Thursday, July 29, 2010

WHAT? Why Give Money, When Dog Pee Advice Is Free?

I was on my way into Walmart (yes, Walmart) tonight and noticed this kid, about 12yr old (or so), standing out front with his friend.

Pic taken from HERE.

He was beating on one of those big round poles, like a bongo drum.

Goin' to town!

When I got up next to him, I said 'Good Beat!'

He looked at me, paused for a second, then whipped his hand out, and said with a big grin, 'Tip?'

I sort of half turned, pointed my finger at him, said 'SURE! Don't eat yellow snow!', gave him a wink & grin of my own & kept on walkin'.

Don't think he was expecting THAT!

WHAT? Why give money, when dog pee advice is free?


P.S. Feel free to leave your favourite tip in the comments, and I'll be sure to share the wealth ;-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello Muddah ... Hello Faddah ... My Stuff Is Labelled ... Thanks To Brother ...

The summer before Junior High, I went to camp.

I didn't know anyone when I got there, spent a week doing the sports, cookout, crafts, campfires, life lessons thing, and had a blast.

We sang the ever popular camp theme song ... Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah ... (Camp Grenada)

I made friends.

It was a wonderful experience.

When I left for camp, my mother was sure I was prepared.

Clothes, towels, face cloths, toiletries ... you name it, she packed it.

And to ensure I came home with everything I had left with, she labelled everything.

And I mean everything ... the old fashioned way ... piece of tape and a pen.
Thanks, Mom!

Now, Adam is leaving for camp for the first time.

My 10yr old baby boy, who (unless he's with dad or my mom) has never been away from mom for more than a couple of nights when I've had to travel for work, is going to camp for NINE whole days!

I'm nervous for him. I'm nervous for me!

I know he's going to have a GREAT time, make friends, do the sports, campfire etc. thing and learn some wonderful life lessons.

I also hope he's going to have a memorable experience, like I did.

And ya know what? The rules haven't changed.

I've been asked to label ...

Originally, I was going to do it the same way dear 'ol ma had done so, those many years ago ;-)

But as I've said many times, you just never know what's going to happen in the Korner.

Or in this case, what email will end up in your Inbox.

A few weeks ago, I received a request from a marketing company, to try the PT-90 Personal "Simply Stylish" Labeller
®, and write a post about it.

Well now. How's THAT for timing!

I told the rep that normally, I would have declined the request. Simply because I'm not a labeller.

LOVE the idea of organization ... don't have the discipline.

But ... I happen to need to label a bunch of camp stuff in the near future and I've always wanted to try one of these gadgets, so I said 'Sure!'

So, I waited.

When it didn't arrive after the first couple of weeks, I contacted the rep to let her know.

I didn't hear back from her.

I waited another week and contacted her again.

I was disappointed now. I wanted my snazzy new labeller!

But, I also understand that nothing is ever a 'done deal' until it ends up in your hands.

Shortly after I sent the second message, the phone rang.

It was a representative from
Brother Canada.

He was following up on the message, directly from the manufacturer in Montreal, on the unanswered message I had sent to the marketing rep in New York.

Well now. That was nice!

We spoke on a Friday.

He assured me I would receive my snazzy new labeller very soon.

A few days later, it arrived! With a nice little letter from the rep.

It features:
  • 3 changeable faceplates for personalizing your machine's look

  • 8 Deco Mode Patterns for extra-stylish labels

  • Uses durable "M" series tapes - available in 2 widths

  • Easy view, 12-character LCD display

  • Prints 1 or 2 lines of text

  • 8 Type Styles and 7 Framing options

  • 173 Symbols
Info taken from HERE

I put in batteries and cartridge, changed the face place, turned it on, printed the first label on my first attempt, and then the little message popped up in the display ... 'Low Battery'.

Side Note: Do NOT use cheap ass dollar store batteries in your new labeller!

I started off with something easy.

Name only, in whatever font it decided to give me.

Knowing Adam would want to try it, and not knowing how many more labels it would print on the cheap ass batteries, I decided to put it aside until he got home.

That would also give me time to read the manual, and figure out which key combinations I would need to print the skull and crossbones pic that I knew he'd want as soon as he saw it.

