prosodic: (The Artist's Wife by Henry Lamb)
Lance ordered the Kindle! He won't let me have it until Christmas, but I have actual books to read until then, so that's fine.

YAY! I'm so excited! A few months ago, I would've refused to even consider getting an e-reader, but now I can see the value in getting one. This doesn't mean I'll stop reading real books. I still love the feel of a book in my hand and the smell of the pages.

And I already have a book I can read on it when I get it. I'm currently reading this book via the Kindle app on my phone.

Speaking of books...I think I'm now addicted to this GoodReads app. I've been going around this evening scanning Lance's books into my GoodReads list. So if any of you are friends with me on GoodReads and you see some updates from me with some book titles that seem a little odd, that's probably because they're Lance's books. I haven't touched any of his computer books in the office, but I might do that tomorrow if he wants me to.

If I hadn't already taken photos of our entire movie collection, I would check to see if there was an app that allows me to scan all the DVD and VHS cases. But I don't really need to do that now. What we do need to do is fire up the old camcorder that's been collecting dust for 7 years and record our appliances and electronics to show that they're all in proper working order.

I need to figure out what my task will be for tomorrow. I know we have to start tackling things in the garage, but a lot of that stuff is Lance's. Still, I should probably photograph our bikes. And here inside the house, I should take pictures of our furniture. Or...since we still have pictures from the house listing, I probably already have that taken care of. But I'll look at the pictures and see if we missed anything.
prosodic: (Default)
As of today, the date's been set.

We pack out on December 28th. Two days later, the movers come to pick up all the boxes. Between now and then, we have a MASSIVE to-do list. And with each passing day, my physical symptoms of stress get worse: muscle fatigue and soreness, extreme tiredness, stomach pains. It's like having the flu, but without the fever, congestion, sneezing and coughing. Everything else is there.

At least I'm mostly recovered from my shoulder sprain, but I currently have a lot of pain around my neck and shoulder blades. That is definitely stress-related. I always get what the doctor calls "cervical strain" when I'm in extremely tense situations. And I think this would qualify.

I just hope I can relax a little around Thanksgiving. A day or two for the soreness to ease a feel just a little less tired...that would be so nice.

I suspect it'll be another early night tonight. I think 10-15 minutes from now, I want to be relaxing in bed with a book. That's how I spend most of my evenings now. It's really the only time I feel relatively relaxed.
prosodic: (Default)
There is snow in the mountain passes today. On Twitter, I've seen posts about accidents and spinouts and jackknifed semis on Snoqualmie Pass. Of course, this is the EXACT route we're taking when we leave Seattle in 8 weeks, and even with traction tires and snow chains, we can't be guaranteed of total safety. It's the other drivers that worry me, and it's obvious from all the problems today that people still drive carelessly in bad weather.

Frankly, this is the part about moving that scares me the most. Well, it's the only part that really scares me, honestly. If only we could be making this drive any other time of year, but it's not possible.

But that's two months from now. I'll try not to worry about it until we leave. For now, I'm going to try to focus on the upcoming holidays and all the tasks that need to be completed before the movers get here.

Speaking of holidays - Thanksgiving is in 10 days. It's always been my favorite holiday. I'm anxious to start cooking already. It's too early yet, of course, but I'll probably start my food prep next Tuesday. I usually make the cranberry sauce a couple days in advance. This year is a bit of a bittersweet holiday for me, for more than one reason. I keep thinking that next year, I should be able to get home to Ohio. We'll be so much closer, and I'll be there for more holidays...more special occasions. That might very well be the best thing about moving.
prosodic: (art)
I've started this entry twice already and deleted it. I don't know. I'm having trouble finding the words today.

I'm full of conflicted feelings about this freelance opportunity. I mean, it's EXACTLY the kind of thing I want to do. It's just the timing. We got our orders today, which means we can finally get this show on the road in terms of preparing for the move: booking a moving company, setting up my car to be shipped, etc. We have tons of tedious tasks to do between now and January. Some time-consuming, some not.

Do I have time to add a full-time freelance project into the mix? I hope so. I mean, I want to do this. But I don't know. Can we put off some moving tasks for weekends? After work hours? Lance gets time off to deal with some of these things, at least. If I take this gig, I won't have the time to help him.

All I know is, I have to make my decision by tomorrow. And then I have to move quickly to actually set up a decent space to do my work, since I currently don't have a space to write. (I write from the couch, laptop in my lap, dogs curled up next to me - not the best environment for productivity.)

