Meet Boots

This is Boots:

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Look at those eyes! How could I refuse those eyes?

She is the newest member of our little family.

Just chillin'

“Did you want to use this chair? That’s too bad, it’s my chair.”

I found her by using the BCSCPA pet search over a month before we were able to bring her home. She had been surrendered with her brother. They were 10 years old, considered senior cats. I wanted them both. For the first time ever, my partner agreed–instead of his usual (somewhat eye-roll-y) “oh honey”. So we set to work getting our apartment ready for a cat. As hard as it was, we knew we wouldn’t be ready until after Christmas, so it was entirely possible they would be adopted beforehand. Which was why we waited to go meet them. I didn’t want to get attached only to lose them. And, after a few weeks, her brother was adopted. It was a bit disappointing, but mostly okay, since I wanted Boots more anyway (based only on some pictures and a bio…yeah). We’d just get a different second cat.

Finally, we made it to the big day, and met Boots. She was lovely, and we agreed she was a great cat. The caveat: she’s better being the only cat. Oh yeah, and getting her into the cat carrier was a messy (and bloody) affair. She meowed pitifully the whole way home.

We put her in a smaller room, for the first week, and visited her frequently. She clawed and bit more than we’d like–mostly because she had a very low petting threshold before she became overstimulated. But as time went on, she came out of her shell. Her stress levels went down and we get clawed and/or bitten very rarely now (partially because we have better reflexes, I’m sure).

She loves blankets, cuddles, and running after a thrown cork only to wait for you to throw it again. But she loves things on her terms. If she gets tired of something–you’ll know. She meows for attention, then you bend down to pet her for a few seconds and she’s off to go have a bite to eat.

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“No, I will not get out of my house to play, that wasn’t in the contract I signed”

As my partner said just last night, “Boots is the exact cat I wanted”. I couldn’t agree more.

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The Name Change

There are two common questions one receives shortly after getting married. The first is, “Are you going to change your name?” and the second is, “When are you going to have kids?”. Actually, I was asked both of those questions months before we got married, but that’s beside the point.

Ignore the winter man hands, please...

Ignore the winter man hands, please…Just focus on the pretty rings.

The name issue has been on my mind a lot lately. Why? Well, my passport expires in 1 month. So I either do the easy renewal process and keep my name for the next X years, or I do the full application now (as in, “I’ve never had a passport before” kind of application). After, of course, changing my driver’s license, care card and sin card. Can I get all that done in a month? Not likely.

In an ideal world, I’d change my name to use both last names. But that requires a full legal name change. Which is expensive, and requires surrendering my birth certificate. It means I have to give up my last name retroactively. And more than anything else, that bothers me. I did not spend my whole life waiting for this marriage, and it is just one part of my life. But I either have to give up my past, or keep my last name and have multiple last names in our little family, or take his last name now. What kind of choices are those?

It’s time for a change, oh big government. It’s time for people to be able to easily use both legal names after marriage. Also, it’s time for you to have a unified government body to help us with these changes, because honestly it’s looking like at least 6 months to get all this done. Not too excited about that.

I’m not left with many choices. I have 2 priorities here: one is to share at least half of my last name with my husband and future children, and the other is to not waste a year of my life and give up a big chunk of my past to do so.

Currently, I am inclined to legally take my husbands name, and in all non-official capacities, use both last names. But I must admit, half of me just wants to keep my last name because I don’t want to go through the gigantic hassle of changing it. However, the other half of me knows that isn’t a good enough reason not to do it.

Wish me luck?

Did you or your spouse change your name after marriage? Why or why not?

Wedding Wrap-up: The Big Day

The weather was forecasted to be partly cloudy with thundershowers in the afternoon. It was concerning, and unexpected. August weather is usually reliably sunny around here. I knew there was nothing I could do, but I worried anyway. And checked weather reports constantly.

The day dawned cloudy. I cringed. The weather forecast hadn’t changed. It was at this moment that I chose to ask my mom, if she could, to give us good weather for the day. I envisioned sun and bright blue skies with few clouds. That is not what I received.

The view from where we got married when it is sunny -- you can see why I might have wanted that! (Image taken by my lovely friend Alison)

The view from where we got married when it is sunny — you can see why I might have wanted that (Photo taken by my lovely friend Alison)

The clouds did not dissipate for the late-morning ceremony. Fortunately, my worry did as I walked down the aisle under bright grey skies. We said our vows–I could barely comprehend it was happening, it seemed so much like a dream. There are at least a couple pictures out there of me looking like a deer trapped in headlights. I just wanted it to sink in so that I could appreciate it. (Luckily for me there is a video of the ceremony for that)

After the ceremony, there were hugs and tears with our treasured guests, some of whom hadn’t been seen in over 9 years. It was hard not to be overwhelmed with the love that was present there.

We took a few group photos, and then everyone piled under the tent where the reception was to be held. It was then that the first few drops of rain began to fall. The rain continued to fall lightly, sporadically, during the wedding party and couple photos. Enough to frizz my hair (sigh), but not enough to really cause any damage.

The gift table - which had to be pulled under the tent when it started to rain. We made the guest book ourselves, and the guest fish was a wonderful idea from my new mother-in-law (photo taken by my lovely friend Nicole)

The gift table – which had to be pulled under the tent when it started to rain. We made the guest book ourselves, and the guest fish was a wonderful idea from my new mother-in-law (photo taken by my lovely friend Nicole)

It was minutes after I returned to the tent post outfit-change that it began to pour. But everyone was under the tent, so it didn’t matter. Lunch was delicious, and also raw vegan. Many people were very impressed and told us so–which was especially nice since it was a worry point with me, that people wouldn’t like it.

