Birthday Girl Gone Wild

What does one think of when it comes to birthdays? I think of cards, and cake and maybe a cheesy dollar store happy birthday banner

I brought her coffee in bed and made her her lunch before she went to school, and  then when dinnertime came we went to her favorite restaurant and she had plate after plate of ‘delicisousness’  that I wouldn’t touch, but hey – it’s her birthday so if she wants to eat rabbit, she can go right ahead – it’s her day.

One would think that after a day of meals, and cards, and balloons and banners that would be enough – yes?

Not if you’re my wife. 

What is the last thing one would do after a nice birthday dinner out?

I bet none of you guessed: Go drive around the city in the dark looking for “Lloyd’s Taco Truck’, that supposedly is going to be “in the park”. somewhere. That’s what we ended up doing because it was her birthday and she wanted to have dulce de leche pudding from the Taco truck for dessert.

We drove, and drove, and drove for over 20 minutes around town in the dark until finally, the big bright lights of the taco truck greeted us as we pulled up alongside. We hop out of the car and then she announces: “I’m going to have a taco too”.

This is when I went back to the car and counted to ten.

Not 20 minutes prior we just put away $100 worth of dinner, so  one would think that would be plenty, but apparently when BW hears the siren call of the taco she must partake, even if  it does not make one lick of gastronomical sense whatsoever. And, while we’re there, she’ll get the dessert too.

Of course, I know how this ends and it’s never good.

Right now she’s rolling around in bed complaining of a stomach ache.

Hey, it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants too – but she has to get her own Tums

 

 

The First Annual Summer Roundup. 2012 Edition.

 

I guess it’s about time for the first annual summer roundup here on Tidy Husband – one of many I hope. I had started this blog for one thing, and that’s to remember all the silly little things one does, or at least the ones  I write about. I don’t blog every day here because well, some days the fact that I lost a sock in the dryer, it’s garbage night doesn’t reallly qualify for an article. Also, these things take time for me to write, and sometimes when I have a choice to hang out with BW or blog, I pick hanging out with a beautiful woman…

Anyway, here goes: the first annual what I did on my summer vacation: 

  1. I started this thing. Technically I started in May but what the heck – we’ll start here. This blogging has been much more fun than I care to admit most days. There’s many a time I’m laughing at the stuff I write it’s so silly.
  2. I wrote about her shoes. it started with the shoes, and boy does she have a lot of ’em 
  3. I shared how we met. (the dog, not BW)
  4.  We threw out stuff. Boy, does BW like to pitch stuff
  5. Summer Colds are no fun. 
  6. I became the official lawn boy of 2012
  7. Students and Cigars do not make me a happy husband
  8. Married for 3 months in a row.
  9.  The dog rolled in poo
  10. We dreamed about  buying a new car
  11. I bet our um, summer running regimen didn’t last a month . There’s always next year
  12. We planted flower seeds off eBay in our front garden
  13. Over a year ago, BW started to import me
  14. We gave away a perfectly good dog kennel
  15. We started our very first vegetable garden
  16. The air conditioning on the Mitsubishi crapped out
  17. I wrote about how I was going to get rich blogging. We’re still waiting.
  18. Probably the best thing to happen this summer. Honey, I’m home
  19. I was going to spend an hour a night selling stuff on eBay. didn’t happen. I did sell some stuff though so not a complete wash.
  20. We put seeds in dirt and stuff actually grew. We were thrilled.
  21. I went to the hospital in the USA for the first time 
  22. I learned if you get up early, get the work done you can have tea and cookies later with BW. win-win.
  23. I miss the summertime eventing strolls already.
  24. I shared how much money I made in May. I stopped for the summer, but might start again – it’s fun to keep track.
  25. Holy, do we eat a lot. 
  26. The summer of the hot water heater.
  27. I started to worry online about my upcoming dental work.
  28. Add a Backyard, a Cardboard Box and BW with a box on head. Best post I wrote this summer.
  29. I made the dog fat. 
  30. I realized being married just really means your to-do list grows, and you’re not the one that makes the list. That’s what you have a BW for.
  31. Engaged. For a Year. I’m a very lucky guy. 
  32. She went away. I painted the deck. seems fair, no?
  33. I realized number 31 above is all that really matters. Stuff doesn’t. 
  34. When the wife’s away, I play catch with the dog in the late summer sun.
  35. Also when the wife is away, I really know how to party.
  36. I learned I should stop volunteering to do stuff, like paint again. 
  37. We had cheesecake
  38. I fell in love with a garden weeder
  39. We won the most fashionable couple award 
  40. We actually grew stuff in our summer garden
  41. We laid sod 
  42. Apparently, I can trim hedges and keep my fingers.
  43. We went to our first summer fair.
  44. She thinks we need a new car
  45. Even simple thursday nights can be magic
  46. We are, and have good neighbours
  47. I kept on telling everybody how smart she is. About time it got recognized. .
  48. It’s a good thing I had emergency animal crackers. You never know who will show up at your door
  49. From now on, I’m in charge of the car rentals.  Fine print is a bitch.
  50. Our first summer harvest
  51. I can fix stuff. Also, new water heater time!
  52. It’s OK to be on the hook for a 30 year mortgage, right? Also, the dog catches mice.
  53. It wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the Poconos
  54. My lawn cutting skills have a way to go.
  55. I got the photo bug (also, more painting)
  56. Sometimes, you just have to give your head a shake with the things she says.
  57. If only her Mac would work like she wanted it to. 
  58. The dog isn’t the only one getting fat
  59. Greyhounds are really fast.
  60. Hoo, that dress. Wow.
  61. I really should learn to just do as I am told. 
  62. Well, we can say I tried. 
  63. New Husband plus old garage floor = fresh painted garage floor
  64. Got my tooth pulled. At least I could eat ice cream. Also, new shutters for the house too.
  65. We have nice melons
  66. I forgot I was afraid of heights
  67. BW and Botanical Gardens
  68. I broke the keurig machine. That’s number 2 
  69. One book out the door = one proud husband.
  70. I’ve got my eye on you. Also, a wedding in the Poconos
  71. Getting Married is really just a big party to celebrate the fact that you’ll be painting everything she owns eventually over time. Get to know the paint people at the home depot. They’re your new friends.
  72. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine 

