Dear Diary

There are events that keep happening that I want to share that will mess up the timeline I’m trying to keep on my main page so I’ve decided to add this page for little side thoughts I have, odd ramblings, and any other post that is important but not part of the main timeline. I hope you like them.

February 18th, 2015

Dear Diary

I was starting to stress out about money. I only have one bill I still pay on and that is my student loan. Since I have not worked since last June, the money in my savings account that I have been using to pay my loan was about to it’s end. Luckily, I received my income tax returns just in time to keep me from missing a payment. Now I have enough in my account again to keep my loan paid until about next September or October. With any luck I will be able to find a freelance job by then to, at the very least, be able to keep my loan payments taken care of.

Tony keeps telling me not to worry about it, that if need be, he will make my payments. They really aren’t very much and I have an have an amazing interest rate on the loan so it’s not a hardship but I don’t want him to have to cover it for me. This was a debt that I incurred well before I even met him so I do not feel it is fair for him to have to take it on if I can help that at all. It’s wonderful to know he will be there for me if I need him to be but I hope it never comes to that.

I was in the last round of interviews for a freelance editing job but lost out because I would not say how long it would take me to edit a certain number of pages. I was honest and told them that I did not know how long it would take as I have not done this kind of work in several years but that I am not working on any other other projects and would devote all of my time to their work and guaranteed that I could meet whatever deadline they set down. Apparently that was not good enough.

Tony said I should have just looked up online to see what the average time to edit a page of text is and told them that. To me that is lying and I do not like to tell someone, especially a possible employer,  I can so something I do not know I can absolutely do. I would rather be honest and tell them I do not know  but I will make sure I do everything I can to get it done right and one time. Tony seems to think that my honesty is what is keeping me from getting a job.

I hope I can find a freelance job soon but in the mean time I will keep working on my blogs and I have started writing a book. I have a nonfiction I want to write but for now I am working on a fiction piece. I have always wanted to get into writing books and now that I have so much free time I decided i better try for it while I can. Who knows, maybe this is what I am meant to work on now. I hope so.

January 19th, 2015

Dear Diary

I’ve been having a rough morning. Today is my father’s birthday. It’s the first birthday I have not be able to be there to take him to dinner. It was always a tradition for me to take my parents out to dinner for their birthday and get them at least a card, balloons and for Dad I always got him donuts as he is not really fond of cake.

My father is not is great health and honestly never has been. He’s had congestive heart failure since I was in high school. Today he is 74. I hope to be able to Skype with him later but he’s not the most computer savvy person. I plan to call him later and see if I can talk him through plugging in and turning on his laptop and finding Skype on the desktop. It’s a long shot but I’m still going to attempt it.

I have a lot of stress right now. I’ve experienced the first family death with me being overseas, the first birth, and now the first birthday of someone I was always with on their birthday. I am still not working and my computer, the only real connection I have with everyone, is screwing up. I do not know if there is just too much on this hard drive or what but it is going so slow and the keyboard is acting up.

About two weeks ago the keyboard started having problems. Just last July I had a new keyboard put in this laptop because the arrow keys quit working. When they put in the new keyboard three letter keys didn’t work but they checked something and got them all working. now some keys screwing up again. It’s random now and the keys that don’t work change. Sometimes it’s W or E sometimes the shift won’t work. Now when I type there can be long delays before what I have typed in will appear on the screen and not all the keys show up sometimes.

Just typing a short paragraph can take up to 5 minutes. Most of that time is spent waiting for what I have typed in to show up on the screen. I just want to scream and throw this across the room, but I can’t. I need this computer. But if I’m going to get a freelance job writing or editing I’m going to need a computer that works but I would need a job to make the money to get the computer to do work. Don’t you just love catch-22s?

