a week shy of the 6 month mark

Everyone says 'give it 6 months' or 'give it a year' well we are a week shy of our 6 month mark in Skopje and some miracles better start happening at lightening speed.

What has made this posts so hard? Surprise pollution, poor school, isolation, trash everywhere bothers me, poor hiring practices at the one place I can work, my emails to anyone and everyone go unanswered, the women's group really is not a thing, Girl Scouts will probably fold next year as I cannot stand the disorganization, sponsors that dropped us after day 1, and finally, not a single friend. That has been the hardest part.

So I will spend the next week hoping for some progress in at least one of these areas. I am always hopeful, but I am also trying to figure out how far the VSMA might go....

This is plan B

I wish I could say life at our new post is super fun all day every day. It is not. Driving is stressful to me. The pollution was not a thing in any post reports. Grocery shopping can feel very third world in that one day there will be nice yogurt and then you never see it again. The school has been a let down. Unlimited internet is a big fat lie.  It has generally made things a bit hard.

So....I have been making. Making a lot. Using up the stash is the grand plan. I think these socks have all been made in the last 5 weeks. A monster quilt is getting quilted. I tried dyeing yarn yesterday. And I have mastered sewing in zippers, most days anyway.

a get away

After 3 years in Siberia, I mean Moscow, where tickets out of town were $$$, I was excited to give Wizz Air a try. So last Monday we got up at 3 am to head out of town to Oslo. Easy peasy. Except for the time....the flight back was also early when you factor in the fact the Wizz Air airport was actually a 2 hour train ride from Oslo....but all good otherwise. Highly recommended an Oslo Pass. Sort of expensive up front but totally worth it if you go to five museums, which we did and then some. Oslo is easy though, everyone speaks English, lots of diversity, lots of cool stuff. We saw the Scream so the kids are happy campers.

And I am a happy camper because we went to this place - the department store, Glasmaginent. So lovely. In the basement is a fabulous yarn store and all the Norwegian folk costuming you could dream of.

a slightly bumpy landing

We have been at our new post for something like 6 weeks. I am not going to lie and say it has all been sunshine and labrador puppies. It has been one of the hardest moves - it rates neck and neck with our tour in KL so far. Which frankly sort of sucked for the entire 2 years.

I have been doing a lot of knitting (succulent shawl). I have not been doing enough putting things away yet. I have been whining way too much to friends in far flung corners of the world. Hopefully things will start looking up soon...

decorating on the cheap

I definitely like to do things to our house and furniture to make them feel like home. We lucked out on our current house - we have a great Euro style kitchen, lots of clean lines and the best view of the city. There are an awful lot of cupboards and nowhere to hang anything, so I ordered up a 6 ft roll of chalkboard contact paper and a set of chalk markers - and now we like the kitchen even more!

dreamy yarn

This photo does not actually convey the loveliness that is this yarn. It is Malabrigo worsted in poplar morn color way. It is so lovely. I am going to make the Orchids & fairy lights hat available on Ravelry. Only problem? My knitting needles are still not here. maybe next week??

How mail and UAB can make things easier

This is our 5th post as a family, maybe my 17th if you add on my FS childhood. I know how to move. This time I did pretty well. We had a small UAB coming out of Moscow (some of which did not show up but that might be another story) a larger UAB from home leave. HHE from Moscow, a shipment from storage and a consumables. And the car. That is a lot of logistics to keep track of.

This time I found out that we were really welcome to mail some stuff prior to arrival. Not like some people at one post who mailed such an obscene amount of stuff to themselves that they should still be very embarrassed. Maybe they are, I heard they quit the State Dept. But anyway, I ordered a few items that have proven to be an excellent idea. What items? A big ugly Amazon Prime box full of mostly junk food snacks. This proved to be my best idea ever as 3/4 of us got really sick right after we arrived at post. Salty goldfish crackers proved to be a life saver.

I also ordered pillows and mattress toppers for all. You cannot order all these things the very same day. Or you shouldn't unless you want to get a bulk shipment charge. I spaced it out a bit.

Best things to put in UAB? Bath mats and duvets. I would add knives but they didn't show up but all our financial records which were supposed to be in the HHE did. Weird.