Hello everyone! Well, it seems that I’ve reached the allowed amount of memory on this Blog. So, I’ve moved all future posts to my ‘business’ Blog, The Jane Effect. There are several categories there, but you can find these types of posts under the category Freedom Lifestyle.

Hope you see you there!!


Site Move

Well, it looks like I’ve maxed out my photo quota for this site – unless I upgrade or delete some photos, none of which I want to do. This is a record of my life since 2013 and I don’t want to delete anything.

So I’ve continued these posts to my other blog here under the category Freedom Lifestyle.

Hope to see you there!

But First, Tequila

It’s Been A Week, I Tell Ya!

There are a few small advantages to having a truck driver for a husband and living alone for 2 weeks at a time – I can eat whatever I like and I don’t have to cook if I don’t want to and my house stays clean and organized. But there are far more disadvantages and this week definitely proved it to be true.

Continue reading It’s Been A Week, I Tell Ya!

Winter, Spring, Covid-19 and a New Start

It’s been a long time since I last posted. Nothing much happens in winter in Edmonton, so there didn’t seem much to write about. We had Neil on New Year’s Eve so that his parents could go to a new year’s eve party. It felt so funny not going anywhere like we usually do, but we’re still so new to Edmonton and don’t really know anyone. This year, we’re definitely going out or hosting a party at our house. Neil was very good – I love hanging out with him. He insisted on making himself comfortable on the back of the couch and fell asleep there. 😀

When I was 12 days old, I was adopted. Even though I had a lovely family and a wonderful childhood, I always wondered where I had come from. Well, just after New Year, I saw this message on one of the adoption sites I belonged to on FaceBook, and my heart stopped for a moment.

That’s my birthday. So I replied to the poster who is someone who tries to reunite birth parents and adoptees. Long story short, she put in touch with my half-sister, and we chatted on messenger for a bit. She, in turn, put me in touch with my birth mother. We got DNA tests done and they were a match! Turns out I have 5 brothers and sisters! All around my age, all in various parts of the world. My birth mother and two sisters live in the UK, one brother in South Africa and one in China. I’ve become quite good friends with my two sisters in the UK, and we chat on facebook all the time. It’s really lovely to have sisters! I’m looking forward to getting to know my new family and to being able to spend time with them.

I knew that January and February would be slow months for Home Quest Decor, so I spent that time learning more about social media advertising and getting into a routine of posting on FaceBook and Instragram, organizing my business life and planning how I’m going to spend my days in order to grow my business. I did get a few orders during that time, but nothing significant.

I also spent that time decluttering, making Tori’s road meals and generally catching up on things I’ve been putting off.

By mid-January, we were in a deep freeze with temperatures plummeting to between -24 deg. C and -42 deg. C. Yes, you heard that right – minus 42. When we lived in BC, the temperature didn’t get much below -10, so this was something I wasn’t used to, and didn’t like very much. Money also became tight as my unemployment insurance ran out and business slowed. But, we made it through, and I bought myself a bottle of wine to celebrate. I really appreciated that glass of wine at 5 o’ clock.

We had Neil over a few times and spent it making stuff with play dough

and building a fort out of sheets and my yoga mat 😀

Just when business started to pick up in March, the Covid-19 virus hit and shut everything down. Fortunately, the government stepped in a lent a financial hand. My supplier’s warehouse reopened again in April, and I was able to order some new items, mainly garden ornaments and planters. I listed them on Marketplace and was almost sold out in the first 2 weekends! In the meantime, David worked on building me a website and offered to handle my social media advertising. Yes please! He’s much better at it than I am. The website is nearly done and should be up and running in the next couple of weeks!

At the end of March, we had to move house as the one we lived in was in bad shape and the landlord was terrible. We found a lovely townhouse in a pretty neighbourhood called Terwillegar, pronounced Ter-will-a-ga. Come on, say it with me – Ter-will-a-ga.

Moving from a 675 sq. foot cottage in Halfmoon Bay, to a place twice the size, had us running to the furniture store to get additional furniture. Mainly a couch, recliner and bar fridge for the ‘man cave’ and a couch and small freezer for upstairs. The downstairs TV also started showing signs of giving up the ghost, so we replaced it with a newer and much larger model :D. Pictures to follow in the next post.

