Posts filed under ‘Roadblocks’

Good deals

I usually do my grocery shopping only at The Real Canadian Superstore. They mostly have everything that I need: food, household supplies, toiletries, clothes, electronics, etc. They also usually have the lowest prices, but not of late. And with the rising prices on almost anything, I have now resorted to comparison shopping. I usually buy the No Name brand on certain items because they are cheaper, but I do have preferred brands for certain items and they do cost more.

My girl friend and I compare notes and I find that really helpful. I thought that I’d also share my cheap purchases in this blog. It’d be nice to compare notes with other Winnipeg bloggers, as well.

Fruit Gushers six .9 oz pouches

$ 2.33 at The Bargain Shop compare at $3.27 at The Real Canadian Superstore (This is my 10-year old son’s favourite treat in his lunch bag.)

Dutch Crunch Potato Chips Kettle Cooked Jalapeno and Cheddar 175 g

$3.19 at The Bargain Shop compare at $3.39 at The Real Canadian Superstore (This is a family favourite. Not so good a deal, but I still saved 20 cents)

Jergens Naturals with Aloe & Lanolin 3 skin care bars 90 g each

$1.00 at The Bargain Shop compare at $2.29 at Shopper’s Drug Mart

Alberto European Humidity Resistant Gel Extra Hold 150 ml

$3.27 at The Bargain Shop compare at $5.49 at Shopper’s Drug Mart

Adidas hoodie, one of 14-year old son’s favourite clothing brand

$19.99 at Sears this week compare at $39.99 from last week


November 1, 2008 at 12:02 am 8 comments

A penny for your thoughts

Who says pennies are useless? I’ve read reports of pennies being abolished.

At home, we keep our pennies in this tin container. This is where my youngest son takes his pennies to put in his Penny Power bag. His catechism class has a Penny Power Project that encourages the students to bring pennies in a Ziploc bag every Saturday. The pennies collected from the school are then sent to the village of Loma Linda in El Salvador and help with the children’s schooling there.

Once in a while, I’d also dig in this container when money is tight. Like now. After spending a lot on tuition fees, school supplies and new clothes for the kids, I’m broke. It’s true what they say. After Christmas, school opening is the next most expensive season.

After rolling all those pennies, nickels and dimes, I counted $9.00. I’m bringing these to the bank tomorrow. That’s gonna make my purse heavy.

Would you just throw $9.00 away? That can buy us a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

That loose change will stay in the container until we can collect enough to roll them, or when I find myself broke again. ūüė¶

September 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm 9 comments

Feeling the pinch

I don’t think that the price of gas is going down. I’ve been hearing people complaining not just about the price of gas but also the price of almost everything.

Ma-ann from work said that her usual $20.00 a week of gas is not enough anymore.

Libay was also complaining to me on Friday. She and her husband went grocery shopping on Thursday night at Superstore. She spent $75.00 and they only had three bags of groceries. And they didn’t even buy any meats.

I told her that I’ve also been noticing that my grocery bills are going up by the week.

And I was in total shock when I reached the Oriental aisle of Superstore on Saturday to check out the price of rice. Because it went up a few weeks ago.

We consume one bag of this eight-kilo bag of Rooster brand rice per week. About five years ago, a bag of this rice cost about $6.98 and it used to be a ten-kilo bag. Later on, the price went up to $7.98. It stayed there for quite a while. But after some time, the ten kilos became eight kilos, at the same price. It stayed at eight kilos but the price went up to $8.98. It’s been like that for I guess over a year now. And then a few weeks ago, I was surprised that it went up to $10.98. But what can I do? We eat rice everyday. Gotta buy it. And my jaw dropped yesterday when I saw the new price. It shot up to $15.98. Que horror! I checked out the other brands just to compare. The prices are the same. I had no intention of switching brands anyway. We like this brand. It just cooks right.

What about you? Are you also feeling the pinch?

