We are settling into our new home pretty quickly.  Not counting the 2 days when we dropped our stuff off and left for the farm, we have been here exactly 7 days, unpacking, decorating, and setting up house.  We consider ourselves pretty simple in general.  We tend to get rid of things as soon as we determine we aren’t using them actively, and we try to prevent unnecessary clutter.  Even the dust collectors are very limited to few items from our past which we like to use to add the personal touch in our homes.  Nonetheless, we were living in a 2100 sq ft house and essentially added 2 children while in Las Vegas, so we naturally added a few things to our home.  We are now in a 1500 sq ft house, so despite our intensive purging prior to the move, we are already having to purge here.  I have quite the assortment of items still that I just can’t find a place for. 

The home has its plusses and minusses–as does anywhere, I guess.  It is our first experience with privatized base housing, and so far, we have not been impressed.  We have already had many maintenance issues.  I like the fact that it is small, actually.  It means less cleaning on my part!  It is a one story with a partially-finished basement.  The main floor contains the kitchen, dining, combined office/living room, guest 1/2 bath, master bed, and master bath.  Downstairs in the basement is 3 bedrooms, a full bath, and an unfinished, large laundry/utility room.  The basement was actually finished in recent years, and converted to have the bedrooms, so it is quite tight down there.  Unfortunately, they did not do a good job with the HVAC system, and we have been warned that the last tenant moved out because his children were so cold down there in the winter. I am a bit concerned about that, as right now, in late June, our night temps are in the 50’s and 60’s, but the basement is so cold I already have to dress the kids in full, footed, flannel sleeper PJ’s, and cover them up well with a thick blanket.  I am very nervous about what to expect when winter hits, as winter can be wicked and COLD here!  Also, there is no fenced yard for my poor pup.  The policy here is, they assign you a very small lot, you purchase and install the fence according to their standards, but on your dime, then you remove it when you leave.  We are still trying to make the decision about that.

It took us a week to get phone and internet installed, just to find out that almost half the phone jacks in the house are inoperable.  Unfortunately, they happen to be the half we NEED.  So, for now, my computer is blocking my bedroom door, hooked to a 20 foot long phone cord that travels into my bedroom, which is one of the only working jacks, in order for me to get online.  The only other jack upstairs (the main living area) is in the kitchen, so we have a phone plugged into it.  Housing has decided they won’t help with the phone issues, and the phone company wants $100 to fix the problem.  So, hopefully to save a bit, S is going to try to make the repair himself later this evening so I can get my other phone installed downstairs (in the laundry area I can’t hear anything since everything is made of concrete in the basement), and hopefully get the internet working in the LR/office area where it belongs.  We’ll see what happens.

On a more positive note, despite the shortcomings of the house, you can’t beat the view!  This pic is taken from my back porch, which is connected to my dining room…

CO is well known for its wildlife as well.  In fact, part of my welcome package when I arrived were 3 brochures about the wildlife, with a focus on coyote, bear, and mountain lions.  It specified to watch young children carefully, and never let them outside unless you were right there with them.  WHAT?!!!  The neighbors have warned us of a big coyote attack on a jogger and her dog last year, and informed us that they like to hang out in the bushes behind our house and taunt their dogs.  So, for now at least, the kids are confined to the porch when I can’t be outside with them.  We may be forced to put in a fence just to allow them a little more room to safely play outside.  While wildlife can certainly jump a fence, it tends to discourage them a bit.  We also can’t just “put the trash out” any more.  All garbage has to go into a bear-proof dumpster, which is rather inconvenient, but necessary.  The lid on this thing is so incredibly heavy, I can’t even open without climbing up on top.  Fortunately, S has taken over that duty for the most part.  Nonetheless, if you enjoy nature, wildlife is part of the package.  Of course, it has its perks too.  In fact, we have a bachelor trio of muledeer (look like gigantic white-tail deer with long ears) that frequent our backyard to graze in the afternoon.  They are a blast to watch, and aren’t too shy of the kids as long we stay on the porch.  They are still in velvet right now, but they are so majestic looking!

There are also wild turkey around.  These things are HUGE.  I saw a tom the other day that had to be 25 pounds! We have big issues with magpies as well.  They get into everything in search of food, and are very curious animals anyway.  They are almost like pigeons in terms of being a nuisance, but they are about twice as big as a pigeon.  We weren’t aware of this fact when we first arrived, and while unloading the van, we left the window down (smelled like vomit thanks to M and I was trying to air it out until I had time to steam clean it).  S ran and jumped in the van to run an errand and was literally attacked by a panicked magpie trying to escape the van.  S managed to get out and get the magpie out, but not before it left its mark (equally large) on my backseat.  Needless to say, we made steam cleaning a priority after that.

We try to take periodic breaks from setting up house and do things with the kids.  On Saturday morning, S and JR decided to have a “date” and S introduced him to the joys of mountain biking.

That little boy was on cloud nine, feeling so grown up and manly doing a man’s sport!  They had to bike across an open field behind the house to find a trail, then went exploring the local trails.  They returned with a very tired (and dirty after 2 wipe-outs) JR, but I think he had a smile on his face the rest of the day.  The next day (father’s day), we all went so JR could show me his trail with the “big hill” (and it was big!).  I rode my bike, JR rode his, and S rode his while pulling the bike stroller loaded down with the other 3 kids (who barely fit all squished together).  I think the younger 3 needed helmets more than us from all the head-banging going on back there when daddy ran over rocks on the trail!

There’s lots more talk about, but since I have already gone WAAAY over what is socially acceptable for blog-reading, I will conclude this post here.  Stay tuned for more.