Friday, May 27, 2011

The Winds of Change

Wow, so much has happened, where to begin.

In May 2010, we had moved to a new apartment. We had high hopes of new beginnings, positive changes, and settling in for a few years. It was nothing of the sort. Just over a month later, we discovered that our dog, Charlie, was literally infested with fleas. He was my 'shadow' and best friend since he was 6 months old. Now 15, he was dealing with a fair amount of health issues. Arthritis, hearing loss, and I was sure he had had a stroke at one point. He had a massive growth on his chest and we knew it was only a matter of time...

When we discovered the fleas, I had been eaten too as he was always snuggling with me. We had thought that it would be easier on him if we had him put to sleep and we would deal with the flea issue in the apartment. I am convinced that the fleas were in the apartment prior to us moving in. I have had pets all of my life and until that moment, I had never had to deal with fleas - EVER. That is 34 years pest free!

I wanted to just go with the professionals but my hubby and our extended family really encouraged us to buy the spray cans from the vet and do it ourselves. Because Jonah is still not walking independently, we were not comfortable staying in the apartment until they were gone. We went through 3 cans and several home remedies before finally going with the professionals and the fleas finally being annihilated. That was a good 3 months of staying with family, some time at my mom's home and some time with my in-laws'. Three months of living out of a suitcase.

We were able to move back home just in time for winter, finally able to really start the grieving process. Finally able to settle into our 'new' home and live. Winter was COLD! It was a basement apartment, and tiny. We had thought it might be big enough but without storage and only 2 bedrooms, it was tight. We do want to have more kids, so we kept a lot of baby clothing and most baby items. That meant we stored these items in Jonah's room. Some boxes were never unpacked because we did not have anywhere to put them.

Another issue manifested itself, we found mouse droppings in the kitchen cupboards - the lower ones. We told our landlord and he put out traps in the mechanical & furnace room but to no avail. By February the little mouse was a fairly constant visitor. He/she was not shy either, it would make a racket while it went nosing through our recycle bin and garbage. We got into the habit of taking out the trash daily, but it still came round. There was a very evident hole in the wall and I was positive that that was it's doorway. Nothing was ever done about the hole. I even managed to get a photo and video of the little guy. The video didn't turn out - too dark, but you can hear it. The photo was good though.

It was almost comical. As you can see, we were very tight on space. The mouse would run along our hutch and literally launch itself into the garbage pail. You would hear a thud when it hit the bottom, some rustling and then it would climb up the garbage bag to get out.

By Christmas, we knew we would have to move again, there was simply not enough space. And the layout really didn't work for us. The kitchen was at the opposite end as the living room, at the onset, I liked this. I discovered that this was not good with a toddler. He would either scream the entire time I was out of the room preparing meals or get into mischief.

So, the hunt was on again. Come 2011, I began looking around to see what was out there. It didn't look promising. We had the option of a townhouse or an apartment, but with a townhouse, we would have to pay to heat all three levels. And being at the top of our budget, that was not doable. So that left apartments, but again, 3 bedroom apartments with storage were not easy to find, and the ones that we often did run into were either dives or at the top of our budget. That left one other option to consider. We live right by the 'border' between Ontario and Quebec, and there is always the battle of which province is better to live in. Every person has a very different opinion but it came down to, what was best for us. We did not want to have to pay at the top of our budget, nor did we want to lose our doctors. After checking with our doctors and all of them being ok with our move, we checked out what Quebec had to offer.

Having lived in Ontario all of my life, dealing with the english-french 'battle' this would be new territory for me. However, having had family live in Quebec, visited often, it is all land to me, all Canada, so what should it matter? My hubby grew up in Quebec, in the same house, all of his life, until we got married and moved to Ontario. So, for his family, the prospect of us moving to Quebec was exciting to them. Each time we hunted for a place, they encouraged a search of their area. I do not drive, so I needed to be closer, geographically, to my place of work as I used public transit. Now, being a home-maker, that is no longer an issue.

We looked at a total of 3 apartments in Quebec, the last one being the one we chose. It was built in 2010 -brand new- 3 bedrooms, ample storage, and much larger space. Situated in a more bilingual neighborhood, and a little less per month than the one we needed to vacate. The only downside, we would need to buy our own appliances. Of course we took it!

May 1st, we got the key and began our move. I don't like moving, hate the process actually. Organizing, packing, living in chaos, and doing it in a tiny apartment, was horrible. I don't want to do that again for a very, VERY long time. We completed the move, and I am so so so happy. The apartment is so nice, so large and feels like home. Everyday I get more and more settled, more things organized and unpacked, it's so exciting.

The last apartment never really felt like home, not really, it felt like a really long nightmare in some ways, a bad stop on the ride of life, but we have moved on. I will forever miss Charlie, and I will always feel horrible about how his last days were spent. I love you Charlie Bear!

These were taken in his youth

This was taken during my pregnancy. Charlie was sucking up.

These were taken during Charlie's last year. He was an awesome dog, he was great with Jonah and is deeply missed. I had typed up a letter that I sent to friends and family of his passing, I will post it later. Time to go and try to get some rest.

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