Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

HHG Shipment November 4, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,military — Addicted to Yarn @ 5:43 am
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For you non-military members out there, you might not know what HHG means. Well, let me assure you, it means a lot to us. It stands for “HouseHold Goods” and the shipment part means they are on their way here. As in, in two days they will be unloading all of our crap out of a truck and into our home. YAY!!

We are very excited. And a little nervous. Our house has been very hard to keep clean because we don’t have any furniture. So now more stuff is coming but not much of it is furniture. (Before we moved, we got rid of 75% of our stuff – including most the furniture because it was junk we didn’t like and didn’t want to have to get rid of over here.) So while we have plans of making a large purchase from Ikea, we haven’t actually done that yet and so we will have more stuff and still, no where to put it. We may have to keep some boxes just to contain the madness for a while.

But our stuff is coming which is great since I have one mixing bowl and it’s too shallow. I have almost no tupperware type things. We have silverware for four. Do you have any idea how many things you use silverware for besides eating? And our silverware was one of the few things we actually liked. Oh, and our vacuum. I love our vacuum! I am soooooo ready to have it. It’s wonderful and fun and has cool features and we have cobwebs on our ceiling that we’ve not brushed down because we have no vacuum and I am READY for them to come down.

So many reasons to be excited.

I’ll let you know later how it goes. And hopefully I’ll report that they didn’t destroy anything. Oh, and our computer. As much as this little laptop has been a lifesaver, I am ready to have Ubuntu back. And I’m hoping Rosetta Stone will work better with Ubuntu than with Limpus. It won’t recognize my keyboard or the microphone so no writing and no speaking for me. 😦 Oh, and music! I’ve missed the five solid day worth of music our computer has on it. Thanks, Alex!

I think German door to door evangelists from some religion just knocked on my door. They were dressed in suits and started to tell me about this flier they were handing out. I said, “Ich verstehe ein bischen Deutsch,” and one said he spoke English. He said they were handing out information to German and English people but they only had German fliers. Someone would be by later to give us an English one. Then he asked if the upstairs neighbors where German. I said yes and instantly felt like a traitor. Maybe it’s not the “ARGH! WEIRDO’S AT THE DOOR! FREAK OUT!” that it is in the States. Maybe they will be glad these men in suits stopped by. Tweed suits by the way and not black. They didn’t give me the Jehovah Witness vibe. As much because they were older. The one who spoke English was my father’s age and the other was at least ten or fifteen years older.

Anyway. I’m off to Spangdahlem to see if I can find a fan for Israel. Have you ever tried to sleep in the same house as an awake Jael? My in-laws know what I’m talking about. It’s insanity. But at least we have doors we can close.

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Friends and Emigration Don’t Mix April 10, 2008

I’ve had serious writer’s block. Not really sure why but I’ve been feeling unmotivated in all areas of life so maybe it’s just a symptom of whatever else is going on (definitely the most likely scenario). So, in light of my block, I’m just going to run through the things that have happened in the last few days.The white

The redWe had some friends over Sunday night. It was a ton of fun. One of the guys brought a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red. Both were hands down the best wines I’ve ever had.

Israel and I have been trying to find a wine we liked for a couple of years now but have not had any luck. I think we’ve finally gotten somewhere. Besides the wine, we had a riot. We told poop stories and laughed until we cried. Jael was wonderful. She allowed the adults to talk and would occasionally have interesting or funny things to add. She’s pretty much amazing.

We (all of us as Israel is working weekends right now) went over to a friend’s house for lunch on Tuesday and again, just had a riot. She has one daughter about a year younger than Jael but because neither Jael nor this little girl have not been peer stratified, they couldn’t care less about the age difference. They played beautifully together. Not tears, no yelling–well, not in anger at least. (For those of you that have met my daughter in person, you know that an afternoon with no yelling is an afternoon spent asleep.) I think we are going to get to be better friends with this gal and her husband. I’ve not met her husband but I think we are going to like him. So, as is usual, I think we are going to make some good friends six months before we leave a place. Don’t it figure?

