Sunday, June 7, 2020

Big Pile O' Dirt!



Hi Friends! 😊

How is your weekend going? Today it's raining and we are taking it easy! Friday was a busy, hard working day for Alex and me. We had our garden soil/compost delivered.


With our rocky/gravelly terrain, we figured our best bet would be raised beds. I found a local farm that sold this mix of soil by the cubic yard. I ordered 3 cubic yards. I thought that would be a good amount for my six planned raised beds.


Alex put together the wheel barrow and we got to work transferring the soil to the beds.


Before adding soil, we lined the bottoms of the beds with cardboard boxes. This is to hopefully prevent weeds from growing in the beds. Those packing boxes sure came in handy!


Not much to see right now! When we got everything finished and planted, we covered the beds with some row covers in anticipation of heavy rain all day yesterday. I got lots planted though! 

1. Asparagus
2. Two types of tomatoes
3. Herbs and lettuces
4. Strawberries
5. Potatoes
6. Broccoli, cauliflower, yellow beans and green beans


This is how I water my garden. We don't have an outside spigot, so it's in and out of the house to fill the watering can.


I'll be interested to see what grows here! Oh, and that dirt pile? I still have about a 1/3 of it left!!! I over-estimated what I needed, which is a good thing because now I can plant more! We just have to find the lumber to make more raised beds and I'll get my pumpkin patch and squash bed growing! I'd like to plant a lot of onions too. 

I planted seeds only this year, no seedlings - I really hope the growing season is long enough here that I'll have a good harvest in the fall.


My sweet Jack. πŸ’•


I managed to get 15 jars of spaghetti sauce pressure-canned as well. That big giant fridge we bought second hand needed a very intense deep cleaning and we haven't gotten it put back together yet; so we're still eating non-refrigerated meals. Hopefully we'll have our fridge up and running this week so I can do a proper shopping trip!


We installed some yellow "bug" lights around the house. I don't know how well they work with an army of mosquitoes at the ready for attack lol...but they sure look cozy! We heard coyotes the other night. They were closer than we expected so we have to make sure we are always with the dogs when they're outside, we need to keep them safe! See you on Thursday for our art date! The theme is "Summer Plans"!!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Your Dream


Hello Friends! 😊 

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Your Dream. This is more of a nightmare than a dream for Bugs! The tables have turned!!! 😲 How did you create your dream?

I REALLY REALLY wanted to paint something for this week's theme! But I truly didn't have the chance. Yesterday we ran out of water and had to figure that out. You Tube and Bill the Realtor to the rescue! We figured out it was the pressure settings on the pressure tank that hooks up to the water pump which pumps water out of the well. I have to tell you...this is all foreign to me! But we are learning! We have a new pressure gauge on the pressure tank now and we have to set it a little higher to make sure the pump does its job well! In order for the pump to bring water up from the well, the pressure needs to be at around 40 PSI (minimum). Just to give you an example, when we flush the toilet, the tank's pressure dips to 18 PSI...so if we flush the toilet at the same time we wash dishes, we run out of water. There is plenty of water in the well, it's just the pressure settings...whoda thunk it??? But now we know!

Car news: Terry our mechanic called, we are getting a Jeep Patriot engine in our Dodge Journey...so we'll have more power, grunt grunt lol! :)


Garden news: This is our soil. This area's earth is rock, pebble, gravel...I took out my pitchfork and shovel and tried my darndest to get some soil dug, but nothin' doin'. I kind of knew this about the earth around here, so I'd already budgeted a little extra for soil. When we found out about the car, we figured the garden was a no-go for this year, but things have somehow worked out! I've tried very hard to be a good person and I love that Karma is noticing! 😊


I called around and found a few companies who deliver garden soil (top soil/compost mix) in bulk, so I ordered 3 cubic yards to fit into 6 raised beds. Alex made these for me, we have 2 more to make before today's delivery. We decided that this year, we will use whatever materials we have on hand and thankfully we have enough lumber to make all six raised beds! I'll give you all a garden update on Sunday!


