Around the house and city (Toronto Edition)

one of the last posts before i make the switch over to the new site.

can’t wait!

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Dog in a car

This past weekend we were on the road (again). And (again) we left Cliff at my parents place (thanks mom and dad I think that’s the last weekend for awhile!!).

Just so you know, cliff is a bit of a terror – in case I hadn’t already made that obvious to you… For example, I now have in my possession one iPhone video-worthy of america’s funniest home videos – of C-dog pushing my 5 year old nephew into a creek. (I’m gonna find a way to upload it because you really just have to see it to believe it). At any rate the point of telling you all of this is to let you know that whilst cliff may not have bedside manners when playing with children, he is an excellent traveller. I guess it’s not too strange for a dog to love the car, but I take my moments of pride where I can get them!
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On the way back home we had some extra passengers and extra cargo (about 12 Rubbermaid containers full of baby supplies) which we were transporting from one family member to another. We all managed to squeeze in to a borrowed dodge caravan that basically rides like a space craft.
Long car rides, road trips with friends and dogs will always hold a special place in my heart ❤

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A few things

whenadultsswing

1. when you drop your bags on the front mat inside your door after a long weekend on the road, it’s the best feeling.

2. the devastation in oklahoma is heart wrenching.

3. even when you don’t have a 9-5 job the days go by really quickly – i can’t understand what happened to may.

4. i’m running a half-marathon on sunday and i feel totally unprepared.

5. i wrote this post for iRUN and i’m really proud of it.

6. it took me two years of blogging to figure out what bloglovin‘ is…. which is pretty sad if you’re a blogger, non?

7. we haven’t cleaned our pool out yet for the season and birds are using it as a bathtub. I kinda like it.

8. i thought i killed my aloe vera plant but i think i’ve nursed it back to life.

9. i love this song.

10. i used to be so much braver on a swing.

Road Trip

We’re off on a road trip this weekend to see two wonderful friends from grad school tie the knot! The suits and dresses are packed and we are ready to dance. Cliff respectfully declined the invitation in lieu of spending time with my parents and sister’s family 🙂

Have a great long weekend!

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Six Moves in Four Years

Six moves in four years. This averages out to about 1.5 moves a year (I just threw up a little in my mouth). You might assume this would make me a moving expert. Or *notsomuch.*

There’s a bit of room for debate on this topic, which is why I would argue, that we’re here, airing out the issue, casting it down in internet stone, so I can work out my moving issues through a post. Or, apparently four posts (exhibit a; exhibit b; exhibit c; exhibit d) because moving is all I have been writing about as of late.

Move No. 1: The First of Six

First there was the move from the Prairies, (Regina, Saskatchewan to be precise) to Ottawa.

Before making the trek to a new city to start a Graduate degree, I found a nice little apartment for myself by way of internet searching and a total of one phone conversation.

When I arrived in Ottawa I found out the apartment had a beautiful view and also it was located adjacent to a homeless shelter.

Despite the mid-night police show crack-downs of drug deals in the street, and the bums brandishing crack pipes in the double-door vestibule of my building, it was a nice welcome to the city. I mean it had all the down-town living perks (read: close to bars and the school I was going to) for the value of outskirt apartment living prices (read: not too many people want to live rubbing elbows with the locals so it was a steal of a deal.)

View from the hallway. Ikea lamps and rug make ghetto look 'euro.

A Room with A View... Of a homeless shelter

Move No. 2: “You Should Think Twice About this One

The decision to move was made quickly at the end of my first year when funds were running low and the nightly shelter entertainment was wearing thin. A friend looking for a roommate told me she would find a place for two. Before I knew it, the first year in Ottawa was barely up and I was cramming my life into a closet sized room, for half the price of the one-bedroom apartment I had been calling home. This move would never have been made possible if not for the help of my best friend in the world who borrowed her parents pick up truck, and helped me jam the contents of my life, in a series of car loads, through the downtown streets of Ottawa.

The story of this move does not end well. Acquaintance who so kindly invited me into the new found apartment turned out to be a bit of a crazy dead end… as so many room-mate-ships will tend to (caveat: for her portion of the story you are welcome to track her down… I’m not completely absolving myself of wrong-doings… I’m just saying it got hairy really quickly). At any rate, I still refer to her as “my ex” …. as in “my ex room-mate” because that’s how it ended. Case in point, I have not one saved photo from that period of time… for which I am grateful… the memories are sufficient enough.

Move No. 3: “An Infestation

The move-out with “the ex” led to me to a beautiful one bedroom of my own, sans homeless shelter/angry roommate.

I spent my 25th year in Apartment Number 25. Well… most of my 25th year.

25 in Apartment 25

Christmas time makes a home a home

Living space I could stretch out in

It really was a beautiful, glorious six months of freedom.

But.

(Of course there’s a but…)

But, the whole bed bugs scare really messed with my brain.

I returned home from my first hard earned vacation of life, to discover a note under the door:

Tenant in apartment 25. Your neighbor has bed bugs. Your unit will be fumigated because walls shared usually indicate infestation of both units. Please move your belongings away from all the base-boards so that the pest control can come and spray anti-insecticide foam which will eradicate the problem.”

Apartment 25 was never the same after that. I don’t know if you have ever experienced the psychological effect that bed-bugs will have on you. It’s absolutely awful. Any little scratch at night, or unexplained itch? It’s always gonna be a bed bug in your brain. Even if they “tell you” “they are gone”. The internet doesn’t help matters in terms of bed-bug fear mongering. Apparently the little devils are nearly impossible to get rid of. Did you know a bed bug can live in your belongings or in your walls, for up to 6-months, surviving only on their “last feeding” (read: your own blood)?! I wasn’t sticking around to find out when they would resurface.

