Thursday, May 31, 2018

Half Way

Over the holiday weekend, we hit the halfway point for deployment.  Now, this is when I start to get antsy.  I get impatient and just want him to be home and for the separation to be over.  I am trying to fill up my calendar with exciting things to do or at least things to do so I can occupy my mind.  I know I sound ridiculous considering this deployment is 4.5 months.  However, that is 4.5 months of stuff he has missed out on.  There isn't anything that can be done to make up for that loss of time.

I believe this is officially deployment number 4 for us.  I was asked yesterday about how many deployments we have been through and I said 6.  I was incorrect however he has been gone for month-long trainings and various length TDYs that added up can be grouped into deployments.

My way to celebrate the halfway point was to go get a haircut and make myself a chocolate chip gluten-free, almond flour, waffle.  Really living on the edge folks.  They are things that I know get me out of the house for a little bit and make me feel happy.

I was asked yesterday if deployments get easier and a wonderful comment was made that "I am a pro at the deployments." The answer to all of that is no.  I think the deployments get harder.  The situation, location, job Nathan has is not the same for every deployment.  They change which puts various stressors on communication, filling up each other's love tank, and being there for each other on bad days.  Nathan and I are both introverts so we really rely on each other.  There are pros and cons to this.  Unfortunately, deployments are a con for introverts.  Then there are the other factors that don't help with deployments like age, living arrangements, community resources available and contact with family/friends.  This deployment is fairly quick after a move here to NC.  I have already seen three neighbors move out in the 6 months we have been here.  All of these have been while Nathan has been gone.

I have a job which is a great help in passing the time!  I have been so grateful!

Okay rambling over.  If you all can help me stay on track and provide some words of encouragement to help me get through the rest of this I would be appreciative!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Modular Home Insurance

At the end of April, while in a different country, Nathan applied for homeowners insurance for the home in FL.  Our usual insurance company sent us to a third party company for insurance.  We had to submit the deed to the house and try to determine the original manufacturer.  I was able to pull the deed online but the original manufacturer of the mobile home no longer existed.  I emailed the information requested and assumed that everything was okay and insurance was set up.

My grandmother-in-law contacted me after she moved out to discuss her paperwork.  She inquired about stopping the insurance on the home.  I called our insurance company to verify that insurance was set up and would be effective June 1st.  What I thought would be a short simple call turned into a two and a half hour process.  I was transferred to 4 different companies and that doesn't include some back and forth between those companies.  The very short answer to the problem with insurance is this; we purchased a modular home in FL that is over 30 years old and doesn't fall into the HUD rules.

You are wondering what does one do if they own a modular home in FL that is over 30 years old?  You register with Florida Market Assistance Plan and hope to hear from someone within 7 business days.  I heard from a representative that evening but haven't heard anything once I provided the requested information.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The good news is that we have tenants who signed a one year lease this week :)  Thank you!

Do you have any tips or tricks you would be willing to share on modular home insurance in FL?

Monday, May 21, 2018

President's Executive Order

The President issued an Executive Order on May, 9th, just a couple of days before Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  The Executive Order is to assist in alleviating some challenges that Military Spouses face with unemployment.

In reading the Executive Order you can see that OPM will connect with employers to help explain Military Spouse Preference.

Over the weekend of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother's Day, some information went out about registering to be a part of a Conference Call with the President's office to learn more about the Executive Order.  I registered/applied and honestly didn't think that I would be accepted.  I assumed that there were a significant amount of spouses that would register and I would be too late.  I was wrong and received confirmation of acceptance with information on how to call into the conference call.  The call was only to last 45 minutes.

On Monday the 14th at 2pm I called in.  Jennifer Korn, Special Assistant to POTUS led the call.  She is a Marine Corps spouse of 21 years.  She was a substitute teacher.  I was excited that a fellow military spouse was charged with helping the President with this order.  During the call we also heard from U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hiring Our Heroes, two military spouses that each talked about the challenges and the victories they have had with employment, and I learned of a new resource, Military Spouse Professional Network.  Military Spouse Professional Network wasn't really new however when I looked up the program.  It is a project that started from the partnership of InGear Career and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hiring Our Heroes.

It was iterated a couple of times on the conference call that this Executive Order is to make Military Spouse Preference a "more effective use of non-competitive hiring authority." It is not made to change the current Spousal Preference program just to enhance it and get more word out about it to employers.  There will also be a tracking mechanism for the order.

When I logged onto the call I was told that there were approximately 86 people in conference to include military spouses and companies/organizations that want to hire military spouses.  I hope that I may be able to join other calls in the future as there was mention that there were more calls to come.

I would love to hear from you on your knowledge of military spouses in your workplace.  Do you work alongside a military spouse?!  Do you know if your company hires military spouses?!  If not what could be changed at your organization/company/business to help promote the hiring of a military spouse?!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Spring

It is May 20th and the bushes, shrubs, and plants around our house are finally blooming.  I think it is a little strange because a majority of the other neighbors' bushes and plants have already flowered and are wilting.  When we looked at this house during house hunting leave there were banana plants that were dying.  They finally died and the plants fell over in December/January.  Before Nathan started to travel he cut down the plant for me.
Banana plant in Early January
Banana plant cut down started to grow back in Early April







Banana plant mid May
I didn't take a single photo of the other side of the house so you could see just how bad the pine needles were packed/piled.  Here is a picture of when I was 3/4 of the way done with cleaning up to the fence line.
The pine needles buried the AC unit and it took 2 weekends just to clean that out.  I did finish cleaning up the pine needles to the fence line this weekend.

Some pictures of my lilies and the bushes on the same side of the house that are flowering.



I believe the bushes are a possible form of an azalea but I am not sure.

Next weekend I will tackle the leaves along the outside of the fence.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

House #3

In February, while Nathan was away for school in Florida for the month, he took his one four day weekend, to go see his grandmother near Orlando.  Gram mentioned last year that she wanted to sell her home in Florida and move back to Vermont permanently.  See Gram was a snowbird.  She would spend the winters in Florida and then spring, summer and most of the fall in Vermont.  Anyway, Nathan thought it might be a good idea for us to buy it.  This would help with our claimed ties to the state as our domicile.  You all know about MSRRA's signing into law.  We do have driver's license, wills, and Voter Registration cards in Florida but this will help further the connection.

Upon our discussion and some conversations with Gram she was happy to sell the house to us.  In February, the purpose of Nathan's trip was for payment of the house in full, gathering paperwork and information, and having a meeting with the property management company.  At the end of January/early February, I did some research and actually connected with a Veteran who owns a property management company that handles the area Gram lives in.

Earlier this month I was able to obtain the official deed with our names on it from the county website.

Nathan and I are very grateful for Gram and her comfort in us buying the home!

I know what you are wondering, have we ever lived in it?  The answer is no we have never lived in it but Nathan and I have stayed at the house when visiting Gram.  It was the first time that we purchased a home from the owner.  It was faster in comparison to our other two home purchases.

I don't have pictures to share at this time but hopefully soon.