Wednesday, June 5, 2013

For My Friend....The New RETIREE Dependent!!!

My friend Sandra over at Dairy of a Stay at Home Mom is beginning the journey that is the adjustment to civilian life. Soon they will be leaving their last base and heading for their first civilian home. I am enjoying watching their journey as it seems to be going so much better than ours......


But then anyone that knows us know that we are incredibly blessed. We just have to go through the most possible solvable problems and hassles to get there. But we do get there.

Anyways, Sandra posted about the journey they are about to embark on and the fact that they will be stuck in a hotel for about a month. With two dogs and two kids (plus a few extras). Sound familiar?

Her journey will be rather different than ours. But on many levels it will be very much the same. Lots of people living in one tiny space.

One big challenge for their family will be food. We have a kitchen. They have a refrigerator and a microwave. It was her brainstorming on how to make that work that prompted this post. I started to comment with some suggestions and realized I had too much to say.

So this one is for you Sandra!

The crockpot IS awesome. Unfortunately most of my recipes are for real foods and this can be a hassle for clean-up reasons. Thank goodness for the internet and access to recipes full of cans and boxes and precuts. LOL. Its amazing how much stress it takes off to "cheat" and use these recipes. It seems like it would be so easy to cross contaminate in such a small place so I am doing the unheard of and buying meats already cut so I don't use a cutting board with them. This place is on septic which bleaches are harmful to so I am just sucking it up and wasting that money (in my eyes) for now. Pre-cut veggies. Cream of soups...all these things I usually avoid.

A electric water kettle is a very good thing to have. It will make your tea in the morning/afternoon/night and the kids can use it to make ramen if they get hungry. Also, any of the canned soups that you use a can of water with? Heat the water in the kettle and mix a can of the hot water in. No stove. Soup in two and a half minutes. MUCH less time than the microwave even. (This comes in handy with a sick person that needs a quick chicken soup meal.) (And I will admit...I am a tea snob. Do NOT mirco my tea water.)

We use a cheap toaster alot. Pop-tarts (the kids think they have died and gone to heaven), waffles, toast. Great for a quick breakfast with little to no clean-up.  (And didn't you make some of those pretty dish drain towels with the cloth on one side and towel on the other? Bring them!)

Does your hotel have a place you can grill? We have a camping propane grill that folds up small. Some hotels we have stayed at had their own grills. Or you can find the pubic parks or campgrounds in the area and use theirs for a change of pace and a chance to get out of the little bitty living space and let the dogs and kids play. (Remember a couple of lines to stake the dogs with as most places require they are leashed...but a leash is just too short for any real time enjoying the outdoors. And some folding chairs which are easy enough to pick up when you get there.)

Some things we have but don't really use: pop corn popper - just use the micro; rice cooker - clean up is just too much; small food processor - just buy the pre-cuts. The amount of stress, time and frustration saved from trying to do something in a inadequate space is worth its weight in gold.

We have our favorite tea cups and a handful of other cups to drink from, and a "picnic set" which is a case with knives, forks and spoons and a can opener, but otherwise its disposable. Another wasteful practice most of the time -- but see clean up above. LOL. Oh, and sandwich bags, freezer bags, snack bags....don't leave home without them.

We have a handful of clothes pins that get used for a million things. Also, an expandable shower rod which we hang in the bathtub so all our towels have a place to dry. I even put some of those cafe curtain clips on rings over it to clip little things up like wash clothes. Pulls down fast and easy and takes no space to store in between uses.

If you have any little personal fans they are good to have. Even a cold room can be stuffy. We have fans for every bed. We also carry a "dog sheet" that we throw over the furniture. It not only saves the couch, it is cooler for them to lay on.

A kid attitude adjustment tool for us is a membership to the Y. Ours is like $68 for the whole family and they have a computer room, a game room and the best outdoor pool in town. Worth its weight. Plus for us the showers are a plus since our bathtub/shower is more of a storage and laundry closet at the moment.

Another really great thing I have is something that will charge multiple devices from one plug. On Amazon I found a radio (that will play your phone music also) that will charge up to six devices -- phones, kindle, ipads, ipods, mps players. Hotel rooms never have enough plugs. I'm sure you have at least 4 computers along with the kindle and phones. At the very least carry a power strip with you for the computers and one for the kitchen appliances you take.

Our own personal blankies have been the best emotional comfort. Familiar and well loved...well worth the space they took up in the car.

Good luck to you Sandra! Don't know if this helped any or if you have it all covered! Can't wait to read about your adventures!

(And feel free to cry on my shoulder any time you want.)

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