Friday, June 24, 2016

Money from Garbage

So I am pretty addicted to monitoring my 24 hour Facebook bidding site and due to a posting by another member yesterday I was inspired to list a 9 year old HP laptop with a dead battery that quit working properly about 6 years ago. It turns on, but something is broken in it so that certain things are not functioning correctly. At the time it broke it was not worth the money to pay someone else to fix it. It had a DVD player so we kept it. It has sat wholly unused for 3 years. I spotted a non-working laptop on the site that had a starting bid of Free (you can do that and people bid it up in .50 cent increments or if they are really serious they take the bidding up in several dollar increments). It ended up at $35. For a non-working laptop!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Laugh

I rarely post funny things here but this is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time - enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Good News Friday

Not a scare crow but a scare-sea lion so they don't come on the dock, Ucluelet, BC
Sharing a few more pictures of our trip to Ucluelet and Tofino and some great news this week:

1.  Mom's CT scan came back negative - no issues there so we are not quite sure why she had vertigo but with the help of some medication it appears to have passed after a few days.  The Dr is hopeful it will be 100% a non-issue within the month.  In the mean time she has started driving again but has no long trips planned.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ucluelet and Tofino Weekend Away

Last weekend we had an absolutely fabulous weekend in Ucluelet and Tofino.  After a 3 hour drive on an extremely curvy highway (curviest I've seen in Canada with 18% grades and 30km per hour switchbacks) we arrived to our tiny little one room cabin on the waterfront in Ucluelet.  It was everything we had hoped for with a small bathroom, mini-kitchen, balcony and a place to launch our kayaks down below directly into the water.  It was raining so we just unpacked and settled in and relaxed with cocktails on the balcony.  Even in bad weather it was beautiful.  We instantly saw California sea lions swimming right out front and many fishing boats going by.   On Friday (hubby's birthday) we had a leisurely breakfast and waited for the weather to break - soon the rain stopped and the clouds lightened.  Our first adventure was to walk a 3 km portion of the the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. There is a huge stretch of coastline with hiking right next to the ocean with many viewpoints and benches for resting and taking pictures.  We chose to do a 3km loop that included the lighthouse as Buddy can't go for much more than that due to his short little poodle legs.  It was gloriously beautiful, as these pictures show.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First World Problems

Cool Spanish Flowerpot spotted at Cordoba
So today I am running around madly trying to pack everything for our weekend trip to Ucluelet and Tofino which we leave for tomorrow.

We got some rather bad news this morning.  Our beautiful new floors that we had put in last August and paid $8000 to have installed in our hallway, front entry, kitchen, dining room and living room are faulty.  They creak really loudly.  Initially we had thought they were just settling but it is getting worse.  We called the flooring company as there is a warranty on it.  They thought it might have been improperly installed (they installed it) as unless you leave a bit of room for expansion and contraction between the boards and the wall (under baseboards) it has no room to move and may creak.  A little creaking is standard, a lot is another matter.  A salesman was here last week, he agreed with us it is creaking a lot.  Not just one place and not a normal amount.  An installer was here today with the company owner who removed the baseboards in one area and double checked their work.  It is a definitely a product issue, not an installation issue.  Now they have to go back to the manufacturer and see what they say.  Needless to say what this likely means is that all of it will have to be bloody ripped up and redone.  In the mean time we wait.  Did I mention that we installed it before we had our new appliances put in?  Crikey.  It will mean a larger job than it was the first time because of more furniture in each room. Not great news and not something I wanted to blog about until I knew the outcome but I have a sneaking suspicion this will drag on for a while.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Living the Good Life

All of the container potatoes are growing!
The kids bought me some amazon gift certificates for Mothers Day.  I have been wanting a fit bit since buying hubby one for hubby for Christmas.  I bought the flex as have no need to monitor my heart rate (the kids and I bought the Charge HR for hubby).  It also monitors your sleeping patterns.  After wearing it for a week it definitely indicates what I have always known, that I sleep on average 4-5 hours per night and am restless between 20-30 times with complete wake-ups 1-5 times a night.  Yes, I have difficulty sleeping and always have.  The second thing I realized is that when working from home it is extremely difficult to be active.  This week I worked a couple of short shifts at my old company helping them out so was more active and yet it is still very difficult to break 10,000 steps a day.  The best bet for me is a 1/2 hr treadmill workout (we own one, bought used) a day plus a long walk with the dog.  I have also been inputting all my food trying to stay on track calorie-wise.  I hope to lose 10 pounds - we shall see how long this takes.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Week Catch-up

Neat planter seen in Cordoba, Spain (click for larger picture to see detail)

What a busy week.  I helped out at the company where I used to work three mornings this week after they asked me if I would be willing to assist temporarily a little over May, June, and July after a long-term employee moved away.  I enjoy seeing the people I used to work with and this is an easy way to help add more to our travel fund so agreed.  

Friday, May 13, 2016

March and April Grocery Tallies and Christmas Fund 2016

I am recapping both March and April grocery results as did not report due to our holiday.  Our normal monthly grocery budget which includes all groceries/cleaning supplies/toiletries/over the counter meds is $550 Canadian for two adults.  Due to overages in prior months being deducted in order to stay on annual budget, the budget for March was $524.44.  I went a couple bucks over that but so close I consider it a win.  Although we were gone for 11 days in April I still left the regular  budget in place as had to stock up after the trip to fill the fridge back up and hit upon several good meat sales so the freezer is full.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Occupying ourselves

Sun-seeker Buddy - he asked for a cold one right after this picture was taken

We have been glued to the television this week following the fate of Ft McMurray and hearing from friends who live there.  At this point in time the airport has been saved as well as most of the downtown core and the bridge that connected the two sides of the town.  Based on the huge nature of the fire it is almost unbelievable that only 20% of the structures in town have been burned down, over 1600 +.  No one has died except in a car crash on the highway during evacuation.  Pretty unbelievable and likely one of the largest successful evacuations in history with over 80,000 done in mere hours.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


This Photo was taken from a hotel in Fort McMurray Alberta.  The entire city has been evacuated and many homes lost already due to forest fire.  The hotel above is one of our client's hotels - we are unsure if it is still standing.  We have many friends in Fort McMurray and our thoughts are with them.  We were able to reach one of them last night, her fiancee is a pilot and he had been hired to move an airplane out with the owners who were evacuating - and she was able to go along as well.  One of my husband's best friends is in management in the Ambulance department at Fort McMurray - we have not heard from him but expect we won't for many days as he has his hands full right now.  Fort McMurray may be an oil town but it is so much more than that - many businesses and people call it home.

After the price of oil dropped this city was struggling to stay alive.  I am not sure what it will look like after all of this is over.  If you are outside of Canada here is a link to what I am talking about:

Wildfire rages in Fort McMurray

If  you would like to donate to the Red Cross to help these Albertans here is how you can best help:

We made a donation today.