Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Search is Over

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


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.


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.



  1. Awww, what a lovely story! And what a magnificent piece of land ... I'm looking forward to reading about the building of this new cottage!

    Oh, and good to finally put a face to the name!! ;)

    1. Awwww thanks, Michelle! Considering we actually had driven past it numerous times and never paid attention, it does seem as if fate guided us there that day! And as we know, if one just relaxes and allows the universe to point them in the direction they're supposed to go, it all works out the way it should in the end, doesn't it? :P

      As for the face ... probably not at all what you were expecting, right? ;o)

    2. Actually ... *exactly* what I was expecting - seriously! (well, maybe not your hubby's pants though, LOL!)

    3. Truly, nobody expects pants like that! :D

  2. How very exciting! The Gothic Glen? The Insomniac's Bog? The Cottage of Unearthly Somnambulation? Somnambulators Asylum? Whoops, I thought you said wine, not coffee! Time for bed.

    Congratulations, the land looks gorgeous and the cottage looks utterly charming! Looking forward to more posts and coffee with you.

    1. The Gothic Glen! The Insomniac's  Bog! The Cottage of Unearthly Somnabu-something-or-other! Oh, it's going to be so hard to choose just one name at the end of all this, lightning x! Maybe we'll need a rotating set of signs at the end of the drive!! :D

      Yes, it's a good thing this post was written before 6:00 p.m. last night or it would have been the wine talking and not the coffee in the insomniac's  case as well. And thank you for the congratulatory congratulations, lightning x. Looking forward to future posts and coffee (or wine) with you, also. All depends on the time of day, doesn't it? ;o)

  3. OMG your Storybook Cottages folder <3 My dreamhouses!

    And I can't describe how excited I am over the fact that you are building your own house. A house designed and planned by the one and only insomniac..I might just faint by the endresult.

    The area looks wonderful! I wish I could have a house there. :D

    How lovely to get to see you on a picture as well! ^^

    1. Aren't they amazing, Lesthi? Some of those small ones are just too perfect - for someone who hasn't had a chance to accumulate as much stuff as we have over the years! :D

      One will admit, it is a little frightening taking on a project like this. Already knowing how budgets can pretty much be thrown out the window when renovating, the thought of building a house from scratch is rather terrifying. But we're okay with moving into a half-finished house if we run out of money. We've done it before. ;o)

      The area really is beautiful and full of wildlife. The purchase of a book identifying animal poop is on the list of things we must buy soon. LOL

      It's a funny picture, isn't it? Good thing we both like to have a good laugh at ourselves. And it was all thanks to you that the insomniac  actually attempted to make a little movie - she enjoyed yours so much, as well as the chance to hear your voice! :D

    2. I can totally understand your fear, me and my fiancé are also planning to someday build our own house, and I'm already scared over what can go wrong, haha!

      Yay, that makes me so happy to know :D <3

  4. What a stunning piece of land you have to build your dream home on... i am green with envy. Living in the UK, land like that is only for the mega rich.... i wish you both every happiness, good luck, good health and hope all your dreams come true. I shall wait anxiously for updates.... reading your blog gives me such pleasure, knowing some folks dreams do come true... i shall keep dreaming too!

    1. Luckily, land such as this is still affordable for those of us who are NOT the very rich. One has heard things are very expensive in the U.K. That must be so discouraging ... :o(

      Thank you for your good wishes! If you'd told us 26 years ago we would find this beautiful old house to restore for $1.00, we would never have believed it either. Never give up dreaming, blackdragon! Our dreams are what keeps us going. ♥

      It's lovely to hear you enjoy reading the blog - sometimes one worries about appearing boastful. Because she has been very blessed in this lifetime and realizes that not everyone has been as fortunate as she. :o)

  5. What great news, I'm so exited for you! As for the name, it's fairly difficult to name a house before it's built, but after long thought and much deliberation, I came up with a suggestion based on location and nature of the soon-forming house.

    Creek View Witch Hut

    1. Thank you, Heather! And you're right - it would probably be best to name the house after it's been built so that one has a sense of what suits it best. HOWEVER, Creek View Witch Hut has a very promising ring to it! :D

  6. How fantastic that you're going to be able to build your own home! You'll be able to get exactly what you want, which probably makes the lack of internet access worth it in the long run.

    How about Misty Grove?

    1. It is very exciting and a little overwhelming, Pixel Pixie - so many decisions to be made all at once! With the Gothic Mansion, the decisions were spread out over a 26 year period, so one had plenty of time to deliberate before finally choosing the proper fixture, or carpet or wallpaper design. And also time to save up for those fixtures, carpets and wallpaper.

