Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little progress

We have now met with two realtors and have to make a decision about which one to work with. We have done a HUGE amount of work on the house over the last month - hardwood floors in two bedrooms, painting one full room and tidying up closets, trim, radiators and windows in other rooms, repairs in the basement and many other little things. Paul has a list of projects which now have the label "If I knew it was that easy, I would have done that ages ago". This weekend Paul's parents are coming to help put a new floor in the half-bath and paint another room. I am going to see about getting new cushions for two chairs and a sofa. These are part of my grandparent's "Imperial Loyalist" maple furniture set purchased in the 1930s. I wonder how many times the original price the new cushions are going to be?

I have been watching the homes available for lease in the Greenville area. I realize I was spoiled growing up where I did. I never walked more than 10 minutes to school (no busing either). We were within walking distance of Point Pleasant Park, several playgrounds, convenience, grocery and drug stores, the library and Spring Garden Road. Peter's, one of the best pizza places in Hfx, is still on Inglis Street and there used to be a chinese restaurant there too. And, of course, there is Schooner Books. Many of the homes in Greenville have no trees in the yards, no sidewalks out front and are miles from schools, shopping and community centres and libraries. There is a new Traditional Neighborhood Design development by the same people who designed Seaside, Florida called Griffin Park. Unfortunately, it isn't all that close to Paul's work, and certainly not to Isabelle's school. I haven't found anything for lease there and even if I did it would likely blow our budget. Despite this, I keep watching since it would be an interesting experience as an urban/municipal planner watching the community develop. Maybe it would count towards my professional practice experience?!

Yes, Isabelle is only three and doesn't start school until September 2009 but yes, we have already picked a school for her. Michelin runs a private french school in Greenville so it seems only right that she go there. Paul speaks french exclusively with her and I do what I can but since everything else in her life is english she tends to speak english, even to Paul. Now I just have to find a good boarding kennel for Maggie in Greenville, and a dog park...

Monday, February 25, 2008


So for the first time in ages I actually watched most of the Oscars - well I waited to see who got Best Actress before going to bed. The part I was most interested in though was the award for Best Orginal Song. Paul and I saw Once a few weeks ago and enjoyed it and then I heard the other songs which were nominated (3 from Disney's Enchanted) on Carew's Control (a segment on CBC's Mainstreet) last week and the general feeling that one of these glurgy songs would win instead of Falling Slowly. Well, they were wrong!

Wanna buy a house?

The process of selling our house has started. It is quite involved since it is through a relocation company but it should be on the market in the next week or so, we hope. Here are some pictures:

Paul and I spent the weekend finishing a lot of projects and cleaning from top to bottom. Today was the first visit from a realtor and she suggested three things. Paint our "not ensuite bathroom", put a new floor in the downstairs half-bath and make the front door the main entrance for showings. Well, the last one is easy - just have to keep the walkway shovelled. The second one isn't too bad - we think we have enough flooring left over from the upstairs bathroom reno to do it and luckily we chose a neutral colour. The first suggestion is major. For those of you who haven't been to the house, there is a room off our closet which has the plumbing for a full bath although no fixtures. We never did anything with it except use it for storage so it needs to be painted and some cracks filled, generally tarted up. The hardest part will be moving everything out to do the work but it will look a lot better.

Tomorrow another realtor visits - wonder what suggestions there will be!

Isabelle had a great time in Clare last week visiting with cousins and friends but I think we all were happy to have her home, even Maggie. She was a big help this weekend - she spent a lot of time in the basement measuring things for Papa.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Week

I can't believe it had been well over a week since my last entry. We had lots of snow here last week - something I won't miss in South Carolina! After being home on Monday, Tuesday was a long day with an evening meeting and Wednesday my office closed at 1pm due to the weather. Unfortunately, as I carefully drove home, some idiot decided to pass me and the car ahead. I was fine but the car ahead of me went out of control on the bridge at Avonport/Hortonville and hit the bridge. The other driver was shaken but OK and her car was not drivable. The car that caused the accident didn't stop. So, I waited with her for a bit and then drove her to Hortonville where she met the tow truck. Amanda and Brian happened to see us on the highway and stopped to see if everything was OK - it is nice to have such good friends.

Paul and I had agreed not to do anything for the 14th but our new camera arrived so we had something to open after dinner. Here are the first pictures - not great but we still need to figure out all the bells and whistles.

Friday, we were off to the pool again. The new camera is waterproof, so I thought I would try it.

Paul's sister, who was supposed to BC on Wednesday, postponed her trip until Sunday so Paul's family arrived on Saturday. I spent the morning making auction lots for the Valley Stamp Show - I cleared out a fair bit of stuff, no sense moving it.

On Sunday, Paul's parents took Isabelle home with them. This has given us a chance to get some things tidied up in the evenings and we have had painters in to fix up a few rooms. We could have done it ourselves but it would have taken ages trying to paint after Isabelle goes to bed.

