Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cry if you want to...

Another Holly Cole song - it's actually one of my favorite songs of hers. Lyrics go "Cry if you want to, I won't tell you not to, I won't try to cheer you up. I'll just be here if you want me. It's no use in keeping a stiff upper lip, you can weep you can sleep you can loosen your grip. You can frown you can drown and go down with the can cry if you want to." That's just the first bit of it. But I like it. I often have sudden urges to sing it to friends. But I resist ;-).

I must cave in and discuss the moving angst here. I just want to cry. Things keep piling up, and every time we think we've got things figured out, something else appears. Today the gem was that I got my tax return (for 2004 - I was a delinquent - because I thought I wouldn't owe anything). Yep, I owe a shwack of money - not in TAXES, but in CPP etc. Like a crap load of money (in our student type world it is anyways). I'm imagining, since he is also self-employed right now that Daryl will owe something similar. And we still have to do our 2005 taxes. So basically, half of our moving budget just disappeared. This is just the latest crisis. Maybe this is God's desensitization program? Exposure to increasingly anxiety-inducing crises, until I get to the point where I just trust Him, regardless of the magnitute of the crisis? Could someone identify the mastery criterion for me?

Well. I'm going to go babysit, then I'm going to tackle financial stuff with Daryl, then i'm going to pack for our camping trip (the meager four days of which we can apparently no longer afford), then I'm going to go camping and try to ignore all of this for a few days. Then I will come home and have a panic attack. Right. Off I go.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flying Phyllo!

Well yesterday was a fairly productive day. I worked for the first half of the day, then tackled some chores in the afternoon, since it had cooled down a bit. I purged the linen closet, hauling out two more garbage bags for big brothers, called Telus to find out HOW I get our of my cell phone contract, and emailed around to find someone willing to take over organizing the baking of prosphora at church. I also did about another hour of apartment hunting online, with some positive results, and started some financial paperwork that needs doing.

We determined how much storage space we have at my parents place...left a msg for Daryl's parents to determine the same, and nailed down dates to move all the stuff we're not taking to Boston to the mainland to store. Daryl worked out the BCAA inspection for the car we're thinking of getting, got the insurance for our rental car for our camping trip, and went to the US ferry terminal downtown. OK - so, it turns out that ALL THIS TIME, when we had all these questions about moving/visa/etc details and have gone so far as to send Daryl's parents to the border on the mainland to ask questions (you cannot access US state department via phone unless you have a phone that is not cordless and will not die after a mere 3.5 hours on hold), there has been a US port of entry RIGHT HERE. They were nice and helpful, and gave Daryl the times the customs agents were in and said they'd be able to answer all our questions. We'll still be speaking to a lawyer no doubt, but at least we have a contact point.

I also made the most FABULOUS dinner!! I started to make it the night before, but it involved Phyllo pastry, and I (brilliant) hadn't thawed it out. So the filling for the phyllo and the marinating vegetables for the grilled vegetable salad went into the fridge for last night. I made a spinach and potato and herb filing for the phyllo - kind of spanakopita like. It was SO good!! Phyllo is so fussy - I kept ripping it! It turned out ok in the end though. The grilled vegetables turned out to be even better having marinated for 24hours instead of 1-2 hours. I did portabella mushrooms, red peppers, eggplant, and zuchinni marinated in basil chilie garlic vinegar (my mom makes it - it's amazing!), olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, basil and oregano. I grilled them in my pampered chef grill pan (LOVE IT) at a really high heat, then sliced them up and mixed into a salad. Super good! We ate on the deck, but it was really windy, and every time we cut into the spakopita thingys phyllo pastery went flying all over the patio, into our faces, down my shirt, EVERYWHERE!! It was SO funny. And a friend stopped by and exchanged 2 bottles of wine for 3 cases of wine bottles (she was bottling tomorrow and short on bottles, and I just happened to have 3 cases from ages ago when I was planning to try to make wine)!! So, out went three more boxes of clutter!! And we had wine for dinner. Excellent.

