After two weeks
Well, it's almost two weeks since we landed and in many ways I feel very settled in indeed! Some rooms still have boxes in them - principally what will be our library as I need to buy or have built some bookcases. We have hung some of our pictures up but not all.
The walls here are lined with 'dry wall' that's what it's called) which seems to be some kind of thick chipboardy stuff. You can bang a nail into it easily enough, but just doing that isn't strong enough to hang a heavy picture. I need to visit the hardware store to ask questions and buy the right things for heavy pictures. I have found the equivalent of a rawl plug - it's called a screw anchor I think - for fixing wayward curtain rails that Son swung on, so I'm learning. Actually - that reminds me; I screwed in the screw anchor (self tapping), then went to screw the screw into that, but it's not Phillips head, it's not straight edge, it's not allen key shaped - it appears to be a Square Hole. So I need to buy a Squaredriver.....
Our local town, Spruce Grove is full of big shops (sorry, stores) so there is problem in buying all this stuff, it's just knowing where to go - and what to get that's the challenge. All the people are very welcoming though. Yesterday I was given excellent instructions on how to dig in a mole trap by a lady in the store. Mole traps are the same as in the UK, but from the description I was given, the moles are definitely different. I'm yet to catch one to find out, but on the basis that the County will pay me $1/mole tail, I am motivated to get catching!!
The Supermarket is GREAT! Yes, I am very surprised to admit that I am an immediate convert to the joys of Canadian Supermarkets. There is so much choice compared to the UK, and so much more fresh fruit and veg from all over North America. As well as the expected surfeit of ready meals that look very processed to me (but I'm sure there will be a few lurking at the bottom of my freezer before long for those too-tired-to-cook days), there are masses of things that I'm happy to try. I spent a fortune in my first shop because I had to start from scratch - herbs, spices, baking ingredients, meats, fish, sausages, butter, everyeverything. New things I have tried? Here's some of them - wieners/hot dogs that microwave to heat up and actually taste good, Croissant Crescents to unwrap, roll up and bake, a big tub of Crisco (vegetable lard stuff) that I now wonder how I'd coped for 42 years without, salty cracker things to sprinkle on chowder, a zillion different varieties of baked beans, maple flavoured everything....... Maple beans, maple bacon, maple cheese, maple crisps, maple popcorn.... I'm going to enjoy shopping and cooking in Canada.
Also I am now the proud owner of a Kitchen Aid Food Mixer. It's the top of the range last-a-lifetime model that replaces the Kenwood Chef I loved and left in the UK. I bought that together with a great hand blender with loads of attachments in 'The Bay' in Edmonton. Sadly.... they don't stock Teasmaids, and hadn't heard of them.... Happily, Amazon.ca tells me that Breville do make such things, and I'll be able to buy one from Sears in Edmonton. Hurray!
The post here is different: we have a post box (sorry, Mail Box) up the road at the junction of our road with the next East-West road up. As far as I can work out, the mail is delivered sometime after midday into that box, and if we have a parcel to collect we have to go to the post office to get it. Apparently Canada Mail is reallllly slow compared to the UK Postal service. Husband says that when Canadian Execs go over to the UK they are amazed at the speed and efficiency of our postal service there. Shaw TV said that they were sending us a replacement TV Tuner 8 days ago and it hasn't arrived yet. They promised 5 - 7 working days delivery time so I get to phone them up to complain next Tuesday if it still hasn't arrived.
Two weeks in the house without a television!! I'm not suffering at all, and son is fine because he can amuse himself on the ipad or with his books. Husband is missing it I think - he likes to chill infront of the screen.
Broadband here is via a dish, not through the 'phone line so the bandwidth is much less than we were used to in the UK. Here we get 3 Gb (Mb? Mgb? Ggb? whatever) compared to 10 at last house. It only really makes a difference if trying to stream a TV program in though, so not a hardship.
My hen house is ready for chickens. I have erected a temporary fence to stop the chicken-chasing-Lurcher from terrorising the poor things as soon as they arrive, so now we just need to find somewhere to buy some laying hens from and my first animals (after the dogs of course) can arrive :)
Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.