Monthly Archives: January 2007

Good News/Bad News

Which would you like first?
How about I give you the bad news first so I can get my rant out of the way??
I am starting to hate Chevy Chase.  I bank at Bank of America.  He banks at Chevy Chase.  We decided to set up a joint account at Chevy Chase for a variety of reasons.  One reason was not because I didn’t like Bank of America.  For my banking habits, Bank of America is perfect. So… I just discovered that Chevy Chase is holding his pay cheque for 7 days before they will release the money to us.  WTF????? Don’t you think that is a little excessive to verify funds? Even when I cash an out-of-country cheque at Bank of America, they only hold it for 6 days.  THAT I can understand… it is a foreign cheque.  Needless to say, the joint account is broke because we are just starting up the joint funds.  We need the money we deposit in there right away until we get a chance to build up the account with a few pay cheques.  The direct deposit has not yet changed over to the joint so my account is going to get my next pay cheque.  I am going to have to go over to my bank, withdraw my pay cheque – IN CASH – so I can deposit it in our joint account.  If I wrote a cheque on my account, we wouldn’t see the money for a week after I got paid.  This is totally ridiculous and is making me gnash my teeth in frustration.
And a further rant about Chevy Chase Bank.  If I use my debit card as a debit card, they charge me 25cents.  If I use it as a credit card… its free.  WTF???? What is all that about.  Then they say to me, "Everybody does that." Umm… NO!  Bank of America has never charged me a dime to use it as a debit card.  Believe me… I would know about it.   I go over my statements and I would have been asking about a 25cent charge. 
And after saying I didn’t have time to go to the doctors for my poison ivy… I ended up at the doctor’s office today.  Why you ask?  Certainly not because it is getting better.  It has gone to a whole new level of worse.  I now have a big red spot on my lower back/side that is about 6 inches tall and 1 foot long.  It goes from my spine to the front of my body.  *sigh*  The doctor says that I am somehow being re-exposed to the poison ivy and it is starting back up again.  They have given me some oral medication that should fix me up in about 3 days.  I have the job of washing all our clothes and sheets and couch covers and everything in order to try to get rid of the oils that is obviously floating around and getting back onto my skin.  I am totally tired of itching and hurting all the time.
And the good news….
Yesterday, I saw my first bald eagle.   I was driving over to Eduardo’s work to pick him up and he flew across the road and into a tree.  Wow!  That is one huge bird.  On the way back we saw a falcon sitting in a tree.
We have finally resolved the problem we had right before we got married.  I knew the problem wasn’t difficult and it wasn’t.  The solution was so simple that it boggled my mind and made me wonder, "how incompetent was that guy?"  He made things so difficult and so adversarial between us that we almost split up over it.  Sometimes the level of someone’s incompetency is enough to make you question how they ever got their job to begin with.
And now for something mushy….
On the weekend, we had to get gas.   It was very cold out so I was teasing Eduardo about getting the gas for me.  Eduardo has never filled up here so doesn’t really know how to do it.  So he came out with me to get a lesson on filling up the car.  So I am standing there with the handle in my hand filling up my tank and Eduardo puts his arms around because I am shaking with the cold.  How sweet!!  We stood chest to chest with his arms around me keeping me warm while I filled the tank.  I am sure that everyone must have thought we were nuts.  I was just thinking about how warm he was actually keeping me. 

Bedtime stories are not for kids

Lat night was not a good night.  I was miserable and knew I would never get to sleep.  Sometimes,  if I am not feeling well at night or simply just wide awake for some strange reason, Eduardo will tell me a bedtime story.  Sometimes he will tell the story of our relationship but often times he tells me stories of Peru.  I have gotten to learn a lot about his family and where he grew up and went to school.  Last night, he told me the legend of  how the Incan Empire was started.  There is something about getting a little story (or sometimes not so little) that is very soothing even as an adult.  I think it also brings us a little closer to together as we linger for a few moments before we turn over and go to sleep.  We almost always sleep back to back, often fitted together so there is no space between us.  It is like our signal that our lingering is over and we need to get down to the business of sleeping.

