Friday, September 29, 2017

ROBBLOG #654- W E E K E N D Edition


Friday and it's The Weekend Edition...which simply means I blog today and then not again till the end of the week. Somebody asked....


It's been a week where we have had both relaxing times and stressful times here on our Island.
Our lawyer called Tuesday.
She had received a letter from the elusive lady who purchased our Orillia Home- through her lawyer of course. It seems we were being accused of neglecting to tell her that we rented the hot water heater and furnace.
What the Farm Truck!!!!!
We did NOT have a rental H2O heater or furnace. In the letter was a request for us to fork over $3,300 to pay for damages- and heartache we guess.


Couldn't the owner have give us a ringy-dingy and simply ask- Hey Rob and Tom is my heater and furnace rented?
Nope...
She had to go screaming to her lawyer and ask for financial compensation. We are even dismayed at the Real Estate person who might have also taken the "tank by the tap" and simply asked us a simple, friendly question. Apparently, she wasn't in on this "buzz".
I'll bet somebody has got to pay for lawyers fees now.


We called the furnace folks to get info as well as Marc and Sue our neighbours who through Mark's company installed the hot water heater. They sent us our bill of sale. Sue must have dug very deep.
Much to our surprize it was 10 yeas ago! Thanks Sue and Mark!


Reliance Heating took longer to help us. Eventually over two days and between them and us, we discovered that the Missus had possibly asked for service and gave the wrong address. Our Orillia address included the word "North" because in Orillia there is the same address- only "South". We have had this problem for 25 years. The "southern" address would frequently leave the word "south" off their return address when mailing letters or leave the direction off delivery orders when calling for pizza or prescriptions. We even had police officers at our front door from time to time over the years!
I will say no more...



The man at Reliance was helpful but it took a while to discover that since we bought our furnace and hot water heater- without financing, we were no longer on their books as the initial warranty had run its course. Looking closer, the Missus had probably requested service at the address- leaving out "north". It just happened to fit that "south" had a rental hot water heater and furnace. We don't know how the billing worked or how she came to the conclusion that we were at fault.
The story hasn't ended- yet.
Tom and I haven't heard back from our lawyer.
Good times...


At Maple Bay with Salt Spring Island in the Background
IN OTHER NEWS


We got a gal to cut our hair. Sharlene's shop is called The Little Hair Shoppe. We see her Saturday to give it a go.
Poor Sharlene.
We told her Colleen- back in Orillia, had cut our hair for 24 years! Not much to live up to!


We also have a chiropractor- Dr. Burry. Our first appointment is this coming Tuesday.
In the meantime, Yaz Yamaguchi and his magic hands at the Duncan Farmer's Market will make us feel better.


Here in Duncan where we live, we are 10 minutes from the ocean and Salt Spring Island so Thursday we spent a couple of relaxing hours at Maple Bay.
Refreshing Pacific waters. We stuck our feet in.


Tootsies in the Pacific
The Sunshine was warm at 28c.
There were Sailboats and Kayakers. Trawlers and Motor Boats in the bay.
A little girl- probably about 10 years old and just home from school, seemed to float on the calm water, rowing along the shoreline in her turquoise blue rowboat- with just enough room for her, the oars and maybe one more. It was a picture.


Maple Bay Thursday Sept 28, 2017 Temp: 28c
We are looking forward to seeing our new house this weekend. It has been hard not to go to the site during the week since it's only two minutes from our apartment but we diligently wait to be surprized every weekend.


Have a great weekend whatever you decide to do.





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

ROBBLOG #653





Well Kids...another day on the Island.

First off, I probably won't be writing many more blogs about our move and the Island etc;
Not much new here.
We just wait day by day to move into our new house- which if you are a ROBBLOG reader you will know already- it's delayed.

It was a nice weekend and now here we are into the second day of a new week and we have been inundated with morning e-mails and texts telling us our home back in Orillia is on the market again. Folks who haven't e-mailed or texted us since the day we left Ontario are now all a flutter with the news that the house is back on the market as of today and at an inflated price.

We even know the exterior is all painted white (bleech!) except for the master bath. I guess one would call this a flip. We are not surprized.
The "owners" only saw the house once with us and a second time with an inspector. From the start Tom and I believed they had no real enduring interest in the house.
I can think of a song right now that would tell the tale.

It makes us sad to think that after 25 years this is where we are at present.
People looking to make a fast buck.
I could swear here but I won't.

All we hope is someone will buy this charming old house who wants a wonderful, home- albeit with no charm inside what with white walls and contemporary furnishings. Paint can change that- again, of course.

The thing is...
Not our house.
Not our concern.
Not our interest.
Not our future.
We are moving forward.

Our future is here. On the Island.

