Thursday, January 31, 2013

First Month of the Year Gone - Challenges Wrap Up

Bye, bye January..... Did this seem like a really, really, really long month to you?  Okay, I'm exaggerating, it wasn't that long!  It's been nice having you around, but time to go!

This was the challenge for January which I participated in. 

Wk 1 Financial was to make do instead of running out to buy something.  My result was probably about 90% adherence, making a couple of unplanned small purchases.  Wk 1 Declutter was to get rid of "things" that clutter up my residence.  I don't have a specific thing so I chose to declutter 2 items a day.  I kept on decluttering when I reached 62, but probably reached 100. 

Wk 2 Financial was to bring in additional income.  Success here as I work a few hours a week at a p/t job and  I save all the wage earned.  Wk 2 Declutter was a cleanup of a junk drawer and it was successfully completed and with pics posted. 

Wk 3 Financial was to give, to donate financially and I chose to give to a drop-in center as well as to one individual at the center.  Wk 3 Declutter was a closet cleanout.  Job well done and patting myself on the back as it's a closet with  sliding doors, hard to access and a job I don't enjoy. 

Wk 4 Financial was to reduce my budget and I was able to do that by contacting my vehicle insurance provider and asking for the discount associated with not being a commuter any longer.  Reduction and credit received for this one.   Wk 4 Declutter was to organize the pantry/linen cupbaord.  Completed and looks much better. 

Was a good challenge for January, the month after the Dec. spend-a-thon.  In addition my personal challenge was to have a low/no spend month and I was very successful (in my eyes).  I spent 11 days so 20 no spends.  I spent zero dollars on groceries instead using gift cards only to buy and consuming from the fridge/pantry.  The hospital parking costs didn't amount to as much as I thought it might, as I shared a ride with my daughter for several visits. 

The gal who co-ordinated the January challenge is Here.  I'm happy to say that with her guidance this proved to be a very worthwhile challenge.  Decluttering "stuff" can be so satisfying and has me thinking about the things I am tempted to bring home.... need or want.  Mindful spending has kept me on track.  I've been able to deposit over $400 into savings.  

I will continue challenging myself through February.   :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carla's Challenge, week 4

Decluttering Challenge:  to clean up the messy pantry

Who is the slob that lives here?  What a mess!
My teeny closet serves as a pantry & linen houser.

Sort of dark in there, that's to disguise the mess!

That's as tidy as it's going to get!

Financial Challenge:  To cut the weekly budget

I made a phone call last week to the company that provides insurance coverage for my car and home, advising them that I am now retired, have reached the age of 65, and no longer use my car to commute, just for pleasure driving.  Starting in March I will receive a $43.33  credit for three months which will total $130.00.  I've been bursting to tell this on my blog but didn't want to spoil my news by posting early.  So that works out to just over $10.00 a week from my budget.  The credit goes back to October when I retired from commuting and reached that "magic age of discounts".  LOL!  I don't know yet what the monthly amount will be when the policy comes up for renewal June 1st because as we all know, even though costs go down, they do go up again.  So even though the cut doesn't come to this week's budget, I'm counting it as a major cut to my future budget. 

I'm planning to prepare a "wrap up to the January challenge" and post it in a couple of days. 

An FYI re Carla's Giveaway

Anyone interested in reading a blog about a fantastic lady who balances life as a mum, wife, entrepreneur, and does it with kindness and generosity.  Then please visit her recent  blog post at Carla's Giveaway where she asks you to do a few things, and you are entered into a draw for a cute little giveaway. 

Sneak Peek, but look further to see the beautiful lining. 

If you are a loooooonnnnnnnnng way away, she will send it anywhere.  She did mention down under and across the pond but didn't mention to the space station, so I guess you're out of luck Mr. Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield from Sarnia, Ontario.  :)

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield Banner

GO, GO VISIT!!  Carla's blog, not Chris Hadfield.  LOL!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you to all my followers, new and old.  I really didn't think that anyone would be interested in what I posted here, but you are proving me wrong.  Leading a simple life, and a frugal life appears to be a very universal endeavour.  I have learned so much from many of the wonderful blogs I visit and everyday I find a new one that catches my attention and I add it to my list to read. 

