Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pay Stub Love

Yesterday I got my first pay stub. 2 days before pay day! I hear from the other staff we should usually be getting them the Tuesday before payday but lately they've been a day late. How fun is that? I love knowing how much money I'm going to be getting a few days early. I can't wait to actually get the money on Friday. It's direct deposit which is great because I hate having to make an extra trip to the bank. :)

Greyhound Decapitation

I heard about this story at work today as we listen to the radio while we work. It made me sick and never left my thoughts the entire day. As a person who has ridden greyhound numerous times I am terrified. In the past I had only made sure to protect my carry on by slipping my leg through the arm strap to prevent it from being stolen while I slept. Never in my life would I have ever imagined that I would need to worry about being murdered in my sleep. This is Canada... we don't fear each other...

My thoughts are with the young victims family right now.

I have linked to a YouTube video for you.

Fellow blogger Nathaniel has also shared his thoughts through video.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

End of the Month Review for July 2008

Here are my numbers for the end of June:

Federal Student Loan $
2,315.36

Savings $753.95

Here we are the end of July and my numbers are not very happy :(

Federal Student Loan $2,256.59
$2,256.59
Savings $407.42 (down)

Its okay though because now I am working again and soon I will be back on track to reaching all of my goals. Next months will be much happier!

Paper Routes



Last month I talked about putting myself on a paper route wait list as a way to make a little extra cash and lose some of my fat sack. I thought if I had a paper route it would make me exercise and I could make a little extra while doing it. Well, I didn't realize how little the pay was or how much of an inconvenience it would be.

I got a call back from newspaper about two weeks ago offering me 1-3 routes in my area. The man said he was going to stop by my place to show me the routes so I made sure my mom was there. BF just happened to be home for lunch when the gentlemen arrived which made me feel more safe having a strange man in the house.

Basically, there were 3 routes available and it was obvious he wanted me to take all three off his hands as he made this offer:

"Take one route and make 5 cents a paper. Take two routes and I'll squeeze it up to 7.5 cent. If you take all three well then I'm sure I can talk my manager into giving you 10 cents a paper. How does that sound?"

Booooo was all I could think, lol. The routes were an average of 57-70 papers each and were located pretty close to home. I knew it wouldn't be much money so I didn't really care but 3 routes was too much for me. It would take too long. So then I decided to ask what time the papers would be delivered to my house in the morning.

"Oh, they should be here by about 8am."

Geez Louise! I remember when papers showed up at 5:30 in the morning so you could deliver them first thing. The expected them to be delivered by dinner time so that means I would have to do right after work which was not appealing at all. So then I asked how often the papers would need to be delivered.

"Three days a week, including Saturday."

Oh I don't think so. I'm not giving up being able to go away on weekends so that I can have a paper route.

So I told him I would think about it. I knew he could tell I didn't seem very into to it so he said if I ever decided to take him up on his offer he was sure he could find another route in my area for me. I thanked him for his time and that was it.

This week I got a call from another local paper stating on my answering machine that they too had routes available for me. Well... I didn't even bother to call back. I'm pretty sure this is not something I want to do.

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Ramune Drink

Today's What's Cooking Wednesday is about a new soda I recently discovered. About a month or two ago I stopped in a sushi place with my sister to grab some takeout. While waiting for my turn at the till I noticed a drink cooler and decided to grab something to drink. All of the options looked pretty boring to me except one. I meant to drink it that day but instead it stayed in the fridge until last week when BF spotted it again and threatened to drink it if I didn't. I told him to open it up and share it with me. That's when we realized the soda was more special than we thought. I didn't know when I had bought it just how cool it was.
Introducing to you the Ramune Drink. This drink is special as it uses a marble to seal it . We didn't notice anything until we popped the little green cap off and spotted it the marble.
The lid is actually built to push the marble down into the bottle. Sorry for the blurry pic but the middle of the lid actually pushes in and in turn pushes the marble in as well. Its hard to see but the marble is sitting snugly in the mouth of the bottle.
After we finished the drink (which was really good) we played around with the strange looking bottle. The design of the bottle actually holds in the neck and you can roll it back and forth. If you look carefully you can see it resting there.
Here is a picture looking into the bottle so you can see the marble. Fun, right!?

I read up on it when I decided to post and read that some people have problems drinking it because the marble rolls into the opening but we didn't have that problem. I thought it was really good. I can't really think of how to describe the taste.... maybe a bit like raspberry ginger ale? It has a familiar taste but I just can't place it. Anyway, if you spot one I would recommend trying it for sure. I love trying new things!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July TCOB

It seems I didn't make any goals for July. Hmm.... that shows how defeated and lost I was feeling. I need to get on that for August!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Creepy to the EXTREME

I am exhausted today with quite the headache so this post will be quick and sick!

There is a guy at my work that comes off as a little strange. On my first day one of the girls told me to be careful around him because he's a freak. I said alright but always make up my own mind about people. I soon notices something was off about him, so I politely say hello but not much more.