May 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm 22 comments

Good Friday, bad Friday

We’re really busy at work and overtime has been open everyday and Saturdays, and even on stat holidays, too.¬† We’ve been offered different kinds of incentives just so that people would work the extra hours.¬† And for someone like me who really needs the extra cash,¬†it’s just so hard to resist these incentives and¬†so that’s why I’ve been¬†working really hard.

In February, we were given a new holiday here in Manitoba, The Louis Riel Day.¬† And as much as it was tempting to take that day off on a cold winter day, I just couldn’t pass up the incentive that was offered if¬†I worked on that day.¬† So I did.

Earlier this week, overtime¬†has been opened for Friday (which is a stat holiday, it being Good Friday) and Saturday.¬† I was tempted to sign up for both days, but I decided to work only on the Saturday.¬† Why?¬† Well, for one reason, I already told the kids before I learned about the overtime that I’m staying home that day because it’s a holiday.¬† Second reason, I am from the Philippines, a country of devout Catholics.¬† And I grew up in a culture where you observe strictly the holy days of obligation.¬†¬†

Let me just say that I am not devout.¬† Yes, I am a Roman Catholic.¬† I follow the Ten Commandments.¬† I do follow the Golden Rule.¬† I go to church every Sundays.¬† But I don’t¬†go to Simbang Gabi.¬† I don’t pray the¬†rosary.¬† I don’t do the Visita Iglesia, nor the Stations or the Way of the Cross.¬† And I’m sorry if I offend any Catholics reading this.¬† But this is me.

That being said, let me just share these conversations to get to the point of my post. 

My friend Libs popped in my cubicle on Tuesday afternoon.

Libs: Are you coming this weekend?

Me: Only on Saturday.  Not on Friday.  I kind of feel guilty coming in on a Good Friday. 

Libs: Yeah, me too.  You know what my sis-in-law would tell me if I worked on Good Friday? Ano ka, Hudyo?

Me:  Yeah, my mother and sis would say something like that too.

Libs: Maya is coming.¬† I¬†asked her what her mom has to say about that.¬† She said she hasn’t told her yet that she’s working on Friday.¬† So I told her.¬† You tell her and find out what she says about it.

Maya (not her real name) is this other Filipino girl at work who was born and raised here in Winnipeg.

So yesterday afternoon, I popped in Maya’s cubicle.

Me: Are you coming in tomorrow, Maya?

Maya:  Yes.

Me: But it’s Good Friday.¬†

Maya:  So?

Me:¬† You’re not supposed to work on Good Friday.

Maya:  Why?

Me: Because, Jesus is dead.¬†¬†)¬† I know, I don’t really follow all these beliefs and stuff.¬† But most Filipinos do.¬† When you come in tomorrow, find out how many Filipinos will be here.¬† I bet you there won’t be a lot of them.¬† (There are quite a few Filipinos employed at our company.)

And then I told her how the man and I had a big fight last year on Good Friday.

So I thought I’d sleep in.¬† It was Good Friday.¬† I thought I’d have a nice day off.¬† I got up from bed at maybe around 10:00 am.¬† The man was already downstairs.¬† And so were the kids.¬† I’ve heard the TV on earlier and also¬†notes from my oldest son’s flute.¬† I got out of the bedroom and what do I see as I pass by the boys’ bedroom?¬† My oldest son packing up his backpack.¬†

Where are you going? 

I’m going somewhere where I can practise my flute.¬†

What are you talking about?  You can practise right here.

But daddy said I can’t.

So I went downstairs and confronted the man.

Why won’t you let him play his flute?

Biyernes Santong РBiyernes Santo eh.  Mag-i-ingay kayo.

And I realized then where he’s coming from.¬† You’re not supposed to make any noise because¬†God is dead.¬† Just like how we were brought up in the Philippines.¬†

Then he continued on . . .

Kayo’y magdasal at magsisisi ng mga kasalanan nyo.

Which irritated me because he’s not devout either and he was saying these things.¬†¬†¬†

So I argued with him that the flute doesn’t make that much of a noise.¬† And so what if his son plays his flute.¬† For all I knew, he’d be watching a movie in the basement later with the speakers in full blast and the whole house¬†would be shaking from the loud sound.

