About The Golden Compass Debate

Okay first we all know the movie The Golden Compass is about to be released this holiday season. The movie is based on the first book in a series of fantasy novels. Up here in Ontario, 2 of the Catholic boards have removed the books from the shelves saying they are anti God. They say this because the author doesn’t believe in God. They removed the book after one rate payer( that means 1 tax payer complained). They even went so far as to say because the Scholastic forms for December which have the book as one that could be ordered by students and their parents they would not be handing the December forms out. When I first heard of this I got angry for several reasons but it really does come down to freedom to choose. It seems from what I have heard much of the religious right want the book banned.

I personally don’t think a movie could reduce my faith in God, either could a book, my faith is based on my belief in God not based in the world of utter fantasy. The book is just that a fantasy novel. It has won many awards and is worth the read according to this parent. By the way if you want to pick up the book on the cheap see the Scholastic order form.

Would I allow Roo to read it? Yes! Just as I let her read Harry Potter, and the Narnia series….they are well written books and don’t we as parents want to our children to be well rounded.Yes the imagery points to a struggle of the good verses the evil. Is the Catholic church that anal? To take away and say don’t read this, and oh by the way you can’t even have an order form where the book is listed because we don’t want it in your homes either,  what do they think it is going to do ? Rob kids of their faith? I think not. By banning a book that is well written we are robbing our children of a good read. We are raising smart children. Children that know what fantasy is, that know what faith is..Even at 9 Roo knows this and I trust that she will not lose her eternal soul for reading a really good fantasy book just because the author doesn’t believe. What happened to Canadian diversity and sharing with our children what is out there so they can tell right from wrong, so we can have dialogue. By taking the book off the shelves they stop dialogue and there is so much that we can learn from one another when we talk about what things ( including books mean and what they don’t). The Catholic boards have gotten it wrong this time and big time. This from a mom who loves God and wants Roo to know there is other ways to think too or how else we she ever come to a FAITH that is truly hers.

Today I am thankful for a faith that can question and be questioned and that is still real after it all. I believe in a loving God that gives us the choice to embrace him or not, and to even believe that he does not exist.

American Thanksgiving Memories

Today as I watched the Macy’s Parade my mind was taken back to two American thanksgivings that I celebrated in..

First was in 1988 and I was living in LA, well actually Venice CA was my home. I was spending much of my time for a wonderful little church called Bible Tabernacle that houses and feeds many homeless people each and every day in LA. One thanksgiving day they do it big..they really show Christ like love for their neighbours and the homeless. Every year they set out to feed about 5,000 on the beach…For those who don’t know Venice Beach has always had a huge homeless population. That year I got to be part of the solution. I was thankful to be there to see the service of so many that give up their traditions to serve: many that served that day were household names every day of the year, we watch them on tv or in the movies. It was exciting to watch people serving people..it was humanity in action. So often on most days these are the people we walk past, and this day and well actually every day, those that volunteer at BT well are some of the most Christ like people I have ever had the chance to meet..and I am thankful for that chance.

Fast forward to almost 10 years later and it is 1997 , I am now living in Carlsbad NM, I am pregnant with Roo, and I am alone. My Bishop had asked me to house-sit while his family was out of town. I did so …it was a chance to be out of the battered woman’s shelter that was my current residence. I was so very alone that day, everyone was off celebrating with out of town families and well my family was falling apart. A month earlier my now ex had asked me for a divorce. I was in a state of depression that I have never experienced at any other time in my life. That day as I watched the parade on tv I thought of ending all the pain that was inside me that day. I figured out how to do it, and even wrote a letter, and then I started thinking of my dear child that was growing inside me, and how I would be not only ending my life but theirs and I couldn’t do that so that day I had to decide to live if not for me for them…I am thankful for that choice that I made that day and for the fact that I had Roo there with me even when I felt so alone.

Where to Watch Thanksgiving Day Parade

Just wanted to put up a quick link to Earth Cam and their link so all us international types can watch the parade…Just choose what camera you want to watch from and you get streaming video from all over Time Square! It makes my Roo feel American, and she should after all she is!

She gets to skip school today, watch the parade, eat turkey and tonight we go and see “White Christmas” down at the Sony Center..

