Friday, October 31, 2014

Double Gulp! and Happy Halloween~

Sooo! Tonight I went and put down earnest money on the house. This is scary for me to take on buying a house on my own.  It's one of those things where I feel like I have to "trust the process." I will know by Monday whether the seller will accept my offer. I'm offering a couple thousand less but then asking them to pay the majority of the closing costs.  IF they accept my offer, the next thing is to hire an inspector to come inspect the house. Fortunately, on the list is a home inspector that I used to go to church with when I was here before, his wife is a Facebook friend of mine and I trust him (if he can do it). So, I will keep my fingers crossed that it works out. (I just sent his wife a FB message!).  By the way, my potential move-in date is December 5th. *smiles*  I think we are scheduled to do the final closing on December 4th.

Other than that... I finished up my in-processing today and sat in on a couple appointments with one of my co-workers. It's hard to believe everything I have accomplished in the past month.  I got my "orders" on 1 October (On October 7th before I could move forward I had to have them re-done due to a problem with the date and the fiscal year funding). I got packed out of my house (even found a renter for my landlord!), got the house cleaned and turned back over to my landlord, got my car shipped and got all my "out-processing" done.  Then, I flew half-way around the world (enjoyed a stop-over in Seattle with my sisters), and arrived in Alaska.  In just under two weeks I have gotten all the in-processing done at my new job, I've looked at almost a dozen possible homes and put an offer down on one.  Wow... WHAT a month!

Okay... I'm signing off. It's only 8:30pm, not to bad.  I might get to bed at a decent time and I can sleep in tomorrow morning! YAY!

- Kris

Thursday, October 30, 2014


My Realtor called me today and said there were some other people looking at the one house that I am interested in the most and that if I wanted it, I shouldn't wait to put in an offer.  I had planned to go look at two homes in North Pole this coming weekend (one of them can't be looked at sooner due to a death in the family of the owner).  So... I was in a quandary. What do I do? So... I posted it on my Facebook page to get advice from my wonderful FB friends.  I think it is about 50/50 about whether I should go ahead and make an offer or wait and look at other homes.

After work I drove out to North Pole to look at the two homes (even though I couldn't go into them).  I went to one neighborhood that had at least 3 homes for sale (all on the same street, which loops around). The homes are all fairly new (I think they were built in 2007). It makes me wonder why so many of the new homes are for sale (I think there may have even been 5 homes out of about 20 that are out there). The neighborhood is in a area that used to be rather swampy in the past, so I wonder about possible damage to crawl spaces and such.  The neighborhood looked nice though - I just had the concern how many were for sale. Then I went to look at the home that wouldn't be available until Saturday to look at. It looks nice on the outside, but the road getting to it was pretty rough and sat back in a ways from the main road.  (The road to the other home I did like in North Pole was in better condition, or at least wider).

Then I drove down to the house in Fairbanks and went to a neighbor's house and asked them about the neighborhood.  She said she's lived there for 8 years and that it is a safe neighborhood without a lot of traffic. She said the people that live in the house are nice and so are the neighbors on the one side.

SO... after talking with my older daughter tonight, I called my Realtor and said let's go ahead and make an offer. (After we get some more information about how old the roof might be and more detailed information about utility usage).

I'm going to go to her office tomorrow after work.

Okay... so that's my BIG news for today.  Oh yea... and I start seeing clients full time on Monday! YIKES!  They will have to give me time off to deal with getting a place to live though (like to go sign contracts and whatever is involved) and they will need to give me time off when my household goods arrive.

Signing off for today.

- Kris

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sloooow Internet!

A little blurry, but a sunset photo from tonight. I took it with my phone from up off of Farmer's Loop where I went to look at a home after work today.  It was an "okay" home, but very dated (it was built in the 70's) and the floors were very squeaky.  It just didn't feel very sound and it would need quite a bit of work (carpeting would have to be replaced/torn up, among other things).  So... while it IS above the ice fog, and I could see the city lights from the living room, I don't think it is worth $35,000 more than the one house I like.  I still want to look at one more home that I can't look at until Saturday, so I'll make my decision after that.
Other than that, I spent the day in a "Child Maltreatment" workshop, it was very informative and I felt like I learned some things. That's always nice. I will be in the training again tomorrow.
I did have a former co-worker message me today to let me know his old house (not SO old) in North Pole is available for sale. And one website had the price listed within my budget, but when I talked with him, it was actually $75,000 OVER my max budget. It was also quite large (4,000 sq feet) which is more than I need and may cost a lot to heat.
Okay... signing off, it's almost 10pm. I've gotten hooked on watching HGTV (about buying/selling and renovating homes).  Every half hour there is another show on. Right now it is a couple trying to buy a home in Wales.
- Kris

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Somewhat regular day?

 Some sunset photos from tonight (see my doggies, they have their coats on!)

It's supposed to drop below zero tonight, so I had to buy a cord to plug in my car. (Hopefully I won't forget to UNplug it before I go to work tomorrow).

This morning I had to go get a hearing test (I do have *some* hearing loss in my left ear) and I had to get my eyes checked out (still 20-20 for distance) but I have to use reading glasses.  After getting things checked out, I went back to my office and went around meeting some of my co-workers (some that are upstairs). 

