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Aug. 12th, 2011

New 'do!

Wow...loooong time!

Holy crap it's been over a year since I last posted on this thing.  Shame on me!  On the plus side, you haven't missed much.  Here my year in review:

  • Completed my 2nd year of my Nutrition program
  • Got on the Dean's List for school
  • Got a job working at the hospital during the summer for a two month period.  Actually getting paid is a real morale booster
  • Got a volunteer position with two dietitans over for this summer
  • Read a lot.  Textbooks and fun reads.  Currently reading The Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin.
  • My top 3 favourites at the moment are: Game of Thrones, The Help, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • I was asked by one of my professors to help her with a project over the summer
  • I tried Guinness for the first time, and to be honest, I don't see what all the hype is about,  The Draught is okay, but the Extra Stout is just extra nasty.  It has an awful burnt aftertaste.
  • I bought my first laptop.  So far so good, the only thing I will say is that I wish I had bought one with a full number pad
  • Had a fight with one of my best friends last summer that resulting in me not talking to her for a year.  It sucked, but at the time it was what I felt I needed since it was beginning to feel as though I only mattered in her life when something dramatic happened and she wanted someone to fix it, and I had just had enough given everything that had led up to that point.  We have since talked though, and things seem a lot better.  Not back to our usual yet, but getting there.
  • I have officially come to terms with the fact that getting through school with a measure of my sanity needs some extra added help, so I'm going to be going back on the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant meds within a few weeks to let my body get used to them again.
  • This isn't of a huge deal, but it still bothers me - yet another year has gone by and I still haven't dated yet.  I'm almost 28 for cripes sake.  This is getting ridiculous. I mean really, is there something THAT much wrong with me that I'm not getting?  It seems like every day I go on Facebook someone else is either getting a boyfriend, getting engaged, getting married or popping out babies. Take your pick.  I realize that right now is not the most opportune time to get in a relationship given that I'm still in school, and that is my top priority at the moment, but seriously, I don't even get asked in order to even have the opportunity to say no if I could.  I keep hoping that once I get out working this will change, but who knows.
  • Given the last statement, I am also pretty certain child-rearing is not in my future.  I've given myself a cut-off age of 35, at least for the possibility of a biological kid.  Any older than that I'll adopt, and even then this isn't a surety
  • Still living at home with Mum in the basement during the summer.  I need out.  I need to finally feel the complete independence that I know I can possess.  Right now, it's still probably a year off, but there is an end in sight.  I hope.

May. 1st, 2010

New 'do!

Greetings one and all!

Wow, what a hectic 8 months it has been.  I realize the last time I posted was either before I went away to school, or during O-Week; either way it has been far too long and I apologize for my extended absence.  I didn't quite realize how hectic my program was going to be.  I mean, I realize it was never going to be a walk in the park, but this was this past year of school has been ridiculously crazy-busy.

They had me registered for a first, second and third year Foods and Nutrition courses, taking at the same time as a Business.  Yes, I as a Food and Nutrition student was required to take a business course.  Figure that one out and get back to me will you.  What made it even more annoying was that the Business course was taught using "the Case Method" which apparently translates to "We'll give you your homework, you go home and do it, bring it back for next days class and THEN we will teach you how to do it" !?!?!  Wha??  Each unit we had got progressively worse in terms of my understanding, however, somehow my lowest mark before going into the final exam was 78.  I have no idea where my prof came up with her grading system but I wasn't going to ask.  That being said, the final exam was interesting to say the least, so we'll see what the final verdict is when I get my marks back in 2 weeks.

Second year Food Science was definitely the highlight of my courses.  Despite having boring lecture material, the labs made up for it in SPADES by having me cook and taste-test yummy items each week.  I love how one of my required course materials was a recipe book!

The other 2 courses were 1st year Nutrition and 3rd year Advanced Food Science.  Not much to say about these two other than for one week for Advanced Foods I made my very own yogurt!  Yum!

