Archive for the ‘Critical Observations’ Category

The Pen is Truly Mightier than the Sword

http://www.insidehalton.com/opinion/letters/article/894326–double-standard-for-picking-up-after-pets

Double standard for picking up after pets

Dear Editor:  On Friday, I was greeted by a huge pile of dog feces on my front step.

I seems someone thought my dog had been loose and pooped on their lawn. This person, seemingly lacking in class or understanding of constructive adult problem-solving, apparently felt the only option was to childishly throw it at the home of a resident who may or may not have been responsible.

In this particular instance, my dog wasn’t the offending perpetrator, although I will stipulate that occasionally my puppy has been off the leash, as we have children who are still learning to keep doors and gates closed.

My issue isn’t with this person, it’s with the general culture of dislike for dogs and their owners who intentionally or accidentally leave dog poop behind, while allowing more acceptance of outdoor cats.

Why do I have to be diligent about picking up after my dog — which I do regularly — while cat owners seem to feel free to open their back doors and let the community serve as their litter box?

Why do dog owners obey the municipal bylaw about picking up after their dogs while many cat owners let their cats roam free, for what seems to be the express purpose of pooping in my yard?

Lola Saldia

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The Luxurious Stay-At-Home-Mom

As a Stay-at-Home-Mother (SAHM) I often find myself faced with various questions regarding my choice to make Mothering my only full-time job. Any woman who chooses to have children will inevitably face the issue of whether to stay at home with them, work full-time and put them in some form of daycare, or try to work out some manner of part-time work as well as staying at home. It’s a difficult and delicate struggle, individual to every woman and every family.

Although I believe that God has entrusted me with amazing children and I believe that I have been called to make raising them my first and foremost priority, at the same time I believe that it is up to each couple to determine what is best for them. It is not my place to judge any parent for the choices they make in child-rearing; be it potty training, discipline, schooling or working outside the home.

Unfortunately despite my efforts to live and let live, I am periodically subjected to the insensitive commentary of working Mom’s, forcing me to defend my personal choice. One such instance occured just the other day when I was at the store shopping with my 5 year old daughter. The lady asked me about whether G was in kindergarten yet and in the course of regular conversation the topic of me staying home came to light. The woman said “Wow, you are SO fortunate…I wish I had the luxury of staying home….” See?? Now that’s my problem, I’m sure you heard it too, the inference that I am sitting around all day basking in the glow of Stay-at-Home-Mommyhood; lounging on the patio all day with a fruity drink and servants fanning me with palm branches while my children raise themselves.

The truth is that my luxurious choice comes at a price; not working outside the home means that I am not bringing in a second income, which drastically alters our family lifestyle. I don’t want you to misunderstand me, God has more than provided everything our family could need and more, but staying home with the children has definitely meant a pay cut! Fortunately the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

The discussion with the store clerk, although disturbing, was in no way unique. I have been subjected to any number of comments referring to the perceived luxury of being a SAHM. Let me share some of my favourites with you…

  • “Must be nice! I CAN’T go on all the school trips because I have to work…”
  • “Yeah I would LOVE to stay home with the kids, but I have a mortgage and can’t afford to have it ALL!”
  • “Wow, you’re SO LUCKY that you GET to stay home and not work.”
  • “Boy, I’d love to NOT work, but you know…”

The truth is, both sides think they have it rough. I am not going to lie, I love that I can “go to work” in my pyjamas and not wear make up, I love that I can chat with friends on the phone while I watch the kids play outside, I certainly couldn’t do either if I was working outside the home. However, there are several drawbacks that come along with the choice to Mother-Full-Time.  For example, I don’t get a break from my children throughout the average day; which means I have company while I eat a meal, drink a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom, talk on the phone and every other little task that I attend to throughout the day. I have to be constantly “On”, I can’t let my mind wander while the kids are in the pool or while the little ones are even chewing their food! I am constantly aware that every word out of my mouth is being monitored (whether they appear to be paying attention or NOT), every grown up conversation I have on the phone, in the store or with the neighbour is peppered with interruptions from little voices wanting to have a snack or do a craft or play a game. Or voices that simply want to be heard for a minute and need me to drop what I am doing to watch them complete whatever feat they have been working on.

