Sunday, April 21, 2019

Crazy Days!

Oscar and Jack keeping warm under blankets on the porch.

Hello Friends!

My life is passing by so quickly these days and there is so much to do! I've been traveling, looking at properties, staying in motels and my gosh the paperwork...we are so close to making an offer on a house, I'll keep you in suspense for now 😏...but we have our fingers crossed that all goes well. My next post will be either titled "I'm a Homeowner!!!" or "I'm Still a Renter..." (let's hope for the first one!).

Marlene and Charlie enjoying the sunshine while keeping cool in the snow.

We still have way too much snow here. The other day I sank to my hips. I actually got stuck and had a terrible time getting out, Alex came to my rescue thankfully. This is a dangerous time of year in the back yard...I am very happy to bid farewell to Old Man Winter this year I have to say. 

A sure sign of spring is when we see robins, red-winged blackbirds and grackles!! The cats spotted them! :) They are spending lots of time by the window these days.

Thanks for all of your comments, emails, messages and positive support! I miss you all, don't forget about me! :) Happy Easter to everyone!!! (Even my post reads as someone in a hurry, I can't wait to nest and relax again!!!)

Friday, April 5, 2019

Mexican Fiesta, Loose Husky and Knitting Project

Hello Friends :)

I hope you're all doing well and have a nice relaxing weekend planned. I'm still on the hunt for a home...time is going too fast, eek! I thought the market would pick up in April, but it seems to have slowed down lately. Nothing new to show you! 

But I have one thing to show you in the above's snowing again. This is the snowiest winter I can remember! We are expecting another 20 cm over the weekend. As Lucille Ball would say...whaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

At the beginning of March, I decided I wanted to knit myself something - ANYTHING...I chose a little handbag and it's nearly done! I just have to add a button and I'm thinking about a lining. Thanks to Stefanie for your help! :) Mahalo you sweet lady! :)

Cowboy Jack taking a siesta

Do any of you remember this time last year when I mentioned we had a loose husky in our yard? Well, two nights ago...I guess it was morning, 3am, Jack woke me up barking. Then I heard howling. Alex and I thought it was a coyote! We looked out the window and saw this:

It was that same big male husky that's been in our yard EVERY April for the past 4 years!! He was howling so loudly in our back yard. Poor thing, it was -15C with the wind that night too. We got into our snowsuits and tried to lure him over with some cooked pork.

Last year when I tried to call him over, he put his heckles up and growled and I bolted back to the house. This year though, he barked a bit, then carefully walked right over to our porch and ate the pork. He is SUCH a sweet dog! We ended up calling the police to see what could be done. They suggested we call the waste-of-time-lazy-won't-get-off-her-a$$ local dog catcher. She's the one who only took action last April because I emailed the town mayor. But she basically told us if we needed help, not to bother calling her. We explained the situation to the police officer and she called the dog catcher; so that lazy woman was forced to do something right away. Not wanting to get up off her duff, the dog catcher called Alex and gave him the phone number of the owner of the dog, since we were able to read the number of the license. She gave us the phone number and hung up. Why do they pay her??? We did all the leg work, but whatever...The owner drove over and picked up his dog Ralph. At least we know Ralph is friendly so if he gets loose again, we can just call the owner and avoid that horrible dog catcher!

We think Ralph is after our Charlie who is starting her heat. She has her heat around this time every year. These blokes travel miles for a gal don't they? ;)

I think I uttered at one point "oh, can we keep him???" Get that out of your head Rain! :)

On to the good stuff! ¡Arriba! I made a Mexican Fiesta last night complete with crunchy Cheese Quesidillas, Mexican Rice, Papas Fritas, Enchilada Sauce and a Lemon Ice Cream Pie (without the meringue)! I made some Pina Coladas...though they aren't Mexican, they just seemed to go well with the meal. See the little umbrellas? :)

Some more comfort meals of late: Linguine Carbonara with my Homemade Bread.

And a Pizza Napoletana with a thick diner-style crust.

I'm trying to keep things together lately - what with the house search, dealing with agents and brokers over the phone and by email, doing due diligence on our own by researching the potential towns and municipalities...and now it's nearly time for the monthly shopping. Alex and I are swamped, it feels like work - which I'm not too thrilled about! One little bit of good news though and I'll try to make this short! It's about real estate so if that doesn't interest you, just gaze at my pizza! :) 

Seashell (watercolour)

Or enjoy my latest painting! :) (I'm trying to keep balanced by painting/drawing daily, cooking, baking...trying to keep some kind of routine going so that I don't go loony!)

I found a house that was on 2 acres - the previous owners had built outdoor bread and pizza ovens! How cool is that??? Sadly, there are neighbours within just 20 meters on each side, so it's not for us.

When I say that some of the properties I'm interested in won't be financed by the bank, I'm just kind of making it simple. To qualify for a 5% down payment mortgage, the bank needs to be able to insure the property. That's where the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) comes in. They will decide if a property is insurable or not. If the CMHC disapproves, the bank won't finance. In fact my new mortgage broker just told me the CMHC will rarely insure any acreage above 5 or 10 acres. That really bummed me out. But...I got some more information, I learned today that there are 2 other companies that also insure mortgages in Canada and they seem to be more flexible about acreages. So perhaps some of those homes I've vetoed due to the CMHC saying no-no...I can revisit down the line and hope the other two companies may be okay with them.

I have to say, despite the stress, I'm happy that I'm learning so much about real estate and mortgages! I hope this is the first and last time I have to deal with this though! :)