Since it was still raining when it came time for dancing, the tables were pushed aside, chairs put in a ring and the dance area was in the middle. We had our first dance surrounded by wonderful, lovely people. Which, I must say, was way better than the original plan.

Soon after that, the rain stopped, and the sun came out. The foosball table was dragged out and a tournament was arranged. People kept dancing. We had unbelievably delicious vegan cake. The 90’s kids rocked out to Backstreet’s Back. Oh yes, we did that. And it was one of my favourite moments, I have to say, everyone suddenly getting up to dance again, belting out the lyrics.

It was sunny for the rest of the day, even as we left. There was probably a beautiful sunset from our hotel room, although we were still so buzzed on the rest of the day, we didn’t really notice.

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The end result of the head table, after all the hard work. I’ll do a breakdown of these decorations in a future post! (Photo taken by my lovely friend Nicole)

With the clouds and rain, initially I thought that my mom hadn’t heard me, or didn’t have enough pull with the weather gods to pull off the change. But then I realized we had the perfect weather. The cloudy ceremony was excellent for pictures, I didn’t get too hot in my mountainous dress, and I wasn’t all squinty (I often wear sunglasses in cloudy weather, my eyes are that sensitive). The sporadic and then downpour of rain kept the wasps away from the snacks and then lunch that was out. And, of course, caused the awesome move of the dance floor to inside the tent. Then it became sunny after all the food had been cleared, making for the perfect finish.

So, she was there, and she did hear me, because, like any mom would, she gave me the weather I needed, not the weather I wanted.

And, that realization was really what made it the perfect day. That, and I got married to the most wonderful man in the world.

Thank you to everyone who has been going on this wedding journey with me! Just one more post to wrap up all the DIY and then life really will be back to normal! Did you enjoy these posts?

P.S. Did you vote in the poll yet?

A Tree Of Memories

Christmastime, to me, has always been about family. It’s about being with those you love, thinking of those who are far, and remembering those who are no longer with us. It is a wonderful time, and sometimes a hard time. But it is always full of love.

My family has started many traditions over the years that I now associated with what gives the holidays meaning for me. One of the most important is the tree–it must meet several requirements to be considered a “real Christmas tree”.

Our First Christmas Tree

First, it has to be real. None of that fake tree crap. It smells wonderful, looks wonderful, and keeping it alive for 3 weeks really makes me feel like I accomplished something.

Second, we have to cut it down ourselves. That’s right, down on those hands and knees in the dirt, sawing that sucker down. Just gives you the warm and fuzzies, doesn’t it?

Third, it must have coloured lights. White lights look very classy, I admit, but that’s not the look I want. I leave the classy trees to classy people.

Fourth, it must have moving ornaments. Some of you may not have had the pleasure of these particular motorized ornaments, but they are pretty much the best thing ever. Unless I hear that buzz of tiny motors, it doesn’t seem like a real tree.

The little elves rotate around the tree to "decorate it"

The little elves rotate around the tree to “decorate it”

Lastly, mostly importantly, there are the picture decorations. I could probably suffer through the absence of 2 – 4 as long as I had these (not the fake tree though, never the fake tree). They contain memories, that you can put up on your tree, all the while reminiscing about all the good times, and all the people you love. It is an especially good way to remember loved ones, be they human, pets, or just dear inanimate objects.

Picture Ornament

And because it’s the holiday season, I am going to be generous enough to share the how-to for these cherished decorations.

DIY Picture Decorations

Materials:

  • thin cardboard (file folders work really well)
  • wrapping paper
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • a pencil
  • a photograph (not an original!)
  • ribbon
  • single hole punch
  • Approximately 3.5″ and 4″ round stencils (I used a small sour cream container for both, it was perfect! Other options are lids, using a compass or mugs)
  • glitter (optional)
The tools (minus the hole punch)

The tools (minus the hole punch)

On the cardboard, draw a circle 3.5″ in diameter and cut it out – if you want to make multiples, this can be kept and used as a template, so I suggest using it to draw another

Trace the 3.5" circle onto the file folder

Trace the 3.5″ circle onto the file folder

Trace a circle 3.5″ in diameter on the back of the photo and cut along the line

Trace 3.5" circle onto the back of the photograph

Trace 3.5″ circle onto the back of the photograph

Use glue stick to glue photo to cardboard

Photo and cardboard glued together

Photo and cardboard glued together

Trace a circle 4″ in diameter on the boring side of the wrapping paper, and cut it out (sensing a pattern yet?)

Trace 4" circle on wrapping paper

Trace 4″ circle on wrapping paper

Put glue all over the boring side of the wrapping paper circle. Stick the exposed cardboard side in the center of the wrapping paper circle, then fold edges of wrapping paper over the photo.

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Glue the photo-cardboard to the wrapping paper and press the exposed edges onto the photo

Use hole punch to put a hole through top of the ornament. Cut about 8″ of ribbon and loop it through the hole, tying off the ends.

Tada!

Tada!

Optional fun bonus steps:

  • Put glue on the exposed wrapping paper on the photo side, and sprinkle some glitter on. (Ooooh shiny!)
  • Stick a label on the back of that sucker! 20 years from now you may not remember who that person was, or why the photo was significant. Then you have arguments over who the baby in the picture was, where the picture was taken, who took it…(I may or may not be speaking from personal experience)

This Christmas, I’m very excited to make some new ones including my fiance and his family, so that we can start our own collection of memories to put on our tree every year.

Your turn: what memory would you make an ornament out of?