by Olena

October Coffee Date

Olena Osipov

October Coffee Date

I have been hesitant to come for our October coffee date in a fear it will be very depressing. I was not going to show up and skip to November. In hopes things will be better by then.

But then one day in a shower. Most genius ideas come in the shower or on the walk by the way. So one day in a shower I realized we get together for coffee dates to chat about life the way it is. I can be me, write how I feel and then it won’t feel like a chore. No sugar coating writing because that’s exhausting to me.

Without further ado. October the way it was. Truly.

October Sucked

Big time! It was a very hard month for both me and Alex. Almost depressing. I lost inspiration in cooking and hope to ever see our house in normal state. I got a tunnel vision. Some days I couldn’t see past next hour.

When I tell you I love nature more than people I mean it. It is very hard to deal with people. As we all know. That’s why I love my lonely job. I could never work in an office again. I would get fired by Tuesday. And here in October we had to deal with like 10 people who I hoped I would never have to talk to. Imagine.

We Had to Basically Replumb the House

October Coffee Date

DUH! Here is how it went:

  • Tile setter already installed a heated floor in the bathroom when plumber noticed water is standing in the shower.
  • I remember Adam took shower once and it was barely draining.
  • So then it means our home inspector didn’t run the water long enough to see the water is standing.
  • Also asshole home inspector didn’t tell us polyb pipes we have do explode.
  • Previous owners didn’t disclose the issue. Lied basically.
  • Realtor has retired, washed his hands and said get a lawyer and write a letter.

See why I don’t love people?

How Re-Plumbing Went

October Coffee Date

  • We hired an excavator and installed new pipes.
  • Found a plumber which came over a course of 3 weeks randomly. One day he shows up, says will come next day and then disappears for 10 days.
  • Plumbers charge a shit load of money.
  • Excavator damaged our propane pipe which plumber cut before he left for 10 days. No stove or heat in the house.
  • To get a good plumber you have to wait for months.
  • We are still finishing basic plumbing ourselves.
  • Breaking the concrete, shoveling sand and gravel, hauling out junk, installing sub pump. We did it all in October!


October Coffee Date

  • In the midst of all of this I lost inspiration for cooking. While there was no heat I started to utilize electric hot plate. But it’s such crap Walmart quality it gets overheated and shuts down. Imagine? No? Don’t!
  • The entire 30 years old surroundings started to depress me. The green wall colour. No heat.
  • Our existing one and only ensuite bathroom we all use stinks because of not properly draining pipes.

It’s truly glamping here. Roughing it out. No joke, my friends.

Studio Situation

October Coffee Date

  • I don’t have other words to describe people who lived here for 17 years except as PIGS.
  • Even insulation under the flooring and behind the walls had mice and rat droppings. A few nests. A few dead bodies.
  • We ended up ripping out everything.

I Am So Homesick

In the process of all of this roughing out I became so homesick. Not that we hung out with many friends or had a family.

  • I am a city girl. Living in rural area is new to me. And I go to Nanaimo and there is the bustle of the city only 15 minutes away from my house. But it’s not right around my house. I need to get used to this new life.
  • I miss my neighbourhood where I walked.
  • I miss my clean, updated and organized house.
  • It’s just nothing feels like home yet. It will take a year or two.

I Realized Life Flies By

  • I think moving to a different house without memories of my little kids in it made me realize how much older they are.
  • It’s a different stage. My kids are so grown up compared to even 2 years ago.
  • New chapter. Life flies by.
  • It made me so sad. I have been crying about it daily.
  • Why do we have to get old and look wrinkly?
  • I also realize life with growing kids gets busier and filled with more worries.
  • I have been thinking about life a lot lately…

So That Was October and First Half of November

  • For a few weeks I cried every day.
  • From unfairness of life mainly.
  • How everyone wants to take advantage of you.
  • From exhaustion of thinking through every detail while proceeding with the renos.
  • From shrinking bank account.

I just stopped yesterday. That’s why I can write. But now writing about kids made me tear up again… I’m such a hot mess these days.

Moving Forward

October Coffee Date

But nothing we can do except get up every morning and move forward.

  • We have heat back.
  • Tile setters are scheduled to come in next week and start on the bathroom.
  • Bathroom vanity and countertop are ordered. Coming December.
  • Bathroom fixtures are purchased.
  • Studio island cabinetry and countertop is ordered. It took a part of me with it. So when you see me standing at that beautiful island know it has lots of my tears. Coming December.
  • We can start putting drywall, laying floors and proceeding with the studio.
  • Still have to finish plumbing ourselves.

On the Brighter Side

October Coffee Date

  • We knew it would be a lot of work to clean up after someone who did NOTHING with the property in 17 years.
  • We still know it is worth it because we got a very good price for the house in AMAZING location. It’s for you rat pet owners and simply dirty filthy people who owned my beach house before me, if you are reading. Bahaha.
  • We have met so many people and made new friends. Everyone is so nice!!! It’s just everyone is new.
  • Kids love the new area, house, school, hockey, friends more than in their “previous life”.
  • I made so many young mom friends already. Never had that many before.
  • I know we will get there because I moved so many times already. Just not at 37.

I think I can do this…I know it’s gonna be a rough winter but no options. Gotta pull through. It’s an experience. It’s an investment. It’s just so hard to see past green walls and falling apart kitchen right now.

