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!


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!


  1. I loved this post, because the people in New Brunswick are so kind. My father in law was born and raised in Boiestown, New Brunswick. I believe he still has relatives in that area. He died in 2003 at age 94 here in Hawaii.

  2. Oh, dear! What a time you've had. But, if the bad things hadn't happened you wouldn't have discovered what wonderful people are around you now. That said, I think no more bad stuff for awhile.

  3. What a fabulous post and even more fabulous photos. What a blessing to have met so many kind and generous people in NB! You truly have found a small piece of heaven on earth there. Amazing how all your bad luck ended with such good luck. You and Alex look so happy in your photos. Once you are all settled in and the house is structurally sound, you will be able to relax a bit and totally enjoy your new surroundings. Your critters seem to have adjusted perfectly. Love the photo of the cat 'sinking' into the couch. Have a great week and fingers crossed your internet truly gets connected on Tuesday.

  4. What an immensely stressful time you've had! But Maritimers are indeed a breed apart -- every Maritimer I've ever met has been generous with their time, help and friendship. It truly is a cultural thing, I think. You've picked a great province to live in! I hope you have nothing but good luck here on in.

  5. Wow Rain. Sounds like you ended up just in the right place.

    Smaller towns often restore my faith in humanity.

  6. milkshakes and onion rings solve lots of problems! what a great fridge! i always found the people of new brunswick to be very friendly. actually, i think all of the maritime people are. i'm so glad you moved!!!

  7. Sorry about the bad bits, but thank God for good people who help you out even if thy don't know you. From strangers to friends in the blink of an eye! That's heartening in this world which is often so cold. Look after yourselves, take it easy - well, as easy as possible - and stay healthy and happy! And I want a fridge like yours - it's probably bigger than my apartment!! Hugs, Valerie

  8. This reminds me of 'come from away', such kind people. So glad to read all your news, have been thinking about you. Wishing you continued good luck (mostly). This is real life after all!

  9. It's so good of you to write this catch-up post, Rain! What a whirlwind of emotions and problems you've been through. I'm very glad to read how you've been encouraged and helped by people in your new place!

  10. Oh my goodness, all that you two have been through! But you know, the whole time I was reading this post I was thinking what nice people you and your husband must be. The folks in New Brunswick sound wonderful. I've never heard of so many, being so kind and so willing to help, but they must see the same friendliness and kindness in you both. I'm so happy for you, and all those sweet animals too. Good luck, from here on!

  11. I am so very glad that your bad luck was balanced out by the good. And how wonderful to find so many excellent people in your new home area. Confirmation (if you needed it) that you have done the right thing and are in the right place.

  12. wow, good and bad luck but such nice people you have met and i love all the photos and i'm so happy you are handling it all and getting things done and sharing your story with us. you should write a book you would be good at it - you make it all so interesting to read.

  13. So sorry to read about the bad bits … but I'm cheering with the good bits!
    You really have met some kind and generous people.

    Many thanks for sharing all of your photographs … good luck to you both.

    All the best Jan

  14. And the adventures have begun! How truly wonderful you've found a place that seems just right for you. And it's true that people in different places take on a different "feel" and attitude toward others so I'm so glad to hear your new acquaintances can see the true you and Alex which makes them so willing and eager to help. Yes, bad things have happened (we never expect or are totally prepared for them, are we?) but you're experiencing so many good things, too. Keep chronicling this new part of your lives. It will be great to look back on.

  15. Oh boy, what a journey you've had so far. I'm sorry you've had to deal with selfish ppl in the past but are now meeting and getting help from such wonderful ppl.

  16. What a blog post! Sounds like the folks in NB are absolutely wonderful. Even with the bad luck, everything is going to be okay!

  17. Sorry for commenting late. We've had a bunch of electrical storms in the evenings and it knocks out our internet and cable. It takes a while for us to get it back online
    Sounds like NB is a blessing. So many nice people helping you out. Don't forget to pay it forward and return the debt later when things settle.

  18. Hurrays abundant! Great to hear about the adventures, and your spin of turning the negative to positive, is terrific! All blessings are centered in the heart, when we are able to acknowledge them! I am so happy for you and Alex, and very proud of you both for starting this awesome adventure. We have found that the greatest folks we have learned from, are those who are willing to teach, with nothing expected...that is what we try to pass along to others... and the cycle repeats itself! Great post, Rain! Thanks for bringing us along!

  19. It's wonderful. You made it. You struggled and won.
    You are a resilient pair.
    Your faithful readers will look forward to further adventures.
    Your luck has turned. Let's go with that!

  20. Rain, Think of life as a roller coaster. For every up there is a down, and vice versa. I;m actually thankful for this because I never stray to far from the Father. I knew I liked you for some reason. LOL Somehow I missed that you were from Montreal. So was my late husband.

  21. Sounds really stressful! So sorry, but sounds like you have great folks there! It's always nice when you stumble on to nice people. I think some rural people are used to helping each other out.

  22. I'm beyond amazed. My next door neighbor just built a tall fence that isolates me further from the neighborhood, so even though you have bad luck, the good far outweighs the bad. You got a deal on that U-haul and that is exactly the fridge/freezer I want, too. Lucky, lucky you.

  23. What a wonderful post !!! What an amazing adventure :) I love the pictures of the two of u.
    How is the weather in NB ??? I hope you will find a cheap used engine soon. What a crazy ride ... u both deserve a vacation ... haha

  24. Wow so much has been happening to you! although bad things have happened, every single time, there has been a solution, a kindness, an unexpected guardian angel - you are certainly blessed. I think your new home is going to be so wonderful, with kind people who will become your friends. The structural problem with your new home is a big worry, but even there you have someone who wants to help. I wish you lots of happiness in your new home and hope you can buy that extra land. I hope you will maybe consider doing a cleansing ritual/blessing taking in the land with the burned cottage so that there is no negative energy around you any more xxx

  25. That reads * wow * with obstacles and with so much luck such people who help to meet.
    It's great that you have a fridge and it's so cheap and the bars are great too. You can't have it any better.
    I wish you all the best and continue to give good things.
    Greetings elke

  26. First, thanks Rain for this update, both the bad news and the very wonderful new about the very helpful and caring people you have met. One thing is certain that through all the downfalls you have made some great new friends and NB definitely sounds like the best place. Thanks too for the photos showing the smiling faces of you both. Much happiness sent to you both.

  27. What a trial but also a triumph! You have both been through a lot but I am so happy that you have found a wonderful community and that you have some support. I can't wait to see more of your work on "the homestead" and I love your new appliances and your bookcase with all your cookbooks. So glad that all the family members have adjusted well. I am so very happy for you! If I lived closer I would hop over with a casserole! Please email me your address....mine is
    Enjoy this adventure of a lifetime!

  28. I cried, laughed, and cried again! What a rough time dear Rain, but I see you and Alex are weathering the storms of moving - good luck dear, my fingers are crossed that soon it will be plain sailing! So happy you have found a home among what sound like awesome kind and generous people.
    Best wishes to you both and the animals - who seem very content no matter what!!!!
    Hugs - Mary

  29. Oh my gosh, Rain! What a heartwarming post. Of course, I feel bad about the bad luck but the goodness FAR outweighs it. What wonderful people you've met. A definite change from Quebec...I know that well. George and I would live on the east coast in a heartbeat if it was just the two of us. But my girls...I cannot live that far away from them. Our wish is to visit one day. We'd really enjoy that. And we'd definitely want to see the two of you! I can't tell you how happy I am for you. We'll have to schedule a video chat when you're more settled in and a lot less busy. Sending you lots of hugs and wishing you well! ❤

  30. Oh my goodness! What a moving story! I was in tears when I read about the kindness of your realtor and the couple who loaned you their car. I am so glad you had the 14 days to slowly unpack. My my. Wishing you so much goodness in your new home! And good people too!

  31. Rain,

    WOW, what a mix fortunate and unfortunate events! I'm so happy to read that y'all have come across some really good people in your new community. After you get your vehicle situation behind you, hopefully you can relax and enjoy your new home better. I think things will work out for you guys. Blessings to you always, dear friend! xx

  32. Oh Rain, it sounds like my luck has rubbed off on you. I am sorry but you are sounding up beat and not getting down, the people being friendly probably has a lot to with that. See I would have totally made it a point to welcome you if I had been there! Just me....a nice thank you card to these folks, maybe some of your cheese if you have any would be a great way to say, "oh my gosh you have made the move here so amazing". Lately since losing mom I have become a card sender. I got some really beautiful cards form folks when she past that it made me feel good in a way to know folks were thinking of me when I was having such a hard time. I try to send out cards to folks that have lost someone, people who have been sick, and thank you notes....makes me feel good thinking that maybe, just maybe my card will come after someone has had a bad day and it will bring a smile. By the way, send me your

  33. wow what a fascinating story of your luck dear Rain

    coin of life includes both side indeed and each has reason isn't it :)

    thank you for replying to my question ,i was so curious but when i shared this with hubby he was more curious than me lol he wanted to know if you guys have any idea for business in such huge place but your reason is lovely and not hard to understand :)
    i loved your new place and i wish you ALL THE BEST for all ahead
    i believe that you will have your garden next year
    stay blessed
    i loved watching you both as loving happy couple ,many more blessings to you and Alex !


❤ Thanks for your comment, I love hearing from everyone! ❤ Why not join me and my fellow artists every Thursday for TADD? That's Thursday Art and Dinner Date! It's a lot of fun!