Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Today has been a wet one in Phoenix - it's been raining pretty much all day! Tomorrow is probably going to be somewhat the same, too. Oh well, we can't complain - it's not like it happens very often!

My Dad arrives from the UK tomorrow. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet - I don't mean to sound awful, I am looking forward to seeing him, but I'm also kinda dreading it because he insisted on staying at our house and we really don't have enough room. He'll be sleeping on an airbed in the living room until Monday, and then he can sleep in our "second bedroom" which is actually hubby's office. He works from home and his hours are 7am-4pm so if my Dad's going to sleep in there he needs to be up and out of there by 6.50am... I'm not sure if that will happen, to be honest I really have my doubts. He can't sleep in there before Monday night because hubby is on-call all of this week and as usual he's been called at ridiculous times every day so far - 4am today, 5.30am yesterday. He has to get on his computer when they call him so we can't have anyone sleeping in the office while he's on-call.

The other thing that I'm worried about is that my Dad will probably expect me to pay for lots of things, like coffees and lunch etc. I'm lucky because I do get an allowance from hubby (his idea, not mine) so I do have some money I can spend, but not much. I've got good at making it go pretty far, but that's mainly because I don't go out very often! It won't go very far if I'm having to buy lunch all the time, or pay for admission into whatever places he wants to go to. Even a couple of coffees at Starbucks would end up using a decent chunk of my cash, because he'd expect a slice of cake or a muffin with it. I don't want to sound tight, but when you don't have a job you do have to be quite prudent with the money you have. I don't waste money on things like going out for coffee anymore, which is something I used to take for granted back in the UK when I was working full-time. Your priorities change when you're unemployed!

Finally, one last concern is that hubby and my Dad don't exactly know each other very well. I mean, hubby only came to the UK once while we were "dating" because he only gets 2 weeks holiday in a year and I used to get a lot more than that, so they've only actually spent a day together. I don't want to be pessimistic but I'm not sure how well they're gonna get along when they're thrown together for 10 days... It's probably going to be awkward for both of them, and me by default. I'm worried that hubby and I might get stressed out with the whole situation and snap at each other. Earlier today I explained that to him and he agreed - it probably will put us under quite a lot of strain, because of the space issue as much as anything else. That's without factoring in any personality clashes that may occur! Hubby is usually pretty laid back but my Dad can be quite highly strung and not very tactful - he's very stubborn and I think he's probably going to be a high maintenance, demanding guest. I hope that I'm wrong, I really do - I just can't stop feeling anxious about the whole thing.

Anyway... I've just cooked dinner (chicken fajitas) and done the dishes (for the second time today). Right now I have laundry in both the washer and the dryer. Hubby is soaking his elbow in epsom salts and warm water (for the 4th and penultimate time today) and pug-pug is chasing her squeaky gingerbread man around! I think I deserve a glass of wine and some chocolate... :)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Drama at the Dog Park!

Hubby stayed home today while I took pug-pug to the dog park. I met a really nice couple with a black pug, so we talked for quite a while. They only moved here a couple of months before I did, so it's nice to not be the only "new" person! Hehe. They moved from Washington though, so they probably fit in a little better than I do! I saw a couple of people I hadn't seen in a while, whose dogs pug-pug loves to play with, so that was cool. I was going to leave, but then I saw the lady with the 3 pugs and my pug wasn't ready to go home yet - she wanted to play with them! The little old pug I was cuddling yesterday was very happy to see me, she kept coming to me for cuddles. Very very sweet!

Unfortunately, just as we were all about to leave, pug-pug got attacked by a horrible vicious pomeranian. I had to pull it off of her, it wouldn't let her get away (and she really was trying to). Its idiot owner was at the other side of the dog park and didn't do a single thing. I got no apology or anything. In the process of that horrible dog trying to kill her (it certainly looked like it - it definitely wasn't playing, that's for sure) it managed to roll her in dog shit. Great, huh? Earlier this afternoon I gave pug-pug a bath to try and soothe her skin, because it was itchy, and I had to give her another bath as soon as we got home from the dog park. I was pretty livid about the whole thing - the fact that this dog, which incidentally has attacked one of the other pugs that goes there (who's even more docile than my pug), had turned on my pug so viciously and the owner didn't even give a crap - if my dog did that to another I'd get her off the dog and apologize profusely to the owner. I almost walked over to him to give him an earful, but I didn't really have the confidence to do that because I was on my own. That sounds pathetic, doesn't it? I just didn't feel as though I could do that. If he'd been standing nearby and hadn't got his dog off of mine, I would definitely have said something. If it does anything to my dog again, I will say something - that dog should not be in the dog park if it's going to attack at least 2 dogs in as many days. I'm not overreacting, either - I know playing when I see it, and pug-pug plays with lots of dogs, big and small without incident. This pomeranian, even though it's a small dog, is just vicious. It was only 2 days ago that it attacked the other pug, whose owner I was talking to yesterday. Either the owner should keep it on a leash, under control, or they shouldn't bring it. Or they should take it into the big dog side, and see how long it gets away with its vicious behaviour then, with the pitbulls and rottweilers. I think it might change its tune then!

Pug-pug doesn't seem to be physically hurt, but after we gave her her dinner (after her second bath of the day) she vomited - that's very unusual for her. I think maybe she was a little traumatized by the whole thing. I hope it doesn't put her off other dogs. Hopefully it won't - she's never had this kind of experience before, and she's played with some pretty rough and tumble dogs. She's a happy-go-lucky kind of dog, so fingers crossed she'll put it behind her. I'll be trying to keep that vicious little shit away from her in the future, though.

A Few Things!

