Thursday, April 30, 2009

Business 101

So one of the reasons my baking business has not paid me enough money to quit the regular job is that I hate the business part of business. I just like to cook, that's it.

The problem is that people want an idea of what I make. And how much it would cost to buy. It doesn't really go over terribly well when the answer is "well, I don't know...what do you want?" accompanied by "well, I guess I should charge...something".

Business is picking up, though, so I have finally made a brochure. Woohoo! So now I can just shove a flyer in the hands of whoever is asking and walk quickly away. Which is also not good for business. Ah well, at least it is a step forward!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

As those who read this on a regular basis know, given the things she eats the bigger dog in the house should be dead.

On Monday I did the spring cleaning back yard rake. Not a pleasant task, of course, but it is a fascinating one. Fascinating in the sense of realizing as you scoop the broad variety of things the dogs eat. And yes, you can usually tell which pile came from which dog.

We were not bad over the winter keeping up with the scooping but there is always a disgusting mess in the spring. This, of course, is mainly because no one wants to go outside in a howling blizzard in the dark of night trying to figure out where the dogs pooped just so they can scoop it up.

So, spring comes – maybe not as quickly as we’d like, given that there was snow yesterday and there is more predicted for tonight – and you have to clean things up. And get a lesson in the things puppies eat which in the case of big puppy would be food and non-food items.

Some of the things were expected: string from a roast, a plastic tray from who knows what kind of meat, eggs (or maybe just the shells), crayons and various other non-food items.

The plastic gimp was a little unexpected; we haven’t had any around the house for ages so I am not sure where she got that. The big surprise, though (a surprise in two ways: why she ate it and that it survived) was a light bulb from the Christmas tree. Intact. So she ate it for whatever reason (in her mind just about anything may be food, so she always tries, just in case it is food. This makes giving her medicine easy-peasy. As long as you throw the pill at her, she assumes it is food and swallows), and it managed to get digested…and expelled…without breaking. Amazing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yes please, perchance!

So occasionally my dreams are creepy. Sometimes they feel like they should mean something (I still think there is some important message Ky has for me that I need to hear before I die). Mainly they're just awesome and exciting. Sometimes, though, dreams are sweeter than a bathtub of fudge and money. Like last night's adventure, when I was already having a good time saving some world - magic sword and the ability to heal !- and in a moment of "ooh, this is not safe" who came to my rescue? This guy.

Oh, I dearly want to be asleep again!.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Size Matters

I've been having some knee problems, and the occasional pack pain issues. I kinda guessed this might be from exercising. Why? Because when I jog using the Wii, I do it barefoot. I like running barefoot outside too, but it's a bit more dangerous. The good shoes I had from my sister eventually died, and the replacements were canvas sneakers, no support at all.

Anyway! Apparently running barefoot isn't just a bad idea it is a terrible terrible idea and should never ever be done, according to my doctor. Drat. I had to promise him I'd get shoes. Proper shoes. So I decided to pay for decent runners, despite the newly braces-imposed belt tightening.

What did I end up spending? $20.00 + tax. Why? Because they were, apparently, not selling because they were so small. If I wear socks they'll be fine for me. So I can be barefoot elsewhere but I will be properly shod for jogging. And they're pretty and pink!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Bestest thing

I was in line at Dairy Queen, getting a milkshake for my girl (yeah, I know, not on the list of things we’re supposed to have. But it was getting-the-braces-on day, and she was on a liquids only diet. Surely there are occasions to break out of the ususal, yes?), and there were two teenage girls in line behind me, chatting the usual inane teenage girl chat.

Mostly usual, because they did say one thing that made me laugh out loud it was so stupid. Something that even my own teenage Chatty Kathy would have found amusing.

Girl # 1: So you know what would be so so interesting?
Girl# 2; What? TELL ME.
Girl # 1: If we like chose exactly the same thing to eat.

I sincerely hope that she has more stuff going on in her little life because if that is the most interesting thing that can happen to her she’s in for the most boring life ever.

Monday, April 20, 2009

American Express: life is better without it

I am rarely angry. Is this because I tend towards sainthood? No, it is because I am essentially lazy. Anger takes too much energy. It’s also partly because I’ve had enough grievous things in my life that I’m well aware of what is worth getting upset over and what just….isn’t.

All this being said I am now going to rant. Against whom, you ask? American Express. The card that I am DEFINITELY going to leave home without.

The girl needs braces. Six thousand dollars worth of them to be exact. The brilliant plan for paying for this was to get a credit card that is used solely for paying the orthodontist. Then I submit my claim and put it right on the card. Sadly, the plan here doesn’t cover the entire cost but I hope to be able to pay what it doesn’t.

