Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just An Idea? Houston, Texas- Here We Come??

For months now, Rob & I have been discussing the idea of moving our lives, and the business to Houston, Texas. We've been thinking, plotting and planning every chance we get. Lucy seems to be adapting well to the idea- I think she looks pretty good in a cowgirl hat.

We've both taken a trip there (on two separate occasions of course- we're like the president and the vice president- we very rarely travel on the same plane- just in case the plane goes down! I'm just kidding- we don't have enough people working for us for both of us to leave town at the same time! Although, we're working on that really big problem.) Each of us spent at least 3 days there driving around, talking to the locals and checking out the competition. (I of course checked out the local steak houses just to make sure that we won't starve and found the closest mall to be sure that I'll have a great place to shop!)

I did a lot of research on other parts of the country before we settled on Houston. Of course, we considered places in the south like Atlanta- but the housing market there is really in the toilet, and since the housing situation is directly tied to what we do, we had to rule out Atlanta. We both love the beauty of Tennessee, but the economic climate there just doesn't offer what Houston does.

We discussed it a lot, and came up with a long list of qualifications as to what we would be requiring in a new location. I'll share with ya all (See, I'm gonna fit in too!) the top qualifications that a city had to have in order for us to consider gracing that city with our tax dollars:
  1. The climate: (This was huge...) We're looking for sunshine, and lots of it. We don't mind rain once in a while, but for days and days at a time- well- that we can do with out. And while we understand that snow or ice may oftentimes fall from the sky, we need to live someplace where that doesn't go on for months, and months, and months at a time. We don't want to live somewhere that even 4 wheel drive is not adequate enough to get your vehicle out of the driveway!
  2. The economy: As business owners, it's very important that we relocate the business to an area that's growing and thriving, an area where housing values are not in the toilet, and everyone is not living on credit that doesn't exist any more and it would be great if some of those people had jobs and an appreciation for solid wood furniture.
  3. A little bit of water would be nice. We love our boat and we really enjoy kayaking too!
  4. It has to be far enough away (at least 500 miles) so that certain people who like to interfere in a very negative way in our lives, can't just jump in their car and wreak havoc as the mood strikes them.

Sports teams aren't an issue (Neither one of us will missing living in a city where people are so gaga over the football team that nothing else goes on when the team is playing)- Rob is a Raiders fan, and I am a Saints fan. Neither San Francisco (while being amazingly beautiful) or New Orleans (with it's phenomenal hurricanes and floods) offered any of the other things that we were looking for, so as much as I would love to park my little hind end in the stadium for every Saints home game- that's not going to happen. One definite plus of Texas in relation to the Saints is that it's not that long of a flight from Houston to New Orleans... Hang on guys, here I come!

We could care less about the traffic- after having lived in San Diego for 5 years, and planning and routing my life around rush hours- and making sure that I had peed before I left the house and not had anything to drink for at least 2 hours prior to leaving the house, just in case I got stuck in traffic for 3 hours (which took up at total of about 8 hours every day), I am sure that I can adjust to Houston traffic. The only thing about the traffic out there that concerns us that there seems to be only two methods of driving in Houston- race track fast- and milk truck slow. That could present a lot of complications for both Rob & I who prefer race track fast!

Obviously, there are some complications to our idea. It's not like we don't have ties here in Pittsburgh. Both of our families are here, we own homes here, and we have 2 stores here. And unfortunately, we've got a lot of STUFF and this isn't the best market to be liquidating STUFF in.

As of right now, Rob is planning on going out to Houston, leaving me here to run the funny farm, I mean the stores, for 6 months as a trial run. If things go well in Houston (Sugarland, to be exact), we'll phase everything out in Pittsburgh. That's the only part of this plan that scares the crap out of me. I'm wondering how the heck I'm going to manage this empire while he's gone, and we've never been apart that long... I'm glad I'll have little Lucy to keep me company!

Speaking of Lucy, she decided to take a swim in the swamp last night, AGAIN. (Can I just mention one more time how sick I am of that damn swamp?) When she appeared at the door, she was dirtier than she's ever been. No idea how she accomplished this, I just know that I had one hell of a time cleaning that little darling up! She must have laid down in there and stayed there for a couple of minutes, because the mud was clumped all across her chest and stomach.

Her Daddy was chilling on the couch when she appeared at the door, and I suggested that maybe he would like to go outside and clean her up- seeing as how he thinks that the swamp is such a great occupier of time for Lucy. He said he didn't want to. Imagine that.

I had to change my clothes to go outside and clean Lucy up. I had white pants on, and there was no way that I was going out that door with those pants on.

I hosed Lucy down, which took about 10 minutes, and the mud just poured off of her. She still wasn't clean when I was done and neither was I, so I was forced to give the little boxer baby a bath.

The bath was great! We had a lot of fun, of course, now my bathroom is covered in mud, I had to scrub the kitchen floor this morning, and the shirt I was wearing is ruined- but at least Lucy is clean! She seemed thrilled to be in the tub and had all kinds of kicks and giggles out of playing in Mummy's tub. And for once, she didn't even mind being wet, she just curled up on the sleeping bag (which was on the living room floor because she and I had to sleep down there on Tuesday night because she wouldn't settle down and she was driving her Daddy nuts), and made herself comfortable! You go little boxer!

And once Lucy was settled in, her human went over to the couch and snuggled up right next to Daddy, smelling like a swamp baby! It's amazing, but he was surprised that I smelled like the swamp.


  1. What kind of business do you own?

    I wish I could up and move, but I have to take care of disabled humans as well as my lovely pups. Someday...

  2. Interesting post! Parental Unit is seriously thinking the same thing!
    And so glad Ms. Lucy is squeaky clean-she's adorable!

    Your buddy,

  3. Moving cross country is stressful to say the least.

    Still have the muddy pond, I see....

  4. Wowsers' that's big stuff! Being away from your man for 6 months has got to be a little bit of a big deal! I'm glad that you have Lucy too, and I hate to say it, but I'm glad that I'm not the only one that has a muddly lovely messy pup on a regular basis ;)

  5. Its always hard moving a business, as a person who as never owned a business I shouldn't know, but I will chime in with the colloquials nonetheless.

    But I mirror the thoughts of the previous posters, that is big news, and a big task.

  6. What an idea--NOT!! I lived in TX for 30+ years and I would not move back there for love nor money. Hurricanes, tornados, lots of rain and heat with high humidity is what they have to offer.
    Too bad daddy did not want to clean up his little girl for ya. You are a good mommy and she sure looks better clean than muddy lol.

  7. we have a muddy koi pond, two, actually, and our new dog Bird has discovered them She jumps in at every opportunity, buries her head under, and laps up the water as she glides across the top. It's unreal. She comes out covered in green goo, red-eyed, and happier than a duck. The I hose her off, her second-favorite water activity, then of course she has to have a bath because the mud doesn't just wash awy with water, nor does the pond smell.
    She may be related to Lucy.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Lucy is such a beautiful dog!
    Sami Boy

  9. Hi Remington here! Nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I am following you too! I like your blog. What kind of business do you have? And by the way -- I am the #1 Vikings fan! I hope we can still be great friends....

  10. Wow! Houston, heh? I grew up near there enough to know I don't want to live there. LOL I didn't like the people or the "look" of the city. I think they need to clean it up and do something about the air pollution. On the news, they would announce many "smog alerts" during the summer. There really won't be occasional snow. You won't see any, but you will probably see some sleet and icy roads. I still visit Houston from time to time when there is a big event I want to attend. Also, the Astros games are pretty fun.

    But I didn't go far, I moved to Dallas about 5 years ago. It's a pretty city and the traffic is more organized. There are a lot of snooty people in many parts, but it's not that bad. It's hot as hell here, probably hotter than Houston. But Dallas did get snow about 3 times last winter. One of those times, it was 12 inches. That's rare, because it's usually once or none per winter. I really like it here though. But if I had any city to choose to live in Texas, it would be Austin. That city is so freaking fun! Austin is very laid back and hippie land. They have fun things to do all of the time. When you are living in Houston, YOU HAVE TO VISIT AUSTIN when you get a free weekend. They are big animal and dog people and you can basically take Lucy everywhere you go, in many stores and restaurants. You will have a blast and the hiking there is unbelievably beautiful. Lucy will love it.

  11. Moving is definitely stressful, but it looks like the benefits are in your favor!!

    Good luck with that and sorry Lucy got all swampy again grrr.

  12. I absolutely love Texas, but I'm more partial to Dallas!! :) The heat isn't as bad as everyone says it is, you get used to it. And the Dallas/Fort Worth area has some awesome lakes. My cousin and his wife go out on their boat every weekend!!

    Love the pictures of Lucy!! Too cute!!


  13. Wow it sounds like you have some major plans in the works. I will send positive vibes that you make the right decisions and that everything goes the way you plan!
    Thanks for visiting Critter Alley. It will be great getting to know you!


  14. I went to TX in the summer and the heat took some getting used to. I don't think I actually ever did adjust but then again, I wasn't there all that long since it was a vacation. Good luck to you, I hope things work out for ya'll.

    I can't find a decent job around here and have way thought about/wished I could just up and leave. Don't know where I'd go and I don't really have the money to be traipsing around looking for a new place.

  15. Hi Marianne, thanks for following us. Love your pup. Don't know much about Houston, I only passed through it once with a bus load of Mexican carnies (that sounds like a lie but it isn't :) Looking forward to reading more on your adventures.

  16. I think it sounds positively exciting, and I wish you well in your move.

    No doubt, Lucy will find something equally as messy to play in deep in the heart of Texas.