Our trip to the orthopedic doctor yesterday went pretty well. Hubby got some soft tissue x-rays to see if the splinter was visible (it wasn't) and the doctor wants to see him again next week for a follow-up. In the meantime we're soaking his elbow in warm water and epsom salts 6 times a day for 15 minutes each time... That's supposed to help draw the splinter out. That option is a lot more appealing than going down the surgery route, anyway. We have an appointment for next Wednesday afternoon so hopefully by then the damn thing might have come out, or it might at least have moved to a point where it's no longer causing any pain. If that's the case I think they'll probably leave it alone.

In 2 days my Dad is arriving, so I need to get the house tidy before then! I could do it today but I know that it would still need doing on Thursday anyway, so I might as well do it then. His flight gets in at 6.40 if it's on time, but I know from my experiences of flying direct into Phoenix that the immigration process usually takes around an hour. Every time I came through there were only something like 3 or 4 officers to process everyone, and there were a lot of passengers! At least that gives me the whole day to clean the house. I mean, it's really not that bad anyway but it means I won't have to rush.

We took the pug-pug to the dog park yesterday and she had a great time! She played with so many dogs, and even stood up for herself when a couple of bigger dogs were playing with her (playing a bit rough for her!). Then after a while there were 7 pugs all playing together, it was so sweet! Some that we'd met before, others we hadn't. They were all such lovely dogs, so friendly and happy. One of them who we'd met before was an adorable little 11 year old pug-girl, her little tongue hangs out and she's such a sweetie. I just had to give her lots of cuddles - she loves it! Her little tail was wagging the whole time and she kept snuggling into my neck. I wanted to take her home!!

Unfortunately though our little girl now has hives though so she must've had a mild allergic reaction to something at the dog park - not sure what, but I guess it could've been something on the grass or on another dog. You can see where the bumps are, they're on her sides and her fur is kind of sticking up around them. She was itching a bit last night, poor little thing. I'm going to give her a bath today, her doggy shampoo is good for calming skin conditions so hopefully it'll help. She doesn't seem bothered by the bumps anymore, she's fine in herself. It just looks weird and it's probably a little uncomfortable for her at times. The bath should soothe her skin a bit, anyway.

Early this morning I spoke to my two best friends on Skype, one of them was back in our hometown for the festive period so they were both together in my other friend's house. It was nice to see them both at the same time and have a good chat!

Monday, 27 December 2010

A Splinter Update

We finally had our Christmas dinner last night - just a day late! Hehe. I did all the cooking and it was the first time I'd done a roast dinner. It actually turned out great, which was a nice confidence boost! We had roast turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce. Pug-pug got her little doggy bowl filled up with the same, lucky thing! It was really nice.

Hubby called the orthopedic doctor's office first thing this morning and managed to get an appointment for this afternoon. Originally the receptionist said it would be Wednesday at the earliest, but she spoke to the doctor and came back to tell him to be there at 2.30pm today. Thank goodness - we really want this sorting out as soon as possible. I'm hoping they'll do an ultrasound to locate the damn thing, because although hubby can still feel it in there it's no longer visible under the skin. I really hope that the doctor today will be able to get it out without too much trouble, I'm dreading the thought of hubby having to be put under for more invasive surgery. If that does happen, though, we have a plan of action. Basically, we'll need his parents to have pug-pug for the day and I'll go with him and wait for him to come out of surgery. Unless his parents can drive us we'll have to get a cab both ways, because he won't be able to drive after having an anesthetic, and I can't drive regardless.

This whole thing has come at a bad time, obviously because it was Christmas day when it happened so that kinda ruined most of our first Christmas together, but also because my Dad is arriving on Thursday night and hubby is actually on-call all of this week, including the weekend. With it being New Year and everything, I doubt that anyone else will volunteer for it so he's likely to be stuck with that even if he's not really up to it. Luckily his boss has been fine about the whole thing (although really they do kinda have to be - I mean, it was an accident and what can you do?) and he is able to work, although typing is taking him longer than usual (understandably). He's told them about his appointment and they're cool with it. Hopefully by the end of today all of this will be sorted out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be relatively easy for the ortho doc to remove the splinter and that will be that. In the back of my mind though I'm worried that it won't be that simple and he will need 'proper' surgery. Please don't let it come to that...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas! Well, kinda...

OK, so today started off really well - we got up, had breakfast and opened our presents (everyone was very happy with everything they got). My Dad called (finally) and we spoke to my Mom on Skype. Then we went for a walk with pug-pug. Our next door neighbors had cut back our palm tree out front, which is fine, because it was planted in a silly position and although it's on "our land" it hangs over their driveway. They'd left the huge palm leaves on our side though, so hubby went to get rid of those. Well, he came back in with a huge splinter in his arm, near his elbow. In the process of trying to break them up a bit to put them in the trash, something somehow splintered off and got stuck in his arm. It looks like a BB gun pellet under his skin, and the entry wound was tiny! He tried to get it out himself but without any success, so at 1.30pm we went off to the ER. The number one concern was infection, and also the splinter itself is causing him pain. Well, we were there a few hours and one of the doctors gave him a local anesthetic, sliced his arm and attempted to retrieve the foreign body but to no avail. Damn! He said he was worried that it might end up in the elbow joint, which would obviously cause more problems. They dressed it and gave us the number of an orthopedic clinic to call on Monday. The hope is that they will be able to get the damn thing out when they try, otherwise he will probably have to be put under and we're really not keen on that idea if it's at all avoidable. Better still would be if the splinter works its own way out in the next couple of days - that'd be the best outcome.
So, hubby has a 10 day supply of antibiotics and some painkillers, and we need to change the dressing twice a day. What a way to spend Christmas, eh?!

