Seriously.

Seriously. by Nancy Dunne
Seriously., a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

I need for all the crazy to stop, please?
I need to be able to go to work and not get my back up before I even walk in the door.
 I need for this insane pulled muscle under my left shoulder blade to GIVE IT A REST ALREADY!
I need for a rental house with a fenced yard and no defects and the ability to lease for 3 months to materialize in Greenville proper or I’m going to end up in an outlying area and be VERY VERY cross.
I need a vacation.
I need the Loco to Stop.

Again, for Cathie and Leah…

Daisy in Orange by Nancy Dunne
Daisy in Orange, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

…I’ve got my blogging face on! Well, I had it on last Thursday, as well as my Sad Dog Owner face AND my I’m Trying to Avoid Homicide face.

Daisy came back “home” to the US last Thursday. She flew all by her little self from Manchester, England, to Atlanta, Georgia. Simon and I made arrangements via a pet relocation service to get her on her way, and we were assured of a certain number of things upon handing over almost $1600 to them.

On the day, everything started well and Simon and his dad got Daisy to the airport and checked in on time. She was xrayed and then sent on her way, and apparently her flight was fine and she actually got to Atlanta 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

My friend Joanne and I headed down to pick her up. We were told by the relocation folks in England that all I would have to do is turn up at the Air Cargo warehouse, pay my import fee of $50, present them with an airbill number, and they would then hand Daisy over to me. That is not exactly what happened.

The very very very nice man at the warehouse told me that while Daisy was on the ground and on her way to the warehouse, I wasn’t going to be able to collect her that night because she’d arrived too close to the time that the customs officers at the warehouse leave for the day. I assured him that we’d been told that they were there 24-7. He assured me with a very sad look on his face that they left at 5 every day, and any animals that arrived too close to that deadline would be taken to a nearby kennel for the night and their owners could collect them. I told him that we hadn’t sent any food with her and he said they would feed her. I told him that we feed her raw and further we’d paid a lot of money to get her on that flight and I was not leaving without her. He looked like he was going to cry but told me he couldn’t do anything. I went in the bathroom, cried a little, swore a lot, and then got on the phone to Delta.

Oh, easy, the lovely representative I spoke with said. You get her paperwork from them, take it to customs in the actual airport, they will approve it, and then you bring it back. I told the guy that, he grinned and got to work on her paperwork. He asked if I knew where to go, and I said that all she had told me was “customs.”

All of you who fly regularly…where is customs in an airport? Yep, you got it, inside the secure area where you need a boarding pass to get through. A boarding pass assumes that you are BOARDING a flight. See a problem yet?

I got to the airport and NO ONE could tell me where I needed to go to get a gate pass to get through to customs. I spent an hour just finding out that I had to go on my own to find a TSA agent to get a gate pass. Only, that’s NOT what I had to do at all, I needed to go to DELTA to get a gate pass (where I started, an hour prior). There is something about telling a ticketing agent that TSA sent you that makes them very snarky, just so you know before you try it. Finally, I had my gate pass and I was going through security.

One full body scan later, I was on the train under the airport to the concourse at the complete other end of the airport for international arrivals/departures and customs. I spent most of hour two since leaving the warehouse getting to that concourse and then sitting while the customs agent checked her paperwork and finally stamped it. Back through security (thankfully no full body scan this time), back on the train, back to the car and by 8:40pm we were waiting on them to wheel Daisy’s crate out. For those keeping score, that was four hours after she arrived in Atlanta, and a whopping EIGHTEEN hours after she was put in her crate at Manchester Airport.

My baby girl hadn’t made a single mess in her crate. Bless. I was so happy to see her that I just sat there and held her for a minute, big stupid tears rolling as she wiggled to get away from me and glare back at her box. And now she’s here, she’s learning about being one of five dogs in a house instead of the only one, and she’s taking most of it in stride. I think I’ve seen her snarl more in the past two days than I have since I’ve had her.

A strongly worded complaint will be issued to Delta because that was just unacceptable. Not only did the right hand not know what the left hand was doing, but I don’t think it knew there WAS a left hand.

