Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Courses, thumbs, etc (LBE, FD, PTMI and R/WP)

This is going to be one of those jumping from topic to topic type of posts.

And... A little heads up... I'm serious about this being a long post!


Sorry if it's been taking me a bit to get to your blog lately. Part of it's due to issues with blogs refusing to load properly sometimes (and me getting bored of trying so leaving it until later). But part of it's due to my new obsession with an audio version of Scrabble I managed to get hold of for my laptop, which I can play by myself against the computer, actually play by myself, or play against other apponents (but using the same computer for us all... Just passing the laptop between us). I also have Chess and a few other games too, but having spent so much time on the Scrabble game, I haven't actually done more than quickly check that the others worked after installation.


For those still interested in what courses I'm signing up for, the latest batch contains the following:

Basic Writing Skills
Be An Inspirational Writer
Discovering Poetry
Dream Interviewing
Haiku Poetry
Tarot Revealed
Writing Poetry

More and more writing ones will appear in the list of courses in each batch, since I'm running out of non-writing themed courses I want to do. LOL! I'm going to do all the writing ones - whether they are for a genre I plan on writing in some day or not - just because... Well, because I can! Besides, if I do them now, while I can, then should I decide to dabble in that genre - even if just for my own enjoyment - then I have the course material to get me started, give me some tips, etc. That's my theory anyway. Ah, who am I kidding... I'm grabbing any courses I have even a passing interest in. As I've said before... Might as well grab them while I know they're free and available! :)


I lost 3lbs this week! That makes 6lbs 8oz I've lost in 3 weeks!

I'm surprised actually. I mean, all I've done is made a few tweaks to things I'm eating, and stopped making excuses not to take Kero for his walks. I think it's mostly the walk thing that's helping the weight come off. I'm taking him two or three times a day. He's loving it (especially on days like Monday, when it's been nice out so I haven't made him wear his coat). If I continue losing the weight like I am, I might actually make the 2 stone (28lbs) in three months goal "they" want from me!

Good thing is though... Because I've had some decent weight loss now, if I have the odd week with no weight loss it wont be too big of a deal, because I'm ahead of the goal I set myself, and it's that goal that really matters to me. Sure, I'd like to show up at the Gynaecologist's office having lost the 2 stone - or more - just to be able to say I'd done it, and point out that now we're back where we started - with me the weight I was when I first went to them - so now what are they going to do about things? But if I don't... Well, I know I'm doing my best... I mean, I have to be doing something right to lose almost half a stone in 3 weeks, don't I?

I weighed Kero and Gwydion on Monday - just out of curiosity - but, guess what? I'm not telling how much they weighed! Why? Because Gwydion is going to tell you on Friday. I only did it because I was curious, and then it started becoming one of those questions that - since you know you can easily get an answer - you just "have to" know!


I meant to say about this before, but... Remember the thumb incident?

Well, first of all... It wasn't quite as bad as I first thought. With the amount of blood - and the amount of pain once the numbness from the very cold water wore off - I thought it was really bad. It wasn't! OK, it was bad enough that it was hurting for a while, and still hurts a little if that part of the thumb touches something solid, or is pressed against something, and it still vaguely looks like Thumbelina tried to eat my thumb. But it's not nearly as bad as the blood and pain made it seem, and it's healing nicely.

When it was first done I had it wrapped up in a plaster (bandaid) or two, and was hoping it would be fine, but once I could touch it without feeling like someone was torturing me I discovered it wasn't as bad as I'd thought, kept a plaster on it for a while longer - so as to keep the anticeptic cream on it, and the dirt out of it - then, when it started healing over properly, I just left it alone. Like I said, it's now healing nicely.


I phoned the Sky people to get the multiroom package removed. Of course, they tried changing my mind. Said if I kept it they could offer it to me for half the price for x amount of time (I think it was 6 months or something like that). I havve two issues with that.

First of all, I'd just told them that I didn't want it any more, and I'd told them why (the box doesn't work any more, the TV isn't officially ours that it's set up on, and no, I don't plan on buying a new TV any time soon), so it's not like I was saying it was a cost issue - though it does save me £10.50 (around $21) per month to have it turned off.