There were a few things that were repurposed. Tori’s mom’s hope chest is going to get a new lease on life and become the upstairs TV stand. I started on it yesterday and hope to have it finished by Tuesday.

We turned the kitchen island from our Halfmoon Bay house, into a hall table. I’ll be painting it next week so that it looks the part.

The trunk that used to be a TV stand, is now going to become the upstairs living room coffee table. Again, it’s going to get a makeover to get rid of the ugly blue and orange flowers!

In the middle of all this, Tori started showing symptoms of COVID-19 and had to come home. In order to minimize the spread, we made him a bed downstairs where he (and Chewy) spend the next two weeks. He was quite ill, especially with a horrible cough, but he recovered after 2 weeks and was back at work in no time.

Quarantine turned us into day drinkers and, at one point, we though we might be alcoholics!

Fortunately, the novelty wore off and we went back to a drink or two on our balcony in the evenings.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our family Easter dinner, but we had a little celebration on our own

But they came over for Tori’s birthday

and Na-mee sent me photos of Neil’s silliness

Clare gave me a gift card for Mother’s Day and I bought some plants with it –
herbs to put on our sunny kitchen windowsill

some pretty flowers for our front landing

Lavender for our balcony

Some grass for the small birdbath and other ornaments


and, of course, no space is complete without a barbecue and petunias

There are quite a few parks in our neighbourhood – something for everyone, from a playground, to a space to run around, to a couple with little lakes and birdlife. Chewy and I checked one of them out, but first I had to coax her off the couch!

This guy was quite tame

Lots of little birds everywhere

and ducks

and a beaver

I captured this beautiful sunset and crescent moon from my office window

At the beginning of May we were given the wonderful news that a new grandchild is on the way! A sister for Neil and a granddaughter for us. She’s due in September! September is becoming quite a busy month as we now have three birthdays then – Neil’s, mine and new baby’s.

Some sad news. Before we moved we had to put our beloved Tiki down. She was 12 years old and had had a good innings. The vet discovered a tumour in her stomach and signs of liver failure, and she was in a lot of pain. She was such a vibrant and integral part of our family, it was heartbreaking to let her go.

Until next time …

But First, Tequila


Halloween, Christmas and a New Baby


A new year already! and a new decade. Happy New Year to all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

We’re getting used to living in Edmonton. We went from


What were we thinking? I hear you say. But we also went from

and traded

and last but probably the most important

We have much to be grateful for.

I haven’t done much in the way of decorating or too much organizing because our landlord informed us, just after we signed a 6 month lease, that he was wanting to sell our house. So, we might have to move and I didn’t want to get too comfortable. Of course, the kitchen got some love. I put up my “kitchen” sign that Tori made me

and our little monkey fridge magnet that we found in our house in Delta back in 2004

He’s a bit like the Elf on a Shelf. He moves around from time to time to wherever there’s a metal place he can be stuck to.

Our Ikea hack bar trolley has become a temporary kitchen island. Not exactly ideal with the copper railing around it, but it’ll do for now.

The kitchen island we had in our old house has become a temporary drinks trolley for the living room

Back in the kitchen, there are convenient shelves for some of my teapots. I think I have a teapot obsession!

And then there was a strange little cupboard off to the side where I threw things like tools and cleaning products and garbage bags

until one day I could find anything, so I bought some containers and sorted it out

It’s much better, but still a work in progress

We replaced the very old, dirty and falling-apart blinds in the living room and dining room with sheers and curtains. I forgot to take a before photo, but they just had to come down.

My cat spends a lot of time ‘chasing’ the little birds that sit in the tree outside this window

We had Neil over a few times to hang out and paint and draw

He’s so much fun to be with and I never stop learning with him

On October 27th, this lovely little lad was born in London, England, and I became a Great Aunt! Yikes! It makes me sound so old. Welcome John Patrick

This made his grandparents very happy indeed. They look ecstatic despite just having flown in from Zimbabwe that morning.

