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We have.....PUPPIES!

December 1st, 2011 at 05:59 pm

Totally unplanned...actually, we didn┤t even know our dog was pregnant until she started giving birth!


So we will have unbudgeted vet expenses, but...just look at them, who could feel bad about it? My niece is keeping one (yay! Ale wanted to keep one, but that would have meant more vet expenses, if niece keeps her, then she┤s responsible for the expenses!)...The black and white one goes to close friends, and the third one is still "not allocated"...we have about 4 people that want to adopt her, we have to sit down and decide who gets her! They were born on 27 nov, so we still have time to decide!

Finally!!

November 10th, 2010 at 01:32 pm

I finally got my sister to agree that we could not go on as we were... my nephew left on Sunday (she got him a room someplace nearby...I don't care, just as long as he stays out of the house)
We will look for separate houses, as she wants her son to move in with her again (naturally?) ...

anyway... I know it's probably the opposite for my sis, but I'm sleeping much better!

oh, and could you believe it, I ran into my nephew on my way to work yesterday, and he was all sweet and said: "ah, it's hard to be out of the house"... he had been "out of the house" for about 21 hours by then, so...eh, NO, I don't buy it, kiddo!

Time to part ways! ***WARNING: LONG BORING RANT!

April 23rd, 2010 at 09:24 pm

Ale and I REALLY need to get out of this house. Things have gone from bad to worse (in my view)...Don┤t get me wrong, I knew things wouldn┤t be easy when I accepted my nephew in the house (recovering addict). While he is no longer doing drugs (that we know of....at least, there are no noticeable signs, nor paraphernalia or anything like that) He is just completely irresponsible.

I know that that is in part because nobody (except myself) seems to have any real expectations of him... All my sister expects from him is 1. that he stays alive 2. if possible, that he doesn┤t do drugs...

Besides those 2 things, I expect him to be productive, to have a job, any job or, at least help around the house and, definetely, I expect him NOT to steal stuff from the house!!!

He keeps stringing my sister along, after all, we believe what we want to believe!... He looks for a job, finds a job, keeps it for about 2 weeks to 1 month, then loses the job and goes back to looking for a job (the cycle is 3 months/ 2-4 weeks/ 3 months)...so, when he┤s "looking for a job" (no doubt praying not to find one), sis doesn┤t want to kick him out of the house because "he's looking, he has nothing, he'll go back to the streets and back to doing drugs" and, once he lands a job it becomes "I just want him to have at least 2 months at work so he has enough money to pay rent somplace else so that he┤s not back on the streets/doing drugs"... which, of course, never happens!!!

ENOUGH! On top of everything, he eats A LOT (sometimes, when he craves drugs, instead of doing drugs, he just eats like a ravenous wolf, ok, I understand that, but... does he have to be dirty, too? Sis doesn't see it, since Ale and I are the first ones to get up in the house... I refuse to eat in filth, otherwise, I┤d just leave the dining room looking like a pigsty so she could see, but, eating next to crumbs, or even chunks of "midnight snacks" just turns my stomach!)...I think the last straw was that he┤s been drinking Ale┤s soy milk!! (I buy the individual boxes for her to take to school, as it is more convenient. I tried using reusable containers, but, she just makes an awful mess!)...what infuriates me is that I buy a six pack, I instruct Ale NOT to touch the individual packages, and, she actually obeys me...what kind of message am I sending when all that happens when HE drinks it is that my sister goes out and buys a replacement?? Oh, yes, everyone else can get away with it, but YOU must obey! I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE that! You have no idea how mad I get!!!

Oh, sure, sis yells at him and then he acts all offended (You never TALK to me, you just YELL at me!!!!!!!"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)...

