Tuesday, August 29, 2006

pics for posts from before

Here is the overly cool rockstar ToddlerJi sporting her very cool sunglasses.

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Then there are the beautiful photos of ToddlerJi and her Opa's grave making the flowers all pretty.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::8/29/2006 :: 8 Comments:

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Monday, August 28, 2006

jumps and lunch

Things aren’t going that much better on the home front.
We are all carefully coexisting and sticking to safe topics of conversation.
The main topic is about Island 22 Horse Park and the big event happening THIS WEEKEND!!!

It will be my first Island 22 in 6 years. I used to be in charge of the riders book and some of the money begging. In the last six years this has thankfully expanded to be a job for 4 other people and I am very happy about this.

I dove into a black hole called STADIUM!
Not sure what, or who, gave me the nudge to jump of the ledge but stadium is what I am doing with two other girls.

Before this the stadium was basically an ignored area.

Our group is all volunteer and any group that volunteers for a park or a sports organization knows that it is a thankless job, that often goes unrecognized by the very people that use the facility, is spat on by the district you are helping and the people work FAR more hours volunteering than they were originally quoted.

I have been a part of Island 22 since its conception so I knew what I was getting into but still…..
I spent a week and a half STRAIGHT, painting jumps with Adel in the blazing sun and mosquiters from hell,
and I must say


They are sooo bright and shinny and are going to dazzle more than one rider and hopefully horse. **snicker**

The third girl in our little group has a very young baby and wasn’t able to paint much until the end but she did all of the phoning around and wheeling an’ dealing for our new jump cups.
Our course designer is actually jumping up and down happy at all the work we have done. The jumps honestly looked like crap before.

Last weekend I worked with one of the main Island 22 men, and ToddlerJi who was great at handing things to me, and we got our special jump trailer all prettied up and covered in carpet so that our newly painted poles are sitting pretty.

I haven’t taken any photos: I so have to take some.

I will definitely be showing you tons of pics of the course all set up all brilliant and pretty.
Yes I am proud of the job.

Adel and I have been chatting away designing jumps for next year. We are a little overly excited about it.
Next year is our events 20th Anniversary and we would love to DAZZLE just a bit more.
Hehehe, I am sooo scheming away over here.

Yesterday was my Grandfather’s birthday, so Li, ToddlerJi and I headed out to Langley to have a lovely lunch with my Grandma, my one aunt and some cousins. I saw my cousin V whom I have not seen in 10 years!!! She has grown up so beautiful!

She is the second shortest in the family (not counting babies) and she is still 4 inches taller than me!! Yup I am sooo the shortest.

After we headed out to the cemetery again to say Happy Birthday to Grandpa. ToddlerJi was totally rearranging the flowers and when cousin P tried to join in and put the new flowers in the cup she had a tantrum melt down. She was doing it all by herself thank you very much. Goofy girl!
Ya she was tired.
We had a lovely afternoon though.
I have some beautiful photos of ToddlerJi fixing the flowers but….

I also got my computer back.
Dr. N, I will get to the bank, just that the DAMN THINGS ARE NEVER OPEN WHEN I HAVE TIME TO GET THERE!! Grr to all banks!
Anyway, brought the computer home and set it all up
I can not find the blasted power cord anywhere. I know I didn’t bring it to Dr. N’s so I am at a total loss!!!
Vanished!!! Like a sock in a damn dryer!!!
Gotta try to look after that tonight as well. Duh!
I will get the photos up here maybe tonight or tomorrow.
Then I can also answer some emails and respond to all of your comments properly.

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Friday, August 25, 2006


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Thursday, August 24, 2006

China and Mars

I might have found a hair dresser.
Unfortunately they are booked for the next two weeks but this will give my hair the chance to grow a bit more. I hope to do something different to it.
I need a change – new country, so new hair. Right?

We will see.

I have totally forgotten to tell you all about some photos I put on the web.

Back when we were in China we did some family photos. I was pretty insistent on it. After getting our amazing wedding photos done in Shanghai I was hooked. Hehehe
I didn’t want to spend any where near as much as we had for the wedding pictures but I still wanted some nice ones.

