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.


Becca said...

You have had a busy summer. You were most definitely missed, but hey life events are what they are. I am glad that you updated. Please don't let it go another 20 days. I wonder about you!

VENTL8R said...

Welcome back to(un)civilization! Sounds like you've had quite the hiatus.

I hear ya on the dog front. We live next to two collies. Rosie is fine, rarely barks and when she does it's the more pathetic high-pitched bark from a dog of that size. Then there're her brother (literal), Joey. Gorgeous black-n-tan collie that has a bark so loud and low it echoes off the houses. Now, I understand that dogs bark. But for the love of your neighbors, find out said dog is barking and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!

Might want to call your local humane society and see if there is a city ordinanace on nuisance barking. Here in Omaha the Humane Society will send out an initial letter of complaint. That usually does the trick. I don't like hearing my dogs bark so I'm pretty sure my neighbors don't, either. Apparently I'm wrong. But the Joey has gotten better after many calls to the NHS and finally having an officer coming out to speak with the owners. That's a whole nuther story.......

Tanya said...

You were SO missed on the trip!! I hope to see you again in person - some day :)

We are officially 17 days away from getting to move and not one single thing has been packed up in our little apartment. Maybe I'll get motivated and pack while Logan is napping this afternoon, then again, maybe not :) We'll be getting our dog back when we move into the new house. In a way I'm looking forward to having him around because I know Logan is missing him like crazy but in a sense I've LOVED not having to deal with all the shedding. Maybe we'll have a shaved Labrador ;)

Jeri said...

Holy – it is so cool that you are in your new house and unpacking already! Might I suggest a spare sheet and tacks for that window – until you get your decorating act organized and decide on a long term solution?

I'd never heard of Tragically Hip but sounds like the night out was just what you needed! I'll have to listen to some of their stuff on YouTube or iTunes.

Yes, we totally missed you at the SSBM get together. It would have been fun shopping and beachcombing with you – but maybe another year. ☺

And finally – three cheers for the green card moving back into forward gear! I'm excited for you that you get to have closure there and go back to work in an area that's satisfying for you.

Natalie said...

OooOoo... The Tragically Hip... I saw them in a small club in Phoenix. I think I actually have one or two of their CD's. I used to really like them. :)

Dealing with the neighbor's dogs is a tough thing. In one way, you don't want to piss your neighbors off and in another, they are pissing you off by not dealing with their dogs. I'm in the same (but probably worse) situation. I know what time my neighbors leave for the day (6:30AM) because that is when the barking, yapping, braying starts. AND... they still haven't clean their yard. And... the dogs are so bored they are tearing up the yard and MY FENCE. AND... they haven't done anything about it and those two (new) puppies? They are growing up without manners, discipline, etc...
I'm going to have to call the city.
This really puts me in a precarious situation.
I have no advice... just complaints.
Welcome back.
I totally understand that "too busy to blog" thingy. I'm only doing it twice a week... once on each blog, or so. So many blogs... so little time...
Nice to see ya!

KC said...

"Like Venus to a flytrap..." Of course I can think of a million things to comment on and yet that one final sentence puts me in stitches!!!

I've been in my house now almost (not quite) two months and still not settled in. Not even painted. So I can relate to all things moving. And the invasion of neighbours (I share a drive and yard with.... ) and their pets/rodents... Its been 'a blast'... LOL...!!!

Summer is only half done.... there are still more time for great concerts, picnics, adventures and story telling. You do them all so well...

Take care hon... hope this finds you in good health...

Ciao bella,

Simply Hollie said...

Hi wow what a month! I can so relate to moving woes and I opt for that throw one box a week out move, you always collect more junk aka crap mucho fast when you have kids..

Tragically Hip, small concert, I am JEALOUS!..only a true Canadian can really appreciate one of our greatest treasures!

Jorge said...

It's always thrilling to read your posts, rather like sitting in the front row of the big roller coaster :-) Hope you get all the moving stuff behind you soon, and that your bureaucratic hassles will soon be only a memory. Our country needs more folks like you. Be well,

HOLY said...

