The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life

London Calling
24.May.10, 21:38 pm
Filed under: Friends & Fam, Goals, Hopes, Tidbits About My Life

LONDON BABY! I flew off for Spring Break with my man! One blissful, albeit exhausting week in Jolly ‘Ol England with Peter and the Allen Family.

The route was to be OKC to Atlanta, Atlanta to Brussels, Belgium, and Brussels to Bristol, UK. Never expect anything involving ME to go according to plan.

I was supposed to fly out of OKC around half-past noon on Friday the 13th, but due to weather delays in Atlanta (my connection), my flight was delayed 3 hours. By the time I made it to Atlanta, I’d already missed my connection to Brussels, so I was rerouted to Manchester, England, and from there to London/Heathrow Airport. When my flight arrived in Atlanta, they were already boarding the connection to Manchester, so I barely made it onto that flight. When I got to Manchester Saturday morning they’d already boarded my flight to London, but hadn’t taken off. I cried and begged and got the ticket counter girl to get permission from the pilot to let me on. I made it to London, only to find out that my bags hadn’t. They’d never re-routed them!! I was assured by two lovely, cake-eating baggage claim attendants that they would find my luggage within 24 hours, anywhere in the world, and courier it to me. Meanwhile, buy some new things and keep the receipts to file a claim against British Airways. (Don’t give me an excuse to go shopping. Seriously.)

I walk into the terminal to see my wonderful man, sitting there with a smile plastered on his face, and a bouquet of yellow roses. (I don’t much care for yellow roses, but they’re his thing, and I adore him, so I was happy.) We sat and talked for a moment while I caught my breath from the flight and then set off for Salisbury so I could get some clothes. Our first stop on the way however was Stonehenge. Peter had lived in England all his life and never visited the relic, so we stopped and took the audio-guided tour, making out at each stone in turn like a couple of teenagers. (Prudish old ppl tut-tutting us the whole way!)

Sunday was Mothering Day in the UK, so we had a special meal with Peter’s parents and half-brother Nick and his lovely wife, Karen. Nick and Karen are really a great pair! I had so much fun just sitting back and laughing with them about everything under the sun. We went to The Smuggler’s Inn in Weymouth and had roast beef and potatoes with Yorkshire pudding and treacle tart for dessert. I was STUFFED, but loved every bit of it. We went for a drive up the coast road afterward and saw all the beauty of the English countryside along the way. Tiny little villages full of houses with thatched roofs and Tudor homes, with cobbled streets and stone walls. These are really fairytale places. I’m so jealous of Peter being able to see these everyday. Though to him, they’re so commonplace they’re nothing.

Monday we took off at silly o’clock and hopped on a plane at Bristol to Edinburgh. We visited Marco and Emma, Peter’s brother and sister-in-law in Scotland, along with thier boys and foster children. If I had ever had a sister before, I bet talking t her would be like talking to Emma. She’s great. I’ve never seen a better mother, or a more kindred soul. She is kind and generous, even taking in a complete stranger for a couple of days, and treating me like family. We talked and laughed, and she showed me around parts of Perth and Aberfeldy, even the castle (I promise, it was a mini-castle, pocket-sized as far as castles go… Shurrup, Peter, it WAS!) We had a great time just getting to know them. If I could live in the UK, I’d definitely want to be there, near Emma. I could learn so much from her.

Tuesday Peter tried to drag me up the Birks of Aberfeldy (read: small mountains with waterfall at top) I tried to tell him, you don’t drag a fat girl with asthma up the side of a mountain. Only one of you is coming back. Either she’s going to stop breathing, or she’s going to shove you over the side of a cliff. Your choice. We both managed to make it down and stopped for cream tea and scones at the Moonstone Cafe in town. We headed back to Marco & Emma’s and listened to Kyle play his cello for us and then had a family meal of curry before looking through lots of embarrassing pics of Peter growing up. (I’ve got blackmail fodder for YEARS to come. Thank you, Marco!)

Wednesday we flew back REALLY early and drove back to Dorchester from Bristol. My luggage had arrived while we were in Scotland, so I was finally able to get my things! We stopped by the Dorchester Market and looked around and I bought some scarves, and picked up groceries for me to cook for the family that night. We stopped at the supermarket for the rest of our ingredients and then headed home for a short nap and then I made American-style chicken-fried-steak with mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. Peter’s Mum & Dad seemed to really like that.  We followed it up with a bit of ice cream and then got ready to go out for St. Patrick’s Day at the pub in town, first stopping off to see Liz, one of Peter’s oldest and dearest friends. St. Patty’s day at Tom Brown’s was loads of fun! I got to meet Boyd & Wain and Jack Daniels, as well as Christopher, Jude and Karen. Alister, the town cryer even showed up and gave me a small book about the history of Dorchester and told me I must bring the kids back and go on a tour with him.

Thursday we got up early and took the train into London. I had found a really good discount on a room at the Shaftsbury Premier Hotel Notting Hill and we took the tube and two taxi’s (got lost, wrong address) and finally got there. The room was so tiny the bed touched wall on three sides and you literally had to SUCK IN to get in the shower, and still touched glass on all sides, but it was cozy and we enjoyed it. We went up the London Eye and on a Thames River cruise, found a lovely cafe that sold us some delicious chicken, bacon and avacado sandwiches, and then headed deeper into the city. We walked up and down Oxford Street probably five miles looking for stores that would sell plus size clothes, but didn’t have too much luck. We didn’t make it to a show, but did stop in Piccadilly Circus for dinner at the Aberdeen Steak House. Yum! Finally took the tube back to the hotel and were so sore and tired we each had a shower and then fell into bed and crashed after rubbing each others’ sore feet.

