Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Adventure Bus is Nearly Done

Tracey, owner of Opal Interiors, is a fellow business person here in The Bay. When we called her about helping decorate The Adventure Bus she was a little hesitant but after coming for a look she decided to take the project on, despite our very limited budget. A brave woman. Or, maybe she felt sorry for me.

We think Tracey did a great job of creating a comfortable environment for both of us and still accommodating the needs of a home on wheels.

The interior is nearly complete, except the bedroom. Still no mattress, but that is another blog post. Supposedly it will be here by June 2. So here are some before and after photos.

You can enlarge the photos for a better view by left clicking on them.

The main feature here is new curtains and valence around the window. It doesn't show up well here so here is a picture of the drapes.
Next is the sofa:
We decided not to replace the sofa for now so simply purchased a slip cover from Walmart and Tracey had her sewer make some toss pillows to match the fabrics used in the rest of the motorhome.

The dining area:
We decided to take only two of the four chairs with us and use folding chairs when we have guests. That way we have room for a side table for the recliner chair. The dining chairs are covered with the same fabric as the valences.

The kitchen:
Don't you love the new backsplash. Arch and I installed it together.

The bathroom:
I love the wallpaper -  you can only see it reflected in the mirror here so here is another picture:

A big thanks to Tracey for all the great advice and to our friends Norman and Susan for the great job installing the wallpaper.

Now Arch is busy working on the outside. We are ordering an new awning and he is planning to paint the front and the basement doors.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

One of the great things about living where we do is the clarity and freshness of the air. This means that we get to enjoy the great aromas that mother nature produces - the fresh ocean air, the spruce and fir trees after a rain, etc. Right now it is the scent of apple blossoms that fills the air.
This one graces the driveway at my sister's home
Apple trees are everywhere in the area where we live. They even line the trail where we walk. The trail is built on an unused rail bed. Years ago the railway took people from Halifax to Yarmouth and back. A distance about 300 kms, one way. It was called the Blueberry Special because, during blueberry season folks jumped on in the morning with their berry picking buckets and the train dropped them off at their favourite picking spot. Then stopped to pick them up on the way back to Halifax in the evening. Locals tell me the apple trees are the result of these train passengers and berry pickers eating apples and throwing the core out the window.
They appear in some pretty wild spots
Another theory is that, back in the day, every home had an apple tree or two as a source of food and while homes have been moved or demolished the trees survive.
This old girl enjoys a view of the ocean
Whatever their source the trees are currently in full bloom and beautiful. And the resulting fruit will be great to make one of my favourite recipes. This will be very easy to prepare in The Adventure Bus.

4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/2 cups whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place apple slices in an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Spread the cranberry sauce over the apples. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples and cranberry sauce, covering completely.
Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until apples can be easily pierced with a knife and topping is browned.

Serve with ice cream.

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. My computer was ill. Much better now. Pictures of the renovated Adventure Bus in my next post.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yard Sale - Nova Scotia Style

Yard sales in Nova Scotia are different than what we are accustomed to after all our years living in Ontario.

We held 2 yard sales at our home in Ontario before we moved. Neither were fun. We advertised our sales for 7 am. The dealers and flea market operators arrived at 6 am, (the better to distract you while you are trying to set up) grabbed at everything they thought they could make money from by reselling, offered the lowest price possible, argued about everything and eventually left with what they could scoop. Then, right at 7 am the bargain hunters arrived. Which is fine, that is the idea of a yard sale. Except that they were usually very rude, critized everything you had for sale, told you your stuff was vastly overpriced and junk and some even tried to steal stuff. By 9 am most everything was sold and we were totally stressed out and very disappointed with the amount of money we made.

So, when we held our first yard sale in Nova Scotia, we were ready. It was a neighbourhood sale and we first realized things were going to be different when the neighbours told us the sale would not start until 9 am. So OK we thought, but we will be ready by 7 am when the dealers show up. We are not going to be distracted this time. But no one came until about 8:30 am. And these potential customers apologized for being early and said they would just browse until 9 am. Then more people arrived at 9 am and the sale was underway. Everyone took the time to admire everything we had for sale, compliment us on the quality and variety. Those decided to purchase bargained by saying "would you consider taking __$$ for this?" Absolutely no rudeness and no insults. All in all it was a very social occasion. We met lots of nice people, spent the day visiting and learning a lot about our neighbourhood and had a grand time. And it really did not matter how much money we made. Although we did well.

Yesterday we held the first of what we expect will be 2 yard sales to downsize our possessions to "motorhome volume". Believe me we have a lot to sell. We set up at Bay Hammocks (our home is a little of the beaten path) and put up a couple of signs advertising our sale to start at 9 am. People started to arrive at 8:30 am and by the end of the day we sold nearly everything. And had a great time. Friends and neighbours dropped out for short visits, buyers were plentiful and friendly. A woman, one of our first customers, told me "you will do well today, you stuff is beautiful and very well priced", And we did. And had a grand time as well.

We will be having another sale in 2 weeks. Will watch the weather and decide what day as the time gets closer. Hope to see you then.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We Thought We Would be Sad to Pack up and Leave our Beautiful House but....

As it turns out, all we feel if great relief.

As I empty cupboards and assemble dishes, kitchen equipment, utensils, pots, pans, etc., etc. for a yard sale this weekend all I can think is thank heavens. No more stuff waiting to be washed, to be dusted, even to be used. As I was once a caterer I have a lot of stuff. Sometimes (to be honest, most times) I felt like our possessions owned us. And, to be honest, we have always felt a house is only a house - home is where you are.

We will, on occasion miss the view, how could we not. It is always spectacular, especially in the fall.
It is even great in winter
And the sunsets are gorgeous

But we will not miss the lawn care, the weeding  (although the gardens are beautiful and we both love being outdoors - but we can be outdoors playing golf, or hiking, or biking...), cleaning 4 bathrooms, etc. etc.

So I am happily gathering up almost everything for a yard sale at Bay Hammocks, 11452 Peggy's Cove Rd., Seabright, this Saturday, May 12 and on Sunday May 13 if there are items left.

Our new home - the Adventure Bus - is almost ready. It is starting to look like home. Window treatments and upholstered items arrive on Monday, new mattress by the end of the week, then we will get what remains of the carpet cleaned and we are good to go. I will post pictures next week when the curtains are up.