Snow, Snow, Snow!

Here in Manitoba, Canada we laugh when Spring starts to appear. Like most places in Canada March seems to herald in a new season. Snow starts to melt, the sun shines and temperatures rise. Lots of people discard their parkas or other winter coats in favour of lighter Spring jackets and sweaters. There are even people who start wearing shorts! I know 10°C is warm, but come on!

But in Manitoba, we know better. We know this is just a ruse, a trick. It’s not actually Spring yet. We’ve gotten a dumping of snow in May for crying out loud! When I lived in Alberta, it was much the same. I haven’t lived in Saskatchewan before, but since it’s sandwiched between the two, I imagine it’s similar.

So it was no surprise when a fresh, crisp blanket of white greeted me this morning. Flakes were falling gently in the air. Ah, snow. It’s snowing again and we’re liable to get another 2-4cm today.


My eldest son was less than impressed. He wanted the green grass and the puddles to come back. Driving to work this morning had us going through 2 intersections. Such is life here.

On a good note, do you all remember that money issue I’ve been bitching about for the last seven months? Of course you do! If there’s anything I do well, it’s complain.

Yesterday afternoon the bank called my husband to inform him that the cheque had been received. Within an hour, it was showing in our account. FINALLY! FINALLY! The money has been received. I no longer have to worry about buying groceries this weekend. I don’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. I don’t have to worry about being able to afford the new socks my kid so desperately needs.

I have been offered lots of support in terms of money to fill the gaps while we were waiting for this goddamn payout. Friends, family, friends that are basically family. While I appreciate it all, I have an extreme aversion to borrowing money. I do not like owing people money. I don’t like owing even a dollar to someone. Being indebted to someone makes me go into extreme anxiety-mode.

I’ve associated owing money to someone as basically giving that person rights  to your life. Like blood money. My rational brain thinks this thought-process is ridiculous. My irrational brain tends to be a bit louder and is like “whaaaaa? NO!”

Other good news is that we are now able to afford those tiny extras we’ve been waiting on. I can paint the office and purchase one of the last pieces of furniture. We paid off my student loan, I paid off the credit card, I repaid my in-laws (they bought us the desk for the office. I’ve been in agony ever since). My husband was able to order the new toy he wanted. Once the credit card recovers from its workout I’ll pay it off again and put the rest of  the money in savings like I planned.

Things are finally looking up. The last seven months have been hell and stress. Things have been tense and no one was happy. Now we can focus on being a family again. My husband and I can afford to go on a date. It is better now. Much better.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

It'll End…Right?

Oh man. Do things ever get worse before they get better.

After all  that BS with the cheque and finally getting it reissued, my husband goes to his investment appointment to find out the bank here, in our town. had the cheque since last week but didn’t call or anything. Didn’t notify us. That money could be in our account right now but because of the worst customer service I have ever witnessed we have to wait. We were notified the replacement cheque was mailed out today.


Seriously. The annoyance is high with this one.

If we had just waited. If the stupid bank in Edmonton had just put a note in his file indicating they had received the cheque and had forwarded it off to our branch here. If the guy who had been sitting on it since last week had just told us he had it.


The world is made up of ifs. I don’t want to spend my time wallowing in my pity party. I write it here to get it out and release it.

The lesson to be learned here? Patience. Thorough investigations. The time for release is now. There is no one to blame. It was a serious of unfortunate events and poor management on several levels. Now we know. Now the reissued cheque is being mailed to the Edmonton branch. Now the bank has a note on his file. Now they have also been verbally notified and placed on essentially high alert. We must be patient and we must wait.

Let go buddha

There are a lot of things to let go of now. Let’s breathe and take that step forward.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Frustrated Beyond Belief

If you’ve been listening to me complain for the last little bit, you know I’ve been waiting for some money to come in. My husband was supposed to get a deposit of a healthy sum as a pay-out from contributions to his pension from his last job.

We had been waiting for 6 months to find out when the funds were going to be released. All documentation told us it would take 10 weeks from the day he left the job to see the payment in his account. He filled out paper work that was supposed to allow them to direct deposit the funds into our account.

Long story short, we waiting, we contacted the numbers we were given, we tried to get a hold of someone who could just give us a general time frame because we had spent months just waiting to find out when they might possibly deposit the funds.

