Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's not Green and not made of Card?

11 years and18 days after we first set foot on American soil, we received 12 emails (3 each) from the USCIS, the department of Immigration Services, informing us that 'documents' had been printed and would soon be in the mail.  The next day, more emails, documents were in the mail, and on Monday, Brian and Becca each received an official 'Welcome To America' letter - on St George's Day, which made me laugh! 

Today they received their Permanent Resident Cards, commonly referred to as the Green Card, and are now officially freed from the burden of constant reporting for the next 10 years.  The email chain leads us to believe that Caity and I will be receiving our documents soon, too, we're not sure why they didn't all arrive together - these things are part of the mystery of USCIS. 

So what does it feel like to have a Green Card? 

Honestly?  It's a bit surreal at the moment.  We have spent so long wishing and hoping and waiting, holding on, thinking that surely it must be soon, and then discovering that it won't be any time soon, that it's hard to believe that our wait is actually over.  We were not expecting to receive our cards until 2014, so this is a big surprise to us, and it comes at the perfect time. 

Advantages that are now available to us include, but are not limited to, the following...

Brian will be able to accept promotions at work, and also job offers at new companies that include a step up from his current position.

We will be able to take vacations overseas - and will be allowed back into the US afterwards.

I will be able to work, for money, instead of volunteering, for free.  Becca will be able to work as a tutor at summer school on campus. 

Caity will be able to travel to Canada with the school band next year when they head to Vancouver for a competition, and will be allowed back in again!  

We will qualify for a .3% lower rate on our home refinance. 

We will save $1000's of dollars each year now that we no longer need to file documents, amendments, photographs, fingerprints, and retina scans.

We will never again have to suffer the indignity of having our blood tested for unmentionable diseases that people can only contract by doing unmentionable things.  And I will never have to listen to the gleeful nurse on the telephone announcing the 'good news' that I don't have any of those unmentionable diseases - like I didn't know that already!!!!! 

In short, life is going to be better, and we are very thankful for that.  It has taken a LONG time to get here, but we are glad to have been 'Welcomed to America'.  Now if we could just get the postal service to actually deliver our mail...

Monday, April 16, 2012


Yesterday we went on a date!  It was wonderful!  We drove down to a dealership and took a really cute little Mazda MX5 for a spin.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, it felt great to be out and about together, just us two, and when I slipped off the heel of my slip-on shoe, I thought nothing of it.

Until this morning.

I woke up a couple of times in the night, feeling like I had a cramp in my foot, turned over, went back to sleep.  Sort of.

This morning it hurt to put my foot on the floor, it hurt to flex it, and it hurt to keep it still.

I called the docs office, who said that I could come right away, they had an appointment free in 15 minutes.  The irony of 'hurrying' to make that appointment with a sore foot was not lost on me as I hobbled across the parking lot.

I've torn ligaments, down the outside of my right foot, so I have 2 weeks of ice and gentle flexing to hobble through and it should be better.

If Caitlin wasn't already in physical therapy for her knee, and Becca hadn't walked into a table yesterday and messed up HER knee, this might not be quite such a pain!

However - there's a LOT of knitting time in my future, I've already finished one piece!

 and later in the day, sick of my ice pack slipping off the side of my foot - I made myself one of these - a little foot warmer with a pocket to stick the ice pack in - perfect! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

As Much As I Would Like To Be....

...I'm just not a daily blogger!  Life gets in the way, and so I am an occasional blogger! 

Yesterday was one of those mad days where, all of a sudden, after weeks and weeks of seeming to make no progress, a million things get done! 

I planted some fuchsias in the hanging box outside the kitchen window - it's such a lovely place to have flowers!  

The first peony of the year burst out of the bud...
The first rhodo hit full flower...
and it's a beauty! 
We hauled home a bit of wood for the woodstore - I put my size 7 shoe on there so you can see just how big that log is - it was quite the workout!  We brought home almost an entire tree - we left just one small piece about 12 inches long and 6 inches across... the ominous buzzing noises and the fact that it appeared to have been hollowed out and stuffed with moss did NOT lead me to want to put it in my car! 
It's last year's wood, so it should be good for burning soon if we can get it cut and split at the weekend. 
And the daffodils that we unearthed from the ivy pile out the front have burst into life, too...

Add to that the fact that we now have 3 healthy rhubarb plants in the veggie patch -

and Bri spent Sunday fencing it in,
it looks like Spring might have made it to our house!