And don’t even get me started on what I teach my children on a daily basis; there is no daycare provider or ECE teaching my kids to count and tie their shoes, play nicely or share, helping them colour and paste pom poms on construction paper. I am the one who teaches them how to pump their legs on the swing and chew grapes properly so they don’t choke. I spend time daily pouring information into them about character and answering the million questions about the world around them. I believe that they are better for it, regardless of the fact that I may not always know the answer to every question.

My beef here is not with the fact that I am a SAHM or the fact that I have to do all these things, I LOVE my job, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world (most days). My irritation comes from people who have made a different career choice, belittling me or insinuating that somehow I have taken the easy way out.

I dare say that Full-Time Mothering is anything but the easy way out, in fact I think that the next time someone gives me a hard time, I will just invite them to sell their big house and cottage and come live where I do, anyone can learn to sacrifice the finer things in life to spend time with the finest people in life and I’d be more than happy to share my secrets!  Now, where did I put those bon bons??

From iPod to iPlay

I have to warn you this post will put me squarely in danger of being labelled an old fogey. Despite what you think I am not a hundred years old, please bear with me, I promise not to use the term “whipper-snapper” or “shenanigans” at all.

During this past March Break, I had 2 separate moments that caused me to consider the world around me, specifically the preteens I came across in two different places. I began to reflect on this incredible phenomenon of youngsters growing up too fast and whether or not this is something that I can control in my children (7&4) As I am a fairly observant person, I tend to pay attention to other people arround me when we are out and about. (my hubby calls in nosy)

I took the children to a local Maple Syrup farm with some of our friends and they spent the day learning all about the making of maple syrup, eating pancakes, petting baby lambs and playing in the giant playbarn. As I stood at the only exit to the barn trying to keep track of the multiple children we had brought with us, I was momentarily annoyed by a group of teenaged boys running and jumping throught the levels and obstacles of this big barn. I was worried that one of them would squish one of the little preschoolers toddling around, or worse, knock over my daughter. As I mentally berated them for being too big to play in here and wishing they would leave, I considered the value of at least approaching them and asking them to take it easy. When all of a sudden, it occured to me that these youngsters were just the sort of hooligans teens that I tend to see leaned up against the wall outside the local mall, up to no good, talking on their cell phones and listening to music with foul lyrics on the latest iPod offering. And yet, here they were running and jumping (using their imaginations!) in an innocent game of tag in a childrens play barn. Hm. Interesting.

The second event that sparked my interest was as I sat with my hubby in McDonalds the other day, when I saw a Father with two young girls pass our table with their meals. I would guess the young ladies to be roughly 11-13 years old. The were both furiously texting messages on their cellphones, it struck me that girls so young had cell phones (I know it’s common, but I still find it sad). Later on after our meal we sat and watched our little ones running up and down the restaurant playland and I was surprised shocked to see those same two young ladies come into the play area and take off their shoes in order to run up the inside of the play structure. I had to take a minute to be sure what I had seen; these professional texters dressed like Rihanna, were now careening down the slide in Ronald McDonald land! Huh. Very interesting.

Having had a few days to ponder these things, I have come to the conclusion that children these days are in fact growing up too fast, which is no earth shattering revelation. However, what I think people have failed to realize, is that children don’t necessarily WANT to grow up this fast. Deep down inside, I believe that our kids want to play and have fun; sometimes they have grown up desires that will hurt them in the long run, but it is our job as parents to help them make more appropriate choices. The media tells us that children have the right to make all their own decisions, that they have spending power and therefore must have the wisdom to know how to wield said power. Not only is this selfish of them for trying to sell their product but it is a lie. Similarly, and lottery winner who becomes an instant millionare does not necessarily have the financial wisdom to properly care for and spend their new-found fortune. Children and teenagers need guidance, not to be controlled, but guided into making choices that will be in their best interest. I believe that is why God has given them parents, we don’t give birth to children and them push them out of the nest to fend for themselves. We are supposed to teach them, guide them and even sometimes deny them something that will be less than beneficial to them. It’s how we show them that we love them.

Think about when your child was small, you didn’t let her eat the whole bag of halloween candy right? Why? Because it would have made her stomach hurt. You didn’t let your son ride his bike off the roof into the swimming pool even though he thought it would be fun right? Why? Because as his parent, you had the wisdom to know it was a bad plan even when he couldn’t see the possibility of injury. It’s our job to see those dangers and to protect our children from all manner of harm, even when they think they know what is best for them and what they are capable of handling.

