Sunday, January 11, 2015

Yes, little Johnny, If you don't wear mittens, you will die

Happy New Year friends!

Here's a rundown of what's been shakin' since we last spoke:

1) Christmas
Ev and I flew back to his hometown in Alberta on Christmas Eve. Once we sorted out the art of driving on the right hand side of the road again (without constantly flipping on the windshield wipers), we made it to his parents house just after midnight on xmas morning. Christmas day was a really great day. Snow fell softly the entire day while I indulged in mandarin oranges, Timmies steeped tea, and Peggy's unreal cooking. It was a quiet, relaxing day spent enjoying each other's company and catching up. Good stuff and exactly what we all needed.

My dad gave me a fabulous present for Christmas this year! He sent me my sister! Kayla flew in to Calgary on boxing day and we were able to spend a weekend together in Banff - a super cool mountain retreat west of Calgary. We drank Starbucks and Timmies, relaxed in the hot springs ("Um, with 300 people here, do you kinda feel like we're all bathing together in really dirty hot water?") and shopped. It was thrilling! There were purses, footwear, clothing, and even lip gloss for sale. Boo ya! How I have missed shopping. Kayla was the perfect shopping buddy, indulging me in my cheap thrills and keeping me on track.

"Kayla! Look at this down-filled winter coat! I need this."

"Um, Kirst, you live on a tropical island. Put it down."


The only thing that I did NOT enjoy about our Canadian Christmas was the weather. Although it wasn't deep freeze, snot freezing to your face cold, it was cold enough. You know how I was recently bragging about the fact that my knees haven't hurt in months? Not so fast. Within days of exposure to freezing temperatures, my knee swelled up like a basketball and the dreaded "shocks" began (the ones where it feels like I'm being tasered every few minutes). Brutal. Once we returned to the island, the other knee acted up. They've both settled down, but I'm not gonna lie, it freaked the hell out of me. I was back on the painkillers, hobbling around, wondering if I had "wrecked" something. Obviously, the cartilage hates cold. Got the message - loud and clear. It definitely makes me question if I would ever choose to endure another prairie winter.

I double dog dare you to stick your tongue to the ice sculpture!

To my American friends: See. It's a legit word. It also means "sorry" haha. 


Beautiful Rocky Mountains!

2) Visitors!
Allicia came! (you may remember her as "lawyer" from my first blog: She spent a week with us on Grand Cayman and it was fantastic! I miss her so much (we text daily) and I loved cruising around the island, showing her my favorite spots, introducing her to new friends, and indulging in a Sunday brunch at Luca. Our life is so full here; however, there are definitely some special faces that I miss terribly. In desperation, I looked at importing Allicia and claiming her as my dependent. Um..not gonna happen. Damn.

This is how happy hour works

And...another sunset

Sunday Brunch! Booya!

Every time a visitor leaves, Dundee spends the next night(s) sleeping in the company bathroom. Awww....

3) Gallbladder.
Oh this fricken gallbladder! I decided to ditch out on football surgeon and seek a second opinion. Enter soft-spoken reliable surgeon #2. I liked this guy. He didn't refer to me as "sweetheart" (I hate it when a male in a "position of authority" calls me sweetheart), and he appeared to be knowledgable and confident.  After examining the ultrasound, he determined that I do have gallstones and that my gallbladder should definitely be voted off the island. Ok. Fine. He made a plan to perform a gastroscopy (G-scope) first to examine my stomach - just to ensure he's not missing anything else that could be causing my symptoms. Ok. Fine (although I'm not keen on swallowing a giant camera. At all). I texted Evan from the hospital, "Dr. wants to do G-spot first to make sure nothing there" Oops. G-spot? Why the hell is my phone autocorrecting to G-spot? Ironically, I was then sent to a severely overweight nurse to discuss my diet. She suggested, "No fried chicken" and "low fat milk - you know, like 2%" Sure. Like Canada, there is a wait of a few months for these procedures; however, If I suffer a gallbladder attack, soft-spoken reliable surgeon #2 will remove the gallbladder immediately. I'm not gonna lie, I did consider sitting on the steps of the hospital with a bucket of KFC and a litre of homo milk - may as well attack this thing before it attacks me, right? I am a teensy bit nervous about undergoing surgery here on the island - especially when I see my co-workers reactions to my news, "You're having surgery HERE???" One co-worker joked, "Well, I'm not getting attached to you." Shit. But seriously, a gallbladder removal is like the first thing surgeons learn in surgery school, right? "Welcome to surgery school. Day 1: taking out the gallbladder: easy peasy." Interestingly, since my surgery's been booked, the gallbladder pain has lessened. I'm convinced that I can shatter these stones with sheer willpower. Watch me!

4) Work.
Back to school! As much as I was dreading heading back to my school routine, I actually really missed my little kiddos. And they were pumped to see Miss Kirstie! As I walked to my office at one of my schools, I heard a little voice holler, "Miss Kirstie! Miss Kirstie! Miss Kirstie!" When I finally acknowledged the screaming with a wave, my little buddy responded, "I just wanted to tell you Happy new year!" How can that not make you smile. When I was in Banff, Kayla helped me film a video amidst all the snow. I knew this would impress my little buddies, most of whom have never seen real snow before....and I was right! Their little faces lit up when I showed them all of the snow, and videos of people skiing and ice skating.

One little guy very seriously inquired, "What are those?"

 "Those are called mittens. They keep your hands warm."

"If you don't wear mitts and your hands touch the snow you will die, right Miss Kirstie?"

Um...well, with temperatures presently hovering around the -30 mark, Yes, you might actually die, my friend. Haha!

In other exciting work news, I received a huge promotion this week. Given that I am absolutely obsessed with the laminator in the office, and would laminate my lunch, my pants, and my face if given the chance, my co-workers lovingly voted me "CLO- Chief Laminating Officer." That's a big deal. First off, I do love that laminator (shiny paper!!!) and am pleased and honoured to oversee laminating activities in our office. Second, they voted me - me! Obviously I was the chosen one, which means that people like me. They like me!! Whoohoo. Anyways, we had a good chuckle about my new position and I will do my best to fulfill my lamination responsibilities in 2015. For those of you who worked with me in the PA hospital, you may recall the many challenges I endured with the fax machine. That thing was confusing. Area code? No area code? press "9" first? Who the hell knows? And how can you not be suspicious of a machine that mysteriously transmits messages, without delay, to offices around the world? It constantly jammed on me, and despite my attempts at humour (remember that one time I put a picture of Bob Marley on it and wrote, "We should name this machine Bob Marley because it's always Jammin' - oddly enough, my Manager did NOT think it was funny), I was obviously a failure at faxing. I assure you that this will not be the case with lamination.

So there's the update. Hope you're all keeping well,