Saturday, 29 December 2007

sure, why not?

Well, I want very much to be clever tonight, but I think I'm too tired.

Woke up at 4am to feed William and noticed the room was a little chilly. The radiator was cold. hmmm. Same thing in the hall and bathroom. Well, somehow the heat was off, but William wasn't cold and I could cuddle with Bob so it can wait til morning. When we got up at 7ish it was a little cooler in the room. We noticed the thermostat was all the way down, so turned it back up and waited. Bob checked the hot water heater and it was still hot, so he took a shower.

Then i went to take a shower and there was no hot water. The radiators never came on. So we called the front desk, and they sent a guy out. He checked the fuses, and decided the main safety something outside was off. He tried to relight it and couldn't. A little later a HVAC guy came out and did the same as the other guy.

We went on to the BX. Got ripped off at the pizza place, I got mad. Ella ate most of my sandwich. Went shopping, got a breadmaker and hair clippers that are 220volt. Went to the Baskin Robbins to order Cedwryck a cake, but only the one on Mildenhall does cakes. Came back to the room to find a note taped to the TV.

"So sorry, but we cannot fix the heat. You'll have to move." They'd actually brought in an electric heater, but then realized that we needed hot water for showers, too, so that was no good. So, 4 days before we are scheduled to move, we had to move. We have lots of plastic grocery bags, so we packed everything in bite-sized bundles and ran back and forth to the new room. It is the next door over, so at least that was convenient. Ella kept getting in the way, so I strapped her in the stroller to keep her. We actually got it all in about two hours.
Bob and I kept thinking that now I had something to blog about.
We were going to just swap out the hangers with clothes for the empty ones, but this room has a different kind of hanger.
The new room has hot pads (potholders)! The fridge is about half the size of the other (which was about 1/3 the size of the standard American ones). One bathroom window is broken and stuck open, but the vent works.

Anyway, the whole thing is pretty silly and I'm kinda achy from running up and down stairs. Makes me want to diet. But we're here, and it's bedtime.
God bless us all.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

gone to meddlin'

Well, it's about politicin' time in the US. So I'm going to meddle a bit.

Found this site about Huckabee. Boils down to what I learned at the constitution party site; he's big government. That's his main fault, and I guess there are worse ones, but big government leads to so many worse things. Good reading. I would love to see a constitutional president in office. Right now Ron Paul is the best thing going, and wouldn't he shake things up? His site is If for nothing else, everyone should vote for him just to get away from the Washington establishment status quo.

Many people don't realize what the constitution actually says. I have a very limited knowledge of it, myself, but the more I learn, the less I see of it in our daily lives.

Don't be afraid to vote your gut this year; it's not throwing the vote away if you are voting what you believe. Shake it up!
(Go Ron Paul!)

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

How to Bake a Ham overseas

1. Never mind about the date. It's frozen, so it lasts longer than that.

2.Defrost in fridge for 24 hours.

3.Remove from packaging, drain off slime. I mean juice.

4. score the skin and stud with cloves.

5.Cover with foil and bake at 300*, not 325* to make up for the smallness of the oven.

6.Glaze with a mixture of pineapple juice, dry mustard, and brown sugar. Return to oven.

7. Remove from oven with towel because there are no hotpads.

8. Set ham onto plate for slicing.

9. Slice beautifully, removing cloves as you go.

10. Flip out of plate onto floor.

11. Pick up quickly and put back on plate.

12. Pray extra long before eating.

It's yummy, just ask!


Merry Christmas!
We spent a whopping $150 altogether for presents. The girls got some toy-sized kitchen pots and utensils, felt posters, and a jewelry making kit. The boys got two Tonka trucks and a big rug with roads and shops on it. Ella got a playset of people, swings, and a shop. I got a British cookbook and a chocolate. Bob didn't get anything. :( We also had "crackers" and candy.

Then a lovely breakfast of cold cereal, followed by playing with the new toys while I fixed lunch.
We had ham, Hawaiian bread, green beans, fruit salad, and a no-bake strawberry cheesecake from a mix for dessert. You do what you can.

Bob is itching to get some pictures on Flickr.

Christmas Eve

Once again desiring to do "something fun" we woke up and started trying to find something on the internet.

