Monday, September 22, 2008

Unwanted Surprises

I'm like the next person, I generally love surprises, however, I do not like certain types of surprises. I certainly did not like the surprise I received on Saturday.

I have been looking for a different table/chair set since we decided to move. We do not need the huge table we have currently so I've been on the look out for a smaller one. I really want a round oak one, but it must have a leaf for expansion in case we ever have company. On Saturday I found exactly what I was looking for at a local store. They were having a grand opening event so I figured that I may get a good deal.

I went through the process of filling out a credit application with the salesman as I wanted the pay over eight months option. He took all my information and then called in to their credit department. The guy on the other end asked to speak to me. I was thinking, "uh oh, this can't be good." The guy informed me that they couldn't approve me as I had an outstanding bill with ICBC (the insurance company in BC). I was astounded.

I haven't lived in BC since 2006, it is now 2008. At no time has anyone contacted me to say I owed them money. I phoned to cancel my insurance in December of 2006 and was told I had to mail my plates back along with various bits of paperwork. I sent everything they asked for back to the address I was given. Again, keep in mind THIS WAS TWO YEARS AGO.

I phoned an ICBC office on Saturday when I got back from the store. The fellow I spoke to informed me that they'd never received my plates. Well isn't that just great. I asked him what I was supposed to do since I had sent them, I no longer have them, they say they don't have them.... quite the conundrum. He said well if we look up when your vehicle was registered in Alberta ....

At this point I'm hyperventilating.

In Dec 2006 my Dad sold me a half ton truck. I left my old truck (the one that had been registered/insured in BC) in his driveway with no plates and no insurance. He was going to sell it for me. Months passed and no offers came. Dad decided to get the out of province inspection done on it (BIG money grab since that truck was originally bought and insured in Alberta and was in better shape than a lot of vehicles you currently see on the road). In order to do so he had to register/insure it himself. This was June 2007.

See my conundrum..... I can't prove that vehicle was sitting in his driveway unplated and uninsured as of December 2006. I can't prove I mailed those plates back. ICBC has put into the Credit Bureau of Canada to the tune of $470 worth of insurance I NEVER used.

I don't have a spare $470 kicking around, I also don't think I should have to pay this. I did what was required of me. Either those plates went missing in action while enroute to BC or someone at ICBC dropped the ball and failed to enter the receipt of said plates into their system.

I don't know what to do. Every time I think I'm getting ahead a lovely little surprise rears it's nasty head.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to fight the big bad government of BC please tell me. I have emailed the premier with this issue as I don't know who is in charge of ICBC or who to contact. My Dad told me to get a lawyer...but if I don't have the $470, I certainly can't afford a lawyer, and I'm pretty sure I won't find one to work on contingency.

What really bites is I've worked hard to clean my credit up since leaving my marriage. I am waiting to be contacted for a position that I had to put on hold for a year due to security issues regarding credit, which I've cleaned up. THIS has just cost me any chance I had.

Oh and one other thing...WHY is it that I am automatically the one at fault here... they won't even consider that they made a mistake or the plates went MIA enroute????

I hate big business and I hate the government even more.

I'm frustrated and I'm tired and I'm pissed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I sit here looking at my ALL the damn "stuff" we have and I feel that panicked where do I even start feeling. I have to start packing ...SOON. We can start putting stuff in the new place as soon as we want, I'm aiming to be in there by the 18th of October.

As much as my chest in constricting with panic, and the dreaded I don't have time feeling, I know I'll get it done. All it takes is that first box and then I'll be on a roll. It's just that first box that seems to be the hardest. I can't decided where to start.

I think I'll start by assembling all the boxes and go from there (when I moved into current residence I kept all my boxes because I knew we wouldn't be staying). I will do this after we get home from daughters birthday party this afternoon.

Perhaps having the boxes built and ready to go will boost my motivation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I found out for sure two days ago that my girls and I will be moving ... again.

