Saturday, March 21, 2009
After we left Canada Keith and I were both broke and unemployed. We knew going into the whole Canada adventure that we'd be unemployed after it was over, but the plan was to be the opposite of broke. Theoretically we should have left Canada with most, if not all of our short term debts paid off and have money to spare. But Canada screwed us over. Keith's friends screwed us over. But, back to the point. We were unemployed. We both got jobs fairly quickly, which is kind of amazing given the economy. Keith is working at Countrywide again and is doing quite well. He has a better job than he had before we left. That was definitely a blessing.
For the first few months we were back I was working two jobs at Pier 1 and The Grill on the Alley. I quit Pier 1 right before the holidays and am currently just working as a hostess at The Grill - and upscale steak and seafood restaurant in the Galleria. I really like, it just doesn't pay what I should be making as an educated 27 year old. But through it I've gotten to meet Roger Staubach, Jessica Simpson, Chad Hennings, Dooce McAllister and a couple of other semi-celebrities.
I had to drop out of the Art Institute when we left for Canada. The plan was to re-enroll once we got back, but financially it just didn't make sense. So I tried to enroll at UTA, but because I owe the Art Institute money, they wouldn't release my transcripts to UTA, and therefore UTA wouldn't process my application. It was quite enfuriating and you should probably consider yourself lucky that I didn't go off on my normal tangent about that whole ordeal. So, I've had to put Art School on the back burner until my life is back in order and all of my debts are paid off. It sucks, but it is the responsible decison that I must make at the moment. I 100% plan to go back someday because it is my passion and what I want to do. But it'll be a few years I'm sure.
Meanwhile, I've decided to pursue an alternative certification to teach 4th through 8th grade math. I took my first content exam last week and am just waiting for the scores to be posted. If I passed that then I can start applying to schools. Please pray that I passed! Luckily I know a lot of teachers and school administrators, so I feel very blessed with hook-ups in a lot of districts in DFW. I'm really excited about this next chapter in my life. I think I'll be a really great teacher and I think it'll be a great fit for me. (Thank you Monica for all the advice and support!! Its been very helpful!)
So for the time being, Keith and I are still struggling to make ends meet and to make up for the debts that have accrued as a result of the Canada ordeal. Such is life, you learn from your mistakes and use your lemons to make lemonade.
Please keep praying for me and for us!!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Friday, September 5, 2008
We finally got to move into the guest house, otherwise known as the A-frame. The place is a lot bigger than I thought. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs. There is also a huge loft area upstairs that has four more beds. Its really cool. Its very rustic and woodsy. Its really nice, but it was built in the 60's so it has all of the problems of an old place - it creaks a lot at night, there are mice living in the walls, and it is quite drafty. But I like it so far. Its a little scary to be here alone at night. There is a sliding glass door and two windows that don't have curtains or anything on them. At night it is pitch black when you look out them. And of course they are in the middle of the living room where I use the computer and watch TV. It's a little creepy, but perhaps it'll toughen me up.
It was rainy out today. It makes for beautiful scenery. It also makes it quite cold.
We haven't really done much other than work. We've been working 6 days a week, which is exactly what we intended to do - make money and save money. We also spent one evening playing poker with Natalie and Stosh. I've really tried to avoid learning to play poker. I'm not really sure why, I guess just to be stubborn. Keith loves to go play. But I learned, and I'll admit it was quite fun.
Keith and I also drove into Dryden on one of our nights off and had a date night. That consisted of Chinese food and a trip to Walmart. The food was alright. I wouldn't really call it Chinese food. There wasn't a single Chinese person working there or eating there. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. And it cost us $50.
We've been making good money and saving a ton. I'm definitely glad we decided to do this. I think it will really give Keith and I the fresh financial start we need. We're having fun and getting to experience a new lifestyle. But I am getting really homesick and I'm glad we won't be living in Canada permanently. I miss my kittens so much. And I miss my bed, my new Dallas apartment and all my friends and family.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Keith and I have been in Canada for a little over a week. As I'm writing this, this is the view I'm looking at. (I haven't quite mastered the art of taking scenic pictures on my camera, so its a little dark, but I'm working on it.) The weather has been pretty amazing. It looks like it could rain today. I walked out on the porch to take a few pictures of the sky. I was wearing some old Nike running shorts and a t-shirt and it was too cold. I had to go back in and put pants on. I'm not sure what the temperature actually is since everything is in Celsius up here. According to weather.com it is 63 degrees out. I've been meaning to post about all the happenings since we set out on our journey, but every time I sit down, I just can't bring myself to do it, so here goes...
We left Dallas last Monday. Of course it was raining and we still had errands to run, so instead of leaving at 8:30a.m. like I had hoped, we finally got on the road at 11:30. We made a lunch stop in McKinney at Taco Bueno, figuring we wouldn't see many more Bueno's as we went further north. It rained the entire day, all the way through Oklahoma and Missouri. The most exciting thing that happened on Monday was at our dinner stop. Around 5:30 we stopped in Vinita, Oklahoma at Clanton's Cafe. According to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives if you go to Clanton's you have to eat their Calf Fries. Perhaps Keith and I are just not well enough educated in southern foods, but neither of us knew what they were and the waitress wouldn't tell us. So she brought us a sample. Some of you may be laughing at us at this point. It turns out Calf Fries are Bull testicles. Yeah, I'm serious.
