31 August, 2016

Just to Keep me Grounded

We take a break from the regular bulletins on how the move to China is going, to tell you about my douche-twat little brother.

I am once again borrowing portions of this prompt from Paula Kaye at Smidgens, Snippets and Bits for some thought-starters. I decided it would be better than the rant I started. It’s just a concise way for me to NOT rant. I hope.

I’m overwhelmed with thoughts about family dynamics, as we prepare for the whole family to get together this holiday weekend. I’m the 4th of 5 children, and for the first time in over 10 years, we are all on the same continent. For a while.

My baby brother has opted to take his two sweet fairy princesses to visit their maternal great-grandmother, which would be understandable if this cookout weekend hadn’t been planned for months, and if said Great-grandmother had made any contact in the past four years while my parents took care of the littles! (The mother barely makes contact near-ish to Christmas and the birthdays.)

My mother’s facebook message to myself and my other siblings this morning. This will be the first – and possibly last – opportunity to get pictures of the full family, since I’m moving to China soon.

I see red. That is all.

Well, I tell you what WON’T be on it – pictures of the whole family! That’s what! Typical.

There isn’t enough alcohol in the world to drown my annoyance at this situation. HOWEVER, I found some DogfishHead Punkin Ale at Target on my lunch, so I intend to avail myself of that when I get home.

We are trying to get rid of food we have on hand. My grocery lists are almost entirely perishables. I cook rice on the regular.

I'm so glad we were able to elevate my mom's mood:
 Also on a positive note, I was not able to get a professional photographer for this weekend. So - Money Saved!

This weekend may not be what we expected, but my other brother and I responded quickly to Mom’s annoyed message, and seem to have her back in good spirits. I would hate for one person’s absence (well, 3, counting his kids) to deflate the day for the rest of us.
We will take many pictures, play some pinochle, cookout, drink some, and some of the teens are staying with Brett and myself. So that will be fun and full of video games and pizza.
I’m talking with the eldest of us later today, and want to suggest we all bring flowers or something for Mom, who really is upset by this.

NOTE: I do realize that perhaps this great-grandma is in ill health and it may be a last chance, but if she hasn't even inquired about the girls in FOUR YEARS... Why should she get preferential treatment?

26 August, 2016


I'm trying to get over this negativity before it drags me under. Today, I will force myself into Happy by focusing on the positives.

So, instead of griping about the pain-in-the-neck process we are attempting, and the $700 we've shelled out before even buying tickets, some recent happy thoughts and happy moments!

A dear friend flew in from the East coast to visit for the weekend, and it was actually a very relaxing time together. She is going through some stress of her own, so she was grateful to sleep in and just hang out.

Saturday morning I made us scones and Turkish coffee and we sat on the balcony watching it rain.

We took a walk every day.
Giant Mushrooms!

Other happy things? I had ordered an early birthday present for Brett and it arrived on Tuesday. If you have a man in your life that you shop for, you should check out Man-Crates. I've done this for him twice - different each time, and it's so much fun. This time it was a crate of REAL ramen. He loves it. (Last time I did a bacon-themed crate.)

This is the card they put in the crate.
I also met a new friend who was passing through town. I made us a picnic breakfast and met her at the train station. That was pretty cool, too.

So good things are happening. Now I have to go talk to a friend about the possibilities India has to offer.

25 August, 2016

In the Home Stretch... Maybe

We may see the light at the end of the tunnel! Then again, it may be a mirage.

The last few weeks have been a jumble of hurdle-stumble-resolution-hurdle-stumble-resolution. So we've hit this turning point before. The "all clear" sounds and we think we're just waiting on One Thing. Only to have the rules changed on us. This is about every other week. 

Everyone promises that "after we get there" it will all make more sense, and we'll even start to embrace their system. Meanwhile, I'm wondering if my organized self will ever adapt to what seems to be a mess of disorganization. Can I survive?

...I wrote those top paragraphs yesterday.
Today, I received an email with documents to print out about our visas and found out that "This will only take 5 days" really means, "You can accomplish this in 5 days, IF YOU WANT TO PAY $320 EACH!"
The standard $218+ fee is 6-10 days.

Seriously. I'm just. Done.
I'm going to talk to a friend in India about getting a job there. I know the visas are cheaper, not sure about turnaround time. I'm so sick of this.
Every. Stinking. Day.

Misery loves company. Please, in lieu of commiserating, if you choose to comment, just let me know what is currently driving you insane!    

18 August, 2016

SUPER Bad Blogger!

Over a week between posts... AGAIN!

This time I have a more legitimate excuse. I have begun training my replacement at work, so can't really keep my personal pages open on my computer (she can see). I know, I shouldn't be anyway, but often that's how I catch up on you all!

Plus, we were away spending time with Brett's family and old friends last weekend. PLUS I've been trying to prepare for a friend's visit - arriving today! 

So I definitely had to post a quickie today, because I know I won't touch this blog again until after the weekend at the very earliest. (Trainee is at lunch.) If I remember, I will take pics this weekend to share our exciting doings.

My replacement will be awesome, and this is great to be able to personally train her, in a leisurely timeframe. Move prep is still the biggest hassle of my life. I think I'm gaining stress-weight. 

More next week!

10 August, 2016

Bad Blogger! (Delays, delays...)

Bad Blogger!

It's been over a week since I wrote! Shame on me. At least I have a good bad excuse: I've become addicted to online Mah-jongg. 

It's bad because I spend so much time playing a stupid game, but it is honestly helping me learn Mandarin! I have my little phrasebook/dictionary, and am learning to translate the characters on the tiles. I can even write my numbers now, and immediately recognize each individually for what it translates as, without having to run through the list 1-10. And the directions. I know my north, south, east and west, too, although I can't draw them all yet.

After a fairly stressful week finding out there were YET MORE documents we needed - and a near meltdown thinking "What have we gotten ourselves into?" - all of our paperwork went out on Monday. Now we wait. Could be 3 weeks before we have approval to apply for work visas. We're hoping they can rush it. On this end, the visas are just a 4 day process. So that's okay.

At my job, I hope to begin training my replacement on Monday. Things are moving along in every area, it seems. I've just not been writing about it. Well, I have... just not finalizing any posts, to be honest. I did so well posting during the A-to-Z Challenge. I think I just need to set up a schedule for writing/posting.