28 June 2015

Who is he?

The teenager is off to airsoft today.
I made him a cup of tea before he went and asked if he wanted breakfast.
He declined!! What a surprise!!
I asked him if he wanted a chocolate biscuit instead
to which he said

"No thanks I don't eat chocolate in the morning"

Who is he?
He's not mine as no child of mine would ever say that about chocolate


27 June 2015

1 Year Anniversary

So it’s been a year already!  
27 June 2014 was the day we headed off to Houston, Texas.  
Not really sure what to expect.  
Not certain if it was a good idea.  
Leaving family and friends behind.

4 July 2014

It has been what, can only be described as, a roller-coaster of a year.  There have been moments when I've thought “what the hell are we doing here?”  Moments when Samuel has said he’s lonely or that the first day of school sucked as he had no-one to talk to.  Moments when I could have cried I felt so bad for him.  Moments when I could have packed a bag and got on the first flight back to the UK.


There have also been moments of friendship, of meeting new people, of line dancing fun and seeing the local area.  Of having Face Time and people to talk to during the week, (not working really cuts you off from the daily chats) and someone to have coffee with if you’re having a bad day and most of all, a moment of feeling like the proudest parents in the world when Samuel graduated from Seven Lakes High School.

It’s been a very quick year and all being well we will be given the OK to stay for another 10 years.

Would I do it again?

Ask me next year J

26 June 2015

Relaxing by the pool

On Tuesday I met up with other Expat ladies at a friends house.
We drank tea and they ate cake.
The kids played in the pool and a good time was had by all.
It was my first "Play date" of the summer.

Oh to have a garden that looked like this.

25 June 2015


The Teenager -  Don't worry about the cakes mum  I just want the left over icing sugar!!

24 June 2015


The Teenager - Mum have you seen my sunglasses?
Me - No.  Where did you have them last?
The Teenager - I had them on when I cut the grass and I left them on your desk.
Me - Well I'll have a look but I haven't seen them.

Fast forward a week ...................

Me - Have you found those sunglasses yet?
The Teenager - No I've looked everywhere and can't find them.
Me - Have you checked that pig sty you call a room?
The Teenager - Yes I've looked but I can't see them.  They're definitely not there.
Me - Well keep looking.

Fast forward another week ............

The Teenager - Mum!!  You know my glasses?
Me - Yessss????
The Teenager - Well I've found them.  
They were behind the monitor on my desk and I just never saw them!

A classic case of "I'm looking but I'm not seeing".

23 June 2015

Diploma Time

♥ Today the Teenager picked up his High School Diploma.
He's worked really hard for it over the past nine months.
I think he's AwEsOmE

His 4 seconds of fame!!
That's my boy. 

22 June 2015

Me on Monday

Monday for me was a day for

** Getting the Teenager up early to go out for a run.

**  Going dancing for the first time in what seems like months

**  Eating lunch whilst waiting for the tumble dryer to finish

**  Sorting out a mountain of tea towels.  John can't just use one!!

**  Making a "Hairy Dieters" quiche.  Which, although being a bit thin tasted lovely.
Even John ate it!!

**  Followed by sorting out more washing, eating dinner, surfing the net
and catching up with a few TV programmes we'd recorded.

**  A pretty typical Monday for me.  How was yours?

**  This post is adapted from Sian's Me on Monday post.
You can find the lovely Sian over at From High in The Sky **

19 June 2015

What are you reading?

It's been a while since I posted about what I'm reading but this arrived recently and as the series has just finished on TV I thought I'd read the book instead.

Jambusters - Julie Summers

The Second World War was the WI's finest hour. The whole of its previous history - two decades of educating, entertaining and supporting women and campaigning on women's issues - culminated in the enormous collective responsibility felt by the members to 'do their bit' for Britain. With all the vigour, energy and enthusiasm at their disposal, a third of a million country women set out to make their lives and the lives of those around them more bearable in what they described as 'a period of insanity'.
Jambusters tells the story of the minute and idiosyncratic details of everyday life during the Second World War for the 5,546 Women's Institutes and how they helped to improve the lot of millions of their fellow Britons. Big pictures and bravery are fashionable and exciting but it was the behind-the-scenes, nitty-gritty approach to the daily problems presented by the war that were at the heart of what the WI did to make a difference. Making jam, making do and mending, gathering rosehips, keeping pigs and rabbits, housing evacuees, setting up canteens for the troops, knitting, singing and campaigning for a better Britain after the war: all these activities played a crucial role in war time.

17 June 2015

Coca-Cola Truck

Mum couldn't pass up the opportunity to stand next to the Coca-Cola truck.
They only appear at Christmas in the UK.
Here they're all over the place!!!

16 June 2015


My friend Nancy invited mum and I to a tour of some
 Patio homes in the local neighbourhood of Cross Creek.
These are smaller one or one and a half story homes usually bought by people who are
downsizing. once their kids have left home etc.
Always one for a nosey around other peoples homes, who was I to say no?

Normally 3 bedrooms, 2/3 full bathrooms and a half bath (downstairs loo), double garage and an outdoor seating area and small garden.

Price range $487,500 - $534,500
I don't think I'll downsizing there any time soon!!

A view of the local area.  The patio homes are in the top right and most of them back onto a lake.
Click photo to enlarge.

The observation tower from where the above photo was taken.
And the Italian cafe where we stopped for lunch.

Nancy and Mum.

15 June 2015


The Brookwood Community provides an educational environment that creates meaningful jobs, builds a sense of belonging, and demands dignity and respect for adults with disabilities.

Mum and I went Brookwood last week to have lunch and have a look around the garden.  What a quite and peaceful place it is.  It's hard to believe that it's less than a mile from the extremely busy I10 freeway.

