Sunday, December 30, 2012

Let's Get On With It!

Just like for anyone/everyone else, this year has had it's highs and lows.  I've been debating whether to list the highs first or the lows first, so here they are in no particular order. 

  • retirement in October from full-time employment
  • almost immediately and unexpectedly returning to a p/t job I worked at 3 years ago
  • great winter, spring, summer and autumn weather
  • gaining more time to spend with my family and friends
  • gaining more time to read books and being able to use the library more
  • starting a blog
  • discovering some really great blogs in areas that I am interested in, and in turn "meeting" some very interesting people from around the world
  • becoming a senior with all the benefits that accompany this age
  • joining a senior citizens centre and finding new acquaintances
  • improved health due to tweaking a medication after much searching for the answer
  • my darling Allie, 15.5 yrs old is still with me and shows no signs of slowing down, still acts like a kitten now and then
  • losing my sister, she passed away suddenly in late June
  • my oldest sister's ongoing health problems
  • my daughter's FIL's fall and surgery just a couple days ago
  • passing of two friends husbands due to cancer
  • my friend's accident at work where she lost part of a finger
There may be more lows but I don't want to dwell on the negative.  Life is about living and I am so glad to be here, to be able to enjoy my life today, tomorrow and hopefully for many, many days to come. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goals January Low Spend/Decluttering Challenge & mini crisis

As I approached the beginning of  Carla's challenge, I had some lofty goals in my sight and I was pretty sure I would achieve them but life has placed a mini crisis into our family.  So again this morning, they were reworked.

Goals : Photograph of several sticky notes labeled wtih the word SMART which means the goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, time Bound.

First the goals: 

  • Decluttering -  donate or dispose of 62 items.  I'm sure 2 per day are achievable. 
  • No Spend - I'm aiming to spend zero dollars for groceries with a plan to consume from the freezer and pantry.  The perishables, ie milk, fresh fruit and vegetables will be paid for with the gift cards received at Christmas.
  • Low Spend - I am planning to be very mindful of spending in all areas, however I will consume more gas, pay for hospital parking, and unanticipated expenses that may go along with this.
  • I will continue the challenge created by Mrs. SFT.
There it is, in writing now and in 3 days will be fully implemented.  I am going to record every penny out.  Looking forward to getting started on this one. 

The mini crisis.... my daughter's FIL, who is 82 yrs old fell yesterday at his home, fractured his hip, and is in hospital awaiting surgery to repair which is scheduled for tomorrow.  He is a kind, caring, very generous man and I consider him part of my family too.  I am concerned for his future as is everyone else.  Dementia was beginning to set in before this accident and this may end his time living alone in his home, and he is dead set against this.  Please pray for healing for this good man.  Thank you. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Day After The Day After

This is what my world outside looks like the second day after Christmas. 

Taken from my perch a few floors up in our vertical village.  The pic is a bit dark as it is gloomy out there, however the snow has stopped and residents are into driveway cleanup.  A major advantage of living in a VV (not the store.... LOL!!), I don't have to do any clearing of snow.  This is the first major snowfall of the '12-'13 winter.  Not sure how much snow fell, looks like about 5 cm. 

Christmas Day was a wonderful, happy day.  Lots of gifts were enjoyed by the family.  The food was very tasty, as always.  A fresh turkey which was roasted to moist perfection.   There was much negotiating by the young ones as to who would enjoy the drumsticks this time.  But one participant was quick on the draw and indulged before anyone else had a chance.  I think this is my favourite picture of the day.  Sorry but lighting was somewhat subdued in part of the room.

Granddaughter Michelle enjoying Christmas dinner

Also in pic are GS Chris,  two DD's and at the end in blue MIL of daughter in middle of table. 

I passed on the Boxing Days sales, opting to relax all day at home.  I was very, very lazy, eating what I wanted when I wanted and doing virtually nothing.  Many hours were spent catching up on the many blogs I am following.  So many brilliant people out there with so many brilliant things to say and many, many displaying talent and skills which are so inspiring to me, a frugal grannie living simply on a budget.

