Friday, April 29, 2016

New home odds & ends

  • It's one week ago today that we left our house for the last time and took possession of our new condo.
  • It's been a looooonnnnngggggg week, lol.  
  • Both dh & I agree that we feel like we're staying in a really nice hotel (albeit one we have to clean and organize, lol).  It's hasn't quite sunk in yet that this is really our home and our life now.  
  • What we are loving: 
    • Being close to BIL & family. He and dh are both ecstatic at the proximity.
    • Hearing from people I haven't heard from in quite a while, after announcing our new location via Facebook & email earlier this week. It didn't take long for the congratulatory messages to start rolling in. 
    • Having some good news that we can celebrate (finally!!) with our families and friends. I feel like a lot of people have been waiting a long time for SOMETHING they could celebrate with us. After all, many of dh's relatives never came to our wedding (almost 32 years ago) because of the distance, our daughter was stillborn before my baby shower was held (almost 18 years ago), and there never was a "next time."  And it's been 26 years since we bought our first home. 
    • My gorgeous kitchen with the quartz countertop, coordinating backsplash, tall cupboards & stainless steel appliances (which I am gradually figuring out how to use -- no thanks to the previous owners who didn't leave any appliance manuals. :p  I've found all but the dishwasher online).
    • Having convenient access to two bathrooms. :)  (We had two bathrooms at the house, but one was in the basement & it was pretty cold down there.)  It wasn't a "must have" on our condo shopping list -- really, how many bathrooms do two people REALLY need? -- but we are glad it worked out this way. ;)  
    • Everyone in the building seems to be very friendly -- lots of hellos in the elevator. Mostly they seem to be young & single or older and retired. Dh met our next-door neighbour, and we met the couple who bought the corner unit kitty-corner from ours (which we also saw). They haven't moved in yet, though.
    • The building has been relatively quiet, perhaps even quieter than our house was. We hear the odd dog yapping as its owner takes it to the elevator, but it's brief, and it's rarely past 11 p.m. (unlike our old neighbourhood, where the daily chorus would begin at around 5:30 a.m., peak in the late afternoon, and finish with a flourish just as our heads were hitting the pillows at night :p ).  The odd plane overhead, or emergency vehicle sirens, but that's been about it. We don't really hear anything from the main road on the other side of the building. Knocking wood that this continues!
    • Sleeping!  Both of us have been sleeping better than we have in a long time.    
    • The convenience of the garbage chute down the hall (at the other end from us, fortunately, lol). No waiting for garbage day (& worrying about the squirrels & raccoons getting into the garbage before it's picked up) -- it's there whenever we need it.
    • The abundance of natural light. We face north, with floor to ceiling windows in every room (& window coverings in the master bedroom only, so far), so we still get a lot of light, without being directly in the sun. And...
    • We've been seeing some lovely sunsets from our balcony. :)
    • Shopping for new stuff. :)  (Even if it's expensive and tiring.)  It's nice to have some shiny new things. :)  Among this week's purchases: a new vacuum cleaner (we had a central vac at the house), humidifier, two folding chairs & a small table for the balcony, two bar stools for the counter (on order), and some extra towel racks for the bathroom (the racks in both bathrooms only fit one bath towel each??!). We were even able to find racks that match the ones already there. :)  And we are going to be looking for new dining room furniture and a new TV stand/entertainment unit.  
  • What we're not loving:
    • The cleaning. :p We would be cleaning regardless, of course, but the previous owners didn't exactly leave the place spotless. :p
    • Trying to find space for everything (&/or deciding what's going to have to go). :p  We have a lot of closet space here (probably the most we saw in all the condos we viewed), plus a storage locker, but everything is already pretty much full :p and we still have some boxes piled up in the spare bedroom/office.  
    • Having to figure out all the new TV channels with our new service provider, and learning which channels we do and don't get with the new package. (On the other hand, the picture quality is superb!!) 
    • Dealing with too many changes all at once. Perhaps it wasn't the wisest idea to tackle early retirement, buying a condo and selling our house, moving to a new community, new mattress set, new smartphones, new TV service -- all within a three-month time frame??! 
    • Starting off life here by getting sick. Sore throat, stuffy head, probably a bit of allergies (all that dust left by the previous owners, plus the dust we created by opening boxes, etc.). I think I was just plain exhausted after all the activity and all the STRESS of the past few days/weeks/months. Plus Aunt Flo decided to drop by on moving day, just to keep things even more interesting than they already were. :p I am feeling a bit more human today, though. Warm saltwater gargles and a good nap can work wonders, it seems. ;)
    • The lack of humidity. It's been as low as 23% and never higher than 39% (after we boiled a pot of water on top of the stove for a few hours), according to our hygrometer. My skin is crawling, and my hands were raw after opening so many cardboard boxes. :p  (Hence, the new humidifier...!!) (And while it was supposed to be "quiet" technology, I am finding it very loud. :p )
    • Being a fish out of water in our new community, in more ways than one. :p  I am sure we will be asked about our children sooner or later. :p  Awhile back, I remember posting about an article I'd read in which the federal riding we lived in was one with the highest percentages of families (parents with kids) in Canada, according to the most recent census?  Guess which riding ranked #1?  Yep!
    • The TRAFFIC. :p I read an article recently that described the community we moved to as "the worst of suburbia personified" (i.e., traffic congestion, lack of transit, lack of walkability, etc.). It's crowded, there are meridians everywhere that make it really difficult to get where you want to go -- and people generally drive like maniacs. :p And of course, neither of us has any idea where things are or where exactly we're going, which exacerbates the problem. I know we'll figure it all out eventually, but in the meantime, getting almost anywhere is an exercise in frustration. :p
    • Between the time we bought the condo & when we moved in, all the lovely trees we looked out on have been chopped down. :(  We knew there would be some high-end townhouses constructed there eventually, we just didn't know when that construction would start. On the other hand, it's going to be kind of cool to watch them being built over the next few months. I've started a photo diary/album on Facebook to document the progress. There's still a good-sized green space separating our building and the townhouses. And (so far, anyway) the construction noise hasn't been too irritating.
    • Being too busy to blog until now, or to read or comment on other blogs. My apologies. :(