I went back upstairs to talk to my son.¬† I asked him,¬†just for the sake of peace and quiet in the house, can¬†you not just play¬†your flute for this one day only.¬† But he was upset and still wanted to leave and go to his friend’s house.¬†¬† And I explained to him that I don’t really think his friend’s folks would want company on a day like that.¬† It’s a holiday.¬† It’s their day off and I think that they would just want to be by themselves.¬† So he spent the day moping in the other room.

As I’ve said before, I know that parents should be supportive of each other in raising their children.¬† But I do tend to stick up for my children, especially when I find the man being unreasonable.¬†

March 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm 10 comments

Going anonymous

Is it too late to be anonymous?

When I first started this blog, I was writing anonymously.¬† I didn’t mention any names, just initials of the people I was talking about.¬† I didn’t post any pictures, and when I finally did, you could only see¬†my kids’ hands or their faces would be half covered.¬† But after a few months, I found this blog a good way to share news and pictures with family and friends and so it wasn’t anonymous anymore.

One good thing about being anonymous was that I was able to express myself freely, without worry of what people might think of my opinions and of the way I feel.¬† But don’t get me wrong.¬† Whatever I have¬†expressed and related here have always been true and honest.¬† But I have to admit that there are a lot of things that I still hold back.¬† Because¬†I know that people I know personally are reading this blog and I feel it’s kind of awkward to reveal everything.¬† You know what I mean?¬† I don’t know, but don’t you think that somehow it’s easier to tell the (on-line) world, people¬†you don’t really know personally,¬†your inner thoughts and feelings¬†than it is to tell the people you see and deal with regularly in your personal life?¬† Or is it just me?

After going through my personal crisis last month, I feel that I am now ready to talk.¬† My friends have really been very supportive and they listened to me.¬† And as I talked to them about my struggle, I learned a few things.¬† That I am not alone in this.¬† Not just alone, meaning that they are just an email or phone call away if I do need to talk.¬† I am not alone, also meaning that there are also some of them who have somehow experienced what I have gone through.¬†¬†We’ve also talked about¬†these Filipino culture of inuman (social drinking event)¬†and barkada (group of friends)¬†and how¬†they sometimes have a negative effect not just on the person but also on¬†their families if they can’t say no to their barkada and allow themselves to drink too much.

I have been hemming and hawing about writing about¬†this personal crisis that I went through.¬†¬†To hem and haw, btw,¬†means to hesitate.¬† Yes, you may borrow it if you want.¬† I also borrowed it from an article that I read somewhere. ūüôā¬† So, I have been going back and forth.¬† Should I write about it?¬† Should I start a new blog where I can be anonymous and express myself freely?¬† (And I’m not even talking about that other blog which some of you have already read.) ¬†Why do I have this need to share this personal¬†struggle?

About going anonymous.¬† Well, I have already made a few changes in the blog.¬† The title for one.¬† I have replaced Journey to Honeyville with¬†just plain niceheart.¬† I have also removed the My Sites page that listed all the links to my personal pages and albums.¬† But there are still links buried in my archives.¬†¬†And I think I’ll just leave them there for now as I don’t have the time to remove all of them.¬†

The title Journey to Honeyville is actually kind of ironic.¬† You’d think that a place called Honeyville would be all sweet and lovely.¬† But Honeyville refers to my childhood.¬† When I said in my tagline that I sometimes find myself transported back to my childhood, I didn’t only mean that my children remind me of how I was when I was a child.¬† Yes, they do.¬† But my childhood was not only filled with wonder and surprises.¬† It was also filled with a lot of sadness and trauma.¬† And somehow, because of some of the choices that I made in my life,¬†I am often reminded by all of these sad memories.¬†¬†