Finally, I could take no more. I went to my Member of Parliament. My MP here in Manitoba. This is the person who has a direct line to the Federal Government. Since I was dealing with a Federal issue, this was the person to talk to if I wanted shit done.

Within hours of contacting him via his online form on his website I had the Director of Pensions and Social Programs contacting me telling me she would look into the issue. That following Monday my husband was informed the cheques were in the mail.

The cheque for the mandatory RRSP deposit was received last week. It’s been deposited into the account and we cannot touch it. The cheque for the funds that are supposed to be deposited into our personal account have not been received. We have no idea what’s going on. We don’t know where the cheque is. We don’t know anything. Today my husband is going to call the number on the letter we received that confirmed the funds were sent out. We need to know what address it went to (it was going directly to the bank, not to our house), we need to know who it was addressed to and what the cheque number is. Then we can call the bank and hopefully get some more information on what the hell is going on.

I am so frustrated it hurts. I am down to my last $300 in my savings account. We have exhausted our line of credit. We are thisclose to being reduced to asking for help from family.

I hate borrowing money. My in-laws are amazing people and I know they wouldn’t be petty or anything about it, but there’s this piece of me that just can’t handle the fact that I am in debt to someone other than myself.

I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m stressed out. This is not helping my creativity at all.  Unless I start writing about destruction and the like.

Yeah. I could get behind that.

Cosmic powers

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

One Step Forward

It’s been pretty rough in my neck of the woods lately. Money issues have been the biggest bane of my existence but it seems these problems are getting organized now.

Things they don’t tell you about having a family: it’s goddamn expensive. Oh, that’s common knowledge? Is it really? I can’t say I was expecting to be paying over $1000 a month for someone to look after my children so that I could work. I can’t say I was expecting diapers to cost almost $40 a box with wipes not that far behind. I can’t say I was expecting my kids to go through phases where all they want to eat is cereal or yogurt. Did you know that the individual yogurts that are aimed at kids are almost $4 for 6 of them? I’ve tried buying the big tubs of flavoured yogurt to save some bucks since they eat it so much but the eldest freaks out over the bits of fruit in his.


This is my life and these are my kids. I am complaining, but there’s not much that can be done right now. We’re currently a majorly single-family income since my husband is in school full time. The youngest needs full time care and the eldest will be in grade 1 in 8 months so the costs for his care will lessen. There’s a lot of pressure put on families. All kinds of families. Sometimes it can be unbearable but we soldier through.

The sleepless nights because you worry something is wrong with your kids or where the grocery money is going to come from.

But as I said, things are getting better. Yesterday my dayhome was closed because my poor dayhome provider was sick. We’ve been with her for almost a year and this is the first time she’s taken a sick day. She clearly needed it. So I tried to enjoy some time with my littlest guy while trying to do some work. The work thing didn’t work out so well and then he decided he wanted nothing to do with me. I hate this phase. I’m the kind of mum that wants the hugs and the cuddles forever.

The days go by and I can only take them one step at a time. It is not good to run, especially when you don’t know the terrain. I don’t want to fall on my face. I do that enough as it is.

In reducing costs I’m going to stop going to kickboxing. With my husbands work schedule I’m paying for classes and I’m not able to attend. I’m considering purchasing a 10 class pass once that money comes in since I got brand new gloves that I love for Christmas. I will still use them, even if I just do it on my own at home. I could get a heavy bag and do my own classes. It’s still a work out. I know what I’m doing now so that helps.

Once the money comes in I need to go to yoga. Since it’s going to cost a bit extra than the gift I was given for this particular studio I’ve been waiting for the moolah before I attend a class.

I’ve also been looking into the different volunteering options for when I am ready/able to get back into that.

But like I said, one step at a time.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy being serenaded by my husbands horrible rendition of “Bad Blood” (which, in my opinion, is a terrible song anyway)

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

And then…!

It’s been a rough little bit lately! I’m recovering from having a wicked bout of the flu. Like, seriously. My joints were hurting so bad. I’m only 32, but it was either going to rain something fierce or I had become 100 years old when I wasn’t looking.

