April 18, 2010

The Search is Over

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 9:10 pm by Jenn

You know, I just don’t know where the time goes.  It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but it definitely doesn’t seem like it’s been over a month.  I have been pretty busy over the past month.  Most of my time has been spent surfing the internet, looking for a house to rent somewhere in Virginia halfway between Quantico, Va and Largo, MD.  That was the easy part.  There are a TON of places to rent.  The hard part was finding something in our price range in an area that we’d consider living, and in a house that we’d want to be in for 3 years.  That was no easy task.  I spent one weekend riding around near Occuquan.  The ride there from Upper Marlboro was LONG which told me right away that there was no way that I’d want to make that commute everyday.  I didn’t see much that I liked in the way of houses so I wasn’t heartbroken.  I decided to set my limits.  Nothing more than 30 miles from Largo, MD or the base for Scott.  That put us in the Alexandra/Springfield area.  Ok.  I can handle that commute.  I immediately thought about Kingstowne which was a neighborhood I was familiar with.  Unfortunately, that area was a bit out of our price range.  I checked the rental listings nearby and seriously spent two weekends driving by the outsides of places to determine if I even wanted to walk inside.  I found a great agent to help me with that part – Jennifer Rivera from Move For Free Realty.  She was one of the only agents that I could get to help me with my rental search so I want to give her a huge KUDOS for showing me around the insides of some of these places.  She does rentals and sales and she’s an awesome lady so if you are in the market in this area, give her a call.  I looked at 6 properties that day with Jennifer and I realized that in order to be in the type of house I wanted I was going to have to come up on my maximum price.  The following day I looked at two properties that I found on Militarbyowner.com and thankfully my search was over. 

My mom went with me to look at the two properties.  I knew after visiting the first house that it was the perfect place for Scott and I to live.  It was in Kingstowne - just a little over what I originally said my “max” price was and it’s only 23.1 miles from Largo, and about the same to Quantico for Scott.  PERFECT!

So we signed a lease and we can move in starting May 28th.  I’m excited.  I haven’t seen some of my things for 3 years and most of my personal things for almost a year now.  It will be nice to have a place to go home to where I’m surrounded by my own things and best of all where I have the sweet sound of silence.  Ah, now that’s what I’m looking forward to.  Scott comes home in the middle of June.  Hopefully most of our household stuff will have arrived by then and I can have the house set up for the most part. 

Max will have a nice little fenced in yard, we have a nice deck off of the kitchen and best of all – a doggie door in the basement.  Max can come and go and do as he pleases, when he pleases.  That was the selling feature of course!

I have more to update on, and will do that later.  As for now, my search is over and it’s time for Desperate Housewives!

February 27, 2010

Wake Up Call

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 8:12 pm by Jenn

When the phone rings in the middle of the night it usually isn’t a good thing.  This morning my phone rang at 3:34am.  It was Scott.  There was a tremor in his voice and he told me that there had been a massive earthquake in Chile.  He was ok, but the city was a mess he said.  He was calling from the Embassy where he was safe, thank God.  He said he didn’t know about our stuff, I told him not to worry about that right now, the important thing was that he was safe. 

I sent messages to his family and a few of our friends so that they wouldn’t panic when they heard the news in the morning.  I searched for a news story and sure enough there it was, Earthquake hits Chile, 8.8.  WOW.  Haiti’s earthquake was 7.0.  In further searching later this afternoon I found this really cool feature from the USGS (US Geological Survey) that gives details about earthquakes all over the world.  Go ahead and click it, you’ll be surprised how many were in the US in the past week.   This link will take you directly to the summary information for today’s earthquake in Chile.

Scott called back later this afternoon to say that he was definitely not going to be able to live in his apartment again.  He said that the structural damage was much worse than he originally thought.  He said there are cracks everywhere.  Thankfully most of our personal belongings are in tact.  He said we lost a few things, but they are all replaceable and again, the most important thing is that he is safe.  I’ll admit that I am worried about him because of the PTSD.  He had just gotten back to semi normal and now this earthquake, which by the way I think is the thing he feared most in the world.  He hated the fact that we lived on the 14th floor in Baku.  He wouldn’t even go out on to the balcony.  Thankfully, this earthquake happened in Santiago and not in Baku, in Baku I shudder to think about what the outcome might have been.  Chile has very strict building codes because of their history of earthquakes.  I just heard on the news that there was a 15 story building south of Santiago that collapsed.  The government plans to investigate and if building code was not followed they plan to prosecute to the full extent of the law.  Not long before we arrived in Baku a building collapsed.   There are codes in Baku too I’m sure, but in that type of political environment it’s hard to tell what is actually enforced.

Scott says that there is a lot of clean up to be done around the Embassy.  He said that the earthquake was so strong that it moved a 400 pound safe to the center of the room in his office.  He also mentioned that the media was calling and asking really stupid questions, what are those alarms, was there any damage, etc.  My suggestion to the media who are calling would be to let the people at the embassy do their jobs, and stop wasting their precious time with such nonsense. 

If you are looking for information about an American living in Chile you can utilize this link for contact phone numbers.

As for now the Tsunami warnings for Hawaii have been lifted.  There are still aftershocks in Chile, and there likely will be for some time to come.  I heard earlier that aftershocks can take place for months and possibly a year to come.

February 20, 2010

At Last.

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 7:31 pm by Jenn

We finally got our news a little over a week ago.  News about the next post.  Looks like home will be Quantico, Va for the next 3 years!  Well maybe not home, but that’s where Scott will be working.  We are thinking about the Springfield/Alexandria area to live.  I’ve been checking for rentals and I’m telling you….places are EXPENSIVE around here.  I could get a place on the water in Sneads Ferry for what we’ll be paying in rent around here.  I don’t think it’s going to be worth it to buy…then when we are ready to leave we have to worry about selling and finding a new place in North Carolina….still not sure what we are going to do, but at least we now have a general idea about where we’ll be doing it!  lol

If anyone has a decent sized rental (1800 sqft) with at least 3 BR’s, 2 full baths and a fenced yard in Virginia let me know!

October 15, 2009

WTF?

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 3:36 pm by Jenn

Well, here it is, October 14, 2009.  Where has the time gone?  I feel horrible that I haven’t been blogging lately.  There have actually been quite a few bloggable moments lately, but it’s hard to blog when you share a computer and work, and go to school and are watching all these stupid reality shows.  I need my other life back.  You know, the one I complained about all the time, but managed to fit in my therapy blogging on a regular basis.

There is a lot going on in my life right now.  I’m supposed to be leaving for Chile on October 27….that means packing, getting the dog export certificate and my visa in order.  That also means the last day of work which means, meetings and charting and making sure that all of the loose ends are tied up so the RD I’m covering for doesn’t think I’m a quack!

There’s also the fact that I have a project due for my Cardiovascular Nutrition class.  Yeah.  It’s due November 3rd.  I’ve started it.  I want to have it finished before I move.  That’s looking doubtful.

There are friends to see, food to eat and Ren Fest to visit one more time.

Scott’s in town for a conference which has thrown an incredible kink in to a lot of my previously made plans.  I mean, I should spend time with my husband given the fact that I haven’t seen him since June right?

There’s also a small amount of stress related to the fact that my husband is telling me that I should stay in the states rather than move to Chile.   He says it’s terribly expensive and that it will cost us money that we don’t have for me to join him there.  That’s all fine well and good and I wouldn’t mind staying in the States if I knew where we were going to be stationed next so that I knew where to potentially look for a job/house.

There is also the small fact that if I am to continue living in the US for now, that I’m sleeping on a futon in my parents very crowded, very disorganized house and it is driving me crazy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful that I have been able to impose on them for all this time, but if I have to stay I’m going to need to buy a bed cause that futon just isn’t cutting it.  So, all that being said….what’s up with you?

Did I mention that I mailed my yarn stash to myself…in Chile….last week.  Uh oh!  LOL.

AND, I’ve decided not to get the Swine Flu vaccine.  I wash my hands enough and I think that I’m old enough to have had possible exposure to it as a child.  I think I’m just going to wait this one out.  I did however get the regular flu vaccine….courtesy of DaVita.

Stay tuned.

November 13, 2007

Our Apartment

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 12:31 pm by Jenn

Our apartment is about a 20 minute walk from the Embassy.  There is a nice park outside that we can take Max for walks in.  This park is the source of much entertainment (see this post – Leftovers in the Park).  The apartment is about 1500 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a kitchen, den, living room/dining room and enclosed patio that we use for storage.  There is a LONG hallway that separates the bedrooms from the LR/DR area and along that hallway are the kitchen and den.  The apartment is furnished.  Max likes to sit in the windows and look out over the parking lot (home to MANY stray cats) and park.  He spends so much time in the window that I put his bed up there so he has a comfortable place to spend his day.

There is a concierge 24/7.  Some of them are nicer than others….there is guy, old guy and grumpy guy.   Guy is ok, doesn’t say much, but will buzz the door for me when I come from walking Max, come from the grocery store…whenever, he will open the door me.  Old guy is my favorite.  I greet him with the standard Russian greeting and ask how he is everytime I see him.  He talks to me in Russian even though he knows I don’t understand most of what he says.   He is friendly and always smiling.   Grumpy, well grumpy is always grumpy.  He will not buzz the door, but will say hello – only if I say hello first.  These guys work 24 hour shifts so they sleep in their little booth which is probably 5×5 at the most.  Grumpy guy listens to very loud classical music and drinks vodka while he works…hey if you have to work 24 hours in a cell, you might as well have fun.  All the “guys” like Max.  They are entertained by his energy (and his clothes).  They all pet him and smile when he comes around – except Grumpy Guy, he just loses a few wrinkles.

There is also a lady who cleans the stairways.  She is always friendly…speaks to me only in Russian and ALWAYS smells like vodka. Our Building

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