Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of the year, so lots of planning to do...

I want to achieve/do a number of things this year and have been thinking/planning for them.

I want to try and keep our grocery/cleaning items/personal items budget down to $75 a week for the two of us.  I plan on keeping track of that on the sidebar.  I also want to make sure I participate in the 20 x the points events at Shopper's Drug Mart to build my points up for the next Mega Redemption day, hopefully in December of 2012.  By the way there is a 20 x the points at Shopper's today.  I figure, even if I only do it ten times, with what points I already have I could end up with enough points to do two redemption's next December, which would be $500 worth of free product, if it was the same as this year.  I will put a running total of what I have spent and how many points earned this year to see what all this will cost.

I want to carry on with Swagbucks as I am getting $10 to $15 worth of Amazon gift cards per month for doing very little.  If anyone from Canada, the States or Britain wants to get gift cards for free just let me know.  I enjoy doing the Pinecone surveys and I think this year I was able to earn around $75 from them, without even leaving the house.  All that money went into the saving's account.

I want to continue reviewing books, as I love reading and I also love being able to donate the books to our local library, as they are averaging around 4 books per month from me, saving at least $60 per month.

I am participating in Carla's "No (low) spend January" to try and keep me accountable.  I am also participating in Saving To Travels THE NEW SEALED POT CHALLENGE


Well,little bits and bobs of money are squirrelled away in an assortment of SEALED POTS and the result is....A NICE CHUNK OF MONEY JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, OR TO PUT TOWARDS HOLIDAYS... OR A TREAT, OR LOTS OF FUN when we open them in DEC 2012!
Following the CHALLENGE couldn't be easier as you simply get a pot (mine is an old gravt tub but others have posher types), make a hole for cash (if not provided), make sure it's sealed so you can't open it, chuck your spare cash in it and then ON THE 3RD DEC WE WILL OPEN THEM TOGETHER! It's not a competition, we just will support each other here to keep going with ANOTHER CRAZY SCHEME TO SAVE MONEY!

My sealed pot is a plastic Quality Street container that I "artfully" stuck bits of paper tissue over it to cover the clear plastic, so I couldn't see in it.   Molly helped out by doing her Vanna White impression for me:

I have no idea what we'll do with the money, it will all depend on how much we save.  I do know though that I am only putting 5, 10 and 25 cent coins in the pot.  By the way I am saying "we" as I am hoping dh will pop the odd coin in there!!

I do want to have a full veggie garden this year and dh has offered to help me with that.  I know we will have an abundance of fruit, as I don't have to make jam for a wedding this year, so will be able to freeze a lot.

I am still putting $20 away each week for birthday's and for Christmas.  Also putting $50 a week away for "special" things, like a wedding we are going to at the end of February, that will cost $300 for the "wedding present envelope."  Then I hope to save spending money to go away on vacation later on in the year.

I will of course try and cut back on our utilities but with rising costs that is proving harder and harder and here is a prime example.

In 2010 it cost us $1,788.29 for 1922 litres of heating oil.

In 2011 it cost us $1,859.54 for 1625.3 litres of heating oil.

As you can see we used nearly 300 litres less in heating oil in 2011, but it still cost us over $71.00 more due to the rise in oil prices.

I want to put loonies ($1) and twoonies ($2) in my pot every week to save up for gardening supplies in April/May and hope to have $150 saved by then.

I plan on doing an inventory of my freezers and clean them out.  Same with the pantry need to sort out what it in there.  Do more menu planning if possible so I am more organized and not tempted to eat out.

We got four $50 restaurant gift cards from the kids for Christmas so that will be our treat for eating out.

I know I have more things I want to plan/do but this is a start.

How about you?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Good news for Molly

Took Molly to the vets on Thursday and she did biopsies on three of her lumps and they came out cancer free......YEAH!!!!!!

However, still puzzled why her lymph nodes are so enlarged, and we go back in a month to see if there is any change.  She is concerned about the size of Molly's stomach, but as I said she is just hungry all the time.  I am feeding her 1 cup of food twice a day, which is normal for a 40 lb dog.  The Vanectyl P pills are a steroid and she is having one twice a day and her allergies are still bad.  We are also going to do blood work to make sure her liver is still working well, as that is also a side effect of these pills.