In the afternoon I had to go finish up some in-processing at the main hospital then went back to work to get a couple things done.  I also got permission to attend a two-day training here in the local area on child maltreatment. It will be a good opportunity to network and hopefully learn a couple things.

I didn't go look at any houses tonight, but hopefully will get to go look at things tomorrow after work.

Tonight I've just been watching a flipping homes show on TV and I've been loading some pictures from my phone to my computer.

Well, it's after 9 (and I'm watching a home-buying show)... hopefully it is only a half hour show so I can get to bed by 10pm.

So... g'night!

- Kris

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last day of Orientation and Looked at another House.

No photos today. It's a little after 8pm and I am hoping to be in bed by 9pm asleep.

This morning I had the final session of orientation all morning.  Then at lunch time I had to go return the rental car I've had. It needs new windshield wipers (doesn't clear across the driver's vision area) and then there was a protective plastic piece that was hanging down and dragging on the road underneath the car.  They gave me another car. At least the other had a remote door open (it helped me to locate where I had parked it), this one is a Chevy and I have to use a key to open the door.  The most irritating about the car, is that it doesn't seem to have automatic door locks, but when I turn off the car, it unlocks both of the front doors, so I have to reach over and push down the lock on the passenger seat before I get out of the car.

After going to the rental car place, I stopped by the store and picked up some ear cleaner stuff for Peanut (she was shaking her head a lot last night when we were trying to sleep... I put some in her ears at lunch time and she seems to be doing better with her ears tonight). I took them out to go potty at lunch time and then tried to go do some more in-processing, but I couldn't (at least not at the one office I went to), so I went back to my office for a couple hours. I wiped down my office (it was DIRTY!) and checked my work email.  I got permission to go look at another home (I had to leave by 4pm).  I met my Real Estate agent at 4:30. I really like this home and it is $22,000 less than the home I like in North Pole. This home is a little older, but it has only had 2 owners who seem to have taken good care of it. It is in town on city-maintained roads. But, what I like is that it is within a block of the end of the road and out behind the house is an empty lot filled with trees.  There are a couple schools not too far away (grade school and middle school) and I wonder how much foot traffic there is around the house.  The house has a decent size garage (single car) and a LARGE fenced in back yard.  It has a pellet stove in the basement (well, that's the floor you enter on) with a good-sized bedroom down there and a bathroom, plus a couple closets.

I stopped by Safeway on the way home and picked up some soup and some chicken tenders for dinner (I also bought a salad, but I was too full to eat it, so that might be my lunch tomorrow).

Okay... signing off...

- Kris

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One week anniversary in Alaska

Today I got moved into a hotel, and tonight I have spent all evening taking stuff from my daughter's house and bringing it to the hotel and then getting everything put away.  It's already 9:20pm.

This afternoon I did go look at four homes. I still like the one I looked at in North Pole the best. Two of them I looked at today are about 20-30 grand less than the North Pole home.  One home I looked at was still occupied and at one, the owners were there renovating.  That one might be "do-able" it is about 20 grand less than the one I like in NP.

Part of my consideration is whether I want to be in town, or be where it is more rural (North Pole).  It will be quieter out there, but I worry about driving the 4-5 blocks of roads that aren't serviced. (There are other homes out there). 

Okay... I'm going to keep this short... I want to take the dogs out one more time before we go to sleep.

- Kris

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nice Saturday with no expectations

Some photos of the Alaska Range that I took on my way home from town this (early) evening after the sun had sent.

Today I slept in for awhile (til about 8:30am).  Then lazed around for a few hours. I had leftover fried rice for lunch.  I think I finally got enough gumption up about 2:30 to head out and run some errands. I went and got my nails done (for about 1/2 of what I normally pay and twice as fast, that was nice).  Then I headed the long way into town, mainly to check and see what had possibly changed in the North Pole area. 

I went by the military post and stopped there. And I went ahead and made reservations for the next two weeks.  (HOPING I get reimbursed for lodging, but I *will* be surprised!).  It is closer to where I will be working and I don't want to inconvenience my daughter and her family TOO much.  They need their (limited) space. And this coming week I will have to be getting to work a 1/2 hour earlier than I have been and would be waking up my son-in-law every morning (he's usually been up by the time I have my shower and come out of the bedroom).  While I was there though, I ran into someone else that I used to know when I was up here 12  years ago, that was nice.

From there I went to look at a couple houses that are for sale (didn't go inside, just looked at it from the outside). I contacted my realtor and we are going to try and look at them on Monday after I get off work.  Tomorrow we are going to go look at a smaller home, near where we looked at one last week (the one I had my hopes on that turned out to be junky compared to the photos that were posted). 

Then I went to "Fred Meyers" which is a large West Coast chain of stores.  It hasn't changed much. I think what I was surprised (?) about was how much selection they had in their food section.  (Overseas when I shopped at the military commissary, it was probably half the amount of food, if that, than Fred Meyer's carries).  

I came home after that, wanting to get back before it got dark.  I played on the computer (surfed the computer). My son-in-law and granddaughter went to a Haunted House, and my daughter and I stayed home.  We waited to eat until they got home though, so it was after 10pm before we ate. 

Now it's about 11pm, so I had better sign off and get the dogs out and head to bed soon.

