Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Monday, October 31, 2011

the whole point of having a blog

In my case, one of the reasons I keep a blog is to keep you, my readers, informed of what is going on. Sometimes that turns out to be interesting random stuff, like picking rosehips from the side of Kennedy lake and turning them into a sauce for the duck to be roasted. Sometimes it's about the things we make. But lately, as my life has taken many turns and tumbles, it is really to keep you posted on what I'm up to and how I'm doing.

A long time ago there was a tradition of once-a-year form letters that people wrote & tucked into their Christmas cards. Then came the big blanket emails that some of us sent out to everyone, not wanting to repeat themselves or to save themselves the labour of writing out the same story 50 times over. For me, at this moment in my life, I bypass all that rigamarole and keep a blog. The Adventures of YarnSalad.  Some people check it regularly and each time I make a new post, I tweet it and post a link on Facebook.

I was very surprised then to hear that someone who follows me on Twitter and is also a Facebook friend only realized yesterday that I was back in town. I've been back for a month. With all the ways I go to great lengths to keep in touch with people, communication can still fail and I have to accept there is nothing I can do about that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

tearing me apart

I should probably wait until this big wave of emotion settles into calmness, but you know me, I'm "in the moment".

Just had a text conversation with Dan. He met with an immigration lawyer today and is pleased with the outcome. For some reason, I took that same information as the prolonging of agony. He said average is 90 days, could be as long as 4 months. I now know what four months without him is like and I don't like it one bit. Ninety days means end of January. I was really hoping to see Dan by Christmas.

But the lawyer told of a case where the processing of a French woman only took 11 days from the time the papers were filed, so who knows. If there is such a thing as looking on our case with compassion, I hope they do it. I hope they do take into consideration that form I signed at the border in September where I agreed not to attempt the border without the right documents. See? I'm cooperating.

It's the not knowing that is killing me. I miss my husband tremendously and missing Dan is by far the worst of it. But uncertainty is also this big evil cloud looming over my mood.

So what happens next is the filing of the documents by the lawyer and then (if I understood Dan correctly) within 30 days she'll have a timeframe to give us. I will be in pins and needles for all of November. 

On the bright side (because I must think of a bright side, since that will help me get through this), in terms of knitting, Christmas is not that far away. If I operate on the assumption that I will see Dan at Christmas, I have a lot of knitting to get done before then. My sister's daughter would like her requested yellow mittens soon, well before her birthday, because the weather is turning cold there. Ok. And I started a new project yesterday. I shouldn't have, because I already have several projects, but as Christmas *is* coming soon, I couldn't help but cast on. And I won't even be able to tell you about my knitting for the next two months because most of the recipients will read my blog. (See that? I'm distracting myself from being sad. YAY knitting).

I am also very moved and touched by the outpouring of support I have received here and on Twitter, as well as my friends in Victoria and on the Island. Whenever I have encountered my friends here, they are sorry about my circumstances but happy to see me. Knowing I have such support and that I am loved by so many really does help me get through this trying time, and for that, my friends, I thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a mouse

I woke up before my alarm this morning and noticed the kitty wasn't beside me. She sometimes sits on the mat beside the bed, staring intently at or simply facing the small dresser.

I hadn't heard anything so I thought nothing of it. I pulled out the bottom drawer the other week and vacuumed under, looking to see if there was evidence of something Sam might be interested in. No, just dust.

This morning, a little while after Sam had resumed her position beside me, I heard some scratching that sounded like it was coming from underneath the dresser. Crap.

Neither Sam nor Yuki, the house cat, are especially good mousers. Sam can catch birds, mice & other rodents, but then she doesn't quite know what to do with them. Usually she thinks the thing to do is bring them in the house and let them go. Here you go! Presents for you! Look! It's still moving! Um, thanks cat.

Sam really got good at hunting when we were living in East Sooke. She had pretty much unlimited access to outdoors and forest, so there were thousands of hiding places. I can't tell you how many times we have had to pull everything out of a closet to trap with a box the mouse that was hiding there. It got to a point where I would keep a box around for the purpose of catching mice. I was pretty good at it too, I might add.

