Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Story so Far

Let's have another recap, shall we?

I've been living without my husband for more than ten months now. In that time I have spent a total of 18 days with him, over the two times he has been to visit (and that first time we were actually expecting to be crossing the border together, so the tone of that first visit was rather more dour than the second).

We have been misinformed all over the place so we have a hard time trusting what information is correct, as the process for getting a green card is handled by five different government organizations and they don't all know what the other is responsible for, it seems. Add to this mix, the process is changing, an ever-moving target.

In early January we were told "five months" until I have my green card. We are almost through three of those five months now - when will we receive our Third Notice of Action? When will I receive instructions for setting up appointments with the US consulate in Vancouver for an interview and a health check? Assuming that gets approved, how long will it take for my green card to be printed and sent? And once I have all my permissions to enter the US in my hand, how much time will Dan need to make travel arrangements for our big trip?

I don't have answers to any of these questions. I get asked a lot. So does Dan. Every day he checks his mailbox to see if there is something from the government.

In the last ten months, I have lived in four different places. I was a month in Ucluelet, where we were living when Dan was offered the job, but I did not want to stay in that big house by myself, and without his income I could not afford to pay the bills, so I entered my period of couch surfing.

I was three months at my sister's in Alberta, then two months with my in-laws in Victoria, and I'm nearing the four-month mark with friends of mine in Cowichan Bay.

A few months ago, I put a bug in my sister's ear about coming out to visit before I leave. She knows it will be quite some time before I can get back up to visit her again once I move, and an equally long time for her to come visit me. She made the decision and booked the flight yesterday - she'll be here to visit in a couple of weeks! She'll stay three nights only, but it will be kid-free sister time and we are going to have a blast.

Every time my sister and I get together, it is required that I make her my pizza. I learned how to make pizza years ago from Ursa, have been working on and refining my recipes and techniques, and it was the first pizza that my sister had ever had without meat that she enjoyed. (oat bran crust, corn meal and sunflower seeds underneath crust, stewed tomatoes, fresh herbs, three kinds of cheese, that's it). As I have been working my way through The Breadbaker's Apprentice, I have changed the dough I use in my pizza, so it will be a different version but I'm sure she will love it.

Did I ever tell you the story of the five cent candies? A long time ago, when my sister and I were both still single, I visited her in Red Deer. For some reason we decided it would be a good idea to walk down the road to the gas station and each spend $2.00 on five cent candies. At 11:00 at night. And then eat them all. Yes we did. So naturally we were both on a sugar high and ill from eating so much acidic sugar, but it is one of our fondest sister memories as adults. (To this day we both have a weakness for gummy candy).

Toni asked me a few days ago if my sister would be okay with how we eat. It occurred to me that I don't know how adventurous my sister is with food. She lives with three picky eaters (her husband and two children), and she herself doesn't enjoy cooking much. There aren't any good restaurants near her (they are all chain restaurants) so she hasn't really had much exposure to good food. So I asked her yesterday: have you ever had Indian food? She said she didn't know. (How could you not know? I'm guessing she hasn't). Are you okay with fish and seafood? Yes, I'm easy, she said.

So this could be a grand food awakening for my sister. Maybe I'll introduce her to sushi made at home. I'll show her how to make chilaqueles. Last summer she got interested in good coffee and has been expanding her coffee horizons (Yay!). Vancouver Island has a lot of local roasters, tons of good coffee to be had here.

I asked her what she wanted to do while she is here. She said "buy rye bread". I know what she means. Not just any rye bread. Last year when she came to visit us in Ucluelet with her daughter, we stopped into the Coombs Country Market. What a feast for the senses! She bought this massive beautiful loaf of Triple Spiral Rye, with three shades of rye swirled up. And it was delicious. More fond memories. That loaf lasted the four of us (Dan too) for their entire visit of five days. So naturally we have to go back and get more.

She also said "be silly". Well THAT'S easy. We haven't had any kid-free sister time since, well, I don't even know. We had a few hours last September when we dropped off her kids at another auntie's house, but Mum was with us, so I don't think that counts.

She'll arrive on a Monday evening and leave on the Thursday evening. That's three days/nights. We could do the village tour - Cowichan Bay, Maple Bay, Cobble Hill, Chemainus. We're definitely going to Coombs. I want to show her downtown Duncan. Toni suggested I take her to Saison. Yes. If for nothing else, she needs to try the lemon tarts. I'm sure we'll get in a visit with my in-laws in Victoria. What else? I don't want to over-plan. I'm sure she'll also want to rest. The weather may be a determining factor too.

It's good that my sister will come for a visit soon. She was worried that she might not get to see me before I go, so this visit had to be done soon, because by late May they have to start getting their grain in the ground and farming season gets really busy. And I might be gone by then. You never know.

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