Friday, July 31, 2009


Things are moving along over here!

First, our big news, somebody loves our home enough to buy it! We've accepted an offer and it's all a go, with a possession date of september 1. In addition, we couldn't ask for better buyers - they are a small family we actually know a bit from the public library, with a girl the same age as Smootch (she even has curly hair too ;). They garden and ride bikes and just lovely in so many ways. Ah. Satisfying. They were to be our last viewing before we turned the whole thing over to the realtor (actually, I was giving The Man hell for not pulling our sign earlier since there is no time for viewings when you are downsizing, packing and preparing, so they just squeeked in, with only The Man's good nature getting them in the door.)

The shedding and preparing continues. We are getting to the nitty gritty. How many cookbooks do we take? How many days of clothes to wear before washings? Our home is mostly empty (yet still messy :O).

I should have some pics of Sybil soon, but I think we'll do our big clean up of her first. Her carpets and chairs need cleaning, and the mirrors washed etc. Yesterday we checked all her systems - heat, fridge, water, and they all work just fine. She was in the mechanics shop for a few days getting her spark plugs replaced and some other surprise issues (always something, yes?) She's actually got another appointment on tuesday because somehow the mechanics knocked out her overdrive while in the shop and now she doesn't want to do hills. Considering we have two provinces worth of mountains to get through, not to mention the whole Icefields Parkway to Jasper in a few weeks (the same mountain that killed my first car), we sorta need her to be able to go up faster than 20 km. So, one more trip to the shop.

But then we are out of here.


I will get back to sorting through our clothes, but leave you with some pages I've visited to inspire and help us out a bit as we've been downsizing.

Here is Families on the Road downsizing page. FOTR, btw, is an amazing site. Go there. Read the blogs. Marvel at the different ways families can live and learn. is my new favorite blog. They are a family on Vancouver Island who are now getting a bus to convert to a living space, but they also have all sorts of lovely thoughts on unschooling, unjobbing, and life in general. I've been trying to stalk them a bit, I mean, make friends, but so far no go :D Here is my favorite resource discovered there (for now).

WhyWork? has given us some food for thought. I know some think I'm nuts but everytime I hear of someone being laid off I think, 'Good for them!' Because being untied from a job is an opportunity (and, yes, maybe a tragedy too. Every situation is different, and with every second that passes are a number of choices, attitudes, and possibilites for personal revolutions... we mustn't put all hopes on the jobs provided by corporations and their shareholders because they will fuck us everytime.)

Cheers all, I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My stuff has (almost) left the building

My stuff.

It's funny, a few months ago I had a whole house of stuff that was of such importance that I carted it around for decades from home to home, I cleaned it, organized it, stored it, brought it out, and put it away again. I dedicated over a thousand square feet of prime real estate to my stuff, effectively making the cost of stuff storage over a thousand dollars a month. I have loved my stuff. I've kept it warm, dry, and clean. I've protected it and lovingly caressed its surfaces. I've nurtured my stuff.

Today I watched a box of stuff that I once declared I would like buried with my body once I die walk out in the arms of a stranger. I tried really, really hard to care. But I couldn't. I was glad it was leaving. My love affair with my stuff is officially over.

This is a mature point for me, the end of a long, rough journey I've taken cleaning out the house. While we are not quite done, enough has found itself new homes that I'm beginning to feel a bit of a veteran. The first bit was quite hard - crying jags over boxes of random items that just happened to have been abandoned in the basement about the same time that our first child was born. How I could develop an attachment to something that I had previously discarded just because I ditched it at an important time in my life is seriously convoluted, yet there I was. And then I went through the real mementos, many of which needed to go away, no matter how much they mean to me. Going through them it became easier to answer some essential questions: Do I need this now or ever again? Will the person/event I cherish be diminished/damaged/hurt by the passing along of this memento? What's really important here? Does my memory suddenly cease to work without this particular memento?

I've gotten better at keeping it all in perspective, especially with gifts given to me and the children. Gifts are not given in with the expectation that they will hence forth be forever strapped to your person and household and hauled around like a ball and chain. Gifts are about love and that's what we are supposed to carry.

A few days ago I became hardened (or exhilarated with the impending liberation) to the point where I became almost predatory, roaming around my house, spying out stuff that I could get rid of. This is the point where The Man started questioning my decision making but I make no apologises. My point: Can we live without it? Can we make do? Do I need to remind anyone that Birdie Boy flushed our bath plug away more than a month ago and, yet, since baths have been taken almost daily (with bath cloths doing double duty). Yes, it's useful, yes, we use it. But do we need to?

We still have a long way to go. Not just with the house, though we are on the last leg of the decluttering, but with the mental cage we live in when it comes to stuff. I am programmed to buy and acquire. I could say that a little less dramatically, but the truth is that buying, collecting, having, and hoarding are something I instinctively, or if not biologically programmed, then as a knee jerk response to almost any event imaginable. Need something to do? Get some stuff. Got an important event coming up? Get some stuff. Expecting a baby? Get some stuff (actually, a lot of stuff.)

