Monthly Archives: November 2012

Oh where are my rabbit ears?

Part of the reason I put off setting up my television was that I had not found the box with the rabbit ears in it.  Well, I decided to set it up and hook stuff up so I could at least watch movies.  What did I find in the television box?  The rabbit ears.  No wonder they hadn’t turned up in any of the other boxes I’d unpacked.

I also discovered that the mover hadn’t taken the base off the way the manual tells you to do it.  So, I had to figure out how to reattach it, since the manual does not explain how to put together parts of the base that come assembled with the television.  Oh well.

I did finally get it up and running, though I need to get some batteries to get all the gadgets working together.  As it turns out, I get three over the air stations and I’m currently watching Toy Story on CBC.  Progress.

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Filed under Canada, Moving, Ottawa, Transfer, Unpacking

Foreign Service Firsts

In the past week, I’ve had a couple of Foreign Service firsts!  On November 6th, the embassy hosted an election returns watching party and it was really neat.  There was a great turn out and people were really excited to see the results, especially since the race was so close and polling had the candidates neck and neck. I ended up going home before they finally called the election, but it was still a ton of fun.

On Saturday, I attended my first Marine Corps Birthday Ball and it was really, really, really fun!  It was at a big, fancy hotel and was sold out, so plenty of people to talk to. It was neat to see the traditions and hear the speeches and messages from the Marines and the Ambassador.

I dilly dallied a bit on getting my ticket since I wasn’t sure if I’d go, and picked a table where I knew a couple of people but the rest of the table was vacant at that time.  They ended up putting a few Canadian military contacts at my table and they were really fun.  Also, since I’d dilly dallied on deciding to go, I didn’t have too long to organize a dress, so I ordered a couple of dresses from a store where I shop a lot, and fortunately both dresses fit and I picked one to wear.  Had they not fit, I’m not sure what exactly I would have done, but fortunately it all worked out.

I know that a lot of people assume that there are Marines at every embassy and consulate, but there actually aren’t.  Most embassies have Marines and most consulates do not, though there are exceptions both ways.  Whether or not there are Marines at a post depends on a few factors and I honestly don’t know that much about how that decision is made.  So, long story short, without Marines in Ciudad Juarez, there’s no Marine ball in Ciudad Juarez and I didn’t make it down to Mexico City for the ball either year I was in Mexico.

So, that’s been my week.  Pretty good way to start November! 🙂

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Filed under Canada, Ottawa


It’s starting to act more and more like fall here.  The leaves were beautiful but many of them have now fallen off the trees and it’s getting chillier.  I know that it will still get a lot colder, but we’re having highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s (farenheit, y’all), which is definitely cold by central Texas standards.  I’ve gotten a lot of the stuff that I’ll need for winter, like a serious winter coat, snow boots, rain boots, etc.

I took a few days off last week to work on unpacking a bit more, settling in, etc. I still have more to unpack though.  My apartment here is a lot smaller than my house in Ciudad Juarez, so I have to work a little harder at organizing stuff and figuring out where to put everything.  I can’t just shove a bunch of stuff in the study, close the door, and pretend that I’ve unpacked everything like I did in CDJ. So, I’ve been slowly unpacking and organizing stuff and trying to make everything fit.  It’s a work in progress, but I’m making progress, bit by bit.

I was sick for several days two weeks ago.  I’m not sure what I had but I was really tired and ended up sleeping for the better part of several days.  I tried to go in to work twice but couldn’t last the whole day.  Being sick on your own is a bummer and it made me miss home a bit.  Plus, now that I’ve been here for two months some of the newness is wearing off and I’m settling in to a routine.  It’s a normal part of culture shock to be a little homesick at this point because the newness has worn off, but you’re not yet totally at home in the new place.  So, as great as Ottawa is (and it really is!), I’ve been missing friends, family, and places in Texas these past couple of weeks.

So, that’s the news here.  Hope all’s well in the blogosphere. 🙂

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Filed under Canada, Moving, Ottawa, Sick, Texas, Unpacking