Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home is where you lay your rump!

In the infamous words of the Pumba the warthog from 'The Lion King'........"Home is where you lay your rump!!"

We have our home!!!
Yes, it is official.....we are busy signing the lease for our first 4 bedroom home in The Woodlands. We received the official call this afternoon from our realtor, after an AGONISING day spent checking and rechecking our emails and cell phones.

It is a lovely bright, clean, newly painted house, with lovely stainless steel appliances (double door fridge, dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer). There are hard wood, and laminate floors everywhere, which I really wanted, as trying to keep light beige carpets clean with two juice-spilling, food dropping, crayon-drawing kids is a near impossibility! There is a formal dining room, and a breakfast nook. A family room, and a games room upstairs. It is really wonderful. And a lawn service is included in the rent. Even the realtor agreed that it is a good deal.
We are planning to move in around the 21st July. Then Andrew will be back from Germany, and the kids and I, from Vermont.
We won't have any of our furniture yet...but hey...a minor detail!! WE HAVE A HOUSE!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's a small world

After we had looked at some more houses this morning......more on that tomorrow.....we decided to go for lunch to The Cheesecake Factory, a deliciously wonderful restaurant we have discovered since our time here. Upon sitting down at our booth, our waiter came to introduce himself, and take our drinks order. As soon as he started talking, we knew he wasn't "from around here", as the locals like to say. As soon as he left the table I immediately said I thought he was from the West Indies, or somewhere similar. But Andrew said he has to be from the UK.
So, unable to contain our curiosity, we got round to asking him where he was from. Turns out he had an interesting story, one we still haven't grasped entirely....nevertheless, he said he was from Johannesburg, South Africa. "NO!" we replied. "Oh yes", he said, although I've lived for a while in the UK (OK.... so Andrew won that round!!).

He went on to tell us that he was originally born in Lagos, Nigeria. But shortly after moved to Joburg, with his Egyptian father, Nigerian mother and twin brother. They sometime later went on to the UK, and were now living in the States. Where he is currently studying in the chemical engineering field.

We had succeeded in learning more about our waiter in 5 minutes than we had our neighbours in 3 months!!

We naturally told him we were from Johannesburg ourselves, and straight away common ground was felt! I had noticed during the conversation that the people in the tables around us, were listening with curiosity at the mix of " foreign" accents they were hearing. The Texans seem to be intrigued whenever they hear an unfamiliar accent, and enjoy guessing where we come from!

Anyway, I just found it very interesting to meet someone who spoke with an English accent, said he comes from South Africa, was originally from Nigeria, but was busy bringing me a club soda in a restaurant in Houston, Texas! The world is indeed becoming a smaller place!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some updates...good and bad!

Got some bad news yesterday.....we didn't get the house we were hoping to move into soon. Apparently someone else beat us to it, by slipping in their application forms before us! Urgh!!
Anyway........moving on........we now have to start from scratch and look at some more properties, so that's our weekend plans! 4 houses on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. Yippeeeeeee!!
Am choosing to remain positive..............................................

We are hoping to sneak in the new Transformers movie in between all that, but we'll see how it goes. With the current heat, everyone tries to stay in the air-conditioned buildings, so everybody else may have the same idea???

Just an update on Andrew's work situation. He is settling in nicely and finding his feet. His company has a new MD, and everyone in the company is busy trying to size him up at the moment. Andrew is going for another trip to the parent company in Germany on the 12th July for a week, and so I am going to visit a friend of mine from SA, who is now living in Vermont, with her hubby & 3 kids. I am SO excited to see her again!! And meet her family. So watch this blog, as I'm sure to have some pics and updates for you all to see. It will be wonderful for my kids to have some friends to play with, giving me some time to chat!!! We'll be giving the kids a break from their home-schooling for that time too, which, needless to say, they are very happy to hear!

We also have the 4th July celebrations coming up, which is a big holiday here. Independence Day brings out the American flags galore. Red, white & blue adorns homes, and front yards, and there are many fire-works celebrations and festivals on the day too. We will be sure to find an event we can attend to experience it all ourselves.

Last rained today........wooohoooooo!! We really needed it, and it has indeed helped to lower the heat. Sigh!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too hot to handle

Well, we need to prepare ourselves for 3 digit temperatures tomorrow. Apparently the mercury will hit 100 degrees F and higher. Add to this the humidity, and we're looking at about 40 - 42 degrees C.