Of course, as soon as he walked through the door I heard, 'MAMA! Did you figure out how to use it! Does it work? Can I try it?'

Do I know my kid or do I know my kid? ;-)

Once I gave him the rundown on how he could change the text size and add the cool characters, he managed to get a couple out before the labeller finally said 'PULEEZE!' to our battery choice, rolled over and labelled no more.

Next day, I picked up the expensive good recharagable batteries.

I've got NINE days worth of crap to label, I don't want to see 'Low Battery' again!

And we didn't.

And we labelled.

Almost everything.

Face cloths, towels and more towels

Yeah ... clothes too ...

I got him a little address book,
so he can keep track of all the info of his new friends ...

He labelled that too!

Yes ... we even labelled the suitcase!

Everything ... including the labeller, with bubble border (thanks to Adam)

As you can see, one of these hand held labellers is literally easy enough for a child to use.

Once you figure out the key combinations of what you want.

It took both boys only going through the motions once, to print out a label that had a pic, their name, and the pic at the end again.

It was like second nature to them, watching their fingers fly over the keys after only a couple of labels.

With one exception ...

The label prints out of arrow 1.

You push the little cutter lever next to arrow 2.

But ... for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to use that freakin' little slot next to arrow 3!!!

You're supposed to be able to put your label in this hole, twist and pull and it will self-peel.

Yeah. I'll have to take their word for it on this one.

None of us could get that sucker to work for us. So we peeled the old fashioned way.

All and all, it's a great little gadget.

If you're a labeller, I think you'll like it.

To be honest, Adam will probably get more use out of it than I will.

Like I said earlier, the discipline for that type of organization just isn't there on a full time basis for me.

But ... I agreed to review this product specifically to label Adam's 'stuff' for camp, and for that, it absolutely did what it was supposed to do.

Until we used the entire tape cartridge.

Then ...

I went back to labelling the old fashioned way ...

Thank you Brother Canada, for offering to send me the PT-90 Personal "Simply Stylish" Labeller® at the exact time I needed a labeller, and for reacting so quickly when you discovered I hadn't (at first) received it.

My baby left for camp this morning.

Nine days.


I wonder when he'll discover that label I stuck on his butt ... ?


P.S. If the title of the post didn't make sense to you, scroll back up and watch the video. Or, go to camp. M'kay? M'KAY!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You're Moving To Australia? I'll Pray For You!

I love my blog.

It's my outlet. My release.

My place to share the good, bad and ugly.

Within reason.

As open as I tend to be (much to my mother's dismay and horror at times), I've always had rules about my blog.

1 - Never use my words to intentionally hurt the boys/family.

2 - Don't bitch about work.

3 - Don't bash the Ex.

Because this blog is my personal space, where I share my personal stuff, it's been hard to keep those rules at times. Because let's face it, sometime things my kids, work/co-workers and Ex do, affect me as a person.

Most days, I'm good, and follow my rules.

Other days, I have to fight the instinct to hit the keyboard, and release the thoughts/emotions that I want to share, because in some way I'd be breaking 1, 2, 3 or some combination of all three!

Today, unfortunately, is one of those days.

I want to share something. Something that will undoubtedly impact our lives.

One of those things that when people find out six months after the fact, and you didn't tell them, they give you that 'how come you didn't tell me' look, and you feel completely guilty, because you KNOW you should have mentioned it sooner.

But in spilling these beans, I may (or may not) intentionally (or unintentionally) break rule number three.

So I will apologize in advance.

I'm sorry.

My Ex is moving to Australia after next month.

And, as 'great' as he's making this decision out to be, the boys aren't happy with the move.

What do I say?

What CAN I say, without sounding like a bitch?

First thought that came to mind when I found out a couple of months ago was, 'Are you out of your freakin' mind?!?!?'

Regardless, his mind is made up, and that's where he's going.

For work.

Apparently, there are opportunities in Australia for the type of work he does (outdoor contractor stuff - decks, fences etc.), that can't be found here in Nova Scotia.

Or Canada for that matter.

See ... there I go. How can I attempt to talk about this, something I don't agree with, and not break rule number three, and then undoubtedly number one because of it!?!

I don't like the move idea. I hate it. For so many reasons, that if I listed them all here, he'd be IN Australia before I was finished!