And, secondly, if they can so easily offer it at the discount amount, why don't they just offer it at that price in the first place? After all, they're making enough with the amount they charge for the channels to start with, so it wouldn't hurt them to cut the cost of things like multiroom packages, or the addition of the HD versions of the channels.

I have that same exact issue with the "half price" and "buy one, get one free" and "3 for the price of 2" offers you see all over the place these days... If they can afford to sell them at those prices, why don't they just do that in the first place?

Actually, I can answer my own question... Money! Or, more to the point, greed! That's why the world is in such a financial mess these days... Companies want so much extra money that those of us down at the bottom of the pecking order are suffering for their greed!

It's like how the government here came up with a "brilliant" plan to help the country get out of the economic crisis... Raise the VAT to 20%! I'm sorry, but that helps us how exactly? I mean, sure, it helps the government... Because all the tax goes to them... But what about us? What about those of us, for example, who now have to pay £1.55 (about $3) just for a 2 litre carton of milk? I get that there are costs for the suppliers, costs for transporting the goods to the supermarkets, etc. But I also know for a fact that only a few pennies of that go to the farmers. Most of that money actually goes to the supermarket. And if they really have to charge that much for milk, then how come some of the supermarkets are happily selling it at 2 of those cartons for £2 ($4) - though only if you buy the two at the same time - almost constantly? If they can afford to sell them at £1 per carton, why don't they just do that in the first place? *Shaking head*


My Art Of Knitting magazine was meant to arrive by the end of last week, but instead I got a letter saying they were sorry, but due to such high demand they have to print extra copies of the magazine before they will be available. Apparently I'll get my copy just as soon as they can get more copies printed and sent out to those who subscribed. Well, at least they let me know, I guess! Although, it would have been nice to be told before my 28 days of waiting were up, rather than on the final day. I mean, they could have said something in the letter I had from them the week before saying how my magazines would arrive. Like I said though... At least they did actually let me know... Eventually!

I did get my first parcel from the Baked And Delicious magazine last week though... Complete with a couple of cooking utensils and a loaf tin.


It's been quite wet for the past 24 hours. I'm not really complaining though. We've had lovely weather most days lately. A couple of times I even went out without bothering with a jacket, and a couple of other times I only bothered to put my jacket on because it was easier than trying to hold on to my mobile, use my cane and hold Kero's lead, and my clothes had no pockets in them. It's just a shame that because of the workmen Kero and I couldn't sit outside in the garden and enjoy the nice weather.

Yes, they're still here! Last week we got told - again - that the scaffolding was going to be pulled down at the end of the week (as in the end of last week). But, surprise surprise, it's still here! Someone came to move the satalite dish - and it took us ages to convince him that since we'd stopped the subscription to the bedroom box, and it wasn't working anyway, there was no point in him checking the signal on that box - but nothing else has happened, and that was last Friday. He did move the dish to a spot where we have signal despite the scaffolding still being there though, so that's a good thing. Still... It would be nice if the scaffolding would actually come down when they say it's going to! I'm sick of it being there, but - more than anything - I'm sick of empty promises! It's either coming down at the end of the week, or it isn't. The point is, don't say it's coming down then leave it up because you aren't done... Say you don't know when you'll be done and able to take the scaffolding down! Is that so hard?


I've made some pretty good progress with the last piece of the throw set I'm making for my Mam over the past 24 hours. It's now about half done. I'm hoping to have it done in the next few days - at least by this time next week - because I'd like to have the scarf I'm making for Louise (Emma-Jane's Mother)done in time for her birthday at the end of April.

There are two reasons for that:

1. It would make a nice birthday present for her.

2. I have a load of other projects I want to get done this year, and since I need them all for Christmas, and some of them will take a while to do... Well, I need to be starting them in May (if not before) to guarantee time to get them done in time for Christmas.

That's the only thing with handmade items. You really do have to start them early. I know generally people don't want to be thinking about Christmas until at least the end of October, but when you make at least some of the things you intend giving to people as presents, then you really do have to start thinking about it early. I promise not to mention Christmas too much until Halloween is over though! ;)

I'll tell you about each project as I start working on it though.


