31 July 2014


"Acquiring" the official zoo photo from the giraffe feeding.  I've "borrowed" the photo from the website as I wasn't paying $16.99 per photo!!


Scavenger Hunt Part 6

I have to admit to not doing a lot towards finding photos for this in the last month.  Too many other things on my mind.
That said, when looking through my photos I discovered I have a few shots that might fit the bill.

No 3 ::  Birds on a wire.

This was one that stuck in my head but the birds always seem so far away.  I'll try and get a better on before we finish.  If you look really closely you can just see them!!!

No 6 ::  An urban street scene.

There aren't a lot of  "streets" here.  More like dual carriage ways with shopping malls on the side of them. This was the nearest I could get to downtown Houston when we were on the I10.  Hope it counts.

No 9 ::  A Bakery.

This is 'Sweet' bakery at Memorial, Houston.  I haven't been in yet as there are too many temptations in there and I definitely don't need the calories!!

No 16 ::  A sign in a language other than English.

I know I already have this but I saw this at the zoo and thought of the Scavenger Hunt.

No 18 ::  A Waterfall.

I know I have this one already too but this water feature is lovely.  It's called Living Water and is on the edge of Ruggles Green at Memorial, Houston where on a Saturday night they have live music and anyone can come with a picnic and just sit on the grass and listen.  Sounds like a great idea to me.

So that's it for now.  I'm not sure about a bus as Katy doesn't have a public transport system.  I may need to substitute that one but I'll keep looking as I might just get lucky.

30 July 2014


The "Gables" has arrived in port!!

It only took 4 weeks which is half the time the removals company told us.  We're all a bit rushed now to sort the house and get delivery organised.

It's all go  :0)


29 July 2014


Nothing exciting happened today.
The dryers in the laundry are still out of action which meant hanging everything in the bathroom to dry.  No point hanging it on the balcony as, with humidity, everything steams!!  A lady doing her washing at the same time asked me how I dried my clothes without a dryer?  My reply?
Hang them on the shower rail!!


Pile of Postcards Exchange

The day before we traveled to Houston I stayed with my sister Ruth and she very kindly signed me up for Sian's Pile of Postcards Exchange

Once I'd been here a week I managed to get some Texas postcards (not very interesting if I'm honest) and I mailed them to the ladies on my list.  Four in the UK, one in Canada and one in NY state.  It took me a while to find stamps as there doesn't seem to be any set post offices over here.  Anyway I finally  managed to get the lady to understand that I needed several for international and one for local. And off they went.

Since then I have been stalking the Mail Man.  Well I've been walking to the mail box every afternoon to see if I've received any PCs and so far I've had five.

A HUGE Thank You to all the ladies who have sent me a card.

The first was from Abi and hers came from Bath, England.  A place I've only been to once and had to buy a jumper as it was a cold day!!

Then one came from Nicola (who hasn't given me a link the her blog) and her's came from London, England.  I've been there many times as my sister lives there :0)

Next I had one from Barbara in Tennessee, who very kindly sent me two.  One from the Smoky Mountains and one from Nashville.

and then I had one from Julia who lives near Manchester, England.  Her Gt, Gt Grandma was married in that cathedral.  How cool is that?

I'll be stalking the postie some more this week to see if any more arrive.

How's you Pile of Postcards coming along?

28 July 2014

Me on Monday/209-365

Today I've been busy on the PC chasing e-mails about selling our house in the UK, about our furniture arriving and checking to see if we've definitely got the house here.
Everything here seems to be done at a snails pace.

I'm using the same photo for both as it's the only one I took today.
My weekend was mall shopping and zoo visiting.  It doesn't sound much but both things took all day!!

How was your weekend?

27 July 2014


Today we went to the zoo.
It was great as I got to feed the giraffes.  I wanted to feed them when we were in Florida last year but we didn't have time.
There are 10 all together.  3 girls, 6 boys and a baby (they didn't say what flavour it was).  The baby is 6 months old, is 8 feet tall and weighs 800lbs.
Just a little one then!!
They eat a lot of lettuce and greens to get water as it's so far for them to bend down.
We had our lunch right next to the feeding platform so we could sit and watch them.  When there's no one around they nod off.  It's really weird seeing them sleeping, standing up with their eyes open!!

I want to go back when it's not so hot so I can feed them again.  The highest temperature today was 104F (40C).  Yikes :0)

26 July 2014


We went to Katy Mall in search of Nespresso coffee machines. We didn't have much luck.
The boys thought that as we were already at the mall they should visit the Bass Pro shop (lucky me - it's all things huntin', shootin' & fishin').  This is the sign at the entrance.  In the UK we would think this is a joke sign but over here you know it's real!!!


