Sunday, March 22, 2009

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things ...

Money Matters

Debt free. Two little, simple words, but loaded with meaning nonetheless. And as of yesterday morning, they are two words that apply to me. Three years ago I was drowning in approximately $15,000 of debt, much of it from my student days, but I have to be honest with myself and admit that a great deal of it was simply my own poor spending choices. I sat down with a financial advisor and got myself on a repayment plan, and have diligently made payments and cut credit card use ever since. I've been helped along by three unforseen (at the time of the plan making) events -- an inheritance from my grandmother, moving in with Serdic and splitting bills/expenses and having money available to make larger than "minimum amount due" payments, and then this month my bargaining group at work signed a new contract with a slight pay increase, and as the increase is retroactive to the end of the last contract, 18 months ago, I got a nice chunk of change in the form of backpay. I only had the one debt left, a student line of credit that I was aggressively paying down and planning to have gone by the wedding, and the amount of the backpay cheque was miraculously almost exactly what I had left on that line of credit. So I went into the bank yesterday morning and wrote a cheque for the entire amount. And just like that, I am debt free. It seemed so hopeless not so long ago, and with patience and diligence and a little bit of sacrifice, here I am. And it feels good.

Road trip (with a slight wedding planning update)!

Serdic and I made a flying trip home yesterday, mostly to meet with a photographer I had a lead on for the wedding. We had just enough time to have lunch with his parents and tea with my grandmother and Aunt C (my parents being on a Caribbean cruise, the lucky buggers, and therefore not available for visiting), and then we met with the photographer. I had really been taken with his work when I had looked at samples of it online and we got a really good feeling about him in general ... he seems like he'd be good to work with and has a similar philosophy to mine about what this day means and what we want to get out of it with the pictures, so I think we'll be quite happy with him. So that is booked and a load off my mind. Things are really falling into place!

Unfortunately, our return trip to Ottawa was not as smooth as one would have hoped, as about half way home the car seemed to be threatening to give up the ghost. We got pulled over in a rest area and Serdic called the wonderful and life saving SerDad, who headed out in the dark and cold to our rescue. He brought some tools and jugs and various things, and the two of them popped the hood and muttered and poured things into various slots and paced and, eventually, got us back on the road. I, obviously, understand only the very basics of how cars work and what happened, but she seems to be running just fine now and I am told the car had gotten low on "coolant." We are up and running again now, though, and the car is behaving normally, so I'm glad it was that easily fixed and all it cost us was a couple of hours sitting on the side of the highway.

The Bachelorette

Serdic left this morning for two more weeks in Texas (you may remember he was there for two weeks before Christmas). So I am bach-ing it for a little while again. Last time he was away I found I got really lazy about meal preparation and eating properly, so I am hoping to not make that mistake again. We'll see how it goes. Other than that I've got a lot planned for the next little while so I'm hoping the two weeks will fly by and he'll be back before I know it. And then he's back for four days before I'm off to London for a week to visit PetDoc and Noise! Woo hoo!

Monday, March 9, 2009

This and that

Not enough on any one thing to make a substantial blog post, so instead a few tidbits in no particular order.

Mother Nature giveth, and Mother Nature taketh away. After a weekend of beautiful, balmy, spring-like weather, we woke up this morning to snow. It was a double whammy, because with the clocks going ahead this weekend it was dark again as I waited for the bus -- I had just been getting used to leaving for work in the light and coming home in the light. So we got a couple of days of spring, and then wham. Back into the dark and cold and snow. Sigh.

Speaking of the weekend, the Wii had a nasty little feature where it will tell you how many hours you've spent playing on any given day. The total time spent playing Tomb Raider in the last two days? Approximately 14 hours. Oops. We had great intentions for this weekend, for things like running errands and going to the gym and getting out and enjoying the sunshine. Instead we took turns running Lara Croft off cliffs. The worst part is that with the Wii you have to actually make Lara do the actions, like throwing a grappling hook or punching a bad guy. My arms are sore today. How pathetic is that?

But oh my goodness, we had fun.

Wedding planning is coming along. My thanks to those who have emailed with suggestions and support. I know I haven't replied to all the emails yet, but that has nothing to do with not welcoming the suggestions and everything to do with there not being enough hours in the days. (Of course, the 14 hours spent playing Tomb Raider might have something to do with that, she said sheepishly.) There are no big developments to report, just turning a lot of ideas around in my head. Serdic did rebel last night when I sat down with pen and paper and wanted to draw up a preliminary seating chart. I think the fact that no one has actually been invited to this wedding yet, so there is no one to "seat," was tripping him up. He's such a boy. :-)

And, finally, happy birthday to SingerMom!