Friday we took a stroll through Hyde Park and tried not to think about it being our last day together. I burst into tears a lot. We went to Speaker’s Corner (even though they only speak on Sundays) and then taxi’ed over to Harrod’s for some shopping. Everything was expensive, so I stuck to some chocolate Easter Souveniers for the kids and family. We took the tube back to the hotel and grabbed our things and were off for Waterloo Station and the trip back to Dorchester. Friday night was take-out Chinese and some tearful moments with the family. We snuggled that night, knowing we’d be saying goodbye in the morning until Peter returns for us to be married. It was a sad night, but I was so happy to be with him.

Saturday we headed back to Bristol for me to fly out. We had coffee and scones at the airport, and cried and held each other until I nearly missed my plane home. I would have gladly stayed, but the children need me. I miss him so much. Nothing is the same without him. We just work when we’re together. All the little things fall into place. We do things as a family, and he helps me pick up the pieces that so often get left behind when I have to do everything on my own. I love him so much.

The visa is in the works. We’ll get there eventually. It’s just a matter of time and patience. Please don’t let it be too long. I need him back. If all goes well we’d like to have a Christmas wedding, with friends and family gathered around us. That’s our hope. It’s GOING to happen. I believe it.


It’s been a while…
24.May.10, 21:01 pm
Filed under: Tidbits About My Life

So it’s been a while since my last post. Time for an update into my ever-changing world.

February 12 – I was laid off from AmeriClaim due to “budget cuts”. Read: Idiots in charge can’t run a business and started blaming everyone around them for their own failings and when they couldn’t afford to make payroll, they started letting people go. I’m lucky, I got unemployment, but after me, they started coming up with bogus “cause” to fire people so they wouldn’t get hit with a massive unemployment rate spike.

February 16 – An idiot immigration attorney told me that it would be a good idea to get Peter to apply for a tourist visa and come over here for us to get married, then apply for the green card from here. They said there was a loophole that could be exploited if we didn’t let on to INS that it was our INTENT to bypass the fiance visa process. Thanks to this idiot, Peter’s visa was denied, and we had to start the K1 Fiance Visa process from scratch, in the meantime, he can no longer come here to visit due to the fact that he was denied a visa for any reason.

March 13 – 21st – I spent a wonderful, albeit exhausting week with my husband-to-be and his family. I will elaborate more on this in a later post.

March 29 –  Started new job at Clearwater Enterprises. Better job, I’ve never been happier in a company. The people I work with are nice, friendly, easy to get along with. I really enjoy what I do, and the money is great. I can’t complain at all.

May 3 – After my brakes decided to start to fail on my minivan I traded in Silver for Gold and got a 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX. It’s beautiful, fully loaded, with leather, the works. I REALLY like this car.

May 7 – Sent off K-1 Fiance Visa paperwork to the USCIS processing center. The blanket processing time according to the USCIS website is 5 months, but from what I’m reading on several other websites from people who have just been through it, the actual processing time is 2 to 3 months on this side, then 4 to 6 weeks at the London Embassy where he’ll have his interview and medical exam. If all goes smoothly, we could have the NOA2 (Stateside) approval by early to mid July, and the London approval by mid-September. There are no guarantees, it could go quickly and easily… it could require administrative processing and take until the USCIS/INS/NVC get around to it.

May 15 – The kids’ birthday party once again. My little angels have turned 11 and 7. I can’t believe how big they’re getting!!! We had a party at my mom’s house with a BBQ and cupcakes and our family. It was a great time, and they got loads of presents, including lots of new Wii games.

May 16 – My pretty new car is now cracked. A major hailstorm came through and cracked my windshield and peppered my hood, roof, trim and trunk lid with dents. I’ve had it inspected by an insurance adjuster, just waiting for the insurance company to decide how much they’re going to pay out for the damage so I can get it fixed. I’m lucky it didn’t destroy the windshield completely or damage my sunroof. There are lots of people in my area that had their windshields completely shattered or are driving around with windshields that look like they’ve been beaten with baseball bats. (And are STILL ON THE ROADS!!)

May 19 –  The neighbor whose granddaughter I frequently babysit on weekends while she works double shifts, who was supposed to be watching my kids this summer, decides to tell me 2 days before the kids get out of school for the summer that she’s not going to be able to watch them for 3 to 4 weeks due to an impending root canal. I’ve never heard of a root canal requiring a month’s recovery time… but there you go. So now I’m screwed, with no backup childcare, because I can’t afford a daycare center, and in the past five years, I’ve never been able to count on my ex paying his share of the childcare cost. (Did I mention he didn’t even bother to call our daughter on her birthday? And spoke to both of them for all of a total of 5 minutes on Jaden’s? Father of the Year.) He’s agreed to watch them in the mornings Tues through Fridays, but he goes to Lawton every weekend and can’t be bothered coming back up here 3 Mondays to help with them. I asked him for ONE month, which includes a holiday, so only 3 Mondays, and he’s not spent time with them since Christmas, but coming back a night early is too much to ask. Stellar parenting.

May 24 – Today. Here we stand, waiting for something to happen on the visa front. Waiting for a small miracle or streak of good luck to allow us to be together, be a family. I’d give anything just to be with him right now, but I know it’s a matter of patience. I’ve never been very good with patience. I’m hoping to have at least a receipt number from the INS within the week. I just need something to give me hope, something to tell me that at least ONE thing is going right. This is going to be a very long wait on pins and needles, but I need this to happen. I need Peter here. I need my family to be together. Nothing is right without him. Nothing works, nothing fits without him. Here’s hoping that his visa goes according to plan.