If you read my depressing October reflections I applaud you. I feel better now that renos are moving forward. My cooking inspo is almost back minus the disgusting kitchen but I can do this.

Hope we will have more fun on our November coffee date. It should be better!!!


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olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

18 comments on “October Coffee Date

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  1. Ahhh, Olena! I so look forward to your posts! You are so refreshing to read. I love that you tell it like it is, right down to the “assholes” you encounter, yet in a good way. You just crack me up! Far from depressing, I find your October reflections enlightening. You go, girl! You are one strong woman and I admire that you are not a push over. It’s ok to shed some tears, it builds determination. So glad you’re meeting so many new friends, your kids love the area and things are starting to come together. You already know you can do this. Before you know it, it will be summer and you will be so happy to have completed the majority of the work during the winter so you can relax by the water and enjoy all your accomplishments. Good luck…it WILL get better! Hugs! 🙂

  2. When I moved 5 years ago, I felt homesick as well and I only moved 2 miles!! You described it well about the memories not yet made in the new house. My kids have been happier at this house as well (new friends, better neighborhood environment, nature)…but I spent a lot of time wondering if I made a mistake by moving houses and inheriting a lot of out dated decor and fixing up projects. It’s a lot to process and you have the added stuff of the replumbing on top of everything else. Exhaustion!!
    It’s good you shared October, look at all the people who can relate.

  3. Olena,

    I have been crying a lot too, lately. On Oct. 20 my 22 year old “baby” moved 3,000 miles away to start his life. Like you, I have two boys and you’re right-they are are growing up. I don’t have any words to make you feel better and am starting to tear up myself just writing this because I feel like I should have some words to make you feel better. I’m sorry the renovations are more than you expected. We redid our kitchen when we moved to our present house and it took 3x as long as the contractors said it would-that was 20 years ago, so it looks like nothing has changed. At that time I wanted one of my boys to grow up to be a plumber and the other a dentist since it felt like that was where the big bucks were!

    All I can say is that you will get through this and you will have a beautiful home on the ocean-it will just take longer than you expected. If you don’t feel like cooking, keep talking because people are listening.

    1. Oh, Beth. My heart goes out to you. It’s my biggest fear! Where as Alex doesn’t care lol. BUT you never know how life will turn. He might be back. He is young. I left at 20 as well. Now I would gladly live close to my mom if she lived not on the farm surrounded by nothing except snow and cows.
      You don’t have to offer me any advice. Sometimes as someone older there is a pressure to be wiser but truth is you don’t always have to. You can be not ok as well. It’s ok to be not ok. I often think that. Why do I have to be so strong for my kids all the time. I don’t. So you don’t. We all learn. Always. Many feeling are new no matter the age. Take it one day at a time. This pain will end eventually too. Big hug to you.

  4. Oh wow, you sure are going through a lot! We bought a house that needed major renovations, we just kept finding all kinds of expensive things to fix (and cursing the former owners). We went through all kinds of asshole contractors, it was hell, and we had a three year-old and a newborn baby at the time. it seemed to take forever before we could get to the fun stuff (like choosing colours, tiles, etc). But it’s SO worth it when you can make your house into exactly what you want it to be. Keep focusing on that! It’s going to be amazing! On a lighter note, because you have mentioned rats a few times in your post, there are a bunch of pest control ads showing up on the page, ha ha! Hang in there and keep us updated 🙂

    1. Well if you survived. I will survive too. It does seem forever until fun stuff. Haven’t even started yet. I agree no pre built house compares. Lol about rats. I didn’t know ads do that relevant o page content.
      Our plumber ended up being a huge asshole. Not only the job wasn’t well done. He also billed us for parts we never had. Bought extra parts we don’t need. All using our credit card. We are in the process of getting refund and he got fired. And I was offering him Nespresso coffee and lunch every day. Like do I need this on top of everything? And how can you not stop trusting all those trades unless it’s a very good referral from hockey parents lol.

      1. Yes, you’ll totally survive and you’ll be absolutely thrilled when your house starts to really feel like home. That sucks about your plumber, but great that he was fired and you’re getting a refund, most people aren’t so lucky with crappy contractors, they just kind of disappear and you never find them. For sure you need referrals from neighbours and locals, you’ll find some good people. Keep remembering why you bought the place, it is a golden opportunity to really make it your own, and the property and view are AMAZING!!!! Looking forward to hearing November’s update, hope it’s some good news for you! (still rat ads on the page, but at least they’re cute ones, LOL!)

  5. Aww I’m so sorry it has been so difficult. If it makes you feel any better renovations always suck! Most people I know (including myself) say never again! You end up feeling held hostage to the people doing the work who may or may not show up when they say. And what can you do? Nothing. And unexpected problems always show up. That is normal unfortunately. But in the end it will be so worth it. You have an amazing location, kids are happy, people are friendly, all the workers will eventually be gone! You can do this! But it’s ok to have days where you think you can’t. Just hang in there. It will get better.

  6. Oh my gosh. The house situation sounds truly challenging. Wow. But you will get through it. Challenges are what make us grow even when we don’t feel like taking on more at the time. Good luck. Take it one day at a time. And as for your recipe inspiration….girl, please…. the chicken and mashed potatoes were the stuff of my dreams!

    1. Haha, chicken and mashed potatoes. I will be fine. In the worst moments I forced myself cooking and got away from the plumbing nightmare. Thank you! “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”

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