Thursday, June 21, 2012

Raising a Sensitive Child

I wonder how many parents out there have children like my older daughter. She was born bright, inquisitive and sensitive. She really did come out looking around and listening and didn't cry. At least, not exactly then. She made up for that later! What I didn't understand at that time and for some time afterward, is that I had given birth to what they call a "high needs" child. I prefer to call her sensitive. It somehow seems less negative. Right off the bat, the nurses called Melissa "fussy" and wanted to give her a soother. I said no because we were battling with a lazy latch and a host of other issues. Breast feeding, while natural, did not come easily to me and my sweet baby. I could see from those early days that this was going to be a child for whom I would be advocating for many years. My doctor saw it too. She was protective of her and didn't particularly care for the way the nurses talked about her. She was small, six and a half pounds, but not overly tiny. She needed more holding and cuddling than many babies and she did not like sleep. Oh yes. Sleep. She will be eighteen this fall and still does not like sleep. So here I was, a single mother of just 22 years (Miss was born a week after my birthday!) with a wee babe who had a hard time nursing and hated to sleep.
Knowing her the way I do now, and after years of being her mom, I can see that the poor child had an easily upset tummy and a nervous personality. This was something she did temporarily outgrow in her preschool years, but the system, a series of teachers who probably should have been retired and the deaths of several close family members took care of that. In her early high school years, my outgoing, artsy, sweet child became a child who did not wear color and was frequently depressed. We loved her through that stage and she has worked hard the last two years at finding out who she is independent of others. She still struggles a little with what people think, but a small group of reliable friends has really helped her there. Fast forward to this year, her grad year. People put an awful lot of pressure on young adults to have their lives figured out. And now, the province of BC has added a program which, in my opinion, does not help children with personalities like my daughter's. If anything, this plan to help them has added tremendous stress to her life. Unfortunately, her response to stress is to hide and so this series of activities had built up until she was overwhelmed by them. Just today I had to go in and explain to a counsellor that my child has lost sleep this year in fear over grad, people's expectations and an uncertain future. I don't know if I know how to help her except by just being here for her. It's a pretty uncertain world out there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Music is a gift. Open the box!

My poor neglected blog! I really just need to blow the dust off and start posting in here again. My travel agent endeavours have kind of taken over these days. The exciting news is that I am working with a local piano teacher and we are developing some fun classes to pitch to one of the local rec centres. I am really hoping this will go through as it will be a new and fun experience teaching group classes! Time to stretch myself a little bit, I guess! Anyway, my post today is about the gift of music. So often we hear that people are "gifted" or "have the gift" of music. I maintain that every single one of us has been given music as a gift. Sure, we may not all be concert singers, or even really comfortable with singing anywhere outside of the shower, but that does not mean that music cannot bless us daily, or that we should not explore and revel in the gift that is music. It saddens me to see the school system in Canada being so quick to pitch out programs which are arts related. Particularly since science has shown that musical instruction teaches children so much more than we might imagine. Music is art, but it is also math. It is also following the rules and taking one's "turn". It is teamwork. It is reading and language skills. It is a world of imagination and magic and fun and it can also be very hard work which requires and teaches discipline. So, if you do not spend time singing and dancing with your children at home, think about it. You may be doing them more good than you could ever have thought.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The BC Teachers have shot themselves in the foot

I got news from a very upset seventeen year old daughter the other day that teachers have been told they will not be allowed to attend graduation ceremonies this year due to the job action voted on by the BCTF. I know that this is sad news, not only for the kids, but also for the teachers many of whom have come to care about the kids they have had in their classrooms the last several years. Most people become teachers because they want to help, after all. I guess this is the problem with having a province wide union; I'm sure that the feelings of teachers in one area of the province are not exactly the same feelings teachers in other areas are having but the vote is run by the majority instead of going district by district. At any rate, all I know is that MY child who, while only one of many, is the one who breaks my heart with her sadness, is heart broken and angry and that she feels that part of her celebration has been stolen from her. This is something she can't get back and I am not sure she cares that the union is saying that this will benefit kids in the future, all this fighting with the government. At the end of the day, HER graduation is the one being lost and it just so happens that she was robbed of a middle school graduation only four years ago when the district underwent restructuring, so yeah... she is angry. I can't say I blame her.

Way too long since I posted

Ugh. I promised myself I wouldn't do that! I guess I have been busy what with preparing for my advanced theory exam this coming weekend, studying my travel agent stuff, working three days a week and doing mommy stuff. Melissa's grad dinner was last week and that was rough. I only got teary eyed once and that was when a group of girls got up to sing a song about not being able to wait to leave home only to realize that life in the real world was pretty rough and they wanted to go back home. The entertainment went on a bit long, but it was student run and a first time thing, so the kids did pretty well.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Getting back to "normal" whatever that is!

So, we stepped off Freedom of the Seas last Sunday and the room has finally stopped swaying. ROFL  It wasn't anything too serious - the first 24 hours were the worst and I just rested in the hotel room in Orlando as a result.  I still have to post a lot about the trip - don't want to forget anything! 

Anyway, I have been back to work this week and that is all settling down. I still have a theory exam to write soon and I am WAY behind on my travel consultant training, which I must ramp up again as soon as I get this exam written. In other words, life is continuing on at it's breakneck pace and I must simply hold on, try to make some sense of it and ride the wave.  More to come soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

$200 Paypal Rainy Day Facebook Frenzy!

You have literally HUNDREDS of chances to win $200 Paypal cash from CouponTrade.com and The Ultimate Baby Shower!

CouponTrade.com is the newest and the hottest way to save because now, you can combine coupon savings with discounted gift cards for the same stores, plus sell all those unused gift cards and redeem whats yours, all in one place!!!