Today I found out more about why girls avoid him. He likes to flirt but in a creepy way. Girls don't go near him a lot and I guess its because of the things he says when he's "flirting". One of my male coworker let me in on something he stated to another girl who used to work there.

"Hey, the next time you do it with your BF you should take a really cold bath first so that then he can find out what its like to have sex with a dead body."

WTF?!?!?!?!??! I haven't been able to get that out of my mind since I heard about it. Ugh, I'm really going to keep my distance now. Today after work he gave me a light punch on the arm goodbye when he walked out. I won't be mean to him but I definitely know how to draw boundaries with people. I hope he doesn't say anything weird to me. :-(

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She Works Hard for Her Money

How sexy am I?


My regulation steel toed shoes. $63 at Wal.mart

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And We're Off

Okay, we've set the plans in motion for the big game tomorrow. I'm really excited and can't wait to get on that ferry. Hopefully we get there in time and everything goes well!

We will also be attending BF's friends birthday party on Saturday while we're on the mainland. Then we're back to the Island Saturday night so that we don't miss the annual Bathtub Weekend festivities. More on that to come.....

I set up a predated post for tomorrow which will feature a pics of my new work garb.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

The Master Plan Planning

Tonight we're off for wings at a local pub. Its been quite some time since we've gone. After a year of wing nights the novelty kind of wore off. BF still makes wings at home on that night though and they are great. Cheap too. We may not save on the wings when we do this but we do save on drinks :p

We're meeting up with a wing regular and one of our best friends to plan our game plan for the BC Lions vs The Montreal Alouettes that we are attending with some other friends in Vancouver on Friday night. I don't know anything about football but I'm excited to go. I'm more about the overall experience then the game, lol.

My BF and my friend have been saying for one year now that the next time the Alouettes came to BC that they would be there. Of course they are both rooting for opposite teams so this should be interesting. My friend has been probing me for info about what team colors I'll be supporting. The home team or the married life team, lol. My heart is torn... do I do like my friend and my home team or do I cross the fence and support my guy and his French Canadian pride? Oh, who cares I just wanna go there and get caught up in all the hype.

I managed to get off work 45 minutes early (it was all I could get) so that I can leave at 2:45pm. Its going to be close. We have to catch the 3:10 ferry to make it there on time and they stop selling tickets for walk ons 10 minutes before sailing. EEEP! We better make good time with driving and parking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Bacon wrapped Enokitake Mushroom Appetizer

If you try any of my recipes be sure to try this one. Its an appetizer that you can make ahead of time and simply grill for 12 minutes before serving with fresh lemon wedges. Its super easy, affordable and delicious. I have made these at parties, put the plate down, went to get a drink for myself, and come back to an empty plate. They are a definite crowd pleaser!
The star of this dish is the Enokitake mushroom. I would describe the taste as being sort of nutty. I usually purchase them at a local Oriental foods store but recently have seen them in larger grocer chains as well. They are very interesting to look at so it gives your appetizer a very unique look that attracts people quite well.


The first thing you should do is cut off the bottoms. I would say a half inch to inch above the bottom. I usually cut it off on top of the wrapper so I don't get my cutting board dirty right away.
Here is a close up shot for y'all.



Now I start dividing up the mushrooms into bunches around the size of a quarter. You can adjust this over time to a diameter that suits you best. Just remember you are broiling these babies so you can't make them too small. I then cut strips of bacon in half. I find a half slice is perfect for ensuring your bacon is done when the mushrooms are to avoid burning. You can always adjust the amount of mushroom but make sure to add enough so that the ends don't singe too much.

Roll up the mushrooms with a strip of bacon fairly taut and then secure with a toothpick. Once they are at this stage you can put them in the fridge until just before your guests arrive or its so fast that sometimes I do it while they are there. People love to watch these being made and are always thankful they did watch when they taste how good they are!
I usually line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil. This particular piece of foil I had used to cover a dish earlier in the week and then reused it as a grease catcher here. Don't worry it was clean. I'm big on the three R's. Reduce, reuse, recycle. You can do more than this of course. Do as many as you like. These ones I made were a little thicker with the mushroom than usual. You can fit way for than this on one pan. This was one package worth of mushrooms. I would say it does about 8 well from this last experiment with them. All brands that I have seen are the same size in package so whatever you get should be fine. :)

Now pop these babies in the oven and broil them for about 6 minutes on each side. Be very careful to watch them about 4 minutes into cooking each side as you don't want your mushrooms to burn. Remember.. they have tiny little ends to them that can easily burn.
Once they brown and the bacon is cooked enough bring them out and let them sit a minute. You can use this time to cut some lemon wedges. Go back to the bacon wrapped mushrooms and use a bread knife to cut them in half. You should be slicing half way through the bacon. As you cut them you can arrange them on a plate. Stand some up for a fun effect. I'm sorry I would have made the arrangement a little nicer but I had an impatient BF who didn't want to wait while I took pics for my blog, lol.