Really, I cannot take it anymore. I know it won┤t be easy, but, really, between the food bill and the power bill (both my nephew and my niece leave the computer and all the lights on at all times, no matter how many times I ask/tell them not to!) I know I can afford to live in a slightly more expensive house (it will even out). It might be good for sis, too, because she won┤t be paying part of the nanny┤s salary anymore. Plus, it would be good for her "children" (at 25 and 21!!!) to see that she REALLY cannot afford the lifestyle they live! (No, it┤s not "luxurious", but, HE doesn┤t work and, SHE works, but does not contribute to the house! I suspect she is saving that money in a cojoined account with her boyfriend)

As you can see, I┤ve truly HAD IT!!!....
I have about $800 and, I need about $400 more to leave. I think I can get $200 cash, but, even if I have to borrow the other $200, I┤m getting out of here!

I know my sis will have a cow, and I know she┤ll cry and plead, but, right now, for me to consider living together, either my nephew and niece would have to PROVE that they are no longer leeches. How? Well, he would have to keep the same job for at least 1 year and, she would have to contribute at least $50/month for a whole year, too.

I would also consider living together again if my sister kicked them out of the house and they STAYED AWAY for a whole year! (she┤s kicked him out of the house at least on 3 separate occasion, he is always back within 15 days!... he comes back with crocodile tears "I can┤t make it on my own, I need my family, I know I acted badly...boo-hooo...please, please take me back...I don┤t want to do drugs again..." and, of course, she takes him back and we go back to that cycle described above....

SOOOO...since I can┤t honestly expect my sister to kick her children out of the house just because I think that would be best (and, if she did, I know things would really be broken between us, she would never forgive me...even if she understood my reasoning, she would always resent me!)... then I need to leave...

((sigh)) Ok, rant over....
tomorrow I┤ll contact a real estate agent and, I will start quoting the stuff that I might NEED (we have 2 fridges from when whe joined houses, but, we have only 1 stove and 1 washer, 1 dining room set and 1 living room set.... in very bad shape... both came from my house, originally, but, when we sold our parent┤s stuff-- they lived with her-- that went towards paying things in the house, so I┤ll leave her either the dining room set or the living room set...this, however, is NOT urgent...the stove or the washer are, though!)

May is a great month for quoting, because that┤s the sort of thing on sale for mother's day and, the sales last the whole month...

The amount quoted above would cover 2 month┤s rent at the new place, plus either the stove or the washer, as well as my part of repairs on the house we currently rent, so that, when we return it to the owner (sis cannot afford to keep this house!) it is in the same state in which we received it.

Sooooo...please wish me luck and/or send prayers and good vibes so that I find an affordable house/apartment in a safe area!

no food at home!

October 6th, 2009 at 02:42 pm

I was supposed to go to the supermarket on Saturday and, of course, with Ale (and now myself, too) being sick, I didn┬┤t... so, we are almost out of food! I wrote a check and sent niece to the supermarket. She should come back with about $5 change... the good thing is, she┬┤ll get a dose of reality as to how much things cost! (especially since I┬┤m sending her with cash... she does go to the supermarket with sis, sometimes, but, since sis charges everything, she hardly ever looks at prices-- I know!--) so, now niece REALLY has to LOOK at the prices... she took a calculator. LOL! Why LOL? Well, whenever I go to the supermarket, I make Ale keep count... in her head... or in paper... not exact counts, everything gets rounded up, but, Ale can do it in her head and she writes down the resulting number next to the last item bought, just in case she forgets!

Anyway, this should be a valuable lesson for niece! (I sent her with $90 and a very detailed list)

Eating in

April 10th, 2009 at 07:24 pm

Well, this vacation seems to be all about cooking!

I made Ale some marmahon on Tuesday, pizza on Wednesday, which she loved....then I made some chicken/soy crepes...which were a huge success... yesterday I made split pea soup.... and today sis made a shrimp/crap soup for lunch, and I made carbonara spaghetti for dinner....
Tomorrow we might go out of town....and sis bought all ingredients needed so I can make my chicken/spinach casserole on Sunday!....

