Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dancing with the stars week#2 elimination night

Last night on dancing with the stars teen sensation Selina Gomez performed one of her songs. Little Miss Sunshine was really excited to see her. Then it came down to who was going to be eliminated.
In the bottom three were, Debi Mazar, Kathy Ireland and surprisingly Louie Vito. In the end the star with the lowest score was going to be eliminated.

Eliminated last night was Kathy Ireland. I was a little bit disappointed because I really like her and I actually thought that she was not as bad as the judges said that she was. In the end although I thought that she had greater public support, the American public have made their choice.

Tune in next week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dancing with the stars week #2 performance night

Dancing with the stars was on last night. This time they have combined the men and the women on the same night so there will be only one couple eliminated tonight. My favourites, were Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond and Mya. They all did a great job.

My predictions for possible elimination would have to be, Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the teenage witch) and actress Debi Mazar. I really like Mellisa she is so cute and nice but her performance was not all that great. I actually think that the men may be safe this week. If any of the men were to be eliminated then I think that it would have to be Tom Delay (politician). Truth be told the judges were really hard on Kathy Ireland but I think that she did ok and she probably would have a lot of public support so I think that she is safe. My vote for elimination would go to Debi Mazar.

We will see what happens tonight.

For those of you with children who enjoy watching the kids hit show The Wizards of Waverly Place, Selina Gomez will be singing live tonight on Dancing with the stars.

I will update you all tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bench Talk: Teens, Tattoos and Piercings!

So, your teen comes up to you with a request for a tattoo. How do you respond? Is it better to get a piercing rather than a tattoo?

(Carolin) Interesting Cathy very interesting. Sometimes I think Cathy picks these topics cause she knows we are or have already gone through this!

First off I have to say I have a tattoo. So obviously I have no problems with them. And also yes I have had my ears pierced. So piercing is not a biggie for me either. But, as in everything, I do have an opinion!

I got my tattoo when I was 38 years old (yes, was also the the year I tried pot for the first/last time). The teenager has said on more then one occasion that she would like a tattoo. My response has been fine but wait till you are older. Because the interest she has now may not be what she has 20 years from now. Also, I strongly recommend that the tattoo be in a spot that can be easily hidden when you don't want others to see it. (mine is on my back shoulder) There are times when the showing of a tattoo or piercing is not appropriate.

Now about a year ago we went through the belly button piercing with the teenager. She had different times mentioned she wanted to get one. I had told her to wait till she was 18 and also she had to be careful when she got one as I understood you could not get it wet and she is in a chlorinated pool 15 plus hours a week.

One day she went to the mall with a friend and unbeknown to us she got her belly button pierced. She did not tell us at first but like anything circumstance prevailed and we found out. I think I handled OK, I was more concerned about it being taken care of properly and how was she going to handle the pool issue. I was a little upset that she didn't discuss it with me first and felt she had to hide it. Now her father, that was a totally different issue. He was not happy and said some not very nice things. It did cause some friction between us for a while. I think sometimes he is just too hard on her and his expectation are way too high. And he thinks I am to soft with her and let her get away with all kinds of stuff.

But anyway I digress, after about a month the belly button was totally infected and she had to be very careful. Within two months the belly button ring fell off and she now has a scar. She hasn't mentioned belly button piercing or tattoos in a while. So who knows what she has planned for when she goes to university (fingers crossed) or when she turns 18 and she considers herself an adult!

My advice to teens who want to experiment, make sure it is in a place that you can cover up if you want. Though you think you know now what you want for the future, life can get in the way and you wouldn't want to regret the decision. With belly button piercing remember it doesn't hurt to get it done, but it requires a lot more after care and can take up to a year to completely heal. So, if you are in a pool a lot it might not be a good idea. Belly button piercing is very different then having your ear pierced and requires very different care.

(Sunshine) Well everyone this is a subject that has come up a few times in our home. I don't have a huge problem with tattoos or piercings. Well maybe I do because I have said that there will be not tattoos or unapproved piercing while our children are living in our home. Is that the right thing to do? I don't really know. I would prefer that they be much older when that decision is finally made. I just figure that when they finally do leave home then they will be much older and I will have no say in the matter anyway. For now I am playing hard ball but I know that they could come home with something if they are determined and really want to. What would my reaction be? Who knows? Mr. Sunshine pretty much never says no to anything. His theory is that if you say yes then they probably won't even discuss the matter much anymore. Eventually they will forget about it because they are not doing it to spite you. Its not as attractive to them anymore because you have not made it a forbidden thing. He says let them feel like they are in control even though you are the one who is really in control. In the end if they still want it and they are old enough then they can get it and pay for it. After all it is their body. How old is old enough? I don't really know, maybe 25 years old or so.

However, I do remember being that age and the "no you can't" statement only annoyed me. But the tattoos and piercings were never of any interest to me. All I wanted to do was to dye my hair blond. I came home blond at about age 19 or 20 and I got in really big trouble but it didn't matter much to me because I really liked it. Things were tense for a while but then they calmed down and I did whatever I wanted to my hair ever since then.

I think as parents we do need to impose some rules and regulations. Children will challenge them and sometimes break them. As a teenager I felt that we had too many rules but now today as an adult with children of my own I appreciate that my parents tried so hard to enforce the rules. I do think that it kept us on a straighter path and out of trouble.
Cathy here, it's funny, but this subject has not really come up in our home. I have two sons and thankfully, they still wear their pants around their waist! I asked them once what they thought about the latest fashion trend of wearing pants so low and they both replied that it was stupid! I, personally like a guy with a small diamond stud earring. I have even offered to take the boys to get one if they want. Hubby does not like it, however, I don't feel he would stop the boys from getting an earring. Fortunately for Hubby the boys are not interested at all in an earring or any other piercing.
Tattoos come up but only between Hubby and I. The boys have never talked about it. When Carolin got her tattoo, I thought about getting one myself. I have played with the idea of a small deep pink poppy on my ankle, or on the top of my backside. I asked Hubby once what he thought of the idea. He used to say he didn't like tattoos, but lately when I have raised the subject he has said he wouldn't mind, it's sexy all of a sudden!
I still only play with the idea. I do have pierced ears but hardly wear earrings. I am just not that much into jewelry. So, at this time piercings and tattoos are not an issue. I think if the boys were to ask about a tattoo I would try to steer them toward piercing. Tattoos are permanent and expensive to remove. I feel you could poke holes in yourself and if in the future you choose not to fill those holes it would not show.
Well, you have read our opinions, what are your opinions? Please feel free to leave your comments, anonymous or not we love them all!
Have a great day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday on the bench

Hi everyone, this has been one of those weeks. It's Friday today and I am wondering where the week went! We ladies tried to get together this week, but it was not meant to be. So, here we are again catching you up with our past week. (Carolin) I too was hoping to get together tonight, maybe meet at the coffee shop or out for dessert but Sunshine is off to a Blue Jay game tonight with the family and it is sad but I never hear from Louise anymore so I guess it was meant for me to stay home and catch up on house stuff. Louise, I understand you are busy and adjusting to a new lifestyle but you are thought of daily and missed very much. (Sunshine) It is now early Saturday morning and I woke up and immediately thought of all of our benchers and my good friends. So yes it is 5:43 am and I ran to my computer to catch up with everyone. We did go to the Blue Jays game last night. Its been quite a while since I have gone to one of their games. Generally I find them very boring but last night was a little bit different. Little Miss Sunshine has made the soft ball team at school and her tournament is this coming Friday so she really wanted to go. Well, she was full of excitement and she had so many questions. She was cheering and happy and it was so much fun to see the game through her eyes. They won 5 nothing. It is amazing to watch because the skill level is so high. It's interesting to watch the rest of my family interact at this kind of event, too. Little Miss Sunshine and myself generally have the same reaction when there is a home run and we get into the game like the rest of the crowd. Teen Sunshine had her I-pod in her ears the whole time and didn't move a muscle. Mr Sunshine has the same laid back reaction no matter where he is or what he is doing. He has a smile on his face but the excitement level does not change.

