Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Still Life with Waiver Requests

Our USCIS paperwork is off and in the hands of the US Postal Service. Nice to have the tracking numbers to make sure that everything makes it to where it needs to be.

Believe it or not, pulling together the documents for the I-171-H Renewal was virtually painless...once I got past the crippling anxiety, self sabatoging avoidance and useless anger that it generated that is. Yes, the anniversary of our paperwork expiring (18 months) was one that I was dreading with every fiber of my being - but the dread is behind me and the check is finally in the f'ing mail.

If there is a bright side to this - it is the waiver. Oh happy day - the WAIVER! (Cue angelic voices harmonizing)

It would have really, truly sucked to have had to pay the additional $750 for this update. Thankfully we were spared that crappy little doosie.

Lemme tell you, though, I sure as hell hope that we do not have to reapply a THIRD time - that would be around saaaay MARCH 2009. There may be some serious "ledge talking" should that come to pass.

Not simple. Not easy. Nope, not in this realm of experience.

Believe it or not, putting the postage on those envelopes and handing them over to the postlady put a wee lift in my step. That is a very good thing. I needed that. A lift is a very good thing about now. Unless I forgot some bizarre thing in the envelope, there is no reason why there will be issues with our paperwork or our getting renewed.

So, until further notice, it is back to the wait.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Guess What? I got to meet Ms. Shayna and her lovely mother, Beth today. I met these guys over a year ago online and we've stayed in touch cyberwise ever since. Beth convinced me that the Ergo is the bomb...she even told me about it while she was in China. Yes, she is that kind of person - kind, funny, downtoearth, generous and a terrific MOM.

See for yourself...

She can cut chicken, butter bread, deliver beverages, draw smiley faces, fetch binky and chat with me all at one time. On precious few hours of sleep and in a very small restaurant booth. My head spins.

Spending the afternoon with these two was wonderful. Meeting up with families that have been to China and back - especially ones that we've followed online - makes our adoption feel a weensy bit more tangible for me. It also is energizing and sweet. (Like the Iced Americano I needed after dropping them off**).

Have a great visit, you two! Thanks for the lunchdate! XO

**Note to self: Must get back to exercise regime in order to prevent early demise resulting from unconditioned back, long hibernated core strength and marginal attention span before highly energized child enters the scene.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Catching Up a Bit

My energy has been a little low for a variety of reasons that include but are not limited to the following: recent family trip back East, subsequent local family visit a few days later, I171-H update paperwork in progress (groans) and work gearing up for Back-to-School. Then there are a few other things that weigh heavy on my mind that I just don't feel like thinking about anymore - but there they are, tormenting me and keeping me awake at night from time to time.

I'm tired.

Instead of connecting with Blogger, I've been zoning out with the DVR and catching up with Anthony Bourdain and his travels. Oh how I would love to party with that guy.

Tonight, though...tonight Jzboy is out with the guys & I'm feeling the mood to share some highlights of our trip to the East Coast. It was a great time. I think that it was the most fun that I've ever had visiting Jzboy's family - and it feels pretty darn great to say that.

We took the boys fishing:

We went to the 4H Fair:

Me and Prize having a moment...

This next one is funny because when I asked the kid if I could take a pic of his cows udders - he seriously looked me up and down. Down is nose, that is. And, then he asked "You're not one of those SPIES are you? I heard about them from my brother". When I assured him that I was not and complimented him profusely on how lovely his dairy cow was and thanked him for taking such wonderful care of her - he let me take this picture.

Y'all know that I love cows, right?

I took this one because it looked like a buttercup.

Yes, I thought a lot about buttercup during the trip. I worried that I might dissolve into a puddle of waiting-adoptive-mother tears while spending time with nephews and nieces...mommies and daddies. Nope. Somehow I managed to plunge myself into the Auntie Roll (hey! Sounds like a cool new candy I might invent) that I have begun to LOVE. We took walks, beaded necklaces, talked about buttercup2be, devoured Auntie-Made broccoli in the face of many meaty meals, watched some fun movies...and Jzboy and I taught them all how to play Mille Bornes.

It was grand.

Speaking of grand - we all took a big ol' family picture around Grandpa's Senior Grand National 55'.

Isn't it schweeet?

Finally - a few rations.

The broccoli (there were FOUR cello packs) was for me. Mostly b/c there was precious little green veg to enjoy during our stay beyond the tasty lime jello concoctions on the dinner table. I eat broccoli more than several times a week! So, I indulged. Imagine my surprise (& pride) when everyone devoured all four packages after I steamed/buttered/seasoned it to perfection.

It was served alongside pizza & not a floret remained. Ahhh, be still my heart.

The candy is Jzboys fave - MalloCups. You can't get them past the Mason Dixon Line or Continental Divide or whatever - we can't get them in California!! And, yes, he is hoarding them.

Good to be back.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back From Vacation!

I've been so off the grid that I forgot that today is our 15 month LID Marker. Fifteen on the 15th. Because I'm a 5-Lover, I think that I may just play the lottery today. Or something.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Truth Be Told

My father can levitate, pretidigitate and he does not hate.

He is a professional magician but also entertains kids in juvenile hall, homeless folks down on their luck and somehow finds a way to deliver a spiritual message to the youth at church using decks of cards, bits of string and a whole lot of whiffle dust!

I did live in a convent! You can read a little about it here - those of you that have been visiting buttercup for a while may remember the story. We called it the Non-Vent because although we lived amongst Catholic relics, had taken a vow of poverty and were cloistered in a community of seven - our life was more Real World than monastic.

