Greener Pastures

Whoa Nelly.

Tardy Tart
Three weeks since my last post. There should be some kind of Hail Mary for negligent and reticent bloggers. Forgive me Blogspot, for I have sinned. It has been twenty days since my last blog. That's fine, my child. Say ten Hail Blogspot, full of Spaces and all will be well.

Summer is half over. And we have nothing to show for it save for a couple bright spots and two fun events. The bright spots are/were Holy Sun attending morning summer school this past month. It's being taught by an inspiring and amazingly fun Teacher Man dude. Case in point, said son actually looks forward to going each day. The other bright spot is our gorgeous new canopy bed suite. Photo, stage south. I'm a liking it. Alot. Bye bye 80s white melamine furniture. Hello new millennium.

The other pic is our rear window view. What you can't see through the forest of trees is that, to the right, there is a neighbor whose family room faces our bedroom. We don't yet have bedroom drapes or blinds. You should see the stealth, tactical moves I perform to get in and out of bed each morning and night, particularly upon remembering I ain't in the old gray house anymore.

Hair of the Dog
These same neighbors (immigrants as only transplants from California can be in these parts) have two beautiful yet annoyingly barky beagles. Their dogs are cute as can be, but trust me - multiple the whiny woo woo wooof woooof woof of a beagle ~ a sound that really can't be adequately replicated on a blog ~ times two, times 90 second durations at odd and inconvenient moments most days of the week, and trust me ~ you too would know with a certainly born of acute irritation that these dogs are getting really old really fast.

But not as old as the chihuahua two doors down. If those neighbors, a really nice couple actually, hadn't dropped by with a particularly lovely bottle of cabernet sauvignon as a proto-apologetic for quasi-ownership (they're rarely home) of a certain proto-canine, then I dunno. I really don't. I hate to think what might have happened to their tiny, pathetic excuse for a mutt. Let's just say it wouldn't be doing Taco Bell commercials anytime soon. It wouldn't be quiero'ing much except life perhaps. I may be speaking prematurely at any rate. I've been looking up cruel and unusual recipes on the Weber website, which can't be good.

I'm thinking I need to meet and befriend all these dogs, as we have Sarah, the 16 year old je ne ce quoi breed of doggie next door. We already love her. She takes up squatting rights in our front yard. We've already negotiated walking rights. Part-time walking of the neighbor's dog beats the high hell out of owning our own and it's way cheaper than FlexPetz. Thank God for the white living room carpet (ahemmmm.....what the heck were we thinkin'?!) - it will buy us a lot of time - hopefully two entire childhoods.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
But I digress, which is blogspeak for I'm back blogging.

Anyhoo, our first of two fun outings was the auspicious occasion of the mid-July, Tragically Hip outdoor concert nearby, on what proved to be the hottest summer day thus far. It was a smoking 100 degrees (smoking by Seattle 2007 dismal summer weather standards) and we, along with 1,996 other ex-pat Canadians living in the area showed up with our blankets, picnic items and pent-up Hip lusts and fixations.

I can't believe in all my live long years, I had never been to a Hip concert. It was sad if bittersweet to be catching them on American soil. Bittersweet because it felt like we had teleported to Canada for a night, and sad because only a couple of thousand people showed up. One of....no make that Canada's the, all-time top bands and only a couple K riff raffers show up. Clearly a best-kept Canadian secret and little-known export. Although to be fair, I did hear Blow at High Dough piped in while grocery shopping at Slaveway last week. Case in point though, the very next night, the Hip were heading north to Vancouver of BC fame, to play to an audience of some 25,000 fans.

But it was still great if not the bestest, because we got to see Gord Downie in all his antic-filled glory cavorting across the stage and captivating all of us with his showmanship. I hoisted Holy Daughter up in the air and she waved her little Canada bear in the mosh pit - bless her heart for her tenacity because let me tell you, it was stink-y toil, grooving with the beer and sweat-marinated freaks. But Gord looked her way, smiled and waved and redemption was immediate for our concert pilgrimage.

So that was our one wee night-off from our July moving madness.

Beastly Blather
On a much sad note, I ended up having to cancel out of the SSBM first annual blogger getaway, held in Cannon Beach this year. I was looking forward to it more than any of the others ~ ie. Jeri, Tanya, Becca, Grace (of secret blog fame? - do tell, Grace!), and Christina, but alas, it was scheduled smack dab in the middle of our big move weekend wherein we had friends in from Vancouver to help load and haul. Moving places should go to the very top of the qualifier list for true friendship. I can't think of too many friends willing to help pack, move, schlep.

Anyways, I missed the getaway due to moving madness. Said madness has pretty much extended from early-July straight through to this past weekend, when we held our Schmidt Galore garage sale. Hardly anyone turned out, comparatively speaking to past garage sales we've had. But the kids had heaps of fun playing store. They fought over who was Manager, who was Stock Clerk, who got to sweep floors and the creme de la creme, who got to wear the money apron. We or should I say my son - who has clearly inherited the family sales gene - managed to peddle most of the big stuff and what little of value is left (a desk and a kid's toy bins rack) will get listed on Craigslist.

Cube Dudes & Boxes
Which leads me to the second fun event - the obligatory company picnic yesterday. It was held at a local farm that caters to large corporate events. Microsoft Saturday, Boeing Sunday. It was good in that I got to meet some of hubby's co-workers - not the ultra weird ones though. After two years of hearing stories - stories that make you go ewwwwwhhh!, suffice to say, my curiosity was on sabbatical at a cat killing farm. I was really hoping to meet this one, really eccentric...OK, eccentric doesn't cut it - psycho killer is a more apt description....dude of two cubicles-down the row fame. He makes the weirdos and wackos in Office Space look normal. And that's as diplomatic as I can word it.

But he was a no-show.

Other than that, our entire life this past month has been devoted to all things moving. No, we aren't even close to being settled, but thanks for asking. Our garage is packed with boxes, none of which are labelled and most of which are filled with 100% genuine and pure, authentic, unabashed crap. Hence the reason that they are out of sight and not wrecking my little feng shui fantasy of sparse furnishing and zero clutter. Things will come together once we get our proverbial shelving and storage schmidt together in various rooms throughout the house. Or feel audacious enough to ditch one box per week on garbage pick-up day over the course of the next year while our spouse isn't looking. Whichever comes first.

The good news through all this, however, is that we received word that our green card application is, once again, a go. Un.freaking.believable. Apparently the July application freeze by the feds turned into a fiasco (quelle supreeze), with untold numbers of pending lawsuits and the like. Again, duhhhh. So they decided to honour (honour as in honour among thieves) these pending July applications for a new August deadline. Hello light at the end of the tunnel.

So yet another $1,500 poorer and pages of documents lighter, we are now in the pending pile. Amongst other piles, I'm sure. There were fees for everything. Fees to grant us out-of-country travel permission, fees for me to get a work authorization this coming fall (happy happy joy joy), fees for fingerprinting, fees for seven million passport photos (by compare, methinks deranged astronaut chick looked far more civil and attractive in her police photo than the image I presented for posterity in my frightening passport photo posing. If we aren't granted green card status, it will all be on account of my picture, no doubt about it).

But Inshallah, or even if God doesn't will it, please someone else, do so!, it will all soon be done and Amens and Hallelujahs and God Bless Americas can finally be sung on this front. I'm already planning my Americanadian PermaRes Bash in anticipation of getting green cards in hand next year. You're all invited. Fingers crossed that it will be next year and not the year after or the one after that.

So that's my story, morning glory, and by golly, I'm stickin' to it. Like Venus to a flytrap. Or something like that.


Home, Home on the Range

So, we're in the new house - if you can call 30 years old new. It smells new with the fresh paint job it just had.

We've been moving things over in dribs and drabs, starting with the kids crap. We did a Clean Sweep with pristine daughter's room....emphasis on her pristine nature as diabolically opposed to her room's. We first thought of calling Haul Yer Junk to come in and suck out her toys and schtuff into the vortex of its pit. But ultimately, we ended up emptying out all her toys onto some tarps and blankets in our outdoor courtyard and separating them into the Junk, Donate, Keep and Sell piles.

I think we have an invisible critter in our courtyard though because at least a dozen times yesterday, I would mysteriously find that something that I had placed into the sell or donate pile would somehow end up back in Keep. Very strange. As were the stuffies I found my daughter sleeping with last night....all were eleventh hour salvages from the same outcast toy piles.

I tried to cut her some slack but not much because she is a Toys 'R Us outlet store waiting to happen. So it's not as though getting rid of a toy or two or five hundred is a hardship for her. And yet the tears flowed anyways. What if no one will love my (insert useless toy name here)? They will, honey, we'd assure her. They may even love it more....(sentence left dangling to infer that perhaps pay-it-forward child may only have 1o or less toys and may thus, be able to devote way more time, care and attention to the toy rediscovered in the Clean Sweep that had previously been buried in the bowels of her bedroom for God knows how many months).

