy xmas lights and eating lots of food but thats about it. Oh! I like the xmas tree too but thats it! I try to suck it up though because everyone around me loves it. Especially BF, its his favorite.

I've been looking around casually for gifts but haven't bought anything except for one item I picked up last week for BF when he was distracted while we were shopping. Its something I know he really wants. I'm trying to figure out what else to get him. I need him to make a list. There is one gift I am considering giving him but its not something you can wrap up. Stop thinking dirty! It's nothing like that. I'm not going to write about it now though because I'm not sure if he reads my blog or not.

This year everyone buys for my parents and for the kiddies but we are doing a siblings draw. Siblings and significant others draw really. I was in charge of it. It's already a mess so I'm handing the details off to my mom. I handled Thanksgiving. I am suggesting a cap of $30 this year. I am really watching spending. I'm also going to give myself a budget for the other people I'm buying for. I'll work on that and post my list later on.

Work Drama


It seems no matter where you go there's always drama at work. I find this to be true especially in pharmacies. It's rather pathetic. I wish everyone could just deal with each other and get on with it already.

Soon after starting at the pharmacy I realized there was some major tension between the techs at the store I'm working at now. I was kind of irritated because I stressed in my interview that I'm really not into dealing with that type of childlike behavior.

Apparently the girl on maternity leave that I'm covering for over the next year before we go to Australia used to be a big component of fighting so I guess I'm glad she's not around. As for the other two we have two classic pharmacy personalities.

1- The been around the block tech. This technician has worked all over the place for different chains. She thinks she has it all figured out. Granted, she does know a lot and I'm impressed by her knowledge! Unfortunately she shares this with everyone in a unfriendly way. Her explanations are long and dragged out so that they become impossible to listen to and I find myself dozing off internally while she talks. She thinks everything should be done in the manner she wants. Even if it has nothing do with her. She takes everything personally and makes depressing and negative comments all the time.

2- The head tech. Usually comforting and welcoming. The head tech is more relaxed in her environment and enjoys being a technician. She's a great trainer and really listens. She also can't stand being pushed around on her own turf. This is her domain and she's going to protect it.

Put these two together and the planets collide. When I was offered the job at the hospital I knew it wasn't the right thing at this time for me but I almost took it because of the crap going on between these two. I discussed it with the head tech. I told her I really hate dealing with that sort of behavior and I really just wanted to be left out of it. It was affecting my training and that's just not cool with me.

Head tech went away for a week to Mexico and BATBT was in her glory. She was much easier to work with and actually very pleasant. One day she called me her protege though and that worried me. I had to stand my ground a bit at that point to make sure she doesn't think she can tell me to do whatever she wants.

Head tech came back and the dynamics changed again. BATBT really wanted to make it known that things went great while HT was gone. *sighs* BATBT stopped being pleasant and became really quiet again. After a week and a half of HT being back the lid blew off the roof.

Now I'm not sure exactly what happened but it was really stressful day yesterday with head office being there. A lot of projects just couldn't get done because of them being there and tying up every one's time. By the time BATBT tech came in for her shift things were still chaotic. At 4pm the owner was leaving for the day when I saw him being approached by BATBT. Next thing I knew she was "borrowing" HT for a few minutes. I'm thinking... "WTF there is so much shit to do and we're slammed with prescriptions".

I was so annoyed. The boss left them almost immediately, but they stayed in the private patient consultation room for two hours before the pharmacist on shift broke it up and told them to deal with it on their own time. BATBT came out crying. There was some loud discussions during those two hours. I didn't hear anything or care to either.

HT went home an hour late. BATBT blew her nose and came back to the dispensary. It was time for me to leave and there was so much left to do. I gave her a rundown and she seemed irritated she would be left with all those tasks but seriously... they ditched me for 2 hours in a rush! Not cool at all!

I left work with a pounding headache and less respect overall for my workplace. The pharmacist with me that night told me she was sick of the drama.

At what point do I let my boss know that this is bullshit?

I'm trying really hard to remain focused on my work. I just have to learn how to navigate myself through the shit I guess. I really want to stay at this job for my last year on the Island and am trying really hard to turn a blind eye to the drama. Why are pharmacies always a mess like this?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Long Weekend Has Started!!/ New Family Member?

Since I worked on the holiday I get today off with pay instead which gives me a long weekend. Hmm... I'll take it!

I'm supposed to do my L test today but I'm not feeling very confident about it. A few years ago I passed it without even reading the book. Failing this year scared me off a bit. Plus, I have not been filling my obligation to myself to read a little each day and do the online practice test. It's just so boring. I've attempted to read it a few times but either doze off or stare into space instead. That's how exhilarating I find it, lol.

BF and I may have inherited a pet. As long time readers know, earlier in the year we lost our beloved pet. I still cry about it and miss her a lot. We want a pet so badly but don't think its fair because we would have to leave it in one years time. We could never do that to the animal or to ourselves.

A lot of animals hang around our house. Some even come inside. There was a grey cat our friends and us named Apple that came around. (I like food names. Our last pet was Cherri). Unfortunately Apple's family moved away. You can read about Apple or see pics of her here.

Now we have an orange cat who has visited once or twice in the past. The last two nights in a row she's come over and waited for us to get home so she could come in. She was desperate for cuddles and food. At first we weren't sure if she was hungry or just begging but after watching her eat we fed her a little more because she looked like she was very desperate. She has no collar but really nice fur. After watching her clean herself it may just be her own doing. One thing we did notice is that her nails are a little long on one foot and seems to bother her. BF said he's not going to do anything yet cuz he's not sure if it has an owner.

We let her sleep for awhile and then BF decided she must go outside because we have no litter box and he was worried there may be an owner wondering where their cat was. This morning when we left the cat was sitting outside again with another cat just outside our house watching BF leave. As soon as he came on MSN at work we talked about it. I heard the cats get into a fight and then the other one took off running. The orange cat however sat down and stared at our house. Aww! I watched the cat for awhile but it didn't go anywhere. I

So I took some pictures of her last night (we think its a her). Here are two of them!

