Wednesday, February 27, 2008

El Cheapo

I love being frugal but I've also learned there are a few things in life that you just can't cheap out on:

Face Wash - I recently learned this the hard way. I opted for a cheaper face wash and my face broke out terribly. I'm in my 30's so I figured zits were behind me as I haven't had a breakout in almost a decade. They're not behind me. I kept trying this cheaper face wash for a few weeks thinking that maybe my skin had to adjust to it. Nope. So I'm back on my ridiculous face wash that I've used for a million years and guess what - my face cleared up promptly.

Kleenex and TP - For someone with allergies like me, good Kleenex is a must. Cheapie Kleenex falls apart and has a lot of "dust". Do you know what I mean? Have you ever shaken a Kleenex in sunlight? There seems to be some weird "dust" that flies off it. Same goes for TP - you don't need the most expensive toilet paper, but whimpy thin TP doesn't cut it.

Chips & Pop - Nothing worse than watery, tasteless pop and crumbled chips (and usually half the bag filled with air). I remember when a friend of mine finally realized this and started buying brand-name chips and pop. For years, she'd offer to bring chips & pop to parties or gatherings and I'd cringe and say not to bother because she firmly believed in buying no-name chips & pop and I couldn't convince her of the luxury she was missing out on with brand-name. Now she KNOWS and has never turned back.

What else? What do you say? What item should you not cheap out on?

My inner nerd

I admit it. I'm a nerd inside.

In highschool, I wasn't a cool kid hanging outside smoking and looking unapproachable. I hung around with a small group of great friends. I took computers from grade 10 to OAC (and got a 95% in OAC computers!). I actually transferred high schools because my first high school didn't have computers and didn't have plans to get any in the near future. Hello, it was 1989 and it was about time to get with technology! And besides, my first high school was all-girls Catholic school full of mean girls from my elementary school.

Another nerdy thing about me...I'm in a book club. My DH and my brother love to make fun of this. I love my book club! It's an eclectic group of people who I enjoy seeing and discussing books (and gossiping) with. We're meeting tonight and I haven't finished the book. It's a hard read and I've been struggling through it.

Last nerdy revelation for today - I have a wii and LOVE it. I absolutely love my wii. Back in the day, I played Wolfenstein, Doom and SimCity and rocked it. I played these games in computer class in highschool after I finished the real school work (and still managed a A+ every year). I wonder if there's SIMs for wii.... hmm. I must check this out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More rambling

I feel like I haven't blogged very much over the past couple weeks and today, I'm feeling rather chatty.

I have an event coming up in March that I'm dreading. UGH how I'm dreading it. Through a group of friends, my DH still has contact with his ex (the one right before me). I'm not terribly thrilled about this because of many events that I've had to attend over the years with her present. There's been some scenes that I'd rather forget. Anyways...we're going to a party in a few weeks where she'll be the guest of honour. G*d, I'd rather sit & pull my natural fingernails out one by one.

However, on the flip side, I have to think positively. At least my DH doesn't keep me in the dark and hidden away regarding his ex. At least he is insisting that I attend this G*d-forsaken event with him and not going by himself on the sly. Trust me, I know this sounds bad but these are the positives that I'm coming up with.

I don't think my DH can appreciate how hard it is to be in my position. My ex before DH took off and was basically never heard from again. My DH didn't have to attend events all the time with my ex present (some were family events...yes FAMILY events...don't even get me started about how DH's ex is still entangled with his family). My DH didn't have my ex looming in the background like a cloud in the sky, just waiting to pounce back into the picture. I'm telling you, it's's hard to have an ex hanging around.

It's hard enough to get to know and trust someone without this extra variable in the picture. It's hard to have an ex still all friendly with the family when you're new on the scene and trying to gain trust and be liked. So if anyone's reading out there that's on the other side of this equation, read this post a few times.

If you truly like/love your current significant other ("SO") and things are definitely over with an ex, then act like it. Cut the ex out and commit yourself to the current/future. It's not fair to yourself and others to keep all these variables floating around. Even if your current SO says they're comfortable/cool with the whole ex-being-in-the-picture, it's still not cool. Maybe the SO thinks they're cool with it but really, their sub-conscious probably says otherwise.

Of course, I'm talking about exes in the context of ex without any kids together. If there are kids together, then I think that's a whole other story.

Wow. Wasn't that was a sermon from the mount. Onto lighter things...

WHEN is Spring coming?!

