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157% increase in the price of gas! And beans are up from $0.60 to $0.90

September 25th, 2010 at 04:08 pm

WARNING: RANT AHEAD
****************************
First, let me start by telling you that we in ES don´t get gas supplied through our homes the way some of you do in other countries, but rather SOME of us (mostly middle class) buy gas cilinders to cook on gas stoves. Why? Because it is a LOT less expensive than an electric stove...or, perhaps I should say WAS... The gas here is heavily subsidized, as are water and electricity, and one of the first things the new government wanted to do was "make sure that the subsidy goes to those that really need it"....ok, nothing wrong with that... You might remeber that a while back I was complaining about my water and electricity bill... now it´s the gas. This, though, is a lot trickier... because you can either have the cilinder brought to your home or you can go buy it...so... how are they going to know you really "need it" (a.k.a: that you´re poor)?...so, their decision has been to eliminate the subsidy completely...the gas cilinder I buy currently costs $5.10.... this same cilinder will cost me $13.10 in the near future!...
Honestly, everyone´s joking about this right now (what else can we do? Cry about it?)..."we should go on that raw food diet"..."I want a turbo-kitchen"..."let´s go solar!"...etc... Now, it may not seem like much, and, in reality, in my house it might mean less junk food and sodas or animal protein, or other things like that...but...what does it mean to the family that makes $500 a month pre-tax? Or, even worse, to those living on minimimum salary at $200 per month pre-tax??
The truly poorer of the poor don´t even use gas, as $5.10 is already out of their reach, they use wood stoves...for the truly rich, the difference is nothing... so...guess who gets affected the most??

Ah, and in case we were thinking of switching from meat to beans, because of all the rain, the NEXT crop of beans will be low, so some distributors have decided to recoup those losses beforehand by raising the price of beans from $0.60 to $0.90 per Lb...now, what about the people that were barely making it on beans, corn tortillas and an occasional egg??

sorry, rant over!

the whole country is being held hostage!

September 8th, 2010 at 02:01 pm

I'm sad, mad, disappointed, enraged... and God only knows what other feelings go through me at this time... yesterday, the Maras (gangs) "decreed" a 72 hour stop on public transportation. Today, hardly a bus is running, and people have had to WALK to work... not only that, but businesses have opened late and are closing early so that people are able to get home safely... oh, and now the maras want to "negotiate" with the government (negotiate what? Our rendition?? They've already proven they are the ones with power!) AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Uniforms...

August 24th, 2010 at 09:34 pm

ugh! turns out we need more shirts than I thought. Ale has a couple size 10s, which SHOULD fit...SHOULD, right? the girl is 10, so, she should be a size 10... nope...they´re way to tight!

soooo.... all new shirts, both "daily" and "pe" shirts... (I wonder if I can get away with buying the size 14 ones...hmmmmmm)

the cc company increased my credit limit!

August 19th, 2010 at 03:59 pm

That is happy news...they only do that when they feel you're not using it enough! LOL! I guess it terrified them to see that I had $1k available and figured if they increased the limit, I'd be tempted to buy something BIG! (eh, no! I don't NEED anything right now)... Smile

Straaaaange feeling!

August 12th, 2010 at 08:46 pm

All bills are paid, I have a bit over $1k available in my cc (not that I´m planning to use it, but it´s nice, for once, not to be close to the limit!)... I have enough money to pay for my lab tests and for Ale´s uniforms (she needs PE uniforms and 1 more polo shirt)

I have 2 translation paymentes pending for this week... part will be saved for Ale´s TKD uniform...and for the next ballet slippers... the rest will go to the CC... and part will be saved to help with the move (if I ever find a decent place for the money I can afford!)

Smile

went to the neurologist today

August 10th, 2010 at 09:14 pm

I´ve been getting a strange pain in my legs whenever I spend too much time sitting down and then trying to get up... this started 2 weeks ago, and last week was a holiday (yes, the whole week), so yesterday I made an appointment for today.

The doctor says my sacroiliac may be swollen, but says it might be something else. So he prescribed some medicines to help with the swelling and some tests...

The great news is he is part of the medical network of the insurance I have through my office, so the visit costs only $3!

BA, this made me think of you!

July 18th, 2010 at 08:49 am

http://vitality.yahoo.com/video-second-act-jay-shafer-209101...

Gotham City????

June 22nd, 2010 at 10:35 pm

As a friend says, this seems like Gotham City, but there´s no Batman!!!!

Not even during the war did we see things like these!!! (yes, they did burn buses, but, they made everyone leave the bus first!)

