Sunday, September 13, 2015

Drive In

Over the summer, there's a drive in movie an hour or so from here. We thought we'd better check it out. Because it's a double feature & finishes at 1am, we figured staying over was probably a good plan. 

I booked us a room at a local motel, it looked okay on the interweb...

When we arrived, a scary woman with not many teeth took my money and told us to drive around the back and go in that way. Down a shady alleyway we went, past the dumpster with a homeless guy fossicking about, past a huge pile of rubble, and through a really really shady looking door which we assumed was going to lead us into the actual motel. 

The room wasn't so bad. Clean, two beds, operational plumbing. Yeeha. Okay, so the motel complex itself looked like something out of an episode of Criminal Minds, but the pool didn't have a dead body floating in it, so we were winning. Just in case, we took all our good stuff out of the motel room again when we left to go to the movie. 

We stopped to get something to eat on the way to the movie and came up against the fun of Canadian liquor licensing - you can't go into a pub/restaurant with kids as you would in NZ. You instead have to go to a 'Family Restaurant'. Oh joy. Apparently kids aren't actually allowed to eat food here, they have to eat chicken fingers & french fries & giant hunks of raw veges with mystery ranch dressing, and that's about it. We really need to do some research before we try to go and eat anywhere again. 

The drive in was awesome! We got there pretty early, word on the street was that the Minions/Jurrasic World double feature was going to be pretty popular of a Saturday night, and it was best to get there well ahead of time. We scored a sweet parking spot, set up camp, and had a brilliant time. 

Reaaaaally need to learn the words to O Canada before this happens again...
With immaculate timing, the kids crashed out in between the Minions finishing & the dinosaurs starting, which meant we could watch Chris Pratt and his raptors in peace and avoid months of dinosaur related nightmares. 

On our way into town on movie day, we came upon a mysterious produce stall decorated by giant dinosaurs and other creatures. And goats. The goats were real. They (the shop, not the goats)  sold fruit & veges, and sausages, and all sorts of weird random delicious stuff. We went back the morning after the movie to eat giant hotdogs for breakfast. Splendid! After the whole dinner failure we figured really good hot dogs were an excellent breakfast option. 

Morals of the story : the drive in is awesome, the motel is scary & next time we should take our tent, and the dinosaur goat vege shop is the best place to eat in that part of the valley. 


We had a pretty shit cat experience a few months back. Being from a land where there just isn't anything that's going to eat your pets, we really didn't expect that wild animals would be roaming the streets. 

Sadly, up here, there are wild animals roaming the street. Coyotes mostly, but a month ago I did see a photo of a bear in someone's driveway a few streets over. Ermmm....

Anyhow, we've learned our lesson, and having an outdoor cat around here is a pretty stupid thing to do. Poor Nala had an ace life with us, albeit a short one, and I'm sure she's chasing moths up in kitty heaven. 

After spending a week crying because I was the most crap cat owner in the world, my friend Emma found out that she & her family were on the move, and shifting from Toronto to Japan - and their beloved Digsy wasn't able to make the move with them. After we had to rehome Boomboom & Puma when we moved, I totally understood how she was feeling, and asked if maybe she wanted him to come and live with us (after promising that he'd never go outside & get eaten by anything). 

Digsy got on a plane in Toronto, and made an epic cross country journey to Kelowna. 

After a month or so he's warming up - he comes out at night to watch Trailer Park Boys and hang out with us, and he's even starting to show himself to the kids (who scare the crap out of him with their noisy feet upstairs). 

And luckily he's never been outside, having lived in an apartment for his whole life! Hurrah! He doesn't know what's out there, so can happily live a fabulous life, safely inside the house. 

And he even camouflages with the rug. 

Six Months Later

Commitment to regular blogging - 0/10 . Ahh well. Six months between posts isn't so bad.

What's news then. 