To bed early last night to catch up on the sleep missed due to heat wave. On the agenda today: work for most of the day, then go to Canadian tire to scope out tents, haul stuff out of our closet and determine what I can sort through and what Daryl has to sort through, and sort through a bookshelf in our room and decide what to store/get rid of/take with us. And of course, andother check in with apartment listings.

Off I go!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A heat wave blew into town last week...

That is the opening line to a song off of Holly Cole's summer album. Daryl and I both pretty much have it memorized - it's kind of the sound track to our honeymoon. We rented a car for our honeymoon, and drove up-island to stay at a bed and breakfast and explore the many island wonders. We realized within about an hour or two that the car we'd rented had a CD player and neither of us had thought to bring CD's. So, we ended up picking up this Holly Cole album, and an Enya album at a Chapters - needless to say one can only listen to so much Enya, so Holly Cole was played over and over and over. It's been in rotation on my stereo lately, and very appropriately so, because it's so blinking hot here right now!!!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the sun, and warm weather. We spent half the day at the beach baking in the sun on Sunday, it was wonderful (except I'm a bit over-sunned now). The problem is that we live in the top floor of an old house, with pretty much NO insulation. I cannot explain to you how hot this apartment gets in the summer. SO hot, and it doesn't cool down. We keep it all closed up all day until the sun is off the house and over the trees in the back then throw open all the doors and windows to cool it down. The problem is that right now there is NO wind. This only really cools the apartment down if there is a breeze/wind in the evening. Which, being so close to the water there usually is. But it hasn't been windy at all in the last few days. So, at 1am STILL cannot sleep b/c I feel like I'm suffocating. We can't leave doors/windows open at night b/c our cat will escape, so I'm up with the patio door all the way open, guarding the exit so the cat can't get out should she try. I"m hoping this will cool things down, but I don't know.

I am reminded of a miserable (though amusing) night Michelle and I spent in a Toronto hostel. I'm ready to plead "juice, juice...please just some juice."

Is it unsafe to sleep in a cold bath?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lemony Goodness

I. Made. This. Cake.
I did it, totally from scratch, and all by myself. It was so lucious, light and yummy! It may sound like I'm bragging, but you have to understand, I've never made a cake like THIS before, from scratch. This one is tripple layer white cake, from scratch, with yummy lemon curd type filling made on the stove and refrigerated. Ok, so in my case, it was put in the freezer, then almost frozen because I forgot about it - I had missed the "Let sit in fridge for 1.5 hours before using" component. The icing was unlike any I've ever seen before. It is made by whipping egg whites, sugar, vanilla etc together with an electric mixer, while cooking it over a double-boiler. Crazy! But what comes out is such scooshy, light wonderful icing. I have to say I felt a little like Martha. I think she would brand this cake "A good thing." The best part - it was from the "Cooking Light" cookbook! Excellent.

I LOVED baking this cake. Baking relaxes me at the best of time, but this was so fun. I had a glass of wine and chips and salsa while baking, and it was a whole afternoon - about 3 hours. Love it.

Off to do some more baking I think. I'm going to make some prosphora, do some cleaning and grocery shopping maybe. Read: NOT work, NOT think about stressful things. This stuff is all oddly therepeutic for me.

I'm refusing to post my rants about all the moving/visa/car/etc stress. This is, after all, a place for things I love and sometimes neglect. Stressing about the above is definately not something I love, nor is it something I neglect - it gets all-together too much of my time. So, off I go. Till later...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I have needs..apparently.

Ok, well I'm stealing this from Michelle, who stole it from Sara, who stole it from....?

The idea is you google "(your name) needs" and see what comes up. So, here's what I found:

TYLA needs financial support (YES!! Any takers?)

Tyla needs a special helmet done. (Ummm...)

TYLA NEEDS YOU (That depends who "you" is ;-)

Tyla needs a home now (Can it be in Boston?)

TYLA NEEDS OF SENIOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE (Yes, that is a very important committee to me.)

"Um, Mama, I think Tyla needs a nap or someting" (Always...I could always use a nap).

Tyla needs little introduction. (Well that depends on the crowd - have I already made a fool of myself in front of you?).

