Sunday, 3 February 2019

The first Sunday of February

Its Sunday and its February already. The sun is "splitting the rock" as they say in NL and its incredibly cold. Paul and I have gotten into a new Sunday routine where we take the dogs to the dog park in the late morning and then come home and make brunch. The afternoon is then reserved for household chores, some hot tub lounging and some TV shows as we watch so little television during the week.
Todays trip to the dog park was for only about 20 mins. We are trying to see if Alpine soreness after his first foray there was due to fitness or a bigger issue that I frankly can do without. So we are allowing a max of 20 minutes running around to see if hes ok. Its not hard to stick to that as its so incredibly cold.

Last week found me in Manchester NH for work for three days. We experienced snow squalls, Maceys and Crackerbarrel in addition to the real reason we were there - meetings with the team.  l like going to that office and I now LOVE Crackerbarrel and dont know why its taken me so long to discover it. We have driven past countless Crackerbarrels on trips to the US and I always thought it was regarding cheese. Seems not - think "
grandmas good old southern cooking and hospitality" complete with grits, fried apples, bacon and tremendous buttermilk pancakes.

Today is also Superbowl day. When I was in Manchester I got an inkling of what this evening could be like in every home south of the border and I am half wondering if its high time I bought into it and made sure we were Superbowl ready.  I think I might watch it to see what all the fuss is about...

Monday, 31 December 2018

2019 New Years resolutions

I am considering 2019 New Years resolutions as I am, as per normal these days, sitting in two places at once. I have two strong drivers this year. They are always on my radar but at this point they are screaming louder than ever that they want to drive decisions and be a priority.
With our girls growing up at a frankly alarming rate, I know for a fact that trips as a family are even more precious than they have ever been. I have always been one to want to spend money on family trips as the memories alone are more than worth it. For me I get tremendous joy in the planning, the travelling, the being there enjoying the time together as a family, and then the memories that come out of it. Unfortunately trips cost money and trips to Florida even more so, also Florida is now restricted on travel dates due to high school and weather. I want heat but not hotter than hell, can’t do anything at all, heat.

Secondly, and in direct contrast to the other main driver is my need to pay down debt. For the first time I am feeling a strong want to over-pay our mortgage. To get there we need to get rid of the remainder of this line of credit. Its significantly lower but its still freakin there, like a bad smell. Ideally it will be gone and then we can pay more on the mortgage, even if its just $50 a month – ANYTHING will help me here.

So, with these in mind, the list for 2019 (in no particular order):

·         Get rid of line of credit, finally, FFS;
·         Overpay mortgage;
·         Road trip in the summer, ideally to Jenn but that requires some more responsible consideration;
·         Our weekend get-away with BFF;
·         Get Ace moving his feet, as per Buck Brannamen style of training, and continue building our relationship
·         Work towards and attend all three Salmon River shows;
·         Save and plan for our next Florida trip – I really want a couple of days back in the Keys as well as Bahama Bay;
·         As per Geneen Roth, spend less time “in the attic” and more time on every floor;
·         Really enjoy this home we have, in the present moment, every single day;
·         Start writing. I have the concept, the name and the front cover shot all worked out, now need to create the content;
·         Rock this corporate finance team;

I am hoping that all these resolutions work in correlation or as close as possible, despite some of
this being in total contrast (saving money vs spending money 😊)
Its all about balance is it not? Therefore, its being financially responsible whilst still living – its
that thin thin line.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 27 December 2018


Its fast approaching 2019 and as usual life is flying by. We have been in Canada almost 8 years and this place is well and truly home.
I had a call with my FIL about a week or so ago which was fun as for every sentence spoken I found myself loudly or mentally translating what was said. I just couldnt help it.

FIL - " so Melissa has a new house to move into and its really nice but she has to put carpets down, so on the floor is only... um"
Me "a subfloor?"
FIL "Yes its wood so she has to order carpets but the hall and kitchen is hard"
Me "they have tile?"
FIL "Yes and the kitchen is nice, has lots of cupboards.."
Me in my head "cabinetry"
FIL "...and has the plumbing for white goods"
Me in my head "appliances"

And so it continues, this constant mental translation of words and sayings that takes place in my head.

Its been a lovely Christmas, despite me having a fairly active cold. As usual Paul cooked a delicious Christmas dinner and Ruby and co. joined us for dinner which was as always wonderful, but the differences that really stood out to me were how I felt about pretty much everything. My friends who I completely love, I am so comfortable with them and so grateful for them. The quiet, I truly loved it. The way I still feel about the tree and the decorations, usually by now I am ready for them to be gone, but this year I am still enjoying them. Boxing day was everything Boxing day should be - binge watching a vet show (the Incredible Doctor Pol) whilst Paul watched Harry Potter, snacking on sandwiches made of hot turkey, ham, sliced roast potatoes, stuffing and cold cranberry sauce. Being able to visit with Ace, walking the dogs with Paul, helping Chloe organize her new room, watching Lily paint with her new watercolours, sitting in the dark with the cats in front of the fire and looking at the lights of the house across the road surrounded by the night sky.

