Six Months and Counting!

Afternoon All

It is a foggy, gray and rainy day here in Vantown but at least I am not suffering through 24 below and ice storms. Even the deep South has had snow overnight! Crazy!

On the 25th I celebrated 6 months in my new town. I called it my Vanniversary! Cute, huh? For anyone that has relocated to a new town, state, province or country, I think reaching 6 month mark is something of a milestone. It is a time when you know things have reached a wee bit of a settled state (hopefully!) and things will continue to become more and more familiar and comfortable and you should start feeling at home! A couple of weekends ago I was struck down by the worst bout of homesickness I have felt since moving here. It was crippling and while I hate to sound all dramatic about it, it was horrible to go through. However, a great insight came out of it and that was simply how important it is for us as humans, to have a Comfort Zone. I just never gave it much thought other than to try regularly to step outside it as we are encouraged to do and also, I just assumed that I was in one albeit a new one. Well, I got to thinking and realised that actually my comfort zone was a wee bit of a Work in Progress. Who knew, right?

Because I was worried I was on the brink of some decline from which I may never emerged, I googled ‘homesick’ and happened across an article highlighting the fact that when we move we lose our anchor points and therefore yearn deeply for what we left. We then need to find new anchor points which then need to remain stable so that we can begin to feel the connection to our new place. I found that really interesting and it has helped me alot to settle. My biggest anchor point has been my daughter who lives in Florida right now. It has been hard adjusting to her not being around but I got through that and am so excited that she will be moving up here in August. For a little bit, anyhow. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Spring is close at hand!!! That is a wonderful thing and it is getting lighter earlier and later and I can smell it in the air. Speaking of air, Vancouver has amazing, clean air and it always smells fresh which is just brilliant. No smog anywhere, ever!!!!!

As you all know, I have a kitchen ‘area’, not to be confused with having an actual kitchen and I am supposed to be experimenting and then writing about it. Well, I have not really experimented much at but promise that I am working on it! In the meantime, I am keen to hear from anyone who is a keen user of the Crockpot and to tell me what your most fave thing is to cook in it. Mine has been used for soup mostly and a few weeks ago I made an amazing Ham and Pea soup. It was fabulicious!!! So, get back to me with what you cook in yours.

If you are a Hellman’s or Best Foods Mayo person, both are good but this homemade baby is DELCIOUS and soooo easy:
If you’ve struggled to make mayonnaise using the drip method, this recipe demystifies mayo once and for all – just whizz it up and it emulsifies in seconds. You will need a wand mixer and a narrow jug.

Get making this mayo and share your Crockpot Creations with me.

Loads of love,



Age is just a number, right? Hmmmmmm!

Well, after nearly five months of looking I got a fulltime, permanent job!!!!! I was approached about it after a very successful temp placement with the parent company. It made me feel really good to be offered something based on a good impression I had made. It is a sales and admin role and is going really well with a wee bit of potential to develop. The money is not fab but I can pay my rent and eat and have a bit of fun so what more can a girl ask – at this point anyway. Vancouver is both notorious and infamous for it’s low hourly pay and generally we suck it up.

I guess the big eye-opener during the job hunt was being forced to realise that women over 40 (35 in some sectors) struggle deeply to get satisfying, well-paid work. We struggle to get any work!! I am now 52 and prior to coming here felt great about my self. I never felt my age, looked my age or had to battle with employment issues because of it. As time went on here, I started becoming very self-conscious, felt old, ugly and unemployable. My boss was looking for someone older who had lived life a bit and didn’t feel a need to rush off to be with a new boyf in Toronto. The older workforce is largely ignored here and this is in part, due to it being a city of young employers and recruiters. Don’t get me started on recruiters……!!!!! Anyhoo, because it is a draw for start-up geeks, is sleek, cool and trendy, a female in her late 30’s and on is not always seen as being of benefit to an employer. This is a shame because Vancouver women of all ages are stylie, groomed, smart and gorgeous. We have so much to offer in terms of knowledge, skill and life experience and while this is not recognised now, it will be. I will bet on it.  I am changed by the job hunt but am determined to get back to feeling good about myself again.

Sundays are the worst day of the week for me and the day that I feel the most homesick and question what the hell I have done by moving here. I thought about it alot to day and had an ‘ah ha’ moment when I realised that rather than missing New Zealand, there is something missing in me and I keep looking externally to find what that is. My friends and family here are all in cute little couples and I am spending way too much time by myself. My social life is uneventful and I don’t get out and do alot so that needs to be fixed. Vancouver has loads to do and I plan to get amongst it. My good friend said that she misses having a comfort zone. We are always being encouraged to get outside our comfort zones, but when you start a new life somewhere you become very keen to develop one. It gives you a familiarity and security that is really crucial to feeling at home. Things still feel strange for me and while I feel at home I don’t feel that ahhhhhhhh feeling yet. It will happen over time. I have only been here 5 months.

Getting back to the single thing……a bit over it really. One of my goals for 2014 is to open my heart up to meeting someone. I am often hesitant to ask my couple friends if I can hang out with them (my insecurity about it rather than them not wanting to). Also, I have been happily single for a long time now and while in the phase of feeling totally unattractive to the opposite sex, am more open to the idea of meeting someone than I have been so that is progress.

So 2014 has alot for me to go after and I plan to hug it hard.

Lots of love,