Save Canada’s Mandatory Long Form Census! 2010/07/28 No Comments

Every once in a while I get all fired up politically. Last time it was when Stephen Harper and the other major federal party leaders ganged up and denied Elizabeth May of the Green Party the right to join the debates in the last federal election. To me, that was a bunch of school yard bullies trying to pull a fast one on our democratic system. I was pissed. I wrote an email to my MP, and sent an email to all of my friends urging them to do the same thing. I must say, it felt really awesome when the bastards caved to pressure and let May join the debates.  Somehow I felt as if I had been a part of something, as if something I had done had made a difference. It felt a hell of a lot more empowering than voting ever does.

When I first heard that Stephen Harper’s conservative government had decided to make the long-form census, which is received by 1 in 5 Canadian households every 5 years, optional instead of mandatory, I didn’t really give it much thought. But as time has gone on, I’ve come to realize how ridiculously stupid and short sighted this decision is.
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Note to self: Laptops do not need to be oiled 2010/07/16 No Comments

I’ve been AWOL lately, I know. There are several reasons, many of them related to trying to clean my house instead of sit in front of the computer. But one big reason is that I’m having some laptop related issues. Resulting from my having accidentally, ahem, poured olive oil on my precious macbook.

I’m sure that anyone out there with a laptop who cooks has taken their laptop into the kitchen, opened to the recipe-du-jour. Last week I was making a stir-fry, and my laptop came along for fun. The irony of course is that I’ve made a stir-fry dozens of times with no recipe needed at all; but for some reason I decided that I was going to follow this “how-to” page, which includes a few different sauce variations. So the macbook was on the counter, between the olive oil and the cutting board. On the other side of the olive oil was the stove. I think you can guess what happened.
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More Frugal Fun – Camping with Baby! 2010/06/29 No Comments

Last week I posted about saving money by using cloth diapers. This week: the cheapest of cheap family vacations – camping!

Yes, I thought we might be a bit crazy. Camping with our almost-ten-month-old? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hubby and I used to go back-country camping with friends each summer, but this summer we decided that car-camping would be a good introduction. I just can’t see little peanut sitting still long enough in a canoe for us to paddle anywhere. So we booked a weekend car-camping site in August at Killbear Provincial Park.

Of course, driving 5 hours to “try” camping with a baby still seems a little nuts. But we had a group of friends, all with young children (18 months to 4 years) going to The Pinery this past weekend, and they had room for an extra tent. The Pinery is only a 2 hour drive from home, rather than a 5 hour drive, so it seemed like a good way to test the waters. Worst case scenario, peanut freaks out and we go get a hotel in Grand Bend or drive home if need be. I wouldn’t say I was preparing for the worst, but I was definitely trying to be prepared for the unexpected.
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The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment 2010/06/18 1 Comment

I warned you in my introductory post that I might talk about cloth diapers. Well, here you go.

I figure that this is on-topic in one way: saving money. If you want to be able to stop working for the “man”, and work at home, making money online is probably going to come slowly. Very VERY slowly. And in the mean time, you’d better start saving your pennies. One awesome way to do that is by using cloth diapers (assuming your little ones are still in diapers, of course).
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Part Time Work – The Perfect Balance? 2010/06/10 No Comments

Currently, I’m scheduled to go back to work part-time, starting in August. I’m a little torn about the whole thing. I know that I need some sort of outlet to do some work, thus the reason for this blog and the technical projects that I’ve been playing around with while on mat leave.

However I also know my son, and the prospect of leaving him without me for 8+ hours a day causes my chest to tighten up and my heart rate to soar, and I start stressing out, knowing that he’ll be fine for a couple of hours, but then he’ll be tired and hungry, and want mama’s milk and touch to fill him up and calm him down so he can sleep. And the thought of not being there for him just tears me up inside. There are many people who I’m sure will think I’m being a helicopter parent, or spoiling my little guy, but we subscribe to the attachment parenting philosophy around here (more so than I ever anticipated before having a baby!), and at this point I really still feel he needs me to provide those things for him, and so I’m happy to give them.
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Garden Mania and CMS Round Up 2010/06/06 No Comments

As usual, I’m having difficulty managing all of my many projects. I get very into one and the others tend to fall a bit by the wayside. This past week has been garden-mania. We have a GIANT backyard by inner-city standards. Okay, it’s inner-city Kitchener, but still — our lot is 60×120, and the house fronts quite close to the sidewalk, so the backyard is pretty much mammoth. And despite the fact that we’re surrounded by old-growth trees, we are absolutely blessed to have a good amount of sun in our backyard. So I had dreams of a beautiful french-style potager, i.e. a kitchen garden, much like this one:

Sample Kitchen Garden

A sample kitchen garden, courtesy of Google Image Search

With much help from my beloved husband, and great thanks to a peanut for being happy to be carried around on my back for a good little while this weekend, we are oh-so-close to being done. I’ll post pictures of it as soon as it’s really done, which I’m hoping will be by the end of the week because my neighbours have just arrived home from a 5-week trip and I’m sure they’re none too thrilled with the big pile of dirt that’s still at the end of our driveway. (Most of the dirt has been in the beds for a few weeks already, but 5 cubic yards of dirt is a LOT of dirt.)
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Google is God, and I made a dollar! 2010/06/01 No Comments

Happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my birthday actually, not today. 34. Blech. But I checked my AdSense account this morning and on May 19th, somebody clicked through one of my ads, and I’m now $1.12 richer. Or rather, I will be if my account balance ever reaches the payout threshold, which I believe is $100.

So if you were the wonderful reader who clicked through an ad on my site — thank you. :-) Of course, I’m not allowed to encourage you to do it again, because that would be breaking the rules of Google.
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My Inspiration – My Mom! 2010/05/26 2 Comments

I mentioned in a past post that part of my motivation for this blog is that I’m helping my mom with a website that she wanted developed, and I want to be able to test out some SEO techniques, give AdSense a whirl to see what I’m in for, etc. The truth is that this blog, and my desire to try and make money online and become a stay at home mom, is largely inspired by my mother, who just recently quit her job so she can devote all her time to her online career of a travel writer!

My mother, Marianne, and her partner Randy started traveling in their RoadTrek Camper Van about 10 years ago. They spent one entire year on the road, and loved it so much that they’ve gone on a 5-month trip every other year since then. They mostly tour around through the southern United States, going when it’s cold here to enjoy the warmth there.
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SEO – Title and Meta Tag Fun 2010/05/20 No Comments

So after yesterday’s excitement at having been indexed by Google subsided, I looked a little more closely and realized that there were some issues with my pages as they were indexed. Turns out that a bunch of my “tag” pages had been indexed, rather than the posts themselves. Doh!
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We’ve been googled! 2010/05/19 No Comments

Yahoo! Oh, no wait, that’s a different search engine… Google! We have arrived, a scant 48 hours after re-launching my blog (the original version was never indexed on google, as far as I know), the google bots have come, and we are now officially showing up on the search engine’s resuts page when I search for “SkuleGirl”. Unfortunately, the search starts by asking if I meant “Skull Girls”, which sort of sucks… but I don’t really expect many people to get here by searching for “SkuleGirl” anyway.
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