Thank you again!  I really love that you visit and I love that you comment too!  

Just Because I Can Doesn't Mean I Have To!

My home is in a high rise condominium and NO, this isn't it.  This is a picture that I borrowed from a Wikipedia entry entitled "Tower Block".  I was reminded of my awe and wonder at the density of the population in Hong Kong during my trip there in the early 80's.  I can only imagine what it must look like in the early 2000's. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of living.  I'm not sure if I can cover them  in one post and please bear in mind, I speak just from my own point of view. 

I own my unit outright, and as a senior living on a decreased income it is very affordable.  I know each year in October how much my monthly common fee will be for the following year, and each year there is an increase.  The fee never goes down, although one year it remained the same.  The increase is based on the amount of the decrease in the condo's fund which covers repairs, major capital projects, cost of utilities, management fees, wages for the superintendent couple and a bunch of other smaller items. 

There are 112 units in my home building, and I can't control how the other 111 units consume utilities, but I can control how I use them.  So like many of my frugal readers and followers, I use only the water that I need to use, ie taking short showers, not letting the water run unnecessarily, only washing full loads and only washing on off hours.  There is no smart meter to record each individual unit's usage of power but I still use the washer/dryer only when it is most economical.  I know that not everyone here follows this method as during this cold weather I can look out the window and see the moisture escaping the vents during the daytime.  I'm turning off the lights that are unnecessary in each room, and as I leave a room. 

So as I said in my post title.....

Just because I can, due to it not impacting me directly, doesn't mean I have to!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

I Guess It Was Inevitable

Sick woman with red nose leaving a trail of tissues behind her clipart
Considering I exchange money with sick people at my p/t workplace, it was inevitable that I would catch something and I have.  Despite handwashing,  hand sanitizing, sanitizing common surfaces around the cash handling area, someone has shared their cold with me.   It started on Wed. quite suddenly.  One half hour or so from feeling fine until my nose was bundled up with Kleenex to stop the non-stop sneezing and dripping. 

I have only been out a couple of times these past three days; on Wed. to buy Advil C& S and today to return the movies due back at the library.  I was cozy and warm indoors while the outside temperature hovered in the minus teens during the day.  I covered up, watched TV, watched the three British movies I had borrowed, ate soup, drank coffee and tea and o.j.  I'm feeling much better today and tomorrow will tackle cleaning up my world.  It's been badly overlooked the past couple days.  :)

We've had about four inches of snow starting at noon and ending about 6 p.m.  This pic is of a 80 vehicle pileup on highway 401, a major highway running through the southern part of the province.  There were numerous injuries, three serious.   Snowy weather means slow down while driving. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Day of No Spending, and Other Things

Today was my elderly friend, Ellen's day to visit the dentist for her initial consultation and I had promised her that I would accompany her for this visit.   Off we went in my little but very warm car for the one block drive to the dentist.  I am very grateful for underground parking.  While the car may be chilly it doesn't take long for the engine to warm and the interior to be toasty comfortable when it's sheltered inside. 

During her hour long visit/my wait, I took the time to familiarize myself with the settings on my camera.... oh the procrastination I have done over the years.  I learned a bit more how to operate it in different lights.  I feel just a little bit smarter today.  LOL! 

I had mentioned the needs to her at the drop-in shelter and she gathered up scarves, hats, gloves that she didn't use anymore, so we took the time to drive to the shelter for her to drop them off.  I took her inside so that she would be able to see the needs firsthand.  It is a real eye opener when viewed personally and she was troubled to see how many individuals were taking advantage of the opportunity to go indoors on this coldest day of the year so far.  Then on to our own simple soup and sandwich lunch which warmed us to the center of our being.  We both said a prayer of gratitude for it. 

