Wednesday 31 August 2022

Two Weeks!

I can hardly believe it's been only two weeks we've accomplished so much and also our house is really starting to feel like home. The big project these past few days has really been the shed. After dinner Monday night we got our work gloves and work shoes on, grabbed the ladder, and got to work.

We found broken tinted glass panes.Five abandoned tiny wasp nests
We also found:
  • a bunch of scrap wood and metal and a few pieces of vinyl siding
  • a roll of reflective moisture barrier
  • two cases of fertilizer marketed for marijuana growing
  • a garbage bag full of half burned garbage covered by an old dirty blanket
  • a box with two (broken?)fans in it

The loft/attic portions were very warm, but nice and dry.
Good storage space for stuff that isn't bothered by temperature fluctuations.

By the time Hugslut started sweeping out the main area we were about 3/4 done and it was getting dark enough to turn on the lights.

This shed will continue to house the outdoor tools like the mower, but it will also be our workshop for building/ fixing things. I have plans this winter to build fencing for my 25'x25' garden plot so I'll be ready to keep rabbits out come spring. Before winter I'm going to mow the garden greenery as short as possible, add cardboard, and add compost. This should give me a nice, low-weed surface for spring.

Garlic on the left, Garden on the right.

I know it doesn't look it but the garden is square. I measured it out. The garlic on the other hand was just kinda shoved in the ground in approximate rows and is almost guaranteed to not be square.

I had a plumber and an electrician in to take a look at a couple things. Now I have some bathroom fixtures to update(the tub diverter was old & broken and I don't want to try to descale the shower hose/head that's been there since before the filter) and I'm waiting on a quote to get some electrical work done. (I am NOT messing with electrical stuff yet.) 

I was going to walk down to the post office and library but I forgot to check the weather.... it's raining quite a bit. Looks like that's tomorrow's plan then. We've still got plenty to do around the house. 

Sunday 28 August 2022

Time For A Rest

Feeling really worn out from all the shopping and planning and such so this will be a short post. 

I started the compost pile but when I went to attach the hose to water it, I found out that the hose had an old damaged spigot attached to it and rusted solid. The spigot on the wall works, but I had no way to attach the hose.

So in order to water the compost I brought out a pot of water from the kitchen. I'm currently building the compost pile in a large box from the furniture. It should hold for a while and by the time it crumples the pile should be big enough to contain itself. Nothing has bothered it and we will get a replacement hose, but Sunday will likely be sleeping in and resting.

Last night's sunset was lovely.

Thursday 25 August 2022


Woke up Tuesday morning with a faint sound in the air that I couldn't quite place for a minute. Pretty sure it was distant foghorns. I called around to a few local tradespeople to get quotes on some jobs, and to get info on where our septic field is. While I waited on responses I went outside to find that overnight, some critter had explored the basket of garlic cloves I had left under the deck. They had just tossed a couple out of the basket and rummiged a bit. Nothing looked nibbled at all. That's a good sign. 

I spent a good portion of the early afternoon planting the garlic. I wasn't going to fuss too much with it and if it rots over winter then I'll know but, I want to get a ridiculous amount of garlic growing all over. It's a nice well behaved plant that doesn't take up too much space horizontally so I can plant it along the edges of beds & paths. 

Believe it or not, the garlic is all planted in the square marked on this pic.

After a bit of back and forth on the phone, the septic company passed my number to the previous-previous owner of this house. The last guy wasn't here long but the folks that lived here before him were here a good long time and were able to provide me with a bunch of info. 

I now know:
  • the extent of the septic field 
  • the fact that even when others in the area had their wells run dry, this well was providing for this household plus a truckload every two days for another household
  • where the drainage for the ramp and basement leads
  • how to hook up the generator
  • and a bit of local gossip
Hugslut and I were happy to hear all about our new home from someone who knew what they were talking about. They are definitely invited to the bbq. :-p

The headboard and footboard went on fairly simply, but when we went to put the handles on the drawers, we were one drawer short on the bolts for the handles. Looks like next trip into town is going to involve comparing a zillion bolts to find the right ones.

