banditos!

So, Steve & I get back from Mike & Laura’s place up in Halfmoon Bay (where we had a wonderful 24 hour holiday of hot dogs, triplets & swimming in the ocean) to find the cat food bin, overturned, by the front door.

Ordinarily the cat food lives in a shut cabinet in the living room. The cats don’t have the thumb power to open the cabinet or open the cat food bin, so that means that the pair of wildly cute juvenile raccoons that have been eating the cherries on the tree next door have developed a taste for cat food. This explains why Bean’s dish is always empty, and also explains the time last week the cat food was in the hallway, also open. Poor Angel got blamed for that particular incident, though I noticed at the time that she didn’t look quite guilty enough to have done the deed herself.

Having righted the cat food bin and put it where it belongs, I asked Steve if he noticed a particularily animal smell… we went into the bathroom to find a giant turd in the bathtub and pawprints on the toilet seat — we definitely have raccoons! After cleaning up, we considered ourselves lucky: had they not pooped in the tub, or been so diligent about hand (ok, paw) washing, OR, if we had left the window by the front door open (like we usually do), we wouldn’t have a cat food bin or cat food at all.

Steve figures they got it to the front door, saw the window wasn’t open, and had an “oh, crap” moment when they realized they couldn’t get it out of the house, then decided to open it up and chow down right there. Keep the eye on the prize, banditos!

Tomorrow I’m buying a child/raccoon-proof latch for the cabinet where we keep the cat food.

In other news, Findlayson’s resized my ring perfectly, and it looks marvelous. It’s all sparkly and shiny, especially while swimming.

Here it is on:

Steve asking me every four minutes if I still had it on got a little tiring, I have to admit. I understand it’s the first jewellery he’s bought, so he’s a little paranoid about it’s safety, but still. I took it off to show him my new ring tan-line, and you should have seen his face: “where IS IT?!”

We received an amazing bouquet from Mike & Laura — Mike is Steve’s older brother, and has finally been asked to be Best Man. They are the parents of the triplets, Andy, Sam & Justin. It’s ok — multiples run on LAURA’S side of the family.

Here is the gorgeous bouquet:

We also received a card from my mum & dad, Tracy & Rod, which was quite a relief. They’ve always purported to like Steve very much, so not hearing from them after the initial announcement was a bit worrying. Mind you, the circumstances of the announcement left a little to be desired. I had left a very simple message on the machine on the Sunday morning asking for a call back. My mother, inexplicably, decides to call back during the last 15 minutes of the World Cup final. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “So, Steve asked me to marry him this morning.”
Tracy: “Oh, that’s wonderful, Lorien. I’m so pleased for OH GOOD BALL!”
Me: “Um, yeah. So, the wedding is going to be next May, May 19th. I’m sorry you’ll have to miss May Days.”
Tracy: “That’s ok, a wedding is more important than May Days. There’ll always be another May OH MY GOD HE JUST HEADBUTTED THAT GUY!”
Me: “Um, yeah. So, it’ll be down here…”
Tracy: “ZIDANE GOT CARDED! IT’S A RED CARD!”

Turns out they were just embarassed about not making more of a fuss… it’s really ok, as I’ve known about this soccer-addiction for a long time. My father would (and does) wake up at 2am on a Saturday to watch Manchester United games live. Then, instead of going to bed like a sensible person, he would go to the computer to read the blow-by-blow on the internet… of the game he just watched! So long as they’re happy about it, I don’t care that they were distracted by ‘the beautiful game’.

Mind you, for the past two weeks, I’ve been expecting a call from them along the lines of “so… did we hear you right? engaged?”

Steve’s parents, John & Gayle, were tracked down the night of the engagement somewhere in… well, I don’t even know. Maine? They went on a roadtrip for a cousin’s wedding and ended up at Steve’s grandmother’s house to dispose of the effects etc. as she’s now in assisted living. We had NO idea where they’d be, so Steve just picked a random relative to call and lo! there they were. Asleep, but woken up for the news. They return to Delta tonight, so Steve & are heading over to the mainland this weekend. We’ll go to Illuminaries, do our last MEC shop for the West Coast Trail (which is in less than a month! yay!) and Steve’s mum & I will get to talk weddings ’till our tongues drop off… poor Steve.

All in all, it has been a very satisfactory first few weeks being newly engaged. I’ve listened to some great music (Duttons played SOPA and, impromptu-ly, jammed on the porch of the Gumboot during the fiddle camp), watched a Sea Cavalcade Parade and fireworks, dressed like a pirate to the office for a week (arrrr, for Sea Cavalcade maties) and had, generally, a wonderful time.

I consider myself quite blessed, actually, to live in such a place, with such a man, and with such supportive and genuine friends and family. Rita and I have had some lovely chats, I’ve talked to Jody & Julia in South Africa, received emails from all kinds of friends… and tonight Steve and I have been asked to attend an engagement dinner to be hosted by Susanne & Ray. Even the raccoons are relatively good neighbours.

Lucky us!

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