We pick up with our characters two weeks later…

This week the eldest sister asked if I was keeping quiet on the blog so that my new coworkers wouldn’t see it. The husband asked if I was going to continue the blog now that I’m working every day. And someone in the elevator at work asked how many months along I am and after pausing far too long, I responded, “Six! Eight! Nine! Seven! I don’t know even know what day it is!” Time, as one can tell, has gotten away from me.

It has been quite a week and a half.

Commonwealth of Virginia: Oh ho, Virginia’s got jokes. Last Saturday the husband and I went to the DMV to get our VA drivers licenses. It took us a half-hour to get a number from the information lady and then it was three hours of sitting and awaiting execution. On the information sheet that was necessary on top of all our other information, “weight” is a required field. I swiftly called BS on that one and made up a rather flattering number. The field trip to the DMV really requires its own post, so we’ll let this rest here for now.

Job: I love my new job and although the work days were about 11 hours, my first week flew by. When the House is out of session the days will be shorter. My fellow staffers are awesome people with my sense of humor and the good congressman is a precise and capable gent who communicates exactly what he wants. Considering that the old job in the old home state is currently embroiled in a scandal, I’m especially glad to be where I am now. My new chief of staff and the good congressman are ok with dog visitors in the office now and then so Dietrich can come to work with me when the House lets out. Speaking of…

Dietrich: Knowing our days would be long when the House is in session, the husband and I wanted someone to walk Dietrich in the afternoons. Easy enough, since I just left a job with a dog walking company, right? But frankly I didn’t want to pay a stranger to come into my house and let my dog out for such a pretty penny. Besides that, we can’t get another key to the building so there was no way to let someone in during the week. Fortunately, the husband belonging to the other housemate (from shoebox days) has moved to the east coast and is working for the same dog walking company. It can be slow going to build up a client base and, in the end, we agreed to a very reasonable rate for all-day dog care at their house. The husband and I drop Dietrich off at their place on session days and pick him up on our way home. Everyone is happy.

Home: Last weekend the husband and I went to Ikea and, at long last, purchased a bookshelf sufficient for holding the bulk of our library. We also came home with a small buffet for the dining room and now Dietrich’s goodies are discreetly tucked away and large yet attractive servingware is tastefully displayed. After our paychecks are deposited at the end of this month we are planning to acquire a couch in time for company.

Company: The parents are coming to visit just as August kicks off. Tomorrow I have brunch with a friend from the old job days and on another weekend two of my dearest buddies are planning a trip to see me. At the end of the month yet another friend will be in town and we have lunch plans already forming. Somewhere in there the husband and I will travel to the farm for a weekend and that will be our last trip before the baby comes, unless we decide that we do have time to do a babymoon in Baltimore.

Little oyster: She is 30 weeks old! During a commercial break in Master Chef this week, the husband leaned over her to holler, “Hi baby, it’s your dad!” and she immediately commenced an enthusiastic dance party. I think she can’t wait to meet this loud voice that talks to her all the time and I know she won’t be disappointed when she does.

Baby’s room: With a curtain, painted giraffe, and bookshelf, the secondary layer of necessities is in place. I spent time organizing the closet with her wee clothes and colorful goodies after my June baby shower (Frugal Oyster Budget Tally #4 will be posted soon) and in a few weeks we’ll unbox her Pack ‘n Play and car seat so they can off-gas with the Baby Bjorn. Then we’ll just need a dresser or changing table and a rocker and she’s welcome to come. And by welcome to come, I mean I’d selfishly like to sit up from a laying position without doing a three-point turn but really not before late September, so let’s hope she keeps that in mind.

Drivers licenses: As I said before, Virginia’s got jokes. Our licenses arrived yesterday and after much scrutiny, determined that yes, they had sent us the right ones. The husband looks like a felon and I look like his rather unwashed accessory to the crime. I think we both have mustaches. One of my eyes isn’t open all the way and the husband has a distinct leer. I had tried smiling in my photo but the DMV lady told me I couldn’t show my teeth, so the result is me looking toothless and yet extremely satisfied with the crime I have clearly just committed. The husband and I are comforted by the fact that if we ever DO do something bad and our photos are on the news, no one we know will recognize us. We don’t even look Caucasian. And now I know why they don’t let you proof the picture after they take it. The best part is, the license is good for eight years. We’ll have these until we’re 35.