I wonder sometimes why parents feel that they HAVE to give their children all these new “toys” that come out like cell phones, iPods, laptops etc. I know my opinion is unpopular (it often is) and sometimes comes across as judgemental, but the truth is parents all over are caving to the pressure from their kids, the television, movies, AT&T and MTV. My biggest concern isn’t even that parents are buying their children cell phones, my biggest problem is that they don’t see the tremendous disservice they are doing towards their offspring. Children don’t need any more help growing up too fast, it’ll happen whether we encourage it or not, but why accelerate that maturing if we don’t have to?

Does anyone besides me even remember when we were 11 and 12? We weren’t watching shows filled with sex and drugs, we weren’t texting our friends and spending 6-8 hours a day on the computer. We were having sleepovers with nailpolish, potato chips and freezing each others bras. We were flipping through Tigerbeat magazine, swooning over Kirk Cameron (uh oh, I’ve revealed my age) not counting the bracelets on our arms to see how many dates inappropriate sexual encounters we’d had. Is no one paying attention? Doesn’t anyone see that deep down these kids just want to be young and play like children? We are not helping them by letting them do whatever they want, they won’t thank us for it. Trust me.

I for one, will continue to monitor what my children watch on t.v and in the movie theatre, even if they claim that the entire school has seen the latest vampire movie. I will decide what time my children go to bed based on what I know to be a healthy amount of sleep for children their age, regardless of how many times my son tells me he doesn’t need to go to sleep before I do because he’s not tired. I will determine what music, video game and internet usage my children are exposed to despite the ever increasing number of children under 13 on facebook. I will continue to do innocent fun activities with my children like snowball fights and hide-and-seek, assuming that they will have fun and making sure that they have lots of non-electronic, child-friendly leisure activities to choose from.

Maybe these teeny-boppers are just waiting for someone to invite them to put down the cell phone and go play in the playland with them. Maybe as parents we should put down OUR cell phones and do the same.

10 Things I Hate About The Gym

1. The Evil Eyes. The way everyone looks at me like I am out of place. Of course I’m at the gym, I’m not very fit (understatement) where else should I be?? I mean, if I was at Krispy Kreme, you’d been telling me to go to the gym! Besides, fitness centres were not made for people who are in perfect shape and perfectly skinny and healthy! They were made for people who can’t tie their shoes…so there!

2. Lack of eye contact. The thing is, now that everyone has an iPod or mp3 player, they are completely oblivious to the fact that there is anyone else at the gym. I understand being absorbed into the music while you are doing your cardio, but it appears that the affixing of the earphones causes the departure of all social skills. Is it so hard just to nod in passing or smile when someone says hi to you?

3. The Booster Juice Bar. Premiere Fitness has a Booster Juice franchise at the entrance of it’s clubs and honestly, I find it pretentious and irritating. Why can’t they just sell regular juice, water, pop etc.. I had a low blood sugar episode soon after I joined the gym and I came stumbling out of the changeroom to buy a bottle of juice and spent 6-7 minutes trying to negotiate a plain glass of juice with no acai or wheat grass. The poor kid behind the counter was so bent on selling me some life changing smoothie with health benefits that would rock my world cost me $20,  that he missed the point that I desperately needed a glass of juice…just juice!

4. The Awful Stairs. I’m of course referring to the huge stairway that takes me up to the second floor workout area. As my health club has a wonderful pool on the lower floor, I have to walk all the way up a giant set of stairs before I can even start working out. Now as much as I loathe the climbing of stairs in general, I specifically have a problem with this set because, after I have killed myself on the eliptical machine I have to then maneuver my shaky legs down a precarious set of steep stairs with some semblance of dignity. Fortunately due to number #2 on this list no one looks at me, so even if I fall, it is unlikely anyone will even notice. 

5. The Divas. Ok so I understand that I am one of the less-than-beautiful people that the club has permitted to join (probably in an effort to remind members what will inevitably happen to them when they stop going to the gym!) But I find it irritating to walk into the change room and see some little blond twit preening and adjusting her bust into just the right angle to ensure that she looks super cute in her workout gear. Who started this? Aren’t you supposed to look terrible when you are working out? Why are girls putting on makeup and fixing their hair and bras to ensure they look sexy before the head onto the floor to sweat and grunt?

