So I was going to post this entry on Friday the 13th, but was skeered it would be tempting Fate. We’ve had enough bad luck to last quite some time, I hope…all in the last month. But before I tell you all about it, I have to share this Migraine Relief Green Smoothie. I’m pretty sure I’ve had a whole year’s worth of these since we moved back to Washington!
Migraine Relief Green Smoothie
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and cubed
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups kale
- 1 cup pineapple (fresh, if you have it…canned if not)
- 1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- a few ice cubes
Just blend it all up in your blender (I have a Nutribullet that I LOVE) and drink it down.
I saw several versions of this online, but tweaked it a bit to suit myself. I don’t know why it works…perhaps it’s all just a placebo…but it really does seem to lessen the time I’m incapacitated by a migraine. I still take pain medication and try to lie down in a dark, quiet room, but this smoothie did seem to help.
I always forget, each time we move back to Washington, that for some reason I have frequent migraines for the first couple of months. It doesn’t happen when we move other places (we’ve moved back here four times now), so my theory is that the air pressure at sea level is so different it messes with my brain. But that’s just a theory, so don’t quote me!
Anyhoo, this time I’ve had even more migraines than usual, and I’d like to tell you why! This move is our 13th in the military, and we should have stopped at 11, before we left Washington. Although I would have missed meeting lots of great friends in Wisconsin. But I digress. Here’s a synopsis of our eons-from-perfect move. (You’re not compelled to read this. You can stop at this point and just enjoy the smoothie…but I really need to vent a little.)
1. Our move started off really well, seemingly. We were a bit concerned when the packers only took a day and a half instead of the usual three, and we only had 350 boxes of stuff rather than our usual 550 to 600. But see how neatly boxed up everything looks? Well, the inside of those boxes was a nightmare of smashed lampshades, upside-down containers, and crumpled belongings.
2. The trailer the van line sent was already a third full with another shipment. We know that our goods take an entire truck, but who are we to tell the driver what to do? Or so he implied. Furniture was disassembled in order to make everything fit that we had NEVER seen taken apart before…it’s normal to take apart tables and shelving, but we’re talking bikes, chairs, and antique furniture. After 14 hours loading our things, having to use a small truck to load it from the house and shuttle it to the trailer, the driver left, with some of our belongings in the belly boxes and the sleeper cab, and our ladders strapped on the back of the cab. Yeah, not an auspicious beginning.
This photo shows some of our things, out on the lawn waiting to be loaded into the shuttle.
3. As you might have read in previous posts, the kids and I (and all of our belongings) left Wisconsin in mid-July, while my GI Joe stayed behind to finish transitioning with his replacement. Our household goods went into storage in Washington while we were travelling cross-country and vacationing. I’ve worked for military movers in the past, and the military requires that once a shipment is unloaded into a warehouse, it must be crated within three days to avoid damage. That didn’t happen, I’m sorry to say.
4. Our shipment was set up to deliver on Friday, August 9. Unbeknownst to us, the transportation office on post was on furlough that day, thanks to the sequester, so no inspectors were available to come check on our delivery, normally the standard on shipments as large as ours.
5. The kids and I were not at the house when the trucks arrived to deliver our things, and by the time we arrived, the hubs already had taken numerous photos of damage and the generally dismal condition of our belongings. The crew chief on the delivery told me that they let the shipment sit on their warehouse floor for the past three weeks. Everything was grimy, boxes were crushed, and almost every piece of furniture had damage. This is what the back of the truck looked like when they opened the door to begin unloading.
6. Antiques I inherited from family members were badly damaged. Antiques that have made numerous moves with us, without mishap. So they’re not fragile, already rickety items.
7. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was my four-month-old washer. I had tried to wait out buying a new one until we were settled back in Washington, but when ours died entirely in February, we gave in and purchased the washer of my dreams, a top-loading high efficiency. When it came off the moving van, the control knob was sheared off. The movers assured us we could just use a pair of pliers to turn it on. Seriously.
We’d been travelling for four weeks by this point, and you can imagine the laundry we needed to do. Add to that all of our linens and curtains, because the grimy, dirty boxes also instilled in everything cloth a horrible musty stench. My GI Joe called the van lines (the driver’s boss, who are responsible for the actual transport of our goods) to report all this, and was told that not having a washer is not considered an inconvenience, so they were allowed up to sixty days from the time we file our final claim to repair or replace the washer. After we prove it wasn’t broken when they picked it up, that is.
8. At no point were our couches and overstuffed chairs wrapped in shrinkwrap, so they arrived with black grime marks in various spots. Also, the boxes were so filthy from the truck or warehouse that our newly cleaned carpets are now a dingy, spotted mess. And you can see from these boxes in our driveway in Washington how much care the movers took as they unloaded them.
We unpacked our entire household in ten days, to include hanging pictures and making sure we found all the damage, even in our Christmas boxes that we’d normally put up in the attic and unpack when we need it. We filed our claim (which was page upon page of damage listing) with the government about ten days ago, so now we wait. I think the next step is that we have to do all the legwork to get estimates to repair the damage. The antique desk and my Grandma’s buffet can be repaired, but they’ll no longer be the original pieces. My husband’s box of sports gear, including his childhood baseball gloves and hockey pucks from teams that no longer exist, is nowhere to be found.
The root of our anger and frustration is not the amount of damage done, although that is extremely irritating, It’s the blatant disrespect shown to our household goods and the high level of apathy and lack of empathy. The military life is not easy, packing up lock, stock, and barrel every few years and moving to new surroundings, especially with kids. And that’s without factoring in deployments, being away from our extended family, or spouses who would like to have careers of their own. True, we have the choice to move everything ourselves, but how realistic is that? After 24 years in the Army, we have a lifetime of memories that are connected to the things in our home. And it’s a lot of stuff. We should be able to trust that the movers the military contracts with will treat our belongings with the respect we deserve, I think.
When we do have a problem on a move, we should get more than, “Well, we have sixty days to resolve that, after you file your claim.” Are they really going to find the clawfoot missing from my grandmother’s buffet 60 days after it’s delivered? I’m pretty sure the crate it was in has been taken apart, and the paper inside recycled.
And just to add to these woes with our household goods, the cable company screwed up our installation and we had to wait almost another week (which is no big deal normally, but with the move experience we’d had, we were just done), another mom backed into my car at the chapel on post while I was at Bible study, and that very night our cars were vandalized in our driveway. Again, small things that normally wouldn’t faze us, but it had all snowballed.
So where are we now? My car is fixed, the hubs’ truck is not yet but hopefully will be this week. We paid to have the washer fixed, so now have to fight to be reimbursed by the moving company. Most importantly, we’ve seen lots of old friends and started to make some new ones, everyone is back in school or at work, and things are vastly improved from a month ago. I’ll still keep my migraine smoothie ingredients on hand, though. Just in case. And thanks for listening to my rant, if you’re still reading. I’m so thrilled that we’re in our “forever house,” I can’t imagine how livid I would be if this were a PCS that I knew I’d have to do again in two years. Now there’s a silver lining, right?
Now, back to the real takeaway from today’s post (other than sharing with you my tale of woe!)…the Migraine Relief Green Smoothie. I hope you’ll try it the next time you feel a migraine coming on…or anytime. It’s really refreshing and clean tasting…a bright afternoon break or was to start your day! Please come back tomorrow…I promise to be back to my normal, fun, entertaining posts!