This answers a question I've had niggling at the back of my mind for a few weeks now...... WHY, do I not see anyone walking outside in the gardens? I had imagined to see many people, especially the kids, running around all over the reserve, especially since summer break started about 2 weeks ago. However, the opposite has been happening! I now understand that everyone has been taking shelter inside, seeking relief from their air-conditioners.
I suppose this never occurred to me sooner, because in South Africa I am so used to seeing people out and about during the summer months. People are always outside....working in the garden, braaing, kids playing in the sprinklers in the yard, and a general flurry of outdoor activities abound.

The kids and I decided to step outside today, and see just how hot it was! It was the kind of heat where you feel you can't get a breath of fresh air. It covers you like a blanket. Oh, it was beautiful out there, bright blue skies, wispy clouds and the squirrels were running up and down the trees. But we didn't stay out long!
We decided that we could appreciate the view better from inside the house. And we thanked God for our air-conditioner!!!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

The Sacred World of the South African Braai.

I came across an amusing video today. It made me smile. It's the sacred world of the South African braai!! (aka 'barbecue') Nothing can compare!

But what is even more fascinating is the unspoken, unwritten man-code that accompanies this past-time. The secret law between men that you don't get between him and his meat! And heaven help the mortal who dares to tell him when to turn the steak, or if the fire is too hot. The braai will forever remain a man's sacred abode, the place where he reigns supreme and can conquer all !

We haven't had an opportunity to have a real "braai" since we've arrived here, and I know that my dear husband is chomping at the bit to pull out the braai tongs and get his hands blackened in charcoal dust! I know that as soon as we move into our house, the "grill' in the backyard will be lovingly cleaned and inspected, and the wonderful aroma of braaivleis will permeate the air once again! And I can't wait!
I love to watch him in action..... all the tools must be on hand, the meat must be fully prepared i.e tenderised or marinated. The fire gets primped and preened, the bowls should be ready. It's like watching a beautifully choreographed culinary dance. Attention to detail is a prerequisite. And the best part of all.......I can sit back and leave him to it......and just add the occasional comment like "That fire looks perfect dear!" and "This is the best braai you've ever made, my love".
Aaahh, the South African braai....there's nothing like it!!!
Enjoy the video!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We've discovered IKEA!

IKEA Twin Cities in Bloomington, MN, USAImage via Wikipedia

It's official!!

I have found the store to end all little piece of heaven.....the destroyer of my budget!!


A veritable super-store of all things decor!! Furniture, linens, kitchenware, lighting, curtaining, and the list goes on. To make it even more appealing, there is a secure child playground, where one can leave the offspring to play merrily, while browsing to one's heart content!

Can it get any better than this??

We South African's have never experienced a store like this, so please excuse my excitement. Especially if you are one of the fortunate ones who have been to IKEA. Outdoor Warehouse, Builders Warehouse, not any warehouse can compare to this wonderful shopping haven!
We knew not what we were letting ourselves in for, when we paid IKEA a visit on Saturday morning. And dear husband had to drag me out kicking and screaming, while holding on tight to his bank card for dear life!

Now bear in mind that we only went in with the intention of looking for some coffee tables, since most of our furniture is on route in the 20' container from SA. But oh.......we looked at sofa beds, and TV stands, plates and glassware, recliners, kids bedroom furniture, and some desks to top it off.....such joy!!!!

Take a deep breath, I didn't blow my car budget! In fact, all we bought were 2 hot-dogs and 2 packets of crisps. Oh, and two cuddly toys for the boys. But I was tempted.....boy, was I tempted!!

We will indeed go back to our new-found furniture oasis, and this time, we will be trying the Swedish meatballs!!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lost In Translation?

A copy of the 2001 edition of NODEImage via Wikipedia

Don't you just LOVE the English language? I have heard it said that English is one of the hardest languages to learn... But what happens if you start throwing different forms of the English language into the mix?

South African English; American English; Australian English; British English....can you even get British English???

Well, having lived in four different countries myself, I can indeed agree that there are many forms of the English language.

Case in point......when living briefly in the UK, we called running shoes "plimsolls', later I moved to South Africa, and they were called "tekkies", and now I find myself calling them "sneakers". I have since heard from my sister in the UK that they are no longer called "plimsolls", but "trainers"! Enough already!

