Thursday, July 29, 2010

We're Moving?!

Life is actually… trucking.

I am still working overtime at work, banking hours for whenever I need holidays. I am currently at 13.5 hours banked, which is pretty decent when you consider that I have taken off 16 hours this month (8 hours for a sick day, 8 hours to leave a day early for Calgary, for my cousin’s wedding) – I’ll post a few prime pictures of the wedding yet, hopefully this weekend.

I am currently in the process of switching over our addresses. A time consuming process? It is. Of course, the only way I can get it done is to do it at work, over my lunch break because few of the places are open nights. It only goes to say then that I would completely forget that I need to bring account numbers and such for reference.

Maybe I can enlist some of you frequent movers for help. I have thought up the following places that I need to submit a change of address:

- Government of Saskatchewan
- Government of Canada
-SaskTel (home)
- SaskTel Mobility (Me and G)
- Saskatoon Light & Power
- Friends / Family
- Magazine subscriptions
- Banks
-OneMatch
- Work (Me and G)
- Previous work within a year (Me and G)
- Doctor
- Dentist
- Optometrist
- University
- Library

… Did I miss anything? Is there a big gaping hole in there where mail I’ve forgotten will go to die?
But people, we get possession Sunday. (Holy cow, we get possession Sunday!) Reality hasn’t quite kicked in. Sunday. Like, three days from now. 10am, Sunday. Wow. I’ll post pictures!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - Take 4



Ten Things to do Instead of Watch TV

1 – Surf the internet: the internet has a million things to look at, play with, and watch that are fully customized to your liking. In fact, I spend much more time on the internet than watching TV because of this very fact.

2 – Read a book: seriously. The way I see it, if you don’t get at least one novel finished every month, you are not spending enough time reading. (This is a big distinction by the way, from my childhood belief that you had to finish at least two novels/week.)

3 – Take a walk / bike ride: If the weather is good, why not get out of the house? No matter where you are, there is always somewhere to go. You can go along the river (if you are in Saskatoon), or go down the street looking at houses (if you are in a town or city), or you can just go down the road and take in the fresh air, if you are on the farm. Just go.

4 – Go out for coffee: In my area, there are tons of cute little coffee shops begging me to grace their doorways with my presence. (Okay, that may be an exaggeration. Maybe the begging is more on my end.) But my point is, coffee shops are a great place to connect with friends/family/loved ones, and take in a bit of the local culture at the same time.

5 – Go to a play: The boob-tube isn’t the only way to escape into an alternate reality, where everything is scripted and laid out in front of you. In fact, plays are a great way to a) socialize, b) have fun, c) unwind, d) have a laugh/cry, e) all of the above

6- Go to an art show or museum: Okay, I am guilty with this one. I always say that I want to get down to the Mendel Art Gallery to see their shows… I probably say that every time a new show is announced. However, I have yet to ever go to the Gallery! This is on my list of stuff to do this year though (we’ll see if I actually get to it).

7 – Knit/Cross-stitch: Bringin’ out my grandmotherly side here :P I love to relax by knitting or cross-stitching. Right now I’m cross-stitching a piece for my future sister-in-law’s nursery.

8 – Clean: If I spend a lot of time watching TV, chances are it means I’m procrastinating and my house is a mess.

9 – Bake: Maybe this should have gone before clean. I love to bake. Unfortunately, I don’t eat the baking, and it usually ends up either a) going bad before it gets finished, or b) passed around at work

10 – Sleep. Argh I am so tired right now, and while it isn’t the case today, this often occurs because I ‘have’ to finish my television program before I go to bed…

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We Interrupt this Program...

In case you weren’t aware, (which I think half the world is), I’ve been tearing my hair out for a few weeks now. (Figuratively speaking of course.)

See, I found out on the 8th that my contract at work has been extended from the end of August to the end of April.

Now, I’ve been looking for a job for the fall for some time now, but there isn’t a lot available at the moment. At least, not a lot available that I’m not overqualified for. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
So when I found out that my contract had been extended, Gilles and I decided that it was time for us to move.

