Friday 29 July 2022

My kingdom for a truck!

I've spent most on the last week trying to get junk removal companies to call me back. We are now (finally) booked with a company that will clear out all the furniture & stuff, and another company that will come in the next day to clean the place top to bottom including inside cupboards and appliances. (I refuse to let the landlord company charge me $200 for cleaning out an oven.)

We have electric and internet set up for the new house. A mattress and bedding being shipped to the new house as well as a bed frame on order at a local store for us to pick up. We've been packing and sorting clothes into donation bags as well as throwing out some obvious garbage(why did I still have that broken mouse?). We also decided that trucking Albert across the country was not going to be doable and decided to pay our bird sitter to find a good home for him so he doesn't wind up with some rando from kijiji.

With that in order, attention is now solely focused on buying a truck.

We discovered renting a u-haul truck to move our stuff and tow our car on a dolly was not only overkill(smallest truck is probably 4X more space than we need) and hard to manoeuvre(especially with the car towed behind), but also that it would cost us $10k-$12k!... we decided to sell the car(because it couldn't tow) and buy a used pickup with a cap that we could fill with our stuff and I could use as a farm truck after the move. Depending on what we bring we may need a trailer but that's just $2k-$4k for a trailer we get to keep or sell after.

We did get a good price on the car thanks to CanadaDrives and the fact that used cars are in high demand right now... But buying a truck has been a horrible slog. Hugslut did a ton of research to narrow down what type of truck we wanted and which year ranges on those trucks were the most reliable and we went looking. 

There's so many sketchy places, and we turned down a lot of trucks that were overpriced rust buckets before we found an awesome truck at an awesome price. It's at a dealership so it'll be safety-ed and the engine was just replaced(due to a recall on the old engines) so it will be under warranty for a year.

Unfortunately after they put the new engine in there was an unspecified "noise" at 80km so they won't let us test-drive it because it may be unsafe and it's been a week of "maybe tomorrow"s.

Today we walked downtown to rent a car so we could drop Albert off and drive around tomorrow to look at other options for trucks.

Wish us luck?

Wednesday 20 July 2022

So Glad the Paperwork Mountain is Digital

This entire week has been filled with emails, texts and phone calls to so many people, plus pdfs to review, and digital paperwork to sign to the point I'm surprised how much packing and stuff sorting we've managed.

As administrator for this household I've taken on most of the co-ordination so Hugslut can focus on her dayjob. She's of course been packing and such in the evening with me but the phone calls and such usually need to happen during "business hours". We've met all our conditions by the deposit date so mostly we need to focus on things a little closer at hand.

We have almost a pickup truck load of boxes!

So far the plan is this:
  1. Continue the paperwork process(which seems never-ending and I'm glad they didn't tell me how many forms I'd have to do because OMG)
  2. Buy an old pickup truck. (This one is dragging out because there's so few that match what we want.)
  3. Sell the new car. (It's only a few months old so we are eating the depreciation, but it's otherwise very valuable so we should have $$$ left over between the car and truck.)
  4. Finish choosing what's coming with us even if some of it still needed and so not packed.
  5. Have a home clearing company come in and assess, and then remove all the rest of our stuff.(preferably for free or with $$ to us)
  6. Move to Nova Scotia
    • Pack all our belongings into the back of the pickup.(If not everything fits, mail bulky stuff like blankets and pillows)
    • HugSlut drives our stuff to our new house. (This may or may not include me and Albert.)
    • We are in search of a new home for Albert because moving him that far seems very stressful.
    • If we can't find a good home for him and decide trucking the bird across the country for 3-4 days is too much for him or too cramped for us, I will take the train with the bird. (Hugslut will have to retrieve us from Halifax which is 3 hrs from the house)
  7. On Aug 16th, look over our new house and decide once and for all if we're buying this thing... and sign paperwork to that effect.
  8. Get a couple groceries for morning and a takeout pizza from the local grocery to eat off our cardboard boxes as we sit on the floor and hope the mattress I ordered arrives before we need to sleep.
Everything's happening so fast so I have to keep reminding myself that there's still weeks before we leave otherwise I'd be panicking about the fact we don't have our truck yet. Back to sorting through our stuff... 