I didn't think there would be much for my name, but there were these few!

On a similar note - check out my band:

And my hotel in Lithuania:

I'm doing well for myself ;-)

Monday, June 12, 2006

It was going so well....

So...Today was THE day. I purged junk yesterday, it went out with big brothers today, and today was THE day to get back in to the swing of eating healthier and exercising. I've been feeling very sluggish lately. You see all these little bad habits have crept back in, and "treats" have become frequent...And I have let exercise slide...and I feel icky! So, today was the day to slide back into my healthier ways in an effort to increase my energy and decrease my waist!

I am a weight watchers person - one of "those." I lost about 40lb almost 4 or so years ago! I kept it all off for about 2-3 years. The point system really worked for me. I really learned healthy habits, didn't feel deprived (most of the time ;-), and changed my lifestyle. But...over the years since, bad habits here and there have crept back at a time, and added up to gaining some of the weight back. This was compounded, by the fact that I quit smoking exactly 11 months ago today. Happy anniversary me!! Daryl too - we've both been quit for 11 months - not a puff! the metabolism slowed, and eating increased...

So - time to re-visit the points system that has served me well, pay attention to what i'm eating, and build back in some of those good habits that have strayed away. It went SO well all day - I was under my points allowance, and feeling totally satisfied and full. We even had sangria with dinner- perfect for a hot day. Then we went out for coffee with a friend...and it was about 8pm..and I was getting a bit hungry (an apple or pudding cup would have surficed). So, we shared a pannini and a kleinberg bar (REALLY yummy, but SO unhealthy sweet treat). To be clear the real problem with this is that we were full and satisfied BEFORE eating this (I was a bit peckish, but as I said, an apple would have done it)! So we were then feeling overfull, and my wonderfully successful first day back on the bandwagon had gone awry. That's ok. It happens. Back at it. We did walk home though! And, I will record the points, even though it will make me cringe!

I DID however bake the banana bread that I have been meaning to bake for an eternity! Whole wheat, low fat and OH so yummy! The recipe has 3 banana's per loaf, so it's super good and bananay. I have one loaf in the freezer, and another I'll dig into tomorrow for breakfast.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Yes...the realization that we are actually moving is sinking in. There is already one important event in the life of a close friend we'll be missing...and I know there will be more. This is the sad part of moving such a distance.

I will miss my brother's beautiful son's first few years.
I'll miss one of my best friend's vow renewal (and - to point out the obvious - a stellar opportunity for dancing with her. This is one of my favorite things to do).

Daryl and I were having dinner on the balcony (so hot inside!) and an old counting crows song came on. Everytime I hear it I think of the first Sleep-over I had with someone who has since become one of my closest friends. We were 13 or 14 I think...and I remember dancing around in my room to counting crows. We were so cool. I think there was some Nirvana involved too. That was our first "bonding" night. We stayed up and talked and from then on have been there for all of the important events in each other's lives.

That was also part of the beginning of a group of friends that formed in highschool, and astoundingly, remain close today. Though many of us live further away now, and have come and gone over the years, we all remain close. When we see each other, though we've changed individually, our ability to relate to each other, and that bond we have doesn't go away. It's something I cherish.

So, I guess tonight, I'm feeling nostalgic. I'm thining of the past (as I often do when facing a new future). I am also looking towards the future though. I'm so excited for this adventure we're embarking on. It's hard to belive we're actually doing it!

So, on the "looking towards the future" note - today was a very productive day. We went to Church in the morning, then I had a nap and did some emailing. Later, I purged my wardrobe, pulled out a large garbage bag full of clothes. I also parted with a large majority of my bag collection ( I have a lot of bags...though none are expensive...just lots of them), several pairs of shoes, and a lava lamp. I decided I'm past the lava lamp stage and if I haven't ever set it up yet, it's really not going to happen. I pitched a bunch of material I had kept for "sewing" - which I don't actually do unless it is an absolute necessity, got rid of a bunch of yarn for "knitting"(which I also don't do) , and debated how much I loved several stuffed animals. I cant' help thinking WHY did I move all this stuff two times in the last few years!!?? So, our closet/attic storage room is about 1/4 emptied out. After I beg and plead with my parents to take my wedding dress, and grandmothers china home with them after this visit (or another :-), along with the three boxes of stuff they've already agreed to transport to a friend, the closet will be getting roomy. This is exciting. We also did laundry and grocery shopping together tonight, so are all clean and stocked up.