Today's plans are simple..... 1)  move my @ss, tidy up my home, then..... 2) walk to library, pick up holds, then..... 3) review goals for Carla's January challenges..... 4)  review January's budget.  Busy day, time to get going! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus!

A Child To Us is Born

A Son Unto Us is Given

Blessings to everyone as you celebrate Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Christmas Shopping Day Over!

December 22 Calendar 2012 : calendar sheet

Today's eight hours went pretty well, actually so much better than I had anticipated.  I'm thinking a good night's rest took away the crankiness that many experienced last evening.  Yay for good sleep and rest.  It works so well to restore the body and the soul.  I'm not scheduled to work until next Fri and then Sunday. 

After dinner I joined friends for a meal of fish and chips and it was a very good meal.  I chose haddock and my friends enjoyed halibut along with their chippies.  We all decided that because it was Christmas that we weren't going to be good and choose the salad this time.  Hello Santa Claus, we've all been bad, but take no notice and bring us our pressies anyway.  :) 

On my drive home, stopped at FreshCo to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies.  No way was I planning to be in any shop tomorrow or Monday.  Everyone else will be there picking up the 'big' Christmas shop or the one or two forgotten items.  I spent just $30 and this will take me into 2013 without having to set foot in a supermarket. 
Wrapping Christmas Gifts : Vector Christmas Gifts
Tomorrow it'll be wrap, wrap, and a bit more wrapping. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

A January Challenge

Carla over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily has issued a January No/Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge. 


I am already excited to get started on it, even though December isn't finished, and even though we haven't quite made it to Christmas.  I'm going to be doing some thinking in the days to come about what  my no-spend criteria will be and what my decluttering goal is going to be.

I'm looking forward to linking up with others who have joined the challenges to see how everyone is doing. 

Onward and upward.  Good luck everyone!  May perseverance be with you!!!

Is Christmas Shopping Getting to You?

Grumpy Cat 1 - Christmas Shopping

This evening I worked cash for 3 hours in retail and every customer had this kind of look on theier face.  They looked angry, pissed off, just like they didn't have a choice in the whole matter.

Chill people!!!   The shopping will end in 2 and 3/4s days and if it's not finished, will it really matter.  Cheer up!!!  It's not the end of the world..... which by the way didn't happen today.... it's just Christmas.  Soon it'll all be over. 

Put on a big smile and wish everyone you meet "Merry Christmas"!!!

 mc_glow5.gif photo

Oh, oh, forgot for a moment or two that I will be greeting customers with my smile and cheery words for EIGHT hours tomorrow.  Oh help!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Getting on with Life

My own day-to-day existence seems so insignificant after the events of Friday and the week-end.  I have a granddaughter who is the same age as the little ones in Newtown.  I can't imagine what life would be like without her.  I just have felt so very sad.

But it is time to get on with the everyday.  Change happens whether we want it to or not.  Good stuff happens along with bad things.  Time to pick myself and go forward. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh Those Yummy Quality Street chocolates!

First of all, welcome to my blog Lena and Amber25.  So nice of you to stop by.  Love both of your blogs

Who doesn't love a Quality Street?  I have to admit I don't enjoy the entire selection.  The purple, green, blue, and toffees are my favourite.  I will, when offered, refuse the orange and strawberry flavours because  I've never enjoyed eating anything that has been infused with a fake fruit flavour.  (Say that five times fast.  LOL!)  Never mind, there are enough of the other chocolates to completely satisfy my craving for a QS.  Now if I buy a tin, I'm receiving all the choices so I'm taking a chance, right?  Well, today I discovered they can be purchased at The Bulk Barn and best of all, I can select just the ones that I want and won't have to give away any of the flavours I don't care for.   I bought a few for a treat and they tasted just wonderful.  It's only at this time of year that I eat them, but so worth the wait.   And today being Seniors Day at BB, received 10% off everything purchased.  Clicking on my "like" button. 