Back in grad school I volunteered for the university performing arts organization. It enabled me to see Lyle Lovett, Sting, Cecilia Bartoli, Stomp, Laurie Anderson, Mikhail Baryshnikov...and, yes...the Ramones (plus a whole lot more) for FREE! I just had to show up and tell people where to sit. During the Ramones show I was asked to go backstage to count tickets and found myself doing so about 10 feet away from Joey Ramone - God rest his soul. He and I shared a gaze and a wave. In my book, that counts as a meeting.

I was such a psychology geek in college that not only was I the president of Psi Chi but I used to wear a Sigmund Freud t-shirt to exams and I got two research projects published with the WPA.

Had I been a teen living in Corpus Christi, TX - I most certainly would have been an extra in the Legend of Billie Jean. That is where the film was shot and apparently they used a LOT of local kids as extras. I'm not sure where we were residing at the time, but it wasn't TX. Jzboy and I did just watch the movie last weekend and I would recommend it as a great 80s flashback. That is, if you don't mind having Pat Benetar's Invincible play through your mind for a week later.

Finally - the beef thing. When the Persian Gulf War began my plan was to fast completely - for Peace. I was young. Once I realized that there was no way I could work while starving, I became vegetarian. In my mind, the fast was symbolic of "No Blood for Oil" and I didn't touch any meat for years. When I missed sushi, I welcomed fish back in my diet. Chicken & turkey returned over time. But, never beef. Not in 17 years. That is because I love cows.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Do you know me? Do I know you?

AMG from the Jade road came up with this fun idea about truth & fibs. There is one mistruth on the list that follows, see if you can guess...

I used to live in a convent.

I met Joey Ramone backstage at the Greek Theater.

I was an extra in the 80's movie "The Legend of Billie Jean".

I quit eating beef 17 years ago to protest the Persian Gulf War.

I was president of the honor society in college.

My father is a professional magician.

Just to make things a little more fun - and in the spirit of sharing - how about some "shout outs" from those that lurk. I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Monday. XO

Friday, August 03, 2007


I knew that this would happen. Sometimes I forget that I've known myself for a long ol' time. You'd think that the years of experience and, hopefully, insight gained during that time would have taught me a thing or two along the way.

Not when it comes to curtains, I guess.

A few weeks back I had this wild idea that if I sewed up some curtains for the baby's room - we would spring into action with the painting and ~ VOILA ~ we'd get the crib put together, set up the closet, choose a rug and...you get the picture. The good news is that the project did inspire movement and I am so proud to report that the room has been beautifully and painstakingly painted by jzboy. (I merely assisted, made lunch/dinner/tea, did most of the other chores in the house, poured beer and played DJ).

I am now struggling with an unsurprising quandary given my history with creative projects. You see, I'm not sure that I like the original curtains anymore.

Darnit. This is where the lapse of insight comes into play.

The paint that we picked out, Peach Organza, is a very nice color. In fact, I LOVE the color. I'm just not sure that it matches anymore. Here is the original curtain with the new paint:

I put the alphabet cards on the ledge b/c they will find their way around the perimeter of the room - at least on two walls. Each card has a water colored picture of a flower starting with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. That is part of the reason why I chose the fabric that I did (Alexander Henry) b/c of the splashy, scribbly, fun floral design.

Here is some other fabric that I purchased for another project (yes, I'm becoming quite a fan of Alexander H). Isn't it cute? I love the vintagey animal print and the green/orange accents. And, yes, I like the way it goes with the new paint.

My concerns are that it doesn't really "go" with the floral card idea, that I'll tire of the animal print and that it will feel too "nursery-ish" after a while and, of course, there's the fact that I've already got a set of curtains ready to roll.

I'm ambivalent. I'm fickle. Even as I write this. I'm thinking that the original might just be ok. But, gosh, I do love those animals. And, I could stop by this other fabric shop Saturday to see what they've got that I didn't see at the first place. This can not go on for the next 12 months. The whole idea was to move forward.

Its silly, I tell you. Just plain silly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Have You Met Durian?

I'll admit that I've gazed at the fruit for years. They are commonly sold at the Berkeley Bowl. Their aggressive prickly coat is remarkable - and a little painful.

Anyone get one of these bad boys in their CSA allotment for the month???

Kelli from Waiting for Sprout peaked my interest about the Durian when she reported on the fruit earlier this year. Go on, please...go read about it here.

Here is an example of the warning signs that she talked about:

Why though? Why would anyone dog the King of Tropical Fruit?

Check this thing out. The ones that I've seen are about the size of a large, elongated coconut. A coconut with woody spikes. One that you really, really wouldn't want bonking you on the head as it falls from a cute island tree. It is quite...uhmm....commanding, wouldn't you agree?

Apparantly common not only at the Berkeley Bowl...

I've heard that the smell of this fruit will knock you over. I've heard the scent described as anything between limburger cheese - nasty rotted fruit - old gym socks - uhhh, yeah, you get the idea...

Hungry yet?

So today I had my first taste of the Durian. In a very small way.

I sipped a friend's Durian Shake...from a straw...with the lid still attached to the cup. And...lets just say...I needed two pieces of gum to wash away the aftertaste once I got back to the office.

So, I really wonder - is it an acquired taste? Or, are you in or you're out with the Durian?

Please let me know if you've had the pleasure of sampling this intriguing fruit and what you thought about it. I'm willing to give it another try - but it will have to be the right place/time (read: after several Tsingtao's).

Desperately I tell you...how desperately I wanted to be the super-cool girl that LOVES the King Durian. Guess I'm just not that girl.

I do love Turnip Cake, though, and fish balls. Love sushi, tofu...any kind of mushroom, and I can tolerate chicken feet (fried). Sooo, I'm still "in there", right?

Ya know what? This is fun.

Wordless Wednesday