Saturday, September 27, 2014

More on bidding and unpacking

The bid season (August - November, if you're lucky, the year before an assignment ends) is a horrible time in the life of a Foreign Service Officer.  As we've said before ... we *have* a permanent job - why do we have to hunt for one?  The peaks and valleys of hearing something promising (or discouraging!) from post or office can be nerve wracking.  The toll on the personal side is just as worse.

I hear parents chatting about the third grade soccer team - the last year before the boys split between recreational and travel.  I have no idea if Wm will be on his team next year.  And, fourth grade, forget about - way too far off!  I've put off finding anything for Patch (he's variously asked about swimming, soccer and gymnastics), questioning if it is worth it to get started on something he might not be able to follow through on.  I did decide this year, though, that we could probably do piano in the next city, so at least that was one decision I could take.

What about clothing?  Another winter is coming ... and my clothes are horribly out of date.  But, if we go some place warm, I won't wear them for years, and they'll fall out of style.  We could end up somewhere cold (doubtful), and they might not be warm enough.  Or, we could be another two years in DC and I'd be happy I spent the money.  My prediction?  Inertia will win and I won't invest.

I posted before about wanting new furniture for our living room and bedroom, and how knowing we might move, possibly as early as June 2015, has stopped me from taking any action on that front.  Today, I decided I needed to do something to make myself feel settled and focus on the present, since I've been dwelling too much on post-June 2015 scenarios.  Cathartic response?  Emptying two jumbled display cases (we quickly needed breakable things out of boxes and out of reach of little hands) and thoughtfully arranging them.  Results pretty good, but it's still a long way until November and that elusive next assignment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What is that widget thing?

Wm's school PTA decided to try a new fundraising technique this year.  Rather than sell wrapping paper in the fall and cookie dough in the spring, the PTA is organizing a fun run on October 3 at our neighborhood park.

You can read more about it here and here.

I fully support this for the reasons I think a parent dreamed this up in the first place:
1. I hate asking friends and family to buy wrapping paper and other stuff.  Which is silly, of course, because I often purchased wrapping paper from fundraisers held by nieces, nephews and cousins because, let's face it, you can always use some more wrapping paper.  Especially when living overseas and the stuff is hard to come by.
2. Anything that gets the kids excited about being outside is fantastic (though, not like Wm needs any encouragement.  Honestly, we have a harder time getting him inside to eat and sleep).
3. The kids actually do the work (i.e., running).  Let's face it, it was really the parents doing the other fundraisers.

So, to help support the school raise money through this new mechanism, I've shamelessly added the widget to this blog.  It'll be there for about a month, until the October 3 run.  Wm thought $100 was a good goal after hearing his dad tell a story about how his grandparents pledged $1/lap swam.  Except Greg kept swimming and swimming until, 100 laps later, the organizers told him to stop.  I thought that amount was fair because that's basically what I spent between the other two fundraisers last year, so the school makes out the same (or maybe more, because I'm actually half-soliciting donations this time!).

His Bib #512 ... let's see how he does!