- Kris

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 4 of Orientation and looking at houses

This is a house I looked at tonight after I finished orientation.  It's the nicest one I have looked at so far. It's in a fairly rural area, but not too far from where I will be working.  The garage is heated and it has a fenced in area for dogs as well (out back)

Today for orientation I did on-line training ALL day.  It was a LOT of long training (watching videos and such).  We have one more day of orientation. I think it will be a half day because the 2nd half is a Basic Lifesaving Class and I've already got my certificate for that.

After I got done at 4:30pm, I had to stop and get a brush/scraper for my rental car (WHO rents a car out in the winter without having something to clean the windows with in the car???).  Then I headed out to look at this house. I had to wait about 20 minutes on the Real Estate agent.  The people who own the home were still there, but left when we got there.

After I got done looking at the house, I met my daughter and granddaughter at a local Chinese restaurant that is really good. I treated them (and we brought home a meal for Scott as well).  I figured they are saving me about $85 a night  by letting me stay here at their house.

Okay... it's a little after 9, I'm going to sign off. I'm sure looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, it's been a long week.

- Kris

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Just a short post.  I found out tonight that a friend, Guy, that I met in Hawaii when he and his wife would come down from St Louis for the winter, he committed suicide a week and a half ago.  I feel bad because I never remembered his birthday, but I usually did pretty god with his wife's  birthday.  Keep his wife Nikki in your prayers.

Today was another full day of orientation and then afterwards I went and picked up a rental car and then met up with the realtor to look at a couple places. If one had been a 2 bedroom I might had been interested.  It is also pretty far from where I will be working.

I'm going to meet with the realtor again tomorrow at 5:30 to look at another place.  Okay I'm going to sign off.

Good night,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 2 of Orientation

No photos tonight, it's about 8:45pm and I'm tired. I think jet lag is catching up with me today.  It was another long day of orientation, some was interesting, some was boring. 

After the orientation I went and looked at a house that was at the top of my list (based on photos) that I liked the best and was really disappointed. It had single-paned windows (you need better here in AK), the back door looked like it had been hastily painted. It just seemed it was going to need quite a bit of work to get it up to par (like most of the rooms/ceilings should be re-painted and it would probably be good to replace the windows).  SO... it's a no-go.  The positive side of the situation was that I got to meet the real estate agent that I have been emailing with for a couple months now.  We are going to look at two more homes in the same neighborhood tomorrow and then look at some homes in North Pole later this week. (I know what I will probably be doing this weekend!).

Okay... keeping this short.

- Kris

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 1 of Orientation

Sunset on the way home from work tonight, there was a reflection of the sun on the cloud above it. Unfortunately, I had some dust on my lens which caused a smudge (right about the middle of the photo below the cloud).

Today was the first day of the hospital orientation. I sat in the same chair all day listening to various people give lectures and training all day.  I met a friend of my daughter's when I first walked in and then at the end of the day another person came up and introduced me, she's another Social Worker and worked with a guy that I got my Bachelor's degree with and apparently he told her I was going through orientation today too! It's a small world.  After the training I went to the store and there was a lady there that had been on a trip to the Virgin Islands with me when my middle daughter was in middle school.

Tomorrow after training I'm going to go look at a house with a realtor. It's my favorite house of the ones I've seen. And it is relatively close to where I will be working. I'm nervously excited about it.

Okay... signing off for today.

- Kris

Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome to Alaska!

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days... it's been hectic. I left Germany at 6am on Saturday morning. I had to be at the airport about 3:30am so I could get the dogs checked in. It costs me 315 euros to fly them from Germany to Seattle (200 euros for the flight, 115 euros fee because we had more than a 2 hour layover in Amsterdam, which covered the cost of someone getting them out of the kennel to let them go potty. (They didn't have any accidents in the kennel, so I assume they were able to get off and go potty in Amsterdam).  The flights and connections went okay, no problems. I did have some full flights though. 

I arrived in Seattle about 11:45am on Saturday, but it took a long time to go through customs and security, etc. I think it was almost 1pm before I saw my sisters.  We had a good time in Seattle.  That afternoon we went down to the docks in Seattle, hoping to have some "Ivars" fish and chips.  But the waterfront is undergoing a LOT of construction, so apparently Ivar's wasn't open (and traffic was a MESS). We ended up going to "Fisherman's" restaurant where I got to have some Dungenous crab! Num, num!  Later we headed over to a place called "I fly" Seattle. It is an indoor skydiving place. We were there for about 3 hours (waited around forever, because apparently they want you there at least an hour early). It was fun, we all suited up (the four of us) with a bunch of other people and had fun being in the air tunnel a couple times (only for about a minute each time). I think of us 4 "sisters", my older sister LaVaune did the best.
Saturday night we went to a Casino up north, I think I ended up at least $100 ahead, so I was happy. I just didn't expect the Casino that they wanted to go to, to be so far away (an hour or so from where we were staying).  We didn't get up there til 10pm (because after sky diving we had to come back to the hotel, my sister Karen wanted to shower and change, and I had to walk the dogs (who stayed at the hotel while we were out playing - the doggies did great at the hotel).  We got home about 2am from the Casino because we got lost on the way back home. 

We had the free breakfast at the hotel and then did some shopping and had lunch at "Olive Garden." We had to make 2 more stops after that and then I had to get to the airport by 4pm. My sisters made sure I was all checked in with the dogs and then they headed on their way back to Spokane (via the hotel to pick up THEIR luggage). I sure appreciated the fact that they met me in Seattle and helped me with that whole process!  It was a good time of bonding. Probably the only negative thing, was I felt like I was constantly getting after my younger sister (mainly about her drinking, which I felt was excessive). I am sure that comes from being like a parent figure in her early years... I worry about her.

