Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sorry for the Mystery...

but Crofters Lane is going up for sale.  I needed to let family members know first before I shared the news here. I just find it too painful to live here alone. Too many memories and you can't hug a memory. Someone famous said that (you can't hug a memory); I read it yesterday and thought "that's how I feel; this place is so full of memories yet I can't grasp them and hold them - they're gone." Sorry, I can't remember whose quote it is or I'd cite him/her.

And I find I want to be at home in London with my daughter.  Crofters Lane no longer feels like home. One person does not make a home.  I know y'all were rooting for me to make a go of it here but the bottom line is I can't.

On the bright side, because there is always a bright side in my world, all those renos I've been doing in the condo will be for ME as I won't be selling it now. If I had oodles of money I could keep both but honestly I don't have a good feeling now when I'm here so I'd rather sell. And I don't have oodles of money.

The money I do have will go to make my mortgage-free condo a super duper place to live in ( my mind is busy with plans for the condo now that I'm not prepping it for sale!!) plus I'm thinking that when Crofters Lane sells I'll buy a trailer once again. I had one for a few years and really loved going there; it was near Bayfield and only an hour from home. I found that maintaining a condo and a trailer was very doable for me as a single person. I would get a REALLY REALLY nice one too with a guest bedroom, something like this:

Here's one I really would like to get but it'll likely be sold by the time I'm ready to buy but I enjoy looking:
Nice huh?  Just a little summer get away place :)  Well, a girl can dream can't she? And this isn't just a dream - it WILL happen!

Don't feel bad for me, the writing was on the wall back in December when Michael left. I came out to PEI, I gave it a shot, I worked hard but it isn't meant to be. It was a dream that went off the rails. I'm putting paid to that dream and creating a new dream of my very own.

This is the end of Crofters Lane posts. I may post about prepping it for sale and obviously when it sells but that's it. The dream stops here.

And a new and improved life begins HERE!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Lawn from Hell

This is how my living room looked after unloading Dougie. It was so much fun getting things out of the back of the truck and then hauling them through the long grass. (not) I think I was being "tested"!! I think I failed the "language" part of the test $@4%^#)!;o**!!

The first few days being at Crofters Lane were LONG LONG days (and nights) as I unpacked and tried to find room for way too much stuff and no storage or closets to put things in.
My first morning - I started an amazingly good book, ate my oatmeal like a good scotswoman and watched the ripples in my coffee as the wind blew and blew strong!!
However, the FIELDS had to be faced. Thankfully I didn't have to face them alone!
My helpful lawn guy, Ian, came over with with his tractor and cutting attachment. We harvested many bales of hay I'm sure. I'll have to take a picture of the "hay mow"! I raked an average of 6 hours a day for 3 days running. Wearing gloves really does prevent blisters but there was nothing I could do for my back other than get right back at it each day.
My hay fields were doing a whole lot better than the clover field to the south of me which had many barren patches. Not so my fields. Also shown in this picture is my wonderful heirloom rocking chair made by my uncle Richard. Very rustic, very sturdy, very comfortable!
 Too bad I didn't have a herd of something, like 20 cows, who could have enjoyed this harvest.
 In addition to "baling hay" I also got busy with the gas push mower - yes - I figured out how to start it myself - and did hours and hours of mowing around trees and bushes and re-mowing areas that had been missed by Ian's tractor and then his riding lawn mower. I felt ready to give up a time or ten but stuck with it. I think all the physical exercise was both challenging but needed to help me over the hurdle of being there on my own.'s a good thing I'm not allergic to grass!! Or hard work! It took a good two weeks of mowing and raking before it was all under control. Not exactly the way I had planned to spend the first 2 weeks of July. And wouldn't you know that the lawn turned yellow after 2 weeks without rain??  Thankfully though we had an all day downpour a couple of days ago and all is green once again.


Friday, July 25, 2014

On to PEI - The Next Leg of the Journey!

 Staying with my friends in New Brunswick, Michelle and Gary, was a welcome respite from a long day of driving (16 hours).  It would have only taken me 15 hours if Michelle hadn't texted me every few minutes to find out where I was lol!!

I arrived around 10pm or so, hot, weary and very sweaty shiny! I got to stay in a lovely guest bedroom and slept like the dead! Michelle and Gary treat their guests really well - they want us to come back!!   (I will!)
 Look at that Thai salad-it was absolutely scrumptious!! Gary is quite a cook and knows that I sure love me a great salad!
 I got to visit and play with my other good friends - Jango...
.....and Colby who is blind.  Jango takes good care of Colby - he's such a sweet and loveable dog :) They both are!
 We had a nice long stroll along the boardwalk and man was it a HOT day!!
 It was also Canada Day and lots of people were enjoying the beaches!
 I miss you my friends, and you too Colby and Jango! I love coming to see you all and Michelle I am making good use out of the clothes you gave me :)
It's a beautiful property, well looked after and lots and lots of trees ;)
This one is my favorite!
It was a quick visit but I'll see you again before summer is over! I need to get to Crofters Lane and see how the place has held up over that extremely long and extremely ferocious winter! So back on the road I go!
 Approaching Confederation Bridge!
 Heading towards the highest section of Confederation Bridge - I don't find it scary anymore crossing the 13km long bridge.
There's the island! I have about another hour of driving to go, but first I'm going into Summerside to buy lots of groceries at the Atlantic Superstore.  All year long I use my President's Choice mastercard for any and all purchases which earns me at least $300 worth of free groceries!!  I love FREE!
 The sun is starting to set by the time I get to Crofters Lane but it's light enough still to see that the grass has gotten out of hand!! YIKES!! I find a note in my door from my lawn guy saying I need to get about 20 cows! Due to the delay in getting the gate unlocked at the bottom of my laneway by the de-winterizing plumber dude Ian couldn't get in to cut the lawn. Needless to say I'll be making extra keys to the gate so Ian can have one of his own.

