Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Night in the Spooky Forest

This weekend was the insomniac's  first overnight stay in her new temporary home - a trailer almost as old as she. Because of its advanced age, the trailer was a really good deal; and for that very reason the insomniac  has misgivings about the propane stove and steps outside while the spouse lights the burner, and has also forbidden the use of the furnace. By the time autumn's cooler temperatures arrive, hopefully we'll have power and can purchase an electric heater, which seems a safer option.

Having been out there almost a dozen times now, one is slightly less apprehensive when walking past the abandoned building on the neighbouring property, and though it looks exactly the sort of place a Horde of Zombies would enjoy hiding out in, has even contemplated taking a quick look in the basement. But probably won't - not only because that would be trespassing, but moreso because everybody knows curiosity killed the cat ...

Some things are better left undiscovered ...

While on the subject of large cats, before heading out to the trailer the insomniac  made a quick detour into town and stopped at the local Fish & Wildlife Office, under the pretense of inquiring about a fishing license for the spouse, but in reality to quell her fears about carnivorous wildlife in the area. Jokingly, she said to the woman behind the counter, “A person probably doesn't really need to worry about bears and cougars, and is probably overreacting as usual, right?” only to be told a cougar had just recently killed a deer in a neighbour's yard. “So, yes.” the woman warned, “It would be wise to always be aware of your surroundings when out walking.”

The insomniac  added Fish & Wildlife's number to her cell phone speed dial list. Which isn't all that helpful really, since there isn't any cell phone reception out there.

Obviously, a few things have already met an untimely end ...

Barely two hours after having been warned, the insomniac  grabbed her camera and went for a walk by herself. Completely oblivious to anything outside the range of her viewfinder, as she was taking pictures of a hollow tree stump and wondering what sort of animals lived in it, she managed to completely miss the deer standing directly in front of her. Who, in turn, was so startled at having a camera pointed in its general direction, took off with a great leap and scared the insomniac  so badly she almost dropped the camera. Way to be aware of your surroundings, insomniac ... you could have been standing right in front of a cougar and never even noticed.

Should the weekly blog posts ever cease abruptly, check the local newspapers and search for an article entitled “Daft City Woman Killed by Cougar while Attempting Artistic Shot of Dead Tree”.  So you'll know what happened.

Something is definitely living in that tree.

Probably not zombies, though ... the holes are too small.

The deer on the right is obviously saying,
“If I cannot see you, then it follows you cannot see me, either ...”

All in all, it was a wonderful twenty-four hours. Prior to the torrential downpour just before bedtime, we even heard a Clutch of Coyotes howling nearby. And despite plummeting temperatures in the trailer, the insomniac  managed to sleep almost the whole night through, only waking up to:  a) wonder if the dead aspen tree beside the trailer would be uprooted during the storm and come crashing through the ceiling;  b) bury her head further into the sleeping bag to prevent the tip of her nose from freezing off; and  c) check out the newly delivered portapotty at 5:00 a.m., despite all her precautions to prevent that very thing from happening. And at 2°C (35.6°F), that plastic toilet seat was cold. Very cold indeed.

It could be worse ...

It could be this ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. And hopefully the coyotes will be singing outside your window tonight, too. Because that part was pretty awesome. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And the Winner Is ...

Today's post will be very brief. Because you certainly had to slog through a lengthy one last Sunday ...

The insomniac  would like to express her thanks to all who took the time to comment. Whether you offered a suggestion for a name or not, each and every one of you were entered in the draw.

