Friday, October 22, 2010

Vacation Begins Soon

In a few hours my last work day of the week will begin and so will my weekend and week's holiday to France. Yeah, we made it!

D passed his exam yesterday! He is so relieved to wrap up 2 months worth of studying and review. This designation he has earned is recognized worldwide so who knows where it will take us someday?

A colleague of his has done that line of work in Greece, Brazil and Portugal. I say bring it on! I'm ready to give living elsewhere a go!

When we were in the States for D's marathon last weekend, I used my Blackberry to take some pictures. You probably know where I'm going with this. I saw a charge online for roaming. So I get on the phone to get some explanation about all that as I'm a neophyte.

Turns out I can turn off the roaming if I wanted and because my phone received a voice mail and some emails, I was charged for that. Then he proceeded to give me the prices for all the different data and voice options when I'm out of Canada.

This was an important phone call because I do not want to get charged just for using the camera on my phone. Now that I know how to disable it, we are good. The emails and voice mail that got loaded in the States will probably cost less than $1. Cheap enough lesson. I wouldn't have wanted to learn that lesson in Europe.

Back in a week and a bit! Have a great weekend Everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy Week

I'm pretty decided I will not be taking my laptop with me on my upcoming trips to keep the over all travel weight down. I've started my novel writing early to make up for the 2 weeks I'll be away. It will be Carry On only for me.

The week leading up to time off seem to bring people out of the woodwork. Half of them didn't know I was going to be away, they just managed to have chosen this time to call or inquire about stuff. So work wise this week has already shown itself to be a bit of a zoo.

I'm not complaining. I'm not even drinking caffeine to get through though last night I wished I had because I could barely keep my eyes open at 9 pm so no writing for me.

D is off on his course until tonight. It'll be great to have him home again. He has a big exam to write on Thurs and from what I hear, he is feeling pretty positive about it. It has been a big week for both of us.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shocking Situation

One of my friend's friends works in banking and told me a shocking story. Back around when unemployment in our area was really high, they would routinely get 3 -4 people come into the bank each day to try and re-negotiate terms on their mortgage and other loans.

It was very common to see people with $200000 to $400000 in consumer debt (not including mortgage)!

I would have a hard time trying to spend that much money on non real estate stuff. Maybe a lot of that is compounding interest. Either way, we were shocked at the numbers. Considering I stress out and tired with owing $100000 or so in mortgages.

A lot of those people did end up losing their homes, declaring bankruptcy or negotiating a consumer proposal. The average age of those folks were in their high 30's to mid 40's.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy Weekend

A couple of sets of tires got bought and sold lately. D found a set of used snow tires and rims for his wagon online and bought them. D sold his snow tires and rims for the Civic online yesterday. He made money on the sale and and overall spent $25 more in his buy.

We are both glad to be rid of the tires. I feel it is always tougher selling than it is buying. Thus the need to think before buying so you wouldn't be stuck selling or worse, selling at a huge loss.

I have been asked to do a work presentation next week. My first one in a long time. The handouts are done and I think it will turn out to be more of a question and answer hour. That ought to go by fast and I'm happy to do it. It is a change of pace.

D did great at his marathon this weekend. It wasn't his fastest time but he had the most fun and walked away after barely sore. He is really pleased with the whole experience.

We had a chance to sample a few new restaurants while we were there and I'm pretty sure I've gained a pound. Next time we are going to take another day off so we don't feel so rushed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Use This!

The office photocopier for all intents and purposes is "done". It needs a couple of parts when you add in labour isn't completely worth it. What's holding me back is a couple of new toners and it is a shame to me to not use them. Maybe they can be sold, I'm not sure.

Those of you who also own an old house where the wooden windows open, you'd likely know all about weatherstripping. We decided to use a caulking like product this year that is supposed to peel off easily once it is dry.

What it didn't say was how much it would stink. Holey smokes, it nearly burned a hole in my throat and nose. Vanilla smell my behind! I had D tear that stuff off after midnight because I couldn't breath. We are going back to using foam tape and returning the remaining 2 tubes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yeah! Another Trip!

Life is about to get a lot more fun.

I've decided to take another week off for health purposes (I mentally and physically ache when I don't get enough time off) and for exploratory purposes (I have some travel ambitions waiting).

I'm going on a quick 1 week jaunt to Greece, Turkey and Croatia. It will be a whirlwind tour but I see it as reconnaissance for future longer term travel. Plus I'm aching to see new beautiful places even if it is in the off season.

Not sure just how much language I'm going to able to learn. Maybe a few phrases. I leave in a month. France in a 1 1/2 weeks. It's going to be great.

I'm reminded that no matter how I push myself, I cannot seem to be able to completely cheat myself out of time off even though my left brain believes it would be best I stay put and wait til next year. With this I've made up 2 of the 3 weeks I didn't take in the summer.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wanting More

I spoke to a couple of frustrated people recently who are frustrated because they want so much to help others but haven't gotten the reception or participation they were hoping for.

