Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's That Sound?

So we were laying in bed last night (more accurately, this morning at 5am) chatting when we both stopped and were like "What is that?!". I crawled over the bed to the window and it was... RAIN! I don't think we've had rain in 8 or 9 months!
Even though rain is awesome (because well it means it's at least warm enough that it isn't snow!) I'm kind of glad it didn't last. The reason for this is because weather up here in the delta is kind of funny. It seems that weather kind of gets "stuck" so if we have sun we'll have sun for a while and then if it rains it seems we have clouds and rain for weeks. (this happens a lot in the summer, we'll have a few weeks of AWESOME weather and then it'll rain and then our summer is over).

So I've been spending a good majority of my time packing and I have 8 boxes sealed up with another 4 in progress... I have one empty 2cu box left and I'm not done the packrat room yet so I'll have to go get more boxes tomorrow I think.
I think the packrat room is the biggest packing job and once I'm done that things should go quicker.
My tentative leaving date is the end of August (my boss is actually trying to book me a points ticket right now) but I'd like to be packed up before we go to Victoria on the 19th. Just because then it's done and I won't have to worry about it since I won't be back until July 8th and then I have the festival to concentrate on.

So I thought that once I had my visa a lot of the stress & anxiety would be gone. Yeah, SO wrong. I had the WORST dream last night (why I was up at 5am). I suppose having anxiety attacks in the middle of the night is preferable to having them during the day while I'm at work or the grocery store or something though...

Temperature: +13C+
Sunrise: n/a
Sunset: n/a

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Wait is Over!

Look what I got in the mail today:

We weren't sure how I was going to find out. A lot of people get emails from their case officers and I got a surprise when I picked up the mail (I'm not going to lie, I cried a little at the post office).


Here is my timeline in case anyone is interested:

16/03/09: Sent application to processing centre in Ottawa
20/03/09: Application received by Australian High Commission in Ottawa, case officer assigned.
08/04/09: Letter received requesting medical check and passport to be sent to AHC in Ottawa.
22/04/09: Medical complete.
29/04/09: Medical information received by AHC in Ottawa.
07/05/09: Passport sent to AHC in Ottawa.
12/05/09: Passport received by AHC in Ottawa.
20/05/09: VISA APPROVED!!
25/05/09: Passport received by me with visa sticker!!!!

So it turns out that on paper my visa was approved exactly two months after my application was received by them.

We are SO relieved that it's been approved and we can start planning how the next 4 months are going to go. I can actually start packing, I can start selling all the stuff we won't take with us and I can start just "letting go" of all the stuff that doesn't matter - especially when it comes to work.
Now to start making lists of stuff I have to do and figure out the logistics of it all... Getting there isn't what I'm worried about, it's the whole forwarding mail/taxes/CPP/EI/keeping credit cards stuff that I'm most worried about actually.


Temperature: +9C
Sunrise: n/a*
Sunset: n/a*

*We're a day or two into 24 hours daylight now. Worrying about my visa being denied had me TOTALLY distracted and I forgot about it until today. It's such a gradual thing so you don't really notice when you have sunset for 2 hours vs 0hrs.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Whole Lotta Nothin'

There hasn't been much bloggable activity going on up here lately. I've been way stressed out with everything that's been going on so I've been trying to not do too much besides relax and lay in bed.

No news on the visa front (they've had my passport for a week now) which is the source of most of my stress and is actually causing me to have anxiety attacks and really awful anxiety dreams. Fun times. Yay for ativan!

One semi exciting thing we did was go to the Giant Colon Tour. The nerd in me was super excited to go (I've gotten pretty acquainted with this body part over the last year with having Crohn's) but I was actually a bit disappointed. The sound wasn't working properly inside the colon and with all the air pumps (it was inflatable) you could hardly hear all the nifty facts on the TVs inside.

Our weather has finally gotten a bit better - we had over a week of snow, clouds and freezing cold (sorry Alberta, I think you got it from us!!) so that's improved my mood a bit -- SUN!! We're probably about 4 days away from 24hrs of daylight and even though we have a (brief) sunset now, it's not getting dark.

There has been no crafting going on (maybe another source of my misery?) so I've got to get back on that... I need to get some pieces for the arts festival done (as well as order prints... Oh man :-( ) and I need to start working on my quilts again.

Anyway! I better get ready for work!

Temperature: +8C
Sunrise: 3:56am
Sunset: 1:52pm

Saturday, May 9, 2009

mini update

About a week ago I emailed my Immigration Case Officer regarding sending in my passport (basically my question was if I should attn it to him or send it to the regular address) and I asked if they were able to let me know if/when my medical had been received by the office.

The date that my passport had to be in was coming up quick so I sent it on Thursday before I'd heard back from my CO (they want it by the 14th)
I got an email yesterday letting me know that they received my medical on the 29th of April (I wasn't expecting it that soon! And of course I get the email the day after I send my passport!)

So I wonder if we're getting close? Yesterday was the 7 week mark from when they received my application and they told me that decisions are usually made between 12 and 16 weeks. 12 weeks is on June 12th (yes, we printed out a calendar and we've numbered the weeks and are crossing off the days!) and I'm wondering if it's going to take that long or if we'll hear back soonish?

You better believe I've been scouring the internet for stories of how long it's taken other people (even joined a few forums!) but there aren't a lot of people in a similar situation (applying offshore for a spouse visa). There are A LOT of people applying for skilled worker visas and those take waaaaaaay longer than spouse ones.

Definitely resisting the urge to spend all my time looking at the photos from our trip to Australia in 2007!