      But you're right about being able to get just what we need to make this our Forever Home. Seriously, the last move will be feet first out the front door. ;o)

      Just last evening some friends, who are familiar with the area where we're moving, mentioned we should put a bench down by the creek, so that in the very early morning we can sit and watch the wildlife come out of their hiding places as the mist rises off the water. You may have just nailed it. :D

  7. How exciting! The design looks beautiful, and the scenery is amazing ^_^

    1. Thank you, Aristocratic Elegance! The designers at Storybook Homes have really done an amazing job with their cottage plans. One is tempted to purchase the Truly Charming Collection Booklet for the sheer enjoyment of looking through those plans, too. However, that might be considered as adding to one's personal Book Collection and should probably be avoided.

      You might get tired of the scenery after you've seen it five hundred times on this blog ... ;o)

  8. WOW!! This is what my husband and I would love to have, once we figure out how to make a living without having to be near the city. I am going to show him the Storeybook Cottages once he wakes up. You and your husband look so happy together, and I'm sure that this is going to be a marvelous adventure for you.
    As for a name : Bog's-Bane Cottage.

    1. It is unfortunate it's so difficult to make a living anywhere but in a city, isn't it? We were never able to figure that one out ourselves ...

      LOL, we are  happy - the spouse especially! He's been wanting to do this since practically forever. And as long as the insomniac  doesn't start thinking about things like bears and cougars and large ugly spiders, she's happy too! :D

      Bane - something, typically poison, that causes death. That's good, Underground for Tea. Very, very good.

  9. Oh. My. God.
    I had a feeling something big was a-brewing with your new place to live, but those trees! Your new land already looks like fairytale country :) Your new house is going to be amazing.
    Living in a small countryside cottage is something I know all about, so I will follow this development closely. And probably throw tiny jealous fits over all the wonderful details you will be able to include and get just as you want it.

    It might not be a "British Victorian cottage style" kind of name, but when I was younger my parents had a vacation home in France. That house had the best name I have ever seen on a house: La Musardière = "Enjoyer of the good things in life" (feminine) :)

    1. One was hesitant to write about anything until it was all finalized, and it took us a long time to decide whether we could actually afford to do this or not. But we've made up our minds to forge ahead anyways. And if we run out of money, a person can always live without kitchen cupboards and other such niceties for a while, can't they? ;o)

      Do you love living in the country, Ms. Misantropia? Because the insomniac  is a little worried about whether she's going to adjust well to country life or not.

      La Musardière - what a lovely name! And a beautiful sentiment, too. :o)

    2. I do. Best decision I ever made, moving out here! But we're not too far from civilization, there's a gas station, small food store and a pharmacy only 5-10 minutes away by car. The only thing I miss sometimes is being spontaneous, going out for a couple of beers. That's tricky when one always has to stay sober to drive back.

    3. That's reassuring to hear, Ms. Misantropia ... we won't be too far away from a small town either - about 15 minutes by car. We can't drink more than one beverage for fear of failing the breathalyzer even in the city, so it probably won't be much different for us in that regard.

  10. This is so exciting!!!!!
    I vote: Darkwood Hollow (or Darkwood rectory, cottage, house)

    1. One minute the insomniac  is jumping up and down with excitement; worrying about bears and things living in abandoned buildings the next. Typical ... :P

      Oooooh, nice one, Natalie - Darkwood Hollow. That's good! :D

  11. That is truly a gorgeous tract of land and the plan for your new home is wonderful. I hope the building time goes quickly and smoothly. We will miss you while you are without internet and are looking forward to seeing the final result of your efforts.. As for a name, hmmmm, you have some rally great suggestions here. I finally came up with "Hallows' Haven" or "All Hallows' Haven".(Hope I put the apostrophe in the right place)

    1. Thank you, Gracie! Yes, the insomniac  is hoping all goes as planned and we're not still living in a trailer in January. She's also hoping the internet service provider was just giving her the worst case scenario when he said 18 months. :D

      There has been some really great suggestions and Hallows' Haven is another good one! The apostrophe looks right in both places, doesn't it?

  12. Oh. My. Gawds. That's it! I'm moving in - you need a resident art historian, don't you? What a gorgeous plan and that land is just divine. Oh that streamand those trees, I'm in love. Congrats, dear friend. I'm so excited for you.

    1. LOL, EVERYONE should have their own personal art historian in residence, Professor!

      And you know the insomniac  isn't just blowing smoke when she says you and Ed are more than welcome to visit any time. There are  two spare bedrooms, you know. ;o)

    2. AW, thanks so much doll! YOU are just so many kinds of awesome. Sending so much love and good mojo your way.

  13. Spook's Glen?
    Ghoul's Hollow?
    It's a BEAUTIFUL location and I cannot wait to see the finished home! Amazing.

    1. Oh no, two more excellent suggestions - it's going to be impossible to choose just one!

      It really is a pretty spot - now. Check back in with the insomniac  in January after we've been snowed in for six weeks and see how she feels about it then. ;o)

  14. How about "Moonrise Cottage"?

    A witch cottage in the woods has always been my dream. I actually live in a cottage now, but its smack-dab in the middle of a noisy, annoying city. I look forward to hearing how things go on your Gothic Cottage journey!

