Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

I wish you all a safe, healthy and joyous New Year.

Blessings and prayers that in 2011 we all may feel love, health, happiness and acceptance.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Smells of Christmas

I've been home for a few weeks now and have, I think, settled back into my rhythm and routine of life. Regular work days, this means up early, breakfast, walk the dog, shower & get ready for work. Work. Home, change, dinner, walk the dog and then bath and bed. Sometimes, for variety, there is TV in there. Sometimes I have longer walks with the dog, sometimes it's coffee with friends, but that is the usual pattern in my work day life.

And as dull as it sounds, it was a comfort to get back into my usual daily schedule after two glorious weeks of vacation.

There have been some interesting developments - in the social life front (yes, me, an actual possible social life) and work is coming along well. I have an application in for a job in Parksville and if I get the job I have also decided that I want to stay here, in the Comox Valley.

No more significant moves please - this place feels like home for me.

But on to this week... and the smells of Christmas. I was talking with one of my girlfriends this morning about the smells we associate with Christmas - the most poignant of all being the smell of the *real* Christmas tree in the house. Gingerbread. Cinnamon in anything this time of year. baking and so on. All of it starting and ending with the smell of that real tree when you walk in the door of the house.

So this year, at 40 (a year that seems to be reminding me a LOT of how I felt when I was younger) I am going to have the first real Christmas tree since I moved out on my own (at 18.) I've been home for Christmas nearly every year (with the exception of a few while I was in Ontario, I mean) and Mum & Dad always get a real tree - so I haven't been Christmas Tree Smell deprived by any stretch of the imagination... but I've never been home through the holidays - I mean really HOME.This year I actually am (finally) really *home* and to anchor that in my heart and soul I am going to actually get and decorate a tree of my very own.

And after I have it set up and decorated, when I come into my house I will take that deep breath in and smell Christmas.

I wish you all of the joy and blessings that this time of year has to offer.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On The Way Home...

The last few days have totally flown past me, leaving a blurry image of walking around some of the most gorgeous monuments known to man (the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and oh my goodness, the Arch de Triomphe to name a few) the most utterly divine pastries I have ever eaten (I think I have been spoiled for pastries forever more now) seeing the ultrasound of a handsome baby boy waiting to be born in about 5 weeks and, of course, wonderful visits, laughter, hugs and companionship.

I’m now sitting in the Air Canada lounge at Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport thinking on how to describe the last few days of my vacation and since it may be too hard to do so, once I get home and upload them, I will simply share some pictures of what I have been so blessed to see while in Paris.

In the mean time, though, I need to offer thanks to some very special people who made this an absolutely wonderful vacation: Amanda, Gill, Rebecca; Rebecca & Steve; and Megan & Greg - thank you all, from the very bottom of my heart, for a wonderful vacation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fresh, Sweet, Tart, Tasty, Ripe - FIGS

Fresh figs. I think there may be nothing tastier in the world at the moment than the sweet yet tart fig I just ate. I picked up four at the corner fruits and veg shop on my way back in from my first “alone shopping” in Paris. Back at the flat, I unpacked and put away what I’d bought, made a cup of tea, pulled out my Mille Feuille pastry and just ate one of the figs.

YUM.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Love Paris in the Autumn!

After a leisurely breakfast, shower and pack up in Saint-Malo, I headed to the train station (early, as I like to be) and managed to change my train ticket so that, instead of arrival at the airport & having to slog all the way across the city on the metro, I was a mere 5-minute taxi ride from Megan & Greg’s home. Unable to call (my cell phone, despite ALL possible attempts, still refuses to co-operate with me in Europe) I arrived yesterday afternoon, a little earlier than anticipated.

Parisian Challenge 1: to locate the telephones and then figure out how to use them

For any travellers who may be interested, Gare Montparnasse does not appear to have any coin operated telephones. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any on the street corners today either when I was out, but this is about yesterday’s adventures. In light of this, I assumed (incorrectly) that my VISA card would work in the telephone. Nope. If travelling in Paris, one NEEDS to acquire a telephone card.

7.50 EU phone card in hand, I called Meg to let her know I had arrived. After some conversation we determined it would be least stressful for me to simply take a taxi over to her apartment building.

Excellent.

Again, information for any travellers considering Paris… taxi drivers here are, well, downright grumpy. I checked this with Meg after I arrived and no, it wasn’t just me - evidently they are ALL like that!

Having arrived so much earlier than anticipated, we had a bit of a visit and natter and then went out for a little walk to the local grocery and then the pastry shop to collect some bits for dinner and dessert.

Ok, I have to say it now

OH. MY. GOD.

FRENCH PASTRIES ARE FREAKING AMAZING!!!!!

I have no idea how the French stay so small - I had a cream filled something or another when we got in, and then the most incredible piece of black forest cake in my life for dessert yesterdaytoday I had another pastry confection filled with cream… I think I may have to move here JUST for the desserts.

We took it very easy this morning - a long lay-in and putter around the flat, and then a quick outing for lunch and a brief show to where some of the shops are so that tomorrow I can venture forth and maybe do a little shopping. Meg has a day of required activities and appointments, and so I will take the opportunity to explore with my camera (eat more pastry) and then perhaps do a little shopping.

Having acquired everything on myneed itlist while in Jersey, now I can putter around and look at gifts for those back home, perhaps a new handbag for me and, of course, candy, biscuits, wine and other such items to come home with.

With love across the water!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And Oh, What a Week it Has Been!

I have been having the most wonderful of weeks catching up with friends, shopping and just generally relaxing. It’s been pretty blissful! Friday I had another visit with my former landlords, lunch with another friend and then drinks that took me until time for sleeping. Yesterday (Saturday) I had nothing huge planned… a casual lunch with friends and then, to be honest, I had to start thinking about packing.

