Leaving on a jet plane …

This past Thursday morning saw me handing over the kid to strangers.  It’s okay though – I paid them to take her.  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  Okay – joke over.

The kid for the past month has been extremely excited.  The past year has been extremely difficult.  She’s been bullied, started two new schools (one because of the bullying), hasn’t made friends to chill with during the weekends….it’s been the same for all of us…this move hasn’t been the best experience for any of us….its affordable here though.

To give her a bit of break, we clipped the rope and let her go on her own to Toronto.  Okay – not on her own – we used Westjet’s unaccompanied minor program.  The days leading up to her flight she had the biggest grin knowing she was going home.

Wednesday saw us in Regina at the Days Inn – Airport West for the night.  With a 6:20am flight, I had no desire to travel 2 hours in the morning from our town to the airport to catch said flight.  That would be a big con of living in a rural far away city.  With the airport literally 4 minutes up the road from the hotel, it was perfect for the kid to get a bit more sleep before.

I sadly did not get the guys name who check us in, but Days Inn management – please see who it was.  He was absolutely fantastic.  He was jovial, he was professional, he was amazing at this job.  He also was from Ontario!! From London he said.  He came to Regina for the jobs that are available.  Days Inn, if you need me to work at a hotel let me know!! I loved the vibe there…..I need full time though 😉

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The hotel room was clean, spacious and decorated so well. The kid is ‘hiding’ under the burgundy foot blanket :l

After checking in we decided to go for a walk around the neighbourhood.  We ended up at a fast food place called Five Guys Burgers and Fries.   I honestly wasn’t expected it to be as good as it was.  It was amazing.  I love Harveys, and have been missing it since we moved to Saskatchewan a year ago.  These hamburgers were actually better then Harveys.  And Harveys hamburgers are amazing.  The only thing that made me go hmmmm, was on twitter @AshworthPR told me that the Scarborough, Ontario location had peanuts to snack on while you wait.  For the life of me I couldn’t remember if the Regina location had peanuts.  And I like food – so it’s kinda weird I don’t remember appetizers.

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A regular hamburger – is TWO hamburgers in the bun!! AMAZING BURGER GO!!!

On our walk we saw some nice foliage in the city.

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Lovely flowers in front of Lowe’s home hardware.

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At the front of a construction site.

Back at the hotel we went for a lovely evening swim.  Had the whole pool to ourselves.  It was wonderful.  As a 4 am wake up call was coming we went to bed quite early.

Thursday morning, the kid was so excited to go home.   The sidekick stayed at the hotel and slept as we only had one gate pass.  He gave her a big sleepy hug good bye.  My heart was breaking because I was going to miss her, but I was so excited for her as well.  I knew she was going to be surrounded by her aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who missed her all to deeply.

Westjet‘s unaccompanied minor program is fantastic.  From check in to passing her off to my brother, we have nothing but good things to say.  The kid was given the best treatment from Westjet employees.  It’s hard sometimes to give your child to people you know to look after,  it’s even more mind numbing to give them to strangers.  Thank you Westjet for the best experience.

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Smiling – the tag they gave her meant she was leaving to go home soon!!

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Last mom/daughter selfie before she boarded.

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T for Toronto – literally her hometown. That’s where she was born!!

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My last view of her as she followed the westjet employee to the plane.

I asked her on when she landed how the flight was, and she told me the crew were amazing.  They asked how she was doing and kept an eye on her.  She had a lovely flight and it was all over to soon she said.  I think the smarties had something to do with it … 🙂

I fly out with Westjet later, and I look forward to seeing the kid.  Going to give her the biggest hug.The sidekick sadly due to health was not allowed to fly or drive.  He could have taken a train I think, but a sleeper cabin is more money then I make in 3 months probably…This trip is look at jobs and rents back home.  Like I wrote before, this past year has been very challenging.

I know the kid is having the best time.  On skype she told me she didn’t want to come back.  Her friends and family have given her the love and support she’s been missing this whole year.  As I write this, she is staying with a friend for a couple of days just basking in the glow of being home and being with the girls!!

