The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome to Fort Hoo...Fort How..Fort Waaa...How do you pronounce the name of this place?

Okay, I'm a few days late, but better late than never, right?

BTW, for any of the other military wives who might be reading this and worried about OPSEC (Operations Security), M has approved everything I put in this post. Also, many of these pics are available on the army housing website.

So, here we are! The main entrance. I know what you're thinking: how on earth do you pronounce that? It's spelled Huachuca, but pronounced Wha-chew-ku. Isn't that weird? It's an old Native-American word meaning "place of thunder". Boy did they get that right. THunder and lightening all the time! The base was the home of the Buffalo Soldier and at one time under the command of General John Pershing.

So, now on to housing. Aren't you curious about how the miltiary lives? Behind the fences and past the guards is a whole community. Housing itself is a bit of a gamble. Sometimes you hit the jackpot and get great housing and sometimes you get, well something else. Aren't we lucky?

Oh, wait, that's not my house! Here we go:

Aw, that's not it either. Wait, here we are. Nice eh? Built in the last few years, spacious, air conditioned, and lovely.

Wait, I'm living in a fantasy. Below is my house. Seriously. Those other houses? They're for lower ranks than M. If he were still his old rank, we'd be living in the nice housing. Now that he's an officer, we're relegated to the old housing. I'm not bitter though. Okay, maybe a bit, but I've made peace with it. See that round thing on top? Looks like an a/c doesn't it? Well, it's not! It's called a swamp cooler. What's a swamp cooler, you ask? It's some sort of evaporating cooling system. Oh and BTW, it doesn't work! It's always, always, always hot in our house. Miserably hot on occassion. These houses are due to be torn down in 2010 and new, nicer, a/c'd ones put up in their place.

It's not all bad though. This is the view from our front. I see it every morning through the kitchen window. There is all kinds of housing on post, old, new and icky. Here's some more old. Oh, hey look, you can see me in the car mirror!

These are some of the new duplexes:

Old duplexes:


Now, onto some of the more interesting houses. This is a duplex that high ranking officers live in. I love these houses. I keep expecting Col. Potter to come walking around the corner. :) I wish the pic could convey how HUGE these are. Yes, they are duplexes, but IIRC, they are roughly 5000 sqft EACH. Wowzers! These house Lt. Col's, Col's and the CSM. The CSM is the highest ranking enlisted soldier on post. I don't know what he does, but he's important. His name is on a lot of signs.

This is a house for a Colonel or General. Again, HUGE.

Below is THE General's house. By THE General, I mean the command General. The highest ranking military member on post and the guy in charge. Kind of like a CEO. Oh, and his name (I swear I'm not making this up) is General Custer. His house is way bigger than the houses shown in the post above. It sits directly across from the main flagpole. The elevation at the flag pole is 5090 feet (there's a plaque that says so). I walk past it every morning as I huff and puff my way up the mountain. FYI, all the housing on post for high ranks has a name. They are named for important, famous, heroic, military service members who served at the post or in the division. The General's house is called Pershing House. The house pictured above is called Cruse House. Isn't that cool? I like that they honor soldiers (even low ranking ones) in this way. BTW, M took this photo for me on the sly. It's not illegal to take pics of the general's house, but it's not exactly something you want to stand around doing. The MP's might come along and ask a lot of questions. Nobody wants that.

Speaking of honoring soldiers, this is the museum annex. The main museum is next door, but I think this building is much more interesting.

This is Buffalo Soldier Legacy Plaza:

These are some planes formerly used in aerial surveillence. Oooooohhhhhh....spy stuff. Cool!

And this is one of Indy's favorite parts of the post. There are playgrounds everywhere. At least 6 within walking distance of our house. All named in honor of soldiers.

And so, that ends our little tour. There's actually a lot more to see, but I thought this was picture heavy enough. Hope you enjoyed getting a peek behind the fence.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Military, Moving, More Mistreatments and other things that may or may not start with M

Hello! I had a loverly time at the mistreatment party the other day. I enjoyed looking at all the sites and seeing how other people live. I'm nosey like that. I did a new mistreatment yesterday so I thought I'd show you. This is the window in the master bath. It's tiny and weird and yes, the walls are cinder block, but I think the mistreatment makes it pretty. Or as pretty as cinder block can get, I suppose.

So, guess what? We're moving. Again. You might recall a little 1600 mile road trip C and I recently made. If you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down. It took 3 days and more than a few zoloft, but we made it. Keep in mind, this was just last month. A few weeks ago, M logged on to his AKO (military email) and saw that he had orders (orders tell you where you're going and when). We knew we would be getting them at some point because he will be finishing his very long schooling (he's been at it since Jan) at the end of September and then he'll go to his next duty station. When he pulled the orders up and we read where we were going, we both literally stared at each other for a full five minutes before saying anything other than "no way." Want to know where we're going? We thought we'd be going to either the DC area or maybe to Ft. Lewis (near Seattle), but we are so not. Not anywhere close. Not even on the same continent. We are, for the 3rd time, moving to Germany! We're going back to Heidelberg. I'm crazy excited. We lived in Heidelberg from 97-00 and again from 01-04. It is so beautiful! All of this will be about 15 minutes from where we'll live!

This is the famous Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) and Schloss Heidelberg (castle). A friend of mine got married in the castle about 10 years ago. It was so beautiful!

