Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walk Through


Things are progressings along quite nicely with the Virginia house. We have filled out form after form... to the point I no longer know what Harry has me signing.

I was a little scared when the VA inspector sent as a 30 page inspection report. 30 pages of needed repairs. The scariest thing... the majority of these problems were overlooked by us. I guess that's why you pay for an inspector.

The only hold up seems to be a few seemingly minor repairs... like wood rot, wood destroying bugs, you know... little things.

So we have a walk through to see that those repares have been completed to our satisfaction (actually the VA's satisfaction). 

Once this is complete... we will sign the paperwork and have a house...


Weird, huh?   Seems just like yesterday we were living in Greece (well maybe a few days ago). 



We have arrived....


We are finally here.  It took over 24 hours and 2 packs of Wet-Ones.

Miss Peabody is on sensory-overload.

Our first stop in the United States... Taco Bell.  We arrived after mid-night with a growl in our belly.  With a late night drive-thru and debit card Harry and I were on sensory over-load (too many conveniences  at our fingertips. 

Here's Miss P on her first drive in America... through the drive thru

I think she liked it...

Maybe not?

Hotel check-in.... and a good nights sleep, or is it day now?  I have no clue... I am simply exhausted and we have too much to do to sleep all day or is it night?



Emotional Free Fall


I have referred to our departure as an emotional roller coaster... I now want to change that to a free fall. 

However painful... I will try to recap the days highlights.

Woke up early... too early.   Started to cry.

Packed up and left hotel to stop by Kayne's to wake him up (he was going to the airport to say goodbye.  Started to cry. 

Walk in Chapel for the last time.  Teared up.

Matt brought Peabody.  Teared up.

Left Chapel for the last time.  Started to cry again.

Checked-in at terminal.  Holding back tears.  Several people came to say goodbye.

Our neighbor Todd came to see Miss Peabody for the last time.  I started to cry.

Oliver poohed in his carry case.  I wanted to cry, but for other reasons.

Flight delayed.  Harry wanted to cry.

Perused base for the last time.  Saw too many people to cry.

Flight time. 

Caged Miss P for her ride in the back... FYI: do not place a dog in a crate for the first time in her life ... only miutes before the flight.  People thought she was a bucking bull instead of the nice sweet Peabody.

Time to say goodbye to Ginger and Andrew. Start to cry.

Time to say goodbye to Kayne.

Full blown snotty ugly red-eyed tears. 

If it were not for our friends traveling to Naples with us... I think I would have cried the entire flight, instead I caught up on the last Souda gossip... no crying.

Oliver poohed second time mid-flight.  I wanted to cry. 

Went to lav to clean him up... not a pretty sight.  I am a smeller and a gagger.  And when I opened his cage he comes flying out... leaving smelly pooh paw prints all over the lav.  I wanted to cry, but I was heaving instead. 

Gave Oliver a bath in the lav sink. 

Gave myself a bath in the lav sink.

Cleaned lav.

Went back to seat to medicate.


the rest of the trip was pretty much the same.    Oliver unhappy.  Miss Peabody unhappy.  Harry happy.  Me periodically crying and sleeping. 

I still want to cry..... periodically.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

End of an Era


It's here...

our departure from NSA Souda Bay, Crete Greece.

This is harder than I thought...

Souda Bay,

You are in our thoughts and prayers.  Words cannot express how each of you has touched our lives in your own individual way.  We will remember you always.  Thanks for being part of our extended family.  We love you. 


The  Hansen's

T minus Today and a Wake up


Well, we are going on about 30 minutes sleep from last night.  Not sure if it's nerves or the string of disturbing news from yesterday as we leave.

So much goes on here at Souda Bay... but it's not fodder for the blog.  It's a hard base.  It's unaccompanied (except for about 5 military families) isolated (much around) and remote (away from civilization).