Week 2 of poison ivy

We are going into Week 2 of poison ivy and it isn’t any better than week 1.  Perhaps it is even worse because your patience is wearing thin and you just can’t stand the fact that your body has been itchy almost constantly for a week.  Some of the initial blotches are not itchy any more.  But never fear… new blotches have been popping up for a week and they are itchy as hell.  In particular, my legs have been bothering me a lot.  Last night, I actually ended up in tears because my legs were not only itching but burning so badly I couldn’t stand to let anything touch them.  I have seen pictures of people who have had a worse reaction than I, but this is my worst yet.   What totally makes me mad is that all the people who were actually working in it don’t have a fraction of the reaction that I have.   I am almost out of medication and I don’t have the time to take off work to go to a doctor.  We have to leave early to go to an appointment tomorrow so I may try to do a walk-in at my doctor’s office afterwards.  It is not like this is complicated stuff.  So… end result… my poor honey has started his marriage with a grumpy spouse.


On another note….


This weekend was PACKED!  We went out Saturday afternoon for a lunch with some friends of Eduardo’s.  We went to a wonderful Lebanese restaurant that I have been wanting to try for a while.  YUM!!! I love Lebanese food and there are not very many places around that serve it.  It was Eduardo’s first time tasting it and he loved it to.  Both of us agreed that the stuffed grape leaves was our least favourite.   It never has been a favourite of mine.  After that, we went out to a birthday party of another of Eduardo’s friends.   We didn’t get back until the wee hours of the morning.   The next morning I woke up for church and Eduardo left to help a friend move.  We discovered the day before at lunch that she was moving and there was just her, her mother and another male friend helping her.  I suggested to Eduardo that perhaps we should help her because Ofer was not going to be enough muscle power to help her.  So he did.  After church, I headed down to help out.  I can’t really lift anything heavy so I ended up spending a good part of the day entertaining Ofer’s 3 year old daughter, Noah.  She is such a cutie.  At three years old, she already knew the concept of make-up and believed that she needed make-up on her eyes.  There is no way that little girl needed make-up of any type.  She had the cutest, most adorable brown eyes with incredibly long lashes combined with lovely light brown skin with curly, soft brown hair.  She had a button nose and a wonderful smile that lit up her whole face.  All of us were telling her that she was beautiful and she didn’t need makeup.  Considering that she spent 8 hours between the old and new apartments having to entertain herself (along with her designated adult companion), she was amazingly sweet tempered.  She only cried once.


We finally got home at like 7pm on Sunday to make some chili con carne for Eduardo’s lunches.   I was kind of lazy and simply adapted a recipe that I found in a book without bothering to find a better one.   The recipe I found didn’t seem to have the right balance of meat to tomatoes to kidney beans.  They wanted to put 2lbs of beef with 1 28oz of tomatoes and 1 16oz of kidney beans.  WHAT????? That is a lot meat in comparison to the rest of the items.  I ended up putting in twice as much tomatoes and kidney beans as the recipe called for.  That seemed to make something more like I was used to seeing when I made it many years ago.  It also seemed a little light on the chili powder too.  I will find out today if he likes it.  I hope so because there is nothing else in the house for him to eat for lunch.

The wedding

It feels a little strange to be talking about my wedding.  There is nothing that I can write here that can explain how I felt about it.  Sure, I can describe what happened but I don’t think I can adequately describe how I felt.

We started out a little late on Friday because of the aforementioned screw-up that we were trying to fix before we left.  It is not totally fixed but at least it is not causing us any more angst.  Despite leaving several hours late, we only arrived an hour later than expected.  There was absolutely no traffic leaving the city.  Believe me, no one was more surprised than I about that.  We arrived around 8pm and checked in.  We had picked a bed and breakfast that consisted of two cottages and 1 big master suite that comprised the entire upper story of the main house.   We had selected one of the cottages.   It was very cute and romantic.  It was painted yellow and white inside.  The big bed was across from the fireplace and a TV.  It also had a little sitting area in a separate room and a huge bathroom with a Jacuzzi.  The cottage was probably the size of a studio apartment.  Naturally, we turned on the fireplace and the TV and snuggled up on the bed to watch a movie.   It was very romantic and I could feel the stress of the week start to fade away.

