Monday, June 28, 2010

Bench Talk: What Happened in Toronto?

What happened in Toronto last Saturday night? Who was the cause of it? I thought it was supposed to be a peaceful protest! So, just who were those people in black? Were they local people or did they come to Toronto from afar to cause trouble? In Toronto we have all been complaining about the money spent on security and the inconvenience caused to residents. I guess it's now justified.

(Sunshine) I watched the chaos that was being shown on the news on tv and it was pretty shocking. (Cathy) I, too was pretty shocked when I turned on the radio Saturday night and heard about all of the chaos! What's sad is that all of the organized peaceful protest causes were lost in the mess. Instead of shining light on real causes, for example: Greenpeace, all people saw was "thugs" causing havoc.Shame on those cowardly individuals who come to our city to do nothing but destroy and reek havoc. There is no cause that they are fighting for, they are just criminal thugs. I would like to tell them all to get out of our city and go back to where they came from. I hope that they catch each and everyone of them and deal with them so that they will think twice about ever being a part of anything like this ever again.The only problem is that innocent people get caught up and arrested right along with them. I think these thugs scare people so that any thoughts of participating in a peaceful cause in the future is squashed. I am so thankful for all of our emergency and security forces who have worked tirelessly and incurred injuries and insults in order to keep our city and it's visiting members safe. I also wish that the public would help the police out more by getting out of the way allowing the criminals to be revealed rather then being able to blend into the large crowds. That's a good point. I wonder though that when the police do show up can the innocent people get away or are they caught up in the crowd. Then there is the fear of the mass stampede to get away which is when people get hurt. I thank God that that did not happen this time.
I heard on the news this morning that David Miller, who is the mayor of Toronto is appealing to the Federal government for compensation for the people who lost wages because they were not allowed to go to work in the secure zone. Also, for the lost business and now the repairs to the businesses in the area of destruction.

So, in the end, what was gained? What good came out of this summit? Is is really necessary to hold them in major cities?

(Carolin) I know this has been posted a few days ago. But I wasn't aloud to say anything till now. I am home from the G8 Summit in Huntsville. And I too was shocked to watch the news and see what was happening in Toronto. Who are these people and I hope they are arrested and given the full extent of the law. Thousands of RCMP and OPP where quickly bused down to Toronto and then when things were somewhat under control they were sent back to Hunstville. I spoke to a few different ones and I was told by all that what we say on the news was nothing to what it was really like. It was crazy! These men and women put there lives at risk because of a group of troublemakers. I sure hope they get them all. I think the city, business and residence should be able to sue them for damages and if they are not from Canada I sure hope they are prohibited from ever entering our country again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) The prom went well. The kids had a great time. It was actually well organized and the grad ceremony itself actually finished on time! Boy, were the kids ever dressed up to the nines! Our school trustee during her speech, which was very good, joked that the economy went way up in our local mall. Beautiful dresses, hair-do's and high heeled shoes, boys all cut and polished in suits, everyone looked great. I even have to admit they were all dressed appropriately, cute and not out of their age. I don't know if I mentioned that our younger one is sweet on a girl in his class. He bought her a wrist corsage and she was so thrilled. The ribbon matched her dress perfectly. Boy, I am happy for them so much and at the same time I want them to be babies again. I know, nothing new, I now get all of the things my mom has said and continued to say to me over the years. I am very lucky. Truth is everyday is a beginning. Enjoy the moment. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) Today my younger son will celebrate his graduation from junior high school. He is graduating from the same junior high school that I went to! My older son also went there. When my older son started three of my teachers were still there, weird! Just how old were they? When I went to my Junior High Prom it was held at night in the school gym. I remember we had punch and good music and dancing. It was a lot of fun. My older son had the same experience. His prom was held at night in the school gym and they had punch and pizza. So, I wonder what happened this year? My younger son's prom is being held in a convention centre. Many parents asked why as the gym has worked well since the school opened 40 years ago. It is costing more money as they also hired a professional photographer to take a photo of each student receiving their "pretend" certificate. This is the kicker, the "prom" is being held at 3pm until 5:30pm?????? We have received many letters advising to pick up the children no later than 5:45pm! What kind of prom is that? I understand it's junior high school, but this is just silly!

