Sunday, November 30, 2008

Making money... the sneaky way?

My inlaws live in a little community within our community. They live in a condo block of thirty condos and they are a tight knit group. My father in law is the Condo association president, and as such, the different members often leave their house keys with him while they are on vacation, just in case an water pipe breaks and someone needs to go in and turn off the water or something.

Today they were joking with my sister in law about how many people in the association are on vacation and that they know who is all on vacation and for how long, AND they have keys to all their homes.

My sister in law replied that since neighbor B was on vacation for three months, mom and dad should rent the place out for that time and make some cash on the side. Kind of like one of those vacation rentals, the ones where instead of staying at a hotel, you stay in a house, with all the bonus's of a house, (fridge stove, washer dryer ect). They laughed. I laughed.

I know they would never in a million years do something like that, but it *would* be a nice chunk of change if they DID!



Just a quickie post for right now, I missed doing a post about thanksgiving, and That is something I normally do. HOWEVER, I do it when the US celebrates thanksgiving LOL

Better late than never, eh?

I am Thankful that we do not celebrate Black Friday in Canada, especially after hearing the news of that poor mans death in Wal*Mart. Senseless. To trample a man to death for a toy on sale. :o(

I am thankful that our car insurance is not due in December. Fro the second year in a row we stupidly got a pet in October, meaning three consecutive months of 100$ bills for the shots. Set number three comes due in two weeks, And I'm happy to not be worrying about my car plates as well.

I am thankful, so very very very very very thankful for the weather we are having right now. The coldest it has gotten has been -10 and most days it sits at PLUS one. According to the news,m it will be down to our regular temperatures by Wednesday ( -25 to -40) but holy hell, have we ever had an awesome November!

And I am thankful for you. Yes YOU. I am so very thankful that you take the time to read this bog, whether in a feed reader or by physically coming here to read, it doesn't matter, just knowing you are out there somewhere makes this all worthwhile.

I wonder

I had a friend who blogged. One of the things she was doing in her blog was journaling her experience with diet supplements. She had lost a fair bit of weight on her plan, but then had to stop taking them due to a surgery she had.

I wonder how she would be doing if she was still taking the supplements.

And then I wonder how I would be doing if I had stuck to MY plan of taking them.

I think that the reason people sleep at night and not the day is because the dark offers too much chances for us to think of things. And often, thoughts that occur in the dark are themselves dark in nature.

Right now, this very second, though, I am wondering if there is anymore bubble bath left....

Do I look a little green to you?

This evening was spent at my in laws, hubs sister had come in from out of town. They were on the laptop looking at different flight planning sites trying to make las vegas hotel reservations. After they checked thata all out, they started talking about going to Mexico.


I know that it is very different, how they live to me, but it still makes me a bit green round the edge. their kids are old enough to look after themselves when they go away so they only have to plan for the two of them to go, not the whole family. (And we all know that taking kids instantly quadruples the prices of any vacation!)

One of my least favorite things? Checking out vacation photos of other peoples vacations. Its like torture to me. Seeing all the things they have done and seen, and knowing that while I may get to go there one day, it won't be for quite a while!

*sob* poor pitiful me, eh?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SnowBirds in Mexico??

My In laws are die hard Snow Birds - Snow Birds are people of retirement age who go away from home, to a warm place, Usually Arizona, for the winter.

My in laws typically leave either in the beginning of December or the week after Christmas, and stay in Arizona for three months.

This year, instead of Arizona, My in laws are going to Mexico. I know that they are planning on getting a new life insurance quote as well as health coverage - my father in law suffers from heart disease and has had a stroke in the past - but I wonder if they have thought about the water in Mexico.

I'm pretty sure that people who visit Mexico must have a shot to prevent hepatitis. That the hepatitis can be found not just in the water, but in ice cubes as well as int he food that has been cooked in the water.