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A handsome offer accepted

Lunch with the husband was a wonderful time of discussing our options and talking about what a great opportunity this job would be for me and for us as a family.

After lunch, I called The Good Congressman’s chief of staff and told him I wasn’t going to split hairs on the salary, I’m fine with it, but I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page with maternity leave. Turns out they don’t have a page on maternity leave and since I won’t qualify for FMLA leave by the time I need it, our negotiations started from scratch.

In the end, after more discussion on their end and another phone call to me, I took the job. My maternity leave is somewhat laughable yet entirely American. (Moms, how long did you each want to stay after the little oyster is born??) But you know what? I’m a Capitol Hill press secretary and the show must go on.

Future bridges will be crossed as necessary.

A handsome offer extended

After two weeks of hearing nothing since I last met with The Good Congressman and his office, I decided to bite the bullet and follow up with an email, asking what they thought of the statement I wrote for him regarding a hot topic du jour and suggesting that I’m available for part-time work if they are reconsidering a full-time press secretary.

Then I went to the bathroom.

In that three minutes, the chief of staff responded to my email with a voicemail, which I always find ominous. He simply said that he was planning to call me this morning anyway and to give him a call when I could.

Gulp.

So I went to the bathroom again and then puttered around the house, avoiding what I assumed would be a phone call ending with my chirpy-cheerful voice explaining that I understood their decision to go in another direction.

Finally the waves of anticipatory-disappointment nausea subsided sufficiently for me to return the chief of staff’s call and after polite chit-chat about last week’s holiday, he offered me the job.

It’s a handsome offer, for sure. And they would like me to start this week so I’m on the payroll for July. And I told them at the last meeting that I’m pregnant and due in September, so that won’t be a surprise to them if I take the job.

I love my furry clients, and was looking forward to three walks a day with some of them next week. As God would have it though, the second I hung up with The Good Congressman’s office, two of those walks were canceled all week. And so the plot thickens.

I called the husband and will meet him for lunch to discuss our options. On one hand, the income, the job that advances my career, the fun of going to work (which I realized I miss while walking Dietrich this morning) and having coworkers, the pride of working hard and playing hard, all those things are, again, on one hand. On the other hand, should I take the job we’ll be looking at daycare for the little oyster on very short notice, long days away from home when I will want to be there most, hiring a walker or sitter for Dietrich, and planning the intricacies of doctor appointments and maternity leave. The husband and I must discuss.

In other news, there’s a special election to replace the congressman who represents the district I grew up in, because he bailed on his job with only weeks to go until an election he wasn’t even running in this time. The cost of this special election to a district in a severely cash-strapped state grates on me, and the husband and I briefly laughed about the possibility of me running in the special election to replace this man. A temporary job with good pay, I wouldn’t be a threat in the general election, I know the district well, and I already live in DC so the taxpayers of the former home district would not be shelling out more money for me to maintain two residences. Plus, the little oyster’s grandparents live in that district, so obviously it’s in my own best interest to represent these fine people well. If only I had a way to gather 1,000 signatures 700 miles away in nine days, I’d say the matter was settled.

Instead, I’ll meet the husband for lunch and we’ll discuss the handsome offer that has been extended.

Meet the clients

I won’t actually post pictures of my furry clients because I think that would be odd and unethical and I won’t use their names for the second of those two reasons, but here’s what I can tell you about professional dog walking:

It’s hilarious and I love it.

My first client is a little old lady shepherd mix who is sweet as can be and that soft, too. She’s got an awful lot of fur and if she’s tired of walking she’ll stop dead and give me the side eye. Scratching her head and telling her she’s doing a great job gets her moving again, dainty little paws carrying her barrel body down the path. She isn’t very big, but she’s too big for me to comfortably lift off the steps and carry inside when she’s worn out in the middle of the stairs and lays down. Telling her she’s a good girl and then squirting her feet with my water bottle gets her up the rest of the stairs.

Next up I have had the pleasure of trying to walk a little Scottie.

His eyebrow hairs crack me up, but he’s not much of a walker. He gets on my nerves, actually, and I quite literally had to tug him along for most of our “walks.” The way he’s groomed little wavy furs hang down over his legs and when he walks, it looks like he is scuttling along like the Pac-Man ghosts. Thankfully I’m done subbing for the Scottie’s walker and won’t volunteer to take him out again. What a headache. Plus, he lived on the top floor and the hallways aren’t air conditioned.

Then there was the wolf large shepherd mix I walked once.