  1. This makes me so excited for you and your DH! Your condo sounds lovely and I'm sure you'll adjust to the traffic and finding everyplace soon. When we moved to where we currently live I think I cried at least once daily because I didn't know where anything was (and I have a non-existent sense of direction).

    Reading all of this is making me start to get excited about our upcoming move too!

  2. Congratulations on new condo! I am excited for you!

  3. Glad to here you are settling, even though there's been some negatives (getting sick, lots of cleaning and organizing, etc). And you are giving me a list of things to prepare as we get ready to put our condo on the market (Grey generated a binder of the appliance instructions for all our appliances that we need to make sure stays in the condo).

    May the rest of unpacking and settling be smooth and I hope the conversations with new neighbors focuses solely on who you are and your current interests.

  4. Whew, I’m tired out just reading about your adventures this week!
    It sounds like it’s all gradually coming together with settling in and exploring the new neighbourhood.

  5. Congratulations!! Hope things keep getting better! I cannot even begin to fathom a move!! We will do it one day, but hopefully not anytime soon.

  6. I confess I'm a wee bit jealous. Both because I love the idea of exploring a new area, and starting to find the spots that I want to make my own, and because I know we'll need to move sometime in the next ten years ... and the thought of everything we have to do before that is scary!

    Hope you're feeling better, and gradually managing to love all these changes that have come into your life this year.

  7. Moving is so stressful- I'm feeling anxious just reading about it! When we moved to a new town (almost four years ago now), I found it took us about a year to really feel comfortable. Be patient, and before you know it, it will feel like home. :)

  8. What an adventure! Sorry to hear you're not feeling well, though.