Beautiful Morning

It was a beautiful morning yesterday and I had absolutely nothing written in my calendar.  So, I headed over to Fort Whyte Alive to go for a walk.

I walked for about 2 hours, putting about 8,000 steps on my FitBit along with 6 flights of stairs (some stairs and some hills).  I took some pictures along with a couple of videos and then I stopped and had lunch before heading back home.

Click on the pictures to enlarge if you like.

Burrowing Owls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwSahhR41Fs

Mallard Duck – she let me walk right up to her.

Goldfinch and a Kingbird

Painted Turtles

Muskrat – busy eating

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcReT2h9Byg

Cormorant

Coots, Gulls and a Frog

Wild Flowers

Grey Heron and a Pelican

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Some Progress & Some Trip Planning

It seems like I have been waiting forever to receive the proceeds from the sale of my house.  Well – I’m still waiting, but the mortgage, line of credit and personal loan have all been paid off!  :)  They were all paid by my lawyer a few days ago though, and I am still waiting for them to let me know I can pick up the rest.

I think I can get used to looking at my bank statement and not seeing any minus signs – and I plan on keeping it that way.

In the meantime, I have been busy making travel plans and spending some of the money I haven’t received yet.  Most of you know that I love to travel, but I haven’t been doing any lately for a couple of reasons.  Both reasons are somewhat related – money was one and Chester was another.  Chester and all his meds and vet bills were part of the reason I didn’t have the money and I simply couldn’t have left him with anyone to look after  due to all the meds he had to take.  When I went to South Africa four years ago, I left him with my daughter, so he was able to stay at home and he was fine.  Of course, I would have been fine with my non-travel life in order to keep him longer, but that was not my decision to make.

My first destination is Vancouver to visit my daughter who moved there over a year ago and I haven’t seen since.  I will be driving there sometime next month and will stay a few days.  On the way, I will stop at my sister’s place in Calgary and I will also head over to Vancouver Island to visit my brother once I am that far west.

I am thinking about adding some time and miles onto the trip back home, by going through Banff and Jasper in Alberta and then following the Yellowhead Highway back towards Winnipeg.  I may also take an additional detour and stay north a bit longer to drive through Riding Mountain National Park on the way back.  I have no idea how long I’ll be away or how long I’ll stay in each place I go.  I don’t even know what day I’ll be leaving for sure and I may just return the same way I go.  I am going to have to make sure I have they money from the house before leaving and at some point, I’ll have to pick the dates.

My next trip is a quick, but long, one day trip To Churchill to hopefully find some Polar Bears in the wild.  Other hopeful sightings could be Arctic Foxes, Beluga Whales, Snowy Owls – and maybe more.  The day starts off very early and ends very late.

After that and sometime next year is my return trip to Kruger National Park in South Africa.  That trip will be a little over one month long and I will be staying in several of the camps where I stayed last time, plus a few different ones.  I am thrilled to be able to make a return trip there and am so looking forward to it.

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This beautiful Cheetah was lying very close to the road one day when I was in Kruger National Park in 2012.  She didn’t seem to mind all the vehicles stopping while the occupants admired her and took pictures.

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St. Vital Park

I have lived fairly close to St. Vital Park for about 1/2 my life, but it is not a place that I ever go unless someone has scheduled an activity there (which doesn’t often happen).  I think I was at a toboggan party there many years ago and a picnic put on by one of my jobs last year.

Anyway, when thinking of a place to walk yesterday, I thought of St. Vital Park and I headed over there.  I parked at the duck pond and started walking around the pond.  Tons of Canada Geese and several ducks – both Mallard and Wood were in and around the pond.

If you click on an individual picture, you can see a larger size and scroll through the rest of the pictures in that group if you like.

The Canada Geese certainly outnumber the rest.

Two young Wood Ducks – and a very young Mallard Duckling on all its own.

About 1/2 way around the duck pond, I noticed some flower beds and took a detour to walk around and take some flower pictures.

I also walked along a path beside the Red River, but there wasn’t much on or around the river to take pictures of.  It might be nice to go on the other side of the river to take pictures towards the park one day though.

I think I’ll be back there again soon as I only covered a very small portion of the park.

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The Rest of the Critters at Fort Whyte Alive

As usual, there were more critters at Fort Whyte than the Muskrats that posed so nicely for me a few days ago.

So – here are the rest 🙂

Pelicans – fishing

Painted Turtles

Mallard Ducks

White-tail Deer hiding behind branches – I have so much trouble getting the camera to focus where I want sometimes.

