Archives for category: Darwin


A friend of a friend, and a fellow Army family needs our help. Jen has battled and beaten cancer before, but her doctors have just discovered that it is back, and have given her 3-6months to live. When J told me, I stopped breathing, and my heart ached for them. Jen is Canadian and would like to go home with Scott (her husband), and their 4 beautiful sons. I’m asking for your help, however small or large, to support his Army family through their darkest hour. A mycause page has been set up for the family to help them raise the money to get them to Canada, and to pay for medical bills.

I’m not sure what else to say here. I don’t really know the Fitzgibbin family; we have seen each other at the birthday parties of our mutual friend’s children, and I have sat next to Jen at a gun salute; so I don’t want to pretend that I know them, or what they’re going through. All I’m going to say is that my heart hurts for her and their family, and for our mutual friend who I know loves her so much. I wanted to do something to help, and this blog gets a steady, albeit small, stream of hits, so I hope sharing will help them reach their goal. So if you can, please help me support this beautiful family.

Thanks guys


We’re moving again! Just to a different house. I don’t really want to get into why we are; our situation is completely unique and I wouldn’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.

Let’s just say that when we moved in, we accepted the state of this house because it was just the two of us, and honestly, we were young and naive. I think I was so focused on being grateful that I didn’t stop to think about what was best for our family, but finding out that it wasn’t just the two of us made me realise that I could be grateful without settling.

So with the help of J’s rank, and DHA we got a new house, and it is beautiful (we even got a TOLL removal…not sure how that happened!).

So over the next few days we will be moving, then unpacking, and then we’re going home for a couple of weeks! So excited to get to take J with me this time! We have a mini-babymoon planned and it will be really nice to have some down time together since 2013 is shaping up to be a BIG, GIANT, SUPER COLOSSUS year.

Hoping you all had a great Christmas, and wishing you a lovely NYE!

…did you miss me?

what a CRAZY few weeks it has been! I will give you a summary, in dot points (it may be boring)…

  • packed up
  • SB came home
  • said goodbyes
  • dropped Lando at the dog-sitters
  • got in the car
  • saw my best friend in Biloela : )
  • drove
  • drove
  • drove
  • drove
  • drove
  • arrived in Darwin
  • chilled by the pool at our resort while SB went to work
  • saw our house
  • arranged electricity, internet, phone, spouse ID’s, etc
  • found out that SB was going field
  • checked out what Darwin has to offer in the way of shopping (very little)
  • checked out some restaurants (since our hotel room didn’t have a kitchen)
  • moved into our house
  • unpacked
  • unpacked
  • unpacked
  • SB packed for field
  • picked up Lando from the airport
  • dropped SB at the airport

now I am sitting here dealing with licence and university dramas…

my question to you, which I’ll go into more later, is how do you make friends/meet people, especially when you don’t have kids or a job? your tips?

until next time…

Due to my silence as of late, some of you may be wondering if we were in a horrific roo vs car accident, or perhaps (to get in the Darwin spirit) eaten by dingoes.

Fortunately no such fate befell us, and I am sitting in a lovely hotel room, updating you on our journey…

It was boring. It was long. It was scary (at times). It was unhygenic (I now realise that I am a major princess when it comes to accomodation.

But we survived.

Being in a new place, away from everyone and everything that you know is scary. I feel very overwhelmed, lonely, and nervous about what’s to come…


…this isn’t the first time I have felt this way, and at least the circumstances this time are a bit better; so I know that this feeling will end, and this will become our home, and we will be happy here.

I will try and blog, but it will be sporatic until we get the net set up in our new house; which, by the way, we just went and had a look at! It’s nothing flash, but it’s still way more than we could have hoped for in this stage of our lives. I feel very blessed, and I’m really looking forward to the beautiful life we will build and share there!

until next time…


Our Internet issues are still going strong. If you’re unfamiliar with the drama, go check it out…starting here, then here. Are you all sick of hearing about this yet? Hehe

So this weekend, the plot thickened… I went to see my lovely step-sister who works at telstra. She said she would check for us because sometimes what they say on the phone is wrong…

So we went in and she checked the address…sure enough, the big, ugly word unavailable came up.

Disapointed…very disapointed.