Make sure to advise people to use the fresh lemon slices to squeeze a few drops directly onto the bacon wrapped mushrooms to really give it a punch. Either way its delicious but I find the lemon really makes it special.

So there you have it. My number one appetizer and all of its secrets. *sigh

Share and Enjoy!

Weekend Fun

Last Saturday was a super treat for me! BF finally agreed to go check out Dodd Narrows with me. We packed up a lunch and small portable bbq so that we could have a picnic while we checked out the scenery. Its probably a 45-100 hike through Cable bay down to Dodd Narrows.

Once we got there I broke my camera out right away. I was able to film a seagull eating a starfish within an hour of being there. The wildlife there is incredible. Its of BC's top diving spots. Just standing on the edge of the water there were tons of star fish and sea anemones everywhere! They are very common all over the tidal pools here on the island but these were in huge groupings as far as the eye could see into the water. We also noticed some bald eagles nesting in a tree across the water on Mudge Island. It was definitely a great place to get away and enjoy some time with nature.

There are a lot of boats that pass thorough as a way to save gas and money so if you go be prepared to see a wide variety of boats passing through. BF checked the tide charts so we would be there to watch the crazy currents and eddies. I filmed it quite a bit with the camera BF got me a few Christmas' ago.

The hike back has a lot of uphill to it so its not for the faint of heart. As we were walking a small snake slithered across my shoe and got hung up for a moment. I wasn't afraid of him biting me but I was freaked out that I might move the wrong way and squish the poor guy. Also, another pointer is to wear a long sleeved breathable shirt for the hike bike. As you sweat a million mosquito's will chase you down. I couldn't keep them off me for a second and I was covered in huge bites. I guess its a small price to pay for the amazing day.

It was important for me to visit because soon a major part of the land near Cable bay will be developed against the wants of the people living in the area. I live in a near by area and signed petitions to limit the development. It wont stop the project but it will limit the area they can use which is better than nothing. When I was looking up links for this post I was shocked to find an advertisement for the development online. *sigh* Is nothing sacred anymore?

Here are a few photos I took along the way:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

EFund went down :(

This week I had to take some money from my EFund to pay off some bills. It makes me sad but that's what its there for so I'm trying to not beat myself up over it.

I can't wait to get working again so I can get rid of this debt and pump up all of my savings goals!

Driving is Scary, but oh so convenient!


So for those of you who are new to this blog you may not know that I do not have a drivers license. I had a learners license at one point but after two years it expired.

Driving is a very big fear of mine. It really stresses me out thinking about it but its something I have to get over. Not driving limits me in a lot of ways.

  • I've missed out on a lot of great job opportunities because of it.
  • Transit here sucks so it takes an hour to just go to one place (errands? forget it)
  • Relying on other people in a rush situation is never fun
  • I want to start selling at Farmers markets but cannot transport every on the bus obviously
  • Transit is also expensive, limited to ridiculous areas and does not run very late or early
  • Grocery shopping is stressful when you have to think about how much everything weighs for your walk home.
  • Its never nice meeting people somewhere nice or going to an interview after standing in an Island rain or wind storm.
  • On road trips BF has to do all driving... this has to change before we move to Australia
These are just thoughts that came off the top of my head. Of course even if I could drive I wouldn't do it all the time because of environmental and financial reasons. Still, I need to conquer this fear and get myself in order to take on this challenge.

I was considering going down today to take my test but I'm not doing very well on the practice tests and I really should read the book before I go. I didn't read the book the first time and passed but this time I'm trying to take it more seriously.

I called the testing center and the close at 3:30 everyday for learners testing which means I would either have to do it today or to get off an hour or two early one day from my new job because I get off shift at 3:30. I just don't feel I could do it today. I can't cram a whole book in my head in 3 hours and make myself beautiful for the learners photo!

If you would like to try a practice exam you can find it here. I managed to pass one after 3 tries but I need to do better than that before I go pay the $35 to take the test.


p.s no, that is not me in the pic

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Freezing Berries

(^^^^hand picked from our first crop^^^^)
Today's installment will be quick and sweet!

I have a quick tip for freezing your summer berries that are coming on sale everywhere right now.

When freezing berries try spreading them out on a cookie sheet so that they freeze individually. Once they are frozen go ahead and throw them into a freezer bag to store for later.

I like to have frozen berries on hand for a lot of things:

Muffins
Smoothies
Strawberry Shortcake
BF's Raspberry Coule
Ice cream topper

and Eating Frozen Berries as is!

What do you use your frozen berries for?

Otznek ... surf sur chaîne

So I msged the last one to my BF who thought it was fake so I looked up Chain Surfing and found this fellow as well.

WTF?!?!

Ok, I had to share this with you people!

Chain Surfing
Chain Surfing

Job Offer Accepted

I was really upset when I was let go from that other factory job. I really enjoyed the physical aspect of the job and still miss my coworkers. So the last while as I've been looking for work I seemed to not get any call backs for things that I really wanted and instead got a lot of dud offers that just weren't going to work for me.

