Friday, March 24, 2017

Fast Times

Seal Bay Park
 Another busy week at livingrichonthecheap.  We worked all weekend but both days stopped at 2pm and went on some adventures with Buddy.  We took him on a walk in the rain forest at Seal Bay Park which is a beautiful path through the ferns and moss, down a very steep hill and the bottom opens up to Seal Bay.  It was a pretty but cold day only a few degrees above freezing.  Buddy loves long hikes, strange for a small dog with short legs but he never gets tired, even after walking for several kilometres.

I look like a hunchback in this picture with Buddy - I need to quit leaning into photos.  What you don't see is Buddy is standing on a 3.5 foot gigantic moss laden stump that the forest is retaking.  

 One of my favorite times of the year - when asparagus is finally affordable again (I only buy it when it is less than $2.99 per lb, this was $2.49 per lb).  I like to saute it in olive oil, chopped garlic, cayenne pepper and usually put in peppers and fresh mushrooms but I had neither of those so added some frozen corn and it turned out to be a nice combo.  I also added a splash of pear cider as I happened to be drinking it at the time.  Wild asparagus actually grows here, I found a spear of it one time near one of our favorite beaches..  Unfortunately my schedule doesn't permit hunting and foraging for wild asparagus right now.

My favorite flower, the tulip.  Mom bought me these for helping her give her cat medicine.  Apparently it turns out the cat's allergy tests came back negative.  We are hoping things get better naturally at this point, although the cat is still on a restricted diet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dog Poop and Aliens

That is what I dreamt about the other night, dog poop and aliens.  No idea, go ahead and do some dream interpretation if you wish too.  It is likely a reflection of the state of my mind right now :)

Mom's cat - Tippy

Instead of blogging about our company having too much business and being overworked (think 30 days in a row with only one day off) I am thankful today to put one gigantic project to bed.  Life is good other than that. I am looking forward this evening to spending some time with a friend who I haven't seen in a couple of months and is starting her own business.  My days are spent working and then popping over to Mom's house to help her give her cat a pill a day that is required right now as the vet tries to figure out what her rescue kitty is allergic too.   Mom finds it difficult to give the pill to her alone without getting scratched so I go over, nice to be within 5 minutes of her house.  Only a few more days of that and the vet will get the allergy results back.  The cat scratches and has lost a lot of hair because of it.  Other than that she has turned out to be a great cat - finally settled down after two weeks of living behind the washing machine. She came out, now enjoys being petted and even sits in Mom's lap when she is watching TV.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Another Mini-Adventure Booked and Treasure Found

Anchors Inn Ucluelet

This week I made good use of our weekends away fund and booked 4 nights to the same cabin we went to last June in Ucluelet.  It is one of  the cheapest places in the area to stay and was absolutely perfect for hubby and I to take Buddy with us on a mini-vacation.  The Ucluelet/Tofino area of Vancouver Island is the most expensive area, much higher generally than even Victoria.  I feel so fortunate we found it last year and are able to go back this summer.  Cost for four nights ($170 a night plus tax) is $714 plus a $20 pet fee which they donate to their local SPCA.  It checks all the boxes - right on the ocean, can kayak right off the front of the cabin, allows our dog in a safe environment, has a mini-kitchenette and BBQ, has good internet (important as we still must check/answer emails for our business) and even cable in case it rains and rains which is always possible on the coast.  It just so happens my 48th birthday falls within those days so I get to celebrate it in a lovely spot (hubby's 55th we will be in Santorini, Greece in June).  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dollars and Cents

1.  Grocery budget for February was $525 less January overage = $519.30.  Spent in January?  $536.70 - over by $17.40 which will be taken off the March budget.  Why do I carry forward the overage?  Because there is little to no chance of making my yearly budget if I do not have to be held accountable by overage.  The biggest bargain in February after buying our new upright freezer was 2 4 kg boxes of skinless boneless chicken breast for $19.99 each, this due to having a rain check from a special that had sold out in January.  The rain check was for 2 boxes.  Had I been able to buy it in January I would have only have bought one box as had a much smaller freezer.  The new freezer has instantly saved us some money!  This should last a couple of months although we do eat it quite frequently.  No other really great bargains this month.  I've avoided buying a cucumber for 3 weeks as refuse to pay $3 for one.  I finally managed to buy one today for .99 cents so we are back in cucumbers which are a bit of a staple at our house.  This is twice the size of a normal one so I really got my money's worth.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Two Years

