About Me

July 31, 2014

We have halls!

Hi everyone!

The top of the two storey front hall.

A sweet oval window will go in that spot.
The hall linking the two front bedrooms.
Turret at the back. Dh in the guest room.

Tiny Builder!

Hi everyone!
Another warm and muggy night here on the prairies. We decided it was time for another visit out to the acreage to see the progress on our little house in the big woods.
Bug spray before heading to the site. We've been very lucky to not have a lot of mosquitoes this year but we still take precautions as there are so many trees and flowers.
Wow! It's really looking like a house now! We look so tiny next to the house. And this is before the roof!
Our builder really wanted to get our little guy to have fun with the build. He approved the house design, signed the official documents and then tonight he was encouraged to give a hand with the actual building. B has his arms crossed, declaring himself "too little!"
But then decides to give it a try! Big builder teaching the tiny builder. Such patience. Can you tell he has kids?

Nailing the wall where the bookcases and fireplace will go in our master bedroom. Can't wait for our first blizzard. Just imagining turning on the fireplace and watching the snow fall outside our window. Then snuggling down to enjoy the warmth of the house and the pretty fireplace. Winter might not be so bad now!

And at the end of the building session, boys will be boys by throwing rocks into the new basement. Thanks big builder for teaching our tiny builder!

July 29, 2014

Comic Relief!

We're going thru a bit of a heat wave this week. I want to be outside in my garden but the heat is far too unbearable. My work is in an old building and there is no air conditioning and we have great fans but it's still too hot! Last night, my daughters and I converged in the cool family room in our house to unwind from a busy day, with our big fan turned on high. After making dinner, doing dishes and some laundry, the thought of sitting in my home office upstairs was too much. And as much as the weeds need to be pulled, they're going to have to wait a few extra days. We're promised temps of 30 today, 31 tomorrow, 32 on Thursday, then a balmy 24 with rain on Friday. Can't wait for the relief!

Typically a Monday night is busy outside or sometimes I tag along with my dh to his theatre rehearsals, so watching tv isn't always on the agenda. He still went to his gig that is now rehearsing in a stuffy garage where the set is erected until the show opens in August. We spent some time surfing the channels and came across the funniest show any of us has seen. It's crass but so amusing, especially if you like British humor. 

Mrs. Brown's Boys was first broadcast in 2011 and just showing up now on our channels. The lead character, a female called Agnes Brown, is played by a male actor. And some of his real life family are in the production as well, including his real wife and a couple of his adult children. We watched two episodes last night, then You Tubed it (is that a word?) and watched a few more. My ribs hurt today from laughing so hard. A great distraction on a hot summer night when being distracted was much better than trying to cope with and work in the heat. Fun "night off" with my daughters. Comic relief from the heat!!
And now we have a new obsession ~ downloading all the Mrs. Brown's episodes we can find!

Questions of the day:
Do you enjoy British humor?
Any other shows you can tell us about?

July 25, 2014

Quiet Friday Night .... Not!!

Hi everyone!

Today was the last day of our grieving kids summer camp. So much fun, so much work, such intense emotions, such great kids! It rained all day and we ended up with leaky windows in my classroom, a leaky storage room wall and a leaky radiator, a first but it's an ancient building that truly needs to be torn down, so it doesn't surprise me that water would get in. We moved upstairs to complete our day while the staff and others figured out the leaks. The day ended with a memorial service for the kids loved ones, the handing out of participation certificates and then we partied! After the families left, I presented my team with small gifts and then we all bid each other a fond farewell for now. The next grieving kids camp is in mid August and my hope is we get another wonderful group of kids and that my dedicated team will all be back, once they've had a nice break. 

Drove home in torrential rain, dodging massive puddles and crazy, impatient drivers. Didn't take any longer to get home, it was just horribly wet. Dh made a lovely dinner, then we decided to take it easy tonight after a busy week, so we watched a few shows we had taped and then I napped while dh and dd watched a show they were waiting for. 