Molly did very well during her examination and prodding and poking.  Though by the time the vet stuck the thermometer up her butt I think she had, had enough and made her feelings known!!!  So it was quite a relief to us that she is cancer free and a relief to our bank account that it only cost $75 instead of the $1,100 it would of cost if she had, had to have surgery.

Bit of a mystery around here.  I have mouse traps set in the old basement and two have disappeared.  I have looked high and low for them and can't find them.  They were all set to catch mice, so have no idea what on earth has happened?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Molly's View From her window and Skywatch Friday........

Had our first real winter snow storm on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  Looks like a winter wonderland until you had to go out and plow the driveway and brave the minus whatever temperatures!!!  Then it's a bloody freezing cold winter wonderland.  Roll on April!!!

These photos were taken around 4pm on Wednesday, and yes it was still freezing bloody cold!!!

To the north:

To the south:
To the west:
For more "Views from my window" pop by Jane's blog here and to see more Skywatch Friday photos click on this link.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Turkey again???

I am sure eveyone is probably fed up of turkey by now?  I put together a couple of casseroles with the leftovers for the freezer, but still have some turkey leftover.  Will use some of it for sandwiches and will add the rest to recipes.

I made this on Tuesday night for supper and it is super simple to make:
I had a can of Pillsbury Biscuits.  For anyone who deosn't live in the States or Canada, scones will do, just make sure they don't have sugar in them.

Cook the biscuits/scones as per the recipe or on the can in my case.

To make the topping you need:

1 onion, chopped
1 rasher of bacon, chopped, or leftover bacon from the roast turkey
1 can condensed Mushroom Soup
1/2 soup can milk
1 cup or as much as you want of cooked turkey
1 cup or as much as you want frozen mixed veggies

Put bacon and onion in a pan and cook on medium heat until softened.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until warmed through. 

Slice biscuits in half and top with the turkey sauce.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boxing Day Sales = Thumbs Down......

well at least for us.  I guess part of the problem is I won't line up in huge line's.  The line up outside of the Coach outlet store was just plain crazy and a lot of the other stores were just as bad.  I did pick up a couple of Christmas decorations at half price, but otherwise nothing else.  We are lucky I guess in Canada as we have good sales all the time.

My mam sent me another ornament for Christmas, another Waterford one.  It is gorgeous:
I have also been busy running back and forward to the local hospital as one of our dear friends has had a bad stroke.  Although no relation we are pretty close and he keeps asking for me.  So please say a prayer for him as he has a long road ahead of him.  He is paralysed down the left hand side and his speech is slurred, although I have no problem understanding him.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at That British Woman's House.......

Got up around 6am to make stuffing to stuff the turkey and do a couple of other things, so I could get the turkey in the oven at 7:30am.  Dh materialized just in time to pop it in the oven for me.  Mind you, you don't just "pop" a 16lb turkey anywhere, as it's bloody heavy.

Dd up next around 8-ish, closely followed by son-in-law.  Ds had to be kicked out of bed, otherwise he would have never got up!!!  Had breakfast of Cinnabons which dd had picked up and they were yummy!!

The phone then rang so that kept us all occupied for half an hour.  Finally we got around to opening the gifts, but first we gave Molly her new toys.  Dd got her the Christmas lady hedgehog and we got her the pink Gingerbread lady.
Side note: Molly isn't well, so will have to take her to the vet's this week, her lumps in her mammary glands have grown a lot.

One of the gifts I got from the kids was this:

So what you ask.  Well when I opened it this was what was inside:

Dd had decided to sample some to make sure they were alright and had eaten all the good ones and graciously left me all the "Popcorn" flavoured ones amongst others!!!  Will say she then gave me a even bigger box of them, this time not opened.

By the time we had opened all the presents, the phone rang again and so we talked and relaxed and generally spent a quiet morning doing little to nothing, while the turkey was cooking away.