I think I’ve had enough of winter. I don’t mean to be a whiny Canadian but enough already. And I’m sick of those fellow Canadians who say “well, it’s winter in Canada, eh?” UGHH!! Shut up already!!

This past weekend, my DH and I were both as irritable as bears with thorns in our butts. You know those days where you're just so crusty that you could even end up being irritated by Mother Theresa? Yep, on Sunday, we were in fine states. I think it’s a combination of the extra snowy and cold winter, family and friend stresses, work stresses and lack of a vacation this year. We opted out of a winter vacation this year due to several reasons and it’s amazing how much we miss it.

Before our relationship, my DH didn’t take vacations. But then I came along and forced him to go on his first real all-inclusive vacation and now he’s hooked. He doesn’t easily admit this except this year, he did. His work life has been really crappy this year. He transferred to a new department and it’s pretty well been total crap. His co-workers are really weird people and he’s just hating work so a vacation would have been a good thing this year. I feel bad because I’m the one who basically put the brakes on our vacation this year by pointing out a few things that pointed towards us staying home.

It turns out that it was just as well as the week that we had thought about going away, we both got these INSANE colds. Extreme chills and fevers (all within a few minutes), congestion, cough, no energy and a headache that would make you swear your head was going to explode. Probably not the best health to be travelling to a foreign country with.

The winter has also been pretty bad this year in Canada. We’ve gotten more snow in the past month than we have in the past 2 winters combined. I find lots of snow makes everything harder. If you live in the city and have street-parking, even parking becomes this huge issue. Heck, even GETTING to the car parked on the street is a challenge in our neighbourhood. Some genius who designed our area put this HUGE Boulevard of grass starting at the roadside with a width of about 12 ft or so for the length of our block. So after there’s been a million snowstorms (ok, maybe I exaggerate a tiny bit), everyone dumps their snow from their sidewalks onto this Boulevard and the snow ends up piled 4ft high. Hmmm…so how do we get from the sidewalk (which lie beside the houses) across this ridiculous mountain of snow to the road where our cars are “parked”. I say “parked” because there’s tons of snow on the road too and cars are just jammed in between mountains of snow and ice. Ugh… trust me, it’s not pretty. Especially when you’re trying to carry stuff to/from the car.

I’m going to do some work now but I’ll be back later… lots more miscellaneous rambling where this came from.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smelly Cat

Smelly Cat...smelly cat...what are they feeding you?

Our poor cat has been pooping all over the house for months now. He still pees in his litter box so it's not like he's forgotten what his box is (he's getting I know he might be a little senile at 14 yrs old). I've been avoiding taking him to the vet because he goes completely insane (we're talking Tazmanian Devil) at the vet's and I'm dreading the trip. But this past weekend, I finally bit the bullet and took him because my DH was freaking out about it (I guess I just pick up the poop and shrug it off but DH absolutely loses it when he finds poop like it's kryptonite).

The vet did the works on him and found that he has tons of poop all built up. He's constipated. So he associates going to the box to poop with pain. (hmmm...but it doesn't hurt when you go on the carpet? ok...). The vet prescribed some hairball meds that act as a laxative and also said to ensure his litter is scent-free (oops!). I immediately went and bought scent-free litter and threw out all the scented stuff (even though he's used it for years...he apparently might not like it anymore...I think that the manufacturer might have changed the formula slightly and that might be causing his sudden dislike). Gave him his hairball meds (it's a gel that you make him eat by forcing it in his mouth or wiping it on his paw which he'll lick). A miracle happened. For the past few days, he's been pooping in his BOX!!! Hoorray!!!!!

However, another thing we discovered at the vet is that the cat has apparently lost 6 lbs in the past year (he used to weigh 17, now weighs 11). That is quite significant weight loss for a cat. The vet was concerned that he might have diabetes or hyper-thyroid so she did a geriatric blood screen. She called me Monday morning with his results and said "we could only wish to be as healthy as him...his blood work is PERFECT". Still doesn't explain the crazy weight loss. But then I was thinking that we changed food exactly a year ago to expensive good food from the vet's because of that tainted/poisonous pet food scandal. The cat used to eat stuff from Petsmart which the vet likened to eating McDonalds. So if you went from eating McDonalds everyday for 13 years to eating healthy food, I think you'd lose weight too! But the vet says 6lbs is still alot to be explained by just that. We're going to keep monitoring him and see what transpires...but for now, I'm just thrilled that he's back to pooping in his litter box and his blood work came back with outstanding results. Even though he's just a cat....he's my little buddy who I LOVE.

The Motherlode Post

Hey...I'm ready to whine, vent and complain. Get ready.

Last week, when I was sick, I realized just how much of a "guy's guy" that my husband (we'll call him DH from now on) is. This doesn't usually bother me and I've accepted that he's quite lazy & useless when it comes to household chores. He does outdoor and car stuff very well so I figure I'll just do the inside stuff. I've never cut the grass and I think I've shovelled snow twice in 5 years. I don't have anything to do with the upkeep of the cars. Plus, I hired a cleaning lady about a year ago because I was so sick of cleaning up after DH. Sure, I make messes too but I clean up after myself. I was on the brink of insanity when I hired her. It seemed like I was cleaning the house, doing the laundry and going for groceries every weekend while my husband didn't lift a finger. We'd fight about it and I'd get so mad that I'd start to despise him. I don't make a ton of money so we agreed to hire a cleaning lady and split the cost. For the $1200 a year that it costs me, it's WORTH IT. I don't spend my weekends cleaning and cursing under my breath at DH anymore. So...back my earlier point of being sick last week and being reminded about DH's domestic shortcomings. Some examples from last week:
  • During last week when I was at my sickest, DH offers to make pasta & sauce for dinner (we basically ate take out for days since I wasn't cooking). He goes to look for the stuff (it's the Oliveri refridge pasta & sauce) and is not finding it. Honnestly...does it need to leap out of the fridge onto the counter!?!?!?!? So then he doesn't know how to cook it (hint - there's this great thing on packages called INSTRUCTIONS) so I have to guide him a bit. He gets bored standing watching the pots so goes out of his way to get a cordless phone from the office so he can call a coworker while cooking. He stands still talking in the kitchen for about 30 seconds and then starts walking around the house and guess what happens in the kitchen. The pasta boils over all over the friggin' stove. He rushes back in there and turns it down and then later, doesn't bother to clean up the mess (incl. the bit splotches of sauce that he's somehow got all over the stove too). He simply leaves everything (the pots, the mess and all) after dinner. I end up cleaning it up the next day when I'm starting to feel better.

  • When looking for simple things in the kitchen, DH has no idea where things are kept. We've lived in our house for over 5 years and he still has to look through drawers to find the saran wrap like its location changes everyday. I feel like screaming "do you live here or did you just move in yesterday?!"

  • Our cleaning lady came this past Friday. LESS THAN 24 HOURS later....on Saturday, DH is swishing Listerine around his mouth in bathroom and spits it into sink without water running and walks off. This leaves a giant blue splash all over the sink to dry. I yell after him "hello, can you not rinse the sink after - it's no wonder we need a cleaning lady!!!!!!!!!!" On Monday morning, he shaves at sink and leaves hair, shaving cream and water all over the place - it looks like he was shaving a rabid wild boar in the bathroom.

Ok, I feel better now spewing about all these ridiculous things. I know I might sound spoiled in some ways but last week when I was sick, I couldn't believe how bad DH is in the household department. I started crying at one point when I was by myself imagining IF we ever had children, it would basically be another job for me. I can't see DH actually taking care of a child when he can barely boil pasta and put sauce on it. I shuddered at the thought and thanked G*d that I was just sick with a cold and that I'd eventually get over it and be back on my feet because if I was off my house-duties much longer, I'm pretty sure I would have a complete meltdown on DH ... who wouldn't have a clue what I'm freaking out about....because he's a guy's guy...and this is something I've accepted. Except when I'm sick.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm back

Hello! I'm back. I've been sick since last Friday night. No kidding.

My husband brought home a nasty cold from work a couple days before that and I tried to avoid catching it like the plague. That didn't work out so well. By Friday night, I was coughing. Saturday and Sunday, I could barely lift my head off the pillow. I was coughing, congested and felt like my head was going to explode. I kept a wet, cool facecloth over my eyes most of the time because I was insanely sensitive to light (even light from TV so I didn't even get to enjoy TV on my sick days). I had no energy what-so-ever. I couldn't believe how hard this cold hit. I ended up going to a walk-in on Tuesday to get antibiotics to kill off whatever was causing this because it clearly wasn't going anywhere after 4 days.

I'm pretty sure it was a super-virus created in a lab to wipe out a nation and I somehow caught it. My husband didn't get it as bad - he was up & around by Sunday. I am only getting slightly better now.

While I was off, I had a few moments meltdowns. I'll write about them'll laugh at the insane thoughts!