Wine and dinner on the patio with good tunes and conversation rounded the day out. It was a good day. Big Brothers is coming tomorrow for a pick-up, so as long as we get up in time to get all our stuff to the curb before leaving for work, our space will be lighter and freer than today.

It's a good thing ;-)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Call for Papers....err....Advice

So, we are embarking on this ginormous (nice hey!) move. I know that there are MANY people out there who have a) Moved recently or b) Moved a long distance at some point in their lives. So, keeping in mind that we are on student budgets, with peanuts for relocation assistance, and only a couple (i.e. don't have to move kids accross the continent), I'm putting out a call for advice. Anyone who has moved recently or ever moved a long distance give me:

a) You HAVE to try/remember/do this :

b) You MUST avoid/run from/not do this:

c) Drive with stuff or fly and ship stuff (for a distance move):

d) What did you not bring with you when you moved that you REALLY wish you had?

e) What did you bring with you that you never once used...or bought a new one of anyways.

f) If you've ever lived on the East Coast - what is the most important thing for us West-Coasters to know when moving there?

Any and all advice will be GREATLY appreciated!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

So...have you decided what your plans are for next year yet?

Well, I can finally answer an affirmative "yes" to that question. We have made the final decision. We Boston. Well, not exactly Boston, we'll be living about a 1/2 hour outside of Boston. But we are going to MA, and the Boston area. I've accepteda position at the New England Center for Children (, and will start there in September. I'll start my Master of Science in applied behavior analysis at Northeastern University in January.

At the ABA conference in Atlanta, I went to some presentations by people at NECC, and realized that that is REALLY where I need to be. The research they were presenting is exactly what I want to do - combining my interests in stimulus equivalence research with my interests in autism. Also - I realized it's highly unlikely that I'll be getting a stipend to Ohio state. All things considered, NECC was origionally my first choice, and even having the opportunity to work there will be great. Also - Boston was Daryl's first choice for where to re-locate. And, as I found out, he'd rather move there than stay here - he's such an adventure and travel nut :-)

Daryl has secured 3 months of remote contract work (translation - no visa required) and will be elligable for a TN visa as of Sept/October. He'll start looking for work when we get there and by the time he's elligable he should be close to having a job offer. Once he finds a job, he can apply for a TN visa (the same one I'm going down on), which only takes a matter of hourse to process (at a boarder though). His job is one of those on the TN job list, and we'll probably hire an immigration lawyer just for at least a bare minimum look over his application, as it seems wording is crucial. The people at NECC also gave me the name of an IT company that frequently hires canadians on TN visas. It looks like a great company, and has 5 locations close to where we'll be living, and numerous entry-level openings at each of those locations. So, Daryl will be researching that company in preparation.

So - best case scenario - Daryl gets a job and a TN visa, I start graduate studies in Jan, and we settle in for the next few years. Worst case scenario - Daryl can't get a visa, and I finish out my contract year working at NECC, and we change plans for the following year (this is b/c my salary would be enough to support us, but not to pay tuition as well).

We're very excited, but also very nervous!! Only about 3 months to go!

So...getting reay by printing moving lists and advice from and . Researching US vehicles and insurance stuff, cost of flying vs driving (which we'd prefer to do, as we'd love to have the road trip!), moving the cat and the best way to do that, and looking into housing in MA.

Starting the de-cluttering process as well. Daryl sorted out the attic storgage, and big brothers is doing a pick up on Monday. I'm going to start by sorting through my clothes and bagging up whatever I don't love for BB.

much to do! but marking is done until July, so I have a bit of time to adjust and get sorted out. Off to clean and bake and go crazy with all that since I actually have the afternoon off!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I love my cat

This is Bastet. She's so cute...and so unimpressed with my photo-taking. She actually sleeps like this! How cute is that!