So we knew that the next step was going to be to call dha and ask them to unlock our preference so we can pick a new house. I stressed all weekend, SB was telling me that they’d be annoyed and get mad, so I was pretty stressed by the time I called this morning…

She was lovely 🙂

She said she wasn’t sure why it wasn’t available because they aren’t aware of a problem in that area, but that it was no problem at all if we wanted to check out other houses.

So thats the plan…my fantastic sis is going to run all of the addresses and hopefully we can put this drama behind us (and I can stop boring you with these internet stories, haha).

I’ve learnt a HUGE lesson in all of this though; Army Wife Lesson #27 is don’t rush to pick a house…find out things like the internet availability FIRST.

(i’m writing this outside, on my ipad while the mover man packs up my house…i feel bad that i’m not helping, but i’d probably just get in the way. Lol)

Until next time…

SB is home! we’re dealing with the readjustment period, packing, and now major housing drama…but it will all get done…i hope. hehe

here are some snaps of what’s going on here lately…

love having gear littering my floor…it means he’s home

boxes boxes everywhere…

you’d think the large suitcase would be mine…but it isn’t, lol

so we’re hitting the road soon, I’ll try and post, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to.


we last left the great internet run-around, 2012, at an email being sent to aanet to beg them to check my address…


I am interested in the ultimate duo broadband plan you have.
We are about to move from Brisbane to Darwin, so I do not have a home phone set up – that’s what I need you for. 
Can you just tell me if this plan is available at *****.

Thank you”

Their response, as follows, made me laugh so hard, I cried as I repeated it to my mother…unbelievable…

Hi Alice,

Please provide us with your land line number to do the duo plan availability check
Thank you and have a nice day.
I will be looking forward for your reply.

Warm regards,

 I couldn’t believe it…so i wrote back…

“Hi Darren, 

As I told the girl on the phone, and wrote in my original email, we do not have a phone number yet – that is specifically what I need you for. 


and he replied…
Dear Alice,
Not a problem, I have done the check on the location you are living.Unfortunately, we do not have a telephone exchange which is suitable for the service you are interested on.

Thank you and have a nice day.

yeah…so that leaves us with like 3 providers. I’ve called 3 of them this morning and the final answer I’m left with is that I have to pay the $59 to connect a phone line, and then they can check if they can hook up internet through it.
I’m not sure what to do, because I really do need the internet; not just for looking at shoes either, I need it to get my degree and talk with my family. I’m not messing around here.
This is a nightmare…if the internet was a real net, I really would strangle myself with it.

…there is a difference between a partial and a full unpack.

You’ll have to ask your case manager for more information…they seem a bit cagey with this information, lol.

I am starting this new section, “oh! I didn’t know that…” to display all of the little things I learn, and that I hope future Army Wags can benefit from.

I’m loving having stuff to write about again! (can you tell? haha)

So today was the Toll walk through (that’s when Toll (the movers) send someone to look at all your stuff, work out how many boxes you need, answer questions, etc). The lady was really nice, and it was pretty quick and painless…

…except for the kitchen. I asked her about my cupboard full of accumulated food; we’re talking hundreds of dollars; it’s all the little things you don’t think about, like spices, flour, that old can of tomatoes. All that stuff in your pantry – what do you do with it?

So she tells me that I can’t take anything liquid (because it could spill all over everything).

a pained expression comes onto my face, she notices my distress – she probably assumes it’s because I have an entire bar sitting there (vodka, gin, tequila, vermouth, etc)…but no…my pain is coming from my hot sauce bottle.

I am American. One of the only things I miss (besides cheaper shopping, snow, and fall football games) is the food.

Last year I discovered USAFoods – it’s heaven sent, they have pretty much all of the things I miss. I cannot believe how many more options in food America has! Probably a good thing we don’t live there, or I would be SUPER fat.

Anyway, so along with awesome copycat recipes I found on Pinterest, I can have my favorite restaurant food – Sticky Fingers.

