Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Made a decision..........

cutting back on mailing Christmas cards this year.  Mainly cutting back on the ones to Britain, but cutting back all the same.

And you know what..........it feels good and well overdue..........

How about you?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank you Mr Cohen

for all you did for music, rest in peace.........




Now, I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
thank you to Lyrics.com for the lyrics

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Twiddlemuff

I had never heard of a Twiddlemuff until the other day and the more I read about them the more I knew I had to knit one.

As the write up says in the link above:

"Twiddlemuffs are knitted muffs with interesting bits and bobs attached. Many patients with Alzheimer’s, arthritis and dementia find them comforting and therapeutic as they help encourage movement and brain stimulation"

What an interesting idea and such a simple one.  So I have decided to knit one for my step-father.  As he gets older his hands are always cold and getting arthritic.

I had some pale green and lemon yarn leftover.  So I am knitting the inside of the muff with that.  This is a great way to use up leftover yarn.

Have you heard of a twiddlemuff before?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Our Nora is fitter than me!!

Dh took Nora down to the river the other day while she was here.  As I had not been down that way dh took me down to the river on Saturday afternoon.  Now going down there wasn't a problem, it was the coming back up the hills that turned out to be an issue.

Nora had no problem walking there and back; thought I was going to croak....LOL  Totally out of breath despite taking breaks and walking at a snail's pace.  Guess I am not as fit yet as I thought I would be.  Sitting down in the chair for a while when we got home did the trick and my heavy breathing stopped.

Sad when you think about it, that a 3 year old can out pace her Nana!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Couple of updates........

Update on the central vac.

The store replaced the powerhead and the hose under warranty.  It turns out I have a lifetime warranty on this unit.  It also turns out this particular model has had numerous problems with the powerhead and hose, and that is why I am now on powerhead number three.

A little nugget of information for the fellow Canadians out there.  Mentioned to him about wanting a Dyson V8 cordless and right away he said NO.  To fix any problems with it, you have to deal with the head office in the States.......and there will be problems he said.  It's supposed to run for 40 minutes; it will when you first get it but over time it will run for less and less time.  If you have weak hands/wrists (I do) you will find the unit heavy over time, as you are carrying the motor all the time.

So for the time being I am sticking with my central vac.

Update on the basement:

We are getting there slowly but surely.  I have been doing some painting of the doors and trim work.  We picked up a closet organizer for the closet in the back room, so "my" goal is to get dh to install it on Saturday so I can fill it up!!

I picked up floor paint for the furnace room, as it is still and will remain bare concrete.  When painted though it cuts down on the dust.  I also picked up paint for the bathroom down there, a terracotta colour.  So I am hoping to get both areas painted this coming week.  

"My" goal is to have everything done and carpet installed by the beginning of December.  Realistically though before Christmas it should be done by.

Update on Christmas:

If I can clear out the spare bedroom, then I can actually see what I have bought already!!!  As it's November I need to sort the Christmas Cards as well.  I bought a lot of Family one's in the sales in January, but I need to sort out who I am sending them too.  With the price of stamps rising again, I will be cutting right back to the bare minimum.

Update on me:

Well I am feeling a bit better, and have a little more energy.  When I have energy I am using it.  When I have only a little energy I don't do much.  I have also discovered I can get more done in the morning and then rest up in the afternoon, when my energy level is low.

In the scheme of things, life is good, as the t-shirt says!!!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Another one bites the dust..........



In this case it's my powerhead from my central vac.  We have been in this house just over two years and this will be the second time I have had to have it replaced.  I have no idea what I do with it, but I have such bad luck with vacuum cleaners.  I am hoping that it will be replaced under warranty like the last powerhead was.  

I have made up my mind that I will get the Dyson V8 cordless Vacuum when I have saved up enough pennies!!

I just have too many other things that need my pennies at the moment!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I'm walking



So one of the things I have been "encouraged" to do is walk.  I am however a reluctant walker, but I am doing it.  So far my pair of trainers/running shoes have been fine, but now that the weather is getting cooler and wetter, I need to "upgrade" the something more substantial and waterproof.  So I am on the hunt for a pair of basic hiking boots.  When I started to look for these I found that there are hundreds of different kinds.  I have narrowed down my preference though.  I am liking this type of boot/shoe:

I need it to be lightweight, waterproof and not too low and not too high up my ankle.

