Monday, January 26, 2015

Big Life Choices

We received some news from my 22 year old Stepson today.  His application to the Canadian Army has been processed and he is being hired as a crewman.  They usually work in/on tanks.  He gets shipped out February 13th to Quebec for his basic training.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Portugal Pictures and a Trip To The Dentist

Pedestrian only street in Lisbon, Portugal

I wanted to share a couple of unseen pictures from our April trip to Portugal to help me get through the January blahs.  We traveled last April and if you weren't reading this blog at that time there are a lot more pictures of our trip posted in the months of April and May on this blog - just go to the blog archives on the left sidebar.  It seems like years since that trip but it was only 9 months ago.  It was a fabulous trip and I highly recommend anyone who wants to travel a reasonably priced place in Europe with friendly warm people, tons of history and great scenery to go to Portugal.  We plan to return some day, perhaps with a combination trip to Spain which we have not seen yet and possibly to other parts of the country.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January Blahs

I haven't been posting much - have a case of the January blahs or blues if you want to call them that.  I hate this time of year.  I probably would have felt a little better if we had managed to get away on holidays in December like our original plan was, but that was not meant to be.  Perhaps it is because our travel wings have been clipped for at least another year or so.  It could be because I am mired in paperwork trying to gather all the bits and pieces together so we can go see the accountant to file our Corporate taxes (*think very complicated as we are a Federal Corporation so pay big bucks for him to take care of it).  So If I don't post that much in January - you know why.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Feathered Beauty

Yesterday was one of those dull dark grey winter days - but we needed some fresh air so we didn't let that stop us from going for a walk.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Unexpected Freebie

This past Christmas I ordered a photo calendar from Wallyworld for my Mother-in-law.  I ordered it early as needed to take it with us when we traveled to Alberta in late November.  It arrived in plenty of time.  Apparently I missed the fact that it arrived beyond their normal deadline.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Continuing Water Issues

We are now into our fourth week of a water boil advisory which started December 11th after our huge rainstorm event that caused flooding and a State of Emergency in early December(see this article for explanation as to why).  This is how we deal with it.  Every other day or so we boil a big pot of water, funnel it into these 2 litre(*British spelling - of which Canadians use) empty pop bottles and keep it on the counter to remind us that we need to be drinking this.  The hardest part is that we normally drink filtered water and ice through our fridge - it just tastes better.  The boiling takes care of any bacteria.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Budgeting in 2015

A New Year always puts me back on the thrifty track.  This week I:

-called the cable company after hearing about a $7 increase per month in internet fees.  Advised them that I wanted to review my existing usage for TV, cable and internet compared to the competitor (there is only one in our area).  I really don't want to change providers or our package as we review it almost monthly and it suits our personal and business needs.  Their "loyalty department" decreased our monthly bill by $372 over the next six months which is a special they would give new customers.  We still need a land line with unlimited long distance in USA and Canada for our business, and at the same time are on a tier 2 of internet usage based on 3 of us using it for business and streaming.  There were no services we could cut at this time so we end up with exactly the same service  but cheaper.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ready for a New Year!

Christmas Eve turned out to be such a nice day with some sunshine and 5 degree Celcius temperatures so we decided to take a walk down at the Marina to get some fresh air.

This resident bald eagle was standing watch on top of one of the sailboat masts.  

There was even one brave kayaker (brave or foolhardy, not sure) out - way too cold for us to kayak.  If you ended up in the water you would have hypothermia in no time.  There is snow on the mountains above our valley, and our ski hill which is only 30 minutes away has opened with 120 centimeter base.  Hard to believe there is that much snow up there as we have not had any snow at all, but lots of frosty days this winter so far.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Good News!

I thought I was done posting until after Christmas but we have some good news.  After 48 applications (only 2 jobs posted) my stepdaughter was called yesterday for an interview and got a part-time job!  Woohoo!  She moved in with us on October 10th.  She started looking for a job the end of October.  It was difficult at times to keep her spirit up but we taught her how to not lose hope even when it feels hopeless, as eventually hard work and resolve will get you through.  She starts on Saturday.  A very nice Christmas present indeed.

May all your dreams be answered this Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Why do all our Christmas cookies look like Alien vs Predator?

Cranberry orange pancakes
No, no pictures of our decorated Christmas cookies but lets just say, my Stepdaughter and I had fun decorating them but none are picture worthy and I will have  a hard time picking out non-offensive ones to give to my Mom lol.  They taste darn good, however, and that is what matters.

I did snap a shot of these yummy Cranberry orange pancakes we had for breakfast yesterday.  You just use your usual from scratch pancake recipe (I use this one from,  add 1 cup thawed whole cranberries cut in half and juice and meat from one large orange.  I also throw in any leftover cranberry sauce - in this case some I had frozen after Thanksgiving.  The reason you use thawed cranberries versus fresh is that they soften up and are much juicier.   These cranberries are likely even from Vancouver Island as there are a few local cranberry growers who sell all of their crops to that big brand cranberry producer.

Christmas is just a few days away and the entire family is all done their shopping.  We dropped the kidlet off at the mall on Friday and she speed shopped.  Her and hubby need to do some wrapping and I might just make one more set of cookies to take to the neighbors and that's it.  We decided to do a Mexican dinner for Christmas Eve along with spiced rum and cokes and coronas.  We will likely play games or watch a Christmas movie that night and the next day will have turkey and open our gifts.  It is so nice having Mom live two blocks away - we get to spend lots of time together and we can just walk her home.  She has now been living in our town for almost exactly one year and she loves it.

My Mother-in-law turned 80 this week.  We had given her her gifts/presents last month when we visited but sent her a Christmas flower arrangement on her birthday as well.  She was required to take a new driving test but missed the appointment (fortunately) and now has lost her license.  She can only get it back if she takes the exam but she has decided not to do so.  Thank Goodness!!  She has dementia and was insisting on driving when the entire family has been trying to convince her not to.  She had a very bad incident earlier this year when she drove several miles down the wrong side of a divided highway.  A police car finally pulled her over (after several people called 911)  but he let her off.  I know sometimes police are trying to be nice - but seriously - she could have killed someone and she should have been forced to address the issue then.  Unfortunately, you cannot force your family to stop driving - only a doctor or the court can do that.  In Alberta at 80 you have to have a medical exam which she passed and it is up to the Doctor if he thinks you need to take another driving exam - which he required.  She has access to transportation at her senior home and gets meals in but was being very stubborn about this driving issue.  We are all very relieved although I am certain she would not have passed the test anyway.

Hubby has a really bad respiratory/chest infection and is going to the Dr today for medication - the only side benefit to that is that he is forced to sit on the couch and relax (he is type A, that never happens) to try and get better.  I am hoping he gets healthy soon so we can enjoy Christmas and the rest of our holidays.

This will be my final post until after the 25th - so I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy Christmas!