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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Here comes the snow...

I knew it had to come sooner or later but it still sucks to wake up to snow all over the ground.  On Thursday and Friday it was drizzling on and off so I knew we were either going to wake up to a skating rink or snow.  I think we ended up with a mixture because I almost wiped out in the parking lot at the bank this afternoon.  Time to dig out the winter boots, I guess.

Today we went and found some storage place for our furniture, books, kitchen stuff, etc. for the next 9-12 months.  We don't have a ton of stuff so the 10 x 15 space we got will be more than enough.  I wanted enough space so things wouldn't be ridiculously crammed together in case we needed to access something in a box or something because it never fails, you pack something thinking you absolutely will not need it and then two weeks later you're climbing over chairs and tables looking for it.

While we were signing the paperwork for the storage unit, we were treated to Christmas music over the radio.  I'm not sure which radio station is playing Christmas music already but come on... really?  On the 12th of November?  No wonder people are sick of the holiday season by mid-December.  And now that I've thought back to this and typed it out, I have Last Christmas by Wham! in my head again.  Ugh... 

Update on the baby daddy donor saga - We are having potential donor and his partner over next Saturday evening for a face-to-face meeting.  I'm not normally nervous about meeting people but I am definitely nervous about this.  I think I'm mostly nervous about it because the donor is a minister and his partner is in the same field.  That and they have about six or seven degrees between the two of them.  I'm sure it'll be fine.  If it isn't, we'll find someone else.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Next Steps

We have decided to swallow our pride and make a move not everyone is fortunate to have available... move in with my parents for 9-12 months and save money like crazy.

We are currently saving for a down payment on a house of some sort but the saving progress is slow due to us already paying $1300 in rent a month plus utilities.  If we want to expedite our goals a bit (especially the baby one) we have to move out of our adult-only condo and into some place that allows children but if we do that, we get no closer to our other goal, to own a place of our own.  The solution for now - move in with mom and dad, pay less rent and as my mom put it 'sock away money!'.

Now of course this plan has its downside... Having to handle family on a daily basis in a crowded home with a dog and a cat and noise and further away from work.  Not to mention less freedom and space.  That will be a big adjustment.  But the upside is huge - the chance to save a down payment, pay down some other debt while probably trying for a baby is too good to pass up.

I guess in this day in age, it's not completely shameful to move back in with mom and dad.  At least I hope it's not.  Sigh...

Now, regarding the whole baby donor thing...

We both feel that we want the (free) donor to be someone who wants to be known as the father but not be involved in the capacity of a parent.  I want a child who knows she or he has a father named ____ and he lives ____ with ____ and the child can make father's day cards or get a call or visit on special occasions or the odd Sunday.  We know children who have this type of 'donor' and it has worked out wonderfully.  I know there is the odd horror story out there about arrangements like this turning ugly but sometimes you just have to have faith, I suppose.

There is a front runner right now that we are exchanging messages and pictures with and I think it might actually work out.  We'll see how a face-to-face meeting goes... That'll probably happen in the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


To say I've been busy during the transition at work would be an understatement.  My computer time has been greatly reduced and if not for my iPhone I would probably not have kept up on anything in the past five months.

Last month Jules and I took a six day vacation to Victoria to get away from long hours and and de-stress a bit.  It was one of the most perfect vacations ever... like a honeymoon actually.  Perhaps it was fitting then that we got engaged while we were there.

No, there isn't a great tale on how we got engaged.  It was a moment typical of the two of us in the middle of a crowd in a nonchalant way that I will remember for the rest of my life.

So, the other week we were both at the doctor's office getting prescription refills and whatnot and we decided to go in together since we see the same doctor and our appointments were only 10 min apart.  We mentioned at some point that we were looking at  trying for a child in the next couple of years.  The doctor was pretty blunt when she basically said, 'Well, you better figure that out soon because you'll be 34 next year and your fertility rate starts dropping at that point' etc., etc... Which kind of knocked us both out of our 'we'll figure it out one of these days' mentality.  Jules signed us up on a website to find a local donor and we've been trading messages with some really nice guys.  We'll see what happens... When it comes to family/life planning a person could probably plan for their entire life and never be entirely ready for everything. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


So, last Monday I was enjoying a lazy Victoria Day with Jules, watching movies and relaxing when I got a phone call from my boss at work asking that I come in a bit early the following day. I asked why and she said everyone was coming in and that she couldn't really tell me why.

