Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone

What a year it has been! No regrets, I'm just hoping 2010 is as good to us. We have our health, each other, family, friends, and good jobs. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Thanks to all you blog followers for all the lovely and kind words thoughout the year and I look forward to reading all your fine blogs in 2010. I'm joining the daily savings club which is a great idea from Gill "That British Woman". Check out her site if you are interested in joining too.

Actually I might be doing a lot of challenges this year. Meal planning, No Drive Days and No Spend Days (ala "Saving4Later") and maybe some exercising to try to lose a few pounds would also be nice. Hopefully I'm up for all these challenges. I'm going to start focusing more on savings so we can both retire sooner. And I'm really going to start saving for one mean looking BBQ this spring. Wish me luck! Now I just have to start working on getting that raise this year.

Cheer's to you all and I hope everyone rings in the New Year safely. I'll be waiting for Granny New Years to stop by sometime during the night. It's a Scottish tradition and I'll leave you in suspense till tomorrow to explain.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Geo caching

Hubby gave me a hand held GPS unit so we can go geo-caching, and that's how I spent the afternoon today - looking for caches.

We found two sites easily but the log book was missing from the first site, all that was left was the pencil. So we just continued onto the next one. We found the cache, which was well hidden, and of course the rules are that if you take something out of the cache you must put something back. I took out a purple stone and put in a Canadian Tire bill which was folded up like a shirt, origami style.

I had a blast and we walked around today for a couple of hours. We took one unintended side track when we followed a set of coordinates that had been entered improperly. The weather was perfect though, the birds were singing and there were animal tracks in the snow everywhere we looked. I can hardly wait for my next outing, I just hope we don't get any heavy snow fall for awhile.

Thanks Hubby for a great gift, one which I have wanted for quite awhile, plus I'm getting some exercise and vitamin D.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Time and Boxing Day

Merry Christmas
Season's Greetings
Joyeux Noel
Happy Boxing Day???

I'm a day late in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas but I know you'll all forgive me. We have been so busy that it is hard to believe the day is over. :-( Hubby made his traditional Wife Savers breakfast which once again saved his ass come X-mas morning.

We opened some gifts and then talked all day on the telephone to family and friends. I didn't even open my e-mail or even have the computer on the last two days so I have a lot of catching up to do. I even missed what Google did on their main page for Christmas. Please let me know.

Today I have some boxes to break down and put away, which is good because it is Boxing Day. Then I want to do some budgeting for the coming year and see how much I can squeeze our budget so we can save for a nice vacation to see family and friends back home. I also want to make a list of items which need to be replaced such as the old chipped Corel bowls. They are going bye bye. Plus, I'm going to start X-mas shopping earlier even if I only buy one gift card a month. I have all kinds of gardening ideas I have to start saving for, too.

Already I feel I'm going to run out of time planning.
As always I will keep you all posted.

Happy Boxing Day everyone!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 More Sleeps!

Yes, it's just that close and we're just so busy that I'm only going to make this a short little post. I wanted to share pictures of my amaryllis, ain't she a beauty? The first picture was shot on the 18th and three days later the blooms are fully open, just in time for Christmas.

Oh, and the little scene below is set up on our coffee table. The goofy look on the reindeer's face breaks me every time I look at him. Poor little reindeer

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Christmas Party

We had a little get together with close friends last night for some finger food, drinks and lots of laughs. We also played a few games, crokinole and chess (the latter is so much fun after a few rummy eggnogs). We always have a great time with this group and I'm planning a games night of some sort for the New Year. I can hardly wait.

I've finished my Christmas shopping and it's all wrapped up. I'm just waiting for Santa to hopefully drop by (I think I've been a good girl). We'll just have to wait and see!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas is just WAY too busy!

I hate feeling guilty about not posting. I know that if I want to keep my readers happy I have to say something interesting on a reasonably frequent basis but this week I think that I might have dropped the ball, or at least fumbled it a bit. My, oh my, we have been busy and I'm just now finding the time to sit down here for a few minutes to write this. Guilt be damned!

The training that I have been doing for my new position has been accelerating every week since I started it. At first I was told that I would apprentice for a year or more, maybe a year and a half, but on Friday I was told that both my trainer and my supervisor think that I have progressed far beyond expectation. They think that I am ready to receive almost full qualification.

It makes me very anxious, more than a little nervous, to accept full responsibility for my work. Don't they realize that I have only really had about three months of training? I appreciate the vote of confidence they have given to me but surely there must be a heck of alot more to learn. Hubby is extremely proud of what I have achieved but I am just worried that someone is going to notice that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I hope that I'm not going to let everyone down.

On top of that we have the Christmas holidays and all the attendant stress involved. There are presents to hunt down, crowds to deal with, wrapping, oh the wrapping, and shipping off to the big city. And then comes the baking, cookies, lots of cookies, everybody wants cookies and they need to be shipped off in a timely fashion as well. Top that off by spending a sizeable chunk of our annual income and our savings to purchase a reliable vehicle just so that we can make it to work in the winter. Sigh...

All right, enough of the whining and complaining. In spite of what I have just said I love the new truck, I love baking and the Christmas holidays, I love my new position at work, I love the challenge it brings to daily life and I love my family (what a surprise). So here are a few pictures of the cookies we are sending home. The first picture shows a couple of batches of Shortbread cookies. Some are naked, just as they came out of the oven, and the others have been dipped in Belgian chocolate and then into either crushed almonds or crushed candy canes, mmm! The other picture shows a batch of the orange flavoured oatmeal-raisin cookies that the folks back home claim to love so much. I wonder if anyone would use the recipe if I shared it? Let's find out, here it is...

Orange-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Dipped in White Chocolate
(original recipe might be from Sun-Maid Raisins)

3/4 cup raisins
3 tbsp orange juice or Cointreau liqueur
1/2 cup butter (at room temp.)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
8 ounces white chocolate chips

Combine orange juice, orange peel and raisins; let stand overnight. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine flour and baking soda; stir into butter mixture. Add raisins, any soaking liquid and oats; mix well. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart; flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

In the upper pot of a double boiler, over medium heat, warm the chocolate until melted. Stir until smooth. Dip one edge of each cookie into chocolate and gently shake off excess back into the pot. Place dipped cookies onto wax paper lined cookie sheet and allow 15 minutes to set completely. Chill or freeze. Doesn't matter, they won't last long anyway.

Makes about 3 dozen

Yeah, that was the one...

After the heartbreak of losing the deal on the 2010 truck we were indeed lucky to find this beauty last weekend. It took some real thought to decide to spend this amount of our savings on a vehicle but we think that we chose well. It took us a week to finalize the sale but Big Red came home yesterday and we think that it is just gorgeous. It is much prettier than the new truck we were considering and much better equipped. Oh yeah, and almost $20,000 less than the list price of the new one! I guess that the a__holes at the first dealership actually did us a big favour, and they probably didn't need our money anyway.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Okay, How About This one?

Hubby is still seething about our experience with the local Dodge dealer. Just by writing these words I can see the steam starting to rise off the top of his head. But all should calm down soon (hopefully). We dropped by another local dealer's lot on Saturday while we were out to do some Christmas shopping and we found a nice, clean, low-mileage truck like the one in these two pictures. While these are stock photos from Daimler Chrysler via and ours looks just like them.

The spec.s are good - 5.7 litre HEMI, Quad Cab, 4 wheel drive, 20 inch alloys, power everything - and the price is reasonable. It even fits into the garage, we know because we tried it out. They have offered a decent price on our old truck although they haven't seen it yet. The people we have dealt with at the dealership have been much more pleasant to work with, too. If we can agree to a couple of small things we will probably bring this home this week. Say a prayer for us!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

26 questions - This could be fun...

I saw this on one of my favourite sites (saving4later) the other day and I had fun filling it out. I thought you might, too.

Last Movie I Saw In A Movie Theater?
- “E.T.” yep, it has been awhile…

What Book Are You Reading?
- “Weekend Warrior” by Fern Michaels

Favorite Board Game?
- Monopoly

Favorite Magazine?
- “Saltscapes”

Favorite Smells?
- Grapefruit, cucumbers and damp earth, not necessarily at the same time.

Favorite Sounds?
- Owls hooting down in the woods.

Worst Feeling In The World?
- Having a death in the family.

First Thing You Think of When You Wake?
- Glad to be alive.

Favorite Fast Food Place?
- Tim Horten's

Future Child’s Name?
- Don't need one, won't be having any.

Finish This Statement—“If I Had a Lot of Money,”
- I would disappear.

Do You Drive Fast?
- Yes, but only when Hubby isn't looking.

Do You Sleep With a Stuffed Animal?
- No (but Happy Bunny is on the dresser right close by!)

Storms—cool or scary?
- All storms are cool, I especially love thunder and lightning!

What Was Your First Car?
- Hubby and I had a 1972 4-door Nova.

Favorite Drink?
- Red wine.

Finish This Statement—“If I Had the Time, I Would…”
- Learn a new language.

Do You Eat the Stems on Broccoli?
- Yup, lots of different ways, too.

If You could Dye your Hair Any Other Color, What Would It Be?
- A rich red colour.

Favorite Sport to Watch?
- NFL football - Go you Raiders, Go!

What’s Under Your Bed?
- My beautiful hardwood floor and bunnies, lots of dust bunnies.

Would You Like to Be Born As Yourself Again?
- No.

Morning Person or Night Owl?
- Night owl for sure.

Over Easy or Sunny Side Up?
- Sunny side up, please.

Favorite Place to Relax?
- At the beach.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?
- Chocolate, especially from Cows