Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mexican food and make-up work

Today I visited with my old work crew at El Tucan in Merritt Island.  It is always so nice to see everyone again and see how things are going.  I got to finally show off my ring and my photo album too - I never tire of that.

I did my make-up homework as well.  My professor had emailed me back, asking when I would be able to turn it in.  I replied with "just re-submitted them."  I still am not sure I'm doing them right but after three attempts, I should have gotten something on that rubric to give me credit.

Visa papers will go out next week after I get my fingerprints done on Monday and get Steve's last bank statements in the mail.  I'm so sick of running around over this.  We're both at our wits' end with papers and more papers.  It's starting to freak me out at how much I have and how long it will take for them to approve me.  We can only pray that I can be there by Christmas and keep our plans with that intent.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dumb movie, lots of papers

"Sex and the City 2" has been the stupidest movie I've seen in a long time. I can handle girlie movies. I can handle middle aged women singing karaoke. But the dialogue was forced so the funny, witty punchlines just seemed too fake. Plus the plot is just stupid. Like Aiden (such a great name) would just happen to be in the Middle East. And this whole "we're strong women and no man respects us" thing is a bit old. All in all it's just a flop. I'm sad to see this second, much awaited movie to be plain terrible.

In other news the paperwork has become more detailed. I filled out my application, get my fingerprints done Monday, then I send our documents. The Express envelope weighs 4 lbs already and I don't even have a handful of bank statements yet. Each time we think we have everything, we discover more things they want from the long list of supporting documents. But once I have the bank letters, another couple months of statements and a letter from the school stating that I'm in online classes, then I can send everything. I just can't wait to get this application done and approved. Christmas is still some time away but it's close enough and I want my plans to go, well, according to plan.

And tomorrow is homework day. I wish I could get rid of this cold. My medicine makes me feel so groggy all the time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A scenic view

Today we investigated what all we'll have to do on the day Jake and I arrive in the U.K.  After my plane ride that will land at 7AM or so, I'll wait on Steve to come pick me up after he's taken the train down South.  Once he gets there, we'll have to take my luggage (I will try to scale it down to one large suitcase and a carry-on.) Then we have to pick Jake up at the Animal Reception Centre after a short taxi ride.  Once we have him, we'll go back to the airport, grab the express train up to Victoria, then on to King's Cross.  Best part about all this will be that I can see London.  Finally!  The airport is outside of the city, so I never saw any inkling of London other than the paraphernalia sold in the airport gift shop.  Of course I'm going to be majorly tired by the time I get in that morning, but the excitement will keep me awake enough until we get home.  Ah, home, it's waiting for me!  Even my pictures are up on the wall!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another step closer

Due to my recent interest in peas and pea cookery, my sweet and dear husband bought me a new U.K. slow cooker (a crock pot to us Southerners).  As you can see, I already have my coffee maker waiting on me too. (An item that a tea drinker would have no reason to have until I came around.)

I almost have all of our paperwork we need.  The last of the bank statements are on the way and I have everything I think would be pertinent to the application.  I even included my school transcripts, my resume and the proof that I'd gone to the library in town and inquired about volunteering.

I ordered Jake's cargo carrier as well - cushy, water retaining pad and all.  It's been a lot of organization and research on my part to make sure I have absolutely everything the way it should be.  Now all I need is to finish getting my paperwork, apply, get my fingerprints done and then send off all my documents.  I can't wait to get that approval letter!

A productive Friday

I had a really productive day today. I started out by going to the doctor to get some cold medicine. When I was waiting, another patient came in who has to have the ambulance called for them. She had possibly had a bad reaction to Alleve. Makes me wonder what over the counter drugs have such big consequences if our system doesn't tolerate them.

Afterwards I went to the DMV. It's cool how they have it set up here where you press a button for the category you're there for, then get your "next in line" ticket. I waited a little over 30 min in a less than great waiting room. I was happy that when they called my number I went to a desk where a nice, smiling lady greeted me. I had all my necessary papers, all organised and accepted by DMV standards. I have my picture with my funky bun in my hair and my yellow t-shirt (I match the license). I knew if I didn't put picture clothes on and expect to get the renewal done, there would have been too many people or something keeping me from getting my DL. But low and behold, I had my DL an hour after I got there. Another big task all done!

I also got a big wedding album that holds 200 photos. Now I can get that all organised for us. I printed out the pictures that I'm sending with the Visa paperwork. I made copies of a bunch of my identity papers that I used today for my DL. I'd rather go overboard and put everything possible they could need rather than send in just enough and hope for the best.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Morning

I picked the right week to get sick. I didn't have any homework except to re-do an assignment that I flubbed up on. Other than that I just got my books at the library for my next two sections. The rest of the time I just hung out at home. I'm finally going to the doctor today.