See the metal pole sticking out of the ground in the middle of the picture? That is where the firepit is but the grass is up past my knees - the darn daisies are starting to grow! 20 cows would just about do it!
 You can see Ian attempted to cut a bit of the "field" in front of the house so I'd have somewhere to put the truck.  Good thing I have all-terrain tires on ol' Dougie! I still had to wade through long grass to unload the truck and I got everything in to the living room through the front door. By then it was beginning to get really dark and I needed to get the groceries put away and my bed made. I was up pretty late the first night trying to get my belongings in some sort of order.
But first I took a picture of the view, fields and all, from my front porch. At least IT'S still the same :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happiness is...

  • a smart and funny child who makes me smile (she calls me "lady")
  • my newish blog title :) (thank you my friends!)
  • planting new trees on the old homestead (1 maple and 2 beech)
  • discovering that previously planted trees are still alive!! (4 out of 5 maples, a red oak, an eastern pine, many many spruce seedlings)
  • having a sister email me several times a day with positive advice and encouragement
  • having a good friend spend 3 weeks with me to get me over a tough spell
  • marigolds
  • gathering enough dead wood for several more campfires
  • a cold beer (or two) after mowing lawn around my forest during 30+ humid weather...ahhhhh!
  • wandering around Victoria by the Sea with no time restraints; walking out onto the ocean floor when the tide is out!
  • RAW FOOD - tonight's dinner is zucchini spaghetti with alfredo sauce made from cashews :)
  • buying my very own adjustable wrench!!
  • planting kale and lettuce seeds in July - why not?
  • time for reading novels (not exactly classic literature if you know what I mean)
  • icecream (toffee almond twist - a flavour I can only get on the island - I made it THREE WEEKS before I caved!!
  • YOU and YOU and YOU and YOU!! My blogging friends - the best friends in the world!!
  • loving myself, believing that I am worthy
  • meeting relatives for the first time!! My second cousin Dawn and cousin-in-law Cindy
  • travelling to Halifax for the first time - what an amazing city! I love your galleries and museums and especially your thrift/vintage clothing stores!!
  • siblings who care
  • crows for their entertainment value
  • a strong wind that helps keep me cool in this scorching weather AND prevents mosquitoes and flies from landing on me :) :)  now THAT'S happiness!!
  • high speed internet which I DON'T have, but wish I did; it took about 15 minutes to upload the following 5 photos - good thing I didn't try for more! 
                                     The tide is out!
                                    I want a turquoise house (in Victoria by the Sea!!)
                                Chocolate should be on the list - it makes me really really really happy!
                                  PEI scenery - the layers and layers in a landscape.
                              Trees, especially the largest tree in PEI!!!     Julie is a tree-hugger but this one was                                                        way too big for her though she tried!  

                                  Ain't she a beaut!?!          

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

So anyways...

Hurrah! I now have what they call here "high speed internet"!! I beg to differ but it's better than what I had before which was just my cell phone. (Can't wait to see my next cell phone bill - NOT!!) Tonight it took a while before I was able to get online but eventually I did, so I should just stop being a whiner!

I've been wondering where to go next with my blog - that's the dilemma I'm currently facing. Now that I AM retired what's next? Things didn't exactly turn out the way I thought they were going to and I still don't know the answer to the Clash song's big question: "should I stay or should I go now?" I really don't know. Honest to God I change my mind about 10,000 times a day. I have had some really rough days here at Crofters Lane - I'm even wondering about changing its name to something else, but if I don't move here then why bother? I'm really overthinking things so am going to let it go for now and try not to think about it. The answers will come.

So, what I'm thinking about now is changing up my blog format, changing my direction to something like:

"Living Alone: Smash the Fear" (Sam - you were the inspiration for that one - at least your fridge is;)!!)

"The Single Life: Pros and Cons"

"The Joys and Sorrows of Life Alone"

"Finding Jane"

"After Retirement - What's Next?"

"Life after Teaching"

"Finding my Way Back"

And on it goes...I am open to suggestions...please! All that "alone" stuff isn't meant to just be morose but to explore the various challenges a woman, aged 58, retired, faces as she goes about her daily life. For instance, I am finding new ways of doing things since I don't have a strong man around. I have to be way more creative. Is that interesting? Do you have an opinion of what direction I should take? Please weigh in with your opinions - I find what you have to say immensely valuable!

In the meantime I'll be sharing photos from the last couple of weeks, and I have TONS! Hopefully you don't mind going back in time a wee bit while I catch up. I haven't done a proper post since I left Ontario 3 weeks ago.

Here's a start; I left London on June 29th, stopping in Barrie for a little jam session...
 Tammy - bass player extraordinaire!
Her talented partner Jay...
Steve and Nancy, the hosts of the evening...
And then entered a saxophone player...
and a tinkler of the ivories...
pretty magical! (Look ma, no hands!!)
Jan, belting one out!
Oh yes, I also play guitar...
On the road again...drove as far as I could that night and then slept in the back seat of my truck at a service centre - yes, indeedy!

There's so much to love about New Brunswick...the hills..
the streams...
the view around every curve...
the lupines were at their peak...
Dougie the Dodge handled beautifully - I was so proud!
I pushed myself and drove from 6am to 10pm...the sunset was brilliant...

and then I arrived at my destination - a sweet little house in rural New Brunswick - good friends, good food, awesome fur babies and a comfy bed. Sigh..... :)

To be continued...