Saturday, January 24, 2015

Adjusting to Rural Life. And Retirement.

Now that we've had a couple of months in our new home and settled into somewhat of a routine that no longer includes unpacking vast quantities of boxes (and not that there aren't plenty to go through still) the insomniac  thought you might enjoy a post about a typical day in the Little Gothic Cottage. Although she realizes everyone is far more interested in seeing how the Buckleberry turned out, but as that involves wading through almost 700 pictures of the build and whipping them into some semblance of order, writing this post seemed the lesser of two evils.

Upon awakening - time varying depending on the quantity of sleep the previous night -  the first order of business is to grab the tablet off the nightstand and check for any important incoming mail. Or Facebook updates. Or something exciting on Pinterest. Basically anything to delay having to crawl out of the very warm, cozy and comfortable bed. During the first half of the month, this is an enjoyable part of the day as internet speed is almost acceptable. By around the twelfth of the month, the 20GB limit has been used up and everything slows to a crawl. Is anybody reading this old enough to remember dial-up connections back in the day? It's every bit as bad as that.

After performing her morning ablutions, which often don't include brushing out her braid (because there are seldom unannounced visitors at the cottage) she heads into the kitchen to make the first pot of coffee of the day, to be enjoyed in the Four Seasons Sunroom.

Obviously, no tidying up was done for this photo ...

Once comfortably settled in the sunroom, the spouse likes to check the weather forecast on his cell phone by extending his arm in the air and waving the phone around until he finally gets a signal, and the resultant generic weather report for Alberta Zip (even our phones can't figure out where we are). The insomniac  prefers to use the old-fashioned method of forecasting, commonly called Looking out the Window.

The more frost on the windows, the colder it is.

It's a pretty accurate indicator.

This is a Chinook arch. It's windy and warm. All the snow will melt.

He's all puffed up. It's cold.

After we've finished the first pot of coffee and determined the day's weather, it's time to start our exercise routine. This consists of running from the main floor to the second floor and from window to window to see what wildlife is visiting the neighbourhood that day. And then running between floors trying to locate the camera. Further trips up and down the stairs occur frequently during the day, as we attempt to get cell service to receive any incoming texts or phone calls.

Red squirrels are voracious eaters.

So are mulie young'uns.

You'll notice how the insomniac is already adopting the rural dialect ...

There were a pair, but they caught sight
of the spouse and the camera ...

Flee! Flee!

After all this vigorous exercise, it's time for the second pot of coffee ...

The rest of the morning is spent performing various activities around the cottage; said activities determined by the weather. -15°C or less and you'll find the insomniac, roll of paper towels clutched firmly in hand, mopping up water from the melting frost on the windows and trying to prevent the wooden sills from being ruined. If we're having a Chinook, the day is spent moving the lasagna pan around the sunroom floor, trying to catch the drips from the melting snow that enters around the roof cresting. Since the caulking was done last year during the dreaded Polar Vortex, we'd probably have been more surprised if it didn't  leak.

The purple lasagna pan has become a permanent fixture in the middle of the floor, but as it matches one of the settees it's not too annoying. Unless one is attempting to sneak into the sunroom in the middle of the night without waking the spouse and stubs her toe on it. Then it's annoying.

Time for the third pot of coffee, followed by a brief discussion on what to make for lunch ...

In the afternoon, the insomniac will wander around the cottage deciding what bathroom fixtures are in need of a dose of Iron Out or Calcium Lime Rust Remover. Our well water, although it has been “shocked” (which means it had bleach poured into it - oh, the things you'll learn on this blog ... next week, septic tanks and fields) has quite a high iron content, and toilets and sinks and washing machines and every other appliance in the cottage require a great deal of maintenance to keep them looking pristine. So that takes some time.

Around 3:00 p.m., the insomniac  spends fifteen minutes getting into her winter gear and walks down the highway to get the mail. On the way down the driveway she checks the tracks in the snow to see who has been there previous to her, aided by her handy guide “Animal Tracks in Alberta”.

R-L: Size 8 Sorel - Female;
Vulpes Vulpes or Red Fox - Gender Unknown;
Case International Farmall B Tractor - definitely Male.

Once on the highway (and one is using that word somewhat loosely, although it is paved) a person can expect to be greeted by one or two drivers also on their way to their mailboxes, with the age-old rural acknowledgement of another's existence - a slight lift of the index finger off the steering wheel. Quite different from the middle finger salute one had become accustomed to in the city.