I tried something called "sweet and sour crispy bites" from all the food items I found on Asda the other day. They're basically chunks of quarn in batter with a sweet and sour sauce. I thought they were pretty good. I'm not usually a fan of quarn... Mainly because people keep only offering it to me plain - but I really did like these! There are a few other quarn items with sauces and flavouring at Asda, so I think I'll try some of them. After all, you don't know if you like something or not if you don't try it, do you?


I've added a couple more reviews to the stacks I still need to share. I will get to them... Honest! I just have so much to say that I end up moving the reviews aside and posting other stuff. Still, there may be a time in the future when I'll be glad of reviews to give you all something to read when I can't get on to post. At least when that time comes there will be plenty of reviews for me to choose from for you! ;)


The roleplaying sessions Dad, Kelly and I were having every couple of weeks have now turned in to movie nights. Mainly due to lack of roleplaying enthusiasm on my part. Dad has some movies I want to watch (yep, more reviews to add to the list, lol) and I do a lot of knitting when I watch movies, because I need something to do with my hands if I need to sit still, so it kills two birds with one stone, so to speak. I get to watch some of the movies Dad has that I want to watch, and I get to make some decent progress with my craft projects. And Dad doesn't mind what we do together, enjoys watching movies, and wants to get through his stack of unwatched DVDs too, so it benifits him as well!

We're still having him have dinner with us though. Well, actually, this week he's having dinner with Kelly and I'm having different, but you know what I mean. Dad and Kelly are having a Shepherd's pie, and I'm having a baked potato with salad, because I don't eat shepherd's pies, obviously, since they are basically made of minced meat and potatoes, so aren't exactly vegetarian meals. LOL! We're all having salad next time though. Although, Kelly is having a pasta salad and Dad and I are having an ordinary salad, since Kelly eats so few of the actual salad items that he needs the pasta to make his meal worth having. But we're still all technically having a salad next time.


Mam couldn't get to come and get washing to do it for us last week - she can't really drive with a splint on her leg - so Dad brought her to fetch some on Monday, then they split the week's worth of washing between them and brought me my clean, dry stacks of washing back today. I was expecting to need to dry it when they brought it back, but they split it so that Dad had everything that could go through the tumble dryer without fear of it shrinking (towels and such) and Mam had the other items (because she doesn't dry with a dryer either). I have to say I'm extremely greatful that they did that, because I wasn't looking forward to trying to find places to dry a whole week's worth of washing!


Mam hardly ever reads my blog, and my Dad reads it even less, but... Thanks Mam and Dad!

If they don't see that, it's not my fault... I did say it to their face too though, so at least they know about that thank you... I can't help it if they don't know about this one!


I don't watch things like "The Biggest Loser" usually. But... I've been watching this season of The Biggest Loser (the US version). I tell you what, most of the people on it are real jerks! Actually, that's not the word I would have chosen to use to describe some of them, but the word that springs to mind isn't one I've ever used - or ever plan to use - on my blog. So, we'll go with Jerks! Anyway, I don't even know why I keep watching it... I think it's rubbish! Seriously... I think the show is rubbish, and most of the people are jerks... And I wouldn't be caught dead on that show (despite being around the same weight as some of the lighter ones started out). So why do I keep watching it?

I can only come up with one explanation... During the brief times when I watched bits of it before - when Mam was watching it while we were living with my parents for a while last year - I was hypnotized in to thinking I have to watch it! That's the only logical explanation!


Owen has another storytelling event coming up in April. Not sure if we'll be going. I hope so. I'll have to ask Dad when he's here Friday, because it's only a couple of weeks away (one is April 12th, the other April 20th, I think).


That's all I had to say today. Hope I didn't bore you too much with my rambling and ranting! ;)

Enjoy whatever's left of your day, and stay safe!


Intense Guy said...

Goodness - are you sure you aren't completely Irish with that gift of gab? :)

I think you should wait til the workmen get on the scaffolding and then push it over - it would be interesting to see how much like Tarzan they sound like!

I hope your thumb heals fully and quickly and that your Mam does too! She really took a wicked fall to need a splint.

