Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Things change. Sometimes rather abruptly. It may seem like I dropped off the face of the earth recently and it certainly feels like it.
The last six months have not been my favourite.
It all started the first week of July. I received a phone call from my sister. This particular sister and I share something that none of my other sisters do. We are both cancer survivors. Her news was not good. After 13 years her cancer had returned. Now, as my niece once put it, our family does cancer very well, but we all have our limits. We lost our mother to the same disease and quite frankly, this news hit us pretty square in the face. A few days later we returned home having spent the day getting “beat up” in a court case only to be presented with the news that we were losing our home. The owners of the house we leased were selling it. Immediately. Yes, it was their house, but it had been our home for four and a half-years and the timing could not have been worse. Rather sadly, I had actually spoken face to face with our landlord the previous weekend at length and she looked me straight in the face and gave me no indication that this was coming. Yes, I felt betrayed and a little dirty.

Thus began a whirlwind of preparing the house for pictures and viewing, packing up to move, finding a place to move to, trying to be there for my sister and continuing to work. HeWho has spent many years driving from the Durham Region down the 401 Highway to Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke. The 401 Highway is one of the worst highways known to mankind and it was killing him. He bitched and whined every day. You may think I am exaggerating but there is an actual TV show about it called “Heavy Rescue:401“. With the move forced upon us it was a no brainer that we had to move as close to the track as possible. That meant that we would be moving into a high rise. Something I never thought I would do. The first couple of places we saw were terrifying. Perhaps you think I am being overly dramatic…some would say it seems to be in my genetic makeup. Don’t judge. You did not see what I saw! We were, however, lucky to find out about a place: before it was advertised; in a nice building with a lot of amenities; and a really lovely couple renting a clean, renovated, two bedroom, two bath on the top floor.

While the move was going on, one of my clients asked me to post a job opening in their office. I told her I was moving closer to her location and asked if she would consider letting me have the position. She did and thus began a crash course in several new computer programs and duties, while continuing to service my existing clients evenings and weekends.

A lot of things have changed.

We live almost directly across from Woodbine Racetrack. Often it takes HeWho more time to get down the hall, down the elevator and out of the underground parking than it does for him to get to work.

Although I still work from home, I also drive 45 to 60 minutes to and from the new day job, depending on traffic. It has been 8-years since I worked outside the home.

We used to have 1,600 sq. ft. open plan area to make our home. We now have 800 (at a much higher price).

We had room for two cars in the driveway and a garage for storage. We now pay extra for a second parking spot and an extra storage unit.

Once a year, three fit young firemen would visit me to check my smoke alarms and make sure I knew what to do if there was a fire. Number one was to get out. We are now on the 30th floor, yes, I said the 30th floor. We know if there is a fire, we die. There is no way we would make it down 30 flights of stairs and no way the firemen could reach us.

Did I mention we are on the 30th floor? I thought it was my imagination when I could feel the building swaying in the wind. Apparently not. I have been informed by engineers that actually live here that the building has to sway or it would fall down!

Do your remember all the lovely pictures I use to post of the waterfront where I lived. I have yet to get a decent picture off my balcony because I can’t make my whole body actually go all the way out there and I am terrified of dropping my phone while taking a picture. But HeWho tells me there are at least four deer living in the conservation area below us. He worries about them getting enough to eat.


The weather is never the same on the 30th floor as it is on the ground floor. The temperature is different and quite often the visibility.

Now. I could not see a thing past the balcony. When I pulled out of the underground I had to switch to sunglasses and take off a layer of clothes.

If I bend over to take something out of the oven I get rammed in the butt by the cupboards. For those of you who know the actual size of my butt, that is not the problem. Well, maybe a little.

Food preparation is a challenge. My kitchen is now put together like a Jenga puzzle. I always have to move at least 3 things to get to what I need while risking the whole thing crashing down around me.

HeWho says you have to be a contortionist to use the toilet because it is in such a tight space. ‘Nuff said about that.

Feng Shui advocates would have a stroke if they came here. We have one love-seat and one chair. They do not fit in the living room area. We can only use three of our four chairs in the eating area. I think it’s adorable that HeWho still refers to it as a “dining room”.

