Monday, August 30, 2010

A Trip Downtown

We finally took a trip downtown this weekend and were able to see the harbour and the sights of St. John's.
G fell in LOVE with these statues of a Newfoundland dog and a Labrador dog. She rode on them, fed them rocks (which is, of course, what a statue eats), pet them and generally refused to leave them. It took some convincing to move on with our day.

Statues of a Newfoundland and a Labrador

We walked around the downtown pretty much all day, stopping in a few of nice shops along the way. We debated going up to Signal Hill, but decided it was too far for that day. But we did see it from the harbour.
Signal Hill

The hills of downtown were amazing - I was reminded of White Rock, BC, but it is so distinctly East Coast as well. The houses are brightly coloured and the shore is so rocky.
Houses in downtown St. John's

It was a beautiful day and very sunny. I don't know what all this talk about rain is about - it's beautiful here! I've been reassured by several people, however, that the rain and the fog are coming!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Toys - a wee video

G has been really into "cooking" lately, so her one of her birthday presents was a fun set of velcro fruit that cuts apart.
Here's a little video of her playing:

G's New Fruit Toys from Jan Moffett on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Familiar and the Unfamiliar

There is both the very familiar and the very unfamiliar in moving here. It is difficult to decide which we want to seek out. We have had fish twice, but we could have done that in Manitoba anytime - though it is an exciting novelty to eat something that was caught so nearby. The grocery store fish is similar in price (which is lame), but I'm sure we'll find some local place that sells cheaper stuff.
Mainly, the familiar stuff is a result of globalization and still being in Canada. There's a Tim Hortons on every corner, the nearby mall has practically all the same stores as Polo Park in Winnipeg and there is even a Chez Cora nearby (though not nearly as French as the one in St. Boniface!). Even in that, though, there are differences - Superstore is called Dominion (though it is exactly the same - save the fact that the carts aren't coin-op) and Safeway, the Bay and 7-Eleven are nowhere to be found.

Then there is the very unfamiliar- and I am talking, of course, about the accents. Some are stronger then others, naturally, but everyone talks so differently here! There are times when you just plain can't understand someone! It is really neat, though, and makes me so much more aware of the way I speak.
Also unfamiliar to this prairie girl are all the hills. I have spent quite a bit of time in BC as a kid and so it's not like I've never been around hills before, but they have never been such a part of daily life as they are now. Our apartment is situated right in the middle of a hill, so we are constantly going up or down it to get anywhere. It's exhausting, but I think my legs will just get stronger and stronger!

Lastly, as we discovered very early on while driving in our rental car - Winnipeg's confusion corner has nothing on this city. There are no straight roads. None. Look up St. John's on googlemaps and just try and find a grid. It's ridiculous for two people with such a crappy sense of direction!

So, there are these familiar and unfamiliar things as we try to adjust. I miss Winnipeg's Rye Bread and eating at Stella's, but we're making our way here and finding the local flavour here might be just as good (or better).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So, we finally have internet a week after moving here. I have many thoughts, some of which I've written out longhand and some of which are still ruminating in my head.

So, the story of our arrival: We left Winnipeg on Tuesday afternoon and flew for hours and hours, stopping for awhile in Toronto and then landing in St. John's at 11:30 (their time). We experienced very quickly the friendliness of Newfoundland when our cab driver chatted with us about the city and was excited we were moving there. Our first night was spent in a hotel, and then on Wednesday we finally arrived at our new apartment.
Our new place is slightly smaller then our old one, but very new and nice. Since there was a gap between the previous tenants and us, they repainted everything and cleaned really well. A fantastic change, since we've moved into places in the past that required much in the way of cleaning. It is nearby to the major mall, a grocery store and other good things.
G had a bit of a hard time adjusting. She was really craving her own place and stuff after staying at other people's houses. She has had more breakdown/temper tantrums then usual, but it seems like those are getting fewer as she settles in. With her own toys and her own bed, she has declared this as "G's house" many times.
On our way here, we tried to teach her where she lived by saying that we are moving to St. John's, Newfoundland.
On the plane, Paul quizzed her: Where are we moving?
G: St. John's!
Paul: And where is St. John's?
G: Superman!
Well... they do have the same number of syllables.

We managed to buy our beds right away as well as a comfy chair, a kitchen table and a dresser for G. More furniture is still yet to come, but now that we can get online, checking kijiji will be much easier!

Up next: The Familiar and the Unfamiliar.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Out of Our Place, One Day to Go...

We actually did it! We managed to get all of our stuff sold and out of our apartment. What a frustrating experience, though. Selling things on kijiji seemed like a good idea at the time. We've sold things there before and not had trouble. However, selling so many things at once left us open for way more frustration. We had hoped to have practically no furniture by Saturday, but people didn't show up, didn't communicate and were generally just a pain on our last week. On Saturday morning we still had our table and chairs to get rid of, our microwave, our bed, a couch and recliner and a desk. Luckily, we still managed to get rid of everything, despite all the stress and last minute frustration. Everything was picked up on Saturday and we were out of our apartment by the evening.
Now, we are staying with some friends from church and heading out tomorrow! I can't believe it's so soon. I am full of mixed emotions and trying to be positive. Yesterday was our last church service and we were prayed for in front of the congregation at the end, except that there were very few people left in the congregation since the pews emptied out to come and lay hands on us. It was very touching, to say the least.

