Monday, 28 May 2012

weekend update

I finally got to the see the Hunger Games on Friday night. A pal and I got an evening pass from the kids and the chores and life as we know it and giggling like a couple of schoolgirls entered the Empire Theatre in Bayers Lake. I don’t know if it’s the length of time since I have been to the flicks or if it’s a new country but I was amazed that you can scan your iphone (if you have one of course) and get your tickets on the machines there.
Also, you can buy your tickets the good old fashioned way but at the same counter as you order your over-priced refreshments which I thought was cool…
Theres no sweet popcorn here in Nova Scotia. Instead they cover it in butter, and I mean they ladle a spoonful of hot melted BECEL into your bag – hmmmmm not so sure about that one. Apparently there are toppings so I enquired what they are in the hope that cinnamon would be mentioned but instead heard – cheese, hot peppers (on popcorn???!!!), Cajun (???) so I declined and went with the butter.
The film was very good and we got out at midnight. I am starting to not love the distance between our home and everywhere else – ie Halifax, especially at midnight! Got home and everyone was out the back still around the fire so I joined them until 2am which was a big mistake as Duke of course woke me at 6.15am!!! Gah
So that meant that Saturday felt like I was hung over all morning but ended well at Traceys with some new friends and some food – bbq, smores, curry – mmmmmmm and another late night
Sunday we spring cleaned the front room within an inch of its life. This spring cleaning lark that I was so looking forward to is starting to lose its shine and then we hit Chapters and H&M and Costco.

I have to say that Chapters is amazing, Its enormous and it has a Starbucks in it which reminds me of when mum and I were in Toronto. I love book shops and I love Starbucks so having them combined rocks my world.
I got some good deals in H&M and a stonking deal in Old Navy. I have been stalking Old Navy for a while now as it had a dress in there that I wanted for Chloe but at $40 it was a no way jose dress. I went in and said dress was on the sale rack – there was just one left age 8 for $12.59 – bargain!!!!
And finally – I saw this cute number on the way to work the other day:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Thursday stuff

Its been an interesting week so far, on Monday I picked up our new car and quickly realised that even though I have been driving automatics for 1 year and a standard for all my driving years before that, that I had essentially forgotten that I need to put the my foot on the clutch when trying to put it in reverse and also when I come to stop. Its been all of 4 days now since it arrive with 10km on it (10!!!) and I think I have managed to get back into the groove of driving “properly”
I am in love with its gas mileage big time and Chloe has named it Winter after the dolphin as its blue.
I am off again on an audit on the 4th June and its in Sydney NS which is great as I get to see a whole lot more of this province, especially as we are driving there, BUT its scheduled to be in the same week as my babysitters one and only vacation in 15 years so that’s added to the complications of finding somewhere for my children to be that week.
My colleague has resigned from work as hes going to an exciting new opportunity after 5 years of audit and taxation and I am SAD about it. Hes been super helpful since I got here and hes also a hoot. We have a laugh everyday and I believe that work should have a fun aspect to it. He’s going to be very much missed here.
Today I am knackered as Miss Lily decided that she wasn’t tired in the small hours of this morning and arrived at my side of the bed (shes clever not to chose Pauls side!) every 10 mins to announce that shes not tired. She also brought me some things she had picked up from downstairs.
She was as bright as a button so I told her to play quietly in her room, 2 mins later I could hear her singing.

Its getting hotter and hotter (although it is in fact raining today) and the blessed June bugs are out. I can hear them tapping at the windows at night. They are horrid and I have heard tales of them getting stuck in your hair which fills me with horror. The blackfly are also out, I so wish they would invent something to eradicate blackfly, they are useless horrible insects, right up there with mosquitos.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Florida in May

Its 6.29am and I am sitting on my bed with the patio doors open. I can hear the birds, feel the warmth of the air rolling into this air conditioned room and see the beautiful lake outside. I have been really lucky with this room as its on the lake side and the view is amazing. Each morning I just sit here and gaze.
Each night I can hear the 10pm fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and can both see and hear the big green dragon in the water at 10.15pm as it goes through its nightly musical pattern thats extremely loud.

I have learnt a good amount in my daily seminars about risk and communication, adding value and building rapport as an auditor. I have met some interesting people, eaten some amazing food and swam in the pool at 9pm which was a great way to end a day.

This room is luxurious (to me anyway) it has a Thai feel to it and I have enjoyed the peace of being with just myself. I have got my Simba and Nala's for the girls and have a couple of presents left to buy at the Seaworld store at the airport tonight. All in all, its been very nice and I will miss this morning routine.

What I have learnt interestingly enough is how much I love peace. Its very noisy here in the hotel, my room is lovely but its a packed hotel and I see princesses everywhere and the noise is incredible at times. One of my favoutite times is the morning walk to the conference centre outside. Orlando has a smell that I love, I think its in the humidity.
The girls and Paul have been fine, hes had a good week by all accounts and they are ok as I managed to track down their Lion King babies on my first night.
I have to pack soon, I have calculated that should take about a minute as I can throw it all in, then another minute to do a room check for any items that I have missed. In the meantime I shall enjoy the view

Now, wheres my coffee

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Saturday sun

Its Saturday morning and I can see Mr Dukie lying outside on the now green grass in the sun. Its promising to be a nice warm day.
Paul is asleep from his second to last night shift for a while and Chloe is bending my ear about going out today and buying a new dragon.