Atlanta Pictures

(Above) My favorite pic of M. and I at the ABA social. Gosh, my face is big. Oi!
Me with my yummmy mint juliep!
All the gang at Merry Mac's Tea Room. Eduina (sp?) our waitress is in the middle.

Home again

Finally am home safe and sound, after much adieu...I have been lazy with blogging all of the adventures, but a) I didn't have access to a computer frequently b) I was once again stuck in the Chicago O'Hare ("O'hairball" as my traveling companions and I have come to call it), airport for about 4 hours, and c) I got super sick upon getting home. This may sound gross, but all of you Seinfeld fans will appreciate it - I broke my vomit streak :-(. No idea what it was...but it involved a fever and my whole body aching non-stop. Ick...feeling a bit better now. ANYHOO...

So, to summarize, here are the highlights of my trip to Atlanta:

1) T.'s "Pullleaassurrree (see earlier post)" to the customs agent.
2) Shopping - Atlanta does have great shopping...pottery barn, crate and barrel, macy's, Tiffany's, and many many more all in just one mall!
3) Our waiter at Ruby Tuesday's ....who's name I can't remember. Sweet as can be...called us "maam" excessively, and when we asked about the underground he said "Y'all don't want to go there, there's just a lot of boots" It took us about 5 minutes to realize he's said "Booths" - as in flea market.
4) How helpful and friendly everyone in Atlanta was. I don't think we came across one person who was unfriendly.
5) A different form of asking for money on the street - we had two people offer us directions (as we were clearly totally clueless about where to go) to a good restaurant. Both then requested money after giving us directions. Another person offered to take our picture for us, and then again requested money. Interesting..
6) I met one of my hero's - Murray Sidman, the man who developed the area of stimulus equivalence in behavior analytic research (an area I did research in while at UVic). I saw him speak, then got to talk to him and he signed my book. M. said she got pictures of me talking to him too! His presentation was so good - mostly because he described the basic paradigm of stimulus equivalence so simply. He didn't use one word of jargon (and there is a lot of jargon available!!), and made it so clear and simple. Brilliant!
7) I saw a number of the biggest names in our field dancing. The famous EO man can MOVE, another famous person in our field was dancing the night away with a number of ladies ("Let's get it oooowwnn" was one song that we will forever associate with his dancing with numerous women), and lead a conga line. Of course M. and I danced the night away - but - in the MIDDLE of the dance floor (so as not to be visible to those sitting around the dance floor and making fun of nerds like us!).
8) My poster presentation, and our workshop both went well. I had a lot of people come and talk to me during the poster session, a couple of big-ish names, and had lots of good feedback.
9) I went to a great symposium on stimulus equivalence. I sat down, by myself. Then, two seats to my left sat Philip Chase (a big name in SE research), to his right sat MURRAY SIDMAN (BIG name), in front of me Lanny Fields, next to him Henry Mackay - I was flanked by the big names in SE research! I was ready to explode! Then, half way through one presentation (of course, when all was quiet) I dropped ALL my papers, books, pens etc on the floor. Yep - WINNER - that's me!
10) As it turns out, a Mint julep is NOT like a Mojhito...not at all minty and refreshing. Yes, actually, it just tastes like nasty wild turkey bourbon. Mmmm...I had this at Merry Mac's Tea room. Which, mint juleps' aside, was a fabulous experience. True southern food, southern waitress, and excellent service and food. SO good!
11) At the end of my trip, after 36hours of traveling when I felt totally done in,I found a little card in my bag. A dear dear friend had slipped it in. For us, this trip was a giant 5 day sleep over, which I cherished, as we don't get to spend much face to face time together anymore. The little note was saying essentially just that, it was shmeepy which we don't do in person, but it meant so much to me, and lifted my travel-weary spirits. It really is a travesty that we never got to be roomates!!

So much more...but for now I'll leave it there. Check out for more chronicles of our trip!

Bye for now!