Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me :P

Yes its my birthday, my 23rd (part 3) !

















I never thought I would still be waiting to work at this birthday!!
I have been out of work for over a YEAR now! It's getting a little ludicrous if you ask me.

Hopefully I will be working well before next years birthday, I'm rather proud of myself, I dropped 30lbs this year. I'm planning on doing another 30lbs before my next birthday.

The best part about my birthday is that from tomorrow I start counting down to CHRISTMAS!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stop right now, wait a minute Mr Postman!

I just realised its only 14 more days until I can start watching the mail box for my immigration papers! Granted it could be another 74 days until I get them.... but still!

The laywer sent in the papers on July 2nd and it takes 3-5 months to get your first approval (well or your first denial....)

We are settling into Maple Ridge n
icely, I haven't been posting because we had no internet until the 16th.

Anyway thats the happy thoug
ht of the day!

Here are some pictures of our new place















The
Kitchen















The Lounge
















Pie I may or may not have eaten

Friday, August 28, 2009

Can you help?

Hey Everyone, I usually only use my blog for vanity purposes, updating on my personal life. Today however, I feel that I need to alert the very few people who read this blog to a situation that needs attention.

I follow a few blogs, my favourite being
Susie, a 50 year old American who has moved with her husband and son to Saudi Arabia. Susie is lucky enough to be surrounded by a loving family and although she struggles with the culture sometimes, she generally enjoys herself. As you might know Saudi Arabia has a culture much different to that of a western country. Women are held to a different level and are not equal under the law.

I am not going to make this a political post, suffice to say that Susie has posted about a friend she knows and trusts who is in dire need of help. She must reach out and depend on the kindness of strangers. Her blog is here, please read it and decide for yourself if you can help.

Can you help?

I am donating some of my birthday money from my Mother (with her blessing) towards this lady. If I was employed I would donate much more. I would hope that if I was ever in this position that strangers would help me.


I know what it is like to feel like an alien, an other, the novelty in a strange country and culture. I am blessed that Kyle treats me like an equal and I feel loved and supported here. I can not imagine how difficult this womans life has been.

I beg you to help her, because this could happen to anyone
.

I also have seen a woman to be fooled into an abusive marriage and then treated like shit. I saw that woman struggle and triumph through out my childhood with the help and love of friends and family.

Now imagine if she didn't have the protection of the law, imagine if her friends were far away and she had to struggle just to work, to protect her children.
Every single dollar helps.

Please find it in your heart to give.

You never know when your t
ime of need will come.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two generations of the Neil Family















The smiles match .... all together now

AWWWWWW

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving Day

Kyle and I will be located in Vancouver from September first.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahem... excuse me!

We will be living in the GVR or Greater Vancouver Region in a place called Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge info here

MR is located in the north-eastern section of Vancouver and has a population of approximately 68,949. (thanks wiki)

















As you can see its beautiful (BRAG!!!)
It has a really nice rural feel but it has a nice little city centre with a mall. It also has a commuter train to down town Van if I end up working down there.

We are staying in a ground floor suite (flat) 2 bedroom, fire place, dishwasher (thank god) and nice big soaker tub. We also finally get some outdoor space. Because it is not a basement we also have LOTS of light in the flat.













This is a photo taken of Dewdney Road about 1km from our house to give you an idea of how rural it is. However we are living in a little carved out circle of houses that look like this ...












So we are still living like civilised people. There will be no goats in the backyard and no chickens. I havn't gone completely nuts. Yes Kyle and I do realise it is ironic that we are moving to a city of over a million people and yet somehow ended up in the wopwops. There are reasons for it, valid reasons to!

Anyway I will post again when we have internet set up in the new place and we have sorted the 1165937 other things on the do - to list out. One thing I have realised packing I have a truly astonishing amount of clothes, its staggering! And I have more stored at home in NZ!!!

PS. No news from immigration. YES I realise thats annoying, NO we can not ring up the immigration department and tell them to hurry it up. NO I can't ask my lawyer why its taking so long. No I am still not legally allowed to work. YES I'm sure they are taking their sweet arse time about it. Kyle and I do not dictate the amount of time this is going to take. It could literally be OVER A YEAR until I get approval, this will not happen in the next few weeks. We are hoping I get my preliminary letter before chrismtas but we cant hurry that up. We both love and thank you for all of the support and interest. We are just letting you know that the timeline is utterly and completely out of our hands. We literally are at the mercy of the immigration.

If the rules around immigration sound idiotic, then talk to your locak MP about it, your preaching to the choir!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And finally the moment we all have been waiting for...

This post is 4 days late, my apologies. I passed my medical YAYYYYYYY! Now I have been through what happens next many times before so I wont again but we are finally moving forward at a somewhat steady pace. Well that and I don't have cancer, TB and all the other diseases that are considered "drains on the Canadian Health System". Go me!

Kyle and I are crossing our fingers that the 12 week wait is a worst case scenario *fingers crossed*
I had my first two nights in months without horrible nightmares over the weekend. The worst nightmare was that I had contracted AIDS... thats right. I woke Kyle up at 5am fully believing that I was going to die. Good morning to him huh!

Now we are in full steam ahead mode, packing up the house, getting it ready to rent out, looking for temping agencies/apartments to move to. I can not wait to start working again WOHOO!!!

Kyle and I can now resume working on our surprise....

Thoughts and prayers for Kyle's Mother Pam please, she is having surgery this Friday and will take a couple of months to recover (at least).

Also thoughts and prayers for my own Mother as well as her department undergoes a "restructuring".
Have a good week everyone :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not again!

I just called the doctors office, STILL no answer on my medical results. They are still waiting for some blood work to come back and that should be "sometime this week".