Christmas tips and gratitude will come later today…Enjoy the parade and for you Yankees don’t eat too much!Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Works for Me Wednesday

Another of the news stories that got me yesterday was one about going green…we are all trying to do our part right? Now do you purchase green products? This is the part 2 of yesterday, and since it is Works for me Wednesday let me tell you what works for me in regards to this news story.

First the story was this. Ninety nine percent of all GREEN products that are on are shelves have some sot of falsehood or misleader attached….99% what a figure right?

How do they lie? Lets use paper products produced in a sustainable forest, yes the forest was sustainable but the milling practices were very bad for the environment so they forget to mention the trade off. Others lie about what they can do..Others are a good thing put are packaged in stuff that are bad for the environment.So what are we as good consumers and people want to do leave a lesser carbon footprint? Well here is what works for this cheap environment friendly mom:

  • We get meatless twice a week or more…this is not only good for the environment but good for our health and our pocketbooks.
  • We use CFS light-bulbs…..again helping the environment and my pocketbook.
  • I clean with natural products alot that I can make myself no need to buy green here when I can make it at home
  • We recycle and use freecycle as much as we can, this includes shopping at second hand stores..( again I am being a good cheap mom)
  • I walk everywhere I can get to within 30 minutes otherwise I take the TTC.( again good for the environment and the pocketbook). I may use a taxi about once a month.

With these things done I save money, and my environment and all without having to go near the “green” goods….so you might want to try one or two…and check out what you are buying before you do…

Now if you are looking for more Work for me Wednesday posts go over here to Shannon’s…and read..

Christmas Tip#13–Got someone on your naughty list? I really liked this idea from Organized Christmas for Snowman Poop…so get your baggies ready to pick up this yummy stuff that is a favorite of Roo’s.

This morning I am thankful that the rain has stayed away this morning as dear Roo has an outdoor field trip all day…so let it be gone till at least 4 pm.

Inconvenient Truths

Today there were two news stories that caught my eyes and ears this morning. Both have to deal with inconvenient facts..

First was a shameful story I think for all Canadians. We are living our children in the dust. We were rated 12th out of 21th western countries in how we treat children. Too many of our children live in poverty. One in 4 has a child in just like mine.We live we below the poverty line and live off less then $1300 a month in Canada’s largest city. ” Compared with other industrialized countries, our children are suffering from unacceptable rates of poverty, obesity, mental illness and violence that have persisted or increased since Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991,” Unicef Canada President Nigel Fisher said in a statement. So what do we as Canadians think is important? Right now federally we are running at a surplus. Can not some of these funds go to what is really important: our children? I will give some concrete example of where we fall short:

1 in 4 families will at some point use a food bank

Wait times in Ontario to get a child diagnosed with a learning disability or ADHD run between 18 to 28 months( meanwhile they fall further behind on school work and it is often difficult for these children to get caught up).

Wait times to get OT assessment in the Toronto District School Board average one year.

To get a pscho ed assessment in the Toronto Board can take 2 years or more.

To access mental health programs for children in Toronto you wait over a year even after diagnosis. Roo has been on a wait list for such a program for 10 months now.

 Sports programs are offered for free to all who qualify for Toronto’s Welcome program but when people go to sign up classes are often already full, so there child goes without.

Educational Assistants and Special Needs Assistants are in short supply( in fact the Toronto board layed off lots of these this past year) and these are the people who help our kids get the education they deserve under the law.

As a mom who is cheaper than cheap I am always on the look out for ways I can save money so I can spend it making sure Roo is getting what she needs…that is why I became such a cheap mom. I supplement where I can, enter contests, volunteer etc..I try my best to give her a typical childhood but I know I am lacking in so many ways and if funds were there so much could be done to better increase her chances for success later on. I am fortunate though I know how to find ways of doing things that can help her be the best her, I feel for those who haven’t figured out the how to’s yet and there are so many of those.

Now as for the other story it is about going green so I will right the second half of this post tomorrow.

Christmas Tipp#12-So many charities come looking for money this time of year and there are so many places were we can put our giving dollars–can I recommend you live to help the poor locally in your community: here in To I recommend both the Salvation Army and Scott Mission for the amount of work they do to help the homeless as well as feed poor families..

