I finally took the tomatoes off the vine, I have been blessed with dozens and dozens of cherry tomatoes this year. My plants are still blooming if you can believe it. This is the latest I've been able to keep them on the vine but temperatures at night are getting low and I didn't want to lose any of them. I am hoping to stall them getting ripe and expect to be able to take them into November. The beefsteaks didn't do quite as well but still produced ok. I have had to freeze a lot of them as couldn't give them away (friends all have their own) and there are only so many we can eat fresh. After this picture was taken last Friday I pulled off 4 more as had to leave anything that was smaller than a quarter on the vine. There are still at least 20 tiny tomatoes on the vine, I will leave them until the vines die off now although they don't show signs of wanting to do that.
The title of this blog refers to an earthquake recorded yesterday off of Tofino on the other side of the island. It was 2am so very few felt it but as always we are ever aware that the big one could be right around the corner.
We enjoyed a really nice Thanksgiving dinner with some friends whom I had invited and Mom was able to make it, bruises and all. I had bought a 16 pound turkey which I managed to get on sale for .97 cents a pound. It was grade A, this is the first year I have been able to get a grade A turkey for less than $1.50 a pound. I usually just buy Grade B utility turkey but last year that cost .99 cents a pound so this was even cheaper. It turned out perfectly, was probably the best turkey I've ever cooked. Everyone ate and laughed lots.
I have been busy booking flights, booked our December trip to Edmonton and also booked one of my stepsons(S3 for son #3) at Christmas, all using points. He had a new job and couldn't confirm what days off he gets at Christmas until this week. Due to the flexibility of RBC avion points didn't have to shell out for a $700 ticket to get him here, paid $230 instead which was for tax and the $100 extra over their normal cap on the fare. My Stepson that is in the military(S1) is also coming for Christmas but is booking his own ticket as the military will pay for that once he knows where he will be.
He has told us he is moving to Ottawa in the Spring, he met a girl there this summer and they are serious. He will finish his contract in the military in February and then move, and wait until September to go to school in Ontario. He wants to become a cop, the military was a stepping stone to do that and the schooling is the second part. The money for schooling was saved years ago but he is responsible for his own living expenses so will be a reservist and likely get another part-time job until school starts next September. So, it looks like seeing Ontario is in our future at some point. We've always wanted to see Quebec and Montreal is so close to Ottawa that definitely will be in our future travel plans.
I have also been wheeling and dealing to try and get our Italy flights booked for May. I found a seat sale but by the time the two adult kids(S2 & S3)who are going with us were able to confirm dates off work the sale was over. At least now we know the dates so I can keep my eyes peeled for another sale, there will definitely be another one. With four of us going we will not be booking hotels but will book an AirBNB, the first time I've done that. We have been saving money like crazy for this, our number one savings goal so now that the money is saved the planning begins. We will take the other 2 kids(S1 and D) on a European/large vacation adventure in future years when their lives and jobs permit. We love to travel and want to share that with them, worth spending the money in our minds. Save on the things that don't matter to spend on the things that do!
My grocery budget went off the rails this summer. Going into October I am $365 over for the year. Last month I ended up using $50 worth of PC points on over the counter meds when hubby got sick or I wouldn't have made the budget of $550. In the end, even after using those points I ended the month at $545 so only had an extra $5 to take off the previous months overage. I had hoped to save those points for December but had them available so used them to stay on September grocery budget instead.
We entertained more this summer with friends and family but mostly the overage is due to the fact that grocery prices just keep increasing. Oh well, I can only keep trying to stay on budget. This month we will be eating down what is in the freezers as I need to defrost our large one as it got stuck partially open for a few hours and got a little frosty. We did not lose any food as discovered it early enough and it runs really cold normally so things were still frozen rock solid. I have $150 left in the month so will have to be ultra careful to stay on track. In an effort not to waste any food I am about to eat the last piece of pumpkin pie (take one for the team?)for a midmorning snack :). I did not bake it as was far too busy but for $5.99 the Costco pumpkin pie rules, it tastes pretty darn good too.
And that is what is shaking in our little corner of the world. I am hoping for some quieter weeks ahead, both work and life wise. We need to do some winter prep on the house and get some projects done. Have a great weekend everyone!