I have some washing to do and then dry ready for tomorrows trip to Orlando, oh and of course the packing needs to be attended to (yawn - I hate packing)

Last night the girls and I sat around my first solo firepit this year which was sweet. The air was warmish, the peepers were out, the fire was a good one and I had a glass of wine and some zesty tostitos. The girls were playing in the dark and then our neighbour came over to hang out. It was a very nice Friday evening.

I sat there looking at the back of our house and thought - we used to have to fly 3000 odd miles on a 9 hour flight to Jenne and Shanes in Florida to experience exactly this, if we were lucky once a year. Now we have it each weekend, about 9 yards from our back door. Life is good.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Fuel economy shocker

This morning whilst perusing my new edition of Canadian Living magazine which had dropped neatly into the mail box and then was retrieved by Paul and found by me on the kitchen table I saw an ad for the new 2012 Dodge Caravan and I read with some interest the small print at the bottom which states that this mini van has a fuel economy of 7.2L/100km
So, at 6.30am (I do all my best work at this time) I decided to do some research that we should have done whilst in England and look at the fuel economy of our own two cars.
Now obviously our G6 days are numbered given my new purchase of the 2012 Hyundai (rhymes with Sunday here) Accent which has a fuel economy of 4.8L/100km (YES!) Anyways, the G6 according to Google has a fuel usage of (wait for it!) 11L/100lm (well that’s SHOCKING!) and our loved Chevy Uplander is at 13L/100km which is also scandalous.

So now I am researching a replacement for the van at some point, obviously not for now as I don’t want two cars on finance (although I WISH I could, I hate paying too much to Esso!) I so wish we had armed ourselves with this knowledge prior to purchasing our vehicles last year, we would have saved so much money.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ten things on Tuesday

Its a bright and sunny day here in Halifax near the water on the Northwest Arm, but its cool. The wind is cool and we have had a frost the last two nights. Cue the fire has been re-lit and Spring cleaning of that room is on the backburner.

New Car
Our car which is a 2008 Pontiac G6 is just too expensive to commute the 100kms that I drive daily. I dont mind this travel as I love where I work and I love where I live and the drive is pretty so I just suck it up. What I cant accept is the gas cost in this 3.5L V6 engine. So ever since I started working here I have been considering my options and a few cars were in the line-up as a replacement -
Chevy Cruze - silly spellling but nice looking car that has a rating of about 5.2L/100km (about 37mpg to the English)
Chevy Sonic - cheaper to run but not great writeup
Mazda 3 with Skyactiv technology - lovely but more cash than we wish to spefnd - about 5.1L/100km
Hyundai Accent - 4.7L/100km - the most cost efficient with the best write-up
VW Jetta TDI - unaffordable unless with lots of km and reasonably costly services

Last night I got kind of tired of researching and it was the last day of a smacking good deal at Steele Hyundai with 0% finance and 20c of per litre of fuel for 800 litres
So, off I went and bought a new car. This baby will cost us each month on finance the same as our G6 even though its a brand new car. We can overpay the finance if we so wish and it should cost about half to run. YES! Its available to pick up in two weeks when I get back from Orlando

On Sunday I leave for 4 days in Orlando, I am not looking forward to this one iota. Now this may not make sense but I shall be staying in the Disney Resort for an auditing course. Due to the location I am struggling being there without the girls.
They so love Disney. This will be hard. Part of me says, ah just get a half day pass and go to Universal each evening and go on every ride you couldnt do with kids, but I just cant do it. I cant justify the cost and besides who wants to do that alone!

I shall try to find them some nice gifts and it will be lovely to be in some major heat and I shall go to Bahama Breeze for dinner at least once. My last visit there was ruined for me by Miss Chloe refusing to eat anything in 2009 and ending up in the car, with me. So I want to go there. I wish I could look forward to it all more.

Hes loving his new found free-dom in the garden. He comes in with very muddy paws that require a quick wash before hes allowed in the house, but its worth it.

Are closer than they have ever been,  my heart just sings when I hear them play together so sweetly. Theres much more consideration and care between them and a whole heap of love. Long may it continue.

Special Needs children without families
Every day I read blogs of amazing families who adopt these children from the Ukraine and other places and literally save lives. I so want to do this and hope that one day our family will be in the position to do this. If I could save one child.

Is starting work back with the pool company next week and hes so looking forward to it. He will remain on the spares list at the airport but for the summer this is for him. It will allow him to be home when I am away auditing, something thats important for our family. Maybe he will go back to law enforcement in the Fall, who knows.

So we are now able to tick fence and water heater off this years "to do" list and the bathroom is all thats left. We bought a vanity unit for the bathroom and have the tub ready to do in. We have picked tiles and paint and now just need that tax refund to do the work.

The roadtrip to the Keys looks like it will come sooner than later, SO excited to be planning this one. We have found a great place in the Keys to stay, just finalising the booking of that one. I am a little nervous of driving that distance in our van, I hope it doesnt break.

Key West
Each day I feel more settled here. I know this is happening as I find myself about to go back to thinking about vacations again in my beloved spot instead of emigrating. I have just realised that I have come right round to the end of my emigration list. We have made it.