Monthly Archives: December 2011

Into the New Year

Although I am pressed for time (thank you multiple assignments due this week) I feel the need to ring in the new year, blog-style. I’ve been thinking about resolutions and my ambivalence towards making them. Perhaps you feel the same way “Why make a goal that I am likely to fail?” I’ve done the typical lose weight, quit smoking, cut back on this and that, start this, do more of that resolutions, but I find I don’t really stay on top of them enough to make a real go of any of these resolutions.

Why is it that I don’t follow-up on these plans for myself? Seriously….I don’t have an answer to this.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1) First and foremost, I think I would like to actually track the progress of following a resolution through to the end. How will I do this? I’m thinking about doing a weekly check in with myself to see how I’ve done. This will require a new diary/day planner and a spiffy pen – luckily I picked one of each up already.

2) Leave work at work. I work in the human service/care industry and at times it can be hard to leave certain situations at work. So I’d like to make a very conscious effort to leave behind people/names/scenarios/drama/politics of the workplace at my workplace and focus on enjoying the personal time I have with my loved ones as my sacred non-work life (pets included, they don’t need to hear this drama).

3) Find somewhere new to volunteer.

4) Do one good deed for a stranger 1x a week.

5) Get really good a derby skating!

I have a slew of other goals I thought about making resolutions, but I don’t want to crowd my 2012 resos. But just for kicks:

– I’d also really like to pay off some debt and build up my savings again

– Get the tattoo I’ve been thinking about for 2 years

– Give blood

– Start running

– Continue on the healthy path of ethical meat only and plenty of veggies

For New Years Eve, we have a couple of friends visiting, so the plan is to make some delicious appies, have some wine and perhaps bust out some Twister, Cranium or Monopoly while listening to some good music.
Wishing you all a very Happy and safe New Years and may a prosperous and positive 2012 lay ahead for everyone.

Cheers!
-SM

Small Town adjustments

So I am loving living in the small town we moved to in November. Just loving it. It has been quite a change for me, but I expected that. The biggest challenge has been uprooting my life and comfort zone and planting new roots: finding a job, meeting people to hang out with, navigating my way around the area, figuring out what stores carry Island Farms Dairy products. These are all changes that I had anticipated and feel that I am doing a fine job at figuring out.

Here are a few challenges I hadn’t even thought about but have been faced with:

  • Garbage/food waste/recycling days – I love the idea of mandatory composting and recycling but the calendar for each pick up day is MADNESS. Each of these random days mess with my mind and on more than one occasion I have remembered that “today is food waste day!” while I am in the shower at approximately the time the pick up truck comes. Yes, I have leaped out of the shower, thrown on a house coat, soaking wet and grabbed the bin and gone running down the what feels like a mile long driveway to get the bin out on time. I haven’t missed yet, but it doesn’t seem to get less ridiculous for me. And now that the new year is upon us, the schedule is about to get all sorts of out of whack.
  • Power outages in the country. Recall my insane fear of the dark. It gets windy here and the power likes to go out from time to time which can be fun until you are alone, at night. Scary. Also, I am on well-water which means: no power, no water. I foresee a generator in my future.
  • Ghost town! The town shuts down before dinner time and doesn’t open until 10am. It’s funny. No such thing as a 24 hour anything. I don’t mind it, I feel like it makes me more prepared.

But all in all, things are going just fine here in the new home. I’m getting excited for the spring when I can stock up on live chicks for the chicken coop!

-SM

survived another holiday season

It’s all over now, the stress, the cooking, the music, the drinking, Christmas has come and gone at my house. To my most delighted surprise, it went really great this year. My parents came to spend a few days with us, and they were kind enough to provide the Turkey – which we tracked down from a Island Natural Market that supplied a free range, organic Turkey from Gabriola Island. T’was a delicious bird indeed, and quite massive. I’m not sure if they were serious or not, but my parents claim to have been “converted” to future turkey’s being from the same circumstances….we shall see.

So now it’s right back to reality. Finish school, working, cleaning, knitting and playing roller derby. I can hardly believe that time is rushing by like it seems to be doing, and I’ve been thinking about what (if any) my New Year’s Resolutions will be. Do you have any?

-SM

Things are looking up kid – GOALS

It’s been an intense week…make that couple of months.

Uprooting your life and moving to a new place is awesome and scary. I knew it would be hard, so I made myself some personal goals to achieve that were directly related to the move alone (since I have other goals that are just general “get these done goals”).