We settled on driving to Newmarket and then taking the train to Cambridge. It was Taryn's Christmas wish to ride the train. We tried to find something happening in Cambridge, and Bob saw something about "Lessons and Carols" that sounded cool. Come to find out, other people think so, too. I read the fine print - it starts at 3pm, and it's recommended that you be in line for a seat by 9am, though there is no guarantee you'll get in. Oh, well, it was a thought.
By the time we got our thoughts together and were ready to go it was lunch time. So we went through the drive through and got everybody a burger. I drove Bob's car and he drove the rental to the rental place, because the van was due back by 4:30. We left Bob's car there and went on to Newmarket. Found the station, no thanks to the map, and went to check train times. There is one track at the newmarket station, and one train that goes back and forth to Cambridge on one side and to Ipswich on the other. We had a few minutes (like 20), so we kinda hung around. The boys ran laps around the shelter where the girls sat. Bob paced and ate his burger (you can't eat while driving here). The "station" is so small you can't even buy tickets here; you buy them from the person on the train.

We made it to Cambridge. Somehow I had all 4 little ones with me, and Bob got a seat by himself. Good thing it was only 20 minutes. Then we got on a bus to the city center. Then we walked and looked for a toilet. Each city in England is only allowed one toilet, and it's required to be well hidden, crowded, and have at least one stall out of order. Or so it seems. It was market day, very crowded. We saw a bagpiper and, later, a brass band trio playing Christmas tunes.

We actually went into 2 stores, but the only thing we bought was a snack. Bob was in a hurry to get back and turn in the van.

So back on the bus, then the train, then the car back home. We all came in, then Bob took the van back to the rental place. Turns out they were already closed, so he left the keys in the slot and came home just in time to pick up some fried chicken for dinner.

It was a pretty good trip, though the boys were almost run over once. We were in a pedestrian area, but cars are allowed "for access" and we crossed the street, but the boys got behind, so the car started to go. I grabbed for them, the car stopped, and we hurried across. The driver rolled down his window and was really jabbering at me, but with the noise and the accent I couldn't understand a word. I imagine he was apologizing.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Cathing up

I was gonna do a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday post, but figured it was too late to start a play-by-play.

Suffice it to say Bob only worked til 10am Friday, we got the paperwork done to rent the house, get our furniture and the "loaner" stuff delivered, and clear our van through customs.

Saturday instead of going to a 15th-century moated manor house with a re-enactment of a Victorian Christmas Tea, we went to the "fun zone" at Mildenhall. It's an indoor children's play area with comfy couches and free wi-fi for the grown-ups. Next door, inside the same building, is a coffee shop; on the other side is a game room with pool, foosball, and video games. In a fenced-off corner of the play room is an exercise room, which would be cool if the play room wasn't so crowded. The children all had a good time.

Today we went to church in the "redundant" church just off RAF Lakenheath. (If the Church of England builds a new church in a parish, or combines parishes, the old building becomes redundant.) It is now the "New Beginnings International" church. We were the only white people there; kinda felt funny at first, but once we began to worship it didn't matter anymore. It was all base people. (I mean people from the base, not people of the baser sort.)

I had lots of things planned to occupy the children and myself while Bob was at work, but he hasn't been to work so we haven't done any of them. I do enjoy being all together.

We went to the commissary this afternoon to stock up to get through Christmas. Came home and had peanut butter sandwiches, and Bob had to go back to get more bread and peanut butter. Taryn had 3 or 4 whole sandwiches, Naysha had 3 or 4 halves, and the boys had 5 halves each, I think. Then oranges. Then chips for some. Then dessert! This, after not having lunch til nearly 2pm - and they ate a lot then, too. Naysha had a burger and an order of nuggets, the boys both had 2 orders of nuggets and french fries, Taryn had a burger and lots of french fries. What will they do when they are teens?

Well, I want to play a game, so that'll do.

Friday, 21 December 2007

good times

Today Bob had to go to work, so yesterday was the day for play.

But first we opened a bank account on base where we can make Dollar deposits and Pound withdrawals.

Then we went toward Bury St Edmunds to a place known as the Anglo-Saxon village. They have recreated an old settlement as well as have a cafe and a big playground. But they are closed for Christmas. We'd checked the website, but didn't call first.