But this isn't about me, or the boys (obviously). It's about what he wants. And his belief that he simply can't survive here, or support himself, and moving around the world is the only option to finding work.

I understand jobs are scarce. I understand moving 'away' for work. I have family members who have gone 'out west' or 'away', for weeks at a time, then home a week to make a better life for their family. I understand sacrifice for work.

But, Australia?

You can't tell me there isn't a bit of self indulgence in Australia.

Oh ... sorry ... does that sound bitter?

I guess it would coming from a woman who has raised his two kids, for the most part on her own, these past six years, and with no financial assistance.

Yes, there's definitely a part of me that's pissed off.

Not only for the boys, and everything they'll be losing out on and missing, but for me too.

I'm not going to lie and say there aren't days when I'd just love to run away from the world and reality. Forget responsibility, and pick up and just GO somewhere I've always wanted to go. Get a new job ... start a new life ...

But I can't do that.

And wouldn't.

I gave up the freedom of looking out for ONLY me, when I made the choice to have kids, and to put them first.

I just never thought, when I made that choice, I'd be doing so much of it all by myself.

But, would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat.

OK. Moment over.

These past six years, the Ex and I have gotten along very well. To the point where people will comment on it.

And yes, we actually do!

As long as we don't talk about 'serious' issues like money, or his spending more than every second weekend with the kids, when he lives only five minutes down the road.

As long as we stick within those guidelines, everything is fine.

So, I've said, and will say nothing (other than what I'm saying here of course) about this latest development and how it's affecting the boys, and how I'm sure it will affect them in the months to come, other than 'oh really's' and 'mmmmhhhhmmmmm's'.

Why bother, when I'll be the one left here to handle it.

Handle the tears, and tirades, when sadness turns into an anger that, in the heat of the moment, doesn't want to be stifled.

Cause that's just the way it is.

I'm also sure we'll all survive. Like we did when he decided to move to Washington for awhile.

But ... this time the boys are older, and the distance is alot farther. And who knows for how long. It's definitely going to make it harder on them this time I think.

And to everyone who says 'oh with technology nowadays ... it'll be like he's right here'. Uh ... no ... sorry, it's NOT the same to a little kid who just wants to hang with his dad.

I know as a 'good' mom, I have to put all my anger and disappointment away, and make this a 'positive' experience for the kids.

So, ya know, I gotta go with it.

For the most part, just treat it as another new beginning.

Another new adventure for all those in the Korner.

And the struggles? Well, they'll simply add a new layer of colour, to the rainbow of my character and personality (right Hallie? ;-)).

How else can I handle it?

What else do I say?

What else CAN I say, without sounding like a bitch?

For those of you who know me, and know that I usually try to handle life's hard and harsh moments with humour, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you all that what I WILL say, at the risk of sounding like a bitch (sorry my boys!) and completely demolishing rule number three, is ... 'You're moving to Australia? I'll pray for you!'

Jaron and The Long Road to Love say it MUCH better!

Hit it, Boys!

(No harm was, or is, actually intended to the Ex, through the playing of this song. Well, OK, maybe just the flowerpot, to knock some sense into him about this whole Australia thing!)

And yes, for those who are wondering ... he DOES read this blog!

And, THERE! Now I don't have to feel guilty about not telling anyone something that was a 'big deal' six months from now!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

So, I Decided I Wanted Pink Hair.

So, I decided I wanted pink hair.

There was no catalyst for this sudden decision.

I just decided one day, I wanted pink hair.

Not a full head of fuchsia. But a few strands of the hot stuff peeking out here and there.

I went on my search for pink hair colour. For some reason, thinking it would be as simple as picking up some colour, picking out some strands I wanted coloured and ... voila.

Pink hair.

Yeah. Not so much.

See, my hair is dark, you can't simply add the colour and actually see it.

But ... because I already had it in my head I wanted pink hair. I set out in search of pink hair colour.

Having the colour in my hand would put me one step closer to actually doing it.

Or ... so ... that's the idea anyway.

Found it at Shopper Drug Mart. Punky Colour. Flaming Pink. Nine something plus tax, I think.

Then, I stopped in to chat with a stylist one day on my lunch hour.

I told her want I wanted. Only a few strands of hot pink.

