Thursday, May 23, 2013

The kitchen in my new home and Ottawa

Hello everyone!
I hope you've been having a good week so far! On my end, things have been pretty nuts with finalizing the purchase of my new home and then selling my father's home and ironing out the details of when the new owners will be able to move in and therefore when I will have to get the furniture of my father's that I am keeping out of the house. It looks like I'm going to have to end up moving out on a Friday and will therefore be hiring movers for the first time ever. 132$ and hour plus 40$ fuel surcharge. Ouch...oh well, at least I know they're a reputable company since they moved my family and I from our first house to our second one many years ago and nothing was broken or lost. I'll have a better idea of the exact cost of the move once a company representative comes in for an evaluation on Monday, so between now and then I'm going to go back to my father's place and make a final decision on what furniture of his I am taking and what stuff of mine I am going to be getting rid of. I know that I will more than likely not be bringing a single book case since one of the rooms at my new place has some build into the wall. Plenty of space for all of my books in there, let me tell you!

I know you guys were eager to see some pictures of my new place, so in this post I'm sharing part of the kitchen with you. See the massive built in cabinets back there? I will never ever lack kitchen storage space again, you can be sure of that! The kitchen opens up onto my back deck and behind the kitchen island is my amazing gas stove and stainless steel fridge and the DISHWASHER!!! I have not had a dishwasher in five years and have missed it very much indeed :) Another detail I love about the kitchen are two little Murano (Venetian) glass lights above the island. See below for a close up of those, my Sweetheart and I love them to death! 

So aside from all the planning for my move, I have been trying to fit some fun in now that I pretty much done healing from my surgery. I will be seeing my Ob-Gyn on Tuesday and plan on getting the all clear from him at that point, but I've already been easing myself back into things I was restricted from doing since early last week and everything has been going fine. One of the things I did for fun this week was to take a little road trip to Ottawa with my friend G on Monday. I had only ever been to Ottawa once and the weather hadn't been very good so I did not get to see much. We were treated to lovely weather this time and G had been to Ottawa tons of times, so she knew just where to take me. We were also in luck as it was the last day of Ottawa's annual tulip festival, so that made for some colorful pictures. (from left to right: tulips in Major's Hill Park, the Parliament buildings and Library of Parliament can be seen across the river, Rideau Canal Locks with the Farimont Château Laurier on their left and finally the facade of the Parliament Buildings with the famous Peace Tower)

If  you are every planning a trip to the Montreal Area, I strongly recommend planning on taking a day to visit Ottawa as well. It is an easy two hour drive away at the most and there is plenty to do there. Byward Market is a must and a visit of the Parliament Buildings is fascinating as well. I took a tour of the buildings the first time I went to Ottawa and the architecture is very impressive as is the history of the building and government of Canada. A walk along the locks is also a lot of fun, especially if you happen to be there when there are boats being put through them! There are also plenty of museums to be visited in Ottawa as well as across in the river in Gatineau-Hull. I haven't visited any of them yet (it was way to nice out to be inside on Monday), but look forward to having the chance to do so soon.

That's it for now, thanks so much for all of your kind comments on my previous post! I'll be sure to let you know how my doctor's visit goes on Tuesday, whether I get the all clear and any final recommendations he gives me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring seen through my new camera lens

Oh my gosh, it's a photo post!!! I got myself a new wide-angle lens yesterday and went out to try it today with my friend G in tow, with the clear understanding that she would have to be patient while I shutter bugged away. This was also my first time taking my camera out since before my father passed away. I just hadn't felt like it since then, I think I hadn't even taken it out since Christmas, if even then. It feels like a lifetime ago. I have two vacations coming up though, one to Prince Edward Island in June and another to Paris in September and I wanted to be able to get some really great shots on both trips, so a new wide-angle lens was a must and one of Montreal's best photography supply shops, Lozeau, had a Canon sale on this week, so off I went to treat myself yesterday. The weather was not very good for photography today, it was raining on and off, very cloudy and windy, but my blossoming crab apple tree shots came out quite well :)

You can click all of them to enlarge them. More wide-angle lens fun to come, I bought my first home last week and am going for the inspection tomorrow, so a few photos may pop up on here :)

On another note, after my shutter bug session was over I went to Pointe-Claire Village with G and she took me into two shops with her, the first being Izzi, a shop that I had never notice before despite living in the West Island for 25 years before moving to NDG. It's been around for quite a while and what a discovery it was for me today. The sell natural body butters, hand creams, soaps and shower gels and they also had a sale on. I got myself an amazing sea kelp body butter that smells heavenly and since I purchased that, I got a mango hand cream for free. I will never use any products but theirs again, I swear it!!! 

We also went to Dix Mille Villages which sells exclusively hand crafted, fair trade products. I found my night tables made exclusively from old wood, meaning wood that was discarded or that comes from dead trees as well as my night table lamps there, so I am all in all very, very happy wit how my day went :) I encourage you to visit Dix Mille Villages if ever you are in Montreal or to see if there are any of their shops in your area, they really are amazing little places!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fourth post-Myomectomy check-in and other news

Hi there everyone!

