Category Archives: Eastern Townships

The whirlwind drive to Quebec & back

Last weekend we endured enjoyed one of our whirlwind trips to Quebec and back in two days. The purpose of our drive? Taking the young man back to university and since he had so much baggage this time, putting him on a bus & train & bus was impractical. Even though the drive is very long (9 hours one way, if there are no traffic issues), I always find it enjoyable, except this time, the weather was deplorable.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

We had hoped that when we started the drive to Lennoxville, the snowstorm would be one step behind us, sadly though the bad weather caught up with us quite quickly. Now we do have snow tires on our van, especially since you never know what type of weather you will experience, when driving through the Appalachian mountains in the eastern townships of Quebec. Thankfully we arrived at our destination with nerves still intact.

River outside son's apartment

I was quite surprised at how fast the river, outside my son’s apartment was flowing.

After a good night’s sleep, and no sleepwalking by me, we were ready to take the young man grocery shopping.  Actually he shopped, well hubby and I took selfies in the supermarket. I did toss a can of Maple Syrup into my son’s cart, while hubby tossed in a few cans of tuna. (Note: hours later, when we were on the road home, I received a phone call from the young man asking “Mom why do I have a can of Maple Syrup?” Damn, I forgot it, hubby remembered to take home the tuna he tossed into the shopping cart).

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

When shopping was finished, and the groceries carried up the four floors to his apartment, we started our way home. The drive home was no better than the day before, the only difference was we were driving in an ice storm rather than a snowstorm. As hubby drove, we counted twelve vehicles in the ditch. It was a scary drive home, thankfully though we arrived safely.

There was no elevator and there was a dog attack and poop

This past weekend involved one of our crazy drives to Quebec and back in two days. We started off somewhere around ten in the morning, and as per usual it took us about nine and a half hours. Once there, hubby moved a couch, loveseat, and various other things from our daughter’s apartment to our son’s apartment. Our son is currently paying rent for an apartment he won’t live in until the end of August, so it is very expensive storage fees. Now it is a brand new apartment building and quite lovely. His apartment is on the fourth floor and lucky for the people who want to stay in shape, there is no elevator. So hubby and the teenage boy spent about two hours climbing up and down moving everything.

Once the teenage boy’s move was finished, middle child and her dad moved the rest of her belongings into the covered trailer we had borrowed. There of course was not enough space, but with forward thinking hubby had folded down the back seats and removed two seats from the van before we had left home. During this move, I, who can only be in a supervisory position was standing there supervising with our beagle Cocoa, when a husky from the park across the street bolted toward us. With no owner in sight, the husky attacked our dog, and if it wasn’t for middle child who was able to call the dog off, Cocoa may have suffered more than just a bite to his eye.

Cocoa sitting on a chair at the vets

Cocoa sitting on a chair at the vets because he thinks he is human special. He is now on antibiotics because the bite below his eye is infected.

After all the moving was complete, we collapsed with exhaustion and went to bed, well the teenage boy was given the couch, he’s young. The next morning, middle child awoke early so she could clean her old apartment, and move the washing machine to the trash, only to discover during the night someone had vomited throughout the stairwell, smeared what we were pretty sure was poop all over the walls (on all four floors). After gagging and gagging, she phoned her landlord, who responded with “I’ll deal with it on Monday.” Seriously? This was Saturday. Lo and behold though, he showed up an hour later and cleaned up the mess.

More errands were eventually run, before we started the trip home, middle child said goodbye to her dog Bear, who we are now babysitting for six weeks. She didn’t think it would be fair for him to be locked up in her apartment well she is in school all day.

Bear and Cocoa sleeping together in the van

Bear and Cocoa sleeping together on the trip home

Another nine and a half hours later, some $500 spent in gas, we arrived home so the teenage boy and dad could empty the trailer, which hubby and I then returned to our friend.

Good news: We don’t have to return for another six weeks, at which point we bring middle child home for the summer.

Bad news: At the end of August, since middle child is finished her four years of university, she has decided to attend college in Lindsay, Ontario. So we will drive to Lindsey first, then make our way down to bring the teenage boy to Quebec. That trip may take three days.

1600 kilometres and karma

As I was drinking my morning coffee and looking out our kitchen window Friday morning, I mentioned to my husband that there were a couple of hooligans that had been standing on the other side of our street for too long. Now they weren’t really hooligans but it makes the morning more interesting if you throw in a descriptive word or two. Anyways, hubby eventually went outside and starting chatting up the hooligans and as it turned out the hooligans were actually good Samaritans. They had found a dog wandering the street and had been waiting approximately 45 minutes for Animal Control to show up. Now who is the ass? So the good Samaritans didn’t have to wait any longer, hubby said we would watch the dog since we have a fenced in backyard, but oh dear what he hadn’t realized was the dog had met up with a skunk! Oh what a stink! Now this dog was exceptionally well-behaved, very docile, whereas our little beagle was barking away. Thankfully Cocoa did not end up smelling like skunk, though our hands did when we were petting the dog. Eventually Animal Control showed up and took the dog away.

