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Showing posts from January, 2012

Good-Bye January...

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I can’t begin to tell you how HAPPY I am that January is on its way out.
I’ve mentioned before that it gives me great satisfaction when I’m able to turn the calendar to a new month and saying good-bye to this month brings me great satisfaction.
There is something to be said for new beginnings and saying “so long” to sucky months like January. I’ve never been a fan of January because it’s endlessly long, cold and dark and there isn’t anything to look forward to, except long, cold, dark days.
Here’s to you February…

Faces Of Cuenca: Look What $20 Buys You At The Market

Following up from yesterday's post - here's some more "food for thought" (pardon the pun), as to why we are planning to relocate to Ecuador

Faces Of Cuenca: Look What $20 Buys You At The Market: Sharon and I have been in Cuenca almost 8 months. There are times we really miss the car but I have been shopping 3-4 times a week and I alw...

Cost of Living in Ecuador

In an earlier post, I told you that one of the reasons we’ve decided to relocate to Ecuador was to reduce our overall cost of living.  By relocating somewhere where the cost of living is significantly cheaper, we are hopeful that our funds will go further, allowing us the ability to slow down and actually enjoy life. Recently, Ecuador was voted the #1 Retirement Haven in the World by International Living Magazine for like the umpteenth (I think it’s a word) year in a row.  Now rest assured, we haven’t foolishly based our decision on an article from a company that also wants to sell me “relocation kits and seminars”.  Honestly, I’ve taken what I’ve read from them with a grain of salt. It wasn’t until I started reading many blogs from expats living in Ecuador which all allude to the same thing – it’s cheap and it’s spectacular. For example, a couple (ages 56 and 53) live in the mountain village of Cotacatchi, where they don’t have to worry about stretching their retirement d…

Losing Sleep and Counting Sheep…

Until recently, I’ve never had a problem with going to sleep and staying asleep. I’ve grown accustomed to and am rather fond of getting a solid 8 hours a night. Sure, I’ve had the odd night of restlessness now and then, but nothing like I’ve been experiencing recently.
I go to bed exhausted, barely able to hold an after-dinner conversation, but then find myself tossing, turning and fidgeting. I’m sensitive to every sound in my vicinity – including the barking dogs down the road, which until recently I didn’t know existed.
Once I’m finally able to fall asleep, I typically sleep soundly for what I think is a few hours, although I’m not exactly sure on time, because I refuse to look at the clock.
Once awake, the cycle starts over again – tossing, turning, fidgeting, and contemplating the demise of the barking dogs down the road.
I’ve tried counting sheep, but have realized that I have attention deficit disorder - I can’t for the life of me make it past 4 and then I have to start over. I’ve …

The Tax Man Cometh...

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Finally, with the holiday season well behind me, I’ve finally been able to start catching up on my jewelry stuff. This past weekend was spent photographing, writing descriptions for and posting the finished pieces to both my website and Etsy.
I swear the maintenance side of this jewelry business could be a full-time job (if I had the time to do it properly). I don’t understand how I let myself fall so far behind over the holiday season, but sadly…it happened. Actually, it happens every year…
The worst part about it…I haven’t updated my business accounting program since tax season last year and guess what’s just around the corner? Ummm….tax season!
How the hell, does this keep happening to me and why do it let it? Meh. (insert shoulder shrug here). Anyhow, whining about it isn’t making it go away, so off I go to toil my misery away.
I leave you with a few photos of some recent pieces.


Random Thoughts - Staying Positive...

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It’s a pay week. Pay weeks are what makes working for “the man” all worthwhile.
Our weather here has been very unusual. One day it is unbearably cold, windy and snowing and then the next morning, it becomes unseasonably warm, with tons of rain and then by the end of the same day, we are back to sub-arctic temperatures, flash freezing and snow. The mood swings of Mother Nature are killing my sinuses.  It's January, I guess I shouldn't complain...shouldn't and won't are two different things.
I received a terrifying call from my sister-in-law yesterday telling me that my father-in-law was in the hospital with a suspected blood clot in his lungs. She went on to tell me that they suspected it was a blood clot because he had recently flown. All I could think of is “great, now I’m going to be blamed for killing their father because it was my idea to take them to Hawaii”. The requisite tests were completed, but nothing could be found and by the end of day yesterday, the hospita…

So What’cha Going Do to Earn a Living?

I know that will be the first question to be asked by our friends and families when we finally tell them about our escape plan. My response will be “Good question.You’ll be the first to know once we figure it out.” That’s where we’re at - at this point in time, we don’t really know how we’ll earn an income.The initial goal is to sustain ourselves with the initial proceeds from the sale of our house and all of our stuff.Provided we are careful with our money, we should be able to live quite comfortably for a few years without having to work.Obviously, we still would like the ability to travel, so becoming permanent beach bums isn’t really an option. We have longer term ideas of perhaps opening a B&B, hostel, beach bar, scuba shop or the like.We also have shorter term goals of selling some of J's photograph on stock photography sites or perhaps I'll become a professional blogger (ha, like I’ll earn a living from that).I also plan on continuing to create and sell my jewelry. O…

