Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
1. The ground is mostly rock (thus the rock fences). But it means that they don't have water lines, sewer lines, or gas lines. Each home is its own little island. In reality that means each home is on well water, each home has a septic tank (which I have learned means you CANNOT have a garbage disposal), and each home has a heating oil tank of 300-400 gallons that must be filled by a oil delivery man after you have negotiated a contract and rate.
2. The current price for heating oil is $3.57 a gallon (excluding delivery charges) and the 2 families of 4 kids we spoke with have their 400 gallon tanks filled every 2 weeks in the winter 7 months and once a month in the spring summer and fall. The delivery charges range, but they said each delivery was about 200 bucks. OUCH!!!!!! So, for all of you Houstonians complaining about your 300-400 dollar summer electric bill, just keep in mind that in New England people can pay 1500 dollars a month or more on Heating. CRAZY huh?
3. Since we are looking at rentals, I have figured we can afford a home that is about 2400 square feet. (mind you, it is well, well, more a month -- nearly double our current mortgage on a 4000 square foot home. )
4. The schools in the suburbs are good, really good.
5. Since each home is on an acre or more, the driveways are long. Most people have them plowed in the winter, because if you are a commuter racing to the train to catch the 5:55 am express to grand central you don't want to shovel a 1/4 mile driveway of snow starting at 4 am. Some landlords include snow removal in the rent, but if they don't it is about $45 each time.
6. A monthly train pass is about $260-300 depending on what station you go to.
My little excursion out to the suburbs was EYE-OPENING! How people live there, I don't really understand. It seems kind of antiquated and yet, the people love it. The families we met were awesome.
Our little adventure there is for only 3 years and I am sure we will learn a ton and meet so many new people, but I think I will be glad to come back to Houston.
All this info made us start to wonder about just living in an apartment on Manhattan -- so we have been gathering info about that too. I'll share it with you another day.
I caught the train back in to Grand Central, and met up with Trent and we went and tried the Wicked ticket lottery. We did not get picked. So we had dinner, wandered, explored, breathed in more 2nd hand smoke than our entire previous lifetime combined, and headed back to hotel around 11pm exhausted.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Why did it take us 2 days to notice the coldstone creamery directly across from our hotel entrance? Ice cream . . . that is something I usually notice any time, any where . . . but not in times square.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Now, it is really dark (and I don't have the outdoor lights on) and I can clearly see the black and the yellow stripes, but the red ones are hard to distinguish -- and I don't want to get too close. I rely on my ever stagnant snake knowledge "red and yellow kills a fellow, red and black friend of jack" But for the life of me I can't tell which color is where and I am not about to pick it up and ask it. The problem is, I cannot get in the house, the snake is effectively blocking us. Right then, Catherine (who is in the house) tries to come out. I scream, "Shut the door, SNAKE!!!!!!) She slammed the door and the blinds come flying up and I wish, I wish I had had my camera because her face with the wide eyes looking out through the bright lights of the door windows was priceless!
I told Julianne to run to the neighbor's and tell Felicia to get Bobby to get the snake. And Julianne ran, and my neighbor's ran and brought a shovel and axe and now the snake is history.
My neighbor ran off to dispose of it, and I did not get a picture. He yelled -- I think it has red and black together -- so I am supposing (hoping) that it was not poisonous.
Thank goodness for brave neighbor men!!!
Trent and I had been debating who had to go grocery shopping -- Trent felt he made the right choice after hearing about the snake!!!!