Most of the packing done I had a light dinner and then, to my happy surprise, some friends showed up at the hotel to have a goodbye drink with me! Yay! I kept the intake to a reasonable amount last night and woke this morning without a headache OR a tummy ache… showered and breakfasted, I’m all packed up and ready for today.

Today’s adventures include Sunday lunch with friends here in Jersey followed up with visiting… then I head over to the ferry terminal and prep for my return ride to Saint-Malo. I have been watching the weather forecasts this week with a vast amount of interest (as I really do not want a repeat of the ride in) and today’s shipping forecast is for slight seas.

I really must find out what the terminology means. Evidently the seas can be anywhere from calm to mild to slight and then rough has a number of definitions… moderately rough, rough, and very rough. I’m assuming it has something to do with the size of the waves, but honestly, as long as I make it across and the ride isn’t as jostly or bumpy as the ride in was, well, I’ll be happy!

I have, though, just in case, bought anti-nausea medication to be taken 2 hours before sailing…

Tonight I am overnight in Saint-Malo again and then tomorrow I start back off to Paris.

With love across the waters!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Surprises and Fun in Jersey

When I woke up Tuesday morning , my stomach had finally stopped swaying (thank GOD) and I got to start my day with a breakfast with my “Jersey Girls” Rebecca, Amanda & Gill. When I lived here, we had a practice of getting together at least once a month for a girls night out for dinner. Needless to say, I’ve missed my girls!!

Breakfast was smashing & set me up for a good day ahead. After breakfast I headed out to the shops for some searching… I tentatively had in mind to replace my coat, get a new pair of black trousers for work and perhaps a new pair of shoes - if the right pair was to be found.

Oh, the shopping!

Ok, so I’m a full day over budget now - I’m on vacation!!!

After lunch I met up with Sandie - the woman who manages the affairs for my former landlords. We had in mind to surprise the boys with my visit and that couldn’t have gone any better that it did! They were beautifully surprised & I had a marvellous afternoon visiting with them.

Back into town just before supper I found I was pretty knackered & so had something to eat in the hotel restaurant and took an early night’s sleep.

Wednesday I met up with my friend Leonie for a coffee in the mid-morning & caught up with some of my former colleagues. Lunch on my own consisted of a biscuit and hot chocolate in my room as I was saving room for dinner out with my girls.

Oh, and some more shopping.

Good thing, I think, that the only person I answer to for my spending is myself!!

Dinner was absolutely marvellous! Ad-Lib is a restaurant over near the hospital & is owned & operated by a married couple. I had terrine of chicken to start, pumpkin lasagna and, of course, sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Jersey is having, right now, something they call Tennerfest. Many of the local restaurants put together two and three course meals and charge a reduced rate for it. It’s a BRILLIANT way to test out a new restaurant without breaking the bank!

We did consume a pretty fair amount of wine & ended up calling it a night around midnight.

Rebecca took the day off today and we skived off to a spa called L’Horizon out in St Brelade’s Bay for a day of girlie treats. Swim in the pool, soak in the hot bubbles tub, sweat in the sauna and I was done before the steam room. Rebecca went on to steam a bit while I flaked out on a lounge chair and marvelled at how much better I felt with of the hangover toxins out of my system.

Back into St. Helier, lunch and then, yes, more shopping (yay)

I think all my shopping (for me) in Jersey is now done. Not only did I get a GORGEOUS new wool coat (red - and I mean RED), I also purchased trousers and a skirt for work, some knickers (because girls can never have too many pairs of knickers) and not one but TWO new pairs of ankle boots. YES, 80’s style ankle boots are back in!!! They are AWESOME.

I’m still pretty tuckered out. I have no plans for tonight other than a soak in the bathtub and maybe some TV before an early night for sleep. I’ll need to figure out something dinner-like in here somewhere, but lunch was quite large and maybe I’ll just see if I can get a bowl of soup or something.

With love from across the waters!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Day in Saint-Malo & a Ferry Ride to Forget!

A good night’s sleep and I woke at 7 AM, somewhat ready for my day. Showered and dressed I headed for my light breakfast in the hotel. Strong, black coffee and a scrummy breakfast of muesli, yogurt, croissants, cheese (MMMMM, cheese) yogurt and more coffee well fortified me and I was ready for my day. Back to my room, finished packing up my cases & caught up on my emails, scheduling for the week ahead, budget planning (who, I ask, wants to vacation with a budget? Sheesh!) completed, I checked the ferry website and had a minor heart-beat skipping moment.

Ferry cancelled?

No, all’s well - just the Jersey / Weymouth run - Saint-Malo was still scheduled to depart on time at 1600 - with the minor notice that one of the four engines on board not working and so the 1 hour 15 minute trip would take an additional 30 minutes. I guess ferry breakdowns happen all the world over, not just in BC.

No matter - I would still arrive tonight.

Check out at 12. My plan for the 3 hours I had open? To take my camera out and take some pictures of the area around me, to stop and have a light lunch and perhaps a cafe latte and then be back at the hotel to collect my things in plenty of time to get to the ferry terminal for my 3:00 PM check in time… and so with blue skies outside, off I went.

About half way to the shops and cafes the skies started letting me know rain was on the way… once there I thought it prudent to buy an umbrella. Should have really just brought one from home, but didn’t remember… just before I finally found a shop selling them, the skies opened up and POURED. I don’t just mean a little - think flash flooding kind of rain. Holy smokes!

Armed with my new umbrella, I ventured back out into it and found myself a cafĂ© to have lunch… ham and cheese crepe followed by a lemon and sugar crepe for dessert. 2 cups of coffee later the skies finally opened up a little and I ventured back toward the hotel to collect my suitcases & make my way to the ferry.

Here are some pictures from Saint-Malo:









The ferry ride was rough. IMPORTANT mental note - MUST get some gravol. I didn’t lose my crepe lunch but I was pretty close. And now, close to 2 hours later, I’m still feeling a little ooky in my belly. Will absolutely be getting an anti-nausea something-or-another for the trip back - JUST IN CASE…

I’m all checked into the hotel here in Jersey now - unpacked and hey, it’s almost 7:30 and I’m still feeling mostly awake!