I know my parents have a big orange cat that visits them at night when they sit out on their back deck. They nicknamed the cat "Morris" and I wonder its the same big cat. BF wants to buy a litter box and food now. We are thinking of using the bottom of our old cage for Cherri for a litter box because we don't want to spend too much because we're unsure of what's going to happen.

The best part is its the first cat I've been able to pet without having an allergic reaction too. Amazing! Oh... what are we going to do?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Extra Extra! Read All About It.


Things have been pretty busy for me this week.I've also been feeling under the weather and so I decided to write a quick post of all these news from the last few days.

Sunday - Major yard work, laundry and cleaning was going on. We spent the day in the yard raking, dumping and cleaning out the plant pots, and turning the garden and compost bins. It's been raining a lot here lately so we had to take the opportunity to get it done when we had it. It felt good to get out and work in the crisp air with my favorite pink toque.

I also took my first ride on BF's motorbike. I'm still undecided. We just went places within our own neighbourhood which was perfect. I used to ride on the back of my friends scooter all the time in Penticton which prepared me a little bit but still... this is a lot bigger. I'm not ready to go across town yet but soon.

Monday - Christmas music at work has begun. WTF!>!> I object! Don't even get me started on this one! For now it rotates with other music but in a few weeks it will be full on. They'll need to put me on suicide watch at the pharmacy. I could go mad!

My favorite pharmacist and the person I mentioned creating a great relationship with at work announced her resignation. :(

Tuesday - I had to work today but I get Friday off instead which gives me a long weekend! It was really slow for most of the day which was great. I also got to spend some one on one with both my boss and his wife because I worked with them both alone today as I was the only technician. My boss gave me a lot of great compliments and encouragement today which meant a lot to me. :)

I stood in the rain for 25 minutes before calling BF at work for an emergency ride to work. I called the bus to bawl them out for not showing. The good thing was that I asked if there was a problem with that particular bus run before yelling because he politely informed me that it was a holiday. Crap! On holidays if the bus runs at all it runs on Sunday schedule which is... practically never. Once an hour if u are lucky. BF was happy to run me to work and saved the day. I need an umbrella.

What will tomorrow bring?.......

Also, I have not felt very well the last few days but I'm trying to not miss any work. I've got a big goal to meet before the end of the year.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dolly's Miscalculations


I got paid yesterday. It feels so good to get back into being paid regularly.

However, I forgot I only worked 9/10 days because I took an extra day off to play in Vancouver with BF. No regrets though. Oh, and taxes. ... I way underestimated how much the would be. You know what this means.... I wont be able to put as much as I wanted off this cheque onto student loan as I wanted. I didn't think about all the other expenses coming up either so I am only going to be able to allot $400 of this cheque to debt. Even that is going to leave things very tight for the next two weeks.

Oh well. It may mean 4 payments instead of the three I had hoped for but the important thing is to have it done by the end of the year. I'm still feeling positive this is going to happen. :)

***EDIT****

Side bars updated for debt repayment!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah



I fell in love with this song last year around Christmas time and I still love it. It's amazingly precious!

Settling In


So things at work are going pretty good. I've established some good relationships with other people in the pharmacy. I've missed being part of a team. When you work with the same people all the time in a tiny space you get to know each other pretty well.

Lately I've been able to do a lot of blister packing which is something I love. I'm hoping they will want me to the majority of in the future. That would be ideal for me.

I'm already getting nicknames. Mostly things like "the pep squad" and the "cheering section". I am the person who keeps a calm head in the crazy times and says ridiculously silly things all the time to make people laugh to cut the tension. It's the roll I like to take in the working environment I guess. I like to build good relationships with people I work with.

There are definitely still times when I'm not loving it but overall its starting to get better as I get back into the swing of things. I'm still trying to absorb as much as I can as quickly as possible. These technicians are amazing. The best I've ever worked with. The pharmacists have it made. I'm learning a lot and hopefully in the future I can apply some of these skills to something else because even though I like my job I know pharmacy isn't where I want to be deep inside. It's perfect for this year as I prepare for Australia though.

On A Side Note...


Thank you America for voting Barack Obama in as your president!

Chicken Wangz Are Back!


BF and I used to go for chicken wings every Thursday with friends. We probably did it for over a year before I got tired of the pubs we went to and so we started doing wing night at home. A few weeks ago there were no chicken wings at the grocery store so I picked up some frozen guys that you just pop in the oven.

They were disgusting! Nothing beats making them by yourself. People who are eating these boxed wings..... stop!! We've been so turned off we haven't been able to eat wings for a month! We didn't even eat many of the wings I bought. They all went in the trash can.

Tonight I've decided to grant BF's wish to go back to the Pub for one night of delicious wing goodness. He's really happy. So he'll pick me up after work and we'll go together to meet friends. I can't wait to have my lemon pepper wings. Yum. BF prefers "tough man" wings. Haha

BF loves having wing night on Thursday. He says it gives him something to look forward to near the end of the work week, lol. Hopefully these wings will inspire him to start making them at home again because I miss the deep fried broccoli he makes to go with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Hump Day


The week is half over and I'm ready to get the rest over and done with. On to payday Friday I say!

Tonight we had an unexpected family dinner out. I got a text message from my aunt who is visiting from Ontario today to come out for Mexican. My grandfather, some aunts and cousins were there. BF and I went and had a really good time for $20/person. I picked up the tab because I forgot my wallet the other day when we went out on his birthday (yes, I know.... I'm a dumbass.. how bad is that?).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flu Season


Last Tuesday my pharmacy held a flu clinic at $25 a shot. It was a very hectic and crazy day. At the end of it I just wanted to run away. Today we are holding another clinic and it will be the final one.