Um... Yeah, she might as well have just said 'the business has been sold and/or will be closed down' because that's all any of us were thinking for the rest of the day and all freakin' night.

Sold ended up being the right answer and boy will it be a change. Going from working for a very large company to a smaller, less structured company is quite an adjustment. I don't even know how huge that change is yet because all week was spent just trying to regain control on the various components that keep the plant running. Honestly, this past week has been the most stressful week of my entire life. There is nothing like fighting with the old company to regain control of seemingly simple tasks (like, say, ordering materials!!) while simultaneously being shadowed by the new company because they need to understand our processes. I like the new company and the people I've met and I understand why they need to be there right now but it was stress overload. To top it all off, it is the old company's fiscal year end this weekend so on Friday I was trying to reconcile items to close that off but didn't have access to all the tools/programs to do it AND something was all fucked up in the numbers. Oh, add to that the fact that I was supposed to be in two meetings at the same time that were both mandatory... I was so upset I nearly threw up and burst into tears at my desk. I could hardly eat my stomach hurt so much. Every night I came home and just sat on the couch and stared off into space or sat in a hot bath for a couple hours before going to bed ridiculously early.

Luckily, I live with an amazing woman who took on the cooking, cleaning and support this week and weekend. She does not enjoy cooking but this week she was checking out recipes and we went shopping for the ingredients yesterday and she made an incredible vegan dinner and dessert for us last night. I nearly tear up just thinking about all she's done for me this week while I've been a stressed out zombie.

So, a lot of unknowns right now in regards to work but hopefully in a few weeks/months this will all be just a... well, painful memory. It's hard to change companies when not by choice... Work is my 9 hr relationship Monday to Friday... to have to change allegiance so suddenly (after 10 years) and try to adjust on the fly, it's mentally exhausting. Hopefully next week is better...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Experimenting with a vegan diet

Two weeks ago, I decided to switch to a vegan diet for a yet-to-be-determined period of time.

I've been asked several times in the past two weeks why I have 'gone vegan' and so abruptly. That is quickly followed with 'how are you going to get protein' and 'why are you wearing leather shoes then?' Yeah, I said vegan diet not straight up vegan. I'm honestly not doing this for the animals or the environment - I'm doing it because the skin on my face felt irritated constantly and frequently broke out with adult acne. I felt like garbage after eating yogurt, a dairy product I love to eat as a mid-day snack and cook East Indian dishes with. I was passing the meat section of the grocery store thinking, 'Well, I should pick up some kind of meat for this week' and then looking around and going 'ugh... we'll pass this week'.

Now, that's not to say I don't like meat on occasion. I really enjoy a good steak. Same with ham and bacon and lamb and eggs, dairy and shellfish. I just don't enjoy them as much as I used to. Skin irritation and indigestion aside, I don't feel the need to include most of these things in my daily meals. In the case of meat, I have a theory on why I've gradually become disenchanted with it. Up until two years ago (when I made a huge shift in the healthy direction food-wise) I would prepare or order meat in a meal at least once per day (always dinner, usually lunch and sometimes breakfast on the weekend). I learned from my family that a complete meal included meat. I also learned from my family how to season meat - heavily. Barbecue sauce, steak seasoning, chicken seasoning, fish seasoning, all containing a ton of salt and usually MSG. Two years ago I threw out all seasonings I had in the cupboard with MSG and salt. The result was less flavourful than it used to be but we got used to it and eventually became quite sensitive to food that had a lot of sodium in it. It was at this time that meat started dropping off the dinner menu one or two times a week. A year went by and meat started to be a two or three times a week fare. This year chicken and beef pretty much dropped off the radar (with the exception of a monthly steak). Pork stuck around but only because I had a whole package of pork chops from Costco in the freezer and let's face it, some days are really lazy cooking days. Less tasty seasoning = less tasty meat. Healthy eating has some casualties, I guess.

I'm going to stop rambling now (I'm slowly losing my train of thought because I'm watching Real Time with Bill Maher - he's interviewing Amy Chua, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and just say that within two days of switching to a vegan diet the skin on my face started looking awesome and my acne rescinded quite fast. For the first time in forever I have found it easier to fall asleep (usually I can't fall asleep unless I'm exhausted) and the quality of sleep at night has improved to the point that I can drag my sorry self out of bed after only hitting the snooze button once instead of the usual four or five times. I feel full longer during the day and I haven't been snacking in the evening. Despite eating more things like rice than I normally do, I've continued my weight loss. I'm still tracking through Weight Watchers and I find I'm using a few of my weekly flex points every day. Meanwhile I'm continuing to research recipes, medical studies and guides for this kind of diet because I don't want to miss out on any important nutrients. I honestly don't know how long I'll continue strictly with this diet (despite how much better I feel) because let's face it, some of my favourite things are made with dairy or egg product or honey, etc., but I think I'll be sticking with it for a while yet. It's like an experiment and hobby rolled into one right now. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Cleaning (It is Spring time, after all...)

