Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Who said unicorns don't exist?

As some of you may recall, Chris and I moved in with my parents last March when COVID hit and relieved us of one of our incomes.  We decided to take the opportunity for both of us to go back to school -- Chris to teacher's college and me into an MBA program.

So the plan was to finish both these things (target November and October respectively), and give Chris time to find a full-time job.  Meanwhile, I would look for a remote job that would let me not have to commute to the GTA.  And once all those pieces aligned we would move -- sometime between next fall and next spring.

Right.  You're not new here ;-P

So first of all, Chris got his job months before finishing school.  He was only guaranteed part-time though, so not quite solid enough to commit to moving to that area.  But still, well ahead of what we expected.  Now I was interviewing for a job that was "just a job" but would've given me that remote position, when I was offered a non-remote job that had a high potential I would love.  Yeah, I went with that one.  Job satisfaction for the win.  Now, pre-COVID, this role would've been 100% in-office, non-negotiable.  However, since everybody's been remote more than a year, polices are changing.  It's looking like I'll have to go in either 2x/month and 2x/week.  I feel I have a strong case for the former, but if my boss really wants people in the office...  Well at least it's only 2x/week.

So to put the timing in perspective:

  • Our house money is tied up in GICs till Sept;
  • Chris is likely to have full-time work lined up for Sept (we should find out next week);
  • I'm *hoping* for two days / wk in office -- I should find out about that next week as well.
Now with 90 days being a standard house closing, one would think that assuming Chris does get his ft offer, and I get confirmation that I don't need to be in the office all the time, we could potentially start looking for a new house in June...

As to the house...  Honestly, I was really dreading the search.  I had three priorities: a big yard with privacy, a bathtub (or the ability to put one in), and a space for an office.   In an ideal world, I'd also prefer a house with personality.  I'm not so much a cookie-cutter kinda person.  But that was not a "must have".  Chris had a very long list, but the vast majority of it would be met by purchasing a new house (although he was theoretically open to a house more than 100 yrs old, it was going to be very hard to find one of those that would meet his many other criteria).  The problem, of course, is that they don't put new houses on big properties anymore.  So this could potentially be a very long search.

And then Chris did the impossible...  He found our unicorn.  We weren't even 'officially' looking.  More just seeing what was out there in our price range to see how much we were going to have to negotiate or reconsider our shopping criteria.  So on Saturday of the May 24 weekend, he sends me a few links of possible houses (before I woke up - Saturday ams are for sacred sleep).  So when I woke up and was mindlessly browsing I clicked through them.  There was one I really strongly disliked; of the others, nothing particularly stuck out but nothing that would make me hate my life either.  So okay.  

But Chris tells me he *really* likes the last one.   Well okay, if you like it that much, let's go see it.  And while we're out there we may as well check out the other ones on the list and the ones I'd found the other day.  So we tag our realtor (who helped with the last purchase and sale) and ask if she's up for a road trip.  She was busy on Sunday but could do Monday.  Perfect.  Send her the list and let her do the organizing.

Now keep in mind, this is 1-2 weeks before we know if Chris has FT work, and 1-2 weeks before we know what my commute is going to be.  And, well, we both know we don't window shop well.  If we're going to look, there's a very good chance we're going to purchase.

So on our road trip, the first couple houses were definite "no"s.  They were in St Catherine's, and when we moved to Thorold (which neither of us know anything about) there was a definite shift in neighbourhood and we had a few strong possibilities.  Not strong enough to bump up our timeline by months, but at least to give me hope that one day we'd find something.   The house I really didn't like was even worse in real life, so that was a bit of a relief ;).

Then we got to the one Chris was waiting for.  And while it doesn't have the character I might've liked, it wasn't a sad box either.  And it's a new subdivision, but the houses aren't super cramped on top of each other.  So first glance is positive.  The downstairs is okay...  Nothing spectacular, but nothing wrong with it.  It'd certainly suit our needs.  Connected garage is very civilized.  And the basement was a HUGE space.  Unfinished, but future potential for sure.  And a home for the gym and my Oculus.