(Sunshine) Your old school is actually right on trend with most of the other elementary schools. As far as I am aware, the majority of elementary schools have their proms at banquet halls and convention centres and they are all during the day and go into the after school hours. That's what happened at our school last year and all of my daughter's friend's schools did the same thing. I remember my prom being during the day as I can remember getting off of the bus and my heal broke (on your shoe?) and it was definitely still day light. I am not quite sure why they do it this way. I suppose that another venue makes it a little bit more special for the kids and it's a little easier for the school because there is so much less to do. If the kids enjoy it, then that is really all that matters. As far as the timing is concerned, ours started earlier last year and finished by the end of the school day and that made for a routine school pick up and drop off day. Because the kids needed to be at school by about 11:00am that gave everyone a chance to get ready and then when we arrived at school there were a lot of parents taking pictures of all of the kids. It was really quite nice and the kids really loved it.

I had no idea that your children went to the same school that you went to when you were a kid. I thought that that kind of thing only happened in movies. That is a really cool thing. Congratulations to your younger son on this big accomplishment. I can't believe that he is already headed for high school next year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why are there Traffic Jams?

(Cathy) I had to take the older one to our doctor for a check-up today. The appointment was for 3pm. It was raining so I gave us one hour and ten minutes for a 25 minute drive! I thought that would have been enough time with extra time built in. Well, we were not late, just exactly on time. We were at the doctors office for 30 minutes. The traffic was a lot worse going back home. Traffic in this city is nothing new. It's just that while you are sitting, idle you have time to contemplate the why. What causes traffic? Is it bad drivers? Is it a domino effect from one driver applying the brakes? When you think about it, if everyone drove at a consistent speed and respected turn signals and allowed people to merge we would all get to where we wanted to go a lot quicker. Do you agree?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bench Talk: Yard Work

Today is the first day of summer. It's the longest day of the year, the summer solstice! By now everyone's yard should be up and running. Flowers are in bloom and shrubs have grown and veggies are getting plump. It takes a lot of work to keep the yard in shape. Please share your best advice for yardwork.
(Sunshine) I have finally purchased a reel lawn mower (manual lawn mower). I have wanted one for years but Mr Sunshine prefers the electric mowers. Well yesterday, I woke up and mowed the lawn front and back. It was early so because there is no motor is is quiet enough to use anytime of day, weekends included. It is light weight and even the kids can help out without the danger of getting hurt. I mowed the lawn, picked some weeds, watered the plants and the grass and then vacuumed the pool. The entire process took about two and a half hours. When everything was finished, I looked around and things looked pretty good. Then I went inside and started cooking as my family was due to arrive in about half an hour for a Father's Day Celebration. Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there.

When I look around the yard there is still so much more that needs to be done. The trees all need to be pruned, the peach tree needs to be sprayed as it has leaf curl, weeds need to be picked and patio furniture needs to be painted once again. I could probably work out there everyday for hours and hours and there would still be work to be done. Good thing I enjoy the outdoors. My only tip would be, do what really needs to be done first as looking at the full picture can be very overwhelming. That tip is a good one and one which I finally learned a few years ago. I used to try to get the entire yard done in one day and couldn't and would get frustrated. I know pick one spot and work on it. It is more satisfying and enjoyable. I usually pick an evening and wander the yard with a trug and clippers and deadhead. I will pick a day after a rainfall to weed. I will prune one shrub at a time. I will now step back and enjoy the before and after with my ever present cup of tea! Now, that's gardening!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Sunshine) Cathy, why is this a blank slate once again. I feel as though I am talking to myself. (Carolin)I will type nothing as well. Cathy I don't think I will have time to contribute so it is up to you honey.

(Cathy) Pressure, pressure. O.K. here goes. The week passed by faster than I expected. Hubby comes home today and I had planned to have the house all clean and tidy like a 60's housewife. I couldn't be bothered. Yeah for the 21 century housewife. Tell him if he wants it tidy to do it himself! The older teenager has two exams to write today and then school is done for him until the first Monday in July. He is taking a grade 11 math in advance in summer school. He wants to be an engineer and the course load is heavy with math and chemistry and physics so he is trying to lighten the load a bit with summer school. The younger one is heading up to Muskoka to do a portage, canoe trip through the islands by Parry Sound. He should have a great time. I know everyone he is going with and they are all experienced as he is. Being a mom, I will still worry until he is safely back at home. (Sunshine) Cathy you made it through the week, congratulations!!!!!!!