Life has been a bit touchy lately too. Last week I had had enough waiting for this money we were supposed to be getting from my husband’s last job. For a process that was supposed to take 10 weeks we had been waiting for 6 months. We had called the departments we were given (well, he did. I couldn’t because it’s not my name on the file) and instead of people actually telling us where the hell the file was, we were being told to ‘be patient’. I like to think we had been patient enough.

So I took matters into my own hands.

Now, I’m well known for having a big mouth but I generally don’t do much with it except let off steam. Last Thursday I contacted my MP (Member of Parliament) here in Manitoba. Every section of the province has a sort of representative to bring up concerns and issues to Parliament and get things going. My MP has a website with a web form so I went on there on Thursday around lunch time and wrote out this long two page letter about our circumstances. Why did I go to my MP? My husband is former military and if we wanted this done, we had to go to the top. So I wrote out a letter detailing my husband’s service and what he’s done for our country, how this waiting is affecting our quality of life and how we have been more than patient. I didn’t blame any one and didn’t speak poorly about the workers dealing with his file. I know it’s not entirely their fault that this issue is happening. The system is old and broken and will probably never be fixed.

So I write my letter and go about eating my lunch. I could barely talk last Thursday so when my phone rang I let it go to voicemail. Imagine my surprise when I listen to the voicemail only to hear the voice of my MP telling me he got my letter and was taking it to the Minister of Defence during Question Period! There had been about an hour between my letter and his phone call. Of course, he’s saying that he won’t hesitate to hold this ‘Liberal Government to account’ (He’s a Conservative) but as much as that bothered me I just let it go. The next day I had an e-mail from the Director of the Pension program. Monday we got a phone call saying our cheques were on the way to the bank.

Breathe a collective sigh of relief here.

I was very impressed that it was all dealt with in such a quick time frame. I honestly hadn’t even expected my MP to read my letter until Friday or Monday. They have staff members who deal with this stuff and I didn’t really think it was that important of an issue. Imagine my surprise when he tells me he’s going to the Minister of Defence directly! I was in awe. It was nuts.

So now our finish line is in sight. Now we know how to get there. We were told 10-15 business days before we would see the money (mailing etc) but that is a much better time frame than ‘beginning of February sometime’ which is what we got before. Now I don’t need to borrow money from family. Now I don’t need to stress too much about the ever climbing credit card balance. I know these things will be paid off shortly. That’s all I need right now.

Instead, on Saturday my furnace quit and we won’t get the part until today. We’ve been using space heaters so my electric bill is going to be madness. Plus I need to pay for the labour for the replacement and the work they tried yesterday when they were attempting to get it fixed.

And to seal the deal, last night our baby monitor broke hahahaha. My husband bought a new one after work.

Almost there!



Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Little Death

Living in Canada and growing up the way I did, I did not have money just waiting for me to go to school. There are quite a few people who have money saved for them by family members or maybe they’re able to work themselves and save their money for when they plan to go to University, College or Trades School.

However, like a lot of Canadians, I needed student loans. There are a variety of reasons for this such as having parents who did not think that far ahead, did not have the capability to save for me to pursue post-secondary school because they were so busy just trying to survive and keep my brother and I alive. I was not able to just work and save because more often than not my money was required to go back into the house in some shape or form. So I borrowed from student loans.

I have been out of school since 2006. This November it will be 10 years since I was in University; 10 years since I tried a semester at College and wasn’t able to complete because I was just so done with the whole education scene. 10 years since I have done formal full-time education.

And I still owe $10,000.

That might not seem like a lot, but it means I’ve only paid off approximately $15,000 since I left school. They are killing me with interest. I cannot afford to pay any more than I already am. If things keep going the way they are, I can’t afford to keep paying, period.

All these financial issues that will be basically dealt with once that stupid-goddamn-fucking-annoying-as-all-hell-payment comes to us from my husbands last job. This is why I hate waiting for things. I mean, I’m naturally impatient, but it has been 4 months since he left his job. 4 months since he filled out the paperwork for the payment. 4 months when we were told it was going to take 10 weeks. And then we were told it might take an additional 10 weeks. And then we were told maybe at the end of January/beginning of February.

For the record, the letters are drafted to my members of Parliament. You don’t piss off a Sarah. Not if you want to live peacefully.


Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments