Thursday, January 28, 2010


You ever have a moment or event in your life that clearly delineates a "before" and "after"? My earliest of those moments that I can remember is when I spent the summer with my brother when I was 16. Before I went, I was painfully shy, backward, and the very opposite of self-sufficient. Then I went to stay for the summer away from my parents with my brother. I learned to do my own laundry, I had my first serious boyfriend; it was a summer of change. I came home not a grown up for sure, but on my way to being a young woman.

I've had other such moments in my life: getting married, becoming a mom, the three years in Vermont. This past Tuesday was another such day. It was another before and after event. If you think I'm being dramatic, even Bailey, my dog, has noticed a change. Hannah, my other dog, is too oblivious, lol. What the hell is my point? This week has truly been a week full of craptasticness. Crappy, craptastic, crap. And to top it off, there was a pretty big shake up with one of my clients. Everything is different and not in a good way. Actually, there were two craptastic revelations that occured on Tuesday. It will be forever in my mind The Day of Craptasticness.

I wish I could go back to Monday and try to live Tuesday differently. I wish e-mail and cell phones didn't exist. That's really saying something coming from me, lol. If I could really have any wish at all, it would be to go back to 2003 and avoid Vermont altogether. Why did those three years have to be so freaking pivotal? My sister's husband went to culinary school in Vermont a while back. He had such a terrible time there that he still believes Vermont is evil and they wouldn't come and visit us while we were there. Aside from the good friends I made while we were living there, I believe Vermont is evil too. And considering what happened on Tuesday, I would give those friends up, as much as I love them, to have not ever had to live there.

I'm sure things with my work will work themselves out. I'm in need of more clients should you know of anyone that could make use of my talents. I feel terrible for the other people that were involved in this work shakeup more than I feel for myself though. My pay doesn't support my family but rather it cushions it a bit I guess. I can afford to lose a client and wait for another to come along.

As for the other thing that happened on Tuesday, it's not going to kill me and I'm not dying so I guess I'll survive it too. Don't ask cuz I'm not telling. Anyone. At all. Oh. And I have no plans on killing anyone else either. ;) Sometimes life sucks and that's the price to pay for being. More often than not, it doesn't though, right?

Monday, January 25, 2010

It’s a Blustery Day in the Neighborhood

Nobody in my household got very much sleep last night. The wind is blowing so hard that the house is creaking loudly. The Mister and I have been up off and on since 4 this morning. The funny/bad thing about it is that today is trash day. The girls put out our trash and recycling last night before it started raining. We got up this morning and all THREE paper grocery bags of recycling are GONE! I feel really bad that all that stuff is blowing around the neighborhood but we had no idea the weather was supposed to get so bad. Cleanup is going to be a bitch.

The wind also blew over our grill and our patio chairs. The grill is way to heavy for me to lift by myself and the Mister is at work so I’m hoping the propane tank is ok. Ugh!

In other news…

We have worked out a semi-solid moving plan.

  • 3/8 – The movers come to pack the house.
  • 3/9 – The movers come and load the truck.
  • 3/10 – I have cleaners come to clean the house.
  • 3/10-3/11 – We do any repairs and/or painting that needs to be done.
  • 3/10-3/11 – We have carpet cleaners come.
  • 3/12 – We hit the road. Our first overnight will be in Atlanta.
  • 3/13 – We drive to Pensacola, Fl for a bit of sight seeing then onward to stay overnight in Gulfport, MS.
  • 3/14 – We drive from Gulfport to San Antonio to visit with Dana and her family.
  • 3/15 – Visiting in San Antonio.
  • 3/16 – Drive from San Antonio to El Paso, TX for the night.
  • 3/17 – Drive to Tucson, AZ to visit with another friend of ours.
  • 3/18 – Arrive in San Diego.

Of course, this is just a preliminary plan and I’m sure things will change, but this is my ideal idea. ;) This means that we have to have everything completely ready to go by March 7th. That means that including today, we have 58 days to get ready for the movers. Big UGH!! But really exciting at the same time.

