We Moved! Part 5

Sadie found a best friend less than a week after the move. She’s 3 and very articulate and energetic. Her parents are very nice and go to Luke and Steph’s church too. Chad is turning 3 on April 7th. We invited anyone with children to come out to the playground with us to celebrate. Four families showed up bearing gifts for a little boy they barely knew. It was windy and fairly cold, yet the playground was well populated with children. Only the die-hard people of our old city would dare to venture out in that sort of weather.

Five weeks after moving, the winter is finally giving up. Now that the acres of dirt outnumber the acres of snow, I am thoroughly convinced there was close to three feet of snow when we moved here. I’m so used to snow melting into water and running off whatever hill it’s on, turning driveways to mud and creating temporary ponds, it’s strange that the snow can literally disappear before my eyes without a trace. No runoff creating gullies and gathering in any low spot it can find. Snow that I swear was there this morning is gone this afternoon. I think it’s the wind. The ice sublimates and blows away with the wind, skipping the liquid stage altogether. Not completely though. There’s a little pond by the lagoon that will probably disappear once it truly warms up. Two ducks stopped there this morning.

All these moving posts were sent from the library because our house isn’t in cell range, and we haven’t gotten internet yet.  We’re limited to dialup or satellite, so we’ll probably get satellite next month.  Weekends are for catching up on emails when we come into town.  But I think the internet fast has been good for us.  I didn’t realize how much time I wasted online and how much useless information gets posted on facebook.  I’m almost cured of that major time waster.

We Moved! Part 4

There was only one thing I lost in the move, that I know of anyway. Sadie’s basket of socks and underwear and tights mysteriously disappeared and 3 pairs of her dress shoes were gone. We bought her another pair of dress shoes and some socks and undies after she had to wear her runners with her dress to church. Then last week, while organizing the linen closet a bit more, I found them! I don’t know how I missed them before. They were right in the book where I recorded all the box numbers and contents, but I must have kept skipping over that one. It was perfect timing too because her bathing suit was also in there and we took the kids swimming on the weekend.

Everything else was pretty easy to find using my system. I have a book where I record box numbers and a quick rundown of what’s in each one and what room it goes in. I wrote numbers on the top and all 4 sides of the boxes, then used coloured dot stickers on the top. I taped up matching, large coloured paper dots in the entry with the room names written on them so our wonderful helpers could see what room each box went in. It worked great! About 95% of the boxes ended up where they should. I had 131 boxes numbered in the book. Darryl numbered his tool and auto parts boxes starting at 500 so we knew they were his, but he didn’t record what was in his boxes. He didn’t have too many though.

Since we’re anticipating another move at the end of the summer, we kept the collapsed empty boxes (since this house is sooo much bigger and we have the space!) Soon (maybe today!) I will go through the book and cross off all the numbers of the empty boxes so I know what has been unpacked. The empty boxes need to be stacked nicely anyway. :)

Speaking of moving again, we have a lead on a house with acreage and a barn that will be available to rent when we move out of here. Hmmm…coincidence? I think not. We haven’t seen it yet and don’t know much more about it except that it’s about halfway back towards town. We’d still prefer to stay out here because this area is GORGEOUS, so we’re going to try getting in touch with the owner of the piece of land we would love to buy just down the street from us with 3 mobile homes on it and a caretaker living in one of them. That would be an easy move. I could ride my horse over in 10 minutes. That place is 320 acres of mostly open hay fields, all fenced and cross-fenced, with a big shop, barns, corrals, sheds, etc. It was on the market last winter and my family considered buying it together. It looks even better in person, in the winter! Two people we talked to in the first week after we moved here said it’s a beautiful property. We can’t afford it on our own right now, though it is a great price, but we’ll see what happens.

We Moved! Part 3

For the most part, our move was pretty stress free. The most agonizing part was arranging transportation for the horse and cow. My brother Luke was a huge help and arranged for a truck and a trailer that he drove down and back, but securing those came down to the wire. As in, the morning they were leaving to drive down to help us, they had to find and borrow another truck. Aside from that, there were only minor things to deal with, like driving to another town an hour away to get our moving truck, and not having room for our canoe or BBQ. Two things we rarely use anyway. We’ll get them another time.