Viceroy Butterfly, Dragonfly and Wildflowers

Buffalo / Bison herd

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Muskrats

Muskrats are a North American rodent that spend most of their time in the water.  They are great swimmers and use their long tail to propel themselves through the water.  Their hind feet are also partially webbed.  I have seen Muskrats on occasion at Fort Whyte Alive, but saw 3 the last time I was there a couple of days ago.  One provided me with plenty of photo opportunities as he was busy eating something in the water and was not bothered at all by my presence.  I did get a quick picture of one of the  other 2, but only because I already had my camera open and zoomed when I saw him swimming.

I had to correct a daycare worker when she was telling the children that they were looking at a beaver.  There is a slight resemblance (if you don’t see the tail), but the size difference between the 2 should be enough to tell them apart.  Muskrats are about 12 inches long plus a long skinny tail of about the same length whereas Beavers are about 3x that body length plus a flat tail about 1/3 the length of the Beaver.

Apparently Muskrats have been introduced and are thriving in Europe as well as North America at this time.

I got a little carried away with pictures of this first one, since they don’t usually stay still long enough for any pictures at all.  You can see larger versions of these pictures by clicking on one and scrolling through the rest if you like.

Later, I was taking pictures of the Painted Turtles when, out of the corner of my eye I saw another Muskrat swimming so I quickly panned over to get a picture of this one before he disappeared into the reeds.  He had something in his mouth and it may be that he caught himself a fish as that is what it looks like.

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Apartment Living

I have now been living in apartment for almost 2 months.  Other than for 1 year when I first moved out of my parents’ home, I have always lived in a house.  The apartment I lived in for that 1 year is really in my distant memory though. I remember that I lived on the top floor of a 3 story building, so I didn’t have anyone walking above me and it was a corner suite, so I could get some air movement from the windows opening in different directions.

This time I am on the 2nd floor and I can hear the people above me when they walk from room to room and my windows all face the same direction.  I have a fan in front of the balcony doors to bring air in, since it doesn’t come in as easily as when the windows face different directions.

One thing about apartment living is that the owners can come in pretty much whenever they like, just by giving 24 hours notice that they plan to come in and letting you know whatever it is that they want to do.  They let you know that they would like you to be there, but if you can’t, they will enter anyway.

I had possession, but hadn’t moved in (other than a few boxes) when I got my first notice of entry.  I was there that day anyway, emptying boxes when they came in to check the fire alarms.

On Thursday last week, I received one of these notices saying they wanted to put window stops on the windows.  The windows do stop before they get to the end, so I wasn’t sure what that meant.  I decided to be there when they came, so I hung around the apartment.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the date – just saw the 24 hour notice part.  It wasn’t until the afternoon when I looked at it closer and saw that it said Monday – so they were giving quite a bit more than 24 hours notice on the 24 hour notice.  I arranged to hang around again on Monday, but in the early afternoon, I saw another notice stuck in my door saying it would be on Tuesday.

He did come on Tuesday and I found out that the windows stops were to prevent the windows from opening more than 4 inches. So, my windows that gave a nice opening of about 20 inches were now down to 4 inches.  I asked why they were doing this and his answer was that some rooms had the bed in front of the bedroom window or a couch in front of the living room window and that children were opening the window and then opening the screen, which was very unsafe.

I told him that I don’t have any children and I don’t have either the bed or couch in front of the window anyway and that I would prefer to be able to open the windows more than 4 inches.  I think he has been getting these comments from a lot of people (especially in my building, since it is a mature building – meaning that everyone is over 18) so he said that if I didn’t like it, I could remove it as several people told him they would be doing.  He still installed the 2nd one anyway as his job was to do it and he could say he did.  I didn’t remove them completely – just moved them over to the far side, so the windows would open all the way again.  That way they won’t get lost and I can put them back whenever I move out.

I can certainly see the point in putting these locks on windows where there are children who could fall out, but kind of silly to put them in suites where there are no children.  The other 2 buildings in the complex have quite a few families with children.

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I took a walk down the country road near me the other day and for the first time did not see a deer.  I did however listen to the birds singing and watch this butterfly move from flower to flower as I enjoyed the fresh air.

Still no word on when I will receive my money from the sale of the house.  I have found out from some American friends on FaceBook that on the date of possession there, the new owner gets the house and the seller gets the money at the same time.  The paperwork is done after the offer is accepted instead of waiting until the possession date to start it like it is done here.  I don’t know if all of Canada does it backwards like this or not, but it makes so much more sense for the house and the money to be exchanged at the same time on possession date.

 

 

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Still Waiting

The original waiting time from the exchange of possession date of the house was to be 2-4 weeks before I receive the money.  We are now at the end of week 1, so that leaves 1-3 weeks left to wait.