So on to Bury St Edmunds to see what we could see. We didn't bring our map of the town because we weren't planning to go there. Didn't bring the stroller because we didn't think of it. Naysha missed the part about bundling up warm, but everyone else was well wrapped. So we followed the signs toward "car park and information center." The one car park was full, plus people waiting. So we circled the town twice, found signs to another car park. This one was very large, but we still weren't sure if we'd find a space. Finally did. Bob went to pay the parking ticket machine while I got everybody out. William had woken up a few minutes earlier as we were driving around, and by now he was hungry, and the rest of us were, too. So off we trot down the street, William screaming the whole way.
But we have to stop at the public toilet, and take a gander at a map displayed by the car park entrance. I happen to see a Mcdonalds on the list of places that are supposed to be marked on the map, but the numbers have all worn off so we don't know where it is. Oh well, let's just head toward the shopping district.

A half mile later we arrive at another public toilet and map sign. This one can be read, and they have copies for sale. The machine says "enter correct coin" but doesn't say which one is correct. Bob stuck in a 1pound and it worked. Woo hoo, here we go! Walk, walk, walk. Past several eating places. Baby crying, Naysha shivering, my back going into spasms. We come to an intersection and Bob says, "It should be right here." So we check the map, look around... And decide it's closed or something. As we turn the corner, there it is - McDonalds! There are 20 people in line and no empty tables. So we go upstairs and see 3 empty tables, but the one in the middle has 2 full cups of soda on it. hmmm. We decide to leave it, and pull the other two tables together. Understand here, that these tables are about an 18" circle. We grab a couple of chairs and huddle around the tables. I pull off my coat and sweater and start to feed William. Poor baby. Bob went back down to order.

Bob finally comes back with two happy meals (with bottled water to drink) and 6 more cheeseburgers. 10GBP, about $20 - our cheapest meal yet! Someone offered us another chair, so only Bob had to stand to eat. William finished up and promptly overflowed his diaper. So I take him and the bag to the ladies room, which is very tiny and has no changing table, or even trash can. I change him on the floor under the sink, wrap up the mess and head out. Toss the diaper, wrap the clothes in paper towels and put it in the diaper bag. ewww.

Okay, we all feel better now. So we wander around a little bit and window shop. There is a phone store, and since we haven't got one yet, we went in. Bob picked out a phone and we were all ready to sign up, but they cannot take an American credit card. Apparently the British credit cards have a micro chip in them that they scan. So back on the street. By the way, does anyone understand how Skype works? The phone we want comes with Skype airtime in addition to regular calls.

We went to a toy store and played awhile. Then to a newsagent and got everyone a candy.
And so back to the car. It's a long walk, but Bob carried William part of the way so I didn't break my back.

We looked at the map to see where to go, but it was very misleading. We had to turn around twice, but then made it out and back towards home. We stopped in Mildenhall to pick up the lease agreement from the estate agent, but they hadn't done a thing we'd wanted, so took it back to get it changed. The man wsa coming on base a little later so we agreed to meet him then and get the papers. So back home, and Bob went to put in his radiator. Got it in, but is now missing some screws and things. Got the paperwork from the guy, but by now the housing office is closed.

So we go out to eat at a coffee shop in the club. Ella kept talking to the waitress. Hollering, really. Every time she'd see her she'd wave and yell gibberish. The waitress thought it was funny, and no one else was in there so it didn't bother anybody.

Then to the commissary because William is out of diapers. I was prepared to do some heavy shopping so I can cook more, and we'd have stuff when we moved into our new house. But Bob said just get the essentials, so I kept it down to 15 items and went through the "express" lane. They have self-checkout now, and it's a pain because you have to go really slow, but that way the line is shorter and you don't have to tip a bagger.

Phew. Home again, it's 7:30 and Bob and I are both worn out and the boys are hyper. we stayed up til 9 because the car rental guy was supposed to call and have us change out vans, but he never did.

Now Bob is at work and it's breakfast time.

Don't read this and think it would be nuts to visit us. We will have things settled and sorted soon and it will be better then.