But this is how life works, right? Great opportunities come when you least expect them. And if they're worth it, you make the time. This would give me a head start when we get to D.C. I'll already have a job, which will give me the energy to focus on getting settled in. Of course, it's only a temporary position, but it'll give me the chance to make some contacts in the area that might lead me to more things.

More pros than cons here, I'm thinking.


Dec. 12th, 2007 04:25 am
prosodic: (snowflake)
I got quite a few text messages last night on my new phone...even one from Germany! (Thanks, Sarah!) I texted my brother in Los Angeles and he called me right back. Welcome me to the 21st century! *grin*

Anyway, obviously we got phones yesterday. We went to the Verizon just outside the base, and Lance was in uniform, and the saleswoman (who was awesome) is (was?) also military (or a military spouse)...she said she was stationed at Wiesbaden. So she gave us tremendous service and a military discount and a really good deal. I even have a bluetooth headset! Lance got free activation on his phone, although we had to pay for activation on mine. He didn't mind too much though.

I have a pretty burgundy phone. Lance's is dark gray. We played with them most of the day yesterday.

So yesterday was made of win. Lance got a lot of his inprocessing accomplished, and I didn't do much but follow him around as he went from office to office and sat and read a book while he took care of business. We worked our way toward a cafe called Cafe Lancelatte (HAHAHA) so I stopped there and got beverages while he took care of some more business.

(As an aside...oh my God, [ profile] emmabovary - the woman working at this cafe could've been the long lost sister of your boyfriend. The entire cafe was a shrine to Prince, and she had purple fingernails with Prince's symbol painted on them and a Prince symbol tattoo).

We went to the medical center and visited Flight Medicine and Tricare. Guess what?! I AM ALLOWED TO SEE A CIVILIAN DOCTOR!!!!!!! Woohoo! A Tricare rep. helped me pick out a local FEMALE doctor near our house. I already knew I had a civilian dentist, but knowing I don't have to drive all the way down to McChord for medical care is just awesome.

We had our final walk-through yesterday. The only damage from the severe rainstorms almost 2 weeks ago was that one of the boards on the privacy fence snapped in easy fix. This was the first time we saw the house without furnishings...and we went around and checked all the windows to see if they opened. Only one is stuck and won't open. But it seems that the lady who lived there never opened the windows at all, and there is all manner of gross things between the windows and the screens when you open them up.

At one point, I was talking to our agent's assistant (we are working with a team of 3 people from the realty) and she asked me what the purpose was of the big opening in the wall between the kitchen and the living room, which is located above our kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling. We were contemplating it, and then I got this absolutely amazing, brilliant idea. I can get a stained glass piece and hang it in that opening. With the light we get in the house, it would be gorgeous, and it would be a real focal point, both in the kitchen and in the living room. So now I need to find something that works, although that's not a big priority at the moment. And I'm sure it'll be expensive.

We went to Home Depot last night, looking at the washer and dryer we picked out. The washer is smaller than we expected, so Lance has serious doubts about getting it, but there are very few washers and dryers that fit in the tiny space that was designated for the laundry room. So we're going to check out Lowe's and Sears. While we were there, I picked out a color for the kitchen...a gorgeous sage green.

Our stuff is here! All of our stuff...and Lance's truck, which arrived yesterday. While we can pick up his truck right now if we want, our stuff can't be delivered to the house until the 20th. It was either that or the 12th, and the house isn't ours until the 14th. I hate that we have to wait that long, and it means we can't live in the house until then. Our hotel is only booked through the 19th, so we may have to buy an air mattress and sleep at the new house overnight on the 19th. But we won't have any furniture or anything.

Oh...and we checked out Winco last night, which is amazing price-wise, as far as the local grocery stores go. We got some stuff to make skillet meals here at the hotel for the next few nights. I think we're both sick of eating out. Still, we went to Subway for dinner last night, and they only slightly burned my personal pizza, and offered to make me a new one, but really, the pizza was fine. And they gave me two free cookies to apologize!

We're invited to Lance's office Christmas party on the 22nd. I'm supposed to bring a dessert. Heh. That'll be an interesting trick. I'm thinking I'll end up making something no bake...maybe my Mom's cherry stuff recipe, which is basically no-bake cherry cheesecake.