Soon after that Halloween arrived and this little guy showed up on my doorstep. It was such a lovely surprise.

Of course, he got Halloween candy. Quite a few neighbourhood kids also showed up which was a nice change from our last house where no-one came at all.

And then, just like that, it was Christmas. I bought myself a Christmas present while shopping for the family. I just couldn’t resist – I love all things tea

On Christmas day, the whole family plus Johnny and Cathy came for dinner, and we added a trestle table to our regular dining table to accommodate everyone – 8 in total.

It was a fun night

We spent New Year’s Even with Neil so his parents could have a night out and amused ourselves by taking funny face selfies

and making a bed on top of the couch 🙂

The next day all the decorations came back down. I like Christmas, but I’m glad it’s over and we can all get back to normal again, whatever that may be. It looks like the dogs and cats in this family had a hard year and are sleeping it off in the living room

Willow continues to hate Mondays

and Maggie (demon cat) continues to terrorize the other animals.

Until next time …


But First, Tequila










And Off to Edmonton We Go!!

Hello all! Once again, I haven’t managed to post for a while. September was a very long month for me. It was first time Tori and I have been apart for that long and it was pretty brutal. It went on and on and on. But finally the day arrived for us to move. Tori drove back from Edmonton, picked up a U-Haul trailer on the way and we started loading. Even though we had downsized considerably in order to live comfortably in a 675 sq. foot space, we still underestimated how much stuff we had. There was quite a bit of tools and things in the shed. As a result, the truck bed was piled high with the things we couldn’t fit into the trailer. I must admit that we looked a little bit like the Clampetts! All that was missing was granny in the rocking chair!

We got up at 4 am on a Friday morning so we could catch the first ferry (6:20 am) off the Sunshine Coast. I had the 2 cats in a big dog crate in the back of my jeep. They both howled for about an hour or so, and then resigned themselves to the fact that they were stuck there for a while. Chewy simply curled up and went to sleep on the front seat.

When we got to Jasper a herd of Elk stopped the traffic in order to cross the road. This one was close enough to touch.

Shortly after that, it started snowing which is terrible for the eyes, but it didn’t last for very long, thank goodness.

By the time we arrived in Edmonton at approximately midnight, we were both exhausted. We were looking forward to pumping up our air mattress and getting some sleep. But alas! It was not to be. When we opened our front door we discovered two things:  1) it was freezing, and 2) it hadn’t been fully cleaned out from the last tenant!

After taking a look at the thermostat and then the furnace, we realized that the gas company had not turned on our heat, even though I had set it all up a couple of weeks prior so this very thing wouldn’t happen. I also noticed that all the windows were wide open! Much wailing and gnashing of teeth went on on my part until Tori reminded me that he has a lovely, brand new big truck sitting in a truck yard not five minutes from where we live, where we can spend the night in relative comfort and warmth. We left the cats on a couple of duvets in a bedroom in the house and took the dogs and ourselves to the truck.

Even though we were exhausted, I woke up 4 hours later eager to sort everything out and get on with the business of moving. After a lovely warm shower, some coffee and breakfast, I called the landlord and voiced my disappointment in how they left the house. He was very apologetic and made some excuse about being out of town and his workers not doing what they were supposed to do. He promised he would get people there right away – which he did. Looking at the house in the light of day, it wasn’t as bad as I had thought, except it looked like the ceiling fans had never been cleaned. Ever.

Still, that was an easy fix.

A couple of hours later, Alex arrived with Neil. He and Tori worked tirelessly to get everything offloaded, while I cleaned, put boxes in their respective rooms and looked after Neil. Neil just wanted to do what I was doing – he “cleaned” and unpacked and ate and cleaned and unpacked, all the while talking non-stop!

The gas company told me that they couldn’t turn the heating on until Monday. This seemed ridiculous to me, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. Alex put the word out on Reddit and a complete stranger came over and dropped off a couple of heaters for us to borrow until our gas got turned on! My faith in the human race was restored.

Later on Na-mee arrived and we ordered take out and sat at the dining room table to our first family meal in a long time.

