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Deb in NZ

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Everything posted by Deb in NZ

  1. I graduated 30 years ago, earning my BS degree. I only worked full-time in that field for the next 4 years before leaving to raise my children. Then 8 years ago dh lost his job. I dusted off my degree, & reapplied for my license & found it easy to re-enter the workforce. Yes, I have had to settle for casual work, not full-time, but there were many factors that caused this. All my full-time experience & training was done outside the country where I currently live. This is more of a barrier than the 20 years I took off work to raise & homeschool my own children. At my age I am happy with regular casual work as I really don't want the stress that a full-time position brings with it. I believe that while licences & certifications do expire, degrees do not expire. A degree is a piece of paper that tells people that you have successfully reached a certain level of education. A degree isn't a guarantee of acceptance or competence in a certain job. Dd has a BSc degree that she has never used. The certifications & other more practical qualifications that she gained ofter graduation are what she needed to be hired & keep her job. her degree isn't useless as it tells people that she has the educational ability up to the BSc level. It opens up opportunities for her that would not be possible without a degree. Ds#1 does not have a degree, but instead a trade certificate. He is more limited as to how far he can advance in his line of work with out further study, but his qualifications, like a degree, tell people what the highest level of education he completed. His qualifications would open doors in other trades as well, just may need a bit of specific training to make the switch. Ds#2 has no real plans currently to use his degree after graduating, but like dd, having a degree will open some doors that wouldn't be options with no degree. A degree does not guarantee higher pay, though, as ds#1 has the highest income in our family & has for the past few years.
  2. I'm not sure what is available here in NZ, but I will check that idea out. I spent most of last night tossing & turning about this issue. Ds#1 is doing a lot better today & has been to see a family friend who is a QC to talk informally about what his options are. He's done a lot of thinking about what this 2nd DUI will mean for his life short-term & long term. He's been living with us since he returned in February from a year overseas & has a good job & pays us board, so no worries about that. I have felt that he needs to expand his group of friends as in his trade drugs & alcohol are more common than not. He still has a couple friends he sees quite regularly from his scout days, but his work buddies are not a good influence for him. I'm tossing up telling him to join a sport, such as hockey, & that for every training & game that he attends & participates in I'll allow him to "bank" a day's ride to & from work that I'll drive him. We are moving into winter here, so knowing he can ask me for a ride when it is wet & cold rather than riding his bike in the cold, dark rain may be the incentive he needs to join in & make new friends. I'm still involved with the hockey club that ds#2 was a member of before he went away to uni, so I know ds#1 would fit in if he gives it a go. I talked to dh about the idea that ds#1 may need to think about going to a few AA meetings as well & that I'd offer the same "bank" a ride deal for that as for going to hockey. Dh isn't to sure about the AA idea, especially when I said that we may need to go alcohol-free as a household for a few months at least to help support ds#1. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a long road ahead of us before this challenge is over.
  3. Thanks for the input. This fits the challenges we're facing with dd, but with ds#1 alcohol & possibly drugs seem to be his challenge. We've been worried about the alcohol for a while & he keeps saying he's quitting, but last weekend he ended up in hospital & later admitted it was not "just" alcohol & tonight he got stopped for DUI for the 2nd time. His first DUI was over 5 years ago & he had very little alcohol, but as he was under 20 he lost his license. Today was not very little ? I'm just thankful that no one was hurt & hoping that this is what brings about real change for him.
  4. I thought that things got easier when our children entered adulthood, but at the moment life seems to be more challenging as a parent of children in their 20s. How do you balance being a supportive parent & letting hard lessons being learned? We have never shielded our children from consequences of their actions, but life seems to be getting harder, not easier as the years go by. Any advice from those who have BTDT? TIA,
  5. Scouting in NZ is co-ed as well & has been for since the '80s I believe. My boys were in SeaScouts from age 5-18 & my daughter did scouts at the venturer level from age 13-18 after completing her senior guide award. She was in Guiding from age 7-12 as a Brownie & Guide. She earned her Queen's Scout award, something her brothers did not. She also was a Young Mariner from age 10-18. Young Mariners are like SeaScouts for girls only as it was started before scouting allowed girls to join. I was a scout leader for over a decade at both the kea level (age 6-8) & the venturer level (age 14-19) & found girls to be no problem. Girls who joined wanted a more active, less crafty program.
