Fifth Month Theme: Spring? What? Confusion All Around!

This is my weirdest month so far! Plus, I had some culture shock going on. Read on to find out more!

What is Spring Like?

How do I answer this? People ask me about spring, but I can’t give direct answers. The best I can do is send photos. The river started melting and I got snaps of its progress. I’ve included ones from last month to show the progress. I feel like sometimes I’m snapping the receding ice shelf in Greenland.

February 15:

February 28:

March 10, 13:

There was a big melt and we decided to call it the Canadian Slush Fund. Then it froze when the temperature dropped. At least the city cleaned it up so it wasn’t so slippery.Β 

After the big melt, grass shoots started growing! We were stroking them lovingly. I didn’t realize how much I was craving the sight of green, living things. Although, my favourite shirt to wear at the moment is green with flowers and paisley. Plus, when I went to get some clothes for warmer weather, I gravitated to ones with flowers on them. Now I know to get house plants next winter. Evergreen doesn’t satisfy my needs for seeing green, living things because let’s face it, sometimes it doesn’t look green.

What can I say about the temperature? It gets erratic. The hottest it’s got is just between 10 and 20 degrees C, which is typical for cold weather in California. Then all of a sudden, it’s subzero again. At no other time has the phrase, “Don’t like the weather? Wait 20 minutes.” been more applicable.

It makes me laugh how there’s “spring” here just like there’s “winter” in California. One minute, I am walking in the sun, getting warm weather clothes, seeing grass shoots and nesting birds. The next minute, it’s plunged into snow!Β 

How do I Feel About Snow Now?

This video sums it up. I’m going to watch comedy until spring comes back!

My feet are a mess after shoving them into boots for five months. I am glad I used to be a ballet dancer though because I know how to take care of my feet. However, I have had to change up how I take care of my feet and I am still learning. Does anyone have any tips for that? I am so glad I got a footbath for my birthday! Right now, I feel like I need a major pedicure. Recently, I saw a comedy skit that talked about winter foot. Okay, too much!

I have been making a point of staying warm during these erratic temperatures so that I don’t weaken my immune system. I will be getting the COVID-19 shot in either May or June. Yes, I have pandemic fatigue, but I keep telling myself I need to hold on just a bit longer.Β 

A few days ago, I woke up, saw it had snowed and said, “I knew it!” I said it while laughing but felt annoyed too. Sometimes, I am quoting the above video so I end up saying, “Oh F**K!!” I took a photo of the snow, sent it to my friends with the following caption:

I did not photoshop this!

And Now:

I am writing this when there are warnings for both high wind and a snow squall for the next 24 hours. I hope this is just March going out like a lion. One thing has made my month. I found Cadbury Creme Eggs! They made my Easter back in England and it’s been 8 years since I have had them! Sugar binge!

It helps to laugh at this situation though. I have heard this season being described as “After Winter” or “False Hope”. I have created responses to the question “Is it spring?” according to how certain politicians would spin it. It’s all in good fun. When you get a situation where you don’t know how to answer, it’s funny to remember people actually make this their existence. I heard this is the warmest year on record, so sometimes I wonder if I am in for a shock next year?

Some Things to Look Forward To:

Once my feet recover a bit and the warm weather stabilizes, I am going to get out more and enjoy nature. The other day, I was in NW Calgary near the Bow River. I don’t see as much of the Bow River as I would like. I frequent the Elbow River more. Anyway, I saw what I think was a hawk there! It was hard to see or get a good photo of it. Plus, I heard a lot of geese and ducks calling. The Bow looked really beautiful at this time when the ice was melting.

I want to explore more of the Bow River. Plus, I hear that bald eagles are starting to next at certain points of the Bow. Additionally, golden eagles will be migrating back to Alberta soon, and I want to see them too. Watch this space!

Immigration Was Weird Too:

I applied to extend my stay here this month. This is the first time I have had to deal with immigration paperwork completely online. When I applied for UK citizenship, I did it on paper. It was only a couple of years after the first iPhone came out. Life was just starting to go digital, but the Home Office hadn’t caught on yet. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer pen and paper.