I made a start in the kitchen around 11.30 am with a brief pause to listen to the Queen's speech.  Everything stops for the Queen's speech in our house.  Here's hoping Prince Phillip gets out of hospital soon.

I made dessert, which was a sponge cake filled with fresh cream and raspberries picked from the garden in the summer and covered with fresh cream, raspberries and grated chocolate, it was good.  My mam had sent me over these cakes pans from Lakeland to make this with. 
We finally got sat down to our turkey dinner at 2pm and were probably finished eating by 2:30pm.  We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrot and turnip mashed, bread sauce and gravy.  We don't have too much as we don't want to be eating it for weeks to come.  For dessert there was the cake and a fresh fruit platter.  As everyone washed up, I stripped the turkey and put the carcass in the freezer to make soup with later.  Made up two plates of left overs for the kids to take home.  Put together two casseroles for the freezer, so all we are left with is a large plate of turkey and stuffing for sandwiches.

By the time everything was cleared away it was probably close to 3:30pm.  The kids were watching a movie, and as I had been sipping on a glass of wine.......which believe me is very unusual for me to drink alcohol....I ended up going in the living room as I said it was too warm in the family room, and fell asleep for a while.  Alcohol makes me sleepy.

Dd and son-in-law left at 5pm to go to their next port of call, son-in-law's dad's side of the family.  Ds left sometime after 6pm to go home and probably sleep.  We sat down and watched Marley and Me, which wasn't the best idea as it ended sadly and so I had a cry!!!

Went to bed straight after watching that, as both of us were worn out by another Christmas Day!!!!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas day, as I did enjoy ours, other than the ending of the movie!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from our house to yours...........

The True Meaning Of Christmas
by Brian K. Walters

In todays' day and time,
it's easy to lose sight,
of the true meaning of Christmas
and one special night.

When we go shopping,
We say "How much will it cost?"
Then the true meaning of Christmas,
Somehow becomes lost.

Amidst the tinsel, glitter
And ribbons of gold,
We forget about the child,
born on a night so cold.

The children look for Santa
In his big, red sleigh
Never thinking of the child
Whose bed was made of hay.

In reality,
When we look into the night sky,
We don't see a sleigh
But a star, burning bright and high.

A faithful reminder,
Of that night so long ago,
And of the child we call Jesus,
Whose love, the world would know.

and finally one of my favourite Christmas songs, please listen to the words:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I just sat there with my mouth open........

Please, please, please click on the link for the condo of the week, I have NEVER seen anything like it, here is the link  Each room just made my mouth drop open even more and not really in a good way I may add.  I guess it takes all sorts to make a world, but I think I'll keep my $3 million dollars (if I had that much money) for another house.............

As per one of the comments on the condo site it belonged to this man:

The home of the week although nice wasn't my cup of tea, as I think like one of the comments said I would prefer more than five feet between my neighbours for that sort of price, here is a link to it.  I am assuming there was an old house there before hand and it was torn down and this put up in it's place.

Cookies and good advise, worth reading..........

Dd loves to bake and at Christmas she gives gifts of cookies to various people.  Here is a tray of her cookies.
From left to right are, shortbread cookies, chocolate crinkle cookiesjam filled sandwich cookies, cranberry white chocolate chip cookies, cranberry pistachio bark, and red velvet whoopie pies.

Got this in an email and thought it was worthwhile sharing:


This is AWESOME ... something we should all remember.
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
Mr.. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied. 

Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. 'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. 

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away.. Just for this time in my life. 

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. 

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! 

Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing. 

'Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less. 

Makes you think doesn't it?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm a walking disaster..........

Last week I went and dropped a log on my foot and it bloody well hurt. When I was in the shower the other day I couldn't understand why my foot was so dirty.  Well of course it wasn't dirty it was/is bruised.

Oh and yes it is flipping swollen.

My goodness me, I have ugly feet don't I? I really need a pedicure I think...LOL 

On a more positive note my hand is getting better, slowly but surely.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hobby Farm Home Magazine

I picked up the January/February 2012 issue of Hobby Farm Home Magazine on Sunday and once again it is full of interesting subjects and links to various websites.