Our move in date is actually Jan 2.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


Fooled you!
Bob woke up yesterday thinking maybe Red Lodge wasn't the best one, after all. So we called to get into it again, but the lady never answered the phone. So we called about the house in Cheveley (it being our second choice) and they agreed to meet us at 1pm. Packed up the children and drove by the house in Red Lodge. No one was home, so we walked around the yard. The back yard there is HUGE by English standards; pretty big by American standards. It's a little rough in spots; would be a pain to mow, but lots of fun to play in. There is some kind of fruit tree, with rotten fruits laying around for the boys to throw at each other. We let the children see the yard, too, as they've been sitting in the car while we are looking, and hadn't seen it yet. We drove around the 'neighborhood' to see if there was anything there (there isn't).

So into Mildenhall to pick up the radiator for the Honda, and then we ate lunch there. The cafe advertised "breakfast all day" but they are open 6am-3pm. Anyway, Bob got a big breakfast plate with sausage (looked like what we would call summer or smoked sausage), bacon (ham slices), toast, beans, and eggs. I got an omelet which came with chips (french fries) and salad, and the children each got a ham and cheese sandwich. I also had a milkshake (more milk than shake); total cost, about $45. But it was very good; hot and fresh.

Then we met our estate agent; he rode with us (I sat in the back, and the girls squished up) to the house in Cheveley. We let the children see it, too. They scampered around and all said it was perfect. Out to the back yard - it's about a third of the size of the other, but still bigger than any other we'd seen. Just outside the yard is a little path down to a community compost pile which is behind the house. Beyond that is horse fields.

So, Bob says he can do without the big garage at Red Lodge if he has to; let's take Cheveley.

We called the housing office this morning, and they will get a safety inspection tomorrow. We gave the agent 185GBP to hold the house and let them run a credit check. They say we will probably be in on Jan 3rd.

Bob has some pics on his Flickr site.

Oh, a few other notes.

I fell on the stairs a few days ago and bruised my hip and strained my shoulder, trying to catch myself. Yesterday I got real stiff and sore on my side. It hurt to sit, stand, and breath. By bedtime I also had a slight fever. So I don't know if this is from falling, or if I've got a kidney infection or what. It's better today, and I'm taking Advil and Tylenol again.

We gave up buying water and got a Brita filter pitcher. It works pretty good and is small enough for our fridge.

Yesterday afternoon we went Christmas shopping at the BX on Mildenhall base. We all walked through the store, then I sat with the children in the food court while Bob went in and bought stuff. While we were sitting there a lady was passing out papers to all the tables. When she came to our table she asked if we were staying for the "kids bingo" - it's free! We couldn't think of anything else to do, and figured it wasn't gambling if we didn't pay, so ate dinner and joined the fun. Before the bingo started they had several other games and gave out prizes. They did musical chairs by age group, and everyone from Bob down to Riah got to play. Taryn did the best, but still didn't win. We played half of the bingo games, but Naysha was mad because she wasn't winning, and the little ones got restless, so we just left after that. Oh well.

Bob is replacing his radiator now, and I'm trying to boil water for spaghetti. We have a little dinky stove so it takes forever to heat a large pot of water.

Oh. As we've been driving around we've seen in fields beside the road huge piles of ... something. We tried to guess what it must be; potatoes, turnips, what? Yesterday we asked the agent, and he says they are sugar beets. Ooooh. We've also seen a couple of pig farms, some horse farms, and brussell sprouts growing. I'd never seen that before and thought it was interesting. They look like little palm trees.

Well, Bob says the radiator is the wrong one. So here we go again.

Monday, 17 December 2007

a decision?

Yesterday we walked to the base chapel for church. They have the following services: Liturgical, Evangelical, Gospel, and Casual. We chose the evangelical service, and it wasn't bad. The chaplain even mentioned Jesus a few times. We were greeted by the chaplain of the gospel service, and he asked about our religious preferences. He is UPC. After service there was a dinner, so we stayed, being sick of Taco Bell. Some people talked to us and made us feel welcome.

After church Bob and Taryn went to see a house in Feltwell, but about 10 minutes later they came back. The radiator in the new car is done. So he called and canceled his two house-viewing appointments. The Feltwell people called back and asked if they could come pick him up. Sure, why not? Bob said the house was pretty nice, but after they heard we had 6 children they discouraged us from renting it. Said we'd be too crowded and want out in 6 months. oh, well.

