Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Assembly Required

So I went to Tepperman's today to purchase a new desk and book shelves. Told the man who was "helping" me (HAH - I had to go tap him on the arm which sorta startled him to see if he was on or off duty) that I wanted the furniture assembled. Well after a good snort he let me know in no uncertain terms that it doesn't come assembled. I either assemble it myself (no thank you) or he can give me the name of someone who will assemble the furniture at $30 per hour!! OMG!! (NO THANK YOU!)

So I left the premises with no furniture. Apparently furniture only comes assembled if it's the really super expensive "real wood" kind of stuff not the stuff made of laminate. I looked at the TWO, yes TWO real wood desks they had in their massive warehouse and said..."no thanks". They were twice as expensive, twice as small and had zero storage. What a scam!

Rats. So now I don't know what to do. I went to MEC (Mountain Equipment Company) instead and spent my money there on a "monsoon" Goretex coat (half price) because you know how bad the monsoons are in SW England, walking poles, special socks that are supposed to prevent blisters from forming from wearing hiking boots daily, gel blister bandaids because I don't trust the socks' claims, a pair of shorts, and 2 pairs of capris (one pair of capris are actual "pant length" on little ol' me") and assorted other items - oh a backpack rainproof cover, spray to make my boots waterproof and I think that's it.

That made me feel better temporarily until I got home and saw all the boxes of books and desk supplies and nowhere to put them!! Poo, now I'm bummed out again. My choices are - buy the pieces I want and hire someone to put them together, spend a day or two trying to put them together myself, or spend oodles of money on the REAL stuff which doesn't suit my needs nearly as well.  Hmmmm...I need more and better options as none of these are suiting me just now.

I'm just gonna drink wine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Routines

I think I could get used to this...
Lol, you're right Carla, I never even got this section opened up :)
But reading the paper at 2 in the afternoon? Unheard of!

It's funny how we humans create routines for ourselves. It's like just wandering around through the day is weird, it's almost like life has no meaning...GASP!! So we create a kind of routine, fit ourselves into it thus providing structure for our days (unless of course you get up every day and go to work then HAH, you'll have to wait a while longer to understand what I'm talking about!)

For now my day goes sorta like this...(bear in mind I've only been home for 6 days and I've already had to create a routine!)...

  • get up, make my bed (that's something new but I kinda like getting into a made bed at night)
  • I'm not a PJ lounger so I get dressed right away in work out gear
  • make and eat oatmeal while checking email
  • on Monday, Wed. & Friday I will do my jog/walk routine as laid out in my C25K app on my iPhone (it's supposed to help get me to run 5K; I'm halfway there; I'm repeating week 4 OR I go for a hike if it's Tuesday or Thursday...I'm not sure yet about Saturday and Sunday - perhaps riding my bike/more hiking (anyhoo early exercise is supposed to help elevate my mood and so far it's working plus I'm working in my hiking boots for my walking trip to England in a month
  • after I get home I have my coffee and get the newspaper out of my mailbox - I proposed to my neighbour that we share the local paper and I'll pay her half the cost; it's working out well so far though today I didn't get to the paper til much later due to so many emails to answer plus I was online buying tickets to see a play with my brother at the Stratford Festival plus a few other things online
  • once the paper is done I usually make a juice or smoothie
  • then it's ACTION time - I've been doing a lot of chores around the house, unpacking, sorting (took 4 garbage bags of stuff to a thrift shop this morning) and deciding what needs to be done and in what order - I've decided at the top of the list is a desk, bookshelves so that I have a work station (Kim - I brought a few boxes of stuff home from school so need to assimilate that into the "desk" stuff that I already have)
  • Today's ACTION time involved cleaning the basement windows (only 2), washing, pressing and rehanging curtains, dusting, vacuuming and washing the floors down there
  • then more "computer time" - I ordered a movie for my brother as a Christmas gift on Amazon and looked at several sites for outdoor furniture (it's SALE time), a new bed for moi, a bathroom wall cabinet etc (didn't purchase yet, just doing research; plus I do my blog reading and write my post
  • then I'll make dinner - nothing much - a salad with shrimp, yummy zucchini spaghetti with cashew alfredo sauce, homemade soup (defrosting on the counter as I type)
  • yesterday and the day before I fit in an hour of reading outside on the patio (so nice!)
  • and of course there are errands and meeting up with friends: tomorrow I'm having lunch with an old friend - we fell out of touch when I stopped playing recreational volleyball so I was thrilled when she found me on facebook!; then on Thursday I am going on my first hike with a group that I joined; Friday I'm meeting my brother and sister-in-law for coffee and Sunday my other brother and I are going to see "The Beaux Stratagem" at the Stratford Festival
  • Phew! How on earth did I fit "WORK" into the schedule prior to retirement???
  • I usually spend more time on little "fix its" after supper and then by 9pm I plunk myself down in front of the TV and cuddle with my senior "catizen" (see Jane? I can do it too! Punny, no?)
  • Somewhere in there is self-care: showering, plucking, waxing, pedicuring, trimming and on and on it goes...it's a good thing we get to retire as there just seems to be so much more maintenance that needs to be done!!
  • Exhausted I drag myself off to my wee bed, try to read a bit more and fall naturally asleep. No worries on my mind, I'm sleeping well.
I'll leave you with a few photos from my hike this morning. I drove out of the city to a small village nearby where there is an old mill pond with a 4km path around it. It was a sunny gorgeous morning and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.



