Thursday, November 30, 2023

What the heck?

Not sure what happened to me on Wednesday morning but I had a burst of energy and cleaned out some kitchen cupboards?????  I have been thinking about doing this for a while.  So after I had blown out the bottom of the driveway I set about doing them.

Got rid of some instant coffee with a 2014 (???) expiry date on it, that I found wwwwaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy back in the cupboard.  Seriously, how did I miss that?  

I now have some bags of things to donate to the charity shop.  Threw out numerous plastic lids that didn't belong to anything. I mean it's like having numerous socks with no partners, right?

I still have more to do, but this was a great start.  I need to be more aggressive with; "If you haven't used it in ages, get rid of it."

Still puzzled though where this burst of energy came from....😄

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

And so it begins........

 This photo was taken at 2pm on Tuesday:

Those flipping streamers just kept coming in from the lake.  I shoveled the driveway twice.  I am guessing it will be here to stay now, welcome Winter!

I decided it was a read a book day, and I still had one more book to review for the month.

I posted my review, here in my book review blog.  It was a good book, well worth reading.

So as it's snowing outside, I of course had to make a sweet pepper quiche with salad for supper.  Why is it when its cold outside you fancy a salad, and when it's red hot outside in the middle of summer you fancy a bowl of soup?

Ingredients used for the quiche.  I love the PC brand of Smoke Flavoured Cheddar cheese.

Supper was so good.  The grain salad was from Costco.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Trip to the Post Office

Went to put stamps on the Christmas cards to mail them. Took me forever to remember where I had actually put the cards, only to discover I had three stamps and four cards....LOL

So had to go to the post office to buy a book of stamps, which should last me well into next year.

Of the four cards I mailed, two were in Canada and there is a good chance that will be the last time I am sending them to those folk.  The other two were to family in the UK; I was short an international stamp.

Cost over $18 for a book of six international stamps.  The lady at the post office was telling me that there hasn't been an increase in the price of stamps since before COVID?  I don't remember do you?

Other than immediate family, I would think I am down to giving Christmas cards to a handful of people.  Do you send out a lot of cards?  I think it is a dying trend.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Bonus Redemption Week

 If you're in Canada, you'll know exactly what that title means.  Shopper's Drug Mart are having their "Mega Bonus Redemption Week." The equivalent store in the US is CVS, in the UK, Boots.  We collect points when we shop there or in any other of the Presidents Choice brand stores.  I also have a Presidents Choice Mastercard and earn points on that as well.

You normally get $1 per 1,000 points when you cash them in.  As you can see you can get more for your points during this bonus redemption time which happens at this level once per year around Black Friday time.

I was lucky and had enough points to be able to cash in 130,000 points to get $200 worth of product in the store for free.  A lot of folk cash their points in the electronics, especially Nintendo and PS5's that sort of thing.  I neither want nor do I need that sort of thing, so I just stock up on everyday things.

The key to all of this is that you have to have enough product before the 13% taxes are added.  So I needed to spend $200 before tax, to be able to cash in the points.  I was a bit bummed as I only had one coupon to use and that was for the BOOM CHICKA POP snacks; and that was a buy one get on free.  Still I saved over $6 on those with the coupon, and I'll use the snacks for our get together next week.

You can never have enough toilet paper.  Remember when toilet paper was in short supply during COVID?
So it took me a full hour of going round the store to get all that and tally it all up.  As you can see it added up to $201.07 before the taxes were added.  
After I cashed in my points, I paid $21.91 out of pocket.  We are stocked up on a number of things so all in all, it was a productive 1 1/2 hours, which includes driving time to and from the store.

I came home and flaked out in the chair.......seems I am not fully recovered from this cold!

Did any of you who are in Canada cash in your points?

Saturday, November 25, 2023

A huge thank you to Mr. Beaver

Last weekend was reasonably warm so it was an ideal opportunity to decorate the outside of the house for Christmas.  Hubby put up lights, while I put together my two Christmas pots.

As I headed into the forest by the pond to cut some greenery I stumbled upon a felled tree.  It had been chewed and felled by our resident beaver that we have in our pond.  So all the branches I cut were from this felled tree or from other branches from the ground.  I always feel a little guilty cutting my own, but I always make sure I cut them from the back of a tree and don't chop from a tree willy-nilly.

This tub is by the side of the house coming up the footpath:

This one is in front of the window and has lights on it.
I bought all the picks on sale a couple of years ago and use them every year.
I was at a garden centre a week or two ago and saw inserts for up to $100 each.  You can see some here and here. I just can't justify spending that much on inserts.  

Do you make your own arrangements, or buy them?

Friday, November 24, 2023

Two weeks since my last post......

 I know what on earth is going on with me!!

Well I am sick, AGAIN.  Not sure which small grandchild gave it too me this time, but I have narrowed it down to the two boys who live down the road!!!  One is coughing up a storm and one has a green snotty nose.....SIGH!

Then I was back at the dentist just over a week ago, as the tooth I had filled back in September was giving me so much pain whenever anything hot or cold touched it.  So she refilled it with a medicated temporary filling and I have to go back in January to see if it has settled down.

Now as I write this, it has settled down, BUT, for how long who knows.  What I do know if it flares up again it's being pulled, so I will have no back molars, either top or bottom on my left hand side.

I have been busy setting up the house for Christmas.  I am hosting a get together on December 2nd, so needed to get things ready a little earlier than normal.

When I went to put up the tree, only 2 strings of lights were working:

Now I will say that tree owed us nothing.  We had swapped out our old tree with son and his wife for their smaller tree five years ago.  So it was a few years old.

So we ended up going to Canadian Tire and getting this tree:

It's this tree from Canadian Tire.  Now it is 7 feet tall which is a bit big, but it is quite narrow in width which I like, as it has to go into a small space.  I was not happy paying $300, so it had better last us the rest of our days!!

I have gone with a red and gold theme this year.

I have just posted some more book reviews, as I have been busy reading as had no energy to do most things.  It took me a couple of days to sort out the Christmas tree and hubby assembled it for me......that is so unlike me.

Anyhow, I am going to sit down after lunch and prep some more posts, so you should be hearing more from me, fingers, toes and everything crossed.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Another stage in life..........

We're entering another stage in our lives.  To be honest, we have been preparing for this for a number of years, but now we're on the final countdown to hubby retiring.

In fact we are around 325 days until his last day of work, give or take a week or two either side of the September 2024 expected retirement day.  The leaving date is not fixed in stone yet, and won't be until probably next April/May.  There are a number of factors in play with this, and it's mainly to do with banked hours and vacation pay.  

One of hubby's co-workers retired last year in October and got paid through to the end of the year, as he had banked hours and vacation pay owing.  Both hubby and I think this is a good idea, and we may as well get health benefits until the end of the year.  

That is something we have to look into, as I won't be 65 for another four years after hubby retires so I will have to pay for all medications out of our own pocket.  Hubby's will be covered; less $100 yearly payment, by the Government.

Looking at the graphic above, I feel we are the people not pictured there, there should be another person, between the far right one and the second to the far right.

One thing I think we all probably think about is how much time do we have left on this earth?  When doing a financial plan they plan it with an expected life expectancy of 90.  So I guess we are two thirds through our life expectancy.

Bit of an odd post, but something I was thinking about today.

Regarding, hubby's false tooth having a hole in it, we have no idea how it happened.  It cost hubby $250 though to have it replaced as he has used the $2,000 we can spend on dentists this year through our insurance.  Never have we ever used all the money allocated in a year for a dentist in all the years we have been in Canada.  Also, the dentist waived his fee.  The price at dentists has shot through the roof.  I hope that one day, the government will cover dental visits for seniors.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Answering some questions..........

 from this past week.

Both Linda and JJ, asked if there was a link to the auction site.  It does have a site, BUT they do not ship, you have to pick up: King of the North Auction (

Cheryl, mentioned the price of the chicken in Costco was only $5 USD, which is more or less around the same price as $7.99 CDN with the exchange.

Re: the dentist.  I am so sorry other people have had to go through the same as I have.  My mouth is feeling a lot better so that's good.  BUT, hubby has now been back and forward on another issue with his denture plate.  He has had to get a tooth replaced on his denture as it had a hole in it????  I have never heard of that happening before?  Have you?