His client file said he was shy, but I didn’t think it would take almost ten minutes of rattling his food bowl and dropping treats on the floor to get him to come downstairs from hiding in his mom’s room. When he did slink down the stairs, I was pretty sure this “dog” had eaten the dog I was supposed to walk. Turns out no, this was him. Call me Nanook of the North.

Side note: The wolf’s house was the one I was trying to find when I inadvertently almost broke in to someone else’s. The one address I was looking for seemed to be the one house that didn’t have an address above the door. Fortunately, the mailman was walking past at just that moment; unfortunately, I had already tried the front and back doors with the key I had and upset the rather large dog who lived there. Turns out I was on the wrong side of the cul de sac. Not my best day.

For the last two weeks I walked a little terrier mix. He’s some kind of highland terrier and he’s about the scruffiest little pup I have ever met, and a darling to boot. He’s bow-legged and walks so slow that I would pretend we were shooting a commercial and walking in slow motion, just so the dog could keep up. On the really hot days we sat on his favorite park bench for part of his walk, and on the way home he stared up at me now and then as if to ask “how ya holdin’ up, lassie?”

In the Disney version of Peter Pan, Nana the nurse-dog is portrayed as a St. Bernard but in the original story, she’s a Newfoundland, like this:

One of my new favorite clients is the Newfie I walk semi-regularly. Well, I should say the Newfie whose house I go to semi-regularly. She’s not much of a walker and I have feeling that if I was 200 lbs. and covered in fur, I wouldn’t be much of a walker on 105* days, either. Mostly we go out for potty breaks and a short jaunt down the street, during which carries her end of the leash in her mouth and walks herself. She’s gentle as can be and is trained to shake for treats, which means the first time I squatted down to give her a piece of dried liver, the pontoon-sized paw that came at me seemed to move in slow motion and I flung the liver at her while scrambling away. Now I just set her treats on the floor for her to nibble at will. This suits both of us.

Somewhere in there I met the three tiny sister dogs that I’ll be walking on an as-needed basis. All three would fit in my purse at the same time. My biggest concern with them is that as my belly gets bigger, I won’t be able to see them all the way down there on the floor and we could have some sad paws. I’ll tread lightly and hope they are following me most of the time.

And finally, there’s the dog whose file calls him a “60 lb. male mix.” Really he’s bigger than Dietrich so I put him at 80 lbs. at least and he is indeed male and a mix of who knows what. Based on his coloring and the shape of his head I’d say there’s collie in him, but some of his fur has shepherd-like texture and he’s very broad. He also has cataracts, which makes me just want to squeeze him and love him forever. He’s a great walker and his mom always leaves a pitcher of cold water in the fridge.

Last week I did a pet sitting job in addition to my walking clients, which means I gave the dogs their breakfast and took them out for a morning walk instead of a midday walk. These dogs were soft as can be and so wonderful–both young golden retrievers–but it was obvious they were home alone for the first time, as the huge piles of poo on the carpet and the “gaaaah! someone came to see us! i’m soooo excited!” piddle puddles indicated. One of the dogs was on an antibiotic and I was less than thrilled when he spit out the pill and his sister gobbled it up in the blink of an eye. I was even less thrilled when my hand slipped off the paper towel with which I was scrubbing the carpet and I collected nails full of dog shit. So much of this job is preparing me for parenthood, I just know it.

And there we have it, the first three weeks of clients. Dietrich is enraptured with the smells on my pants when I come home from walking and I’m pretty sure he’s hoping that I’ll bring the tiny dogs home in my pocket sometime. I probably wouldn’t notice if I did.

The dad’s big day

Last month the dad turned 60 and since the sisters and I couldn’t afford the cottage on the lake we know he and the mom would really like, we went the nostalgia route.

We brainstormed names and then contacted friends, family, old friends, old colleagues, church buddies, anyone for whom we had or found and email address or could feasibly stalk online, and sent emails or snail mail letters requesting that each recipient take the time to send a memory of the dad and the time each person had known him.

With letters and emails and even some pictures from a 1975 fishing trip rolling in, the sisters and I decided that everything should be collected in a manner that gave a nod to the dad’s military service. The finished product, with each memory in its own envelope, turned out just how we were hoping.