Since my Mum and I were applying together, we had a joint online application. We had to apply to extend our stay 30 days before our status expired. It was over a month ago when we started preparing our documents. Then, all of a sudden, the system wouldn’t let me upload my application form. I tried different solutions to figure out what was wrong. I must have refilled my application several times and checked it over several times a day. Anyone who knows me knows nothing gets me testier and worked up like immigration paperwork. Every day, I reached an impasse. We tried to find out how to do a paper application, but the IRCC website was super cryptic. Plus, the IRCC has to grant you permission to do a paper application. It didn’t help to email them or call them either.Β 

I didn’t think to Google the answer. I assumed because it was a secure system that tips for applying online weren’t allowed to get posted on the internet. Then, the last day to apply came around and we were just about to give up the online application and send a paper application by courier. Out of desperation, I Googled it and realized I had ticked the wrong box on my form! The relief!

And Another Thing About Immigration:

I know six-month cut-offs for certain visas are a common theme around the world. Here’s why I hate it. It’s like governments know that around the six-month point, you’re likely reaching a low point with adjusting to a culture. Therefore, they require you to apply to extend your stay when you’re already under a lot of pressure. I knew in February that I was going to hit that low soon. It hit me when we were struggling to apply to extend our stay. Fortunately, it’s not the first time I have been through this, and my Mum was supportive. She let me vent, cry and have some time to chill. Then, the next morning, she asked me, “What happened?” That question was a great way to unpack everything. I’ll be doing the same for her someday.

Right now, I’m not ready to say exactly what happened, but I will do a post on how to survive that culture shock dip. In the meantime, I’m going to eat some Cadbury Creme Eggs and watch Canadian comedy while waiting for the weather to pass.

Author: winteroseca

I'm a Third Culture Kid who has lived in four different countries before and recently moved to Canada. Follow my blog about my life in Canada, plus expat life hacks and more!

34 thoughts on “Fifth Month Theme: Spring? What? Confusion All Around!”

  1. Spring can take forever to fully arrive in this part of the world. March came in like and went out like a lamb. Hmmm, what does that say for April. We need moisture desperately (April Showers) o we will have another active forest fire season, with smoky days. Not a good thing. Hope you Visa extension gets sorted out. As to the best winter socks, if you can get some Merino wool socks, they are the best. Stay well. Allan

    1. It’s like squeaky gears or something lol. Thanks for the heads up about fire season. I do know what it’s like in California and last year, fires hit during the summer and were really severe. Mum and I actually just got approved to stay until October! And thanks for the tips on merino wool socks. Happy Easter 😊

  2. Nothing bette than those first signs of spring! Hoping we’ll be getting our vaccine just a few months after you get yours. Oh man the paperwork for immigration BRUTAL!!!!

    1. Those first signs give so much hope! That’s good about the vaccine. My parents just got theirs and I will likely get mine in May or June. Yeah, nothing gets me stressed like immigration paperwork

  3. Spring in Canada can be… interesting to say the least lol! I remember my first spring here and there were literally snow storms mid-spring πŸ™ƒ

    1. You’re definitely right about that! I hear Calgary can snow at any time. We’ll see what happens! Cadbury Creme Eggs make me feel better though. Lol. Thanks for commenting 😊

  4. That weather is just unreal! Your post made me sure that I don’t want to move to anywhere else in Canada! Lol!
    What most people do here is applying for a (government approved) certificate program of 8 months or longer which enables you to get a work permit. If your study length is 8 months- 1 year, you’ll get a 1 year work permit, whereas if your program is longer than 1 year, you’ll get a 3 years work permit. After working for 1600 hours (about 10 months full time), you are eligible to apply for PNP (Provincial nomination something!), but not sure if PNP is only for BC residents or not. Alberta must have something similar.
    You can get a kind of parent visa for your mom (double check online) for the duration of your stay.
    This is the only way that comes to my mind. There are some other ways like investment or skilled worker program, but they take longer than 2 years to proceed and since you’re (probably) older than 19 years old, you can’t apply as a family.
    I hope the best for you. We need more open-minded people in Canada like yourself.
    Best of luck and happy Easter!