My sister's cats, farm cats, are expert mousers. Being farm cats, they must hunt for survival. One of the cats, Piper, was especially good. She would regularly bring home (only to outside) several mice a day. I know this because she had this special meow that alerted everyone that she had just brought home a tasty morsel, and the other kitties would come running. Unless Roxy the dog got to it first.

So, bother. I'm not excited about a mouse in my living space. It will be impossible for me to find it, so I will have to put out a trap. Near the end of our time in East Sooke, Sam had quit hunting but we still had infestation of mice. Turns out they were getting in through another part of the house, not from our suite but there was only a door that separated us from the laundry we shared by the landlords, so I often saw mice coming & going under that door. We put out glue traps.

Placed correctly, these are actually quite effective. If you are tender hearted and don't mind handling rodents, you can take the trap outside with the live mouse still in it and set it free. It takes some doing though, involving vegetable oil and cotton swabs, as you have to unstick the glue from this wriggling little creature. They are stressed out and trying to escape, which often leads to even more sticking to the glue, so you have to be careful what you unstick first and last.

Yuck. I hate the idea of dealing with that now but really, it's better than listening to them squeak squeak squeak as they die.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

words that make no sense

I'm confused.

I really like the whole world of social media. Except by "social media" I really only mean Twitter and blogging.

I was on LinkedIn for a while but it really seemed like a big old popularity contest and I reaped no benefit from it, so I left. I hate Facebook and every day find more reasons to find it loathsome. I had it on my screen earlier today, walked away for a bit, then an audio ad - a commercial - started blaring out of my speakers and I had no idea what the heck was going on. I find that kind of assault SO offensive that I make every effort not to go to Facebook. And yet I have friends who only seem to interact with their Internet peeps that way.

What I will say for Facebook and LinkedIn, is that they are real words with real names and meanings.

But as social media programmers try to find the next new big thing, and as bending and reshaping words seems to be in vogue, even though the new words might not hold any meaning (yet), it seems that social media sites are popping up with new and confusing names.







I listen to a lot of podcasts and engage with many people via social media and many of them use some of these other sites. Last night there was something really interesting happening with the Oakland police violence, and it was being documented on Tumblr, but I could not access it from the newly downloaded Tumblr app on my iPhone. Today somebody posted something on Plurk and, not wanting to be out of the loop, I signed up for a Plurk account.

It seems like some of these sites are trying to take over the domains where Twitter, Facebook and blogs have taken a deep-rooted hold long ago. It's just too many. I know that not everyone will come join me on Twitter (though I wish they would), but thankfully programmers have allowed some applications to be used in conjunction with their own. Case in point, my five most recent tweets show up here. I am glad of that! And just today I did a thing on Facebook where my tweets can show up there too. It will save me from ever having to log into Facebook again. That would be awesome.

having a good week

I love being able to put that as the title.

I haven't worked since June, and haven't had an income or means by which to support myself for several months. Living without money is stressful, and living too close to the bone is rather uncomfortable. It can be paralyzing, really, and for me that can be emotionally debilitating.

In the last few months at my job at the Tofino hospital, I paid into a pension plan. Since I'm not likely to remember the meager contributions I made when I am of retirement age in 2039, I opted to withdraw those funds now. But I had to wait three months past my end-of-employment date. I thought this would mean they would just send me a cheque but no! They sent forms to fill out. And they sent them to Alberta.

So my dutiful sister sent it off to me in Victoria and I received it Monday. Fill this out, send us proof of identity, and we will send you a cheque. You can do it by email YAY. I scanned and emailed the documents. Fingers crossed that this little cheque will arrive in the next week or two. It would really help.

I also started working on a project for Jeff, my former boss, former professor, dear friend and great cheerleader, who is the Director of Clinical Informatics at the BC Cancer Agency in Victoria. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it but it is something that I am very interested in and it is just what I need. Another relief.

I haven't needed any medicine for a few days. I'm still coughing a bit here and there, but it's nothing like it was.

Dan has been having some good days off in North Carolina too. He even cooked for himself two days in a row. This is a big deal, as when you're alone & working long hours, it's often just easier to let someone else do the cooking.

I've been enjoying having meals with my housemates, which is at present Dan's sister and brother. When Zola and I got home from Cowichan Bay on Sunday night, Thor made us omelettes. I have cooked the last two nights. The great thing about cooking here? I don't have to clean up!

