Instead of blogging the last few weeks, I've been preparing to move house, moving house and now dealing with the aftermath. Since our last move, we've acquired a few more family members and their belongings. Meg the dog was simple to move - we simply lured her into the car and drove her to the new house. The chickens do not travel quite so lightly. We loaded the summer coop onto our trailer, along with the metal garbage can which holds their feed, then caught the girls, one by one and stuffed them into a dog crate. That is, until it came to Patty's turn. Patty was nowhere to be found even though we were offering raisins to sweeten the deal. We called and called and looked everywhere and I was beginning to fear she'd been nabbed by a coyote in the confusion. Luckily, Luc thought to look in the coop even though there had been no sounds coming from within throughout the coop moving process. Sure enough, there was Patty in the egg box just trying to lay an egg in a little peace.
Our new house is just a few kilometres away from our old one. It's a 25 year old, rough-around-the-edges raised bungalow on 25 acres of quite lovely forest. The major selling point for me is its proximity to the beautiful town of Almonte. We are less than 2 km from the downtown shopping area and just about the same distance to the "strip" such as it is in Almonte. We can easily walk or bike to shopping, the library, a farmer's market, a beach, all kinds of activities, restaurants, and much else of what we used to drive to.
We knew we'd have some work to do at the new place, but there have been quite a few surprises, most of them less fun than finding a forgotten twenty in a coat pocket. So we've been busy writing cheques to various tradespeople in an attempt to bring the place up to the standard we thought it was already at. Tomorrow afternoon an exterminator is scheduled to hopefully address a bit of an infestation of .... rats. As a family who has had four pet rats this is a bit like having an exterminator come to take care of a puppy problem - but not quite. The body count is up to four and there is at least one that we haven't caught. That big fella was last seen scurrying away from a bag of dog training treats in the kitchen at 2:00 am. I expect a rat infestation might be a bit more traumatic for a normal family who hasn't been conditioned to feel all warm and fuzzy toward the rodents. Even the dog is pretty cool with it.
We haven't tackled the fairly daunting job of moving the compost and garden beds over from the old place yet. The new house has the same issue of shallow soil over bedrock as the old place did (should have moved a bit farther, maybe) so I'll be gardening in raised beds here as well.
I'm sure we'll be busy for months and probably years with improvements and repairs. A priority for me is improving the energy efficiency of the house to a very high standard from the rather minimally adequate state it is in now. Our to-do list has gotten rather long rather quickly. I don't want to think what our carbon footprint has been and will be with all the activity around the move, but I'm hopeful that we are setting ourselves up to be significantly more energy efficient over time.