After the game we decided to go for dinner so we went to a restaurant downtown called Spring Rolls. It was busy and the food was really good and affordable. The decor was really nice too. Mr Sunshine had seafood phad thai. The girls had vegetarian chow mein and I had chicken satay with mango salad. We also had some spring rolls to start and a very yummy fried banana with coconut ice cream dessert that we all shared. Everything was delicious. I would definitely recommend it.

On Monday's. "Bench Talk" we spoke about creating good habits. My girlfriend, Carol wrote us to say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I decided to create my own good habit of exercise for at least 1/2 hour everyday and I have also added 1/2 hour dedicated to me! I decided that the time is really there and I just need to give it to myself and I work best under pressure anyway, so the other chores will still get done. Yea for you Cathy keep up the good work. Cathy I have decided that I will also commit to exercising 1/2 per day starting today.

Today marks day two of my goal of 21 days. Yesterday, I took the dog for a long walk. It was a beautiful sunny day. It felt really good. I then picked up my guitar and practiced for a while. It was funny because I had this urge to do it all and I had to keep telling myself to slow down. It was not necessary, nor possible to achieve all of my goals in one day.

Still, I managed to putter with my plants, play a little piano and still had dinner on the table, late but it was slow cooked ribs and they were very tasty. As far as watching what I eat, after dinner last night we decided to make the, "5 minute chocolate mug cake", mmmmmm. I have really been trying to watch what I eat. It's really more portion size for me I think because we do eat pretty healthy most of the time. I am trying to limit myself and only put on my plate what looks to be the right amount. It is really hard to not go back for seconds and I usually leave the table feeling hungry now instead of full. No change in weight yet but I will keep on trying. Lets go for Carol's 21 days on this too.

I have made this mug cake before. The teenager liked it she said it tasted like chocolate fudge. But the husband wasn't big on it.

Today, I again took the dog for a long walk, played guitar although not for long. I watered a few pots outside and for dinner we had a sauteed salmon fillets with brown rice and veg. I had a lot of running around to do today. I do not feel like I was as focused on me today. I looked for time but it was only in blocks of 10 minutes or so. I went for a bit of a walk today as well. As the little one and I were turning onto our home street. One of the neighbours was walking down the street, which shouldn't be a big deal in itself. But, I have noticed over the summer that this particular neighbour has really declined health wise. Though I live on a street where nobody really speaks to each other, other than a polite hello, I have noticed that she shuffles when she walks and she seems a little confused. She reminds me of the late mother in law who suffered from Dementia during the last few years of her life. So anyway we saw her walking down the street with a newspaper in her hand. I pulled in to our driveway and quickly put the meat in the fridge then the little one and I went over to her house. I was a little unsure what to do because maybe she is fine and I didn't want to insult her or seem too nosy. So anyway the husband answered the door I tried to be tactful and said I wasn't sure if he knew but his wife was walking down the street on her own. (over the summer I have noticed that he walks with her, she has never been alone) Anyway he didn't know she had gone out and quickly got in his car and went to find her. So the little one and I went walking as well in case she went down one of the side streets that leads to a pond behind our homes. After about 10 minutes he drove back with her in the car and stopped for a second to say thanks. So that was my big exercise for the day. It was hard keeping up with the little one while she was on her bike. Carolin, thank God you were there at the right time and followed your instincts. Good for you, so many people would, unfortunately, turn away and not want to get involved. One of my aunts had dementia. She managed to exit her home in winter. She too was found, however, she was not dressed properly, developed pneumonia and she died.
It make me feel so sad to know that life can be so scary. We really do have to be thankful for our good health because we never know what the future will hold. Caroline you showed great compassion and even though I am sure that you are so tired from your busy day, her need came before your need. God is looking down on you and the little one and he/she is so very proud of you and so are we. These are the best lessons in life that we teach our children.

Whats been going on in our house, well you already know about my stove issues. Yesterday I got a phone call from the teenagers cell phone. But it was the boyfriend who told me that the teenager needed me cause she was having a breakdown and kept fainting. I asked to speak to her and she was crying and it was hard to understand what was being said. Dilbert came back on and said that she was home and he was with her and she was upset and stressed from her own daily stuff and dealing with his problems. All this is news to me. I was at work and couldn't leave. And to be honest with you I am getting real tired of this drama. I can hear her crying at night while on the phone with him but she won't talk to me and gets angry when I try to help. So I just stay away.

Anyway, I finally leave about 4:30 and I try calling her on her cell. She answered and says she is walking on a street not far from our home. She said she went to work but they sent her home. So we drove to her and picked her up and came home.

When we got home I had the little one go take a shower so the teenager and I could talk. She looked like crap I did ask her if she was on some kind of drug. She said NO but was very upset and could not talk properly. After about ten minutes of me telling her to just breath and not try to talk. She seemed a bit better. I then tried to ask her questions that she only needed to nod or shake her head to. Eventually she was able to talk and I got out of her that she was stressed about school, and work and Dilberts family problems. So first we talked about school and it seems the music teacher had given the students their schedules for this term and she has four music night performances and they conflict with her shifts at work. When it comes to work the policy is she can only have two shifts off a session. I understand the policy it is so the kids have consistency with their swim instructors. But, I am sure the pool supervisors must understand that when dealing with High School and University staff there has to be some flexibility. Also next week she has to find replacements for work because the Head Guard course she was to take two weeks ago had been cancelled at the last minutes and now is next week. She is on course Tuesday night, Wisdom teeth out on Wednesday and then on course again Thursday night plus school. Now at the time when all this was arranged it wasn't supposed to be like this. So again I told her we would cancel the dental surgery and then I called the pool supervisor (at her request) and talked to him about the concerns she had about the shift replacements. He assured me not to worry and that the teenager is a valued employee and all would be OK. We talked a bit more about Dilbert and his family issues. I then told her that as of now the phone calls must end by 9:30 at night. No more late night phone calls and I am sorry that he is having a hard time with his parents, but ultimately it is not her problem and perhaps she should let us help and not keep it all inside. After about a hour talking she seemed to be better and went to have a shower and do some of the homework that was due today.