The paperwork might be digital, but the mountain of boxes certainly isn't. 

Tuesday 12 July 2022


Photo of boxed books lined up along a hall wall.
Last night we started packing because even if we didn't get this house we really needed to declutter and at the very least, the books we wanted to bring could sit in storage for a few months with no harm.

This morning I went out to get more boxes and started hauling our random stuff up from the apartment building's basement storage locker. I was in the middle of doing this when our realestate agent(T) texted to say, "Just heard from listing agent they will be terminating the other offer. Great news!"

Hugslut and I happy danced for a while and talked to (T) on the phone about what comes next. After discussing how disappointed we were with the response times of the lawyer we picked at random, (T) suggested a local lawyer he has worked with before and said that everyone in that office is friendly and helpful. I called them up and yeah, (C) is going to be our lawyer for this. (B) never even called us back so I called them and told them not to bother.

So much packing to do......... okay gotta go. Bye!

Saturday 9 July 2022

Summer 2022 Road Trip - The Drive Back to Ontario


Last night we got our mortgage homework done and sent the paperwork off to the mortgage specialist. 

We then went down the road to a nice place called Sports Rock for dinner. The food was good and the waitress there was super excited for us and I told her that I hoped the next time we came through it would be with a moving truck.

I slept well but because I’m far too worked up about the house thing I woke up at 4:30am. Hugslut got up at 8am but between breakfast, checking out, getting on the highway, remembering we need gas, getting back off the highway for gas and the coffee we clearly need… we didn't get back on the highway for the day until about 10:30am. 

I dozed in the car while we made our way toward Fredericton and beyond. Around noon our mortgage lady called to say our pre-approval went through for much more than we’ll need to negotiate this house. 

We stopped near Woodstock for gas and lunch. No news yet. Nice weather though. 

The seller has until 7pm to respond…. We’re counting the minutes. 

At 2:30 Meg was feeling drowsy so we pulled over so she could take a nap. Back on the road for 3:15. 

Our RealEstate guy called at 3:45 with expected news. Basically the other buyer has until the 14th to get the money together whether they sell their house or not, and we’re the backup plan if that falls through. 

We made it to the hotel in Quebec about 6:30, had a nice dinner, and discussed what the next little while is going to look like. 

Good night

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I love the indoor balconies of Hotel Plaza Quebec. 


We got up at 8 and hit the highway about 9. It should be a short drive to get to Ottawa today. 

Last night we were re-reading the paperwork and decided that not only would we need a lawyer to do the title search, we should really have one look over the paperwork before the cut off on the 20th. So we looked up some NS lawyers and picked one for me to call this morning. 

I called about 10am and sent the paperwork to be looked over and we should get a call back soon. 

So… this is the largest number of professionals I’ve had to deal with at the same time. Usually it’s call one place (doctor, car repair, etc) and book an appointment. Done. 

Now we have:
- a realestate agent(T)
- a mortgage specialist(E) 
- a lawyer(B)

As well as referrals to:
- a home inspector 
- a general contractor
- the best place to buy steak in the area

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Omg so much traffic due to construction going through Montreal. We stopped for gas and food on the far side of the mess and we’re back on the highway for 1:30pm. 

We’re both feeling crummy. 
Probably all the fast food. 

- - - - - 

We had a lovely dinner with one of my brothers and his family before popping in to visit my other brother on our way to where we were staying for the night. 

We’re all tucked in here and looking forward to getting home tomorrow. 

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Woke at 7:30 to find the internet across Ontario and maybe farther was very broken. Thankfully the car signal was good and our map system was working. 

We turned in the keys and hit the road early grabbing some Timmies on the way. 

- - - - -

Holy moly everyone is driving like lunatics today. Almost saw a bunch of crashes and we were almost in one or two. 

Thankfully we could stop at mom’s for tea and a de-stress break. 

Got home safely about 6:30pm. 

Thanks for joining us on the trip. I will keep you updated on house stuff but it’ll be many days between updates. 