The “office” area is so small that we have to do the dance of the computer chairs (use the music of “The Sugar Plum Fairy”) to both sit and work at the same time.

We can no longer fill the car with groceries and pull up to our front door and unload them quickly. Now we either have to borrow a bellman cart from the front desk or only buy what we can carry in two hands in one trip. Oh, our Costco days are over! There is no more bulk buying.

You know how it is when you have been out all day, or on a long drive, and you can’t wait to get home so you can pee? You run in and relieve yourself and then come back to unload the car. That can’t happen here. We usually stop at the closest public washroom to home, even if we have to eat a Big Mac. You may make it to the building, and you may make it to the underground parking. You may even make it to the elevator. You might be lucky enough to make it inside the elevator, but let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how many prayers you say to the elevator gods, or how many deals you make with the condo demons, that elevator is going to stop at least 15 times before you get to the 30th floor. This is the real reason people who are of a certain age that have retired, downsized and moved to a condo are wearing depends. It has nothing to do with bladder control or a prostate issue. It’s the damn elevator ride! HeWho’s eyes light up because he has a stop watch and knows that with no stops we can make it from Parking level to the top floor in less than 30 seconds. He’d like to bet on whether we will be the only ones taking the ride.

Lest you are under the impression that I really don’t like where we live, I will neither confirm nor deny it. But here’s a couple of other things that have come out of this.

HeWho is healthier and happier than I have ever known him to be. The stress that he endured doing that suicidal drive had put years on him and they now seem to have melted away.

We have both lost weight. It’s not as easy to run to the corner store for a snack. If there’s no junk food here neither one of us wants to get dressed and begin the long haul to the car and then the big search for what we want because there is nothing handy. HeWho has yet to find a Chip Wagon. But…he has discovered several restaurants with great burgers or deep fried halibut and awesome fresh cut fries.

A remarkable women, someone I admire deeply, gave this 60-year-old lady an opportunity to prove that she was still capable of learning new things and be a productive member of the workforce. I can’t think of anyone else who would do that. Most would have hired someone much younger and quicker to learn. I am determined to not let her down.

We can’t buy a lot of stuff. There’s no room for stuff. There has to be a lot of deliberation for something new to come into this confined space and most likely something else will have to come out. Like how my new Nespresso machine relegated HeWho’s deep fryer to the storage room.

My sister is doing well. She went through surgery and some excruciatingly painful radiation and rang the gong at the other end. As far as we are concerned she is cancer-free again.

It is officially a New Year. A bright, shiny New Year. I’m counting on it staying that way.

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Still Unpacking in Pickering

It is finally over. The move is done. We are once again in our own place surrounded by our own things. Granted, these things are still in boxes for the most part, but they are our boxes. We were questioned a lot on why we chose Pickering this time. The honest answer is that it kind of chose us. A couple of opportunities knocked and we really had no choice but to open the door or portal if you will.

Two days ago I looked up from the computer and this is what I saw out back. Snow Day April 2 It was afternoon, it was dark and the biggest, fatest snowflakes were coming down fast and furious. This would have been my cue to whinge, “Why Pickering?” had I not made a most important discovery a few days before.

Home Place • Enchantment In The Making

Home Place • Enchantment In The Making

Seriously, this is called Home Place – Enchantment In The Making and exists at the end of  my street.  It turns out that I live just minutes from part of the Pickering Waterfront Trail.  It is actually part of a 900 km Waterfront Trail that runs along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River from Niagara On The Lake to the Quebec border.

Pickering Waterfront Trail Map

Map from Pickering.ca

The Pickering part of the trail is divided into 3 sections:

  • First Nations Trail (3.5 km) – from Rouge River to the west shore of Frenchman’s Bay
  • Monarch Trail (4.7 km) – surrounds Frenchman’s Bay and ends at Millennium Square
  • Peak Trail (4.2 km) – from Millennium Square to the Ajax border

At the end of the street lies Millennium Square which leads along the boardwalk into Peak Trail.

