18 August 2010


The things you discover about a home as you prepare to move out of it:
  • Some of the roller shades are light-blocking, others are not...I just moved all the light-blockers to the living room and bedrooms.
  • There's more space here than we originally thought...eliminating crap aids with this realization.
  • Despite the fact that this home was built in the early 1900's and possesses none of our contemporary design preferences...it has an awful lot of character.
  • Selling your kitchen table months before you move isn't the brightest idea until you discover the simple pleasure of dining al fresco at the picnic table your husband built with your father during your first Christmas in this home.
  • A screened front porch is a really nice feature to have.
  • If we ever build our own home, I know I definitely do NOT want ceramic tile in the bathroom unless it's self-cleaning. 
Last, but not least...
  • We've made a whole lot of memories in this home and I'm pretty sure we're going to miss it when we leave.

12 August 2010

Car::Kuruma, jidoosha

It's been awhile since my last post, but it is not for lack of material I assure you.  Life has been rather hectic around the Wonton Palace and over the last couple of months we have applied for passports (had one application rejected for insufficient birthing information; his, not mine), gone round after round with bloody military medical crap (for lack of any worse terminology at the moment), traveled north to Ohio for The National Needlearts Association tradeshow (Kristy had a garment featured in a fashion show - view it HERE), traveled to the great state of SC (Kristy cleaned out her childhood closet since her folks are moving into their new home before we leave in November), been honored with an award for outstanding squadron support (Mason), taken up one new hobby (Kristy has selected hoopdancing as her workout path of choice),  and last, but certainly not least...we sold a car.

In the quest to downsize, it was decided we should eliminate not one, but both vehicles.  One down and one to go - woohoo!  The story of the first vehicular elimination is a great one and a God-thing if ever there was one.

I was to spend two wonderfully hot and humid weeks in my home state of South Carolina (I optimistically regarded it as means of preparation for my upcoming life in the south Pacific).  Whilst I was away, I told Mr. Wonton that if he could get the Honda sold before I returned, that would be awesome.  Having a second vehicle is a nice luxury, but one I am definitely willing to part with, permanently, if I have anything to do with it.

Mr. Wonton took seriously to the task before him and within days he was prepared to put it on the base lemon lot.  All of us military folk know that it isn't really as bad as it sounds, it's just a funny name for the car lot which graces most, if not all bases worldwide.  People come and go along with their cars; some of those cars are extremely nice cars (like the brand new '10 Mustang purchased at an exorbitant interest rate by the young airman who arrives on base only to find out a few weeks later that he's being shipped off to the sandbox for 6 months).  And some of the cars are more like my precious little '02 Honda Civic...100,000+ miles, knicked paint job, scratched tire rims (previous owner, not me), dented trunk (Mr. Wonton's driving prowess, not my own), and one fender well still holding strong 3 years later after having been reattached miles from home on the side of the road with, get this, a single piece of yarn from my Macguyver Knitting bag (that one was all me and I will proudly claim it).  It certainly wasn't the nicest car on the lot, but it would serve well a first-time driver and that's exactly what it's 3rd life is.

It sat on the lot for a grand total of twenty minutes (about the length of time it took for my Mr. Wonton to drop it off, grab a ride home with a friend and make to the front door).  He barely made it home when his phone began to ring with interest.  So he drove back to base, met with the guy, who was looking for a car for his newly-driving daughter.  They drove it around for about an hour, haggled price (I'm so proud of Mr. Wonton for sticking to our agreed upon price point) and within hours, the deal was settled.

Twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes!  The man who bought the car was a prior military man himself turn pastor.  His budget was right along with what we were looking for, but still above our lowest settling point.  He was happy, we were happy...a whole lot of happiness in Wonton land.  We couldn't have asked for a smoother sale to a better person.

As for vehicle #2, the '99 Corolla has been with the Mister for a long time and he is beyond partial to it.  The glove compartment still smells of pizza on a cold day when the heater is turned up, hearkening back to his pizza delivery-boy days.  Hello Papa John's!  Hopefully, one of the young airmen in his troop at work is making preparations to purchase it before we depart.  That is, if he doesn't wreck it first.  See, the kid has never driven before.  ever.  The one time in his life that he did, he wrecked and totaled the car.  So, my compassionate, philanthropic-husband has taken it upon himself to teach him how to drive.our only remaining vehicle.that's a stick-shift.on a military base.by himself.at no charge.without PPE.  At least my Mr. Wonton has his Will made out.  I just wish he would get a pre-nup or something along the lines of a Macy's clause that states, "You break it, you buy it."  And have the kid sign it.  in blood.  I'm just saying.