Yep, it┬┤s a lot of food, but...there have been no leftovers so far, and, it has been a lot less expensive than it would have been if we had gone out to eat! (with the exception of the seafood soup...perhaps)

I feel like I┬┤m channeling my mom!

Medical expenses

March 30th, 2009 at 03:36 pm

Well...we took care of the eye doctor last Saturday (I spent $22.60 to have the Dr. tell me Ale has 20/20 eyesight...and that, as far as he can tell, she has not "inherited" my tendency to myopia or astigmatism... Yay! those must be her father's genes!- he still has 20/20 eyesight at 35!)
She so desperately wanted glasses (and I sooooo desperately DIDN'T want her to need them! LOL!)....
And I already made an appointment for us both at the dentist's for Friday. This is just a "diagnostic" visit, so the Dr. can see what she needs to do... I'm hoping in Ale's case it'll be just a clean up and then maybe schedule a visit to the dentist's husband, who is an orthodoncist...yep, even I can tell she needs it!)... in my case... I KNOW there will be LOTS of work! Frown I've always had terrible teeth...

I also have to start allocating some money to pending vaccines for Ale...

O U C H ! (in more ways than one!)

OK, that settles it!

March 26th, 2009 at 10:26 am

One of the new translators tempted me: asked me if I'd like to upgrade my computer, then went on to say a fried of his refurbishes used laptops and offered me a "new" one for $350....

I've been toying with the idea... but, at the same time...it's $350...wouldn't that $$$ be better invested in...say...me? and Ale? (our teeth, specifically... we haven't been to the dentist's for ever...)

so... that's been in my mind the past couple of weeks... and, when I was this [] close to calling the translator and tell him if his friend still has the laptot, I want it...I ran into my dentist at the drugstore around the corner from work!... hmmmm... I'll take that as a sign!...

For the time being, I'll take those $350 and allocate them to the "Teeth" fund (God knows it probably won't be enough!)...My old laptop works just fine...plus, if that guy's friend refurbishes laptops, he probaly WILL have others later on!

Nephew

December 23rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Well, I have mentioned that nephew is now living with us... he's been with us since the end of October, after being released from his evaluation at the psychiatric hospital. The psychiatrist adviced against putting him back in rehab, said he's reached a point where what he truly needs is a home environment.
Needless to say, we have all been kind of on the edge about this...
Sis gave him 15 days to find a job... he started working at a warehouse about 2 blocks from home... the night shift...was there for a 15 day trial, but they didn't hire him because he "couldn't work as well after 2 am" (shift was 8pm - 5am)... they didn't pay him, either...since it was just a trial (he agreed to those terms prior to starting, so...)
Anyway...he had already applied (twice!) to a call center, and went and tried a third time (same call center)... the HR person noticed him and said: "you ARE persistent, aren't you?" and signed him up for a 2-week initial training... he passed the final exam and was offered a permanent position starting Dec 15 (sister's b-day... her best present ever!)... he was paid his first salary yesterday, and gave my sister $50 for house expenses... ANOTHER first!...plus, her best Xmas gift ever, too!...
Yes, we still have twin heart attacks when he goes out with friends... yes, our hearts still stand still whenever something goes "missing"...then resume beating when the items are found!... He's been behaving really well...having the occasional spat with my sister, of course... he's still not very good at following rules...particularly rules he finds useless...and sis is still trying to controll so many things, it's difficult...
The other day, for example, he went out with friends... he returned at around 12, and asked sis for money to pay for a cab ($7) because his friends had started drinking and since he wasn't drinking he decided it was no fun and took a cab to come back home... sis started scolding him for going out with these friends in the first place, knowing full well they were most probably going to start drinking... from where I'm standing, though, he made a responsible decision... 2, actually...not drinking and not riding with someone that was drunk... yes, it would perhaps have been preferrable (and cheaper!) if he had stayed home...but... he's 24, we can't put him on a leash or keep him locked up!... he HAS to learn to deal with this type of thing!
So, anyway... as stressful as this has been, so far, it seems like things will work out right! Smile

