January 22, 2014

happier things

There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. After learning that my position at work was eliminated by the Corporate Powers That Be and waiting for my fate to be decided by people who I don't know/don't know me, I received word today that they decided to nix their plan to downsize and I can keep my title/pay/sanity after all. 

It was a stressful week, as I did the math and realized what having my hours and benefits cut would mean for Bobby and me. (Hint: It meant nothing good.)

I guess no economy is perfect and downsizing can happen in Canada just as easily as it happens in America. Hmm.

But now that that's behind me, I can move forward and focus on happier things.

Like my little eskimo pie.

(It doesn't look like it here but she really does like wearing her parka. It's just the snow & ice that she's not fond of.)

Or the antique hutch that we had delivered on Saturday. I can't wait to fill it with my vintage platters and gravy boats.

Or the fact that I have tomorrow off. I'd like to see if I can pull off getting a haircut, painting my nails and spending some quality time with Maple. After the week I had, I think I'm due for a little r&r.

January 17, 2014

little by little

It's been a blah week, with downsizing at work and day after day of freezing cold. But we've stayed productive by touching up the house little by little. Maple's been busy sleeping on her heated blanket like it's her job.

As planned, Bobby and I spent Sunday running around. We picked out an antique hutch for the living room and a few rugs at IKEA. Our last stop was Lowe's, where we purchased paint for the upstairs. We went in looking for taupe and walked out with something called Bittersweet, which is darker than what we were planning, but we both agreed it looked homey. 

We haven't started painting yet so I'm a bit nervous to see how it'll look. (I have no patience for painting swatches on walls before purchasing. Forget that crap.) I think it'll be pretty dark, especially compared to the stark white walls we have now, but cozy and cabin-y which is our ultimate goal.

We picked up an Oriental-style rug for the kitchen at IKEA. It's a departure from the generic $15 kitchen rugs I usually buy at Target.

We have a desk being delivered tomorrow so I spent this afternoon organizing the office to make room for it. I finished the bookcase but there are a bunch of books and chachkes without homes. I'll arrange them another time.

More photos to come as we continue working.

January 13, 2014


Tonight I am breathing a sigh of relief.

I am officially a permanent resident of Canada.

I actually was a permanent resident before this evening, but, well, it's complicated. I was issued permanent residency a few months ago, as well as a social insurance number (the canuck equivalent of an SSN). But it was in the form of a paper document, which only acted as a temporary way of leaving the country via car while I waited for my proper permanent resident card. My rights were limited.

I applied for this card more than three months ago.

After so many hiccups and moments of sheer hopelessness throughout the course of this process, as of 5:30 p.m. today, when I unsuspectingly opened the letter from Citizenship & Immigration Canada, my journey is finally complete.

I received my Government-Issued ID Card that makes my immigration finalized. With this card, I can leave the country via plane. And not only that, I can leave as many times as I want. From here on out, I can come and go freely without worrying that I'll be subject to interrogation by a border agent, or even be denied entry back into the country.

In a nutshell, I now have a right to be here.

My ID card lists USA as my "Nationality" which brings me endless joy. But I can also say that I now rightfully belong in Canada, and in a weird way, that will help me sleep easier at night.

The only direction to go now is forward.

January 10, 2014

life under construction

Bobby and I have been living in our new house for almost a month. I imagined we'd be further along in the unpacking/decorating process but now that we're both working full time, all we want to do when we get home is sink into the couch and watch Chopped with little Maple between us.

We have so many ideas on how we want to design the place but so far very few changes have been made. The ungodly polar vortex that swept through the north basically paralyzed us for a few days, plus we've both just been so busy/tired.

That will change this Sunday, since we both have off from work and are planning on buying paint for the upstairs and picking out some antique furniture at The Barn.

But before that happens, here are some "before" snapshots of our home in its current state which I have decided to call "under construction." It isn't much just yet but it's cozy and it's ours, and at this stage of my life that's really as good as it gets.

This is the office/computer room. It's unfinished and bit of a dumping ground for random boxes with no home, but I like it. 

That chair is one of my favorite things in the house. I picked it up while antiquing in New York last month.

I recently purchased an old library desk (to be delivered next week) to go with it. I associate the chair with my parents, since they were with me when I bought it, and that makes it special.

The office window pushes out, which I love, and offers a view of our garage roof and the street we live on, both of which are currently snow-covered and so pretty.

The office also houses Bobby's closet, since the one in the master bedroom is too small for us to share and he graciously let me have it.

The bedroom is adjacent to the office. There isn't much to look at just yet. Except for Maple of course.

In the absence of a proper side table, I've been using an old chair that I reupholstered.

Downstairs, the kitchen is our biggest project. It's a long room with space in the back for a dining table, although we decided not to put one there since all of our dining happens in the living room. We have a ton of plans for this space but for right now we've done just enough to make it functional. (Yes, our tree is still up. Don't judge.)

The living room is where we spend most of our time. I was able to dedicate some time to arranging one small bookcase behind the couch but still have to figure out where our other 600 books are going. They're all laying on the floor or are spilling out of Rubbermaid containers in the corner of the room. 

Overall, the house is sparse but homey. I stand at the office window and watch children chase down their school bus early in the morning. I imagine how much fun it'll be to decorate the house for Halloween and have trick-or-treaters on our doorstep for the first time.

Renting this house was one of the best decisions Bobby and I have made together and it makes me that much more excited for the day when we can purchase one of our very own!

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