Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Monday, December 19, 2005

Fun, fun, fun 'Til Her Daddy Takes The Mercedes Away

So long Mercedes, hello Citroen. The company has stopped paying for our posh rental, and we're back to real life now. We bought a Citroen C3, which is a French car. Several of Abe's work buddies gave him a hard time since there's no love lost between the English and the French. Our choices were somewhat limited since we bought a used automatic. The majority of people drive manuals here. One salesman told us that only executives or old people drive automatics. Since we're not executives, I guess that puts us in the old people category...we can't really argue. We went out on my birthday with Abe's work buddies and we had already driven home, stopped by and bought a pizza and were sitting on the couch by 10:00. I was disappointed in both of us. The Party Girl would have ignored her swollen feet from traveling and the extra 1.5 'stones' of baby and pushed on through the pain in her feet that nearly brought tears. What the heck has this baby done me?? And he's not even here yet!

Abe has wanted a minivan even before we were expecting. So I gave in and got a miniature minivan. I'm having issues parking in these tiny spaces so I got the smallest 'people carrier' as they call it as you can get. This way there is a back seat not only for baby, but also for picking visitors up at the airport. Make reservations now, as we're booking up quickly!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Reunited And It Feels So Good!

The eagle has landed!! It took a lot of deligence, prayer, 3 babysitters, 3 travel cages, hours of research, battery operated warmers, 2 four-hour trips to Gatwick Airport, tons of paperwork including official CITES, DEFRA and health forms, 2 trips to the US Fish and Wildlife, 4 trips to the vet, a trip to the US from the UK, 2 separate visits to customs, a fax to and from Heathrow Customs, deconstruction of her new cage to fit in the car, countless phone calls and emails, and numerous outbreaks of tears, but she's here safe completing our family. Perseverence, my friends.

There's No Place Like Home

Whilest hotels are fun at first, lengthy hotel stays can be too much of a good thing. We finally moved into our rental house on December 1st. It's a 2 bedroom, 1 bath. There is an extra bed for all who want to come visit! The house is what's called an attached house, meaning it shares a common wall with the house next door, much like a duplex. These are quite common here. However, this is actually a triplex. It's also common to have a 2 or 3 level house. Since there is no room to build out they build up. It feels like an apartment instead of a house, but it's cute. It was fully furnished so it's quite homey. There is a little rock garden in the back with lots of plants but no grass to mow. That works out well since we have no mower. There is also an annex out the back. The landlord used the extra room for entertaining.

We live in a little town called Beverley. It's probably about 50,000. It's large enough that it's not considered a village. We live about 60 steps from the town centre. We're right off a street that is a walking path only (the size of a street, but no cars allowed). It's always full of people until 4:00. Things close shop here in a hurry and the town is then dead. We're pretty sure the kids, or at least the people who are not expecting, go out later at night. There are all kinds of clothes shops, banks, pubs, butchers, hair salons, grocery stores, city council offices, churches, gyms, bus station, etc., all within 5-10 minutes walking time. We feel so cosmopolitan (yes, I know there are only 50,000 people, but still).

Being a housewife now--and NOT a homemaker, as I have been informed since I don't actually build houses--I've decided to try to cook meals for my husband. Going to the grocery store isn't as easy as one might think. First I tried to find buttermilk biscuits. When I asked, I got sent to 3 different people to help me. I realized that I did not mean 'biscuits' in their sense, which is cookies. I tried explaining that it's bread in a tube that's refrigerated but not cooked yet. After strange looks from each sales associate, one finally said, "You mean Pilsbury." "Yes!" I felt like I was speaking in tongues or something. When she took me to the aisle they were sold out of Pilsbury and I had to get a substition, anyway. I have also had diffuculties with baking soda and powdered sugar. I hope I have the right stuff with bicarbonate of soda and icing sugar. And when you need to buy 1 pound of ham and the 'gammon' only comes in gram packages, how much do you get? Try explaining what Velveeta Cheese is...soft processed cheese in a rectangular box that doesn't need to be refrigerated until opened, it melts easy and you make nachos with it, you know, like queso. Oh, you don't know what queso is, OK. Never mind. I guess we'll have to substitute cheddar or something. Luckily Abe will eat anything!