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I Can’t Even Make This Stuff Up

14 Aug

I had very tall orders for our move.  Self imposed, but tall orders no less.  Not only did I have to pack up and clean out our VA house, I decided it would be good to add:

1.Redo New Kitchen: Refinish Cabinets, Change the countertop, change the countertop and repaint the kitchen.
2. Paint the whole house: It’s 900 sqft, but I thought it would be good to get it done before our movers arrived.
3. Wire house for TV, it is a 1950’s house and has no such hook-ups.
4. Remove the carpet upstairs and replace it with bamboo flooring.
5. Power wash house.
6. Remove the 1950’s special awnings.
7. Replace the roof on the single car garage.
8. Redecorate our bedroom arrangements [new bed stuff].
9. Plan and execute a party for 40 people.
10. Unpack enough of our stuff to have a place for the in-laws and to have a beautiful place for our party.

Did I mention the movers were scheduled to arrive on the 8th of August.  The in-laws arrival scheduled for the 9th.  My husband’s Change of Command ceremony on the 11th.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that qualifies me as certifiably crazy.

Just like all of the best laid plans, everything went to hell in a hand basket.

1. The movers were late on Wednesday.  They didn’t finish unloading until 11pm.  I didn’t get to unpack a single box, contrary to plan.
2. The cabinet hinges were wrong, causing the alignment to be wrong and requiring a re-do [for a later date].  Also found out the contractor was not contracted for the backsplash… and on…
3. My quick minute spent grabbing breakfast Thursday morning was dutifully punished by the dogs biting a box, dragging it down and eating my baking supplies. A box of baker’s chocolate. A bag of chocolate chips. A bag of toffee/chocolate chunks. A bag of brown sugar. A bag of wrapped caramels. A bag of rice [not baking supplies, but “delicious” no less].
4. Instead of unpacking, I got to take our black lab to the animal hospital to treat him for ingesting a toxic amount of chocolate [amongst other things].
5. When I returned home from the animal hospital at 6pm, the other lab was busy vomiting and dealing with toxic chocolate as well.
6. I scrambled to clean up dog puke [at a rate of 15 vomits per 5 minutes] and unpack just enough for the in-laws to have a bed to sleep in for their midnight arrival
7. Midnight became 3 am because the in-laws luggage was lost.
8. The counter-top guy who was supposed to arrive Friday morning, was really scheduled for Friday afternoon.  The plumber who was supposed to arrive Friday afternoon, came Friday morning.
9. The counter-top guy finally came around 6pm, when he was “scheduled” for 2pm.  Counter, but no sink.
10. Unpacked the rest of the day, until 3 am. Slept until 5:30am on Saturday when I had to get ready for the Change of Command.
11. Plumber arrived at noon on Saturday, when we had guests at 3pm.
12. After the Change of Command, I was left alone to clean, set-up for the party and deal with the pending storm that was threatening to bring the whole party in our 900 sqft house.

But we survived. survived.  The chaos.  The disarray.  The complete cluster fuck everything was.   I survived it all.

And now?  I’m done.

There is still much to do, but I’m taking a moment to breath.

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Farewell to the Center of the Universe

6 Aug

The Bad:

It is hard to say goodbye to the first place you’ve ever owned.  The first place you’ve staked your claim.  Where you first lived as a couple, as an engaged couple, as a married couple.  However untraditional.

The first house I purchased.  Yes, it was *my* purchase in case it didn’t work out.  I loved it.

It was a place my mother fretted over, once she knew of it.  The place she never got to visit, to see of my life and an accomplishment.  The place, in the end, she wished she had lived. My first stake and she never got to be a part of it, except electronically.

I left it there today.  In Ashland, VA.  The Center of the Universe.

**

The Good:

So, it turns out when you feel like you’re leaving something behind, it is quite possibly definitely something important, like your clothes.  All of them [or the ones the movers didn’t pack, but what you plan to keep as a wardrobe in your new house].  Shit.  Luckily, I managed to grab those at the very end and find somewhere to stuff them… Sounds easier than it was.

Then the two [of four] puppies and I set out for Michigan and left behind our Virginia house.  While I freaked out for 10 hours thinking I had a tick on my head,

 

Lessons from Moving [PCS]

2 Aug

1. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

This is universally true.  This is exactly why it is #1.  It is just a fact.  Either UHaul will have the car dolly you reserved stolen and then be unable to replace it. Or the movers will inaccurately account for the household goods, potentially unexpectedly increasing the moving time.  Or the packers will get a flat tire, show up late, be 15 years old and leave early without completing the pack out.  No matter what, it will go wrong.