Tomorrow I get to have breakfast with some of my girlfriends here on Jersey - then later on I am meeting up with another friend and surprising my former landlords (they don’t know I’m here)

Sweet dreams!

Erin

Sunday, November 7, 2010

So Now That I am Here…

In St Malo, that is, I’ve had a hot bath (a DIVINE hot bath) and dinnerit is now after 5PM local time and I’m in my hotel room watching the sun set. Too little light to take many pictures tonight, but I managed to take a couple from my room





Tonight I am thinking that before I get to bed, I should re-organize my suitcases in order to allow me to carry my camera and netbook easily with me and have everything else in the suitcasesThe attempt may be futile as space could be an issue - but since organization can be fun and I have to stay awake for at least another couple of hours in order to help me get acclimatized sooner rather than later, it seems like a good idea.

I wonder if, when I finish the chore, I am still thinking it seemed like a good idea at the time…?




Sleep well, dream sweet dreams!
Erin

French Countryside in the Daylight

Well… it’s grey and overcast here in Paris today and I’m now on the train and headed for Rennes and then St Malo. Luck was with me on my flights and we landed close to an hour ahead of schedule - which got me onto an earlier train. I’m still going to overnight in St Malo as opposed to try and catch the ferry across tonight… I’m very tired and need a hot bath and a good night’s sleep. As per my usual, I slept nearly not at all on the flight so am also likely to drop off into a nap at some point along the way. I believe this leg of the trip is supposed to take about 4 hours and will have me settled in my hotel around 3:30 - 4:00. The only thing to occupy my mind now is the hope that no-one sees fit to steal my suitcases while I nap!

City Lights at Night

Every time I fly into a large city, at night, I am reminded just how large the world really is… and subsequently how small I am and now much like every other person in the world I am. To be totally honest, I still feel awed at the number and beauty of all of those lights.

When I moved from Victoria to Toronto in September of 1998 I had a pre-reporting trip, and landed during the day. No big deal. My actual MOVING flight landed me in the city after dark and as I looked out my window I wondered what it was that I had managed to get myself into. Toronto is HUGE! The lights seemed to go on forever - and at the time it was probably the scariest sight I had ever seen in my life.

Scarier than spiders!

At 6:30 PM local time tonight, I landed in Montreal and as we descended in over the city I looked out my window and scanned the lights of the neighbourhoods that seem to stretch for kilometre after kilometre. I wondered when it was that my fear of such a large place had gone. I suppose exposure helps. From a “big” cities perspective, I’ve now landed in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Minneapolis, New York, London, Berlin, and Frankfurt.

I still have an “OOh!” feeling the every time I see it. I wonder if other people feel like this when they look out their airplane windows?


Safe night & sweet dreams!

xo
Erin

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thoughts on Dating at 40

My initial thought is that, at 40, I’m too old to have crushes and I’m WAY too old to feel like a 12 year old crushing on that cute boy who…

In May of this year, when I started work in the branch, I almost immediately noticed this handsome, gregarious, tall man who is one of our clients. Ok, he’s flirty - what can I say? Anyhow, he’s in about once a week - doing his banking and ALWAYS has a smile on his face and these really mischievous laughing blue eyes that make me want to smile just seeing them.

So maybe 40 isn’t too old to have a crush after all?

Content to crush from afar, I like seeing him when he comes in… I enjoy talking with him if I have him at my wicket and truly, I really like looking at him when he goes back out.

*grin*

Hey - I’m human right?

Anyhow, about 3 weeks ago he was in and being served by the lady at the wicket beside me (damn, not me!) and she called me into the conversation for some assistance. This led to some mild flirting - on HIS part… So maybe I’m not one sided crushing?

Fast forward… (well, ok, not really fast - like anyone else, that last couple of weeks before vacation drags for me too!) to this past Monday - my second client of the day (damn - such a fine way to start my day!) and there his smiling face is! At my wicket! Oh joy! Oh God - I have SUCH a huge crush on him! I thought he was supposed to be having knee surgery last week (turns out they pushed it off to yesterday) and so I was VERY happily surprised to see him.

First words out of his mouth… “So, I’m going to give you my number.“

GAH! REALLY? HONEST? YOU AREN’T JOKING WITH ME? NO FRICKEN WAY!

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was, of course, able to speak, but THAT is what was running through my brain at the time.

Then reality crashed on me and I remembered that I was heading out on vacation early Saturday morning and would be gone for TWO WHOLE FRICKEN WEEKS!!!

*sigh*

No date this week, but he has said he will take me up for a drive around in the snow when I get back.

All week long, though, I have felt like a 12 year old girl. Alternating between giddy and disbelief. Giddy at the thought of actually, maybe, being liked by this man that I find so attractive, and then utterly disbelieving that I might be liked by this man I find so attractive. I’m certain I have been driving my girlfriends insane with my obsessing over this whole thing…

Who would have thought it? At 40, to actually feel young(ish) and attractive and, well, like a kid!

Maybe I’m not too old after all?

On The Way!

Well, I’m now sitting in Vancouver International Airport’s Maple Leaf Lounge (Air Canada) looking out the windows at the “loading area’ with the skies lightening to a dull blue grey as the sun decides to rise. I’ve (finally) had some coffee and breakfast (courtesy Air Canada) and am feeling a little more like myself than I did when I woke to my alarm at (gasp) four o’clock (yes, truly, 4:00 AM) this morning.