The view from the Duncan Canadian Tire parking lot.
IN OTHER NEWS

Geeze, we had a tough time saying goodbye to our Montana van last week.
Yes...there were tears!
You didn't want to see us driving away from our Orillia House early in the morning of August 15th either. ~sob~

Now, last week we were new vehicle shopping- mainly because the "Swissshmobile" couldn't pass the BC out-of-province vehicle test. Some rust underneath that required repair and we thought we'd start new- rather than repair old.

After four hours of  test driving and looking at two vehicles in particular- we bought a Dodge Grand Caravan. When we took our belongings out of the Montana and saw her sitting there alone and then being driven away to the back of the lot, it was too much to take.
We had tears and drove off the lot quickly.
~sigh and sob~
The truth of the matter is our inanimate objects- our machines, wear out. Tom and I have always taken care of our vehicles and we have made them last. Unfortunately, the provincial standards here were just too much for the Montana and she's been taken somewhere for re-sale or parts. We only got $2000 for her. She was worth more...

So, all this is just another change we have had to endure these past six weeks. We have also had to endure a bunch of bullshite too. Nothing is straight-forward dealing with stuff here and a few things back home- in the spirit of the season lets say are "haunting us", however, we are managing.

Just to confirm:
We love our new Island home.
We WILL love our new house when we move in.
We have met some fantastic folks here. Kind, friendly and supportive.
We love the mountains- three in Duncan alone.
The ocean is magnificent...and the palms and plant growth still make us give our heads a shake-
Are we really in Canada?
Yup.

Garden Centre Palms
That's it for now.
Have a great day.
We will.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

ROBBLOG #652 THE W E E K E N D Edition







The Weekend...again.

It may seem that I am slowing down when it comes to blogging daily. Probably true.
Some days there's just life. Nothing more.
Same old same old.

This week has seen some developments.
We moved into Duncan.
Not the new house but temporary digs where we can settle until our new house possession.
That took a half dozen trips lugging belongings between our RV at Country Maples and our new Duncan address. Why even Tom's lilies made the trip. They are now stored in the English Garden just outside our door- halfway between us and the horse stables.

I must say I am hearing the horses low....or is that just cattle lowing?
I am referring to the Christmas Song..."The Cattle are lowing, the poor Babe awakes..."
These horses neigh and clomp their hoofs and kick their wooden stalls. One morning during a pee break- for me, not the horses, I could see lights streaming through our kitchen windows.
ET?
Strange Encounters of the Duncan Kind?
I tore open the windows and threw up the sash...(another Christmas theme)
Nope.
Just a half dozen huge spotlights on the paddock. The horses were hungry and the keepers- and well- ~ahem~ Stable Boys were answering the call feeding the four-legged beauties and mucking out their stalls.

Friday morning I sat in The Island Sunshine with my Island coffee in hand and Missy and Koko strolling around the garden. The garden reminded me of St. John's Wood in England. The scents were familiar too. No taste of fall even though it was to arrive later that afternoon. So far, Autumn here is just like the past few weeks. Warm sunshine and blue skies. I think there is a day of rain coming this week but basically the weather is sunny and warm through to month's end.
How nice!

Garden Centre "Star" Topiary
Living here on the Island this past month we have learned some "stuff".
Things about one's licence and health card- both are applied for at the same government location. However, new plates and insurance go through another location entirely and never the twain shall meet.

ICBC is a new term to us. It's provincially controlled insurance.
I hear you!
What is this you say Rob?
Are you living in some kind of Russian State within our beloved Canada.
I don't think so but some things are different here.

Have I mentioned this already? It bears repeating.
Out of province licenced vehicles have to go through an inspection to receive BC plates. If you fail- or in this case your vehicle fails, you have to make the repairs to get a pass and get a BC Plate.
We failed on our first vehicle test and the result is a new Dodge Grand Caravan sitting in the drive tonight. The last thing we needed to buy right now but we were caught between a rock and a hard place. In BC Island terms- we were caught between Mount Prevost and Mount Tzouhalen!
Our Ontario insurance runs out the end of the month and repairs are costly. Locals tell us "BC" means "Bring Cash".
Could be true.
We'll keep you posted.

There is excitement in this "Gay Heart" over a new vehicle.
Why I thought my next new vehicle was going to be a scooter from Shoppers Drug Mart!

The Swissshmobile (a Pontiac Montana) was our child for 14 years and we were not without tears when we had to leave her behind at the car lot Friday evening.
We just have to work on letting inanimate objects go- like the c. 1882 Victoria Home we left behind in Orillia. However, I am convinced it is much harder for those left behind looking at the house where Rob & Tom lived for almost 25 years than for us leaving it behind.
I know this because I read your e-mails and to tell you the truth Kids- we have let that part of our past go now.
Our new Black, Metallic Beauty

So to our former van.
You served us well my Dear and kept us safe and took us wherever we wanted or needed to go.
Bye now....