Yesterday I realised that to do any real planning for the garden and such, we would need to know what we were working with.  So I walked around taking measurements with my phone and 
My rough sketch so I had somewhere to write numbers.

The actual (approximate) shape of the cleared lawn space.

We plan some serious landscaping in the the next few years. This will include removing the gravel driveway by the deck. The "garage" can't be used as such without serious reno, (and we've picked a good spot for the cars next to the shed), so we figured we'd fix the basement "garage" up over the next couple years as a summer-kitchen. This means I can use a wheelbarrow or wagon to haul the food directly into the work space, and easily haul the trimmings for the compost back out again. 

Hello from a curious Blue Jay

Last night we barely remembered to get the trash out to the paved part of the road for garbage pick up. It was a long walk considering we hadn't realised how dark the 5 min walk would be. 

This morning I heard some skittering above my head and was really hoping nothing had got into the attic as I looked up to find some robins hopping around the skylight. I'm glad they're having fun but they almost gave me a heart attack. lol

I've started planning some fencing for next year's little garden. I'm starting with a 25'x25' so it's not too much all at once with the chickens. It's only slightly bigger than the community garden plots. I'm going to try to make it rabbit and deer proof... wish me luck?

Monday 22 August 2022

To-Dos and a Tour

Dryer drama resolved! Now I'll only line dry when I want to.  :-)

After a good nights sleep we finally had the strength to move the dryer and take a peek behind it. Turns out the last guy just kinda shoved the hose on and hoped for the best. We could probably still use a clean-out but, after buying a hose clamp for about $3.50, I trimmed off the leaky & torn end of the hose and secured it properly. Hugslut pointed out that (other than cleaning) this has been the first repair or upgrade we've made on our house. 😊

These past few days we've crossed a few other to-dos off out list such as:

  • putting a cover plate on a basement power outlet
  • applying for our NS IDs
  • reprogramming the lock code on the front door
  • switching to a cell carrier with better coverage for our area
  • buying and assembling a kitchen table and chairs
  • installing the Tushy
  • getting the garlic ready for planting
  • applying for our NS health cards
  • got some yard tools so we can edit the driveway a bit(more on that another time)

There was a bit of concern over the weekend when I identified a few insects in the house as weevils! I quickly threw all grain products in the freezer and threw a pic up online for further ID... turned out to be Rough Strawberry Root Weevils which are not a problem at all. They don't eat people food, or people. They don't even eat the house, they just wandered in lost.

This afternoon I tucked my pants into my socks and took a tour around the property dragging a white towel. I wanted to get a look around and I figured I might as well check for ticks while I was at it. (The towel dragging through the bushes and grasses gives the ticks something to climb on. White just makes it easier to check for movement.) I gathered 3 mosquito bites, a spider, two ants, lots of plant bits, but thankfully no ticks! I did get a bunch of pictures of plants on my walk. 

(Although, I don't know what most of them are yet.)

I do have some news about the lower portion of the property. It is very soggy near the creek. The rest is also fairly soft. A cow wasn't in the picture for a few years anyway but it seems we're looking at goats instead. The forest will be great for them.

It may be possible later on, by planting some water sucking trees like willows and to digging the lil pond into a large pond, that we can firm up the area a bit, but due to the slowness of nature, we're unlikely to get animals heavier than sheep or goats on there for... likely many years.

I'm fine with this. The forest is young and crowded. I was going to want goats for that anyways. That said, even goats are a few years away. 

Next spring is chickens and a garden. If things go well, the following year will be rabbits.


Never seen orange/red moss before.

These are BunchBerries.
Technically edible but not usually foraged because they have no flavour and are gritty.

There are a lot more items on the list for this season like actually planting the garlic and clover, putting the headboard and footboard on the bed, getting up into the attic to measure what size of cover that one uncovered junction box needs, googling the owners manual for the generator..... etc.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Last Day Off Work

I woke up this morning at 7:30 and the rain was barely starting so I just got a little misted walking from the car to the house.

This is the last day Hugslut booked off for the move so we’re just trying to get things “liveable”. We can worry about the longer term things like a couch or TV when we have time to peruse the shops and test a bunch of floor models.