By the way, this is night #3 of severe jetlag. And I'm looking very rough since we got here...big dark circles under my eyes and splotchy skin. I need to get some sleep!
prosodic: (Default)
I'm trying to update from the Family Support Center at McChord. Not sure if this is going to work. LJ says I'm logged in, but it keeps asking me for a username and password. And this sucks, because I can't get on Yahoo Mail or anything else I normally use online throughout the day.

Anyway, I'm here killing time while Lance is inprocessing. I hope he's done with that soon. We were to have cellphones by now, and both of us seem to remember a Verizon kiosk at McChord, but our memories appear to be faulty. There is only Sprint and T-Mobile. So we have to pick up our phones off-base...hopefully in the next few hours.

Picked up our mail too, and we got the 3 parcels we sent ourselves last week in addition to my custom Christmas cards...YAY! They look spiffy. We also got a huge stack of mail for someone who apparently once owned our PO Box, and I'm tired of getting other people's mail, since that was a constant problem in GK.

Lance's co-workers at Boeing are AWESOME! He got back to the hotel around 11:30, carrying a laundry basket filled with stuff. I asked him if he stopped by the store on his way back (I needed a laundry basket actually, among other things), but he told me that it was a welcome package from the guys at his new office. The laundry basket was filled with the following: a huge case of bottled water, a Frito Lay variety pack, a jar of dry roasted peanuts, a variety pack of tea, a bag of Starbucks coffee (shocking! I know), Pampers baby wipes (if anyone can think of a non-baby use for these, let me know), dish soap, laundry soap, dish scrubby sponge and paper towels. I believe that covers everything, and half that stuff was stuff we needed to buy anyway (especially the dish and laundry soap). I was floored...gobsmacked. His co-workers are amazing. Lance also gets a free membership to Bally's Total Fitness (*pout*) and the wives apparently have some kind of newsletter, so Lance signed me up for that.

Yup. Living here is going to be awesome.
It will be even more so ONCE I GET EMPLOYMENT.
prosodic: (snail hat)
Whilst watching Animal Planet, in English with Dutch subtitles, we learned that the Dutch word for squirrel is "eekhoorn". What a fun word!

Nothing of substance to post, except to say that we are full of win today...because of what I mentioned in my last post and because Lance was able to get us different seats on our flight tomorrow. Originally, the flight was almost full and the only seats left were in the middle of the middle row. Ugh. Suddenly today, Lance discovered that a ton of seats have opened up, and got us a window and an aisle seat in the very last row of the while we'll be right by the lavatory, which is both good and bad, we'll also be the first ones on the plane after the first and business class passengers get on. And that will ensure that Lance can put his carry-ons in the overhead bin by our seats.

It pays to check the seating on the flight everyday. You just never know when you can change your seats if you don't like what you were originally given.

Anyway, I'm expecting this motion sickness pill to kick in at any makes me drowsy, and I'm supposed to take one the night before we travel. I usually don't need them, but since I actually got very nauseous on our last flight to the US, I thought it best to take them this time as a precautionary measure.

Also...because I am awesome, I just finished filling my paper journal this evening. I've been keeping this journal for almost the entire time we've lived in Europe, and I just inked the very last page...I can start a new journal for the new chapter in our lives. I already have two blank journals packed up with my books.
prosodic: (Mondo Verde)
Well, we are beginning our final night of living in Europe. This morning, we smooshed all the luggage into the Fiat Panda (we stacked it all in the elevator at the hotel, since we were staying on the top floor, and then sent it down while we ran down the stairs), and once we got everything and ourselves in, we realized that it was ridiculous to take the train to the airport. It's not a straight shot, and with two large, heavy suitcases each, plus carry-ons, it would not be a stress-free ride.

So when we got to Schinnen, Lance asked the rental car guy if we could drive the car one-way to Amsterdam airport. He said we could...after all, the government is paying for it anyway...and he closed out our local rental and opened up a new one-way rental for us.

We spent a bit of time at Schinnen...said goodbye to Patty and Andy and ran into other people we know, so we were able to say goodbye also to Teri and Glen as well as Christine and her husband.

Then we started making our way toward Amsterdam. We shaved a half hour off our travel time because we left from Schinnen, which is closer to Amsterdam than our usual departure point. The only problem is, we had no idea where the hotel was located. Lance knew it was in a business park south of the airport, but that's all he knew.

Once we got here, it didn't take long to find it.

And OH. MY. GOD.

