Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Catching-up!

Yeah, it's about time for me to catch up some... We are now in week 25 and changes did occur since my last post.  Eight weeks since my last visit, wow, time does fly, fun or not, it only goes one way, as Hubby often says.

Since our last chat, we have moved in our new place.  It was a nightmare from Hell, really.  No jokes, never had such a horrible experience moving.  This wasn't our first move, but this sure was our WORST move.  All of our wooden furniture was damaged.  The degree of damages varied from one piece to the other, but ALL were damaged.  The company we used, Go Transport  came recommended by a friend who moved from Montréal to Calgary and she was happy with them, had no complaint.  I wish I could say the same...  On the day of packing, the team that showed up worked well.  There was one guy who seemed to be a little more cowboy (read careless) than the other two, but it went well.  They wrapped our furniture with bubble wrap, some covers and some type of clingy paper.  When we did ask about some pieces, we were told not to worry they would get re-wrapped at the warehouse, before storing them. On top of moving we were also storing all our stuff for two months, while the new place was being completed, thus the rental apartment.

Right from the start, first box they brought in, we noticed some damages...  That was our first alarm... 
Things were coming in and showing abuse, it did not convey care at all.  I did mention it to the guy (a new one, since the previous team leader who was there at packing, was sick) in charge and he couldn't tell me much.  I did contact the manager, and my contact at the GOT.  He even came for a visit the following day.  He was really apologetic and seemed genuinely concerned, but that didn't repair the scratches or broken dishes.  He even fired the one I referred to as Comboy, since he seemed to be the source of most damages.  That box was made by Cowboy when they packed in February.  It contained the four legs of our dinning room table and... the two lamp shades of our nigh table lamps.
Yep, that is only in one box.  We had over two hundred boxes and that is not counting our furniture.  It was a nightmare, really.  Every thing we unwrapped we found new damages.  Even last week, we installed a big picture frame that had not been unwrapped yet (waited for the paint to be done, etc), and that too, have one corner chipped and the frame is cracked.  We didn't add it to our claim, because at this point we just want to put this nightmare behind us and move on to better things.  We've had a woodworker come in to fix all our wooden pieces as best as possible, we had our lamp shapes re-done and this week the sub-contractor of the builder will be coming in to change the carpet in the stairway, since they pulled a big thread in it.  There is about $1,500 worth of damages and that doesn't include our console table which was wrapped so tight they bend the legs and cracked the wood!  Hell, I tell you!

Good thing we did not have the place painted before the move in since not only was our furniture damaged the walls took a beating too.  But not it is all done, almost, we have curtains and blinds on all windows, the food pantry and our walk-in have been done - and we love them both - most boxes are unpacked, we even have pictures on the walls so this is really starting to feel like home!

Last weekend, I drove with a friend, to Rimouski - we had a Postcrossing meet-up.  The drive there was pleasant, since the weather was nice.  I even took the road along the shore, such scenery.  Took us six hours to get there.  Walked around a bit that first night.  We were facing the St-Laurent, where the Empress of Ireland went down in 1914 (1,012 victims sank on May 29th that year).

Pointe-au-Père (museum and lighthouse)
We stayed at this very little motel, our room was so tiny we didn't have chairs to sit (to give you an idea), tiny! 
June 11th, while I enjoyed my breakfast Likki took in the scenery.

We were really along the water, the last road before the beach. The smells reminded me of when I would go for walks along the pier in Bodø.

We had a nice big meet at the local post office, since the post mistress is an avid participant in Postcrossing, and twenty of us showed up, mostly from the region, but one girl came from New Brunswick, one from Toronto, a few from Québec city and four of us for the Montréal area.  We manage to sign and send 433 cards!
Likki with Postman Pat and Jess the Cat with my stack of cards: 43 cards!

Likki with the stacks of cards being mailed from the meet
It was a fun, but long day.  I did manage to "escape" a little, went to visit the Empress of Ireland museum, walked some on the beach and did some socializing too.  A busy weekend overall.  We drove home Sunday morning and had heavy rain most of the way back.  It took us ten hours, granted we did make some pit stops, I needed to wake up from the wipers hypnosis!

Rimouski is a very nice region of our province.  The people are friendly and the scenery is gorgeous!
The lighthouse, with a meringue sky!

