Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Unimaginative, Consumer-Orientated, and Entirely Arbitrary, Manipulative and Shallow Interpretation of Romance Day!

My first Valentine`s Day since my divorce, so needless to say not the day I am most looking forward to.  It seems that lately I have been inundated with links and article on what the divorced women should do on Valentine’s Day.  I guess once Facebook knows your divorced (change in status from married àseparated àdivorced àsingle), than the whole internet universe knows.

According to the majority of these enlightened souls, here is a short list of what I should be doing today:

  • ·         Get a massage, manicure, pedicure...  really, sit in that salon while so 20-something perky thing ask you “so what are you doing for Valentine’s Day” and then proceeds to talk about the love of her life and their plans.... great...
  • ·         Go hear some live music...  sitting alone in a bar on V-day.  Hmmm... don’t think so.
  • ·         Buy  yourself some flowers... dead foliage, I think not.

So, I don’t think any of these will be on my agenda.  I have decided to look at V-day as any other holiday that doesn’t apply to me.  I am not a mother, so I don’t expect breakfast in bed on Mothers Day.  I am not American, so no fireworks on the forth of July... you get the point.

Why make the day have more power than it actually has.  It’s just another day and just think, it’s only another week until National Pancake Day!!!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Always Put Off Until Tomorrow...

"Pick the day.  Enjoy it - to the hilt.  The day as it comes.  People as they come... The past, I think,  has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future." Audrey Hepburn

There is laundry to be done.  There are boxes to be unpacked.  There are pictures to be hung. There is a house that calls to be spic'd and span'd.

You're getting the idea, right.

There are a million little (and big) things that need to done around the house, but there is a problem.  It is a beautiful day outside.  It's hovering around 0 degrees Celsius outside with a few little flurries floating out of the sky.  There is no wind and the ground is covered in a pristine coat of freshly fallen snow.  It is almost surreal.

I have to go for a walk in the park.  Bowring Park in St. John's, Newfoundland to be exact.  I do not have a choice, it is calling to me and there is not a chore in this house that cannot wait until another day.  Now, I have what some have called OCD lite... there are things in my home that need to be "just so", but some compulsions are stronger than others.  Today is such a day.

I noticed this "perfect day" compulsion early on in my first days here on the island.  I think it comes from the idea that there will be other days, less perfect days, downright miserable days that will be ideal for the mundane details of housework, laundry and unpacking.

How could I miss this...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Car Emergency Kit

I have been driving for twenty-mumble mumble years.  My father gave me some valuable tips on what to always have in your car in case of emergency:

  • Basic safety kit - Booster Cables, Road Flares, Tire Jack...etc
  • Money - always have $20 in your car in case you run out of gas and always have change for the phone (this was before cell phones but still useful since batteries go dead)
  • CAA - I find this the most useful - let someone else come and change that flat!
  • Blanket, flashlight and granola bars... you never know how long CAA will take to get to you in a winter storm.
  • Water... to drink or add to your radiator
  • First Aid Kit - I am a nurse so really important since I have to stop at accidents... but you never know when I may be walking and need to use yours.
  • Really warm gloves, scarf and hat 
So this is what is in my car... I have added a few things over the years (like an overnight bag with a uniform, nightie and clean undies)... in case a snowstorm gets me stuck somewhere.

Well, I live in Newfoundland now and my kit has been expanded... but not the usual things you need for safety but what you need for fun.  So my new list includes:

  • Travel chair - you never know when you will see a concert or festival just begging for your attendance. A nice comfy chair makes the experience so much better.
  • Rain coat and sweater.. the weather can change in a heartbeat and you wouldn't want that invite to a beach bonfire to be wasted because you didn't bring something warm.

  • Sneakers or Hiking boots - some of the best views are off the beaten path. Why stand on the side of the road because you don't want to ruin those cute little sandals.

  • Rubber boots - for the reasons stated above, off the beaten path could be a little wet.
  • A Container - Off the beaten path (a place I seem to be spending a lot of time) sometimes has the best berries and you can only eat so many.

  • A Tarp - who knows what you will find to make your garden landscaping beautiful or that perfect something from a yard sale.

  • A last but definitely not least... A CAMERA.  No explanation needed.

Now, if I can find a space for passengers....

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Who Ownes Ya?

I am a CFA and I will probably always be a CFA.  It is not a bad thing, it is just what I am.  "Come From Away" is the term now and days... the old term (and still used) is Mainlander. To make matters worse, I am a Mainlander from Toronto.

I have learnt that is now part of my introduction.  I am no longer Kim.  I am Kim from the Mainland.  The Newfoundland expression "who ownes ya?" has been asked of me on a regular basis.  I have to give a mini family tree to establish my roots and my right to be here.  Just saying my last name lets them know that my family can be traced to the Southern Shore and goes back many generations.  My Mom's side is out by Trinity Bay and again the connection to the family and community is there.