Then followed a circuitous drive towards home along Lake Ontario, with a stop at Heydenshore Park to gaze over the frigid water.  I turned the car off for a bit so as to not waste gas but we didn't linger 'cause the car cooled off very quickly.  Off we headed toward home to snuggle into our cozy residences.  It was a simple, relaxed spend nothing day which I thoroughly enjoyed.  :)

Stay warm everyone, everywhere in the deep freeze!!

This and That From The Cat!!

Carla's Challenge check-in, Week 3

I'm liking this challenge.  I'm getting things done!!  This challenge eliminates something big that probably haunts us all during the winter...... PROCRASTINATION!!!

As a part of this challenge, we were asked/required/ordered (LOL!) to clean out a closet, even two closets if we possessed overwhelming energy.

BEFORE!!  Blushing at this one!

THE AFTER.... That's better!
Sorry, the pictures are a little dark.  It's sliding doors so no light in it and hard to get a decent pic 'cause I'm not all that familiar with the workings of my camera.  Trust me, it looks a heck of lot better than it did in the before pics.  I live in a small space so that closet tends to become a catch-all place for stuff.  Mops, a bucket, potting soil live there along with shoes, hats, scarves, hoodies and jackets. 

For the financial aspect of the challenge, we were requested to "give", to find a way to donate financially.  This part of the challenge was not at all difficult and right from my heart as I know that everyone enjoys a Tim Horton's coffee/donut or something from this shop, so I purchased a gift card for $10 and gave it to the first individual I encountered outside the drop-in shelter when I stopped by to also drop off these items.  She was absolutely beyond delighted. 

The shampoos, conditioners were samples and the soaps are little hotel bars.  I can't use them any more due to dermititis which is aggravated by these scented type products.  The underwear was purchased at 50% off per package during Zeller's closing down sale way back in September.  During my closet cleanup I also found a couple of hats and scarves that I don't use any more, so included them and I'm sure they are appreciated with our extreme cold.  This shelter was created by several churches in the metropolitan area where I live and my church is a contributor to those who need help.  I am grateful for all that I have and grateful that  I can contribute. 

Decluttering challenge:  Mission accomplished
Financial challenge:  Mission accomplished

Spending has been low this past week. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Late Reporting in On SFT's Challenge

It's Monday and I think I should have written a check-in yesterday.  Better late than not at all!

The Sealed Pot received a decent feeding this week, but it better not get used to it!  Not every week is going to have extra.  I worked 6 unscheduled hours filling in for an employee who was unavailable for her scheduled work time,  resulting in a  paycheck larger than expected.  So I split the approximately $60 three ways; $25 went into the Sealed Pot to be opened in December, $25 went into the Summer Sealed Pot I have decided to establish and the remaining $10 covers the government required contributions which are CPP, EI and income tax. 

Fat Paycheck - Stock Vector
Big Fat Paycheck!!!    NOT!!!!
None of my earnings from the store are used for my living expenses.  Since retiring from full-time employment and receiving pensions for income I had decided that I would live on the pension income because:
1.  I have a determination that I can live a happy satisfied life on this income
 2.  I will prove the so-called experts wrong and live as a senior citizen without $1,000,000 + to fall     back on! 

This retail income is gravy and I've mentioned before that I enjoy the workplace.   All of the money thus far has been placed into savings in one form or another.  I am so inspired by the many frugal, simple living blogs that I read that it is not at all difficult to stay on the path.  :)  If I have to tap into the gravy, I will, but I don't have to.

I enjoyed a lazy day today, spending a good portion of it watching the inauguration of President Obama's second term leading the United States of America.  Beyonce wowed the crowd with her singing of the national anthem, Kelly Clarkson sang as did James Taylor.  Very impressive ceremony to watch.  I admire the patriotism of the citizens, our neighbours to the south. 

Then it was off to work for a little while and now home and relaxing time.  Tomorrow is looking like a great day!  A cold snap has hit and it is bbrrrrrr out there.  It's -12 C right now at 11 p.m. and heading down to -15 C.  Although that's not bad compared to Winnipeg where it was -45 C with windchill.  Yikes!  I remember temps like that when I lived there in the late '60's. 

