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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Pictures of the new (empty) house

Here are a few pictures of the house (we were in a hurry and didn't take a lot, but you'll get the idea). We haven't set anything up yet, we are still carrying stuff in and basically dropping it in the kitchen so we don't have to take our shoes off (we aren't wearing shoes in the house). We have no clue how we are going to fill this house... it's bigger than I remembered :)
Here's half of the living/dining room and our fireplace. I dunno what the stuff next to it is.
Here's the wardrobe that came with the house. Free stuff is good.

Here's the guest bath.
One side of the living room.
One of the windows in the living room.

Here's the stairway from the living room to go upstairs.
This is the bagpiper on the front door. I love him.
Here's part of the kitchen. Notice the new dishwasher :)
Here's another part of the kitchen. Yay for big washer and dryers AND two ovens. Woot.

Note to self:

You don't want to move again anytime soon. You always seem to forget that you HATE packing.

Nic's been working some long hours in the workshop this week (I think partially due to the fact that I'm packing this week and he doesn't like to participate in that kind of thing and it tends to piss me off when he doesn't help out. Haha. I'm glad that we don't have as much stuff to pack this time around.

Nic took the first load over to the house today (well, he's about to... he picks up the keys right about now). Basically it was our clothes and towels and an air mattress and stuff. We won't take the furniture over there until Saturday probably. I've been packing up everything else today (and taking a wee little nap) so that when he gets off of work this afternoon we can head over there again. The back door of the car still won't open due to the irresponsible farmer next door, which has made things a little difficult to load. We ended up putting down the back seats of the car and sliding everything towards the back, but it makes it interesting getting things in and out.

I'm starting to get anxious about not having the phone/internet for a few days again. I know they'll turn it on at the new house in a few days (or perhaps like 8 for the broadband), but still. I keep telling myself that I went a lot longer without it last time (a month and a half!) but I never wanted to do that again. I am wholly dependent on the internet for all kinds of entertainment and information and can say that life is yicky without it. Nic realized last night that he couldn't check his forums and engadget until they turned it back on and is starting to feel my pain I think. I don't think he understands my issues with it though. He gets to see people at work and have connections with the outside world while I'm at home. The internet and phone is all I have until he comes home. Well, and the TV but I think I could go a lot longer without that. I guess I'll just have to get some more reading material and keep myself occupied with putting everything away until they hook everything back up. Thank goodness I have my ipod.

The bunnies are back! I would take pictures of them but Nic has the camera (he has been taking it to work with him to take pictures of the new console that just came in). He's been working in the yard this week which has been a nice break for him I think. He doesn't have to wear his suits this week and gets to go in to work in jeans and a tee shirt (plus his steel toes). He's cute when he comes home because he has hard hat hair. hehe. I don't know where he's working today, he got me all confused by wearing jeans and a dress shirt. I know he's still doing some work in the yard seeing as he still had his boots on, and he was still complaining about having to lift a bunch of heavy stuff yesterday. I think he's gotten used to his desk job.

Nic and I were discussing our pheasant (well... mine really) friend last night and he had an interesting point. Maybe he didn't get hit by a car or do something else stupid. Maybe he just doesn't like the occasional smell of sewage. I don't either, and I wouldn't hang out around it if I didn't have to. Again, stupid farmer. I'm hoping he's right and that nothing happened to my feathered friend.

I've been drinking a TON of water lately because I've discovered what they call "squash" here. It's basically a concentrated juice that you mix with a lot of water and tastes really yummy. My favorite is the blackcurrant, but I like the pineapple mango a lot too. I'm really glad that I found it because I really needed to quit drinking sodas and start drinking more water. I now drink at least 4 glasses (they are 24 ounce glasses though) a day. What is great is that you get like 10 glasses out of every bottle of the squash stuff and you don't have to freeze it like juice at home. Good stuff.

Nic just called to say that he picked up the keys and is almost done unloading the first load over there, so I'm going to finish up packing. I'm going to take pictures when I get there, I'll post them tonight before the internet gets turned off tomorrow :(

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Update on contact info...

I'll be sending out an e-mail in a little bit with our new contact information (new phone number and address), if you don't get one, send me an e-mail or comment here with your e-mail address. I need to update my address/e-mail list because I got a bunch of e-mails back last time. If you know that someone's address or e-mail address has changed, please let me know so that I can keep them in the loop!

I talked to BT again today and they will be turning off the service to this house on Thursday (the 1st), so I won't be updating very much this next week or so. They'll turn the phone on at the new house on the 6th of May (it's a holiday weekend here so they don't come out Sat, Sun or Mon). We'll get our broadband back hopefully by the 13th or 14th, depending on when they manage to get out there. Crazy.

