Friday, July 23, 2010

Aspects of My Social Life Uncovered

They say that everyone has their twin somewhere out in the world. I can almost say with some certainty that about half of the people I know in Canada have a twin and have found them here in New Zealand. Unfortunately it’s usually the back of someone’s head or their profile here that is the only resemblance. I stupidly get very excited at theses “sightings” as I go rush forward with the words almost tumbling out of my mouth, “What are you DOING here? Why didn’t you tell me!!” only to do the quick veer to the right as they turn fully around and I see nothing that resembles anyone that I ever knew. Oy! Don’t think that I am that lonely that I start to imagine friends, the Kiwi people are almost always friendly. Maybe it’s because like the bird, sighting a born and bred Kiwi in its natural habitat is kind of rare. Almost everyone that I meet has come from somewhere else. Everyone seems to be quite open to meeting new people and “sharing” the most interesting and intimate details on their lives upon introduction.

At first I thought that perhaps I should join an interest group or club to perhaps get a foothold in here. Although I didn’t actually pursue it very far I found out quite by accident myself in a membership of introductions via the way of Trade Me. Trade Me is the island wide response to EBay. As some of you know that obviously love me more than others shipping to NZ can be costly. So the Island wide auction site is designed to meet that and er, apparently also used as a local social sight. It took me a bit to catch on. I’m used to kind of going driving to a place to buy second hand goods with the item placed outside the door and the person standing there with their hand held out. So I was quite suspicious the first time I was invited in to a lady’s home (getting some lamps) and asked if I wanted some tea. My North American mind was on high alert. “Who else is lurking behind that door and does she have a chop shop of body parts hidden in this house? Will anyone know to look for me here if I don’t come home?” I honestly can’t even remember much of the conversation as she took me on a tour of her home and sat and had cookies. I was still in the Run Forest Run mode I believe. I just chalked it up to her perhaps being a bit lonely. But then when I bought the bedroom light fixtures I was getting into it a bit. Another tour of the home and this time it was wine so I defiantly would be coming back if she offered some other stuff.

In fact, I began to look at the whole shopping on Trade Me as a bit of an adventure and started bringing the kids along. Usually the places we were driving to where a new area to us and afforded us a big of touring fun and the locations were always exciting now to see what tidbit we were going to be offered. The girl came with me when I bought concert tickets to Green Day for the man and myself. Pick up was arranged around the lunch hour so I made sure we didn’t eat too much. The couple that greeted us at the door like long lost relatives quickly ushered us in for the tour and out to the back to show off the Alpaca farm they owned as well at miniature horses. Shay was in her glory. We left with hugs and warm wishes all around and a promise to buy an alpaca from them should we ever have the need. Of course I had to squash that dream of the girls half way out the driveway but no matter.

Yes, I have even taken the man on my buying adventures. We went to pick up a rather large wardrobe with too small a van as it turns out so we went back a couple of times. This couple would probably been a good fit for us but that they were selling off items with the intention of moving back to Australia. Anyways, the wife was ever so lovely and I have been in correspondence with her from Aussie with her best picks of local restaurants to try in Auckland. We also left that day not only with the wardrobe but some lovely free designer pots as well. At any rate once we make a trip over there we are sure to look them up.

They say that Ebay is addictive and yes, I do get that being one of the masses that shopped quite heavily online back home. I used to think that there was nothing more exciting in getting that brown package in the mail. This whole Trade Me thing though is well beyond that! Is it wrong for me to shop for an item and put priority to it’s location now as local pick up? It is an adventure with every auction.

Friday, July 2, 2010

She Was ALL Ears!

So the girl is indeed a mystic and fortuneteller of the future. There was a mass infection of the earring kind to be sure. What our little Psychic didn’t fully see (and lets face it they can be a bit spotty on looking into the future) was that it was Herself that landed the infection, not The Boy. To be sure, the Boy has had some issues with locating his earring from time to time he has be blissfully unaware of the pain of inflamed holes.