"I already have your present, sweetie"

December 22nd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

he,he,he...this is what I told Ale when she showed me- again- the dream doll house...little does she know an identical one is sittin in my sister's closet...
I have almost all my presents...including my nephew's!!!...
the one I'm missing is tricky...it's Santa's "family" present... a big box containing 1 present for each one of us... in past years it has been easy, as there were only 4 women/girls in the house...now with nephew things get complicated... I'm thinking perhaps towels... (in the past, the 4 presents were identical, or "related", only different sizes and/or color)
Oh, I also have to shop for Nanny's Xmas dinner and present...but that one is easy!

Mother's chicken pie

November 26th, 2008 at 09:53 am

was to die for... sis was always a much bigger fan than I was (I was always a VERY picky eater!... )... over the past 4 years (since Mom passed away) we've had a couple good chicken pies... all bought...since I have the day off tomorrow (it being Thanksgiving in the US), and since we don't really celebrate it, but DO have a lot to be thankful for, I decided I will try to re-create the dish (re-create is the right word...mom did not, to our knowledge, leave a written recipe!)... Our logic is: it's not REALLY a celebration for us, so if I mess up, it'll only be a bad dish, not a ruined celebration!!

Over the past few years, I've done this a lot...attempt to recreate mother's dishes... I must say I've had a good rate of success (with dishes almost always being declared: "almost there"...and mom was such an amazing cook, you have no idea... she could go to a restaurant and try a new dish and then go back home and she could recreate the dish... such amazing tastebuds... her cousins HATED that... they didn't like sharing their recipes... and mom sooo loved to torture them, she'd invite them over and cook THEIR dishes, eventhough they hadn't given her the recipe!)
Anyway...wish me luck!

Xmas shopping!

November 16th, 2008 at 07:34 am

This year I have found a couple of things that I liked for my family, but, unfortunately, didn't have the $$$ at the time to be able to buy (to curb the temptation of spending the "extra" money, I pay it towards debt as soon as it comes in!)...
So far, I only have Ale's gift (it was expensive, but am sure she'll love it!)...
I have decided all others will get gifts from the craft fair that will be held next week at the office (that's where I saw the stuff I loved for them, at the last 2 or 3 they held, and it's always the same artisans, so I know I may not find THE things I liked, but I can find similar ones... This is so convenient...1. they come to the office, 2. I have a very wide selection in one place. 3. NO CROWDS!!!! 4. They don't take cc's!!!! (for some, this might be a setback, for me, it's an advantage: I cannot spend more than what I have allocated, and I cannot put a purchase on a cc!!!)
So.... I will only have to hit the stores if I DON'T find something for everyone...
Smile

You can't please everybody....

November 13th, 2008 at 02:53 pm

but, in my family, it seems I can't please anybody!!!... they don't like the color scheme I picked for the living room!... well, it's done now, and if they don't like it, they can go out and buy more paint and repaint...2 coats, please! ugh!

I'm telling them: the color will NOT look the same once the pictures are back up!!! (right now I have a peppery red wall and an oh-so-faint-mint green wall...which is the one they don't like! But it makes the red look even brighter!!!)...and, people, there are A LOT of element on that wall...big and small, so in the end, they will NOT be looking at a big splash of green... ugh! I give up! (I like it, and that's all I'll care about for now!)

painting the house

November 12th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

My house was starting to look like it could rival the Munster's, so I set aside some money to buy paint and hire painters (we've tried DIY in the past, and we are just TERRIBLE!...not to mention the fumes give us all headaches and then we end up painting only 1 coat!!)...Also, that is X amount of hours of my already overbooked day... did I mention on top of the 8-5 job and the translations (read 8-11pm) job, I am trying to make the ballet bag for Ale? Oh, and a fish blanket... Oh, and I also want to try and see if I can make a chicken pie like the ones Mom made?? (I'm good, whenever I try things like that they are ALMOST...almost, but not quite... as good as hers)...
Back to house painting: that type of work is not really awfully expensive here, so I just made sure to wait until they had the paint special they ALWAYS have at the end of the year (buy 5 gallons, get 1 free) and bought 12 gallons of paint (paid only for 10!)
That is just to paint the outside of the house, fron and back, and the living room... I will wait a couple of months before doing the bedrooms...although, they are having 'Shopping nights' this week and everything will be 35% off... I could get the paint and keep it stored for a month or two... If only I could be assured that mischievious hands will NOT attempt the DIY thing!!