I haven't been knitting as much as I'd like, for some reason I'm very busy (doing what?). But I have a list now, a list of things that need to be knit before Christmas. Not everyone will get knitted gifts this year, and that's okay. But my almost-seven-year-old niece requested yellow mittens so I have started those. I'm making them on the big side, will line them with fleece.

So for some reason, I am feeling cheerful and optimistic about the future. Dan will see an immigration lawyer on Friday to see what our options are. He has been informed that because of what we have been through already, and that we have been apart for five months, that they will look on our case with compassion. Also after having signed that document at the border (the one that said I will not attempt entry until I have the right papers, that I will cooperate with Customs & Immigration) will also work in my favour. Fingers crossed. I'm a good person, dear America, really, I will do right by you. Just let me in, okay? I really miss my husband.

Ok I think with that I'm going to attempt my first post-cough/cold run, then bake cookies.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Chicken Chickens

I love chickens. When we were living in East Sooke, our landlords had chickens. Five hens and a rooster by the time we left, but it always changed. Sometimes the racoons got in, sometimes there were two roosters, chickens came and go.

If you have never had the pleasure of just hanging out with some happy chickens that aren't confined to a cage or the inside of a barn, you owe yourself a favour. There are so many breeds of chickens and some of them are quite beautiful. Not only that, they are quite personable and will love you if they think you have food. My mother in law is fond of chickens, and there are many paintings and sculptures around the house that feature chickens. I remember seeing a chicken calendar in the condo in Missoula. I can see why they hold such fascination!

I spent the weekend in Cowichan Bay with Toni and the Skipper. They have several different breeds and I never did get a full bird count but I think it is eight hens and three roosters. They all have names and personalities and were just a delight to watch in the back yard. I was finally able to take some photos and I'm just going to plaster them all below, unceremoniously. Note the gorgeous rust coloured feathers on the roosters. Here you go!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stacey vs. flu

So there's this flu and I that have this battle every day. It goes like this.

Me: [cough cough]
Flu: ha! I got you!
Me: NO [denial] I'm fine. I just need tea. Or soup or something.
Flu: How about I make you HURT ALL OVER
Me: Acetaminophen!
Flu: Oh yeah? How about I fill your chest with heaviness and pain!
Me: No way! I went to London Drugs last night and bought some Guaifenesin to kick your ass.
Flu: well you have me there, but it's only temporary.
Me: Yeah flu so I'm going to go about my day and you'd better just leave me alone


Flu: I noticed you forgot to take the Guaifensin. Take THAT! BAM!
Me: You bastard. Come here cold drugs


Sleep may or may not happen. If it does, it is likely to be intermittent, as I wake up coughing. Not a big cough, but just a stupid low, tickle-my-throat nagging cough. I take an extra strength Fisherman's Friend and try to go back to sleep. This has been going on for a week.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to get out for a run every other day. Yesterday was my run day and I didn't go because I wasn't feeling great. I want to go today, especially since it looks to be the last nice day before the rains come, but I fear the searing pain in my chest I will feel if I go. Sometimes it's okay to let yourself be sick, right?

You may recall I was incredibly ill in August. I was very sick for three weeks, and then it took rather a long time to recover completely - so long that I'm not sure I actually did recover completely. I'm not nearly as bad now as I was then (felt like a dull knife was being dragged through my lungs every time I coughed) but it is enough to be annoying.

Ok. So now what do I do? I want to exercise. My muscles are asking to go running. My lungs are not interested. Yoga would be a happy compromise, I suppose. I just feel blah. And it's a very wishy-washy sort of illness, since I'm not flat-out sick, it's just sort of nagging, like the younger sibling that hangs around no matter what you do to deter them.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I have lived in a few places in the last two years and it has me confused about recycling, garbage & environmentalism.

In the greater Victoria area, it is common for people to not flush the toilet unless there are solids in it. This has changed somewhat with the advent of low-flow toilets, with a little button for pee and a big button for poo, but on the whole, only brown goes down.

Victoria also has a sophisticated system of recycling. Everything. Whatever doesn't get picked up at the curbside, there is the Pacific Mobile Depot that makes its rounds in the capital region each month where you can take your soft plastics, your old computer parts, your Styrofoam (why did my computer insist on capitalizing that?). For many people in this area, they will only have one grocery bag a month that goes to the garbage, for all the recycling and composting they do.

When we lived in East Sooke, we had (I had) a great compost system. I had the black compost bin that I threw kitchen scraps into, and that was only if I didn't give them to the chickens first. (Having chickens around is awesome. They eat slugs). I also built a three-bin compost system for processing large batches which gave my garden lots of yummy nutrients for my plants.

Things were a bit different in Ucluelet. They do have garbage and recycling curbside pickup, but you couldn't put your stuff out before 8am on collection day because of the bears and raccoons. Very few people had compost bins for the same reason. And they did not accept glass for recycling. Water was plentiful, so there was no concern about water conservation (it is, after all, a rain forest).

Then I spent the summer in Alberta. On a farm. No such thing as curbside anything. No compost. Garbage went out to 'the pit' to be burned at some point in the year. Very few farmers recycle, but my sister does. In fact, she has quite an elaborate system of recycling whereby there is a place in the garage for everything that the recycling depot in Camrose will accept. Once a month or so, my sister will drive it all in. As for water, it's on a well. A stinky sulfurous brown water well, but there was plenty of water. Flush the toilet every time, please.

Back in Victoria, I have to overwrite and re-learn all the rules from before. Where does everything go?  What are the rhythms of the house? What can and cannot be recycled? I'm confused, see, because I'm in a borrowed space trying not to upset the fine balance of the people who live here. They are very forgiving, thankfully, and not tyrannical in the slightest. It's an interesting thing to think about though. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

got my run on

Please forgive the bad grammar in the title. I just couldn't help it.

Last week Dan bought me new running shoes. I think they are the first pair of running shoes actually purchased in a running store, not from a shoe store. Today I broke them in.

I forgot when we were shoe shopping that I wear an orthotic in my running shoe. I don't wear the orthotics in the rest of my shoes, so never thought to bring it with me when we were at the store. I pulled them out of my old shoes and slipped them into the new ones today. The fit was slightly different but not in a bad way.

As luck would have it, I went out for my run before the torrential rains began today. I haven't run in two and a half weeks (between moving, travel, spending time with Dan, and resettling in a temporary location) but instead of doing an easier run, I continued on the plan with the Couch to 10k app on my iPhone.

I don't recall if I have mentioned this program before. I did it years ago (before there was such a thing as iPhones) when I was training for my first 10k race in 1999 or 2000. I'm up to week 6 day 1 today, which after the 5-minute warm-up has me running 3min walking 2min 13 times. I was working my way through this program when I was at my sister's house, on the treadmill. What a difference to be outside!
I ran through the Ross Bay Cemetery, then turned around and headed back south on Dallas Road. Near Ogden point I turned in to the streets, ran through James Bay and Beacon Hill Park before heading back. I logged 5.47 miles with my Runmeter app.

I'm seeing Victoria through new eyes. When we left the area (living in East Sooke) a year and a half ago, we were desperate to leave. After living in two quite different rural and remote locations since then, I have a new appreciate for the city. Everything is within walking distance. I can ride my bike. There are still flowers in October. Gourmet and Asian food.

As I ran by the peacock in Beacon Hill Park, I resisted the urge to say hello "haawOOOw!" (I can do a mean peacock impersonation) and it reminded me of Spilly Jane. (Why? I think she mentioned something about peacock coloured nail polish on Twitter sometime this summer).

In slightly unrelated news, yesterday I was invited to and attended a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's family's home. I keep forgetting how different I looked when we moved away. I was 30 pounds heaver and had brown hair. I sure don't get tired of the compliments. :-) However, I have remained at the same weight for about three months now. I've gone up and down a pound or two, but I haven't really been logging with my LoseIt! app (what got my whole weight loss started in the first place). So in one sense, it's good that I haven't gained any weight back. But I still have 20-30 pounds to go until I'm where I want to be.