Becca: glad you all had a good time - I enjoyed catching up with your weekend pursuits vicariously but it wasn't the same as being there.

Ventl8r: so tough on the dog front - barking is just a dog's way of communicating - today was the first morning all week that I wasn't awoken by the sound of one of them barking to be let out. But they are gorgeous dogs....I will say that. I'll play wait and see and perhaps in time, things will either improve or I'll have befriended the dogs.

Tanya: Yeah, bummer...I was looking forward to doing a Trader Joes run with you. Anyhoo, thinking of you and your impending move and doing the packing once again - although it's probably somewhat easier since you haven't unpacked quite everything from Monroe, right? The kids would like to get a whippet - apparently they don't' shed and they're tolerable for those like hubby and my daughter who are allergic to dogs....who knows. She also wants a bunny really bad and has found the perfect outdoor cage for it - a rabbit seems like a whole lot of work and I hate to keep it caged all the time....that can't be good. Anyways, good luck on your move - will check in on your progress!

Nat Sprat: You saw the Hip? How cool is that? You are now officially Canadian - given that you know what a toque is, have seen the Hip live in concert and have been introduced to the sport of curling.

I bought a new bean yesterday and thought of you - some new African blend with red and yellow packaging - drinking it now - it's OK. Speaking of coffee, need to go check S's flickr account for new pics...sipping coffee while perusing her pics is a nice pastime.

KC: yes, settling into new neighborhoods is always interesting. We've met most of the neighbors now - there's a strange lady 3 doors down - she lives in this big spooky house that must have had a commanding view of the Cascade Mtns way back in the day but now it's old and rickety and we can hear her deck creak at night - everyone says to leave her alone - she isn't even all that old - just a bit touched. Halloweening at her house should be fun. Glad you've befriended the neighbor's wife and things are better on that front.

Hollie: Kids and crap - honestly, it's insane. The one thing I most love about summer is not having to deal with the daily stuff that comes home from school. We really need to get on top of shelving and storage in this house - it's the only solution to getting organized. Oh well, there's time for that, I guess. Hope you're enjoying your TO summer!

Jorge: never knew my posts were an all aboard affair....too funny. I'm looking forward to getting a SSN - it feels like I'm half a person in this country without one - can't get a picture on my debit card so when I show it, everyone wants to see a piece of id....debit cards in Canada are pictureless so I find it to be a tedious ordeal. And I'm just looking forward to contributing in some small way in the workforce...contributing to the community somehow, somewhere. Thought of you when I saw the prescription drug expose on Dateline the other night - they were highlighting the little known reality that many drug store drugs are ineffective knock-offs made in Asia, albeit with real-looking Pfizer labelling....scary stuff. People who manufacturer fake drugs should be shot dead - what an evil profession.

alison said...


FlexPets? Are you serious? Good God. What is our world coming to? Maybe I could reason through and philosophize about it if only I could stop laughing at the idea of your twice-daily calisthenics (which, btw is defined as 'exercises that develop muscle tone and enhance physical well being' which made me laugh even harder. You keep going, hon. If you continue those stealth moves, in a couple of months, you won't want to hide the bod...you will be mowing down the trees to show it off...)

Anyways...yes. The Hip. So sad that people haven't heard of them. I am unsurprised, though. Wasn't Gord always sort of anti-sell-out/anti-American? The mention of The Hip always has me thinking of my favourite song...Boots or Hearts, New Orleans is Sinking...Hmmmm/ So hard to choose.

Which reminds me...send me an e-mail with you new address, I have some Canadiana for you.

So happy about the green card thing. Wouldn't it be lovely if it all just...worked out for a change??

I am not going through this for spelling errors...I think I will go upstairs and begin my re-read of The Deahtly Hallows as I am not yet ready to say good-bye to Harry. It has been a rough summer for me...bye bye to Captain Jack, closing the book on Mr. Potter...sigh. So many fictional men, so little time...

Toots, Holy...