As for dinners, it's comfort food as usual! Sweet tea, corn on the cob, loaded nachos, poutine and pizzas! πŸ˜‹

Would you like to join me for a walk?


Here's a little video I took yesterday morning while walking Charlie. Thanks for joining me!!! 

That's all for now folks! Please check out the link widget below to see more Your Dream artwork! 

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This is a photo I took of the beautiful Fundy Bay. One of my plans this summer, if possible, is to go back there and share this lovely spot with Alex. I've always been drawn to this area and now I'm lucky enough to live just under an hour's drive away!

June 11th: Next Thursday's theme is Summer Plans. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! πŸŽ¨

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes. 

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Cracks and Crevices


Hello Friends! 😊😊

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Cracks and Crevices. Daffy Duck thinks he's very close to cracking the case of the missing carrots!! Let's wish him luck! πŸ°

We have internet!! We got connected Tuesday evening, but I honestly haven't had much of a chance to go online. We are still living in boxes and trying to do little repairs while unpacking. I managed to unpack all of my art supplies, but it will be another week or so before I can relax, sit quietly and CREATE!

Summer has arrived. Our weather is hot and humid, but nice and cool in the evenings. We had a problem with our rented water heater for the last week and NB Power finally arrived yesterday to fix it, but it took hours! No water and 35 Celcius weather doesn't make for a happy Rain!! πŸ˜’ But everything is fixed now.

That's all for now folks! Thanks for visiting! Please check out the link widget below to see more Cracks and Crevices artwork! And why not join in? 😊

PS: Do you hate the new Blogger interface as much as I do???? I really hate change, I don't adapt well with technology!!

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A lot of my dreams/nightmares involve me being alone in the woods at night as the tree limbs come alive and try to grab me! This is a photo I took in the woods, it reminded me a lot of those dreams!

June 4th: Next Thursday's theme is Your Dream. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! πŸŽ¨

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes. 

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Bad Luck 😈...Good Luck πŸ˜‡...Repeat


Hi Friends :)

I'm coming to you today again from my phone..but I discovered a trick. I actually have "voice command" so I can dictate the post! Sometimes it messes up the words, but my gosh it's easier than typing on that teeny keyboard! Tuesday the internet tech is coming and I'll be online again! It will take some time to catch up with your blogs and art date contributions, so I ask that you bear with me! That's me and Alex up on the roof getting rid of an old wasp nest.


The unpacking is very slow. I did manage to get my cookbooks unpacked though! We are going grocery shopping on Wednesday. I can't wait to start cooking again!

This post is all over the map. Ever since we decided to move, Alex and I feel like we've had so much bad luck...but then we've had good luck as well.


On May 6th, we got into the car to pick up our truck and auto transport. Our plan was to pack the truck all day then wake up at the crack of dawn on May 7th to leave. Just 5km away from the Uhaul dealership, our engine sounded like an airplane, we heard a "POP!" and the oil pressure warning light came on.

For those who drive, you know that the oil pressure warning light means STOP YOUR VEHICLE IMMEDIATELY. You basically have low or no oil pressure and you can severely damage your engine. We stopped, called our mechanic and he said it would be fine to drive at a snail's pace, but bring it in soon. Knowing nothing about this, we took his word for it.

This is the rig I drove for 15 hours!

We got to the Uhaul place, nobody was there but our truck/transport was set up. We drove the car up onto the auto transport and decided that we'd have it looked at in New Brunswick because we didn't want to delay the move. We weren't going to be driving it for the next 2 weeks anyway and our Quebec mechanic had us believing it was just a broken sensor. I hopped into the truck and tried to start it...nothing. The battery was dead. We had to call Uhaul Roadside Assistance (who took an hour to arrive) to boost us. He said it would be fine to drive, the battery was good and we shouldn't worry.