We are still waiting to hear back regarding the pension.  No idea how long that will take?

I have read and posted a review here of the book, "Room, by Emma Donoghue.

This week seems to have flown by again.  Is it me, but the older you get the faster the days fly by?  

Trying a new recipe tonight for dessert.  Got this book from the Auction Site:

It's such a lovely looking book.  I have a number of recipes tagged that I would like to try.  If I were one of those people who had to have "coffee table" books, this one would be on the top!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Book or Movie/TV series?

 I have just watched a series on Netflix called, "All the Light We Cannot See."

Here is the Synopsis from Amazon:

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the four episodes on Netflix.  Now I will say I normally enjoy reading a book over watching a movie, so I was wondering if anyone has read this book and watched the Netflix series?

Is there a big difference between the book and the Netflix series?  One of the book reviews I read, said the book was confusing going from one time period to the next and in no specific order?

Regardless, I enjoyed the series, but I am not going to read the book.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

I am about to be driven into an early grave...........

and I don't know what to do.  It's another grab a cup of tea/coffee and sit down in a comfy seat.

Hubby turned 65 in September, so he is entitled to a company pension from where he worked at in the UK.  So we apply for it, they email the paperwork, we fill it out and sit back and wait for the pension to be paid in the bank account.  This was all sorted out in the early summer.

When September 30th came, we check our bank account, nothing.  We wait a couple of weeks, and then email the company to see what's wrong.  The company says it will answer back within 20 business days, unless its a bereavement and then they try to get back within 3 business days.

So we wait and wait, and they get back to us and say this:

"We can confirm that our overseas paying agents Convera UK Financial Limited, have released your 29 September 2023 pension payment to the account details provided.


Your next pension payment on 31 October 2023 and all further monthly payments will be credited to the account details provided.


Please be advised, the payment can take up to 5 working days to credit your account after the scheme pay date."

Then a couple of weeks later we get another email:

"We are writing to inform you that our overseas paying agents, Convera UK Financial Limited, were unable to process your 30 September 2023 payment due to an invalid account number.

In order for them to release the payment to your account, we need you to complete the enclosed mandate with the relevant information. This can be returned by scanning a copy to our secure website at ***************

In the interest of security, until we are in receipt of the completed mandate, we will be unable to make any further payments to you."

So we go to the bank and get them to refill out the banking information, in case that was filled out wrong and send it too them AGAIN.

A week or so later we get this email:

"We can confirm, we have now re-activated your record and have sent the bank details provided, to our overseas paying agents Convera. We have asked them to release your 29 September 2023 pension payment. Please be advised, once released these can take 3-5 working days to credit your account."

We wait 5 working days and still no payment.

So we call the company on Friday, who is issuing the payment (not Convera) and spoke to a guy and said that we have been to the bank and got the manager to fill out the forms.  We are banking with one of the big 4 banks in Canada, and we can't be the only ones who live in Canada.  He said he would speak to the payroll and admin departments, because as I said its a problem with Convera, not them, as we have no idea why they can't process it.  We have no way to contact Convera, so we are stuck as we have no idea what is wrong with the paperwork.

Fast forward to Monday and we get this:

"We are writing to inform you that our overseas paying agents, Convera UK Financial Limited, were unable to process your September and October 2023 payments due to an invalid account number.

In order for them to release the payment to your account, we need you to complete the enclosed mandate with the relevant information. This can be returned by scanning a copy to our secure website at ************

In the interest of security, until we are in receipt of the completed mandate, we will be unable to make any further payments to you.

Once the completed mandate is received, we can re-instate your pension and release any funds currently being held by Convera."

So off we went to the bank again, and the bank manager, along with a couple of employees had a look at the forms.   We took out one lot of numbers and reprinted another form and hubby has emailed them again.  It will be a couple of weeks until we know if they were rejected again...

The whole thing is a farce, as you are not dealing with an individual.  We have a general mailbox to email everything to.  One person should be handling this now that it has been sent back twice.

