Farmer’s Market Burnout

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I think part of the charm of going to farmer’s markets is getting to know the people that produce your food.  I like going around and chatting up my favorite people.  Truth be told it’s probably when I’m the most outgoing.  Last summer I brought a friend to the market and she commented that I made eye contact and smiled at everyone and talked to everyone- she thought it was weird for me.  Overtime I think I developed a connection with the vendors and that’s what keeps me coming back.

I’m sad to hear that my CSA farmer will no longer be doing the farmer’s market circuit.  I really liked seeing them every week and chatting about the farm, and how things were going.  They’ve opted to drop the CSA boxes at a central place for people to pick-up.  I assume that they won’t be at the pick-up locations which is too bad.

Last Saturday was the New Westminster winter market.  I’ve missed the last few, and so made a point of going to this one.   There was one vendor that I really wanted to buy from and made a B-Line for.  Here’s the thing, I love the product, but cannot stand the producer.  There is something about the attitude, like me buying is such a pain in the ass for them.  Not a smile or a bit of banter to be had although I buy something every week.  This time there was someone else manning the table, a smiling, happy face that made me feel happy.  I ended up buying more than I had originally planned, and it was a good experience.

SOUPNAZI

I got to thinking how much do the farmer’s market vendors actually like being at the farmers market?  My CSA farmer says it’s too much work and would rather just do more CSA boxes.  I can understand that everyday at the market means a day not working on the farm.  The other vendor has a brick and mortar store, so maybe the farmer’s markets are just for promotion of the main store.  Maybe it’s just a case of farmer’s market burnout.  I found it draining to be self promoting at vendor events every week for a couple of months and the farmer’s market season is much longer.  How to prevent the farmer’s market burnout?  I’m not sure, but I think a good start is to tell the producers just how much they are appreciated.  My intention is to win over my grumpy vendor this year.  I want to feel good about buying from them every week instead of dreading the attitude.

Reflection Journal

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I like New Years.  I like the idea of new fresh beginnings and reflecting on what I want the next year to bring.  This New Years I was laying on the couch with the flu, feeling like death.  It wasn’t exactly a good time to make optimistic plans.

reflection

This week I’ve been thinking about what I want.  At first I thought I wanted to make this the year that I become a runner.  I had lofty goals of doing 10 km runs for fun on the weekend, and I would have thighs didn’t jiggle and abs that rippled.  However, I could quickly see the holes in my plan.  My gym membership is on hold until I feel better, I don’t like running in the cold, rain, heat or hills.  I should be more excited at the start if this is to be my goal.

I know I want to focus on paying off debts this year.  I would like to be able to pay off the bill from my strata as soon as possible.  I think I just need to keep chugging along with what I’m already doing and I’ll get there.

I watched a video about doing a manifesting journal.  I don’t like the name but I liked the premise.  It’s a mix of day planner and gratitude journal.  Each day is started by listing the things that need to be done, and then is the things you hope to get out of doing them.  And then at the end of the day you write what you are thankful or grateful for. I like that it keeps you focused, but also focused on the good things.  I’m not sure that I would keep this up as a daily practice.  In part because I use my phone’s planner and the calendar just isn’t set up in a way to make this easy.  I also don’t really see myself keeping it up.  Maybe weekly, and I think I would call it a reflection journal.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

Living Without Credit Tips

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A couple of months ago I switched to a cash only lifestyle.  It hasn’t been easy, and I haven’t been perfect.  This is how I’ve been making it work.

for those that are serious about the cash only lifestyle

for those that are serious about the cash only lifestyle

Tip 1: Plan for expenses well in advance.  There are times when I just couldn’t escape charging something to a credit card.  Today I had to pre-order a specialty pie for a dinner I’m going to tomorrow.  Because it’s a special order over the phone, the bakery needed me to pre-pay.  As I gave them my credit card number over the phone I was whinging.  It could have been avoided if I just planned in advance and had gone in person to pay in cash.  I’ve had a couple of other slip ups along the way and pretty much all of them were do to bad planning.

Tip 2: Link Paypal to your bank account.  I took advantage of some online Boxing Day sales.  Online shopping = credit card spending… wrong!  A lot of websites give the option to pay by credit cards or by paypal.  Paypal gives you the option to use a credit card or to withdraw funds directly from your bank account.  It’s not exactly using cash, but it’s a better option than relying on a credit card.