Being an Air Miles collector, I decided to get a card that gave me air miles. The Air Miles site has a link for that (American Express) so I went for it and in due time I got the card. This morning was the big day…braces for my baby. I went to pay ($800.00 upfront!), only to be told that they only accept Visa and Mastercard. There is no sign anywhere in the office that this was the case. So yes, I was a little bit irritated with them. That irritation, though, was nothing compared to what happened next.

I left the girl there, and went to get a cash advance. I went to my own bank even though the card was not issued by them. I have to ability to pay my American Express through the bank, though, so I thought I could somehow arrange to transfer money from American Express into my bank account so that I could pay today’s fee.

Unfortunately, that couldn’t happen. What we did find out was that if I could get a pin number from A.E., then I could use an automatic teller for a cash advance. Fine, I thought, I’ll do that. My bank – with whom I have no complaint – lent me a phone and a quiet office. So I phoned the 1-800 number on the back of the card. Only to find out that I am NOT ALLOWED a pin number. Why?

Because I have to use the card and have three statements from them (which translates to three months) before I can get a pin number to get a cash advance. They have to be sure it is me getting the money. Did you follow that? I can buy a $500.00 television with A.E., but I can’t get $500.00 cash. I explained that the only thing I wanted the card for was to get cash to pay the orthodontist. I very patiently explained that unless I could get cash, I wouldn’t be using the card, and consequently would have no statements. I was then told that I had to go buy things using A.E., pay the amount and get a statement. And that I would have to do this for three months at which point I would be allowed to get a pin number and the apparently Holy Grail of cash advances.

I tried explaining again that the card was useless without the ability to get a cash advance, and she…well, she agreed with me. So when I got to work this morning I phoned A.E. and cancelled my card. And made it very clear to the help line person the reason for doing so. This afternoon I will be going to Bank of Montreal, and applying for a Mosaik Master Card.

There. Mini-rant over. This is NOT how I wanted to start my week!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

More than spell check

You know what makes a threat totally non-threatening? Using the wrong word. I mean, honestly, should anyone be worried when they are told - very seriously - to watch themselves, because there are "liable" laws out there?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mares Eat Oats

Sometimes, dreaming about strangers is a good thing. Much better than dreaming about people you see all the time. I find that when I have a vivid dream about someone I know I tend to wake up confused about what really happened. It was an hour after I’d dreamt that Mayb’s sister got married without telling anyone before I completely woke up and realized that nothing of the sort had happened.

There is – of course! – a downside. For instance, having a fantastic dream about dragons/magic swords/elves/etc. that also includes someone you don’t know brushing your hair…not a good thing. Why? Because should you run into said stranger again, you tend to babble. At least I do. Mareseatoatsanddoeseatoatsandlittlelambseativy. And it isn’t something you can explain, either. I mean really, what do I say?

“Sorry to babble, but the last time I saw you, you were brushing my hair. Thanks, by the way, because it was fantastic. Wish I’d stayed asleep longer”. No, that really isn’t something one can say. Not this one, at any rate!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Taking it Back

I have mocked Mayb for the seventeen thousand (I exaggerate, it is only one thousand) tank top thingies that she owns/wears.

Clearly, she was merely ahead of the rest of us. Because that is what Michelle Obabma wore as a top to dinner at 10 Downing Street. So I take my critique back. Well done MayB you avant-garde dresser you.

Please say you're not.

The building I work in has an office on a different floor from mine that has - by nature of what they do - lots of odd and/or old people wandering around. I meet them on the elevator, quite often with their walkers and so on. I'm ok with old people, so for the most part I don't mind the traffic.

You know what does worry me though? Getting on and having the following conversation:
Me: Hello. 3rd floor for me please.
Him: I need the 2nd. Could you see if I pressed the right button?
Me: Sure, no problem.
Him: Thanks. I have terrible vision. It's hell when I'm driving too.

WHAT?? I mean seriously, tell me that this guy got a ride. I mean, if you can't see the giant lit button that says "2", you shouldn't be behind the wheel.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Intervention may be required.

Remember how I hated making that marmalade? I do. At least I think I do, but I must have forgotten some of the cost and tediousness of it all because yesterday in Sobeys I was walking in the fruit aisle and when I went past the oranges and saw the blood oranges my first thought was “oooh, now that would make a pretty – and pretty tasty – marmalade”!

What is wrong with me? I hated all the work making the lemon marmalade and given that I still don’t like marmalade with the membranes in, I’d still have to do all the same time-consuming work that I did for the lemon.

If some crazy mood strikes me or I lose my mind and make blood orange marmalade I’ll let you know. Because selling some at least helps make up for the cost of the fruit.