*Tears hair out in frustration*

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

FYI New Layout

As I have introduced a few new features to the blog, (more to come!) I needed a new wider layout.
Now you can actually use the play list if you so choose and everything isn't quite so squished.
I'm still playing with the colour scheme.

The puzzle that Nellies built

A few years ago, Kyle (I think) brought me a Marilyn Monroe puzzle. I attempted it a couple of times but gave up long before I made any progress.

Well it has been staring at me, taunting me for the last few months because I have never finished it... until now. Needing something to occupy my time and stop be from going insane with worry about immigration, three weeks ago I started it.

THREE WEEKS you say......thats a bloody long time to finish a 1000 piece puzzle!
















Well let me explain why, firstly it was in black and white so I had no colour to help guide me and secondly it was a photo mosaic image made up of thousands of little tiny pictures. Not only that but the pictures repeated over and over and over in dozens of different combinations.
















Here is the puzzle in stages, I took photos every couple of hundred pieces. You can slowly see the piece emerging. Many times Kyle would hear me shout "THIS PIECE JUST DOES NOT EXIST!!!", because with every single piece I had to look over every single left over piece. So I estimate I have looked at every piece of that puzzle an average of 500 times. After about 100 pieces, I clued in that I could cut that in half by arranging the pieces according to the left side of the puzzle. You can see two separate groups of pieces, the left side either has an innie or an outie. After I separated them it seriously cut down on my threats to burn the puzzle or throw it from the balcony while shreaking with glee.




















It was very odd to back up and see her face slowly coming into view, I was working so close up on a piece by piece basis. It was climbing the mount everest of puzzles.







































My goal was to finish off the puzzle before we left for Kelowna for the medical, I got this far. It was a real help though, to have an hour or two of epic battle with a puzzle instead of thinking about some strange doctor poking and prodding me.
















Here is the final puzzle done, on the right is the cheat sheet, a miniture version of the puzzle that if you stick it right up close to your eye means you can see the piece you are trying to find on there before searching for the piece. That saved me at least 5 hours, actually it most likely saved the puzzle from a henious death as I would have destroyed it at times. As it were I took me about 20 hours in total to do the puzzle.

I'm going to frame the puzzle now and never ever ever ever ever have to assemble it again.

I should have a pass or fail from the doctor by Friday. He said as far as he could tell I was a healthy person so as long as nothing comes back on the blood tests or x-ray I should be fine.
Yay!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No surprise yet...

Kyle and I were going to work on the surprise today but I'm not feeling very well. We will be postponing everything until after my medical on Friday.

I need to concentrate on that more than anything else.
Your prayers and thoughts for me passing it would be very much appreciated.

Ciao for now

Chanelle

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Testing, One, Two, Three, Four

I'm currently working on something, it was supposed to be for Mothers Day (sorry Mum!) but we are experiencing some delays at the moment.

Hopefully we will have it sorted out by this weekend!

Until then here's a photo of my new hair cut, I have a new photo editing programme so the photo is slightly... improved. Nice and cool for summer which is taking a wonderfully long time to arrive. It's only been too hot for two days so far, its cool enough today to even wear a hoodie!!




















I'm now in the sloooooooow process of growing out the black again.... sigh

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Family?

Family for me, has never had anything to do with who you are related to by blood or through marriage. My family are not necessarily my blood relations, in fact most of my blood relations can go pound sand for all I care.

My family and I am lucky to have them are people like these two cheeky buggars below.
















This is Rochelle and Christopher Davies, and they have been just like my little brother and sister since the day they were born. I held them when they were babies, stayed at their home and their Mum and Dad (Heather and Neil) helped raise me. They are pictured below.

















Are they related to me, nope. Are they my family, yes and some of the dearest I have.

The following photos are of the other family that I have known either my entire life or as close to it as I can remember. These are the people that shaped me, moulded me into the people I am today. These are the people I looked to for an example, they are my family blood relatives or no.

These are people who have supported me through my trials and celebrated my blessings. I do not have photos of all of them of course (so if you are not pictured it doesn't mean you are excluded), nor can I fully express what they mean to me without writing for hours. They know I love and respect them and pray that their lives will be happy.















Here is my Mother and Viv at my Mums 50th.
I credit Viv with my cooking skill (except for Mums chop suey
and salad dressing). I spent years in her kitchen every
Wednesday learning to cook. I can have a roast dinner
done faster than anyone I know now (except her).
Colin her husband has also always been there for me, both him
and Neil have offered me a wonderful example of how a
loving family man should be.
















Here is Mandy who is also very close to my brother.
Mandy has been up at 5am countless times to welcome me
back to NZ and I have seen more movies with her than with
anyone else.

Your family is not just who shares your bloodlines, they are the people whom you hold closest in the world. I only have two people in my life that share my blood, but I have many family members.

I have learnt who my real family and friends are since moving half way around the world. It can be an agonising lesson to know that some who you care deeply for can forget or dismiss you so easily, but I can take heart in knowing that so many still include me in their lives. The people who are special in my life make me so much luckier than most.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just stopping in really...

Kamloops has grown on me a bit this time. I don't know if it is because I am more used to the weather now (freezing cold in winter and blistering hot in summer) or perhaps its because I know we are moving to Vancouver soon? Either way, Kyle and I are trying to get the most out of being here before we take off.

Now Kamloops has two rivers (the North Thompson South Thompson) running through it, they form a big Y shape in town and then join up and flow down through BC to the ocean. The river freezes over in winter and rises and falls in early spring/summer. When the river falls, it creates a big sandy bank. Now the locals here insist that it is a beach (a beach my foot!) but even so it is very nice and we have taken to walking along the banks while we can.