While I neither built the box nor carved the eagles, I did stain the box, stamp the envelopes with years (the seventies were a nightmare), stain one eagle and paint the other with a pen, stuff the envelopes with the husband’s help, and even put little clear no-scratch feet on the bottom of the box because I know the dad and his precise care of the flat surfaces in their house, upon which this box would not be allowed to rest without the proper, well, footwear.

The envelopes are stamped fifty-two through twenty twelve, with all memories tucked in at random, with a few exceptions. The memories from his girls I put into the years we were born, and we started with a memory from his oldest sister about the day the dad was born then ended with a letter from the mom.

It took a while to read them all, and the family spent a great evening on the back patio, eating, listening to the dad’s letters, and blinking really fast. Happy 60th birthday, Dad!

Today could be full of adventure. Our a/c is broken–the fan blows and blows and the tepid, sticky air moves around but that’s it–and it should be in the 90s, I’m walking a new client this afternoon and then later I’m off to yet another interview with the good congressman. His office emailed last week and asked if I would be free this week to meet again with the good congressman and with Mrs. Good Congressman, who is in town.

But of course! said I although in fact I detest it when bosses want you to meet their wives before hiring you (or not). There seems to be a particular stripe of hiring boss who goes this route, and for the record, I have never known a male interviewee who had to meet the wife, and I have never known a female boss to bring her husband in to cross-examine potential employees. In my head I call it the tart test. I don’t know if it’s more offensive to pass or fail.

In the meantime, grocery lists, laundry, and thank you notes. The sisters threw a baby shower for me over the weekend! Another post, another time.

It’s basically an $80 toothbrush

Over the weekend the husband and I got a shiny card in the mail, advertising discounted prices on new patient services at a local dentist.

Having one’s teeth cleaned during pregnancy is one of those big must-dos that I had no idea about until the oyster was good and in there. Unfortunately, when the husband and I switched from my insurance to his, we didn’t select dental coverage and the fact that this makes me a horrible mom and I haven’t even met my daughter yet has weighed on me since.

Enter the new patient deals. I immediately scheduled my cleaning and x-rays for $79 and slept well for the next few nights. Yesterday at the ob I asked about having the x-rays done and she gave me the all-clear, since the dentist of course uses the lead-filled aprons and my teeth are in my head, not my uterus.

But today the office wouldn’t do the x-rays. They told me I can come back for the x-rays after the baby is born, since I did pay for them, and went ahead with the teeth cleaning and consultation. The body produces more of everything during pregnancy, including blood and saliva and sure enough, the standard cleaning alone rendered me a mouth full of gore. I did not panic.

The kind dentist, who told me that when his first son was born in the middle of the night he put a curse on him for it and now that son is a high-risk obstetrician so he got his, poked around in my mouth and pointed out the small areas of concern. He suggested that snacking less and therefore raising the acidity in my mouth less often would help prevent future decay and that an electric toothbrush would also help me out. I said that I just happen to have a birthday coming up, I’ll put it on the list. Instead he gave me one as a present. 🙂

When the little oyster arrives, the husband and I will add her and dental coverage to our insurance. In the meantime, I will brush faithfully with my new birthday present and continue to floss. The snacking less, well, we’ll see.

Today I also got a job offer! Yes, readers, you are looking at one of northern Virginia’s newest canine perambulatory specialists. In other words, I’m a dog walker. I start at the end of the month. Hopefully the tendonitis my foot has recently developed will be under control and I will be able to execute my duties swiftly and faithfully. I bet I’ll have to take a vow that says that.

I’m a machine

Today I’m a baking machine.

A blog I have recently started following posts beautiful things that are often, cruelly, within my baking skill range. I have been wanting donuts for the last few weeks but so far the husband and I have resisted walking up to the Dunkin’ Donuts that is at our new corner. Unfortunately, today I found a recipe for donuts on this new blog, and not only were they donuts, they were baked, which meant they were possible in my kitchen, and that I can have two when they are done cooling.

Me: I made donuts!!
The husband: Oh good! I am psyched.
Me: They are silly looking but tasty. I mean, I think they’ll be tasty.
The husband: Are they cream-filled glazed?
Me: What kind of skills do you think I have? I baked them in muffin pans and popped out the middles with an apple corer.

To protect my self-esteem, I will only link to a picture of the donuts from Mama’s Gotta Bake but if you love me, you won’t click it, you’ll just admire my sad little Quasimodo duffins and wish you were here to eat them with me, even if the frosting that I intended to be a lovely spring green did turn the color of Grinch.

