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Bailey

Life Moving

Life around moving boxes.

My house is pure chose right now and we are living around moving boxes.

Currently, the house is about 75% packed up and ready to go, the other 25% not so much.

It’s very weird living around boxes packed and unpacked. Looking for things that need to be packed up and looking for things that have already been packed up. Its hard to know what you will need in the coming weeks (or days) leading up to the big moving day and what you need to get rid of.

You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to move.

I have given away a lot of stuff to friends who will I know will put it to good use. Like craft supplies, baking supplies, board games, odds and sods. A couple of friends from work got a huge box each of craft supplies for their kids, a friend got a couple of board games I no longer play and I’ve sold a couple of things over the internet.

Fun fact:
When you sell things on the internet people will always try and haggle. Which is totally expected and its fine, but they will have you wanting to hit your head on the keyboard for their stupidity.

I sold the spare bed, some coloring books and gave away a free desk.
On the post I made for the bed and desk, I clearly stated that delivery would not be an option as

I DO NOT DRIVE OR HAVE ACCESS TO A CAR.

The amount of people who asked how much delivery would be and if I could ask could deliver was TOO DAMN HIGH! I also had people try and haggle the price.
Again that is fine but in the case for me selling some of the million adult coloring supplies, it was annoying. I sold two coloring books, one 500peice coloring puzzle, two small packs of coloring sheets and a roll of wrapping paper, I asked for $30 for the lot. I had 5 different people offer me $5-15 for the lot. I also had two people ask me to deliver it to them, when I stated I would meet them at a skytrain station. In the end I sold it for lot for $30 and she picked it up.
The only smooth transaction was giving away the free desk. The lady told me she wanted it but would need help getting it into her car. DONE!

The spare room has turned from a crafting space with a spare bed to a room full of packed moving boxes. The living room is covered in packing supplies, boxes, assorted things that still need to be packed and things that need to be given away. The bathroom is empty except for the things one needs for daily bathroom needs. The bedroom is a zoo of clothing, empty book shelves and a mostly empty closet.

Selling some stuff, donating some stuff, giving some stuff away and tossing out things that needed to be tossed are always a good feeling. De-cluttering feels amazing. Trying to pack what is left has proven to be tedious and boring.

But the part that sucks is stubbing your little toe on one of boxes in the middle of the night. It’s a great reminder that nothing has a home yet everything belongs in a box.

Until you need it.

Life Moving

Time for a change of address.

A little back story before I jump into my blog post.

I have lived at this current address for literally 9 years. I moved out to Vancouver for all the wrong reasons, or rather one reason, a guy. He found this place and when we broke up, he moved out. I stayed and have lived here in the same place since. My landlords name is June and as far as landlords go, she’s pretty great. I remember when I broke up with said boy, she offered to reduce the rent and I had a bag of food waiting at the door step the day after I told her.

So fast forward to this blog post.

I remember it like it was yesterday, or exactly two weeks ago today, that my landlord, June, asked us to move out. I was in the middle of doing laundry, hadn’t put on a bra or brushed my teeth. Much like I am now. I was in the middle of my Sunday morning routine, my lazy day if you will. Now I have had the feeling of someone pull the rug out from under me only a couple of times in life, but that moment took top spot.

It was around 10am, Anthony was still asleep and I was in the heart of Sunday routine. June knocked on the laundry room door and she doesn’t usually do that unless she has to give us mail or news of her travel plans.

“Bailey I am so sorry to do this but we need you to move out.”
What?

Why?

When?

Why?

What?

Oh my god, what are we going to do?

Holy shit, how are we going to do this on one income? It had only been a month since we sent off all the immigration paper work! Whats going to happen with the paperwork now?

I then thought “Why didn’t I get proper dressed this morning?”

^ This was my real response.^

As it turns out June’s elderly father in law needs to move in. The place he was currently living had a fire in the building and they don’t want him to live their anymore. June does have an extra room upstairs. However, it is also the room that June’s mother passed away in about 3 years ago and her father in law doesn’t want to live their. According to June she likes us more than next door, however her husband passed away about 2 years ago and so her father in law doesn’t want to move into that space either.

