Spring brings a bit of cheer and melancholy, all mixed together. Cheer obviously for the gorgeousness of the tulips coming up and for the lilacs budding on a tree that just 12 years ago was a six foot stump sticking out of the ground (several years after buying my home it suddenly came back to life…talk about a gift…). I have nurtured this garden for over a decade and to leave it in the hands of a stranger is a big step. We know we will create something gorgeous and new, but anyone who’s lived somewhere this long gets the connection to Place that is indescribably emotional.
And speaking of spring, after the devastating loss of our bees in late winter, we are excited that this coming weekend we will be getting new bees! Rather than relying on me to catch a swarm and get another bee mentor to help us with the installation like we did 2 years ago, we decided to shell out the cash and order some local bees (5 nucs) from Glen Andreson and his awesome Bridgetown Bees. I’ve been going to his workshops and presentations on gardening since I bought my house – hell, Glen is who I first learned about lasagna gardening from, and that gave me the courage to end my old driveway garden and actually build my very first raised beds as a single gal almost a decade ago). He is kind of a local gardening/beekeeping rockstar, so much so that I actually am a bit shy to speak to him directly (Dan has no problem, thankfully). Anyhow, we’ve brought out the brood box and frames from storage and are hoping for next Saturday to be dry and mellow for Hive 2.0 🙂
Ah yes and did I mention Dan finally has his naturalization interview coming up on the 9th? After 4+ years going from the K-1 fiance visa to temporary work authorization to green card/permanent residency, we are finally in the home stretch for my husband to become a US citizen, and therefore be able to do things like VOTE and travel internationally without umpteen forms of identification. Thankfully, since 2002 Australia no longer rescinds the citizenship of its native-born if they become a citizen elsewhere, so he will have dual citizenship – woo hoo! But first he’s got to study for the test, which is – along with making sure you can read and write in English – a set of 6 questions pulled from USCIS’s book of questions. Some of the questions are super easy, but others even baffled me (I gotta say, I couldn’t name off the top of my head who our CHIEF justice was in the US Supreme Court – I could name justices of course, but didn’t know that John Roberts was the Chief…or what the year was of the Constitutional Convention (1787) as I’d say it’s been a good 30 years since I had to memorize that stuff in Social Studies, ya know…!). Anyhow, I’ve been quizzing him every few days and he’s at about 95% already so we are very optimistic. For those not familiar with the process, you only get two chances to pass otherwise you have to re-apply (and PAY – the fee was $725 to apply for naturalization) and start all over. They do the test at 9am and you know immediately if you passed, BUT it’s not assured you’ll get to do an oath ceremony that day as I guess it all depends on how many people are taking it that day, so we might come home with the naturalization certificate later that day, OR he might have to wait a few months. Whew! The certificate that you get at the oath ceremony is what’s required to update your SS card, apply for a passport, register to vote, etc. So anyhow, we are really ready to breathe that big sigh of relief that this journey is almost complete!
And hey, just some inspiration that hit me leaving my therapist’s office last Friday that I thought would be worth a share…
Oh and some cool news! We’ve known that when we get out to the coast we will need something more significant than our little Ford Focus hatchback to haul around stuff that in the city we’ve always found “just around the corner” (I’m going to bet that not many folks in the country can go grab a hand truck and walk 3 blocks to their neighborhood nursery to grab a bale of straw for their duck coop and walk it back home…), not to mention our goal to, after we get our travels completed, get a couple of big dogs (it’s been four months since the loss of our sweet girl Ruby and we know our new property is going to need some four legged creatures). Along with that, I told Dan that there’s no way in hell I’m going to consider car shopping after the adoption occurs, so we decided to join the masses (kill me now) and buy this 2015 Subaru Outback from CarMax. While there is no haggling allowed, the benefit? No haggling. No bullshit. Plus you can go to their massive lots and try all different kinds of cars, something that is hell on earth to try to do at a dealership. We’d really wanted the Kia Niro because of the 50 mpg gas mileage, awesome for an SUV, but couldn’t find one under 30K that had the same bells and whistles as the Subaru (heated seats, roof rack, AWD for the rain, backup camera, power seats – the first and last features which are absolute essentials for my shitty back) which, after our trade-in is subtracted, we’ll be able to pay cash for thanks to my new client work that I just kicked off. This car gives us what we want – the ability to be both farm- and family-ready, while not having two cars. Yes, we’ll eventually get a pickup truck after we get settled (seeing that the bike commuting life will come to a close for my sweetheart, something that’s going to be tough for him, not to mention a Subaru can handle a bit but definitely not what a truck can do (those who’ve known me the longest remember when I bought my first vehicle, a lipstick red Chevy S-10…man I miss it!), but in the meantime, this covers all the bases without creating debt. Yay!