Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day Nine

Today started off with pretty much everything going wrong, but since it wasn't me in the smashed car on the JK Bridge that caused me to be stuck in traffic for an hour, it could definitely have been worse. Anyway, I am finally getting sort of caught up at work and can now walk by Mitch's office without wanting to cry (but I ain't going in there). There was no money in the cash machine at the embassy (again), and we were having a craft fair, but I had to save all my cash for gas, so I was sad for a minute.

The day turned around for me when the money truck pulled up.  I bought two paintings, two dozen empanadas for the kids' lunch boxes, and another one of the hand-carved wooden bowls I love.  I used up all the money in the money truck!  But it cheered me up, and I'm crazy about my paintings.  Then, I drove home without the GPS, which is a pretty big deal for me, and I even stopped at the nursery on the way home.  I have two giant planters that have dead plants in them, and I wanted to get something for the gardener to put in them tomorrow.  You guys, I asked for help and I'm pretty sure I walked away with good stuff!  I think I asked the lady, "I need some large shade plants or grasses for my pots that are on my patio and don't receive much sun."

Here is what I think the lady heard: "Big grass. No sun. Vase."   But still, I got the plants AND filled up the car with gas, so yay me!  I got home in time to meet the RSO (regional security officer) to talk about my alarm situation.  The situation being that the alarm goes off every hour during the night and I run downstairs to find Jack prowling around in his underwear with a knife, half asleep, but taking his job as man of the house quite seriously.  It's a good thing the alarm didn't wake up our valuable watch dog, because he would have been pissed.

Today is 3.5 stars, because I didn't have to do any Mitch jobs and I love my new paintings very much.  My friend Katie said to me (after I told her what I bought), "paintings are the new shoes!"  I hope not, because the money truck doesn't come that often to the embassy.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day Eight

Holy heck, how did we make it to day eight?  I have lots to tell you about the last week, but I have a ton to do, so this will just be a quick update. The move lasted six days and included two hour naps on the lawn by the movers. Every day.  But no fear, they spread out flattened boxes for themselves to lay on. Everything sucked hard.  The car died and I had to jump-start the battery.  You guys, I barely know how to put gas in my car, let alone jump a battery, so there I was, standing out in the carport with a youtube video on my laptop, hoping I didn't blow myself up.  Amazingly, IT WORKED.  The car started right up.  I'm surprised I didn't feel awesome and accomplished about the whole thing, because everyone keeps telling me how good this will be for me, taking care of everything by myself.  All it made me feel was sad and irritated, but I WAS in the middle of watching the movers take naps on the lawn, so that may have had something to do it.

As of Monday, everything was moved into the house.  Graca, my awesome helper, came and spent eight hours unpacking with me.  God, I love her (even though she hangs my stainless steel measuring cups out of order).  I also baked bread and made homemade chicken noodle soup on Monday, because we all needed one meal that didn't come out of a bag.  The kids even had soup for breakfast the next day. Maybe they were worried there wouldn't be many home-cooked meals coming their way any more, and wanted to get it while the gettin' was good?  I don't know.

Yesterday, I ASSEMBLED FURNITURE WITH TOOLS.  I EVEN HAD TO USE A LEVEL.  I'll just let that sink in for a minute.......

Today we got cable and the World's Slowest Internet hooked up.  I have yet to connect my international phone, but I'll get it going by this weekend.  The internet guy showed me how to block porn while a porno was playing, so that was awesome.

I have hives, eczema, and pinkeye.  Basically, I'm  a walking pustule. Now that the move is over, I think/hope my skin will calm down. I haven't heard Mitch's voice since he left last Monday, but I have really good friends here that have been amazing and supportive, so we are really very lucky.   I have one room completely unpacked.  It's essentially a closet with a massage table set up in it, so my sense of accomplishment is minimal at best.  On that note, Karol will be here to give me a much-needed massage in about ten minutes, so I'm going to sign off. 

