Friday, January 3, 2014 in family

Start of a new year

I’m annoyed at myself I stopped blogging. I can’t remember half what I did, and I can’t look up much on twitter, which is where I am most of the time.

Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, Sarah came over for lunch. She also had to pick up a parcel on the way, which was her new Nikon camera, which she unpacked here. Ron got her old Canon to give to me for Christmas. I’m pretty happy with it, though it it was better than the Fuji Finepix we got a few years ago.

I took her back to her place and dropped off the large watercolor pad and printer/copier/scanner we got her for Christmas. Then we went to Shoppers to check out the clearance Christmas candy. Traffic sucked.

Next stop was Value Village where I dropped off three more boxes of things I don’t need, and went in the front to see if I could buy slightly more useful stuff. I got 3 pieces of fabric – two pieces that are 2-3 yards of the same pastel paisley print in two colorways (warm and cool) and a cotton print of pansies on white with a dense border design. This i figure would make a nice 50’s style dress for Meaghan. I didn’t notice tillI got the fabric home but it was prewashed and the color had run in laces. To me it makes it looks more like watercolor.

Ron also had ben looking for a snowthrower with tracks instead of wheel, so it was also delivered on Tuesday, He played with it a lot and it is really nice. Even *I* can use it. ;) He can’t shovel because of his recent gall bladder surgery.

Wednesday Meaghan came over to bake and I finally took the rest of the tree down. All the decorations were down, everything was off the tree, but it was still plugged in and lighting up on schedule with the plug timer we had. So I wrestled it into the box. The pre-lit tree was from Meaghan’s old roommate who left it behind when he moved out. It shed quite a bit.

Meaghan made a ton of her yummy cookies and stuff, plus I took measurements to make her that dress.

Thursday it was super cold but we still went out and did our mid afternoon Tim Horton’s run. We also went to visit the three grandbabies. Ayla was chattering a mile a minute and I swear Jade looked a month older. Izzy was pretty quiet, but she was happy to have me do playdoh with her.

A few times Ayla got upset so I held my arms out to her for cuddles and she’d run up to me and then swerve off to be comforted by her Grampy. She’s a stinker.

Today is Friday, still cold and snowing. It’s also my half day so I’m trying to get back in the swing of blogging on this blog and Quilti. I even drew up a planner in a notebook to help me out.

Let’s hope it sticks.

Sunday, September 29, 2013 in family

Grandbaby #3

So this past week, we met our most recent granddaughter, Jade Juno.

This bring us up to THREE grandchildren, all girls, all from Addison & Kaytlyn.

And of course we are all smiles.

While Mommy & Daddy were at the hospital, Izzy and Ayla spent some quality time with Nanny and Grampy. Aunties Sarah and Meaghan did the night shifts.

My house looks like a train wreck or two toddlers went through it. Food smeared everywhere, toys strewn all over top and me & Ron collapsed in the middle. We had to take actual days off work because there was no way to actually work and look after the kids at the same time. I sort of managed a full day’s work over two days, but only when Izzy was snuggled next to me on the couch, ipad in hand, so she was “working” too. By the third day Ron could hardly leave the room without Ayla crying for him.

When things were back to normal and we were somewhat recovered, I looked across the now-clean living room and said in the deafening silence to Ron, “I miss those kids.”

Wouldn’t miss this stuff for the world.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 in all about me

New glasses

I had some wicked bad headaches and I could barely see out of my glasses so I finally went and got my eyes tested. Did that on my vacation too.

They said two weeks and in the few days after getting my eyes tested I realized that yes, the cause of 80% of my headaches was indeed my old glasses.

But the new ones are progressive lenses, oh boy.

They came in after a week. Actually, I got two pairs and I tried on a LOT of frames – even ones I normally would not have looked at. It was fun and I realized I could carry off more looks in frames that I thought.

I got two pairs in a second-pair-free deal and they were still ooohhh booyyyyy expensive. o_O After a week of wearing them though they are totally worth it. I am sticking to just one pair for now since the second pair has larger lenses.

I am still getting used to the blurry edges but it’s a lot better today. The tiniest smudge I have to clean off right away, and I’m adjusting my laptop frequently.

Otherwise, my eyes feel tired and I haven’t had as many headaches.

Plus I look super cute.

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p.s. trying to blog more. Feel free to nag me incessantly.

Saturday, February 9, 2013 in House stuff

We moved again

When we first got the rental here in Fredericton we knew because of the time of year we had to grab it quick – especially if we wanted someplace central so Meaghan could have an easy time getting to whatever work she could find.

After a while the small rental we had, which we knew was temporary, really was not cutting it. It was just barely big enough, with one bathroom. Most things were bearable but after time a few things tipped us over into “How soon can we move?”

One was the guy downstairs. He was super noisy and inconsiderate. His wife and baby were great though. I’ll skip mentioning their dog.

Then we found mould. Not just in dampo kitchen and bath areas around the 1960’s sliding windows, but sprouting up ont he ceiling and along the baseboards in the bedroom.