Thus started the never-ending discussion. Well, when can we afford to move? Not September, because having to come up with first and last month rent would be too much on top of my tuition, especially if Gilles is gone to school.

October could work, but by then all of the good housing has been swallowed up by the University students.
We quickly came to the conclusion that while it would make money tight for a couple of months, the best time to move would be August.

This launched me into a frantic search for rentals on Kijiji, the Star Phoenix website, and the websites of rental companies I could think of. We saw several places in two weeks, a few of which were offered to us. Unfortunately, the ones that were offered to us were typically too expensive, or in a neighborhood I was uncomfortable with (not good for someone who is paranoid of having her place being broken into), or in too rough of shape.

On Tuesday of last week, we were ready to sign papers for a place owned by Boardwalk. We had to wait until morning, as the office was closed for the day. That night, we got a phone call. See, I had posted an ad that Gilles and I were looking for a place on Kijiji, as my boss had told me she knows several people who rent out places that merely go through the Wanted ads, rather than actually posting the place and having to field 100 calls.

So, we got this phone call on Tuesday night at ~ 9:30PM, from a woman who has a house for rent. She wanted us to drive by the house and see if we were interested, and then give her a call back. We looked at the place, and loved what we saw. We called back immediately.

Our appointment to see the place was on Friday. Both Gilles and I fell in love with the place, and had a very hard time not getting our hopes up. She told us afterward that we are the type of people that she is looking for to rent the place, but still had a couple of appointments to show the place on Sunday, so there was no guarantee we would get it.

At work yesterday, I overheard a phone call that my boss received. At first I didn’t clue in on what was going on, just that she was talking about me a lot. It didn’t clue in that she was giving a reference for me until she said “Well, I’ve only met Gilles a couple times…”

I was walking on eggshells for the rest of the work day, wanting to get home to check the answering machine terribly bad.

At lunch, I received a phone call (immediately after exploding my bowl of soup all over the microwave) from a couple that had been holding a duplex for us. She asked if we had any idea what our situation was yet. I told her that we were still waiting to hear back from the lady about the house, but were expecting to hear back that day. She told me that they could no longer hold the duplex for us. It killed me to let that opportunity pass, but I said okay. I was still quite shaken from my soup exploding, so I don’t know whether I said thank-you or anything.

Gilles got home before me, and informed me that the only message on our machine was from CAA – none about the house. I asked my neighbor if she had been phoned for a reference, and she said no. I started to worry. (After all, isn’t that what I do best?)

Finally, shortly after Gilles and I sat down to eat supper, the phone rang. Despite the fact that we have no Call ID, and she usually called later in the night, I knew it was her. She asked Gilles to put her on speaker-phone. Aaaand… *drumroll please* we got the house! (Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?)
We sign the papers and hand over August’s rent tonight. Gilles wants me to wait to put it on Facebook until he can tell his family in person, which I can understand. Upon my asking if I could put it on my blog, he responded “Yeah, I don’t care. No one reads it anyway”.

Thanks, sweetie.

Although it is difficult to see in this picture, this is our new home:
(Soon-to-be) Home Sweet Home

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - Take 3

Today’s Ten on Tuesday is 10 things to bring camping.

As I was supposed to go camping this weekend (but unfortunately didn’t so I don’t have any delicious photos for you), this list should be quite easy to write up…

1. A tent. If you’re going to stay in a trailer or a cabin, that’s not camping. You might-as-well stay in a hotel and spend your days on the campground and call it camping. T-E-N-T.

2. Sandals. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, having to go to the bathroom or whatever else, and having to stick your feet in cold, wet shoes. (Okay, there are many worse things but you know what I’m getting at). Make it easy on yourself and wear sandals.

3. A good book. Whether you are relaxing on the beach, or chillin’ by the fire, a good book is your best companion while camping.

4. Hot dog sticks and pie plates. If it can’t be stuck on a stick or fried in a pie plate, I’m not eating it while camping.

5. Bug spray. We live in Saskatchewan. ‘Nuf said.

6. A ‘sexy’ hat. Don’t even pretend you’re going to do your hair while camping. You’ll be lucky if you even get me to brush my hair while camping. Grab, add elastic, add hat, good to go!