Our quiet Friday night ended there! With two loud bangs, my nap was interrupted and panic set in once we realized the source was the power lines behind our house that had snapped and were precariously swinging around in the strong winds. We could smell smoke, so we shut off the tv and called 911. In that very short time, they had already fielded calls and knew that our street was in danger. We went outside to see the damage and our neighbors were all gathering. The pole that the lines were attached to was just two doors down from us and their fence was scorched. Thankfully, the power company had been called and immediately shut off the power. This line services the older homes behind us, so our power was okay but 4 hours later, the families behind us still don't have their power restored. And the line is still hanging in our backyard. We were all instructed by the firefighters, who arrived first and stayed for quite a while, to not go into our backyards until they give the all clear. We're safe, just slightly shaken, as the potential for fire was huge but thankful that didn't happen. I think they are still working on the line and I hope that our neighbors get their power back soon. At least it's not a freezing cold, winter's night. No power in the summer isn't great but no power here in the winter can get dangerous. The rain stopped and the weekend promises to be sunny and hot. Hopefully that will help with the repairs that are underway.

Not the quiet Friday night we envisioned but we're thankful that other than a scorched fence, everyone is safe and unharmed. No power for some but no power is better than a burned down house!

How was your Friday night?

July 23, 2014

New House Update!

Hi everyone!

It's supposed to rain for the next two days, so we zipped out to the woods tonight to take a peek at our new house. We've haven't been out since they put the decking down about a week ago and knew they were going to start framing soon. 

The security camera our builder has on site to see who comes and goes when he's not there. Beautiful, sun filled evening, with blooms and wildlife all around.

Coming up and around our driveway, we hoped to see some lumber and maybe a wall or two. Did we ever get the best surprise!! We have walls! Big walls! And window openings! And doors!

The front of the house in the upper left pic, then the back of the house. Top right pic (left to right) shows our laundry eating nook window, which will have a window seat from wall to wall in it, then our laundry room window and the long, short window is above the "lockers" in our mudroom going out to the garage.

Upper left pic is the turret windows. Front of the house in the rest of  the pics. Our dining room is on the left side, then the front hallway and then the living room on the right. The small window in the bottom pics will be an oval in the two story entry. 

Helping Mr. B. up in to his house for the very first time! He's so excited to have a new house!!

Upper left pic shows the french door out to the covered deck, then the next pic on the right is the big window in the family room. Lower left pic is another view, showing the turret in the back and then Mr. B. showing the kitchen to his left and the laundry room on his right. He's a great tour guide!

Where my favorite oval window will go. Archway into the dining room. Window looking out to the front garden. And looking out that same window towards the living room windows.

My guy, so proud, in his new house. Dd and grandson in the kitchen. The big opening in the bottom left corner pic is our front door. And the windows on the right are in the dining room. 

Daughters mapping out the family room and kitchen. Door looking out the back. Big window in the eating nook facing the back garden. And the door leading from the garage into the house. 

The upper left pic shows our drive out to the lane. Upper right is the window opening for the "lockers". Bottom left shows the entrance into the basement. And my lovely laundry room window. Love the view!

Family room and turret in the upper left pic. Kitchen and butler's pantry in the upper right pic. My guy and me, excited to be standing in our new front hall, complete with a coat closet, something we currently don't have in this house. Mr. B. being lifted down to investigate more of the outside. 

The entrance down to the lower level in the upper left. Walking outside the garage in the lower right. Lots to explore, so much to love!!

So that's the progress on the new house. We won't venture out this weekend as it will be too muddy after the rain. But can't wait for the following week to see the progress. We may have a second floor by then. Then windows and our roof. It seems to be moving quick now, especially with all our good weather. Fingers crossed this pace continues so we can move in before the snow comes. And then I plan to take a break from work and settle in, hang pictures and make our new home warm and cozy. 

July 20, 2014

Twenty Eight plus One!

Hi everyone!

Our eldest daughter turned 29 last week but has been quite vocal that she has dreaded this birthday and wished we'd all stop trying to celebrate it! We did a quiet dinner, then tonight had family over, which in the end, she did enjoy. With smiles and cheers all around, she gracefully blew out her candles. 

To tease her, we decided to use last year's 28 candles, then added in the extra yellow one, with a star on top and two sparklers. Thankfully, she was good natured about the joke. For now, we've all agreed that she is remaining 28! Can't wait til she hits 50!!