I loved this rug they featured from Garnet Hill

Can't say I have ever heard of that site before, but has some cute stuff on there, bit expensive though?

There was an article all about coupons and it had some interesting links to various money savings websites and blogs.  This one is American, but even if you're not from the States, you may find some posts useful: The Frugalette   They mention a site called Mambo Sprouts which is an organic site, with all sorts of deals, info and recipes.  They have a really neat post about Bird Friendly Holiday Decor  and another called Celebrate & Save: 5 Keys to a Merry, Thrifty Holiday, try and find time to read both posts.

Eat Wild is a site where you can find local farms where you can buy directly from the farm, here is a link  There are actually a number of farms close or pretty close to where we live. 

All in all I am seriously considering subscribing to the magazine as it would be cheaper than buying it from the store.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas to Dh and I.......

We bought our Christmas present to ourselves on Sunday morning.  10 sheets of drywall/plasterboard:

We also bought a carry handle thingy to carry the drywall, which turns out to be the best $7 we have spent as per dh:

Here is a close up of the writing:

This is something we will use over and over, and as I couldn't help dh lift the drywall this was worth every penny.

Dh's goal is to have the rest of the new basement drywalled, taped and sanded before Spring.

In case you think that's an awful gift, if we want anything we generally just go out and buy it when we see it, if it's in the budget, and we don't really want anything at the moment.  So we thought drywall was the perfect gift. 

However, we are giving one another a $40 budget each to go out and buy a couple of small things for one another.   I am getting dh another book on renovating; they are actually the only books he will actually read.  Plus some scratch and (hopefully) win cards, and I am not 100% sure what else yet.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bad news, good news..........

Went to get my snow tires put on and an oil change and ended up having to have other things done, which ended up with a bill for $400......what the heck............I am clueless when it comes to anything mechanical.  Made the mechanic talk to dh to explain what he was doing and dh gave him the go ahead.  Could have done without this bill though.

Good news, gas/petrol prices have dropped to $1.149 a litre.  Good news, picked up my dress I wore for the wedding and it only cost me $20 to get it shortened.  Good news my total for grocery shopping this week was $56.18, only used $2 in coupons though.  There wasn't much on sale this week, though I did stock up on cheese.

There was a good sale at the end of November at Book Close Outs, and I bought 12 books for around $35, you can't beat that.  I will of course donate them to the library when I have read them.  Dropped off another couple of books there today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cast is off thank goodness......

the hand is sore though, as she had to take out ten stitches.  As they were were in my palm and wrist it was flipping painful.  I had to lay down afterwards, as I wasn't sure if I was going to faint or vomit.  Never had something like that happen to me before.......

Have to go back in a month to have them check my hand, and I have got the go ahead to have the other hand operated on any time from February onwards.  I just have to make the appointment next week.  I have not to lift anything over 10 lbs but otherwise I can do everything else,  including drive...YEAH!!!

I will post a photo tomorrow as I have a large bandaid/plaster over the incision for the rest of today.  I must say I am not thrilled with how it looks, and I hope it will look better in time.

By the way I will be telling her to not put in as many stitches next time, as that is very painful taking them out!  Oh and she was pleased with the flexibility I had with my hand, so it was a success.

Big day today..

I get my flipping cast off, roll on 1:15pm the time of my appointment.

I managed to get the rest of the Christmas presents wrapped on Wednesday, and for once it took very little time as we have cut back such a lot this year.  Infact I won't be buying any wrapping paper or Christmas cards in the Boxing Day sales this year, as I have plenty left.

I read this article online about how a woman's mother cancelled Christmas many years ago as her father was sick and they just couldn't afford to buy presents.  Read about it here  I have said for many years that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.  There is even a poll on this site asking "would you cancel Christmas."

I personally wouldn't cancel Christmas, but would like to tone it down.  One thing I do though is make sure we don't spend too much and make sure it's all paid for, as the last thing I want is to be paying for it for the rest of the year.

Finally, does anyone have a good Bread Pudding recipe, one that does not contain dried fruit.  I have a craving for Bread pudding and we do not like sultana's or raisins.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review and a "No Spend January,"

"A Lasting Impression," by Tamera Alexander

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.

Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

What a super book, if you love the Southern States, and the history of the mid 1800's, this book is for you.  It takes you back to Nashville in the 1860's, and the attention to detail that the author has put into the book is just superb. Add to that a bit of mystery and intrigue, and a dollop of love and you have a great book.

You just want Claire to succeed, and Sutton makes a very dashing lead character.  Not that this has to do with the actual story by I love that dress the lady is wearing on the front of the book cover.

Stars out of 5 : a very solid 5 I have nothing bad to say about this book, an easy read with a story that hooks you right away.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Carla is having a "No Spend January Challenge," in January.....of course!! She has listed the rules etc., but honestly you do as much or as little as you want.  If you want to join in just pop by her blog and post a comment.  It's a good idea to start the new year.  I have to figure out what my goal will be, although I do know there is one thing I will  do and that is try to eat out of our pantry and freezer for as much of January as I can, as it wants a good clean out!!!

Also only one more sleep and I get this rotten cast off.......... YEAH!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Molly............

As I am typing this Molly is "burying" her bone in her basket, silly doggy.....

I took a couple of photos of her on Monday.  Dh had let her "sleep" on the sofa and had left her blanket on there.  So I covered her with the blanket to make her more snuggly!
She was laying on her ottoman in the afternoon with her rabbit:

Couldn't resist taking a close up of her face...

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Valley of Dreams," by Lauraine Snelling

"Valley of Dreams," by Lauraine Snelling

When Cassie Lockwood's mother died, Cassie began travelling with her father's Wild West Show. Along the way, she became an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father passed away, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.

Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the show's manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try to find the hidden valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota where her father had dreamed of setting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers on a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the act for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.

Will they find the valley before winter closes in on them?

I found this book a little hard to get into, but by Chapter 7, I was getting there, and then in Chapter 8, didn't the author go and introduce another set of characters?  Confused the heck out of me, but it finally dawned on me what one set of characters had to do with the other.  By the end you are wanting to know what happens next; then boom it's the end of the book.  Turns out it is the first in the series of books and the next one isn't published until August 2012 :0(  I was not happy, as I feel you are left hanging there.

Stars out of 5 : 4, I enjoyed the story but I wasn't happy where the book left off, and I really don't want to wait until next August to see what happens next.........
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

If you have a Kindle, or even if you want to download and read it on your PC, this sounds like a good book and it's free: Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum by Mark Stevens  Bit of a strange subject, but I thought interesting......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grocery shopping, coupons and deals.........

I do feel for my poor dh, as yet again had to take me grocery shopping today as I still can't drive.  Of course I didn't want to go to just the one store, I had to go to numerous stores and when I told dh that, he was ever so pleased!!!  Bless him though he didn't complain, but he personally couldn't see the point of shopping at various stores.

Our first port of call was the dreaded Wal-Mart, where they had turkey's on for 95 cents per pound.  Dh picked up a one that is at least 16lbs as it was $15.32, also picked up a couple of other things and my total came to $16.79.  Paid that with the money I had saved up in my pot and used a $1.00 off coupon for one of the items.

We then headed to Shopper's Drug Mart where they has a 20 x the points event when you spent $75.  One of the best things you can do is use all your high value coupons at the 20 x the points events, as the total is before coupons.  I had three $15 off coupons for vitamins and a $2 and a $1 coupon.  So the total of my bill before coupons was $84.36 - $48 in coupons = $36.36  I am also mailing in my receipt for a $4.79 mail in rebate on the Quantum Finish Dishwasher Cleaner  I may be giving that as a joke Christmas gift to our son-in-law.  I of course purchased a $50 SDM gift card before buying anything, so I could get another 500 points, and altogether earned another 15,500 points today.

We then popped into to Zehrs and spent another $16.79 there, and they had 10 lb bags of potatoes on for $1.77 a bag.  Everything else we purchased had 50% off so saved another $12.13 there, plus will be giving my receipt to the church as always.

