Thursday, November 7, 2013

Trying to Get Back

I've just realized that I haven't posted anything here in months.  The next post after the last one was supposed to be about the interior of the house, but I didn't get to take pictures before the boxes filled every room, so it never happened.  Unfortunately, when I plan a post and don't get to it, I get this block about posting anything else, as well.  It has always taken major willpower for me to 'skip' the planned post and write about something else.

Of course, I'd been backing off on blogging for a while before this.  I've tried and tried and haven't been able to figure out why.  It's not that I don't want to do it, and it's certainly not that I don't have anything to write.  I just can't seem to find the words.

I suppose it could have something to do with the sleep apnea.  As many of you know, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea a month or so ago.  Before that I'd been sleeping 14-16 hours a day and been exhausted the rest of the time anyway.  I'm doing much better now, though.  I've gotten my c-pap machine, and I'm now sleeping a much more normal 8 hours or so, and have tons of energy besides. 

We'll see if it extends to writing this blog.

Friday, April 19, 2013


The sellers' bank finally got all their ducks in a row, and it looks like we'll be taking possession of the house on May 15th.  (Yay!) We've lots to do before then--well and septic and house inspection, lining up painters and choosing colors, figuring out what goes where before the moving truck shows up, and so on.

In the meantime, here are the promised pictures:

The first view of the house as you drive up the driveway.
A closer look at the front door.

The view from the front door back down the driveway to the road.
And, last but not least, the current fenced backyard.  It will be the puppies' haven until we learn about acre fencing.

That's it for now.  I don't feel comfortable posting pics of the inside until we actually take possession.  Not to mention until it gets painted--right now it's a truly disturbing gray color.

One of the many things that we love about it is that it sits on just under three acres at the end of a cul-de-sac.  (Plenty of privacy for outdoor rituals!)  We also love the main floor owners' suite with french doors out to the back yard.  (Great for letting the dogs out early in the morning.)  The stonework fireplaces in both the family room and the owners' suite are fabulous, despite the fact they won't get much use here in Central Texas.  And the kitchen has recently been upgraded, so we won't have to do it ourselves.  (This would be the FOURTH house in which we'd have had to do that.)

That's not to say that we don't already have plenty of plans for improvements!  Besides fencing the entire property and paining the interior, we want to add a larger deck, pool, and outdoor kitchen, since so much of life down here takes place outdoors!

I can't wait to get started!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Whole Lotta Stuff

I just realized I haven't posted anything here since I had the flu back in January (VERY sick for almost two weeks), followed almost immediately by the packing up of our household.   Since then DH and I have said goodbye to lots and lots of people we love in Ontario, taken the dogs, and moved back to Austin, Texas.  We had to give up the cats, a topic which is almost too painful to even mention.  We're in temporary housing now, waiting to hear on an offer we've made on a house, and are busy reconnecting with people and a city that was very hard to leave in the first place, some fourteen years ago.

I was worried about the puppies and the heat, given their thick winter undercoats, but we've been extremely lucky to actually have Spring here this year.  Temperatures are hovering around 60F (16C), occasionally dipping down to freezing or soaring close to 90F (32C).  The guys have started blowing their winter coats, which is messy, but otherwise seem to be doing okay.  They (and we) participated in the Mighty Texas Dog Walk this past weekend, a charity event to benefit service dogs.  Next weekend, they're going to Snake Aversion Training, to keep them safe from rattlesnakes and copperheads.  Later they will participate in more training involving coral snakes and maybe cottonmouths.

The drive down was mostly a lot of fun, though finding truly pet-friendly hotels on-the-fly was sometimes challenging.  We took time out to visit the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky and walk barefoot (in February!) in Northern Texas.  Kai took an extreme dislike to a statue of Abe Lincoln in Cincinnati, and had to bark at it, a lot, every time he stepped outside of the hotel where we were staying.

DH and I, as I mentioned, are reconnecting with family and friends, exploring old haunts and new attractions, and enjoying the food WAY too much.  It's a bit disconcerting that Austin has literally doubled in size since we left, but we're adjusting to it.  We've spent the last month or so searching for a house.  We found one we absolutely loved, but apparently the owner didn't really want to sell, so our offer went ignored.  We've found another house we like almost as much, and should know by tomorrow whether our offer was accepted or not.

That's the last ten weeks or so in a nutshell.  I'll post pictures of the house if we get it, otherwise it's back to the drawing board.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Days 9 & 10

The last two days of our trip were fairly uneventful.  We drove the rest of the way through Maine, through a bit of New Hampshire and through Vermont, then into Eastern New York before driving back into Ontario.  We did a little shopping and took a few photos, but mostly we just wanted to get home.  I was starting to feel genuinely ill, and I was thoroughly sick of taking pictures--I'd taken over 1,000 in the last eight days!  (No telling how many DH took.)  I was wondering if I'd ever want to hold a camera again!

We took pictures of much gorgeous scenery:

Ran into some truly dismal weather (And that's saying something, considering the weather we'd already hit on this trip.):

And saw the tail end of a fall festival in Burlington, Vermont:

It was thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly exhausting, and I'm  SO glad we did it!  We will definitely visit Newfoundland  next summer!

I expect our next big trip will in all likelihood be the move back to Texas.

The Rest of Day 8

After the tide chased us away from Hopewell Rocks, we continued our journey back.  Next stop was in the hometown of a friend of ours.  In the foreground you can see the town's famous covered bridge.

She gave us clear directions to where she grew up, but we got a little lost, so we're still not sure we got the right house!  Is this it, Angie?

If so, it now comes with a dog.  :)

We're fairly sure we got the correct high school, at least according to the locals, it's boarded up now, and it got to late for us to look for the new one.

 We drove into Maine late in the evening.  It was too dark to get a picture, but the Maine woods really ARE creepy at dusk.

We were so exhausted by then that we basically stopped at the first hotel we found.

Day 6 & 8 - Hopewell Rocks

I'm determined to finish this before moving on to anything else!

We visited Hopewell Rocks, a tourist site on the Bay of Fundy, while the tide was in on Day 6, and then again when the tide was out on Day 8.  It was truly amazing.  (If you want more info you can check it out here, as well as any number of other sites.)

Some of these pics are tide in/tide out pairs, some of them show us exploring what is the ocean floor half the day.

These are the actual rocks for which the site is named, right in front of the steps leading down from the land above.


To give some scale, here's one with people walking there.  As you can see, the water would be well above their heads at high tide.

Here are the steps you climb down, when the tide is OUT, of course:


This pic of my DH shows how chilly it can be down near the water.  (He almost never wears a sweater or jacket.)

 Here's a back view off those steps.  Notice how dry the sand looks in the tide out pic:


 We spent most of the afternoon wandering the "ocean floor" with our fellow tourists.

There are dire warning signs all over the place to make sure you don't get trapped somewhere and drowned at high tide:

And a safety platform about halfway between the two access points, just in case.

These are quite scary, actually.  They certainly made us keep our minds on the clock!

All in all, it was an extremely impressive natural display. You can see those tides come in and out all around the bay.  In narrow places it looks like a fierce whitewater river flowing first one direction then, a few hours later, the other.

Well worth the time to see.