Faith, hope, work, and luck – it’ll all work out 🙂

 

Disclosure: I was not paid for this post.  All my own opinions.  This is to let family and friends know our experiences as we travel the road of life 🙂

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My first flood

The past couple of days has been grey, cold, wet and depressing.  Heavy rain was non-stop for a little while.  Sadly we’re under heavy rainfall warnings until Tuesday last I looked.  This morning the mayor of Yorkton declared a state of emergency.  I’ve never been in a state of emergency zone before.  Thankfully we live on a ‘hill’, so our basement is fine.  A lot of people in the province though have been hit pretty hard though.  I was reading on one facebook site, that due to the heavy rains that have been falling the past couple of years, the deductible on basements is something like $25 000………I am thankful to live on my ‘hill’ right now 🙂

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Road by our house that has become a lake.

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Ford Dealership waterlogged

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Road closed off by downtown Yorkton.

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Jubilee Park underwater.

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Worms have been left homeless as well. Massive amounts of them in the water the kid said.

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To the baseball diamond ….. nope … canoe there.

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No way my little Yaris could have gone down the road to home.

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Grass should be there. It’s like a lake.

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Just outside of Yorkton.

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The Regina Leader Post found my picture on instagram 🙂

For a better view of my now ‘famous’ picture on the Regina Leader Post, please click this link.  I was quite surprised and thrilled to see my picture in the paper 🙂 Can I put this on my works listed page?  I wonder if they would hire me to be a photographer out here.  My  delusions of grandeur now have visual confirmation.  One day soon I think…one day soon 😉

In the meantime, I will continue wearing my sexy rainboots and building my boat….you know – in case my ‘hill’ is breached.  Sunshine on Wednesday can’t come soon enough.

In other news, I did not win the guaranteed million in any of the Lotto 649 for the month of June.

god

 

 

 

Even in captivity only the strong survive #lifelessons

I wasn’t going to write about mother’s day.  I figured there are so many bloggers posting about it, the world didn’t need another one.  Plus the fact, the bloggers I follow have said it all more eloquently then I ever could.  But then today happened.  And it was good.

I did not receive any material goods today.  Best present EVER!!  (Diamond store trying to market to me on my tv – we don’t have the money for it anyway 😉 )   The morning saw homemade cards from both the sidekick and kid.  We then drove over to my parents.  My mom has lived in Saskatchewan since 2007.  She hasn’t had any of her 7 (yes, that’s right I typed 7!! not a typo!!) children with her here to celebrate in that time.  She was beyond happy that she was able to spend time with us.

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That was what today was about.  Just spending time with each other.  We drove to Fort Qu’appelle to explore more of what Saskatchewan has to offer.

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Our adventure begins.

We found a ‘fort’ of sorts to pose in front of.

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Actually the entrance to a camp ground which is pretty cool.

I realized the kid will be driving in 2 1/2 years.  #mindnumbing

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Where does the time go?

We found hills!!  There are hills in Saskatchewan.  You just have to look for them!!
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I was able to watch my family and give thanks for what I have.

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And come on??? WHO doesn’t want to visit a fish hatchery?

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Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Culture Station. Opened for 100 years this year !!!

We had a lovely tour guide whose name was Ben.  He was 12, and was extremely knowledgeable about the whole process.  I was quite impressed by him.

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Feeding the big fish

I honestly had no idea who much work went into making sure that fisher's have enough stock in our lakes.  Even though it was disgusting  at some points, it was actually a really good stop.  And best - FREE!!!

I honestly had no idea who much work went into making sure that fisher’s have enough stock in our lakes. Even though it was disgusting at some points, it was actually a really good stop. And best – FREE!!!

The other fishies bit off his tail.  Bad fishies :(He went down the drain :(

The other fishies bit off his tail. He went down the drain 😦

This one actually had me thinking.  Even in captivity, only the strong survive.  Which today sadly is also the human race today.  We have everything we could desire, but it’s starting to look like only the powerful have the resources to survive.  That revelation I had made me a little sad.

The day ended with ice cream.

Be Jealous.  This stuff is good.

Be Jealous. This stuff is good.

For me it was a reiteration of how much you don’t need gifts to show a person how much you love them.  The time my family and my parents spent together – that’s something I will treasure more then any flowers, diamonds, or massages….well maybe not the massage.  I’ll save up some more money for that one myself though 🙂

Memories

People may scoff at my reality tv viewing habits, (the sidekick notes obsession), but Mama June from Honey Boo Boo has it right.   “It’s all about having fun and making memories”.  We may not understand everything they say, but they have a core understanding of what makes life worth living that people should take note of.  They’re not the perfect family – but who of us are?