But upstairs...   The master is huge and the ensuite has a lovely soaker tub (win! - that wasn't in the pictures, so I was concerned), and good sized rooms for both C and I to have our own offices looking over the back yard.

That back yard.  A - it's a great size (I could have a pool some day!), and B - it doesn't back on anything?!?!   I mean there's a road there, but across the road is protected wetlands, so what would be my office has an amazing view.  Esp if we planted some trees along the back fence that over time would block the view of the road...   hmmmm - potential ;)  

This is the view from the living room; 
it's even better from the office

And did I mention that yard?!?!  One of two in the subdivision that have good yards.  AND it gets sun all day.  Amazing.

Now it's really in the middle of nowhere...  But apparently there are some good trails, so at least Sasha and I would have somewhere to adventure.  

So we go look at the last house on the list and it was awful.  Alright then...   Go back to the unicorn.  Yup, really is a unicorn.  In the mean time, our realtor was feeling out the other agent...  Yeah - they're expecting a bidding war and figure it'll go $150k over asking.  Frig.   Did I mention it was already at the top of our budget...?  Ugh.

But...  Unicorn.

So we drive home and think about it a bit.  The house is empty atm, so it suggests they'd like a quick sale (tricky with our $ tied up till Sept).  Okay well what can we do...  We could put the deposit on the line of credit, but to get the house before it goes to a battle, we probably need to offer a quick close.   Well thanks to both sets of amazing parents we were able too borrow the money for the downpayment until our money frees up - which meant we could, technically, close whenever...

May as well at least try...  Put in a strong offer, although likely well under what they think they *might* get, but with a three-week close, no conditions, and a super-quick expiry.  The realtors went back and forth a bit and they wrote it back at a price we agreed to.  Ran a few things past the lawyer and by EOD Tues, the deal was done.

And then there's the whole moving thing...  So both of us are in school and C has a big exam mid-July...  Knowing what my schedule is like, my options are to move the wk of June 20th (with no stress - I'm off school that week), or July 15 (more stress - 2 papers hanging over my head but that's the longest break between papers), or mid Aug.   Really didn't want to wait till Aug if we bought the house in June soooo....

Of course we're doing the super-speed one.  Internet and fencing people are coming the day after we take possession (which I've booked off work to go deal w stuff).  Hopefully will hear from the movers tomorrow about if they can do the date we'd like for the actual move.

And if the world is good, this'll be the last move for a very long time.   A few more weeks of chaos followed by a couple more months of the painful school and work combo.  And then life becomes dramatically calmer.  Until I find the next thing ;)


So the boxing program I was doing released a new HIIT program.  I've been curious about it for a while and finally got to try it today.   A few things, first - I was wondering how good a workout it was likely to be?  I've been enjoying my VR Fitness journey, but other than the bike games, I haven't found any program that I feel I consistently get a good workout from (in a reasonable amount of time.  I don't have several hours a day for this).  And second - I usually hate HIIT with a passion.  Could they make it fun?

Ok step one - could they make it a good workout?  Short answer - yes.  Definitely.   I did the 7 minute beginner level and I would say the first 2 minutes were figuring out wtf was going on.  So in the 5 min workout remaining, I got my heart rate up to the top of cardio level and did many many squats ;)  If I had done a harder level, a longer level, or even known what I was doing at the beginning, I could likely have gotten into the high zone with no difficulty.

Now is it fun?  Moderately.  One of the things I hate about HIIT is how repetitive it is.  You do something hard, then you do it again.  I'm up for almost anything - once.  Repeating it though...  Questionable.  Repeating it multiple times?  No interest.  This is why weightlifting has never been my thing.   This has that same repetitiveness.  It was essentially two exercises that were done together and repeated four times. Now - those exercises were entertaining - punching things and making them shatter essentially.  The high ones were quite a stretch so they encouraged a fair amount of movement, while the low ones required a decent squat.   However, while repeating things is boring, I found I was trying to beat my last score each time which is super motivating.   The software would be improved (imo) by having a tracker of your previous score or extra points for beating it on subsequent rounds.

The one significant frustration I had was that a few times the targets just disappeared.  Which is a speed round (which HIIT generally is) this was SUPER frustrating.  Not only did it throw off my rhythm, but it also impacted my score.  I only got to level nine instead of level ten - 100% because this happened on multiple occasions.  So yeah.  I'll try again tomorrow - that could definitely have been an internet blip or something.  But if it's a regular occurrence, I'm out.

I'm starting to appreciate C's frustration when
his game glitches at inopportune moments

I've seen other complaints about the music -- honestly, I had no issue with this.  I didn't even notice what was playing.  In the boxing or dance options I'd say it's more important, but in HIIT -- where speed is of the essence -- I legitimately don't even notice the music.

I'm looking forward to playing again tomorrow - I'm going to pick a higher and longer level and give it a solid go.  Looking to see what variety there is in the exercises and how significant a workout it gives me.  And hopefully no glitching.  

Grade 4 Science

So this evening I tried a "shower steamer" for the first time -- which, from what I can tell is really just a tiny bath bomb, made for the shower.  And honestly, was not super impressed.   But what DID amuse me is that when I was done said shower and it was still going, I decided that instead of leaving it there, I'd melt it -- the package had lots of warnings about not putting under direct water cause it'd fizzle up.  

So I'm thinking - well that could be fun (remember, this is the woman who has bubble baths at least a few times / week ;)) - so I hold it under the shower stream...  And no dramatic fizziness (I was hoping like shaking can of pop drama) but then for whatever reason, probably cause I'm still 12 at heart.  Actually I think I was more mature at 12 than I am now *g* But anyways I decided to see what happens if you trap the fizziness, and squished it between my hands.  

Well it felt kinda like pop rocks - no big deal.  Except...  And here's the fun part I never realized...  Apparently shower steamers (and my guess is also bath bombs, except I've never felt the need to try and melt one of those) are actually endothermic???  My palms, under the hot running water of the shower, but surrounding this little fizzy, were getting cold!   It was the coolest thing (sorry, not sorry).  

Anyways - I realize this is essentially the equivalent of the volcano from the Grade 4 science fair, but it amused me so I figured I'd share ;)  What can I say, it's been a LONG few weeks.

I hope this kid got extra credit for the dino!

In other news, my change management paper is due this week.  Hence the procrastination blog post.  The paper's no problem but I'm super disappointed in the course, especially as I was *really* looking forward to it :(   Ah well.

Work has been...  crazy.  12h+ days most days and some weekend.  Meetings all day and then work all evening -- and even that is tricky cause my Vancouver people don't clock out till 8pm our time, so even "uninterrupted" work time often has, well, interruptions.   Would like to say, this is not a complaint, just a level setting of why everything else in my life is how it is atm.  😂  I'd far rather be busy than bored.   And most of what I was doing in the evening was content creation.  There's still a TON of that to do (honestly - it'd be faster to write another book!), but I finished the last of the time-sensitive content on Friday.  So I'm hoping that means I can dial back to almost normal-people hours starting next week (also - term paper due Wed 😂 so, you know, Mon and Tues night kinda have to be school rather than work); will be a long while before it's actually under control, but the fires should be down to a controlled simmer by next Friday.  Either that's accurate, and I'll have a lovely long weekend, or I've jinxed myself and I'll have fodder for a blog post ;-P

I've cancelled my VR cycling for end of May, partially cause I wasn't using it a lot lately and partially  cause the weather is finally suitable for outside cycling.  Which, may not be as exciting, but I feel is prob a good mental health thing.  It's also more fun.   I would like to get one more decent ride in between now and then though -- although that's prob dependent on how the above two paragraphs go *g*.  I'm keeping Supernatural for now though - it's good for that short "just get off the couch" level of exercise.

First sunburn of the year today -- writing my paper in the backyard.  Like being in high school again!  lol - it'll be faded to tan by tomorrow except my feet...  My poor lobster feet.  Someday I will learn.  Or maybe not ;)

Okay back to the paper.  Night!