It has now been three and a half weeks since my surgery and I am doing really, really well! I hardly have to take any Tylenol at all, am stretching more and more, have gone back to driving and am walking at my normal pace, which is quite speedy. I also went to the first half of my choir practice last night and felt no discomfort after an hour and a half of singing. I was feeling amazing when I got out of there and fully intend to do my full three hour practice next week!

As for my living situation, my Sweetheart helped me move back to my place on Sunday and I've been doing well on my own. I was rather sad and lonely and a bit insecure at first, but I got back into the swing of things quite quickly and am now feeling quite normal. It's also much quieter at my place than at my Sweetheart's since there is no construction site behind the bedroom window here. There are putting the second phase of a condominium project up right behind my Sweetheart's condo building and let me tell you that getting woken up at 7:00 A.M. every weekday morning by jackhammers, dump trucks and backhoes is not much fun and they keep at it until 3:00 P.M. except on Fridays when they stop at noon. They also take a coffee break at 9:00 A.M. until 9:20 A.M. and lunch from noon until 1:00 P.M. Yup, after three weeks I learned their schedule by heart! I also napped with the back door and window shut and my headphones in. No need for that at my place, my closed courtyard blocks out most of the traffic noise from the street, but then again I have not needed a nap since Saturday, which is another nice development and is more than likely due to the fact that I sleep a good two hours more in the morning without the construction noise and also since my Sweetheart doesn't wake me up by leaving for work.

My post-surgery recommendations for this week would be, once again, do not overdo it. I did overdo it on Sunday a bit by carrying some things, even though they were well under the 10 lb weight restriction, up the stairs to my apartment in order to help my Sweetheart. I then spent a good part of the afternoon walking around in the sun and heat house hunting. I was very, very swollen by the end of the day and rather discouraged. The swelling has gone back down to what it was on Saturday now, but if I had not overdone it it might be gone by now. Who knows? All I know was that I was kicking myself on Sunday night when I saw how swollen I was. So no matter how good your are feeling, obey your doctor's orders and the six week restrictions he gives you, even the pesky abstinence order!!! That is the other positive point to my being back home, my boyfriend and I were beginning to have serious issues keeping our hands off of each other. The first two weeks was not an issue, but by the end of the third when I was really getting back to normal it was getting rough. My apologies to anyone who thinks that might be TMI, but it's part of the road to recovery. No sex for six weeks and that's the end of it, nothing to be done and it is the hardest part. No house cleaning is nothing in comparison :J

On an entirely different subject, I AM BUYING A HOUSE!!! Well, it's actually an upper duplex here in my neighborhood, but it's the size of a small house and I am over the moon about it. I had been looking for a place for about two weeks and had visited nine places already in three neighborhoods and was getting discouraged because trust me folks, people ask crazy prices for complete and utter crap out there. I decided that what I really wanted was to stay in my current neighborhood. I really, really love it here, it's a great area, very safe, very quiet and also quite close to where I work. That meant broadening my financial horizons a bit though and I was comfortable with that because it is thanks to my father that I am able to finally buy a place and he would have wanted me to buy something that would make me happy and allow me to live in a nice, safe neighborhood. My father knows this neighborhood, he grew up in it and lived here all his life until my brother came along and he moved into the suburbs with my mother and I. So I upped my price range a bit and *poof* fell onto the perfect upper duplex that had only been on the market for two weeks. I pounced on it, sent the listing to my agent right away and asked him to arrange a visit for me yesterday. We went to see it with a friend of mine (always a good idea to visit houses with a second pair of eyes) and I had trouble containing my enthusiasm. We walked out, thanked the listing agent, let her leave and then I told my agent I wanted to make an offer. Yes, I was sure, yes, I was comfortable with being above my original budget, no, I did not want to wait for my Sweetheart to get back from his business trip to Niagara Falls because I was afraid I might lose the place if I waited until Wednesday or Thursday. Just put the offer in, man, put the offer in!!! So there you have it, my offer should be in by the end of the day and I should be moving in at some point in July. I am absolutely thrilled and I am sure my father is happy for me too, he approves of my choice, I can feel it. I will be posting pictures of the place once I am moved in and cannot wait for all of you to see it. It is so perfect, so me and I cannot believe it is going to be mine.

Thank you so much for looking after me Daddy, thank you a thousand times over. I just miss you so much and wish you could be here to help me and to pick up my moving van and drive it and help load it perfectly like you did for my two other moves. I just know that something will fall over in the truck because you weren't there to fit everything together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. Hopefully Adam and Stéphane will be able to figure it out between them. Give them a nudge in the right direction, would you?

*May 6th through 12th is Mental Health Week here in Canada. I invite you to visit this website to learn more about Mental Health Week and also how you can maintain you mental health and where you can turn for help if you or someone you love has mental health issues.