Shelly as an Island

November 7th, 2008 at 03:09 pm

Our turtle won the pet costume contest!! Isn't he handsome??

December 6th...

November 7th, 2008 at 07:48 am

Well... on December 6th Ale has her dance recital (still don't know at what time, though)...
Her school has a carnival, and there's the office's Xmas party...
I can deal with that, but....
Sis and I have been all excited about going to the Juan Luis Guerra concert (advertised since Sept, but they hadn't published the date until today: December 6!!!)... Now, I love his music, and he won all those grammies, but, if it interferes with Ale's recital....I'm going to have to pass... what bums me is that right now they have a special 50% off if you buy with your citi cc, so sis and I could actually buy slightly better seats (I have the cc... I also have the cash, so I would just pay it off right away...), but, not knowing wheter I can go or not, I really wouldn't want to buy the tickets... I guess I can try to find out tomorrow at the ballet studio if they've decided on a venue/time for the recital.... (or, if we buy the numbered seats, then it wouldn't matter if we arrived around 9pm, which is about the time HE would start....there's no way the recital would go on past 7, I think, seeing that there are some 4 and 5 year olds participating....)

Sis totalled the (company) car!!

October 22nd, 2008 at 02:28 pm

Sis had an accident 2 weeks ago...thought I had written about it, but not. She ran a stop sign and another car hit her in the back. Luckily, she was not going too fast, and the other car did not hit her hard (the other car just had a dent in his front bumper!), but my sister's car spun around and hit a lightpost (again, God was with her and the pole did not fall on top of the car or anything like that...) The car was destroyed, but sis walked away with only a few bruises...
Today, it is official: the insurance company declared the car a "total loss"...
While sis is feeling better physically, now she's worried about losing her job (she DID run the stop sign... she says she didn't see it... it was a dark corner)...
The only things that MIGHT work for her are>
1. she IS the best sales exec the company has in the region
2. they WERE going to give her a new car anyway, and whatever the insurance company gives them just might be more than what the dealership was going to give them!

It's not much, I know...

As a dark joke I told her she might finally get an answer regarding her raise... like: yeah, we gave you a $50 raise, but we're going to dock it to pay for the car!

(we make this sort of sick jokes when things are going bad!)

Ale is sick

October 17th, 2008 at 09:31 am

and, I must say, what a difference it makes to HAVE the money for the doctor and the medicines....all I had to worry about was helping my little girl get better... I spent $51 for the Doctor's visit ($21 were medicines) and then spent about $60 at the pharmacy... She needs to go for a follow up on Nov 6th, so that'll be another $30 (and, hopefully, the end of this) and then I can submit it to the insurance company.
I already know they will not cover the whole fee (their "top" is $20, and anything that is considered "excess" - meaning your prefered doctor is too expensive in their eyes...well, unless they are starting, doctors here really DO charge $25-$35)... most of the medicines should be covered, though, so I should still get a good amount back.