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Entry is so simple. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break Cruise - Day One

So, we are finally on our way! It crept up on me and I just know I am forgetting something.  Today, we flew over to Vancouver to stay the night before our early departure tomorrow.  The weather was not too bad and hubby drove the four of us to the airport. Check in was super easy as there was hardly anyone there.  Before heading through security, I briefly stopped by the cafe where I used to work to say hello.  :)  Afterwards, I made my way to security, dumped all the stuff into bins which needed to be dumped and walked through the arch only to hear the beeping of the metal detector.  Apparently, I had been randomly selected for a patdown. ROFL  The security lady was really good and explained everything she was going to do before she did it.  A few minutes and I was on my way to join my girls and my mom.  :)

The plane arrived early which was a nice bonus.  As we walked to the aircraft (we have a super small airport and this is a super small plane) we were greeted by a young Japanese pilot, much to the delight of my Japanese crazy eighteen year old daughter.  Yes, he was cute. ;)  Soon we were Vancouver bound.  The flight was the usual; noisy and uneventful.  Coming in to Vancouver, I noticed that we were taking a different direction than usual, which had to mean different wind direction.  It was a bit bumpy and we circled a rather large looming storm cloud, but not too much to write home about. 

We arrived at YVR and found our bags almost immediately.  Routine.  When I called the hotel about a shuttle, I was told that we had just missed it and one would be around in about twenty minutes.  Thinking we had time to burn, we grabbed a couple of drinks.  Well, there was an Acadian ringette team, so getting the drinks took up ten of our twenty minutes, so we made our way to the pick up area.  We weren't there long when our shuttle went driving past. :(  Perhaps it was full. I don't actually know. Half an hour longer in the sunshine and our very affable driver arrived.  He had an accent which made his attempts to joke with us all the more delightful.  We soon arrived at The Holiday Inn Express and were checked in by another agreeable staff member.  Found out about the shuttle for the morning and went up.  :)

 A short nap later, it was nearly time for us to be picked up by my sister and her fiance.  They arrived and took us to The Boathouse; a lovely seafood oriented restaurant where we were served a by a smooth, young and very cute waiter who made my girls giggle just because he was so good looking.  The meal was great, the company lovely and here we are back at the room, killing some time before an early bed time. If we are catching the 4:45 shuttle to the airport, we need to get our beauty sleep soon! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fan Appreciation Giveaway!

Welcome to the April edition of  the Fan Appreciation Cash Giveaway!

We want you to know how much we appreciate you. As a thank you to all our loyal fans Frugal Experiments has teamed up with a great group of bloggers to thank you all with a chance to win some cash!

Prize: $100.00 Cash in your Paypal account

How to Enter: Please enter on the Rafflecopter form below and then share it with your friends and families! This Giveaway will run from April 1st at midnight EST and will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on April 11th . It is open to anyone 18 or older with a valid Paypal account. Entries are only accepted through the Rafflecopter form and all entries will be verified. The winner will be emailed once pending verification that they are a fan and they then have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Please take the time to stop by all the wonderful blogs and look around - most are hosting other giveaways that you can enter.
Good luck!

Be sure to put Gluten Free Songbird as the blog you are entering on.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GroClock Sleep Trainer Giveaway from My Organized Chaos

Pretty cool idea.  She explains how it works really well.  Great for people with little ones.  Check it out here.

Trying again Link for Agogo Deal

Click here.

Check out Agogo Deal Giveaway! (Canada)

Always lovely to find Canadian giveaways. :) Too often I click on an interesting survey or contest only to get "not available in your area" song and dance. Here is one my fellow Canucks can check out. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Learning to let go

I told someone yesterday the the new theme of my life seems to be "surrender". It's not something I do with ease. I often wonder why The Creator made me such a stubborn and self-sufficient person when He knew it would be so much easier for me if I let go of my stuff. Literally and emotionally.

Yesterday was a prime example of what can happen when I let it be. (Shout out to Paul McCartney!) I have been battling some low level inflammation in my vocal cords. Saturday, I tried desperately to rest; kept my speaking to a minimum, spoke softly when I did speak... Yesterday I was still sore. In the morning, I went to my new job, where I am basically on probation while we figure out if we are a good fit for each other. Understandably, I was a little tense in the morning, but I jumped in with both feet and I think it went fairly well.

At noon, I left to pick up my daughter and head up to Campbell River for the big concert. When I got there, I told my teacher that I was sore and would love a good warm up. She ran the three of us through some gentle warm ups and I felt considerably better, just still sore when I spoke. Well, the concert was nothing short of ethereal. Of course, everything did not go perfectly. I don't think it ever does. Of course, there were places where I knew I could have supported that note better, or planned my breathing better. What did happen, however, was that I let it go. I knew that at least one person in the audience was praying, my beautiful pastor's wife. Just seeing her lovely face out there reminded me to let.go. And I did. Never, in all my life (and I have been singing in public since I was five!) have I felt so at ease performing. I did not shake. I did not find myself breathless. I just let it go knowing that if something went wrong, the world would not end and people would realize that I had a sore throat. The miracle is that not one thing went drastically wrong. Better still, I hit the high b and high b flat I needed to with ease.

The great thing is that this concert was such a metaphor for everything that is going on in my life at this time. In learning to let go, I was able to accept that I did not get my old job back this summer and even to realize that I would rather be somewhere else this year. In learning to let go, I was able to communicate effectively with my husband last week over something that was really tearing me up. And the best part of all is that, in this process, God has brought me to me a whole new church family after a long spiritual drought in my life. A family that fits me to a t. Life is wonderful and I am grateful.

Does that mean I have learned how to let go? Probably not entirely. I am still me and, in the words of Popeye; "I am what I am" Still, I know that when I DO choose to let go, wonderful things will follow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What a week!

This week has been all over the place and I am trying very hard to just take it easy and rest today. First of all, Thursday was two weeks since my Lasik surgery. Over all, I am thrilled with the results. It's hard to explain the difference to people who have bad vision in both eyes (or good vision in both eyes!) but my depth perception is vastly improved and I can see so much better even just with the left eye. I had hoped it would be a wee bit clearer, but it may still improve a little and even if it doesn't, it is incredibly improved. I can actually watch tv, read a book or play on my laptop without headaches now. I do wonder how long it will be before I think I should reach for my glasses before sitting down to my laptop, though! :)

This week was also a bit of a rough week emotionally. Even in marriages where two people are very much in love, there are rough times and this week was one of them. I am thankful to be married to a man who sees things through, even if there are times I wish he would talk and communicate a bit more!