One final thought about the new vehicle...
Yesterday when we were deciding what we were going to do- repair or buy new, I heard my Mum's voice in my left ear-
"Rob, she doesn't owe you guys anything..."
Thanks Mum.

The vehicle we thought we would buy in the spring just came a little sooner than 9 months. A premature babe- metallic black to boot!

Next on the agenda is Priscilla.
We have decided we can't keep her and no matter what the folks at Heidi's RV just south of Orillia say, you cannot and will not make money back selling an RV here on the Island- especially if she's a 2003.
It's just not true.
There is a depreciation factor at work and even though Priscilla has been well-cared for, she will not make any great return on our investment.
In fact, we will lose thousands.
We were led down the "garden path" by Heidi's- and not the first time.
Do your research.
I thought I had.

If you decide to move to BC and since my Hubbie Tom and I are residents now, we cannot convince you to come anymore- it's kind of an unwritten local law. You have to look into what the Island is all about for yourself. If you have a question however, we could answer that as best we can.

I can tell you that you should know-

The weather is great.
The Ocean and Mountains are beautiful.
Winters are mild.
A bakery in Ladysmith has terrific cinnamon buns.
There's less rain in the Cowichan where we are living than Victoria, Toronto or Miami.
Hawaii is less than 5 hours away- by air.
There are 3 airports on the Island with scheduled flights.
One of the gals from Sex in the City lives here.
Palm trees are grown in gardens and along roadways.
Most plants- Rhodies, Holly, Yucca's and English type plants are large and grow rapidly.
Gas is $1.29 a litre.
The landscape is green in winter and we cut the grass in January and February.
Health and vehicle licencing and insurance are different than Ontario. I am not sure about the other provinces and territories.
Wal*Mart prices are the same.
Island Time can be "ish".

A Bar Sign in Ladysmith, 20 minutes up island from Duncan
Have a great weekend and I am sure there'll be more to tell.
Soon....





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ROBBLOG #651



Wednesday Already?
How did that happen. Island Time seems different. Could be because I am retired...or not.


I haven't been blogging because we have been busy.
You see, we moved out of the RV Park.
30 days in beloved Priscilla was fine but it was time for a change- especially after we found our new-build was delayed until the middle of November.


It was time.
This new spot where we are currently living was a fluke. We decided not to stay at the Country Cottage and then this house on Cedar Avenue (how cute is that? Cedar Avenue?) became available through our real estate. We asked how high we would have to jump and could we afford to jump and it turned out we could jump, so we did.


It's taken two days to move our stuff from Priscilla and we still have Tom's lilies to move tomorrow.
Donna- our Landmistress (Landlord) is Fab You Luss. Call it an apartment, a granny suite or an in-law apartment, it is just right for us.
Behind the house looking out our kitchen window through Donna's English Garden- which is still in bloom, is a riding stable and school- Queen Margaret School. We hear the horses neighing, whinnying and then hoofing the sides of their stalls to grab attention from their keepers to be fed- perhaps by a strapping, well hung stable boy or two (That's for you Shane. Now Dream My Dear...)


Horse Stables at Queen Margaret School
I even took the time the first night here in our new abode to hang the "star" lights on the patio.
How nice! That's a Date Palm sitting on the table.


Patio, Palms and Starlight


No update on Doyle, our beautiful Orange Tabby missing since August 17th. Some days I swear his brother Dickens is shedding little puddy tears...


Dickens our lonely boy...
The week- so far, hasn't been all fun.
Our van- The Swissshmobile, had to go in for a safety check before we could get our BC plates.
It was not a happy story.
She didn't pass with flying colours!
Although cosmetically- both inside and out, she looks marvellous, we were told we would have to repair some of the "infrastructure" that supports the van. Plus the one front headlamp has moisture behind it- which is a recent addition to this page full of checks to be made here in British Columbia. We've replaced the headlamp at least three times- twice under warranty, yet the damn thing still collects moisture. However, the bigger problem is the metal underneath. so, do we go to a body shop for an estimate or do we retire the good old Swissshmobile and buy new. Our Ontario Insurance lapses September 30th.
There may not be time.
What to do...
This is not in our current budget. We are decision making.


Oh, Priscilla goes for the same vehicle plate check next week. I can only imagine how that will turn out. We need to sell the stalwart old broad.
$37,000.
Any takers out there? Ontarians, you could fly out here and take her home or fly out here and stay here. The choice is yours and at only 37 thousand- what a steal!!!