We drove home, filled the truck and tried to start it that night. NOTHING. We called Uhaul Roadside Assistance again and they said they'd be able to come with a new battery the next day. We sadly realized we would not be able to leave the next morning. Uhaul arrived around 10am on the 7th, changed the battery and we spent our last night in Quebec. We left on May 8th.

Charlie, Marlene and Jack getting some shade.

The entire world has had bad luck with Covid. We struggled with the bank to get the financing sent on the closing date of the house purchase. We had to chase the mortgage agent. At every turn, we were given the "Covid Excuse"...she couldn't call us back because of Covid...she couldn't get the money ready because of Covid...the list goes on...but...she did say (by accident I'm guessing) that mortgage closing dates were never a priority...they could always be delayed. I called her on that and she never returned my phone calls. Finally Alex and I got fed up and called her Vice President. The stress was unimaginable. The VP personally took over the file and we got our house closed 2 days late. Our lawyer here in NB said, and I quote "I have nothing but CONTEMPT for Quebec and Bank of Montreal". We felt the same way.

Leo, Dana and Oscar in our bed.

We were on edge for days, wondering if the New Brunswick border would turn us away. As you all know, they allowed us in. By the way, as I type this, the NB borders are all still closed to travelers.

The LAST box!!

The good luck that came from the Covid situation was that it allowed us to keep the Uhaul truck for free, for an additional 14 days during our mandatory quarantine. We were paying for 4 days, so we had a total of 18 days to keep the truck. This allowed us to slowly empty the truck. Alex and I moved everything ourselves, even heavy appliances. We invested about $40 in these shoulder straps to help us carry heavy items and they worked like a charm! 


Being allowed to keep the truck for so long also allowed us to drive to a city about 90 minutes away, to a used appliance store, and purchase a fridge, washer and dryer. Omg, the laundry is piling up!!! I can't wait to get the washing machine installed. I was trying to do it all by hand in the kitchen sink, but the other day I spent 3 hours washing 4 sheets...too long! I'm not going to use the dryer until the winter though. We have a great clothesline set up!

"The Price Is Right" model? ;)

Look at the size of that fridge!!! It was half the price of a new smaller cheapo fridge too. Good luck continues! The lady who owned the used appliance store was so sweet. She kept the store open for us so we could come pick up the appliances. She also hired two local men to bring them into the truck for us. She cut down the prices for us too because she knew we had just moved to NB.


But more bad luck. We soon discovered that a cement wall that was installed on the side of the house  (probably for a planned deck that was never built), was pushing against the back of the house. That industrial looking staircase (we dub "useless") is also putting pressure on the foundation and there is a crack along the outside of the foundation. The basement door frame is warped too because of that pressure. We bought the house in the winter, there was so much snow that our realtor and inspector didn't see this outside damage. We knew the door frame was damaged, but we didn't realize how badly and why. There was no disclosure statement (that's why the house was so cheap). For those curious, we got it for 44k CAD.


Good luck again...our realtor Bill Ervin (I am totally plugging Bill...if you ever need a property in New Brunswick - anywhere in the province, get in touch with this awesome man!!)...he offered to bring his backhoe in June and tear down both the cement wall and staircase and haul it off for free. He's going to level out the ground for us and knock down a few dead trees near the house. He is also going to show Alex how to fix the foundation. He's been our guardian angel during this move. He fixed a few shingles on our roof, helped us with the plumbing and is going to show us how to sweep our chimney.


And he brought us more chicken! I made some great bone broth from it!

The worst bad luck happened a a few days ago...we couldn't start our car so we had to have it towed to a local mechanic (35 minute drive away). We told him what happened in Quebec before we moved and he checked everything. After 6 hours of checking, he called us at 10pm, he told us the engine is DONE. Kaputs...DEAD. He said he felt so bad that he couldn't fix it for us but the only solution was either a new engine or a new car. He said "It's the shits, I'm so sorry."

This is the property behind us with the burned down cottage. One day we hope to buy this land to add to ours.

We had just spent most of our money, savings and available credit on moving, property taxes and our appliances. We were a 45 minute drive from any town and we had to return the Uhaul the next day. We told Terry, our mechanic we had to think about our options. Alex and I were both freaking out at that point.

Leo sinking into the sofa.

Good luck called...Ring ring!! My phone rang 10 minutes later. A man named Sandy (a friend of Terry, the mechanic)...called to offer us his little Toyota until we either found a car or had ours fixed. He didn't even know us!

Then Terry called us back saying he could go to the scrap yards and find us a used engine and replace it for us. He wasn't going to charge us for the time he spent trying to find the problem. He wanted to help us out. He also said he'd take a payment plan.

Lazy hound dog Jack.

We were overwhelmed by their kindness, they had no clue who we were but they just wanted to help us. I'm an emotional gal and I spent some time crying out of sheer gratitude. I think that living in Quebec conditioned both Alex and I into believing that there was no good in people (generally speaking). The attitude in that province is selfish, rude and self-entitled. It is a disposable culture where things (and people) are discarded without care. Nobody offers a kind hand to anyone willingly. We've been discovering the good in people over the last few days and we like it!

Sandy's car in our driveway.

When we went to pick up Sandy's car, we had a nice visit with him. He is a former country veterinarian and though he doesn't practice anymore, he said he will refer us to someone good and honest. He's in his 80's. He used to have a farm, he had chickens, pigs and a huge garden, he even grew his own grapes to make wine. He has a wealth of information that he is more than willing to share. He and his wife made us a macaroni and cheese dinner and a loaf of bread to bring home. They told us where to get some wood for the winter. They said if we wanted to take some tree saplings from their 100-acre property to transplant onto ours, to just go ahead. They even came to pick us up at the place where we dropped off the Uhaul so we wouldn't have to walk to their place to pick up their car. Sandy said that he'd love to sell us his property if we wanted it in the future because we were "good people" and he knew we'd enjoy it and take good care of it. We told him it was a bit above our means, and he said "oh don't worry, we can work something out." Have you ever met people like this my friends? I can say I never have!

The money we had planned to replace the windows of the house is now going towards the engine repair in the car. And with the impending work to be done in the back with Bill's backhoe, it looks like I won't have a garden this year, sigh sigh sigh...Life happens and you have to roll with it. If all of this happened to us in Quebec, we'd be 100% on our own. We are grateful for every moment we chose to move to this province.


Just before returning the Uhaul, we stopped by a truck stop that had an Arby's restaurant and we pigged out lol...our first fast food meal in years! With our orange-cream milkshakes, we toasted to more good luck to come!

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Debra - I'm sorry about my vertical blinds comment lol...potaytoe/potahtoe!! ;) πŸ’š

Baili - We want to have more land so that people don't build houses too close around us! We want privacy and quiet. The land in this area isn't cheap but it's not too expensive either, so that's why we are hoping we can buy more of it! It's not very hard to maintain since it's mostly all forest. We want to leave it as is!

Andrea - The pets are doing great! They have all adapted very well! Our dogs are ALWAYS leashed, so no worries about them approaching any porcupine, or any other critter for that matter! Btw, that bird came back, and yes, I think you're right it's some kind of grouse!

Nancy @ Little Homestead in Boise - The weather here is chilly at night!!! It's summer for sure though because we have hot sunny days. Not too much rain so far.

Jenn @ Coffee On The Porch With Me - We are really far from the nearest town. It's a 40 minute drive away from a small town that has a Sobeys, liquor store and a Shoppers Drug Mart. I think there's a CT there too. Moncton is over an hour away and Saint John is an hour and a half. We're closer to the Fundy Bay side of the province, which I love!

LeeAnna (LA Paylor) - The property I outlined two posts back, is the property I called the "burned cottage". It's been sitting like that for at least 7 years. I figure the owners just pay the $66 yearly property taxes on it and leave it be. It would be nice to add that acreage to ours one day!