But with all this it makes me wonder, have I coddled her to much and she is not able to function when things get busy. Or is it just her nature and will she be able to handle university cause I think it will get worse before it gets better. And how far do I lay down the parental control because we told her a few weeks ago we felt that she had taken on too many work shifts. I was not happy with her working for the city Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings and then doing a one hour private lesson on Mondays. It is way too much with school as well but she insisted that it would be fine as she had a light course load this term and also a spare to get homework done. I am not sure what to do, let her work this out on her own so she will learn or come to the rescue every time she is over stressed? Cause I am pretty confidant that come January she will take on way more then she should again and argue with us that she can do it! She just gets defensive when I bring up events from the past to prove my point. My older one has no lunch this semester in grade 10. He wanted to take music, so he took grade 10 English in summer school in order to open a spot for music. He is in french immersion and the way the courses are laid out he would have had to drop another course this semester and make it up another time. He decided he wanted to try all 5. He is lucky that his teachers are all on board and are allowing him some time to eat during class. I am worried it's too big a course load, however, he made this decision and we are going to let him go with it. Very hard not to step in! Carolin, I am concerned for all of our teenagers. They take on way too much. The pressures at school are enormous. I find that after week three of school my teenager is totally exhausted. She works until the wee hours of the night getting homework done so she barely sleeps 4-5 hours every night. She stays late for play practice three to four night a week so she is gone from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (that's like a full time job hours, and that does not include comute time). They will be adding on Sunday practices in October as well. She never seems to eat. She has a bit of breakfast (sometimes) and then a granola bar and an iced tea during the day. She then eats her dinner that is a normal portion and complains that she has eaten too much. I told her last night as she was holding her head because she had a pounding head ache (which I am sure is from not having eaten for the last 10 hours or so) that her face looked so much smaller then it did three weeks ago and she needs to properly nourish her body. She said that in case I didn't notice, she's not trying to loose wight on her face . She said that she is so unlucky because she always looses weight in her face first. She is waiting for her lower body to change now. She is tired and has head aches. I am worried about her and I try to talk about it with her every day but she only gets very angry and annoyed. She has had training on all of the correct ways to eat and nourish your body so she knows how to do it and how important it is. However, I do understand. She looks at me and doesn't understand how I can look at her and tell her that she needs to eat. I hate it, and I wish that weight was not an issue in life. She does like herself and she is very self assured, she just really wants to be smaller. I pray that things will go better with all of our children.

All you benchers out there what is your advice for me? Carolin, life as a teenager is tough enough. Throw in work pressures and a boy friend and anyone would be over the edge. I understand now why my parents wanted us to wait to get involved with boys until we were older and out of school. It wasn't just the fear of sex and pregnancy it was all of the emotional things that also came with it. I know that when I started dating, I was also very young and it was the focus of my life. Some boys are not so dramatic and life is a little easier because you are just hanging out and enjoying each others company. Others, come with their own drama and big issues and they transfer their issues onto you. I can recall the break downs and the crying. I was with someone like that for four years. I don't think that I remembered what normal life was like until he dumped me one day. I cried and cried and cried. And yes I made myself sick over it. However, as time passed, I got better and other people entered my life. I forgot what a sense of calm was like until Mr. Sunshine entered into my life. I can do without the drama but when you are a part of it and feel that you are so in love, you really can't see it. Things will get better for her but it may be a long and hard road. I know that for myself there was nothing that anyone could have done to help me because I would not listen. In fact all of the disapproval of our relationship only stressed me out more. It also made me not talk about things when they were rough because I was sure that I knew what my parents answer would be. They already made it quite clear to me that he was not the right person for me, so what else was there to say. I just wasn't interested in hearing it. Try not to preach, try to just be there to pick up the pieces and hold her when she comes to you and needs her mom. Just be there to love her. Now I will take my own advice and stop talking to Teen Sunshine about food and eating because she knows it all anyways and lets just hope that she gets the results that she wants in a healthy way.

Work is going good but very busy, I had my highest sales yesterday $2.00 short of $200.00!! Doesn't sound a lot to some but trust me that's a lot of chocolate chip cookies and freezies!

Congratulations Carolin, keep plugging away. Some day that number may even have another zero added to it.
19 days to go. Pressure!
21 days to go. Just Breath! (its now 6:49 am Saturday morning, I am going back to bed)

Dancing with the stars (season # 9) double elimination

Well some of the dancers were really good and others were not so good however, I admire their courage.

I would have thought that for the women Debi Mazar should have been eliminated but truthfully Macy Gray was a little bit worse. I like Macy and would have liked to see her dance again next week. Macy said that she joined dancing with the start because her mother really wanted to see her on the show. Sorry everyone its official, Macy was eliminated. I just think that she was very nervous. Were she to have had the chance, she would have probably improved quickly and would have been interesting to watch.

A big surprise for he women and someone to really watch for is Kelly Osbourne. What an amazing and surprising performance. She was elegant and sweet and a pure joy to watch. Ozzy and Sharon were in the audience all teary eyed and shining with pride. It was a very touching sight.

For the men my money for elimination was on Ashley Hamilton and Tom Delay. Tom's performance was, well he was having fun with is but I did not enjoy it. In the end, Tom won out and Ashley was eliminated.

Who to watch for in the male category? Well of coarse Donny is really good and Louie was very entertaining.

Have fun watching next week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dancing with the stars (season # 9)

. Dancing with the Stars

Well everyone one of my favourite shows has started again. It didn't use to be something that I enjoyed watching until probably the last two seasons or so. It is so amazing to see how these starts improve and transform into graceful dancers.

All of these people, dancers and stars look great and play hard.

Tonight is double elimination night. One of the girls and one of the guys will be eliminated

Participating men

Aaron Carter Singer
Mark Dacascos host of Iron Chef
Tom Delay Politician
Ashley Hamilton Actor/Comedian
Michael Irwin NFL Hall Of Famer
Chuck Liddell UFC champion and Hall of Famer
Donny Osmond Entertainer
Louie Vito World Champion Snow Boarder

Participating Women

Natalie Coughlin Olympic Gold Metal Swimmer
Macy Gray Grammy Award Winner Singer
Melissa Joan Hart TV Actress (Sabrina The Teen-Age Witch)
Kathy Ireland Supermodel & Fashion Designer
Joanna Krupa Supermodel
Debi Mazar Actress
Mya Grammy Award Winning Singer/Actress
Kelly Osborne Singer/Reality TV Star

Some of my favourites over the last two nights were, Joanna, Mya and Kelly for the women and Donny and Louie for the men.

Cathy you should watch because we all know how much you love Donny.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just a Another Tuesday Evening at Home

It is now just after 10:00pm and I am exhausted. Why you ask, hmmm let me see got home with the little one from school/work at 4:30. The teenager had already left for work (rode her bike) and the husband is on the afternoon shift for the next two weeks so we might see him on Saturday or possible Sunday. We communicate by notes left on the kitchen table and the odd phone call. I made the little one some eggs for dinner after putting away work stuff and I had some leftover pork chop. At 6:00 pm we started on the homework.......... We have two weeks of school under our belts and the little ones teacher has talk to me half a dozen times concerning the little ones learning style. I have told her a few times she needs to read the assessment that cost me $1500.00. You know the one that told me absolutely nothing I didn't already know but for some crazy reason the school systems need to have it in writing by some guy with a bunch of letters behind his name.

So anyway we started on math, then worked on christian Ed, then grammar/comprehension and at the same time I was making 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies for tomorrow. The little one was just finishing up her spelling words when I turned the stove off from the broccoli I was cooking for soup tomorrow. When all of a sudden the stove started to make popping sounds and red Sparks flashed from under the ceramic top. Then I could smell burning rubber. I tried not to panic and pulled the stove out from the wall and unplugged it. Thankfully the cookies had all been completed by this time.

I then called the husband and he said go buy a new stove. Uh thanks for that bit of wisdom. So at 8:15 pm the little one and I get in the car and head to Lowes to look at cheap stoves. Well it seems that nobody makes bisque coloured appliances anymore, the sales lady looked at me like I was asking for a harvest gold or olive green. My choices are white, black, or stainless steele. Also they had nothing that I could have by tomorrow and would have to wait two weeks. The sales lady recommended Sears Home. So though I am hesitant with Sears as that is where we bought the original stove from and also the dishwasher that had to be replaced last November. Off we went to the other side of the city to get there before they closed.

Susan our sales help was very nice and I decided on a black (yea I know again no bisque) traditional stove and oven. No more ceramic top, which I am OK with as I was never really happy with the one we had. I do like the look of the ceramic and it is easy to wipe up spills. But I found it took two times longer to bring a pot to boil then the traditional element kind. And you needed special cleaners and had to be careful with the type of pots you used and how you used them. So back to a coil elements for me but what is nice is they element trays are also black (hopefully they stay black over time) and goodbye to my duel ovens. I will miss that option. I like that the stove is simple ( thats all I want) and has two outlets for small appliances. So after twenty minutes of back and forth between this one and another that of course was $100.00 cheaper but didn't have the outlets and was a fake stainless steele look to it this one won out. I am now $1000.00 more in debt. But I guess it could be worse right?