There has been some pressure from some other pharmacy staff to get the shot done. I know my boss and his wife (both pharmacists working in the dispensary) both feel very strongly about getting the shot done.

While some people have decided to get it (free for RX staff) others have decided not to. I am not going to get the shot. I keep getting asked about it but I'm standing firm. I never get flu shots done. I don't really like the idea of it. Growing up my parents didn't seem to care either way and my doctor has never felt that strongly about it. I like that about my doctor. He gives me the information and then lets me make my own decisions on everything which I think is great.

While I have heard some good points about getting the shot done I'm still not doing it. To be honest I'm more into holistic healing and natural alternatives. While I see both sides of the spectrum I am very cautious about what goes into my body. I don't even use anything when I have a headache. I'm a firm believer in drinking a big glass of water instead.

I know that if I change my mind I can probably get it done free still through the health clinic because I have asthma. So the option is still there. I just refuse to be talked into it when I wasn't going to do it in the first place. It's kind of awkward debating it at work but it's not going to make me change my mind.

So what about you? Are you getting a flu shot this year?

Monday, November 3, 2008

$4 Staff Love?

When I signed all the paperwork for my current job I was kind of thrown off guard by the last paper in the bunch. It was a permission form for whether or not to have $4 deducted from your paycheck to go towards the staff fund. Hmm...

The form stated the fee was $2 for part time employees or $4 for full time. The money goes towards staff parties, birthday card, condolence cards, flowers for sick staff etc. The money is deducted each cheque (biweekly).

At first when I saw it I was not going to fill it out at all. Then I started to think about it and I started to feel like I should. I mean I'll probably get to know these people pretty well over the next year. I know that if you are a staff member that pays the into the fund you get into all staff events free. Not that I really care that much because I'm not really a staff event kind of person but maybe I'll feel differently later. It kind of stumped me but I decided to be a good sport and sign the form.

So if I work there for a year thats $104 of my hard earned buckaroo's. I want to seem like a team player and so I don't mind the fee but part of me feels like its kind of a waste of money. I don't want to be a person who cancels the deductions either.

What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

Turned Down the Hospital Job Offer

So I just got off the phone with the lady in hiring at the local hospital. She called to tell me she is having a problem getting a hold of one of my references. Hmm... maybe because she's trying to call the business we no longer work at rather than the home number I supplied on my references... geez.

After talking things over with BF and my mom I had already decided that the offer was not for me. I would have to start casual and then work up to part time permanent which can take up to a year. The pay is good but you are on call every day. I don't like that. Some of the hours start pretty early and would be really inconvenient for me since I take the bus so I would have to cab there. Yikes! That could seriously off put some of the money I'd be making. Also, there are no benefits. This job would take a few years to get me anywhere which is time I just don't have right now. It would be a great stepping stone to other hospital positions once I gained seniority which is why it killed me to turn her down.

She was rather rude sounding when I did though. I was honest and told her that over the weekend we had talked about it and I am not in a position financially right now to take on the job and that lack of a vehicle would make things very difficult. Then I said I hoped it wouldn't impede me from applying there in the future.

She responded with something like I'd better be sure of what I wanted next time I applied as to not waste people's time. WTF?!?! OK, I interviewed Thursday. She was away all weekend. It's Monday morning at 9:30am. It was the soonest I could have let her know anyways. Besides, when I applied it was for full time and when she called me she said full time. Then later she told me it was casual.

What can you do? I think I handled everything well. I was honest and straight forward. It's not like I was hired and then didn't show up or anything. Some people!

Happy Birthday to the Sexiest Guy I Know


It's BF's birthday today. Last night he had me make him a dessert I had never heard of before. I made an Oreo Pudding Pie and it was pretty good but not my kind of dessert. BF loved it and thats what counts. I even lit some candles and sang happy birthday.

Today he's not giving any clues as to what he wants for his birthday dinner. I have no idea what to make him. I offered to take him out but he says he's happy with leftovers. Bah! No leftovers on birthdays, thats what I've decided. He's picking me up after work so I'll have to figure it out by then.

We're dropping our pumpkins off at Sleepy Hollow tonight (I'll post some pics later if they are all lit up when we go). Then I plan to steal him off to dinner.

He was so excited to open his gift this morning that he didn't even wake me up. I heard him taking it out of the box. It's a remote control flying helicopter and he charged it up and played with it before going to work. Men are just boys but taller and hairier.

I hope I'm feeling better by tonight. I've been feeling really tired and have had a lot of headaches the last few days. I've been trying to rest and drink a lot of water.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November TCOB


Hello November. Want to be friends?

I am thinking November and I are going to get along great. I have some big plans to get my financial house of chaos back into smooth running order. Over the next two months I'm going to wipe out the last of my debt entirely. I desperately want to be debt free for the new year. Last year I became consumer debt free and this year I will destroy those nasty student loans and be completely out of the financial grave!

Financial Goals

As of today my student loans stand at $1734.24. It's going to take some heavy debt payments to get rid of this bitch before the end of the year. Luckily I am in a position now to get this done. I am hoping to pay off a total of $1200 this month in two $600 installments. It's going to be a challenge for me but I'm determined.

I am not going to commit myself to any other obligations financially until this is debt is done. 2009 will be the year to save. 2008 is the year to become debt free. I feel good about this choice.

Personal Goals


Take learners test again on or before November 15th. I get that day off with pay instead of November 11th. It would be a great day to get the test done. I have been slowly reading the learners manual and occasionally taking the online practice tests so far. I plan to keep doing this to prepare myself for the test.

Talk to my family about having a monthly dinner and game night for everyone. BF has made me realize how important family is and we've been spending more and more time with everyone. He feels its my role in the family to bring everyone together and make these things happen. I think he's right. When I think back over the last year or so we've really made the push to make things happen with everyone and it really makes me feel good. We only have one year left until Australia and I want to make every moment count.