The whole business started out with a pair of 3lb dumbbells that Shay purchased at the local costume jewelry shop. She must have seen the bling half was across the mall and they called to her to buy them (with her own money of course – I have standards). Anywho, failing to sanitize them she popped them in and in a matter of an hour she started to complain of the pain. At first I thought perhaps it was the sheer weight of these things and after removal she did feel a bit better but then the next day….well she had these lovely red flaming balls hanging on each side of her face. Having run out of the usual antiseptic I suggested she use this all-purpose (what could only be described as a type of iodine) on her ears. The medicine kinda turned the area a brownish red and looked just awful but we thought we were heading in a good direction – not so much. Waking up the next morning, the girl heads into the bathroom and I hear a scream. The antiseptic has now started to eat away at the tender flesh and the infection has caused her ears to swell and bloat like vine ripened tomatoes. Oh boy. What to do now? Well ok, lets put on some white gobby ointment that we have here for cuts, maybe that will do the trick? Oh and lets send the girl to school like this with words of encouragement that “no one will notice- it’s not that bad”. (lie-lie-lie) She came home from classes that day with her ironic smirk and told me that “Sure, no one noticed my ears, mom. Do you know how many people asked me What the Hell is wrong with me today?” By now The Man is fully engaged with his St John’s Ambulance course tucked firmly under his belt and steps in to tell us that I put this on her by using the iodine and to continue with the white gobby cream and no, put down the phone the Doctor isn’t going to offer any better treatment then cleaning the infection and putting said cream on them.
So, it appeared that The Man was right. Unfortunately to heal, the ears needed to shed the dead skin so NOW we have the girl sporting red tomatoes, white cream and skin hanging off her ears. Frankly I am surprised that she wasn’t shunned as most lepers are. Everyone at school kinda backed off from asking but it was hard during the healing process to talk to her and keep your eyes firmly plastered to her face. I would find myself in conversation with my gaze drifting to the hot mess of her ears while she was talking to me and thinking “OMG! How is it that she can even go out in public without cringing? I would shut myself in the house being the Lame-o that I am. But there you go, the girl is a much better person than I and like the energizer bunny she appears to be unstoppable.
This is not the only example of Shay’s stick to it nature. She frankly amazes me with all the knocks that she gets and just keeps on trucking along. Intermediate School offers so much more opportunity to find your interests than Primary as you know. Sports, creative arts, and technology groups abound. It is a great time for a Tween to find their niche and do something of interest to them. The thing with Shay is that she’s not sure WHAT interests her and so she tries everything. Not a bad thing really but there has been some “speed humps”. It would take both hands to count on what the girl has tried out for at school and almost the same number of fingers can be held up to show what she didn’t make the cut for. School Council (which, IMO was totally rigged) Soccer, Cricket, Net Ball and Field Hockey were not her forte to put it bluntly. Honestly, she has no real natural talent, just like her mother for these sports group activities. Then the tryouts for Orienteering came along and Shay eagerly wrote her name on the sign up sheet without really knowing what the sport was about. Was it luck or a miracle that the girl FINALLY made a team? I didn’t even know she was aware of how to use a compass to find her way thru the running trails quite frankly. That alone impressed me. I was so eager to share her newfound passion that I signed up to help at the citywide tourney that the schools team was in and chauffeured a giggly group of girls to the event. The team had been practicing you see and so I thought The Girl knew what was to happen at the event. It was explained that they ran in heats of four with an initial start time and then off into the fields and bushes to follow a map with their compass and collect punches on their cards at the 12 stops along the route. The top four placers then had an opportunity to qualify for some other event much bigger than the one that we were at. Shay was all nerves at the start with her teammates and was in the sixth starting heat. Off she went down a hill and into the bush. All the team members had different courses to run so I just stood around with the other Mother’s chatting about how fast Shay has been in trials and how I hope she does well. A little behind me the finish of the course was laid out and we could see a couple of kids from the first heat coming in and made our way over. All of a sudden I see thru the trees a child that I have no doubt as my own, running pell mell for the finish line. OMG! She is AMAZING!! How could she have finished the course so fast? It was almost impossible to be THAT fast I thought but my chest puffed up with pride as the other mother’s jaws dropped in awe at her approach. She came to the finish line with her crumpled card to be validated by the officials and I see there is some sort of issue. Turns out that the girl failed to punch in at all 12 stations and thought that she only had to punch at one (In practice mom, we only go to one!) She was disqualified BUT she ended up restarting and doing the course again because she wanted to finish right. She was put into one of the last heats and by the time she took off most of the 20 kids from her school were sitting on the grass at the finish line eating their snacks and comparing times. I was left alone with other mothers patting me on the back and running to meet their own children. I was a jumble of emotions really by that point. Sad, angry a bit and most of all just worried about how Shay was feeling and what to say or do when she finally reached the finish. I glared at the other kids from her school thinking if they even so much as dare say anything negative I would be on them like a mother bear. I need not have worried so much I guess. Shay came in at the tail end and we could all see her approach. The red blotchiness and tearstains down her face told the tail. One by one all of her school got up and ran to the finish and clapped and cheered her on jumping up and down screaming at her that she could do it. All of them. All of them surrounded her at the finish as I held back as they crowed around her with hugs and smiles while she caught her breath still sobbing. She finally composed herself enough to walk to me and I held out my arms to her. She walked to me and I held her as I heard her muffled voice in my sweater, “I failed mom, I did it all wrong!” No Hun, you didn’t fail. I think that you do everything just right. You may not excel in most team sports but you have the best thing that a team can offer you. You have their admiration and respect as well as mine.