Archive for October, 2005

Raking, back pains, and witches

I think it was five years ago when my lower back started to bother me. After asking many questions, my doctor suggested that I delegate some more of the household chores to my family.

I am well aware of what triggers my back pain, namely, carrying heavy groceries, raking and shoveling.

I have found a solution about the groceries. I always bring several bags and I distribute the weight of my items evenly. I can usually get away with shoveling the snow. If I can’t, I do very little of it. I leave this chore to my husband although we sometimes fight about it. My sister usually beats us in shoveling the driveway, which we share, since she’s the one who has a car. I sometimes feel bad about it. So when Fall comes, I do tackle raking the leaves even though I know what’s in store for me. I would really like to leave this job to the kids, but you see, they won’t do it unless I start doing it.

And so Friday and Saturday of last week, I was out there with the rake, rubber gloves, several garbage bags and my three boys. Oh, don’t be fooled. It’s not their favourite chore either. They were just really being nice to their dear old mother. The store flyers are now full of wonderful things that remind them of Christmas and the wish lists are a-coming. I have started hearing “Mommy, can I have this for Christmas?” and I have started saying, “I’ll think about it.” Now, do you see what I mean? This is how it works well for all of us. I did only half the job and left the rest of the raking and bagging to them. I didn’t want to over-exert myself. And yet I still got this nasty back pain. It wasn’t as bad as last year though.

When I am feeling these aches and pains, I get cranky and grumpy. I can be in a lousy or foul mood. I can be a witch, not to everybody. Only to certain people. But I can easily be cured by a dose of TLC, an extra hour of sleep and a little trick-or-treating.



October 31, 2005 at 11:00 pm 7 comments

About Halloween

All About Halloween

On Halloween lots of children wear costumes and lots of children have lots of candy. Some people put up lots of very spooky decorations and some people put a little bit of spooky decorations up. On Halloween I will be a knight and my baby brother will be Batman. Last Halloween my costume was the green Power Ranger and my baby was a pumpkin.Sometimes my mom tells ghost stories, goblin stories and monster stories and after she reads them I get nightmares. I woke up at 1:30 that night and then somebody was opening the door and it was my mom.

Written by Reggie in Grade 2, October 1996  

October 30, 2005 at 5:51 pm 4 comments

One Morning at the Grocery Store

This was originally published at Pinoyatbp.

It’s Saturday and I’m going to Superstore! Grocery shopping may be just one simple routine for anybody but not for a work-at-home mom like me. It is actually one of the highlights of my week. This is my chance to get out of the house and be around people other than my husband and kids after being cooped up in the house for the whole week.

“Good Morning,” greets the hostess standing by the entrance door. I smile and say, “Good Morning,” as I push through the automatic doors the shopping cart that reaches up to my chest.

I pause and look at my shopping list, which I prepared before I left the house. My list helps me remember to buy the things that I need and helps me avoid several trips to the store. This also helps me refrain from impulse buying.

In my list, I try to sort the items that I will find in the same aisle. I list all dry products together, meat products on one column, fruits and vegetables in another. This saves me time at the grocery store.

My first stop today is the Pharmacy section, which is right next to the entrance. I take shampoos, soaps, and other toiletries. I spot the Clean and Clear Astringent, which I am almost out of. Just my luck, there is only one left and it is on the topmost shelf. There is a Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil Controlling Astrigent on a lower shelf and I am tempted to buy it but it costs (Cdn)$7.27. Clean and Clear is only (Cdn)$5.37. I know that these stores put the more expensive brands on the lower shelves. I may be short but I am smart enough to look on the top shelves for better bargains.

I quickly look for an empty space on the bottom shelf and I place my right foot there. I hold on to a shelf with my left hand and I try to reach the Clean and Clear Astringent with the fingertips of my right hand. I can barely reach it. The bottle tips a little towards me and I immediately grab it.

