East Coast Bound

It’s been just shy of two weeks since I last posted an update to an update on our proposed “shuttering our old homestead” and heading east to Nova Scotia. Much has happened since that time.

Working with our realtor here, we decided to list our home on the local real estate board on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. Luckily I was on holiday the previous 9 days to declutter, paint, landscape, and all that fun stuff in order to get things shipshape for the photographer to come and take pics and drone shots for the online listing and to be “show ready” for folks coming through.

After nine long days of work and literally 20 minutes before the photographer drove into our driveway, we got the massive list of things finished.

To make a long story short, our home went “live” online with the local real estate board Wednesday afternoon at about 1:00pm.

By 5:00pm we had 8 showings booked over the next day and a half, and by 7:00pm that evening and with one showing on that Wednesday, we had an offer to purchase “the old homestead” with a number over our asking price.

We will be signing the final paperwork today(Monday) and it looks like we will close on the sale of our home on July 4th or 5th, which will end up feeling and being a very short 6 weeks.

So, what is happening with the offer we placed on the home in Nova Scotia you might be asking?

The offer we put in was accepted and we’ve had a pretty much standard house inspection completed on the home. We have a couple of questions remaining in regards to the electrical situation within the home and are diligently working to get those answered within the next day or so. Which can be and most definitely is a challenge, given we are 1700km away and really don’t know a soul in the community.

But, we have complete faith that things will turn out as we hope they will.

We will close and take possession of the home in Nova Scotia sometime after we close on “the old homestead.” I kind of need the proceeds from the sale of our house here to pay for the purchase of the “new homestead” out east, as well as to pay the moving company to get our stuff out east.

So, for the moment much of what we are doing is getting a few remaining items packed and over to the storage unit we rented. We are also listing and selling most of our furniture, bedroom suite, and other stuff and heading east with all that can fit into a 5-foot by 10-foot by an 8-foot high storage locker.

Now, we’re diligently working on the list that contains – new house insurance, changing car insurance, and such, plus a whole new host of other things on yet another list that is way too long and boring to mention.

Let me close with a couple of things.

As I mentioned to Lynn at one point in our rather busy past 15 or 16 days. As much as the act of decluttering and packing is simply the act of “decluttering and packing”, it is also all of a mental; emotional, or spiritual act of decluttering one’s “self” and moving on. Not holding on to the past, but taking a giant/massive leap of faith for something that needs to be done.

Heading to Nova Scotia is the right “move” for us at this point in our lives. It’s time for a new chapter – to re-invent who we are or just to become who we were meant to be.

Here are a couple of teaser pics from our “hopefully” Nova Scotia home.

So there you have it. We hope by the end of today(Monday), we’ll know more in order to finalize and remove the conditions for our offer to buy in Nova Scotia and to have signed the final sale agreement on our current place.

Needless to say, it has been nothing short of an interesting past couple of weeks.

— as always with love —

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Update To The Update – East Coast Bound(hopefully)

Writing or posting much has certainly taken a hit over the past year or so. I can say with great certainty the lacking of “new stuff” posting can be found anywhere along the spectrum from no motivation; nothing new is happening at the “old homestead”; to no desire to “click” the log-in button.

Nevertheless, I do have an update from the post back at the beginning of April – “Missing In Action – Yet Again – Update(Sort of…i think)”.

After diligently searching across Nova Scotia for a place that would meet both our needs and be within our price range – we put an offer in on a home located in Parrsboro a small community of about 1200 people on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

The offer went in yesterday(Wednesday, the 4th) and hopefully, we’ll hear back today if the sellers will accept it with the conditions we need to make this work.

All of this is happening at nothing less than “lightspeed.” But, it has taught us this lesson over the past couple of weeks. And it is a lesson that many should ponder very, very carefully.

If you keep waiting to get all your “ducks lined up” before doing or attempting something – chances are you’ll never do it or attempt it. Often you gotta go with what your gut says – regardless of even whether you have ducks or not – let alone having them in any sort of line. If you keep waiting for the perfect time – you’ll wait for ever.

At this stage, we have nothing in terms of “the plans or how this will all work – the nitty-gritty stuff” AT ALL.

Our planning for the most part extends 4 to 5 hours ahead or if things are “clicking along well” – perhaps the next day.

So, there ya have it.