They turned out pretty good.
They are not done with the same professional quality that we experienced before and the customer service was not quite so wonderful either. Grr.
I think I may have actually gotten madder than Li. Hehe. And when he gets pissy that is a hard thing to top, let me tell ya.
But it worked out in the end and we got our photos.
Here are a couple.

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The entire album is here. I have these photos in a small hard cover book, all laminated nicely. We have one more book of only ToddlerJi photos that hadn’t been chosen for the main book. They gave us the book for a small price but refused to allow us the film copies. I will attempt to scan them when I have a chance. I should be getting my computer back this weekend.
I also need to add all of the photos from the China holiday. There are tons and I just haven’t gotten that far yet.

OH and do you all know about the really cool planet Mars thing this weekend!?!?!?!
It will be so close to the earth it will actually appear as big as a full moon in the sky on the night of the 27th!! And RED!!!! So awesome!
This happens once every 6thousand odd years or so,
so we all know what I am doing on Sunday night!

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::8/24/2006 :: 8 Comments:

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A rockstar slash model

ToddlerJi has started getting into the habit of wanting to bring a toy to daycare with her. I have been trying to make her leave it in the car but she can be pretty insistent. Her daycare lady is fine with it.

Sometimes she wants to bring a stuffed animal, other times her little toy cell phone.

Well yesterday was priceless. I was cursing not having a video camera with me.

She got out of her car seat and then proceeded to dive into the car and search under the seat for something VERY specific. Her feet were flailing in the air while she was digging around.
She emerged with her book (Chinese and English mixed) and her little red sunglasses.

She proceeded to tuck the book under her arm and then ask me to help her with the sun glasses. She then walked all the way to the door, up the steps, pushed the door open, and prissy walked into the daycare room like a Hollywood superstar – all with her sunglasses on and the book sitting perfectly under her arm.

I might add that these are bright red Elmo glasses and they have this big Elmo head rearing out the center joint.

She stood there surveying her surrounding prey, turned around and held her feet up for me to take her shoes off and then walked back into the room doing one of those runway model girls halts.

She came back long enough to give me a good-bye kiss before heading into the playroom for the attack.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::8/23/2006 :: 4 Comments:

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Monday, August 21, 2006

saying goodbye

Yesterday Li, ToddlerJi and I went for brunch at the Harrison Hotel.
Oyster!! Yummy!!!
Their brunch is expensive but good. I pigged out. ToddlerJi ate pretty good to.

After I had to bring Li to work and then I started out down the freeway heading towards somewhere. At first I was thinking of heading to the mall in Abbotsford but I didn’t turn off. So I thought I would head to the mall in Langley.

ToddlerJi was nodding in and out of a much needed nap so I was in a thoughtless zone.

Then I saw the sign for Fort Langley and went YA! I haven’t gone shopping there in a zillion years. So I turned off and headed toward Fort Langley. Halfway there it hit me; hit me hard, Grandpa O is buried in Fort Langley.

Grandpa O died just before I discovered I was pregnant. I was in Japan and not able to head home for the funeral. I felt awful for not going but was so glad that Grandpa was going to be in the same place as Alisha and kicking her into line. HEHE, Alisha always listened to Grandpa.
I cried at the time but I guess I never mourned the way I should have.

I had a great talk with a special girl yesterday morning and she reminded me that I was probably going through a silent morning period for Alisha again. I mourned well in Japan but here I am experiencing things all over again: pictures I haven’t seen in years, things and drawings that I keep coming across, turning the corner and seeing one of her old friends, the little girl in the park being called Alisha. (the little girl really threw me the other day.) I haven’t been letting myself accept it.

I have to admit that I have been thinking of her less since I came. I used to think of her a few times a day and was comforted by it in an odd way. Here I seem to be blocking the memory of her.

Well I guess the same sort of thing has been going on with Grandpa O. I never said good bye to him. Deep down I don’t think I really expected him to ever die. He was one of those kinds of people.

Grandpa J died shortly around the same time but it didn’t hit me as hard. I had seen him and spent some quality time with him the last time I had gone to Canada. I knew then that it would be the last time I saw him; just a feeling. I was prepared and not surprised. His ashes were also scattered, which has a different effect of me. Hard to explain.