You see, if my 15-year old son, Reggie, is with me, he could have easily reached that. This is the first time in weeks that the kids are not with me. Reggie’s not feeling well, Ryland, who’s seven, has the sniffles, and Ryan, 11, will not come if nobody’s coming. It’s fun to bring the kids once in a while, but sometimes I can’t say “No” to “Mommy, can we buy this,” or “Mommy, I want that.” Then we end up buying more groceries than we need. I tend to stay on my budget when I am shopping alone.

I pick up Reggie’s inhaler at the Pharmacy counter. I head to the magazine aisle and pick up a copy of the Free Press. I buy the newspaper only on Saturdays when they have the TV guide and comics. I get my daily dose of news on TV anyway.

I go to the detergent section. I take the No Name brands of laundry, dish and floor detergents. They are a lot cheaper than the other more known brands. I think they clean as well as the other brands.

I grab the other items on my list. As I navigate my way towards the meat section, I think about writing my grocery tips in my weblog. Then PLOP! My big bum is suddenly sitting on the wet floor. “Are you okay?” asks the sweet lady extending her arm to me. I take her arm and I get up. “I’m alright,” I say with a grimace. That hurts a little. I look around to see if anybody has seen me fall. I think only a few have. That is pretty embarrassing. And only now do I notice the yellow cone that says “Caution Attention Wet Floor Plancher Mouille.”

I proceed to the snack aisle only to check if the soda pops (softdrinks) are on sale. The two-liter bottles are sometimes sold at 99 cents and then I get a few. Otherwise, I try not to buy them. No drinks in the house means that we won’t be drinking them. These drinks are so high in sugar content. Instead, I buy several little packets of Kool-aid for the kids who will not drink just plain water. I also try to avoid buying bags of chips. Well, I said I try. These are high in oil. I buy lots of fruits. They are better, more nutritious snacks than chips. They are good desserts, too.

Next stop is the Bulk Section. This is where I get macaroni, ground pepper, mung beans (munggo), candies for the kids and moi, just to name a few. Buying in bulk saves me a few cents and I think I’m helping the environment as well with less packaging.

I have everything on my list and I am now heading to the cash register line. I read the magazine headlines while waiting for my turn. “Vanity Fair – Jen Finally Talks.” Miss Aniston looks gorgeous in her white top on the cover. These glossy magazines look tempting. But I just ignore them. I saw Jen on Oprah just the other week.

“Do you need any bags, ma’am?” asks the young lady on the till.

“No,” I say and I show her my reusable grocery bags. I give her my coupons and I start bagging my purchases.

“Do you want me to check your points?” she asks.

“Yes, please,” I reply. She is talking about the President’s Choice points program which allows me to earn 10 PC points for every dollar of purchase on my PC card. Every time I earn 20,000 points, I can redeem them towards $20.00 free groceries.

“You have $20.00. Do you want to use it?” she asks again.

“Yes, please,” is my immediate reply.

I put the last bag on top of the other bags in my shopping cart and I head towards the exit door. I see that familiar yellow cone and I avoid the wet floor this time.

These are the 12 Comments on “One Morning At The Grocery Store” that was published on Pinoyatbp.

Ka Uro said on October 28th, 2005 at 7:41 am

i find it amusing how you describe grocery shopping as a highlight of the week. i think men are really different. me, i hate buying groceries. i waste too much time just locating the right aisle for the items i want to buy. then i get frustrated easily so i leave the grocery shopping to my wife. a highlight for me will be going inside a hardware store. it’s like a toy shop to me.

Irene said on October 28th, 2005 at 12:05 pm

Men and women are really different. Ang mister ko ay bihirang-bihira ding sumamang mag-grocery. Ang hilig niyang puntahan ay electronics store. Laging nakaabang sa mga bagong labas na speakers.

sassymoon said on October 28th, 2005 at 3:05 pm

totoo nga, mas solo/ mas konti kayong nag-g-grocery, less gastos din at mas madaling magstick sa listahan. my sis and i prefer to shop na kaming dalawa lang, rather than isama ang bunsong kapatid namin (na mahilig mageksperimento sa pagluluto kaya kung anu-anong mamahaling sauce, oil, spices, at ingredients ang ipinabibili).

