Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Been Away..

But now we are back. Our trip to Valcartier was fun as usual and very tiring as usual. We forgot the camera in the car while at the Village des Vacances (DUH). We were all four of us tired to start with so the day didn't go as long as we would normally and we did NOT do the Everest slide/slope again. Too scary for me and the line up was insane. There were bus loads of teens there on school trips which made for much butting in line. WTF? There you are standing in line for the "lift" and these kids will walk right by and get into line ahead OR hop on the "lift" tube that you are standing and waiting for. I got sick of that RIGHT FAST! I called a couple on it and they were embarrassed and apologised heartily, so I know they don't all do it on purpose but still it was annoying as Hell to tell one's kids not to push ahead even if it LOOKS like you can, and then have people do it and not suffer consequences. Message to the 3 teenage girls who KNOWINgLY cut in line for the raft run ahead of our family...karma is a bitch and it will come back to you some day. somehow. Maybe when YOUR kids have to wait another 10 to 15 minutes because some teenaged snots cut ahead of them.

Other than that the trip was pretty good. Visited in laws for dinner and had a nice time and enjoyed the pool at the hotel somewhat. I think we have become spoiled becaus ethe hotel isn't as wondeful as we first found it to be 3 plus years ago. Its getting a little worn and their ssytems crash often, the TVs in the rooms are pretty old and there is no pay per view that we could find for when one can finally crash out and relax and would like something other than French language TV to watch.

We went to les Galleries Des Capitale, whicvh is a good mall in Qc city area. It has an indoor fun park with a small rollercoaster, gorgeous vintage carrousel, ice skating rink, mini put etc. See, Monday the weather was bad so rather than hit Valcartier then, we spent the afternoon at the mall having some fun and yes, a little bit of shopping. I got a facial cleansing bar at LUSH that may settle my middle aged acne prone skin down, and a sweater on sale at Additionelle. Yay! The kids got a used car charger for the DS Lite. There were very few sales which we found unusual with Spring approaching.

Which brings us to what everyone is blathering about : the economy. Its has far reaching effect on everyone, some more than others. Chez Nous, we do feel it because Hman works in finance (how ironic)and is getting a little stressed in regards to his position and his earning power for the coming year (bonuses will be small or even non-existant, depending). As a result we are trying to tighten our belts. We know we can do it...for heaven's sake, we had two babies in diapers and me at home on a fraction of what he now earns. But our bills were lower as was our debt. SO, priority one is now trying to reduce our debt and get spending back under control. These go hand in hand.

In someways it was easier before when we had a smaller income. The kids drank formula and little kid food. NOW Cam is a bottomless pit 10 year old and Ben is a finicky almost pre-teen. The grocery shopping I used to do doesn't cut it now plus, hello, prices are higher. And groceries are a HUGE part of our budget that we can gain firmer control of. I am looking back to my Frugal Living days with nostalgia ( I was awesome at cutting costs and freeing up monthly monies)and rereading my Tightwad Gazette anthology for inspiration. Am I willing to make my own laundry detergent again?

Another problem is that with our better rate of pay has come the desire to settle less for cut rate nutrition and products. Rather than plain store brand whole wheat bread, we like to buy the more nutritious multigrain breads etc, Smart pasta, etc etc. I don't like buying a lot of snack foods other than popcorn,fruit, and cheese. The kids love crackers etc for snacking but I try to only buy these on sale. Hman gets tired of chicken if we have it too often even if its cost effective. I am going to have to find the energy and time to make up a monthly menu and food budget for March to cut grocery store visits way back. Fewer trips to the store means we won't impulse buy as often. Also, I would love to find a source of whole white flour here like I used in NS (Speerville Mills of New Brunswick rocked my world with their organic flour for my home baking)and start baking again to fill the snack gap. I just haven't enjoyed baking as much in my teensy kitchen like I did in my old more spacious one. Its not only food though. Rather than the cheapest product on the shelf we have been spending more on better quality or more responsible products (chlorine and phosphate free dish washing products, lower impact laundry products etc, nicer bath and body products). It adds up more than one would think. Plus the thrift shopping here is not as good as back home for the children's clothes (I miss you Frenchy's!!!) and I have been paying retail much more than I used to but not as much as I probably should by the looks of some of the boys clothes.
So, these are the things that are on my mind other than knitting. On that front, ther eis little change. I await the "old lady pink" yarn in the mail and I casted on a pair of socks from stash in the car on Sunday for easy car knitting (turned the heel of sock one yesterday before I lost daylight on the trip home). The Nordic mitten goes slowly because I find it hard to sit still and focus on it and then I remember I will need to knit another one and think that this may be my only pair I ever knit despite my admiration for them. Newman's cat bed comes along somewhat slowly but is nearing completion. This is excellent TV and knit night knitting because of the big yarn and knitting in the round. Plus its a cat bed...if I make a boo boo who gives a poop? Its nice to have something that you don't need to stress over.


Tara said...

I agree, grocery bills are HUGE lately. I haven't given much thought to how to reduce them though... I've just tried to cut other stuff out, like yarn :)

puffthemagicrabbit said...

It's hard, because the pricier stuff is so much more convenient, too. So it takes alot of time. sigh.

Sounds like a fun trip, though.