Friday, April 27, 2018

Early Riser...

Good Morning... and Happy Friday! Time for my early morning coffee.. and plan my day.
Someone asked me what time I have my 'early morning coffee.' Well its usually about 3.30am. 
Just a little insight into my day. MrD and I have different days to other people. He leaves for work at 2.30 am to get to work for 3 o'clock. And he does that 5/6 days a week. I dont usually go back to bed.. Once I get my head on straight..I do a bit of reading (helped by coffee) then I start my housework before it gets too warm. Then I go walking at about 7am. Our day usually ends about 7pm.
I dont think it affects my eating habits.. I still have breakfast before I walk..and have lunch about 12. But dinner is early at 4pm. (unless of course I have a doctors appointment which is usually about 4,30) On those days there is just enough time to eat before bed
I dont mind the hours tho. Sometimes I think Im still living on Uk time... plus after 4 years my daughter still hasnt worked out the time difference and calls really early in the morning. But as long as I get a picture like this.. I will never complain
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Record File....

Another trip to the oncologist this afternoon and more paperwork and bill receipts to add to my ever growing records. When he told me in the beginning of my cancer journey to get a file to keep things in order..who knew it would get so big. 
The blood tests came back clear and hes pleased with my progress. He said half the battle to recovery is attitude... and I certainly have that!! He says its baby steps with my weight loss and walking... and a pound a week is enough. It will take my body time to recover. Well... Im not making any promises Dr Phan.. we shall have to see what happens. You never know what can happen by the end of July

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Gee...Thanks!

Walk done...and I went a bit further than I planned. My motivation is at a high.. even after bumping into my neighbour who took great pleasure in pointing out..in detail.. how much weight Ive put on.
Yes yes I know...my clothes and the mirror remind me of that fact every single day! I must be the only person who put on weight during her chemo.. and the steroids I took bloated me so much I look like a body builder. No one is more frustrated with that than I am. But Im still here and Im doing something about it right?

All in all... after kicking cancers butt..losing a few pounds should be a doddle 

Love and Hugs..
even to you Mr Next Door Neighbour...
Phoebe x

Monday, April 23, 2018

Petals and Peacocks

The weather started off quite grey and gloomy this morning...but I really didnt mind as I had to have my blood tests done.
By this afternoon it was was hot and sunny. I walked a different way and I had forgotten what a nice walk it was. I will  go again..but will have to wait for the roadworks to finish. It was positively dangerous crossing roads. 
Still..it was very colourful...
and got pics of my first peacock of the year
Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Monday, April 16, 2018

Welcome Home..

I dont know where you have been...

But I hope you had a great time..

Good to have you back

I missed you 


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Nightmare Journey ~ Part Three

