Sunday, May 24, 2020

Bad Luck 😈...Good Luck 😇...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!! ;) 💚

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!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Round and Round

Hello Friends! 🌞😊🌞

(This is a scheduled post.)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Round and Round. Tweety Bird loves the Merry Go Round! That was my favourite ride too.

I was never into the "adrenaline rush" types of rides. I remember screaming in complete fear on the roller coaster....and thinking I was going to jettison out of the Pirate Boat ride!!!

"Le Galopant" Merry-Go-Round at La Ronde
I used to love going to the Montreal amusement parks when I was a kid. The first park that I remember going to was called Belmont Park (Martha, do you remember that one?). The most popular amusement park in Montreal is called La Ronde. I stopped going there in my early adulthood when the rides became too nauseating for me lol!

Alex and I should be just about finished our 14-day mandatory quarantine today. I hope you're all doing well! Once we get our internet set up, I'll give you all an update!!

Thanks for popping in! That's all for now folks! But please check out the link widget below to see more Round and Round artwork! 


Deep in the crevice of a rock wall, a groundhog wasn't too pleased to see me! Just to let you guys know, I didn't stick my nose in the hole lol...I was pretty far back with my zoom lens! Look at those teeth!

May 28th: Next Thursday's theme is Cracks and Crevices. 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! 🎨

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).


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Rain Update - Big Ol' Post This Sunday!

Our "back yard"

Hi Everyone, it's time for an update!! We still don't have internet, that should be all set up in just over a week (fingers crossed!). I wanted to respond to a few comments from the last few posts. Yes, I'm able to read comments, but responding and commenting is very difficult. Visiting your blogs on my phone is a nightmare! As soon as I get set up online, I'll be back to visit! :) And about that porcupine fish skeleton from the last post, oh gosh I had no idea when I uploaded that photo that it looked like the Covid virus lol!!! 

Have I mentioned how much I HATE using my phone's keyboard??? It takes me forever to type what I want! Plus, my fingers are covered in bandaids from little nicks - moving injuries! This post took hours but I decided to take a day off from unpacking. I sure needed it.

I have so much to tell you all! Firstly, here are some photos of the drive. At the New Brunswick border, there were two lanes; one was a lane for "Quebec" (people who were turned back) and the other was a lane for "New Brunswick" already know which lane we were told to take!! That's me, bawling my eyes out from exhaustion, emotion and relief, just after we passed the border.

My sciatica is calming down. Alex and I are taking things slowly, we are both resting each evening - we have a lovely view of the back property from the Sun Room. I took some time to whip out my Tarot cards yesterday morning. It was raining and all I could hear were the rain drops and the birds singing. The back acreage has a lot of fallen/broken trees and needs lots of care. The previous owners were snowmobilers/quad-people and sadly we can see a lot of damage they did to the trees, sigh. We plan to replant a lot of trees over the next few years.

Our realtor Bill brought us a hot chicken dinner the second night we were here - oh boy that was very welcomed!!!

Honestly, temporarily living without refrigeration isn't too hard! We have my little cheese cave fridge (the bar fridge) that we filled with my cheeses and a few eggs that made the trip. But we are mostly eating my canned food. This is how Rain and Alex are "roughing it"...spaghetti dinners, enchiladas with homemade (the oven here works!) and apple/cheddar fondue (with leftover stale bread we had)...not too bad huh? ;) And before we left, I hit the dollar store and bought bags of candies and chocolate bars...we have juice, wine and pop. The pets have all of their food. We are out of quarantine next Friday the 22nd - that's when we hope to go shopping for a decent (hopefully used) fridge. We have been doing laundry by hand and hanging it out to dry.

Baby Oscar has a comfy spot!

The previous owner left two rocking chairs in the Sun Room, so Alex and I have a little sip of wine after dinner each night, sitting in the rocking chairs and enjoying the view. It's so quiet here, I love it. 

We saw a porcupine waddling up from the woods the other night. He hung around a bit then climbed a tree and stayed there for a long time.

We hear lots of birds around here. I got a nice photo of what I think is a partridge nibbling the catkins off a birch tree. (Andrea, is this a partridge?) Our 1.6 acres is mostly birch with pockets of conifers.

Alex and I walked to the back of our property (we're number 11) and checked out the lot behind us (outlined in blue). I'll post photos next's just under 2 acres and still has the foundation of the cottage that burned down before 2013. We are hoping to buy that property in the next few years to expand ours.

When we were working in the basement, we saw a little squirrel in there. We shoo'd her out, but she kept hanging around, and she wasn't scared of us. We had a feeling she might be protecting her nest. Last year, Alex and I found 3 baby squirrels in our basement and we took care of them and released them a few months later; we both felt like there was a nest inside the basement based on this female's behaviour.

We spent an afternoon searching and listening and finally we found her nest in the fiberglass insulation. It was tucked above one of the beams and wedged between two pipes. These three babies couldn't have been more than a few days old, oh our hearts melted! We followed protocol and put the nest in a box over a hot water bottle, then placed the box outside. Mamma Squirrel came back for them. It was awesome to watch and I tried my best to take photos but none of them turned out. She picked one baby up, curled it into a little ball, held it in her mouth and ran away to her new nest. In intervals of about 15 minutes, she came back for the other two. We made sure to seal all of the holes we found in the basement after that.