Another stressful thing that is coming up is my husbands 50th birthday. I really thought I would have found a job here and could have done something nice for his 50th birthday. He told me before we even got married he would love to go to Disneyland for his 50th birthday. He’s never been to a Disney park and since it’s just the two of us here in Europe we would not be able to have a big party with friends and family so just the two of us going to Disneyland would be a great way to turn a small two person party into a big celebration with everything they do at the parks. But with me having no money coming in I do not see anyway to make this happen for him and it kills me. I would need at least $1,000 just to cover airfare, hotel and tickets to the park. If I was working this wouldn’t be an issue. I really hate not working. I’m not used to feeling this powerless. But there is nothing I can do but keep looking for a job and hope for the best.

I need chocolate!

January 3rd, 2015

Dear Diary

Tony and I had our first New Year in Denmark. We didn’t go to a huge party but instead accepted an invitation to the home of a colleague of my husband. We spent the night with him and his wife. It was a great New Years celebration. We had dinner, played cards, watched New Year celebrations around the world on TV, saw the Queen’s address, listened to music, watched the neighbors burn money in the form of an extreme amount of fireworks and drank way more than I have in years. It was fun!

New Years was a bit bitter sweet. Tony and I had spent nearly two years working on getting married and then doing all the things necessary to get me to be able to move to Denmark to be with him so he could work for a specific company in Denmark which we had both thought would be great for us and had planned for him to work there for years and had hoped to retire here. That has changed.

Tony no longer works for the company we moved to Denmark for. I have been dealing with a lot of anger about this. I left my family, friends, the only home I have ever known for the first 46-years of life, sold practically everything I owned and after 5 months the reason I gave all of that up, is gone.

Tony knows I’m not mad at him about any of this. It wasn’t his fault that things looked better on paper than they turned out to be in person. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Part of me would love to go right back to Kansas, to everything familiar. But I know the job market in Kansas is not that great. Even with two college degrees, graduated with honors both times, and yet I never had a decent paying job in Kansas. Tony with his 5 degrees would be able to do much better but considering the opportunities for his skills here in Europe we will most likely do better here, for him anyway.

Yesterday I got news that my mother’s uncle passed away. It was not a huge shock as he was 91 but people on my mom’s side of the family tend to live a long while. Her mother, my granny, is 99-years-old and still going.

The New Year is starting out on a bit of a depressed note but perhaps that means we are guaranteed brighter end.

December 27th, 2014

Dear Diary

The day after Christmas I had all the holiday decorations down and packed away by 10:30 AM.  I really wanted this holiday to just be a memory. Growing up, Christmas was a very stressful time of year. I always dreaded it. This year I thought would magically be so much better because I was with my new husband in a new place but it was just different stress.

Being in a new country where I basically know only two people, one of whom is 2 hours away from me, is much harder than I expected. I’ve had so many of my military friends tell me that they know how I feel but they really don’t. When they went to a different country they lived on a base filled with people from their own country who spoke their language, they shopped in a commissary with products from their home country that were labeled in their language. I am immersed in Danish. Everywhere I go I hear Danish spoken and packages are all written in Danish. It is not the same thing.

On a base everyone celebrates the same holidays that they celebrate in their home country and they tend to celebrate them in the same ways they would at home. It is not so for me here in Denmark. I was lucky that I got to be back in the US for Halloween. While it is celebrated here in Denmark now it’s not near the way it is celebrated in the US.

It’s amazing how even little things can make you homesick. For example, the brooms are different here. I never thought trying to find a broom like what I am used to at home would make such a difference to me but it was odd having to buy a broom that is so different than what I had at home. It’s those odd little things that seem to trigger my homesickness most. And when I think of family.

I am very close to my mother and being away from her this Christmas was very hard. This was the first year I have not seen my mother at Christmas. We were able to Skype but it’s just not the same.

Now that this holiday is over I just want to focus on getting more things in order. I desperately need to find a job. I am getting near the end of my savings and while I only have one bill I owe it’s my student loan and I have to be able to keep that up. I don’t think it would be fair to expect my new husband to take care of that debt for me as I acquired it well before I met him. But if I can’t earn some income in the next month or so he may be helping me with that debt, at least for a little while.

