Feeling Defeated

This kind of feeling is usually something that would make me stop writing for a while but not this time. I think I just need to be honest and put myself out there. A few years ago we were struggling financially. We make a good enough salary but we were still living pay check to pay check even though we were living modestly. We had large student loans and a line of credit for initial home repairs and “welcome taxes” when we had bought the house, and a few other odds and ends that had been added to that. We were paying minimums and using one credit product to pay for another and vice versa and we we couldn’t see an end in sight. The wake up call was getting a statement outlining my student loans and realizing that I had been paying nearly  interest without even touching much of the capital over nearly a decade. If were to keep on the same path, we would be in the same place 20 years down the line. We finally went to see a financial counsellor for advice and we were told that we could not do a consolidation which we were originally wanting to do, and that instead we should try a consumer proposal. Then, when meeting with a trustee we were told that our best option would be bankruptcy. Yeah… bankruptcy.

I never talked about it, because bankruptcy has this stigma around it, and we were afraid of what people would think. But, after weighing all of the options and trying our best to find another solution, it really was the best solution for us. The process was easy enough and because we owned an old car and had no equity on the house and didn’t own anything really of value, we didn’t lose anything except for dept and were discharged 9 months later around the time Wilhelmina was born.

So there it is, the cat is out of the bag. I know that people will judge us, and though I feel somewhat ashamed that we had to make that decision, I don’t feel guilty. We didn’t plan for it, we didn’t buy extravagant things, we were living modestly and just couldn’t keep on going like that. It was truly the best decision for us. We have been working on rebuilding our credit since then but the mark on our credit will be there for another few years.

So why I am saying this now? Well, on Monday I called the bank for information on a Loan for the bus and was told that we shouldn’t have a problem getting a car loan (we got one last year for the car we currently have) especially with the amount that the bus costs which is half the amount of our car. Yesterday, I called the bank back for an appointment and was basically told to not waste our time. The bus is a 92 and for a car loan it would have to be only 6 years old or less. The other option would be a personal loan, but even though we would qualify easily, the bankruptcy is our downfall. He didn’t actually put the demand though which is good because it would hurt us more in the long run. We could try other banks too but I have a feeling that it will be the same everywhere.

So now we are stuck. We have money saved that we could use as a down payment and If we were to get a loan we would have had no problem paying it and when we sell the house we could have easily paid off the remainder. We don’t have family to turn to financially so that is out of the question.

I would love to find a part time job but there is not much in a city that basically closes down after 5pm and on Sundays. I would also rather find something I can do on the internet and that I can bring with us when we leave, or sell crafts or things I make on Etsy but I have tried that before and I guess I was not making what people want/need.

Another idea is that we could get back to selling the house and try to find a place that would let us have the bus around so that we could work on it but I am not sure we could find a place for that.

We could give up on the dream, but of course I don’t want to do that either.

We are not ready to give up. We want this… actually for our sanity we need this.


No word…

Well, it is Tuesday and we haven’t received any word on the house so I guess she decided to go with one of the other houses she was looking at. Honestly I feel relieved. Having two weeks to pack, move and figure out where we would go feels unrealistic. I mean, if we were a smaller family and planning on living closer and could just move everything, then it might have been able to work. But, because we are planning on selling most of our furniture and having just the minimum of what we want to keep, then I just cannot see how we would have done it. I want out of this house, but not that fast!

So on with the bus project. I think we found our bus. It is exactly what we were looking for with one catch. It’s in New Brunswick! lol. No matter, we will be going to the bank soon to see if we can get a loan and then if everything works out, I would fly out to Bathurst and drive it home…OMG… did I just write that?!

I don’t want to get into details too much because I would feel even more disappointed of this doesn’t work out, but I am excited about this!!

Quebec City

Around my birthday (end of July) we had some friends in town from Nelson, BC. Not just friends, but Sharon was like a mom to me when I was little. So,  on the day of my birthday, Simon took the day off and we headed to the Cabin to spend the day with my mom, Sharon and her boyfriend Al.

This is Sharon… I just adore her!

SharonSharon and Al at the Cabin

We had a great day, hanging out, talking and walking around the property.

The boys took to Al who is a history buff and they were immersed in conversation all day long. They enjoyed the time with him and Sharon so much that they said that they want to move to Nelson soon so that they could be closer to them to be able to hang out more often. I can’t wait to move!

(My mom, Al, Sharon, me and the kids)

  Sharon, Al, my mom, the kids and I...

 Simon, Al and the kids

 Sharon and my mom… friends for life…

Suzi and Sharon

A couple days later they were all heading to Quebec City for a few nights and I thought it would be a great opportunity to see them again and be hang out together.

