Thursday, 29 January 2009

Tax time

Most people talk about tax time around April, but I figure why let the government keep my money so long? Bob got his W2 the other day, and the bank sent an electronic document about our interest earned this year, so I did a free e-file. Got it finished and sent in this morning! WooHoo!! Mo'money, mo'money! :-D It is going into savings for the future, after tithe and maybe a little something for fun.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Eatin' on the cheap

Monday and Tuesday I added up what our dinner cost, as well as the calorie count.

Monday I had a variation of Mother Hen's beans with rice, some leftover pineapple, and carrots and cauliflower (raw). It cost about $4 for all of us to get quite full, and have leftovers. How did I do the beans? I used navy beans, which are white (huh?). I put half a package in lots of water to soak for 8 hours, then rinsed, put more water (I used too much, as navy beans don't soak up so much) and brought to a boil, then simmered for 2-3 hours. It smelled like bacon. I added a couple spoons of fajita seasoning, and then some garlic powder and chili powder. Meanwhile I cooked brown rice with chopped spinach. To serve, we got a pile of rice, spooned some beans over, topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, and shredded cheese. It was like a burrito without the tortilla. The boys also mixed the pineapple in with theirs. We all liked it, and Cedwryck and William don't traditionally like beans of any kind.

Tuesday our dinner cost about $5.50. I made a variation of "beef chow mien" that I got from an old "hamburger cookbook." I browned a pound of ground turkey (cheaper than beef), adding a chopped onion and a diced potato about half-way through. Then I added a large can of chopped tomatoes, a can of pineapple chunks, a can of chinese stir-fry vegetables (can use just water chestnuts), some brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, and soy sauce. I tried to make some "bean thread" noodles, but it turned into some funky looking gelatin stuff, so I served the meat over macaroni noodles. We had corn and green beans on the side. Yummy. There were also leftovers Tuesday.

Today I was gonna see about using that leftover baked sweet potato to make some rolls... better get on with it.


Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, so we decided to go for a walk. (Bob took the van to work as his brakes are still sticking). We bundled and loaded and headed out. We started down the sidewalk behind our house, and made our way to the back gate, and on to the BX. We were out of vacuum cleaner bags, and we MUST vacuum every day.

It took us 45 minutes to get there.

We looked at the bags, and they have one that is supposed to fit in our thing, but they sure looked all the wrong shape. So I thought for a minute, and looked at the new vacuums, and we went to the food court for pizza. I tried to call Bob, but I guess he had actual work to do or something, because he didn't answer. We had our pizza, made two trips to the toilets, and went back in to look at the vacuum isle some more. I decided that "if" I were to buy a new vacuum, the one I would get would be the one they were out of. Plus I couldn't carry it home. I just couldn't talk myself into paying $10 for bags that I knew wouldn't fit, so we left.

The children were very excited, I was bummed, and William was dozing off in the stroller. Bad combo. I finally convinced the boys to walk *with* me instead of wandering around over there. And then I couldn't help but notice the birds were singing and it was still sunny, and I cheered up in spite of the dumb BX. :-)

When we got home, I put the babies down to nap, and crashed on the couch. Something about the elevated body temp, the cheese, and the long walk... I had a splitting headache and couldn't stay awake for anything. The children played a phonics game on my computer while I tried to nap. Bob called about then and was very supportive, offering to pick up something for dinner so I could rest, but I determined to get up. He also knew where the Advil was. So I was soon on the way to recovery, and made a lovely dinner. (more about that later)

When Bob got home we ate and then we all went back to the BX. Back to the vacuum isle. Yes, Bob agreed with what I'd thought earlier. But there seemed to be some employees around this time, so we got one and she was very helpful. They supposedly had 3 of our preferred vacuum in stock, but they weren't anywhere handy (sometimes, we were told, an item would show up on the computer as in stock, and it would actually be at another base over an hour away!). We could leave our number and they could call us when the vacuums showed up... We looked at another one they had there, and we'd just about decided to get it when the lady stopped by again and offered to sell the display model at 25% off. So we went for it.