When lives are affected... we are like family here... it affects us as well.  So the emotional roller coaster of good-byes coupled with the ending of Harry's ministry here is quite hard.  We have found (unintentionally) distancing ourselves from our friends / Souda family.  Does it make the break easier?  Not sure, but it hurts all the same. 

There are so many friends we have made that it breaks my heart to leave.  It feels like we are leaving in the middle of their lives.  There are still birthdays to attend (and forget ... sorry Gavino.. I will send a cool gift from the states) Easter's to plan, VBS to arrange, and man what about Fall Festival.

I'm not sure how to say good-bye.

Last night was our final / very last time / Chapel service here at Souda Bay.  I almost stayed here in the hotel.  But I went.  Our friends the Barker's (I think our very best friends here) made a video for us.  It makes you cry.  The video consists of the 2 + years of memories.  I think half of them I had forgotten. There are so many good memories to take away from here.   Also, I was reminded how much weight Harry and I have gained. 

I cannot express in words what our Chapel family has meant to us. 

Truly, they became family.  Families disagree, argue, love on each other, support each other, lift each other up, rail on you when you mess up, laugh at your corny jokes, and care for you when it feels others are not, even give hugs when needed  (however, we do not kiss on the lips... inside Chapel joke).

Today will be hard.  Tonight, I have a ladies thingy, which will be hard.  Tomorrow we will have breakfast with friends, which will be the hardest I think.  Luckily, Chanel's new waterproof mascara actually works. 

Leaving Kayne will be the kicker.  He has been with us for 3 years.  Not sure how or when I am saying good-bye to him?  Not sure what I will do in Virginia without him?

Good-byes are like the elephant in the room.  You know they are there.... hovering somewhere in the corner.  You try to not to acknowledge them.... but eventually you must recognize that there is a giant elephant in the room. 

And then there's the whole Vince thingy... did  he really have to kill our stray dog 2 days before we leave?  Seriously?

I think I am sad.

I think I am mad.

I think  I do not want to leave.

I think I want to leave and take many people with me.

I think I will come back to visit in the near future.

I think this feels like pooh.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010



I do not even know how to say this....

but our landlord poisoned Vince. 

Our neighbor came home after work and found him.  Vince has been our buddy and Miss Peabody's boyfriend for quite a while now.  We are all horrified that the landlord would do such a thing. 

My problem...

is I want to throw a brick threw his window.  And I am sure that is NOT the Chaplain wife / Christian thing to do. 

We have had a rough go with the landlord this week.  I had a draft post "The Extortionist" was the title.  Now I want to change it to murder.  The highlights of the week:

He wanted to keep our deposit...just because.

He wanted us to pay for a new paint job... soot damage from his faulty fireplace.

He wanted us to pay additional water bills because we had my brother living with us (contract was signed over 2 years ago knowing Kayne was an addition... and Kayne moved out over 7 months ago).  BTW water is included in our rent... per our lease.

He wanted us to pay for a new doorknob.

He wanted us to pay for fumigation from the pets (which we actually did).

He made our cleaning lady cry... he told her to clean the entire house and then clean the outside. We paid her to clean the inside.   Seriously?... the outside of a house?  Remember the construction work that rains clouds of red dust all over the neighborhood?

He lied, and lied, and lied some more.  Luckily, I had documentation of e v e r y t h i n g.  FYI military folks... go through housing when you have issues... it is important to have a paper trail.  With every lie the landlord told... I showed the housing department lady, in our file, where he was wrong.

But in the end... what good did it get me?  We saved ourselves over a thousand dollars, but we lost our good buddy Vince.

And the really sad part... we have been trying to find a ride back stateside so we could keep him with us.  We are at our max with two pets already.  Until then our neighbor, Brunner has been keeping him.  Brunner and his wife have fed Vince and Peabody everyday for months now.

Poor Brunner's... they have enjoyed the company of Vince since we have moved.  He says the neighborhood is kinda lonely.  And Brunner's wife leaves for Thailand next week for 5 months.  It would have been nice for him to have the company.  Pets can make a huge difference when overseas and away from family.