I forgot to check the stove before I left (I used the oven last night to cook dinner) but I am pretty certain I did turn it off as when I was puttering in the kitchen before the taxi came to collect me I didn’t feel any heat from the oven. Hopefully my brother will check it when he comes though…

The journey to get me “there” looks like this:
Flight - Comox to Vancouver
Flight - Vancouver to Montreal
Flight - Montreal to Paris (yes, France, not Texas)
Train - Paris to St Malo
Overnight in St Malo
Ferry - St Malo to Jersey

A week in Jersey then I will reverse my steps as far as Paris - where I get to spend my second week with my Awesome (with a capital A) friends, the Lamarres. At the end of the trip my flights are slightly more convoluted, but I will get in late and have planned for a day off to recuperate before I head back into the office to start my new work schedule…

The Job interview went well - but I didn’t get the job (which I truly didn’t have hope to) and the coffee date didn’t happen - but he had knee surgery scheduled for yesterday and so I though I had high hopes, it didn’t get fit in. Ah well, he promised to take me for a drive up into the mountains to play in the snow when I get back - so that will be something DEFINITELY worth looking forward to!

All righty, signing off of this post now - have a fabulous day & get out there and play with someone you love!

xo

Erin

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

*WHEW*

Wow – I have been VERY neglectful here lately! Sorry for the long delay in posting but life got in the way of writing (and picture taking) and I’ve actually been busy this last while.

And yes, though I am home in the evenings, usually I take that little time (after walking the Amazing Miss Jasmine but before my bath and bed) to putter, clean, eat some supper and try to catch up on all of the TV I have been taping on my PVR.

Can I say it? Yes, I suspect that, since this is my blog, I am allowed.

I *LOVE* Glee.

Ok – so what’s been happening to keep me so occupied and uncommunicative?

Well, a few more job interviews – still no luck, but honestly, I’m not losing any sleep over it. Yet, anyhow! My Grannie always said that “if its for you, it’ll no pass you by” and so I have been trying very hard to remember that. I will have the right job at the right time.

We have been having some very inclement weather this past while – amazing rain and winds – but in most cases, there seems to be an un-blustery spot in time at the end of my working day where I can take Jasmine up to Seal Bay Park for a long off-leash walk. Recently my brother introduced me to yet another EXTREMELY cool feature that my Garmin offers me – a link into Google Earth. This neat feature not only plots out where I was, and how long it took, but will superimpose the map of where I was over top of a satellite photo of said location! SO cool! Needless to say, I’m taking my Garmin with me on my vacation for any walking I do while there!

I have to admit to having made a semi-major purchase recently. I bought myself a Net Book for my travels. It’s a pretty slick little thing and I believe I have it customized to the point where I’ll be able to blog and email (and so on) while I’m away…
Speaking of “away” the preparations are nearly complete. A few more things to do today and tomorrow and then packing Friday night – that’s it! And since that’s all the time I have left, it’s probably a good thing that 95% of it is all done now!

Tomorrow, though, is going to prove to be a VERY interesting day. Not only do I have yet another job interview (which I think is a pity interview in this case), I also take Jasmine down to the breeder’s where she will be “baby-sat” for the duration of my vacation.

And just to make things interesting, I may also have my first date (in something crazy like 12 years) tomorrow as well … More on that VERY soon…

XO

Erin

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rainbows and Ladybugs

When I left for work this morning, I asked the universe (as I do on occasion) for something wonderful to come to me today. I didn't notice anything overly amazing while at work, but I have had a very interesting night tonight.
When I got home from work there was a lovely little ladybug sitting on my doorknob. I left her, in peace, where she was when I went into the house, but when I left again to take Jasmine for her walk, I shifted her safely to the plant right beside my door.

When I was walking Jasmine I saw a gorgeous full double rainbow.

Now... when i was drinking my tea this evening I started to wonder what these two things might mean - so i looked them up:
Ladybugs (or Ladybird beetles) are traditionally a sign of good luck, and wishes - the number of spots on the ladybug you catch is supposed to represent how many days (or weeks/months/years depending on who you ask) till you get your wish. They eat aphids, so are a definite friend to gardeners and they represent helpfulness.

The rainbow is an ancient heraldic sign of peace, safe travel, and good luck. The rainbow has similar connotations of luck and peacefulness in many different cultures.
I think it safe to say that good luck, granted wishes, peace, and safe travel are in my future. I'll take it all, gratefully, and give thanks for promises made.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Two To Go... A Little More Feng Shui

The afternoon before last I tackled the outside storage locker. All tidied up and organised. The only items truly left to tackle now, in my quest for Feng Shui de-clutter, is my office and my clothes cupboard. I sorted through everything in there EXCEPT the clothing.


Tonight's challenge...? I need to choose, and then tackle, one of these two spots in my home. The clothing cupboard really won't take too long, to be honest. I'm pretty good at selecting the "get rid of" items and then sorting them into "garbage" and "donate" bags. The office will take MUCH more time and effort in that I need to review the books and all of the files and then organise the "closet" (door STILL not installed *sigh*) and generally weed out the non-essential items for shredding and eventual removal.


In looking at the two in question, I think the plan should be to complete the clothing closet portion and then start in on the office stuff. Then I could, should I choose to, continue in on the office portion tomorrow and Saturday night and complete it all by Sunday.


Sounds like a plan!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday - the BEST day of the week?

Last Monday I got a phone call from my brother telling me that he and his girlfriend are engaged - yes, that is my great news from last week. I am thrilled about this for a whole pile of reasons - not the least of which is that his fiance is an amazing and brilliant woman and she makes him HAPPY. This makes me, and the whole rest of my family, Very Happy Indeed.

Pretty awesome news! They will be getting married about this time next year - I'm fuzzy on details, but heck, they haven't even been engaged for two whole weeks yet, so fuzzy is, I think, all I'm going to get right now.

Tonight I got another piece of Very Happy News. A new friend of mine has been undergoing fertility treatments and yesterday they (she and her hubby) went to Victoria to have a Harvest (which puts me in mind of farmers wearing coveralls and carrying pitchforks, but never mind that)

Anyhow, tonight I spoke with her and not only did they manage to successfully harvest 7 eggs, 5 of them have proven viable and been fertilized!