My garden is a jungle! It was all under control and then one day I looked out and everything has grown at least a foot. All I do now is prune and compost. I have no more room in my compost bins. I am glad for the city yard waste collection program. The teenager planted a vegetable garden after I said I wasn't going to have one this summer. With the rain we have had everything was doing well, sprouting and growing then this nasty rabbit decided to make its home in our yard. And everytime we turn around more of the garden has been eaten. So far it looks like she might only get a some tomatoes. They love the radishes, sunflowers, beans, lettuce. I love looking at rabbits in the garden, send them over to my house. I don't have any vegetable garden to speak of so then can munch away on the grass. We do have two rabbits who visit regularly and usually I see them in the front garden munching on grass, they are so cute.

I am looking forward to hearing Carolin's stories from the Summit. I think they would make a good separate post. I think the security thing is getting out of hand. Now they are removing trees from around the Metro Convention Centre because the branches could be used as weapons. Why are we hosting this again? Does anyone know? Please tell me! I am so out of the loop with the G20 I don't know what is going on down there. We have know TV and only internet if you brouht your laptop. We have been so busy with training for the past two days and our shifts all start today that I don't think anyone will have time for anything but work and sleep. My shift starts today at 1:00 pm and I am supposed to finish at 1:30 am. You are going to be pretty tired. Whenever you get a chance remember to tell Mr Sunshine that we love him and we miss him (I know how much that will kill you but I would appreciate it).

Well yesterday was my last day of work until September (well I have one other day that I need to help out with next week, and then I hope that it). I was a fun day. The Principal and about 15 students came into the cafeteria before lunch and they gave us a beautiful thank you speech and then they gave us a card each and a school t-shirt. Then we all hugged each other and said good bye. It was really sweet. During the day some of the kids came in with their year books and asked me to sign them. It was really nice of them and it made me a little bit emotional. What we do as women and as mothers is not always outwardly spoken in an appreciative manner so it was nice to feel appreciated in that way. The janitorial day shift that we have become very close with bought us some delicious pastries that I had never tried before and surprised us with them in one of the offices. That was really nice. I am thinking of ordering some for Fathers day as I think that my dad would really like them.

Well I have completed a year of work after being out of the work force for about ten years now. The beginning was difficult both physically and emotionally. Physically, your body adjusts very quickly and within a week or so, I was not soar anymore and could easily do the job. Emotionally, it took a little longer. There were a plethora of reasons for my emotions. The location of the school, leaving the kids and not being available to them if they needed something, the fear of actually being able to do the job and more then anything, my own nerves. But, I must say that the entire experience has been very positive. Somedays I would get into the car after my shift and start thinking about the kids and what I had to do that evening and I would realize that I hardly thought about the house and the kids and my husband for the entire shift because I was too busy. Don't get me wrong, they are always in my thoughts but being home for so long and experiencing some dramatic events that changed me forever have change me as a person. It turned me into a person who worries and worries and worries. Sometimes these feelings made me feel very sad and probably a lit bit depressed. I found that I could not sit still if I had to for a long period of time. I would feel as though I was going to faint and I spent a lot of time convincing myself that something was physically wrong with me. Well guess what, I worked every week day since October. The kids are doing well and the house never fell apart and Mr Sunshine has been as busy as always and our relationship is as strong as its ever been. So in the end it ended up being something that I did just for me. I know now that I am strongerr then I think and I can do so much. There is no fear when I travel down the street where my mom had her fatal car accident and life continues whether we are sad and worried or not.

I would like more out of work eventually, so I will come up with a four year plan of where I would like to be when Little Miss Sunshine goes to high school and can get herself there and back. I have also discovered that there are two other things that I really need to work on, my health ( I need to get my weight under control and exercise) and we need to go to church on more of a regular basis.

This year had been a big step forward in my person journey as a woman and mother. It has been a journey in finding myself again as a person and not only as someones mom (I love being their mom but I love being me too). I am thankful for having had such a positive experience

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Sunshine) CATHY WHERE ARE YOU???????

(Cathy) Hi all! I am really looking forward to Friday. So what did I do with my week? Absolutely nothing! I thought of a lot of things to do and did none of them. Next week will be better, (I hope and pray it will be better) I still have to fight with myself to get stuff done and not to sit around drinking copious amounts of tea. Stop your moping Cathy, yes I know it was your birthday and hubby is away but look at this time as a time to enjoy. Do what you want, cook what you want or even better don't cook! If you want to sit around reading books drinking tea go for it and don't feel guilty about. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy. Cathy, why don't you just call me when you feel like that? You may actually catch me at home from now until September. Hey, that's right.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank-you!!!! It feels good to be 37........ again! What ever, Cathy! The folks took the boys and I out to the Mandarin for lunch. I told the boys to eat up as I would not be cooking dinner!