We are at our wits end with this.  We feel as though we are going round and round in a circle.

So there you go another sad story........😔

Monday, November 6, 2023

All done for 2023

 It was a nice day on Sunday, so we tackled the last of leaves to be picked up outside.   We have been picking them up for a while now.  The trees with the leaves on are oak.  Sometimes they drop at this time of year, other times it's not until the new year.

The back yard looks so much better tidied up for winter.

Front all spruced up, it was such a lovely morning.
To try and save the amount of bags we used, hubby mulched all the leaves, using his leaf blower.
Can you see the green bits on the floor of the shed?

That is grated up Irish Spring soap.  We have had a mouse problem all summer.  One of the things we were told to do is grate up Irish Spring soap as the mice don't like the smell.  Neither do I....but we have the freshest smelling shed around.

We have got rid of the mice, but only because we inserted steel wool in all the ventilation gaps in the shed.   We figured out they were getting in there.

As I said another bonus now is our shed smells so fresh!

Have you  got your garden put to bed for the winter?

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Saga of the dentist........

I said the other day health wise things have not been the best and a visit to the dentist made things a lot worse health wise for me.  Grab yourself a cup of tea/coffee, and sit yourself down for the tale of my visit to the dentist!

So back on September 19th, I went into the dentist for my twice yearly cleaning and may I add, PAIN FREE!!!  They do x-rays once per year and this was the time.  The hygienist cleans my teeth and the dentist comes in and pokes around in my mouth and they mutter too one another.  He then announces I need two fillings at the top as they are starting to flake?

Now that is an expression I have never heard before.  So I say, didn't you just do one of those fillings...

He takes a look and says, "Oh yes, we only did one in October, we won't charge you to refill that! The other one is an old one, so you'll have to pay for that one."

I say okay, go and make an appointment for September 21st to have them done.

Go back on the 21st, and Dr. Eva does the fillings.  While she was drilling out the one, she touched my nerve.  I about jump out of the chair so she freezes that area more.  I can still feel it slightly but just want the whole thing finished with.  I go on my merry way with my frozen mouth.

Fast forward until the morning of Saturday the 23rd and I am having my breakfast.  I have a sip of coffee and I about jump out of the chair.  All sorts of pain shooting through my tooth area where I had the two fillings.  I think nothing more of it, figuring it's a one off.........wrong, wrong, wrong.........

By the Thursday I was past myself, so called into the dentist and said I am in agony with these fillings, they are throbbing all the time and every time I drink either hot or cold, the pain just shoots through those teeth.  Someone finally calls me back and tells me that the dentist has sent a prescription through to the pharmacy for some antibiotics.  Take those and she'll see me on the 13th of October, and if I am no better I may need a root canal........excuse me😮

I start taking the antibiotics but they are not making a dent in the pain.  I go to the family doctor on October 3rd for something else and mention my mouth as by now I am miserable as my mouth is killing me.  He has a look and tells me to take these stronger antibiotics to see if that will help as my mouth is all red and swollen.  

BUT, I now have to take probiotics as the antibiotics are killing my stomach.  By the Thursday the 5th I could stand it no longer so called the dentist and she agreed to see me.  By now I am in so much pain I couldn't tell her which tooth was hurting.  She offered to do root canals on both teeth..........I refused point blank as all my teeth have cracked and I have had numerous teeth out.  I have had a root canal before and they cracked my tooth.

So "we" decided to wait until the 13th of October to see if things settled down and they could see where the pain was coming from.  Went back on the 13th of October and we figured out which tooth it was.  "We" decided to have an extraction and when I went to book it, she said the earliest I could go in was the 26th of October.  I had a hissy fit and they "managed" to squeeze me in on the 17th of October.

When I went in on the 17th, I made a point of talking to the office manager and told her the whole sorry story.  I basically said, it's all well and good that I have insurance, but it only covers 80% of the costs.  I came into the office on September 19th pain free and here we are on the 17th of October and I am having to have an extraction.  She agreed to pick up the 20% not covered.

Fast forward to the beginning of November and it's finally getting better.  It has stung on and off since I have had the extraction, but it is finally settling down.