I'm not sure how, but I've taken out six big black garbage bags full of stuff in the past week and yet our small apartment looks exactly the same. No wonder hoarders don't know where to start or give up several times!

Of course our apartment is kept fairly clean and organized so it's not like this stuff was lying around out in the open or anything. I re-organized and cleaned the kitchen cupboards. I donated non-perishables I no longer wanted (i.e. the box of microwave popcorn I shouldn't have around because I always tell myself I will only eat half the bag but I end up eating the entire thing because it's hard to have willpower when it comes to popcorn) to my mom and dad's kitchen pantry. I also got rid of some knives - for some reason we had accumulated a ridiculous amount of knives in all sorts of styles/varieties. I also got around to throwing out the nearly empty bags of cereal. You know when you're at the bottom of a box of cereal and there is almost enough for a bowl but there's also an inch of cereal dust so you keep it to use what's left when you open the new box... but you never go back to that little bit in the bag, you just keep using the new box. So, yeah, I had four of those nearly empty bags of various cereals thrown in the back of the cupboard. At least I have my bag clips back, I was wondering where they had gone.

I also tackled my side of the clothes closet. I'm in between sizes right now so some of my shirts look ridiculous on me while others are loose but still passable to wear. I pulled out all of the baggy stuff and some of my shorts that I know I'm never going to wear again. I got a little scared because it now looks like I have barely any clothes but when I think about it, the clothes I got rid of were just hanging there keeping the clothes I actually do wear company. I really should purchase some new articles of clothing at some point this year because I really am lacking but if I'm going to go down another clothing size or two this year, I don't want to waste the money. At least I'm lucky that I wear a lab coat all day at work so it isn't obvious that I wear the same stuff every week!

I went through my books to see if there was anything I could get rid of but I only picked out a few. We went through our books last fall and got rid of probably half a bookcase worth so there wasn't much to go through this time.

I rearranged our living room area back to how we had it last year. Julie may have a problem with that when she gets home tomorrow night but I'll fight her on it. She had the couch perpendicular to the television so nobody wanted to sit on it because of the angle. We'd end up sitting on a foot stool in front of the television or on the floor. So yeah, that was dumb even if it looked nice. Sometimes functionality has to beat style.

I think there are a few other things I can throw out or donate before Julie gets home. She's been texting me this week saying she's missing our nice clean and organized apartment and our quiet life (she's staying with people that have four year old twin girls). Oh, yeah, she's decided she doesn't want to go through with the child thing anymore and I'm sure her stay with these people has probably reinforced that decision. Her and I are at a crossroads now because of this and I'm not sure where it will be leaving us. Weeks of thinking on it has not helped me resolve anything in my mind so not sure what our next step will be.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I was thinking this morning, 'hm... how do I motivate myself to give the apartment a really good clean?' - you know, those jobs that get put off until last - cleaning baseboards, cupboard doors, dusting picture frames and ceiling vents, etc. Stuff you don't really notice until you're sitting there and suddenly realize the thermostat has a carpet of dust on top.

I decided to go with the motivator that never fails - inviting people over for dinner. Now I can't seem to stop myself from cleaning. By the time they get here, I'm going to be ready for a nap.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random thoughts and questions to myself from this evening

If you're going to stand in the change room at the gym talking on your cell phone, you can at least do it without glancing around at all of the people around you changing with a distasteful look on your face. Yeah honey, you ain't that great looking either.

I quite enjoyed watching the men running by me on the track this evening. Where do I fall on the gay/straight spectrum?

Is Twitter really something I need to get into? I'm pretty sure I have enough distractions, despite being occasionally witty.

Should I pay $5.99 to watch The King's Speech on VOD even though I saw it in the theatre? Um, yes, I should. I loved that movie.

Making mini pizzas on pita bread always makes me think of Stacey. The thought never occurred to me until she introduced me to them 3+ years ago. Thank you, Stace - You make dinner easy for me several times a month. That's what I had this evening. :)

Speaking of Stacey... I miss my friends. :(

Julie told me to look after our babies (two shamrock plants) while she's away. One of the plants looks like it's almost dead and the other one, RIGHT beside it looks totally healthy. Clearly that plant loves Julie more than me.

I hate the week before my period. I want to eat EVERYTHING (or as I call it, 'eat the house'). Ugh... Weight Watchers doesn't have enough weekly points to cover that kind of disaster. It ends up being a 'vacation week'.

I love the vegetarian chili I make so much, I think I could eat it every day. Too bad my freezer can't handle more than a few containers at a time or I'd really go to town. 4 pts for a bowlful that totally fills me up. Mmmmm... And of course with soaking/rinsing the beans thoroughly, there are no, um, unpleasant side-effects. :)

Sometimes I wish I didn't work at a food processing plant. I miss being able to wear jewellery (especially earrings and necklaces) all the time and nail polish and have my hair look as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning (darn hair nets and bump caps). Oh, not to mention sandals and capris. :(

My mom is such a nut. She went to Wal-Mart and freaked out when she couldn't find her favourite sugar free butterscotch candies. She went on and on about how they aren't sold in Canada anymore and I'm thinking, 'I swear I saw them at Rexall the other day when I was buying other sugar free candy for my diabetic friend for Easter...' and told her she's probably mistaken about that and that I was sure other stores still carried them. My mom flat out refused to believe that however and my sister tells me today that she ordered an entire case of them from the United States. I went to Rexall to pick up some waterproof band aids after work (wary of having my healing finger in the public swimming pool...ugh) and sure enough hanging by the cash register, an entire row of these sugar free butterscotch candies. And there is my proof that our mothers occasionally do not always know best. ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home Alone

Julie is in New Brunswick for two weeks so I'm on my own at the moment. It is very strange to be the only person at home; I almost forget how to be by myself! The television is not on if I don't want it to be on and nobody minds if I'm on the computer for a while. Nobody is waiting for dinner to be made and nobody cares if the dishwasher ran or the laundry is done...

Hm... Yeah, after two days of this, I'm over the thrill. :(

I bought her an iPhone last week (early b-day present) after her mp3 player broke. She's taken to the new technology like a house on fire... she's twittering, texting, watching netflix, skyping, reading books, playing scrabble and using the iPod all the damn time! I think my iPhone is jealous of all the attention hers is getting. The Facetime feature is AWESOME for keeping in touch - basically it's skype but without the constant 'You froze... Should we restart? No? Hello? Oh, there you are... Yep, still frozen but I can hear you...' We did the Facetime thing this evening and it was fantastic. The only downside to that is both people have to be hooked up to wifi at the time, it doesn't work over 3G. So between that and texting, I guess I'm not really that lonely after all. :)

This evening I watched a couple of episodes of Hoarders: Buried Alive on TLC. One thing I don't understand (and believe me, I understand everyone is different and I don't know how it feels to actually live in a house with a hoarder) is why do the other adults living in these houses not put up a fight and challenge the hoarder? Why are there always these grown up kids that yell at their mom for being a hoarder but they're sitting on their lazy ass in front of a computer? Trash all over the floor... rodents running around... holy hell... I would get out a trash bag!!! Mom? You don't like this? Tough!! I'm throwing out the 48 slurpee containers you have stacked beside the bathroom sink(?)!!

Of course the ones that have OCD, that's a whole other story and usually requires a much different approach. I'm talking about the ones that are just suddenly shocked one day that their house is packed full and they don't know where to begin. But again, it is easy to criticize having never been in something like that. I always think of the one episode where the young boy ended up moving himself out to the back shed to live in a sleeping bag because his parents had his room crammed with stuff. Or the guy who refused to at least clean up the staircase after his wife tripped over a stack of magazines and broke her leg on the way down. Sometimes it's heartbreaking. :(

On that note, I'm off to tidy up the kitchen.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fingers, movies and freezers...

Hm.... Earlier today I either did something, saw something, or thought something that made me think, 'Ooooh, I want to blog about that.' Do you think I can remember it now? Nope. However, I decided to update anyway. And my GOD, this time I'm bookmarking the site so I'll come back to it more often.

Where to begin... Apparently typing without using my left index finger is like riding a bike... Then again I've had to type that way for 6 - 7 months twice before so I suppose it is a talent that will stick around for a while. I had yet another surgery on my finger a week and a half ago (third time's a charm?) and I thought it would take me a while to get back to typing this way but thankfully that wasn't the case. Easing back into work has been much easier than the last two times. I worked a few hours on Wednesday, half a day on Thursday and most of the day on Friday. This week I expect to work my full 40 hrs without getting wiped out. It's crazy how surgery really saps a person's energy.

The surgeon was pretty happy with how it went this time, compared to last time when he basically said, 'Well, hopefully that helped some but don't expect much.' This time, right before the surgery I told him, 'Look, I don't care if I come out of this with a finger that looks hideous and deformed. Hell, I don't care if I wake up and my finger is gone. I'm aware that a career as a hand model is out of reach at this point... Do whatever you have to do to get me as close to pain-free as you can.' Apparently that was the pep talk he needed because I woke up with my finger looking like it belonged to Frankenstein. He was almost apologetic when I saw him for the follow-up visit last week as he explained that he ended up removing more bone and most of my nail bed to get out the damn tumor. Evidently I will have a pretty hideous finger once this is all healed up. As long as this is the last surgery for a long time, I couldn't care less. :)

Anyway, enough boring finger news...

(not like the rest of my life is that much more exciting...)

This weekend has been very low key and restful here. We've watched a lot of movies and most were pretty good, only one made us wish we could erase our minds and wish we could have that time back:

Deliverance - I had never seen this movie before though I knew it was some sort of back woods horror-type movie. AMC was playing it all evening on Friday so I decided to watch it. For a movie made in the early 70's, it still has the ability to disturb the de-sensitized people of today. When Burt Reynolds' character ends up with a broken leg, I actually got nervous thinking, 'Who is going to get them out of there now?? They are screwed!!!'. I don't think this is a movie I could watch for a while but I thought it was very well done.

Black Swan - Ugh... Disturbing, disgusting, uncomfortable, infuriating, boring... Deliverance was nothing compared to how gross and creepy this one was. We actually had an argument half way through the movie yesterday because Julie wanted it turned off and I wanted to get through it to see if it eventually became decent. It is not often that I hate a movie this much but this one is definitely in my top five worst of all time. Mila Kunis was very appealing though, that's the one highlight I enjoyed. Julie won't even talk about it, I think she's been scarred for life.

Daybreakers - I put this one on last night expecting it to just be a background noise while I played on Facebook but from the beginning I was hooked and when it ended, I was actually disappointed that it was over already. I really enjoyed it and I think I might watch it again before it is taken off of Movie Central. I think I might have a crush on Ethan Hawke... the man is beautiful. :)

Point Of Origin - This was a made-for-TV movie from about 10 years ago that Julie found somewhere on cable. It starred Ray Liotta and John Leguizamo and is about an arsonist that they are trying to find but ends up being a fireman. Not bad but a little predictable.

Love and Other Drugs - This one started out nice and cute but then got pretty heavy for a rom-com and kind of flat lined. I kind of wished I had waited for it to get on Movie Central instead of paying $4.99 for it.

Eat Pray Love - This one I watched earlier in the week. I did not expect to like it at all and only put it on because I was all drugged up and needed something to stare at one day but I ended up loving it. I watched it two days in a row. I think I would like to also read the book. I now understand why this was made into a movie.

I have also totally fallen in love with The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO. It is an animated show based on the record-breaking pod casts from a few years back. I love shows that make me actually laugh out loud. I ended up ordering the first season off of Amazon.ca so that I can watch it whenever. Absolutely hilarious and brilliant and just thinking about it makes me want to log off and watch an episode. :)

Now totally changing the topic... I wish we had enough space in our small condo apartment to have a small chest freezer. The fridge freezer is packed full right now and because of that things aren't freezing properly. :( I like to make batches of things like spaghetti sauce, chili and stew and so that takes up a lot of space and then I have some Weight Watcher Smart Ones for last minute lunches for work and then there are the bags of frozen fruit and vegetables. Totally packed. I hate it. I don't want to stop making batches of stuff because doing that is a godsend some nights (or this past week when I haven't been able to cook and Julie has been left in charge of preparing the food...) I can't wait until the day we can move into our own place... sigh...

Speaking of Weight Watchers, I've been doing that for the past two months. The online membership, not going to meetings. I think if I couldn't use the online tools, I wouldn't be as diligent in keeping track. There are also a lot of great resources online (member boards, recipes, articles, recipe builder, etc.) that make it easier. I'm currently at my lowest weight in about five years so I'm pretty happy with how it is going. My sister started in October and has lost 40 lbs so far. I don't remember the last time she was this slim. Absolutely amazing.

[Edited to put spaces between the paragraphs... what the heck? I never had to do that before! Very annoying...]