And with any amount of luck – the planets will align and the universe will work in our favour and hopefully, by mid-summer, we’ll be walking the coastline of Nova Scotia.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Missing In Action – Yet Again – Update(Sort Of…i think)

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted the orignal bit, however I don’t have a ton of news that is terrbily new. Or terribly exciting for that matter.

But, I do have a couple of things.

First, on our going potential move to Nova Scotia. We do have our real estate fella coming over this afternoon to hopefully hammer out a more definite asking/selling price for the “old homestead.” That should help us to focus in on price range(s) to look for a home in Nova Scotia. I’m hoping he can also give some initial guidance in how this process will move along.

Secondly, it seems that my old body has aged considerably over the past month or two.

Yesterday for example, it felt like every joint, muscle and other pertainent body parts simply ached for no decent reason at all. My upper back and neck ache pretty much 24 hours a day, which I suspect is causing the frequent headdaches I get. On Sunday(yesterday), we went for a short walk/outing at Blue Mountain Village and the walking around made my upper back and neck start to ache, which then made me generally crabby and crotchety for the rest of the day.

But, life continues on. At least it is forecasted to be relatively mild, but with the chance of rain this afternoon.

It now appears to be a relatively consistent approach for “yours truly” to go somewhat “missing in action” for extended periods of time. There is absolutely no rational or even semi-rational explanation as to why this happens. But, it does. And in the great and overall scheme of all things in life, this is perhaps not such a big deal.

Apart from being somewhat unmotivated/slightly burnt-out from writing much of anything, most of the “missing in action” from the blogosphere results from my/our focus being entirely directed at something else. And that something else being…..

Yup. We’re in the process of pulling up the stakes of the “old homestead” along the shores of south Georgian Bay and heading east to Nova Scotia.

So, why Nova Scotia you may ask?

Good question and here are three reasons to answer that.

First, our daughter and her partner live in Nova Scotia(Halifax to be specific). Secondly, our plan was to move to the east coast and settle on Prince Edward Island. However, go back and re-read reason #1. Third and lastly, after putting some research in and speaking with a real estate professional, our current home is worth at a minimum 3 to 4 times what we paid for it eight years ago. In our area, once homes of our style hit the market, they’re sold within a day or two. They never last a week.

So, now seems like the time.

Searching the real estate market in Nova Scotia has become not just an exercise in looking at homes online, but also researching communities and areas within the province. The only area we have any familiarity with is Halifax, the largest city in the province. Fortunately or unfortunately, house prices within the HRM(Halifax Regional Municipality) are high and sales(at this point at least) generally go way over the asking price. In many instances $50 to $100K over asking. CRAZINESS.

However not so much CRAZINESS in the rest of the province – generally speaking.

So, where are we at this point?

At this stage of the process, our focus has been on the Annapolis Valley area of the province.

Why the Annapolis Valley region you ask?

Another good question. We got several reasons on the go. More moderate climate(ex – winters tend to be milder and less snow – recognizing this is still Canada). There are a number(5 or 6) of communities along a 70 to 80 kilometer linear stretch along the Annapolis Valley region that would provide most of the amenities and services we might require. If we needed anything else, Halifax is about 1.5 hours away.

Now, we aren’t necessarily tied to the Annapolis Valley at this point. Should we find a potential “forever home” in another locale, then we would take a hard look at that location.

Lynn’s been working back and forth over the past few weeks with a real estate person who specializes in and knows the market in the Annapolis Valley very well. So, that’s a good thing.

When and how will this happen? Another two good questions.

When? – sooner than later. But, don’t have a specific date. Hell, could be next week!

How? – I suspect we’ll sell the “old homestead” first and then find a place in Nova Scotia. Our plan is to sell most of our possessions, other than a few sentimental pieces of furniture and personal items(like underwear lol), and restart new or semi-new out there.

So, there you have it.

The reason(s) for being “missing in action.”

And not too terrible a reason after all.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Sketches and Watercolour Painting – Abstract Forest

As time marches along in the journey I refer to as “what shall I paint or sketch next,” the trip often leads to places that I wasn’t really expecting to end up at. Kind of like taking a Sunday afternoon road trip in your car and not hitting any of the spots you thought you would while ending up in areas that were far better, yet left you wondering “how did I get here exactly?”

So, as I say – this is no different in terms of “how did I get there exactly?”