The walk down to the mailbox ...

... looks identical to the walk back home.

Our closest neighbours live on the left. Within a month of our moving into the Little Gothic Cottage,  a House for Sale by Owner sign appeared in their driveway. Probably just coincidence.

And there she is ... the Little Gothic Cottage.

Before entering the LGC, the insomniac  stops out front and spends a few minutes (or an hour, depending on weather) feeding the chickadees.

Also voracious eaters ...

Back inside and it's time to switch from coffee to tea. A debate on what to make for supper ensues. 

After the meal we head upstairs, where the spouse watches TV and the insomniac  sits down at the computer; how long she sits depending on speed. According to our Internet Service Provider, the cause of the drastic slowdown in the evening is because every child who's been at school all day long are now playing on their computers until their bedtimes. And so we all suffer.

And since some of the inhabitants in the cottage don't care much for television, they will give up in disgust and retire to bed early to read. During the first few weeks of being in our own home again, the insomniac  slept like the dead. But after six months of hotel living and being awakened EVERY night at 1:00 a.m. when the saloon started emptying out, firstly by the joyful sounds of people laughing and singing, then degenerating into arguing and shouting, and inevitably ending with somebody getting their head slammed into the hood of a pick-up truck, that shouldn't come as any great surprise.

But just lately the old habits have returned, and it's actually pretty awesome being up in the middle of the night in the sunroom with only the moon and millions of stars for company - and whatever carnivorous beasts are out in the forest staring in at her. Much like a sitting duck.

Pretty awesome, indeed ...

People said the insomniac  wouldn't like living in the country and probably wouldn't like being retired very much either. “You'll be bored!”, they said. But, as you can see, we have very full days out here. Never a dull moment.

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

IA

71 comments:

  1. That sunroom is freaking amazing! And, your pictures are getting better and better :)

    I do remember dial-up. The first year I had my Etsy shop, I did it all with dial-up. It took almost a half an hour to load a single photo.

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    1. For all the pain it is with all the leaks, we're definitely not sorry about adding that sunroom on at the last minute, Tilda. We spend so much time in there it's not even funny! Anyway, come spring I'm sure we'll be able to fix the problem. And are they really? Cause I haven't even cracked the camera manual yet ... maybe I won't have to! LOL

      Ugh. The internet is pretty bad out here. But maybe that's a good thing in that it definitely cuts back on the time I spend on the computer. So maybe I'll be able to get more crafting done! I've ordered that book about woodland crafts you have on your sidebar, and I got an old book from the late 1800's that has some great pine cone crafts in it. Pretty sure there's a blog post in there somewhere - as soon as the snow melts and I can get to the cones and moss. :)

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    2. 1800s pine cone crafts book??? Want!!

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    3. Well there was other stuff like embroidery in there too, but I was especially excited about the pine cone stuff! I found my copy on Ruby Lane Antiques, and it's called Household Elegancies, by Mrs. C.S. Jones and Henry T. Williams, 1877. There's entire sections on Spruce Work (making things from twigs), wall pockets and glove boxes and lamp mats with Cone Work - I think you'd love it, Tilda!

      I just ran downstairs to get my copy so I could get the proper info for you (further exercise today, besides running to the window to watch the sunset), and for the first time I noticed what a strong perfume smell is coming from the book. Cool!

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  2. YOU ARE HOLDING A DINOSAUR IN YOUR HAND!

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    1. We were totally not surprised to discover our bird is a dinosaur, it explained SO much! Like why he tries to bite me to death.

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    2. It's a good thing he's a very little dinosaur, Leslie!

      And Laura, if a person is foolish enough to run out of walnuts and doesn't get their empty hand in their pocket quickly enough, they can expect a sharp peck on the end of their finger as a sign of the chickadees' displeasure! :D

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  3. I am now certain that the move out there was completely worthwhile, if only to be able to share such glorious photos with us. It's beautiful, even more so since I'm not the one mopping up drips!

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    1. Haha, it is beautiful, Mayfair Mistress. And having lived in old and drafty houses all our lives, we had no idea that condensation in the winter would be such a big problem in a new and airtight home! People tell us as the building materials dry out it will become less so. Good thing, because it's not a particularly enjoyable job, and the fact I'm going to have to re-varnish the sills in the spring is really annoying the crap out of me. ;)

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  4. Oh, your sunroom is glorious! And what a view! The photo of the deer in the snow is just magical!

