30 December 2008

Saving Money and Watching Less TV

A few weeks ago, Ben called Rogers and cut our cable and internet bill in half. He did this by reducing our cable channels down to channels 1 through 28 and the internet was reduced to "hi-speed lite" (I think, I could be wrong). Although the Rogers person on the phone said these changes would take effect on Dec 22, they only just did yesterday.

So today we have channels up to and including 28, and let me tell you, it sucks. The only saving grace is CityTV, and that's about it. Seriously-Maury Povich at 10AM? I don't think so! Ok, I can still watch Regis and Kelly and the View on channel 12 if I want. But bye bye to Discovery, National Geographic (I heart the Dog Whisperer) and my endless re-runs of CSI and NCIS.

This is a sacrifice that I was willing to make, and although I'm experiencing a bit of a shock at the moment, I keep reminding myself that this is a GOOD thing. Instead of watching soul-sucking television, I'm doing other things. Like working on a cross-stitch Kokopelli that I started 3 years ago in Windsor. And I imagine I'll be working on some other projects, too, when I find the time.

Another bonus of our reduced television access is that Delilah won't be exposed to constant television like some kids. A lot of parents I have seen/heard of use the TV as a babysitter. Not us. I'm going to see how this goes and who knows, maybe we'll cancel cable totally!

27 December 2008

I Made a Smilebox Card!

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Making this card was super easy. I just went to Smilebox and started! You have to create an account, but the basic membership is free. Totally cool and way better than some of those free ecards out there!

26 December 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone had a Merry Yule, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever it is you celebrate! We're in the midst of the 12 Days of Yule/Christmas. For those who don't know, that's from Yule until the 2nd of January. It might even be the 13 days of Yule, depending on how you count...but that would be too superstitious for SOME folks.

January 2nd will be when I take down my tree and any holiday lights, if I had some up. Leaving them up past this date just shows how lazy you are. But that's just my opinion, don't get offended if you're one of those people who leave them up year round.

On another note, my grandfather declared last night at my maternal aunt's Christmas celebration that Delilah will be walking within a month. That would make her...not quite 9 months old. Gee, I hope not. She just started crawling and we haven't baby-proofed the house yet! I guess that's a task for this week.

16 December 2008

25% Off Sale!

Hey everyone out there in blogger land!

The company I represent by going to houses and selling candles and amazing accessories has really done it this time! Last night at the product launch meeting they announced that there will be a 25% off sale on EVERY SINGLE ITEM in the Fall/Holiday (current) catalogue between December 16 and December 31. Seriously.

What does that mean for all you people who know me? And some who don't, feel free to contact me for info if you're interested...

I'm having a "last kick at the can 2008 party" that will be entered on December 22. Should you care to see a catalogue, email or call me. Those who know me know my cell phone number. Those who don't may check out my profile which will tell you my email address.

Not only will you get 25% off everything in the catalogue, but you also have the opportunity to purchase guest specials and can enter into a draw to win one of four hostess specials-I don't need them! PLUS, with every purchase of $50 (before taxes), you get one ticket to be entered in a draw for a $50 gift certificate to be used toward new 2009 product! Not only that, but you will get an extra 3 tickets if you book a show for January or February. (Plus you'll get all sorts of benefits for hosting a show, like a $125-$150 shopping spree, half-off items, and more!)

Happy shopping!

12 December 2008

Merry...oh, nevermind.

Chances are good (bad) that tomorrow will be Ben's last day at Ultimate Suzuki. At least until Spring, anyway. Apparently a slow season combined with the current economic slowdown has been an issue with their viability and ability to sustain all of their employees over the winter.

I knew this was coming, since last week when Ben gave me a heads up that it was a possibility. Even BEFORE that, I knew it could happen - it IS the automotive sector, after all. It sucks because Ben really likes that job, and it suits him. It also sucks because this means that we'll be making only 55% of our former income, since I'm still on maternity leave.