One thing that I’ve learned(well sort of learned) is not to be afraid to do and go places artistically that you never imagined you might head off to. As someone said in a painting tutorial, “don’t be scared to experiment and fail – the paper only costs pennies.”

In my mind, art whether it be painting, drawing, or photography represents the artist’s interpretation of the scene that is in front of them at that moment in time and space. The artist then leaves “enough room” within the context of the finished work for the viewer to make their own interpretation or fill in the blank(s) in their own mind of what the artist is portraying.

Art and the whole creative spectrum(of whatever that might be) should cause the person looking at the work to stop and think – that’s my short version.

So……what do we have here?

This painting was inspired by a short video on abstract watercolour painting using washes to create an abstract sense of depth in a piece.

The washed-out colours in the back are void of detail in order to represent a forest as viewed further away. The trees that show more detail represent those closer in your field of vision. As well, I tried to create(with only moderate success) within the trees themselves a perception of depth, as some have more detail(closer to you) while others seem to be more faded, thus further away.

Obviously, pine or coniferous trees aren’t orange or red in colour.

But that’s part of the “abstractness” of the work.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy it.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Missing In Action – Yet Again

It now appears to be a relatively consistent approach for “yours truly” to go somewhat “missing in action” for extended periods of time. There is absolutely no rational or even semi-rational explanation as to why this happens. But, it does. And in the great and overall scheme of all things in life, this is perhaps not such a big deal.

Apart from being somewhat unmotivated/slightly burnt-out from writing much of anything, most of the “missing in action” from the blogosphere results from my/our focus being entirely directed at something else. And that something else being…..

Yup. We’re in the process of pulling up the stakes of the “old homestead” along the shores of south Georgian Bay and heading east to Nova Scotia.

So, why Nova Scotia you may ask?

Good question and here are three reasons to answer that.

First, our daughter and her partner live in Nova Scotia(Halifax to be specific). Secondly, our plan was to move to the east coast and settle on Prince Edward Island. However, go back and re-read reason #1. Third and lastly, after putting some research in and speaking with a real estate professional, our current home is worth at a minimum 3 to 4 times what we paid for it eight years ago. In our area, once homes of our style hit the market, they’re sold within a day or two. They never last a week.

So, now seems like the time.

Searching the real estate market in Nova Scotia has become not just an exercise in looking at homes online, but also researching communities and areas within the province. The only area we have any familiarity with is Halifax, the largest city in the province. Fortunately or unfortunately, house prices within the HRM(Halifax Regional Municipality) are high and sales(at this point at least) generally go way over the asking price. In many instances $50 to $100K over asking. CRAZINESS.

However not so much CRAZINESS in the rest of the province – generally speaking.

So, where are we at this point?

At this stage of the process, our focus has been on the Annapolis Valley area of the province.

Why the Annapolis Valley region you ask?

Another good question. We got several reasons on the go. More moderate climate(ex – winters tend to be milder and less snow – recognizing this is still Canada). There are a number(5 or 6) of communities along a 70 to 80 kilometer linear stretch along the Annapolis Valley region that would provide most of the amenities and services we might require. If we needed anything else, Halifax is about 1.5 hours away.

Now, we aren’t necessarily tied to the Annapolis Valley at this point. Should we find a potential “forever home” in another locale, then we would take a hard look at that location.

Lynn’s been working back and forth over the past few weeks with a real estate person who specializes in and knows the market in the Annapolis Valley very well. So, that’s a good thing.

When and how will this happen? Another two good questions.

When? – sooner than later. But, don’t have a specific date. Hell, could be next week!

How? – I suspect we’ll sell the “old homestead” first and then find a place in Nova Scotia. Our plan is to sell most of our possessions, other than a few sentimental pieces of furniture and personal items(like underwear lol), and restart new or semi-new out there.

So, there you have it.

The reason(s) for being “missing in action.”

And not too terrible a reason after all.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Fire and Ice – Arrowhead Provincial Park

Ontario Provincial Parks depending on their size and classification provide a number of interesting programming options throughout the entire 365 days in the calendar.

One of the more if not most popular events are the “Fire and Ice” evenings on the skating trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park. Arrowhead is located a few kilometers north of the Town of Huntsville. From the “old homestead” on the shore of Georgian Bay, it was a trip of about an hour and 45 minutes to get there.

