cherrypumpkins

Reflections of life


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Setting Down Some Roots

Finally, after more than 5 years of living in Canada, we are in the process of buying our first house. Exciting and scary times ahead. After 2 years of being debt free, we are about to take on the biggest debt we have ever taken in the past.  It’s supposed to be a good debt! Investing on borrowed money!

After 5 years and paying almost $100,000 in rental payments, we are finally going to pay our own mortgage off. I can’t begin to express how I feel.  Maybe this will be the something that was missing in my life for the last 5 years. Somehow,felt like a visitor still, was here on a work permit, not really feeling settled. Feeling very negative about everything, though desperately trying to feel positive!

So, what buying our first property here is like setting down roots…And I hope it will bring me the peace within myself.

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Playing the waiting game

It’s been a while since I penned anything down. Just glancing at my last post, I was talking about the sale of our house in the UK. Well, that’s all done and dusted. We had a lovely if somewhat manic 2 weeks in England in the summer, and triapsed to the Gower peninsular on our arrival, scattering mum’s ashes in Rhosilli Bay, followed by a scrumptious dinner with the family. We stayed at a lovely penthouse apartment in Swansea. I will do a review of that at some later point. The next day was spent wandering around Mumbles, reminiscing our many holidays and weekend trips down to see mum and dad whilst they were still living in Langland.

We then left for Bristol and spent a lovely evening with the Greenslades. The following morning we left for Nottingham and headed straight for Beeston, reuniting Jasmine with her best friend Laura. Mitch managed to hook up with some of his pals but it was all a bit hit and miss. Laura’s family very kindly put us up for a few days.

We stayed 4 days in the end, the extra day waiting for Mitch’s friends to return from their holidays. We left for London on Friday, minus the kids and stayed with Karen for the weekend. It was lovely if somewhat strange not to have the kids with us, which was in all intents and purposes a family holiday. At least my kids were having a family holiday, spent with their friends’ families!

We did a few sights in London, visiting Kew Gardens, London and Tower Bridge, The Tate Modern, The V&A and Harrods of course. On Tuesday, we headed up North, back to Beeston to pick Mitch up and we then drove up to the Lake District, staying in Ambleside. Jasmine was already there having been invited by Laura’s family to holiday with them.

We took a boat ride on Lake Windermere and did a short walk along the lakeshore and had a few good meals. All too soon it was time to return to London, to meet up with the family one last time before catching our flight home on Sunday.

It was lovely for all the cousins to get together and what a blast and a laugh we all did have. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Our flight back to Toronto was delayed by 4 hours. So, having returned the car early to save a day’s car rental, we had many hours to while away in the Queen’s Terminal at Heathrow. It was all done up and very pleasant. We had dinner at Yo-Sushi, one of our favourite haunts when we lived in the UK.

Now, on to the waiting game bit. We are still awaiting on the outcome of our PR application. 13 months have come and gone and we have still not heard form the Canadian immigration department as to whether we’ve been granted landed immigrant status. It’s playing on our minds a bit and stopping us from making too big a financial commitment towards anything. Dave’s Lexus needs some exhaust pipe work doing and will cost over 1K, and we were thinking of changing the car as it’s now 10 years old and has done many miles. We were thinking of buying a house but have put this on hold as the prices are ridiculously high and also we are uncertain of our future here in Canada. We would ideally like to stay until both kids finish high school. But this may not happen of course, if we do not get our PR. It’s all a bit up in the air and fairly unsettling. Sigh.

I have started teaching crochet and knitting at Michael’s in Markham. It’s been good so far, though there are many classes that go unfilled, meaning no students have signed up. My next doula contract does not start till the end of November, so I have been busy crafting for the Thornhill Moksha open day.

Anyway, going to end here as I have to get ready to leave for work at Michaels soon.


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Take a few ingredients and make a soup- Celeriac and Apple Soup

There were some ingredients from my organic box that I get delivered every week from Mama Earth Organics, http://www.mamaearth.ca and in my fridge that needed using up. What better way than to throw it all in a pot, boil and then pulverize to make a yummy soup?