How 'bout you?  Do you enjoy Quality Street just at this time of year?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

O Christmas Pot, O Christmas Pot....

Saving For Travel has issued a Sealed Pot Challenge for 2013 and lots of people from all over the globe are participating.  Click on the link above under the picture if you are interested in participating.  My savings goal is directed to December 2013 Christmas.  My pot has been "decorated" sort of in a Christmasy theme, well if you want to recognize red and white gingham with tin foil snowflakes as Christmasy, it is.    If you look closely at the top of it, there is a slit for depositing coins and folded bills if I choose to add them.  The darling Allie cat has surveyed it and given it her Good Cat Sniff of Approval. 

I started it off by adding $5.00 in 25 cent pieces as I missed the first week.

Let the savings begin!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Book is Grabbing My Attention.....

I picked up this recipe book from the library today.  Remember a few blogs back how the UK/British has grabbed my interest.

Top picture is the front cover, bottom is the back cover.

Food Waste Friday

Silly me, how did I miss this one in my fridge, when I have been hyper-vigilant to keep from wasting.  It got pushed behind a couple pounds butter right to the back on the lowest shelf and I missed it.  It's about 2/3's cup of whole wheat pasta, just plain nothing on it.  It didn't smell very appetizing.

Some baby spinach leaves that once again didn't smell right to me.  So I follow "if in doubt, throw it out" and out it went.  The containers of lettuce are just too big for me to eat up before they go off.  I've not saved any money if I'm throwing it away half eaten.  I think I will return to paying more for a smaller bag and ensuring that it is all consumed. 

I win some and I lose some.  :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Another Change..... Perhaps???

Could there be another work related change in the works?  I don't know for sure but there is a rumour. 

This is an exterior picture of the pharmacy where I work part-time. 

  It's not a great picture, just grabbed a screen shot off Google maps street view, but you get the idea.  There are several of these little franchised pharmacies around town and pretty much every small town in the province has at least one or more.  And there is the big guy in town.

The  small IDA has operated for approximately 20 years; the big SDM for 5 yrs, and business has slowly been drained from the little guy by the big fella.  The picture above is not of the store nearby, just an illustration of what the bigger one looks like.   Customer loyalty in the dispensary at IDA has kept the business running successfully but it's become apparent that the store front, which is the area I work in, is failing.  Sales through November are down year to date from what they were last year and aren't likely to increase due to Christmas being here as there aren't many items on offer that could be classed as gifts.   The owners have been throwing around some ideas apparently to change the store front to bring in more customers,  but I'm not privy to the details.  So it will be a wait and see situation.  For now, I will go to work on my scheduled time period.  The future will take care of itself. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas meal with Co-Workers - Dec. 1

At first, I wasn't going to go.   I thought hard about it for a couple of days, going back and forth.  Yes I'm going, no I'm not going.  The stumbling block being the cost of the meal.  It was going to be $35.00 per person  which is an amount not included in my budget for the month of Dec.  The store front manager thought it was a good opportunity to enjoy some "bonding" time, as there are a couple of new employees and one of them is on the shy side, not sharing anything about herself or saying too much at all at any time.  My thought, really is it a worthwhile venture to get together, as in retail people don't stay employed long enough to become well acquainted anyway. 

I did go to the restaurant and enjoyed the meal along with a glass of wine and coffee.  I passed on the dessert as there was nothing on the menu that was under $6.99.  No dessert is worth that much to me.  It was a fun couple of hours with lots of laughs and the shy one opened up just a little bit more.   I enjoyed a beef stir fry which was overpriced  in my opinion.  The portion was enormous and I wasn't able to eat even half of it. The waitress boxed it up and I enjoyed another meal tonite and there is still some for another part meal.  I'll add the leftover chicken to it along with a bit more broccoli. 

It was a fun couple of hours with lots of laughs and the shy one opened up just a little bit more.  No regrets as I think the atmosphere compensated for the money spent.  I'll wiggle my budget a little and fit it into a category.  It will probably be into Entertainment.