Life got in the way of my writing – again! I know I have missed the odd day here & there this year, especially when I was on vacation, but this break was voluntary. I know I am doing too much, my body is telling me so, but have I listened to it? Not a chance! I am still in the process of giving my elder son’s bedroom a makeover. As you can see by the photo I was inappropriately dressed to go to school yesterday, but I promised the kids I would dress up to do their haunted house craft that had required me to cut out hundreds of pieces of cardstock for over 40 grade 2 students & had me locked in my craft room most nights for 2 weeks. It was all worth it though as it appears to have been raging success so a big high five to me!). We have just started renovating our basement, lifting all the carpets upstairs & restoring the floors upstairs. Among all of this I am continuing to keep house & home while running the kids around, walking the dog, making sure we don’t have to resort to pet food for dinner, & begin getting organized for the crazy month of December (both boys birthday’s are during the holiday festivities, as well as our wedding anniversary & my father-in-laws birthday!).
So something had to give, & sitting down every evening for an hour & boring you with my life events was the least important task at the time. They say you should make time to write, but they don’t share the ingredients or the recipe to actually make more time. I’m still suffering with my neck, maybe not as much, & I’m certainly not taking as many painkillers, but enough to be aware of it most of the time. However, I have managed to squeeze in some fun. A girlfriend & I went for some retail therapy at the huge new outlet mall & had a great day trying on dresses for the up & coming winter gala for school. We were both successful in purchasing a knockout frock & can’t wait to enjoy letting our hair down on the dance floor.
Right now I just need to not be so impatient to get stuff done. I really need to stop & listen to my body when it’s protesting at being worked to hard. The thing is, my son is currently camping out in the spare room on a double bed with a tempur-pedic mattress, a mountain view (when it stops raining), & an en-suite bathroom. If I leave him in there too long I might never get him to leave!
We don’t cross the border that often to collect goods we have shipped within the US. I would say it’s on average 3-4 times a year. Whenever I do go I take the dog to the beach. On a clear blue sunny day like today, there is a stunning view of Mount Baker from Point Roberts Lighthouse Park. We recently ordered some clothing from a US company that aims its products at outdoorsy people. Although we can buy in Canada, the amount of choice is limited & we were both looking for very specific styles. I decided that I would pop down today, take Tess to the beach & pick up the parcel. I planned to go straight from the school drop off.
The first indication that this was going to be one of those days was a phone call from elder child about 5 minutes after I’d dropped him off. Today was the first day for using their iPads again & he’d forgotten his. I told him that I would go home & pick it up for him, but if he forgets it again he has to take responsibility for it, I won’t be picking it up again. So, after going home & back to school again, I was late getting away & therefore hit a lot of traffic.
Getting to Point Roberts was a bit of a drag but I pulled up outside the shipping company at about 9.30. I collected the bag of clothes, opened it, glanced inside, noticed the invoice tucked between the items, and then set off to the beach. I walked on the beach with the dog for about 45 minutes. It was a gorgeous day but there was definitely a nip in the air & it was quite breezy. I decide to head back to the border. I have done this enough times now to know the drill.
I was asked to produce my Nexus card… what my license plate was… how long had I been over the border… did I have any goods returning to Canada… then, what was the value of the goods. I had answered every question without hesitation until that one. I genuinely had no idea how much; hubby had placed the order & had received all the correspondence I couldn’t have even guessed. I stuttered, & began to shake a little, trying to clumsily extract the invoice from the bag. That was when it all started to really go wrong. The invoice just itemized the contents & it’s individual cost, not a final total. Math is not my strong point even when I’m not under pressure. I scanned the figures & stupidly guessed, then corrected myself when I realized it was probably more. It was all over by this point he was already completing the yellow slip of shame that I had to take into the office. The worst bit was yet to come, he informed me that if the total of the goods is more than $100 over my declaration I could have my Nexus card taken form me. I almost threw up into his booth!
I did as the officer instructed, then presented myself to one of his colleagues in the office. The second guy was a bit nicer & not so abrupt, but he still gave me lecture. Then informed that he would only give me a warning this time, & this would be noted on my Nexus card. If this happens again I would have it confiscated. I could feel tears prickling at the back of my eyes. I was made to feel like a criminal, when I had made a genuine mistake, & the duty I had to pay was not even the issue. I know I should have had the amount calculated before I tried to cross the border, but honestly, I didn’t think to do so. I am normally so particular about these things, & nine times out of ten I’ve ordered so I already know the price. Then…
He asked me for my keys so he could search the vehicle. OMG! I had done nothing wrong, what did he expect to find. Poor Tessy was in the back too. He asked me to remove her, and then he & his colleague then put on gloves – GLOVES – like I’m a drug dealer or a murderer for god’s sake – they searched everywhere. Under the booster seat, in the glove compartment, under the drivers seat, in the trunk – EVERYWHERE!! I can’t even begin to describe to you how this felt. I was shaking, worried that they were going to find something that I knew wasn’t there. It was a total nightmare.
I then had another 10 minutes of waiting in the office until they returned my keys & Nexus card. I was in absolute tatters by this point & probably not concentrating very well driving home. I felt like a common criminal. I can’t even begin to imagine ever trying to cross again!
I can’t live without it. I have my ways & means to get stuff done & I need to know where I stand, so having the kids back at school early this year is really nice. It was a little chaotic at school this morning; we have a new principal whom everyone was trying to introduce them selves to. I didn’t break my neck, he’ll know my & my rascals soon enough. Lucky for us we already knew which homerooms we were going to & both boys are happy (& so are we) that they have been placed where they wanted. I dropped off two very smart young men, chatted to few peeps along the way of course because everyone noticed that I don’t have a knee brace on anymore, then I was free to get on with a NORMAL DAY.
I walked the dog in the forest for the first time since my op & now at the end of the day I’m quite achy. I expect this; I’m using muscles that have been lying dormant for almost a year so I just need to be mindful if this. Then I had a trip to Sephora as I’m on scraping the bottom of several items. On the way back I snuck into Costco to by berries & milk (& of course other stuff because it’s impossible not to), so by the time I’d unloaded & put away it was only an hour & a half before I was back at school. How did that happen? I swear someone put the clock forward by an hour.
After a cup of tea & a strum on my guitar I was out the door again. Pick up was a little calmer, but honestly the shoes you see were only a part of the disaster that greeted me. Elder child appeared looking exactly the same as when I dropped him off, but younger child OMG! His shirt was covered in food stains (I don’t recall anything in his lunch box that could have caused so much mess) & of course it was hanging out. His sweater was stuffed in his bag along with his tie (also with food on it), & well, you can see the state of the brand new shoes after only one day – 6 hours to be precise – I don’t think those laces have been tied all day. Honestly, how this child won an award last year is beyond me. Still, he came home with everything he went with, which is a bonus. Let’s see what delights tomorrow brings…
We’ve been dog sitting Java again this weekend & honestly it’s been me & my shadow. She follows me around everywhere & poor Tessy has now completely given up on trying to get anywhere near me. I think Java just gets a bit homesick & having been here when she was very young she must see me as her 2nd mum – Bless!
Hubby has been on call this weekend & on the whole its not been too bad, but, when he got called in today while 2nd on call (which is rare) I decided to pile kids & animals into the minivan & head to the dog beach…
I think this picture says it all 🙂