Piglets set free and our trip is in jeopardy

The piglets have created a creep of their own under a door and into a lovely sheltered pen, their favourite game is to lie right down and roll with their legs tucked in under the door, scamper, then reappear under the door rolling over and over.


You need to go outside, I said. So with a fair amount of apprehension I opened the gate to their outside pen. pigs-out!!-010

They flew through the grass, ducking and diving  and rolling while their mother ripped off the tops of the plant and ate them as fast as she could. After watching them for a while I went back inside idly, to find my passport and get the travel documents side of my trip to Canada in order  – it was Three O’Clock yesterday afternoon. I booked the seat way back in February.


My passport is expired. I kept reading the expiration date again and again as though somehow the numbers would change with scrutiny but no it is two months out of date. I dropped the ball.  I cannot believe I made such a massive error. With two days to go before I am to fly out.  What ifs don’t help. If onlys don’t help. Panic calling the New Zealand embassies and Passport offices in Washington, Chicago and New Zealand helped a little.

The closest office that can issue a New Zealand passport is in London. New Zealand emailed me the forms for an urgent passport renewal and I have filled them out. I found a referee, and last night I drove the two hour round trip to have the most awful passport pictures in the history of awful passport pictures taken.  This morning I shall drive the whole package to the nearest Fed Ex office and hope against hope that there is a way they can overnight them to London.  Then I shall call the London office and ask them what their turnaround is. An urgent passport promises, with a major price tag attached, a three day turnaround.  I need One. A One Day turnaround.

The best case scenario is I might be able to leave for Calgary on Friday night just making the wedding. At the worst Monday night. Of course there is Fourth of July on Thursday when the whole USA (including the couriers) shuts down which is not useful. So there is a very real chance that I will miss my eldest son’s wedding.  How stupid could a mother be. Of course just to stir the soup there is only one direct flight to Calgary from Chicago and it is in the evening!  My darling travel agent is already on the hunt but until I know that passport is on its way back to me we really cannot book anything.

Good morning. I often search an incident like this for the meaning. Why did this happen I wonder? So far I cannot see the hidden meaning.  How could I have been so foolish, I have been travelling for decades, I do know better. Another lesson in management? A reminder to stand still and look around, saying what have I forgotton? Stop running so fast? More haste less speed? Make better lists? Eat more brain food?  I don’t know.  I could just weep.

At least this dreadful error does not result in the death of an animal. This is good.


Now you all have a lovely day. Once this package is the hands of the courier, (Their office does not open until 9am)  the result is in the lap of the gods. Let’s hope it is a sharp uncomfortable bony lap so the process moves along swiftly.

Your truly brain challenged friend, celi

97 Comments on “Piglets set free and our trip is in jeopardy

  1. Good Luck, Cecilia. Miracles DO happen.

  2. The piglets look fantastic running around outside.
    Good luck with the passport – i can’t believe they don’t issue them in America 😉

    • I know, I called Washington, but it is only Sydney, London or wellington.. not too much call for NZ passports in the US I guess! c

  3. Oh it is so terrible when these things happen! I think actually the more you travel, the more likely it is to happen – you just use up all your smooth sailing tokens. We have had tickets thrown in the garbage (back in the days of red carbon paper tickets) and passports laundered beyond recognition. I hope that the couriers are swift and that you can make it. On the other hand, those piglets made my day.

    • yes there are always the little fat piglets! They are up early this morning too. Hoping for another outing ! c

  4. Brain challenged? Hardly. You’ve been in overdrive for 2 weeks, at least, and something fell through the cracks, nothing more. With a little luck you’ll be in Canada just in time to watch your soon-to-be daughter-in-law walk down the aisle — and you’ll have a great story to tell after dinner. 🙂

  5. oh no! what a kerfluffle! i have been in the same position as you and had to fly to philly to get mine renewed. too bad you can’t just use your drivers license to get into canada the way it used to be. i’ll keep my fingers crossed that this works out for you! when all else fails, just sit and stare at those piglets! i can’t get enough of their cuteness!

  6. Yep, I know that horrible sick feeling, I lost my passport in NZ the day before I was due to travel home. You have never seen such manic backtracking in all your life. Cops wanted to arrest me on attempted illegal immigration – seems SA citizens have a bad rep for this 😦 Luckily a kind citizen collected it and handed it in and it was returned to me and all turned out ok – but only just. Phewww, now I am really walking around with everything crossed for you – even my eyes 🙂 Laura

    London – really??