When I shared my story about my father and my childhood in Forgiveness Comes From the Most Unexpected Place and in Don’t TOUCH Me,¬†there were quite a few readers who reached out to me and also shared with me their experiences with their alcoholic loved ones and abusive loved ones.¬† I was touched as much as you were touched by my¬†story.¬† Some expressed their concern if it’s all behind me now and if I have gained closure.¬† To tell you guys the truth, as much as I’d like to say that it’s 100 percent behind me now, there are times that it still haunts me.¬† One mom even came up to me and asked me if my father’s alcoholism has affected me in a bad light.¬† Her husband¬†is a recovering¬†alcoholic and she was¬†told that children of alcoholics are affected by¬†the effects of alcoholism somehow and it usually occurs in adulthood.¬†¬†Right on.¬† She¬†suggested that I join a support group called the Al-Anon, for families of recovering alcoholics.¬† I actually thought of joining one.¬† But with my ever crazy schedules, I just couldn’t fit it in my time.¬† So I guess, this is¬†one of my¬†reasons for¬†writing this post.¬† I am reaching to any Al-Anon members out there, or non-members like me.¬† I’d like to share with you.¬† I need your support.¬† Convince me to join an Al-Anon group near my place right now.¬† You can drop me a line at¬†my Contact page.¬†¬†¬†Thank you for listening to my story. ¬†

February 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm 15 comments


It’s been ten weeks now since I went back to work.  Not that I haven’t been working at home for the last six years.  I meant going back to work at the office.

It seems that the ten weeks went by just like that but at the same time, a lot of changes have happened to me.  And there are times when I feel like it’s been years since I last worked at home.

Changes ‚Äď I mean in and out.

As a start, I lost ten pounds and four inches, on the waist, where else do you think?¬† ūüôā I should be happy about that eh?¬† In a way, I am.¬† Because I really wanted to lose the weight.¬† But I guess the circumstances that brought about the weight loss were not ideal.

‚ÄúCause you‚Äôre not eating,‚ÄĚ Michelle said when I showed her how loose my pants were.¬† Of course I’m eating, but not as much as she does.¬† Just because I stay at my desk at lunch doesn‚Äôt mean that I‚Äôm not eating.¬† Well, I did stop eating junk food, which Michelle does at her desk.¬† ūüôā¬† Peace, Michelle.¬† ūüôā¬† Okay, maybe I’m not eating a full meal at lunch.¬† But I’m eating my fruits, a muffin or something else and I drink my juice.

‚ÄúCause you‚Äôre stressed,‚ÄĚ Talits said.¬† I think that‚Äôs mainly the reason why.

Michelle and Talits are two of the friends who have been very supportive as I try to deal with a personal crisis that I have to go through.

And of course, another reason was my two jobs.  I was working seven days a week and my weekend job was physically demanding.  I was up on my feet and I did a lot of walking during my shifts.  The key word here is WAS.  I quit that job after two months.  Not only was the pay low, even with the Sunday premium, but it has been hard on my family especially my youngest son, who missed me so much.

As I said to Libs, ‚ÄúI think I only took that job to avoid the man on the weekends.‚Ä̬† To which she added, ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt run away from your problems.‚Ä̬† I knew that.

As I look back now, I think it was a very silly reason because not only did it not help the relationship, but it hurt the children as well since I wasn’t around that much.  And I think I really made a drastic change.  I was at home for six years and I started my second job almost at the same time that I went back to work at the office.  It was just too hard on the kids.

So, I finally had the Saturday night and Sunday off last weekend.¬† I went to buy me some new pants.¬† I was wearing a size 10 just last week and they looked really baggy on me.¬† Now I‚Äôm wearing a size 6!¬† And I thought that I only went down two sizes.¬† How about that huh?¬† And I was already feeling good about myself until I told Chat about it and I found out that she sometimes wears a size four.¬† I still love you Chat.¬† ūüôā¬† But I’m happy with size 6.¬† That’s my normal size.

And yeah, that problem that I was trying to run away from, I’ve already faced and dealt with.  It wasn’t easy.  It took a lot out of me emotionally.  But I did.

So am I a changed person now?¬† I think I’m slowly changing.¬† And that’s partly because the man’s starting to change, too.

January 31, 2008 at 9:46 pm 24 comments

The Serenity Prayer

 frosty trees

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

January 7, 2008 at 9:05 pm 15 comments

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