The animals loaded great. We put the cow in the front of the 3 horse stock trailer, and Banner in next, then the chickens and some hay. I think Banner loaded so well cause he watched his buddy load into a trailer two days before and was hoping to join him. The chickens were in the dog kennel, and Kai was in the back of Luke’s truck, which had a canopy.

The whole drive, which normally takes 5.5-6 hours, took us 8.5. We stopped for fuel on the Westside for Luke’s truck and a Starbucks run, then stopped at the Canadian Tire gas station in town for fuel for the moving truck, then stopped almost at the next town cause the foot on the horse trailer was barely clearing the pavement and dragging over the smallest bump. The guys went on to the next Canadian Tire store, and I met them there after feeding Tirzah. Darryl bought a new receiver and that fixed the problem. The next stop was in the next, and last, major town for a bathroom break, and then it was on to the boring part of the trip with only two more stops in tiny blips on the map for fuel or baby feeding. The moving van set the pace at a leisurely 80 kms/hr, which I’m guessing is why it took so long. Steph rode with me for the last leg of the journey and we stopped for chicken feed at the feed store. The guy at the counter was really friendly. I asked when they closed and he said 5:30. It was 5:37. “And we’re still here!” The debit machine was really slow and he said they had dialup and that the debit machine at the McDonald’s was so fast! My introduction to our small town. After the feed store, I dropped Steph off at a friend’s house (she was stopping at her mom’s for a pot of chili and driving out with her friend) and continued on by myself. The guys had already gone ahead to get there hopefully before dark. I knew the route fairly well just from looking at Google maps, but Steph drew a map for me anyway. It was dusk when I arrived. The driveway was blocked by a couple of trucks, including the landlord’s, who said hi as he left. He would have helped, but wasn’t feeling well. While the guys were outside doing who knows what, I sat on the hearth and fed Tirzah again, while Sadie and Chad ran around the big open living room in the partial darkness (no lamps yet). Then with a little direction from me, our helpers (all friends of Luke and Steph) began unloading the moving truck. Some details are a little blurry, but I think it took about 2 hours to unload everything. With the front door open the whole time, it got really cold in the house, and by the time everyone was gone, Darryl and I collapsed on the couches downstairs by the wood stove for a few minutes. I had to take a hot shower to warm up completely. The wood stove wasn’t warming the house up fast enough so we turned on the propane furnace for the night and we’ve been sweating in here every night since then. Except the few times we remembered to open the bedroom window for a while before going to bed.

That first week the temperature dropped down to minus 20 with snow blowing in sideways. Moola was hiding out beside the house instead of eating her hay, and she got a touch of mastitis from the stress of moving, so we put a horse blanket on her and she was much happier. By Sunday, the weather warmed up to plus 10 or something. Nice enough that I went riding for the first time in 9 months. The roads were bare, and there were people out walking on this remote road 25 minutes from a small town. One lady said she’d lived here for 35 years. Another couple have been here 30 years and said this winter was abnormal with a lot more snow and colder temperatures. There was over 2 feet of snow in our yard when we got here. One month later, we’ve had many more days of snow blowing in sideways and few days of sunshine, but the snow is only a foot deep now, and the driveway and road is bare. There’s a ring of dirt around every tree and stumps are showing up we never knew were there. Last week me and the kids went for a walk around the property, exploring the aspen grove below the house. I could walk on top of the crusted snow up until the end of our walk, when I started falling through in a few places. The snow was up to my knees. I guess it doesn’t get much sun in the trees down there.

We Moved! Part 2

Why didn’t we move sooner? Because we didn’t feel released to go until now. We believe God has a plan, and we have to wait for His timing, not try to do things ourselves. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. By waiting for His timing and provision, we’ve been able to move to a house we always dreamed of living in and wasn’t even on the market, live in an absolutely gorgeous area near miles of riding trails, and Darryl was able to get a job in less than a week, and we have had complete peace about the whole thing.