When we informed everyone in South Africa of our impending move to the States, one of the first reactions we got was....." Well, at least they speak English there."
I am beginning to realise, however, that we are in for some interesting conversations! Let me begin with just a few differences in our mother tongue.......
  • If you were to ask for a biscuit, you'd get a scone.
  • If you ask for a cookie, you'd get a cup-cake.
  • A garden is a yard here, and the flower-bed is the garden!
  • We call it a road, here it's called a pavement.
  • What we call the pavement, is called the sidewalk!
  • Don't ask for the public toilets here, you'll get a funny it's the restrooms.
  • Jelly is now called Jello, while Jam is now Jelly.
  • Our pancakes are their crepes, and our crumpets are their pancakes!
  • We would order a take-away hamburger, here you'd order a hamburger to-go.
  • Don't try and make a reservation, it's now a call-ahead.
  • You don't go on holiday, you go on vacation; you don't fetch the post, you fetch the mail and you don't have break at school, you have recess.

and last but not least......

  • Don't say you're going to the the beach in your costume, because they'll think you're going in a Halloween costume or it a bathing suit!

I think that's enough to give you the general idea of how sometimes the things we say...... just get......lost in translation!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Old friends and new

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: In this photo ill...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Yesterday, I was mulling over my state of nostalgia, and grappling with the fact that texts, emails and
Skype just simply weren't enough!

Today, I find myself in awe of modern technology and media that can bring people together again!

I received a surprise visitor on my Facebook wall this morning. At first glance the name just didn't jog any memories, but a second look at her picture showed her to be an old friend whom I haven't seen for about 21 years! She was in high school with me, and I don't think I've seen or heard about her until today, when she popped up on my computer screen! She is living her own great adventure in a different country, and I feel a unique connection with her, just knowing that she has travelled the same road we find ourselves on now.
It's really exciting to 'discover' these friends again, after so many years, and between so many countries. It's like making new friends all over, and helps to lift my heavy heart again.

So, today I am grateful to be able to log onto my computer, and check out who's doing what, and who sent a 'Crazy Hug' to whom. It's great to be able to catch little glimpses here and there of my friends lives, and let them see into mine.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


コスモス flowerImage by PapiGiulio via Flickr

1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.

Today I am nostalgic.

Nostalgic for my old home, my friends, my family. I expected these days. I knew that they would bring with them those feelings of heaviness and sadness. Today, however I don't feel the usual heaviness, just a emptiness.

It's an unusual emotion to effectively convey in words, unless of course you have experienced them first hand. Then you too would understand this feeling.
I am sure that most people who have gone through this journey, like we have, of leaving all they know behind them, experience their own set of emotions. It's an exciting road, but also a lonely one at times. Thanks to technology and media, we are still able to stay in touch with loved ones. However, nothing can beat the real thing! I long for conversations around a cup of coffee or tea. Chats with my other mom-friends outside the kid's school. Offloading with my best pal. Dinners at friends houses, and braais around the pool. All these things bring a smile to my face as I remember them.

I also long for familiarity. Familiar places, familiar tastes, familiar smells. I miss knowing which shops to go to when I something, where to find the best bargains, and where the best parking spots are when I get there! And I know this will sound really strange to some of you, but Africa has it's own smell, I can vividly recall the smell while driving through the Drackensberg mountains, the soil after the first rains (I really love that), the smell while standing on the pier in Hout Bay, Cape Town.

I have been listen to this song today, it's a beautiful piece of music and it kinda sums up the way I'm feeling......hope you enjoy it too.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

House Hunting....woohoooo!!

Wow, what a weekend! Hot, and I'm talking 36-37 degrees C hot! And getting in and out of the air conditioned car in that heat, is not fun, no way! But we were looking for houses, so we did it happily.....well, maybe not happily, but we didn't complain much, and the kids were stars I tell you!

