Monthly Archives: September 2008

Stock recommendation

I recommend that you invest in any company that makes copy paper.  That’s right.  I see that stock zooming through the roof based on our usage!

This weekend, Piero went into a drawing frenzy and wiped out more than an inch of paper from our ream.  Most of this was even drawn on both sides.  He had almost an inch of paper used up when we realized what was happening and put our foot down on getting more paper until he drew on the other side.  A little meltdown happened over that.  Luckily, Papa was in bed and he only had me to deal with.  I simply left him in the living room screaming and crying.  Eventually, he quit his crying jag and starting drawing on the other side.  Ahh…. the joys of parenthood.

So we have a pile of SpongeBob and on the other side? SpongeBob dressed as different superheros like Batman and Robin, Superman and IronMan.  It is really cute.  And we have a pile of cat pictures for me.  On the other side is Kylie’s scribble.  And then there is a huge pile of dinosaur pictures including pictures that comprise several stories about dinosaurs and volcanoes and this boy called Alex who went back in time to see the dinosaurs.  He truly is creative.   And the last pile is picture after picture of Spiderman.  Some of these he drew and others we drew and he coloured them in and added scenery.

And what do we do with a pile of cute pictures?  I have absolutely no idea.  The front of our fridge is full up.  I am thinking of going to IKEA or some other place to buy strings of clips that you can put photos on.  I am hoping that we could use those to string up his pictures in our hallway.   Any idea on where I buy some?



My mortgage company just went under and was sold to JP Chase.  The bank that holds my personal IRA just got sold to Citigroup.  Now I am not too concerned about my mortgage.  They will simply assume the mortgage and life goes on.  I am much more concerned about my IRA since it actually had bank-owned funds in it.  I like to think that I don’t need to worry too much because if the funds were in serious trouble,  I would have had some inkling about it by now – right?  After all, my IRA has been stable the last year or so.

So… I guess I best make some inquiries into the health of my IRA. *sigh*

And in one of those lightning fast updates…. Only the banking side of that bank was sold to Citigroup.  The securities side is alive and well.

Stupidity results in rewards apparently

I am totally 100% against the bailout that ALMOST(I thought when the parties had agreed to the terms that it would simply pass – boy was I surprised) went through today.  I
even emailed my Senators telling them I was against it.  I feel like I
am being burned twice.  First the Countrywide bailout where homeowners
could restructure their mortgage.  Boy… wouldn’t I have liked those
restructures with a 4% interest rate.  But no… I couldn’t take
advantage of that restructuring unless I missed a couple of mortgage
payments.  Hmm… rewarding poor decision making?  And now the bailout of
companies who were also greedy and made stupid decisions?  Once
again… no consequences for stupidity.  I think Americans are going to
learn that stupidity comes with rewards not risks!  So I can’t get that amazing interest rate and now my taxes are being used to help greedy, stupid people?

Why aren’t the people who made prudent decisions being rewarded for their financial acumen?  The world is being turned upside down and no one is thinking anything is wrong with this. 

And I will post more.  I am afraid that I came down with my annual… my child went to school and picked up the circulating bug… illness.  I probably would have gotten sick sooner but I hadn’t seen Piero for the first 3 weeks that he was in school.

Wish upon a Hero

I am not sure where I ran into this site but I found it out there somewhere in blogland.  The premise of the website is that someone puts up a need/wish and someone else provides for that need/wish.  Some of them are pretty simple like cards for a child’s birthday or something like that.  Some of these are far more tragic like wanting a special needs bike or food and clothing for their family.

I thought this was a perfect idea for the children’s drawings.  They draw so much that we throw a lot of them out.  We sent some up to Mom that the kids specifically wanted to draw for her (their idea – not mine) and lots go home to Kelly but that still leaves lots and lots of drawings at our house.  This weekend,  I asked the children if they wanted to draw for someone who wanted to get pictures because they were sick or lonely.  I got an enthusiastic YES out of Piero so we signed up for Wish Upon a Hero and selected a special needs boy that wanted birthday cards.  The mother responded back that they would love to get handmade cards/pictures so Piero and Kylie sat down and drew them some pictures.  I was surprised at the level of interest Piero had in the boy.  He wanted to know what his name was.  He wanted to write a little letter to him and what I didn’t expect was that Piero would ask if we could send a toy to the little boy.  I told him no but maybe I should get some stickers from the Dollar Store for the next time. 