And that’s it for the summer of 2012 . 72 different things of note that I want to remember from this summer’s events.  A few of the hits of 2012  – are of course, the box on the head in the backyard, getting published in the new york timess, getting a book out the door for publishing and painting everything in sight. Also, the dog and I gained some weight.

I  wonder what the fall will bring for us? Time will tell I guess.. and that’s the fun part.

 

TB, or not TB? That is the Question.

JIM_9846 (1)

See the little markings on my wrist? That’s a positive test for TB. This,my friends –  is not good.

Now before anybody starts to call 911, I have a story to accompany this. (of course there’s a story, it’s why I started this – there’s always a story)

A long, long time ago in a country far away (OK, about 20 minutes away. We can call this creative licence ) a boy (me) met a girl (bw)  – halfway as to be equitable to both – just in case things didn’t work out. but it  turns out, they did and as such the long process of importing my sorry butt into the USA began.

I spent the next year explaining to the guards at the gate that I had every intention of going back home to Canader after my weekend visits while we waited for papers to be approved, interviews to be had, and medicals to be taken. Finally, we get the go-ahead from Uncle Sam, to come to the USA as a fiance. Sam gave me 90 days to get married and then I had to ‘adjust status’ as I was no longer a fiancee here on  visa, but now I am a husband wanting to live with my wife, if it’s OK with the USA.

“Adjustment of Status” forms were sent in March, and that’s been pretty much all we’ve heard since. Until about a week or so ago. You see, back in Canada I had  a medical exam done with the usual – a bit of bloodwork, check your reflexes, make sure I am all vaccinated, and I passed with flying colors, or so I thought. I even had a x-ray to prove I was TB free.

Prior to sending in my AOS forms, one of the requirements was to have my vaccination records from the Canada exams transcribed by a special ‘Civil Curgeon’ here in the US. This is not your usual doctor, but one of a select few who can transcribe your info onto the homeland security approved I-693 form. Of course, not being Canada – all this medical stuff is now beau coup bucks and yet I still managed to find one for $20 who would transcribe the Canada form to the USA form.

This is a silly requirement because the Doctor in Canada was also one of two in the Country are approved to do the medical in Canada by the US consulate,  so it’s not like I got the medical from my family doctor. The Canadian medical cost me $300, because this is a USA doctor, so of course it was not covered  by Canada’s health coverage. But rules are rules, so I get the Canada to US transcription thing done, send in the transcribed form that has to be in a sealed envelope from the Civil Surgeon in the USA, and start to wait as I know this adjustment of status takes a while. In the meantime, I’m considered in a period of authorized stay, so I’m no illegal alien. I’ve got a SSN number, work authorization, driver’s license and earlier today I even got a library card.

What’s supposed to happen next is that I wait and with a bit of luck get a green card in the mail without an interview. I should state here that there’s no guarantee that you will or will not get interviewed at your local office, but if they can they like to approve you without an interview as it takes time and money to interview us. And, my research has shown that if one gets transferred to the California office for ‘faster processing’ that usually means no interview

Unless, of course – you’re me.