Like mother, like daughter

October 7th, 2008 at 11:10 am

I admit it, I'm a word junkie... I salivate over new dictionary releases... I find pleasure in those "technical glossaries"...
Ale inherited it... or else it rubbed off on her...
A couple of days ago she came to the house with a dictionary that wasn't hers... she told me that a friend who knows the owner said that the owner doesn't want it anymore... the whole class deliberated and decided Ale could keep it...
I told her otherwise. I made her turn it into the Lost and Found at school...I'm not even sure the kid who (says) knows the owner actually knows the owner!... there is no name printed on the dictionary (this is why, in addition to a nametag taped to the face of books, I generally write our surname around the borders of the pages!)... While it wasn't a particularly fancy dictionary (soft binding), it was better than the "first learner's" that she has, and she was disappointed that I hadn't let her keep it...
I promised I would buy her a new one in November, a better one... (she has to leave the other one at school, anyway, and they only let her bring it home if she has Language homework where they might use it)...
So, yes, my daughter is infected... Smile

The perfect gift

October 6th, 2008 at 09:05 am

For me, the perfect gift is one that will make the receiver's eyes light up... and will come at a reasonable price to me!
Like the shoe-themed mini calendar I gave one of my best friends that is shoe-crazy....or the photo frame adorned with little bones for my friend who adores her dog...or the bottle of Diorissimo I got for sis when I went to Paris (for some strange reason, you cannot find it here...plus, I bought it at the airport, so it was duty free!...hardly frugal, though, so that was her b-day/Xmas present...it's a good thing her b-day is in December!- she nearly cried!)...butterscotch taffy for Mom...a good audiobook for Dad (when his eyesight got too bad and he couldn't enjoy his books anymore!)...a book on ballet for a friend who always wanted to be a ballerina...the "just perfect" handicraft for the friend who collects them...The perfect gift should fit the receiver, it should say: I love you enough to care about what YOU like...In this sense, the most difficult person to get a gift for is my niece...she either wants cash (which I find tacky!) or gift certificates (too impersonal) or REALLY expensive stuff (the kind of $$$ I wouldn't spend on Ale!)... I knitted her a small "night" handbag last year...haven't seen her use it ...not even once...last time I do THAT, let me tell you...

so much for my "free" weekend!

October 2nd, 2008 at 01:28 pm

LOL! I just got emailed that the materials to air in November just arrived! (they need to be translated in Oct)

((sigh))
Oh, well, at least they are here on time...the ones airing in Oct didn't arrive until Sept 7, which only gave me 3 weeks to work!

If I had some free time, I'd like to...

October 2nd, 2008 at 07:36 am

finish a knitting project (a fish blanket for Ale, based on a story she wrote)...
Make a quilted ballet bag for Ale...(I already designed it and bought the fabric...I just need some ribbons and thread....oh, and, of course, TIME to actually sew it!) -- here's my "design"...

no, it's not really mine, it's based on a clipart, I just changed the color scheme and substituted roses for hearts!...the bodice and shoes will actually be the same fabric as the sides, but I didn't know how to do that in the computer! LOL! and I found a very nice "ribbon" that looks somewhat like tulle, it's kind of stiff, too, so I'll use that for the tutu, instead of applique...You know? it would have been a lot cheaper to buy her a ballet bag (so far, I've spent $13, and if I added the labor... ) Ah, but it wouldn't be so special then, would it?
I'm working "overtime" tonight and tomorrow to try to have the weekend "free" of translations so that I can either get started with the bag, or continue with the blanket -- I need about 80 fish, and I have only knitted 12 or so... EEK!

October will be a spendy month....

September 26th, 2008 at 11:20 am

It always is... we have the children's theater festival in October each year...and Ale and I like to go to as many plays as we can (usually, 2 per weekend), so that increases our "fun" spending...it's not that bad, $3/person this year...still, it's about $24...good thing they don't sell/allow food and beverages!)

It never rains...

September 9th, 2008 at 04:24 pm

Luckily, I'm not the one standing in the rain right now!

Nephew. Yep, the one at the rehab center. He went to the psychiatric hospital for check up (he's bipolar) and apparently said something that made the doctor afraid he might be suicidal, so they admitted him for a psych evaluation (about 15 days)...Apparently, there's more to it than just the ADHD/bipolar/drug use damage ...he's being seen by the chief doctor there, because his case has the other doctors "stumped"...never good to have your doctor say that!...
Since it's a national hospital, sis will only have to pay $20 per month (regardless of whether he has to stay for treatment or if he's released for outpatient follow up)...but today they called her because, it being a national hospital, there are some medicines that they just don't have in stock ....so, sis asked me to call around and quote the medicine...the cheapest drugstore I found has them for $85 for a pack of 28...I sure hope he only has to take 1 pill/day!...
Oh, and while sis was at the psych hospital in an interview with the doctor, which took about 4 hours, her (company) car was burglarized....they stole the cd player console (she had the faceplate, according to company policy), and while doing that, they damaged the air conditioning, as well...which you really can't live without in rainy season if you do a lot of driving, as cars tend to get foggy in our kind of weather...((sigh))...they also took her cd collection (since she spends most of her time in the car, she kept it there, as opposed to at home)...Oh, and they also took $70 worth of merchandise she had (she's selling beauty products to supplement her income)...at least, those were just some orders she had to deliver ....if she had had the whole lot with her it would have been closer to $500!
Oh, and there's still no answer on her salary increase from the company. She asked for it in May, when they asked her to take over her former colleague's accounts, and they promised her they'd give her an answer before the end of July (as she says, if the answer is No, at least have the decency to say it!)...

So, it doesn't really impact me directly, but it does, in a way...

Niece and the car...

September 3rd, 2008 at 03:41 pm

or, should I say, Niece and MY car??
...for clarification, I mean...
back when she finished highschool, I was paying transportation from school to home for Ale... since Niece was going to start going to the university and this posed a logistical difficulty for her and my sis (classes at Uni NOT being built around parents' workschedules!), I decided (nobody asked) that it was a great win-win-win-win (me, sis, niece, and even Ale) if I left the car at home after dropping Ale off at school, so that Niece could go to her classes, provided she choose her schedules in such a way that she could always (or at least 98% of the time!) go pick up Ale between 2:45 and 3:15pm...Also, I was to be given a copy of the schedule so I knew which days she had classes after 5pm, so I would know the car wouldn't be available on those days, and so I could plan my needs around it...Well, Niece has since stopped going to the university (no, she didn't finish, but sis had warned her she would only pay for 1 year uni, and sis' sleazy ex-hub had promised to take care of it all, and now, of course, he's not paying...that's a whole separate entry!)...

Guess what? while most days I DON'T use the car anyway, it's already happened 3 times that when I need the car after work, it's not there...and Niece just "forgot" to tell me...well, #1 she's not going to classes, #2 she's not working - or REALLY looking for a job, #3 If it's a matter where she needs the car and I have it, she DOES find a way to call and let me know....how come she cannot call and ASK if she can use the car past 5?...#4 since she's not studying or working, why can't she plan her activities for, say between 9am and 2pm? Oh, that's right, that would interfere with her sleep schedule...

I was sooo mad yesterday, I just asked her for the keys and told her to forget about the car....I'm asking for permission at work to go pick up Ale for the next 2 weeks. After that, I'll see whether it isn't more financially sound to actually re-hire transportation (sis does give her some gas money, but let's remember there's more to keeping a car "drivable" than just gas!...and those bills are "all mine"!...)

Yes, there's more to it than just the car issue...but, no, I don't see why I have to make sacrifices to accomodate her way of life or her schedule...

Ale's school shoes

August 8th, 2008 at 09:08 am

In February, Ale needed new shoes for school. I bought her a size 2 pair, which were a bit large for her at the time, and, since they were having a 2X1, I bought a size 3 pair for the new school year (starting next week)...sis said I was exagerating and that I would probably have to save the size 3 shoes for the FOLLOWING year (Aug 09)...turns out, I was right! Those size 3 shoes are the perfect size right now (which means I will probably hit the 2X1 sale in Sept/Oct for a size 4 and size 5! LOL!)...oh, yes, those size 3 shoes also fit my sis! LOL!