Ingredients

1 large celeriac bulb cut into 1cm cubes

1 large onion chopped

1 leek chopped

3 carrots chopped

1 apple peeled ,  I used a dessert apple chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

about 1 litre water boiled

20 gm butter or thereabouts, you can use cooking or olive oil if you want

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried parsley

Salt and pepper

Some freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cream

 

These were all ingredients I had handy, I guess I should rename myself the handy soup maker!

First, heat pot and melt butter or oil if that is what you’re using. Toss in the onions and leeks and fry till soft but not browned. Add spices, herbs and carrots. Fry for 1-2 minutes, add celeriac then last but not least apple. Stir and fry till apples start to soften a bit.  Add the stock cube, crumbled into the other ingredients. Boil a kettle of water, pour over all ingredients until all ingredients are covered with water.  Add more if you want a thinner soup. Put lid on pot and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, test the celeriac, if it is mashable with a wooden spoon against the side of your pot, it’s cooked. Time to pulverize! I use a kitchen aid hand blender but you could transfer to a blender to blend all ingredients until you get a smooth soup. Check seasoning, and viscosity. If you want a thinner soup, add some water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve  garnished with a swirl of cream if wished, some freshly grated black pepper, and grated parmesan cheese. We had it with some nice home-baked bread and lashings of butter!

 


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A Post from My Baby’s FB Status…

Canadian Healthcard renewal pinball – the all new life-game. Drive through different countries, meet the government officials and Border Guards and try to work out exactly what each department does as they direct you to various different locations, websites and call centres. Surf the net for forms that can’t be completed and take subways to various parts of the city to find the clues to progress. Fight to maintain your sanity as the sceptre of bureaucracy chases you across the gameboard and batters you against the barriers, ringing bells in your head. And the prize? a replay in 2013!?
Not counting renewing Jasmine’s passport, which was fairly straightforward in comparison, It’s taken us 6 days and over 700Km driving – visited health place 3 times, inland immigration twice and US 1.5 times (US Border Guard wouldn’t let me in second time but we got to see the Canadian Border Guards who sorted us out with little fuss. And when you get the right documents, getting the health card is easy peasy…Phew


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Damper Start to the Year of the Water Dragon…

CNY is supposed to be a time of joy, celebration and happiness…. but for a person who’s away from their family, a person is in an interracial marriage, it can also be a time of extreme loneliness… trying so hard to not think of all that I am missing out on, have missed and will continue to miss the more years I am away…. It’s like in the UK, where it is said that Christmas and New Year can be a very stressful and lonely time, when really it should be a time of great happiness… stressful because family get together and but they don’t get along, and lonely for those who do not have family around, or feel they don’t belong… there have been many an episode of US sitcoms about the American Thanksgiving day and how stressful and lonely that could be… we should give thanks for all this stress?

Don’t get me wrong, Dave is great and helped with the spring cleaning, shopping and getting the house ready for CNY, but the events of last week put a damper on things and I feel it’s ruined things.. I know I shouldn’t let it, and rise above it all, and we have, but it would have been lovely to have had my family here to have jolly me along…

Reflecting is all part of being self aware, sometimes it’s great, but today…. I am looking at most of my life’s choices and decisions and wonder… but why waste time wondering, it cannot be undone, what can be done is to look at it, dissect it a little or maybe look at it under a microscope, learn from it and move on… getting into gear is the first hard step, but once gathering momentum it should be plain sailing, mind out sticks…. Cherrypumpkins is a coming….


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How Many Blogs Does A Girl Need?

Trying this out for size, is it any better than blogger?

Am feeling a tad down, blue and homesick today…

On the plus side, tenants in the UK have asked to sign a 12 month lease! Yippee, hurray, one less thing to think about… no increase in the rent though… oh well, you cannot win em all….

The year of the Water Dragon, well the water bit has really put a damper on things, I’ll say,  but having the right equipment, like and umbrella, and the right clothes, like a waterproof coat, all helps to keep the wet out!

Now that we have synchronised Visas , life should be plain sailing… yeah, right, who am I trying to kid?