Sunday, December 3, 2017

How's it Going eh?

I'm back to using my fingers splint again thanks to a bad hit in volleyball last week though it doesn't hurt as much this time around. But it does make typing a challenge :) 

All around this has been a challenging week or so. The son of my first cousin, so my second cousin, passed away at the age of 50, from cancer. During his cancer battle his dad was also being treated for a brain tumour. Then an aunt passed away a few days ago and when I went to the funeral home I saw a notice that an old friend from childhood days and to whom I was related to by marriage had passed away - another battle lost to cancer.

Hey Darth - did you drop something?
My grandmother had a saying - "a green Christmas fills the graveyard" and I believe there is some truth to that.  Viruses and superbugs that don't get killed off with the milder winter temperatures wreak havoc in hospital wards. The hospitals here in London announced recently that 9 people have died from a streptococcus outbreak! And they are running out of ways to treat this which is very scary. We've had several mild and green Christmases the past few years - on my way to Norwich yesterday the golf courses were very busy!
Eyes everywhere!
While I love to walk through Kilally Meadows in mild sunshine I would embrace a cold snap right about now. And let's not forget how farmers rely on deep snow cover in their fields during the winter months.
Climate change is here and denying it like ostriches with our heads in the sand isn't going to do any of us any good in the long run. Other bugs (and I don't mean viruses this time) and beetles are heading into Canada and the northern states as their territory expands. Longer warm seasons encourages migration of various creepy crawlies - the pine beetle is an example of this and is killing trees by the thousands, maybe millions!

Okay, really didn't plan on going off on a tangent there!  Sometimes it just happens.
So....onto the financials! Those are looking pretty good thankfully. My snowflake box now holds $1,000 - Christmas is officially covered. And I only have 3 people left to buy for - yippee! And the house is decorated...well...the tree is up and has its lights on but the decorator - Kazi - hasn't had time to put on all the baubles yet. Maybe later today...she is with her sister Hannah today - Hannah is being raised Catholic and today is her confirmation. Kazi went over early to do Hannah's hair and makeup. Told her to take pictures so hopefully...
Faces galore!
 With regard to the budget:

  • my share of the car insurance has shrunk by $10 a month - I'll take it!
  • internet has decreased by $30 a month - hurrah! (now I'm going to look for a better, cheaper cell phone plan)
  • I'm on a 10 month property tax plan so no taxes to pay this month or next :)
  • I budgeted $70 for heat, hot water heater and dryer and it came to only $54!
  • I budgeted $70 for electricity but don't have that bill yet - in winter we use an electric fireplace in the TV room so that it's nice and cozy in there, down there?
  • I increased my food budget for December and have $80 set aside for gas. I may use it all this month what with trips out of town but that's ok. 
  • The budget is balanced and hopefully I can keep spending in check. I must admit I've been tempted to buy new clothes, new hiking boots etc but so far so good.  Tis the season for shopping but not on myself!! Not til the new year and boxing day sales!!

 I'll have a nice pay raise in January so looking forward to that. It would be super nice if the raise in pension was higher than the increase in my bills! Well, I can dream, can't I? So far I think property taxes are being raised by 3.8% - boo! Condo fee is being raised as it is every year though I'm not sure how big the increase is. I've stuck the notice in a drawer and am too lazy to get up and get it for you.
Sorry. Not sorry.
I have about $500 in misc spending for December - hoping I don't use it all so that I can start buying British pounds. The $500 has to cover the remaining Christmas gifts, extra food and alcohol, stamps for cards, entertainment and so on. I'll stretch it as much as I can.

That wraps up my update for today. How are your Christmas preparations going?

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