Currently in the oven, awaiting its blog debut, is a chocolate pound cake that will eventually have a glaze when I get to the store for the required chocolate and cream for said glaze. Yes, it’s from Mama’s Gotta Bake and no, it won’t look like hers. I’m ok with that, since if it’s any good, there’s a chance no one, not even the husband will see it.

It seemed like a shame to warm up the oven for just one recipe so I chose to make two. Also, I couldn’t pick between chocolate pound cake and donuts.

Yesterday I was an interviewing machine.

I’m still waiting to hear from the good congressman’s office after interviewing twice with them last week, but yesterday the chief of staff did email me to send names and contact information for references. Unlike every other job I’ve ever applied for, I’m pretty sure he’ll actually contact these references. I don’t know what it says about employers in general but of all the times I’ve given references or been listed as a reference, I have only heard of references being called twice:

Once was when a man in a trench coat, with a badge and business card from the FBI, came to my work to grill me about a brother-in-law’s background and character qualifications for a security clearance.

The other time was when the little sister got a job at Victoria’s Secret right out of high school.

Yesterday I also went in for training at a crisis pregnancy center I’m interested in volunteering with. Depending on how the job situation works out, I’ll have a lot of time on my hands or not much time on my hands to help, but their needs are flexible and I’m excited to volunteer there in some capacity.

After the pregnancy center, I went right to an interview with one of the dog walking companies that called me back. The interview, to which I boldly wore a black t-shirt and gray cotton pants, was a series of scenarios to which I was asked to apply my problem-solving skills.

Me: The interview was a dozen problem-solving questions, like what would you do if you got to a house to let the dog out and the key doesn’t work?
The husband: And you told them, “I’d leave and never come back”?
Me: I said something about making sure I have the right key, checking under the mat for a different key, calling the office, etc.
The husband: Oh. That’s a better response.
Me: They were the sort of questions that I had to answer when I interviewed to work at Subway in high school.
The husband: Was the person interviewing you younger than you are?
Me: No, thank goodness.
The husband:Well that’s a start.
Me: Yeah. They wanted to know what I would do if I was about to walk a dog and a guy showed up on the front porch, saying he had an appointment to fix the refrigerator.
The husband: And you told them, “I’d take the upstairs and he’d take the downstairs and we’d clean the place out”?
Me: No, I told them I got a bachelor’s degree so I don’t have to think about shit like that.
The husband: Really?!
Me: No, but I kind of wanted to. Sigh.
The husband: At least it’s not Subway.
Me: Truth.

This afternoon I am going to be a painting machine. If I make it to the hardware store I can spruce up our bedside tables with a crisp white. I am nearly done with the yellow on the little oyster’s giraffe clothing rack, and when the green underneath it is sufficiently covered, I can do the brown dots. Pictures tomorrow when, who knows? Maybe I’ll be a cleaning machine. Or an employed one?

You never know unless you ask

No, I didn’t ask for the job I interviewed for this week, although that would have been the bold, sales-trained thing to do.

Instead I asked the old landlady if, instead of waiting for her to write us a check for our security deposit, I could just have our last rent check back since, believe it, she never cashed our May rent check. In a month when we paid an even bigger security deposit for the new place, a pet deposit for the new place, all of our regular bills, and a prorated rent to move into the condo on the 15th, the shoebox rent check of $1,300 was pending all month long, to my aggravation.

Of course I phrased it more diplomatically in my email, presenting it as a way for her to “not have to deal with running to the bank” when I know she’s “so busy” and thinking this would “make it easier for her and works for us, if it works for you.” Sure enough, it worked for her, so I left the walk through yesterday evening with our full security deposit in my little paw, wrote VOID across the check and the carbon copy in the check book, and took the husband out for dinner.

And with that, we’re officially done with the shoebox era. With Dietrich’s help I’m spending today unpacking our final boxes at the condo, setting up the desk in our new work-area corner of the living room, washing floors, and reveling in the fact that I don’t have to drive anywhere today to move boxes. Welcome, June!

No word from the interviews this week. I did end up wearing the same suit with a different, though still black, shirt to Round 2 yesterday. No one gave any indication that they suspected or noticed I’m 23 weeks preggo, although I do think the congressman himself might have noticed. The ball is in their court though, and I really don’t know where it’s going to land. I’m not worried, just curious.

And now, back to Agatha Christie and unpacking the boxes. A girl’s gotta rest after a week like this.