So, back to make earlier point... as a Chaplain's wife and Christian how do I reconcile wanting to stone this guy while needing to forgive him for his idiotic actions?  It's a harmless dog... why would someone want to kill him?  I just cannot shake the feeling that the landlord was a much worse man than I originally thought.  Thankfully, Miss Peabody is hanging out with the Barker's and nowhere near the old neighborhood.

I just do not understand how someone could be so cruel.  This is not the way I wanted to leave this place. 



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


It's a beautiful day here in Greece....

The British snow birds are out for a swim.

The forecast in Virginia is

Temperature:  37°F

Current: Showers

Wind: N at 8 km/h

Humidity: 91%

Cold weather here we come.



Monday, February 22, 2010

The Cheshire Cat


Here's a quote from Alice in Wonderland that has come to mind here recently...

Remember Alice's conversation with the Cheshire Cat?

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. 

"Oh, you can't help that, " said the Cat: "we're all mad here.  I'm mad.  You're mad."

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the Cat,  "or you wouldn't have come here."

At this point that pretty much sums it up! 

I do not even know how mad I am here anymore...



Matter-of-Fact Monday


1. This will be my last Monday living in NSA Souda Bay Crete, Greece

2.  Packed house out and living in a hotel out of two suitcases.... need to wash clothes soon.

3.  Oh, Little Puppy has a nice loving home..... with Kayne.  He has named HER (I thought it a boy) Tiza... which I think in Greek means to pee?  I would say something, but I did name our dog Miss Peabody!

4.  It's official... Harry will leave on deployment ASAP when we arrive in Norfolk... great now I get POA (power of attorney) for the house closing stuff (and everything else)... I still need a car!?!! Muuumahhhhh

5.  Harry just read # 4 and had a heart attack.... nuh, but I have been deathly ill for the last 36 hours.  Me and my bodily fluids have parted ways by means unspeakable (projectile).  I refuse to go to a Greek hospital.   Being sick in a strange hotel is not my idea of fun either... for some crazy reason, I just wanted to go home (cinder block Greece home) to be sick.  I guess I will miss that ole cinder block even though there isn't a lick of furniture in it.

6.  Have jump-started the diet thanks to # 5.  My stomach already looks a little flatter!

7.  Duked it out with the Land Lord and he does not even speak Greek.  I think it is my first international incident?  Will elaborate later... it needs it's own post.

8.  This time next week... I will be in our new home in Virginia.  Weird!

9.  Mid -term week in my classes... and I am 4 weeks behind.  How does this happen every semester?

10.  It has been unseasonably warm in Greece this year...and from my understanding, unseasonably cold in Virginia this year... so I am trying to soak up as much sun as possible before we go back.

Last Monday living in Greece Blessings,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

She'll be coming round the Mountain


This weekend we took a little mini holiday back to the mountains....

for a little relaxation, eating, game playing, and horseback riding

Harry the horse whisper

I am not so sure if the horses have been our in a while??

As a matter-of-fact... no. 

My horse has definitely not had a rider on him any time soon.  It took a few minutes of soothing to calm him down.  Where was Harry the horse whisper when I need him? 

And we are off...

around the mountain...

riding English...

with an English saddle.

Not my favorite.

And I am still sore from the ride. 

But we had a nice weekend away from Souda Bay.  We have started the detox process.  We have a difficult week ahead of us... I think?


(please remind me to brush my hair... next time some one has a camera)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Do the Math

Harry is bottom line kindof guy. He fixates on the numbers.

So I am doing the same (although Harry's usually involves money).

Navy life will include multiple PCS (permanent change of station) relocations.

• About 8 or 9 times throughout ones career.

• On average we will move every 2 – 3 years.

• International moves average 3.