Wow, what a busy day it was yesterday. I woke up, took a shower and got ready for work. Then dropped off Miss Teen Sunshine at school. Back home again to pack a lunch for Little Miss Sunshine and drove her over to her school. I dropped her off and headed to work. Worked my shift and went to the bathroom to change and make myself presentable as I had a funeral to go to. My sister picked me up at work and we went to pick up my dad. The funeral was in the east end so traffic was crazy. We got there and met my other sister in the parking lot. It was my dad's uncle who passed away and he was 90 years old so there was a light mood and really we talked and laughed and caught up with family that we have not seen in years. There is a talk of getting all of us together for a family picnic and if it works out, that would be great. Well we got in our cars, it is now 4:30 and we start to drive home. I check on the girls on our way home. Miss Teen Sunshine has taken the bus to Little Miss Sunshine's school to pick her up. This was her first time on the transit and she did beautifully. They were going to take the bus together from the school to our house but Little Miss Sunshine is going through a scared faze since the death of our dog in April so she was very apprehensive. I was very lucky that my niece said that she would pick them up for me at school and take them home. When I called they were safe and sound at home. We got back to my work and I picked up my car and went straight home. The girls had made some pasta and were ready to go to the soccer field. I was changing and Little Miss Sunshine informed me that practice started 15 minutes ago. I forgot that we had to be there at 6:00 and not 6:30 and it doesn't help that one of the coaches is with me. We rush over to the soccer field, and they play in the cold and wind and it was a good game. We now head over to our car which is a mile away because we were so late and there were no parking spots close by. We finally get home and have a snack and then I am on the phone with both my sisters and my dad. I remember falling asleep at around 11:30 from shear exhaustion. Then I woke up this morning at about 4:15am and could not sleep so I decided to blog. I think that my internal clock is set at this time as Mr Sunshine's alarm clock usually goes off at this time. Oh well, it is my last day of work and I am looking forward to some quiet time off. I still have to go in a few times over the summer but that should be pretty easy. I hope that the weather warms up. How do you manage to do so much in a day? Just reading that is exhausting! Sounds like a busy time. Pass my condolences to your father. Thank-you. Sunshine keep in mind the teenager has my car while I am up north if you need her. Thanks again. Speaking of the teenager today is her last day of high school ever!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!! She has to go in on Monday for two exams and then done, done, done. Can you hear Alice Copper's, School out Forever. You will now be singing that all night. :) I love that song. Alice Cooper was on American Idol singing that song and all of the Idols' were dressed in Alice Cooper type of school uniforms, it was great!!! The boys play that song at the end of every school year!
Carolin, texted me a few time from the G8 yesterday and it sounds as though she is doing well, bored but well. She always makes me laugh with her take on things. She certainly is very original and she does not hold back. I had to text you cause Mr. Sunshine was killing me. I was sitting in my seat slinking down hoping know one ever finds out I know this guy. That's a very different attitude from a few weeks ago when you were hoping that Mr. Sunshine would drive you up there and everyone would see that you know the boss personally. Have a great time Carolin. I am looking forward to the stories I hope she will bring back with her. (Carolin)Not sure if you want me to add to this or do a new blog entry just on what is happening at the G8. What do you think boss Cathy? Is the G8 worthy of its own blog and label? I think it is worthy of it's own blog and label! Go for it! I will tell so far it is good. The Secretary from school drove myself and her sister to a mall that everyone was meeting at. The weather yesterday was nasty, cold and raining. They had three school, yes I said school bus's for us to ride in. Lets say by the time we got to the camp my butt was killing me. But all is good today the weather is amazing. Have a good Thursday all. I need to get some dinner now. I will try to blog after diner. Have a great day everyone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What to do? What to do??

I have to make some pretty serious decisions....and I'm a little scared. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a single mom of three and my kids are still young enough to need daycare when my young teenager is not available. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom with my eldest and most of my middle childs life, but things have changed and now I have to have a full income on my own. I am working 36hrs a week right now at a bank, but honestly I just don't make enough to pay a mortgage, daycare and everything else. Not to mention the sick days, holidays, running around making sure everyone is where they should be when I'm working.....I have an opportunity to start my own daycare business. I've looked at it at every angle and if I have three children full time or even part time school age I can afford to pay all my bills. The problem is, it's not a guaranteed job. I know people always need daycare, but things change, people loose their jobs, or get sick, or move, all kinds of things happen all the time. I'm so afraid of the uncertainty......But I would be able to stay at home and be here for my children, I would be able to be here for my youngest who is still not in school. I'm so sad that I'm missing him grow everyday that I'm at work away from him, and I would be here after school and they wouldn't have to worry about who is picking them up or who I would have to leave them with if they are not feeling well. As a mom it feels so right, but as a mom and the only adult making all the decisions I'm so afraid of making the wrong choice. I really wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me what the future holds. Some parts of me want to just jump in and take a chance. If it's meant to be it will be, but I also believe we do have some control over our destiny. So what to do?? What to do???

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bench Talk: G8 and G20 summits

The summits are drawing near. There are news reports daily advising on new security practices and how they will inconvenience the public. What are your opinions regarding the upcoming summits? Are they really necessary? What actually is accomplished during the summits?
Because we live in the Toronto area (GTA) the G20 and G8 Summit is on the news continuously. If I wasn't going to be away anyway I would avoid the downtown core during the Summit time frame. A teacher at works wife works across from the convention centre where the G20 is being held and they have had to move there office up close to the airport for two weeks because of security purposes. The G8 is up in Muskoka so for most of us it doesn't mater.
I will be up working at the G8 this year and I understand security will be very tight I am not to worried as I haven't heard about much protesting happening up north. I think that might be one of the reasons they decided to have it up there.
I have spoke to many different people and haven't yet heard a positive thing about Toronto hosting the Summit. Most people are upset about the cost of it and they voice there concern that no real work happens. It is just a waist of taxpayers money. I happen to agree with this opinion. It seems to me to be just a big photo op for all and a make work project for others. Perhaps being there and seeing things first hand will change my opinion.

I am excited to have the opportunity to work at the G8 and am looking forward to learning new operational procedures, working on new equipment and being part of something that more then likely wont happen again for me. Oh and the $$ is good!
Do any of our American benchers even know there is a Summit coming up in a weeks time. We are so bombarded by American news but I don't think Canadian news is reported down there. Please comment and correct me if I am wrong.
(Sunshine) My biggest question about the summit, is why is Canada spending so much more money then other countries who have hosted it in the past? It may have something to do with the $2 million dollars that they have spent on the phony lake that they have built for the journalists. Apparently it is dressed with canoes and Muskoka chairs and changing scenery. This lake will be built on the CNE grounds not that far away from some pretty spectacular real lakes. What a joke. The estimated cost of the summits so far is about $1.2 billion dollars. That seems to be a very large expense especially considering the fact that the leaders are only meeting here for 18 hours. Who is giving approval for such ridiculous spending anyways?????????????

How will it affect me? Well Mr Sunshine will be extremely busy for the next few weeks, but, I suppose if it isn't the summit keeping him busy then it would be something else. I am sure, though that it would be pretty cool to be a part of it all as Carolin has said. Have a great time, Carolin. I hope that it will be a rewarding experience for you and everyone else involved. We look forward to hearing all about it when you return.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Sunshine) Well, there are only 5 more work days left for me. Actually, that is not really true. I have a few functions that I have been asked to help out with later on this summer. They did ask if I was interested in working for the month of July at another school that has summer school. So far, I have said no thank you but I am not sure if they can push the issue if they really need someone. I am looking forward to having my summer off with my girls. I feel as though we spend zero quality time together. I am working while they are in school and then at night there is so much to do and so little energy. We are in the same proximity but we are all either busy or just vegging out. The only real conversation happens in the car on the way to school and back. Then with Mr Sunshine, there is no chance for any conversation what so ever. He is busy when he is at work and eating or sleeping when he is at home. We talk for maybe a minute during the day when he can be reached and a minute at 5:00am before he leaves some mornings when I wake up that early. But, when I am up that early then I put in a load of laundry, maybe even do a few left over dishes, check the blog and then I am tired once again. I am really feeling like I want a simpler life where work outside the home is only done between the house of 9:00 to 5:00 and that includes homework for the kids, work work for the adults and house work for all of the family. I want more family time with all of us having enough energy to enjoy each others company. Oh, yes, and I would really love to have my family living close by. The same street, might actually work for me. Don't want much now do you. I, too am tired. I finish work tomorrow morning. I then leave next Wednesday for two weeks up north cooking at the G8 summit. Back for 4 days then the little one and I leave to spend the summer out near Trenton at a children's summer camp. I will be cooking all summer. I am looking forward to it all but also a little nervous about taking on too much, pacing myself and what mischief the teenager will get into.

While I am at the G8 I plan to write up the agreement between the school and myself for next year. I am confidant that we have an agreement in principal at this point. We just have to work out the details. Things I have learned over the year that I would like to see handled different and who is responsible for what and when. I am going back to the school on Monday morning to season the elements on the new range in the new kitchen. I am told I would get some kind of payment for my work but we will see.

I watched the High School's last chapel of the year. Speeches were said by students and teachers, good-byes by teachers who are leaving or retiring. Awards were handed out and the valedictorian was announced. It was nice, I couldn't stay for it all as it was running late and I had to get back in the kitchen for the end of the day crowd. I did feel a little sad that I was not able to attend the teenagers Arts Program graduation at her school because of work but I sat and watched kids I don't really know get their awards. Now, I must go as I need to shower and have some housework stuff to do.

Sunshine I think you will have a great summer and will appreciate it more because of all the work you have done this year. Have fun!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Sunshine) Good morning everyone. It's been another busy week. When will things actually slow down? Work is busy, the kids are both really busy, the house is always in need of cleaning and repair and Mr. Sunshine is gearing up for the G8 Summit amongst his other million responsibilities. I would love to disconnect all of our phones and really be on vacation at home together for one entire week. No interruptions, just us. Oh, to dream. I will soon be on the same page as you. I, too will be looking forward to the weekends when Hubby comes home. I have thought about the coming winter as well when he might not be able to make the drive because the roads are so bad. I know, looking too far ahead.... only one day at a time.
A week's vacation; I am hoping that's what it will be like at the G8. A vacation from family and household responsibilities anyway. I totally get the busyness of life. I finish work Friday morning and I am hoping this weekend, and the two days I am home before I leave for G8, to clean the house and cook a few meals for the family to have while I am gone. Will you be gone for one week or two? What do you think about the cell phone jamming? What if someone is on a 911 call, what about the possible negative consequences there???

The little one had her retainer out on Tuesday morning and her mouth is still a little sore. We go back to the orthodontist next Tuesday for a new retainer to go in. The new one is a removable one she only wears at night (as I understand). The younger one had his braces removed last week. Did I already tell you this? He now has a permanent wire glued to the inside of both the upper and lower set of teeth. It's supposed to be there for life. When the older one had the same permanent wires installed I was told to come in at any time if they come loose and they will fix it. With this child I was told they will only look after them for 3 years. I was to have our dentist check them and she could reglue them if necessary. What happened to lifetime????? I think they have too many flat screen t.v.'s in their office!!!
Last night the little one and I went to a 'bead for life' home party. Women in Uganda make these beads out of recycled paper and then they are brought to North America through a fair trade program and sold. As in most fair trade programs the women receive a major portion of the sale of the necklace and bracelets. I bought a few different ones (not that I am a big jewelery wearer), I am using one necklace as a Christmas gift. Always thinking ahead that's me. I hope my husband is home for Christmas, permanently! I know... one day at a time!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Follow Me- I'm Canadian!

Blog Hop,Canadian,125x125

Welcome to the, "Follow Me, I'm Canadian link exchange." I have been looking around to see if there existed a 'blog hop' just for Canadian Blogs. Tanya and Kat have created this blog,, which is more than just a blog hop. It is also the beginning of a directory of Canadian Social Networks. A lot of the creators of these web sites are moms, just like ourselves. Join in and meet some new people!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bench Talk: Blog Hops, Getting to know you!

Becoming a blogger is to enter a fascinating world. In the beginning you think you are the only one blogging and no one is interested in what you have to say. Slowly, you start to look around and discover the literally thousands of blogs out there! Many of them are similar to our own blog. People need to share. It's great to have a forum to vent, healthy even. Blog hops are a new thing. It's a way to make friends and find other blogs similar to our own. We have been blogging for a year now. It's great to look back at the start and see how much we have learned and grown.

(Sunshine) I have enjoyed our blogging experience together. It has been a way to keep in touch and share our feelings and get to know each other even better. I really don't know if someone who is a stranger to us, would actually follow us and read about us. I know that you all tell me that they do but I still have a hard time understanding why they would want to. We have come a long way and we have done it together and that's what makes it all worth while. I know that Carolin still thinks that we will one day strike it rich, well I doubt it but I will enjoy celebrating with you girls if it ever happens.