Or, my friends leave me.

Jael with her boysTuesday night, I went out with some friends. Ana* is moving Sunday. She’s been a good friend, the one who introduced me to the mom’s group I’m a part of. Her son is my daughter’s best friend. They love each other. Jael doesn’t run up to hug other kids but she does this young boy. We were at the mall one day and Jael and Ana’s son are walking through the mall, holding hands, when we pass a jewelry store and they stop to look into the jewelry cases. It was a Kodak moment so of course no one had a camera ready. So, on top of me losing a good friend (okay, she’s only moving 12 hours away but that’s a long drive with a four year old), my daughter is losing her favorite friend.

Another mom from the mom’s group (actually the other administrator-we are loosing both of the ladies who started it so a time of readjustment is definitely on the horizon), is also moving but not until the end of the month. I’d just started to get to know her when we found out she was moving. I’m glad for her as the move is the result of a great job promotion for her husband but I’m going to miss her a lot.

Then we had a friend over last night and dropped the “we’re moving to Germany” bomb on her by accident. I was positive we’d told her we were leaving but I guess we didn’t. She was asking if we were going to go to the Renn Faire with her. I asked when it was, she said November and I said, nope, we’ll be in Germany by then. This was met by a blank stare. A sad blank stare. This sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me we had just pulled the rug out from under this friend. She’d just gone through a surprise break-up and had to move back in her disapproving parents. She incredibly smart and talented (her art is amazing). Basically, she doesn’t fit her in the Deep South. She belongs in a more enlightened place. Israel and I have been a breath of fresh air for her. She has many intelligent friends online but few she can get together with face to face. If the military hadn’t brought us here, we certainly wouldn’t have been the book store where we met. Every intelligent and/or truly enjoyable person I’ve met down here has not so much come here as been sent here or has had to come due to circumstances out of their control. Business, military, military contracting. That’s it. People who are from here (sans this friend) we don’t like. People who really like it here, we don’t like. People who don’t like it here but stay for family, we don’t like. People who are chomping at the bit to escape, we like.

We might have to get a larger house than we thought when we move to Germany. We already have one friend who is planning on coming for a six month stay (for a start; if we can, we’ll keep her in Germany much longer). We invited this other friend last night as well. She scoffed (it is about a thousand dollar ticket and that’s right now. Who knows what it’ll be in a year or so) at the idea but we planted it. After this next election, she might be a lot more motivated to emigrate. So anyway…that’s been the last few days.

*name changed for privacy–that and I’ve not asked permission to throw other people’s names and personal information around online. Seems like if they are actually my friends (as opposed to my apartment managers) I wouldn’t disrespect them that way.

 

Moving Weekend January 17, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,parenting — Addicted to Yarn @ 2:48 am
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We moved this weekend – which if you read the newsletter we sent out you would know – and here’s the tale of it.

Thursday came and we began loading all of our earthly possessions into a U-Haul truck. We don’t own much but some of the things we own are very, very heavy. We have this tool box…but that story comes later. First things first.

The New Apartment: We got such a great price on this apartment because it was a non-renovated unit…meaning, it desperately needs to be renovated. The kitchen is like a nightmare from the 70’s. Dark brown everything (we are going to ask if we can paint the cupboards). But of course they’ve installed a dishwasher…which has to be open in order to open one of the drawers. The floor plan of this apartment is really strange, too. I’m going to start at the front door (although we can’t use it as such yet because the key doesn’t work in that lock). You walk into the living room. In the far right corner is a spiral staircase leading to the master bedroom and bathroom (the biggest bedroom we’ve ever had, which is funny because we can’t take any of our furniture up there). Straight ahead from the door is the dining room which connects to the kitchen on the right. The kitchen is a U-shaped kitchen…a dark hole. It’s small but I’ve trimmed back so much of my kitchen stuff that everything fits. Continue back from the front door and next you come to a hallway. The doorway to your right leads into a double closet…that is a closet rod on your left and one on your right. Continue through this closet and you enter the bathroom. Why in the world you enter the bathroom through the closet, we don’t know. Continue down the hallway and you enter the second bedroom, Jael’s room. Well, actually, it’s the storage room and Jael’s room. We’ve used a shelving unit and our dressers to block her off her own little space. It sounds all mean and stingy but she actually really likes it. It’s a lot more her size than a full size bedroom. And it’s much easier for her to clean up and to understand the concept of “only get out one thing at a time.” If you continue through her bedroom, you will exit the apartment through the second door.

