Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricanes So Far

Appreciate everyone looking out for us. We are well prepared and have been through a few hurricanes now.

These are ones I remember or Rikki blogged about, I'm sure there are more we have forgotten


Tropical Storm
September 12
2002
Category 3 hurricane
September 14
2002
Category 1 hurricane
October 3
2002
Category 1 hurricane
July 15
2003
Category 1 hurricane
August 16
2003
Tropical Storm
August 12
2004
Category 4 hurricane
August 13
2004
Category 2 hurricane
September 5
2004
Category 3 hurricane
September 16
2004
Category 3 hurricane
September 26
2004
Category 1 hurricane
October 16
2008
Category 1 hurricane
October 29
2012
Florence
Category 1 hurricane
September 14
2018

And typhoon Ewiniar during deployment in 2006

Saturday, August 25, 2018

5 days in Asheville, NC

If you have not spent some time in Asheville, NC I recommend it.  We stayed in a cute little cabin that I booked through HomeAway.  It was pet-friendly and very convenient to places I hoped we could see.  Renting a place via HomeAway was cheaper than any hotel I found in Asheville and came with extra accommodations that I thought were well worth the money.

On the way to Asheville Angel had herself in quite a unique position.  She had fallen asleep and managed to end up on her back with her feet in the air wedged between my seat and her bed, while her head was hanging down to the side.  Did I mention that I should start a blog section specific to The Things Angel Does/Gets Into?!



On Tuesday Nathan and I spent the day at the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  I paid a little extra for the rooftop tour so we could take in some beautiful mountain views.  Nathan was rather impressed with my selfie skills.  When you pay for admission to the estate that includes access to Antler Hill Village and Farm.  We saw those two places last and I didn't get any photos while there.



Wednesday I was hoping we could do a day of trails at the North Carolina Arboretum.  The trails are pet-friendly and I was hoping a good day of exercise for Angel to help her lose some weight.  We did one two-mile trail and walked around the main buildings and then had to call it a day.








On the way back home on Wednesday we did stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.  The Mountain to Sea Trail connects here.
On Thursday Morning Nathan and I hiked up the hill and mountain side where we were staying in Asheville to get on the path to the Mountain to Sea Trail.  That was an emotional experience for me.  I didn't have the trust in myself with regards to foot placement to think I could get up to the trail and then back down off the trail.  Where we climbed up to get to the trail was rather steep and there wasn't a very well laid out path through the woods. Anyway, it was about a half mile hike on the Mountain to Sea Trail to the first lookout.

Thursday afternoon we thought it would be neat to learn a little history about the town of Asheville.  We followed the Asheville Urban Trail in downtown.  It was very neat.  It reminds me of the Freedom Trail in Boston that you can walk.  Downtown Asheville is also quite busy like Boston which was a surprise considering the difference when compared to the area of Asheville where we were staying which was woods on a mountainside and very quiet.


On Friday we were back on our way home.  This time Angel didn't have herself contorted.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

He is Home!

It is Sunday.  Nathan has been home for a couple of days.  I am ecstatic to have him back home!  These three pictures below are of Nathan leaving back in March.


The below images are of his return home August 1st.


The day before he came home that last lily opened up.

We both had the day off from work the day after he got back.  Then we both worked on Friday.  Nathan brought home some cute gifts for me for our Anniversary and my birthday.  Meet my new friends.

Vacation next week.  I am looking forward to that.  How is the end of your summer?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Homecoming this week

I have one lily with one bud on it that is just getting ready to bloom.  If it is still on the stem on Wednesday that will be a wonderful gift.  Nathan says, saving the best for last :)

I sent to Nathan earlier this month for our Anniversary a large flat rate box filled with things that he likes; Oreo Thin Mints, KitKats, dark chocolate, chocolate covered blueberries, beef jerky, granola and some other items I can't remember and an anniversary card of course.  Nathan sent me the cutest card with stick people wearing conveniently, the same color clothes as our wedding outfits.  Plus Nathan gave me a call and we were able to talk for half an hour.  Communication has been mostly email with a once a month phone call.

My birthday was very nice.  Lots of messages, calls, texts from friends and family.  Nathan sent a card 2 weeks ago but it still hasn't arrived.  He also called.  There was a full moon that night and I snapped some pictures just before I went to bed.

 

Yesterday was a lunar eclipse for part of the world.  Unfortunately it wasn't visible here in the states but I did watch it online for a good portion of the afternoon.  It was unbelievable!  It will be interesting to see how the Lunar Eclipse in January compares to this one.  The eclipse in January will be visible to those here in the states.  Nathan was lucky enough to be in a location to see this one.  I will let him talk about that when he gets home. 

I usually go cleaning crazy before Nathan comes home.  I am cleaning but not to my extreme OCD like previous deployments.  You know I am starting to think that self cleaning ovens are a good and bad thing.  It is 83 degrees in here right now.  The smell and the slight watering of the eyes is not fun.  But even with those annoyances I am grateful because I can never seem to self-clean an oven properly where we aren't charged for it and I honestly don't have the time nor the energy for it anymore.

I have grocery shopping and dusting that I will do tomorrow.  I will change the sheets on the bed and vacuum on Tuesday.  It really isn't too bad in here.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer!  My understanding is that some kids go back to school around the end of August.  Be safe and appreciate each other.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Almost at the one month point

until deployment is over.  I wanted to give you an update on some things.

Miss Angel had her vet appointment.  The vet facility here on post is very nice.  The staff is friendly.  Angel had her annual checkup, three-year rabies vaccination, and distemper shot.  She is 17lbs and needs to lose a little bit of weight.  So no human food and I am reducing down how much I feed her for the two meals.

I have finished reading the third book.  The first book was The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.  I liked this book very much because I felt like it put into words what a male or how a male thinks in a relationship.  The second book, Stories around the Table by Elva Resa.  This book is a collection of stories that both military spouses and Veteran spouses share in regards to their experience as a military or Veteran family.  The third book, Dinner with the Smileys by Sarah Smiley is a book about an active duty family and the dinner guests they have once a week, while a US Sailor is deployed for 13 months.

Work has kept me busy with new tasks.  As Budget Manager I am responsible for tracking expenses and revenue from projects.  I am using the University financing system to become as familiar with that as possible and learning how to pull reports.

I have started some planning for Nathan's homecoming as well as doing a little research on a possible vacation.

I put together and sent off the last package to Nathan before he comes home.  I have called it the Anniversary Package.  I am hoping he gets it for our Anniversary.

The lilies are finally blooming and I don't think Nathan and I could have literally planned that any better.  The lilies opening up so close to our Anniversary.  The banana trees/plants are also rather tall.
All the lilies
First lily plant blooming


I see you!
The banana plant

An insurance quote did come in for the modular home, $1800 to $2000.  Have you had any luck with insurance for a modular home over 30 years old?

How was the rest of your spring start to the summer?


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.