* Survived the longest summer in history. Whoever the crazy person was that decided 10 weeks is an appropriate length for summer holidays is a psychopath, who hates everyone.  Had a few fantastical adventures, a bit of camping, a mission to a fabulous drive in movie (and a stay in a motel which looked like a location for an episode of Criminal Minds), and a lot of swimming in the lake. Thank god for a swimmable lake, it was a hot hot hot summer. 

* School went back this week. Hurrah. Jarvis got a spot at the school which is a short walk from home this year, no more catching a bus past that school & down the hill to the next one. And finally, after living up here for almost eight months, I've met some nice people in the neighbourhood (aside from my awesome friend next door who is amazing, but eight months & only one friend nearby is a little weird). Pretty tough crowd round these parts. 

* Harvest is imminent. Like next week imminent. Boo. Back home, I'd shove the kids in the car & go somewhere when shit got busy, but that's not going to work out here as a) I have nowhere to actually go, and b) instead of a two week school holiday falling in the busiest part of harvest, school has just gone back after a ten week break. Gifts of alcohol, chocolate, and caffeinated beverages welcomed. 

* Halloween is also imminent, which is way more fun. Jarvis had me sew a jedi robe for him last week, the perfect halloween costume. Especially as it works with the weather & you can make it seasonally appropriate pretty easily. Halloween is a BIG DEAL where we live. I probably should start drawing up plans for themed landscaping now. 

* Celebrated school going back by having some alone time & going for a run (a fine way to avoid cleaning the house). Probably unwise to go for a long run after several months of doing nothing. Ouch. 

That's all for now. I hear some kind of Jedi/Clone battle going down on the trampoline which I probably should check out. Ka kite. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Craft Fair!

Hurrah! I applied for a spot at this fabulous craft fair a couple of months back. Lots of amazing crafters & work at home mums are vendors, it seems quite fabulous! 

Anyhow, I hadn't heard back, so figured I'd missed out - until the vendor list appeared online, and I saw myself on it! Somehow the email had gone missing, so I had no idea!

So now I have three weeks to get some fabulous crafty goodness to share with these Canadian lovely new sewing machine can prove its worth!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Go on then, a list...

And a crazy photo, Olive decorated me up ;) 

My lovely friend Elaina ( gorgeously had me in her list, and I havne't done a list in forever. Today will be that day! 

Making:  A bloody mess & a lot of (decaf) coffee. I think the coffee is a psychological thing ;) 
Cooking: A pretty weird assortment of food. When Shane's away I kind of lose the will to cook properly.
Drinking: Coffee! And white tea with Jasmine. The gorgeously fabulous coffee maker below was a present we bought ourselves to celebrate moving to the other side of the world! Also a wee bit huge amount of red wine of an evening to celebrate surviving the days with Shane away! 

Reading: The Chimes, by Anna Smail. Quite hard work on my addled brain, but a really great book. I think I need something light to read alongside it. 
Wanting: Shane to get home! Only a few more days...
Looking: at all of the boxes still unpacked & wishing they'd magically do it themselves. 
Playing: Guitar with the kids at Olive's preschool on Fridays. Fun :) 
Deciding: What to make for Jarvis' birthday party on Friday. 
Wishing: Everything was unpacked & in its place. And that the kids clothes were organised in some way! 
Enjoying: Spring! 
Waiting: to meet Shane at the airport on Saturday night. It's been a long month. 
Liking:  Getting to know our new cat. She's pretty cool. 
Wondering: if there are any really awesomely fabulous people in my neighbourhood for me to be friends with! I've met one really nice lady, but surely there must be more! 
Loving:  Watching the kids play really hilarious imaginary games the past week or so. They're great. 
Watching: The Blacklist - watched about a zillion episodes over the past week. 
Hoping:  the warm weather hangs around! I'm liking not having to turn the heat on! 
Marvelling: at central heating ;) After living in NZ and working so hard to heat our house, central heating is like magic! 
Needing: To get out for a run. Can't really ditch these two here so it's been a month of no running. 
Smelling: Beautiful soy candles mum made & sent in with our stuff. French pear is my fave. 
Wearing: All of the dresses I haven't seen since December! 
Following: My lovely friend Clare and missing her to bits! 
Noticing: Walking out the door & seeing green leaves on trees which were bare last week. 
Knowing: Shane will be home on Saturday night!!! Hurrah! 
Thinking: I must vacuum the house...but it's such a big house! Ugh! 
Admiring: My beautiful drawings by my even more beautiful friend Jessica . So wonderful to unpack & find them. 
Buying: Crap for Jarvis' birthday party. 
Getting: nervous about said birthday party. I don't think birthday parties here are quite the same thing as what I'd usually do...
Bookmarking: sewing ideas for if I ever actually manage to make space to sew. Or can stay awake long enough to sew. 
Opening: Birthday parcels from NZ
Giggling: at the things Olive comes out with. She crept into our room the other morning & informed me she can transform into a robotic cat. 
Feeling: tired, mostly. Grateful to have our stuff though :) 