Well this week I've been trying to put positive vibes out there a lot. I tried to build my karma every where I went. I really truly believe that karma is a powerful force, especially when you are pairing it with a positive outlook on life.

I called a number listed for a job and left a message. Luckily I left my phone number because on the message I promised to send a fax as well of my resume but they had not received. They called me and informed me of the issue so I faxed it again right away and set up an interview which I went to yesterday morning.

The interview went better than I expected. The business is owned by a husband and wife team. I had the interview with the wife and I really liked her. This is a factory job with mostly men but she assured me that if anyone ever breathed a word of sexism in any woman's direction they would be immediately canned. Woohoo!

We talked for a long time (everyone always finds my resume interesting, lol) and she offered me a job after touring the factory. The job has a set wage with an easy to achieve bonus plan. I liked that a lot!!! Also there is full benefits after 6 months, including dental ( I need this badly). The job is Monday to Friday from 7am to 3:30pm. Sounds good right?

I am really excited. I have to go buy some WCB approved steal toed boots before the job starts Friday. The problem is the store I need to buy them from is closed because they are moving and they keep pushing back the opening date. My mom took me there today because they have stopped answering their phones and they said they're not sure when they will open this week and I cannot start until I get the boots... sigh

Another problem is getting to work. The bus here doesn't start running until 7:10. Damnit! I wrote the bus service a nasty note about the lack of service, especially with gas on the rise and BC trying to go green. The bus service seems to run for people who work Monday to Friday, 9-5. BF has offered to buy me a bike this weekend. Its been about 10 years since I hopped on a bike. I wasn't very good at it, I think its a balance and nervousness issue. It's quite far so we'll have to see how it works out.

I'm keeping my new employer aware of my problems finding boots. She said she may have a pair there that I can use for a few days but they are probably not my size (7.5). I'm going to keep looking and hoping I can find some before Friday (fingers crossed).

I'm really looking forward to starting this new job. I hope I'm good at it and things work out because everyone seems very nice and I like the fact that I wont be dealing with customers or any nasty people. :D

Am I too full of Pride?

Greed:Medium

Gluttony:Low

Wrath:Medium

Sloth:Low

Envy:Very Low

Lust:Very Low

Pride:High



Discover Your Sins - Click Here


I stumbled across this quiz somewhere today and took it for fun. Turns out I'm a sinner when it comes to Pride... oops!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Big Split




It's always a topic of discussion that everyone argues about... splitting the cheque. It's such a hot topic that I actually saw two posts about this week.

One on Gail's blog and the other on Budgets are Sexy.

I have one question? Where do these people get off? I'm tired of being the one that comes off as rude or pushy because I have decided to not pay for part of someone else's dinner. Its ridiculous!

Reading other bloggers post stories about getting burned by friends makes me steaming mad. I guess it brings up the one million memories of getting the crap end of the stick myself. I have countless stories of moochaholics and jerky tippers.

I have decided to tell you all a story that recently happened in the last two months that was the final straw to push me over the edge with this person. I never want to dine with them again but because we are entwined socially so much from now on I will make sure to make it clear we have separate bills.

**
Two months ago a friend of BF's called us up and asked what we were doing. This guy has a habit of calling around dinner hour and letting us know that he is conveniently in our area and available to join us for dinner. Anyway that night we had already made plans to eat at a friends restaurant which is exactly what we told him. Since we are all friends with the owner he asked to tag along and said that he would have coffee but probably not eat anything.

When we arrived at the Egyptian styled restaurant we were greeted and sat down at our usual seats hungry to eat. The restaurant is a one man show with amazing meals for what we consider to be great prices for the quality and quantity of his food. Right away he asked for our drink orders to which we responded two coffees and a soda ( I don't drink coffee).

When he brought back our drinks I opened my mouth to order to be cut by BF's friend who asked for a Hookah to be brought out. Right away our friend ran to the back to get some hot coals going.

I looked at BF's friend and said "um... I thought we were here to eat and now you are going to smoke that in here?"

"um, yeah"

"Well we aren't here to smoke today, we're here to eat"

"Well I want to smoke a shisha."

"Alright well I'm not having any. Its kind of gross before eating."

"Fine"

It took awhile for the owner to get things set up for the hookah which in return made it take a lot longer for us to be able to order. I was starving!

The owner knows BF's friend is a mooch because he also knows him very well and when our dinners were served he had made up a special plate for him and stated it was on the house. BF's friend ate it up and enjoyed it quite a bit.

At the end of the meal the bill came. BF's friend did not even look at the bill. Instead he reached his hand into his pocket and pulled out 5 bucks and laid it beside the bill. Then he smiled at the owner and pulled out a toonie and stated it was a tip.

Now let me say here that this guy also boasts all the time about what an amazing tipper he is but has obviously not shown that he is in the hundreds of times I've eaten out with him. Which is another reason I like separate bills... you don't have to make up for the cheap ass tippers.