I am walking a little more each day, and even tackled a little hill today, but am not ready for an all day hike!!!  Are there any do's or don'ts when it comes to hiking boots?  I also don't want to spend a fortune, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Other Sites I enjoy reading

I may not comment on them but I really enjoy reading them.

Pure Life For Living is a favourite of mine.  I think it's because I wish it were me doing what they are doing.  I know deep down it's not going to happen now, as physically neither me and dh are able to do the amount of work they are doing.  However maybe on a smaller scale?  They look like a fun couple too.

Young House Love Again they are a media/computer savvy couple who have made a living out of renovating homes and diy projects.  We have renovated homes, but are not the media savvy types; guess we have missed the boat with that one.  However, they look like an awesome family and there are some unique and fun projects they have tackled and tons of great ideas.  Well worth a peek.

I love Homestead Bloggers Network.  It's a site that features all sorts of information and not just about Homesteading.  I made this great recipe from a link they showcased, super good, moist cake.

I also enjoy Lazy Daisy Jones, despite the fact I cannot crochet.  However she does such beautiful work and features equally fabulous artists that you can't help to drool over everything she features.

The Frugal Cottage is one of those sites, where sometimes I am not sure why I read it, but then other times I find it fascinating.  She is such an honest writer and I love that.

Life After Money, is one of those blogs I just HAVE to read.  Don't agree with everything she says or does, but she leads a fascinating simple life that is worth reading about.  I cheered her on from this part of the work with her shed/summer house.  Mourned the loss of her dog and generally I follow her life a little like a stalker I guess; but she never sees me!!!

John at Going Gently is a character that's for sure.  He describes the going's on in the village he lives in, in Wales, the only way John can.  It's addictive reading what he writes.  I want a dog like his Winnie, she is a character that's for sure.

And finally for this post I have followed Sue, at Our New Life in the Country for a while and what she has done to her new place is stunning.  I would love to have what she has and she lives in a stunning part of the world.  Love all her chickens and her little doggies and cat.

If you have time to pop by some of these sites you won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A month has past........

since my little "episode."  That's what we call it me and dh, "the episode."   I am finally wrapping my head around it and feel happier with it all.  Wish it wouldn't have happened mind you but no where near as frightened as I was.

I am doing more and more each day, but dh says I still look very tired.  He says I am trying to push myself too much; but if I don't try I won't know what I can or cannot do?

The one thing I do not like about all of this is that too look at me I look perfectly fine, but inside of me I'm not.  I also feel a bit helpless as basically no one wants to know in the medical field it feels like.  I do have an appointment with the cardiologist in November, but it's only a consult, so nothing will be done.  

No one has mentioned me going to see a lung specialist to make sure my lungs are functioning properly.  One thing that does happen to me, is when I push myself too hard, I start yawning like a crazy person, which I have been told is too compensate for a lack of oxygen?

Looking back over the summer, I have come to realize I had not been feeling well for quite some time; but it was all minor things, that unless you link them all together they meant nothing.

I have finally adapted to taking the medication and my "tropical moments/hot flashes," seem to have gone away.  I am not as red in the face anymore, and  my legs don't ache as much; although no blood clots were found in my legs.

I have many things to be grateful for, but I would like to know why this happened.

Have you had something happen to you medically, that no one knows why it happened?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Out of the mouth of babes..........

Nana (me): We are having grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch.

Nora: Okay

Nana (me): and if you eat that up you can have a banana pudding

Nora: that sounds disgusting..........

Nana..........I couldn't think of anything to say after that!!!

By the way she tried the banana pudding and didn't like it........

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Last Tango in Halifax and other tv programmes

My mam kindly sent me the three series from this programme as a get well/relax while healing gift.  We have watched all three series and thoroughly enjoyed them all.  After each episode finished though, we (dh and I) decided our families are quite normal after watching all the craziness in the the families on the Last Tango in Halifax programmes!

There is supposed to be a fourth series, but as yet it hasn't been released.  Have you watched this show, and did you enjoy it?

I just bought the first season of Downtown Abbey, so that is what we are going to watch next......I know a way behind the times.  I have seen the last series of this but not the first five.  Maggie Smith is just perfect in this.  Are you a fan of this series?