The paperwork business is getting done. It's a big process to have everything I possibly need to send in: bank statements, birth certificate, pictures, phone records, etc. But I think we have everything we need now. I just have to get the application done and send everything out. I want to be in England by December.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Paperwork, peas and Twitter

Today I have to run back to the library. I finished up my reviews for my children's poetry section and our next section is historical. Larger books to read in two weeks, so I have to get cracking. I will grab the ones I need for the section after historical as well. I have to get what I can get done before I go.

I finally got my passport renewed with my name change and smiley photo. Next is the big Visa application. I have to apply online, make an appointment in Orlando to get my fingerprints done, and send in a lot of required materials. It's a big process but as long as we've been researching this, we should be all set. It amazes me how daunting it all looks. I don't want to miss any possible ounce of "evidence" they may need. Phone records, emails, bank statements, certificates and license to name a few. I don't know how long it will take for them to approve the Visa either but my plan is to go after Thanksgiving. With having to get Jake's paperwork ready after mine, that gives me time to get us ready. Plus, I get to watch the Macy's parade and eat pumpkin pie! The pumpkin pie mix that's imported to England is low this year.

And that's how things are rolling right now. I'm still not very packed but when I can only bring so much, there's not a whole lot I can do with these things (except donate what I can of course.) I'm sending what I can ahead of me (you can put 70 lbs worth of stuff in a Priority Box and send it internationally - winter clothes, of course, only make the box weigh about 6 lbs.)

Also, I really am not "feeling it" with Twitter.  It just reminds me of those chat rooms we use to have in the 90s where people would come into a room, start an argument, get everyone in a fluff and generally torment people for their own enjoyment.  This is why I like Facebook - I don't have to look at random strangers' posts about atheism, drinking or inappropriate behavior.  I just don't want to sift through that garbage.  I like talking to the library community and seeing cool links here and there but now I understand why 70% (some statistic on the news the other day) of Twitter updates get ignored.  It just seems like a big mess to me. 

But right now I'm still working on my Scandinavian pea soup. The recipe said to put in the crock pot on high for the first 4-6 hours, low for the second. I've had it on low all night. No wonder they wouldn't get mushy! I think they're actually cooking now. Non-mushy peas wouldn't be very British of me now would they?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And the fun begins

Today I gutted the closet a little more since I had bought some more storage bins yesterday.  I found scads of clothes that I bought on sale years ago that still had the tags on them.  This is the thrift store shoppers lucky day!  I'd so rather it go to someone who can use them than have them sit in this closet.

Also, I started getting my named changed on my SS card and my passport.  In my haste of getting my things in the mail before 5PM, I forgot to add the extra money for the expedited shipping on my passport (I do not have 6 weeks to wait!)  As I was saying in my updates earlier, when I went to Walgreens to have my new photo done, the girl working there made me come back and retake it after someone else had processed the pictures.  "You can't smile in the passport photos."  "Yes you can.  I'm smiling in the one I got last year.  My husband is smiling in his too..."  "Well, they get sent back to us."  "Huh.  Must be a new rule."  "Well, people will bring theirs back saying they aren't accepted though I know they look perfect."  Red flag.  I let her take my straight on, unfun picture, then proceeded on to the Post Office where I had the postmaster not only take the right picture (smile and all) but put everything in the Priority envelope with delivery confirmation and all.  I felt much better about the whole thing once I had the P.O. handle things - that is until I realized I didn't pay my extra fees for fast processing.  Department of State said I could call in later and give them my payment over the phone for that though once they have the application.  Hooray!  Everything is fine in the world of me again!

I watched "Teach: Tony Danza" finally.  Man, they treated that guy really badly on his first day.  Yes, there are cameras involved and a potential distraction to students.  But if he hadn't been a celebrity I think they would have given him way more respect and way more encouragement.  I'm talking administrators and parents, not the kids necessarily.  Those kids are too young to have seen "Taxi" or maybe even "Who's the Boss?" (except for the one girl who said she was into the 80s and knew who he was.)  I really feel for the guy.  He's qualified to teach, he'd had more instruction and more mentoring than lots of other new teachers have.  I just really empathize with that "we assume you're going to fail and we'll let you know about it" attitude they gave him.  Even that AP who was telling him, in front of student no less, to "stop being vain and put on his glasses."  Yup, I give the man credit for walking into that minefield.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Books and Boxes

I've started taking survey of what I absolutely need to pack up.  First of all, my books.  I looked through a lot of them but I just can't part with most of them.  Either I used them for classes or they're classics or I just plain like them.  So I'm packing them all up for storage.

After that I'll work on my keepsakes and other things here and there that I want to keep.  The computers, yes.  The summer clothes, yes.  All I need to take with me right now is my laptop, my iPhone and my winter clothes.  Jake too.

It's hard to look around and wonder exactly where to begin when you're going to move.  Especially when you can't just hire some movers to put a bunch of stuff in a truck and tell them you'll meet them in Canada or wherever.  But I'll have what I need and the rest easily accessible when I come back for visits.  The rest is going to be donated (as I've already started to gut my closet with donations over the summer) or tossed out.

For my Children's and YA Lit class, I started reading What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones.  I love that Push poetry type verse that this book is in.