Under the best of conditions, preparing for international travel with your pet(s) across the pond, can be challenging. Silly me, Sammie Cat and I have done this a number of times in both directions and have NEVER had a problem. Until this week, that is.
Fortunately, our vet had asked me to contact the USDA office in Mississippi (Louisiana no longer has one) to make sure we had all of the correct and most up-to-date forms. It felt like no big deal. We'd just done this in 2014.
Imagine my alarm when I saw that the chip regulations had been changed in September of 2016. And of course, Sam's chip was NOT on the list of acceptable chips. I freaked.
Then, I thought I'd seen that there was a caveat offered that said:
"OR, purchase a microchip scanner/reader of your own to bring."
Needless to say, once our vet and the USDA said it was fine; Sammie Cat and I are now the proud owners of our very own microchip scanner/reader that will accompany us on our trip. It will be delivered sometime this week.
The alternative of second chipping Sam, meant: postponing our trip; payment to change ticket; loss of seat reservation charges; expense of blood work and anesthesia to second chip; hardship on Sam at her advancing age, etc. This option meant upwards of at least an additional $700 in expenses, mega-stress for me, AND delaying travel. Now, we're good to go for just another $99 and the usual hoops that must be jumped through timing-wise (which we were prepared for) for our May 9th departure.
As stressful as this all was at the time; is as grateful as I am to our vet Nicole Larroque for suggesting we be on top of things at this early date. We had time to trouble shoot, purchase the needed equipment, practice, AND have everything in order for USDA approval! Hooray! I bet my heavy sigh of relief was heard from all the way in France!
I treated myself to an $8 bouquet of Canseco's roses and spent yesterday in gratefulness and feeling more back on track!
Just sitting on the Lot River in front of the Chatette can be therapeutic. It might be a wine time, or just a lounging on the boat ice tea in the sunshine with a friend kind of time!
I'm in my visualizing home mode today. Although our return is just around the corner, I can't help but wish that it was as easy as clicking our ruby red slippers and Sam and I would materialize right on our front steps!
Sammie Cat and I have been chasing the pink moon from various locations on Columbus Street since after dark last night! As you can see, most of her "chasing" happened from under the comforter on the sofa. But hey, look at that excitement!
I got shots from the backyard
Then, moved to the porch for more shots before bedtime!
Hints of pink were coming!
But, Sammie Cat and I were BOTH ready for bed!
This morning, I got shots from the street. The clouds made for more dramatic and more beautiful. Even more color seemed to be coming through.
Who is that mad woman in her orange pajamas with that curler in her hair running around with her camera in the dark?
That would be me!
At 4am, I made one last run and got the shot below. It was still beautiful, but it seems for us that the earlier run around 3am captured the prettiest shots and the most "pink" of the pink moon. Or, maybe it was just the clouds!
So much is swirlng around here on Columbus Street these days. A huge part of it is that we're in that getting ready for departure mode. But, the reality is that the month of April is a month that can swirl and twirl all on its own with so much going on! This April is one of those amaing Aprils.
Everyone is smiling!
Everyone is dancing!
Everyone is eating!
...Food and Music Everywhere!
It began with the Downtown Super Sunday Festivities that first weekend.
Sammie Cat and I head home the Tuesday after the last weekend of the Jazz Fest!
Can you feel our swirling
As we get ready to head out, everyone wants to try to get together before we go. They know that this is the begining of more France than New Orleans. We are ready to really be able to BE HOME again.
Somewhere in between and amidst the days of Amazing April in New Orleans; I'll be having coffees, lunches, dinners, wines, milking wine boxes with Eric, last drinks at the Napoleon House, and maybe even an A Bientot Y'All Open House.
Better yet-living in the heart of the Jazz Fest Neighborhood-it might be easiest to just say...Come on over anytime for a bientot hugs and kisses y'all!
Stick with me...it's going to be a whirlwind of a month. I'm hoping we will all enjoy this ride!
You would think that this getting ready to go to Cadrieu would be old hat by now. Tomorrow marks the exact one month date that Sammie Cat and I will be departing. With plane tickets purchased and vet appointments made, we are on the downhill slide to departure.
Of course, there is the making a point to see all our friends before we go.
This year, April is chock full of holidays, events and festivals which can mean a lot of squeezing into the inbetweens.
And then, there are degrees of packing; what to take and whether to bring it along or send it on ahead. I look at my pretty red bordered dinner plates that I've come to love to use. I'd love to have them there, but no. I've set a lot of things aside over time. This will be the first time we'll be sending boxes since that Christmas of 2006. The triage process has begun. I've already made decisions to postpone or rethink sending some. To be honest, there is NOTHING I need or absolutely have to have. EVERYTHING we need is already there.
So, the boxes are out. Sammie Cat supervises while I wander in with things to put in the boxes. You can almost hear her laughing as she watches me wander out with things that were in the boxes, but I've now decided to leave behind.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just send ourselves?
...for me! Ever since I got involved in the Write_On Campaign a few years ago; I've been in love with this quote by John Donne:
"Sir, more than kisses,
letters mingle souls."
Since that first foray, my sister sent me a USA Stamp that actually has a portion of that quote AND I have delved into John Donne a little further. Interestingly, this quote was the opening line to a letter that Donne wrote to Sir Henry Wotton, a diplomat and poet. It's quite long, but I'd like to share a piece of the opening here with you:
TO SIR HENRY WOTTON-by John Donne
Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls,
For thus, friends absent speak. This ease controls
The tediousness of my life'; but for these
I could ideate nothing which could please;
But I should wither in one day, and pass
To a bottle of hay, that am a lock of grass.
Life is a voyage...
My first batch of letters are ready to go in the mail. This year, I took a hint from Kat and included some sweet little somethngs: pressed rose petals, heart stickers, and some little John Donne goodies that I found on the internet. It's been fun. I didn't want to let this year escape, since next year I'll be in France and it may not be as easy or financially possible to send that many letters internationally...we shall see.
While I participate in this campaign, I always marvel at just how much our habits and practices have changed. I love writing. I love writing letters. But, with the internet, Facebook, email and so many other easier ways to keep in touch; I'm afraid we are going to loose the charm and grace of letterwriting. Just because it's easier doesn't mean it's better.
When Eric told me he was doing a book purge over on Dupre Street, I knew I had to go over and take a peek.
Marion had walls of books that I'd already done a pretty good run through with her prior to her passing last year.
Books and Nooks-treasures for me!
I'm already into my own purging and reorganizing as Sammie Cat and I get ready to head home soon. Always Katrina conscious, I've been removing my journals from the book shelves and putting them (along with other important items to be protected from possible flooding) in the big blue plastic containers.
We had more fun. I'd walked over with my spiffy Marshall'sParis biking bag with dog, and figured I'd get about 10 books.
Always "organized Eric", I sat at the dining room table and went through the bags of books Eric had spread out. I found 10 relatively quickly and kept on going.
I figured I'd triage the choices down to 10. Eric was NO help. He'd watched and chatted while I chose. When I hit 20, he said: "Only 20!" And then he said the magic words: "If you want more I'll give you a ride home!" Say no more, in no time there were 30 books almost overflowing my bag. There were favorite authors, favorite themes, and just lots of feeling Marion right there along with us. And, I discovered that they fit nicely in just one of the 4 shelves available.
I generally read about a book a day...with my 30 I should be carried easily into our departure time! And, all 30 will make their way to the neighborhood Little Free Libraries!