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 canโ€™t give direct answers. The best I can do is send photos. The river started melting and I got snaps of its progress. Iโ€™ve included ones from last month to show the progress. I feel like sometimes Iโ€™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 wasnโ€™t so slippery.ย 

After the big melt, grass shoots started growing! We were stroking them lovingly. I didnโ€™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 doesnโ€™t satisfy my needs for seeing green, living things because letโ€™s face it, sometimes it doesnโ€™t look green.

What can I say about the temperature? It gets erratic. The hottest itโ€™s got is just between 10 and 20 degrees C, which is typical for cold weather in California. Then all of a sudden, itโ€™s subzero again. At no other time has the phrase, โ€œDonโ€™t like the weather? Wait 20 minutes.โ€ been more applicable.

It makes me laugh how thereโ€™s โ€œspringโ€ here just like thereโ€™s โ€œwinterโ€ in California. One minute, I am walking in the sun, getting warm weather clothes, seeing grass shoots and nesting birds. The next minute, itโ€™s plunged into snow!ย 

How do I Feel About Snow Now?

This video sums it up. Iโ€™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 donโ€™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.ย 

A few days ago, I woke up, saw it had snowed and said, โ€œI knew it!โ€ I said it while laughing but felt annoyed too. Sometimes, I am quoting the above video so I end up saying, โ€œOh F**K!!โ€ 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 itโ€™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 โ€œAfter Winterโ€ or โ€œFalse Hopeโ€. I have created responses to the question โ€œIs it spring?โ€ according to how certain politicians would spin it. Itโ€™s all in good fun. When you get a situation where you donโ€™t know how to answer, itโ€™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 donโ€™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 hadnโ€™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 wouldnโ€™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 didnโ€™t help to email them or call them either.ย 

I didnโ€™t think to Google the answer. I assumed because it was a secure system that tips for applying online werenโ€™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. Hereโ€™s why I hate it. Itโ€™s like governments know that around the six-month point, youโ€™re likely reaching a low point with adjusting to a culture. Therefore, they require you to apply to extend your stay when youโ€™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, itโ€™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, โ€œWhat happened?โ€ That question was a great way to unpack everything. Iโ€™ll be doing the same for her someday.

Right now, Iโ€™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, Iโ€™m going to eat some Cadbury Creme Eggs and watch Canadian comedy while waiting for the weather to pass.