Christmas

During this time of year when so much pressure is being put on us to provide the ultimate gift for our loved ones, prepare the best meal of the year and entertain family and friends, time is the one thing that we seem to run out of.  I hope that we can all take some time to appreciate those things that mean the most to us whether that be family or friends.

For seniors who don’t have family close to them or who are living alone, this time of the year can be especially difficult.  I have had to learn to scale way back on what I do for the holidays.  I do still bake cookies and make candy but now give them away as gifts.  I also make sure that I spend time volunteering to do things that I wouldn’t have normally done when I was younger.

Sometimes it helps to make the season pass quicker when we are doing for others who may not have as much as we do.  Christmas can be a melancholy time for a lot of people, but if we share our time and talents we can get through the season perhaps a little less stressed.

When I take my mind off myself and help others, the time passes quickly and before I know it, Christmas is over.

However you spend the holidays, I hope it is filled with happiness and joy for the blessings we have.

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Country Women…

preserves
While going through some papers today, I found this newspaper clipping that my mom had saved many years ago.  I have no idea how old it is but the clipping is yellowed and fragile.
It is attributed to Louise Owen…
 
Country women never wear jewels on their hands or hair;
They leave the sapphires and pearls to the easy taste of city girls.
On the contrary, when it come to pears and apples, cherries and plums,
to currants gleaming on the stems, gooseberries, raspberries — these are gems that country women understand; that suit a busy rustic hand.
When they are done with plums and cherries with polished fruit and glittering berries. Their cellar shelves are loaded down with colours fit for any crown.
Currant jelly rich and red as rubies on a kingly head. Mint jelly full of lingering light as green as emeralds and as bright. And the translucent gold that dapples the topaz jelly made of apples.
So why should country women care for jewels on their hands or hair.

Well, well… call me amazed…

I dropped off my signed consent form this morning to my MP’s office.  Within 2 hours I had a phone call from Victoria wanting to resolve my issues.  🙂  They asked for more information, which I gave them.  They told me they will call my MP on Tuesday with some answers…..

The interesting thing?  The lady today told me they are currently working on ONLY THOSE FILES THAT HAVE BEEN ESCALATED TO THE THIRD STEP….   Really….  so anyone who might be fighting with the pension people…  go straight to your MP and have them act on your behalf…  I can’t believe that after 38 weeks of fighting, waiting, frustration and being stalled and lied to, I go to my MP and within HOURS my file has been miraculously looked at… hmmm  interesting eh…  🙂

 

Squeaky wheels get resolved… hahaha… so I guess my new nickname is squeaky!!!

 

Pension fight… have passed the torch…

Synopsis….  35 week waiting period.  Check.

Application not even looked at.  Escalate to next level.  Call back in two weeks.  Check.

Application not even looked at.  Escalate to supervisory level.  Call back in two days.  Check.

Application not even looked at.  Sent another email to processing centre.  Call back next Tuesday on the 25th.

NOPE!  

Contacted my MPs office.  Have filled out the forms for them to act on my behalf.  I will be meeting with the office person who handles the pension issues tomorrow morning.  The Canada Revenue Service (service being the oxymoron here) can stall and lie to my MP instead of me anymore.  I have had my limit of being given the run around.

Update on Pension fight… the battle continues…

 

monkey

 

I feel as enthusiastic and happy as this fella….  After patiently waiting the 35 weeks for the reassessment, I called on June 29th only to be told my application hadn’t even been LOOKED at yet…. They then escalated the request to the processing centre and to call back in two weeks.  July 17th.  Today.

Called this morning.  Oh, guess what… It STILL hasn’t been looked at.  So now it has been escalated AGAIN and bumped up to the supervisory level to be resolved in 2 days.  I am now to call on Thursday.  I am feeling so defeated with this whole process.  A mistake that was made 20 months ago, has altered what my pension amounts are supposed to be and in order to try and rectify it and have it corrected, it has been a series of long and frustrating phone calls.

So, I called my MP to see what other avenues I might have to get this resolved….  He is taking appointments in AUGUST!!!!

Holy cats… And they wonder why so many seniors are depressed, suicidal, homeless and mentally ill.  Having to deal with the bureaucracy that the government is wears a person down to the bare bones.

Too bad for them I am a scrapper and I don’t give up…. They may have beaten me down each time I have to deal with them, but I will not stay down long…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you reduced to clear bins…

 

natures-bounty

Thanks to the reduced to clear bins/shelves at Walmart and the local Kins market, I have had my dehydrator going full bore for weeks now with no end in sight!

So far I have dried:  oranges, cantaloupe, pineapple, various fruit leathers, mushrooms, apples, kiwi, strawberry, pears, red cabbage, potatoes and snap peas.  I did splurge and go to Costco for some steaks to make beef jerky and a tray of pork chops for pork jerky.

Currently I have sliced tomatoes with parmesan cheese/spaghetti spice mixture on top.

With summer just starting, I am looking forward to dehydrating many more things.  I have 4 plants of parsley planted and 3 plants of chives… which once they take and get going will provide me with lots of material to dry over the summer which will do me through the winter.

I had a big dehydrator when I first moved down here that had 12 trays and of course after 10 years of not using it I gave it away…  now, 5 years later I had to get a newer one.  Which is okay.  This one has a temperature gauge, and a timer which the old one didn’t, so sometimes upgrading to the newer model is a good thing.  The one that I currently have is a Hamilton Beach 32100 C model with 5 trays.  I am very happy with it, but will want to buy 4 more fruit leather trays and 4 more herb drying trays. It comes with one tray each but that won’t be enough for me…:)  I did some research on the various dehydrators and for what I will need it for the Hamilton-Beach is exactly what I needed.  It has a 5 year warranty.  If you are wanting to attempt dehydrating be careful… you might get addicted! hahaha…  don’t over buy a machine that does way more that what your family may need.  Check out warranties, ease of use and how many watts it has.  The timer and temperature gauge is really handy as I can put things on at night and it will automatically shut off when the timer runs out.  I am really loving it.

 

Final stretch…

After 30+ weeks of waiting for my pension to be re-evaluated, I called yesterday and was told a decision would be made by June 29.  Hopefully they will judge in my favor and I should be getting a bit more each month and possibly some back pay for the months that I was shorted.

On a positive note, I also called MSP… they approved me for regular benefits and back dated it to January of this year.  Now I just wait for my company pension to do what they need to do and adjust my pension.  It is only 37 dollars a month more, but with as broke as I am, it is a windfall.  At least for a short while until August when my rent goes up 40 bucks..  sigh…  it seems like a no win situation these days…