Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Big Move

As promised, my second blog will be about the move here (both the trip down and the new house).

The Trip
Our things were packed up in Nebraska right after Christmas, so we spent a week or so sleeping on the floor. It definitely made me miss a mattress. We also were living out of a couple of suitcases while spending our days visiting with friends and seeing some of our favorite places around Omaha before we moved away. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the zoo. They even had baby lions that we missed out on! I love that place, I'm sure every time we go back to visit family that will be a place we try to make it to.

The day before we left we had to drug our poor kitty. She absolutely HATES riding in cars. Even for short trips. The distance between Omaha and Shreveport is definitely not short. Without stops it is a 12 hour drive. Obviously with a dog in the car we would be stopping pretty frequently (not to mention gas stops). It ended up being about a 14 hour drive.

I've never been more thankful for drugs in my life. Zero was actually quiet the entire trip here! Even though we put a litter box in her kennel, she did not pee. Normally she pees all over the place in the car, making it smell absolutely wonderful. I'm sure you can imagine. The drugs did not knock her out, but they made her groggy. She basically was 'out of it.'

The drive was not bad, in fact it was pretty scenic. We enjoyed watching the thermometer on the car go up as we went south. It was FREEZING when we left Omaha. Even though we arrived in Shreveport at night, we didn't even need our jackets. Of course, the locals probably all thought they did. We've spotted locals in heavy coats, scarves, and gloves when it is about 40 degrees out. Since I have gotten used to the Midwest  I was only wearing a sweater. Most days have been in the 60s! It's January! I sure am happy now, but I probably won't be when summer rolls around.

Amos was a bit of a putz about going to the bathroom on driving breaks, we even tried to 'run it' out of him. He decided to wait until we had our hotel room to take a dump...inside...on the floor. It was forgivable since he didn't know where he was or how to ask to get out.

We spent the weekend in TLF on base. It was really nice! We were in a 'pet friendly' room, but since we were still in the process of introducing Amos and Agent Zero we kept them separate the entire time.

The House
The Monday after arriving we got the keys to our house! We live on base at Barksdale AFB in "Heritage Heights." This housing section is one of three, the other two are:

  • Historic housing - old house built around the 30s and they are conveniently located on the main base. This means they are close to everything, like the commissary. They come in quite the variety for every rank. Many different sizes. The ones for TJ's rank did not come with garages and had on street parking. 
  • Liberty heights - the newest  housing on base. It was built around 2005-2008. It looks like the typical new house. Most of these are duplexes, and they also range in size depending on rank. These are located on the "East Reservation" like Heritage Heights.

Like I said, we live in Heritage Heights. It only consists of two streets of housing, built in 1998. We are on the East Reservation, which means we are about 15 minutes from the nearest gate and 20 minutes from the main base. It is about 9 miles for TJ to get to work. It is otherwise a very nice location! Our house backs to forest and is on the nature reserve. There are a ton of trails for both hiking and biking. That works for us since we are both 'outdoorsy' types. There are also a few lakes and a bayou. Our house is smaller, but all of Heritage Heights is. We have two bedrooms, one bathroom, a ton of storage, a living/dining room, garage, kitchen, and covered patio out back. Our back yard is pretty big. Here is a little video of the house before we got any of our things:

Please ignore the incredibly unflattering angle at which the camera is pointed at my face. I also apologize for any motion sickness, as it is pretty shaky. I did try to fix that using YouTube's tools.

Move In
Our stuff conveniently arrived on Tuesday, so we did not have to go without furniture for long! We did not, however, own our own bed so we were sleeping on our sleeper-sofa until SEARS delivered our newly purchases bed (along with a washing machine). Only a couple things broke in the move and they were both pretty cheap, so we did not bother with making a claim. The movers were professional, nice, and fast. We haven't gotten any decorating done and things are still as mess as we find homes for them, but this is how we have things arranged thus far:

First room unpacked.


 Bought the cat a tower to help her hide from Amos and to keep her food out of his reach. The black desk we found at goodwill and the tan one we found at the Airman's attic on base!

Living/Dining Room
The pink chairs are part of a patio set--we are still in need of dining chairs. Some game/TV rearranging will be happening once our new TV arrives.

A bit of a mess since we went a while without the second dresser. Still working on putting things away. We got the second dresser at goodwill. Brand new from Target (normally $160), but was damaged in shipping. There is one spot where the paint is chipped on the top. Purely cosmetic. 

As you can see we have white walls, floors, and blinds. You might notice from the kitchen that I love color. We have a lot of decorating to do! I'll keep you posted as we re-arrange, decorate, and refinish some of our "new" used furniture. It will definitely be an adventure since I've actually never refinished furniture, sewn, or really done any kind of decorating aside from hanging up picture frames in the past. We are expecting our new TV to arrive on Friday and then all we need are some nightstands, dining room chairs, and office chairs! This spring we'll also be buying a grill to use out back.

We are going to be fence shopping this week for the backyard. Amos needs some room to run off leash, and there are no dog parks around here. Luckily we have a pretty big yard we can fence for him! I've never put in a fence before, so it should be an adventure...