We are staying at the Radisson is SWISH. The rooms are about 300 euros a night, although we're here on a government rate, and we're not paying for it anyway. This is the hotel that the government reserved for us. This hotel room is spotless. We have free internet. There is a bathtub, so I am looking forward to soaking in a bubble bath tonight. It doesn't have a kitchenette, unfortunately, and we can't even use the refrigerator since it's the minibar. And the restaurant is pricey, but we got around that.

Since we had to pay to park here (except for the first 90 minutes), we decided to go ahead and return the rental car at the airport and take the hotel shuttle back here. We really had no idea where to return the rental car, but fortunately, that wasn't hard to figure out. So we returned that and then went into the airport. Lance got some food at Burger King (he already bought snacks to keep in the room). I felt it was too early to eat, so once he was done, we went into the grocery store in the airport and I got a Mexican chicken wrap and a small can of Pringles to bring back to our room. I wish I could've gotten a salad, but none of them came with forks.

So now I have dinner waiting for me in the ice bucket, so it stays cold.

Plan for tonight - just relax. Today was much less stressful than we anticipated, which is really great...hopefully we can ease into tomorrow and our journey back towards home.
prosodic: (stillwater)
We just got back a short while ago from Lance's office Christmas party at Paganini.

It was good, except for the service. Our waiter was kind of an asshole. He's always there at Paganini...I've seen him every time I've eaten there. But he never really rubbed me the wrong way until this evening. He just had a major attitude problem and he kept acting like we were in his way.

Anyway, overall the dinner was great, and I think Lance really understands just how useful he is at the office. Everyone gushed on and on about how wonderful he is and how much they will miss him. And our meal was paid for. :) I thought that was really sweet.

We had large antipasti platters to share around the table. We ordered our own entrees. I had tagliatelle with salmon and cream sauce. Lance had lasagna. I drank some Pinot Grigio. Lance and I split a tiramisu. Dinner stretched out to almost 4 hours, but it was 4 hours that went by too fast.

Now it's finally hitting me. We're leaving... and we are not coming back. Tonight made that absolutely real to me.

Well, I'm sleepy, so I'll be going to bed soon. Tomorrow we depart for Amsterdam, where we will stay overnight. I have a friend request on Good Reads...Traci, I'll add you back when I have the chance. We're running low on internet time now.
prosodic: (Mondo Verde)
I don't have to be here on base today at all. I could've stayed at the hotel and slept in and wandered about the GK market today, but I came here because Lance's office is throwing him a farewell luncheon, and I wanted to come. Lance says I'll be the only civilian there, but why do I care? He's the guest of honor and I am his feels natural for me to be there.

At 8 AM, we went to power company to close out our account with them (required in order for us to even leave Germany).

Well, this didn't work. Their computers are down. They told Lance to come back at 10, but they can't guarantee that their computers will be working then either.

GAH! Stupid power company!!

Then Lance had various errands to run on base, so he decided to drop me off at the Airman & Family Readiness Center...hopefully he can do what he set out to do, drive back to the power company and get that taken care of, and then come back here and get me, go to the post office to mail a bunch of household stuff to Washington, and then go to the lunch.

I've lost track of all there is to do.

Tomorrow, GERTIE GOES TO THE JUNKYARD! While we aren't getting money out of it, I am so happy to no longer have responsibility for the car. We'll have a nice, new rental car to drive around in for the last week. At some point next week, we have to de-register the vehicle so that it is totally and completely not our responsibility.

Note to the guy in the computer lab with me: EAR PHONES! Seriously...I do not want to listen to your ear-splittingly loud music videos. WTF?

Next Friday...

We turn in our NATO ID cards. I turn in my SOFA stamp. We will officially become persona non grata here at the base. Lance's holiday office party is next Friday night at Paganini. Honestly, we'll be done with EVERYTHING early next week, so that's the main reason why we're sticking around. He wants the chance to say goodbye to everyone all at once and then we'll go.
prosodic: (The Artist's Wife by Henry Lamb)
When we signed the lease on our house, we had dinner at Side Grill (a Turkish restaurant) to celebrate.

So we decided after the keys were turned back over to the landlord this evening, we would do the same thing.

But first, we had to clean the house. We were there all day and I am thoroughly sore and exhausted. Lance did the basement and garage and spent most of the day going back and forth to base to throw out our trash and hazardous wastes. Even though we gave the landlord money to hire a professional cleaner, I still wanted to leave the house in good shape. So I spent the day scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchen and sweeping and mopping the floors. It was the cleanest I had ever gotten it, but it's pretty easy to get things clean when there is no furniture.

