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Showing posts from January, 2006

Pond-Hopper.com

I have finally published the first draft of my site! pond-hopper.com I'd love for you to take a look at it and give me feed back on what you think. Good or bad it's always nice to get opinions on how I can improve the design.
It's far from finished, but I'm working on it and will keep you informed of changes.

If you don't like spiders - don't move to England!

This morning, the mailman came to the door to deliver a package and as I closed the door, I noticed a very large spider was walking through the entry way. I hate spiders and the spiders in this country are a lot bigger than I'm used to!! I instantly screamed and my first thought was to throw the package onto it and run! I hesitated a bit too long and it got away under the door of the bathroom. I panicked and called Wayne at work having a complete meltdown. Wayne just laughed and said he'd look for it when he got home. I asked him - 'If I suck it up with the carpet sweeper - will it die? He said, 'probably' I then asked, 'If it doesn't die, will it be able to get out?' he said, 'probably' I asked 'will it bite the cats?? Can it poison them?? Are there poisonous spiders here??' He laughed again and said, 'don't be silly' I realized he wasn't helping and decided I would have to hunt for it because I would neve…

If you don't like spiders - don't move to England!

This morning, the mailman came to the door to deliver a package and as I closed the door, I noticed a very large spider was walking through the entry way. I hate spiders and the spiders in this country are a lot bigger than I'm used to!! I instantly screamed and my first thought was to throw the package onto it and run! I hesitated a bit too long and it got away under the door of the bathroom. I panicked and called Wayne at work having a complete meltdown. Wayne just laughed and said he'd look for it when he got home. I asked him - 'If I suck it up with the carpet sweeper - will it die? He said, 'probably' I then asked, 'If it doesn't die, will it be able to get out?' he said, 'probably' I asked 'will it bite the cats?? Can it poison them?? Are there poisonous spiders here??' He laughed again and said, 'don't be silly' I realized he wasn't helping and decided I would have to hunt for it because I would never…

Out of site, out of mind (and the family)

Over the weekend, Wayne and I went out to celebrate my one year smoke free. I have to admit I got pretty drunk. I guess I needed a drink because I didn't have a very good week leading up to our night out. It was enough going through my step father being rushed to the hospital and having to sit here helpless for hours before I got an update (being s far from home when there is a crisis is really tough), but the day after, I had a 'discussion' with my Mother that was enough to drive anyone to drink!
I didn't like waiting so long for an update. I hated it. It was just awful. After waiting nearly four hours, I started calling every family member's home and cell phones. I finally got in touch with my sister-in-law who told me she had been getting regular updates and let me know what was going on. This infuriated me! They were calling her, but not me!
Before you get ahead of yourselves and think - How could they call you in England until they go home? You see…

Out of site, out of mind (and the family)

Over the weekend, Wayne and I went out to celebrate my one year smoke free. I have to admit I got pretty drunk. I guess I needed a drink because I didn't have a very good week leading up to our night out. It was enough going through my step father being rushed to the hospital and having to sit here helpless for hours before I got an update (being s far from home when there is a crisis is really tough), but the day after, I had a 'discussion' with my Mother that was enough to drive anyone to drink!
I didn't like waiting so long for an update. I hated it. It was just awful. After waiting nearly four hours, I started calling every family member's home and cell phones. I finally got in touch with my sister-in-law who told me she had been getting regular updates and let me know what was going on. This infuriated me! They were calling her, but not me!
Before you get ahead of yourselves and think - How could they call you in England until they go home? You see…

Wow what a response!

Yesterday, I posted a few messages on expat sites I use about the American Expat blog list I'm working on. I got such a great response from it and I just want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. I got wonderful messages, emails, replies on the message boards and yesterday, I had nearly 100 visitors to my blog (only 5 requests to be added to the list, but hey, you can't have everything)! It was really nice to see how many people could relate to what I had to say.
Thanks again for all your wonderful feedback!

More American food cravings..

The longer I'm on this diet, the more craving I get! Luckily, usually they are cravings I can't fulfill because I want American foods. Lately, I miss American pizzerias. Here, pizzerias don't have menus like they do back home. No pasta, no Chicken Parm, no subs (mmmm subs), and worst of all - no real pizza. The pizza here is worse than Dominos which to me is bogus pizza and nothing like the pizza I grew up with in Jersey. If you like Dominos and Pizza Hut though, you'd be fine here, but don't expect to find a decent submarine sandwich anywhere (even the supermarkets don't carry cold cuts like we're used to back home - no provolone, American cheese or boarshead type brands. It's hard to describe what it's like, but to me it's just no what it should be! And if you're a fan of anything Parmesan (which is anything breaded, fried, and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese), you'll have to come to my house, because they have no…

American Expat Blog List

During the hardest part of my transition to living in the UK, I started my blog and I have to say it was very therapeutic. When you're in a strange place and don't know anyone, it's easy to feel invisible. There were days that I thought if I stopped in the middle of a crowed street and screamed at the top of my lungs - no-one would hear me. This blog, gave me my voice and I can't say enough how helpful that was.
At that time, I thought it would be great to be able to read other blogs to see how others in the same situation were dealing with life here. I belong to forums where you can leave posts, but it's not the same as a personal blog entry. On a blog you can express yourself in a much more meaningful way. I thought - wouldn't it be nice if there was a list compiled of people going through the same thing, so I have decided to compile just that and publish it on the web so that others can benefit from it.
I have quite a few sites already and if this sounds…

One Year Smoke Free!

