Merry Christmas everyone!!
It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas for me here. It’s been a balmy 25 degrees out the past few days and yesterday (Christmas Eve here) we had a family BBQ for our christmas lunch and opened presents. It was rainy in the morning, and I was able to imagine that the rain was snow falling- which helped it seem a little more legit. After lunch we sat outside in the sun and watched Dallas play with the foal. Very chill day. My gifts included a All Blacks Adidas scarf, one of the cool ones with pockets. Jordan and Brandon got me a pikarua necklace, which symbolizes the bonding of cultures and friendship. Alison got me a Koru, which is a beautiful glass sculpture that represents growth, new beginnings, harmony, love, and support. There was also lots of chocolate involved in the gifts. You can never go wrong with chocolate. Ever.
I’ve been living on straight baking for the past week or so, really not a good diet. On tuesday I made 48 tarts and about 50 gluten free gingerbread men (complete with icing). Thursday I made chocolate pb marshmellow cake, shortbread, and cherry surprises. I made two batches of shortbread, because the first batch I messed up big time. They still tasted awesome, but as soon as you even thought about touching them they would crumble into 10 pieces. The second batch was much sturdier.
On Wednesday I had another physio/osteo appointment. Where Dr. Charles was very impressed that I had actually done my exercises and could see dramatic improvement in my shoulder/back muscles. After a quick adjustment he was pleased to tell me that my next appointment should be my last. Fancy that, something I’ve been fighting with for a very, VERY, long time- solved in under 2 months… As it stands now, I haven’t had any problems with my back since my first appointment with him, almost a month ago. I think this is the longest I’ve been pain free in like 3 or 4 years. It probably helps a lot that I’m avoiding riding with all my being. I get offered horses a lot.. and I hate saying no, but I love not living in pain. So, for now, I’ll just continue taking pictures at rodeos and strengthening my own body so that I can hopefully continue being pain free when I start riding at home again. Fingers crossed!
Christmas here had many differences from home, including but not limited to:
- No turkey. :(.
- The temperature was nowhere near the negatives.
- I applied sunscreen.
- The children didn’t know what butter tarts were. Mine were the first they tasted. Yikes.
- The BBQ was involved in cooking Christmas lunch.
- It was generally just much more casual.
- Since the kids here went to their dads for Christmas day, we had our Christmas day on Christmas Eve. So Christmas day I spent hanging out around the house, trying to avoid sugar with all my being (and failing), and skyping family members back in Canada. Different.
- Another thing I noticed, not really related to Christmas at all, but the youth here are much more interested in going outside/physical activity for fun. The contrast between them and majority of North American youth is crazy. Another way NZ is about 10 years behind North America I guess.
In some ways all the differences help with keeping me away from homesickness. It truly doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, therefore I can’t really feel like everything Christmas usually is is missing. It just feels like an ordinary summer day. On the other hand, it feels weird not seeing family- well my usual family, as I am living with family right now. Also.. the whole no turkey thing.. just not cool. Heads up family back home, I’m going to want turkey real bad when I get back.
Oh yeah! My hair has grown quite a bit already! I have a solid fuzz now. More so then a peach, but less so then a horse in mid winter. Two things I never thought I’d compare my head to.
Tomorrow, very early in the morning, I’m going with Alison and Dallas down to Gisbourne to do the southern rodeo circuit. I’ll be gone for a few days, so I’m sure I’ll come back with lots of photos and stories. This post probably isn’t too interesting. Forgive me, I’m dealing with a major sugar crash right now. On that note, I’m going to leave and eat some real food.