Shortly before 7, the landlord and his parents showed up. They signed the papers saying that there were no problems with the house...we actually left it in better shape than it was when we got it. We added light fixtures and left behind curtains and a microwave.

They gave us some cookies as a parting gift. We had a bottle of California Merlot for them (I wanted to get them a Washington state wine, but I couldn't find any).

After we left the house, we came back to the hotel to drop off some stuff, and then walked to Side Grill for our dinner. I had a huge plate of doner meat, salad, and fries (I asked for rice...oh well) and Lance had his usual - doner meat baked with cheese. We will miss our doner kebap. I wish I could get it in the States.

It's been a nasty day today...windy and rainy. And I feel like I've been hit by a steamroller. Off to bed with me soon...we're just finishing wrapping up some packages that need to be sent to our new home.


Nov. 27th, 2007 06:50 pm
prosodic: (Rosie the Riveter)
Job interview tomorrow night at 8 pm (11 AM Seattle time) - via phone, obviously. *gulp* But I get a good vibe from this company and these people.

Anyway, today has been insane.

All at once this afternoon, three people descended on the house. One to buy up our electrical equipment because he just moved here and has nothing. Another to look at the house because she might want to rent it. And one of the middle school students from AFNORTH, because I do spinning with his mother and he needed help on an article he's writing. I'm glad Lance was home or I would've lost my mind.

The kitchen cabinets are now bare. A lot of food has been tossed in the garbage - mostly condiments and sauces and that kind of stuff. What little food we have left that is perishable has been moved into the built-in mini fridge that we once used as our spice and baking supplies cabinet (never had the fridge turned on until tonight). What is left that is nonperishable is going with us to our hotel room tomorrow night...we have a kitchen there, so I can still make some meals.

We had a simple dinner tonight of Campbell's Chunky Baked Potato and Bacon soup, which was really good, much to my surprise...I bought a loaf of chewy homemade bread from the NATEX bakery and used up the rest of our herb butter with that and also had some cheddar cheese to go with it. Nice meal, and our last meal in this house.

Tomorrow, I go to Aachen with Ruth and Christine. Lance will be here for the furniture and appliance pick-up. I'll be getting back around 3 or so and depending on what he's doing, he'll either meet me at the train station, which is right next to the hotel where we're staying, or Christine will give me a ride back here to the house if we find that he isn't there waiting for me.

One more night here. One more sleep.
prosodic: (seattle - image found on Google)
Two more days of living in this house. The phone and internet will be shut off sometime tomorrow, but the furniture won't be removed until Wednesday. Lance was going to arrange for us to move into the hotel tomorrow, but I figured there was no sense in us paying for the extra night (the military only covers 10 nights, and staying tomorrow night would make it 11) if we still had furniture here until Wednesday.

I wish I had thought this out better. I would give anything to be out of this house right now. Living here is making me miserable. I alternate between the laptop, a novel (which I finished last night, so I no longer even have reading material), and a variety puzzle book. Tomorrow, I won't even have the internet. Well, I might for awhile, but I don't know when they'll be shutting it off.

Two more days...and then we'll be living in a hotel apartment. We'll have a TV. We'll have internet. We'll have carpet and comfortable furniture and a kitchen stocked with dishes. I have never looked more forward to staying in a hotel in my life. Plus we'll be in the center of Geilenkirchen, so I can get out and do window shopping or take a power walk out to Burg Trips. It's a little less boring than being here.

Anyway, I started packing. I have two suitcases to fill and I'll have even more stuff than that, but whatever doesn't fit will be shipped to Washington. Thursday, we'll be here at the house clearing away trash (i.e., the household things that we plan to discard) and cleaning up. I don't plan to be too thorough about the cleaning though, since we're paying for the landlord to bring in a professional cleaner. She called me last night, and her rate is much much lower than we expected. Lance already told the landlord that he expected it to run about 200 euros (he pulled that amount out of thin air...neither of us has ever hired a professional cleaner, so we have no idea what it costs) and her rate is about half that.

Saturday, we turn the Crap-Mobile in to the junkyard (and they aren't giving us one single, solitary cent for it...bastards!) and get a rental car.

Two weeks from today, we'll be in-processing at McChord. Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Two weeks from today, we start filling our rental car full of stuff we'll be buying for our new home.