7. A bathing suit. Okay, maybe most people can’t do this, but seeing as I used to work 60 hrs/week as a lifeguard/swimming instructor, I’m used to it… People, you’re not going to see me fully dressed very often while camping. My bathing suit, and maybe a pair of shorts/sweats becomes the extent of my wardrobe while camping.

8. Good runners. Remember what I said about sandals? Good. Don’t use these runners in the middle of the night. I’m talking tight, lace up runners that will give you some grip and support. Because baby, I’m not hiking in flip flops.

9. Newspapers. As ‘farm girl’ and ‘outdoorsy’ as I may claim to be, I also have little patience when it comes to fires. When I want a fire, I want it now. I don’t want to sit down and smack rocks together or even start pieces of bark with my matches. I want a bunch of newspaper so I can crunch it up under my wood teepee, and tip a lighter underneath it. Voila. Instant fire.

10. Aloe Vera. Did you notice sunscreen was missing from the list? That’s for a good reason. Sure, I’d pack it. I always do. Problem is, I never remember to put it on until it’s too late. Thus, some good aloe vera to cool down the burn is infinitisimally more important than sunscreen.

Happy camping!

Fun Finds Friday

No, I am not going to turn every day of the week into a ‘special day’ that focuses on one particular thing — that would make the blog too predictable and negate the very reason I am writing this blog – to express myself, my opinions, and essentially, create an interactive life journal.
 
However, one of the things that I really enjoy doing during my free time is some online ‘window shopping’. I rarely buy anything on these excursions, it is merely an excuse to look and imagine. I also find that this is a great way to inspire me creatively as well.

Fun Finds Friday will feature five things each week that I have found in my online adventures, that I think are great enough to share with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy putting it together!

Today’s Fun Finds are all from Etsy.com, a great handmade and antique goods site where anyone can become a businessperson.

1. Original Rainbow Mushroom Charm Bracelet – by Until It Ends [Studios]

Too fabulous for words.
 

Who says honesty is the best policy?

3. Dreamy Soapy Pop – by soapylove

I would be very tempted to eat this soap, but think of the possibilities with this soap!

4. Madison Red dupioni silk clutch with black velvet lace – by Julia SherryDesigns

This clutch matches my red shoes perfectly….

5. AAA Peridot 5mm Round Brilliant Sterling Silver Swirl Ring – by Cavalier Creations

SUCH a gorgeous little ring!

EDIT: Sorry the pictures aren`t in line with the comments… After several edits I am still unable to get this to stay lined up properly.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - Take 2

Today’s Ten on Tuesday topic is “10 Things You Like About Where You Live”.

While this topic is rather generic and could apply to the actual building, the city, the province, or even the country, I will speak to the apartment I am in right now. As I mentioned yesterday, I think that this will really cleanse my mind and help me move on.

So, here we go:

10     Things I like about my Apartment:

1.     The price. The apartment I am currently in is quite literally the cheapest price that you can get on a single bedroom apartment on the East side of the city. I’m only paying $545/month for rent, and that includes heat and water.

2.    The size. For a one bedroom apartment, mine is actually quite large. Gilles moved in after I had already furnished the apartment, so we have two of almost everything jammed into the apartment. Granted, it is using up every single inch of available wall-space and we are having to be very creative about finding storage for everything, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a single bedroom apartment elsewhere that could fit:
    • Bedroom:
      • A double bed
      • Three dressers
      • An entertainment centre
      • A small half-table
      • Two plastic storage units
    • Living room
      • Three bookshelves
      • Two rocking chairs
      • Two couches (one full, one loveseat/hideabed)
      • An entertainment centre
      • A large DVD cabinet
      • A side-table
      • My fish tank
      • Gilles’ hockey equipment
      • Two desks
    • Bathroom
      • A plastic storage unit under the sink
      • A laundry basket doubling as a towel basket under the sink
    • Kitchen
      • Stove
      • Double-sink
      • Fridge
      • Family-sized table
      • 4 chairs
      • A filing cabinet
      • A microwave
      • My coffeemaker
      • A toaster-oven (on top of microwave, on top of filing cabinet – as I said, creative storage)
      • A 4×4′ deep freezer
3.    The proximity to everything. For university, this apartment was perfect. It is only a 20 minute bike ride to campus, and there are three grocery stores within a five-block range (and two more just out of that). It is also within walking distance to the Centre Mall, and is very easy for people to find and get to if they aren’t used to the city.