Sidney said on October 29th, 2005 at 8:23 pm

You are really wise and street smart. You know all the tricks of those grocery stores. I could use some of your discipline!

On the other hand, don’t forget that you live only once and that you deserve some more pleasures in life.

Just get out of the house, go to the movie, go for a coffee and watch people passing by, throw your shopping list away and do some impulse buying, surprise yourself and your family.

Don’t take it badly. I am an old man and with each year that pass by I realize that we should taste life as much as possible!

duke said on October 29th, 2005 at 9:22 pm

Grocery shopping is very therapeutic for me. Like you, I love doing it. I like going to the big ones like Carrefour over here and Migros.I go from one item to another comparing prices and figuring out which in the end will come out as the “best buy”.

The first time I went to the grocery with my husband we ended up with a fight. I like going from aisle to aisle, left to right, back and then front area. My husband goes for the aisle where he can get the item he needs and then jumps from one aisle to another. It drove me crazy that I walked out of the grocery store.

Now, my husband knows better. He never goes grocery shopping with me!

Irene said on October 30th, 2005 at 10:58 am

Sassymoon, pareho pala ng kapatid mo ang husband ko na mas mahilig magluto sa akin kaya kung anu-ano rin ang dinadampot na wala naman sa listahan.

Irene said on October 30th, 2005 at 11:08 am

Thanks for the advise, Sidney. I guess I should listen to an experienced guy like you. It may sound that I never go out. But I do every once in a while. It’s just that I have always been a homebody. And I enjoy staying at home. But I do go out with family and friends. I’ve celebrated a milestone a few months ago (the big ?-0) and I realized what you said. I’m not getting younger and I do intend to taste more of the pleasures of life.

Irene said on October 30th, 2005 at 11:12 am

Ay naku, Duke, sinabi mo. Ganyan din kaming mag-asawa. Kaya hindi ko na rin isinasamang mag-grocery. Sabi nga ni Ka Uro, men are different from us. Iba ang style nila ng pamimili.

nikki said on November 2nd, 2005 at 4:45 pm

Bonding time namin ng parents ko ang grocery shopping every week. Gaya mo, my mom also has a list of the things we need to buy except for the merienda foods w/c is where I come in. I know we end up buying more than what is on my mom’s list but my dad doesn’t mind because we have fun doing it.

Irene said on November 3rd, 2005 at 1:33 pm

I hope that my kids can also see that our shopping is also bonding time. Lalo na kapag isa lang ang kasama ko sa kanila. Yun bang one-on-one time namin with each other.

Patrice said on November 5th, 2005 at 9:07 pm

Haha, Irene. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things because it is an activity that both my husband enjoy. I never go without him Pag clothes shopping lang he gets bored. Men!

Irene said on November 7th, 2005 at 1:00 pm

That’s really interesting, Patrice. Some people don’t like grocery shopping with their husbands while others, like you, do.

Updated on July 5, 2008.

October 27, 2005 at 9:59 pm 2 comments

Brad, the Raptors, and the game

Brad Pitt was in town shooting the film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I’m not really a fan. Although, I was excited at first when I learned that the shooting would take place at the antique Exchange District. The place was transformed into a Western setting. The crew covered the streets with dirt, buggies, and horses. But I’m not the type of person who would stand out there and watch a shooting just to take a peek at Hollywood stars. I’m not crazy about Brad, anyway. I know a few people who are more interested in gazing at the alluring Miss Jolie.

Well, anyway, I thought that there could be a chance that Brad would show up at the Raptors game last night. Although I’m not a fan, I thought it would have been cool to see a movie star in person. But he wasn’t there. And yes, the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trailblazers were also in town. My 11-year old son, Ryan, who is into basketball, and many other Winnipeggers had been anticipating for months in watching the only Canadian team in the NBA play at the MTS Centre. Ryland and I went with Ryan to watch the pre-season game. This was our first time to watch a live professional basketball game and our first time to be inside the MTS Centre arena.