So far I am on par for meeting the goals:

  • get to know the area without needing a gps
  • get a job
  • make some friends
  • stay on top of housework (in progress)
  • chill the f*ck out (in progress)

The biggest challenge has been finances which we all experience at some point. Moving is expensive, being a full-time student is expensive and the in between jobs time is nice but it quickly chews through your savings. I have been trying to keep my chin up but $ is one of those things that can get the best of you. So, I buy lottery tickets once in a while with my lost-in-the-backseat-of-my-truck-money. I like to dream about the things I’ll do with my lottery winnings. So far, my career in the lottery ticket world has been pretty weak. However, a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a ticket and tucked it away in my wallet and completely forgot about it. Last week while doing some grocery shopping I noticed the lottery booth and was reminded to check my ticket. It was my personal best for lottery winnings: $20 AND a free play for tomorrow’s $50 million jackpot. Things are looking up indeed……

Tuesday was paper day but it was also my first training day at my new job. I had a 4 hour gap in between shifts to rush home and do my route – which I was dreading since I woke up long before the sun came up. Boy was I ever glad I did my route because there were Christmas cards galore left out for me at 12 of my houses. It wasn’t so much the tips that made my day, but that people had made the effort to call the newspaper to ask my name and personalized my cards. I felt like such a sappy chick, but I was almost moved to tears. I must be getting old or something…. I made $20 in tips which was a definite bonus. Tomorrow is another paper day, so who knows, things may continue to look up!

The icing on my cake this week, was getting a call back for a second interview for the job I really want. Really really want. I went for it yesterday and I don’t want to jinx it, but I have a really good feeling about this one. If I get this one, it will be my numero uno job and I will stop complaining about how hard life can be, because I will have achieved one of my ultimate goals and be so grateful.

I’m a firm believer that things can be really hard for a while, but eventually things move up and get better. This is what I feel is happening, so although I am exhausted and stressed, I see the good on its way.

It’s time to get back to school because I have a really cool prof that assigned a project due December 25th – way to go. Plus my parents arrive later today for a few days so I will likely be nonresponsive for a while. Good luck with holidays everyone, I know I’ll need it.

XO

-SM

Versatile Blogger Award? ok then that’s neat

So I was informed that I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award. Who knew? Thanks to The Ranting Liberal and Miss Edee who both were kind enough to do so. There are some rules to being a recipient which I will explain in just a second, but first I want to thank these folks for nominating me because it made me click on the some of the other people they nominated and do some more reading on a variety of different topics. I guess that’s the idea, and I like it. So thanks!

Rules:

1) I have to nominate 15 other bloggers for the award (SPOILER ALERT: which will be tricky and you’ll see at the end that I need to read more blogs)

2) Let these nominees know about it

3) Share 7 random things about yourself

4) Thank the blogger who nominated you

5) Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic to your blog post

So I shall begin….

Seven random things about me:

1) I am trained to operate a variety of heavy construction equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, skid steers, front end loaders etc….I was doing this for a real job at the tender age of 23 and yes I certainly was the only young lady doing this job on any of the several jobsites I worked on. (Thanks to my Dad who never had any sons so I filled in)

2) I’ve never eaten a McDonald’s burger and was the only kid in my grade 3 class who didn’t participate in the McDonald’s 1x week lunch program. OUTCAST!

3) I’m really into socks. I particularly enjoy pattern socks and festive holiday socks. I go out of my way to wear holiday socks for the month of whatever holiday is going on.

4) I have anxiety being a passenger when someone else is driving. It’s not that I don’t trust people, I just like to have control of the wheel. (but i’m not an insane screamer of a passenger, it’s just that my heartrate goes through the roof and I often have to put my head between my legs)

5) I have started and stopped weight watchers more times than I can count and have decided that I am happy just the way I am. (mind you I have become more active and eat a lot healthier) and I still think Weight Watchers is a great program for people!

6) I was held at knife point by a drunk foreign guy while I worked at a hostel in Belfast N.Ireland 10 years ago and obviously lived to tell about it!

7) I have a collection of Wookiee action figures (mostly Chewbacca but I do have others) and I am secretly building a Wookiee army.

 

So now it is time to nominate other bloggers: (and I’d like to pick some of the folks I found from my nominators but I know they too have been nominated so I will do my best to nominate outside of the box)

Malavika She’s a “medical student by day, psychic diva by night”. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

a nickel to tell me A poet with “many personalities” including a Roller Derby Girl! THAT I am into!

Kate Spanish is a fashionista by day and a nurse by night. A fun blog about making up a unique and vintage style which is definitely fun.

sweetandweak According to him he’s a “I am a husband and a dad of two little girls.  I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way.” Doesn’t that sound like a good read?

inpursuitofrealfood is a great blog about healthy food, fitness and nice pictures of delicious looking food. One of my first subscribers so I hold a special place for them in my blogging heart.

themiddlestsister is a new one I stumbled on thanks to Freshly Pressed. This is an amazingly talented blogger who does a web-comic “Each comic is painstakingly cut and pasted from scrap paper and other garbage I find in the junk drawer and recycling bin”. How neat is that? Check it out!

adayinyvetteslife a fairly honest and open-book blog about a young lady who “is ready to get her life started”.

Honestly I have to update this when I have more to add to my list of 15. I honestly don’t follow enough blogs but I am motivated to get some more on the go. So consider this part 1 of my acceptance speech 🙂

-SM

 

Delivering papers as a grown up

I recently moved to a  very small town from the bustling and overpriced city of Vancouver, BC (which is beautiful but I cannot imagine owning a home there ever). I am completing a heavy course load of distance education courses so I left my job at the end of September. When we moved, I was perusing the local paper in new small town and spotted an add that said “News carriers wanted! Adults welcome!”. Well doesn’t that sound fun, I thought.

So I called in and took up a paper route. This is not the only way I make a living, I am about to start training this week at the “real job.” I go out twice a week and deliver papers – complete with nifty canvass paper bag. I’m thinking about pimping my paper bag, perhaps some added flair with concert patches or crocheted bling or something. I wear a neat hat too – but this is my own decision. Depending on weather I have an old man taxi driver style hat, or on the colder days, one of my stylish winter hats.

My paper route takes a little over one hour to do and each time I am getting ready to do it, I feel giddy and ridiculous all at once.

Things I like about my paper route:

1) For the 1+ of fast walking (with resistance – recall nifty paper bag) 2x a week

2) The quiet/alone time where I contemplate my life/day/empty bank account/next roller derby practice

3) Singing. I love to sing, I suck at it. Nobody seems to mind my singing while I wander up their driveways

4) Cookies. There are many old people in my small town, and they make cookies and give them to me.

5) Small talk with random people. This is kind of part of one of my goals – meeting new people in the new community – well apparently people like to talk to me (and call my paper boss to say they “like my paper delivering style”)

Things I do not like about my paper route:
1) I hate touching newspapers. Ironic right? I hate the feel of inky newsprint on my bare hands. I wear gloves when I “roll my papers”

2) The pay is shit. It’s almost funny. It pays my truck insurance each month and that’s it.

3) Creepy old men hitting on the paper girl. The line I got today: “I must need to get my eyes checked, because I don’t remember the paper guy being this good looking!” (I did not accept cookies from him). No, you need to get your eyes checked because it may be a safety violation while you get behind the wheel of your ginourmous boat of a vehicle.

4) Scary dogs. I love dogs. I have two dogs. Why do three houses on my route allow their menacing and scary dogs roam free in the front yard/road with no supervision? I toss their papers and run (when usually I hand deliver to the front door) and don’t look back.

5) Unfriendly paper recipients. I guess before I came along to the route, the other carrier would do drive-bys: stay in their car and whip the paper from the car window. I park and load my bag and walk it baby and I’ve gotten two evil glares from windows. Why? I have no idea! Bastards.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to keep my paper route though…..as I said, training is starting next week and then I’ll be on call for the job so it may not be feasible to keep it. But until then I’ll keep on walking.

-SM

Dear Santa, sign here please:

In the spirit of the holiday season, the other night John and I put on another Christmas movie from the holiday files: The Polar Express. I hadn’t seen the movie in a few years, and like many other movies, I seemed to have forgotten the overall story behind the film. A young boy is whisked away on a magical train on Christmas Eve because he doesn’t believe in Santa – or at least he is skeptical. He never heard the hooves on the roof from Santa’s reindeer etc….It’s really a great movie (and really great in IMAX 3D) and I recommend it for young and old.

Anyways, the movie got me thinking about when I was a kid and how I felt about Christmas and the big man in red. I openly admit that I really liked to believe in Santa for far longer than some kids, but I wasn’t an easy sell in the beginning. I’m a very skeptical person and it takes a fair amount of convincing to sway me to any side of an argument. Because I am so laid back in person, some people may not know this about me. I am always open to having a listen, but if I have any doubt in my mind about a fact I will politely take it all in and keep on doubting it until I am proved otherwise. Some say it’s a vice, but in some cases it’s a virtue.

Back to Santa. Well, while watching the movie, I was suddenly reminded by some of the antics I used to pull as a child. Like many kids, I liked to leave out a snack for Mr.C, a refreshment, and a note. The notes that I left were different though. In the sliver of skepticism that I had around the Santa debate, I started requesting that Santa “sign below” at the bottom of my letters to him. They turned into contracts and evidence for me, and I bet if I knew about it at the time, would have asked to have the letters notarized…just to be sure. I remember a particular Christmas Eve when I was feeling especially unconvinced (whoever knows why should let me know because by this time I had a slew of signed contracts from Santa by now) I remember throwing Mr. C a real curve ball just before I went to bed. In my annual Santa contract, (and boy did I ever think I was clever too) I asked Santa if he could leave me a sleighbell from the reindeer…just to be sure.