Sadly, I don't really have any awesome highlights for the year, as I didn't do much apart from study.  I went out to 3 different restaurants in London over the course of the 8 month period:  The Mongolian Grill, The Mandarin and Demetri's.  The latter is strictly a dessert restaurant where the menu is huge, but fantastically yummy.   

The girls at school were really nice, however it was an adjustment having to be back living in residence, and an all-girls one at that.  I don't really want to live there again next year, but for the convenience factor alone I can't pass it up.

Overall I enjoyed Brescia, but I still never got near the "homey" feeling as compared to when I was at Guelph.  I don't know why exactly, but I'm still quite partial to Guelph.  I think one of the reasons is that I never really liked main campus, which is funny because Main likes to advertise that it and all of the affiliate colleges are one big happy family, but I got the distinct impression that Main doesn't like Brescia, and Brescia doesn't like Main.  I can sort of see why the latter is true as I wasn't really a big fan of Main myself, or how they organize things.  

This past eight months has definitely had its ups and downs, but I still really enjoy my program.  We'll see how well the program liked me when the final marks are tallied.

Now, I have 4 months stress free, during which time I hope to find some volunteer experience, a job, or both depending on how lucky I am.  I definitely need the volunteer experience, preferably dietetic related, in order to apply for the dietetic internship before I graduate.  Apparently I need 3 dietetic references, so I best get started right away.  I'm also looking forward to reading FUN books (if anyone has suggestions please comment), spending time with friends, and getting myself back into pre-residence-living shape.  My body currently hates me and I cannot say I'm a fan of it either.

Another plus to being back home...MY SISTER!  Turns out, her husband is an ass and they have split making her find a new place of her own.  My Mum helped her find a house here in B-ford and she takes possession on June 18th, so I'm really excited about getting to spend more time with her; I hated her seeing so little of her when she and the hubby moved to Burlington.  I know she's not overly thrilled at the prospect of moving back here, however I'm just glad she seems to be doing better, and is focused moving forward and taking care of herself.  I know it will take a while, but I'm sure she'll be okay with time.  And on a completely selfish note, I also now have a place to escape to when it gets too crazy living at home.

All in all, I think this is going to be a pretty great summer!  Cheers!

Aug. 7th, 2009

New 'do!

Enjoying her seat on the money train!

FINALLY, IT'S HAPPENED!  I am now a PAID employee!  *Super-Mega chair-style happy dance*  YAHOO!  It's been official since July 20th.  I have already received one paycheque.  Most of which went to paying off my Visa bill and sending a chunk into Brescia for tuition, but that's beside the point.  It's nice to have some money that I finally feel like I've earned as opposed to the government hand-out cheques as a result of my being disabled.  Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate it, but there's a lot of red tape that comes along with that money, and I can't wait until I can find myself a stable, big-girl salary, career-type job so that I can get off ODSP and actually start saving money in larger amounts.  For the moment though, I'm living in my glory that I'm finally earning my own money.  It's also nice to be getting paid once every two weeks as opposed to a lump sum at the end of the month.  I've been good so far; any money that I've spent so far (apart from making bill payments) has gone either toward day-to-day living essentials or the cab fare that's required to get myself to and from work.  I feel like a should splurge on a little something, but haven't come to a decision as to what that will be yet.

I'm also getting a far bit of contract work from Sears which is nice.  Since my aunt works there, I get called in on occasion to do little odd jobs for them.  For the last 3 days I've been cold-calling on their behalf to customers with Sears cards reminding them to come out to a VIP sale that's happening today and Saturday.  Not the most glorious of jobs - especially when you're being yelled at over the phone - but, hey, they pay me out of petty cash so I'm not going to compalin.  This weekend I'm also handing out "Reveal the Deal" cards to customers as they come in the store.  I like this kind of work more, as then I'm at least interacting face-to-face with individuals and occasionally here the words,"Thank you" which is a lot nicer.