Simon was OK with it, and I knew that Willa would be OK for a night, so early Saturday morning I headed to Quebec City on my own to go meet up with them. I finally arrived around lunch time, parked the car where I could leave it over night as the place that they were staying was easily accessible and without parking. We had lunch and then walked around old Quebec city. It was a perfect day and not too hot which made things easier.

Quebec CityA guand infront of the Citadel in Quebec CityThe door to Old Quebec

 Old Quebec

We had supper and then walked a bit more and waited for the Fireworks before heading on the Ferry over to the Levis, where the apartment they were renting was. It was such a beautiful night and the Chateau Frontenac looked absolutely beautiful all lit up. above old Quebec City.

Chateaux Frontenac

We talked on the balcony until it was much later, looking at Old Quebec until all of the lights went out and then finally headed to bed.
The next morning we had a late start as we waited for Sylvain, my mom’s boyfriend, to come meet up with us for the day.

We all piled into my minivan as it had the most space (and air conditioning) and we headed to Ile D’Orleans, a historical residential and agricultural Island just off the shore of Quebec City. We had lunch… which for me was an amazing Steak Tartare and then headed back to the van to tour around the island.

It was another beautiful day and we rode and stopped for a drink (Virgin for me) and then rode some more and stopped at a beach to get our feet wet.

On L'ile D'Orleans

Sharon and Al got a bit more then their feet wet though.. 🙂

Wave coming!Splash

We then headed to the Montmorency falls which is right at the foot of the bridge coming off the Island. These falls might look small in the pictures, they were also were very dry as we have not had enough rain this year but they are 1 1/2 times the height of the Niagara Falls at 275 feet. Stairs going up the mountain next to it, show the height a bit more…

Montmorency Falls Stairs up to the Falls

After walking around a bit and talking pictures and talking I brought everybody back to Sylvain’s truck and we said our goodbyes and I started to head back home.

It was strange not having kids around, but it felt really good to just relax and think of only myself. I can’t say that I am not tempted to do it again one day…

Beach, Fireworks and Stars…

It was the long weekend here and we spent the day at the Cabin again…

My uncle has owned his property in Sainte-Emelie-de-L’Énergie for nearly 40 years and when I was a child I spent many summers there. It is a place where everyone knows each other and is a place that many come to hang out while camping. The beach in the town used to be run by the city but now it is up to the people to take care of it and watch out for their own.

Beach in Sainte-Émélie-de-l'Énergie

Beach in Sainte-Émélie-de-l'Énergie  

The kids have a blast when we go there and are exploring more and more..

Colin and Xavier even crossed the river a few times… (can you see them?)  It might look scary but the water is shallow and though they swam they could have walked across 🙂

Colin and Xavier crossing the river..

(here is Colin on the other side)

Colin on the other side

Colin Splash

Khéna can swim even underwater now so he was having fun showing off his new skills in the River…

Wilhelmina kept Simon on his feet running back and forth to the playground and played happily on the edge of the water in the sand…

playing.... Wilhelmina

Since it was the long weekend and “La Fête Nationale” which is the provincial equivalent to Canada Day (or the 4th of July) and celebrated as intently, there was of course a big party, live music and fireworks…

 La Fête Nationale in Sainte-Émélie-de-l'ÉnergieGreat music...glow sticks

Fireworks, Le fête Nationale

Fireworks, Le fête NationaleFireworks, Le fête Nationale

 and the new moon disappeared as darkness set in leaving the sky aglow with stars…

new moon

The cabin at night…

The Cabin at night

 The Big Dipper

The Big Dipper

I could spend hours looking at the stars…

So many stars


Last week we went out on the bikes with our new bike trailer (I still need to take pics) and headed to the park and caught the most beautiful sunset…

I have mentioned where I live before, a little city about an hour out of Montreal, situated where the Richelieu river flows into the Saint-Laurent river. So if I go 2 blocks to the south, I have the Richelieu River and then about 10 blocks to the North is the Saint-Laurent. Though I miss the mountains that I grew up in, Quebec is also beautiful, and I know that I will miss it when we are gone.

This park is right on the Saint-Laurent and because we also have a port here, and we are up river from Montreal, there are often ships stopped or passing through.

This ship was passing through, most likely heading back to sea from being loaded in Montreal.

 Ship passing by...

The colour of the sunset was so strong that you can see the red reflections on the rocks…

Rocky shore

The boys headed down right away to play on the water edge, catching the waves from the ship that had passed minutes before…

Boys on the beach...

It was so calming…

Sunset on the Saint-Laurent

Sunset on the Saint-Laurent


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