So I'm training for a marathon. Victoria is a great place to get going on that because there is TONS of support. I have people here I can run with. Kinston, when I get there someday, is also full of runners. I don't know which marathon I'll end up running but I am determined to do it before I turn 39. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Flattr me

Hi friends,

Have you heard of Flattr? It's this way of making small contributions to people who produce content you like. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a few blogs, and even though we all do this because we love producing the content, it would be nice to have a bit of income from it. Podcasts sometimes help defray their production costs by sponsors or Donate buttons on their websites, blogs have the option of having advertising on their pages. I'm tossing around the idea of doing this also as I'm about to ramp up my blogging schedule (I'm not working, see, so why not bust my ass to create content?). I first heard about Flattr a few months ago and have been thinking about it for a while. Check it out. If you like my content and have a few cents to spare, why not join Flattr and help me out a bit?


Friday, October 7, 2011

what a week it has been

It's hard to believe that a week ago I was on the way back to the Island with Dan. That two weeks ago, I figured by now I will be settling into my new life in North Carolina.

Well, if there is one virtue that Dan and I share, it is our adaptability. We seem to be able to cope well in a crisis and to support each other in times of need. Yes getting rejected at the border sucks. So did having the cat try to wriggle her way out of her harness at a roadside stop, forcing me to clamp down on her hard lest she run away and climb up a tree in the forest. This left me with deep gashes, bleeding, with a torn (favourite) shirt, and a wicked bruise on my knee. But I was not going to risk losing my cat. I'm mostly recovered from my lacerations, and the bruise is getting smaller.

As I'm getting used to the idea of being here at least until Christmas, I am actually excited about the things I can do while I'm here. On the top of my list is visit all my friends. That alone could take until Christmas! (I am so lucky). I'll spend all of next week looking for jobs and I expect to have at least one offer by the end of the week - there are tons of jobs in Victoria right now. While it would be great to get a job in health informatics research or at least something to do with writing, I can do just about anything I set my mind do. Mountain Equipment Co-op (Canada's REI) is hiring.

Dan and I were walking around in downtown Victoria today. Oddly enough, that's something we haven't spent much time doing. When we lived in Victoria and East Sooke, our downtown Victoria experience was largely just parking somewhere and going to a restaurant. We love food, after all. Today we decided to go down to Munro's Books, a long-standing institution of Victoria. Again! We made off not having spent any money but I have decided on the slow cooker book I want - the one by America's Test Kitchen. When half of the house's current inhabitants clear out in the next few days, I will set to my cooking experiments.

I don't know what it is, but I can't stop thinking about food. As in cooking, technique, and gourmet flavours. Dan has been experimenting with food and watching all those cooking programs for years and I was the happy guinea pig for all his experiments. This last week since we've been together in a food lover's paradise, I too am taking a ravenous interest in honing my skills. I'm already thinking about what the family might have for Christmas dinner (our Pizza Christmas was a hit in 2009). I guess Dan and I have been able to distill what is really important to us in our life, which is each other, and food. Would the family be okay with okonomiyaki for Christmas dinner? What about a line-up of slow cooker dishes? Thinking, thinking...

Oh, Munro's. It's such a great book store. I love Bolen, for it's massive selection and proximity to bathrooms (it's in a mall), but Munro's has a more focused selection, not chosen for mass appeal but for the discerning reader. There were easily five books in the cooking section I could have walked away with. I also had a chance to see Melissa Morgan-Oakes' newest book about knitting socks toe-up 2-at-a-time. I learned how to knit socks with her first book, so I'm a big MMO fan.

But I can't buy stuff right now. Can't. Need an income first. Victoria has so much to offer to people who have money. I'm not even allowing any yarn shop indulgences until I can confidently pay my bills. But when I do have a bit of extra cash for my knitting habit, I will need things like a shawl pin, some buttons, some Trekking and Wollmeise yarn. It would be nice to someday be able to afford enough nice yarn for a sweater - I've never knit a sweater for myself before.

Which brings me to Christmas again. It's terrible. I usually start thinking about Christmas in July - as in what I will knit for everyone. I don't need to knit for everyone (and in truth, this year, if I do have money, I have some fabulous gift ideas for everyone. It's very helpful to live under the same roof as someone to know what they would appreciate as gifts). I just like knitting. For everyone. And that might mean the projects for myself get set aside until Selfish Knitting Season (in January).

While we were in Mountain Equipment Co-op, Dan encouraged me to look at winter coats. I don't have one. Not any more. Got rid of all my cold weather stuff in anticipation of moving to a hot climate. I found one I like, and as it happens, it is only $145.

