Saturday, July 23, 2016

Planning for that know, the one in December?

I hate to say the C word so early but you all know that every December the C word comes around (if you celebrate) and costs most households a fortune.  I like to plan ahead for the most expensive month of the year by saving points and socking away money bit by bit throughout the year.  If you have read this blog for any length of time you understand I am a saver of both cash and points.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Free Food Edition

Buddy age 1.5 - discovering apples in the yard

Tis the season for free food.  The neighbors to the back that we share a fence with have an apple tree which keeps dropping fruit in the yard.  I have a helper to gather it.  Buddy doesn't eat it, just likes to pick them up and pretend we are playing ball (with me chasing him around trying to get the fruit away).  They are not crab apples but some kind of regular eating apple and are definitely not beautiful so perfect for either crock pot applesauce to freeze or an apple crumble which I hope to prepare some time this weekend.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Amazing Ride!

When I last blogged our Goodyear Blimp ride had been delayed due to weather as the Blimp got caught along the Oregon coast and can only fly in non-rainy conditions with very little wind.  The weather has frankly not been great and our ride was in jeopardy of being cancelled altogether.  We were supposed to go up on Friday but late Wednesday morning they called me and advised the pilots had looked at the weather forecast and it was a no go.  They rescheduled again for Saturday.  We decided that there was an extremely small chance of this trip actually happening for us so made a fast plan. If we were going to all the expense of taking the ferry over to the mainland and the ride was cancelled our trip would be a total loss.  Instead, we shuffled our hotel after a bit of begging and pleading (nonchangeable reservation with an extremely nice hotel staff who after the story was told changed our reservation) and called Mom to see if she could watch Buddy, our dog, for an extra day.   We then drove to Bellingham, Washington Thursday afternoon for a day of shopping on Friday.  The distance is a short 45 minute drive between Bellingham Washington and Abbotsford, BC so very doable on a short timeframe (good thing our passports are up to date).  We had a wonderful couple of days.  We bought a bunch of over the counter medications at half the price (even with our poor exchange rate), groceries and some clothing. In order to have any kind of duty free allowance you have to be gone from Canada at least 24 hours and we timed it so we met the requirement.  Unfortunately you have to be out longer to bring back alcohol which is a fraction of the price in the USA versus at home - but our mission was accomplished.  

Friday, July 1, 2016


Surfer at Tofino - Chesterman Beach 
Well, it turns out the Goodyear Blimp ran into bad weather coming down the coast from LA and won't make it to Abbotsford by Sunday so they rescheduled our flight until Friday the 8th.  Fortunately, we are self employed and had no training/appointments pre-scheduled for that day so we are able to make the flight on Friday.  It can't fly that high so never goes over mountains and has to hug the coast.  A bit of a let-down but we were able to change our hotel and were taking the ferry so no lost money there other than one $19 in ferry fees (paid a fee to change a reservation).  At least the flight is still on!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Food Freebies!

Hubby got back from his business trip late last night (or should I say 130am this morning due to a flight delay) and brought home these food freebies.  We have the best clients - this one is a food wholesaler who sells to chefs and restaurants across Canada.  Lousy pictures but I was in a rush and wanted to get everything put away so used my 4s iphone camera (still plugging along after 4 years of daily use).  That is five bags of specialty rice including red rice and black Italian rice and quinoa.  The little packets of goodness are liquid boullion in chicken, beef, vegetable and seafood.  

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.