The gardens are beautiful and all tended too by the residents of Brookwood.

Mum's favourite.

A cactus for the Teenager.

A fantastic array of colour.

My favourite.

Delicate pinks.

Stunning yellows.

And something resembling a pink sea urchin.

All absolutely stunning but wouldn't last five minutes in my garden!!

Lunch was delicious but I did laugh as I seemed to be one of the youngest guests there!!

14 June 2015

Goodbye :(

It's hard to say goodbye so we'll just say
"See you soon".

13 June 2015

The Veterans Museum

On Tuesday we made our way to old Katy to visit the Heritage Museum only to find they had changed their opening times and were shut!!

Never mind!!  We'll go to the Veterans museum instead.

It's a small, local museum run by volunteer veterans.
They have two sections.  
One about the wars/battles since the Revolutionary war in 1776 up to today's fighting in Afghanistan.
 and one about each of the services.  Air Force, Army etc.

It's not a very big place and you could probably do it all in less than an hour, but our tour (just me and mum) was made more interesting by our tour guide Ralph.
A veteran of WWII.  US Navy serving in the Pacific.
He knew his stuff and was interested to hear the stories 
mum could tell him of life in the UK at that time.

It was well worth the visit.

After our tour we went for tea in the local tea parlour that's owned by a Scottish lady who's been in the US for over 20 years.  A proper cuppa!!

13 June 2015

A trip to feed the giraffes

We took a trip to the zoo last Sunday so Mum could feed the giraffes. 
It was one of the hottest days we'd had for a while and only two giraffes came out to feed.

Mum didn't mind and neither did the giraffes.  More lettuce for them!!

It was a roll reversal day with me making sure mum had sunscreen on and was wearing a hat and making sure she sat in the shade and had something to drink.

Mum's favourite way of keeping cool though, was the "Chill Zone"
where she was happily joined by her grandson.

A "cool" day at the zoo was had by all.

12 June 2015


Friday 5 June 2015.
Graduation Day for Seven Lakes High School.

Something we never thought the Teenager (or we) would be part of.
But he's done an amazing job in the last 8 months and got all the credits he needed to
graduate with the rest of his senior class.
All 900 of them!!
The largest senior class SLHS has ever had.

There aren't enough words to say how proud of this young man we are.

Granny made the trip to see her oldest grandson graduate.

It was a very proud moment for her 

and for his mum and dad

even if he thought it was a lot of fuss!

The venue for the graduation ceremony was the Leonard C Merrell center 
and we thought it was huge 

until the graduating class came in

The speeches were great, the students were amazing and 
the whole night was an experience not to be missed.

The only photo missing is the one of his 4 seconds on stage to receive his diploma.
It hasn't arrived from the photographer yet but will be proudly displayed on the blog when it does.

10 June 2015

2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

The lovely Rinda over at Gallo Organico is hosting the Photography Scavenger Hunt for 2015.  I've taken part in this for the last two years and some of the prompts turn out to be easy peasy and others nigh on impossible.  But the fun part is trying to get them all.

Here is this years list.  Why not join in the fun.

1. A bouquet of flowers
2. An ornate door knocker
3. A person walking a dog (or other animal)
4. People playing a board game or card game
5. Architectural columns
6. A metal bridge
7. A turtle
8. Someone "plugged in" to social media 
9. A tent
10. A college or university
11. A cellular tower or television satellite dish
12. A public restroom, bathroom, or toilet
13. A merry-go-round or carousel
14. A traffic signal
15. A flag pole with at least three flags on it
16. A panoramic view, taken while standing someplace high in the air
17. At least two people wearing matching outfits or uniforms

18. An overloaded truck, car, bicycle or other vehicle
19. A ticket booth
20. A natural body of water
21. A photograph of you with a sign reading "2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt". Note: you may not use a substitute for this item.
If you find something on the list too difficult, you may substitute one of the following items for any one item on the list, except for Item #21:
Alternative A: People eating outside
Alternative B: Someone holding an umbrella
Alternative C: A rocking chair 

Fort Bend Museum

We made the most of mum being here to visit a local museum.  
My two men folk would hate having to do anything remotely museum-ish.

I drove the 20 minutes down the road to Richmond to the Fort Bend Museum.

Mum and I were the only two people on the tour and we got taken 
round 2 hours early as they were going to a meeting. 
I like to think it was because I asked about the tour in my best British accent!!

It looks like it stands on acres of land but
the "Moore" house literally stands in the middle of town 
and you can walk around the outskirts property in about 5 minutes.

The house was built in 1883 by John M. Moore (1862-1940) for his bride, Lottie Dyer. A prosperous rancher, Moore served in the state legislature and, from 1905, served in the U.S. Congress. Following his 1905 election, he remodelled the home from its original Victorian design to a neo-classical style popular in the early 20th century. Richmond's First Baptist Church was founded in the house and noted politicians and cattlemen often visited.

After the tour etc we went for lunch in another local town called Fulshear.  

Fulshear was established on July 16, 1824 by a land grant of Mexico to Churchill Fulshear. Churchill Fulshear was one of Stephen F. Austin’s original Old Three Hundred.

It was a good "Girlie" day out.

9 June 2015


Kemah is a small "Blackpool" east of Houston overlooking Trinity Bay.
It has a small marina, a fairground and shops.

We grabbed a quick coffee and had a mooch around.
There is a a small remote controlled boat pond (which I think my nephew might like)

Old cars

Rickety looking roller-coasters.  No thanks!!

A small fairground

 and palm trees

OK.  So not really Blackpool at all.