The rest of our drive was pretty uneventful. We stayed a night in Des Moines. We saw lots of cows and corn fields. It was a really beautiful drive, but rather boring. I really never realized how beautiful Minnesota is. I guess its since I'm from Texas and never get a chance to see rocky hills and fur trees, but Minnesota was exceptionally nice. We stopped at the Wienery and had Drive-In Dogs and fresh cut fries. They were delicious! If you're ever in Minneapolis, you should try it out.
We finally made it to the border around 10:30 on Tuesday night. Keith made me drive through because he wasn't sure if his license was valid. We had no problems at customs and made into International Falls without trouble. I was surprised it was so easy since we had an entire Jeep full of luggage. From the border we had a two hour drive ahead of us. We switched and Keith drove the rest of the way. Our drive from International Falls to Vermilion was somewhat frightening. It was absolutely pitch black and there were no street lights. The road was a narrow one lane high way and the only other cars out were 18-wheelers, and they were usually coming from the opposite direction. Let me tell you, there are very few things more scary than an 18-wheeler coming at you, going 70 mph on a dark narrow road. At one point, the road turned from a well paved highway to a gravel road. And there were still 18-wheelers coming at us going 70 mph! Keith and I were both having panic attacks. He was trying to drive slowly, but we were still sliding around on the gravel and when the 18 wheelers would pass they would throw the gravel up on us. Keith was so scared that when it was all done his brand new Jeep was going to be covered in large dings. But we arrived unharmed and Keith's car has no damage. We got to the house at 1:00a.m. and went straight to bed.
The next day the people we're staying with (Stosh and Natalie) showed us around town, or rather the surrounding towns of Dryden (30 minutes away) and Kenora (1 hour away). The city we're living in is Vermilion Bay. Approximately 300 people live here. The town consists of lots of lakes and camp grounds. During tourist season (which is apparently almost over) tourists come to stay in the camps and go on hunting and fishing expeditions. There is also a gas station, a grocery store (or co-op as they call it) and a few restaurants. The nearest Walmart is in Dryden so if we need anything beyond the basics we have to drive 30 minutes. The first evening we were here our hosts wanted to take us into Kenora to see a movie. (The nearest movie theatre is in Kenora.) All three cities (Vermilion Bay, Dryden, Kenora) are on the same highway which is undergoing major construction. So if you try to go somewhere there is a good chance you'll have so sit for at least 15 minutes while they close down your lane and let the other side pass. It took us an hour and a half to get to the movies and when we got there, it was sold out. So we turned around and came home.
It is so surreal to be here. It is beautiful and a nice change of scenery, but it is just so weird to be in such a small town so far away from the big cities I'm used to. Growing up I though Kennedale was a small town, but compared to Vermilion Bay, Kennedale is Manhattan. I have never experienced a place like this. Everybody knows everybody. The nearest major town is Winnipeg and it is 4 hours away.
So far all I've really done is work. Which is good because thats what we came here to do. I had forgotten how exhausting waiting tables is. I'm getting a pretty good work out and making good money. So is Keith. And the good thing is, there is nothing here to spend money on, so we won't be tempted to spend what we make.
I miss home so much! I miss my kittens terribly. I miss my bed and my city apartment. By the time our stay here is up I am going to be so home sick!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sorry about the double posting on a few things recently. I tried to use YouTube's automatic posting, but it didn't appear to work. So, hence the double post of Kim Zmeskal.
I already miss my kittens so much. Its actually to the point where I found one of Murphy's hairs on something and I kept it. I don't know how I am going to last three whole months without them. Kareah, I miss you too!!
Friday, August 15, 2008
The Olympics are one of my favorite things. Particularly the Gymnastics. When I was younger, my favorite gymnast was Kim Zmeskal. When I googled her today I found out that she now owns a gym in Coppell which is about 20 minutes from my apartment. I may have to stop by sometime and catch a glimpse of one of my childhood idols. And you better believe when I have daugthers I will do my best to make them Olympic stars. (Not in a bad way.) Take a look at this video of Kim's beam routine. Such control. It's amazing!!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
After googling her today I found out that she now owns a gym in Coppell, not 30 minutes from my apartment. You better believe that when I have daughters I will try my hardest to pass on my love of gymnastics to them. Maybe one day they can train under the great Kim Zmeskal and my dreams of Olympic gold can be passed onto the next generation.
This montage of Kim is also amazing. She sticks everything perfectly. It gives me chills. And her whipback tumbling passes are incredible.
Oh, to be young and in shape again.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Anyhow, today while doing my defensive driving I did learn one interesting fact: If a police car (with lights and siren), a fire truck (with lights and siren), an ambulance (with lights and siren), and a postal vehicle all arrive at a four-way stop intersection at the same time, who has the right-of-way? Because they are conducting official United States business, under federal law, the postal vehicle has the right-of-way.
With that, I leave you for the weekend. I hope that your weekend is relaxing and enjoyable. At least 4 hours of mine will be spent finishing defensive driving.