Archive | April, 2020

No Spend Challenge

23 Apr

My landlady, in a joking way, texted me saying she thinks I may have an online shopping problem.

I got all excited because I thought that meant an item I bought online last week and have been anxiously waiting for had arrived, but realized it can’t be that item because I am signed up for text notifications and hadn’t received one saying it was delivered. So I started to text her back to let her know the list of things I am waiting for only to realize the list is uh, let’s say, substantial, and having to type it all wasn’t going to make me look good.

I fully understood her joke when I got home and found not one but three packages waiting for me.

Three! It’s like a random personal Christmas out of nowhere. And it really is out of nowhere since all three of these packages took way longer than expected to get to me. Something online shopping teaches you, if you aren’t shopping with Amazon Prime that is, is patience.

The first package I opened is a t-shirt from one of those annoying ads you see on Facebook. It was cheap, and cute, and I decided to buy one t-shirt to see what their quality is like. The shirt fits, and smells horrible, so it is now in the hamper and we’ll see how good it looks once it’s been through the wash. I hope it stays cute!

The second item is stamps. Yeah yeah, I know, the post offices are still open, why was I so incredibly lazy and unwilling to go in to one to buy stamps? I actually have a valid reason for this! The post offices by me are tiny, and in the backs of small stores, and I am supposed to be avoiding places like that to decrease my chance of exposure and by extension risk to the seniors I work with. I thought buying stamps online from Canada Post would be the easiest purchase, and fastest delivery, since ya know, they are the ones delivering them.

No. That thinking is incredibly wrong. After you buy them you get an email saying they will process your order in three days. Not have them to you in three days, or in the mail in three days, but that they will take three whole days just to process the order. Oh, and they come from Ottawa, case you were wondering, so three days to start processing the order, then delivery time from Ottawa, they took almost two weeks to get to me.

But that’s ok, because patience. It is a virtue, it is a thing best practiced over and over…and over…

And over yet again by the book I ordered that finally arrived. That one took about a month.

But really, what does delivery time matter, right? They all arrived eventually, if somewhat embarrassingly on the same day, and I now feel like maybe I am buying too much stuff.

I don’t think of myself as someone who tends to randomly purchase things online, I will look, then talk myself out of it, but looks like two times I didn’t talk myself out of it…I’m leaving the stamps off this list because I do actually need them, so what’s with all the shopping?

Before you say two items isn’t that big a deal, I have more things on their way to me…oops?

Looks like this is the perfect time to start a No Spend Challenge.

April 22 2020 a

What is a No Spend Challenge you ask? It is exactly what it sounds like. For the next two weeks the only things I will spend money on are food, gas for the suv, bills, and $8 I owe a friend who is doing a fundraiser. It doesn’t have to be for two weeks, you can set any time frame you want, I’m choosing to ease myself in to this and picked a short time frame to start with.

I’m leaving myself a teeny tiny loophole, due to the pandemic, that if yet another emergency situation pops up, I mean c’mon, we haven’t been swarmed by locust yet so there are still some ways things could get worse, I may expand the list to random emergency items I can’t think of at this moment in time.

This means no more online shopping when I’m bored, or feeling a bit sad, or anxious, or because something cute caught my eye at random (*cough* t-shirt *cough*). To make it more likely I will succeed at this challenge I need things to do when I feel like shopping, distractions to stop me from hitting that checkout button.

So far I have come up with reading one of the many books that are in this apartment, writing cards or letters to people, exercising, trying to read the cat’s mind, cleaning (let’s be honest, this one probably won’t happen but I feel like it is expected to be on the list), and practice my knitting (I am learning and need all the practice I can get). Did you notice what all these things have in common? Well, except for trying to read the cat’s mind that is.

Hands. They are all things that will keep my hands busy. Busy so they can’t be tapping the screen of my iPad or typing on my laptop, busy so I am physically engaged in an activity that will not only keep my brain somewhat occupied but also my body. I find if I can keep one of those two busy I am less likely to engage in a behaviour I am trying to avoid, if I can keep both busy I do an even better job of it.

If you have any suggestions for things I can do instead of shop feel free to share them!

April 22 2020

Striker thinks spending more time petting him is an excellent way to stay busy, so looks like I’m adding that to my list…the top of my list if Striker has anything to say about it!

Simple Things

20 Apr

I don’t know about you but I’m noticing simpler things more than I used to, and finding pleasure in them. Maybe it’s not pleasure but enjoyment? Whatever it is, little things I took for granted I appreciate more.

