Thursday, March 10, 2011


We're still packing and in fact bit the bullet and actually paid money for boxes. Lots of our previous boxes have been damp out in the garage, crushed or otherwise damaged, so we decided it was time to get some new ones and there don't seem to be any available online for free or cheap. We've found that it's a bit easier to find things if the boxes look the same and have a label on them all in the same place. And it's also easier and more efficient to pack them tightly together if they are all the same size.

There is a local U-Haul dealer near us and they as a company have loads of really nifty moving aids like funky boxes, foam packing materials, tacos to hold open your box, really more than anyone could need. The only draw back is expense and the fact that when I got to the local dealer they carried about 5% of what's available online. So I just stuck to a wardrobe box, a dish barrel (both of these are double walled boxes) and 10 book boxes plus some foam sheets and packing paper. I got the packing paper just because I hate having to re-wash everything once you unpack to try and get the newsprint off. Then I checked my receipt and saw that they had charged me for small boxes instead of book boxes so they owed me $7. Fair enough. We headed out to work and then we decided to stop by Home Depot to get some 2x4's that Steve needs to make and finish the trim on his trailer. I checked out lights and boxes too. We managed to get 2 flush mount light fixtures for the trailer for $5 each (a smokin' deal) and the boxes are $1.29 each for small, $1.99 for medium and $2.49 for large. So of course I stocked up. I got 10 small, 4 meduim and 4 large plus a pack of their paper which was $4 (not the $12.50 U-Haul charges) for a grand total of $35. I went back to U-Haul to return the 10 small boxes and discovered that they can't make a refund on a debit card purchase and wouldn't give me cash so after haggling for a while they finally wrote me a cheque for $39 and change. All in all I spent the same amount of money but got 4 medium and 4 large boxes extra by shopping at Home Depot, and since we were going there anyways it wasn't too bad gas wise. Oh and I shouldn't much as I loathe those stick on lino tiles, you know the ones....they had some white ones on for $15 per box clearance for 45 sq.ft. so that works out way way cheaper than lino for the floor of the tent trailer plus I need 45 feet and this will mean less waste hopefully. Saves me a little bit in my budget too.

Now I just have to get the boxes filled and figure out the best way to pack my wedding gown and actually get some more sorting done. we are almost at an impass. The garage is full of a nearly completed trailer so I don't have any room to sort things out. The house if full of packed and semi-packed boxes and garage sale items. I can't work on the tent trailer yet because of the rain which is pouring down for days and it's windy too, but I can't put it in the garage to work on it until the other trailer is out of there. Hopefully by the end of this weekend the trailer will be finished, the paint will have cured enough to be waterproof and we can move it outside and start using it for either storage or as a utility trailer.

Details on building the trailer will follow soon too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Still flogging my wares.

Yes, we have about 250lbs of delicious Berkshire Pork all cut and wrapped and available for $5 lb delivered to your door. If you live in Victoria we deliver every other Saturday and did you know that we're within 100 miles of you so if you're looking to keep to the 100 mile diet then it's all good! Plus we combine deliveries with visits to the Grandparents house so it's more efficient time and gas wise.

Happy Saturday! We've got a bit of a busy day. Meghan and Kate had a friend sleep over and they've placed an order for some of our own bacon and also 1000 pieces of french toast and syrup for breakfast. I'm thinking that I'll just make it until I run out of bread which should be at about 30 slices and they'll just have to deal with it. :)

Going to look at another mobile this morning in Nanaimo. Rent is reasonable, about $1000 per month but it's tucked away a bit and has a huge treed yard.

Today should see the completion of the work trailer if all goes as planned. And if I let him just get on with it. The walls are essentially done, the fiddly wheel wells are done so now it's a matter of wiring the lights and brakes and then putting on the roof and doors and Voila! One 7x12 covered utility trailer/office. As soon as it warms up above 10 degrees we can paint it too. I think if it gets close temp. wise we'll just put a heater on inside the trailer to warm the walls and paint anyways.

Next the tent trailer. Right now I have nowhere dry to work so as soon as it quits snowing/raining we will be popping it up to measure the pieces. Since we do not have a sewing machine that has the clearance for sewing huge pieces of fabric I'm going to glue and roll the seams and sew the edges only where possible. The budget for the whole project is $750. I spent $150 buying the trailer and having it delivered. Of that $750 the budget for re-doing the walls is $250 and so far I've spent $130 on materials. Before I'm done I will need some lino, 2 mattresses, and a can of paint for the cupboards because they have gotten wet and swollen right out of their laminate. They're in ok shape though so I don't think they need replacing. I'll inspect further once I get to that point. The appliances need a clean and Steve is going to leak test the gas lines for me but all appears fine with them. We'll check the water services and sanitize and flush the tank too.

I met a new friend online. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada in the Annapolis Valley and has a really interesting blog. Of particular interest is the section she is developing right now about .moving to Nova Scotia. Lots of great info and links so you can find out all the practical things from midwives to car insurance to places with the most fog. You should check it out! Just click on the links above and enjoy!

Well I'm off to feed animals, look at a place to rent, make breakfast for the horde, go shopping in town, take the horde swimming, and then come home so we can begin work.

Hope you're all having a great day.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Updating the blogs and sites

I'm spending a few minutes today re-doing the blogs (this one and Nova Appliance) a bit and catching up on what's going on in the world.

Hi World.

Laundry is washing too so I've got a goal to get 3 more boxes, tubs or bags or stuff laundered, sorted into either sell, burn or keep piles and re-packing the keep stuff or putting it into circulation. That should keep me busy for a bit. Also on the agenda....sort out one drawer in my dresser. Yes you heard me right, only 1 drawer. I'll see if Steve will do one of his and then we'll be on our way to having it sorted out by the end of the weekend. I'd also like to get 2 boxes from the storage area of our bedroom (piled against one wall) unpacked and sorted out into either keep and re-pack or sell. It's that simple. Garbage obviously goes out and there is no 'Maybe' pile, not today.

The pig barn is shoveled and manure relocated to a neighbours farm for use on his grape vines. Since we're moving and cannot use it I'm happy to see someone else get the benefit of it. His truck did get mired down so it was a fun family moment of getting the truck and trailer up out of the mud and back onto solid ground.

Since it's Date Night (Friday) I am planning something fun. Not exactly sure what yet since the kids are having a sleepover, but maybe dinner in bed with a movie and pizza for the kids. Anything other than pork!

We still have lots for sale so let us know if you'd like some.

So to review. The work for this afternoon is:

A. unpack, wash, sort and re-pack 3 bags/tubs of clothing/linens from the pile.
B. sort out 1 drawer in the dresser
C. unpack and sort 2 bedroom boxes

I'm writing this all down so that I'm accountable to someone. Thanks for helping me to de-clutter. I'll let you know how it goes.

Met a new friend online who lives in Nova Scotia so now we're giving some serious thought to the Annapolis Valley region. She's been very helpful answering all those weird little questions that come up and it's so hard to find the answers for online.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


After a 4 month hiatus... we're back with news!

First off our daughter Nicole's new book is officially out today. It's selling so well already that it looks like she's going to get 2 more book deals out of it so YAY for them! And great for us readers!

The book is great. Go have a look at Amazon

Here's our big news.

It is with heavy hearts that our branch of the Faires Family announces the following... we're moving. We're excited too but there are so many unknowns and so much work to do that it's a bit nerve wracking. I hate moving. And we are still looking for a new place to call home.

Where are we going you might ask? Well, it looks like the choices are narrowed to the maritimes of Canada or somewhere here on Vancouver Island. We would like to stay around here because of the ease, costs of moving, established business, kids in school etc. but that will largely depend on finding a suitable home that's affordable. This property we're on sold for the greatly discounted price of $470k. Buying it in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia it would have cost about $80-$130k I would imagine. Maybe less. Since we want to settle down and NEVER MOVE AGAIN we are looking to start over with our own place. Even if it means you get another year of following my blog through the start up phase from building a travel trailer to breaking ground on a home or root cellar, we hope you'll stick around and let us know what you think about the whole thing.

You might also be wondering why on earth we would move after doing so much work here for a year and a half. And the simple answer is that the owner of this property has sold it. Yes, after saying that we could stay for 10 years he up and listed it, sold it, and now we're moving. What I didn't mention were the problems with him killing livestock and other destructive behaviours.

Living here has been 'the best of times and the worst of times'. But we are sorry to see so much hard work and planning go down the tubes. Still, we did learn an awful lot and practical experience is a valuable thing in this day and age when we think that reading something in a book or online means that now we know how to do it. These amazing tools we have should be there to guide and inspire us, not just give us an inflated sense of our own skills and resourcefulness.

Ok enough of the rant. I should nip it in the bud and get out my roll of packing tape and garbage bags. Our over stuffed house, garage and workshop have to be essentially paired down to the point that everything will fit into a 12x8x6'6 trailer just in case we find the perfect place and do move east. This is going to be the mother of all garage sales, the likes of which Hilliers has never seen!

We'll let you know how our winter projects shape up, namely building a trailer, finding a new home, and de-cluttering the house.