I had to leave the room while the doctor was digging around in hubby's arm, I was able to stomach it for a while and then it just became too much and I left, as I felt as though I would either vomit or pass out. Hubby himself was quite happy to watch the whole thing - I think that made me feel worse! What a wuss I must be!

By the time we got back from the hospital it was after 5pm and we'd already called hubby's brother to let him know Christmas dinner was cancelled. We would have started cooking at around 2.30pm but obviously that didn't work out. So I'll cook our turkey and all the trimmings tomorrow, instead. Brother-in-law won't be able to make it because he's working, so now it'll just be the two of us and pug-pug. I have to say, I'm really worried about the prospect of hubby having to have proper surgery to get this thing out, I really hope it doesn't come to that. I feel so helpless in all of this - I couldn't even drive him to the hospital, seeing as I don't have a license. I'm really sad that he's hurting. The fact that it pretty much ruined Christmas is crappy, but not the main thing. We'll have Christmas dinner tomorrow, and Christmas is only another day after all. It just sucks that this whole thing happened at all.

Thursday, 23 December 2010


I'm now officially set for Christmas! My cards have arrived, as has hubby's T-shirt. The stuff my Mom sent from the UK hasn't come yet but hopefully it will come before Christmas. If not, then it shouldn't be long after.

Well, last night's meal with the in-laws wasn't exactly the success we'd hoped it would be. They were meant to be here between 5.30 and 5.45pm, so I'd said we'd eat at 6. Well, 6pm came and went. Hubby thought they might be stuck in traffic... at 6.15 we called their house and there was no answer. Then a few minutes later they rang us back - from their house phone! They'd both completely forgotten! We were really pissed, especially as it was his Mom who decided that the meal would be on Wednesday. We'd rather have done it today, but as I wrote last week his Mom had a Jehovah's Witness "meeting" to go to so they couldn't have come today. So, I'd spent all day getting the house all clean and tidy, making apple crumble and prepping veggies, for nothing! Hubby had spent ages cooking the tilapia and making sauce for it. All the food was ready at 6 and our dinner guests just forgot. They ended up getting here at 6.45. We'd eaten already, so we just kept the rest of the food warm for them. At least they were very apologetic about the whole thing. Apparently they thought the meal was today so they would've showed up tonight! Just as well they didn't, because we're not cooking enough food today! Jeez... Well, it was still a nice evening after the terrible start to it!

Right now I have this weird feeling in my stomach, I think I might have indigestion. Strange, because I don't usually suffer from that! Maybe the soup I had for lunch is the culprit. I'm really tired too, but I didn't stop at all yesterday so that's not surprising. Pug-pug slept on our bed with us last night and she was really good, she just lay right next to me all night and didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 6.50am. She was like a hot water bottle though - I had to keep kicking off the blanket 'cos she made me so warm!

Hubby has the day off work tomorrow so that'll be nice. Not sure what we're going to do yet, but we might go somewhere. :)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Busy busy!

Wow, today has been non-stop busy!! Pug-pug got me out of bed at 5.45am 'cos she needed to go potty, I got out of bed properly at 7am and made coffee and breakfast, changed the water in the fish tank, wrapped my brother-in-law's Christmas presents, wrote his birthday card, made an apple crumble, did the dishes (twice), put the laundry away, dried the towels and put them away, cleaned pug-pug's water fountain, dusted, vacuumed, mopped the floors and cleaned the bathroom, got rid of the pug-pug's "messes" from the yard and took the trash out - all before 12.30! I had some lunch, then chatted with one of my good friends on iChat (Skype wasn't working!) and prepped the veggies for dinner. The in-laws are coming to our house tonight for dinner so I wanted everything to look nice. I think I put pressure on myself to have the house looking great, because I don't want them to think badly of me! (seeing as I'm a housewife and all).

Damn, I'm tired now!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Some random stuff

I got an email from my Dad last night, telling me about the snow in the UK and how Heathrow airport is closed (tell me something I don't know!). I wish he would just pick up the phone and call me, rather than send me an email. He was meant to call a week ago. Great, huh?

My friend never showed on Skype last night, but it's OK because I figured something probably came up. This morning there was an email in my inbox saying that their internet wouldn't work yesterday, for reasons unknown (possibly the bad weather - not sure!). Anyway, it's cool. Hopefully we'll talk tomorrow :-)

I never got around to wrapping presents yesterday - oops! I'll have to do it today instead. There's no way I'm gonna be able to wrap the cacti for my brother-in-law - unless I get some boxes for them and wrap them last-minute, I guess that could work. I'm almost out of money though! I still want to get a couple of little edible things for hubby, he sure does love his food! I'm hoping his T-shirt will arrive today, I know from the tracking info that it's somewhere in Phoenix so hopefully it'll come either today or tomorrow. I guess he's really buying his own presents, because I'm using my "allowance" to pay for all this stuff. It's kinda like being a teenager again! Except that I appreciate it more now, I think. I actually feel bad sometimes because he pays for everything as it is and still insists on putting money in my account every 2 weeks. I know he does it because he wants to, and I never asked for it, but I do sometimes feel a bit guilty. I haven't spent much of that money on myself at all, it's usually things for the pug-pug or recently, presents for other people! It's cool, I'm really grateful for the money and it does give me some freedom which I otherwise wouldn't have. It doesn't sound like much but the ability to go to a store on my own and be able to pay for stuff is something I'm grateful for. I'd never have thought twice about that while I was in the UK, I'd never been out of a job and I always had my own money. It's nice to have it now, because it's helping me to feel as though I'm more independent than I actually am (if that makes any sense!). I've just checked out my case status with USCIS, and it hasn't changed (it's in "initial review") but they've only had my adjustment of status paperwork for a month so that's not surprising. Hopefully I'll get my greencard at some point soon, then I can get a job if I want to. I'm still not decided on what I want to do, but I know I can't just go and get a job in MRI (I'm a radiographer and I worked in MRI for 3 years and did a post-graduate course in it, but working in this country is not so straightforward!).

We've been thinking about getting some hermit crabs as pets! Completely random, I know! I just think they're really cute, and hubby used to have some when he was a kid so he'd like some too. The crabs themselves aren't expensive, I've seen them for about $7 each, but the habitat and all the bits and pieces add up. Also, we're not sure where we'd put it! At a minimum they need a 10 gallon tank, preferably bigger, so I have no idea where we'd put that. We'd need a stand for it too. I guess we'll have to wait and see if we can find somewhere for it to go, before I get too carried away! ;)

Monday, 20 December 2010

It's almost Christmas! How did that happen?!

Today we took pug-pug to the vet for her vaccinations - she had 3 in total, one for rabies, one for kennel cough and another that's a combined vaccine for parvovirus, parainfluenza, canine distemper and possibly something else too! We also had her tested for heartworm - negative, as expected. :) We've started her on a monthly heartworm preventative too. While we were there we saw loads of hand made doggy food bowls, they were so cute! We got her a gorgeous light blue one, it was only $3. We'll take her old one over to the in-laws' house so that when we go round there we don't need to remember her bowl!

At some point today I need to do some housework and wrap some Christmas presents! I've ordered prints of 3 of our wedding photos, they're photos of my hubby and his brother, who was best man. When hubby finishes work today we're going to go and look for some nice frames, because we're giving them to my brother-in-law for Christmas. We also got him a couple of cactus arrangements, there are 3 small cacti in each pot. Not conventional Christmas presents I guess, but we're pretty sure he'll like them. $5 to print the photos (7x5") and about $13 for the cacti, plus whatever we spend on frames for the photos. We're heading over to Hobby Lobby for the frames, they're usually on sale there and they have a big selection. Plus I always find interesting things in there!

I'm still waiting for one thing I ordered online for hubby. Hopefully it'll come in the next couple of days so I can get it wrapped in plenty of time! I also ordered Christmas cards for hubby from, they had a buy one get one free offer on so I got him one from pug-pug and one from me. The one from me has a couple of our photos on it! I love that site, it's awesome. The one from pug-pug has a pug on the front and I personalized the text - it says "Hi Daddy!" on the front, it's so cute! Including postage it only cost $4.60 for both cards (with one being free) which is really great value! I've been trying to budget my money and make it go further, so every little helps! I'm sure he'll be really happy with them, and he won't be expecting them so they'll be a nice surprise! :)

As far as his presents go, he's done pretty well! As I said, I've been trying to budget as much as I can so I've been shopping around for the best deal when it comes to buying pretty much anything. This is the first time since I was 16 that I've not had a job, so I do need to be careful with money. Anyway, he wanted either an 8GB or 16GB flash drive for his present, so I looked online at a few places and found a really good 16GB one for $25 with free shipping! I was in Walmart yesterday and they had 16GB drives for $40, so I think I lucked out with my online find! :) I also got him a cool funny T-shirt from, which was in the sale for $11.65 plus shipping ($16.50 total - the original price without shipping was $18.95 so I did good there too). I got him a really cool present "from pug-pug" too - a set of 6 coasters each with different photos of pug-pug on! I thought that was pretty neat - he definitely won't be expecting those! Plus, we actually do need some coasters, hehe. I used for those, it couldn't have been easier! I might buy him some candy or beef jerky or something like that, too. That would be an unexpected gift - but most definitely appreciated!

I bought the vast majority of pug-pugs Christmas presents from PetSmart in their 50% off sale so I saved quite a bit there too. That's the only reason she's ended up with so many presents - I think she has 8! Hers are the only ones that are all wrapped up, too. And she's the only one with an actual Christmas stocking! Maybe we are a little crazy after all... ;)

Right now I'm waiting for one of my friends on Skype - I'm not sure if she's gonna show... My mom called yesterday and I told her how let down I feel by so many people who just don't make the effort, and she was surprised when I mentioned my cousin and how he hasn't bothered getting in touch. I also told her that I'm a bit pissed about how virtually nobody could be bothered to send us a card when we got married, and how we've received very few Christmas cards. She agreed that people are crap! Oh well, it's out of my hands now since I decided not to pursue contact with those people who aren't bothering with me.

I can't believe it's almost Christmas, it doesn't feel like all that long since I got to the US back in early September! I'm just so glad to be here with my gorgeous hubby and our cute little pug-pug. My Dad should be arriving in 10 days, if his flight isn't cancelled because of the snow and ice in the UK. He still hasn't called, by the way. We're back in the familiar situation of us not speaking for however long because he doesn't call when he's meant to (i.e. at all) and I refuse to call him because I'm fed up of being the only one doing the communicating (as usual). He'll call eventually...

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A successful shopping trip!

This morning we had croissants for breakfast - mmmmmm :)
Then we went to our local mall to finish our Christmas shopping. I really only needed to get a present for my Dad, but as it happened JCPenney had an awesome sale on! We finally got some new pillows - we bought a king size bed in September just after I got here, and never got king size pillows because the ones we wanted weren't on sale. Well, today, they were only $8.70 each! Originally they were meant to be like $30 each, so how cool is that?! I got my Dad a neck massager (he has a bad neck) which was originally $40 and was only $20 today. I also got a couple of cute Christmas decorations (little snowmen with our names on!) and a lovely cuddly teddy bear (I'm a sucker for cuddlies!). The snowmen were originally $8 each but ended up costing all of $2.31 a piece, and the bear was originally $20 but ended up being $4.34. At full price our total would've been $140, and it only came to $50! I'm so pleased with all my purchases, they were fantastic value! It's even more fantastic when I convert the price in dollars to British pounds - it comes to £32! In the UK that doesn't exactly go very far - there's no way I would've been able to buy all of that. Gotta love America for the awesome pre-Christmas sales!!! :)

Well, the weather in the UK right now is really bad. I've just looked on a news website and a lot of the airports are either closed or facing huge disruption. I checked on the British Airways website and the London Heathrow to Phoenix flight is cancelled today. That's the flight my Dad is getting on December 30th... all the weather reports say the bad weather is going to last at least a month, so he might have problems getting here if that's the case. Not much point worrying about it yet, I guess. The thing is, he's only coming for 9 nights - if his flight does end up being cancelled, it could end up being days until he can get another, and at what point does he end up not coming because it's not worth it? (remember when he could have come for the wedding, Wednesday to Sunday, and "it wasn't worth it"? I mean, it is a long way and all, it's like a 10 and a half hour flight). It's not like he can move his holiday by a week or anything, because he's back at work a few days after he gets home as it is.

All this reminds me of all the problems I had getting here when I was coming to visit my hubby (before we were married, of course!). Last Christmas I was booked to fly with BA and they were going to go on strike for 12 days when I was due to fly, so I ended up cancelling my flight with them and rebooking with US Airways. Then the weather was really bad and I was lucky to get here, the plane had to be jump-started because it was so cold and the visibility was virtually zero - I still don't know how we made it from Manchester to Philadelphia, actually! Then, when I was supposed to visit in April, 2 days before my flight that stupid volcano in Iceland erupted and all flights in and out of the UK were grounded! I could not believe that at all! I had to rebook for the following week, but luckily I was able to move my vacation time at work forward by a week so I didn't end up losing any time here with my beloved!
I really quite like flying, but I'm glad I'm not having to do it for a long while now. What with all the security checks, which seem to go a little over the top sometimes, I don't exactly miss it!

Oh, I finally got an email from my friend who didn't show up on Skype on Tuesday - it's very apologetic! I haven't replied yet, because I'm not quite sure what to say, but I will do soon. As I've said before, I do get that people are busy, but it is quite rude to not let someone know when you can't make it for something, even if it is "only" a chat on Skype. She said she kept meaning to let me know she couldn't make it but never got around to it. Hmmm. I mean, it's Saturday and the whole thing happened on Tuesday, so it has taken her a very long time to get in touch! I'm not going to hold it against her, but I might let her hang for a day or 2. She did keep me waiting ages, after all.

My Dad still hasn't called; he was supposed to call sometime mid-week. I can't say I'm really surprised, though. My Mom will call me tomorrow (she's way more reliable - she calls me one Sunday, I call her the next Sunday, and so on). I still haven't heard from my cousin, but I've pretty much given up any hope of him ever responding to my email! I could just call him, but I'm not going to out of principle. Also, as I said, I never know when he's working, so that's the reason I wanted him to let me know when would be a good time for me to call. All he had to do was reply to my email and say, "Call on Tuesday or Wednesday, but not Thursday or Friday" - something like that. Now would that really be so bloody difficult to do? It would take all of 30 seconds! Whatever. Also, his wife's parents have a house in Florida so they have a phone package which lets them call the US for free, so he could just pick up the phone and call me. The whole thing sucks.

Anyway, in an hour we're heading over to my brother-in-law's house for dinner. It'll be the first time I've been there since I looked at the place with my mother-in-law all the way back in January, before my brother-in-law even saw it himself (she was on a mission to find him a house to buy, lol). We should have a nice evening! :)

Friday, 17 December 2010

A lazy day

I wasn't exactly very productive today - I didn't feel very well so ended up spending most of the day on the couch with our pug-pug. She's such a little sweetie, she loves her cuddles and so do I so it's a good arrangement! :)

Hubby and I just made tacos for dinner, they turned out great! We tend to cook most nights, we don't eat out very often. Before I moved over here, I couldn't really cook at all. It's surprised me how much I enjoy it now, and how well things turn out! I guess you just need a bit of confidence. Sometimes we cook together, sometimes it's just one of us. We make things like Thai green curry, pasta, Mexican food, grilled meat, mashed potatoes (hubby told me hand on heart that my mashed potato is way better than his Mom's - I'd have to agree!) ... all sorts of things, really. The only downside is the amount of dishes we generate, but hey, I don't have a job so it's all good. ;)

I think we're just about all set for Christmas now. We bought a small turkey (7 pounds) for Christmas dinner, and we've pretty much bought all the presents we need to get. I could do with getting something else for my Dad but I have no idea what, he's really difficult to buy for. Our pug-girl has the most presents out of everyone, of course! I'm just waiting on one last hubby-present to arrive and then we're good. I did most of my Christmas shopping online, which so far has worked out great! This last thing I only ordered yesterday and it's already on its way, so it should be here by this time next week.