I will be seeing my mother in law tonight and i will have to remember to mention that to them. I'm sure that my Father in law will be talking to his doctor before they leave and his doctor will mention it as well, but better safe than sorry, right!!

Christmas Idea # 654

With Christmas coming (WOOT!Less than a month!!) have you considered using your Christmas Gifts as a way to promote your blogs?

I leave a Christmas card with Money for my Garbage man, as well as my Mail carrier, but this year I will be including promotional pens in the envelope as well.

People, by nature are curious, and they will go to their computers and enter the URL provided on the pens, and with any luck, they will then be hooked on your site and you will have gained an extra reader!

The more loyal readers the better!

Give it some thought, but don't take too long, it takes a bit of time to get the promotional items made up and mailed to you!


Parker, my eldest, was doing a study on weather for his science class last month, and with the term over I wondered what the class would be tackling next.

Turns out they are going to be studying their own bodies!

last night at the dinner table Parker was excited to tell us that this term they will be using microscopes and everything! He said that soon they will be taking a Q-Tip and rubbing the inside of their mouth, then they will get to see the cells in their cheeks.

It's not DNA testing, but it sure does get the kids excited!

I told Parker he ought to take some dog hair to class to view under the microscope, because I think Smokey's hair would look neat!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too easy to please

I think that my kids are getting tired of the same old lunch every day! They normally make their own lunches, they take a sandwich a yogurt and then they can pick two snacks from cheese strings, granola bars and rice crispy squares.

Two nights ago we had cheese smokies in a bun and this morning I made their lunches because i wanted to use the buns up. I made them a plain old baloney and cheese sandwhich, but stacked it into the hotdog bun like it was a sub.

You would have thought I had given the kids a lunch made entirely out of chocolate and jelly beans the way they reacted!

When we go shopping this weekend I am going to have to help them find somehting other than a sandwich for lunch.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My son Makes me LOL

We don't watch that much TV here - Or at least I do not! My husband and the boys like cartoons though, and we all enjoy movies. Only ONE of us, however, enjoys commercials and infomercials.

My six year old son, Blake. He can watch the Tide ball commercial(or other commercial) one time and then recite the entire ad while we are in the store standing beside the product. He tries his darnedest to convince me that I need to buy it. He only does this with things that he thinks I need, cleaning supplies, certain "girl" toys like the Easy Bake Oven, anything he thinks will help me.

It's so cute, there is a product called "Sham Wow", and basically it is an orange cloth that is supposed to be a miracle product, but they want 30 bucks for it. You can find the exact same cloths at the dollar store for a DOLLAR, though. One evening while we were at my mother in laws house, Blake was astounded when she brought out her rag to mom up a spill. it was a "Sham Wow" (lol from the dollar store). He proceeded to get a bowl down, fill it with water and do the entire infomercial for us. (the bowl of water - it shows how absorbent the cloth is... or something)

At the rate that drug companies are increasing their advertising time, it will not be long before Blake is telling me to buy Phentermine as we walk down the vitamin isle of the store!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Time to re-organize!

When we moved into our new house the basement was completely empty. Just a cement floor and an unfinished roof. No walls, toilets, lights or outlets! Except for this room. This BADLY planned room:

Furnace side

Storage side

This is my Furnace/Storage room.

The room has two doors, one to the furnace side, and one for the storage side. Smack in the middle of the room is the furnace/water heater combo. The combo makes it impossible to go from one side to the other inside the room, they are as good as a wall.

The problem is, there is NO room to get around in the storage part of the room becuase of all the clutter - and becuase the stairs take up a portion of that side of the room.

This weekends chore is to clean out those rooms, there could be so much more done with them if we only organized them properly! The first thing to happen is to move the bookshelves (The wood thing you see in the left side of the "Storage side" picture) from the storage part of the room to the furnace part of the room. I'm not sure what I will put on the bookshelves, but trust me, our house has enough crap that it will fill up quickly!

Then I need to re organize the two dressers that are in the storage room. I keep the boys summer/winter clothes in those dressers depending on the seasons and as you can see, they need some organization!