6. The Mirrors. There are mirrors EVERYWHERE in the gym! Why? Is our workout routine somewhat more effective if we can see our movements on one of 17 mirrors? Does it help us lose weight when we actually see every ripple and bulging blob move at the worst possible angle? Mirrors in the class rooms, the change roooms, the waiting room, the bathroom, and every mirror has at least 3 angled mirrors attached! Enough! I know I’m out of shape…I don’t need to see all my flabby angles in triplicate!

7. The Naked and Unashamed. Ok so while I’m changing into my workout gear in front of one of the 67 mirrors in the changeroom, I will inevitably see the reflection of someone who is walking around buck naked on their way to or from the shower. Is this uncomfortable for everyone or just me? Why can’t you wrap yourself in a towel? Do you brush your teeth and put on makeup at home in the nude? Does it not even occur to you that the fact that some of us are covering up to change might be an indication that we are not ALL cool with the random nakedness? I’m just saying…

8. Spinning Class. ’nuff said

9. The Televisions. In theory, t.v’s at the gym seem like a great way to keep you entertained and pass the time while working out. Unfortunately they always seem to be left on some stupid channel with a boring show and food commercials or worse a cooking show. Because when you are sweating your butt off on the treadmill, you definitely don’t need to see Rachel Ray slathering pasta with parmesan and serving it up with garlic bread and wine! Of course it doesn’t matter at my gym, where each machine has it’s own t.v with 3 channels, but I always seem to pick the eliptical with the broken t.v…good thing I brought my iPod so I could ignore other people.

10. The Fitness Assesment. When I joined the gym, I had to pay the club my intro fee and also $50 for a session with the personal trainer, where he measured and “assessed” how fit fat I was. Really? Can’t you tell by looking at me that I am fat and out of shape? Could we just agree on that, save my $50 and go for a coffee or something? Or better yet, maybe I could pay $75 and you could tell me that I am NOT fat! That would be a very rewarding trip to the gym.

Galactic Discrepancies

My children LOVE all the Star Wars movies. My son specifically is absolutely smitten with the whole franchise, to the extent that every time we are trying to explain something to him, he finds a way to equate each element of the conversation to an event in one of the 6 Star Wars movies. “So you mean like the time the Chancellor was trying to convince Anakin to turn to the Dark Side and he became uglier and sicker, that’s what happens to us when we hold on to angry feelings?”

I remember the “orginial movies” with fond memories and have throroughly enjoyed sharing the Ewoks, Chewbacca, a handsome Harrison Ford and R2D2 with my kids. Unfortunately, for me, the family bonding has been somewhat marred by the blatant inconsistencies in the sequence of the 6 episodes. I realize that The Phantom Menace (TPM), The Clone Wars (TCW) and The Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) were made 30 years after the older A New Hope (ANH), The Empire Strikes Back(TESB) and The Return of the Jedi (ROTJ); which of course means that they will be considerably more impressive technically and in the area of special effects. But in watching all 6 I have come to the realization that there was little attempt made to even try avoiding the inconsistencies.

Although I am sure that there have been hundreds of notes and article written about this very topic in the world of fantasy and galactic novelty, it’s on my mind right now and since I have a minute, I thought I would share the things that I find most irritating about the “New vs. Old” Star Wars movies.

1. Princess Leia tells Luke that she remembers her Mother as being beautiful…but at the end of The Revenge of the Sith (ROTS), Queen Amidala dies giving birth.

2. Luke Skywalker was born at the end of ROTS and at the beginning of ANH he is merely a teenager; yet Obiwan has aged several decades. Anakin was very young when he turned to Darth Vader but at the end of the ROTS, yet Luke sees his father without a mask while he is dying and he is clearly more than 20 years older than he was when he put the mask on.

3. IN TPM little Anakin is friends with Padme, maidservant to Queen Amidala. Later in the next movie we find him meeting Queen Amidala again and she is referred to as Padme, with no explanation as to why she was pretending to be a servant in the first movie, even when he tried to say goodbye to his “friend Padme” and Queen Amidala said she would pass on the message when Padme returned…weird.

