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Happy New Year!

We ushered in the new year enjoying a progressive dinner with our neighbors. If you haven’t participated in a “roving” party, I highly recommend it especially if you’re able to walk from house to house. We volunteered to be the first house and, since we weren’t sure how many people would show up, we made enough food for an army (pun intended). We had a lot of leftovers which didn’t bother any of us a bit ~ everything was yummy even the next day.  The “Berry” drink I made was a big hit. Red Grapefruit Vodka, Champagne & Cranberry juice. As one woman said “Quite lovely.”

My only resolution for the new year is to get more active ~ more cross-country skiing, racquetball, swimming, walking, etc. FM and FG enjoy downhill skiing so much that I’ve decided to give it another go this year. It’s never been my favorite sport ~ so many clothes, heavy boots, crazy other skiers on the runs and the cold. I’ll have to remember the good parts: that great “tired” but fit feeling afterwards, apres-ski drinks by the fireplace and the feeling I’ve actually survived to ski another day.

Any resolutions for you?

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It’s here…

First snowfall, 23 Nov 2007

Despite the fact that it’s still considered Autumn on the calendar, winter has officially arrived here in the North Country (Ft. Drum, NY). We’re expecting more snow, 1-3 inches, tonight with temperatures hovering in the teens.

FM and I went through the list of “warm” items we need to survive the brutal winters here and first on the list are warmer boots for him. He wore what he considers his winter boots yesterday to take FG sledding and came home with very cold toes. 😦

I ordered my “state of the art”, (click on state of the art for a peek)NASA engineered, winter boots last week which are suppose to be the warmest ever without the heaviness of the usual winter boot. I’ll give a product review update here on the blog once I wear them awhile. Just in case anyone reading this will be in need of warm winter boots.

Hey, I should be a cold weather products tester for these winter items ~ wonder if any company would pay me to do such things?! hmmm…

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Touring the Thousand Islands

Boldt Castle, NY

Yes, Thousand Island  dressing does get its name from this area.

We spent a few hours yesterday on a boat touring the St. Lawrence River. The weather was spectacular and I was fascinated by all the islands, big and small, with the beautiful summer homes of the rich. The tour took us into Canadian waters as well and my favorite home was the one on an island in US waters which had a footbridge connecting it to an island in the Canadian waters ~ both islands are owned by the same family.

We stopped and toured Boldt Castle which is located on Heart Island. The castle has a sad history:

George Boldt immigrated from Prussia as a teenager and worked his way up the ladder in the hotel business, starting as a kitchen helper and eventually becoming a self-made millionaire.

In 1900, he began construction on a “Replica of a Rhineland Castle” for his wife, Louise. She was the love of his life and he wanted to make the castle a lasting legacy for her. Unfortunately, in January 1904, she died of a heart attack at the age of 42. George Boldt, completely heartbroken, immediately ceased all work on the castle which had all ready been fully enclosed.

For 73 years, the castle was left to the mercy of the elements and vandals, who broke all 365 windows and wrote graffiti everywhere. Finally, in 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and began an extensive renovation and restoration program.

Today, it is a lovely place to visit and imagine all it could have been for George and Louise.

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Yummy Foods at the Farmers’ Market

We’ve been frequenting the Fairground Farmers’ Market and I’ll be sad when they pack up for the winter. The market is open every Saturday (9am to noon)from May until the third weekend in October. FG can’t get enough of the delicious apples here in upstate NY and FM loves the fresh sweet corn. I like all the fresh fruits and vegetables but especially the red peppers and fresh flowers.

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Second Set of Visitors

We’re enjoying our second set of visitors ~ FM’s parents. Now that we’re back in the states and it doesn’t take several time zones or crossing the international dateline to get to us, we’re hoping to have lots of visitors while we’re stationed here in the beautiful North Country.

 

FM’s parents are staying with us just one night since they brought their camper and are enjoying a campground about 45 minutes from where we live. They couldn’t have ordered better weather ~ all week, it’s been clear, sunny with the lows in the 50s and the highs in the 70s. Perfect weather! 

One place we enjoy taking our guests is to the quaint and historic town of Sackets Harbor on Black River Bay and Lake Ontario.  Madison Barracks, which is the original site of Ft. Drum, is located there as well as an important state battlefield from the War of 1812. The war was between the U.S. and the United Kingdom & its colonies (Canada & Bermuda). Later this month, on 29 September, there will be re-enactment at the site. I’ve never been to one of those so we may have to attend.