We had our list of requirements, and knew we probably wouldn't get our utopia, as far as a house was concerned, but were going to try our hardest nevertheless!
For those of you unfamiliar with American houses, let me fill you in briefly!
Gardens seem smaller than what we are used to, well, in our price bracket anyway! Most houses have a breakfast nook, which is actually a smallish room off the kitchen, where the family usually eats. There is then a formal dining room, not sure how often it gets used though? Maybe on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Sunday lunch I'm guessing? There is a lounge/family room, normally off the kitchen & dining room, where the fireplace is. And then there is a formal lounge, and I'm not sure how often that gets used either, but anyway?
Most of the homes we have seen have the master bedroom on the ground floor, with an on-suite bathroom. And the other bedrooms are then upstairs, along with either a den/games room, and attic. And other bathrooms are upstairs too. The kids have decided they definitely want their bedrooms upstairs, and are really excited about it, I wonder if they'll feel that way when they have to start carting all their toys back up the stairs when it's pack away time??

Our realtor took us to 8 houses on Sunday, and we went to one on Saturday, and there is one that definitely stands out from the rest, in that it is nice and bright, alot of the houses in the particular area we want to stay in are darker, because of all the trees around. And the windows don't seem as big as the ones in SA. This house, however, has alot of windows, and the only down side is the fact that there are carpets all through the house, except in the Kitchen & Bathrooms and Breakfast nook. We are not big fans of carpets, as I am constantly watching that the kids don't spill juice all over them, but because this house meets most of the other requirements, we are pretty happy with it.

We only saw one house with a pool, and it was alot more than we want to spend, so I don't think we'll go for that one, although the idea of us having our own pool again is really appealing! We really miss our pool & lapa in SA!

There are also no appliances included in the house, with the exception of a dishwasher and microwave, which seems to come standard in most homes. So we will have to get find ourselves a fridge, washer and dryer. Until our container from SA arrives, we will have to "rough it" a little, buy some mattresses for the kids to sleep on, a sofa bed, for us to sleep on, and we can always use them later on too. Then just a few pots & pans, to cook in, and some plastic crockery to use as well. So we are in for some fun!!

I will keep you all posted on the home, once we have officially signed the papers, and paid the deposit and rent etc, etc. So watch this space, hopefully I will have some pics for y'all too!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

We usually go out Friday evenings, usually because the kids and I have been stuck in the apartment the whole week. So we have been trying out the different restaurants, and exploring the various suburbs and generally enjoying the warm summer evenings.

Tonight however, we decided to stay at home and have a family Wii competition, and topped it off with some pizza! The Wii is a new addition to our family, and we decided get one, because we liked the fact that you can play sports, (we aren't into the usual video games thing with violence and monsters etc. etc.) and stay a little more active with it.

Well, suffice to say, both Andrew and I ended up getting whipped by our 8 and 5 year old boys, and even heard the occasional....
"You're supposed to do it this way Daddy!" and ....
"Mommy's not very good at this game, is she?"
And at one stage, I got a little concerned that Andrew wouldn't let the kids go to bed until he had beaten them at something!
Between you and me, I think he'll be sneaking into the lounge tonight while we're all asleep, and try get some private practise time!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Driving me crazy!

A few of you have asked us what it's like driving on the right side of the road........I have only one answer........SO, VERY, VERY WRONG !!!
OK, so I have to admit that after 3 months of being here, it has gotten easier. And the fact that most cars here are automatic does indeed help to alleviate the pain somewhat. But after nearly 20 years of driving on the left, and having the road rule of "look right, then left, then right again" drilled into you from age 6, it does take some mental gear-changing to remember to look left, then right, when crossing the road, and the intersection!

I still occasionally climb into the passenger side of our car when embarking on a trip to the local grocery store. I'm sure many locals here have wondered what this crazy woman is doing climbing into the wrong side of her car, staring blankly at the bare dashboard in front of her, and climbing out again, while trying to make it appear like she was looking for something in the cubby-hole all along!

And don't get me started on the highway intersections here. There are flyovers and multiple levels of freeways criss-crossing in front, above, and around you, all at the same time! I still haven't tackled that scene yet! We often try to picture these same intersections in Joburg, with the taxis weaving in and out of the lanes, and get the shivers!!

You certainly don't want to get lost in Houston without your trusty G.P.S.
But we have learnt the hard way that even Roz (you will remember me introducing our GPS to you as the Russian secret-agent lady on steroids) cannot navigate us through some of these intersections successfully. That is without at least 3 attempts, and several barkings of "RECALCULATING" emanating from the dashboard!
Therefore, simply getting from A to B in Houston, has proved to be an adventure in itself.
I will leave you with a simple video I found, of some of the busier intersections in Houston, from a drivers perspective. Just try and imagine yourself driving the car, and bear in mind that you will be on the right side of the highway, in the left side of the car!! It should give you all a better feel of what it's like to drive on the "wrong" side of the road!