The good folks in the California office, despite the fact that I had sent them the transcribed version of the vaccination form they requested, decided that they needed more info and sent me the RFE (request for evidence) in the mail. And, like all government issued forms and letters you really have a hard time deciphering what exactly they were looking for. The way it was worded could be that they just needed the TB results ( which I think is the case) or, they need me to re-do a medical. The fun part is you don’t really get a whole lot of chances to get this right. If you don’t send Uncle Sam what he needs, they’ll just deny the green card, and then that’s a can of worms I don’t even want to think about. BW will kill me if I have to go back to the great white north as she’s gotten quite used to having a clean bathroom, even if her grocery bill is now much higher.

So… to be on the safe side, I re-did the entire medical. $160 for the medical, $40 for bloodwork, and because I tested positive for the TB test, I had to cough up another $50 for the x-ray to prove I don’t have TB.

Here’s the thing:  Back in November I already had a chest X-RAY done in Canada just weeks before I moved to the USA, and I have a signed document that states no sign of TB was found. I’ve also been in the hospital over the summer here in the  USA for something completely unrelated and got a chest x-ray then too. I’m sure if I had TB, they  would have said something. But the Civil Surgeon here would not take the Canadian X-Ray as proof I don’t have cooties – so I’m out fifty bucks for a new X-ray.

Much Ado About Nothing  

I get the x-ray results back later next week. The Civil Surgeon won’t sign off on the  form I need until she’s satisfied I don’t have cooties, and until I get that form I’m stuck in limbo with this whole green card application.  I’ve read that these false positives happen a lot due to the fact that a lot of us immigrants to the USA come over with a TB vaccine already in us and this is the reason why the skin test shows positive. I bet that as a kiddo I was vaccinated at some point. I have no records of this, but us Canadians tend to be a careful lot, so my guess is I’ve been immunized at some point already.

But, until later next week  when I see the x-ray results and get the signed  and  sealed form from the Civil Surgeon, I’m in green card limbo. Waiting for a green card when you’re already with the one you love is easy and it could take months for all it really matters, as really it makes no difference in our day to day lives:  I’m still in authorized limbo and I still clean the bathroom. That said, I was kind  of hoping I’d see a green card before Thanksgiving for us Canucks, so I could spend time with family, but it looks like if family wants to see me they have to come to me.

How this is all supposed to pan out from here –   is that next week my x-ray results are negative, I get the silly little form I need, send to the feds and hopefully see a green card a few weeks to a  month later.

Of course,  if it all works out I’d have nothing to write about.

Have a great weekend, all. 🙂

TH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Easy Steps on How To Paint a Living Room (and Stairway)

Before:

before painting

JIM_9783

I’ve been working hard painting. but now that I’ve done with it,  I thought I would quickly write down a few tips on how to paint a hallway and livingroom. Ladies, this one is for you..

 

  1. Buy House.  Be sure to buy one that’s been painted with textured paint so you’ll be able to sand it all down later  This is the important first step.  If you can’t afford a house an apartment will do, or even if you still live with your parents – that’s OK too, but you need the textured paint. I can’t stress this part enough

  2. Wait 4 years or so.. you want to be sure the paint is completely out of date with no way that it will come  back in style. You’d hate to have to re-texture the walls at a later date.

  3. Meet Your future  husband.  Invite him over, feed him dinner.. let him get used to his future environment. Don’t mention painting yet, you don’t want scare him off.  If you really feel you’ve got a keeper, you can get him to ‘help’ you with small painting, but be sure to emphasize you’ve done this before without him, thankyouverymuch, and he’s just ‘helping’. Guys like to help.

  4. Get him to propose. (again, don’t  mention the painting yet. too soon)

  5. Marry Him. (no painting talk until after the honeymoon)

7 Start with a small task. Maybe you could go away on a trip , and have him paint the deck while you’re gone. This will be the test. The deck is outside, and you don’t  know good his painting technique is.  If he’s going to make a mess, he can do it outside.You may as well have him start to cut the grass too. That lawn guy was costing you way too much money – a husband is  cheaper. If he’s passed this outdoor painting test, you’re ready to go to the next stage:

Project Living Room

8a. Take him to Home Depot. Let him look at speaker cables or lawn mowers, and then on the way by the paint section, very quickly ask his input on paint colors. You have less than one minute here, so have your colors ready to go – you want him to choose between curtain A, B, or C. – not the entire Sherwin Williams catalog.

8b. Another trip to the Depot. This time, again, go for a reason unrelated to painting and then on the way out – buy a small tester jar of one of the colors you/he picked. ( he won’t  remember what color you’ve chosen here , so you’ve got pretty much carte blanche here – just keep the colo close.)

8c. You’re ready to make your kill here. Paint a small test behind a picture, and ask your husband his opinion. He won’t care, but it does look cleaner so he’ll agree with you that it looks better than the mess currently on the walls.