I hope to continue doing this because I would like to encourage their interest in helping others.  Sending a packet of drawings is so easy for us and yet such a big deal to the person looking forward to mail.

We are… Affluent?

According to one of the blogs that I read,  60% of all taxpayers in America make under a certain amount of money a year per family.   We do not fall in this category.  I have to admit that I was a little surprised to see us in the upper 40% of family income for American taxpayers.  We are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination but here we sit in the upper income bracket.  We live in a particularly expensive part of the US so your dollar does not stretch as far as it could.  I suppose we would be feeling wealthier if our dollar went further.

It is not very often that I feel affluent.  I look at our house and see the TV and sink that needs to be replaced.  I see the re-tiling that needs to be done in the bathroom and feel the cold air in the winter that comes in through a balcony door that doesn’t quite shut properly.  I think of how nice it would be to straighten my teeth or highlight my hair or take a trip to Peru.. or… or …. or

But if I look around,  we have the TV and the satellite dish, our internet, our cupboards full of food, electricity for A/C, washer and dryer, clothes on our back, roof over our head and nice cars in the parking lot.  If having everything you need and some of what you want is affluent, then we are affluent.  So why aren’t I feeling it as I pay the bills?

LUSH Shampoo bar

Yet another small stab at getting rid of plastics and reducing chemical use.  I admit that I am likely only going to do those things that a) don’t cost a lot and b) don’t require a bunch of effort.  Let’s face it,  I am already busy enough as it is.  Anything that takes gobs of time is simply going to fall by the wayside.  I have no idea how other people do all the things they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint.  But I suppose several small steps are better than no steps at all.

So… getting back to the title – LUSH Shampoo bar.  I have been reading about how you can clean your hair without using shampoo and conditioner.  Doing this gets rid of the chemicals that go down the drain and of course reduces one or more plastic bottles from your bathroom.  One choice is to clean it with a baking soda mixture and then rinse with a cider vinegar mixture.  I have to say… this sounds like a TON of work.  Another way that seems a whole lot easier is to buy a natural shampoo bar.  Most everything that people mentioned,  I couldn’t figure out how to source locally. 

I found a LUSH store a few miles away so I visited it on Friday.  They have all kinds of beauty/personal cleaning products that are chemical or close to chemical free and many of these products do not come in plastic bottles.  I checked out the soap and decided it was WAY too expensive for the amount of soap that Eduardo manages to go through.  I was a little leery of buying a shampoo bar for almost 10$ until the woman said that she bought one in May and STILL hadn’t finished using it.  Her hair was longer than mine so  I bought two thinking that 10$ for 5 or 6 months was a pretty good deal.  I bought one for me and one for Eduardo to try.  Let’s just say that I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Eduardo to try his.  I suspect that I will have to use it.  The one I bought was called Godiva and is a shampoo + conditioner bar.  It smells wonderful but Eduardo says my hair doesn’t smell like anything once it is dry.  I have pretty short hair so I just get my hair wet,  stroke the bar down the length of my hair 3 or 4 times and get a wonderful amount of lather.  I bought something called Squeaky Green for him.  If I have to use it,  I will probably have to supplement it with conditioner.  But that is ok… they also sell conditioner in a bar.  I kid you not!   They also give you a free little tin container to put your soap in if you buy two shampoo bars (hence thinking I would buy one for Eduardo).  The lid of the tin is very handy to use as a soap tray so I have been leaving my bar on the side of the tub in it.  So far… I like it.

And in case you are interested: LUSH Personal Care Products.  And Mom?  They are also in Canada!  I found one in Pickering Town Centre if you want to check them out.  I don’t know if you would like the shampoo but the soaps look VERY nice.

The Wordle of my blog

This was created by going to  It is a representation of the words that I use in my blog.  The bigger the word,  the more it appeared in my blog during the months of July, August and September.  Apparently,  I talk quite a bit about Eduardo and the kids.  It would be interesting to do this in another 3 months and see if my blog has changed direction at all.

My wordle