Well, we are off to our second week of Amos's obedience training at Petco! Hopefully he isn't as stubborn as distracted as he was the first week. Wish us luck!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Introductory Post

I was inspired to create this blog by my sister Jeanna (pronounced Jean - na), who is secretly a turtle. You can find her blog here: Snapping Turtle Crafts, I recommend you check it out! Though since I am the new one, I won't be surprised if she sends people here instead of the other way around.

The second inspiration for this blog is actually a class I am taking right now. It is a composition course and has inspired me to begin writing again. Status updates just don't cut it for people who like to write. As a side note, it is one of the last two classes I am taking to finish my degree! How exciting!

Now for my blog's introduction! I thought I would start my blog out by giving you a little bit of information about myself and why I am here. So here it goes:

About Me
Hi, I'm Stephi! As you can see by my little profile blurb on the right, I am an "Air Force Wife," and we have just moved to our first base together. My husband just finished tech school one month ago. I actually grew up an Air Force brat, so I already know some ins and outs. This is a new place for both of us though, and I've never lived in the South before. I'm not counting the ten months I living in Virginia, those accents weren't very strong. Louisiana is a much different place. I also do not know ANYBODY here except for my husband.

I am currently a college student in the home stretch to get my degree. I created my own major in a way. I am a 'general science' major with an emphasis in environmental studies and Biology. Basically, I changed majors a handful of times and wanted as many of the classes I'd taken to count for something as possible. This degree allows me to do that. I only have two classes left, both of which started this week: Advanced Composition and General Chemistry II. I'll be doing lab experiments at home, that can only end well!

I just finished an internship with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. I might write more about that later, but I was in the Park Ranger series as a Visitor Services Technician. What am I doing right now? Staying busy, but without a job. I am going to focus on my two classes for a month or so along with fixing up our first place. We are lacking on furniture and what we do have needs some 'help.' We also have close to zero decorations--that needs some fixing. When I am satisfied with the house, I'll be adding learning American Sign Language into my routine. My husband is what the deaf community refers to as a CODA. Basically, his parents are both deaf. I have taken one sign language course and have gotten pretty good at understanding signs but I am absolutely horrible at signing myself. In the meantime I am looking at job postings and might apply for something part time. We currently only have one vehicle, so it might be less expensive for me to not get a job right away. We have bills to pay, furniture to buy, etc. We don't really need to be car shopping on top of that. Starting a life together sure is expensive! Part time might allow for the flexibility we need with his work schedule and only one car. School is the priority at the moment though, the job hunt will get much more serious when summer rolls around! Also, more environmentally-related jobs might pop up between now and then.

We are currently working on getting 'his' cat and 'my' dog used to each other. The puppy is a bit rough for a six pound cat, but he is learning quickly. In fact, we just started an obedience class with him this past Sunday. He already knew sit, down, and shake. Unfortunately, he did not feel like being the class show-off for us. Zeus the German Shepherd - half his age- definitely showed him up. Amos is a blue heeler mix, gets distracted easily and is going through a bit of a stubborn streak. He actually doesn't like to take bribes. He is really smart though, so hopefully this class straightens him up a bit. So far, he has only been a problem with the cat once. The cat is actually the one being a brat. She has definitely been pushing her limits this week.We are currently working on transitioning her from dry food to wet food. We forgot to get the hairball control kind.
Agent Zero

The Blog
You might be wondering why my blog is named Miniature Mishaps.

The first part is due to my physical stature, or lack thereof. I may look like a normal young lady in that wonderful profile picture to your right, but I am in fact only five feet tall. I spent most of my teen years trying to convince everybody I was five feet and 3/4 inches tall, but it never worked out.

The second part of the blog name is to describe what this blog will be about. It will generally be about my adventures. I have been sharing short stories on facebook with friends whenever I come across something completely silly. For instance, in this new city I'm living in they have strong southern accents and mumble ALL THE TIME. It causes some serious misunderstandings. Other 'mishaps' that might show up on this blog will have to do with my explorations, and learning new things (one of my first adventures will be learning to sew curtains!).

I just want to let you know it did take a bit of brainstorming and trying out a ton of names that I thought would be FANTASTIC to settle on one. Mostly because all the other awesome ones were either taken for the name or taken for the link. Jeanna helped me brainstorm. We went through the following first.

  • Confused Cacomistle - I decided nobody would remember cacomistle.
  • Misunderstandings and Misadventures - Taken.
  • Stephi's Snafus - People might misspell it, not sure if I want my name in it.
  • Mrs. Dalen's Mishaps - Decided against the name thing.
  • Mishaps and Misunderstandings - Taken.
  • Miss Adventurous (aka Misadventurous) - Taken.
  • Tiny Traveler - Apparently a company?
  • Teeny Traveler's Miniature Mishaps - Too long.
  • Tiny Tourist - A blog elsewhere.
To summarize: I hope you appreciate the trouble I went through to find the perfect blog name. I think it'll grow on me :) 

Watch out for my next post, which will be about the move here and our new place!