Back to Civilization

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We got our water filtration system installed today.  I never thought I’d be this happy about clean water.  I’m going to drink until I am fully bloated and I am oozing water out of every pore.  Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

So, see you later E.coli.  In your face coliform.  Adios stinky pond smell.  So long to bleach water for the dishes.  Goodbye brown water, and hello light yellow water.

If I had a bathtub, I’d fill it to the brim and dive for pennies.

I would like to thank Randy the plumber for all his hard work.   You are welcome back any time. 

Because we are going to need you.

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Saturday

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We started the day flying kites in the yard.

After breakfast, I biked to the farmer’s market.  I bought local corn, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, white and green beans, kale, lettuce, and cucumbers.  I could barely fit it all in my pannier bags.

When I got home, Wini convinced Jess to bring the ladder outside so she could look in the bird’s nest we spotted on the side of our house.  She carefully carried it down the ladder to add to our growing nest collection.

After lunch, we were off to the Cherry Jubilee at our neighbouring town.  There weren’t many cherries but we found a truck that made a mean milkshake.  I haven’t had a milkshake that good since I was pregnant with Reya.  I would buy one daily at Daddy O’s in our old ‘hood.

It started to look like rain, so we headed to the beach.  I watched the girls, Jess, and the dog jump in the waves for a good hour.  We walked back to the car, eyes peeled for fossils.

Now back at home.   The kids are rehearsing their play for a post dinner show.  Jess is playing guitar. I’ve got my gin and tonic in hand.

It’s been a good day.

Decisions

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We have a few ideas.  Actually we have a lot of ideas.  The problem seems to be decisions.  We don’t have any.  Our cup runneth over with ideas, but we are starving for decisions.  How are we to survive with no decisions?

So I need your input.  We have decided that the front of the building should be used as our commercial space and we will eventually live in the back of the building.  The front consists of the library (23′ x 25′), two classrooms (23′ x 34′), the principle’s office (10′ x 23′), and the staff room (23′ x 15′) which has a staff washroom.  How do we divide it up?

We think the library should be an art gallery/retail space.  We are trying to clear that room out but it is turning out to be a more work than we originally thought.

We may also leave the front classroom as a classroom.  Just leave it as raw open space.  Maybe someone wants to teach a class in there.

That leaves us with one more classroom, the principle’s office and the staff room.  Here are some options.  Let me know what you think.

Option One:

Turn the classroom into a self contained two bedroom apartment with a walkout.  It would have a full kitchen and bathroom.

Similarly, we would convert the principle’s office and staff room, into another one bedroom rental unit with a kitchen and bathroom.

We would try and rent both units on a weekly basis to tourists in the summer.

Option Two;

Turn the classroom into two separate bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.  Convert the principle’s office into a bedroom with a washroom.  Then we would renovate the staff room into a commercial kitchen.

We would focus on nightly not weekly rentals.  Each room would have access to the shared kitchen.  Plus we could rent out the commercial kitchen to someone who wants to make food in a legit kitchen.

Secretly I want a commercial kitchen on hand to have awesome dinner parties with my friends.  First, I would have to make a friend in that scenario.  Old visiting friends could work in that plan as well.

Option Three:

Don’t rent rooms at all.  Instead, we would start having small house concerts.  Musicians would come and play to an audience of about 50 people.  We would have the concert in the gym on the stage.  The band could spend the night in one of the classrooms.  I have a good friend who knows plenty of musicians and she would do the bookings, and we could do the hosting.

Well folks, that’s all we’ve come up with so far.  Let me know what you think.  We are open to any fresh ideas.

And I do realize that it’s been a while since I last posted.  For this I apologize.  Here’s what been taking up my time: waiting for my water system to be installed, washing my clothes by hand, entertaining guests, getting my water jugs filled up, trying not to kill the plants that my mom and aunt planted, driving too much, cuddling with my dog, meeting my neighbours, getting a sunburn, going to the laundry mat, unpacking countless boxes, and dreaming up floor plans.

I’ll be more punctual next time.

All Work

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I spoke with a good friend of mine the other day.  She mentioned that our new life out here sounded like we were on permanent vacation.  We love it.  We are more relaxed and spending more time together as a family.  That doesn’t negate the fact that there is a hell of a lot of work to be done and it all seems to take such a long time.