I fit into a size Medium! I didn't want a black one, but I wasn't fond of the plum colour, so black will have to do. I will have to wait until November to buy it (money) because today we bought me new running shoes.

We went to Frontrunners and I must have tried on 14 pairs. I have had bunion surgery on both feet, one of which is coming back, and my feet are wide. They are also pronating slightly so I need a bit of arch support. I tried on every suitable women's runner that came in a wide size, and they were all too tight. Tried a few men's and voila! A perfect fit of asics. Turns out they were the cheapest pair.  Not only that, but with the Victoria Marathon happening this weekend, I got an extra 20% off. I will keep a log of how many miles I put on these shoes, because marathon runners advise that after 300-500 miles, shoes need replacing. I have never suffered any real running injury, and would like to keep it that way, so I follow all the advice of the marathon runners that have come before. I am determined to run a marathon before I turn 39 in 2013. Join me?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

game face

Yesterday was a hard day.

So since being slapped in the face by the US border last week, Dan and I have been trying to figure things out, what our next step is. We have a rough plan, but mostly it is on hold until he goes back to North Carolina and I have some time & space to clear my head here.

Meanwhile, yesterday we unloaded the truck. I was pretty organized with packing, so most of my stuff is in Rubbermaid bins with plenty of labels. I thought I would only have to have my stuff packed for a week before I could unpack in my new home. I thought I would not need to find my only sweater, my rubber boots, all my knit hats. I don't have any mittens!

My (step-) father-in-law had cleared some space in the basement for my bins, and we moved it all in. I cannot tell you how terribly sad and emotional it was. I didn't get the best sleep the night before last and I have been highly volatile since the great rejection. The littlest thing would set me off. I spent way too much time crying yesterday, and I'm not even really sure why. I'm not someone who cries a lot so this is a big deal (and so is telling you all about it).

As nice as it is to be surrounded by loving family, it is hard to be in this house. It is small and there are currently six people and two anti-social cats in it. There is not much space for me or my stuff so I'm feeling a bit squished. Sam and Yuki have met now, and with Sam being female and half of Yuki's (male) size, none of us are excited about just how these two felines will sort out this awkward living arrangement. The room I'm staying in is on the way to one of the two bathrooms in the house, the only one with the shower, which makes it difficult for the rest of the people who live in this house who would like to use the shower. Luckily, everyone here is easy-going, but I would still like to be less in the way. When Dan's mom & stepdad head to Montana in a few days, I'll move downstairs into their room.

Dan has been making me breakfast every morning. That first morning, on Saturday, when he placed my plate in front of me, I cried. You have no idea how starved I was for food with flavour, nutrition and a passion for cooking.

This is what Dan and I have realized. Number one of importance in our life is that we be together. Number two is that we have good food. I am finally accepting the label of 'foodie', as we both entirely analyzed our dining experience the other night at glo on the Selkirk waterway. (Our appetizer arrived after the entree; the beer was off from unclean taps; the coffee was terrible). The cr√®me brulee was good, but why ruin it with crappy coffee? A common oversight for high end restaurants is that they don't have their serving staff trained up as baristas.

So yesterday to cheer ourselves up we went to Bolen Books. We spent most of our time in the cookbook section. I made a list of books I would like (and I'll see if the library has them to test drive them first) and a list of books that Dan, my amateur gourmet chef, should probably have. Of course I popped over to the knitting section to see what was there. They didn't have Little Red in the City, the latest book by Ysolda Teague. Nothing else interested me. In fact, we left Bolen empty-handed. Can you believe it?

This speaks to our new philosophy. We have spent the last six months paring down and getting rid of stuff to the point that we are ultra-conservative in our new acquisitions. Dan is planning to get a Kindle, so that's part of it. But still. Books. There is something sumptuously visceral about a book. A new book. I saw that Michael Ondaatje has a new book. (You may recall that I read Anil's Ghost every November. I don't know why, I just always have, ever since it came out).

And for me, I think I have mentioned this before, I have few clothes. Not much appropriate to this climate. I'll spend some time combing the second-hand clothing stores (and there are dozens in the greater Victoria area) while assembling a new wardrobe. I have a new fashion sense now, as well as a new body to dress (I spent so many years being heavy and frumpy, it's like starting from scratch), so this will actually be a fun thing I can do while I'm waiting for a job.

