Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I Miss about PEI

The sights, the sounds and the treasures found on Northport beach.
The great fish and chips at the harbour in Alberton
The wonderful music and cuisine of Victoria Row, Charlottetown
The beautiful architecture of the 19th century
oh yes, and the seafood!
The colourful homes, the cedar shingles
The genius and majesty of the Confederation Bridge
But what I miss the most is how infinite the sky is in PEI
especially from my acreage near Alberton.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Whew!!! OR...Making it to the End of the Month before the End of the Money


A balanced budget is like a well-balanced meal - it's good for you and you feel sooooo much better because you didn't over do it. 

This month, while only the first month of my new FOUR YEAR PLAN budget, found us getting to the end of the month before the end of our money.  This is an axiom I have taken to heart after faithfully watching every episode of "Til Debt do us Part" (some of them twice) starring famous Canadian money maven Gail Vaz-Oxlade. 

But it's not the end of the month you say.  True; however, even an unforeseen emergency won't sidetrack my budget - after all - that's what my emergency account is for, isn't it?

The best part is that we have a small surplus. You know, Gail is right - when you track your money every single day it makes you so much more aware of where it's going and then you're better able to control it.

And I do feel better just like I would if I ever ate a well-balanced meal (I'll just have to take that as a given:).  In fact, I feel ECSTATIC knowing I can sock away at least an extra $80.00 into the Crofter's Lane savings jar.

Payday is two days away, the food in the fridge will take us beyond that thanks to my soup-making, stew-creating partner, my daughter put gas in the car (bless her!) and I still have $20.00 in my wallet and an extra $10 in my chequing account. Woo hoo! 

Dairy Queen beckons, but no, that would knock my well-balanced supper all askew, boo hoo....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Long and Winding Road of Debt

When one (me) buys a new home when one (me) already owns a home and a trailer certain sacrifices must be made in order to:
a) remain solvent
b) not go broke
c) not declare bankruptcy
d) all of the above

Therefore, in keeping with the theme of frugality enforced upon me (by me) I am declaring September 2010 to September 2011 to be:
THE YEAR I DIDN'T BUY ANY CLOTHING and perhaps the year I explore fully the use of colons and lists while posting.

Included in this "clothing ban" will be:
a) shoes and boots
b) purses, belts, jewelry and other accessories
c) socks, gloves

Allowed items will be:
a) underwear (they don't make 'em like they used to and what if I'm in an accident??
b) clothing borrowed from my stylish, rich daughter (payback time!)
c) gifts (Christmas is coming after all)

So I hereby pledge my troth - me and my money will not be parted - for better or worse...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Sister Dear

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own free greeting

Changing my Attitude

Historically, this time of year always makes me very sad: I am back at school no longer with the leisure time to enjoy sights as the Bayfield sunset pictured above, the weather gets colder (and much rainier for some reason this year - and no, I'm not sure if that is a real word or not but it's just the right word so live with it!), I get a lot grumpier (oh, you didn't notice??), I have to do the major switch of clothing - put away all the beautiful, brightly-coloured summery attire and haul out all the black and grey clothing (yuck yuck yuck - and no I'm not laughing), the trips to the trailer start to dwindle to nothing and my thoughts turn to scraping icy windshields and the like.

However, this year I've noticed that the doom and the gloom are less doomier and gloomier. Instead of dwelling on "what was" I am thinking of the renovations I want to make to my new abode in PEI. How much further should I extend the kitchen and the mudroom - 8 feet?  12 feet?  more?? And the new barn I want to build - where should it be placed - to the left of the house or to the right? Should I include a guest room in it as was suggested by my friend Troy the other day? And I wonder how the 34 little spruce seedlings that Michael transplanted from the forest are doing? Are they thriving - I know they've been getting lots of rain.

Yesterday, while at the trailer, a relative of our neighbour's came by to view the trailer (I have it up for sale though not trying very hard to sell it) and once again I was faced with the dilemma of either selling it and using the money to pay down my line of credit or keeping it so I can enjoy it during the spring and fall (summers I will be in PEI). 

The thought of selling it doesn't leave me quite as panic-stricken as before. Although greatly attached to the trailer (it's where I regained my senses after my marriage fell apart and where I came to understand what is truly important in life -FREEDOM NOT STUFF) I know I have my feet placed firmly under me and can take my life's lessons with me wherever I am.  It's not the trailer I need now - it's living a meaningful life - in the classroom, in the condo, in my neighbourhood, in my family, with my friends and in PEI.

So if it comes to that - I feel confident I can live the "trailer life" without the trailer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Sister Found my House!

There she is, my sister Lannie - the matriarch of our family - a position she took on when our mother died 10 years ago. The oldest in a family of five children (I'm the youngest) she bravely soldiers on dragging the rest of us along with her.

She is currently on the island, with her partner Jim, visiting his brother Frank, and wife Caron, who live near Cambridge, PEI.  Yesterday, yet another rainy day in PEI, they decided to go on a road trip to find my new house, sitting all by its lonesome, waiting for Michael and I to return. Sigh...

Around 5pm I got a phonecall.  They had driven to Alberton and all around but couldn't find Butcher Rd. Now they were in O'Leary at a quilt shop.  Rather, Lannie and Caron were in the quilty shop, Jim and Frank were sitting in the van reading the paper. I guess quilts aren't manly enough for them:)

When I had given Lannie directions they returned to Elmsdale, made a quick right on Butcher Rd. and again, couldn't find our house! The road went from paved to gravel, which turned into a swamp due to buckets of rain over the last little while.  HINT: when you hit gravel in PEI turn around, you've gone too far!!

Turning around they spotted the bright pink rope I had strung across the bottom of our .4km driveway to hold the Private Property sign. They made it up our driveway, thankfully not a swamp, and had a look around. Lannie called me and told me they had found it - but why was I concerned about putting up curtains?? Heck - it was such a private location you could run around outside naked.  (I'll save that story for another post tee hee!!)

So Lannie held up our "Welcome" mat for a photo op, but since it was still raining they departed for the other side of the island without sampling the most excellent cuisine of Northport's fish and chip stand. Next time:)

I'm just happy to see our home is still standing and intact. It sure is hard to live so far away from it.