I still haven't fully adjusting to having all this work at my disposal, having had absolute none beforehand.  It's a weird transition that I still have to wrap my head around.  I'm definitelty enjoying it though.  This week alone has been crazy.  My regular schedule at the clinic is Monday/Tuesday/Friday from 9-3 and Tuesdays from 12-6, with volunteer at the hospital moved to Wednesdays from 9-1.  This week though, I've also worked at Sears Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 4-9.  I make my own lunches all the time, but due to this weeks late hours I have to try to stuff enougb things in my lunch box for lunch and dinner.  I'm also working at Sears this weekend from 11-4 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday!  Phew!  Sleep, what's that?!  I also have the 15th-18th lined up with them as well!

The only downside to working now is that half of whatever I've made for the month gets deducted off my ODSP cheques that I receive at the end of the month, which makes it hard to build up any sort of savings in my account.  Oh well, I manage my money quite well, so I'm not too concerned. I plan on making sure I have at least half of each paycheque going into my account after all necessary bills are paid off.   I get paycheque #2 next week, #3 on the 28th and then my ODSP cheque on the 31st; life is GREAT!


Apr. 19th, 2009

New 'do!

My extended family

Tonight I attended the 80th birthday party of the man I affectionately refer to as "Grandpa G".  We are in no way related, but as his daughter  was my Special Services Support worker from the time I was 13 until 18, she became like a second Mother to me and as a result he became my Grandpa.  Such a sweet guy, and one who looks in no way like he's 80 let me tell you!  We aren't of course as close as my actual family, but I think of her sons as my big brothers, her grandkids as my cousins and so on.  They're such an awesome bunch.  Until tonight though, I had NO idea their family was quite as large as what it apparently is.  There had to be at least 30 people there and I guess around 12 were missing and this doesn't even count the family he still has living in his native Barbados!  Speaking of which, I was informed tonight that apparently they plan on getting the entire clan together to fly to Barbados in 2011 and I'M INVITED!  SWEET!  I don't care if I'm still in school or not by this point, I am NOT passing up a trip to Barbados.  Just have to come up with the $. Riiiiiiight.  Well, I've got two  years to save so I guess I better start now.

Oh, another thing I found out is that apparently "Mum's" one niece also goes to Brescia!  She's apparently entering her second year in the Sociology program and will be staying in the family housing complex.  Talk about a small world.  It'll be nice to know someone in London, as right now I don't know anyone who lives there apart from my Dad's side of the family whom I'm not particularly close with.  I asked her if I could add her to Facebook and told her that once I got settled I'd contact her to see if we could go out for coffee or lunch or something of that nature.  Yay!  Fun times.

Oh, in keeping with the "extended family" theme since I did mention my Dad's side of the family, I would like to also make it known that I have made an effort to contact my grandma whom I haven't spoken with in a long, long while.  I informed her that since I am going to be going to school in London next fall, I think it's about time that we put the harsh words and the events of the past in the past and at least attempt to rebuild our relationship.  In the email I wrote to her I explained that since I'm going to be in London and they live in London (they being ALL of them) I don't want them to feel as though they can't contact me or see me if they feel like it.  I realize that we likely won't have the relationship we once had, but at least it's worth a shot, and they can see that I AM trying and willing to make an effort.  That said, I did also mention that part of my reasoning was somewhat selfish, as I believe my father and brother deem it rather hypocritical of me to want my brother to talk to my Mum while I haven't spoken to my Dad's side of the family.  I'm hoping that if they see that I am trying to make an effort to fix things with them that my brother will at least try, even in a small way, to repair his relationship with my Mum.  I can hope at least.  Whether they choose to agree to this, however, is entirely up to them.  I can at least say I tried.  In keeping with my vow to make an effort,  I've agreed to attend a "Bratina family dinner" with them in London at the Mandarin in "celebration" of my Grandparents return from hibernation in Florida.  You will note that I'm even trying to go back to refer to them as my grandparents instead of distancing myself from them by referring to them as "Bill and Dawn" as I've been doing in the past.  Even this is a huge step for me.  I have to say I'm rather pleased with myself.  I've grown up a lot in terns of my view of things in the past year and this is my attempt at proving that.  Whether I like it or not, they ARE my family; I just have to accept that we are different, that they will do things I'm not at all pleased with, and learn to accept that.  I've learned to do this with my Dad's never-ending Harley-Davidson obsession, so I have to extend this same courtesy to them.  They are who they are, and as I've rather quickly learned, you cannot change people.