Create a chore list for myself. I notice other bloggers come up with weekly chore lists for themselves where they designate each day of the week to a different chore. I'm going to try this out.

Organize family Christmas plans. I believe my mother is hosting dinner but there is also the gift exchange to keep in mind. Usually we buy for our parents and any kids and then draw for siblings. I like this tradition. It saves a bundle and nobody feels financially strapped. I want to get this decided in November to avoid the crunch and stress of December shopping.


My November goal list is a lot shorter than other months but very specific and directed towards getting me onto the right path to make the new year amazing.

October Goals Review

Personal Goals
  • Reserve for BF's birthday - DONE. The entire weekend was an amazing success. Yay!
  • Host Thanksgiving Dinner/Birthday Party (there are 6 family bdays being celebrated) DONE. Dinner was great and it was a fun evening with family.
  • Send handmade "I love you" card to two friends (didn't do this last month) - NOPE. Geez, I'm a bad friend.
  • Reorganize and set up personal office - NOPE. This room is starting to mock me as I walk by. Hmmm.
  • Find out about changing spelling of business name - NOPE.
  • Book off two days for birthday fun - SORTA. I was only allowed one day.
  • Decorate house for Halloween Spookfest ( I love trick or treaters) and Family game night. - Yes, well I did decorate but there was no game night because I had to work until 730.
Financial Goals
  • Save $100 for Australia - NOPE.
  • Pay off a minimum of $200 on Student Loan (I'm going to aim higher but we'll see). NOPE
  • Purchase bus pass to save $$$ since new job is across town - Wasn't necessary.
  • Bag lunches everyday! - UM..... shoot.
  • Assign everyone a food to bring to Thanksgiving (already figured this out weeks ago) DONE
  • Shop with a budget for Halloween ( I go a little crazy) DONE!!

The Butterfly Award


Thank you Arual for selecting me as one of your two choices for the Butterfly Award. I'm very touched to be given this award and will display it as a permanent feature on my blog.

Arual and Canadian Saver (Arual's other choice) are my two favorite bloggers in the PF blogosphere. While I love so many of you dearly, these two have hit a special place in my heart.

I feel some sort of cosmic connection with Arual and am happy that we have found each others blogs and have been able to support each others aspirations and successes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

It's the best day of the entire year. I asked the pharmacy manager yesterday and he informed me that our chain does not allow the pharmacy team to wear costumes. Then he told me that he hates that rule and that if somebody showed up with a little bit of something on he wouldn't be upset by it, lol. So I suggested I might wear a tiara from my costume. Yay!

Or I might swing by the dollar store and get some horns. Hehehe.


I'm sad I have to work until 730pm tonight. I hope I don't miss all the trick or treaters. I can't wait to post pics of the gorgeous pumpkins we carved this year. BF surprised me with the biggest pumpkin Ive ever had.

Have a spooktacular day everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Long Weekend Ever

BF and I returned last night from the best long weekend ever! Everything we did turned out great and the weather was amazing. It was so nice to get away for awhile and have some fun. We splurged a little but it was well worth it. I'll post a few pics soon of the amazing expedition backpack BF bought me while we were there as a late birthday gift for our trip next year to Australia. It's beautiful.

Today I've felt under the weather though. I had one of those "off" days at work where everything goes wrong. I felt clumsy, stupid and irritated, lol! To top it all of we were hosting a flu clinic so there were a million people. *sigh

I have an interview tomorrow morning at the hospital working in the kitchen. I have always toyed with the idea of opening another restaurant or maybe a catering company. I love getting in the kitchen. I'm not really a general public dealing with sort of person. So I've decided to go and see what is offered. I think its a full time casual position with a wage that is $2.33/hr more than where I am now.

An interview is just that and nothing more. I would have to think any decisions over very carefully before making a move. I'm not fond of my job now but its not horrific. Just annoying and stressful. I am mostly interested in job security right now. I need full time and I need great pay. One year to go people!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sex and The City Marathons Ahead

Who's a lucky dolly? I am! I am! BF gave me both the Sex and the City the movie and the entire series for my birthday. I'm so excited. I've been too tired lately to watch TV after work but I see many future hours spent in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn (air popped - healthier and cheaper).

I'm future dating this post. So as you are reading this I'm hoping I'll be having a great time with BF on the mainland.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Save Energy Save Money Part One


As promised here is the first installment of info given to me by the BC hydro company.

No Cost Options
Here is a list of things you can do at home to save energy, followed by the amount it will save you per year.

  • Turn off two 60W lights for one hour a day when not in use. $3/yr
  • Shorten your shower time by one minute. $26/yr
  • Switch off your computer when not in use. $10/yr
  • Wash clothes in cold water twice a week. $25/yr
  • Hang two loads of laundry to dry a week. $18/yr
  • Turn down the heat by 4-5 degrees at night and when not at home. $39/yr
  • Set your thermostat 1 degree Celsius lower during heating hours. $8/yr
  • Skip the heat-dry feature on your dishwasher four times a week. $6/yr
  • Set your fridge to 4 degrees Celsius if it is not at 3 degrees. $3/yr
  • Turn off a TV for one hour a day when not in use. $3/yr
  • Unplug two chargers when the devices are not charging. $6/yr
  • Get rid of an old second fridge through BC Hydro's Refridgerator Buy-Back Program (includes $#0 rebate and free pick up). $114/yr
  • Turn off a video game console when not in use. $14/yr
There you have it folks. 13 ways to cut down on your hydro bill!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

This morning I am online doing some training for work. I realized that today was my first payday with this new job. I logged onto my bank online to see if the direct deposit was working yet and it was! I only had 32 hours on this first check because there was a holiday the week I started and so I only worked 4 days. Still, the coin is pretty good and I can't wait to see a full cheque.

The next cheque will be for 72 hours because of BF and I going away for a three day weekend starting tomorrow. So I'll have to wait for the third payday to see a full one. I'm pretty happy with the moolah though. I can't wait until next cheque when I can take a big chunk and stick it on that student loan. Yay!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Drug Store Savings Here I Come

Today I made sure to get myself registered for our companies discount card. Now I'll get 30% off for both BF and my purchases there. YAY!! The best part is I work for a large chain and can use this discount at any store as long as I provide picture ID. Love it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Save Energy Save Money

BC Hydro has been doing a lot this last year to get people to minimize their energy consumption and I think its great. I usually get some tips from them every two months included with my bill on how to cut down my usage. They have also started a new billing system which rewards low usage. I'm really on board with this. I will do up a post on some tips and schedule it to post this weekend while I'm away! I have a few different sheets from them now so I'll do a few different ones through out the next few weeks. :)

Weekend Hurry Up and Get Here

I am soooo looking forward to this weekend. BF and I are finally going to get to go away for a few days. I've got most of the weekend planned out and I can't wait to get it started. BF is also very stoked to be getting away for a bit. He's been mentioning the need for a vacation for awhile. 3 days isn't really a holiday but its a nice break from the ordinary.

I'm also looking forward to spending time with Nathaniel. He's a good friend of mine that I've known since the days of high school. We've always kept in touch over the years but the last few years we've been closer. He wrote a very touching post about me that brightened up my morning before heading to work today.

Week 2 of work is almost over. This Friday will be a payday and I'm so happy to be expecting 32 hours on my first cheque. This job will definitely help me reach my goal of being debt free before the year is over and that is my number one goal. Once that monkey is off my back I'll feel so proud of myself. I've been in debt for so long it will be a nice feeling (or strange) to not have to pay off debt somewhere and actually put that money to good use for the future.

Once the debt is paid off I'm going to set up some more financial goals for myself. Australia and the EFund will be priority for me but I'm thinking there are a few other things I need to address as well.

Nathaniel has told me that on Sunday we can do whatever I want and he would foot the bill. I suggested maybe we could go set up an EFund for him. That would be a great gift for both of us. I want to see him set up for the future too!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do October Babies Make Great PF Bloggers?


Lately I've been noticing a big fluctuation of birthdays flying around the blogosphere. October seems the be the big month for PF bloggers. Are Libras and Scorpios into finance? I am a Libra so I know that we definitely big into wanting to keep things balanced so it makes sense to me.

You all know its my birthday today but who else is celebrating? Here's a few that I've noticed.

Krystal from Give Me Back My Five Bucks

and

Leigh Ann from Save Leign Ann

If I've missed you and you are a pf blogging Libra let me know so I can add you to the October Baby Link Love!!!

Happy Birthday Ladies!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Night Word Vomit

It's been so long since I've posted or been able to catch up with reading everyones blogs. *sigh. I feel so out of touch!

I've completed my first week at the pharmacy. Wow! These technicians really know their stuff. They practically do everything themselves. It's going to be a huge learning curve for me. I'm more adapted to different aspects of pharmacy like running a methadone program or blister packing for senior homes. These girls are process prescriptions, dealing with third party billing and Pharmanet. The good thing is everyone is really nice and they are happy to have me there. I've been making myself useful and trying to be a sponge. Its working so far.

I hosted a very successful thanksgiving dinner. I'll share my new favorite under skin rub with you all later. My grandfather brought me a rose he cut from the garden at the property of where his home burned down but is now in the process of being rebuilt. It was very touching.

This weekend a close friend came over to celebrate my upcoming birthday. It was nice to catch up and spend time together. We pigged out on food and chatted up a storm. Today we took a nice stroll through our teenage stomping grounds and reminisced.

Tonight I took some gifts over to my sisters new place for my niece. We share a birthday together which is actually tomorrow. I bought her the cutest play skirt that is black and lights up with all these fiber optic lights. Very cool.

I feel tired lately and a little overwhelmed. I did find the energy to make a killer turkey soup though a few days ago. Mmm, turkey soup. I wish I had tomorrow off for my birthday as I could really use the rest but I couldn't negotiate tomorrow and next Monday off so I settled for being able to take the three day weekend next week. BF and I are both excited for some time off to relax and have fun on the mainland.

I have to say I'm really not interested in pharmacy at all. After we leave for Australia I don't see myself returning to this line of work at all. I do keep my chin up though. I remind myself every day of how this job will help me realize all of my goals faster and that it offers me a lot of things I want such as friendly staff, benefits, great pay, store discounts and good working conditions.

I realize now more than ever how important this trip is to me and I'm willing to do just about anything to make it happen. That means buckling down and really striving towards my pf goals. It's time to kick this debt in the ass once and for all. I'm confident I can beat this sucker out by the end of the year working at this job and that makes it all worth it in my eyes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Long Time No Post

Just so people know... I'm not dead. It's been a busy week with hosting Thanksgiving and then starting this new job. I have so much to tell you but right now I'm exhausted and I still have to clean up the house, plan a menu and get everything sorted for my birthday party tomorrow night. I'm having my closest, bestest friends over to wear tiaras, drink, eat and be merry. We're having a chow down, get drunk and watch movie thing. I need some down time with friends right now!

Will post soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday Extravaganza Intinerary

So now that I've spilled the beans to BF who insisted on knowing what was going on before taking the day off work I guess I can share with you guys too! So here is the itinerary for what is now going to a long weekend to celebrate our birthdays. Our birthdays are two weeks apart so I planned everything for the weekend in the middle.

Saturday October 25 - Wake up and take ferry to Vancouver. Meet up with friends and hang out. That evening we'll be going to Yuk Yuk's to see Darren Frost. After that we were supposed to go back to a hotel but BF thinks we should stay at a friends we know in the area since we'll be going to the show with him anyways. I agreed since it will save money, its more practical and it gives us more time to spend with our friends.