1. Michelle
2. lightning x - The Gothic Glen, The Insomniac's Bog, The Cottage of Unearthly Somnabulation, Somnambulator's Asylum
3. Lesthis gothworld
4. blackdragon
5. Heather Wielding - Creek View Witch Hut
6. Pixel Pixie - Misty Grove
7. Aristocratic Elegance
8. Underground For Tea - Bog's-Bane Cottage
9.  Ms Misantropia - La Musardière
10. Natalie - Darkwood Hollow, Darkwood Rectory, Darkwood Cottage, Darkwood House
11. Gracie O'Tripp - Hallows' Haven, All Hallows' Haven
12. The Professor
13. HollyElise (TropigothMama) - Spook's Glen, Ghoul's Hollow
14. Tilda - Moonrise Cottage
15. Madame Mari Mortem - Sleepy Creek Grove
16. Bane - The Wicked Wood, Eeriewood Forest, Shadowfraught
17. Nightwind - The Carpathian Lodge
18. Little Gothic Horrors - Wolfsbane Cottage, Baneberry Cottage
19. tess
20. Anita Nervosa

21. Laura Morrigan - Musidora, Misericordia, The Fog Cottage, The Misty Dell, Baba Yaga's Cottage, Woodland Dell, Little Cottage in the Dark Woods, The Wilderness Crypt, Missenden Moss, Witch Moss, Wytch Mosse

22. Rachel Gallagher
23. Mayfair Mistress - Ty Hill, Wolfsberry
24. Morgaine Fey - The Hovel, Moose Manor
25. MmePolaire 
26. linnea-maria - Cold Creek, Silentwood Cottage, Hollow Wood, Fay Cottage
27. Alison - Bog's End
28. Lynoire
29. Sandra - Duskwood
30. swgarasu
31. Victorian Kitty (Sophistiqué Noir) - The Raven's Sanctuary

There were so many wonderful suggestions, that rather than choose only one, the insomniac  decided to combine as many words as possible to create the new name. Henceforth, the Little Victorian Gothic Witch's Cottage in the Spooky Forest shall be known as:


The Gothic Carpathian Rectory and Moonlit Conservatory
  Beyond the Foggy Bog and Past the Wicked Wood
Overlooking the Misty Creek

❖ Sanctuary for the Ravens, Mooses and Mosquitoes



The chosen name shall be carved in a large Gothic typeface into the trunk of the tallest and widest tree at the end of the drive. Thank you, everyone - you outdid yourselves. Especially you, Laura. One senses you could have come up with at least  a dozen more names with no difficulty whatsoever. ;o)

Unfortunately, the insomniac  was less successful figuring out the Random Number Generator than the new name, and was unable to imbed the widget properly into this post. So although it doesn't look very pretty, the winner of the draw was Number 25. Congratulations to Mme. Polaire! Please feel free to contact the insomniac  at your leisure to claim your prize.  

True Random Number Generator 25 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thanks again to everyone who commented. ❤

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams.  Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


Postscript: Having just noticed that Bane of GIY: Goth It Yourself is holding an amazing giveaway to celebrate the momentous occasion of having reached 400 followers, the insomniac  felt it was only fair to mention this to her readers - in case they hadn't won this giveaway. There are seven fabulous prizes to be won. Keep your fingers crossed that the pillow will be coming to live in the insomniac's  trailer ...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sophistiqué Noir Theme Post: Red & Black Week

The insomniac  is very excited to participate in the final day of Sophistiqué Noir's Red & Black Week.

As most of her really nice clothes have been sold off in preparation for her new life in the country, it was necessary to order two brand new t-shirts so she'd have something to participate with. Although these ones are new, it's not the first time the exact same shirts have lived in the insomniac's  closet. But the old ones were so worn out, it seemed an excellent excuse to order a replacement set; this time in a men's extra-large as, towards the end, the previous set were rather snug. Probably due to overwashing and shrinkage.



In keeping with the Red & Black Week theme, the designs are of a somewhat dark nature, and are the insomniac's  three most favourite things in the whole world: Ravens, Skeletons and Coffee. Not necessarily in that order.

The Last Legal High

Served in BedRaises the Dead

And because the colours fit the theme - even though the design isn't particularly dark - an old sweater from twenty years ago that was discovered at the bottom of the closet just recently while packing, which will be styled with the t-shirts, a pair of jeans and black boots. Perfect for country life. And proof that it pays to never throw anything away. Ever.

