The last week off

The past couple of days has entailed reading contracts and preparing for my first days on site. Which should prove interesting with the head hauncho his way out, with his assistant and the HR guy.  Of course as you already know my toes have been dipping in on site already, from assisting with setting up the filing tree, trying to decipher where each file will go and in how many locations, to determining my actual title and just how morphing my role will be.  We have had only minor bumps with our childcare bailing last weekend and minor issues at the boys’ school, I am looking forward to some sort of normality and predictability, well as much predictability as one can anticipate in an ever changing role.

Things in town are starting to pick up. The people we are getting to know are interested in what we do and how we do it, though other parents haven’t quite shown the same enthusiasm, we are starting to find our comfort zone here. I would, however, like to know when the sunlight gets piped in…… Since January 21 we have had only one day of partial sun but I suppose that’s better than none.

Our home though is chilly, the pellet strove died and the wood stove is awaiting inspection which requires cleaning first. I was told to anticipate someone yesterday for the job, but despite my waiting patiently and refusal to leave for fear of missing him, nobody showed up. So we are using the electric heat which is extraordinarily expensive. I do hope  things get sorted soon.

For now, I am going to get comfy and enjoy the rest of my final week home.  My almond biscotti is calling my name and groceries need to be taken care of. I hope that you and yours enjoy those around you on this Valentine’s Day, and that maybe you, if only a glimmer, can enjoy some sun.


Settling in….. Or not

I am sitting in the quaint little cafe that I previously mentioned that sports free wifi.  We have been in town now almost three weeks….. And not much has changed. Where we are now has actually proven to be the most uninviting town; where new comers are eyed suspiciously, avoided even, and an air of unwelcomeness tends to cover the town. That is not to say that we haven’t met some wonderful and kind people, but for a community that has struggled for quite some time one would think they would be more inclined to welcome new business with open arms. That is not what we personally have experienced so far. And it worries me for those that are welcoming and kind….. Because if the guys don’t feel welcome they will most certainly take their business and extensive over time checks elsewhere.

Take last night as a classic example. I attended a meeting in my son’s class to discuss an large upcoming Field trip, and on leaving heard another parent comment that someone she knew had acquired a position working on the wind farm. Hearing a commonality I stopped and inquired as to what they would be doing on the wind farm, that my husband and myself both worked on the wind farm.  The response was a short and curt “I don’t know, I just found out.” And she walked away from me. You really can’t get more uninviting than that honestly. Though it could be that this little town is just a different culture, and I am just going to have to learn to adapt……and I will.

As far as the job itself is concerned, things are starting to pick up. I personally will be on site Feb 18, however am already helping from behind the scenes.  The weather here is trying…. We have had only one day with sun, the rest has been grey and rainy.  All that being said, the workers here seem to have accepted hubby, so that is great. Just keep swimming (as they say)

The kids are doing well though, their teachers are wonderful! There have been some moments that have prompted me to start documenting things, but nothing with regards to their actual teachers. If I could pack the two teachers up and bring them along on our adventures, I would be all over it like white on rice.

Well my latte is getting cold and my need to people watch has over come my tolerance for trying to type on this ipad (it sure gets glitchy on WordPress).  But I will be back soon! Oh, and if you happen to be in one of those little struggling towns and the wind farm comes by your neighbourhood, try to open your mind to us. We really are just trying to feed our families just like you are, and we always try to ensure that we help support the community that has opened their town to us.

The other side

My apologies in the delay in posting.  After making our trek across Alberta, through the rockies, down through the lower mainland, and up Vancouver Island, we learned that we would not be able to secure internet at our residence.  This is extraordinarily frustrating considering what I do here, and what my job entails.  All that being said, our trip was relatively uneventful.  There were portions of the rockies that we white knuckled through with our family minivan in the front radioing back via walkie talkie to hubby who was carrying the lions share of our home about debris on the road, ice, packed snow, slippery sections etc.  Our first night we stopped in Calgary and spent a wonderful night with my aunt and uncle.  We left Calgary early and even though it was only 3:30 in the afternoon  when arrived in Salmon Arm, the drive through the rockies left us feeling emotionally exhausted, so we stopped there for the night.  After leaving Salmon Arm in the morning we headed down and through the lower mainland out to the island landing in Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay.  The view was amazing!  Our youngest had never been on a ferry and was absolutely certain that it would be a rowboat and was worried we would have to leave our vehicles behind.