This is the display at the entrance too.  How cool is that?

25 July 2014


Car shopping, SUV test driving and getting hot. (It was 102F). That's what we did this afternoon.  We started at around 1pm at the Hyundai garage and then headed off to the Mazda garage, stopped at home to get tea for the Teenager then headed back to the Hynudai place, bought a car and got a Chinese take away on the way back.  We finally got home at 9.35pm.
I'm knackered but at least we have a new car.  It's the lovely silver one that John's stood next too.


Proof we were still out looking at cars when the sun was going down!!

24 July 2014


Stopped at Pizza Hut on our way home and had a selfie taken with Blake Shelton!!  When I asked the lad behind the counter who Blake Shelton was he said he didn't know but thought he was some guy off one of those TV shows!!
That narrows it down a bit.  Turns out, thanks to Google, that he's a country singer.  Never heard of him but took a photo as the Teenager refused to do it!!


23 July 2014


Our first "Care Package".  Gratefully received.  It  had obviously melted at some point but the Bounty tasted great so all is well.


22 July 2014

Me on Monday

or Tuesday this week as I forgot yesterday.

Monday was the day my leg went purple with mozzie bites.  The picture shows two but there are another 4 lurking round the back.  John stopped to get Benydryl stop itching cream on his way home and it seems to working (although my leg is still purple).  Long skirt/trousers this week I think!!

The photo doesn't really show just how purple they are!!

Our weekend was one of house hunting, a BBQ with new friends, getting kit ready for Airsoft, going to Airsoft and a bit of shopping for me whilst the boys were there.


Being the dutiful daughter/sister and writing letters home ♥


21 July 2014


Finally sent off the postcards for Sian's Pile of Postcards challenge.



The Teenager went to his first extreme Airsoft day and had a brilliant time.  So many like minded people.  He Loved it.  Who knew is was so involved?  He made new friends and is looking forward to the next one in August.  He seems to be settling in well.

He was completely shattered when he got home but happy as a pig in **** !!!

19 July 2014


The boys getting "Tooled up" for Airsoft

Apologies for the blurry picture.  Had to sneak up on them to get a shot!!

18 July 2014


Big Fat rain today - no headache.  Must be getting used to it.


Plodding along

Here we are three weeks into our new adventure.  It still feels like we're on holiday as we don't have our own place yet and we're still waiting for our furniture to arrive.

It's been a strange couple of weeks.  There are no shops or parks nearby to walk to, everything is a drive away and the pool only holds an attraction for so long.  Some days I might only get as far as checking the mail.  I keep telling myself it's only for another few weeks till we get our own place.
We're still house hunting and have just been told that a house we had completed the paperwork on has been given to another tenant.  We have a feeling it may have something to do with a rivalry between the two agents as the landlords seemed quite keen. Anyway we're back to checking out more houses and keeping our fingers crossed that something comes up soon.

On a plus note the Teenagers fascination with Call of Duty and all things "guns" seems to be standing him in good stead and he seems to be fitting right in.  He's found an Airsoft shop and is off to his first ever airsoft day on Sunday.  I think it's a bit like paint-balling but with BB Guns.
I am the mother of a Geek - and proud of it!!

I've been writing a few postcards and I'm keeping up with some crafting after finding Project Life kits in Michaels.  This years album will only be from 26 June to the end of December as I wanted to start it at the beginning of our new adventure.  Lets hope we'll have loads of things to fill it with.
We've been invited to a BBQ this weekend so it will be nice to meet some new people.  They're the family of a guy John knew in Aberdeen who have been here for the past year.  At least we won't have to worry about the weather!!

That's all for this installment.  Hopefully by the next one I'll be able to add a picture of our new home.  Fingers crossed.

17 July 2014


Mum, will you knock it off with the photos?

Take it that means he doesn't want his picture taken any more.


16 July 2014


Love, love, loving freshly made Guacamole.  The last time I had this was nearly 20 years ago in San Francisco and it was "Boggin".  I'm pleased to report it now taste delicious, especially with the jalapenos  :0)


15 July 2014


It may feel like we're on holiday but the chores still need doing :0(


Me on Monday

After a few wasted hours at the Social Security Office I was in need of a pick me up, so whilst John was sorting out internet and TV packages the Teenager and I popped into Starbucks for a swift skinny decaf vanilla latte.  Well why wouldn't you?

Our weekend was spent finding Airsoft shops for the Teenager, finding a wax shop for me, eating steak for dinner (the Teenager included), visiting antique shops (note to self - Stay away it's full of overpriced tat), spending an hour or so in Ikea (I've now found my new crafting desk & storage), looking over contracts for renting a house and doing the laundry.

What are you doing on Monday?

14 July 2014


We spent the morning at the Social Security Administration trying to get an SS No for the Teenager. Apparently because he's classed as an L2 child he can't have one till he has his Green Card.
Problems?  Oh yes.  He can open and deposit money into his bank acct but can't activate the card and take any money out without an SSN.  He can apparently learn to drive but can't have a licence without a SSN!! You get the idea.

Onwards and upwards :0)

13 July 2014


A homemade stack of pancakes with Maple Syrup.  Gorgeous but in no way low fat!!!


12 July 2014


Checking out a new "Wax Shop" and, in the words of my lovely Auntie Betty - "How Much!!!"



Checking out some of the fridges at Best Buy.  This one is MASSIVE.  It's about 61/2 foot tall and 41/2 foot wide, has a freezer drawer at the bottom and it has a huge wine rack (which you have to buy separately) and costs the tiny amount of $7,000.  Yikes!!  Don't think the budget will stretch to one if these.


11 July 2014


More house hunting.  We've done a fair few miles in the last two weeks.  The Teenager called 'Shotgun' so I got relegated to the back seat!!


10 July 2014


Bought a wee wax burner.  It's great - no tea light needed.  It's electric!!  How cool is that?


9 July 2014


Felt a bit off colour today so spent much of the day watching TV.


8 July 2014

How's it going?

Back in January when John had his first interview for a job in Houston it seemed like a really great opportunity and one that could not be passed up.  After being offered the job on 28 Feb it all seemed to snowball.  John's visa was approved within a few weeks, we had to decide whether to sell up or rent, what to do about Moss, what to do about schooling for the Teenager (who would like it if he didn't have to go to school anymore), when to hand in my notice, when would Samuel and I need visas and would we get them?

John left on 2 May!!

Removals, selling up, containers, flights, housing - all these words completely stressed me out.
Moss was to go and live with his friend Max in leafy London but nature had another plan and we lost Moss on 2 June.  As traumatic as it was I now see it was for the best.  It still gets me upset thinking about him.

Skip forward another three weeks and I've finished work, Mum's been for a visit (and I thank her again for all her help in that week, as my kitchen cupboards were sparkling and it was one less job for me to have to worry about), the packers are in and I'm sat across the road whilst they load the container.  The Teenager has gone to see his pal.

The container has gone, the house is hoovered, the door is locked and our friend Joanne is giving us a lift to the airport.  Another big thank you to both Joanne and Karen without whom I couldn't have gotten through the last few weeks.  I miss my drinking buddies already :0)

We're down in London for the night staying with my sister and BiL.  It's nice to see them even if it is only for a few hours.  The stress seems to be lifting now everything is out of my hands.
Up early the next day to catch our flight from Heathrow.  I don't like long haul flights but we were seated in World Traveler Plus which give us a little more space and nicer food!!
A 10 hour flight - thank heavens for in flight movies and plenty to eat and drink.

We arrive safely and have no problems getting through immigration or customs.  John is waiting on the other side and it's so nice to all be together again.

Our home for the next 6 weeks is a nice apartment in Katy.  It has a pool so what more can you ask for?

There is a lot of concrete in this particular area but there are lots of leafy green areas and parks too.  We've been house hunting and hope to find the perfect place for us soon so we can get ourselves properly settled once the furniture arrives.
We participated in our first 4th of July celebrations by going along to La Centerra (a shopping/restaurant area) and checking out the displays and watching the fireworks.  We had natures own fireworks display for about 2 hours whilst we were waiting, in the form of a lightening storm.  It was totally amazing.
We've been driving round the local area looking for sports clubs for the Teenager.  So far he's managed to find the gun club which suits him fine.  Clay pigeon shooting is also on the agenda. As is archery.

I've found a Michaels and a Jo Anns both of which sell paper crafting things so I'm sorted too.

Katy is a huge place, probably the size of Elgin to Fochabers combined, squared and add a bit more.  It has some lovely people and apart from the fact they all drive like maniacs it's starting to feel like home.

Me on Monday

Sian over at High in the Sky hosts a meme called Me on Monday.  I thought this week I'd give it a shot.

Today I've been sat reading by the pool in the complex, waiting for the towels to finish in the dryer.
The weekend consisted of pool sitting, laundry doing, movie watching, food shopping, house hunting, thunder dodging and general lolling about in the heat.
I seem to have a headache every afternoon and I'm beginning to think it's when the thunder storms are due. Who knows?


When the weather gets really bad and it's likely to flood, little messages pop up on your TV and a siren sounds.  Then you get an announcement which tells you what the weather warnings are.  Pretty cool really. Problem today was the grassed area outside the apartment was already flooded before we got the message!!