This morning Bob had an appointment to see a house in Lakenheath, so he called a taxi to take him out there. Not long after he left, the estate agency called to cancel the appointment because they didn't have the key to the house. I guess I was a little harsh with the receptionist. She called back to ask if they could give us a ride out to see it later on. I said my main concern was for Bob standing out there at the house in the cold, not knowing what is going on. (I'd looked for his shop number to call, but couldn't find it.) So they sent the agent out to pick him up. He was very sorry about the trouble, and took Bob to the car rental place. Bob rented a van and came home. Then we called the agent back and set up a viewing for this afternoon. Had lunch, went back to the house in Lakenheath. It's about 5 minutes form base, which is a good thing since we started late and had to go back because we were out of gas.
Saw that house. It is a former base house; has American electric outlets and forced-air heat and closets, all of which are rare here. Kinda blah looking, no garage. He had 3 others for us to see.

The next one, in Cheveley, near Newmarket, was pretty nice. 2 big living rooms plus a study, fireplace, closets, large bedrooms. But only 1 bath, and the garage is across the street. I really liked it, liked the yard, the village, the living rooms.

Then to a house being worked on in Newmarket. It will be really nice. Has a shower and a bath room. But very small yard, and the clothes dryer is in the garage (washer is in the kitchen). Also they want a bit much and we are afraid even if they come down, it will go up when we renew the lease.

Then to a house in Beck Row, right outside Mildenhall base. It was 3 floors; Living, dining, kitchen down, then two bedrooms each with a closet and shower plus the "family bath," the top floor had two small rooms with sloping ceilings. The living room had wood floor and the dining had carpet. The yard was small, and we are unsure of the parking.

So we came home, really wanting to make a decision tonight. Thought and talked. Prayed and talked and thought.
I'd choose Cheveley, but Bob thinks one we saw last week in Red Lodge is better. Bigger yard, closer to base, has a conservatory and utility room, and good parking area plus garage big enough to work in. So tomorrow we'll call about it and see if it's still available, and find out what to do next.

He ordered a new radiator for the Honda.
We are looking for something to do fun and Christmassy this weekend.

Well, there is lots more, I'm sure, but only one computer can get online, so I need to let Bob have his turn.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

moving on

Well, Bob did go see the farmhouse. When he first got to the butcher's, he was out to lunch. So Bob went down the road and got a hamburger from a roadside stand. He says we must remember to not do that again. Then he got the key to the house and had a look around. He really liked the place - it had "loads" of character - open fireplaces, exposed beams, etc, etc. But after thinking it over both carefully and well, we had to pass. The main problem was there is no lawn. The house is on the street in the front, and the back is a stone-paved courtyard. Steps were rickety in places, and just no where to send the children to play. Also several of the exterior doors were swollen shut and could not be opened. And (if we needed another reason) they have electric heat, which is the most expensive option, and still the old single-pane windows. So it would be pricey to keep warm, if possible at all. Big sigh. But at least he got to see it.

We passed on the tour today - way too early and not worth it. Instead we called about a dozen other houses to let (that's how they say for rent) in the area. Bob has appointments for the next 3 days.

Then we went to "The Great Little Pizza Place" on base. UGH. We called ahead and they said it would be an hour. Okay, we have to walk up there anyway, so no big deal. After we get there and wait awhile we asked and they said about 20 minutes. Well, you do what you can. Their dough press was broken so they have to toss all the pizzas by hand. Then the cook comes out and says the oven messed up and they have to start over because everything was burnt - if you want to leave, come get a refund. Most everybody left, so we thought we'd do okay. It was nearly an hour after that when we finally get the pizza, and wouldn't you know it, they brought two beef instead of one beef and one ham! Bob was ready to give them what for when the cook came out with a ham pizza and said just keep the extra beef one, too. By this time Ella was so tired and hungry that she cried all through dinner, but managed to eat a couple slices at that.

Today is Mom's birthday. I called her for a few minutes; I've missed talking to the folks every couple of days.

I didn't have a headache for the first time today! Thanks Connie for praying.

We have about decided on a cell phone. That's nutsy! The cheap rates have expensive phones; the cheap phones are sold out; everybody has hidden charges and hidden bonuses. But looks like we'll get a company called '3' and have 300 minutes a month for 15GBP. Way cheaper than anything you can get in the states.

Anyway, William needs Mama, so hopefully that tied up all the ends from yesterday.