This is part of the Marktplatz:This is a view from a side street of the Rathaus (like a court house):

And this is a view of some of the cobbled streets and gorgeous architecture:

Are you totally jealous? Don't be. You can come visit me and crash at my place! Just call first. :)

On to other stuff. C wanted to know why I refer to him as C on my blog. I told him it was for privacy reasons. He said he didn't like being called C and that I should call him something else. I asked what he would like me to call him and he thought for a minute and said "Indy. You should call me Indy because I'm an explorer and and archeologist, just like Indiana Jones. I even have the hat, whip and tools. You should call me that. Because it's cool." I agreed, so now, C shall be known as Indy.

And finally, I took a ton of pics around the post last week (some covertly) to give you a little tour of Ft. H. Here's just a little sampling of the housing. Isn't it nice? DId you know military housing could be so nice? Check back if you want to see more. I should have it up either tomorrow or Thursday. You don't want to miss this!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Miss Nester's mistreatment Partay!

If you haven't ever heard of "mistreatements" you need to haul yourself over to The Nester and do a quick read up. If you do, well, then, here's my mistreatements and some other random stuff. Enjoy!

This is our super-fab living room. Notice the white cinder block walls? Fancy military housing! These are the only "regular" windows we have in the house. The rest of them are all really high (to keep the heat out, so I'm told-FYI, it does NOT work). My toper, which I used over the sliding glass doors at the apartement in IL was not long enough, so I just put the panels on the outside of it.

A close-up. Notice all the dog toys in the basket at the bottom of the screen? You have 3 dogs, you have a lot of toys.Ah, the master retreat. See the high windows? The bedrooms, dining room and baths all have these weird looking windows. This is actually 2 windows, but I put the panel in the middle to make it look like one long window. M nearly had a heart attack when he walked in on me hot glueing the trim to the topper. I was standing on the bed (heels off of course), I had an extension cord hooked through my belt loop, trim tossed over my shoulder and my hot glue gun (Annie-get it? Like Annie Oakly) in my hand. He thought I had clearly lost my mind. The panels BTW are actual curtains. I need to glue some trim to the bottom. ;)

Okay, so this is not a mistreatment, but I saw something similar on someone else's blog and loved it (sorry, I can't remember who you are, but thanks for the idea) so I thought I'd show it to you. Can you guess what our last name starts with?

And this is our new entertainment cabinet. I love it. Love. It. But, it needs some color as the wall behind it is white and M won't let me paint because we are moving in a few months (check back another day and I'll tell you where-it's exciting!). Where the TV sits is actually open, so that's the cinder block wall you see behind it. I've put some scrapbook paper (2 patterns) on the one shelf (left side, where the B is) and M and I both like it, but I'm thinking I need something other than black and white. Any suggestions?

Oh, and if you're interested in knowing how the military live, I'm planning a tour of our post and its varying housing (some of it you just won't believe). I just have to figure out how I can get pics of some of the places without the MP's coming and taking my camera away and hauling me off for questioning. See the things you have to think about when you live on a military post? Sigh.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun Friday!!!!!

We started homeschool 2 weeks ago. It's been going really well and I am constantly amazed by how much C knows. He scares me sometimes he's so smart. It's not just that he's smart, he's clever. He thinks about things. Want an example? On Thursday morning he lost his second tooth. He thought he had swallowed it because he was eating breakfast and couldn't find it. I jokingly told him that if we didn't have a tooth to put under his pillow, the tooth fairly couldn't come. Without missing a beat, he looked at me and said "Well, you can just take a picture of my gap and we can put that under my pillow so the tooth fairy will know it fell out." See? Who thinks of that? I was on the phone with my mom at the time (I had her on speaker so she could hear him) and she couldn't believe he came up with that, let alone that he came up with it so quickly. We did eventually find the tooth though. It had fallen out and landed just under the edge of his plate. We did not have to take a picture and he got a shiny quarter to add to one of his 4 piggy banks. Three of them are so full they can't hold any more. The 4th one is almost full. The boy likes to save.

Okay back on track: homeschool. We've been learning a lot and having a great time. It's not all fun and games though. Handwriting is killing us both. He hates to practice handwriting and complains the entire time. I, smart mom/teacher that I am, decided to schedule (I use that term very loosely) a really fun activity afterwards as an incentive to get him to finish. Now you know where he gets his cleverness from, don't you? Still he complains the whole time and it drives me nuts. He must get the complaining from M. I never complain. :)

I decided, in order to mix it up a bit because he really does work hard, that every other Friday would be "Fun Friday" with special activities. Oh boy, was he excited for Fun Friday. We decided that we would do minimal school work and go to a movie. We opted for Space Chimps. Very funny. I'd give it a thumbs up. Not 2, but 1. Before Space Chimps though, I had a little trick up my sleeve. We started our Dinosaur/Prehistoric Unit last week and in my cabinet of wonders (I totally call it that in my head), I had an archeology/dig kit. His eyes got as big as saucers when I showed it to him. The fossil inside the 826,795,534 teeny tiny rocks (why yes, I did count them, thankyouverynuch) was a fly trapped in amber.

When we lived in St. Louis, his absolute favorite thing in the STL Science Center was a small piece of amber with a mosquito trapped inside. He was completely fascinated by this maybe 2"x 1.5" piece of amber and would literally stare at it (through the little magnifying glass poised over it) for a good half hour every time we went there. I don't know what was so interesting, but by golly it was. When we went to Chicago for Thanksgiving last year he was in rapture over the cases and cases of amber chunks filled with various kinds of bugs at the Field Museum. I had to drag him out the room that contained them. You can see why I chose this particular activity.

He thoroughly enjoyed himself. He even had to go get his Indiana Jones bag and gear (you can see the bag in the top left of some of the pics) so he could use his brushes to carefully remove the rock from around the fossil.

Very excited:Getting into it:

Got it!

He drew a picture of it in his Indiana Jones notebook and labled it:

Yea for Fun Friday!!!!

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