Can you feel my pain?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

13 things you might not know about Houston, Texas.

Since alot of people ask me to tell them more about Houston, I thought I'd give y'all a brief 411 on all things Texan!
1. It will take you just under 15 hours to drive from one side of Texas to the other!
2. It is the most air-conditioned place on the earth. Climate is classified as marine or semi-
tropical. The average temperature in Houston is 70' F all year round (that's about 21' C).
3. Houston, at approximately 596 square miles (959 Km's), is the fourth largest city in America. 4. Houston is the largest city in Texas with a population approaching three million.
5. There are around 90 different languages spoken throughout Texas.
6. Houston has more than 165 public and private golf courses.
7. The worst natural disaster in United States history was caused by a hurricane that hit
Galveston (just outside Houston) in 1900. Over 6000 deaths were recorded.
8. The Houston tunnel system is the world's largest indoor air-conditioned pedestrian tunnel
system. It includes 7 miles of underground pedestrian tunnels and sky walks connecting 65
buildings in downtown Houston, Texas.
9. More species of bats live in Texas than in any other part of the United States. Bracken Cave,
near San Antonio, is home to about 20 million bats.
10. "Texas" comes from an Indian word "tejas" which means 'friendly'.
11. Texas has 15 kinds of rattlesnakes!!!
12. The local grocery store sells cactus in the Fresh Produce department?????????
13. Houston has approximately 10,000 to 12,000 restaurants (this includes fast food joints)!
Well, there you go.... 13 things you might, or might not, have wanted to know about Houston, Texas. One thing I can say about Houston, is that it is REALLY....REALLY....REALLY BIG!! And I'm really starting to love things like the downtown skyline, with the beautiful glass buildings, and well maintained parks. I love the way American flags fly outside almost every company, shop, car lot, and private home.
Houston might not be the prettiest city in America, but it certainly has it's own charm!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Interesting Phenomenon

We have discovered an interesting American phenomenon.

The practise of self-storage. There are self-storage facilities of all shapes and sizes EVERYWHERE in Houston. (See example on right)

From what we have gathered it goes something like this.....

Family accumulates things, and by things I refer to anything from beds; camping equipment; exercise machines; toys; furniture; electrical equipment, basically anything.

Family amasses many things, (alot of which do not get used...ever) and they run out of space in their home.

Family then move excess 'things' into garage.

Family eventually can no longer fit car into said garage.

Car is now parked in the street.

Eventually family decides to move excess things from the garage, in order to make space for their car.

Family does this by spending more money every month, on storage space for all the excess things. Which do not get used!!

We still remained puzzled by this phenomenon.................

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hurricane Survival Guide

Well, it is upon us, Hurricane season 2009, which officially started on June 1st. We are so excited..........................NOT!
I must say that living in SA, we are all very blessed that we don't have to worry about natural disasters. I know, crime is a disaster on it's own, but imagine dealing with these things on top of it......not a happy thought!
We have a dedicated weather channel here.....actually I think there's two.....but then again we have 998 channels on the TV here, and there are alot of movie channels we don't have, so there you go.
We have asked around, and people do not take Hurricane readiness lightly. There is a long list of what you should have ready, in the event of evacuation, and if you decide to stay home and ride it out, there's even more you will need....just in case. Most people evacuate, not wanting to be around in case something happens, and I must say that idea appeals to me immensely!! Windows have to be boarded up, and electrical goods moved off the ground, as high as possible. You have to be careful in case of gas leaks, as alot of homes here use gas as a means of heating. And if electrical cables get broken, you have to watch out for that too.
Most people however, say that the loss of electricity is one of the greatest problems. Because there's so much water lying around, the bugs increase ten-fold. And the heat is so intense at this time of year (we have already hit 35'C), that not having air-con is a killer (I already use it every day, goes on about 10am). You can't keep food cold, yourself cold, or anything cold, and you don't want to open up your windows and doors, if there's no screen on, 'cause then you will be invaded by creepy-crawlies galore! Alot of people evacuate, just to get away from the lack of electricity in their areas.
And so, I went shopping today, bought candles....lots of candles. And matches.......lots of matches. Now we just have another 12 things on the list to check off........canned food; bottled water; torches; spare batteries and portable radio, to name just a few.
Never mind load-shedding......looks like we might have to buy a generator after all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

US Postal Service?