4.    The ‘non-floodingness’. Okay, I know that isn’t a word, but we could have been in big trouble this spring. Many homes had their basements flooded in the ridiculous amount of rain that Saskatoon has faced, but we were lucky enough to just have some irritatingly leaky windows. Nothing a towel couldn’t mop up.

5.   When all is well and good in the world, the apartment cools down fast. I have to add “when all is well and good in the world”, because we have had a lot of problems with hot water leaking from the bathtub faucet, and thus making the apartment impossible to cool down. However, when the tub is not leaking, it is very easy and very quick to cool down the apartment, as it has both north and east facing windows, and the layout allows for great air circulation.

6. Great neighbours. Granted, we have had a few… scary neighbours over the last two years that I lived there. (One got hauled out by the cops and there was a notice on the door saying that he would be charged with a criminal offense if he tried to enter the building, for two weeks.) But one of the biggest things I’ve noticed about cities is that no one talks to each other. If you don’t know anyone when you move into your place, chances are you won’t know them when they move out. It is like that with about half of our neighbours. But the other half, we talk to on a regular basis, and can even call some of them friends (and no, we didn’t know anyone when we moved in.)

7. I don’t have to share my place with strangers. Both Gilles and I have tried the “move in with someone you’ve never met and hope to God you get along” method, and neither worked out very well. I love being able to come home to our own place, without having to worry about whether John Doe will bring home another random girl or Jane Doe will flip out because I didn’t (heaven forbid) shake out my shoes before coming in.

8. No yardwork. I am not sure whether to list this as a pro or a con. I really enjoy yardwork, and look forward to the possibility of having a compost bin and collecting rainwater, and having a garden – but I don’t enjoy shovelling snow, and I know that sometimes the yardwork added on top of everything else in my life will make me crazy.

9. Well-patrolled. A big part of the problem that I have with the apartment that I am in now, is the safety level. However, it has always given me some piece of mind that the front of the apartment is patrolled regularily, as well as the alley. As brutal as it may sound, I like knowing that if my place gets broken into or I get killed, the cops will notice the same day.

10. They never once increased the rent. I know that this could fall under the financial category as listed before, but I think that this deserves a special number. Despite the fact that the lease is month-to-month and they could have increased rent at any time (and many would argue deservedly so based on the price, despite the quality of the building). The fact that I never have to worry about coming up with rent here has been a definite plus.

Well, that was a lot harder to do than I had hoped, but I think that it helped a lot. I am able to look at the apartment … well, almost in a fond sense. Not quite, but close. At the very least, I no longer destest it.
I do have three appointments to view other properties tonight however, and that may have something to do with my current mindset as well :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Race is On!

So, wow. SO much has happened in the last few days that I have to actually go back and read my blog to see where I am… hold on… ok.

So, we have come to a new conclusion that oddly didn’t occur to either of us: pay August’s rent, get the damage deposit back at the end of August to help with tuition in September. Move into new place during August.

I have certainly kept busy. We currently have appointments set up to see townhouses on almost every day this week (except for Wednesday, that is reserved for Mr. Shakespeare). Tomorrow, we see two.
In addition, my grandmother is in the hospital getting both her hips replaced today, and will be staying there for two weeks. Our neighbour is also in the hospital, so we will likely hit two birds with one stone and stop by her room on the way to visit my grandmother the first time.

Oh yeah, and I’ve fallen behind on schoolwork again. It’s shaping up to be a busy week, so if you don’t hear from me a lot, that is why.

Despite all these huge changes, I am happy as a pig in mud right now. I have gotten so many positive vibes sent my way lately… so thank you to all who are sending them!!

A couple weeks ago, despite being afraid of my apartment and mad at my landlord, I didn’t feel that it was time to move yet. I felt that I still had issues to work out, and come to terms with. But over the past week and a half, there have been so many signs that it is time that it amazes me. It couldn’t be more obvious if I got slapped across the face with it.

I have also had a few that have pushed me to become more content with where I am now, and settle my mindset about my current living arrangements before I leave, so that I don’t bring that garbage with me. I am well on my way, and tomorrow’s Ten on Tuesday reflects that.

I hope the positive vibes are being sent your way too.

‘Til tomorrow!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Metaphysical Hangover

Hungover… if you can call it that. Is there such thing as an excitement hangover? Even if it didn’t include alcohol, or drugs, or sugar? (Or anything else you can get hungover from?) Perhaps this would be better described as a metaphysical hangover.

See, yesterday was huge. Yesterday I went from “Grrr I have to find a job for September but all I can find are these piddly little jobs that I’m overqualified for and thus no one wants to interview me” to “OMG OMG OMG”.

Pique your attention?

See, they’ve decided to extend my contract where I am currently working. Instead of expiring at the end of August, my contract will now expire at the end of April. Another eight months. Did I mention that I have the best job ever? (Okay, the best job ever in my field with decent pay :P ) My boss announced this to me before she left work for the day, leaving me bouncing around like a rabbit on steroids for an hour before it was time for me to go home. (Don’t ask me where that analogy came from, I have no idea)

Anyway, my boss definitely got to see some of that excitement too: “I’m going to bring a plant in, ‘cuz at the beginning of the summer I wanted to bring a plant in but didn’t, ‘cuz I figured it would only be here for four months and then die ‘cuz there’s like, no light in my apartment, and I’m gonna bring pictures, ‘cuz when my mom came to visit she was sad that I had no pictures of her on my desk, and I think that it is a good thing to have pictures of your family on your desk but I was only gonna be here for four months so I didn’t bring any, and…” Yeah. She laughed in response, and told me that I was funny. Soo… maybe I was a little hyper.
This excitement only increased when I got home. I texted Gilles while I was at work, telling him I had something really, really exciting to tell him but that I didn’t want to tell him ’til I got home. Of course, he guessed it right away. I also texted Elsie, saying “The best thing in the world just happened to me.” Her response (and I should have thought of that) was “You got engaged?!” …. So… I guess getting to keep my job longer is the second best thing in the world that could have happened to me.

Anyway, while all this is going on, there is another thought poking at the side of my brain. Everything happens for a reason. It’s time to move.

So, last night I scanned the newspapers and Kijiji looking for places that would be suitable. I then printed them off, and stacked them neatly on the tv tray in the living room (yeah, we’re classy). Now all I have to do is wait for Gilles to look through them and decide which of the ones I think would be suitable, he thinks would be suitable. Once he has done that, I will start making appointments to see places.

Oddly enough, last night a thought came to me. All this time I’ve been thinking that we have to move in September, because we have to give a month’s notice on the apartment. But what if we can give up the damage deposit, and in doing so leave at the end of July? I will have to look into that, because otherwise September will equal: first and last months rent on new place, tuition, and Gilles (possibly) not have been working for a month. So… moving on the first of August would be most feasible, from a financial deposit.
Now, let’s see if I can swing it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ten on Tuesday - Take 1

Following in the footsteps of one of my favourite bloggers, I have decided to join Carole Knits’  “Ten on Tuesday” posse.

The idea is that every Tuesday she will email you a new topic. For each topic you must come up with and blog about ten things that you like about said topic. I think it is a great way to spread out some positive energy.

Anyway, today’s topic is Ten Ways to Celebrate Summer.

(By the way – these pictures aren’t mine, I just thought it would look way cooler with a photo collage :D )


10 Ways to Celebrate Summer

1. Camping – Can’t. Wait. Soon! I get to finally go tenting on the 16th!

2. Sunbathing – I loove to stretch out like a cat in the sun with a good book.

3. Attending festivals – Jazzfest, Summer Solstice, Taste of Saskatchewan, Folkfest…. (Hey look! My sister is in the picture of people dancing at Solstice! Cool!)

4. Barbequeing – Nothing says summer like freshly barbequed steak, vegetable shish-kabobs, and corn on the cob.

5. Swimming – I used to be a lifeguard, what can I say?

6. Walk along the river – I like to get out at least every second night if not every night to walk around the
river. It gets me some exercise and some one-on-one time with my sweetie.

7. Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan (Okay, so this year will be my first year going, but I have been going to plays like they are going out of style lately)

8. Garden – My little parking lot garden has become almost an obsession this year. Whoulda thunk I’d be sitting on the concrete pulling little tiny weeds out of potted plants?

9. Picnics – I love to go down to the riverside and cook hamburgers on their public grill. My only regret on this front however is that you have to buy wood at the 7-11 and haul it down there… it would be nice to have a site nearby to buy wood and support the city at the same time.

10. Fresh fruit and vegetables! – I absolutely love eating the fruit and vegetables from my parents and grandparents farms as it comes into season. I visit in the summer, help out in the garden a bit, and get sent home with bags and bags of produce!
Hmm… I noticed that many of these are food-related. Perchance I am hungry??

Friday, July 2, 2010

Murder, She Wrote

I probably shouldn’t be writing about this. I mean, the police didn’t tell me not to say anything, but it feels like I could… I dunno, be affecting the investigation or something. But I can’t help it. I’ve tried to tell people in pieces, tell them what happened, but people get tired of my dithering and I find myself apologizing for it.
I’m going to start at the beginning.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt safe in my apartment. I’ve known since shortly after I moved in that my neighbors were… well, lets just say that they had a lot of visitors at all hours of the day and night. But I’ve never really had any problems with them. I’ve been living there for almost two years now.

In the first week of December, I woke up to a shout. “Fuck that!” The sound is engraved into my head. Seconds after that shout I heard the first crash. Glass breaking. Our neighbours window. I started to panic. A fraction of a second later, the window exploded above our heads. I don’t remember moving. But the next thing I knew, I was shrieking at the end of the bed, and Gilles was slowly sitting up, groggily trying to calm me down. There was glass everywhere.

As soon as I calmed down enough to regain my mind, I told Gilles to call 9-1-1. I was still in too strong of hysterics to do so myself.

I went out into the hallway, dressed only in my pjs, and found several of my neighbours there. The cops made it to the apartment in less than two hours. An hour later, I found out that they had caught the guy. This event, traumatic to me, was the result of a temper tantrum on his part.

Since then, I have had a hard time sleeping there. I didn’t sleep through the night for months, waking up of nightmares. I had Christmas lights up over the window at the time, blue ones. I still haven’t taken them down. Every night I turn them on; they have become my safety blanket.

The first time that I had to sleep there by myself was awful. I spent most of the night awake, walking from window to window and back again, checking to make sure no one wanted to hurt me. When I finally did fall asleep, it was with every light in the apartment on, and hugging a baseball bat.

By the end of February, the nightmares were starting to go away. Instead of every night, I was only waking up 3 or 4 times / week.

Then, we went on a trip to the farm.

We left the city late – it must have been 10pm already when we left. I can’t remember why it was so late.
I was sleeping in the car, Gilles was driving.

Shortly after we drove through Chamberlain, Gilles woke me up. We were stopped. There was a car on the rest stop in front of us, engulfed in fire.

So, we called 9-1-1. We sat there and watched the car burn for an hour and a half before the fire truck go there. It was a volunteer team, from a town an hour away. By the time they got there, there was nothing left but the frame. The paint had even burnt off.



After that happened, my nightmares came back full-force, except this time they were breaking the windows on my car before coming to rob / hurt us. Go figure.

On Wednesday, I found my neighbour sitting on the front steps inside of the apartment building. He was in rough shape. It looked like he had been living on the street for awhile, and that someone had given him a good beating. I asked him if he was okay and if there was anything I could do to help. His response was tell me to go to my apartment and leave him alone. He thanked me when I finally agreed.

Today, when I was leaving the apartment to go home there was a bunch of police officers in the building. I asked them if everything was ok, they said no. They told me that Fred was dead, and asked me when the last time that I saw him was. I told them.

I asked them if it was a natural death, they said that they couldn’t tell me.

I’m glad I don’t have to stay there this weekend.
November 30th, 2011 - Present

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