We've had a roommate for the past year and a bit, and really it hasn't been working out for me financially. I've felt like I have a third kid living here. He doesn't clean anything, he won't pay his share of the bills and he eats my food when I'm not here. He roams the main floor after we've gone to bed, the rest of the time he hides out in the basement. I spoke to him several times regarding the heat, electricity, water and cable bills ... and twice in over a year he gave me a small amount of money for them. The deal was that he was to pay 1/3 of the bills on top of his rent. I'm too trusting and I never got anything is writing. A situation that was supposed to benefit BOTH parties financially has only been benefiting one... and it sure as hell hasn't been me.

On different occasions when I have gone away for days at a time I come home to find that he has been in my living space. Watching my tv and sitting on my couch, which wouldn't normally annoy me, but in this case it does as he only comes to this part of the house when we aren't home.

He annoys my daughters with the stupid, childish comments he makes. He freaks out over the strangest things. He's punched things downstairs, yells and mutters when he's angry. Quite disturbing really.

I've been keeping my eye out for a place that I can afford without a roommate which has proven to be nearly impossible because there are certain neighborhoods I refuse to put my daughters in. So we've stayed in a stressful situation. Recently two things happened that brought about change.

First I received a letter stating that the owners are raising the rent here from $1375.00/month to $1550.00, which is a joke really since this is a duplex and it's not brand new. It is not air tight, heating bills are through the roof because the windows and doors are drafty. I thought there is no eff'n way that I am paying that kind of rent.

Then a buddy of mine made a decision that he is indeed moving so I am going to rent his house. I will have to get a second job to make the rent, but having a second job is more appealing to me than having a roommate ever again. In fact, I've put the word out that if the word "roommate" ever comes out of my mouth, my friends are to shoot me.

I hate packing and moving. However, in this case I am excited. No more roomie, the girls can stay in the same schools (in fact they will be closer) and we will have more space. It will be nice for our home to be just the girls and I again.

I'm off to begin packing now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Chose to QUIT LIFE

Today is my one year anniversary of quitting smoking.

I quit... tried to quit put on the pretence of trying to quit many times, however it was just that, a pretence, a illusion a delusion. I was lying to myself and everyone else every time. I wasn't ready to quit, I didn't want to quit. My smokes were my security blanket, they were my go to guys when life's little stressors got to be too much, leaving them behind was scary, it was like ripping off that band aid painfully slowly. I tried it all, the patch, the gum, the inhaler, cold turkey, hypnotism and cutting back slowly (this one being the biggest joke of all). Oh and I am ashamed to admit that I even was that smoker who "quit" but really just quit buying my own but I'd sure smoke yours. Then, on this day last year I'd had enough.

I was sick of being breathless, of coughing up a lung each morning... sick of coughing all the time. I felt bad at the look of worry on my kids faces when I'd light up. I put on a patch and kept it on. I used the patch for 7 days and then I was done. I never picked up a cigarette again. Sometimes a fleeting thought will pass through my mind saying, "oh I should have a smoke", then I give myself a mental slap and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Where did that thought even come from? Thankfully as quickly as that thought is conjured it is gone. I have never had a mind numbing, nail biting, I'm-gonna-chew-your-head-off-if-you-don't-give-me-a-smoke craving this time and for this I'm thankful It made quitting for good easy.

In the years prior to my quitting people would dish out all sorts of advice but the one I hated the most was "you'll quit when you are ready". I used to think what bullshit, pfffftt, if I wanted to quit I would. I could quit anytime. YEEEEAAAAHHHHHH RIIIIIIIIIGHT. Not so. To my horror I couldn't, I truly had to be ready, I had to hit bottom so to speak...and I did. I am thankful that it wasn't a health related issue that caused me to be ready, but just my own mind.

Now the smell of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous. I smell people who do smoke and think EWWWWWWW that used to be me. I do not however begrudge anyone else their choice to smoke. I refuse to become one of those former smokers who becomes a zealot about not smoking. I can choose to be some where away from a smoker if I don't like it.