We’ve started looking at houses for rent out west. Base housing isn’t off the table and is probably where we’ll end up, but we’re still looking. While reading listings, it occurred to me that people are pretty stupid. I can understand why people don’t want pets in their rental properties. However, some people’s reasoning isn’t reasonable at all. One listing said cats ok and small dogs will be considered. In my experience as a pet owner, small dogs do just as much damage if not more than large dogs when it comes to chewing and not being house broken. To say that this is the domain of large dogs is preposterous at best. As for cats, cat pee is way worse than dog pee and cats scratch walls and carpet and stuff. Chances are because we have two 55 pound dogs, we’re not going to have much of a choice but to move into base housing. Why? Because most people are uninformed twits.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two Left Feet

We had a rather eventful long weekend.

Saturday, it was very spring-like here. Temps got into the 70’s which was a really nice change from the freezing temperatures we had been experiencing for a few weeks. We decided to turn off the heat and open the windows for the day. The Mister and I also tackled the task of cleaning out the garage. We had a ton of boxes that were broken down and needed to be recycled and a few packing boxes that were filled with packing paper that also needed to be recycled. Something that we had been putting off for a year and a half took only a couple hours to do and two trip to the recycling center. :/ Now the garage is 90% finished with only needing a little bit of organizing and a few totes of old toys going to charity.

We also got the girls’ hair cut on Saturday. Their hair was long enough, and they got it cut short enough, that they are both able to make a donation to Locks of Love. They are so very excited about being able to do this. And they got really cute haircuts.

Sunday evening, the girls were outside playing and the Mister and I were up in the office. Next thing I know, I hear loud crying and wailing through the open window and then I see the youngest running into the house. She comes upstairs and says, “You need to hurry!! My sister is on the ground!” She’s so funny. So we go outside and the oldest is all hunched over on the side of the street crying. Once I manage to get her to straighten out, I see she’s scraped and bleeding but at first glance, it doesn’t look that bad. So I tell her to get a grip and come inside so I can clean her up. I’m such a sympathetic mother, huh? After getting a good look at her, the child is scraped literally from head to toe. I’m all like, “What in the world were you doing??” I guess she had been walking along when one of the kids kicked a ball to her and she didn’t notice and tripped over it. I dunno. But her face is scraped in a couple places, both her palms, her elbows, her knees look like someone took a cheese grater to them, the tops of her feet, and we’re pretty sure she broke one of her toes. FROM TRIPPING OVER A BALL!! She honestly looks like she’s been in a car accident. Sometimes I just don’t know about her.

Yesterday was pretty quiet. The Mister and the girls had the day off due to MLK Jr Day. I, however, had to work. I had to get up early for a phone call with a potential new client. I’m pretty sure he’s going to hire me too. Then, I had work for my other two clients. It sucked being the only one that had to work.

Remember how I said we turned off the heat the other day? Well, it’s not Spring yet and we forgot to turn the heat back on. I woke up to a freezing cold house this morning. BRRRRR!!! Now I have to take the oldest to school. The Mister is still in bed snoozing because he has today off of work too. That’s right. He worked until noon on Friday and had Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off of work for MLK Jr Day. Doesn’t he suck?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moving Progress

I was recently called out for not updating my blog regularly. Yeah well. I have very little of interest to say. So :P

We found out yesterday that the Mister will be checking out of his current command 15 days earlier than we thought. Our move date has moved up. Again. He checks out on March 10th now, not March 15th. In actuality, we have 26 days from March 10th until he has to check into his new command out in San Diego. We won’t be leaving NC exactly on the 10th because we’ll have movers and then the cleaning of this house.

::Side note::

I had to stop typing to take the oldest to school. On the way there, I got behind a school bus. After picking up a bunch of kids at a stop, it took off down the road going 45 in a 35 and in a school zone. What’s up with that?!?!

Anyway, essentially, we have 1 month and 27 days or so before we move. Yikes! I have so much to do and with our move date constantly being adjusted closer, I have less and less time to do it in, lol. We’ve opted to have the military pay for movers rather than moving ourselves so that takes a big load off but I still have organizing, cleaning, arranging to have my car shipped (we decided not to drive two cars cross country), getting the dogs to the vet for one last check up, finding somewhere to live in San Diego, taxes, and every day life in the midst of all that.