The ice skating trail is about 1.5 kilometers long and winds through part of the pine-forested campgrounds. As I mentioned the ice skating trail and specifically the “Fire and Ice” evenings are one of the more popular outdoor events in this area of the province.

Given the skating trail’s popularity, I booked our pass for the day and the evening “Fire and Ice” for Saturday(Feb 5) on the previous Monday morning. By Wednesday the passes for all of the weekend had been sold out.

So, what is “Fire and Ice?”

It is simply the skating trail lit up with torches.

Imagine being in a pitch-black forest at night in the cold of winter. Now, imagine that there is an icy trail snaking through the trees. Now that could be a challenge to figure out where the trail is. Now, light it up with torches. And this is the magic that results.

Once arriving at the park entrance, it is about a five-minute (maybe a bit longer) drive to the parking area for the skating trail. There is really a top-notch Visitor’s Centre to warm up at; or to purchase Ontario Parks merchandise or perhaps get a fast coffee or hot chocolate.

There is also an equipment rentals shop beside it if you want to rent skates, snowshoes, or cross-country ski equipment.

A short walk along a torch-lit path through the forest brings you to the start of the ice trail. There are “cubbies” to put your boots in; benches to sit on to lace up your skates and several fire pits to warm up at.

And once you get all laced up – off you go!

A couple of pics of Lynn.

In addition, there are also a number of summer electrical camping sites that they plow out for those who like to winter camp, plus the Park also has a number of rustic cabins that people can rent as well.

The cabins are extremely popular and very difficult to rent. They are reserved in just a minute or two just as soon as they come online. In Ontario, reservations can be made 5 months prior to when you would like to go. With a tremendous demand for them, they will be gone 5 minutes after the reservation window opens at 7:00am on any particular day.

Although the skate trail was a bit choppy and rough, it still was a great night out. The glowing torches; people and families having a great time; a cold winter’s night and the pine forests of northern Ontario – it couldn’t have been better.

In the past, my work schedule had always prevented us from going. But, not this time.

And, in as much as it was a physical outing, it was much more of a mental win for us. So many times over the past two years or so have we talked ourselves out of (or at least I have) of embarking on an adventure.

So, a win all around.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Sketches and Watercolour Painting – East Coast Inspired Lighthouse

If you haven’t been able to figure it out yet, I possess what appears to be an almost obsessive need to sketch; draw, and paint east coast and primarily Nova Scotia-inspired lighthouse and seascape scenes.

Frequently the painting gets inspired by a picture we’ve shot of a particular lighthouse or seacoast location. However, there are times when I merely set a generalized or imagined lighthouse on some generalized or imagined point of the Nova Scotia coastline…….and what you perceive is what you get.

As you can see, I’m, not quite done yet, as the island or point of land needs a wash or two of colour on it. In addition, I noticed that the top of the lighthouse has a “slight slant” to it. But, I do exceptionally enjoy the tiny shed at the bottom of the lighthouse. To me, it has the greatest amount of depth and texture in the painting and immensely adds to the overall effect.

I should note, that I do wear somewhat corrective glasses to help with vision issues. I need to remember to check to sketch portion more closely as I do tend to draw on an angle or slant given my minor vision concerns.

Hopefully, later today(Sunday) or Monday I’ll have the painting finished, and I can update this post.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration’ discover yourself —

A Little Six Mile Lake Snow Trudge

In keeping with the theme of “mid-winter blues”, we decided on Friday afternoon given that it was a glorious and blindingly sunny winter’s day, we headed slightly north of us to the Six Mile Lake area of South Muskoka.

This wasn’t really major or even a minor adventure in terms of what we’re used to doing. If it needed to be classified(and I’m not certain why it would need to be?) it might naturally fit “minor in terms of scope”; major in terms of mental and emotional wellness.”

A slight bit of background here, I’ve been struggling for the past number of months(and far too many to count up) with the feeling of being lost; emotionally, and mentally drained/done. All along with that is the work-related stress caused by the pandemic and a host of other issues(again far too many it seems to add up). So getting outside to canoe, hike, or backcountry camp(plus a number of other outdoor related activities) has been to me over the years a number of things, but importantly it has been the way to recharge the soul and to disconnect from life in order to reconnect back to it.