Yes, we moved to a new town with no job lined up. Darryl wants to get a job at the mine driving a haul truck to start with. 4-5 days off at a time is rather appealing and would give him time to do things. Until he gets that job, he’s working for a construction company, currently putting new siding on a commercial building in town. Just before we moved, I happened to go to a friend’s birthday party during a really busy weekend and happened to be sitting across the table for a guy who happened to grow up in this town and still worked with companies all over the area and happened to give me his number so he could meet with Darryl and give him references to almost any company he wanted to work for. I knew Darryl wouldn’t have a hard time getting a job here. His current construction job is through someone my brother knows from church. It’s all in who you know right?

Something else cool happened before we moved. I’d been thinking about Moola’s calf we sold last winter and wondering how he was. This one saturday I happened to mention to Darryl that I wanted to see him before we moved, and that evening, his owner happened to text me and invite us to come see him. We did. She was training him to take a saddle and plans to teach him to pull too. Maybe we’ll see him in a parade one day. She named him Ruckus.

 

We Moved!

For the last 10 years at least, I’ve dreamed of leaving this city I grew up in. This beautiful city on a beautiful lake that (almost) everyone else I know is so happy to live in. This city with the perfect climate (hot), perfect beaches (crowded) and the worst traffic (aside from Vancouver). Most of the jobs I’ve had involved a fair amount of driving around, so I know many parts of this city like the back of my hand (where did that freckle come from?) and when I daydreamed about leaving, I felt a little sad thinking about how well I know it, and how long it might take to learn my new town so well.

But now that I’m actually gone, I honestly don’t miss it at all. I think I’ll enjoy visiting it once in a while, asking my kids if they remember the bridge, the giant flag and the impressively large christmas tree. They’ll probably remember the stop sign and the fence that keeps the animals in on our old street, or how we could look down at a sea of houses as we drove down the road from our 10 acres of bush so thick we couldn’t see any of our neighbours.

Now I’m in a new, much smaller town and the streets are a worse maze than my previous residence (which I thought was bad before, but at least I knew how to get around in it). Darryl has been the driver every time we’ve gone to town, and I see a few store names I recognize, but I don’t think I could find them again if I wanted to. Even the people I meet here say it’s a great town once you figure out how to get around. I believe them. And speaking of the people, they are super nice. We do have an advantage in that my little brother and his wife have lived here for a few years and know a lot of people. But we went to a wednesday night dinner at their church and quite a few people introduced themselves not knowing I was related to a friend of theirs. Once they found out Luke was my brother, they could see the resemblance (he looks like me). Hehe.

We don’t live right in town though. Because we have a horse (we sold Sonny, the white horse) and a cow and 3 chickens, we had to find a place with a bit of land. And find one we did! Our place is about 25 minutes from town. Nothing when you come from the big city and it takes that long to drive to your friend’s house. Around here, that might as well be a day’s drive away. But it’s beautiful here. We’re renting 10 acres again, only it’s mostly cleared, gently sloping down to a lake(!) and it has a log house! The whole property is fenced, but the animals are in the large back yard right now, until we can fix the perimeter fencing once the snow is gone.

I will tell you about the house, cause it’s such a great change from where we used to live. It looks old and small on the outside, but inside is bright and spacious. We never saw the sun in our old place, but now it streams through the windows all day long and we can see 180 degrees of open, rolling fields or clumps of aspen and cottonwood. There’s a little airpark across the lake where we can watch the little planes take off and land, and once in a while on sunny days they buzz high over the house and Chad shouts “Airplane!”. At night we see a few lights dotted around us, but they’re a couple kilometers away so it still feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere.

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The kitchen is huge! A little dated, but it’s a good layout and there’s so much storage I still have empty cupboards. It’s so dated, in fact, that I have a portable dishwasher, which is actually not as bad as it sounds. I usually run it at night while we’re sleeping and unload it in the morning and roll it back to it’s corner in the dining room.

