This summer we underwent the adventure of buying a home in Houston. By our realtor’s count, we looked at a total of 54 homes (starting back in April if I remember correctly). The following are some of the pictures from the har.com website, so if you’ve looked at the house there these will be familiar to you. We closed on the house purchase in late July and get possession in mid August (less than a week’s time). Please bear in mind that these pictures were taken prior to the sale, so the possessions shown are not ours.

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As previously mentioned (and currently being experienced), Lori and the kids are in Oregon for a couple of weeks, while Dad is back at work living out of a cheap hotel. Lori sent me a bunch of pictures of the goings-on so I thought that I would post them here – with my best guesses about what is going on in the pictures. Those of you in the know can chime in and set me straight.

First up the pictures that were dated July 26th, which incidentally was Davison’s 8th birthday. I know that they visited a lavender farm and picked lavender, went to the county fair in Newberg, and some of the party went swimming. Here we go with the pictures:

The expedition to the lavender farm
The expedition to the lavender farm

The whole lavender-pickin' team!
The whole lavender-pickin’ team!

Auntie Marta and Brock discuss the economics of growing lavender.
Auntie Marta and Brock discuss the economics of growing lavender.

Brock goes crazy picking Lavender
Brock goes crazy picking Lavender
Davison and Brock with one of Davison's birthday presents in the background
Davison and Brock with one of Davison’s birthday presents in the background

Fun at the Newberg Fair
Fun at the Newberg Fair

Swamp water rules!
Swamp water rules!

Swimming at the hotel in Newberg
Swimming at the hotel in Newberg

It looks like fun was had by all.

The first leg of our Roadtrip is Houston to Portland. Here is a picture of the crew (sans the primary driver and photographer) and the means of conveyance. We are able to get five suitcases plus the bathroom bag in the cargo storage unit on top. That leaves two suitcases (the two boys are sharing a suitcase) for the back of the Traverse. This picture was taken outside of our hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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The following picture was taken with my iPad while toodling through New Mexico; primarily to give the feel of what the terrain is generally like. While taking it (as we careened down the highway at 75 mph) I noticed that the iPad screen showed the view that the camera saw. It struck me that I could drive a long way with the iPad in front of my face and be able to see the roadway just fine. It also struck me that this would not be particularly wise at 75 miles per hour, so this picture is representative of about 10 seconds of such activity rather than an extended period of swerving and lack of depth perception.

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In addition to the two suitcases in the back of the Traverse, we also have room for two small coolers, one set of shelves (for such essentials as knives,scissors, band aids, paper towels, paper plates, etc), and a few other bags and items. It doesn’t make for great rear view mirror visibility, but is sure handy (as at least one of our meals per day was of the snacky ‘eat while we drive’ variety).

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We hit California yesterday (Sunday, July 20th) travelling through a whole lot of desert from Williams, Arizona to Bakersfield, California. No pictures, but think scrub brush, sand, straight highways, and lots of big trucks.

Today (Monday, July 21st), we drove north through California, primarily up I5, and ended our day in Redding.

We ate supper at a barbecue place (Brick’s BBQ) where we had one of their family meal specials which worked out really well.

Then it was on the hotel, where some of us (less Danaya the Reticent and Heidi the Unadventerous) enjoyed the outdoor pool until it closed at 10:00 pm.

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We (Houston Huber family) had been attending a church quite a ways out of town, but had decided that to really be part of a church community we wanted to find a church fellowship a lot closer (which wouldn’t require a 35 minute drive).  This morning we attended Harvest Bible Chapel Houston NW, which was about a 5 minute drive away.

Parked out in front was this unique automobile.

Not your typical Toyota Yaris
Not your typical Toyota Yaris

We stopped to take a picture or two of it, and the owner, who was the greeter at the church door came over to chat with us about it.  After the end of the service, he came over and distributed packages of Rockets to the kids (and adults).   I forgot what the kind gentleman’s name is, but will be referring to him as he/him thoughout the rest of the post.

Some of the favorites:

The sign on the side that says “Honk if something falls off”

Daelynn spotted a small statue of Gollum on the top of the car

picture of decorated car

Driver’s side view

After the service, we stopped to take another picture of the rear of the car, and talked for a while with the owner again.

Image following this tailgate down the freeway
Image following this tailgate down the freeway

My favourite bumper (well, in this case back window) sticker is the one that says “Sorry for driving so close in front of you”.

Some tidbits from our conversation:

  • he creates the fused glass himself which is glued on
  • he uses silicon to hold things on, which provide some flexibility
  • once in a while someone will steal one of the items (like a blown glass piece).  Rather than get upset, he views it as an opportunity as there is now some free space on the car to be filled.
  • on the subject of gas mileage, it has dropped significantly from the original 35 mpg, but he feels that it is more to the increased weight (6000 lbs vs the original 1600 lbs) than wind resistance
  • he doesn’t drive the car a lot now (i.e. to work) as it has about 180k miles on it, and he isn’t planning on retiring it soon.

And the inside of the car is just about as decorated as the outside.

No driving distractions herel...
No driving distractions herel…

Just for fun, I’ve zoomed in to some of the more interesting parts in the following gallery (click the pictures to zoom in for a better (if your sensibilities are easily offended read “better” as “closer”) view:

 

Following are some pictures from our living room in Houston, with our new Living Room furniture. We found these in the clearance area of an upscale furniture store here. By clearance, I don’t mean free or cheap by any stretch, but doable. In fact, they were more expensive than a new cloth (microfiber) set we were considering, but should last much longer.

Here is the couch, chair and ottoman set.

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And here is the Leopard Skin Recliner Chair that Lori really liked, and sort of matches…

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And here is a view toward the front/fireplace of the living room, where our TV (brought from Calgary) is mounted on one of our ubiquitous, really sturdy white book boxes.

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In other news, it was pretty hot here today and I got my Texas Drivers license yesterday.

-Ben

Over the weekend we found the Battle Cry game, and unpacked it. Davison and I have had fun playing it a few times, including when I got home from work today. The scenario in question today was Pickett’s Charge from the battle of Gettysburg. Davison’s (Union) men were entrenched behind some revetments across the center of the board. Pickett’s division never really got any sort of a charge happening, although Davison’s Center was used back and didn’t take advantages of the revetments. All of the action in the battle happened on the two wings. At one point, I picked up through reinforcements a Calvary division which charge around Davison’s right flank, but then despite about three attacks were not able to do any damage. The battle ended when Davison played a Bombardment card and his three batteries made short work of the cavalry and an infantry division. Davison won seven to four, but Dad lived to fight another day.

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When Rett was a younger lad, he and I had fun with the game, so it was fun to be playing it again. Strangely, the girls didn’t take much of an interest in it.