So much cosy and comfort of our home. Truly thankful.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

A review of 2018's NY resolutions

Its December 25th and I am sat here contemplating something to eat (no idea what) while Christmas dinner cooks in the oven. Its due at 3pm and now is almost noon and I have only had toast this morning so hunger is creeping up....
I just went over 2018's new years resolutions that I put down last December to see if I managed to achieve any of them at all:

Here they are, with outcomes now we are nearing the end of the year:
  1. Continue growing at work. This has gone well as now I have a bigger team in corporate accounting which I am looking forward to leading. I decided a couple of months ago that I needed a plan for some personal leadership,  so I signed up to Spotify and now listen to leadership podcasts on my way into work, its been the best most motivating use of 40 minutes in the morning that I ever thought of. 
  2. Enjoy Ace and my new saddle and keep competing and improving my riding. I am enjoying my lessons with Leah and have come to realize that the three Salmon River shows are exactly what we both need each year, no more and no less.
  3. Keep working on improving myself as a human being and role model for my two girls. The leadership podcasts are helping here too. They come to me for advice and I hope they always do and I am proud of who they are growing into. 
  4. Work on bringing that line of credit right down. This year we decided that we would take my bonus and put it straight on the line of credit and not book our springtime, much loved, Florida trip. This was a very hard decision and it remains hard, but bringing the line of credit limit down by a huge chunk was very satisfying.
  5. Go on a road trip to somewhere new this summer. We actually went to three places, Silver Lake, ME with the girls and some friends, CB with my Canadian BFF and her family and Paul and I went on a date weekend to watch Buck Brannaman in Cornish, ME. It was all fantastic.
  6. Meet up with my friend Jenne, its been too long. This has sadly not yet been achieved. Its either a 3.5 day drive or a 13 hour trip with three flights. Either way its long, the drive option is affordable but frankly epic. Still processing this one.
  7. Find a level of fitness that works for me. Ah yes, I currently suck in this dept. Fitness level is at an all time low right now.
  8. Succesfully grow some vegetables. This too is an epic fail this year.
  9. Eat meat only from local farms where animal welfare is off a high priority, guilt-free meat as I call it. Still not managed to afford this one, the most I get too is free range eggs which is of course only the tip of the iceberg. Frankly I wish those people in charge of our meat would put the damn animals first anyway.
  10. Have a once a month date-night with hubby, even if its just a coffee at Tim Hortons. We are not good at this either although we are walking the dogs together more now.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Its SO dark

As usual for this time of year I am hitting that season when as soon as it gets dark (between 4pm and 5pm) it feels like PJ time.
All I want to do is get home and hunker down in front of the fire in PJs with a book or Netflix.
In the summer this time is the start of the evening and of all thing possible - beach walks, BBQs, riding, walking, hanging out in the pool etc....
Why is it so hard to do anything now?
I have the same, albeit cold, time available in the evening as I had all year. I just dont want to do a thing in that time except get ready for bed.
Maybe bears have the right idea....

Saturday, 24 November 2018

How are we feeling today?

So... its 48 hours since I stop existing on FB and so far I have found the following to be true about me:
  • I have way more time. I even made soup on the first evening for lunch the next day. I dont think I have ever done that and it made me aware of how much I havent been doing.
  • I have been looking around more at my home and really noticing it, in colour, like really looking at it.
  • I am interacting more with everyone, including the pets.
  • I like Instagram, but I am sure thats because I hardly follow anyone I know but the ones I do follow are in the Keys, or RV-ing around the US, or post amazing photos of Colorado or Arizona or wherever they are on the planet.
  • There, so far, is no political, religious, argumentative or negative BS in my Instagram feed and I am on it for like 10 mins, max. On FB an hour would slide away easily.
  • I am back to reading my blogs so instead of reading a ton of bitchy comments on a FB post and feeling low about how shitty people generally are, I instead feel happy, enlightened, informed, free.... OF.IT.ALL
  • I have watched a lot of Gossip Girl. Its nice to have real escapism, in my home, without welcoming hundreds of strangers online comments and arguments in too.
  • I like how my thumbs no longer ache from constant scrolling.
  • Yesterday, at lunchtime I ordered my groceries online, did some research into flying from YHZ to XNA and how much hotels cost in Arkansas and perused some webcams in the Keys. I havent looked at those webcams for years.
  • I am learning how to use things like Google photos for saving my photos instead. I realize most of the world already knows how to use Google photos but I dont. I am going to change all that.
  • I am decidedly happier, already (and isnt that what life is meant to be about anyway?!).

Oreo on Friday evening

Kennedy, right now, as I write this.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Deactivating Facebook

Its come, D-Day.
I was in Cape Breton back in August and I read, on FB interestingly enough, a post by someone who deactivated their FB account. It was really interesting reading. I was sat, at the time, overlooking the most beautiful scenery, with a coffee at about 6.30am. The coffee was wonderful, the birds were singing, the sound of the ocean in the bay was soothing. I was aware of NONE OF IT as I had my nose in everyones business online.

I noodled this idea on and off for the rest of the day and on and off have considered it since. And did nothing about it.

I spend a lot of time on FB, needlessly scrolling, looking at stuff I am not interested in and feeling the opinions of way too many people in my home and becoming fed up, on a regular basis, with all the passive agressive memes that I see most days.
(pet hate of mine is passive agressive BS - I mean really... say what you want to that person)..

So today, with trepidation and trembling fingers (yeah seriously) I deactivated my account. And felt immediately like I had lost a bad relationship. I was lost, instantly, even with all my wishes to leave, like I had just felt a tremendous loss.

So right now whats going through my head is thoughts on how I will find the info I need (Google), follow the people I want to (Blogs), know if its a snow day at school (School website) and be up to date on the weather (google again).

I have become so needy of FB that its actually ridiculous.

Lets see how the remainder of the week goes.