Reindeers and Ravens

Lastly, to help keep her occupied during those long days in the trailer when she is without power, running water or the internet, a new coffee mug and book. With all this free time on her hands, it's the perfect opportunity to fulfill her childhood fantasy of having a pet raven. So she needs to do a little research. Aside from Google. 

Haven't quite figured out the details of how to make coffee
without running water or power yet ...

Congratulations and a big thank-you to Ms. Kitty for hosting this, her third annual Red & Black Week! The diverse entries from all the participants have kept the insomniac  in front of her computer far too much this week. Now it's time to get on with the packing; as soon as she finishes just one last cup of coffee ...

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams.  Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


PostScript: Even though it seems incredibly rude to include this at the bottom of Ms. Kitty's theme post, the insomniac  would like to remind everyone they have until 6:00 p.m. MDT Saturday, June 8th to enter the Giveaway  - see previous post for details. Ms. Kitty, you should enter too - there are many Red and Black things in the Attic to choose from, should you win ...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Search is Over

This is a LONG post. You might want to grab a cup of coffee. Seriously.

Preface


Back in January when we first decided to sell the Gothic Mansion, we assumed our next move would be to another old but much smaller house in dire need of renovation - just like every other home we've ever lived in. We tossed around ideas of including what is now commonly referred to as Aging in Place features - grab bars in the bathroom, a walk-in shower, no stairs to aggravate the spouse's rheumatism, and with plenty of room for Cane Dueling - in short, everything needed to age safely and enjoyably in one's own home rather than being forced to relocate to a Sunny Retirement Condo in Palm Springs. Because that thought can strike terror into anyone's heart, no matter what their age.

But other than the Little Gothic Church, months went by with nothing suitable listed for sale. And so the insomniac  retreated to a fantasy world known as Pinterest, and started gathering images of the fairy-tale cottages she wished she could live in.

Chapter I - The Home


After a particularly grim week of listings, the insomniac  idly started searching for Victorian Cottage Plans on Google, which turned into Gothic Cottage Plans, and then somehow morphed into Victorian Gothic Witch's Cottage in a Spooky Forest Plans. Or something along those lines. And through that rather circuitous search, she stumbled across the Storybook Homes website. As she was looking through their plans online, she figured it couldn't possibly do any harm to order the Truly Tiny Collection Booklet, which would give her something to occupy herself with besides trying to downsize her Book Collection or looking for seemingly non-existent character homes on MLS. And since it wasn't a book but rather a booklet, it couldn't really be considered an addition to the Collection and was therefore acceptable.

Although every plan in the booklet was wondrous, the Buckleberry was the one we returned to repeatedly because of the two spare bedrooms. As much as the insomniac  cracks wise about not allowing the offspring to get too comfortable in their old rooms in the Gothic Mansion, she is looking forward to them visiting after we move. Since they consider the lack of cell phone reception a drawback, we thought offering them somewhere to sleep besides the kitchen floor might make up for that.

It has dormer windows, so when someone's feeling nostalgic
she can go sit in one.

One evening while discussing the plans, it was offhandedly referred to as the Little Gothic Cottage in the Forest which elicited the comment, “It's not a Gothic Cottage!” from the spouse. The insomniac  spun around in her chair, looked at him and thought, “Huh. Surely he doesn't think it could end up looking any other way. Does he? Huh.” Then swiveled back to the computer and resumed her search for Gothic Exterior Lighting Fixtures on Google.

Once that tiny booklet arrived in the mail, every other possible choice for our new home paled in comparison. The only problem was whether we could afford to build it.

Chapter II - The Builder


A week or so later, she decided it couldn't possibly do any harm to contact a builder and get a rough idea of how much it would actually cost to build the Buckleberry. In her usual analytical manner, she eliminated all but one from her Google search; her criteria for rejection based solely on the company name. The one remaining was Wolf Construction.