So BF looked kind of confused by the bill but paid it anyway. Later, after we dropped his friend off at home (mooches rides too) BF turned to me and said he didn't think we could really afford eating out at our friends restaurant anymore because it seemed the prices were going up. I was stunned by this comment.

"Um hello?!?!?!"

"What?"

"Holy crap! Did you not read the bill?"

"Why?"

This is what the bill would have looked like:

Dinner $15 (two course Egyptian meal.... well worth the money)
Dinner $15
Coffee $2
Coffee $2
Soda $2

Hookah $13.95!!!!!!!!

The problem is not the cost of our meals. We know the cost and we accept it. We go there about once a month and its amazing every single time. Plus, we like to support our friends business and there is no other place like it anywhere.

The problem is assholes who like to order what they want, offer you a puff or two and then expect you to pay for it. $5???? FUCK OFF!!!

I pointed out to BF that his pipe cost the same as one of our meals and THAT is the reason it cost so bloody much! Its not the first time we've had to pay his way. That was the last straw though.


****
Some friends I can split the bill with because they are frugal like me and we split it as to who got what which is totally fair. Others are hoping to benefits from having everything on one bill. For those people ... ARGH.. From now on when they say "Oh just put it on the same bill" I pipe up with " Oh, well we (BF and I) will need a separate bill please" straight to the waitress/waiter.

If they say anything I just tell them its easier that way.

Chance of a lifetime

The Pemberton Musical Festival is looking for ticket takers and such. They pay for your transportation, 3 meals a day along with other perks and fun. Your job is to stand around for 8 hours of the day taking tickets. It's a great way to get into an event that costs close to $300 for a three day ticket pass.

I have the email address for the girl (Samantha) who is doing the hiring.

jobs-west@nasco.ca

Her contact number is:

604-683-2512

This is a killer opportunity for somebody to score a free ticket into the shows and soak in the atmosphere. I can't make it but hopefully you can.

Act fast !!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Zenni Optical was on FOX News!!


Recently I told you guys all about the great deals online at Zenni Optical. Well the cat is totally out of the bag now because they recently were featured on Fox News. So if you were skeptical before I hope this puts your mind at ease.

Remember there is no middle man so you can really save a lot of dough purchasing through them. Since I do wear glasses I'm going to check them out again and see what I can find for myself. I'm always looking for an extra pair to keep around for emergencies since I'm blind as a bat without them and at these prices, why not?!

Bad Day

Yesterday I went for what I thought was a job interview at a local hotel and ended up being put to work for 4 hours. At the end of the day I had a talk with the manager and I had a bad feeling about the job. I kind of felt like because she knew about education background that she felt she had something to prove to me about how hard the job was physically. I don't know what it is but every time I get a labour type job they hold my education against me.

This morning I only worked one hour before I burst into tears and had to leave. It was a very short job for which I only worked a total of 5 hours for and should receive payment on the 22nd. There was another girl who started yesterday and she also quit today. It wasn't the work that bothered me but more the attitude from the manager as to the way she talked down to me. *sigh

I'm really tired of working for other people. I want to start an entrepreneurial fund so that I can get out of this rat race. :(

Thursday, July 10, 2008

$16 Richer and Prouder

Earlier this year I worked for a horrible seniors home. It was so depressing. I couldn't handle the working conditions or the annoying manager. Once I got a new job I called up and quit. I had only worked 4 shifts and the manager guaranteed me that I wouldn't be charged any union fees. I had to fight to get my pay and ROE from the jerk. When I did there were $40 in union fees. Instead of dealing with him again I decided to call the union directly.

The union was very distressed to hear all about his behavior and offered to refund me what they could. Part of the fees stayed with the company and part were paid to the union. They told me they would give me back what they could but I would have to fight the company for the rest.

A few months had gone by and I thought that maybe the woman hadn't completed my request after all but I found a cheque in the mail the other day for $16.60. I guess the cheque was just waiting until I really needed it to show up.

Yay for standing your ground!!!

Getting Prepared

When we make our trek to Australia we'll be packing our lives for one year in a backpack each. I've started to think about clothing options that would be suitable for working outdoors all the time and that would survive well while living out of a van.

LA Police Gear has tactical pants on sale right now. There is even free shipping on some of the pants. That sounds good to me. Its really important to have some really durable, weather protecting clothing for this trip. It's going to be against the great outback and I want to have some added barrier between me and the elements.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fellow Blogger to appear on Rachael Ray!!!

I have linked to this blog a few times in the past because it is simply amazing and it appears her dedication to crock potting has paid off.

Tomorrow, Wednesday July 9th will be her day! Check out Stephanie, from A Year of CrockPotting post of how it all happened on her blog.

Having a good time with Family and Friends

This last week has been full of good times for me, right when I needed a pick me up.

Sunday was spent celebrating the first birthday of my very adorable nephew. My mom threw a BBQ to celebrate and it was a lot fun. My nephew is the most smiley baby I've ever met. He didn't cry or fuss the entire time.