So I guess I’ve settled on it being appreciation? Lol So many word options!

Here are some silly, not actually important things, that I appreciated this week.

My complete inability to flip an egg on Thursday. I failed spectacularly but who cares? It still tasted good!

British junk food, the best kind! Completely over priced and worth every penny, or I guess nickel since we don’t have pennies anymore. 😜

A delicious bowl of fresh raspberries, my after work snack this evening. Yum!

This little guy still has his hat, too cute!

Striker being a goofball and hiding in the closet. 💜

Nothing riveting or unique, (except Striker, he’s one of a kind!), and mostly food related. Just some little things that had me smiling, or even outright laughing, this week.

Uhhh, to clarify, the laughing was at my egg flipping “skills” and Striker being silly. I haven’t crossed over into crazy enough that I’m laughing at fruit or junk food for no reason lol

I know everyone is going through a tough time, I hope, even when so much around us is hard and scary you’re able to find something that gets you smiling, or maybe even laughing!

We Don’t Eat The Human

15 Apr

Picture this, Striker and I having a lovely cuddle. He’s purring, resting his head on my hand while I pet him with my other hand. All is calm and happy in our little section of the world.

Then, for no apparent reason, Striker lifts his head and in a slow and deliberate manner he bites down on the hand he had been using as a pillow. Then like some kind of adorable maniac he stays like that. Doesn’t apply more pressure, doesn’t release my hand, but does continue to purr.

So I, in a calm and rational manner, say:

“We don’t eat the human.”

Nothing. Not even a twitch of an ear to show he heard me.

I wait a beat, he turns his gaze, not his head, just his gaze, and makes eye contact with me. There was definitely a glimmer of the perfect little killing machine that is a cat in that gaze.

While making eye contact I repeated:

“We do not eat the human.”

I swear to god he rolled his eyes before releasing my hand. Then he flounced down to my outstretched legs, lay down with this back to me, and flicked his tail to show his displeasure with me.

He remained like that, pouting, for a solid twenty minutes before realizing it’s a better life strategy to keep the two-legged one who opens the food container moderately appeased, and turned around on my lap so I could see his adorable face.

And possibly so he could see if another opening appeared where he could get to my hand. 😜

The Evolution of Shopping

12 Apr

I wrote a little while ago about how my shopping experience went when I had to go to Bosley’s to buy cat food. It was odd, but not in an unmanageable way.

This past Thursday I went to Safeway and experienced the next step in the evolution of grocery shopping. The week prior I was all icked out when I went to that Safeway because people weren’t social distancing within the store, it seemed crowded, and I was uncomfortable enough that I left before getting everything I needed.

This past Thursday I went back and oh how things have changed!

First there was the line up to get in…

April 11 2020

I don’t know why I was surprised by the line-up, I’d be hearing all week about stores having lines, I guess I just didn’t think this Safeway would since it didn’t have one a week prior. It was a nice spring evening and the line moved fairly quickly. There isn’t a sign saying how many people are allowed in the store, just that a “limited number” of customers are allowed in, which makes me wonder how the guard at the door knows when to let people in and when to make them wait.

You might be thinking he lets people inside when people inside the shop come out but no, that wasn’t always the case. I’ve decided to not think about it too much, like any of us need another thing to stress about?

Once inside I eventually noticed the aisles are all one way, like in Ikea. Arrows on the ground showing which way to walk as well as hanging on the signs at the start of each aisle. I didn’t notice at first, so I may have gone the wrong direction in an aisle or two, in my defence, I am not the only one who did that!

The shelves were looking a little sad. The combination of a sale and it being later in the day meant a lot of stuff was gone. I found it interesting that when I noticed there was only a small amount of a product left I would think about buying it, even if it was something I don’t normally buy. Like the baked beans. I haven’t bought those in years but seeing the shelves so low in stock made me wonder if I should. Does everybody else know a secret I don’t about what food I should be buying right now?

Luckily I came to my senses and stuck with buying my normal food items. No point in stocking up on things I don’t eat.

April 11 2020 a

I should have taken a picture of the produce, so many things were moldy, or wrinkled and almost no good anymore. Isn’t it better to have no produce for sale than produce gone bad? The quality of the produce has me buying more and more frozen fruit and veg…which was another area that was scarily low on stock.

The internet is exploding with people baking bread, which ok, I guess if you’re in self-isolation and have time to kill why not? One of the aisles had yeast for sale and it was packaged like this…

April 11 2020 b

I don’t know if that is a normal price for yeast but I’m fairly certain that is not the normal packaging for the yeast. I admit, I bought some, not because I have some overwhelming desire to bake bread but because the bread section was scarily low in stock, I bought one of the last loaves. Maybe my baking bread will have to become a thing, I hope not, but better to be prepared, right?