 herons...
 and turtles...




 and turtles...

 and snakes...oh my!

and hopefully some fish!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lucky Crap Indeed

Thanks Sonya Ann for putting a whole new twist onto the letters CL - which previously stood for "Crofters Lane" and now stand for "Crabapple Landing". Trust Sonya Ann for coming up with the idea of switching the letters around LC, instead of CL, (duh, why didn't I think of that?) with her offering of "Lucky Crap" for starters :) :) :) I lol'd myself right out of my chair and onto the floor!! I'm still laughing and that feels simply wonderful!
So...here goes...
(ahhhhh, look at my sweet Kazi around age 12 - pre-blond hair and extensions and makeup days:)

Yesterday's list of "Lucky Crap" includes but is not limited to the following:
Thames River pathway

Reflection

Great Blue Heron

  • a 90 minute walk along the Thames River (breaking in my hiking boots!!)
  • a visit in my patio area by Charlie the chipmunk (perhaps he stowed away in my truck from PEI? I have many squirrels around here, rabbits and skunks but have never been befriended by a chipmunk before here in London so I was using my best friendly chipmunk speak so he can get used to my voice-I'll let you imagine the conversation :)
  • I gave myself a haircut which along with a lovely indulgent pedicure (complete with massage chair!) and some facial waxing has put me back into peak form!!
  • I made a really good batch of hummus in my beloved Vitamix and along with a few bottles of wine visited my friend Troy who has moved into a new little house near the river (Jules came too) so we sat in her back yard, enjoyed the sunshine and catching up on news - and there was PLENTY to share since I hadn't seen her since June!
  • came home around 8pm and caught up on blog reading which was delightful as always and full of good laughs
  • cuddled with my 20 year old cat and watched a couple episodes of "Rectify" on Netflix (I have to lift my senior citizen kitty up on the couch now as she is so arthritic she can no longer jump up and down - she nestled in behind my legs and we had a nice long cozy cuddle)
  • read a few pages of "Wild" on my iPad in bed but was asleep in no time - it could take me quite a while to finish that book at this rate - but it's not like I have a deadline or anything!
And now to clear some space in my bedroom - I'm going to buy a new desk and bookshelf as I have more "Lucky Crap" than I have places to put it! I got rid of a lot of old furniture during renos so there is nowhere for all of my school crap to go nor all the stuff I brought home from PEI. If I can swing getting a trailer then there will be lots of stuff I can take there but I REALLY REALLY need a computer station/desk type area and I no longer own a desk! The horrors! I have one picked out but will wait til it's here in my room and set up before I share it with you.

Have a great day and I hope yours is filled with as much LUCKY CRAP as mine has been so far!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Home once again...

Just letting you know that I am home in London, safe and sound. I drove 7 hours Tuesday and 13 hours on Wednesday. It rained a bit here and there but was smooth sailing. I'm still feeling a bit disoriented but I KNOW it was the right decision.

One of the first things I saw in my house are the big white letters "C" and "L" for Crofters Lane so will be naming the condo using those letters - why waste them?? Plus a lot of suggestions started with "Crabapple" so that works. It's not really a lane however so will think of something else for the "L". Thank you for so many wonderful suggestions - I will answer each of you personally, hopefully tomorrow. I am very tired and am going to put my feet up, relax with my 20 year old cat who is still alive and kicking, watch some Netflix and no doubt fall asleep.