They see the potential in their friends/clients/family members/spouses and believe if the right support could be provided, those people would see the light and good things will happen.

Their hearts are in the right place. It is hard when you get emotionally involved with someone and want the best for them. The recipient of all the good thoughts must want it too.

All the wishing in the world won't make someone eat better, work less, exercise more etc. etc. They have to be in a place to want to take action.

It just causes undue hardship wanting more than the other can give. Be there when they are ready and you'll have more peace of mind in the meantime.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

The month is clipping along. Hoping the roofer will be stopping by to give us a quote today. I'd like to get it done before we leave for France.

We saw The Social Network yesterday. I really liked it. It also brought back some deep desires I had for going to Harvard. Didn't realize I felt so strongly sad about not having an opportunity to go.

I remember sitting with the secretary in admissions at Radcliffe talking about requirements and application procedures. I remember studying for SATs.

Alas, my dream never did materialize and I never got the experience I longed for. I surprised myself and D with the level of disappointment that came out of me.

Something good did come out of that emotion. I started writing my submission for the novel writing month I'm participating in. I figure it is as good a place to start as any and has turned into a stream of consciousness piece.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Can Still Learn

I did 2 things new yesterday. I finally discovered the benefits of the search bar at the top of my Windows Live Mail. I cannot believe how much time I've wasted scrolling down my email list looking for a particular note.

The second new thing was an online crossword puzzle. I don't usually do cross words but who know why I felt inclined but it was great and a lot of fun. Didn't get through it all but enough to want to play again sometime.

I had an opportunity to see "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" last night. It was much better than I expected. Made D and I want to cash out everything and opt out of the investment game though...

Our Thanksgiving long weekend is here. Back on Tues.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


It has been amusing to see how people/clients' perceptions have changed since we moved our work to our own place.

The assumption has been we would be willing to work extra hours extra days all of a sudden. Why would that be?

My work hours and days have been relatively unchanged (give or take a few hours) for the past 3 yr - 4 yrs now. When I tell people that now, they seemed surprised.

Maybe it is because I am handling all the administrative stuff it is easy for people to think that I would be willing to go all out and do some extra work, while I was at it anyways. After all I would be getting paid.

The concept of work boundaries comes to play here. I can see the slippery slope that would ensue if I said "sure, come on by".

If anything I have to work harder to maintain my down time more than ever because it is in danger of getting phased out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


My office photocopier is on the fritz. I'm hoping D will be able to get it going again. We have an ink jet all in one fax, scanner, copier machine for home use that can handle things for the time being but not a sustainable option long term as it is not built for volume.

I really don't want to buy a new one as I have lots of toner left but I have been looking online just to get some ideas on pricing in case it turns out my machine is not worth fixing. I bought it used from an engineering firm 4 years ago for $300.

With my increased administrative duties at work, I've found I have less energy to do the paid part of my work. I'm sure that is no revelation to most of you out there.

Technically I am getting paid some for the admin part, not nearly as much as my paid part but you can't have one without the other.

This week after a too busy last week, I am taking a count of how many clients I see weekly and start tracking how I feel by the end of the week. I already know one thing. I don't wish to feel like I did at the end of last week. It was too much. And making more money didn't make me happier about it.

We'll see what the stats say in the coming weeks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crazy Rule

D ran into a weird quirk with our local gasoline station when he brought our cars in for some gas. It was one of those automated pumps where you pay by credit card.

When it came to the second fill up, the machine rejected his card. After a few attempts he went into the station and asked what was going on.

Apparently there is some rule that you cannot use the same credit twice in one day at the same filling station.

What type of craziness is that? The fellow didn't explain further. D just used another credit card to pay.

We were trying to come up with reason why that would make sense and could not think of many. Was that supposed to help reduce fraud? I don't know.

Can you imagine if department stores enacted that rule? They would lose so much business.

That happened to me this weekend. I was at Chapters buying gift cards for my clients and realized just as I was leaving, I needed one more. Imagine my surprise if I wasn't allowed to use my credit card?

I know people who only have 1 credit card. What a crazy rule. If anyone has any idea or understanding as to why this exists, I'd like to know.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Yeah Friday! We are home this weekend and have some house and office errands to run. And some books to read as they are close to being due back at the library. And a movie to see as we have a coupon getting close to expiry. All good stuff.

The cottage roof is starting to show its age at 11 yrs old and we noticed a small leak in one of the bedrooms last week. Not enough to drip but a stain. D got up there and patched suspicious spots so when we are up next, we'll be able to see if the stained area is still damp or not. While he was up, he saw some other areas that he will patch, just in case.

We have the money put aside for a replacement roof. I just don't want to be interviewing roofers right now. Ditto for the tree in front of the cottage that is dying. That one is easier because it can be taken down quite quickly and with literally one phone call. Will likely cost $500 - $600 though.

Glancing at my calendar for Oct, this month is shaping up to be a lot of fun socially. I'm looking forward to it.