Eggs were still out of stock, sigh, but I was able to find vanilla for a friend who couldn’t find any when she was shopping. That turned out well because when she was shopping today she found eggs for me, yay!

This might be the new way of shopping, see what you can find not only for you but your friends, and they will do the same, and everyone will swap items. I figure if we combine what the grocery store near me has, and what the grocery store near my friend has, we can almost always find the items we want. It is an odd system but it seems to be working for us so far.

Something I noticed in the store are people being much better at social distancing while inside. Whether it is because the aisles are one way only, or because there are only so many of us inside at a time, or we are all scared of being near someone and getting sick, there was a decent amount of space between people. If I needed something and a person was in the same area I’d stand back and wait until they moved on before I reached for what I wanted, and others did the same. It made me feel a bit rushed in having to pick items from the shelves but I’d rather be a bit rushed because I know someone is waiting their turn than have that person come up beside me.

We are all going to become this cat…

april 11 2020 c

Cats Are Gonna Cat

8 Apr

Today started with Striker meowing at me incessantly until I got out of bed. I thought he needed something, like food maybe, but what he actually wanted was to steal my bed.

He didn’t even pretend to look ashamed at his underhandedness.

Then at work I saw something amazing! The African Violet I repotted and I was sure hated me is showing signs of flowering. A miracle if ever there was one!

When I got home from work I had a card waiting for me, which actually means Striker got an envelope in the mail that he allowed me to have the contents of.

My day is bookended by the cat…seems about right!

A Salute

6 Apr

I caught the tail end of a salute from the firefighters for the essential workers getting us through this pandemic.

The RCMP send two cruisers past my work at 7pm and do the short siren sound, and the people in the neighbourhood come out and make a lot of noise.

Of course I had seen this mentioned online pretty much everywhere but until I heard it for myself I didn’t see why it was a big deal. I’ve experienced it twice now and it turns out it is a big deal. The people I see making the noise look so happy, you’d think they were cheering for their favourite sports team or celebrity, they are that excited.

For me, even though I don’t consider myself an important front line worker, not like a doctor or a nurse or a paramedic, I felt appreciated for the work I am doing, and it was nice.

So for those of you out there making the noise at 7pm, please keep it going, it matters. 🙂

How I Navigate

5 Apr

I was explaining to a friend at work this evening my route from work to my place and she couldn’t stop laughing. She says she wished she had recorded it because it was funny and should be shared.

Since we are all needing a bit of humour right now I thought I’d share it here, though I don’t see why it’s so funny. 🤷‍♀️

I exit the underground parkade and turn left, then I turn right and end up on whatever road that is. I drive straight for a while, pass the first chance to get on a highway, the road will eventually go down to one lane each direction, then there will be an intersection where if I turn left I go onto a smaller highway I can’t remember the number of or I turn right onto a street with a different name.

I turn left onto the highway. I quickly get up to 70km because there is a steep hill right away. Once I get to the top and start on my way down I have to be careful to not go too far over the speed limit because the cops like to hide along that road and give tickets.

I’ll pass a gas station on my left that has a Tim Horton’s in it. The speed will go up to 80km and just as you’re settling in you have to go down to 60km because you are nearing shops again. By the time you get to the busy intersection with the pharmacy on the left and the Husky with the cheapest gas on the right you’re down to 50km, which sucks.

Keep following the road, oh so slowly. On my right I’ll pass a bee sanctuary / honey shop, a curling rink, a community centre attached to the curling rink, and an outside skateboard park, then I’ll be back to large empty fields on either side of the road.

Once I’m back to empty fields the speed goes back up to 80km. I’ll want to get and maintain at least that because there is a large hill to get up. Top of the hill I need to immediately slow down because there is a busy intersection.

Go through the intersection and take the entrance on my right to get onto a large highway, it might be the 1? Maybe the 10? I’m not really sure.

Follow that for ages. It will branch off to the right multiple times, always keep to the left. Eventually I’ll be at exit 26, or maybe it’s 25? Either way, I know the street name, so get off at my exit, drive straight for a bit and turn left at the street past the little mini shopping centre that has the Subway.

Go through one roundabout, past the elementary school on my left, straight through another round about, take the third exit of the third roundabout, go up the hill, place is on the right, third building from corner.

And that is how I navigate.

Isn’t that how everyone does it? 🤔

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