Archive for February, 2011

Well, Friday I made a run out to the new place with a car load of stuff.  The seller / new landlord was there, shoveling the last bit of the driveway with a scoop shovel.


I stopped to introduce myself and shake  his hand – he seemed like a very kind fellow.  He had cleared about an acre of our driveway and yard, as a turnabout for the U Haul, which he thought we were bringing on Friday afternoon.  Which we weren’t.  And the poor guy had done all that work with a snowblower and a scoop shovel.  I felt terrible.  He said he needed the exercise anyhow.


While I was speaking with the seller, a big ole Saskatchewan beater truck roared up, and another fellow got out – another neighbour from down the road, wanting to check out the new family, since he’d seen my car go by, and knew that we were coming soon.  Seemed like an outgoing guy, with a booming voice and a friendly manner.  I had forgotten about the rural grapevine, though, and was a little taken aback that everyone seemed to know who I was, where I came from, and where I work, and here I did not even know their names or where they lived.  They tried to point out individual homes, but we’re talking 1-2 miles away, so it was questionable whether or not I really was looking at the right clump of pine trees…


As I was getting back into my car to pull up the drive and start unpacking, the seller handed me a slip of paper with his phone number, and said:


“Well, you will have to call to let us know when to clear your driveway for the truck, and, of course, my Dad and I will be over to help you unload the furniture…”


The City Girl in me wanted to say ‘No, No, we’re fine, we hardly have anything heavy’


The Wanna-Be Country Girl actually said:  ‘Hey, that would be fantastic!  What’s your favorite flavor of jam?  I do a lot of canning…’


Sure hope we’ll fit in okay…

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Well, we’re on the verge of the Big Move, now.  We’ve booked the U-Haul, switched the utilities, arranged for a neighbour to plow the drive, and taken time off work.  Hubby is driving out tomorrow with the houseplants, then we will head back to Alberta for the final packing and loading and cleaning, and…and, well, it’ll be done.


For now, we don’t have an internet connection at the acreage.  We’re not sure how long it might take to get one (or how much it will cost).  So, please bear with us while we’re out of touch…

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It has been an absolute rollercoaster of a week.


My car was acting up, and running really, really rough.  Like, on three cylinders rough.   Bad news.


We got a call from the realtor, indicating that the surveyor had been sick, and had to postpone the final survey.  Bad news.


Work decided to send me to Alberta for training, so I got a (paid-for) rental car and spent last week with Hubby and the critters  Good News.


The realtor called again and indicated that possession will have to be pushed back, again, possibly now into March.  Really, really bad news – we gave notice in Alberta, and have no choice but to move out prior to the end of February.


I finally looked under the hood of the car, and realized that the problem was a plug wire that has been rubbing on the battery, exposing the actual wire.  It had been running rough because of moisture getting in, probably.  I fixed it with some lock de-icer (to drive out the moisture) and fifty cents’ worth of electrical tape.  Good News.


I wrote a letter to the seller of the acreage, begging them to let us rent the place until the possession date, rather than leaving us homeless for a couple of weeks.  They accepted.  YAY!  GOOD NEWS!!


So, the ongoing saga of how not to buy an acreage continues…



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The Home Inspection

So, the home inspector came for a visit on Saturday.  He really took his time with the place, clearing snow off the roof to see the shingles, climbing around in the attic, digging in the chimney, and generally poking around.


My realtor and I arrived at the end of the process, and the inspector gave us a tour with a summary of his results.  Mostly, he was quite upbeat about the place – he raved about how straight and true the house was, a shock, given its age.  He was impressed with the floor joists (2×10!  On 16 inch centers!) , the beams (two!  only one was necessary!), and the rafters (2×6 on 16 inch centers), and tossed around words like “overbuilt”.  He then reassured me that this was a good thing.  He was even impressed with the foundation and footings.


He specifically noted that the chimney is in perfect condition, and that if we wanted a wood stove in the kitchen, it would be a plug-and-play sort of deal.  Sweet.


There were really only three little(!) issues.  First, it is only 70 amp electrical service, and they doubled up on some of the breakers, which is illegal and not overly safe.   When I asked exactly how ‘not overly safe’ it was, the inspector gave me a wry grin and pointed out that the house hasn’t burned down…yet.  Secondly, the bathroom had suffered a moisture problem, which was going to mean replacing all of the gyprock, and repainting.  We had already guessed that one, so no worries there.


The really bad news was in the cistern.  Our only actual water supply at the moment.  It is watertight, and huge, so no issues there.   I had taken a quick peek on a prior tour of the house, and had not seen any mouse carcasses or anything – it was dry at the time.  However, the sellers had partially filled it, so that the inspector could check the water systems.  When we looked in this time, there was a nasty surprise…fluffy whitish mold balls, floating on the surface.  There must have been mold on the walls, though I had not noticed it previously.


My first instinct is – no problem.  Drain the cistern, hop down there with a stiff brush and a bucket of bleach, and issue solved.  This is a great plan…except that the access is about 14 x 16 inches, and under a counter, to boot.   The only way to get an actual person down there will be to cut a hole in the kitchen floor.  Oh, and those 16″ on center floor joists?  Those mean that whoever we send down there will have to be pretty skinny…

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…As you may guess, it’s been a little…chilly…here in N. Saskatchewan.  Something like minus 38 (Celcius) on Sunday night, and -34 last night.  While I have seen these temps every winter in Alberta, I am woefully under-prepared for them here.  For starters, I forgot to pack my heavy parka.  Which sucks.


I also do not have a place to plug in the block heater on the car.  Technically, if everybody else would quit parking in my spot, I could, but things have not worked out that way.  Monday morning, the starter just squealed, as the belt was so frozen it would not turn the motor over for the first couple of tries.  That was after five minutes of fiddling with the frozen ignition (did not want to turn) with fumbly cold fingers.  You just can’t do delicate stuff like that with mittens on.  Then, I went to scrape the frost off the windshield, and my (plastic) scraper shattered, as it was just that cold, and I must have bumped it on something.  Unfortunately, the area where I am staying is not the sort of place you leave a car running and unlocked, even an old beater like mine.  Even more unfortunately, I also left my spare key in Alberta.  So, I get to sit in my -38 car with the defrost fan on full blast, making it -56 with the windchill inside, or go shiver on the sidewalk instead.


On the bright side, it is supposed to be melting (or close to it) by Thursday, and I have a hot date with the home inspector set for Saturday.  After the little spat with the surveyors last week they have scheduled us for Friday morning, which means the February 11th possession date is probably out, but February 18th is still possible.


Wish us luck!

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