Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekend Woes

Okay, I'm overdue for some good news! Yesterday was a truly forgettable day as I was having tummy troubles, head troubles and other troubles you don't need to know about - bleccch! Today I feel much better, not ALL better but definitely improving. Too short-lived to be the flu but whatever it was I'm glad it's on its way elsewhere! I spent the day staggering back and forth between the laundry room and the couch. Couldn't watch anything due to pounding headache so listened to an audio book on my iPad. I had a couple bowls of soup and some sorbet.


Yes, I ate sugar and not the good natural kind.  I was craving something cold and sorbet (lime) was all there was.  I had sugar, glucose and confectioners sugar along with other unnatural ingredients too numerous to mention.  And now I'm feeling quite a bit better....ironic...no?

Other than the sorbet I've managed to eat 95% natural sugars only for about a month now. I say 95% as I assume there is sugar in the one beer I drink a week along with the odd glass of wine. I'm sure there is also sugar in a few items that I buy like pasta sauce(6grams per serving) and soy milk (only 1gram per serving). My main condiment is Franks Hot Sauce and it contains no sugar. When I feel a craving (about once a week) I will eat a dried apricot or two - all dried fruit is pretty high in sugar (natural sugars - fructose and glucose) so I have stopped putting dried raisins, cranberries and currants in my morning oatmeal. For now. A small amount is ok but very easy to overeat.

My daughter just came in sick as a dog. Now she is under the blanket on the couch. I'm trying to care for her without coming into contact with her germs - not easy. Lots of hand washing and hand sanitizer. We'll see how she's feeling later in the day and go to the night clinic at our doctor's office if there is no improvement. One of those situations when it's hard to tell if it's a virus or bacterial infection. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

So toodles for now - stay healthy, eat your veggies and stock up on kleenex!

Friday, February 9, 2018

A Spendy Kind of Week

This week will go down in history as Winter Blues Week. Firstly, the weather looks like this:



Then...Kazi and her boyfriend had a misunderstanding ( a euphemism  for tiff), since resolved.

Then, worst of all....my sweet Lily became ill. Last Saturday I "rushed" her to the emergency
vet clinic. As I had to drive through a blizzard it was more of a slow motion kind of rush. I almost missed the clinic altogether as the wind had blown the snow into large drifts and I couldn't see where to enter. 

Her symptoms were lethargy, constant napping and not eating a lot along with some weakness in her hind legs preventing her from being able to jump up onto her castle or napping chairs.
This is how she lets me know that she doesn't want me to go out.
(Not sick in these photos)
Such a pitiful expression.
 So we finally made it to the emergency clinic and they did an examination. To make a long story short the vet "expressed" her two anal glands as they were overly full (the stinky goop in the anal glands gives her her unique smell which is why cats and probably dogs, sniff each other's butt - interesting...no?) The consensus is that modern cat food doesn't make firm enough stools so the goop doesn't get pressed out when they poop. Gee, I hope you aren't eating while you read this!!!

Overly full glands causes discomfort and may have been the cause of her not being able to jump. If she didn't improve then the next step would be x-rays.
 So.....the vet manually expressed (emptied) the glands, gave us a few pain pills and charged me $375 for the pleasure. Oh, she also did blood work to rule out a bunch of stuff. Today, Lily, one week later, jumped up into her castle for the first time! And she ate enough today for 3 cats! Considering she weighs a petite 3.7 lbs I don't mind how much she eats.
 
While I have my morning coffee and read the daily paper
the kitties sit on my lap and legs.
Her BIG sister, Luna, (though she doesn't look that much bigger in these photos as Lily is in the foreground), weighs more than twice what Lily weighs. I weighed myself holding Luna and then without her and estimate Luna weighs about 12 lbs!! So, I have separated their eating areas giving Lily more and Luna less than their usual amounts.


 Since I felt I hadn't spent quite enough money yet I also went to Hakim's and ordered two new pairs of eyeglasses - YIKES!! Hakim's has a very good strategy - charge less per pair IF you buy two pairs. So instead of paying $500 for one pair I paid $700 for two pairs theoretically saving me $300. No tax charged saving me another $91. I am ok with this because my last pair bought 5 years ago from my optometrist's office cost me $550. (I recently broke those) My glasses have all kinds of special needs, prisms and progressives and so on so I'll never be able to buy more inexpensive glasses. Another "good" thing is I found a jeweller who does cold soldering and fixed the glasses that I broke. So now I have 2 new pairs (one sturdier than the other to wear for volleyball) and a backup pair. I hope I'll be good for another 10 years, maybe longer.

So that was my super spendy week. I decided to use my snowflake box towards these expenses and am glad I decided not to take an extra trip this year. I'm going over my needs to see what else, if anything, I should buy since being in such a generous mood :(  New winter boots are on the list along with new hiking boots. I'll wait til I do my taxes to see how much I owe before making any more expenditures. Blech...

Now...back to the Olympics!



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Big Decision Made

I've been wavering back and forth and forth and back on the number of trips to take this year. It's a tough decision considering all of the places I'd like to revisit or visit anew. It's not that I can't afford to travel - it's just that I feel most comfortable having a certain amount of a savings "cushion". Last September when I bought the Honda Civic I paid cash out of my savings accounts - mostly my TFSA. That was on top of the expenses to travel to British Columbia, Bracebridge and Scotland.  So while I am still above my cushion amount now I might not be if I took two major trips this year plus I am looking forward to going to PEI this year as well as Bracebridge once again. My daughter would like to see both of her aunts again this year.
Hiking to China Beach

Mystic Beach

Sun setting on Vancouver Island

Hiking along Loch Lomond

Ferry - Loch Lomond

Family time in Bracebridge
Therefore - I am putting off B.C. this year and going to Scotland for 3 weeks sharing expenses with my brother, plus making visits in Canada sharing costs with Kazi. That will allow me to reimburse my savings account by $1200 per month. By this time next year I'll be able to plan several trips without the anxiety associated with using up too much of my savings.

I think everyone has that magic number that makes them feel comfortable. I didn't really have one when I was teaching but now that my ability to save is a lot lower than when I was working it takes a while longer to build up or rebuild a nest egg. And living on one income is a factor also.

On the bright side I will have the time to ride my bike to Kilally Meadows every day and document the spring wild flowers and birds. I'll need to be in really good shape to keep up with my brother in the Scottish Highlands! He's a lot taller and has a much longer stride than I do.  I estimate my costs for the 3 week trip to Scotland to be around $4,700-$5,000 though I have given myself a large misc fund to cover emergencies, as well as spending money, food, accommodations, rental car, gas, tour fees, ferries and so on. I hope to come in way under budget....she says optimistically!

Do you have travel plans for 2018??