Monthly Archives: January 2014

Welcome to Country Living

Welcome to Country Living

Not 6 full days living in the country and we’ve dealt with mini dishwasher floods, a chaotic move, a mega flood from the washing machine, the realization we have something living in our walls (really, I’m not surprised since we’ve been having -40 degree weather which would make any squirrel, mouse or bat take shelter) and now we need to address the coyotes.

I have a lot of respect for nature, and have always sided with the wild animals when it comes to run-ins with cars and humans. But because I’ve never had a “run in” with anything larger than a turtle I ran over last year with my car, I’ve never really had to worry about what I would ACTUALLY do if wildlife was an issue.

This morning as Hubby was letting the dogs out for a pee in the freezing cold, he shouted at me to come and see. Two coyotes stood defiant in our back yard. They stood staring at us in our housecoats while we watched them from the back door. I herded the dogs into the living room and encouraged Hubby to give a holler to scare them. He did his best impression of an “angry man”, his breath steaming in the frigid cold, but the coyotes were unimpressed. I was able to snap a quick picture as they slowly loped away after a few minutes of waiting for us to release their breakfast into the back yard. It brought a smile to both of us to see such beautiful wildlife, but also unnerving to see them so close to the house. We knew they were around as the community is full of deer, but I don’t think I like them eyeballing our dogs, as delicious as they must look.

Hubby and I hope to walk over to meet the neighbors this weekend, so we’ll have to get everyone’s opinions on how to manage life with the coyotes.

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Quick Someone Call the Landlord… oh wait…. sigh

Quick Someone Call the Landlord... oh wait.... sigh

Well, my free washer and dryer that I sourced on Kijiji was pretty much worth what we paid for them. I’ve learned an important lesson. Do not assume that the awesome free laundry set from a nice guy on kijiji actually work. We had guests over when all of a sudden Hubby burst from the basement, yelling something that neither of us women could understand… then we saw the water… the rushing splashing water quickly flooding into our Foyer from the Mudroom. Then when Hubby got the washing machine turned off, we could hear the gushing… rain falls, torrential, in our basement. The water was coming through the duct work, over the electrical lights and all over my unpacked boxes of craft supplies. We grabbed all the towels and blankets we could find to soak up the mess, dragged the shop vacs from the garage and waded through soggy boxes to salvage what we could. What a mess. Let’s just say it was all too much for a 7 months pregnant lady who was exhausted already. I had a good cry in front of our guests, the sheer frustration just overwhelming me. But our friends calmly helped and soon we were cracking jokes (although with me still crying as there is no off switch). Needless to say we reached deep into our pockets and have ordered a new laundry set which will arrive tomorrow. I have found many amazing free things on kijiji, but I hang my head in shame at trusting an appliance that could have done so much more damage (imagine if we hadn’t been home!). Ps… we tried to dry the towels in the dryer after… only to realize the dryer would spin but not dry. I now have a frozen pile of towels in my garage that is soooo frozen you can’t move them. It’s almost funny… almost.

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Sunday Main Move

Sunday Main Move

I survived the Sunday move chaos, barely. In my pregnant state, I did indeed loose it a few times and had to retreat to a quiet corner of the house while people were yelling at me to find them a hammer, screws or a broom, none of which I could find in the clutter of boxes. A screwdriver that was on our kitchen island one minute could be downstairs near the furnace the next. The dogs stayed glued to me all day, comforted by the sheer fact that they knew me, but had no idea what was happening. We had people in and out of our house all day, new people, old people, and family and friends. Some carrying boxes or shoving couches through doorways and others chasing toddlers and holding babies. All new things to our poor scared dogs.

Our friends had secured a 5-tonne truck. And for me, that description means nothing. But when it arrived I realized that “5-tonne” meant “HUGE”. They were able to make one trip from our old townhouse to our new house and were able to bring pretty much every piece of furniture and every cardboard box we had stashed there. I stood, along with some friends in the coolness of the garage inspecting boxes as they came off the truck and shouted room names to muscled men holding mattresses while the snow came down. It was efficient and fast, and utterly blew my mind at how smooth it went in general. Not a single piece of china was lost in the move, and other than a few dings, the furniture arrived pretty much unscathed. The only piece that caused a ruckus was my wine cabinet. She is a beast of a cabinet. Designed by me, and built by my cousin, a carpenter in Cornwall, she has been the central focus of our dining room for years. She was built in pieces and designed to come apart, but the guys just couldn’t quite figure out her puzzled ways, and decided that as hefty as she was, she would be moved in one piece. It took a good 5 strong men to maneuver her around, slide her through the doorway and up-end her to push her around corners to her final resting place in our front den, the only room with a wall big enough to house her. Sadly she won’t fit in our new dining room, nor our living room. Hopefully in time we’ll clean up that front room so she will be the focus again.

By 4pm the move was pretty much done. Everyone started to head home, clutching their lower backs and walking with stiff legs back to their cars. There was much chaos that day, but even more love, complete with hugs of appreciation and warm bowls of chili. Our good friends had stepped up in our time of need, and our karma from years of moving various friends and family had paid off. We were humbled by the generosity of so many.

With everyone gone, Hubby, myself and our dogs crawled into our king sized bed and all sighed and moaned, both in pain and exhaustion, as we curled up under the duvets, in the quiet of our house, the howling of the winter wind the only sound to lull us to sleep.

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Finally We’re Here

Finally We're Here

Well, I’m exhausted, financially strapped, my back aches and I’ve already had to deal with 3 water floods and a washing machine that doesn’t want to work. It must mean we are home owners now. Hubby and I picked up the keys on January 15th, went home to get the “kids” and a mattress for the roof racks and drove out to the country to our very own home. We unpacked boxes and collapsed in slumber well before midnight. I have no clue even what day it is even more. All I know is that this is the first time I’ve had time and barely enough energy to post anything. We’ve had our appliances arrive, a new couch come in, utilities hooked up and various friends and family have passed through, carrying box after box of our stuff. We had originally planned for this weekend to be cleaning weekend but with the house being as clean as it was and the fact that our friends stepped up with a moving truck, hubby and our friends are on a mission to get us moved tomorrow. My moms were by and helped paint the first coat on Juniors room, and my dad helped bring another trailer load of our junk from the old townhouse. We’ve picked up a free washer and dryer set we found on kijiji, and of course, no huge surprise, found out that the washer wasn’t spinning (after we put in a load of adorable baby clothes). Sigh. They seem to make dishwashers these days where it takes 2 plumbers, an electrician, an astronaut and a lawyer to install them, so we’ve dealt with puddles of water in our kitchen. Hubby had to work and because of the early move in the morning he will stay at the old place tonight. I am finally here alone, dogs snoring on our new couch, the dull hum of our new fridge is the only sound I hear other than the clatter of the keyboard keys as I type. I long madly for a hot bubble bath, but dread the hike to the second floor since my body aches so much. I can’t imagine how hubby is holding up or my father, they had so many heavy boxes to lift. The place is a mess, the floors are dirty from everyone’s boots and I have no clue where anything is. But I am so unbelievably happy. I love our new home. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. I’m sure it will test me since I’m already exhausted. I just want to crawl onto the double mattress on our bedroom floor, pull the sleeping bag over my head, and wake up tomorrow in my plush king sized bed full of duvets and happy dogs. They need to make an “easy” button for moving. Thankfully with a handful of excellent friends who have forever supported us, this move may actually be over by tomorrow. I’ve planned a chili dinner as thanks but know I will be indebted to everyone, friends and family who have helped us.

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Hang In There Kids

Hang In There Kids

I’m not sure if it’s because of the work shift changes that we’ve endured over the holidays, or the stress of having our entire house in boxes, but Juno seems to be acting out more than usual. She has settled down over the years, but lately has been completely testing our patience again. She has ripped into more than a few cardboard boxes while we were not looking, has gobbled down mouthfuls of Kleenex right in front of us (Hubby and I have both been sick over the holidays), accidents on the floor, breaking into closed off rooms, and has been ultra clingy, following us from room to room and insisting she sit on top of us. We know she has separation anxiety but we’ve seen it get worse since we started packing. As most dog owners can attest, once you pack a suitcase, a dog can sense something is happening and know that it doesn’t usually involve them. In fact, when Hubby and I finally planned a belated honeymoon last winter, Juno found the open suitcase on the bed and curled up inside, looking as pathetic as possible as if to say, “please bring me with you”. I think that having mountains of packing boxes strewn throughout the house has caused her to think we are now moving the entire house and leaving her behind. I wish I could tell her that this move is as much for us and Junior as it is for her and her brother Fid. What fun they will have in such a large bright house! There will be an abundant supply of butterflies and frogs to chase and acres of grass to roll in. I wish I could reassure her, she always looks so sad.

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The Outcome

The Outcome

After weeks of counter offers, signing paperwork, many many mortgage battles (and several banks later), lawyers meetings, house inspections and a few more tears, both of frustration and happiness, we finally found ourselves the proud new owners of a house in the country. But somehow I was still scared. Until I had the key in my hand, until we could make that first mortgage payment, it was still all a huge unknown. And because we were still saving, we had agreed on a closing date 4 months in the future.

That left us “existing” in our rental townhouse before we could take possession. We had quickly come to hate our tiny dwelling with its crumbling parkay floors, dented walls, and dark interior. Don’t get us wrong, we never really loved the place. It was cheap, it was a great location and we always had one strange roomie or another helping to pay the bills. But our backyard consisted of a patch of grass approx 3 feet by 12, and a few patio stones that supported our second hand patio set and rusting bbq. Our neighbours were weird. Downright weird. We had the “screamer” a mother who would literally scream obscenities at her toddlers in a nasaly voice, and she often lost one child or another who would soon be seen waddling through the parking lot wearing only a diaper. We had the “hoarker” a gentleman whose backyard faced ours, and without a doubt, each time we tried to enjoy a bbq or if we flung open our patio doors to get some semblance of a breeze through our house, the “hoarker” would be in his yard, smoking a joint, hacking and coughing, spitting and yes, even farting. It was so loud, so clear, it would make us shiver with disgust. The stray cats would leave scratches on our car, the kids would rummage through our garbage, and the snow plow would always load the snow next to our parking spot, freezing our poor car in place. The parties a few doors down, the midnight car alarms, the idling cars right under our bedroom window, and the constant barking of dogs (not just our own). Oh and don’t forget the flock of pigeons that would roost on our roof, only feet from our bedroom window (check out the picture). They would coo and flap, waiting for a free meal from next door where the guy fed them. We were done, just done. All we thought about was our new house, waiting for us.

The new house was beautiful.  She was a two-story house, with a big front porch, double garage and a rec room.  We somehow lucked out and ended up with 3 bedrooms and two and a half baths (that’s including an ensuite), a gigantic kitchen with an island, great for the chef) and almost 2 beautiful acres of grass. She was gorgeous.  You couldn’t throw a stone and hit our next door neighbor on one side, and on the other we were embraced by a farmer’s field.  Across the road, was another field, a perfect view of sunsets and grazing deer.  Every step we took in her green grass had leopard frogs leaping out from underfoot, and the porch just beckoned you to sit, a warm drink in hand, to watch the slow country life pass by.   The move couldn’t come fast enough. Would we miss our townhouse?  NO…. NO!!  And in case you mis-read that… that is a very firm and very sure “NO!”.

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