Today, Lance pulls our medical files from the clinic (now let's just hope neither of us needs to go there in the next couple weeks). Tomorrow, he turns in his NATO flight suit and chem warfare gear...and he goes back to wearing US Air Force uniforms.

We're in the home stretch now.
prosodic: (cool karyn)
As I sit here typing this, some Dutch man in blue coveralls is trying to squeeze my computer monitor into a box (I'm on Lance's laptop). Another man in similar uniform is packing up what remains of my dishes, glasses, pots and pans.

I hate this. Soon, I will watch them pack all this stuff into a big wooden crate, and then I won't see it again for about 4-6 weeks.

I wish Lance was here (he left for Scotland this morning).

Now we have less than the basic necessities in the house.

ETA (9:48 AM): They just left. It took about an hour for them to pack everything, but the crate they brought was way too big, so they stuffed it full of a lot of paper. The guy in charge last time was here again...he's supposed to buy our lawn mower next week. He says he'll call next Monday.
prosodic: (Van Gogh's sunflowers)
The insanity-inducing boredom rages on. Lance has the car today, so I'm housebound, although the weather is gross anyway, so I probably wouldn't go out even if I had the car.

Spent the morning job searching. That's lots of wasted time, seeing as how I seem to be qualified for nothing. But I have plenty of time to waste anyway.

I've spent intervals cleaning bathrooms and shredding papers. For the shredder is going with the movers on Monday, and we must get rid of the shred pile.

Now I am enjoying a tasty but nutritionally bereft lunch: a pre-made pizza crust baked with margarine, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese...topped with some of this Fruschetta dip/spread that I have to use up (basically a bruschetta dip mix with mango added, mixed with extra virgin and water).

My grocery list for the coming week takes into consideration that I will be eating on my own most of the week, and using whatever I already have the grocery list is short. At least we're saving on groceries in these last weeks.

Monday, they take away all my kitchen stuff, among other things. I have old pots and pans saved in the basement. I will have to get paper plates and plastic cutlery at the commissary. I can borrow stuff if I need it.

I'm going out as much as possible next week. I hate that Lance will be TDY. This is a horrible time for him to leave. It's not a big deal usually. But this boredom is already unbearable, and now I won't even have him to talk to.

All this moving stuff is starting to become a huge pain in my ass. Military moves are dragged out for eternity, especially when they are overseas moves. What I wouldn't give to just pack stuff up in boxes, throw it all in a U-Haul, and drive to our new home.

It'll all be worth it in the end, though.

Exactly one month...9th of December.


Anyway, last night I met up with Andrea at the Alliance Theatre on the NATO base in Brunssum to see their production of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." Andrea's husband is both stage and sound manager for the production. This was the first performance, and generally the least attended, so they could work out whatever kinks came up during the performance.

Yeah, there were some. And there were things that were unintentionally funny, or maybe it was just Andrea and I giggling over stupid stuff for the sake of giggling about something. We enjoyed ourselves, anyway. And I'm not familiar with Agatha Christie's canon, so I was surprised at the plot. I thought it was pretty well done, given the limited resources and the smallness of the theatre community here.

Andrea and are getting together tomorrow for the Da Vinci Expo in Brussels. Can't wait for that. And we'll probably be getting together multiple times next week...I've been invited over for movies and margaritas, and it's sweet of them to try and keep me entertained during Lance's absence.
prosodic: (snail hat)
The inspection for Lance's truck went well. It lasted about an hour or so, and I was rushed this morning and forgot to grab a book to read. So while Lance was with the inspector going over the truck, I went to the car care center and swept out my car. It needed doing anyway, so it was good to make productive use of the time. I also searched my car for little things that could be thrown away. So it's fairly clean on the inside now, and I just need to go to the car wash later and give Gertie a shower. I'll do that on the way to pick up Lance from work.

We stopped at Burger King before Lance went to work. I didn't get lunch there, but I sat with Lance while he ate. I ran into someone from the Family Support Center (*cough* AFRC) and she asked me to submit one final article for publication in next month's newsletter...a farewell piece. I'm one step ahead of her...I started writing one last night because I was kind of bored. And it gives me a chance to say goodbye publicly. Whether I meant for it to happen or not (and I didn't, not really), I became pretty well known in this community through my writing, so this is a chance for me to thank everyone who has read my articles (and/or my travel blog) and given me support and encouragement.