Beach Front Park Millennuim Square


There are several things of note along this stretch…wetlands, a Tern nesting raft, a windmill, a barrier beach, etc., oh, and even a French Fry truck for He-Who…all of which I will talk about another time.  This time we are just going to talk about “Home Place”.  Created by the Sculptor, Dorsey James,

Home Place is all about change; changes that affect our past, our present and our future. Home Place is a coalescence of universal symbols from a variety of times, cultures and beliefs. These symbols are alive but will vary in importance at different times in each of our lives. The concept is realized in three components; The area of Enchantment, The Portal and the Kijimba Kind. This structure, in its entirety is called “Home Place”.

As you walk along the path of Peaks Trail you come across carvings made from discarded cedar hydro poles. Dorsey James calls these carvings Kijimba Kind. It is a term he created from two different words and three different cultures. Kijimba means spirit and comes from the Bambara people of Africa. The word Kind is taken from the word Kinder which means children in German and in English the word kind refers to a type (mankind) and can also refer to the nature of a person (nice). So the term basically means Spirit Children. 

Kijimba Kind 1

Kijimba Kind 2

Kijimba Kind 3

Kijimba Kind 4

Kijimba Kind 5

As you wind your way through these beacons you can’t help but “feel” them as well as see them. They lead you to the Portal structure at the centre.  The portal structure is beautiful in its simplicity but complicated when trying to explain it. Every single piece of it has been created by design, with deep symbolization behind each part. Whether it is the layout, the direction each piece faces, the height of each pole, the number of poles or the carvings. They all have a meaning behind them.  The Portal is seen by different cultures as different things. The most common is that it is a transition point between two spaces. This can be physical, psychological or spiritual space. The idea is that as you pass through the portal. The setting sun (Western side)  takes away or removes all the crap from your life while the rising sun brings in all the good stuff (Eastern side).

The Portal



THE PORTAL 2I can’t  tell you how very kool this place is. You actually have to stand on the ground around it. It is a spiritually magic place.

Here is something I can tell you…if the pile of boxes never seems to get smaller…if winter decides it is not leaving…if nothing seems to be going right…guess where you will find me?  I’ll be the one running around the area of Enchantment  and jumping through The Portal…in Pickering.

You never know…

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It’s a new year.
I’m happy to start a new year.
2012 was not one of my favourite years but I don’t wish it away for anything because along with some of the really bad things that happened, a lot of really great things happened.

This year for the first time in my life I am making a New Year’s resolution that I know without a doubt I am going to keep. I promise on my honour for as long as I live, I will never, and I do mean never, move during the Christmas Holidays again. If some insane impulse ever makes me even contemplate this I beg all of you to please slap me upside the head. Do not hold back. Just swing back and wallop me with everything you have got!

Who in their right mind would ever decide to do such a thing? Well, I did find someone else who has done it. Amy over at The Bumble Files had a tale to tell in her A Christmas Journey: Ghost of the Past. I am letting her use the “temporary insanity” card.


It seemed like a good idea at the time and I was excited about being back in Niagara Falls for Christmas. I had a plan. I was organized. I made gigantic labels for everything so there would be no confusion.


Niagara Label

Big Labels should have worked.

I had been purging for weeks and thought I had it all figured out. “Ha!” I say, “Ha!”. Let me just say this, the move began Friday Dec. 21st. Never in my wildest imagination of disasters did I picture us having to drive back to Oshawa everyday (including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) except for Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Pieces of furniture were missed that were to go in storage and we were unable to get them in the car so we had to rent a vehicle. A lot of things were missed with the load that went to the dump and the Christmas presents I had carefully labelled with the children’s name that were to receive them and set aside somehow ended up in storage. I hope. Yes, we were the last ones to leave Walmart on Christmas Eve trying to not disappoint a little one. Did I mention that we finally got the winter storms that had been predicted? The driving back and forth was pretty nerve wracking.

