Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This will be the first Halloween we've been around since we moved in 2 years ago. Normally we are in France. So we are currently unprepared candy wise. That'll be taken care of later on today. I'm going to insist on carving a pumpkin or 2 as well. Why not? D isn't too excited but he doesn't know who he is dealing with.

I led my high school homeroom class to 2 pizza party victories with winning the school pumpkin carving contest 2 years in a row. If you haven't gathered by now, food is a huge motivator for me....

Instead of just focusing on the pumpkin all alone, I like to create a scene. The first year, we came up with Humpty Dumpty -- so 2 pumpkins, one before, on the wall dressed up, and one after, cracked open like an egg with a "fried egg" (made of a white and yellow plastic bag) leaking out with band aids everywhere. We even had the wall, a white picket fence and fake grass!

My senior year, I was studying music history at the conservatory and a piece of music was the spark. It was Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The last part of the fourth movement musically describes an execution via guillotine complete with the sound of the head rolling down.

I'm thinking perfect! We do that scene with a stuffed body etc and a frightened, crazed looking head rolled away with exposed "neck" and bloody hair, doorway as the guillotine, rope, blade and that segment of music playing in the background.

Great memories! Have Fun tonight Everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

S'All Good

Being the ever helpful guy he is, D sent me this video to help me in my car buying decision... (he knows I want to learn how to Drift). I've probably seen Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift about 5 times!

Well, I spoke with my colleague about the sudden change to working more. I was told that the owners spoke to them directly and after a lot of guilt laying about their lack of family time and the need to all of us to band together on this... they relented and agreed to do it.

Apparently they also said they would be speaking to me directly also. Nothing yet. My colleague thought they haven't done so because they were scared of me! D doesn't think they will either and just said they would in order to coerce their way. I'm mentally preparing myself just in case.

I subscribe of a couple of trade journals and this month, one of them dedicated the issue to financial preparedness in the midst of personal injury/disability. The articles really resonated with me as I have personal experience with that.

I decided to email the editor asking if they felt their readers would like to know about a first hand experience with professional disability that didn't fall into the category of making disability insurance out to be the end all and save all (as my injury didn't qualify).

The reply came yesterday and they would so I'll be writing a short article for their next issue.

Just for fun, I decided to send in my Alaska travelogue (edited to be non blog style) to a local paper for their travel stories section. The chances are likely slim to be chosen but the act of sending it made me feel good.

Last working day of the month. It is the tightest one this year billing wise. I hope I end up beating my goal.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A number of glitches going on right now.

My houseboat and flight reservation is in scheduling limbo. D really wants to come along and is willing to put off his spring ski trip to do so. I'd like him to come too. We explore new places well together.

Technically, that wouldn't be a solo trip then... I may have to twist my own arm to find yet another place to go later on the year... I'm thinking Greece would be pretty cool! : )

On the car front, I got some info last night. Of course I would end up loving a car that is harder to find than anything else more mainstream. And of course there is only one left of of the '09 model (2008 ones and earlier are different) in Ontario in Black and the 2010 models have changed again.

I'm doing my best not letting my brain cells get themselves into a knot. What is helping is my hesitancy in wanting to fork out $55000 right now.

My associate who earlier last week said they wouldn't cave in and work any weekends have now committed to working some. So the email came addressed to all of us, thanking her for stepping up and helping out... there is only one space that needs coverage now... hint, hint... I'm going to get the story from her today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Something New

Ideas are forming for my next solo adventure. If everything works out, it will involve a houseboat in the Netherlands. My life isn't going to stand still, new car or not! (No, I haven't made a firm decision either way)

It is also my way of letting go of the clinging to an idea or goal too hard. Whatever happens will be for the best.

D is having trouble talking his colleague into trying different foods while in NY. I'm not sure how you can be there and not end up giving something new a go. There is just so much! (See, he ought to let me go next time!)

I just sent D a link to a little hole in the wall place in Chinatown that just serves dumplings and told him to make sure to grab a hot pastrami on rye sandwich with a dill pickle (or matzoh ball soup if he really wants to get into it) at a Jewish Deli and some Soul food in Harlem before he leaves.