We have the bathroom and bedroom set up, I'm working on the kitchen. Alex set up my measuring cups and spoons for me...this made me feel a little more at home! He got our well water pumping. It's clear and potable though it has a little metallic taste to it. A Brita filter is helping with that but we may have to invest in a larger filtration system.

I can finally use my potato!!!! It's been sitting in a box for years, now it's going to house our day to day cutlery.

We bought a fixer-upper. This is the "front" room. It's the teeny-tiny kitchen on one side and the living room on the other side.Those horrid blinds HAVE to go, they are on every window. You can see a bit of the loft. It is now officially the "cat loft"! We have their litter up there and their beds and we feed them up there. They have a big window that looks out onto the backwoods. They LOVE it and spend most of their time up there! "No Dogs Allowed" lol! :)

We have so many plans and ideas for this cottage, it's going to take years but it's going to be a fun journey. I'm so glad you are coming along for this journey! I'll post new photos every Sunday to show you things! Thanks so much for visiting and for your lovely comments!!! Gosh I can't wait to start painting again...and cooking...and cheese is beautiful. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Historical Events

Bugs Bunny - Making Fire

Hello Friends! 😊

(This is a scheduled post.)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Historical Events. Was fire invented, discovered, or a heat source that our ancestors figured out how to control? Did forest fires always exist? Did bush fires always exist? I think that fire existed and the ancient people of Earth learned how to use it to their advantage, making it a significant historical event for humanity. Imagine life without fire?? I can't!

The following are photos I've taken over the years of our big ball of fire in the sky, the sun! Sunrises and sunsets...which is your favourite? I think sunsets are more vibrant! 🌞🌞

Alex and I are in week 1 of our quarantine at this time and unless I change this sentence, we don't have internet yet! I hope you're all doing well! 💚💚

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


I saw the skeleton of a "porcupine fish" in the window of a shop one day and had to take a photo!

May 21st: Next Thursday's theme is Round and Round. 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! 🎨

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).


Sunday, May 10, 2020

We Made It!!!

Hello Everyone!!

We did it! We made it to our new home in New Brunswick!!! The border crossing was nerve-wracking, filled with military and peace officers. We were asked so many questions, and we had to show identification and the signed deed. We were reminded to quarantine and off we went with a "Welcome To New Brunswick!". The only light on this very rural street was what's called a "dusk to dawn" light. It was installed by the previous owner through NB Power and we were going to have it disconnected before we moved. I have to tell you, we were very thankful it was there when we arrived!

It was a LONG drive...oh my gosh...we left at 6:30am and arrived around 11pm Atlantic Time. Jack drove up in the cab of the Uhaul with me and Alex, while the cats and the two huskies were in our SUV, towed behind the truck. Surprisingly the cats didn't even have to pee or poop once. They basically slept the entire time. I will be honest, I had white knuckles many-a-time along the drive. I'm not used to driving such a humongous vehicle...AND with an SUV on a tow transport trailer behind!!! I'm so glad it's over. IF we move again, we will hire a moving company! Alex and I are very sore from head to toe and unfortunately my sciatica acted up during the drive. It was definitely a challenge, but very worth it.

I have limited internet, friends. Our phone lines are not working so we can't plug in our modem. I am publishing this post via my phone. I don't know if the phone/internet company will come until after our quarantine period is over, so it may be a few weeks until I'm online again. I'm glad I pre-scheduled the art date posts!!!

Thanks for all of your wonderful wishes and words! I love all of you!!!  💙💚💛💜💗💗💗💗💗

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Your Flower

Hello Friends! 😊

(This is a scheduled post.)

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Your Flower. Bugs is posing on my birth flower, the Water Lily. He's doing his sexiest pose, but his swimming trunks kind of kill the sex appeal!! We can be thankful he wasn't in the mood to wear a Speedo thong!!! 😲

Click here to check out your birth flower: Zodiac Flowers.

Water Lily before opening (July 2019)

🚚 🚚 As this post is being broadcast, Alex and I are moving! We are driving about 1000 km to our new home. We were able to pack everything to the gills...and we have an arsenal of documented proof that the new house is our permanent primary residence in case the RCMP has any issues. They are stopping everyone at the New Brunswick borders who are weekenders or visitors...we don't want them to think that about us! I have faith that things will go very smoothly and I can't wait to give you all some updates!

Let's hope the phone lines are intact so we can plug in our modem when we get there!!

Over the weekend, me and the dogs had one last walk in the Quebec woods. The snow hasn't melted around here yet. I thought I'd be more nostalgic, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing this province in my rear view mirror!

Fresh air and exercise is tough business for the dogs...they all needed naps after!

Thanks for visiting! Please check out the link widget below to see more Your Flower artwork! 


A Historical Event for me was back in 2000 when I decided to leave the city for good. I moved from Montreal up to a mountain village called Morin Heights. I rented a beautiful cottage by a lake and I was hooked! These are my first dogs ♥ Winston and Spencer. ♥

May 14th: Next Thursday's theme is Historical Events. 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! 🎨

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).