Most of our stuff was in a self storage facility near our old house. And by facility, I mean three self storage units with a total of 275 square feet. The monthly period would have renewed tomorrow, so I was motivated to get as much out of storage as possible before the renewal happened. I took the day off work on Friday and rented a UHaul truck, picking it up on Thursday evening for a 24 hour rental. Since the prices were all pretty much the same, I rented the largest truck (I think it was a 26′ unit). And here it is, at the self storage place ready for loading.

Renting the hand cart (I was going to borrow one from work, but had forgotten, and there was no time to make that extra side trip, so I happily paid the $7 rental) was the best thing that I did. The other best thing was the guy (a friendly young chap named Christian) at Wendy’s gave me the largest cup they had when I got ice water with my meal.
In short, I was able to get everything out of the storage units and got the truck back with a whopping 9 minutes to spare before getting charged for an extra day. Between the rental and the gas charge it cost $160.00 for the day – so if you ever rent a UHaul understand that the mileage charge (69 cents per mile) and the gas it burns (I know it was the biggest truck, but it cost over 50 cents per mile with gas at $3.25) will far outstrip the daily rental charge. The worst mistake was that I had forgotten my work gloves at home (again not worth the extra trip at $1.20 per mile), so my hands were a little tender by the end.
I was very tired by the end of the day. This morning, some friends from work came by for a couple of hours and moved boxes with abandon. Here are some room pictures as things currently stand.




Pretty much everything on the utility side has worked out and is in place. AT&T setup our phone and Internet service this afternoon. Now all I have to do is find the phones. The only exception is the natural gas company. Mi had filled out their start service form a couple of weeks back, only to get an email on Wednesday that they couldn’t find that address, so please get the meter number and resubmit. So, I came to the house Wednesday night, wrote down the meter number and resubmitted. The gas guy showed up this afternoon to turn off the gas. I resubmitted the form again (after he pointed out which of the three numbers on the meter it was, and behold I had submitted the wrong number), so I’m currently without use of the BBQ, gas stovetop, and hot water heater (which is going to make for short showers, I guess).

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 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.
















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.


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.


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).


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.





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.


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


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.


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