Last night we went out with one of my best friends to celebrate her 23rd birthday. We went to a floating Mexican place with some killer margarita's. I felt a little tipsy after just one and a half and I can hold my liquor. Her parents, who I adore, made a surprise appearance for dinner. At the end they surprised us by picking up the tab. I felt kinda bad so BF and I promised to bring the alcohol on the next camping trip we do with them. Afterwards we headed out for some more drinks and to play pool.

Today my mom and I took my niece for a walk at a local bird sanctuary. It was so quiet and my niece was really excited. She behaved really well while we were there so afterwards we took her to a local petting zoo as a reward. I bought some feed and we hand fed the animals. I have some pictures I'll post later for you guys!

Steal of a Deal on Prescription Glasses


I recently had an opportunity to check out some prescription glasses online at ZenniOptical.com. They have a huge variety of glasses at a great price because they cut out the middle man, the retailer, and sell directly to the customer.

I liked that there is a base shipping fee of $4.95 for shipping no matter how many pairs you buy. They also have frames starting at just $8.00. They even include anti scratch coating and UV protection for free.

This site is great for somebody like me who knows exactly what style of frame I like and hate going store to store trying to find the exact ones. With the price of gas being so high its nice to shop online and have things delivered for you. I recently purchased new glasses and it was a pain shopping around and being pressured everywhere I went to buy glasses that didn't even look good on me.

So if you're shopping for new glasses check em out, the site is very user friendly!

Monday, July 7, 2008

$30 Surprise

There is an old saying that says something to the effect of "Don't lend anything you expect back".

I know that this is true but still I waver, bend and do it anyways. I've been burned many times in the past with possessions that are very important to me which is always disappointing. I have also learned that its very true with money. It seems the last year I've been suckered way to much into helping people and then getting screwed over. It burns!

In January we celebrated my mothers birthday and I thought it would be a great idea for my siblings and I to pitch in on a weekend away in Tofino. I brought it up to my siblings who agreed it was great. I broke down the cost according to who could afford what because the four of us have very different financial situations.

I spent two days looking for a place that we could afford on our limited budget and finally found one that was spectacular. Right on the beach and a perfect getaway for our mom. Growing up we never had a dime to spare and I don't remember my mother ever having the chance to go somewhere and relax for a weekend. It was really important to me to give her this opportunity to kick back and enjoy herself. She's a single mom and I like to give back to her when I can.

Everyone quickly pitched in the dough except for one of my brothers, who promised to pay me quickly and I agreed that was alright. A few weeks later I was at my brothers house for a quick minute to change my clothes after being in the rumble of my grandfathers burned out house and I asked him if I could take him for dinner since it was his birthday the week before. He said he would love that but asked for some cash instead. Our father was in the Philippines where they suspected he may have contracted typhoid fever and he was short for food and transportation money until pay day. I opted to lend him the money and take him for dinner anyway. That night we both went out for dinner with our mom and brother and it was a great time.

Soon the months dragged on and on and it really got on my nerves. I was having to put my portion and his in to cover the trip and I really could not afford it. Excuse after excuse was the only response I got. Here we are in July and he was dodging me every chance he got.

Last night there was a birthday party for my nephew and my brother wasn't there. I pulled our other brother aside to make sure it wasn't because of the money. He quickly reached in his pocket and said he had been asked to give something to me. It was $30. Not what he owes me but I'll take anything so I quite pleased. I'm going to send him a thank you note for sending it to me. My other brother was a bit pissed as I found he is owed quite a bit more by the same brother and found it irritating that I got money and he didn't but we laughed it off.

I was really happy to get the money as times are tough right now. I know he's not strapped for cash so paying me back should not have been a problem but I have learned my lesson. It's my third time burned by this brother and I won't make the mistake again. It's hard though sometimes to say no, especially under the circumstances.

Let me state that I have never tried to make my brother feel bad about the money he owes. Hell, he's been to my house for steak since owing me the money and I haven't said a word. It's not something I would do, to make him feel uncomfortable at family gatherings. It's just not worth it because family is family and is more important that money.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Post Secret




Well today is Sunday and one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday is check out the latest posting on Post Secret. I've been checking out their site/blog for a few years now and I never get tired of it. Every week is as different and fascinating as the people who send in their post cards.

The point of Post Secret is to allow people to expose their deepest darkest secrets and realize that we are all human beings and nobody is alone in their personal struggles. Sometimes the secrets are sad, sometimes they're a little naughty, you never know what will be there when you check in each Sunday. This entire project was inspired by one man's dream and has now become many people's saving grace.

Post Secret has grown like crazy over the years. There is now a community set up online where people can go to discuss their problems and express their feelings. There are even books for sale that are a collaboration of different cards sent in. The man behind the project, Frank, now does events where he shares the cards. There has even been a burst of people creating cards and leaving them in the books at the stores where they are sold to be found by perfect strangers.