You may be thinking something along the lines of “A door to the outside in a child’s room? That’s not safe!” Yeah, that’s pretty much what we thought. Especially since the door is a weather beaten, used up, piece of crap. We turn in a list tomorrow of all the things that need to be fixed or replaced and the door is the first one. If it’s not fixed within a week, we’ll have to take legal measures because it’s really not secure. But we did get a police lock and so we think we’d hear someone breaking in before they actually get through.

So at first we were really not impressed with our apartment. The management is out for themselves (revealed by the leasing agent refusing to go up the spiral stairs when she showed us the apartment, claiming she was afraid of heights. Upon further inspection we realized that two of the welds on the stairs were broken. I think it was a fear of falling to her death on a broken stairway that kept her from climbing them but oh, well), which is fine as long as we know it and we do. The apartment wasn’t very clean but that just means we don’t have to leave it very clean when we leave. As we get settled and get our stuff put away (and throw away a lot more stuff), we are liking it more and more.

The Move: We tried something new this move and we won’t do it again. We tried moving all the furniture in one go with a truck and then all the small things in the car. The reasoning behind this was the fact that we didn’t have very many boxes. So I thought I would move little stuff all day and unpack it each trip. Then the next day, Israel and I would move all the furniture with a rental truck. Boom. We’re done. Except that it didn’t work that way at all. What ended up happening was we rented a truck. We spent almost an hour getting the truck. The dude working there was sick, as in ill, and he’d forgotten to take his medicine the night before so that morning he’d taken two and he was supposed to take them with food but he didn’t. So he was basically stoned out of his mind. He sat there for about five minutes staring at my driver’s license with his fingers resting on the keyboard but not actually typing anything. Israel and I figure he took a little bit of a nap. But we got the truck and loaded all of our large crap. Then we unloaded. Oh, did I mention that our front door is on the second level? Yeah, a full flight of stairs to the apartment. I’ve never been so sick of lifting furniture in my life. We got to the front of the truck and five things were waiting for us. The washer and dryer, two big, heavy boxes, and the tool box. If my dad is reading this he knows what I’m talking about when I say the tool box is really, really, really, really heavy. Do you understand that it’s really heavy? I think Israel said he estimated it at about 600-700 pounds. So we drove home (to the house) with those things still in the truck, deciding to deal with them the next day.

The Move, Day Two: We loaded up the Goodwill stuff into the back of the truck (adding it to the few things left from the day before). We drove to the Goodwill drop off spot and learned that they don’t open in the winter until 9 AM. It’s just 8 AM and the truck is due back at 10:45. We’ve just driven about 5 miles (10 miles round trip) out of our way and now it looks like we’re going to have to do it again in an hour. Luckily, as we sat there beefing about it and trying to decide if we should just dump our stuff outside the trailer, the guy who runs it showed up and unlocked the gate. We unloaded the Goodwill stuff and headed to the apartment. The first thing we tackled was the toolbox. We needed to get it done ASAP, before our muscles tired at all. We moved the tool box by (I’m sorry, Dad) dragging it up the steps, one step at a time. I was on the top and Israel on the bottom and we just lifted the thing one step at a time. I almost cried at the top, my body hurt so much. But we got it done. Everything else seemed easier after the tool box was done. We got the truck returned on time (to a different guy, thank goodness) and decided to go pick up Jael from day care. She’d been there all day the day before and all morning this day and quite frankly, we missed her.

