Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First week of September...

Hello there...

So this has been quite a busy week for us.  We received our first shipment of homegoods (the small one/unaccompanied baggage).  The majority of what it included was clothes with our TV (WOOHOO!), printer, Lucy's stuff (she's super happy about having gotten a bath, brush, teeth cleaning, and nail cut all in one day lemme tell ya!), a bit of bathroom stuff, and pictures/decor mixed in.  Of course we have walls made of pure cement/concrete and no drill, so hanging anything will have to be held off until we receive our drill in the second and final shipment (the one with the other 6000 pounds of our belongings) which won't be until the last week of September.

We FINALLY received our DLA (dislocation allowance) payment which we've been waiting on for over a month.  For those of you who don't know what that is... basically, the military pays you a handsome sum of money (based on rank, number of dependents, location, etc.) for moving.  Here's what the military has deemed it:

The purpose of DLA is to partially reimburse a member for the expenses incurred in relocating the household on a PCS, ordered for the Government's convenience, or incident to an evacuation. This allowance is in addition to all other allowances authorized in this Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) and may be paid in advance.

Of course ours wasn't paid in advance and when we got it, it was spent within hours because of all the things we've needed and couldn't get because... well I could totally explain, but let's not rant about the financial process of the military, shall we.  Let's just say that we should be getting two months of BAH (basic housing allowance) backpay here soon from when I was in the states without my husband.  They had me on his orders as already being in Italy with him when I obviously wasn't...☺

Moving on...

So with that wonderful DLA payment we purchased a memory foam mattress and box spring, a bed frame, an iron, a hand mixer, a microwave, a few shelving/drawer units for throughout the house, some basic household needs (TP, paper towels, detergent (dish and clothing), tissues, starch, smell-goods, etc.), the hubby's contacts because he was tired of wearing his BCG's everywhere (60 FRIGGIN DOLLARS FOR ONE BOX! WTF!), some food for us and the pooch, the down payment for our new internet company (THIS makes me super happy!!!!!), a kickass smoker/charcoal grill with all the necessary supplies that accompany that, and subscription renewals - one for a year of Skype premium so we can call home and one for a year of HideMyAssPro so I can watch my American TV on my laptop.  And we still need to purchase a kitchen table and chairs and a few lamps to brighten up the place... guess that'll have to wait for a while.

Anywho... we've managed to make due with what we have and are looking forward to saving money and spending a little on traveling once we're all settled in.

But back to this week... we had a friendly, little get-together combining burgers and dogs and pasta salad with some of the hub's coworkers.  It was sort of our celebration of labor day (although almost all of them had to work at one point during most of your three-day weekends) and the first of hopefully many gatherings at our wonderful little home.

Another fun little happening for this week was our random night-trip up to Mezzomonte :)
From our little town of Budoia, the entire northern horizon is filled with the Italian Alps.  About a mile up, on the side of a stretch of mountain, you can see this little strip of a town, totally secluded just there in the middle of thousands of trees.
View from our little city
We've always wondered what it's like up there so after eating at Texas Bob's, which is the closest thing we've had to American food since we've been here, we decided to have a little night adventure.  This is what it looked like:

This is a small portion of what the entire ascent looked like... scary, windy, curvy, and  STEEP as hell!

Halfway up the mountain... can almost see our house from here.

Just entering the outskirts of the town and not a soul in sight.  It would be a good setting for a scary movie for sure!

In the middle of the city, about half way up the giant mountain and that's about 1600 meters above sea level (1 mile higher than where our home resides) - top of the mountain is probably around 2500 meters above sea level but I don't even know if you can drive up there or not.

Gorgeous View

My Love and Me... thank you camera timer and night landscape setting :D
We had a blast just wandering our little slice of heaven for a few hours.  Here's a few more pics from the day...

First pic of the night when it was still light out

Quaint little Catholic church in Polcenigo

Sweet older couple out for an evening stroll, AKA me and my love in 50 years :)

But by the end of the night, we were superbly chilly and ready to snuggle down for a nice long sleep.  But of course, the piece de resistance of the entire week... the next morning around 10am, we received our FMO (furnishing management office) delivery!!!!!!  For those of you who don't know...

"Furnishings Management is here to assist you in the area of temporary loaner furnishings and
major appliances. Our goal is to make your PCS move as painless as possible.  Aviano is a full JFTR area for all military and DOD personnel who are authorized a housing allowance (BAH/OHA/LQA). These personnel are authorized the issuance of refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, kitchen cabinet, wardrobes, and transformers for the duration of their tour."

We got a washer and brand-spanking new dryer, a brand new fridge (it's NICE!), a dishwasher, 2 smoke alarms, and an AFN (Armed Forces Network) decoder box which is basically a free cable network through the armed forces so we don't have to pay for cable.  The delivery was quick and painless, but not until after they were gone did we determine that it wasn't going to be as easy as we thought...

Fridge is hooked up and working (now we just need to fill it with fooooood)  √
Washer and dryer are hooked up and working (No more laundry on base)  √
Dishwasher fits perfectly in the little cabinet cutout and is hooked up to power but we were not given the water inlet tube or the correct PVC adapters from FMO so we'll have to purchase the random plumbing parts to rig up the system when we find the Italian home depot I've been hearing of  X
AFN decoder box is hooked up but we can't register it and get signal/channels today because by the time we figured out we had to do this through the housing office, they were closed - fail  X
Smoke detectors batteried up and dispersed throughout the house  √

All-in-all, 3 for 5 was a pretty solid day, especially since FMO was too lazy to hook anything up for us or even give us any information on how any of this stuff works... more work to be done tomorrow for sure since we'll have to buy the parts we need and make a trip to housing so we can have television finally.

We have some more errands for tomorrow and then the weekend is going to be pretty lonely for me, since my husband works Friday through Sunday!  But I'll stay busy putting away all the stuff from the homegoods shipment and probably doing a thorough cleaning since I haven't really done one since the first time, when I got here a month ago.

Hopefully next time you hear from me I'll have a much more interesting tale to tell.  Until then...

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