    1. Ooooh, Moonrise Cottage - it sounds so mystical!

      Actually, a witch's cottage in the woods has always been a favourite fantasy of the insomniac's , too. She just never thought it would actually happen! Maybe you could move your cottage out to the country - yeah, 'cause that wouldn't be expensive or anything! LOL

  15. As a couple of others, I thought of something pertaining to Hollow-- it reminds me of the area of Sleepy Hollow, and since it is a storybook cottage... it seems apt.

    But, in light of those earlier suggestions, I should offer something different to consider... Sleepy Creek Grove? It might appeal more to the spouse since it isn't directly goth, too heh =P

    The land looks wonderful, I can just see how it'll end up now; it looks like the perfect place to add your magic touch =D

    1. Maybe we should just stick with Sleepy Hollow - although not if it included the Headless Horseman. Thoughts of Christopher Walken stalking the property would be enough to make the insomniac  move back to the city posthaste!

      Actually, the spouse likes the gothier names, too. So he says. Maybe he's just humouring his spouse ...

      You'll definitely have to come out for a look-see when you visit, Madame MM. It's only 30 minutes from Calgary - the insomniac  can come and pick you up!

  16. Aaaaaaahhh!! (That's the sound of me waving my arms about, running around in circles, and dancing with glee.) This is SO EXCITING! I am very happy for you! :D

    I love Victorian houses but not living in the city... so building a cottage in a forest would be the perfect solution. If I'm very lucky and live my life just right, maybe I can be in such a situation in 20 years. :)

    As for the name, might I suggest naming the property now and then naming the house once it's complete? Each is special enough to deserve its own moniker. :) Suggestions for the spooky forest:
    The Wicked Wood
    Eeriewood Forest

    On a completely unrelated note... if you don't mind me asking... were you a teacher or counselor in your earlier life?

    1. Hahaha - you're dancing with glee! Thank you, Bane - we're pretty darned excited, too!

      Fingers crossed that you'll get to live in a cottage in the forest one day. And it would be a darned fine cottage with all your GIY skills!

      Two different names - what an excellent idea! The more we talk about it, the more we think we really need to live out there for a while before we pick the names. Except Eeriewood Forest is pretty darn awesome. :D

      To answer your question, the insomniac  actually went to university with the intent of becoming an art teacher. But after two weeks of student teaching, decided it definitely wasn't for her and dropped out. As for a counselor - she can't even keep her own life in order, let alone help anyone else with theirs! Why, does she look like a teacher or counselor? LOL

    2. I don't dance with glee for just anyone. ;)

      It was your habit of addressing people by their name (with a comma used properly!) that made me curious. I rarely see someone take the time for that sort of personalized communication, except teachers and counselors who have studied communication. :)

    3. Addressing people by their names and the proper use of punctuation is just a sign of the insomniac's  age, she supposes. That sort of stuff was drilled into us in school back in the day. Which is why her offspring's lack of attention to these important details drives her crazy. Not that she'd say anything - a parent has to pick their battles, apparently. ;o)

  17. This was really a wonderful post, a fitting closure to an important chapter of your life; yet, it holds the promise of an exciting tomorrow. I really hope that you'll enjoy your new life in a spooky forest; I suspect that you will. Your creative spirit will likely mesh well with Nature's voice; and believe me, you will come to hear her voice living in your new chosen environment.

    Further, I'm very happy to see not only your photo, but that of Mr. Insomniac as well. I'll miss your posts during the time that you're without internet however, as they've become something that I look forward to.

    I wish you both the best with this new chapter in your lives, and I'll wait in anticipation for your reappearance here, one which will hopefully, include photos of your new home, which you might consider calling the Carpathian Lodge.

    1. Thank you, Nightwind - the insomniac  is so glad you enjoyed the post! And although she worries a bit about moving to the spooky forest, she's quite sure she's going to enjoy her new life there, too. As long as Nature and her voice aren't howling outside her window at night. Although, come to think of it, that might be pretty cool. “Listen to them. The children of the night. What music they make.” Yeah, that'd be alright. :o)

      The insomniac's  really going to miss everyone when she's without internet access, too. It might sound odd, but she often feels closer to those she communicates with in the blogging community than she does with the people in her Real World.

      In the meantime, she'll keep posting right up until the Gothic Mansion sells - after all, someone has to stick around and make sure it's clean for the showings! :P

      OMG. The Carpathian Lodge. A Romanian connection. Brilliant!

  18. No one has to ask me twice to grab a coffee and settle in for a nice read! Haha. Where do I start... Buckleberry is fabulous! It's like the Munster house and the Addams mansion got together and had a little houseling! The tower, the dormer windows, the conservatory... *sigh*

    I also got a good laugh from this:

    "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."

    In fact, coffee was almost sprayed onto the computer screen. You are indeed a woman after my own heart!