There is a positive, though…Simon’s visa was approved at his interview a week ago today, and on this past Friday he got his passport and the Mysterious Brown Sealed Envelope that he has to take AS IS to customs when he arrives in the States to stay.

Well…to stay until I’ve had it with my life here and feel that old need to move on…but hopefully that won’t be for a long time yet.

Spring…in February?

I went across the way today to grab lunch at the student center and was struck by how WARM it is. WARM, y’all. Like open the sun roof and put Kid Rock on the radio, warm. Like I can’t believe this time last year I was freezing, warm!

I was reminded in that short walk of one of the reasons why I wanted to move our family to the United States. While there are many, MANY lovely things about the UK and England in particular, and I do miss parts of it every single day…the weather is not one of those things.

61F in February. 16C. That’s the great British Summer if you live up north like I did. I had to TAKE OFF MY SCARF outdoors because I was TOO HOT. (I didn’t even bring a coat today!)

Oh, and in other news…she’s coming home. Very soon. Like next week soon if at all possible. And then she can think I’m a dork and a geek and whatever all in person, and it will be okay, because she will be HERE. With ME. Mei Mei. Life might be starting to get a little bit…good?

You Days of Our Lives Jinxed It, Didn’t You?

Mommy, did you say GO? by Nancy Dunne
Mommy, did you say GO?, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

If you are not familiar with the Days of Our Lives Jinx phenomenon, let me briefly explain. I watched Days from the time I was in pre-school until about four years ago, so I consider myself somewhat of a home-grown expert on soap opera plot construction, at least for American soaps. I also should mention that I just did the math on that, and I spent an incredibly HUGE chunk of my life in the fictional town of Salem…and I’m not sure whether I’m impressed by my own loyalty or horrified that I’ve just admitted that in public.

Right, so on to the Jinx: You can always tell on Days that a major plot twist is coming when a character utters something in terms of absolutes. I’ll give you an example. “Nothing can ever come between us again!” is the signal that the third member of the love triangle is about to arrive in town. “Your prognosis is beyond excellent and I’m sending you home today!” means that this character will be in hospice by the holidays. That sort of thing is the Jinx, and I have a hard time avoiding it in my real, non-soap life.

I seem to have done it again, on a grand scale. Remember that post before, about how we had sold our house? The buyer backed out. So, all of that “we are on the path to happiness” business of last week is now replaced with “hello, Square One, fancy meeting you here, AGAIN.”

I chose today’s picture because it’s a visual reminder of the Days of Our Lives Jinx which is loosely related to the adage about counting chickens too early…and because it’s my Hunky Man, whom I miss desperately. Ugh. I need a do-over.

A new day, another template…

I love orange. by Nancy Dunne
I love orange., a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

I was telling my fabulous friend Goddess Lynne (who writes the marvelous blog, The Way of the Moth) that I’d looked over my blog with its new template and decided that it was screaming SPRING at me.  In fact, that’s not what it was screaming at all, but instead it was yelling at me FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY COULD YOU HAVE PICKED A MORE GIRLY TEMPLATE? I HAVE A REP TO PROTECT, YOU KNOW. So, because I do not appreciate being yelled at in that manner, I found a new template.  Autumnal.  Ridiculous.  GIRLY.  That’ll show…uh…did I just admit to having a conversation with my blog?

Anyway!  I’ll try this one on for size.  I promise, too, that there will soon be a write up and pictures of our first weekend and kids day at the Carolina Renaissance Festival.  I just haven’t gotten my head wrapped around it enough to write about it due to all the other stuff floating around in there at the moment.  And the YELLING FROM THE BLOG.  Did I mention the yelling?  In the meantime, though, please feel free to join our new facebook group for the Hounds of East Fairhaven if you have a facebook account.  You might also visit Goddess Lynne’s blog and check out her fab poem, “Autoharp.”  Genuine genius, that.  Talented friends, I have.  Talk like Yoda today, I might!

On second thought, just go join the group and read the poem.  Ta, y’all.