One year ago today, I had my last cigarette and tomorrow night, we're going out to celebrate. After 15 years of smoking, I quit cold turkey and never touched another cigarette again.
I didn't want to quit. I had promised Wayne when we 1st got together (as a grand gesture of love) that I would quit for him, but kept finding reasons why I didn't. I told him things like - I had to do it because I wanted to and it would have to wait until I was ready.
When we moved to England, cigarettes prices soured from $5 (for a pack of 20) to nearly $11 (

Far from home

I just got a tearful call from my sister telling me that Cyrus (my step father since the age of 14) was just rushed to the hospital. She didn't know much detail because it was second hand information, but she said something about a viral infection keeping him from being able to walk.
This is the first time that something has happened and I'm too far from home to be able to do anything about it. I can't rush to the hospital to be with my family like I want to. I can't even call my Mom (who's probably a fucken mess) to offer support or get an update because they don't allow cell phones in the hospital. All I can do now is just wait. It's an awful helpless feeling to be so far from home at times like this.
Update: Cyrus is okay, but in the hospital. They are not sure what's wrong just yet, but he seems to be in good spirits. They are concerned because his kidneys are not functioning properly and he is very weak. they are keeping him for observation w…

-Revelation - I'm a horrible person!

Grab your coffee (or other caffeinated beverage) because I think this might be a long one (Note: some names have been omitted to protect the innocent or the guilty - depending how you look at it!)...
Hmmm Where do I start? I guess I'll tell it as it happened. Last night, my husband and I were doing some research on CWI training programs (Certificate in Web-Based Instruction) because I need more structured and streamlined training materials for web design. I'm just not cutting it learning bits and pieces from this source or that one. These programs are still self study programs, but they provide all the materials you need as well as prep for the certification tests. When finished, you're supposed to have everything you need to become certified as a web professional.
The courses are very expensive and there is a lot out there. The thing is that there are quite a few programs and after reading and researching for far too long, I became very overwhelmed and confused wit…

To be a size four again...

I have been on a diet for what seems like forever now (hence the eggo cravings below) and I'm finally starting to see some results! About two years ago, I had a bad flare up of my arthritis and had to go on disability. As a treatment, the doctor put me on some pretty strong steroids and I blew up in record time. I gained about 25 pounds and for the first time in my life, I was really over weight.
It happened really fast as it does with steroids. My bra size went up from a B to a D in a matter of months and all of a sudden, I started hitting into things with them (not being used to the size of them and how much farther they were from the rest of my body than they were before). While shopping, a few people even got a feel they didn't expect (nor did I) because I brushed up against them while trying to get by! It was definitely the breasts that was hardest to get used to. Which wouldn't have been a bad thing if the rest of me didn't also get bigger. Now, I just wis…

What I wouldn't do for an Eggo!

I woke up this morning dying for a waffle with butter and syrup. The problem is - you can't get waffles in England. Not American waffles anyway. They sell them here in a package that's decorated with an American flag advertising them as American waffles, but who ever manufactures these things obviously never tasted an American Waffle! They are cake like, sweet and dry. In short - they're NOT waffles.
When I was home last, I bought a big bottle of pancake syrup and smuggled it back thinking I could make some pancakes from Bisquick mix I saw in the store, but once again they're nothing like our pancakes and I was very disappointed.
Believe it or not, even the English muffins aren't the same or even very good. I bought them and when I cut it open (no they don't have fork split like Thomas'), I was shocked - All I could think was - where are the nooks? Where are the crannies? I thought they can't you go wrong with English muffins, but no nooks or c…

Congratulations Aniela

Congratulations to my friend (and fellow American expat) Aniela and her husband Herman on the birth of their new baby girl, Ruby!
I'm so happy for you guys and wish you the best!

Fried...

I spent a good part of my day trying to customize my blog to be my own design. I'm getting there and have to admit that I threw my hands up in celebration when I achieved the desired effect so far. Unfortunately, I do have a few limitations using a Movable Type blog as far as design goes (but as far as content, it's nearly fully customizable and goes leaps and bounds further than MSN). I don't think I'll be able to make it look exactly like my website will, but I don't know for sure because I'm really just learning as I go. To be honest, I am completely fried and a bit frustrated. So, I guess this might be a good time to walk away and go workout...

Crazy Dream

I had the craziest dream last night. I dreamed I was someone else. I mean I think I was me but nothing like me. I know that doesn't make much sense, but isn't that typically how dreams work? In my dream I was a cop (this alone is strange because it's never been a career I've ever considered & nor would I). Not only was I a cop, but I was a detective of some sort. My boss was Vince Vaughn (of course he was a cop too not a celebrity). I wasn't married, I didn't know my husband and during my dream, I started sleeping with my boss (Vince Vaughn - not a horrible concept, but strange because I've never been terribly keen on him). Also, I was apparently a drinker in this dream (I don't remember the last time I had a drink). In my dream, while off duty, I went to a party (I don't think I've been to a party since 1989 and even then didn't drink in excess). I got pretty drunk and decided to walk home from the party. My home was not here …

Teaching yourself web development - not for the faint hearted...

I really wanted to wait to publish this site until I finished it, but I've come to realize that I miss blogging. It helps me get my head straight and it feels good to feel like I'm being heard on days when I'm feeling invisible to the outside world (other than my husband). So today, as I fried my brain trying to figure out how to create a custom blog - I decided - Fuck it - who cares if people see my work in progress. Plus, if I wait until the whole site is done, it may never be published!
When I decided to teach myself web design, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it might be a good distraction/hobby that maybe one day could turn into a work from home career. I've never been afraid of a challenge and when it comes to computers, I've always been able to figure things out. Hell, I had a career that was mainly comprised of baptism by fire and I always came out on top. The thing is back then, I had a boss that would help me if I really needed help…