Tip 3: Use pro-pay.  I have a home-based business and my commission is paid to a Master Card/debit card on a weekly basis.  I use this card to pay for websites that do not let me pay through Paypal.  There aren’t any additional costs to me, and although it says Master Card, I can’t charge anything to it.  It’s a bit like a pre-paid card, except there aren’t any service charges.

Tip 4: Wait 24 hours.  I have found that a lot of expenses don’t seem that necessary after a while.  Or sometimes I have found a new way to work it into the budget

Tip 5: set up recurring bill payments.  All of my bill payments have been set up to happen automatically.  Once a week I take out $100 for my grocery money.  I have a $30 slush fund that is used for gas/entertainment or unexpected things.  This is probably the only thing that I still use my debit card for, but it’s only once a month or so.  Because every thing is done automatically, I know that as long as I have stuck to my cash budget, I don’t need to check my bank account balance or worry about when bills are going to be withdrawn.  It’s stress-free and simple.

DIY Bedside Table

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I love this bedside table.  I want it to be my bedside table but it’s not the right height.  So how is this DIY free?

I am a craigslist free section addict, with some good timing and some well worded email, you can scoop all sorts of stuff for free.  Usually the stuff is being given away due to a move, renovation or simply no longer wanted.  A word of caution here, there is all sorts of dodgy stuff, use your best judgement.  A couple of times I have changed my mind about the item once they told me the pick-up address.

I nabbed this bedside table and one other table via craigslist.  We made arrangements for me to pick-up both tables one afternoon from a nice townhouse complex.  It’s vintage, solid wood, no cheap particle board here.  When I got it, it was painted cream and bubble-gum pink, and came with a few stickers.  Perfect for a 6 year olds bedroom, but not very nice looking.  I apologise for not having a before picture, I had one but poof! it’s gone.

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So the bedside table itself was free, and the paint was paint I had leftover from another project.

Step 1- Clean the table- nothing fancy, just soap and water

Step 2- Deal with any chips, or other lumps and bumps.  For big problems I use a tiny bit of mud – the same mud that is used to fill holes in walls.  Smooth it down, once dry, sand the excess mud off.  For little blemishes, a little sanding is all that’s needed.

Step 3: Prime time! I will admit that up until recently I never used a primer.  But after a long chat with a nice old man at Home Depot he convinced me.  He told me that I could avoid having to strip the old paint off and do a ton of sanding if I just used a primer in-between the old paint and the new paint.  I am fairly lazy, so I was all for less work.  So slap on a bit of primer.

Step 4: Paint the new colours!  This is where is all comes together.  I pop on the Netflix and start painting, usually 2 coats.  I love this step, I hate having to wait for the paint to dry, I want to be able to see the finished products immediately.

Step 5: Go in for the detail work.  I used some fine tip small paint brushes that I bought from a dollar store.  Or you could use painters tape to make sure that you get crisp lines where the two paint colours meet.  I hate painters tape, it makes my lines worse, but that’s probably because I rush putting it on.

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The finished product is up for sale on the internet.  It’s true, I don’t really want it to sell, so I have it listed for way too much.

Amonte Picante

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This is the best drink I’ve ever had.  It was so good I took a picture of it.

Yum

Yum

Ordered on recommendation of my favorite waiter at the Yew in The Four Seasons, my mouth is watering just thinking of it now.  It didn’t occur to me that I could actually make this myself.  Tomorrow is New Years Eve and although I’m still feeling rather poorly, I think I will try and make this.  I’ll sip it in my pajamas as I sit on the couch under a blanket.

Amonte Picante

2 slices- English cucumber (chopped and peeled)

2 sprigs- Cilantro

1 1/2 shot- Tequila

1 shot- Freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 shot- Agave syrup

2 dash- Green tabasco sauce

Muddle the cucumber and cilantro, add the other ingredients and shake with ice.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with cucumber slices.

Racial Profiling

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I know you are instantly thinking of some sort of agency hunting down people that look a certain way.  I assure you this blog is not that serious.