Did you know…

When you’re making a military move, you have two options. 1.) You can choose to have them pay to have a moving company come in, pack your stuff, and ship it to your destination. You get travel pay for mileage to drive your POV and for food and hotels depending on how many days they estimate it takes to drive to your new duty station. In our case, 8 days times 4 people. They always pay you way more than you need. We also get paid for the weight of our luggage that we have in our car. What that means is that we have to have our car weighed empty, pack it up, then have it weighed full. We get paid for that weight. 2.) You can choose to pack your own stuff and arrange to have it moved to your destination and have the military reimburse you for your expenses. This 2nd option is called a DITY move or Do It Yourself Move, pronounced, ditty. In all of our moves, we have done one DITY move and that was from Ohio to California. I packed up our very meager belongings which were at my dad’s house. We really had nothing. A bed with a plain metal frame, baby stuff (crib, changing table, etc.) a dinette set, sofa, 19 in. TV, a couple dressers and a few other odds and ends. I flew out to California with the girls and our families loaded a moving truck and drove it out to California for us. We reimbursed them with the money we got from the military and had some left over that we pocketed. I’m not sure if they have increased the money you get for doing a DITY move or if it’s just inflation, but nowadays, people get A LOT more than we did in 1999 for doing a DITY move.

A Marine that the Mister works with is moving out to Cali with his wife and some household belongings. They don’t have kids. They are getting $20,000 to move themselves!!! You may be asking yourselves why we don’t take advantage of such a deal. Well, I’m telling you that IMO, the money isn’t worth it. I would rather NOT have to pack up a 4 bedroom  house, all of our furniture and appliances, and the rest of our crap, and move it across the country. I’m not even sure they make a rental truck big enough to fit all of our stuff in. Professional movers come with a semi-truck. Plus, if stuff gets broken, you get reimbursed for the damages whereas if you break your own stuff, you’re out of luck. We moved ourselves across town a year and a half ago and that was such a major PITA that I think the peace of mind is worth $20,000. Maybe I’m just lazy. Yep. Movers are a wonderful thing.

Did you know::

This is how professional movers work:

  1. They come in one day to visually assess how much stuff you have and what kind of boxes and moving supplies they will need to pack your crap.
  2. On another day shortly thereafter, they come in and pack up your crap. Yes. It only takes them ONE day to pack EVERYTHING.
  3. On the next day, they come  in and load your crap up on a truck. It only takes a few hours to load.
  4. They make arrangements with you to have your crap delivered; a date and a destination address.
  5. At your destination, they arrive on the prearranged date and unload your crap, putting together furniture and placing boxes where you tell them to. They will even unpack your boxes if you tell them to. We don’t because at this point, we just want them gone.
  6. That’s it. You unpack your crap and settle in to your new home.

There. Now I’ve updated my blog. :P

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow in the South Part 2

It didn’t snow. It didn’t get cold enough. It rained. They delayed school for two hours for rain. Sadly, even though MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River had two hour delays this morning, MCAS Cherry Point, the Mister’s base, did not. He wasn’t happy.

I’m not bothering with pictures. Rain is rain.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snow in the South

As I sit here composing this post, I can’t help the shaking of my head or the feeling of silliness. I’ve had the luck to live in several different parts of the United States and in living in different parts of the U.S., I have experienced several different climates.

Having spent the first 20 years of my life in mid-Ohio, this is what I consider “normal”. I compare everything from neighborhood layouts, architecture, and traditions to how I first experienced them in Ohio. Ohio has very distinctive seasons:  cold winters with bare trees and snow, mild springs with lots of rain, summers that are hot and humid with strong thunderstorms, and mild autumns with changing leaves and cooling temperatures. I would guess that out of all the United States, the midwest has four seasons that you can actually tell when they are happening.

I only lived in Florida for six months, April until September. Spring until very early fall basically and it was a long time ago. All I really remember of it is HOT HOT HOT! Very humid with kickass summer storms and a few hurricanes thrown in to make things interesting. You could practically set your clock by the afternoon thunderstorm that rolled in from 1-2 in the afternoon almost every day.