  7. Good morning Celi; as to the hidden meaning in all of this some times God (the one of Israel) throws a curve ball at us to slow us down to protect us from something bad happening to us. being in a car crash , or being on a plane that drops out of the sky is no good for him; so He throws something in to slow us down. have a blessed day mike

  8. I live in London. Is there anything I can do to help?

    • I am not sure maeve, but i shall keep you in mind, i will call london after they receive the package then we will know more.. but thank you.. c

      • Your farmy blog has made this such a small world..here you have a friend in London who is willing to help in any way she can. Great testament to you Celi..what a good person you are and have made such good friends around the world. Good luck with the passport. I so hope you make your son’s wedding. I would offer to help but my service for passports is very slow. …Sorry!

      • Please do email me if I can do anything. I mean it! By all means email me directly.

        • maeve you make me feel like crying with such kindness. I am calling NZ house tomorrow early to see if they can rush it through..all we can do now is hope! c

  9. oh my! good luck! maybe we can do some more magic. i am sure everyone will try their best.

  10. (I hear that plenty of people have made their way into/out of Canda w/o a passport… something about taking short walks through the woods…) (not that I’m recommending a rule-bend, of course.) (I would never do that….)

  11. It will get sorted and you will make the wedding. But I’m surprised there isn’t an NZ passport office in Canada — that would be closer. Good luck! And there’s always Skype….

  12. What you need is a reader in London who works at the passport office who can get things rolling somehow — maybe you have one? Good luck! The piglets look adorable.

  13. Oh Celi, what a stress!!! I do believe you will however be safely on your flight in time for the wedding. Promise! Pete and I have gone “new-age” and have electronically diarised renewal dates for passports, drivers licences, vehicle licence renewals and the like. Why can’t we receive renewals in the mail like we used to giving us sufficient time to do these things. Oh listen to me carrying on – sorry, that doesn’t help you now does it!
    Our little piggies look so very content.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  14. Very cute piggies and blimey, I really hope you get your passport sorted and make it to the wedding!

    • I need a passport though, I don’t need a visa, but I have called the embassy, and passport control and they will not let me into canada unless I have a current passport. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the old days and we could get in with a drivers license.. but I think that only worked for americans anyway.. c

  15. Well, Celi, after reading these comments–I think if good energy and vibes and prayers can get your passport there on time, you’ll certainly have it! We are all pulling for you. I think this is the kind of thing that happens to us when we get overwhelmed, too busy with other things, usually just the day-to-day stuff of life. And your life has been more than full of responsibility lately! So try not to kick yourself, although I know it’s so hard. Thinking of you and hoping for the very, very best.

  16. I think once you get back from this wedding (and yes I DO believe you will make it) you need to lie in that hammock of yours and take some real deep breaths! Smell the roses, or the coffee or whatever helps you to rest that poor brain of yours. Come spend a week with me and I’ll make sure you rest up!!

  17. Oh you poor lass. Surely all stops will be pulled out if they know it’s for a wedding. I’ve got everything crossed at this end.

  18. Ye Gods and little fishes, Celie – you sure practise the art of brinkmanship! I do hope it all comes out OK. Little piggies are adorable, but that’s no comfort when you’re in trouble.
    Everything’s crossed for you.

  19. Oh god celi, I wish I were in London and I would grab your package and queue up at the NZ embassy and smile or shout as appropriate and then jump on a plane and deliver it to you. Am keeping everything crossed and you get those piglets to keep all their little trotters crossed too….

  20. This happened to Jenny about 5 years ago. The Embassy in Paris turned it around in 48hrs, which was remarkable. I’m so sorry to hear how difficult it is for you to get a new document. Your writing sounds quite calm, but you must be seething. What an absolute sod. Something good has to come out of it….it has to.

  21. The good news is, and I speak from experience, this is the last time this will ever happen to you because you’ll not forget again. Hope it all works out in the end. I rather think it will.

  22. Celi, I once flew to England on an expired passport, tons of photo ID, my immigration papers, (from when I was 10yrs old) and a letter for the Canadian Embassy. That was years ago, but I think expired passports still carry some clout. Good luck sweetie. 🙂

  23. We are all sending wings to the documents…may they fly without
    incident !!
    Piggies are growing so fast i believe you might pull up a chaise
    when you get back and watch them !

