Monday, January 28, 2013

Home, Sweet Home

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."  ~ Maya Angelou

Well, last week was move in week for us!  Kind of....  We were given the keys to our new apartment ("pawtment" as Garytt says) on Tuesday, 22 Jan and the building was opened to its tenants on Wed, 23 Jan.  We came by on Tuesday just to see what it looked like inside.  This is a building that was recently renovated, so we are the first people in this place since they put in new cabinets, carpets, paint, bath and shower, sinks, and appliances.  The kids picked which rooms they wanted, luckily without any argument!  :)  On Wednesday we had our inspection at 9 and as soon as that was done we started moving what little junk we have into our new home.  Since our household goods aren't in Japan yet, more on that later, we borrowed some furniture from the self help office on base.  They loaned us a sofa, chair, end table and coffee table for the living room; a dining table and four chairs; two twin beds and two small dressers for the kids; and one queen with two night stands and two dressers for our master.

Our building name:  Sakura Heights
After we moved our suitcases in, Kris and Mary Kay (amazing friend of ours!!!) took the two vans to the warehouse to pick up the tv, tv stand, two end tables and two recliners we bought the week before and we moved all this stuff in and got it set up.  Mary Kay and I then went back to her place so I could get a basket of goodies to borrow until our stuff gets here - sheets, comforters, towels, plates, pots, pans, cutting board, knives, measuring spoons and cups, and cooking stones. 

So, I mentioned this was a newly renovated building.  Pretty neat that we have brand new appliances to enjoy.  Not so neat that it hasn't been tested yet, so we found out some things did't quite work like they were supposed to.  The first:  Kris woke up Thursday morning to get a shower and get ready for work....the master shower didn't work!  So, we called the housing office, who quickly sent out four workers-one of which spoke English (yay!)-and in one minute they had it fixed.  Turns out, someone forgot to turn the switch inside the water housing unit so the water would come out.  Next, when Kris goes to fix lunch (maybe it's Kris that's messing things up!) the oven preheats, but as soon as preheat switches to temperature the oven blows a fuse.  Another call to housing and we have someone to look at the oven, who speaks no english.  He looks at the oven for a while, then makes a phone call and hands the phone to me.  I then learn that the wiring for the oven is American style, which is more sensitive than Japanese wiring, so it kicks the fuse at a low temperature.  He says this is a building wide issue and we aren't allowed to use our oven at all.  Oh great!  And, now they have locked the fuse box so we can't just reset a blown fuse.  Geesh.  Okay, so I'm not one for breaking rules, but we have been eating take out food for two months now.  And, I have a beautiful new oven in front of me.  What to do...what to do....test it to see just how many burners I can use before the fuse blows.  One is okay, two...good, three...still working....fourth burner...POP.  Luckily I have a husband with some skill, and he manages to get into the fuse box and reset the oven.  :)  So, two burners should keep my oven working just under the POP-zone.

I couldn't think of any other way of displaying our house pictures, other than just piling them all in with captions.  Here is our new home....sans our own furniture.....
Last sunrise view from the hotel
Hallway outside our door.  Behind the elevators, in the center of the building are the storage lockers.  They are actually pretty spacious - I could have brought more of our stuff instead of having it all stored back in the States.  Our building is shaped like a + with two apartments in each end.

Looking through front door to entry and living room

Just inside front door to right...laundry room
Just inside front door to left...kitchen

Family room.  Far left of pic is entryway.  kitchen is back left.  Dining in back of room with balcony.  Just behind recliner on right is hallway door.
View of family room from dining room

Balcony.  We got the side of the bldg with the biggest balcony!  Mackenzie says we have enough room to plant some vegetables in the spring.  I wonder how easy it is to grow stuff here.  I already miss my fresh herbs from my kitchen window.

View from dining balcony...not the beautiful ocean view we had at the Lodge, but it's good enough.  The road behind the ugly white thing there is the road the fire department uses to get to most fires on base.  So, the kids get to see the lights and hear the sirens several times a day.  I'd give up the view to hear the squeals of excitement about the firetrucks - as long as they both get to see it, otherwise one squeal is from a happy place and the other is a squeal of despair.









Hallway....on right is the big closet.  Just past that on the right is the kids' bath then our master bedroom.  Straight back is the linen closet.  On the left, back corner is Mackenzie's room.  The first door on the left is the boy's room.

Kids' Bathroom

  
Garytt's Bedroom

Mackenzie's disaster area

Master Bedroom...separate closets, to the far left is the door to hallway.  That ugly monstrosity in the back is the metal door to our balcony and behind where I'm standing is the bathroom.

Master bathroom
View from our balcony
That's our place!  We found out the day after we moved in that our household goods, the same household goods that were packed the week after Thanksgiving, did not ship out when they were supposed to, they didn't ship out until January 14th!  Yes, just two short weeks ago!!!  So, our anticipated delivery date of January 20th isn't actually going to happen.  We have been told that our stuff will be here around February 8th.

When we were living in the hotel I realized just how much I missed having a few simple things...a room to myself, rooms to send the kids to when they were driving me crazy, a room to send Kris to when HE was driving me crazy and a laundry room where I didn't have to put 8 quarters in to wash and dry one load of laundry and a laundry room that I didn't have to stand in line to use.  When we moved into our house, I was so glad to have the room.  Now, I'm missing things like:  my own bed and blankets, art supplies to keep the kids entertained, my shoes and clothes, and my cooking utensils.  We are moving in steps...they may be slow little steps, but steps none-the-less.  We will get there.  :)  I'm happy to have a place to call my own!  Even if it is a place that I like to call a house and then Garytt yells at me because it's actually a PAWTMENT!!!!