It was her son who declared that she had to be "28 plus 1" for the year .... smart boy, our Mr. B!!

Did you ever have a birthday you dreaded?

July 19, 2014

Frugal Friday!

Hi everyone!

Life has been a bit busy lately, so we haven't gone thrift shopping for quite a while. Between packing boxes, decision making with our builder, working on summer daycamp planning and moving offices, truly, there hasn't been time. But yesterday, after all our work was done, dh asked if I wanted go shopping to try and find some capris as I was complaining how hot it was to wear jeans and shorts at work doesn't quite seem professional, even in a casual environment. So off we went, hoping to find at least one pair to get me thru on the days that jeans are too hot and dresses that aren't always functional in a kid centered, creative but messy environment. 


Of course, we needed to start by looking in the china section and came across this sweet and tiny creamer. Perfect for a cold winter night when it's just the two of us having a "cuppa" before bed. Today, all the green tags were $1, so this item was a bargain, down from the $4 that was marked on the sales tag.

Not a green tag item but perfect for my new office, to match the big picture my boss gifted to me on Thursday. For all three prints, I paid $1. 

Another treasure ~ a gorgeous and very colorful English cottage. Oops, forgot to wipe the dust off! For a sweet $1, I'm happy to hang this pic up with all the tiny ones we've found along the way.

Dh found this one in the back where they hang curtains and bed linens. He remembered I was talking about making a curtain for our the laundry room at our new house but would have to find some material that had green, lavender and gold together. Ta da! Another green tag find for $1, marked down from $10.

And then we found capris! These are brand new, a bit big for me but with the tie on the waist, I can pull them in. Brand name? You betcha!! Calvin Klein as a matter of fact. And the price? $5. The original tag said $65. Never worn. I always wonder why when I find items that are in perfect condition or have the price tags still attached. What made someone not use or wear the item? But their loss is my sweet gain, so not too much thought has to go in to it. Just happy they didn't throw them in the garbage!

Love how I'll be able to tie up the bottom legs as loose or as tight as I'd like. I like to have options!

A pair of black capris, gently used, not a mark on them and so comfy. Brand name I am not familiar with, Crisca, but for $5, I'm not sure anyone is going to ask me who the designer is! Price again? $5.

And this last pair is American Eagle, a brand I love and for the green tag price of $1, a price I couldn't argue. These appeared to be brand new as well and I know I'll be wearing them often this summer. 

So there we have the Frugal Friday finds for our recent trip to the thrift store. Not a bad haul for a quick shopping spree on a hot and muggy afternoon. In total, we spent $15 out of the $20 that was budgeted. And found 3 pairs of capris!! 

Have you done any thrift store shopping lately? 
Any great finds?


Thank you for listening to me on a very down day. 

Sometimes, the opportunity to 
vent is all that is needed. 

The rest of the week went so well, better than I could 
have asked for and I wanted to stop for a  moment 
and say "Thank you" for your ear and your time. 
So truly appreciated!!

July 14, 2014

How do you do it?

Hi everyone!
I've never been good at promoting what I do and what I need. I may appear to be an extrovert but truthfully, I'm a closet introvert. I have guts and determination and can appear so confident. But I'm not always and it's a struggle to work on a daily basis to find my niche and feel comfortable with reaching out.
Right now, I'm working on boosting the traffic to my blog as well as trying to gather more families for my summer programs as well as trying to gather more families for my fall programs as well as trying to gather participants for our first bereavement conference as well as trying to gather bereaved families for our 2nd annual memorial walk. None of it is currently going well at all. Throwing in the towel would be my next move, except that I'm awfully stubborn and quitting is never on the agenda.
And yet, I find myself not getting the numbers needed. When I visit other blogs and see the number of comments, I'm intrigued and I'll admit, slightly jealous. Which is totally not my character. I truly write for me, for history, so numbers shouldn't really matter, right? But for some reason, they seem to be important, a measure of acceptance perhaps that I crave but continues to elude me.
I love and cherish the dedicated readers I have but can't figure out how to get my blog "out there".
When I see the success of other programs that have similar offerings, I wonder why my numbers, while good, are never huge. Our evaluations and quotes from clients show we have a strong, viable program, that is unique. As the only one of it's kind offered in Western Canada, you'd think we'd be overrun with numbers.
But truthfully, we're not and I can't figure out why.
I am intrigued by the vast numbers of volunteers, sponsors and attendees others have received for their conferences and their walks. But again, can't figure out beyond the typical promotion (web, emails, posters, media) to spread the word about our events.
What am I doing wrong? Or not doing enough of?
Maybe it's fear.
Maybe I'm not savvy enough.
Maybe I'm too short or not beautiful.
Maybe what I think others want is not really want they want.
Maybe no one wants to read what I have to say, or attend my programs, or need a conference.
In the end, I'll figure it out, 'cause that's what I do. But I would love your ideas on how to get there. In this season of hot weather, many deadlines and too many decisions, my head is swimming and making sense of the chaos isn't making my posts very attractive!
Share, do please share.
I'll cherish anything you can offer.

