So I says to Master 11, I says “Go look in your room for these two socks – I can’t find their mate.”
He says okay and goes up to look.
“I found one, Mom!” he says, and throws it down to me. It matches neither of the socks I have waiting. “That’s not it – now you have three to find!” I say.
He goes and looks again. “I found two!” He yells, and throws it down. Not only do they not match the three I have in my hand, they’re not even his socks.
“How on earth do you have single socks that aren’t even yours? Go look again!”
“Ok. I’ll go look in my sock drawer,” he says. I laugh and ask “Where were you looking before?”
Then he comes down with 4 socks. We successfully match a few pairs, but we still have some unmatched socks. So I go upstairs and have a hunt through his drawers.
The whole time he is yelling at me about privacy and how I shouldn’t go through his dresser. “Why?” I ask. “Do you have anything private in here?”
“NO!” he yells. “It’s the principle of the thing”
Nevertheless, I persevere and come up with two more socks. I take them downstairs, and continue on my way.
But then I’m back on my way upstairs and he yells “NO YOU ARE NOT GOING THROUGH MY JUNK DRAWER!”
I tell him I wasn’t even aware of his junk drawer and we playfully tussle for a moment while he tells me his junk drawer is completely off limits.
“Why?” I ask. “Do you… <snarf> do you… <giggle> DO YOU HAVE SOCKS IN THERE?”
We both lost it and dissolved into hysterical laughter.
At which point I decided to give up and went downstairs.
Then faintly I hear upstairs …
“Mom? I looked under my bed… I FOUND ANOTHER SOCK!!”
I’m still laughing. And I still have 6 unmatched socks.
For a year, I basically sat on my ass, doing nothing. I had no energy. I was actually very anemic, but I didn’t know it at the time.
I didn’t realise that gasping as I walked up the stairs was not a result of being out of shape and sitting on my ass all day. I blamed myself.
I didn’t realise that not being able to walk across a soccer field carrying a camping chair without feeling like I was going to faint was not a result of being out of shape and sitting on my ass all day. I blamed myself.
Still, if you sit on your ass all day doing nothing, even if it’s because you’re anemic, you’re going to gain weight. And I did.
One year on, I’m no longer anemic, and I’m working. Both these things are good. Doesn’t mean I’m any more off my ass, since it’s a desk job, but it means, at least, that my meals are more regulated and I make sure they’re healthy.
I have also apparently lost weight. I have no proof of this – only that my doctor and my husband say so (I haven’t been weighed to check) and that I’ve had to take my belt in two notches.
I certainly don’t feel like I’ve lost weight. I feel just as huge and bloated. I still blame myself.
I don’t feel any lighter.
New Zealand has a lot of natural events, and a lot of “promises” of natural events. New Zealand has the “promise” of volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, and droughts.
And Kiwis are mostly ready for those things. Citizens are told to have their civil defense kits ready. People know where their closest “emergency safe zone” is (usually schools). When something happens, people know what to do, generally speaking.
New Brunswick has a different sort of natural events. Here there is no direct volcano “promise”. No major earthquake faults nearby. They’ve never experienced a tsunami threat. Wind/rain/twister events are few and far between, and mostly benign. New Brunswick does get major winter storms. New Brunswickers are people who would empty grocery stores, gas stations, and the local hardware store at the mere hint of a winter storm. They understand winter storms and the danger of no electricity/gas/food in winter, but summer weather is considered mild and not something to worry over.
So when the media started talking about Hurricane Arthur (later downgraded to Cyclone and then to Tropical Storm) everyone here in our town ignored it. “When they talk about Maritime weather, they mean Halifax. It doesn’t come here.” That’s what we heard from many people. “Don’t worry about the reported storm. It’s not coming here. We don’t have to prepare.”
Then Tropical Storm Arthur hit. And it didn’t just hit Halifax, like the locals thought it would. It hit New Brunswick, and hard. The wind knocked over so many trees onto power lines that most of New Brunswick was without power in the middle of a heat wave. NB Power had been slack and done no tree maintenance for over 5 years, we were told. They were forced into doing the maintenance! For some people, that meant no power for over a week.
The grocery stores were closed. They moved all their perishables to reefers (refrigerated trucks) and waited it out. Gas stations can’t pump gas without electricity. The one gas station with a generator had line ups for kms down the road.
Our family (used to civil defense warnings and summer weather storms) had two cars with full tanks of gas, and enough non-perishable food for 3 days. The only thing we didn’t have (and should have had) was cash on hand.
We watched the storm from the safety of our house, and called the fire station when some wires came crashing down on the road in front of our house. We played board games, read books, and even played some word games that the children enjoyed. When all else failed, we did go onto our devices (that were fully charged up before the storm).
We also watched in confusion as all these people were driving up and down our street in the middle of the storm. All the stores were closed (no power!). There was no where to go. It wasn’t really safe to drive – there were trees falling everywhere, wires down, and high rivers. And yet all of these people were driving.
The same people that would have stayed home if this were a winter snowstorm.
It was an interesting few days. We were lucky in that our power was back on within 48 hours. Others weren’t. And I wonder if they will learn from this and plan for summer storms just as well as they do for winter storms from now on.
I have to preface this post with the disclaimer that I am very familiar with digestive issues. More than I’d like to be. I have spent my time in public washrooms doing the “polite flush” and, if necessary, waiting for an empty washroom.
But, ya know, some people seem to take that a bit far.
At my new place of employment, there are two ladies bathrooms. At any point in time when I visit to do some business, the same shoes and pant legs are in the toilet stall. It’s not just one person – I think there’s 3 or 4 of them.
And they are beyond silent.
As in, they do not even move if someone else enters the washroom. They barely breathe. And they are there for very long periods of time.
One time, a coworker and I were there for a while as she showed me how to put a new roll of paper towels in the dispenser (it’s every person’s responsibility, y’all). The person in the stall didn’t even adjust on the seat.
I’m positive that there was a day when one person was in the toilet for most of the morning. (I had a cuppa. Black tea is a diuretic, you know! I had to go a bit more often than usual.)
I get the whole “getting paid to poop at work” thing. I know about constipation. I know about being embarrassed about noises. It can’t be that they’re calling people on their mobiles – they’re silent. They could be texting – but this company doesn’t ban personal mobiles or anything. They could do that from their desk.
But a whole morning? How do my coworkers not notice this person missing? How does their boss not notice their work not being done? How can their legs not fall asleep from sitting like that for so long?
Just what are they doing in there?
Stuff happens. You move around the world, get depressed, get very sick with anemia, and things like blogs get lost.
But then a doctor actually listens, and catches you before you need a blood transfusion.
Amazing how having enough hobgoblins (hemoglobin) in your blood actually makes you less depressed, too.
Also means that you can walk across a field or up a flight of stairs without being air hungry. (All that time I thought I was just out of shape and fat.)
Then the doctor figures out what’s wrong with you and has stuff that actually stops the problem. Amazing thing, that.
So then you feel so much better you run out and get yourself a job. A real one. Not a volunteer/part-time-thats-really-full-time not paid very well one, but a real one.
In the meantime, the blog is still lost.
Not that anyone is still here reading, anyhoo.
But, ya know, stuff happens. And things get found again. So here I am.
Could you fit your life into 10 boxes or less?
It’s interesting to recall what I thought were so important the last time I moved overseas, and notice that those things aren’t coming with me for the most part this time around.
The number of things I consider my extra special treasures are diminishing.
And it makes me question why we keep some things.
My mother recently sent me a parcel that contained a lot of my school work and report cards from elementary school. I read them and was amused, but for the most part, I neither remembered much about them nor felt that the re-addition of them into my life added value.
So then why am I keeping my children’s art and schoolwork? Is it because I will want to look at it years from now? Is it because I want to give them back to my children eventually? Will the reintroduction of the work add value to our lives many years later?
Or will I feel better if they’re all gone and forgotten? It will definitely be one less box to transport and pay for!
Moving overseas is a big deal. Sure, I’ve already moved overseas once: from Vancouver (ish), BC, Canada to Tauranga (ish), New Zealand. But now it’s an even longer move: from Tauranga(ish), New Zealand to Fredericton (ish), New Brunswick, Canada.
It’s stressful. We have stuff to sell (we’re trying to go from a 3 bedroom house full of stuff to 10 boxes. TEN!), utilities to cancel, stuff to ship, a house to sell, things to arrange.
My mother reminded me of the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. Currently I’m at about 202 on there. We’re moving, we’re changing work, changing our family situation, etc etc etc AND … as if that wasn’t enough … a change of eating habits rates on that scale too.
I got fed up with feeling sick all the time and took myself off to a registered dietician. I told her that the healthier I eat, the sicker I get. And she asked me which foods cause me trouble.
I was prepared for that, and told her everything.
And the lovely lady just said “Well, that all makes a lot of sense to me. Have you heard of FODMAPs?”
Would you look at that. Someone who didn’t just say “Don’t be silly, of course you should be eating healthy food!”
Next thing I’m on the low FODMAPs food elimination stage and within a few days I’m already feeling much better. Six weeks on, I feel better, I look better, I’ve lost 6 kgs, and I feel vindicated. I knew all those “healthy” vegetables and fruits were making me sick!
Unfortunately, that means I’m trying to maintain this elimination stage AND start up the challenge stage of this wellness diet while I’m also trying to find accommodation in our new city.
It’s no wonder I’m under a moderate amount of stress at the moment!