Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweet Tooth & Nerdiness Returns

I went to the grocery store earlier to get some salad dressing and when I
walked in to the store I was greeted with a display that seemed geared towards Memorial Day and 4th of July. American flags, red white and blue streamers etc. I know 4th of July is a while away yet, but all the flags and associated bits and pieces are starting to appear in stores more and more. Not that they ever really go away though. Americans pride in displaying their love for their country is something that I really admire. In the UK I always felt like it was not an acceptable thing to do. I am sure people would disagree with me but if I had a St Andrews flag or the Union flag outside my house I would probably be accused of being a member of the SNP, and as a result being anti-English, or a member of the BNP. I like 4th of July. it really is a major event. St Georges Day and St Andrews Day have always felt a bit like non-events to me, in America that is never going to be a description used for Independence Day.

But I digress. I went up to the display and looked at the cakes on the table. There were cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting but the 2 bigger cakes caught my eye. One cake looked like a hamburger and another cake looked like a watermelon. What would possess a person to buy a cake that looked like a burger? I wonder what would be worse for you. A burger or a slice of this cake?

Probably not be a good idea for me to buy either of those cakes. I have finally signed up with a doctor and I go for my medical exam and blood tests tomorrow. Cholesterol, blood sugar levels, the works. A cake is not a good idea as a dessert tonight. However, I get home from doing a few errands and I discover a package from a friend in the UK that is also probably best not eaten tonight.

As an aside, I found out today that there will be a resale on Comic Con tickets sometime in June. Only day badges will be for sale as the 4 day badges have sold out. I will try for a badge but as the demand will again be huge, I will not be too surprised if I fail to get one.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Road Trip Planning

Ben and I have been trying to make sure that we see as much of the US as we possibly can whilst we are here. We are still in the early stages of the green card process and it is not a forgone conclusion that we will be successful. (I am keeping my fingers crossed though.)

All of the places we have been to so far, we have driven to. Our vacation this year involves us flying, but we are normally found on the Interstate working our way towards somewhere new.

I got Ben a book for his birthday that I have been looking through and I think a trip along historic Route 66 is possible. I really hope we can do it as I think it would be fun and we would see a lot of weird and wonderful things, see a lot of the country and go through several states.

Now I have to work out how feasible it is and how long would be sufficient.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Um, has a month really gone by?!

Sorry for the silence. I have been a very bad blogger. I could lie and say
that I/we have not done anything so that is why I have not posted anything. However, if you follow me on Twitter, or are my friend on the Book of Face, then you will know that things have indeed been happening.

So, what has being going on? Well, the biggest thing is that the PWD was finally issued so now Ben's job can be advertised and then after the PERM application can be submitted. Ben cannot be involved in ANY part of the recruitment process. All he can do it wait until he is told the process is complete and that a PERM application is going to be submitted. Once that is in, then we can really start biting our nails. Hopefully it will not take too long but asking how long it will take is like asking how long a piece of string is. As soon as we have any news, I will post it here, there or somewhere.
required steps have been completed, and we move onto the next stage. The I-140 and I-485.

Another big thing is that the 'slut mobile' is gone. The bane of my life has been taken away and I can now drive around in a much safer and much more environmentally car! We now have a Toyota Camry Hybrid. It is not brand new but it looks it. It rates your driving so you know how economical you are being. We managed to have a tank of gas last us 2 weeks, which would be impossible in the Kia, unless we didn't go anywhere in it. We filled up yesterday and a full tank of unleaded cost $40. In the Kia it cost around $20 for a quarter tank.

I have been keeping busy with learning to make bread. The poor kids have not had a sandwich made with store bought bread for almost a month. I have made white bread , bloomers, rolls and also ice cream bread. Yes that last one is supposed to be ice cream bread. It is very therapeutic kneading bread and knocking it back. The bread you buy in stores in America is very different to bread you buy in stores in the UK. It is sweeter here and quite flimsy. It tears easily so when trying to make pb & j sandwiches I generally ended up with peanut butter all over my hands.

Another thing is that I have started running again. Yeah. I thought the same thing. Why?! Why would I want to do that? The main reason is I want to get fitter and lose weight. I have lost a couple pounds and I am started to tone up in my legs. I've been doing it for a month and I have been reminded just how out of shape I am. I'm using Nike+ to track my progress and since I started on April 30th, I am already getting faster and 'running' longer. I am not wanting to break any records but just improve my general fitness without injuring myself. The fact that you drive pretty much everywhere here and in late Spring and throughout Summer, it is just too hot to walk anywhere, I am trying to get out to one of the County Parks to have a run early every other morning during the week. The pic below is a view I get on my run most mornings.

I went to another baseball game at The Joe. I still have little interest in baseball but it is a popular past-time here in the US so I want to make sure I am not dismissing stuff without giving it a fair shot.

An ice cream van has started coming round the neighborhood during the week and it looks nothing like ice cream vans I saw when I was a kid. If I'm honest it looks a little creepy!

The kids did the school Science Fair and some of the projects the kids did were amazing! We now have lots of ideas for future projects!

It was Mothers Day here yesterday and seeing as it was sunny and warm we headed off to the beach. It seems rude not too really. We will be spending a lot of time at the beach in the coming weeks and months as the weather heats up.

Before I go, I want to introduce you to a new addition in our garden. I don't think I have mentioned them before. There is a brown creeper bird in our backyard who has made a nest in our old Christmas Tree stand and has laid at least 5 eggs. We are monitoring it and will be checking on the eggs and waiting to see if they hatch.

Not long until the kids break up for summer. 15 full days and 2 half days left of school and then we have 11 weeks off. 2 of those 11 weeks will be spent in California though.

This blog is not really specifically about being an Expat in America. It is just sort of a diary about what we get up to here. I am considering moving over to WordPress and adjusting the theme and topics slightly.If anyone reads this and would like to share their opinion on what they think I should do and what sort of theme/topics I should aim for, I would appreciate it.

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14? Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why. ...