Temperature: -3C (feels like -9C ---- we had snow yesterday!! booo)
Sunrise: 5:05am
Sunset: 12:39am

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Furniture Tetris

So you'd think that not blogging for a few days would mean that I'd actually have something to write about today, right? Wrong!
I haven't been doing a whole lot (of interesting things) since I got home. I worked on the weekend and had two days off which was spent rearranging the house. Normally I don't mind moving furniture around but this was kind of done to save my sanity. Someone extra has joined the two people that live upstairs and he stomps around the apartment right above my head while I'm trying to sleep. We've complained which didn't change a damn thing so the only thing left to do was to move the bedroom. I didn't think that our bed was going to fit in the other room but it actually does (I swear I measured it when we first moved in otherwise our bed would've gone into that room the second time we moved the house around).
Granted I sleep a little later than most people due to my work schedule but this dude's stomping starts the moment he gets up (so y'know if I liked to sleep until 9am I'd be outta luck). The last straw on Monday was that he woke me up stomp-stomping at 10am so I got up for a few hours and AS SOON as I went back to bed he started again. It was like he knew I was going back to bed!***

Anyway that's seriously what my life has been filled with since getting back from my trip. So now the "packrat room" is in the room where our bed used to be and it's the biggest disaster EVER. So that's what my life is going to be filled with.

I desperately want to be doing some sewing but I don't have the time or the space right now (our apartment is so small that in order to move rooms around things have to be emptied into the kitchen AND livingroom and the livingroom hasn't quite recovered). Hopefully soon!

A beach on Galiano Island
(totally random lol but I figured I'd throw in something nice after my angry rant)

Temperature: -7C
Sunrise: 5:15am
Sunset: 12:29am

(*** We never heard the other two people upstairs -under normal circumstances- Sometimes the teenager would have friends over and they'd run around and scream at lunch time. But their daily comings/goings/watching TV/walking around was never heard. This whole getting woken up thing is new since this dude has started spending A LOT of time up there.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm Back!

I made it back home yesterday after two very long days of travelling... I can't even tell you how nice it is to be back home in my own space. Not that my trip was totally crappy or anything, it's just nice to be back home (my bed! my computer!). And without sounding too sappy, I really missed Glen. 10 days is a long time and I really missed his company.

I just put all my pictures from my camera onto the computer and there actually isn't a lot. I think it means I was really busy -- too busy to carry my camera around with me. I'm pretty sure there will be more picture taking when we're back in June.

So a summary... Monday I flew to Whitehorse and did some running around (yay Wal-Mart and A&W!) and went to bed super early so I could catch my flight to Vancouver. I was so paranoid I'd over-sleep (since I normally wake up at 1pm) or that my clock would malfunction that I set my alarm clock, my phone alarm AND called for a wake-up call. It did prove to be over-kill but better safe than sorry! I don't think I would've been so paranoid if I didn't actually have things to do on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday I flew into Vancouver and took the PCL bus from the airport into Victoria. This turned out to be a nice stress-free/affordable way to get over to the island. I met a really nice South African woman at the airport and we hung out on the ferry. It was her first time in Canada and she was really nervous about making sure she was getting on the right bus/right ferry and getting off in the right place. The only hitch about the whole trip down was the fact that PCL misplaced one of my pieces of luggage. It came on the next bus so that was good but pretty annoying none the less.
Tuesday night I dragged my cousin with me to see Leonard Cohen. It was SO awesome. Our seats weren't the greatest (to the right of the stage on the side - so basically a profile view) but it was still pretty awesome to be there.

Wednesday I had my Immigration Doctor's appointment. Despite being sent on what felt like a treasure hunt, I think it went well. The place I had my x-rays done was pretty far away from the doctor's office. It had the same street name so it sounded close - thankfully my cousin came with me because I would've walked (and walked and walked) and it would've taken a billion years to get there.

Friday-Sunday was spent at Galiano Island where my Aunt & Uncle have a place. It was REALLY nice to be out there. We went down to the beach on Saturday and it was SO warm. We nad a nice afternoon looking for shells and other treasures.

Monday I met up with someone from the knittyboard for lunch - yay! (mmm Noodle Box!) I have to mention I was really good about resisting some beautiful locally made yarn. I think I deserve a prize in general for resisting many (many!) shopping temptations!

Tuesday I went with my cousin and her friend to the Maritime Museum.

Thursday I got up at the crack of dawn (seriously... 4:15am) to catch the first PCL bus out of Victoria to get on the first ferry to Vancouver. I was so nervous about getting on the bus and about them possibly losing my bags again that I didn't anticpate another kind of delay... Our bus broke down on the highway!!!! Thankfully (if you can say that?) it didn't break down until we were on our way to the airport so we didn't miss the ferry or anything but geez... What a pain. We had to wait an hour for a new bus to come and get us and I made it to the airport right on time (I checked in and basically had to go straight through security).
Once in Whitehorse, Teri picked me up from my hotel and we went back to her place where she cooked me dinner (mmm spaghetti! Seriously one of my favourite home made meals) and we went for a walk. It has to be said that her daughter is probably the happiest most relaxed baby I've ever met. We were best buddies by the end of the evening.

And that pretty much brings us to yesterday/today. All the days where I didn't list something specific were pretty much spent walking around and window shopping. The weather was fabulous the whole time I was there so I managed to get out every day and do something (that pretty much equals walking over to the mall to hang out and getting my fountain pop fix!)

It was SO strange to go from ice and snow to green grass and flowers (oh, the flowers!!!) but I think I went at a good time because it really feels like spring here now. There's water on the lake, all the roads are clear (I'll be putting the truck back in 2WD today!) and it's A LOT warmer than it was when I left!

So it's back to work today for two days before my days off. I'll go through my pictures and post a few more in the next few days. I have a panorama or two to put together. Right now, I'm going back to bed for a few hours.

Temperature: -1C
Sunrise: 5:45am
Sunset: 11:59pm