Tomorrow is the big concert day! I has really crept up on me and I hope against hope that we don't let our teacher down. Or, that I don't at least. The countertenor is young and gifted and exudes confidence as does my dear friend Mary-Jo who is our Mezzo soprano. It promises to be a beautiful spring day and I am very much looking forward to it. I have a sore throat, so thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated. :)

It is two weeks until our cruise! So much happening all at once! I can't wait to go and blog all about Freedom of the Seas. I have heard so many wonderful things about Royal Carribean.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Need traffic for your Facebook page? How about a NO COST giveaway?

Brilliant! I a so excited that The Ultimate Baby Shower is hosting a giveaway at no cost to bloggers! The prize is $100 so this is sure to bring tons of new fans to your page. I signed up for my first giveaway just this month and quickly went from about twenty followers to nearly 100 and the giveaway is not finished yet. I am also in on the Ultimate Baby Shower which is coming up soon, so watch for that one if you are interested in winning a full nursery!

To sign up for this no cost event click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Win a new iPad3 with AppSumo!

I'm usually skeptical about promos like this one but it came from a blogger whose e-mails I get regularly and who links to legit giveaways. :)

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Check out Cuzinlogic's Spring Buzz Giveaway

Another blog I love getting daily emails from is Cuzinlogic. Right now, you can win a $25 Sephora gift card. Love me some Sephora! Go, check it out!

Hello Spring $800 Giveaway on Giveawaypromote.com!

I'm all about the giveaway these days, and this one is a beauty. In fact, I get daily e-mails from this blog with tons of great giveaways so I highly recommend signing up for e-mails! Go here and fill out the rafflecopter form!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Savings Is Free Grand Event Cash Giveaway

Savings Is Free is hosting yet another great giveaway. I get daily e-mails and really enjoy them. If you haven't checked out this blog before, now is a great time because Savings Is Free is giving away $800 in prizes in the Grand Event Cash Giveaway. Check it out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

First week post-op check-up (and review of the restaurant at the clubhouse at Qualicum Beach Golf Course

Everything looks great. Still on the dry side, but so much better than a week ago. I am now off all the medicated drops and taking the "tears" much less often than I was (about four times a day) I have had some pretty bad dryness about two hours after I fall asleep and she suggested an ointment for nighttime use, so we'll see how that goes. The irritation should continue to decrease and be gone in about a week. In the meantime, my vision has been big time over corrected to compensate for the 40% chance of regression in the next three months, so I am actually a bit near-sighted at the moment, but my eyes are working beautifully together which is a big thing for Lasik on one eye. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results so far, but also looking forward to even better results down the road! Yay!

Hubby and I had a fabulous lunch at the Qualicum Beach Golf Course afterward. I highly recommend to anyone who drives around the island at all. They had several gluten free options on the menu and their burgers are also gluten free. Let me just tell you that I had the BEST sandwich ever. It was clearly rice bread; I recognized the texture, but it held together better than any rice bread I have ever had before and it had seeds in it. YUM! Again, highly recommend! Clubhouse is beautiful, service was great and the view is just gorgeous!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Whoohoo! Part of my first giveaway!

I am very excited to join with some lovely bloggers in bringing you this fun giveaway. Use the Rafflecopter and good luck!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And still more recovery

It seems the doc was onto something when he suggested I switch to eyedrops without preservatives as today is the first day I have not needed to use them as often. In fact, the broken blood vessels in my eye are looking not quite as dark as they were. I'm still not thrilled with my vision in the right eye, even though it is continuing to improve. I can read distant things much better but they are not as clear as I would like. Perhaps having an exceptional left eye has set me up for disappointment? (It is 20/15) I will see the doc again on Friday and see what he has to say. I have been prepared for the fact that I might need a correction after three months, but that was because of the probability of regression. We shall see.

I still want to talk a little bit about the rest of my surgery day, if for no other reason than to get the word out about how many people were helpful to me, both at LasikMD and The Best Western Northgate Nanaimo. ;)

The cab driver took me to the door then helped me in with my bags. The desk supervisor immediately relieved me of my bags and stored them behind the desk while assuring me that they were working on my room. I thanked her sincerely, being happy to have a quiet room available to me soon. I really just wanted to be alone in the dark and quiet. I think I waited maybe 10-15 minutes because I was in my room by 10:30. Once again, the manager carried my bags for me. I was so thankful for the help as my vision was still very blurry in my right eye. Once I was in my room, I locked the door, turned on the AC for white noise and got ready for bed. I actually changed into my jammies and set up a bottle of water and my drops by the bed. I set my alarm for the next dose. I did sleep off and on and, while I heard a bit of vacuum cleaner noise, it was otherwise very quiet. My alarm woke me up every hour and I administered my antibiotic and steroid drops five minutes apart followed by my steroids. I got up to pee each time then collapsed back to sleep. That's pretty much how my day looked. When I felt a little sore in the early afternoon, I took the Tylenol3s I had packed in my bag (the military gives them out like candy and we always had them when dh was in) and went back to sleep. I finally got up and dressed to go to the pub about 4:30. My visions was still less than great and I went everywhere with my sunglasses which made me feel terribly conspicuous, but the girl in the pub was cool about it and asked lots of questions about the procedure. After dinner, I collapsed in bed to start the cycle over again. When I awoke at 8:45 PM and realized I had missed my alarm by half an hour, I took my last dose and went to sleep for the night. Well, kind of. I kept waking up all night long to phantom alarms, but that's a whole other story...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Got questions about cruising?

Do I have the link for you!  I am new to Expedia Cruiseship Centers and I know just how overwhelming the cruise market can be.  Fortunately for me, I have several wonderful people helping me to learn a little more every week so that I can provide excellent service and share my passion for travel with others!  With the internet age, I am able to have clients from all over the world, as long as you have access to a computer or a phone.  Check out this link to have some of the most common cruising questions answered. :)

Recovery

The Lasik surgery was the easy part of this process. Four days into recovery, I don't have much patience and need to learn to listen to my body and slow down. It occurred to me yesterday that if I'd had surgery on any other body part, I would not expect magic results yet, so why am I in a rush to have my eye healed up?  I see a bit better every day, but it still fatigues easily and I am still needing drops a lot of the time.  Glad I took several days off at the office, but wanting to get back into my training!  Still, better results will come out of time spent resting. Of that I am sure. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finally! My Surgery Day Post Part One

Last Thursday I finally bit the bullet and went for Lasik. I know there are tons of horror stories out there, but I have yet to come across anyone in Canada who regrets the surgery. I also did tons of research in advance and talked to everyone I know who has had it done.