I'm going to give today three out of five stars, because I'm happy to be moved in and I got to watch some porn with a stranger. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day Two

This is the one in which I have to start doing husband jobs now that Mitch is gone, like disconnecting the computers and tvs and ohmygodwhyaretheresomanycords?  Today is moving day, and the movers arrived just before 9:00 am and started tearing through my stuff.  Things seemed to be going fairly well. I had the kids translate for me before they left for school (thank gah it was late start Wednesday), and I am a pretty good at charades, so I was able to convey what I wanted them to pack.  I had hidden the espresso machine, a mug, coffee, and milk in the refrigerator before they got here.  If there's one thing that I can't cope with, it's not having coffee when I wake up. "This is so awesome! At this rate we might be able to move in to the new house tomorrow!" thought I. Sometimes I can be pretty adorable with my cute way of thinking. Any time a mover found anything of possible value, he would bring it to me for safekeeping.  That is why my cargo pants are filled with broken cell phones right now.  And a Nintendo Gameboy, from like, the '90s. Meanwhile, I was trying to figure out how to make the wifi work without the desktop's involvement, and you can bet I did a fair amount of cursing of the State Department, my husband, Brazil, the Taliban, and Al Gore for inventing the internet in the first place.  Anyway, you guys, I conquered my first Mitch job and I have internet for one more day!  I have leapt into the new millenium with both feet and did a computer thingie all by myself.

Around 11:30 or so, all the movers disappeared. My friend Katie came to visit and keep me company, so I made us both lattes from my hidden, refrigerated espresso maker.  You might not be surprised to know that the coffee came out of the machine COLD.  So, that was a disappointment. I finally found the movers napping in the backyard on flattened out boxes.  Around 1:30, they came back inside so they could pack my empty boxes in their boxes.  Really. I had placed all my appliance boxes in front of the appliances they belonged to, and they packed the boxes and the appliances SEPARATELY. Then, they packed maybe one box each until they went home at 4:00.  They have yet to pack half the downstairs and none of the upstairs has been touched.  They assured me (via Henry the Middle Child-who knew he could understand portuguese so well?) they would be done by tomorrow night, but I have my doubts.

The other Mitch job I have is to try and set up internet/cable at the new house, but the company in that neighborhood won't accept anything less than a newborn baby and a unicorn, and even though I offered them a ten year old and a Wheaten Terrier with a detachable gold-plated horn, they refuse to let me have their services, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to fail.

I give today about  three out of five stars, because I didn't cry and because my friend Jen reminded me to grab the wine bottle opener before they packed it.

Update: two out of five stars.  The car won't start.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day One

I played hooky from work (don't worry, taxpayers, I didn't get paid!) yesterday so Mitch and I could celebrate eighteen years of wedded bliss:

We had a great day together and I felt pretty relaxed, which, for me, is a big deal lately.  We had a fancy-shmancy dinner date on Saturday, but our anniversary dinner was spent with the kids at our favorite restaurant last night. I had the worst caipirinha of my life. It was basically a bowl of grain alcohol. I drank the whole thing, because I'm not one to waste, you know?

Anyhoodle, we got up this morning and Mitch hauled his suitcases downstairs.  The kids were all brave and calm and gave him tearless hugs goodbye and hopped on the school bus.  I was doing a pretty good job of keeping my shit together, too (pharmaceuticals), until the maid came and I tried to tell her in my crappy portuguese that today is our last day living in this house and here is our new address. Oh! Also that my husband is going to Afghanistan for a year.  

Here is what I think she understands: 

I was crying.
My husband is leaving with a lot of suitcases.
We are leaving our home.

The awesome part is that my house was freaking IMMACULATE when I got home today, so I probably won't set her straight too soon. You guys, she cleaned the bottoms of my shoes. 

I told my friends not to be nice to me or give me sad looks today, but they did anyway. LUCKILY, I have a tear duct infection, and I'm pretty sure I flushed that fucker out. The kids are amazing. The school nurse did call today because Grace was inconsolable about losing a tooth. I explained that the tooth had nothing to do with it, spoke to Grace on the phone and told her I'd buy her some forbidden Lucky Charms at the commissary (desperate times), and she seemed fine after that.

The girls set five plates at the dinner table tonight.

One out of five stars for today. The one star was for my kids and friends being awesome.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Lamest Update I Could Come Up With

What's going on around here: I'm working almost full time, which is killing me because I hate being out of my house. Also, it's hard to wear a bra all day like that. We're moving next week, to a house that doesn't have poisonous black mold seeping down the walls AND has a window in the kitchen.  It's also in a gated, guarded compound.  Mitch is packing for Kabul. He leaves next week. The girls are rolling around in the bedding he's taking so he can have the "love" they are rubbing into his blankie for him.

Suckage. I haven't even had time to properly shop for the rewards I'll be needing for getting through this crappy time period.  Kidding.  I picked up a few things.