I worked on laundry and putting clothes away plus I got the kitchen done - I brought home several kitchen-related boxes and thankfully the kitchen has assimilated everything. I have enough large knives to carve several turkeys all at the same time! The cupboards are full, the pantry is full, everything is washed and put away and I made a delectable dinner of zucchini spaghetti noodles and cashew alfredo sauce. Oh, and a wee glass of red wine...or two! Last night Kazi, and her boyfriend Steve, greeted me with whole wheat pasta and sauce and homemade sangria :) It's nice having a daughter with great bar tending skills!!

I went to my beloved Asian grocery store to stock up on produce, went to the bank, the liquor store, and the gas station. I unpacked a TON of clothes even though I got rid of about 1/3 of them in PEI. Once again I started tossing as I no longer need work clothes!!! I plan to live in workout clothes and jeans so the thrift stores will be receiving a HUGE donation. I still have my largest suitcase to unpack along with a zillion boxes.

I am seeing the condo with new eyes. I am no longer getting it ready to sell (goodbye neutrals!!) and will be making it perfect for ME! I like your ideas of the condo being "home base" to return to after adventures and travels.

You folks are the best friends I've ever had. And I mean that most sincerely. But if I keep typing I'm going to get all weepy, my nerve endings are still a bit fried but I am feeling good, feeling positive.

Oh, once more thing...the offer to purchase Crofters Lane is conditional on Leigh's other house closing on the 27th of this month. It should be fine as he has found out that their financing is in order. It's just a bit nerve-wracking waiting so it's a good thing I have so much to do around here - hah! So say a prayer or cross your fingers that all goes as it should. I have a good feeling about it - I think it was meant to be but your support means a lot to me. It's less than 2 weeks to wait, that's not too bad.

So raise your glass along with me - here's to "Crabapple L______"!!!  OH, I'VE GOT IT - it just popped into my head as I typed that!! Are you ready???

CRABAPPLE LANDING!!!

So many layers of meaning!!

 There's lots to love....
 new flagstone patio
all new flooring
 safe and cozy from the elements
 new kitchen floor
 my best ol' kitty
my new subway tile
 CRABAPPLE LANDING!!!
my beloved snowdrops
 my new dining room coming together
my accidental amazing curtain/carpet combo
my new and improved foyer!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Goodbye Yellow Shingled House


So my plan worked but it's hard to know whether to be happy or sad. I'm a bit of both. Who am I kidding? I'm ecstatic to be going HOME and devastated to be giving up on my dream. But I'm moving on and this was the only way.

I love how blue the sky is in this picture. And I LOVE how well the septic system seems to be working LOL! You can see from the long lines of ultra lush grass that it's being well fertilized :)

Oh, yes, the plan...

I offered the house back to the fellow who sold it to me. For a substantial drop in price. First he said yes, then he said no, then he said YES!!

It makes my heart happy knowing Crofters Lane is back in his hands. I know it will be safe over the winter and I won't need to worry or wonder about it. It also frees me up to leave as he'll keep his eye on things as he always has for the past 4 years. So all of you wonderful people who wished me a "quick sale" THANK YOU - YOUR WISH (and mine) CAME TRUE!!

Sooooooooooo, I'm going to finish two painting projects today - the front door needs a second coat and the stair need a couple of touchups. I will need to see the lawyer before I leave, do a few errands including paying my lawn guy, see if I can break my Bell Aliant contract (probably can't :( ), and then I'm going to pack up the truck.

My hope is to get up very early Wed. morning and make tracks for Ontario! So you likely won't hear from me again til Thursday or Friday and then it'll be from London!! Woot woot!

The header picture shows my condo a couple of months ago when the crabapple tree was in bloom, also the bleeding heart bush. I've never given my condo a cool name like "Crofters Lane" so I am open to suggestions....

I have discovered some tough truths this summer, one of them being "there's no place like home"...I should have listened to Dorothy!! Home isn't a condo, it isn't a farmhouse, it isn't a mansion or a penthouse or a yacht or a highrise apartment...no, home is where the heart is and my heart is in London with Kazi, my brothers, my friends, my neighbours, my kitty, my familiar haunts and yes, my condo where I've lived the past 20 years.  Crofters Lane was home only when my former partner and I loved it and worked on it together and alas, that dream has died.

So, sing with me, "goodbye yellow shingled house"....

PS - I have family here in PEI, as well as good friends here and in New Brunswick so this isn't a goodbye to them. I'll be back as a visitor and right now I'm thinking next fall. I've heard many times that fall is the best season in the Maritimes and I've never experienced it so would love to do a long trip which would include New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands. Hmmmmm, perhaps that should be spread over two visits...we'll see...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bye Julie, I miss you already!!

