Need and Want

This morning I decided to fill an hour or so with “virtual shopping”. What I mean by “virtual”, in this instance, is that I had no intention whatsoever of purchasing anything. I was only intending to pretend to shop.

I visited Kijiji, and found nothing I was interested in. I visited Amazon.ca, and found nothing I was interested in. The only items I might be interested in, and do not need, could not be purchased sight unseen. I would like to buy comfortable clothing that I feel is attractive. But what attracts me on the rack, or on a model, is not necessarily something that will look reasonable hanging on my body. I need to take my time, to try things on, to consider carefully. That is fun for another time. I would like to buy comfortable casual shoes, as the ones that I have are more than ten years old, and they are beginning to show serious wear. Shoes need to be comfortable and suitable for walking some distance, so trying on shoes before a purchase is a necessity. Again, that is fun for another time. Beyond that, I can think of nothing that I need, and nothing that I want.

How odd, to come to a point in my life where my needs are met, so completely that I feel no want.

Of course, there are larger items that I am interested in. We would love to: rebuild the garden shed in the back yard; gut and rebuild the walls in the bedrooms and the living room; replace the windows and doors in those rooms; install new flooring in every room but the bathroom; renovate the back porch and repair the roof; put a new roof on the garage. Well, you get the picture, there is a lot of renovating yet to be done.

We would also love to find an inexpensive and small travel trailer, so that we can spend our one week vacation at our camp “up north”. YES, we get a one week vacation in the SUMMER with Attila’s new job!

But, all of these larger items are not integral to our happiness, or even our comfort. They are just things to dream about.

We bought two significant items recently, both were needed.

One of the items was a Squatty Potty. The medications I have to take have affected the efficiency of my processing unit. I knew from experience that squat toilets offer a superior experience, but had not devised a way to emulate them in our home. I will say that this product, although I do not find it miraculous, is something I would not want to live without.

The other item is MagicJackGo. We have been using our cell phones as the only means by which businesses and government agencies can contact us. This has been very problematic, as cell phones cost a lot of money to operate, and I find the messaging system inadequate. My pay-as-you-go cell phone costs fifty cents a minute to use. I reviewed many alternatives, and finally decided to try the MagicJackGo. Although the ads boast prices such as $39.95, don’t you believe it! For that price you have to also purchase a power pack, which is supposedly free, but you are billed an additional $19.95 for it, plus almost $18 shipping if you live in Canada. The unit is $69.96, plus 15% sales tax, at the local Walmart. On top of that, whether you buy it online or in the store, one must pay an extra $10 plus 15% sales tax, to obtain a Canadian phone number. The first year of service is free, and includes outgoing and incoming calls within North America, that is in Canada and the continental U.S. All in all we paid almost $100 to get the unit, a Canadian phone number, and one years service.

Local VOIP basic service charges $14.99 per month for the first six months, then $34.99 a month or more forever more. Clearly, if MagicJackGo works out, it is significantly less expensive than our service providers VOIP offering. Local VOIP service, comparable to MagicJackGo costs $52.99 per month for the first six months and $62.99 per month or more thereafter. Add 15% sales tax to all these figures.

We can’t even contemplate a Bell telephone land line, they are priced beyond our means, weighing in from $36.95 to $51.95 plus 15% sales tax.

Setting up MagicJackGo was not as straightforward as I might have hoped. The method for using my computer to set it up failed completely, and I have no idea why. Not to be deterred, I went on to try a direct connection to the modem, which worked on the first try. Now we have a Panasonic phone plugged into the line, a Canadian phone number local to where we live, and an answering machine. I have my fingers crossed that we do not run into technical difficulties in the long run, as I have read about numerous customers reporting this issue.

When I went to bed last night it was just beginning to snow. When I got up this morning several inches had accumulated, and there was a bitter wind. About a half an hour before Attila was to arrive home from work, the snow plough came through.

Winter arrived many days ago, winter weather arrived last night.

I donned my warm clothing and headed out to the garage to see if I could find the snow shovel. I wasn’t sure where it ended up after the big move. Right enough, there it was where I would have expected it to be, leaning up against the wall near the door. I unlocked the door, grabbed the shovel, and began to shovel a narrow path from the door towards the road. Attila drove up and parked across the end of the driveway, when I was about half way down the driveway. He waited until my shovelled path reached the road, then he took over.

After a while Attila decided to take a break, and during that short break he found another snow shovel, meant to be kept in a car. So we both shovelled snow until the driveway was clear.

We are expecting more snow, and freezing drizzle, later today. I have my fingers crossed that the roads will be good by the time Attila has to leave for work. As you can see below, the weather reports are rapidly changing.

Just for fun, have a look at a globe showing active surface wind movement on planet earth, it is fascinating. You can visually understand the storm Frank, and see why York is getting such a lot of rain.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

FREEZING RAIN WARNING IN EFFECT
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT
-7C
Date: 10:00 AM EST Tuesday 29 December 2015
Condition: Light Freezing Drizzle
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 3 km
Temperature: -6.9°C
Dewpoint: -8.6°C
Humidity: 88%
Wind: NE 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -16

FREEZING RAIN WARNING IN EFFECT
-4C
Date: 2:08 PM EST Tuesday 29 December 2015
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: -3.8°C
Dewpoint: -4.8°C
Humidity: 92%
Wind: NE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -8

Quote

“Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.”
Albert Camus
1913 – 1960

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13 Responses to Need and Want

  1. Bex says:

    Today is our first “winter weather” here… a tiny bit of snow but rainy sleet all day and all night long. Just wet and gray and dark and the dogs hate to even step foot outside the door!

    Happy New Year!

  2. What clever dogs Bex! Your weather sounds as dull and dreary as ours. I think your winds are stronger, looking at the winds on the globe. Still, we are safe and warm!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Hooray to the squattage!

  4. LOL Kate! The Grandbabies loved the video on the manufacturer’s website, which takes a toug- to-talk-about subject, adds humour, and brings it into the mainstream of polite conversation… well, polite conversation in my little world anyway.

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    I’m happy to say I’ve also gotten to a point where the things I truly want are large things connected with home renovation. My clothing has finally caught up to my needs, thanks to DH getting those gift cards from work earlier in the year.

    So glad to hear that Attila will have a summer vacation! We’re uncertain what to do with DH’s vacation this next year. Maybe we’ll do some staycations. They’re certainly more relaxing than traveling from home.

    One of the last needs that DH has had was a snowblower. Fortunately, thanks to our previously warm fall weather, I was able to get an electric one for him as a Christmas present at a very reasonable price. Such timing! Only open 3 days and suddenly we have 4-5 inches of snow turned to heavy wet slush. It’s the worst we’ve had since we’ve been here. Such wonderful timing, as DH was able to clear the driveway and front walk in about 20 minutes without a single back twinge! I’ve never been so happy about any other present I’ve given him! 😀

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Took a moment to view the Squatty Potty commercial. *chuckle* No, you’ll never see ice cream quite the same way again… 😉

  7. It does seems like a milestone Teri, not really needing anything.

    The snowblower sounds like the perfect gift at the perfect time! We shoveled for about an hour yesterday, the two of us, and got the job done. We have a snowblower, but it is a machine to be reckoned with, meant to handle the huge driveway and snow loads at the country house. Here at Mist cottage it doesn’t fit through the “man door” of the garage, not unless we take the garage door off, so not practical for use this winter. Attila will install a wide door in the garden shed when he renovates, so that next winter he can have access to the snowblower and use it. This winter we will both get our exercise shoveling snow.

    The squatty potty commercial is funny, the my daughters, and the Grandbabies thought it was hilarious. They have yet to try mine though, or maybe they have and will not admit to it, 🙂

  8. crochetlady or Lee Ann says:

    This probably explains why modern toilets are so low to the ground. I don’t need a Squatty Potty here! No snow for us, wish it were. We got too much rain. Almost as much as floods of 93. And I was here for that too! Stay warm and dry!

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Take it easy shoveling, you two. DH had been in good condition for years but now aches and pulled muscles are starting to creep up on him when he does strenuous work. Hate to see either of you laid up.

  10. Lee Ann, the toilet we installed at the country house was low indeed, but even so, it didn’t quite emulate the squatting position 🙂 The toilet we installed here at Mist Cottage is a very high model, easy to maneuver for old bones, and made functional by the squatty potty, best of both worlds.

    I don’t think I know where you are Lee Ann, with heavy rain. I have to admit that I enjoyed the green Christmas we had, I think I saw enough snow at the country house to last me a lifetime.

    We are keeping warm, thanks to our handy dandy thermostat. Oh how I love that word! So far we have used very little furnace fuel, most of our heating has been via the air source heat pump. Our electricity bills are higher because we are using this type of heating, but are still lower than our hydro expenses were for two homes.

  11. Right you are Teri, it does pay to be cautious with snow shoveling. I did all the shoveling last winter, living here alone, and I managed it by pacing myself. It takes longer to shovel small light bits at a time, but it pays off because we don’t suffer from any aches or pulled muscles. I guess if it gets really cold the danger will be frostbite, from being out there so long, moving the snow in tiny bits.

  12. I can say also the “squatty” device is a great aid, almost feel like I need to buy one for work, too, 🙂

    Good luck with the phone line, we still only have the land line, it is so much simpler! 🙂

  13. I am amazed at the difference the squatty potty has made Joan, and the effect seems to be cumulative, getting better all the time. I wouldn’t be without it. And like you, I want to have one with me wherever I go! The squatty potty company sells an inflatable portasquatty, but I don’t really like inflatable objects, I tend to puncture them rendering them useless. But something that folds nicely into a backpack would be grand! I am on the lookout.

    So far the phone is working just like a landline, which is what we have always had, but the setup is much more complicated. My sister says that the sound is not too bad, a little bit of echo now and again when she calls on her cell phone. It is better than Skype though. I still find Skype handy, because I can call “sticky” sales people without leaving any call back number for them, such as real estate agents where I just want a teeny bit of info, not a whole sales pitch.