First off, today is the reveal day for Daring Bakers and I'm not ready. Apologies, apologies, but don't worry. I'm not skipping this month, it's just delayed. With the unpacking and cleaning and registering with various governmental agencies and dealing with debris from the hurricane, the only time I could have made it was yesterday and Dug is traveling for work and it is his favorite food(it's pizza!!). So since he returns Thursday night, we'll have it for dinner on Friday and then you'll get a post on it soon after. Okay? I'm sure the magnanimous Powers-That-Be of the Daring Bakers will give me that one concession.
While I'm supposed to tell you the many interesting differences between Oregon and Texas, I've decided to just give you a little outside tour of my house instead. I'm not quite happy with my pictorial representation of the differing cultures yet. Soon.
You only get the outside because the inside isn't quite ready to be snapped yet. I won't wait until the decor is perfected (or even hanging on nails that weren't already there) but I do want to at least have the empty boxes dealt with first.
Here is the first view of the front of our house when you turn into our driveway. Isn't it huge?! This is what buying real estate in Texas is. Way under half-priced compared to Oregon's market. We purchased this for a manageable sum. The same house in Portland would be a million or more. (We didn't/couldn't pay anything close to that, believe me.) Please understand I'm not bragging at all. I'm astounded and am only just starting to begin to believe that we actually live here. I still can't believe how cheap houses are in this part of the country.
Looking at the picture above, see the little walkway that my kids are riding their bikes on? This next picture was taken on the right by those little bushes and facing the street. We loved this lot because it had some seriously easy yet nice-looking landscaping and also because it is wooded. It gives us a bit of privacy. You can just see the greyish-white road through the trees
If I continue along the walkway, I come to the garage/driveway side of the house. My very first garage that I can park in! It's so exciting. The windows are black because they have this sun-blocking screen on them. Apparently it helps keep the heat out in the summer. The driveway is nice because it's big enough to turn around in even if someone is parked in it. Our first HOA (Home Owners' Association) no-no is that we keep our garbage in sight from the road. Seriously, though, do they expect me to keep that stinky thing in my garage? I don't think so. They've got some massive cockroaches here. (Mej is my witness.) No way, no how is non-poisonous roach bait going to be inside any part of my house.
Continuing around the house, do you see the electrical boxes in the photo above? Well, there'a little walkway right next to them, leading to the back patio. If we followed it our first sight would be one of our two injured trees, bruised and battered by Hurricane Ike, our bottle-brush bush. It couldn't stand the 100+mph winds and bowed to their strength. Dug and I tried to tie it up to the tree but it was too heavy to get it straight. Our next step is to hook up a strap to the big ol' Dodge and force that baby up. We really want it to be happy. It's rather pretty in bloom.
This is the back of the house. We have a lovely patio that is strewn with pinecones and long pine needles and other such plant debris from Ike. With the moving and slight yard maintenance (with an acre lot we actually need a riding lawn mower) that we are capable of at this moment, sweeping the walks, driveway and patio is not up there on the priorities list.
When we first looked at this house in June, we noticed the outside fan and thought, "That is so awesome!" What we didn't notice was that if you look behind it (I've circled it in red.) there are outdoor speakers wired into the living room! How cool is that?! I called Dug (he was in Pennsylvania at the time) and let him know. Funny, isn't it? We didn't even know about it before we moved in.
These last two pictures are two of the plants in our backyard. They are beautiful and I'm so happy they are so well established. They are huge. I only know that one is an Elephant Ear (the bottom one I think) but I don't know what the other one is. Of all the plants in the yard, these two are by far my favorites.
And that's it. I'm not great at housing or landscape pictures, but it gives you an idea where we landed. Probably the best thing to do is come and visit us. Then you'll get a real "feel" for the place. *hint, hint*