We had made arrangements in advance for some temporary measures to be taken both with Canada Post and with our internet provider as this location was not to be our final destination. When it came time to implement these plans all of a sudden we were told, “you can’t do that”. In the panic that ensued (admittedly more from me than from He-Who) tears were shed (yeah, me again) and we had to figure out a new plan. Needless to say we were off-line far too long. Somehow I am no longer getting all the notifications for the blogs I follow. It may take forever and a day to catch up on my reading and commenting but I am trying. If I miss any please forgive me in advance.

That being said I do have to acknowledge some awards bestowed upon me before the big moving fiasco.

Thank you Lisa from Life With The Top Down for “passing forward” the Liebster Award to me and to Meredith at The Wanderlust Gene for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  I have come to admire both these women for their writing and feel that I have come to know them well from our “comment” conversation.  With each award there is always a criteria to follow for passing along the honour so here we go.

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

According to Lisa, Liebster (pronounced: leeb-stir) is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.  The Liebster Blog Award recognizes up and coming bloggers and winners are asked to “pay it back and forward.”  The award is given to those bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The Rules for the Liebster Award are as follows: 

  • Link back to the blogger who gave you this award
  • Post the award to your blog
  • Post 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions asked of you, plus create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer
  •  Nominate 11 people you think deserve the award and link them to your post.
  • Go to their pages and tell them they have been chosen

Rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  • All recipients need to thank the giver
  • Post 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog


I’m going to do a little cheating here and answer the 11 questions Lisa asked me and hopefully you will accept that as the “things about myself” for both awards.

1.  What is you favorite song of all time?

It’s A Wonderful World – has to be Louis singing it.

2.  Boxers, briefs, boy shorts, granny panties, thong or the universal choice of Commando?

Boy Shorts – To be honest it depends on who is doing the wearing.

3.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Without thinking twice.

4.  Would you go back to being a teenager, without the wisdom you have now?

I was much wiser as a teenager. Also, I could always use that I was “young and stupid” as an excuse.

5.  What are you most grateful for?

The short period of time I had with my Mother.

6.  Are you a beach or mountain kind of person?

Beach. Beach. Beach.Beach.Beach.Beach

7.  Reveal one of your guilty pleasures?

American Hogger fascinated me.

8.  Are you a dark, milk or white chocolate lover?

I know I will never hear the end of this but I am not a fan of chocolate. Give me butterscotch or caramel. If I had to choose chocolate it would be white.

9.  If you could give a newborn child one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kind.

10.  What is your best childhood memory?

Listening to my Mother sing.

11.  Do you act your age or your shoe size?

Neither…lately I have been acting way older than my shoe size.

I am passing forward the Liebster Award to:

Woggins Writing •  Twenty8 • Meredith With Her Mouth Open • There And Back • My Ideal Woman • Vyvacious • Edith Levy Photograpy • Cowboys and Crossbones • Matterings of Mind • Bohemian Sentiments • Personal Perceptions

The 11 questions I have chosen for the above bloggers are …

1) What is your favourite line from a movie?

2) Name three songs you have sung most recently.

3) What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

4) Dog or cat?

5) Name your top five TV shows (past or present)?

6) When you walk with someone you love do you hold hands or link arms?

7) What is the one thing that will bring a smile to your face even on your darkest day?

8) Would you rather walk through a garden or on a beach?

9) Have you ever worn socks with sandals?

10) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

11) Have you ever laughed so hard something embarrassing happens?

Here are my seven nominees for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award:

IfYouNeverTri • Life On A Silva Platter • Words We Women Write • Jean Day Friday • A Londoner From Afar • Articles of Absurdity JavaGirls Life

One other honour I would like to mention is that I was “Freshly Pressed”. Being “Freshly Pressed” is something I think we all would like to happen whether we admit it or not. Le Clown On Fire actually campaigned to have it happen to him. In my case the post that brought me the honour was actually written on another blog I am a part of called Canadica.  It is a collaboration of  a group of American and Canadian bloggers pretty much poking fun at each other’s country. If you are looking for a good laugh I suggest you check it out.

One final thing I would like to mention as we start burning through another year. He-Who has decided that he is no longer “He Who Shall Remain Nameless For His Own Protection” and has taken to calling himself  “He-Who Must Not Be Blamed”. This is going to be an interesting year.

Silk Purse Productions

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