Anthony and I where in the last death free space in the house. So as a result, she was giving us notice and we would need to be out by July 1st.

Now because we are waiting on the PR Paperwork to come back, Anthony can’t work. So this means finding a place for both of us to live in on one income. Can’t be that hard right?! We had a plan! One more year of living here and then finding a place to call our own and paint the walls whatever color we wanted.

I flat-out told that to June. We had a plan, we where planning on moving out next year into our own place. We just needed the year. She said she would talk to her husband.

At this point Anthony was now out of bed. After I closed the door I turned to him and said “What are we going to do?”. Mind you he just got up, was processing what just happened and didn’t give me a response, just a huge hug. Anto then sat down at the computer and began looking for places to live. At that moment I just wanted to talk to someone about it and clearly Anto didn’t. So I did what any rational person would do.

I called my mom

My moms response was to transfer my job back to Kamloops and move home. Least to say I was not thrilled at that idea. I mean after all this wasn’t about just me anymore, Anto had a say in this as well. I had just signed papers saying I would support him. I would give him things like food, clothing and a roof over his head. Being suggested I move home seemed like 15 steps backwards, but I know my moms heart was in the right place. Anto and I would have to figure this out.

For the next six days it was a weird do we need to move? do we not? Why so much yelling upstairs during the day?!

Fact: When they have their game nights it sounds like someone is being murdered upstairs so much screaming and yelling. However, it’s just game night from 10 to like 2am  once a month.

So to hear yelling in the middle of the afternoon was very strange. Anthony and I went for lots of evening walks to talk and figure out our next move and what we needed to do if we had to move. We even sat down at the bank and talked about Mortgages with a specialist. Essentially, with just my name on it, it wasn’t going to work and I didn’t want JUST my name on it, I wanted OUR name on it. June got back to us that Saturday evening and Yes we needed to move. Anthony and I talked about it so we where ready for that answer.

Once we found out we hit the ground running. Saturday night we sat down and talked about budget. What we could afford, what we couldn’t and what we will have to give up to make it work and started sending out e-mails via Craigslist.

I would give up my Starbucks coffees and Anto would give up Guinness. 

Not forever! I’m not crazy I know an Irish guy needs his Guinness like a person needs to breath. It just made me love him even more because he would give up something so we could have a better us.

Overall we sent out about 50 e-mails between the two of us. By that I mean I mostly sent out e-mails because I couldn’t sleep and I got up early Sunday morning, made a cup of coffee, started laundry and started looking on Craigslist.

Of the roughly 50 e-mails we sent we only heard back from about 15 people. But looking for places to live was an adventure inside of itself. We lucked out and found something in our budget and close to the area we love.

After all home is where your heart is and wherever Anto will be is where I will call home.

Life Moving

Life around a kitchen table.

I’ve had my current kitchen table for close to 9 years.

It’s been moved 3 times, hosted many dinner parties, board game nights and had countless things spilled on it over the years. It’s herd some great conversations and some not so stellar arguments. It’s even held all of the immigration paperwork for Anto and I. It’s got some great memories attached to it.

But with all good things come time for change.

I’ve talked about getting a new table and chairs for some time now. Our current table just wasn’t suiting our needs anymore. It was time for something bigger, something a bit more square.

I’ve loved IKEA for as long as I can remember, so with the help from our good friend Matthew we set off to IKEA to look for a new kitchen table.

Later we would realize this would be the first of three trips.

Our first trip was excellent despite Anto being a bit grumpy! We where your typical three friends at IKEA messing around, like one does when they go to IKEA.

Pro Tip:
Bring a friend(s) to see how a full table sits together
Make sure you have purse snacks for boyfriend when he gets hungry.