Earlier in the week we had been debating our plans to drive to Lennoxville, Quebec (to move the teenage boy home from University, and visit with middle child who would be staying longer) because of the severe flooding in the town. The flood had caused the University to close for two days, deferring exams until Saturday (we finally did decide we would drive up on Saturday because the teenage boy would be finished writing before we would even arrive). This turned out to be a good idea, because it gave the river time to recede. Basically if middle child’s apartment had not been built on a hill, it would have been flooded, as it was the water came up the road at least a good five feet or more, and into the parking lot. She was cut off from the University, since it was surrounded by water, leaving the teenage boy, who lives in residence cut off from going to his sister’s place or even into town.

Below are some of the images my children took of the flooding, (note: middle child had sent me an image the first morning of the flood, which I immediately tweeted to @JayScotland at @CBCWeather (our national television station the CBC). Well doesn’t he go and air it on tv, giving me credit, middle child just gasped! lol.)

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Our drive to Lennoxville on Saturday was uneventful this time, and we were able to make the drive in about nine and a half hours. Now this is with stopping at every other rest station so I can stretch and Cocoa can have a pee (traveling with a dog is just so much fun). Here he is laying on his new dog bed between the seats and then with Bear (middle child’s dog):

Cocoa in the van

Bear and Cocoa at Constance's house

Just before arriving at middle child’s apartment, we stopped at the local Provigo to pick up beer, after a nine and a half hour drive beer is a cool refreshing drink necessary, and then we were met with hugs from middle child, the teenage boy, and Bear, middle child’s dog. Before having his beer though, hubby and the teenage boy went over to his residence to load up the van for the drive home in the morning. (This is where I really contemplate whether or not hubby and I are sane? We have made this drive far too many times in two days, moving our kids back and forth). Hubby eventually returns to have a few beers and watch Wallace and Gromit with middle child.

The next morning, after phoning the teenage boy numerous times to wake him up, we are eventually off, with plans to return in two weeks time with a trailer in tow. Middle child will be giving her brother furniture for his new apartment, so it will be moved there, plus we will be bringing her bed, and various other things home, and her dog while she remains for another six weeks, moving into her friend’s apartment while attending spring school. At the end of spring school, I will not be surprised if she asks us to come and pick her up.

It was a couple of hours before I went to bed Sunday night, only to find, nothing had really changed with the teenage boy, he was still up to his old antics. Earlier he had made snarky comments about my latest twitter party win, so when I went to go to bed I found this in my bedroom:

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After our exhausting weekend, hubby and I were not able to sleep in the next morning because we were taking the van in for repairs, but not before I had a few coffees and checked my lottery tickets from Saturday night’s draw. As hubby and I both checked our tickets, I said to him, oh I have 4 numbers, how much do you think I won? He replied, “oh I don’t know, maybe $80.00 or so” and as he said that, I added, “oh no, I have 5 numbers!”. I don’t quite remember how he responded but I do recall him saying he won $5.00. After checking the lottery site online, it turned out that I had won $976.50. Hubby explained that I won as a result of good karma ~ looking after the dog ~ was the reason I had won. Works for me. Then karma came back to bite me in the ass.

Hubby never tucks our quilt in at the bottom of the bed, whereas I do, so last night, after he had left for work, I went to tuck the quilt in only to find water! Our waterbed was leaking. Thank goodness two of my three kids were home. After draining the outside hose, it was hoisted up to the second floor through the window, and attached to the waterbed for draining. You would think that gravity would pull the water out, but no, the teenage boy tried to suck it out, but it is a very long hose. Eventually with some ingenuity they hooked the hose up to the shop-vac to get the water flowing. This was after we had tried to get a hold of hubby at work, because we couldn’t find the waterbed attachment for the hose to be hooked up, but then I remembered it may be in the shed with the pool supplies, and it was. Hubby phoned about ten minutes later (he loves these calls at work, where we ask him to fix something that clearly he can’t because he is at work) and we explained all was sort of well, the bed was draining out the window.

The eldest standing on waterbed

Note: Please ignore the white walls in our bedroom. Even though our second floor addition was added a eight years few years ago, painting it, is on the list of things to do.