Sunset on Sat. June 11th, 2016

The interesting rocks along the shore...
Since my last post, one of my aunt passed away as well as the daughter of a cousin.  Sad that we often only get together for a death...  But at least some a bunch of us (six to be exact!) got together for dinner after that and managed to catch up some.  We said we would try harder to get together more often... let's see if that works.  Besides that, life in Pleasantville seems to be just that, pleasant.  Getting use to it, and so far liking it. Starting to know more than one path to get home, woohoo!

I think this will be it for now, and I will try to be better at keeping up... trying being the key word here...



Monday, April 18, 2016

Cleaning, Painting, Packing and Forgetting...

 Already at week 17, or day 109 of 2016.  Man time flies even if we're not having fun!  Since I last wrote  we went for a week to Vegas, a week of rest, good eating and soaking up some sun.  It was a good week away, that we both enjoyed before coming back to our "go, go, go" lives.

We finally went to the notary and signed for our new (and final, for a long while, I hope!) place.  We did the inspection in the morning and signed in the afternoon.  They delivered as promised.  They say it was ready to move in, but since their standards of cleanliness and different from ours, we spent the weekend cleaning, getting it ready for our stuff to be delivered tomorrow.  Actually, Hubby did all the cleaning and I was in the locker painting it.  It was the only thing that was not painted, and since it was "the time" to do it, otherwise it would never get done, I did it. 

Our new place
This is our new home.  It will be different for sure.  Last night, in between two trips of us moving our clothes, cousin, who leaves a street over, came by for a visit.  Our first guests.  It will be our first place where we are so close to family. Exciting.

Lately I've been feeling like I'm neglecting people in our lives.  Between the traveling, the temporary move and now this (final!) move, I feel like we never stop long enough to catch up. 

Yesterday, was the first time in seventeen years that I didn't think of my father.  I would lie if I'd say I think of him daily, I don't think it is a daily thing, but I do think of him often and also often talk about him.  I feel that with all the commotions in our lives I (finally) let go of him...  It is a strange feeling and yet, I do believe it is a good thing.  A new beginning of sort.

Now, I need to get packing so that the movers have boxes to bring from this noisy apartment to our new place.  Can't wait to be home!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Toulouse in a week

Today was our last day in Toulouse. We've been here for a week now. We arrived last Sunday, for Hubby's work. I tagged along because I could and especially because I had never been here before. There wasn't much planning, since Hubby found out a few days prior to our departure that he was being sent to France for his client's client. Through Postcrossing I had contacted a member who lived in Toulouse to see if we could meet during our time here. We actually met up with her on Sunday evening, a brief encounter where she shown us the main things to see while here. She was super friendly and we hit it off.

The next morning Hubby went to work, and I walked around the city by myself. I will say this, I'm not crazy about doing the tourist thing all by myself. It is much more pleasant to visit with someone else, to have someone to share with, than being by yourself. Toulouse is a nice city, people are friendly and you can see a lot on foot. Our hotel was well located, right smack in town, so I could tour, on foot, easily.  I took a map and hit the streets.  I got lost (like every day I've been here!) and ended up by La Garonne (river).  Along the way I walked on "La rue du Taur" (top right). 
Bottom left, the flat bell tower of  "Église du Taur" and the St-Sernin Basilica.  It was interesting and very old buildings, all made out of bricks, orange bricks, even if they call Toulouse The Pink City, it is more orange than pink, for sure!

It was nice to see all those gorgeous buildings, and walking along these narrow little streets and back alleys, seeing all those shops selling local delicacies, postcards (which I bought!) and multiple little cafés.  Once Hubby came back from work, we walked around some, and made our way for a good dinner at Grand Café de l'Opéra on the Capitol Place.  It is what they call a Brasserie, which is very different from what we (in Québec) call a brasserie.  Their brasseries have a lot more class than ours.  Our dinner there was delicious, expensive by really good.

Tuesday, I got up later than the first day and made my way down to the Tourist Office, since a friend from Montréal, whose sister lives here, suggested to do a guided tour of the city while here.  Since the weather was nice, I was alone and didn't really know what to do, I decided to go for a tour of  ''Toulouse's Monuments''.  It was a walking tour of two hours.  We went to the Capitol, visited the Chambre des Illustres, where they now celebrate civil weddings and such, then made our way to Basilique St-Sernin, which I had seen (the outside of) the day before, but then got to go inside and learn about its history, construction.  Then we made our way to le Couvent des Jacobins, which is also gorgeous and so impressive.  Our guide knew her history and was (obviously) passionate about her city.  She gave us so much information, I was starting to zone out at the end; between being loaded with info, and having to walk and stand for over two hours (our tour started at 14:30 and ended by 17:15), I was cooked by the end.  She left us at l'Hôtel de Bernuy.  I got lost again on my way back, but did manage to make it back to our hotel.