On a side note: The payment for Nic's work visa went though, so he should be getting everything back from them very shortly and mine will follow soon after. WOO HOO! I can't wait. The lady handling everything at work is going to be leaving the company soon, so I hope it happens before she leaves and someone else takes over her position.

Happy Birthday!!

Today is my Mom's birthday! I already called her to talk to her before she went to work, but I thought I'd tell her again since I'm so horrible and didn't mail her a card or anything yet. I guess I'll mail hers with one to my Granddaddy (he'll be 85 this year) in a few days. It didn't sound like her day was going to be that exciting. She's going to work and then to the hospital to see my brother-in-law Mark since he's having neck surgery today. He broke a bone lifting something way too heavy I think. I hope he feels better soon and that everything goes smoothly. After that she said she was going over to Raime and Joey's because Raime and Raisa are sick. My poor family seems to be falling apart. I hate being sick and am glad my immune system has improved drastically in the past year or so. I hope they feel better soon too and wish that there was something I could do to make them feel better.

I cannot find the bunnies anywhere, they seemed to have disappeared the past few days. I don't know if they have just found a better place to eat or if the hawk got them all or what. I'll keep looking over the next couple of days as we move. I'm afraid that I have to report that my pheasant friend is gone I think. He still hasn't come back at all and I don't think he will. I guess he just didn't want to say goodbye.

I HAVE to pack today. We pick up the keys to the new house tomorrow! We plan on loading some stuff into the car tonight and when Nic picks up the keys he can drop off that stuff and then come pick me up with another load. That way we'll have already made two trips with stuff. I think we'll do all the big stuff on Friday though. Hopefully we'll be completely moved in by Sunday. I think we can do it, we don't have that much stuff here since most of it is still in storage in Houston. I'll have to come back for at least one day next week to mow the lawn and do the final cleaning of the house before we turn the keys in. We can take as much time with that as we need though since we don't officially have to be out of this house until the 4th of June. That should make things easier, but I'd like to turn the keys in as soon as I can so that they can get the final inspection done and we can get our deposit back sooner.

Ok... I guess I should get back to packing.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Lazy Weekend

Well, we didn't do anything we had planned on doing this weekend. Saturday we just lounged around watching movies on TV and playing games. I got all my laundry done and actually enjoyed just sitting there doing nothing. On Sunday we had planned to go to the park and to a movie. I slept in until like 10 while Nic watched Scrapheap Challenge on TV (they do a marathon every Sunday morning). Then I made lunch and we began to get ready to go. We were almost ready when we looked outside and saw that it was raining and REALLY foggy. We then decided to stay home and just relax before the big move next weekend. Even though we didn't really do anything, we still had a good time and were happy just to be together.

This week is going to be pretty crazy. Today is Steve's birthday (Happy birthday Steve), and tomorrow is my Mom's birthday (Happy birthday Mom!). Then on Wednesday we get to pick up the keys to the house (whoo hoo!) at 1:00. I can't wait. Thursday we'll start moving stuff over, and Friday too. Saturday and Sunday I'll be putting stuff away. Then... Monday we think we are going to have a Cinco de Mayo/ Early May Day/ Housewarming party at the house. We are going to invite some people from work, and some friends we've made here. Everyone has Monday off from work, so it should be fun. I think I'm going to make margaritas (if I can get the mix in time), chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, mexican rice, and maybe some charro beans. Ooh, and guacamole. Mmm my mouth is watering already. I told Nic that if anyone wanted stuff with red meat in it they were going to have to make it themselves, haha.

Other than that, there's really nothing to report. I have to get packing soon, I've figured out that the house isn't going to pack itself and it doesn't look like Nic is going to pack either. Oh well... I keep saying that I want something to do. Maybe I'll race myself to see how fast I can do it. Who am I kidding...

I hope everyone had a great weekend, I'd love to hear what you all did!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Bad BT... Bad.

One of the things on my to-do list for today was to call BT (the telephone company here) to let them know that we are moving so that they can switch over the phone and broadband to the new house when we move. I didn't think it would be a huge deal, but apparently it's not as easy as I thought (why, oh why would I think anything over here would be easy? I keep forgetting that things don't work the same here). Turns out, you are supposed to give them at least two weeks notice before you move. I was on the phone with this lady for about 42 minutes (and mind you this was my second time calling them today because I got the wrong department the first time and spent 27 minutes) discussing what was going to happen and giving our details. She doesn't know if we'll be able to keep our phone number there, she doesn't know what day they will be able to switch it over, she doesn't know how long it will take to get the broadband back up once we move, she doesn't know when they'll be able to disconnect it from this house. So what does she know? Not a lot. She said that her system was down (funny how their system is almost always down when I call) and that she'd get back to me within 48 hours. Blah. Hopefully it will be a quicker process than she let on, but I doubt it. I didn't want to call before all the paperwork for the house was done so I waited a little bit, I guess I should have just called anyway to get it started. OH and get this- all calls that you make to a BT customer service line you get charged for- so on top of her knowing nothing that I needed to know, I have to pay 4p a minute! (That's about 8 cents per minute). So basically I just wasted 2.47 (like 5 dollars). Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