We brought a bunch of mugs but they’ve been in storage for years so I popped some dishes in the machine(oh how I love having a dishwasher 😁). With rubber gloves and some attention to the clothes washer I got out the piles of dog hair and the vape pen the last owner lost into the machine gusset, and then did a whole lot of sweeping. I managed to get a big pile from every room even though most of them didn’t look dirty from eye level. 

After eating breakfast off a cookie sheet we dubbed “a plate”, Hugslut drove into town for a few necessities we forgot at the grocery store like plastic wrap and paper plates. We decided she should find a place to get an inflatable mattress too… because last night sucked, and the UPS tracking on our fancy mattress wasn’t giving any new info. 

I stayed home because even if the mattress didn’t arrive, Bell Aliant was gonna show up and hook up our internet. While Hugslut was out I put a few more things away and also discovered our dryer doesn’t really dry anything. It just makes the bathroom rather humid. This is a bad sign that the hose is blocked and we will not be using it until I get that fixed. 

The Bell Aliant tech finished up just as Hugslut got home with lunch. The speeds are super zippy so we’ll have no problem with me streaming videos during Hugslut’s work meetings or anything like that.  

After lunch Hugslut took a minute to make sure her work computer could connect to the right vpn systems and such for tomorrows, and then we got right back to setting things up. 

We very slowly and carefully shuffled the two big heavy drawer sections of the bed into place in the bedroom and unboxed them so at the very least, we’d have some where off the dog smelling floor to put the air mattress. The head board and footboard just screw to the main frame so we’re good there. 

As we finished the semi-assembly of the bed, a courier van pulled in with our mattress! It was heavy but not as heavy as those drawers.  We got it on the bed base and unwrapped it so it would have a chance to inflate before bed. 

With that done it was 3pm and the rain had stopped so we decided to go out before everything closed and see if we could find a good desk and chair so Hugslut didn’t have to go back to work on the floor tomorrow. There was a bunch of other stuff we needed to get to like a bucket and mop so we checked local first stopping in at Causeway Interiors. 

They had some lovely couches and a bunch of dining tables, but very little when it comes to desks so we headed out to Yarmouth (about 45min from Barrington Passage). We found a good chair at Staples, as well as a good desk and a BUNCH of other stuff at Canadian Tire.  I never realized they had such nice utensils and stuff. (I did however completely forget mixing bowls. Good thing I don’t plan on baking soon.)

By then it was almost 7pm so we went across the parking lot to Boston Pizza for dinner. 

By the time we got home and lugged our loot into the house it was 9:30. 

Today was an expensive day but I am happy with the things we got done. 

Safe at Home

Tuesday Update Delayed but Present!

Woke up at 7 and got going asap. There was a medical emergency for one of the staff at an already short staffed Tim Hortons so our breakfast took a while. The manager looked a lot less stressed after the ambulance got there so the crew member will probably be okay. 

We drove to the house and got there in time for the 9am inspection. We said yes we definitely wanted the house now please and thanks but we can’t have keys until the money moves from the bank through the lawyer to the selling agent.  

With nothing to do but wait, we took our still loaded hearse to The Hawk and sat/walked around the beach til 10:30. 

We drove around some more, considered going to the library but it doesn’t open until 3:30p on Tuesdays so we picked up some of the mail from the post office at 11. There was a big box with the pillows and sheets that we couldn’t take yet with the full car. 

We went into town(Barrington Passage is about 15 min from the house) and got some gas and then lunch at Kat’s Lobster shack(kinda pricey so maybe just date night from now but what can you expect for lobster)… that’s when everything started happening. 

Our RealEstate guy called to say the money finished moving and he could give us the code for the key box!  We hurried home and started unloading the car. It didn’t take as long as it did to load it of course, but that was just the start of the afternoon’s activities.

We picked up the big box from the post office, went into Barrington Passage again to pickup the bed frame I had ordered. We grabbed a few things while we were there like a broom and garbage bags and such, and when we went around to the warehouse door we found out that our lovely hearse could only take two of the three boxes for the bed. The headboard & footboard box was just too wide so that will be delivered on Monday. 

All the way back home to unload the massive heavy drawer units for under the bed.(we’re certainly getting our weight lifting in this week). All the way back to Barrington Passage for groceries, and then finally all the way back home for the night.

The mattress I ordered was supposed to arrive at some point on the 16th but was a no-show so we tried to make a blanket bedroll on the floor. 

We gave up trying to sleep on that after an hour & slept in the car. (The front, not the back.)

End of Aug 16th. 

We are technically all the way moved in. Now we will be removing traces of the past owner(like dog hair everywhere) and filling this house with stuff that suits us. 

Monday 15 August 2022

Hello Nova Scotia

Slept in and woke to a quiet foggy morning. This was at 9:30am. We sat out on the dock with some coffee and watched the sailboats. Our meeting with the lawyer wasn’t until 3 so it was a really low activity day which was super nice after all that driving. 

After the lawyer we stopped for late lunch / early dinner at a local spot called the Emerald Light. Walking back to the Inn, Hugslut decided to climb into the giant chair by the water. :-)

We’re both tired so we napped and I just woke up to a lovely sunset. Our final walk through is scheduled for 9am tomorrow so I’m gonna make sure everything is back in the car tonight because the house is an hour away which means it’ll be an early start to the day. 

Sunday 14 August 2022

Good-bye New Brunswick

Woke up at 7:30 for breakfast and then took a walk around the parking lot before getting on the road. The view was not much to talk about. :-)

On the road at 9 for a three hour drive which got us to St. John with enough time for some lunch before getting in line for the ferry over an hour before departure.(as they request) 

The ride itself was peaceful enough. We watched the departure from the open deck, wandered around a while and then grabbed some seats so we could both kinda doze for a while.  After arriving in Digby, excitement is finally starting to grow. This is our home province now. And as a new local I will share something that we learned the hard way.

Do NOT take route 203!

I don't care what google says, I don't care what apple says. Do not!

Basically, you start loosing cell service and then suddenly the road gets SO bad. I mean, potholes taking up an entire side of the road and ruts deep enough to scrape any low car and the fact the road was so poorly built there is grass growing up though it most of the time for a few kms!

We had to drive 50 on a 80 posted road just to have enough time to break and swerve after we realised what was going on. When we did finally make it to Shelburne, the lady at the Inn was all like "oh yeah, no one uses that road it's just so bad" and I was like, "Well nobody told google." But Yeah, Seriously..... do not.

We did get here safely by 7:20pm and managed to get a quick takeout order at a chinese food place before they closed at 8. Every restaurant here that was open (most of them seem to be breakfast & lunch only), was closed by 8. Even the grocery store closes at 9pm.

We are safe in our cozy room at the Inn and look forward to sleeping in tomorrow as our meeting with the lawyer isn't until the afternoon.

Saturday 13 August 2022

Good-bye Quebec

Woke up at 7:30 and after a quick breakfast and a wave as we passed the Hospital where Hugslut was born, we hit the highway. 

We decided to avoid driving through Montreal so we took the back roads. 90% of the speed but 5000% of the beauty and calm. 

It was a lovely day for a drive. We Stopped just outside of Alfred Ontario for some gas and a nap around 10am and were back on the road at 10:45 heading into Quebec at the Hawkesbury/Grenville bridge. 

We stopped near Lavaltrie for lunch at 1pm. Back on the highway before 1:45. 

The hearse is doing surprisingly well on gas. We’re getting 22mpg (10.6L/100km) which is about what we got with the Juke and it wasn’t loaded with our stuff. 

We ran into a TON of construction on the main highway between Quebec City and New Brunswick. 

Managed to get two pics I’ve been trying to remember every time we drove past. 

Sunset that blinded us for 30 min before turning pretty. 

Got to Grand Falls at 9pm but everything was closed except mcD(and they close at 10!) After a McDinner we checked into the hotel at 10, tired, and ready for a goon night’s rest. 

Friday 12 August 2022

Good-bye Ontario

 Yesterday was a LOT of work. 