Friday, 14 December 2007

ps on the food thing and misc

I forgot to mention that the coke (and other sodas) here are made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Tastes a little weird, but that's a good thing as they are pretty pricey.

The water here (as in, on base) is very nasty so we are buying it by the gallon. If it's nasty in our house, too, we may look into the 5 gallon cooler things.

Today is Bob's birthday. He is 40. And celebrating by house-hunting alone. He did get a stereo for his new car, and a box of Belgium chocolates. Happy birthday, baby; I love ya.

We thought about going on a "day trip" with the base, but one got canceled and the other is full. I found a third, but I don't know if I want to go on it - 3 1/2 hour drive both ways to a Victorian Village that's decked out for Christmas. They leave at 6:30 am. Maybe we'll walk down to the playground instead.

Can't wait for Bob to get home and tell me about the house he saw today. I guess he went on to another because that one should have been done with long ago.

This is a little funny. This other house I want him to see was listed with the base office. It has "massive rooms" (I think the master bedroom is listed as 14x16) and is a converted 1800's farmhouse. So Bob called the number, only to find the contact person listed is a friend of a person who's just sold the house. But after a friendly chat, they come up with an email address for Bob to write to. They answer and forward to the new owner. The new owner calls me back to say he's out of the country for a month, but if we want to see the place... Do we know where it is? I say we can find it. He warns me that it's a very small village, and that I should go to the butcher's - the butcher's name is Alastair - and he will give us the key to the house. IF the owner can just find the butcher's number, he'll give him a ring and advise him that we are coming. The house is "just opposite" the butcher's and the man thinks it would suit our family as it's so big.

Everyone just gives us this jaw-dropped stare when we say we have 6 children. We are used to looks, and grandmothers saying how nice it is, but this is different. People just cannot believe it. I must work at getting them to behave better (they used to!) so more people will think it's a good thing.

Thoughts on food

So, on base we have Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, another sandwich shop (much better than Subway), Popeye's fried chicken, and a pizza place. We've been to Popeye's just once. Each of the others have been visited several times, and we are getting tired of it quick.

Now that my "hold baggage" is here I have limited cooking ability. The kitchen is actually pretty good (better than the one at Dyess), but the dishes provided were somewhat lacking. For instance, we only have 3 regular spoons. There are soup spoons, though, so we make do. So for supper yesterday I cooked for the first time. Scrambled eggs and canned cinnamon rolls. Our commissary gets eggs from Denmark. Don't ask me why. The British have chickens, too; free range, even. But that's government at work. The eggs had a good flavor, and they were pretty big. I actually only cooked one egg each instead of the normal 2 each. The oven here is a little small, so I had to turn the cinnamon rolls on at 300* instead of 375* (I started at 375, but they were browning after 2 minutes, so I kept turning the heat down til I got it right).

We looked at a house in Red Lodge yesterday morning. It is a 10-15 minute drive from here. Red Lodge is a housing area - no shops or train station or anything. The house was just big enough, and the back yard was very nice and big. So it is a strong possibility. It's not a shiny new house, and the bathroom isn't lovely, but it should do.

After the house we went on to Newmarket (home of horse racing). We found a parking lot (car park, they call it) - it was full, but a lady was leaving so we waited for her. She saw us waiting and left her parking ticket for us to use (it had 2 hours left on it). So we got out and walked a little. They have covered outdoor shopping area there that is really nice. There were two cell phone stores, but we were too hungry to stop. Found a Chinese place and all piled in. They had big tables, and one booster seat that Ella used. Bob got chicken with cashews, I got chicken with pineapple, Naysha had sweet and sour chicken, Riah had fried rice, and Taryn and Cedwryck both got "chicken balls with chips." We would call that nuggets and fries. Anyway the whole thing cost nearly $60. We enjoyed it very much.

We also went to a supermarket in Newmarket. We were surprised to find several items cheaper than on base. I know in the states that is true, but I figured over here it would be more to buy in town. We got some fruit, a jar of Nuttella, some bread (the commissary doesn't sell whole grain bread!), and a couple of CHOCOLATE FILLED CROISSANTS. Wow. There are so many rich foods here we will all be fat pigs if we don't watch it (I'm close enough already).