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    1. Thank you, Little Gothic Horrors! A person can sit in that sunroom all day long and never get a thing done except stare out the window. But I guess that's what retirement is all about, right? The deer are our favourite part of the day. I think I have about three thousand slight variations on that same picture. ;)

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  5. It sounds mostly wonderful. I love country silence and animal sounds, and less people, but the bleach water sounds terrifying! Can you even drink it?

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    1. It's very quiet out here, Laura. And very dark at night! Which is kind of delightfully creepy, if that makes any sense?

      We've had the water tested twice since the shocking, and it is safe to drink. Probably safer than city water, really. But it does smell different and so far I haven't been able to bring myself to take a sip unless it's been boiled to make coffee or tea. But I'm not much of a fan of plain water anyway ... much to the detriment of my health, I'm sure. LOL

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  6. I love your exercise routine:-D
    Everything looks and sounds idyllic. However, if I had to move to somewhere that cold, I would probably die on day one.

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    1. Yup, a not-too-vigorous routine ... just my speed! ;)

      You know what the one good thing about the cold is, Variations on Light? There's no bugs! Added bonus, being retired we don't even have to go outside if we don't want to. We can curl up by the fire and stay warm!

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  7. Your life in the countryside sounds pretty close to mine, only we're blessed with rust-free water. The slow internet, the animals outside, the silence, people doing the "oh you must live here, too"-salute...

    The cottage looks lovely, I can't wait for a full tour!

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    1. I'm still varying between periods of 'This is heaven, I hope I never have to go to the city again!' to 'Ohmigod, I'm so bored and lonely I need to get to the city!' But then I get to the city and can hardly wait to leave. I'm sure those moments will get fewer and fewer the longer we're out here. :)

      The whole rusty water thing is actually a little worrisome, Heather. If that's what the outside of our fixtures look like, I can just imagine the toll it's taking on the inside of the hot water tank, etc. where I can't clean! However, the second you walk into a plumbing store and say 'high iron content', they're throwing around numbers like $2000-$3000. Yikes.

      Room-by-room tours planned for next month sometime, provided I get my act together. ;)

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  8. happy to see you settling in nicely! looks lovely!

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    1. Thanks, Jessica - lovely to hear from you! :)

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  9. Waaah, such a cozy sunroom! Perfect place for breakfast and also bookreading!

    You really live in the perfect place with all the animals around :D

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    1. The sunroom is awesome, Lesthi, even with the leaky bits! It's funny but I never read in there, just knit. Or drink coffee. The only place I like to read anymore is in bed at night. Weird, hey?

      It really is ideal. Hopefully, nobody ever builds close to us and ruins it all. LOL

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  10. I'm dying of jealousy right now. The cottage is absolutely stunning! I'm glad to hear you setting in! :)

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    1. Awwwww, I hate it when someone's jealous, Persephone - makes me feel bad! Because there's days I wake up and wonder how on earth did we ever manage to get so lucky!

      It's taking time to settle in and there's still stuff I can't find, but having lots of company here at Christmas helped. All that baking and cooking - that's when it really starts to feel like home! :)

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  11. It is always exciting to see a new post from IA, and once again you have not failed in your articulation of describing a quiet life with your unique brand of humor and ease of understanding.... May your days continue to be filled with the serenity in - and out of - your beautiful piece of heaven!

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    1. Thank you, Vermont Deadline ... that's sweet of you! Wishing exactly the same for you, in your little corner of the world. ❤

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  12. It sounds idyllic, except for the purple lasagna pan and the slooooooow internet. When I was a kid, we had a well, septic tank and septic field too but luckily not a high iron content in the water. And how well I remember the "single digit lift off the steering wheel" salute from my rural childhood in Manitoba too! This post has been a real trip down memory lane for me, thanks!

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    1. The sloooooow internet might be the death of me, Debra. I thought a person was supposed to become more patient as they got older? Maybe I'm not quite old enough to have become that enlightened yet. ;)

      I remember that single digit lift from when we used to go visit my Mom's family down in Warner. I even remember asking my Dad why they did that. They had horrible water down there - it smelled like sulphur. Honestly, as much as I loved staying at the farm, I don't think I ever willingly had a bath there. But I was a kid - kids never bathe willingly anyway. LOL

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  13. Technically speaking, we lived in a rural area in Holbrook... it was not as nice as your current experience.
    Then again, I didn't have a very lovely gothic cottage with a scenery like yours to make the slow internet, frequent power outages, and bad water to make it feel worthwhile lol.