  6. We've traveled many times from the South Pacific to the East Coast of the US. All journeys were 24hrs+ in total travel time. All except a couple trips I took alone with 1, 2, or 3 kids as dh joined us a few weeks later & always had to return a few weeks before us because of work commitments. The first trip I took with dc was when dd was 14 months old & the last trip was when my dc were 16, 20, & 22. non-stop flight? that would be 14 hours Seoul to JFK, but that was just one flight out of 4 in the journey. The whole trip was Auckland to Sydney (3 hours) Sydney to Seoul (10 hours) Seoul to JFK (14 hours) & JFK to Vermont (90 minutes) We only had 2 hours on the ground flying east in Seoul so those 14 hours after departing Seoul really felt like 24 hours when you added on the SYD-Seoul leg. I flew alone with all 3 kids (aged 7, 11, & 13 at the time) Even years later my youngest still isn't keen on l-o-n-g flights. Anything less than 10 hours is a short flight to us. The longest journey would be when I flew Auckland-Singapore-Amsterdam-New York-Washington DC-Vermont alone with 3 dc (2, 6, & 8 at the time) No lay-over was more than 4 hours. By the time we reached Washington DC & waited for our final flight the kids were asleep on the carpet of the waiting room / gate.
  7. The Pledge of Alliegence, placing your hand over your heart for the Pledge or the National Anthem are two cultural traditions that come to mind. Addressing strangers as "madam" or "sir" is very American to me. Not using your fork & knife together when eating is VERY American. My kiwi husband can't understand why we do that. Mud season & Ground Hog day are seasons / holidays I haven't seen recognised outside of the US.
  8. In NZ I believe it is 3 years living as if you were in a marriage. Dh's mum & her partner chose not to get married as she had been previously married 2 times. The first time was to dh's father & that ended in a nasty divorce. The second marriage ended when her husband died & she went thru a nasty court case when his children contested the will. So dh's mum & her partner kept separate bank accounts & had nothing jointly owned at all. When she had a stroke & had to go into a nursing home the gov't treated them as if they were married. They had been together 26 years. At that point my m-i-l decided that they might as well get married as keeping things separate didn't keep things simple. Her partner ended up dying before they could get the ceremony organised & dividing things afterwards was exactly as if they were married. There was no difference from what we went through when dh's father died & he had married for the 3rd time.
  9. Manuka is the Maori name for TeaTree. We have one growing in our yard.
  10. With whatever amount you have left from what you wanted to spend I'd get a gift certificate to their local grocery store. Setting up a pantry for the first time with basics (i.e. flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, etc.) costs heaps. What I've done for my dc when they first go flatting is I save the plastic jars from my favourite hot chocolate brand & refill those with basics. Ds#2 was over-joyed when he saw his box. This allowed him to cook from scratch right from the beginning as cooking from scratch requires a well stock pantry. Refilling items as they get used fit easily into his weekly food budget. Dd just bought a house, so I'm in the process of doing the same for her.
  11. My baby turned 20 a month ago. No more teenagers in our household. He starts his final year at uni next week. Seems only yesterday we were reading 100EL together. Ds#1 did return home a few days ago after being away for a year on his OE. He started back at work today. It's nice to have one of the kids back home. Dd has put in an offer on a house, so if things go as she hopes soon we won't even have her stuff here.
  12. Planning for a long road trip just a short time after an up-coming birth, I would strongly suggest having a "Plan B" for if the birth doesn't go as expected. We all have given suggestions above on how the baby may react to the trip, but more important is how the "mama" is doing. I know I could not have taken a long road trip that soon after the birth of any of my dc. All of my babies were great babies that nursed & slept well, but I took at least 6 weeks to recover from unexpected c-section births, 2 of which followed long, unprogressive, HARD, labor. With dd, my first baby, we traveled back to the Pacific Islands from VT when she was 10 weeks old. This trip took one short flight & three 6 hour flights. We stopped in San Francisco & Honolulu for a couple of days each, which really helped break up the journey for me. And I had dh along to help.
  13. I've drove & flown with infants. There's pros & cons to both. If the car is fairly new & has working air-conditioning I would drive. Just plan to depart for the day's driving just after the first feed of the day. Plan to stop at least every 2 hours to feed / change the baby. Don't aim for longer than 8 hours driving each day. I've never traveled with animals, so no advice there. But how are the dogs around infants? How big is the car? Will there be a barrier between the dogs & the baby? Can you find places to stay that allow pets?