Now I had my heart and budget set on was the LERHAMN Table and 4 chairs in Black-Brown for $299.00. Although at the time this particular table and chairs wasn’t on display. Although  it very much in our budget. But that didn’t stop us from sitting at many tables and in chairs all over the store.

After spending about an hour we found a great alternative our original table choice.

Dark Brown
Matching chairs (sold separately)
It sat four people comfortably
Best yet, it extended to hold more people!

The EKEDLEN extendable table only $279.00. It was of course out of our budget, with the chairs, but not entirely. We decided that we would get it, move some of the extra money around and we would take the plunge.

Anto, Matthew and I did have a bit of a challenge figuring out which box was the one we where suppose to pick up. But we got our table, four chairs and headed to the checkout.

Anto and I bought a new table together and it felt FANTASTIC!

Once Anto and I got home we posted our current table & chairs to the internet to try and sell it. However, I was having some reservations about the new table.

Was it really the right color?

Turns out we bought the light brown and not the dark brown table. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, however, everything I own is Dark Brown.

Lesson learned:
Don’t horse around well you try and figure out IKEA codes to which aisle holds what part of each piece to what table.

Trip number two:
The exchange of the table for the correct color. Also, for more hot dogs and ice cream.

A few days after making the exchange at IKEA for the correct color table, well still trying to sell our current kitchen table and chairs. Then it happened.

We got the notice from our landlord that we needed to move out.

It felt like someone pulled the rug out from under us. But that’s another story for another post.

After much debate with Anto, we decided that if no one wanted our old table and chairs by later that day, we would pull the ad and return the new, unopened, IKEA table and chairs.

So off to IKEA for the third time!
Again with the help from Matthew we set off to return the table and chairs with my original, return and new color table receipts. The conversation went very much like this:

Reason for return?
I want to keep them, however we just asked to move out so the adult thing to do is return them because money.

Have they been opened?
-Looks at still sealed boxes-
No they have not.

You have your credit card?
Yes.

In the end we made 3 trips to IKEA, I bought 4 chairs, 2 tables, made one exchange and refunded all of it over the course of two and a half weeks.

So it looks like my current kitchen table will be with me for another few years to come and will hopefully survive one more move.

Life Relationships

Life update Part 1: Love and Paperwork

Where have I been?

What have I been up to?

What kind of adventures have I been on?

A lot apparently.
Love, Paperwork, Driving Lessons, Having a breakdown or two and making big decisions in life.

He’s going to hate me for using this photo, but it’s one of my favorites.

Lets start off with my love life because lets face it, its the best part! The Irishman. Or, better known as my other half, Anthony.

If you didn’t know, we began dating in October 2016. What started off as adventures around the city of Vancouver, turned into dates around the City. I asked Anthony to move in with me in March 2017. He moved in on the 15 and then we traveled to Ireland to meet his family. (Who are all amazing and I can’t wait to meet the newest additions to the family on our next visit over).

I knew I was head over heals for the guy the moment we checked our hotel room in Dublin.

We had just traveled from Waterford to Dublin and we where getting settled into our room. By this I mean, Anto’s socks smelled so bad I decided to put them in between the windows to air them out. He would pass me a sock, I’d arrange it in between the windows, then another, repeat. He then handed me a little box. Inside said box was a little green ring. No not an engagement ring! Let’s not get crazy here!(yet). But a promise ring to continue to have adventures with me and deal with his smelly socks. We ate fish and chips for dinner. Then spent the night walking around Dublin. The best part was when we were walking across one of the bridges that’s shaped like a harp. You could hear music coming from somewhere and we ended up dancing on the bridge like a couple of fools in love. It was grand.

Its been over a year since we’ve live together now and of course we have had our arguments, it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. Although the laughing together, the crying together (OK mostly me crying), the growing as a couple and as people together have made me realize how much Anthony is my rock.

March 15th I was able to legally put in an application for spousal sponsorship.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT THE PAPERWORK.


It was a lot of paperwork, many nights arguing with each other on what we needed, what we didn’t need, what still needed to get done and how many letters or photos where to go into this package.