Yes, budget and all that. It's a bagless, so I figure it'll pay for itself in about 6 months, not to mention our floors could actually get clean. We got a Bissell Cleanview (upright) - this is the same basic model that we had before, and the thing works. Our "Handy" canister vac that we bought when we got here was such a pain, and it didn't pull up half of what the Bissell does. I used it this morning, and there was so much gick in the carpet that I had to wash the filters after one go. There were 3 cups of white, powdery, silt under my living room carpet that just weren't going to come up without a power roller. The babies are scared of it, but the older children are all eager to take a turn.

Oh, yeah, Tuesday. Ahem. Then Bob popped into the commissary for snacks for work (celery sticks, coffee, tea), and we came home. He saw some chicken marked down, and his favorite cereal, but he didn't get any. So after we put the children to bed, I went back. The chicken was all gone, but there was ground beef marked down, and I got the cereal and rice and eggs which I was low on.

I got home just in time for a delivery from Tesco of milk, cheese, bottled water, fruit, bread, etc that is cheaper there than on base. Turns out I could have got eggs cheaper there, too, but I missed that bargain. Next time.

So we put the groceries away and went to bed.

Sunday, 25 January 2009


I don't know if decorum requires me to be vague or not...
We found out Friday what our new paycheck will look like, without the housing allowance that we've been getting. YIKES! After taking out the regular bills of savings account, tithes, insurances, and internet & phone, we are left with about $1000 less than what we spent last month (not counting the two new computers). Of course, last month was a big spender, what with two birthdays, and moving, and all. But still.

We looked at it some today (obviously) and decided we will keep putting the money in savings; we'll need someplace to live when we get back stateside, after all. With that amount taken out of the paycheck, we will be living on just about the same as we will get when Bob retires (assuming no promotions or major changes). So if we can do this, we can do that. Right?

Anyway, I am busy looking for good bean recipes. ;-) With the budget restraints (and prices here haven't fallen, folks, except for gas), we still have to focus mainly on lowering our calorie intake while maintaining healthy habits like more fruit and whole grain. So price cuts for us will come in the form of less eating out and not buying clothes and CDs and "stuff" just because it's on sale or cute. We shall see.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

what we did today

Today we were planning to go to Orford Castle again. Bob is supposed to do portraits there on Feb 14, and we wanted to scope it out, test lighting, etc.
But the little ones have their earaches, and it was cold, and Bob’s stomach is still a little queasy from his cure the other day. SO we made it as far as the gas station, and lunch at Burger King, but no further. Bob called it off, and I think it was a good call. The boys were very energetic, so we went to Mildenhall’s community center to the indoor playground. We were there nearly two hours. The children had a blast and got worn out while Bob and I rested and took pictures and read the paper.
Leaving there, we went to Worlington for manure. Oh, yeah, I go out of my way for horse poop.  We’ve seen a sign up before, so knew pretty much where to stop. They had 3 bags, at 40p each; I got all 3. Then we came home and I got out the shovel. Taryn rode her bike, I dug up the turf, and the children (as they woke up one at a time and got out of the van) carried the grass around back to fill in the bare spots. I have never lived in a place where I could dig turf like this. It worked just like the pretty pictures in the gardening books. Unbelievable. Then we covered the dirt and worms (lots of earthworms!) with packing paper and cereal boxes, and covered that with the horse manure, which was clean and fresh. Ummhmm. That’s why I’m doing this now instead of in the spring. I’ve never tried this lasagna or lazy gardening method before, but I’ve heard good things about it. So we shall see.
Bob got our bikes put together and organized the shed a little bit. I came in with the little ones, put William to bed, cuddled Ella, started a load of wash, and was *just* starting supper when Bob came in and said he was wanting to try our local Chinese takeaway. So that will be next, and then maybe I’ll run down to the commissary for milk and fruit.
I think we are beginning to settle.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

the new house

Well, I've given a few hints, but it's time for the real scoop.

Trying to be logical, let's start at the front. We have our own driveway here, long enough for both cars to park in, but barely wide enough to get out of the car without stepping on the grass. (At the old house we had a garage across the street, with room for one car in front of it; the other car parked on the side of the street.) There is a decent-sized grassy area out front that smells of dog waste. No landscaping at all, but I hope to fix that soon. Our house is at the corner of two streets, and it is the end of a row of houses. The only part that connects to the neighbors is the "master bedroom" which we are using as a den, but more about that later. This house is also two story (in English, it has a ground floor and a first floor), where our old one was a stand alone, single story house.