While I would love to make memories like them, I don’t have a tv reality show or a sponsorship to afford all the cool things they do.  I would love to go on an air boat or do an RV trip.  I would have loved the opportunity to be on Family Feud – I was a little bummed when I found out Steve Harvey wasn’t impressed with the Honey Boo Boo Crew.  Though check out the link cuz he had me in stitches with his thoughts on the family.

Here – here it’s a little harder to find things to do all the time.  Back home you have so many options.  My favourite was driving to Oakville/Burlington and walking the boardwalk.  Going into Toronto and just people watching is another family favourite.  There is so much to see.  Here, you can walk but a tree is a tree no matter how many times you pass it.  But we looked – we found – we didn’t spend to much money.  Always a plus in my book.

Yesterday saw our adventures take us 2 hours into Regina.  We had lunch at Wasabi.

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So many bowls, so many choices. Apparently, the middle green bowl is wasabi. Which is meant to be used sparingly. My friend commented on this two hours after I had posted the picture on facebook. My friend could have posted this two hours sooner and saved my mouth from fire. Lesson learned, people don’t pay enough attention to me on social media when I post….. 😉

Next was the movie theater.  The kid had a coupon for a free movie, and I had a free movie from my scene card after I think 5 years of saving points.  Which tells you how often we go out.  The movie theater in our town is literally A movie theater.  One screen – from 1980.  My new twitter friend @MtnHolly, another Ontario transplant but to Alberta, told me her small towns burnt down … in 2008.  We consider ourselves lucky to have the one 🙂 Nonetheless, a modern cineplex was a treat.  After we wandered, tried not to spend money and let the memories set 🙂

 

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WE WANTED AGNES SO BAD!!  The kid was willing to selflessly write a review on her blog in order to get her hands on one.  Our town only has a small Walmart. When in the big city, you take opportunities to see things when you can. We wandered Toys R Rus, Walmart, and Target 🙂 We purchased the white chocolate M&M’s only available at Target. When living far away from major urban cities, you must stock up on supplies as you never know when a freak July blizzard will isolate you in your house.

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Downtown Regina traffic!! Much different then Toronto.

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Memory makers – On the 2 hour ride back home we stopped to take our picture over looking Qu’Appelle Valley. A beautiful spot. Snow outside and wearing just shirts. Ice fishing in the background.

 

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Ever the photobomber … check the middle 🙂

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Even though we’ve been here almost a year, sights like this still make me stop the car on the side of the highway to look.  As soon as we stopped, they bolted The locals think we’re weird about finding ‘everyday occurrences’ neat. LOL.

Today’s adventure to make memories had us shooting.  When the Apocalypse comes, you’re all invited to my house.  She’s almost a crack shot.  #food 🙂

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What about you?  Tell me how you make family memories without breaking the bank?

Saskatchewan is like the Hunger Games..and Divergent..

We went to the KidsExpo today.  It was a great day.  I’m also sad I ate the one cupcake I bought. It was divine.  I now have none.  Will power was never my strong suit..and dudes if that lady from Esterhazy lived in Toronto she would make a killing on those cupcakes!!!  They were AWESOME!!! $2.50??!?!? She could be charging at least $4.  I will put that post up next week.

Because you see, we also got coupons from Booster Juice at the KidsExpo.  So of course we believed this was a sign to go get yummy smoothies.  Mysterious  ways people…mysterious ways… They had a special smoothie named Fruit Faction based on the movie Divergent. The kid ordered it.  The kid liked it. The kid asked if we could see it….a decision I believed based on a smoothie but she tells me based on the commercial.

And as it’s been awhile since we’ve stepped into a theater….and my bank account was in the positive..even after the smoothies – we decided let’s go.

So my post this week is on our movie experience.

And it was an awesome movie.  On the ride back to house I asked the kid what she thought.

Kid:  It’s a cool movie.  Makes me want to see Hunger Games too..(silence) …. I just realized Saskatchewan is like Hunger Games.  One part’s like district 1, they have coal miners – we have miners.  They have farmers, we have farmers, so on and so on.  And every year they go to the Capitol aka Regina and they have the CFL aka the Hunger Games.