She confirmed that those strands would have to be bleached, and bleached, and bleached ... and bleached.

And did I mention bleached?

THEN we could put the pink in.

I told her I'd think about it.

I stashed the colour, and other highlighting accessories I'd picked up in the very back of one of the bathroom drawers (so Adam wouldn't find it, and use it all, before I'd had the chance to use it on myself lol).

And left it in the back of the drawer, and my mind for about a month.

Then, I got the Pink Hair Itch again. Ew. That sounded kind of gross didn't it.

There were two things stopping me from going the full 'colour my own hair' route.

How much damage was I going to do to my hair? And what the hell would it look like when the roots started growing in?

So, I decided to go on another mission.

Find out if I could buy pink extensions.

One weekend the boys were with their father, I set out on my mission.

And failed.

I went to the store I had called earlier in the week (to confirm they had them), and when I got there? Sold out.


I went across the street to the mall, and into one of the salons and grilled the poor girl there.

'Where can I find pink extensions?'

'Well, she says, you'd probably want to talk to our extensions expert.'

There's an extensions expert?!?! Who knew?!?!?!

They didn't carry what I wanted, but suggested a place that might, and happily volunteered to 'put them in' once I had figured out exactly what I was going to end up with.

Yes. I'm sure they'd be happy to do so. For a we want your first born child small fee.

Sally Beauty
. That's where they sent me.

It was 5:40 and they closed at 6.

For those of you who know Halifax, I was at the Hfx Shopping Centre. I had to get to Bayers Lake.

Before I left the parking lot, I called them, and told the sales associate I was on my way.

She reminded me that they closed promptly at 6. I don't think she believed I'd make it.

Oh she of little faith ...

I walked through the door at 5:54.

However, as it was only a couple of minutes before closing, although the girl who helped me, DID answer my rapid fire questions on how to achieve what I wanted, WITHOUT having to give up my first born, I still walked out the door empty handed, and disappointed.

They still didn't really have what I wanted. Simply small strips of pink.

I wanted my pink hair dammit!

The next afternoon, I called another place that had been recommended.

I walked through those doors with high hopes.

This was it. I was going to find what I wanted in here.

I was met by a gentleman wanting to know what I was looking for.

He also quickly handed me off to his extension expert. But once he heard what I wanted, he took over the conversation.

And ya know what? Buddy had attitude.


Flat out told me what I wanted didn't exist.

Well ... yeah ... it did. I just couldn't seem to get my hands on any at the moment.

Are there THAT many people walking around Halifax with pink hair?

He then showed me a package of blond extensions. One long piece. Alternative (which I had already thought about, after leaving Sally's the night before) was to get the blond, and colour that pink.

He had 20% off.

In a heartbeat I made my decision.

I honestly couldn't remember how much the same package cost at Sally's, but I was willing to drive all the way back out to the park again, just to buy from the girls who had helped me the night before.

Screw the 20%, this guy was an asshole.

It's not the sale. It's the customer service that matters.

Sorry ... no sale for YOU!

What I really said was, 'OK, thanks, I think I'll head over to Sally's then.'

So I did.

And not only did I walk out with the 'stuff' I needed, the 'hair artist' who helped me (same girl as the previous night) was FANTASTIC!

When I told her of my plan to bring it to a stylist (sorry, but NOT in one of the most high priced malls in hfx), to have them colour, attach, and put them in she said, 'Oh don't do THAT!'

She then showed me how to do the first one, and I brought everything home, and did the rest myself.

I came home with hair ...

Clips (& string)

Got everything together ...

Cut, and coloured the strands I wanted.

Dried them ...

Tied three pieces of string through each strand and clip and ...

Pink hair :-)

I don't wear them every day.

And depending on where I'm going, depends on how many I'll wear.

So far, I've only cut eight pieces.

There's LOTS left!

My dad used to say I was like a dog with a bone when I got an idea in my head.

He was usually frowning when he said that ;-)

I wanted pink hair. I got pink hair. And still have my first born!

Some people buy a new car.

Some get a face lift, hairpiece etc.

Some have affairs.

After discussing it with the boys, and determining they would continue to claim me as their mom, and still associate with me in public; and warning my mother ... I got pink hair.