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Summer 2022 Road Trip - House Hunting Day 2


We decided to forego hotel breakfast in favour of eating in the car to get a head start on the day. (The hotel coffee sucks.) We hit the highway about 7:30am. 

First place we looked at in Reynoldscroft had lots of out buildings including a small 1br ”cottage”with a kitchenette. It had ocean frontage, but the shore was large, weed filled rocks that led to large, orange slime covered rocks. Not exactly a beach. 

The kitchen was weirdly laid out with the stove in a lil unventilated closet looking nook and the fridge in a separate pantry area with the washer and dryer. It was a 1.5 house so all the bedrooms had slanty ceilings. To top it all off, one look at the very damp crawl space with rusty supports told me this house would need expensive fixing in 5-10 years. Surprisingly this was still the best option we’d seen. It got a solid “maybe”. 

Then we drove about 30 min to the next place fell in love. 

Clark’s Harbour is surrounded by a bunch of nice beaches has some local stuff like a Red&White(small grocery store incl. some ready-to-eat options), library, and tourism office. The house is <15 min drive to Barrington Passage which has large grocery stores, NSLC(liquor), banks, hardware store, Timmies, McD, sit down restaurants, etc. There’s also a bunch of smaller shops on Cape Sable Island itself. The island is connected to the mainland with a nice bridge/road so no ferries are needed to get to the mainland. 

The house is up a smal road and a long drive so it’s far back from the main road. The trees surrounding the house clearing gives lots of privacy. 

There’s a large shed with lots of room for yard equipment and a loft for additional storage. Next to the shed is a large flattened gravel area that has enough room for us to put a granny flat/guest cottage or two. 

The house… where to start on the house… 

It’s a split entry so the “front door” (that no one in NS uses) spits down to a half buried basement and a higher up main floor. 

On the basement level is the garage that lets you drive in at the back, which leads to an insulated and heated room that is very rough looking but might make a nice storage or workshop. 

Through another door takes you to the properly finished space. The hallway and stairs are carpeted and there’s one of the bedrooms to the left. It does have a drop ceiling we don’t like very much but it’s just a cosmetic niggle that’s easily changed if we really care. 

Up the stairs, past the front door to the main floor, to the right is a big open living room with nice big windows. Through there brings you to the kitchen table area with a sliding glass door to the deck. The kitchen (with a normal door to the same deck) is absolutely lovely. Modern, high oven, lots of counter space and plenty of storage. 

You can get to the small "office/den" we figure will be a pantry directly from the kitchen. Down the hall is  a decently sized bedroom that could be Hugslut's office, and the large main bedroom with a double closet. It’s connected to the bathroom which includes the laundry setup. The bathroom’s set up with two doors so the it is kind of an ensuite but also has a door to the hall. 

The deck out back is very large with plenty of room for a bbq and a table and chairs. Due to the split entry nature of the house, the deck is a good 4 ft off the ground as well which makes for easy maintenance. 

The mowed area is plenty to get started with Gardens and chickens and the surrounding lands can be expanded into as the farm grows. 

So now comes all the paperwork! It’s not ours yet but we put an offer in and we’re are working with a mortgage specialist(E) and a realestate agent(T) and getting in touch with a lawyer(B). 

Hopefully it will be ours in mid-August. 

 - - - - -

We’ve been on the road home for a while and just got a text from our realestate guy(T) saying there’s someone else vying for that house but they want to sell their house before buying so the seller will likely counter offer us. The way it works is if we accept the counter offer the first buyer has a set amount of time to get the money together to be competitive whether their house sells or not.  

The seller has until tomorrow to send the counter offer so… for now we wait. 

Checked into the hotel in Moncton NS at 6:45p. Now to get some bank statements and such emailed to the mortgage lady. 

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Summer 2022 Road Trip - House Hunting Day 1

Photo of an empty highway under a grey overcast sky.

It was an early start as the first location was a 3 hour drive. 
We were breakfasted an on the highway by 9am. Yesterday was foggy and dark and windy with patches of sunny. Today seems to just be mild and overcast. 

We got to the first house in Upper Wedgeport and although it was well cared for and the owner was sprucing the place up, it did not check off enough boxes to be a solid candidate this year. 

