Too Much Drama

We’re engulfed in a pile of stressful last minute stuff as we finalize our preparations to leave for England this Saturday. Most interesting bits:

  • We still don’t have [Abigail->]’s passport. The Passport Agency said that [Kathy->] hadn’t signed one of the documents, but didn’t bother to tell us until several days after everybody else’s passports had been delivered. Kathy signed and FedExed the document back as soon as she got it, and the Passport Agency signed for it on Monday, where it has evidently sat in their mail room since. Today they finally decided to process it, but only after extorting another $60 for expedited service, even though we’re now outside of the six week window we were supposed to allow for their regular service. (We submitted Abigail’s application on May 27.) We should have it tomorrow if all goes well, at which point we’ll rest secure in the knowledge that the State Department is protecting the world from virulent eight-year-old-girl terror cells.
  • Saskatchewan, our injured dove, seems fairly happy munching birdseed in the cage we’ve set aside for him. Unfortunately, his wing doesn’t seem to be improving. There’s an animal rescue organization in Austin that one of our friends tipped us off to, but there’s no way we’re going to have a chance to deliver the critter up there before we leave. Anybody want to act as a bird chauffer?
  • Our front door was falling off the house, and several other outside doors had cracks that went all the way through — not the most energy efficient portal in 100 degree Texas summers. Kathy put her amazing bargain-shopping skills to use, and found some lovely doors with nice big glass elements, priced amazingly cheaply, at the Habitat for Humanity store in Austin. Our friend RJ came up from San Antonio yesterday to give us a hand installing them, and was amazed to see once he pulled off all the trim that the front door frame had only been secured with a single nail. “All I can figure is that somebody had put it in place temporarily, stabilized it with the nail, and forgot about it.” Thanks to Kathy and RJ’s efforts, the new doors are now in place, secured with many more nails than their predecessors, and look great. (The back door has such a big pane of glass in it that I keep walking into the living room and thinking someone’s left the door standing open.)

After all this, I’m rather looking forward to being on the plane, and not being able to do a dang thing about my to-do list for eight hours straight. We’ll be dragging an iBook along on the journey, so I’ll be updating the weblog whenever we have connectivity and can squeeze in the time.

Many thanks to [Christina->], Lori, and the other folks who have been extremely helpful as we’re getting these last things squared away!