  24. Oh Celi, I will think speedy post thoughts for you. You can’t miss the wedding!

  25. Oh no C! I’m thinking of you. I will be hoping that this package speeds its way to you. And don’t be too hard on yourself. This kind of thing happens. It’s not what you intended or hoped for, but there’s no sense beating yourself up. You work hard, you have a million thoughts in your mind and a lot on your plate. Hugs to you. Sending speedy vibes to the processors and the mail!

  26. Cinders, if that renewal doesn’t come back in time, I would still go when you are supposed to and fend ignorance of the fact that my passport had expired…and then start crying…sobbing really, that I would be missing my son’s wedding, etc. etc. How could some poor custom’s person resist that, unless he had a heart of steel??
    Just as Veronica said…expired passports, especially such a recent one, I’m sure would probably still get you there!!
    I’ll be worrying the whole time, until you are sitting in that pew, or chair at your son’s wedding…all of us will and you WILL be sitting in it!! You are too good of a person for this not to happen!! There!!

    • The problem of course is that I am a foreigner, an immigrant, a green card holder, and they would not let me back in without big trouble.. They are very strict at passport control now. The current Terrorist threat mentality has seen to that.I know I should be braver.. lets hope London turns it around in a day, this is my hope.. c

  27. Oh Celi, I feel so sorry for you. I understand wholeheartedly how these things happen. I recently booked a trip for myself and my girls to come back to the States and just just just barely by the grace of God I was driven one day to look at their passports…both had expired ages ago! AndI had just enough time to get new ones. It is so stressful. I think there is no meaning in it. Your heart and mind are so taken with so many things. It just happens. My fingers — and all available appendages — are crossed for you. Somehow I think you’ll make it! And, so with great optimism, I say, “Buon viaggio.”

  28. Good luck with getting your passport and I hope it all works out to be at the wedding on time. I think there is some weird planetary alignment going on, making weird things happen and addling our brains! 😉

  29. I am so sorry you have been rally busy and needed to rest when you could and your mind like mines gets scattered and we simply forget the biggest of things. I will hope and pray it comes in time. I wanted to head north and have breakfast in CA and forgot I never went and got one to begin with 😦 I liked it the way it used to be before 9-11 then again our Boston Marathon proves they don’t mean a thing when it comes to true evil..

    Can you get a temp? Maybe that is what you are trying to do you have all the time in the world once the wedding is over. FINGERS CROSSED


  30. I don’t always “like” or reply to posts, bc I read the entries every morning on my Kobo Ereader and it doesn’t give me the option, but I am totally in love with all the little piggies and seeing them grow and explore! I am sorry to hear about your flight and I will be crossing my fingers that you are able to get there in time to see your son get married. All the best!

  31. Canadians like New Zealanders. Is it worth calling the Canadian Embassy, explaining your situation and grovelling A LOT?
    I’m guessing you thought of this already, but perhaps there is a Canadian member of the
    Fellowship who would sponsor you?
    Good Luck Celi XO

  32. Overload! WIshing wings on that passport. (must run to check ours – you just never know what will come up)
    Cutest pix ever with the little piggies all in a row.
    Now if your pleas will only be heard and some miracle occur. All paws crossed for such a kind hearted soul (of world-wide farmy fame)

  33. So, so sorry to hear of this mishap Celi! Hoping and sending positive energies that it will work out just right and we will all be going to Canada with you as scheduled! xoxoxo

  34. GASP! Here’s hoping all people involved to help you will pull out all the stops so you can be at your sons wedding. Love Leanne

  35. So much for me to experience in one post: delight in the piglets and their pleasure, dread that you will miss your son’s wedding, admiration that you can think of any positive aspect, and a heart-thrumming hope that everything and everyone aligns to get you there in time. Good luck, Celi.

  36. Once I forgot my passport (duh) when when I traveled from the US to Australia. As I recall, they didn’t ask for it on the way out of the country, only when I was going to be needing to get back in. So I had to go to the consulate in Sydney and stay an extra day and a half until the paperwork went through. But then, for you, the waiting would be at the Calgary end which wouldn’t be as bad as missing the wedding! Just a thought….

    • you have to show your passport with your ticket to get through security, and at ticketing, it would be so much better if i did not need it to get out, but I fear i do. Also there is the green card thing, i am not an american… c

      • Ah, that’s too bad–I have not flown for quite a while since all the new security measures were put in place. I live in California, but am Canadian and so have a green card also.