Hubby took me shopping on Monday for my presents, he got me a bunch of lovely stuff from Bath and Body Works. :) I got to choose what I wanted, which in a way is a little boring I guess (no surprises) but also it means I'm getting what I wanted. Also, I thought if he was left to his own devices he might end up getting me more jewelry. Which of course wouldn't have been a bad thing, but I really didn't want him to spend a lot of money. You know, the fact that he's the only one working at the moment and he's paying out every month for my health insurance etc. Really, the best gift is that we're together for good. I couldn't ask for anything more! :)

Tomorrow we're going to my brother-in-law's house for dinner. It's his birthday on Christmas eve and hubby wants to take him out for dinner to celebrate on the day. Hopefully some places will be open! We're going to invite him to our place for Christmas dinner, because my in-laws don't celebrate Christmas (they're Jehovah's Witnesses). Normally we would go to their house for dinner on a Saturday, but tomorrow they're away at some JW convention or something and next Saturday is Christmas. We went to their house last night and took pizza with us. We needed to collect their air-bed for when my Dad visits. Anyway, we invited them for dinner at our place next Thursday evening, but apparently my mother-in-law won't miss a JW meeting so she wanted to come on Saturday instead. I pointed out that it's Christmas and therefore we're having a Christmas dinner, so that wouldn't work. If they celebrated Christmas, of course we'd invite them, but I don't want to have them come for dinner so that we can pretend it's not Christmas! Screw that! Then she said they'd come on Friday, but we don't fancy cooking 2 big meals on 2 consecutive days, and also it's my brother-in-law's birthday that day so if they came round we'd all have to ignore his birthday as JW's don't celebrate birthdays either. So no! Then she suggested the following week, but that's when my Dad is arriving so that wouldn't be convenient either. Finally it was resolved, and they're coming next Wednesday night. That'll work out much better. We're cooking tilapia, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Yum! :)

The whole thing with my in-laws got me thinking about what will happen when we have kids of our own... I mean, the only extended family they'll have here is their grandparents and uncle. All of my family live in the UK, apart from some distant relatives who live somewhere in the US but I don't even know where! Anyway, we don't want to deprive our kids of birthdays and Christmas, and hubby and I aren't religious in the slightest. It'd be a shame for the in-laws to miss out on those occasions, and for the kids to not see their grandparents at those times, but I can't really see any other solution. The thing that really sucks is that it seems as though my father-in-law doesn't really agree with the whole JW thing, and just goes along with it for my mother-in-law's sake. I get the feeling he'd love to celebrate Christmas etc. Ah well, it's their choice at the end of the day. I spoke to one of my good friends back in the UK a few days ago and she seemed to think that when we do have kids, they'll change their minds because they won't want to miss out. I'm not so sure, I think my mother-in-law is so brainwashed that she's in it for life. She was even funny about associating with one of my best friends, who came over for the wedding, because she used to be a JW and then saw the light and left a couple of years ago. Despite the fact that both her kids (my hubby and brother-in-law) left as soon as they could, they couldn't stand it! Apparently "officially" she's not meant to have anything to do with them, either. I can't believe how anyone can become so indoctrinated that they would even consider abandoning their family for the sake of a "religion" (well, cult, if you ask me, but that's just my opinion). I'm also a little concerned that she might try to brainwash our kids... :(

Anyway, I got a little off-topic there! I guess there's no point worrying about any of that stuff, I'm not even pregnant so it's not like we're going to be parents any time soon! I suppose we'll have to manage the situation accordingly when the time comes. Maybe my friend will turn out to be right, I can only hope so anyway!

Right now hubby is playing his video-games to unwind, and I'm sitting on the couch with pug-pug. Our Christmas cactus is all lit up, and I'm burning our banana nut bread candle which smells delicious! I just tuned in to watch The Haunted on Animal Planet, but the listings must have been screwed up because this ain't it! I think it's "I shouldn't be alive" or something. There's never anything good on TV on a Friday night! I guess it doesn't matter which country you live in, it's a case of too many channels, nothing to watch, hehe.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

One last thing

I think it's important to recognize that some people can really hurt you, and the fact that you're hurting obviously means you do care about those people. If you didn't, then their actions wouldn't really affect you much. So by no means do I hate or dislike any of the people I've written about here: I just feel very disappointed and let down by them. I'm not about to cut any ties with people, but I will await contact from them and if they do get in touch, that's good, if they don't then I think I need to re-evaluate things.

People change, situations change - maybe people have moved on without me now that I'm living in the US, maybe they think I moved on without them since I'm the one who emigrated. I don't know, but what I do know is that I haven't given anybody the impression that I've forgotten about them or that I'm not interested in keeping in touch. I don't contact people obsessively but I've sent enough emails etc. to have made an effort. Plus, I sent all those Christmas cards. They may not be a big deal to some people, but the fact that I bothered to make the effort and I spent a significant amount of money mailing them overseas shows that I care. Every day recently when I go to the mail box I hope to see a card from someone; most days I'm disappointed. I think that all the cards we're going to get from the UK have probably come already, I doubt very much that other people will bother. We're talking both friends and family here, not acquaintances. It's probably not 100% wise to judge how people value you by whether or not they send you a Christmas card, but I think it does at least show that someone's thinking about you and that they can be bothered to make the effort.


Now that I've had a good rant about everything that's been bothering me lately, the tune of this blog is going to change. Well, it'll change for the most part, anyway! I'm sure there will be some more of the same, if people continue to act as they have done, but on the whole I want this to be more of a cheery blog.

So for now, I'm going to focus on the good things in my life, such as my wonderful hubby and our lovely doggy, and also Christmas, which is only 9 days away! :)

Getting some more things off my chest!

I'm still feeling annoyed with the people I blogged about yesterday... I was tempted to contact the friend who stood me up on Skype but I resisted! I did however email our mutual friend who agreed that the whole thing is ridiculous, and told me that she is still waiting on a phone call from said friend who told her she'd call her weeks ago and never has done. We both agree that if someone really is too busy then they shouldn't make false promises! I would feel much less annoyed if she would've just said, "I'm too busy for a catch-up at the moment but I'll let you know when I've got the time" rather than she herself setting a time and a date and then cancelling, then rescheduling and simply not showing up.