Buying in Bulk

You know, it is not just huge Box stores that benefit from buying from places that sell things like wholesale fashion jewelry. It's true.

What the stores are doing is called "Buying in Bulk" and anywhere you look you will see that you can get a discount by buying multiple of the same item. We buy a HUGE percentage of our foods in bulk. The first two shelves in my pantry are filled with Tupperware containers filled with staples like flour, sugar, and rice.

Buying in bulk is not only good on the pocket book, but on the environment. You can buy two chicken breasts, each on a Styrofoam plate wrapped in plastic wrap, or buy a whole tray of them. You save on money and on the packaging!

Now of course, you cannot purchase "time sensitive" foods in bulk, but for staples, freezable or canned goods, it just makes more sense to buy bulk.

How to : Closet Knobs

Four years ago when we moved into this house we had these knobs on the closes (Except in a browny bronze color). I very much disliked the door hardware and as soon as possible I went hunting for new hardware to change too.

You can only imagine how happy I was to find these: Not just becuase they look a damn sight better than the old ones, but becuase they EXACTLY matched the cabinet pulls!

So the question - or How To - if you will, is : Why are the knobs so loose? Ive checked the back and they are threaded in properly and the thread is not worn, yet at least once a month we have to go around and tighten the knobs.

It gets very annoying as the doors are bi-fold (I think that's what they are called) and it is hard to get your arms in there to do the tightening. I have thought about putting something - glue maybe into the threads and sealing them that way, but then we would find it VERY difficult to change the knobs in the future. (you would be surprised at how much a simple hardware change will update a kitchen)

So what can I do? Is there anything to be done, or do we just have to pull up our big girl panties and deal with the monthly tightening of knobs?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I need a memory upgrade!

This is a comment I left on FantastaGirls Blog :

I did our lists the other night too, then to hide them conveniently - becuase I wrote them while the kids were watching a movie, I shoved them into my book. this afternoon I was in the bath and the papers fell out of my book and into the tub, I fished them out, blotted them and laid them to dry on the counter, telling myself that I would SURLY remember to pick up the lists and NOT leave them unattended in the bathroom for the boys to read.

Guess who forgo to pick up the lists. There were two lists. One of the stuff we had bought already, one of the stuff we had yet to get.

Thank GOD that Logan - the only one who cannot read, was the one who found them and brought them to me asking if he could color!

Yeah. Nuff said, eh?

Last Night

Last night I decided to take the boys into the city for McDonalds and some impromptu Christmas Shopping. We had decided that since hubs was gone hunting, now was the perfect time to get his Christmas gifts bought and hidden away.

What I didn't take into account was that I would get to the city at the exact time that Rush hour traffic would be at it's heaviest. I'm not a horrible driver, I mean, I don't have to take out extra travel insurance to get to the grocery store, but I am a TIMID driver.

I am not a fan of changing lanes in heavy traffic, nor do I feel comfortable driving with cars on both sides of me. At one point, when going from my place to the mall, I have to change two lanes, and it was pretty scary for me. The first time, I had to cut in front of a semi truck, and the second was on the bridge, and that one was harder.

It's really amusing to me, how PROUD I feel when I have successfully driven myself somewhere. And it's even funnier to hear my children congratulate me on not getting lost!

And So it is Done

While by brother has not called to tell me he has made it safely up to Alberta with his chick and their two daughters, I assume from the facebook status updates they have done so.

I was talking with my father, firming up plans for us to go down their next weekend, and he told me that my brother has a pay as you go cell phone. I don't know what kind, or if it is one of those unlocked cell phones (whatever that means) or not, but at least he has the means to get ahold of the family.

It does kind of worry me that it is a pay as you go phone, becuase in the winter, not often, but sometimes, going outside, even to drive, is totally inadvisable, and I worry they will run out of minutes and be unable to get help if it is needed. (Ive heard that you can dial 911 on any cell phone and the call will go through, is this true?)