Once again, intuition has served us well. We feel blessed to have found a wonderful couple who have promised to guide us through this undertaking, who are committed to helping us stay within our budget, and who are just as excited as we are about the uniqueness of the project. The insomniac  has even offered to provide sweat equity whenever necessary, but since her experience with power tools is limited, it might be safer for all concerned to shove a coffee cup into her hand, point her towards the lawn-chair by the creek, and assure her they'll give her a shout should they require her assistance. And if they ever have need of a helping hand from the spouse, he will be easily locatable by following the sound of a chainsaw cutting up deadfall in the forest.

Chapter III - The Land


The first week of May, we compiled a list of vacant land for sale. Halfway down the list we got lost trying to locate Township Road 5432 whatever, and while turning around to head back in the direction from whence we had just come, noticed a For Sale sign. Which, oddly enough, hadn't been noticed the other five times we'd driven past it. It didn't feel right to drive in without permission, so the insomniac  jumped out of the truck and walked down the road for a quick look. As is normal for May, a blizzard was imminent and it was snowing heavily, creating an eerie silence on the forest floor while overhead the wind howled through the treetops. The insomniac  stopped and listened and thought to herself, “This is awesome.” followed by, “But kinda creepy.” and finally, “Oh my, would you look at the time.” She then walked swiftly back to the truck to inform the spouse she'd just found the perfect spot for their new home.

This is where she stopped to listen to the wind. Right before she noticed the 
sinister-looking abandoned building on the neighbouring property.

We officially took possession of the land on May 31st. Just this week, the insomniac  drove out all by herself for the very first time to take pictures for this post, and when she returned was asked, “Did you even get out of the car?” A perfectly reasonable question really, since she's lived in a city her entire life. And it is unnaturally quiet out there. And she has watched an awful lot of horror movies over the years. Which she's going to stop doing immediately.  

We have a bog, which we'll happily share with the moose.
Because who in their right mind is going to argue with a moose ...

We have a treehouse to live in until the house is ready ...

We have a picnic table to eat on until the house is ready ...

We have an outhouse to use until the house is ...

Oh, ha ha. As if.

A creek runs through the property ...

Twice ...

To close, a photo of the Extremely Happy insomniac  and her Extremely Happy spouse, with captioning provided by our youngest; exactly as written and lacking proper capitalization or punctuation of any kind.

damn dad sure wears his pants high

In the spouse's defense, the elastic is shot on his joggers and someone hasn't gotten around to fixing them yet. She's been far too busy on Pinterest.

Epilogue


Twenty-six years later to the month, we find ourselves in exactly the same situation once more - our current home listed for sale, unable to move into our new one for at least seven months, and the probability we'll be living in a trailer until then. We did live in a trailer for six months while the Gothic Mansion was being made habitable and it wasn't too bad. Except this time there might not be internet access available for eighteen months. Now that's  going to be difficult.

And so it is with great excitement we embark on our new adventure ... the tale of a chronic insomniac with an overactive imagination and a tendency to hoard who moves to a trailer in a spooky forest in the middle of nowhere with her chainsaw-wielding spouse without internet access while waiting for their Little Gothic Cottage to be built. This should be good.

To be continued ...


The insomniac  would like to take this opportunity to thank all her faithful readers. Without your comments of little Victorian Cottages and discussions on your blogs about Gothic Cottage Style, she might never have ended up on this path that now seems as though it were fated. And the long-suffering spouse sends his thanks, too - he thought he'd NEVER get her to leave the city.

As a small gesture, she would like to offer her readers a $100 Gift Certificate redeemable in the Attic. Because it's looking more and more likely the Attic will have to be temporarily closed - not only would it be difficult to fit the inventory into a 26 foot trailer and still have enough room to sleep, but it's practically impossible to run an internet-based business without the internet. And besides, if you take $100 worth of stock off her hands, it's just that much less to pay storage fees on. So you're doing her a favour, really.

To enter, simply comment on this post with your suggestion of a name for our Little Victorian Gothic Witch's Cottage in the Spooky Forest. Preferably something a little shorter that fits on a driveway marker. Comments will be assigned a number in the order received, and the winner chosen using a random number generator and announced in next Sunday's post.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams - preferably nothing involving creepy forests or sinister-looking abandoned buildings. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA