PCS Move Part III

“If I only had a brain,” wished Dorothy’s scarecrow. Well, having “lost my mind” many times, especially every PCS, I can assure you that you can have a smooth move, even without a brain. It just takes a bit of organization.

One of the most important things you can have during a move is a notebook. I prefer mine to be pretty.

In this notebook, I keep a running to-do list. Things like “mail forwarding with Post Office” and “mail deposit for new water company.” It is also where I list all the utilities and services I am starting or canceling, their phone number, my account number, and any other important information. This way, if the cable guy does not show up on the appointed day to install my service, I have all the contact information in one place. I will also use it temporarily as an address book, especially at the new home where I may get a few suggestions for a piano teacher or a babysitter and I need to call around until I settle on someone who will go in my more permanent address book.

And then, those last days at the old home, I have handy sheets of paper where I can scribble notes to people to leave on doorsteps: “Thanks for loaning me this book. Sorry I missed you. See you in two years.”
Next you need a big, zippered envelope. This holds all of your PCS related paperwork: receipts, the papers the movers give you, the papers the transportation office gives you, half a dozen copies of hubby’s orders.
I also have this small, portable filing bin that I use all the time. This is the last thing I would remember in a fire, but the first thing I would wish I had grabbed. It contains the most important documents: birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports, kids’ immunization records and their most recent physicals, dog’s shot records, our mortgage, rental agreements, social security cards, and similar papers. We have other filing bins that we let the packers wrap up and the movers transport, but this filing bin goes in our car.

Lastly, I will keep my address books with me. Someday, I will have all that information in electronic form, like on my iTouch or in my cell phone. But for now, the old fashioned kind is all I have. I must admit that I do not have my parents’ home phone number memorized. They relocated to Florida after the invention of speed dial, and I have never forced myself to learn it. However, they are probably the first people I might call with a question like, “Mom, can you google the phone number for the cable company that I forgot to write down in my notebook?”

Friends and family are always a good backup for a missing brain.

Working hard

It’s hard work taking down a trampoline. It’s best to pace yourself and take a break every now and then.

And once you get to be a certain age, stopping to stretch will aid in preventing injuries.

This is a good stretch for your hamstrings and your back. Your partner provides the resistance. Reach, Bill, reach.

Here you see an assisted glute stretch. Isn’t Fritz such a helpful son?

I think in this one, Bill is getting into position to show Fritz a stretch or two.

We’ve been enjoying the warm weather (obviously). Extended forecast is calling for snow on one of the days we’re packing. Nice. At least we’re heading south.

To boldly go where no tenant has gone before

Last week, in search of missing socks, I moved the washer and dryer that came with the house. My reward: one sock and a dime. I washed years of yuck off the floor. All day I smiled in that part of the house. I just felt cleaner. Dirt, even hidden dirt, weighs me down.

Saturday, I was working on the toy room. I know it is unreasonable, but LEGOS in the Playmobile bucket really irritates me. There are now only Playmobile in the Playmobile bucket. Today I plan to finish sorting through the toys. I will set my children to task in assembling puzzles. Any puzzle missing pieces will get the boot.

Moving is work, and moving frequently is a headache, but it gives me a chance to really declutter and organize and clean. And that, my friends, makes me feel so good. I don’t know how you civilians do it: staying in the same house year after year. Do you ever feel completely organized and clean?

Final Frantic Run for Healthcare

One key obstacle appeared on its way to a resolution when Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., requested the elimination of an intensely controversial, one-of-a-kind federal subsidy to cover the entire cost of a Medicaid expansion in his home state.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” Matthew 27: 3-4

Nelson is giving the money back because Nebraska told him they don’t want it. I’m not sure he has even as much remorse as Judas had.

Fun in the Sun?

We took advantage of yesterday’s sweltering temperatures (50 degrees!!) to play and work outside.

Down comes the swing set. My husband is insisting this is it’s last move.

I’m just happy we’re having this heat wave. Last week’s bitter cold (OK, nothing like the Midwest, but once you get below freezing and the wind is howling, cold is cold) had me concerned that my husband would abandon the swing set altogether. I didn’t even like going from the house to the car, so there was no way I would make him work outside for hours.

One final jump. Trampoline comes down today.

Notice the very non-wintery clothes. It was hot, I tell you. Well, not me. I was wearing a sweater. Kids, though, seem to have different thermostats.


Un-excavating the raised garden that I never filled with vegetables.

Little boys feeling the enormity of the task.

These boys zealously spent hours digging a bunker in the garden. I told them they could, but they’d have to put the dirt back before we moved. Now that it’s time to fulfill the promise, digging is no longer such a fun job. Every five minutes they would ask if they could have a break.

Admittedly, the job is a little harder this go round. The ground isn’t frozen, but it sure is hard. I spent a few minutes manning a hoe, chipping away at the mounds. Then I decided I had better things to do. Besides, I didn’t make the hole in the first place.

Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing, even at night, for the next week, so hopefully the job will get easier.

Two Jokes

My husband read me a joke he received from a friend via email. It was about a dad playing with his 2 year old while the mom was out. The little girl had a tea set and kept bringing him cups of water which he would drink and say how delicious it was. When the mom comes home, he tells her to wait and watch their little game.

At this point in his reading I interrupted with the punch line. OK, Moms, what did the mom know immediately that the dad didn’t?

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Then my husband read me this joke, which really had me laughing. Maybe it’s a military thing.

A U.S. Marine Colonel was about to start the morning briefing to his staff. While waiting for the coffee machine to finish brewing, the colonel decided to pose a question to all assembled. He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep. He posed the question of just how much of sex was “work” and how much of it was “pleasure?”

A Major chimed in with 75-25% in favor of work.

A Captain said it was 50-50%.

A lieutenant responded with 25-75% in favor of pleasure, depending upon his state of inebriation at the time.

There being no consensus, the colonel turned to the PFC who was in charge of making the coffee and asked for HIS opinion? Without any hesitation, the young PFC responded, “Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure.”

The colonel was surprised and as you might guess, asked why?

“Well, sir, if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them.”

PCS Move Part II

The packers come in 11 days!

Last week, I had a few goals: weigh vehicles (I did one of the two), declutter the bathroom (um, failed on this one), and start giving stuff away (I’m working on this – so far, so good).

Today I am canceling utilities and services. In fact, I am on terminal hold with a faceless, mammoth TV/internet provider. Good thing I have nothing better to do, right?

I’ve now canceled: electric, cable, water, trash pickup, newspaper, fencing club and the Officer’s Club (pool). The only thing I didn’t cancel was the heating oil because the last delivery’s check is in the mail, and I want to wait until they get it before I call them. Side note: I use Quicken to keep track of bills and expenses, so I went through the last month or two to make sure I didn’t miss any services (like the newspaper).

I’ve set up a walk through and key turnover for our rental home. Can you believe it will take them up to 45 days to give us our deposit back? Thieves. We’ll be rolling in the dough in March. February might be a bit tight.

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I had wanted to live on post for a variety of reasons, but there was no room at the inn. We could have put ourselves on a wait list, but this would mean either living apart for months (didn’t we just do that?) or finding temporary housing for months (and then moving again). Since neither of those appealed to me, I chose to find a house to rent. This makes moving that much easier, since I can tell the movers exactly where to take our stuff. It also gets me a headstart on setting up utilities at our new home.

I am now on hold with faceless, mammoth internet/TV provider #2 to set up new service. It’s been a long day.

OK, I have done electric, cable, gas and I have only water left (hours are 9 to 12 and 3 to 5…what’s up with that?). Newspaper can wait. Trash pickup is provided.

Besides water, I need to make hotels reservations for me and 4 kids for the two nights between leaving our current home and our reservations for vacation at Myrtle Beach (the realtor doesn’t work weekends or I would camp out here) and reservations for Bill and 2 kids for the night before he can get the key to the house and get our stuff delivered. He’ll have the dog, so hopefully the hotel will accommodate that. I have already made reservations for the dog to be boarded at the new vet while we are on vacation.

Besides that, this week: weighing the other car, decluttering the bathroom, and continue working on organizing and thinning out our stuff. Oh, and, trying not to hyperventilate.

Lunch Date

Bill’s parents are in town and watched the kids yesterday so we could go out. We ate lunch at the Dogfish Head Ale House. I don’t get the name. I don’t care.

Bill, noticing the Wi-Fi sign on the door, said, “It’s a good thing I don’t work near here.”

Normally, I would drink water, especially with lunch. But I knew ordering a beer would make Bill really happy: see New Month’s Resolution for August (2008). So I pondered the extensive list of craft brews and picked the Fort because it has a raspberry flavor.

“Sorry I picked such a girly beer,” I apologized.

“It’s not such a girly beer,” he said pointing out the 18% alcohol content. He went with the Raison D’Etre at 8% ABV.

When the server helping our waiter delivered our drinks, mine was in a cordial glass. “And who has nothing else to do today?” he asked regarding my selection.

I ate a lot of carbs. And drank a lot of water. I was cheerful and warm.

Unfortunately, they do not sell the Fort for take home. I guess you can’t bottle happiness.

If you live in my neck of the woods and have not eaten at the Dogfish Head Ale House, I really recommend you try it. Bill has eaten there three times, and I have eaten there twice. We have never been disappointed. Although I am moving, I know we will be back here in a few years. This place will be one thing to look forward to when that time comes.