Finally, over the weekend we travelled an hour up island to Parksville. Tom and I had toured Parksville back in early February. I remember it being green and on the ocean.
It still is.
Plants are beautiful.
The Ocean breathtaking.
The boardwalk along the ocean is an absolute delight and a stroll along the wooden boards in the warm sunshine is even better. Here on the Island it doesn't feel like autumn and folks are still in shorts and flip flops. Over the weekend we had our second rainy night and day since we arrived on August 22nd but as we drove through the showers on the Island Highway past Nanaimo and on to Parksville on Sunday, the skies cleared and it really warmed up quite a bit. Enough to have a blizzard at the Parksville DQ facing onto the Ocean.


Palms on the Pacific Ocean
Here on Vancouver Island when it's rainy or if it's early in the morning, the scents make me believe I am in England in December. It just has that English Garden smell about it.


Same climate actually as southern England and with the smell of stables and the sound of horses nearby- it doesn't get much better.


Tally-Ho!















Saturday, September 16, 2017

ROBBLOG #650 W E E K E N D EDITION


I like to post this picture on my ROBBLOG because "Easterners" don't believe it's CANADA!

Well My Dears- it is!!
White Rock B.C.

It's such a shame that now we are on the Island we can no longer encourage you folks in Ontario and farther to come to the Island for retirement or work. Not that you can't come, it's just that we can't encourage you to leave your life behind and come to the land of milk, honey and palm trees. It's not that Islanders think this Island will sink into the Pacific if there's too much weight on it, it's just that it's such a special place, they apparently don't want Ontarians to know about it. Nothing against Ontarians...I used to be one and I married one!

"Oh Jane.. I am worried about those boys way out west on their own.
I feel the need to nestle them to my breast.
If only I wasn't in this damn chair!"

"But ya are Blanche. But ya are! ~yawn~!"
The Weekend and another sunny day and warm. Apparently, this is the end of the warm weather for a week. Some cooling system is arriving Sunday into Monday and temps next week are all mid-teens with some showers thrown in too. Boy, the Island could use some rain.
Really.
Last Saturday's attempt at rain was short-lived and it didn't do much.

We have some news.
The cottage rental is out.
We were looking for the builder to help us recoup expenses for THEIR delay. Accommodation and our furniture storage in particular.So far that's not happening. The cottage rental is expensive and we need to be frugal.

After looking forward to being in the cottage, we were now resigned to living here in Priscilla until mid-November, when we got a call from our real estate. They had two suggestions for alternative places to stay. A little late but things are slower-paced on the Isle! Good thing it was the Real Estate suggesting places. We get the feeling that the builder's suggestion would be to send us packing back to Ontario on the toe of his work boot. One is NOT supposed to rock the boat- or rock the build in this case.

"Miserable little boat-rocking, Ontario Fruits!!"
We are just standing up for ourselves with a lawyer on the sidelines.
We are firm in wanting some assistance. We will not sign papers agreeing to an extension of the move-in date until we get that assistance. The builder having used his 30 days extension-twice, has to help. The lawyer is in agreement.
Meanwhile, we are in limbo like those folks crossing into Canada looking to get away from that
A Hole in that country that truly believes their shite has no odour.
That is the most polite way I can phrase that...

A couple of days ago we saw the new digs.
Not Tay Diggs but my- that would have been nicer. Much, much nicer.

The one property the Real Estate had for us to view was a detached home but unfurnished. We were not prepared to move our furniture from storage to this house to the new build. The second property was on a lovely, residential street only a couple of minutes from our new house. This "in-law suite" has it's own entrance through a back garden. It's a self contained unit with lots of space. We can walk the neighbourhood and downtown, walk the puppies and even let them out in an enclosed back yard. Best of all the price is HALF what we were paying at the Air BnB property.

Not to rush things...we are moving in on Tuesday!
Priscilla...Dear, sweet, motherly Priscilla will be sold.
Eastern friends haven't expressed firm interest in staying in her this winter season and we don't want a storage fee, so we have called an RV dealer here in the area. He will come and look at her and put her on consignment. As much as we were told back on Ontario that we would have no problem selling- at a profit, reality has struck and we will lose money.
Did we pay too much at Heidi's?
Yes, we now believe we did.
When we quoted $43,000 it appears to be too high for a 2003 Dutchmen Express in tip-top shape.
I am not surprized.

Our build 10 days ago
We are counting the days to possession of our new home. Normality is the keyword here- even though we'll be living in a construction zone for a year or more once we move in. Oh- our friendly, used-car slick, real estate fellah tells us yesterday we need to get to signing the addendum moving completion date to mid-November because-
"We wouldn't want Bruce to stop building your home- would we?"
And he's supposed to be on our side!!
Dontcha love threats like this?

Cheese and Rice!
Just get the Farm Trucking house built!!
A new friend on the Island is suggesting we let the lawyer take over now. We'll see what the first of the week brings. We want to keep this "friendly".
We'll settle in our new temporary space first.