(Carolin) I too have enjoyed the Blog. I wonder if people really do read the blog or not? Cathy says they do but because of the lack of comments I wonder if we are just talking to ourselves. I wish at times I had more time to blog, I have all kinds of ideas to write about but most of the time I am just too tired. Now that all four of us are living in different neighbourhoods, and working during the day. It is nice to be able to catch up on the blog.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Carolin) Been a long grumpy day. Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about the teenager needing a filling for a cavity but she was afraid of the needle so the dentist wouldn't do it and has sent her to a specialist. So today the husband takes her for the meet and great. An appointment has been made a few weeks from now for the filling of the cavity. Which the dentist said was very tiny and could be filled without any freezing at all. But because she won't go for the freezing the gas is going to cost $118.00. The husband asked about just prescribing a muscle relaxant to calm her down. One simple little pill to take the edge off. Guess how much, come on guess? $160.00!!!!!!!!!
So my idea a few weeks ago of just smoking a joint beforehand doesn't sound so bad now does it. But noooo, everyone has all gotten moral. I am willing to cough up the money for the illegal substance (don't know where to buy it but I am sure we can figure that out) but no way am I paying $160.00 for a stupid pill or even the $118.00 for the gas.

My take on this whole thing is SUCK IT UP PRINCESS! It is only a small little cavity wait till she has to get a pap test. You will be wishing you had freezing then.

(Cathy) This reminds me of the short time I had her in the mornings when you went back to work the first time. You gave me vitamin pills to give her with breakfast. What an episode that was! My older one used to cheer her on saying, "you can do it, just swallow it, it's ok!" I can appreciate the gag reflex as I have it too. It's a hard thing to try to wrap your mind around because I do believe it's mind over matter. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

So, what's new to catch up on with me. Well, four months ago Hubby and his co-workers in his office were laid off due to lack of work. It was a temporary lay off for 12 weeks. Supposedly, work would have been found and employees brought back to work. We knew chances of this were slim so Hubby started looking for work. The ecomomy is not helping as corporations are leery of signing the bottom line to kick start projects. Thankfully, he was just hired to work in Sarnia. Sarnia is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we live. Hubby grew up near there in Petrolia and I actually lived there for about a year and a half when my father was working there. Funny how life circles around. Hubby will commute back and forth every weekend. I now join Sunshine with her life as a semi-single parent. It will be different. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring..... well, he's not snoring, he's upstairs on his laptop. I had a nice day today in spite of the rain. Hubby and I went to Humber Nurseries where I purchased a much wanted Bay Laurel plant. (Sunshine) I have no idea what plant that is. I also bought a Lemon Verbena bush, as well as some lemon thyme, cilantro, an oxygenating plant for my pond as well as a few marigolds and dirt for a container. I think that's all. It turned out to be customer appreciation day so I received 10% discount as well as points on my loyalty card. (Carolin will be very proud of me!) Afterwards, Hubby and I went to try out a thai restaurant that Carolin likes called the, "Bamboo Garden". It was tasty, we will go back. Thanks to Carolin for the tip. (is this the little one by the fish store? Yes, it is. If so, we have never eaten in the place only got food to go and it is very yummy and cheap!)Hubby had the chicken in lemongrass sauce with pad thai and I had the chicken in basil sauce also with the pad thai. It was the lunch special and each dish was only $6.99 plus tax! After our tummies were full we went to the grocery store, (the only way to go, never, ever go to the grocery store hungry!!!) Our younger son is in a cooking stage. It's great! So far he has made: spinach and cheese tortellini in a tapanade sauce with green beans, chicken in a light cream sauce with broccoli and tonight he is making a meatloaf with baby potatoes and green beans. Yummy! I just heard the dinner bell, so I'm off to dine. Wow, when is he available to cook for me?
Sounds very good, I remember the when the teenager went through that stage. Unfortunately it didn't last long. Though today she made cupcakes (from scratch) and saved two for me without icing (I don't like icing) and they were great. The drawback though is the big mess that is always left behind.
Little Miss Sunshine loves to bake but she is not yet independent enough with the baking to make things on her own.

The teenager graduated today from the RAP program at her high school. Her Dad and boyfriend went for the ceremony. The husband said it was very loonnngggg. It started at 8:00 AM and went to 10:30 AM, with the music students being last (she is in the music program). At this time she seems to be indifferent about the whole thing but I am confidant that she will be proud of her accomplishment as the years progress. Congrats to the teenager, what a big accomplishment.

I have had a good, busy week so far at work and I am only open for another week. I am looking forward to heading up north to Hunstville to work at the G8 Summit. I am excited to learn new skills and work on new equipment. But most of all I am looking forward to being on my own

The more and more I read and watch about China the more I am concerned. The husband and I discussed making a conscious effort to not purchase items that are manufactured in China. I am concerned about the constant quality issue, health issues, and human rights issues. I don't know about you but I get these emails about the food that Walmart sells (ie; chicken, pork) is imported from China and that is why it is so cheap. I don't shop at Walmart often and have never bought meat from them but it does make me wonder. Also, I don't know about you but how are we supposed to know just were our meat comes from? I have been told that our meat comes from the states and New Zealand and even when it says Canadian grade A meat. All that means is it has been cut and packaged here. Is this true?