It was a stressful time and it didn’t help that I was already stressed out from work and worrying about bills. Being the only one income does put things into perspective.

A lot of people asked how I was doing and for the most part the go to answer was “I’m find, I’m grand!”. However, towards the finishing of the paperwork I had a couple of breakdowns and Anto got sick.

 

Cue breakdown number 1.
How are we going to afford a visit to the ER?!
How am I going to pay for this?
I simply didn’t know how to help him.

That last one really broke my heart. Essentially what had happened was Anthony caught strep throat, and because he let it get so bad, I made him go to the walk in. The long of the short of the walk in visit was that of a huge dose of antibiotics, steroids, and some great staff.

It was a rough couple of weeks, but in the end the medication did what it needed to do and he’s all better now. He does still make weird noises in the bathroom every now and again, but I think that’s normal. This is just another reason that made me realize how much he adds to my life, even when I was having a breakdown and he was sick, he wanted to make sure I was OK.

Again, HOLY FUCKING SHIT THE PAPERWORK!

Seriously, I can’t get over how much paperwork you need to do. I understand and totally get why one needs to do all this paperwork, but man, its a lot. At one point we realized we had everything we needed for Anthony, however, along the way we forgot about me. After all, this paperwork was about US. I was so worried about the things we needed for Anthony that I didn’t get what I needed done.

Cue breakdown number 2.
What if we don’t get all the paperwork done in time?
What if we submit the wrong paperwork?
What if we don’t get the PR?
What if I lose you?

That last one was the one that broke me, again. What if we don’t get the PR? What if I can’t be with you? It was the moment that I realized that if we didn’t get the PR for him, I would moved my world to go anywhere he is.

The day we went to mail everything off was my 30th birthday. March 26th. It was suppose to be a quite day of me go to the spa, relax, come home and get everything together, go to post office, mail it, then go to dinner.

This is not how it happened.

Yes I did go to the spa, but I’ll be honest with you. It was awful. 1/10 would not recommend the place I went to.
Came home and finished writing on the backs of the photos, got everything together and off to the post office!

Worst experience at a post office ever.

And spa….

The guy behind the counter was not a post office trained employee, he had ZERO idea of what he was doing. So we waited 45mins in the store until the lady came back from her break. Once she was back we where sealed, stamped and mailed within 5mins.

But it was too late to go out to dinner at that point. So, we came home and built a fort in the living room. We got pizza delivered, watched Disney movies, and ate Ice cream cake.

It’s going to be an interesting year ahead of us. But I look forward to adventuring the world with you and all the ups and downs that are going to be in our way.

Transit Travel

Traveling with Luggage. Part 2.

Last week I posted about Traveling with Luggage. Part 1. Where my luggage visited more Airports than I did.

You would think that would have been my last and final adventure with luggage on that trip.

It wasn’t.

Leaving Ireland wasn’t bad, I got to play Airport tag with the Irishman. Turns out when you both leave from the same airport and have the same connecting flight, you can play tag in the airports around the world.

My flight from Dublin left on time and we landed at our connecting city of Toronto at our scheduled time. Now I was hoping that this time it would be a breezy two and a half hour lay over. Plenty of time to get my bags, go threw all the checkpoints and be on my next plane. However I stated this “breezy” layover by sitting on the tarmac for a gate for about 10 minutes.

Now this is where the “fun” began.

At Toronto airport you have to pick up your bags go, then go through Customs, re-check  your bags, then go through airport security, and then find your gate.

Part One: Customs.

Customs wasn’t an awful experience. In fact, it was pretty well-organized and the line moved at a reasonable speed. Start to finish, I was in and out in 10 mins.

Part two: Claiming my luggage.

I’ve been to the zoo before, I just didn’t think Toronto airport had one at the baggage claim.

Have you seen a herd of animals around a watering hole before? Well the baggage claim I had to use, looked very much like that but with 300 people. You see, we had one luggage carousel and 3 international flights.