The kids brought a couple of neighbor pals over (current, old place neighbors) to the new pad last night and they all sat in the hot tub. Which wasn't quite full. And I had no idea how to work it. But it was hot. And it was a tub. But it was not full nor bubbly. However, it seemed to appease their desires to sit in a hot tub. Mother of same neighbor children let the cat out of the bag last night though and I was none too impressed.

She called me over and commented how our 10-year old son had mentioned to her something about how peeing in our hot tub will cause the hot tub to shut down and necessitate a visit from the friendly, neighborhood repairman, an incident we all wish to avoid at all costs. So moral of the story? No peeing in the hot tub. That's what toilets are for.

But she thought perhaps he was serious (which he was - it was the story I was sticking to after all and I told it with my ultra-supremo straight face - the one that is de facto seriouso and which alleviates any/all doubts on matters from whether there is a supper policeman who shows up at the door to haul away children who don't finish their dinner, to what happens if you get caught picking your nose in public).

So she outs me publicly, by laughingly assuring her kids in front of mine that this was simply not true. And so I then had no choice but to chide and chastise her equally as publicly, by advising her that I didn't know what hot tub she had ever sat in, but this is how our particular hot tub works, said in my best nudge, nudge, wink, wink tone, and it literally will shut the motor down if it detects pee in the system. I then looked over at my son who was eagerly awaiting the verdict, and somehow managed to steadfastly hold his questioning gaze, thereby reassuring him that mom was not telling him a grand fib. This neighbor mom finally got it, but only sort of....because she then admitted that she prefers her kids to pee in the lake so she doesn't have to haul them out and run them to the washroom.

Too much information.

This is the same mom who thinks nothing of letting her snotty-nosed toddler run around with green boogers dangling from his nose. Which is fine if that sort of thing doesn't bother you. I happen to have a different tolerance threshold and tend to be the type that thinks nothing of wiping other kid's noses, if need be. And this is the same toddler who just projectile vomited all over our outdoor courtyard last week, scant millimeters away from an Afghani kilim carpet we are rather partial to. Thankfully, his mom had the good grace to come clean it up, hose it down and Lysol disinfect the heck out of it.

Anyways, long day short, we got through it but it was a painful process sorting through Polly Pocket pieces. Who the hell invented Polly Pocket? More to the point, I would like to meet a girl who keeps her Polly Pocket pieces together in one spot. Or clothes on her Barbies. Or wheels on her buses. Or feet on her Bratz dolls. Feetless Bratz dolls with minute waistlines, huge hips and monster eyes and lips freak me out.

The saga continues this week. Demolishing rooms...our closet, the kitchen and this office will be the next biggie events. We're making two-three loads a day over to the new haus and then these next two weekends, we'll do the big furniture loads. I won't be here the second weekend. I'll be in Oregon on the first annual SSBM blogger getaway with Becca, Tanya, Jeri, Christina (the Beast Mom herself), her sister, Grace, and her college roomie, Chris.

I didn't exactly plan our move to coincide with this Oregon coast girlie getaway but it would be a drag to have to cancel plans that have been almost a year in the making. So, I'm hoping we'll get the bulk of the move done, save for the bulky and heavy furniture, done prior to my exodus from the state. The only thing I'm good for when it comes to moving big furniture is either (a) getting in the way; or (b) making annoying suggestions on where said furniture should be placed in a room.

In between packing and moving, we're also furniture, appliance and window-blind shopping. We just bought a new Bosch washer and dryer. The appliance sales guy was a turd. Why do people, people who hate people...work in people-oriented industries? Gets me.
And our son starts summer school tomorrow. Which he's dreading, especially because he is now the proud dad of a Webkinz panda so he'll miss spending every waking moment with his new pet. Thanks, Brenda and Hollie, for fostering yet another cyber addiction for my children. Actually, it's perfectly good, safe, cyber fun. My daughter loves it. It's her first time really hanging on the computer and the games are perfectly geared to her age. She has a yorkshire terrier and a polar bear.

So that's my moving story and I'm sticking to it. I'll be counting back and forth trips for this, our first in-town move in a million years, just for fun. So I can write a book. How to Move in 83 Easy Trips.



Tap, tap, tap. Is this mic on?

I knew not to get excited. And yet I did anyways.

It's akin to being pregnant and wanting to tell the world but knowing I can't because I stand great risk of losing the baby (so says the woman who was preggo 5 times yet only has 2 hijos).

Anyhoo, we got kicked in the gut today.

The Bad
No sooner did I take our Canadian flag and windsock down from the Canada Day celebrations in order to make room for all the nearby American flags that are beginning to flap happily in the wind, than we receive this news.

In case you don't speak government bullschmidt, it says they (I won't even honour "them" with a name ~ they know who they are) will be reneging on their green card fulfillment requirements.

Guess who was in that July pile of applications? Guess who just forked out $1,000 American buckeroos to do medicals and shots, etc., etc. Guess who is extremely peevola'd? Yeah. Times two.

In fact I'm so pissed off that I think I'm going to lie low today because if I dare head out and spot even so much as one Ford Ranger truck with a gunrack and a Bush/Cheney sticker, I can't even fathom what that might do to me. I'm ovulating too, so I'm also more than a little hormonal and altogether unstable. It wouldn't be good, she says in wide-eyed rage, shaking her head perhaps a little too fervently.

They're claiming the backlog will only be until October but the more I Google this whole immigration deal, the more I'm sensing that we're being fed a pile of schmidt. All promise, no delivery. Look at the passport fiasco. I'm hearing it's taking months for some people to get their passports. Well, duh, Joe and Jane Fed Immigration Directors....like you didn't think to advise your bosses to think that one through three chess moves ahead before you (collectively) started locking up your borders with an electric fence and pushing for mandatory passports between borders within short order?

From the very start last year, we've been playing a green light, red light game and it sux hugely. Don't even get me started on the immigration ironies.

Oops, too late. On account of this being my soapbox.

But....and here's my giant disclaimer. I'll post it in red. If, if, if, you see immigration law restrictions as a black/white issue (please don't pardon the pun, it's deliberate), then do yourself a favour (Canadian spelling - I can't even be bothered with the nicety of Americanizing it today). Don't read on. Really, don't. But, but, but, should you perhaps view this issue as one that has many voices, sides, polemics, tribes, facets and dimensions, then read on.

Here's but one lone view.

That of a Connie and Curtis Canuck. What's our demographic, you ask?

The Boring
Well, let's see. I'd say we're the average Western Canadian immigrant. Professional couple, formerly of DINK persuasion until two kids and a subsequent move due south knocked us firmly into the two-kids, one-income category. We drink freshly ground coffee, own a tent trailer, pay cash for most purchases, permit our kids to watch Cartoon Network, and drive a Honda Odyssey and Mazda 626 respectively. Need I say more.

Are we harmful to American society? This blog might smell mildly of dangerous thought, if the tradewinds as they did today, blow every so slightly to the left, but for the most part, we are the contrary. Read that how you may.

In fact, we are the technicolour hue you see when you stare at the stars and stripes on the flag too long after too many Budweiser beers at a hot and humid 4th of July picnic. We are the breath of fresh, quasi-unpolluted, Canadian mountain air that arrives in the form of a U-Haul truck to your friendly, local neighborhood. We come in peace, we sprinkle our sentences with eh to appear harmless and somewhat no-mindish, we brandish hockey sticks in hopes that we can have you a game of street hockey and kick your butt, we brush debris off our driveway with a curling broom ('cuz heh, it works), and we've been known to smuggle Okanagan citrus fruit and pork sausage across the border for personal consumption but will vehemently deny this if questioned by the authorities.

My husband, Monsieur Canuck, who speaks not a whit of French owing to his Western roots and all, is one of only a handful of skilled, non-American workers (indeed) on his team who can accurately identify all the parts of a certain impressive and sophisticated, advanced-tech manufacturing product. If I were to name said product, you would be afraid, very afraid. Given the kind of work they're doing and the ramifications such lack of product knowledge might have on the end-user consumer, I won't go there.

Suffice to say that until he had arranged a tour of a local repair facility to view said product, many/most of his young and green counterparts had never even seen the inside bowels of this nameless thing. Which one might arguably think would be impossible, but I have discovered what it means to live in the land of opportunity. It means anything is possible, even the impossible. Anyways granted, he has twenty years experience in his field, but so, too, do some of these full-time, lifetime employees.

