Living Our Best Life

I am convinced we are living our best life.

What led me to be thinking about this was the excitement Attila and I experienced, when we ordered eight new furnace filters. We bought high quality filters, and will change them out every two months. The used ones are always completely filthy when we change them. This old house still has a lot of dust, and also we have an extremely hairy feline in residence. We value our air quality, and in the winter, when we spend so much time indoors, it is even more important. So we treated ourselves to eight new furnace filters. They are on sale. We were so pleased with ourselves.

This evening Attila is doing the cooking. He is making Coconut Lime Fish, and Colcannon. The Colcannon is mashed potatoes, mixed with stir fried onions and cabbage. We use olive oil, rather than the traditional butter called for. We love it. Another wonderful meal.

I’ve been doing paperwork for the last few days. There is a lot of paperwork involved in retirement preparations, and it will be ongoing for a few years, as Attila is retiring early, and is only eligible for the Canada Pension Plan, which combined with my small pension from the government, will not pay all the bills. Our income will drop to less than half of what is was before Attila retires. We were below the poverty line when Attila was working, things are going to get a bit tighter here. We anticipate we will survive, frugally, and comfortably if we avoid ideas of travel, and recreational activities. Home renovations will have to be limited to what is entirely necessary to keep the infrastructure sound, with small exceptions, like touching up the paint on the siding. Luckily we are both home bodies, we have a home, and surviving amuses us.

Our car is relatively new, and still on warranty. This means it is in our best interest to take it to the dealer for specified maintenance, to keep the warranty active. We recently had such an appointment, in a nearby city, and so took the opportunity to do some shopping.

Our first stop was the Habitat for Humanity thrift store. Slim pickings, and most of the prices a bit more than we would be willing to pay. However, the prices were of little consequence to us, because we don’t need much. We purchased two new empty spray bottles, and three containers of cleaner, for $11.00.

We visited a grocery store next. The only purchase we made was sweet onions, as the grocery store where we live did not have any available to purchase. The onions cost $5.99.

Our third stop was Value Village. The prices were not reasonable, but we did buy a set of five BBC film productions, DVDs, based on the writing of George Eliot, for $7.99. That will help keep us entertained through the rest of the winter months. We have decided that since Value Village is a for-profit enterprise, we will not be donating any items to them. When we donate it will be to the local women’s shelter, the homeless shelter, and the facility that offers free meals to the homeless.

We had a lot of fun, spending less than $25.00.

The vehicle needed a part that was not in stock, but covered by warranty thank goodness. The part has been ordered, so we will have to go back soon, perhaps another shopping trip!

Last year my friend Joannie gifted us some seeds for our garden. Among them were Borlotti bean seeds. Attila grew them along our fence last summer, to see if they liked our property, and if they did, how we liked them. They thrived here, and Attila harvested about a litre of dried beans. He cooked some of them in the Instant Pot, and we both thought they were delicious. He has saved them to grow again next summer, in much larger quantities. It will be lovely to grow a good quantity of our own dried beans.

Dried and shelled Borlotti Beans, Attila grew these from seeds gifted to us by our friend Joannie. Thanks Joannie!



Updated on Tue, Feb 13 at 4:57 PM
Wind 13 SW km/h
Humidity 72 %
Visibility 21 km
Sunrise 7:11 AM
Wind gust 19 km/h
Pressure 100.7 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 5:32 PM


“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”
Rita Mae Brown

I have found that to be true, that most people will love you for what you can do for them… I find that disappointing. The false “we”, that is really “me”.

But I have no reason to focus on those who love me for what I can do for them.

I am lucky enough to have been loved by some, for who I am. Those who have loved me in this way are the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars, in my sky.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joan Lansberry

I’m so glad you had an enjoyable day! The DVDs sound like they’d be lovely!


Those are interesting looking beans.Do they have a different taste? It sounds like you have all of your ducks in a row as far as planning for Attila’s retirement. Good for you!


Your Colcannon sounds tasty, Maggie. I’ve been craving some kind of cabbage recipe lately and I wonder if that would settle the craving…

The nice thing about Canada is that it has 3 different tiers of benefits: CPP (like SS), OAS, and GIS. Attila will probably have to wait a while for OAS but it should be helping you. I was surprised and happy when our OAS kicked in. It made life easier for us than I thought it would be.