I made it to Alaska before my sisters made it back to Spokane. I landed Sunday night about 9:30pm. It was almost 10:30pm by the time we got home (because I had to get my luggage and everything).  The dogs seem to be doing okay, adjusting to Jenny.  I'm staying with my daughter for at least a few days until I can figure out what to do on a more permanent basis.  Kati and Scott are letting me borrow Kati's car for a little bit. Scott borrowed a work truck last night, and then tonight I think he is borrowing his Dad's truck, and Kati is driving Scott's truck.

Today I spent all day at my new job, doing some in-processing. At lunch time I did go over and got hooked up with Verizon for a new cell phone. I went with the Galaxy S5. I hope I can figure out how to use it.  I think I am going to miss having unlimited data on my phone! Late this afternoon while I was still at work, we had an earthquake. A friend said it was a 5.1 earthquake.  What a welcome to Alaska!

Okay, it's 7:10pm. My daughter is working until 9pm and I think my SIL and granddaughter have gone so my granddaughter can try out for a hockey team at 8pm. I guess they will be eating dinner late tonight (not sure *I* want to have dinner at 9:30pm tonight though!).

Tomorrow I start the hospital in-processing which sounds like it will be 5 days of training and meetings. Ugh!

I think I will crash on the couch with the dogs for a bit.

Auf Wiedersehen? (or I will now have to figure a new sign-off word).

- Kris

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gotta write a short note!

I'm busy getting last minute things packed for my trip. It's almost 7:30 and we have to leave at 2:30am to head to the airport.

All my stuff here at work in Germany has been wrapped up -  amazingly in such a short amount of time!  Whew!

See you on the flip side... from either Seattle or Fairbanks.

- Kris

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I'm going to hold off posting pictures for a bit.  But, after all the stress of worrying if my car would pass inspection, it DID pass on first try! YAY!  I appreciate Kendall's husband helping to detail it last night!  The car is supposed to have less than 1/4th of a tank of gas, my car told me I only had about 40 miles left on the tank of gas.  Anyway, it was a HUGE sigh of relief to pass and have it over with. AND, I have all my paperwork turned in (except some for my local clinic which I will do tomorrow). My next big hurdle is making sure everything is in order for the dogs to fly and get their kennel set up so it is ready to go.

After passing, I had lunch with my Supervisor, then went back to the office where I met with our HR person for most of the afternoon trying to get some paperwork done.  I have to finish that up tomorrow. 

After work I mailed off two packages, one to myself, the other to a friend who had requested some last minute stuff from Germany, then Kendall and I ran to the store for a few minutes before picking up another co-worker (who had taken her car home and then took the train back to where we were) and we all went to my "going away" dinner. There were about 20 of us there (and of all nights to NOT have a camera with was tonight!   Argh!  We had Thai food.

After the dinner and dropping Crystal back off at the train station, we picked up my doggies and are now back at Kendall's house.  We oriented the dogs a little. They have one VERY hyper wiener dogs and one some-what mellow wiener dog.

Gonna sign off because it is about 11:20pm and I need to get to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

3rd meltdown today

It's been another stressful day. I went into the office to try and get some things done this morning.  I found out that because reservations for my going away dinner weren't made early enough, I don't get to have it at my most favorite restaurant which I've been looking forward to for weeks.  Darn it!  So, looks like we will be having Thai food instead.

I did go get my house cleared, it past inspection (whew!).  The landlord said he hoped the next tenants were as good as I have been. *smiles*. I was hoping he was going to put my deposit in the bank right away, but he's going to wait for utility reconciliation, which he said would probably take a couple weeks!  Darn it!  At least I get it all back, and 12 month's rent.

After that I went and did a bunch of outprocessing, got 80% done or so, and only had ONE meltdown when a woman wanted me to go over to my Vet's office and get a form re-done (not something needed for flying with them).  I just COULDN'T do one more thing today.  As it was, I've changed where I am staying now (I'm at a co-workers house now and she will take me to the airport on Saturday morning).  I got up here a little after 6 and she had made Speghetti for dinner (it was delicious!) and then her husband helped me for a couple hours to get my car cleaned.  I sure hope it passes inspection tomorrow so I don't have another meltdown!

Okay, it's 10:45 pm, I have to sign off and get ready for bed.  I'm exhausted!

Auf Wiedersehen,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Got busy and forgot to post last night.

My last sunset in the neighborhood - tonight.

I went into work for a half day (Tuesday), trying to get things done.  Then stopped by the bank and Post Office (mailed 3 pkgs to myself) on the way back out to the house.  I had a couple people come over to clean the house for me. I think they did a good job, and saved me several hours of work.  After they finished I went to the military base and cashed in my loose American change - $160 worth. I ran into some friends there and hung out awhile.  They had the Kansas City Chiefs football cheerleaders there putting on a performance, so I watched that for a little bit.  I got back to my neighbors house about 6:30, just as the sun was setting.  I did some laundry, watched some TV and sorted through some paperwork.

I'm headed into work for another 1/2 day and then I am supposed to meet my landlord and the housing office for my final check-out at the house at 1pm.

