Monday, May 31, 2010

Bench Talk: Garage Sales

Who doesn't love a garage sale! Sunshine and family participated in a street sale this past Saturday and managed to get rid of a lot of stuff. Many, many years ago when we ladies lived on the same street, we hosted a neighbourhood street sale. Carolin was the leader and did a great job in rallying the troops! We had a great time. We vowed that whatever stuff was not sold would not come back into our homes. Whatever was leftover was taken to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

(Sunshine) We had a street yard sale today (last Saturday) and it went really well. We started taking things out and setting up at 4:00am and although the sale was advertised to begin at 8:00 am, two of our biggest sales were made by 6:30 am. The traffic was great and we got rid of so much stuff. Some of it was good stuff and a lot of it was just junk to me. I enjoy selling to people who give you close to the price that you are asking and who seem as though they will give things that you have enjoyed a new home. My frustration comes with people who really want to nickel and dime you and really want to get as much stuff as they can for really no money at all. They even have issues with paying a dollar for something that is worth a lot more. If all of the customers were like that, then I would rather not even participate in a yard sale at all. Thank goodness most people are fair and although they are out there looking for a really good deal (I mean come on it is a yard sale) they still manage to get a great bargain and still be respectful of the sellers.

In the end, the weather was perfect and the traffic was great and we sold a lot of things. I did have some items that I would not part with unless the price was right and I took them back into my home as I would rather use them somewhere rather than give them away. There were about 10 items in that category. We had about 2 boxes of what I would call junk that went to Goodwill and those that Goodwill did not take went to the local dump. It was a very busy day but definitely worth the effort. Little Miss Sunshine was invaluable in her services. She was so helpful and right into the set up and selling and clean up and she made a lot of sales on her own. Of course she did, when I came by she was the only one manning the sale. Way to go LMS! Miss Teen Sunshine, helped to set up and then disappeared for the rest of the day. Mr. Sunshine did so much lugging around and lifting and carrying of all of the heavy items that I am sure that he will be very sore tomorrow. I was doing a little bit of everything and I am also tired and sore.

Two of the women in our neighbourhood coordinated the entire thing and I am not sure in the end how many houses actually participated but I believe that the number was greater then 14. It costs us all $5.00 per household as we all contributed to the cost of the advertising in the paper. It was a good day and well worth all of the effort. It was also very nice to see Carolin as she dropped by for a visit at some point during the day. I would guess closer to 30 - 40 houses. There seemed to be crowds of cars everywhere. You live on such a big street that there were lots and lots of houses participating.

(Carolin)I am glad the sale went well. I would type more but I had already put my two cents in and it seems to have disappeared. I don't have the energy to do it again. Let me say that yard sales are just too much work. And the people who come wanting armfuls of stuff for a nickle drive me crazy. I would rather throw it out then sell it to them for a nickle.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Movie Review Sex in the City 2

Last night a bunch of us headed out for dinner and then off to the movies. Thankfully, everyone had bought their movie tickets early as when we got to the theater at 9:15 PM the movie was already sold out (start time 9:45).

So over all it was a great evening, not often that a bunch of women can get out together. Some off us were extra fortunate as our husbands and kids are away for this weekend! We had reservations for 7:00 PM at East Side Mario's and I had been very firm with everyone about punctuality through multiple emails. It worked, everyone was on time but one person. Shame on her but I am going to forgive her cause it was ME! I was about 10 minutes late got a little carried away in the new School kitchen. I lost track of time while watching the former Principal and current Principal of the school try to set up and operate the new massive twin permanent coffee makers. They refused to read the manual, it didn't seem to matter how many times I would go to the manual and start reading out loud they continued to do their own thing. I finally left as one the principals ran down the school hall with a mop because they had water pouring out of the machine all over the floor. They couldn't seem to get it to stop. It will be interesting to see what the kitchen looks like on Monday.

Anyway, back to the movie. After dinner we headed over to the theater and went right in to get our seats. We needed 7 seats, I was a little surprised by how many people were already in the theater. Also very shocked at just how small the theater was. No wonder it was sold out. It took a little manoeuvring but we were able to get most of us sitting together. About 15 minutes before the movie started a women in a security uniform came in to the theater and just stood watching everyone. Then a male security guy joined her. The theater was filling up and you could hear much laughter and groups of women ready for a good time. Then three more security men came into the theater. Everybody started to look around wondering what they were looking for. At this time a women in the front row hollered "hey look we have pre-movie entertainment" All the women in the audience started laughing the security team got all embarrassed and then quickly left. Not sure what that was all about.

The movie finally started. I was excited and really looking forward to it. Remember in the first movie when it was over the entire audience started to clap and cheer. Well, this time around, well, lets say it was very quiet.

I felt at times I was watching a PBS tourism show on Abu Dhabi. The dialogue with the women didn't seem to flow and it didn't come across as natural. I understand they are all older, but at times, man oh man the camera was not forgiving. Also, one of the biggies with SITC franchise is the clothes. What was up with Carrie Bradshaw-Preston's clothes? Yuck!!! Within the movie there was a few subplots that could have been worked more and I think would have made a great movie. For example, the connection between Charlotte's dealing with the terrible two's and Carrie and Big celebrating their 2nd year of marriage. The characters we have watched and learned to love could have been used more. The whole Abu Dhabi thing, not sure what that was all about. Yes, it was nice to see Aidan but it could have been done in New York just as easily. I wondered during the movie if the making of SITC2 was funded by the city of Abu Dhabi. It just didn't work for me.

It was nice to see the ladies together again but perhaps the show has now officially run its course. The one thing I did like is they (writers, producers etc) didn't fall in to the typical trap and have Carrie and Big become parents. It is not something I can ever see happening with this fictional couple.

Two of the friends who watched the movie had never seen the show or first movie and they both enjoyed the movie. Everyone else who are long time fans all felt similar to me the movie was OK.