Now we are here, in Port Hardy, learning to adapt to the amazing differences in culture once again.  Being that it is the beginning of the year, hubby needed to complete tax forms which proved a bit difficult.  We are not permanently here however, we don’t know how long we are going to be here….. 5 or 6 months??  This makes residency difficult, however, we secured a permanent place in Alberta and that is what we are going to use as our permanent address.  I am accustomed to places that mind their own business really well, however, when it comes to the schools here for the kids, it was a different experience.  The high school referred to us as “Nomads” and the elementary school principal insisted that we would have to get a care card because we would be here longer than 3 months.  I very calmly explained that we would go back during the spring break to ensure that we maintained our medical.  It is nearly impossible to constantly change your “province of residence” every 5 months are so…… not sure if they expect us to count every day that we spend in one province over another or what.  Of course this is one of those sacrifices we made in following this path.

As far as work is considered, hubby is already on site.  I won’t be until mid February, but I still help where I can.  I view this as a “team” endeavor, and that team includes the company that he works for.  They took a chance on hubby, and he is amazing at what he does, but they have been so good to us, and regularly state that we are a “package deal”.  That kind of support and allowing me to work on site as well means that the family gets to stay together and I don’t have to hunt for work at every move.  It also means more leniency as far as hours are concerned in that, if something happens at school with the kids, I am capable of making sure it’s dealt with.  It makes conversation at home great to, because hubby and I, though we work in the same department, see and hear different things and have different perspectives on what is going on around us.  It makes for a very inclusive safety team in which many perspectives are taken into consideration, and I believe a much more thorough safety department.  Of course, it’s not our program, or the company’s program, it is the workers’ program…… and that is why it is important to have many perspectives on what is going on and transpiring on site.

Well, the kids are up and getting ready for school, and hubby will be back for his air card.  You’ll hear from me soon though, I have found a cafe with wifi and Chai Tea lattes.

The final hours

Okay, maybe it’s not the final hours but it’s the last full day we will be here.  Tomorrow after school we will be throwing everyone in to the van and truck and heading for a little town just our side on the Rockies so that we can tackle the Rockies with a full day of daylight.  We have learned that at the new site there are no cell towers and no cell service.  This is making life interesting for me on an anxiety level.  The company office will be located near where we live which is great, however, it means that when I am on site I will be “incommincato” with the schools etc.  For this reason we have decided to splurge a little and have someone come into our home and carry a cell when the kiddos are in school.  I have also told my parents that if something happens and one of the kiddos is enroute to the hospital, their 3.5 hrs away may be more accessible than I am.

The road ahead is hit and miss as far as our travels are concerned.  For this reason we have decided to forego the use of a trailer.  We will be putting whatever we can into the back of the van, the back of the truck and the back seat of the truck…… if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t come.  I thought this would bother me more than it is really, but having gone through it merely 5 months ago it’s just one of those things.  Better to arrive safe than not at all.

I am nervous and excited.  The lack of furniture I think will be the hardest.  We won’t have a couch or chairs even.  We will likely be sitting on the floor and standing at the counter for the first few days until we get everything sorted.  We will be bringing the beds for the kids, or at least a mattress for both the older two and James’ toddler bed because it is so compact.

To be honest I am tired of living out of boxes.  I am sure by the next move things will be quicker.  I must admit I am a big fan of space bags (though the boxes are heavy LOL)

The site sounds frustrating, which isn’t the norm for me.  There are things that I have learned from the last site that I definitely want to do better, and other things about the way information is saved.  Then there is all the dangers and issues that we need to watch for.  It makes me a bit nervous, but moreso because I am not there right now I’m sure.  I tend to be a visual person, so being there is immensely helpful when compared to just trying to visualize it.  I think that’s why I write reports so well, because I write them so that I can understand them later (pictures and all).

So this will likely be my last post until I get the interwebs sorted at our new location.  Wish us safe travels and much luck.  Will see you on the other side of them there Rockies!

Our Route

Celebrations at home….

Well today hubby received his offer for a full time position.  They are working out the finer details, but we are excited nonetheless.  We even went out for dinner at the local restaurant.  We also took a break from packing for today, mostly because we have been running ourselves so ragged that we really haven’t been eating properly, and both hubby and I woke quite dizzy.  However, having received the offer, I called up the contact we were given at the property management company, and wired her our damage deposit and first month’s rent for the only house that we have found available in the area.  This always makes me uneasy….. The company itself is not set up to receive etransfers, so I had to send it to her directly…… and now we are waiting on her to receive it and forward the receipt.  I tried to drop her a line, however, her phone is off….. this is what kills me.  It’s not that the money is a big deal (though it is, it is not the end of the world to lose it) but having a house waiting for us makes our lives so much easier.  So for tonight I will sit here and chew on my stomach just a little bit longer I guess.  We did however, luck out, being that we are travelling through an area where we previously lived, we won’t have to pay for a hotel for that night there, and friends of ours are moving and have furniture and such to get rid of, which means we may actually be able to sit on something other than the floor when we arrive!  BONUS!