Sunday October 26 - Wake up. BF and friend go to play in a poker tournament (BF loves poker and has been dying to play in a tournament). Dolly and friend will spend the day frolicking around having fun. Sunday night BF and I will check into a hotel and then go for a romantic dinner. I'm thinking this place but not sure yet.

Monday October 27 - Wake up late, eat a delicious breakfast and then off to be tourists. I really want to check out this movie at the Omnimax. After which we'll bum around a bit and then head back to island.

So that's the big surprise weekend. I'm glad that BF knows so that he can help pick out other things to do. I feel really good about everything that I've planned and picked out for us. It should be a great weekend.

Two weeks to go! I'm so excited. I'm also glad to be able to finally share it with everyone after all this time.

The Amazing $2 Costume

One of my all time favorite bloggers Arual came up with the best idea for a frugal costume this year! I ask you, readers, who can beat a $2 costume? That's what I thought!

I share with you...

The PAPER BAG PRINCESSI hopped on down the dollar store and bought myself some over sized brown bags for garden use. Then I skipped over to the kids section and picked myself up a 4 pack of tiara's. Shimmied up to the registered and handed over my $2 (plus applicable taxes of course).

DONE!

Now I just need to get out some scissors to style and detail my pretty new dress.

Thanks again Arual for a wonderful idea! I love the moral behind the story as well. Amazingly cheap and fun costume.

Suzie Orman Coming to Vancouver?

I saw the end of a promotion last night stating Suzie Orman will be in Vancouver on October 21st. I'll be working then so I wouldn't be able to go. Damn it! I did a quick search and found no info online. If you live in Vancouver and are able to go you should check into this!

Dropping Like Flies

So it appears that my sister and family will not be attending our Thanksgiving feast. She is not feeling well and offered to just send my niece but she has also been sick with a cold. Since I don't want to catch anything before starting my new job I didn't think that would be best.

Earlier today my brother announced he too is sick but getting better. He wants to know if he can still come, even with his bad cough. :( I told him he should go to the clinic and find out if its contagious and to get a mask and some hand sanitizer, lol.

So the numbers are dwindling fast. Thats 4 or 5 people out of 12. Darn, should have bought a smaller bird.

My mom decided to pitch in some money towards dinner as now I'm having to pick up some things last minute due to cancellations which helps out. She requested a share of the leftovers in return. Haha! Who doesn't love a turkey sandwich (besides Arual ;)) ?

In other news I've book a new reservation and thing are looking good except the Bday Boy is being a dinkasaurus. I sent him a msg stating he had to take October 27th off for a long weekend surprise and now he says he won't do it until I tell him what's going on. I didn't want to hint to anything this early but wanted to make sure he could get the day off. How can anybody hate surprises this much? Man! He makes this difficult!

I'm about half way through cleaning but I've got some baking to do so I'd better get my arse out of this chair and get to work. It's time to git er done!

Young Folks



This song used to help me make it through the day at the crappy second hand store job.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

BF BDay Extravaganza Update

OMG!!! The place I booked with earlier gave me a strange feeling. When I shared my feelings with other people, they encouraged me to call back and speak to them again. Once I did my mind was made up. I looked around for another alternative to that plan and found it. Then I called my mom to make her aware of my plans.

I called back the original place to cancel and the woman was so rude and shady (I'll give u more details after the bday plans are revealed). Whew! I am glad I went with my guts on this one!

My mom and I will have to get together again to reserve this new idea.

Todays TCOB



On this blog I always post monthly TCOB lists. If you are wondering what that stands for its Taking Care Of Business. I got this one from the same teacher who advised us to give what we like and not what we don't to the food bank. Amazing man.

Anyhoo... my mom just left from letting me use her credit card to reserve something for BF's birthday. I've almost got everything sorted out now so I'm very very excited!!

Today I have to clean clean clean. *sigh. We're having a whole houseful coming over Saturday for the big Thanksgiving/October Birthdays Dinner. I've got all the food purchased, the gifts mostly wrapped and now I've just got to clean.

I'm dividing it into sections for today and tomorrow. Today is guest room/office (almost done), upstairs bathroom, downstairs bathroom/laundry room, kitchen and bedroom. Tomorrow I'll be doing the living room and main area upstairs. Those are fairly easy rooms to do so I can do that in between prepping and baking for the dinner. As for my personal office... I might as well close the door and put up a hazard sign. Same for the storage areas, lol.

We're not overly messy people but you all know how it is when you're expecting company. Especially when some people haven't seen the place and may expect a tour. I really don't know how we will fit all these people into the house. We need to borrow some chairs and things. I may take a love seat off somebody's hands too that is going to good will.

In other news I managed to get the day off I needed for the big BF birthday extravaganza but not my birthday. :( It's because of training scheduling so I'm trying to be a big girl about it.

So I guess I had better stop procrastinating and get to cleaning. HELP!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tough Decisions - Passion or Money

Yesterday I had a meeting with the Pharmacy Manager/Store Owner about a potential job offer. The meeting went really well. I was fully honest, as always, about my Australia plans for next year and laid everything out on the table. We talked about my good and bad experiences in dealing with pharmacy work. I basically let it be known that for a long while I didn't think I would ever tech again but that after time I started to wonder if I should try it again at another store. I was willing to make a final effort at making all my student loans pay off and decided to do the interview.

The job is full time. For now its Monday to Friday but in the future I may have to rotate weekends which means maybe every 4th or 5th weekend. Not bad. Currently there are two part time girls who want weekends so the full time staff gets them off. Yay! The tech hours are either 9-5, 10-6 or 1-9. There are benefits after 3 months. RRSP matches after 12 months (wont apply for me cuz I'll be gone). There is a positive work environment and they will pay for some additional training for me while I'm there. Since I wont be there more than a year I wont get to take advantage of all the training but its still a good offer.

This morning he called me as promised and offered me the job. I start Tuesday the 14th (voting day) at a great wage. I was surprised by the starting wage, pleasantly surprised, which has helped me make this decision. It's also only one bus ride away which is great!