Well, enough of my family philosophies, I'm off to bed.  I shall let you know how my Mandarin evening transpires.

Apr. 18th, 2009

New 'do!

The littlest Grantham

This past week was a big highlight in my book as my cousin from out west flew into town with his fiancee and their little baby girl Jaylyn.  They were here from the 9th til the 18th.  Technically she's a Radersma given her last name, but everyone on my Mum's side of the family considers themselves more Grantham than anything else. Especially since losing Grandpa.  Such a GREAT visit.  It's one thing to see Jaylyn on Skype, but it's a whole other experience to be able to actually see her in person, play with her and hold her.  She's just so cute I wanted to hug her and never let her go.  Given  what the little one has been through during her first year it was amazing to see how well she's doing in person.  It was such a great time having the whole family together again; I can't even describe it.  They've only been gone since 7 am this morning and already I miss them like crazy.  Last night we all went over to my aunt's house to say goodbye and I don't think anyone left with dry eyes.  I know they had a fun week though and everyone LOVED seeing the baby.  And I do mean EVERYONE.  The day after they arrived, my Aunt had an "Come meet the baby" open house/baby shower and the amount of people that showed up was insane.  Hopefully, now that people have seen her, the next time they visit it will be a little less chaotic and more family-oriented.  I can understand why everyone was so eager to see her though, she's just too darn cute for words.  In the next few days I'll be posting photos of their visit on Facebook, so you'll be able to appreciate her degree of cuteness for yourselves.

I hope they had a safe flight back and I can't wait until their next visit!

Apr. 3rd, 2009

New 'do!

London bound in the Fall!

No, sadly, not the England version; the Ontario one, but still, I'm happy!  Let me fill you in on the details:

As you know I have been finished school since December of '07 and to date have had zero luck when it comes to the lovely thing called employment.  Back in November I decided that I'd had enough, and figured it was pretty clear my generalized Biological Science degree was getting me nowhere fast, so I decided it was time to specialize my degree and not have it be so broad in terms of the education.  Well, since I have my minor in Nutritional Science already, I decided to look into the Food and Nutrition programs at Guelph and Brescia University College in London.  Having the minor allows me to complete what would be another 4 year program in 2 years.  Brescia is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario and that would be the diploma I'd receive upon completion of the degree.  Both programs are accredited by the Dietitians of Canada, meaning that once you complete the undergrad program as well as the internship, you are qualified as a Registered Dietitian anywhere in Canada.  The internships are highly competitive, and you have to apply to get in, but still, it's worth a shot.

I had to have all the forms filled out for OUAC and sent in by December for both schools in order to qualify for Fall 2009, so I did.  I later found out that as a readmitted student to Guelph I needed a 75% average to get into the program.  Problem?  Mine was only 73.2.  Yep, a big 1.8 percent difference.  Brescia however only requires 72% for transfer students (which I guess is the term for students who already have degrees as well as those who are switching schools).  Since I'm more familiar with Guelph, however, that was where I really wanted to go.  I discussed things with Mum and we thought that based on my current financial status, and given that I apparently would have to boost my average to get into the program, we thought it would be best to hold off until 2010.  I got a notice from Brescia in January saying they received my transcripts and were going to look things over and get back to me, which I figured wasn't a big deal yet, as there was no guarantee I was even going to get accepted anyway.  Then a few months go by; it's now March, and I had gotten so wrapped up in what I needed to go to get into Guelph with what summer courses I was going to take; developing a 2 year program plan of exactly what courses I was going to take when; and finding out what other requirements there were for the internship; that I had completely forgotten I had even applied to Brescia to begin with.  Well, sort of; I did eventually remember and send them an email saying that I wanted to withdraw my application until 2010, except that apparently Gmail e-mail accounts are blacklisted at UWO so it got bounced right back to me.  I guess in the end that ended up being a good thing, however, because not 2 days after that email was bounced back did I come home from the gym to find an offer of acceptance on from Brescia on my coffee table!  Talk about out of the blue.  Totally unexpected!