This and That From The Cat!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Obsessed At The Moment

Way back in Nov. 2012, I blogged about my renewed interest in

I don't spend the money on Netflix, and don't rent movies either.  I put my name on the hold list at the library and I wait patiently until the selected movie is available for my pick up. 
 Wouldn't you know it, everything available yesterday with my name on it is British related.


It's a cold day here in Whitby, the temp is -5 deg C and going down, so a wonderful day to stay indoors, reading about and watching Brits.   Lots of viewing to do this week; the movies are mine to watch for a week.  Oh, oh....... and then there's Downton Abbey tonight.

Somewhere in here I have to exercise or my arse will become bigger from all thise sitting!!! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I'm Quick to Forgive, ......


If you're a Canadian, you know hockey.  Maybe you don't particularly enjoy it, follow it's progress over a season, watch any of the playoff games, but you can probably say you know hockey..... well, a teeny bit anyway. 

The unofficial start of winter is the beginning of the hockey season in early October, if it's a normal year.  The 2012 - 2013 season did not start in Oct, it started today.  Instead of each team playing 82 games as they would have been able to had they started in Oct, the games played will total 48 before the playoffs begin. 

The reason for the delay in start of the season was a labour dispute between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association.  The issues between the two sides were many and difficult for the ordinary guy (like me) to grasp.   Basically wealthy owners and overpaid hockey players fighting over money!  For weeks both sides talked, they bargained, they didn't talk and then just separated until an arbitrator arrived to settle the whole thing. 

I said I didn't really miss hockey during the labour dispute but I really did.  I can't deny that I am a longtime fan, back to the days of broadcast on radio by Foster Hewitt.  Again if Canadian, you will know this name.  And here it is again, Saturday night and it's

The boys are back and it's on to watch the action this evening.  Okay fellas, I forgive you for being away, but I won't forget the emptiness that was caused by your absence.  Good to have you back. 

Have to go now, I'm a little excited about the game tonight..... Montreal Canadiens v. Toronto Maple Leafs.  :)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Catch-up Friday!

This is the view out my window this morning.

We received about 2 cms snow overnight and the temp this a.m. is -10 deg. C.  I think it  might be the coldest day of the winter thus far.   Not to worry.  I'll dress warmly and I won't even feel it when I walk to the library in my new winter jacket/coat.   
No post yesterday as I was out all day supporting my daughter.  She picked me up after her dental appointment and the moment she started driving, she poured out her thoughts about everything that was on her mind.  She's busy and overwhelmed at the moment.  As well as being a wife, mother to 3, she operates a home business and is a student of online university.  She is also  assisting in dealing with issues involving her FIL in hospital and pending move to a nursing home.  She talked and talked and talked and I listened mostly.  I think she just needed to get it out.  I was exhausted at the end of my day.

And today is a new day, and it will be a day to catch up/catch all that comes my way.  Other than the walk to the library, I'll have a tidy up/vaccum/clean bathroom type day.  Sounds so exciting, doesn't it but these things need doing and they won't go away.  LOL!  Once upon a time I didn't mind the "weekly catch up, but now it just feel like a thing to put on the to-do list as evidence that I've had a goal for the day.  LOL!   

This and That From The Cat! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out and About With A Friend

I've just come back from a wonderful day out with a neighbour/friend.   We first talked about going out for a day a couple of months ago when I met her outside for a chat and she mentioned a need to visit a dentist for a checkup and cleaning.  I told her about my excellent dentist, his great personality and his very friendly staff and she indicated that she would like to meet him.  I arranged for a brief meeting with him today and then we were off to have lunch.

Ellen was born in the Bermondsey area of London, met and married a Canadian soldier and immigrated in February, 1948.  She is now 86 and lost her DH a few years ago.  She is sharp as can be and continues to live on her own.  A couple of times last summer she did faint at home and as a result opted to give up her driver's licence and she is missing the freedom of her car to go anywhere at a moment's notice. 

She has been feeling a bit blue lately..... it's chilly out there, more gray days than sunshine and isolated a bit without mobility.  So I decided that we would have an afternoon out after the dental visit.  She wanted to enjoy a fish and chips lunch and insisted on buying mine as well and wouldn't take no for an answer.  Are all British elderly ladies SO stubborn????  LOL!  MQ, help me out here!!  Then we went off to the Dollar Tree for a couple of things that she wanted to buy.  I didn't spend a penny there as I am no/low spend in Jan.  I did buy $20 of gas which is in my allowable spending budget for Jan.  and will probably last me a month since not much driving planned.  Next we were off to the village of Brooklin where she wanted to point out her grandson's home and I in turn showed her where my daughter lived in the same neighbourhood.  Today was a clear, sunny day and the drive in the countryside to get to the village brightened her day as much as it did mine. 

I apologize that I didn't have my camera with me to take pics today to share with you.  We both love to talk and we were trying to outdo each other in that department.  She shared some of her wartime experiences with me, and I shared my Canadian thoughts and experiences from younger days.  I plan to share more days with her....... a kindness given always comes back to you, I think. 

As an aside, a blogger from a town in Ontario a ways north of where I live, is hosting an Ontario blogger day.  Here   Cindy, north of Wiarton is the link for details if you are a blogger and live in Ontario (near the bottom of the post).  :)  And check out those Checkboard Aussies, such darlings. 

So that's it from the cat!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tell All Tuesday!

Or reporting in to Carla's Wk 2 Decluttering & No/Low Spend Challenge.  Aye, aye ma'am, Constance reporting for duty!  LOL!  Little wordy there Carla, from here on you shall be known as   CW?D&N/LSC.  No you won't!  I'll never remember that.  LOL!

Great results this week, once again patting myself on the back.... 'cause Allie's paw doesn't quite reach that high. 

To the declutter portion, happy to say I've chucked 53 items, just stuff, some books too, but stuff that as I'm making the decision to stay or go, I question the value I once placed on it.   Why did I ever spend the money on that?  Why did I think it would make my life so much better/happier/satisfying?  Why do I have so many candles??????  That one's easy to answer.  Early in this century I chose to enter into a relationship and I thought candles would enhance the romance in this relationship.... Ha!  He's long gone and now a large number of candles are as well.  The romance goes out and so does the power so I had to keep a few just in case.  =) 

The Bedroom Dresser Junk Drawer Before


And now to the financial portion... wait now, another pat on the back.  There were two unplanned purchases; the first was printer ink, and the other an eat in at a fish & chips place.  I thought I had an extra cartridge but must have used it and forgot that I had.  The fish & chips.... well I just wanted it and it was sooooo good.  So it has been a low spend week.  I did need a few groc. items but paid for them with a gift card. 

The extra income was generated by working 6.5 unscheduled hours at the pharmacy.  Another associate couldn't work her scheduled day so I filled in, which resulted in $66.63 gross and it was  painless earning.  I'm left on my own to do what I think needs doing all the while providing excellent customer service.  I haven't sorted in my mind how I will allocate this extra income, but Week 3's challenge now has me thinking in a different direction.   

So now you've heard my top secrets of this past week and it's  satisfying all around.  :)

This and That From The Cat!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Queens Are On My Trail!

The two most frugal Queens I have become acquainted with are now followers of my blog and I am delighted to know they have added me to their lists.   I just this past autumn discovered their blogs and read each entry (honest, I have gone back and read every entry each of them has added since they both started their blogs).  Each of these two ladies has inspired me in their own way..... Meanqueen, because she is retired as I am, and has the gumption to just get on with life and make it as good as it can be each day.  Frugal Queen, because she inspires me to find my own way to "good enough", to realize that there is no perfect and good enough is okay.  I'm including their links if there is anyone reading this who hasn't discovered their blogs as yet but would be interested in reading more about these two wonderful ladies.

Meanqueen  and Frugal Queen
Click to show "Queen Elizabeth II" result 6

Perhaps Her Majesty could learn a lesson or two from each of them.  I'll contact her and ask her to give you each a call.  Froogs, there has to be some wonderful quilting fabric in her castoff outfits.  MQ, perhaps her Bentley needs new decor.  :) 

Something for Nothing!