As you may have guessed, I am very impatiently waiting for these funds in order to get myself out of debt.  I have been putting everything on my credit cards, because my income is less than my expenses.

The bank continues to take my mortgage payments and will continue until they have received the balance in full themselves.  Since the lawyer will pay them exactly what was owing to them on August 1st, this means the bank will then repay what they have taken (minus the extra interest, since they did not receive it on August 1st) – but will take their time doing that.

The correct water bill has now been received by the lawyer, so that will be paid once they have the funds from the other lawyer.

According to the lawyer, these are the steps that must be completed.

1 – Purchaser’s lawyer gets documents to the Land Titles office.

2 – Land Titles offices processes them.

3 – Purchaser’s lawyer sends registered mortgage to mortgage lender.

4 – Lender sends mortgage funds to purchaser’s lawyer.

5 – Purchaser’s lawyer sends funds to my lawyer.

6 – My lawyer pays my realtor, themselves, my mortgage and any of my bills directly related to the house, and then calls me to pick up whatever is left.

So – that is what takes the 2-4 weeks, but it would be nice if they let me know where they are in those steps.  I won’t be notified until my cheque is ready for me to pick up, but I keep checking my bank account online in the hopes of seeing that the mortgage has been paid.

This firm specializes in real estate and everything moves like clockwork – but since so much relies on other firms and businesses, their hands are tied in the speed that things happen.

So – as I said earlier – I am still waiting (impatiently).

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I have quite a few plans for these funds, since I am planning on visiting my daughter in Vancouver this fall and have my one day trip to Churchill later this fall and I have pre-booked my vacation in South Africa for next year.  Of course there will be more than enough for those trips and I want to put as much as I can into a tax-free savings account at the bank.

 

Posted in house, Money Matters, move, pets, Winnipeg | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Third Walk – Third Deer

Yesterday morning, I decided to walk along the country road near my apartment again.  The first 2 times, I saw a deer each time and was wondering if there was any chance it would be 3 for 3.

I just brought a little camera with me that doesn’t have much zoom, so I was hoping that anything I saw would be nice and close.

I was in luck!  :)  The deer was a young buck, just growing his antlers and he was very close.  I was on the road and only the ditch separated us as he was right on the edge of the field.  There were some tall weeds and some bushes between us also and since this little camera also has a little viewer (and I hadn’t brought my glasses), I wasn’t sure if any of the pictures would be focused.

I talked to him and he looked right at me. 🙂

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I said bye to this very handsome guy and continued my walk, only to see a little bunny a short distance ahead of me.  As they usually do, this guy froze where he was, thinking that I didn’t see him.  So, I took a picture and walked closer and then repeated.

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The bunny took off into the taller grass after the last picture.  I walked until the road ended and the other once branched off before turning back.  I was quite happy when the deer was still there and willing to pose for more pictures. 🙂

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I’d say this was a Bambi / Thumper kind of morning. 🙂

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Life Goes On

Well, I am officially no longer a homeowner. 🙂

But, it will still be 2-4 weeks before I have been paid for the house that I no longer own.

In the meantime, the water & hydro bills have to be processed, so the lawyer can pay the water bill and the loan on the hydro bill.  The water bill produced the first problem by sending an estimated bill – after I previously had a couple of conversations with them asking if they wanted me to read the bill a week before the possession or the day before possession.  They assured me that they knew about the dates for possession and after would be fine.  The estimated bill is greatly over estimated and because the water bill stays will the house, that means that the new owner would get the credit for it.  I have asked them for an adjusted bill, so will now just have to wait for it.  The timing for the hydro bill fit in nicely with the possession date so that one should not be a problem.

Anyway – back at the house, I have had my last raspberries from the bushes at the back.  This wasn’t a good year for them, but there were a few nice juicy ones. They are still coming, so the new owners will get some too.  My (well – not mine any more) Day Lilies are going to have a lot of flowers this year and I got pictures of the first few.

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You can see many of the buds coming along in these pictures too. 🙂

 

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My First Rose

My poor rose has had a pretty rough journey this year, starting with the worms eating the leaves as they came out, back at the house.

I hadn’t planned on digging it up and moving it with me until then, but I now thought it would be better off in  a pot on a balcony where it wouldn’t be eaten.

Little did I know that there would be something here that would eat it just as badly while here on the balcony.  All the nice new leaves that came out to replace the worm eaten ones, had holes all over them a few days after we moved.

I have no idea what is eating the leaves, but almost every day, I have been spraying it since then and finally my first rose is beginning to open.  It has 2 more buds on it, so things are looking good.

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