  14. If you're wanting to travel outside the US choose the lightest bag as many overseas airlines have a 7kg weight limit on carry-on bags. Most 22" bags with wheels would weigh half of that or more empty, so not much room for what you want to take with you. My dc choose backpack style convertible bags for their carry-on only trips. Dd said she usually didn't get asked to weigh her bag as it looked so small when compared to other carry-on bags. I like the looks of the ebags carry-on luggage, but it seems really heavy for today's luggage regulations.
  15. Our kitchen renovation took over 10 months to finish. DH is a builder so fit it around other commitments. Luckily for most of that it was just dh & I home. In the beginning we set up a temp kitchen in the unfinished rumpus room with a microwave, single induction burner, toaster, crockpot, & we had a BBQ outside to use. I set up a tea/coffee centre on top of the dryer in the laundry room & the laundry tub was used for washing dishes. The fridge was in the lounge at the other end of the house. Our pantry items were stored under the coffee table in the lounge & our dishes were stored on top of the coffee table. I quickly bought a cheap rice cooker as trying to prepare a meal on a single burner was a pain. Having no bench space was a pain. After about 5 months of no kitchen I was eating breakfast & lunch out most days (not good for my figure or the budget). About 6 weeks before we finally finished dh decided that he wanted to finish the rumpus room at the same time as the kitchen. That meant no temp kitchen as well. I bought a dozen microwave frozen meals & that was our dinners until the kitchen was finally finished on Thanksgiving Day. Looking back I'm not sure how I survived. I love, love, LOVE my new kitchen. It has tons of bench space that I try to keep clear of clutter. Preparing meals is a joy. I even enjoy doing the dishes now. I'm s-l-o-w-l-y repairing the damage to my body that almost a year of too much McDs did. Long story can & will survive 2 weeks with no kitchen. :-) Keep the picture of the finished room in your mind when things get tough.
  16. My baby turned 20 last week. He begins his final year at uni in less than a month. Seems like only yesterday we were working our way thru 100 Easy Lessons.
  17. Hope this wasn't the special fare deal you bought.
  18. I'd strongly recommend travel insurance as well. Most cover much more than just healthcare. My VISA has free travel insurance if I purchase my tickets with the VISA. When I've traveled longer than the 90 days covered free by my VISA I always bought additional travel insurance for overseas trips to make sure I was covered for the whole time of the trip. Non-NZ citizens will be treated if injured &/or sick, but they are not covered by NZ's universal healthcare. They will be asked to pay, but costs are no where as high as the costs of healthcare in the US. I've traveled to the US from NZ & had to make claims on my travel insurance. I had to pay the bills, then claim it back from my travel insurance.
  19. It's been higher than that a couple years ago. I seem to remember prices getting close to $2.20/litre. We live only 30 miles away from NZ's only oil refinery, so transport costs shouldn't be a factor for my local prices. opps---just noticed that my decimal point was in the wrong place. :laugh: sorry. But if you plan to drive, realise that gas prices are much higher than what you are used to in the States.
  20. With only 7 days I would choose one island to focus on. Distances are small in NZ when compared to other places in the world, but there is heaps to see. If you try to pack too much into each day you will find the trip is a blur. Also, roads for much of the country aren't of the quality of the interstate system found in the US. I grew up in the States & learned to drive there. I find driving here fine, with the exception of driving in Auckland. I HATE driving in Auckland & avoid it whenever possible. I will drive THROUGH Auckland (i.e. no stopping), but if we need to go somewhere IN Auckland, I get dh or one of my dc to drive. Fuel is more expensive as well. Local prices up in Northland, where I live are $2.019 / litre today & this is one of the cheapest areas for gas prices in the country. I suffer from motion sickness as well. If you drive, you will have the option of stopping when necessary. If you choose to take a bus, just let the bus driver know you tend to get carsick & usually they will find you a seat near the front. I have had to ask a bus driver to stop for me to get sick many years ago & they were understanding. Buses + windy roads + morning sickness were not a great combo for me. SeaBands ( the motion sickness wrist bands) helped me some & were better than tablets as they didn't make me drowsy. The Cook Strait ferry crossing can be beautiful, but if you get sea sick, it is horrible. As far as jet lag, I find flying west easier than flying east in recovery time. YMMV To see the most in only a week you may want to look at a bus tour. They will hit the highlights & you won't need to worry about driving on the other side of the road. Remember seasons are opposite from what you are used to . June is winter here in NZ. Few parts of NZ get snow & even that doesn't stay long. Winter's tend to be more wet & cool, seldom dropping below freezing. FYI- the first weekend in June is a long weekend as 4th June is a public holiday (Queen's B-day).
  21. When we renovated our kitchen we put in 2 single dish drawers( ) I LOVE them. The first time I ran a load I had to check that it was really working as it was SO quiet. I have a dish drawer on either side of my kitchen sink so one is always available for dirty dishes if the other is running. A normal load takes 2 hours, but as I usually run that after dinner it works for me. I have friends who have a double dish drawer & they like that as well. We had the room so chose the 2 single units.
  22. Cultural (Maori or Pacific Islander) tattoos don't bother me, even if they are facial, but gang tattoos do make me uncomfortable. Tattoos have become quite mainstream over the 20 years I've lived in NZ. Dd has a tattoo on one leg from her hip almost to her knee. It is a scientific style outline of a jellyfish. As she is a skipper on a tall ship with a degree in Marine Biology, it fits with her life style & career choice. She is able to cover it up easily by wearing knee length shorts or long pants. I'm not thrilled that she got a tattoo, but it is her choice & her life. But I was not thrilled when we picked her up from uni on our way for her to be presented with her Queen Scout award by the Governor General of NZ & she had dyed her blond hair blue :huh: Sir Jerry, the Governor General at the time, was a career military man before becoming the GG. He didn't even seem to notice that she had unusual coloured hair. I work as a sub (relief teacher) in 3 local schools. At the public intermediate school we have several teachers with visible tattoos, as well as piercings & odd coloured hair. At the Catholic school & the Adventist school if anyone has tattoos they are kept well covered.
  23. From the books I read about IF, it seems to keep your body guessing, so no slow down of metabolism. In a normal low calorie diet your body reacts to on-going low calories by slowing your metabolism as a defensive move. In IF you have a very low/ no calorie day followed by a day of normal eating. Your body never gets a message to guard your resources (ie slow down your metabolism to save fat to avoid starvation) If you fasted for days on end with out eating normally your metabolism would be affected & the weight loss would stop.
  24. In 2013 I began IF as a way to lose weight. I lost 50 pounds in the first year & kept it off for 4 years. Then last year we demolished our kitchen in January & the new kitchen wasn't finished & ready to use until Thanksgiving. Eating healthy & IF just became too hard with all the stresses of living in a house under renovations & I gained back all the weight I lost. Six months of eating too many meals a week at McDonalds didn't do me any good. Three weeks ago I began IF again & am slowly beginning to lose weight again. IF does work, but for it to work long term you need to commit to it as a way of eating for life, not a quick fix diet. A typical week for me while IF is on fasting days (my "salad" days) I fast, only drinking water, from the end of dinner the night before until dinner on my fast day. That dinner consists of a big plate of salad, with a bit of protein (lean meat, eggs, a sprinkle of cheese, etc.) for flavour & to help keep me feeling full until morning. I eat no carbs on fasting days. On my "eating" days I eat as normal & no foods are forbidden. I find that after a week or so of IF I do not want to overeat & am satisfied with much less than I was before beginning this WoE (way of eating). I aim for 3 "salad" days a week & 4 "eating" days a week. I never fast 2 days in a row & seldom have more than 2 "eating" days in a row. This past week Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday were fasting days, while Wednesday, Friday, Sunday & Monday were "eating" days. I had planned to fast on Monday, but dd phoned Sunday night to let us know she would be stopping in on Monday for an early lunch & asked if I would make sticky buns. I won't pass up warm sticky buns, so swapped days around. This is one big benefit of IF. You can enjoy life & still lose weight. Things that I find helps me to succeed is to try not to drink my calories. I only drink water on fasting days & try to limit my soda on other days as for years Coke was my morning coffee. I only eat when hungry & never eat to just be polite. As I still do eat dinner on fasting days my family didn't notice for many weeks that I was fasting the rest of the day. But my children were mostly grown by the time I started IF. At first I would make the rest of the family a normal meal, but soon they were requesting salad plates like mine for dinner on fast days. They still ate normally the rest of the day & I do add some carbs to their salad plates (cold potato, left-over pasta, etc.) Ds#2 would sometimes put his salad into wraps to eat it. As a family we all eat more veggies & less junk when I am IF.
  25. I like the planners by I use the A5 size as it fits in my bag. I like the vertical grid format. I get 6 rows / columns, one for each of us in the family + one extra. I have had planners with names across the top & others with names down the left side & dates across the top. I prefer the style that has names across the top, but both do work for me.
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