I’m talking about racial profiling in online dating.   You see I get a lot of responses from one specific ethnicity.  At first I thought it was a coincidence.  In talking with friends I’ve learned that it’s some sort of stereotype driven fetish.  In fact I even found a term for it: racial fetishism

 fetishizing a person or culture belonging to a race that is not one’s own—therefore it involves racial stereotyping and objectifying those bodies who are stereotyped, and oftentimes their cultural practices

I have lived my entire life without knowing that I fit right into an entire sub-content’s idea of a sexy slut.  Not even the type you need to take out to dinner, but pretty much an escort.  I had read about this phenomena on a website called Creepy White Guys, an entire website with snippets of conversations from total psychos.  Most of the posts are directed at Asian women from white guys.  I was going to post a couple of examples, but they are just insane and gross. I had mentioned to a friend that I was getting a version of “Creepy Guy” and I had a new sympathy for Asian women who do online dating.  Little did I know he was a Creepy White Guy!  He explained he was looking for an Asian woman because she would be submissive, polite, quiet and petite because then she wouldn’t be like a white woman ie his ex-wife.  I quickly referred him to the Creepy White Guy site, and he was amazed to hear that such a thing existed and that Asian women get bombarded by white guys and may not appreciate it.  I also hope he learned that his stereotyped view of Asian women is fucked up.

Back to my scenario, I do respond to everyone even if it’s just to say I’m not interested,  I think it’s just good manners.  A few times I’ve gotten a response that my decision is based on their ethnicity when really it’s not.  It’s because the entire email only spoke about my thighs and how men in my country are crazy or blind.  If that’s all you got from my profile, I’m not interested. I’m not sure why this particular part of the world got this stereotype, maybe porn, or maybe Maury Povich, but it’s really annoying.

Out of curiosity I asked google what a typical white woman looked like and this is what I got:

typical-white-woman images

Thanks Google for making me a phone sexing Barbie doll.  Although it’s not that great for anyone else either:

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Honestly there were all in the first few results.

 

 

You shouldn’t have, (I really wish you didn’t)

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I don’t think there really is such a thing as a bad gift.  Someone was kind enough to give me something that they thought I would like.  There are lots of people who don’t have anyone in their lives.  Just because you received a gift doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever.

One of my sisters pretends she loves a gift and keeps it for years dragging out the gift every time she sees the person.  Why pretend?  So you drag out the ceramic chicken statue out in preparation of a house visit.  Your guests see that you have a ceramic chicken proudly displayed in the middle of your coffee table and on your next birthday you get 3 more.  Fast forward 5 years and you look like a crazy ceramic chicken hoarder, how will you ever admit the truth now?  I am deeply suspicious to see my sister decked head to toe in gifts that I’ve bought her over the years.  I’ve called her out on it a few times, but she insists she likes the gifts. However, the tarnish on her silver necklace says otherwise.

My other sister likes to return un-wanted gifts.  I don’t mind this approach, however it takes more balls than I possess.  I prefer to avoid difficult conversations if possible, and trust me it is always possible.  Asking for the gift receipt doesn’t always work.  Those pesky early shoppers- the one that bought your Christmas gift in April will foil your plans every time.  What to do now that you are hopelessly outside of the store’s return policy? I guess some shops will give you a store credit, without a receipt but what to do with a credit at Ye Olde Clog Shoppe?

I take a different approach.  Previously I would hang on to the stuff, but I ended up with knickknack’s and a ton of pig and cat themed items.  I say thank you, smile a bunch and then purge it later on. Sometimes it just feels like too much stuff.  I re-gift, sell, and donate it right on out of my life!  I absolutely love getting rid of stuff, I love the feeling I get when my house feels empty, or when there is vacant space where there was previously clutter. Maybe that’s the real gift, a feng shui feeling of emptiness and space!  These are my tips:

Sell:

  •  post your items of craigslist
  •  sell on facebook bidding/auction sites.  Simply search for a facebook group with your city and the words bidding/auctions.  After you join, start posting all the stuff you don’t want. I’ve sold a ton of stuff this way

Give/ Re-Gift:

  •  Re-gifting party! Get your friends together, everyone brings a wrapped gift they didn’t like.  Steal the gift games are always fun!   Your friends might not like your gift either, but with any luck they won’t leave their shitty gifts behind at the end of the night.

  •  Every once in a while I will know someone who would love a pig shaped cookie jar, or pink fleece sheets.
  • My last resort is to just donate what I have no use for.  If nothing else I get a discount on my next purchase at my favorite thrift store.  I think it’s a better option that throwing something in the garbage.
  • If all else fails I guess you could just light it all on fire.