Friday, June 6, 2008

Ease On Down The Road

I was sure whiney yesterday! Sorry about that. Just the exhaustion catching up I guess.

Today was return the rental car day.

I sure did hate to let that awesome little car go back to the rental company but what can you do?

I realized yesterday evening - late, very late - that I had missed two phone calls from the moving company regarding our items to be shipped to Korea!! They were calling to schedule a time to come and survey our belongings in order to bring enough packing material and manpower to get the job done. Oops! I called them first thing this morning and they were very nice and had someone out within the hour. The surveyor was such a wonderful woman and it looks like everything is in very capable hands.

Snuffles ran out to do some errands today and returned home with a new PSP (Play Station Portable). Boys and their toys! It is a very convenient hand held system though and will provide a good diversion on the long flight overseas.

Right now Snuffles is taking down the wall braces for the shelves he had installed; better him than me!

Earlier this evening we ran out to the other side of town. My friend is leaving on a vacation tomorrow with her two kids, her friend, and her friend's two kids. Seeing as we have already sent all of our DVDs on ahead to Korea, I have no use really for the portable DVD player we own so I passed that on to my friend. Hopefully they will have a smooth trip and with two DVD players for the kids to use, I think they will enjoy the journey.

After meeting up with my friend, we decided to go to a restaurant called Gypsy on the north side of town. On the way there, we stopped at a GameStop store to browse their PSP games and movies and found a few that we wanted. I picked up three movies: Stealth, Labyrinth and The Fifth Element. Then on to dinner!

What a fabulous meal. Gypsy is a middle-eastern, Moroccan type place and we both ordered the lamb shish kabob (not as good as Mom's!!) which was nonetheless very good. After dinner, we moved outside to the patio where several people had ordered hookahs. The scented air was divine! We sat back and enjoyed our after dinner drinks and desserts. Snuffles ordered Turkish coffee and tiramisu; I had the Arabian hot mint tea and baklava. Everything was FABULOUS!!

My son says he wants to come down and take me to dinner before I leave for Korea so now I know where we are going. Yum!!

After getting home, Snuffles set up his PSP and looked through our purchases. He discovered that one of the movies, Labyrinth, was missing! We have the case but not the disc. Needless to say I am beyond irate about that. The GameStop store is a good 45 minutes away on the far side of town. I sent an email to their district manager since it was after hours and I will be calling first thing in the morning. One way or another they are going to remedy this without me spending time or gas to go back to that store.

Snuffles now has about 33 hours before he steps on the plane and heads off for Korea. I bet you can guess what we will be doing tomorrow! Yep, making sure that everything is sorted accordingly and ready to be packed up and shipped or stored.

With him gone, next week is going to be a whirlwind for me. Packers / movers on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Everything has to be absolutely organized and ready and I am up to the challenge!

After that, it's just me, my air mattress and my laptop computer in this big apartment. It's going to feel so empty but I have a couple of new books, the internet and some computer games to keep me busy. Not to mention, the swimming pool and I will become very well acquainted when I have nothing but leisure time and very little to occupy me.

Wait, back up. NO TV!! Where did that sad little face get to? LOL!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Can't Wait . . .

until June 13th is come and gone. Yay for Friday the 13th!! By the eve that day, everything I own except for a few clothes and my laptop should be gone and on their way to Korea and storage.

I am so tired of sorting and organizing and thinking and moving about the apartment and I just want to sit back and relax. Soon enough!!

Snuffles is back from Florida and tomorrow I am putting him to work. We're so close to being done that I've started dragging my feet. I've got to stay motivated!!

I went out tonight and picked up another suitcase. It's a ginormous Samsonite but I needed more space to pack all the clothes I will need for the next couple of months until our stuff arrives in Korea.

Sorry for the short post today but I am not feeling so well and I'm tired.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera!

More sorting and organizing, but hey! the end is in sight!! I now have the dates for the packing / sending for the items to be stored while we are gone so as of June 13, everything I own except for what goes in my suitcase will be OUT OF HERE!!

Now that I have all the pack out dates, I was able to stop by the apartment complex office and give them my vacate notice. I've asked for June 30th, rather than the full 30 days but if I have to pay for the two days in July as well, it's only around $80. That certainly won't hurt us.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get my passport on the 13th too; wouldn't it be nice if everything fell into place as it should? I know, don't get my hopes up!! But at least I can stay here in the empty apartment until June 30th and after that if necessary I will ingratiate myself to my friends and invade their homes for a short while. I'm grateful to have such wonderful friends in my life!!

After spending yet another hot sweaty day clearing out cupboards and dragging items to their respective piles, I do believe that I shall treat myself to a movie tonight. I never really watched the series but I've caught some episode recently - looks like Sex and The City tonight for me! Theaters should be all but empty as kids are still in school yet (tomorrow is the last day) and it is a Tuesday night.