Yay!

Next up is that, in a couple of days' time, they will go back down to Victoria and two of those fertilized eggs will be implanted - the other three will be frozen until such time as they need those ones - either in the case that this implantation doesn't take, or in the case that it does and in a couple of years time they follow up Baby Number 1 (and 2?) with younger siblings... In any case, this is positive news and yes, I heard it on a Monday!

I may have to re-evaluate my thoughts about good things and Mondays!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heat

If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen, right? Humph. Comox has been the fire pit of God's kitchen this last few days - and is only looking to get warmer. Ugh.


I am NOT a hot weather person - everyone who knows me knows that I love the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. Heck - I'll even take winter over this!


The big trouble is that, in the heat, I do not sleep well. I had this challenge in Toronto when I was there - summers are hot and humid and, when you have the slightest chance of a cool summer night, your neighbours tend to screw that up for you by having a party that night.


I'm not anti-party... I''m just truly a pro-sleep person.


:-)


So yesterday, with the mercury predicted to soar up to at least 34*C (that's around 93*F) with no wind and no cloud cover at all (more of a yellowish, murky haze if you actually spend time looking at it) I decided that I would just have to bite the bullet and do something that I was CERTAIN I wouldn't have to do once I reached beautiful Vancouver Island again... have an air conditioning unit.


Yup. I went to Canadian Tire on my lunch break and bought a Plasma Cool Portable Air Conditioner - all of their air conditioners are on sale right now, and so I didn't spend the full price, but yes, I did spend more than I could have, had I been more willing to research, shop around and all of that other stuff that seems to disintegrate into thin air when I'm feeling, well, THIS HOT.


After work I brought it home, unpacked the box, set it up and then went back downstairs to wait for the two to three hours time that is recommended that you wait before plugging in any refrigerant-type of unit. This lets the freon settle in the unit and allows it to run properly. The kind man who helped me load it into my car (it weighs 34 kilos / 75 pounds) told me I should really wait four to six hours before starting it but I only managed 3 hours of wait time before sleep was imminent and my bedroom needed "help."


It's loud, true, but it works beautifully and I slept well - and so did Jasmine.


The other major bonus is that, when I have to leave her home for the next few days in the heat, this will also help Jasmine stay cool. Double-coated black dogs FEEL THE HEAT and so Friday when things were hot and humid she was in some distress when I got home... she's fine now, but, like me, the heat isn't her friend.


Today I am off to Nanaimo - it's my Dad's birthday and we're meeting for a big family lunch (there will be 8 of us) to celebrate. On my way home I'll stop at Home Depot again to pick up another one of the shelving units I got for my kitchen recycling station. This one will be installed in the upstairs bathroom to hide some of the clutter up there, and then the open-edged shelves in there will be put to use in the storage locker to help tidy that area up some.


Happy Sunday all - and I am hopeful that in my next blog I can share my amazing news!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blessed Rain

Yes, it *is* Saturday. No, I do not have the day off today. Yes, this will be short.


We have been (with the exception of some sprinkles that really didn't count) living without rain for roughly a month now. Forest fires in the interior of BC are raging, and fire fighters are now being air-lifted into the "hot spots" to help combat the growing menace.


Bless those brave men and women and please keep them safe.


Yesterday afternoon light clouds started wending their way into the Comox Valley and by bed time last night they were becoming thick and heavy. I woke in the middle of the night to the whisper sound of rain falling. What a sweet sound!


We're told (by the Weather Network) that we should have rain pretty much all day today - a fact I am MOST grateful for. I know that isn't the popular feeling for those getting married outside today, but for me, after a month of praying for rain to help take down some of the dust and to cool off the air, well, I am terribly grateful.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feng Shui Update #2

OK... it's taken me a while to get myself to update number 2 (sorry) - things have been busy here, and so although I have been making small changes here and there, I've not yet completed ALL of the changes... I still have a list of 19 items to complete.


Some things will take me quite some time to complete - but since I don't actually have a deadline set for this, I'm feeling pretty good about making progress when I can. My home office is still a total disaster (I hope that doesn't interfere with my chances for full time work!) but most of the other rooms are done - with the exception of little things here and there.


Tonight I accomplished a couple of VERY cool tasks though - on my way home from work I stopped at Home Depot and picked up a plant for beside my front door AND an easy-to-assemble-when-drinking-cider shelving unit (with doors) to sit in my downstairs space and house my recycling centre. Honestly - it looks WAY nicer this way AND with that particular clutter finally "out of sight" it *feels* better in that space.


Did I mention that my office is still a total disaster? Maybe that will come next on my list of spaces to finally tackle...


Something interesting that I have noticed already is that, as I have been cleaning out spaces, new stuff IS making its way into my world. Last weekend I was up at Mum & Dad's place and also at my Grandpa's house for a visit - during which time I was given some wonderful things of my Grannie's - her Esoteric documents, some of her jewellery (I wrote about that in my last update) and some utterly divine scarves. I love scarves and although I don't wear them nearly often enough, I think the world needs more of them.


Then, the night before last a new (and already very good) friend of mine came over with a bag of work clothing that she has de-cluttered from her world - all of which is in very good shape. A couple of items I have worn to work already AND received compliments on! How cool is that?


I guess this really does prove that Mother Nature abhors a vacuum - and when you let go of something she ALWAYS seeks to fill the space you open with something new and wonderful.