I talked things over with Mum again, and we both concluded that, while it would be nice for me to go back to Guelph, I'd be stupid to not at least consider this option.  After all, even if I did take summer courses to boost my average for Guelph, there's still no written-in-stone guarantee that they'd accept me after all that work.  I then thought about defering the acceptance until 2010 to try and make some extra money, but Mum pointed out again that for the year and a half I thought I'd have a job, and look where that's gotten me.  I could defer it only to find out that I still was unable to get a job and then I'd be right back to where I am now; only this time not only would I be without any extra money, but also missing out on potentially getting a year of the two year program behind me and completing it sooner.  We agreed it would be a good idea to go and have a look at the campus. 

We went twice actually; the first time 3 weeks ago to get a general feel of the place, taking my wheelchair, and the second two weeks ago with my scooter as that would be my actual mode of transportation around campus and we had to make sure it would fit in all necessary doorways, hallways, and elevators.  The latter was the biggest concern as the residence building where I would be staying was originally built in the 1920's, and as a result has a rather small, narrow elevator which we weren't entirely sure the scooter would fit into.  For our second trip I also had the woman from UWO's Centre for Student's with Disabilities come with us to see the campus, as she had never been over there; we figured she may be able to point out other areas that needed to be fixed/accommodated that we may have missed.  We were all very pleased to discover that the scooter did indeed fit, and as well that Brescia's maintenance staff were more than willing to help retrofit certain areas to make things easier and overall more accessible for me.  I was very pleased to say the least.  Everyone seems very friendly.   As nice as the residence building is however, I have to say I'm not super keen about doing residence life again.  I had enough of that by the time I was finished at Guelph.  It's not even so much the fact that it's an all girls, Roman Catholic residence, that doesn't really bug me as long as they don't try to convert me, it's fine.  it's more-so that I'm going to be going in there as a 25 year old third year transfer student and I'll be surrounded by girls ranging in age from 16-19.  By October I'll officially 10 years older than a lot of these students and that doesn't exactly thrill me.  I'm over-looking this fact in favour of the convenience however, since it's a 5 second walk to the one and only building where I'll be having most of my classes.  On ODSP I can't afford a place in London on my own, not to mention the fact that I don't know anyone there I could share a place with anyway, nor am I at all familiar with the area.  No, I'll stick with residence for at least the first year until I meet some other people.

So, the tour went well, but there was one more thing I wanted to check on before officially accepting the offer: my employment supports.  Even though the agency I work with hasn't actually FOUND me a job, I wanted to make sure that by going back to school I wasn't violating any sort of "contract" with them, as I did remember them saying once that you could work or go to school, but not both.  As it turns out, assuming the grant goes through for this one volunteer position I have and I eventually get PAID, I can do both.  As long as I am willing to work part time and do so at least once a month.  I asked them what the hourly requirement was and they said a minimum of 3 hours. HAPPY DAY!  This would work out perfectly since the clinic is only open for 3 hours on Saturdays. YAY!  If I can't manage to come home at least once a month and work for 3 hours there's something wrong.  Not only would this mean that my file wouldn't be closed with the agency, but also this allows me to have a little extra pocket change every month. It's a win-win situation.  I spoke with my "boss" and he's okay with it as well.  I thought he'd be mad that I'd be leaving in 4 months, but he's actually being very supportive telling me to go for it.  He said this way they could move me from doing front desk office support to one of the back offices as a Dietitian.  OKAY!

Needless to say, after my talk with my employment support worker and my "boss" I came home that night and officially accepted the offer!  I am still a little sad that I won't be returning to Guelph, but after all: "change is good" right.  I actually think this will work out better for me in the long run because class sizes are MUCH smaller - maximum size of 90 - meaning that I should get more one-on-one time with the profs if I'm having any difficulties. Hopefully, as a result, this should also help with my problems with exam anxiety.  I  hope anyway.  One of the drawbacks to being a transfer student is you've got a shorter time-frame to get the same amount of marks as everyone else.  While it's great that I essentially have a "clean slate" I need to get a 75% average to get into the regular internship stream, or a 78% average for the Master's Internship stream.  I think I'm actually going to shoot for the Masters internship stream believe it or not.  An extra level of education on my resume plus my internship completed in the same amount of time.  Sounds good to me!

