Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Settled

Well, I s'pose it's time for another update.

I guess it depends on your definition of "settled" as to how we are doing. Everything is in order in the house, but I still have a lot of settling to do. I just took the cats in to get registered and micro-chipped and updates on shots. The poor things got stabbed with a mighty large needle! I will soon get a PCM (Primary Care Manager) for my medical needs. So then I will have to have all my medical files transferred out here. The good thing is that once I get all the records here from my various doctors, the next time we PCS I will only have to call one office instead of 3! I feel like I constantly have things on my to-do list. Same with the "Walmart" list - we literally get home and think of something else we needed or should have gotten. We finally got cable, internet, and functional phone service, so at least we are connected to the world again. I am trying to get things organized, but it's a bit difficult when I walk into a room and see something that needs to be taken care of, take that into another room and get distracted by something else, and then go make some lunch and get distracted from eating to take care of something else - unpacking has definitely been my full-time job!

I am quickly realizing that I did not vacuum enough in our previously carpeted residences. Like EVER. We have laminate hardwood in our downstairs, and it gets dirty so fast! I bought a dry mop with reusable pads and I am always completely
disgusted each time I go over the floors. No wonder when I shampooed the carpets that the water was always black! I was wearing flip flops around the house when we first moved in because otherwise my feet would get dirty and I'd track that onto the couches and our bed. Our stuff got covered in a white dust from the storage unit. The aisles were gravel and most of our stuff was set on the ground to arrange everything to fit inside the unit. So ALL that got tracked in. I couldn't clean the floors until I had unpacked all the boxes. But I was doing that by myself since Chris had to work, so it took me over a week before I hauled all the boxes in from the garage, unpacked them, put things away, broke the boxes down again, dusted down all the furniture, stored the packing materials, threw out the newspaper, went a bought a dry mop, had to buy a second one to use while the first was in the wash, and now I can FINALLY say that my floors are clean. And now the furniture is starting to be dusty again, and the bathroom sinks need to be cleaned because the cats' paws left tracks all over from their dirty feet. So now that we are "settled", I shall begin my first round of cleaning. It feels good to be getting some laundry done, too! 3 loads of moving blankets are done, so now I can start on normal laundry.

I went to a job information meeting on post today, and updated my dusty resume. I got many references to different websites to apply for jobs. The college nearby in Clarksville, Austin Peay, just graduated 8500 seniors. Add that to all the local military no competition or anything. I am overwhelmed in a good way with all the information I got, but a little disheartened to hear of just how hard it will be to get a job here. The employment center in Clarksville sees over 5,000 people each month! We shall see how it goes. I got lots of tips and ideas, and there are classes and job fairs on post frequently to help you get a job. And they don't give up on you, either. I just hope that I don't have to navigate too far from my field to find a job...

We've already been down to Nashville once, although it was just for dinner. We walked down Broadway to check out the night life. All sorts of people were out! Every bar has live country bands, everyone trying to make it big, I'm sure. Lots of boot stores and yummy looking places to eat. I went home for my niece's baptism this past weekend, so we didn't get to check anything else out yet. I keep picking up brochures of fun things to do like
The American Cave Museum and Hidden River Cave and Historic Diamond Caverns and the Incline Railway and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies are the latest ones I have looked at. 

That's all for now, I guess. Now I can check blogging off my list and move on to something else I need to take care of in this room. Oh look, there are 4 boxes of paperwork and files to be sorted and put away...great...maybe I will see something else to do that is more fun...hang up the KU flag! Oh, wait, I can't - I ran out of picture hanging nails. Maybe I should run to the PX?! I need some envelopes and stamps, too...That reminds me, I need to mail that paperwork to change the bank account info on my student loans. But I should probably start by taking the laundry out of the dryer and putting the sheets back on the bed.

And so in circles I continue to go. It's so hard to get stuff done!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Home At Last...?

Well, I know that a lot of you are waiting and wondering what is going on down here with the hubby and I at Ft. Campbell.

Not a whole lot.

We managed to arrive safely after about 8 hours on the road, with only 2 stops along the way for gas, snacks, and to get our moving truck weighed. Our belongings weigh over 6,000 pounds!

The cats fared fairly well. Zorro cried all the way to St. Louis. He would get really worked up and then his cries would gradually get quieter and quieter and he would lay down. Just when I forgot that I was traveling with cats, he started flipping in his cage and crying all over again. Pearl chimed in here and there, but she fell silent shortly after leaving Kansas and resorted to staring at the side of her cage. I finally switched where their carriers were in the car when we stopped outside of St. Louis, and finally, FINALLY I could drive without crying and howling. They were essentially asleep once we arrived.

The next morning after arriving we got up and unloaded our moving truck into a storage unit. It only took us about 3 hours, which is pretty amazing considering that it was just the two of us and we had to unload crazy heavy furniture! I had to rest up to move the heavy stuff. Luckily we avoided the afternoon heat. I will say that the first thing I noticed about this area is how GREEN the grass is! Kansas was looking a little dried up. Even though it is hot here too, the greenery makes it a little more refreshing. Plus it rains more often. We have already had 3 or 4 storm systems move through since we've been here, and there has been a significant amount of overcast skies each day.

For those of you who do not know, Chris's orders were changed relatively quickly, and we were left somewhat scrambling to get ready for this move. I feel that we were pretty lucky to end up with a house on base, considering we were number 46 or something on the housing wait list. We didn't get our 3 bedroom house...we got a 4 bedroom house! Not quite sure what we will do with all that space, but it will be fun to fill it up with some visitors and hopefully some kids! The downside to all this is that the house will not be ready until August 7th. Apparently they are giving the unit some upgrades. We drove by the house the other day, and we're already getting mail here! It feels kind of surreal that this is finally happening. We took a look around, but didn't get to go inside as we do not have the keys yet.

In the meantime, we have been fortunate enough to be staying with a friend of Chris' from ROTC at KU.  She lives in the neighboring city of Clarksville, and has a dog, so the cats have holed up in our bedroom and have adjusted better than I could have hoped for! They get to come out and roam the house and look for trouble after Ellie has been kenneled up for the night.

I have been taking it easy, watching the Olympics, and digging around online to find information about things to do in Clarksville. I found this website to be a very helpful starting point for information. Chris reported on August 1st for in-processing, so he will have several days of paperwork and junk to do. Once we move in on post, there will be more for me to do. I intend to pick up the job hunt, starting with the childcare centers on post (there are a billion) and Chris told me that Ft. Campbell is one of the top bases in the country for youth programs and activities. I will say that driving around base, there is a real feeling of community and it seems very family oriented, and I'm sure it will very quickly feel like home.

We hope to visit the farmer's market tomorrow morning, and will be either going to see Movies in the Park or Jazz on the Lawn at a local winery. We have already looked into getting our fishing licenses so we can go to Land Between the Lakes not far from here in Kentucky. The outdoor sports around here are AMAZING!

I am hoping that by this time next week, I will be doing this very thing: blogging in our NEW house. It will be nice not to be homeless!