Other than being bummed about BT I'm in a pretty good mood. It is Friday after all... We don't have any official plans for the weekend, but that's pretty normal around here. We usually don't know what we are doing until the day of. There are some movies that we might go see, we didn't see any last weekend. Because we have the unlimited pass at Cineworld we tend to go every weekend and have a movie marathon one day. That has to be one of the best deals we've seen yet and I wish they had something like it in the states. We pay 12 pounds a month (24 dollars) and get to see as many movies as we want. The price for an adult movie ticket here is 7.40 so if you see two movies in a month you've already saved yourself. We usually see about three movies per weekend, so we figure it's a pretty good deal. We end up seeing more when Bob (Nic's ex boss from Oceaneering- who now works at Subsea 7) is in town. He's our movie buddy. We are ready for him to be back in town again, we miss having him around. I rather like having someone around who loves to play games as much as I do (plus he brings me maltteasers and says I'm pretty... what girl wouldn't like having him around haha...). Nic likes to have him around because they both know their business inside and out and are able to talk shop and bounce ideas off each other. It's a great relationship for all of us.

There are several movies that we haven't seen yet at the theater (Deception, Flashbacks of a Fool, Fool's Gold, Forgetting Sara Marshall, In Bruges, Son of Rambow, Street Kings, Three and Out, Spiderwick Chronicles...). Have any of you seen any of those? Would you recommend them if you did? I don't really want to see 9 movies this weekend, that's a bit much. The ones that I really want to see are Deception, Flashbacks of a Fool, and Forgetting Sara Marshall. They look good to me, but we'll see what Nic wants. Usually we have to compromise a little and alternate who gets to pick the movies.

We also plan to get some packing done this weekend (I'll probably be the one doing it while Nic watches the scrapheap challenge marathon). I really do want to get to the park again this weekend and walk around the part that we didn't see last time. We'll probably do that tomorrow or Sunday morning. We are also planning on stopping by Allan and Anja's houseto drop off her junk mail and the book we borrowed from them (a book about the attractions here in Scotland). Bob bought us one of our own that is from this year, so we don't need the other one anymore. We need to go over there to visit a little too since we weren't very sociable last weekend. I also need to call Andrea and Andy ( just realised that they all start with A.. that's kinda weird) and give them an update on what's going on. Maybe we'll get to hang out more when we live closer. That would be good. I think we are still supposed to play tennis with Stavros and Fiona but I haven't heard anything about it. I'll have to ask Nic when he gets home.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ready to GO!

So the past few weeks I've really been dreading the whole packing process. I am not in the mood to move again at all (the actual moving part, I'm ready to be there) seeing as how we've moved so many times in the past year. We moved from the apartment to our house in July, the house to the first hotel in Aberdeen in October, from that hotel to the Pitmedden hotel in November then into this house in December. Then in February we moved all the stuff from our house in Houston to the storage unit. Now we are getting ready to move again and I just don't wanna. This move won't be that difficult, we've got plenty of people that are going to help out (4 friends have volunteered... how nice is that). Oh well... it will be done and once the new house is set up it we won't be moving again for at least a year (and even then it will only be to another house here in Aberdeen).

We finished pulling out all the money from the ATMs today, it's definitely a relief to have it all where it needs to be now. Nic has to go to drop off the lease and checks tomorrow, I can't wait. We were playing with all the cash last night and having a great time. Nic ended up rolling it all up and putting a rubber band around it (ala drug dealer style) and thought it was hilarious. We're so easily amused.

We can't wait to get into the new house! This one is starting to have sewage issues (EWW!!), we think due to the fact that the crazy farmer next door ran off the road and ran over the spot where the sewage pump thing is (on top of dropping hay on our car and breaking the back door of the car). We're just being careful about it and counting down the days until we move. We notified the leasing people about what happened and they haven't done anything or sent anyone out so we are just hoping the system holds out until we move.

I cannot wait to get back to work... sitting on my butt all day isn't too good for the figure if you know what I'm saying. I've definitely put on a few pounds and it's driving me crazy. I worked out for about an hour yesterday and I am SO very sore today. Everything hurts, I guess that's a good thing though. We are supposed to go play tennis with Stavros and Fiona sometime this weekend, and I'm hoping to go to the park again.