Now it's just a matter of how to come up with the money by September. Oi vey!  Hello OSAP (+ me+Mum +Dad + Bank of Grandma)!?!

FINALLY! Something GOOD is happening in my life :)

Feb. 16th, 2009

New 'do!

The Non-Happenings

As I haven't really written anything on here since the start of the new year, I figured it was time to do some soft of update, however, there unfortunately isn't much to say.  I guess the most recent topic of conversation I could bring up is my decision to leave Facebook; for how long exactly, I don't know, but for now, it's gone bye-bye.  How I came to this decision was basically due to the fact that over the past few months I've found myself growing more and more depressed about the direction (or should I say lack-thereof) my life seems to be taking, and going on Facebook and seeing all my friends updates on how well theirs is going either through school, a new job, getting back from a fabulous trip, who they're dating or married to, the new house they just bought or the new baby they just had was getting to be a bit much and I was advised to stay away from it for a while.  Given how addictive it can be, I figured the only way to do it and stick to it, was to deactivate my account and remove any bookmarks to the site permanently. 

I realize this may not be the case for all my friends, and for those that this is, don't get me wrong, I really am happy for them, and all they've accomplished, but when you feel as though your life has stalled to a complete and total halt - even in some cases regressed - it's a bit of a hard pill to swallow, especially when your Facebook page has lots of friends and it seems as though you're bombarded with happy updates no matter whose page you click on.  Nope, I think a healthy distance from all things Facebook is just what I need for right now.  If for no other reason than the sake of my sanity.  The frequency with which I seem to be able to find myself in a seriously depressive mood swing is a little concerning right now, so I'm trying, in even just a small way to fix it.  We'll see how that goes.  You'd think the fact that I'm volunteering on a daily basis through the week would help given that it does allow me time out of the house, but even doing these things I now find them to be boring and I'm no longer looking forward to doing any of them.  For me, now, they've just turned into something to kill the hours while I'm awake because I don't have anything else to do.  Even though I know I'm helping people and I know they appreciate my help, none of these "jobs" are anything I'm ever excited about doing when I wake up in the morning, or really feel as though I'm doing anything significant.  More often than not, I just view them as a reason to get up and dressed in actual clothes rather than lying in my bed in my pjs and reading all day.

I think my decision to leave Facebook may also help some of my friendships, as people will now be forced to actually call and talk or email me to find out what's going on (or not) in my life.  I've been feeling lately that a lot of my friendships are one-sided, with the exception to a few people, and if it weren't for my being the one to make the phone calls, write the emails or make plans, that they wouldn't even remember I existed, and frankly I'm sick of it.  I realize that people get busy in their lives, really, I do, and I get that chances of my being able to actually talk to them for any extended length of time are slim, but it would be nice to get the occasional phone call or email just with something simple like, "Hey, how are things going; are you still at least somewhat sane?"  As much as I love technology, it's times like these when I hate it because as a society we're just getting increasingly lazy in maintaining actual face-to-face (or at least voice-to-voice) human contact.  I may be naive, but I'd like to think that those who have told me that they'll stay in touch will actually mean it.

There's my rant for the night.  Now it's off to bed.

Dec. 19th, 2008

New 'do!

Okay, I've heard of big families but this is nuts...

Yesterday on the People Magazine website I read this:

"Give us another J!

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Tontitown, Ark., had their eighteenth child Thursday – Jordyn-Grace Makiya, who joins the rest of her J-named siblings.

Jordyn-Grace was born via C-section at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers, weeks before her due date of Jan. 1. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 3 oz and was 20 inches long.

"Mother and baby are resting and doing well," says a rep for the Duggar family, whose crowded house is featured on the TLC network show 17 Kids & Counting.

The newest Duggar has a lot of names to keep straight.