Coming in the front door the first fault is seen - the entry way is carpeted. We put down a rug, but there is little hope for that carpet. If you go straight in the front door, you'd go straight out the back door - the front door is recessed from the rest of the house, so it's very narrow at this point. Immediately to the left is the master bedroom, with it's own full bath. There is a closet and a window in this room. After much thought, we decided to make this room a den. It houses all the bookshelves, the guitars, the cross trainer, and a tv. Bob keeps his clothes in this closet, so he can quietly sneak downstairs in the morning and shower and dress without waking everyone (we hope). There is one little heating vent in this room, which happens to be in the wall, so it's behind a bookshelf, and the room is a little cool. I think there is one each of a 220v outlet and a 110v outlet.

If you turn right from the front door, there is a sort of hallway. To the right is the stairway, and an under stair closet where we each have one coat, and I keep the vacuum cleaner there. To the left is a door leading to the kitchen. This door was blocked off for awhile, and may be again if we decide to keep our little fridge. Continue past these doors and you will be in the living room. Here we have 3 2-seat couches (loveseats), Bob's chair, a tv, a desk with computer, and a couple of smaller pieces. This room also has one window and one each 220v and 110v power outlets. The den and living room each have a ceiling fan; the rest of the rooms simply have a light bulb hanging down.

Making an "L" with the living room, is the dining room. We still have a single box wide stack along the wall of the dining room, but we have the table set up now. There is a window facing the back yard, and a door that we've never opened yet. There is (again) one each outlet.

Open to the left of the dining room is the kitchen. It has a large window, limiting cabinet space. The sink is small, with a built in drainer section. The dishwasher is small, but it works! It has a big silverware basket, but not much room for pans (or even plates). I told Bob it was designed for people who eat microwave dinners. I haven't had to return a single dish for not being clean. The fridge is HUGE! It is bigger than my other two put together. The freezer part isn't as big as it ought to be, but it is wide enough for frozen pizza. Also in the kitchen is a full size (American style) washer and dryer. Along that wall, there is a big gap where cabinets ought to be. There's one little cabinet in the corner over the washer, then nothing, and the kitchen part starts in the next corner. We will ask permission to put a shelf in there. The oven is also pretty big. I can easily have two skillets going at the same time, and I can put my biggest pan inside, or my next-biggest pan inside alongside a small one. But it only has the one cooking area, where the old house had a "double" oven, one of which was convection. The floor in here is old linoleum, as is the bathrooms. There are several 110v outlets, but only one 220v. Also, in British style, the oven, dishwasher, washer, and dryer can be turned off by a switch above the counter.

Going upstairs, there is a good-sized landing with a knee-level window. On to the top, and to the left is a linen closet. Straight ahead is the bathroom. To the right is a small hallway, with a store room on the right. This room has a light, but no window or power outlets, and shelves along the back wall. We are keeping the outgrown clothes, extra toys, empty suitcases, and Christmas decorations here.

To the left is the boys room. It is barely bigger than the store room, but we managed to fit in the bunk bed, the baby bed, and a chest of drawers. As with all the bedrooms, they have a closet, a window, and a single 110v power outlet.

At the end of the hall is the girls' room. It is the biggest of the three rooms, because they like to keep their dolls and things in their room. They have the metal futon bunk bed (full size on bottom, twin on top), a chest, and a plastic chest (the wooden one just wasn't big enough for all 3 girls' things).

On the right side of the hall is our room. It is just big enough for our queen size bed and our chest of drawers, plus two small night stands.

In the hall itself is one 220v power outlet.

The back yard is a pretty nice size, and we plan to fence it together with the side yard, making a nice play area. There is a storage room built into the house, but accessible from outside, and a garden shed in the back corner of the yard. We inherited a set of outdoor chairs (no table) when we moved in, and we have the trampoline, a grill, and a few Tonka trucks. The previous occupants had their own shed next to the one that comes with the house, and it created a lovely dirt area that the children claimed right away for constructing.