Anyway, after Lance finished his lunch, we went to GK so he could go to work, and then I took over the car and stopped at the post office and the NATEX before going home. I picked up smoked salmon, a couple of brotchen and some herbed cream cheese to make sandwiches for lunch.

You know, we couldn't be leaving at a better time. People stationed at GK, unless they live in the Netherlands, are no longer allowed to get gas at Schinnen. I usually get gas at the GK base anyway, but it's horribly unfair that we are US military and we cannot get gas on the US military base, all because of geography (we have German plates, Schinnen is in the Netherlands). Lance always filled up the truck at Schinnen. I guess it's a good thing that he no longer has to worry about that. Because we can now only fill up at US bases in Germany, we would have to drive 2.5 hours to the nearest base in Germany to get gas. It's just beyond ridiculous. At least we can get it on the NATO base, even if it is slightly more expensive than what we paid at Schinnen. It's still cheaper than getting it on the economy.

In the not too distant future, I'll be able to get gas WHEREVER THE HELL I WANT without a stupid ration card...and guess what? I CAN ALSO PAY AT THE PUMP! This excites me more than what is probably normal or proper, but it's the little things. I also miss being able to make a phone call and having a pizza arrive at my house half an hour later. The things that Americans take for granted...

Anyway, I'm in the middle of yet another fruitless job search, so I should probably keep that going. ETA: Oh hooray! One job out of HUNDREDS that I'm actually qualified to do!!! *eyeroll* It kills me that they have so many technical and copy writer jobs available, and they all want someone with previous technical or copy writing experience...neither of which I have...although I have WRITING experience. GAH!

Also, did I mention that I found a kickass radio station in Seattle that plays a lot of the stuff I hear on European radio? Awesome. Better's operated by high school students! I think that's so cool!
prosodic: (a spot of tea)
Tea is my saving grace today...mmmmmmm caffeine. I'm SO tired right now. We were up at 7 this morning because Lance had to take the truck in for detailing, since it's being shipped off tomorrow. So I had to follow him to the detailer guy's house in Brunssum. We are scheduled to pick it up at 4 this afternoon. We were skeptical that he would get it finished by then, but when we drove by his house 2 hours after it was dropped off, he had already completed the washing and waxing.

Anyway, we went to Schinnen so Lance could get bulbs to replace the ones that burned out in his daytime running lights. But true to Schinnen form, they didn't have any in the size that he needed. Color me shocked.

But it wasn't a wasted trip. Since my only decent suitcase got busted on the flight back from Seattle last week, I had to replace it (the handle that pops out to pull it got jammed and would not pull out, so I had to carry the suitcase, and it makes things very difficult).

I'm telling you people, it's one thing to be thrifty (as I am), but some things are just worth splurging on. Luggage is one of these things. I've gotten through my years here in Europe on a 5 piece luggage set that cost me $99 at Target, but the suitcases are definitely showing their wear and tear. So now I'm throwing out the one that got damaged last week and I'm keeping the largest suitcase of that set just for this next flight back to the States...then I'm throwing that one away because it's torn up pretty badly. (We are both allowed 2 pieces of luggage each for our flight, and we're certainly taking advantage of this, since most of our worldly possessions that were not shipped will be stuffed in our suitcases.)

Anyway, my new suitcase is from Eddie Bauer and it seems good and sturdy and should last a good long time. It's not quite as nice as the Samsonite hard-shell that Lance bought a month ago, but the important thing is, I can pull it.


I have fewer mixed feelings about this than I did 2 weeks ago. Buying a house helps. But it would also help if I actually knew some people in the area (not counting you LJ people that live in the area...although I've never met any of you in person). We were warned about this thing called "The Seattle Freeze," in which it appears that Seattle residents are standoffish toward new people in town (not unfriendly, but just not interested in becoming friends).

This article doesn't exactly fill me with hope:

So who knows? Kent isn't Seattle. But it's close.