Move No. 4: “Infesting”

At this point, I moved myself, life contained in duffle bag, back and forth between Mike’s place.

Really he made this sign so I took it as an impression that he didn’t mind me staying (read: living) at his place:

To me, this means... you are offering up an open invitation to crash at your place....

 

... I'm just gonna move into your place ...Kgreatthanks.

Le Paris, was a quaint little place with downtown charm and great views. Also the building came with a crazy, eccentric landlord who tended to the building in nothing but his boxer shorts and spent the majority of the summer sunning himself on the front lawn. His skin was seriously leathery red all year round.

"Le Pari's" - This can only mean that the apartment building belongs to a a guy named Pari

Canada Day from the Balcony - Photo Credit : Brother-in-law Bruce

Summer Sunset from the balcony- Photo Credit: Me

It was also the first official Lo Mein headquarters… so for that reason alone, the memories of Le Paris are clearly etched in my memory.

Move No. 5: Hollywood Parade

After about 3 months of Lo Mein begging us to find a bigger place we started looking again.

"Hey guys... it's a bit CRAMPED all up in here"

In December 2010 it took about 2 weeks gazing through kijiji before we found the Hollywood Parade (seriously called that, kinda corny). (Well to be more accurate it took about 2 weeks of kijiji looking, viewing a few different places, including One Ghost House, and then we found Hollywood Parade).

It’s named for the architect who was I think Italian… I’m still working on some more research into this guy who seems to have been quite a character.

On Moving Day January 31, 2011:

Gorgeous Graffiti : Pink Tacos. (If you are wondering, I missed the reference and I had to ask for an explanation)

Your first official place together always has a special place in time I think… which explains why I became so attached to it. (That or the stain glass windows and the crown molding…) Regardless, I was certain we had found a place we wouldn’t be leaving for awhile.

First place officially together.

In fact, on the one year anniversary of not having rented a moving truck/packing boxes, I was all like “Ohh yea… we’ve been here a WHOLE year, many more to come.. yak yak yak yak/blah blah blah” …… didn’t know it at the time but tempting fate I was.

So this brings us to present day.

Move No. 6: April 29, 2012 – Moving Day rapidly approaching

Did I learn from previous moves? Have I done things more efficiently? Am I trying to paint every surface of the new house before I move in?(Yes). Did I put myself out of commission with carpel tunnel after painting for 11 hours this past weekend? (Yes). Did I purge unnecessary crap that I haven’t used since Saskatchewan? (Of course not. It’s coming with me.)

So are you wondering what I have I learned from all of this, yes?

A house does not necessarily make a home, but a cat, a little space to think and relax, some elbow grease, fresh paint and a lot of shared heart and soul do.

Road Trip

There’s something decidedly great about a road trip: Confined, cramped spaces for many many hours, breathing recycled air, and of course the road food, all leading to a progressively grouchy driver and drowsy passenger. What’s not to love?

But the allure gets to me every time.

And I find it so crazy how driving in a dedicated direction over the course of one day, can transport you somewhere so completely different that you end up in a different country. It’s different than flying. When you fly, you expect to end up in a different country. For crying out loud you only have to take off and by the time you are in the air you have already cleared the distance of a tiny European country.

There’s a difference from this experience to that of driving a distance. When you drive you spend the day, passing scenery, being completely aware that you are moving yourself slowly towards something more increasingly foreign. It’s like looking through the photo album of school years as opposed to jumping from a picture of yourself as a 6 year old to yourself as an 18 year old.

For instance I leave Ottawa and within an hour I hit Montreal, Quebec.

Ok so this is a bad example to start with… it’s really not at all the progressive difference in landscape and culture I was looking for… I might as well have gotten in my time/space continuum machine.

Ahem*clear throat.

Starting over:

I leave Ottawa.

I hit Vermont within 3 hours. Vermont is beautiful and picturesque but the maple trees, the people and the affinity to sustainable living remind me of where I come from.


I-89 winds me quickly from Vermont into New Hampshire. It looks a lot like Vermont but suddenly I’m aware that I’m in the United States. What tips me off? Just the “Live Free or Die” slogans that you see on every car and billboard throughout the state. Yep. This is definitely not Canada anymore. Ottawa is located in the Province of Ontario and Ontario’s slogan is “Yours to Discover” – a bit more raunchy and a lot less severe to picture in your head.

Within 5 hours from initial departure the I-89 ends and the I-93 takes me into Massachusetts. There is completely not a spec of snow on the ground and it’s 10 degrees warmer then when I left my house in the morning. When I open the windows, the air is fresh and I can smell the ocean. Oh and there’s also the “Bastan” talk radio. The people sound different. How did I drive for six hours and find a different dialect? (Again….Quebec being the anomaly to this example).

When I get out of the car in Rhode Island 8 hours after I locked the front door when leaving that morning, I’m greeted by charming hilly little streets, lined with colonial cape-cod style siding and shutters. It is decidedly out of a picture book, and while it is by no means the other side of the world, it is not at all familiar to the early 1900’s type architecture and neatly planned streets of the city I come from.

But what is familiar? The family that greets us at the door upon arrival 🙂 Destination complete. You might drive a day and end up in a foreign country, but all you need to find is a familiar face, and you immediately feel at home.

Thanks for hosting such a lovely visit!