My mother picked me up in her little Pontiac Pursuit at 6:15. I was awake at 5:30 because hubby had gone to Tim Horton's and I guess I heard him leave but didn't fully wake up right away. Well, poor hubby had spilled my coffee in the driveway so I had to go and get my own! ROFL

We got on the highway early. The weather was nice, no wind, no frost, no rain. Highly unusual on the Canadian west coast (also known as the "wet" coast) for March. The drive down was uneventful and we arrived twenty minutes early. Nice!

The girls at Lasik MD in Nanaimo are so sweet; they seem to recognize patients even though I had only been there once for a pre-op consultation. I was nervous, but also excited. I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen and that is hugely comforting to someone like me who can imagine some pretty scary scenarios sometimes!

First I saw an optometrist (the lady this time) who made sure everything was looking exactly the same as the last time. She asked me if I had any questions but I didn't really have any at all. The only thing I wondered about was how my strong eye would react to having the weaker eye fixed. I guess nobody can say for sure but it was interesting to talk to the different people in the clinic about it. :)

After that, I waited a few minutes and was ushered into the office of the financial counsellor. We went over which procedure I had chosen (I had the choice between traditional Lasik and the newer Wavefront Lasik which uses a finer laser and has more coverage for me after the surgery) I then paid her and thankfully took the Xanax. My BP had been up earlier when one of the other girls took it so I figured Xanax was in order! ;)

I soon realized that I would be in and out really early as I was slated for the first procedure of the day! Before I knew it, I was called down to meet the surgeon. I had numbing drops put in my eyes and took a last minute nervous pee. Then I met the doc. He looked very young (don't they always?) but was very calm and willing to answer any questions. He then told me he was going to show me the room.

I walked into a very cool looking room. I am fascinated by how things work, so this was a really cool experience and, being that I was calmed down by Xanax, it was all good. I laid down on the bed and they asked me for my birthdate and confirmed which procedure and which eye we were working on. More freezing drops and we were ready to go. The bed swings to my right underneath the mechanism and the attendant gives me stress balls to squeeze. The surgeon then puts the coat hanger eye holder things in. At first I say I don't like them, but once they are in, I realize that it is just fine. It was just putting them in that was uncomfortable. I can make blinking motions, just like the girl at the front of the office said, so I feel fairly normal all things considered. The surgeon talked me through the whole thing beginning with the ring thing that they put on your eyes which makes your vision black out. It's kind of like when you faint and it gets dark from the outside in. This didn't upset me at all so the Xanax must have been doing it's thing. He asked if my vision was fading and I said that it was. I didn't feel a thing when the corneal flap was cut. The next thing I see is him flipping it back. Strange. Then he says I will feel some vibrations. I do and there is the burning hair smell everyone describes. The girl to my left is doing a countdown and I can hear the we are nearly done. Wow. So quick! I see the doc flip the corneal flap back over and remove the eyelid holder. We are done! He tells me my vision will be blurry in that eye and is it ever! I sit up and am directed to a chair where the surgeon looks in my eye and does some irrigating. I am then lead to a dark room to have drops administered. The only part I didn't like about this clinic is that they put us all into the same "recovery" room. The man who had surgery after me was complaining the whole time. So there we are sitting in the dark with our sunglasses on to keep dust etc out and this guy is complaining. After a while, I am starting to feel the freezing coming out and I am ready to convalesce all by myself. I just want to be alone.

The front desk calls a cab for me and calls my hotel to see if they can get a room ready for me early. They say they can and off I go.

To be continued...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another fun way to earn points

If you are a point collector like me (and why not if you already spend a lot of time online?) you really should be a member of Swagbucks.

According to the site; "Swagbucks.com is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called "Swag Bucks", which can be redeemed for exclusive Swagbucks.com merchandise."

I earn points there by taking the daily poll, doing tasks, watching Swagbucks "tv" and taking surveys. They also have swag codes which can be found on facebook and in the blog. There are various other ways to earn points which I don't even engage in but one certainly could! The way things are working out, I figure I can get some decent Amazon.com gift cards for Christmas and buy some sweet things for the girls. I find it much better for me here in Canada than Superpoints, which rarely has an offer for me and doesn't have surveys. I also use the Swagbucks tool bar which rewards me now and then just for doing searches using it. :)

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, just click the link here and start collecting! :)

So yesterday was surgery day

It went really well. I'll post more about it later (hopefully tomorrow) when I can get my thoughts together better. I'm really excited to see how my vision will continue to improve as my eye heals!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My LasikMD Appointment

So, my husband has been after me for a while to check out Lasik MD which is a Canadian company which does some pretty heavy advertising. For about two years now, he has suggested I make the one hour trip to Nanaimo and see if I am a good candidate. February 25th, I finally did it. I am a point collector, and one of my point collecting websites promised me points if I filled in a form asking for information. "What the heck?" I thought, "I've been meaning to check this out anyway." In a very short time, I got a call. I actually missed it but found a message in my voice mail shortly thereafter. I called back and got some call centre in Quebec. The lady spoke excellent English and had a great sense of humour, we laughed quite a bit and I think that helped my nerves. We set up an appointment for the 25th and that was that. Hubby suggested I take the girls with me (they are always up for a trip to Nanaimo to shop) and stay the night at the Best Western near both the mall and the clinic. So that is just what we did.

I was a bit nervous when I got to the appointment because I had been told since I was ten that I have a lazy eye. The clinical name for it is amblyopia and it means a person's brain doesn't recognize the weaker eye. My glasses when I was a kid were awful because I had a huge prescription on one side and none on the other. This is before lighter plastic lenses. Ugh!