The next morning, breakfast was served at 9am.  We got to meet the other 2 couples who were also from Northern Virginia.  The food was delicious.  We had planned on going horseback riding but discovered that the stables were closed for 2 weeks starting… of course… 2 days before we arrived.  Just our luck.  I was a little disappointed but we made alternate arrangements.  We decided to head into the village just up the road and walk along their greenway and then check out a really large art gallery that was in town.  We enjoy walking so that was nice but it was definitely too cold for us.  Although, our winter had been really, really mild up to now it got cold last Monday.  That was a shame.  I was really hoping that it would continue to be mild out for our wedding.  Anyways…. the walk was still nice despite the cold.  We also enjoyed walking around the gallery.  I have to admit that I was a little floored by the artwork.  For example, 6 bikes were compacted into a cube.  A bike flag was attached to the back and a basket to the front.  This was called art and was selling for 150$….hmmm…. It certainly was interesting but it was hard to justify paying 150$ for what amounted to junk.  We saw these really nice ballerinas.  They were made from wood cut to give you the impression of a ballerina with her hands over her head.  It was painted black.  Around her waist was attached beaten copper that represented her tutu.  1000$.  Definitely more artistic but still…

At this point, we were ready to go home.  This was a good thing because we needed to get ready for the ceremony.  The ceremony was held in the parlour or the main house in front of the fireplace.  They had music going in the background which I didn’t even notice until after.  I was calm… but I must have also been nervous because I was sweating.  We stood holding hands in front of the official during the whole ceremony.  Eduardo was serious like he was standing before a judge in court.  I think he was serious because he was concentrating on what the official was saying.  We had to speak out loud our vows to each other.  They were very nice and a bit nicer than the traditional ‘in sickness and health’.  I helped Eduardo a bit with his vows which I thought made the moment that much more special.  After the ceremony, they left us for a few minutes to talk.  In that moment, when I looked at Eduardo, I realized that I felt differently about him.  I looked at his face and he seemed so much more precious to me than he did earlier that day.  To some degree, that feeling still has not left me.  I can’t explain it.  We have the same life we had before the wedding but I feel differently about him.  After the ceremony, we posed for pictures indoors and out.  We have seen the pictures.  Some look really nice and others are not so nice.  We will definitely have some pictures that we can remember the day by.  After that, we drank the champagne and ate the little wedding cake.  We must have sat for 30 minutes in the parlour before deciding to return to our cabin.

We hung out for a couple of hours in the cabin.  I read, he napped.  At 5pm we left for our wedding dinner.  We ate at a beautiful restaurant that was really romantic.  We started out with lobster bisque and grilled garlic chicken skewers. The bisque was to die for.  I followed that up with a salad.  Eduardo tried it and hated it.  I liked it.  Our entrees were Port Wine Pork Tenderloin and Lump Crab cake.  Eduardo loved his tenderloin.  I also had a taste and thought it was wonderfully tender.  Neither of us was as impressed with the crab cakes.  We finished that off with chocolate cake.  The entire dinner was lovely and relaxing.  At the end, we couldn’t believe that we had spent 2.5 hours in the restaurant.  After, we went back to the cottage.  I am afraid that I fell asleep and Eduardo watched a movie.

In the morning, we realized that we had never used the Jacuzzi so we had an early morning bath.  It was delightful and a wonderful way to start the day.  The pear crisp they served for breakfast was to die for. YUM!!! After breakfast, we packed and headed out.  We stopped at Luray Caverns on our way home.  Sadly…. My camera decided that the brand new batteries in it weren’t brand new and it died after taking 3 pictures.  I was so terribly disappointed because the Caverns were beautiful and we wanted pictures to remember the caverns by.  By the time we left the Caverns it had started snowing.  Not a problem.  We would get home before it got too bad.  Ummm… no untruer words were ever spoken.  It took us 5 hours to make what should have been a 1.5 hour trip.  By the time I made it home, I was frazzled and stressed out from navigating what ended up being very icy roads for the last hour of our trip.  I was actually worried that we wouldn’t make it home safely from our wedding weekend. 