There is a sidewalk along the street, and it also curves along behind our yard toward the base. Across it, there is a large open grassy area that would be great for a playground, community garden, or even just flying kites since the Air Force is broke and won't do any extra projects.

And that is pretty much that. In the front is another storage area, and a water faucet with hose.

Ah, how does the house manage dual voltage? Hehe. It's not truly dual. There is a giant transformer in the storage cabinet, that hums along night and day. We had a bit of trouble with this because our alarm clock is dual, so when we plugged it into the 110v outlet we switched it to 110, 60 hz. Oops. It is 110v, but still 50 hz. So the first night it didn't keep time. Now I wonder if I ought to try my kitchen appliances or not.

Oh, the bathrooms (and kitchen) have mixer taps, so that is nice to have again, rather than the cold water on one side and hot on the other.
Along with the limited power outlets, we only have one phone outlet, and it is in the front entry hall (why not?). The cable (for tv) comes into the dining room.

I don't really blame the British contractors for the house being this way; it's the fact that they were trying to build an American style house using British methods. It would have been better to go one way or the other, but it can be made to work as it is. ANd I better stop blabbing.

long night (Maybe TMI)

Last night about 12:30, Bob got up and went downstairs to use the toilet. A little while later I heard him calling me, which I thought was a little odd. So I found him cold and clammy on the couch. He had passed out in the bathroom, and was in severe pain in his gut. After he rested a bit and warmed up (I noticed the back door was standing open!) he thought he should go to the base clinic/hospital. Rather than get all the children up, he had me call his shop and ask for someone to come get him. So one of the guys on shift got directions and came over. While he was coming, I got Bob dressed.
So they left and I went back to bed. It took me awhile to get back to sleep (after 2am), but I finally did. Bob came back home about 4:30. He said they ran an EKG, but all they could find wrong was that his heart rate was low, and he's constipated. He apparently passed out from the pain of constipation.

It's 8:45 am now, and I'm keeping the children sort of quiet so he can sleep in.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Tryin to think

So, just to be different, I've not had much brains about me this week. ;-)

We do have a permanent dining area now, as opposed to folding up the table after every meal because it was set up between the two couches in the living room. (We had all our "misc" boxes stacked in the dining room.) I got all the books out today. They need to be sorted, but they are on shelves now. Also today I went to the housing office to ask about putting up a fence. I have to take a form to three different base offices to get it signed before we can put a fence up. Actually, Bob has to do at least part of it.

Did I write about the supposed free fence? When Bob got the keys for the house, the inspector told him he could go get fencing from the old housing units that are being torn down. So we drove by that area, and that fence is all cemented in - it would be all but impossible to get it. So we got a quote from a local business, and it will be about 1000GBP, which at today's exchange rate is $1400. We may use our security deposit from the last place to cover the price, if we can get our insurance to pay the claims and we actually get money back...

I got a call from the old landlord yesterday, asking for our security deposit account number so they can get the money to pay for the stuff. I put her off a bit, and she said she'd email me the list of stuff they found, but so far no email. Those people are the least organized bunch I've ever seen. Add that to the British "subtlety" and it's a wonder they get anything done, or are able to stay in business. They are all very "nice" and friendly, but every time we ask anything, they act like they've never done this before. Anyway.

The children all got a chesty cough, plus more or less snotty noses, so I've been running a humidifier day and night the last 2 days. Seems to help quite a bit with the coughing. Our new house has forced air heat, which is a lot more drying than the radiators we'd got used to.

My kitchen organization is coming very slowly. I occasionally find a cabinet with nothing in it, wondering how I've missed it. The whole room is just so NOT sensible, it's hard to figure what to put where. For instance, I usually have the plates, bowls (everyday dishes) in the cabinet closest to the dishwasher. This kitchen doesn't have a cabinet close to the dishwasher. There is a big pantry-type closet, but it's next to the (heat retaining) furnace, so I can't store dry goods there or they'll turn melty on me... but we're working on it.