We started look in January and were lucky to find something just perfect for me, Ron and Emma. Meaghan has the old rental until the lease is up, then she is officially for reals on her own after that.

Our new rental is on the river on the north side, just near the outskirts of town. It’s a whole house, back off the road, loads of room for us without being too big, and a really good trial run for all the things we want in our retirement home. It’s five extra minutes to get to the grandkids, but it’s no longer an hour and a half to visit so I’m taking what I can get.

Our big old farmhouse is now for sale, so if you are looking for a house near Woodstock, Hartland or Florenceville, now is your chance.

If you go look at my flickr, I added some house shots. We are super happy about it and the more we settle in the more we love it.

I also bought a console table for a little room off the kitchen, and we’ve made it an appliance center. Love the table so much.

appliance center

In the same room, we also set up a coffee station. This room, while being off the kitchen, also has the master bedroom to one side and the bathroom to another. So when we get up, we cross the room, turn on coffee or tea, go to the bathroom, come out, grab our beverage and continue on to the rest of the house. Perfection!

coffee station

I also set up my sewing room again! This house rental has enough rooms I can have a sewing room. The old one was so small I was in the corner of the living room at first, then a corner of the bedroom. Neither worked very well.

new sewing room

So much happier here. I can see us spending a few years here quite nicely.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 in family

Christmas was good

I think for the first time in a long time I had the Christmas tree down and out the door long before New Year’s. This rental is too small is why. Also: big kids.

Ron surprised me with a very nice present. It is a silver heart with birthstones of all the kids (including Kaytlyn) and the grandkids all down one side, on a silver chain.

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Our poor kids. I burst into tears when I opened it.

I got him some really nice gloves tho.

After we opened up our presents as fast as possible, we headed over to Addison & Kaytlyn’s loaded down with all kinds of presents. We had just been there the night before for the traditional Chinese food which was also yummy.

Anyway, we loaded them up with presents. Lots of presents! And for the last, we got A & K to open their big gift from us: AN IPAD!

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I felt like Oprah. I think they like it. ;) I got an ipad for work and I love it. I should write more about that.

Then later that day we came back to Add’s place where he made a roast turkey dinner. Sarah made cherrie stuffed sausages wrapped in bacon. There wa salso a minor incident in the middle where Addison cut his finger on a glass in the sink and Ron ran him to the ER, but they were stuffed and the nurse wasn’t sure if he needed a stitch or not.

But other than that, it was quiet. ;)

We went to my mom’s on boxing day and had a nice time there too. I got her an AWESOME gift and she really liekd it. It’s a chafing dish / crock pot combo with THREE units. This way, when we come for a visit and food she can have it all ready and waiting. Aren’t I considerate?

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We were also supposed to go to Saint John and visit more family, but the weather cancelled that on us. So we’ll have to reschedule.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 in Them kids o' mine

Emma turned 12

She is a Young Lady, not a kid.

She really likes portal

Her presents were either Portal or Minecraft related, or money. Which is just as good, because she can buy things relating to either game.

I need to post a picture of the two of us standing together. She comes up to my nose.

Over the past year, she has had a couple of ridiculous growth spurts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012 in House stuff

This got long

Roundabout the time of this post back in May, we figured out a few things.

Did I mention Meaghan wanted to find work? Well she did. And when Sarah was living out here in the woods with us and had a job, the only way to get to work was have us drive her. Not only the cost of gas, but the cost of an hour of lost work. Each way. So.. one thing that occurred to use was the cost of gas etc was enough to pay to rent a room for Meg if she moved to Fredericton. Which, coincidentally she wanted to do anyway since there are more jobs in the big city. Go figure. And the scary part was – we could afford to do that.

The internet in the house was also the best we could get. We’d explored all the option and we were seriously considering renting a place nearby with better internet. We’d even found a place with fibre internet, 15 minutes away. And yes, we could afford that too.

So… we could afford to rent a place for our daughter to help her out until she had enough to pay for a place on her own. We could afford a second place for us to work.

Then we realized the place we were actually IN we did not want to be there any more. And that sucked. Also a five bedroom three bathroom rambling farmhouse we literally got lost in was just.. .yeah.

It probably took a month of thinking to ourselves, privately, how we could manage to finish what we could on the house and be able to sell it.

Meanwhile, Meaghan was getting antsy, so to kill two birds with one stone, we rented a place in Fredericton in the spring. We had to jump on it, because.. university town. We figured we’d spend half the week there with better internet, and half the week in our house, slogging through what we needed to do.

Somewhere in there, in a moment of lucid clarity, we called a realtor. Had her look at the house. She whittled our to-do list down by half, easy. Like, a manageable, do-able, work our asses off half. Something we could do that wasn’t an insurmountable mountain of money and work for a house that was quickly becoming … well… not fun.

Another brilliant idea we had? And I mean this with a completely lack of sarcasm. We started cleaning out our crap. All the “just in case”es and “somedays” and maybe stuff. We rented a storage container 20 mins away and drove back and forth too many times to count. We sorted we tossed and we packed up things we knew we did not need for six months.

