I thought about "improving" my home away from home a long time ago... one idea was to grow some grass in front of my CHU (by the way, I've been calling my "home" here a "Compartmentalized Housing Unit", but Pat tells me that it actually stands for "Containerized Housing Unit" - I stand corrected.
Anyway, "home improvements"... I never did get any grass growing. I looked at ordering some grass seed, and dirt, online - but you can't get that kind of thing shipped out here. It's against postal regulations, or international trade rules, or something. There are places with grass growing here on base (grass kinda like weeds), so I thought I could dig up some and make it grow here. But that never happened.
I also thought about painting a nice tropical landscape scene on the big T-Wall right outside the door on my CHU - that would be a much nicer view that of the plain old giant concrete wall... But that kind of went the way of the grass lawn idea... never got to it. (And that would take a lot of paint - blue, green, brown, white, some mixes, etc.) I did do some things to fix up my CHU - plenty of carpets on the floor (helps with the heat too, a layer of insulation), fridge, microwave, TV, DVD player, sound insulation pads on the wall, curtains over the ugly window, nice chair that probably came from one of Sadam's palaces, etc.
I have a nice table with storage shelves in my room, that someone made out of plywood years ago, and early on I thought I would paint the bare wood base to make it look nicer. So I bought a gallon of white paint at the True Value. Yes, there is a True Value hardware store here! It's not quite what you are used to at home, but it does have a lot of stuff. There are all kinds of stores around here, and you can get just about anything you want (that isn't illegal here).
So, I've had this gallon of (expensive) paint sitting here in my room for many months, I never got around to emptying the shelves of the table, cleaning all the junk off the top of it, so I could take it outside to paint...
Then a couple of months ago - in the heat of the summer, when it gets to almost 150 degrees in the sun, my mind wandered back to the home improvement ideas, and I decided to use that gallon of white paint... I looked at the big concrete wall (where I had pictured the tropical scene), and thought I could use the white paint to turn the wall into snow-covered mountains. Brilliant!
So I searched the web for a good shot of mountains covered with snow (I only had one color of paint, white, so I needed a simple design). It didn't take long to zero in on the Coors logo mountains (after some detours looking at a few Coors Light painted ladies). A little photoshopping to give me a one-color design, and I was set.
Last night I finally opened the can of paint. The wall is 12 feet or more high, and I don't have a ladder handy here, so I used an old mop handle from the trash, duct-taped a brush to the mob head, and went to work! It took less than a couple of hours, and I love it! I really should have done that a long time ago.
And I have a lot of white paint left... what else can I do...