July 13, 2014

Blessed Sunday!

Hi everyone!

I have always loved the idea that Sunday should be a day of rest. A day to enjoy the little blessings all around us. A day to spend with family and friends. A day to relax and do fun things after a long week of working hard. Always a favorite day in my books!

Our Sundays have become extra work days due to our impending move but today, we decided that we needed to get back to a more relaxed day. We're on track with our sell and move tasks and truthfully don't want to burn ourselves out, so today we began our new Sunday routine. I quite liked it! We slept in just for a short time, then after a light breakfast, we ventured out to the acreage to see the progress on the new build. So excited to see the decking has now been installed over the engineered beams. We have a floor! This coming week, the framing of the main floor will start. Next weekend's drive should be really exciting. And the weather is sunny all week, so hopefully, no delays. 

After we got back to town, we stopped at the store for a few ingredients for dinner then headed home to do a bit of gardening. With the heat, it was hard to do too much, but I'm happy to get the majority of the weeds out of the back gardens. The front will have to wait until it's cooler but at least they are small and not over bearing. We then lounged on the deck for a couple of hours, reading and scheming, napping and gazing. Relaxing all around. Dh made a lovely bbq dinner and then we watched two more episodes of "Orange is the New Black". All of season 1 is now done; on to season 2! Other than this blog post, I've not been on the computer all day. Definitely an outside to enjoy the warm weather day!

How was your Blessed Sunday?

Groovy Saturday!

Hi everyone!

Our weekends have always been a mix of busy activities, followed by relaxation and letting go. Now that we are in the process of getting this house ready to sell while our new home is being built, weekends have become a bit more hectic trying to fit in the extra tasks that need to be completed before we list. Compounding this time frame is the fact that I usually work on Saturdays. But we have created a pretty good schedule and so far, as my graphic says, our Saturdays have become "groovy"!

This Saturday, I went to my office just a few minutes from home to provide counselling services for some clients then spent a bit of time rearranging our art cupboard and my office. Two summer daycamps are just around the corner and I really need to have my work spaces organized and clutter free before the kids arrive. Once those items were crossed off my list, I headed home to paint the second coat in the living room, staircase, hallway and front door. As much as I was not crazy about the neutral color at first, I'm loving it now. Such a "groovy" color! A quick dinner and shower then we were off to be part of a fundraiser in the city that was planned to help raise money for my dh's Fringe theatre show in August. Goodies, drinks, a silent auction, panel discussion from the cast, a photobooth and a comedian, who is a friend of ours. It went well, we had fun, made money and everyone was happy at the end of  the night. 

So that was our "groovy" Saturday. A busy day, productive work and fun to end the evening!

How was your "groovy" Saturday?

July 11, 2014

Full Moon ahead!!

Hi everyone!

After the wackiest day, I came home and turned on my computer, only to discover that we're on the cusp, once again, of a super full moon, set for tomorrow night. If only I had known that earlier, today might have been avoidable! From a major miscommunication that led me to tears (privately but painful to the end), to miscues, that left me feeling alone, in a big world! I hate this feeling, especially, because in the end, as the counselor for some many, when I have days like this, there is truly no one for me to talk to. So I brave it out alone, shed my tears and carry on. 