Enjoy your weekend wherever you may be and whatever you are doing.
Thanks for reading.
I love it when you comment below but you'll need a google or gmail address or something to post something to me.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

ROBBLOG #649


Yesterday, Wednesday, we woke up to encouraging news that our Doyle had been sighted in Winnipeg after jumping ship- or rather Priscilla our RV, in a KOA Campground.

By the time the day finished we were led to believe that the cat who showed up on a doorstep a kilometre or two away from the KOA Campground was not Doyle but a neighbourhood cat. This revelation came after being told earlier that Orange cats are a rarity there.

From elation in the morning to tears and sadness-again, in the evening, it was quite an emotional ride for Tom and I. It had been suggested we fly out- at least one of us, to Winterpeg to have a look for ourselves with the other staying behind to look after the kids here. Not knowing the city at all, we decided we will wait for another sighting- if that happens. I am posting the picture we were convinced was Doyle yesterday morning. We think the cat looks gaunt and sure resembles him. Of course, we know that orange tabbies could look alike but why does this cat- who presumably lives across the street from the house where he showed at the screen door, look gaunt and appear to be pleading "help me".
Guess, we will never know.

Photo we were sent of the cat peering through the screen

Nights are cooling her in the Cowichan these days. 10c this morning but warm sunshine now at mid-morning. We have a cool week ahead after the coming weekend with temps only forecast to be 16 or 17c daytime. That is below normal as was the almost 4 months with no rain and scorching summer temperatures. Still with the "Mediterranean" winter months ahead, we will take it in stride.
We have to.
Its the reason we pulled up stakes and headed the wagon west!

Back in Orillia- I keep wanting to type "Home", I see that Jenna Hunter is calling it quits at the Casino after 16 years!
I hope it was her decision and her decision alone.
Jenna was always gracious when I asked for tickets to shows- because of Swisssh Radio. Thanks to her we saw many fabulous acts such as - Rita MacNeil, Rock Voisine, Neil Sedaka, Petula Clark,
Burton Cummings, Frankie Avalon, Diana Ross, Vicki Lawrence, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minelli and many, many more. Thanks Jenna!
Best of luck in the future!

By the way, both Swisssh and Starlite Radio are still lodged in huge plastic containers waiting for our new build and the Den/Studio to be completed. I am anxious to have them both back on the Internet Airwaves.

Back west now, we went about asking for information regarding licence and insurance yesterday. Our driver's licence can easily be changed- with our present Ontario licence and a Passport, at a BC Government Office. The physical licence on our van and Priscilla is another matter.
First, we need to get an "Out of Province Vehicle Inspection" done at the cool cost of $99.99- before we can have our BC plates.
Can you say Cash Grab- like in Ontario for the clean air test?
We think we'll wait a couple of months before licencing Priscilla. She is just sitting in the RV Park and we hope to sell her- unless an Easterner comes out and wants to spend a month or two in her in an RV Park this January/February.

The plate exchange and vehicle insurance- which is a provincial matter, is done at an other location. This could be at a service desk at Wal*Mart, The Real Canadian Superstore or at a local branch of Island Savings. We haven't quite figured out the BC insurance yet but after we get the inspection done next week we will get more answers.
The test has to be completed first before we can proceed.

I may have told you we have rented a cottage about 10 minutes from our new build for the months of October and November. It's cute but it is in the country and when it gets dark in the country- it gets dark. This can be "Bear Country" and if you know me, you'll known I love worrying about bears consuming me as I step out my front door. Today, we see another possible lodging inside Duncan and closer to civilization. It will have to be as large as the cottage and a detached dwelling or we'll probably stick with what we have.
Either way- can you say expensive?

Have a good day friends.
More morning coffee on my schedule right now, although back in Orillia Town you are hitting 130ish.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ROBBLOG #648


If it's Tuesday...it must be The Island.

Well, it was a busy weekend and yesterday- Monday we did our first trip to an Island Costco.

First, The Weekend.
We started by going to the Cowichan Exhibition Friday evening at the invite of new friends Leanna and Jason. A Big Old Country Fair.

Scarry, eh? The Cowichan EX
We saw a Credence Clearwater Revival type band. They were pretty good. Tom and I watched with Leanna and Jason and had some fun singing along. Afterwards, we walked the midway- something about midway lights that I like- as you can see above and below. Later, as we headed for the Exhibition's exit we strolled through the light horse building. I love seeing the horses up close. One, Maggie by name, gave me a horse-hug. She pushed her nose into my cheek and neck on my left, then lifted her head to my right side and pressed tightly into me again.
It was amazing. Like she was comforting me or something.
Animals...they have their own way about things- right?

Exhibition Lights
Earlier in the week, Tom's Brother Ted and our Sister in Law, Chris, arrived on the Island. We had dined at Romeo's- a terrific Italian Restaurant that Tom and I have become partial to. It was a fun evening and our server was funny too. She was right in there with the quips and fast talk! A real pleasure!