Just the cleaning alone could be a full time job.  I spent a sweaty hour yesterday cleaning and that was just the damn stage.  The day before that I was scrubbing the walls with bleach with a coarse brush.  I am going to take a moment here to reveal the truth.  That was my first time ever that I had scrubbed a wall with bleach with a coarse brush.  I know all you ultra clean people out there are mildly disgusted with me.  Perhaps you feel that I should now be scrubbed clean with bleach with a coarse brush.  But here is another truth.  Some people spend their whole entire lives without ever scrubbing a wall with bleach with a coarse brush.  Who’s disgusting now?  At least I’ve done it once!  But if I am to continue with that whole truth thing, it may be my last time scrubbing a wall with bleach with a coarse brush.  So there, I’m back to being disgusting.  Although all you slobs out there probably think I’m all that.  Or you think I’m an idiot for spending any time at all scrubbing a wall with bleach with a coarse brush.  I am going to say it loud three more times and then stop:

SCRUBBING A WALL WITH BLEACH WITH A COARSE BRUSH

SCRUBBING A WALL WITH BLEACH WITH A COARSE BRUSH

SCRUBBING A WALL WITH BLEACH WITH A COARSE BRUSH

All that to say I’ve been cleaning a lot.  And organizing and hauling boxes around and just looking for an assortment of items.  If anyone knows where my sifter is, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know at your convenience.  I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time on my picnic blanket under my favorite tree reading my decorating magazines.  I guess technically that isn’t work.  But I like to file that activity under ‘Planning’.  Perhaps you organize differently.

On another note, my appliances got delivered today.  Please say a warm hello to Chesty my chest freezer (she got teased a lot in high school so be kind), My Love, my new washing machine, and Why Bother, my stove that has a 4 prong plug that can’t fit into my 3 prong outlet no matter how hard I try.

I must go.  My mom and aunt are due to arrive in a few hours and I must get back to cleaning.

Exploring

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We just spent the last few hours exploring.  We are trying to act like locals even though we have no local knowledge.  My guess is that is a fairly common thing cocky city people do.  We aren’t cocky, we are just looking for a few treasures.

Twice this week, we went to the big sandy beaches at our local Provincial park.  They are lovely.  The problem is everyone knows that and people come from far and wide to enjoy the sandy dunes.  So we went off the beaten path to find a beach a little less crowded and where our dog can run around leash free.

Our first try was a dud.  We drove down a rocky, hole laden dirt road to an even bigger dirt road with bigger holes.  We got out and walk for a bit but soon discovered it was an ATV haven.  We got out of dodge to avoid getting hit by an ATV and being BBQ’ed for dinner.

The next road led to a beach but it was too rough to swim.  On our third try, we hit the jackpot.  It was a pebble beach, with only a handful of people on it.  The girls jumped in the waves with Jess, while I trolled the beach.  If you looked hard enough, it was easy to discover the beach was full of fossils.  I’m a huge fan of any found treasure be it on a beach or in the garbage.  When we lived on our boat, I would spend hours snorkelling the shallow waters to find beach glass.  I felt the same way after I found my first fossil.  I’m already obsessing about a new jewellery line based on fossils.  I’ll just put that on my project list.

We still need some help in the local knowledge department.  I need to find the right farmers to buy my meats, eggs, milk and veggies.  I’m wondering what programs my kids should go to.  I need an electrician.  And eventually I should probably make a friend.  I’m sure all those issues will get settled in due time.

Until then, I’ll be at my secret beach that only the locals know about, collecting fossils.

All Moved In

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We finally made it.  And let me tell you, the last few days have been a whirlwind.  We narrowly packed all our remaining belongings in our minivan on Friday.  We contemplated letting the dog run beside the car since we barely had room for him.  I had similar, yet fleeting thought about the kids as well.  Luckily we jammed them all in.  There was rain, and lots of traffic so it was a long, cranky drive but we made it by late afternoon.  All our mattresses got wet on the roof.  I think they may finally be dry.

My mother in law drove up with my mom and my aunt.  They all brought baked goods, and food for dinner.  They helped us unpack and entertained the kids.  I’m not sure any of us slept much that first night.  Wini crawled into my bed in the middle of the night because she was scared.  My mom woke up at 4 am.  Being the helpful person that she is, she spend the next few hours unpacking my boxes and putting my kitchen together for me.  Unfortunately, she is almost completely deaf so she couldn’t hear the racket she was making.  From my room, it sounded like she was just standing there banging pots together for 3 hours.  

We have met some of our neighbours.  Bob from across the street came over with a pint of strawberries and a cake.  He brought Helen and Gerald who’s four kids went to our school.  Larry stopped by and already has me signed up to be a judge in our town fair in September.  We jumped in the car yesterday afternoon to explore.  We found a local beach in a nature reserve and had a chilly swim in our clothes.  When we got home, there was a dozen farm fresh eggs from Mary with a big “Welcome” drawn on the ground in chalk.  It really has been lovely so far.

There is an instant sense of peace here.  Of course there are some hurdles to overcome.  The girls were scared to take a shower but then liked it when they did.  The water was hot the other day, but the heat has eluded us since then.  Some of the toilets are leaking so there has been several clean ups.  We did get a fridge on Friday, but I still long for an oven.  I’m learning to do it all on the BBQ.  Our water is coming out brown so we haven’t been drinking it.  We need to get it tested.  We’ve been filling up countless jugs at Bob’s house.  

One of the best things is the space.  My girls have been riding their bikes and scooters all over the inside of the school.  My middle child refuses to take off her helmet when she isn’t riding because it is now an extension of her head.  We keep losing each other here.  The most used question so far is “Where are you?”

All in all, we love it.  We are excited about all the possibilities that we can create.  We now have the space and the time to make it all happen.