The next day, Alex was back again to help Tori offload his tools and bike that had been in storage at Clare’s house since the beginning of September. That evening we sat on our deck in the sunshine and had a well-deserved couple of drinks.

And my rose bush, which was stuffed into the back seat of Tori’s truck, seemed to survive unscathed.

The house is mostly unpacked and semi set up. Willow seems to think that the empty boxes and my grocery bin is her bed

Now that we have double the space, we need another couch and some curtains. And nothing seems to match anymore, so I’ll be working on that shortly. The basement needs a little tlc which is a much bigger task and is being put off until I can find the motivation to tackle it.

I did, however, set up a little office in a sunny corner of the living room/dining area which I love. I can watch the sun rise from here when I have my coffee in the morning. We live in a very pretty and well-established neighbourhood and the neighbours that we’ve met seem very nice.

I also managed to hang a couple of pictures including the one that my school friend and partner in crime (don’t ask!) painted for me recently as a gift. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but it’s absolutely beautiful and I love it!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. Na-mee’s parents were visiting from Vancouver and she and Alex invited us all for dinner. Unfortunately, Tori had to work, but we all made a side dish. I did the brussels sprouts

and the sweet potato pies

everyone brought something, and the kitchen was a flurry of activity getting everything done on time

Some things never change – the “kids” are still at the kids table 😀

After dinner we played a couple of games which was fun. All in all, it was a wonderful evening.

So glad we made this move.

Until next time …


But First, Tequila


Summer Days and a New Adventure!

I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather and walking around our area, exploring places I’ve never been to – so magical.

Things are changing here, once again. Continue reading Summer Days and a New Adventure!

Summer! Good Friends – And Our New Store Launch

Hello everyone. How are you all? We’re all fine here, although it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride and a huuuuge learning curve which has been both exhilarating and panic-ridden all at the same time.

We launched our online store, homequestdecor.com and I became mired in learning all about FaceBook ads, SEO, social media marketing and the like. It quickly became apparent that dropshipping was not the route we wanted to go. Most of the suppliers are in China and the shipping times are just too long. Nobody wants to wait more than two weeks for their stuff.  And I wasn’t very happy with the quality of the products either. I don’t just want to sell all sorts of random home decor stuff, I want to sell a specific type of home decor. More of a farmhouse/beach style like some of the items in the picture below.


We found 3 suppliers in Canada who sell these types of products and, as soon as we have our business license (hopefully by the end of this week), I can start ordering these lovely things and stocking them in our store. We will be using a fulfillment warehouse to pack and distribute our product with shipping times of between 2 – 5 days instead of 15 – 30. I know that more than a few of these items will be making their way to my house!

The tomatoes that I planted from slices I buried in soil in April

grow your own tomatoes from tomato slices

are now fully grown and starting to flower. Yesterday I saw the beginnings of a tomato on one of them, so it looks like the dandelions I left in for the bees paid off!

grow your own tomatoes

The lavender and herbs are also flourishing in that bed


 This year we had some volunteer poppies cozy up to the roses

which continue to bloom every year without fail

and we had more strawberries this year than ever before. They were delicious, too. Juicy and sweet.

And lots and lots of wildflowers this year – all over the place

A few weeks ago, we finally got around to cleaning up this eyesore

The remnants of last year’s vegetable garden. Even though we still have garlic in there, I couldn’t bear it any longer, so down she came

and we cleaned it all up as best we could so as to let the garlic continue to grow.

The patio got a bit of a tidy up also. We hung some lanterns

and turned some little glass yogurt jars into candle holders and hung them up along the beam

and then moved the chimes where they could, well, chime

and then just generally cleaned up the whole area to make it a pleasant place to enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine

By that time, it had been over 6 months since we’d been to Vancouver and I was starting to get cabin fever. So I took myself off for a girl’s night out which was just what I needed. I made a couple of new friends too!

The following weekend, Tori and I (and the dogs) spent the weekend at a biker event. We stayed in these cabins

and camped and ate and drank and socialized. It was really cool to see all our friends and people we hadn’t seen for a few months.