Anyway, I get to the appointment and fill out some forms. Nothing too magical. There are drinks and cookies available in the waiting area so I made a coffee using the industrial Tassimo. It actually disposes of the disc for you! Magic! Yes, I need to get out more. ;) Little did I know that the young lady in the next room was about to check my blood pressure. Now, I have a serious case of White Coat Syndrome if you know what I mean. I can check my own BP and it's pretty good but docs make my BP spike! So, the girl is super sweet and doesn't seem to mind that I am babbling like an idiot because I am nervous. She takes measurements, shines lights into my eyes and oohs over my skyrocketed blood pressure. Oops.

Back into the waiting room and then the handsome accountant like optometrist calls me in. Now I have seen all kinds of eye docs in the twenty-nine years since I started wearing glasses (Man, that makes me sound OLD!) and this guy is really personable, thank goodness, because I am babbling like an idiot now. He does the usual tests and we talk about candidacy. Right off the bat, he says I am not amblyopic. Huge sigh. In fact, I AM a candidate. Now I suddenly realize I really do want this. I want the freedom from glasses. I am tired of putting them down and forgetting where. I'm tired of needing them to watch tv, or read or because I am tired. I have hated the silly things since I was ten years old. I want this!

After Dr. Cutie tells me the good news, I am ushered into a room with a very young financial counsellor. She explains the options the doctor has laid out, what they mean, what they cost and the payment plan. She then pulls out a calendar and I look at it and realize I can get this done before I start the new season at the golf course, so I pounce. I can sell dh on it later... Surgery day is Thursday. Looks like I'm going to be blogging about it. Why not?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Giveaways really do pay off!

I have only been entering blog giveaways for a few weeks now and have won twice. That's pretty good odds, considering that a lot of bloggers don't do giveaways to The Frozen North. My most recent win is from A Gluten Free Journey. Please check out her http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifblog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When other people sing about their babies growing up

The first part of my blog name, gluten free, is my dietary lifestyle. Another HUGE part of my life is the songbird part of my name. :) I started singing at the age of five when my father hoisted me up on a stool and played guitar while I sang God Gives Us Mothers one mother's day in the chapel on the base in Bagotville PQ where we were stationed. Thus began a life-long love of music and singing and something very special which I shared with my father for the rest of his life, but that's another blog post for another time.

By the time I was twelve, I had my first voice teacher and I studied singing privately until I was eighteen. In recent years, I have found a wonderful teacher and rediscovered my old love of singing. At a recent masterclass, one of her other students sang the Abba song; Slipping Through My Fingers. I nearly lost it. In fact, I made it quite clear that I could not be the next in line to sing as I needed a few moments to get myself back together. I have been an Abba fan since high school when my friend discovered her parents' LP and a group of us fell in love with the band as though they were new. I have memories of them being on tv in my childhood, but can't say I was ever a fan before this time. Still, I had not heard this song ever until I heard it in my friend's car while we were driving along a New England highway on the way to meet up with some other friends. It was oh so poignant at that time and even more so with my first born getting set to graduate this June.

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think Im close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when shes gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I cant deny

What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...


The first line about her going off to school with bag in hand reminded me of a sleepy eyed Melissa who had taken to sneaking in to sleep at the foot of our bed and her comments to me when I was concerned about her getting on a bus to go to the private school where we were sending her for Kindergarten. This bleary eyed little girl told me not to worry. A few days later, she got on that bus and never looked back. Of course, there were the times she fell asleep on the way home from a full day of school and had to be awakened by the bus driver. I look at the photos we have of our girls and I look at them now and it seems like another lifetime. I remember them, but it somehow doesn't seem real. Before long, this sweet girl who is growing to be more her own person every day will leave us. I've always believed that my job is to raise my girls to be independent, but when I think about it just like the song says, I have to sit down for a while.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I've been awfully quiet, I know

Been kind of sick and miserable. Nothing too serious; just a sore gland on the right side of my neck and feeling kind of wrung out. This is when I realize I should save a bunch of back up posts on days when I feel like writing a lot. Maybe I will start doing that! :) Will try to write something today...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Time for the Winky Linky Follow again, courtesy of Mommy Who Loves Giveaways!

I'm new to these hops, but already have begun to get some new followers. They are also a really great way to find other blogs out there which you might not find otherwise!

Here are the guidelines;

This hop is designed to introduce bloggers to the new Linky Followers widget, which can replace GFC and has lots of bonus features too! Not only does Linky Followers keep track of all of the blogs you are following, but it also allows you to organize blogs into categories!!
If you don’t have a Linky Followers account (it’s free), please head over to the web site and sign up! Once your widget is on your blog, please link up here so that others can follow you!



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If you aren't clicking the Superlucky Button, why not?

There is no easier way to get points that can be converted to gift cards and Paypal cash. Once again, I think there would more opportunities for my American friends than there are for me up here in the Frozen North (actually the wet north - thinkhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Seattle weather) Anyway, if you are even thinking of signing up, here's the link. Happy clicking! ;)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

When your babies grow up


I was just reading a mommy blog where a woman said she grew up with her firstborn. In many ways, I feel like that with mine. I was twenty-one when I got pregnant with Melissa. The situation was not a good one; I was rebelling against my strict upbringing and a heart wrenching break-up from the second person I thought I loved and would marry. (Oh, youth) I was living with Melissa's father; but I didn't love him, I was only fond of him. I had even reached the point of being ready to break up with him when we found out for sure I was expecting. I'd had several negative tests, including ones in the doctor's office, but I had a nagging ache and no period. Sure enough, a blood test confirmed that I was pregnant and when an ultrasound did not show the little munchkin's presence, I was sent for an emergency laparoscopy. I had to sign a paper saying that, if the little one had settled in my tubes, they would terminate the pregnancy. Toughest thing I ever signed in my whole life. When I emerged from surgery, the anesthesiologist gently told me that I was still pregnant and that everything looked fine. So here we were; not in love and pregnant! Oy!