2. Whoever declares a house “Must Have” subsequently “Must Clean” said space/item.

I spent the afternoon cleaning the garage.  It was awful.  I’m not normally a complainer, but OMG THE BUGS.  THE SPIDERS.  I don’t like bugs.  Seriously HATE them.  I am a pretty tough chick.  I will run and jump onto a moving horse.  I will stand on said horse, do shoulder stands and other acrobatics with multiple people [equestrian vaulting if you’re wondering].  I will try new things [snowboarding, when I’ve never so much as skied, for instance].  I will do hard things [lay a brick patio]. But I don’t do bugs.  As I could care less about having a garage [or a basement] and my husband declared these as “must haves” I’ve determined in the future he “must clean” them.  I never want to clean another garage [or basement, but that won’t be for two years] again. *shudders*

3. Buy Dexter [the dog] his own chair.

This is probably a lesson that only applies to me, but it is important no less.  One of my dogs is a real piece of work [but really awesome otherwise].  He likes to sit on chairs, couches, etc all day.  Now that there is no furniture, when I get up he takes the opportunity to take over my chair [just purchased today].

Unfortunately, kicking him out of the chair upon my return doesn’t really resolve the issue.  He just decides that he will sit in my lap while I work.

Tomorrow, I must buy him his own chair.

4. I don’t do windows.

We’ve owned this house for almost two years.  We I never cleaned the windows [sans power-washing the outside].  It’s not that they were super dirty, but I learned that windows that fold in also can COME COMPLETELY OUT ONTO YOUR WOOD FLOOR. Or they can completely out AND then the hitches that hold them in could dash up to the top of the window leaving you completely unaware of how the hell to fix it to channel their inner engineer in order to get the window back in so nothing gets murdered or raped hot.

5. Figure out the bed situation prior to move.

If you plan on living in a different state than your spouse or anywhere your furniture is not for any period of time longer than a day, make sure you remember to figure out how to keep a bed at your local.  It doesn’t have to be a full bed, but make sure you remember how to make some situation work for you [and your spouse] else you will sleep on blankets on the floor of your living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. There is never enough time to get everything done.

I could go through all of the things hewe didn’t get done before my husband left, but suffice it to say there just is not enough time to get all the things you think you will get done.  At least not in the timeframe you think they will be completed. [He’s not the bad guy, btw, there are things I have not completed as well…

7. Keep alcohol on hand.

A bottle glass of wine alone with friends at the end of the day will certainly help smooth over any bumps in the road when moving/PCSing.

Things I Never Thought I’d Do

26 Jul

1) Google “Great Books on the War of 1812”.

I didn’t think I would do this for myself, let alone do this because of my husband’s job.

It’s not that I don’t like to learn new things or that I hate history, it’s just that the War of 1812 left my radar around high school and I haven’t looked back.

Until now.

Since it’s the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Navy’s war, it seems it is a “big” deal.  Apparently there are lots of Navy events celebrating it.  Events that my husband and I will need to attend. I hate not being knowledgeable on a subject, so I intend to change that.  I will read at least a couple of books to re-familiarize myself with the War of 1812 so I can understand the bigger political implications that may have eluded me earlier.  Also so I can understand better the Naval implications and what happened near Michigan.  I am sure I won’t be an expert, but I intend to be able to speak intelligently on the subject.

2) Miss my 4 dogs.

I had to leave them with my husband when I left Michigan to head back “home” as I had a meeting on my way home and also another the next day, a meeting that would require me to stay the night with a friend without the dogs.

I finally made it home, “home” last night and it was odd to be here without my husband OR the dogs.  A empty house.  Silent.  No puppy trail following me room to room.  Begging for food. Demanding play time.  Nothing.  Just silence.

I thought it would be great.  I thought I would enjoy the peace and quiet.  I thought it would be serene.

I was wrong.

I missed my little friends.  I looked for them everywhere I turned.  I expected them to freak out when I left the house.  I wanted to give them a couple little treats to show my love.  I wanted to take them out to play.  The peace I expected was there, but I missed the harmony our pups add to life.