Day-by-day, things somehow seem to be getting done.

Gotta sign off now and go get my shower so I can get to work.

Auf Wiedersehen,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Crazy Day!

Today there was only one person there to finish packing up my house, but at least it was one of the most efficient ones and he spoke fairly good English.  He was my favorite of the packers.  

I called to make a Vet Appt and the Vet said I could bring the dogs in at 6:30.  The packer thought they would be done by 6, so I said okay to the Vet.  Well, long story short, Kyle, who has been watching the dogs took them over for me (he had already said he would earlier), but he ended up doing the whole appointment for me and even paid for me and got all the paperwork for me.  I met him after the Vet appt and got to spend a few minutes with the dogs and reimbursed Kyle for paying for the Vet appt.  I came back and got a bite of dinner at my neighbor's house and then went back over to my house to clean a little.  I just swept out all of the rooms and put 5 bags of garbage out on the back porch that Kyle is going to dump for me tomorrow.  Oh yea, and I sold a couple 220 things today and put the rest in my car to take to work in the morning where people are supposed to come pick them up. I also let a couple come in and see the house, in it's disarray today.

Okay, it's after 11pm, past my bedtime, so I'm going to sign off, will post a couple picks of the house. 

Auf Wiedersehen,

Sunday, October 12, 2014

last Sunday in Germany (at least this time around)

I got to sleep in a little this morning and then went to church with the friends/neighbors I am staying with. I enjoy going to church with them when I go, because they always sing the traditional hymns that I know by heart.  After church we came back and had some lunch, then I went over to the house and did some stuff there there. I've been trying to sell all my 220 stuff before I leave (cheap) and today I've been very productive about that.  But it takes time to post and respond.

Tonight I went out for a late dinner with the American family I am staying with and a couple of our German neighbors (who actually hadn't met each other before). We went to a restaurant called "the flying ship" it was a nice evening!  

Now it's 10:40 at night, we haven't been home long and I've got to sign off because I want to be over at the house by 7:30 in the morning!

Auf Wiedersehen, 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

getting these done...

Today I ran several errands and did a little bit of cleaning at the house.  I have very limited internet access right mow.  I'm staying with some neighbors until I clear my house this week.

Okay, gotta go!  

Auf Wiedersehen,
 - Kris

Friday, October 10, 2014

First day of packing went well

I stayed up til 3:30am getting things ready for the movers and then got up at 6:30am, so I could get a shower before they got there, then they didn't show up until almost 9am.  That was fine though, it gave me time to get more things done.

The packing crew was nice and they got a LOT done today.  Upstairs is all done except for three bookcases (empty now) that need to be brought down. The main floor still has quite a bit to get done - the kitchen, the Schrank (which is about 1/2 empty) and the huch, then my closet and the entry-way hutch.

I'm spending the next couple nights with my neighbors because I will be back and forth to the house a lot this weekend and until it is cleaned and turned over to my landlord, not later than Wednesday.  They are estimating that I have 8-9,000 pounds of furniture and they should be done by Monday. 
Well, I had better get to sleep, it is 11pm and I only got 3 hours of sleep last night.

Auf Wiedersehen,
- Kris

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ativan or Adderall???

Just a quick blog tonight (I hope). It's already 9:40pm and I have yet to start packing my suitcases.  I've done a little here and there tonight, but I am already SO tired.

Today at work I had one last appointment with a client (and another called to see if they could get in, but I wasn't seeing anyone else after lunch).  I did get everything emptied out of my desk and cabinets. I got my photos off the wall, (the large ones), I took down my four large Alaska pictures, rolled up my rug, got my lamps and everything else (furniture isn't mine, so it stays) and had two people help me carry it all down to the car and it managed to all FIT into the car! 

Then I had a doctor's appointment (so I could pick up meds that will last me through the move). I told him that I was debating whether I should ask for Ativan or Adderall. (Ativan is a tranquilizer, Adderall is a stimulant). I figured I either needed something to "chill" for the next week, or something to help me focus and give me drive for the next week!  I was just sort of joking (and no, I didn't get either one, but he did say that if I wanted to have some Klonapin instead of Ambien, which would help with anxiety AND sleep, that I could switch to that, but I didn't want to let go of my Ambien... nope... ).

Then the Clinic had an "all clinic" mandatory meeting at 4:00pm. It was basically to discuss what to do in relation to the whole Ebola thing.  Our clinic sees a lot of people that go in and out of Africa a lot, so it was probably needed.  *I* could have skipped it... chances of Ebola getting to interior Alaska is probably pretty darn slim.

After work I went to the Post Office and mailed one package of documents to myself. Then I went to my mail room and put my notice in that I would be leaving on the 18th. So that is taken care of.

Then I came home and walked the dogs... we didn't go all the way up to "four corners" but most of the way.  They did their business and then we stopped by the neighbors on the way back to the house so that they could say good-bye to Peanut and Bruno.  A little later Kyle came over and picked up the dogs for me (I'm trying to keep my car clean, although it already needs another detailing). They are going to keep the dogs for most of the next week.

I did sit down for a bit (after doing a little work in my basement) and had a small pizza and watched the end of "Survivor" and scanned through something like 84 emails (I haven't had a chance to check my email all day!).