Snow, ice, cold and naughty camera aside… we had a wonderful weekend and both of us will remember it forever.   

My wedding gift was…

It is true.  It appears that Eduardo got into poison ivy at work while working in the back cutting down trees.  It is the only explanation I have for the fact that I have poison ivy because I have not been anywhere in which picking up poison ivy is likely.  He also told me that a guy at work that was helping him cut down the trees showed up to work on Monday with a red rash all over his face.   He must have really gotten into the poison ivy because I am starting to look like I rolled in it.  I have a ring around my waist that is about 2.5 to 3 inches wide that wraps around my entire body from waist to back.  I have a spot starting on my arm and it is travelling from my knee up to my groin on both legs.  I assume it is because we wash our clothes together or because I touched him and it transferred to me.
This will be the third time in 3 years that I have gotten poison ivy/poison sumac.  Maybe that means my poison ivy attack for 2007 is out of the way?  If I remember correctly, it takes at least a week for the entire outbreak to show up on your body.  This means that I have until at least Sunday before I can be assured that it probably won’t get any worse.  Already, I think this is a much worse attack than even the first time when I actually touched poison sumac.  Then I think I have at least another week of the itchies after it quits spreading.  I am totally miserable.  Eduardo can’t relate because up to now he doesn’t appear to be showing any symptoms.  He got a little itchy last night and showed up with a few bumps but they appear to be gone today.
The last couple of days, I have been like. "Don’t touch me." "Stay away." "Please don’t touch me."   I do not want any of my bad areas to be touched because it just makes them start to itch like crazy.  And of course, as the week progresses more and more of my body is turning into a ‘bad spot’ that I don’t want touched.  Last night I went to bed as soon as the sheets were washed.  I figured if I was sleeping that I wouldn’t be feeling miserable.  I was right!
I am totally 100% cursed.  I JUST got over my cold last Thursday or Friday and now I have to deal with this.  At this very moment, I want to take off these offending clothes and go naked.  I discovered that naked is much less itchy.  Somehow though….. I can’t imagine that anyone will find that acceptable at work.
PS.  I will talk about my wedding weekend later this week.  Know that we got married and we had a perfect weekend.

Wedding Blues

A lot of my anticipation about the wedding has been sucked out of me these last couple of days.  I have been dealing with a monumental screw-up by someone else that has gotten both of us upset and has put a significant strain on our relationship.   Its Friday and I wonder if I am going to be getting married tomorrow.  I am so drained by trying to deal with the situation that this numbskull has created that a small part of me simply doesn’t care.  But I know I do care, just sometimes I feel too tired to dredge up any emotion.  I suppose it is a testament to our love and strength of character that we haven’t thrown in the towel yet.
So… true to form… there is a cloud hanging over what should have been happy days in my life.

I am going to be volunteering

Quite by accident, I have picked up a volunteer job.  We saw an ad for English classes on a restaurant window while we were walking one day last week.  They were 10$ for 22 1.5 hour classes over 11 weeks.  This is a bargain…. believe me.  The classes were reasonably close by so I told Eduardo that if he wanted to go, I would be more than happy to take him. 
The classes started last night.  1.5 hours is not enough time for me to justify going home then coming back to pick him up in an hour.  I decided that I would simply spend the evening somewhere that wasn’t in the way and just read while I waited for his class to end.  So… I asked the co-ordinator where I could go to read while I waited.  She said that she really needed volunteers so if I wanted to volunteer instead, she would use me.  So… I will be helping out the church with their learning english program. 
On another note….
I am very proud of Eduardo.  Because he was new to their program, he had to take some tests to determine what level he would start in.  He scored the highest mark they had ever seen on their advanced test since they started the program.  This means that although he has never had any English instruction whatsoever, he will be placed in their Advanced English class.  I am so very proud of his accomplishment. 
I believe that this class will give him the confidence he needs to jump into the English world .