It is funny to me how I can so vividly remember the day I quit, yet I can't really remember the day I started. I remember my first puff of a cigarette; cute boy who smoked + wanting to look "cool" = taking a puff of his proffered cigarette. After that I can't remember when I really started smoking. Back in the day all the "cool" kids I thought were cool smoked. And I wanted to be a part of them, I wanted to belong. Well, that, and I was sort of a rebel, stuff my parents didn't want me to do, I did. I was a bad ass. I broke rules and pushed limits. I was COOL stubbornly stupid.

My Dad who was a smoker for many years (he quit a few years ago cold turkey) tried to tell me that it was bad for me, and very hard to quit. Of course I brushed off his fatherly advice with disdain and a sneer... I mean, seriously what could he possibly know? I was hip, I was young, I was with it... he was an old man, a washed up...a has been. How funny it is now to look back at that attitude. Things certainly come full circle, I now value the advice, knowledge and life experience that my Dad possesses and imparts to me.

I was an athlete. I played hockey, soccer and I ran distance, but I blew it away in a puff of smoke. I had such potential to go far with my athletics; however I didn't see that at the time. I was the shizzit...I knew it all ... I was going places. I was invincible.

Now, here I am facing 40 realizing how very disillusioned I was.

One blessing that I can see is that my children witnessed my struggle to quit so I don't foresee them picking up a cigarette in their future. Combine that with the fact that it is now a social stigma to be a smoker and my certainty climbs.

I sit here today unbelievably proud of myself for this milestone. I congratulate myself on doing it; I pray for and believe I will have many, many more smoke free years. I never thought I'd quit. People who know me never thought I'd quit, but I did it and you can too!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Families Who Run Together...

As I posted a few days ago, I've recently taken up running again. On my days off it is easy to run during the daylight hours, however when I work 12 hr shifts that is not possible. I figured I could run easily after work, BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA I made a funny!!! I digress, I thought about running after work, then I worried about how I'd still spend time with my kids before bedtime; then I came up with the perfect solution.

My youngest kidlet came running with me. It was GREAT!!!!! Truly a bonding time. We ran, we talked...well, we gasped out words hehe. There were no interruptions, no distractions, it was truly a moment that we were focused on each other.

I enjoyed the time spent with just her and I. She enjoyed the one on one time, even if it was created so that I could get my exercise time in AND spend time with her. I can kill two birds with one stone can't I?

My older one, well what can I say ... she's a teen and she's not into exercise and sweating. I will keep trying to get her to join us though.

My younger one and I will continue our jogging times and I look forward to them. Building memories for a lifetime is what we are doing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I wanted to post something about 9-11, but I cannot find words adequate enough to convey my innermost feelings.

I have friends worldwide in the Emergency Services field. I know some who were at Ground Zero and I know many who lost friends there.

It was a horror the likes of which we couldn't have imagined and one we hope to never see again. Not one of us will ever forget where we were at the time of the planes striking their targets.

I remember being glued to my tv. Watching with tears streaming down my face. I remember thinking this can't be happening. I remember how surreal it all seemed. I remember hoping against hope that all the people would get out; watching the towers fall and knowing they wouldn't. I know the sick, heavy feeling that returns every time I think about it.

I remember watching in the days and weeks afterward, praying they would find people alive, and crying when they didn't.

Today ..
WE remember. We mourn the loss. We shed a tear, and we hope for a better tomorrow.


RIP 343
RIP all who were lost on this day in 2001

Friday, September 5, 2008

She Wants a WHAT????

My youngest daughter turns 11 on Tuesday. She wanted a gecko for her birthday, and while I am not a big fan of lizards/reptiles I was willing to buy her one. A friend of mine has two and they are really cute, as cute as two lizards could be. Alas, I couldn't find cute lil guys like that. The only lizards I was able to find were kind of ugly rather nasty and fear inspiring. One of them had a tail so fat it looked like it had a second head growing out it's ass. Definitely was NOT getting one of those...I'd have nightmares.

So after exhausting our vast array of pet stores both pet stores I broke down and went to the reptile store.