The good for today, because there is always good, even in the baddest of days, was celebrating this beautiful young lady's birthday! She crept into our lives, on that sunny, bright morning twenty nine years ago, quickly and quietly, with big dark eyes and masses of black hair. Her eyes turned blue, her hair fair and curly. Now a fierce single mama, she makes us proud each and ever day. How could a day so wrong not end without a happy and proud moment like this!

How was your day before the Super Full Moon?

July 10, 2014

A Day Off isn't always a Day Off!

Hi everyone!

I was granted a very lovely day off today from my boss. Yesterday, I spent some time figuring out what to do with my time. My work buddies and my family had all sorts of ideas, from staying in bed all day to going to a spa, treating myself to a shopping spree, or going for a drive in the country. 

The truth is, I could do all those things any day but to have a day to myself to complete some tasks that I can never get to, without any other obligations, without any disruption and without anyone else around is pure heaven to me. So that's what my day off ended up being!

I started with going back to sleep after my dh left for work. Waking up to a silent house was wonderful. Traipsed downstairs and spent 2 hours reorganizing the kitchen, then the family room, the laundry room and then my office, all in my jammies (thankful no one came to the door). I then dusted, swept, washed baseboards and floors, and put away all the construction/reno materials into a corner, out of sight until our next round of work on the weekend. Started some laundry, then headed up for a very long, leisurely bath. Dressed and headed over to my office for a quick meeting with the other tenants about the previous owner's attempts to get all of us to pay some rather costly repair bills for repairs that never happened. Great meeting, we bonded and after the business part was over, we all decided a summer bbq was in order. Love this building! 

Stopped to pick up something for dinner to bbq and found a great sale, so I bought extra for the freezer. Came home to have some lunch, watched a show, then did more laundry, did some long, over due writing and then spent a couple of hours sorting paperwork and receipts. Tonight, I did more and now I'm heading off to bed, satisfied that my "to do" list is a lot lighter. More sorting tomorrow and a chance to work with my teachers for a while after two counseling appointments with clients.

A good day all around. For someone else, this may not have been an idea day off, but for me, it was worth the work and the time!

Are you ever granted a surprise day off?
What would you do with your time?

July 9, 2014

Blog Goals.

Hi everyone!

I've decided to make some basic blog goals to see if I can get my blog "out there"! Love my faithful and dedicated readers but one always likes a bigger audience when putting effort in to a project that is valuable. To keep it simple and manageable, I'm starting with just 4 goals:
1. I've decided to write a total of 280 posts for the year. As this is my 80th post for 2014, I now have a challenge to write another 200 entries in the 174 days left (or 25 weeks, if you're counting) in this fine year. That's 1.15 per day. Not sure how I would do that and I know I won't write each day so there may be a few times where I'll do a few additional posts to stay on track. Sounds like a huge number to achieve but I have lots to say!
2. Increase my followers by becoming more engaged in the blogs I like to read. My hope is that I'll then attract a few more readers to become followers. Not an easy task and I'm not a salesperson at all, but I'll give it a good shot!
3. Research options for bringing more readers my way. I'm not convinced that inviting companies to advertise will bring more readers, so I'd like to find other less complicated avenues to become linked to those who are fellow writers and comrades in the game of life!
4. Post more pictures and write more interesting entries. Find my niche. Write from the heart. Share what I know. And love the whole process!
And that's the plan! Tell me what you think of my ideas.
Did you or do you have blog goals?

July 8, 2014

10 Things Tuesday!

Hi everyone!
I'm linking up with Carla today to participate in "10 Things Tuesday". Hope you'll enjoy and maybe even join in!
1. Builder meeting: happening today at 3:00 p.m. Looking forward to chatting with the two main men in my life today, builder guy and my husband! We're stuck on choosing the front door and hope to come to an agreement today. The beauty of custom building is getting to explore what is out there and making the change to what we want, especially for the front of the house. Fun!

2. Grief meeting: happening today at 7:00 p.m. with the support group I lead for families who have experienced the loss of a precious child, at any age, for any reason. A small but mighty group of individuals who have all bonded together as they journey thru this unimaginable grief. My heroes for sharing their stories and their shattered, broken, aching hearts with each other!

3. Boxes, boxes! All over my house, in my office, in my other office, in the garage, in the back of my car. I've never seen so  many boxes. And all donated by kind and caring people for us to pack up the house. Some are being used to cart items away to the thrift store. Others are for the things we want to keep. Can't wait for the day when all the millions of boxes are gone from my sight!