I pulled my bedding off and it is in the washer (which is now beeping telling me to empty it) and I need to go throw it in the dryer. Figured when I go down to do that, then I will pack while I am downstairs.  I am going to take two large suitcases and a carry-on. I know, I know... I'm crazy. Handling all that is going to be a zoo!  I've got to pack up my jewelry and whatever I think I'm going to need in AK that will last me the next couple months (READ: COLD WEATHER CLOTHING!). I also got to get the dogs two coats out and take those. I had Kyle take the large crate over to his house, so it is out of the way. I meant to send a couple more things with him, but forgot.

Okay... I'm going to sign off.  BUT... my posting MAY be VERY sporadic over the next week. I am hoping they leave my computer hooked up tomorrow (and deal with that on Monday) and I am hoping they leave my bed up as well, so I can have that through the weekend.  Those are my only two requests.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


So, I got notified that they will come and start packing me out on Friday. YIKES! So... have I done anything tonight? Nope. I did have someone come look at the house that might be interested in renting it.  I did segregate some of my important papers.  I did get "liquid" stuff out of the upstairs bathroom.

At work today I continued to go through papers. And I'm pretty much done there, I should be able to finish with the papers at work tomorrow.  THEN I have to bring a whole lot of stuff home (3 lamps, a rug, more files, my 4 large Alaskan photos, my ocean photo that I have hanging over my couch at work, (the couch isn't mine) and then I have 2 photos on canvas that are 30x40 that I need to bring home.  And a LARGE Himalayan salt lamp (that is very heavy).  I will have some of the younger guys at work help me load it into my car tomorrow.

Okay... it's almost 11pm tonight so I have to sign off and head to bed soon, I want to do one more thing before I go to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Stressful day

Random temple in Istanbul, I think they said they have over 3,000 temples/mosques in Istanbul.

Today I didn't have any clients scheduled, which was nice because I was able to go through a LOT of paperwork and find a bunch of stuff to shred (AND I shredded a bunch of stuff today too!).  I've still got a few drawers to go through and clean out (I'm a junk drawer junkie!).

What was stressful today was when I got a call from the transportation folks saying that there was a problem with my "orders"/paperwork.  Apparently because they were dated in September (which was in the LAST fiscal year) and were using FY15 funding (next year's funding, which started 1 October), they were not acceptable. SO... after many emails to many different people, I think it got resolved about 4pm.  BUT... I *didn't* get my official pack out dates yet as a result.  This whole fiscal year funding thing has been a BIG pain in the rear!

For some reason it emotionally wiped me out and I haven't been able to do anything other than make dinner tonight (although I did have someone come after work to look at the house).  I'm hoping to be in bed by about 9pm tonight (it's 8:40pm now).  Last night I was up til about midnight (hence the reason I was emotional and ended up crying today when I went in to tell my boss about the latest hiccup in my process). I am shipping some wine and some beer (for my son-in-law) to Alaska and had to complete a lot of paperwork and do an inventory to turn in today.

Okay... signing off.  Reminding myself that "this too shall pass."

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, October 6, 2014

Can I have meltdown?

No photo today, it's 9:15pm tonight already and I've just been on the computer WAY too much tonight (talked with my oldest daughter up in AK, chatted with a friend up there and another one in CA).

SO... This afternoon I went to arrange for my household goods to be picked up, there's a LOT of paperwork involved. Anyway, because my "company" moved me from Hawaii to Germany, they are responsible for moving me back to Hawaii, if I so desire. Well, because I accepted a position in Alaska, I figured it would cost about the same... what's the difference between moving from Germany to either Alaska or Hawaii, they are both about the same distance, right? Apparently not. They are telling me it will cost me about $6,000 more (out of pocket) to ship my stuff to Alaska. YIKES!

It sure seems like every time I turn around, there's something else there to make me want to change my mind about moving.

I called the Volvo dealer today about the "check engine" light that came on in my car over the weekend. He said they can't get my car in for TWO weeks.  Guess who is due to be gone in LESS than two weeks.

If it isn't one thing, it's another.

Okay... keeping this short so I can head to bed before too long. I would like to get at least one more thing done before I head to bed and that's going to take awhile.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Okay... I'm tired...

This is the Bosporus Bridge that connects the new Asian side of Istanbul with the older European side of Istanbul.

Man... am I sore and achy today. But, I got a lot done. I wiped down my Barbeque grill, wiped down my patio furniture and got it all set to one side for when the movers come. I *tried* to cut up the Christmas tree (from last year) into manageable chunks, but toward the bottom I got tired, so the bottom 3rd didn't get cut up. Guess I'll ask my one neighbor if he can take it to the dump for me (he has a truck).  I took a bunch of pictures of 220 items (Germany has 220 power) to sell in the next week, I also took a picture of my car.  Some friends (young and don't have much $$) came over this morning and cleaned out my freezer and the majority of my pantry for me. (Good thing they have an SUV!).  I had sorted out some food to ship to Alaska (but it basically all fits into one large Rubbermaid container.  I defrosted my freezer that is the size of a dorm fridge.

Then I went upstairs and emptied one bedroom of all of MY stuff, and so the only stuff in the room is the stuff that has to be returned to housing.  I'm not ready to give up my washer and dryer, but they could come get all the bedroom furniture and probably the American-sized refrigerator.  I also took all the pictures off the wall upstairs (except for the one in the hallway and I need to take down my San Francisco Trolley bell yet). 