I lost all sense of time waiting for my luggage to come out. People where complaining left and right, then when some luggage started to come off, they turned into vultures seeing if it was theirs. Eventually mine popped out, I took it and I left.

Part three: Re-checking of the luggage.

One must recheck their luggage when traveling Toronto airport. So you gotta line up with the rest of them.

This is the starting point of me

HAVING TO RUN THREW THE AIRPORT AGAIN.

I had handed my ticket to the lady and she said the words no one wants to hear, “You’re plane is boarding, if you check your luggage now it wont make the flight, it will if you take it with you.”

I’m sorry what?
How long was I waiting in the land of baggage claim?
What time was it?

The three guys behind me where apparently on my same flight and the following happened.

Step four and Five: Airport security & finding our gate.

Three guys and one redhead then proceed to RUN ACROSS THE AIRPORT trying to make our flight, that is now boarding.

We ran down hallways, on to a tram to another terminal.

Me with my carry-on, suitcase, and purse.
Them with their massive backpacking backpacks.

The guys politely asked the woman in charge if we could cut in and she said “No sir, I’M not allowed to do that”. Then they asked the people in line if we could cut through and make our plane. Protip- Ask the customers, not the staff to cut in line. To those people, thank you, you truly are nice and polite people.

Now airport security was a breeze until one of the guys got chosen for a random search for his bag. He flat-out said “You know what, you can keep it, I don’t need whats inside. I just want to go home and my flight is boarding”. Airport security handed back his bag and said have a nice flight.

WE MADE THE GATE!

The guys handed over their tickets, got scanned in and then I handed over mine.

“This isn’t your flight. Your flight is such and such gate and leaves in 25 mins”

ARE YOU F!@#$ING KIDDING ME?
I JUST RAN ACROSS A BLOODY AIRPORT!

Turns out the woman at baggage reclaim read my ticket wrong. Me being jet legged and not knowing how long I spent at the luggage zoo, didn’t check. As I walked to my CORRECT gate, I realized, I was very thirsty. So I set out to find a reasonably priced bottle of water.

Guess who I found at the airport.

It’s not the greatest photo of us, but I love it none the less.

Step six: Get on plane.

We even managed to get on the same flight together. I had to explain to the woman at the gate why I had my luggage with me and checked at the gate.

It was an uneventful flight from Toronto to Vancouver, just the way I like them.

It was an excellent trip to Ireland and I can’t wait to go back.

Although I did learn that if I’m ever going to have connecting flights, I’m going to have a 5 hour, at the least, lay over to avoid having to run through yet another airport. Or, I’m just going to fly direct.

Travel

Traveling with Luggage. Part 1.

It’s not surprise to anyone, I love to travel. I love getting on a plane, take off, landing and getting off a plane, ready for adventure.

Probably my least favorite part of traveling is the luggage. Also, running through any airport.

Two weeks ago, I went to one of my favorite places in the world.

Ireland.

I left Vancouver, Canada, on March 24th at 9am and landed in Dublin Ireland on March 25th at 5am. With an hour and a half layover in New Jersey.

My Layover in Jersey was an adventure inside of itself. I had only an hour and half to get from one gate to the next, and a security check point between them. I spent 80% of that time waiting in security and 20% of that time running through the airport. I was the second to last person allowed on the plane.

When I landed in Dublin at 4:55am Saturday morning, I was super tired and ready for coffee.

But first LUGGAGE!

I waited for the travel gods to release my luggage from the pits of the plane on to one luggage carousel.

I watched bags come out, over and down the ramp and waited.

And waited.

Waited some more.

And waited.

May the luggage gods be swift in spitting out mine!

I noticed that the sign on top of the carousel said that the last bags have been unloaded. I then sought out an airport employee to figure out where one needs to go for inquiries about ones luggage.

And so lined up behind about 4 people and waited some more.

Once I had got to the counter, I had to fill out some paperwork.