Age 3 months - the week we brought him home

So we have spent two years with Buddy now and what a great dog he turned out to be.  He brings us joy every single day and is always up for playing or going for a walk.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Yippee! The Snow Is Gone Edition

So roughly a week and a half since our epic 3 foot snow adventure's all melted!  The wonderful thing about living near the coast is when it warms up it rains and combined with warmer temperatures melted all that snow!  I'm happy, the dog is happy, the birds are singing their brains out, life is good.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dollars and Cents Update & Travel Planning

Flowering Aloe Vera Plant - Spain 2016

I have no new photos - the snow is now melting but the skies are still grey so I am sharing a few pictures from our trip to Spain last Spring.  The temperature has risen above freezing and the slow melt has begun, not fast enough for those who still can't move their vehicles due to large blocks of snow preventing from leaving their driveways.  We shoveled each day so are not facing that and now the roads are slushy but safe to drive on.  I am hoping the last snowfall is behind us as my back still hurts from all the shoveling.

Waterwheel - Cordoba, Spain, 2016

I managed to piece most of our tax information together to realize that this year I could no longer use the free version of Turbotax, and will have to pay to use the $70 version but that is still way cheaper than having someone else do our taxes.  I am just waiting on our final investment slips to file.  Today I am going to tackle our Corporate year end as need to take over the office and Sunday is just about the only day hubby is not in there.  I do the day to day book keeping and compile the paperwork and then we take it to the accountant as we are a Canadian Corporation and the paperwork is overly complicated so we pay them to deal with it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cabin Fever - The Worst Winter Ever Edition

Not to keep blathering on about the crappy weather...but...we now have over 3 feet of snow.  This is our back yard this morning.  Every bit of that snow has come down since last Friday as there is green grass and buds on my flowers under that snow.  Every night I bring in the hummingbird feeder and every morning I put it back out, brushing snow off it every few hours.  The hummingbirds are still coming every day to feed so I am sure they appreciate it.

We have a lighter work week thank goodness as we have spent a huge amount of time shoveling this week.  Two hours this morning which included help from another neighbor.  We then brushed off our trees to attempt to prevent damage to the cedars and trees at the front of the house due to the high water content in the snow.  It is so heavy it broke a snow plow's blade in town this morning.  We also unplugged all the neighborhood drains (that took 4 neighbors trying to figure out where they were as hidden under the snow).  It is ice raining right now.  I fully expect to lose power today but it appears BC Hydro crews are busting their butts to keep power/get power back on all over the island and surrounding islands with many outages. They even shut down our Airforce base CFB Comox to all but essential services  No garbage pickup today and police are asking people to stay home.  All schools on the island are closed and many businesses have shut their doors today to prevent their employees from having to come in.

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Feathered Friend

This is one of the little hummingbirds that hangs out in my backyard.  I took this picture this morning between storms.  We woke up to no snow on the ground but it started snowing about two hours ago so before the day is out I shall whip up a new batch of hummingbird juice and once again be shoveling.  Tough little buggers.  I wish they would fly south for the winter but there are always a few who stick around for our normally warmer winters.  I put away my feeder in August to encourage them to migrate but put it out again in November when I realized they were sticking around all winter.  There are three that show up and buzz Buddy in the back yard on a regular basis. I am not sure but believe this is a female.  The boys usually are a bit more colorful.  To get a closer view click on the photo.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Foot and A Half - The Test

It has snowed a foot and a half since 7 AM Friday morning.  This picture was taken out our front door on Saturday morning.  It is Sunday and has snowed another half foot since that picture was taken.  We are sore and tired from shoveling.  Buddy got stuck on the side of the house this morning and I had to rescue him as the snow is over his head in many places and he refuses to do his business on the snow so he was trying to find a green patch on the side of the house and couldn't get back.  We shoveled him a path for that but he prefers grass.