Of holidays and earthquakes

August 6th, 2008 at 01:32 pm

Well, we are on Holiday (today is our last day, though, so tomorrow we start work again...except Ale, who starts a new school year on Tuesday )...we've had a couple strong earthquakes (strong enough to wake me up at night: one was 5.4 and the other one 5.1 - Richter scale)...nothing too bad, no damages, but enough to be scary (not scary enough to get up and get out of the house, though, as the first one was at around 1am and the other one at around 3am)
I took 4 days "off" (meaning I DID have work to do- translations- but I chose not to work for those 4 days: Fri-Mon...my brain needs a rest! LOL!)

Didn't do much, but we have spent some $$$$...went to the movies, bought pizza for 6 people...went to the Children's museum...stuff like that... other than that, just enjoyed the luxury of getting up at around 10 am!!!! (I'm a night person, I REALLY don't do mornings...I'm fully convinced my brain isn't really operational until 9am!)

Ale melts my heart...

July 23rd, 2008 at 09:34 am

really,that kid does.

Yesterday, we were lying in bed (it was cold, we were watching TV) and she said: You know what would be REALLY nice?...if we could get BIG a house, so all 5 of us could live together (she means the 2 of us + sis, niece and nephew)...I said: such a big house would be expensive..we'd have to save a lot to be able to do that...and she replied: could I help with the money I'm making from the business, even if it's just $1? It would help, wouldn't it?

Ale goes into business

July 10th, 2008 at 02:33 pm

...or, she will, once we work the numbers...

I made her some iced popsicles yesterday...it seems Nanny had attempted this some times before, without success...

The popsicles came out perfect this time!
Ale wants to sell them to the neighborhood children for $1/each (I told her she really can't do that, since the store in our neighborhood has cheaper ones, but promise her we'll work on pricing and then she can start...I also told her she can make "chocobananos" - frozen chocolate-covered bananas)...This conversation took place at lunchtime...

At 3pm, she calls me to work, and wants to know who gets the money...meaning who gets to keep the profits....
she also wants to know where the "original" money will come from ...meaning the money to buy the supplies for the first batch....

I told her I'll loan her the seed money, and she gets to keep the profits, but she can't spend it, because she has to re-invest it...she got a little confused with the concept of profit, so I promised I'll explain to her when I get home...

Even if she doesn't make much, it'll be a good experience!

"I 'm the only one that doesn't have cable"

July 7th, 2008 at 02:27 pm

That's what Ale told me a couple of days ago. she then proceeded to tell me she hopes to get some new kids in her class next year that don't have cable, as well...I told her: Baby, the way things are going, some of your OLD class mates might become cable-less as well! (A lot of the parents complained at the Parent's assembly last year because the school was increasing tuition. While I didn't feel thrilled at the idea, I understand that teachers and staff face cost-of-living increases, too...plus, it's a PRIVATE school....that means it is OWNED by someone - the school principal- who actually sees it as a money-making venture...) I think at least 1 other student has had the cable disconnected, already!

I understand the need to "compete", believe me, I do...I went to a partially -subsidized private school and, while half the class was taking trips to the US and Europe every year, some of us couldn't even afford to go to the beach on Sundays!...I wore clothes bought from a door-to-door vendor, they wore designer clothes...you know what? I turned out just fine, and I don't see why Ale shouldn't!...and I keep telling her, if she had cable she probably wouldn't be out playing with her friends outside all afternoon!....
And I know cable is just 1 battlefront!...soon I'll get to fight other ones,like: cellphones and clothes! ugh! Wish me luck!

lunch at the beach yesterday

June 23rd, 2008 at 10:03 pm

The day was soooo beautiful, we decided to go to the beach, to a nice little surf lodge someone had recommended to us...
We spent $50 for 3 people...not bad, considering sis had an entree and lunch (Ale just lunch)...and sis had a couple of beers...
As for those things that money can't buy...

This was the view from our table:



And this is us, enjoying the afternoon!


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