Christmas 2014

I hope everyone had as wonderful of a Christmas as I did! We went to his sister and brothers for the night overnight on Christmas Eve. They share an apartment in the same apartment building as his parents and some of his aunts and uncles and cousins. His parents and some of his family came up, or we went to see them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Since a large number of his fathers side of the family including his siblings all have the same disease Cory has, Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) they mostly live in the same building or (including us) very close by within the same neighbourhood Fairview. The building is fairly accessible and large enough for wheel chairs and other things. Plus they all grew up in the neighbourhood on or near the street they are on. So they are all very close knit. It’s kind of a foreign thing for me. Not the close knit part, my family is really close but we are all spread out all over the place and my immediate family in particular has moved a lot due to my father being military when I was younger.

So anyways we had a great Christmas. Cory and I got a lot of money for Christmas in the form of gift cards or cash ($450 in total) from his family along with some other smaller things. His family prefers to give gift cards then go shopping together on Boxing Day or in this case Boxing weekend as boxing day is actually a holiday that the stores are closed here. I have to say I like this idea a lot!

I picked up a new tablet. It was not a super expensive one, about $130 regular but I got if for $100. So far I am really happy with it. I have been using it for about 3 days and it has a way better picture and is much faster then my older Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (which is not working anyways). I had enough left over to order a case, a musemee notier v2 stylus, a 3 pack screen protectors for the tablet as well as a cooling pad for my computer off of Well I will once Cory gets paid since is not accepting one of my gift cards for some reason, which I will have to use for something else later.

The only downsides to this Christmas so far are that I ended up taking Cory to the hospital at 2am on Boxing day morning because he was still having issues breathing. We were there 7 hours and did not get home till about 9:30 am. I slept most of the next day, which I was off anyways. And secondly I have not seen my own family yet. I saw them last at Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving not US, which is in October 13th here). They are coming up this weekend though to help us with the boxspring and mattress which they bought us for Christmas and which we are picking up on Saturday or Sunday. I’m excited to see them again and my brother.

Overall it was a great Christmas and I really had a great time with Cory’s family even if I missed my own. Over Christmas I also fed my friend Erin’s cats and she and her boyfriend gave us a surround sound system, they got one for Christmas and there’s is still good other then missing one speaker and the DVD player not working (they knew we had a PS3 to use for DVD’s). We actually have one ourselves that they did not know about because it has not been hooked up since I moved here as the DVD player did not work and one of the back speakers (Dolby 5.1 as well) broke.

I figured though that as they both were the same brand (Samsung) and had the same connectors for the speakers that we might be able to get one working set out of the two of them. Cory tried all afternoon while I was at work and couldn’t get any combination of them working. I am going to try myself tomorrow as I am typically a bit better with audio and video equipment (cause of my job) then he is. We are also going to hang out with them New Years, either at our place or theirs.

We kind of had a bit of an conundrum. We were invited to a friend of his that used to live in our building. Both of us actually have a hard time being around him because he is always drunk and high. Cory smokes or did. He quit smoking cigarettes 6 months ago but has smoked marijuana since he was 13. The doctor at the hospital scared him with talking about COPD (which he has a mild case of) and he wants to quit completely. So she gave him information for addiction councilors and programs in the area. Anyways his friend is always bugging him (us, everyone) to smoke or drink and just gets supper annoying. Neither of us van handle him much. So we feel bad but don’t want to hang out with him and his girlfriend. We talked about it and both would both prefer hanging out with my friend Erin and her boyfriend even though his friend asked us first.

Also he decided for the month of January he is going to try on his own to give it up. So the less he is around his friend the better since he will literately wine and cry if you say no to him. We both decided it was best that no one smoke around him at our house at all (even though they went on the balcony before). And at the end of the month we will re-assess and contact the addiction program if needed (or if he feels he needs to along the way).

I have to say I am so so so proud of him for committing to do this. I was starting to get concerned for his health. His blood pressure is high enough that if it stays like this he will have issues. He is on medication which has brought it down from immediate danger to damage over a period of time if it is not brought under control. So I am hoping that this will help with that. Though I read that pot lowers blood pressure not raises it. Any thoughts on that?

So that about sums up our Christmas, and the last week or so.

I have a little secret…

Yes I do, a little known secret that no one but my family knows…. I love Dolly Parton! I was browsing some blogs and people were talking about their favorite Christmas songs and favorite Christmas movies and I was thinking about mine and I have to say my favorite Christmas movie of all time has always been A Smoky Mountain Christmas starring Dolly Parton and Lee Majors.

