Friday, May 8, 2015

Getting settled in

My little glamper is all tucked in to what is to be my new home, it is pretty enough, from my toilet (if I leave the door open)  I can see my neighbours, from my kitchen table I can see my neighbours, from my bed I can see my neighbours, while I am standing at my kitchen sink I can see the neighbours. Nuff said about that.

 First morning I was surprised to hear birds singing, not sure why I was surprised, there are some trees, big trees, old maples trees, maybe because of my heavy heart I wasn't expecting any joy, and here they were singing their little hearts out. Well....if they can be happy and sing why can't I. I started unpacking and getting all my services hooked up, of course kept needing stuff, I made a list (bird feeders on the top of the list) and headed out in the afternoon to my new little town in search of a hardware store and a grocery store....couldn't find either.

I found a cute little diner, all chrome and shiny with red 50's style decor, my kind of place. They seat me at the bar, perfect, I can chat up the waitress and find out whats what around here. She's friendly and can't believe someone would move here willingly. I don't tell her I had no other choice, that RV parks won't let us in. There is no grocery store or hardware store she says. What?! How can a town not have a grocery store. Great for the 3 restaurants that are here. (the mayor must own those) There is a Redi Mart/gas station that has a few little things she says but not groceries. She says people go to Innisfail or Olds for groceries, she goes to Olds because they have a Walmart and Canadian Tire, it just only takes 8 mins she assures me, either way they are both about a 10 min drive. (but takes 8 minutes ) I don't need a Walmart just an ordinary grocery store and since I am working in Innisfail I should get acquainted with it, may as well be today.

 I set off for my 10 minute drive, (that should only take 8 mins)  only to miss my exit and have to drive another 6.7 kms to turn around. I find a No Frills, not exactly what I call a grocery store, but by now I am in no mood to go looking for something smaller, there seem to be too many overpasses, underpasses and exits for me to find anything. On my way to finding my way out I find a Coop Centre, I like this place. Now to head back, I take the wrong exit...again, and drive another 8kms before I can turn around....agh! I get home an hour and a half later, but I forgot cream (most important item) so I decide to check out the Redi Mart, turns out it had everything on my grocery list except bananas which I would have substituted for the cucumbers they had...bananas, cucumbers.....they are interchangeable.  What's she talking about "they don't have groceries", they do, and they are 8 minutes away from me, as far as I am concerned Innisfail is an hour and a half away, Which could be problem for me because I have to be at work at 5:30 am which means I have to leave  here at 4 am, I must learn to make better time or find a back way in with no exits.

 I don't have room in my glamper for big boxes and cans of groceries, I just need basic stuff, fruit/veggis/cream/coffee/toilet paper/bird seed/ and one package of meat a week and a bottle of wine every other week (we do have a liquor store) and a store called "Ocean front saddlery"....yeah "ocean front", there ain't no ocean here for many many miles and it would take days to get too, and according to Mircosoft "saddlery" is not a word, but we have the store.

Now some will say it's more expensive at a Redi Mart instead of going to Wamart....ah but it is not. That is what they want you to believe. If you go to Redi Mart you will buy only what is on your list, the basic groceries, if you go to Walmart you will come home with stuff you didn't need, something that was on sale, you will spend more money, and then on your way out of the parking lot you will stop at a Tims and buy a coffee or.....hey look! Reitmans is having a thing you know you have new shoes and a  face cream that promises you will look younger in the morning and a shampoo that will turn your hair into a Texas a beauty queen and  you weren't even aware that you needed all this. This trip is not cheaper than going to the Redi Mart. Plus let's not forget, I am single, I don't need that guy-normous box of cereal or 4 litres of milk or an army sized box of laundry soap, Redi Marts are made for single's one of our perks, along with we don't have to share our wine and no one sits in the passenger seat and calls you a dumb ass when you miss your exit (twice), imagine explaining to your husband when the kids tell him "mommy drove the car through the ditch and did a uie"...... this I believe is the biggest "single perk" of all, but then, if I were not single I wouldn't have been going to the hardware store in the first place...."he" could have gone and I would have sent him a text saying "pick up cream on your way home"..... and he would have. I think that is how it my fantasies anyway.

Shortly after hooking up to water I find I have a leaky pipe, of course you don't know this until you step into a puddle, all pipes are tucked away under everything, in this case under my bed. A kind man that owes this place comes and has a look and says we need to get a piece of pipe and some fittings, we need to go to Olds he says. He's a Innisfail man but Olds now has a walmart and a Canadian Tire he says. He explains to me how the two towns, Olds  and Innisfail are rilerverys, (like Edmonton & Calgary but on a smaller scale) and the people of Bowden are caught in between and can choose sides, the people that go to Olds don't like Innisfail and the people that go to Innisfail don't like least this is how it was until Olds got a Walmart and a Canadian Tire, now people say "I don't like Olds, but they have a Walmart and Canadian Tire"  making it sound like they are not switching sides but you can't blame them now for going there .....oh what fickle people we are, our heads are turned so easily......and to  think we are all allowed to vote.