Oh I do love those freebies.  I love when they find their way unexpectedly into my hands.  And these will last at least a year, possibly longer if used judiciously.

Yesterday during my unexpected 5.5 hours at work, I spent a couple of hours checking in the deodorant, shaving, lip balm aisle and cosmetic aisle for expired products, and this is partially what I removed from inventory.  The manager has told staff that expired products can be taken as long as the owner is not aware.   Ssssssshhhhhhh!  Don't anybody tell him I dug these out of the garbage today.  They are perfectly good products to use, they just can't be sold with an expired date on them.  Bonus, the CG makeup is the shade I wear if I am wearing this type of skin coverage.  Retail selling price on all this would total approximately $25.00 plus taxes so close to $30.00. 

No money spent today, money has been earned, and the day ended with freebies. And in the middle of it all, I had a wonderful nap. Well done Constance, as I pat myself on the back..... as there is not a soul here to do it for me! LOL!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday, Are You Saying It's Sunday Already?

This past week seems to have flown by. Glad I'm still here and not 6 feet under. LOL!

And it's check-in time for SFT'S Week six sealed-pot-challenge

Question of the Week:  Does the location of your pot matter?

No, it doesn't matter.  I see it often throughout the day and after 6 weeks, any coin I see/lay my hands on is questioned.  Should I put this into the pot or will there be a need to use it later on in the week?  When I am at my 'puter, I just need to swivel my head and I see the pot. 

Turn head to left and there it sits, starring, slyly sending signals "feed me, feed me"...

The pot looks sort of ragged, I may have to work on it, make it a bit more posh if it's ever to make a Sunday display on SFT's blog. 

This week I have fed the $1.51 difference between the cost price and retail selling price  (employee perk)  for a battery to fuel my pedometer.  The pot was fed $1.50 found in a small change purse while decluttering the junk drawer.  And my building's boozers contributed $6.50 in bottle returns this week.  Hope that supply doesn't dry up.... :)  Also found a few pennies in the junk drawer which I didn't count, just threw them in. 

Looking forward to giving the pot an extra large feed next week due to some unexpected funds. 

That's it for now friends.  =)

This and That From The Cat

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

I've extricated myself from the drama concerning my daughter's FIL in hospital.  It's so complicated, made so by the individual with POA.  It's not my concern and I won't ask "deep" questions again.  'nuff said.  :)

To damp down the stress of it all, I went to my favourite hobby..... stitching, specifically cross stitching.  I have been a fan for many years and hope to continue for many years.  I read recently of a stitcher into her 90's who was still stitching.  Lovely to hear that. 

This is what I finished shortly before Christmas and I haven't done any stitching in the new year until this past Thursday. 

This is one of three designed by the artist Durene Jones. I love her designs, they have beautiful colours which just pop from the stitching canvas. I have taken pics of the framed samples in the magazine. And I've started stitching the pink cat. The centre fold of the magazine is the dark line across the pinkie.

These patterns were featured in the July 2012 issue of Cross Stitch Gold if there are any stitchers interested in finding them.

We are enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures in S. Ont. today and predicted for tomorrow as well. +8 deg C at 11:00 a.m. to go to +10 today and +12 tomorrow. This is January in Canada, very unusual weather although around us in other provinces it truly is winter. Just check out the Weather Network for pics of the prairie provinces and Newfoundland.

I've recently begun taking a medication which lists as a side effect "dulls the appetite". This was my breakfast and will keep me until an early dinner; a half bagel with a little peanut butter and a teaspoon of raspberry jam and a half pink grapefruit with coffee.

I have lost "mouth hunger" and only realize that I am hungry when I feel my stomach rumbling. Although I when I see something that appeals to me or see a food thing that looks good, I will indulge. I'm thinking this unexpected side effect will aid in the weigh loss pursuit and save on groceries.

Speaking of groceries, that's where I'm headed now. It's almost two weeks into the new year and I haven't ventured into a food store. I do need fresh fruit and my salad greens are depleted also.

This and That.... Words From The Cat

my daughters named me Catwoman many years ago. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Been A Day of Drama

I found myself drawn into some drama today surrounding my daughter's FIL, his care in hospital and his future.  I'm mentally exhausted and I'm just going to put this day to bed. 

The sun will come out tomorrow. 

Good night my friends.  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obstacle to Decluttering

I don't usually need to fabricate excuses as to why I didn't get to clearing out the clutter.  Here's the obstacle that has gotten in my way today. 

My boxes are otherwise occupied right now, so postponed until further notice. LOL!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let's Get Physical!

Did you know that there are risks to sitting too much? 
Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome.  Too much sitting seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer also. 
It's winter time, it's gray, it's slushie out there.  We're months away from warmer weather in the Great White North?  What will I do to get off my @ss and move more.  Ideas...... other than joining a gym..... please.  What do you do to move, move, move during your day? 
Hi Finn, Judes07 and Maa..... nice of you to join me.  Welcome aboard.  :)

UPDATE Wednesday 8th Jan

Today was a beautiful day in Southern Ontario, sunshine this p.m., so off my @ss and out the door for a lovely walk around the 'hood.  Enjoyed it, loved it so much I'm doing it again tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Update on Carla's January Challenges - Week 1

Carla's Jan. Challenges

I am so grateful for finding Carla's Jan challenges and for her invitation to participate.  With her in the back of my mind, spending has been kept unbelievably low.  The official start was on the 1st, five days in and two have been no-out-of-pocket spending, and the other days are low spend.  Good week overall.

Spending Recap

1 - condo fee, I do need a roof over my head, tenting in Jan.... NO! allowed

2 - med co-pay - $4.11, allowed

3 - 2 yds of 45" fabric - $2.00 @ Sal. Army - white, will sew blouse to replace   summery one that appears dingy

4 - greeting card $1.51 - 1/2 price at my employment, $4.50 hospital parking for 1/2 hour, ouch.... but all good to see a friend

5 - thermos of coffee, desperate and I mean desperate for a coffee while at work so $1.80.  Didn't drink it all but reheated for this a.m. 

Debating where to allocate the $25 I budgeted for groceries but didn't spend.  I'm thinking I'll start another savings pot for summer outings.  I tend to put out more when I am out and about in the nicer weather so might go there.  Debating/planning still. 

Declutter Recap

For now staying with my 2 items per day but may up that to 3, so have reached the 10.  Today I'm getting into it!!!   I can't say I have a particular area, just stuff but what I've realized in taking a look and really "seeing" is that I have stuff that I hang on to that I think I might use someday and I haven't 'til now and can't visualize needing the future.  That will be my area of concentration.  Took a pic of the start but the blogger pic uploading is nonsense right now.   

Good wishes to all fellow challengees!  Thanks Carla!  0)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Work.......... What's That???

I awoke this morning at 7:30, then carried on with the morning rituals, including preparing a lunch because I had to be at work at 8:50 a.m.  Work???? I HAVE to go to work???  No, I absolutely don't have to go to work!  I CHOOSE to work.  But I'm retired, so I don't HAVE to work anymore.  No I don't have to work, I CHOOSE to work a few hours a week. 

 It's a part-time position and it provided 7.5 hrs of work today.  It's a retail position and since I'm pretty new back at the store, I'm paid the Ontario minimum wage of $10.25 per hour.  Do the math and you come up with the total, minus a few dollars for Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan contributions.  Was it worth my time to work for an employer for these hours?  Yes it was.  I enjoy the work and the place I am working at.  I meet friendly people every day, and a couple of cranky's too.  Some of the customers are my neighbours who if I don't catch up during the week, I can have a pleasant brief chat with while they are there.  So it becomes a bit of a social occasion also.  But when I am there, I do work.   I have always had a strong work ethic.  I recall early on in my work days/years being told that anyone who doesn't work is stealing..... stealing from their employer.  And because most of my work life has been in foodservice, that saying "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean".  If I had a dollar for every time I was graced with that saying, I would be outstandingly rich by now. 

Sorry for rambling friends....... any job I have worked at, I have always given my all and have been rewarded for it.  Sometimes with "thank you" but that has been enough.  The time will come when I won't work at a paid position anymore, 'til then I will enjoy the one I am at.  The wage I make is extra money.  Right now, it goes into my savings because my thinking is that I will live on the pensions because I can't count on the work income being there forever so I don't want to be dependent on it.  Retail can disappear overnight, although I doubt that will happen with this organization, but you never know. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Just Another Day for Me in Paradise!

Well not really paradise but my own little corner of the world.  Busyness ruled the early parts of the day and presently I'm home enjoying a cup of tea post dinner.  Time to relax a bit.... Fun computer keyboard with faces on the keys

This morning I attended an orientation/welcoming event at the town's Seniors Centre which was hosted for those people who had joined in the past six weeks; there were about 40 new members present.  The overall membership is 3,500 people meeting and participating in a number of venues around town.  The staff members gave an overview of all the programs and services provided at low cost or no cost.  I will take a little time to review the programs before I decide to participate.  Looking forward to being a member and volunteer.

Then home quickly for a quick lunch, only time for a sandwich, a cup of coffee and cookies, then back in the car to visit my daughter's FIL who is recovering after surgery due to a hip fracture.  He is 82 and as well as this incident, he is showing progressive signs of dementia.  The doctor has indicated that these two factors will point him in the direction of a nursing home after he has healed sufficiently to be moved from hospital.  He was having a good day memory wise as he did recognize me when he first saw him.  His ex-wife, who is his POA has arranged for a personal support worker to be with him during the day as he does attempt to get out of bed.  He can't get out of bed without a lot of assistance just yet.  It will be awhile before he is back on his feet.  I'll visit with him again next week. 

Home again for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  I needed to clean out some of the crap left over from Christmas, put the decor, tree etc into my storage locker.  That's done, and I'm looking around and thinking that my challenge of eliminating 64 items this month of January is going to be pretty easy.  I'm thinking of upping it to 100 items but not sure yet.  I don't want to get too lofty in my goals..... LOL!  Spending has been good with 2 no spend, 2 spend this year.  Parking is ridiculously priced at the hospital.... $4.50 for 1/2 hour.   I will be factoring more parking costs into January budget. 

All in all, a good day overall.  And happy to be snug at home in my own little paradise.  :)

Talk to you later friends!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Clean Out The Fridge Souprise!

What do you do to avoid Foodwaste Friday?  Well on Thrifty Thursday, you make "Clean Out The Fridge Souprise".  Soup, glorious Soup!  The week after Christmas 'til the 2nd of January, my eating was all over the place, with some of it being meals, some snacks, and a day of eating nothing at all and the consequence was a little of this and that in the refrig. patiently waiting to be consumed or wasted.  Wait just a minute leftovers; not so fast.  There's lots of good food in there waiting for a wonderful tasty outcome. 

Sorry for the blurry pic.
So the soup consisted of the following:  approximately 1.5 cups of chilli, 1/2 of a turkey burger, about 1/4 of a green pepper, a medium sized onion, about 1 cup of diced turnip, about the same of celery and carrot, about 2 cups of shredded cabbage, about 1/2 cup of six bean blend from a tin.  Added water, some Italian seasoning, a bit more chilli powder, garlic powder, some oregano, a little basil, pepper.  Slow cooked it for several hours, and then nummy, yummy soup with a little bite to it.  Yielded about 8 cups, 2 I inhaled for dinner, and still have about 6 cups left.  Divided up and into freezer for future lunches/dinners.  No waste and very frugal meals.   :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why does your face turn green when you're sick?

Sick Smiley Sick.gif photo

Started with a stomach ache early New Year's Day, no I didn't drink too much.  LOL!  And it's been with me a couple of days.  The usual symptoms; felt pretty rough yesterday and a bit better today.

And now I have wintertime dermititis.  That one is a pain in the back... itch, itch, itch.  Don't scratch.  Ugh!  It's gets better, doesn't it?  No more long hot showers, baby shampoo, lots and lots and lots of moisturizer.

Until later.