I'm guessing now, that the next time I will be able to see my brother and the girls will be at Christmas time, and that kind of sucks. Baby Brooke will be nearly five months old. She will be sitting and laughing byt he time I see her next!

Come to think of it, K;s Birthday is December 24th so I had BETTER see them during Christmas, I'd hate to have my niece celebrate her birthday with out her Aunty (ME!!) wishing her a happy Birthday

Friday, November 07, 2008

If Wishes Were Horses : Part two

Last night I kept hitting refresh on the local Lottery website, waiting for the numbers to come out, hoping that I had won.

I did win, but only two bucks.

See, Christmas is coming and while I have my immediate family's gifts under control (except for hubs, he really wants rock band, but it is out of our price range right now), I would love to be able to shop expansively for my dad and step mom and my siblings.

My dad and his wifee-poo love to gold - they even golf with snow on the ground, and i would love to get them something in the line of Cobra golf accessories. My sister is into weird things, but I would love to be able to give her a bunch of gift cards to the stores she frequents, and my brother has two adorable daughters that I would love to buy gift upon gift upon gift for, but I cannot.

And then there is the fact that yet another blogger is having a blogger party, and as much as I would LOVE to go, I cannot, absolutely cannot, afford the 2k it would cost to get me out there.

BUT. I have a ticket for tonight's Super Seven, so fingers crossed people!

If wishes were horses...

...I'd have a lot of dung to clean up!

I'm kind of jealous that the people in the USA get to have Black Friday. I've seen the ads, I know that the Americans are getting awesome deals on things I will be paying full price for, and it makes me sad.

And the worst part of it all is knowing that OUR deals come the day AFTER Christmas. Sure, that works awesome for my friend and her mom, who both work Christmas and then go shopping on Boxing day, saving lots and lots of money on their Christmas list, but for me, for people who have kids at home, who expect Presents on Christmas Morning, well it just plain sucks.

I want Black Friday to come to Canada too!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

LOLz with logan

Logan is eating his Ham with trees sandwich (Ham and cheese for those of you who don't speak Loganese)

Logan, I ask him, What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?

A Blue DS. He tells me.

Simple enough, "Santa" has already bought the Blue DS and magically hidden it in my husbands closet.

But, DS's are very expensive Logan, Santa might not have enough money for one. I tell him.

Santa has lots of money. It's in his head. The way to get money out of your head is to put your finger in your ear mommy.

Well, If Santa can't bring you a Blue DS for Christmas, is there something else he can bring you?

Yes! He tells me

What? What can Santa bring you?

A Green DS

*Bangs head on counter*

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I'm such a dork

This was on sale at Costco for 17$, which is a pretty good deal. I've seen Barbies, just the Barbie, nothing extra, at stores for 20-100$!

I was looking at it just now, while I was hiding some of the other gifts I had bought in my closet - I know - Very original hiding place, eh? And I got to wondering, What kind of Saddle was on that Pretty, Sparkly blue horse.

My first thoguth was that it might be one of those english saddles, But now I'm thinking it might be a dressier type, like a those horses who go into competitons where all they do is prance around looking pretty wear.

It *might* be a made up kind of saddle, 'cus, ya know, it's on a sparkling blue horse, But until I know for sure, I am going to picture that pretty blue horsey dancing... Like this:


Christmas on My Mind

Thinking about Christmas all day has led me to remember some of the weirder parts of Christmas and got me wondering.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever gotten or had happen to you for Christmas?

Has your grandma ever given you a skirt made out of ties? or Uncle Bob a decoratively wrapped ServReach KVMCube? What about Aunt Sue's rock hard fruit cake?

The weirdest thing that I've experienced Christmas-wise was one year, long long ago. My mother was not a big fan of wrapping gifts, and since me and my sister LOVED to do it, she would give us a pile of gifts and send us with tape, scissors and paper to separate rooms.

