Final Step For Immigration

I have such exciting news to share!

Seth and I had our immigration interview and all went well.

Morning came all too early, after a night that was way too late! We made sure everything was set and ready to go before we colapsed into bed, making the morning flow smooth despite the early hour. Marin woke up with us, and we took her over to our neighbours’ house to be looked after while we headed downtown on our bicycles. As most of you know, we do not own a car ourselves, so almost everything is done by bike. We took it steady and easy across the river, keeping a good pace without breaking a sweat. The excercise was wonderful for calming our nerves.

Security went well, with lighthearted guards helping to put us at ease. Then upstairs after checking in, we waited along with close to 30 other people, all there to be interviewed. All sitting stiff and slightly nervous. Rarely breaking a smile. Seth and I carried the jokes of the security guards up with us and continued to stay in good moods, which was met by a cheerful lady equally in a good mood ushering us through a maze of small office rooms to question us.

All in all the interview went very well, with clear comunication, questions and answers. Only when she was explaining the steps for us to take in order to remove the conditions on my card did some confusion enter with numbers and math going a little askew. But we all three were able to laugh at that!

Oh boy! Once we got out of the building, it was all I could do from whooping and hollering with joy in the middle of the city! Three hours later I still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face even though the muscles in my cheeks were sore.

We made it!

We are together as a family, the three of us, without any worry of being split apart. Such a heavy load off our minds now! It is a relief to have this all done with and now we can take joy together as a family without any clouds hovering over us!

Watching carefully as Marin climbs down the front steps all by herself.
Watching carefully as Marin climbs down the front steps all by herself.

Coffee Painting of Gaelyn

I’ve started playing around with coffee as a painting medium. I tried it once in Sooke when my sister got a coffee stain on her white shirt and wanted it turned into something a little more artistic, but now I’m doing it on watercolour paper instead of tank-tops.

A couple pieces have been finished, but this one here is my favorite, taken from a photo that my mom posted on her blog, of my youngest sister Gaelyn.

Gaelyn in coffee


Looking at all the followers on here, I noticed that many of them have quite interesting gravatars. Which of course led me to try yet again to upload a fun picture so that my own gravatar would stop switching between all the wonderful wordpress kalaidascope snapshots. But…… the computer was unwilling to assist me in my endeavour. So much for that attempt at being sophisticated!

I WILL try again though. Those boring old shapes and colours are starting to get boring and shapeless, so something must be uploaded.

Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins! Just you wait! You’ll be sorry, but your tears will be too late!….. for a picture will be put up whether you talk straight and propper or not!

A Dimwit And You Know It

Are you a smart person? Reasonable? intelligent?

What if you thought you were, but due to living with truly intelligent people it becomes more and more apparently clear that you are one of the dull tools in the shed that have never been sharpened and are only used for menial, simple tasks?

What if important things need to be done, but you and everyone else involved knows that you don’t have the mental sharpness to get any part of it done reliably?

What do you do?

What do you do when the hard realization of the true lacking nature of your mind comes out and there is nothing to be said? You are asked why you can’t think of things, and right then and there you can’t even come up with a reasonable answer to the WHY!

Have you always known that quick responses were not one of your gifts? Do you bite your tongue when someone disagrees with you? Letting them go on and say their full and long drawn out piece without interruption, and still not have anything intelligent to say to defend yourself when they are done?

You feel like a burden. You know you are. It doesn’t help that you don’t have any useful skills for any of the areas that could do with help. Nothing you do is worthwhile.

I’m a mom. I am a good mom because my little girl is always happy and smiling. She is healthy, clean and growing fast.

I can keep a house tidy and have hot meals ready for the end of the day.

I work in the garden and take the dog for long walks.

Those are things I am happy doing and decently good at.

I virtually can not foresee potential problems. That right there is my biggest problem. I just don’t see them! When a problem arises, I can’t even come up with solutions at a decent pace.

When figuring out solutions is the demand for the day and remembering details (another thing of which I am terrible at) is leaving me baffled, it becomes very apparent quite quickly just how incompetent I am.

So there we have it out in the open. I’m a dimwit and I’m stuck like that.

A Visitor From Mexico

Marin and Grandpa JA long sunny day is always a nice thing. A sunny day spent with your dad and your daughter is even nicer.

My Dad had to fly up to Canada from Mexico, so he made a trip out of it and caught the train down here to Portland for a visit with Seth, Marin and I.

We had a wonderful morning walk out for breakfast and to get lunch stuff which we then drove out to consume along with Seth when he got his lunch break at work. It worked with dual purpose as it showed my dad where his one and only son-in-law now works.

Getting back into our local neighbourhood, we found a little farmer’s market at a co-op that I had been wanting to check out, so of course we had to stop and explore what they had, as that’s the kind of thing my dad and I like doing. Exploring healthy options. There was a nice variety of items being sold, including wild mushrooms, veggies, herbs, soaps and a little tent that was selling tamales, which I have kept reading about on my mother’s blog, as tamales seem to be their weekly treat down in Mexico. Dad was pretty excited about finding the tamales and treated me to one. Gosh it was good! And since it is wheat free, I am now wanting to try making my own.

This afternoon’s temperature topped out somewhere in the 80’s, which explains the slight headache I’ve gotten, but the warmth made for nice walking and Dad finally switched his jeans in for a pair of shorts. I guess our beautiful weather isn’t quite as nice and warm as he has been used to for the last couple months!

A breeze has started to pick up this evening and cooled off the day a bit. Perfect for evening strolls and lounging on the porch which we are all doing, as you can see from the photo at the top.

Late Night Transit and Timbers Game

Letting Marin go for a couple of hours is a really hard thing for me to do. Yeah, yeah it’s something I need to get used to and blah blah blah…..

Just the other night I was busy nursing Marin when Andrew came downstairs and asked if I might be interested in going to a Timber’s game that night. He had two tickets, didn’t want to go himself, but Leah really really wanted to go, so I thought about it a minute. Thought, “Heck, how often will a chance like this come up where I can go to a soccer game?” 

Andrew was offering to look after Marin for the evening, and I know that she is good with him, so in a burst of adrenaline and adventure I agreed to go to the game with Leah!

I had no idea how we were getting there and back, but a quick internet search showed an easy route that I hoped would make sense when scrawled across a scrap of paper.

Marin was a doll and didn’t fuss too much as I ran around, trying to understand maps, get myself ready, find all of the baby stuff that I thought Andrew might need, and get Marin fed and changed before heading out. She just rode on my hip for most of my running around and watched as I threw stuff together. What a girl!

Having seen her settled and content in Andrew’s arms, Leah and I ran out the door, heading for a night of noise, bright lights and loud noise!

There were people everywhere! The stadium was crowded. The game was on.

For all you big soccer fans out there, you gotta realize that I have never been to a big game before, or even a small “community kids” game.

At first I was taken aback by all the spectators. There must have been thousands and thousands!!! All talking, chatting, yelling, chanting. So much green! So many smiles!

I looked down on the field where the game had already started and thought; people are paying to see a small white speck get bounced and chased around a grass field by men that look the size of ants, who seem to get a thrill out of bashing their heads simultaneously against a fast-moving ball and the heads of other players. Why is this a sport?

Then I got into it. I couldn’t help myself! I kept pushing thoughts of worry over my baby out of my head (mom’s can sympathize!) and just sat back and soaked up the excitement and thrill of being surrounded by thousands of people brought together for one thing. And that one thing started to get to me too! I found myself cheering wholeheartedly whenever the Timbers stole the ball from the Quakes, then stood up and gave it my all when the Timbers scored in the 78th minute.

Wow! What happened to me?

At the end of the game I steered Leah out through the tightly packed crowd and made it out onto the street. That’s when I realized that my written directions were gonna be no good, cause there weren’t any bus about to come along this road, what with all those soccer fans milling around!

On a hunch, I led us around a corner and thankfully found what I was looking for. The train heading into the city center. I don’t know this city very well, and had never ridden the public transit here before except for one stretch of the train to get out to the zoo earlier this year. Yeah I’ll admit I was a little nervous, trying to get myself and my niece back home on the other side of the river, late at night, on a system I was unfamiliar with. But we made it!

Home safe and sound.


I can’t wait till Andrew gets more Timbers tickets that he doesn’t want to use himself!

A Bombing Far Away And Yet So Close To Home

The excitement for today is probably all over the internet now. A bombing at the Bostom marathon.

I met up with my friend Abby in the morning to peruse through REI, grab a coffee and check out Posh Baby, but part way through our visit she got a phone call informing her that her sister who works in the building that was bombed, was fine. That was the first we heard of the bombing.

The rest of the day as I drove Leah around to her activities I was hoping that I would hear more about it on the radio, but alas, my timing was off and I only ever caught quick little snippets that never gave me any details, until news hour tonight. Now everybody knows about it!


Core Workout

With trying to keep on track with working out, I focused on my core today while Marin was asleep on the couch where I could keep an easy eye on her.

I had just started getting some burn when she woke up and I had to try incorporating her into the workout. Every tried doing Russian Twists while nursing a baby? It’s certainly not the easiest thing in the world, but then again, Russian Twists are not the easiest themselves!

My favorite was doing hip raises with her sitting on the floor beside me. She would watch as I did a set on one side, then just as she was starting to get bored I would switch to the other side and do another set.

For trying to workout, Marin is an easy baby to have around as she takes interest in what I am doing as long as she is close enough to me. Trying to keep my workout interesting enough for her while challenging enough for me physically is a little harder!


Five Finger Run

5 Fingers

The winter has been full of it’s fair share of couch lounging with an occasional bike ride or yoga workout. Certainly nothing consistent!

When the weather turned nice I worked out in the yard and called that good. Not only did it get something accomplished, but it got me outside and physically active. Yeah, like that was a real excuse not to do a good workout!

Today isn’t exactly a pretty one, but it’s not raining either. It is grey and damp. Sidewalks are soaked from last night’s showers. Puddles are sitting at street corners asking for your spare change so they can lose it in their muddy depths. Dogs are stuck at home because their owners just don’t feel like taking them out.

That’s what kind of day it is today.

Somehow against all the odds of the day I got out for a run! Ok, I woke up cranky and pissed at the world, but hey, it made me break a good sweat!

The last time I went for a run I was wearing my old sneakers that I had hiked a couple hundred miles over the Appalachian Trail in. Comfortable, but still sneakers. Sneakers have a tendency to make my heals jam into the ground and the rest of my feet to follow with a slap.

So instead I wriggled into my KMD Sports (Vibram Five Fingers), enjoying their light weight and the way they force my stride to change.

The first few blocks (maybe 10?) were easy-going, getting used to the feel of running on the balls of my feet instead of my heals. Then I cranked it up. One and a half blocks sprinting, half a block walking. Alternating between the two until running one block was all I could muster and then I’d have to walk a full block just to catch my breath again. My toes were wet, calves on fire and my chest was burning as if a dragon was breathing into it at every breath. The feel of flying though was such an amazing feel that I know I will do it again in a couple of days. Landing softly on the balls of my feet and pushing off again without having any hard slam of my weight being thrown down onto the concrete through my feet was the most amazing thing a runner can have I think. I haven’t gone seriously running for a couple of years now, but why didn’t I think of running barefoot or at least just running on the balls of my feet instead of the heals like I’d always done?

The day was miserable but the run was exciting. I got that rush of endorphins that comes from a good powerful workout, and that’s all I needed for the rest of the day to be one of the best in this grey showers filled April.

Getting Stale? Or Breaking Out and Saying What I Want to Say?

California Sunset

I was just perusing over my blog and noticed the site’s sub-title: A lifestyle outside of the ordinary, full of adventure and random weird stuff. 

Right now life does not feel like it is full of adventure and certainly not full of anything weird or random. Day to-day life usually consists of tending and playing with Marin, encouraging her to explore and try new things, puttering in the garden, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, walking the dog and occasionally working out using Mark Lauren’s self resistance exercises. See? There’s nothing exciting in any of that!

Then I think about the writer’s rule to always write what you know about. But who the heck would want to read anything about what I know? Mothers already know how to change diapers. Some of them even use cloth diapers like myself and are probably more consistent with it! I know for a fact that other bloggers have more experience with gardening than I do. Others have tips for handling dogs and keeping the tank clean for the two little NOT goldfish things that so often get forgotten (which by the way, need to have their tank cleaned again by someone).

So… what is there left for me to contribute to the world wide web? We pretty much have all aspects of my current life covered by the pros or at least by better writers than me.

How many Canadians though are in the process of immigrating to the United States, living with her family in the basement of a brother-in-law, surviving life in a very American house which is completely different from the lifestyle in which she grew up in, wants to raise her own children in and wants to live in currently. How many women are out trying to start their family on a different path but at the same time feel that they must bow to the will of their benefactors?

I’m tired of trying to play it safe, typing only what I think others will want to read. I may be socially wrong in my beliefs, but they are mine and this is my site. Maybe in writing my own way I will convey the random, weird and adventurous side of me.

Watch Out For Zombies