Hugslut and I packed everything we had ready into the back of the car. So many trips in the elevator taking 3-5 boxes down on a dolly. And then I’d crawl in to tetris stuff as Hugslut passed it to me. 

Gotta tell you, it was HOT yesterday(especially in the back of a dark blue hearse). We took a water-&-cooldown break after each load or two and as we reached dinner time we decided to stop for dinner and a movie before finishing the job. 

As we finished up with the movie Wolfie dropped in for one last visit. We chatted and hugged and Wolfie helped with one more trip to the car and we chatted some more and hugged some more and by the time he was out the door, we realized neither of us had the energy to rally for another trip down to the car.  

So we went to bed and got up early this morning for showers and the last minute things. 

There was a surprising amount left to do this morning. We barely fit everything we wanted to take. “It fits where it touches” as Mum would say. 

After hitting mcD for well deserved and greatly desired breakfast with coffee, we finally got on the highway at 10:30am. 

Stopped at Mom’s in Hamilton for hugs and goodbyes.

We decided to avoid Toronto by taking the 407 and then after our 3pm lunch when the craziness of Ontario drivers was too annoying, Hugslut rerouted is through the back roads for a much nicer view. We saw a LOT of cows and horses and lakes and it was just so much better. (Sorry no pics of said critters, didn’t think of it at the time). 

One of my brothers kindly offered a spare room for our trip through so we wouldn’t need a hotel. We got to his place in Ottawa at 8. 

There was no way we were cooking dinner so we picked a restaurant off google. Al Halabi is a wonderful Middle Eastern restaurant on Bank Street.  (100% halal if that matters to you) Just delicious. 

Sorry if the formatting is not up to snuff. I’m not unburying my laptop bag so this was done on the phone. 

We’re going to be now for an early morning. 

G-nite folks. 

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Our last day in London.

 It seems unreal. A month of craziness has led to this.

Tomorrow is our last full day here. We will spend it loading our stuff in the back of our hearse.

Tomorrow we pack our books and clothes and keepsakes into our car to be ready for the early morning.

Tomorrow we find out how much of the maybe-stuff can fit with the definitely-coming-stuff.

Tomorrow night we watch one last movie on the big TV, and sleep in our uncomfortable bed one last time.

This move is so weird and so big. I feel queasy.

Friday 5 August 2022

Traveling in Style

So last Friday we rented a car, dropped off Albert the budgie with his new caretaker. If you need a bird sitter in London Ontario, do consider Lori's Bird-sitting as she has been wonderful for us. 

Planning to test drive some trucks the next day because everything was closed, we decided to take a nosey around some of the car lots and save ourselves some time. In one of the lots we spotted the PERFECT vehicle for our trip.... but had to go home to consider it.

Now I know you're thinking, "No way! That'll be super pricy and where will you fit all your stuff?" But I've gotta tell ya, this three day trip is going to be be so comfy. Just look at these powered seats!

And believe it or not, this 2004 has only 53,000km on it... and it was selling for just under $10k. The ride is so smooth, it's like bobbing along in a boat. 

As for all our stuff, well, the back is as spacious as a capped pickup, so we'll have no trouble there.

That's right folks. We bought a hearse!

We thought about it over-night and decided that since the gas milage was about the same as a truck, and the storage capacity was about the same as a truck, and the length/parking difficulty was about the same as a truck, but the price was 1/2 to 1/3 of a truck.... hell yeah we can be the weirdos with a hearse!

I gotta tell ya though, insuring this sucker was a pain in the neck. Regular car insurance didn't want to touch it because it's a "commercial" style vehicle, but commercial insurance didn't want to touch it because we don't have a business and won't be using it as a commercial vehicle. After a bazillian phone calls to half a bazillian insurance companies we eventually wound up begging at the metaphoric doorstep of Mitchel and Whale where a lovely lady named Tania took pity and found a solution for us.

We will likely sell it after the move as it's not really suitable for a load of logs or manure so I'd still like a cheap truck for the farm and we will both want a small fuel efficient car to zip around in... but for now, for the move, this is the best vehicle idea we've had all month.

With that taken care of, our downpayment & fees wired to the lawyer, and less than a week until move out... things are coming together.