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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Well, the move was the usual disaster, in -35, with three howling cats, and a truck that was ever so slightly too small for all of our things.  However, we got here, marriage intact and sanity mostly so, sans bicycles and barbeque.  We were glad for the end of that drive, though, I must say.

 

We got to the acreage, let ourselves in, and switched on the kitchen light.  Nothing.  Hmm.  Grabbed the flashlight and tried to turn on the tap on the sink.  Nothing.  Grr.  Tried light switches all over the house, and established that the last folks had taken all of the lightbulbs except for the one in the hallway and one in a bedroom.  In addition, there was a shiny new pump beside the cistern, but it wasn’t running.  Too tired to fight with these things, we wrestled the mattress out of the truck, dragged it to a bedroom, and crashed for the night.

 

The next day, Friday, the neighbours / owners / landlords popped by at about noon, to help us unload the truck.  I don’t think they realized what they had signed up for.  We worked them hard moving in all of the books and appliances until the truck was three-quarters done, then fed them a cup of coffee and sent them on their way with jars of jam and pickles.  We mentioned that the water pump was off, and one fellow piped up that they had not turned it on, as there was not enough water in the cistern.  I thought that was odd, but figured he knew better.  It was too late to order a water truck, but I resolved to call someone in the morning.  In the meantime, we started hauling in buckets of snow, to melt in order to flush the toilet and such – luckily we brought several large containers of drinking water with us in the move.

 

By the way, ten gallons of hard packed snow melts down into about half a toilet flush.  The melting takes about half an hour in to big pots with the stove on max.  Even letting the yellow mellow, we spent about two hours a day melting enough water for flushing alone.  Then there was the water for doing dishes, the stuff for boiling eggs and pasta, water for washing us, and the stuff for the dogs to drink.  All in all, that stove was running almost constantly while we were awake, melting water.  Outside the drinking water, I think we were using at least 15 gallons per day.  That’s a lot of melting.

 

Anyhow, on Saturday, I called the water guy, and relayed what the owners had told me about the cistern being too empty.  He knew our place, and immediately asked what had happened to the half a truck of water he dumped in a few weeks back.  I told him that, as far as I knew, it was still there.  He laughed and told me to go start up the pump.  I laughed and asked him how.  After being verbally walked through the basics of pump priming and operation, I went down and fired her up.

 

The pump worked fine, but the heavy leak dripping steadily onto the pump’s electrical box was a bit of a problem.

 

We shut the pump down, and called the owners / landlords again, to say that someone needed to come over and fix the leaky pipe so that we could flush the toilet.  Instead, they showed up with a five gallon bucket of water, and promised to call the plumber on Monday.

 

On Wednesday, the plumber actually showed up.  He fixed a number of things, but neglected to try flushing the toilet or running the shower.  We were delighted to have running water at the sink tap, and did not check that everything worked.  Which was quite unfortunate.

 

After everyone had gone, I flushed the toilet, and more than half the tank water ran out the back and onto the floor.  Then, after cleaning up the mess, I went to have a nice, long, hot shower, but that was also a bust, as the lever to run the tap into the shower did not work properly, and no water would come out of the shower head.  In the meantime, we’ve been using the bathroom by the light of the oil lamp, as somebody broke a bulb in the bathroom light fixture, and it was so corroded in there that attempts to pry it our just broke the fixture.

 

Oh, and we don’t have a fridge, either, as the opening in the cupboard is too small for a standard unit, and the cupboards were built in such a way that we can’t just remove one unit.   With no internet, no truck, and no time to phone around to try and find a model that might fit, we have been putting our cream and such in rubbermaid containers in the mudroom, which is cool anyhow, and balancing buckets of snow on top of the food.  It has worked fairly well, actually.

 

The internet guy came today and hooked us all up, so, perversely, we had high speed internet before we had a flushing toilet in this house.  Go figure.

 

Tonight, I stopped by the hardware store, picked up a $3 gasket, and fixed the toilet.  Thank goodness I’m a little handy.  If only the shower were so easy, but apparently the taps we have will be a special-order item.  The light fixture will be a weekend project, as we’ll need daylight to deal with it, and I am back to work, now, leaving before dawn and coming home not long before dusk.  The fridge, actually, can wait, as the current system is working fine.

 

All in all, we do love this house, but we can’t wait until we get actual possession so we can start fixing her up…

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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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Incommunicado

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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…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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So the ‘hitch’ that we had come across turned out to be quite a bit bigger than just a questionable sewer placement.  The surveyors, who would normally be able to complete the final survey in a matter of days, are now out of town for a month, possibly quite a bit more.  Consultation with mortgage brokers, realtors, and lawyers reached the conclusion that it is impossible to get the mortgage without a title document, and that a title document cannot be created without that final survey.  Which means, in effect, that possession would be pushed back by a month or two.  Ugh.

 

I spent one night fuming and worrying about it, then one night getting a good night’s sleep.  This morning, it hit me that maybe somebody else could finish the survey.  The lawyer indicated there is only one gig in town, as far as surveyors go.  However, I decided it was worth calling the folks who had dealt with the subdivision on the farm, as they are less than 2 hours’ drive from here.  I was impressed with the expertise and level of service I had received from them, and thought they might be able to shed some light on the matter.

 

The chief of the company listened to my sob story, thought for a moment, then told me that he could and would complete the process, as long as the seller settled up with the original survey company, so that he could get the completed initial survey from them.  Apparently, once Community Planning has approved a subdivision, the approval is, in fact, transferrable.  Bingo.  Thinking outside the box pays off again!

 

I conveyed this information to my realtor, who passed it along to the seller’s realtor, who went to the original survey company to settle up and get the necessary documents.  Less than an hour later, my realtor called me back to notify me that the original surveyors found a crew who would be available to finish the job within one week.

 

Amazing how fast things can go from “completely impossible” to “right away. ma’am”…

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Great News!

My realtor called me this afternoon to share great news:  the subdivision of the acreage (out of the home quarter) has been approved by community planning.  That means we could get possession as early as the middle of February…which is fantastic.  I was dreading going out to Saskatchewan and not seeing my Hubby for three to six months, which is what we expected to happen – the expected possession date was more like May or June.  Now, it’s just three weeks.  And, we’ll be in the place and settled early enough to start seeds, plant trees, and put in a big garden.

WOO HOO!!!

Now I’m off to pack…

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