Meanwhile in Tenerife, David, my eldest son, has found his niche in the tourist industry and will soon be opening his own coffee shop there. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can visit him and see this beautiful part of the world. David’s the one on the far right.

And in Edmonton, Neil is having a good summer. We’ll be visiting them in September for his 4th birthday.

Until next time …

But First, Tequila








Exciting Things Happening Here

Hello all. It’s been quite a while since my last post. I know I keep saying this, but I can’t believe how time flies.

Lots of really exciting things happening around here. I lost my job somewhere around the last week of March due to the elimination of my department. On the drive home, I decided that I was no longer prepared to work for somebody ever again. I just got tired of relying on someone else for my wellbeing – financial or otherwise – and tired of living in fear that, any day now, my job will be eliminated. During the last month of my employment there, my job became very stressful, to the point where I was in tears most days and I dreaded going to work the next day. So I was somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to go through that anymore.

Over the next couple of weeks I researched various online opportunities. My son David, suggested I look into something called Digital Nomads. These are virtual jobs that you can do from anywhere in the world because they’re all online. I joined a few groups and delved into it a bit further. I finally decided on an ecommerce store selling everything for the home, and signed up for a course on everything to do with that.

It’s been exciting, overwhelming, exciting, overwhelming, exciting. My store is all set up now. I have some awesome suppliers (a lot of trial and error to find them) and I’m now in the marketing phase of my course which I’m enjoying a lot.  I’m hoping for a launch date of June 1st, so watch this space for the link to my new store!

In the meantime, feel free to visit our new facebook page and comment and share!

In the meantime, everything is blooming in our garden. Beautiful Daffodils






and more

and I finally got round to giving my front porch some plant love

the local wildlife have moved in

and Mr. Woodpecker mistaking our shed and patio beam for a tree

We had a bear come through our yard a couple of nights ago. He broke into our shed and stole our little deep freeze.! I kid you not! I found it in the bush a few meters away, completely destroyed. He (or she) had tried to pry it open with not much luck as it was locked. I tell you, you can’t make this stuff up!

April 23 was Tori’s birthday and we spent a quiet evening at home. I made a special dinner. He didn’t want a cake, so I bought an apple pie for dessert and made him blow out the candles on it 😀


I’ve been taking the dogs to the beach again now that the weather’s warmed up. Tiki just loves the water

and we spent a windy afternoon at Davis Bay a couple of weeks ago with hot chocolate in hand

Last weekend, we eventually got round to having lunch at a restaurant in Gibsons we’ve been meaning to go to for some time now. It’s called Drift Cafe & Bistro. We sat on the patio overlooking the bay

and sipped on lovely white wine. Their menu is small, but has a good selection of food. Tori chose the Vegetarian Sandwich which he found to be delicious, and I chose the Roasted Chicken Sandwich – equally delicious. We spent a very relaxing few hours there.

We’ve been talking to little Neil on the phone – he’s growing up so fast. He loves spending time with his Dad

We’re hoping to go to Edmonton for his 4th birthday in September.

Not much else going on. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the link for me new store!


But First, Tequila




Spring – Right on Time

HellOooo all. I hope you are all well. Isn’t that the most beautiful sunset ever? This photo was taken by a fellow Sunshine Coaster – just stunning.

Things are wonderful here on the Sunshine Coast although it’s been pretty busy these past few weeks with what seems like all work and no play. But the days are getting lighter and sunnier and so this weekend I’m going to “dust” off our deck and clean everything up in preparation for after work drinks, barbecue suppers and after dinner tea.

The garden is coming alive again with little crocuses poking their heads up all over the place

and primulas

And the daffodils and tulips are growing bigger by the day

Our garlic is really growing nicely and is now twice the size of when that photo was taken – about a week ago

To continue with “operation clean up” from the Fall, we bought some lovely pots for our front porch along with some little bunnies that I found, oddly enough, in the drug store

In a few weeks we’ll plant lovely shade flowers and herbs in here such as lemon grass, fuchsia, primula bulleyana, sweet woodruff, cascading lobelia, viola, double impatiens, and zinnia.

Until next time …


But First, Tequila