Yes, I could go back early (and lose my remaining time off). It would gain us an extra 400 dollars or so a month. Is it worth it? No way. I'll consider it if it comes down to us not being able to pay our bills. Other than that, forget it-Delilah needs me. Sure, Ben would be here, but it's not the same. She's still exclusively breastfed (thank goodness, one less mouth to buy groceries for) and there is no way I'd be able to pump enough to sustain her while I was away at work. Perhaps it's my pump but I just can't get very much-even first thing in the morning. Never mind the fact that it would totally suck if I had to pump at work. I would do it, if it came down to it, but it would suck.

Besides the economic part being pretty crappy, I'm kind of happy. Not that he's laid off and technically unemployed, but because he gets some time off (until he gets a job, anyway) and will get to spend a little more time with Delilah. It will also be nice for Delilah to see more of her Daddy.

Another bonus to Ben being off for a bit is that he'll get to see what MY life is like. Sometimes I think he just doesn't get what it's like to care for an infant 24 hours a day. He certainly doesn't see it as a "job" - not like his, where he has to go to work and do whatever for 8 or 9 hours a day. When he comes home and the dishes aren't done, or he has no clean underwear because I just didn't get around to doing that third load of laundry that day, I think he thinks that I sit around on my ass all day eating bonbons and watching soap operas (reminiscent of Peggy Bundy). Au contraire, my friend, au contraire.

U.S. Auto Bailout

So, the Bill that was in the U.S. Senate that was proposing the Big-3 auto maker bailout has bombed. Why? Partly because the automakers refused to slash their costs: namely, the ridiculously high wages paid to employees.



They deserve to go bankrupt. Call me short-sighted. Tell me that the collapse of the auto industry will mean the collapse of the economy.

Oh well. We'll get through it. Why support an unsustainable society? Because we're AFRAID of what will happen when we stop feeding the gluttonous beast that is an over-paid bunch of consumers who discard things when they aren't broken? Because they can afford it?

Maybe we need to re-think our values.

11 December 2008

Yule Gift Giving

Finally - success! I came upon a 5-minute fudge recipe on the back of a Carnation Evaporated Milk label and have since made 2 batches. One in the simple, original chocolate flavour and one in a chocolate and peanut butter flavour. Yum. Next I'll try a maple batch. And if I have time, I'll make an Irish Cream batch.

Aside from my mom's gift this year (Il Divo tickets, don't tell her), I'm making everything. Crochet hats, mittens, scarves...stuffed animals, and more. Add those to a small box of fudge, and everyone in my immediate family will each have handmade gifts, worth more (in my opinion) than something store-bought.

08 December 2008

Did You Say "Fudge?"

I'm sorry, you must have me mistaken with someone who can make fudge. I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to make fudge and other goodies to give as gifts this year. Today was my second failed attempt.

My first batch was supposed to be maple. I used a 5 out of 5 stars Maple recipe from recipezaar. The second, an award-winning peanut butter recipe.

I followed both recipes exactly, yet they both failed. Abysmally.

My maple batch didn't harden and was more like pulled taffy-before you pull it.

The peanut butter batch I made today is like....well, I think it would have worked with less peanut butter. It's really crumbly and soft. Kind of like really old cheese. It tastes fantastic, but it just isn't right.

Dare I try again?

04 December 2008


So. Madame Jean has disappointed me.

During this economic crisis, she has granted Harper's request to prorogue Parliament. Which means, in a nutshell, to suspend Parliament without dissolving it. Why did he want to do that? To grant him time to address the lack of confidence in the House of Parliament. This gives him 6 weeks.

For those not following/understanding the election, what happened was he got called on his bullying ways and all the other parties - ALL of them, grouped together and basically told him they weren 't going to put up with his crap anymore. He had a few options: to resign, call a new election, or prorogue parliament.

The ideal option would have been for him to resign so that all the opposing parties could form a new, allied party and take over. This would have happened if Madame Jean (Governor General) would have denied Harper's request to prorogue Parliament. Instead, she agreed.

This is an issue because it means, during this critical time in our economy there is no Parliament.

Shame, shame on you, Mr Harper.

Edited to add:
For those of you who don't know much about our political system, there is an awesome primer for basic knowledge here. Thanks Stephanie!

My Weightloss Progress