I feel like I made a lot of progress today -and I even took a short nap. Not sure I slept as I laid there thinking of all that I need to get done. 

I also filled out my Absentee Voter application today so I can get that in the mail this week.

Now it's about 9:15pm, I'm going to sign off and head to bed. Tomorrow I hope to make some more progress with my office and then I have an appointment with housing at 3pm to determine when they are going to pack me out.  A part of me wishes they could start this Thursday, mainly so my landlord could have this place ready to rent on the 15th, but I'm not sure I'm up to having them come this Thursday -  thinking it would be easier if I had to weekend to finish getting things done around here.

Okay... G'night.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Trying to get things done...

Today I felt better than yesterday... but still have my head cold.  I got up about 9am and tried to get motivated to get things done.  I took the dogs out for a walk, and then was worn out, so I laid down for a short nap.

Then I got stuff together to take to the Recycling place (to include a carry-on suitcase that I've had hanging around here for a couple years after I let a friend use it and she broke the handle). I also had to drop off a toaster that doesn't work any more.  That, along with my plastics, my aluminum cans, my paper/cardboard stuff went to Recycling. 

After dropping that stuff off, I went to the Ritter Sport (CHOCOLATE!) factory and picked up WAY too much chocolate.  When I asked my oldest daughter what she would like from Germany, she said CHOCOLATE. I ended spending about $150 on Ritter Sport chocolate. I guess we'll have to have a party when I get up there (or when my HHG gets there).  Speaking of getting to Alaska, they had their first significant snowfall today. Ugh!

Let's see... from there I went to see about getting a new pre-paid sim card for my iPhone. I think they finally cut off my service today.  I rarely get phone calls, so I don't think I'll miss it much.

Later I went to the grocery store to pick up a steak (and a banana! LOL)... and that's all I got.  Sundays are my "steak" day and I didn't have one.  Then I went to work and packed up a lot of stuff and brought it all home (and have gotten it put away here at home too!).  I've brought home all my books. I have pictures to bring home, a bunch of paperwork that I need to sort through and a few other things.

Tonight I went ahead and sorted through some groceries in my pantry. I have a young couple coming over tomorrow morning to pick up the rest of the groceries that I am not keeping. (I'm giving away 75% of what is in the pantry. 

So... I'm making some progress.  Oh yea... and I wiped down the inside of my car and I made an AD to see if I can sell it before I leave.  If not, I'll just ship it.  Which reminds me... the "check engine" light came on again. So I need to call and get it into the shop before I leave. Just one more thing to do. Ugh!'s almost midnight, I'm going to head to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kri

Friday, October 3, 2014

Home sick today

 Fall colors are starting to show through...

 I managed to take the dogs out for a 2 1/2 mile walk today... the one we used to do all the time, but I don't think we have done it all summer.  Not many more opportunities to take this walk, so even though I wasn't feeling well, we did it anyway.
They are starting to pick some of the apples off the tree... I don't think this photo truly shows how colorful those red apples were in the sunlight this afternoon.

And yes... I did stay home today. I woke up feeling very crappy (head cold) and decided that I didn't feel up to sitting in training ALL day, coughing and blowing my nose. So... after calling my boss about 6am, I went back to sleep and woke up about 10. I read from my iPad for about an hour and a half and then got up around noon. (I had let the dogs out to go potty about 5:45am). Then I made lunch and felt wiped out, so laid down for another 2 hour nap. I did take some Pseudoephedrine that I had on hand, that helped with the runny nose most of the day.  After we got up from the nap, I was messaging with a friend for a bit, then decided to take the dogs out for the walk. I hadn't planned to do the 2 1/2 mile walk... but Peanut wanted to keep walking... so we did.

After we got back and I sat down for a bit, I got the vacuum out and vacuumed out my car pretty good. I had hoped to wipe it down inside, but didn't get to that. I'm going to see if I can advertise it for sale and get any hits. If I don't, then I will ship it... if I do... then great!

I had hoped to get a few more things done today, but just haven't had the energy. I hope I do better tomorrow as I have several things I would like to get done (to include detailing my car and dropping some things off at the recycling place. I also want to go through my pantry and figure out what I want to ship and what I will give away.  My freezer is getting pretty empty, so that shouldn't be hard to empty. 

Oh yea... this afternoon I got a message from a pseudo sister (she's one of my younger brother's long-term girlfriend) and she let me know my older sister was in the hospital (had been taken to the ER by my brother-in-law). Apparently she has a hernia above her transverse colon?  She's had other problems in that area in the past.  And apparently it is pretty painful and she was vomiting as well (I asked her if they had asked if she had been to Africa... she said no. LOL).  I called and talked to her this evening to check in on her.

And some of you know that I am a believer that things happen for a reason. Well, now I believe the reason why my move to Alaska was delayed by two weeks, was because God (or the Universe) knew that she was going to end up in the hospital and wouldn't have been able to meet me in Seattle tomorrow as originally planned.  See... things work out the way they are supposed to, right? Hope she heals quickly so she CAN come see me in 2 weeks.

Okay, signing off.... it's past 9:30pm, I'm tired and I'm going to head to bed in hopes of being well-rested enough to get a few things done tomorrow. Oh yea... and I'm on-call for the next 10 days or so.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Feeling Yucky today

So many varieties of Baklava in Istanbul!