What is the date?
What does your luggage look like?
How many wheels does it have?
What color is it?
Is it hard or soft?
Does it have a luggage tag?
Where are you staying?
What is your permanent address?
What is the best way to contact you well you are traveling?

Cue filling out the paperwork and using wifi to text the boyfriend to get his parents address and a phone number so airline could contact me with luggage.

Then it happened!
We had made a great discovery!

My luggage wasn’t lost at all!

Just on another adventure.
In another airport without me.
In a different country.

Apparently my luggage had made it off the plane in New Jersey, but somehow managed to make it back on to that same plane I had just gotten off of, and that plane went to London England.

My luggage was in London.

I was in Dublin.

This is why you have a carry on folks! FOR THIS REASON!

Good news/Bad news.

Good news, it should be on the flight at 1pm later that day. But I should call later just in case.
Bad news, I only had one day’s change of clothes.
Good news, they would send it out to me in Waterford where I was staying, via courier. (Hopefully later that day)

By the time I actually got to leave the airport it was now about 5:50am in the morning.

Fast forward to later that day. Once we arrived in Waterford I called the airline to enquirer about my luggage and its location. However, the woman I spoke to on the phone had no idea where said luggage was. My luggage was now on another adventure.  She told me to call back in the morning.

The phone rang Sunday morning and it was the airline. Anto’s mom took the call and explained to him that the luggage in question would be at the house around noon. However, with it being my birthday and Mother’s day, we would not be home when they arrived to drop it off.  So she arranged for them to drop it off at the restaurant.

I remember being told that I would need ID when they dropped off the luggage and I would have to sign for it.

I remember signing for my luggage and the guy asking for no ID whats so ever, and being very excited. But better yet, Antos mom also saw the guy leaving and giving him a heart attack asking where the luggage was because she was the one in contact with him the entire day.

Even though I didn’t get to wear my birthday outfit, I got the gift of being reunited with my luggage.

Finally reunited with my luggage!

Now this was just beginning of my travels. Wait until I post part 2 of traveling with luggage coming home!

Baking Life

Baking

The definition of Definition of bake

Baked; Baking

1 :  to cook (as food) by dry heat especially in an oven
2 :  to dry or harden by subjecting to heat

My definition of baking:

  1. Stress relief.
  2. Relaxation.
  3. Creation a tasty things.

I use to bake all the time growing up, but in recent years it was just easier to buy my bread, baked goods and treats from a store.

When I was younger I would bake Peanut Butter cookies for my dad and the guys at his work. I use to remember the recipe from heart. I would come home from school, do homework and then bake cookies. I remember one time I messed up the salt and sugar. I got a call from my dad from work asking what was up with the cookies. Needless to say the cookies ended up a bit salty. Even our dog wouldn’t eat them, he just knew.

During my teens, I would bring cupcakes to game nights with friends.

I use to bring cupcakes and cookies into work randomly throughout the year. Now, I usually only bake Ginger crinkle cookies around Christmas.

Although for the past month, I’ve been getting back into the swing of things. I’ve made buns, cupcakes, cinnamon buns and bread.

I’ve missed it. I really have.

I use baking to get my frustrations and my stress out. If I was sad or upset with something I would make cupcakes and then get lost in the decorating. I’m not sure why I stopped.

My house use to smell like a house. Now when you walk into my house now, it smells like a home. A home of sweet treats and baked goods.

Life

Retirement

The last couple of weeks I’ve learned about RRSPs, TFSA, Bonds, Stocks, CPP, and so on. Which is why I’m a little behind on my blog of the week. (Two blogs behind scheduled actually.) I did figure out is that I should have started my RRSP with work about 7 years ago. But, I guess better late than never at all!

It was a lot to take it and a lot to process. It made me think about where I want my life to go.

When do I want to retire? 60? 65? 71? How are the choices I make in my 20’s going to affect my life in my 60-70’s? How comfortable do I want to retire? What will I retire with? Where will I retire? Who will get my benefits if I pass?

I’m glad for three things:

1. The internet.
Its full of so many answers to my many questions.

2. Work.
For providing me some tools to help me understand what I’m jumping into.

3. The Italian.

For explaining everything I’ve just learned into words I can understand.

Spending quite a bit of time learning about the world of retirement made me realize a couple of things.

Owning a home is an important aspect of a solid retirement. It’s too bad that living in Vancouver has made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to own a home. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m ever to own a home, it will not be here.

A family is another important aspect of retirement. Who are my beneficiaries? If i was to ever pass, who would get my benefits and investments? I have three people as my beneficiaries in case anything does happen to me, however, I would rather it be my spouse and child(ren).

I want to retire comfortably. Well I should have started this process when I was eligible through work, I’m glad I’m doing it now, before I turn 30. I’m also very glad I started a TFSA about 5 years ago. Well it’s not a lot to most, its something.

Well I realize that trying to figure this all out when I’m 28 is weird when I don’t plan on retirement for a long while, its important to have some kind of plan.

Now I have a start of a plan.

Driving Life

Better late, then never.

After about 10 years, I have finally renewed my Learners license!

Best part is that it only took me 2 ½ MONTHS to get the yellow temporary piece of paper, well they send the real one in the mail!

On November 7th, I had the day off from work and figured “What the heck, let’s go re-new my learners”. So I set out for the closest ICBC licensing office. I waited in line, got a number, sat down and waited for my call number. When my number was called I talked to a lovely lady, I told her I was here to renew my much expired Learners.

Fact: It was 10 years old.

In order to pass, I had to take the knowledge test by answering at least 40 questions right, and do an eye exam.

I passed the knowledge test!

However, I did not pass the “Eye Exam”.

I’m sure you are wondering how I failed this eye exam. Well, first off, I wouldn’t call it an eye exam. After going to the optometrist for the better part of 23 years, I know what an eye exam is. That ICBC eye exam is not an eye exam.

Anyway, I’m sure the reason I failed this “Eye exam” is because of my glasses. Apparently you can do your eye exam with and without glasses. The person behind the counter asked me to do this eye exam with my glasses on. I did because I didn’t know you had the option to do it without. Although, due to my prescription, any close up, in my face flashing lights will throw me off. Guess what was part of this “Eye exam”? You guessed it, flashing lights. So I passed the written and failed the eye exam.

But fear not!

I could take a form (Evaluation of Visual Functions (EVF)), to my optometrist to fill out, and return it later that day or up to 30 days later. Too bad the optometrist that I have been seeing for the last 15 years was located in Kamloops.

In fact, I was located in a giant mall. The hunt for an optometrist who took walk ins was on!

I located one and got an appointment for 3hours later. Did I mention I was in a mall? Once my appointment was underway, I had a lovely man tell me that I have a lot of prism in my glasses. He also told me that I was his 4th EVF of the day and that this amount of prism would throw off any test that I took well wearing glasses. Thank you random mall optometrist for taking $91.00 and telling me information that I already knew.  FILL OUT THE PAPER WORK!  What should have been a 30min appointment was now taking an hour. When he did fill out my paperwork he made some mistakes and corrected them, signed it and sent me on my way.

Back the ICBC office to hand in this now dodgy looking EVF.

The only bright side to that day was the lady who was originally helping me, let me jump the line to hand in the paper work. “I’ll be right back I just have to get my supervisor to look this over”.

That’s when I learned this lovely little fact:
It needs to be sent into RoadSafeBC (RSBC) via FAX

Also, I would need to call them in one to two weeks to find out the next steps.

ONE WEEK LATER:

I called RSBC about the status of my EVF. Turns out they were processing everything from that day and to “Call back on Friday”.

Another ONE WEEK LATER:

I called RSBC about the status of my EVF. Turns out they have no paper work or record of me calling last week and that I should go back into the ICBC office I was dealing with and get them to resend it.