Sorry For Stating the Obvious…

BUT, thank goodness it’s Friday.
The only thing that would make this day better is if it was 5:00 or better yet, if I had stayed home.
It is snowing here today. I know I shouldn’t complain because we’ve been fortunate to experience a drier than usual winter, but today my commute took over two hours when usually it only takes me one. To top it off, I also had to stop and get gas for my car (you know how much I love to do that too)…in the blowing, freezing cold snow storm.
It’s winter, which is misery to those like me. On the other hand, it’s a veritable winter wonderland for those crazy, freak of nature types that LOVE the snow, who by the way – I have “unfriended” from Facebook. I can’t possibly be friends with THOSE types of people any longer. Now that I’ve properly ranted…I hope everyone has a great Friday and a fantastic weekend.

The “How To” Plan - Before We Go...

I wish I could tell you that I have it all figured out and that our relocate plan is 100% foolproof, but let’s be honest…I don’t really have it all sorted out just yet.   Here are some highlights to date: 1.Become Debt Free.  Our main plan of action is still to pay off the mortgage, credit line and any other debts we might have within the next 3-5 years.  When the time comes to sell here, the equity we have in our current house will easily pay for our house or condo in Ecuador.  Believe me, we don’t have an extravagant house now, but housing costs in Ecuador are substantially less than houses in North America, which will give us a nice nest egg left over. 2.Downsizing.  Slowly we will begin to purge everything non-essential from our lives.  Apart from our laptops and iPods and some personal meaningful items, we don’t plan on taking much with us, but the thought of narrowing it down to only a few boxes is overwhelming me already.   I’m not attached to a lot of things, but…

What Were We Thinking?

In yesterday’s post, I said I would try to explain our decision about our plan to relocate to Ecuador in 2017.Putting our thoughts on paper is harder than I thought it would be, so please excuse me if it doesn’t make sense to you, but in the paradise that is my mind…it makes sense to me. Let me first say – regardless of how much I complain about the long, cold, Canadian winters, we love our country and Canada will always be our home.That said, I’ve got enough love in my heart to go round, so enough with the mushy stuff.Here we go… Lack of Time I know I’m not the only one out there and that the majority of us are in the same boat.We all lack time and lack of time is has been one of the biggest deciding factors to relocate - we just don’t have time and can’t seem of find the time for anything – no time for each other, no time for our son, no time for chores, no time for hobbies, no time for friends and no time for family.Simply put, there is no time to enjoy life. Pace of Life We…

Courage or Insantity? I'm Not Sure Yet...

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You might remember me telling you about my 7-10 year plan.You know the one - when I pay off my mortgage and debts, be totally irresponsible and quit my day job and then run away…far, far away to somewhere warm. Well, I know this might sound absolutely ridiculous, but the planning has begun.Put the date on your calendar – 2017.By end of year 2017, J and I plan to be living in…. (insert drum roll)…Ecuador.Exact location to be determined, but I can tell you that it will be somewhere on the coast of Ecuador.
There you have it.There’s no turning back now that it’s on paper.You, my Blogger friends, are the first to know our little secret.We don’t plan on telling other friends or family members anytime soon because let’s face it - 5 years is a long way off and there is no sense in stressing them out long before we have to. Obviously, we plan on taking a few research trips before we make the actual commitment of purchasing a house or condo there.Hopefully, the first one will be in either N…

Warning: The Following May Be Disturbing to Some Readers...And Hilarious To Others...

I’m trying to get back into the swing of blogging on a more frequent basis.The Internet Nazis have Blogger, Facebook and all other remotely entertaining websites blocked from my mouse clicks and view – including The Weather Network I might add.Not that The Weather Network is entertaining, but I do consider it a bit of a necessity and regardless of my needs, it’s a blocked site too.So, as I have ideas (not often), I’m taking the time out of my busy schedule trying not to dislike my co-workers to prepare posts, with a view to posting them at a later time or date. Anyhow, as I was sitting in my office (waiting for the clock to strike 5:00), I remembered a story I needed to share with you.It involves The Boy’s new(ish) cat.The cat’s actual name is Apollo (not our choice) – we prefer to call him Cat, Cringer, The Doctor or Bob .Actually, we call him anything that comes to mind at the moment.Now don’t worry, he doesn’t come to any of them, so we aren’t really confusing him any more t…

Happy Belated New Year - Random Thoughts...

So, I had originally prepared this post on January 2nd; however due to unforeseen circumstances, couldn't get around to posting it until today...better late than never. It’s January 2nd and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.I’m miserable.I can honestly say, I’m the grumpiest I’ve been all year. For many, today is still a holiday, but for me, it’s the beginning of the first 5 day work-week I’ve had in awhile.That’s obviously the root of some of my misery. A great Christmas and New Year’s was had by everyone in our household.At least, everyone appeared to have been having a good time, but then again – some days, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s sugar induced bliss. I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions for this upcoming year.I don’t have the greatest of self-control when it comes to things I want to do and things I want to eat, so I refuse to set myself up for eventual failure.Instead, I plan on “trying” new things…like “trying” to eat cooked vegetables at leas…