After I had stopped laughing enough to drive safely, I continued my questioning.

Me: So what did you think of the movie?
Kid: I liked Tris.

Me: Why?
Kid: She reminds me of me.   I like Dauntless because they were crazy.  But I would have chosen Erudite because I’m smart and don’t want to get killed.

Sidekick: You’re a thinker not a fighter.

Kid: Naw, I’m  a strategic fighter.  Think first.

Me:  I like Dauntless too.  But I wouldn’t have been good.  They would have said jump, and I would have been like “yeah..no..I’m factionless now.. bye :)”  What did you think of Four?

Kid:  I liked his bravery.

Me: I liked Four too.

Sidekick: I know you did.

The sidekick will be talked to about his side comments at a later time….deadpan humour is only appreciated when I do it.  (the kid as she reads this just stated, “What?? Only your humour is appreciated?   I don’t appreciate your humour.”   The kid will be talked to at a later time about family hierarchies and their relationship to subsequent matriarchal decision making).

This movie was really good.  Not just in the context of a good action movie.  The kid wants to emulate some of Tris’s characteristics.  You know the upstanding ones – individuality, courage, fighting for convictions.  She thankfully would think first before fighting.  A trait I hope continues in her life.  The beating people to a bloody pulp – she wasn’t into, so we’re thankful for that.  Win for her personality.  The kid has plans now to read all three books.  Win for her mind.  Her plans to become famous have intensified…I’m not to sure what win or loss that is..

While I loved the movie, it did make me feel a little old.  I remember being ‘young’, and thinking the world was mine for the taking.  I remember having the stamina to pull all nighters with friends talking, playing games or walking in Toronto till 4 am.  Now I like my bed and a book.  Both the sidekick and I don’t have 20 year old bodies anymore. While we have strengths now in our 30’s and 40’s, (ME!!!! I’M THE ONE IN THE 30’S FOR CLARIFICATION), I will admit I miss the magic of my 20’s.  Sometimes when I’m paying a bill or finding another wrinkle, I think WTH??!?!?! What happened?

In my head, I will be 21 forever more walking along Queen Street in downtown Toronto watching an eclectic population live life  …… with the wisdom of my age now 🙂

And the kid?  Well, I’m pretty sure she’s on her way to having a more magical time in her 20’s then I did.  I’m cool with that!

Disclaimer: We just went to go see a movie and it was good.  My own opinions. Was not compensated in anyway.

Sex Cereal and Bacon Toffee

This weekend saw our travels take us to Saskatoon for the night.  No special reason.  I’m finding when you live in such a small town, sometimes the need to get out and explore the world is intense.  The weather was right, the price of the hotel not bad, and off we went.

Driving Saskatchewan is like driving through the last of the truly isolated and open lands left.  It’s a little over three hours to travel from our house to Saskatoon alone. At one point we didn’t see a car for about 1 hour.  When the residents say make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car when traveling, you should listen.  It’s unnerving sometimes to feel so alone in your tiny little car in the midst of such vastness.  In the winter, your eyes hurt with the brilliance of the sky and ground shining back at you. (New tip I learned – don’t forget your sunglasses.  How fast do wrinkles happen by the way?)   Sometimes you don’t know where one ends and the next begins when looking off into the distance.

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Our first stop was to the Western Development Museum.  The museum is one museum split up four ways around the province.  Much like their college.  There is only one college split up into different campuses around the province.  I guess it’s because the population isn’t a lot here.  After having 5 million choices in Ontario for college it was a little different to find out there was only one here.

This museum if pretty cool though.  It actually has an indoor road with buildings for you to go in and and out.  Like Black Creek Pioneer Village, but on a much much smaller scale … and inside.

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A house full of mirrors that was a blast to go through. One mirror I was the 1000 lb woman … I quickly left that mirror 🙂

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And I have never seen one of the these in real life before.  The textbooks don’t do it justice.  This was something that was amazing to see out of history.

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The true attraction we went for however, was the University of Saskatchewan’s observatory.  This is free!!!  FREE!!!  How can I say no to FREE!!  Every Saturday the public gets to go and look up at the stars.

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HOW FRICKIN COOL IS THIS???

The sky was cloudy, but it was still an amazing experience.  You know next time we are back in Saskatoon, I’m headed there to see the stars and moon.

