Friday, June 29, 2012

Rodney's NAM Award

Rodney with blogger and Captain, Heath Phillips
Rodney received a Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal this morning. This is the second one he has earned in his career. Here is a video of the ceremony. I hope you can hear it: they decided to do it outside near some machinery.

Rodney's NAM ceremony

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Camping at my house

People who play Texas Hold 'Em poker know this phrase: All you need is a chip and a chair.

Essentially this is what people who are winning are saying to the people who are losing, to supposedly give them hope... or to keep them at the table so the rest of their small chip stack can be extricated from said loser. And, I suppose, this is true. If you are really good at poker, you could take that chip and leverage it into many chips after several winning hands. However, this is difficult and probably a myth. I have no evidence that a person who merely had one chip has ever won the World Series of Poker. And the chair part, well, that's obvious: One must be seated at the table in order to be dealt any cards. A chip and a chair.

In Abode Guthrie these days, it's two lawn chairs, a bar stool and a cardboard box. That's our version of 'a chip and a chair' when it comes to living these days. The movers removed the last of our furniture from our house yesterday at 4 p.m., leaving us with the items we plan to store with/give to Rodney's family in Illinois (pictures, Marble the dog, the Explorer, liquid items that cannot be packed, etc.), and the luggage we plan to take with us on the planes.

Once our chairs and sofa were loaded in to the moving truck at around 11 a.m., Rodney and I wandered around the house, trying to find ways to get comfortable. I opted for the air mattress for a short while, but that just wasn't conducive to laptop usage. Rodney sat on the floor, but after awhile the butt ache required him to abandon this position. Eventually, when we were trying to straighten out our travel arrangements the government gave us (this is a whole other story that I may get in to some other time), Rodney and I used the guest bathroom as our office. He was seated on the toilet lid, writing notes on a paper pad balanced on the sink, and I was perched on the edge of the bathtub. Truly, this was the best we could do with the non-furniture we had on hand. But this would not do for TV watching, breakfast eating or laptop using. A trip to Wal-mart was needed!

Rodney modeling our new furniture
At Wal-mart, we acquired a bar stool and two lawn chairs (to also be used at the family barbecue in Illinois on the 4th of July). Little did I know, but these items, coupled with a cardboard box I found in the garage, and the air mattress we already owned, were all we would need to survive camping in our home for the next 4.5 days.

Yes, I called it camping. I am a woman who appreciates the comforts the 21st century has afforded me. Like a pillow top mattress. An easy chair. A vacuum cleaner. I am not being afforded those comforts at this time, so, therefore, I am camping. Every campsite should have running water, electricity and internet access, as far as I am concerned, so those features available in my home at this time are considered standard.

It's amazing how truly adaptable and creative humans can be. I say humans collectively because Rodney and I are not extraordinary and I have seen much more creative uses for items on the internet. Simply Google search images for "creative uses with duct tape" for a sampling.

In the mere 18 hours since we acquired our new survival gear, we have found countless uses for these items, some of them illustrated below:

Replacement bar stool/office chair

End table and coffee table/ottoman

Night stand

Entertainment center and easy chairs
So, I think we will manage to survive the next few days of living in Pensacola, thanks to our new furniture. Well, those and the local restaurants. Don't even get me started with what Rodney had planned for cooking. Let's just say it included the use of aluminum foil, a brick and a lighter. I nixed that PDQ. That just sounded way too 'campy' to me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving Day 3

Today is load the truck day. Or, I should say, load the trucks day. The one small truck wasn't big enough to haul everything away.

The empty living room:

Marble sleeping in the Florida room with our new air mattress:

The first truck at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning:

My front yard, in between trucks, looking like an odd graveyard:

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Day 2 of packing

Here is our house after Day 2 of packing.

Master bedroom:

The boys' bedroom:

The boys' playroom:

The fireplace in the living room:

Monday, June 25, 2012

The last of the movers...

The advanced shipment/unaccompanied baggage left on Thursday. The stuff being stored for three years left on Saturday. Today there are two movers packing the remainder of the house  - this is the stuff bound for Japan that we should get within a few months.

The scraproom:

The dining room:

The living room/kitchen:

The guest room:

The boy's bedroom:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garage sales, degrees, helmets and more!

Although it appears no one has read my latest posts since the kids are not with me (I know the real reason you guys stalk the blog now!) I figured I would add some photos that have been on Facebook, since I know some of you aren't on Facebook.

Since the kids left for Illinois, Rodney and I have been very much focused on getting pack and ready for the move to Japan. While it has been a weeks-long process, everything is moving faster now, and seems to be happening all at once. The house is 90 percent organized and in different piles: Storage (with a storage company), Advanced shipment (about 1,000 pounds of stuff to camp out in a home once we get one - we should get this in Japan by August 1), personal property shipment (the main shipment that could take months to get to us) and the stuff we are taking with us on the planes in suitcases and backpacks.

There was also a fifth pile, the garage sale pile, which has since be sold or donated. We had a garage sale Friday and Saturday morning. Here is what the yard looked like yesterday (Sat.).

We did pretty well, making almost $1,600. We still have some of the furniture items left that we are trying to sell on Craigslist, and my car, which has had three people inquire, but the 103K miles seems to be turning people off. Unfortunately, we still owe money on the car, so there is a limit to how low I can go, but I don't want a car payment for a car half a world away either. I hope that, and what we are going to do with Marble, works itself out in the next couple of weeks. We still don't have a plan for our 14-year-old geriatric dog and it breaks my heart. Here's a photo I took in the kitchen on Friday of her waiting for a cookie.

My degree came in the mail this week. So, it is official... I hold a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from the University of West Florida. Here is a photo of me holding it:

And, on a lighter note, Rodney and I are going out and having some fun. We went and saw Men in Black 3 and Rock of Ages, both of which we enjoyed. We went shopping at Target for some storage bins, etc., and Rodney tapped in to his inner Avenger for a moment.

Katie and Abby have new blogs!

I'm excited that Rodney's cousins Katie and Abby (actually, it;s Abby's husband, Joe, doing the blogging) will now be blogging about their families. It will help the boys keep up with their sons Drew and Ben, while we are in Japan. You can access their blogs from ours by clicking the links on the right side of this page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kids relaxing

While Rodney and I run around like chickens with our heads cut off, preparing to move overseas, the kids seem to be having plenty if fun in St. Louis with their Aunt Jill and Uncle Luke. Later the fun will include a Cardinals baseball game.

And here they are at the game tonight.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Pouring rain

Marble was not fond if our recent storm:

Downpour Video

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Friday, June 01, 2012

Moving along...

Things are moving along for us as we near the home stretch for the move to Japan. The boys need military IDs, so Rodney took care of that yesterday. The boys feel very "official" (important) now. However, I have them in MY wallet right now for safekeeping. ;)

The rental sign went up in our front yard yesterday morning. We have had a couple of drive-bys so far, but no appointments. I'm OK with that. The trees aren't trimmed and the house is a mess.

We got our mailing address in Iwakuni. It is:

GySgt Rodney Guthrie
PSC 561 Box 88
FPO/AP 96310

Rodney seems to have a proactive sponsor, as well as his softball buddy, Ryan, over there looking out for us.

We did not get our advance shipment picked up yesterday, there was a delay. It will be picked up June 21, but should still get to us soon after we arrive in Japan.

Marble celebrated her 14th birthday yesterday. We gave her some treats in her favorite flavor: turkey. She's doing pretty well for an ANCIENT boxer!!

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