Friday, January 22, 2010

The Ball is Rolling

Since we decided to move to Ottawa we've pretty much been playing the waiting game, waiting for the government to get us the necessary paperwork to get the ball rolling to make our move happen. It's been a frustrating wait.

Our biggest concern is selling the house. The market in Windsor is very depressed right now and selling a house is hard. We wanted to have as much time as possible to sell the house. However, until the paperwork is all settled, our hands are tied. This has easily been our biggest frustration. We've been doing what we can to get our house ready but we haven't been able to list it yet.

This also impacts our ability to buy a house in Ottawa. The market there seems to be the opposite of the market here. We look at houses online and in a day or two they're gone. Things sell quickly and from what we understand there are usually multiple offers for houses. If we don't sell our house, we would need to make a conditional offer and that would probably lessen our likelihood of getting the house we want. Again, frustrating.

Well, the paperwork came today and our relocation file has officially been started. We should be contacted soon by the real estate company that handles the government relocations. That will get the ball rolling. Our house should be on the market here soon and all we can do is hope and pray that someone will want to buy it and for a reasonable price. We're prepared to take a bit of a loss but we really don't want it to be HUGE, especially with what we're expecting to pay for our new house in Ottawa.

So, that's where we stand right now. Things are finally moving. Maybe now I can get some sleep at night. I doubt it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top Books of 2009

2008 and was a pretty rough year for me book-wise. I just couldn't find anything that I loved. 2009 was the complete opposite. I read a bunch of amazing books so I thought I'd borrow a page from my cousin, Glenn, and list them here.

The Godfather, Mario Puzo - I'm not really sure what made me read this. I saw a guy reading it on the bus in Montreal and it got me thinking about it. I didn't see myself as a mobster-type fan, but I have to say, I LOVED this book. The characters are amazing, the story is compelling and I asked for the book for Christmas so I can read it again. I've also discovered I love the movies. Who knew?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer - This book was recommended to me by two different people within a few days of each other. That's usually a good sign. This was a quick read, but a really enjoyable World War II story.
Come, Thou Tortoise, Jessica Grant - Another recommendation from a friend and I had no idea what to expect when I picked it up. It made me laugh from beginning to end. This book had the most unique narrator I've ever encountered in a book. I totally loved her and the whole story.
Roots, Alexander Haley - I read this one after several members of my family did. I had no idea that the book claimed to be the actual lineage of Alex Haley. I really loved the book but that was a bit disappointed afterwards to find out that parts of it have been plagiarized and the whole claim about Alex Haley's lineage seem to have been debunked. It's sad really because it's a wonderful book about the power of people to overcome the worst life can throw at them.
The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill - Very similar to Roots in many ways, this Canadian book blew me away. You should read it, if you haven't already.
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak - This is another book about which I knew very little when I started reading it. Set in Germany during World War II it gives you a different perspective on the war than usual. Narrated by death, it deals with the power of words and books and people. Amazing stuff.
Wishin' and Hopin', Wally Lamb - I just got this book for Christmas and it's another one that made me laugh out loud constantly. It's a super-light but super-fun ready. It really needs to be made into a movie. It would be the next, "A Christmas Story". I loved it and may even have convinced Nick to read it too.

Disappointing books of 2009:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - I thought it might be a fun read. I was wrong. Really, really, wrong.
The Blythes are Quoted, L.M. Montgomery - This is a new book in the Anne of Green Gables series that has never been released in this form before. It is a series of short stories with Anne and her family brought in as minor characters. Each of the stories had been written on its own and then Anne and her family were added in later. I have previously read the short stories on their own and they were better as they were. The times when Anne and her family are mentioned seemed forced and often silly. It doesn't really do much to tell us anything more about the Blythes. I'm glad I read it, but I doubt I'll read it as often as I read the other Anne books.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Nick got our camera/computer problems worked out and our pictures are now available on Facebook and Flickr.

On Monday morning I had Wesley back at his ear specialist for another check up. The doctor continues to be pleased with how Wesley's ears are looking. He asked to see us again in six months but I told him we'll be living in Ottawa by then. I wasn't sure how that was going to work. I hoped he would be able to refer us to a specialist in Ottawa. I was afraid we'd have to get there, find a family doctor and then wait for a referral again there. Fortunately, our doctor here said he will see Wesley again before we leave and then will set us up with a specialist in Ottawa, so we'll be all set. That's a big relief. So, we're happy that he's doing well and that there are no more ear problems on the horizon.

The doctor didn't mention anything about Wesley's speech this time, so I guess he's OK for now. He's trying to say more words and is getting easier to understand. We'll see how things go over the next couple of months and see if we want to look into any sort of help with that once we get to Ottawa.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

We're Back!

We're back home in Windsor after two wonderful, but exhausting weeks on the road.

Nick and Darcy counted the other day and over the 14 days we were on the road, Darcy went to 11 parties. That includes celebrating Daddy's birthday, a couple of Christmases, getting together with my cousins and extended family, those sorts of things. There were late nights, great food and lots of laughs. The kids did pretty well through it all, and we managed to survive too.

I won't go through a whole day-by-day synopsis but I will highlight some of our top (and bottom) moments:

- seeing the Olympic torch pass through Brantford, Ontario
- watching the excitement on Wesley's face when our plane took off!
- taking Darcy to her first movie, with Auntie Stef
- tobogganing in Montreal
- lots of turkey
- surviving our flight home (including have each member of our family being assigned individual seats on the plane)
- managing not to throw Wesley's new Wiggles car (that sings "Toot toot chugga chugga, Big Red Car loudly, over and over and over and over and over...) out the window
- lots of Chinese food
- seeing many of my cousins
- a great New Year's Eve at my sister's house, even though I wasn't feeling well and needed to take a nap to make it to midnight
- the return of the Haskell family New Year's Day street hockey game
- breaking my toe while falling down some stairs at my parents' house
- celebrating my Mom's 60th birthday

What a great list and what a great time we had. Nick had to come back to Windsor to work so he missed some of our time in Cambridge but he joined us for the final weekend and then we all came home together on Sunday. We've had a lot of unpacking and laundry to do but things are starting to feel normal again! I'm having trouble uploading the pictures from my camera but I hope to get them on Facebook and Flickr soon.