My recommendation would be if you are a fan and get a group of girlfriends together then go and have fun with your friends. Maybe go for coffee afterwards where you can all sit and laugh and "diss" the movie together. I would not recommend going with your husband (unless he is a fan) as it will drive him crazy.
I would give SITC2: 3 stars out of 5. SITC1, is a 5 star.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Sunshine) Well we are going to see Sex In The City2 tonight. I am really looking forward to movies. (Cathy) I still have to buy my ticket. I will do so on line after I'm all caught up here.

On Saturday, we are having a street yard sale. (memories!)I have started going through some of the storage rooms down stairs and I am amazed at how much junk is down there after only three years. I haven't even made a dent in things and I don't know how I will be ready for early Saturday morning. I suppose that I will just take it one step at time just like anything else. I think that some of the stuff was actually imported from our old house. What was I thinking? But there is also some new junk accumulated over the last few years. Looking at the pile makes me never want to purchase anything ever again in my life (huh?, are you feeling ok??? ,lol!)(that would make Mr. Sunshine so happy). Have fun with your street sale. I am a free women this weekend, the husband and little one are away for the weekend. I am going out with the girls Friday night dinner and a movie. Should be a fun night. As the teenager is still around this weekend I asked her if she wanted to come for a girl's night out; she not surprisingly declined. Her wonderful response was, "No thank you, I don't want to spend a Friday night with the Seniors! " When did we become seniors??? I think we are all still quite young, oh, has anyone seen my glasses? :)!

Little Miss Sunshine'e first soccer game was on Wednesday. What a hot scorching day it was. I don't really know how those kids run around in that heat. Miss Teeen Sunshine is helping to coach the team and since the referee was missing in action on Wednesday she refed the game. Well at least that will keep her busy and it won't give her much time to complain about why I drag her out to watch every game. Next week the coach and her assistant will be absent and Miss Teen Sunshine will be coaching the team. I have to join her on the side lines and sign some forms but basically I really just have to sit there. That works for me as I don't know much about coaching anyway. The fun has begun. Now she wants try out for all star. Her house league coach is coaching the all star team so asked for her to try out. So far I have said thank but been there done that, no thanks. I suppose that I should really take a good look at it as she really does love to play. She will still love playing house league, and you will have a life and some money in your pocket to spend on replacing all the stuff you sold at your yard sale. What is it with us as parents that we feel the need to push our kids to be the best, the fastest, the smartest, the most agile. It seems we have kids that are either the best in their age group or we have a kid that has been tested for everything and has a long series of letters attached to their name. What ever happened to letting our kids just be mediocre. They are not the best nor the best, just themselves and having a great time to boot! I think a lot of the kid's activity thing came out of fear. When we were young we had the freedom to go bike riding, play on the monkey bars without fear of someone being sued if we fell and hurt ourselves! Kids today have no idea what their limits are socially or physically because we as parents are hovering every step of the way. When do they have the time to just be, like Carolin said. I think a lot has to do with the media shoving fear down our throats at every moment. I'm sure the same bad stuff happened when we were kids, however, we were not made aware of it. Is it better not to know and live a more carefree life, or is it better to know and be so cautious and careful to the point of not living? How to find the balance in between and not blame ourselves when something bad happens is as individual as we all are.

Have a great weekend everyone. Only 16 more days left of work for me. HURRAY!!!!!!!!!
I am done at school June 11 just 10 more work days.
Have I mentioned that I'm presently on VACATION!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) VACATION!!!! Yeah! I am on day one of my vacation for me! This is my selfish mommy week. It's all about me! ME, ME, ,ME! What do I plan to do you ask? I plan to garden, swim in our pool, cook, read, garden,... I think we ladies are planning to attend the new Sex in the City movie this Friday. Plans are not yet set, however, I have penciled it in. That's so great Cathy. Enjoy your time off. You deserve it.

I am loving this heat wave we are having. I hope it lasts all summer long! Hey ladies, guess what I was doing outside in the heat of the afternoon? Yup, drinking a cup of hot tea! (delightful!) I was just taking about you and your hot teas in the summer last night. I still don't get it but Teen Sunshine was trying to explain it to me. All I know is that when I am hot, a cool drink (with a lot of ice in it) really cools me down. Sometimes just looking at the picture perfect drink will d0 the trick.

Yeah for you! It's bloody hot here and I haven't turned the AC on yet. I am sure to break down by Friday and turn it on. The problem with our AC is it doesn't reach the second floor. So sleeping is still a huge problem and with no one home during the day it seems a waste. I finally broke down and turned on the AC last weekend. It make comming home a real joy. The second floor is definitely a lot warmer in some rooms more then others. When we first moved into this house, all of the bedrooms had ceiling fans and so did the kitchen. I really despised the look of the fans but I must say that now I don't really know what I would do without my ceiling fan in the bedroom. We leave it on when the nights are really warm and it makes a huge difference.
Yes Cathy, SITC 2 is set for Friday night we are planning on the 9:45pm show and dinner at East Side Mario's first. I sent you all an email let me know if you are in so I can make the reservations. Friday will be tight for me as I have to get the little one packed as she and her Dad are away for the weekend at Circle Square Ranch. I have a training session at 5:00 pm in the new equipped kitchen at school. It's finished! Yeah! Does that mean that things have been settled for next year? I was brought down to see it today. Pretty fancy smancy. I was kidding with Romeo (one of the Pleasant Bay Camp directors who also works at the school) that after I have had a taste of the new school kitchen I just don't know if I can go work a summer in the old camp kitchen! Mind you I am getting a little ahead of myself as I still don't have a contract for next year. I was told yesterday that a board member is just now reading over my proposal I gave them a year ago April! Sometimes you just have to shake your head. I find it a bit rude that the board member is just now reading your proposal. It would be nice if they would consider the 'human' attached to the proposal who is trying to make a living. I wonder just how long they think they can keep you dangling. It's good you are a strong willed individual! Patience, patience Caroline, I know that everything will all work out for you in the end. You will succeed at anything that you do.
Have a nice time on your vacation Cathy, I only have two weeks of work left. Then I am home for two days then head up to work the G8. There is a lot of talk about it lately, I am looking forward to getting away and only being responsible for myself. That sounds like a vacation to me. Did you see the big article about the Summit in the Toronto Star on the weekend? You are going the be part of history in the making. Have fun and enjoy your self. I think just being responsible for yourself will be fabulous. Are you able to take pictures? I hope so, Or, maybe Mr. Sunshine can take some of you 'in action' for us! Whenever you see Mr. Sunshine, tell him that his wife and children say hello!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bench Talk: Working with/for the Public