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/06/21/el.salvador...

Really, I don´t even know WHAT to say...

Showtime 2010

June 19th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

A couple pics we took before Ale´s recital!
stage make-up!


outside of the theatre

if you're interested in a job in the DC area, look here!

June 10th, 2010 at 07:40 am

We received this list today and were asked to circulate it!

MCC’s Current Vacancy Listing As Of 06/08/10 (for more info, you can visit www.mcc.gov

Senior Director (Fiscal Accountability), MC-0501-2d
Location: Department of Compact Implementation
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0061-MP
NOTE: Open to Status Candidates
Open: 06/04/10 – 07/02/10

Senior Director (Fiscal Accountability), MC-0501-2d
Location: Department of Compact Implementation
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0061-DE
NOTE: Open to All US Citizens
Open: 06/04/10 – 07/02/10

Associate Director/Director (Procurement), MC-1102-3b/3a
Location: Department of Compact Implementation/Procurement Division
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0060-MP
NOTE: Open to Status Candidates

Open: 06/04/10 – 07/06/10
Associate Director/Director (Procurement), MC-1102-3b/3a
Location: Department of Compact Implementation/Procurement Division
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0060-DE
NOTE: Open to All US Citizens

Open: 06/04/10 – 07/06/10
Managing Director (Administrative Services & Human Resources)
Location: Department of Administration and Finance/Administrative Services and Human Resources Division
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0062-MP
NOTE: Open to Status Candidates

Open: 06/08/10 – Close: 06/29/10
Managing Director (Administrative Services & Human Resources)
Location: Department of Administration and Finance/ Administrative Services and Human Resources Division
Vacancy Announcement Number: MCC-10-0062-AD
NOTE: Open to All Sources This is an Administratively Determined Excepted Service Appointment
Open: 06/08/10 – Close: 06/29/10

"2 achievements in one day"

June 5th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Ale's words, not mine.
Today she earned her yellow belt in TKD and she made brownies all by herself... which turned out to be BETTER than mine!! (she added 2x the amount of cocoa required!...that's cheating! )

Tropical Storm Agatha

June 2nd, 2010 at 07:41 pm

hit Central America hard!
Thankfully, things weren't as bad in El Salvador as in Guatemala Frown for them, though... plus, they have a volcano that is erupting, too!

I was watching the news today and, there was another consequence that I hadn't thought about... one of the bridges at the border with Guatemala collapsed. Most of our veggies come from Guatemala,so, now veggies are more expensive (and scarce!)

Seems my life just got more expensive!

May 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I used to buy Ale new clothes every six months, in June and December of each year, but, she already outgrew all her clothes. So, if she continues to grow at this pace, I will have to do it every 4 months! OUCH!

Double-Ouch...we now have to go to the Juniors section!!!....

I took her to a place that was supposed to be an outlet, but, t-shirts were $19!!!... I then took her to another place where we bought 3 shirts and pajamas for $21! the only bad thing was we couldn´t find any bottoms there...we went to at least 3 other places, but, I think she´s all set now!

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!

Our new kitten!

March 13th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

still unnamed, but, definetely a male...as per the vet...

Here he is at the vet's for his very first check up, isn´t he cute??


And, this is Fiona inspecting him when he arrived home!

I've seen it all!

March 4th, 2010 at 07:16 am

Yesterday, members of 2 rival gangs had marches to protest a law that will send perpetrators of barbaric crimes to maximum security prisons... (yep, they torture, kill and dismember their victims, but think it's not fair to be sent to maximum security prisons?)...
I do understand that part of the issue is they are not allowed contact with their families and, that, I understand... but, really, here in ES, most extorsion cases are run from inside "normal" prisons, so...

http://www.laprensagrafica.com/el-salvador/departamentos/978...
It's not financial, but, it's just too much not to comment!

Oh, this is BAD!!!

February 23rd, 2010 at 08:56 pm

I´m listening to niece and sis having a big fight....
On the 18th, sis gave nice $383 and asked her to go the the bank and pay sis' loan... The money was in an envelop with sis name and loan # on it...She also gave her the cc account statement and money to pay for that...

Niece says she thought the envelope was bulky and awkward, so she took the cash out and cut out sis´lone #...


Sis got a call yesterday from the bank inquiring about the missing payment...

