Winter’s a long time going huh?

DSC_0310Not that it was a particularly difficult fall or winter, it was just full of monotony, financial setbacks, and frustrations — and felt very, very long.

In fact it all started in July when we were forced to make a lateral home move to another condo due to a potential job offer falling through. We gave notice when the job seemed almost certain, which would have moved us closer to our target town, but then the offer sadly fell through. We scrambled to find cheaper accommodation in our current general area to offset the cost of the move. However, in the end we spent more than if we had not moved at all. The set backs continued in the fall as we adjusted to the new condo (less space, more stuff in boxes – and one bathroom).

Unfortunately, just a few weeks after we settled into our new place, another job offer came through resulting in a hellishly long commute. Thayer, who normally took the bus 30 minutes to work, was now driving with me, dropping me off at work and continuing on another 40 minutes to his new work location. We kept this up until our only car died two weeks before Christmas. After a long and frustrating craigslist search, test driving cars evenings and weekends, we became so fed up we bought a newer/used car from a dealer and spent more money than we planned for.

Our meagre monthly savings from moving to a cheaper condo was quickly sucked up into gas costs to commute the ninety minutes one way every day. While it is nice we commute together, but gas fill-ups every second day is taking a toll. We have already put thousands of kms on our little car too.

Other financial setbacks included Thayer taking up smoking again. . After being a non-smoker for two years he is now back to his pre-quit quota. It’s frustrating for both of us as it’s a huge expense and one that has extreme health implications. We also went from being full vegan, back to vegetarian and occasional pescetarian. Taking into account the cost of supplementing, buying specialty products and becoming concerned about our overall health, we opted to add some foods back into our diets.

The silver lining…we managed to pay off most of our debt (despite the car purchase), and pull together some savings for a down payment on a house. Now that both our respective jobs are within a reasonable area of where we want to purchase, we just need to move – again. We are hopeful now that spring has sprung new listings will be popping up, but so far it’s still slim pickings. April showers, bring May sellers?

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found these great leather shoes at Sally Ann for $6

A fun side effect of losing weight is shopping for new clothes. The problem is shopping for those “in between” stages where you’re down a size or two, but still have more losing to do; all without spending a bunch of money on transitional items.

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Discovering the joys of walking

I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust.  I enjoy hopping in the car with no destination in mind, anticipating the discovery of new terriority. I preferred the simple pleasure of driving, knowing that everything worth seeing is along the way.  I would only leave the comfort of my car to briefly acknowledge some point of interest but had no desire to explore any further than the roadside stop.

Walking, as a leisure activity, has never appealed to me.  Walking is boring, it takes a long time to get anywhere, and…well my knees ache.  I’ve always had troublesome knees and walking only aggravates them further.   In fact, some days I shuffle like a granny. A couple of things happened to change my view.

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