As the snow from winter melts it runs in to the river and the water rises but there is about 6 weeks when you have nice warm weather and a big "beach" to walk on. Here are some pictures. of the North Thompson and then the rivers after they have joined up to form the Thompson river. Sorry about the second rivers camera quality, I thought my old camera could take video on an SD card and I was mistaken so I took photos instead!















The Thompson River from the North Shore looking
over towards the city. The big building you can see
is the university dorms















The dry river bed that loops around McArthur Island Park,
this will fill with water as the river rises until its all of the
grass you can see is covered















The North Thompson looking out to Westsyde and
over to the Reservation. This is the "beach" beside
river. Many people take their dogs down here to let them
run while the bank is still uncovered.















The North Thompson looking over to the rest of Kamloops
From this point you can see the down town area, Sahali and
Aberdeen.

I like the river because it is the only lush area in Kamloops. The surrounding areas are almost totally brown and dusty 90% of the year unless they are covered in snow. If you look at the mountains you can see dark coloured pine and the hills are covered in sage brush and/or rocks. When ever we go down to Vancouver I feel so much more at home because of the green everywhere. My eyes burn, here a lot because of the intense glare and stark colours. My sunglasses are practically glued to me even in winter. If I don't I get some really intense headaches. We have been spending almost every night walking to McArthur park because its a little island cut out from the river and is covered in nice lush trees and grass.

Maybe I struggle with it so much because it is completely foreign landscape. When you grow up around scenery like this...















you get a little spoiled? Well Kyle finds it beautiful here anyway and thats the most important thing.

I like that we are finding areas like this now so that when we can come back to visit we have nice places to go. Anyway thats my favourite part of Kamloops captured for you from me. I hoped you enjoyed.

Ciao!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pizza pizza pizza!

You all know I love to cook and if I wasn't so lazy I would have been a chef.... but alas I do not feel compelled to stand in a hot kitchen with the head chef screaming his head off for 16 hours a day so I have to be content with being a home cook instead.

As Kyle and I try to live a healthy lifestyle we need to find a way to have the foods we love but in a way that is healthier. Insert the home made fast food.

Now we have some criteria

1. It must be just as fast to cook as to drive and buy
2. It must be as cheap or cheaper than buying it
3. It must be extremely delicious to make up for the effort factor
4. It can not be fussy or difficult to replicate
5. It must be healthy, much healthier than the original fast food (or else what's the point?)

So enter my first success. The home made Pizza

Now obviously as it is pizza the toppings are up to you. For the pizza pictured I used

pre shredded cheese
pre made pizza base
precooked prawns
sliced olives from a can
canned tomato sauce (not ketchup kiwi's I'm talking red pasta sauce)
garlic powder (no salt added)
sliced red onions

The only actual cooking involved was the frying the red onion and baking the pizza. I fry my onions with water, not oil. They come out just as good (through a little balsamic vinegar in with them) and you save yourself 80 calories. Use just enough water to stop them sticking but not so much that they boil.

All I did was "assemble", while the onions are frying spread the pasta sauce on the base with a pastry brush and sprinkled on the garlic powder. Then on with the onions, olives and prawns and finally cheese and into the oven it went.

Here is a photo of the pizza sans cheese (the crust is already baked on this pizza, but it works just as well with a raw dough).
















And here it is fully cooked (this made 8 slices of pizza and worked out to be $6 for the entire pizza) much cheaper than pizza hut!. Kyle and I made one each and had the left overs for lunches.















Now a couple of tips to make your pizza "just like the take away version"

If you plan on making these on a regular basis consider investing in a pizza stone. It will make the base just as crispy as a take away pizza.

Coat the underneath of the base with corn meal (not corn starch!!!) it gives it that authentic touch.

If you are using raw dough, use raw ingredients, if you are using precooked dough use cooked ingredients. The raw dough will need slightly longer to cook and precooked prawns will become tough and chewy.

Preheat your oven on bake at 210 Celsius but then change to grill as soon as you put the pizza in the oven (be quick don't let all that heat escape!)

Just before your pizza is finished, spray the crust with olive oil. It makes the crust nice and brown and crisp. If you don't have a way to spray oil use a pastry brush. You only need a tiny smudge of oil, trust me this is the final touch!

The BEST part about these pizzas is you do not have to cook them straight away. You can wrap them in glad wrap and store them ready to cook in the freezer just like the pizzas from the supermarket.

So far we have made a Hawaiian version, and a Mexican chicken pizza. Coat the chicken into Mexican seasoning (the chicken works best if its sliced thinly or buy a ready cooked one), slice capsicum (bell peppers), a chilli, and use salsa as the pizza sauce instead of tomato past. Again use garlic powder and throw in some paprika. I also use a cheese that is spiked with jalapeño.

Happy (cheap and healthy) Pizza eating!

BTW my medical will be on the 29th so prayers and good wishes sent my way would be much appreciated.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Late breaking news!

Still waiting on the 10K run photos the websites having problems apparently

Just received a call from the Lawyer, they FINALLY received my police check and its clear WOOHOO! Not even so much of a parking ticket thank you very much!

On to the medical check now, pray for me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Uma Rapiti Uma Rapiti Uma Uma Uma

So Kyle and I went down to Vancouver with some friends last weekend and ran in the Vancouver Sun Run (sponsored by the news paper the Vancouver Sun).

My official time 1:57:05

My official placing 39268 out of 50,000 to 55,000 people no one seems to have the official count.

Now despite buying a disposable camera specifically for the race, neither Kyle nor I remembered it on the actual race day. Brilliant of us!

So here are some photos from the Vancouver Sun's website. If you look hard enough Im sure you can see me in one of the crowd shots!















Look see I'm one of those tiny little blips at the back!