The tomb (bottom left) is of St-Thomas d'Aquin, the center picture is of "le palmier" of the Jacobins and their refectory.  That building was among my favorites.  So much history in there, how Napoléon's men used that Church as a barn is almost unreal, and yet... the History of this place is unbelievable.

On our third day I spent it with C., the local Postcrossing gal.  We went to the market, get some local cheeses, bread, meats, and chocolates.  What a treat that was.  It is fun to hear them talk, with their Southern accents, and expressions, I love it!  We even managed to do a mini meet, the two of us, and send out about twenty cards.  After work, Hubby met up with us at their place, and we enjoyed a delicious meal of local food together.  It was a very sweet evening.  All four of us got along, talked a lot, laughed and ate well together.  We really hit it off with them both.

Thursday was a bit more slow for me, walked around a little, and crashed for a nap in the afternoon.  When Hubby got back from work, we stayed around and went to a place near by for dinner which wasn't that great, but they did have delicious fries.

Today, Friday, Hubby managed to leave the client at around noon, so that he could visit the city some.  We walked around some, and made our way to the Garonne River.  He wanted to see the bridges.  Along the way we stopped for lunch where we both had delicious meals; pizza for him and pasta for me.  We did some shopping, bought some souvenirs like a beautiful painting, a thin box representing the city and more postcards.  Today the weather wasn't all that great, but at least we did manage to finish this trip together.  Since I had been on a tour, I could share of the information I knew (and remembered) with Hubby.

We both agreed, Toulouse is a beautiful city and we would love to come back.  It was a fun, loaded week for both of us, in very different ways.  Worth the trip, for sure!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Week Ten: Moved, Cleaned, Deposed, Served, etc.

Part one of the move is done!  Yay!  On a really crappy weather day (freezing rain, ice, windy and cold), we moved out of our condo.  We have too much stuff, no joke!  They filled out the truck and had to go unload and come back to finish off the loading.  It took them seven hours, at 3 men.  After I've washed the floor, we meet up with the new owners for a last tour, handed them the keys and that closed a chapter of our lives.

Our temporary apartment is finally acceptable.  The place wasn't just dirty, it was fuckin' filthy!  The counter and cupboards were sticky to the touch that's how bad it was!  After my first visit, with the friend who suggested her friend's place, when she asked what I thought of the place, I had told her it was dirty.  I had no clue it was that dirty.  When I came back with Hubby, to have a tour of the place and get the instructions for the heating system, regarding her tenants, the garage, etc.  Hubby also noticed the place wasn't spick 'n span, but it would do.  The price was right.  We are paying fifty dollars/day instead of one hundred thirty/day for a furnished (electricity, heating, internet, etc. included) apartment, with a garage.  It is not new, and there are some irritants but overall it's not too bad.  The cleaning I did in Bodø was nothing compare to what I did here.  In Bodø, the worst of the place was its smell (leftover from previous tenants who were smokers).  Here, it just was dirty.  Let's just say that when we will leave, the owner will come back to a fresh cleaned place, an early Spring Cleaning!

Since week one things have been moving fast.  We've done things to adapt to the speed of it all.  Despite being in boxes, and running around we managed to do our duties as administrators of our condo association, meet with the new administrators, get the banking in order, and deal with troublesome co-owners.  Thursday night we had a meeting with said administrators.  Like every time we've met this far, it always takes about +two hours.  This time, we weren't hosting it and drove to Laval.  At the end of it, the administrators showed us a document they had received - some of the co-owners of our condo association want us off, not just us (Hubby and I) but all three of us.  I was a bit surprised at first, and then laughed it out.  The other admin took it personal.  She's been on for over two years, and to be deposed like this, hurt her.  I've tried contacting one of the person who did sign the document (upon suggestion of the administrators) to find out the reasons why (which I'm sure is related to the upcoming changes in the condo fees), but I haven't heard anything back.  I will say this, if they do want me out, I will gladly leave, and be done with that.  I wanted to finish my mandate, until September, but thinking about it, I think I want out and really close that chapter.

Friday afternoon I was surprised by a knock at the front door.  There stood a man who handed me a subpoena!  I now have to go, as a witness, to a local court for a case between the tenants and the owner of the condo above our "old" place!  Just when I thought I was about to be done with that place, I'm being dragged right back in!

This afternoon we had lunch with the FIL.  It was a combo of late birthday lunch for Hubby, catching up about the sale of our condo and move to the apartment and some news he wanted to inform us about.

Turns out he will be going for surgery within two weeks, for colon cancer. Just like his wife... wonder if it has something to do with how they fed themselves?  I find it reassuring that Hubby has gone for colonoscopy already and will keep doing so giving his genetics history.

Damn cancer, it's everywhere!

And how about you, is life treating you good?  It is is, enjoy it!  Fully!  'Cause we never know what it has in store for us, that is for darn sure! As I've been telling Hubby, can't wait for the month of May!  Maybe by then, things will calm down some, and we will be able to relax and not constantly run to, for or from something!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Soon to be on the road again...

Would you look at Likki getting ready for another road trip... Granted this one will not be as grand as the Norway one, but it will be new surroundings for sure!

She almost got packed away with office supplies, but I managed to get her out just in time not to be taped in a box for a few months.

While packing boxes (again), I came to realize this upcoming move will be the most I've ever packed in all of my life!

1- I've packed for our three months move to Norway - cleaned up the place before unpacking
2- I've packed after our water damage and for our temporary move to an apartment while our place was being fixed - which I also cleaned up before moving in
3- I've unpacked after our move back to our place and I also had to clean up before we moved back!
4- I've been packing for our upcoming move, and since this is a "temporary" move until our new place will be ready, I will have to clean (again!) the place we will be moving to for a few months...
5- Once our (new) place will be ready, by mid-April (hopefully!) I will have to pack again, from the apartment to our new place and then settled in for good (I pray it will be, for good!)

I didn't think I was a neat freak but I`m realizing that I may not have the same standards of cleanliness as others, so rather put it up to our levels, with all it involves!

To add to this pack/unpack fun game, we had also planned a week away in April (to go see Rod Stewart in concert in Vegas  -  can't wait for that!!) so I have to keep that in mind while I throw my clothes away in a box - I might want to dress up while in Sin City, since if not there, where?

So many things to do, to undo, to think about, hours of fun! I tell you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

“If you have to eat shit, best not to nibble. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat.” - Savior

On day 46 of 2016, I feel like I've been hit and ran over by a bus, a big bus that is...  Things haven't slowed down, actually it might just be the opposite!  Yes it is exciting, but man oh man, it is tiresome as well.  As I'm seeing boxes piling up everywhere, I'm thankful I'm not claustrophobic, I feel like the walls are closing in on me, and this despite selling some of our furniture.

We are finally rid of our manager for the condo association.  I will admit this, I'm concerned about our choice for his replacement, despite given us a good impression and seeming genuinely motivated, I've had a phone conversation with him today and he sounded overwhelmed by having to jump in.  I sure hope we didn't fuck up when we decided to go with him.  Time will tell.  Anyway, we had to get rid of the other one.

I just hate it whenever something good happens, like us finding our new home, and I couldn't really enjoy the high or the excitement of it all because of issues with the (previous) manager.  He really went crazy and did some really childish things, that will only reflect bad on him in the long run. 

I've decided to post aunty acid's quotes as my Bacefook picture - one per month - and for February this is it - so very true, don't you think?

I think it should count!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quick update - stuck in a whirlwind

This has been our motto for the past week or so... It's crazy, things are moving, so freaking fact my motion sickness is starting to kick in!

At times I feel noxious, some many things going on at once, it never stops.  Between this and that, I feel like I'm caught in a wind tunnel during a twister and I see a bunch of crap flying around me and I'm trying not to get hit by a cow or a tractor!  Really that is how I feel!

We poke the Universe and it's poking back for sure.  I guess it is true that if you start a motion of some sort it will generate a series of ripples - a bit like the butterfly effect - we started something and now are dealing with many ripples... 

If I was a drinker I would have most likely drank myself to sleep most night this week... I did think about it, but I guess my dislike of the taste overtook my wanting to slow my brain down.  Let's just say that I've been meditating A LOT!

Tonight we are attending a dinner at a local restaurant whose purpose is to help the community (follow the link and read about it, it's an interesting concept) , for an Italian dinner and opera - we are not really fans of opera but a friend organized it so we will show our support.  It should be interesting.  I also know that the daughter of a staff member of an ex-client will be performing and for having heard her once before I know she had quite the voice.  It will be nice to see her father and catch up some too, plus we will be going with one of Hubby's cousin so it will be a pleasant evening for sure!