First impression... IT STUNK!!!!! It was so humid I was thankful that I wasn't bra-less with a white t-shirt. The proprietor was kinda creepy looking, but I suppose when you play with snakes and lizards and mice and crickets all day.... well I'd probably be creepy too. I was perusing all the different types of reptiles/lizards available. I saw a very large boa constrictor with two dead rats in its cage... that was kind of gross. I saw a few cool looking lizards, none that I'd want to bring home however. I had visions of waking up with one of those prehistoric type creatures sitting on my chest, flicking it's forked tongue in my face...yeah, no thanks.

As I walked around the reptile store I kept my eyes glued to the floor. There were a lot of empty aquariums on the lower levels and I had visions of a big ass python slithering out from the depths of where ever, coiling itself around me and squishing the life breath out of my lungs. Of course my wonderfully vivid imagination included the creepy store guy rubbing his hands together in glee .... "Yeeessssssssssssssssssss Yeessssssssssssssssss " (note the hissing s's). Then after passing by the cricket farm, and three very cute, very plump bunnies in a cage (I was horrified to think that they might be snake food, creepy dude assured me that they weren't, but what if the rats weren't filling enough?), I felt like there were things crawling on me. I quickly shudder stepped my way out the door and came home. Twitching and scratching the whole way. Somehow I don't think I'm cut out to have a reptile/lizard in my house.

In the end there were two blatant reasons why I didn't go the way of the gecko. One, I just couldn't find a cute, cuddly one and two, the cost of just getting set up, never mind the actual lizard, was atrocious. Besides, if I can't have the talking Geicko gecko I don't really want one.

We are now proud owners of two hamsters. My cat is ecstatic. I am as worried as I was when I had newborns,constantly checking on them. I worry they'll get loose and the cat will have a heyday.

Ah well, it's all in the name of happy kids. Right??? Isn't that what it's all about .... you put your right foot in ....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To Thine Own Self and All That Jazz

For months almost a year I've been telling myself I need to be more active in order to reverse this "since I quit smoking" weight gain. Alas, I've been able to delude myself as to just how much weight I'd put on (thank you lycra infused denim... yeah not so much). However, when your stretchy jeans become a wee bit snugger than is comfy one must face reality.

I'm not religious about going to the gym. I go in spits and spurts... sometimes I'm into it, sometimes I'm not. More often than I care to admit it's the "not into it" that wins out. I get bored of it. Going to the gym becomes monotonous, so I slowly stop going. Then I'll kick myself in the butt and the whole ugly process begins again.

In my younger, pre-smoking days I was a runner. I held records for distance, I won a 10 K when I was fifteen and in shape. I played hockey and soccer. Some people in my neighborhood said they never saw me walk. Then I discovered boys, parties, beer and smoking...

It was easy to make excuses when I smoked, it was easy to justify NOT working out. However, since I have quit and some weight some sort of flubbery, lumpy substance has attached itself to my thighs, ass, belly and back I can deny it no longer. It is time to bite the bullet. Time to hit the pavement, break a sweat and burn this shat off. By nature I am not an overweight person, I cannot be overweight... it is icky!!! Besides I have a whole closet full of really cute clothes I cannot wear right now.

I decided to start running again, aside from the obvious health benefit I remember how much I loved it, the endorphins, the freedom, the solitude, the firm bod...oh yeah the firm bod, sculpted buttocks, shapely legs...ahhhhh.

I figured since it had been so long since I'd run seriously I should research things a bit. I bought a book called Beginning Running by Amby Burfoot to reacquaint myself with technique. It is a very good book, I quite enjoyed reading it. It was easy to follow and did not become boring. It includes an 8 wk or a 10 wk program. The 8 wk is for those already active. So me being me figured I was not totally sedentary so the 8 wk program it was.

This morning was "D" day, back to it day, hit the road and go day. I got up, had a small breakfast as I didn't want to be running on a full stomach. Drank water to hydrate, got into my workouts, laced up the old runners and out the door I went. I-Pod blaring...I was doing it!!