Yesterday I posted some letters.

Now, I know there is no great human interest story in that statement, but let me tell you the story behind those letters.

It started about 2-3 weeks ago. I had decided to send a friend in SA a card, and a letter to my mum in the UK. The kids had spent some time writing "letters" and drawing great works of art to add to the envelopes. So you can understand why these letters were of such importance....

Anyway, the letters were ready to send.... when it dawned on me that I had absolutely NO idea where the Post Office was.

Now I'm used to Post Offices that are brown brick buildings, dark, kind of murkyish looking, with telephones outside that haven't worked since 2001.

So, I'm not sure what I was expecting here, but I realised that I hadn't seen one anywhere, and had no idea what to look for.

Since arriving here, I have gotten in touch with a friend of mine, who I had lost contact with after she moved here quite a few years back.

So, I decided to ask her about my letters, the conversation went something like this......

Me: "Megan, how do I post a letter here in the States...?"

Megan: ".....well.....(short pause while she tried not to laugh, and regain her

composure) put it in an envelope and put it in the Post Box."

Me: " Aaahhhh.....but where are the post they have Post Offices here or it even called a Post Office here?"

Megan: "...... (more giggling ensues) ....of course there are, and yes, it's called a Post


Me: " ...oh.....OK...... (feeling rather sheepish at this stage) .......where do I find one, and

what does it look like?"

Megan: " Well, it'll probably in a little brown wooden building, stuck in the middle of nowhere,

with a USA flag flying outside."

Well, to cut a long story short, I ended up finding our local Post Office on the Internet (once again I say....thank the Lord for the Internet!!!!). And a few days later bundled the kids in the car and set off the find the local Post Office, and Hey Presto!..... there it was in all it's glory!

I was very happy with my discovery!

I boldly walk up to the counter with my very important letters, and say to the lady,

"I would like to send this one to the UK, and can you send this one to SA registered post please?"

(Anyone from SA knows that a non-registered card sent to SA from overseas will in most cases never get further than the curious SA postal clerk checking to see if there's any cash inside.....)

"Unfortunately, we do not have any more registering forms, you will have to go to another Post Office, or come back next week when the forms arrive" said the lady, much to my dismay! However, I was happy to hear, that she could indeed post off my Mum's letter to the UK.

I walked away, vaguely disappointed that I would have to come back the following week, but glad that one letter was on it's way!!!!

The following week, Andrew nonchalantly walks in the front door, and announces that I've got exciting, I think...........I wonder who it could possibly be from?

He puts the letter down in front of me....and yes.....that's eyes do not deceive's the very letter that I posted to my mother in the UK?????

Turns out, that the dear souls at my local Post Office sent the letter to the return address that I wrote on the back of the envelope!!!!!

I am happy to say, that the incredulation subsided, envelopes were re-written.....minus the sender address on the back.....and I was finally able to post off the letters without much ado!

We have since heard from the locals here, that the Postal Service is actually a misnomer, as there is apparently NO service.

However, I remain hopeful that this will prove untrue.........but....... just to be safe......I'm on my way to check my postbox.....................

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our life in the blogosphere.....

For all our friends and family out there, who were surely getting tired of my long, verbose email updates, this is for you! (OK, it's fun for me too....but don't hold it against me...)

As a means of chronicling our journey - and keeping our loved ones included in the whole affair - I have decided to catch up with the 21st Century, and begin with a blog! Now... no-one was less bloginformed than I. So, with a little investigation, and reading the book "Blogging for Dummies"... (just kidding...but I'm sure the book is out there somewhere?)...I have become a little bit more versed in all things Blog!

I'm hoping that this will inspire some of you to delve into the big blogosphere out there, and maybe even blog a little yourself! After all, everyone has a story to tell, and guaranteed someone will listen. You may even find yourself becoming a blogoholic and developing a little blogorrhea!! (I have included the link below for those who feel the inclination to check out the lingo...)

But, I digress........basically, I just hope that y'all follow along with us, laughing at us, crying with us, and learning more about this big ole country in the West!

Enjoy the ride with us.......this is our American Tale!