Well Grandpa O was buried and ToddlerJi and I went to visit him. I couldn’t find his spot at first and called Grandma all in tears. ToddlerJi even came up to me and patted me on the back all worried because I was sitting on the grass in the middle of the cemetery crying my eyes out to Grandma.

ToddlerJi and I found the spot.
I didn’t bring flowers as I never knew that was where I would end up.
Grandma and L and been there a week before and had put roses in the flower holder. Because of the heat they had dried, so ToddlerJi took the out and crumbled them up all over Grandpa’s name and patted Grandpa’s name many times. She even talked to him for a bit. I talked to him as well about how I have been felling and stuff.

After we went to visit Grandma and ToddlerJi jumped out of her seat and walked straight up to her Oman ad gave her a hug.

Grandma and I had a great talk over tea with ToddlerJi playing and laughing hysterically in the background.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::8/21/2006 :: 9 Comments:

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Friday, August 18, 2006

trying to understand why....

My husband wants, no is demanding, from me what it is that is making me sad, upset and unhappy. We had a very long talk last night that went from productive to useless fighting because he just doesn’t know when to stop! Grrr.


I told him that I would make a list of what it is I am so upset about. So here it goes:

1. I left some wonderful friends back in Japan.

2. I had money in the bank and saving in which to do things when we lived in Japan.

3. I could travel so much easier because of that money. Moving to Canada depleted ALL of it.

4. I had an apartment in Japan that I called home.

5. I could go to a pub, any pub, a strike up a conversation with the person next to me. Here everyone feels cold and unsociable. Li and I have gone to the pub a few times and did not enjoy ourselves any of those times.

6. The service sucks in this country. Two minutes in Japan and you will understand what I mean. My mother and father can’t stop talking about the service they experienced in Japan and they were only there for a few weeks. (Mind you, service in the government sector still sucks, but I think things are that way in just about every country in the world.)

7. People here seem mean. My friend Heather said she found the same thing when she returned back. It is hard to put a finger on. There is just this oddness about the general public that I never noticed before and it is making me feel that way as well.

8. In Japan I used to walk with a happy content look on my face: here I walk angry, sad and standoffish.

9. I liked myself better in Japan.

10. In Japan I grew into a different person. Six years of growing in a different country, experiencing a whole new culture, got married and had a kid. I didn’t realize how much I had actually grown until I came back here. Only problem is that no one else seems to recognize the fact that I am a different person. They are expecting me to be the same Andrea I was six years ago – sorry, I so am not.

11. In Japan I was independent, Li and I were independent. Now we live in the basement of my father’s house. And even though I am really grateful for this, because it has helped us get us back on our feet, it has also meant that Li and I have grown apart as a couple. We are not relying on each other and turning to each other for help and advice the way we used to. Both of us feel second and even last on the list of people to talk to.

12. When looking for a job, the people that really counted in my life did not believe that I was capable of getting the type of job that I have now. They were all advising me to downgrade myself and take an easy job. I felt really pressured near the end and even started second guessing myself. But I did it. And that alone has brightened my day a LOT! Thank you to my dear friend CL who did always believe in me.

13. There are more memories of Alisha here.

14. Horses aren’t fun anymore. They don’t give me the joy that I used to get out of them. I still love horses and I still love riding, but I don’t get any special feeling like I used to. It doesn’t help that every time I wish to question something about them my father pipes up, “It isn’t your concern!” Yet in the same breath he is asking me to put them in for the night. Hmm.

15. I can’t talk to my father like I was able to years ago. Haven’t figured this one out totally. There is a block, a wall, which has been there since I arrived. It is made of concrete right now.

16. I haven’t spoken to my brother in three odd years. In Japan it didn’t really matter but here Li is pressuring me to and I am not ready. I am just NOT READY!

17. Li complains that I don’t worry about him and don’t care about him but that is all I bloody do. I know he is going through his own tough times but it sure doesn’t help when he lays that crap on me.