You are doing well with the losing the stones. It sounds like you've a full plate of things to do - the coursework, scrabble, roleplaying, movie and reviews, walkies, making handmade things for Christmas - hardly gives you any time for doing wash!

:) what is "quarn"?

Intense Guy said...

P.s., I got turned off on "Biggest Loser" just from the negative title.

Toriz said...

Nope, definately not completely Irish... Possibly taking after the Irish family members though? ;)

LOL! That would be fun, but probably not a good idea... Knowing my luck I'd manage to hurt myself while doing it! ;)

Yep... Definately got plenty of things to be getting on with! ;)

Quarn (I think that's how it's spelled, anyway) is a plant based - actually, I think possibly fungus-like... Like mushrooms - food used as a substitution for meat for those who prefer not to eat animal products.

Toriz said...

P.S. I don't blame you. And, you're not missing much! Stay away before they hypnotize you as well! ;)

Rita said...

Warning back--long response! :)

First of all I had to go google quarn! A fungus...hummm...that sounds worse than the soy products I buy--hehe! I'd be game to try it at least, but Wiki says, even tho it is fairly popular in the UK, they had troubles selling it over here. Some company that makes soy burgers kicked up a big stink and tried to say it wasn't healthy or something. Isn't that just the way it is over here. Money talks. Loudly. Very loudly. And the squeaky wheel rules in the US.

I had a video issue today. Sideways video! I had no clue that if you held the camera sideways to make the picture taller that the video would come out sideways. Pretty weird looking, if you can picture it--be like seeing Karma sit and walk across a wall--hehe!

I'll have to go and see if there's some more classes I can collect. Not sure when I'll actually get to any of them. Haven't even read a one yet! But it is cool to know they are there waiting for me. :)

You are inspirational with watching what you eat and walking off those pounds! Great job! And, like you say, you are ahead of your goal, too. Nice!

I watched the first season of Biggest Loser (awful title even if they think it is clever) and peeked occasionally since then. But I was afraid they were going to kill somebody! They'd have people in the hospital and passing out and barely able to breathe! Made me too nervous to watch it. Not that they're not right--it is what you eat and exercise--but they push it too hard and fast, I think.

Glad your thumb is healing nicely. And that you got your skybox working okay around the dang scaffolding. But when are they going to disconnect the bedroom box? They better take it off your bill right away.

They do the same thing over here. Offer you deals to stay. But after the six months--you're right back where you were--or paying more! CableOne has been sending out ads constantly over here--$25.00 a month for cable in huge letters. But it is for 6 months and they don't tell you that you'll be paying the better part of $100 after the six months. And often, when they run these deals, they make you sign a contract to keep them for a couple of years, too! So you'd pay a fine if you try to cancel and you haven't moved out of their business area.

As far as grocery stores...I also worked in a deli and in natural foods for a while. The milk might be a draw item to get people in. The stores will put something people use for sale at a low price to get them into the store and hopefully buy other items while they are there. Sometimes they actually are losing money on the draw item. Most stores lose money on Miracle Whip/Mayonnaise--all over the upper midwest, anyways. The stores competed against each other with it as a draw item for so many years, they're kind of stuck with it. When one store tries to gradually raise the price back to where they can make some money on it, another one will drop even lower. I learned this tidbit working a big chain grocery store. From my years in various retail stores, most of what I've seen on price drops is more out of desperation. When places aren't hurting for money they don't drop prices or offer deals. (Cable One is getting undercut by some new cable companies up here like the one D&L&I have.)

I know what you mean about starting early for Christmas. I am going to have to get together with Leah about making Christmas cards pretty soon, too. When you make things it takes so much longer, but I love to give something handmade, too. :)

Movie night sounds fun, too. It's the spending time together that counts. And I hope your mom gets better soon. I've had a cast on my leg before and know how much it changes your routine.

I hope you get to see Owen again!
Stay safe and dry!! :):)

Deanna said...

Wow Tori. You weren't kidding when you said this is a long post. It was interesting.

You are doing great with the weight loss. Congratulations and keep on doing whatever you are doing because it is definitely working.