Unfortunately the house in Saulnierville we were excited to see, isn’t showing any more.

Also, when we got to the house in St.Alphonse… it was the wrong house in St.Alphonse. Turns out due to a miscommunication the realestate guy (J) had made an appointment at a house Hugslut and I ruled out a while ago. 

We cleared that up and he(J) got us an appointment at the correct house in St. Alphonse Monday at 10am. I also called around and got us a viewing with another realestate agent (T) at a house in Clark’s Harbour for Tuesday morning at 10am. 
Photo of a tourist information post in downtown Yarmouth with three maps showing local points of interest.
We went downtown Yarmouth for a late lunch at Jake’s Family Restaurant and I boggled at how small town the biggest metro area in NS other than Halifax truly is. Turns out the population in the town of Yarmouth is about 7,000!

We’ve got a nice lil motel room at the Best Western Mermaid in Yarmouth for the next two nights so we can see the houses. It's a two story motel with a pool and the staff are friendly and helpful.

We got a bit of a surprise when we walked down to the gas station and grabbed some milk at the CircleK. Turns out the milk in NovaScotia is pasteurised but NOT homogenised. I am not used to needing to shake milk before pouring so Hugslut got a very creamy tea because of it. lol

Hope you all are enjoying the updates and had fun this weekend.

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Up breakfasted and on the road by 9:15. Today we’re looking at St.Alphonse.

The property was lovely. It had the outbuildings promised and looked good… until we went inside. 

The kitchen was just as weird and cramped if not more so than the pictures showed. We were prepared for that, but there was only one bedroom. The “bedroom” off the kitchen would make a decent pantry, but that still leaves Hugslut with no office. The basement was a 3/4 height crawl space that was too damp for most storage. 

The “workshop/studio with a porch” we were thinking of converting to a granny-flat/guest-cottage had no insulation or drywall. It was a glorified shed. And the barn it turns out, was in poor shape to the point the last buyers were advised to tear it down, and they hadn’t done so. 

After deciding that was a no, we found a nice spot to watch the ocean. 

Since there was nothing else planned for the day, we took a drive up to Digby and back down again to checkout the countryside in the summer. 

Back at the hotel in Yarmouth before 5pm and I made some calls to squeeze in one more showing tomorrow. 

We’ll be checking out MLS 202212075 in Clarks Harbour at 10am and we now also have a viewing at MLS 202212107 in Reynoldscroft at 9am. Both are with the second realestate guy(T). The other calls I made didn't get back to me soon enough.

We were planning on starting our trip back to Ontario in the morning but figure starting back a few hours later just means we don't get as far on the first leg. (Maybe Moncton NB, but more likely Truro NS instead of the planned Fredricton NB.) Turning in early tonight.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Summer 2022 Road Trip - Halifax Area

2022-07-01 Happy Canada Day!

Beds are VERY comfortable in the Atlantica Halifax. Last night we did some googling and found some shops just around the block as well as a Wendy’s for breakfast because the hotel breakfast seemed a bit pricey($8 for oatmeal). 

We also found out that there are lots of events today just a block or two away and chose to delay that decision until after breakfast. 

We eventually decided to just relax and recover from the trip for the morning and we went out to get Donair for lunch. We ate on a baseball diamond bleacher overlooking the Halifax commons.

If you squint/zoom you’ll see the Canada Day festivities on the far side of the park. In between us and them is just a bunch of people enjoying the commons by playing games or just sitting out in the sun. There’s even some folks playing spikeball (which we hadn’t seen before).

The afternoon turned into a nice long nap and then we had some Domino’s for dinner. The wedding is tomorrow evening so the next email might be short. 

- - - - - 

Today Hugslut’s co-worker/friend is getting married. We’re to be picked up by the shuttle at 3:30pm. 

The breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant was good and reasonably priced. $17 incl. coffee, juice, fruit, yogurt, and such with the trays of hot food (compared to the $15+ per meal without refills or drinks if ordering off the menu). 

We got ready and went to wedding. 
Was a lovely party at their family home by the ocean.