So yes... I am feeling yucky today. I started getting stuffy last night/this morning and sniffling and then today it has progressed to an overall achy/clammy/sniffling/sneezing/headache and malaise feeling. I don't think I'm running a temp (and I *did* check the symptoms for Ebola... I haven't been to Africa, but I *did* go to Istanbul and who knows if I came into contact with someone there or on the plane!). Alas, and thankfully, right now I just seem to have a head cold or flu. Probably from the flu vaccine I got a couple weeks ago.

This morning I had one appointment (first thing this morning). I was surprised to see my supervisor at work, she was supposed to take the whole day off, but apparently, because she is SO far behind in her notes, she was ordered to come in for at least a half day (she was originally told she couldn't take the day off at all, but she's got company here from the States!). I have to say... I know she had notes outstanding from almost a YEAR ago. Not sure what her current backlog is, but I know she told me a couple days ago she promised the Chief that she would do 10 notes a day, but apparently that wasn't enough to satisfy the higher up people. The expectation is that we get our notes done within 72 hours. There's only been a couple times since I have been here (in 4 years) that I haven't gotten my notes done within that timeframe. 

Today I tried organizing some paperwork and I did go get my flight reservations. I fly out on the 18th (at 6 am!!! YIKES!) and go to Amsterdam, then on to Seattle where I'll spend the night and then Sunday the 19th I catch a late afternoon flight to Fairbanks getting there that Sunday night and then I have to be present and accounted for at my new work location the next morning!  Tonight I was able to get on the phone to Delta AND Alaska Airlines and make reservations for the dogs to fly with me. WHEW!  What a relief THAT is!

Tonight I had another family come look at the house I'm living in now (I'm trying to help out my landlord... just doing what I'd like someone else to do for me!). Anyway, the wife and her twin 13 yo daughters came by about 6:30pm, and then she called her husband (who was still at work) and apparently told him that she was 95% sure she liked it and so he agreed to come take a look at it. She dropped the girls off at the hotel (nearby) and went and got him from work and they came back about 8:15pm or so.  So, I showed  them around. I think their biggest problem is that apparently they have a large dining room set that they are worried might not fit and then he has an "office" that they need space for... etc.  But, again, they LOVED the walk-in closet.  So... I think if the first couple don't take it (will know next Weds), then this couple sounds like they could make it work for them. If *I* were the landlord, I'd be very happy with either couple and would know that they would take good care of it.   I sent my landlord an email letting him know how tonight's potential renters turned out. Of course, he will need to meet them and make up his own mind, but I believe he would like this couple as well..  And the girls seemed like really good kids.

Okay... it's 10:20pm. I'm going to head to bed. At this point I'm about 75% sure I am going to call in sick tomorrow (it's an all day orientation/training because we are now under a new head clinic... and since I'm leaving anyway, I don't think I really need to go). I've sent my supervisor a message letting her know, but she knew this morning that I wasn't feeling well.  I figure I need the rest and recuperation so I don't get sicker (hopefully) and if I feel up to it, I can do a couple things here around the house (like figure out what I need to pack and ship to AK, and then start making a file with important papers that I will need to take with me. I can see what I need to do to get Peanut & Bruno's kennel ready to go.  I did create a "checklist" of sorts, a "to-do" list that I can add to as I think about it.

Okay... g'night!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Just another sunset photo from last night.

Well... I'm going to keep this short because it is already after 9pm here and I stayed up until 1:30am this morning cleaning the house to make sure it was in excellent shape for my landlord tonight when he stopped by to meet the one couple who are hopefully going to rent this place.  And then I had to get up early, because I had to be on post at 7:10am (I bought a small hallway table... something I've wanted for here and it was only $15, so hoping it will fit in whatever house I end up in Alaska).

SO... YES, I FINALLY got my ORDERS! I sent two emails today to the Personnel Office and when I didn't hear back by about 2pm, I emailed a person at the main clinic that we fall under that had to sign off on the orders to see if he had gotten them yet, and he said he had gotten them and signed off on them and sent them back to the HR people here. I'm wondering if he got on their case about getting them forwarded on to me, because about a half hour later, I got my orders. I think it was about 3:15pm. And I quickly made a bunch of copies and got permission to go over to housing to set an appointment to see about getting my household goods picked up. I have an appointment with them now on the 6th and was reassured that I shouldn't have a problem getting my household goods packed up and picked up by the 14th.

It is SO crazy to think that I could be OUT of my house within 2 weeks. YIKES!  I don't even want to think about all that I will need to do in the next two weeks. (And I still have SOME patients scheduled). AND, I will be "on-call" most of that time (I volunteered, it's not like we get many calls anyway and I hope I am not jinxing myself by saying that).  I volunteered for Columbus Day weekend because THAT will be my supervisor's last chance to travel before SHE leaves.

Anyway... I came home after work and baked some chocolate chip cookies (so the house would smell good when my landlord and the prospective tenants got here).  I hope they end up renting this place, they are a good match for the house.  The landlord said he was very happy with how well I took care of the house (so I SHOULD??? get my full deposit back... which I think will be about $4,200). I think I should also get back half my rent for this month if I am out by the 15th as well. THAT would be nice. It will help with the moving expenses to AK.

Okay... it's 9:20pm, I'm going to sign off and head to bed. It's been an exhausting and long day and I think I just need to get to bed!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris