To say we are a little overwhelmed these days would be an understatement but it’s an electric energizing kind of feeling.  Trying to strike a balance of the ‘want to do’s’ with the ‘have to do’s’ with all of the ‘would rather do’s’ has kept us hopping since moving in.

Fall weather temperatures although still very mild, have been dropping so tending to R.E.D. especially running antifreeze through her veins is essential before the deep cold sets in.  And oh the stuff in the galley!  At the beginning of the season, if you remember, we were supposed to have been preparing for a three-month cruise of Lake Huron so I, in my usual Galley Kat over kill mode, provisioned for a three month trip.  Now I’ve been faced with moving all that stuff  back to the house.  How many bottles of sauces and mustards can one fit in a tiny kitchen?  I’m finding out.  It will all get used up eventually but for an instant or three I was longing for all that storage in the Montreal kitchen.  

Our Land Galley

So now the main tasks are complete on the boat.  Igloo frame and winter coat secured.  Lines flushed and food things removed. Poor R.E.D. will need a good cleaning in the spring but at least she’s winter-ready.

Winter R.E.D.

Now we are caught with wanting to do some yard work  but needing to unpack boxes.  The weather has been so great that if we wait for a crappy day nothing will get done inside.  

The Fire Pit

So each day there is a little inside…a little outside.  The previous owner was a real gardener and we want to make sure that we take care of pruning and cutting and thinning out properly.  Identifying what plant is what is a big mystery for now but we’ll learn as we go. I’ve discovered little treasures of lemon thyme and lots of lavender some of which I’ve brought in to dry for the winter months. Can’t wait to see what other edibles emerge in a few months.


Another challenge for us is learning to properly recycle here.  There are very specific rules not seen before in Montreal.  And then there is caring for the septic system.  My city condo garburator has been replaced with a compost bin.  No bits of food or coffee grounds or grease down the drain and no chemicals.  There are bags for paper waste and bags for plastic and special garbage bags for non-recyclable items and rules about disposing of yard debris and how many bags of each can be left for collection and when collection is scheduled for our area.  It makes me sad to think of all the trees that sacrificed themselves for this one move.  It’s embarassing all the paper and cardboard needed just for us but at least there is a good system in place to give it all a new life.

In the midst of all of this is what Francois refers to administrative things like changing our car and driver’s registration to make us Nova Scotia legal.  We have a grace period of 90 days so there isn’t a great rush but it does have to be taken care of.  And with winter approaching those snow tires have to be installed and at the same time why not have the mandatory safety inspection done which we’ll need when registration is changed over?

See what I mean?  There’s a lot to do.  

I’ve never had a move that’s taken this long to unpack either.  Yes, I know, it’s only been a few days but usually I can have the boxes gone within a couple of days.  Downing-sizing takes a lot more care.  If you remember the previous posts about the car loads of things we got rid of before leaving Montreal, well it wasn’t nearly enough.  24’ x 26’ gives me exactly 624 square feet of fitting in on the main floor. Same for  the upstairs rooms.

The Wooden Hill


 The basement is another issue because when we can’t find space in the main living areas it all goes down to ‘the cave’ and at the moment it’s a navigational mine field.  

Land Mine

Francois had tackled that job really well so at least there is room to manoeuvre and good news, he’s found space for his tools.

His Tools

We’ve struck a reasonable balance I think.  Just enough to make the Kat feel calm in her new home.  There have been moments though when I felt like hiding under the bed or curling up fetal-like in my window seat.  

Kat Seat

Moments when a few boxes were unpacked and contents put away all neat and tidy then we’d turn around and open another few boxes and it was like a moving box explosion… paper and cardboard all over the place again…as if it would never end.

Our guest room is painted and invitation ready.  Being such a tiny room we opted for multi-functional.  A single bed that transforms to a very generous double and also acts as a sitting area for TV watching.  But who  has time for TV-watching anyway?

Guest Room

 We may have to live out of wardrobe boxes for a while in our bedroom though. Old houses and small closets go hand in hand and gables with all those slanted ceilings are going to make furnishing a challenge but our bed is a lovely solid cozy santuary when our busy days are done.

Living Room with a View

All the boxes are out of the main living area and our art has been hung so we can have moments of pretending we’re finished. Those shelves will be arranged and rearranged over and over until the Kat is satisfied and then rearranged once again for good measure. There is still so much editing to do though.  We’re sticking with the concept that if we need more storage for your stuff then we have too much stuff.  

Shelves Rearranged a Dozen Times

This may seem like a whole litany of complaining and grumbling but when we think of what could have been we are so very thankful to be here is this wonderful charming little cottage by the sea.  We could have found a fixer upper…and we looked at a few. Imagine having to do all this in the midst of renovating when the very worst thing that’s needed here is maybe a fresh coat of paint….maybe.

Because we sold our dining room furniture (didn’t have room for it anyway) we kept our small cocktail table and a couple of bar stools.  Not terribly practical but for now it works for the two of us. At the end of each day we sit here and watch the sunset over the ocean and think how very lucky we are to be here.

I asked Francois if he thinks he’ll ever get tired of this.

His answer: Never!  

Never is a very very long time.

PODZILLA  and Our Life in a Box

PODZILLA and Our Life in a Box

I wasn’t planning on sending you all an update until a bit closer to leaving Montreal but when our moving POD was delivered today I decided it was worth telling you all about the experience.

POD Delivery

It was not too dissimilar to launching a boat.  The guy presented himself around 08:00 after a couple of calls letting us know of his approximate arrival time.  By the way, so far in this process at least, we are super happy with the company and what they offer, very reasonable pricing and a small military discount is always welcomed.  These days when customer service seems to be less than what we are willing to put up with we’ve been really impressed with their communication.  I say so far because we still have a way to go.

The Process

So here’s the show.  Podzilla the robot that our POD sits on, raises up the container so that the driver can extract the POD from his truck then lowers the POD slowly to the ground.  Podzilla then returns to the truck.  Very much like our annual boat launch and with as much care.

The Demonstration

The great communication continued with a demo of how the locking system works….

The Unveiling

…and some instructions on loading etc.

Supervisor Pig

As always, the Pig played supervisor from afar.  I guess we’re all a little nervous about the events of the days to come.

The First Run

In the beginning, when we started bringing all our carefully packed boxes down to load, I thought, there is no way our stuff is going to fit.  I mean NO WAY!  But after a few hours of hauling and lifting and arranging, Francois had it all neatly stacked, taking up no more than a third of the container.  If nothing else, all those military moves taught this guy to pack like a professional.  We still have so much more to do and I’m still taking bets to see if our worldly goods can fit into an 8’ x 8’ x 16’ POD.  Feel free to chime in with your bets.

Last Beer

The land galley is getting mighty low on supplies but we managed to squeeze in one lowly beer to share, congratulating ourselves for a job well done today.

Post Script: french translation is automated and not always perfect. Sorry