I also watched The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the other day and thoroughly enjoyed that as well.  Have you seen that?  Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are wonderful in both of the Marigold Hotel movies.

What are your thoughts on any of these?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Happier Post

Thought we needed a change of direction, after the last couple of days' post's.  Haven't mentioned the girls for a while, so thought I'd update you with a couple of photos.

Here is our little butterball, who is now 4 months old.  She is playing with toys now and can roll over.  After being miserable for the first 6 weeks of life is now the most content, cheerful little soul.  Her mum uses some sort of app to add all the graphics.
Then we have our other little Munchkin who will be 3 next month.  She is a right little character, talking up a storm and wrapping her dad round her little finger.  Here she is at cooking class.  Loblaws offer them a couple of times a month; she was making chicken quesadilla's and churros at this class.
She also takes swimming classes and is in gymnastics.  Paige just looks like her sister and will be tall like Nora is.  We are buying Nora size five clothes now just for the length.

I'll talk about the other three another day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three weeks later....

and things are improving.  Not as fast as I would like, but at least I can walk a lot more than a few steps before getting out of breath.  

That first week when I went grocery shopping with dh I had to use the motorized shopping cart in Wal-Mart, now I can walk the store, albeit slowly with dh.  I drove to the garage yesterday to have my oil changed; today I plan to drive to knitting for the first time, which is a fifteen minute drive.  That will be the most I have driven in three weeks.  One of my issues is that I have been very lightheaded so have not wanted to drive far.  That was due to the side effects of the pills amongst other things.  

Another issue is that I don't look sick on the outside.  It's not like I have broken a leg or anything else you can see, it's all inside my body.  When you are talking to me on the phone or even in person, I sound perfectly fine.  It's just when I start doing anything that causes my heart to pump harder and me to breath harder that you can see I am not my usual self.

Some days I am tired, other days I have a bit more energy.  However I do feel like a fraud, because at my age (52) I should just bounce back; well that's my way of thinking.  I am back to doing all the laundry and cooking and cleaning (only the very basics are getting done.)  Each day I set myself little goals and it's been a good day if I can get those things done.

I am finding this as hard to get over this mentally as well as physically, as this was something I just wasn't expecting?

I was told that the blood clots in my lungs are like bruises and they gradually fade away like a bruise does.  Which I thought was interesting.  Also did you know that your heart releases enzymes when in distress and a blood test will show that.  That is when they figured out something was going on.  My heart was under strain that's all, so no damage there.

At the end of the day, I am grateful to be alive.........so I should stop whining...LOL

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's been a couple of months........

August and September were hot weather wise and I didn't feel the best, what with the heat and allergies, it wore me down.  

On September 29th in the afternoon I felt even worse and had trouble breathing, but just thought it was one of those things.  Next morning (30th) got up had a shower couldn't breath, changed the bed and had to lie down afterward as I was exhausted.  So called dh and he took me to the hospital.

To cut a long story short they diagnosed excessive blood clots on my lungs, or pulmonary embolism  The good news is I didn't have a heart attack or a stroke, for that I feel blessed.  I spent 48 hours in hospital and frightened the living daylights out of everyone, including myself.  Never in a month of Sundays was anyone, including me expecting this.


So here we are nearly three weeks later and it's been a journey where I am taking baby steps in getting better.  There are many stories to be told in this journey both funny and sad.  I am managing to walk a bit further everyday and try and remain as positive as possible, but I am tired.

I will be on Xeralto for the next six months at least.  One thing that is different, is that my legs are clear of blood clots.  No one knows why this happened, which is puzzling.  I have to see a cardiologist and go to a thrombosis clinic, but I wouldn't think I will be seeing anyone until the new year, unless something else happens.  Meanwhile I just go to my family doctor.

I cannot get insurance, so dh and I cannot go to our son's wedding in the Bahamas in January, which is upsetting for all.  

At the end of the day, I am grateful to be alive, as the doctors said I could easily of died if I hadn't received medical attention.  I will share more of my story over the next few days.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The "C" word.........

The "C" word is not well received this time of the year.  Let me give you a hint what the "C" word is:

There are only 133 days until the "C" word.

I know who really wants to know this in the middle of a stinking heatwave???

However it will be upon us before we know it.  Already the nights are starting to draw in.  It's now dark until after 6 am.  Despite this stinking heat the nights are a little cooler.  So it is on the horizon.

This year though I am no where near as organized as I normally am, basically because our son is getting married the beginning of January, so it will be a low key Christmas, as we are all travelling to the Bahamas for his wedding.

As most of you know I put money in pots each week for various things.  Been doing this for years now.  I have three pots; a birthday pot, a Christmas pot and a "other thing" pot.  I have a healthy $620 sitting in the Christmas pot.  So will keep adding too it weekly and it should cover everything.  

The "other thing" pot will be saved towards spending money and payment towards our vacation/wedding.  I put a deposit down with the travel agent the other day so that $300 will come out of that pot.  The rest of the money in that pot will be saved and converted into US $.

The birthday pot will take a big hit in September as it's Sammy's, son-in-law's and dh's birthdays.  The good thing though is I know I have enough money to cover everything,  It's a lifesaver those pots.

Back to the "C" word though; a lot of thought is going to have to be put into this, this year as I seriously want to cut back, plus we have two new members in our family..........

Have you thought about the "C" word yet?  Have you made plans for it?


Friday, August 12, 2016

Update on August goals......

hard to believe we are already a third of the way through August?  The month is flying by.  So I thought I'd do a quick up date on my August goals.

1. Read and review the two books from Graf Martin.  Read the books just need to post the reviews.

I read and reviewed those two books and read and reviewed another one.  All reviews posted on my reading blog here.  Plus I donated 6 books to our local community centre.


2. More painting in the basement, taking this slow and steady.  The closet needs to be painted, forgot to do it when painting the walls; then the rest is trim work.

Hope to get something done down there this coming weekend.


3. Keep the grocery budget under control, easier said than done.

Just over $100 spent this past week.  I was doing well only spending around $80, then dh ran out of deodorant, plus we had hardly any soap and I discovered I needed deodorant as well.  Three lots of deodorant and six bars of soap $18.25.  Now believe me when I say I did not buy the most expensive brands, nor did I buy the cheapest, but even I was shocked at the prices, plus I had no coupons.


4. Keep costs down and spending to a minimum.  Easier said than done.

No comment!


5. Buy myself a dress and dh pants for the wedding in January.  Needs to be beachy as the wedding is on a beach, so have to buy now, as there will be nothing in the stores beachy come December.

Got myself a dress the other day really nice and very happy with it.  Plus got it on sale, so bonus there!!  Still have to get dh's pants.


6. Only buy ONE magazine for the month and that will be Pretty Patches.

So far, so good!  Picked up Wal-Mart's free magazine the other day though, but as I said it was free.


7. Clean out pantry, fridge and freezer and make an inventory.  I have to stop cooking and buying for a crowd when there is only two of us...LOL

Still have to get too this job.


8. Menu Plan; I have no idea why I wrote this down as you all know as well as I do I will fail at this {{SIGH}}

I actually did do a menu plan this last week and more or less followed it.


9. Try and do more blog posts.........

Big fat fail on this one.


10. Knit some more hexagons and knit a couple of dishcloth's.

Nothing done with this.....
.
11. Try not to buy anything online.....

The Gap had a good sale the other day so I took advantage of it to buy little Sammy clothes for his 2nd birthday next month.  I have money put aside weekly to cover birthday's.  


12.  Most important, be more organized!!

Who knows with this one?


Thursday, August 11, 2016

{{{SIGH}}}



In the scheme of things it wasn't a huge thing but it was something we could not do without.

Our a/c has been playing up.  It wasn't right and we had to keep turning it off.  Dh (he's an electrician, not a heating and a/c guy) reckoned it was leaking freon.  Now what is unusual about all of this is that our a/c unit is only two years old.

Of course at the moment we are in the middle of a heatwave with temperatures hitting 100 oF with the humidity, so not a good time to be without the a/c.  Called a service guy out and he came on Tuesday am and basically said yes it could leaking the freon and he filled it with some sort of gas and said he had to leave it for at least 12 hours and would come back at 2:30 pm on Wednesday.  Meanwhile no a/c for us.

We have a couple of portable fans so hunted them out and got on with it.  By 2 am Wednesday morning both dh and I are moaning about how hot it is.  I open the windows in the bedroom and bathroom to let in some "cooler" air and what do I hear but our next door neighbours a/c unit working.  She is away; how I was tempted to break into her house and sleep in a cool house...LOL

Dh was at work on Wednesday and luckily I had made plans to go to see daughter and grand daughters; and they have a/c.  Came back for 2:30 pm, called office at 3:30 pm to make sure he hadn't forgotten about us, and he finally arrived at 4:45 pm.

We did indeed have a leak and by 6:45 pm we were back up and running at a cost of just under $500 ($119 per hour labour).  We all agreed, this shouldn't have happened to a 2 year old unit.  After discussing with him if we should take out a service plan, which costs $30 per month, he said it wasn't worth it, as dh could do it.  Dh has indeed serviced our furnace, and what he told dh to do on the a/c unit he could manage no problem.

It is necessary in this country I feel to have a/c with our high humidity.  However it is surprising how many people do not have it, or if they do they do not turn it on?  Dh works in a steel factory where it is super hot, so he is exhausted by the time he gets home after 8 hours in the factory.  I am a woman of a certain age who spends her life having those "tropical moments," so having a heatwave on top of those is not a positive thing.

Do you have a/c and could you live without it?

I mentioned that we were leaking FREON, infact it was probably PURON, as freon is partly responsible for ozone depletion.  Pruon is a safer alternative.  You can read more about this here and here.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Three for free..........

Try saying that three times fast!!

On Friday I went out for my walk and didn't croak!!!   It was so humid though and this was around 6 am.  Anyhoo, I saw the paper lady delivering papers so stopped for a chat; luckily I was heading down the hill, as if I was going up the hill that would have been impossible for me to talk.  She ended up giving me a free newspaper; we only get a paper delivered on a Saturday now.

I had a coupon for free cereal, so picked that up and got free cookies when they came up the wrong price.  Now to win the lottery...............well someone has too!  Plus I like the sound of FREE MONEY!!

Oh and hands up if you are sick to death of this hot and humid weather?  I have both hands up.  I am so over Summer now; plus everyone is cranky due to the heat.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Here we go again...........

If you have followed my blog you know how I am "allergic" to exercise.  Every time I decide I should exercise something happens.  It doesn't help I hate getting sweaty.  However I do need to lose weight and the older I get the harder it is to lose that weight.  So I have decided to start walking again; but this time takes things slow.

We live at the bottom of a hill.  There are three roads going up this hill, a road at the bottom and a road at the top.  So I have decided to walk along the bottom road, up road one, along the top road, down road three, along the bottom road, then up and down road two.  Sounds easy enough right?

So I did this route on Thursday morning, took me 21 minutes to do it.  Going up the hill, thought I would die, recovered going down the hill, thought I'd die again going back up the hill, but recovered enough going back down to think I would live.  As soon as I can manage this without thinking I am going to collapse on the side of the road, I will increase the ups and downs.

It's not much but it's a start.  Plus if I go early enough (by 6am) not many people are up and can see me!!   I was thinking of also doing it on a night around 8pm when it gets a bit cooler as well.  We'll see, I don't want to commit too, to much to start with.

This about says it all:


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Can't live with it, can't live without it.........

I am probably not alone when I say I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone.

Cell/mobile/smart phones have always been a mystery to me.  I have had my Android Smartphone now for three years and just the other day I discovered a way to clear things off the screen...........turns out there was a button that said CLEAR!!

For some strange reason I keep deleting or adding things and most of the time I have no idea how I managed that. I am forever running out of battery, and that's when I have actually remembered to turn it on.  Don't bother sending me a text unless I have just sent you one, as I always forget to pick them up.  Also I have no idea whatsoever how to pick up a message on the voicemail.  Daughter and hubby both have Apple i Phones, and have been on at me to get one of those as then when I screw up something AGAIN, they at least can fix it for me a lot faster.

As my contract was up (or so I thought) I wandered over to Bell to talk about my options.  Turns out I thought I had a three year contract, but Bell went ahead and got rid of three year contracts in favour of 2 year contracts over a year ago.  So I am under no contract and on a month to month basis.