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    1. And that's why you always referred to it as Hellbrook, right? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the power outages - damn!

      Hope things are well in NM, and up here at home. ❤

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  14. The scenery is magical. The cottage looks so beautiful hidden in the snow! And those beautiful animals omg i love them :D
    So great to see pictures from your life ^^

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    1. I love winter, Magda - it always makes everything look so beautiful and clean. Plus, it hides all the mud and construction debris that's just lying in wait for us come spring.

      The animals are really the best part. I'm really glad you liked the pictures. :)

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  15. Welcome back! I love both your methods of getting the weather report... especially the "extending his arm in the air and waving the phone around until he finally gets a signal" part, hehehehe! And the pictures are fantastic!! But the leaky windows would not make ME happy, either.

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    1. Hey thanks, Lucretia! Nice to be back!!

      That's probably the thing that bugs me the most out here - no cell reception. I keep threatening to get a cell phone booster in case we ever actually need to use the phone for an emergency, but they're like $400 so ... you know ... later. Every time I hear a loud drip, I think 'what's leaking now, dammit!' LOL

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  16. You made laugh really hard with the humorous description of your routine. I feel like that on spare days (although there are not pretty deers to be seen in the city center, and actually the only wild creatures I can observe from my apartment windows are mad drivers, stuck on peak hour traffic). Not as idyllic as your current experience, I must admit. Even with the ceiling/cristals liking, I think I would love to exchange with you for a couple of weeks. I do love Bucharest, but it can be a bit stressful with all the chaotic car jam, ambiental noise and crowded places. Once in a while, I miss the countryside, so your place sounds like heaven to me right now.
    I guess you are enjoying the plassures of reading/knitting/baking to keep yourself busy? A cottage sounds like the perfect island of solitude I need for writing sometimes...

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    1. A pretty boring “day in the life” isn't it, Violette? LOL

      Oh, I remember the drivers in Romania - we all said we'd never seen anything so scary in our lives! Cities are fun when you're traveling, but it is nice to live in the country too. I AM really enjoying knitting and baking and reading but I suspect when winter is over I'll be looking forward to driving around the countryside and looking for some good thrift stores! Maybe you could come for a writer's retreat some day? :)

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  17. Looks like you're settling in nicely to retirement and country life. How often do you venture out for groceries and crafting supplies?

    Regarding bleach in water, The Boyfriend lives on a boat, and we put bleach in his water tanks. It doesn't taste quite the same, but it's perfectly fine for coffee.

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    1. We are settling in, Pixel Pixie but it took a while. We'd lived in the Gothic Mansion for so long, and then renting for a year seemed so surreal - like we weren't really alive - that it was quite strange for the first month. We go out for groceries about once a week, but as soon as the pantry shelves are built, I'll be buying bulk dried goods so I think we could last for two! There's an old-timey general store just up the road, and he has milk and other basics.

      Crafting supplies require a trip to town more frequently, although sometimes it's just easier to order everything online except you still have to go to town to get the package ... I haven't figured it all out yet. Seriously though? I probably already have enough craft supplies to last me until I die. ;)

      Oh, that's good to know about the water! I'm going to start drinking it soon ... we might have the fountain of youth out here and I'm wasting precious time!

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    2. If I leave the chlorinated water out overnight the chlorine evaporates and the water is much better tasting.

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    3. I'm going to try that, lightning x! Although I fear we'll end up buying some horribly expensive water filtration system to protect all our appliances or we'll be replacing them all in two years. And it seems to be getting worse and not better - we hoped it would improve once we started using it. No such luck! :P

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  18. What a very gorgeous home you have. I love your sunroom!

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    1. Thank you, Sylvie! It was a long and somewhat excruciating wait but we're pretty thrilled with it. The sunroom is definitely our favourite room in the house! :)

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  19. You have such a beautiful home! I especially love your sunroom. I hope to have a cozy space in nature one day.

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    1. Thank you, OddGhoulOut! I hope you get a little cabin in the woods one day too, and I hope you don't wait as long as we did. Probably should have done this at least five years ago. ;)

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  20. I love this little peek into your lives.