Frank's project has helped many people move past obstacles that plagued their minds and their lives. His project supports helping others and promotes the use of National Hopeline Network for those in needs. It just goes to show that one man can make a difference.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Great Evening

Last night my mom called us over to play Yahtzee. BF and I are big game players and so we went over right away. I was pleasantly surprised to see my Grandpa and my Uncle there waiting to play too. We had a blast and soon it was past midnight and nobody had even noticed the time slip by.

The best part was when I first got there. My grandfather jumped up and gave me a big bear hug and told me he loved me right away. I almost melted. That is the second time in the last month or so he has done that and its almost floored me both times. My grandfather is not one to express emotion so my mom has been pretty shocked too.

We always had a special bond. This last year has been hard with my grandma passing and then his house burning down. I've tried to be there for him but lately I've been caught up in my stuff. Today was a good reminder about what I should thinking about when I'm down. I have an amazing family and I should really spend more of this free time I have with them right now. I've been so upset over not being able to find suitable employment that I haven't stopped to think about the positives in my life.

I always say I can't wait to get the hell out of here but then moments like this remind me to slow down and enjoy what I have.

New Found Info

I was just checking out a newer blog called Shevy's Miscellaneous Life and saw some great info that I wasn't aware of. Did you BC residents know about the Climate Action Tax Credit? No? Neither did I until I read about on her blog. I already received the $100 dividend but I had no idea about this!

Find out more info here.

It turns out I do qualify! The first payment doesn't come out until October but will include both July and Octobers payments. I'm guessing it will be about an extra $50 bucks. GST comes out that month too so that is great. My birthday is October. Woohoo!! Great news!

GST Checks

So its that time again... GST checks should be coming around soon. I don't have direct deposit and my PO Box is a far way away so I guess I'll be waiting. I would love to put it on my debt but seeing as I am still unemployed I think I will hang on to it this time.

So what will you be doing with yours?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Response to Anonymous Comment

Anonymous said...

Who do you think you are? Why are you trying to put yourself between your "friend" and her family? Her mother is her mother, and always will be and she should support her daughter, not trash talk her to you. Whether or not you agree with the choices she has made in her life, it is not your place to criticize. She is an adult, and will have to live with the consequences of her actions. Be this having one, two or five babies! Or pushing all her friends away. Or remaining in an unhealthy relationship.

I guess your post just bugged me because it seems you are trying to win over her families approval, and have them agree with your thoughts and feelings on the situation. It also seems as if you think you never do anything wrong. Are you willing to take any responsibility in this? I'm sorry, but if you where the "friend" of my daughter in this said situation, I would tell you where to go, and how to get there.


Well comments like yours always fall under anonymous.

Firstly, I did not put myself between her and her family. I spoke to her mother because I work for her. She was the one who called me and initiated the conversation. We didn't trash talk her at all. I care for her and so does her mother. The conversation was mostly about our working agreement and was peppered with concern for her daughter. There was no ill will towards her daughter. Am I allowed to have a conversation with a woman I have known since I was in seventh grade and whom I have lived with in the past? Yes, I believe so.

There is more to this story then what I write on this blog. I don't care about her having babies. I have obviously supported her choices thus far but to be degraded by her bf is not something I will do. I have been friends with her many years through good and bad. I'm not the one who ended the friendship. I do think though that when my best friend is in an abusive relationship having babies that she felt pressured to have is a bad situation and I don't like it. I have been with her through every event in her life without problem, but when the abuse comes my way I step out.

You are so out of left field with your comments. Did you not read where I wrote that I opted to give up the only income I have right now as to not stir the pot? I have not spoken to her mother since our last business transaction. Her families thoughts and feelings are no secret to me or her. If you would really like to know her mother was fully aware of what was happening and the conversation was in part me crying over the loss of a dear friend.

In this situation I do not believe I have done anything wrong. I was trapped in a bad situation with people screaming at me, trying to keep me stranded in the middle of no where and degrading me. I made the decision to leave and she made the decision to break off the friendship. Did you miss something or do I need to break it down even more for you? The only thing I take responsibility for is taking care of myself in an unsafe situation. What else should I take responsibility for? The fact that I supposedly could have given her child mad cow disease? Bitch, Please!

So to anonymous commenter I suggest you read a post thoroughly before commenting in such manner. Now I'm sure I don't have to tell you since you seem to know so well... where to go and how to get there.

****EDIT

I just looked up the persons IP address using my statcounter and it seems the comment comes from a person who has visited my blog 255 times. Why do you feel the need to hide who you are?

Update on the Mad Cow

So I guess its been awhile since the big explosion over the beefy fries I tried to kill my ex-friends child with. If you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about please read this post.

Anyhow, nothing has changed. She never bothered to called me and try to mend things and I really am not going to be the one to bridge the gap. We have been friends for probably 15 years and the fact that our friendship has ended should bother me a lot more but I guess I'm changing.

The way I see it is that if she was willing to throw away a friendship over this then its not really a friendship I want to be in anyways. The truth is that the last few years the relationship has been very strained.