There's nothing "crazy" about any of the above (It's not like I suggested something more upscale like Nobu or Morimoto -- neither would be considered "crazy" in my book anyways...).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holding Down the Fort

My blood work came back all good. Very relieved!

I went by the Mitsubishi dealership yesterday to see the EVO again. Mistake.

Now I am trying to figure out if I can afford one (and all its required upkeep) without affecting the mortgage prepayments...

It's amazing how tricky one's mind can be to come up with answers when motivated!

D's off on a business trip to NYC and I'm a little peeved that it came up last minute so I wasn't able to rearrange my schedule to go too.

I think he didn't want me to come along anyway even though I know that I would have been no trouble.

Honestly, if we even see each other, it would be amazing with his work schedule there. Plus, I know NYC well enough to occupy my own time just fine.

It would have meant free hotel stay which in NY, means a lot. I'd still have to pay for my own flight and food, which is fine.

So D, if you are reading, that's my 2 cents for next time! : )

(Maybe he has an ulterior motive, maybe he is thinking there will be a new car in the driveway when he gets home... he did sent me a cryptic email this morning wishing me good luck on whatever decision I make...he's a tricky guy, that D...)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Extremely Not Frugal!

For the first time in my life, I've been tempted by a car. D has done it now. I am falling in love (correction, Already In Love) with the EVO.

It is pretty perfect for me. I love the sport seats, the no tint part, the brakes, rims, spoiler and suspension look so cool, has a Rockford Fosgate stereo system, AWD, few people know what it is and it is subtle looking for what it can do.

I couldn't care less for the sunroof or GPS but it comes with the package. My only peeve is that the seat doesn't adjust as much as I'd want in a premium vehicle. They tell me it is a performance thing but I'm not buying it. I've sat in a WRX and it adjusts in many ways.

We test drove 2 different types this weekend "for fun" (very dangerous fun, I might add...) and both could not believe how it felt. It is liken to the take off on a plane. You are literally pushed back into your seat! Very very exhilarating.

I want one! : )

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Annuity

What to do, what to do?

D, my husband, is determined to "pay me back" for the extra prepayments I am putting towards his half of the mortgage, (remember that I've already paid for 50% of our main house and ski condo) in the form of an annuity starting whenever the mortgage is done.

Total amount will be in the $100000s paid over 7 - 8 yrs in order to keep D saving and investing.

This money isn't part of our retirement savings plan and isn't needed for such so I can save it if I wish or blow it on something if I wish. That's probably why D has been passing along links to fast cars...

Should I decide to quit my work when the mortgage is done, then I will forfeit the annuity as D would not be able to run 3 homes, save for our retirement and pay me at the same time. My time off would be the annuity then.

Time is tempting.

Some days, I wish I was more motivated by money. I like managing money, seeing how far it goes and getting great value for it but making money... it is tough for me.

I took a year off after high school and worked 3 jobs (full time job and teaching piano for 2 music schools) in order to save up enough money for university.

I made myself seriously ill and vowed then that I would not put myself through that type of craziness again. It seems I have been somewhat repelled by work since.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

D's Work

I've spent a lot of time writing about what my work does to me. It wouldn't be nearly balanced if I did not mention how D feels about his work.

He is bored with his current job of 2 or so years. Having never stayed too long at any position, moving on doesn't scare him. His last position was too demanding and exploitative so he took on his first large corporate position.

It pays well and has pretty great benefits. But it is also pretty boring for him, utilizing barely 40% of what he is capable of. His brain is slowly turning into mush. The new position he has applied for will be helpful in this area, should he get it.

When we talk about our respective work, I long for less responsibility while he longs for more. I long to try something else despite the time, money and effort spent to get to where I am professionally. Sometimes it is hard to relate to each others' grievances.