Now, I want to be clear.  I have experience the best hospitality here.  No-one has every discriminated against me but there is always that little bit distance and even a bit of pity that appears when I start to talk and there is no accent.

I didn't realize there was  such a fuss regarding this until I came across an article from the  The Liberals want to legislate people to stop using the term.  I can see both sides but it depends on how the term is used.  It can be cruel and distancing or acknowledging and welcoming.  The article does make a good point... you cannot legislate people to forgo their everyday speech.

So call me a Mainlander, a CFA, and a Torontonian...but never, ever call me late for supper...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Everywhere is within walking distance... if you have the time.

I don't know if you have seen the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism advertisement regarding time, but it is worth the watch.  Newfoundland has its own time zone, a minimum of a half hour ahead of the rest of Canada.  We are the first to see the sun rise, the first to exercise our right to vote and the first province to start our New Year resolutions (and probably the first to break them).

I am born, raised and worked all my life in Ontario and like most people, I commute.  The time varied depending on the job but it averaged about an hour.  I have gotten used to automatically adding an hour or more to every trip I make to account for accidents, road work and just plain traffic congestion .  This is not a good plan here in Newfoundland.

I find myself sitting outside the hospital where I work at 6:00 am - I start work at 7:00am.  Friends are telling me that we will meet for supper at 6:30pm so when I show up at 5:45pm, I am still early (but not by too much) for the supper they had planned for 6:00pm.

I need to slow down and accept the fact that I can get from one end of St. John's to the other in 15 everywhere I would need to go on a day to day basis does not need an hour buffer.  The whole atmosphere here is different.  In Toronto, it is about what you can accomplish, how many things "got done" today.  Here, it is about the journey, the people you meet along the way and the way you feel at the end of the day...with only a little time added to watch for the moose.

I guess this is what I was looking for... the journey, not the destination.  It is just going to take some time for this 40 year old body to change its ways....

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Part I of the Journey

Did ya miss me?  I know that I have been away too long but it has been a busy couple of months.  The first part of my journey is over.  I have moved from Ontario to Newfoundland, bought a house and started my new job.  Now the next part... unpacking, getting settled and starting a new life here in St. John's.

I have so much to tell you and some wonderful stories from my journey and there are new and wonderful things happening all the time.  So, with that in mind, I will be writing again.  Some of my blogs will be from the here and now and some will be from a couple months back.   Enjoy!

The reason today was the day to get back on the blog wagon was two-fold.  Firstly, I had to do my WHMIS this morning so my mind had a chance to wander about all the things I would rather be doing and it also gave me the afternoon off.  Secondly, I am sick of unpacking...really, really sick of it so I am going to sit at the computer at type (no guilt since I am actually doing something).

I have probably said this before, probably while packing, that I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH CRAP.  I am living quite comfortably with the small amount that I have unpacked and I look at a basement full of boxes and wonder why do I need so much stuff.

I have these grand ideas of purging and having a slick minimalist style of home... but then again...

Stuff makes us feel safe, it makes us feel wealthy but I think that most of all it makes us feel "home".  I have my house and like I said, I have enough unpacked to make my meals, get dressed, watch TV and do the grooming thing but it doesn't feel like home yet.  As I unpack my pictures, my books, those little trinkets and all those other little things, this house is starting to feel like I belong here.  Maybe that is the whole point of stuff; a connection, someplace that is uniquely yours, someplace to call your own.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Never Ending Winter

It is April 17, 2011 and it one week until Easter.  I have crocuses popping their little purple heads out of the soil... and it is snowing.  Not a little flake here or there but a full fledge snow storm.  Now, it only lasted about 10 minutes and then an hour later for another 10 minutes.  This process continued for most of the day.  I should be thinking about warm weather and gardening and where have I packed my raincoat – Not feeling as though I am stuck in a snow globe and someone keeps shaking it.
I have decided to make some big changes this summer.  I am selling my house, moving to Newfoundland and starting a new life there.   I am ready for this, but it seems that Mother Nature is keeping me from my summer plans.  I understand that it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind but this is ridiculous.  It was 20 degrees last week and it is -2 today... is she going through menopause?
I have been met with some weird looks of late.  When I tell people that I am moving down East, their first response is ... I hope you like snow... or rain.  Well, folks, here in Barrie, Ontario, we had our first snowfall on October 22, 2010... That is 178 days or for those having a brain freeze, that is 5 months and 27 days. 
That is just shy of ½ of a year.  What happen to the four seasons? Please no snappy comments about “Walk like a man” or Vivaldi.   At least our four seasons of weather are easy to remember...Almost Winter...Winter...Still Winter...and...Is Winter Almost Over??  I think I am going to be able to handle the weather in St. John’s and after the year I have had, I think I can handle anything.

Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.  ~Plutarch, Moralia