As for the other offer.. I gave the studio all my paperwork over Friday and Saturday. Then I had to return Sunday to sign some documents she had forgotten about. She said she would fax them off on Monday and call me when she had my start date. I haven't heard anything back yet.

Even though photography is something I'm really interested in I have to take into consideration that this is an opportunity I can pick up again if I really want to down the road. Right now I really need to save money and the photography job pays almost $5 less per hour. It also doesn't come with any benefits and its a way longer commute. I only have one year until the trip to Australia and there's a lot of financial pressure on my back.

So I've decided to take the pharmacy job. The only thing I forgot to mention was need for two Mondays off in the near future for birthday randomness. I've already left a message for him to call me back. If its really a problem I only need one of them off for sure. That's the weekend of the big birthday extravaganza for BF which I'm really excited for.

I'm going to have to call the studio soon. I'm going to be honest with her and tell her the circumstances and see if maybe I can still do weekends there. The studio job was only guaranteed as seasonal most likely to go permanent but I can't gamble like that. So if she would be interested in weekends that's great. If not then more time for me and BF I guess.

So that's the story morning glories!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Week Until Voting Time!

The advanced polls are done. I wish I had made a priority to vote during that time but it just wasn't in the cards for me. However, I definitely will be voting on October 14! Everyone has the right to vote and I personally think its a right you should exercise.

I hate hearing "my vote won't count" or "it won't make a difference" or "they're all crooks anyway" lol. These are all cop outs if you ask me.

Next week make sure you take action and vote people!

October Birthday Shopping is Done!

I really took charge this weekend and managed to purchase all the gifts and cards I needed for October. I'm in the process of getting them all wrapped up and then I'm ready to go. I really watched my dollars this time.

Brother - Dinner out/Disco Bowling (paid by BF) Card -$1
Aunt - Card -$1
Uncle - Card/Scratch and Win Tickets/Candy - $12
Niece - Card/Book/Game/Fiber Optic Lite Up Skirt/Stickers - $32
Grandpa - Planet Earth Puzzle (3 in 1)/Candy/Card - $14

Gift Wrap/Bags - $3
---------------------
Total - $63.00

I went a little over with my niece (budgeted $25) but I'm really happy with everything I got her and she's really special to me. We share a birthday even!

I really lucked out having BF pay for dinner and the disco bowling we did with my brother. I wasn't expecting that at all and made sure to let him know I appreciated it.

Now I have to still have to get the Thanksgiving shopping done. I have a list though!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey - better do this right away!!
Stuffing
Cake Mix
Whipping Cream


BF and I will have to get that done asap! I still have to do the big "family is coming over" clean up. That should be fun ;-) So far things seem to be going well with planning for the big event. My sister seems to be wavering on whether she's coming or not. It seems to be based on mood which is really pissing me off. Good thing she's only in charge of carrots and potatoes. Those are things I can easily pick up myself if she doesn't pull through. I hope she does though for the kids sake.

I'm also working on BF's birthday. It's now going to take place on the weekend in between our bdays so we can both enjoy ourselves. I've changed my original plans drastically for the better I think. I've planned a great weekend for both of us. I just have to make some reservations today and we should be all good. Once the reservation is made I have to tell him he has to take one Monday off.

Oh, and I'm also planning my own birthday. Just a few girls and one guy coming over to drink, eat and be silly. I'm keeping things low key this year because there is just so much going on already. Besides, I'm not so much into it anymore. Just a few close friends around is all I need really.

The last weekend of the month is Halloween. I have to decorate big time for that! There maybe a family game night at my house that night. Sigh... I've got my work all cut out for me.

Darn Storms!

Last night some time a huge windstorm knocked out our internet until just now. I can't believe how much I missed being able to go online, even for just a few minutes. The only thing that really peeved me off was waiting an hour to talk to somebody with my provider. Then troubleshooting with her for a half hour just for her to put me on hold to get help and find out the service is down all over town. Talk about wasting people's time!

In other news I have booked a meeting today with the Pharmacy owner. BF said because I'm already employed and am not looking for work that I should negotiate on wages. It sounds like the pharmacy really needs somebody from the information I've gathered.

Confession. I have a really hard time putting a price value on my work. This is a problem I've had for quite some time. It's really held me back from selling my jewellry at more events and markets. It's something I need to address but haven't figured out a way to tackle it yet.

The meeting is in three hours and I'm having one of "those days". Hopefully I can make it through the meeting without being a goofball. If not... I already have a job so no worries, right?

Monday, October 6, 2008

KD &The Food Bank Debate


Last week I read an interesting observation on FB's blog. She had read an article regarding KD and whether or not its a suitable food bank donation or not.

You can read FB's thoughts here.

You can read the article here.

I've decided to write my own post on this matter as I have a deep, personal relationship with the food myself.

KD and I have had a long standing relationship. As a child growing up in a single parent, low income family KD was definitely a household term and was always a staple food. My mother always had some on hand and finding a case deal on it was always a good money saver.

To give my mother credit she did try to add some nutrition to the meal by adding slices of cheese, some home canned beats and pickles on the side. I loved eating this and thought it was great. I never had a problem eating it and I considered it normal because every other kid was eating it too. I never felt poor eating it because it everyone else did it and they weren't low income like us.

Every second weekend when we visited our father he also would serve it occasionally and he was much better off than my mother. It was just the norm.

In my teen years I lived on my own a lot. Starting at age 14-15 I started renting rooms in houses because living conditions in either of my parents home were not ideal. I had very little money to get by on. I would mostly babysit and do small jobs for money. After I paid for the room I was renting it was hard to buy food. I would often buy cases of Mr.Noodles and KD. Mr.Noodles was an every day food for me, with KD being reserved for "special" occasions. During that time period of my life it really was a treat. The trick was keeping a small 250ml milk and some margarine around to make it.

