TOO MUCH TIME

 RANDOM & (EXTRA-) ORDIONARY THOUGHTS during a bus ride

From Coquitlam to Burnaby

                                                                                                                                                       To fully appreciate Justin Bieber you need to be a teenage girl! Our male dominated household is a “Bieber-Fever – Free Zone!”

Blame it on my ears:  Katie Perry, Kelly Clarkson & Carly Rae Jepsen sound like one to me!

The movie”JACKASS” should be renamed into ‘Dumb Asses”.  Honestly, who comes up with this dangerous, disgusting stuff? Men?                                                                        While I am thinking about movies:  I don’t see the attraction of ‘The Walking Dead” either

 On the other hand, I think Peter Griffin is cool!  “Family Guy” beats “South Park” any day!

 What is it with men and their obsession with black socks?

 Forget about reading “50 Shades of Grey”. See what 50 shades of black socks do to your libido when you try to match them back together!

Best invention in the sock department: The ones with the names of the week printed on.    Or buy hiking socks.   They make it even easier to get the right foot into the right sock: They have the letters written on them!  This is a wonderful no-brainer for early in the morning.

The best invention for homemakers who are in charge of the laundry: Colour catchers! These sheets of paper changed my life! They save so much time and deliver what they promise!

Is it too late to teach our boys home etiquette? They need some fine tuning! Why can’t they compliment me on a job well done when I present a new dish? Instead they are yelling: “Don’t like it”.

Joey’s mom in Korea, (he is our exchange student) you did something right here: Your son would NEVER, EVER say something like that to me.  If he doesn’t agree with the new dish he quietly reaches for the ketchup bottle! He is a clever one.

 Mom was right when she told me fewer, but thicker rolls of toilet paper last longer than single sheet rolls.

Please anti-wrinkle cream – manufacturers, tell the truth, are your creams really working? I have reached the age where I want to believe your promises!

What happened, can’t “multi-task” anymore!.  I was able to read an e-mail, respond to it, answer the phone, watch TV and talk to Dominic – all at the same time!  Now I need quiet and peace to do one or the other! BUT, I am still able to make yoghurt and crunchy flakes at the same time!

Blueberries and pumpkin spiced lattes are an acquired taste.

Why should you drive with 16 and drink with 19? The other way around makes so much more sense to me..                                                                                                                                                                            Drink when you are 16, get shit faced many times over, puke and get it over with. Then become a responsible driver with 18. You won’t have any desire to drink anymore (or at least not so much).

I wonder where I will find Cruz’s well hidden birthday present. Probably at my next spring cleaning.

It was brilliant how Brando cracked the combination lock of our new suitcase. He watched YouTube got on with it. Scarry what teenagers know and learn from their downloads. But in this case, very helpful indeed – and easier than you think!

Wouldn’t it be nice to become Penny’s roommate and hang out with Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj? Would love to meet Howard’s mother …

Don’t know whom I am talking about? It’s the Big Bang Theory!

Would you like to add to this random rambling?  Please let me know!

Advertisements

Plan Ahead & Seize the Moment

 I love having a plan or spending time on making one! And since I became a mother I also like to have plan B and C in case plan A falls through.

It is Monday morning. After some strategic planning, the day was all accounted for.  The plan kept me moving and talking from 8.45 in the morning till 3pm in the afternoon.

By 9am, 15 minutes into my first appointment I realized there was no plan anymore: My lady friends stood me up! One due to flu and the other one due to miss-understanding!

I could have gone home, feeling sorry for myself and finish vacuuming the basement – the  Hoover was still out.                                                                                                                                                                

Instead, I thought “Sod it” and set off on my own (the basement will still be dusty when I come back). I did what I planned for the morning:  a brisk walk through our wonderful nature. This was a wonderful opportunity to have some ‘me’ time while trailing through rocky, muddy and wet terrain.  Ignoring the bear warning signs, I set off into unchartered territory.

If I have nobody to talk to, my brain has vivid conversations with itself. Marching through the morning mist, inspired by the colours and beauty around me, I couldn’t help but thinking:” How many meanings are there for the word “Snicker doodle?” (E.g. Have you been snicker doodled before?)  How will I celebrate when my book “Very Berry Extra-Ordinary” will hit the No.1 spot at Amazon .com?  What is the best strategy to get onto the Oprah Show? (I should get her phone number and call!)  If somebody will hand me one Million Dollars, what is the first thing I would buy?”(Pay off the house first or rather go on a cruise- or better still pay off our parents homes and then go on a cruise?) Ok, this is not mind blowing, world changing stuff, but these issues needed to be addressed anyway.

What am I saying?

Plans are good – but be prepared to have them changed!

And more importantly, seize the moment!

Like the previous Friday when I decided to reinvent myself as the next master chef!  The day started off with no plan, and all of a sudden there was one! The rainy morning was a perfect excuse to hang out at the library and stock up on weekend reads, i.e. cookbooks.

The Cauliflower Gratin caught my eye and after following the instructions step by step, the dish looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook.