Home Sweet Home!

Hurrah! We have furniture! We've had furniture for almost two weeks, and for almost two weeks I've been trying really hard to unpack it (ha ha, with limited success). 

We left NZ in such a hurry (it was less than two months from the day we found out we were leaving til the day we left), and the fabulous husband was so busy at work wrapping up his job, that I got pretty overwhelmed by the organising of stuff and as a result a whole lot of stuff ended up here which really should have gone to the op shop/rubbish dump/anywhere other than here! Lunchboxes with no lids, anyone? 

Just to add to the all kinds of crazy, the fabulous husband has been away for work pretty much all month - he was home (hurrah!) for three days, one of which happened to be the day our stuff arrived! That was very auspicious.

So, husband away, and spring break. Two weeks of small children on holiday who open boxes, rip everything out, and throw it on the floor. 

Opening the boxes is a bit like a lucky dip. We'd put almost all of our stuff into a storage unit when we put our house on the market (again, at great speed), and because of the rush there wasn't so much organisation involved. The moving men had to repack everything that was down in the storage unit for insurance purposes, which means 80% of the boxes have completely random contents! Clothes, a bit of fabric, a frying pan, a few my little ponies! 

Anyhow, with Jarvis' birthday party on Friday, I need to at least get one level of the house looking like less than a bomb site. Not sure if I'm winning, but I have a couple of days left...And fortunately I have wine to keep me going!  Anyone want to fly over & give me a hand? :D  


Friday, March 6, 2015

A dress?

Hmm, perhaps this could keep me entertained whilst the husband is away for work? I bought Gertie Sews Vintage Casual a couple of weeks ago, and it's pretty much my ideal wardrobe. I need to put my new sewing machine to work pronto! 

Wherefore art thou, Furniture?

Well hello there! An update from the land of (now melted) snow and ice at last!

We moved into our house on February 2nd - hurrah! It's flipping enormous, they don't seem to do small houses in Canada. Our whare in New Zealand was 100 square meters all up, this place is over twice that size. Lucky we've always had way more furniture than house, huh ;) 

It also has such fantabulous features as this little balcony thingee overlooking the lounge, purpose built for me to recreate 'Don't cry for me Argentina'. Disturbingly this is what I've always wanted ;) The kids are thrilled with the stairs, as Jarvis has had a thing for a few years now about really wanting a house with stairs. Long before the whole 'skip the country and move to Canad
a' business came up, Jarvis told me we really needed to get rid of our old house and get one with stairs.

One of my favourite things (besides the evita balcony) is the sewing room/office. There's actually a room we can leave set up permanently for sewing. It's not a guest bedroom, it's actually a spare room.  The desk was a good score - it was in pieces in the garage, and my fabulous husband reassembled it for me to use as a sewing desk :) Now I just need my sewing stuff to arrive!

Really we just want all of our stuff to arrive. It sucks being at the mercy of the sea! Initially it should have been here February 20th...then March first, then March sixth. It *should* get to Vancouver today, which means by next week the airbed can be deflated, and the house won't echo like a cave any more ;)  Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to be camping in our own house than renting someone else's, but I've actually been dreaming about sleeping in our bed, then waking up to realise that we're still on a borrowed air mattress.

