Thursday, May 15, 2014


I hold onto things for too long. And now, while I'm packing up the house, I'm at the point of giving these things away just to clear up space in the house (old house and new one).
I'm not sure why I "hoard" things I paid very little's not like I'm extravagant and have to prove their worth by using these items until the items are used up.  I'm very gentle with all my furnishings...I just have too many!
Or had. Four mid-century modern chairs have been sold, and now two Billy bookcases, and a marble and wood coffee table.  It feels so good to clear it out! 
Now I just need to find helpful gnomes who want to paint walls. I'm not so gentle on those.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Ch-ch-ch-changes.  I really can't say that word without having David Bowie in my head.  And yes, there are some big changes in store for my little family now that the news has been broken at my husband's workplace.

We're moving to Nanaimo.

There.  I said it.  I can't un-say it.  We're moving from lucrative Calgary to laid back Nanaimo, and I can't wait!  We've been thinking about this for a long while, and have put things in place to see it happen, but until word was given at his work, it was all a pipe dream.  And now it's a reality and we truly have such a wee bit of time left in Calgary.

I moved to Calgary from Red Deer in 1991, so 23 years ago.  Yes, Calgary has been good to us, providing us with a wealth of friends and a healthier bank account, oh and yeah...a significant other.  But it has it's drawbacks, as any truthful Calgarian will tell you, mainly our crappy weather and for migraine sufferers (of which I am one) the Chinooks are killer and can last for days.  Through all my years living here, I saw snow (yes snow) in every single month of the year.  Yes, even August.  Calgary has also grown past my comfort zone, from 700k to over 1.15 million people.  Not quite double, but the effect on traffic and a sense of ease has (for me) made simple tasks so much more frustrating.  Although we are proud Calgarians, we are also very tired of Calgary, if that makes any sense at all.

Why the hell Nanaimo?

I was born on Vancouver Island, and for years we've dreamed about having a place out there to vacation at.  Victoria is practically on par with Calgary for housing costs, and it's pretty darn congested as well.  Up the Island we went, and Nanaimo just felt pretty darn perfect.  I spent a month there in 2008, and we started looking for homes shortly thereafter.  It took a while, but two years ago we bought an older home on a larger lot (read: fixer upper but charming), with not a lot of neighbours, and a river running out back behind the place.  We spent part of the summer fixing it up a bit for tenants and rented it out.  Not surprisingly, the revenue from renting in Nanaimo is not as high as it is in Calgary.  And we were pretty jealous of the tenants, especially given our last winter here.  So we gave them notice and we're moving on out there to see if it's all what we've imagined it will be for us.

When the hell are we leaving?

We're taking off the last bit of June.  Kinda silly to be on the roads near Canada Day, but we wanted to give the tenant's kids time to finish up school, but still give us the summer in Nanaimo.  That means there's less than two months until we're gone.  Wowzers!  And we've hedged our bets a bit.  We're not selling our place in Calgary, just renting it out.  So if it turns out we are truly Prairie people at heart, we can high-tail it back to Big Sky country without having to buy back into the real estate market.

Why the hell didn't we tell you about this before?

Well, how did I know who you know who might know someone who knows the people that sign my husband's cheque?  Plus, it was pretty loosey-goosey there for quite some time, as those who did know could tell you.  I've been yapping about leaving Calgary since I arrived!  We tried to keep it on the "down low" as much as possible, given all the unknown variables.  But now you know.  Now, everyone knows.

How the hell will we keep in touch?

This blog.  Bookmark it.  I plan (and may actually succeed at) posting about our daily life here.  Why is it called "beans on toast"?  Oh, because my dear husband thinks we'll have so little money once we're out in Nanaimo, that we'll have to eat beans on toast just to make ends meet.  Nice.

When the hell is the party?

June 14th.  Saturday.  Keep it open.  Get your liver clean beforehand.  There may be public displays of drunkenness, pitying displays of affection and "I love you man"s, and more than likely a few tears.
Proper invitations to follow, if I actually get around to that along with everything else I have left to do.


ps - if you're moved to help us out at all, let me know.  I've still got walls to paint and a whole studio to pack, and a garage to pack, and doors to weather proof, and...