Sunday, November 29, 2009

No New Truck For You!

Have you noticed we haven't mentioned the new vehicle we were hinting at earlier this week? That's because the steam has been pouring out of Hubby's ears since Wednesday and it's been kind of a touchy subject.

I guess the deal was too good to be true, but really, the flyer we got in the mail was from Chrysler Canada so how could it not be valid? First, here's what they were supposed to be offering;

* 2010 Ram Quad Cab SXT 4X4
* 5.7 litre HEMI rated at 390 horsepower
* power windows, locks, mirrors (heated, too)
* 4 wheel disc brakes

* Price? $29,999! plus
* 1.9% financing for 3 year PLUS
* your choice of $1500 worth of accessories or $1000 worth of extended service or $750 in no charge options or $500 cash back!

Okay, great! We weren't planning to buy something this expensive but what a bargain! We talked it over and decided that it was worth pursuing. So off we trundle to our local dealer and there it was! Sitting right on the lot, looking just like the photo in the ad, same colour and everything. The price on the manufacture's sticker was $39000 and change but scrawled across three different windows was "As Advertised $29,999". Hubby's mouth was starting to water now so right after work the next day he goes to the dealer's lot again. The salesman comes out promptly and right away offers to let Hubby take it for a test drive.

The test drive went great. The truck was smooth, quiet and powerful. The interior was nicely appointed and there were lots of nice toys to play with. "Great" he says and heads back to the dealer to discuss the old truck's trade-in value having already decided that he would be recommending to me that we go ahead with the purchase. We had been looking for a used truck in the $10000 range but now we were going to spend more than 3 times that amount for this vehicle.

That's when the shit hit the fan.

By the time Hubby got back to the lot it was about an hour before closing time for the dealer. When he sat down with the salesman in the office he was told that the deal that had drawn us into the store was over as of close of business that day and that there would be a new special in place the next day. This was on Wednesday, November 25. Now, Hubby was sure that the deal he had seen was supposed to run longer but as he didn't have the flyer with him he couldn't prove it. So he left for home telling himself that the salesman was probably mistaken but thinking that we should follow up together the next evening after work.

When he got home the first thing that Hubby did was to read the advertisement again and sure enough right on the back page it said "Offer ends November 30, 2009" in big bold letters. Stupid salesman, he probably wasn't paying attention in the meeting that morning. What a relief, we would complete the deal on the 26th and still be inside Chrysler's time window.

The next day Hubby picked me up from work all excited about the possibility of a nice new vehicle, happiest I've seen him for a while. We got to the dealer and found our salesman and then took "our" truck out for another drive. I liked it, too. Okay, let's do it. Or, maybe not.

So, we meet back in the salesman's office and the first thing he tells us is that sorry the lot boys didn't get that price erased from the truck's windows. That offer closed yesterday. Today's offer is 0% finacing for 5 years but today the price is $5000 more than yesterday! Wow, 0% financing that costs $5000! Who could possibly turn that down!

Hubby produced his copy of the ad and pointed out the very explicit terms specified including the price, the extras and the expiration date of the offer. There was some discussion back and forth. The manager was called in as the salesman's forehead was starting to get very shiny. There was more disscusion. "We don't like this any more than you do" says the manager in some misguided attempt to make us feel sorry for them. "Those are just Weasle Words", "Bait and Switch", "Illegal" and "We're dead in the water" says Hubby and we left with our $35,000 still in our pockets. I guess the car dealers are making so many sales these days that they don't need it anyway.

As a final note, the salesman did call us back two days later and offer to go ahead with the original deal but in Hubby's mind the sale had already been poisoned. If you're going to commit to a major purchase like this you do not want it make your stomach twist into knots every time you think about it. We will be watching for more offers from the car manufacturers and if we find a good one we will pursue it. As for Chrysler, it will have to be even better than this one was supposed to be but, under no circumstances, will it be at the local dealer. They've already proven that they don't want our money.

Busy end to November.

We have a had a very busy weekend,as you are about to see. Yesterday was a beautiful day so we took advantage of the weather and collected some greenery for decorating outside. We also drove into town to do some shopping and to visit the Farmer's Market. I really love going there and I actually spent quite a bit of money yesterday. We bought some fresh salmon portions for dinner last night and some frozen lobster meat for chowder sometime soon. We also got some beautiful small potatoes, all washed so clean that all we had to do for supper was throw them straight into the cooking pot. The homemade bread we bought made great toast for our breakfast this morning. It was even better topped with some locally produced honey. We're also going to try glazing tonight's roast chicken with some of that honey, too.

In the handicraft section I found a beautiful hand made beaded bracelet and earring set for $10.00. No, is was not for me! Hubby would kill me buying things for myself this close to Christmas. I bought this as a secret Santa gift for someone at work.

Today we cleaned the house and started to put out some of our decorations and crafts around the inside. I was going to start my cookie dough this afternoon but honestly I'm just too tired and not in the mood to start baking today. There's always tomorrow, right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's almost Decemeber (sigh)

This year I seem to be a little ahead of the game, except for the baking part, which I'll try to get a move on this weekend. But the bills in Dec are crazy. I guess I should have a few items rearranged for different months of the year so that Dec. isn't such a cash cow for our creditors.

Here's a little break down for you;
Propane: $182.00
Propane tank rental: $80.00
Car Insurance: $250.00 - Just half for now, don't forget we're driving clunkers.
Donation : $300.00 - Maybe more.
Christmas Baking: $100.00
Christmas Gifts: $1,000.00 - Maybe more.
Christmas Entertainment: $100.00 - You know you'll have friends over and you want to buy something good to eat and drink for them.
Christmas Stocking Stuffers: $15.00 - We all want to see what Santa left in our stockings even if it’s a lump of coal!
Company Christmas party: $50.00 - Unless you’re having a dry Christmas.
Christmas Secret Santa: $15.00 - This you can opt out of but it is fun.
Christmas Tree: $25.00
Christmas Postage: $ 35.00
Christmas Gifts for the mailman and papergirl/boy: $20.00
And lots more items which I'm sure I've forgotten or are not one of my traditions.

So you can see where I'm going with this. You really need a Christmas fund or you are screwed. Unless you choose not to celebrate Christmas which would be a whole lot cheaper.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meal Planning!!

Yup, still have the November blues, but only 8 days to go.

Hubby was very busy today getting the lawn tractor ready for it's winter sleep and the snow blower for it's grand entry. I made lasangna, two full pans, for supper today and the next few days. I'll freeze the extra, which will be enough for two dinners for us or a meal for all if we have company over for supper. It took a ridiculously long time too make it all (3 hours which includes the clean-up time), but it will be worth the effort later this winter.

I guess I need to start getting ready to do my Christmas baking now. This week I'll try to get my doughs together (gingerbread and shortbread) so I can just roll them out, bake and decorate when the mood strikes me. Then I can send some off to the family in the big city.

After that, I still need to make my Cranberry/Orange loaves.

Plus my Almond Bark.

Plus the meat pie for Christmas Eve dinner.

And Hubby will have to plan and do the Wife Saver's Breakfast for Christmas morning.

Man for two people that's a lot of cooking!

Also, Hubby has talked me into going to the company Christmas party, so I'm going to have to see if I can squeeze into any of my party dresses. Maybe I'll just have to buy something new. And, shoes. There'll probably have to be new shoes!

Were am I going to find the time for all this?

Oh, and we're still thinking about a new vehicle. It might even be this...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

OOPS, I did it again...

I forgot to mention the great dessert I made to go with dinner tonight. Homemade Apple Crisp with a few chocolate chips sprinkled on top on one side just to try (ok) but I wouldn't bother next time.

Oh! And yes, Christmas Rice Krispies squares! They were kind of a last minute idea but they are quick to make and tasty, very tasty. I'm so full right now I could burst, but give me a hour or so and those Rice Krispies will be calling my name. LOUDLY!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The BBQ - Just One More Time!

The night was beautiful. It had been a warm sunny day all day on Friday here on The Witch's Island and it felt even better considering that it is the middle of November. We thought to ourselves that it would be lovely to cook a couple of big old steaks on the BBQ for dinner. So, that's what we did; pulled one last meal out of the old beast. We even took a picture or two but look at the poor thing. This picture says it all. What a shame. The meal turned out great, though. Big rib steaks grilled to medium rare with garlic bread and cheese and a side of Caesar salad. The owls where hooting somewhere out in the woods as we cooked. I was warm in Hubby's old canvas coat, even as the temperature started dipping towards real November levels.

The night was magical really. Sometimes you have to look around you and realize how very lucky you are, even with a funky old BBQ. I seem to be doing this a lot more often.

Yesterday I finished the last of the Christmas shopping for my family back home and this afternoon I finished wrapping it all. Ya HOOO!!!!! All I have to do now is mail it off and then I just have hubby to buy for. Next week I'll start my Christmas baking and then I'll be mailing another parcel home. Oh, what a busy girl I am!

Last night for dinner we made pizza and it turned out to be quite a marathon event. We bought some dough for the shells from the local bakery but when we started rolling it out we found that it was contaminated with streaks of something black. It sure looked like mouse shit even if it was something else. So, we had to choose whether to abandon pizza completely or make our own dough from scratch. We chose to do our own but, start to finish, dinner took us almost three and a half hours. Today we are making homemade baked beans and oven-baked bbq ribs. Much less hands-on thankfully. There will be lots of left overs to freeze, too. That's great at this busy time of the year.

I planted my Amaryllis bulb this afternoon. It had already stated to grow inside the box so I guess it's getting a head start this year. My Christmas cactus, which has been in the family for years, has also started to bud out. I'm in such a Christmas mode I might even decorate the house next week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rememberance Day

Last year I wrote...

"On the eleventh month of the eleventh day at the eleventh hour it is time to remember all the veterans and peacekeepers who bravely fought for the freedom we enjoy today. I think about this more and more as I get older and realize how much these men and women truly gave and believed in to make this a better country. I thank-you."

These are still my thoughts and the song below pays a great tribute to all these brave people. Did you stop to think about them today?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BBQ Waste land

I often wondered why they can't make a BBQ to last.
At our local dump there are always lots of dead BBQ's. Mostly cheap ones but not always. I thought for sure the BBQ that my Father bought for us as a home warming gift before we even started building the new house (you don't want to know) would last.

Why you ask?

Well it cost over $500.00 at the time we got it which is, I'm thinking, at least seven years ago. It's a big heavy thing, all stainless steel and cast iron. We thought that it would be hardier than a battleship. Well, it was, for the first year.

The first thing to go was one of the hinge pins for the lid. Hubby fixed it by replacing it with a nut and bolt and luckily he had another set for the other corner when that one broke shortly after. Then the igniter wires started burning off. That was annoying but at least there are two holes in the sides where you can shove a lighter in (almost like they knew we would need them). Then the burner control knobs went, one by one, getting stickier and stickier till we couldn't even turn one of them which means we can't use one of the 4 burners at all.

Then there was the day that the gas line going to the extra side burner melted and then caught on fire. Hubby was just able to get in to shut off the tank before it burned the place down.

Oh yeah, and the inner liner to the lid is now so rusted that we have to be very gentle when we close the lid to keep the loose scale from falling onto the cooking food. No amount of scrubbing seems to be able to eliminate the problem.

In all the time we have been dealing with this stupid thing we kept telling ourselves that it would be a shame to get rid of it because of the stainless steel cabinet and the initial cost of it. However, this week one of the door hinges has rusted through and the door is just hanging off. No way we're fixing this. It's time the damn thing goes to the dump.

The really sad point to this story is that it was the last thing my Dad bought us before he passed away and Hubby has been fixing it every time something breaks down on it just because it was from Dad.

Why can't they make stuff to last? I guess because they have us for suckers. We really don't want to be without a BBQ so I guess it will be something to add to my side bars to save for.

Sorry Dad that we have to junk it, I know you were so proud when you bought it for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Still got them November Blues....

Work has been very busy and challenging lately. Not that it hasn't always been so but this new position is even more intense. This is an industry which requires constant concentration and a keen eye to detail. The job must be perfect upon completion as people's lives could be at stake. So believe me when I say that it can get hard on your head some days. Then you have the annoying co-worker who just drives you nuts, right down to their school child laugh that an adult should have outgrown years ago. Really, grow-up!

Anyway, as you can tell, I have one of these coworkers hanging around me, though thankfully, not often enough to have driven me completely insane. A real "Klingon", and not the old Star Trek kind either. I just pity the poor guys who have to deal with him/her every day. YUK. Thanks, I just had to vent a little.

On the plus side I love seeing everyone around me wearing their poppies. Not just on their outside jackets but on their work clothes, too. With Rememberance Day just around the corner and Canadian troops on active duty overseas I think we all realize how much these men and women sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy so much today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November, Yuck

I hate this month, I don't know why. I guess it's because it is in your face, it's time to get ready for Christmas. I'm not a huge Christmas fan. I like to decorate the tree and the inside of our house, do some baking and a little entertaining but the commercial side of it I just hate.

I guess it gets me down having to figure out what to buy everyone and then it just comes down to a gift certicate exchange anyway. Really, why bother? I would love to live closer to my family and go shopping with them, to see what it is that really gets them exited.

Craft-wise, we can pretty well make anything out there, and it would be nice to tailor it to their decor. Shipping is always an issue for bulky or fragile stuff, too. It's not the money being spent, because we do budget for it, it's just the lack of fulfillment in what I'm buying.

Does anyone else feel this way or is it just my after Halloween blues?

Carved Pumpkins

Halloween was a blast. We had such fun carving our pumpkins and I think you will all agree they look simple marvelous. The night turned out just beautifully weather-wise. It was nice and warm with just a few clouds scudding past the almost full moon. We spent some time sitting out on the front lawn just admiring all the decorations around the house.

I don't know how Hubby comes up with these ideas for his designs but he outdoes himself every year. The pressure is already on for next year.

The kids had fun getting their treat bags and their parents where in shock to see the Pumpkins. Living out in the country we really don't get many trick or treaters only five this year. It looked, for a while that we weren't going to get any at all but in the last 45 minutes before curfew two cars arrived and then the kids from down the road brought their friends over to see the carving.

We had a nice roast chicken dinner and a good bottle of wine while we were waiting for kiddies to show up. I made some Pumpkin Muffins with cream cheese icing for dessert. Quite a feast!

I also got very spoiled and received a very special Halloween gift. She is so cute.
I'm one very lucky girl and Hubby really lets me know it. I hope you all had as great a time as we did!