Anyway, I guess it's time to get back to work.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Taryn is 10

10 Years ago today... The dr announced "SHE's perfectly healthy".
Labor was about 6 hours, which is pretty quick for a first baby, I guess, and things seemed to move fast except for the pushing - push down, stop to breathe, slip back up. Ugg! But she finally made it and boy were we glad! A half-hour or so after the delivery, the nurses were taking care of Taryn, and Bob was out signing paperwork, when my mother in law called the room to check on progress. She was a bit surprised when I answered the phone, but managed to ask how far apart my contractions were. I said, "they stopped 20 minutes ago" (or whatever the time was). She sounded disappointed when she asked, "What did the Doctor say?". My response was a slight modification of the doctor's actual words: "She said, 'It's a girl.'" Mother in law nearly cried. :-D

Anywho... Today, since we were bad parents and didn't plan a big party in the middle of our move on a holiday weekend in the winter in a cold and damp country, we stayed home all day. I made BBQ meatballs and macaroni and cheese for lunch, Bob went outside in the rain (in spite of his cold) and put together the trampoline we'd picked up for FREE last month, the children watched Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, we had lunch and cake and presents. Things calmed down a bit after lunch - the 4 big children went out to jump on the trampoline and draw with sidewalk chalk (the sun came out for a while), we watched a new movie Taryn got, and they played the computer (did I forget to blog about getting a new desktop for them? It was $500 total). We had frozen pizza for dinner, as my new fridge/freezer is big enough to hold them. And more cake.

Pictures are online at log in so you can comment; Bob would get a kick out of that.

One snag we hit was not finding the birthday candles, so I actually did a quick drive up to the commissary to buy some more. I almost didn't find the wrapping paper to wrap the presents, but then I remembered at the last minute.

A good thing

This requires a little backstory, so bear with me.

When I was in Iceland I was introduced to the Pampered Chef. At first I thought they were a little pricey, but after looking at similar quality products online, I realized the prices are competitive plus the warranty is better. So I ended up hosting two parties while I was there. The second one did very well, and I made enough sales to get for myself the Professional Family Skillet (I'd link but they have discontinued the "Professional" line). It's a hard anodized, non-stick skillet big enough to cook 3 lbs of beef, with a lifetime warranty.

Fast forward. Soon after arriving here I began to notice the non-stick wasn't working so well any more. Maybe the move induced extreme temps - who knows? So, since PC now has offices in the UK as well as USA, I wrote to them asking where to send it (it would be a LOT faster to send to the UK). They answered right away, saying it needed to go back to the US since that's where I bought it. I went to find my receipt, and couldn't. I figured it was too bad, so sad for me.

But the PC lady asked if I remembered the date, host, and consultant, and I did. So - get this - she told me to go ahead and send it in. I included a copy of the emails with the skillet, and hoped it would work. Well, months went by, and I finally decided I should try to get my money back from the post office. So I wrote again, asking for a tracking number or something I could take to the post office to file a claim. Get this - they sent another one. I got it the week we were moving, and have used it twice in the new house.

I really enjoy my skillet, and I really appreciate the Pampered Chef making good even when they didn't have to. I know I don't get enough readership to make a difference in PC sales or anything, but I thought it was only decent of me to say how they blessed me by standing by their product. (And you know it's a good product when a Postal worker would risk their job to steal one.) :-)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The car crash

As promised...

A couple of weeks ago(!) while we were still in the old house, one of the days Bob went to work, he called not long after he got there and said, "I wrecked my car." WHat?! He was going over the hill between Cheveley and Moulton at a brisk pace, when he just spun around and ended up in the hedge. At the time he didn't know of any damage (it broke one fog light). Later in the day he did ask me to come pick him up because his brakes were sticking. (This the reason for his driving so fast on the icy hill).