Side note: realizing you can stuff a storage container with things you won’t need for literally *months*? Oh heck yeah that is terribly sobering.

I like to hang on to things.

I’ve been letting go of a LOT.

Somewhere in there, the house got emptier. Ron was able to start working room by room, to finish things up. Paint tin ceilings, finish minor repairs. Go over (and over and over) lists of all makings. Hired the neighbour guy to help out with a couple things.

Did not garden, did not buy flowers for the summer.

The house got emptier and we spent more time in Fredericton. Eventually, just Ron went on the weekends, working his butt off. Sometimes I’d go help. We’d lug stuff into storage and to our rental place and off to donation piles.

Everything took ages longer than we estimated. Some of it by a lot. And then? We discovered bats in the attic. That was a month lost of basically going “GAAAHHHH!!!!!!” It also explained the weird rash I’d developed and why my allergies lessened when I was not in the house.

The short version? We traded the tractor, which we no longer need, for the bat cleanup and new attic insulation. So that worked out well. Especially since we recently realized the new insulation that was in the attic when we moved in, was not done right. So now the house is a whole pile warmer too.

But by then we’d stopped calling it home. It was Lakeville or our country place. We’d started thinking of where do we want to settle next, and came up with our 5 year plan for the next little while, which is basically rent and be here in Fredericton close to our kids and especially the grandkids.

The house still needs a heating system and still is not on the market. We moved everything from a storage container near the old house, to one an hour and a half away, but near here. And we still go get boxes out and re-sort and clean out more crap. Amazing what taking items out of your sight for a few months does to help you decide if you really need it or not.

And honestly, if I had blogged everything while it happened, it would have added too much stress. Things changed weekly – sometimes daily.

It’s been a huge hassle.

It’s been expensive.

It’s been hard on my head.

It’s been hard on my husband.

But it’s been damn worth it – to the point we went a few days kicking ourselves why we didn’t do this sooner. Like, cut our losses earlier.

There are things about the rental we really do not like (one bathroom? oh heck no..) but the lease is up in June. This is easily fixable. Anything falling apart here is Not Our Problem and indeed when the bathroom vanity let go, it was handled by someone else for a change.

We don’t worry about our internet connection, or heat or if the water is going to stop or if something else is going to fall apart, or how many zeros is it going to need at the end of the bill.

We’ve seen the grown up kids way more often. We were here to help out Addison and Kaytlyn when their car broke down and they need driving around. We’re here to spend oodles of time with the grandkids. Usually we see them twice a week, and you know what?

That’s worth it.

Personal growth always hurts, and in between the work, there’s been a lot of thinking. Makes my head hurt. It occurred to me the other day, when I was berating myself for yet again not updating, that the me who started this blog would be so horribly confused by the me now.

But that’s okay.

He’s happier, I’m happier – the kids are pretty chuffed and the grandkids wail when we leave.

Can’t ask for much more than that. Everything else is gravy. It’s getting nice having time to be bored.

Saturday, September 15, 2012 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Bridging the cultural gap

I was at the Fredericton market this morning, getting half our groceries (meat, fresh veggies) when I stopped at Betty Lee’s Chinese food stall. I picked up some shrimp chips and pot stickers. Betty is awesome and her food is delicious. I said something about loving food a bit too much and patted my belly. She said to me that the Chinese have a saying about how food is meant to be savoured and enjoyed.

“My mom has a saying too,” I told her.

“Oh?” she asked, intrigued.

“Never trust a skinny cook.”

Betty laughed. “That’s a good one!”

I love the market.

Saturday, July 28, 2012 in family

Meet Ayla

We are grandparents again.

Happy Family

Yes, it is mind-blowingly awesome. :) We have been close by and helping out in the lead up to Ayla’s arrival and feel so blessed and lucky to be a part of it.

Mommy and Ayla

In the context of a blog and my online life and how the remaining steadfast readers I have here are still here, this is one big head trip, isn’t it? :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in country living

Working on the house

We hired our neighbour Vince to come do some work on our house. He actually works in construction, as well as farming. This is not as an unusual combo as you may think – it’s pretty common.

Anyway, this morning as I lay in bed trying to catch a few extra winks from being up half the night from sciatica, I heard him tell Ron this story.

“Some local boys at the high school, well they went and got a couple small pigs. Musta cost ‘em sixty, seventy bucks a piece. So then they went and wrote a number one on the first one and a number three on the second one. Then they let ‘em loose in the boy’s washroom, you know?

I guess they hunted all day for pig number two.”

Guffaws followed.

But the big gaping hole in my dining room ceiling (since we moved in) is being fixed. A post is run across the ceiling to level up the floor above and support it, plus the toilet drain on the side wall is getting covered up. New drywall on the ceiling in the office and the green bathroom so the plaster doesn’t look like it’ll fall on your head any minute now.

Pig story’s kind of a bonus, really.