According to niece, while she was at the bank she had also requested a loan # from her workplace, because her supervisor had asked her to get him the loan # (it sounds very fishy to me!, but, stranger things have happened).... She then went to the teller to pay for sis' loan and inadvertedly gave him the wrong piece of paper... she claims she just picked up the receipt and left without checking it because she was in a hurry to get to the other bank to pay for sis' cc before closing time at 4pm

sis is histerical (and, with just reason) as there was no need for niece to be in a hurry, since sis gave her the stuff at 9am....(did I mention both banks are within 8 blocks of our house?)....

Niece says she already spoke to her supervisor and they will give her the money tomorrow night, so she will go pay for sis' loan on Friday....

she doesn't think that is too big a deal...it´s just a week! and It's not like she lost or spent the money!....

I do hope she's telling the truth, though, and that it doesn't turn out that she lent the cash to her loser boyfriend...because, then, the odds of getting that money back are really slim!!!

Sis just came in to ask if I had an aspirin!! can't blame her!!

Isn't it ironic?

February 10th, 2010 at 01:28 pm

I'm hiding from the bank. No, I don't owe then anything, but, they are intent on giving me "an additional credit line" for being "such a good and loyal customer"...

That means they want me to sign a new loan for $5,700 with them... of course, this is attached to my cc, although "it does not affect your cc balance"....

The problem is, I've told them NO at least 5 times, but, they keep insisting...so, now, when I see their number on my screen, I just don't pick up!
LOL! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Ale asked for a special reward

February 9th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Since she's worked really hard at improving her penmanship, she asked if she could have a special reward for bringing her grade up from a 60 to an 80... I said: depends on what you want...

what did she ask for??





A mechanical pencil!!

... total cost?? $1 (including refills)!

so, I said yes!...it is pink, of course!

You're already working on the birthday party???

January 23rd, 2010 at 07:43 pm

LOL!
Ex hubby celebrated his bday with a luau at the beach... I saw the decorations and asked him if they were his or the party planner's, and asked if I could have them if they were his....
Well, he told the party planners and, they brought the decorations to his apt this week! Soooo... I got free decorations!!! woo-hoo!!

My niece saw them and thought I had bought them for Ale's birthday (in June!)...LOL!... Yes, we generally start buying waaaaaay before!

Oh, he also gave me 2 beach balls (they brought 3, but he kept one "because they were so much fun"...believe it or not, my daughter was NOT the only one playing with the beachballs at the pool!!...but, yes, she was the only one under 25!...and, I think the grown ups were having MORE fun than she did!)

Do your friends really like that? -- 3!

January 12th, 2010 at 07:55 pm

Well, time to revisit the homebaked goodies again!

My sister asked if the people to whom I gave homebaked gifts really like the stuff I bake... I guess the answer is YES!...

I´ve received 2 requests to bake some more!

1. from a woman from the office. I gave a couple alfajores to the people I have lunch with and, one of them shared with this other co-worker and, she came to ask if I could bake her 40 alfajores for her church group (10 bags of 4).

2. from Ăłne of Ale's teachers, who asked Ale where we had bought the "delicious brownies" we gifted her, as she wanted to buy some for her boyfriend's birthday!

I have agreed to do both, but, asked them to please not spread the word as, really, I wouldn't have time to do this continually (it distracts from my translating... the alfajores, especially, the brownies are quick to mix, then they go into the oven and I can translate for about 40 minutes before taking them out of the oven!) I really couldn't do this ADDITIONALLY to the translations. I am just doing it as a favor and, since they didn't want to accept them as gifts, I'll charge them at cost (don't worry, I include gas/electricity and labor, I just don't make a profit!).

I just finished the brownies, the alfajores are for Friday...

Did I mention Ale wants me to knit her a hat?? I need 2 more pais of hands! LOL!

:( X 2

January 11th, 2010 at 09:17 am

Our little fish, Ojo Rojo, died this past Saturday... we found him belly up at 5pm... Ale loved that fish.

And, to make matters even worse, Tonio is missing. NO one has seen him since Saturday pm (dinner time)... we suspect the neighbor who threatened to poison him the other time, because it's not only Tonio, but a couple other cats that are missing, too! How can someone be so heartless?? ... Tonio wouldn't miss a meal, particularly not breakfast, when he gets his milk... it's also been awfully cold (for the tropics!) and, he wouldn't miss out on a warm comfy bed with a human blanket...er... human companion.

Frown

Ale want's to pass out some flyers, I don't think it'll do any good, but, I don't want her to feel like we didn't do everything we could... Frown

handmade gifts

January 7th, 2010 at 03:27 pm

Revisiting this concept because I gave my boss a gift for his newborn son: 3 pairs of hand-knitted baby booties.