So of course this sounds great I am under no contract.  Told him my dilemma and he said that he could offer me a 2 year contract with an Apple i Phone the cheapest being $80 a month.  I am currently paying $55 a month and am getting more "things."  So only an idiot would go ahead and change phones just so you get the most up to date phone.  I have better things to do with that $25 a month more it would cost to upgrade.  When dh retires we will then reevaluate the situation and probably go with the Apple i Phone.

Some people are joined at the hip with their phones, I am not.  Are you?

(By the way the Bell employee, told me that the monthly price increase was due to it being only a 2 year contract instead of a 3 year contract.)

P.S. Two new book's reviewed here

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August Goals..........

Better later than never.

1. Read and review the two books from Graf Martin.  Read the books just need to post the reviews.

2. More painting in the basement, taking this slow and steady.  The closet needs to be painted, forgot to do it when painting the walls; then the rest is trim work.

3. Keep the grocery budget under control, easier said than done.

4. Keep costs down and spending to a minimum.  Easier said than done.

5. Buy myself a dress and dh pants for the wedding in January.  Needs to be beachy as the wedding is on a beach, so have to buy now, as there will be nothing in the stores beachy come December.

6. Only buy ONE magazine for the month and that will be Pretty Patches.

7. Clean out pantry, fridge and freezer and make an inventory.  I have to stop cooking and buying for a crowd when there is only two of us...LOL

8. Menu Plan; I have no idea why I wrote this down as you all know as well as I do I will fail at this {{SIGH}}

9. Try and do more blog posts.........

10. Knit some more hexagons and knit a couple of dishcloth's.

11. Try not to buy anything online.....

12.  Most important, be more organized!!

I think that is enough for one month.........how about you, have you posted your goals?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

End of the month already?

Where did this month go too?  Do you remember at the beginning of the month I set out some goals for myself.  Well lets see how I did?

  1. Paint ceilings and walls in basement.  Biggish job, but doable.  I hope to get a good start on the trim, but that all depends on dh, as it's all to put up.
Well did get the ceilings and walls done, but nothing as far as the trim is concerned.  
  1. Knit 31 Hexagons for my beekeeper's quilt.  That's one per day and doable.
Managed three.........that's terrible......
  1. Reduce spending.
Mixed bag here, but at least money went into the savings every week.
  1. Have no MacDonald's coffee or muffins Monday through Friday.  It's getting an annoying habit popping out to WalMart to grab a coffee and muffin at MacDonald's.  We do have a gift card for there, so will use that if we go on a weekend.
Still have money on the gift card left, but overall a total failure!
  1. Don't eat out more than twice this month.  To be fair, we don't actually eat out much at all.  We had our wedding anniversary last month and used a gift card we got at Christmas.  We still have one other gift card to use, but I was saving it for dh's birthday in September.
Probably more than twice, but wasn't too, to bad.
  1. Try and keep a handle on the grocery spending......with the rising prices easier said that done.
I think this last week I ended up spending around $85 for the week.  It is truly hard to keep it under that per week nowadays.
  1. NO buying magazines other than Pretty Patches at the end of the month......this is a hard one for me!
This I did manage to do and I did pick up my magazine yesterday.
  1. No shopping online........even harder!!
Well I shopped online 3 times this month.  Twice at Land's End and once at Marks and Spencer.  Have to say though the Mark's purchase was some great deals.  I got three tops for myself, two new bath mats and a hand towel all for $50 CDN  That includes shipping, duties, taxes, everything.  They have a good sale on at the moment.

I will post August goals tomorrow.

How did you do?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Nitty Gritty of it all......

Now this isn't a major thing, believe me every morning/night when I watch the news and see what is going on in the world, my issue is nothing but thought it was worth mentioning.

Background: moved into this house two years ago.  Brand new house, never lived in before.  Pretty reputable builder, building maybe 60 homes a year.  Finishes a notch up from the regular new home builder.  So all in all good.

To save us money we decided to finish of the majority of the basement ourselves.  For various reasons we did not catch these issues when we did our walk through before we moved in.

1.  Problem: basement window frames sticking out further than the drywall. Remedy: saw and sand off excess and re-attach original window trim.  (on a side note the frames are made of MDF, do you know how much mess that makes when sanding it?)

2. Problem; a/c making a horrendous noise on the weekend.
Remedy: to figure out what was going on, we needed to take off the panel from the front off the furnace.  Do you see the black and copper pipes in the furnace?  The lazy technicians put them going through the front panel making it almost impossible to take the front panel off???  It is working now as dh tightened all screws and no more noise.  We don't think we have solved the problem, but until something else happens it's fine.

