Tuesday, 17 April 2018

April update

A little update on where I am at:

Eating - too much crap again, I must return with a happy heart to healthy eating. I was doing so damn well until a month ago.

Feeling - grateful for this life, even though the weather sucks.

Waiting - for summer to turn up, this weather sucks. I am, as usual, sick and tired of the cold. I want to ride in long grass in an endless evening, walk the dogs before work, have windows open so that I can listen to the crickets, lie with one foot in the pool, soak up the heat and humidity that everyone else bitches about, feel that I simply have to put AC on in the car just to cope. Bring.It.Back

Watching - North Woods Law. I rather like it and it has the wonderful effect of sending me to sleep at night after about 20 minutes, why did I refuse a TV in the bedroom for all those years?

Planning - road trips this summer - yay!!!!!!!!! And how to get to Florida next winter now we cant just go when it suits me. Oh and what to do with Ace this year, primarily how to get him to showgrounds.

Wishing - we had pushed the plumbers to locate the backwater value inside the house instead of allowing them to dig up the entire front garden. The fight against their outrageous over-inflated final invoice goes on whilst we face a new bill to repair the construction site lawn. By the time this is all over we will have paid around $9k - ugh!
Hindsight is always 50/50.

Pondering - how much life changes as you grow and how many lessons I have learned from watching Marley and Me. The movie thats not just about a dog.

Considering - all my shortcomings as a person and how to work on them. There are many.

Facing - children that are growing up too fast and the fact that university for the oldest feels like its literally around the corner.






Sunday, 8 April 2018

Frustration

This week I have been more than frustrated.
Since we have lived in this house, which for the record, I adore, we have changed the windows and the roof and the front and garage doors. Yes, these are indeed big ticket items but were necessary and compared to how big a deal it is to put a new roof on a UK home, its somewhat cheaper here to redo a roof. I think it helps that no actual tiles are going up, here they use shingle that looks a little like wallpaper to those that are not used to it (me at first!).
Old windows, roof and doors - leaky rook, windows that let in cold air.....

New windows, roof and doors- warm and dry! (oh and stylish!)

We have also put in drains for the back garden to remove the never draining water and resulting black stinky mould:


 practically rebuilt the pool, put in a new bathroom and built a fenced in area for the dogs.
Old pool liner that was changed along with pump and filter
 
 
 New bathroom
 
New fence going in:


Over time I have hankered for a pool heater to increase the time we can use the pool in the summer, a downstairs powder room for those littlies that suddenly need to pee the moment they hit the pool and then have to trapse either upstairs or downstairs trailing water, oh and a new kitchen.

Each year we have deemed all the above unaffordable for various reasons and then suddenly over the Christmas period we found we had to dig up our drains and replace them. The ensing chaos is almost over, the new drains are in at massive cost and stress and the front garden now resembles a construction site which will soon be covered in the requisite dandelions that seem to have taken over in the last couple of years.
Front garden being dug up to resolve drains issue..

So now we have to correct that and in tallying up the costs of this drainage emergency, its coming to close on $8k!
I am pissed as dreams of a pool heater are starting to wither and die once more and the thought that this $8k would have put in a powder room or been a massive chunk of a new Ikea kitchen is hard to stomach frankly.

But.... it is what it is (Canadian saying now adopted freely by me) and I have to suck it up (another one) and get over it. I guess you could say these are good problems to have.
The remaining kitchen will see another year at least...
My BFF in said kitchen....



Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The last February week in Florida

In February we went on our final February 10 days trip to Florida for a very long while. Our oldest starts high school in September and therefore we can kiss goodbye to a week off in February going forward. The toughest part for me is the thought that a Spring time fix of the South can only be a long weekend for the next 8 years and once thats over the girls will have finished high school so it will never be the same again, anyway.
I struggle with the thought of these types of changes. It makes me sad.

Anyway, this trip was lovely. We had the Friday through to the Sunday morning in Davenport in Bahama Bay. I know we frequent Bahama Bay every year but it never gets old. The pure joy of driving through the gates remains, the being there every second is incredibly precious, the leaving sucks big time! Those two days were the mosrt packed in, drink in every moment as usual time. I miss it alot.








On the Sunday morning we joined Don for a week back at Spinnackers Captains Quarters in AMI and it was just as relaxing as the previous year. Its no Keys, you dress up for dinner in AMI and there are a fair few snarky seniors there but its beauty doesnt fade.
I walked. Alot. Beach, neighbourhood, beach, neighbourhood again. The meals at Mar Vista Restaurant on Long Boat Key and "The Feast" on Holmes Beach delivered as before.







It was, as always, a so very important time in my year. The time of great happiness, relaxation, family time with people I love in a State I adore.
We have to get creative going forward to have time in the Keys and in Davenport so as to not create an schooling issue. Thank goodness we are but 3.5 hours direct flying time away.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Trips ahoy

Today I finally managed to frame my CPA certificate thats been in a box for months now. The frame is sat on the floor, hopefully it will make it to the wall today.

This year is looking promising for travel plans. Those that know me know that I hate to waste money and hell even sometimes hate to spend money unless its on a trip. Trips last forever, after the wonderful time I am on one and then in my memory, in the nostalgic trips discussions I have with the girls, in the way I feel when I have been on one.

So far planned out:
Spring trip to the sunshine state with the family
BFF coming over to visit for Easter
Brother here in April for a couple of weeks
June trip to the UK is a possibility right now
September road trip/date trip to see Buck Brannaman in Maine booked
Mum coming to stay in September for the above trip and whale watching tour
Dad coming for a couple of days at the start of Oct before he commences a Canada trip.

Sigh.
Happy

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

planning for the future whilst eating in the present

I spend some happy time reading other peoples blog posts, these are usually full-time RVers that have retired and are all over the continent in their rigs. I love reading of their adventures and its helpful when they list their expenditure as this is something I would like us to be able to try when we retire (whenever that is).

I am a planner by nature. I always have to have a plan and currently our retirement planning is on my list, along with living in the present moment as much as I possibly can.

I think we have a good 15 years till retirement and it fills me with contentment when we meet with our financial advisor to check on our financial planning to make sure this RV into retirement dream will, in fact, be a realistic option when the time comes.

Right now its looking like we can do it. Of course it means downsizing the house in a big way but thats ok, I can already mentally see the little home we will move to, that will be ours when we are home.

So, of course, between now and then, whilst loving in the present moment (yes I mean loving as I love my life), I am consious of trying to remain healthy for now and for the future.

At the weekend I watched an interesting documentary on Netlix called Hungry for Change. Documentaries work with me. Jamie Oliver once showed how hotdogs are made and I still shudder at the thought of eating them. I dont care how poor I become, cheese on toast will always trump a hotdog.

This specific one explained how eating the wrong food works, or rather doesnt, in the human body. I was pretty transfixed and now feel totally different in how I view what I am eating. I am even on the verge of purchasing a juicer!

For a couple of years now a friend of mine has been trying to convince me to drink hot lemon water first thing, to clean out my organs. I havent bothered until now.
I am now proudly on day 3 of my first thing lemon water. I have this mug that has the word "pause" on it that I use just for this. To me, it tells me to pause my day to do this. Its certainly making me drink less coffee, I am now on 2 cups a day rather than 5 or 6.

I hope this new found desire to eat this way becomes a permanent habit.



Thursday, 28 December 2017

2018 NY resolutions


Its December 28th and I am chilled at home. I cannot recall the last time I took the period between Christmas and NY off and its really very nice. Its also incredibly cold outside, -25C in the windchill so chilling inside is about all I am good for.
I took a look back at my 2017 NY resolutions and I think that for the most part I made it.

I have certainly grown as a leader and try every day to impact my staff in  a positive way. I am present in my family life and I am so pleased that those years of anxiety are just memories to me now. They are useful memories as they allow me to understand anxiety and what its like to suffer from it, and I didnt before.

So for this year, this 2018 that is fast approaching my list is thus:

  1. Continue growing at work.
  2. Enjoy Ace and my new saddle and keep competing and improving my riding.
  3. Keep working on improving myself as a human being and role model for my two girls.
  4. Work on bringing that line of credit right down.
  5. Go on a road trip to somewhere new this summer.
  6. Meet up with my friend Jenne, its been too long.
  7. Find a level of fitness that works for me.
  8. Succesfully grow some vegetables.
  9. Eat meat only from local farms where animal welfare is off a high priority, guilt-free meat as I call it.
  10. Have a once a month date-night with hubby, even if its just a coffee at Tim Hortons.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

We made it!

After the shelling out of some cash back in January and the completion of more forms (we are pros at this now), we learnt all about Canadian history, politics, law, who was on various bank notes (bills to Canadians) and the pictures on various coins. This led us to site (write) exams back on a chilly day in April down in Halifax. We each passed the twenty questions with 100%.

Then we waited, and waited, and waited some more.
Finally we had our citizenship ceremony on December 12th and became Canadian.
I am so very proud to call myself that.