Now in my life I still eat it from time to time. I actually enjoy KD. I don't know what my attraction is too it but after all these years I've become a master at making it just right. I really like trying new kids. For example, the three cheese variety is pretty good. I like KD even though BF will hardly touch it. I know its not a great nutritional source but neither are a lot of other foods these days. I can eat a whole box of the stuff in one sitting.

As for whether to give foods like this to food banks I would have to say- DON'T.

I have visited many food banks in my life and I know my mother used food banks from time to time to help us get by. In a typical food bank bag you will always find: KD, Mr.Noodle, pasta, spaghetti sauce, a can of tuna and a few other items. The ones I've listed are the most common. Then at some banks you'll get tickets to pick a few other items such as a box of crackers. Milk is usually reserved for families. (In Edmonton this was not the case, we still got the same usual things but then another 4 bags full of food. Amazing job!) Milk and butter are required to make KD.

Food banks rely on your generosity so they can help people who need it. Nobody enjoys going to a food bank. You have to give out some personal info, stand in lines and its not that comfortable. If you are able to give, think about what you would like to receive.

I had a teacher who taught us a lot about life. He told us once : When you donate food, don't go into your cupboards and pull out all the food you would never eat. Go to the store, buy your favorite food and donate that instead. If you were on the receiving end which would you prefer?

I ask you, readers, what you would prefer?

When It Rains It Pours

Today I'm researching some alternatives for BF's birthday (more on this later) when the phone rings. The phone is being dumb and won't let me pick up. I try to check msgs but it says there are none. Just now, an hour or two later, I see the little light flashing on the phone base. I check the messages and WTF?!?!

A pharmacy I applied at back in August has called to offer me a full time position as a pharmacy tech. Why is this happening? Both jobs I had wanted months ago call me the same week and offer me work!

Ok, let's think about this here.

Studio Job
- Full time work now but is seasonal. Half promise it will become permanent but still... paperwork signed as seasonal.
- Great and fun staff to work with
- Long commute (30-1hr&30min)
- Offers studio training that I really want for in the future

Pharmacy Job
- Closer to home
- Probably has benefits
- Staff seems bitchy when I've been there as a customer
- Probably better pay
- Full time permanent position

I've decided I should call the pharmacy job and get more information as to pay rate, benefits, scheduling and so forth. Then I can make a more educated decision. What do you guys think?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just Call Me Rabbit


Cuz I hop around! Today has already had a lot of up and downs and its only 11:30am. Considering the 2 hours I spent on the bus a lot has happened already.

I woke this morning to pouring rain again. I sucked it up and got ready to go in record time. Today my boss asked me to come in a half hour early to help out. I said yes yesterday not knowing that it would mean I would have to take a different bus route which extended my travel time from 30 mins to an hour and 30 mins. Boo! By the time my first bus came I was soaked.

On the way to work I walked past a Rotten Ronalds and really wanted an egg mcmuffin but decided to hurry and get there a little early to help out. Big mistake! My boss was late!!!! The store opens at 9am and she got there at 9:20. WTF?!? She said she forgot it was her that was opening. Meanwhile I was stuck outside with delivery men and customers that were pissed right off.

Once we got inside she started taking out her frustrations on me. Remember, I only worked 4 hours yesterday so this was going on my fifth hour of employment. I tried to grin and bear it, thinking in the back of my mind that I couldn't wait to call the portrait studio back.

Then another coworker came in even later than my boss was. My boss was livid! She kept calling us together and reaming us out. She kept telling me how privileged I should feel that I was able to have a Monday to Friday spot with 40 hours and how I was really going to have to pick up the pace. I seriously think this woman has some mental issues. I'm not even joking when I say that. There is some real problems in that store and I think I know where they stem from. Yeesh!

She even talked about me to the other coworker within hearing range! I was working and ran out of stuff to do so I went into the back to ask her what I should be doing next. She freaked out and was upset I didn't know what to do and accused me of being a daydreamer and time waster. THAT was when I said very nicely " I don't think this is going to work out."

She demanded I follow her to the office where she gave me a big lecture of which I had to cut her off and tell her that I wasn't interested in working there. She kept giving excuses for the state of the store and her behavior but I wasn't having it. I finally said "Look, I'm going to go get my things and leave. I'm not coming back. I'm sorry."

She asked me if I expected to be paid for the time I worked. WTF?!?! I told her yes and that she could send it to me. BOY OH BOY!

I went and got my things and headed across the street to where the studio is located. I was just in time to catch her before opening. She asked me to come back in twenty minutes to fill out paperwork.

Just like that ladies and gentlemen the job was mine. I have to take in a voided cheque this weekend so my paperwork can be processed Monday morning and then I'll get my start date. I am so happy!!! This is a skill I really want to pick up and could use in the future. I have always dreamed of having a small portrait studio in my own home later on when I have children of my own. This will be a great experience for me and the staff is amazing. Yay me!

****
I said I wasn't going to talk about work anymore but people have asked me to so I'm still writing about it. If you have a problem with it... don't read the "employment" posts cuz your negative comments are not welcome.

Thanksgiving Dinner/ October Birthday Party

This year since I'm usually the host of big family dinners and birthdays I've had the clever idea of combining all the October festivities into one. I've decided that we can eat our turkey and have a little birthday cake on the side of our pumpkin pie. This is going to save me a lot of money, time and effort over the month. I made a list a few weeks ago assigning food to people to make it a potluck too!

Mom and her BF - Pumpkin Pie and Salad
Dolly and her BF - Turkey, Stuffing and Birthday Cake
Youngest Brother - 4 bags of Chips (easy enough right?)
Other Brother - 4 bottles of Soda (one A&W rootbeer for Grandpa :))
Sister and her BF - bag of carrots and bag of potatoes
Grandpa and Uncle - Buns, Beets and Pickles

I'm considering buying some sweet potatoes as a surprise to my mom. Does it look like anything is missing?