My parents came to see me in the hospital; anesthetic makes me very ill and I was kept overnight because of the profuse vomiting. When the older gentleman in the next bed fell (and I think, coded!) when they were helping him to the bathroom, I was very quickly moved to another room for the night. There I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts and sore from the surgery. At least I wasn't throwing up anymore, though!

Much of my pregnancy is a blur. My mother encouraged me to consider adoption. My father was as gentle and kind and loving as always. My half-sister, whom I really hardly know, communicated through our mother that she was disappointed because I would probably never finish college now. I broke up with Missa's father. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a hellish year for my parents, really. Mom moved me back home, but we fought a lot and were both so stressed that it was not good for either one of us and she finally told me I had to leave again. My poor father was often stuck between us - a position he was likely used to since my relationship with my mother had always been fiery. Man, I loved my father! Eventually, I went to the local crisis pregnancy centre and was placed in a "shepherding home" for as long as I needed it. I lived with an amazing and kind lady whom I still see around town from time to time. I am very thankful that God provided that home at a time when I needed to be very selfish and learn to care for myself. Gail never said, as my mother had, that I was NOT the first woman to ever be pregnant. Honestly, the first time, you really feel like you are!

Finally, Melissa Catherine Filgate was born. I gave her my maiden name because I knew I would raise her mostly alone and, except for steady child support and visits from her father while she was younger, I pretty much have. She was a challenging baby; did not sleep well, had so much energy and did everything early. I remember reading that babies sleep a LOT. Well, this kid hadn't read any of the books and she did things her way! We had a rough go, Miss and I, but eventually we found hubby and he has been her daddy since she was two and a half. She really thinks of him as Dad because he has been the one who raised her, supported there, cleaned up when she was sick, cuddled her when she was frightened and just been a real dad.

Now that girl is getting ready to graduate and I'm not even 40. Where did the time go? I miss cuddling that wee girl on my lap, but I sure love the amazing young adult she has grown into. We laugh and talk and she is my best friend. I never dreamed that it could be like that after the tumultuous relationship I had with my own mother. I can't imagine life without her and have always told her that, even though she was unplanned, she was NOT an accident. God knew what I needed, even if that something (or someone) was a squirmy, active little girl who never knew how to stop. I'm so glad He let me have her for just a little while.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Couponing - it's a full time job!


I don't think I ever realized how much time and effort goes into couponing - at least in the beginning. After several weeks of reading couponing blogs, scanning sites for new printable coupons and getting a ridiculous number of e-mails before determining which ones are really worth my while, I have reached a point where I may actually have too many coupons - at least of a certain type. Between coupon searching and surveys, I'm on my laptop a lot. However, we actually looked at the flyers last week and realized that we didn't actually NEED anything except fresh veggies and fruit for the week. That's a small victory, because the less time we spend in the store without planning, the fewer impulse buys we are making. That's good news.

Now surveys are a whole different animal. I'm a member of several sites and I actually ended up dropping a couple because I was constantly being weeded out early in the process and never getting anything that actually paid. Now I have reached the point where I get a few good ones a day and, while I won't send my teenaged daughters to college on the income, I very quickly earned a couple of Amazon gift cards for doing things I already do anyway. Win/win if you ask me. It's certainly not a get rich scheme by any stretch, but being rewarding for goofing off on the laptop or getting to tell my bank what I REALLY think about them is all good for this girl. :)

This really cracked me up when I saw it on Facebook this morning. Hopefully, it will give some other coupon addicts a smile. Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alexa Blog Drop Hop

Found this on The Mommy Who Loves Giveaways who, by the way, always has fabulous giveaways on her blog. Check her out here! Here’s how it works:

1. In order to participate, you MUST have the Alexa Toolbar (having one also greatly helps lower your score.) You can download it in just seconds HERE. (It is a small, non intrusive toolbar)

2. Visit as many of the blogs on the linky as you can.

3. When you visit a blog, you MUST allow the page to fully load then click a second page.

4. Leave a comment so your visit will be reciprocated!

5. Feel free to tweet or share this however you’d like. The more people that know about the hop means more potential to lower your Alexa Rating. Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gluten free cooking software giveaway!

Head on over and fill out the rafflecopter form for the chance to win Cook'n 10! Aglutenfreemom has also done a review complete with photos so you can see how it looks!

http://aglutenfreemom.blogspot.com/2012/02/cookn-10-review-and-giveaway.html

A Blog What?

A blog HOP. What a great idea! I'm always looking for fun new blogs to follow and ways to drive people to my blog while I am at it. :) As a new blogger, this is a really cool tool which I have just discovered. If you are passing through and want to link up with some lovely ladies, try this! :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bach, beauty and Cola?

I take my voice lessons in a small town about 45 minutes away from my small town. It's not much fun in the winter time when the rain is heavy and the wind blows, but on a clear day, like today was, the drive is pure pleasure. As one nears the little town, the mountains on the mainland come into view and the salt water of The Straight of Georgia washes up on the rocks. I am reminded just how blessed we are to live on this beautiful island on Canada's west coast.

Driving home has been especially beautiful the last few weeks. The sun is not quite setting as I leave and the snow on the mountains is pinkish in colour. Last week, there was even a nearly full moon hanging over the mountains. People were pulled over to stare at the beauty. :) This week, I was driving along lost in thought and listening to the B Minor Mass. There is a great quote about not needing medication for depression if one listens to the B Minor Mass, but I can't find it right now. Hmm. Anyway, as I am in my reverie, I am interrupted by the kerplunk of my iPhone which is plugged in and from which Bach is pouring. It's my daughter telling me we are out of Cola. Seriously? There is such beauty and peace in the world and the thirteen year old is after Cola? Well, I guess that's the way of the modern world. ;)

One Night in Vancouver

So, Sat night my thirteen year old and her fourteen year old friend went to Pacific Coliseum for the Simple Plan concert. I was a wreck, believe me. It didn't get better when they texted me early to ask me to go get them because the standing room tickets they had brought about just exactly the kind of scary environment I was afraid it would! Anyway, while they were at the concert rocking out to These Kids Wear Crowns, Marianas Trench and All Time Low, I had plenty of time to think about the hotel where we were staying.