We were in 1910.  We had an awesome hotel.  We saw the moon.  We saw sex cereal and bacon toffee.  What weekend trip is awesome without seeing awesome food like that?

I still miss Ontario, its attractions and its conveniences (driving 3 hours to go do something .. yeah it sucks if you’re not used to it).  However, Saskatchewan does have some neat things to keep us amused.  I hope you come and visit us this summer 🙂

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything for this post.  It is my own opinions to tempt family and friends back home to come and visit us.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to follow me on this blog, instagram, and twitter for more stories and pictures from our travels and learning to live in the prairies!!

Things I learned this week

Friday being Valentines Day we decided to try a brand new ‘healthy’ fast food restaurant that just opened that day.  Living in a small town, occurrences like this apparently everyone is excited for.  We got there at 6:22 pm and were turned away from the door.  They had run out of food.  Lesson learned:  Go to new places open earlier in a small town to eat because importing enough food way up north can be a bugger.

So we went next door to another new store!! Tutti Frutti!! The kid absolutely enjoyed it. Self serve frozen yogurt that you adorn with various garnishes.  Even though it was very busy we managed to find a seat.  THe staff were friendly.  Can’t wait to find another Tutti Frutti once the weather gets better and we start exploring again!! Lesson Re-learned: Frozen Yogurt is good for you – but when you put lots of candy and chocolate and maraschino cherries on it …. it’s not so good for you anymore.

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The kid was worried about tobogganing here, as it’s well … flat.  But we found a hill!!  And it was a steep hill.  Though the wind was so whippingly cold, the kid enjoyed gliding down on her sled.  I enjoyed sitting in the warm car.  Lesson learned: Even if you don’t think you can find something, keep looking.  It will be there.

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The weather was windy, cold, and snowy.  As we made our way out of the store today, I glanced around and saw so much whirling snow, gray skies and so many bootprints on the ground. Lesson learned:  Especially in Saskatchewan, life goes on no matter what.  You pull on your wool socks, parka, and get into your car to drive.  Life moves on even if you feel it should be put on hold.  We are Canadian – we are winter – we are tough …… well I’m not. I’m sensitive.  I belong on a beach.

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It’s a bit more expensive to get beautified here.  I thought I would try it myself to save some money.  Went out and bought hair removal cream.  Lesson learned: Know your limitations, and always follow directions.

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So, what’d you learn this weekend?

Disclosure: I was not compensated for anything or even asked to write about anything.  This is just my week, and I really enjoyed the yogurt.  They were friendly there 🙂

The library made me famous …. and think

The kid and I had entered into a contest a while ago at our local library back home. We had to write why the library was special to us.  I love the library.  Getting books so you can escape into a different world and forget the one you live in – priiicceeless!!! The kid as well is a book connoisseur  This particular contest was made for the kid and I.  We won!! The prize was a professional photo shot and our poster in the library.

My sister had called me a couple of weeks ago to let me know that the kid and mine’s picture was up at our old library. I think we did the photo shoot 1 1/2 ago.  I actually forgot about it.

I am so thrilled to see the posters.  My wish would be to see them in person.

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A picture of the poster my niece took so we could see them 🙂 This is the kid 🙂

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The pic of a poster of me 🙂 LOVE my family for sending this to me!!

I’m going to admit something.  As much as these posters gave me a thrill – a little bit of me was saddened and angry.  Why?  Well, I will always be an Ontario girl.  That is where my heart is.  Not just for the family I left behind, but for the land itself.  The hills, the cliffs of the north and the changing of the autumn leaves.  The leaves don’t have the vibrant colours here in Saskatchewan.  They go from green to brown to dead.  The humidity of the summers in Toronto I miss.  Yes – I miss the humidity and walking Lake Ontario in Oakville, Mississauga and the boardwalk in Toronto.