Wait it gets worse. Just as we got home and I was starting to wash up the dishes the phone rang. It was the teenager calling to say she was finished work and was walking home now. Wait didn't she take her bike to work? Yes she sure did but it seems she forgot her lock and says she borrowed a lock from another instructor and when she was finished work the bike was gone. So she now has NO bike. The little one and I got back in the car and then proceeded to drive to pick the teenager up.

Someone please explain to me why when something happens to the teenager it is NEVER her fault. Now I am not saying having a bike stolen is her fault. But why did she not have her lock with her, you know you're taking your bike with you why wouldn't you have the lock as well. Also as I didn't mention it earlier, I did before dinner drive over to the pool where she works and drop off her glasses and contact lens stuff as her eyes were bothering her. Again you know you will be working 4 1/2 hours in a heavy chlorinated pool why did you not bring your eye stuff with you? I'll tell you why cause she was to busy checking her facebook and talking to the boyfriend. Which by the way is what she is doing right now. When her sister asked her how she was going to get to work on Thursday she replayed I'll take mom's bike. Huh, over my dead body she will. She can take the bus to work or walk and then I will pick her up at 9:00 pm. Yea I know what you are saying, but I can't let her walk home alone that late, I would be a bad mom.

It is now almost 10:00 pm we get home and I send the little one up to get ready for bed while I finish off the dishes. I go up to read her story when she tells me I will have more laundry then usual this week. I ask why and she informs me she has spilt white paint all over herself. I can feel my blood starting to boil, as I take her to the bathroom which she has tried to clean herself up in. There is white paint on the towels, counters and sink. I go to her bedroom and find white paint on the floor, and her school uniform tunic, which she has rolled in a ball so I wouldn't notice. By this time I can no longer keep my mouth shut. I am trying real hard not to lose control. I pick up the paint (where it came from I don't know) throw it out, clean the floor, the uniform , the bathroom and rinse out the towels but think that might be a lost cause. And yes before you ask they are the nicer towels that are covered in paint not the crappy old ones.

It is now 10:55 pm and the little one is (better be) asleep, the teenager is I think talking to Dilbert on the phone, the dishes are done, not the soup, it will have to be can soup tomorrow. There is a stove sitting in the middle of my kitchen and the van has bee cleaned out ready for the husband to take it in the morning to pick up the new stove. I don't know how he is going to get the stove in the house or how he will get the old one out. But I will let him figure that out. Cause I can't do anymore today.

We never did get to the French studying for the test tomorrow. Oh well another failed test under our belts. The teenager did tell me she got a big raise today (over two dollars an hour) which is great cause she needs to buy herself a new bike.

So how was your day?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bench Talk: Creating Good Habits

It has been said that it takes three months to adopt a new habit.

How many of us have started a fitness regime with enthusiasm only to have the, 'get up and go', disappear?

What about projects? How many half finished projects do we have taking up space? Photo albums, scrapbooking, guitar lessons, all started with the best of intentions only to be forgotten.

How much guilt do we carry with us when we think of where we could be if only we had more, 'sticktuitiveness'?

Hi, Cathy here, well, I seem to have success with procrastination. I have many nights as I lie in bed thinking about all the stuff that I should have done. Or, more to the point, could have done. I have found that I do best with a deadline that I have to be accountable to someone else for. For example, if I agree to do something by a certain date or time, no problem, I will get it done.

There I have trouble is with my own projects. My interests are vast and I have 'started' many. I have 'almost' finished classical guitar lessons, 'almost' completed the kids photo memories book. I have almost finished a Christmas decoration which I started many years ago! (Carolin) I as well have stuff I have started and just don't seem to get finished. As I type I can see one of my projects. Two years ago the husband lay hardwood throughout the main floor, it is finished in a dark stain but all of our railing are in a honey stain. It is cost prohibitive to replace all the railings so I decided to sand them of the varnish and then paint them the same colour as the trim though out the house which is a soft white. Well the railing that divided our kitchen and family room has all been sanded but one spindle. I did that back when he had just finished the floors and haven't touched it since! When we decide to move is probably the motivation I will need to finish the job. I also planned to dig up the backyard gardens and clean them up and move stuff around. Well I did do two gardens then I never seem to touch them again. Of course I used my sprained ankle as my excuse.
We are finally doing some long awaited renovations but it makes the rest of the house messy and cluttered not to mention the expense that has to be incurred. I am excited but the hard work that it takes is not as easy to do as it was when we were in our twenties. We are so sore after hours of working on projects that it takes a few days just to recover. For me, I am lucky because I am home but for my husband he has to work hard during the week and have his weekends filled with ongoing renovations. It's tougher on him then it is on me.

I have the time to work on my projects, however, I seem to be able to fill my time with so much other stuff and at the end of the day I think of what I could have done.

Exercise is another habit I would like to develop. I do walk the dog everyday, well, almost every day. I received a Wii fit for Christmas last year and I love it! I will use it for a week and then something happens and suddenly I realise that a week has passed without using it. I really find exercise a tough one. Sunshine and I used to walk three mornings a week back last fall, winter and spring. But then you know how it is, stuff gets in the way. I wish just our daily busyness would count and we didn't have to make a special trip for exercises. Or that I could get off my butt after dinner and take a walk around the block. (Sunshine) I miss our walks. I always regret stopping any activity a long while after I have stopped because I always wonder where I would have been today had I have continued on that good path. Only good things can come from good habits so why aren't all of my habits good?

I have tried to schedule my day. I have actually made a timetable where I plot out all my activities for the day. Included in this timetable is the necessary stuff, ie: cooking, cleaning, as well as my hobbies. If I give myself the deadline of when the kids come home from school I can achieve success. However, I seem to make a timetable a day at a time and even though I enjoy the good feeling that comes with a fulfilling day, I still might not make a timetable for the next day! When it comes to getting stuff done during the day I am a great list maker and am usually pretty good about scheduling my time and getting everything done. Even if I complain the whole time I am doing it! My list is usually in my head and it is always an endless list of things to do. I don't know if I really even feel satisfied when I have accomplished a job. Well, that's not really true I usually give a sigh of relief and look at my accomplishments but very quickly my mind turns to how much more needs to be done.

Eating well is another habit I would like to improve, as is drinking more water. I need to find within myself the switch that needs to be turned on so that I will listen to my 'good' inner voice which continually tells me what I should be doing. The bad voice seems to be stronger! Or maybe, it's because I'm a Gemini and have double the interests and they are waging a war. Again eating well is not a big problem for me, the problem is eating way to much of a good thing!!!!

I think that for the most part I eat pretty well but the weight is still not coming off. Why is that? It must be the failed exercise program.

I know everyone is different in how they accomplish tasks and reward themselves. Many times I wish for a keeper to come and force me, gently, to achieve more. Maybe I should make myself accountable to you, our benchers, and choose two things which bug me the most. I think exercise and guitar lessons are two items I would like to work on the most. I will try to set a reasonable goal and keep you all appraised of my progress.
Saying it out loud or to others has never done the trick for me. Even spending money on a gym membership doesn't motivate me or make me accountable. I don't know what it will take for me to finally commit myself to being the healthiest me that I can be and not being lazy about doing the necessary work to achieve the desired results.