        • Ah, I did ask if I could use the green card and they said Nah! I could just kick myself, such a dumb mistake.. c

  37. I have fingers, knees and toes crossed for you and hope that this is just a hiccup to your plans. may all the good wishes speed the passport back to you in time to head for Canada.

  38. I can imagine that sinking feeling when you saw the passport expiration date which prompted me to look at mine.
    Those little piglets are the cutest things ever!

  39. Oh good luck, Celi! With all the good thoughts going your way, positive things have to happen! Just keep swimming (across one of the Great Lakes, perhaps?). These things happen — especially to people who have a lot on their plate! xo

  40. Oh no. :*(
    All I can do is say that we are sending good thoughts your way, along with everyone else’s! My passport ran out a few years ago and I keep putting it off, but I shouldn’t. I think it’s been so long I need to go through a bigger megilla than just renewal, too. Fingers and knitting needles crossed for you!

    • The thing that makes me even madder was that if I had seen it in time I could have renewed the passport ONLINE!! But an urgent request must be on paper.. you would think it would be the other way around! c

  41. Oh dear, Celi, so sorry–isn’t there still a COMMONWEALTH which links New Zealanders and Canadians? If you could just get to Canada maybe your passport could be mailed there for your return to the US? Just trying to pull an idea out of a hat…….

    • I called washington with that idea as well and they said no.. everyone needs a passport now.. poo..

  42. I read your blog each and every day and don’t always comment, but I wanted to send my very best FAST vibes for you to get your passport in time. Hugs Celi.

  43. Fingers, toes, paws, everything crossed here. It will work out, we had a mini miracle happen to keep the rain at bay recently so with so many positive thoughts winging all around the world, we are giving it the best shot. Joy (ps I bet a lot of readers have now checked their passports – if they can find them – me too).

  44. Everything crosssed for you! Everyone has already posted all of my ideas: how aboiut contacting a main TV station in Chicago: telling them the story, letting it go on air during the next 24 hours – bet THEY could fix as it would make such a beautiful story: Kiwi, green card and all. Oh these kind of things have worked with bells on in Australia: people are sentimental about children and weddings!

  45. Oh Celi my heart dropped too when I read your night-mare. All the mixed emotions, fury at oneself, and mindless officialdom, despair, hope, I do hope that your energy force from us all will create the MIracle.
    And I know what it’s like to miss your son’s wedding – I did, with my son in London… i survived but it did hurt….So hoping you’ll get there, dear Celi…
    As for the piggle-lets – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so adorable… much love from your native land !!!

  46. You have to keep so many balls in the air all the time. A passport date is not so immediate as keeping piglets alive, attending to the cycles of fertility, getting the hay in. I think this is a sign of overload. It happens to the best of us (and that’s what you are). Sending you much love and compassion. You’ve done your best, and now all you can do is be gentle with yourself.

  47. Praying for a miracle over here. Thankfully, no animals were harmed in the creation of this post. 🙂 Love those piggies!

  48. Magic thoughts sent…mostly towards London, since I have no doubt that FedEx got it there as promised. Can’t believe we need passports to go to Canada now…that still seems so odd…
    That photo of the piggies tromping in a line through the tall grass has my vote for one of the Best of the Year 😀

  49. take a piggie
    with something that cute, you should be allowed to go anywhere
    with or without a passport

  50. I’m so late in commenting… it’s been one of those days. I think you took a hit for the team. After I read this post, much earlier today, I checked my domestic air travel tickets for a quick trip away this coming weekend because I’m a shocker for being casual with details… and like you I’m never sure why… maybe we get used to being busy, so there but for the grace of God go I… I hope it all works out for your trip. The Farmy Fan Club can do wonders with the weather, let’s see how we go with this 🙂 The piglets are just too cute.

  51. …and the passport cannot expire more than 6 months after your trip or it cannot be used to travel abroad. So you’d have needed another one even if this one had not already expired. Poor you: bureaucracy never should have been yours to deal with.

    • I am such a babe! but there you are.. i did not know the 6 month rule.. I would have been sunk anyway as you say.. however all is not lost, still time! c

  52. Pingback: The Question on at least 1280 Minds This Morning Is: Where is Miss C | bridgesburning

  53. Celi, you found out in time and as I type, you have made it. Had you not checked in advance, you would not have made it at all.

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