Not much on the moving front, we have been given a few websites to look for rental housing and expect to hear about selling our house tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Greenville, SC

In response to D., the nearest airport is in Greenville. You can fly Hfx, Newark, Greenville. In looking at options though, we are pretty close to Atlanta (3 hours) and Charlotte (2 hours) both of which are cheaper to fly into (sometimes). Air Canada has been running a $113 one way to Charlotte lately. Just checked, Amtrak runs a route from Charlotte to Greenville for $24 unfortunately the only train is at 2 am. For those who are more carbon sensitive, you can get the train from Hfx to Montreal, Montreal to New York and NY to Greenville.

And there is lots to do in Upstate SC. Greenville is in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains so parts of the Appalachian Trail are really handy. As are several National and State Parks and Forests - Great Smoky Mountains NP; Nantahala and Pisgah NF; It is about an hour to Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee and not far from the SC coast - Charleston, Myrtle Beach.

Asheville, NC is a neat place. It is very artsy/outdoorsy with the addition of Biltmore - one of the Vanderbilt Estates there is plenty to see and do in Asheville alone. Asheville is almost at the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. When I was there a few years ago, we went along some of this drive which was amazing - not the Cabot Trail - but certainly well worth the drive. Lake Lure is nearby - that's where they filmed Dirty Dancing - nobody puts Baby in the corner!

Between Asheville and Greenville is Carl Sandburg's home. P. says who is Carl Sandburg? Well, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet had this beautiful farm - Connemara - in NC which is now at National Historic Site. His wife kept champion goats and you can visit their descendants, the goats I mean - the herd is also protected.

So I have hit hiking, history, vistas, for those of you not already convinced to visit us - there is also shopping. There are two outlet areas within a short distance, Gaffney, SC and Commerce, GA. Mum also points out that Replacements Ltd. is headquartered in NC so if anyone is looking for that elusive piece of china, glass, flatware or wants to see miles of it you can check it out.

No matter what, it has to be better than today. I had a snow day since Isabelle's daycare was closed and the roads were terrible, lots and lots of snow and wind. We had a quiet day - didn't get a lot done but had a great visit with Taryn and Macy. Paul borrowed the neighbour's snowblower after dinner and Isabelle played outside while he did the driveway - needless to say since that was her fourth outing of the day she feel asleep pretty quickly tonight.

The exciting news of the day was we are getting a new digital camera - a Olympus Stylus 770SW - waterproof, shockproof, crush proof. It sounds to me like a great camera to have with a busy 3 year old. I got it on EBay, we were very pleased with the last one which we also bought on EBay from Olympus so we thought we would do it again.

Off to work tomorrow with meeting in the evening and another on Wednesday, For a short week, it ends up being pretty long.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Off to see the cousins

We are in Saulnierville over night - just enough time to see the cousins, cousin Sam and Tante Rhea are home for a week from BC, and hit a few Frenchy's. There's something I will miss in SC. Wonder if there are places there where you can buy a huge bag of clothes for under $30? With Isabelle growing and being so hard on clothes at daycare - it doesn't make sense to me to pay a lot for things.

We had busy day today. Swimming in the morning (lanes for me; lessons for Isabelle). Lunch and library with friends and errands before picking Paul up from work and driving to la Butte a Thom. We even hit Frenchy's in Saint Bernard on the way.

No more news on the move. We have to wait a bit yet to contact a realtor but that gives us some time since we are having some painting done later this month. We could do it ourselves but it would take quite a few nights of painting from 8 until 10 to get it done and someone else can just come in for two days and it will be done.

Looks like we are going to have a rough night. Maggie is beside herself when we are here and never sleeps well and Isabelle seems to be quite wound up. So I will sign off now to get the first shift of sleep.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Where's Greenville, South Carolina?

Well, according to Google maps, it's here:

View Larger Map

Monday, February 4, 2008

Here we go!

Well, three words which mean a whole lot right now.

Here we go on this blog.

Here we go on a great new adventure.

Here we go from the life and friends we have here.

Here we go to a new place, new friends and new experiences.

I am going to try this blogging thing to keep everyone up to date on our latest adventure.

For those of you who don't already know, we are moving to Greenville, South Carolina. P. has been transferred for work and will be released from his job here early in May.

We are not sure when the move will actually happen since we haven't put the house on the market yet. Every day I think of more things that have to be done here and more questions about life there. Along with that, we are having a huge clean-up. We are not minimalists but we are definitely going to pare down our lives.

As I write this it occurs to me that moving is really new to me. Sure, I went away for university and then worked in St John's, Labrador City and Port Hawkesbury but through all those moves Halifax was really my home base. This is OUR first house, it is where we were married, it is where we brought our daughter home.

I don't feel sad (yet) about leaving this house because for me those memories aren't tied to the house but to us. What I do feel sad and apprehensive about is leaving the familiar - obviously friends and family - but also the library where we know the librarians, Isabelle's day care, the pool, stamp club, kayaking and camping places, Ross Farm, places to let Maggie run... I know we will find those things in Greenville - it just may take a bit of time.