Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm Sorry, It's all my Fault

I'm sorry, really, truly and sincerely sorry folks. You have my heartfelt apologies.

Have you recently noticed a chill in the air in the evenings?  My fault.

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and reaching for that extra blanket?  Oops!

Have you noticed a few trees here and there are changing colour?  My bad.

Have you stopped sweating buckets due to a drop in humidity? Now that one I am happy to take credit for:)

Have you noticed that the sun is moving a little further away each day?  What can I say?

The days are getting shorter?  The sun is setting earlier?  Yup, you got it  - my fault!

Every year, in August, no matter what day I begin people start noticing changes in the weather. 

"Why is it getting so freakin' cold at night?" my daughter asked yesterday plaintively.

"Sorry, I said, it's because of me," I stated morosely. "I can't help it - it's what I do..."

"What the hell?" my good friend Troy said the other day as we drove back from a day at the beach," why are those trees turning red already?"

"Its' my fault," I groaned, "it happens every year about this time...."

Ok, confession time: every June 30th I bring home several boxes of school books from my classroom. Every August I start glancing at them sitting there under the dining room table. It's so weird.  For the whole month of July they are invisible. I can sit at the table, eat my dinner and use them as a foot rest and not even have an inkling of what they contain.

Then I flip the page on the calendar to August and BOING! those boxes under the table become as noticeable as an elephant under a persian carpet. They spill out onto the floor in all directions screaming LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!

I try to avert my eyes but I keep tripping over binders, curriculum guides, notebooks, agendas, file folders and the like.

And so begins the inexorably slow readjustment to becoming a school teacher once again. And once I acknowledge my boxes and their contents I notice a chill in the air!  It matters not whether it's August 1st (yup that was me last year - remember how cool August was?) or in this case August 22nd (you're welcome!) the temperature drops and back to school shopping for new sweaters earnestly begins.

I'm sorry - but it was inevitable...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Beauty of Prince Edward Island

The harbour at dusk in Charlottetown
One field opens into another - doesn't it look like the bales are rolling down the hill?
Around every curve in the road is another gorgeous vista.
For some reason I mistakenly thought PEI was flat!
You're never very far away from water - be it a river, a bay, the gulf, the straits, an inlet...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crofters Lane

 Gotta get used to this new editing program. Not sure how to maneuver my photos yet. So will make do for today. I am busy getting ready for another school year and writing this post is my little break.

I really feel that buying THIS HOUSE that I call Crofters Lane was meant to be. Everything fell into place from square one - so much so it was kinda freaky but very cool at the same time.

The night before we went to see Crofters Lane for the first time there was a double rainbow in the sky - I took that as a favorable omen.  Also, when viewing the photos of the home on over and over and over again until I had the mls number memorized it had such a good feel, a good vibe, good energy. I was very drawn to it. 

The realtor forgot we had an appointment to view the property (first panic attack) but luckily (VERY LUCKILY) the owners were at the house doing yard work in preparation for another viewing the next day (second panic attack - more people coming to view MY HOME!) Within three minutes of seeing the property from the outside - I hadn't even gotten inside yet - I wrote on my clipboard for Michael to see:
THIS IS IT!!!  I just knew.
Leigh and Carmen took us around the property and inside the house for a tour that lasted hours as they told us every story that came with the house and all the renovations they had done. We couldn't have gotten the same information from the realtor. A few minutes after we arrived a woman arrived who was the niece of the old woman who had lived in the house for years. She had many more stories to share about the house and Leigh and Carmen gave her some things they had found while renovating: an old birth certificate of her aunt and a graduation photo of her mother, a homemade Christmas decoration and the namepost that had been at the end of the driveway by the road. With all the personal stories we were told the house changed into a home right before our eyes.

Then it turned out that Michael and Leigh had both worked in the satellite business in the 80's and knew a lot of the same people! What are the odds of that happening I wonder? While they had a great chat about various people they both knew Carmen and I took a walk around the forest and I fell even more in love with the property. We toured inside and loved the work they had put into the place: they had to take it down to the studs as the gyp rock was crumbling and there was no insulation. The electrical was all redone and a new bathroom added so that there was one on each floor. The floors had several layers of linoleum and plywood which they managed with great effort to remove and then refinished the original wood floors - beautiful!!

Then Michael and I went for our own walk around the forest and I panicked about other people coming to view the house and wondered if I should make an offer above the asking price. When we got back to the house Leigh and Carmen had talked and Leigh made ME an offer which was below the asking price!! They liked us - they really liked us!! Michael and I left to talk about the offer and have a look at the neighbourhood around the house - nearby Alberton and Northport.  I crunched numbers and decided I had to go for it.