So.. there I was... sitting in Pret a Manger, nursing my cappuccinno and feeling a bit sorry for myself.. when suddenly the light bulb went on in my head. Seriously I think people could hear it ping. 
My cousin and her family live somewhere in London. I sent out a Family Chat message on Facebook Messenger asking if anyone had her number. While I was waiting for a reply I got in touch with MrD and the kids to give em the update and let them know I was ok. MrD was great.. told me not to worry and book into a hotel and money was no object (he may live to regret saying that)
Ten minutes later my cousin phoned.. I told her what was going on and she told me to jump back on the tube.. and head to North Fields station where she would pick me up. I was so relieved! One hour later I was sitting in her living room, drinking a nice cup of tea. By this time I had my head straight and was focused on what needed to be done.
First things first I emailed the embassy telling them what had happened and requesting an interview the next day.
Then I phoned my bank in America, authorising the use of our joint account in the Uk just in case I needed it. I also had a credit card kept for emergencies so money was no problem
When her hubby came home, we had a spot of dinner. Although I had only had coffee all day I wasnt very hungry but I ate what I could to keep my strength up. We then took a 20 minute drive to Heathrow to see if I could get my luggage, but all the baggage places were closed and locked up.
By this time I had received an automated response from the Embassy. Its was full of very confusing information with links to lots and lots of pages. It also made it clear that I couldnt speak to anyone in person.
I was up early the following morning and as soon as the Embassy opened.... so began the start of many emails between us. My cousin sat beside me at the table as for hours we corresponded back and forth. We poured over scores of information and sent what I could. MrD had collected everything he could find as proof of my Green Card and was just waiting to see what I needed.
The long and the short of it was... I was stupid to leave the US without a way of getting back in.. I had to fill in various forms.. pay $575 for the transportation letter.. then wait for the NEXT AVAILABLE TUESDAY OR THURSDAY for an appointment! It could take weeks!! My heart sank! I would NEVER have left the US if I hadnt had permission,.. and I seriously didnt think that it would be a problem not to physically have my Green Card with me
But then something caught my eye. One of the forms I needed to travel and they wanted me to pay for... I had already filed.. and MrD had it!. It was the letter that had confirmed my Green Card had been extended and I could travel! My cousin had read that it was up to the airline's discretion if I could board the plane with it... so she said with nothing to lose we should take a chance..
We got MrD to fax the letter and we headed for the tube for Heathrow. It was just after 1o'clock and the next flight was at 4.15. We arrived at the Air NZ desk. It was a different woman form the day before. We explained the situation..showed the document.. and kept our fingers crossed. Immigration was called... and it was the same woman as before.. darn it. My cousin was amazing she knew all the right things to say.. and may have skimmed over the fact that we hadnt actually spoken to anyone at the Embassy.. only had the info through emails. I held my breath as the woman examined the document.. made a phone call and said..."ok you can go!' I could have kissed her. it was now three o'clock.. check in closed in 30 minutes.
While my cousin went to retrieve my hand luggage I went to the ticket desk to try and get on the flight. Of course the woman on the desk phone was put on hold.. and time was ticking away. Eventually she said they could get me on....I just had to pay $615. At that moment I was actually on the mobile to MrD telling him I could come home.. and I could hear him shouting "Pay it! Pay it!"
So with that... I had to get back to the check in desk for my boarding pass.. had time for one last hug and selfie with my cousin ( its her fault all this happened as she had messaged me the day before saying she was sorry she missed me and we would catch up next time:!!)..Had to wait in line at security to have my hand luggage searched.. and had to get to my gate on the other side of the airport. I had never moved so fast in my life! My little legs were moving so fast there was smoke coming from my heels. I got to my plane in the nick of time and I sat down in my seat.. hot, sweaty, and very relieved. I even had a row of seats to myself.!!
Eleven hours later.. I arrived safely on US soil... and was promptly marched into immigration again. I was questioned... I was scolded for not having my Green Card.. I was told in no uncertain terms that next time I left the US without my Green Card.. I would be facing a $575 fine
I told her not to worry... that I would NEVER be leaving the US again.
My luggage on the other hand was having a whale of a time... and had decided to stay in London!
I need a vacation to recover..... but for now...just in California x
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Nightmare Journey ~ Part Two

I hope I didnt bore you too much with my London Adventure yesterday. Here's part two of my story
So… I travelled on a very packed tube and got off at Green Park as instructed. I didn’t know which exit to take so I guessed. But when I emerged I was completely flummoxed which way to go. There were lots of people around but I thought the best bet was to get out of the park to a road. I coudnt see any markings on the street .. so asked a very nice tour bus guide how to get a taxi. He walked straight into the middle of busy traffic and hailed me a cab. Thanks man!
I told the lady taxi driver that I needed to go to the London Embassy at Grosvenor Square. She looked a bit puzzled but she dropped me off at a security hut. I asked the guard which way to get in.. and he said “You cant… its all closed up… they moved” What??? Nooo!!
They gave me the new address of the new Embassy building...right across London..and I rushed off to find another taxi, I had no idea where this new Embassy was. luckily the third taxi I hailed stopped. he driver said he knew where it was.. but with busy traffic and road works it would take a while. I should just sit back and relax. Seriously? By this time my stress levels were through the roof but I was optimistic that as soon as I got to the Embassy everything would be sorted
Thirty quid later.. the driver dropped me off at the new US Embassy.. at the wrong door..and I had to walk round to the other side of the building. There were two armed policemen and I asked for help. They banged on the door and a young guy opened it.. but barred my way so I couldnt get in. I explained the situation and he told me that you cant just turn up you have to make an appointment. I asked for a phone number and was told that it has to be done by email!! I could see the guy behind him was on a laptop.. an asked if he could make an appointment for me.. as I was alone..had no access to a computer..and also no wifi on my phone. Again he refused...and quite frankly...I could tell he didnt care a jot! He pointed to a tall building in the distance.. he told me to head in that direction..there was a Starbucks.. and use their wifi. And with that he closed the door.
I was hot..tired ..and frustrated. But.. off I galloped hoping against the odds that I still had time to get things sorted. It took me twenty minutes to find Starbucks... and it was closed for refurbishment. I felt utterly defeated. My plane had left..it was getting on for 5 oclock..and the Embassy was closing, Now what would I do? I needed to get my mind straight.. I needed to find somewhere with wifi.
I was woman... alone in London... with dwindling funds. The enormity of the situation was starting to hit me. I needed help
I stopped a complete stranger and asked if there was anywhere that had free wifi.. and she pointed to the tube station. So off I scurried and went up to one of its workers, briefly told my tale and asked which of the many networks appearing on my phone was theirs. He asked if he could try and I handed him my phone. He started do it..then he stopped and said "Look... Im sure you could do with a coffee. If you go up those stairs there.. turn left.. and right in front of you is a 'Pret a Manger' Grab yourself a drink and take a few minutes," I was so grateful. That was the first bit of kindness anyone had shown me for hours.
So thats what I did. I grabbed a cappuccino, found a table, joined their wifi.. took a deep breath..started to calm down... and let the little grey cells start to work........

If you can stand it...final part tomorrow..

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Monday, April 9, 2018

Nightmare Journey ~ Part One

I had a lovely time in the UK. Even though the weather was gloomy and it never seemed to stop raining or sleeting.. I still think the British countryside is ever so pretty. And…it was actually nice to see sheep for the first time in four years..
I was on two minds whether to share my little drama at the end of my visit.. as feel a bit of an idiot..but MrD said I shouldn’t pick and choose what I write on this blog.. and should be truthful. It’s a bit long winded.. so will be in installments.. so skip if you like.. but here goes.
Last October my Green Card ran out.. and I shared with you the renewal process.. the hundreds of dollars we had to pay, the forms I had to file and the visit to the Biometrics centre for fingerprints and a photo of me with a bald head. It was so good to get the letter to say my citizenship had been extended and I could look for work and.. more importantly travel
I left Newcastle on the Wednesday. It was a very miserable night. It was very cold and and sleeting. The planes wings had to be de-iced before take off and it was a very bumpy ride. I was extremely happy to see the lights over London
I spent an enjoyable night in a lovely hotel, then I went to check into my 4.15 Air New Zealand flight on Thursday lunchtime.  The guy at the check in desk asked how long I was staying in the US. "Oh I live there says I." ‘"Where’s your Green Card" the check in guy asked….. I went cold!!
It suddenly dawned on me that I had never received my new card! I stammered something like… “well I don’t physically have the card, but I have got Green Card status.. I renewed it last year… you can check.” I was asked to stand to one side and had to wait for the woman from Immigration to come… which took about half an hour. Now I know Immigration are only doing their job…. but this woman was very stern and off hand with me… and I was feeling awful. She told me she had contacted the US and they told her that I had renewed it last year… but the biometrics process had only been started on March 30th… a few days earlier and nearly 5 months since paying over $700!
But I had a letter I explained… and I never would have left the US if I didn’t think I was ok.. She shook her head and said "Nothing I can do.. you need to go to the US Embassy.. get a letter of travel and we can let you go… but it wont be today!" She pointed to the clock and it was now just after one… and I knew I wasn’t going to make it
So at the Air New Zealand Desk.. she called down to baggage to have my suitcase off the plane so I could store it. Then she called cancel my seat on that days flight and see if I could change it. Eventually they said I could waive the service charge, pay 250 pounds.. not dollars.. to change my ticket and then pay the difference for the next available flight. Baggage claim phoned up, said my case was ready to collect. The Air NZ lady gave me directions to The American Embassy. She told me to go on the tube and get off at Green Park and then gave me street directions. I wasn’t worried about using the tube as I worked as a Nanny in London in the 80s.. and I was sure they hadn’t changed that much
I went down to baggage claim and rang the phone outside some locked doors. I spoke to a guy..who quite frankly couldn’t be bothered and was pre occupied with talking to other people inside. I gave my case no.. he came back and said it wasn’t there and it would be hours til they found it. Time was getting on so I had no intention of waiting.. so I put my hand luggage in storage (different place) and set off to the tube. I was hoping to get it all sorted out and rebook my flight by the end of the day…
How wrong can you be.. the nightmare was just getting started..
Part two of my little adventure tomorrow...
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday Thought ~ He is Risen

He is not here; for He has Risen
Matthew 28:6
Death could not hold Him.
Rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hallelujah!!
Our Saviour Lives!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

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