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I have a dining room! Our old place had a combined kitchen/dining room (like most mobile homes) and it got a little crowded when we entertained. This dining room has a sliding door out to a covered deck spanning the backside of the house, overlooking the lake and the farmland beyond. The living room is the size of the kitchen and dining room put together, with a window at one end and a large brick fireplace at the other. Kind of awkward for furniture placement, but the room is big enough to have two furniture groupings, so I split it in half with the couch and chair facing the fireplace. Once I get some more furniture, I can finish the other half, but for now it works quite well to have my little white table behind the couch for the kids to draw at and the rocking chair by the window. Behind the fireplace is the front entry and the stairwell going to the basement. On the other side of the living room, opposite the kitchen and dining room, are the bedrooms. Two of them, with a bath in between. And a linen closet! That’s a new thing for me. The bedrooms are cozy with large windows, the kid’s window overlooking the driveway and the master bedroom window looking out over the deck and the view. These rooms are also pretty dated, with blonde faux wood panelling and valences, but I think the bathroom takes the cake with the brown and orange flowered tiles in the shower and the fake marble sink and counter. I hung a large gold-framed mirror over the tiny one that was there and I think I can pull off a vintage, hollywood glamour theme pretty easily now.

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Most of the logs on the inside of the house have been slicked, which is taking off the outer layer with a long, chisel-like tool, revealing the lighter wood underneath. It makes a huge difference in the brightness inside. The bedrooms haven’t been slicked yet, but they’re just for sleeping in anyway.

The basement has a long laundry/storage/workshop on one side, a cold room, bath, and bedroom on the other side, and a big room in the middle with a wood stove! The stove heats the whole house easily, but there’s a backup propane furnace too. We found the switch to turn on just the furnace fan to circulate the heat without using propane. The wood stove room is set up as a media room, and though it’s in the basement and has a drafty (slide your fingers between the frames) sliding door to the backyard, it’s the warmest room in the house.

Back upstairs, there’s a little dead end hall behind the kitchen with another door opening to an attached carport. We use that as a mud room/pantry.

Our landlord is just a kid (ok, early 20’s) and lives with his parents in a log house across the lake from us. He works for Pioneer Log Homes…you may have heard about it on the show Timber Kings. My brother also worked for them for a while and that’s how he knew our landlord and that he needed tenants.

To be continued…

2013 Anniversary Photo

Hey.  I know, it’s been a while.

Just wanted to share our anniversary photo(s) with you!

I had 6 spots left on my camera, and trying to get everyone in the photo is tricky when you’re dealing with a cow not used to being led, a dog who is scared of the cow, and a chicken who would rather be anywhere else.  And then getting a 2 year old boy to look AT the camera when we’re behind him telling him to look at the camera.  Gets a little crazy.

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The horses, especially the white one, were pretty dirty and their manes are full of burrs, so we were content to show their rear ends instead of their heads.  The cow was supposed to be standing in front of the garbage cans.  She’s not very cooperative though.  I’m holding a chicken in the photo above, but Kai didn’t make it into that photo.

He’s in this one though!  Grovelling at our feet trying to look as harmless to the cow as possible.  She’s eyeing him up for an attack.

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I cropped the next one so the quality isn’t as good.  But it kind of reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting, with the dog wandering off (getting away from the cow as quickly as possible), Chad looking the wrong way, and Sadie looking frightfully bored with it all.

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I probably could crop out the truck in the first two photos, since just that day Darryl was pulled over and told he’d have to get it fixed and inspected before he drove it again cause it’s been belching a lot of smoke lately.  It needs a new engine, but I think we’ll just try to get a different truck eventually.  One with 4 doors!

Only two months till we meet the next addition to our family!  Yay!

RIP Russell Crow

It’s a good thing I finally got around to taking a picture of Russell, cause this picture is all that’s left of him.

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He was taken out by a coyote yesterday morning.

Darryl saw the mound of feathers and the coyote slinking away, but by the time he got back out there with his rifle, the coyote was gone.

Coward.

The girls are all still here, but they’re staying close to the coop.

I already miss hearing Russell crow.  Hehe.

He was a great rooster.  He warned the girls of any possible predator, including ravens flying over the yard.  He never attacked the kids or us.  He was gorgeous, as far as roosters go.

He will not be easy to replace.

I don’t think we’ll try.

Rest in peace, Russell.

 

PS. If you’re reading this in your e-mail, click over to the actual blog once in a while.  I change up the headers every month.  This month is one of my favourites.  Check it out.


Farmhands

Sadie

Chad

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