Glad to be here!

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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:08 am

I do have to keep reminding myself that I am NOT on holiday! Need to be serious! Wink
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:21 am

Today we went neighbourhood shopping - Dream is going to sell his house and we are going to find something smaller and less expensive and easier to maintain. We had gotten the name of a good real estate agent yesterday, and as we were walking around in a possible new village (Brisbane is a collection of suburbs, most of them really, really nice) we noticed a real estate office. I was surprised to see the name of the recommended agent, and his picture. I was just pointing it out to Dream when I heard a voice say, "Hi, can I help you with something?" I turned around and was shocked to see the very man in the photo, the one who was recommended to us. We explained our surprise and shared a laugh. He is a nice guy and seems very professional and well acquainted with our present neighbourhood. It is hard not to see the hand of the universe guiding us to him, melodramatic as that sounds. And no, we did not know that he worked out of that particular office - we were visiting that suburb because Dream lived there a few decades ago and had fond memories, and thought we might be happy there.

We had a lovely day, and tomorrow we plan to play the tourist and visit the Botanical gardens and the planetarium, and maybe get me a kayak paddle. We are going paddling on Sunday if the weather, wind, and tide cooperate.

Things are going so well - it's a bit scary...
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Rig D on Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:33 am

Yes, sounds like a higher power has a hold on your real estate broker selection process. I've had a few times when something similar has happened in my life, I'd say go with the flow, it sounds like the chemistry was good.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:02 am

Yes, and since we both like him and have similar attitudes towards the event, we will amost certainly contract with him. All good!

Spent a lot of the day looking for a kayak paddle. The only ones I found that are suitable cost over $400! It’s either el cheapo, heavy, thick, unwieldly, or super light, perfect, and expensive. I’ll probably go expensive but not today. Have to think on it.

It was raining today, so we put off the gardens and planetarium. (They are in the same area.)

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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by ONTARIO on Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:46 am

Oh, house shopping!!! That is very exciting. House shopping is almost as exciting as buying a lottery ticket - so much dreaming!

Have fun!

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"Transformation is just a fancy word for the choices you make on a daily basis."
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:48 pm

Had my second solo day at work, went much better than the first! I'm more comfortable and confident, which goes a long way regardless of competence Smile. I got high praise from the boss and my peer, which is a great relief. The boss told me that my peer (who works the days that I don't) is so happy now that she is back on part-time and very happy with my work - she is afraid I will not like the job and quit, bouncing her back onto the frying pan. While I certainly don't want her to be unhappy, I am glad that I am doing well enough that she feels I am a valuable asset. (Can you tell that job performance is a large part of my self-esteem?).

Monsoon here! Been raining cats and dogs and cows and chickens. The rain tanks are full! YAY! We can flush the toilet with abandon! Smile
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Narrowminded on Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:30 pm

TW you. Rack me up with your weather report Smile

Happy to hear work is going well and House hunting is also on the docket.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Rig D on Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:10 am

Congrats -- Positive feedback on the job front is always good to get. Glad you are settling in. Once you are fully "on board" with procedures and methods it sounds like you will be a significant contributor. Positive attitude and stick to it-iveness will go a long way to ensuring your success.

So far, your move sounds like a complete success.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:43 am

Had a great day on the water!  Went paddling with a group of Dream's (and now my) friends.  We did much better in the double today - much more coordinated, and we communicated very well.  Yesterday I bought myself a paddle, which greatly facilitated my learning curve.  Equipment is so important!  In my research on paddles, I ran across an article that made a great impression on me.  Generally addressed to women, it said that when one tries a new sport i.e. kayaking, one is almost certainly going out with people who are more experienced (let's hope) and quite possibly bigger and stronger.  Check, check, and check.  Therefore, one should not saddle oneself with inferior equipment, and one must think realistically about one's strengths.  Often a smaller person can work harder on cardiovascular fitness and in this way keep up with those who are more gifted with muscles. This is very true of me - I have long known that my only real physical gift is endurance. Anyway, the day was perfect, and we explored the beautiful Pumice Stone Passage just north of Brisbane. Our timing was perfect - time, tide, and the rain held off until we had finished loading our boats back onto our cars. The paddle trip was excellent - calm water, the tide with us both ways (so cool the way it turns) sunshine, mild temps (sort of.). I have great hopes that Dream and I will be a power couple someday!
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by tomi1000 on Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:42 pm

I'm loving reading about your new life adventures! What fun!
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Pedidoc on Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:06 pm