In other news, we have a washer and dryer picked out now. The laundry room at the house is so tiny that we had to measure the depth and width of the space in order to find ones that will fit. Some of them are too big. We also wanted an Energy Star compliant washer, and Lance was partial to the LG brand, but they cost upwards of $800. We found a GE one that has received great reviews overall, is still Energy Star compliant, and cost less than $600. And the corresponding dryer is less than $500. And they fit in that room. And the washer is front-loading, which I need because I will have to put shelves above both the washer and the dryer in order to store my laundry supplies (either that, or get drawers to go underneath them, which are sold separately and are not cheap). Still working on picking out a fridge, but I got the choices narrowed down to 2: one at Sears and one at Home Depot. We're still hoping the fridge will be left at the house when we move in, but it's not supposed to be (our agent asked if we could have it as a consolation prize for having to pay $5K more than the asking price for the house). All other appliances are included, but the microwave and dishwasher are as old as the house (1989). They are under warranty for a year after we move in, so I'm hoping they both break so they will be replaced without expense to us.
prosodic: (typewriter)
Lance just happened to glance at my OSU transcript, which I had out because we were going to scan it today for a job application packet.

Lance (in mock horror): "A C minus? You got a C minus? This has totally shattered my image of you."

HAHAHAHA. Yes, I did get a C-. In Philosophy. And if that's the worst grade I've ever received in college (and I believe it is), and the majority of my grades were in the A range, than I've done much better than a lot of undergrads.

So the scanning was completed, and...well, the .pdf files won't attach to my application packet. Turns out they're over 1 MB. They need to be under that. So Lance needs to try and fix them so that they're still readable, but the right file size for attaching to my application.

GAH! I hate technology. And yes, I understand the irony of saying this on a blog.

Also, I tried multiple times today to upload some random photos from our September travels, but without success. So it seems my computer is being a bit wonky today as well.

Hopefully I can get that done today. Also on today's agenda: cleaning bathrooms (always a favorite chore), and making some kind of flyer for selling the car. We need to wait until the weather is a little nicer (and the car is clean) before we can finish it, but I at least want to have the text done. We are only reachable by phone until November 27th, so I hope to have a buyer for it by then.

ETA: Application package completed. Pictures uploaded. No more technical difficulties. ;)
prosodic: (stillwater)

Our agent gave us the honor of putting up the Sold sign on the house.


Oct. 31st, 2007 09:51 am
prosodic: (spooky)
Happy Halloween to all!! Lance and I have a party to go to tonight, so hopefully our jetlag won't be too bad. I was in bed (or air mattress, I should say) around 9:15 last night, and I fell asleep almost instantly. And I actually slept through the night, except for when I got up once to use the bathroom. How weird. Usually my jetlag has me up wandering the house in the wee hours of the morning. But I was asleep until our alarm went off at 7.

So now we're waiting for Schinnen to come with some loaner furniture. They are scheduled to come anywhere between 8 AM and 5 PM. We are not pleased about this.

But I've used this opportunity to tidy up the house a bit, and because the spiders are getting out of control outside the front door, I went out with a can of Raid and a broom. I killed at least 6 of them that had built webs around the front door.

Oh, and I heard from my brother...Eva is scheduled to be born on November 9th by c-section, provided she doesn't get herself into the proper birthing position by then. My brother and his wife wisely decided not to let the doctor turn Eva over, because it would cause Cristine considerable pain and there are risks to the baby. And there is only a 65% chance of it actually working anyway. So they'll keep their fingers crossed and hope that she gets out of breach position so that Cristine can give birth naturally, or they'll do the c-section a week from Friday.'s all happening so fast! It doesn't seem like all that long ago that I found out they were expecting!

Anyway...I have things I've wanted to post about for awhile and haven't had the chance to...

First off, I already found a cute table for the kitchen at our new house. The McChord base exchange is selling it for $199.99. I just have to hope they still have it in stock when I want to buy it...or that they can at least order it, in which case, I would have to wait 6-8 weeks for it to arrive.

And Lance found similar looking bar chairs for the breakfast bar at Home Depot. So it won't be an exactly matched set, but it will be coordinated, which is just fine.


I read The Other Boleyn Girl almost in its entirety during the flight to Seattle. It's about 750 pages and I read at least 600. Excellent book! Obviously a page-turner. On the way back here to Germany, I read Water for Elephants...another fabulous book. That's our book club selection for November and I honestly hadn't expected to like it since it's so far removed from what I normally read. But it was really really outstanding.

YAY! Schinnen is here! Furniture!!

Which means that I will be back later with pictures! We need a coffee table so we can get my computer set up. Lance's laptop is not the best place for me to upload photos, since he doesn't have Photoshop.

Anyway, I have missed you all and I haven't been able to keep up with you for almost 2 weeks now. Please direct me to any recent news in comments.


prosodic: (Default)

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