Or on Saturday when I was forced to change my Saturday afternoon plan for our teenage son.  It involved a 45 minute car ride to pick him up from his soccer match.  He inconvenienced me – again- because he forgot one of our family rules: communicate with your parents if you need their help!  But, this trip turned out to be a blessing. Forty-five minutes alone in the car with your son can be turned into bonding time if you ask the right questions and keep the radio on low.  In Holland our children were always on their bikes and went everywhere on their own (much shorter distances, bicycle paths and street lights everywhere). Here, they still need us to get from A to B.

If we always wait for somebody else to join us, or if we need constant reassurance from somebody else, or if we ask permission to does something then will never get things done!

We don’t need to wait till the 31th of December to reinvent ourselves or to change a habit or to start something new. Let’s do it right now. The right moment, the right time, the right circumstance doesn’t exist! The right time is now!

We all should do what we planned for today – even if it means we have to do it alone!

To me, this is what being Extra-Ordinary is all about!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-10-10

This is my tenth blog, this is our tenth month in Canada and here are 10 wonderful adjustments we made to our previous, European life:

                      

No more random ‘drinking’!

I am still not over it and have to stress it over and over again: The liquor prices are ridiculously high!  Just looking at them makes my eyes water! If we want to stay on track with our immigration fund, we have to suck it up: Intoxicating liquids are for special occasions only.  Luckily, there is always something to celebrate! On the other hand, the big bonus is when you have a spontaneous get together, everyone brings their own grog!

Coffee – to – Go! 

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” True to this saying I am blending in: My thermos filled with delicious home brewed blend follows me wherever I go.

Cycling

My bike has turned into a tool for recreational purposes only. Gone are the days when I used it purely for transportation. Blame it on the distances! The upside of conquering the steady inclines and steep declines? It beats an indoor spinning class any day!

Let it rip

Not any more- at least not on the Autobahn. The speed limit on highways is between 80 – 110km/h. No wonder it takes forever to get anywhere.  Surprisingly, hardly anybody drives within these limits, but still enough drivers do and it forces us to slow down!

Good-bye repairman / Hello handy husband

No more expensive maintenance and replacement costs for household appliances. Follow these simple steps to get your new part within 24 hours (written from the mechanically challenged woman’s view):

Let your husband find out what’s wrong with your dead appliance.                                                                                           

     Take out the broken part, find the serial number, order and pay for the item over the phone, pick it up the next day and let your husband finish what he started!  

The following is the Dutch or German protocol for getting an appliance fixed:                                       

  Make a phone call, stay on hold for at least 10 minutes, make an appointment, (lucky you if you  get a date within 5 working days) and receive an allocated time slot for the repair man to show up e.g. between 9-12pm. On day in question take time off to stay at home, (don’t leave the house for any reason whatsoever!), the repair man arrives (normally at 11.55am), he will fix the part – or order a new one- which can take up to 10 days and he leaves. If your appliance doesn’t have warranty anymore you are stuck with the bill for the repair man and the new part. Oh, and I nearly forgot: Ladies, no chitter chatter with the friendly repair hunk, keep to the bare minimum: Companies will charge you for every minute their representative spends in your house!

 

Asian Influence

 Our fourth official language at home is now Korean (next to English, German and Dutch).                                        

    We added chop sticks to our array of forks and knives.                                                                             

    Our children are getting a beating in the daily ping-pong tournaments. But in time they will get better and will be champions in their own (Caucasian) League.

Bargain shopping

As I mentioned in “The Move”, costs of living are high.  But here is another trick learned while being the conscientious housewife: Collect coupons and follow the trail of weekly deals!

 Value Village is a paradise found. It’s my favourite spot to go whenever I have some time to kill (a community charity store with everything you can imagine on offer – and more).

Shopping across the border is much cheaper in every possible category. If only the border control officials were friendlier…

Lessons learned: The local Farmers Markets are for treats and not for stocking up on fresh fruit and veggies! Of course you can buy your heart out if you truly believe in supporting the local producers of organic, pesticide free goods – bear in mind you will be charged up to 4x the common prices.

Emergency Help

If one of your children happens to break an arm (as our youngest son did), go straight to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Don’t waste your time with any other hospital which doesn’t have a paediatric department! Simple reason: the anaesthetist won’t treat your child- the risks are too high if they are not trained and specialized. In our case we received calming (morphine), soothing pain relief (gravol) but had to travel to another hospital to receive special care (an operation on our son’s arm)!

Added sugars

When you take the time to read food labels you will notice that most pre packed food items have additional sugar added to it. In order to get back to my former, tight, 6-pack tummy I was forced to start cooking again with fresh ingredients only. I never said I am a Martha though…

TV in small doses

We stopped watching regular TV! The frequency of commercials is driving me crazy! I prefer Netflix: You pay $8.oo/month and have access to TV shows, movies, documentaries… whatever the heart desires. The disadvantage: They are not new, but the big Plus is, no commercials and no week long waiting time to watch the next episode. Our first addiction was “Prison Break”- (we are talking long, long nights, every night for three short weeks). To this day it still puzzles me how anyone could stand the suspense and wait one week for the next episode? Our next Netflix project is “Damages” – which falls under our category of “a great night in!”

These were truly 10 wonderful, extra-ordinary months. Have you made any adjustments recently? Do you have thoughts to share? Please let me know! I would love to hear from you!

Until the next time – with an update of one of my favourite events of the year: Halloween!