A couple days ago I tried to drive his car and found out what he meant by the brake sticking... Whenever I pushed the clutch in the car came to a quick stop - the hand brake (emergency or parking brake, depending on where you are from) wasn't releasing. We are guessing it is related to the ice.

written last week

The Laptop crash
Bob has some movies and TV shows he got from a guy at work on my external hard drive. (I’m pretty sure the grammar is wrong on that one – somebody let me know.) So we’d got in the habit of watching something on his laptop as we fall asleep. Last week (Thusday? The days all run together when Bob’s off work) he turned it on for Smallville and the computer turned stripey. Uh oh. At that point he just turned it off and went to sleep. The next day he took it all apart and did what could be done. No go. Turns out the video card is fried, and as it’s a laptop the whole thing is integrated so you can’t just go get a new card like you can on a desktop. Then, just for fun, we thought of trying to put the hard drive into the old laptop (the one the children use) – after all, they are both HP and only a year or two apart. Well, in that year HP changed their hard drive – it wouldn’t fit. So we go to plug the old one back in, and it wouldn’t. We’ve had issues with the power supply before, so we fiddled and pushed and pulled, to no avail. Bob took the power supply apart and tested that it was still working. So then he took that computer apart to check the other end. Finally got the power to work, but then the “on” button doesn’t work. So we’re down two laptops in one day.

We bought a hard drive reader when out on Cedwryck’s birthday, so at least Bob’s info isn’t lost. We’ll probably end up getting the children a cheap desktop. That poor laptop was on its last leg long ago.
Do you blame me for not even turning my laptop on that day?

talking to myself

I'm getting fewer comments than ever, but I feel like I need to blog anyway for my own memory's sake.

So LAST Saturday, while we were supposed to be cleaning our old house, getting ready to move, we woke up feeling like NOT cleaning. So we took off to the largest mall I've been to, Bluewater. It was cold but clear that day and we were glad to be inside. We went first to the food court for pizza and Chinese, and then continued around the bottom floor.

BAH, I should have done this a week ago.

Anyway, we made it all the way around both levels, and then went back a bit. I got some new shoes - Nike's - on sale and in my size! Don't find that often, as I'm in a US 12 now (that's a UK 9.5) - the first shoe store we went in didn't even carry women's shoes in a 9. Ella took something from the toy store and we didn't notice for several minutes, so had to go back and return it.

After we finished there we started back toward home (it's about an hour away), stopping at a services exit for dinner. We ordered at KFC, but they couldn't swipe our card. Heads up for any American planning a trip to the UK! The banks here issue cards with a chip in it, and the stores increasingly don't have the magnetic stripe readers. No problem, there were 5 ATMs in the complex. We tried every one of them and none would give us money. So we told the nice folks at KFC sorry, maybe next time, and left. In the leaving, Taryn lost her purse.
So we stopped at the next services exit (we didn't know it was there). This was a little different setup - just a stand alone gas station and a Little Chef. Bob doesn't like Little Chef, but there were no choices, so we parked and headed in. As Naysha pulled the door open for us, Taryn noticed a sign on it - the cooker is broken and so all they have is cold sandwiches. So back in the car.
So the next stop was Newmarket, and by now Bob knew he wanted fish and chips. We'd been to the one pub there and thought we'd try one of the others. There was a sign in the window that said children couldn't be served at the bar, and must be supervised. Okay, we can handle that, so we started in. Several men sitting by the door looked up and said, "No children." Ooooookay. It was noisy in there anyway. So back out again, and beginning to wonder if we'd ever get something to eat.
We walked on down the road to the pub we'd been to before (it has a "family room" in the back for people who want to eat) and finally got some dinner. Phew.

I'm glad I got some shoes - my old ones were over a year old and pretty worn in the cushion department.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

An Award

Well my good friend Ganeida (or Ganieda?) gave me this award. I think it's just to make up a number, but I'm still pretty happy about it. My first blogging award. Now if I can just figure out what to do with it...

PS. Okay peoples.... I would like to pass this award along to Jenny and Dawn. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :-)
Just in case I'm not the only one who didn't know, you right click on the picture, save it to your computer, and then upload to your own blog. If you like, also put it on your sidebar. And apparently you MUST pick another blogger to award. ;-) I thought of you girls right away.

Friday, 9 January 2009

I wrote this yesterday.

Today first, I suppose…

Today is it; the big moving day. We were awake and fed and ready to tumble by 7. Well, the first thing to do was take a load to the Newmarket recycle center – Bob tried last night but they were already closed at 4:30, so the stuff was still in the back of the van. We figured they wouldn’t be open til 9, so we twiddled until then, expecting the movers any minute. Bob and the children finally left to take that stuff (an old ironing board and a couple of broken bicycles), then came back to load up to take to the new house. His appt there was 10:45, so he was early again, but what else is there to do? So we loaded up some things we wanted/needed to carry ourselves, and they took off. SO I was alone in the house for the first time ever, waiting.

