Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End of Harvest and Squirreling for Winter

What a week - so much has been happening:

-We celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary on Thursday with a Greek meal at our favorite restaurant.  We don't go out to dinner very often so when we do we try and frequent places that we know are consistently great.  We received the best service that we have had in a restaurant in the last 10 years from a waitress who was holding down a busy restaurant all by herself.  She was so calm and professional - we left her a very good tip as she definitely deserved it.  The food was amazing as always.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On a Serious Note

Rainy day lazy puppy Buddy - 10 months

If you live outside Canada you may not know that Canada is currently in a recession.  Low oil prices have decimated the oil industry in the prairie Provinces and that has had a relay effect on the economies of all the other Provinces as well.  I don't talk too much about our business but we essentially help other businesses make more money - via sales training and consulting, mainly to companies who deal with the oil industry.  A lot of the companies we deal with have been reporting back 30-40 percent drops in sales this year.  That means  some have laid off staff or effected cost cutting measures to stay afloat.  Is this effecting our business?  Yes.  We are also having a tougher year as our clients have less money to spend with us or in some cases are having to delay signing contracts until things get better.  Fortunately, there are only two salaries to pull out of our company and if things get tight we can simply lower our salaries - not something you can easily do if you have outside staff. We don't have high overhead as work from home - high overhead is often a business killer when times are tough.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

She's Got Legs...and She Knows How to Use Them!

This past Saturday low-tide coincided with midday and some late summer warm weather of 24 degrees Celcius so we took Buddy for a long walk on Goose Spit Park.  We spotted this little crab, which I believe is called a Tanner crab (type of spider crab) in about a foot of water.  He was only a couple of inches wide but they grow up to several pounds and are common in the Pacific Northwest although it was the first time we have seen one here.  The rest of the little sand crabs are already buried under the sand readying themselves for fall and winter.  This is the first real creature I have been able to capture on film since I received my underwater camera for my birthday.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Bargain?

I got my first crown today - at least the temporary one and will get the permanent one in two weeks once they make it from my tooth impressions.  I feel like crap after two hours with my mouth open and two needles and what seemed like hours of the drill.  Supposedly, dental costs less in BC than Alberta.  If I had gotten this crown in Alberta it would have cost around $1500 versus the $1000 that it will cost when done.   I guess it is a good thing I lived with a cracked tooth for the last three years putting it off as long as possible.  It still sucks to have to shell out that much money for dental work.  We self-insure as have figured out with all of our excluded preexisting medical conditions that paying for insurance might be more expensive than paying as we go.  This year I estimate our medical/dental/visioncare costs will end up at around $4000.  Isn't that craptastic? I just convinced hubby to hand over his chocolate bar to make me feel better (good husband!).  Mmm mint Aero bar!  Don't worry, no cavities for me!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trying To Keep On Food Budget

Yesterday I stocked up on Thai jasmine rice which is our favorite.  This bag should last us up to two years.  Why would I even consider buying an 18.1 kg (40 lbs) for two adults?  It all comes down to dollars and cents and  trying to keep our grocery budget on target.  If I buy little bags of jasmine rice for $7 per shot which is the going rate here for this normally expensive rice I would easily surpass the entire cost of this bag within a couple of months.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Stretching The Budget

Last month was the most expensive grocery month in the last couple of years ending up at $715.67, quite a bit over the budget of $550.  I saved $11.56 in coupon use.  My 23 year old very high metabolism working out every day Stepson visited for 8 days which was most of the overage.  We also were restricted as to what groceries we could buy for 3 weeks as were waiting on delivery of our full size fridge and living out of a minifridge.  I admit we bought a few prepared grocery dinners as without use of a stove cooking at home was complicated.  Hubby wanted to purchase a fresh half salmon off the local fishermen and that added $40 in expense.  On the upside we kept our eating out to a minimum and really only ate out more than normal twice when my Stepson was visiting which came from a special sealed pot fund.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Let It Rain!

This is the boat we bought Salmon off of at the Comox Marina last week.  We are looking at much different weather this weekend - 7 days of rain.  It couldn't be more welcome except to the late summer tourists that are trying to enjoy the outdoors.  You see, we have only had about 3 short sprinkles of rain since May.  Our Valley is in a level 3 water restriction and has been since early July which means no one has been allowed to use a sprinkler system or sprinkler to water anything, nor refill hot tubs nor wash vehicles (except at commercial washing places) in their yard.  Our lawn is a dust bowl, with the only green bits being near the trees which we are still allowed to hand-water as losing those would mean a financial hit to anyone who owns a home.  The fire level has been extremely high all summer and lots of hiking areas had to be closed due to such high fire risk they could not allow potential smokers/ATVers in the area.  The poor salmon are having difficulty with their annual trips to spawn as the streams and rivers are so low.  The blackberry harvest was yucky so I didn't bother to pick any.  They love sunshine but need some rain to plump them up.  Mom tried picking and she said they were like little pebbles - not worth picking.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Elk Falls, Campbell River
 I have been MIA this week as my Stepson flew into town for a 9 day stay.  We only found out a few weeks ago he could get leave from the Armed Forces before his Tank driver training starts in September so we shuffled some business appointments and tried to do a few tourist things during his visit.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reno Reveal and The Answer To Where We are Traveling!

Yes, we will be replacing the microwave to match :)
Just a quick post to share our new floors - and look at that!  A new fridge and stove!  I missed my stove the most - broke it in Friday night by cooking up homemade pizza, even before I had finished unpacking the fridge (they put about a mile worth of tape and wrapping on these to keep all the bits in place in transit).  Unfortunately the installers ran into a snag about halfway through, several boxes of laminate had broken interlocking bits so they could not finish the project.  Fortunately, they managed all of the kitchen, most of the living room and the entrance.  All they have left is a small bit in the livingroom and the hallway.  They are coming back Friday to finish the job which should only take about two hours then all the trim can be replaced and we can start touching up the baseboards.  That likely will be slated for a couple of weeks down the road though, since my eldest stepson flew in from the Armed Forces yesterday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Sneak Peek!

Sorry for the crappy photos but I just wanted to share what the flooring company dropped off yesterday - 50 boxes of this wide-plank Armstrong flooring.  It is supposed to have a 50 year residential and 10 year commercial warranty which basically is one of the strongest most durable laminates you can buy.  We paid more for it but hopefully it will be worth it in the long run.  The guys arrive tomorrow, Wednesday to start ripping out the carpet and start installing.  We have to remove every single piece of furniture in 50 percent of our home later today.  The only thing we can leave in the living room is the sofa and love seat which they said instead of hauling it out to the garage (which we paid for to have them assist us - it weighs a ton) they will just pick it up and move it to where it needs to sit out of the road until they complete that section.