Yeah, I’ve still got it

What I wish I looked like waiting for my train today.

This morning I had an interview on the Hill. So even if I don’t get the job, which I think would be an excellent fit for me and for them, chew on THAT, Hill interns!! Looks like you don’t get all the interviews, suckers!! <ppppppbbbbt>

Anyway. After much hemming and hawing yesterday afternoon about what I could wear and what I should wear, I was pleased to discover that the black maternity pants the other middle lent to me, with a black dressy tank with ruffles and the one black suit jacket I own, all combined nicely in a passable suit for the day. And those people who say “oh shoes always fit” (I used to be one of them) clearly have never been pregnant, because my only option for today was the cute leopard print flats I own and yes, are suitable for work, though not my typical first choice for an interview shoe. Nothing else, save the blessed flip-flops, was going to fit in 90 degrees, and I did wear the flips on the train.

And so I planned to set off this morning, makeup on, hair done, suit constructed carefully, about 9:30 am, leaving myself plenty of time to wander to and from the train, stop by the husband’s office, use the bathroom, and so on.

At 9:20 I was almost done getting ready when the dog started barking quietly. I thought I heard a knock at the door but surely the dog would have barked louder if someone was at our door. Just to be sure, I, sans pants, crept to the peep hole and saw our across-the-hall neighbor standing there. I swiftly donned the required garb for such encounters and opened the door.

His car was at the shop, his wife had the other keys, he needed to be in Baltimore for work, and could I give him a ride to the garage, some four miles down the road, to pick up his car?

We shot out of the condo parking lot and set off at a barely legal pace to get to the garage. Four miles down the road in the old days would mean a five-minute drive. Four miles down the road now–and I believe he meant four miles down the road after we get to the right road–is a different beast. At 10:01 I was back at the condo, hauling myself out of the car, into the house, throwing my lunch into my bag and double-checking that shoes-that-aren’t-flip-flops were in there before patting the dog on the head and bolting out the door again.

By 10:10 I was at the Metro station where someone (like me) with the right type of pass card can park his or her vehicle for the day and Metro into the city. If, that is, this person can find a parking spot in the parking garage. Doing my best not to hyperventilate at the lack of parking, I decided that the risk of parking in the reserved section was worth getting to my interview on time, so I did. Then I gathered my things, prayed that I didn’t just swipe an armpit full of deodorant on the outside of my black jacket, and took off at top-ish speed for the tracks.

I’ve played out a lot of scenarios in my mind throughout the course of my life, but sprinting full-tilt, five months pregnant, wearing a suit and flip-flops, laptop bag clapping me on the back in encouragement, to catch a train for an interview on the Hill was not one I’d pictured before. The only thing I could think, besides “I’m screwed if I fall” is “Heck yeah, I’ve still got it.”

So even though I had planned to mosey to the Metro and into my interview, I really looked more like this, although I still made it with a few minutes to spare, and even had time to change my shoes in the husband’s office:

What I actually looked like catching my train today.

The interview went well, I enjoyed the conversation and what I heard about the office, and they liked me enough to ask me to come back tomorrow to meet the rest of the team and the congressman. I’m 95% very excited about this and 5% wondering what the HECK I’m supposed to wear this time.

Thank you, readers!

Yesterday this blog crossed the 14,000 hits threshold–thank you, readers!

Some of those views are one-time, and some of you are faithful readers. I appreciate each one.

The stats tell me where in the world my blog has been viewed on any given day, and redwhiteandnew has made appearances this year alone on screens in Canada, Turkey, the Philippines, Italy, Ireland, France, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UK, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Nigeria, Vietnam, Colombia, Malaysia, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and, most interestingly to me, the Maldives.

I started this blog to keep friends and family up to date on our lives as we moved from the old home state to the center of the free world, and assumed that the blog would be primarily work-related and work-focused. Life takes some funny, not funny, unexpected, exciting, and terrifying turns, but it’s never dull and realizing that has helped me feel just fine blogging about What’s Happening Now, whether that’s Martha, moving, having the little oyster, looking for work, or just walking Dietrich.

Redwhiteandnew is a biographical statement, nothing more and nothing less. What I post is an honest account–or my best interpretation–of daily life, milestones, and unique events or experiences, nothing more and nothing less. I have fun writing, and I love reading comments when readers post them and so, for all the time and attention you all have put into pushing the blog over the 14,000 mark, thank you! Nothing more and nothing less.