They are literally the greatest thing EVER, but they require my friend Frank; Franks hot sauce. I was going through so much of this stuff (because it should be added to every single meal), I bought a 1gallon jug of it – greatest purchase ever!

 so back to the story…

I have 1 gallon of my beloved Frank’s hot sauce sitting in my cupboard, and she’s telling me I can’t pack liquids…

…so I ask, “can I bring Frank (yes, I referred to it as a him) with us in the car? I really cannot go without my hot sauce”

I’m not sure if her reaction was actual amusement, or uncomfortable, this-girl-is-crazy, no-sudden-movements kind of amusement, but if she had tried Frank, she would have understood.

So Frank will be roadtripping with us – which in the end is really great, because we can add him to all of our crappy roadtrip food!

Another guest will be joining us on the journey…more about him later


ps. I really encourage you all to buy some Frank’s, because it is the greatest thing ever…and it does come in smaller bottles for the less enthused partakers. 

one of the first things that needs to happen when we get into our house, is internet. if you don’t already understand the importance of having internet, let me list the top 6 reasons why it is important (to us)…

  1. Uni: my course is online, and even though my last assignment of the semester is due sunday (I’m currently using this blog post to procrastinate), I still need to be able to get online in order to see my grades, sign up for next semesters classes, etc.
  2. Family: I am very close with my family, and leaving them is already a big, sad, downer to this whole moving process, being able to skype in to our weekly family dinners is a need, not a want. 
  3. Entertainment: until I get a job, I’m going to be bored every day when SB leaves for work (especially since he will take our car – damn not having a house on the army base!), so I need the internet so I can watch stupid youtubes, download movies, and stalk friends on facebook.
  4. Shopping: it’s actually probably a benefit of not having internet, especially since I wont have a job, but I hear there are limited shopping options in Darwin – so not having the wide world of internet shopping as an alternative will make that suck even more.
  5. Information: we’re moving to a place I’ve never even visited…I need to be able to google vets, shopping centres, beaches, movie theatres, eyebrow waxers, etc.
  6. and of course, Blogging: I have to keep up with the blog! I like to think you would all miss me if I couldn’t write anymore (at least I know Nana would, hehe)

so anyway…
I looked at internet a few weeks ago, and I thought this Dodo plan looked pretty good, so today (since I’m trying to procrastinate), I called them to find out if it’s available in our new house (since I finally have an address).
the Indian girl that answered told me that it was available, but then she started listing the prices; the unlimited internet plan I had asked her about, listed at $40 per month was suddenly $79 and included a home phone with 15cent per minute national calls. Well I was not having any of that…
“I don’t want a house phone”, I said.
“You have to have a home phone in order to have the internet set up at this location”, she replied
“The plan I am interested in is listed as $40 per month and it specifically says no home phone required”
“Well because your property does not already have a line set up, you will have to set one up and that will be an additional cost”
“so what you’re saying is that the advertisement is wrong, it’s misleading, it’s a lie”, I finally said (I was getting really fed up)
she didn’t know what to say about that, she mumbled a few things. I finally just said…
“ok, I’m not interested, if I’m going to have to have a phone line, then I will pick a plan with unlimited calls, thank you”, and I hung up.
already frustrated, I called Optus, and talked to a really nice guy. He informed me that there is no Optus coverage in Darwin, awesome. So that phone call was quick.
so I googled (see, internet…necessary) internet in NT…
aaNet popped up. They had an even more appealing plan than optus or dodo, so I called them.
“I’m interested in finding out if *plan* is available at my new address”, I said
What is your phone number”, the lady replied with
well we don’t have one yet…that’s what I’m calling you about. can you just search with an address?”
I mean really! It always blows me away when they ask this, I know that some people would already have a number, and are just looking for new service, but there have got to be lots of people who don’t have a number and are calling for that very reason…ridiculous! anyway…
No we can’t, you’ll have to email the sales department and they will perform a test in your area (or something like that, I kinda tuned out)”
I felt on the verge of frustrated tears, so I basically just hung up on her and sent them a stupid email in which I tried to point out the stupidity of their chicken-or-the-egg,  phone-to-get-a-phone conundrum.
and that’s where we’re at…waiting to hear back from aaNet.
please share your frustrating moving moments, as well as who you get your internet through (Darwin ladies!), hehe
p.s. who knew that optus would be my easiest, shortest phone call of the day! usually it’s like some sort of hazing ritual…I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I chose ‘1’ on the menu – signing up for new service…probably.