The programs (both of them) are interval training. The one I am doing is run 1 minute/walk 2 ten times for the first week. Run one day and then walk for an easy 30 minutes the next. Weeks 2 through 8 progress quite quickly as the end goal is to run 30 minutes straight.

I'm not so sure how well that is going to work out for me, but we'll see. The main thing is a) I'm back at it and b) keeping at it. Now I can do cardio the way I like and I can go to the gym for circuit training. I'm sure tomorrow will be special as I am already feeling it. Sore muscles aside, I feel DAMN GOOD. I did it... I took the first step.

Oh yeah, I also did something that I haven't done in years .... I stepped on the scale. We won't discuss that right now, maybe after I've run for a while I will discuss how much I've lost.

I just got back from my run about 20 minutes ago. I did some cool down stretches but my ass and legs are a tad tight.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Presidential Race.... A Canadian Viewpoint

I enjoy watching the US Presidential race. It is full of mudslinging and juvenile nitpicking. It's entertainment, it's like the bloody accident you rubberneck to see, the train wreck you just can't stop watching. I actually follow US politics more than my own, Canadian politics are so boring.... so lacking in scandal. Let's face it we are too damn nice ... everyone in Canada is too damn concerned with what the other person is going to think, heaven forbid we offend someone.

I was intrigued when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not surprisingly the Obama camp and many others started stating their sometimes scathing opinions. I was rather disgusted when individuals started dragging Palin's kids into the equation; kids really ought to be left out of the whole ugliness of politics. There was speculation that her youngest child, Trig, was really the off spring of her oldest daughter Bristol. The rumor mongering led to the announcement that Bristol was an unmarried mom-to-be. Since when are children fair game for advancement in the unforgiving world of politics?

I have to wonder if the Obama camp has sealed the fate of a possible Presidency by driving a nail into the ol' campaign coffin with this particular line of attack. Average America, those with half a brain in their heads, are going to look at their teenage daughters and think "there but for the grace of God go I"; or see their wee grandchildren playing around the dinner table while Mommy finishes her homework... and they WILL envision themselves on the receiving end of that judgement and it will sway their votes.

What really gets me is of all those people spewing forth their "opinions" on teenage pregnancy, how many of them NEVER had pre-marital sex? How many of them were just damn lucky to not get "caught"? I could be waving my hands, yep I'm sure many of us were "lucky" when we got lucky. How many of them have or had perfectly virginal teens, teens who never messed up. What they are failing to see here is that this young girl is stepping up to her responsibility, how many teens truly do that? How many seek the easy way out? I'd say this girl has a strong foundation and will be just fine.

I heard some woman going on and on today about how Palin is putting politics before her family. I say bullshit. Palin has a chosen career path just as many of us do, how many of us would turn down the opportunity for advancement or personal growth? If Palin is indeed putting her career before her children then by God we'd better start boycotting ALL movies starring parents... isn't that the same deal. Don't they go off on shoots leaving their children in the care of nannies? Let's not lose sight of the fact that Palin is married to her high school sweetheart, they love and support one another. If a long happy marriage, that has produced fine upstanding citizens (Track is in the Army) isn't the epitome of family value and dedication then I don't know what is.

This is a woman who truly has nothing to hide. She admitted to smoking AND inhaling marijuana back in the day; she openly brought forth the news of her daughters pregnancy BEFORE it could be maligned by others; she strikes me as being one very up front and down to earth individual. She is tough, and doesn't back down once she takes a stance. She stands by her word, she said she was going to clean up AK governments and she did. Integrity is a wonderful thing, it is something that is lacking in politics for the most part, maybe she can bring a refreshing change.

I've also heard it said that she lacks "experience". Well perhaps she isn't as experienced as some of the prior candidates, however, lets be real here...the "experienced" ones don't always bring much to the table. The "experienced" ones are quite often the biggest bullshit artists, the most easily puppeted by the behind the scenes people. Who would you rather, inexperience with a mind of her own ... or experience with strings? Honestly, when I have watched Obama speak he appears to be a marionette, he is weaselly (this has been my opinion right from the time he was running for Illinois senate)... definitely not someone I'd want running my country.