Something to ponder indeed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jewels and Esoterica

Today, while up at Mum & Dad's, I went over & spent a few hours with my Grandpa and visited over tea and conversation. Grandpa also asked me to pick out some things of Grannie's jewellery that I might like, and passed on to me much of the collected works of Grannie's esoteric studies over the years.
Looking through Grannie's jewellery made me feel, for all the world, like a child of seven looking through Grannie's magic jewellery box. OK, I know now it was never magic, but the feeling of wonder in looking through the collection of sparkly and colourful pieces sure made it feel like magic. I can still imagine an enchanted brooch of enameled leaves and flowers would, with the right words whispered to it, transport me to another world - like the children walking through the wardrobe into Narnia - only this was my own special magical world...
Still in my own special magic world, Grandpa pulled out the collected works and put them on the living room floor for me to look through... I started to look and was enchanted with what I was starting to see... bundled safely together to transport here, the works sit on the table in my office waiting for me to open and learn. What's in it? Oh Goodness - the magic of esoteric knowledge!
There is information on Vivaxis, letters written to her, in response to letters from her, requesting information. Collected journals from the British Society of Dowsers, manuals studying the Science of Man - but most treasured of what I have seen thus far is her hand-written notes - on so many different subjects... I read them over and I can here her voice in my mind telling me things, explaining things to me, laughing with me over things... sometimes just saying "Hello" the way she did when answering the phone. Such amazing knowledge she left behind - such an amazing gift Grandpa has given me.
I hope I use it well.

Summer Sky

Spent a glorious weekend at the cabin & at my parents' place - only 4 mosquito bites! Unfortunately, they are salt marsh Mozzies and roughly the size of a small helicopter so I swelled up like a balloon where I got bit.
Ah well.
Home tonight. Unpacked the car & ate a junky dinner of A&W and then gave Jasmine a bath to wash off all of the salt she managed to acquire whilst playing in the salt chuck. Laundry started, i took her out for a walk and that's when I noticed the heavy hazy look in the sky line tonight. It actually reminds me of how the skies in Ontario felt just before a summer storm would suddenly appear, fill the skies with huge, heavy clouds, absolutely chuck-it down with rain and light bright with huge forks of summer lightning.
Will we have a storm here tonight? I'm not thinking it's likely - but I WOULD greatly appreciate some rain to bring down the dust that seems to be all over everything and maybe perk up my sad little flowers in my front flower bed.
Here's a quiet wish to the stars that we have some rain soon to freshen up our summer dusty world.
XO

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Feng Shui - An Unanticipated Side Effect...

As you know, I have been completing my tasks for de-cluttering around my home. A bookshelf here, a closet hidey-hole there. A couple of junk bins - ones that had managed to accumulate the mass of a couple of junk drawers, I imagine.

I have three small trash bags to drop in the rubbish tip tonight when I take Jasmine for her walk.

And I feel lighter.

I still have things to wade through - the closet and bookshelf in my office, the cupboards in my kitchen and then last, but certainly not least, the storage locker attached to my flat - but on the whole, as I continue the de-clutter process, I am feeling better.

Who knew? All it took was giving myself permission to throw some stuff away!

Happy Wednesday!

xo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Feng Shui Update Number 1

There may have to be a couple of updates on this project - it's not a "quick fix" process and, if you are like me, you can't just breeze out & buy new crap to replace the old crap you are supposed to be getting rid of. A LARGE part of the process involves clearing out old clutter and energetic “stuff” that may be being carried around completely unconsciously.

Take these for example:



These, seemingly harmless, fridge magnets aren’t actually all that harmless… every time I look at them, I am reminded of an individual who was NOT harmless in my world – and reminded, feel bad all over again. So… according to Feng Shui principle, I need to remove them from my space. So…



Ok, truly, I know I should give them away – donate them to someone to whom they have NO meaning other than great quotes from Shakespeare… but I have to admit that putting them into the trash felt good. So there they stay.

I’m inserting a quick, completely unrelated comment here – A friend came over for a Reiki treatment last night and brought me some of the BEST blueberry pie I have ever tasted in my life – I am eating it while I type and making yummy noises. Thanks Linden!!

Back to the progress…

Terri (that’s the name of the consultant) came by and we started by sitting down to discuss what my intentions were, how her process works, how Feng Shui works on the whole and what I need to do next AND on an ongoing basis.

No, this does not require getting rid of ALL of my stuff and getting new and / or better stuff. This requires me to be very clear and sure about my intentions and to take small steps around my home and then in my life.

After the discussion piece was done, we started outside my front door and made the rounds of my entire home. Initially speaking, I DO have some de-cluttering to do – there is stuff here that I am hanging onto that I really have no need or reason to. There are things, like the fridge magnets, that make me feel sad when I look at them. There are things that I am hanging onto because of a feeling of obligation. The great news is that I don’t HAVE to keep these things!

YAY!


So – step one, some minor rearranging of bedroom (mine) furniture was needed – and can I just say WOW – it looks SO much better!!!! Who’da thunk it??













Then, some re-arrangement of pictures and ornaments here and there.














Now, I am in the process of reviewing things with a critical eye and determine my need / want / desire to keep them. The stuff I don’t need / want / desire, I can donate, sell, give away or just trash. The good thing is that I’m well practiced at this particular thing, having made two international moves in as many years. Last night I went through the books on my bookshelf in my office, put together THREE bags of ones I don’t want to keep any longer and happily passed them forward.

This is the "bookshelf before" shot...


This is the VERY messy before picture from the other end of the room...




One website (all about de-cluttering) that I was looking at last night suggested that, instead of going whole hog at it, spending three or four hours tearing things apart & getting rid of it all, it would be better to spend a quick 15 minutes per night doing one focused task at a time. Tonight, after I get back from the Canadian Blood Services Drive (I am giving blood tonight) I will spend my 15 minutes continuing my progress in my office with a little more of the big bookshelf and then with a small project of re-hanging my Grannie’s Masks a little lower and closer together – as per the Feng Shui consultation’s suggestion.



And when almost all was said & done someone reminded me that SHE doesn't necessarily appreciate my moving stuff around...