We saw Ted & Chris again on Saturday afternoon- after they returned from Tofino, gushing at their time in that surfside town. We even took a side trip to our new house to show them and our RV park neighbours Val and Gus our new home. All four seemed duly impressed. That made us happy knowing they approved of our choices.

Sunday, we headed down Island on the Island Highway to Shawnigan Lake where we travelled a few kilometres off the TCH 1 to the Kinsol Trestle. You can google the details but this massive trestle was re-furbished almost 10 years ago. It traverses a gorge which allowed trains to moved through the mountainous central area of the Island...and it's high up. My knees were weak. I couldn't really look over the edge for more than 5 seconds. We crossed to the opposite side and even hiked down to the edge of a stream that sauntered along underneath the trestle.

Kinsol Trestle near Shawnigan Lake- south of Duncan
Fair warning!
If you come to visit and want to see this Kinsol Trestle, I will sit on my butt with a coffee in hand and wait for you to cross and come back. Once is enough for me- breath-taking as it is.

It's a long way down...
Running low of stock items like TP- we decided to drive to the Nanaimo Costco on Monday. There is a Costco in Langford BC as well- near Victoria, however, with construction on the Malahat, we opted for Nanaimo.

The floor plan was a flip of what we knew in Orillia- for the few times we shopped at that new Costco location there. Different than Barrie too. It sure throws you off shopping in a space that is the flip of what you are used to. Same for our Duncan Wal*Mart. It's the flip of the Orillia Wal*Mart.
Anyway, we got the TP and some odds and ends.

Oh...and it's Christmastime at Costco!
Trees and a jolly, 8 foot snowman that lights up with LED lights inside.
We even bought a set of Microdot Lights- the latest thing in Holiday Lighting, for $12.99.
I sure hope we'll be in our new house to use our Christmas Décor. Our Hallowe'en decorations will not see the light of day this year, since our new move-in date is Mid-November. Anyway, it seems like home shopping in a Costco. Like Hot Chocolate and a cookie- it's comforting.
Cripes!
Am I missing home?

After Costco, we stopped in a Hudson's Bay Store and a Sears- both in Nanaimo, discovering at Sears
that we had been past the store when we were in Nanaimo a week ago. Mostar Road is right next to Sears and we could easily find our way back to the Island Highway.
Gradually we are finding our way around and gaining confidence. A local last week told me that I knew the area quite well, considering the length of time we had been here.
I said I had been studying long before we arrived.

Hey, on another topic, have you noticed that store mannequins sure have changed over the years? Although not anatomically correct, the rest of the body shape is pretty bang on.
~grin~
We had to take a photo.
Is this fellah "pool boy" material or what- even with the "girly boy" hands?
I know. I know...very sad isn't it to "gush" over a muscle-bound piece if plastic but- any port in a  storm.

Headless Hunk- but having a head is so over-rated
Call me superficial or something...




Friday, September 8, 2017

ROBBLOG #647 The W E E K E N D


Yup, That's a pencil sketch of me- enjoying Island Life!!!
Nice teeth, eh??
Well I brush several times a day...

So, 24 days since we left Orillia, Ontario.
Time flies.
Our new Island Home is still a couple of months away- just go back 2 blogs and get set for some rather "rough language".
I couldn't help it. I was upset.

The new time frame has sunk in though...not that I am any happier- just resolved to missing Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en in our new house. The Hallowe'en and Harvest décor is packed away in boxes and stored at a warehouse in Nanaimo. Guess this year I won't be decorating the house for the first time in decades! If things progress as slow as they are right now, we'll be setting up the Christmas Tree outside Priscilla come December!
I don't think we can afford to stay more than two months in Jane's Cottage.
Cripes, the 2 months is costing us enough unless the builder looks after our expenses. This is not in our budget but there's no word yet on the builder pitching in. It would seem that legally, he has to. Wouldn't it be nice if they offered assistance all on their own without our nudging or pointing out the legalities?.
I am NOT holding my breath.

Speaking of our stuff being stored in Nanaimo, we took this pic a couple of days ago of a house in a beautiful Nanaimo neighbourhood, that we couldn't afford to live in. I am told the houses would be around $800,000 but look at the lovely palms and the green grass. This entire neighbourhood was green.
I smell money...


My Kind of Home



We had breakfast out this morning and invited our "new" friends the super Leanna and Jason- from Ed's Soup Shack- get it? Super? Soup shack?
We dined at the Doghouse Restaurant- as usual. Great Breakfasts and the conversation was fun thanks to these two Islanders- even though Jason's from Oshawa. Tom and I got the skinny on some local stuff but after brekkie we realized we had forgot to ask about driver licences and health info!
Another time.
After a final cup of coffee, Leanna and Jason had to go and get ready for a busy market weekend in Duncan and Cedar.

After breakfast Tom and I stopped by Canadian Tire to buy two bar stools that would match the two we used in Orillia, I sashayed into the garden centre while there- outdoors of course. I can tell you this garden centre still is fully-stocked, whereas you folks in Orillia are probably just looking at fall mums and grasses and colourful harvest pots. Here there were Rhodies, Banana plants, plants for water gardens, grasses and more. Here's a photo of  some of the plants I saw:

Green and Lush
Yesterday, we stopped by the new house to see Joanne the interior design assistant and happened to meet Peter the electrician who was on site to plot our lighting needs.
That was fun and we were happy we had the opportunity to speak with Pete. He was very helpful.

Afterwards, we wandered down the trail just up the street from our house. It connects with the Trans Canada Trail that runs behind the property. We hadn't had the opportunity to do that before.
The trail and the valley were breath-taking. Tom and I had no idea that it was so beautiful and right in our backyard. Trees were covered in moss. Some of it hung from far up branches.
You know, I thought moss-covered old growth trees could only be found in "fun" places like Georgia- you know where Bette filmed Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and everyone has a gun hidden under their skirt or down their pants.
However, here was a forest that looked like it came right out of the south or at the least a "Lord of the Rings" movie.
I liked the sign at the bridge just below our property in Stonewood Village, so have a gander:

This trail goes all the way to Lake Cowichan and probably cuts quite close
to the cottage I showed you yesterday- which will be our interim home in October/November.



Here's a shot of the moss covering many of the trees:

...why Miss Scarlett, I had no idea!

Hennaway, we continue to soak up Island Life and learn more and more each and every day about our new Island Home in Duncan BC.

C'mon out to the West Coast.
The weather is fine and it doesn't even feel like autumn!




Thursday, September 7, 2017

ROBBLOG #646


So, if you read yesterday's blog, you may be wondering- "What's Up?"

We have had advice from folks.
Suggestions, if you will.
Most of you think the builder and real estate have been unfair and may be negligent in offering assistance and compensation. Our lawyer would concur with you.

You know, to help someone- namely us, in this situation it wouldn't cost a dime.

Instead of hearing- "Hey Rob and Tom sorry about this but can you sign that addendum because 'surprize' you've been extended until November 16th." we could have heard-

"Sorry Boys but the builder's a little behind and you may not get possession until mid-November but give me a couple of days and I think I can find alternate accommodation for you since I know you don't want to live in the RV past the end of September".

There was nothing even remotely suggested- so far at least, that would offer us any help to find appropriate accommodation.
You know, after all, we are strangers in a strange land.
Strange to us but beautiful.

Nope, it appears we are on our own. Luckily we have met some nice folks here in the Cowichan who are helping us. I contacted a new friend- Leanna. I filled her in on our predicament and asked if she had any suggestions regarding a property we could rent.
She asked what we might be looking for in a rental property and how much we could afford to spend. After telling her what we wanted, Leanna got back to me in a few minutes with this photo:


This is a cottage on Sahtlam Estates Road in Duncan- about 10 minutes from our new house.
It's an Air B n B listing. We had a look online and read about the host. Here name is Jane and she is a former New Yorker who lived in the same building as Will & Grace.
Okay, she didn't live in the same building as Will & Grace- since they aren't real- except on television and in my own mind.

40 years later Jane is living the Island Dream. She ran a B&B for 16 years in Victoria and now she lives in the Cowichan where she has two private cottages on her property. The property is a "little" in the country but still has a Duncan address.
We can't believe it's just a quick 10 minutes away from our new build!

We booked our stay online and Jane called us this morning. An hour later- after punching in the code on the keypad at her front gate, we found ourselves standing in her driveway exchanging pleasantries while waiting to see the property.
Jane doesn't live alone.
She shares her country property with two dogs and a black a cat named Bob.
A pair of sheep with no names, plus a Rooster aptly named Mr. Roo.
Mr. Roo has a gaggle of gals- four to be exact, that he "services" daily and in return "The Girls" supply Jane with 3 or 4 fresh eggs each day- which she offered to share with us.

The cottage is cute and cozy and has a real range for cooking and a washer and dryer pair- almost new. The yard is fenced for our girls and without missing a beat Jane said we can park the RV in our drive along with the Swissshmobile. The drive is private and has it's own gate onto a paved road that runs just behind Jane's property.
How nice!

We knew this place would suit us when the road down the street is called "Hank's Road".
I mean can you believe it?
Hank, as in Hank has a road named after him.
I miss playing that character on stage.