The other kids – who range in age from 20 years to 17 months – are Joshua (who
married Anna Keller in September and says he is looking forward to the "blessing of children" of his own), twins John-David and Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, twins Jeremiah and Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah and Jennifer.

Their parents married when Michelle was 17 and Jim Bob was 19. (Her mother had to officially sign permission.) After birth-control pills were blamed for a miscarriage, the couple decided to throw them out. They've had a new baby approximately every 18 months since.

"What really works for me is swaddling a baby and snuggling up," Michelle told PEOPLE in an interview last year. "I love that time of just bonding and nursing a little baby. And, with a new baby, I realize that I don't need as much sleep as I used to think I did. You learn. This time goes by so quickly. I look at my older children and wonder where the time went."

A special on Jordyn-Grace's birth will air Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. on TLC.

And then today, there's this: 

For Jim and Michelle Duggar, eighteen isn't enough.

After welcoming a 7-lb., 3 oz. daughter via C-section on Thursday to join their 17 other children, the proud papa tells the Associated Press: "We both would love to have more."

The Duggars now have 10 sons and eight daughters, ranging in age from 17 months to 20 years, all with first names starting with the letter J, including the newborn addition, Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar.

"The ultimate Christmas gift from God," said Jim tells AP. "She's just absolutely beautiful, like her mom and her sisters."

The family's crowded house in Tontitown, Ark., is featured on the TLC network show 17 Kids & Counting, which will have its name updated to reflect the birth of No. 18.

Then there's another article that goes on to list all 18 J names, along with some Duggar family stats, such as:  133 Months of pregnancy 13 Natural births (one set of twins) and two C-sections (one set of twins) 9 Vehicles including a 21-passenger bus, several vans and pickup trucks 7,000 sq.-ft. house with two 1,000-ft. dormitory-style bedrooms 63 Loads of laundry a week $2,000 Monthly grocery bill, including: 6 Gallons of milk a week 15 Dozen eggs a week 12 Boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios a week 12 Rolls of toilet paper a week.

TLC must pay them a bloody fortune because most people I know can barely afford 2 kids, let alone 18.  You'd think her body would be screaming "That's IT! I QUIT!"

Nov. 11th, 2008

New 'do!

The Waiting Game

Well, Bex, here's that explanation I said I'd give you and all else regarding my "hoping to get some good news tomorrow" Facebook status that I had on Sunday.  Unfortunately, it's not that good, but it's not that bad either.  In true Goldilocks fashion, it's just right.

As many of you already know, I am unemployed and have been for almost a year now, and that is making me go out of my mind.  I keep sending in resumes and hear nothing back, or go in for what has been a handful of interviews in the past 11 months, again, to hear nothing back.  Last month I thought, that might change, but really, I refuse to get my hopes up anymore.  My employment counsellor, who I've been working with through the ODSP Employment Supports, for the last few months has been in contact with this guy named Ed who owns and operates a new rehab clinic here in Brantford on Henry St. called Trebax clinic on Henry St.  They apparently met at some conference-type function where he came up to her and said he was interesting in an administration assitant, and was wondering if she had any clients who would fit the bill.  Yes, she said, ME!  She had told him about what my career goals were, what my education background was, as well as what experience I have.  She said he sounded very impressed, apparently so much in fact that he stopped looking for other people and wanted meet me.  Great, awesome, stupendous even!  He wanted to meet with me, so we arrange an interview.  I hadn't even talked with the guy yet, or seen the clinic, so this is kind of crucial right?  I did my usual pre-interview ritual of reading up on the company, researching any information I wasn't sure of, going over answers to the usual interview questions in my head and emailing my top 3 references to let them know I had an interview and what for in case they got a phone call later on.  Prepared right?  I'd like to think so.  I get there, dressed all nice and pretty, only to find myself waay over dressed.  Ed's in his Trebax scrubs (understable though) but his other employee is wearing a pair of black pants, a muscle shirt covered over by what looked like an Abercrombie zip up sweatshirt.  Obviously a very casual work environment so I'm pretty happy.  Ed even said "Don't get me wrong, you look really nice, but you wouldn't have to dress like that here, we'll just give you a Trebax scrubs shirt that you can wear a blouse over top of or something."  The "interview" itself didn't really happen.  Not one question about me, my education, possible scenarios, whether I knew about the company, no grilling me, nothing.  Ed told me about the position and what I'd be responsible for and basically only asked me two questions: "Do you have any questions?" and "Would you like a tour of the clinic?" 