    The Little Gothic Cottage is so beautiful! You have the perfect home, and the Four Seasons Sunroom... Wow!! <3

    Yes, sadly, I remember dial-up. :(

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    1. A little peek into our very boring but somehow satisfying lives! LOL

      It is the perfect home except for a few leaks here and there, which will all hopefully be remedied come spring. :)

      Dial-up ... the Horror!

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  21. Oh my gosh this is divine! I'd die to live there! <3 Of course we are interested to know what it turned out like!

    unknownprettylies.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Ellone! I know everybody is interested, and a few people are VERY interested as they plan on building from the same design. That's kinda cool, eh?

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  22. Wow! Such beautiful photos and the Little Gothic Cottage looks magnificent standing by itself in that picturesque countryside. It appears so comfortable even from just looking at the photos. And how do you get the chickadees eating out of your hand? You're living the good life for sure.

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    1. It's not hard to take beautiful photos out here, Nightwind - there's no lack of fantastic scenery, that's for sure! It is a comfortable house - everybody who has come so far has said so. And the carpenters are kinda sad it's finished as they miss being here!

      I think it really helped that it was -27C the first day I tried to hand-feed the chickadees. I hope you don't think I'm being too secretive, but I'm going to write a blog post about it and I'll divulge all my “techniques” then. LOL

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  23. Your new home is so very beautiful! Considering how much I coveted your previous home, I find I surprised myself by coveting your cottage just as much. Is there anything that can be done about the internet? I have a friend that moved into the woods and was recommended to get something called VIO, I think, for both aid in both cell and internet service. Then again, that was in the woods of Pennsylvania, which are less intense than the woods of Alberta. lol

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    1. Thank you, Danielle! I never thought I'd get over leaving the Gothic Mansion, but I absolutely love this house! What a relief ... ;)

      No, I'm afraid unless I want to run the internet on the 4G network like our cell phones (which cost $460 the first month we did that!), there's not a lot of choice out here. Some day they might get high speed, but maybe not in my lifetime. However, I'll sure check out that VIO thing ...that would sure be awesome if we could improve both internet and cell service at one go! :)

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  24. Ah, a new post. Thank you - I needed those laughs! ;)
    Sounds like a very nice & quiet life. And all those animals! <3 And sitting there at night, watching the moon... yes, please!
    I still live too close to the rest of the world, can hardly see the moonlight. Though the sh*tty weather we've had lately doesn't help. ;D Atleast you have snow. I'm still sceptical to if we even will get a winter this year around.

    I actually remember the sound of those old internet modems - the horror. But I'm not sure if I was old enough to use the computer back then, hehe.

    Till next time! :)

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    1. It is quiet - I like it now but I wonder if I'll ever get bored. Nah, I doubt it. And the moon - I love it!

      I've seen more stars since we've been out here than I've seen since I was around 13 and the city started to get bigger and created all that light pollution. You don't have snow yet? Weird! We've had a couple of good snowfalls but then it's also melted a few times too. We're living in a sea of mud at the moment as it's Chinooking, but we're supposed to get more snow this weekend. Yay!

      Yes, I can hear the modem in my head, too. You probably weren't old enough - that was a blessing! LOL

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  25. I read your post like this *oooh/gasp/happy sigh* then I show Dave all your photo's and we both talk about your amazing home and how we should do something nice with our back room, then Dave will say 'why don't we emigrate?' gah! can't, the kids anyhoo I love your post, your rural dialect is impressive! everything is! apart from the dial up, you have my sympathies, you couldn't even use your landline phone with dial up (useful for those cold callers I suppose) - your days are just perfect x x x

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    1. You should emigrate! The kids would love it over here - ice skating and skiing and all those other lovely winter activities. Brrrrr. Anyway, it's probably much cheaper to do something nice with your back room. But if you do, make sure it doesn't leak. ;)

      Yes, I've really mastered the dialect - I just have to be careful not to display it in public in front of the real locals. I'd probably get beat up! I am enjoying these lazy days - I suspect at some point, I'll actually have to start doing something. Cooking and cleaning and the like. Ewwww. LOL

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  26. So glad that you are enjoying yourself at the rural surroundings! Lovely post, I love your good-willed humor and your cottage is amazing! :)

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    1. Thank you, Jade! I'm glad you enjoyed the post (and my humour, which not everyone does) and that you like the cottage. :)

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  27. The Gothic Cottage is amazing!!! I love it!!! I want it!!! I'm a bit enviously... it looks so beautiful!!!