On a different and fun note, D has enticed me with another car choice. A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR -- a natural competitor for the WRX STi. He has decided that his next car will be the STi so he is thinking it would be great if I replace my aging vehicle with the EVO... and we can drive them out to here and have some fun...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rolling With It

Was very pleased to see our hydro and water bill numbers.

We used $21.29 worth of electricity, $11.50 worth of water and $16.50 worth of sewer last month. Very pleased with that.

Of course, when they add in all their fees, the bill balloons but we have controlled well that which we can.

Considering I am still using the desktop computer as my laptop is out west, I feel there is more savings available.

I had a pretty perfect work day yesterday. Something clicked as I tried to figure why I was feeling so calm and content despite working with the associate that feels I'm a slacker.

My "normal" workday is pretty intense. I solve and fix problems for a living, one on one with people in fairly small rooms with no natural light.

In a 6 hrs shift, I have no scheduled breaks and I have been known to see upwards of 35 - 40 people in that time.

Crazy field right? I'm the slowest out of the group... believe it or not!

Yesterday, I saw half of that and even though it meant less income, it felt good. Easy and relaxed. I was able to read 2 magazines, journal a bit and even check email.

I took a look at what it means for my spreadsheet and we can still manage without too many concessions.

It's too soon to tell if this is a new reality though I'll roll with it happily. It may make my dropping a day obsolete.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I got the info I needed yesterday to write off the idea of changing my car stereo. Didn't realize what they would have to do (tear my whole dash apart) to get the new stereo in. The speakers are easy.

I am a bit paranoid that something will get damaged during the installation process. Last year D had some work done on his car that involved removing part of the dash and steering column and suddenly, he didn't have cruise control anymore...

The oil spray for my car was done. Cost $118. I believe it is well worth it and a reason why my car still runs and looks so well. I sent D over with his car later in the day and his was done too. Cost $100. His has never been done.

For fun last night, we looked at what type of car stereos come with which types of cars. I am slowing mentally building up a list of what I would like should the day come when I decide to replace my vehicle.

When you aren't spending any real money, the sky's the limit. I decided that it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if I was suddenly gifted an Infinity EX. It has a great Bose system standard...

On a health note, my family Dr took a lot of blood from me yesterday and is running a slew of tests. Apparently, I am long overdue. The saying about health care practitioners being the worst patients is true...

The only thing I'm wondering about is my cholesterol levels. When I'm stressed, it is the first indicator to show up. And I have been extremely stressed as of late.

He told me the results will be in today but I'll give him a couple of days to process all of his paperwork before I call. I guess it is time to get caught up with my dental, eye etc. appointments too...

On a finance front, I have been thinking about what I will do should interest rates start rising. Despite my ridiculously low mortgage rate, I still hate to pay more to the bank than I need to.

So, do I speed things up? Or do I just make up the difference and continue as normal? I'll need to think about this as I am on the verge of investing more. I may want the money to go elsewhere more assessable. (Hot off the press, the Bank of Canada rate holds as is)

Also have been running numbers on different scenarios -- D working, I'm not, D work, me work 2 days, quitting completely in 2 to 3 yrs, going back to school etc. There is a $1200/ month shortfall for D if I stop working right now because our mortgage payments are high so that is not an option.

If I work 2 days a week, we'll be fine and still be able to invest. The timeline for mortgage debt free will be extend 1 1/2 yrs, nearing 4 1/2 yrs instead of 3. I am weighing my increased well being against the extended timeline, trying to feel out what would be right and what I need from this.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Errand Day

It was a beautiful sunny fall weekend here in my part of Canada. We spent it up north. The winds were calm and the water was like glass.

D's application for the new job went in late last week. I've decided that I would like to move to 2 days a week in 2012 if I can. Not sure I can make it to 2013. Some weeks, I'm not sure I can make it to Friday!

The next Bank of Canada rate announcement is tomorrow. As usual, I will be highly anticipating the results.

Off to a Dr's appointment this morning for a checkup and then possibly to get my car oil sprayed, depending on my timing and line up.

On a car note, I'm going to be pricing out a new car stereo...