I am glad the second kayak outing went well. Yes, good equipment is important for pretty much everything.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Narrowminded on Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:32 pm

Awesome news and a most wonderful sounding day. So happy for you
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:20 am

Today I was doing my online French lesson before breakfast when my phone rang...not a common occurrence as I rarely receive phone calls - mostly texts. It was my boss asking if I could work today as the other office manager had taken ill. Sure, I said, and shortly thereafter I was ensconced at my desk. Feeling so much more confident, and I earned major credit for coming in on short notice. (Of course this means extra pay! Smile ). And I'm also working for her tomorrow, and then my normal Thursday, so three days pay instead of the one day I was scheduled for. This is cause for celebration! Not to mention that I am happy to get some more time under my belt and become more proficient. I have warned my boss that I am entering the dangerous phase where I think I know what I'm doing, lol.

Dream is cooking dinner - locally produced bratwurst, so delicious. And sauerkraut.

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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:26 am

I've been doing XBX for a week now. It's going well, although I skipped way ahead even though the instructions repeatedly warn not to. The first levels are just too easy and I was finishing the exercises in about six minutes. This is the workout that Dame Helen Mirren has done for decades. It was developed by a RCAF doctor in the fifties! And it's still around...that tells you something. It is intended to maintain a decent level of fitness - not hardbody bikini body, but reasonable. The warmup and stretching are built into the workout, and no equipment is needed. I'm on Chart 1 Level 11 - I will stay there for awhile, maybe two weeks, and then move up.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Narrowminded on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:26 am

Fantastic getting in some extra work and that they trust you enough as well. Kudos.

Intersting about the WO I’ll have to check it out.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by perennialpam on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:40 am

I checked it out too along with that bikini picture of Helen. She is a lovely woman.

And bravo on taking on that last minute request. You have now surely cemented yourself there....I'm sure.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Meant2Move on Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:49 pm

So glad you are settling into your new life so well. Loving partner, satisfying work, workouts, and friendships all sound good.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:17 pm

Today I rewarded myself with a spa visit - a foot/leg massage and pedicure with all the bells and whistles one expects from a good spa - essential oils, lovely surroundings, soft music. My feet look fantastic. I am coming the realisation that I need a bit of help with my feet. I don't have the patience to give myself a proper pedicure, and foot care is really important. The polish is an extra, of course Smile. Well worth the $$$ and a reward for myself given the extra work I've done. My stress level is noticeably decreased now!
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by perennialpam on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:32 am

I think I am going to follow your example and pamper myself soon. Sounds ideal.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Pedidoc on Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:04 am

A good pedicure is always a great investment IMHO.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Heuristicfireflower on Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:54 pm

What an incredible life change. Love reading your reports as you transition from American to Aussie living. I read somewhere that Australians are the most like Americans in attitude and culture of all the international westernized countries. Nice to read you're settling into your job. No doubt it will get better.
Am curious as to your current home. Think I missed the description somewhere, about your current home, intriguing since you mentioned that you get ocean breezes, close to the sea?…. and wonder how the new home will compare.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:35 pm

Haven't posted in a while because for some reason I have to sign in every time, and anything that takes more time tends to put me off.  Yes, I am one busy woman!  Smile  Had a great weekend, we went up the Sunshine Coast and stayed in Noosa, a terrific vacation spot if there ever was one.  We took the double kayak and had an excellent paddle, kind of a breakthrough as we have learned how to synchronise and I am getting better all of the time.  My paddling technique is improving little by little - it has taken me some time to put the pieces in place.  I realised I was hunching my shoulders, which leads to pain the next day in that area.  Relaxing my shoulders also leads to more efficient paddling on my part.  

We are on our way to being a 'power couple.'  We had some problematic members of our group, a woman who is prone to seizures and an older man who is not very fit and has just had a hip replacement.  The group leader encouraged them NOT to come but he can't forbid them...he asked Dream and I to hang close and rigged our boat for possible towing.  He complimented us on working through our clumsy period and said that we look and move most impressively!  Also we have worked out better ways of loading the very large and heavy boat on and off the roof racks and I am not straining my back.  And I believe I am getting stronger.

Oh, and the two problematic folks finished the paddle with no real problems, all good.

Food is pretty good - there is gluten free bread in the fridge but I am able to mostly stay away from it.  Lots of fruit and vegetables, although we both agree that we need to add more leafy greens.

