DiploDog Obsessions

DiploDog has really enjoyed her time here in Falls Church. Besides getting to go to dog daycare a couple of times a week, she has had more frequent walks, given that the summer here isn’t as brutal as it is Houston. Arriving in the spring also meant we had an abundance of great walking opportunities.

With easy access to neighborhood streets and nearby parks, DiploDog became quite familiar with the new sites and sounds. Then, a couple of months in, we had some new sights – rabbits. This meant DiploDog was even more excited than usual to head out on walks and being on high alert for the rabbits meant she was back to pulling pretty strongly on her leash.

Here she is staring down her prey. If only that pesky leash wasn’t attached.


On a typical stroll up and down the street in the late afternoon/early evening, we can count on spotting at least 3-5 rabbits in various yards. It is safe to say that she is obsessed with looking for the rabbits. It is also interesting to see how the natural instinct of animals that are feeling threatened to remain still really does help. I’ll usually spot the rabbits first and try to get her to see them, and many times it isn’t until one moves a bit that DiploDog then zeroes in.


DiploDog also learned the word rabbit pretty quickly. It wasn’t too long after they started coming out that the mere mention of the word while walking would set her into high alert, with her head scanning back and forth and ears perked up. I’m not sure what will fascinate her down in Guatemala City, but she has certainly found rabbits way more exciting than those boring ol’ squirrels.

Treasure Hunting

The State Department maintains a massive storage facility for all the furniture and possessions that employees do not ship to overseas posts. The housing at most posts is furnished and leased by the government. Guatemala City is one of a few posts, however, where officers have to find their own housing, which will typically be unfurnished, and the rental costs are then covered by a determined living quarters allowance (LQA).

We recently had the opportunity to travel out to the facility to review what we are selecting to ship to Guatemala and what will stay behind, based on the inventory we received from the moving companies that boxed and handled all of our furniture out of Houston.

When we arrived, six huge crates had been pulled out and arranged for us to review.


It was comforting to actually see all of our stuff again, since the last time was when the 18-wheeler headed out from our house and this whole adventure kicked off. As much as we never really worried much about all the items we didn’t have with us in the apartment, this gave us an improved sense of confidence that our stuff is actually going to make it to post.


It isn’t absolutely necessary to travel out to the facility since we have an inventory of our items and can simply tell them what to ship, but we were able to resolve a few questions that we had over how the movers had identified several boxes and items. And we were able to reconfirm that the boxes we had always planned to leave behind should still stay in storage. This also isn’t a time that we can go around opening boxes and searching for the random book or other item that we wished we wouldn’t have packed away.

We can ask that certain inventory items can be pulled for us to take, which was the main reason that we traveled out to the facility. Since I drove our Yukon up to Virginia, I needed all the space possible, so I had to pull the third row seats and have them packed up with all of our other household effects. We always figured we would need to get these when we decided to sell our car to a place like CarMax, but we didn’t really know if it would make that much of a difference in what we could sell the car for to justify having to go through the process of getting to the storage facility.

Well, the difference between the quote without the third row and with the third row was a not so paltry sum $1,000, so it was most decidedly in our interest to get the seats pulled from storage!


The seats are back and now I am set to sell the car at CarMax on Saturday. The staff at the storage facility were so friendly and helpful, which made the whole process so much less stressful.



Happy Independence Day

DipoTot is decked out in her July 4th finest and ready to celebrate.


I’ve always enjoyed this quote from John Adams now-famous letter to his wife Abigail after independence was declared by Congress, albeit a couple of days before the July 4th date on the Declaration of Independence.

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.