And having over a month in the house without the furniture means I've had a whole lot of time to plan where I want stuff to go! Which means I can get the moving men to put things on the right floor, avoiding the need to move bookcases and stuff up and down staircases when I change my mind about where it needs to go! (find the silver lining!)

Anyway, so far so good - we have somewhere to live, the kids are loving school & preschool, and I'm figuring out all of the logistical stuff to keep us ticking along. Winning :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

View from the 18th Floor...

Not too shabby, huh. 

Since arriving here three and a bit weeks ago, we've been living in a condo on the 18th floor, smack bang in the middle of town. Awesome to have somewhere to live, as opposed to nowhere! Big congratulations to those who live in an apartment with kids & don't go entirely crazy though - these two are not designed for the indoors & it's been a struggle to keep them entertained (and contained) the past few weeks, especially while the weather outside was particularly wild & chilly. 

Thanks to one really spectacularly fabulous real estate guy, and a marvellous mortgage broker, we're moving in a week, into our own house! You have to pay a fairly epic premium to get a mortgage as someone new to Canada, but after selling our house in NZ, and considering how crazy low the interest rates are here compared with NZ, we figured we might as well put down some roots. Stay tuned for our new whare, come Tuesday next week!

'Til then, I'll hang on the deck on the 18th floor (in my coat), have a glass of wine, and admire the pretty spectacular view of Lake Okanagan. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Don't forget your snow pants!


It's quite the challenge for a newbie to snow to get the kids out the door in the morning correctly attired for the day. On Jarvis' first day at school, I had no idea he'd need his snow pants, or that he really should show up to school wearing them as they have to play outside until the bell goes at 8.30! Soggy child? Hmm. Whoops.  Then one day last week, Olive had removed her snow pants from her bag before we left the house - half hour drive back across town, another half hour back to preschool, to make the all important Snow Pants Delivery. My somewhat shambolic organisation methods were way easier when it didn't really matter if the kids even had shoes! 

This morning he'd left his snow pants, and his mittens, in the classroom - we had to get a teacher to sneak us inside the building so he could hunt the whole lot down & get himself warm, it was about minus three outside so his trackpants weren't really going to cut it! 

It's a little weird adjusting to the way school works here, in NZ I was in the school so much that I could wander in & out whenever I fancied, all the kids knew my name, and I could just rock into the staff room and make myself a cup of tea any old time. I'm going to fill in the police form you need to volunteer in class here, that way I can infiltrate & see what's going on in there for myself ;) 

There are logistical matters with all of this clothing too - you can't wear a puffy jacket in a carseat, so the boot gets loaded up with an explosion of down and nylon, which children then get bundled into when we reach our destination. And as Olive and I are only at school for a few minutes, I think we spend longer putting on & taking off her warm stuff than we actually spend doing the drop off!

I think I need a whiteboard checklist at the front door to make sure everyone's got every single thing they need before we leave the building! And we need to get ready to leave about ten minutes before we need to go, as it takes that long to get it all together...

But, once they're all in their snowman costumes, these two crazy critters absolutely love the snow. Olive spends her whole day at preschool doing roly poleys down snowy hills, they think it's absolutely brilliant. Nice of Kelowna to put such a display on for us too, a couple of days after we arrived they had the biggest snowfall they'd had in 40 years! 

So, we're here, Olive thinks she's actually turned into Queen Elsa, and Jarvis has found some buddies who enjoy Lego Ninjago as much as he does. Winning, I think? 

xx K

Kia ora, Kelowna!

Well, here we are! Canada ahoy! Moving across the world is good for ones sense of adventure ;) 

We've been here almost three weeks - the kids have a new school and preschool, we're temporarily living in the middle of town, in a condo on the 18th floor! Soon we'll shift out to a suburb closer to work and school, but for now it's nice being able to get my bearings around town, and get less terrified of driving on roads with other cars (not much traffic in Motueka!) and snow! 

I'll make an effort to be a good blogger now that I should have something cool to write about! 

xx k