Sunday, January 31, 2010

Strange but True

6:35 am my phone rings...it is a call from my security company informing me that the alarm was triggered at the office.
He says, "There is movement in the kitchen..."
I asked, "Have any of the doors been compromised?"
He responds, "Nope. Do you want me to summon the police?"
I say, "If the doors or windows are not compromised then I should check before we call the police." (There is a charge for false alarms if police show up)

Went over to the office to discover that everything was as it should be. No sign of any intruders. It can't be mice because it has to be at least 25 pounds to set the alarm off. In three years we've never has a false alarm. Hmmmm.

I am thinking it was the ghosts of the previous owners, two spinster sisters. I think they were checking on the property. They lived well into their late 90's and stayed in the house until they died. Although I must add that they did not die in the house.

And there was a full moon...


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Too hot in the Kitchen

Why is January so long? I don't know if it is just me or what, but it seems like January is in slow motion. I've been busy, yes. But it is still January!!!

I pass my time on long cold January days by drinking hot chocolate or tea, making soups, baking cookies, reading by the fireplace, hot bubble baths. And talking on the phone...

A couple of days ago I was making french toast and talking on the phone. Yes, my bad. I noticed the oil was getting too hot and starting to smoke, so with one hand I moved it to another burner and in the process oil splashed on the hot element. That's right, it started a fire. First I yelled into the phone, then quickly thinking, I was able to contain it by smothering it with the potholder. whew!

Later when my heart stopped pounding against my chest and I was calm it occurred to me we had a fire extinguisher. But it was not anywhere in sight. I later found it inside a kitchen cupboard on the highest shelf. It is now sitting next to the stove where it should have been all along.

A word of caution - all it takes is one small mistake for a fire to start...you should be prepared in the event this should happen by making sure you have a fire extinguisher and place it in full view next to your stove. A kitchen fire is not the kind of heat anyone needs on a cold day in January or any other day for that matter.


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good for the Soul, Good for the Belly


On days such as today, cold, cold, and cold I recommend a nice warm breakfast and a blueberry smoothie. Today's choice is to make the guys some french toast with extra eggs!

A week ago, Andrew decided he wanted to make pizza. This is the masterpiece, vegetarian wholewheat pizza!


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Friday, January 8, 2010

Where's the Money???

One week into 2010 and all is well on the Ottawa River.

I’ve been thinking about personal finances this week and have asked myself the preverbal question where is the money going? Which compelled me to mindfully keep an eye on where all our disposable money is disappearing to. Okay, not really disposable only being disposed of willy-nilly. I know what the major expenses are spent on, like for example the mortgage, gas, credit cards, and such. But also it is those small purchases from Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, and takeout meals that elude me. In addition, grabbing a newspaper, magazine, and other things we pick up just because we can, adds up.

A colleague recommended this site to help get me organized. I fount it to be awfully helpful and user friendly.

However, I decided only to created an excel expense spreadsheet to target my spending for a start. For the moment, I am not going to worry about a budget and the other items suggested. The reason is one baby step is the only way to establish good habits, I think. Once I can maintain documenting all our expenses, become more aware of the spending, I will be able to turn off the spending autopilot. Moreover, I will finally have the black and white facts to answer the question of where’s the money?

A positive result from this exercise is that the once cluttered section of the kitchen counter is now cleared because I have started a proper file management system to tract bills as they arrive. Yay for me!

How are you starting your new year? What projects are you tackling?

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