XO

Erin


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunny Day and Nowhere to Go

OK, this is not strictly true – it is sunny, yes, but I do have somewhere to go... I had an invitation to go strawberry picking, the challenge to that is that I have an appointment here, at my home, at 11 am today to have my home Feng Shui’d – so I am staying in this morning.

I’m pretty certain there’s a better way to state that, but I haven’t yet had enough coffee to think it through.

Anyhow…

Essentially what will happen is that the consultant (Her name is Terri) will come by around 11 and we will start by having a conversation about what it is that I hope to achieve in the next while. That in mind, we’ll walk through my home and she will make suggestions for things to be moved, added or removed from the place in order to positively impact the energy flow in order to bring about the things I am, well, the things I want to bring about.

I do know a little about Feng Shui (pronounced FUNg SHWay) and have practiced some of the aspects of it on a VERY amateur level for a few years now. Much of what it entails is opening up the space in question to allow for better air and energy flow – and that, usually, means some de-cluttering is involved.

My best GF reminded me last night, when I was telling her about my plans for today, that I actually don’t HAVE a lot of clutter because of my big moves of 2008 (to Jersey, Channel Islands) and 2009 (to Vancouver Island, BC) – both moves required me to find new homes for some of my stuff and so, while I have “stuff,” at this point in time, I probably don’t have “too much stuff.”

I have to agree with this statement – in fact, some of the stuff in my place is actually stuff borrowed from my brother in order to augment some things I actually don’t have.

So what do I hope to attract, remove or improve in my life…? (Yay – I get to use a list!! Hee hee hee) in no particular order, I’d like:

  • Career improvement. I’m currently working part time and want to have a permanent full-time position. Ideally, I want a job where I do not have sales targets. My ideal job in the world of where I work now is an operations officer role – investigations, research, day-to-day operational stuff, and some teaching. These are all things that excite me and I have my “eye” on the role – the universe just needs to make some shuffles in my workplace in order for this role to open up for me.
  • Money – tied to the career improvement will be improved cash-flow and the possibility opened up for me to….
  • Home – I want to own my own home again.
  • Love – yes, it’s true – I’d like to have a love relationship in my world. As I’ve aged & (ahem) matured, I’ve released a lot of my ancient baggage and unrealistic expectations (both of myself and of that mystery person) and I believe I am now ready to have him in my world… so I’d like to open up energy flows to attract that person.

Remember what I said a few posts ago about the definition of insanity being trying the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result? I recognize that moving a couple of pieces of furniture around isn’t the be-all-end-all solution to life’s problems, but I do (very strongly) believe that setting intentions and then working toward the goals with an open heart DOES work. So my first step THIS time, for attracting “NEW” into my world will include trying something new.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

... but DOES size matter...?

When it comes to the size of a blog post?

I have had lots of recent random thoughts that wouldn't amount to an awful lot more than a couple of parragraphs, but haven't put them up becasue, well, they seemed small.

So truly, does size matter...?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Planning

Oh how I LOVE to plan trips!


Not only does it mean I get to make lists (and subsequently cross things off of them when I complete the tasks) it also means that I get to plan and execute travel - which I LOVE to do!


The trip I am planning is for Paris and Jersey, and will take place in November if all of the things I am trying to organize come to fruition... Really, right now what I'm waiting for, is to hear back from work (telling me that yes, I can have the time off) then to hear back from my friends in Paris (France, not Texas) telling me that yes, indeed the dates will work for them, and finally to hear back from one more friend over in Jersey (Channel Islands, not New) telling me that schedules actually *will* work.


Once I have those cards in my hand I'll start booking things (flights, train tickets, hotels and so on) and getting excited.


In anticipation, today, I bought my Euros and ordered my Sterling cash.


Is it too early to start packing my suitcase now...?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dream Big

"Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars"

I have no idea who said this in the first place – I suppose some serious Google time would provide me some answers - but Googling this isn’t on my list today (grin) and so I’m not going to do it.

I do, however, love the concept – and what I love so much about it is the understanding that, in dreaming big & going after those big dreams, even though I may never accomplish the exact thing that I have been dreaming of, I still get to accomplish things that (to me, at least) are huge and glorious and (most of the time) unexpected blessings.

Humans yearn – that’s what we do. We need to *need* in order to grow. We have to have things to strive for or we become stagnant and stale in our hearts.

I think that part of our collective challenge is that, with a few disappointments and hurts, we begin to think that the yearning for *whatever* is the problem. We determine that yearning for that home, that car, that friendship, that job or that relationship is what has caused all of the pain and those problems and we start to think that it would be better NOT to yearn for that special thing, and then we try very hard to close that door in our hearts, tie it up with ropes and melt the ends of it so that it can never come unraveled again.

I have certainly tried to close those doors, tie them up and melt the ends of those internal ropes. As many times as I have tried, though, the ropes become unraveled, the doors crack open and hope shines through like early morning sunshine. Sticky, buttery gold that sparkles into my heart and mind – making me a little crazy with hope and anticipation every single damn time.

Albert Einstein (yes, I know this one) said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So what am I dreaming big about right now? The perfect job. Weight loss without having to diet or exercise. Owning my own home again. Love. Going out for a walk with my gorgeous dog and coming home to a magically clean house. Breakfast in bed. A couple of weeks of vacation in Paris and on Jersey. Romance. A new mattress (mine makes my back sore.) A big back yard. Fulfillment.

I guess that what I really need to do next is to look at how I have been working toward all of those things and change something in order to have a new and different outcome.

Time to get dressed and take the dog for a walk.

xx

Lists

OK, I admit it.

I *love* lists – or rather, I love to make my own lists and then complete items on them and cross them off. The feeling of documented accomplishment that a list gives me is pretty cool.

I’m thinking of what lists I can make today – and yes, I am making a list of lists.

  • Grocery List
  • House Cleaning Chore List
  • Travel / Trip Planning List
  • “To Do” List

That’s the list of lists so far today. Next item on the list is to complete the lists and then start completing the items on them and crossing lines through them.