My mother-in-law is all set up now with Yahoo Messenger so that will help her keep in touch with us. I need to get my parents set up too.

Well, I'm off to shower off the grime of the day and head out for a little relaxation!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Busy Day

Still chugging along. I got up early to drive Snuffles to the airport for his short visit with his folks, so now I have a little over three days to really buckle down and get everything sorted and organized for the move. It's so much easier when I don't have to accommodate someone else or work around them.

I picked up my friend Deb today (THANKS, DEB!!) and she went with me to pick up
Snuffles's car from the garage. All tuned up and ready to go to it's new owner! Look like it will be another week and a half before I turn it over to the new owner.

We also stopped at Goodwill where I found a small skillet for a buck which I will use after all my kitchenware has been packed out. I'm going to hit another Goodwill and maybe some yard sales this week as well to find another cheap saucepan so that I can do some cooking after everything is gone. For a dollar, I can afford to use it for a week or two and then throw it out!

After a delicious lunch at Red Lobster, I hit WalMart (I do NOT like that place because of their business practices, but when in need . . .) and found vacuum cleaner bags for my machine. I swear, every time I buy a new vacuum cleaner, I get the one with the bags that are impossible to find! But find them I did and I bought seven packs of three. Hopefully that is enough to keep me in vacuum cleaner bags while I am in Korea.

After WalMart, I came back home and got to work! Today's project has been the kitchen. Moving everything that is to be shipped to Korea into the former sewing room, and keeping everything for storage in the kitchen.

I am just now realizing how much STUFF I have! Especially kitchen stuff! For years, after a jar candle is all used up, I clean it out and then use the jar for storage. I sure do have a lot of them!! Most will go into storage and then I will have the world's most organized house when I return to the States.

So slowly but surely I am chipping away at all that needs to be done. It is my goal to get everything out of the bathrooms and bedroom for the movers, just to simplify the whole process. Then I need to sort through the "get rid of pile" and determine which items I will take to the thrift store on base to sell and which items will go to Goodwill.

The fun never ends!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Quick Update!

Now we're getting somewhere! I just found out that TMO (Traffic Management Office - the military organization that takes care of packing and moving) has assigned the dates for the second portion of this move. They will be coming to pack and ship all of the items we are taking with us to Korea on June 11 and 12. That shipment is due to arrive in Korea on August 15.

The first portion, of course, was Snuffles's unaccompanied baggage, which was shipped last week and is slated to arrive in Korea on July 7.

Now we just need the date for TMO to come and pack all of our belongings that will go in "non-temporary storage" while we are in Korea (the stuff that we are not taking with us).

And the point of a rental car is . . . ?

Snuffles's beloved blue Intrepid is in the shop getting tweaked and tuned up so that we can sell it soon. With my car sold, and his in the garage, we needed to rent a car for a week so we could get around.

I noticed when we were driving home from Avis that the air conditioning seemed to wimp out periodically. Not a complete absence of cold air but decidedly warmer air (does tepid apply to air?); it would come and go with no particular pattern.

Today was the first that we drove it again and when we got in the car, a little blue indicator light was lit up on the dash. It looked like the coolant / thermostat / whatever it's called light. Immediately we turned off the a/c and the light went away. I called Avis to say that we were having trouble and the first thing the guy said was "We close at 1:00 today". It was 12:17.

I said, "No, you need to wait until I get there. This is an issue." It really shouldn't be an issue to get there before closing but with the indicator light having gone on, I wanted to assure that someone would be there if we had a problem with the car en route.

Then he looked up our invoice number and said, "Oh, that's a brand new car. You don't have anything to worry about!"

The hell? I replied, "The idea of having a rental car while my car is in the garage is to have a car that actually works!"

We headed over to Avis and turned the air on again. No light. But the temperature of the a/c continued to fade in and out. Snuffles was debating fussing about it but I insisted that we return it to Avis and get a different vehicle.

Yay for me being assertive!! The car in question was a Subaru Impreza, not a bad little car. But the car we exchanged it for . . . NICE!!! We got a Nissan Altima 2.5S (I think that's the right model). Much nicer vehicle! More power, smoother ride, roomier interior. Not to mention no apparent issues with the cooling system!!

In fact, we like it so much that we now are convinced that this is the car we want to buy when we return to the States. We are both absolutely thrilled with it. Snuffles even said to me, "I'm sure glad you didn't listen to me!"

Now I'm just trying to convince him to go ahead and buy one now and ship it to Korea. Problem is, Koreans do NOT like Japan and any of it's products. I said we'll just have to get some Hyundai logo bits and replace the Nissan ones with them. Think it will work?

Rental Car Shown Below