Well wouldn’t you know it, the next morning I had a VERY authentic looking, sleighbell, that I was certain even smelled of a barn that reindeer would sleep in!

So I was served a slice of humble pie from Santa, and I felt I had no more reason NOT to believe. I just couldn’t imagine my parents being able to track down such a real sleighbell on such short notice on Christmas Eve, it just wasn’t in the cards.

So I carried on believing….and I honestly can’t remember when I stopped. If you watch the movie maybe you will also be reminded of when you started or stopped believing. The more I think about it, it’s kind of sad when we grow up and stop believing in the magical possibilities that are Santa, the Easter Bunny (which never made sense to me but it was fun chocolatey time) the Toothfairy, being an Astronaut, Saving the World (which is what I claimed to do at a very young age while clad in “save the whales” t-shirts and peace sign earrings).

What kinds of things did you believe in? Or do you still believe in?

-SM

Ethical Meat, I haven’t forgotten you!

I haven’t talked much about the ethical meat eating plan lately. I am still on it, going strong since August. That is, no non-ethically raised meat in my mouth. Went digging in the deep freeze for dinner tonight and pulled out some steaks from Outwest Ranches (South Surrey) so I am hoping to turn these bad boys into something delish.

I am still really happy about the decision and although it takes some getting used to, the peace of mind that I have about knowing where my food comes from is worth it! Plus, I have been pushed to try cooking all vegetarian-style which ain’t so bad after all. I am craving a burger though, which is ok because I also have 1lb of ground beef from Ryder Lake Beef Sales from the fall. Maybe this weekend…..

But for the next two days I will probably eat vegetarian-like so I guess I better do some recipe research!

Back to working on those legwarmers, which are moving right along quite nicely.

-SM

 

Derby Awesomeness has arrived

The moment I’ve been waiting for (for longer than I want to admit but may be along the lines of a number of years) has arrived. This morning while on MSN video chat with my niece and nephew over seas I spotted a suspicious white van driving up my driveway. Assuming it was the local faith-based group that keep coming to convert us (who came by 20 minutes after the van) I shouted for John to get the door and carried on talking to my family.

To my very happy surprise, my fresh meat derby skates arrived!

Aren’t they nice? I can hardly wait until practice tomorrow night to feel the difference of doing derby drills in proper skates (I still love my leopard ones but these are the real deal baby!) and hopefully not be dragging my butt behind the others. Thank you Santa!!! (ahem, *cough John cough*)

So what’s the scoop for today? Continue doing homework while wearing my skates of course. I have other topics to write about later today but my goal is to bang out one more assignment before I allow myself blog time. Willpower!

-SM

*these came from Rollergirl which is an awesome online store with excellent customer service!

Excitement all around!

So, a couple of weeks ago, I went to my first roller derby practice – not knowing a single person there. Yep, I was nervous as sh*t. BUT, the gals I met there were so welcoming and non-judgey and cool that I feel like I’ve found a new pack. Very exciting. I can’t wait to keep it up and improve with skating and one day play in a real bout. Finally my geeking out can pay off! The team I’ve skated with hosted their first ever bout/scrimmage this weekend so John and I went to check it out (he’s never seen a live derby bout, unlike me) and it was so much fun. He’s definitely into it now, and I am more than ever. So very excited about it all. And in a couple of days I will unleash some top-secret awesomeness………

I finally had my orientation at the new job last week….all paperwork is in order. On top of that, I got a call to interview for another place I applied to (a long shot really) so I went for it last Friday. Honestly (though I don’t want to jinx it) I feel like it went really well. I would be so pleased to get the call about this one….a real accomplishment for me. So – cross your fingers now please.

I managed to finish and submit 4 BIG assignments last week. That was insane but exciting and satisfying…but I won’t let my guard down there will be more. There is always more.

KNITTING! Yes, I have started a new project – super cool retro leg warmers. It’s more of an experiment really….modifying a pattern/making it up a little with some yarn I’ve had kicking around for ever. It’s too early to tell how they’ll turn out but here’s a snapshot of the start.And all the knitting magic happens at my “Granny Station”. My Granny Station consists of my glider/rocker that my grandma who’s gone now left for me, and the blanky that I wrap myself in was crocheted by my other grandma who I just got off the phone for over an hour with. I like my Granny Station – good things happen there. Maybe I should figure out how to crochet again…it’s been a long time. Anyways.

So this is the excitement today. Another Monday of school, knitting, waiting to hear about the job and dreaming of ways to change the world.

Happy day peeps

-SM