We had planned to meet Leigh back at the house at 8pm.  He brought his fiancee Isabel and she said he could hardly wait until 8pm to come over to the house - he was as anxious as we were! Well, we set his mind at ease and called the realtor who earned the easiest commision ever in the history of real estate.

And the rest is history.....history in the making:)
View from the front porch of Crofters Lane
What a sky! Front porch - Crofters Lane
Our view of Cascumpec Bay & one of our new neighbours cutting hay.
My morning routine - coffee on the front porch - drinking in the view!

Another view from the front porch of Crofters Lane


Bangles Manic Monday

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Backwards Story - This is IT - House #5

I uploaded these photos in reverse order, and seeing as I'm sitting at a Starbucks and the internet signal isn't the strongest, I really don't want to delete and start over - so this will be the story of a house purchase, told "sdrawkcab".

So: here I am strolling with Michael through a park in Charlottetown, taking picture after picture of the beautiful architecture when suddenly I got a phone call. As I dug furiously through my purse trying to find my cell I started to panic because the usual callers give up after 5 or less rings. Thankfully this caller was persistent and stayed on the line til I gave a breathless "hello?" The caller gave me the happy news that the mortgage application that I had done by phone just that very morning and was told wouldn't even be looked at for two days had been APPROVED. Yay!
This is me signing some papers that meant I was making an offer to purchase with the condition of a home inspection and blah blah blah.... yawn. Note the wine bottle, beer bottle and empty glasses. Hmmmm, should I have thought about this a while longer and with less alcohol in my system?? Naaaaah!

This is me and Michael after making the decision to purchase this house and land near beautiful Alberton, PEI. Don't we look happy???

This is an optical illusion of my and Michael's footprint in the sand at Northport, near Alberton. Sometimes it looks like our footprints are concave, sometimes convex, depending on the angle you look at them from. Weird huh?

And......ta da! This is the beautiful 60 year old farmhouse that we purchased along with a few acres of land including the forest behind our house. More details about the house in my next post....or two.....or three.

The Quest Continues: House #4

No, this isn't house #4, but it is quaint no? Watch out for the spaces between the boards going up to the front door, however, or you might end up in the gully that used to be the mill pond.

The good news, though, (said tentatively) is that the historic (read old and crumbly) mill comes with the house and small acreage (about 2 acres if memory serves me). Knowing my memory's service I likely have that wrong:)

Mais - there are many other good points about this property. Three generations of the same milling family have lived here, with the 3rd and final generation preparing to move closer to their children. So its been looked after with pride, if not with any decorating changes since 1952.

Also, the Confederation Trail runs right alongside this property, about 1000 feet of it, in fact. Like an early morning jog? Then this is the place for you! But not me.

No, it wasn't for me. While the historical aspects were very appealing, the house had a little too much history, if you know what I mean. Cracks in the walls, uneven floors due to the shifting of the foundation over the years, the dated floral wallpapers, the odd rooms made with various dividing walls, tiny bedrooms, antiquated - oops I mean historical plumbing and electrical.

But I have to say that people in this neck of the woods are soooo friendly and helpful. We didn't have an appointment to see this house, just stopped by out of curiosity but the 85 year old owners gave us a warm welcome. When we were leaving the house painter guy (that's him leaning out of the doorway) insisted on driving in front of us so we would get safely back to the highway.

Just another instance of PEIers going above and beyond the norms of societal helpfulness. Much appreciated!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inside the Stucco/Straw Bale Yurt

Cute, no? Bigger inside than it looks from outside. Nice inlaid floor.
Washer/dryer, nice fridge. In the loft upstairs is the bedroom/bathroom combo room - yes the composting toilet is in the bedroom, along with a bathtub. Very efficient use of space:)

St. Peter's Highway

House number three: another home that looked so cute in the photos but looked as though it were abandoned when we arrived to look at it. I can't say it was a serious contender because it was located on a highway, but you never know, do you, until you see it in person. For all I know it could have been at the end of a long driveway where there would be no traffic sound at all. And there were some features that were really appealing - some renovations and three, yes three decks.

Surrounded by long grass the house looked sadly neglected when we drove up. Then, strangely, we discovered that the front door was unlocked, so we took that as an invitation to go inside. Alas - not all the renos were done - in fact it looked like someone started a whole whack of different jobs all at the same time and then just gave up and left. We found the realtor's card and deduced that he forgot to lock up when he left the last time he showed the home to a prospective buyer. That kind of sloppiness seemed to apply to the whole home and we didn't get a positive feeling about the space.

The only good thing I can say is that I am glad the plumbing was still in working order:)