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    1. Thanks, Madame Kismet! It feels like home ... :)

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  28. It's a beautiful home in a beautiful setting. Thanks for sharing you pictures. But as a birder, I got to know how you trained that Chickadee!

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    1. Thank you, lady M!

      I'm going to write a post here soon on hand-feeding chickadees and my little 'tricks'. I can tell you that they really like walnuts and it probably helped that the first day I tried it, it was -27C out and they were hungry! :)

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  29. I have serious conservatory-envy. I think I need one as well. Love the animal photos!

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    1. Really happy with our conservatory slash sunroom, Grande Dame! Leaks and all. ;)

      And thank you ... glad you enjoyed them. :)

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  30. Do you carry a gun when you go to the mailbox? That moose looked awfully close... They make me more nervous than bears, although I'd rather not meet up with either up close. You have such exquisite gothic taste, that conservatory is a work of art! Now what I really want to know is there a big studio workshop hidden in that outbuilding or is it just a garage??

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    1. No gun, Mark. I'm such a klutz I'd be scared to carry one for fear of shooting a neighbour. Or myself! I'm not crazy about moose myself. We walked across the creek the other day since it's frozen and I was quite nervous we'd run into one, as there were large pieces of evidence they'd been around. ;)

      The conservatory isn't quite done, I don't think. I'm not sure what's missing but it seems really bare to me. Could be the white walls I'm having trouble getting used to! You're very observant - it was supposed to be my workshop but sadly we ran out of money. So it's not insulated and therefore not heated and I'm guessing we probably won't ever have the cash to finish it. But I can still use it in the summer! All two months of it. :)

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    2. Okay, I'll pray you don't get mauled by a moose or eaten by a bear, thinking that wouldn't be a good retirement adventure. Hopefully Mr. Insomniac got himself a good wood shop there somewhere in that big garage even if it's not insulated!

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    3. We had friends over for coffee yesterday and I asked about the moose situation. He said they have a lot of bad press and that they're not particularly dangerous except during mating season. He used to have one come visit and he'd put a forkful of hay out for his horses - the moose would stand there and wait for his forkful! So now I'm not as scared about running into one. Bears - still scared. :)

      Mr. Insomniac got himself a Man Cave in the attached garage! I'm not sure if he's going to let me share pictures or not. ;)

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  31. I've chuckled through this entire post. All go in the country eh! OH suggests you up your monthly GB allowance if 20 isn't enough. I said its a miracle modern technology can find you at all out there, so shut up. Told him didn't I, the uppity City Boy. We are both well impressed with the scenery Lynne, especially that photo of the LGC. Absolutely beautiful. I don't suppose you can get The Builder to come back and fix the leaks so your lasagna pan can go back to its original purpose? Me, I'd be thumbing through this month's issue of Soldier of Fortune to hire someone to encourage him along, the barstward.

    Ali

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    1. Yes, it's all good to go, Ali! We could up our monthly GB allowance, but I'm trying not to spend so much time on the computer anyway so maybe the slowdown at month's end is a good thing. And you sure did tell him! Haha!

      The scenery is beautiful, we love the house and I just had lunch with the builder today and they'll be back to fix a few things soon! The leaks will have to wait until it warms up in the spring. I'm not craving lasagna at the moment anyway, so all is well. :)

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  32. oh my gosh, I was wondering how your new house was coming along and it certainly looks gorgeous, I love it! congrats on what looks to be a completed job, and also hope you are enjoying your time there as much as it seems you are. all that snow and surrounding trees makes it look so cozy, I can only imagine how terrific and magical it must be to be in the sun room at night with the moon and stars for company, lucky you! enjoy! :)

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    1. Awww, thank you blackhrtgurl! It is completed, other than a few 'leaks' that will need to be fixed once we're sure winter is finally over! And I still haven't really decided on the decorating style yet, so it looks a little bare and white in here at the moment. I love it out here - I'm not sure why I was so worried about leaving the city. I don't miss it at all! Other than seeing the kids a little less maybe.

      The sunroom is our favourite place in the house ... except for today when there were tornado-like winds and I was a little nervous one of those surrounding trees was going to come crashing through the roof! LOL

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