Brad has told the project manager to expect us in the area the first week of February, but to be honest, I would like to pull in earlier than that.  I would like to get everything organized and sorted on the PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick) so that I can breathe again, if only for a week or so.

We also have the kiddos to transition…. and though the youngest two are not an issue, having a child with autism means having to coordinate with the high school.  We have found that this transition in the Alberta area is not difficult, the schools are very helpful, however in BC we are dealing with a totally different kettle of fish.  I really don’t want to subject my son to a psych assessment when his coding was sufficient only 5 months ago.  And I really don’t want to make waves in a new town because my commute is going to be significantly longer than here.  The whole “multi trip” experience is something that I would like to avoid.

It also looks like we may have sorted out the daycare issue, which is really good.  Though we are down to two options.  Have a friend stay with us and help us out (which I don’t mind the idea of sometimes….. but worry that we will feel impeded on) or I put the littest in the daycare down the road and work tooth and nail to find extra curricular activities for the middlest.  The eldest I am not so worried about as he will just walk in the door, wash the dishes, and then plunk his butt down in front of the video games until I get home…… We will have to see how things go.

All in all it has been a productive day off.

PS:  I must have called when she was previously on the phone because I just contacted the property management company and she has indeed received the transfer.  We officially have a house AND my husband is on salary.  If I can give anyone out there advice it would be this…… don’t let fear dictate your life, embrace and overcome the obstacles in your path because anything worthwhile requires work.

Seriously, I love what we do, in fact, I adore what we do.  I take great pride in how my hubby and I work together; however, I will admit that some of the most frustrating things about moving from place to place is finding and sourcing appropriate child care.  Let’s face it, we can’t exactly hire a nanny, especially considering we really have no furniture right now, let alone the ability to say “This is your bed”, and hubby and I are both a little off about having someone strange living in our home…. add to that the prospect of having to move another body across Canada.  Seriously though….. my frustration is finding and sourcing appropriate child care in a town we have never set foot in.  What resources are available for youth, clubs?, groups? What is there?  Thank goodness that in this location we will likely have a week with my being home with the kiddos… not sure what I would do without that ability…. it’s not easy to say the least, and something that I stress about.  Brad of course appreciates the stress cause it means the rubbermaid bins get packed faster, because let’s face it, the faster we get out there the faster I can source resources.  Yes the job has it’s amazing benefits…. advantages for all but at the same time it has its stresses….. can’t wait to be there so that I can get the ball rolling.

I must first apologize for the delay in posts.  After our last day on the jobsite we took a week or two of much needed r and r, packed up the family and drove 3300 miles from Castor to Little Rock Arkansas.  During this time there has been much communication with the company that we work for, and much discussion about hubby getting a contract for permanent placement.  We have also been told that there will be a position for me on the next site, and we are very nervous and just wanting to know the date we need to be there.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise by just telling you where we are ending up next, that will be posted below in a video, but it is rural as well, though not as rural as where we are now. Where we are moving has a population of 4008, and where we are now only has just over 900 (though sometimes we wonder if they counted a few of the dogs in that!)

On January 5 we returned home from our family Christmas in Arkansas and I have been searching and sourcing a place for us to live at our next location.  This is no easy task though, I must admit.  Being the part of the construction project that actually erects the turbines means we are always “late to the show” if you will, in that there are other companies that arrive well before us.  Those that build the roads, dig the holes, pour the concrete etc.  This means that typically a good portion of the housing in the area is scooped before we are even sure we are going there.  It can be a challenge, but hey, I love a good challenge.  Of course there is also the fact that we have two small dogs….. albeit very small, but they are canines nonetheless and sometimes a deal breaker when sourcing housing.  As well, having three children means that we can’t live in “camp jobs”.  Our boys have to have access to school and amenities which sometimes results in a longer commute to the jobsite….. oh, and then there’s daycare.  Always a bucket list of stuff that needs to be sourced out.  Because of this the company that we work for tries to give us as much advanced warning of the move as possible.  If we can pull in to town a week before we have to be on site it means that we have time to settle and source things, work out enrollment into school, transition our autistic son etc.

And then of course there is the packing of the house…… yes, this is going to be a big investment.  In all honesty, we are planning a “rubbermaid splurge” because if we are going to be moving constantly we need to make sure we can do so efficiently….. and cardboard boxes just don’t stand the test of time (though they are nice and compact for storage).

We also need to set up the BOB (Bug Out Box) which will encase all of hubby’s work necessities so that if he gets pulled from one site and sent to another he has all he needs in one box ready to go.

So this is where we are at….. we lived in Castor as a family for 5 months (hubby though has been here 8) by the end of January, and it looks like we will be out by February 1, with the hopes of the kiddos finishing school there.

Wish us luck.