Gratitude for today: I am thankful that I met with Roo’s teacher and found out behaviorally over all she is having the good beginnings I dreamed of and we now have a plan on how to work on some goals we set for her.

Menu Monday

Ogranizing Junkie is hosting another Menu Monday so here is mine for the week. It is going to be bit of a quiet week here so I can cook well. So here is what is planned for us this week

Monday-Backwards Night-breakfast for dinner(eggs,toast, bacon)($2.15)

Tuesday-Spaghetti Pie( we love this!), green salad($5.25)

Wednesday-Veggie Soup and Grilled Cheese($1.10)

Thursday-Turkey pieces, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn($7.10)

Friday-Left overs

Saturday-Using GC for Swiss Chalet that I got as a gift

Sunday- Asian porkchops, rice, carrots($2.05)

Coupons and savings for these meals where achieved by flyer shoping and using coupons from the Homebasics Mag and Save.ca, as well as trading on the Frugal Shopper site.

 Christmas Tip #11–Had to recount my tips yesterday and realized that I had 10 out there so here is number 11…Make this season about connections and not presents. Reach out and get caught up with those that you need to..How? Email, Im, Call, Write plan a get together..this is the season where contact is so very wanted.

Today I am thankful that I had lots more energy then yesterday…that wee bit of down time revived me for the week..so today I applied for 3 more jobs, washed the floors and got my grocery list ready for tomorrow.


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything that keeps you busy as you try to be that good frugal mom? Well this morning I am a tired mom with a cold. I think this week with the long list of tasks I gave myself I over did it..After all what did I really get done? Here is my list of tasks done:

  • Finished class lists for about 3/4 of my daughter’s school( school is 600+ students)
  • Reviewed Daughters IEP and test scores and work portfolio in attempt to be ready to meet daughters teacher.
  • cleaned out under stairs storage area
  • decluttered and purged Roo’s bedroom
  • applied for 8 jobs and interviewed for 2.
  • Made 3 Christmas gifts
  • read and reviewed book for First Look
  • scrapped 12 pages for Roo’s scrapbook
  • deep cleaned fridge and stove
  • reorganize coupons
  • attended one day conference on parent involvement
  • researched curriculum for grades  3 and 4 so I can supplement Roo at home
  • Babysat for a friend who really was in a pinch
  • Baked 3 dozen cookies
  • shop for one Christmas pres that I have to mail.

This plus all the normal day to day stuff of being a solo flying parent. So this morning I am sipping ginger tea and trying to get a wee bit of energy. I have already vetoed our trip to the Santa Claus Parade though as I don’t think I could handle it with the how I am feeling. So do we as mom’s ever really over do it? and how do you stop yourself from overdoing it?

Christmas Tip#8: When you are getting busy this season remember to get some R and R time in too! We need down time!

Gratitude: Today I am thankful for a lil girl who loves to be a nurse!

Works for Me Wednesday

Yes it is that time of the week again, Shannon is once again hosting what works for us. Yesterday I was speaking with another cheap frugal mom and we  talking about getting the most for our money and the talk turned to coupons and cutting costs where we can so today I wanted to share what has been working for me as I try to cut costs and coupon or grab great deals where and when I can. I have a few sites bookmarked that I go to all the time for the purposes of couponing and finding great deals.

1. Save.ca is a great site that you can keep going back too! Try it once and you will be hooked. I go on it about once a month and get my coupons from there.

2.Frugal Shopperis another great site with a great forum attached. I go to this site every day. I have traded coupons and even been gifted coupons I am looking for. It really is a great friendly place of like minded frugalites.

3. All  Good Coupons.canot only is categories but lists contact info for more coupon collecting. I have emailed and joined lists of companies that I frequent and coupons do show up in my email and mailbox. By the way they even have some American stuff for you girls south of the border.

4. Red FlagDeals..I check out when I am looking for a great deal, frugal shopper also has an area for this but it is always good to have several sources.

 I rely on these 4 sites on a regular basis and then for the rest of my coupon needs I buy the Saturday paper when the Smart Shopper is in it and I watch the aisles of the grocery store and grab coupons that I see. I do take coupons I know I wont use too, why? Because I can trade them or gift them to someone who will! So this is what works for me in my attempt to make my dollar stretch further. In the last 3 months I have been able to cut my grocery bill by 25% by doing my best at coupon collecting.