Remember Hank?
All in all, we'll be able to live a nearly normal life for two months or whenever our house is built and ready for possession. However, this sweet little cottage with the sky light inside the front door is not cheap. A couple of months to live in this private, fenced country cottage will cost us under four thousand dollars.
Where the Hell is that money coming from?
We may have to cut back on our upgrades, sell Priscilla our RV sooner rather than later or rely on the goodwill and customer service we have been shown so far by both our realtor and builder.

WAIT!
~laughing~
That'll never happen...or...will it?

We have a meeting at the new property tomorrow and
just in case the bullshite runs high on the calf...

I'm wearing my rubber boots!




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ROBBLOG #645



I wasn't going to tell you this but I am so pissed off I could spit!


Today- less than 30 days to our possession date of our new build in Duncan BC, our friendly realtor e-mailed us at 1pm Tuesday September 5th, 2017- yes, he e-mailed, to tell us our new home is delayed not one week....
Not two....
Not one fucking month...
But an additional month and a half until November 16th.
Now, he and the builder want us to sign an addendum- and believe me we have signed more than I can count since February, to defer possession until November 16!
Oh, he did call after the e-mail to talk with Tom. Tom's the "nice one".


"Darn"- he said, "I had hoped to talk to you (meaning Tom) before you received the e-mail I sent."


Well, numb-nuts call first- then e-mail.
Any grade school kid can figure that one out in 2017!!!
I won't even begin to list the excuses we have heard not to mention how much more our new home is worth since we officially purchased it all those months ago. Yes Sir, the day after we move in- if we ever do, we could sell for an additional $50,000 or more over and above what we will pay.
~small hands clapping~


Oh My!!
Fuck!
Shit!
Cripes!
MFer!
Damn!
Hell!
Shite!
Feckers!
and there could be more name calling coming from my little potty mouth but because I am a "lady"- like Karen Walker on W&G, I shall refrain from additional profanity.


We bought our home way back in February, well, on paper anyway.
We have paid the monies asked.
We have signed and signed again addendums extending the possession dates. Our real estate fellah says- "This builder is always on time!"


Well, fucka-dew-dah-day, they aren't even close!


I knew there was bad karma when we had to ask for- and finally got weeks later, a letter permitting our additional puppy to live with us to appease the All Mighty Strata Gods and their one cat, one dog rule- even though North Cowichan allows 3 dogs per property.
Powertrippers.
These are actually folks who live to get up in the morning just to tell other people -like us, what to do.


Fucking power freeks- who I understand from folks living in the Village already, knock on doors to share their displeasure with the family living on the inside and how they live or what they do.
Does this sound vaguely familiar or can you say Kay Gee Bea- and I don't mean Bea Arthur!
That's all for another blog.


This Province of BC is all "Strata" nuts.
Look it up. Kinda like condo rules in Ontario but here we own our land and house only to have a committee dictate- that's the key word, their pleasure- or displeasure.
Hmmmm...
What's the word I am searching for..
Oh ya- "Dictator".


They loves them some 'strata" rules here.


I tell you this honestly, I am this close to telling this company to shove their new build. I think we have been shite upon by the "wherethefuccowwee bird".
Tom is the calming force and is trying to be patient but what the "Farm-truck" is going on?


Right now, I don't feel any warmth or even a modicum of excitement to be moving into this "Lifetime Home" sometime this year...or next...or the year after that.
Cheese and Rice!!!
Who the Fire Truck knows
Our lawyer says- don't tell him I said this- that obviously this development has a small margin of profit and isn't important enough.


We are Royally Pee'd Off Too


But I am so Mad!
I think we have been strung along for a while now and I believe the real estate office- like some crooked used car dealer, has not been forthright with us.
I wanted to believe.
I really did.
I wanted Tinkerbell to live, so I clicked my heels, clutched my pearls and prayed to Drag Queens everywhere to make things be true and right.
Tinkerbell's lights have dimmed.


I too am P Eye Double S E Dee'd
You see, it really is all about the money and the commission.
Fuck the customer. Sorry about the fuck word...


Well, we'll see.
We have been looking at other housing options outside of Dear Priscilla who has been wonderful, marvelous and protective but another 2 and a half months inside her?
Gawd no!
Priscilla, Darling, we love you but 30 feet only goes so far....


So, we are looking at options as I said.
I mean we need to change our licence, our health cards, our insurance, our storage dates and a million other things however, we can't do that without a permanent residence.
Uh-Huh right there between "The Rock and a hard place- like Hugh Jackman, which under other circumstances might not be so bad.


~breathe and smile~


So, if anyone from a certain real estate is reading this blog, make your mind up to shell out some money to this little witch and make me feel better about this house purchase and your company and this builder or
I am getting outta dodge.


"Yes Sir, He typed "Fuck" in his blog several times
and now my Granddaughter uses that
profane word frequently!"
There...
I almost feel better. &^%$&^**##$