So if you were to ask me how I feel about dentists, I wouldn't have a favourable opinion at the moment.  It has been over a month of misery and I put the full blame on the dentist.  Sorry if you are a dentist or work in a dentist office, but I am not a fan anymore!

What's your thoughts about this saga?

Friday, November 3, 2023

Trip to Costco

R came up to see me on Thursday, so we went to Costco.  I paid for her membership as part of her Christmas gift, so it was an ideal opportunity to do that while she was here.

She was a love and paid for lunch.

Now I have to admit, I LOVE the sausages at Costco and for the grand total of $1.50 you get a sausage in a bun and a drink, you just can't beat that price.  Also as I would never think of cooking those types of sausages at home it's kind of a treat I find.  R had chicken strips and fries.  Again I am not a huge lover of french fries, but do love the ones at Costco.  So all in all, our lunch came to well under $10.  Quite a bargain I think?

Ever since I have got the membership for Costco, people have been raving about the cooked chickens they sell.  A while back I got one, and since then have had a couple more, as they are so moist and juicy.  Also at $7.99 you can't go wrong.  We get three meals out of one chicken, sometimes even more.
My hair is super short in the photo as I had two haircuts in less than 24 hours.  Quite the pain in the butt situation with the hairdressers.  Fortunately my hair grows quite fast!!

They were saying at Costco, that you have to register a credit card when you take out a membership, so that Costco can automatically renew your card each year.  I didn't know that, did you?

Thursday, November 2, 2023

That auction site rabbit hole.....

I am still buying things from the auction site, and it is still a rabbit hole.  I try and look at the site each day, that way it's not over whelming; as now there are up to 15 thousand things listed each week.  I tend to stick to the lower priced items, rather than the higher priced ones.  The place is getting busier and busier.  I popped in on Wednesday afternoon to pick my stuff up and it was heaving.  They are pretty organized though, and I was in and out in less than 30 minutes.  You pay for your stuff, they give you a number and the staff in the back go and pick it.  There is a screen up where you can see your number and an estimated time of how long you will be waiting.

The system works like clockwork.  Anything big, you have to drive round the back to the shipping doors to pick up.  If I had to nit pick about anything, some of the pickers, are very quietly spoken and don't shout out the numbers loud enough.

This week I paid $60 and I got the following:

A pair of anti-fatigue kitchen mats.  They are soft and squishy.  May see if the kids want them as I am no 100% convinced about them.

Now I bought these sets for the scissors.  They are some sort of leather type craft thing.  But as I said I was interested in the scissors only.

This is an audio book.  I do have a CD player, so this will work fine and I only paid $1 for it.

Now I bought something else, but it is part of a Christmas gift, so can't share with you what it is.  Suffice to say I am very happy with it and it will work like a charm for what I have in mind.

Things on this auction site are generally Amazon returns, or Wal-Mart, Costco etc.  You have to know what prices are and do your due diligence. Do you have this sort of thing where you live?


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Way too long.........

It's been way too long since I last posted.  I mean honestly, you'd think I have a busy life or something...LOL

It just seems like yesterday it was the beginning of summer.  We woke up to this on October 30th:

Way too soon for snow.  Mind you, it had more or less all melted by the late afternoon.  Summer went by in a flash.  Was busy with the gardening, visitors and we went away to Tennessee at the beginning of November.  I know I said we were booked to go to Charleston, but we changed our minds and ended up at Pigeon Forge.  Had a super time but it was way too hot for me.

My mother has joined a book club in the UK; so I have decided to unofficially join it as well!  The first book we are reading is this one:

"Room," by Emma Donoghue.  If you click on the prior sentence it will take you to Amazon, and you can read a preview there.  I am going to start on it this week.  I have just posted a book review on the latest book I have read, "The Trail," here, that was a good book.

My health could be better, I'll explain in another post.  The grandkids are all growing like weeds.  I have to share a photo of N & P all dressed up for Halloween.

Chucky and a Zombie Bride I think they were?  Dd did a super job on the makeup.

Anyhow, that's it for the moment.  I will prepare some more posts and lets see how long I manage to keep posting this time round!!

Sunday Song

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