4. In TPM, Anakin leaves his droid C3PO with his mother when he leaves with Qui Gon for Jedi training. And yet, somehow C3PO ends up in the care of Princess Leia at the beginning of ANH.

5. At the end of ROTS, ObiWan and Yoda decide to hide the children from Darth Vader and the Emperor, and yet they choose to keep his last name as “Skywalker”, doesn’t really seems like a very good idea.

6. How do Yoda  and the Jedi council know everything about everyone; and yet have no idea that Anakin is slipping to the dark side, that Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith, Anakin is married to Padme and she is super-sized pregnant>>>?

7. In TPM, Darth Maul and Darth Sidious are discussing that they will “At last have (their) revenge”, but their is no explanation as to why they are seekign revenge against the Jedi Council.  Also if the Sith come in pairs, why does Darth Sidious have Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Anakin as his apprentices all within the space of one movie?

8. Why did ObiWan and Luke Skywalker both “have to face Darth Vader”? Why was that necessary? I don’t understand.

9. When Luke and ObiWan received the SOS message from Princess Leia through R2D2 and decided to go to Alderaan, why didn’t ObiWan mention that Luke had a sister and that this was her? According to the final scenes in ROTS, ObiWan was part of the decision to split Padme and Anakin’s twins and he would presumably have knowledge of the family she was placed with…and yet he didn’t seem to make the connection in ANH. 

10. Why does Chewbacca have such a connected friendship with Yoda in the ROTS and heavily involved with the resistance movement and yet in movies 4, 5, 6 he appears to have no knowledge of the Jedi or personal interest in anything but making money with Han Solo?

I am positive that there have been other inconsistancies and issues throughout the 6 movies and specifically occuring in the gap between Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) and A New Hope (ANH). If I have missed things that have irritated or confused you also, please feel free to leave them here in a comment, as I’m sure somthing you catch will spark my memory! Thanks for bearing with me through my little rant….may the force be with you! 😉

Supermarket Society – Part I

Ok so as a wife and mother of two, I spend a fair bit of time in the grocery store. Not by choice, I mean, I would prefer to buy my groceries once a month and avoid the lines, impulse shopping and rambunctious children all together. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to plan menus and organize shopping lists, I inevitably forget several things and have to return at least a couple of times throughout the week.  In my travels up and down the supermarket aisles, I’ve come to the conclusion that grocery stores are a representation of so much that is wrong in the world today.

Let me take you on a imaginary tour of the local grocery store to illustrate my point. So I drive into the parking lot and find myself faced with offender number one; the Inconsiderate Driver. Turning the corner in front of the store entrance finds me immediately stuck behind a vehicle dropping a woman off. The woman is in her 30’s, seemingly able-bodied, running quickly in the front door of the store, bags in hand. I ask myself, why didn’t the driver simply pull into an available parking spot and let the woman out there? Why the need for proximity to the entrance? She seemed to be perfectly capable of walking the 100 feet from the closest empty spot to the store. hmmmm? At this point I am waiting for the car to move towards a parking spot, allowing the cars behind him (myself the closest waiting car) to pass him and get on with the tasking of parking. To my dismay and irritation, I see that the driver has put his vehicle in park and proceeded to make a phone call on his cell, with no sense of urgency. I am forced to wait for the cars behind me to pull out from behind my car before I can back up and pull out around the offending vehicle. Having lost three free parking spots to the vehicles that pulled out from behind me, I can only find a spot much further away now in which to park my vehicle.

Offender number two; the Buggy Rebuffer,  is not so blatantly rude, as much as I find it irritating that other people don’t think to be courteous. Most of the grocery stores near our home have coin deposit/return devices on them. People push a quarter into the buggy and it releases the lock, upon returning the buggy to the corral, your quarter is returned. Simple. Generally when I am entering the store and see someone loading their groceries into their car, I offer to exchange my quarter for their buggy. It seems a simply courtesy to me, I need a buggy and they are finished with theirs. I am walking into the store, and I can save them a trip back with their buggy, seems logical. So why is it that no one ever offers to take my buggy and save me the trip?  Ah well. as my husband likes to point out, not everyone thinks like I do.