29 May 2010

Purge::Paaji & Organize::Soshiki shimasu

184 days, 10 hours, 41 minutes and x,y,z number of seconds until we will be in Okinawa...I know this because my facebook page tells me so.  Two and a half months ago we received word that we were headed for the island life.  In that time, a massive household purging has commenced and we are preparing for closet-sized accommodations on the other side of the globe. 

With approximately 6 months to arrival on the island and roughly 6 rooms in our home the original mission was to tackle and purge one room a month.  Then, with 3 days notice I found out about a post-wide yard sale.  So in one fell swoop (a seriously late Friday night, a whole lot of caffeine and one awesome husband) we had the entire house purged of all major no-go's, including the attic.

28 items have been taken to the consignment shop on post here at Fort Monroe and hopefully I will be picking up the first of many checks to come on June 1.  The laughable post-wide (ha!) yard sale was held last weekend and of the 6, yes, S-I-X participating families we sold all of our major items before the sale ever commenced.  We had several large furniture items that didn't make the cut for the solo-trans-Pacific-voyage (couple of bookcases, a desk, a file cabinet, table and chairs, aerogarden...) and thanks to the wonders of facebook...all but one of the items was sold before sale day!  The table and chairs was the last item sold on sale day to my friend Umiko and her family.  Also on the axe-list was my Pampered Chef overstock, a 20x20x20 box filled to the hilt with all things PC-love.  Selling PC for the past 1.5 years has been a blast, but my oh my how the bonuses and excess add up!  Between my personal cluster contacts and facebook, more than half of those items were gone before sale day as well.

This long holiday weekend before Memorial Day finds me purging paper files, my knitting needle collection and my enormous yarn stash.  Did I say yarn stash?!  My  bad...the stash stays, definitely stays. 

What has amazed me the most thus far in our downsizing endeavors is that no matter how much stuff we've unloaded, I seem to keep finding more items to fill their void (all without buying more stuff).  A year ago, we had two functioning dining tables, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room.  The dining room table was on loan (why did we NEED a loaner in the first place?) and the kitchen table was an inherited piece from another friend.  The dining room table made it back to it's rightful owner and when we unloaded the kitchen table last weekend I discovered how big our kitchen really is.  But that didn't last...hiding under a tablecloth in our second bedroom upstairs (which serves a dual-purpose as my craft space and our workout space) was yet ANOTHER table.  So out it came from hiding and straight to the kitchen with two inherited chairs I received from my grandmother, which were also hiding upstairs.  The two chairs are now out on the front lawn awaiting a full refurbishing (which means I'm going to paint them).

Yard sale remnants have found a temporary and I do mean temp.o.rary home in the middle of our dining room floor.  They will be moved in 14-item stages to the on-post consignment shop over the next several weeks.  Once we have paper orders in hand, remaining articles will move in 28-item increments.  Slowly, but surely, the downsizing is occurring...and simplicity is beginning to reign - it feels great! Kanpai!

25 April 2010


Welcome to the world little blog of ours! This blog will serve to keep us connected to family and friends while we live abroad for the next four years of our lives. Hopefully, it will also enable us to "meet" new folks who share a common venture. At present, we are approximately 6 months out from our day of departure from America. Over the next 6 months, we will chronicle the joys that lie in downsizing a large 2 bedroom townhouse with ABUNDANT storage capabilities into the least common denominator of military shipment allowance. Fourteen items have already been unloaded to the post Thrift Store for consignment – let the scrutiny and mayhem commence!

Oh, and a big THANK YOU and congratulations to my immensely talented-with-words-friend, Kit, for the winning submission for the name of this blog. It was a tough call and those submissions which were not selected will serve to satisfy as future entry titles. Huzzah, Kit…or shall I say, "Omedeto gozaimasu!" (A carefully selected prize package of some nice junk we'd like to unload prior to moving day will be on its way to you as soon as I receive a snail mail addy). Kanpai!