    1. I would rather deal with the weather here than be miserable in the US, frankly. I get a certain amount of satisfaction knowing I did well this year. I know I made mistakes, but you don’t learn everything about Canadian winters in a year. Thanks for the tips. We have a lot to consider, especially with the startup visa. Happy Easter to you too and thanks for commenting 😊

      1. I wanted to do the startup thing for myself initially, but ended up going a different route because there wasn’t enough clarification about it at that time.
        By the way, it was so hard to find your new website’s address. I almost thought you deleted the whole thing until I found your Twitter account! lol!

      2. It’s been weird, especially with the pandemic to find out immigration information in general, but the IRCC just sent us some info about it. Plus, we spoke to a lawyer about it. We found a service that gives free legal advice. Thanks for letting me know about my site. I changed it but I didn’t know how to tell my followers that I had changed it. Probably good since my last couple posts were rather grim. Lol. I am actually going to delete Twitter and stick with IG for my blog. I have had WAY too much of social media!

      3. I know! Even thou it’s been more than a year since pandemic started, everything is still kind of unstable!
        But try not to overthink about your current situation. Worst case scenario is that you’d have to go back to California until your PR is issued which is not as bad as you think. I mean, it’s not worth of keeping you in defensive mode. Life still goes on and unlike the government, California is a beautiful state.

      4. Definitely! Don’t get me started on the vaccine situation. I know at some point we will have to go to California and take care of some business. We don’t know yet when that will happen. But the fact of the matter is things were pretty dire over there for me and my Mum and we just want to finish our business there as fast as possible

      5. I hear you. I wish there was no border in the world so that everyone could freely choose where to live. All these man-made borders and rules make me wonder if us humans are truly intelligent or the dumbest of creations!

      6. True. Although, sometimes if you’re living next to an unstable country, you are grateful for the border. The Irish have a song about being grateful they aren’t England and one of their lines is, “Thank God we’re surrounded by water!” I feel that here, except it’s “Thank God we’re surrounded by snow!”

      7. I just shared the song with you. I think your comment setting doesn’t allow links in it. I liked the song! Will remember it for the rest of my life as a good example for not all separations are bad! lol!

      8. I pray for you guys and will bookmark your new address, in case you delete your Twitter’s account! Don’t change your domain again tho, it’s like poison for SEO. But I like this new name way better, it truly expresses your posts and the aim of your blog as whole.

      9. Thank you :). I won’t change my domain. I’m happy with it. I deleted Twitter. It’s the most toxic of all social media platforms. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      10. I’m not a big fan of Twitter either, but both Twitter and Pinterest are amazing SEO tools for backlinks to blog posts, so, I have to continue using them! lol!

  5. Those are some crazy temperature and weather swings. I found that ever since I switched to using wool socks, I have had less blisters and other feet issues. I also try to put lotion on my feet every night before bed during the winter months. I took an adult beginner’s class to ballet for a couple of years and have so much respect for ballet dancers! It’s so much harder than it looks. Wow. And yes, those Cadbury Creme Eggs are dangerously delicious!

    1. Thanks for the tip. I will look into getting wool socks next winter. I admit that I only sometimes use lotion because as a dancer, lotion was a no-no. That’s cool you did a ballet class. You’re right. It is really tricky. Cadbury Creme Eggs are LIFE!! Thanks for commenting 😊

      1. I had no idea that lotion was a no-no for ballet dancers. I guess it can make your feet greasy, which probably isn’t good for balance. Wool socks are a game changer. I pretty much never get blisters anymore whenever I wear them hiking. Plus they do a fantastic job of keeping your feet dry and warm.

      2. Lotion makes your skin soft and that’s a no-no for dancers because you have to toughen your feet. Btw, what kind of lotion do you recommend? I have tried Vaseline, mineral oil and glycerin and they don’t really work

      3. I’m really into this peppermint cooling foot lotion from the Body Shop these days. I find it works wonders for my dry skin and makes my feet tingle for a bit.

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