There we would, green with envy, wrap each others gifts. That's right. We had to each wrap the other sister's Christmas gifts and NOT tell what they got.

it was VERY hard, especially when you consider that my sister always seemed to get exactly what I wanted!

Then came Christmas morning and I was horrified at my mistake! Here I was unwrapping my very own Purple Boom Box - except - I had wrapped it for my sister! Oh no!

Yeah. My mother had each of us wrap OUR OWN Christmas gifts!

Less than 2 months away - update!

I went into the city very shortly after writing this post, mostly because I felt guilty we hadn't done more to prepare.

I feel pretty good about the trip. Logan is almost completly done now, Just stocking stuffers - and those are usually little things from the dollar soter, not something a high quality watch from Audemars Piguet!

Hubs will be stopping at Costco for a gift for my oldest niece tomorrow after work, and then both my nieces will be done. We have plans already for my father and Step Mother's gift - which, of course I won't mention here, as My Stem Mother (not the evil variety) often reads this blog!

I had started on Blake's gifts about a month ago, and picked up a nice Shirt for Parker this trip in. I like to get the boys a complete outfit as well as a toy for chirstmas! (And on top of that, a gift from Santa) Logans santa gift has been bought, and we will pick up the boy's Santa gift one each ont eh next two shopping trips.

So yeah. I feel really good about how close we are to finishing now!

The US Election has me Confused

I will admit that 1. I have no right to post anything about the US election becuase I am not eligible to vote, and 2. I'm not a politically savvy person. But. I'm confused about one point.

I'm confused about US health insurance.

I'm confused about how some people think that making the US health care system more like Canada's - Free - is a BAD thing!

No one has point blank said how this can be bad. How having free health care so that people, little kids are not dying of pneumonia becuase their parents had to choose rent and groceries and there was not enough left over for health insurance.

I know that more of my readers are from USA than are from Canada, so I am hoping that one of you can tell me - why is it so bad?

A Bad Time of Year

I was on face book earlier this week - Oh, who am I kidding? I am on face book EVERY day of the week! Anyway, I love to click "friends" and read all the status changes my Friends make. One of the girls on my list was complaining that she had two birthdays and Christmas all in the next few weeks.

That is Crappy. We had a Birthday here recently, Parker's, on October 29th, and Hubs Birthday is on January 13th. But that's not the bad part.

Our two cars auto insurance come due in October and November. Plus our Home Owners Insurance comes due in November. We recently got a break on our home owners insurance by installing a security system, and I wish we could find some cheap auto insurance to go with it! Or... that we had thought about the timing of our cars and bought them at different times of the year!

Christmas - LESS than 2 months away

This, I am ashamed to say, Is the worst we have ever been in terms of preparedness for Christmas. Normally we are all but done our Christmas shopping by this time. This year? Not so much. We are about 2% done.


Part of it is getting into the city without the boys to do some hard core shopping, another part of it, a bigger part is that since we know - pretty much - what we are getting the boys, so we have settled into kind of a complacent attitude, almost as if it is already done.

Some of the more interesting items I have seen for sale this holiday season are things like talking watches, the bubble machine for bathtubs - this I would have liked to get, but it was being sold on an infomercial and I don;t buy things with Credit Cards - there was a dinosaur at Costco I loved , it was the size of a small child, talked walked and "rawred" - unfortunately, Logan is a bit too old for toys like that :o(

We completely FORGOT to pick up my nieces Christmas/Birthday gift yesterday while shopping. I say Christmas slash birthday becuase her birthday is December 24th. We have one gift bought already, but I am not sure if it will be for her birthday or for Christmas.

Hubs has agreed to run into Costco after work tomorrow and pick up the gift for me, and once they are bought I can wait until the last minute to decided which is for which occasion.

Next payday, we are going to go to my dad's house for dinner - shh! I haven't told him yet, and at that point we will be able to buy two more gifts. Those two gifts are only available at the store when my Step Mother (not the evil variety) works.