So yes, things are looking up. Something good will come of this, I keep telling myself. I went to one of the four local yarn shops in town and bought a new pair of double pointed needles I have never tried before, and now that I have worked in the yarn industry, I have a different set of standards of what I look for in a yarn shop. So much fodder for future blog posts. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I've been with Dan for four days now. What a roller coaster it has been!

We arrived in Victoria late on Friday night to a house of smiling faces. Welcome! Your bed is made! Do you need help bringing stuff in? We have plans for Thanksgiving! After about an hour of talking, we made our way to bed.

Yuki the house cat has been here a long time. He has some vision issues which makes him seem like a not to bright kitty, but really he just wants to be loved. Apparently he has issues with other cats, and there are many in the neighbourhood. We brought Sam upstairs and although we've been here for two days now, I don't think they have met yet.

What a marked difference. It took about two weeks for Sam to feel comfortable at the farm, what with the other cat, the puppy, and the two small (read: noisy) children. Sam has been pretty good here. The house is pretty quiet, Yuki is the opposite of aggressive and thus far absent, and we have spent most of our time in the privacy of a closed room & bathroom.

I worry about Sam a lot. She has travelled more than most my family. She is from Korea, flew to Alberta, flew to Victoria, flew to Edmonton, drove to Victoria, drove to Ucluelet, drove to Alberta, drove to the US border (sadface), and now back to Victoria. She has never liked travelling but this leg from Alberta was especially good with her cute kitty loft. At any rate, Sam is pretty happy in this house and I'm not worried about her.

Dan and I have arrived at a conclusion. The most important thing in our life is to be together. This may sound simple and obvious, but before we had this big continental separation, years ago, we talked about lots of places we'd be willing or unwilling to live. We know now for certain that as long as we are together, we can overcome any hardship, make a go of it no matter where we are.

We just have to be together.

Dan will take the Clipper to Seattle on Saturday, then fly back to Raleigh that night. That means I have just under a week to relearn what it is like to be with my husband, for us to etch some new memories, go to our favourite restaurants (Carlo's Cantina, here we come!), and to settle me in with my in-laws. We're trying not to think about our impending separation, just to enjoy the time we have together.

We've both lost weight and changed shape. We discovered the other night that we fit differently. We have less padding. With Dan getting his brewing muscles back and me training for a marathon, by the time we next see each other, there will need to be further readjustment when cuddling. Who knew?

I have been pretty low-key on Twitter over the last few days as Dan and I have been hanging out. I haven't been interacting with my Internet friends very much at all over these last few days and I am extremely behind on listening to podcasts. I might not get back to them until after Dan leaves. I am fairly certain I will be available for the upcoming #knitchat (6:30pm PST, the "fastest hour on Twitter").

Food. O. My. Goodness. Victoria has food. As in food culture. I didn't realize what a food desert I had been mired in until I realized that I could get good Japanese food, I have a whole wealth of excellent restaurants to go to, and I don't have to worry about the tastes of picky eaters. (I love my sister and her family, but they are certainly not very adventurous foodwise). I will get to do some cooking of my own too. Dan's mom & stepdad will head south for a month or so, and when Dan leaves, I'll be sharing the house with two of Dan's siblings. As they are both students and we are approaching winter, I'm sure they will be happy to come home to soups & stews in the slow cooker, some sweet & savory snacks, and my cooking experiments. I want to learn how to do Japanese cooking, for when I'm in a place that has no good Japanese food I know how to make it. There are several Asian markets in Victoria that I can get groceries at. It's good.

The other thing I will need to work on is clothing. I have very little clothing left that fits me and that is appropriate for winter on the Island. I made due with little all summer, as Dan told me to wait until I got to North Carolina to buy clothes. What do I do? My style is changing so I'll have to go hunting for some clothing. How long will I be here? Long enough to want to invest in some good pieces? I don't want to be frumpy any more. There are dozens of used clothing stores in town and I'll have time to haunt them. I'll need some shoes. Some of the pieces I acquire will depend on the job I end up getting. It will certainly be interesting.

So yes, I'm making lemonade of the situation. When I have some more time and feel a bit more settled, I'll have a bunch of other stories to share with you as I am planning to blog way more regularly.