Hello from a DC area hotel! From within which I am trying to blog. But since my iPad doesn't play nicely with Typepad, I can't have pictures (sob!), and I can't have italics (sob!) or links to other websites (sob again!), which means that pretty much 60% of my normal forms of bloggy communication have been stolen from me.
I suppose I will have to use more CAPS and exclamation marks in order to try to make up for the lack of italics. IT IS AS THOUGH THE WORLD IS ENDING!!
Also, I'm sure the spacing will be strange on this entry and others like it in the future. I'm sorry!
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So, anyway: an update. Today is Tuesday. Last week at this time (more specifically, last Monday through Wednesday), I packed the rental house out (UAB/HHE/Storage/Consumables/Luggage) while James was in training ALL DAY. EACH AND EVERY DAY.
Most of the time, not only was James in training during our packout, but he also wasn't accessible via cell phone or text message.
Because The Universe wanted to screw with me big time.
But even though his wife was freaking out in the throes of packout hell, James was cool as a cucumber and even - get this - graduated VALEDICTORIAN from ConGen! Which means that he got a 100% on each and every one of the 5 or so tests that students have to take during the course.
Which is why he does what he does for a living and I don't. The man is made of STEEL, I tell you. Nothing ruffles him; he just powers on. Whereas I, the polar opposite, faced packout by Tweeting about how I was teetering on the brink of sanity and hiding from the movers so as to try not to have to make any decisions about our stuff.
(Opposites attract? That has to be why the man is still with me.)
SO NOW that we survived the earthquake last week, James, the children and I are holed up in a DC area hotel hoping that our brand-spanking-new Clements transit insurance policy on all of our earthly goods has actually kicked in, so that when we find out later that our zillions of pallets of crap actually drowned in Hurricane Irene's flooding,** we will at least have coverage for the damages.
[**Which wouldn't surprise me IN THE LEAST, because I actually know an awesome lady who is super high up in State who literally - I'm not making this up - once lost HER ENTIRE SHIPMENT OF CONSUMABLES in a hurricane. And she was heading to the sort of country with no groceries on its shelves! So: IT HAPPENS.]
We're going to be here in DC a few days longer, after which we launch off on what we could affectionately call the "Visiting Every Single Relative in the US World Tour," which is taking us to very exotic locales such as Indiana and Florida.
After we make every single relative sick to death of us, we will head to China... but it's gonna be a while, because we have a lot of relatives. We're going to get to Chengdu around the end of September. And since right now is the end of August, we have a while before it's, like, ON.
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I've been asked how packout was. I will say this - by the end of shopping for Consumables, I think we spent well over $5,000. We had a Consumables weight allowance of 2,500 pounds, and we met that weight.
Now, when you're buying Consumables stuff and getting ready for packout, it's really hard to figure out just how much stuff you have, right? It's basically impossible. Who can estimate such a thing? And you can't even sick all of the stuff you bought on a scale or something to estimate, because the movers come and wrap everything (like it's dishes or other items you own) and box it, and all the wrapping material and box weight figures into your 2,500 pounds, as well.
So the 2,500 pound weight thing is a wild card.
What's nice is that a lot of what you think is Consumables can actually also go into your HHE if you want it to and are running out of Consumables weight. In fact, our movers would have put ANYTHING from our Consumables into our HHE. And we were *really* light on our HHE weight (by about 2,000 pounds or so), so heck... we could have had a couple thousand more pounds of Consumables stuff stuffed into our HHE shipment!
But, honestly, by the time were were done buying what we bought, we were so physically and emotionally exhausted that I don't think we could have kept buying and stayed sane.
Buying Consumables was so... so... RANDOM. I mean, first of all, this is our first post overseas, so we've never done Consumables before. Second of all, we've never been to China, so we have NO CLUE. Third of all, we tend to eat fresh food and not a lot of food out of the pantry, so I didn't even know where to begin with canned and jarred foods. It was EPIC PAIN. And then when I posted a while ago with that picture of my husband at Costco, I got all manner of "You don't need X! You don't need Y! They have that there!" feedback, which was disconcerting. YES, PEOPLE, I KNOW THAT I'M CLUELESS. THAT'S THE POINT OF THIS WHOLE ENTIRE BLOG.
Friends of ours have told us to mail ourselves boxes of food and goodies so that there will be stuff waiting for us when we get to post (it takes a while to get your other shipments). Which feels like shopping for Consumables ALL. OVER. AGAIN. How in the world will I know what we will want to eat when we get to post?! But I will dutifully mail our future selves boxes of food. Because that sounds like what Good State Wives do for their families, and I'll be damned if I don't at least TRY to measure up to the rest of you ladies, who have Been There, Done That and gotten the t-shirts.
Tune in someday, when I learn that either: 1.) Our Consumables drowned and are no more, or 2.) Everything I bought was utterly useless because they have it all there already, and for cheaper. The EPIC FAIL, you guys. The EPIC FAIL is right around the corner. I can totally feel it.
(That last sentence should have SO been in italics!)