Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Move home and let Mom sort it out

There have been very few (if any) days in my adult life where I thought moving home and letting my Mom take care of everything was a good idea.

Today, I believe this may be the best solution (not really, kind of).

Being a parent is hard. Being a grown up is hard. Having to cook 300 days a year is hard (I'm allowing for a lot of take-out/restaurant meals). Cleaning the house is hard (because it just keeps getting dirty). Cleaning windows is hard. Home maintenance is hard. Working is hard.

I want to be that kid that spends hours in the basement playing "Office" with my siblings. I want to be the kid who plays endlessly in the dirt surrounding our acreage with my brother's Tonka trucks and the homemade trucks my Grandpa made us. I want to play Barbies with my sister. I want to write stories. I want to come home from school and have my Mom smiling with homemade cookies for a snack the yummy smell of dinner cooking in the oven.

I'll even weed the garden and spend 3/4 of the summer shelling peas. Oh, how we spent our summers shelling peas (and taking the ends of green beans and picking raspberries and digging carrots and dusting the cauliflower and broccoli with toxins to kill bugs). Heck, I'll even take my elderly Grandmother shopping every single Saturday (without complaint) and I promise I won't die of embarrassment  when she farts in every isle.

I want fresh sheets on my beds, clean laundry in my drawers and a hug from my Mom telling me tomorrow would be a better day. My life wasn't a Normal Rockwell painting but there are days now where I reflect on my childhood with longing and desire. I was always in such a hurry to grow up that now that I have, I think young me was a total moron. Being a grown up is damn hard and it isn't nearly as much fun as I expected it to be.

Sure, I have a job (sort of) and it pays well and I can buy "things" I want but I can't buy everything I want because, you know, I have to eat (and feed my own little TroubleMaker) and make house payments and pay bills and save for TroubleMaker's university education. I can't bunk off my responsibilities and because I'm not independently wealthy, I've actually travelled less as an adult then I did as a teenager.

Then one has to factor in the whole "getting old" stuff. How things hurt now that didn't before and how the ground keeps getting further and further away from me (and it's not because I'm growing taller). My neck and back are aching and my sight and hearing's fading for crying out loud - this grown up thing is stupid.

Seriously, it's not really that bad but I'm certainly willing to go to my Mom's for a few days and just lay on her couch and let her serve take care of me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - September 28 to October 4, 2013

Last weeks menu changed. I forgot my husband was having some dental work done. This didn't phase me, though. It meant SOUP! I love soup. He isn't a huge fan, however, with a sore mouth, he was good with my choices! I got to make two of my three favourites! Baked Potato and Leek (with bacon and cheese) and Peppery Corn Chowder (weird, they changed the name of it - PS I never use evap milk, just regular old 1%). The best part? Leftovers! Yippee! I also "invented" my own version of Boston Pizza's "Bandera Bread". My son loves that stuff - mine really wasn't anything like BP's, but TroubleMaker loved it and ate nearly half of the thing himself..

This week we're in soft food mode, although he's anxious for ham (we spent all day today (Sunday) picnicking and taking pictures in the country so I didn't make it yesterday)!

Monday: Mom's crockpot ham and scalloped potatoes
Tuesday: Fettuccine Alfredo
Wednesday: Breakfast burritos
Thursday: Creamy ham and mashed potatoes
Friday: Crockpot chicken teriyaki, fried rice and stir fried veggies
Saturday: Pizza Party!

Sharing with the Org Junkie. Have a great week, eat well!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Perception of Poverty and the NHL

Warning: I'm feeling ranty and generally fed up with society.

This morning "news" broke locally about an NHL'er and his recently signed deal (read it here). The "Nuge" was signed for seven more years - for 42 million US (that's 42 with six (6) zeroes).

Did I mention he's a hockey player?

Yay for him. I'm sure he's very talented and he's worked hard to get where he is. Although I think his salary is ridiculous (we don't pay people to save lives anywhere where near that much - see here for the average of a GP in Alberta - my math calcs come up with about $170,000 annually), that's only one of the problems with this story.

The first line of the "news" story states: EDMONTON - During his peewee years growing up in Burnaby, B.C., Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was forced to sit out one season because his family was having a tough time making ends meet.*

The radio station I was listening to said how awesome and great this was - because they were poor and he couldn't play hockey for one year. Although I haven't found 'exact' costs, it's estimated one year of peewee costs anywhere from $600 to $2000 for registration, $1000 for equipment. Additionally, there are travel costs (hotels, food, etc) for tournaments and away games.

Can I just remind everyone that hockey is not necessary to survive? It doesn't feed, clothe or shelter you. No matter how you slice it, dice or dissect it, it is an exclusive and elitist activity that very few can really afford to play.

Do I think it's fair and equitable that he's making 5.6 million dollars more than the neurosurgeon who had my life in his hands? Not a chance.

We, as a society, are seriously screwed up and have an enormous problem on our hands. What message are we sending our children? That "poor" means you can't play hockey for a year? Tell that to the families who frequent food banks!

I'm not really blaming the players - it is us (meaning the collective "we") who caused this. When we put our priorities in the wrong basket, we've sentenced ourselves to a lifetime of this misguided lifestyle.

Just once, though, it would be nice to have a hockey player stand up and say "Hey, this is stupid! How can I possibly be paid more, in one year, than the leaders of many nations combined?"

The "heads" of Singapore, Hong Kong, the USA, Germany, Canada, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, Britain, Cyprus, Spain and Italy make $4, 568, 768.00 per year COMBINED. Yet we're always bitching that politicians make too much money (for what it's worth, the Prime Minister of Italy is drawing no salary). Hockey (or other pro-sports) players? Totally justified...

Hand me a hand-basket, as obviously, we're up crap creek without a paddle.

* Edmonton Oilers lock up another building block with Nugent-Hopkins extension - Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal (Sept. 20, 2013) [See link above for full article]

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - September 15 to 21, 2013

Menu planning - it is a 'must' in our house. Since my last MPM, I haven't had a 'formal' plan in place.

And it's been terrible. We also hadn't done a grocery shop in a whole bunch of weeks either (because I didn't have a plan) so it was picking the bitter dregs to in order to make something to eat. Thankfully, my family is very patient and not too picky so we managed, but I felt in constant chaos. I'm disorganized enough, food (for the most part), is the one area I'm usually organized! Without organized menus and food sure made life terribly difficult.

I can control the menu and the planning so I am (once again) climbing back on the bus to try to bring zen to my chaos! When I created our initial recipe selection criteria, things were much different for me and my family.

Now, food prep is an issue so I need simple prep (not much chopping, slicing or dicing), easy cooking (stirring is painful) and unfortunately, I've had to employ the use of prepared foods where I can. Thankfully, however, our diets are better controlled so although I still want to keep the lower sodium and sugar, our efforts of introducing more fruits and vegetables (and exercising regularly) is working for us.

Without further adieu, here is what we're eating this week!

Sunday: Hot dogs and chips
Monday: Chicken Caesar salad wraps
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Creamy Garlic Penne with fish (Shhh! Don't tell the boys - I'm trying to sneak some fish into our diets)
Thursday: Egg wraps
Friday: Honey Dijon Chicken with egg noodles
Saturday: Mom's Crockpot Ham and scalloped potatoes

Sharing with the Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Favourite Things: Sunday Mornings

As I sit in the eerily still and quiet house on this Sunday morning, I'm reminded of one of my most favourite things...

Sunday mornings. It's the only time of the week (save for holiday Monday's or Christmas) where the entire neighbourhood falls silent. I awake to hear birds chirping their morning songs, the odd rustle of feathers as the magpies settle on the rooftop and the gentle breaths of my little boy sleeping snugly beside me. Not far off in the kitchen, I hear my lovely fur-son, Max, rearrange his old weary bones in his crate and sometimes, I hear the soft snores of my husband.

No one is zipping off to work or school or the store for milk. No one is yelling or honking their horns on our street as they try to hurry up those the pick up for work. There are no roaring engines as they race up our street trying to beat traffic by cutting through our neighbourhood.

I lay still in my bed, listening to the sounds around me - the sounds of a world still sleeping and I feel peace.


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