ANOTHER ONE WEEK LATER:

I have the morning off from work and head back to the ICBC office. I got in line, got a number, and waited for my number to be called.
Once my number was called I explained EVERYTHING thus far to the man behind the counter.
He then called RSBC and asked what the status was. The conversation went something like this:

ICBC: “I have a client in front of me; we would like to know the status of her EVF to renew her Learners.
RSBC:  “We have no records on our end of any FAX or paper work, did you send in the paperwork?”
ICBC: “We faxed and mailed you the original copy. We have nothing here; we sent it to you two weeks ago. All I have here is the client’s photocopied copy of her EVF”.
RSBC: “We need the original copy”.
ICBC: “Yes I understand that, but we sent you those by fax and e-mail two weeks ago. I’m going to fax over the photocopy copy and I’m going to stay on the line until you get it”.
The guy then told me to call them in a week to see what the status of my EVF was.

ANOTHER WEEK LATER:

I called RSBC about the status of my EVF and that call went like this:

Me: “Hi, I’m wondering about the status of my EVF?”
RSBC: “Yes, we have received it.”
Me: “Awesome, so what is the next step for me?”
RSBC: “Well the EVF is in line for review so until it’s up for review, it’s a waiting game.”
Me: “Ok, may I ask how long that may take?”
RSBC: “Well we are currently reviewing EVFs from June.”
Me:  “So you are telling me that I won’t find out until the new year if I can renew my LEARNERS LICENSE?”
RSBC: “yes”
Me: “OKAYBYE”.

At this point I was beyond frustrated and super annoyed with this whole processes. I had pretty much given up on renewing my license and taking transit until I died.

ANOTHER TWO WEEKS LATER:

I got a letter in the mail!

START THE COFFEE, CUE THE MUSIC, START THE PARADE!

The letter stated that I need glasses to drive! All I had to do was take this letter into the ICBC office with two pieces of ID and I’m ready to go. The only part about this that sucked was that it was now prime Christmas Shopping holidays at the mall and I figured I would wait it out. I hate the mall during the Christmas season.

TWO AND A HALF MONTHS IN

January 19th, I finally renewed my learners license

after waiting at the ICBC licensing office for an hour and a half.  The short of the already really long. Someone somewhere didn’t put all of my info into the box and they had to print 5 different temporary drivers’ licenses for me.

Plus side: I got to practice what my signature would look like on my ID!

Moral of the story:
Don’t let your license expire.

Life

Challenge Yourself.

One of the definitions of challenge is:

To test the ability, skill, or strength of (someone or something) : to be difficult enough to be interesting to (someone)

Last year I took part in the Instagram 365 Photo Challenge (Technically it was the 366 photo challenge as it was a leap year) and I loved it. An old co-worker of mine did the Instagram Photo Challenge in 2015 and she inspired me to take on that challenge for 2016.

So from January 1st to Dec 31st 2016 I took a total of 3,000+ Photos and made 442 posts to Instagram.

It was never about getting followers, or a number of likes, but to challenge myself to do something every day for a year. Some days it was to find something that made me happy, or brought a memory to mind, or something stupid that made me laugh. In the end, it was to challenge myself and to see how I could do the same thing in a different way, every day.

Of course like any challenge you take on in life, you are going to have some difficult times. With that said, the only time last year I felt I really struggled with the Photo Challenge was near the end. December was a hard month for me to get through. Creatively, emotionally and physically. The stress from working the holidays, my best friend was moving out and to top it off I ended up with a meniscus tear in my knee. As a result, it was hard to find the drive to finish the project.

But I did and it felt great.

I did end my photo challenge on a bit of a lower note then I originally wanted to, but I felt it was a perfect way to end the year and the photo challenge.

So it’s a new year, 2017, and I have a new challenge for myself.

One blog post a week for a year.

I’m excited about writing about my travel plans, life, love, adventures, and all the weird transit stories. But I’m mostly excited about what I’m going to get up to this year. I look forward to see what 2017 is going to throw my way and how I’m going to knock it out of the park.