The whole thing is really making me feel that I have no desire whatsoever to visit the UK any time soon. I mean, people would probably make plans to see me if I was there for a couple of weeks and then they'd probably cancel at the last minute, so I really can't be bothered. It doesn't make sense to me how people can be so lazy at keeping in touch when you're supposed to be good friends. And even family, too! Sometimes my own Dad is terrible at contacting me. If I email him it's often a few days before he replies, even though he has a bloody iPhone so it could not be any easier! He's been saying since before I left the UK that he was going to get himself a laptop with a webcam so that we could talk on Skype face-to-face. Well, he still hasn't, and I left the UK at the beginning of September! Yet when I do speak to him (mostly it's me who has to call him) he tells me he misses me loads. It was my birthday at the start of this month, and when I spoke to him 10 days or so beforehand he asked me if he could just bring my birthday card with him when he comes to visit at New Year! I said, "That's a month after my birthday so could you please send it in the mail?" He ended up sending one using, which is fine, but I couldn't help but think it was because he couldn't be bothered to go to the post office! Either that or he left it way too late. I don't get it.

You know, the thing that hurts the most is that even though I gave everyone as much notice as possible for our wedding (which we couldn't plan too far in advance, because I didn't know when exactly I was going to get my visa, and once I got to the US we had to marry within 90 days under the terms of the fiancée visa) he still didn't book the time off work! I told everyone at the end of May, when we set the date for the wedding, which was 4 and a half months away. Ideally, yes, we would've given people notice of 6 months or more, but as I said, the circumstances were difficult and that was the best we could do. Bearing in mind that all along my Dad had said that he and my stepmom would definitely come to our wedding, they wouldn't miss it for the world, blah blah blah. Well get this - 2 months after I told him the date, I was out with a friend for dinner and I got a phone call from my Dad... he asked me to change my wedding date! Needless to say, I was gobsmacked! I honestly couldn't believe that anyone could have the audacity to ask me to change our wedding date, especially after 2 months of knowing the date! I mean, my friends who were coming to the wedding had already booked the time off work (which was no easy feat for one of my friends from work!) and here was my own father asking me to change the date of my wedding "by a couple of weeks" so that he could be there. Why had the date not been a problem when I told him it, 2 months earlier? If he had said at that point that he couldn't possibly make it, we might have been able to change it. Moreover, we might have been more inclined to change it. As it stood, the very reason he gave me for him wanting us to change the date was that he could only come to the US from the Wednesday to the Sunday, because he couldn't get out of work on the Tuesday. We married on a Friday. What do you think would've been the logical thing to have done? Perhaps, as soon as I told him the date, he should've booked time off work like any sensible person would have done! He was honestly surprised when I flat out refused to change the date; I told him, truthfully, that the majority of it was already paid for, and that other people had organized things so that they could be there. Yes, he's my Dad, but there was no way I was about to change everything because he couldn't be bothered to organize himself. That's what it comes down to - sorry, but if you really want to be at your own daughter's wedding, then you should make every reasonable attempt to be there! If that means flying over for a short time then do it!

The best thing about it is that a few times since the wedding, and even on the morning of the wedding, when I've spoken to him he's said that he wished he could've been there. On the morning of the wedding I replied, "I really don't know what to say to that" - I mean, he missed my wedding because of work. Work that surely he could've taken time out of if he had bothered to book vacation. And don't try to make me feel guilty for not changing my wedding date - the fact that you even asked me to in the first place is bad enough! I wish I'd said all of this at the time, but I was so pissed off that I didn't. When he visits in 2 weeks, though, and says stuff like that again, I might actually say how I feel. Anyway, it's his loss - he missed our wedding, and he has to live with that. There's no use in him moaning to me that he wishes he could've been there, because frankly, he could! By the time you reach your 50s you'd think that you might have learned some organization skills, wouldn't you? It doesn't make sense to me that knowing that your daughter is getting married on such-and-such a date, with plenty of time to book vacation time, you would leave it for 2 months and then realize you can't get the time off and then ask your daughter to change her wedding date for you. I even told him when he asked that the only reason we would've moved our wedding is if I didn't have my visa in time for it! And what if we had changed the date, only for other people to be unable to come? I wasn't prepared to do that, given that those people had at least bothered to get the time off work. Maybe I'm coming across as being too harsh, but the whole thing really does astound me! Nobody could believe it when I told them what had happened - they were all amazed that he would do that! Doesn't it all boil down to him thinking that he's more important than everyone else? I think it might. I mean, if I couldn't attend a loved one's wedding then I would tell them I was very sorry I couldn't go, and that I hoped they had a lovely day and I'd be thinking of them. I wouldn't dream of asking them to change the date!

I can count on one hand the number of times my Dad was on time when I used to meet up with him... in fact, I think I could do that even if I only had 2 fingers! The number of times I had to stand around like an idiot, waiting for ages for him to show up, getting more and more annoyed as time went on... it's just crazy. One time he was a whole hour late, when I'd worked a ridiculously long (19.5 hour) shift the night before, gone home for maybe 2 hours sleep and rushed out to meet him for lunch. Yeah, that went down well with me. Not! Now don't get me wrong, nobody's perfect, and nobody's on time 100% of the time. I get that. But I do think it's incredibly rude to be consistently late, as it shows a huge lack of respect of the other person's time. Worse still, when he would eventually show up, I'd be annoyed of course at having to hang around so long, and he'd make comments about how I'm always in a bad mood! Um, yeah, I'm in a bad mood because you're half an hour late, again, and I've been standing out in the cold, when if you would've told me you were going to be late I would've gone and got a coffee or done some shopping or something. Now if I was even 2 minutes late, which happened once or twice, he would be really pissy with me! Talk about hypocrisy... Unbelievable!