The position itself sounds amazing.  At least for your generic administrative assistant.  Not only would I be answering phones and taking bookings, but since Ed's planning on bringing in a Naturopathic Doctor in January, as well as a Reflexologist and Reiki master on contract, I would be responsible for handling the sales of the products, and making sure in general that all the customers are happy with how things are going.  Ed even said that to keep me updated on what all of the Naturopathic Doctor's products are and how they work in the body, he would pay for me to take classes to get certified as a Nutritionist!  Sweet deal, yes?  I think I'd still go forward with the schooling to be a Dietitian after that, but still, it's a step in the right direction, or at least something I'm much more interested in.  He also said that because it would be a part-time position with no health coverage, they'd let me use whatever services they offered that I need if necessary - those being Rehab/Massage Therapy, Cold :Laser Therapy, Light Therapy for Seasonal Effected Distorder or access to their mini gym in the back.  All sounds so far so good, right?  Well, as usual with my luck there's a snag, and a rather large one at that.  Since the Trebax clinic is still fairly new (opened since June), they don't have the clientele, or as a result, the funding needed in order to cover my wages.  Pretty major issue don't you think?  He wants to apply for a government subsidy to cover my wages.  He and Vicki met yesterday morning to go through the paperwork and whatnot, but the issue is that should he even get approved for the government subsidy through what's known as Opportunities Fund the form itself won't even get approved til January at the earliest, and even then there's no guarantee that there will be any money available to give him -- the O.F. is currently going through and approving the ones they have now before the end of the year in preparation to see how much money is left over by the end of their fiscal year which is in March.  In short, even if he passes all the qualifications to get the subsidy, they can still come back and say, "Oops, sorry, we've got no money to give you; better luck next time!" That would be just my luck too.  In the meantime, Vicki's going to talk to him on Friday to see if he'd be interested in having me in to volunteer a few times a week, and if that's the case, see if he would agree to pay for a few of my cab rides to and from the clinic.  So, while this isn't the isn't the best news, it's not the worst either.  He still REALLY wants me to involved in the clinic, which is flattering, and for once, my schooling would actually be paying off.  Apparently when Vicki spoke to him yesterday, Ed even said that  the client that I met for 5 seconds when I went in for my "interview" asked him, "Are you going to hire that girl? I think she'd be a really good fit here."  AWW!  I'm trying really hard not to get my hopes up, but at the same time I'm also trying not to let my pessism kick in and automatically assume I won't get it.  I hope the volunteering bit at least works out because I'd much rather be volunteering in a field of my interest and actually learning something but not getting paid than be stuck in a job like NCO just for the benefit of money.  Money would be nice, but since I do have the Income Support cheques from ODSP coming in monthly it's not an absolute necessity; it would just be an added bonus to be making a little extra and put it toward my intended second degree.

So, that's it, now the waiting game begins.

Oct. 12th, 2008

New 'do!

I'm 25!!!


And a Happy 40th to my hot Australian husband, Hugh Jackman!  I love the timing of my birthday, because I get a turkey dinner too!  My family always does the Ashley's birthday/Thanksgiving dinner combo which is always fun.  To quote my cousin directly it's "your day for turkey, pies and presents!"  Seriously, in what world would that combination not rock?  I see no downside here.  Plus, I finally get to see my cousin who has been hiding himself in his new apartment in TO until now.  This is the last year for extended family gifts though, since it gets to be too much, which is fine.  I've been buying my own gifts with birthday money for a while now anyway.  All I really want is some acknowledgement that it is my birthday, gifts are not a necessity, just a nice bonus!

So, while I am off having a fantastic birthday, I also would like to wish all my Canadian friends a fun, happy and FULL Turkey day!


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