Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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Tweety Bird At Home (Sharpies)

Hello Friends!

The theme for Michael's Scribble Picnic today is My Place/Town/County/Borough/Province/State. Tweety Bird's whole world revolves around his cage, so I'd say that was his home!

Canadian Hug (watercolour)

I think for me, the most obvious place I call home is Canada. I love this country. The politics in my province have worn me down to the point where I plan on leaving for good by the summer - despite that though, I consider myself a proud, happy Canadian. 

Home In The Woods (watercolour)

If I really think about "my place"...where I feel the most at home, where I feel safe and's the woods. No matter what official name I put to the land, the woods are MY place! If I don't get out into the woods each day, with the dogs or just on my own, I don't feel right. It's my place of tranquility and spirituality. That's why we are being so scrupulous with regards to finding our new place. It has to be surrounded by trees and ideally in the woods!


Kissing Frogs: A Spring Peeper we found last spring on our front porch

Speaking of that...thanks again to everyone who responded to my last post and shared your story with me. I contacted two realtors who were very nice in their responses, one in New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia. They told me the market booms in April and May mostly, then tapers off again during the the rest of the summer. So I'll sit tight, still keep my eyes peeled in the mean time, but plan to focus on the home search full-time during those two months. And I'm taking the advice I was given to look for properties sold by owner as well. Some of you were so sweet to email me with some links and advice. I really feel grateful! And I do want to enjoy the process! I love how Susan put it..."you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!" :) 

Some of my friends know that I had my eye on a 15 acre property in the woods by a river and lake. It was only 39k and off grid, though equipped with solar panels, had a septic system and a dug well - and the best? FAR away from any other neighbour!! It seemed perfect! Well, that real estate agent was one of the many who avoided my questions by email so I called her. I found out that #1 there is no bath or shower...okay, that could be worked around...but worse, #2 there is a parcel of land about 30 feet from the front of the house that belongs to another home owner. This means the person(s) would be trampling by our windows, just 30 feet away, any time they please. Now I understand why she avoided the question. This property is now on the veto list! Boo hoo!! 😭

But...comfort food always helps any woes! :) I had leftover filling from New Year's so I made another Tourtière (meat pie).

We're shopping from the pantry lately too! I love that! I canned many jars of spaghetti sauce last fall and I'm so thankful we have lots of it on hand!

And of course, pizza. :) This is a four cheese pizza with Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parm and Goat cheese! Yum! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bogged Down and Slightly Discouraged!

Hi Friends :)

This is my current list of properties I've looked at through ALL vetoed. The big problem I'm having is that in my price range, they are all too close to other houses. And if I'm lucky enough to find a nice little cottage with some acreage, it's usually missing water or a sewage system. I go to Google Satellite to look at the location of the places, so it's a long process. And the handful of properties I've considered possibles - well the agent either avoids questions or doesn't bother replying!

It's getting frustrating. Do you have home buying stories to share? Good or bad? Alex and I didn't think it would be this discouraging!!! Any tips?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sweet Treats

Hi Friends! I hope you're all doing well! I'm barely hanging on these days...I had such a bad few weeks. First the stomach flu; then we did the dreaded monthly shopping in -25C weather...then somehow I got a pet hair in my eye and it was two days before I could flush it out. I still have some irritation...Onwards and upwards right?

Yesterday we celebrated Alex's birthday and I made him this Fruit Tart with Custard. It was a great hit! I used the nectarines I'd canned in September. The rest of the fruit was frozen...I can only imagine how good this tart will be when I make it with fresh fruits!

Since we decided on no gifts until we manage to buy our property, I wanted to make him something as a gift! I found a recipe online for Kahlua Pecan Fudge. I'm not a fan of anything white chocolate but he said they are delicious. VERY sweet though!

I made him a Strawberry Gin Fizz as an apéro before dinner. It's a nice refreshing cocktail made with muddled strawberries and gin. It was such a great foodie day! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Holiday Party!

Hi All! :)

Michael's theme for the Scribble Picnic today is "Holiday Party". This is what I drew for the picnic this week!

Any Marx Brothers fans out there? 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I'm Excited About The Future!!!

Hello my friends!!!

Happy New Year to everyone! How did you ring in the new year? We had sugar OVERLOAD...chocolates, homemade Sugar Pie and Brandy Alexanders! We went outside at midnight with cocktails in hand. It was snowing...a very magical night! :) I tossed a silver coin out the door to leave the old year behind and attract prosperity for the new year. I'm a superstitious gal and I love folklore! :) 

2019 is here and I am so excited. I had some great enlightening thoughts recently on how I live my life, how I want to live my life and how I DON'T want to live my life! I discovered a lot about myself recently that I'd been hiding for some reason or another - all good stuff, so I'm very happy and my confidence is through the roof! I'm excited about 2019!! The pets are all happy and healthy, we are happy and healthy...and I am actually enjoying winter this year! Who-da-thunk-it.

I'm so happy 2018 is over, honestly. It was an up and down year for me. I experienced more stress-related illness than I have since I burned out in 2003. Most of you know that we babysat a friend's dogs for 9 months...which was supposed to be for a weekend. I personally had major issues with Pavlov and Stella's owner - constantly putting us on the back burner and waffling over and over about when he was coming to pick them up - IF EVER. It was tumultuous, yet it was wonderful. I LOVED those dogs and still miss them. They were so sweet, but it was a lot of work, a lot of stress; and due to that stress, I had issues eating and swallowing food up until a few months ago. That's how my body reacts to high basically says " eating for you Rain...T.S." It's hard to be a food lover and not be able to eat what you cook and bake. :(

My favourite thing in the world is to be out in the woods walking the dogs. But with five, I had to put that on hold. I know that affected me very badly.

Both Jack and Charlie got very sick in 2018. Charlie had a terrible allergic reaction that we still have not determined the cause for. We assumed it was some kind of insect bite. Her face blew up and it was a scary situation. Of course it happened late on a Sunday night when we were basically helpless. 

We still don't know what happened to Jack, I really thought he was going to die. :(  Again, we felt so helpless. It was a devastating time, you guys know that Jack is my little fella and the thought of losing him was hurting so much. I am grateful every day that he pulled through. We were told he would never run, climb stairs and jump again (not true).

Pavlov and Stella got injured. The vet bills were very difficult to manage. The car had so many repairs...we started to drown in debt.

I tried to escape the stress through art. I started drawing and using pastels and it was art therapy for me!

In May, we said goodbye to Pavlov and Stella. I was relieved, but at the same time very upset. I felt as though they were taken away from me after I'd bonded with them and taken such good care of them. I'm an emotional gal and the mixed feelings of relief, heartbreak and bitterness towards their reeked havoc on me. The depression got worse and I stopped blogging regularly all summer. I stopped drawing and painting. I could barely get any food down. I ate a lot of "blender" meals believe it or not. I just didn't feel well. I know I don't talk about this publicly, it was such a rough time. It was so bad I considered going back on meds and seeking therapy. I'm glad I didn't because...

...I dove into garden therapy. I needed it and it worked. :) I started to feel better. I could eat a little more regularly. I started feeling the desire to be creative again. And I started the daily dog walks again!! :) Our experiences at the veterinary clinic motivated us to find remedies and cures at home, and to try home cooked pet food. The dogs and cats are thriving now! :) Knock on wood there hasn't been a vet visit since last April. November, I made the final payment on my car...I saved a little more money...I paid back a little more debt...I checked my credit report and I'm in good standing...this means mortgage approval is very likely! The way things are going, my score should improve even more before the spring! :)

Unless we have arctic conditions out there, I walk Charlie almost every day in the woods. I'm convinced that before we adopted her, Charlie HAD to have been the leader of a sled team lol...she LOVES winter and the snow and loves to lead me through the woods!! Marlene and Jack don't like to get too cold so they are happy to stay home! I'm grateful for my time with Charlie each day. :)

What have I learned in the past year? Well, I learned that a part of me that for many years I thought was "negative" was actually a positive. I also learned that nothing will stop me from achieving anything I want to achieve. My friend Suzie from the blog Suzie The Foodie posted the above photo on Instagram the other day. This is a lesson everyone needs to learn - man or woman. I learned that I'm too nice, which is not a good thing. I tend to people please - put everyone else's needs above my own. I put a stop to that recently and I feel so much better.

I've learned that ME, Rain...she's my priority. :)

Another wonderful thing that touches my heart? My friends. All of you wonderful people I met through this blog. I get emotional when I think of all the love you guys have shown me. These are cards I received this Christmas from my precious friends! 💖 

Things are looking up and I know this will be the best year ever! I wish the same to all of you friends! Thanks so much for all of your support, love, care and words over the last year...whether you realize it or not, it's meant the world to me! 💚