The good news is that I am allowed to stay in Canada longer than my visitor record (June 14th), at least until they make a decision on my extension application. The bad news is that it took three hours worth of phone calls to find that out. Also, please don’t insult my intelligence by saying you are working 29 days behind the current date, then tell me you are working on applications from April 25th. I can do math.
Heeeey everybody! I know I keep telling some of you “I really need to blog more!” and then I never do. For those of you whom I don’t talk with often, here’s a quick-and-dirty of some parts of my life.
I’m in the process of applying for permanent residency here in Canada. It’s a long, boring process, with tons of paperwork and fees. Several weeks ago I made the gut-churning discovery that my passport is missing. So that was fun. I made a trip to the nearest US Consulate to obtain a replacement, and let me tell you, security there is no joke. I had to throw away my lip gloss. The Consulate is in Calgary, 4 hours from here, which seemed like a big deal until I realized that it’s the Consulate that serves all of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. So, I could have had to drive upwards of 25 hours (and that’s just from Yellowknife to Calgary), if we lived much farther north. Brian’s sister lives in Calgary, so I was able to drive up the night before and stay with her. The Consulate was efficient and quick; I had my replacement passport mailed to me within a week of my appointment.
Had a car, but it broke. On the side of the highway at night. When I was alone. Now I have a big fuel-sucking truck. Around town I almost exclusively bike or walk (it’s a 6 minute bike ride from our house to the main street). Then my bike broke, but now it’s sort-of fixed. As long as my legs don’t break…
Last week I mailed off some forms for immigration purposes. Included were credit card payment forms. Two days later the bank called Brian to tell him his credit card had been stolen. The subsequent cancelling of that credit card set off a flurry of faxes and phone calls to the places I’d mailed those forms to, letting them know about the updated payment information. I cannot speak highly enough of the courtesy and helpfulness of the various people I spoke to at the FBI. Short wait times (or none at all — if you call FBI headquarters, someone picks up on the first ring. Every time. They may also tell you “Oh, bless you heart, child!” when you pour out your sad story.).
I’m working on several creative projects — a large mural in the nursery at Brian’s church, spiffing up the guest bedroom/art room (it wasn’t an art room until I moved in :-), some gardening, and of course the perpetual rearranging of the house.
The Centennial Celebration for our town is coming up at the end of June. I’m involved with the ecumenical service, and am excited for the weekend in general. If you’ll be in town, let us know!
Until my permanent residency application is approved (which could take up to 18 months) I won’t be leaving Canada. Leaving would be fine, but getting back in might not be so easy, so that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I miss Seattle, and my bio family, and my church family, like crazy. Our town is small, and the population leans towards baby boomers and older. Most people my age work (something else I can’t do while I’m in this immigration holding pattern), and many have kids as well. Those factors make it that much harder to meet new friends.
Please ask any questions you have in the comments, and I promise I’ll answer!