Day Care: We went to the room Israel had signed her into and she wasn’t there. That’s okay, they switch drop-in kids around depending on teacher to child ratio’s. Yeah, except that she didn’t know where Jael was. After a couple of phone calls, they were able to locate her but we, quite quickly, came to the decision that never again would she be placed in a situation where someone could loose her. So we took her back to the house and laid her down for a nap and began packing small stuff up. We made a number of runs to the apartment and then retired that evening, ready to begin cleaning in the morning.

Cleaning Day One: Military Inspection. It sounds scary. And until you’ve gone through one, it is scary. You read the list of things you are supposed to do and you don’t really even know where to begin. So we started at one end of the house and started cleaning. We painted over dark marks on the wall (and scotch tape residue that I couldn’t get off), we dusted mini-blinds. (But we didn’t wash them. SSSHHH. Don’t tell anyone.) We washed window sills. Israel cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen. To be honest, he’s much better at cleaning than I am. He’s does a faster job and the end result is just as good as my slow way (except of course that he’s done so much faster). So he did that while I took care of Jael and did the mini-blinds, walls, and shelves. I don’t remember if we finished up inside on Day One or if we finished it on Day Two…it had to be Day Two because we slept there on Day One. Okay, So we were pretty much done except for the floor and the outside.

Cleaning Day Two: The outside. We raked the front yard. We edged the front. We removed all the weeds from all the cracks in the driveway, sidewalk, and curb. We washed off the chalk art of one Jael Walker. We didn’t wash the walls or rake the back yard. We didn’t mow either, except for a patch of lemon grass. I didn’t want to dig it up because I didn’t have dirt to fill in a hole and I didn’t have sod to lay over it. So we mowed it and the inspector didn’t notice. But it smelled wonderful when Israel mowed over it. I wish I would have utilized it more while we had it but oh well. That all said and done, we finished mopping inside. We locked up and went home to, well, home.

First Night Sleeping in New Apartment: Some of you may remember how much Jael struggled when we moved from Knightsbride to Hilltop. How I had to lay down with her until she fell asleep. How I had to do that for about three weeks. Some of you may remember how we had to do a similar things in Monterey and when we first moved here. Well, not this move. She laid down and we didn’t hear a peep out of her. I think a lot of it was because she was just so tired. She played in the dirt, searching for rocks while we raked and what not. It was good for her. So she fell right to sleep. Israel and I each had a drink, he a dark beer and I a fruity, girly “malt beverage” and hit the sack.

Inspection Day: The inspection was at 1030. I dropped Israel off at work, came back to the apartment, fed Jael breakfast, went back to the house to mop again (we’d noticed some spots we missed the day before), went grocery shopping, picked Israel up for the inspection and got back to the house with about 20 minutes to spare. Of course the inspector was 15 minutes early so really, we were right on time. He walked through the house. He didn’t look at the blinds I dusted. He didn’t check the baseboards I’d mopped. He didn’t run his hands over the closet doors I’d cleaned. He shut the cupboard doors, poked his head in each room, checked out the garbage cans (which we had to clean and deodorize), and passed us. Just like that. We were done.

So there isn’t much more to tell. We still don’t have Internet yet (this is early Wednesday morning that I’m typing this) but we should have it by the end of today. Sometime between 8 am and 5 pm the cable person is supposed to be out here. Yeah, real respectful of my time. But I don’t have anything else to do today but hang around the house so it’s not that big of a deal.

Oh, one last thing. Yesterday, I backed into a fire hydrant. Scraped the side of our bumper and the edge of the wheel well. Bright yellow fire hydrant. “Hey, you got fire hydrant on my Chevy!” “You got Chevy on my fire hydrant!”