    Well, this really has become an adventure. The Buckleberry only needs to be made of candy and you'll be living in a Grimm's fairy tale. You've even got Red Riding Hood covered with "Wolf Construction". ;) I'm not entering the giveaway for real because I'm in Australia... too far away... but for fun, I'll suggest the name, "Wolfsbane Cottage", or alternatively, "Buckleberry", could be given a toxic twist and become "Baneberry Cottage".

    So happy for you!

    1. Well now, that's a perfect description for The Buckleberry - a houseling created from the union of 1313 Mockingbird Lane and 0001 Cemetery Lane! :D

      It does sound ridiculous but she really did eliminate builders with boring company names. We are indeed kindred spirits, Little Gothic Horrors. ;o)

      Funny you should mention a house made of candy - we have talked of purchasing a very large oven for the cottage. Something that would fit two small children in without difficulty. Mwahahaha.

      Wolfsbane Cottage is a nice thought - a subtle tip of the hat to the builder, if you will. And don't be silly, of course you're entered in the contest! Laura who lives in Australia won the last one - you just have to be patient and wait three months for your package to arrive if you win, is all. LOL

  19. You and your husband are grinning from head to toe. No wonder! What a beautiful setting for cane dueling or any other frivolities, truly out of a fairy tale, Baba Jaga's cottage perched on a chicken leg would not be out of place here. Congratulations and best wishes for everything good in your new venture.

    1. Oh, just thought of it, you might enjoy paging through 2 "Shelter" books by Lloyd Khan full of very personal, unique, handmade homes. Loved the ones you pinned, esp stairwell interior with roots.

    2. Perched on a chicken leg, you say? Hmmmmm.....

      Thanks for the best wishes, Tess - that's sweet of you. :o)

      That Lloyd Khan looks very familiar. Has there ever been anything about him on TV? Or maybe one ran across his tiny shelters while she was Googling storybook cottages or something.

      Isn't that stairwell amazing? Pretty sure something like that wouldn't fit into the budget! A person might just have to take up woodcarving ...

  20. WOW! That is the most AMAZING looking place!!! :O
    We DEFINITELY will have to make a trip to the States to visit! ;)

    1. Why, thank you, Anita! And yes, you and Michelle and LittleYurtGirl should definitely come for a visit! But please don't go to the States - we're in Canada! And pack your longjohns, okay? ;o)

    2. Oops! Many apologies for making that generalisation! It's like people lumping Australia & New Zealand into the same catergory! :O

      I admit, Canada holds much more appeal than the USA to us, anyway. ;)

    3. Don't feel badly, Anita! The insomniac  could never manage to figure out the difference between an Australian accent and a New Zealand accent, even though they are apparently world's apart! A good way to distinguish a Canadian from an American is that we say “eh” at the end of our sentences, and we LOVE our Tim Horton's coffee. ;o)

  21. Cane dueling! Great idea! I want to learn some parasol self defence, it would be the same kind of thing.

    The idea of aging scares me, I have hopes of creating some kind of shared ground floor mansion with other odd people! If only...

    Can you imagine a retirement home of people my age when they get old, with their booty shorts and their ipods blaring bad pop music because they are so deaf and... Shudders.

    Luckily I know people who are not like that, and I hope we will grow old together!

    Wow, that is an ACTUAL storybook home! *Swoons.

    Sounds like you were meant to find that place and it was just waiting for you to be ready!

    A word of advice, those woods are awesome but a little spooky, don't name your house after anything that might come randomly to mind and keep you up at night, like if you are scared of ghouls or demons.

    I have always liked obscure names like Musidora and Misericordia but those are more like people's names I suppose. The Fog Cottage, The Misty Dell (sure someone already said that) Baba Yaga's Cottage, I want to put something about Woods in there but it's hard to fit it into a short name. Woodland Dell? Little Cottage in the DArk Woods. (Play on Laura Ingalls, but too long.) The Wilderness Crypt.

    I have lived in a rural area and semi suburban area, the main drawback for me was not being able to drive. As a kid, our road was a couple of kilometres (2 or 3?) from the nearest bus stop or station so I relied on my parents to take me everywhere. Which is fine til you get older and stop getting on. I assume you can drive, so this is not a problem. Some things you might expect are silly birds singing at silly hours, creepy branches scratching at the roof like demon claws on windy nights, and possums attempting to do the same. You can also expect to actually get to be alone in nature and wander by lovely streams and look for lovely animals which is just awesome and somehting I will miss when I assume I will eventually move to the city for full time work. Where I live now there is decent public transport but still some strips of nature and river between houses, with ducks and other birds. It's the most peaceful relaxing thing in the world!

    When you go into town during the non net access time, make sure to send us all a short message telling us how it is going and how it's going fighting the fog and mooses! :P

    1. If getting old frightens you at your tender age, just imagine how it feels from this end! We're in that age bracket where the residents are divided on opposite sides of the room in the retirement home, one side shouting “Stones!” and the other side shouting “Beatles!” You've probably seen that cartoon ... ;o)

      We definitely won't be naming the place after anything really scary that would cause the insomniac's  imagination to run wild. Creepy, mystical and spooky are one thing - scary's a whole different story! But thanks so much for that image of demon claws scratching at the roof on windy nights, Laura! LOL

      It sounds like where you are living now is beautiful, too! It will be a shame when you have to move to the city for work. But cities are where the work is and the reason both our offspring are staying behind. We've been very fortunate with the Gothic Mansion being situated where it is - we have very few neighbours and we're rather isolated, even in the middle of the inner-city. So although it will be different in the country, maybe not as much of an adjustment as for someone who's been living on a busy street!

      We are only 15 or so minutes away from the nearest small town, and it has a Public Library. They'll probably have internet access so the insomniac  can keep in touch with everyone. Who knows, maybe she'll get rid of her boat anchor of a computer and invest in a small laptop. Or notebook. Or Ipad. Or whatever it is they're called these days. ;o)

  22. In Cranford they just referred to some boggy mossy area with the name Missenden Moss (not sure if that's how you spell it), it sounded a bit Romantic. I don't know that it's right for your place, but maybe something along those lines, Moss, Dell, etc. Witch Moss. Wytch Mosse.

    1. That's rather nice, isn't it? Missenden Moss. And with a name like that, the neighbours won't think we're too terribly strange! It looks nice spelled as Mosse. Missenden Mosse. That's gooood. :o)

  23. Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. What an absolutely brilliant challenge for you both. That little Gothic Cottage is going to be super amazing! I'm going to miss your blog posts but hopefully you'll be able to pop in with little updates every now and then. Of course it would be fab if you could come back once it's all done and show it off.

    errrmmm as for cottage names, I'll have a little think about that. :-)

    1. LOL, not as much of a challenge for us as it will be for Wolf Construction probably! We're terribly excited, Rachel - the insomniac  because she has a brand new decorating project to look forward to, and the spouse because we're finally getting out of the city! ;o)

      And she will keep posting right up until the Gothic Mansion sells and we've finally moved to that ugly little trailer in the forest. Gah. Maybe if she can find WiFi somewhere in town, she can post some ideas for fixing up a 30-year old trailer. Let's face it, she's going to go into withdrawal if she doesn't have her internet fix - she'll figure out some way to speed up that 18 month estimate ...

      Don't worry about coming up with a name, Rachel - you're entered in the Giveaway just by commenting! :D

  24. Thank God you're not moving to a retirement condo in Florida, I'd have had to lose you as soon as soon as I found you! The property and plans are spectacular . . . Two thoughts on names, if you want to name it after another historic cottage, you could go with Ty Hill in Wales, the legend behind the name is rather extraordinary (, as is the cottage itself. If you'd rather a more personal name, perhaps Wolfsberry, as a play on names?

    1. Yeah, pretty sure the insomniac  and her spouse are going to go for a swim in the creek in the dead of winter before they move to a condo in Florida ... ;o)

      Having just started going through your blog last night, it looks like such a wonderful project. You, however, have 2000 sq. ft. more to restore than we did! But we're on a half acre and it is a Queen Anne - in that regard we're somewhat similar. Only having read a few posts, it looks exactly like what the insomniac  always wanted to restore - you have a FIREPLACE in your bedroom with AMAZING tiles and an ART NOUVEAU whatever that thing was! Ours is a very simple farmhouse. So looking forward to reading right back to the beginning and watching you on your very special journey. Sniff, sniff. Memories ... :D

      And after she reads back to the beginning, she's going to check out the Ugly House. That sounds promising!

      Nice to meet you, Mayfair Mistress! :o)

  25. YAY! Happy thoughts and congratulations from a VERY GREEN with envy lady in Kansas City. You are going to be surrounded by the same sort of scenery I went to college in and I hope you love it as much as I did! Even though it will take a while to get finished, it will still be wonderful!

    I cannot WAIT to see pictures of your new little cottage; it shall certainly put The Hovel (Tanuki Towers West) to shame I am sure! Of course, it is but a little ranch in a Kansas City suburb, because Sacco despises anything that is too "old". So long, my sweet Victorian dreams!

    In closing, why yes, those pants are very high--but it does not distract one bit from the truly epic beard. Also, NO ENTRY for me! I just wanted to gush about how lucky you are to live with Moose. I miss Mooses. Mosi? A Murder of Moose. OH! I totally miss the moose murders we would hear about on TV. I mean, the ones who end up killing people, not the other way. You cannot take out a moose with a car the same way you can take out a deer. The moose will be wounded AND squish you through your roof. There were always one or two every year.

    I miss Moose.



    1. Where did you to college, Morgaine? And The Hovel is a rather nice name for a little cottage, especially for someone who detests housework ... would you mind if we maybe used that one? You should probably thank Sacco for despising old houses that need work - it'll save you tons of money in the long run! ;o)

      That picture doesn't quite give you the full effect, because you can't see his white socks and the fact that the jogger bottoms are now above his ankles because he's hoisted them so high. Kept asking him if he was sure he was okay with having that picture posted. Why would I care, he says. He cracks the insomniac  up. Epic beard is right, right? :D

      Although there are a lot of mishaps between elk/deer and vehicles in Alberta, moose murders seem to be far more common in eastern Canada. Thank heaven. We have deer crossing signs on the road by our new place though, and we saw two today. Squeeee! If mooses (quite sure that's the plural) do show up however, somebody will be squeeing loudly while running in the opposite direction. They're so BIG! :D

      ::Squish:: LMAO

  26. How unbelievably awesome! I'm so happy you found a home as unique as your current one! I LOVE that conservatory off the right side. To be pale and tragic one moonlit night in there! Your new yard looks remarkably like mine, at night I only venture outside with a bell, flashlight and golf club. Instead of getting mugged or robbed, you'll only get drug off into the bushes and eaten!
    I thought of you this weekend when I was at the museum in Victoria - they have sort of a gaslit Victorian street with shops and a hotel. You'd totally love it!

    1. Thank you, Mme. Polaire! Isn't that conservatory wonderful? The insomniac  has always wanted one, and while she's not sure she can pull off the pale and tragic look, it would be nice to be able to do a little moon-watching and star-gazing in one!

      Tomorrow we are going out shopping for big flashlights and new rubber boots. Is that not exciting? A golf club is a very good idea. The spouse suggested a baseball bat, but a golf club would be lighter and easier for the insomniac  to flail around wildly with while she was being dragged off and eaten! And she plans on making darn sure she doesn't need to exit the trailer in the middle of the night to use the outhouse ... even writing this paragraph is making her question her sanity ... :P

      That hairwork in the hotel! Some day, a hairwork piece will hang on the walls of the Little Gothic Cottage! Provided one shows up on eBay that goes for cheap. ;o)

  27. Oh my gosh!!! A new cottage! It is absolutely wonderful and you will have your own tower and a winter garden. Dear Lynne, it is amazing! I'm so happy for you both, it will be perfect! The surroundings are stunning. I love that little creek, and you have it on your property, wow! The nature looks beautiful.
    I do hope that you will enjoy spending time in the nature, it gives a lot of energy.
    You are such a wonderful couple, nice to see a face of you and your spouse at last.

    I have some suggestions of names:
    Cold creek
    Silentwood cottage
    Hollow wood (or maybe even Hollow(w)ood ;) )
    Fay cottage

    The cottage will fit perfect for the surrounding nature.
    I wish you all the best and a new lucky journey. The benefit is that you will move in in a completely new house, and hopefully not much work for your sake.
    Hugs to you both <3

    1. It's hard to believe isn't it, Linnea-Maria? It will be a big change for myself and our youngest - we took her out yesterday for the first time, and she was a little freaked out by whatever it was that was crashing around in the bush that we couldn't see! As was her mother!! But once we get used to it, I know we're going to love it. It's so peaceful out there. As for the spouse and our son - well, they're so excited they can hardly stand it! :D

      Silentwood Cottage really fits! And we are hoping to have it blend in to the surroundings, so it doesn't stand out and ruin the natural beauty there. It'll probably be grey and black - no surprise there, right? And hopefully the moss starts growing all over it quickly, so it looks like it's been there since forever. :o)

      You're right in that it will be a pleasant change to move into a place where all the walls are square. That will make it much easier for us when it comes time to put up all the wood trim and finishing touches. I'm assuming we'll have run out of money by that point and will have to do it ourselves, anyway! LOL

      Thank you so much for your good wishes, Linnea-Maria. It means a lot to me. And might I just add that I've been thinking about you a lot lately, and feel just AWFUL that I still haven't replied to your Christmas letter. But I promise as soon as the Gothic Mansion sells and we've finally moved out to the trailer, I will have nothing but time on my hands to write you a very lengthy letter with news of our progress! In the meantime, hugs to you and your family, as well. ❤

  28. By golly, that has got to be the most interesting blog post I have EVER read. I almost want to hike it over there and see for myself. Almost. The mention of the bog reminds me that you will also be sharing your wee slice of Gothic heaven with black flies and skeeters. See the NFB animated short entitled "Black Fly" for a humorous look at the combination of woodland and buzzing insects.

    Seriously, internet or no, you MUST keep a journal about all this. Even if it means writing it up in a Word doc and transferring it to the blog when you go to town. Surely there's a local library or something that you can use for Net access from time to time? Will you EVER be able to have internet out there? You can't just drop off the Planet, technologically speaking. We would miss you. I say we as in all your readers, not the Royal We which I don't think even the present Queen uses any more.

    I've subscribed to your YouTube channel. It will make a wonderful change from my usual viewing ie: skincare and beauty interspersed with Simon's Cat and Monty Python. All work, no play makes Jill a dull girl.

    That photo of you and hubs is outstanding! His beard is well impressive. Does he sleep with it inside or outside of the covers? If one may enquire without seeming to be cheeky.

    Now you want name suggestions for your new abode. I'm thinking woods, moose and bugs. How's about Bog's End.


    1. Well, if you ever feel like hiking it over here, be sure you come for a visit, Ali! That's the beauty of being 4200 feet above sea level though - the only thing we'll have to worry about is the skeeters. No black flies! You gotta love the NFB - they have the best shorts, don't they! :D

      We are only about 20 minutes from Cochrane, so a library card from the Cochrane Public Library is already on the radar. Surely you're right and they have internet access. We did stop in at the General Store that's 5 minutes from our place today, and although the gentlemen who runs the store says he doesn't have the internet (GASP!), he did say most folks out there use satellite. So that will require some further investigation. We probably won't have power for a while either, so the library is looking like the best bet for the time being.

      Really, Her Majesty doesn't use the Royal We anymore? And Simon's Cat and Monty Python are considered work viewing? ;o)

      He says he sleeps with it outside. Had to ask, though - isn't that pathetic after 36 years together! LOL

      Bog's End is a good name - a little like Bag End in the Shire. It might have to be decorated a little more Hobbit-like and a little less Gothic then! :D

  29. You know, I sarted reading this a few hours ago...why on earth did you link that Pinterest collection?! :D Seriously, I'm so hapy for you, this place is magical, and I would drop everything and move out to a place like this any day. I grew up behind God's back, in the middle of nowhere, near a swampy meadow and there was a bog across the street and a lake encompassed with cane and sedge. I had a treehouse in the bog and a floating tent on the lake, that's where I spent most of my childhood together with my puppy...And on the other side of the village, there is a cottage from 18th century with a chubby, litte turret and a winter garden, and an ovate hall with windows on from the floor o the cieling on both sides. I'm still dreaming of claiming or reconstructing it somewhere else.
    Your new place is far more beautiful, than that, but these pictures make me feel sorry for the egocentric comment!! ^^

    Unfortunately I'm not good at titling and naming things, but some of the names recommended above are charming! I hope you'll find the suitable one, and I'm also looking forward to the next chapters! ;)

    1. Pinterest - now that's a really good time-waster, isn't it, Lynoire? But so much fun! LOL

      And what a good expression, behind God's back! You had a treehouse in the bog AND a floating tent AND a puppy? That sounds like a very idyllic childhood. Just today, the insomniac  found a little frog while we were out there. And that made her feel very nostalgic ... Although she didn't pick it up. Which she totally would have done when she was ten. ;o)

      Both you and Linnea-Maria called it a winter garden, which sounds much more suitable than what we usually call it - a conservatory or sunroom. Because we're that much closer to the mountains, we'll probably end up having far more winter than sun!

      Don't apologize for the egocentric comment - which it totally wasn't! The insomniac  is always thrilled when people who read her blog share little bits of their lives in their comments. It's so much more interesting that way.

      As for offering a name for the cottage, don't worry about it - you're entered anyway, Lynoire. :o)

  30. Oh my god! I'm so happy for you guys... and jealous!!! :D Love the comment on the pants, haha :P
    That land is made for a gothic cottage/mansion! It really is spooky and I hope you dont feel too spooked out about all the horror movies you've seen. :P Been there, done that. (My dads basement has aliens in it, TRUE STORY!) LOL! I was watching X-Files at dads for a weekend!

    Really, really, REALLY looking forward to updates on this project! Maybe you can slip into town and use the internet there? Not just for updates here, but for the Attic and stuff?

    The only thing you're missing now is a hairy friend... a doggie! :)

    No need for me to be in the competition, but a name for the cottage that came to my mind was "Duskwood". Then I realised that is a name of a dark and spooky forest in an online game I play. It is awesome though! And fits pretty perfect :) Anyway, something with "dusk" in it would be awesome!

    Wish you all the luck in the world with this project! <3

    1. Awwww, thanks Sandra! And don't be jealous - remember, there are two spare bedrooms should you ever want to come to Canada for a visit! Ah yes, the pants - they are pretty amusing. ;o)

      It is land made for a little Gothic cottage - there's moss growing on everything, which is awesome! It's taken us 26 years to get it to grow around the Gothic Mansion, so it's nice to have it growing in such abundance out there with no effort on our part! And hopefully after a while, the insomniac  will be able to watch her beloved horror movies again without getting spooked. Your dad has aliens in his basement? Oh, the X-files - now THAT was a good show!

      After talking to the man who runs the General Store, apparently a lot of people use satellite instead high speed phone lines for their internet, so next week a few phone calls are definitely in order. It might not be as bad as originally thought. :o)

      Already looking into nice large hairy friends ... so far, the Leonberger sounds promising. They like to swim in creeks and get really dirty! :D

      Duskwood is a great name! And if that's the name of a dark and spooky forest in an online game, then it is perfect, isn't it? Of course you'll be entered in the Giveaway! And thanks again for your good wishes, Sandra. :o)

    2. No, there are probably not aliens in his basement, but I was convinced there was after having a terrible dream! (After watching some seasons of X-Files) :D

      Oh, satellites! Hope it works out :)
      I just googled Leonberger and omg, what a beautiful beast! That fur wont be fun cleaning after a day in the mud, lol. Guess he/she can wash it off in the creek. ^^
      Aah, moss, a must next to a cottage. We have ALOT of moss, doesnt really fit this house and its lawn tho, haha.

  31. That's going to be AMAZING. Way to be awesome!

  32. Ooh, this is SO exciting! I was saving this post for after Red & Black Week so I could give it a thorough read. I'm so happy for you! I've been watching your Gothic Cottage board on Pinterest and wondering where that was leading. You'll have so much great blogging material through this process, but no power?! Aww, darn it! I hope you'll be making some trips to the nearest coffee shop to keep us updated. ;)

    Hmm... Well, since you have a love of ravens and I always consider the perfect home a sanctuary...

    The Raven's Sanctuary?

    Or does that sound too much like some kind of animal rescue facility? ;D

    1. Awwww, thank you, Ms. Kitty! You must be exhausted after Red & Black Week - that is a tremendous amount of work, but everyone enjoys it so much! And it's a wonderful way for us all to discover new blogs. So hats (or maybe corsets) off to you! :D

      You're very perceptive to have noticed the new Storybook Cottage Pinterest boards! Of course, there is one secret board that contains all the boring stuff like hot air registers, fridges, stoves, door knobs, etc. But it's the perfect place to gather pictures of everything, and then start eliminating all the expensive stuff that one would really like to have but can't afford. Which is pretty much all of it. LOL

      Hopefully, the electrical, gas and internet companies are giving us the worst case scenario, and it's not going to take as long as they say. But there will be weekly trips into town to do laundry - surely there must be an internet cafe in a town of 18,000!

      You're the very first person to suggest a name with the word Raven in it, Ms. Kitty! And no, The Raven's Sanctuary doesn't sound too much like a rescue facility, and even if it did, it's still an awesome name! :D

  33. CONGRATS!! This sounds like a dream come true! I'm so happy for you and the hubby! I'm with everyone else, hoping you'll find time to visit the library and post some photos and thoughts while you're without internet. And when your home is complete - that will be quite an epic post! Can't WAIT to see the new home in it's full glory!!!

    1. Thank you, GothBarbie! It really does feel like a dream - every time we go out there, we have to keep pinching ourselves to see if we're actually awake! LOL

      The insomniac  is now in the process of researching tablets (and laundromats with WiFi access) so she can stay in touch. Because there's no way she's washing the clothes in the creek, no matter what the spouse says. ;o)

  34. ...♥...

    Such a wonderful adventure

    1. Thanks, Sacred Keep! It is quite an adventure for a City Mouse to be turning into a Country Mouse - especially at this late stage of her life! ♥

  35. Wow, that is one magnificent piece of land :3 And such a wonderful project to start building there ^^ I'm very curious to see how it'll turn out eventually :)

    1. Thank you, Bazinga! It is a wonderful project and we're VERY excited (see picture above). ;o)

      It will definitely be unique, that's for sure. Although probably a person shouldn't decorate it in Wicked Witch in the Forest Style (which is definitely what she's leaning towards) and should stick with something a bit more conventional. For resale purposes - you understand. LOL

  36. What a terrifically exciting new chapter in your lives. That slice of land seem so pristine and beautiful - a quiet, marvelous spot upon which to build a new home. I wish you all the very best in the world as you set about doing just that.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your immensely nice comment on my post about getting older. I am sincerely touched to know that you think that particular line would make for a good sampler. I've been cross stitching since I was about six years old, so perhaps one day I'll take your wonderful suggestion and incorporate it into a sampler.

    *PSS* It's fantastic to "meet" you!

    *PSSS* I lived in Calgary for a little over two years in my late teens. It is, bar none, my favourite city in all of Canada.

    1. It truly is a beautiful piece of land, Jessica. We're anxious to get started on the project - any day now the permits should all be approved and we can actually get going!

      Although one didn't realize you had penned that line yourself, you should be very proud of it. They are definitely words we should all live by! With your permission, the insomniac  may just “borrow” those words and make a sampler herself one day!

      Thank you so much for your kind wishes on our upcoming project, and might one say it's a pleasure to meet you, as well! Although one has been stalking your blog for a while via The Curious Professor and ShyBiker. It just takes a while to work up the courage to comment - you understand! :o)

      Really? Calgary's your favourite city? Vancouver is the insomniac's ... She and the youngest are heading out there in about two hours! We're both very excited about that! :D