18. I am being pressured to raise my daughter in ways that I don’t want to. Potty training is one of these things. I have my way set in my head and I know that Li would much rather leave that all up to me and I am fine with it. I don’t think she is at a stage yet to truly potty train and want her to do it when she is actually ready to. Others do not necessarily agree with me.

19. I can’t find a hairdresser that I like. I got my hair cut a while back and she did an ok job but I was not overly comfortable with her and was really hoping for a little more input and ideas. This actually really bugs me. I have one idea in mind. Gonna call this weekend.

20. I had it in mind to join the beer league baseball because it was something that Li and I could do with friends. Only problem is that all of my friends have stopped playing because they kept hurting themselves and have the type of jobs where if they hurt themselves they cant work. I totally respect this. I think I will look more into this next year. I don’t think there is much left to do in that area this year.

21. I have been banging my head against the wall debating the positives and negatives of renting verses ownership in this completely crazy land price area where I live. But the major factor there is that we spend ALL of our money coming here and I have no desire what so ever to borrow money from anyone. AUGH!

22. I seem to be having problems making friends and meeting people here. Work is definitely helping and it is pretty amazing how small the world is and how we are all connected through acquaintances. Li is having this same problem and it really bothers him as well.

23. People forgetting that I have been out of the country for 6 years and am a little behind the times in the gossip and their every day lives. My friend CL pointed out that my blog may actually be the culprit there. Everyone has been reading this and keeping up on things about me and my family; they just seem to have totally forgotten that they never kept me up on their lives.

24. On my birthday, my first birthday back in Canada, my father forgot to say happy birthday until after someone else did. Then he proceeded to make breakfast for my step-mom without ever offering anything to me. It hurt. For dinner it was fend for your self. I didn’t even get a card. I never asked for some big ass present just some sort of happy birthday. OH my step-bro and his wife called all the way from Cranbrook to SING happy birthday on the phone. Considering that this was just after dad said happy birthday to me as an after thought, it felt incredibly damn good. My mom called me a few days before to wish me happy birthday because she knew was going to be out of town at a wedding. My aunt gave me a present and I dint get anything slightly birthdayish until my new job bought a birthday cake to share with another girl as well as cards signed by all. It felt great: late but great.

25. My father loves to tell us that we should have been here 4 years early and that we waited to long to move to Canada. That we missed out on tons of opportunities. Great. I guess the fact that we were exploring other opportunities and enjoying them was a stupid idea.
26. I am sure there is more to add to this but my mind is blanking. I have been writing this at work when ever I get the chance so I have been side tracked a gazillion times. I might add more later.

On a silly note:
This morning ToddlerJi thought it would be hilarious to give me a kiss with food sticking out of her mouth. She deliberately put the food between her lips and then tried to kiss me. Kid was laughing hysterically after. Goof!

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::8/18/2006 :: 11 Comments:

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

just wonderful

I had a really good talk with my friend the other night about my overall shitty feeling. I can’t say I felt tons better but I was able to work some ideas out in my head.

Then today, when I was picking ToddlerJi up from my mothers she and I talked about it a bit and it wasn’t bad.

THEN my father!!


WELL!!! According to my dad I am pathetic, sad and just plain selfish. He was disgusted with everything I wrote, didn’t have a single nice or positive thing to say and more or less kicked me out of the house.

I didn’t cry or anything. I just stood there in basic shock that my own father, someone I thought I could talk to was saying all this crap to me.

So I went downstairs and sat there for over an hour trying to work out my situation and figure out how I can move physically and mentally from where I am now.

Nothing is totally decided yet.

Oh and dearest Ron, I am not in any way so stupid as to idolize Japan in any way. I am quite aware that Japan is far from a perfect country, hell I am the one who lived there, not you; just as I am aware Canada isn’t perfect either. It wouldn’t matter what country I had been living in for six years, I would want to go back there because I am not happy here.

I have gone past crying now: now I am angry and frustrated and Li is pissed off at me for being angry.

Great. Life is truly great.

On a positive note: ToddlerJi knew that she had to go ‘poopoo’ and wanted to sit on the toilet. Nothing happened so I took her off and she went in her diaper. BUT the point is she knew! One huge step in the process towards potty training.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006


We went for a walk around the mall this afternoon. ToddlerJi LOVES the little ride on toys.

