Welcome back Don,
Glad your medical issues are behind you now. Pallet wood is inexpensive but !!!
Did any nasty chemicals spill onto them, I hope you invested in a metal detector, and you will always be left with a bunch of scraps that are only good to burn. Good if you have a wood stove. As far as materials go, isn't there a couple of sawmills in the Peterborough area ? I buy from a local sawmill here in Western Quebec and have not bought wood for woodworking projects from anywhere else in about 10 years. The wood contains a bit more moisture than the big box stores wood but it is still very workable and much less expensive.
Don't fear your tools, pay attention and respect the tools and avoid injury.