But, he's a contractor and more to the point, a foreigner. Thus, despite his role as mentor, new employee trainer, project manager of sorts, task innovator/initiator, senior (in more ways than one if his birth certificate is any indication) and seasoned worker on the beat, and last but not least, paid-overtime contractor who is expected to come in and work circles around the employees (who punch clocks and take time off to deal with hangnails or look outside and see it's raining and decide not to come into work that day), he is still not permitted access to certain company documents and/or information that he needs in order to do his job for this very American company that is trying desperately to one-up it's closest (European) competitor.

And what will I have to offer? Ahem. Not a whole darn lot, admittedly. Just a few sales and marketing smarts, the odd, outside the box idea and I do mean odd in its truest sense, an occasional flash of blouse cleavage on days I'm feeling bodacious, a bi-monthly Tully's coffee splurge for my co-workers on days when I'm feeling magnanimous, and most importantly, a nose-to-the-grindstone tourism industry work ethic each and every day (translation: will work damn hard for next to nothing). Spoken like a true immigrant, oui/si?

Now I totally get and love patriotism and I even get immigration fears to a narrow degree, emphasis on narrow though because that is the view I'm blogging about here, but here's the thing.

The Ugly
While some Peter and Penelope Patriots are out there waving their flag singing Up with America, Down with the Rest of You (left unsaid: who have the audacity to come in here trying to steal our jobs, homes, way of life, etc.), they remain oblivious to a few key inconvenient truths. Namely:

a) America was founded on a little thing called immigration. Lest we forget.

b) In fact, stealing homes, lands and livelihoods is the most a priori American instinct there is. If you don't believe me, quiz an American Indian. They'll confirm this most biological and historical of American realities.

c) Skilled and professionals workers from other nations lend 'other' perspectives, worldviews and dare I say, efficiencies that are a refreshing addition to the American way. There is, after all, more than one way to cook November turkeys. Just ask those of us who cook them in October or better yet, a vegetarian from Turkey who can drink coffee with the best of us, whilst effortlessly citing "A Sad State of Freedom" and other brilliant Turkish poems. In English with a slight American if distant Baywatchy accent, to boot.

d) How many Americans does it take to design a lightbulb? No joke, I'm serious. I would argue it takes a Canadian, some Brits and a handful of other zealous and ingenious Europeans to simultaneous invent and patent it; and yes, an American to then carpe the darn diem and the glory in true bootstrap American fashion. My point is hardly an illuminating one. Quite simply put, it takes a globe to trade in today's economy.
Thus, it behooves any nation playing in the global arena to attract the best of the best of international workerbees because the grim reality, and I hate to sound apocalyptic here because then I'd be right (teehee - my lame attempt at a religio/political joke), is that there is going to be a skilled labor shortage in the high tech fields. Europe is already facing it. So is America but few are willing to admit that.

I ayn't no roket sighantest but if I was, I would venture a guess that current universities and college enrollments are living proof of the impending shortage. So is the contrived benchmarking for No Child Left Behind. And shows like Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (I don't even want to know where those contestants work - that's just way too much information). And job boards such as that of Microsoft, which boast hundreds upon hundreds of unfilled positions. Too many jobs, not enough skilled labor. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire world to fuel a global economy.

e) They, Peter and Penelope the fearful, play right into the hands of terrorists and a few unnamed politicians, the ultimate prophets of fear and hate. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the world stood in awe, watching as New Yorkers showed us what it meant to be heroic and humanitarian. Of these tender years thereafter though, history may not tell as kind and compassionate a tale. If provoked, it might whisper of tribalism; the very sort of tribalism that spawned the likes of Al Quaida-think. America and Americans collectively are at a pivotal crossroads in history methinks. And it's an exciting one if viewed as an opportunity instead of a threat. If America is brave enough (and I unequovically believe it is) to open the blinds and extend to its friends, Romans, and countrymen alike, the same kind of compassion, hope and generosity of spirit it displayed in the moments, hours and days after the Trade Center and New Orleans disasters, imagine how the ethos might change. Perhaps then certain unnamed illegal immigrants might not be stealing from Arnold to pay George so Dick can profit.

The system feeds a vicious cycle by it's very duplicitous nature. It fairly begs for the little guy to stick it to the man.

Having said all this, I'm all for immigration reform. They can start with reforming the hold-up on our green cards, for one. (Kidding but not). Breath in, breath out, recite serenity prayer. Repeat process.

