Friday, April 4, 2014

End of Winter?

D went up to cottage to check things out last weekend as our winter has been difficult enough to foil our many attempts to head up.  Our property insurance requires that we keep an eye on things on a timely basis.  Plus we got a letter from the local gas supplier requesting a meter reading as they were unable to make it onto our property.

Even though snow has finally started to melt around here with our chestnut tree (one we look to every spring) showing signs of budding, up there, the snow banks are at least 10 ft high and in the backyard, waist to chest deep on D who is just over 6 ft tall.  He had to wade through the snow to get the roof rake (shovel for pulling snow off the roof) from the garage. 

The new roof (2 years) managed just fine but he still wanted to pull off a couple feet of snow from the top.  The snow on the deck stood just higher than the bottom window sill of the windows.  We haven't seen this much accumulation in a few years.  D's not sure things will melt enough for him to open the cottage (turn water on) over the Easter long weekend.  I was hoping he'd come back with pictures but he didn't get around to it. 

On a general housekeeping front, I finally tackled the pile of mail waiting for me upon my return from Cambodia and in it was an insurance notice that our house insurance was going to be increasing, mainly the special riders involving sudden water damage (think Calgary floods).  And looking closer, it has, the amount of coverage went down 70% but the premium increased 40%.

We have interpreted it to mean "we'd like you to drop it, so that we don't have to insure you".   And we have done just that after a short discussion.  Last year we dropped the "ice damage" rider once we realized that the risk on our house is significantly less than most due to the pitch of the roof.

While I was away, D realized he made an error in calculating his total income in 2013.  He forgot he did some extra work.  The consequences requiring extra monies to be invested in his RSP to neutralize additional income tax.  So our net incomes weren't almost the same like I thought.  I had money set aside for this year's contribution already, so it just got moved over early. 

You can imagine how strangely unsettling it was for me to discuss the electronic movement of money via Skype with D from Cambodia having just returned from the garment district.  Oh the things that seem so important to us in our daily lives.  Not meaning to downplay it, because retirement savings is important but at that particular moment, it seemed almost ridiculous.

I will be needing new tires this spring.  The OEM ones are a very soft rubber which wears fast (2nd set provided at time of purchase, first set I'll be paying for at 63000 km) so am switching over to all seasons which are supposed to last almost 3 times as far.  Here's hoping. 

Now that the roof on the main house has been done, we are not anticipating any large housing expenditures this year (knock on wood).  So additional savings on top of regular planned will be labeled for future vehicle replacement.  D's vehicle is 10 years old and unless something major happens, he will continue to drive it until it doesn't make sense.

The office building I'm in has another offer on it.  Whether this one amounts to a changeover, I don't know.  It is out of my hands.  Can only control what I can, which is still a heck of a lot, really.

And in a mild thorn in the side kind of way, I only need to take one short flight to earn base status with Delta for 2015.  You'd think that wouldn't be too difficult but it has stumped me.  The places I want to go this year don't fit well with Skyteam's routes which has meant that even though I've flown lots of miles, I haven't been earning anything towards future qualification. 

I don't feel right about just hopping on a plane without really wanting to go somewhere just for points.  Until now, it just worked out.  Because I'm deliberate in my approach to travel, it needs to be a location that moves me.  I think I'll need to whip out my atlas and start flipping through the pages.  That usually gets me going. 

I'll have plenty of time to think about it as my next adventure is upon me.  A good thing as I have been bone-tired the last week or so.  Eager for some decompression.

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