Upon entering the produce department, I am faced with offender number three; the Disrespectful Fruit-handler.  I approach the tomatoes and begin to gently test the firmness of each piece of fruit. I do so with the understanding that many people will have touched these before me and I will definitely need to wash them before I use them at home. However, I also keep in mind that just because I am not interested in every tomato and therefore discard many in my search, I need to do so with care and respect because there will be many people who come after me who would rather I not treat their tomatoes roughly. This is exactly why I find it so unpleasant to see the woman beside me shoving the unwanted tomatoes to the side as she squeezes every one with vigorous enthusiasm in a haphazard careless way. As I reach down to pick up the rogue tomato that she has pushed to the floor (or perhaps it jumped off the pile in an effort to avoid the insensitive manhandling that was being visited on the more docile tomatoes) I came face to face with the child waiting in her buggy, and I realize that this woman actually guilty of TWO offensive behaviours!

Besides holding the Disrespectful Fruit-handler office, she is also a Thoughtless Thief!  As I have two small children myself, I am always interested when I see other people’s children sitting patiently in the buggy without causing a stir. To my dismay the woman handed her child a bag of grapes and said, “Go ahead, eat these, Mommy’s almost done!” I couldn’t believe it! I spend a lot of time teaching my children that stealing is wrong, that “tasting” the produce without paying for it, is in fact stealing. Don’t get me wrong, as a busy Mom, I often end up with cranky hungry children in the store and open a box of crackers or cookies to tide them over until my shopping list is complete, but those things have a barcode that can be scanned even if some of the product has been removed. Grapes on the other hand need to be weighed to determine the cost, so every plump and juicy grape this child placed in her mouth was one more piece of fruit for which this mother had no intention of paying!

This blog entry has become longer than I originally intended, so I am going to break it into 2 parts. Stay tuned for Part Two of Supermarket Society, to find out who else I encounter on my adventure through the grocery store; including the Express Lane Lout and the Inconsiderate Pedestrian.

The Adventures of Online Shopping

Ok so I have to admit that I am a sucker for a good garage sale, a good thrift store, craigslist, kijiji, and networking Mom’s that pass along and sell their children clothes, toys etc. So there, I admitted it, I like to get a good deal, there’s no shame in that is there?

But let me also say, sometimes I think the idea that “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” can get a little silly.  My hubby is a big fan of the online garage sale sights like craigslist and kijiji, he can sit for hours and flip through their listings for computer stuff, musical instruments, tools everything and anything that appeals to your average man. So I’ve recently taken to checking out some of their “free” listings just to see what kind of “deals” I could find….let me tell you there’s lots of good stuff and a LOT of weird stuff.

So since I spend many a time giggling to myself in the basement at what type of items are being generously given away online, I thought I would share with you all some of my favourite finds. Come with me, let’s take a walk on the wild side…These item listings are exactly as they appeared on the web sites, comments in bold are mine.

1. I have nine individual cartons of Southwestern flavored Eggbeaters. The expiry date is Feb 14th, but they have been frozen since before that. They are still good, just take up too much room in my freezer. Hmmmm so they are only 6 months PAST the expiration date….tempting….

2. I am looking for a free pleco fish,can anyone help give me any just so that it can clean the green and brown stuff from the tanks?  It seems like you are going to great lengths just to avoid cleaning the fish tank..no?

3. Free Diaper Bag. Yours for free. Please pick up before Friday. It’s ok, just throw it away…really, no one will think badly of you.

 4. WASHER STOPPED WORKING YESTERDAY (not sure why) AND DRYER WORKS = BUT TAKES REALLY LONG TO DRY. We are planning to get a new set MUST TAKE BOTH => BRING SOMEONE TO HELP AND BRING A VAN/ TRUCK. So really what you are looking for is a volunteer to come and carry all your junky broken down ghetto appliances out of your apartment b/c you don’t want to do it?

5. Air Conditioner (broken) Big A/C. I think It’s 12,000 BTU. Fan works. Refrigeration doesn’t. Wow, a broken Air Conditioner, well I guess if the fan works, at least I can use it to suck all the muggy hot air from outside INTO my house!

6. Free for pickup is our Sony TV. It just stopped working all of a sudden. Good for anyone who can fix it. Yes, I see, someone else who can’t be bothered to dispose of their own garbage, so looking for a volunteer to help them out.