The moving van arrived at 11. With ONE guy to pack. He’d been stuck in traffic for 3 hours. I believe it. There’s one main road across the country at this point – it’s 2 lane – and there was an accident. So everyone sits there until the cops get the road cleared. No frontage roads or anything. Sometimes they manage to route traffic through Newmarket, but its main road is under construction so that wouldn’t have helped anything. Anyway, he’s here now. I guess/hope someone will come later to help. No way one guy will get it all done in one afternoon.

PS. The guy did it. Well, he left the kitchen and the outside stuff (just a few toys and a rake), but he got all 4 bedrooms, the living room and dining room done in 5 hours, including a lunch break. Wow. When we left Abilene there were 5 packers and they didn’t get so far in 8 hours. But they were packing for an overseas move, not a local one. But they sat and talked a lot more than they packed – not this guy.

After he left at 4, we took another load to the new house, ate dinner at the BX, and got gas and candy. I went in the gas station to see if they had windshield washer fluid (they didn’t) and saw a big bag of bit size Snickers left from Christmas. It was 47cents. I was going to get two bags, but the cashier was so impressed with the price that she grabbed the other two for herself while I looked at the ice cream.

I took one load in after Bob got home at 1pm, and let the children see the house while I hooked up the phone. Bob felt funny about having me in the house with just me and the one guy.

So tomorrow we’ll finish up and take it all over to the new place, where the fun begins.

Ah, when Bob was going through the house with the housing office lady, she told him that we got a new heater (the old one was ancient). It’s an economy thingy that soaks up heat in the night and blows in the day. Hello?? At night is when it gets cold! I’d heard about those, and apparently lots of people program their heaters to turn off at night… I guess William will get used to his blanket sleeper again. Also, she said there is some fence available at an old housing area that is being torn down. Cool! Will save us a couple thousand $$ if we get to it in time. … Seems like there was something else, too, but I don’t remember now. Anyway… J

here, I think

Well, we and most of our stuff is in the "new" house. Surprisingly enough, the internet is, too. Maybe I'll talk about that sometime. For now it is cold and stinky and we have boxes to the ceiling. But we're here. Tomorrow we get to go back to Cheveley and hope it isn't frozen over, as we left the heat off today and didn't go back tonight because the fog was too thick to drive in, and clean it up for the inspection Monday.

This heater over here is something else. My fingers are too cold to type.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


I don't have time for this right now...

Bob was off work from Christmas day until today. Actually, he got off early Christmas Eve. His first day home, he was on the computer and I was on the computer and the children were getting into trouble and I realized this was bad. So, I turned off my computer and said I wouldn't turn it back on except in necessity as long as Bob was home. It was a long two weeks. And now I have no time to catch up.

Things I want to blog about when we are settled:

1. Saturday - up and left - can't get supper.

2. Ced's birthday - NOT a playplace.

3. The Laptop crash

4. the car crash

5. Moving out

6. moving in (hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure it'll be fun)

7. the beard

So there's a little teaser for you and a reminder for me in the days to come.
Today all I have to do is get everything sorted out and put away so it can be packed properly (such as all the books on the book shelf so they won't end up with the shoes). I've already filled out the moving forms online for electric and water (hope it worked). Tomorrow all I have to do is finish what I didn't do today, plus have all the dishes clean. Then Thursday I get to relax and watch movers pack up all my junk while Bob carts the children and the hand-carry stuff back and forth to the new house. When the movers leave, my work begins - take the cold food to the new house, eat out on base, go to the commissary for milk and whatnot, and move everything that Bob already put somewhere in the new house. ;-) Friday they put everything on the truck and take it to the new house. And we get to unpack again. Saturday and Sunday we get to clean the old house top to bottom, inside and out. Monday we are done here and start up there. phew.

Oh, and the dryer left Friday, so I will have quite the laundry day when we move in. (Bob cleaned it out with a leaf blower!). Okay, I have to stop now and get to work.