PCS’ing average time for domestic (CONUS meaning conterminous United States, that is, the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia) move household goods:

• Pack out typically 1.5 weeks in advance

• 1 month shipping time

• 1.5 weeks settle in at new duty station

PSC’ing average time for international (OCONUS meaning outside conterminous United States) move household goods:

• Pack out 1 month in advance

• Live 2 months without household goods

• When leaving pack out 1 month in advance

• Receive household goods 2 months after arrival

These numbers can alter depending if you want to pack out early or later, but these are my averages.  Actually... I have an entre house in Altanta that I have not seen for 2 years (it's in storage)... so that ups the numbers too.

So I deduce that…

Of the 9 moves 6 will be domestic / 3 international

• 6  X  1.75 months transit time  =  10.5 months

• 3  X  6 months transit time  =  18 months

• Total time  =  28.5 months

That means … out of a typical 20 year career, 9 moves with 3 OCONUS or international

I will be without my household goods for approximately:

2 years         1 month    and     1 week.

Or in true Harry style...

10%  of his career.




Friday, February 19, 2010

P a r a d i c e


We have new digs!

We have relocated to the Paradice... please note paradice is not a misspell, but how it is spelled.  It's fitting, one of my first emails back home (way back in FEB of 2008) was titled Paradise is it NOT.  We had arrived in on of the coldest winters here, it actually snowed for two days straight.  I had envisioned a paradise and what I found once I arrived was anything but.

I come into this place thinking paradise and find it's not.... and leave in a Paradice that is mispelled.  That pretty much sums it up!

A little wild for my taste, but its only for a week.

Small bath. 

But it's only for a week.

The in room accommodations may be a bit daunting, but the outside is spectacular!

It's hard to believe we will only be here for another week. 



Bowling Alley Good-byes


Tonight... we had the Ward Room good-byes.  Must of the time it's at a stuffy restaurant, but Harry asked if we could have our good-bye at the bowling alley.  (Hence his red shoes)

Not sure what the going price for a Souda Bay plaque goes for on eBay?

Never allow a preacher access to undivided attention!  His first words were, "Since I have not seen you guys in Chapel lately....."

Not sure what I was doing.... but the XO asked for the ladies in the back to keep it down.... thankfully, that is his wife beside me.

Must act right.... some one has a camera!

It is sad to leave.  And the more good-byes we say... the sadder it gets. 

Well, there are a few I do not mind, but on the whole... it's pretty rough!



Thursday, February 18, 2010



Miss Peabody and Vince had their last go at Grey Cat. 

An archenemy, archfoe, archvillain or archnemesis mid-16th century is the principal enemy of a character in a work of fiction, often described as the hero’s worst enemy.

The problem is…. I am not sure if Miss Peabody is the hero and Grey Cat the arch nemesis or the other way around?

My next question is... "Why Grey Cat did you climb to the very TOP of the light pole?  You are way above their grasp!"

And I can assure you Grey Cat.... that is NOT the way down!

Watching Grey Cat dismount from the light pole... was almost as good as some of the Olympic Games.  Luckily, he eventually made it down ... safe and sound!

And Miss Peabody and Vince last hoorah (cat chasing) was a success.



It's really Real now


T - minus 1 week and a wake up. 

It's Moving Day.

As the Greek movers roll up in their trucks... I realize that we are really going to leave this place!

Let the games begin...


My absolute favorite mover.... he played the violin from Israel, the xylophone from Thailand. 

Everything gets wrapped.... EVERYTHING!

After an hour or so... some guy comes in and says, "No pictures!"  And he puts his hand in front of the camera. 

Let me think about this ....

my house

my stuff

my camera?

What is the problem here... is he doing something he does not want me to photo?

The hallways are too narrow... so the boxes and furniture and the second and third floor... get tossed / lowered from the balcony.

Harry's was a great help... he pretty much stayed right here the entire time. 

Ah, it's all gone.  Boxed up.  Crated up.  And ready to ship off.

I hope it makes it to Virginia safe and sound and in one piece.



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