4. Hot weather! It's too hot here and I'm sweltering in the mugginess of it all. I love the sun and what it's doing for our garden but truly wish we could have a couple of days of nice weather, then a day of rain or cooler temps. The heat is too much when it goes on for days and days. Tomorrow, the rain is supposed to come but with it, thunder and lightening, a side effect from too much heat!

5. But my summer tan is great! Yup, I'm sporting quite a nice shade of golden brown. Gardening does that when the sun it out. I love having skin that retains the color and always feel like I look healthier with a bit of sun!

6. Headache ~ ouch! I think the humidity is creating this doozy. Even putting my glasses on this morning hurt. Hopefully with the rain tomorrow, it will go away and I can enjoy life again without pain!

7. Missing our little guy .... he's away to visit with his dad for 10 days. We're on day 5 now and expect a call will come at some point to pick him up early. He's never been gone this long. We'll see if his dad proves us wrong and he gets to stay for the whole time this time!

8. Quiet house! Not something we're used to. On one hand, it's kind of lovely to have some quiet but very quickly that thought disappears as we realize how much we miss his antics, his jokes, his fast quips and his giggles. I truly miss his tiny little hands around our necks for night time hugs!

9. Shopping today! I've run out of my favorite vitamin water, the only thing that quenches  my thirst in this heat and there's nothing else that I like to drink in the house, so off to the store I go, in between the meeting with our builder and the meeting with my grief group!

10. So tired! Can't wait to fall asleep tonight. It was hard to sleep last night and I'm feeling the effects today. Achy, sluggish body and eyes that want to close. I shall crash and sleep all night tonight!
That's my contribution to "10 Things Tuesday".

July 6, 2014

Finally, a Gardener!

Hi everyone!
Our first house was tiny, with a small back yard and an even smaller front yard. We planted annuals in the windbox and a few small flowers around the base of the tree in in the front. In the back, we created a little garden area along one fence, the only spot not covered by the large tree or taken up by the patio or grass. We tried to grow some herbs but there wasn't enough sun in that one spot. The following year, we tried some shade annuals and they did okay. But truthfully, neither of us had green thumbs and we were soon busy raising tiny babies. Gardening had to wait for now but I knew not for long. 

We've moved houses several times since those early years and each time, we ended up with more garden area to experiment with. But it wasn't until the last two years that we became serious. Ripping out the kids play centre, reseeding and resodding, tearing down the old deck and putting up a new one and painting all the fencing gave us a fresh plot to work with. We spent some time, in between the construction and the painting to research which plants would do the best in our yard and in our ever changing climate. Making a plan, we soon found ourselves scouring the nurseries for the right plants and then muddy from digging in the dirt. But the hard work paid off and for the first time ever, I'm starting to feel like a true gardener! We have blooms popping up every day and it's so peaceful now to sit on our deck and look out to a sea of color. Gardening takes planning, time, patience, tasks, pennies and tolerance but the rewards are oh so sweet! 

Do you like to garden?
Do you consider yourself a gardener?

July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

Wishing my American friends and family a beautiful,
safe and healthy 4th of July!! Happy fireworks!!

July 3, 2014

Where the money goes!

Hi everyone!

Do you ever wander where the money goes after it comes into your life? It may seem like there is a lot but then all the little things in life that need to be bought in order to survive, and occasionally those things we decide we just want, truly add up. My husband and I both grew up in homes where money was always an issue. In his home, starting with nothing, his mom and dad really struggled and couldn't seem to find a way to get a head of the game. I love them to pieces but I often wondered if some of the beliefs they had stopped them in their tracks. Attitude can make such a difference! My mom and dad also started with nothing but chose a path that brought them to a standard of living that was much more comfortable. However, they also fell into the trap of spending more as they brought in more. I'm not sure in the end that they were any better off. But they had fun along the way! No stress around what needed to be paid.