When they arrived home tonight, I made sure to give them a little extra love.  We will be separated a few more times until I am permanently in our new house in Michigan, but I will be sure to enjoy every minute with them I can in the meantime.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

18 Jul

Tonight, lying here in bed, preparing to write a blog I felt something on my back.  Then I felt it again.  I rushed my hand across the small of my back, hoping not to find anything, but grabbing a bug. I pulled it out to the side and saw it.  A tick.  Calmly, I jumped out of bed.  I couldn’t have gotten to the bathroom faster.  I grabbed toilet paper and prayed it was still where I left.  Thankfully it was.  So I quickly grabbed it and flushed it.

Unfortunately, I am so beyond terrified/creeped out, thoughts of all else are out the window.

I *hate* ticks.  They serve no purpose.  Seriously.

If they do, I don’t know it.  Awful, nasty vile creatures.

A couple years ago, I had one on the side of my lower back and I ran outside in a towel to get my tweezers from my car to remove it.  Then hysterically called people trying to get talked off the ledge, so I could remove it and go to work.  It took over an hour.

So everything I planned to write is gone.  But while I am on the subject of things I won’t miss from Virginia, we can add cicadas.

I went out to walk the dogs the other morning and I was certain the world was ending.   That locusts descended and it was only a matter of time before the world came to final judgement.

Except that it wasn’t.  It was just the cicadas. [Though they are affectionately referred to as cicadas].

When I moved here I heard about these pests that appear in the heat of the summer.  These odd creatures that hatched from eggs deposited 7 years prior.  They noise they make.  Aside from these stories, I never really saw them.

Until the other day.  One day they were not there.  The next day they were EVERYWHERE.  Well, everywhere in my neighbor’s yard.  And random other yards.  But not all yards.  Once I got over the fact they weren’t bees, I watched them.  They flew, they hovered, they swarmed, they ran into things.  They were huge and everywhere.

I couldn’t stand it.  I hate bugs.

After doing the wash last night, I was putting the cover on the chair when I saw it stuck there.  A damn cicada.  Where on Earth that thing came from, how it got on my chair cover, made it through the washer and dryer, I have not a clue.  But, I still hate bugs.

 

Sad Pants

12 Jul

When I am home alone, I might be am paranoid.  I probably would be fine if it weren’t for the dogs barking at thoughts in their head noises.  I think the dogs feel extra protective of me when the husband leaves.  So being a rationale human, I realize the dogs are over-reacting go to the knife drawer.   I am not sure I could actually stab anyone, but it makes me feel like I have some kind of protection.  When I lived alone in the previous house, I had a K-bar that was never far from my side.  I miss that knife.

That reminds me, we never went to the local gun shop.  It’s a “landmark”, really.  Everyone in this state knows the place and most people in this state don’t know the city I worked in.  To me that means it is probably worth checking out.

Anyway, I digress.

This will be the first time we’ve been apart this long since we started dating.  And it’s only 8 days.  It’s going to be a long 8 days.  I am grateful that we’re just PCSing and he’s not deploying, but I still miss him [more than I thought I would].  I guess his absence highlights how isolated we are here.  How our friends are so dispersed.  When we move to the next duty station, it will be different in that respect.  People will be closer.  We will have time to see them.  It will be nice.

But it still breaks my heart to leave here.  Our first house.  This wonderful city.  Our wonderful friends, who may not be close, but are “local” to this area.  Everything.  Even welcome change is hard.

Kissing a Killer Commute Goodbye

10 Jul

Last night the husband and I went to The Jefferson Hotel restaurant, Lemaire, to celebrate the end of his tour at this duty station.  More like, the end of his hellacious commute.  See up until yesterday the husband drove from Richmond, VA to Norfolk, VA and back every work day.  For the unfamiliar, that’s 1.5 to 2 hrs each way every day.  About 4 crazy hours on the road.

He hated it.  But he did it because I’m too awesome to stay away from for more than a workday.

Honestly, before this tour began [which was also before we got married] I told him that he did not need to do that.  I told him to geo-bachelor it, to come home only on the weekends.  He would hear nothing of it.  I told him he could re-negotiate at any point and time, but he never did.  He stuck it out all those days.  All of those brutal days.

So we celebrated with fried pickles, wine [me], whiskey [him] and a delicious burger.  The Lemaire bar at the beautiful Jefferson Hotel is the best.  It’s something we are really going to miss when we leave here.  Which the husband does on Thursday.  I leave on the following Thursday, but only temporarily.  We’ll see when I get to join him.