I don't have any more answers that the next guy or gal. Just my never-ending naive idealism and endless hope for a better future for everyone caught in the border barbed wire.

The Bold
To play devil's advocate a minute though, I admit that many cite the other extreme of immigration woes. The southern one. The unskilled workers who sneak into the country under the hood of a truck. Now granted, there are all sorts of correlations one can draw. Higher illegal immigration, higher crime rates is but one. But theoretically, it's become a cheaper form of outsourcing for way too many companies. Wal-Mart no longer needs to operate sweat shops in Mexico and Central America. They've got a whole population of people willing to sweat for them in their own backyard.

The Brave
Who do we think is getting paid under the table to build houses or work in the hospitality industry or accept minimum wage at par or below? Certainly not the construction company owner or Ma and Pa Motel owner who reap the profits and have figured out exactly which disgruntled employees dare not have the audacity, not to mention legal legs to sue.

What gets me are the fear-mongering many who bemoan the welfare burden. It reminds me of a song lyric I once heard - 'sometimes when it's quiet, you can hear the aristocracy whine.'

The Bloat
Immigration stories are the greatest of six o'clock news upsets, are they not? It's hard to digest one's prime rib dinner accompanied by grilled asparagus and seasoned potatoes and the obligatory glass of vintner's reserve pinot noir when one must first have to get up and lock the doors, shelter the young and innocent and steel the eyes and ears from such unwanted intruders and invaders. Who are, incidentally, the very same immigrants slaughtering the cows and planting the potatoes and picking the grapes and growing the asparagus; but this lesser and subsequent story gets left out of that 30-second soundbite.

My observation, and take it with the grain of salt it's worth in a food stamp line, is that the term welfare is largely oxymoronic in this great nation. So might claim the disabled gent who didn't have the dubious privilege of losing his limbs at war. Or the widower with a mortgage to pay, three or four mouths to feed, a lousy job, no insurance and a retro-country music record on perma-skip. Or the young couple who must choose between high-cost daycare and zero revenue stay-at-home parenting options for their three month old infant. Like that should even be a choice-based proposition in a global superpower nation like the US. And yet it is.

The correlations between being pregnant with child and this blog are numerous. This is a very pregnant blog, stretching at the seams with bloat and scars that will not soon fade after its birth or should I say narrowly-missed abortion.

Yes, this blog post is very much like a miscarriage, whose delivery must be suffered in the privacy of one's home or as is the case with stillbirth, the bowels of the hospital basement, far away from the excitement and chatter of happy new families, oblivious to the wondrous miracle born unto them that day, even as others below them, beneath them, suffer.

I speak as the voice of stillbirth experience. And I feel a pathos and sadness not altogether unlike the days following our daughter's loss 12 years ago. I remember that everywhere I turned in the days, weeks and months following, I was constantly bombarded with young moms and beautiful bouncing babies. It was like an extreme form of torture.

I felt it acutely again the other night, as I sat watching a recorded episode of Oprah, in all her insensitive glory, poo-pooing the woman who suffered the loss of her newborn one moment, and then in the next, glorifying all the mothers of the world. Perhaps only one who has lost a child in such a manner would pick up on the subtlety of that full frontal insensitivity, but I felt it, nonetheless.

The Gloat
And I suffer it in lesser form again today. Just days ago, I stood up at Safeco Field, proudly belting out Oh Canada and then immediately switching to an equally heartfelt, "O say does that star spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" I felt very Americanadian and dually patriotric, singing both anthems and rejoicing in my stars, stripes and maple leaf hybridity. Unbeknownst to me, the revised July immigration bulletin was already being drafted for release today.

The Lament
Today, as I see flags fluttering everywhere and 4th of July paraphernalia in every grocery, convenience and department store, I cannot help but feel the same kind of affront to the senses that I felt post-stillbirth delivery. Everywhere a reminder of liberty gained and liberty lost. It's like feeling the sting of being slapped in the face and for no good reason except that I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot sufficiently describe this discomfort. I can only lament that it does not feel good.

I'm back to that uneasy place of wanting to take my Canuck toys and go home. She mumbles on the penultimate eve of signing escrow documents, scarce days away from taking possession of a home here.

The Good
The good news? We can now travel to Canada this summer, as we are still a few months away from final filing and thus, the holding pen stage of our green card paperwork. Thank phricking God for small pleasures in the midst of big upsets.

OK, I'll shut up now.