Thursday, February 17, 2011

Decisions Decisions

The last few days have been fraught with trying to make decisions. An attractive role came up in Lake Cowichan and I spent a LOT of time trying to decide what to do about it. I spoke with friends and family, and even though my gut didn’t feel 100% with the idea, I sent in my application last week.

Over the weekend I did more thinking and Tuesday and Wednesday even more. What was I thinking on? A couple of things, really: first (and largest on the list) is that I actually don’t WANT to leave the Comox Valley – I like it here… it feels like the right place for me to be, and I can see myself living here, in this area, for a long time to come.

Second on the list, and not an unimportant issue, is the finances factor. If I took on the role and moved I would qualify for a mortgage and could buy a home, but the purchase of a home would eat up every last penny of my cushion - and I’m not overly comfortable with that idea at this point in time. When I bought my house in Ontario practically the first thing I had to do was have it re-roofed. With no “extra money” comes added stress.

Financial responsibility includes making tough decisions about large purchases - and just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should do something.

Feeling pretty close to decided on this, on Wednesday night I called and spoke with my Dad and, after explaining how I was feeling and why, I felt, even more so, that the responsible thing for me to do is to withdraw my application.

My Grannie always told me that “if it’s for you it’ll no pass you by” and I’m just not feeling it – so this time I’m going to pass it by. I sent a note to thank the branch manager for her time and consideration, but told her that I just can’t responsibly continue with the application process for this role at this time. Decision made.

It’s funny, but having the decision made and articulated actually makes me feel better. That’s probably a really good sign that I have, finally, made the right decision.

With love across the waters,

A Few Days Off

This week is a shortened work week for me - my birthday is on Saturday and so when initially asked if I wanted time off work in February I said a VERY hearty "YES!" and promptly booked my birthday (which falls on a Saturday this year) and the following Monday in order to give myself a FIVE-DAY WEEKEND.  The very next week I was asked if I might consider picking up an extra day this week - so the final outcome is that I am getting an extra full day of work on Thursday (money is good) and then I am off Friday through until Tuesday, leaving me with a FOUR-DAY WEEKEND - which is still an awesome thing!

My plan for this weekend includes an overnight at my Mum & Dad's place (I haven't been down since Christmas, and though I have seen them a couple of times since then, I still miss them and am looking forward to seeing them) as well as a LOT of sleeping in and doing, well, puttery stuff around here. PLUS this is the weekend I get to try running again - and I am VERY excited about this possibility!!

Jasmine and I will head down Friday morning and I'm meeting up with an old high-school friend for lunch before heading across to Thetis Island were Mum & Dad live. 

Mental note to self - figure out where lunch will be!

Overnight on Thetis and then on Saturday we are all going to head to Nanaimo for a combined birthday lunch (weather permitting, of course!) Saturday afternoon will see me back up here and planning my "test run" for Sunday.  If we're back with enough time I'll take Jasmine up to Seal Bay park for a long walk (without my iPod because I'm sending it away for fixing) (sob) and if not, we'll go play chuck-it at one of the local school yards.

All in all, a very promising long weekend! I may even do a little laundry, yard-work and house cleaning - but I don't want to overdo my days off!!

With love across the waters,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey – Do You Have a Neti Pot?

A few years ago I had a call from my best girlfriend Dar. She was VERY excited and told me all about this thing she saw on Dr. Oz’s show called “Neti”. The conversation went something like this”

“Hey – I was watching Dr Oz-“


“Dr, Oz – you know, from Oprah?”

“No, but never mind – you were watching his show?”

“Yeah, and he talked about this thing called a Neti-pot”


“Yeah, you fill it up with water and then, this is kind of gross, you flush out your sinuses with it…”

The conversation went on from there…

Oprah’s show talked about how it can help with allergies, and I was living in Ontario at the time and suffering them horribly. So, while incredibly grossed out at the idea of sticking this thing that looked like a miniature teapot up a nostril and letting water flow through my sinuses - being the “new-agey” person I am, I just had to get out there and give it a try.

Yes, just so you know, it is incredibly gross. Just as gross as you would imagine. No, stuff doesn’t come out (that you would notice anyhow) and yes, you need to hang over a sink to do it. Oh – and yes, you need to hang your head down and blow your nose in a big way after you are done, but yes, it really does help with allergies.

I’m guessing the part that really helps is the fact that, by using the Neti-pot, one essentially flushes all of those nasty allergens OUT of the sinuses and into the sink.

Some things to know in advance:
  • Yes, the temperature of the water is VERY important (too cold and you have an ice cream headache without the benefits of ice cream)
  • Yes, the salinity levels are important (if you use the saline version – to much salt BURNS)
  • Yes, it can help with allergies. It can also help with sinus infection healing – but should not be done in lieu of taking those pills the doctor prescribed.

With love across the waters,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My feet – They Smell Like… Barbeque Sauce??

All for trying new things, when a client of the branch came in to offer the staff sample packages of “Detox Food Pads” I thought to myself “why not” and I bought one of her sample packages. I got mine on Saturday and I read through the literature the other night before starting the process. And yes, I have a healthy sense of scepticism and did some Internet research too. I have seen the websites that debunk them – the ones that show how, if you pour water on them they turn dark (simulating how the foot would sweat into them during the night.)

I’m still game to try them out though.

So Saturday night, I re-read the instructions and, an hour or so before bed, I put them on. There’s an adhesive patch that you stick the foot pad to, and then you stick the whole thing on the sole of your foot (and put on socks to keep it all in place) Initially I noticed heat – the arch of my foot heated up a little, but not in an unpleasant way. It reminds me a little of how my hands feel, right in the centres of my palms, when I’m doing healing work with someone.

I noticed that they also sort of smell like vinegar – the kind of vinegar you smell in barbeque sauce…

The ingredients list I was provided with (it isn’t the package that lists everything, just an insert that was wrapped up in my “kit” talks about wood vinegar (that would probably account for the barbeque-ish smell) natural bamboo, loquat leaf, milk thistle, chitin and ground tourmaline. I’m going to actually call the woman who runs the business to find out which kind of detoxification patches these are – there are apparently a LOT of them out there.

So the next morning I woke up and my feet still felt tingly in the arches – that same sort of feeling I noted above. Into the bathroom, I got a facecloth and filled the sink with hot water. Off came the first one and eww – there was a sticky reddish-brownish gunk in them and holy crap – they really smelled like barbeque sauce! Feet washed, clean socks on, I started my day.

A few more nights to go now (I received a 7-day supply) and I’m curious to see if I notice any differences… one of my colleagues is trying this out too and she’s almost done. She told me that she has noticed that she feels as though she has more energy. I guess I will see if the proof is in the pudding – or rather barbeque sauce…

With love across the waters,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wind and Rain

Normally I love the sounds of wind and rain. The combination makes me feel safe and snug. At the cabin it’s usually accompanied by the sound of surf pounding on the shore and the crackle and pop of the fire burning in the wood stove. No reason to go into the weather on a day like this means staying snug, warm, safe and secure.

Having a Jasmine means (while still in Comox, at least) getting dressed and going out into it – in the dark. Our morning and evening “constitutional” walks are shorter – maybe a kilometre – but still more than long enough to leave me completely soaking wet, chilled and bedraggled. Good thing I do this BEFORE my morning shower or evening bath!

It’s blowing a hoolie out there this morning – the rain will, no doubt, be coming down sideways. I like mornings like this, honest, I really do… I just wish I didn’t have to get out into the weather before 7 AM!

Home after, she is towelled off – which is a great game that she loves; I am stripped down and back in my robe. The wind is still blowing gustily and the rain pelting coldly down. I, however, am back inside and have another cup of hot coffee in front of me. Life doesn’t get much better than this!

With love across the waters,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What the Heck Happened to Customer SERVICE???

The saga of the shattered iPod continues… Friday, feeling fairly recovered and finally able to sit squarely on my fundament (instead of tilted over to one side so as to avoid pressing on the bruise that now covers the left side of my, erm, cheek) I decided to contact Apple to see what I need to do in order to have the screen on my iPod replaced.

Surf their website. Hm. Not overly easy to locate what I am looking for in their self-help section. I found what I was looking for (finally) and registered to have a call from an Apple Support Technician (I am rolling my eyes here) by using their “Apple Support Express Lane”

Around the time I was told to expect the call, I received the call, and started by explaining I had fallen down some stairs and shattered the screen on my iPod. I then asked how I could go about registering this issue and having Apple repair the broken screen.

Instead of answering my question & helping me to set up the process to repair my iPod Touch, the “support person” on the phone told me I would be better off going to the apple website and buying a refurbished iPod.

Um. No. That’s not what I asked for.

I explained that I was not looking to purchase a second unit - that I simply wanted to have the one that I already own repaired.

He then (still not listening to me) went on to tell me that I could just go to e-bay or some other website (those were his actual words  "some other website") and order a new screen and repair it myself.

As you can imagine, by this time I was frustrated and starting to get irritated.

I told the person on the other end of the line that I really didn’t think much of Apple's service options if they were refusing to hear what I was asking for & provide me with the ability to get my iPod repaired. I started to ask, calmly, once again, to have him please set up the service request so that I could have my unit repaired.

He hung up.

Really. Hung up.

Officially angry I muttered an “oh no you didn’t just do that!” (yes, when angry, I turn into a cartoon cliché) and went into the “contact us” section of the Apple Website. I phoned Apple Canada in Markham, Ontario. When connected to a person I, though angry, started by telling the person on the phone what had happened to my iPod touch, what I was trying to accomplish, what the Apple “support” person had done, and that I was more than a little upset (he could tell by my voice, I’m sure) at being hung up on.

The first thing he said, after listening to me vent, was “gosh miss, you fell down the stairs? Are you OK?” and he wasn’t being condescending with me. He was being genuine. Whoosh. Just like that, my anger at being treated so poorly by someone who was supposed to be a “customer service professional” was diffused.

He then walked me thought the steps of what needed to be done and completed. So Charles at Apple Canada in Markham Ontario, thank you for being a true customer CARE representative.

Unfortunately, all too often, we experience the first type of customer service – the kind where we are made to feel as though we are being done a favour by being allowed to shop there. In most cases, my response to this is to not make any purchase, to walk out, and to never return. I recognise this doesn’t do the business owner any favours since they are never made aware of why they lost business in the first place, and why people choose to go to their competition. I would rather pay a little more for good service and treatment than save a few dollars and be treated badly.

We all have “off days” – I know this. I also know that the best way to treat other people is the way we would like to be treated by them. It’s too bad that sometimes we forget how…

With love across the waters,