move to the country

I bet on the farm…and lost
August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm 0
Those of you who have been following my rather sparse posts over the last few months heard that I was making some big changes...and giving up the apartment in Toronto to live full time in Niagara on the Lake. I bet on the farm, literally. And after 5 months of living here full time I can say that I lost the bet. We moved here for a few reasons but the main ones being:
  • my husband really hated renting an apartment. Paying someone else's mortgage is not for him and he thinks it's a total waste of money (and I can't disagree)
  • our landlord was annoying. She would call to see if we were home, because if we weren,t she'd use our parking spot. And she only ever called us when she needed the next batch of rent cheques. We paid six months up front, and when we were at month 5 she's start calling, emailing, visiting. Of course, when anything was broken in the apartment she never answered her phone, or email...
  • the rent was paid by my business, and I wasn't sure how running a business was going to work with a newborn baby. So we played it safe and stopped shelling out rent every month.
  • Now, these are all pretty solid reasons when you think of them on paper (or on screen in this case). But, there's a big factor that we really didn't think of realistically. It's called everyday living. And we didn't think about how our everyday life would be, if we lived in a totally new place, where we didn't know anyone, we had no support, and we would have to drive to do anything. And wow, that was an eye-opener! It's like my life literally stopped. I was alone in a big house all day, where I knew no-one, and nobody knew me. I had a baby that slept all day, and was pretty much home-bound. Yes, of course, the house is gorgeous - If I could move this house to Toronto tomorrow, I would. And the land is beautiful - I look out my window sometimes and I'm still in awe of how gorgeous it is to have grass for miles, nice big trees, a huge pond, and a clear view of the Niagara Escarpment. But that in no-way compensates for the isolation, slow pace, and total calm that this life offers. When I moved here I had visions of gardening everyday, cooking beautiful, gourment meals, and having friends coming over every weekend to enjoy the local vineyards. None of that really happened. Having a baby is like being in a serious car crash. Your life stops, and physically you can't do all the stuff you did before. I tried, but ended up really delaying my recovery... I somewhat feel like a fool for moving all the way out here to realize it's not for me. But, that's life, right? And as long as I can "course-correct" and get myself back to a happy place, it doesn't matter. And, you know what? I can still garden, cook gourmet food, and have friends over for wine from my condo patio or backyard in Toronto!
    Crazy for Martha Stewart’s Farm
    July 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm 0
    I have a confession. I have become OBSESSED with Martha Stewart's farm and have spent the last few nights until the wee hours of the morning reading every blog post ever created about her farm, Cantitoe Corners, in Bedford, New York. I've read about her: donkeys chickens sheep horses peony garden tree planting and almost everything in between. I got hooked onto Martha's farm when my friend Angela came to our farm in Niagara and showed me a copy of Martha Stewart Living on her ipad. She just wanted to show me how the digital copies of the magazine have moving images, links to tv commercials, and other cool features. I thought it was cool....but when I found this picture of Martha's Farm I was in rapture! Just look at these pictures and you'll understand why. Isn't it super, insanely, beautiful? I have finally found inspiration for the kind of farm I'd like to create in Niagara!
    Living Part time in the City and the Country: The Good, Bad & Ugly
    June 15, 2011 at 7:55 am 1
    country_field_landscape_photo_EA52064 As I mentioned earlier in the year, my husband and I bought a house in Niagara on the Lake. As entrepreneurs we have some flexibility with our work schedules, so we took that as a sign to start living the life we always wanted and live part time in the city, part time in the country. Splitting life between Niagara on the Lake, and downtown Toronto has proven to be quite exciting! When we mention that we live in the city... and the country it's surprising how many people say "Oh, I've always wanted to do that!". I thought we were the only ones crazy enough to have that dream. As it turns out, there's a lot of people out there that love the excitement of downtown living, but crave the tranquility of a quieter pace of life...at least a few days a week. One thing that happens when we tell people about our living situation is that people always have lots of questions...from finances, to lawn moving, so here it is... The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The Good - the peaceful feeling of waking up with clean air, blue skies and chirping birds - having a totally new way of living...together - regular visitors from the city who are excited to see what you're up to - the space! our house is 3500 square feet, that's a big improvement from our condo that is 800 square feet - having loads of new places to discover, including tons of new wineries that we've never visited - getting loads more exercise from walking around the property and doing yardwork - finally having a use for all my "country" knowledge acquired from growing up on a sheep farm - having a barn cat. it came with the house, but has become a good companion for us The Bad - our lawn is 2 acres...and takes 5 hours to mow! - the totally out of control gardens - weeds, weeds and more weeds! - after living in condos for years, not knowing how to fix any "house" stuff, or where even to start (our eaves trough was ripped off our house 2 months ago in a violent wind storm...we still haven't fixed it) - the hot water tank isn't very big....so after one bath we're back to cold water - scheduling meetings only on days you plan on being in the city can be tricky - it's very expensive having a condo downtown and a house in the country...but worth it! The Ugly - the endless Spring, coupled with a broken lawn mower, means the grass did not get mowed for several weeks and was almost 2 feet tall in some places - TICKS! long wet grass is the perfect breeding ground for ticks, which are now everywhere in the tall grass. Ticks are little annoying bugs that bury their head in your skin, suck your blood, and carry lots of diseases...including Lyme Disease! - Having my pregnant friend get stuck in our driveway in a snow storm. There's no faster way to feel like sh*t than trapping a pregnant woman in your cold house when you know all she wants to do is get back to her own bed - Holy Moses is Propane Freaking Expensive! Having lived in a condo for years, we're used to turning up the heat, turning down the heat and leaving doors and windows open without a thought. Within the first 2 weeks of owning our house we got a propane bill for $1,200! From then on, we kept the heat low, lit fires, and lived like Scrooges!
    Country Update: Snail Obsessed
    April 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm 0


    This Spring has been pretty crazy - just when you think the weather is about to turn warm and lovely we get another spell of 10C weather with snow and storm warnings. This, of course, makes spending time outdoors, planting pretty flowers and other "nice" gardening things a tad too uncomfortable. Imagine trying to plant summer flowers with wind whipping through your hair, rain pelting your face, and your whole body freezing? No thanks. So, instead of actually planting anything I've become obsessed with cleaning up the garden. Much to my horror the gardens are filled with snails! As soon as I saw a few I started noticing more, and more, and more, and now I see tens and hundreds of them everytime I look! It's making me crazy. And I can't stop thinking about it! I'll come home late at night from a party, only to put on some grubby clothes, and try and catch snails! I've tried beer traps (didn't work), digging them up, and I'm almost ready to move on to chemicals. Crazy I know.
    A Sneak Peek At The Country Life
    January 10, 2011 at 11:32 am 0
    In the fall we moved to Niagara On The Lake - now we're country bumpkins! Except...the first thing we did was set up a high speed wireless connection. Moving from a 577 square foot condo to a 3500 square foot house is amazing - now we have a place to put all our stuff, and our guests can actually stay comfortably with us! Here's a slice of our citified country life: The first snowfall:
    The barn:
    Stay Tuned: More to come on how our country life unfolds.