(Louise)Yes it is raining....I just spent the evening at my son's soccer game sitting in the rain and it didn't matter that I had a hat, jacket and umbrella I got soaked. So did he, but he loved it. I was home today because my little one coughed all night long and then started a fever. He's been coughing for a few nights now, but now that a fever started I thought I would get it checked out. Let me tell you......walk in clinics......they are just horrible...I think we waited about 45min. and let me tell you; that is not easy with two young boys. Finally I thought, I'm just going to let them be and not try to contain them any longer it will either get us kicked out or they will throw us in a room. After the ball came out and I stopped telling them to come and sit and be quiet they put us in a room. Then the doctor came in, he seemed very nice but he kept calling my little one a girl or kept saying she.... I think??....His accent was so strong I couldn't really understand. Do you ever notice when people seem to not understand you or you can't understand them you just seem to talk louder and louder.....It really doesn't help! Anyway, my son doesn't have an infection and that's all I cared about anyway. He gave me a prescription even after I kept asking him about cough medicine and small children( I thought they banned it) but he gave it to me anyway and said the pharmacy may fill it out, he wasn't sure if they have taken cough medicine off the shelf for young children??? I think I just asked him that??? If not just try some puffers.....Okay then........I just shook my head, and I really hope that we will never be sick again... I hope that everyone will be better soon.

My daughter is off to OFSAA tomorrow(track meet) with the school, she will be gone until Saturday, she is so excited!!! I would be too....Good luck to her and her school!!! Run Run Run!! I hope she has a great time. Our school is at OFSAA as well, so I hope she does well but of course not as well as my school! :) Good luck to everyone, I heard a lot of buzz about that tournament at my school all week.

We were also at soccer in the pouring rain last night. We were all soaked but the kids had a great time. It's been such a long week. Mr Sunshine is off to Halifax and PEI until Saturday. I swear we hardly see him these days anymore. My car has been having some trouble so we spent the last two and a half hours at Canadian Tire. All fixed for now, lets just hope that it stays that way. The ants in my house have been back so we had arranged for a second spraying. This morning was the third time that I had a scheduled appointment, and the third time that they did not show up. I had to rearrange everyone's schedules three time and I was absolutely livid this morning when they did not show up. I called the company and told them that I was leaving as I had to drop off one of the kids at school and then go to work. When I get home, there was no phone call for apologizing or anything. They seemed to get here on time and on the correct day when they took a big chunk of my money. It is guaranteed for one year ant free and re spraying free of charge if needed. I guess the jokes on me as free of charge means that they do absolutely nothing. Actually that's not true they do make me rearrange everyone's schedules as we need be out of the house for four and a half hours after they have sprayed. What has happened to good customer service???????????????????????

So, I left the house very unhappy, then I had car trouble on the way to work and Mr Sunshine was on a plane out of town. CAA , there was no time to call them. Well the teck guys at work helped me out so that I could make it to pick up the girls and get to a mechanic. Thank goodness, I am very thankful for their help.

We had the pool opened on the weekend and the pool company arrived during the chaotic garage sale and they turned around and left. We had to call them back and tell them to come and park in the neighbours drive way and open the pool. They finished and we payed and later when we were out there we noticed that the diving board was not on. Mr Sunshine called to ask them to put the diving board on. They left a message explaining that the technician spoke to me and advised me that the diving board was cracked and he could not put it on (personally I think that the technician is on crack, because he never said anything of the sort to me, I saw him for all of one minute as I handed him a bottle of water). Well they will not be back to put the diving board back on because if something were to happen then they would be liable even though Mr Sunshine says that the board has always been cracked (I didn't know that). We had to ask why they did not list that on their paper work but they listed the fact that they left the hose running and owner must turn water off when the pool reaches desired level. Once again where is the service???????????????????????? And why was I not deducted some opening costs when no diving board was installed??????????????????????????????????

The more I work and make practically nothing, the more it bugs that things are outrageously expensive and no one cares about customer service and very few companies stand by their product. How do these people sleep at night knowing that they willingly rip people off daily?

Well enough ranting and raving for now. I am going to have some dinner, and put my feet up and relax tonight, at least I hope that's what will happen. Have a great day.