We spent last evening with friends (seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which was AWESOME) and this evening will be spent with friends as well. All our goodbyes have almost happened.

Next post will be from Newfoundland!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Okay. I am ready to move.


This move involves some serious downsizing.  Which is a surprisingly liberating experience.  I think it's fair to say that I have a complicated attitude toward stuff.  On one hand, I seriously covet stuff.  I want an iPad and a new computer, and a nicely decorated apartment, and beautiful copies of my books.  I want G to have all kinds of great toys, and I want to have kitchen stuff that is both beautiful and functional.  And much as I wish I didn't, a part of me really resents people who DO have all that stuff.

And that, really, is the problem.  I don't believe that having all the stuff I want would really make me happier, and even more, I don't believe that having it would make me better.  I don't believe having that stuff would make me a less resentful, more peaceful, more contented person.  But that is the person I want to be.  It's a cliche, but I think it's true -- stuff ends up owning you instead of the other way around, if you will let it.

So we're selling and giving away and throwing away a lot of our stuff, and I'm kind of happy about it. And when we get to St. John's, we're not going to replace most of it.  We're going to try to be minimalists, and buy only what we really need.  And of course, what we decide we "really need" will probably be a lot more than we ACTUALLY really need, but hopefully, it is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boxes, Boxes...

Oh, Newfoundland, you crazy island. There is just no way to get to you.

So, we looked into all sorts of ways to get our stuff from the middle of the country to the edge of the country (4000 km away). U-Haul was insanely expensive (not to mention unsafe, by all reports I've heard) and most moving companies charged the same thing - $3000 to move. Every option kept coming up with that number-  $3000. There was no way we wanted to could pay that, so our option was to sell all our furniture and move everything else in boxes with Canada Post, and whatever we could take on the flight.
So, we shipped off 10 boxes of stuff. They were big boxes and took two trips in a very kind friend's car. The total to ship them? Just over $300. Not bad! So much less then sending them any other way.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hard Times

It's hard to move. I am trying to be very positive, because I know that saying "this year is going to suck" and "I'm going to be so lonely" is just a self-fulfilling prophesy. So, I'm trying to have confidence that I have the ability to make friends and find things to do.
But, I am sad to leave everyone. I've held back the tears thinking that I'll let them all out at the last minute, but I realized that I may have a total breakdown at the airport if I hold them back till then. So, I'm letting myself cry. Unfortunately, it still comes out at inopportune times. The other day, I was giving G a bath when Paul heard from the other room "Mommy sad". And sure enough, when he came, I was crying. It's a lethal combination - moving stress, leaving everyone, going somewhere where we don't know anyone and being pregnant with all the hormones that go along with that. So, giving G a bath in a tub that we'll never see again brought out the tears. Isn't that funny? It's not the big things, it's just the little routines of life that bring on the flood of emotions.

Paul tells me that I should post things like this. Be open and honest on this blog. And I think I will. I'm not going to sugar-coat the fact that this move is hard. But, I won't get bogged down by it. I will remain positive.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This blog will mostly be by Jan, but this is Paul intruding to say:

We are having a party.  It was imagined as a massive-invite-everyone-we-know-in-Winnipeg-party, but it's shaping up to be more of an intimate affair.  Which is what we get for waiting until the week of to start inviting people.

Our apartment is getting emptier by the day, and by party time tonight we will have only one couch, one kitchen table and a few kitchen chairs left.  There's nothing on the walls, and what was once our living room is now empty save for boxes.  I'm hoping that is part of the theme of the party.  It's BYOS (bring your own seating).

I'd planned on baking a cake, but realized last night that we have no cake pans left.  So hopefully a friend will loan me hers.

The whole experience of planning this party is a little surreal.  It might be a little depressing to try to have a party in a mostly-empty apartment, especially if not many people turn up.  Which isn't any kind of insult to the lovely people who ARE coming -- it's not like they're not good enough.  But I was hoping for a sheer volume of people to make up for the lack of stuff in the place.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Clearing Out

Since it costs many, many (too many) dollars to use a moving truck to get to St. John's, we are selling all our stuff (especially furniture) and buying new used stuff when we arrive.
So, our apartment is slowly getting cleared out. This weekend was a grand purge. We took about 10 boxes of stuff to donate to Salvation Army, then the remaining (after selling about 200)100 books to a used bookstore.
Our deep freeze was sold, our comfy office chair is gone, our bookshelves have been taken away along with one of the desks and we no longer have a dresser or a nightstand. I have posted one of the couches up for sale and it will leave on Friday, but I'm nervous to put the other one up! What will we sit on?
My parents were here this past weekend and took a few things with them to live in Saskatoon for awhile. One of them was G's precious "beepbeep" - a ride on truck that was just too big to fit in. She watched it go with much confusion, but dealt with it very well when we told her it was going to live with her grandparents for awhile. Poor kid, I hope this doesn't traumatize her too much.

So, I sit here now in what used to be our office/library with no books, no office chair, and piles of boxes around me. This move is getting all too real.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Moving Tale

We are moving from Winnipeg to St. John’s Newfoundland in two weeks. This will be a blog to chronicle the story of our eastward move and adjusting to our new life on the East Coast. I am a quitting my job in the library to be a full-time mom of G, a two year old bundle of energy and I’m pregnant with Baby 2: Electric Boogaloo, due in early December. We’re moving because my husband is starting a PhD at Memorial University. 
We are both very geeky. Be warned.