The heat has abated, whew!  My feeling on living in the subtropics - it's not the heat per se, it's the stuff the heat causes, like masses of mosquitos and other biting things, sand flies, midges, marsh flies, you name it.  We can't get our clothes dry (we have no dryer...that will need to change), my hair always feels wet no matter what I do, clothing becomes stinky on one's body in no time despite multiple showers.  It was wearing on me, and I was tired of coating myself with sunscreen and bug spray only to have it sweat right off.  But yesterday was mild, though rainy, and last night was perfect sleeping weather.  The forecast is for much milder temps, as this is late summer, perhaps the worst is over.  I must say that I did not enjoy the searing heat and humidity!  The only good thing is that one is free to dress very casually, no hosiery required, very loose dresses and trousers are the fashion.  

Yes, we live by the sea, have nice views off the front balcony and usually decent breezes in the afternoon.  We probably will not be able to enjoy such in our new home, wherever that may be.  Dream's house is a million-dollar slum - nothing has been done in the way of maintenance for almost 20 years and it is a wreck.  His former partner had dogs that ran riot over the place, ruining the floors and the garden, and she left TONS of junk everywhere.  Lots of work to do to get ready to list the place, and although I try to push for it without being too annoying, I am getting more impatient to be out of here.  The up side to the house is that it is in a very posh neighbourhood so it has the important three qualities...location, location, and location.  So I am indulging in First World Whining here, but I am crazy wild to get out of this house and into something smaller, nicer, and better maintained.  

Last weekend we had a chance to spend a relaxing evening with friends, bbq, salad, and wine - such nice people!  I am so lucky that Dream has good friends who are very accepting of me.  

Today I am off to the spa to get my brows and lashes dyed.  I used to do this years ago and I noticed the local spa that I raved about last week does this for a very reasonable price.  Given that eye makeup - all makeup - seems to simply dissolve off one's face about 15 minutes after application, I'm going to try the dye.  And yes, I am protecting myself, particularly my face, with sunscreen as the sun here is fiercer than you can imagine.  Still, I am gaining colour little by little.

Trying to decided what to do with my hair. I think I am going to go longer in the front and shorter in the back, a more modern look and one that will not require frequent trims. In Maine I was able to get my hair cut for $18! I have searched in vain for a reasonable salon, a supercuts or some such place, but haven't found one. Can't pay $60-80 every five or six weeks! I know that Dream hates my short hair, but I am still glad that I cut it - I can't imagine dealing with long hair in the heat we just experienced. Even putting it up would have been hot hot hot, and I found that extremely humid hot wind makes hay of even the most tightly braided or clipped hair.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by The Walrus on Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:01 pm

So - in a serious vein - what is it like to immigrate? Tomorrow will be five weeks. Well, it's hard. Really hard. I did not expect to miss everything so much. Even my job! And although being with Dream all of the time is...wait for it...dreamy...I miss my privacy and my cozy little flat. But that makes me all the more determined to create a cozy home here. I love Australia and I am so fortunate to be in a place where everyone loves Americans. It's a real drawing card, people want to talk with me all of the time. I have come to realise that the hardest bits are those that I don't have much control over and require loads of adaption. For instance, my car is old and very, very wide. Much wider than most cars, even big SUVs. The parking lots here are very tight and it is hard to manoeuvre, leading to situations that almost bring me to tears. And it's hard to explain this - on one hand I am so incredibly fortunate and happy, but a little tiny bit of me is so sad. Sometimes that sad bit pokes up through the happy, and then I am not only sad but feeling guilty and foolish. Yet I realise that I have to just feel what I feel and let the emotions run their course.

Work tomorrow and Friday! Hope all goes well.
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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Annieh on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:28 pm

Walrus, it's great to hear from you. I am glad that you are writing while these emotions and first impressions are still fresh, one day you will adjust to your new life and forget how it felt at first - the good and the not so good.

I have been to Noosa - loved it. We had a meal there during our anniversary trip.

The kayaking must definitely be making you stronger, it also seems to be strengthening your relationship, what a deal.

Sleep tight in the cooler conditions, and have a great day at work.

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Re: Glad to be here!

Post by Narrowminded on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:49 pm

TW great to get and update from you. I’m sure getting completely settled in will take a while. And I can definitely imagine missing things from home.

I can also understand wanting a new home. Something that is unique to you and Dream without someone else’s mark on it.

Definitely let the emotions come and deal with them slowly. Be gentle on yourself, it’s only been 5 weeks.
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