The Grinch Who Loves Christmas

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Can you believe that a mere 42 days( yes that is 6 weeks from now) many of us will be done unwrapping presents? Melanie over at Don’t Try this is hosting a Holiday Carnival..Question up for grabs is this! What are you giving? and where will you shop?

I am the Grinch who loves Christmas! So you all know that I have $175 budgeted for Roo( and I am the only buyer–everyone sends cash.I then have to put names to the presents), right so here is how that is being spent. She will get 2 tops(one bright pink, one orange) from my local consignment store that were new with tags on for$6, black leggings$9, socks from Value Village(free because of the gift certificates won-buy the way at Christmas they have a great new tag section that lets you find stuff on the cheap. Her wow gift from Santa is a Barbie Mp3 player (49.99 at Walmart), it is interactive with their new website Barbie Girls (she is loving this site). She gets pjs every year$16.97 at Walmart( this year she is getting high school musical ones as we are going to see High School Musical on Ice). She also will get the Reindeer Webkinz. I will also hit Indigo   ( right now you can get a book for $1 for the next 3 days, but be quick cause they are limited and they have FREE shipping if you spend over $39)to pick up a great book, their outlet section is a favorite place of mine. She is also getting from me a keyboard that I found for $19.99 ( For me this and Roo is a great match because every time we go to church she seeks out a piano!). At Starbucks I found a great game for under $10, It is part of the Cranium family so that too will be under the tree. In her stocking are going to the High School Musical on Ice tickets that I won. So as you can see I am under budget and she is going to have a good time under the tree.

So do want to know what this Mom would love? Just in case you want to send me anything? Pajamas, socks, Turtles, and of course bling in the form of a lil pink computer that well right now I am trying to win. See that Dell link! If you are up here in Canada you can win one and a trip for the family too! Wouldn’t that make a great present under my tree!

Now My Christmas Tip for today from the Grinch who loves Christmas is this: All they need is this…a wow from Santa, something to read, something they need, and something to grow with. Children don’t need to see oddles of hard earned dollars under the tree for what will that teach them but greed.

Today I am thankful for a temp job even if it is only for today. I am babysitting and the $40 earned gets to go into my birthday fund…or maybe I will splurge on me in December and go and see Keith Urban in concert( he is coming back to Toronto).

The Eleveneth Day, The Eleventh Hour

I hope you all stopped today to express gratitude and thanks for all you have because of those who have served so we can be free.

Today is Veteran’s Day here in Canada. We stop and thank those who have gone before at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day. Many of us wear poppies in the days coming up to the day to remember the poppies that grow on Flanders Field.

Today I want to stop and tell the stories that I know from personal family research.  In every generation I have had family members who have served here in Canada and who are serving in the RAF as long as I can remember.

First there was my great grandfather. Charles Pollard who was a WW1 veteran. Not much is known about his service but that he did serve.

 Then there was my granddad Norman Pollard and his brothers. He was one of 3 brothers who went and served. One did not come home:Charlie is buried overseas. My granddad was captured at Dieppe and transferred to a POW in Poland. In the final days of the war, with the world closing in, these men had to march for 86 days across 600 miles toward Berlin. My grandfather brought home with him unspeakable memories.

My uncle Ron served as a diver with the Navy and did several peace keeping missions.

My cousins Ronny and Graham have both served Britain and there forces. Graham in currently in Iraq.

 I am thankful to each and every family member who hearts were big, who’s strenght was real, who’s courage was beyond measure. I am thankful for all we have as Canadians and know it is because of the valor of men and women just like my family members that I can even blog today. We owe huge debts of gratitude for each who have served.

As an action note, today if you are thankful for the service to this country of others, please support the vets in your community. Often they come home injured and get forgotten and let me put it this way, we don’t do enough at any level to offer the support or services so many need. Health care and home care right now are needed by so many vets who served so valiantly and funds are lacking, rehab care for our returning warriors is lacking as well in so many ways…so please add your voice to mine and write a letter saying that our VETS deserve the best treatment and access to funds we can possibly afford.

No tips today as I simply wanted to say THANK YOU to all vets who gave so much so I can type!