We moved to Germany when I was almost 5 years old. I was homesick when I first got there and missed my family and friends. I may have been young but it was a huge change for me. We lived off of the base in a little town called Hügelsheim which is a small town near the base which was near the Rhine River in western Germany, near the border of France. I started going to school that year, Kindergarten and I went to a school off of the base and the kids only spoke German. My parents believed it was best to just immerse me in the language and culture.

I ended up changing schools within a few months to the school on CFB Baden-Soellingen (Canadian Forces Base or CFB) which was really near the town we lived in and where my father worked. Mom was not working at the time but soon started working in a cafe there. I was switched first to French immersion classes and then in grade 1 my teacher was horrible so they switched me into an English class. Something I regret to this day. But anyways…

I remember our first Christmas there we watched A Smoky Mountain Christmas because it reminded me of home and of my grandparents and Aunt who I was really close too. From then on renting that movie on Christmas Eve became a tradition that lasted over 10 years until we were living in Calgary and could no longer find the movie anywhere.

Earlier this month after searching and searching and searching my Mom found it on and purchased it and it was delivered on Friday! Unfortunately it is in Digby and I am in Halifax but my Mom asked me if it was okay if her and my brother Denton watch it since he has not see it since he was about 3, which he probably doesn’t remember. I said I’m okay with it and I actually found it on YouTube in it’s entirety. But it is not the same as owning it!

It gives me something to look forward to next year though! And I might just purchase a copy myself so that I can start the tradition with my own kids, if we have any. Or even with just Cory and I, I think it would be pretty nice.

So I am going to leave you with the song A Smoky Mountain Christmas from the movie of the same name with Dolly Parton and Lee Majors.

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1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?

2. What is your favorite Christmas song?

3. What traditions do you have in your family?

Tree & more Christmas lights

We bought a 4 ft artificial Christmas tree last year. Cory put it on a end table that is about a foot high so we now have a small Christmas tree. Which is nice. Since I moved out on my own I have only had a Christmas tree in my apartment once 3 years ago. Max decided it was a great hiding spot. He was only about 2 months old. Needless to say he is much bigger now and  4 ft tree does not stand to well against him.


The video below was the second time he knocked it down in one day (last week sometime). Needless to say I was not impressed with him! His reaction was kinda funny though and I am glad I got it on video.

Cory and I went out for a drive last night around Halifax to see the Christmas Lights. This is something that my family has done every year since I can remember and a few weeks ago Cory and I along with my brother Denton and my parents went for a drive around Digby and I took some pictures.

I really wanted to go around here though, since we didn’t really get to do it last year or the year before. My friend Erin and I have gone a few years. This I think was the first time Cory and I went alone… Wow, I cant believe Christmas is next week. Time goes by so fast sometimes. Anyways here are the pictures from last night.





Continue reading “Tree & more Christmas lights”

Car, Cory and other stuff!

Cory and I had a couple of major weights lifted off of us today! I was able to cut my car insurance bill quite a bit. Initially my payment for this month was supposed to come out on the 15th, which would not show till the 18th, which was one day before I get paid. Normally I would just make sure that I saved enough from the last pay and it would be no big deal however this time I did not get paid enough on my last pay (being sick and all) to ensure that the money was there. So I called my insurance company to see if they could delay it by one day. Seems simple enough eh?

Apparently not… they had to put in a request which took a week. I called them about it the week before last to give them plenty of time. They came back to me yesterday saying yes they could do it however it would mean that my payments, which were ridiculous as it was at 246.82 a month, would be 370.24 for December 18th and January 18th, then go back down to around 246.82!  Doing the math if you divide 246.82 in half and then add 246.82 to that half it equals 370.23.

So they were basically dropping one payment off the year and combining it onto two of my regular payments. So I went from having to pay 246.82 on December 15th to 370.24 if I moved it technically 4 days to the 19th! Needless to say I was not happy with that. My pay would not even be that much. My car payment itself is only 165.85 bi-weekly. So for the last year I have been paying 578.52 a month for my car payment and insurance! That’s not even counting gas, maintenance, etc.

So I decided one, that I could not pay 370.24 a month for 2 months of insurance. That was just way too much and two, that I was not going to continue paying 246.82 a month any longer for insurance. I was going to find something cheaper. I had no choice… I tried getting my broker to find something cheaper but she kept telling me there was nothing cheaper because I have had 2 at fault accidents in the past 6 years.

I called around and on the second try I called TD Canada Auto and Home Insurance, who are actually located in my building at work, and who my company has a group rate for. They quoted me 76.00 a month which is 876.00 a year! That’s 1/3 of what I was already paying (2961.84 a year) and 1/4 of those larger payments they wanted to take out from my current company! I got quoted 19.58 a month for tenant insurance which would also bring my auto from 76.00 a month to 73.00 a month.