We seem to have gotten stuck on one restaurant in the town. It’s the Sackets Harbor Brewing Company and their food is delicious! We’ve been there four times now and the food is consistently good. The only warning they have on the menu is they take no responsibility for taste if you order your steak well done. 😉 We took FM’s parents last night and even his mom liked it which is saying a lot.  This was FM’s meal:

I thought it looked a lot like something we might see on “Top Chef” ~ another favorite show of mine. We found out last night that Thursdays are “half priced” pints ~ like we really needed another excuse to go.

We’re going to be hard-pressed to try another restaurant in Sackets Harbor.  

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Time To Buy The Long Johns…

…there’s a frost advisory for early tomorrow morning!

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Growing Pains

We’re moved in and are settling into our new home. We get our household goods on Friday, not Wednesday as I previously thought. Our “hold baggage” had enough essentials to carry us over but I must say the blow-up mattress is not the best for my back/side/neck!

Once our furniture arrives, we’re going to attempt to do some quick unpacking before Sunday when our first guests arrive. They’ve been warned we’ll all be surrounded by boxes.

Fort Drum is no doubt experiencing some growing pains. The housing waitlist is long, it takes awhile to get scheduled for household goods delivery and any kind of hookup or delivery takes at least a week to schedule. BUT I have to say, the Garrison Command is doing all they can to ease the pain of it all and, hopefully, once the summer rush is done, there will be an easier time for those coming in later on this year.  I’ll keep you posted, Angie, but the key will be to plan ahead for everything!

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Moving In & Unplugging

Yippee!! We got the keys to our new house today ~ won’t have our household goods until next Wednesday ~ but we’re glad to have the house. Our hold-baggage will be delivered tomorrow with the usual assortment of pots, pans, dishes, towels, a card table and some chairs. Unfortunately, no beds but we’re working on it.

We move in tomorrow and the internet, cable and phone won’t be hooked up until Monday and, we’ve yet to get a cell phone, so I’ll be unplugged for a while. At least, we won’t be reading by candlelight. I’ll probably troll around the neighborhood to see if I can pick up someone’s Wi-Fi. Actually, that’s a little too creepy ~ maybe I’ll just find a nice, cozy internet cafe to hang out in.

Funny thing about the cell phone is I was seriously considering NOT getting one. Someone at FM’s work was putting together a new roster and asked for his cell number to which he replied “Don’t have one and probably won’t get one because they are expensive and we have to sign a two year lease.” No doubt that drew an incredulous look. The next day, the roster was sent out with the note “I’ll be taking ‘FM’ to AER (Army Emergency Relief) so he can take out a loan for a cell phone.”  Cheeky, eh?  In the end, I decided I’ll get one for emergencies in case I get stuck in a snow drift or something. Hope I don’t become so self-important with it that I end up like half the people around here who have it GLUED to their ears at all times ~ drives me a little crazy when I see that ~ really! who the heck can talk that long on a phone (unless you’re 15 or so!)?

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Fun Times with Go-Karts

Speed Racer

Whenever we go to Watertown, we pass by the Go-Karts, Putt-Putt golf and batting cage complex. There are always people there,young soldiers with their dates as well as families, so we figured it must be fun. 

FG and I decided to test it out on Monday. We didn’t try out the batting cages yet but we did the Putt-Putt golf and the Go-Karts. We figured right, it was lots of fun. We had such a good time, we stopped by with FM last night on our way to dinner for a quick round of Putt-Putt.

On Monday, when FG and I finished racing around the track, her first words were “Can we bring V. here when he visits?” V. and his Dad,N. are friends and previous neighbors from Neunkirchen, Germany where we lived for 4 years. They will be visiting in a couple of weeks and we’ve been checking out places that might be of interest for them. This one is a “for sure!”

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Finally!! Ft. Drum

After 4,011 miles driven from Long Beach to NY, I was more than thrilled to finally see the Fort Drum exit sign!! Those 4,011 miles are ones FG and I drove and are only point A to point B and doesn’t include any driving around we did while visiting a town. What a way to spend her summer vacation.

We’ve been here a week now and are going through all the things involved in settling into a new post. I’ve got to get FG signed up for some “summer camp” activities so she can start meeting and playing with kids her age.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be in our new home soon ~ the hold up is with the delivery of our household goods. Seems the moving companies are so busy, they can’t schedule our delivery for a month, even though both household and unaccompanied baggage are both here already 😦

Temporary lodging is OK but we’re all anxious to move into our own place. Thankfully, we were able to get into the guest quarters which allows pets. There are only 13 of those rooms so we really lucked out. If you have a pet and you’re moving to Drum, book your temporary lodging EARLY!

The weather has been glorious all week ~ sunny and low to mid-80s. I’m so glad we moved here when things are so green, sunny and pretty. Now that I’ve seen summer in NY, I’ll remember how things CAN be when it’s the middle of winter and we’re snowbound.

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