I was going to take pictures of the bunnies outside yesterday but it started to sprinkle when I remembered and they weren't out. I'll see if can catch them today. On the subject of animals- I'm starting to worry about my pheasant friend. He usually is out in the yard at around 11 or so and he hasn't been out there at all this week. I'm hoping he isn't as stupid as the other pheasants around here (they stand in the middle of the road and don't bother moving when a car is coming). Hopefully he'll be back and was just taking a mini-vacation somewhere.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Moving Money

For those of you who don't know yet, Nic and I are moving into a different house on the 1st of May. We are really excited and can't wait to actually get into the new house. It has a TON more room and it's less than a mile from the office. It will be nice to be closer to town, we'll probably get out and about more once we don't have to drive so far. Don't get me wrong, I have loved living in the country- it was a welcomed break from the city life back home. Anyway, here are a couple pictures of our soon to be new home. I'll post more when we actually get the keys and start moving in.
This is the front of the house. You don't actually enter the house through the front door, it's off the road a bit.
Here's the back of the house. There's a garage and a shed to the side which will be great for storing all of Nic's project stuff. The back door has an etched window of a bagpiper which I love, I'll definitely get a picture of that up soon.

The only downside that we've come up with about the new house is that the leasing company doesn't take visa! We have all of our money (well about 90%) in our U.S. bank accounts still and have been using our debit cards to pay for everything. So now we are pulling money out of the atm like mad men to get the rent and deposit into our UK account. This will be so much easier once Nic's direct deposit comes into the UK account.

Nic finally got started in making his flight arrangements to get to California to judge the MATE competition. He'll be there for a few days, I don't think I'll be going after all. Right before that he might be heading to Norway for a few days for some sort of meeting about the simulator for work. We'll see how all that goes, I'm a little out of the loop myself about his travel plans.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The Biggest Snowflakes EVER!

I told a few of you that I'd send some pictures of the massive snowflakes that were falling so often the week before last. It snowed almost ALL week that week and I've never seen snowflakes so large. They were about the size of a US quarter. I hope you can tell in some of the pictures. It was so beautiful that Nic and I couldn't help but sit at the window and watch.

This picture was taken from my kitchen window (it looks to the backyard and garage/sunroom obviously). You can kind of see how large the flakes are.
I think this was like Wednesday of that week. It was still snowing, you can kind of see it in the field behind the house. I was trying to get the snowflakes that were right in front of me but the camera wouldn't pick them up for some reason.
I think this was the same day as the last picture. The sun did a pretty good job of melting the snow each day, so every day it was fresh. You can see that the sun had already melted the snow on the farm next door.
This was taken from the docks at "fun beach". We go here A LOT, the movie theatre is about a block from here. We usually park here and check out the waves and look at the ships that pass by before going to the movies.
This is just a close up of the lighthouse and some of the snow on the land. The wind was SO strong that day (this was probably the Saturday before last) and the waves got a lot bigger by the time we got out of the movies, but it was too dark to get them on film.

The sun is out and shining now, it's been sunny all week. Nic is amazed at how many bright days we've had in a row. I guess we are still used to crazy Texas weather where it changes on a day to day basis. We've been out enjoying the nice weather and hanging out with friends.

This weekend we played miniature golf and went bowling with Stavros and Fiona. We've been hanging out with them a lot the past few weeks, it's been nice to have other people around. Allan and Anja stopped by on Sunday morning, we hadn't seen them in a while (since before our trip back to the States). I was still asleep and Nic wasn't even fully dressed yet when they came, so it was a pretty quick visit. We are supposed to have dinner or something with them sometime soon. We completely forgot to tell them that we are moving soon and give them their mail (it's nothing important, junk mail... but still).

We also went to Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen, and it was beautiful! I think I've found my new favorite park. I wish Abraham was here so that we could take him, he'd really have a great time with all the people and interesting things to sniff. Because the flowers are all starting to bloom and the sun has been out, there were a lot of people there. It was definitely a place that we'll be going back to often. They have a miniature golf course there too (we went to the one on fun beach though) and they have one of the hedge mazes there that looks really fun. They hadn't opened it up yet when we were there, but we are definitely going to go back and do that... I've always wanted to go through a huge maze like that. We forgot to take the camera with us this time, we'll definitely remember next time.

It starts...

I think it's necessary to explain why we created this page and what we plan to do with it... so here goes. Since we moved so far away from family and friends, we have definitely felt a little disconnected from those we love. Not only that, but we have experienced many things in our move from Houston, Texas to Aberdeen, Scotland and haven't had a way to really share our experiences with all of you! I figured it'd be a good way to bridge some gaps and share our lives with you. On this page, I'm hoping to share some pictures, stories, and random thoughts about our new life on a pretty regular basis. If you are wanting me to add anything or elaborate on anything you've already heard about, let me know (shoot me an e-mail, call or comment) and I'd be happy to fill you in on what you've missed.

I hope this helps to keep everyone in the loop and maybe even provide some extra insight into our lives!

We love you all,

Nic and Jen

P.S. Most of the time it will be me (Jen) who is updating, we'll let you know if it's Nic.