During the party I excused myself somewhere away from the music to get back in touch with the realestate agent (J) that was supposed to be showing us properties the next day. His attitude was very lackadaisical and it was a pain just to get him to commit to a time and place. Once we we had a plan I went back too enjoying the atmosphere of the party.

There were shuttles back to the hotels but we weren't sure where or when to catch it so missed the one that came at 9pm. It was about an hour before it came back so we got to the hotel and into bed around 11pm.


Friday 1 July 2022

Summer 2022 Road Trip - The Trip Out East

The night before our trip we packed, dropped our budgie Albert off at the bird-sitter, and took Mum as well as Hugslut's visiting brother & his wife out for dinner. 

Our trip was to attend a friend's wedding as well as take an in person look at some properties.We had promised to let Mom, Mum, and, Wolfie know when we got in each night so they wouldn't worry and I started an email newsletter for them. These posts will be those emails including pics I took along the way.

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Photo taken through a windshield of a mostly empty highway lined by trees on a bright partially cloudy day.
Beautiful day to start our trip.

Photo of a couch with throw cushions and a throw blanket in a room with pale walls and wood floors. There is a rug and a red ottoman in front of the couch, a lamp in the corner, and two framed paintings on the wall behind.

The day started well with us packed, breakfasted and on the highway at 10am. A tow truck had an accident on the Linc so we were stuck in traffic for a while and got to Mom’s about noon.

After a quick pit stop and hitting a drivethu we were back on the highway headed to Ottawa. We made it just in time for dinner at 6pm with my brothers. After an evening of fun and games we are safely tucked in our accommodations for the night.

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Packed up and on the road on schedule this morning. Got out of Ottawa and on the highway by 10am.

Took a break just after noon at a rest stop with a knotted canoe artwork and took some plant pics.

Made it to just south of Quebec City and checked into our hotel at 3pm and wandered the neighbourhood finding a good spot for dinner. 

After dinner we stopped for ice cream at a local place and now we’re safely ensconced in our hotel room to relax with the wifi. 

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An early night and a hard uncomfortable bed made for an early morning. It was a pet friendly hotel so we got to see a couple dogs. Sorry, no pics. Breakfasted and on the highway by 8:15am. 

Photo of car GPS at 10:43 am showing the Quebec / USA border area
We stopped at the most northern point of our journey for a pit stop and to stretch our legs.

Photo of a Honda dealership with the town name "Rivièr du Loup" on it
The Timmies was conveniently across from a dealership with the town name. 

Quebec’s rolling hills are super beautiful(even though I can’t get a good pic. I have to keep reminding myself how horribly cold it was in the winter. :-) 

Made a quick rest stop at 2p for lunch and got back on the long road to Fredericton. 

We got to our hotel in Oromocto just south of Fredericton about 4:30p. Since there’s nothing much to see here because it’s basically an extension of CFB Gagetown we just had dinner at the attached restaurant and are chilling. 

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Beds were MUCH nicer at this one. Don’t know why I forgot to mention the elevator yesterday. When we arrived the elevator was broken. Our room was all the way up on the fourth floor, as far from the stairs as possible. That made for some exercise. 

The complementary breakfast was all varieties of bread. (Toast waffles bagels cereals) so we just had some coffee and packed up. We left the hotel about 10am and went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Due to severe construction related traffic, we didn’t get to the highway until 11am.

It was raining this morning but it cleared up by noon. 

We tried to check out the magnetic hill in Moncton but it was apparently closed. 

Stopping at Truro we checked timings and decided to check out Wolfville and take the scenic route there.

Wolfville was pretty crowded so we had dinner at The Port Gastropub in Port Williams nearby. It was absolutely delicious.

After that it was already 7pm and we headded for Halifax. We arrived at our hotel at 8 and it seems rather nice. 

We have a great view of a construction site. :-p

Photo of Halifax from the hotel room showing a construction site with a crane at sunset. On the right, is a portion of The Commons.

We’re tucked in safe for the night and plan to wander tomorrow. 

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As you can see, we made it to Halifax safe and sound. 

Next post will be The Wedding.