3. Problem: Hardwood floor squeaking in the dining room.  The installers did not put the "nails" correctly so they squeak against the beam below.

Remedy: Dh installed shims on the beam to put a barrier between the beam and the nails.  Builder's remedy, jump up and down on the fall, to see if it will stop squeaking..........

4. Problem: Trim around doors cut too short, so gap filled with DAP.  This is so sloppy what they did.

Remedy: Well to remedy this problem means taking all the trim off and putting new trim up.  Not sure what we will do.  If I knew this was our forever home I would replace it all, but it isn't so will have to think about this.

5. Problem: driveway stones (interlock stones) loose due to water coming down the downspout onto the side of the driveway.  Builder been told about this and has done nothing to remedy the situation.

Remedy: Redirect the downspout.  Relay the stones and everything would be good.  With being in a "Condo situation," we are not supposed to touch anything outside but something has to be done?

In the scheme of things none of these issues are major, but getting down to the nitty gritty of it all, if the workmen had done a correct job in the first place none of these things should have happened (other than the furnace.)  They were taking short cuts and didn't care about the finished products.  

Anyway, just thought I'd mention this and warn other's, just because you buy a brand new home, doesn't mean it won't have it's problems.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Great British Bake Off - Season 3

I know I am behind the times here, but we have just got the series on one of our stations and I must say I am loving it.  If anyone is interested in this you may have watched it already, as the third series finished a while ago.  You can read more about it here.  I am going to tell you who the winner is later on in the post (won't name them though) so if you don't want to know, don't read any further.

This week it was bread.  I was so inspired by the quick breads, that I decided to have a go and used this recipe:

Soda Bread with Smoked Bacon and Onion

Ingredients
  • 250gms white flour
  • 250gms wholemeal flour
  • 300gms smoked streaky bacon (diced)
  • 3 large white onions
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage
  • 1-2 tsps table salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 2tsp 'bex tartar' (cream of tartar)
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 pint of whole milk

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 5/200c.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Fry the bacon and diced onion until crisp.
  4. In a large mixing bowl put the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder and stir to combine.
  5. Drain the bacon and onion on to kitchen paper and add to the flour. De-stem and chop up the sage and add this to the mix.
  6. Using your hand to mix pour in the milk until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
  7. Tip onto a floured surface and cut into two.
  8. Shape each half into a round (about 1-2in deep) and make a deep cross on each loaf.
  9. Put on the baking trays and put in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. Cool on a wire rack and brush the top of each loaf with a little of the bacon oil left in the frying pan.
  11. While the bread is baking, slice the third onion into rings. Fry in butter with 2tsp of sage and 2 tsp of sugar. Fry until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper and then sprinkle on top of the bread.
  12. Serve in a basket.
However, didn't have sage or smoked bacon.  So I used diced up deli sliced Black Forest Ham.  Didn't put the topping on either.

They could have done with a bit longer in the oven and were quite dense.  They were pretty tasty though, warm with butter on.

It is well known who won this series, but I have to say watching her so far on the first three shows; it boggles my mind as to how she won?  I am a big fan of Ian's and like his style. It is on a channel called PBS/WNED and on a Friday night for us in Southern Ontario.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The "anaconda" has to go.......

The "anaconda" is in fact my central vac system.  In theory it is a great machine, but having to drag a 50 foot hose with you wherever you go, gets annoying pretty fast.

So I have turned my focus to one of these; a Dyson cordless vacuum:
Now I have no experience with any of these; but Dyson has a good name.  They are expensive and there are different models.

The Dyson V6 Slim retails for $399.99
The Dyson V6 + retails for $499.99 and is pictured above
The Dyson V8 Animal retails for $599.99
The Dyson V8 Absolute retails for $699.99

Now which model is the best?  Do I buy the most expensive or just go with the cheapest?  Has anyone had any experience with these?  Should I be looking at another brand?

Currently I try not to vacuum more than twice a week.  We mainly have hardwood in this house with the bedrooms being carpet and the area rugs on the floors elsewhere.

I will not be buying this anytime soon.  It's on my wish list; like a 48 inch tv is on dh's wish list!!!