An excellent plan for a quiet and slightly overcast Sunday!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Eleven Months, Fourteen Days…

It’s been *almost* a year since my move back to Canada – eleven months, fourteen days, to be exact. It’s been eventful, different, frustrating, exciting, happy, sad and fulfilling.

The same, but different.

Jersey was a fabulous place to live – and I miss it VERY much – the place AND the people. I’d like to start planning a trip back over, to be honest. When to go, where to stay, all of that stuff.



Hard to fathom, but this is the longest I have gone and NOT flown somewhere in almost 12 years now. In August of 1998 I made my first trip out to Toronto, my pre-reporting trip, as a matter of fact. From there, I flew home usually every six months for my vacations. When I moved to Jersey I also flew home a couple of times for vacation… my flight back here to Canada, in July of 2009, was the most recent trip on a plane and I’m starting to feel the wanderlust tickle at me again.



So I want to take a trip out to Jersey to see all of the friends I haven’t seen in a year, to see the Island I left behind and to wander and explore.



Wanderlust is a funny thing. When in the middle of all of the travel all I wanted was to settle in one place and “live.” Now that I’m settled and living, I want to go on a trip. Have some excitement. Fly business class, and stay in a fancy hotel for a few days… OK, yes, that’s a high draw!

Ooh – and maybe go to a spa…

I wonder if maybe this is a partial product of the full moon the other night. Maybe it’s a product of the loss of my Grannie. Or maybe it’s just a simple product of my need to have things constantly flowing and evolving…?

Maybe instead of planning a trip somewhere, I should just rearrange my furniture…? It would be cheaper, and not cost me vacation time…

Ooh! MAYBE I should talk some of my friends from far away to just come here to see me instead!! Now THAT sounds like a better plan!



Alright - all you Jersey Beans out there – start planning your trips!!

I miss you all!

xx

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grief

I knew all four of my grandparents when i was growing up. I have a Grandma and Grandpa - my Dad's parents - and a Grannie and Grandpa - my Mum's parents.

Grandma and Grandpa were what I would call the more "traditional" grandparents - and although I cannot remember my Grandma ever actually baking cookies, she sure knew how to buy them & feed us junk food. My Dad's parents built the cabin and my brother and I spent almost all summer, every summer, until I was 16, with them at the cabin. The year I was 17, my Grandpa English died.

That year I dated someone for a few months shortly after my Grandpa died, and, in that boyfriend's presence, I remember having my first real, honest to god CRY over losing my Grandpa. He made it feel, well, SAFE to actually let go and cry over losing my Grandpa. As a matter of fact, I think we were in his parents big red car - I forget what kind it was - the car, I mean. He just held onto me while I lost control of my emotions and cried myself out.

Bless his very wise (17-year-old at the time) heart for that. He is still one of my very best friends and one of my favourite people in the world.

This week I lost my Mum's mother - my Grannie.

My Mum's parents were decidedly NOT traditional grandparents. They were both in the military during WWII - Grannie enlisted to drive trucks - not even knowing how to drive! Her story of her Dad teaching her to drive is one of my best memories of her - she laughed like she was 19 all over again when she told me that one.

My Mum's parents were at the very forefront of transcendental meditation, were co-founders of the Vivaxis Energies Research International Society (V.E.R.I.S.) went on teaching trips into the US for a number of years with V.E.R.I.S and were two of the most open-minded people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

My Mum's parents were very young and busy when my brother and I were young and so we didn't see them as often as we saw my Dad's folks. That didn't mean that we were any less loved for it.

When I moved to the Channel Islands I finally got to start to know my Mum's parents better. As an adult, I mean. When I moved there, everyone here went out and changed their long distance plans to ensure we could still talk as much. And talk we did - much more so that when I lived in Ontario to be honest. The first time Grannie called me there she told me how thrilled she was to hear the quick ring-ring that she hadn't heard since she was a girl. We talked for at least an hour every single time.

I was concerned that, once I moved back to the island, those calls would thin out - but they didn't. Just last week we spoke for at least an hour. I didn't know it would be my last time talking with her - but I guess by the conversation I maybe should have.

We talked about the garden - which has been the bane of her existence for the last few years - she swore up and down that this was its last chance (for the fourth year in a row) and that if it didn't step up and produce she was giving up on it for good. I didn't believe her this year any more than I did last year.
(smiling through my tears now)

We talked a little about how things are coming along here and how everyone is doing.

And we talked about grandparents - I think that she needed to hear from me just how much I have liked having her as a grandmother - and I hope she knew then (and knows now) just how much better she made my world by taking part in it. I told her I loved her - she told me the same back, and that was the last thing I heard her tell me.

She had an initial stroke Saturday night and then Tuesday morning another, much more severe one. I was at the hospital - had arrived around 10:30, I think. At 12 or so Mum suggested i take Grandpa down for some lunch and, within 5 minutes of Grandpa and me leaving the room, she passed away.

When we came back upstairs we were met by my cousin Lynn who told us what had happened and then, looking Grandpa straight in the eye, she told him that in her experience (and Lynn was a Geriatric nurse until she retired) that she has seen it time and time again. As soon as the person who means the most leaves the room, they let themselves slip away - wanting to spare them seeing it happen. Makes sense to me. And they were the best of friends their whole married life - all 66 or so years of it.

So the day before yesterday, 23 years later, I lost my second grandparent. Believe me, I know how extremely lucky I am - I am so grateful to still have two of them. I will cherish every day i have left with them and, when it's time, I'll do my best to be strong and filled with grace when I have to say goodbye to them.

Right now, tonight, though, I could sure use having that (now 40 year-old) best and dearest friend here to hold me while I cry myself out.

I'll miss you Grannie.


Eunicé Norah Henderson Jepson
1923 - 2010