Still in Florida

So…. it’s been several months since I last posted, and both a lot and very little has changed. The biggest change is that J. and I got married in August! It was a tiny ceremony in the living room of our home, with just my parents, the judge and his wife (our personal friends) in attendance. We kept it small because J’s mother’s health kept her from being able to travel from Lima, and we didn’t feel it was right to have a big party when she was so ill. We’re planning a bigger shindig to celebrate in the spring, and we’re hoping she will have regained enough strength to be able to travel.

The other big change (that has lead to too much more of the same), is that the job opportunity for J. in Peru fell apart. It was a position with the U.S. government, and between the sequester and the government shut down, the money for the position evaporated… for now. We are still in touch with the folks in Peru, and J. is at the top of their list for new hires, if the funds ever come through. For now, we’re here, and exploring all of our options. We’ll see what happens.


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DIY: 2-Step Reed Diffusers

I’ve been getting increasingly conscious of the number of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, and increasingly concerned about the impact of those chemicals on our health. I’ve made quite an effort in the last few months to ‘green’ my cleaning and beauty routines, without going completely overboard. My latest foray into green home care: DIY reed diffusers with essential oils. No dangerous chemicals, three simple steps, and a great smelling result!

It’s simple! For one regular-sized reed diffuser, all you need is

(1) a small narrow-mouthed jar,

(2) 5-10 reeds,

(3) 1/4 cup sweet almond oil, and

(4) 1 tablespoon essential oil in the scent (or blend of scents) of your choice.

Step 1:

Whisk together the sweet almond oil and essential oil. The almond oil acts as a “carrier oil” that is thin enough to carry the scented essential oil up the reeds. The essential oil on its own is too thick to move up the reed.

Step 2:

Pour the oil mixture into the jar. (If you’re a complete klutz like me, using a siphon makes this step much easier.) Place the reeds in the jar, and you’re done!

Your first set of reeds should last 2-3 weeks, and the oil should continue to work for 2-3 months, replacing the reeds as needed. Be sure to thoroughly clean out your jar between uses, even if you’re using the same scent. For advice on mixing scents, this page is an excellent reference.

Home-made reed diffusers make excellent gifts. If you can track down antique or unique bottles, all the better!

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Waiting to know….

So, it has been about three weeks since we made the decision to go to Peru… but we need to wait for J.’s contract to be finalized and signed before we are positive that we are moving. The wait is killing me. I spend half my time itching to research – apartments for rent, swim teams, neighborhoods, visa requirements, marriage license requirements, job listings, moving costs, pet moving and care – and the rest of the time trying to resist the urge to research, convinced that as soon as I make a plan, our chance to move will evaporate, and we’ll be stuck in Florida forever.

I just want to know!

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Breaking free

Action is character.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

After nearly 10 years of trying to break out of Florida, it looks as though I am about to make it. When I say break out, I mean it – I’m not moving back to the Northeast (my homeland), or even to the groovy Pacific Northwest. Nope. After falling in love with the kindest, smartest, and best guy I know, I’m heading back with him to his hometown, Lima, Peru.

This move is so monumental and so outright unexpected for me that I’ve decided to blog about it. How does one pack up 33 years of life in the U.S. and ship it to South America? How will I get my cats there? Will I find a job? How the heck am I going to get my rusty Spanish up to par? How will this gringa fit in?

Right now our plans are a little bit murky, but we’re 95% sure we’re heading south in July 2013. I’m starting this blog as a travelogue/diary, hoping that it will prove to be an enjoyable way to document things that I never want to forget. I’ve been tired of the boring American day-to-day grind for a while now, and am really excited to head off on an awesome adventure with the love of my life. Here we go!

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