Yesterday my friend Julie, who has spent the last 3 weeks with me, had to return to London, Ontario. She is such a good friend to put up with my rolicking emotions - up one day, down the next. She was here when I woke up one morning knowing I had to sell Crofters Lane and go back to London. She has been fully supportive of my decision and has helped me get the place ready to sell by painting and keeping me fed while I sort through my belongings.

For example, she'd make me a bacon and tomato sandwich for brunch then cook up chicken breasts on the BBQ and make a fabulous salad for dinner. Do you know what I had for dinner tonight? A jar of beets and a concoction from my juicer: carrots, pineapple, sweet potato and 2 apples. Well, the juice was for breakfast and lunch and there was about half a glass left that I enjoyed as a side dish to my big bowl of beets :) I'm so silly. Oh, and a beer!

So we were off to the big city of Charlottetown and had lunch at my favorite place - The Gahan House. I had a pint of their famous in-house craft red amber beer :p and their island famous Brown Bag Fish & Chips while Julie splurged on lobster fettuccine and white wine. Then a little shopping and off to the airport...

                                    The inimitable Jules!
                          View from our table at the Gahan House.  (well, I zoomed in a bit!)
                        Yes, indeed it is!!
                      My favorite place in the world for fish and chips...for now...
                                       Oh, just because :)
                                Me and my reflection - I like how I can take a selfie while still keeping
                                            one hand in my pocket lol!

So today it was back to life on my own.  I didn't mope - nope. I got busy - I cleaned out the fridge and wiped down all the shelves. I painted trim and touched up cupboards etc., I made juice, I called the plumber yet again, I arranged for my lawn guy to come and mow, I cleaned some windows (need to do the outsides), and made a wonderful dinner :) !! I read for awhile and caught up on blogs. The book I'm reading is called "Wild (Oprah's Book Club Edition) A Journey from Lost to Found" - which is about a woman who walked the Pacific Coast Trail after losing her mother to cancer, divorcing her husband, getting involved with heroin and otherwise getting totally lost in her grief. I'm hoping it provides me with some inspiration and ideas on moving forward in life after loss.

And now good night - it's been a long day and tomorrow is an exercise morning!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Packing up a Dream

I am busy busy with packing up my belongings in my PEI home. It's a complicated process. There is the stuff I have to take home with me when I leave, hopefully soon; the stuff I want to keep but don't have enough room to take this year so it'll go to my sister's house, errrr sheds; and the stuff that I am going to donate to the Salvation Army. I've already taken a huge load to the Salvation Army and donated about half of my clothes to the Bargain Nook in Alberton. (Today when I was in the grocery store in Alberton I saw a woman wearing one of the tops I donated last week!! Looked good on her too!)

Today I worked in the kitchen, going through all of the cupboards and sorting things out into the 3 different destination piles. I also had a visit from a "former blogger", Johanna and her beau and it was so nice to see them. It's been two years since her last visit and lots has changed in both of our lives since then.

My friend Julie has been an enormous help; keeping me fed and "watered" during my emotional journey. On Wed. I'll be driving her to the airport in Charlottetown and I'll miss her immensely, but if my luck holds out I'll be joining her in London soon. Perhaps you've noticed the change of my header photo - that's my cute little condo this past spring when my crabapple tree was in bloom and my bleeding heart bush. Sweet isn't it? And I changed my photos to a self-portrait of myself in my university days and one of Kazi and myself at one of my retirement dinners.

I think I've settled on which trailer I would like to buy IF it's still available when I'm finally finished up with this place. I may have good news on that score but will wait til I know for sure. Here are pictures of the trailer I'd like to buy:
 Nice covered deck on the back, so even if it's raining I can sit outside!
This is the front, there is a small porch and an addition to the trailer. Also you can see a sweet little shed at the back.
The lot is really nice - lots of trees, bushes and lawn, and of course a firepit!
I want lots of space for visitors (a grandchild someday?) See how there is a dividing wall that can be pulled across to create a bedroom for guests? Also the addition is large and can be an extra bedroom!
Kitchen/dining area, though most cooking and eating would take place outside.

But for now it's a dream so I can't get too invested in this place. Looking around at what's available helps keep me sane and diverts me from what I am losing.  What I wish I could do is pick up Crofters Lane, forest, water view and all and drop it down on the outskirts of London.  But since I can't do that I amuse myself with other possibilities.

I should know something definite about the possible sale of this house Wednesday night so stay tuned!