Needless to say, it has been a significant battle at times to make a decision to head out somewhere and then to carry out on actually doing it. More often than not, I end up talking myself out of what I had talked myself into 24 hours previously.

But Friday afternoon was the day.

We ended up doing just a wonderfully short hike(actually, it was a trail-breaking trudge through knee-deep snow) to a favorite point looking over the water.

It wasn’t far by any means, but in a way, for at least me it was a type of breakthrough. At least we got out. So, I’m taking that as a small win. And a win is still a win no matter how big or small that is.

Lynn’s telling us all we need for an afternoon out is a “thumbs up” attitude and all the while supporting “rosy cheeks.”

It certainly was cold(pushing -20C), but no real wind.

Yup, a win no matter the size is still a win.

–as always with love

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Mid-Winter Blues

We have had a few days during the past week, where it has been damn cold in the morning. In fact, during those whole days, it remained pretty darn chilly. Yesterday(Sunday) didn’t feel quite a “brisk.” Currently, it’s -11C – and when placed beside -29C – well that is just darn balmy.

The old calendar on the wall suggests we’re getting towards the end of January. Now I’m not sure one might consider it mid-winter just yet, but we’ll dub it that for the moment. Anything that positions us closer to spring works.

This has been an incredibly difficult winter for me, and it’s not even the end of January yet.

To say I’m in a lock-step battle with mid-winter blues would be an understatement. In fact, it would be a gross understatement, to say the least.

Sure, I get and understand that there are a ton of various things occurring that aren’t necessarily “mid-winter blues” related. Obviously, the always in the news pandemic(and what wave are we in?) is front and center on a far too frequent basis. The ongoing issues with our Halifax daughter’s mental wellness simply nibbling away at my soul like rust devouring a soup can. And as well, the never-ending strain it seems of finances.

Even if the stuff in the previous paragraph was non-existent, the whole “winter-blues” deal would ………well – still, be a deal.

Nevertheless, I do think that at least for yours truly the whole “mid-winter blues” thing is a real thing.

Yesterday(Sunday) was a beautiful sunshine-filled day, although a “tad brisk” at about -11C or thereabouts. Lynn and I went for a hike out on frozen Georgian Bay amongst the snowmobilers and folks ice fishing.

I mentioned to her at one point, it is these types of days that make me feel alive or come alive during our somewhat long and at times freezing winter months. Brilliant sunshine beaming on your face; the glare of the sun reflecting off the snow and the warmth of the sunshine blasting through the car windows.

On the days when the weather isn’t anywhere near this – I feel terrible. Depressed, sad, and merely anxiously waiting for the day to end. I suspect that I may have some form or level of SAD(Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Anyhow, some days are good; some days are better; some are kinda neutral and some are just plain sucky. But, I think we’re closer to spring and change than we may think we are.

I hope so.

At the “old homestead” life really sucks at the moment. And realistically, I’m sort of getting tired of the whole “life sucking the life out of me” routine.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Sketches and Watercolour Painting – Tilted Lighthouse

Often(and I mean all the time) on our travels throughout the province, Lynn and I come across what I refer to as the “Georgian Bay” pine tree.

Now, there isn’t a specific species called the “Georgian Bay Pine” however, most of them are white pine trees. The name “Georgian Bay pine” derives from the fact that a lot of the pine trees found all along the Georgian Bay shoreline enjoy a distinct look.

They all have a “pronounced slant” and they all appear to only have limbs for the most part growing on one side of the tree trunk. All of these features are a result of the constant west wind from Georgian Bay blowing solely in one direction against the trees for many, many years as they’re growing.

Nova Scotia inspiration….

I thought what would a lighthouse found in Nova Scotia look like if it exhibited similar characteristics as the “Georgian Bay Pine?” You know, found along a rocky shoreline and with a constant wind blowing on them. All the while recognizing that lighthouses tend to have exceedingly sturdy construction(stone, concrete, etc) in order to withstand the forces of “old Mother Nature” as she cruises the shoreline of the North Atlantic ocean.

The start of the painting with final washes of the sky and sea.

The finished product with the lighthouse and rocky shoreline added.

I’m quite pleased with the final outcome. The painting is loose and abstract enough to make the viewer think about what they’re looking at, while at the same time…..it’s just plain fun.

Thanks for taking a look.

–as always with love–

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —