Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cleanliness makes way for fun!

 Another week is rapidly drawing to a close.  More than once, I've asked this question, why do weekends fly by but weeks can seem so long?  Other than the fact the number of days in a week are longer than the weekend....  

I think part of my problem is that I start the weekend with such high hopes  I'm going to accomplish so much around the house...and then I don't.  Oh, I manage to keep the dust bunnies under control and the sticky spots cleaned up but I'm not a good housekeeper and I'm well aware of my tendencies to procrastinate.

My garage is an absolute holds a winter's year's worth of accumulation.  (I won't enlarge this's cringe-worthy!)

What you cannot see is there is lots of storage in the garage, to the left are metal shelves about 8 inches deep and to the right against the opposite wall are large wooden shelves that are a good 18 inches deep.  The previous owner obviously built them and the boxes are various shapes and hold a ton of stuff.

Over the winter I tend to walk into the garage where it's cold and toss whatever I've got to store in the garage onto the pile that hides the workbench.  At least the tires are neatly stacked (behind the strollers).  Oh yeah, I forgot to phone the tire shop this weekend to set up an appointment to change over the tires.

I do have a plan for this pile....I really, really do.  I'm planning to take a week off in May to clear out the garage, and more of the house.  My daughter wants to have a garage sale, so we'll do that for a couple of days and whatever doesn't go will go to the community living group or to the dump.  I don't care, I just want it gone.  That includes the bags of recycling; I've been waiting for one of the neighbourhood kids to show up on a bottle drive - they always do.

So while my spring cleaning and organizing falls behind, I have been productive in other ways.  

Recently I purchased a brand new dresser for my bedroom.  That's exciting because it's been nearly 20 years since I bought the armoire I've been using.  That piece was on sale at Sears Clearance and one of the doors were cracked in the move from the truck to the house (my b/f at the time and I dropped it).  The drawers no longer slide well and the one door was off kilter and never quite closed properly.

So now I have this.  It feels like a grown up piece of furniture...which is kind of sad when you think I'm 58.  

The reason I bought it was because I had purchased the second television a couple of weeks before.  My esthetician had purchased it for her own bedroom but hadn't measured it properly so it did not fit.  With my daughter living her, at least part time, it made sense to have a second set so we could each watch what we like.  AND I could escape to the privacy of my own bedroom.  

Back to the dresser...I had a table set up with the television but was worried it wouldn't hold up or that the cats might knock it over.  I did a tour of our local furniture stores (what a pain) and found this at Ashley Furniture.  The store is currently under renovation so everything was on sale.  I paid 75% of the normal price and got the store financing for year without interest.  I'm always happy to use someone else's money so will leave my savings in the bank and pay it off over the year.

While we're on the topic of spending money....I've booked two cruises, one for the fall of 2017 and one for next February.  (See, I told you I was productive).  
I found the September cruise as I was reading a thread on Cruise Critic for solo cruisers.  Princess was offering inside rooms with no single supplement on a New England/Canada cruise out of New York.  That is a rarity for Princess, it's a itinerary I've wanted to do for some time, and the price was definitely right so I jumped at it. 

Since then I've joined a Facebook group of solos who will be on the cruise.  There are about 30 members, some who have travelled together previously and the rest of us who have joined as a result of being invited by the group organizer through the Cruise Critic thread.  It seems like Jeanne is quite the organizer, she's already arranged to a meeting place for Sail-away, set up planning sheets so we can compare excursions, and will use her cabin door to post times for meeting for dinner and other events.  I think she's done this once or twice before!

Our itinerary has us visiting Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, Mass., Bar Harbor, Maine, St. John, N.B. and Halifax, N.S. before returning to New York.  I've never been to any of the U.S. ports but have been doing lots of research.  Still lots of time to decide what I will do during the visits.  

I was able to book a hotel near the airport using Airmiles; as a result I'll pay just $55C for a hotel in New York!  I had American Express points too, so used those "rewards" to book my flight for only $277C return.  It's really going to be a fairly inexpensive trip. 

The second cruise I booked may not be quite as inexpensive.  I booked it last week, after much dithering.  A year ago, I did the Norwegian Escape Eastern Caribbean cruise in a solo cabin and met a wonderful group of women.  Four of them went on the same cruise this year, but I didn't because we were waiting for Eli.  After they returned from their cruise this year, two of them immediately booked the Norwegian Epic Western Caribbean for the same time next year and sent an invite for others to join them.  The pricing was reasonable, and the itinerary was good, plus it provides an opportunity to hang out with great folks again. 

Unfortunately the cost of airfare is currently through the roof getting to Orlando.  I think it is because it is close to the President's weekend in the States and families may be heading for Disneyland/world  Prices may reduce a little closer - generally about five months out in my experience.  I sure hope so!  If I go a few days prior, the cost is somewhat less so I may consider that option and spend a few days in the Port Canaveral area.

I did find a great hotel in Cocoa Beach which is close to Port Canaveral and offers a transportation package to and from the airport and the port at a decent price.  What I might save in airfare I'd probably spend on the hotel but, on the other hand, I'll get to visit the Kennedy Space Museum and other attractions in the area.  Did you know that "I Dream of Jeannie" was filmed in the Cocoa Beach area?  (I didn't....a friend told me).

So while the house and garage may be in disarray, my vacation plans are proceeding nicely.  Maybe sometime I'll get it all together....

Have a great week everyone!


  1. 1-800-Got-Junk. You pay for it, but they do the work. :-)

    Your trips sounds terrific, both cruises! How fabulous to be meeting up with the same group of people on the second one.

    You might as well LIVE. I can understand the desire to leave money to one's children and grandchildren, if possible, but since you can't take it with you, you might as well enjoy your time. Paying for *experiences* is better than only paying for stuff, stuff and more stuff.

    Speaking of which, NICE bureau! Great find. Ashley has nice furniture and I know they're not inexpensive. We have one here now, though I've never been in.

    As for your cleaning...pfffft, who cares. I'm OCD about my floor and counter, but that's it. The problem with cleaning is that the dirt comes back, sometimes within minutes (or less -- lol). Cleaning is an endless, thankless chore, and anyone who criticizes your home can pick up a dusting rag and vacuum and go to it. Just my $0.02. :-)

  2. Hehe, your garage does look a little untended. I thought for a moment, you'd rammed the items stored there with your vehicle. Once a spot is used for storage, the amount there seems to grow exponentially, so it's always a chore getting back to the start. The fact that you are giving it away will help, as it need not be tidy at the end - just at the curb.

    Travelling to New England and the Maritimes is wonderful. My family comes from the latter, and I have many connections with Saint John. (For some reason, Saint John has many connections with Boston, at least it used to. It may be the old Loyalist tradition in New Brunswick. My family is Loyalist.) I think you will enjoy the scenery. It will be quite a change from Saskatchewan. If you ever get the opportunity, travel through the Annapolis Valley, in Nova Scotia. I have connections there, too.


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