The task now - the harder one I would argue - is to learn how to not acquire more stuff. I know that as we travel more and more makes its way into our lives and living space. And I tend to believe that once stuff makes its way in the door then it becomes like another child to me, a part of me, that needs to find a home within our home, and protected from the cruel world that seeks to seperate us. Don't laugh. I still have a stick - a stick! - that The Man gave to me on the night we met eleven years ago (minus one week).

Letting go and getting comfortable without my stuff armour. That is my challenge now.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We now officially have two homes

Hey, a quick sneak of our new friend:
Not the prettiest of pictures (I think it's the one from the ad I found on our computer), but I will get some better ones soon. Of course, if we are to be living in the silly thing, there will be many MANY pictures anyway :)
I've started calling her Sybil after her shiny new license plate that spells out 'SYB', something I got to look at a lot yesterday as I followed her from pick up to the shop to have her batteries tended. The Man was an absolute god yesterday, between waking up at 4 am with Birdie Boy, then going to work (to quit), and then the running back and forth between towns to get the certified check, then the insurance and registration, then back to get Sybil, and back to the shop. Oh, and then tidied up our completely trashed house for a viewing at 6, then even took us all down for slurpees. Me? I woke up late, went to discovery canyon (outdoor water park) with the kids, did a bit of driving (insisting on a coffee to take along) and then went to the toy store to play. My job description is basically, 'watch the kids.'
Soon, though, I've got to get a bit more involved in the de-stuffing, as I have a ton or two of fabric that needs sorted and adopted. I feel a bit weepy thinking about it actually.
The kids, btw, are loving this whole process. They get to go out all the time now to strange and wonderful places like automotive shops, and there is always something pulled out in the house that is new (and usually not so good for children to play with). They've hardly noticed the slow thinning of their toy stock. We've been explaining and de-stuffing along with the children as much as possible but ultimately they've never been really interested in their stuff before, and seem even less concerned now. Both of them just want to get out of the house and see things. Perhaps our children's curosity with the wider world (and seemingly annoyance at having to be at home at all) makes this whole adventure viable at this point in our lives. By the time they're teenagers I'm sure things will be drastically different - or maybe not. Children never cease to amaze, and as long as they feel a part of the decision making, who knows where their adventurous hearts will take us all?
Can't wait! T minus two weeks!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

how to lose weight quickly

The title of this blog is about to take on a whole new meaning.

This is where the tv used to be: Smootch has made it into a little bed, perhaps a wake of sorts for her old friend.

The television is the latest casuality in our two mad weeks of emptying out the house. We are are just closing on the purchase on a 30 foot RV, which will be home for all of august and perhaps september. Maybe longer.

No, our beautiful blue home still hasn't sold. But we are turning the keys over to a realtor at the beginning of august. We wash our hands of it (but we'll take the check, when it finds a new family to live in it.) First up will be a two weekish tour of Saskatchwan, looking for a lovely spot to call home for the winter months. Then it'll be the annual family reunion in Camrock, and then up to Peace River for a visit with the family who lives underground. (Dad-Man, btw, is still kickin', though still going through recouperation, with at least one more surgery to go. Note to self: don't block the bowel. Retain gasteromic intregrity.)

Ideally, we should be able to keep most of our things in the RV. Which means that most of the things we currently own need new homes. How amazing it will be to go from a 1000 square feet to an RV! We will keep our mattresses and individual dressers, a few boxes of mementos and the lego (oh, why the hell do we have so much lego?), which will be stored in grandma's duck house until we need them for our winter residence (or if at all), but other than that, we fit in the RV or it goes.


Back to the house. How to slim it all down and quickly? The Man has been a Kijiji'ing like mad, and seem to be having a lot of fun, strangely enough. Good-bye squash raquets, spare dehydrator, and game box! Freecycle is also a brillant resource, if you can convince people to actually come pick up their stuff. Today a whole truckload left with MeMa and Auntie, and looks like I've managed to get rid of another couple of bookshelves too. (All I can say is that if you park your truck outside of our house right now, I suggest you don't leave it unattended or you'll find it filled up with furniture.) The whole 'getting rid of 95% of my stuff' is a roller coaster of emotions, but ultimately I just want to shed it all. Just think, I've probably lost over 500 lbs today - who doesn't love that feeling?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Christmas in July

One fun thing about having a bag full of candy from every holiday that passed over the last few years is being able to satisfy the almost any type of sweetie desire. Like when Birdie Boy has a yearning for peppermint. Have you ever met a baby into peppermint?
For being the kid who bites every member of his family daily, it's funny how he licks his candy cane down to almost nothing, never a bite (while his sister, who never bit her mother, still can't help but chomp on a sucker as soon as it hits teeth). Finding these quirks and oddities in the babes in one of my most favorite things about motherhood. Always having an excuse for candy is definitely a bonus too.