So now for 92.58 a month I am getting the same auto coverage plus home tenancy coverage! So that really blew my mind. That I have been paying 2/3 more a month for my auto insurance then I really needed to be. I wish I had of called around myself a year ago when my insurance went up from like 150.00 to 246.82. Would have saved me a heck of a lot of money. But no point kicking myself for it. Might as well just be happy that I will now be saving that much.

Now that I have bored you to death with numbers, the second thing that was a weight lifted off us was that Cory has been approved for long-term disability until he is 65 through Costco’s insurance and he is still considered an employee so we get all the little extras, like a turkey at Christmas time, his free Costco membership, etc. On top of being accepted she said he will still be getting the same amount a month as he is now, possibly even a little more, but definitely not less. He is guaranteed not to get less.

I can not explain how much of a relief that is to us. His Charcot-Marie-Tooth is not going to get better, it is progressive and will continue to get worse and he is going to need the care and stuff that he would not get if he did not get approved for long-term. Also, had he not gotten approved they would have forced him to re-train to do something else. With CMT his fine motor skills are affected. His manual dexterity is very limited and will get worse as his disease progresses, and his feet are already really bad. He shakes so bad he can not hold a cup without spilling something, not sometimes but always. So re-training is not an option and will never be.

Everything feels a lot better to me now. I am feeling better myself. I still am not 100 percent and I am concerned about the constant colds, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia and my FMS, but at least I know that he is taken care of and we can now concentrate on me and my issues. It’s gonna be a long fight for the both of us, and add in that we want to have children soon before it is too late for us which will be a big undertaking and a concern all in it’s own (because of my FMS and the ovarian cysts and other things) but I feel like fighting again. Which I did not last week. I just felt like giving up. It’s amazing how just a few seemingly small things can change your whole outlook. Thankfully for the better this time. I have hope and I plan on holding on to it.

It’s funny while writing this I am watching The Little Couple on TLC and I have to say I really feel inspired by them. How they are overcoming their obstacles and medical complications and have adopted two kids who also have medical issues all while she was undergoing chemo for cancer and how positive they are. I know it’s just a show but I really enjoy watching it and watching how they tackle life head on and see it as a gift and a blessing and not a curse see page.

Winter blues

I am having such a shitty time right now. It doesn’t even feel like Christmas to me. I feel so overwhelmed. All these Christmas shows on TV and all the commercials are really the only thing that make me even realize it is Christmas time. All I really want to do is hide myself under the blankets and only come up for air once in a while.

It doesn’t help that neither of us are feeling well. I am so disappointed. Things were starting to go well. But now with my dentist appointments I am back in debt for almost $1000. I know it does not seem like much but it is when you can’t pay it and it is Christmas and it is waying on your mind. I feel like hell and things are just not going anywhere near what I had planned.

I’m so stressed out over work. I have not felt this kind of stress about work in a long time. However because I am sick I have missed a lot of time. However at the same time if I come to work sick they don’t like it. I worked a week with no voice taking emails and was told it was fine as there was plenty of email in the bin. Wednesday I ended up having to log into the phones even though I warned the coach that I doubted I would make it through a call.

Of course I got one and he could not hear me and I was straining to talk. So after someone else ended up taking the call I basically got told to go home and don’t come back till I am feeling better. It really made me angry. I can’t help that I keep getting sick. I actually went home on Wednesday and back to the doctors and was told I have Bronchitis and strep throat.

I am stuck, I have no vacation time saved up so I can not take vacation. I have no voice still and can not work but if I call in sick it counts against me. My family doctor is booked through the end of next week and the doctor I saw at the clinic would not give me more then 2 days off.

I’m really actually angry at my work. I thought about it a lot and I am not sure what else they want me to do. I have been there 3 years. I have given it my all and can’t do much more. This is not going to get better. I get sick a lot. I can’t think of anything else I can do to keep myself healthy other then living in a bubble.

On top of that there is a temporary coach position open at work. I am working on the coach work book. I have it all done but one thing that I just can not figure out how to do. I’ve done it before but my head is so clogged I can not think strait. I have NO confidence about getting the job this time. I’ll be lucky if I have a job period in a few weeks.

I don’t know if it is the Fibromyalgia that is making me so susceptible to colds, flus, bronchitis, etc. But I am at the end of what I can deal with. I honestly don’t know what I am going to do if my voice is not back Monday morning. All I know is I feel like I am sinking faster then I can swim.

I also think part of my problem with Christmas this year is not having my family close by. Last year I was able to take some time off and visit them and was there over Christmas. This year I will not see them now again until after Christmas and it killing me.

Between work, not seeing my family and being sick. I just can’t wait for this holiday to be over. I just want to hide in bed. Which is exactly what I am about to do.