First of all, on check-in we had issues. Now, my friend had made the reservation and used my hyphenated name because that is my facebook name. This is funny because I have been getting called by my maiden name ever since I checked in. I've been married for thirteen years! lol We had quite a time because even though I spelled out my name; “F-I-L...” the guy was typing “P-H-I-L...” something I haven't dealt with since I got married. Lol. Before that, I'd had parking drama – there is nowhere in front of the hotel to pull in and check-in and my GPS had taken me to the front door instead of where I could park! I'd had to pay to leave my car then went back to get the girls and move the car several blocks out of the way back to the hotel because of one way streets.


Now, the room was FREE to me, as my friend's boyfriend works for Fairmont Hotels, so I feel bit guilty complaining, but perhaps I expect a bit more from a $300/night room, even if we did get it at a discount! Let me start out by saying that the staff has been fantastic and I have absolutely no complaints there. What I do take issue with is charging that kind of money for room, charging crazy amounts of money for food and beverage and then nickle and diming things like internet. Yup, our $300/night room (plus the $50 I kicked in to upgrade for a suite and, oh yeah, parking is THIRTY TWO DOLLARS a night!) does not provide any kind of free internet. In fact, Fairmont charges $16/night for internet! I managed to get “cheaper” internet for $9.99, but really? The signal keeps getting dropped and it takes me ten minutes just to get back online! For ten dollars? And, oh yeah, it's $8.00 for a bottle of water? Oy.

At any rate, the hotel itself is beautiful and historical. It's also in a neighbourhood where there is a Tiffany's across the street, so not quite my speed. It was built in the twenties and took ten years to build. That would never happen these days! The historical photos in the main floor hallway are something to see. I'll have to see if I can find any online to share.

I guess I have rambled enough for your Monday post. Off to do some other lovely thing I have no doubt put off just to sit and write. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why I am the best mom in the world - most recent chapter

Okay, maybe just the best mom in my girls' world and, truth be told, their world is pretty small. This weekend's crazy adventure is a trip to Vancouver so that my thirteen year old and her best friend can go to the Simple Plan concert. They aren't really there to see Simple Plan but rather the guest bands, Marianas Trench and All Time Low. Sarah has been stalking these guys online forever and found out when they would be in Vancouver so that she and her friend could go. The reasons this makes me the best mommy are plentiful. First of all, I convinced Daddy that all Sarah really wanted for Christmas was a ticket to this concert. ;) Then, I talked to besty's mom; they currently live about three hours from where we live so we had to be able to work out logistics. Today is the real test, however. I don't drive in the lower mainland. In fact, we live in a small town on Vancouver Island. I often drive in Victoria, but it is a relatively small city and I lived there before, so I know what I'm doing there. Vancouver, not so much. Then there is the hour long drive to the ferry and the two hour ferry drive. See where I am going? (I'm also a convention mother, but that's another post for another time)

Now, we get into how my friend is also up there for the best mother in the World award. Her boyfriend works for Fairmont Hotels. Can you see where THIS is going? So, as a gift to her daughter (and really a wonderful and much appreciated gift of thanks to ME) they have booked a room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Sweet! A $300 room for a deal for them and they will not accept my money. Maybe I should review the hotel tonight? After all, I will just be pacing the floor hoping the girls are staying out of trouble. I think I feel a whole other blog post coming on...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Package from Hershey's? Yum!

I've been spending some time online doing surveys and entering giveaways. It's like a new passion along with my couponing. Last week, I was invited to a survey with Hershey's chocolate. I was then invited to be part of a study; they would send me the new product and I would let them know what I think. Well, I said yes and forgot about it. I'm sure a lot of people agreed to get free chocolate. So, today when the Purolator guy showed up, I had NO idea what was in the box. Sure enough, inside was a small bag with the new chocolates for me to try and a notice that I would be contacted via e-mail to answer some questions in a few days.

Let me just start by saying that you can't go wrong with milk chocolate and almonds in my book, so when they told me they would send me chocolate squared with two almonds in each one, it was a no-brainer. I will also admit that I am more of a Cadbury fan than a Hershey's one, but who is going to argue with free chocolate? Not me!

Okay, so they probably aren't gluten-free, so I only had two...

Here is the plain packaging. They don't want the people in the study to be influenced by the packaging and it is actually not finalized yet.







Well, they are pretty darned good. The milk chocolate is melt-in-your-mouth good and there is a great nut to chocolate ratio. My daughter and I agree that we don't usually care much for Hershey's milk chocolate as it seem to be waxy a lot of the time, but that is not the cse with these. If these come out on the market, and I'm pretty sure they will, you might like to get them, particularly if you are into pre-portioned chocolate goodness.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Every ending is a new beginning

I truly believe this. So why does the end of my three year relationship with my singing teacher make me so sad? I can't answer that. I can tell you that she told me herself that when she closed down her studio a few years back, there were tears on both sides. I also can't tell you why having one of the most amazing lessons I have ever had with her almost felt like having sex one last time with that guy you are breaking up with - so bittersweet. I do know I have grown to love her and that she is more than just a teacher - she is also a friend and mentor and even a bit of a mother figure. She has also been my connection to an entire music community in the town where she lives which is about 45 minutes away from my home. Through meeting her, I have become involved with a musical theatre group which is putting on a fundraising show in March. I have learned to be much more aware of my voice and my body, to listen - really listen when I practice, that I am better than I believe I am. Through her, I met a lady who is now my daughter's voice teacher (and may soon be mine) and who is an absolutely brilliant pedagogist. Because I knew her, I am a better singer, have more confidence in my ability and may just have the courage to move on to new things. I think that counts for an awful lot. I'm sure going to miss her.

Gluten free chocolate cake? Oh yes.

My new and very dear friend whom I met through recent involvement with a musical theatre group sent me a chocolate cake recipe which sounds divine. Since I am getting back to all things gluten free (tired of paying the painful price in spite of the docs who say I am fine) I thought I'd post this!

I logged in to Facebook one day to get this message;

Hey lady... you looking for a gluten free chocolate cake recipe??? Get the new Readers Digest ... there is an excellent recipe! made it tonight ..supereasy-supertasty-......really!!!!


Of course, I replied that I would go find the recipe for myself. :) Her reply was this;

...well I could just give you the recipe....598ml can of chickpeas...washed rinsed and put in food processor, 375ml semi-sweet chocolate chips , melted, 4 whole eggs, and 3/4 cup of sugar....all together now.... 9 inch cake pan... 350 in oven for 40 minutes or until set.... let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.... tasted delicious when still a little warm... but more flavour when all cooled....enjoy!!!!!


Now, given that this friend cornered me at rehearsal yesterday to see if I had tried this recipe yet, it must be a real goodie. I'm posting it here first and will give a review once I have actually tried it myself! :)

Making money online?

It's a real joke, isn't it? I mean, the internet makes someone billions every year, but the rest of us? Hmm. I always keep my eye out for ways to make a few bucks here and there because I don't need to get rich, but I sure like having my mommy play money. There are a lot of fun ways to do things you do online anyway and make points and get gift cards and things (like Swagbucks which you can click on to join through my widget) but they take time, especially if you live in Canada where survey options are pretty limited. Still, it's fun and I have already earned a five dollar gift card with no real effort on my part.

My new enterprise is edenfantasys.com. Yup. An adult store. I will be adding a separate blog to this account and there I will review products, post links and just generally have fun. My main motivation is to earn free stuff, which I can easily do just by spending a few minutes every day promoting products with links and Facebook likes, but if people want to buy anything, I can get some credit or even a few dollars that way too. Now to get some followers and let the fun begin!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fighting with Social Media Today

So I started my day by cleaning out my very full inbox today. I enter a lot of contests, follow a lot of blogs and do a lot of couponing. It keeps me busy and happy. What did NOT make me happy was finding out that my Twitter account had been suspended. The only reason I can guess for this happening is that following a large number of people in a short time sends up some kind of red flag with Twitter. Well, here's the thing; every person I followed had asked for people to follow them. These are like minded people sharing similar ideas through blogs and other social media. Anyway, I wrote to Twitter asking what the heck had happened since I didn't even get an e-mail from them warning that my account would be suspended. Now on to this evening. I'm on Facebook playing games. Fun, right? Kill some time while dh watches tv and wind down before bed. No. Of course not. There are several people who have turned Facebook into their place for causes. This is their right and they can make all the groups they want, but when I log in and the first thing I see is two grinning idiots who have hanged a couple of dogs, I want to puke. Yes, I know that cruelty to animals happens. Yes, I know that not looking at those pictures won't make it go away. I also know there isn't a damned thing I could have done to save those poor pooches and, given the chance, I would sure as Hell have tried. Now all I have is that image burned into my retinas and a sick feeling in my stomache. Kinda like when the person who works at the animal shelter thought it would be a good idea to share the picture of the piles of dead cats which the shelter had euthanized that day. Yeah. Because with six pets and two kids, I am DEFINITELY not doing my part. Grumble, grumble. I was having such a good day, too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RIP Sweet Dennis

One of my favourite "old guys" from the golf course where dh is a member and I work summers passed away a week ago. I'm really going to miss him.

Dennis was eighty years old and quite deaf, but always so very cheerful. He played nine holes of golf several times a week because he didn't want to get up early enough to play the first nine with his group! lol I started calling him my boyfriend last summer and he told me that he'd told his wife about us. I asked what her response had been and he said it had been; "Good luck!" They were married over fifty years and he always said only the best things about her and insisted that he was lucky that such a great lady would have him. He told stories about what it was like when the war was on in Europe, about making sure young ladies got home safe from the drive-in and often gave me generally interesting glimpses into a time gone by. He was always so thrilled that I had taken the time to look at the tee off sheet to see if he was coming to make his decaf fresh in time for him to come in for it.

I clearly remember the day last summer when he showed up and told me he was "pissed off with my doctor!" For a man who never said more than darn in front of me, those were strong words. I soon found out that his doctor had insisted Dennis do a driving test and was pretty sure he would not pass. Well, the inevitable happened; Dennis took and failed his driving test and lost his license. On one hand, I was glad he and those around him were safer, but I was sad to see a man who was still so young inside lose his independence. It was this my husband and I were discussing last Wednesday night; how long a man would want to live once his freedom was gone. It just so happened that my sweet "boyfriend" left this world that very same night. So here's to you, my friend; I hope the golf course in Heaven is friendly to you and I'm sure going to miss you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mommy bragging rights

So, I have two beautiful daughters; Melissa, who is seventeen and getting ready to graduate this summer (sigh!) and Sarah, who is thirteen and keeps my life very interesting! Miss is my mini-me; she is artistic, goofy and flakey, but with a huge heart and lots of love to go around. Sarah is mini-Daddy, also goofy, but more practical, smart and way too quick with a come-back for me. I'm one of those people who comes up with a great comeback about an hour later. :( She is still big hearted but much more pragmatic than either Miss or I am. Anyway, I love and adore these girls and am blessed as a mommy to have teenagers who still love me and want to spend time with me. I am also privileged to share in the experience of watching Melissa open her first Etsy store! :) You can find it at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Missallaneous Tell her I sent you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Becoming that crazy coupon lady

Yup, that's me. After being married for thirteen years, with my man nearly fifteen now and a mother for eighteen years, NOW I find extreme couponing? Okay, in Canada, we can't quite get the deals the ladies on tv do, but we can do okay. It just takes time and planning. Nowadays, with the internet, it is WAY easier to score deals because other crazies like me have blogs and RSS feeds and send out e-mails telling me how to get the best deals! I'm officially obsessed with saving money!

Okay, so I got laid off from my summer job and then I was laid off from my Christmas job early. I have no money and apparently way too much time. My kids think it is funny and even dh is laughing his old ass off a me and my deals. I got really excited when I got cheap Tylenol on Friday, for example. Walmart had 100ct Extra Strength Tylenol on for $5.97. I had a coupon for $3.00. Oh yeah. A bottle of Tylenol that can cost up to $12.00 at a pharmacy or convenience store for $2.97? I happen to think that is exciting! lol At least in this internet age, I get to find out that I am not alone in this new (to me) obsession. And, what the heck? I'm even having fun!