Here's a couple more














Edited to add- and by a couple apparently I mean ONE hahaha

The most of the ironic part of the race was there were two very short hills and everyone slowed down on those but I speed up, I guess going to a university for 3 years up a very steep hill and having my bus stop being across a valley on a second very steep hill must have prepared me? Well that and perhaps the 12 years of ballet?

You CAN get a photo of yourself crossing the finish line, once I figure out how to get it and see how bad I look I might just put it up on here.

It was all very fun! We are definitely going next year, there's another 10k in Kamloops tomorrow.

The other good thing about our trip (other than our company who were very fun! Props to Matt and Steph) was getting out to explore just where in Vancouver we want to live. We have it narrowed down to Maple Ridge, Abbostford or Mission.

Maple Ridge is the edge between completely rural and the city, kiwis think of Albany 15 years ago or Greenhithe now, Canadians think of....um... Maple Ridge? Look one way and theres a mall, main drag, and surburban style houses. Look the other way and there is farm land and a river and surround them both with BEAUTIFUL mountains!

Heres a picture I took just as you get into Maple Ridge, its overlooking the lougheed highway from a big megastore mall to the more inland rural area that is part of north Maple Ridge.















See what I mean, behind us is a mega strip mall with stores the sizes of small cities and ahead of us is beatiful and rural landscape (thats beyond the golfcourse of course).

Somewhere between civilisation and "the sticks" is where Kyle and I eventually want to settle.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tick tock tick tock

Nope I still don't have anything back from the lawyer. I appreciate everyone asking Kyle and I if we have anything back but we don't.

Yep it has been ages, and yep it seems as if it's taking forever, thank you for asking.

I promise that the very SECOND we hear something we will tell you, we will tell ALL of you. I am checking the mail every single day at 11am.

Just to explain here is what we are waiting for. Its easyier than repeating myself 100 times in person or on the phone.

1. My renewed visitors permit (that allowes me to stay in Canada until we get an answer)
2. My police checks from Canada and New Zealand.
3. Once we get those I have to go for a medical in Kelowna. We can't just get the medical over and done with now because the immigration wants a "fresh date" on it.

The police checks are due back any day now.

4. When we have both the medical check back (and I'm declared healthy) and the police checks then we can send in the actual application.
5. Then we wait 12 weeks for a "letter of acknowledgement" or LOA
6. When we get that letter we can send off for an "open work permit" which allows me to work in any job (except elderly and childcare) until we recieve an answer from immigration.

7. After we recieve the LOA we then have to wait 6-18 months for a decision from Immigration Canada. The fastests the lawyer has ever had an answer is 6 months, the longests it 12 months so we are hoping to be in the middle.

8. We could be called in for an interview (worst case senario) not that we don't have an authentic relationship, but apprently they are TOUGH. An interview is typically a bad sign because it means they want to "check you out" so interview really means interrigation.

All this will take a while. So lets not get ahead of ourselves. I only have to do this once (thank heavens!) and as Kyle and I have no control over the speed at which this all happens we are just trying to forget about it until we can make some kind of progress. We are trying to not make it the central issue of our lives.

I'm trying to keep busy, we did just a 10k fun run with friends Stephanie and Matt last weekend. It was very fun. Kyle and I want to do at least two more this summer (update on the fun run coming tomorrow).

I'm still involved with the players, Kyle and I did some scenery painting two weekends ago (flats and doors and a trellis that took three of us almost an hour! Tonight I'm signed up for Front of house for the current play and we are going to see it Saturday.

I am getting my resume ready for (were hoping september/october) at which time we will be renting out the apartment and moving to Vancouver (YAY!!!!!).

Hope you all are well... you can comment you know... I don't bite... hint hint!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Full of win!

I just played in my first Poker tournament. It was held at Feeney's house (I have photos of them on the blog).

I drank my first two drinks WAY too fast and was barely awake at the table (why does alcohol put me to sleep!!??) and fumbled my way through. There were 16 of us to start! I have never played poker before tonight except for a quick run down last night with Kyle.

I was told at one point to go downstairs to the winners table! YAY winners table.

There were 7 of us and I apparently beat out 3 of them. When we were down to four I was far more sober again an asked to leave the game. Your not allowed to do that so I went all in(that means you bet ALL of your chips) and kept winning which was not only annoying for me but for the others as well!

So I came 4th and got to go back up stairs and join the party. I figured at that stage the other three people playing were all very serious about poker and I wouldn't stand a chance and could either bow out as quickly as possible or face a slow death. I choose to make it as quick and painless as I could and stop wasting their time!

Besides there was the most awesomest cake ever! Some had made Feeney a TANK cake!!!!

I had a lot of fun though, I want to play poker again!!!!

My love of puzzles!

I love puzzles, I'm sure I have mentioned that before.

But do you really understand JUST how much I love piecing them together?

Not only do I have a fairly rounded personal collection of puzzles, but I complete a puzzle every single day on facebook.

There is an application called Jigzone (the original site is here http://www.jigzone.com/ ) that gives you a puzzle a day to complete.

I think of puzzles as the earliest form of those mind games you can play to improve your memory and brain. Plus they are awesome!

I love Jigzone because you can even turn your own photos into a puzzle!

I a now off to do puzzles!














Here is a picture of some of the cast from the last
Murder Mystery I did with the Kamloops players!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sigh...

I just made a Pavlova http://www.joyofbaking.com/Pavlova.html from scratch

I make them a lot for parties over here because no one has ever had them before and everyone ohhs and ahhs over them. They always turn out just fine but I couldn't find the recipe so I guessed the cooking time and temp.

I knew it was an hour to cook, I knew it was about 110-140 degrees Celsius.


I'm having a dinner party tomorrow night and I haven't been feeling the best this week..... but I really like making this dessert because it comes out a real beaut if its done right! and then...

I BURNT THE FREAKING THING!!!!!!!!

and now it just looks like a big burnt poo coloured cake

6 eggs down the drain, its 1am!!! and now I have to get up really early tomorrow to make another bloody one!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photos!

I woke up with a whopper of a headache this morning, so instead of boring you with my writing I thought I would just post some pretty pictures.















The Christmas tree from 2007 in NZ















The lounge after everything was unpacked.
I totally forgot about the Simpsons game until now,
I will have to pick that up this Christmas!















Christmas dinner at the Watermark in Devonport.















Piha surf beach 2004, inst that just beautiful!
















The beach along the main drag on Russell, Northland
NZ's first capital I believe















Yours truly with my usual perfect and saintly behaviour.

I hope you enjoyed the sideshow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Do you have a guilty pleasure, something that you LOVE to do but would die of embarrassment if anyone else ever knew.

I have heaps of them, but unlike most I don't feel ashamed (have I ever?) about my tacky or crappy taste. I relish in the fact I love stuff that would make most stuff cringe.

I have horrified people on a regular basis with my taste,

I love eating veges straight from the can (beetroot or green beans) or straight cottage cheese from the pottle. They are both YUM, quick and easy!

I love 80's music. No one will ever convince me that MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice ever made a bad song Ice Ice Baby!!!

I love C grade movies, especially the made for TV ones, maybe that's why I love watching the Office (which isn't crap its Brilliant!!) because I love stuff that makes me cringe! Its like watching a train wreck, your horrified but you cant quite bring yourself to look away!

I love bad literature to. Now I've never been a trashy romance novel girl but I do LOVE badly written teen novels and who done its (and believe me there is some seriously CRAPPY mystery writers out there!), don't believe me? read (or try to) the gourmet detective series. Its based on a chef who seeks out rare ingredients and happens to solve murder mysteries on the side... gag.

Twilight is my fav guilty pleasure right now. The writing is terrible, the books are so badly written they make me gag so I can not wait to see what the movie is like. There are a few VERY funny reviews of the books online http://shinga.livejournal.com/478415.html this one had me on the floor laughing until I cried, sadly because its so very accurate (theres a little bit of language in that one though).

I just cant help myself though! I know its bad for me, but smokers know smoking is bad and they still do it!

The 14 year old girl who saw Titanic 14 times is SCREAMING with excitement

The DVD comes out on the 21st March, I'll be the first in line at blockbuster to rent it, along with the tween set I suppose... ah well. If I can BE a teenager anymore I can sure as hell act like one! Oh Edward your sooooooo handsome!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why so defensive Sallymae?

I read a message board this morning where a woman wanted advise because her husband had thrown a tantrum because she had put his clean, folded, ironed laundry on his dresser and had not hung his shirts for him in his wardrobe. He "retaliated" by throwing his laundry all over the floor and screaming at her for not doing "her job" correctly.

On the same message board another woman posted about her husband being laid off. That sucks right!
However she was now working overtime, up to 80 hours a week to make up the financial difference and she was coming home to him laying on the couch moaning that he was hungry and when was she going to have dinner ready? When she sat down and strangled him (oh no wait she didn't, damn!) and talked to him about the fact he really needed to help out now he wasn't working. She asked if he could do his own laundry, if he could maybe cook or do the dishes he replied that he had loaded the dishwasher and what more did she want!

Now after I picked myself up off the floor, I posted a reply stating what I believed.

That a man and woman are equally responsible for a household (how they divide the chores up is their business) but that these women needed to assert themselves and point out that if they are working out side of the home, their husbands should be contributing to household cleaning/cooking etc. I pointed out that if one half of the partnership stayed at home while the other was out working then the stay at home person should be responsible for the majority of the household chores. If they BOTH worked outside the home then they should BOTH be responsible for the household chores.

I was promptly blasted by a series of women who felt the need to state that it was woman's job to look after the home and a mans job to earn the money. They told me I was putting down a stay at home mother's role and that it was in a "woman's blood to care and nurture her family".

Granted there were other woman who held the same beliefs as me, that if one person a wife is working outside the home, then the husband picks up the slack and vice versa. They stood up for my post, emphasising that it was not a womans
"job" to care for her family simply because shes is a woman. I was called naive, feminazi and that I held myself "superior", so were the other women who stood up for these two ladies and told them to stand up for themselves.


Now I use that example because that's what was discussed on the board. I am FULLY supportive of a stay at home Dad. I personally believe that both men and women are equally able to care for a child or the home. I personally do not believe in gender assigned work. Ask my Mum, I begged to mow the lawn as a kid, or to clean out the drains or to paint fences etc. I hated that it was considered "mens" work.


The strange thing was, the immense amount of anger that came from the "gender roles" side. I never once in my message put that I thought it was backward or wrong. I never desecrated the importance of the role of a Mother, or a Wife. I do believe they are hard work, that they are VERY important jobs. I believe that taking care of a household and raising children takes A LOT of tireless and thankless, day after day, effort.

What I did say was that these woman needed to give their husbands a swift kick in the pants and let them know that they were not their maids. If the wife worked all day, then there was no reason the men couldn't cook dinner and do some dishes and laundry. If the roles had been reversed the women would have been expected to, so why not the men?


Let me say this again.

Being a wife and a mother is a wonderful thing, I do not begrudge it at all! I applaud women and men who stay at home and cook and clean and raise kids you people are awesome.

Why do people get so blamed defensive if you dare to present a different lifestyle! Just because I life differently from you does not mean I am saying your lifestyle is wrong. Seriously these ladies came across as insecure, resentful and a little off balance. Mind you if you believe your husband has a right to lay on couch all day while you serve him, I think you are a little off balance! (disclaimer, if hes sick that's different and temporary!)

My point was, if Kyle ever threw a tantrum because I put his clean laundry on his bed instead of hanging it up, and tried to teach me a lesson by throwing it on the floor. I would promptly pick it all up, carry it out to our balcony and set it on fire. Problem solved.

Thank goodness Kyle would never ever do anything like that. He is an incredible hard worker both at work and in the home. I appreciate every time he does a load of towels, or cleans the bathroom or takes out the trash or cooks me a delicious meal. I do not however believe that I should be grateful because hes doing "My job". I am grateful because hes is my partner, and because he is doing his fair share. He is not doing me a favor, he is doing his part.

At the moment I am prohibited from working so I am doing the majority of the housework. NOT because I am the female of the relationship, but because I'm at home while Kyle is out working. In the past when we have both worked full time and managed to be in the same country, both of us have cooked or cleaned fairly equally. Granted I tend to cook more, and Kyle takes out the garbage, but that does not mean that we took those jobs because he is male and I am female. Kyle cooks and I take out the garbage sometimes... whatever needs doing gets done.

Kyle does his part, I do mine. When I work, he cooks and cleans. When he works I cook and clean. When we both work, both cook and hire someone to clean!

Whats so wrong with that? Well to these women apparently expecting Kyle to share in the household chores makes me a terrible woman. I couldn't imagine what they would think of my own Mother who (GASP!!!) expected my brother and I to vacuum or do our own laundry!

There is a difference between being a kind, caring and loving Mother/Wife and being an unpaid, unappreciated maid.

Why is it every time someone talks about feminism or gender equality people feel that they are putting down a SAHM or attacking their beliefs in some way.

I have ultimate respect for people who have decided to take on a traditional family structure, but I don't think its cool for those people to look down on me because my family isn't structured in the same way. Just because I want to focus on my career (when I'm finally allowed to work... I'm counting the freaking days) doesn't mean I look down on someone who takes joy and pleasure for cooking and cleaning for her family.

It does really make me angry though when people think that just because I don't think its a wife's responsibility to automatically be a maid to her family it makes her a bad person. Or that I don't understand a "womans nature"

Ohh that one really got me mad. So did the person who said "its in a womans blood" It is no more in a woman's blood than in a mans. What a huge insult to men! I would trust that if Kyle and I had children (in a FAR FAR away time) then he could care for them with as much love and ability as me.

Just because I am a woman, does not make me responsible for the cooking and the cleaning anymore than Kyle being a man makes him responsible for bring home the bacon. If thats how your family is set up, good for you! If its not good for you!

Im not arguing that its "wrong" or "old fashioned" to be a woman who cooks and cleans and stays at home. I AM arguing that its wrong and old fashioned to expect me to stay at home and cook and clean JUST because of my gender!

Do people really think its fair for a woman to work full time and then take care of the majority of the cooking and cleaning while her husband mooches on the couch for days on end?

Do people really think its okay for a husband to throw a tantrum because he had to hang up his own shirts?


I think if I had been born 100 years ago I would have been burned as a witch because I sure as hell don't think that's right!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why I hate the phone

We went to see the lawyer on Monday, he said all was well. We signed about 60574937393 forms and I spent an hour or so describing all of my name changes, okay maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration but that's what it felt like.

The phone rang today and I jumped it startled me so much. I happened to have a cup of coffee in my hand at the time and I then spent the next twenty minutes mopping it off the couch, the floor, the books that I kee
p on the flark and myself.

It turned out to be the lawyer asking for a piece of paper he already had, I described where it was in the folder I gave him. I HATE the phone because I never know when it will ring, it makes me so jumpy. I could be reading or napping and BRRRRRIINNNNNGGG there goes my peace and quiet. Or I could be drinking something and end up wearing it! I curse Alexander Bell!


Anyway the lawyer said everything should be sent off within the next few weeks.

Goodbye freedom!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

297 days and counting!

I just realised it was under 300 days until I'm headed back to the NZ

YAY!!!!

Its a blizzard right now and a chilly -11! Bring on summer!

Here's a picture of my niece Lucy, isn't she awesome!
She looks like shes plotting something!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mood = Blah

Sigh....

I'm so sick of not being able to work

I'm trying not to complaining, I never thought I would say that I wanted to work but I really miss it.

I miss contact with people,
I miss having a bigger purpose to my day then "making dinner"

but if I'm honest, mostly I miss the money.

Kyle and I are on a one income budget and people have given me advice from "work illegally" to "well when you start working Kyle can stay at home for a while"

are you kidding me? seriously!

1. I cant work illegally, I'm a law abiding person and if I was to be found out my chance to be with Kyle would be O.V.E.R!!!!! If your happy to work under the table then good for you, but don't foist your lax morals onto me!

2. I'm not working because its oh so fun to stay home all day, I'm not working because I'm not allowed to! If Kyle was immigrating to NZ I would be the one bringing home the bacon and I certainly wouldn't expect a holiday after Kyle was allowed to work. This isn't my choice, Kyle is not my sugar Daddy and my entire savings were placed into our joint account the very day I got back to Canada to pay some overdue bills.

Sorry for the whingy post, but I never wanted to be a stay at home girlfriend now, or a stay at home wife, or mother in future! Ive been working and financially independent since I was FOURTEEN!!!!! I don't have anything wrong with people who do, but its my choice not to be.

Its amazing how many people think that this was some sort of plot of mine to lay in bed every morning.... I had one person say and I quote "well when you start working are you going to give Kyle time off from working for the both of you"?....
that person just about got a right good slapping!

I'm in this situation because I'm immigrating here not because I woke up one morning and said "okay Kyle I'm not working anymore mwahahaha" I'm not working because it would be illegal!


At this stage I would even work at maccas if it meant I could have a job and a pay cheque! I had a job within a month of coming back from Canada (BOTH times) and a job placement 2 weeks after I landed in London, I'm a worker, I'm a good hard worker. The only time I haven't worked is when I have saved and traveled and even then most of those were WORKING holidays!

Kyle and I can pay our bills, but there's not a lot left over for fun and that's fine but frustrating.
I don't understand why the Canadian government wont let me work, I would pay tax, I would pay into the pension plan, I would pay into EI (employment insurance) both of which I can actually use! Kyle and I would have more income to put back into the economy.... its a win win situation.

I also hate that I'm stuck here until someone else in a government office says I can leave... that royally sucks the big kumera!

I know I'm coming off ranty, and I don't want to seem ungrateful to my friends who have stepped up to the plate because you guys know who you are and your AWESOME! I have just never done well when I haven't had control of my life, when I can stay or go, what I can spend on what. It really busts my guts to know some suit is going to rule my relationship to Kyle valid or not based on a serious of impersonal questions.

I'm not idle, I actually work all day long. I make sure I'm up when Kyle is so we can have breakfast together,and those of you who know me well know that I am not a morning person in any sense of the word. 7am should be outlawed as far as I'm concerned, anything earlier than that just does not exist!

I also make sure the apartment is clean and tidy (something we have struggled with before because we both worked so much before now). Kyle and I have amassed an amazing amount of stuff over the years and have never had a chance to have a good clean out. I have thrown out 18 bags of old paperwork, clothes with holes, broken items and just general junk. I also have 4 rubbish sacks ready for the sallies (pillows, magazines, kitchen stuff etc). Our paperwork is now all filled and tidy, our apartment is in good order and we have kicked our fast food habit almost completely because I have been cooking heaps!


I am bored though, extremely bored. Going insane bored, watering my shoes in the closet bored.

People here have been very good, offering to have coffee or take me out to go window shopping. But Kyle and I simply don't have money in our budget to buy more "stuff" and that drives me crazy. Not that Ive ever been big on buying "stuff" anyway but having the option to buy new sneakers when my old ones wear out or a new DVD or whatever was nice. Going shopping would drive me even more nuts... I don't want to look at a store full of stuff I don't want or need and cant afford to buy anyway!

I know the situation is temporary, it should only last another 16 weeks and by then my daily workouts should really be showing some results, and hopefully if Kyle gets the new job hes applying for our income will increase slightly. Once I am working both my boredom and financial frustrations will be erased almost overnight, but until then bare with me. I struggle with asking for help, I struggle even more with having to rely on someone else for money.

I'm doing my best... rant over.

HAPPY CHANELLE AGAIN!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hrrrmmm

I just got an email from my Lawyer, saying the forms are done in draft form!
Hes going to start scanning and emailing them one by one for me to review and sign off.

We are waiting on the police checks to come back and a few other paperwork details .

Speaking of fingerprints did you know that if you type a lot, your fingerprints start to wear off!! Mine were very hard to get! The police officer ev
en told me I might have to stop typing for SIX WEEKS for the ridges to come back! Kyle said that was a brilliant way to not get fingerprints on anything if you were going to commit a crime to type madly for a few days and wear them off... then I pointed out that wearing gloves might just be a little more fail safe!

When they are close I have to go to Kelowna for a full medical, blood tests and whatever else (maybe I should get the doctor to examine my non-existent fingerprints) and we can
send off the forms Hooray! The longest point from that date until I can work is 22 weeks, the shortest is 18 weeks.

Im dying to get to work... any work (ok well not a garbage man or anything) but even temping would be an improvement. I am becoming far far to attached the watching M*A*S*H, The Waltons and Murder She Wrote!

Anyway heres your daily dose of pictures, as you can see I went with a Graduation theme today. Enjoy.

Mum, Me, Jarrod and Kyle having drinks in the Octagon .
I just Lurveee the pink hood Jarrod :P
















Me, The grumpy one and Mum in Dunedin, NZ















Why oh why do I always shut my eyes in a photo!!!
I know no one believes me but its not on purpose!
(you can click on the photos to get a closer look)

317 days to go!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Im free!

Yesterday Kyle and I handed over our immigration folder to our lawyer.
I now have time to breath again

I also have my own freaking biography written now!

Our time line is this,

In march we send off for an application to extend my visitors permit

April we send everything off in April (the lawyers are now doing their thing, police checks, photos and filling out the official forms and such)

12-16 weeks after the application is sent in, we get our "letter of acknowledgment"

Then we can apply for the work permit that takes 6 weeks


6-18 months from the FIRST application we should have an answer about the application.

then I should be free and clear!!!!!

Kyle and I are planning on coming home for Christmas. My Lawyer told me he is advising against it but I'm seeing my niece this Christmas come hell or high water!

Well that and I desperately need a good Christmas party and a good coffee!

By the time we leave at Christmas I should have my acknowledgment letter AND my work permit to help me get back into the country.

Only 324 days until I should be back in the NZ!

















Expect a whopping party when I get back people!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The most over used word in the English Language

Ridiculous
ri•dic•u•lous
Pronunciation:
\rə-ˈdi-kyə-ləs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin ridiculosus (from ridiculum jest, from neuter of ridiculus) or ridiculus, literally, laughable, from ridēre to laugh
Date: 1550
: arousing or deserving ridicule : absurd , preposterous
synonyms see laughable
— ri•dic•u•lous•ly adverb
— ri•dic•u•lous•ness noun

Do you know how many times in my life I have heard this word!

Customer: That price is ridiculous
Me: So you don't want it then?
Customer: Oh no, I still want it, but that price is ridiculous
Me: .....

Me: I have to get X for immigration
Mum: That is ridiculous
Me: I know
Mum:Just ridiculous

Kyle: Did you see that on TV, that is ridiculous
Me: ??
Kyle: It was unbelievable, just ridiculous!

Why oh why must people use that word. I HATE that word !

HAHA Kyle just said my post was ridiculous... I strangled him... he is quiet now in a chocked sort of way.

I beg of you people, STOP using that word.
I must have heard the word ridiculous more times than any other word in existence, extend your vocabulary and please, I beg of you STOP telling me that something is ridiculous.

If it IS ridiculous then, I most likely already know that it is in fact ridiculous!
I do not need to be reminded
I hate to be reminded
I dont like the word
I HATE the word
Please stop saying the word!

No more ridiculous in my life. The word is banned!

Brittney Spears is ridiculous
Brooke Hogan being a pop star is ridiculous
Paris Hilton being called talented is ridiculous

















This picture is ridiculous!


Anything to do with me, my life or those in the life around me is Not ridiculous!
Stop using the freaking word!

Im so sick of everything ridiculous!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vancouver here we come

Kyle let his bosses know a few days ago that we will be moving to Vancouver in the next month or two.

I am swinging between happy beyond belief and terrified.
As you all know we are only on one income right now so money is tight but I have wanted to live in Vancouver for years.

And while Kyle is searching for a new job, the bills don't stop coming either...but in life you just gonna go and leap off the cliff right, or nothing gets done.

It will mean however that as soon as our acknowledgment on the permanent residency is through I can get a job permit and get a job. The job choices in Vancouver versus Kamloops is... how can I say worlds apart.

You know whats strange, my spell check keeps telling me that Kamloops is really Sloops/Bloops/Loops or Kalamazoo. Perhaps it knows something I don't?

We are looking at living in the Burnaby/ Langley area which it technically in the GVR (Greater Vancouver Region) much as the North Shore City is in the Auckland Region rather than Auckland city. We want to say "out of the city" because we would prefer a larger section for a vege garden and some dogs. We plan on gutting the house anyway an redoing it so we dont need anything fancy as far as that goes. What Im really excited about it is the possiblity of a polytunnel which looks like this. My one would be smaller though, half that size at the most.













Now why would I like a poly tunnel? Well they are much cheaper than a glasshouse and they would allow me to grow strawberries and that sort of thing in a climate that isnt so strawberry growing friendly. I think I have been spoiled rotten growing up in Auckland I never thought about fruit and vege being imported but here in Canada the growing season is so short that very little can be grown here. I can also have my fruit and vege without nasty sprays but also free from bugs because they cant get in.

Another good thing about Vancouver (there are far to many to list) is public transportation, they have a fantastic transport system, they are just finishing up the second skytrain (monorail) line that will run from the airport to downtown. I will be able to get around easily and safely without a car which is ideal.

I hope everyones new year is going well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Once a month cooking

So Kyle and I are trying to be more healthy with our eating and the first step with that, as with anything in my opinion is organisation. So today, we cooked up a storm for lunches.

During the working week I usually try to fit in a workout, do laundry stuff like that during the day. I'm going to ring around a few registered charities after the 5th because I'm not legally allowed to work right now, so I'm going to volunteer at a couple of places. Ive been told by the Lawyer to clear the places first but if they are a registered charity or church group AND not in my field of work they should be pretty safe.

Before the new year I would usually spend the majority of my day cooking dinner, trying to unpack or sort through the mountains of paperwork needed for immagrating. So Im busy and hes busy.

Wow can I get off topic...

Anyway during the working week, Kyle comes home for lunch most days and this is the time we usually get fastfood or junk to eat. So we decided to cook a month worth of lunches and freeze them. Heres some of what we made today
















We have two more dishes that are not in the photo but heres what we made

10 servings of Greek Pork, Lemon Roasted Potatos and veges
10 servings of Cottage Pie with Cheesy Potato topping
6 servings of Chinese Beef with Egg noodles (and 2 servings for dinner)
4 servings of Steak and Cheese Pie (with one more pies worth of of filling made)
6 servings of Chicken stew with Bread rolls (ok so we didnt make the bread rolls)
6 servings of Lasanga

needless to say we are both a little tired right now, but we dont have to cook lunches for the next MONTH

It took us just under 5 hours but in that time we did have Lunch, Dinner and a break of about 15 minutes. It would have been less time but we didnt plan who got to use the oven and stop top very well so we had a traffic jam for about 30 minutes. The kitchen isnt wrecked either we washed stuff as we went so we only have 2 loads for the dishwasher and most of that is the casserole dishes we cooked everything in.

1. We learnt a few things though, chop ALL of the onions, garlic and whatever in one go because washing chopping boards is a pain in the chops.

2. Schedule what needs to cook when and how, we had a "friendly" debate over what was more important to be boiled, egg noodles or potatos. The potatos won by the way.

3. Make sure your freezer is cleaned out for the containers BEFORE you start.

We usually spend between $10-$15 when we get fast food and usually get it twice a week so were estimating savings of $40-80 a month from this. The Chinese noodles were amazing (Kyle cooked them).

While we are the topic of food, I got Kyle a toaster oven for Christmas and holy potatos batman are they awesome or WHAT!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First workout of the year and holy crap I'm slashed!!!

200 calories in 17 minutes and I still have a cold!!

I'm trying to loose 40 lbs or 18 kilos by the time I get home for Christmas next year

That way I can stuff myself on all the goodies NZ has that I miss so much.

That and I want to wear a bikini when Rochelle, Christopher and I go to the Waiwera Hot pools next Christmas.

I'm starting out with 20 minutes or 200 calories a day on the elliptical or yoga or walking. Something to get my fat arse moving and off the couch.

Then chopping 200 calories a day off my food that's just one snack less a day so it wont be to painful. Lets see how this goes

Hopefully I will look more like lefty and less like righty haha!


















Happy New Year everyone, be good to yourself in 2009