So yeah, I'm probably coming across as someone who's very bitter... I probably am in some ways, because for 27 years I've had to put up with this crap! He's still unreliable now, he doesn't call when he says he will, but at least I'm not hanging around waiting for him now.

We used to meet up usually once a week, and go for lunch or dinner depending on the time. It was supposed to be that one week I paid, the next he paid, and so on. So one week, when it was his turn to pay, we ate, then he said, "Can we go halves this week? I'm skint". Um, it would've been nice if you'd said that beforehand! And by the way, I'm not exactly rolling in money either! I begrudgingly obliged. Then what does he do? He goes to buy a new suit! No fucking kidding. A new suit. Couldn't afford to pay for lunch when it was clearly his turn, but he can afford a new suit which he probably doesn't need, and obviously cost a lot more than lunch. I was so angry that day, I couldn't believe it!

So yes, I guess I have some issues with my Dad, but I think most people would agree with me that they're totally justified!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

On Friendship

It's a strange situation I find myself in right now: I have everything I wanted for so long, my husband and our gorgeous little doggy, but I really am beginning to think that you can't have everything. I knew when I left the UK that some of my relationships would inevitably change, I just didn't realize how much. A lot of the time, I feel as though most people have just forgotten about me. There are friends who have kept in touch with me since I left, but it seems that there are more of them who haven't bothered much.

It's only 3 and a half months since I moved here, and in some ways it's almost like I never existed! It's quite upsetting sometimes, because although I was the one who left, I have been in touch with everyone multiple times since I got to the US. I realize that I have a lot more time on my hands than my friends who are working full-time, and I fully appreciate that people have things going on in their lives. I'm not expecting people to respond to my emails immediately, I'm not unreasonable! But when you've sent 3 or 4 emails over a period of time, and got no response whatsoever, it starts to grate on you.

One of my "friends" who I met up with a few days before leaving the UK insisted that she would keep in touch, and said that I should re-join Facebook so it would be easier. After arriving in the US, I did get back on FB - I thought my friend was right, it would be easier. Well, since I arrived here, I've sent this friend at least 3 emails, including one with some of our wedding photos, and messaged her on FB - have I heard anything back? In a word, no. I saw her on Skype recently, and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and talk to her on there. She told me that she'd seen our wedding photos on FB and they were really nice, and never once acknowledged any of my attempts at communication. Then the whole conversation turned into a proof-reading session of a job application she was doing... I couldn't help but think that she was just using me. Maybe I'm being harsh, I don't know. That's just the way it seemed.

One of my other friends, who I've been friends with since the age of 4 or 5, keeps in touch sometimes but is so unreliable it's crazy! She'll tell me she'll be on Skype so we can catch up and then she won't show. We were supposed to talk a couple of days ago and I got an email not long before saying that it would have to be the next day, so I said that would be OK and told her what time I would be online. I didn't get a reply so I assumed that was fine for her, but when the time came she was nowhere to be seen. I stayed on for over an hour and she never showed. I thought that maybe today I would get an email apology or something, but no. Nice, huh? It just makes me feel like crap when people do stuff like that.

Even my own cousin has been terrible at getting in touch! He didn't even send us a card when we got married, despite the fact that he was in the US at the time and it would have cost all of 88 cents to send one! I thought that was a bit crappy, really. He called a week after the wedding, but we haven't spoken since. I've sent him 2 emails asking him when a good time would be for me to call him, because he works strange shifts so I don't want to call when he might be sleeping or whatever. He replied to my first email, saying he was on holiday so it would have to be when he got home. He was only away for a week, so he's been home a while now. It's been a week since I sent the second one and still I've heard nothing back. I just don't get it. It's rude, isn't it, to just ignore someone?

Now I just feel like not contacting anyone, because to be honest I don't want to have to deal with this crap any longer. I think I've made more than a reasonable effort to stay in touch with everyone, nobody can turn around and say I didn't try.

I spent a small fortune sending lots of Christmas cards to friends and family in the UK. I'm pretty sure we won't get many back, based on how people have been since I left. Only 2 of my friends so far have sent us cards, and it's only 10 days until Christmas. I do realize that it's a little bit more effort to send mail internationally, of course, but if people are true friends then surely they could make the effort? I mailed all of mine at the end of November to make sure they got there in time, and the few people I've heard from received them within about a week.

The reason I'm writing this stuff here is that I don't really want to confront people or tell them how much they've let me down. I've decided it's probably better to keep a dignified silence on the matter. I could do what a lot of people do and post some passive aggressive status message on FB, but I really don't see the point. I'll just leave it, and not contact those people who can't be bothered with me. It'll be interesting to see when, if ever, they contact me for a change.

Maybe when you emigrate you find out who your true friends are.

An Introduction

I'm British, and I was engaged to an American. We had a long distance relationship for over a year and a half, including a 6 month wait for my fiancée visa. I finally moved to Arizona in September 2010 and we married in October. Now we're in the process of doing my 'Adjustment of Status' so that I can become a permanent resident.

I never really thought I would emigrate; I'd lived in the UK my entire life, and in one city at that! It was only when I got together with my (now) husband that I ever considered moving to the US, and it was a long road! Lots of money, paperwork and heartache later and we're finally together for good - it's great!

At the moment I'm a housewife, because I don't yet have authorization to work. I'm not sure what I will do when I am allowed to work, it's something I'm thinking about at the moment. In order to do the job I did in the UK, I have to go back to college for 18 months! Needless to say, having already spent 4 years at university I don't exactly relish the thought of that!

The main thing is that my husband and I are together - it's something that we don't take for granted having spent so long apart previously. This will be our first 'proper' Christmas together; we kind of spent last Christmas together, but I spent the majority of the day on 2 planes to get here, so it wasn't really the same!