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I totally forgot to take a photo of the buffalo. Damn. There are babies.

Here is a photo of her in the sun.

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I need to think more about how to answer all the comments on my previous post.
I love you all: you are all right. Just need to think more.
Thanks Elizabeth for reminding me to post some photos.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Did I mention..?

I am not enjoying Canadian life right now.

My job is good and so is my husbands, my daughter is happy but I just don’t enjoy being here.

I moved my family here so that my daughter would have more of a chance to mingle with her family, so that there was family support regarding ToddlerJi, and so that she would have an education that my husband and I are more in agreement with.
I just hope I don’t grow to resent her and this move.

Well I already resent this move.
I have on far more occasions than I can count questioned why I spent basically ALL of our hard earned savings to cross the world and enter a life back in Canada that I clearly forgot I enjoyed leaving behind. I am remembering on every corner why I was so happy to leave – whether it is the street violence, the government crap, being distanced from family politics, and yes, even being away from the horses.

In general, I feel really crappy right now.

I like my job, and there are a lot of possibilities there: I actually feel comfortable there.

I don’t feel comfortable anywhere else though.

It doesn’t matter how well I word things, how perky I sound, how happy or positive, everyone seems to be jumping all over me and accusing me of being negative which in turn is making me more negative thinking.

Then there is the fact that just about, ohh, everyone, including my own family, talks to me as if I have not even been gone the last six years, like they didn’t even notice.

Umm NO I have no clue who or what it is you are talking about, what building or bloody street it is on.

It is infuriating me.

And yet they forget that I have been gone for six years when it comes to people and places but assume that because I have been gone for six years I have forgotten all the things that I trained to do for the 20 years before I left. Umm no – still know how to ride a horse, drive a car, type a letter, talk to people, go banking and ask for directions. I am still quite capable of deciding what type of bike I want to buy and how much money I want to spend on something. I know what side of the street to walk on and can make basic life decisions by myself.

And I have tried to talk about this with people but those that are actually doing this to me don’t listen and end up treating me like I am being a bitch. So I bottle everything up, it boils more, my husband and I end up snarky at each other more and then when I do get mad I am once again labeled as an ungrateful bitch.

I also haven’t been reading other peoples blogs, which I loved to do, partly because I don’t have my own computer back yet and partly because I cant seem to make myself do it. To those of you I am not reading, I am sorry and I do miss you. Soon I will be back to being me, I hope it is soon.

Did I mention that I am not enjoying my Canadian life right now?

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Today I had a fairly relaxing day at work, organizing and answering the phone. I think it was a good day. I will admit to one mistake with transferring the phone but I hope he doesn’t hold it against me. Hehe

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Monday, August 07, 2006

painting blaasss

It is a long weekend and I have been spending every minute of it painting stadium jumps for Island 22 Horse Park.
I am tired.

Yesterday was my birthday and all I did was paint.

Later I really missed Japan and had a bit of a teary moment with my husband. He feels really bad because he didn’t get me anything for my birthday but I keep telling him that getting a job was present enough for me.

People want to know about my job, well…

As much as I am allowed to tell you I am basically a secretary but I will be supporting many other people in the office, mostly the Accountant. It is a construction company that does mostly condominiums and they are growing VERY fast. I have lots of opportunities to learn tons of new things and learn a lot about business. There is also room for me to grow with them. They loved that I am going to school in September and I think this was a big selling point for me.

The people are really nice and so relaxed.
I worked all day on Friday and there were no mishaps – didn’t accidentally hang-up on anyone. Hehehe

Then it starts full tilt on Tuesday – AUGH!!!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Seemed to work...

Well I can officially say that my positive thinking seems to have paid off.

Li got a job:

I got a job.


I am soo syked happy right now.

And to make it even better it is a job that I wanted, that I had to go through two interviews for and the people in the office are so friendly. I really think I am going to love this job.
School and a job,
Could it get better?

And a ToddlerJi note – she is soooo going through a growth spurt right now.

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