He and his wife loved the booties and, his wife (they met here at the office) wrote to thank me for them and I said I was glad they liked them, to which she answered that they had loved them even more because they were hand-made. (My boss asked and I told him I had knitted them myself).

Sadly, not everyone recognizes how truly special a hand-made gift is. Lots of Ale's friends for example, hold the view that hand-made gifts are somewhat inferior gifts. Of course, they are 9 year olds, but, of course, too, mostly they have picked this attitude from the people around them.

I have tried to make Ale understand and, I think she finally got it. She "found" the baby blanket my mother crocheted for her and, asked if Oma had made it by hand. I told her yes, and she said: Mom, there are 106 squares in this blanket! That must have taken a LOT of time, she must have REALLY loved me!

Beach on Jan 1st!

January 2nd, 2010 at 07:12 pm

A friend invited us to overnight at her beach house from Jan 1st to Jan 2nd. Needless to say, we accepted! We had lots of fun. I haven´t been so relaxed in ages! Sleeping there was a new experience for Ale, and, she loved it!

She told us not to worry about the food, as there would be plenty of leftovers from Christmas Eve, so we just brought some sodas, ice and, of course, per my friend{s request, pinapple bars!

I stopped by the supermarket (THE supermarket, there´s only one in the area!) to buy some sun block, as we were out and, found they have a nice selection of beach wear, including shorts! (Ale has outgrown all of hers, so she had been asking me to buy her some, but, for some strange reason even local chain stores seem to be following US seasons, so, all you can find right now are long sleeved shirts, pants, sweaters and, even hats and gloves, but, no bathing suits or shorts!!!)...so, we found and bought 2, woo-hoo! That saves me the trouble of trying to find them in San Salvador!

Do your friends REALLY like that?

December 29th, 2009 at 04:28 pm

Sis hates sweets and desserts, cookies and chocolates, anything sweet, basically... so, when I bake for my friends, she just doesn't "get it" that I will go through all that work and that people actually enjoy the alfajores and the bars and the brownies....LOL!

Ale's pink tree!

December 25th, 2009 at 02:45 pm

Here it is! Ale's pink tree!


And, here WE are, in front of the tree.

I need to contact our landlady

December 23rd, 2009 at 09:18 am

We pay for all minor repairs on the house, first of all, because they are "normal wear and tear" repairs and, secondly, because, even with the increase, our rent is so low for this part of town (we pay $350, and houses in our neighborhood typically rent for $500)...but, the lightbulb in the kitchen is dripping (or,rather, water from the upstairs bathroom, which is right on top of the kitche, is collecting and dripping!...) Since the girls' bathroom had a leak, I assumed it was THAT. Eh...should have remembered I don't have good spatial sense, the girls' bathroom is actually over the dining room/living room area, the kitchen sits right underneath the shared bathroom!

So, anyway, since the guy had to come pick up his $$$, I asked him to look at it. He said they are closing today at noon for Xmas, so he couldn't start working on it, but, said this is a fairly common problem, explained what might be wrong and, said this typically costs between $100-$200, depending on how bad the problem is. Also, he said they will have to remove tile floors and maybe some of the pipes...this is a major repair. I will try to get the landlady to pay for it, but, if she refuses, then at least I need her authorization to change the floor tiles... (also, I would prefer that this be done by someone SHE trusts, it is her house, after all!)

Wish me luck!

Cinnamon bars- recipe

December 22nd, 2009 at 07:51 pm

This recipe was in an old book of my Mom's, under "resistant cookies", meaning they are long lasting and will travel well!

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoonful baking poweder
1 teaspoonful (ground) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoonful (ground) nutmet
1 teaspoonful vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used almonds, as Ale prefers them)

Boil the raisins for 5 minutes, then let cool.
Cream the margarine with the sugar, ad the eggs one by one, the raisins and the vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients together and add them together with the nuts.

Place in a mold, greased and sprinkled with flour. Bake at 176°C (~350°F) for 15 minutes.

Let cool completely before cutting in squares. Yields 3 dozen, approx.

See? My kind of recipe! Super easy, and fast! (not to mention delicious!)

New Year's dinner!

December 22nd, 2009 at 02:47 pm

Yes, I know, we haven't even had Xmas dinner yet!
But, today we went to a luncheon with the people that give us translations and, both sis and I each won a $15 gift certificate redeemable at the supermarket...so, there's our New Year's dinner! Yay!

487 children murdered in 2009

December 22nd, 2009 at 07:47 am

(and, the year isn't over yet!)

Things like thise really anger/ sadden me!


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