So, gathering my strength to face the New Year with hope and optimism.

December 22th, 2014

Dear Diary

Tony and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe we have been married a year. Of course I keep pointing out that we have technically only been living together for about 4 an a half months, two of those months I was sick with pneumonia and was basically in bed that whole time so really shouldn’t count. So when you consider the few months when we were both her and healthy it’s more like a 2 month anniversary. Tony really hated that analogy. To him he says there is no technically where our marriage is concerned! He’s such a sweetheart.

We had a very quite anniversary. As I really have no money and the first anniversary is typically paper and I am an artist and Tony is very close to his mother, I decided I would draw a portrait of his mother as his gift. (Sorry I know that was a very long and convoluted sentence.)

The only trouble I had was Tony decided to work from home the week before our anniversary so I was only able to sneak about 2 hours working on the portrait. I wasn’t even near being finished but I was able to get enough done that he could tell what it was. I will finish it in the next few weeks.

Tony took me out to dinner and movie for mine. I kept the tickets from the movie for my anniversary gift as they were paper. It seemed fitting.

December 19th, 2014

Dear Diary

I am being reminded today that disappointment is bred from expectations. If you don’t have expectations you will not be disappointed when they do not happen. I had expected this first Christmas with my new husband in a new country to be the best Christmas I have ever had (if you knew the kind of Christmas I’ve had, you would know this is really not a hard thing to achieve). But due to circumstance beyond our control, we have had to change pretty much all of our plans. This has led to some serious homesickness. I keep trying to look at all the positives and appreciate everything we have going for us but it is hard some days. I keep reminding myself that I’m so much better off than so many others this time of year and I should be grateful for having an amazing husband and a home and anything else is just extra.

One of the things I miss most about Christmas that always made this time of year special for me is the Toys for Tots drive. I would shop sales all year long to collect a mountain of toys to donate to the program at the end of the year. I have done that for years and for me that was the main focus of the holiday for me. One of my friends even started calling me Mrs. Santa. I was very proud of that nickname. Last year I was not able to do it because we were getting married December 22 and all of my time and money was going toward the wedding. This past year all of my time and money was going to getting me ready to move to Denmark with my husband. So this is the second year in a row I will not be donating to Toys for Tots. I have yet to find a program like that here I can participate in but that is going to require me finding a job first and I have no idea when that will happen. So for now I am going one day at a time, being thankful for all I have and trying not to think about the people and things we are doing without this holiday.

December 18th, 2014

Dear Diary

I went to the mall today and did a little shopping, it was mostly groceries and a visit to the post office. I felt like I needed to just sit and relax for a while before walking home. I found a quiet spot, not easy to do in a mall at Christmas time even in a small town like Sønderborg, and sat down. It wasn’t log before 3 teenaged girls came by and sat on a bench about 10 feet from me. The had a liter of soda and was sharing it as they talked, in between their belches. These girls were all beautiful, nicely dressed and if it weren’t for the fact that they were ripping off belches that would make grown men blush, I would have not even noticed them. I did my best to ignore them. I figured they were doing this to get noticed and get a reaction and it really wasn’t behavior I wanted to reinforce. After they left I started laughing. While it was very rude behavior on their part, it was nice to know teenagers are pretty much the same here as in the US.

December 9th, 2014

Dear Diary

Today I had my first fully pantomimed conversation with the landlord here in Sønderborg. He only speaks a few words of English and I only a few in Danish. But through a few minutes of charades he was able to let me know that this Friday we will have a service guy coming out between 2 and 4 to check out the buildings radiators . . . at least that is what I think he was telling me.

One of the other tenants was trying to help but basically he just kept asking me if I lived in the building. He and I have met before, a few times. I heard he drinks.

While I wish I spoke Danish so the conversation would have been easier, I have to admit it was pretty damn amusing watching my landlord pantomime turning on the radiator and warming up his hands. He always tries to be nice and talk to me. I really have to learn how to have a basic conversation with him!

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