Something I have noticed in myself is I am much more productive if I have way too much to do. I find the days when I don't have anything pressing but there are things that could be done are the days when NOTHING gets done. The days when my list is three pages long are the days when I get three pages of stuff done. I guess I need the pressure. But I feel I don't stop to enjoy the fruits of my labour as I am on to the next thing.
Maybe, we just have too much to do and not enough time to enjoy what we already have accomplished. When is enough going to be enough for us?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Will That Be One or Two Slices?

What a busy week.

Over all, the first week at the Soup and Sandwich bar has been a great success. Each day I had more and more business. I am open from 8:00 AM till 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday and open from 8:00 AM to 9:30 ish on Fridays. The teachers and most of the staff have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging, the students have been very well behaved and fun to interact with. I already have a few regulars. There is Warren, my goal each day is to get him to crack a smile, he is just much too serious. Then there is Curtis, what a bundle of energy! I have a grade twelve student who comes in each morning for her toast and jam. There is one young man who comes in each afternoon wanting a freezie. I call him freezie man as he always comes back for a second and brings his friends. In one week I sold 125 jumbo freezies! It was tough keeping up with the freezie demand.

As much as business improved each day it also made it busy at home. I was prepping each night and trying to keep up with the paperwork. The husband had to make a shopping run one night.

On Thursday, I ordered pizzas and sold them by the slice. I ordered 170 slices worth of pizza. I was very excited about the lunch rush and also very nervous. The husband felt I ordered too many pizzas and encouraged me to reduce the numbers. But, I was confidant I would sell them all. I don't make much profit on the pizzas but I think it is important to offer variety so the customers don't get bored and are then tempted to order in or go off site.

Once the lunch rush started it was crazy busy. By the time it ended I had sold 60 slices. Through out the afternoon I sold another 10 slices but at a reduced price. And then at the end of the day I was selling whole pizzas for $10.00. I was hoping to at least break even. I sold one pizza and gave a few away. I came home with 6 whole pizzas :( . I guess in everything you live and learn. What was very nice was the owner of the pizza parlour called me in the evening to see how things went. Though I didn't have amazing news to report to him, I was very impressed that he thought enough to call. If I had not ordered so many pizzas it would have been a great day business wise. So, I guess the husband was right and I did order too many, but I now have a baseline to work with and will know for the future.

I have been fortunate to be able to borrow a professional meat slicer for the next few months. I have sent an email to Pillers meats asking questions about their deli meats and shelf life. But so far I haven't heard back from them. It would be great if I could buy whole hams, roast beef and turkey breast and then slice it myself. Firstly, it would save me money, running around, the quality would be consistent and the biggie for me, the concerns I have with Listeria would be greatly reduced by not buying already sliced meats.

Today everyone was out of the house and I had most of the day to myself. It was easier to get the weeks household and business grocery shopping done on my own. I also was able to spend a couple of hours doing book keeping uninterrupted. So as of this moment all the paper work is done and the groceries are bought for the coming week.

I am exhausted, but I think it is a good exhausted. I look forward to the time when I have a routine and not every waking hour is consumed with business.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday on the bench

(Sunshine) Good morning. We hope that everyone is doing well and has had a good week. It's just me and Carolin today. Louise is at work today and Cathy is home sick with the flu. It's been a good week in our home so far. It is very busy and there is even more to do now that school has started. Teen sunshine has auditioned for the play at her new school and I am so excited for her! She made it and is in full swing rehearsals after school and on weekends. The play is in November so they need to cram it all in. I am so happy for Teen Sunshine. If the dates work I would love to see the play. Little sunshine is a junior this year and she wants to try out for every sport team available. We have been going early for soft ball tryouts and there are more tryouts coming up. She has also started French this year and they are learning to sign as they learn French (a new program at our school this year). The girls are both happy so that makes things a little bit easier.

Mr Sunshine has been out of town for most of the week so things have been really busy. We have a family get together for his side of the family this weekend and I am getting ready for that. Amongst this there are various renovations going on in the house and I had my front porch finally put back together. If you recall we had a skunk problem so that has been dealt with but now the porch has other problems. I will blog about it later.

I am also in the midst of planning a 75th birthday party for my dad coming up in a few weeks. If I wasn't exhausted already, I am now after reading Sunshine's past week.

(Carolin) What a crazy week. Why is it that the first few weeks of school when everyone is busy adjusting to routine and dealing with teacher notes and homework. And then every evening and weekend activity has registration this week. Though I had registered for the fall fair I never did get anything in to them so I guess no ribbons for me.

Sunshine just told me that she saw arancinni (rice balls) at Costco 16 mini for $9.55. Rice Ball day is coming up soon. (really?)With Louise working full time I don't know when we can figure out a date to make them. But I really hope we can get a date cause I can not make the rice balls a small as Louise does. Really benchers all I do is roll the rice balls in the egg and breadcrumbs. We need Sunshine to make the rice, the sauce, and do the frying and Louise to form the rice into small balls, and me to eat them!

Sunshine is talking to Cathy(by phone) and they are complaining about me. Seems now that I have caller display I screen my calls too much. And I don't answer the phone with a happy hello to Sunshine. Between you and me bloggers, there are some nights when Sunshine will call me 5 times in one hour!!!! So yes she is right, by the 5th call I answer with a "what now". Wait a minute everyone! First of all, Carolin will answer with the same tone the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th call. Second of all, I am usually calling to set up a meeting time as instructed by Cathy.(huh?) She usually asks if we are meeting this week and I say that I am good to meet. Then Cathy asks if Carolin is available. When I say I don't know then she asks me to call Carolin and see if she is available.(I sound like the bad guy here!) So, the first call is to see if Carolin is available and I usually end up leaving a message as she isn't home yet. Then Carolin calls me back and gives me some options for possible days. Then I call Cathy back and she gives me her reply. Then I call Carolin back and try to arrange the time(3rd call now) then I call Cathy back to confirm and sometimes I call Carolin's number by mistake (4th call). Then I call Carolin back for a final time to let her know what time we will meet (5th time). In the end I have made about 10 phone calls for one meeting.(whew!). Good thing I am home! In other words this meeting is taking place because of my many phone calls which I do regardless of everyone's tone.(ok, so you are our social convener, have I said thanks, you are doing a great job!) Lastly today, I get a phone call from Cathy saying that after all this, she has the flu and will not be coming today.(I have slept most of the day on the couch.) So I call Carolin to see if she still wants to get together just the two of us. Carolin is not home yet so she calls me back. Then on my way I call to see if she wants anything from Tim Horton's. Thank goodness they don't charge per call.(now I'm exhausted after following all that, it is all true, we do ask Sunshine to co-ordinate our visits. She does a great job!!!!)

Cathy and Sunshine are now discussing(by phone still) that fact that I posted a picture of the little one with her hero. In the past we have discussed the fact of not using our real names for the privacy protection of our families. I decided to post the picture of the little one only after I asked her first and I felt the picture was not a clear picture of her and it was important to the blog. So that brings up the idea of us posting pictures of ourselves. What do all you benchers think?

As I type Cathy and Sunshine are talking about what the Monday "Bench Talk" topic will be. Sunshine wants to know if she is overly sensitive. In her usual fashion, Cathy beats around the bush and when I answer her she just ignores me! So benchers if you haven't worked it out already, YES, SUNSHINE IS WAY TOO SENSITIVE!!!!!!!! MAYBE I AM BUT I DON'T REALLY THINK SO BUT SOMETIMES SITUATIONS MAKE YOU A LITTLE MORE SENSITIVE THAN USUAL. (I ONLY CAPITALIZED BECAUSE CAROLIN CAPITALIZED).(I choose to be neutral, see, little letters :) )

Well I think that I am going to go now. It's been fun watching Carolin do laundry and cut up bread for church and now she is upset that she forgot that she has to cook a meal. She says that she has so much trouble saying no. I think that the word "NO" pours out of her mouth quite easily and attached to the "NO" is "I'm not doing that, It's just stupid."

Carolin is now cutting up onions for the meal and then later she has to go shopping for some supplies. Thank you, Sunshine for grating the cheese for me.

Louise, we hope that you are doing well and Cathy we hope that you are feeling better.

Hi, I have managed to eat a bit and hubby has made me some tea. I will be early to bed tonight as work for me starts at 6am.
I have to say that one of the highlights of my day today was listening to Carolin and Sunshine. At one point I was laughing so hard I was crying! I am so blessed to have such good girlfriends, they brighten up my day.

Until next time, God bless!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The peach tree has no peaches

We have a peach tree in our back yard. This is our third summer with the tree. Last year we got a pretty good crop of peaches and I remember calling Carolin for some dessert recipes that I could make with peaches. I made peach crumble, peach pie and a peach cake. My favourite was the cake.

This year the tree has grown so much but after the fruit started to appear, many of the leaves were diseases. We sprayed the tree and I also took off all of the diseased branches. (We forgot to spary it at the start of the year before the flowers appeared). There were so many little baby peaches on the tree that I felt that it was OK to discard the diseases branches even though they had baby peaches on them. I was still left with a good crop of peaches which I was sure would grow even better now that the tree could concentrate on providing food for fewer peaches.

Well part way during the summer my youngest asked when the peaches would be ready. We went to check the tree and we could not find any fruit on it. What happened? Did they all fall and got eaten by squirrels? A few days later we found one very large lonely but very good looking peach. We kept watching that peach every day. One day we went outside and the tree had grown so big that we could not find the lonely peach any longer. we figured that it too had dropped and was eaten by the squirrels.

Well last week I went out onto my deck and I have one wicker chair with a cushion on it. Sitting on my chair was my one lonely beautiful peach half chewed from some squirrel I'm sure. I could not figure out why the squirrel left it on the chair. We laughed as we thought of the little squirrel who was surely just trying to mock us. The squirrel must have had a good chuckle at our expense. My little one was so anticipating the fresh peaches that she asked if we should cut up the good part that was left from the eaten peach and share it as a family.

We never did do that but I left the rest of the peach in a flower pot and the next day, the other half was gone too.

Better luck next year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Little One Meets Her Author Hero

Hopefully a you will remember a few blogs ago, when I talked about the little ones obsession with the book titled No Time For Goodbye, by Linwood Barclay. Well this past Sunday the husband and I took the little one to the Mississauga Literary Festival. She was so excited to meet him.

Let me tell you how we met him, because as in my usual fashion I can't do it gracefully.

We got to the Living Arts Centre about 15 minutes before Mr. Barcley was due to speak. I had to go to the washroom and was about to walk in the ladies washroom when I saw this guy walk out of the men's washroom. He looked very familiar so I made a U turn and went back to the little one and started flipping through her book to the back where the authors picture is. When the man saw me he finished drying his hands and looked around for somewhere to toss the paper towel. Buy that time the little one had seen him and had a big smile on her face as she recognized him wright away.

He was very gracious and talked to the little one and signed her book. By this time his handler was trying to get him upstairs so he could begin his talk. But then two press people for the library came over and they wanted to take pictures of the two of them for... actually I don't know what it was for. The husband signed the release and I never asked. Then I realized I needed to take a picture, so I dug around in the massive backpack I carry when the little one is with me. Finally I found the camera and tried to take a couple of shots. I am not very camera smart and it took me three tries to get the one shot as I kept pressing the power button instead of the 'take a picture' button.

Mr. Barcley was very patient with me, and we all eventually made it to the second floor to listen to his 20 minute talk (was supposed to be 30 minutes) but it seemed he was running late!

Gosh, guy gets a best seller and then time doesn't seem to matter anymore. :) the little one is thrilled with her personal autographed book.

Bench Talk: Going Green

There is so much discussion these days on the environment. Are we really listening? We do our bit, we recycle, reduce and reuse. Is it enough? Have we grasped the concept that we are poisoning our planet? Maybe, or only when it's convenient. We are green when it's easy. What about when it's not easy?

We do our bit, but what about Industry? Does our bit even matter if the economics of our world do not allow for a green planet?

What is your view?

I, (Cathy), find this a difficult subject. I want to feel like I am doing all I can, but I know that I am not. I find it difficult to keep the family on the same page as me. The kids have grown up learning the three R's. However, there is many a time when I find recyclables in the regular garbage. We even have a small recycle bin upstairs, but I am the only person putting into it. The paper shredder is placed on another blue box upstairs and that is used by all members of the family. However, many times the papers in it have not been shredded, so will take up more room. I will not start shredding every one's paper! (Sunshine) We do recycle some things. We faithfully do the blue and grey box recycling but in our home I am ashamed to say that it is the extent of our recycling. (Carolin) We recycle like everyone else. And it has reduced our garbage immensely. But I am not totally convinced that we are making any difference. I think if the government was really committed to the environment then they would make a stand against industry. But I don't think that will happen and it is easier to pick on the people. Also I don't know about others but I find what can go in the box to be somewhat confusing. We also have the green bin for compostable stuff but we don't use it. As we compost already and I have heard many times that the city compost is highly toxic. So I am not sure that what is supposed to go in the compost bin is the right choice.

I do take my own bags to the grocery store and will not use the plastic bags for produce. I have started using Eco brand laundry detergent. It is all natural and good the environment. I have yet to decide if it cleans as well. I think I am going to try adding borax to the wash to help boost the detergent. Borax is supposed to be 'natural' as well. I also take my own bags to the grocery store. As a matter of fact just the other day I had forgotten them in my car and as the girl was ringing up some bags I told her that I would not require any bags and that I would exit the store as is and w0uld load them into the bags at my car. As for the laundry detergent, I am only suppose to use high efficient detergent so I am not really sure what is available. I have been using my own bags (mesh ones) for over 18 years. I do most of my weekly grocery shopping at the cheaper grocery stores that charged for a bag. And I was OK with it because my grocery bill was noticeably cheaper then the grocery stores that did not charge for bags. I think that is why now that all the grocery stores charge for bags it bothers me so much. I have been using HE detergent that is green for about 15 years. I order it through either Shakleys or Amway. A 4l bottle usually last us about 8 months and it cost around $60.00. I like it because there is no perfumes and is better for our skin.

We have a solar heated, salt water pool, try not to use the air conditioning unless really necessary. The air conditioning was not necessary at all this summer! I love my air conditioning but it has not been working for quite sometime now so we have not used it because we have had no choice. I as well am not a big AC fan. I do use it when it is really muggy out or we have company and it is warm. But I like my windows open! But I will say as soon as I get in the car the first thing I do is turn the AC on full blast!!!!

I sound like I am ranting or trying to provide evidence that we are green when that is not true. There are many times when I cheat. There are lots of times when I just cannot be bothered! It becomes too overwhelming to try to save the planet. Why should I when so many others are not? I know, I know, that's the wrong attitude and I don't adopt it often, however, it can get frustrating.

Cathy also does a lot of composting and she has 2 rain barrels. Maybe Cathy's efforts at being green can somehow compensate for my efforts at being green.. Sorry Cathy I know that hearing that will frustrate you even more, but it is the truth. I do sometimes buy organic produce and sometimes even organic cotton for bedding. When I was at Baby's R Us a little while ago buying a baby shower gift I was amazing at all of the organic things available for babies. On the mothers registry list almost everything was organic. The non organic items were listed because they were only sold as such. There was not an organic option available. After seeing all of the organic options, I must admit that I wondered, are they really all organic or is it just a label? What does the labour really mean anyways?

We as well compost and have just one rain barrel. I wanted the rain barrel because I am cheep and this way I can water the plants and it doesn't cost me any money on water.

I know there is so much more we can all do. I recently came upon a blog titled:

There are a lot of ideas and ways to become green on the, "Tree Hugging Family" blog. We cannot undo what has been done but I have to hope that if we continue to do our bit, our kids and their kids will be of a different mindset from our generation and the planet will become a greener healthier place to live.

I don't have any plans to do anymore 'green' work. I am not convinced of this global warming stuff. I think it is important to try to keep as natural as possible. But I have problems with the cost of organic food, I can't justify the price for a lot of it. And when it comes to organic clothing etc. Again I think it is just a marketing gimmick. I am more interested in wear the clothes are being made. If given a choice between two t-shirts . One being organic and the other being made at Fair Trade. I would choose the fair trade shirt. We can be as organic as we want but if the person making the product is not being paid a fair wage and treated with respect then being 'green' means nothing in my books.

I would like to see more unbleached products. If I was given the choice between natural and bleached paper products I would purchase the natural At this time I have only seen natural coffee filters and then they are not always consistent. I would buy natural paper towel, toilet paper and tissues is I could find them easy enough.

I am curious to read what others think of the whole 'green' push.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Off the Grid!

I'm back!

We had no phone or Internet service for 3 days.

Last Thursday I had some calls to make. It was some time in the afternoon when I realized we had a problem. Each number I called rang busy, like calling overseas, a fast busy signal. When I tried to call our home number with our cell phone all I heard was constant ringing, no answering machine. I used my cell to contact our phone provider and they could not detect a problem from their end, however, they would send a technician out in the morning to check.

The next morning as I was walking the dog, I happened upon the technician at the junction box. I inquired if he was their on our behalf. He thought it was funny that I found him. I knew there would be a technician there, there always is! He assured us the problem was not originating from our home. It seems some water infiltrated a trunk line a few streets away and had caused our line to cross. They had to change our phone number to a new trunk line. I was advised that this would take a few hours.

All day Friday, whenever we picked up one of our phones, we heard silence, not even a dial tone.

Finally, Friday evening I once again used my cell phone to contact the phone providers customer service department. They advised me that the issue had been resolved and it was up to us to reset the phones. Reset the phones? What is that all about? How are we supposed to know this? All we have is dead air! She advised it is up to us to disconnect all phones and Internet and then we are to go around with one phone and plug it into each line, one at a time and then we should have dial tone! I thought she was nuts, however, we disconnected all our phones and Internet and reconnected.... to silence once again!

Now, I am starting to get angry. I once again called customer service and they said they would send out a technician the next day, Saturday (today). The time frame they gave me was anywhere from 8am until 5pm! I told them that that was highly unacceptable and they should have someone to our home by 8am, sharp!

I woke up at 8am to a beautiful Saturday morning and promptly contacted customer service, (on my cell which is now down to a few minutes). The gentleman I spoke with, (here in Canada), gave me the direct number to the repair office here in our city. The gentleman I reached checked and confirmed that the problem was their's. He said someone had already been out to the junction box that morning and found our line physically disconnected. They reconnected and closed the job ticket without confirming that we had service! Well, we didn't! The gentleman advised he would send someone out immediately to check and fix. He also confirmed that said technician would speak with us directly to make sure all was ok.

Thirty minutes later the technician was at our home telling us he had fixed the problem. We had dial tone and he was able to call our home. The Internet was also now working, (the kids are very happy). He also told us that there was no need to 'reset' the phones. He confirmed what I had thought, when the line was fixed we would have dial tone. As I am writing this I just received an automated phone call from the service provider advising us the problem was with them and has now been fixed.

It feels great to be back, although, my husband and I did admit that the silence was very relaxing. It was almost similar to the big power outage of a few years back. As we had no phone or Internet, we filled our time with other pursuits!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday on the bench

(Sunshine)well this week is very busy with the start of the new school year. All of our children have a sibling in another school (high school). That means more running around to do and for some of the kids it also means a new school My teenage has started at her new school. She liked somethings about it and other things were just OK. Considering she is in a new school and doesn't know a soul in her grade and she is still limping around trying to find her way around, it was a good start. (Carolin)The teenager called me yesterday all in a panic because teen Sunshine was not on the bus (public transit designated just for the highschool). That's really sweet, today she told me that your teenager saw her at the end of the day and went up the her and gave her a big hug (I,m sure that it made my teenager feel really good). Once I calm her down and told her not to worry as I know Sunshine, I am sure TS (teen sunshine) was being picked up. Yes I will be picking limpy up for now and forever if she lets me and if I am available. The teenager said her first few days have been good. She dropped a class and now has a spare this semester. She did tell me tonight that she will be reading The Book of Negro's in the book club. She asked me if I could ask the author to come visit them! Wouldn't that be cool if our blog had that kinda of pull.

Teen sunshine called at lunch today to ask if she could stay later and watch her friend audition for a play. When she called her and her Friend were giggling away and I was so happy that she has already made some close connections. Anyhow, I was really good and told her sure, and to let her know to wish her Friend good luck and that if she changed her mind and auditioned too then good luck to my teen too. I refrained from lecturing her about how she should audition too. We (Mr sunshine and myself) already told her that we thought it would be a good idea. Well when I picked her up around 5:15 she came into the car happy but exhausted and I asked how the auditions went. She explained how everyone is so incredibly talented. It was a vocal singing audition. Her younger sister asked her if she auditioned and she took a while to answer and then she said yes. I was so proud of her for having the courage to do that when I know that it must have been so hard. All grades were able to audition and vocal music is one of her passions but drama is what coarse she is in. All in all it was a good day for her.

The first day of high school she went to her locker and it already had a lock on it. (They are sharing lockers only no one told them who they are sharing with). The combination to the lock was left on the back of the lock and both her and her dad said it was such a niner thing to do. I said that it was probably the locker mates (my daughter's term) way of letting her enter the locker too and giving her a chance to learn the combination. Well she opened her lock and put her sweater in the locker and locked it back up. At the end of the day she went to the locker and there was no lock but her sweater was there. The next day again no lock so she put the lock that she had purchased from the school on the locker. She also left the combination on the back of the lock. At the end of the day again there was no lock. We all laughed at her for doing the same thing that she laughed at someone else for doing the day before. Mr. Sunshine told her that she is being ninered and she agreed. Well on Thursday she was going to talk to someone to find her locker mate but her locker mate found her instead. They are in the same homeroom together. Teen Sunshine asked about her lock and the other girl said that she never saw a lock and that she is not much of a locker person so Teen Sunshine could pretty much have the locker to herself. So on Friday she will go and purchase another lock from the school (another $6.00) and finally start to use her locker.

We did some work on her room last week and it was transformed from a little girls room to a total teen room. It's so cool I would like to trade rooms with her. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. The colour chosen looked good on Mr. Sunshines leg last weekend!
It is still pretty sparse looking which I prefer anyways but the round bed is a pretty cool feature. It is the only bed that can comfortably sleep all four of us. I saw a round bed at Ikea a few weeks ago and the teenager though it was cool. I wondered about sheets and comforters etc. Me ever the practical one It is the same bed. You can buy the fitted sheet for it but that's all that they have available. The comforter can be a regular king or queen size.

It is so beautiful out and has been for the past little while (10 consecutive days of no rain) it feels more like summer now then it did in July and August. It is so hot in the kitchen because there is know ventilation. I would love a winter storm right now just to cool off! I am hot just reading this. I have that effect on people:)

I am still on the hunt for a job and hope to have one by the end of this month. Wish me luck. I am trying to come up with ideas so that I will need to hire you for a few hours each day. Thanks that would be really because I would really love my boss. (By the way how much room for advancement would there be in this particular position? ) I have had many teachers come to me asking what can they do to help promote the kitchen. The elementary division head came to me today. And we discussed a couple of different options for the elementary students to also use the kitchen. One was to send a note home to parent with morning snack options that can be picked. Then the teachers collect the money and I send the choices to the class 15 minutes before recess time. We also discussed sending having preordered soup days. Perhaps twice a week I would send soup down to the kids who have preordered. Then they could have something warm during the cold months. I was thinking of starting that after Thanksgiving. What do you all think? I think that soup is a great idea and if you can make it a full lunch say include a drink and a roll and a snack then that would be perfect (this would take a lunch off of the parents schedule). I do think that assigned school lunch days will be a great way to get more business.

At this moment I am waiting for the husband to get home from donating blood so I can go over and register us for the Fall Fair. I just heard the door so I got to go.

It is now about 11:00 pm. A little while ago teen sunshine called crying for help from the bathroom. We finally got the door open and she was sitting on the edge of the tub crying as she had re injured her ankle. When she was walking it twisted once again and she heard the same crack that she heard when she first injured it a week ago. I don't know what to do. She has been wearing an air cast on it all week and it was getting much better. She never did take the crutches to school but she walks around very slowly. Her running shoes don't fit with the cast on so she wears flip flops which is so not good. She can't really walk without the air case. She took the cast off once she got home to give it a rest. She is in bed now and we will see how she feels in the morning. I wonder why they don't just cast the ankle until it heals properly. Not good, tell her to wear her running show really lose it has to be better support then flipflops. The problem with flipfops is the filp and flop! A lot of injuries at camp this summer were with people wearing flip flops. They are slippery and there is just know support if you do fall. And she has to wear that cast for a few weeks. I am going on almost two months and it is still sore and swollen. It is going to take a long time.

I can see here that we have lost Cathy and Louise. So I am going to post anyway as I know all the other benchers are wonder where we are! Hey Sunshine like usual its just us two that can be relied on!!!!!LOL

My First Day on the Job

I made it through my first day of being self employed.

To tell you the truth it wasn't that hard. Because it was so slowwwww. The little one and I arrived about 7:40 AM. I started unpacking and putting things away. Then went to work on getting the soup in the warmer and cutting up the fruit for Kabobs. I was very disappointed with the fruit as the watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple were all over ripe and not very good. I ended up having to compost 90% of it. I then went around the high school side of the school and put up signs for the soup of the day. Talk to a few students which made me a little nervous as I don't know most of these kids.

At 10:30 AM the department head came in to the kitchen as asked that I come to the assembly briefly for an introduction and they would pump the kitchen to the kids for me. I also had a few staff come up to me saying "I didn't realize you were open already". The same routine happened with the Junior Highs at 11:30 AM. After the assemblies I had a number of students stopping by and asking questions and could hear them talking to each other. Lunch came around and I had two preorders and I also made up some sandwiches for the walk ins.

But sadly there were know walk ins and besides the two preorder and then the principal coming in for his lunch that was it! I tried to keep myself busy and not get to upset. I worked on a announcement that will be sent home with the students today. There were many times through out the long afternoon that I wanted to cry and questioned myself. "What have I done, I'm a failure, I judged this all wrong, etc" . I had to keep talking to myself and trying to stay optimistic and think about the next day.

Near the end of the day I had a HS boy come in and ask if there was any freezies left. He purchased one and then another student came by for a freezie, then another. Close to the end of the day the husband came and helped to start taking supplies to the car. As we were leaving the HS department head stopped us and we talked about how it went today. I stayed upbeat and said "good" and then told him about the flyer that will go home with the kids. He said that was great and that the staff have been fielding questions through out the day. And they thought it would be a good idea if at homeroom in the mornings they ask students if anyone is preordering there lunch that day. The homeroom teachers would then collect the preorders and I would pick them up from the office each morning. That offer was very encouraging and I pray that it works.

Once we got home and unloaded supplies. I spoke to the teenager about her day and we went over this flyer I wanted. She said she would design and reword it for me that night on the computer. Maybe I should pay her a $1.00 so she can't take it away from me if she gets mad again.

I then got in the car and drove to the wholesale grocery store to pick up a few things and talk to them about the policy on the bad fruit. I am told the next time I go to purchase the fruit it will be at no charge. I didn't buy any last night as I new it would be sitting in my hot car for 4 hours and didn't think that would be a good idea but Sunday I will go and buy fresh food and hopefully not a have a problem.

I then proceeded to a Tax Seminar. It was close to 4 hours long!!!! The first 2 1/2 hours were informative but near the end I was getting tired and bored. It did answer some of my questions about charging tax and having it included in the price for convenient to the students etc. The facilitators went over how to file, when to file etc. Then near the end they talked about the new tax that starts July 1, 2010. That is when our two separate taxs (provincial and federal) will be combined to one single tax. For a small business it will be beneficial as we only have to collect, track and submit one tax. And we pay tax on all our purchases but we all so can claim any tax we pay back. For the consumer on the other hand it will cost you more in the end. The governments theory is prices will go down with the new tax system but the consensus from the group of people who attended last night was a big fat NO. I guess only time will tell.

I am glad I went to the tax seminar cause that meant I didn't have to talk to anyone last night and explain just how slow it was. I didn't have to fake being all bright and cheerful when all I really wanted to do was climb into bed and feel sorry for myself. Once again God knows what is best for me and though I am not clear what his plans are for today or even tomorrow I will try to do what he wants of me.

I got home close to 11:00 pm and then worked on the flyer and sent it to the school office to be printed. It is now 6:30 in the morning I have been up for about an hour and working on keeping myself positive for another day. I got to stay positive, and look for ways to pump the kitchen to the students. Please pray for me cause I need it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Third Time is the Charm

We survived the first day of school pretty unscathed. After school I drove the little one over to the orthodontist to try one more time to get the retainer installed in her mouth. I tell you this orthodontist is something I have never seen before. There is staff everywhere and the waiting room was full when we got there. When are name was call an we moved to the exam room all six dental chairs where full with teens and preteens except of course the little one who stood out not only because of her school uniform but also because of her age. I guess they don't get a lot of 9 year old in there.

The little one was not so nervous this time around. She had forgotten about the appointment which was probably a good thing, as she did stress herself over it. We were in the office for over an hour, getting the retainer installed (yeah it fit) having the latest dentist (Dr. Shane) look in her mouth. Then I was taught how to use some tool to slowly spread her mouth wider. (yuck!!!) Then there was the whole 'how to' on brushing the teeth, flossing, using the Christmas tree pokey thing, and this other thing to massage the gums. And they want this done four times a day!

When we finally got home the husband had some sausage on the BBQ cooking as well as he had made some rice. But the little one was not up to eating much and the sausage was to hard for her. So I made her a peanut butter banana sandwich, which I had to cut up into little bite size pieces. For the rest of the week she is on a soft food diet while she gets used to her retainer. As I was making her lunch for tomorrow it felt like she was a toddler again as I cut up everything in to little don't chock sizes.

With the retainer now in her mouth, we can't for the life of us understand a single word she is saying. The little one has always been a soft talker and was in speech therapy for 4 years when she was young. So you can imagine just how frustrating it is, I can't normally hear her, nor can I usually understand what she is saying. Now, FORGET IT. Unless she writes it down I don't stand a chance of communicating with her.

Its gonna be a long year of "what did she say? "I don't understand you"