I don't understand why the candidates need to make each race so personal... why dig WAY back, so what if someone made mistake when they were younger (Palin's husband's impaired 20-some years ago)...shouldn't it just be about the job and the ability to carry out said tasks. If the prior mistake has not been a chronic lifestyle, if it truly was a mistake of youth... leave it where it belongs, in the past. The mudslinging and rumor mongering is so junior high schoolish, if you can't play nicely in the sand box, perhaps you shouldn't be playing at all.

I think McCain made a good choice, he chose someone who has values and heart, someone unknown, someone untainted by Washington. He chose a WOMAN, he chose someone who can relate to blue collar America. He chose wisely and I think his decision may well have ensured his place in the White house.

Perhaps it's time to vote in someone who has values and integrity. Perhaps it's time to make values and morals an important part of our lives again. Perhaps it's time to vote for someone who can relate to the average Joe's and Jane's, someone who lives it...someone who is untainted and unjaded.

I know how I'd vote if I was American.

Maybe it's time to do away with self serving governments and get back to basics.... By the People...For the People!!


Monday, September 1, 2008

You Know They Are Growing Up When...

Last night after work I picked up the girls and went to fill up the truck as well as grab the ingredients they needed to bake cookies today.

I pulled up to the pump and the young attendant was there before I had shut my truck off.

"Fill with regular?" he asked

"You bet, and could you check the oil too please."


I began walking to the store and I could hear him shouting something.

I looked back and said, "Pardon me?"

He glanced up "No, sorry I was talking to him." he replied as he pointed to his co-worker who was filling another car.

"oh" and I started to walk away again.

This time I heard him, "Do you know how to do oil, you know...check the oil"

I stopped, thinking to myself, shit.... the kid doesn't know how to check the oil. I was just about to turn back and do it myself when I heard him say the following:

"If you don't know come on over and I'll show you."

*whew* He's training ... I carried on.

Young lad came into the store and informed me that I was down, did I want him to put some in. I inquired as to how low it was and he said that he could probably put half of a litre in. I told him to go ahead. He said he would set the remaining half of a litre beside my truck.

After all was said and done, I paid for the fill and oil and went back out to my truck. The young man was just setting the remaining oil on the running board of my truck as I walked up. He turned and handed it to me, thanked me and bid me good day. With a smile on his face I might add. I was VERY impressed with his demeanor. Most of the young people who work at this particular gas station are lazy, not happy with their positions and don't care who knows it; so this young man was a refreshing change of pace.

As I was getting in the truck I glanced up at my fifteen year old daughter in the front seat (the girls had waited in the truck while I filled up) and said, "Wow, he's a cute one!"

She grinned at me, "I know!!! What did his name tag say?"

"I don't know, do you want me to go ask him his name? I could tell him that you think he's cute."

"NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" This was said with great emphasis and a horrified look on her face.

I couldn't let it go, "Cuz... you know, I could. I don't mind doing that for you and he is awfully cute.... are you sure?"

"MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM... we just wanted to know if he was K's brother... but you're right he is cute" At this point her face was kind of red and she couldn't stop herself from grinning.

My youngest one piped up from the backseat, "That IS her brother....I told you he works here."

I drove over to the parking lot for the grocery store and parked. All the while I was thinking I should have gotten that kids name, cuteness aside he was damn good at his job. I know that kids who are employed rarely hear positive feedback so I wanted to let his boss know how impressed I was with his employee.

We walked toward the store, of course I wasn't done yet.

"Are you really sure, cuz I think I'm going to go back and get his name anyway."

She glared at me while she giggled, "No, I'm good"

Youngest daughter says, "I could phone K and set you up"

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA...... Yep you know they are growing up when the younger one offers to set the older one up with her best friends older brother.