We decided before we got married that we would strive to live a life that was as comfortable as possible, doing the kind of work we wanted to do, not just work to survive. It's taken a lot of sacrifice and our kids grew up knowing that they couldn't just have everything they wanted. We saved pennies (literally!), bought with intention and after much investigation, did without when the needs were more important than the wants, and learned how to live frugally but with style! It's truly paid off and although we are now at a point that we could just go out and buy what ever we want, we have embraced our thriftiness so much that it's now fun. My husband often says if we ever won the lottery, I'd still be the "deal queen". And he's right! I'd still look for the best savings.

So where does the money go? As we're building now, we thought we'd take some time to really track it. To make this work, I'll do what Carla over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily does each week ~ tracks her spending, then shows the world where the money went. I love this and will start today. Thanks Carla!

Here's our total for this "Budget Thursday" on a bright, sunny, hot and muggy July morning:
  • We paid $349.03 for our property taxes. This is paid monthly and covers both our current residence, as well as our acreage. Once the new house is built, we'll go down to one tax bill each month but I do anticipate it will be about this amount or a bit higher. No savings there but our utilities will be less as we're going off the grid for water. And no home phone, just our cells. A savings of about $150 a month for both.
  • We paid $125 for our cable/internet/phone bill. Standard amount, no increases, no extra charges. It was actually $121 but I like to "round" things up when I pay bills and we often end up with a credit along the way.
  • We paid $125 for our cell phone plan for two phones, all inclusive. A bit higher this month as dh had a few long distance calls, which he will be reimbursed for. Again, paid out higher than the actual bill of $118.
  • We paid $24.58 for groceries so far this week. Our fridge is pretty full and our cupboards as well but we needed some fresh meat and our big bag of rice was at the end.
  • We paid $17.41 to our AMEX account. We only use our credit cards (MasterCard for gas and groceries and AMEX for Costco purchases) for convenience and never carry a balance. MasterCard has never been able to charge us interest and we've had our cards since 1982 ~ I'm sure they hate us but then they raise our limits so we can't be too bad in their books! AMEX once charged us because of a computer glitch that showed our payment being late on their end. They fixed it and then credited us the interest they charged. Then raised our limit! This amount paid yesterday was an odd amount but I like to keep our bank account even and each night, go in and move money either to savings or shoot little amounts to our cc's. I can sleep better cause the accounts are in "even" mode and the cc's are constantly getting little payments so that by the time we get our statement, it's small to pay off.
  • We transferred $2.59 to our one savings to again, even it out! In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm just a bit OCD!!
  • I bought a cranberry juice last night at the cafe across from  my office when I was meeting a client and needed a cold drink. With tip, my tab came to $2.50 altogether.
To recap, for the month of July, we have spent a total of $646.11. Seems like all those amounts aren't too bad, until you add them together. But nothing there to cut back on. Other than the juice and evening out our accounts, all of this was obligations in the form of utility payments, food and property taxes.

Do you keep a frugal budget?
Where does your money go?

July 2, 2014

Fingers crossed!

Hi everyone!
Twenty seven years ago, our region was hit by an F4 tornado, a surprise in a community that had never experienced one before that day, dubbed "Black Friday". Twenty seven people were killed, hundreds injured, homes and businesses destroyed, and over $500 million in damages. A scary, heartbreaking day.

Those of us who lived through the terror of that day still get antsy when big storms pop up. Tonight, we're on "alert" as the conditions are just right for the predicted storm to turn into a tornado. Please keep our region in your thoughts and blessings as we wait out what  may or may not come our way. Fingers crossed it gets downgraded and the guess is wrong!

July 1, 2014

Canada Day!!

Hi everyone!

Our community puts on such a great celebration each year for Canada Day. Pancake breakfast, an incredible parade with floats, over an hour long, with music and candy, pony rides, canoe rides, bouncy castles, food everywhere, opportunities to play, opportunities to sing and dance, opportunities to wave our flag with pride. We arrived at the park just after 9 a.m. and stayed until 3 this afternoon. We'll head out to see the fireworks once it gets dark tonight. A long day filled with activity, friends, family and fun!

I'm tired, sunburned, hot but full of love for my free country, my beautiful family and all the blessings we cherish on a daily basis. Nothing is taken for granted, even on those days when life is hard. But days like today are a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in this vast, beautiful nation!

Happy Birthday Canada!!

Hope your day was filled with love!