And as much as I miss Ontario I’m angry at Ontario.  Families on the low socio-economic ladder – they fight tooth and nail to survive.  When the sidekick lost his sight almost 8 years ago and went on disability, our quaint jaunt through life quickly became hazardous.  In order to have a good quality of life.. (aka afford food and shelter).. we made the decision to move to Saskatchewan.  My parents had moved here 7 year prior.  My car insurance went from $190/month to $82/month.  I may not have the nicest or biggest house on my block …actually I’m pretty sure I have the worst house on my block … it’s a possibility we could be associated with the greasers in the book The Outsiders by SE Hinton…but my mortgage is stupid low.  Like cheaper then rent…on a bachelor in the GTA.  We don’t have friends here but at least we have money to survive.  The kid was unable to be in extra curricular activities back home.  Here, she is in guitar, drama and soccer.  And a better social then mine now.

Winning this contest, having my blog, writing my posts, my job, the volunteer work I participate in…I know that I have so much to offer whatever community I am in.  And I am so saddened that the community I want to be in, does not allow me the affordability for us to be – to stay – to be with friends and family that love us.  I know of so many families and individuals right now in the GTA that are quickly going into a downward spiral as they try to make ends meet.

We made the ultimate sacrifice for our family.  I am thankful to Saskatchewan for the opportunity to have a better quality of life.  We are finding things of beauty here too as you can tell by my blog posts.  I have to believe that moving here will make sense soon.

Honest though – I’d move back in a heartbeat.  I miss Ontario.

Thank you Halton Hills Public Library 🙂 Me and the kid remember that night and how much fun we had!!  At least for now I can be happy that my 15 … or 10 seconds LOL .. of fame has arrived.  Please send $10 and a self addressed envelope for my autograph 😉

The GTA #icestorm from Saskatchewan

One of the hardest things about moving is how many loved ones I left back in Ontario.  I have 6 siblings just for starters!!  Finishing 6 months of being here and I still get very homesick.  Not just for the people though – but for the land.  The sidekick and imp do too.

When the we heard about the ice storm we weren’t to concerned.  I remember back in the 90’s I think it was, when we had a bit of one.  Quebec got clobbered if I remember correctly.  I knew everyone would be okay, but being so far away you still worry.

This is where I’m grateful for social media and cell phone coverage.  We read about how our town we moved from – Georgetown in Halton Hills – got hit really bad.  The pictures on facebook were stunning but deadly at the same time.  We read on twitter how friends were faring without power.  On instagram we saw pictures of others.  Even without power, some had data on their phones and were able to communicate that way.

It was good to keep up with everyone and just know that they were safe.  I have a sister who doesn’t have power still, but my sister-in-law who just got power back herself, through cell phones and twitter are trying to see if they need a place to stay.  I’ve seen friends get taken in by family.  My brother-in-law helped a family take a tree out of the roof.  One of my sisters lives in Toronto Housing and is on the 14th floor.  Family and friends through social media/cell phones are seeing if she is okay.

I wish you all in Ontario a safe, warm Christmas.  For those of you without power I hope Santa, (aka Hydro 🙂 ) is able to continue their brilliant work.  I wish for them lots of hot cider and love too 🙂

In other news, I was going to finally give up on Candy crush. I’ve been on level 129 for the past 500 years.  Just when I was going to post on facebook for everyone not to tag me for stuff, I see there’s a new candy crush? Some owl at nighttime…and it sucked me back in.  I’m so annoyed with myself…but I have to stop typing now and go back to level 6.  I’m sure by bed I can be at level 25 at least.

Saskatchewanderer = ME

I’m nothing if not optimistic about life 🙂  I look at opportunities, apply and hope for the best.

I found out about an opportunity that I thought would be awesome for me.  Problem being, about 500 000 people in Saskatchewan probably feel the same way LOL.

Saskatchewanderer is asking for applications to become the next wanderer .. not for just a summer but for a full year!!!  You go around the province exploring. I would love this opportunity.  Sadly, they are asking for film degrees, English degrees, marketing degrees, and communication degrees.  My friend on facebook posted, “There are some things that formal education can’t provide & you’ve got it my dear”.  Hopefully the hiring committee sees the same thing.

I did mess up though, so it is a big scratch against my name.  I had two files named the same thing with only one character difference.  One was a 2 page resume.  One was a 1 page resume.  Saskatchewanderer asked for a one page resume.  Guess which one I sent?  But of course – what would life be like without the glitches ? 🙂

Whoever wins, have fun.  Enjoy what is obviously a great wonderful opportunity.

In the meantime, take a look at what I submitted.  I think I sum up quite nicely what I could offer.  Hopefully they see the potential!!