I totally agree with you about companies that offer a lower price to keep your businiess... why didn't they offer that price in the first place? My biggest beef, though, are companies who say "we will match the price if you find it cheaper elsewhere". Why in the world would I buy from them when they were overcharging to begin with. Even if they offer an item at a discount I go with the company who was charging the lower price to begin with.

I hate to admit it but I'm kinda hooked on Biggest Loser. It makes me want to work harder when I see the progress they make - even if they do have every benefit in the world helping them.

Have a wonderful day!

AliceKay said...

I had to laugh at the Tarzan comment up there. LOL

Great job on the weight loss so far. I don't think you'll have any problems reaching the goal you've set for yourself.

You're keeping very busy. Made me tired just reading everything you've been up to. :)

Have fun with the Scrabble. Sounds like you are. :)

I've never watched Biggest Loser but Karen does when she can. Ray and Ryan have control over the TV most of the time. LOL

It was pouring down rain here just a bit ago, and we have snow on the way. Might get a couple of inches tonight and tomorrow and then a little more on Friday....and then again on Saturday. :\ I'm waiting for spring to arrive in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Toriz said...

You're not kidding! Well... Right back atcha! LOL! ;)

Yeah, I read that when I found the article about quorn too. But over here they're pushing the quorn more than the soy (apart from yogurts, cheese, milk and that sort of thing, I haven't really seen many soy products over here... Even after the huge stack of stuff I found on Asda's site). There's a big thing at the moment with how quorn is much healthier, so quit eating meat and eat quorn. Understandably, not many people are eager to do so, and it's lack of much taste if you don't add something to it doesn't exactly encourage people. Still, I figured I'd give it a go with stuff (I'd tried it plain and wasn't fussed on it) and I'm glad I did, because I really did like those crispy bites!

LOL @ Karma walking across a wall! That would be weird! I think there's a way to fix that though... Just don't ask me how, because I haven't a clue. I'm just sure I've heard of people doing it.

I've read through each lesson as it's arrived, but I haven't done morre than that. Like I said, I'm just collecting them for now. LOL! I hope you enjoy them when you get to them though!

I really do need to get the weight off. I just hope I can keep it off!

I agree about the Biggest Loser way of doing things... They push it too hard. It's great that the people lose the weight, but can't really be good for them to be pushing their boddies that hard to get it off so quickly!

I had the usual "30 day notice" that you have to give, so as of the middle of April the box will no longer get signal. I have to pay for it until the middle of April - of course - but after that it wont appear on my bill. It better not, or I'll have a few things to say to them... None of them very nice!

Yep, that's exactly how they work it over here!

Quite possible (about the milk). But I wish they'd realise that they'd actually get more customers buying more if they didn't charge so much for the stuff in the first place. I mean, when it costs you all of the money you have available to shop with just to buy essentail items, you're less likely to buy anything else. And it's really not right that they're trying to push you to eat healthily, but those items - fruit, veg, etc - are actually the items that cost most!

I love getting homemade gifts, and love giving them! I think theyy mean much more than something you just grabbed from a shop. ?Not that shop brought items aren't also great gifts... They are! But when something was made especially for you, you know the person really was thinking hard about pleasing you.

Yes, it's the spending time together that counts!

I've had a cast on my leg too... When I was about 12. It wasn't fun! It was itchy, uncomfortable, and made getting about difficult and exhausting work!

I hope so too. But if it can't be arranged, then that can't be helped!

If the weather stays like it is today, I'm going to have better luck with the safe than the dry! ;)

Toriz said...

Glad you found it interesting!

Thanks! (about the weight loss thing) :)

Exactly! I'd just go with the cheaper one too!

Fair comment about Biggest Loser. Perhaps that's what's got me watching it? *Shrugs*

You have a wonderful day too!

Thanks! I hope that's the case! (about reaching the goal I've set myself) :)

Keeping busy keeps my hands out of the snack tub, so I have to keep busy! ;)

Yep, I'm having fun with the scrabble! You get to name the computer player as well as yourself, so I'm having fun playing different people - or cartoon characters - I know of. Like yesterday... I played against SpongeBob. LOL!
Yeah, that's the thing when you have others who love TV in the house. Especially when one of them is as cute as Ryan, so hard to say no too! ;)

Your Spring will come... Honest!