7. I have a pint of vanilla So Good, a soy-based dairy-free ice “cream.” It was purchased on Friday and has less than a scoop missing. It was bought by someone who thought it was real delicious ice cream, or at least yummy frozen yogurt. Alas, it’s pretty gross. I have no desire to eat it, but if you’re a vegan and fan of So Good, then it’s yours for free!! email for pick up. I swear, no joke. So not only has the package been opened (but with LESS than one scoop missing, granted), but it’s also really GROSS! Hold on, I’ll be RIGHT OVER to pick it up lady!

8. Garage Sale Leftovers. Bunch of things that can go to Value Village tomorrow. Pick it up for free today in my driveway; Kitchenware, books, exercise bike, old speakers, tables, etc. Get it today, free to good homes. So you couldn’t unload your junk at your garage sale, it’s sitting in the driveway now unwanted, it’s getting donated to a store that sales other people’s unwanted junk, but when we come to get it, you’re going to ensure that it goes to only “good homes”?? hmmmm

9. Broken Stove-Free! FREE Range (needs new switches, burners removed, oven heats up fast) Sitting on driveway, FREE for the taking ! Seriously people…take your own stuff to the dump!

10. Free BBQ to give away. Not in working condition – needs a new gas line – but great for a handy person. Pick up only. Why yes, I’d be happy to stop by your house and pick up your broken down BBQ, and I would be honoured to take it to the dump for you. I mean I’m going anyways to dispose of a broken Sony TV, burner-less stove and broken washer and dryer I picked up today too!

11. Old Leather Wallets. Old and worn. Nothing special. Really? Old, Worn AND Nothing special? I’ll be RIGHT there!

12. Free scrap wood with lots of nails from a basement renovation in progress. In addition to nails, some pieces of jagged metal here and there, and, of course, plenty of splinters, so you’ll need a good pair of work gloves to move this stuff. How much for a side of Tetanus?

13. A Delonghi Deep Fryer for free. Needs a really good cleaning, works fine, will deep fry chicken, french fries or whatever. So now you want me to clean your appliances AND take them away????

14. ThighMaster – hey, giving away my wife’s thigh master cause she’s nice and thin now and wanna pass on the health! Can I interest you in a dirty deep fryer, since your wife can afford to live a little?

15. 7 great armless metal and padded red cloth chairs. Perfect for your office or meeting room! It is like you are getting six chairs plus one thrown in free, except they are all free! WHAT, it sounds like a deal…but is it 7 FREE chairs, or is there only 1 FREE chair and I have to buy 6…I’m confused???

16. Hide-a-bed couch – A well loved, but still comfortable couch that pulls out into a bed is in need of a home. There are a few tears in the fabric and one cushion is missing, but it will work just fine for someone in need of a big navy blue couch/guest bed. Wow, from the less-than-appealing description, you really need to “hide-the-bed” so no one ever sees it!

 17. 4 toilet bowls and tanks. Seats included. Just replaced 4 of my toilets with the water efficiency ones. The old ones still in a good condition. Wow the seats included!?! It’s unheard of…That’s just an offer I can’t refuse!!

18. 4 Drawer Lateral with pull out file sorting shelf. non locking. Note: bottom drawer I have never opened or used.  as it is on the driveway beside the house. Hmmm sounds fishy…why have you NEVER opened the bottom drawer? And why mention it? What is IN the bottom drawer, and do the contents have anything to do with why the shelf has been relegated to the driveway?…hmmmm very curious…

19. Have a variety of vegetarianism pamphlets and stickers that are used to hand out at info events that I won’t be using any time soon. Will recycle them if it’s not picked up within a week. “If no one picks them up, I will dump them on my way to Montana’s for a big steak dinner! Forget vegetarianism!! Viva la Beef!

20. Book and Beans. well the first item up for grabs is a large can of PRIMO mixed beans. I bought this for chili, not realizing it contained chick peas.. i dont like them so…. the second item is a new book entitled “mr t vs Chuck norris” which contains 400 facts about the baddest dudes in history EVER. You know how those “dudes” got to be the “baddest dudes”?? BY EATING BEANS!

21. Free T.P. I bought this toilet paper on sale at No Frills, it was on sale and I had a cheap attack. I have a delicate bum and this stuff is just a bit too harsh for my tender nether areas. If you have a tough bum, or are looking to toughen up your bum and associated nethers you can have seven… that’s right seven rolls of scrubby toilet paper! I know, I thought it was a joke too….but it’s for real!

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