Friday, October 16, 2009


My solution for getting more music in my life has worked really well. I'm getting in a few hours a day now, on top of ambient music at work.

My first impulse was to look at what I needed to buy... luckily my new frugality made surfing the Bose site a lot less fun.

My internal financial thermostat is set so differently now that I cringe at the numbers. Lucky for me, I bought my noise cancelling headphones and sound dock from them before this!

In all honestly, I would buy them again because I love the sound quality and unfortunately having a music background, I am a bit of an audiophile.

We have a pretty great surround sound system to accompany our projector too. D was betting on my dissatisfaction when he hooked his system up to our new projector 2 years ago.

He was right and a new system came into our lives that very weekend. We went with Klipsch.

So, instead of buying a mini system for my night table, I am making use of my noise cancelling headphones and my ipod more. At first, I wasn't happy with having headphones on around the house.

After a couple of weeks, I'm liking the portability for the upstairs. Downstairs, we have the sound dock and a mini system for the study and kitchen.

It is a great solution from the viewpoint that my headphones were purchased for airplane use and would sit unused otherwise. Now I feel I am getting value from them.

The problem now, after elevating my hearing experiences at home? I am not liking the stereo system in my car anymore... oops

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good Day

I'm off to the post office later this morning to ship the stuff I sold. The money order I was waiting for came in the mail yesterday. D is the other half in this business. He is make boxes out of thin air, it seems! Taking away shipping, we will net $80 on this sale.

I had a great lunch with a girlfriend yesterday. She just bought an income property, currently fully rented to 5 students. It is her first foray into real estate. It was exciting talking about it and our investment strategies.

When I got home, I found out from D an internal job posting came out which sounds perfect for him. For the same pay and basically the same position, he would get to work 100% remote from anywhere in Canada.

I am doing my best not to get overly excited about this. He is going to apply for sure and feels there is no reason he wouldn't get an interview. I'm keeping all fingers and toes crossed.

Since speaking with my girlfriend yesterday, I am looking to invest more. There is some cash I am going to move around in order to do so. I've notified my broker about it so am waiting for some suggestion as to direction.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I spoke with my associate who was the other recipient of the weekend work email and she isn't going to budge either. Interesting. I wonder what they are going to do as they have no coverage for half of the month starting Nov.

I wager that the 2 of them (partners) will step up and work it until they can hire someone else. If the find someone, then it will be the 3rd person for this position in 2 years. What does that say about what they are offering?

I wonder if it has started to sink in for them that they are not offering what they think they are. It isn't as good a position, nor profitable as they feel it is. Not likely. If I was earlier in my career, (I realize to some 12 yrs is still early...) I would consider striking out on my own.

I'm too far along it now. Plus, seeing the end in sight takes my energy away from working longer and harder.

When psychological crap like happens, I return to working on my exit strategy with a fervor. Fine tuning it, asking better questions of myself to get better more viable answers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Revisiting Alaska: A Travelogue

I had to look back in my blog archives to see if I've already written about this and I didn't. I wrote next to nothing about it actually considering how happy it makes me feel (probably still on a high and didn't want to shake it). I'm talking about a some of my experiences in Alaska back in May. (Warning, very, very long post!)

I'm in the middle of re-reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and finally saw the last 1/3rd of the movie. I had been avoiding it for years because I didn't want to cry. The book is enough. I resonate with a lot of it. Seeing the scenery of Alaska on screen brought back some great memories.

The neat thing about solo travel is getting to meet people. I'm not the type to suddenly sit beside someone and start talking. What I mean is that I inevitably end up talking to someone in a non deliberate way.

It starts at the airport in Vancouver with me all excited and stuff. I was sitting beside an older lady who was waiting for the same shuttle. It begins with a knowing glance, a smile and shrug when we found out the shuttle was delayed yet again and the conversation began.

Turns out we are both heading to Alaska for our first time. She lives in Calgary but went to university in the same city as me. Fast forward 5 hrs and we are still chatting. I've met some members of her family and because there was another delay, I was routed with her into an express line due to her hip issues and the officials' assumption we were "together" because of how we are getting along. That move saved us 2 more hours of transit time. How lucky was that? What a blessing!

It took 2 days to get to Juneau. As I am attracted to food, I found myself following my nose to a family owned fudge store. The young people working there, especially the guys were so genuinely happy, they nearly floored me. They were humming and singing away while making chocolate not shy at all. You couldn't help but smile and be happy. It was contagious. I thought of how much fun it would be to go to school here.

Not being fudge eater, I bought 1 1/2 pds of a dark chocolate walnut maple sugar mix for a girlfriend and something choconutty to myself to munch on while I kept walking. I had lunch at an out of the way place where it doubled as a hanger for float planes. Four of them came and went while I ate. The scenery was already incredible. I couldn't believe it was going to be more and more dramatic as I ventured north.

My next stop was Skagway. Pristine is the best word I have for it. Here, I started my hunt for some art to bring home, namely a small totem pole. I cannot explain my affinity for native culture. It started during my first trip to Arizona and Utah, especially in Monument Valley.

The nice art shops were glitzy with prices to match but offered no real feel of the artist. I saw some things I liked but never returned to buy them because I would much rather buy directly from the artist if I can. But I did end up buying some coffee beans for D. I couldn't help myself -- The name got me -- 3 Peckered Billy Goat, locally made.

If I had more time, I would have liked to try my hand at ice climbing. During my last couple of years of school, a buddy and I spent some time weekly at a climbing gym for stress relief. I'm likely totally out of shape for this now but I was willing to give it a go. Next time. There were some amazing outfitters here as well as guide shops with some very fit guides.

I ended sitting at a bar for lunch in a restaurant I had read about. I hadn't had enough of Halibut yet so I ordered some more. This time, I made a comment that started a conversation. The bartender left forearm was covered with a beautiful tattoo and I told him that when he brought my lunch. He told me that his uncle drew it for him and it represented his clan -- The Killer Whale.

So we got talking about Skagway and what draws people here. The rent is very high. A camping spot costs over $500 a month! Again, the energy of the people in Alaska amazes me. He was so grounded and present. As with many things, he served as a mirror to where I was. I would like to be more grounded and present, like him.

Spent the next morning riding into a Fjord. How far in you are able to go is determined by how big the iceberg fragments got as 90% of an iceberg is underwater. You get the picture. The water looked too cold to be inviting! Saw a glacier near the end. The blue colour and a turquoise of the water reminds of Lake Louise in Alberta.

I hit the jackpot in Ketchikan. After getting lost, just wandering, I stumbled into a native artists' coop that just opened 3 days prior. I am not able to do justice to my experience there but the store is owned by a beautiful native woman who has an elderly mother to take care of. She isn't an artist but had a vision of joining tribes together through art and allowing artists to be able to make a living through their art.

So 75% of the sale of each piece goes back to the artist. She went on to tell me the biography of each artists whose work I admired. The story and picture of a female seal hunter fascinated me. This particular artist fashioned mittens, coats and other ornaments (of which I bought one) out of seal fur. No part is wasted and during the open house 3 days prior to my arrival, she was there taking people on a tour of her boat, showing them the rifle she uses and wanting people to see exactly what she does.

It was important for her that people understood how much she revered the animals that gave their life to feeding people with their meat, warming people with their skins and adorning people and places with art that is made as a tribute to the animal. I would have loved to meet her.

When you look at her picture you see strength. I bought an Eskimo ornament made by the Woman Hunter and miniature totem by a male artist from a northern tribe. Ketchikan is an active fishing port and there was a lot of boat activity in and out when I was there. It was exciting. I wanted to be on a fishing boat too.

I had lunch in a locally "famous" place for Halibut. I had gotten lost looking for this place when I ran into the artist coop. It was run out of a trailer and only had a few small tables. I shared one with a fellow. He was probably the exact opposite of what I had come to associate with Alaskan people. He was from a big city and was visibly agitated with his wait. I didn't like this sudden change in energy.

The owner/cook of the restaurant has a bit of crazy gleam in his eyes. When I placed my order, he came right up to me (very close) to verify if I really wanted a full order of Halibut, he wanted to make sure I can handle it. I whispered back that I was starving and I wanted it all. I realized quickly why he asked when my order came. I could barely finish it.

I think people were looking at my plate because it was so huge. It's kind of a serve yourself place and when I got up to throw out my garbage to let other people have the table, the owner came over and took it for me and said he thought I did real good eating all that (I'm stubborn). I told him that I felt like I just ate an entire 100 lb Halibut. He laughed and wished me well. I was near comatose.

This was as far as I got in my Alaska adventure. It was pretty tame all in all. I didn't do any trekking or anything. I didn't mind the weather at all. I was dressed for it. The food was great. Didn't get enough crab this time.

Being a huge fan of room service, I would make it a habit to checking out the menu as soon as I would enter a hotel room. One particular room service supervisor got used to my room number/name etc and took it upon himself to send me a fruit basket. I really don't know why, but perhaps it had to do with the fact I always tipped the people who deliver the room service even though it was included.

After I realized the fruit wasn't a wrong delivery, I asked that the attendant who delivered it to please give the supervisor a tip from me ($20). I know how much things cost. I then called the supervisor to thank him myself and his response was overwhelming. He told me that in his 12 years, he has never received a tip and he sent the fruit because he wanted to do something nice as I called frequently. (I though it was a nice way to say that I ate a lot...!)

I couldn't believe his emotion. I am so glad I did it. So the next couple of days, I came home to canapes and chocolate covered strawberries. When I called him to thank him again, he told me not surprise him anymore, he would not be able to take it. We laughed and I told him I will need to go on a diet when I got home.

I ventured south to check out Seattle before coming home. Again, a new place for me. It was fabulous. Spent too much money to stay at the Seattle Westin though made up for it with someone I met later that evening. The day was beautiful. Didn't know that sunny days were rare there. Pike street market met my expectations. (I have a thing for open air markets. My favorite one so far is La Boqueria in Barcelona.)

Had lunch at a hole in the wall Cajun restaurant that enticed me in with the smell (again!). Turns out it is Zagat rated! Had my first Po Boy with pulled pork. Yummy! The restaurant was run by a mother daughter team and their southern accents were awesome.

I marveled at the number of architectural bookstores and design offices. Seattle was growing on me very quickly. Had the best coffee gelato in my life at a small shop there. I have not tasted anything better in the places I've gone to in Italy.

I kinda passed out for a few hours later that day and when I woke up, I was too lazy to walk back to the restaurant I had scouted out earlier that day for dinner. So I decided to check out the hotel restaurant. Again I sat at the bar. It was a nice spot and I was definitely under dressed.

The bartender was an older man with a face that said no stress. He moved quickly and was very good at reading people. He wasn't upset when I only wanted water to drink. I asked for his opinion on a couple of dishes before putting in my order. When he came back, he lingered as it wasn't very busy, so I asked him what working for Westin was like.

His eyes lit up and we started talking. Mostly about travel and the deals they get as employees. I was jealous. Then he seemed like he couldn't hold something in much longer and told me in a low voice, that his wife and him just finished paying off their mortgage 2 weeks ago, they were completely debt free (they had had their share of financial troubles) and tonight was his last shift before flying off to spend 2 weeks in Mexico to celebrate.

They own a waterfront home in southern Seattle that has been in his family for 55 years passed down from generation to generation. I couldn't be happier for him.

In the next few hours I found out that his father passed away 1 1/2 yrs ago and his passing really rocked him and one of the things they spoke about was his writing. He wrote poetry all his life. So once he felt up to it, he gathered up his works and published it. It was hot off the press when I met him.

I told him I would be on Amazon when I got home to get myself a copy. What a great spirit he has in him. He paid me a complement before I left, 4 hours later. He said that I was the type of woman men like him write about. What a kind kind man. You can't blame me for wanting to go on this trip again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It ended up being a full and busy work day yesterday. I panicked for a few seconds before kicking up another gear.

On another selling note, I send D off to get pricing (for a couple of rings and a bunch of silver jewellery I don't wear) from a shop that buys and sells antiques and jewellery. The response was good so he left with a cheque.

It is Thanksgiving long weekend for us in Canada. We have in the past added a couple to days to it and spent it in Vermont to take in foliage and the life there.

I have zero interest in extending my hours. They have no clue to how close I am to ditching a day from my work week right now or selling everything and retiring to my ski condo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Work Day

Back to work today. I've geared up and it will be relatively easy as it is Friday. This is the 2nd time this year I've scheduled my holidays this way, giving myself a short Friday work shift (4 hrs) as a prelude to my next week, regular work week.

I kinda like it. All my mail gets opened, the emails read and the following real work week isn't as crazy. And I get a long weekend as I don't start work til Tuesday. So technically, I've taken almost 1 1/2 weeks off with a 4 hr work day stuffed in there.

I got an offer for the stuff I put up for sale yesterday and am awaiting money, this time in the form of a money order, before sending. If this transaction goes through, it will be the first time I've sold something to someone that lives in the Northwest Territories. Pretty neat! It is on my list of places to see.

On another good news front, D and I bought our New Year flights home. There was another blitz sale and we did get the day and price we wanted. No money actually changed hands as D used a travel credit and I used my Visa travel points. Great! Now I just need to get a cat sitter.

I had just reached the end of my patience with ING yesterday as I hadn't seen the appearance of my non registered account yet online. I applied for this account at the end of Sept. Working with a brokerage has spoiled me as I am used to things happening shortly after discussion.

Perhaps this is the cost of a no fee, online only way of doing things. Just when I was itching to call them to cancel the whole thing, I got an email confirming the account. There was a minor glitch but everything is fine now.

Am supposed to see the account transaction show up next week so I'll wait til then to add more money to it. Guess it worked out better as the markets have dipped a bit so I'll be buying lower than it was 2 weeks ago.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Slow Motion

I'm back from a great time at the cottage at at my in laws. And just physically got back from the post office as the money promised by my purchaser did come through. I'm working on my next round of sale offerings but am still very much moving in a slow motion vacation mode. Lots of blog reading to catch up with as well.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Just a quick post before we load the car to take off.

I did manage to squeak out an extra $553.26 out of last month projections so am very satisfied. We went out to a local family run Vietnamese restaurant to celebrate. Very yummy!

There is a ski swap in the next few weeks at our local ski club. D and I are going to put a pair each of our boots out for sale. Part of the proceeds will go to charity and part of it comes back to us. Win - win.

It has been near freezing at nights lately. I buckled and turned the heat on. For some reason, I'm not transitioning to the cooler temperatures as well as I am used to. I think I acclimatized too well to the summer!

Cooler temperatures also means using the hairdryer again. I don't like it and prefer just to let my hair air dry but it is getting too cold for that.

We've even had our fireplace on at the cottage since Labour day!

Back mid next week. Have a great one everybody!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm Not Being Deliberately Gross Here...

It is looking like I've made my first sale since the summer hiatus. I will be shipping once the money shows up in my account.

My 2nd week of "summer holidays" will start tomorrow. We are heading to the cottage to enjoy some fall air, colours and hearty food. There is a possibility we'll be dropping off Christmas presents at my in laws.

Yup, I am done Christmas shopping.

Because D and I spend the holiday out west, our family celebration with family is either before or after, depending on scheduling and weather. D's family lives up north, in serious snow country.

To be honest, it makes sense to me this way. This year the bonus is that we are getting to see their completed house.

They had bought 9 acres of land years ago in hopes of building their retirement home. His parents are now both retired and the house is finished. D and his brother each get 3 acres.

There isn't the build up and "forced feeling" that can happen with this particular holiday anymore. We can just enjoy the visit, share a nice meal and open gifts if we wish or save them for the "day".

This may not work if you have kids but for our adults only group, it is perfect.