  1.  Mention how your birthday is  coming up and how you’d LOVE  to start your new year with a new better looking living  room, and he already approved the paint color.You want to go for the kill here, and have him commit  to a date. Maybe the weekend after you get back from the wedding at the farmhouse, it will be great painting weather then. Get Him to Commit. Use threats, guilt trips – whatever it takes. Tears usually work here too.

  2. The Big Day. You need to be prepared ahead  of time and that means brushes bought, paint ready. Have him move the entire contents of the living room to the middle of the floor. You want him to paint everything. If you don’t trust his technique, you can do the taping. Hand him some sandpaper and tell him to smooth down th walls. This should take only a day,  or when his arms fall off.  When he’s done sanding, have him paint. Don’t mention that  you want to paint the popcorn ceiling too You’ve  got a good thing going here. – you don’t want to mess it up. Leave that project for another day.

That’s it! for bonus points you can tell him he  needs to replace every electrical outlet in the house too and don’t forget the light switches! And, of course he’ll have to put the entire room back when he’s done painting.

Whew this is all done, you will have a beautiful living room in a color that you picked out and yet he thinks he helped with.

Bonus  Step

  1. Just one more step, but this is optional:  Make Him a Steak Dinner (no eggplant) and bake him cookies. Of course, this step is optional. He may not be able to move his arms to pick up a knife and fork after all the sanding his arms wil hurt so much.  If this is the case, you can always make him a milkshake with a straw instead, or just forget this step.

When all this painting is done, you may want to take it easy on your man for a few weeks until the next project – afterall, leaf raking and snow shoveling season is just around the corner.

After:

JIM_9819

 

 

 

I’ve Got My Eye On You

I had planned to write a roundup article about this summer’s events, and plan to – but  for today: a story.

JIM_6216

The other night, I’m plunking away here at the keyboard when BW hands me her phone. She’s on Google Talk with her sister and her niece  (my niece in law?) and she wants to talk to me. 

Apparently, I am in trouble. Big trouble . I may have in the past told a little white lie or two. Like how last year I was in Canada  working at the North Pole all winter with Santa (thank Scott!) and that’s why I couldn’t be at her house in the USA this holiday season (the real reason was US VISA stuff was still getting sorted out and I moved over just after the holdays)  but hey, why ruin a good story by telling the truth?

Anyway, my little friend has obviously thinking about all my tall tales and because  she’s big and now six years old  and can ride bicycles without training wheels and whole lot of other stuff we’re so proud of her for, she’s finally come to realize that maybe Uncle Jim may be telling stories and not the truth. In short, my number’s up.

And she wanted to talk to me. “Uncle Jim, you tell stories”! she exclaimed. I tried to plead innocence but she wasn’t going to have any of this. She was  on to me  and I was busted. And all through our little chat she would hold her eye just inches away from the camer and state firmly: “I’ve got my eye on you!” over and over again.   A silly little moment..

Meanwhile, Back at the Farmhouse

We went to a wedding this weekend. The bride was beautiful. Look, I have proof:

JIM_9726

And while there, we you know did normal wedding stuff, like balloon rides  (what? everybody doesn’t have balloon rides at their wedding?)

balloon rides

balloon ride

But before we left to go to the world’s coolest wedding ever, we had to solve one small problem:

It seems I’ve gotten a little, um, larger in the waistline since last time I had the opportunity to wear my glad rags and there was an emergency help my pants don’t fit run to our favorite store before we could attend the coolest wedding ever.

And this brings me to today’s story:

You Know Where The Front Door Is

In an effort to ‘maintain the standard’ of my waistline I decided to start a running regimen again to reduce the effects that death by chocolate ice cream and a suburban lifestyle has wrought on my midsection. And with panettone season just around the corner too I’d better get moving quickly.  I’m feeling gravity’s pull, one might say.

So today was the first day of ‘the  run’

Day 1. There was a lot more walking than running admittedly, but I got out the door and I was gone for a bit – it’s a good little route – six miles round trip, so it took me a little while to get there and back. There’s a reason I chose this route – there’s a Tim Horton’s opening up, so I figure I could walk there, grab a coffee and walk back. I hope to see the grand opening by month’s end. I’m going to take the dog and buy her a Timbit – she’s already fat, so she could use the walk too.

My mistake was I guess I didn’t tell BW about my great plan for a six mile hike and she assumed I  was going to be out for just a lap around the block and not a hour and a half adventure. (that’s 4 miles per hour, btw).

I was about a half a block from home BW comes buzzing around the corner in the car. And oh crap, She’s MAD AT ME.  ”I was worried” she says.

“I can’t leave the house for an hour?”  I ask, incredulously?

Apparently, the answer is no for those that need to know. I was in grande trouble – Major do-do. 

But, as I walked back and watched her drive by after she turned the car around, she stops as she pulls into the driveway and says:

“I’ve got my eye on you!”

I’ve never been watched by so many.