So Bob will look at one house today (and hopefully another). If neither of those look good, we may go ahead with the house in Red Lodge. It isn't perfect, but could be a lot worse.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

How cool that I'm getting comments!

Any family member: you can comment as "anonymous" and just sign your name within the comment, if you like. That way you don't have to sign up for an account.

We got to see tow houses in Ely yesterday. That's a really neat town and I would like to live there. BUT it was over 30 minutes drive to the base, and that's our limit. The first house was a huge 5 bedroom, with a whirlpool tub, built in bookshelves, etc. But in addition to the drive time, it was a little crummy. Mold in the bath, carpet torn, kitchen cabinets unmatched.

I drove yesterday! Just from the Taco bell/shoppette to the apartment, but it was a big first step.
Bob went wrong side of the street once yesterday. The oncoming car just stopped and waited for him to move back over. I hollered. "no! No! Wrong side!!!" and the he moved. He should have got it on the first "no!"

He's back with more houses to consider.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Just a brief minute to gripe!
Today is our last day with the van, and we were gonna smush in as many houses as possible. But the estate agent we saw the other day won't answer his mobile, and another house Bob got info from the housing office won't answer either. They had voicemail, but haven't called back. Sigh.

So I thought I'd at least look at mobile plans and have some info for Bob when he gets home, but my internet disconnects every 20 minutes or so, so that is hard.

And to top it off, I have this horrid headache. Have had it for several days. I guess it's sinuses - you know in the commercials they show that glowing area on your face labeled "sinus pressure". Well, I feel this line of EXTREME pressure right above my eyebrows. I'm getting tired of Advil and Tylenol, but I guess I'll get some more because it does help.

So I'm off to look for houses again. Maybe SOMEone will answer the phone today!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

My first post

Being one to just jump in, here we go!

Bob bought a car yesterday. It's a 96' (or so) Honda Accord, UK specs, and just passed the yearly inspection. I haven't seen it up close yet, but he says it runs great and everything is dandy. So that will save us renting a car until our van gets here. Only problem is we can't all fit in it, so Bob will be on his own for house hunting and etc.

We are supposed to get our "hold baggage" sometime today. Between 8-5. It's after 10 now, so I guess there was no need for me to jump out of bed at 7:30. But I did sleep in between feedings last night, so it's not terrible. Night before last was my first good night's sleep in about 3 weeks. William has been pretty grumpy at night, and there is my own head cold, and the older children coming in to ask silly questions, and lack of my personal pillow, etc. So I am less tired than I have been.

Yesterday we looked at a house in Thetford. We drove by a couple days ago and Bob talked to the neighbors; they were very nice. I like the place pretty well. The back "garden" is the biggest we've seen, and there are small closets in the larger 3 bedrooms. The small room doesn't have one. Two "en suites" - that means a 3/4 bath room off the bedroom, plus a full bath, and a 1/2 bath downstairs. Nice looking kitchen. But we'd have to cram pretty hard to get all our stuff to fit.
So we keep looking.

There WERE 2 other 5 bedroom houses on that same street, but one closed Friday, and the other closed yesterday morning.

Well, I think the point of a blog is to have one topic per post. I'll have to work on that.

Gas is $8 a gallon here. We thought $3 was bad in Texas! We get super on base for about $3.50. I say "about" because it's sold in liters for some reason I haven't figured out yet. And since liters have no bearing to real measurements like quarts and gallons, the best we can do is guess.

Today is totally clear and bright, but the coldest day so far. Still just 30*.

Ced's eyes are clear today! For the last week he's been pussy, red, and swollen. But yesterday was a lot better, and today they look normal again. I hate it when my children suffer.

We got some Cadbury's instant yesterday, and Bob and I had a cup before bed last night. Yum!

We've been looking at cell phones. Mobile phones, they say here. Virgin has a good deal if you want home phone, internet, and satelite as well. But that would have to wait til we get a house. And a British TV. And their website gives very little info. A lot of the standard mobile packages have lots of text messages, which we never use, so it's different to sort through. T-Mobile has a couple of deals that look promising, but we'd need a few more details than the web site gives in order to make a good decision. It looks like whichever plan we get, it will be about 30GBP per month per phone. I don't think they have "family plans" here like everyone did in the states.

Well, the movie is over and William is starting to fuss, so I guess that's it for now.