Nice man says I need to go to Canadian Tire, so of to Olds I go, it's one straight country road to get there, no turnoffs to miss, I like this part, the  town seems to be laid out in a more orderly manner.....for me anyway. Turns out Canadian Tire did not have what I needed but they had something that could be made to work.

So, am I going to choose a side? Probably not, that would require more of a commitment than what I am willing to give right now but if I do it won't be based on Walmart or Canadian tire, it will be based on who has a Value Village. But, like I said, I work in Innisfail, I will try my best to get more acquainted with it.....I will tape the exit #  onto my dashboard  if I have too. The nice man did tell me of a shorter way on a country road, I will try that on Monday. I also need to find a map, do they still make those?

 Meanwhile my bird feeders are hung action there yet but they will come.
My aunt just sent me a text "Walmart has a gazebo on sale".  Damn you Walmart.
And this morning it is -7C out, my furnace went all night, at this rate I will need more propane soon, I did see the Redi Mart had propane too.

When nice man found out I work at the golf course he mentioned that if I want I can work for him to help keep his property neat, like cut the grass and trim hedges. He usually hires a guy but he hasn't shown up yet. Sure, I can't say no to grass. So like some of my friends predicted I already have a part time job aside from my full time job, life is good. 


After....."do what you love, love what you do" the "love" keeps falling off, I need to redo this and straighten it out. 





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Glamper restoration and some grandma time

My glamper was in good shape, but as soon as I started sitting on the seats the cushion covers all started ripping, the fabric was weak from years of sun damage and just age I think. So that meant off to the fabric store to get some fabric, normally this would have been fun, but I was still parked at a friend's place just outside Edmonton so that meant heading into the big bad city for fabric shopping. Over whelming. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted. I wanted a green and red pattern with some black in it. After visiting 2 fabric stores, one of them twice, I was done shopping, that is how much city shopping I can handle. So, my aunt gave me some fabric that she had in her closet and I bought a coordinating fabric for curtains and the solid yellow to match, that is how my glamper ended up being black  and yellow....totally not planned. Oh well, it's just fabric it can be changed, I will travel with a picture in my head and if I ever see it somewhere I can always buy it, that is how I like to shop.
Sewing cushions was not as easy as the Utube videos made it look, if I had made my own video of making these you would find it in the comedy section rated PG due to some language. With the help of some double sided tape, some good  old "speed sew" and many many quilting pins I managed to get it done, no close up photos will be allowed.

After cushions were done it all looked a little too dark (because of the black fabric) so I decided to paint the inside even though I am by nature not a interior painter. Turned out she needed 3 coats...ugh! 4 days of painting. I spray painted all hardware black and wanted to trim all the cupboards with black but after painting 2 doors I decided that it would look a little too much like a zebra but I had already started so now 3 doors have a black trim which I think is just enough to tie into the black fabric. Soon as I started painting I knew this would not be fun and like the song "like when in the back seat of a car there is a point when you have gone too far to turn back" that is how it is with painting. However I didn't have to go to work every day and I had no other commitments at this point so I painted in a meditative and prayerful state, which made it bearable and not entirely horrible, some Roy Orbision would have helped, but I haven't gone record shopping yet and this isn't  like Mexico where if you wait long enough things come to you.

Then I decided that she needed a new back splash and that required a very scary trip to Lowes and Home depo, thank goodness my aunt went with me or I would have stood at the door and cried like a 2 year old who had just lost his mommy just from the sight of floor to ceiling shelves full of stuff, and not your normal ceiling either. I thought of the poor people working in there, no sign of life for 8 hours, no daylight, no sun, not even a single peek of day light through a little window, no wonder they don't look happy. I told myself to always be nice to the staff in these places, each one of these people must be on the verge of having a breakdown of some kind. I did buy a backslash, and again not what I had envisioned, I wanted  the shiny chrome look, you know, like the bumper of a vintage car, again I had to compromise because I didn't want to go from store to store. Again, installing it required some jiggy jacking however I don't think there was any language this time, it did require an extra set of hands though.

In the end I bought a red/white duvet cover and red curtains for my bedroom, which some would say looks odd with the yellow but I don't care, I needed some bright red.

Next week is the big the place with no trees. I have found a farmer who has made a seasonal campground on his farm, it's cute, quaint and has other glampers on it as well. I have reserved a spot and bought a 24' ft deck with railings off of him that someone left behind, I will come with a trunk full of spruce seedlings, I doubt I will be there long enough to see them mature but that is not the point of reforestation, it is not about you, it is about the forest. I have taken trees and wildlife for granted all my life, never realized that so much until now. I have been here for 3 weeks already and have not seen one wild animal, you can't live for 3 weeks in the north without seeing some wild life. I'm blabbing on again about trees.....sorry. It is true what they say "sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone". Which means now I need  to appreciate what I have as well, this land, with no trees and it's winds, the wide and long hay fields, the bare valleys, I need to learn to appreciate 

Getting the lawn mower ready 

Gathering wood for our teepee

Petting the moss

Hay field with a pump jack

Pump jack.....

Wide open spaces

First cushion fail 

How to hug a tree with all your might