Who out there works for the public? For example, working in a shopping centre, bank, transit, airport... and all the other places people like to go. It's great working with the public, however, there is a big downfall. The public expects to be able to shop, fly, whatever, 24/7. I understand all about shift work. As a shift worker myself the convenience of being able to shop whenever is great. However, if shops or venues were only open certain times I would have to schedule the best time to go. I like the convenience, but I wouldn't miss it. I think time spent with loved ones or just time spent pursuing activities at home would increase because the time would be there.

(Sunshine) I think that it is very convenient to be a able to shop and do other things pretty much anytime but when I am out there on a holiday, I always feel sad for the workers who have to work instead of being home with their families. On occasion I even comment on how I hope that they are not working too late on the holiday. I agree that if the stores were closed it would not be a big deal, I would just shop on other days. Spending time with family is very important and it's hard when everyone around you has time with their family and someone that you love has to work. Many times work takes special time away from our families. We have definitely taken a step backwards as a society when it comes to this issue.
Sunshine, it looks like you are the only one of us with an opinion on this topic. Well, I work shift work. As much as we get paid for the stat holiday, it's hard to leave the family at home, by the pool, sipping mojitos (just the adults, of course). I'm ok once I'm at work. It's the leaving the home part that's hard. When I first started working we were a Monday to Friday operation. I worked in the office then, moved to the airport years later. We were open from 8am until 9pm if my memory is correct. It wasn't long until we changed hours from 6am until midnight. You know what follows, 24hours a day, 7 days a week. This was to accommodate the various time zones in the country. It's easy to say to change jobs, however, to what? Look at Carolin who looked for a job for ages and finally started one of her own! It's a tough, demanding, selfish world we all now live in and everyone wants everything now! When is the down time?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Take it Off, Baby!

I wrote this blog a good while ago. But thought I would repost it as my stripping days are now officially over!

Origianlly posted June 11/09

Well I can’t find a job and I am looking for something to keep myself busy. So after some thought I have decided to start stripping. I have done it before but it was a few years ago. The problem I had before was the area I had to work in was small and it was hard to get your groove on and move around. I thought this time I would try it out in the bedroom. I first gave it a practice try to see how easy it was to get the layers off. I scanned the bedroom looking for right spot to start. I turned on the alarm clock-radio to something smooth and jazzy. I wanted something that would loosen me up and make the stripping seem like fun and not just another job. I wasn't sure how it all would come off. I started in a corner where nobody would see me. Just as I started to take the first layer off my husband came in the bedroom and asked me what I was doing? I told him "I decided to do some stripping". He looked around then said, “ah, see ya, I'm going golfing should be back by dinner", and walked down the stairs and out the door. I had hoped we could strip together, kind of thought it might be fun and heaven knows after 24 years of marriage the bedroom could use some livening up.

After about 20 minutes, I think I was getting good at taking it off, at least the outer layer. I was having a harder time with next layer, it was like it was glued on. I thought maybe some lubrication could help. So I got a bucket of water, I tried not to just pour it over myself, but by the time I got the final layer off I was soaked and cold (if you know what I mean). Just as I was about to give up on this stripping thing and put some warm clothes on ‘the teenager’ walked in.

She first asked what’s with the 'pole dancing' music and then turned to find me in the corner soaking wet. A look of horror on her face, her eyes bugging out she started to back out of the room. She sorta gagged out a, “Mother, what are you doing?” By this time I was past my embarrassment and started to get angry that she was so horrified to see me. I growled out something like, “what does it look like I am doing, I'm stripping?” She then said, "Mother, let me show you how it is done", and promptly went to the other side of the room and got down on her hands and knees. She slowly stood up while never losing time to the music and was able to get all of her layers off in one clean move. She then turned to me and said, “Mom, that’s how it's done” and proceeded to sashay out the room.

The women in me was quite impressed, how she could move like that and get it all off so easily? But then just as quick the mom in me thought, I am not so sure this is what her father and I had hoped for her when she finished high school. But, on the other hand she is obviously good at it and we did raise her to appreciate her talents and to do something she love, so who am I to judge.

After what seemed like forever I was exhausted and needed a break. I went in the bathroom to have a shower. I don’t know about you but after hours of stripping I felt sticky and dirty all over. After my nice hot shower and some clean clothes on I went back into the bedroom to have a look around. What a mess, the bucket of water was now cold, the announcer on the radio was reading the latest weather report and in the middle of the bedroom was this pile of a days worth of stripping. My question to all of you is what colour should I paint my new wallpaperless walls?

I now live in a house with NO wallpaper. This past Saturday I finally got around to the guest room and stripped all the walls for the last time. :))

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Hi everyone! Welcome to our new post for Fridays. Life is busy and we ladies are busy and we do not have the chance to get together as often as we would like. So, we have Friday to catch up on all the goings on from our past week. Enjoy!

(Sunshine) Miss Teen Sunshine is turning 15 today. I will drop the girls off at each of their schools, go to work, pick the girls up from school do a quick change and then we will be heading off to Niagara Falls for the evening. We are going to our favourite restaurant "Antica Pizza". Miss Teen Sunshine loves it. We will spend some time at Niagara Falls and at Niagara on the Lake. We will be home in the evening at some point. Mr Sunshine leaves for Chicago Saturday afternoon "at least I think that's where he's going". He will be back sometime Wednesday evening. The girls and I will be spending the long weekend without him once again. We will celebrate Miss Teen Sunshine's Birthday over the next few weekends with both families. (Carolin)Happy Birthday to Teen Sunshine, it amazes me that your extended families still get together for all the birthdays. Growing up birthdays were no big deal. And in our family we celebrate with the four of us. But the rest of the families don't even remember. With the teenager because her's is at Christmas there is more who might remember (aunts,uncles etc). But the little one... besides one uncle who shares the same birthday nobody else has ever acknowledge her day. Thankfully, she doesn't notice or if she has she has never said anything to me about it. We have been to Antica Pizza with you guys before. It was nice, have a good time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Miss Teen Sunshine! Have a great time in Niagara Falls. It's been a few years since I've been. It might just be one of the 'to do' things on our list for this summer.

Soccer season is starting and Little Miss Sunshine's first game is on Wednesday. Time to find the soccer chairs and dig out the cooler and extra big water bottles. Little Miss Sunshine is really excited she hopes the team soccer shirts are yellow this year. We will have to wait and see. She also wants to be number 16.

Only 4 more weeks of work left, Yippee!!!!!!! Three more for me, not that I am counting down but I am. I have a weeks vacation coming in a week. I can't wait! All I want to do is garden! That is what I've been doing all this week. I'm on a strict budget with the garden this year. All that will mean is that my containers will be a bit sparse. There is a heap of work to do. Since moving in I have been rejuvinating all of the shrubs, one at a time. It's hard but rewarding work as the shrubs look like new once thinned and pruned.

It is so hot and muggy outside right now and do you believe that we have not even turned on the air conditioning yet.

The exhaust system at work is still not working. Apparently the motor is burnt out and they have ordered a new one that will take a minimum of four weeks to arrive as it is coming from Germany. It is so hot at work and when we are done we are one big ball of sweat. If I get too comfortable at home with the air conditioning blaring then I may not be able to take the heat at work which is bound to get worse as the temperature outside gets warmer. There is no air exchange and the air conditioning does not work unless the exhaust system is working. Why that would be, I have no idea but that is the explanation that we were given. We have been keeping all of the doors open to try and bring in some air from the rooms and hall ways adjacent to the cafeteria and also to help to deal with some of the smoke that lingers in the air. It helps a bit but when all of the equipment is running and the cafeteria is filled with multitudes of customers, it is almost unbearable. The kids come in and all ask the same question. "Miss why is it so hot in here". Oh well, as I said 4 more weeks to go. I don't have air conditioning either, I keep window open that looks into the gym. It helps with a cross breeze but if there is a class I have to shut it (so I don't get a stray ball in the head!)

I am hoping to strip wallpaper this long weekend. We have one room left in our house that has wallpaper on it. The former owner loved wallpaper, 8 rooms had wallpaper. It has been work, work, work getting it all off! So if nobody has exciting plans you are welcome to come over and we can strip together. Why does this 'stripping' sound familiar? Did you not blog about a night you spent stripping a while ago??? Do you really want company!! Let's see, what am I doing this long weekend... oh yes - I'm working!!! It seems the public still wants to fly places, even during long weekends and especially on stat holidays. You know what, I think I have just found a topic for, "Bench Talk" on Monday coming; "Working with the Public means no Weekends or Holidays Off!" What do you think???

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! Teen Sunshine....I'm sure you will have a great weekend! This week has been extra little one just didn't want to go to daycare this week, he'd rather be home with me...I really really wish I could work from home!!! I can't believe the long weekend is here. This will be my first with a Saturday off. Looking forward to it....just to be able to be home.

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Carolin) So this is my second look at Thursdays on the Bench post that supposedly Cathy set up. She sent an email out saying Thursday was all set up so I went on to add my two cents worth but saw nothing and promptly closed it thinking I was too quick for Cathy. But here I am the next day and still nothing. So just what exactly did you set up, Cathy? I set up a blank canvas, awaiting your artistry with words! Did you get my e-mail regarding our new Friday post, "Catch Up Fridays?" It was Sunshine's idea. It will let us tell each other what we have done each week. (Our lives are so interesting!?) It's getting harder to get together and with you being away all summer (I hope you have internet access!) with this we can keep up to date with each other. (Sunshine) Should we use a different spelling ie. "Kathcup Friday's"? Internet might be tricky, I have my blackberry (my most favourite thing in the world). I thought I might try to hit the local library once a week and perhaps use the computers there.

Guess what? It is Prom season in our house. The teenager is in her last few weeks of high school and has decided she now wants to go to Prom. (might be because she has a new boyfriend) Anyway, you know on TV when they show the mother and daughter going out shopping for the perfect Prom dress; well, let me tell you what you see on TV is nothing close to reality. I remember my highschool prom dress. It was a long lavender dress. It had a shawl or do you call it a cawel(sp?) neck. My mom knit me a shawl wrap to match. I think I had white high heeled shoes. Only one of the girls in my group of friends had a date, I think, so we all had a table together. It was held in a hotel downtown Calgary. I can't remember how we got to and from the hotel. Hey, Carol.... do you remember? I only remember my grade 12 prom. I wore a "black" lace dress and for some reason I had on white heels. I did have a date as I had a boyfriend at the time and we all had a great time. I wonder why I don't remember my grade 13 prom.

Prom dress shopping in the Carolin household goes something like this:
Teenager, "Mom, I going to the mall with (insert friends name here) for a prom dress."

Me, "But I thought we could do it together, you know make a day of it"

Extreme laughter is heard throughout the neighbourhood and the teen pulls herself together long enough to tell me, "NO"

So Saturday comes and we Prom dress shop like this:

Teenager, "Mom, I am leaving now can I have money"

Numerous $50.00 are handed over and the teen leaves.

During the course of the day I text her, "did you find a dress?"

Teen texts back, "Yes."

Then she gets home that night I ask to see the dress but she is grumpy and says she is tired and goes up to her room and chats on the computer for the next two hours to her friends.

What I know is this; the dress is black and fuchsia, she says it is medium length. Her Dad on the other hand would like to know where the skirt is for the blouse she bought. I would like to know where my change is from the numerous $50.00s that exchanged hands. But I can't ask her at this time cause she is off to the Mandarin with friends for dinner and last I heard it was her treat! Have you seen the dress yet and do you like it? Is she buying shoes and a new purse, too?

I have seen the dress in a ball on her bed. I picked up and hung it on a hanger in her closet. She has a pair of black heal sandel she said she was going to wear. And a purse??? Never asked.

She is going to look amazing no matter what she wears.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bench Talk: Teenagers - Who are They and Where did They Come From?

Will someone please explain teenagers! What is the best way to communicate with them? (Carolin)You can't.How is it that they are so cute when they are little, however, when they turn 16 they 'morf' into some strange unknown creature!
This is what I have learned so far (having a 18 1/2 year old teenage girl)


So, you can see I have no words of wisdom for you. What I can share is what is NOT helpful to hear while you are dealing with 'creatures'.

  • Just keep the lines of communication open. (what the hell is that supposed to mean) First of all the creatures only communicate what they want you to know. And they only communicate to you when they have screwed up. You can communicate all you want but just cause they are looking at you when you communicate, I can assure what you are saying and what they are hearing are two very different things.

  • Support and encourage them. (What Ever) There is no way to support and encourage when they are changing their minds every other minute and what spews out of their mouth is nonsense.

  • They need to make their own mistakes. (Well then go ahead and leave me out of it) I am getting tired of picking up the pieces and then being trashed on because I didn't do it the way the creature wanted it cleaned up.

  • Just love them. (we will always love them, now at this point we don't particularly like them but we will always love them)
  • Remember when you were that age. (I remember and that's why I am so freaked out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Cathy, I hope that helps and if it doesn't you can always do what I am doing. Running away for the summer. People keep asking me why I decided to go work at a children's camp for the summer. I give them all the noble answers like, to work and encourage the kids and counselors, to help friends, to be where God can use me. But you want to know the real reason? The creature wouldn't go away for the summer so I decided that I would go away instead. Now she is her Dad's problem. Ahhhhhhh 6 more weeks till freedom.............

(Cathy) Carolin, I have just read over everything you have written and I think you should write a book. My mom is here with me and she totally agrees with you! She has one more thing to add to the list. In order to keep your sanity, we should lock them in their rooms and just ignore them. My cousin once told me to always count to ten before responding to anything they say or do. This will allow us to put things in perspective before responding. I will admit that counting does work, I just need to remember to count! One thing I am sure of, we all do love our children and it's because we are loving parents that we care and become concerned about them. They will become adults and we will be proud of them, through all the tears!

(Sunshine) I am waving my white flag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Night

(Louise) Its finally Friday!!!! We are sitting here and we just finished these great apples....They we called "Grapple" and they really smelled nice and tasted like grapes. Strange...apparently they soak them in grape juice which I don't really understand how they get the taste to be so strong. (Sunshine) I think that they would be very well suited for potpourri and you could use them to cook something if you are selling your home it would add a wonderful scent. Where is Cathy tonight? That's what I want to know. I will call her and she will call me back 2-3 weeks later. I have been talking Cathy's husband more then Cathy for the last little while. (Carolin)I don't know if the grapples would work in a pie or not. Also at $5.99 for 4 grapples they are also a bit pricey.
Now we are just talking about our summers and what we will do.
I've started my new job and I'm so so tired.......the extra hours are just tiring me out!! Unfortunately my cousin past away this week, she had cancer and she fought right to the end. The funeral is going to be this Saturday, but my oldest daughter has a soccer tournament this weekend so I'm not sure if I'm going to go. I don't want to take my smaller kids but its far away....So I don't know what I'm going to do. I am so sorry to hear about that. Its never easy to loose a loved one.

This week has been very busy at work and at home and with family. We had a mass for my mom yesterday it has been 10 years since she died. It was a really hard night there were a lot of emotions and a lot of sadness not to mention 3 very moody teenagers. My dad was really sad and he seemed a little bit disoriented but he tries really hard to hide it. We met for dinner first as we didn't have a chance to meet on the weekend because one of my sisters was in Montreal. My dad didn't end up coming as he didn't feel right about it but the rest of us met. It was a real flop as everyone was upset and no one really had a good time. Its too bad because I think that my mom would have liked for us to be together and enjoying each others company but that isn't always how things work out. You were on my mind all Mother's Day weekend. Just don't think Mother's day will ever be the same for any of us.

Things are things, I as well am tired. I am getting ready for my trip to Huntsville for the G8 Summit. I am hoping I can blog while up there but at this point I am not sure how tight the security will be. Anyway time for us to go as the Teenager has a new boyfriend and they are at home with the little one.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) So, let's talk about the word harassment and what it means in today's society. Have we given our children too much power so that we as parents have our hands tied? Do children today have the same healthy fear we did as kids? What about respect? Respect for themselves and others. What happened to addressing adults by Mr. and Mrs.? Is this way better and safer for our kids? What happened to create this situation? Protection, does the word protection go hand in hand with harassment? I know a lot of questions, however, this is a big subject.

(Sunshine) This is such a big controversial subject. As it is with most things in the world there will always be those who take advantage of laws and bend situations to suit their own needs. However, we can only hope that these laws also protect the innocent and are effective for the most part. Miss Teen Sunshine and I were talking about this very subject as it came up at my work place between two students the other day. The boy, in this case used inappropriate language and was accused by the girl of "feeling her up". This heated discussion occurred very hap hazard as they were ordering lunch in front of everyone. She was seemingly upset at first and then laughing and he was laughing the entire time and he commented on how he would not "feel someone up like her because she had too much junk in her trunk". It certainly stopped me in my tracks and I don't really think that anything was done about it. I brought it to the attention of my supervisor she voiced it to a few of the teachers and they shook their heads and I don't really know what happened after that.

Miss Teen Sunshine commented on how in the hall ways at school boys will slap a random girl on the butt and just keep walking. Then she said that in gym class when they are running laps with the older boys, they will randomly touch a girl's butt as they run by. Is this true? Is this what our society has come to. I really hope not. I almost don't want to believe her because it really bothers me to know that this is what it is like. I asked her if it has ever happened to her and she said no. She did say that for most girls it's no big deal as it happens all the time and they just laugh. I asked her how she would feel if it happened to her and what she would do. She said that she would push them away as she did not give them permission. I asked what she would do if it were to continue and her answer was that her physical response would increase from pushing to punching to rendering someone unconscious but she still did not seem to think that there would be any need to let someone of authority know. She felt that it was not something that warranted getting them involved as she could deal with it on her own. Oh Boy, what a mess!!!!!!!

Is the level of respect for their elders any less then when we were kids? Everyone seems to think so but I am not really sure. At my work I see kids who are always consistently very respectful and I see those that don't know or care about being respectful to anyone. The kids who stand out as the disrespectful ones seem to be the ones who have a lot of issues at home. And then there is the third group of kids who are good kids but they have not been taught how to act towards adults. They don't know how to wait for their turn and say please and thank you. But, once you teach them, they catch on really quickly.

Is there less respect for themselves or is it just that they are more comfortable with their bodies and more open? It's tough to watch such young teens making out on the bench outside the cafeteria. They don't care who is watching and who is walking by and when they are asked to stop, they laugh and slowly go back to class. These benches sit right outside of the main office so there is a lot of traffic and a lot of teachers walking by all of the time. It's different because our generation was more reserved than that, but then our parents would say that we are all more open than they ever were. Is it simply evolution? or Is is a disrespect for themselves and for others? I really don't know. Maybe we need to stop judging and keep educating. With this generation, everything is in the open and there are resources if they need help. They have all talked about everything so there is no need to hide in the shadows if something has happened. You can discuss and get help. Inappropriate things have always occurred in history but today they have a bigger voice then ever. Maybe we have taken the fear away from the innocent and put it back onto the perpetrators where is should be. The results that are capable of being yielded are positive if you ask me.

The difficulties occur when someone is wrongfully accused. I don't really know what to say about that. It has been experienced in all fields, doctor, teachers, care givers, and everything else under the sun. That is why so many meetings and even examinations all take place with a second party present to avoid such accusations. Maybe that is going to be more along the lines of what has to happen in the future. How do we determine the truthful ones from those who are telling a lie just to get someone else in trouble? Then, how do we deal with those who really believe that something inappropriate has occurred and it really hasn't. It can be a nightmare to have to deal with being wrongfully accused and having to prove your innocence. How do we stop that kind of thing from happening? Your guess is as good as mine. It would be wonderful to find a happy medium. I am going to stop now and give someone else a chance to write.

Wow, Sunshine sure has a lot to say on the subject. (Carolin) Here is my two cents. People are just stupid! We get ourselves all worked up over stuff that in the grand scheme of things really doesn't matter. I am tired and have had enough of stupid people and their self absorbed attitudes.

I'm wondering if the consequences for the accused are still too light. It could be that people will make a 'wrong' choice knowing that nothing too bad will happen to them. Victim be dammed! Maybe it's time to rework the justice system. Oh wait, I think I've heard this said before....From experience there is NO CONSEQUENCES for the accuser. They can even hide behind anonymity if they choose.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Club - Week Six

This is our last book club blog for, "The Dirty Girls Social Club."

What did you all think now that the book is done?

(Sunshine) I enjoyed the book. It was a very light and easy read. Mostly I enjoyed our weekly discussions. (Cathy) What do I think of this book. I agree with a comment Carolin made a few posts ago. It's fluff. It's an easy read, predictable. I was hoping for something deeper. I also find it hard to read a book and then discuss it. While I'm reading it I have comments and deep (I hope) thought provoking thoughts! I then sit down to write about it and it comes out like fluff. I did find I was annoyed most of the time I was reading this book. I kept getting angry at the author for falling into stereotype with the characters. Maybe this was her point. WE ARE WHAT WE ARE. I don't know. I thought the book was crap.

Were you happy with how all the sucia's intertwined lives were wrapped up?

Well, I think that everything takes time and although some of them are on their way to a better life, they all still have a long way to go. I really hope that Sara is ok and that they find her husband and throw him in jail. I just didn't like the way it ended. Boy, do I ever sound negative! Let me see, was I happy with any part of the book. Yes! I enjoyed Rebecca's story very much. Out of all the sucia's she is my favourite. That because there was pages and pages of her and Andre having very detailed SEX! The book was crap. Ok, I agree with you, however, out of all of the sucias, Rebecca's story was the most interesting.

Would you recommend this book for others to read?

I guess that it depends on what kind of book they are looking for. Our choices based on the availability of the library book club books were limited. It was a good way to start our book club. It was a good first book for us. I think I kept comparing the sucias with ourselves. Our friendship and our love for each other. I guess that was a main point. No matter what happened, the sucias were there for each other. I would like to think that we ladies share that same quality. Did we get a new writer? Who is grey? If you want to read a crappy book then go for it. The book was light, stereotyping, predictable, crap. The people that Lauren made fun of as wanting her to be, typical Latino, was exactly what the author of this book is. I think the only reason this book was published was someone in the publishing company read a statistic on Latino books written verse readers and thought this book would appease the demographic. Uh, publisher, it didn't, it is crap! Well, at least I know it wasn't just me. I kept trying to like it but there really wasn't much to like. I think Sunshine enjoyed it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bench Talk: Crying Harassment - the new way to "Cry Wolf"?

It's often said that, "too much of a good thing is a bad thing." We spend countless dollars teaching our children right from wrong. The problem is that the list of "wrongs" has grown so much that kids and adults alike become paranoid; double thinking each and every action taken or word spoken so as not to "offend" anyone. It's so easy now to cry "harassment" against someone and once that magic word has been spoken there is no going back!

Now this is a subject I am familiar with. Just recently our family was unwillingly involved in a alleged sexual harassment situation. The teenager had to fire a volunteer at her job. After numerous conversations with the volunteer, talking to the volunteer coordinator on how to handle the situation and writing up a formal complaint about his attitude she asked him not to return. A week later she is summoned into her boss's office and informed that this 14 year old volunteer and his parents have filed a sexual harassment charge against her!

At one point our family discussed hiring a lawyer to protect her. She asked me to sit in the meeting with her and her bosses and after two weeks the case was closed. It was determined to be a he said/she said and could not be proven. But what we have all learned from this is; in our over sensitive world you are guilty until proven innocent. All this boy had to do was make the complaint. It then was up to us to prove she was innocent. And the kicker of this whole thing is, though it is considered, 'case closed,' we will never know what this boy said she supposedly did to sexually harass him. She had to prove her innocence without ever knowing what he was accusing her of saying!

I feel we have raised a generation who think they can do and say whatever they want, without any ramifications.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

Hi all, I in my garden today. It's cold and windy. Why is it that the days I'm at work are beautiful and sunny and the days at home are cold and rainy? - I'm back inside now. I can't decide if it's hot or cold out, but it sure is windy. Did anyone watch the 'youtube' video I posted? Yes I watched it but I think I have seen it before. It was cute. I watched it but I too have seen it before and yes it is funny. .I thought it was very funny! I bet you thought they only drank "Red Stripe". So, besides the whole dating thing from this week what else is new? The younger one will not be here this weekend. He will be at a Scouts Jamboree. This Jamboree is shared between Canada and the U.S.A. It's held every "Mother's Day" weekend. It's Mothers Day this weekend!!!!! sugar, I better get on that.Is this supposed to be a gift for us moms? I'm sure it is for some, however, I like my kids and want them around on days like this. Oh well, he loves scouting and he looks forward to this Jamboree every year, so off he will go!
Mothers Day snuck up on me. My brother in law called to see what we were doing and I was wondering why he was calling so early.
(Carolin)I sure liked the cold today as I was so hot at work I needed to step outside to cool down.
(sunshine) Our hood system has not been working for the last week and half and I have been one big ball of sweat, especially when I am frying at lunch time so the wind is a welcoming friend at the moment. I had my first catering job in the school. It was a ACSI Principal Luncheon . . It went well but I was pretty frazzled for a while. I helped set up and made assorted muffins for the morning. The Junior High kids came for lunch at 11:45 am (15 min. early) then the High School kids came for 12:00 pm, I then got the lunch for 40 set up for 12:30 pm (45 bowls of beef barley, 60 assorted sandwiches/wraps, and 90 cookies). I had made the muffins and cookies early this week and the soup I made last night. So I had the sandwiches for today. I also had the elementary kids come for lunch at 12:30 pm. Thank goodness the husband came to help and I had a HS girl also help. She is very good at her job and extremely reliable. What was nice is I gave the coordinator the invoice in the afternoon and she had a cheque ready within 10 minutes! She also asked if I would like to cater for her again next November. It is at the school again but for 600 people! Please pray that the new kitchen is completed and I am there next year as this would be a biggie for me. Congratulations sounds like a busy day and you nailed it. There is a lot of money to be made on catered functions.

I had met up with the Geography (HS) teacher today. He was telling me that KD had sent him some Geography curriculum (she is a Geo teacher) and in it she had made up a quiz. One of the questions on the quiz was 'What in-school lunch lady will also be cooking at this years G8 Summit?' All day the kids would come visit me or stop me in the hall to congratulate me on cooking at the G8. Now that I have started to receive emails in reference to the summit I am getting a little excited. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Sunshine for having faith in me. But I must be off as the little one and I are on our way back to school for Arts Night and Open House. Hopefully I will sleep like a baby tonight! Congrats on the Summit as well and with such a busy day how could you not sleep well tonight.

Not much else going on this week. The basket ball tournament that Little Miss Sunshine was in is over and they came in third place. We didn't get home on Tuesday night until after 8:30pm from the tournament. Miss Teen Sunshine went to see Frankenstein yesterday with her school. She said that it was really good and the most impressive thing was the set because everything was entirely made out of paper. Her bus was suppose to arrive at the school at 5:30 but it got stuck in traffic LMS and I waited at the school for about 2 hours. Just a little tip if you don't already know. Make sure Teen Sunshine has her phone when she goes on trips and she can call you when she gets close to school. Never has the bus arrived on time in the 4 years the teenager has been there. And what is a LMS?

Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Club - week five

(Cathy) O.K. - oops! I thought this was our last week as there were not that many pages left, so I finished the book! I know I promised not to read ahead and I didn't do it on purpose.... lol! So, what do you all think???? I guess I'll wait for the questions. (Carolin)Not for a minute do I believe you didn't read the whole book by accident. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if you had read the entire book the first week. (Sunshine) I already answered all of these questions the other day but something must have happened as it seems to be missing so I will answer again. First of all Cathy, naughty, naughty, naughty! It's hard for me to support you when the schedule is posted on our blog.(Oh, right...oops again!) I have to check it every week to remind myself when to stop. However, I know that you wouldn't make it so just be more careful next time. Did you like the ending? (not really)

Cuicatl/Amber is a rich women now. Were you surprised when Gato went all jealous and started to trash her to their friends?
(Carolin) I was not overly surprised by Gato's reaction, though a part of me wanted him to be different. What I did like about Cuicatl/Amber was when she was discussing her tour dates she made a point of keeping her commitment to the sucias. I was surprised by that too. She did gain points from me for that. She valued the relationships of the other women and did not let other parts of her life override that. That to me showed real character.
I am not surprised with Gato's reaction, I was never a big fan of his. I am actually more surprised that he didn't stick around long enough to help spend some of Cuicatl's money. I am also happy that she is keeping her meeting with the girls. They are all so different but they have a very strong bond. It is refreshing.

So Usnavys is engaged! Do you think she will really marry Juan or did she accept because she was in front of her sucias. The women is a flake in designer clothes mind you but still a flake. I agree. While I was reading her I found her to be exhausting. Her sense of well being revolves around what is in 'style', the 'latest', the 'most expensive', the 'best'. I could never keep up with someone like this, she is just too much work. I think that Usnavys will marry Juan and she will find herself again and appreciate what really matters in life instead of the materialistic things and in the end she will adore Juan as much as he adores her. They will be very happy together. Do you want to know what happens?

We have learned a little more about Rebecca. Do you think the budding relationship between Rebecca and Andre will help to loosen Rebecca up?

Well, well, well, Rebecca is an interesting women. I find her discipline very impressive. She is so self disciplined she can control what she puts in her mouth! Mind you she has become very obsessive with it. It makes you wonder why she needs to have such control over everything. But because of her self discipline she has been able to fulfill much of her dreams. Buying a home in a fancy area of Boston, owning a successful magazine and now potentially a relationship with a very wealthy man who has very similar attributes. For Rebecca to be with Andre she will have to loosen up. I believe that it will take her a long time to become comfortable with herself and it is hard for some people to really let loose. She may not be one of those people who will ever be able to actually do that. I don't know if Andre will get bored of her and I question his intentions as he was chasing a married woman to begin with. Was he chasing her or just admiring her from afar? I think it's a nice boost to the self-esteem to know someone else finds you attractive.

Heineken commercial - Jamaica - this is very funny!

My cousin Karin had this posted on her blog, "Yardedge", (check my profile for the link). It's very funny!Enjoy! (Cathy)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bench Talk: 14 is too young to date, right?

The other day my 14 year old son comes to me and declares that he is old enough to date! We have yet to hear this declaration from our older son. Hubby and I were quite content to let hormones lay dormant and school work flourish. Hubby and I both feel 14 is too young to start dating. We both agreed to let him 'group date', that is going to the movies, or bowling with a bunch of his friends. What do you think?

(Carolin)Is 14 to young to date? Hmmmm let me think......... YES!

Think about the reason we date. Is it to add another notch to the old experience belt or is it to find a partner for marriage. So, if your son is seriously considering marrying this person then sure go on the date. But if he isn't even thinking that way why does he need to 'one on one' date at 14.

(Louise)Marriage.........OMG! I think everybody just needs to calm down. My daughter is an early teen and she has already started dating. Yes, I would rather she just go out with her girlfriends and have fun as a group. She is not dating anyone at the moment and has decided that she just wants to be free and have fun with her girlfriends. That being said the only way she was able to come to that conclusion was to date, and find that out for herself. I guess I'm of the school that lets them discover things for themselves. To a certain extent and always keep the lines of communication open. The thing is, kids don't really date anymore.......they all go out as a group or they start by facebooking or texting and then start seeing each other. The days of going to movies or dinner as just a date are long gone. I think today the proper term is 'hooking up' or maybe 'dealing'........whatever,,, don't panic kids are a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. Don't you remember what is was like....Come on it wasn't that long ago!!!!!!!!!

(Cathy)It's funny because I do remember the 'dating' thing started happening in middle school. Not to me mind you, but I wudda if I cudda! (date, I mean) Are kids today smarter or is it that they are just exposed to so much more than we were. As parents, we have to help guide them and let out enough rope so that they can experience life for themselves, but boy is it ever hard sometimes. Well, the younger one has accepted the compromise of going out with a group of friends. We have given him ideas of places to go, ie: movies, bowling or with summer coming up, a seasons pass to "Canada's Wonderland". It's funny because he is constantly in touch with her via MSN, or Facebook or texting and he has started using the home phone, a lot! We do not have call waiting so, to all my friends, if you get a busy signal..... call my cell!

(Sunshine) Everyone starts dating at different ages depending on the person. They will go out with (become boy friend and girl friend) no matter what we say. They will talk and hang out with each other at school and they will arrange to go out with friends and meet up with the boy friend or girl friend if they want to without you knowing it if it is forbidden. When do we let them openly date with our approval, well I think that it is a different answer for all of us and for our children. Many things can come into play. Age, the type of person they are seeing, how long it has been since there last relationship and how serious was the last relationship and many other things. Personally I would rather get to know someone that my child is interested in and spending a lot of time with, either on the net or at school. I would prefer that they meet at my house if dating is going to be permitted. My parents didn't let us date until much later in life. I did have boyfriends without them knowing when I was in grade 8 and later in high school but the restrictions made it a situation where there was hand holding only because I could only see them at school. They let me openly date when I was around 18 years old. Lets just say that things can get a lot more serious then just hand holding when you are alone with someone on a regular basis. Everyone must decide for themselves what is right for their children and it is probably what we as parents are most comfortable with. There is no right or wrong answer, just follow your instincts and you can't really go wrong.