Even though Vince Carter is not in the team anymore (he was traded to New Jersey Nets), thousands of people still flocked the MTS Centre. I saw several kababayans (fellow Filipinos). None of them I knew except for my friend Elaine and husband Myke who were seated on the other side of the court. We also saw Jordan, Ryan’s former basketball teammate.

During the first half of the game, the scores were pretty close. But by the third quarter, the Trailblazers were leading by over ten points. The Raptors started catching up during the last 43 seconds. That’s when the game became exciting. People were booing the Trailblazers every time they scored a basket, which I don’t really understand. When I watched my kids play in the league this Spring, the parents cheered the players not only in their team, but even the ones in the other team. I just think it’s rude to boo them. But I guess this is what people do at these basketball games. And oh boy, was Ryland hyped up! He was chanting and booing with the audience. He also thought that it was cool to do “the wave.” I did, too.

We wanted the Raptors to win but with less than a minute to play, it was hard to catch up. They ended up losing, 105-98. It was a good game, though. And a memorable one for us since it’s the first NBA game we ever watched. I wonder if Ryan still wants to go to L.A. to see the Lakers play. Hmmn.

October 25, 2005 at 9:07 pm 3 comments

Working, appointments, and dismal weather

Since I work at home, I don’t get out of the house that often. I know, I should set aside a few minutes to get out there and walk or something. But it’s not that easy when you’re running a household and trying to get through a 7 ½ work day. I get to go out every once in a while when I had to go to office meetings or when the kids or I have doctor’s or dentist’s appointments. And then, my daily routine gets all out of whack. During these times I had to get up earlier (a challenge for the night owl that I am) just so I could get my 7 ½ hours done before the end of the business day. I also need to manage my time more efficiently. I had to work harder on not getting distracted by chores or TV or the internet.

This past week had been a busy one for me. We had appointments on four different days. I don’t really mind it that much on days like these. It’s just that sometimes natataranta ako. I get stressed when I’m pressed for time. But it’s all good because I get to walk or run (to catch the bus). That’s good exercise, right? Although, this past week had not been the ideal time to go out. It is so cold here now. Temperatures in the morning had been close to zero degrees C and highs of only up to around 14 degrees. It had been generally cloudy. It had been raining at times. Dismal weather is how I would describe it. Most of the trees are naked. Leaves have fallen. The kids did some raking but there are still leaves around scattered everywhere.


October 23, 2005 at 5:54 pm 1 comment

The Last Leaf

These pictures were taken two weeks ago. It was windy when I took the first one that’s why it’s kind of blurry. The second one was taken in our front yard on a cloudy day.


October 23, 2005 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

My Guy

This is the first stanza of the song My Guy sung by Mary Wells. I have been unable to get it out of my head for the last few days.

"Nothing you can say can tear me away from my guy.
Nothing you can do 'cause I'm stuck like glue to my guy.
I'm sticking to my guy like a stamp to a letter,
Like birds of a feather we stick together.
I'm telling you from the start I can't be torn apart from my guy. "

We went out last weekend to buy him a new pair of shoes. Since we were at the mall, I had my printer ink refilled at Island Ink-Jet. While waiting for it, we had French fries and rootbeer at A & W.

It’s always fun to go out with him. We never run out of things to talk about. When we were walking back to Island Ink-Jet, he swung my left arm over his shoulder and he wrapped his right arm around my waist. We were like lovers walking arm in arm. I don’t think that I have experienced that before.

My first boyfriend towered over me. He was over six feet tall. I barely reach five feet. I don’t think we even held hands because we were afraid that somebody would see us. Patago kasi ang date namin. My next boyfriend, who became my husband, is not the type who shows affection in public.

So I was thrilled when my seven-year old son Ryland and I walked stuck together through the crowded mall. Ganuon pala ang feeling when you’re walking arm in arm with somebody. It’s like you’re shouting to the world, “Hey, I am with someone whom I love and who loves me.”

October 20, 2005 at 10:39 pm 1 comment

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