Then we had California. San Diego county is unique in that you can experience almost every climate in the one county. It’s very temperate along the coast, hot and dry inland and in the deserts, cooler with occasion winter snow in the mountains. They say that you can snow ski and surf all in the same day in San Diego county. We lived inland and the summers were very hot and very dry. Winters were mild. That was it. I loved it though. I remember one time during the Santa Anas that it was so hot that when you walked outside your skin would tingle with it.

Next, we had Vermont. They basically have 2 1/2 seasons:  Winter, Mud Season/Spring/Summer, and Autumn. You had cold winters that started as early as September. Cold barely even describes it. In the dead of winter with wind chills, you could get frostbite by being outside less than fifteen minutes. And because it was so cold, the snow never melted until spring so it just accumulated all winter long. They make such a thing as roof rakes so that you can rake the snow off your roof so that it doesn’t cave in from the weight. It is the bitterest cold I have ever experience in my life. There were times when it was warmer in Alaska than it was in Vermont. No kidding. Vermonters know how to clear a road better than anyone else I have ever seen. School was rarely cancelled or delayed due to snow but more often because of the bitterly cold temps. Winters would very reluctantly give way to spring sometime in April or May. Then it was time for Mud Season. The snow melts until everything in sight is a muddy, mushy mess. Mud Season was terrible. If you are a neat freak, you can forget about living in Vermont because mud being tracked in was just something that you had to learn to live with. Sometime in June, things would begin to dry out. It didn’t rain all that often during the “summer” months. In the three years that we lived there, I can only remember two days where I wished that we had had air conditioning. The rest of the time, open windows and fans during the day were enough and those had to be shut at night because it would get too cold for them. Then, of course, you had Leaf Season. This lasts for 2-4 weeks before it starts snowing again. Vermonters pretty much hate Leaf Peepers if you’ve ever a mind to drive there to view the autumn colors. They clog the roads and pull over to the side of the road whenever they see a particular scene worthy of a picture. It’s annoying but I did the same thing, lol.

Now we live in North Carolina. This is again, a state with basically three of the four seasons: Hot, hot summers, and coolish autumns and winters, and mild springs. Neither spring nor autumn last very long at all. It seems like one day it’s in the 70’s, next it’s in the 90’s, then it’s back in the 70’s for a few days before that gives way to chilly winters. Summer is, by far, the main attraction. We have very hot and humid summers where the nights only get as cool as the mid 70’s. I like the weather here although the cool months get cooler than I prefer.

The entire country is experiencing a cold snap, North Carolina is no exception. We’ve had overnight lows in the teens and tonight, we’re bracing for snow. Now’s when I have to shake my head at the silliness. They’re forcasting a trace to an inch at the most and they’ve already posted 2 hour delays for the schools tomorrow. Even Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base is on a 2 hour delay tomorrow. They’ve even salted the roads already too.This is when Vermonters would laugh and call us “low landers”. It is so funny to think that less than an inch of snow is going to shut the state down. Still, in a land where people never see snow, the thought of being on the road with these people is scary indeed. I, for one, am grateful that I won’t have to venture out with people that consider an inch of snow to be a lot. In Vermont, people would still be wearing shorts, t-shirts, and sandals with only an inch of snow on the ground.

All in all, I am GREATLY looking forward to being able to sleep in for two hours tomorrow. What a way to start the weekend! I’ll do my best to post some pictures tomorrow, heheh.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Inauspicious Start to the Year

My first post of 2010. I really don’t have anything to say.

Christmas was good. New Years was fine. It’s cold. We’re moving in just over two months. The spring semester doesn’t start until 2/14 so I still have lots of free time on my hands which is nice. Very nice.

I’m reading, playing games, and getting ready to move. That’s it. That’s my life. It’s very boring but very busy.

I got into the bad habit of staying up very late (3-4 am) and sleeping in very late (11-12ish) while on Christmas break. I guess I was channeling my inner teenager, heheh. Monday, the kids’ first day back to school, was painful. I overslept through my alarm and fell asleep on the couch around 9 pm. I’m feeling better this morning though.

Now, after this very lousy blog update, I have to go and take the oldest to school. I need to find socks. Did I mention it’s very cold?