She is in a bad relationship. She's been with this guy for a long time now. I can't really remember when they got together but I'd say about 8 years ago. We all thought he wasn't much of a catch then and we are still of that same opinion. When I say "we" I mean me, our friends, and her family. Two years ago she almost left him, but then discovered she was pregnant. She was so close! One foot out the door and then it happened.

It was something I had warned her about for a long time. She's one of those girls who thinks she can tell when she's going to get pregnant by counting days and I guess it worked in her favor for many years. I always told her it was a bad method of pregnancy prevention but she didn't care. I even asked a doctor in front of her but she paid no mind to what he said.

She was the girl who didn't know if she ever wanted kids and now she was pregnant. She had all these big dreams of moving to the mainland and pursuing a career and living life to the fullest. The news of the pregnancy killed her inside and she made the hard decision to have an abortion. She said that she was going to leave him and move on but she kept delaying it and within a month or so she was pregnant again.

Fast forward to now and she's still very unhappy and pregnant again. I ask her why she wants to have a second baby when her relationship makes her so unhappy and she says that she wants to have her kids close together. I don't really find that to be a great reason but to each their own. If you are financially screwed, in a bad relationship and miserable is it really the time to be having baby number 2?

She is miserable in her life. She has cheated on him with girls and with a man who was her only lover besides her boyfriend in her entire life. He is constantly saying horrible things to her and wont let the past go. He brings up the baby they gave up and asks if she had really been his. He knows she struggles daily with the fact that she made that decision and he reminds her constantly. He even looks at his own son (who looks exactly like him) and asks him if he's really his.

They go to counselling but even he admits he only listens for a day or two and then gets "lazy" about making changes. He is the most vulgar and unattractive person I have ever met. Anyone who meets him calls him the angry guy. Even during my last birthday he was an ass to me in front of all my guests and was close to being punched out by my own BF. He's one of those guys who has one beer and turns into a raging asshole. Yet he drinks every day.

Slowly but surely people have been pushed away. Nobody wants to be around him. I try to make plans with her alone but the minute she's about to leave he demands to come out with us. Then he sits there and whines the whole time and says revolting things about people. The way he talks would make your stomach turn. It's really disgusting. I've told her before that I don't want to hang out with him and she knows this but she won't just tell him no. Anyway, I could go on about this forever but its just beating a dead horse. He will never change and soon they will have another baby for him to be a disgusting pig in front of.

She has asked me to help them sort out their finances but I don't even try anymore. I send her links to information and make up information packages for her but she does nothing about it. Instead they buy new furniture and a big screen TV and now want a new vehicle. As we all know... you can't make somebody change when it comes to finance. They have to make the decision for themselves so I stopped helping.

This I know really upset her. I don't really care. I have my own issues to deal with and I don't need to waste my time. She tells me that she's my friend and I should help her but I guess giving her the information to help herself isn't what she is looking for.

Over the last year or so she has told me probably 5 or 6 times that I don't invest enough of myself into our friendship. She says the same thing for her other friends and has threatened to drop everyone and move on. At first I bought into it a little bit because I do have a habit of going into my own world a little bit but I've always been this way and all my friends know this about me. So I tried to give her more support and spend more time with her even though I had my own shit to take care of. Slowly I started realizing that I'm not a bad a friend and that I was not responsible for the way she was feeling.

The fight was just a build up for me starting to distance myself I think. Thats why I don't call her. I just don't have the energy or the patience to deal with it anymore. As I get older I really start to analyze things and if something is toxic in my life I let it go.

I did talk to her mom who paid me for a job I did for her. She said I did a great job and she'd like to keep me on but I told her it would probably be best I distance myself for a bit. I feel awkward working for her mother after our friendship ends and don't want to make myself the focus of another attack. Her mother understood and said the offer stands. We had a conversation about what happened and she gave me some insight from her perspective too. Based on that I know I'm not alone in my feelings.

So does it hurt to end this friendship after so many years? Yes, of course it does. I'm sure it will hurt for many years to come. Right now I'm partly sad, but I'm mostly numb to it. I just don't need the pressure. Friendships are a two way street and I'm tired.

If she calls me I would talk to her but I wouldn't jump back in to a friendship. I think too much damage has been done and I know as long as she is with him that things will never change. I guess thats' what happens when you grow up. I still love her and wish her the best but this friendship is too unhealthy for me and what I want in my life.

So there it is... unedited. My thoughts spewed out in random post. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

End of the Month Review for June 2008

Here are the results from the end of May 2008:

Federal Student Loan $2423.14


Savings $753.95

Now here are the sad sad numbers from the end of June:

Federal Student Loan $
2,315.36

Savings $753.95

I'm not mad or upset with myself because I really couldn't do much else. I'm struggling right now but soon things will be back to normal. There are some issues that are really holding me back right now that I will share with you soon. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!!

Hello fellow bloggers. I am stopping in to say:

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!

I had a very great weekend and since today is a holiday and hoping to get one more fun day before my BF returns to work from his holiday. With that in mind... I'll update you soon on my end of the month numbers... as sad as they are :D