We finally popped into Sobeys and I spent $16.78 there, my main purchase there was Lean Ground Beef  that was on sale, for $1.79 a pound, so picked up nearly 5lbs of that, and I saw sausage meat for my stuffing.  I didn't use any coupons there, but have accumulated enough points to cash in for $10 off my next bill if I want.  I am going to keep on collecting them and cash in at a later date, for more info on those click on this link.

By the way if you have a Food Basics near you, they have turkeys on sale for 77 cents a lb.  I neither have a Food Basics close to me, nor do I get a flyer, so I can't price match either.

So all in all I spent $86.01 buying groceries and personal items and cleaning products this week.  I had coupons and stickered savings of $61.13 and will be receiving a cheque for $4.79 from the mail in rebate.  The envelope I am mailing my MIR in was free, ask you local greeting card shop if they have any spare envelopes they don't want, and they'll probably give you a bunch.  The stamp I will be using I bought them when they were 10% off, so saved money there also.

So as far a the Christmas Day lunch is concerned the only thing I need to get now is some white bread for the bread sauce and a loaf of white or brown bread for the stuffing.  I still have $56 in my pot that I had saved up for the groceries, so all in all things are looking good.

Starting January 1st I am going to keep a running total of what I spend each week and what savings I have.  I am hoping to spend only $75 a week.  I want to be more organized with my menu planning as well.  In fact I basically want to be more organized period in every aspect of my life...........

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A View From Molly's Window and Skywatch Friday

I'm combining two photo Meme's today, "A View From My Window or in this case Molly's Window," and Skywatch Friday

It's bitter cold here today, with high winds, but at least the sun is shining.

Looking south:

Looking west:

Looking north:

We have a sprinkling of snow, but nothing much.

I hope you will click on the links to see everyone elses photos.

Please take the time to read this....makes you think

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.

after waiting a few minutes

I walked to the

door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a

frail, elderly voice. I could hear something

being dragged across the floor.


a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in

her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a

print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned

on it, like somebody out of a 1940's


By her side was a small nylon

suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had

lived in it for years. All the furniture was

covered with sheets.

There were no

clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils

on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard

box filled with photos and


'Would you carry my bag

out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase

to the cab, then returned to assist the


She took my arm and we walked

slowly toward the curb.

She kept

thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I

told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers

the way I would want my mother to be


'Oh, you're such a good

boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave

me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive

through downtown?'

'It's not the

shortest way,' I answered


'Oh, I don't mind,' she

said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a


I looked in the rear-view

mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have

any family left,' she continued in a soft

voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very

long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the


'What route would you like me

to take?' I asked.

For the next two

hours, we drove through the city. She showed me

the building where she had once worked as an

elevator operator.

We drove through the

neighbourhood where she and her husband had lived

when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in

front of a furniture warehouse that had once

been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a


Sometimes she'd ask me to slow

in front of a particular building or corner and

would sit staring into the darkness, saying


As the first hint of sun was

creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm

tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in

silence to the address she had given me. It was

a low building, like a small convalescent home,

with a driveway that passed under a


Two orderlies came out to

the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were

solicitous and intent, watching her every move.

They must have been expecting her.


opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to

the door. The woman was already seated in a


'How much do I owe you?'

She asked, reaching into her


'Nothing,' I


'You have to make a living,' she


'There are other

passengers,' I responded.


without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She

held onto me tightly.

'You gave an

old woman a little moment of joy,' she


'Thank you.'

I squeezed her

hand, and then walked into the dim morning

light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound

of the closing of a life..

I didn't

pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove

aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that

day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had

gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient

to end his shift?


if I had refused to take the run, or had honked

once, then driven away?

On a quick

review, I don't think that I have done anything

more important in my life.


conditioned to think that our lives revolve

around great moments.

But great

moments often catch us unaware-beautifully

wrapped in what others may consider a small






You won't get any big surprise

in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But,

you might help make the world a little kinder

and more compassionate by sending.

it on and

reminding us that often it is the random acts of

kindness that most benefit all of


Sunday Song

Doris Day is a favourite singer of a family member.  So this song is for them.